Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's easy being green

"I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless numbers are still unborn." (A Nigerian chieftan)

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." (Native American Proverb

Sorry I've been silent so long. As the end of the semester and academic year approaches, I get busier--and more tempted to play outside. We've had some beautiful days, and some rainy, haily, almost snowy days, too. But spring is clearly here!

Happy belated Earth Day. I've been working on a lecture on the environment for the "Understanding Wellness" class I'm teaching, but I also have had another kind of "green" on my mind lately. Although I haven't been motivated to start or finish anything complicated, I did decide to knit up a bagful of stray balls of green wool into a a basic garter stitch man's scarf--probably for charity next Christmas. I kind of like the colorblock look. I'll do fringe with all of the colors, I think. Last night I sewed in all the ends so far, so I won't have so many at the end.

We had our friend Christian over for dinner on Thursday night (big, juicy steaks on the grill). His girlfriend Adrienne wasn't able to make it, but she happens to be a knitter and a blogger at Yarn for Brains. Christian, who basically gambles for a living but is also a lawyer, is helping us with our readoption. Kids love him, in part because he's a kid at heart.

It was such a nice night that we sat outside for wine and cheese. It was so funny because one of Sam's made-up words is "Goo-da." He says it all the time and was saying while we happened to be serving Gouda cheese. Christian was very impressed with his vocabulary! I call this picture "still life with sippy cup."

Movies to knit by:
I watched a very sad but good Chinese film, which we've had from Netflix for approximately 3 months. It's called "To Live." Warning: I mean really sad. But good.

Update: here's the link for the tutorial on weaving ends in while knitting that Adrienne suggested in the comments.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A tisket, a tasket...

"Ordinary vision would stand at the foot of the cross and say, 'This is the end.' Only the eyes of faith could take in that scene and say, 'This is the beginning.'" (Baptist pastor Kenneth Chapin)

... a green and yellow basket! I'm so excited I actually have a creative project to share. A year ago I bought a perfect "old lady" sweater with green and yellow flowers on it from the thrift store for felting. Sometimes designs in wool sweater felt well, and sometimes they don't. This one did, and I was sure it would be perfect for some springy project. I just wasn't sure what. I thought about a purse, but then I have so many purses.

Last week the idea of an Easter basket came to me. I cut the felt for the bottom and sides (the top edge is the bottom of the sweater), then lined it with a yellow gingham sheet stiffened with interfacing. The handle uses the sweater's flower motifs, and is handsewn around a coat hanger and handsewn onto the basket (before I attached the lining). The handle is a little wobbly. I think if I had had the handle go all the way down to the bottom, it would have been sturdier.

A close-up of the flowers. I love this basket and may make others some day, if I find the right sweaters. This one was done with a few minutes grabbed a couple days this week (when I should have been doing our taxes).

Sam knew exactly what to do with it! I can't wait till he has his first egg hunt. (It was warm enough to be out on the porch in shorts this morning. Hallelujah!)

My favorite photo of him these days, taken this afternoon by Ed in the park (when it got a bit cooler). That adorable hat is from his godmother, Auntie Trish. He's turning into such a little boy.

For those who celebrate it, I hope you have a holy celebration of Easter. Lent was hardly on my radar this year, but I can certainly relate to Easter's celebration of new life. In the church I grew up in, Easter was a bigger deal than Christmas. I can't believe I'm finally celebrating Easter with a child. Miracles do happen!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

In real life

In my last post, I mentioned that I had writing to do. Now that I've left publishing for academia, I actually have (relatively) more time to write. Although I already have too much on my plate (full-time job, book project, baby), I got an offer a few months ago that I just couldn't pass up. The National Catholic Reporter, the venerable national progressive Catholic newspaper, asked me to write a column on popular culture, media, etc. My first column, last month, was on the topic of online friendships. I thought I'd share the first part, since it mentions a fellow craft blogger.

After my husband and I adopted our son, FedEx and UPS visited regularly with gifts from friends and family. One day a package arrived all the way from Australia. Inside was a personalized original piece of artwork by my artist friend Marianne. I would have loved to drop by or give her a call to thank her for it.

Except that I have never met Marianne IRL (in real life).

Marianne and I met through our blogs. Hers about her artwork, mine about knitting. The craft blogosphere is huge. Thousands -- maybe even tens or hundreds of thousands -- of women share their creative endeavors with like-minded crafters around the country and the world.

In the two years I have been blogging, I have "met" dozens of women I now consider friends. We share not only knitting patterns but also parenting advice and prayers for myriad intentions. The only thing we don't share is the same physical space.

Read the rest of the column here.

This month, I wrote about Stephen Colbert.

And next month I'm talking about marketing aimed at kids.

I'm also going to be blogging for them soon.

I started this blog as a place to record all my creative endeavors--sort of a personal scrapbook on the internet. I never imagined it would come with the fringe benefit of friendships with so many diverse people. I'm horrible at responding to comments (Blogger doesn't give me your email even if I had time to) but I do read as many of your blogs as possible, even if I don't always have time to comment on them. I love hearing about your lives and oohing and ahhing over your creative ideas.

I'm grateful for the support and inspiration I've found online. And I'm going to have a gratitude give-away right after Easter--a little belated blog-versary and 400+ post celebration. Details to come...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Better late than never

"What we seek we do not find - that would be too trim and tidy for so reckless and opulent a thing as life. It is something else we find." (Susan Glaspell)

I finally finished the scarf I "gave" (via gift certificate) to my brother-in-law for his birthday last February. That's February of 2008. "Better late than never" seems to be my motto these days. I used to be so good at deadlines... Of course, that was pre-Sam.

I used Modea Dea Cartwheel yarn in Misty and knit 4 feet of a basketweave pattern over 38 stitches. More details here.

This half-semester I'm teaching a Saturday morning class that starts at 8 a.m. so I've been staying overnight at my sister's house Friday nights so I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get there on time. This past Friday they were gone to Florida so I had the whole house to myself! It was heaven. I even painted my toenails for the first time since we went to Vietnam. Seven months ago. I kid you not.

Back to working on the next deadlines I'm late for--writing ones this time.