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April 2004

Changing Lives

A mentor once asked our class “How has needlework changed your life?” The question was stunning as it hit home…hard. Needlework (and knitting), this hobby that is all consuming, one that others find “nice”, a diversion or something gran’ma did, has changed everything in my life!
It isn’t that I have patience for it…IT has made me a more patient person if anything. You don’t need patience for something you love, adore.
It’s inconceivable what life would be like today if needlework and knitting hadn’t been a major part of my life for the last 30+ years. What lessons have been learned besides those of being a master at the art of embroidery (or knitting)?

A few would be: how to problem solve, how to create ideas and execute them, how to enjoy life, take time for oneself, share what one has learned with others, learn to get along with many other people from all walks of life, have a sense of community, a sense of passion….the list can only grow longer and longer.

The mentor who asked the question, Shay Pendray, had a larger impact on my life than any other person. She said you could ‘work towards perfection’ by stitching daily and taking classes to learn. She brought so many of us together to learn and share this passion of the needle. Many are friends for life. She’s a goddess, IMHO. She also taught me not to give up, how to pass on knowledge and how to love even the most difficult person.
Every step every day is a step towards improving the future of my life and others. There are many mentors in my life and the way to give them their due is to be a mentor. That’s the goal…every day.

Last night was Stitch 'n Bitch at the Jitterbug Coffee Shop (love the place!).
Laurie and Steph ran in for the first few minutes and stayed an hour. LOL They had their PF and you can see the colors on their blogs. Susan came in the last few minutes to show (off) her darling new "French Market Bag Révisé" and a cool pair of socks she's knitting. Denise kept us laughing into the night. It was so much fun to be with the few who showed up on our "off night".

The Fair Isle is just past the starting point of the armhole and neck steeks. This baby might be done soon! Will try to have pictures of the progress this week and progress on EC. It's such a lovely yarn and the pattern is fun, too. Thanks Kerstin for recommending it!

BTW, when mentioning changed lives, blogging has changed mine in another possitive way. Thanks to all my new friends!


Weekend Knitting

It's an Everyday Cardi-party here!  The Neck Down Jacket is so fun to do. It makes for quick knitting and you don't have to keep track of it every minute.  Perfect for knitting with friends while chatting.  It will be my project for tomorrow nights Stitch 'n Bitch.  (Sorry you won't make it Susan.) 

Here is a picture of the first finished skein of Peace Fleece made into the neck and shoulders.

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Love the color as it is so springy.  We had snow and rain over the weekend and it would have been perfect to wear.  There will be many chances once it's finished, eventho'  that might be in the fall.

Rogue is finished!  It was a fun knit. The Knit Along kept me up to speed, as being left behind just wasn't an option.  It was great incentive to keep on track and...here she is!

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Click here for a picture of the side on the hood and wrist and here for the back hood. The pictures are also in the Journey's End album.

This weekend I bought a copy of the new Vogue Knitting.  It had some beautiful summer sweaters and a couple might have to become 'wanna be's.  Like this.

But the most intersting item was an article by Leslie Petrovski called Sibling Rivalry. The sub head says "Is knitting a positive expression of female ingenuity or a symbol of oppression? A surprising battle is raging between chicks with sticks and their non-stitching sisters."  It's food for thought, altho' you can guess what  the majority of this group thinks. 


Blog Hogs

Blogs hog time! But boy it is fun, frustrating and rewarding. Yesterday I spent HOURS working on this thing! and with Teresa’s help the buttons all work! You CANNOT follow Typepad’s instructions (what little they have). It’s just trial and error (at least with my limited experience) and with Teresa’s help it happened. When I learned how to do it the whole site had to be redone. Teresa’s post on the 20th also talked about those little pop-up pictures so I also figured that out by reading what she did. Thanks, Susan for that picture. LOL Now maybe the blog is set and can knit away for awhile.

Monday there should be pictures of Rogue here. Staying home long enough to get pictures has been a trick. Not sure if the Cardi-Party will start with enough to show by then. I’d love to finish my Fair Isle in the next couple of weeks and then do the Everyday.

Happy Weekend, everyone....


Sssshhh....

Outside the master bedroom is a deck with a wrought iron lantern. It has a crown like top on it. This week a pair of house finches seemed to be hanging out near the lantern frequently. The male was singing up a storm while sitting on the railing. When anyone stepped toward the sliding glass door they would both take off like a shot, twittering nearby but not totally out of sight.

After a quick peek at the top of the light, by gently sliding open the screen door, it was apparent they were building a nest. It’s so small and tucked in behind the iron. We don’t want to scare them away but need to open and close the door when we’re there as it is too nice outside not to have it open. We are very careful and quiet.

Just before leaving this morning I tip-toed out the front door and looked up to see if there was a bird on the nest and low and behold….she’s there. He is serenading her in the tree nearby.
Quiet…we have a nursery in progress.


Susan, you were right I could figure out how to do the buttons! My level of Typepad won't allow me to make them active but they are there...and so cool! I played around on the blog this morning moving things and making a few changes. There are now three columns.

