Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Can you guess what we went as for this year's costume party?

Happy Halloween from my household to yours. Boo!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ganomy Hat: Take 1

The two-colour Ganomy Hat (in Ella Rae Classic Wool Yarn)
inspired by Jessica's Ganomy.

This was my Elizabeth Zimmerman Ganomy Hat (from the Knitters Almanac) as of late last night (the photo taken this morning, though). This was how far I had gotten just before I tried it on...and tried it on...and tried it on.

No matter how much I pulled and stretched and cursed (not really), the Ganomy remained unwilling to slide itself down onto my noggin in any way resembling a comfortable fit. Perhaps, in getting tied up in the Tigers stressful fight against the Cardinals last night, perhaps because of the mojitos and the wine and the ice cream, perhaps because I simply wanted to hurry up and begin my participation in the EZ KAL, I failed to notice (or to take the time to notice) that this hat was just plain too small. Ergo--rip, rip, rip.

"And so we beat on, boats against the current..."*

Until take 2 of the Ganomy occurs, I wish everyone in the EZ KAL (and all other bloggers/knitters) a happy weekend.

(*How's that for literary melodrama? I think EZ, a talented writer with a flair for the dramatic, might have appreciated the insertion of Fitzgerald here.)

PS: Thanks Olga, Julia, Lazuli (and just now Moe! hi Moe!) for the "to-block-or-not-to-block" feedback; I'm going to hold off on blocking the Clapotis and just wear it for a while, enjoying its "raw silkiness."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fascinating & Disturbing & Just What We Always Knew

Clapotis, made with Cherry Tree Hill Rustic Silk,
will be soaking & blocking this weekend.*

Discovered over at mellowtrouble (in this earlier post) is a link to this evocative Dove advertisment on youtube. Have a look. If not surprising, it at least affirms everything we thought and believed about the images that constantly surround us, bombard us, provoke us. And it's just plain fascinating (and reassuring?disturbing?) to watch.

*Did/Do most knitters bathe/block their Clapotis/Clapotises/Clapoti [sp?] upon completion? Do you--"you" being that collective, whoever-might-be-out-there-reading-this "you"--wash & block every item you knit before you consider it to be completed? Inquiring minds want to know...

Monday, October 23, 2006

No More Nasty Here. I Promise.

Because of the piles of essays I have to grade, because of family visiting, and because, most importantly, the World Series excitement is going on full-swing in our household these days (Go Tigers! We *heart* Kenny!), the Clapotis, though nearly finished for quite some time now, is languishing, waiting the final rows to be completed. This week will see it through to completion.

But to prepare for new things to come, one must also be replenishing one's stash. This is a ball of Ella Rae Classic Wool from lit#tle#kn#ts; it's intended for an EZ Ganomy hat, which also means that *at last* I might just start participating in Zimmermania.

Also intended for Zimmermania? This Rowanspun Chunky hopes to become an EZ hybrid sweater of some sort. However, I need to do much more research & reading of EZ before I begin (though I see I'm in highly esteemed company with the Rowanspun Chunky--)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Few Good Things and Some Things That Just Look Nasty (Viewer Discretion Advised)

I finished tissue holder number 2. Thanks to Craftapalooza, I think that these will become the lastest handmade stocking stuffers for the holidays this year.

Here's the inside, with a contrasting pinky-peach fabric.

So now, two down, and about eight to go--

Other good things: sitting on the front porch during a rain storm with a nice Merlot, a good book, and my Guido's smoking his pipe beside me. (I love the smell of the pipe; I don't love the pipe smoke.)

Also getting out of the rain, is Mr. Snail. Can you imagine, people (me, being people) eat these things???*** He just looks so nasty! (Sorry, snail-lovers, but it's true.)

Something not nasty? These beautiful mums starting to make their way into bloom, loving the recent rains.

