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January 2010
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March 2010

How Can it Be?

It's a good thing I didn't try to be an Olympian. Knitting isn't growing very fast, but it's because I'm out having a life (as Cookie would say). Book club was Monday evening and we discussed a great read. Everyone enjoyed The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver and the discussion lead to a deeper understanding of the story. Lacuna, a blank or missing part, was the main theme of the book and while hints were woven throughout the story they were not easily grasped. This is a book can be read again and again. Every time it's read more of the gaps are revealed and your understanding becomes stronger. Do not believe the bad or disappointing reviews. Lacuna is a book you need to spend time and effort to understand and it's so worth the time. 

Before I started this blog I read 50 books, or more, a year. Keeping up with the blog, and other bloggers, took time away from reading. With the purchase of an iPod reading time has increased enormously. I can knit and read, walk and read, work and read, exercise and read, and well, I love this invention. (There is a full spectrum of music on my iPod, but books are the main focus.)

So, today it's back to the blog, a place that's been on my mind all week but, with one thing or another, I've been unable to post. It is hard to write when you're distracted by books, dreary days (no pictures), little knitting growth, and ennui. Sitting in front of the computer just isn't where I want to be.

Anywoo (as Norma would say), Monday is my 6th blogiversary. SIX YEARS! How on earth did that happen? I'm not sure how I feel about blogging for that length of time and, in the last year especially, I've thought of giving it up. But, and it is a big but, loosing track of on-line friends is just not acceptable and their friendship (your friendship) is what keep me here.

So, blogiversary time means prizes and lots of comments, right? Let's show the prizes...

Malibrigoprize

A skein of Malabrigo Sock in a beautiful shade, Eggplant

Treasureballprize
A Treasure Ball - as you knit  many little surprises will be found inside

Sublimeprize
2 balls of Sublime Kid Mohair (yummy soft!)

AND

Manossilkprize
FOUR skeins of Manos Silk Blend

The comments are up to you, but I'd love to know what was the last book you read. Thank you for reading this blog, for being there the last six months, the hardest 6 months of my life, and for your friendship. See you Monday!

Contest ends Sunday at 5:00pm MST.


Weekend Recipe

Bluemondaybutton
  • Start with a pretty blue yarn and add a palm full of easy knitting (such as Carole's Picot Sock)Zzzzzzzzzyarnball
  • Listen to a the sultry, bluesy voice of Billy Holiday on a blue iPod
  • Fill a small, old blue crock with sunny flowers
Blogsockipodandflowers 
Heartyarnfromdianne
  • Add a pinch of time with friends along with a dab of time to relax
Do not shake or stir. Just let it flow.

Kashmir Heaven

Not much knitting has been accomplished the last couple of days and lack of process equals lack of progress. When knitting isn't in at hand my mind jumps ahead to the next project and start-itis looms. (It would be so easy to cast on just one more thing!) Too much time is given to making queues of desire. I need to stay with the knitting of the moment and not be swayed.

Ohrubysprosslingback

When Sprössling is in hand she is all I can see and feel. Focus returns. The stitches create a simple lace fabric of soft luxury…pure knitting heaven. Tonight's focus is to finish the back, which is a little more than half way there, and perhaps, one front piece over the weekend. When given proper attention knitting grows. 

You have one more day to comment on Jesselu's Bloggiversary post and you have a good chance of winning as she's giving away 5 prizes! It would be wonderful if we could get her comment count to 300! Go do it.

Pssst...Birdsong is also have a contest so make your way to her blog and comment, too!!


Creation or Crapathon?

Craftmessorcreative

When walking into my junque room my first thought is "holy crap!"…yes, crap is everywhere. The futon is covered with flotsam jetsam…some of this and that. There are baskets around the room that could house any "soon to be used" yarn. However, they're full of other yarn...yarn of lower hierarchy.  It may mean one yarn reigns over another for only a short time and coups d'état are the constant of detritus. It's hard to take the necessary first step so that one cleaning out can lead to another. It's been said the piles are an indication of creative chaos, which can be a positive. Others say the piles are boulders that stop the mind from following a creative path.

The feeling that floods over me when I walk into the room is not one of creation, it's one of overwhelm. What the hell am I going to do with all of this? Do the piles show desire without fruition? Are they an indication that my "creative" mind is full of turmoil and inaction, too full to move forward?  Does any of this lead to creativity or does it lead to an impasse?

When I spend time and clear up the mess, filing patterns into notebooks, sorting yarns into their proper bins, and putting each little thing into its proper place (if it has one), the room feels lighter, roomier and full of possibility. But, as anyone knows, it's a matter of days before the surfaces are covered again. Is there any way on earth to keep the piles at bay? Is creative focus like a puff of smoke, gone in an instant? Is a blank slate necessary for creation? After all, I am knitting up a storm.

Today is a special day for JessaLu, which means she's giving treats to you! Get over to her blog and comment! (And don't forget to tell her I sent you!) Congratulations on five years, Jess!!

Blue-tifully Blue

Bluemondaybutton

Look at the various shades of blue in this yarn! The pattern shows off the color, Lagoon, beautifully and the fabric is soft (SO soft), warm and cozy. The pattern and yarn compliment each other perfectly and I'm thrilled Rachel sent it my way and suggested the pattern. Thank you, grrlfriend.

Milkweedpattern

This is the type of shawl I like to wear all year round. It's small enough to protect the neck from summer air conditioning, but large enough to keep winters cold at bay. Add to that the rich blues, the depth of color (tropical water) with a merino/cashmere blend and you have pure delight. 

