Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dog Days

It has been many months since my last post, but I have not been idle. Babies have received blankets, sweaters, hats and bibs. Other baby products such as hats and sweaters were stored away for any litter of winter babies who currently are in hibernation but might pop up at any time either seeing their shadow or not and then acting accordingly.

Other projects await final finishing details like having their provisional cast-on removed so as to allow seaming and ribbing or simply participating in the ceremonial weaving in of the ends. Unfortunately I have found finishing to not be my thing. I apparently am a process knitter. I like to knit - and crochet. I seem to care not what happens to the projects after the knitting is complete - unless they are for the aforementioned babies of which there have been many. I currently have three purses awaiting final finishings as well in the hopes they can one day leave the house without their plastic bag disguise. The shame of being lining-less is too much.

Meanwhile, I have started to design a new sweater for myself that is probably too wide, but fortunately will allow for some shrinkage as the yarn is cotton. I found the strength to make up the pattern myself after reading the Yarn A-Go-Go blog whose author assured all of the Internets that we could follow her instructions and produce a cute summer sweater that fits. However, I decided to strike out and add ribbing before moving into the pattern stitchwhich was differently constructed than the Go-Gos. Then I decided to add a few stitches to be on the safe side and am now possibly knitting the Sweater that Became a Pop Tent. (I don't know if that's how you spell the pop in tent but I'm going with it for now.) The Sweater I am currently designing is an effort to use up the never ending cones of variegated blue, green, off white yarn I purchased in a weak moment to make a sweater I've completely forgotten about in the Quest for the Cute Summer Sweater. Apparently the original pattern turned out not to be the Holy Grail. Side note: The fact that this is August and the window for the Cute Summer Sweater is rapidly closing is not lost on me.

I will soldier on meanwhile, putting off my New Year's resolution to learn to knit socks and cables, absorbing as much of the air conditioning as possible to prepare for Afghan Season. Pictures next time, I promise.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Stupid Mercury and its freakin' retrograde

I realize I am probably inviting the wrath of the universe with that title but it's already rained down upon my head somewhat so what the hell.

Yesterday as I was reading the Internets I noticed a lot of posting on Mercury and its retrograde rampage. I stupidly thought to myself, why that's funny, I'm having a great lot of knitting fun. No astronomical games of cat and mouse here. Then I began the decreases on a beret I had nearly finished - 9 rows left maybe. Well, I realized halfway through the decreasing that I was messing it up. I thought, I will rip back row by row and fix this. So I began. And let me also add that yesterday was one of those bad temper days where you're not sure why you're pissed but then you get to work and realize there are many reasons waiting for you. And as the day goes on the list gets longer.

So yeah, this was not my day. But, I thought, it will be better once I'm home and can work on the knitting. So I began the tinking and it was going pretty well until I got to the stitches I had knit together. They started to come apart in a way that was not conducive to beautiful bereting. I tried to pick up the stitches, they looked like hell. So I thought, I will take the beret off the needles and just rip like a madwoman until I'm back in business. Madwoman was the operative word. I could not figure out at what point back in business should be. I ended up ripping out the whole thing. THE WHOLE FRIGGING THING!! Two weeks of my crafting life gone. My only solace at the end of this mess is I know I can do it again and this time I'll know how to do the decreases. And hopefully, mercury will be out of its freakin' retrograde by then and maybe I'll have grown some sense.

I was going to post a photo of a finished project but blogger will not let me. Mercury, man, give me a break already.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


This is the Corn Husk Nativity. This decoration was always placed on our mantelpiece when I was a kid. The angel hung from a hook on the fireplace. I don't remember a Christmas without this decoration.

Originally I thought it was a project my mother and grandmother had made during their corn husk doll period but I recently learned it was a gift to my mother from a friend and she likely received a piece from each year.

I have been the keeper of this nativity almost since I moved away from home or shortly after I graduated from college. It's been bounced around from one apartment to the next and used to be on display all year in a house I rented. It is in surprisingly good shape for its lifespan and the aforementioned traveling from place to place. I've been searching for a stable it for several years and finally found really the perfect thing at a discount store that shall remain nameless. It has a moss-covered roof and special perch for the angel, who no longer hangs from her hook. That was really sort of cruel after all.

I had given up hope of finding anything that could work for them and resigned myself to stuffing them with Kleenex to get them to stand on their own. I displayed them this year, in their new stable on top of my entertainment center.

It's funny the role a group of corn husk dolls can play in your memory. I associated these pieces with our Christmas celebrations as much as I did the books my mother only let us read during the holiday season, the felt advent calendar with pieces we snapped on the felt tree every day and another Santa advent calendar that good friends of ours refilled with candy each year. My mother did a lot of things that made our holidays a special time. I suppose any tradition does. I'm so glad to have these things to remember her and that special season of the year when it seemed there was always a little magic in the air. She has been gone for almost 20 years but the time she took with us and her holiday preparations are still there in my memory. And now that these nativity people have a more permanent home it feels like she is closer to me than ever and a little bit of that magic has returned.