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Present hopes


Present hopes

Originally uploaded by rjknits

2009 seems to have been hard for a lot of people: Family losses, job losses, new job stress, and the news media acting more like a bad-news blog that yammers about every uptick and downtick in the world (while not reporting on important things like 7 car pileups unless they’re half a world away). I’m hoping we all find safe, appropriate ways to celebrate this change of the year, and that 2010 is a bright shiny package filled with good things.

Keep safe! I’ll be back blogging once I’m done partying like it’s 1999 (hey, the picture is of purple wrapping paper — you wouldn’t imagine me skipping out on a “the artist formerly known as” reference).

Goin’ West

Blue skiesKuan Yin statuary at the Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian ArtFor Project Spectrum, I headed West to the land of tall buildings and the fictional home of JR Ewing. Back again, without extra yarn. I’m hoping the pictures I took will come out and I’ll be able to show you the few blue skies I got to see during a short visit to Dallas. There was great food, I got to see people I see once a year, and I wasn’t in the office. The bad part — I’m exhausted, I’m not sure I have something appropriate to wear tomorrow morning, and the cats were very very angry.

No, I did not go to the museum about Kennedy’s assassination. I did get to see an amazing Asian art museum (if you’re ever in Dallas, check out the Crow Asian Art Museum to hear calming beautiful music while getting to look at some of the most splendid jade from China and interesting marble temples from India). It’s weird that I got to go West to see mementos from the East. But here we have East brought to the West by avid collectors; and the old within the modern world of skyscrapers.

Noodling about, thinking about a dreamswatch shawl

Koigu KPPPM dye code P820I have some Koigu that I’m swatching today. I will see how the swatch(es) knit up (size 0 needles, but they’re square needles so the gauge is really small), and then think about what I want to do next. It may all depend on what the yarn feels like when it’s washed. Options include:

  • Dreamswatch (7 to 15 repeats of the pattern) for a kind of shawl or stole if the yarn does not wash up to be as soft as I hope
  • Socks (that’s a ravelry link — it’s for the Interweave Knits Windowpane socks, and would need a background color)
  • A baby hat (no pattern in mind, but it needs to be soft!)

I kind of wish there was more olive in the yarn, because that would have made it visually fight less. It’s always interesting the difference between the nicely coiled hank and the yarn balled up or knit up. Of course, it’s always interesting to knit up items that have marinated for a long time in the stash drawer. I can’t remember which pattern I originally thought I’d do. So, think the dream swatch shawl would be a good idea?

Drowsy, downy, solitary bee

bee hiding behind a flower

Picture of bee taken at the height of summer -- when bees ARE busy

I must have swept against its rest, among sunflowers by the way,

For a solitary, sleepy, snoozing un-busy bee clung to my leg,

Sprawled over my knee. Pollen clung to her legs, antennae,

And fuzzy body spritzed by dew.

It must have been a good party in the sunflowers,

Leaving her drowsing in the cold morning —

Her clear wings, pearlescent, periwinkle,

Drawn up against the chilly air.

As she stirred, I gently picked a leaf

And held it under one foot until she stepped away from

The strangeness of cotton fabric — one leg, two leg, three leg —

So I could leave her drowsing

In a stand of half-furled chrysanthemums.

— (C) rjn 9/3/2009

Stitch found and row speed ahead

Sometimes regular life distracts sufficiently from knitting, creeping into my hobby time. And in those times, dropped stitches happen. In this case, it was Honeycombvestin the Honeycomb vest. So, I’ve ripped back 5 rows, found the dropped stitch, and have set up stitch markers to remind me when 8 repeats of the stitch have been done so I can count more easily. Luckily, Green Mountain Spinnery cotton comfort is very forgiving of ripping.

I’ll be glad when I can get to the decrease rows for the arms and neck, and hopefully move on to the front of the vest. Next vest pattern I decide to do will be in the round. Mark my words.

Rowboat and boat on banks of Lake Champlain

There are lovely places to hike near Lake Champlain. These boats were pulled up on a rocky ledge on the banks of the lake. I’m going through my pictures of sunsets overBeached boats the water, woodsy trails, wildflowers, and interiors from the Inn I stayed at. All very lovely. Some of them are appropriate for Project Spectrum and I’ve put them up on my flickr account on the sidebar. ๐Ÿ™‚ Some may show up on these pages when they seem appropriate.

I guess it’s the sign of a good trip if you’re already hoping to go back again and figuring out ways to avoid lots and lots of driving.

Red berries in the north woods

red berriesIt’s hard to believe these were real — but they were. Lovely red berries that captured the light and made me think of beautiful, clear jelly. This photo was taken during a short trip to the woods surrounding Lake Champlain. We saw many many rowboats as well as sailboats on the water. Dodged a couple of rainstorms, and survived one huge thunderstorm. Luckily, not that many mosquitoes saw me. ๐Ÿ™‚

BTW: Lake Champlain is skinnier than I remembered. I must have been near it in the past and just thought it was a wide, huge river. Of course, that would have been riding with the family in my teens, when I probably had my nose in a book reading about ancient Egypt or Sumeranians.

Edited to add: This may be Japanese Honeysuckle fruit (it’s an invasive).

It does not appear to be any of the following: elderberries, red currants, vibernum, winterberry, or dogwood. However, I could be wrong. I am not a horticultural expert, and I do not believe these are edible berries at all (in fact, they seem to fit the bill of “fit only for the birds” and poisonous for the rest of us, since no one in the forest seemed to be eating these.)


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