Above the Fray

Everything is moving so quickly now as this year races towards it's finish line and the holidays loom large before us as we attempt to get everything done that we think we need to do to assure that a merry time is to be had by all.
I, for my part am attempting to stay above the fray as much as humanly possible, for despite my wizardly status among my knitting peeps, am only human after all and am just as susceptible as anyone else to falling prey to the manic thoughts that prevail in this nation every year around this time. These are those sneaky, insidious thoughts that slip in sideways and ninja* their way into your head, while you're not paying attention and are haplessly being, ah, happy. You know what I'm talking about, those thoughts that grip your heart with panic and desperation, thoughts like, "It just won't be Christmas unless you ________, well, (I'll let you fill in the blank)"
*I have it on authority that it's perfectly acceptable to use ninja as a verb.*

So for my own sanity and to keep knitting a pleasant experience I am not knitting gifts for Christmas. I'm having a no knit Christmas in just the way Amy at Knit Think is not knitting for Christmas. Oh, there may be a scarf or two in the works, but it is not for Christmas presents, they're, aw,ah,awh, birthday presents, yeah, that's it ChristmasBirthday presents.**
**I am aware, as is Amy that Christmas is indeed a birthday celebration.**

I may not be knitting for Christmas this year, *Although I just had a notion to knit a last minute gift for someone that I am trying to resist, but I am weakening. It would be a challenge to finish before Christmas with my work schedule...I do like a challenge though, Hmmm* but I have been knitting, and not being Christmas gifts, I thought I would put you all in the loop and show y'all some of the ins and outs of what what I have been up to for the past few weeks. (Okay, months, I know.) The stuff my SnB friends know about, but the rest of you may not.

My youngest requested a pair of mittens, red mittens. I was quite surprised for rarely do I get a request for knitted items from my family. So in October when some of the local yarn shops held a treasure hunt, I took the opportunity to go on a hunt of my own for yarn for the red mittens. I have had this pattern in mind to knit for quite some time ever since I saw it in the Inknitters Fall 2004 magazine. My daughters came with me and we were able to settle on red chunky Misty alpaca for the red mittens. I tried to explain what I had in mind for the mittens and that I needed another contrast color for the mittens but my daughter didn't understand and kept saying, "I just want red." When I was finally able to show her what I had in mind, she loved the idea of the red heart shapes and chose purple as the second color. (Cascade 220, the other contrast colors are odd balls from my stash)

These are not thrummed, but the thick (I doubled the strands) yarn floats across the back serve the same purpose as the thrumms. They are so soft to slip your hand into and suppa warm. I have to make an adjustment in the pattern, the pattern is for a woman's hand and although the small fits her, the thumb is not in the right place for her small hands.

I didn't sign up for Socktober but I may as well have for I did mostly sock knitting in October and some in November as well. These I knit for the Day of the Dead Kal and I explain my thinking in this post here.

I thought perhaps you would like to see the inside.

In the summer I knit a square for a the Cure-ragious Knitters Banner. I felted the block and had it sitting on a table until it was time for the cancer walk. My cat, Hobbes fell in love with the square and sat and slept on it up until I had to pry it from under him to go. I felt bad about it and promised to knit him a wool bed of his own. Which brings us to this little bit of knitting.
Being a knitting wizard, I thought I had better live up to my name sake and try my hand at a little magical knitting, Cat Bordhi style.

or Outs?
Cat Bordhi has some wonderful cat bed designs in her book," The Second Treasury of Magical Knitting". The cat pictured in the fair Isle bed looks so much like my own cat that I thought it would be a good choice to knit for my Hobbie. Cat has a unique cast on for the projects in these books called the Moebius Cast On. If you are not familiar with the Moebius design it is knit in such a way, due to a twist in the cast on, that allows you to knit both sides of the loop with one continuous edge. It's really quite cool. The cast on wasn't difficult to learn but I will admit it took me three tries before I got it right.

