Thursday, June 29, 2006


This picture is about 10 months old... but the hat Emily's Liam is modeling is the same design I plan to knit for the Yarlot's latest cause.

In other random news: one of our speakers stated that as a social scientist, he can speak for 5 minutes or 2 hours on any subject, with no essential change in content... and that he specializes in "the elaborate demonstration of the obvious by methods that are obscure." For some weird reason I just kept thinking about Terry...! :-) (I love you!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I've been knitting on the sly as much as possible...which resulted in a dropped stitch that I didn't even notice until 2 and 1/2 inches later... no option but to rip out and do over. But since I enjoy knitting, that means I double the fun, right? :-)

Meanwhile, we've had a lot of brain-busting sessions, presentations, and truly evocative stories that more than once had the whole 500+ audience reaching for tissues or hankies...

A visit to the phenomenal Eiteljorg Museum of Native American Art (behind the reindeer sculpture) - I would come back to Indianapolis just to see this museum again...

And a lovely evening walk along a peaceful canal through a green space nestled in the heart of downtown (top picture). One more day, one more presentation, and I get to go home!!! Paddling all the way if I must!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sock Heaven

Today I'm off to Indianapolis for our National Conference, Sock in hand! I have nearly finished the World Cup Soccer Socks, thanks to a nice long 4-hour drive to Abingdon, VA - all but the toe grafting on the second sock. I ran out of yarn while in Abingdon (gasp - the horror!) but had a few little bits left at home, just enough to finish 'er off. Meanwhile, the next pair was happily cast on and begun. I used a short-row heel which looks very pointy here, but I was bored with the other kind. (This is the sock visiting me in my office prior to trip).

Before leaving for Abingdon, I picked lavender:

And checked on Aaron's tree (This was our Christmas tree in 2004), which we planted outside in the Spring): Tree was not doing so well last year but this Spring put out a lot of lovely new growth and is thriving! It needed a full turn of seasons to adjust to being outdoors I guess.

Abingdon, by the way, was a lot of fun - accents and humidity thick as Southern honey. We picked raspberries along the Creeper Trail, caught fireflies at dusk, watched World Cup Soccer (of course), ate well, and played hard. I also took a 2.5-hour nap... nothing like a nap to feel like it's the weekend!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Another Fiber Art

Yesterday Suzzette, Gretchen, Iris and I made handmade paper out of random things lying around the house (well, not so random - I took a papermaking class a couple years ago and had a lot of materials left over). This is some of the paper we made.

It was really fun! Here is a picture of Suzzette helping Iris make a sheet of paper:

I never thought a four-year-old could make a sheet of handmade paper but she loved it and did a great job! Suzzette and I are going to make a book!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tara's blog just makes me think of Quechua women

On Grief

But first, for the knitters:

100% cotton yarn; I have found that intarsia (the technique used to make the blue heart) works much better than stranded Fair Isle style knitting for incorporating color with cotton yarn. Intarsia gives you a much smoother result - of course it limits what you can do, but it also saves yarn! I had maybe one yard of the orange left over at the end, so intarsia works well for extending the yarn you have to work with (Dot, the darker blue diamond in the scarf I knit for you is intarsia as well).

Main topic:
I was thinking about sadness the other day, and wondering in terms of brain chemistry why do humans experience this feeling? How is sadness or grief a survival trait? Terry thinks it is a function of our capacity to hypothesize, or to imagine different realities; he read some article about how the ability to anticipate things that have not yet happened is a survival trait related to pattern recognition. If the hunter can anticipate the movements of the beast, it is more likely to come home with a kill than not. The hunter's experiences over time build up to a recognition of certain patterns in underbrush and spoor; thus he can successfully imagine a reality that he is not directly experiencing.

Trouble is, I can imagine realities in which Aaron (Solana's dad) is alive, in which I have a child of my own - and now, not years from now! and this capacity to imagine corresponds to a capacity for sadness that can be hard to bear sometimes. Which brings me back to the original question - what is the point of sadness? What is the purpose? Why do humans experience grief? Ultimately, of course, what I am demanding is an accounting for why I must experience grief and sadness - I'm just good at intellectualizing these things. Maybe that's a survival trait in itself.

Monday, June 12, 2006

World Cup Sock-er

It's all over but the buttons. I don't think I can bear to part with this prettiest of soft wool sweaters, knit in Tahki yarns' "Shannon" (my own design). This one goes in the hope chest :-).

As for the ribbed stripes you see, this is my World Cup Sock - started the day of the opening match (Friday), the pair must be finished by the end of the preliminary round! It's going very quickly so I am not too concerned at this time. Sorry the photo is so blurry. The lighting was not good... and, after all, it's just my camera-phone!

I was very productive this weekend - also started and finished an orange cotton tank top (sized 6 months) with a blue intarsia heart knitted into the front bib area. The big challenge was the lettuce edge trim - casting on 616 stitches on a circular needle without losing count and then joining without twisting... that was fun! The next round you knit 2 together all the way around, then do it again for the 3rd round. Voila - lettuce edge. It's very cute.

The other fun thing we did this weekend (besides watch endless World Cup Soccer) was this:

Monday, June 05, 2006

Not About Knitting

Twice in the past five days I have gotten quite teary-eyed while at work; once while talking with a solid gold volunteer and realizing that I won't be here when he comes back at the end of the summer, and again today while looking at pictures of the end-of-the-year party for our Latino High School Bigs. This pilot project was a scary new thing for me, a new thing for our agency, and a bit of a risk - but it paid off beautifully. What this means to me is concrete accomplishment of the vision I had when coming into this job - to see Latino young people coming forward as mentors and volunteers, demonstrating that to be Latino does not automatically mean poverty and need, that this community is a resource and source of goodness, and for the kids, that you can be Latino and be a good role model, not a gang member or wannabe. These volunteers show such leadership. And the kids have benefitted so much! The little girl in red was so shy and in her shell at the beginning of the year, and look at her now! So I'm getting all soppy and sentimental here; the vitality and joy of this group is so beautiful. And I won't be here in the Fall to see the next group coming through. I know I'll be back, but I just had this moment of sadness mixed with joy while looking at these photos.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Have Sock, Will Travel

Another day, another sock :-) I have a bad habit of losing yarn labels, but I can tell you it's a wool blend that feels like cotton. I am using the chevron pattern from Charlene Schurch's book. Yesterday Terry and I drove to Staunton - it's only a half hour away! I had never been before! - for an afternoon date; it was really fun. Of course I felt a smidge guilty for neglecting work, but, well, the puppy needed a walk :-)