Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Fiber-y Day

Today the family made a trip over to the Textile Museum here in D.C. It was the last day for the "Seldom Seen" exhibit of materials in the museum's collection that have either never been exhibited or haven't been seen in years. Here's a sampling.

The pieces in the collection were thought-provoking. Such a fantastic variety of textiles from around the world, woven, embroidered, looped, etc. The mantle of the shaman from Peru particularly sticks in my mind for the unusual embroidery.

In the interactive room, there was even a chance to spin, except that the spindle was missing its hook. Harumph. But on the other hand, probably a good thing. There would literally be no place to sit down if I took up spinning too. And where would I keep the sheep?

Speaking of knitting, I finished the first fall sock, and being a good knitter, promptly cast on for the second sock. I hope it won't take me as long to finish. I'm going to join the Sock-a-Month KAL so I'll be motivated to work through all my current WIPs and stay focused on going through the stash.

But to distract you from slow knitting, a kid picture:

He's teething, and is a real bear sometimes. I shouldn't complain, though, because he is still incredibly good-natured, considering. Are all parents as fascinated by their kids as we are? He's making new noises, practicing more lu, wu, blu-type sounds with his tongue and lips, and it is hilarious. Sometimes I wonder if he's going to talk before he walks.

Must go. Falling asleep typing. The little early riser is up every day by 6am.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Yarn in a Bag

I'm going to start by saying my husband rocks. He cooks, he cleans (occasionally), he rubs my feet, he buys me yarn.

Whoa, I know what you're thinking out there, Yarn Hos, but you need to step off. Don't make me pull out the pointy needles...

So knowing my obsession, the Cap'n surprises me last weekend with 8 balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay in medium blue and cream. Go ahead, click on the link, the only experience missing is rubbing it up against your cheek.

It's cotton, it's silk, it's sin in a ball.

And it's in a bag right now in his closet.

That's right. I'm banned (!) from using it until I get my other projects finished. What kind of sadistic person hands a fiber snob some of the most lovely yarn ever spun, says "it's all yours," then takes it away??!?!

The Cap'n.

It's supposed to be "a motivator" to get past my Knitter ADD. It's supposed to be the fiber carrot for this slow knitting donkey. So until I finish up some of the other projects (OMG, there's too many!!), no dreaming about the Picovoli. No thinking about the Cathay pattern book. Forget the cute Mimosa tanktop. I can't yet use the leftovers as a cute little belt.

It's good thing I love him. Otherwise yarn makes a nice garrote.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Actual Knitting Content!

Hello! All apologies for the excessive exclamation points! But really! Actual knitting content!

So I was going back over the blog for the last month or so, and I realized that there were too few yarny pictures for a knitting blog. And I love yarn. And I have been knitting, albeit slowly, so I figured I would provide some updates.

So this is the first of a pair (I hope!) of Garter Rib socks from the Sensational Knitted Socks. I love this stitch pattern. Charlene Schurch is a genius. I'm about to start a regular K2P2 ribbing at the top because I don't know how much the Garter Rib stays up by itself.

(OMG: I just saw a promo for the Animaniacs on DVD! I LOOOOOOVE that show. Must. Have. DVD. "What are we goin' to do tonight, Brain?" "Same thing we do every night, Pinky: Take Over the World!")

This is a flashy, close-up photo of the stitch pattern and the colors. It's a Schoeller + Stahl yarn, Limbo, in the kolibri (any German speakers out there?) colorway. I have really enjoyed watching the colors change as it goes. It is, I believe, a 3-ply yarn where one of the colors changes at any time, so the stripes fade into each other really well. The wider than usual yellow/orange band is where I joined the second ball.

I bought three balls of it at Yarns Unlimited in Bloomington when I was there in May. I'm using Brittany US Size 6s, so think boot socks when you imagine these. The wool is so soft and warn. It's going to be wonderful to wear. Since I knew I would be knitting boot socks for one of the men in my life, I figured I would need more than the recommended two balls. I don't think I'll use the three balls completely, but probably most of them. And these are... wait for it... wait for it...

Christmas presents. Wha? Are you still there? Did you hit your head when you fell over? I'm not saying who these are for, and they might be the only ones that get done, but whoo-hoo me!

And these?



I'm hoping to cure the SSSS (Severe Second Sock Syndrome) I'm in by knitting two socks on one circular with Magic! Loop! I *Heart* Magic! Loop! And the yarn...I want to eat it. Maybe it'll help settle my stomach. It's Claudia Handpainted in Caribbean Blue. I've used this yarn previously for the Chocolate Cherry socks, and it's gorgeous.

FYI, the Chocolate Cherry socks still await blocking, but now that Wendy says she doesn't, they may go to their new home without. Not that a certain someone needs any kind of wool socks in this kind of weather.

I'm trying to keep my spirits up on the Caribbean socks by reminding myself that I'm getting two done at once, becuase they are moving sooooooo slllllooooooooowwww. Again, I can't tell you who these are for, but again...Christmas presents. Yay me!