Speaking of getting it right, I can't seem to, get it right, that is. I don't get scarfs. I've been playing around with this pooling color scarf as a birthday gift for my daughter Ani for, oh about a year now. Her birthday is in January and I thought I would try my hand again at knitting the scarf by her next birthday, it's not looking promising. I will try to explain my scarf woes in my next post. I'm also struggling with knitting a scarf for my sister that is now two years over due. Who knew scarfs would be so hard ? It would seem I'm not meant to knit scarves, scarves are so hard.

We Gather Together

Thanksgiving came and went in such a flurry that most of what I remember is but a blur, of what I can remember of it, Thanksgiving day went pretty well. We didn't plan anything big, I would be working up until Thanksgiving and would be working the next four days following it so I only had the one day to rest. Which is why I decided to make the dinner, which in hind sight probably wasn't the brightest of ideas, clearly I hadn't thought this through. ( but as you will soon discover as you read on, this wouldn't be the last of my misguided thinking this Thanksgiving.) The company was good, it was just our family, my son came up to visit and my husband brought his Mom up for the holiday weekend. There was good food and plenty to be had and ...Ah, well, there was one little glitch.

Here's a little thing I learned this year; when roasting your turkey in a your new roaster oven and you don't have any room in your tiny kitchen to put the roaster, it is perfectly fine to put it on a side table in the dining room, only I recommend that you do not place the roaster on a side table that sits directly below the house's thermostat, as I did, or at least, don't be so surprised that the register did not run in the house all morning because the thermostat believed that your house already was toasty warm from the heat of the roaster, like I was.

You, of course, will not even notice how cold the rest of the house is becoming because you're in the kitchen all morning with the oven on preparing the rest of the meal and if you're like me you probably still won't notice until some time after dinner when the tryptophan has kick in and everyone is settling down for an afternoon nap on the couches and your children are fighting for their share of the blankets.

It probably still won't dawn on you what has happened until your mother-in-law decides that she's too cold and needs to put on her cuddle duds because she isn't used to it being so cold in your house and you decide to check the thermostat with the roaster still setting directly below it.

"Hmm, the thermostat says it's seventy eight, that's odd it's usually never over sixty eight in here, sure doesn't feel like seventy eight." *looks down at the roaster* "Oh well, I guess I better finish cleaning up." *picks up roaster to take it to the kitchen, when suddenly, a thought occurs* wait for it...................Doh!

And so, my friends, if there is a moral to be gleaned from this sad little tale, I guess it would be "Turkey is a dish best served warm, in a cold house." No? Well how about, "Warm turkey in a cold house is better than cold turkey in a warm house." (arguable) I don't know, something on that order, never the less, the turkey was good though.

For giving thanks this year, I wanted to share with you pictures of one of the things that I am most thankful for this year and that is for the friends that I have made and had the priviledge of gathering with and sharing time with this year.

Laughing, learning and sharing our passions for knitting and (not only knitting) has been one of the greatest joys I have had this year and I truly cherish having been there with you all on your knitting journeys.

(Let me begin by asking forgiveness for this post. It has a lot of pictures and may take some time to load, I'm sorry.)

    At Beth's knit night in November.

        Oh what a tangled web.
        Meleah and Lisa take a turn at untangling the skein from hell.

        Shelly and The Blanket.

        The Day of the Dead KAL Gathering at Amy's in November.

        S3500010Captain Deb meeting Deepa in Coldwater Collabrative on the Treasure Hunt in October.


        Deepa, S3500011

        S3500014 and Meleah and I crossed paths on the hunt at Coldwater Collabrative in October.

        Shelly with her girls, at Sue and Christine's birthday brunch in October.

        The Birthday girls.

        Sue's kitties cozying up to Lisa on knit night in October

                                                        Sue with Willie.

                                                                Stalking Harlot in September.

                                                                Katie watching as her mommy spins.

                                                                Beth spinning with her drop spindle.

                                                                Christine and Meleah knitting at knit night in September at my home.



                                                                Twin cities knitter's picinic at the Harriet Rose Gardens at the end of August.

                                                                    S3500007 Knitting at the historic house/ coffee house in May.

