Friday, December 30, 2005

Another Happy Accident Project

Okay, so tonight I'm taking pictures because I've been knitting all day and my wrist hurts...

YEARS ago, I started a pink Manos cardigan. Then, when I decided to finish it this year, I realized that I had no idea what pattern I had been using. At the time I started it I was just a beginning knitter. Boring.

I was sitting there, looking at it's blaring pink-ness, knowing I had another pink cardigan in the closet that I hardly ever wear and I realized that I just didn't have the heart to knit sleeves. I stopped just below the armhole decreases, so I could have done anything. I decided to find a way to use some vintage mother of pearl buttons and paillettes at the top and make it a lacey yolk.

Now, the funny thing is that I wear it underneath the other big mohair pink cardigan and...well...I get a lot of attention for my rosy look. I now think seriously before purchasing pink yarn. Posted by Picasa

Vintage details on Pink Manos Vest

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This is a sweater that I designed to use these two yarns that I thought went well together. I ended up doing the main body in double seed stitch and added to contrasting yarn in tweed stitch. It's huge and slouchy and I love it! Posted by Picasa

Sweater-Tunic Detail of Tweed Stitch

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Simple Things

A little view of my walk to work. Sometimes the best place to focus is on the smallest thing. The rain stopped just long enough for me to get this shot. Posted by Picasa

Liking Lichen

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Clumsy Christmas

It's just been a weird couple of days.
I got this new dinning table, big enough to cut out fabric and do other fun projects. I put it together without much fuss. Then came the moving it into the kitchen.

The kitchen is where my holiday tree lives, festooned with the most delicate glass ornaments. In doing the change out, I knocked the darn thing over, and bits of silver lined glass ornaments shattered everywhere on the hard wood floors.

I took a little nap before cleaning up.

Then, yesterday with my friend Elizabeth I found the loveliest set of dining chairs at the thrift shop two blocks away. One chair and, Elizabeth by my side, I bit the dust, right there on the sidewalk. I found myself on the wet concrete, stunned as people gathered around me. Foolish, clumsy me. For those of you who know me well, you know that I do fall. It's not that unusual. But with a chair occupying my two hands, with nothing to brace me? Needless to say, I'm in some physical pain. Gonna take it easy for the rest of my days off.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Just days before Christmas

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Finishing up

I'm pretty much done with the holiday knitting. Just took a quick knitting break here at work to try and finish the last of it...
Now I'm dreaming of new projects for the new year.

There shall be more cables, more color, ribbon yarn experiments, more felting and continued plodding along with my attempt to master lace. There will also be an attempt to listen to recorded books while I'm knitting to keep myself from being illiterate!

Right now I'm working on the lace socks in the Winter Interweave Knits 05/06. There's only two holes where there shouldn't be any! For me, this is a big improvement. These are the socks I never keep, as I'm not the lace sock type, but I send them along to my dear friend, Gillian, back in Boston.

I feel like I'm finally creating the life I've wanted for the past few years. Thank you, Universe for bringing good things my way. Thank you knitting Goddess for giving me the patience to try new things. Thank you friends for you love and thoughts.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It's Snowing in Portlandia

Posted by Picasa The windowledge in my livingroom has snow covered moss on it. Lovely.

Xmas Knitting Party

Posted by Picasa On the most lovely, snowy evening, we all gathered at Paula's (right front) and are her most wonderful cookies. Yes, there's someone hiding behind that book---oh, she's so shy. Top left is Nana and top right is Josie.

Mystery woman gave us all the most wonderful neck massages and Nana gave her first try at a pair of socks.

I love my Portland knitting babes.

Little Tree

Posted by Picasa My wee tree that has followed me in my travels in the past few years...

Wall of Pictures on a Sunday Morning

Posted by Picasa My apartment is sunny on winter afternoons. This wall is my family memory wall. It's the anniversary of my mother's passing tomorrow. This picture of her is her high school picture, caught in the bright light.

Blue Homespun Poncho

Posted by PicasaFor everyone who knocks Lion Homespun, I have to differ. I love to knit up quick and cozy things for myself. This is one of their patterns that was supposed to have a split color and I turned it into a turtleneck. The shoulders are seamed and it fits REALLY well.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Passing Planets

So, maybe the undecided phase is passing with the planets.
I have a huge amount of yarn right now and so many projects I want to start.
My holiday presents are almost done now. (Thank goodness I'm a fast knitter, so I don't have to start in August...)

I love my knitting group more than ever. They have become a real core presence in my life. I'm getting more used to teaching and am considering teaching socks some time soon.

It's cold now here in Portland and the wool is out to stay. The mornings are in the 20's or 30's and I feel more at home than I ever did in California. I still miss Boston now that the holidays are upon us, but my tree is up and in the window and I'm making a decent attempt at celebrating this year.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I am undecided so often these days as to what project to work on. That includes cleaning the house. I don't think I've ever been so lax. What with two cats, I find it hard to keep up with.

But knitting. Yesterday I worked on a fluffy scrarf just because I wanted to touch that yarn all day. Now what's next? I think I still have to choose according to caressability today.

