Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How sad

to think that I waited all this last winter to start knitting. Sigh...
I love my new fingerless gloves but I won't even wear them once until at least November, but oh how soft and yummy they will be!

I whipped these out in just a weekend which was sort of shocking. This was the first thing I made after knitting socks on size 1 needles so it was kind of nice to go back up to what felt like huge at only size 3. The pattern came from Weekend Knitting by Wendy Falick which I am borrowing from a friend. A lot of the patterns look like there is no way that you could actually complete them in a weekend but I knocked these out in three days. I like the book a lot, and coincidentally I worked with the photographer, Erika McConnell, a bit when I was working in the photo department at Sunset Magazine and she has also done some shooting for my stepmother who is a professional baker. Also, the main model who is used repeatedly in the book is a model that we also used a bunch for a while at Sunset. Small world I suppose. Anyway, the gloves where knitted with Classic Elite, Inca Alpaca which I totally love. It is 100% alpaca and came in a whole bunch of great colors. I don't know if you can see it but this purple is flecked with a green that is really fun. The color was #1132.

I am almost done with my first baby sweater which I will post when it is finished. The knitting is starting to slow down a bit which frankly may be a good thing. With Africa almost a month away there is a lot else that I should be putting my spare time to as well as the fact that now we are consistently having 80 degree weather. My palms were sweating just to wear the gloves for the photo shoot.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bottle Feeding the Babes

Gabriel with Corona, Rumi and Niku

I have to do a little catch up...
This weekend was such a wonderful and beautiful celebration of spring. What a wonderful Earth Day!
But first, this post really has to be about last weekend. Last weekend we went back up to the in-laws to see the first of this years baby goats. Oh how fun they are. Every year I am surprised at how small they are and how sweet... Things that can only be said about goats for a very short window of time.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Don't Be Upset

if you didn't get a call from me on my recent trip to California. It was an impromptu shorty brought on by a bit of a family urgency, but all is well and it was so great to see my family and to embrace a few wonderful spring days out in the Golden State.

My first memory of knitting was when I was in the third grade and I took an afternoon elective knitting class. I really wasn't any good at it and I remember barely being able to crank out a small yellow rectangle that I remember punching my Barbie's arms through so she could wear it as a shawl.

Then there were several years without knitting and then I remember starting up again in high school when I made one of those baby hats that looks like a strawberry except I made mine to fit me and it was purple with a green top. I wore that hat lots but I insisted that it was NOT a grape but instead an eggplant. The edgy irony being that I have never liked eating eggplant.

Not a lot of other knitting went on in high school but then in college it picked up again. Mainly I have memories of this really fun yarn shop in Florence, Italy where I studied abroad my junior year. I remember knitting on trains as my friends and I criss-crossed the Italian countryside while little old Italian ladies ran running commentary about my technique from across the aisle. Occasionally I even had my knitting plucked from my fingers by ladies that just couldn't bare my haphazard technique and they would try to show me how I could do it better.

So, many years of knitting a hat or a scarf and then maybe a year of no knitting at all and then another hat or scarf again. Starting and stopping so irregularly meant that I never graduated to anything other than the hat or scarf. Finally I did start trying some lacy patterns or basket weaves but I never had the courage to jump to a bigger project until a couple of months ago.

It is sort of hard to put my finger on exactly why this has ended up being the time and place that I can now really call myself a knitter. As I sit here finishing a pair of fingerless gloves and prepare to start my first cable knit hat as well as pick out yarn for a baby sweater I am just amazed that I feel like I have just burst through one of those large paper screens at the circus and entered the world of some real serious knitting.

As Gabriel and I travel the world, it is textile that is so often catching my attention these days. The labor of love, passion for tradition and the deep meditation that is held in the repetitive nature of weaving and knitting is very powerful for me. It has also been so lucky for me to have women like my stepmother and my mother in-law to help and encourage me as we swap knitting patterns and wisdom. It is so much fun for me to join the women in my life as a peer and I think they feel the same.

Here are some photos from California, Carolyn and I knitting/crocheting together and a nice walk we all took together while my sister played hookie from school to enjoy the spring wild flowers.