                                                                    S3500006 Anne with her just finished sweater, with only about 18" of your left of the yarn ball.

                                                                    S3500008 Sue and Connie with her finished poncho, that she will have to put away until the fall because, honestly who wears a poncho in May?

                                                                  Thank Kew and Good Night

                                                                  The Play

                                                                  The Set

                                                                  The lovely and (a little scary) creatures in the pit.

                                                                  Kew on the frosty lawn.


                                                                  Maybe Not so Stupid After All

                                                                  It was still dark, too dark, certainly too dark for me to be awake, but I was awake. Not only awake but I was cold, my body was aching from my muscles clenching, trying to cling to any remnant of the remembered warmth of my bed, (best not to think of that, it only makes me shiver more.)

                                                                  It's a cold November morning and I'm shivering in the car on my way to the High School again, because it's Thursday. I can't help but think (again) that I must have been out of my mind to agree to doing this every Tues. and Thurs. morning. Ani has chamber orchestra at 6:45 am and as per our agreement I am taking her to the school. While I'm waiting for the car to warm up and shivering in the cold, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps Ahn didn't have the right of it.

                                                                  Ahn was a Vietnamese woman I worked with some years ago. Often we would talk about our marriage and families and Ahn told me that in her marriage she and her husband had an agreement as to the division of household chores. Their arrangement was such that Ahn was responsible for taking care of all things that were within the house and her husband was responsible for everything that was without.

                                                                  Ahn did all the cooking, all the housecleaning, all the laundry, all of child care and bookkeeping. Every night she laid out clean clothes, socks and underwear for him to wear to work and made him his lunch for the next day. She helped the kids with their homework and anything else that they may have needed. When they built their home Ahn made all the decisions, she chose the carpet and wall colors, she did it all. Her husband wasn't expected to help with anything in the running of the household.

                                                                  What her husband was responsible for was the care and maintenance of the cars, he was responsible for mowing the lawn, planting and weeding the garden and flowers and shoveling the walk in the winter.

                                                                  I always thought this was an interesting arrangement, although I've always been of the opinion that Ahn was getting the short end of stick in this bargain. In theory it seemed to be a reasonable enough strategy, however, it always struck me as one of those plans that looked good on paper but in practice would surely fail due to the huge imbalance of the workloads. It just didn't seem fair.

                                                                  However as I was listening to my teeth chatter while I waited for the window to defrost, I began to think that perhaps I had been too hasty in my dismissal of this plan when you consider this; Ahn never had to buy a car, she never had to change the oil on the car or take the car in for service and Ahn never even had to put gas in the car, for that matter. When Ahn had to be at work at 5:00 in the morning, her husband would get up at 4:00; shovel the walk, clear the snow off the car, start the car and let it run to warm up. When Ahn drove to work in the morning her car was warm, she wasn't shivering from the cold and her teeth were not chattering in her skull.

                                                                  Perhaps she had the right of it all along, maybe striking such a bargain as this wasn't so very crazy after all. It almost may be worth it, to make such a bargain, to be able to sit in the warmth of a well maintained and preheated car on those cold, dark and bleak winter mornings.


                                                                  Stupid cold! Stupid darkness! Stupid morning! Stupid car! Stupid chamber!

                                                                  (These kind of posts I usually relegate to my live journal blog but for some reason I started it on this blog so I figured I would go ahead and post it here, besides I promised my knitting buddies I would post soon. The next post will have more knitting content.)

                                                                  Knit Mitt Kit Swap

                                                                  Not much to see here only a bit of business for the a Knit Mitt Kit Swap I joined.
                                                                  The following is a Questionaire for the swap.

                                                                  The Questionnaire:

                                                                  Are you allergic to any fibers? Nope

                                                                  What are your favorite colors? Reds,Greens,Browns and Golds, Fall Colors.

                                                                  Are you a new mitt knitter? No

                                                                  How long have you been knitting mittens? Actually I've knit more socks than Mittens, I started knitting a Latvian Mitten about a year ago.

                                                                  Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? I have no preference.

