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December 2004
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February 2005

What....No Mountains!?

ViewofcityErinsusanStephdeannaBecause we had one of those 'not so nice' weather weekends there was no trip into the mountain wonderland.  The mountains were shrouded most all weekend.  A little scattered rain and lots of clouds was, at least, better than the inversion. While Saturday wasn't too exciting, Sunday was loads of fun....because Steph was in town! That meant we had an extra Stitch 'n Bitch day (made even more fab as I missed last Tuesday), and we know there is nothing better than 'hanging' with the grrls.  Erin came by too, which was great because we hadn't seen her in so long. Now, doesn't she look just super in the shrug she made from Scarf Style?  We'll be missing her soon because just as soon as that baby comes she'll be on her way to a new adventure far, far away.   It was so nice to be with the grrls as I had missed their laughter, chatter and witty remarks.

TkeshopMissemilieartSmith and I decided to run to our favorite local book shop, The Kings English.  It's a great place housed in the midst of SLC's older and more wonderful neighborhoods.   Inside there is room after room full of books.  We miss the cat who used to sleep on one of the many chairs, as she was there for nearly 20 years watching  over the books and patrons.  After spending some time and deciding on our purchase we then headed to Marshall's cousin, Emilie's for a visit.  She has lived for 85 wonderful years and is doing very well, thank you!  Her home is like coming into a museum full of fabulous art and artifacts.  We enjoy her quick wit, quick mind and always joyful spirit.  The next stop was home where I did get to knit the rest of the day away.  So, there you have it, the mundane life of Smith and Smith when the mountains are not an option.


Assessing

I was amazed by yesterday's response!  It seemed to really hit a chord with many of you and the comments are well worth reading if you haven't already.  Another plus was the new (to me) bloggers who stopped by. It's always fun to find new blogs to read. Melanie really hit the 'nail on the head' when she said it was the "Blog Factor" that made her forget the process because she wants to show progress.  That is one reason I wrote the post, to remind myself that 'it IS the process' not JUST the end product. Of course we like to have something finished as a reward, but how many times have you finished something that didn't turn out well and jumped right back into knitting something else? The consensus was that we have a need to create and we do enjoy the process. So, let's see what's on the needles and where I'm heading in the next month. (I am so glad to see the end of January!)

Wipmeup

Here is my pile of 'must knit', plus there will be a new Six Sock on Tuesday. All these items are in the WIPs album. The Oriel Shawl has three of 10 repeats completed and the Ribby Cardi needs a sleeve and a right front. One more Sockapalooza sock needs to be knit after the toe on the first one is done and Lotus needs sleeves!  So...here's how it will go in order of near completion and preference.

  1. Ribby sleeve and front (this weekend or first of the week).
  2. Finish foot and toe on Sockapalooza's first sock.
  3. Give Oriel AT LEAST one more repeat (and maybe even finish in the next two weeks?)
  4. Start something new. Sew up and do finishing work on Ribby.
  5. DOMINO
  6. Start second Latvian Sock for Sockapalooza.
  7. Start  Six Sock's new sock.
  8. Start something new.
  9. Lotus sleeves (March).

Will this schedule work for me? While working I WILL keep only the process in mind and try to be as Julia thinks I am, 'careful, attentive to detail and at peace'. (Grrl, have I got you fooled.) 

