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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Bookmarked

The Call of the Wild

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What a great book!  It reinforced some universal truths:  1)  Dogs are awesome!  2)  Men (people) possess great capacity for cruelty and  3)  You can tell a lot about a person based on the way they treat animals.

Seriously, who wouldn’t love this Dog? Look at that face!

BuckBuck-our main character (the dog) finds himself on a great (harrowing) adventure to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush.  It makes for an exciting story.  You know what else makes for a great story?  This guy…

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Jack London was an interesting guy.  I have a feeling that Buck the dog was somewhat autobiographical.  Buck was a dog’s dog.  And Jack was a man’s man. He was a man’s man with a resume that included work in a cannery, the California Fish Patrol, Oyster Pirating, his own stint in the Klondike gold rush, and gentleman rancher-all on top of a prolific literary career.

And like all the other gentlemen I’ve read during this little project, his private life was a fascinating mess!  His first marriage was to Elizabeth “Bessie” Madden.  He and Bessie were never in love, but they were great friends.  Marriage took care of that. Within 4 years, they divorced.  Apparently Bessie didn’t approve of London’s “shenanigans” and wouldn’t let him near her when her would come home after an absence.  She was scared he’d bring home VD. Jack apparently felt that was a bit unfair,  but within a year of divorcing Bessie, he married Charmian Kittredge, “his soul mate and perfect match”.  Per Wikipedia,

” In broad outline, London was restless in his marriage; sought extramarital sexual affairs; and found, in Charmian Kittredge, not only a sexually active and adventurous partner, but his future life-companion.”

Nice.

The jury seems to be out with regard to London’s death.  It’s been a popularly held belief that he committed suicide.  Most biographers now agree, however,  he died of uremia aggravated by an accidental morphine overdose.  Whatever the circumstances, London died November 22, 1916 at the age of 40.

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Jack London wrote about the harsh realities of nature.  His language was visceral and brutal, but also beautifully written.  This was a good book, and I have to say, Buck the dog is my favorite main character to-date from my New Year’s Resolution books.  I liked Buck.  I liked him very much.

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Bookmarked

April’s Book Selection

“With the aurora borealis flaming coldly overhead, or the stars leaping in the frost dance, and the land numb and frozen under its pall of snow, this song of the huskies might have been the defiance of life, only it was pitched in minor key, with long-drawn wailing and half-sobs…”

Buck

The most eloquent dog ever!

Anyone want to join me?

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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?

 

 

 

Chicken Mission

Molting…Not Revolting

Molting-Girl-009I’ve been having to travel quite a bit recently for work, and my sweet, wonderful husband has been taking care of the girls full-time.  So one phone call, he says, I’m worried about one of your Barred Rocks.  I don’t know if the other chickens are pecking her or if she’s sick, but she looks terrible.

Luckily, I had noticed that one of the girls was shedding a lot of feathers the weekend before. So I felt relatively confident when I told him not to worry about it. I was pretty sure one of them had started her molt. As long as she wasn’t acting sick or bleeding, “Don’t sweat it, sugar lips.”  Sure enough, I arrived home to this sweet little victim of nature.

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Luna.

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Totally makes sense.  Jenny, Hermione and Minerva are full-feathered, laying and content.  Luna goes into a winter molt.  Poor dear-she’s weathering it well, though.

Always antisocial, now she seems a little more so.  She’s stopped laying-who can blame her.  This process looks exhausting.

Molting-Girl-020She was, not surprisingly, a little camera-shy.  Especially of her caboose.  Again, completely understandable when one has an uncharacteristic bald spot. She really is a hot mess.

I can’t help but wonder when the others will succumb to this annual ritual of renewal.  They’re all the same age (almost a year old) so I would think, very soon.  They’ve been such rock star chickens!  Their egg production didn’t even really slow across the shortest days of winter.  Superstars!  And although they are a little freaky and stinky, they’re always interesting and sweet.  Molting, not revolting…