Friday, March 30, 2012

Blocking Party?

The moments are rare indeed when Mr K shows any depth of compassionate understanding in regards to my knitting obsessed life.  One of these rare moments happened earlier this week.

I was back in the little used bedroom sitting on the floor weaving my blocking wires along the edges of my second swirl jacket.  It was evening and I had been in that room for a while.  Mr K walked by on his way to another room and paused briefly to say, "Having a blocking party, eh?"

No.  It does not actually mean he gets it.  There have been very many times when I have been told that I could probably find time to get this or that done if I would just spend less time knitting.  But it does mean that he knows what blocking is and he recognized that this was a pretty big blocking job.  And that is something, isn't it?

I am reminded of a story that I read of a woman who was a knitter and (I do not remember why) had to call for an ambulance to take her from her home to the hospital.  As she was being wheeled out the door, her husband, who was to follow the ambulance, asked her what he should bring.  When she said, "My knitting bag."  He asked, "Which one?"  His question thrilled that knitter.  She felt that he "got it" in a small way.  Like he had been paying some attention to it, after all.  And that is something, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Midweek Meditation

"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."        ~ Claude Monet

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Midweek Meditation

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!"

                                                                                  ~ Dr. Seuss

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Forcing Blooms

Early last week, when I was still traveling back and forth to visit at the hospital in Philadelphia, I got it into my head that I would like to make some forsythia bloom.  It is called "forcing" when you bring branches indoors, where it is warm, in order to make them bloom early.  I had never done it before.

We have some very wild forsythia bushes on the edge of our partly wooded yard.  They get a good amount of shade and they usually bloom in late March or early April.  I went outside last Sunday and cut several branches.  I trimmed everything off of the bottom 8-10" of the branches and put them in a vase with warm water.  That's it.

For the last couple of days, the buds have been swelling.  This is how they brightened my dining room this morning.

Also this morning, I went out to the bush to take a photo to show you what its branches still look like.

The weather in this part of the US has been very warm and quite beautiful for March.  I love Spring very much, and I am happy to have it indoors as well!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Blocking of Swirls

I do feel that I have been away far too long.  Some of my March posts were written in February.  And I am feeling like I don't know how to do this anymore.  So I will just do it...

What is happening now is "The Blocking of Swirls."

The swirl that I finished knitting first is "Silhouette in the Sun".  Swirl finishing begins by sewing the ends of the first three rows together.  Then you weave in the yarn ends, but make sure that you know which side will be the 'right side' when you wear it.  Wet (hand-washed) blocking is described in the book, and expanded on at Sandra McIver's website.  It takes a little time and a lot of towels.  As suggested, I used wires woven in at the edge of each of the eight segments, and pinned it out on top of two beach towels spread out on the carpet of a little used bedroom.

After two days, I think it is dry.  I will unpin it tomorrow to take to Gosh Yarn It! for my Swirl Class.  The class topic will be "Blocking Your Swirl".  Wish me luck, I may need it!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Midweek Meditation

"We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, 'Why did this happen to me?' unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way."  
                                                                            ~Author Unknown

A spring flowerbed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The patient is finally home and is feeling so much better now.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just 50%

I am here, but I am not here.  I think that I am just 50%.

A person very close to me has spent the last eight nights here.

There has been a bit of a setback, and the discharge date has been pushed further out there.  I value the privacy of my loved ones more than my own, so that is all that I will say for now.  This is, of course, a knitting blog.

This hospital is about two hours away from my home.  I have been driving a lot.  But when I visit, there is time to knit.  If you are a knitter like me, then you know that it is absolutely essential that I do knit when I visit.

My "Traveling Socks" are at 50%.  I based the name on the name of the knitting pattern, "Route 66".  I did not know when I chose the project name just how many miles I would be traveling with these socks.

My "Swirling Spectra" is also at 50%. "Spectra" is an extremely popular pattern by Stephen West.  I created the project name to tie it in to all of my other Swirl knitting.  I have 43 wedges of 86 completed.

I have a definite love/hate relationship with Noro yarn.  Twice I wound up great lengths of beige-y neutral tones between the green and the blue.  What a long length of beige is still there!  But now I expect to finish with at least one more run of the pink and green.  It will work out OK.

And I and my loved one will be OK, too.  It will just take a little time.  If I do not post very much these days, at least you have an idea of why.  I truly am only 50% here.  Or 50% anywhere.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Midweek Meditation

"A man at work, making something which he feels will exist because he is working at it and wills it, is exercising the energies of his mind and soul as well as of his body. Memory and imagination help him as he works."                                                                          William Morris

Friday, March 2, 2012

Everyday I'm Swirling

Everyday I'm swirling,
Swirling, swirling...

One of my recently added traveling projects is a Stephen West Spectra.

I had a special request from a student of mine to help her and a friend get started on this project. I bought the pattern, found the yarns in my stash, and cast on. It is an oddly addicting project, though quite easy and will be good for traveling.  My Ravelry project page, "Swirling Spectra", has some notes I created for my students.

The Spectra is a spiraling series of wedges -- another "swirl" project for me -- as I work on my two swirl jackets.

Everyday I'm swirling,
Swirling, swirling...