Tag Archives: knitting

Some thoughts while listening to Lucia di Lammermoor

29 Mar


Yesterday I stayed home and listened to the Met broadcast of Lucia di Lammermoor, the opera by Donizetti. It is a ridiculous story, loosely based on Sir Walter Scott’s  The Bride of Lammermoor, but it i was just the right thing for my last free day of Spring Break.

It was just the right thing to do. It gave me an excuse to stay home and begin working on the sweater I will knit for the Oregon Basset Hound Games this summer. I had this idea of putting a basset front view on the front of the sweater and a rear view on the back of the sweater. I discovered a tool that will convert pictures to knitting (and cross stitch) graphics called the KnitPro Chart generator. I played around with that for a bit, while Lucia and Edgardo pledged their undying love for each other.

While Lucia’s brother, Enrico plotted to wed her to Arturo, I got out the yarn and cast on. As I knit, I wondered, what Sir Walter Scott would have thought of this adaptation. That got me thinking about my all time favorite book: Les Miserables. I have never seen the play or the movie. I don’t plan on doing so either. I love the book too much to see it turned into something I might not like. Everyone thinks Les Miserables  is about the love story, but it isn’t. It is about forgiveness and repentance. Maybe that is in the play and movie, but I doubt it so I’m steering clear. I wondered what Victor Hugo would think about the play and movies. How knows, maybe he’d have loved them and I am just being a stick in the mud.

By the time of Lucia’s mad scene, I was madly knitting the ribbing. I may even have shed a few tears as the opera came to its terrible sad ending. But I was ready to begin the color portion of the sweater and the initial rows require a bit more concentration, to get things centered and set up.

I knit into the afternoon and have left things at a place where I can manage it once I go back to school and have less time to knit and read. Good thing the sweater doesn’t have to be finished until July!

Unraveling Portland #SOL15

6 Mar

The first weekend in March always brings The Rose City Yarn Crawl.


A Yarn Crawl is an organized event focused on exploring the yarn shops of an area over a specific time period. This year’s crawl runs from Thursday, March 5th through Sunday, March 8th. Every participant has a passport and the goal is to visit all 15 yarn shops in the Metro Portland area. I have only filled the passport once. I probably won’t fill it this year, due to other events this weekend, but I am not letting that stop me from having a bit of fun.

I have made it to three shops already.

KnittingBee-logo ForYarnsSake-logo-new   DublinBay-logo

The really cool thing is that every shop has yarns the other doesn’t. Oh, there is sometimes a little overlap, but there is something unique at each. And that is part of the difficulty. I set  a budget, allowing myself a finite amount I can spend. So I have to be careful. I am on a mission to get yarn for Christmas presents I plan to knit. I’m not divulging what or for whom, just in case they read this. Sometimes, the decisions are hard to make, but  I rarely by at the first shop I visit and this year was no exception. I don’t want to dip into my cash too early.

I ended up buying some lovely fingering weight yarn made by Three Irish Girls. It is Adorn sock yarn and the color way is Red Forest. I think, once knitted up, it will look like autumn leaves.  IMG_1830

Sharing my love of knitting #SOL15

2 Mar

A friend has been off work since November with a disabling vertigo known as labyrinthitis. She can’t drive, except for short runs to the grocery store and then her husband sits beside her. Someone else taught her to knit recently and she put out a Facebook post about it asking for more help, so I offered to stop by and see what I could do to help.

We met yesterday and it was a great afternoon. I am a continental knitter and had to refresh my memory on English knitting. My mom was my first knitting teacher and I learned English knitting from her. When I was an exchange student in Denmark, my host mom taught me continental knitting and I’ve never looked back. Except when I offer to help people who are English knitters.