Will we see the sun (or even the sky) this weekend? I'm sick of this inversion and now we've had snain for two days. Whatever happens, make it a good weekend.

~~~ Just looked out the window at 6:15 this morning and there is SKY! There are a few clouds but the sky is there instead of the gray wall of guk (I hear this is a real weather word, but I'm not sure how to spell it).

What Makes YOU Do This?

KnittingzenThere seems to be something going through blogland.  So many people want to knit a project 'fast' or are bogged down with projects they have started. We all have many things in the stash but this is something more. They can't seem to settle down and are almost to the point of frustration. So my question is why are you knitting?  Let's give it a moment of thought. There is that desire to create, the desire to have something new, something attractive and/or warm, BUT if those were the only reasons why you knit, why not just buy a sweater or a pair of socks?

Is it the "show off" factor?  Truly, few people will ask if you made it or give you a compliment on even the most complicated sweater. In fact you'll be noticed more with a new hairdo than a new sweater.   And, as we know, it certainly isn't to save money. Would you knit just because your best friend does?  You have to 'like' knitting to do it as much as we do. So just what is it that drives a knitter?

When knitters say "I'm bored with this." or "It's going too slow." it makes me wonder what is going on elsewhere in their lives.  Knitting isn't usually fast and as my mother said "If you are bored, you are boring." Life Lesson #524 learned at an early age...be curious, be creative. That doesn't mean that you should continue to knit a project gone bad, BUT something you DO like shouldn't be difficult to finish.

Yes, there are a couple of long abandoned projects in my WIPs album, but they are not forsaken.  It is more that my curiosity has caused me to venture too far and too often.  As soon as the Ribby is finished that Domino Shawl will become my 'easy knitting'. And perhaps Seaweed will soon surface as she is too beautiful to leave for long.  I always wish for more time to knit because of all that I 'desire' to do, but that is different than being bored with a project.

So, back to what it is that drives you to knit.  What was it that captured you when you first learned to knit? It couldn't have been because it was fast, or your finished project was exquisite. It was most likely that you enjoyed the wrapping of the yarn around the stick and creating a stitch, a row, and watching each one form a fabric that became a scarf or hat.  It WAS the process, it really was, or you would never have continued your quest to create. Didn't you find it mesmerizing, fascinating, rewarding?  Remember that, the process of knitting, as you knit your chosen project today.  It IS the process.


A Heart Felt Thank You!

MyrosesThank you for the overwhelming response to our 25th Anniversary!  You are all so wonderful and I'm thrilled to be a part of this community. Yesterday morning there was a card waiting for me in the kitchen.  Smith said in the card that it didn't feel like 25 years, it felt like it had only been 'an afternoon'.  (sob, awww)  Our first date was brunch, followed by an afternoon of walking and talking.  His note brought back that beautiful memory.  Even more wonderful, later that day 25 red roses arrived at my office!  He has always brought  flowers on our anniversary, but this was so sweet and special.  Be still my heart.

BoulevardWe had a lovely dinner at one of SLCs newest and nicest restaurants.  Each year my needlepoint students give me a gift certificate to a nice place and we use it on our special day.  "The Boulevard" is elegant and romantic, which fit the bill perfectly.  It was a lovely evening walking down memory lane and planning for the next 25 years.

And just for Donna, Smith had Lobster Salad and Beef Medalions (melt in your mouth) with yummy sauces (can't remember what they were) and I had Ginger Squash Soup, followed by a very rich and lovely Wild Mushroom Ravioli (hand cut).  Of course we had wine but, alas there was no room for dessert!  Next time.

SockpalredThe Sockapalooza sock is coming along nicely.  The yarn has the most wonderful shades of red. It lives up to the name, Salsa as it looks like roasted tomatoes, red peppers with a little red onion thrown in.  It's Twinkletoes from Ebay and it looks like it will wear well.  It sure knits up nicely! The pattern is Latvian Lace from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush, which has also been great to knit.  The repeat is easy to learn and the sock looks fab.  This will be on my list of socks to knit for myself.   


I Married A Younger Man...

