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March 2007 Archives

March 6, 2007

(Insert Clever Title)

Because that's about all I can manage.... Was it a full moon last night? I've got to find something to blame for my general malaise and lack of ability to concentrate. I have both start- and finish-itis, and I've unknit more than I've knit in the last few weeks. I did finish up a second bobbin of the brown wool - it's looking nice and I'm into the third already.

two bobbins

I suppose I'll have to start weighing the fiber before I spin it so I get even bobbins, but I'm still in the serious experimental stage and I have no idea how much is on either bobbin. I do know I've barely made a dent in the pound of this stuff!

A forced hour in a waiting room while Captain America had a procedure Friday was a perfect time to blast through eleven rows of a fancy cable swatch that's been staring me down. Go figure that a place that requires, by signature, that the patient's driver remain in the waiting room for an hour has absolutely NOTHING interesting in the large, uncomfortable room. Remarkable really. Maybe they stopped stocking magazines because people walked out with them. Good thing I'm a knitter.

I has a bit of a bug scare this weekend when I wound some lovely Koigu that I purchased last fall. It was in bits and pieces:

koigu bits

I sent an email to the very responsive not-LYS, who knew from just my name exactly which hanks I had purchsed. No other reports of cut up Koigu, so the nice owner suggested that I investigate for moths or carpet beetles - oy! I pulled out all the stash from the two major caches in the house and wound some CTH merino sock yarn that was living in the same drawer - luckily I found no other damage. I did get to lay my hands on a bunch of yarn I forgot about, organize a few piles into the cool new super large Ziploc bags I found at the grocery, and assemble a frog pile for some later time... The shop offered to take it back, but had no more of this colorway which I've fallen madly in love with, so I cast on for my first pair of Jaywalkers anyway.


This is exactly what I needed - it's simple enough for me at the moment, especially since I WAS working on CeCe. This simple lace cardigan, knit up succesfully by so many already, is completely beyond me. I've started it twice, ripped out rows and rows, and it's now in a bag, yanked off the needles in a fit of frustration Sunday. I remember thinking when I first started it it, "this is knitting up so quickly," and "what an easy-to-keep-track of lace pattern." Mmmm hmmm. Besides the gazillion yarn overs I can't possibly be responsible for managing, I apparently turned off the part of my brain that has done slipped-stitch edges a few times before - I was plotting the row of single crochet I'd need to hide the fug at the edges. I think the cotton needs to be still for a while - I really really want a CeCe, so I'll be back to it soon.

frog pile

I also at least pulled out the Onde Le Gilet cardigan from years ago, and I suppose I'll give it one more go before I rip it out. I haven't been brave enough to take it out of the bag, but I find myself strangely drawn to this funky Phildar yarn.


Last I remember, I had reknit something (a sleeve?) and nothing was fitting together very well. I may have learned enough since then to recover it - cross your fingers. I remember it gave me a bit of a callous where it slid over my finger, but knit up it's quite soft. I have a thing for orange.

Good things for Tuesday - I ordered a new desk chair at work that should arrive today, and then I get to see the neck cracker this afternoon, which also means I get to leave work a bit early. Silly thing - gotta go back there tomorrow anyway, but I looooove escaping before the bell.

March 13, 2007

Let there be LIGHT!

I lovelovelove Daylight Savings Time. Twice last week I realized I was squinting in the car at lunch and giggled to myself that the sun was, indeed, zooming across the sky to spring. Both days I was in a funk driving back to the job I just don't want to do anymore, and as I realized it was zooming towards spring the first time, I Want Candy came on the radio and I blasted it and rocked out all the way back to work. The second day, I was giggling about squinting and Sledgehammer came on - another fabulous opportunity to rock out in the car, singing badly and loudly, to arrive at work smiling. Good stuff - sun and fun music.

