Faded Faire

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thoughts on knitting

The last two weeks I have been too busy to knit and my soul is feeling it. Today, I am once again picking up the cardigan for DD and hoping to get started on the sleeves. She had to go back to college without her new sweater, but I am hoping to have it off the needles and in a package VERY soon. The quote below eloquently says what I feel about knitting. It is by a reader from Knitting Daily, a great posting from Interweave Knits.

"Who says that knitting is just an old fashioned activity for crafty old ladies? Non-knitters cannot comprehend the emotions that go into a blankie for the new baby, a perfectly putrid pink sweater for the little niece who has her little heart set on that "softie" yarn, or the beautiful afghan made stitch by stitch for the new bride with so much hope for the future. No one I know knits just to add to their wardrobe, it is an extension of their heart, their love, and often, their prayers. "
Comment by: Ann B August 22,

Thursday, August 16, 2007


How I long for the days of the artic blast, the need to dig through bags looking for socks, the wearing of sweaters at work in the middle of July...these days are now a dim, sweaty memory. For the past two weeks, Kentucky-at-large has reported soaring temperatures, with today peaking at 103; add the humidity and the heat index is around 110. That's hot! As the temperatures climbed, the air conditioning unit in my office building gave a sigh and went on vacation the past two weeks. Every available fan has been pressed into service but still the temperatures in the building can be over 90 degrees. Lucky me...my particular office suite is one of the hottest spots in the building. Tomorrow brings the promise of an air conditioning unit up and running by midday...I'm crossing my fingers and bare toes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Journey to Samuel

Samuel LiYu William is officially a member of the family. The documents are being prepared by the Chinese government and he will be "cleared for takeoff" so to speak. The process of watching the parents and brother and sister meet him and bond is a thing of beauty. Thanks to the Internet, we've all been able to share in the joy. If you want to follow along, go to Journey to Samuel and click on "Trip to China". Be prepared for an emotional experience...I've been reading other families stories at the main page (www.myadoptionstory.com) and I am thrilled for those families too! Enjoy these pictures.

I have been writing a paper this week, so no knitting or other news. I did sneak my knitting into a graduation ceremony the other night and got about three more inches done on DD's sweater. It's going to be close--I don't know that I can have it done by the time she returns on August 11.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Single Sock Syndrome

My office building is akin to a freezer in the summer. Once the university turns on the "chillers" it is time to pull out the winter clothes again. I know this and yet in the mornings when I am getting dressed, I put on capris and shoes with no socks. As the arctic blast hits me coming into the building, I start digging in bags and looking behind my office door for socks and a sweater. Last week, all I had available in the way of socks were those single socks whose mate is still on the needles. Thus the emergence of an ensemble worthy of an "Absent Minded Professor." My top was a faux silk red w/oriental pattern, black pants, and the pictured socks...one of each.
The incident made me realize I am infected with Single Sock Syndrome...the enthusiastic knitting of the first sock in a new pattern/colorway and neglect of the second sock to the pair. I have counted my single socks...there are three now, down from five. I am resolved to buy no more sock yarn until I have no more single socks (yeah, right...I have etsy.com open as I write :-))

Knitting Notes: The black/taupe/white sock is Tofutsie yarn, knit top down with a 1x1 ribbing for 3", then the leg as K3P3 for one row, K1P1 the next row. This pattern kept the colorway from pooling unattractively and makes a great fitting, stretchy sock that fits most leg sizes. The yarn is lovely to knit with for the most part, just a bit splitty. The tangerine/khaki sock is Paton's Grace knit in a Curvy/Lacy pattern found in Creative Knitting about 18 months ago. The yarn is 100% cotton and has a beautiful cotton sheen when knit up...although as is the case with 100% cotton, is a bit tiring for the hands because it has no elasticity to it. I used to have a subscription to Creative Knitting magazine but found that over a year's time, I only knitted two patterns in it, so I let it expire. My all-time, forever favorite knitting magazine is Interweave Knits.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What's on the Needles

  • I've taken a few days off work this week and it's been wonderful!! I am supposed to be writing a paper but nothing makes me want to clean and knit like having a paper to write...so some of the chaos has been de-cluttered AND I started a new knitting project, an Eyelet Cardigan. I saw the finished item at Alliknits.blogspot.com and thought it would look great on my sweet Celeste (aka DD). I ordered the pattern and yarn from loop--GREAT service by the way...it was here two days after I ordered it--packed in beautiful blue tissue paper with a hand written note on the receipt. The pattern and yarn is by Blue Sky Alpacas and I have loved knitting with it on my beloved Addi turbo circular size 7s (okay, well these particular needles are on loan from my best-est friend Julie...but we do that with our Addi's--and by the way, Jules, I'm still not convinced you have my 10.5s.) The color is called toffee.

