Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
Friday, 25 September 2009
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Monday, 21 September 2009
I'm trying out bamboo needles too. While the bamboo are OK, and I am not breaking them with my Vulcan death grip, as I expected, the yarn just does not move as easily over the needles as they do on the other short set. Not my first choice.
Friday, 18 September 2009
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Friday, 11 September 2009
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Friday, 4 September 2009
What I have never really understood is why my library includes so many of those mysterious publications full of house floor plans. I'm not going to be building a house any time soon. I'm not even going to be building a house any time far from now. I don't have the stamina.
I'm pretty sure I don't buy these. That would imply intent, and there really isn't any intent. It just happens. I'd like to think the book fairies put them on my shelf for me to discover in the morning. Or maybe the faeries toss them into my baskets when I stray to close to the book aisle at the drug store and grocery store. Nonetheless, every so often I find a new one, and it comes home with me.
For years, particularly in the very small farm house, I dreamed of grander places, more space, better basements. I liked to play 'if I lived there'. I dreamed of grand McMansions and spaces filled with beautiful things, but now I'm more likely to look at all the nooks and crannies and rooms and wonder how many hours would it take to clean. My dreams are still filled with floor plans, but the plan I would choose is very different now.
Some people find dreaming of what they don't have makes them sad and sorry for what they do have. Not me. Dreaming, taking a few minutes to lose myself in the pages of a book, or a movie or a bunch of floor plans is just a way to wander through another story, and visit for a spell. Its just a little vacation in an otherwise very settled sort of life.
Like the best part of any vacation, coming home, putting on your schlepping slippers (try saying that fast) and the comfortable pants and sleeping in your own bed on your own pillow is a relief. So it is with floor plans. I can dream of McMansions and fine, epic spaces but I get to come back to my cozy warm home.
At least the house will feel warm and cozy if I get some more socks knit up before the cold comes.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
The other day, for the first time in years, I looked in my bag for socks and I realized I had none. I had shawls. I had gansey samples, I had scarves, but nary a sock in sight.
For just a moment, I honestly did not believe it. I felt a thud in the pit of my stomach. Knots formed and I could instantly feel the acid tap turn on. My world wobbled on its axis. I felt bereft. And lonely. And very, very scared.
I am never without socks. I have sock projects scattered all over the house. Some in my room so I can knit before bed. There is almost always a sock something in the dining room or kitchen. There is a little pile in my study, and I often forget one in Mr. Needles study where the computer resides.
But to have no socks instantly at hand. Shudders. I took my seat kind of blindly, deep in shock. No socks.
The really sad thing is this happened in a yarn store. The store was holding a presentation by a yarn distributor and the speaker was beginning to speak. I was sitting at the back of the store with the bulky and the sock yarn is at the front. I would have knit a bulky yarn sock but for one thing. The needles are at the front.
My bag was tucked in the staff place for such things, and with the presentation under way, I could not even go back to get the scarf without causing a ruckus.
I pondered hyperventilation. I pondered panic. Instead I did what ordinary people do and just sat there.
This is what hell is going to be like if you are a knitter, isn't it? Yup.
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Theresa is my boss' mother in law. She is well into her eighties and spends just a couple hours a week at the store but in so very many ways, she is pivotal to making the store the warm and charming place it is.
Theresa knits like a master, and you have to see what she is working on now. Its a very simple seed stitch shawl, but it is stunning because every so often she is putting in rows with a strand of fine mohair running though it. It is the simplest and loveliest most breathtaking thing. When its ready for display, everyone is going to want the pattern.
Theresa does all sorts of little things,detail things, things that you don't notice till they are not done. We all know when she is away for a week or two. There are little things not getting done, that make the difference between a well oiled machine and something that works but squeaks. There is more.
She takes care of us in that warm and special way only a grandmother has. You see, Theresa bakes us cookies.
She doesn't just bake us cookies, she bakes us traditional Italian cookies. Once in a while she bakes us real home made biscotti. You know how the store bought biscotti is dry, a bit crumbly and sweet? Well a true home made biscotti is baked well through but isn't dry at all, doesn't crumble, and is sweet just so. It is food for the gods and the hardest thing to do is to have only one, when you really want to sit down and savour two or three with you afternoon tea, and the heck with the customers. I know I am not the only one who feels that way.
Then there is the very thin little cookie. I think it is dipped and fried only for a moment before it is pulled out and dropped off the cookie form. Light as air, just a hint of almond flavour and the smallest hint of honey sweetness. The airiest cookie in the world.
She brings in honey cake that is just warm and wonderful with morning coffee. She makes peanut butter and honey cookies. I could go on, but I'm getting hungry.
None of these treats have calories. Theresa says so and I, for one, believe it.
It was so good to see her yesterday. It was so nice to chat as we worked getting yarns ready for the store floor. She is charming and kind and the warmest soul on earth. My German heritage and prairie girl roots are a long way from the sunny Italian shore of her birth, but in every possible way, Theresa is my Italian grandmother.
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
This morning, I was thinking about the shawl I have started, the one I mentioned yesterday, that will probably take most of the fall to complete, and my thoughts were straying to beads. I came downstairs this morning to look, once again, at the beads I have chosen for this yarn. I was kind of looking forward to getting them out from one tidy place.
I was just going to lay some of the pretty pink beads on the yarn to remind myself how pretty this delicate pink confection of a shawl was going to be.
I had a little trouble seeing the pink bead containers. There seemed to be a lot of stuff in there.
I pulled out these. Oh right. I bought these before I had any pink yarn, because I knew at some point in time, I was going to need pretty pink beads for a soft lovely pink yarn. Why I knew I was going to knit a pink shawl is beyond me. I am not a pink person. I am not a rose colour person. These pretty beads may have made me decide to knit with pink yarn. I really don't remember exactly how it happened.
Then I came across these. I bought these sweet little things the day I bought the soft pink yarn. Sweet pink yarn, soft white pearly beads. A perfect combination. I completely forgot about these after I realized the pink yarn wasn't going to be up to the severe blocking the River Valley Shawl needs.
I came across a bunch of clear silver lined beads too. These I remember buying. I bought fairly large scale with no clear project in mind. A clear silver lined bead goes with every colour yarn, right? They would look very good with the soft pretty pink yarn too. Sparkle without colour, methinks.
There seemed to be a lot of beads in there. There seemed to be a lot of beads bought for pink shawls in there. I finally put my hand on the soft pink beads I was thinking of this morning. I bought these when I renewed the car license plates last week. The bead store is right beside the registry office. Sigh. Pretty though, very pretty, and probably the ones I'll use. Maybe.
I pulled out all the beads bought with knitting in mind. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It is mere months since I started contemplating knitting and crocheting with beads. I only have one book on the subject, and it is a tiny thing for wee beaded bags. I'm not a serious knitting with beads sort of person. Really I'm not.
Clearly, this isn't a yarn drawer anymore. It is a bead drawer. The yarn that is in that drawer is way, way way at the back. Maybe it's time to acknowledge the bead stash. Maybe acknowledging that it exists as a stash will help me recall the beads I have and how I meant to use them before I buy x many thousands of beads for a single pink yarn project. Maybe I ought to accept that knitting with beads is interesting and that I am not at all averse to a little sparkle with good yarn. Maybe I ought to put these beads for knitting together with the beads I have from making jewelery with my nieces, so I can see how bad it really is. Maybe I ought the acknowledge the beads before they take over two drawers.
My name is Needles and I have a bead stash.