Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pushing Myself A Little

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So I'm knitting Coronet from knitty.com in a brown New Zealand Aran-weight merino. And I'm finding the construction very fun: first, a band of cable, then you join the two ends with kitchener stitch, then pick up about 90 stitches around and it's stockinette from there on in. My first cable project and my first kitchener stitches!

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Looks pretty nice, n'est-ce pas?

You know how it is when you're knitting round and round and round. You start to think. And I started to think about next summer. I thought about how we could go on a week-long bike trip, 60-70 miles/day. How we could take the ferry to the Apostle Islands. How I could spend the winter getting in shape for this.

I'm turning 50 this coming July. A bike trip might be just the ticket.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

While Lucie Blocks

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Lucie's off the needles! While the pieces blocked today, I knit the left mitt to this pair. They're for my oldest daughter. She's modeling them.

Here's a closer view. The wool is some funky German worsted I got at the Herrschnerr's warehouse sale, $1.99 a skein. It takes just over one skein for a pair of mitts.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, November 24, 2006

Knitting And Knitting And ...

We picked up our new Jeep Liberty on Tuesday - Atlantic blue. Our totaled Liberty was the first year of the model. Since then, Jeep has made some nice improvements, including a much less jouncy ride. And yes, we really do need a Jeep. Anthropologists go off road. A lot.

The Jeep dealer was a peach. But oh boy, the guy loves to tell a story. S-l-o-w-ly.
Like this: "I'll be over at my (pause 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15) brother's for (pause 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15) Thanksgiving. My other (pause 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15) brother is his twin."

Thanksgiving dinner was perfection in a simple, quiet way. We had turkey with sage stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, scalloped corn (Joy of Cooking), from-scratch green bean casserole (Cook's Illustrated and actually more mushrooms than green beans, candied yams (Cook's Illustrated, again), scratch gravy, Tom's pumpkin pie and pecan pie. We used our French Quimper china, bought in 1985 when the franc was 12 to the dollar. For a brief and shining moment Paris was affordable and eight place settings of Quimper with shipping to California came to $400.

We got the tree up today. It's a Frasier fir. Our daughters decorated it from the enormous stash of ornaments we've acquired here and there over the years. Somehow this year there's a clear color scheme of red and pinks. It's really pretty.

And on the knitting front:

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I'm in the homestretch with the Lucie sweater! Two more inches of sleeve, then the sleeve cap and I block this sucker.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Joy of Knitting

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I lost the joy this past month. A doofus ran a red light and smacked into our Jeep. My husband was driving; our eldest daughter was in the front passenger seat. Both are okay more or less, thank God.

The Jeep is totaled. We are not car fanatics but we loved that Jeep. It had taken good care of us on Wyoming rez roads and in the Wisconsin snow. It felt like the car had given its life for us in this accident.

I was kind of totaled myself. Besides being a really close call, this accident dredged up my mom's death in a car crash 15 years ago. Add to that an insurance adjustor who enjoyed her job waaay too much and the illogic of liability and not much knitting got done. Not much cooking or housecleaning or anything much at all got done these past three weeks.

The dust has settled. My husband's shoulder is doing better. The daily routine of the household has been re-established.

And then a couple of days ago I took up the knitting needles again in earnest. This photo is a sleeve of my Lucie sweater. The colors are joy.

Knitting is joy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

How The Dress Came Together

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That hem? It's the temporary version. Ignore it.

My younger daughter has her first formal in early December. Every sewing pattern she liked was very Cinderella-y, full skirt, crinoline underneath. Sewing level: professional. Here's the prob: my actual sewing level is more like advanced minus.

What an adventure we had at the fabric store.

We took Tom with us. At first, things were fine. He pointed out to colors of fabrics he liked. Then he got antsy so I told him to just go sit by the pattern books. Somehow, it made him really, really antsy to sit by the pattern books. He kept saying to this woman and that woman "I don't know anything about women's clothing".

Cleo went back and forth about the dress and fabric she wanted. It turned out that the dress would not only be Cinderella-y but midnight satin with a contrasting ivory satin sash.

Hmmm, I thought. Maybe for prom but that's a 12 hp dress when a kid only needs a 6 hp dress, if you follow.

She finally ended up with McCall's 5001. It still has a full skirt but it's much less formal than her Cinderella-y dress. It's a simple dress so the brocade and the little tulle cloud of a stole around the shoulders make it special. The tulle is bronze. It glitters in the light.

Cleo cut out the dress and lining. We began sewing at 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Three hours later and we were about to attach the bones to the lining and the lining to the dress. Then the hem and the stole.

We broke for lunch. After, Cleo goes into the next room to once again admire the dress on the fitting mannequin.

"Mom!" she screams. "Something ... the dress!"

The other three of us rush in. A gash about 2" long in the side front of the dress.

We look at each other and say "Nala!" That's out semi-feral orange cat. She's a house cat but just not as domesticated as all the other cats I've ever known.

Thankfully, we had a scrap of leftover fabric that would do to replace the side front panel. We ripped out the old, put in the new and we were good to go again.

The dress came together easily and well. By 4 p.m. we were done, with the exception of the hem.

In knitting, I am still slogging away on the Lucie sweater. Front done, back done, 1 sleeve 3/4 done.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Still Love Lucie, I Guess

Koigu KPPPM is the same weight as the de Sauveterre merino/silk of Lucie fame and - it hardly seems possible - even softer. On a visit to the Bay Area last June, I picked up two skeins, took up my #3 wooden needles, and started a scarf in vine lace on the plane trip home. Right off the bat, my scarf looked very Missoni. Months later, it still looks very Missoni. And that I love a whole bunch.

I'm still loving Lucie and still chugging along at the thing. Back of Lucie - done! Front of Lucie - done! That leaves two sleeves and two weeks until I want to wear it to a Kathy Mattea concert. The dark in the photo looks like charcoal but is forest green.