It's cold and rainy today and I've got the heater pumping because I've waited to have the gas turned on and now it's damn cold. It'll be turned on middle of next week. I can wait. The cats? Unhappy.

I am undecided about a lot of things right now, but mercury retrograde is finally over. Perhaps I should consider some plans...

Monday, November 28, 2005

November bits and pieces

Me and my knit people got together for a turkey-less feast for the holiday, complete with knitting. I want to say thanks to Elizabeth for hosting us all and making it a memorable holiday.

Not getting enough knitting in lately. Nothing is thrilling me and I'm just working on small holiday projects. I have a garter stitch shawl in the works in the most lovely yarn, but I guess the pattern is so simple, it's not really holding my attention. The yarn is from a favorite source, Not the handspun, although that's nice too, but the bulky 6 ply. So soft, it's like fluffy cotton. I'm using all earthy colors.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Earthtones, Not Ringtones

Another lovely day off, walking in the park. No interruption from my reverie.

I love not having a cell phone these days. After 10 or so years feeling tethered to one, it's a quiet relief. I watch people on the trains or buses in the morning playing with their phones instead of reading, resting, or of course, knitting.
We are what we do.
We are what we believe.
We are what we love.
I refuse to believe that we are what we eat! (but then again, do I really want to be broccoli?)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Earthtones and Pinecones

It's finally getting cold here.
There's frost in the morning. I can see my breath as I'm walking to work in the morning.
Yesterday, walking in a park, inhaling damp earth and the scent of balsam...blissful.

Still, I've not turned the heat on and the kitties are not thrilled with me on that one. I figure they can always get under the comforter or lie in the sun when I'm out during the day.

I have all this new hand dyed fingering weight wool and as always I am pondering if it will go the way of socks (as it generally does) or if I will somehow have the patience to fashion it into a vest or sweater. Earthy varigated tones. Yum.

Listening to requiem masses again. Feeling more myself as I remember the joy of singing in a choir. Wondering, will I do that again?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Dueling Crafts...

...but not really.
For the first time that I can recall, I did not get heart palpitations walking into a bead expo. Sure, I bought a couple of things, but all the while, I knew that my loyalty of passion remains with yarn. It was no big thrill!

In the past, it was dueling crafts. I couldn't decided where to put my energy. Now it's just a matter of what knitting project of which day. Far less complex.

Fiber addiction. (Even the beads I bought are mostly to go on sweaters that I'll knit.)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Autumn Sunday

I'm just loving Fall in Portland. The leaves were glowing like a wild fire and now they're nearly gone. On the ground, wet and bright and slick.

Sunday is knitting group day, and it was a great one. Had someone new who was learning to knit for the first time and a returning beginner who is just delightful. I love the predictability and routine meeting of our group. I'm glad I stuck with it. As, the one who started it, I was a little concerned I'd be sitting by myself week after week.

I started my first poncho today out of some cheap stuff, just to test out the pattern. Seems like a simple thing that I should have made already, but I've only made capelets, knitted in the round.

Earlier this week I knocked out a pair of socks in two evenings for my friend, E. That was a marathon. All the while, not knowing if I would finish them before I next saw him. Ah, deadlines are good sometimes.

I bought a skein of lace weight merino wool and tried to work out some lace pattern with it, to see if it would be suitable for a scarf. Lord have mercy. Even with bamboo needles, it all just kept slipping off over and over again. I gave up after knitting rows 1-4 about 3 times. Maybe my hands just aren't steady enough! Give me cables or fairisle anyday. Okay, so I have been frustrated with lace knitting for several years now. I guess I just have more growing to do!

Like most Sundays, I'm over caffienated!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Plowing through the Stash

Last night I took hold of a cardigan that I started 4 years ago and had at it. It was sitting in one of my bins. I couldn't even remember what pattern I was using to knit it. Pink/salmon Manos yarn. I took the easy way out. I decided to fake the neck decreases and make it into a vest.

A very lovely vest it turned out to be. I wore it today, of course.
I had these sort of Paillettes made out of mother of pearl, small, that I sewed up near the lacy neck. Finished it with matching buttons down the front.

My camera has bit the dust, so the pictures may be a while in coming. What is this, mercury retrograde? Taking care of old business? Yeah, there's plenty more pressing old business than a pink vest in waiting...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Me and Brahms

This is an older picture of us, but one of my favorite. Still haven't bought those camera batteries.
Me and Brahms Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Maniac, she's a maniac

Compulsive knitting day. From morning 'til night I've been hacking away. Elastic thread is proving to be a miracle material.

I'm finishing the front of a sweater I'm designing as I go. Back is done, and then I just have to figure out the sleeve. Normally this is not such a big deal, but I'm making it a set-in sleeve instead of an off the shoulder/squared off kind. I've got some measuring to do...tomorrow

Friday, October 07, 2005

Finishing and Beginning

So, the hat did get finished. It now has two rows of embroidered motifs. I'll take a new picture when I get around to buying batteries for my camera! Sad. I do like the hat now though, especially since I put some elastic on the inside for better fit.

