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Friday, May 25, 2012

Knitting, uh, mishaps (one cat-assisted)

Usually, when I get a bit full of myself - a little too proud or smug about something I've accomplished or been clever about - that's the time when I am gifted with a profound reality check.

I'm kind of used to it by now and these educational opportunities are generally not a surprise.
When I get that unchecked feeling of being particularly tickled with myself, I know I can expect some follow-up with an instance where I am nearly a perfect ninny - and generally quite publicly.

It does keep me from getting a big head about things.

Ok, the description of this sounds a bit dire, but it's not actually that bad. It's generally funny, very ironic, and I am much better at accepting my foibles and mistakes now than I could when I was a youngling.
I'm trainable.

So...the knitting mishaps that caught my attention...

Technical Difficulties:
During the Cat Bordhi Moebius class, having previously done a fair bit of Moebius knitting, I was smugly whipping through the extended Moebius Cast-on for a "Spacious Show & Tell Moebius Bag" when........ The cable of my circular needle separated itself from the needle (no, not unscrewed, separated)  leaving me with a perplexed look on my face, some dropped Moebius Cast-on stitches, and that sinking "Oh S**t" feeling. 
The irony of the smug-payback was evident. However, I had a backup cable so I replaced the unworthy/failed cable and proceeded to restart my Moebius Bag cast-on with a sigh and a much toned-down "I'm so good" attitude. 
I haven't progressed much past what is shown in this picture.
So many projects, so little time. 
Wait...how many rows?
Whilst doing some laundry, I recently noticed something odd about a pair of socks I finished in January 2011 (the Eight of Diamond Socks (link to my Raverly project page)). I had been rather proud about my knitting socks with an entrelac leg early on in my sock-knitting career. I was laying them out to dry, thinking again that it was kind of spiffy that the foot of the socks nearly match (without any conscious effort on my part).

And then the disparity of the leg length came to the forefront of my mind and I realized I was missing an entire row on one of my sock-legs. Or, it could be that one has an extra row. {sigh/ack!}
Yes, I am entirely boggled that I didn't 
notice the mismatch for a year.  

Another near-match:
I had another moment where I thought I was going to achieve matchy-socks.
Since I started knitting socks, I had maintained that I didn't care if they matched. I was not going to fussy-start/finish or finagle my knitting so I would have matching socks. I didn't care if my socks matched!

And yet, when I'd knit the first of the pair of the Cat Bordhi Purlique socks and had started on the 2nd sock, I was inordinately pleased that the feet of these toe-up socks nearly matched perfectly!

I kept knitting on the 2nd sock, and about the place where I expected to insert the waste yarn for the Green heel....there was only Yellow yarn and no green.

Careful scrutiny seems to indicate that there may have been a break in the yarn just where the green should have started and someone did a truly excellent job of joining the yarn - yellow to yellow. And instead of progressing from yellow to green and then to blue, the colors reversed and headed back to orange then red...
Yep...still no matchy socks for me, as I have declared numerous times. {wry grin}

Gryphon was here:
As mentioned in the last post, I'm knitting the Princess Langwidere Cowl (Rav link) from "What Would Madam Defarge Knit" as I listen to "A Tale of Two Cities" on CraftLit.
(I just started Episode 63 and I suspect I know who will be getting a "close shave" from Madame Guillotine - and it makes me sad for and proud of the character. {sigh}).
I didn't close up my cowl project bag enough last night and when I came back a little later to collect my toys, I found this:
Note - The cowl wasn't out being knit upon - it was in the bag.
The bag just wasn't cinched up tight.
That's right....someone's furry paw had to go bag-diving to find stuff to chew on. 
I'm pretty sure it was Gryphon. In the past, he has demonstrated a wicked-fast ability to separate my projects from the yarn.
(He does that innocent "What?" look reallllly well, doesn't he?)
There's always something to learn and improve upon.
And my lessons appear to be offered in a clear and unmistakable manner, dripping with irony.
S'ok. I'm trainable. ;-)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Local Events Heads Up - WWKIP Day!

WWKIP = World Wide Knit in Public.

Yeah, yeah, I know {grin}, I knit in public pretty much all the time. 
But not everyone does....and it's fun to gather together to craft, talk, be inspired, and it's also fun to see the look on people's faces or to cause inspiration when there's a whole buncha knitters out doing their thing in a place where folks don't generally see fabric being made with sticks and string.

A World Wide Knit in Public Day Event has been scheduled in Tucson Arizona and will be on Saturday, June 16, 2012, at the Murphy-Wilmot Library!! 10 AM to 4 PM.

This event is being hosted by Amanda Zagloba, one of the talented and charming folks that make our Library more than just a place to look at books. I believe the Tucson Handweaver's and Spinner's Guild will be supporting the event a bit at well.

Drop by any time throughout the day. Knit. Crochet. (Learn to do either!) 
Check out some of the knitterly Library books (they have a pretty spiffy collection, too!).
There will be some snacks and I'm sure more event niftiness will be revealed as we approach the event date. 

Here's the link to the official WWKIP event Website for this event.

And here's the blog links to 2 of the last 3 WWKIP events we've had in Tucson that I attended (seems I didn't take any pictures at the 2010 event at Beyond Bread (tsk!)).
2009 - Borders (kinda) and Grandma's Spinning Wheel
2011 - Murphy-Wilmot Library

Consider joining us for a fun and inspirational day!

