Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just Call Me 'Booger-Head'

This is how I look...

This is how I feel...

Dear Blog-

Yes, It's official. My 'really bad allergies' turned out to be a really bad cold. I have just now gone through an entire box of tissues in about 24 hours. Why don't sick people stay home where they belong? I kept thinking, 'This is pretty fierce for allergies, but if it was a cold, I'd know it.' In the middle of the night on Tuesday night, I woke up and thought, 'Lynda, you've got a cold.' And darned if I wasn't right. You know how it is when you have these profound revelations in the middle of the night.

Yesterday I was supposed to go to the Spinners & Weavers guild meeting (no, I don't do either one, but what a great group of people!) in the morning and then take my Mom for a Dr apt in the afternoon. I called M&D in the morning and begged off, if for no other reason than that they really, really don't need to have this. I was supposed to take Mom for another apt this morning, and then have a private lesson this afternoon, which rescheduled anyway. So at least 2 days at home, lounging about. Yesterday I did NO knitting, but spent most of the day on the couch, reading the greatest book, Charles Frazier's, 'Thirteen Moons'. He is the author of 'Cold Mountain', another favorite book of mine, and this one doesn't disappoint. I kept meaning to work on some knitting, get those soles on my aunt's slippers, but I couldn't put the darned book down. I finished it this morning at about 6 a.m. while DH was out at the grocery store, getting mucus medicine for me. I haven't done that for years, just spent a day reading a book and doing nothing else beyond the basics.

I did manage to get the soles sewn on the slippers. I also had in mind to decorate them with some sort of embroidery, but DH - always a wise husband - said that I should just send them to her, she won't care, and she really needs the slippers right about now. This morning, then, I will pack them up and I am sure he will take them to the PO for me and send them off.

The pattern is the Bunad Mukluks from 'Folk Style'. As you can see, they are essentially just a giant pair of socks, felted down. The pattern calls for an eyelet row with ties and tassels that hang down in back, but I just can't see my aunt with those, so I left out the eyelet row.

And then felted and blocked them...

And sewed on the soles. Am I the only person who has a hard time getting those soles to fit just right? I did pretty good with this pair, but still there is a pucker on the front of one slipper.

At any rate, out in the mail they shall go. I think they should be nice and warm for her.

Well, Blog, I am going to close for now. I'm tired of sitting here and ready for breakfast, then some serious lounging and knitting. DH is off today, and is going to take the LYSO's Mom to the airport this morning. It was either that, or I would go in to work for the LYSO while she took her Mom to the airport. Which violates my whole 'Stay home when you're sick so that you don't make other people sick' rule.

See you later,

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Head is a River of Goo

Mukluks from Folk Style, before felting

Dear Blog-

Oh, I know, I could have started that in a nicer way, with a better title. Such as 'Time Flies When You're Knitting', or 'Look What I've Been Doing!', or even 'No, I Didn't Go To Rhinebeck'. But I am sorry, my principle issue at the moment is that the winds have been fierce for 2 days now, and as a result, my head IS a river of goo. Or perhaps it could be better said that my head is the source of a river of goo. Take your pick. I think the first one is a bit more poetic. At least we are not in California, where the winds are fanning giant fires that sound as though they are about to burn up the entire state. Those poor people! But there is no excuse for those winds then coming over here and making my life (and the lives of others, I am quite certain) absolutely miserable.

In the meantime, I have been busy, taking parents to and fro to various Dr. apts., teaching at the shop, and I have had a flurry of private lessons lately, which I really, really like having. At the moment I have two students who are doing ongoing PLs to work their way through various projects. I really enjoy the one-on-one teaching, and getting the opportunity to help then through the many stages of several projects. I also have some finishing to do for a couple of clients. Hmm, maybe this knitting thing will make money for me after all!

I have also, you may be surprised to hear, begun teaching Handwork at a Waldorf school to a combined class of 4th & 5th graders. There are only 10 kids in the class, and since this is the first year that this school has had a 4th & 5th grade they are all new to the Waldorf concept. As am I, it must be admitted. No matter what job I have worked at over the last 20-something years, it has always involved teaching. So I am quite used to teaching adults, who, for the most part, want to be there and are eager to learn, not to mention - and this is no small thing - possess the necessary social skills required to be in a group of 9 others without actually resorting to hitting each other or shouting EW! when they are touched by a fellow student. Oh, sure, let's face it, there have been times when we have WANTED, perhaps even longed deeply with every fiber of our being, when in class to hit a fellow student, but reason has stayed our hands. You know that person - and there is at least one planted in every class the world over - who persists in asking the teacher a question about the very thing that has only just been explained in horrifyingly painful detail? But you don't do it, do you?

So after a long and very enlightening phone conversation with their teacher last night, I have been enlightened that it is not just our goal at this age to teach the subject, but also to work on social skills. Ok, that makes sense. I have a renewed sense of purpose.

In the meantime, I have made an Adult Surprise Jacket. I know EZ is the Goddess of modern knitting, but I am here to tell you: as a pattern writer, the Empress is not wearing any clothes. No champion of linear thinking, our Elizabeth. But I have muddled through, and this is the result, while blocking. Blogger has decided, quite on a whim, to publish 3 copies of this photo, and I am just going to go with it. My head is a river of goo, and I should not have to solve complex problems today.

like it?

still like it?

like it even more now?

I used a combination of things, mostly from stash. When deciding to start this project, I went to my trusty stash cabinet, opened the doors and peered in. Not only did I want this jacket to be jacket-like in weight, but I also wanted this to be a relatively quick knit, I have things to do. So resting there in my basket of chunky and bulky, I had (miracle of miracles, tho maybe not, since I do remember putting them in there), several skeins of Philosopher's Wool left over from my PW cardi that I made back in January, in greens and purples. And, lying right next to them were several skeins of Noro Transitions in coordinating colors. I'm sorry, but back when I was learning to spell and watched over by scary nuns carrying big sticks (or so it seemed at the time - you can bet we didn't do any hitting or yelling of EW!), words such as co-ordinating and co-respondance were still hyphenated and they will never look right to me without that. Anyway, in colors of greens, purples, light blue, red, tan and brown. This is the coolest yarn, not only does it transit from one color to the next as you would expect from Noro, but it also transits from one fiber to the next, so you knit in turn with a blend of wool, silk, camel, angora, alpaca, cashmere and mohair. The texture changes as the colors do. Cool stuff. When it got time to work the collar it went into a wool, angora, camel, cashmere phase that I quite like. This was a yarn that my LYSO gave me two years ago for Xmas that I had never used because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. I bought a few more balls and put it into stash, knowing that it's time would come. Perfect timing. All I needed to add to the mix was some chocolate brown Eco Wool to pull it all together. I just changed yarns in as random a pattern as I could, and the above is the result.

Since finishing the ASJ a week ago and wearing it to the guild meeting last week where I was Hosanna'ed by strangers and knitters bowed before me (not really, but I have an active imagination), I began the mukluks you see at the top of the page, for my aunt of the chemo caps. They just finished felting while I typed this all out and are blocking in the oven as we speak. Next I will sew on soles and decorate them and send them off to auntie in upstate NY, where I am sure the floors are already cold enough to make these sound like a good idea.

And no, I didn't go to Rhinebeck, and we're not talking about it.


PS- This afternoon I will start my sister's Xmas present. I can't talk about the project here in any detail, as darn her eyes, she spots it every time. If you are on one of the knitting lists with me then you know what I am making. Heh, heh.
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