Sunday, January 28, 2007

red scarf road trip report

If you thought the red scarves were beautiful last year, you should see this year's.
And if you think it's "nice" to knit for the Red Scarf Project, well, nice doesn't begin to cover it. Go read Norma's post about the students. Ok you've probably already been there. Read on!

This sneak peek is from a most excellent road trip to frigid southern New Hampshire to meet up with Norma and some lovely OFA students,GZUCKER010707_215 who gave their afternoon to pose for PR photos for the Red Scarf project.

I'm not sure I can capture in words how moving it is to meet the OFA students and learn how truly touched they are to receive the care packages. Something so easy for us is so big to them. As in , makes a difference in their lives. The heartfelt and unsolicited comments they made while looking through the scarves, that people cared enough to knit for them, and the handwritten notes, and the receiving of a personal gifts when they get NO packages at all from "home"....well,let's say there were some moments where you need to blink back those eyes.

Not that we didn't get in some laughs. We had our Fearless Boy Reporter stop in from the New Hampshire newspaper

And had a general all around good time, reenacting - or maybe I should say pre-enacting- the receiving of Valentines Day packages, and posing for gazillion photos to help spread the word about the Orphan Foundation and its students.

It was zero F (for freakin') degrees out and we could still look this glad to be there. GZUCKER010707_272
If you knit a Red Scarf , you were there too. Be proud.

ps. The Orphan Foundation also has an virtual mentoring program that the students raved about. Students and volunteers are matched up by interest and career goals, and your experience. They keep in touch over the year for support, exactly what they don't have after they've aged out of foster care. Or maybe never had at all, from what we heard. So simple and so meaningful. If you are interested check it out on the OFA site.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

everything old is new again

An ongoing theme for 2007.

I always thought of myself as a sweater knitter. To me, sweaters were the main course of knitting, and hats or scarves were little snacks to have once in a while on the side.
In 2006 it seems I went wild with the chips and crackers, I didn't finish a single sweater. In fact I barely worked on one, and that baby is going to be ripped out in the near future.
This sweater was started at the end of 2005.piecesI'd bought a button I was crazy about while on vacation in New Mexico and decided to knit a sweater for it. Can you say "Bass Ackwards" ?
It's a Cutaway in Rowanspun DK, last seen with half a back knit in November 05.

Being one of Bonne Marie's wonderful designs, it is so well written , it's practically knitting itself . (That and it's mostly stockinette with shaping.) I've whipped out the back, the two fronts and cast on for the sleeves. Two on one, that is.

Below I am illustrating the velcro qualities of my backdoor tree (aka the lazy photographer's quick wall for knit shots) and also the oddly attractive combo of random orange waste yarn and the lavendar tweed. I'm tempted to blanket stitch the edge in something terra cotta-orangey.

Fortunately I still like the pattern I chose, I still like the yarn.
I'm just not sure it goes with the button.
• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Road trip today! It involves red scarves, students, Norma and, umm, maybe a gnome?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

sisterly relations

Recently a commenter asked: whatever happened to all those miters? Blogger being its usual ornery self, I can't email back so you all get to hear. Normally I cringe when asked about something I went on and on and on about and then never finished but that's only if you know me in regular life. You, my invisible internet friends? On the blog? Im honored to have you notice my dangling ends.

In case you missed this ongoing sibling knits drama, all summer my sister and I knit up mitered squares to make a surprise blanket for our parents. By mid August we were plenty psyched that a) we stopped short of hand-to-hand combat over artistic decisions and b) the trial layout looked awesome, in our-ahem- modest estimation. September passed and with it our not-really-but-we'd-like-to deadline .

We chose all those beachy bright colors because, in summer, the parents mostly live in beachy bright seaside Delaware. By October the place was boarded up for winter, so Lulu and I kinda lost our zip. We have the afghan-less sofa that faces the waves in mind as its final resting place. We're both immediate gratification gals , we want the reward of seeing the piece esconced and appreciated right way , none of that store it in a closet till spring stuff for us. (yeah we are old enough to be more mature than that. what about it?) We're thinking end of March when the place gets re-opened as the new goal.

Meanwhile, it appears that the easiest way to lose control of your schedule and your time to walk a couple of miles a day, is to pledge to do 100 Miles by April 1st at Run a Go Go. Last week I was up in Hartford on a job and realized I could boost my meager mileage and get major sisterly brownie points with the mitering sister r by taking a hike over to her museum shop before heading home. The walk itself was..well...unless you call the folks outside the methadone clinic interesting , a not so scenic mile each way. comphtfrd
Although I always like the Puritan gravestone art. You've got love New England cities for having the 250 year old winged skulls right next to the glassed in office tower in the center of town.

The store is full of fun things to browsestore2, Lulu is an excellent buyerstore3 and a gifted gifter.

Check out this display
Have I not been a good influence on her? See that issue of Piecework? Its all about knitting and has some very cool mittens in it. Wish I'd bought it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

on personal style

The Mistake Rib Skein Scarf
Because *K2P2* repeat to last stitch, K1
is so much less boring than a K2P2 simple rib.

Repeat this row until you run out of the skein, then join a new skein that is similar but not the same.

Because it is much too hard for me to select three skeins of matching yarn, even when I'm trying to.

