Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stumbling around at Slater Mill

Today ends the Slater Mill Knitting Guild Knitting Weekend and I was damned if I was going to miss it, especially since I'd signed up for Helen Bingham's simultaneous socks workshop on Saturday. Small detail:  I've had a grotesque cold for the past week....Nonetheless I turned on the Stoic Resolve, swallowed a whole lot of OTC cold-nuking drugs, and I can tell you that for me, the entire five hours I spent there, was a total blur. Possibly the drug cocktail had something to do with this? The drive home was equally loopy. I seemed to be in the thrall of Solar Slowdowns, and expected to see ETs among the space alien corn as I reached the top of every hill with its reward of instantaneous blindness from glaring rays of the setting sun.

Helen Bingham teaches simultaneous socks.

After two hours of intense concentration whilst my brain moved in slow motion and enjoyed minor hallucinations, I determined it was time to press Reset --> Delay [48 hours] --> Start; so I packed up my sad attempt at two simultaneous socks

and wandered around the yarn artisans' marketplace for a while, running into my friends from North Light Fibers,

my neighbor, Linda Perry, the dynamo behind Thistledown Knitting,

Linda's beauteous hand-dyed worsteds

and discovered the fabulous sock yarn of Play at Life Fiber Arts, located on Etsy and in Fall River, MA.

Here the yarn stands in for H, who will wear sox knitted therefrom.

Was the jaunt worth it, given my subpar health?  What kind of question is that???

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The ever-perfectible Piet

A trip to Free Pattern Land acquainted me with the Berocco design called Piet and I began knitting him around 9.30 pm on the evening of November 12, 2012, when I had to visit the ER at Westerly (RI) hospital and figured (correctly) that I'd be sitting around in an examination cubicle for a while so I needed something to occupy my always frantic hands. On the way out of the house, I grabbed yarn, pattern, and needles, et sic Piet nascitur. By the time I left the ER (around midnight) Piet's feet and waist were complete.

Then a hiatus. But recently, in the interest of fulfillment, I picked Piet up again, and today, as Neuroknitter and I knitted and exchanged bons mots before the cozy wood-stove,

Neuro's hard at work on her beauteous fair-isle vest.

I finished Piet and saw that he was good.

It's my sense that Piet's name and color-blocked composition are in homage to the Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian.

At first I thought I was making Piet as a baby gift, but as he emerged I realized it would be hard to sacrifice him to the ravages of baby love. Moreover, as I moved through the knitting pattern I saw that certain adjustments had to be made to accommodate the wear-and-tear inflicted by I determined that this Piet is a prototype, and Piet II will be birthed in the not-too-distant future.

Is it not serendipitous that Piet is two-faced, like Janus, the Roman god after whom this month is named? Respice prospice, etc. Implicitly, then, Piet is of variable mood, a character of depth.

Check out the Ravelry page featuring many different iterations of Piet. You will enjoy the creativity of his knitting progenitors.

Alfie graciously shares his bed with Piet.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Welcoming the new

Just before the entrance of 2013, Mother Nature brought us nine inches of snow. The next few days were pleasant to spend indoors, knitting by the wood-stove.

Sunrise over the Wood River, Woodville RI, 12/30/12

This is the kind of weather that, like the end result of labor, obliterates the memory of pain and suffering--all those torrid days in July, those wild hurricanes in the fall, the endless slush and mush of early spring.  Gentle knitters, it is really beautiful here in New England right now. That is all I know.

As per usual, I polled an array of friends on their New Year's knitting resolutions. The minority who replied (my friends are very busy people) seemed both sensible and creative. Here are their thoughts to share with you, and perhaps inspire.

Neuroknitter and Oogyknitter annually choose a knitting theme and spend the rest of the year working it out. This year's is entitled "Thing a Month," and as Oogy explains, "We have selected 12 items, techniques, or project categories, and have designed one for each month of the year.  For example - our January project is collaborative and will be based upon the BFF Scarf from, but with a few alterations.  Our February project is New Sock Technique, when I will attempt Magic Loop, and Neuro will attempt Toe-Up.  And so forth.  We'll both blog these and all subsequent months, favorable and not.  It should be a fairly eventful yarn year from that perspective!" You can bet that I'll be tracking their fascinating progress, and you can, too, as the links are both on my blogroll and above.

Irene DeVerna, of Eneri Knits, says "my resolution is to sort through and organize my stash, sell or donate what I no longer want, and prioritize all my UFOs!"  (Isn't that every knitter's dream? More power to you, Irene!)

Sven and Laura Risom of North Light Fibers have set themselves great goals to achieve--see my post prior to this--and Deborah Newton, the Knitting Goddess, says her plan is "less Internet, more productivity!" (By the way, you can catch her at VK Live in NYC, January 18-20!)

As for me, I really need a vest and I want to use up stash yarn and I crave a break from I'm going to start the Anastasiya vest in the very near future. It's on straight 2s and 3s, but on the plus side, it's only two pieces to knit (if I don't go chart-blind). Let's hope I get it done before summer....