If you are not local to Tucson and want to find your own WWKIP event - or to host one - the Home page of the WWKIP website is a very good place to start!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weeping at the Allergist, Brenda Dayne, WWMDfK, & the Plaited Edge

It is my opinion that Tucson has only 2 degrees of separation.
As opposed to the "Six degrees of Separation" - Tucson connections seem to be more direct, ironic...and even occasionally a little eerie. {wry grin}

Things like...
  • I find the father-in-law of a good friend I met later in life turns out to be one of my favorite high school teachers.
  • Once upon a time when I was a teller at a Financial Institution, a lady telling me about her "adopted Grandmother" turns out to also be talking about my Godmother/adopted Grandmother. 
  • I invite a new friend to breakfast with myself and an old friend...and it turns out they previously worked at the same company (at different times), they know a ton of the same people, and they might be plotting a reunion party now...
It happens a lot. I can't help but notice when things seem to be related or cyclical on a variety of levels.
And so - the connections between the blog-post title topics inspired this blog.

Weeping at the Allergist.
The other week, as I waited after allergy shots to ensure I wasn't going to puff up with a reaction, I sat in the waiting room knitting and listening to a favorite podcast, Cast On. I was listening to Episode #43 - from late 2006.
(I know - but if I like a podcast, I start from the beginning. Thusly, I'm still living in the past of most of my favorite podcasts...)

In my opinion, Episode 43 was particularly good, but the Essay "Granny's Book" had me in tears.
E'yup. There I am, sitting in the waiting room with tears leaking from my eyes. {sigh}
But it was ok. I felt genuinely  moved, the essay was well-written and read, and there was kleenex readily available. They stuff a kleenex  up your sleeve after they give you the allergy shot. (blots any blood...) {wry grin}

Brenda Dayne & WWMDfK.
The Brenda Dayne link via podcast is already obvious, but she was also linked to what I was knitting - by a couple of degrees.

Inspired by another favorite podcast, CraftLit, I had specifically chosen to knit something out of the "What Would Madam Defarge Knit" (WWMDfK) book as I listened to....you guessed it.... Charles Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities" on CraftLit.

I (rather giddily) reviewed "WWMDfK" on Goodreads. I love the premise, the multi-media aspects of the book, and there are several projects from that book that have been added to my to-knit-list.
I also love the earth-friendly aspects of the way it was published by Cooperative Press.

I did not select a project specifically inspired by "A Tale of Two Cities" (I will later...I want to see what is knitted into the Madam Defarge shawl!).
I did some stash-diving and cast on for the Princess Langwidere Reversable Cowl.
This side is knit from Mountain Colors Bearfoot (love the colors) and the reverse, lace,
side is knitted with doubled MMMMMalabrigo Lace weight.
(This is the link to my project page on Ravelry.)

Many of you have already guessed the 3rd connection - Ms. Dayne also contributed to the patterns in "What Would Madame Defarge Knit"! She created the lovely Lysistrata's Chiton (also on my to-knit list).

WWMDfK & the Plaited Edge
Lastly, the final connections relate to CraftLit, Heather Ordover, and....the Plaited Edge Class I got to take with Heather at the end of 2011.

Heather is the mastermind behind CraftLit - and - "What Would Madam Defarge Knit"!
She is also one of my favorite teachers and introduced me to Goodreads, moebius knitting, Cat Bordhi (live and in person), and she was the first knitterati to sign the SS09 Sock Blocker

She visited Tucson briefly in December and offered to teach the Plaited Edge from the Paivatar Sock (her socks gracing the cover Knitting Socks from Around the World!) at Kiwi Knitting.
(I believe Heather is teaching this class again in Dallas in September.)

It was a lovely afternoon. I got to meet Linda in the class and a charming Kiwi friend, Ruthie, dropped by briefly to ask sock-related questions.
I cannot begin to tell you what a grand time I had. Heather and Linda are fascinating women and the discussion topics ranged from the next book, pattern design, farming, celiac's disease possibly relating to genetically altered wheat.... See - fascinating. 

The minor blot on my day was that I had forgotten to bring my copy  of WWMDfK to collect a autograph. {sigh/durn it} 
(Linda, Ruthie, & Heather)
Bonus...Heather made me a bracelet from her Plaited Edge Sample!
The blue on blue was my practice Plaited Edge. The colors are too similar to show well in this picture, but it's still a spiffy-looking pattern.

Not part of the Post-title relational topics - Diabetic Update.
The Little Brother continues to improve. Astoundingly well. Especially when I consider he almost died nearly 3 months ago. Woof. He does a Great job controlling his blood sugars and the doctors are pleased with his progress (almost as pleased as me!).
He's still gracing my home with his contagious laugh and the cats are enjoying the extra snuggle-time with himself.
We'll see what happens next.

And what the next 2-degrees of separation happenstance will be!

5/8/12 Addendum....Heather (and Becky) get the credit for my tears today. ;-)
On the way to the allergist (which meant Kleenex was not as readily available...), I was listening to episode 52 of Craftlit and Becky's personal story relating to and reading of the Robert Frost poem, "The Tuft of Flowers",  was entirely lovely. Thank you!