Monday, June 23, 2008

More Fast Weekends!

Dear Alice,

This weekend was another blur. Two weekends ago we enjoyed another few days at the cottage--lots more work accomplished, and meals on the patio where we enjoyed seeing the loons again. This time, the whole family came by!

And what a treat it was! I had never seen baby loons (for I fear that the snapping turtles have always seen them before I do!) So this was a real treat! One year when I was at the Weaving History Conference I picked up a little loon knick-knack for Scott with the babies on the back of the mother. They obliged us on Saturday, and Scott was able to get a photo since his camera has better zoom capabilities.

The day we were to leave, I knew that I still had to get the rest of my tomatoes in the ground, and I also knew that we were to expect thunderstorms most of the day. I lucked out when I arose at 5:45 for this is what the sky held for me: I put on my garden clogs post haste and got every last one in the ground before the rain came down. While we were at Lake Ann, the thunderstorms rolled through every day. Still, it was beautiful.

The long ride up and back allowed for some serious sock-knitting since Stewart was along and shared driving. So, I finished the short Tyrolean socks. After weaving in the last end and trying them both on to see how they looked, I discovered yet another that I am still agonizing over, but alas! I swore to not rip a whole sock. You'll never see it in the Finished! photo, and I am not telling on myself.

They are lovely. The yarn is awfully soft, so I shall be curious to see how they hold up for Mom, though she has a tendency to not wear her hand-knitted socks because they are too pretty, and I think she doesn't want to wear them out. I have decided that if she receives 7 pair in one year, she may just get over keeping them in her drawer.

I also finished sock #1 of the coriolis socks during the weekend. One must arise very early every day to do that when there are so many projects not knitting-related to be done. Stewart was a big, big help to us there.

Ah, yes. What is the flower with the Tyrolean socks? 'Tis my Crambe cordifolia. I started it many years ago from seed (after sticker shock when looking at the nursery catalog). This year it had two stalks of blossoms arise from the soil.

I will stop for now, There is much, much more to report, so you can expect another card soon!

Have you been weaving this past week?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Dear Alice,

Gosh, it was good to spend some time with you on Sunday! We Chicks loved hearing more of your weaving exploits. Wasn't it a great lunch that Mary, Ellen and Pat put together at the last minute? Potato Salad really says that summer is here!

When I got back on Sunday afternoon I asked Scott and Stew to make dinner; I really had to weave to finish off the shawl fabric if I wanted to enter it for jurying for the Guild's Art Fair booth. I did finish up the weaving Sunday evening, then glued another wooden dowel, since it looks like I may have about 1 more yard of weave-able warp. It was so horribly humid Saturday and Sunday that I used the hair dryer to dry the glue quickly. I still had beads to string onto the fringe before I could wet-finish the shawl. Saturday I had planned ahead enough that I picked up some beads at Findings, but I really didn't know how many I was going to need (of course I didn't have enough!) In fact, I couldn't even finish one end! Ahhh...what time do they open?

Monday was a busy day with meetings and setting up for the week, so I did finally finish fringe at 4 p.m., fulled the piece more than I had planned, and then mangled until it was time to leave for the guild's meeting of all the sellers. Puh! It was still damp.

The fabric is heavier than I anticipated, Alice. I knew as I hurried that I should have made notes about how long I agitated the samples and what temperature water. The fabric feels luxurious and really nice; it is just heavier than I wanted. Haste makes waste.

Lessons. Lessons. Lessons.

'Tis as you say. One lifetime isn't enough to try all the things that weaving has to show us.

Thanks for all your lessons,

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Dear Alice,

Oftentimes I don't take a walk through our "little boring woods" at Lake Ann and therein lies part of the problem. A change in thinking is needed. Following are several of the lovely things I saw last weekend, scenes that inspire textural ideas in weaving, color ideas in knitting.

Please click on the photos for an enlarged view, and especially so you can actually see the Loon in the last photo!

How are those naps going?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Portable Projects

Dear Alice,

What did you do when on the road and couldn't take your loom along? Drawdowns, I'll bet. I prefer to keep the fingers moving, so usually it is a sock-knitting project I take along. Interweave Knits had THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SOCKS in the Fall '07 issue, the Tyrolean Socks, by Ann Budd. I had to have them! So, whilst in San Antonio, I made my fiber-fix stop at the Yarn Barn of San Antonio, bought a couple of skeins of what I mistakenly thought was wool, and began the long process of knitting these beauties. Have I said before that I am not a "lace-knitting-person"? Jaaaa, well, I am not a cable person either. The Tyrolean Socks became socks with only a 6.5 inch cuff when I had to frog them at least four (yes, four times on the last sock!!!) I had to do it. I had almost reconciled in my mind that I could fudge it. How could I not, when the piece of paper that caught my eye, underneath the chart (which was constantly being lifted out of the little plastic sleeve as I moved the place holder up), said (and I quote):

"4. Correct Your Mistakes If you discover an error in your knitting, rip it out and knit again. Rudolfs Blaumanis (1863-1908), a Latvian classical author, wrote a play entitled, "The Prodigal Son". The erring son regrets his worthless life and laments:
Why cannot one do with a spoiled life the same as with a spoiled mitten--rip it
out and start again from the beginning.
"SO. . . RIP! It is a soul purifying experience wwhich never takes as much time or trouble as you've imagined it will. If you succumb to the temptation to ignore a mistake, you may well need to give the mittens away so that the mistake does not haunt you. Or you may find yourself "confessing" to every viewer who would otherwise be in total awe of your talents." This is from Lizbeth Upitis's book Latvian Mittens. How could I go on after reading that? R-I-P!!!

These will become pair #2 of the seven I wish to give to Mom this year. Her birthday came and went last month; she says she doesn't need anything nor want anything and if you give her something, you have to come clear out a space for whatever it is. I think you can never have too many hand-knitted socks. Surely she has room in her drawer for useful clothing?

Here's the other portable project. When I first saw the Coriolis sock in Cat Bordhi's new book New Pathways for Sock Knitters last December, I could not get it out of my mind. I had to knit this sock! It is the most beautiful architecture of a sock that I have ever seen. I did my duty and knit the baby-size sock after I gifted myself and bought the book (remember the little blue ones?) Now I am fully engaged and this is a pair that will fit Mom, too. Even more in the experimenting department...these are knit with a bamboo yarn. A summer sock. Perhaps my friends in warmer climes can stand a pair of bamboo socks?

Last week I saw a photo that was so fun! An a capella group of young men at the University of Illinois, The Other Guys, were photographed for their performance in California this past winter. Every gentleman was dressed up in sport jacket, seated on a low wall with one leg resting crossed at the knee and their socks were exposed: EVERY SOCK ON EVERY GUY WAS DIFFERENT! I mean EVERY sock!!! Now there's an idea....

Alice, there are just not enough hours in every day.

Loved the rain,