My friend was only taught to knit, so I taught her to purl. And, as she began alternating rows of king and purl, we chatted. We talked about her three kids and my 2 dogs. We talked about her job situation and mine and we mourned the loss of the job we loved: when we worked together in the library. We talked about Downton Abbey, though she wasn’t allowed to tell me anything about season 5 because I don’t have a TV and I am #143 on the hold list for the library’s 80 copies. She sent me away with some books about Downton Abbey which I promised to return when I came for our next knitting session.

All in all, it was a lovely afternoon.


YALSA’s 2015 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-In #2

21 Dec

Tis the season to put down the books and madly finish my Christmas knitting projects. I’ve hardly read this week. I had to renew my driver’s license, so I had about an hour to read at the DMV. I’m about a third of the way through  The Carnival at Bray  by Jessie Ann Foley.


It’s good, but so far, I like  Gabi  and  Owen  better. We shall see what the next two-thirds bring.

On a happy note, I finished all my knitting last night!  The last item was a pair of gloves.


It’s a little hard to see in the photo, but there is a bit of cabling on the wrist. This is my favorite glove pattern to knit, Knotty, and it is a free pattern you can download from Ravelry. I am giving these to the recipient today, which explains the lack of reading this week. Now, that school and knitting are finished for the year, I can really relax with some good books.


It’s my own darned fault: A Slice of Life Story

14 Oct


I only had two rows to go to finish the shrug I was knitting. I was knitting in bed with Fiona, my elderly basset hound, while her sister slept on the bed on the living room floor.

I only had two rows to go to, so when Fiona got up for a potty break, I asked her to wait until I got to the end of the row I was working on. She didn’t listen and meandered towards the door. I knew I should stop there and go with her, but I was close to the end of the row. What could happen? There hadn’t been a fight in years. So, I kept knitting.

And that’s when it happened. The snarl of a dog fight. Fiona had clearly gotten too close to Lucy, who hates to be woken up. I threw aside the knitting and kept from the bed. No elegant landing however, because I tripped or got tangled in blankets and fell on the floor. I could see that Lucy had Fiona pinned and was making a lot of noise, but no teeth were involved.

I crawled over, pulled Lucy off and put her in timeout. Then, went to Fiona to make sure she was fine. She was, of course. There was no blood and she seemed less worried than I felt. With Lucy in timeout, I took Fiona out for the potty break that started the whole incident, and then the dogs went back to sleep and I, finally, finished those two darned rows.

I awoke in the middle of the night because my back hurt. I tried to get comfortable and wondered if I had done a little something to it during the leap, landing or rescue. The next morning, it was a little tough to stand straight, but as back issues go, it wasn’t too bad and within a few days I was almost back to normal, though I was still being careful.

If I had just stopped when Fiona got up, none of this would have happened. Hindsight is 20/20.

The Blues

12 Sep

I finally finished my Back to School Socks and the temperature is on the rise again. Here they are.

IMG_1737 IMG_1738

I am excited for the temperature to drop for many reasons, including the opportunity to wear these.

I came across a lovely little book recently, Bluebird by Lindsey Yankey. It is actually a large book, 12″ x 9″, but tells a sweet story in a gentle way, and the artwork is excellent.


In poetic language, Yankey tells the story of a little bird, who fears he cannot fly because his friend, Wind, is not there. He sets off on a mission to find Wind. As the little bluebird searches for his friend, we get to see where he lives. There are beautiful details ion both words and pictures. Everywhere the little bluebird goes, things are still; flags droop, kites rest, clothes hang straight down on lines. The little bluebird eventually finds his friend, who was really there all along, but also learns a little bit about himself, too. A beautiful story about the little bird in each of us.


Back-to-school knitting

12 Aug

It has been my tradition to knit something for myself, as a cure for my back to school blues. I love my job. Quite frankly, I can’t even begin to imagine how awful August would feel if you hated teaching.

Rather than spending a lot of money on new clothes, I let myself buy yarn and knit. It is far more satisfying than clothes shopping, which I loathe.

