Archive for November, 2008


Future Generations

From time to time I worry about the young generation, and how they are going to take care of the world. However, when I met my new cousin Lauren last night, my faith in young people was fully restored.

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And I think my mother started getting a hankering for babies too.

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And Lauren’s grandmother, my Aunt Alison, couldn’t be happier.

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Proud parents, my cousin Matthew and his new wife Jackie (Jacquie? I don’t know…) are the luckiest people on earth. Lauren has survived a surgery to repair valves on her heart, and she has the sweetest disposition I have ever seen in a one year old child. They are even talking about moving out to the mainland to be close to family, which means I will have a baby cousin nearby to spoil! She will soon be big enough to wear the baby sweater I gave her, which also just happens to be the first sweater I ever made. I hope that by her wearing my first sweater, she may get a hankering to knit when she’s a little older….hehehe.

I finally finished my Dad’s socks as well, and I call them his "casual dress socks." Dad goes out a lot during the winter, meeting with customers and clients, product reps, and his fellow management staff, so he often dresses up for lunches and outings. Something I have always hated is how thin and cold dress socks are, so I made him a pair that are dark enough to be worn with his dress shoes, but out of wool, so they will be warm too. They are plain knit as well, so he can even wear them in his sneakers or steel toes too. No pictures, they’re just grey socks afterall. However, I did start the last project on my Christmas knitting list today.

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Earl Grey Socks, designed by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the Yarn Harlot), and I’m using Cascade Heritage sock yarn, black. There was no real explanation for the design of the cables on the site that I could see, but I think the thin, mock cables look like thin tendrils of steam rising out of a cup of earl grey tea. I love that cozy idea, and I hope my friend Ramond likes it too, because they are going to be his in just a couple of short months.

Speaking of tea, I was curled up nice and warm in one of the arm chairs this morning, knitting on the socks, when Mom called me into the kitchen. We were so happy, because this guy is back:

heron

Every summer, the herons abandon the field that you can see in the background, but when things cool down and get wet again, the herons come back and patrol the fields looking for food. They often stop on top of our clothesline pole, like you see here, for a better view. There is just no way to possible show you the size of this bird, the picture doesn’t do it justice. But they are huge, immense, and some of the most graceful flyers I’ve ever seen too. They are large enough, that when they stand like you see above in that field, we can see their outlines fairly clearly from the window.

The heron returning means that it’s almost officially winter again, not too long before we’ll start to see the first attempts of snow (which will quickly be thwarted by warming up and melting it all into slush, then freezing overnight and making road conditions perilous beyond belief), and who knows, maybe we’ll even have a white Christmas?

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First off, I’m telling you about the no progress part of things, since it’s small and then hopefully will be forgotten when I show all the real progress.

I have not finished the second of my father’s socks. It’s ready to move onto the heel flap, and I just haven’t sat down to do it yet. I will soon, I promise, but I’ve been more interested in other things. Other things like these:

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The Tiger Eye Scarf, it is knit out of fingering weight yarn, so I knit a few rows here and there, and it’s zipping along. I’m not trying to rush it or anything, it’ll be finished when I decide it will be. Same thing with this:

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The Travelling Fern Scarf. It is knit out of lace weight Kid Merino however, and is not so zippy. It takes my time and patience and concentration, so I only knit it when I have day light and the willingness for it. It is so hard to photograph the frailness of it though. It is so webby and delicate, and I can’t possibly express it in a photograph at night time in my bedroom with hardly any light. When it is finished, however, I will be certain to spend some real quality time attempting to capture it’s beauty.

The Tree Pose Yoga Mat bag is coming along rather quickly though.

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It is 2/3 of the way done (see, those are little yogis doing Tree Pose. In cables. I love it!), and the first 2 repeats, well, they flew along. Now, I know it’s getting into the grudge work of repeat knitting. Little repeats, like my two scarves, those are great, because it’s small, repetitive, and simple to work on over time. This bag however, I can’t just zip out a row or two, it takes time to sit down and knit it, and I’m starting to get tired of it. I love this project to death, don’t get me wrong, but when these little dudes are done, I will be happy.