So the switch this weekend was fabulous, and my simmering spring feisty-ness is in full force - enough force to propel me to do this:

You have to know that I don't do things like this, mostly because I'm terrified of the crawling or slimy things I might find in such a spot. But, I refuse to pay gazillions of dollars to have my gutters cleaned, so we got the right size ladder this weekend and I climbed while CA spotted me. I love heights, and the gutters weren't nearly as bad as we imagined, so we cruised around the house quite handily. When we hit the detached garage, which is about 6 feet from the neighbor's garage, and that 6 feet is split by a ratty chain link fence, Captain America suggested he was going to tighrope along the fence to get to our overflowing-with-pine-needles gutter, but I reminded him that he hates heights and is about to have surgery on his bad and very painful shoulder. So, up I went. To bravely face whatever might be in there. I didn't find any spiders or particularly slimy stuff, got tons of gunk out of the gutters, and, oddly enough, smelled skunk the whole time I was up there. Which made me remember singing Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road in the car as kids when we when we were hippies living in the woods of rural Pennsylvania. Which in turn made me picture our two big dogs getting soaked in tomato juice after the inevitable wrangling with the skunks in those woods. Turns out I had a damn fine time tip-toeing down the fence scooping gunk out of the gutter and wandering around in my head - go figure. (Yup - that's another fab tie-dye from CA - he's gooooood.)

I hope the return of the light may help my current scatterbrained approach to spring and spring cleaning. And knitting, and projects - too many to compute. I'm almost done with one Jaywalker sock, and while the leg was a lovely exercise in mindless knitting, my mind didn't want to cooperate so much on the foot. It's resting.

I started plying up my three bobbins of brown wool and zip-dang - it looks more like yarn than anything I've spun yet!

It's Knitapalooza weekend - and I'm going all three days again this year - my fourth. Three days of fabulous women (we've never had a man sign up) and guest teacher Sally Meville - I'm verklempt. This event somehow marks my knitting life, so while I didn't look back at New Year's, I'm now trying to figure out what the hell I've done since last year. I have no new sweater to wear, no new fabulous lace shawl to show off - all of a sudden it seems like I've done nothing since last year. Except learned to spin on a spindle, which started at Knitapalooza '06, procured copius amounts of fiber, and jumped with both feet onto the spinning wheel train. I've become a test knitter for a fabulous designer and knit countless complicated cable swatches and a six foot scarf for her. I've finished a few things, made two pairs of socks, felted lots of bags and moebious baskets, started both CeCe and Tubey twice - okay, I've actually done something. My Modesitt Lace Corset is on display helping to sell yarn at my LYS. And I will wear my hand-dyed, handspun, handknit Clapotis Saturday with pride bursting. And I will re-do the crochet neckline on my VK/Cherry Tree Hill Silk & Merino sweater from 2004 so I can wear it without fear of bra-straps or the jostling of a strapless bra. There - I feel better now - thanks for listening. Three days and counting!

My first crocus, that I planted in my very own yard - how satisfying!


March 20, 2007

Captain America's Wool

I've been busy plying,, and this 314 yards of worsted weight yarn is the result. It's my first three-ply and it's so yarny I'm thrilled. I've been knitting a swatch so I can make CA his cabled vest and I'm surprised at how evenly it knits up. I'm currently deciding between a 5 and 6 needle - the smaller one makes a nice dense fabric, and this is to be a warm vest.... A Knitter told me over the weekend it looked like worsted so I couldn't go below a size 6 needle. Don't tell me I can't do something, especially if I like how it's coming out. But I'll wash this swatch and see how it blooms - my gut is telling me at the moment that 6s will be the ones. It spent a lot of time being shown off and fondled over the weekend.

I'm spending waaaaay more time with this swatch than usual for three reasons: 1) I'm in love with my yarn -it's sproingy and firm and I just love it, b)I just finished a knitting weekend with Sally Melville and Cindy Taylor and I want to make things that work and fit, and 3) I've made two gorgeous cardigans that just don't fit the man. I'm even trying out different cable patterns here - this is big stuff.

I have SO much to say about Knitapalooza that my brain's spinning and I want to make sure my words do justice to the amazing weekend, so I'm working on that post. I will say now though that if you ever have the chance to spend three days with knitters, do it!

