A Strip of the World

Finishing the trim on Strip One, three more to go! Since I am first and foremost a teacher, let's review...Can you locate the USA, Mexico, Canada, and a bit of Asia? How about Alaska? I hope to start the second section tonight. The larger paper is Chart One. The smaller is a world map colored by J so that I can make it to his color specifications. I'm going to frame his map to give to him when I finish his ghan.

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy is the story about an Irish lady living in a small Italian town. As the mistress to the man across the street, she remains mysterious to the people of the village who know her only for her delicate lacework. After many years, as old age encroaches, the love of her life dies leading her to return to Ireland. While teaching Italian in her small Irish village, she has great and lasting impact upon the lives of many. This is an inspiring story of the incalculable value of individuals upon one another.

The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on. --- Julia Alvarez



Work In Very Slow Progress is this short sleeve sweater from Knitting the New Classics by Kristin Nicholas. This sensational book contains 60...count 'em....60 gorgeous sweater patterns. There are so many that I want to make and probably never will!! I am using Millefili Fine mercerized cotton to make this one in a rich brown.

From this pattern book

Here are a couple views of the edging detail. The short sleeves will have this pattern over the entire sleeve.
Presenting a few of my favorite baskets
I have several done in this style by a Colorado maker.

Do you ever have trouble deciding on your next project? How about a tree sweater? No, really! Take a look at this! Talk about using up your stash!!

Balzac and the Little Princess by Dai Sijie educated me about the ways of China's reeducation program through a fictional work. The reeducation program targeted the learned class with information about western culture as well as in the intended Maoist doctrine. The Little Seamstress becomes a well educated, modern woman who leaves her father. Through her pregnancy and abortion shines the tale of desire of the indominatable human spirit that seeks to learn and know.

The ancestor of every action is a thought. --- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Did I knit a blob?

Maybe if I look at it a different way......
...nope, that doesn't help!
Still unrecognizable!
It's all about the folding!
Hey! Look! It's a sweater/jacket! Not a blob at all! Whew!
Here's a look at the garter stitch and stripes!
Back View

Starry, starry buttons
The finished Baby Surprise Sweater (BSS) has buttons and a collar. This pattern by Elizabeth Zimmerman can be finished in a variety of ways, such as with a hood, without the collar, with added ribbed cuffs. The colors and striping possibilities make each a unique creation! In addition to all of this creative freedom, it is such fun to knit! This one was done on size 9 needles with Plymouth Encore WW yarn. Lighter weight yarns and smaller needles yield smaller sizes. However, it can be made as an adult size as well. Did I hear versatile?

If you enjoy the feel of libraries and book stores, there is a good chance you will enjoy reading Shelf Life by Suzanne Strempek Shea. I am currently reading her nonfiction account of her experiences in publishing her novels, confronting cancer, and returning to the world by working part-time in a book store. Her humor, energy, and positive attitude contribute to the very good vibe of this book. I highly recommend it!

Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others? ---Martin Luther King, Jr.


About that yarn basket...

Yes, there are others!

World Ghan Baskets

BSS KAL Basket
Then, of course, there are shelves!Several years ago my husband built yarn shelves for me at the top of a book case. This is the left side of the shelf with one of my Crochet/Knit notebooks to the left.

Right End of the Yarn Shelf

Another Useful Shelf

All of this is conveniently located in my home office. I love being surrounded by books and yarn! Did I say books? Look what arrived today!!

Isn't it yummy just to look at the cover? Can't wait to dive into all the lusciousness inside!
Carpe Librum ---unknown


Stix & Yarns

My straights are standing straight in a beautiful hand thrown pottery pitcher that one of my sisters gifted me several years ago. Can you see that some of those needles dates back a few decades? There are other straights, of course, that have UFOs on them!Love-love-love hand thrown pottery and have quite a varied collection throughout our house.

The button jar was Mother's and passed on to me when Mother closed our family home to move to assisted living. Playing with the buttons when I was a child has left me with happy-happy memories. It contains primitive looking buttons pressed from shells, blingy rhinestone buttons of every size and shape, buttons that might have a pricey value to collectors and a priceless value to me.

Currently, I am tinking 90 sts on my Baby Surprise Sweater (BSS) because I started a new color on the wrong side! Can't have that unsightly line running across there!

The basket is filled with the yarns for the temporarily abandoned world ghan--just until I complete the BSS. The blue yarn for the water is not in the basket. The fuschia yarn is actually a true red!