This year, I had trouble deciding, so I chose not to choose. I have decided to knit myself two back-to-school items. I usually knit myself a pair of socks and found this pattern: Starry Night Socks by Suzanne Bryan


I am knitting them in similar colors and have made it this far:


I love vests and found this pattern:Buttonbox Vest by Elizabeth McCarten.


I have longed to knit myself something green, so I chose Malabrigo Rios in a shade of green they call  Ivy.


Neither project will likely be finished by the day after Labor Day. It’s often too warm to wear my back to school knitting project. But I will have two projects to concentrate on while I begin a new school year and that helps me manage the nervousness I feel at the beginning of each year.

A Quiet 4th

4 Jul

We are having a quiet 4th of July here. Fiona is not feeling well. Her back legs are giving her trouble and she walks like a drunken sailor. She’s eating, but not in the shark-like manner she used to.


Until this week, when we went for walks, we always went out the back and down the steep & narrow steps to the sidewalk. For the last few weeks, she’s been hesitant, so we now go out the from, where she can maneuver the wide and broad stoop at the front door, and the wide and less steep from steps to the sidewalk. I carry her up the front steps now.

Most years, the girls sleep through the fireworks, but one year Fiona was panicky and we spent the evening on the bathroom floor, with the radio playing loudly. Most people I know with dogs, dread tonight. Last night, one of my friends did a test run with the sedative her vet gave her for tonight. Her dog has a very hard time with all the explosions.

Last night was pretty quiet in my neighborhood. I guess I’ll have to wait and see how bad it is tonight. Tomorrow morning I will worry about the girl touching all the debris people leave on the streets and sidewalks.

I’m hoping it will be hot enough tonight to run the window air conditioner in my bedroom. I don’t often wish for this, but it  is loud enough to cover the noise. Then the girls and I can snuggle up and I can finish my Lucy socks. I’ve already knit Fiona socks.


These are knit in “Basset Hound” from Ancient Fibre Arts WOOF collection. Because Lucy is a tricolor, I chose “Saint Bernard” for her.


However you celebrate it, I hope you have a safe 4th of July.

Tying up loose ends

17 Jun


On Friday, I checked out of school for the summer. That involved boxing up a lot of things because I have no cupboard space (I share a room with a classroom teacher and rotate throughout he 3 4th grade classes throughout the day). A summer school program will run in our hall and our classroom will be a busy place., so I boxed up things I don’t want  the unknown summer school teacher to use. That’s not very friendly, but this is all my personal stuff and I can;t afford to replace it.

Today, I’m finishing up 2 knitting projects for my nephew, who will be 42 in September. The fun part is done. That’s the knitting. Today, I am weaving in the ends. It is a drop dead boring job, and there are a lot to weave in. It is the denouement of knitting and the project isn’t really done until this happens. I can’t send the projects on until I take this final step. I weave in a few ends, make myself a cup of tea. Weave in a few ends, check Facebook…..

What loose ends do you hate tying up?

A fun discovery

2 Jun

Every year, I knit a basset hound themed sweater for the raffle at the annual Oregon Basset Hound Games. This year’s sweater is finished. I usually start thinking about the next sweater as the new year rolls around, but I discovered a new yarn recently that I have decided must be part of next year’s sweater.

Ancient Arts Fibre Company has a line of fingering weight yarns entitled Woof  and it is based on dog colors!

I ordered one skein of Basset hound, being modeled here with a sleeping Fiona. It is the lovely rich hues of a red and white basset.


I also ordered a skein of St. Bernard, modeled here by Lucy. Lucy is much smaller than a St. Bernard, but she is tricolor, like a St. Bernard.


Each skein has 400m/437 yards of 100% Superwash Blue Faced Leicester Wool. That’s enough or a pair of socks or gloves, which is what I might knit myself to test these babies.  I have a couple of projects already queued up, but I should get to these before too long. I’ll either have fore or back paws that match my girls. Ideally, I’m thinking of knitting a “match your basset hound” sweater for next year’s Games. I’ll keep you posted.



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