March 25, 2007

I'm listening, Universe!

I've been stalling to write about Knitapalooza 07 since it ended a week ago because I know I can't express, with words, how soul-satisfying it was. But I'll try...

I've been to all four Knitapaloozas now, organized by the brilliant owner of my LYS, and they've all been wonderful in one way or another. I got to learn Beth Brown Reinsel's baby Aran, top-down sweater that I hear is a badge of honor. I learned to spin. I've met many fabulous knitters. This year though - spiritual. Mind-blowing. Life changing. I'm so very sure that this is the world I want to live in - the one with Sally Melvilles and Cindy Taylors and a bazillion others who didn't happen to be my guides for the weekend. I WILL figure out a way to live in this world of fiber, and to leave behind more than 20 years of office work - I will. Even though I'm terribly challenged in design, or pattern drafting - I know there's a place for me here somewhere. I've never felt so strongly that I was with the right people - I've been looking for my people all my life, and here they are. Knitters. Spinners. Yarn people. Pattern people. Let's start a commune.

I arrived Friday morning eeeearly and greeted somewhere over 70 knitters all wearing the same silly ear to ear grin that I was. All my chakras were wide open, every cell connected to the weekend, I was fully in the moment, alive, awake, tingling - it was like the angels were singing and the room was bathed in bright warm white light - really - I kid you not. And I don't do angels.


My LYS owner had told me early in the week that she had a surprise for me - aside from the fact that my Reynolds Whiskey order would be waiting for me. Drove me nuts, but I waited. I spotted my friend, and amidst all the chatter and showing off and seeing people we haven't seen since last year, the fashion show started. My first surprise was that my Modesitt Lace Corset appeared on a model - how flattering! After the fashion show, our LYSO had me stand while she announced that sign-ups for next year were open and, by the way, Annie Modesitt and Melissa Leapman will be teaching! I know I looked ridiculous, but I was jumping up and down like a little kid. (In fact, I'm delighted to report that I spent most of the weekend in full-on child's mind) I've never met either of these women, but feel like I know both because a) I'm test knitting Melissa's wild and crazy cable swatches, and 2) Annie responded immediately when I submitted an essay for consideration for the collection she was publishing almost two years ago, and she accepted my story and made me a published author in Cheaper Than Therapy! Wheeee! The knitting goddesses were certainly with me already, and we hadn't even finished breakfast. And then I won a door prize! I thought someone was going to have to tie me down - I was goofy happy. Two gorgeous, rich, sunny yellow hanks of Rio de la Plata wool - mmmmm.

I spent Friday in classes with Cindy Taylor of cindycindy.com, first in pattern drafting and then in Garment Therapy. She's so cool, confident, quirky and fun - and she's got a great approach to thinking about patterns. Even though the maths were causing brain shorts, I'm convinced that if I hear and think about and imagine making my own pattern, I'll eventually get up the courage to actually try it. Good stuff. Cindy's got a nice line of patterns coming out - make sure you click on over to see. I brought two garments for rescue: First, the gigundous fair-isle cardigan I did for CA that I've been considering cutting in half and grafting back together to lose some inches. We decided instead that repurposing it would be better - it's all mine now, to snuggle up in on a chilly morning on the beach! He'll get something that fits, and that he might really wear. I also brought my Vogue Knits Diamond pullover from 2004, which I spent so long trying to wear on Friday morning that I ran out of time to stop for a coffee on the way. I couldn't make it work, so I wore something else and brought it with me. The front points are floppy which makes the square neckline look hangy- makes me crazy even though I redid the neckline much better than the first time. When I put it on, the first thing I was reminded was that I was the only one seeing all the drooping from my point of view - everyone else was seeing the whole sweater. Still not good enough - so we turned it backwards - not so horrible. I think I'll try the crochet edging ONE MORE TIME. It's sooo pretty and it's CTH silk & merino, so it's soft like buttah. Cindy's big on finding new ways to use a knit - rather than ripping, she likes to keep moving forward. More good stuff, and new ways to think about the final product.

