Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Stephanie the Knitting Rock Star

I just arrived home after 1.5 hours of driving. As I type this, I'm enjoying a "decompression" beer. Traffic, driving in strange lands, getting up at 4:30am for work this morning together has my adrenalin a little up--nothing a cold refreshing beverage can't remedy.

I've been looking forward to seeing Stephanie ever since I learned she was coming to Northampton as part of her book tour. In my excitement I have been telling anyone who will listen of my adventure. As all knitters know, it is impossible to get non-knitters excited about yarn...never mind someone talking about yarn, even if she is funny. I started explaining this event as a "knitting concert". I don't know why I chose to compare this book event with a midweek concert. Now, in hindsight, I can't even relate to how I thought this would be an amusing comparison. Eventually people nodded & fained interest enough that I would stop talking about knitting or they would just change the topic of conversation all together (last nights Yankee game was the most popular diversion).

I wasn't really sure what to expect this evening. No one in my small knitting circle seemed to know about the event. I've only read one of her books so far. I started to read the latest one last evening but only got through the introduction (had to get to bed so I could get up for work at the wee hours of the day).

It turns out that she is really funny. Her responses to some of the Q&A at the end were almost better than her monologue. I'm a new fan. Why? Because she is genuine.

Maybe it's because I live in the land of pencil thin eyebrows, tummy tucks, trophy wives/kids/cars, second homes,.... Maybe it's because it gives me hope that a normal person can be successful without playing politics.

Cheers! (please clink glasses with person nearest you) May knitters rule the world!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Is it possible to knit & ride a bike?

Now that spring feels like summer, I feel compelled to be outside as much as possible. However, I also have resolved to exercise first, then knit. I completed a 75k road ride along the coast of CT this past Sunday & squeezed in another nearly 18 mile ride yesterday. I'm hoping for a mt bike ride tomorrow afternoon & then I'll be able to knit guilt free.

The downside of my enhanced fitness is less time spent clicking needles. I suppose overall this is ok, however, I have taken on a paying project that is due in 2 weeks. I received the project last week which I immediately swatch-ed & then started. However, as I knit the item I realized the gauge seemed off. So I stopped knitting it until I spoke with the designer & got the ok to proceed. There is no reason for any other knitter to not be finished by the deadline--most would probably be done by now. But I'm not sure if I'll make it. It's a simple pattern, luscious yarn, and goes quickly when I actually sit down to work on it. [While I was waiting to hear back from the designer this week, I started & frogged the first sleeve row of the Deep Breath Sweater twice.]

How do I find time for this you wonder? Maybe it's because I don't watch television, don't have children, and tolerate a higher level of dust than my mother might. It's not that I live like a pig. I clean the bathroom & the kitchen, do the laundry, clean the cat box, etc. I just don't dust as often as some people I know.

Speaking of cleaning up....I have to take the dogs out & then sit down to knit.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Knit with Love for Mom

When I would get sick as a kid, my mom would bring my coloring books & crayons into my room so I could be busy between sleeping & sweating out whatever bug I had picked up at school. Even when I was in college (250 miles away from home), my mom would send me a new coloring book & a small box of crayons if she learned that I was sick.

Moms always know when something is mom called shortly after my back decided I needed a vacation or even just a day off. I told her the whole story, then on Friday of the same week I received an envelope her. I wasn't expecting anything. I didn't miss any religious or "Hallmark"/commercial holidays. I opened the envelope & out spilled a card that made me cry & the alpaca yarn she bought when we went to Rhinebeck last October. Here is an excerpt..."In the meantime, 'pet' the alpaca yarn enclosed until you feel better, then add it to your stash until the time for the right project comes along-it will be a beautiful work of art in your hands!"

I immediately knew what I would use the yarn for...a scarf for mom! I set aside all works in progress & focused solely on the scarf. I finished it on Wednesday and blocked it on Thursday. So here is the picture of the finished object. It was mailed on Friday, so it should arrive early in the week. Enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Wet felting 101

Last Saturday I took a wet felting class. I would have never even bothered except my mom, the voice of reason with me at Rhinebeck last fall, said "Don't buy a kit, just take a class. There is no mess in your house, you have a finished object & if you hate the process, you never have to do it again." So, like usual, mom was right....

We spent 3 hours rubbing angora with soapy water & a baggie. I liked the control that I had throughout the entire process. The excessive rubbing wasn't bad or overly tiring, but given my profession I may already be "trained". We used a water bottle with a sip top to drizzle soapy water over the fuzz to allow for felting to occur. Now I have to save those leaky workout water bottles that I picked up a health fair.

I was inspired by a movie my hubby & I watched the previous evening. It was a visual journey by an artist from Scotland who used found objects in nature to create sculpture within it's natural environment. One of is works is was in a tidal pool in Novia Scotia, one in a meadow. Another is laying of flowers &/or leaves in water pools. Another was a swirly icicle that glowed at sunrise & then proceded to melt. He photographs or films the work through the creation & destruction process. I think the film was called "Rivers & Tides". We are sending it back to Netflix now. Do not knit to this movie...sit back, enjoy your relaxing beverage of choice, and be wisked away!
Will I make another one? I haven't decided yet.