Yarn: Hopyards Spinnery Yarn by Bessie hand dyed merino, worsted weight
I started with the last 1/3 of a started skein, used all of a second, ending with a bit of a third. Even the long stretch in the middle of one skein shifted colors enough that this is all over the place.
You'd think it'd bother me to wear this , all mismatched. But no, I like it. So much so that when I needed to be All Put Together for a job on Friday, I thought it'd be just the touch I needed.

When I popped into the prestigious corporate restroom on location to check my All-Put-Togetherness, my eyes traveled downward. Scarf? looking fine. Lush, handmade,wintery, no problem. It sits on my charcoal wool jacket and olive green sweater. OK. Presentable. I look a little lower. uhhh. Seems when I got dressed at Dark O'clock AM, the dressy charcoal pants I thought I'd put on were actually an old pair of black pants with a worn knee. wah-wah. Funny how one can slide from reasonably confident to wishing one could hide behind a counter in a sweep of the eyeballs.

As for the scarf's range of colors making me happy ? Another case of local color.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

i'm not yelling

I want you to know I'm saying this in the most quiet, friendly, collegial way:

I'm glad you like some of my photographs enough to take them and put them on your own blog. It's very flattering. I know it's meant as a compliment to my work, knitted or photographic. I've been making my living for a long time having people like my photography enough that they pay me well to create it. It's what I do, and while I appreciate it, I'm used to it. Having anyone like my knitting enough to want to show it on their blog? This makes me nearly delirious.

However. It's not the right thing to do. If you see an image you like so much that you want to show it on your own blog, please email me first to ask permission: ezisus AT snetDOTnet .

Or if you don't want to take any extra time to get in touch (because who has extra time, anyway?), mention the image in your text and refer your reader over here with a hot link to my blog. Just don't take it to your own server. It's not good etiquette, it's against copyright law and it goes against good creative karma, however well intentioned the download.

Thanks very much!
If you don't mind, I'm going to go back to my non-blog life and start shouting again.
HEY! Who poured out my coffee? And will someone PLEASE let the dog in, he's out back barking am I the only one who can hear him???

Saturday, January 06, 2007

results may vary

Come back with me to late November. It's a misty moisty morning. I head over the river and through the woods to a sale at the Hopyards Spinnery. Understand, there is no store here normally, the sales are irregular. You get an email, you go if you can. You get to wander in the field and small barn garage, where Carol has placed a couple hundred rubber bins of her gorgeous yarn. You come to pay Prix Frixe for all you can shove in a shopping bag. The catch is having enough time to look and having some focus. On this particular morning I believe I have both.
Seeing as it is both misty and moisty, Carol asks us to keep the lids on her bins after we've peeked at the contents. The bins are not grouped in any strict order, so you might find three bins of worsted weight merino solids organized by hue followed by a bin of all different colors thick and thin, followed by a few bins of bulky variegates , and then a bin that has a little of everything in it. You know that card game Memory , when you lay the deck out face down and each player flips over two cards in search of pairs, and everyone tries hard to remember which cards are where ? Yeah. Like that. Its also kind of festive, I pair up with a woman who is wearing a Lizard Ridge scarf (great idea, no?) and we shout out to each other across the bins if we spy certain yarns we are each seeking.

All of this to explain how, when a phone call caught me with a partially filled bag and the need to leave pronto, I grabbed what I thought were three of the same variegated skeins I'd been trying to resist.

So, here I am, one skein into my new scarf . I realize upon stopping to wind the next skein that my triplets are not even fraternal, but cousins.
newskeinTwo are maybe first cousins who shared a dip into the same gene pool dye bath. The third is a cousin twice removed. I'm knitting on anyway but why do I never learn?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

the cobbler's neck

I became startling aware of a personal lack of scarf last week. How can that be? I am a practicing scarf evangelist. Ask my friends, my relatives and even the stray passerby who comments on my knitting. Invariably the conversation gets around to me urging them to knit a scarf. If not for themselves, than for a good cause. Not only that, its rare to find me, except mid-summer, without a shmatte around my neck. (you'll need to scroll down on the link if you seek the definition but you may pick up some colorful phrases for the new year enroute).

I accidentally left an old favorite scarf at our tenant's place next door, while sticking my head up their fireplace trying to solve a chimney problem. When they returned the scarf in a ziplock bag a few days later, it looked particularly sad and specimen-like. This prompted a good hard look at the full selection of What I Wrap Around My Collar and, well, it's all a bit scraggly.

I had assorted half skeins left from the gift knitting, which bugs me. I don't like having lots of purposeless un-knit yarn around, especially if it's fiber I like. I am sort of the Anti-Stash.

So for the new year, I made myself a little leftovers scarf, shorter and chunkier than the one I made for the Red Scarf Project. I used up every bit left of three yarns. It was pleasing. Until I tried it on.
I realized this particular red looks bad next to my winter shade of skin, and, truth told, its all too primary colored for me. Another one for the Red Scarf Project, where I hope it'll find its way to a bright-loving college student.

As for me, I may cast on a simple mistake rib scarf with some of this. varigateI used a skein of it for a gift hat and wasn't crazy about it but I have a couple skeins left taunting me here and a long commute via train to a shoot tomorrow.

2007 is the year to say yes, I'll give it a try.
Today's yes- check it out for yourself over at YarnAGoGo