                                                                  What fibers do you prefer in mitten yarn? Wool

                                                                  Where do you usually knit mittens? Home or as a take along project

                                                                  How do you usually carry/store small projects? I have a little zippered pouch for my knitting accessories

                                                                  What are your favorite mitten patterns? I haven't knit many but I'll say Latvian

                                                                  What are your favorite mitten knitting techniques?Anything that intrigues me.

                                                                  What new techniques would you like to try? I'm thinking about trying to knit two mittens, or socks at the same time, one inside the other on double points or maybe Thrummed Mittens.

                                                                  What are your favorite needles for knitting mittens? I used Bamboo double points, or magic loop on Addi's

                                                                  What are some of your favorite yarns? Jamieson Shetland, Louet Gems Merino, Misty Alpaca,

                                                                  What yarn do you totally covet? Socks that Rock from Blue Moon, Malabrigo

                                                                  Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? Not mittens but there is a point five jacket that I think is pretty fabulous, or maybe the Einstein jacket using Muench Touch Me.

                                                                  Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? I have a lot of Addi Turbos circulars, which I use magic loop to knit socks with, I also have several sets of bamboo and plastic double points, I rarely use straights.

                                                                  If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? Classic Elite Renaissance.

                                                                  Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? I like chocolate

                                                                  What’s your favorite animal? I'm a dog person but currently don't have a dog. I'm rather smitten right now with our cat, Hobbes.

                                                                  Would you prefer super warm mittens or something more like fingerless mitts? Suppa warm

                                                                  If you were a color what color would you be? Forest Green

                                                                  What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? The Fall Foliage

                                                                  Do you have a wishlist? No

                                                                  Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? Can't think of anything.

                                                                  Move along, there is nothing to see here.

                                                                  There and Back Again

                                                                  Again, Yes, the title is a nod to J.R.R. Tolkien and again, No, the following content has nothing to do with "The Hobbit" or J.R.R.Tolkien)

                                                                  I am of a curious turn of nature, that is to say, I have a curious nature and not to say that I am some sort of curiosity of nature. In most ways I'm a fairly normal person...or at least I like to think so.

                                                                  Ani, my dear daughter, however, takes issue with that assessment and prefers to refer to me as "The Freak Show". Me, her dear, sweet, ever loving and supportive mother, she calls a freak. This coming from the girl who dressed like a Turk from FFVII on Friday the 13th because Friday the 13th is Vincent Valentine's birthday, and wonders why everyone thought she was strange for doing so. (Well, everyone but SuziQ because she also was dressed as a Turk.) Seriously, these two girls are a bit obsessive about this FFVII thing lately and Ani calls me a freak.
                                                                  Takes one to know one, I suppose. Perhaps some day I should take the time to chronicle a list of all the reasons that makes my dear daughter refer to me as "The Freak Show", but I digress.

                                                                  What I am is a wonderer, what I am not is a wanderer. I will cop to having a curious nature but this curiosity it would seem does not extend to seeing the world. To my oldest son's great dismay, I am not much for traveling and although I did say that this post was not about "The Hobbit" and it isn't, I will however, admit that in this, I have much in common with Bilbo Baggins.

                                                                  I am an armchair traveler, I was not born under a wandering star, if there be any lust in me, it not be wanderlust. Please don't ask me why, I don't know, it just is. I don't have anything against traveling per se, and there are places in the world that I wouldn't mind seeing should the opportunity arise, but I don't have any burning desire to see the world and if I never travel any further than I have already in my life time I would be content with that.

                                                                  That being said, makes the fact that I have spent the past couple of week ends traveling all over the place, all the more ponderous. One weekend was spent I driving with my son to and from Wisconsin and then the next weekend, I found myself driving all over the Twin Cities Metro with my daughters. This much traveling is quite unusual for me, I must say, quite the anomaly. (Not that I mind driving, I don't mind driving, I rather like it. Although I don't get much any knitting done if I'm doing the driving, a bit of a drawback that)

                                                                  The trip to Wisconsin had a two fold purpose one was to visit with my family and oldest son (who is currently living in Sheboygan with my parents) and second was ostensibly to attend my twenty fifth high school reunion. Gah.