And finally, I need to find a pair of socks to knit out of this stuff:

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It’s the Cascade Heritage sock yarn, and its in the color way "Raspberry." Mom gave it to me, when it came in the mail and was totally not the color she thought she was going to get. I happily accepted it however. I will never let good yarn go astray. Any suggestions? I want something either lacy, or with cables. This will definitely be an after Christmas holidays project though, I have too many things on the go right now!

Now, normally, I would put little rants like the one you’re going to read today on my other blog, however, since what inspired the events that happened today are focused on what I’m knitting, well, I decided to move it here. This blog is almost always about knitting, and well, that’s just not the whole story of my life. Believe it or not, I also have a job, social life, and *gasp!* other hobbies. One of those hobbies, is yoga.

I’ve been practicing yoga for probably about 5 years, on and off. I got into it when I wanted to increase my flexibility and balance for the other sport I was doing at the time, which was medieval fencing. When I decided to stop associating with the group I was practicing fencing with however, the yoga stuck, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Lately however, I’ve been neglecting my practice, and it felt like time to jump back in.

Yoga and knitting, I realize, have very little in common, despite all those people who call knitting the new yoga (and I want to choke the people who say that everytime I hear it), but they can be compared for the purposes of this rant. Cabling and Lace knitting are both knitting, just different types, and for the most part, I find lace knitting way more challenging than cabling, which is why I probably have more lace projects on the go than cabling. But knitting they both are, they just two completely different outcomes. The same is with yoga, there are many different types, and all with different outcomes. Two different types of yoga are taught at my local leisure center, Ashtanga and Hatha, and Hatha is what I’ve been practicing for years. It is more challenging (because as my family can tell you, I love me a challenge), and I find that all that time I spend in the poses, pushing myself, helps me to work out the issues in other areas of my life.

This morning, I set off for the only Hatha Yoga class taught at the center, and I was ready to hit the matt running (so to speak), and get my frustrations worked out. Let me set the scene. I walked into the classroom, set up my matt, and joined the rest of the people in sitting on a block, facing the mirror, we’re all relatively well dressed, we look presentable, and all of us are in pretty good shape. Most of the women have makeup on, and are polished. These are experienced yogis, and they contort themselves in ways that makes a person flinch if they haven’t done yoga themselves. The instructor who normally teaches the class, she looks just like them too, and has about as many more years of experience on us as well.

So, in walks the teacher from the Ashtanaga yoga class, a short, stubby, frail looking older woman who is stopped over somewhat, and she is wearing very faded old tapered-leg yoga pants and a striped tshirt that has definitely seen better days. She launches into preaching about Ashtanga yoga and the "8 limbs" and stuff, and then proceeds to treat us all like delicate little first-time yogis. Every person in that room flinched when she walked in, because they’ve all taken her class at least once, and have all demonstrated their preference for the other yoga class by attending it exclusively. Even though we appreciated that the class wasn’t challenged by our favorite teacher’s unfortunate case of the flu, I can tell that I wasn’t alone in feeling a little invaded.

There were a few times when she was leading us through the gentler versions of the poses that some of us attempted to move into the fuller expression. For instance, I was bent over in Forward Fold, and my left leg was extended behind me in the beginner version of Half Moon. I started to move my weight onto my right hand and bring my left arm up, when I was promptly scolded back down. She seemed to read my mind about why I couldn’t move into it, and she claimed that I would be discouraging the other students by showing off my "experience." I’d like to point out that the woman behind me (who had a difficult time stifling a giggle when I was told that) is a certified yoga instructor, and has been for years. She can probably twist into ways I’ve never even dreamed of yet, but I digress. We were all frustrated at the end of the class, and the lot of us scattered like mice being chased by a cat when the class ended.

So, when I arrived home, I used my frustration to propel me to cast on this project:

treepose

It’s the Tree Pose Yoga Bag from Inspired Cable Knits (boy, that’s a lot of capitals!), and it’s knit in Knit Picks Shine Sport on 3.25mm needles. I love watching how the cables slowly form themselves into people doing Tree Pose (and the full extension of the pose too, I might add), and I imagine how nice it will look around my baby blue yoga matt when I bring it with me to classes. It’s also a nice break from all the lace knitting, these lovely cables. Should work up rather quickly, it’s knit on straight needles, and it moves pretty quickly along.