I don't think any of us managed to keep going and go out to dinner - we all went home and crashed Friday night so we'd be ready for a full day on Saturday - my whole day with the amazing Sally Melville. A little gift from the universe for me. She calls herself an old hippie and teaches with flair and humor and stories - amazing. She is the same age as my mom, and I felt like I knew her already. She talked about her super creative grown kids, and I called my mom after the weekend to say thanks again for her inspired creative mothering - this is all her fault for sure. Anyway, after spending the day with Sally learning about pattern drafting and making things that flatter and fit, and that my perfect balance point is 20.5", I will never look at a project the same way again. I've been a knit the next hardest thing knitter for a while, and now the next hardest thing I plan to do is to make something that fits me perfectly, even if it's an all stockinette sweater. I felt like an eager student in grade school, and I must have looked it too, because she asked me to model a little vest during the afternoon class - and then said I should wear it the rest of the day Saturday. Squee! This is in Celtics & Arans and is a bazillion random stitch patterns in cotton. She's wearing the fair isle skirt outfit from Color - I've wanted to make it, but now I WILL make it!

with Sally Melville

I had dinner with the gang and returned for Sally's "Ten Things A Knitter Hates to Hear" talk, which was a hoot and spot on, and went home to conk out before her "Creativity" talk Sunday morning. I felt like I imagine the devout feel in church on Sunday mornings - completely entranced, a believer, nodding, knitting, laughing, thinking. Sally used fabulous quotes from Churchill to quantum physiscists to Einstein to talk about and illustrate the creative process - phew. It all ended way too soon - it's so hard to walk out of that hotel each year knowing it will be a looooong time before the next time.

I'm still recovering, and my brain is still awhirl from the weekend - both the complete and overwhelming connection to this world and all the information... I'm having a bit of trouble concentrating. Good thing I didn't have a chance to sit still with a Board meeting and giant event at work - hah.

March 27, 2007

Amazing stuff.

You know, I've been trying to operate under the theory that if you open yourself up to a possibility, really let the universe know what you're after, it will respond. In yet another connected little experience, I got to attend a booksigning with Ellen Burstyn here on Sunday. It turned into a little question and answer session first, and since there were a ton of film students in the room and she's the President of the Board of the Actor's Studio, it turned into one of these Inside interviews... "My name is x and I'm a second-year actor and I was wondering how you prepare for a role like Requiem...." Ellen was lovely and sweet and funny just like you'd imagine her, and all of a sudden she was talking about her path, and the process she took in writing her first book, Lessons in Becoming Myself, and the tribe, and it was like she was talking directly to me. (It helped that, like the eager beaver I am, I sat right in the front.) All the ideas, the ways of being in the world she talked about are the things I'm thinking about - freaky really. I went because I was raised on Same Time Next Year and Alice doesn't Live Here Anymore and I'm so very glad I did! I got the book signed for my mom - the leader of my tribe, but I think I'll have to read it before I send it off. Thanks again, universe!

March 28, 2007

Holy Canoli

I was just tinkering around and decided to add my favorite astrologer's link to my page. In the process, I checked my daily, weekly and monthly forecasts, wondering if maybe Mercury was back in retrograde and that's why I'm feeling achy and dumpy (like PMS needs an excuse). Here's what the March 'scope had for me, in part:

"Mars is in your sign. Expect to be amazed by the positive possibilities that suddenly become apparent to you. You've got a lot to do and a lot to deal with, but despite the pressure, there's scope for tremendous success. "

One of my favorite things Sally Melville said in her talk about creativity was that "every single possibility exists, it's out there somewhere, and it's just waiting to be observed to bring it into reality."

Now Jonathan Cainer from England is saying it too! It's amazing that when it's time, things start to percolate. Guess it's time. Take a look - he's been spot-on in many funky times in my life since oh, 1989.

About March 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Dawn's Dream in March 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2007 is the previous archive.

April 2007 is the next archive.

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