Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Building Block #4, or A Third of the Way There

Yay, I finished block #4 in the Building Blocks project.  Putting me a third of the way to getting the throw done.  This block was about increases and decreases.  I broke out the purple yarn to make the eyelets stand out.  I have been deep into knitting another project so I almost put off starting on this block to later in the month.  However,once Natalie cast on her block I relented.  It is always so hard for me to have more than one project on sticks.  I always feel like I am cheating on my other project.  Next month the block is all cables, excited to be cheating on my other project to do some cabling.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wedding Crashing

Last night I felt like a wedding crasher, but I swear we had an invitation.  One of Natalie's co-workers ask her several months back to come to her son's wedding to his partner.  I think she asked us because it was a same-sex wedding and she was searching for same-sex couples to flush out her quota of guests.  Natalie has known the woman for several years now and we thought as elder queers we should be supportive.  It is so rare that Natalie asks me to attend these types of things, I immediately said yes.  Yes to making the investment in the couples social obligation bank, an account which finds me in the red more often than not.

The service was at a local community center.   I will not lie, I walked into the hall only having met 2 of other attendees once: the mother of the groom and another gay co-worker of my spouse.  There was an awkward moment, but I will get to that.  We were seated at a table where we knew no one, and were the only same-sex couple at the table.  However, Natalie and I  discovered we had been together the longer then any of the couples at the table, which was weird because one of the couples was significantly older than us.  We were a diverse group of people and backgrounds, but when we all went our separate ways each goodbye ended with a hug. 

The decorations, flowers, candy bar, and buffet were lovely, but the service was the jewel of the evening.  The young couple wanted a short, but sweet service and they got their wish, but those 20 or 30 minutes were packed with love and affirmation.  Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, co-workers, and friends witnessed the service offering support.  The best man and brother to the groom gave the toast.  He brought tears to many eyes when he ended the toast by telling the grooms how much he loved his "2 brothers."  Admitting I was one of saps looking for a tissue.

I was enjoying myself and had just finished my chocolate cupcake when both grooms came over to say hello.  One of the grooms gave me a very warm hug and then looked at me with a questioning look.  Of course Natalie, my ticket to this shindig, had taken this moment to be somewhere else.  I stood there looking awkward as I explained who I was and why I was there.  The newlyweds just smiled.  Natalie of course showed up right after they had left.

The wedding and reception were a wonderful way to spend the evening.  Having Natalie by my side brought back so many memories of our own Commitment Ceremony.  We did not invite a lot of family because we knew they wouldn't come.  Times have changed for the better, and to see such a supportive family was heart warming and affirming.  Soon same-sex marriages will be recognized throughout the country, but will be called marriage.  Wishing Ryan and Justin so much love.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oh Ho Ho It's Knitting, You Know

For the past week I have had the song "Magic," by Pilot stuck in my head.  Over and over, never believe it is not so.  I heard it in a restaurant and it has taken possession of every waking minute of my life.  Usually, I cleanse my mental radio with humming the "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."  "Magic," seems to be impervious to this cure.


To the soundtrack of this song I have been knitting waffle stitch washcloths.  On ho ho that stitch is magic.  Much like the song stuck in my head, I got stuck on that stitch and made 3 washcloths.  I love how squishy the knitted fabric turns out.  I started to think of all the stash yarn I could use up by making washcloths.  It got a little ugly for a few minutes as I started realizing how many single balls of cottonish yarn I have available for washcloths.  The morning light of reason hit me and I decided to give the waffle knit stitch a break.  I was able to stop myself and move on to another project. Now if only I could get the music in my head, crazy music, to stop, it would be...MAGIC!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem

Okay, I am admitting I have problem.  Because I knit I have lots of yarn.  I am sure there are others with stash issues larger than mine, but whatever I am talking about my problem, not theirs.  Sometimes I buy yarn with projects in mind, but sometimes not.  In 2009 I made a hairpin lace wrap for my mother with 6 skeins of a cotton / acrylic blend yarn I bought in a rainbow of pastels for the project.  The DK weight yarn was 250 yards per skein.  I thought it would be just enough for a nice wrap.  The pastel colors when laid out side by side they reminded me of the marsh mellows in one of my favorite morning cereals, so I called it the "Lucky Charms Hairpin Lace Wrap."  I liked the end product and my mother seemed to like it too.  However, it left me with about a half a skein of each color or I thought about 750 yards of yarn. 

