Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Midweek Meditation

Another Chinese fortune cookie (it kind of goes with the last one):

     Life is about making some things happen, not waiting for something to happen.

I have this, along with the last one, under a clear plastic cover on a little yarn/knitting notebook.  (I don't have any others saved at this time.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

This Brings Me Around to My First Socks

It does seem hard to believe, but I did not knit my first pair of socks until 2007.  (I do remember knitting slippers and Christmas stockings, but not real socks.)  I have always mostly knit sweaters.  I like sweaters.

These are my first socks.  I made them using the first pattern, 'Start Here: Simple Sock in Three Sizes', in Cat Bordhi's SOCKS SOAR ON TWO CIRCULAR NEEDLES book.  If you read my last post, you know who recommended that pattern.  You also know who loaned me the book and two 24" US 1 (2.5mm) Addi Turbo circular needles.  And, perhaps it would be no surprise to you, that I made my first pair of socks for my mom.

They were fun to knit.  I made more.  For a while I numbered my socks as I entered them on my Ravelry project page.  My fifth pair, made in 2008, were also for my mom.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Mother Was a Great Sock Knitter

This is a photograph of all of the socks my mother knit for me.  (A cool dozen.)  She began focusing on sock knitting some time around the turn of the century.  She became totally hooked on knitting socks with two circular needles after she read  Cat Bordhi's SOCKS SOAR ON TWO CIRCULAR NEEDLES.
For a little while, she knit socks for anyone who she thought would like them.  Then for a couple years, she started Christmas-knitting pairs of socks, alternating each year between the guys and the girls in our immediate familyI know that 2003 (the year that my father died) was the first year that she knit Christmas socks for everyone in the family.  That would be 18 pairs of socks!  36 socks!!  Four children and their four spouses, along with 10 grandchildren, AND WE ALL HAVE TWO FEET!
Christmas 2008 was her last year to gift us with socks.  (Pancreatic cancer really sucks.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Midweek Meditation

From a Chinese fortune cookie:

      You need to work hard to be "lucky."

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Mother Was a Great Knitter

  She learned to knit as a child from her sister who was 15 years older.

  I remember a beautiful sweater that my mother knit for me when I was in first grade.  It was burgundy and had colorful embroidered flowers on it.  I loved it and remember proudly wearing it to school.  That sweater is long gone, but I think that one day my memory of it could inspire a design.

  Another favorite, knit by my mom, was a beautiful short sleeved cotton sweater with bluebell flowers knit into it.  It was a deep rich blue, but it faded, as cotton will, when worn and washed so very many times.  I kept it for many years after its loss of color, thinking that I would dye it one day.  I cannot find it anywhere, so I must have let it go during one of my rare "you can't keep everything" moods.   

  This simple gray vest has four buttons and buttonholes on each side.  The stitch pattern is the trinity stitch and the yarn is fairly fine, probably a sport weight.
  It goes with everything, and I wore it so much that it has a little hole in the front.  I might be able to repair it, but I know it would be a little small.

  I have worn the pink sweater only a handful of times.  It is truely lovely, but has a very wide collar, or a very wide sort-of-a-collar-thing.
  Sometimes it happens that we love someone, and love something that we make for them to wear;
and the someone loves us back, and loves the thing that was made, but the actual wearing-of-it just does not happen a whole lot.
  My mother first taught me to knit when I was seven.  I knit a small garter stitch square from a colorful 'ombre' yarn
I folded it diagonally and made a kerchief for my Barbie doll.  (I do not remember how often Barbie wore that kerchief.)

I do miss sitting and knitting with my mother.

Friday, June 17, 2011

And Then Came the Knitcircus Blog Announcement!

After I sent my reply to Jaala, the editor of Knitcircus magazine, Monday afternoon, May 16, I anxiously checked my email every hour or so looking for her reply to my reply.

By lunchtime the next day, it still had not arrived.  Both my daughter and husband were home (extremely rare for an ordinary Tuesday).  I had a thought to check the Knitcircus website that Jaala writes, and I found this:  Health and Love Scarf Contest Winner

I was quite surprised, and my husband teased me about how the reason that she had not got around to replying to my email was that she was busy promoting me.  As you can see my sketch was there and my name and everything!  What this also meant was that it would be OK for me to share my sketch and that web page with everyone I know!  So here it is now in my own recently created blog.

Of course Jaala's reply arrived in my inbox a short time later and all of my questions were answered.  The yarn would be sent out to me that day.  I got busy writing the pattern using the Knitcircus Style Guide and the Knitcircus Pattern Template.  These were extremely helpful.

I did share the web page with almost everyone I know.  And I did bring the sketch, and even the yarn, to show and tell at my regular sit and knit.

As I write this post the finished scarf is in a box and on its way to Madison WI.  No one has seen it except for me and my immediate family.  I can't wait to see the magazine photos! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Knitcircus Scarf Design Contest Winner!

On Monday, May 16, I received an email from Jaala, the editor of Knitcircus magazine, with the subject line "Knit Circus Design Contest Winner!"  Wow, I thought, could it really be?  I said to my daughter, "Look at this! Could it really be?"

And it was!!!!

The email began, "Congratulations, your elegant LOVE AND PRAYERS scarf design won first place in the Knitcircus Magazine Health and Love Scarf Contest! Your pattern will be featured in the Fall 2011 Knitcircus Magazine, photographed on an extraordinary woman who’s experienced heart disease."

I was in shock mode, but I downloaded and printed the attachments and sent a reply in less that 2 hours.  My reply began, "I do not have words to express how exciting this is for me!"

And it still is!!!

(to be continued)

Monday, June 13, 2011

My First WW Knit in Public Day -- One More Day to Breathe

This past Saturday, June 11, I attended my first ever World Wide Knit in Public Day!

     It was at the Osterhout Library in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The only thing is, due to wet weather, it was indoors, back in the Reading Room, and therefore not very public.  Still, it was wonderful to meet some new knitters, and from different walks of life.  The hostess, Elaine, was very welcoming.  There were refreshments and even a drawing for a door prize.

      I helped one woman knit for the first time.  Initially she was slow on her self-confidence, but I soon could tell that she was 'good with her hands', in the way that people who have done a lot of other crafts are usually quick to learn knitting.  It turns out that (sadly, it was while she lived at a women's shelter) someone had given her a little suitcase full of art supplies and that she is a painter.  When we were leaving, she showed me a small photo album of her oil paintings.  Many were very good.  I gave her much encouragement.

     As I walked to my car, what I thought about most was a moment when the painter told one of the other knitters (who was somewhat cheerfully bemoaning turning 50 and the fact that her son had just moved from home to Maryland), "Every day is a gift.  It is one more day to breathe."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Starting in Bermuda

Hi! Welcome to my Blog!

For my profile picture I am using a photograph of a hotel flowerbed that I took in Bermuda a few years ago.  My sister was going on a business trip there and took me along for my birthday.  She is a very good sister.

I have used this photo before as a profile picture, and I do not expect to change it.  For my first blog post I thought that I would explain that image and share a couple more of my favorites from that trip.

 Bermuda.  A very good place to start.