                                                                  Have you ever seen "That 70"s Show"?

                                                                  Hanging out, down the street.
                                                                  Same old thing that we did last week.

                                                                  Can you find the pretty smart girl who was probably perceived as quiet and shy*, who mostly kept to herself. Who carried thick novels to read and spent every lunch hour in the art rooms. Who lettered in Art, no less (Who knew you could letter in art?) and didn't go to prom, not because she wasn't asked but because she wasn't interested? Oh and didn't have a boyfriend, this time it was because they didn't ask?

                                                                  Not a thing to do,
                                                                  but talk to you.

                                                                  How about now?
                                                                  Yep, that was me. Look, see the dimple? I still have that dimple, BTW, it won't come off no matter how many times I wash it. I'm thinking I look pretty much the same.
                                                                  I've been told I'm, ah, thinking wrong. Ok, maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.
                                                                  I graduated from Sheboygan's North High in 1981 from a class of about 440 students and never looked back, until now that is. (I'll let you do the math on how old that makes me now.)

                                                                  We're All Alright, We're All Alright!

                                                                  So why did I go to a high school reunion when high school held no significant attachment to me?
                                                                  I was guilted into it.
                                                                  There is only one friend that I have had any contact with since I graduated, my friend Kelly. My friend Kelly lives in the Camen Islands. She and her husband make their living as scuba diving instructors and underwater photographers.
                                                                  Kelly called me about a year ago and said her friend Laurie was on the reunion committee and wanted to know if she could send my address to her for the reunion.
                                                                  Sure, no problem.
                                                                  "Do you think you'll go?"
                                                                  "Not so sure."
                                                                  "I know that you didn't go to the last one, even though you were in town the last time."
                                                                  "I know, but if I had known that you were going to be there, I might have gone even though my husband crapped out on me claiming that he was sick"
                                                                  "Well if that's the case then I'll let you know that I plan on going to this next reunion if that will sway your decision in the direction of going."
                                                                  [Not fair, using my own words against me]
                                                                  "Okay, if you can make it all the way from the Camen Islands, I think I should be able to make it all the way from Minnesota."

                                                                  From Right to left: Jenny(Mattila)Pasche, Me and Kelly.

                                                                  Jenny has this advice for you all. She says whatever you do, do not spoil your spouses.
                                                                  Her mother passed away in January and she is currently taking care of her father. Who was so spoiled by her mother that he has no idea how to do anything domestic.

                                                                  The reunion was interesting if you enjoy people watching. The people that I seemed to remember the best were the ones that I started out with in grade school. It was strange, people that I probably never spoke to in high school would say hi and they remembered me from grade school.

                                                                  Kelly had one classmate who came up to her and said that he always remembers her as the girl who accidentally, (and Kelly would want you to know it truly was a tragic accident, she loves animals and would have never done something like that except by accident) stepped on the gerbil in their kindergarten class.

                                                                  Unfortunately many of the classmates that I would have liked to see, didn't come. I don't blame them really, nobody was more surprised than I that I actually went, except perhaps Kelly. I think she was pretty sure I would not be there. Most of the women were, I thought, easier to recognize than their male counterparts. Men seem to age differently, their appearance changes more dramatically, not in a bad way, just different.

                                                                  When I arrived at the Blue Harbor Inn, I was unsure of where the reunion was being held, so I drove up to the Inn and an attractive young valet with his clear blue eyes and wind tossed blond hair came to the car and asked if I needed any help. I asked him where the reunion was being held. He pointed me in the direction of the conference center.
                                                                  I thanked him and as I was closing the window to be on my way, he leaned over and said,
                                                                  " Have a good time at your reunion " and then he winked at me.

                                                                  That alone made the whole night for me, if for nothing else.

                                                                  HELLO, WISCONSIN!

                                                                  *It is a common misconception about me, people believe because I am a quiet and reserved person that I am shy, but I'm not really shy.