I knit on these for a little bit while on the Chinatown bus up to NYC while Slim slept. Slim was a good soldier the whole way there, even with an unexpected stop in the Chinatown in Philly. We ate, read books, played ball and he napped while I knit.

And I'm proud to say that I must be looking citified because when we reached New York, I'm getting the stroller set up to put Slim in, standing in the middle of the busy Chinatown market, and a college-age kid who got off the bus after me comes over and asks, "Do you know the way to the Metro?"

You bet I do, kid. You bet I do.

Slim and Momma on the Chinatown bus to NYC

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Boy or Girl?

It's a good thing I studied gender quite a bit in my women's studies classes back at UNC. Because it does not matter how much blue I dress this kid in -- he can be head to toe in it -- and someone on the Metro will ask:

"How old is she?"

I usually just say, 13 months, and move on. He is a pretty little boy, and I don't care if people think he's a girl. I know that has no impact on his self-image, which right now consists of saying NO as often as he can.

It's partly because people think he looks like me. So "they" think "he" is a "she." Whatever. As long as he's happy. And he's happiest throwing food, chasing the dog and avoiding any semblance of a nap.

So knitting content around here has been awfully slow. Not much time. We've had visitors, and the babe isn't sleeping well. And this weekend we're headed to NYC for the D family reunion. I'll try to get some knitting done on the Chinatown bus, but only if Slim falls asleep.

I admit I haven't yet taken pictures of my OTN projects. A little ashamed of the number, I guess. I'm almost done with one of the fall socks and I got out an oldie but a goodie, and am going to try to get it finished up this month.

The stress level has been elevated, probably a yellow on the official scale. But it's approached orange and red the last few days. Maybe a nap would help...

Thursday, July 06, 2006



Look at what came in the mail yesterday!

I've spent the better part of my free time today reading all the class descriptions and trying to get a feel for the calendar. I know I can't afford to do the whole thing, but maybe I can save up enough for a couple of classes.

And the market...ooh, y'all.

I am still honoring my Stashalong commitment, and haven't used up my July free day yet. I wasn't planning to, after meeting with our financial advisor the other day. It's enough to make you cry. Me cry, I mean. Upon hearing his recommendations, I decided to buckle down and try to make it all the way through to November without taking any more free days.

It's not like I don't have any yarn. In fact, I've been rather enjoying shopping my stash. But that's led to another problem for me: Knitting ADD.

Like I mentioned before, I have about six projects on the needles. I think to keep myself honest, and maybe to give myself a kick in the butt, I'll take photos of all the OTN projects and post them up tomorrow. I think I need to log a win in the FO category to get myself motivated.

Anyway, onward and upward...

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Quiet Day

No pictures today, so you visual people will just have to imagine what I'm talking about.

I walked down to Murky Coffee on 7th St SE with the dog while in-laws, Cap'n and Slim snooze at the house. I got to sleep til 8am (yes, EIGHT IN THE MORNING) today, so that must be why I'm so alive at this late hour of 7:30pm.

It's a warm, warm evening, still probably in the 80s, and one of the two other dogs on the patio here at Murky's just left. The other Aussie, as a matter of fact. Blonde mutt is still resting nearby. Mia is amazingly tolerant so far, which reminds me to knock on wood. She's usually a bit dog aggressive, so I'm surprised there's not been more barking already.

Like I said, it's sweating weather, even though the sun has already set behind the buildings. The city hangs on to the heat for longer. I like the peace and quiet of having some knitting/blogging time.

I'm Magic Looping two socks on one circ. The stats: Claudia Handpainted in Caribbean Blue on US1 40" Addi Turbos. I'm using this tutorial. At some point I've already screwed up because the first stitches are not on the same rounds. I don't think it will make much difference, though.

Today, the family took a trip over to the Holocaust Museum, my third time there. I took charge of Slim so that everyone else could take their time to look through. He was an incredibly good baby today, and I still had time to see some of the exhibits I had not yet seen while he napped in the backpack.

It's a somber place, and I cried again at one of the video testimonials by a survivor. She described the selection process as they arrived by train at one of the camps. One of the Jewish workers warned her mother to take her grandchild from her daughter. So the old woman went to her daughter (the sister of the survivor), and told her, "I've just learned that women with children will be able to have an easy time watching the children, while the others will have hard labor. You know I can't handle hard labor." So before her daughter could argue, she took her grandson and was pushed by the guards to the other line. Before she was moved on, she called out to her other daughter (the one telling the story), and said, "Take care of your sister." Because she knew, that by taking the grandson, she had ensured her daughter's survival and sent herself and her 2-year-old grandson to death. They were both gassed.

It's hard, having a child and thinking that people had to make choices like that all the time. I cuddled Slim a little tighter.

After the museum, I fixed chicken schnitzel for everyone, and everyone immediately passed out after dinner. It was emotionally draining experience today.

So now, it's a quiet night. And it's good to be able to enjoy life.