Monday, May 29, 2006

What I Did Today

In addition to re-organizing my entire yarn stash (and throwing away several handfuls of bits and pieces of yarn each less than a foot long - exactly what did I think I was going to use those for???), sewing buttons and "Solana Sweater" labels on these three sweaters, blocking another Solana Sweater (not pictured), and nearly finishing my Ringed Fang Socks (soon to be fangless), I also thought a lot about ripping back knitting, and why I don't really mind it so much.

Compared to pretty much any other kind of mistake one can make in life - like, say, a tattoo of your ex's name - knitting mistakes can be so easily fixed. Now felting is another story... but the knitting itself - you just rip it back, and do it over again, and nobody will be the wiser. In contrast, if you say something really hurtful to someone, even if you don't mean it, chances are you can't take it back, and the damage is done. You just have to live with the consequences, try to make ammends. Or if you smoke 3 packs a day for ten years and then get lung cancer, it's pretty difficult to undo that mistake. When I think about it in those terms, ripping back knitting is almost a pleasure. I have a do-over. I can fix my mistakes.

Besides, yarn this gorgeous is a pleasure to knit in and of itself, so frogging (rip-it, rip-it... get it? I didn't make that up!) and reknitting such lovely wool just means prolonging the delight. (Regardless, pictures can't convey how soft and lovely this yarn is to the touch - truly the nicest stuff I've ever worked with.)


I couldn't find a picture of myself that I liked enough to post here, so I took a couple self-portraits with my cell phone camera. It's convenient, it's fun, it's relatively inexpensive, but it sure isn't National Geographic.
Somewhere between flower child and bookworm, there I am.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Not so Grumpy anymore

Last night I came home very very very very very very very very very very very very very grumpy... a combination of having more work to do than I thought I should have this week, and less logistical support from a certain person (no one in this office) than I thought I should have this week. Plus, after nearly finishing the leg of the second Ringed Fang Sock, I discovered that I had cast on 4 stitches fewer on the mate than I did on the original... GRRR! I tossed the pair scornfully aside and began work on another pair.

Some small consolations:
- the yarlot makes the same kinds of mistakes
- anticipation of a trip to Nirvana (or see photo!)
- watching Buffy with Taron last night
- the soothing act of swatching the new pair of socks
- my husband (oh, sorry, NOT small! Very BIG consolation!)
- an e-mail this morning from that certain person, taking responsibility for part of the logistics which in turn makes my work a little lighter.
It's all good...

Monday, May 22, 2006


Loving Memory

Last year my brother-in-law, Aaron Kane, died at the age of 30 of unknown causes. The grief is still too fresh to say too much here. One way that I have found to soothe the sadness is by knitting baby sweaters. When Solana, Aaron's daughter, was born on September 13, 2004, I knitted up a storm of little sweaters and discovered the fun of making small things - an excellent venue for experimenting with color, texture, and design. They're small, so you finish fast :-) When we lost Aaron, I had this brainstorm to knit and sell baby sweaters to get a little income for Solana; the additional benefit has been the venue for expressing my love and grief in yarn. So far I have made 11 sweaters and 3 hats (the hats were commissioned by my cousin Reuben), sold this one to Tara, and sent the rest to the Farmer's Market with Tracey. I even ordered little tags that say "Solana Sweaters." It only took me 13 months to actually get this project going... but every stitch was made with love. And every cent goes to Solana.

Back in the 'Burg

15 hours on the road, rolled into our driveway at 2:38 a.m. I offer you the Ringed Fang Sock in its natural habitat - looks hungry!

I had every intention of deliberately mismatching the mate so the stripes would be in different places. But I ended up just casting on at the point where the first sock ended and lo and behold, they are going to turn out i-den-ti-cal -- although the mate has one row fewer of the turquoise blue on the cuff before the darker blue stripe begins. (The sock in the picture is the first one.)

The faux cables are little twists - k2tog, leave on left needle, then knit into the first stitch, slip off. Normally I knit "continental" style but for the twists I have to wrap the yarn around "American" style and hold it taut with my right hand or I can't seem to make the new stitch.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I know why people move here

Tropical blue skies, sandy beaches, and orange juice - this place has been terraformed to match our mental image of tropical paradise. Terry and I drove all night and Wednesday morning, met my sister Anita and her Solana at the Jonathan Dickinson State Park where we camped for 2 nights. It was a little piece of heaven, despite the Florida cicadas at the construction site nearby. The thought-provoking thing about the campsite was that the native flora is nothing like the image everyone has of Florida (beaches and orange juice) - it was thick, tough, brambly scrubby vegetation; we imagined Ponce de Leon cursing up a storm as he bushwhacked his way through the brush looking for the Fountain of Youth. But the morning sunlight and bird-filled quiet was idyllic.

Yesterday we canoed along the Loxahatchee to Trapper Nelson's old stomping grounds; about 3 hours round trip. Anita and I started singing "Row Row Row Your Boat," which Solana then demanded we continue singing for the next, I don't know, 35 years? We saw 5 alligators and maybe 8 or 9 turtles sunning themselves in the mangroves, an osprey nest with loud hungry nestlings (louder even than the nestling in the canoe!) and countless other birds and insects.

We're back in West Palm Beach now cleaning up, planning to go out to eat later!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Everyone is getting socks for Christmas this year - so I won't tell whom this pair is for. Scrumptious merino blend with aloe and jojoba somehow infused into the yarn, it was a dream to work with (I have since finished the pair). The pattern is from "Sensational Knitted Socks" by Charlotte Schurch, with a few mods. I am proud to say that the pair are an exact match, which takes a good bit of fiddling when working with self-striping yarn. I'm just too excited that I figured out how to post a photo :-)!


Until I figure out how to upload pictures, this will remain a textual adventure. The transition from crisp paper and liquid ink to the click of the keyboard should be interesting. At the cusp of a career change, a shift in direction from 10 years in various non-profit organizations to full-time academia, I anticipate that this blog will provide a venue to contemplate change and allow friends and family to be part of the adventure in a different way. Most of all I can't wait to post pictures of my knitting projects - the magic of moving two sticks through yarn and bringing something into the world that didn't exist before. Welcome to my world!

Monday, May 15, 2006


this is your new site- all shiny like silk yarn waiting for you