Tuesday, November 27, 2007



phone ringing sound
Me: Hey Pat, I have a question for you.
(Pat is the director of the Community Dining Room , the local soup kitchen serving meals 7 days a week to adults, children & families, as well as offering other services, to a string of towns in our area.)

Pat: Hi Gale. How'd that work out last month when you cooked for us here? You locked yourself out the back door and left me that frantic message?

Me: (trying to gloss over embarrassing incident gracefully) ummm, yeah.... I have a question. I saw a flyer somewhere for a Mitten Tree you have? A friend & I have this group of knitters we organized and we'd like to support a local project, and since some of us already cook for you at the .....

Pat: A tree? With knitted things? That sounds wonderful! We've never had one, I am so thrilled you want to set this up.

Me: No, Pat, I meant, um, I saw this flyer asking for handknits and...

Pat: Our clients need hats and mittens and scarves and it is SO WONDERFUL you're offering to organize this.

Me: Um, really,I thought I saw this flyer.... maybe at the library?

Pat: Oh, Gale, we so appreciate this, we'll talk later this week, I have to run, and thanks SO MUCH FOR STARTING THIS FOR US, I can't wait to set it up at the end of December after the holidays.

Me: (voice trailing off , as Pat hangs up) no, but, wait, Pat? I thought there already was a mitten tree.....

It seems I've started the Tree of Warmth Project. Knitters wanted!!!!

Please, if you can spare a pair of mitts or a hat or a scarf, the Tree of Warmth Project will provide much needed protection from the chill , starting at the end of December. About 30% of the need is for children, all sizes, the rest is adults of both genders and all ages.

If you're in the general New Haven / shoreline area I can pick up your knits, otherwise send me an email (or if you comment, please be sure you leave an address for reaching you!!) and I'll give you my mailing address. I know every single thing will be appreciated.
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Monday, November 19, 2007

small undertakings

Usually a few snappy remarks on a topic keep me happy without needing to do anything further. Like I can browse online for weird mixed breed rescue dogs for an hour but not actually bring a new bowser home. This time, after wisecracking to Norma, and joking with Mary Lou, I went ahead and started this

Since it's tongue in cheek, I invited a few friends who have clear records of NOT being underachievers but who seemed to share my sense that Ravelry is a brilliant piece of interactive web design but we weren't finding the time and the clicks to get all that we could out of it. Somehow instead of invites they became administrators , and without agreeing to it, there were then six of us. I was glad, if I was alone in the group it'd really hurt my ego.

Anyway we are now close to 200 members. How fun is that? It's a fine group and I've already learned some good Ravelry tricks from them. Stop by ! I mean, if you're not busy reaching all your life goals and stuff like that.

In other communal small efforts, I joined Olivers American Blanket. I don't know why but I've never knit a diagonal garter stitch square and it looked so satisfying.
It is. I apologize in advance to Kay for these very unKaylike (and un Kaffe like too) colors, I have faith she'll find a way to work playdoh-meets-egg-yolk in with more tasteful colorways. That second little bit on the needle was a log cabin style square underway, because the rules didn't say it had to be 4" of diagonal. I've since ripped it out and went back to the cool modern efficiency of the diagonal square, my log cabin just looked too dadburn down home. Yet sort of pleasingly Gees Bendy, if that can be an adjective. It's a small thing. Maybe some other time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

in which we take on gauge. again.

Maybe I should taken account of the stitches per inch sometime in the 2 years this was on needles. Denial is such a powerful set of blinders.
Cutaway in Rowanspun DK.

This isn't my first go-round with gauge. We go waaay back . It was the Twelve Corners Middle School 5th Grade Spelling Bee., final round. A voracious reader, I had an excellent vocabulary. There was a whole cosmos of words I knew but never heard pronounced. Hors D'oeuvres for instance. In books, people were always eating HORZ DA VORZ . Likewise, my engineer dad would talk about measuring things, and deputize us to monitor dials on the dashboard when he fixed his weird old car but the spoken word gauge never connected in my brain with that word in books, GAWJ.
So there we were on the auditorium stage. First, Richard Lee, goes down on roccoco, I am glad it wasn't my word because I wasn't clear on the CC's there.(and in truth just had to spell check it now, heh). The next two kids stayed in. And me, my word? GAYJ, to measure. Umm,so familiar, yet... G-A-G-E? Ding! Out!
Love the yarn, love the style, love the pattern, not loving the fit. If only I had arms 5 inches longer, another 6" of bust and was taller with broad shoulders. I am no waif, this is just a larger-than-me cardigan.
I am not ripping it to re-do. Just no heart for it, the yarn itself is kind of tender. I'll probably just wear it around the house, sob.

postscript: 24 hours later , leaving to spend the day with an old friend, I threw it in my bag. She has always been 5 " taller and proportioned for her height. It was a perfect fit. What might have seemed like gauge kicking my tush again was actually divine intervention.
(I'm not 100% behind selling myself on the divine intervention bit, but it takes the sting out of the whole situation, you know?).
Ok, gauge, we'll talk again. soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

go tell it to the judge

Exhibit A:
The reward project, clearly started, your honor. Looks to be about one skein of Araucania Nature Wool Bulky knit in the round, garter stitch. Top down, I believe.

Cough, um, your honor, a sidebar? The defendant thinks you should be extra nice to her because she just linked you to an excellent sale price for this yarn, which she is crazy about. The shading variations in the solid not quite midnight blue not quite teal are mitigating factors.

Exhibit B:
Very pink, very plastic circular needles. Origin unknown, believed to have been acquired from a five and dime ( a what? sorry , referencing a retail kinda place that sold everything, from fabric to hamsters and makeup, and even had a lunch counter) back when I liked to knit scandanavian sweaters in the round and there wasn't a yarn store nearby.

Exhibit C:
Forget it, I am not showing my messy desk with ,um, the incriminating not-quite-done-book keeping . You know, the work that had to be done before I could so much as breathe on that yarn.
In lieu, leaves which are oddly still on the trees around here.

In my defense:
I had to start this sweater. I had jury duty on Monday. The pamphlet clearly stated that no dangerous objects would be allowed in the courthouse and the only dangerous object they bothered to list as an example was...drumroll..knitting needles. I saw this as a challenge. My little pinky translucent needles scream Easy Bake Oven more than Danger Danger . I cast on at 6 am, by 8 am I was swilling coffee up in the jury pool waiting room, poised to start knitting as soon as the official speeches and instructional voir dire videos were over.

Upon cross examination it was revealed that I did actually have a long neglected Kidsilk Tubepeople on a bamboo circular needle that could have come along instead, honoring the reward nature of the knitting. The extreme boring-ness of sitting in the jury pool room knitting around and around on fuschia Kidsilk Haze might cause me to poke my own eyes out, so was ruled Not The Right Project For The Situation.

Verdict: Guilty. Will attempt to stop any further knitting on this lovely project until bookeeping goal has been met. Will return to seaming sweater that is almost done, and wandering around the vicinity in my gorgeous handpsun alpaca shawl which I can't show you. If you happen to see me in person, I will not give you a chance to admire it, because before you can speak, I will have demanded that you pet it. It feels that good.