Tag Archives: knitting

Flight Plan

6 Jul

As You read this, I am on my way to Canada for my mother’s memorial service.

One of the most important things to think about when packing for any trip  is “What books should I bring?” I have a nonstop flight from Portland to Toronto. It takes just a bit over 4 hours, so I can easily finish a book.

I am checking a bag, in which I have packed my knitting because my current project uses double-pointed needles which, unlike circular needles, are considered a threat. Really TSA, don’t you have more serious things to worry about!  I am also too short to comfortable put a bag in the overhead compartment.  I only packed one book in my carry-on, an ARC I picked up in New Orleans that I am excited to read.

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Publisher’s Summary: In a United States in which half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

Sounds terrifyingly possible, doesn’t it!
This book was written for adults, so I plan to leave it behind for my sister when I leave.
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Nice trip, see you in the Fall

7 Nov

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“Would you like a bag?” the cashier at Twisted, my local yarn shop asked as she rang up my order: two skeins of Knitted Wit Victory DK. I had one last Christmas present to knit.

“No thanks,” I replied. “I can manage. It was a beautiful Fall day, the sun was shining and it was a short walk to the car.

My dog, Lucy, is sometimes a little nervous in the car and I like to take her places that aren’t the vet. A trip to Twisted was a great excuse for a practice trip. Saturdays are our days together and I decided that, if I couldn’t get a parking spot out front, I would just cross my fingers and hope they’d let me bring her in. It is dog-friendly Portland.

I thanked the cashier, grabbed the yarn in my left hand, Lucy’s leash looped around my right wrist, and we were off.

Lucy is sometimes nervous on busy streets, too. She was walking quickly for a basset hound and I was hustling along at a middle-aged lady clip.

We had just crossed the street when my toe caught the edge of the curb. I was down in an instant, yarn on the sidewalk in front of me, Lucy staring at me with a perplexed look.

I got to my knees and took stock of my situation. Scrapes on my knuckles from the pavement, but otherwise okay. And, most importantly, no one had seen me fall.

I picked up my yarn, dusted them off, then got to my feet and slowly readjusted the yarn and Lucy’s leash. Without looking back, we walked even more quickly to the car and drove home where I could start knitting and nurse my bruised pride.

 

 

 

Optimists Die First

12 Apr

I picked up Optimists Die First  by Susin Nielsen because of the promise of knitting. There wasn’t as much as I’d hoped, but it certainly got a mention in a few places.

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Publisher’s Summary:  Beware: Life ahead.

Although I enjoyed this book, I didn’t find it as compelling as The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen or We Are All Made of Molecules but it was still a pretty good read.

Of hats and other hand knits

12 Dec

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This book, A Hat for Mrs. Goldman, by Michelle Edwards sums up why I knit; why all knitters knit.  It’s subtitle is A Story About Knitting and Love. It is sort of predictable, but that doesn’t diminish the beauty and truth of the story it tells.

Publisher’s Summary: Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.

It even includes a simple hat pattern in the back…with a pompom!

I am currently knitting a hat in a style I wouldn’t have chosen. It’s for the PussyHat Project.

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The Pussyhat Project aims to provide the people of the January 21, 2017 “Women’s March on Washington D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard” and “provide people who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent themselves and support women’s rights”.

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On Wednesday, I am meeting the counselor from my old school at a yarn shop. She keeps chickens and refers to her birds as “the girls”. When I saw this pattern in the Winter 2016 edition of Knitty, I contacted her and offered to make it for her.

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If you are a knitter and know a chicken lover, you can access the pattern for free HERE.

My friends, this is why knitters knit.

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My take on Black Friday

25 Nov

Driving home from a delicious Thanksgiving meal last night, I passed a noticed all the empty parking lots and thought How nice, people are home enjoying each others company. Then, I drove past a Target. Illusion shattered.

I do not enjoy shopping on a regular day. Needless to say, I will not be joining the throngs of happy shoppers out looking for deals. My holiday gifts are ready. I’ve finished my holiday knitting and purchased the books that will be given. Allow me to smugly say that everything was purchased through independently owned shops.