Ooopsss, more nasty! So, speaking of "can-you-believe-people-eat-these-things?," can you believe some people eat these things? These things, being, of course, for those Ukrainians in the know, ***cabbage rolls. My partner's family was here this past weekend and to commemorate Canadian Thanksgiving (which we miss down here in the US), Guido's aunt had us made cabbage rolls. Lovely to eat. Not so lovely to look at. In fact, this photo seems so nasty to me that it's bordering on the pornographic--

Knitting content: tomorrow, the photos of Clapotis, and the yarn that I've acquired for (at last) my Zimmermania project.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Tuesday: Happy Thrift Finds

We had an aunt & uncle visit us for the first time this past weekend. The aunt told me how much she liked our place, and was surprised to learn that most everything--and I mean everything--in our house is from thrift stores, church sales, etc.

The painting above (sorry about the blurry photo) is one of the many good things my partner and I have discovered recently; we love to thrift shop, not just for the obvious $$ savings, but because it's about reusing, recyling, and reimagining (therefore creativity, not simply consumerism, is involved); it's about directing our money to charities instead of corporations; it's about giving new life & love to things that someone else has decided are no longer worthy or valuable.

Plus, we can afford to have really excellent quality clothes/goods/furniture (like this art deco lampshade, for instance) that we would otherwise not be able to afford. It's so win-win, through & through.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Last night, a friend of mine tried to teach me how to sew a sock monster. She had given me "Roberta," pictured above posing on our guest bed (aside: we have family coming tomorrow!!! yay ... I get to get the guest room ready for them tonight!).

Sadly, I have no photos to show you of the sock monster I attempted to make last night. Let's just say that after a couple of glasses of wine (and a stiff margarita from dinner, previous to the wine), my sock monster was not happening. But I'll try again, and perhaps I too can make something as outstanding as Roberta here to share with y'all.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

State of Waiting*; or ABA**

**ABA: "All But Appendages"

Morph the Cat here (aka Kate from Knitty) has been "coming soon" for a long time now. Nearly finished for over six months, he sits patiently, awaiting the day I decide finally to sew on his arms, legs, and ears.

Much too often, I also feel like I'm "coming soon," but that I'm never quite there. More and more frequently, I find myself in a state of waiting, sensing that I'm in limbo somehow. Perhaps someday I'll awake and find my appendages finally stitched to the rest of me in a way that makes sense.

This "state of waiting," I know, I know, is what the state of living is all about. As the cliched sayings note (ad nauseum), we are works in progress, and nothing, as our craft of knitting has taught us, is ever really completely finished. I think, nevertheless, that being a graduate student in the *late* stages of the PhD promotes this feeling of stasis, of waiting, and of incompletion. For one thing, there's a sense that everyone around me has become a fully fledged grown-up already (whatever that is), and that I've been left behind in this liminal stage of neither a student nor a professor, neither a girlfriend nor a wife, neither in Canada nor in the US.

In short, I'm an ABD***, an all but something.

Now, truthfully, many days this is a good thing--this stage of liminality. When I first started to blog (about five months ago, over on Blogspirit), I wrote about how dangerous it is to insist that people are or become one thing. I noted that playing with identities is freeing and liberating and might just make for a more peaceful, beautiful, tolerant world. Indeed, most days I reject confining labels, roles, slots, predictablity, conventionality. Certainly, since my late adolescence, in trying to determine who I was or who I wanted to be, I have gloried in the possibilities and the range of experiences and identities that life has to offer; I have insisted on trying all sorts of things, and have vowed not to become one thing. I would be fluid & flexible.

But sometimes it can be scary, and off-putting, this fluidity, this rejection of labels and roles and conventions. Especially for a worrier, like me. And at some point, I wonder if there is a reason, after all, for those conventions, those ways-of-doing things, that I just didn't see before.

I think this is yet another thing that knitting might be teaching me...

*This somber post brought to you today by our proud sponsors: the rainy, cloudy, grey weather; the lack of sleep; the overabundance of worry about the dissertation; the fact that *all* of my highschool friends and *all* of my siblings are now married and if they have not had babies recently, are now about to have them; by the dismay of having 11 years of post-secondary education and being paid less than the undergraduate who serves me coffee or who sorts my mail; by the fact that the picture-taking of projects must wait until the sun pokes itself out again. I promise: somber blogger to leave then.

***ABD = "all but dissertation"

Friday, October 06, 2006

I Sew. I Knit. I Rock.

