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Archive for March, 2011

Off to Bountiful we go

In light of my lack of progress on these Kieran Foley projects:

would it be silly of me to start another one?

I think I’m in love.  Again.

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What’s that noise?   No, listen.  Can you hear it?   I think it’s coming from my basement.  Shhhhhhh.  Let me go and check.

 

OMG.  It’s Doug and his wife, and they’re getting ready to install carpet.  I don’t believe it.  Yet there they are.  Let’s just back away slowly.  We don’t want to disturb them or distract them from what they’re doing.   Shhhhh.

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Good morning!  It has been pointed out that while I am blogging quite regularly (every six to ten weeks), the frequency has been, ahem, sorta slow.  Oops, sorry.  I’m here to make excuses, so let’s get to the knitty gritty:

1)  I am not lazy.  I am easily distractible.

2)  While my surroundings are not in the order I would like, my brain tends to respond in kind.

3)  I read somewhere that if you don’t speak as much, people tend to listen more when you do.  ?????

4)  I have a friend who is an actual working writer, supporting his family with regular and frequent book publishings that appeal to young adult readers, and is becoming the darling of the language arts curriculum in some schools.  He has even won the Governor-General’s Award for one of his books.     Art has incredible discipline; he writes on his computer whilst walking on a treadmill. This  stunt, while admirable, just makes me want to curl up in front of the fire and knit.  Not write, just knit.

5)  Not much in my life could be deemed exciting, and some days sharing minutiae just seems self-indulgent and terribly self-centered.  There is the chance, however, that there is an aspect of public service in my dull recollections, in that other people may read them and think “Wow.  My life’s not so dull and boring after all.”

6) The older I get, the more time it seems to take to accomplish less, and then I need a nap and am too tired to write about it.

7)  Two words:  Time warp.

So, we’re at the end of March.  It’s still cold and dirty white outside, and even though I went south for three weeks to give the weather a chance to smarten up here, I came home and it’s still ucky.  Mike had forgotten to pick up the mail while I was gone, so I threw on a pair of flipflops and flung open the front door to go and get the mail.  Then I shut the door, put on my  boots, my coat, my mitts and a scarf and went to get the mail.  I was happy to find this in the mail:

and have I mentioned that I am registered for all of Lucy Neatby’s sessions at the Saskatchewan Stitches conference in June?  Yes, I looked at the class list and decided that I could benefit mightily from each and every gem of wisdom that she is offering.  I am even skipping out of a high school reunion for this.  (and I loves me a good high school reunion.)  I’ll have to remember to take the book with me and get her to autograph it.  I also know from my trip to Stitches 2 years ago that even though it’s held at a convent, it’s okay to bring a bottle of wine or two.  (You know, to keep in my locker and offer to people so they’ll be my friends.)

One nifty thing I did in Buckeye was take a couple of tours through the Heard Museum. This is a really interesting museum, and they happened to have an exhibit of Navajo weaving while I was there.  I took a gallery walk with a docent, hoping to learn a lot about the rugs and the culture from which they sprang.  I was a little disappointed, in that while the docent was very enthusiastic, she didn’t have the academic information I was hoping for.  She read off the cards on the wall, and waxed enthusiastic about the colours and so forth, but there wasn’t a lot of enlightenment.  The two other ladies with whom I was taking the walk were amateur weavers like me, so we filled in some of the technical blanks.  At the end of the walk, the docent thanked us and said that she learned a lot.  Just think what we could all learn if there was an expert involved!  Anyways, it’s a great museum, and if you have the chance to take in the weaving exhibit, you should.  Even if you don’t make it for that, they have a very impressive permanent collection including a huge collection of Kachina dolls.

No trip to a museum or gallery is complete without a little boo through the gift shop, so I was obligated to do so.  The results:

A flock of one

Same flock, head-on

Ray Growler sheep- they come in many sizes.  Since my luggage only comes in one size, this is the second-smallest sized sheep that Growler makes.  He will adorn a special place in my playroom.  Someday.

While Navajo weaving is beautiful, I was somewhat intimidated by the prices. Don’t get me wrong; I love to see artists charge a decent price for their work, but not everyone can afford to pay the big bucks.  Luckily, I actually like the colours in these Zapotec placemats better, and at $30.00 each, they fit in the budget as well as the suitcase.

Their eventual destination?  The Playroom.  (There is a theme emerging here.)

One other piece of decoration that I bought for the Playroom was this:

the beer is just for scale

It’s a small Navajo rug loom; actually an accessory for Josefina, an American Girl Doll.  While I am not interested in the actual doll, I though the loom was sort of cute.  It came with really thick yarn to weave,  but I had trouble manipulating it according to the directions.  Yet another instance where acrylic behaves differently than wool.  I can’t imagine a nine- or ten-year-old having much success with this project, but it’s still neat.  I drank the beer.

There was actually some knitting activity while I was away.  I have felted the Balkan Booties:  Sorry, no before photos.


These were a Knitpicks kit.  Of course felting is always kind of a crapshoot, but I really think that when the directions say that the foot may not felt as quickly or as thickly as the uppers, and that you may have to dangle the booties’ soles in the washer a little longer to get the correct size, that maybe just maybe we could just knit the sole a little smaller?  My washer doesn’t agitate with the lid open and there is no way to trick the machine into thinking that the lid is closed.  Result:  tight around the calves, really tight in the ankle, long enough in the foot that I can grow my toenails really long.   I am also fussing with the closure.  The pattern says snaps, but I’m considering Velcro.  I also need to decide whether to put leather soles on the booties, or just stuff ’em and leave them on display in my- you guessed it- Playroom.

I found this in a craft shop down south and promptly knit these:

I was sad to find that when I got home it was still too cold to wear fingerless mitts, but I’m sure there will be a ten minute window between Really Cold and Bug Season when I’ll be able to wear them comfortably.  I am ready to knit something with no colour changes, as the booties had at least 500 ends to run in and these gloves had more than enough as well.

Stay tuned for another post about a neat place I visited:  Clifton, Arizona.  I’ll try not to wait too long before I tell you all about the town and some of the people I met there.


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