I put all the yarn in a bag and shoved it in my pie safe trying not to let it bother me that I had these half skeins just hanging out in my stash.  Most of the time I could forget they waiting in there unknitted, but occasionally it would nag at me. I would say to myself I should get that yarn out of my stash.

One day while looking at a knitting pattern book I saw just the thing for the waiting yarn, a cowl.  The design was called the "Ice Cream Cozy Cowl."  As you can guess the pattern used pastel colored yarn.  I thought that is the perfect pattern for eating up all this leftover yarn.  Now I had two things nagging me, using up the yarn and making the cowl.  Until one day I gathered the yarn, the pattern, needles and cast on.  I was convinced this cowl would relieve me of these leftovers.  Magical thinker me.

Well, that didn't happen my friend, once I was done, I still had yarn.  Lots of yarn, over 300 yards of yarn.  I guess I had more than I thought in those skeins.  Instead of just getting rid of the leftovers from the leftover yarn like a sane person might do I decided to knit a towel.  Well then I needed to knit another towel.  Still I had yarn, so in desperation I knitted a doily out of the scraps.  When done with the doily I still had about 18 inches of yarn left.  I gave myself a pass on those last inches of yarn, but I am not going to lie I kind of wished I could have used it in the doily too.

In total I knit a hairpin wrap, a cowl, 2 towels, and a doily.  I wish I could have just said no to my obsession with using up all of my yarn, but I just couldn't.  MUST knit to the last inch of yarn...At least I am admitting I have a problem.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fiestaware Goes Back to Their Roots

I woke up this morning with no idea the good people at Homer Laughlin were going to rock my world today.  First the good news, they introduced a new color today, Poppy.  It is a very sassy red that looks very similar to the vintage fiestaware red from the 1930s.  You know the red that had the distinction of being just a little radioactive.  The color got pulled because of that added ingredient (good decision).  I guess the company decided it was high time to bring back the color sans radioactivity.  A very vibrant color it is, I am sure a nice selection will come to live with the rest of my collection. 

The Announcement
After getting over the excitement of a new color I read a little further on the announcement and was shocked to hear they will be discontinuing my favorite color, flamingo.  I know you think I wailed and gnashed my teeth, but I did not.  I decided I just need to make sure to stock up on the flamingo fiestaware pieces, I want.  This, of course, means I will need to take a trip to Cornucopia, the local purveyor of brightly colored dishes,  and do some shopping.  That thought made me happy, very happy.

Gusto Bowl in Flamingo and Vintage Red Disk Pitcher

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Building Blocks #3 or I Don't Like Bobbles

Please don't be confused, I love baubles, not bobbles.  As in knitted bobbles.  I think they look weird, like a bulging mistake on my beautiful knitted fabric.  Okay, now that I have got that out of my system, it is with some sadness that the building block for March is all about bobbles.  I gritted my teeth familiarized myself with how to knit one of these abobblination.  I studied my building block for the month and thought well it is only 16 bobbles.  I cast on and got through the block glad it is the only one of the 12 blocks I really don't like.  Natalie was right with me on this opinion of this knitting abobbration.  As we compared our 2 blocks she said to me, "Why would you want to knit something that is just going to catch on things?"  Good point, but we stuck to the Building Block #3 pattern and suffered through the design.  We are looking forward to the rest of the blocks in the book, but this one was a bitter bobble to swallow.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Lovely Knitted Lace

I am so lucky to live in a city with such a vibrant knitting community.  One of the local knitterati, Brooke Nico, is also a national knitterati know for her crazy awesome lace designs.  Our hometown knitter extradinary went out and published a book of her own.  We picked up the book Thursday night at Kirkwood Knittery, Brooke's home shop.  After months of seeing sections of the book I was excited to see the finished product along with all the knitted samples.  Seeing photos in a book and the real  McCoy are often two different things and as "Lovely" as the project are in print format they are even more exquisite in person.  Case in point the Triangle Tulip Shawl.  Gorgeous in the book, divine when laid out where you can actually see the genius of the perfectly stitched lace.  If Brooke's mother hadn't been politely asking me if I wanted punch, I might have just grabbed the shawl and ran out of the shop.  I left the store that night with the book and a desire to improve my lace knitting skills.

Congratulation Brooke on some truly beautiful designs, wishing you and your book much success.