Lovelymilkweed

Patten: Milkweed Casbah by Cosmicpluto
Yarn: Casbah by Fleece Artist – 1 skein, Lagoon
Needle: Size 4 Addi
Time to Knit: January 27-February 7, 2010
Knitter beware – I had less than 3 yards of yarn leftover.
Raveled HereRav_linkredyarnball 

Theywraparoundtheleg 

Spirialbiasaroundleg To make Blue Monday even better, there is a bonus FO! The bits of blue in Sarah's hand-dyed yarn really pop.This is my first pair for 2010's the year of the sock (and nowhere near my last). The yarn is dyed beautifully, enjoyable to knit, and should wear well as it's a 3 ply. The pattern has little give and was hard to pull on (the first time) over my (high) instep, but it stretched out just enough to fit. The pattern spirals (biases) around the leg , but it's a sock, hidden by pants and I feel it's not a big deal.

Blognutkinfinished

Pattern: Nutkin by Knitzi's Beth LaPensee
Yarn: Fiberoptica by Sarah Marsden, 1 skein, Thailand
Needle: Size 1.5 DPNs
Time to Knit: Januray 12-February 12, 2010
Raveled HereRav_linkredyarnball


Happy Heart Day

Years ago, long ago, a dear friend gave me a simple Valentine's gift and it means more to me than any other V-day gift I ever received.   While he has not been on this earth for many years, he is always near and always in my heart.

Alittlepinkbox

A simple plastic box

Acapsuleinside 

with a heart and capsule inside

Abiggertreasureinside

and inside the capsule, a love note.

Friends are as important today as lovers, maybe more so. 

With love,

Margene


Taken it Easy

It's a grrls prerogative to change her mind, right? After last years sweater frenzy and the "up against the wall" feeling of one deadline after another, it  feels too good to be deadline free. I'd say, "What was I thinking?", but when swept up in the moment, I often don't think and let excitement take over. The way I felt after making the decision to withdraw before the Opening Ceremonies was proof I'd made the right choice. 

Carolessockblog

Wednesday I started Carole's simple stockinette sockRav_linkredyarnball, but the call of Sprössling became too loud...could not be ignored (as did the beauty of Kim's Kashmir yarn.)  The nice thing is they should make grand companions.  The sock is easy and perfect for portability, the other, a lovely, beautiful lace will be good company while knitting at home.

Sprosslingforblog

So, both projects were on the needles before The Games began and, frankly, going with the flow feels great. I'll be on the sidelines rooting for you Olympians! Good luck.


Go for the Gold or No?

There are several projects sittin' in my queue
And I'd like to knit more than a few
I'm all set to knit up something new
but there are too many I'd really like to do.

OK…I'm not much of a rapper, or song writer for that matter, but I am stymied as to what to knit next. This is a bad case of "knitters overwhelm". I want to knit it all…in the now, needles flying, able to knit at the speed of light…go, go, GO! What a silly pipe dream when I can't even decide which project is next!

Swatchesforsweaters

Cute socks and beautiful flowing shawls are so enticing, entrancing, but there are 50 of each I'd like to knit. And for the first time this year I'm dreaming of knitting a sweater. I've swatched for a couple and think I've finally made up my mind, but so many more are calling from the stash. 

Part of the problem is all the projects on my needles will be finished within a couple of days. Needle emptiness looms and there is no way this knitter could stand "empty needle syndrome". Add to the mix Friday's opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, the RavelympicsRav_linkredyarnball, and the desire to compete...well more like participate. Is it fair to join if you don't really want to challenge yourself to the nth degree? I wouldn't want to risk injury and knit non-stop, over the top, for 17 days. But, I'm drawn to Team Utah and knitting a design (or two) from "home grrl" patterns.

It's a difficult decision and I'm back and forth every day, looking at yarn, looking for the next project, or dreaming of chucking it all in order to knit a new sweater. Do I go for the gold or do I sit back as a spectator and enjoy knitting. Will I enjoy my knitting if I'm not part of the Team? Will "going for the gold" make knitting a chore or will it be just as enjoyable and rewarding? Last year I was unable to complete twelve sweaters, as planned at the first of 2009, so I would say I'm okay with disappointment. But that Gold Medal is a big carrot.

My Blue Heaven

Bluemondaybutton

A (blue) teapot, a book on the (blue) iPod, a pretty blue cup and blue knitting (Milkweed) add up to a bit of blue heaven.

Blueteapotipodcupandknitting

My tea habit has developed over the last ten years or so. It started with ice tea in summer and a few other tasty teas during the winter. Coffee was my drink of choice, but I drank tea when coffee was too much.  And then, we had a party at the Beehive Tea Room, visited the Tea Grotto and met TeresaC. She loves tea, talks about tea, and  along with the advent of tea houses in Utah, her passion helped to form my tea pallet.

Teacutandteabook

The last time I had a daily cup of coffee was before my surgery. Since then my morning starts with an Assam tea and I drink a variety of teas (mostly green) throughout the day. Only on rare occasions will I have a latte, as my first choice is always tea, brewed at home (or by friends) in a special tea pot or mug. I'm no connoisseur, but I do like good tea and if you're a fan of tea, you may be interested in this article and the book it previews. I'm only a few pages into it, but tea has a very fascinating history…interesting reading when you're sipping a cup of beautiful, flavorful tea.