Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday Knitting

Those of us who celebrate Christmas arrive at the end of Thanksgiving with a bit of panic, don't we? While I do have my fair share of shopping panic, my larger stress is the sudden realization that I intend to knit far more things than my hands are able to in the mere four weeks left to me. This year is no different, in spite of my best efforts not to start anything new.

I should have been done with that Muir shawl weeks ago. It looks so simple, and yet I'm beginning the fifth repeat and I simply cannot memorize that pattern. The lace is so spongey ( I don't think that's a word) I can't see the pattern to determine if the YO/dec's should slant left or right. So that keeps me enslaved to the chart. I've enlarged the chart so I can now at least read it without bringing it two inches from my eyes. I thought I'd gain some speed by making the chart big enough to glance at from a distance, so I could be in my comfy chair with the pattern placed on a nearby side table. I'm still not fast enough!

My Hild sweater is not sewn together yet. My future DIL's sweater from last Christmas is still not done. I'm altering it for the second time (that means third time to knit, counting my innocent first endeavor just following the instructions). Actually, this time I have undone the entire sweater and am starting from scratch. Boy did that hurt!

And I'm not even going to consider working on my niece's Marihone sweater. I will have to frog that back and redesign it. It will be fun to do, so I'd better not tackle that at this time of year or I'll end up hating it.

I haven't touched my historical tapestry in about a month now. I hope to get back to that next week. I hope to do all my holiday shopping online! I tried that last year, and it wasn't overly successful, but hope is so constantly optimistic, and I do so hope to buy everything without ever leaving the house!

Let the roller coaster ride begin. I hope it will be more fun than scary!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Medical marvels

I'm marveling at the surgery that Chris' friend Sarah just had. The night of the accident the doctors removed a piece of her skull to relieve the pressure from her head injury. They put her into an induced coma to let her heal somewhat. They woke her up early in the week, and since she progressed well through the week they did a second surgery on Thursday to replace that piece of skull. The part I just learned is that to keep her skull bone alive and well they had inserted it into her leg near her hip bone. At times like these, when someone's precious life was almost taken by a random accident, the marvels of modern surgical techniques just amaze me. I'm floored and so thankful that she is going to survive this.

Now I just hope she will recover fully.
(Okay, what does this photo have to do with this post?'s an image of an amazing day in an amazing place, and both have happened this week for Sarah)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Always something

First on my mind this week is Sarah. News from my son is that he saw her awake earlier this week and that she knows who everyone is that has visited her. She even knew people who were not visiting but were being discussed. She was brought out of her coma and will have a second surgery to replace the portion of her scull that was removed during the first surgery in order to relieve the pressure from her injury. Her family, from the Philippines, is there with her. She has a long road to recovery, so if you see this please keep her in mind or in your prayers.

In the last couple of days I have discovered that some of my friends are now on Ravelry. That made me realize that I needed to update my account there, post some pictures, make contact with some of the groups I joined. When I joined ravelry I looked around a bit, joined some groups, and then promptly forgot all about it. Having some local friends there has made me reconnect, and it's a great place! I found lots of inspiration on the Bohus knitting group. Some of their finished sweaters just make me weak in the knees. I want to drop everything and start a Bohus design. I've had plans for that for years....but I try to be strong and make myself finish what I've already started!

Through someone on the Tapestry yahoo group, one of the Convergence committee members has contacted me to see if The Wednesday Group is interested in displaying work at a site near the Convergence activities. I am totally not ready to organize another show, but how can we let this opportunity pass? Will just have to see where this leads.

And lastly, it is autumn here at last. I can no longer dash out on errands without a coat, and the colors which are normally so vibrant at hallowe'en are looking pretty dramatic in time for Thanksgiving. Better late than never....
This i

This the "corky bark" or "burning bush" at one end of my main perennial garden, with the maples behind. There are miniature bamboo under the corky bark and there is the silhouette of my David Austin Heritage rose in the foreground.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Here's Buddha

Here's Buddha, not quite ready for prime time. I took a load of pictures of him today and didn't get a good one yet. I'll keep tweaking and replace this when I have a better one. Well, with help from my camera savvy husband, here's a better photo.

My younger son called today in a bit of a funk. A friend of his from school was walking home to her off-campus apartment last night when she was hit by a car. He doesn't know too much except that she had head injury with internal bleeding and needed surgery. She's a physics major, like Chris, and this is her senior year also. Chris does problem sets with her and a few other students in the library each week. I hope she will recover. I can't get her off my mind.... If you see this please say a prayer for her. Her name is Sarah.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Busy, Busy

Yesterday I visited the annual "Lace Day" of the Metro Chapter of the International Old Lacers. They have a course of study to learn Torchon lace which I started last year. I made the first pattern which is so simple it's embarrassing! Even though there was not a course for the second pattern, the President of the group very patiently helped me set up that pattern and get started. It's a lot more challenging than the first exercise!
This is not quite the pattern I'm doing, but it's simlar. The scallop edge that I'm doing is an oblique interlacement, whereas here it's vertical and horizontal, like regular weaving. I have very little "background" netting, and my sewing edge is also narrower than this. If I get proficient at this pattern I would love to make handkerchief edging. I'd have to learn how to turn corners.

I'm completely weak in the knees for lace hankies! How awesome to gain the skills to make one!

This afternoon I planted my garlic, total wishful thinking for next year! My garlic never grows into the large bulbs I get at the farmers' market, but I'm forever hopeful that my garlic ship will come in next year! Most likely it doesn't get enough sun where I plant it. Today I put the bulbs in a garden that a family of woodchucks has enjoyed all summer. I'm hoping the garlic is too smelly for them, but I guess I'll have to wait and see. My weld is there, and they haven't touched that. Absolutely nothing else has survived there!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Hudson Valley in Autumn

Today my husband and I took a ride through the Hudson Valley (western side) and visited a few vineyards. It was a lovely day. Geese on the water and a brand new orchard caught our attention.

Donkeys grazing on the outskirts of the Benmarl Vineyard which has lovely views of the Hudson from its high location.

Another visit to Tapestry Exhibit

I managed to get another visit to the exhibit. I was hoping to walk through backwards, but I was with my husband who didn't want to see it out of order. He can certainly dash through an exhibit when it's not to his interest. I always feel I have to at least read all the plaquards hoping to learn something!
I've got pictures from the website, but none of my own. Of course my own would be quite different as I'd focus on what appealed to me. I loved one of the early works of a naval battle in the Netherlands. If I could weave just a small section of water I would be immensely pleased with myself! I'm so sorry I can't show a detail of the water....believe it or not this is a detail even though not as tight as I would have done!

This is another detail from a much more involved work. These two men are in the foreground and so dramatic. I could barely walk away from this piece!

And this is one of my favorites. The apostles and Jesus are so sensitively portrayed, their reflections in the water are incredible, and the birds in the foreground are beautiful. The water is beautiful too.

An earlier version of this piece was in the Renaissance exhibit a couple years ago. I'd love to be able to compare the two pieces. I don't think the earlier piece had such an elaborate border, and perhaps no border at all. But the central image seems very much like this one.