Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One of a Kind

I wanted to acknowledge the passing of Mary Walker Phillips. Her obituary ran in the Los Angeles Times last Sunday. We knitters all owe her a debt of gratitude. I discovered her book, Creative Knitting some time in the early 80's and was quite inspired. This quote from her obituary expresses Mary's contribution:

"She has elaborated on one of the most traditional of women's textile arts, while maintaining a reverence for its time-honored tradition," wrote M. Catherine Daly, who curated a Phillips exhibit in 1987. "She has expanded the techniques of knitting beyond the boundaries of apparel. . . . It is this sense of continuity and change that is the magic of Mary Walker Phillips' knitting needles."

Ms. Phillips thought that knitted counterpanes, a traditional knitting technique was being lost, so in 1989, she wrote Knitted Counterpanes. This book is out of print. I managed to buy a copy on eBay this year when I couldn't locate the copy I know I have somewhere. Anyway, I digress. This subject is as fresh now as it was 20 years ago. Just look at Jared Flood's Hemlock Ring Blanket. Moreover, his new take on a vintage doily epitomizes the spirit of Mary Walker Phillips.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Since today preceeds our annual salute to materialism, aka, the Holiday Season, it seems like a good time to express some gratitude. Today, when the L.A. Foodbank distributed 8,000 food packages, I am grateful for my life. Now that I'm older, I've had the opportunity to see that it only takes a few bad breaks for one to go from stable to really hurting. Let's keep in mind how lucky most of us are to have the lives that we have and try to help those who have less.

I am grateful for my family, friends and one huge crabby cat. They all bring so much into my life every day. I'm grateful for knitting, for the comfort, challenge and company it provides. I don't know what I'd do if I were unable to work with my hands. Even in the old folks home, I'm sure that I'll be gluing macaroni to cardboard. Note to the kid: be sure I get a bottle of glitter.

For those of you who will be lining up in a couple hours to hit the sales, good luck and no pushing1 I'll be catching up on my sleep, dreaming of beads and bobbles.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday musings

Things I have learned today:
When a water connection to your toilet is leaky, don't pull on it to check it. When you are in Orchard Supply describing the tubing to a salesperson there and they exclaim "wow, that's how they USED to do it!", that can be a bad thing. When you have moved on to Home Depot and the two sales guys helping you say that replacing the valve and new tubing (since the original replacement tubing from OSH was wrong) is a cinch, don't believe them. When the previously mentioned sales guys tell you "a little water could seep out when you disconnect the old tubing," proceed with caution. Maybe with a bucket instead of a Tupperware bowl. When you accidentally turn off your neighbor's water instead of your own, expect them to complain. When your other neighbor whom you consulted about the procedure comes back to your door to check on how things are going, it's a very good thing. I'm practically a plumber!! yay DIY Nation!

Non plumbing discovery: I really, really like the Mr. Greenjeans cardigan. Plus, the name makes me happy. Probably some 40 year old subconscious suggestion from Captain Kangaroo... If you have to ask, you're too young. [sigh]

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Chillaxing in Arcadia

Woo Hoo, it has been a good day. First of all, the kid competed in her first Academic Decathalon scrimmage today and TA DAAAAA! made the competition team!! We are celebrating Chez Ward tonight. Actually, I'm celebrating with Ravelry and Harry Potter, the poor kid is dead asleep on the couch. We all party in our own little ways.

While I was anxiously waiting to hear the results from the aforementioned competition, I was able to hang out with most of my knitting peeps at Unraveled's 3rd anniversary sale. Congrats to Christine and the Unraveled gang. At UR, I was happy to see the UR girls, Christine, Fay Lynn (Marvels of Knitting), Sandy, Susan (UnraveledGal), and Jillian, and also my knitting peeps, Michele and JoShell (Yarn Traveler), Mary (Dim Sum Knitting), Larry (Knitdad), Andy (do you have a blog?), and Margie. Auntie Ehm and Janice R., you were missed! I managed to control myself and bought a little Berrocco Jasper for myself and some Foliage for the kid.

Knitting report: 6, count 'em, 6 rows done on the Illusionist Shawl, more work done on the Babykid ruffles shawl.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Elusive Illusionist

Well, it's been a big weekend. Cast on 336 stitches and knit 2 rows in pattern for the Illusionist Shawl. At this rate, I'll finish the thing in 2010. I've already changed yarn, no more Shibui wasabi, hello Alchemy's Haiku yarn in fig. Why are so many color names food names anyway? What does that say about us? I guess if I were naming colors they would be espresso, latte, crema, sumatra, java, earl grey, darjeeling, lapsang souchong, etc. We're all about our brewed beverages here. Oh, chocolate too.

Blogger is not cooperating in uploading my photo of the fig color, so I'm going to bed. Happy (?) Veteran's Day, thank you to all who have served. It is not an easy job. We will be enjoying a day off from school.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Chevron Ruana

My ruana is done! This was a fun knitting experience. Every minute spent with this luscious yarn was a pleasure. The colors in the photo are a little washed out, what looks yellow is actually chartreuse green.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Ok, I've spent all evening working on my Ravelry notebook. My user name is feltaholic, come visit me. I refuse to catalog my stash. First of all, I can't count that high, secondly, my family will have me institutionalized. I'd rather spend my time knitting than counting. Anyway, special thanks to Janice Rosema for encouraging me (i.e. bugging me until I did it) to get going. Even though I can tell that Ravelry is and will be a major timesuck. oh well... Have a great weekend, everyone. A Stitch in Time in San Marino is having their Trash to Treasure event on Sunday, from 12-4 pm. The proceeds benefit a local charity.