My Black Friday will consist of three things:

  1. Poor Lucy has her annual vet appointment today. Because of timing this always seems to fall on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving. Poor baby. She will get her bordatella and rabies shots. Most dogs get the bordatella through the nose, but Lucy, feisty girl that she is, always fights it so she gets hers subcutaneously. She is also due for a heart worm recheck. She’s never had heart worm and heart worm never existed this side of the Rockies, but it has arrived in Oregon. If you have a dog, be sure you test and tae appropriate precautions. I suspect, once we are home, she will spend most of the day asleep. She doesn;t really enjoy vet visits, even Dr. Klau is very gentle.Lucy_Nose
  2. I will spend much of my day knitting. I am knitting a scarf with two yarns from my stash and one of them is black. This is an easy pattern that alternates two yarns for a lovely effect.img_2269
  3. I will finish reading The Star-Touched Queen  by Roshani Chokshi.

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Publisher’s Summary:Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

I hope your Black Friday will be as enjoyable as mine (after I get home from the vet).

 

 

 

Llamas, alpacas and goats, oh my!

27 Sep

Saturday dawned early. Although a morning person I struggled. We’d had Back To School Night on Wednesday, and it felt as though it had been followed by two Fridays. Getting up and functioning seemed nigh on impossible, and yet, I forced myself to the coffee maker. It was the day of the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival!

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It was a beautiful day for a drive to Canby and things were well under way when I got there. Although I really wanted to look at the various yarns for sale, I decided to begin the day in the animal barns.

As an asthmatic, this can be problematic. I brought my inhaler but had no deed of it; the barns were well ventilated. I decided to start with the sheep, since most of the wool I use comes from sheep. I’m not an expert, but I know a little more about sheep, than I do about other animals.And yet, I saw some new faces.

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And lots of fleece. These were some prize winners and they are a lot softer than they look.

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From the sheep and goats, it was on to the camelids: the alpacas and llamas.

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Even with all my wool knowledge, I was surprised to see angora bunnies and Pygora goats, a cross between pygmy and angora goats.

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I didn’t get a picture of a pygora goat, but I bought a lovely skein of pygora yarn.

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By that point I was feeling hungry, so I went over to the see what the food vendors had to offer. No surprise, lamb was the main item on the menu. I opted for the lamb shank sandwich, which, was excellent and really hit the spot.

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I shared my table, but not my meal, with a young family. They’d just purchased an angora rabbit and the kids were happy to tell me about it. Refreshed and reenergized, I faced the crowds of the marketplace. There were tents outside and two buildings with vendors inside. There was lots of roving,  long and narrow bundles of fiber used to make spun yarn. I am simply a knitter. I don’t spin or crochet (though I am weaving-curious) so I focused on the vendors with yarn. I bought a few things I can’t mention, in case some people are reading, but I also picked up this lovely merino/ silk blend for myself.

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By late afternoon, I was exhausted but content. The sun was at my back as I drove home, casting a lovely glow over the whole day.

 

 

Leave Me Alone!

25 Sep

Knitters have lots of mantras. One of my favorites is One more row. Sometimes it is hard to stop. There is a peace, a rhythm, a compulsion to knitting. Living alone, I can find time t knit. Once Lucy is taken care of, time is mine. This is not true of the main character in Vera Brosgol’s  picture book, appropriately entitled  Leave Me Alone. That’s her mantra.

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Publisher’s Summary:An epic tale about one grandmother, a giant sack of yarn, and her ultimate quest to finish her knitting.

One day, a grandmother shouts, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” and leaves her tiny home and her very big family to journey to the moon and beyond to find peace and quiet to finish her knitting. Along the way, she encounters ravenous bears, obnoxious goats, and even hordes of aliens! But nothing stops grandma from accomplishing her goal—knitting sweaters for her many grandchildren to keep them warm and toasty for the coming winter.

This slyly clever and unexpectedly funny modern folktale by Vera Brosgol is certain to warm even the coldest of hearts.

First let me say, kudos to Vera Brosgol for getting the knitting right. Elizabeth Bird recently published an article about inaccurate depictions of knitting in children’s books.

I read this on Saturday morning, just before heading off to the Oregon Flock and Fibre Festival, which I will write about later this week. I actually dithered about whether to go or not, but reading the book helped me decide to go. Knitting can be solitary, but we need people to knit for and a community to help us learn and grow. So, thanks Vera, for a great book, that helped this 50+ knitter.

 

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