Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Forest Path Stole

My "summer of finishing" just keeps rolling along. This week I've finished the Forest Path Stole from the Summer 2003 issue of Interweave Knits. When I started this pattern back in 2004, it was a big struggle. It is a lace, entrelac pattern which was exceedingly hard to keep up with as a fairly new lace knitter. So it often languished in my knitting basket as other less challenging projects intervened. But suddenly, when I decided to dive in and finish it this summer, it was amazingly simple. It's like a light bulb went on. Just goes to show what experience will do for you. I am so thrilled to have this to wear this winter! Nothing like cashmere to make a girl feel good. Here are the specs:

Pattern: Forest Path Stole
Designer: Faina M. Letoutchaia
Published: Summer 2003 Interweave Knits
Finished size: 32" x 88"
Yarn: Cashmere America 2 ply 100% Cashmere
Yardage: ~2200 yds.

Forest Path Shawl

Forest Path Shawl

All this negative energy!

Have you ever noticed how miserable, negative people are able to just suck the life out of everything around them? They seem to drag you in when you least expect it, and as much as you try and fight it, they just seem to drag you down deeper and deeper. While I was on the Nordic Track today and mulling over the events of the last few weeks, I suddenly realized that it's MY choice whether I get down in the muck, or just blow them off and go back to my happy existence. I have no idea why that is so hard to see sometimes, but it sure is nice when you break free of all that negativism and mean-spiritedness. What goes around, comes around. So let's spread a little caring.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Bucket List

I rejoined Netflix so I'll have some movies to watch as I finish knitting and spinning projects this summer. Can't start anything new until Sept. 1. So last week we watched "The Bucket List", which was much better than I had heard from reviews. But maybe it was because we're in their demographic. Ouch! Anyway, it got me thinking about my own bucket list and I'm going to start an official one. Mind you, this is going to be a fluid project with additions and deletions as my interests change. As I've been thinking about it though, I have learned that I don't really have any desire to do the usual cliche things, like skydive, and it centers heavily on travel. And I also learned that I've actually done a lot of things that would have been on the list. So here goes with what's left (in no particular order for now).

Have my own craft studio and maybe teach some classes
Take grandkids on a summer tour of the U.S.
Watch the July 4th fireworks in Washington D.C.
Take a raft trip through the Grand Canyon
See the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, and the Forbidden City in China
Do a bike tour of New England in the fall
Take the train rides across Canada, and in Alaska to Denali
Volunteer at an elementary school
Do more spinning demo days

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Check This Out!

James' profile in the Continental Airlines inflight magazine came out this month. You can read the full article here. Sounds like a pretty fun retirement job! I hope I'm having that much fun when I finally get to retire...

My racer guy

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Independence Day

For anyone who doesn't know me, I am a therapist in a nursing home. On most Fridays (or whatever is the last day of the week), we do fun activities, skip exercise, etc. At the end of our sessions, we pick a different topic to discuss each week (usually pertaining to current events or holidays). Today we shared our experiences of Independence Day traditions. Oh sure, we got a lot of picnics, parades, hot dogs, apple pie, etc. But I want to share the most unusual story I've ever heard.

"All year long, Uncle Dub saved all the bits of string that he came across and wound them into a ball. By July 3rd, this ball was about the size of a basketball. On the day before the Independence Day celebrations, he soaked this big ball of string in kerosene. Then as night approached on July 4th, family and friends gathered in the pasture, the ball was set on fire, and everyone (kids included) played hot potato until it went out." According to our storyteller, kerosene doesn't burn very hot. So if you catch and throw quick enough, you don't get burned.

Can you imagine what would happen if you tried something like this today? First off, poor old Uncle Dub and all the children's parents would be arrested for endangering their kids. If you are over 50, I'm sure that you can think of plenty of things that were commonplace when you were a child, that you'd get in major trouble for today. But somehow we lived through it. I'm not advocating taking your kids out to a pasture to play with a fire ball, but it just illustrates how times have changed.

Hope you all have a safe and fun July 4th with plenty of hot dogs, fireworks, watermelon, or whatever.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lyra Finished!!!

Last night I managed to finish binding off all but one repeat before I had to leave for a guild meeting. Then when I got home, we had had a lightning storm which knocked out power to the neighborhood! I stayed up as long as I could hoping that the power would come back on so I could finish, but finally had to give up. So this morning I got up and crocheted off the end, washed it, and Lyra is now on the floor blocking in my living room. I think it looks better than I expected. My plan was to use it as a topper over a white tablecloth, but the colors bled so bad during washing that I'm afraid to do that now. So I guess it will just be another shawl, even though I am not a big fan of round shawls - too bulky on my football shoulders. Here are the statistics for those of you who care:

Pattern: Lyra, by Herbert Niebling
Yarn: Heritage Yarns 8/2 Tencel in "Tallahatchee Bridge" colorway
Amount: Started with 8oz skein of approx. 1680 yds. Had 2oz left. Used approx. 1470 yds.
Needles: US 2 and 3
Blocked dimension: 60" diameter

Before pinning
Lyra unblocked

After pinning (this is what makes lace knitting worth it)
Lyra blocking

Lyra closeup1

Lyra closeup2

My project for this summer is to finish some things that have been sitting for a while, so now it's on to the Forest Path Stole. I want to be able to wear that yummy cashmere this winter!