                                                                  I, Blog

                                                                  ( Yes, the title is a nod to I. Asimov and no the following content has nothing to do with I, Robot or Isaac Asimov, it just amused me is all.)

                                                                  or alternatively titled

                                                                  "What I Did On My Summer Vacation"

                                                                  I blog.

                                                                  I do.

                                                                  Just not very often and apparently not often enough, or so I'm told by friend( little Mizz Lisa ( I so knowz IZOD, when I seez it) D. who dropped me a comment gently pointing out reading me the riot act about not blogging often enough. And if I had any doubts as to the validity of her statement, they were blown off the table by my friend Sue, (who, btw, steadfastly refuses to blog herself) at the Wednesday SnB, who seconded Lisa's opinion when I mentioned Lisa's comment to her, by simply nodding her head and saying "No, you don't".

                                                                  *Blink* I see.

                                                                  "Right (long pause) right, well, I'm sure you're right and I'm sure I'm sorry. I thought that I would be able to... but then there was the.... and I tried to... but there was this thing ....it's just that ... well you see, I have been.....wait a minute. How can you say that to me?
                                                                  I blog. I blog a whole lot, it may not seem that I blog a lot because most of my blogs don't ever get published but if you only knew the blog-alogue that runs around in my mind on a daily basis you would not be saying that I don't blog often enough.

                                                                  I blog, I blog a lot, I.... Oh, Okay, they may have a point.

                                                                  I don't blog as often as I probably should and I will do my best to rectify the situation. It's been a busy summer on the work-front this summer and I have been working more hours this summer than I usually do.
                                                                  (Hey Ani, remember when I used to cook dinner for you guys? Yeah, Good times, Good times.)
                                                                  So when I get any time at the computer it is usually pretty late and I'm dead tired. Although my little job working in a stockroom may not be very mentally challenging,
                                                                  (although I'm beginning to wonder if I'm a little mentally challenged for still working there)
                                                                  it is a physically demanding job and lately it is all I can do to read the blogs and make a comment let alone blog myself. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
                                                                  ( Yeah, that's it, it's the flesh... weak. That's it, yeah, it's the flesh, the flesh will get you every time.)
                                                                  However, now that the summer is over
                                                                  (Nope, that isn't a tear rolling down my cheek, maybe blood and sweat but not tears for the end of summer from me.) and a newer and bigger store is due to open near by, we're expecting a big slow down in business and hopefully things will settle down to more manageable level and I will be back in the blogging biz, hopefully.
                                                                  So in lieu of blogging more, I thought I would try to stave off my critics by making this a rilly, rilly long, long post.
                                                                  (Because it took me a month of Sundays to get blogger to upload these pictures and apparently these are all the images that blogger will allow me to upload on this post and seeing it took so freakin' long to get this far, I'm gonna post them, damn it...and, yes, I said months and I said damn. This post date of origin was circa :July 29, 2006). You can read a little at a time and then it will seem like a bunch of little posts.
                                                                  How's 'bout that? :)

                                                                  I'm afraid I completely missed the boat when it came to the August Spectrum Project. The colors for August were neutral colors as in black, white, greys, creams, and browns. About the only thing I managed to do for the spectrum projects was to change the colors on my blog. ( of which I have changed again since then, what can I say? I'm fickle.)
                                                                  Really, this one should have been a walk in the park, black being a popular color around here. I already have many projects in progress that would fall into this category.
                                                                  There's the Monks's Travel Satchel that I started a year and a half, two(?) years ago in Black and Tan (Yes, Lime Dragon that Monk's Travel Satchel)
                                                                  Ani's Rogue Hoodie in Black (Yes, Rogue knitting group, that Rogue Hoodie) and then,
                                                                  there is the second black & blue Fanta sock that were to be a gift for Ani's Birthday back in Jan., and there is the ever present Forest Path Stole (Yes, Deepa, my Olympic Knitting Project that I started in Feb.) in grey, lest we forget. But given all these perfectly good options, I, true to form, chose a different path and went in a H.N.D.
                                                                  (wHole Nudder Direction)

                                                                  This may be a little difficult to follow due to the way my mind works ( when it's working at all) but I'll try to take you down the path that lead me astray from the dark and dreary knitting of black and grey to the knitting of all the bright colors of the rainbow. (which is very uncharacteristic of me)

                                                                  Blame it Amy,
                                                                  Blame it on Frida,
                                                                  blame it on the Kristin,
                                                                  blame it on the Deb,
                                                                  blame it on the Sun, blame it on Fiesta del Sol.

