Thursday, February 19, 2009

Third time a charm

"What one does is what counts and not what one had the intentions of doing." (Pablo Picasso)

Today is my brother-in-law's birthday. Last year I gave him a hand-knit scarf. Or rather I gave him the promise of a hand-knit scarf. I started one with some very tasteful brown and grey sock yarn on Size 3 needles, and never finished it. This year I decided to try again, this time with some Modea Dea Cartwheel yarn that I got in a generous swap package from Rebecca. It's 100% wool in the Misty colorway, which is actually grey, not blue as it looks in these pictures.

I remembered the Irish Hiking Scarf and was just about to cast on for that, when I saw a pattern for a reversible cable scarf called Palindrome (get it--the same backwards as forwards). I knit about 9 inches on that (above) and decided the colors and textures in the yarn, which I love, make it hard to see the cables. This scarf would look nice in a smooth wool, or in the Patons SWS it calls for.

So then I decided to try a ribbed scarf. Andy's a pretty conservative dresser (except for his ties) so I didn't want anything too elaborate. This is a K3-P3 rib, with 30-some stiches cast on. After about 13 inches, I asked my husband if he thought it was too narrow for a man's scarf, and he said yes. I agreed. Plus it looked too casual. I want to do a shorter scarf for a dressy coat, not a long, casual scarf.

Finally I went with a basketweave-type pattern, though I can't remember where I found it. It's 38 stitches cast on, slip the first stitch, then K3, P3 (P4 for last group) for seven rows, then switch. So far I've got 16 inches. (This is a little more accurate of the color.)

This sign greeted me last night when I arrived at my sister's house to spend the night, because the weather was too bad to drive home after class. Clearly my nephew Kevin only wants my son to visit! It was a long stretch for Ed with Sam alone, and I felt guilty enjoying the homemade scones Amy made this morning for Andy's birthday breakfast in bed. I gave Andy a crossword puzzle book. Maybe by next year I'll have finished his 2008 gift!

Movies to knit by: Ed and I watched Pursuit of Happyness on Valentine's Day, after going out for shawarma ($20 for all three of us, home by 6:15--super romantic!) Good movie, though hard to watch. Tonight I'm watching The Naked City (1948) on TCM On Demand while Ed is out with his friends. "There are 8 million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

"We can only learn to love by loving." (Irish writer Iris Murdoch)

Sam's first craft project! While Daddy was sleeping yesterday morning, I got out the construction paper and paint and made this Valentine with his cute little handprints. Daddy loved it. That's the extent of the Valentine celebration around here. Ed did give me a nice card and some heart peeps, but we have no romantic outing planned for today or tonight. Instead I have 16 Cross-Cultural Communication research papers to read and grade. Fun!

We're also saving our pennies for a trip to Phoenix to visit my parents during my spring break. We're already dreaming of sitting by the pool (make that: chasing Sam around the pool). Grandma and Grandpa were here on Monday and got a taste of Sam's insatiable appetite for books these days. Seriously, he wants you to be reading him one (usually the same one over and over again) CONSTANTLY. And he's become rather whiny about it. We wanted out kids to be big readers, but this is ridiculous.

His other favorite toy is this big cardboard box, in which our new stereo system came. We finally upgraded from Ed's college stereo which took up half our armoire, not to mention the three-foot speakers. You can see Sam got his big-boy haircut and looks so grown up now!

No chocolate or flowers here today but lots of gratitude for those we love and who love us. Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Stacked Rib Cardigan

"God is in all things and all places. There is no place or thing in this world where he is not truly present. Just as wherever birds fly they always encounter the air, so also wherever we go or wherever we are we find God present." (St. Francis de Sales)

I really like this Stacked Rib Cardigan from the Knitscene Spring 2009 issue. I like the pattern and shaping at the waist and even love the pink that the model is knit in. I've been knitting baby stuff and gifts for other people so much that I've hardly ever knit anything for myself. Maybe I should try this.

Knitscene is a quarterly publication of Interweave Press, which also publishes Interweave Knits magazine. I don't subscribe to any knitting magazines: not enough room to store them (and I could never throw them away!) and not enough time to knit all those cool things I see in them. I do try to peek at my mom's knitting mags when I'm at her house. She gets a bunch of them.

If you don't already know about Knitting Daily from Interweave Press, go sign up here. It's a daily email from editor Sandi Wiseheart and has tons of great tips and lots of free patterns. I have a hard time keeping up with the daily email (and some of the discussions are a little advanced for me) but it's really well written and provides previews of the projects in their magazines and books.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

S-S-S-Snake!

"Chaos can release your creative power in the same way that necessity is the mother of invention. When things get extreme, when the old ways don't work, that's when you are your most inventive. If you want to grow, chaos is an indispensable part of the process." (Margaret Wheatley)

Lots of chaos around here lately. I've got three freelance writing projects on my plate, on top of the heaviest teaching load I've had since I started teaching. And of course, there's the baby. Most days I feel pretty overwhelmed. But I believe some growth will come out of the chaos. Some of the old ways of doing things just aren't working anymore. So I'm trying to learn new ones.

One person who is helping me try to find new ways is my friend Kristin. And this scarf is for her son, Lincoln. It's a belated Christmas gift that I just finished this past weekend. The knitting part has been done for awhile, but I had to go buy googly eyes and sew the little felt tongue on. The pattern is from here, and I learned about it from Jen at Rosey Little Things. I used two strands of Galway wool, rather than a chunky yarn and my bamboo size 11 needles.

I'm reknitting the Notre Dame dishcloth one more time to make sure it's correct before publishing so it might take awhile. I've got a birthday scarf to finish first. And lots of papers to grade.