..25 years ago today.  We left for Las Vegas with our best friends and a case of champagne.  The plan was to get married the next day, but when we arrived we found it quick and easy to get a marriage license. Finding a Chapel of Love we jumped in and did the deed (sans Elvis). Regarding that case of champagne...we couldn't remember for several years if we had married on the 25th or 26th as first planned.

Zringsfor2

The 25th Anniversary is Silver and to celebrate we bought matching silver rings (up graded to white gold).

YeibetchaiAs with many couples we hit a few bumps in the road but always found a way to get through it.   A marriage forged by fire can withstand much and we have come out the other side stronger and more committed.  We credit, in part, the happiness we've found together on the Navajo Rug we bought years ago.  This  Yei-bet-chai  is considered a symbol of healing.  We feel that each night as we slept our union was healed and blessed.  How else could we have come so far?

MenyouSince the valley was 'in the clouds' (yes, we live UNDER that!), we celebrated Saturday night with dinner in the canyon. After driving through a layer of dense fog, the moonlight guided us up into the mountains and shown brightly on the snow.  Orion had us in his sights...a sort of cupid?  The next day we returned to our favorite place just to enjoy the sun on our faces.  A dear friend come along and took this picture on the deck of the Silver Fork.  It was nearly 50 degrees! (It's 30 in the valley.)  See that red, red Rogue?  It was my first blogland project!

We also headed up to Silver Lake and watched the Nordic skiers have a great time. It was hard to leave this beautiful mountain scene and head back down into our valley of smog/fog/haze.

Silvermountainblue

There are few reasons why I would miss Stitch 'n Bitch, but tonight we are going to one of SLCs finest restaurants to celebrate in style. It's been a wonderful journey and we look forward to the next 25 years.

*Smith is 11 months younger;-)


Life Lesson #3249

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade for others.

That is one of life's great lessons and one that got me through the weekend.  Last week  Annie blogged about the Red Scarf Project, but it was when Jean created her haunting button that it became real; something that couldn't be marked 'to do' later.   Friday night an elegant red alpaca came out of hiding and grew into another Opera Scarf.  In just a few hours time, with meditative stitches and prayers for love and joy it was created to aid Lisa in her quest to help Chinese orphans. If your time is rare you can purchase a scarf instead.  Wouldn't your Mother or best friend love a red scarf knowing it helped the unfortunate?

Redscarf

Blogland is full of generous and Conscientious Knitters.  There is a new List on my side bar titled just that.  It lists the growing number of charity projects available that help collect donations to varies causes and needs.   Stephanie was able to raise over  $50,000 for MSF by selflessly knitting a pair of mittens to give to one lucky soul.  Many other knitters and spinners stepped up to help her with more incentives gifts and the total of dollars rose quickly. 

Deb and Wendy have a button for the Heifer Project on their side bars and the total of dollars there keep rising, as well.  On one of the TV news programs I saw the story of an African family who was given a goat.  The goat produced enough milk to feed the family and more. The mother was able to sell the extra and used the funds to send her daughter to school.  The girl, so thrilled to be given a chance to learn, took it from there and with scholarships she won along the way, has grown into young woman now studying at an American College.  She will return to her people to help them better their lives. And the goat?  It had offspring that were given to other families in the village.  One gift can change the lives of many.

ErinsblanketA little closer to home some of us are knitting squares that will be made into a (secret) blanket.  I took the pattern for my square from Barbara Walker's "Learn to Knit" book and it made up quickly and beautifully.  I knit prayers of joy and long life into my section of the blanket on Sunday.  Knitting both the scarf and blanket projects has been a balm for my pain and made the weekend of gray fog more livable.   Lemonade for others.

Susan is still selling her Hugs and Kisses sock pattern with funds going to Oxfam and there is a Yahoo Group to  "Knit Your Bit" with  projects that continue to fund tsunami relief.

As we all know there is need everyday of every year, with or without disasters.  Blogland has some of the most conscientious people on earth.  With two sticks and string you we can change the world. 


Catching Up On Knitting

It has been near 50 here all week. It’s hazy and gunky so you can’t see the mountains on the other side of the valley (or much of the valley) but, the filtered sun does get through. We’re wondering what happened to the January chill (looks like it’s in the East) because we’re having a January thaw instead. Thank goodness there is no snow on the ground or we would be socked in tight.

