Thursday, February 16, 2006


Andrew is coming for a visit today. He got his wings today. He's got some time before he reports in North Carolina, so he's visiting me for the weekend and then heading home for a spell.

I was supposed to go to western Illinois for work, but it was cancelled due to bad weather. Snow Day! So, I'll get to pick Andrew up from the airport. I don't know what Andrew is going to do while I'm at work (back to western Illinois) all day. This is Chicago, there's plenty to do, but it is hard to think of Goober (he hates that) as an adult capable of deciphering CTA maps. He is eleven years younger than me, but in my head he's still about six, which is how old he was when I left for college. Goodness, he's in the Army. If anyone knows how to find his way, it's Andrew. Can't help being the big sister, I guess. Drives them all crazy, but that's the point, right?

In knitting news, I finished Dan's mittens. He's been showing them off. Chris loved his hat, too. He even wore it while on stage at an open mic last night. Those are the kind of knitting gifts that feel good to give. One nice thing about new friends is that they haven't gotten any knitting from me yet. New friends equals new recipients. I've got a couple other new friends that need gifts. The bad thing is that spending time with them cuts into the knitting time. I guess I can sacrifice a stitch or two for good company.

I'll post pictures of the mittens and maybe the hat later. I can be such an airhead sometimes. I forgot to take a picture of the hat before I gave it to Chris.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Shattered Dreams

Nina was right. The needle broke in my bag. I don't know how it happened, just that when I pulled the work out of my bag, it was broken. Lantern Moon needles aren't cheap. Now it's going to take even longer to finish Aunt Chris's pillow. Hopefully, I'll finish before her birthday.

I just finished a hat that is destined for a new friend. I needed a short-term project and Chris liked the yarn, so much so, in fact, that he was trying to steal it. Perfect. I have a hard time knitting something without an intended recipient, and since I am still waiting for the yarn that my sister is sending, I can't work on Dan's mittens. I was working on the pillow, and bit by bit on the baby blanket, but the needles are too long to carry around. So a portable hat project was just the ticket. I'll show you a picture of the hat after I make and attach the pompon. I used OnLine Linie Montana, which looks a little too orange in the picture. It is actually brown and blue, with bits of green. It's nice, but the wool content hurts my fingers a little. I'm a bit allergic and anything with pure wool can start to feel like I'm knitting with glass-encrusted yarn. It's worth it to have a quick project that someone will (hopefully) appreciate.

Thanks to Dan for the pictures.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

On Art and Knitting

I've finished knitting the box out of shosenshi paper from Habu. I'm hoping that once I seam the sides and whip-stitch the edges with silk/stainless steel the box will hold an upright shape. I used size 3 needles, but I don't think the needle size matters much. The gauge I got with size 3 isn't really much different than my swatch with size 5 needles.

This process has made me think a lot about the intersection of art and knitting (not knitting as art, that's a different discussion). I wonder if knitting appeals to my practical side, which then draws on my creative side. I'd like to think I'm creative, but I've never ventured much beyond creating simple hats, scarves, and mittens. I plan on developing some bigger patterns--I've been thinking about designing two sweaters for over a year now. I'm enjoying making this box, which I'm considering "sculptural knitting." The paper isn't very easy to manipulate, but I'd like to expand the series. Once I finish the list of patterns I'd like to make and gifts I've got to give, I'll focus more heavily on experimenting. Of course, everyone knows that those lists will only get bigger. I guess I should add experimenting to the queue.

Because of my job, people always ask if I'm an artist. I always shrug dismissively and say no. I much prefer when the literature people ask if I write. Then I say "I'm a reader," which is truer than saying I'm not an artist. An old friend used to say that I was an artist without a medium. For the last couple of years, I've been working on developing knitting as my medium. It will be nice when I can send him a piece and say that I've arrived.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Invisible Snowballs

Last week I worked on the mittens for Dan. The completed mitten looks like it will fit him nicely. I'll post a picture soon. The second mitten is missing the top inch or so because I ran out of yarn. I'd like to think that two balls of most yarns will make two mittens. I guess that extra inch around the palm was an inch too many. I searched and searched online for one more ball in the right colorway. No luck. My sister is very lovingly going to brave the unknown (the LYS) and purchase another ball for me. What would I do without her?

In other news, I just had the most amazing week with Jen and family. Joseph knows my name, or the sound that T makes, which is close enough. It's incredible how many times your heart can explode with joy in one day. I don't know how parents cope. It was also great to spend so much time with Jen. I miss her immensely and love watching her be a mom.