Because knitting and books are so much a part of my life I added a weekly feature of best (IMHO) knitting books. Also, have added Knit Along buttons and you will notice above the Rogue button it says DONE! Yes, it is all knit and in midst of being sewn and bathed. Pictures on Monday!

Keep knitting!


SEX (Stash Enhancement Experience)

Last Friday was the day I could finally make it to the LYS. It had been a hectic week and a couple of new projects had been on my mind. Must get the yarn! Told my dear sister, Neena, in an email that I couldn’t wait to get there and shop! When I walked in the front door they handed me a birthday card with a gift certificate inside! Dear sister had called ahead and had it waiting. She’s one cool chick. You should check out her company Cedar and Sage. If you want to get your skin ready for summer and also keep your hands in shape, her products are so good. She only uses natural fragrances and non-animal products. You won’t be able to live without the cuticle bars once you try them and the scrubs are super for getting legs ready for summer shorts. (Had to get a plug in for her ;-)

Anyway, here is the lovely yarn bought with her gift.

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It’s Merino Frappe by Crystal Palace. It is soooo soft! And I can’t wait to make the sweater that Sally Melville wore while teaching here in SLC. It’s the dress pattern on the front of “The Purl Book” and she shortened it into a short sweater. Just darling…see pics on my March 16th post.

Who can get just one yarn while at the LYS?! Not me! So, here is some Koigu for Sally’s gauntlets, also in the Purl Book. She wore them while teaching to keep her hands and arms warm and said she loves wearing them. A friend, who has carpal tunnel problems, should really like them so hopefully they’ll be ready for her birthday in June. The purple is for moi!

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Then here is Cascade 220 for the Red Line Chicago bag by Theresa. This will be fun to knit for next fall.

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The Willow yarn for the cardi on my March 18th post is on order, too.

Now Peace Fleece! It arrived yesterday morning and the color is just yummy, Latvian Lavender. See Stephanie, you don’t have to be totally envious as it isn’t Zarya Fog. But the yarn is wonderful and the flecks of color make it even more interesting and charming.

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Worked up a swatch last night but will have to change needles sizes to get the proper gauge. The pattern ‘Neck Down Jacket’ by Knitting Pure and Simple (thanks Kerstin) calls for size 9. There isn’t a size 9 needle of any sort in this house! So, tried an 8 just to see and need another ½ stitch more. So, another trip to the LYS for needles! Oh boy.


JAZZ!

What a night! The GAM foundation has been sponsoring jazz concerts in the Salt Lake area for the last 9 years. We have enjoyed all the season and have seen some of the worlds legends of jazz, Dave Brubeck, Ray Brown, Wynton Marsalis to name just a very few, plus many of the up and coming ‘young lions’ such as Roy Hargrove and Diana Krall. Last night we saw the Brubeck Brothers. Son’s of Dave…what a show! They had us dancing in the aisles and this is jazz! They had a fabulous young (19 years old) who has been playing since before he was a teenager with some of the greats. Taylor Eigsti.
There are three reasons for a non-mormon, liberal, feminist to stay in Utah: knitting and stitching buddies, KRCL and Jazz at the Sheraton.

Melissa and Nanette have asked about the yarn used in Nancy Bush’s Piecework glove pattern. It is the same yarn and color, Oxford Gray, which Nancy used, Guernsey yarn. It will wear like iron! They were fun to knit and worked up very quickly. It only took 5 evenings to get both gloves done. (Nanette has picture of the Salt Lake 2002 sweater on her blog this morning!)

Laurie, who started the first Stitch ‘n Bitch in SLC has started her own blog! Way to go grrl!

My Peace Fleece just arrived for the Everyday Cardi. Hope yours has, too, grrl! Pictures tomorrow along with other SEX (Stash Enhancement eXperience) pictures.


Diary of a 'Mad' ( Blogging) Knitter

Friday….aahh the weekend approaches…time for knitting (and maybe a bit of blogging)!?

Saturday – Up early (can’t sleep in, never could), check email and write a couple of quick notes. Make coffee and rolls…get DH up and eat breakfast in bed (as routine), jump up in time to shower, dress quickly and head out to get some needed shopping done. One hour later own new shoes, t-shirts and makeup (forgot hair spray…drat!)

Run, run, run….

Meet girlfriends for brief chat and to go over project for Swan Sampler Stitchers August meeting.

Run, run, run…

Lunch for birthday with students and then needlepoint class…

Run to knitting shop next door as fondling yarn may be the only knitting therapy this weekend…

Run, run, run….

Stop in Ten Thousand Villages for birthday gift (found the perfect thing)…

Run, run, run.

Get home in time to walk dogs, pick up DH, run by store (again) for wrapping paper (also missed this morning) and make it to birthday party 20 minutes late…

Home later just have time for a few rows on Rogue!! Almost too tired to knit….

Sunday morning… up early, check email, write a couple of notes (no time to blog!), make breakfast, enjoy quiet time in bed while watching Sunday Morning. (10 more rows on Rogue sleeve!). Walk dogs, dress for gym. Pump iron, shower, dress quickly and run to KNITTING! Two hours of Domino Support Group knitting…best part of weekend.