I). I SEW. Or at least, I attempt to sew.

Last night, I uncovered the sewing machine in order to make my first-ever tissue holder, inspired (and instructed) by Craftapalooza (see her post of 28 September for a detailed tutorial, which has also been cross-posted at Whipup.

Here's the back of the tissue holder beside some rocks, to give an idea of size. (Okay, who am I kidding? I put the rocks in there simply because I like the rocks). Craftapalooza's instructions are dandy, but boy o' boy did I struggle to make this wee thing. I must must must practice my sewing--

II). I KNIT. So what do you suppose this is?

Here, I'll give more of a clue...

That's right. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm making my first-ever Clapotis (which I won't even bother linking given its ubiquity in the knitting-blog world [but I will link its fabulous designer]). I'm with An Abudance of Lisa, who, in the Zimmermania KAL, quotes EZ in stating that "she is the boss of her knitting" and therefore will knit whatever she damn well chooses despite the fact that people are probably poo-pooing the very late "jumping on the band wagon." (Philosophical query moment: Why do we assume if something becomes popular, or is made by many, many people, then it's not as good, or that it loses some of its value/prestige? This is partly what Olga is getting at in her post, I think. Craft doesn't (supposedly) attain the status of art because it's too inclusive, open or available to too many? The hierarchy of art/craft is clearly a result of sexism and racism, and must end! I'd go on but this post is getting too unwieldy as it is, and so this is a conversation, started by Olga, to which I will return...)


Amanda Cathleen(ETA: oh my gosh! she too is having a baby! congratulations!) commented yesterday in my "Morning Glory" post about the vividness of the colours of the flowers in the photographs; she remarked that my camera takes such clear photos. Yes, I love my camera (Nikon [hey! I'm Kodachrome, after all] CoolPix 4300), and yes it takes (when I'm not screwing up) mostly clear photos, but I do sometimes hit "Autocorrect" in Microsoft Photo Editor which seems to add light to the photos. For example, the photo of the rocks above has not been edited by me at all, but the photo below has been "auto-corrected".

I did feel sorta guilty for doing this to many of my blog photos, but then Cara at January One, and Jane at Yarnstorm both mentioned that they edit their photos most of the time. Given I'm a writer/teacher of English and literature, I know the importance of editing--it's critical!--and so, I frequently edit my photos too.

However, that said, here below is a photo with no editing. It's what my work-area looked like this morning post-tissue holder experiment. I was so tired last night after trying to sew a tissue holder like those beauties over at Craftapalooza, I went straight to bed with no post-sewing tidying.

Guess what I have to look forward to for my Friday evening? .... I clean?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Glory in Stages: or, "The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower"*

Soon, I'll have knitting to post. For now, I've been losing myself in the glory of the fall garden.

And, as mentioned in the previous post, along with discovering the garden glories is re-discovering some of my favourite poems of my undergraduate years (thanks to a bit of proding from the oh-so-talented Julia).

*Dylan Thomas.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One Tomato, Two Tomatoes, Three Tomatoes, Four...

I promise I'll quit soon with the tomato photos, but I'm finding the markings on these tomatoes to be quite interesting, and quite simply, breathtaking.

Unfortunately, however, as you can see in this photo, the tomatoes are inedible. So despite Olga's fantastic recommendations for preparing the tomatoes with olive oil and pepper, these tomatoes have become nothing more than "still life". Curiously beautiful, yes, but not tasty at all...

Other things found within my garden these days? Our push lawnmower, about finished with its mowing tasks for yet another year. With leaves beginning to fall and green life about to fade away, it's (sadly) time to start putting away the garden tools, and to bid adieu to those joyous "greens of summer".

Or perhaps not quite. I keep forgetting that living in the Southwest USA, as opposed to Canada, means many more weeks of summer greens. Indeed, looking above me today, I'm shocked that, though the beginning of October is upon us, there's still plenty of green around us. For look at all those leaves still awaiting their fall from grace.

And for Julia, then, who has brought me back to poetry--










----------------e.e. cummings's (a leaf falls on loneliness)

PS: Regular scheduled knitting content to return soon to this station. Please stay tuned--