In book news, I read a couple of true-but-creepy nonfiction works. The Deadly Game by Catherine Cryer is a linear narrative of the murder of Laci Petersen and baby by the husband and father, Scott. Sad, sad story of materialism, disillusionment, and the behaviors of sociopathic Scott Petersen.
His half-sister Ann Bird wrote Blood Brother about her experiences with her murderous brother who stayed at her house with her husband and children during the weeks of the investigation--when no one knew where he was. Her heart-breaking account describes how she held on to her desire for his innocence until she could no longer rationalize his lies and bizarre behavior. Both books are fascinating and horrifying to read.

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.--Norman Vincent Peale


The weary world awaits...

My knitting life is given over to knitting the BSS. The KAL moves quickly although there were no postings over the weekend. Does it look like a one piece sweater to you? Not yet, but it will! I'm all set to do my 'Day Six" knitting today, which leaves little time to create the world! As long as J doesn't realize my neglect, I guess it's OK. I must admit a nagging guilt at ignoring the world! "I do this for pleasure. I knit for pleasure. Enjoy each stitch no matter what I'm knitting." A little self-talk never hurts.

I've decided that I enjoyed reading Anne Rice's notes at the end of Christ the Lord Out of Egypt more than the style she used in the text of the novel. Realizing that she was writing in the voice of a seven-year-old child, I nevertheless found it to be very choppy reading without the beautiful flow of words that carry the reader. Descriptions of the setting, the daily life of the people who lived in that era, and the minutiae of that period fascinated me. The storyline was less compelling with many repetitions and extremely bloody, graphic descriptions of fighting and death that were much too detailed for this reader. I have not read Rice's other works since I am not drawn to that genre. However, I did wonder if this horrid, deplorable descriptive writing might harken back to her previous work. As for her notes, I was fascinated by her discussion of her spiritual journey and the extensive research in a variety of spheres to prepare to write this book. I therefore find myself in a neutral zone concerning this book. Would I recommend this title? Not sure. Can you say ambivalent?

One kind word can warm three winter months. ---Japanese Proverb


Am I Fickle?

So I'm happily knitting along on the world ghan--having fun with the charts and color changes. Also, I'm reading my emails from my Elizabeth Zimmerman group as they prepare for a KAL on the Baby Surprise Sweater (BSS). But, me? I'm not interested in joining in, after all, I am devoted to my world ghan. Until! Until the Day One directions popped up in my email. Before I knew it the size 9 circs and beautiful Plymouth Encore yarn in claret is in my hands! What can I say? This is an 11 day KAL and I'll have a wonderful toddler size sweater!

This one piece wonder will become a complete sweater when a couple of seams are sewn. That's it! Done! Does that even resemble a sweater? It's an amazing piece of engineering that Elizabeth Zimmerman achieved with this beauty. The many variations that can be used makes it a delightful pattern to repeat over and over and over in different striping patterns, different colors, sleeve lengths, with or without a collar. If you don't have The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmerman, jump onto Amazon and take a look at this inspirational knitting book. And, for even more fun, check out the group at knitbabysurprise at Yahoo groups.

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. -Elayne Boosler-


Is it over?

Is Christmas really over? I mean, after all those weeks--months, actually--of preparation and anticipation? Refer to my lovely planter decorations earlier in this blog and you might see, as I did, this sad view this morning is clearly indicating that the holiday season has indeed passed. Ravaged by the wind and ever-present squirrels, ornaments have disappeared, the juniper boughs are dried, disheveled, and missing! But wasn't it grand while it lasted? A house full of 10 loved ones for four days was a true blessing. Never mind the living room full of new toys, Baby B was most interested in playing with Max's toys which are laying about the house.

Under Max's
ever watchful gaze Baby B plays with the ball that lights inside when it is moved around. It was even more fun than the plasticware and measuring spoons he used as toys! OH my! I just noticed that if I look at this pic a certain way, the ball appears to be Max's tongue hanging out!! It's not!!

World ghan progress finds my needles heading north in Canada, a very enjoyable journey as I knit! See Canada up there? J decided it should be yellow with green USA and purple Mexico. Pretend it looks like a map, OK? The charting and color changes keep the stockinette stitch quite interesting.

I am trying to gather my thoughts about Christ the Lord Out of Egypt by Anne Rice. I am going to read the author's notes tonight, so am not ready to make any grand conclusions at this point. I do wonder, however, if the abundance of pre-publishing promotion sometimes leads to unattainable expectations on the part of readers. Could be.

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.-Jennifer Unlimited-