Shoulderlotus

LotusbodyLotusneckredoOn Monday night I finished the body of Lotus. I had finished her on Saturday but in preparing to bind off it became apparent that I had a serious error in the neck decreases. Using the neck steek method as described by Wendy here, I knit merrily along not paying attention (at least well enough). The decreases for both sides all ended up on ONE side (didn't read the pattern right). Doubling the number of decreases made the front shoulder much smaller than the back. RIP!  Into the frog pond she went. It was fairly easy to do but I had a messy mass of yarn and had to carefully reknit the neck just hoping to have few tangles. The goddess was with me as there was no problem and everything went smoothly after that (just slowly). I love the little patterned detail on the shoulders (large pic above). She feels like a major accomplishment, and yet she isn’t near completion. Two sleeves, a ton of finishing to come and that could take several more months. (Cassie the body is 27" long!) This will be another joy to wear NEXT winter.

Ribbypieces And the Ribby keeps on knitting with little effort. The back, one front and half a sleeve (more than is pictured) are now knit. It might go a little more slowly as I started the Sockapalooza sock, which is going very quickly. It's pretty and fun too! Stop by Katy’s to see the pair her mother Susan made.  I'll have more details to share on mine next week.

Make the weekend a good one!


Now I'M the SockapaLOSER*

So...remember the socks from SocksX3 that were going to become my Sockapalooza pair?  Well, fogidabodit!  The wool was called Zimba Top, a sport weight super wash.  It didn't feel very good in the ball and when I started to knit with it, it felt like cotton. NO give, no bounce!  It just hung there in a 2x2 rib that didn't pull in and act ribby. It was hard, tough, with no squish, either.  The only thing to do was head back to the drawing board for something more suitable, more comfortable. Shit. Rats!  It's time to get working on these socks and I'm behind!!

Latviansock_1My pal was very helpful when she listed several things she likes in a sock. She listed several colors and styles and other helpful items which I won't list just incase she stops by.  I think this red Twinkletoes in "Salsa" just might do the trick (breaking that YNBA was the right thing to do!) AND since this is (Nancy) Bush country why not use one of her patterns? The yarn looks plain red here but it has many shades of red, from deep dark to lighter hues that make it much more interesting than it shows in the picture. The pattern is the Latvian Sock from Folk Socks and it looks like a fun, not too difficult, pretty way to make a warm pair of socks.  I'm jumping in and will pray this time all will be well with my choice.  The Zimba is back in the stash and will remain in time out until I decide to banish it or something more suitable comes along. Drat that stuff.

*This term was coined by none other than Norma, of course.


And There is More....

For total disclosure I must tell you all.  The YNBA was just a failure for me.  Why!?  You'd think that with my extra backbone and my Zen-ness I could be 'good', could hold out, wouldn't need or want more. The darker side of my personality took over and it didn't like being told there would be NO new yarn for 3 months.  It was persistent and evil and pestering.  But, let's look at the bright side. I did go from October 30th until December 21st with no purchases and that's not bad.  (It just wasn't as fun as I thought to hold out.)  The yarn I buy is usually for a specific project. And, while I have a large(ish) stash it IS only four boxes full (and a couple of baskets).  I will be very careful and think about what I acquire, BUT no more bans on yarn in Zenland.

Oh, I  bought this on Saturday!

Mynewkoigu A lovely, yummy Koigu KPPPM.  Socks, future socks for me. The colors just jumped off the shelf  at me and they were so unusual that I had to take it home.  After all the YNBA WAS over.

One more trip to the Dr. yesterday and things are progressing well.  Oy vey, I never want to go through this again.  Smith has been the biggest help!  He really has grown into the job of helping out and now knows what it entails to cook dinner, keep the house up and pamper me. (There was a time....) It is a blessing to have someone this good in your life.

Mimsbooks Did you know that Mim (one of our Utah Grrls) is a maker of books?  She does the most beautiful handmade journals.  Here are three that I purchased recently. These are about 5" high, but she does make several sizes. Wouldn't it be oh so fine to keep your FO and stash list in a beautiful hand made book? Nicely done, Mim!