Knitting

Drapey Knit Scarf

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I thought about titling this post something profound-like “The Prodigal”.  I contemplated going into detail about why it’s been almost a year since I posted here.  I considered it, but then I thought, “You know what? Nobody really cares. If they missed me, they’ll just be glad to see me again.  If they’re new-they didn’t know to miss me.” Clarity at last.  So then I thought about the last 10 months or so – all the things I’ve done, places I’ve been.  What am I really most proud of?  Easy! I’m most proud that I finished this.  This DK yarn on small needles drapey knit scarf.  I did it.  It took me over three grindingly boring months, but I did it!  Yay me!

knit-scarf-cashmerino3I can’t tell you the origin of the pattern.  I found it in a local yarn store.  They had made copies on plain white paper with no picture.  Just a few lines of instruction and the title “Drapey Knit Scarf”.  They had an example laying next to it, and I thought  “I can do this.”  So it began. Three skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and a desire to see it through to the end.

I would go for weeks without touching it.  I finished several other projects along the way.  There were times when I thought it would probably be the last item I would ever knit.  I just don’t seem to have the attention span for something I seem to do so slowly!  Even after I finished it, it took me about three weeks to make myself block it. But you know what?  I like it.  I think it’s awesome.  Completely by accident, it’s my daughter’s school color-a delightful and unexpected bonus. Yes, I like this drapey knit scarf.  I like it very much.

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Crochet

Shades of Summer

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What colors speak to you in summer tones?  I see summer in shades of the sea. I’m not sure why.  I live in a place far from the shore where humidity hangs heavy in the 100 degree heat. It seems more probable that my summer palette might be something more akin to orange and red, but it’s not.  Cool blues and greens define summer to me.

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I couldn’t pick between a scarf and a shawl.  So why not both?  Maybe calling it a “wrap” is more apt?

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I used Catania again.  Clearly, we’re in a relationship.  I just love the stitch definition that comes from mercerized cotton, and the array of colors available with Catania allow me to indulge in color play.

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I’ve struggled creatively over the last several months.  Sometimes, when you feel stretched, it’s difficult to indulge yourself in pursuits that require additional self-discipline. Luckily, this pattern and I are old friends, and we were in no hurry.

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I'm loving this!

A Practice Run

Egg-in-HedgeHave you been practicing?  We have…Our Sunday forecast calls for thunderstorms, and we have all these beautiful eggs, so we called it a practice run…We choose to be optimistic.

Egg-on-MailboxSometimes the most obvious are the hardest to find…

Egg-in-Crepe-MyrtleUsually we dye our eggs fantastically bright colors-electric jewel tones. This year, we’re more subtle…a little more covert…

Rock-EggDo you see it?

Closeup-Rock-EggA bit of a chameleon…

Egg-in-Flag-BracketHmmm….good one.  It took a minute or two…

Egg-In-TreeDelightful…don’t you think?   Happy Easter everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Craftapalooza! · Crochet

Behold, my Garter!

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New can be fun.  It’s exciting to accomplish something that you weren’t able to  do previously.  It can also be difficult…frustrating…awkward…tedious.  I’ve introduced a lot of new into my life as of late.  Some of it voluntary.  Some of it involuntary.   Today, I’d like to talk about some of my voluntary newness!

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Behold, the Garter Stitch!  Totally new!

Garterstitch-scarf-4Behold the “keyhole” and the oh-so-lacy ruffle!

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Behold, me knitting!  I’ve been on Craftsy again (of course).  The class is called Knit Lab. The instructor, Stefanie Japel, is pretty cool. I love the format, and she’s a natural teacher. It wasn’t easy for me, however.  The sticks have been a challenge.  They feel awkward compared to the a crochet hook.  And it takes for-ev-er….I’ll press on, however.  It’s bound to feel natural eventually.  Right?

 

 

 

2013 Resolutions · Bookmarked

The Red Badge of Courage

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So I may have mentioned that January was  a month consumed by work.  I did, however, manage to complete the first month of my New Year’s Resolution.  My first stop on what I have affectionately coined my “dude lit” trip was Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage.

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Download it for free on your Kindle, or pick it up at your local library.  This was a quick read.  This famous Civil War classic is about a boy named Henry who, overcome by patriotism and fervor, enlists to fight for the Union in the bloody, prolonged war between the states.

The long and short of it? Henry’s internal battle with cowardice proves to be as dangerous as the real-world battle raging around him.  I’m no spoiler, so I’ll skip straight to my take on this classic.  It wasn’t for me.  I was glad to turn the final page.

I just kept thinking to myself.  “Buck up, Henry.  Get on with it.  What are you doing?  Stupid!” kind of in a recurring round.  I lost patience with Henry.  Could it be that I’m just short on patience in general as of late?  Sure.  Should I some day discipline myself to re-read this classic?  Maybe.  Will I? Nope.

What was good about the book?  Crane’s prose bordered on poetry. Some of his description-specifically of the natural world providing the stage for his wartime drama, was beautiful and placed you at the scene in a most effective and gratifying way.

Not surprising that Crane was heralded as one of America’s “earliest examples of Realism and Naturalism.”  If I had read that statement prior to reading the book, I would have been better prepared.  I hate that period of literature (no offense to all the good people who enjoy it).  No wonder I had hallucinatory flashbacks to Sister Carrie and my 400-level Realism and Naturalism literature class.  Yuck, I say! Not for me.

I’ve read several reviews of the tale where the reviewers cited how remarkable it was that, having never fought in war, Crane was able to capture the emotion, and ultimately, the changes wrought by  battle.  When I read that he hadn’t experienced battle, however, I was relieved to hear it.  The narrative hadn’t registered as realistic to me. (not that I would know) It just seemed to validate my overall impression of the book to find that Crane hadn’t lived the experience first hand.

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Criticism aside, however.  Crane was a hottie, and his biography was actually more interesting to me than his book.  A contemporary of Joseph Conrad and H.G. Wells, he worked as a war correspondent, kept company with known prostitutes, and died of tuberculosis in and German sanitorium at 28. Kind of looks like a young Tom Selleck there, doesn’t he?

Sorry-be patient with me.  I am trying to expand my tastes and experiences.  I think I may go read Persuasion again, though,  to blot out the lameness poignancy of Henry’s story.  Let’s just call it a palate cleanser-kind of a literary sorbet, if you will.

Have a wonderful week! I’d love to hear what you’re reading.

General

The Enemy of Leisure

A month.   That’s how long it’s been since I’ve posted.  January 8th-February 10th.  That’s whack.  Why?  You may ask-I’ll be glad to share.

Work.

A month of grueling, thankless (except for the paycheck), work.

It’s the enemy of leisure, you know.  So I’ve had to be selective with my time.  Kids…hubbie…tired.  Fatigue is also the enemy of leisure.  I haven’t been completely off-goal, but I have been very limited.  I’ve done some reading, and I’ve done some knitting, and that my friends, sums it up.  Throw in a couple of rented dvd’s and a few good meals and I’ve just recapped the last month in 105 words.