Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How much is too much?

I cast on the lace shawl.  After reading the pattern for Rue, I felt in over my head. I signed up for a lace knitting class by Laura Nelkin at, and am knitting Clarus.  At the moment, I feel very confident.  Since putting in a life line, I have not had to go back even once, isn't it ironic?  Just knowing that it would not be the end of the world if I made a mistake, has made it possible for me to focus on what I should do, just row for row.  The Sparrow Linen yarn is beautiful, even if it feels like rope.  They say washing will render it "handkerchief soft".

This is just a gauge swatch for the Abigail Cardi, that I want to knit for a friend, and for myself, if all works out well.
It is in Stroll Tonal, I love the colors.  As you will soon see, I will have to wait a while before I cast on, I do not have enough needles free...

This was a mistake.  Some yarn was left over after I finished the Basketball Jersey, and then I cast on a Henley Sweater, adapted to be a cardigan,  for Christian.  I did not knit a gauge swatch, so the sweater on the left will be Jean's, and I had to start again with the sweater on the right, for Christian.  And then I had to buy some more yarn, of course...

 In the mean time, Halloween is upon us, and while I sympathize completely with those who do not want to participate, we do.  'Cause I get to knit Chain Maille for three boys.  If all goes according to plan, I will also crochet helmets. Ha.  (What? I have two weeks, I can easily manage that.)

And then there is my bright honey cowl that is a nightmare to photograph.
How wide do I want it?  They say you should use two whole skeins, but then, they sell the skeins...

The Linden Caps. (The title is plural, which is a bit confusing.  It is only one hat.)  I have a feeling that I am going to run out of yarn.  And if I buy one more skein, then there will be left over, and it might be enough for a beanie, and then it might be just not enough, and I will have to buy one more - so maybe I should just save on shipping and buy three? I love the pattern and the yarn, it is a beautiful hat.

And of course, the Park Street Cardi.  I am done with the lower part of the body - it is knit from the bottom up - and the right front panel.  I had to sit down and make notes to stay on track, but even the short rows worked out fine.  This has to be perfect, I am taking my time, and so far I have not made one mistake. I think. Considering that you have to slip every first stitch purl-wise, that is more impressive than lace knitting!

Thank you for not asking about the reading.  Clearly, I am not reading at the moment. Now I will knit one sleeve while I look at all the different projects linked to Ginny's Yarn Along, where I am sure to find some with even more hay on their forks!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All downhill, so far

 I am so glad to say that the Park Street Cardi is a dream to knit.  The yarn is lovely, the instructions are clear and it will be flying off my needles - I have almost finished the pockets, not hard at all! (I will be on the lookout for closeout sales on bulky yarn, I'd like one for me, too.  We are saving for a deposit on a house, so I have to mend my spendthrift ways.)

To offset my spending on yarn, I am making my own project bags.  I saw bags far less fancy than this one for $12 at the local yarn store.  I bought the fabric at a discount for $1.20, and I could make two, so one really only costs me 60 cents, which means I now have $22.80 to spend on yarn. What a bargain.

 Melva's Pi Shawl / blanket is steadily growing.  (If there is no lace, it is a blanket.  A round blanket. Or a tablecloth, actually. Melva insists that the eyelets count for lace and that it is therefore a shawl.  But it is just a blanket. Really.  Unless she adds a lace edge, that might redeem it, of course.  Can you guess it drives her crazy when I call it a blanket?)

She took the shawl with her to a math competition in San Antonio this weekend, and enjoyed all the comments by security guards discovering the huge ball of yarn in her bag.  (I think it was the highlight of her trip, to be honest!)

I know I should be reading a bit faster to qualify as a reader, honestly, if I knit as slowly as I read I would have been stalking Ginny's yarn along, not joining in.  Yet, I am making progress in Herzog, wondering all the while if other people are really that complicated.  And since I know, from knowing the people that I know, that they are, I am a bit uneasy thinking about everything that must be going on under the calm surface of everyday life...

We also listened to Tom Sawyer, the audiobook version, and it was delightful.  I love hearing about boys living in a different time, they make my bunch seem very tame.  I have been told that I raise feral children, but by comparison I am overprotective.
We are savoring the autumn days.  I cannot believe that we are actually fossil hunting - the banks of Shoal Creek consists of Cretaceous Era mud, and we found several prehistoric seashells, some perfectly preserved in the prehistoric mud. (If you look closely, you can see their knit pockets, very handy for collecting fossils.)

 Christian slid down that bank and ended in the shallow creek, very dirty and sore.  The late afternoon sun was a perfect towel and blanket.

 A bit later we discovered this hill.  Glorious late afternoons in central Austin, with sweet friends to celebrate with us. Nothing in particular, and everything, in general.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thank you, Mr Mailman!

All the packages came at once:
The yarn for my sister and nieces' wishlists.  (I sent them to Quince & Co. to pick what they wanted.)  Park Street Cardi for my sister, the Linden Caps for my older niece, and the Rue Shawl for my youngest niece.  I cannot wait to knit with the Sparrow, I think it will be the one I find hardest to part with.  Another package with a pound of Cascade Ecological Wool, destined for more boy sweaters and a Pi Shawl.  (Melva is reading EZ's Knitters' Almanac...)
And to put the cherry on top: a rescued stray book, with a tiny hole in the back, just right for a thin little nail should I ever need to knit with yarn on a spool.  Lori is as kind as she is generous, talented and inspiring. But you all know that.  It is actually a history book, written by one of my favorite authors, perfect for our homeschooling shelf.
I think I will be knitting at least 8 hours a day from now until Christmas, to get everything done.   I have given up reading and am now listening to Hertzog by Saul Bellow.  Nothing happens, but it is very entertaining, in an unsettling kind of way.
Just in time to join in with Ginny's yarn along.  To think I never really knit before she hooked me with that newborn hat with a touch of lace...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Luminous Days

We sold our house in May 2010. 

Everyone knew how attached we were to "our house"  We bought the land, about two acres, when Melva was 2, with our best friends in the world that we met about a week before (no kidding).  We built our house first, and moved in on 14 December 2004.  They built and moved in about 6 months later.    Jean had his first birthday there, as did the twins.

On 2 December 2008 we moved.

They moved away too, this weekend.

We shared so many meals there, we planted more than 300 trees.  The trees will grow, the houses will stand for a while longer.  But now we have moved on.

Leuchtende Tage. Nicht weinen, dass sie vorüber. Lächeln, dass sie gewesen. That is the way my friend said it, but it is a quote from Confucius, I guess he said it in Mandarin? It means something like: Luminous days. Do not cry that they passed. Smile that they were.

I try.  I know, nobody forced us to move, right?

When dreams are lost, what do we do?  We build new dreams.

This house stands on 2 acres, it is 10 minutes away, and it is on the market.  We might be able to afford it, yet our lease only expires in 8 months. Decisions decisions....

Just look at those beautiful cedar elms. (I like the way they describe the heat tolerance as "very high high".  Very high wouldn't do. But I might have said very, very high.)

With it comes the right to build a second house on the same lot.  Just sayin.

Now let me go get some tissues.