Archive for March, 2008

little birds

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

There are daffodils blooming at the end of our street and birds keep showing up in my knitting. These guys in the center back of my cardigan…

…and this one on the lower left front.

They make me think of a song by The Be Good Tanyas with the lyric the littlest birds have the prettiest songs. They make me happy. It’s spring.

clothes nest

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

M is out of town and some people are either missing him a whole bunch or else taking advantage.

free poems

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

I went upstate again today for some further house-buying investigation. This time I took the bus.

Photo courtesy of brilarian on flickr.

Leaving New York by bus mostly involves going through the Port Authority terminal which is vile – an urban level of Dante’s inferno designed specifically for human discomfort.

I was standing in line waiting to board and a soft-spoken young man wearing a white cap and carrying a backpack approached me. “Free poems,” he said, holding out a sheet of paper from the stack of photocopies he was carrying. Out of habit I shook my head and he moved on to the next person, who also shook their head. Everybody turned him away.

I wish now that I had said yes. He was so gentle and he wasn’t selling anything; he was giving away his poem. I wish I had accepted it.

the giant knitting obsession

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Once upon a time I was knitting a sweater, and then I had a disappointment, and finally I came to realize that this whole knitting in two colors in the round from the top was completely insane and probably impossible and I should stop. Just walk away from the pointy sticks. No more knitting stupid impossible sweaters.

But then during the plague I couldn’t help myself; a washcloth was not enough, I needed a KNITTING PROJECT. So I frogged the aborted sweater and started over.

This time it’s in manageable pieces, and I have a pattern to follow (Debbie Bliss’s fair isle cardigan in Vogue Knitting Holiday 2007). I am knitting in a different gauge but despite the reawakened frenzy I tried really hard not to just start. I did some calculations and it seems like the stitch count for the small size will turn out my size if knit at this gauge. (Please don’t quote me if I come back in tears.) Of course I’m still insisting on using the flower pattern instead of what the the designer suggested. I cannot follow a pattern to the letter. It’s a disease.

By the time I was well I had knit the right front, and I’m almost done with the back now.

The monster knitting obsession is back.

the upstate question

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Last weekend I drove up to the Mid Hudson Valley in phase one of project figure-out-if-I’d-like-to-buy-a-house-and-live-upstate-at-least-part-time. It’s a good thing that omens do not deter me because Saturday began with finding the rental car bashed in. In the pouring rain.

I called the police and they showed up quickly so I was on the road by noon. It was still pouring rain. It never stopped raining. The rain got heavier and heavier. There were sheets of water crossing the parkway. On the hills little rivers gurgled along the pavement edge. Then there was the fog. I saw devil deer. And they saw me.

I drove steadily and slowly and felt exceedingly proud of myself when I got to my destination in one piece.

I had a lovely overnight visit with a friend who has known my parents and then me “since day one” as she puts it. Outside it continued to rain. The power went out but we remained unphased, sitting by the fire with candles and tea. She listened to me talk and talk and talk, and I started to see more clearly what my next step might be. Get help. Look at lots of houses. We went to bed and wrapped up cozy for a night without heat.

Sunday morning was another world: blue sky and crisp sun.

During breakfast the lights came on and the fridge started groaning. I drove back over the hill and spent the afternoon exploring the valley and imagining what it would be like. What would it be like to live here? What would it be like to come back and forth from the city? What would it be like to have to drive instead of walk to the store? Who would my neighbors be? And on and on. All the way home.

The plan was that the trip would clarify things, but I’ve come home with more questions. Maybe that’s alway the way. I guess I’m in the process.

what a difference half a millimeter makes

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

I’ve started making another white pearl Deco Choker like this one:

photo by Christine Linder

This time I thought I’d try using a paler gold, which is also thinner, and it turns out that the pearls I’m using are a fraction of a millimeter narrower than the ones I used last time. It’s amazing what a difference it makes, although it’s kind of hard to illustrate the point without having them side-by-side.

Here’s the new white pearl version I’m working on next to a brown pearl necklace I made previously. The new piece is narrower and feels lighter; I think the final necklace will be more delicate and might need an extra triangle so it’s long enough.

I could probably spend a lifetime making the same piece over with new materials, or making tiny variations in spacing or length. I can make an educated guess as to how the beads will behave but I have to make the necklace or at least a sample to be sure. And it’s still frequently a complete surprise.

small projects

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

On day 2 of being sick I was already so completely and utterly bored that I grabbed one of Barbara Walker’s stitch treasuries, picked a stitch pattern with a large repeat, grabbed some cotton and knitting needles that looked like they would probably work, and made this washcloth.

The problem with the project was that it woke up the giant knitting obsession, but more on that later…

Meanwhile another huge sense of accomplishment was achieved by installing hooks behind the door in the studio to hang my no-longer-pile of bags.

Little victories.