                                                                  About mid June I got to thinking about what I thought I would like to do for the August spectrum project and I started thinking about the colors black and white. I don't exactly know why but my mind went to a book of knitting motifs that I have in my collection, call Enchanted Knitting. One of the motifs in the book was dancing skeletons and a smiling skeleton wearing a flowered hat. Traditionally these type of images, images of dancing or happy skeletons are often used for the day of the dead celebrations and I found the idea intriguing. So I thought that maybe I would knit some socks with the dancing skeletons on them for the day of the dead celebration in Nov. but I wouldn't say anything about it until then. So can you imagine my shock at the SnB that week when Connie asked me if I saw that Amy started a Day of the Dead KAL.
                                                                  SHUT. UP.! Seriously?! Oh, I am so going to be in this one.
                                                                  Amy is fan of Frida Kahlo and discovered that another knitter friend of hers, Kristi is also a fan. When they saw that in the knit.1 summer issue there was a feature article on Frida Kahlo and also had patterns for day of the dead dolls, thought now there is a Day of the Dead KAL in the making.
                                                                  Frida Kahlo is a Mexican artist who is hailed by many for her bold and striking use of color in her work. To be honest with you, until recently I was only peripherally aware of the artwork of Frida Kahlo but I can say of what I have seen of her work I admire her ability to use color in her pieces.
                                                                  I always admire designers that have their own unique ability to successfully use color in their design. One designer's work that repeatedly catches my attention has been and is Kristin Nicholas. I just love her colors her own yarn line called Julia after her daughter.
                                                                  Not too long ago Kristin began her own blog - Getting Stitched on the Farm . Kristin blogs about her life as a knit and stitching designer living with her family on a farm in Massachusetts. Her blog is just as you would expect it to be, splashed with colorful imagery. She posts about the things and colors around her that inspire her work.(currently it's sunflowers) Check out her blog sometime if you haven't already.
                                                                  Of course this has become one of my favorite blogs to read, so can you image my surprise when at the end of June, Kristin posted about, can you guess? yep, Frida Kahlo. It would seem that Kristin is also an admirer of Frida for her color and pattern work. Kristin designed this bag, Fiesta del Sol, as a downloadable pattern as a Frida Kahlo inspired bag for Knitscene Magazine. Now I'm not one for bags much, I like them but I don't have much use for a lot of bags, but this one caught my fancy with it's colorful stripes and purple suns and multi-colored pom poms. (Cute , huh and come on POM POMS)
                                                                  So the next Thursday I found myself at Coldwater Collabrative for the Summer Girls Night Out in Excelsior, in which many of the local shops in Excelsior stayed open later and offered Thursday night specials. (Still with me?)

                                                                  I was knitting with Deb who works there and a few other knitters and we were talking favorite knit designers and I mentioned that I liked Kristin Nicholas. I told them how for a buttonhole bag exchange last year I adapted one of Kristin's designs from an Interweave free pattern for a carry all using her colors and Julia Yarn and it turned out really great. Deb said she had admired it when it came walking into the shop on the arm of Amy because as luck would have it, Amy is the one who received the bag in the exchange. I told Deb that I had just recently downloaded another bag by Kristin but didn't think to bring it. When I described the pattern Deb jumped up and said she thought she knew what pattern I was talking about. She not only found the pattern in the magazine but went to the website and downloaded and printed the pattern.
                                                                  On a lark we decided to see if the store had all the colors of the Renaissance yarn that the pattern called for and they did. The special for that evening was on Cascade 220, so we got to thinking that for the same price we could probably find the same colors in the Cascade but get twice the amount of yarn because Cascade's skeins are larger. I could make two bags for the price of one! (now, I don't even know what I was going to do with one, but it seemed a good idea at the time, famous last words)
                                                                  It was all over for me then, the game was on, we tore through bins of yarn to find the perfect color combination in Cascade yarn and that, my friends, is how I came home with a great big bag of colorful yarns and a new brightly colored project to work on and absolutely no desire to knit anything grey, tan, black, grey or white what-so-ever.

