Wednesday, February 27, 2008

not quite all here

No knitting. Excuses follow the alternative content: color combinations inspiring me last week.
GZuckerCol08_  087
Browns, greys and pale blues of Bogota after the daily rain storm, at the Plaza de Bolivar in the oldest part of this very modern city.

Street scenes Carrera11 Bogota Colombia
Siding at a construction site near the apartment in Bogota, I couldn't stop staring at it . If you squint it could be a crazy sort of ribbed knit blanket. These aren't colors I'd think of putting together: purples, cobalt, blues, greys and gold. If Noro does a yarn like this, watch out.

Cartagena, the historic walled part of the city. Sigh. Love this place. Every street a visual spark, whether spiffed up or chipped and fading.
For those who prefer a more, um, earthy palette. Climbing out of El Volcan de Lodo El Totumo, the mud volcano .

As for excuses? I wanted to show the nice heavy pair of Thuja-like socks I finished for Dave, honoring my extremely loose knitting goal for the year. They're blue, they're really great and they're not to be found. They will resurface . Hopefully before summer.

On the plane home, I almost completed a lovely alpaca beret. Except, I fly under the influence. The same good chemicals that disconnect me from caring about turbulence at 38,000 feet also, it turns out, disconnect me from caring that I am off by a couple of stitches. The lovely folding swirling decreases do not swirl or look remotely lovely, seen the next day under the stone cold eye of a wintery New England morning. Gone for now.

Friday, February 22, 2008

no knitting at the bullfight

Bullfight at the Plaza of the Bulls in Bogotoa Colombia
but first a disclaimer: read no further if you're offended by entertainment that includes killing large mammals. I'm in Colombia, I said I'd give the Corridas a try. I’ll do most legal things once. Unless they involve tiny airplanes or eating raw tomatoes.

At the last minute I decided not to bring knitting to the bullfight arena in Bogota last Sunday. Turns out once you sit down in your little tush space on the stone steps in a crowd of 50,000 at the Plaza de Toros , you do not have enough elbow room to knit. Not even socks! Plus, it was amazingly riveting. I wouldn't have made much progress, anyway.

The crowd was worth watching too. Most brought their own beverages in your basic handy wineskin.
Bullfight at the Plaza of the Bulls in Bogotoa Colombia

Bullfight at the Plaza of the Bulls in Bogotoa Colombia
Pom-poms. It seems they are soo in with the bullfighting elite.
I'm not sure who these folks are but I was told if I clapped when they clapped we couldn’t go wrong. Plus, they had the verrry good seats.

Bullfight at the Plaza of the Bulls in Bogotoa Colombia
Bogota must be the World Capital for Shawl Wearing. And I mean stylish shawls. Many handknit. Yet, I'm told knitting is not very popular at all . Everyone seems to have one freiend who knits , but I've yet to meet her. Or him.

There was public playing of castanets, at the most dramatic point, when the orchestra struck up the final famous bullfight tunes. Ole!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

go ahead, judge a book by its cover


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

I'm heading off for a big family trip, we are all not quite believing that tomorrow we are going to the airport and heading south. Way south.
Hasta luego, chicas!
In this case a luego= 11 days.
Not sure how much time and speed I'll have in the way of internet connections, maybe I'll post if I can.
Nothing is packed yet except passports, some dark chocolate, the strong anti-anxiety aromatherapy oil to inhale on the plane- if you sit near me on a plane, you know it - everyone's got their iPods revved, and.......the knitting. One must have one's priorities.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

all's well that ends

Sent off Friday. The Great Mitered Collaboration, 2006 thu 2008.
You'd think being a professional photographer who has a serious knitting fiber book coming out I'd pull out the stops on this one, wouldn't you? Nah. It would have meant hanging on to the piece for another day or so. I felt it had to be mailed, STAT! So, a super fast backyard presentation, in between bouts of slushy drizzle. My sister would have fainted if she'd seen me place our just finished blanket out on the grubby fence in that weather . Someday she'll discover this blog and boy am I going to hear about it .
** Keep in mind it is destined to live out its life on a sofa , bathed in the golden yellow of the sun rising directly over the Atlantic in Delaware. Talk about out of its element here !
compPattern: Mitered Square Afghan, following the directions from the Mason Dixon Knitting book, inspired by interpretations seen over at Ann & Kay's blog and at Tikkupeitto. The three of them, they put the genius into blanket knitting, a category I previously equated with Not Interesting To Me. I had comments from all 3 of them along the way , swoon, visitations by the Fairy Godmothers of Miter.
Yarn: Knitpicks Shine Worsted, we lost track of skeinage years ago , literally. Love this yarn!
Needles: Mostly I knit US5 and my siser knit on US 7, getting us a happy middle ground that your average tensioned knitter might find on US6. Don't ask.
Was it Really That Much Work?: No, it truly wasn't. We dragged this out ridiculously, even the seaming was not that time consuming. We are world class whiners. Go ahead and cast on for one of these, alone or with a sibling. Really. I mean it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

yes we can

Watch this!

ps. If you are in one of the 24 US states holding a primary tomorrow, get out there and vote.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

who says nothing goes on in February

Some celebrated Groundhogs Day, some say it's the date to honor Brigid.
Around here, the first Saturday in February is always International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Shown: mint chocolate chip, with strawberries and whipped cream. Side bowl of whole grain yet sugary cereal not included.
In the Hebrew calendar we just celebrated the New Year for Trees, which I did nothing much for except (clumsy segue ahead) trying to keep the Tree of Warmth supplied for another couple of weeks. Gazillion hugs to all who knitted for this! It's been much appreciated in the community. When I stopped by the soup kitchen to add new knits this week, it was just about bare. I added one more hat from me.
pattern: improvised 2-1 rib over 64 stitches.
yarn: green dyed naturals from this dyeing bonanza, held double with a strand of unlabeled natural brownish grey (possible a Green Mountain Spinnery vintage skein), both are worsted weight
needles: size 9, but you 'd use 10, I knit loose
notes: Literally two hours to do this, woohoo big gauge. I started a scarf with this yarn and besides botching the pattern horribly, it was scratchy, so I ripped it out. Somehow in the ribbed hat and with the handling, it felt softer, I would happily wear it.


In other observances of the day,
Cara reminded me (well, not me personally , I read her blog just like you all) Feb 2nd is also (Silent) Poetry Reading Day in blogdom. This year I'm leaving you with a poem. It is by Kinereth Gensler. She was a special person in my life, a second-or-third-or-whatever cousin by marriage, a kindred soul. Each year I get out one of her books to post a poem on this date. I end up not posting but reading the whole book, getting all weepy missing her. I do believe this year I'm sharing.

The Law of Signs -- Kinereth Gensler

When you need a sign,
one will be given.
Anything becomes a sign,
even a fortune cookie,
that sweet sawdust.
The law arrives in a cocked hat,
white slip of a tongue
in the crooked mouth,
its words to be digested.
It will last long enough-
foretaste, taste, aftertaste-
to become addictive.
You go through many fortunes
waiting for the perfect fit
between the sign you seek
and the written message.