I'm obviously doing some catching up today with all these posts! I received my package from Dorothy in Wyoming on Friday. Great package! Thank you so much, Dorothy.
Of course there was some great yarn and patterns (including a CD with more patterns) for mitts:
Dorothy included not just one but TWO bags. The first bag really blew me away. I spent forever thinking about how it was put together - it looks like mitered squares were involved, but I'm not sure.
The extra goodies that Dorothy included were wonderful as well. I've been dying to try the KnitPicks needles because I've heard the tips are so sharp. And she also included some handmade stitch markers!
I can see why these have been all the rage - I loved knitting it! It was easy enough to do while watching a movie, but involved enough that it wasn't boring. Plus, dropping the stiches on purpose was so much fun. It was like sitting at the top of a roller coaster and throwing your hands up in the air - whoo, is this actually going to work?
Clapotis also led me to investigate the wonderful world of blocking. I know it's ridiculous that I've been knitting for a year and haven't blocked anything yet. My only excuse is that I just didn't know better. Rather than starting with the clapotis, my first blocking included the swatch for my Arwen sweater and a my-so-called-scarf in Malabrigo.
There was an interesting article on the BBC website today about Greek students protesting to try to get the Elgin Marbles returned. The marbles were taken from Greece to England over 200 years ago by Lord Elgin and include friezes and statues from the Parthenon and from other buildings on the Acroplis. They're on display today at the British Museum in London.
The British Museum was one of my favorite parts of our visit to London 3 (or was it 4?) years ago. Beautiful building, amazing collection. One of the highlights was a travelling exhibition of the works of Albrecht Durer that they were hosting. I'm a huge Durer fan, so it was amazing to see a large collection of his works in person. But what really stuck with me with some graffiti that was on the restroom door (no camera along with me - and how funny would it be to take a picture while you're in the loo, eh?). The graffiti was all about how the works were looted from around the world and how they should be returned. I remember commenting to Tim even before I saw the graffiti, about how I was uncomfortable with parts of the museum's collection.
I really have mixed feelings on this topic. On one hand, I'm not sure that I'll ever go to Greece (or to Iraq or Egypt or many of the other countries that they have statues and works from). In fact, if many of these works were still in their original locations, they might have been destroyed or looted, especially the Mesopotamian artifacts from what is now Iraq. Having them all in one amazing museum makes them accessible to millions of people who would never see these treasures otherwise and protects them from the elements and from people who might want to destroy them. For example, if someone could have taken the Buddhas of Bamyan from Afghanistan before the Taleban destroyed them, what an amazing treasure could have been protected. But on the other hand, when you're talking about artifacts from Greece or Egypt - don't these countries have a right to parts of their heritage? Who is to say that they cannot or will not protect them adequately and make them available to visitors? In fact, does having these artifacts in the UK interfere with the respect people in those countries have for their heritage? Do these works actually belong to Britain? I don't have an answer. I would gladly go back to the British Museum. I'm thankful to have seen all these wonderful cultural works and I feel like I could better appreciate some world cultures because of it. At the same time, I don't feel like I can actually say they belong in London.
January 22, 2007
The only thing that I worked on last week was the clapotis. Great mostly mindless knitting - easy to do while watching a movie or doing a crossword puzzle with Tim. I'm almost done with the main section and should start doing decreases soon. I did manage to make a mistake - my row count was off by 2 so I did a SSK decrease two rows later than I should have. I blame it on Netflix, as I was watching Season 4 of MI-5 (known as Spooks in the UK) and it got a little distracting.
Threaded Bliss was closed for the week so Sheila could go on vacation, so no knitting group on Thursday. Saturday, Tim and I drove down to Murfreesboro so I could stop at the Knaughty Knitter. I'd heard great things about this shop from other people, but it's so far outside of town (fine, only 30 miles but still...) that I hadn't made it out there. Overall, a cute shop with a great variety of yarns. They were doing a weaving class while I was there and they also sell spinning supplies. Really friendly staff as well. My only complaint, which has been pretty true in all the LYS I've been to, is that the yarn is organized in a way that I honestly couldn't figure out. Some things (like alpaca and bamboo yarns) were grouped by the type of fiber, but other yarns were grouped by weight and possibly even by color. I wish there was a more standard way for yarn shops to organize their yarns! I did pick up some really cool hand dyed sock yarn, pictures later hopefully.
I'm hoping to start my Oktoberfest socks this week - they look like a really fun knit. I noticed that the Tsock Tsarina is starting up a sock club, but I'm not sure if I'm interested yet. I like several of their patterns, but some of them seem a bit too much like novelties for my personal knitting. They'd be great fun to knit probably, but I'm not sure if I would wear them once I finished.
January 21, 2007
January 17, 2007
We hosted the neighborhood book club last night. The book was The Island by Thomas Perry, sort of a mystery-thriller, it sounds like. The book is out of print and we didn't manage to get it from the library in time. It definitely sounds like an interesting read. We made my all time favorite soup, Chicken Corn Chowder, since the temperatures have finally gone down to something more winter-like here. The recipe is from Cooking Light and it's really straightforward - lots of chopping, but easy other than that. The bacon is the key :) We also put together a new dessert, a raspberry mousse cake from "Perfect Light Desserts" by Nick Malgieri. I have to say that this dessert was too much effort for the result, which was tasty but not all that special.
January 15, 2007
I'm still recovering from the cold I had last weekend, so we took it easy this weekend. Saturday, we stopped off at Textile Fabrics (on 8th Ave South) because they were having a 30% off sale on all fabrics. I picked up some more Amy Butler fabric and an Amy Butler purse pattern that I had been looking for for a while (the Swing bag).
Thursday at Threaded Bliss, I had picked up some blue Malabrigo yarn to make a scarf for Tim, but he didn't like the color and really wasn't interested in a scarf (socks instead!). I decided to use the yarn to finally make a clapotis for myself. Tim picked up two more skeins for me on his way home on Friday and I started it on Friday evening. I made it to the third dropped stitch last night! It's a very fun pattern. Dropping stitches on purpose, now that is a new one for me. I'd describe it as like being in a rollercoaster, sitting at the top of a big drop off - you drop the stitch and ta-da! It turns out so cool.
Work on the Cardigan for Arwen is briefly on hold while I take a sanity break. I think these front sections are going to take much much longer to do than the back.
The cable is really challenging for me because of how often it cables (every other row). There are so many variations (back, front, knit, purl) that I just can't seem to get into a swing and memorize what I'm doing. I'm constantly looking at the cable chart to make sure I'm on the right cable pattern.