                                                                  What do you think? I rather think it's spiffy. The suns are embroidered on the bag before it is felted. It looks as though I needle felted the suns on. It still needs the pom poms, Lisa has lent me her pom pom maker, so I guess I have no excuse not to finish it (but I'm sure if I think hard enough I can come up with one.)

                                                                  My friend Christine is in a running club or as she describes it, it's more a "drinking club with a running problem"
                                                                  what I have here is "toes with a sock problem."

                                                                  These are the Go With The Flow socks that I knit last year for myself and I loved them. I think I loved them too much because I wore holes in them. So the plan was to re-knit the toes with re-enforcing thread added. Unfortunately I only got to unraveling part of the process before I realized that I was already using the needles that I used to knit these socks for another pair and those would be these...
                                                                  Jay Walkers. (Are you seeing my sock problem yet?)
                                                                  Apparently these Jay Walkers didn't want to have toes because this is the second time that I had the toes nearly done and had to rip them back because, 1) I didn't read the pattern on how to decrease and 2) I apparently don't know how to measure the length of the foot and the socks were a little short.

                                                                  Here's the thing: If you measure the sock by folding the sock this way

                                                                  It measures differently than when you fold it this way. I think that measuring the sock this way gives a better fit than the other, at least that's what worked better for me.

                                                                  (I did manage to finish the Jay Walkers, these are one of the pair of Jaywalkers in the sock circle at the Harlot book signing. Sadly, the Go with the Flow socks remain toe less, I sort of got carried away with all the riotous colors and plunged into another sock of many colors project for little girl.)

                                                                  Little girl woke me one morning a few days before her birthday to tell me that she feels that I am not focusing enough on her birthday, or rather more specifically, on her birthday presents. ( I'm not kidding folks, that is what she said and how she said it.)

                                                                  *Blink* trying to wake up and in an effort to give myself a little time to form an intelligent, err failing that, a coherent reply, I asked her, "Wha..what do you mean?"

                                                                  "Well, Daddy took me shopping for birthday present ideas, but I don't see that you have been giving it much of your attention."

                                                                  *Blink* Oh, I see.

                                                                  "Right (long pause) right, well, I'm sure you're right and I'm sure I'm sorry. I thought that I would be able to... but then there was the.... and I tried to... but there was this thing.... it's just that ... well you see, I have been.....wait a minute.
                                                                  How can you say that to me? How can you say that when you know that I have been up late knitting into late hours of the night for nearly two weeks now, knitting "almost" exclusively on your birthday socks?

                                                                  You know.... the multi-color, Fair Isle Bazaar Socks from the summer Interweave Knits on-line pattern by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts with the two-color short row toe in the cotton fine yarn of which I searched all over the cities to find and had to make a special trip to downtown Mpls. and got stuck in rush hour ( Ha, rush hour, what a misnomer that is, ain't nobody rushing anywhere as far as I can see or is it as far as the eye can see?* eye*ther way, rushing = nada ;) to Depth of Field, because you chose the purple, lt. purple, blue, gold, dk.pink, and black colorway and Depth of Field is the only LYS that carries that yarn and in purple, no less, because apparently purple is not a cotton fingering weight kind of color.. *deep breath here*... socks?"

                                                                  "Oh, yeah, I forgot about those."

                                                                  "Nice, real nice. I'm going back to sleep now." But, of course, you know that I couldn't.

                                                                    Look, my very own Court Jester.
                                                                    The following are purple pics for the August Spectrum project but never posted, so enjoy.