I had a yarn shop day off today. I went someplace today (I won't say where...) but it was really frustrating that there seemed to be little logical organization to the place. It's got a huge stock in three rooms but I couldn't seem to remember what was where.

I seem to be in a hat mood. I made my work-mate Elizabeth a chullo out of a variegated chenille type yarn. It looked so cute on her, earflaps and all! Now, because of talking about Tams with knitting pal, Paula I'm giving one a try myself. I think I've chosen a yarn that probably will be too floppy, but who knows. I think they should probably be made out of a firm yarn, knit tightly. Although the cloche look could work too. Happy accident waiting to happen, I think.

It's my first autumn in the Pacific Northwest and so far it's lovely. Been 4 years now since I've experienced a proper fall. So far the rain doesn't bother me at all. I like damp as opposed to dry. As you can imagine, San Diego was challenging in this way.

Let me end on this note: Sometimes the depth of my passion for textiles amazes me.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Almost Finished Hat

almost finished hat Posted by Picasa

Not so instant gratification

Regardless of the fact that I feel that I have nothing to say today, here I go:

I have been a little lackluster about my knitting lately, and therefore a reflection of my life in general, I suppose. I went to the library to get an infusion of yet more knitting books. All the projects I was looking at were large and time consuming. I needed something more instantly gratifying.

Yesterday I started and today I finished a hat by Jo Sharp. It was a style that i wanted to learn how to make. Upon reading the pattern, I decided that the measurements would make far too shallow a hat. I added a couple a centimeters--to my dismay. In the end, I think the pattern knew far more about the proper depth for this kind of hat. Anyhow, I'm working on the duplicate stitch embroidery. Not going so well. I don't know why these stitches are hard for me to figure out. Perhaps it's the scale I'm working on.

So, I like the style enough to make it again, this time properly. Meanwhile, I may and try to find a quick fix for this one because the colors came out so nicely.

When I feel really emotional, It find it hard to knit. I wonder what that's about. That's when I need to knit the most! I'll work on that one today, a beautiful autumn day...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Knitting Sunday

Now THAT was a really bad poem.

Sundays are generally pretty good these days.
It's the day that I meet with my local knitters.
Well, mostly it's just the 4 of us, but we are really becoming friends.
The best kind, those with whom I really have something in common. Those commited to being somewhere every week to connect.

Portland seems like the rest of the west coast in terms of reliability of it's inhabitants. Not much. I just want people to follow through with making plans to get together and actually do it. It's hard for me to make plans because I never know if when the day and time comes if I'll actually want to get together. But, I do see the neccessity of making plans and I do generally stick to them. Here it seems like folks are always waiting to see if a better option will come along. Or, perhaps an option that will take the least amount of effort to accomplish.

I don't want to be negative but that's where I find myself right now. Maybe when I lose that vibe a bit, things will change.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I wore a hat to work today
it made me swing
it made me sway

I felt self conscious to the stares
as if they asked me
do you dare?

I wore a hat to work today
and made a point
to really say

I said I will
I said I dare
For all to see, but not my hair.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Laboring Day

People love to make jokes about the name of this holiday. Here in America, it is now just simply a slightly sad celebration of the end of summer.

Because of my continual traveling these past years, this will be the first time in a long time that I will actually see a change in seasons. The rain will come. The light is already changing. Earlier this summer, the days were so long. The sun was up at 5:30 and set at 8:30 or so. I've never experienced something like that before. So, I'm adjusting again to an apartment on my own (again) and getting up to clouds and less sun.

I'm knitting to pass the time like know one's business. I don't want to make any changes to my place until I've gotten some feedback from friends. I can't see so clearly now about how to do things...

Friday, September 02, 2005

LIfe just keeps changing...

...and changing. Those of you who know me, know what I'm talking about. On the other hand, those of you who do not know me also know this to be true.

The nature of what's going on here in America is blowing me away. The strife in the Gulf states eats at me.

To take a little time from the drama playing out on tv, I went to the library here in Portland to pick up some knitting books I put on hold. So far I rate them (of a possible 10):

Viva Poncho by Christina Stork and Leslie Barbazette:3
Jean Frost Jackets, by Jean Frost: 7.5
Module Magic: Ginger Luters: 8.5 (more for the designer)

I'm looking forward to spending some time trying out techniques from that last book, but it takes time and I often rather just throw myself into a project rather than fiddle around. Hmmm. True of many things.

I knit a quick scarf in Crystal Palace "Fling" in a sort of nude/white mix and combined it with off white microfiber for drape. Came out nicely. Hope to photograph that soon (if my older camera is working okay)

I also remade the lavendar tank top pictured a while back. It was just too plain to stand on it's own for me. Got bored with it, so I added ruffles at the bottom and crochet at the neckline. I STILL have some of that Berocco Smart Cotton left.

The LGBT knit list is offline right now and it's driving me crazy to not have that email.

Watched Finding Neverland last night. Too sad, and not in a way I like...