Friday, January 31, 2014

Cool Yarn

This yarn is from Juniper Moon Farms.  On the left are two (of six) skeins of DK weight yarn from my full CSA share of 2013 Spring Cormo yarn which I elected to have dyed "Providence Red".  On the right are two (of my seven) skeins of the 2013 Colored Flock worsted weight yarn which I ordered separately.

I will be winding these skeins into balls very soon, but I wanted a "skein" photograph.  I felt like I needed an outdoor photo, and I wanted it against the stone wall with some snow.

Cold yarn.

(looking forward to swatching)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Midweek Meditation

“People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.”  ~ Anton Chekhov, born January 29, 1860

I wonder if this is really true.  I have a suspicion that those born in the winter tend not to be as bothered by it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Sweetest Things

From time to time, a very rewarding thing has happened...

I designed my Love & Prayers Scarf pattern in memory my mother.  This pattern won first place in a design contest (for a women's heart health inspired charity scarf) held by Knitcircus magazine in 2011.

Just one year ago, tracienix on Ravelry posted finished photos of her own "Love and Prayers Scarf for Newton".

Tracie's project notes:  "Scarf for Hugs for Newtown. I modified the pattern so that the edging (angels wing) was green and hearts were white- the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School."

I was touched and very proud to have had a small part in the creation of this lovely and thoughtfully stitched charity scarf.

Not long after I won the scarf contest, I won a very informal (Ravelry voted) contest for a one skein project made with Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica.  My winning entry was the #77 Dream Hat.  Just a couple of months ago, this adorable photo appeared on a project page linked to my design.

This is colourknits' "Rose Dreams".  Crystal left no project notes, but this image could not be cuter.  (Check out Crystal's very pretty blog.)

Did you ever go to a designer's page on Ravelry?  Mine is here.  Did you ever notice that there is a "user activity" tab on the top of each designer page?  You can click that tab to see new comments, favorite-ing, and the addition of new project photos.  I am guessing that a lot of long time designers probably never take the time to check out their own user activity.  But I do.  I must admit I go there almost daily... and sometimes I find the sweetest things...

Thanks for allowing me to share your photos, Tracie and Crystal!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Midweek Meditation

“If you can't fly then run,
if you can't run then walk,
if you can't walk then crawl,
but whatever you do
you have to keep moving forward.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr., born January 15, 1929

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"On the Bright Side"

The winter solstice occurred on December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere.  With the Earth’s North Pole at its maximum tilt away from the sun, locations north of the equator saw the sun follow its lowest and shortest arc across the southern sky.  The good news is that for the next six months, our days will grow longer as the sun spends more and more time above the horizon.  Even though it has been ridiculously cold here, I am very glad to be on the brighter side of winter.

I have some belated "Bright Side" stories from that solstice day.  It was a Saturday afternoon, and I went to my LYS, Gosh Yarn It!, for a holiday "Stitch-N-Spin".  There was a woman, who I will call C, sitting to my left, who I had just met for the first time.  I learned that C was a friend of the shop owner, Jill, and that she was an on-again / off-again kind of knitter.  When I sat down to join the group, C was happily knitting away on a garter stitch afghan for her son.

Next comes a sad part of the story... C found a hole in her approximately 3-4 feet of afghan.  Then she found another.  And everyone was concerned and trying to decide if it could be repaired.  In short time, it was concluded that a mouse might have done it.  There was a small hole on a bottom edge of her laminated burlap bag.  I was consulted (I do teach there) and I suggested that the one hole seemed like a slit and might be repaired by placing each side (4-5 stitches) on a dpn and working a Kitchener stitch to graft it closed.  I said that I thought it best to rip back to the other, more irregular hole, because it would only be a few inches of lost knitting.

Jill began to work on this for her friend.  I returned to sitting and knitting and talking to the others...  C was somewhat disturbed that there was a mouse in her house and then everyone seemed to have a mouse story to share...  (I was wondering why a mouse would bother C's knitting under her bed, if the house had a kitchen with food in it.)

A little more bad news... as Jill began working on the afghan, the yarn that she ripped back kept breaking...  again, and again... so, it was then (I think correctly) concluded that the damage was probably caused by moths...

The get-together ended all too quickly (4:00 PM).  Many of us (including me) were happy to have had a lovely break from our own holiday preparations.  I never knew I loved mulled cider until I tasted Ann's.  A student of mine, who I had not seen in ages, told me that she enjoys reading this blog.  I left the shop with a happy heart.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE:  The very last thing that C and I talked about was that she was glad (very glad) that it was moths and not mice.  I said that I agreed that this was a good thing.  No one wants mice in their house.  (Later, I wondered how much other wool yarn she might need to put in her freezer; and I have not heard what became of the afghan.  I will have to remember to ask Jill.)

ALSO ON THE BRIGHT SIDE:  A day or two before the solstice, I found something that I had lost.  I mentioned in a post in October that "I found my mother's (handwritten) directions (for an old little neck scarf) on a small piece of paper when I went through some of her knitting things."  What I did not mention was that I had the idea to include that small piece of paper in the photo of the scarf, but I could not find it.  I happily re-found my Mom's pattern during the search for a hat pattern that I mentioned in this more recent December post.

A "multiple exposure" collage created in Picasa3.

I'm pretty sure I remember the sun being very bright on that solstice day.  One day this week was the first day of the year 2014 that the sun set after 5:00 PM local time.  That makes me very happy.  Enjoy the sunshine whenever you can!      

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year Meditation

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

                                                                ~ Neil Gaiman, British author