Run, run, run…..

Run home, pick up DH, head to B&N for new music shopping (see side bar), run to Costco. Run home to put away groceries…

Run to visit house bound friend…

Home again and clean out two closets…spring fever is ruling must clean nest.

Laundry between running up and down stairs with old stuff from closets.

5:00 p.m. Sunday….aahhh, time to knit OR BLOG! Read three blogs, make one comment, read three emails…no time to answer and then there’s dinner to get, sigh. THEN time to knit…knit half way up the cable on Rogue’s (second) sleeve (folding towels when they’re ready. Where does all this laundry come from with only two people in the house!!!?) 10 rows on sleeve cable but two tired to continue…fall into bed.

Monday morning… up early, make coffee, get breakfast, wake up DH, make lunches, walk dogs, kiss DH out the door… TIME TO KNIT! Finished last few rows of sleeve cable! But, running late for work!

Run, run, run….is that a rabbit hole I see?!


Early Spring

Susan showed a neat way to bind off the armholes on her bog yesterday. It was so clean and good looking that last night I bound off the sleeve edges on Rogue that way. She said it was EZ’s way in her book Knitting Without Tears (which you can get for 40% off on overstock.com). It’s so important to read, take classes and find better ways to knit for expert results.

Last night while putting winter things away (it might be premature) a few items I knit this winter came to the surface. This is a scarf from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. It’s made from an alpaca purchased at the BOW Fiber Festival. It was unbelievably expensive but irresistible. It's soooo soft! We may not have MS&WF but we do have our smaller version that can get you into plenty of trouble. There should be enough wool to knit matching hat and mittens for next winter.

Weekendscarf

Here are the gloves that Nancy Bush designed for Piecework's Jan/Feb 2004 Magazine that I made for DH. He loves them!

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And last but not least here is the Birds Foot Scarf from VY in the color Limpet. It’s one of my most favorite items and was so much fun to knit. Can you find the bird foot print in the pattern?

Vy

It’s beautiful here and the snow is melting quickly. We should break records over the weekend. Here is a view of our bare mountains. This is one peak over from the earlier photo. It’s called Mt. Olympus. No gods here…

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Also added more needlwork to my "Needles with Eye's" Album.

Enjoy your weekend and keep knitting…


Zen

It is nearing the 70’s here and that is unseasonable warm for March. While we won’t wish this incredible weather away, March should be our wettest month and after 7 years of drought it’s a bit scary to see our snow pack melting too quickly. The mountains are brown at the bottom, no longer covered with snow.

This brings to mind that it will soon be too warm to wear the wool sweaters that are now on the needles. The Rogue sleeve is now nearly to the armhole decreases (one more sleeve to go) and the Fair Isle is on hold until Rogue is done. Then Everyday Cardi is coming (yarn shipped on Tuesday!). So, will it be wool knitting all summer? Cotton is not something I enjoy knitting but, the new yarn Willow by Tahki is so pretty it might be worth giving it a go. It is a linen cotton blend and it has a nice finish. Just might have to stop by the LYS to see about this yarn and pattern. I won’t give up the wool during the summer, however.

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Kathleen has a post about knitting as “Zen” and how calm it makes her. The reason this blog is named Zeneedle is that stitching, weather with yarn or "needles with eyes", takes me to a meditative state. It’s the process of wrapping the yarn around the needles…the journey, which makes knitting so addictive. It’s wonderful to have an end product that is useful, fashionable, creative and beautiful. BUT, it’s the doing that really is what it’s all about. Knitting takes you into your right brain…the creative side. You can think more clearly and have a renewed approach to problems if you take time for this creative outlet.

So, keep knitting!!


KIP

The Stitch ‘N Bitch at the Jitterbug Café was just super! Laurie Hadden started the group after reading THE book and it has turned into a phenomenon. (Now you have to understand that meeting in a ‘coffee shop’ in Utah is a bit radical!) We are taking over the place with all the knitters. Susan, whom I had met while bloging, came last night and we compared French Market bags. Hers is so firmer and more elegant than the wild thing I made. Maybe it should have another bath.

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It was fun to meet her in person after reading each others blogs for a couple of weeks. We had our picture taken for the upcoming Stitch ‘N Bitch book. It’s a great group of enthusiastic knitters.
Laurie and Stephanie from the group were ‘enabled’ by me (though Kerstin) to join the Everyday Cardi-along. See Kerstin, you dropped a pebble and it created a wave. My yarn from Peace Fleece was shipped yesterday so it will be exciting when it arrives. Can’t wait to see what Latvian Lavender really looks like.

Rogue has one sleeve at 12”…quick, easy knitting while chatting, and Marta’s sock is slowly coming along, too. Need to get back to the Fair Isle but Rogue needs to be finished first.

Thanks for all your comments and the wonderful welcome from the many bloggers who have read this site. It’s fun to be a part of this knitting community!