  • I started out knitting it as a surprise present for cutie-pie to take back to college with her but I couldn't stand not talking about it with her when she asked me what I was doing. But, it might still mostly be a surprise cuz I don't know that she really looks at my blog all that often :-)

  • Now, here's the deal about my knitting something for somebody...I think about that person the whole time I work on the item, I pray for them and imagine their life right now and in the future. By the time I have knitted, assembled, washed and blocked the garment, I have prayed countless prayers and loved them with each stitch I make, so I guess I am passing along a piece of my soul. It's a way of connecting with another person.

  • Tomorrow I am having lunch with dear, sweet Emily. She's my daughter's best friend from high school and I have the privilege of having her for a friend, too! I'm looking forward to catching up with what's been happening in her busy, full, productive life. See you tomorrow, Emmy.

  • PS--Today is the day the Lamberts left for China to FINALLY meet their son on July 30. You can follow their journey at their adoption website. I am filled with joy and anticipation--this is a new experience for our family--we've never added to it by adoption before; the adoption experience is the perfect picture of what Christ has done for us...think about it!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Celebration of Life and a Book Release

At the stroke of midnight, the cartons were ripped open at our local Barnes and Noble, heralding in one more milestone for my best-est friend and honorary "little sister", Julie. Five years ago, she was actively engaged in a stem cell transplant as part of the treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, facing each day as a valiant warrior in her own fight. One day she remarked that she would really hate it if she never knew what happened to Harry Potter. This morning, she knows the ending and lives to reach for new goals, and enrich my life in the process.

Julie, her cancer, and her recovery are the reason why I renewed my love affair with knitting. During her treatment, she sat in on a knitting group at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, learned to cast on and she was off and knitting. She's warmed her world with Harry Potter scarves ...she always has one on the needles. I started knitting again because I wanted to share her new passion.

To meet the irrepressible Julie is to love her immediately. Here's to Harry and here's to Julie--my world is richer because of both of them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My newest nephew

Welcome to our family, Samuel William! We love you with all our hearts already, little guy. After waiting more than two years, our family will finally be able to meet and hold and hug this much longed for baby. He will be 9 months old when he arrives in the US on August 9th and will join two sisters and a brother. There is nothing sweeter than adding a new family member. My knitting needles are just itching to finish a little sweater that is in the works.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Where in the World is DD?

Yesterday, my Darling Daughter (DD) was in Seattle but today she is in San Diego. She went to visit her travel buddy, April, with whom she had great adventures last year in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Ecuador. I thought I would post a picture of the two of them in honor of their time together this week. They just called and are buying the ingredients for Scottish Oat Scones, which is one of the yummiest breakfast treats in the world. I'll post the recipe so you can enjoy it too! Salud, Abril y Celeste!

Scottish Oat Scones

1 1/2 c. flour (I use 3/4 c. whole wheat and 3/4 unbleached)
1 1/4 c. oats (quick or old fashioned)
1/8-1/4 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 to 2/3 c. butter, melted
1/3 c. milk
1 egg
1/2 raisins or 1 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 450* F.
Mix all dry ingredients together, flour through salt.
Add melted butter, milk and egg to combined dry ingredients; mix until dry ingredients are moistened.
Stir in raisins.
Shape dough to form a ball; pat out on lightly floured surface to form an 8 inch circle.
Cut into 8 to 12 wedges.
Bake on greased cookie sheet in 450* oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summer Time and the Livin' is SUPPOSED to be easy

Last weekend I hung my Ecuadorian hammock (Christmas present from my Darling Daughter--mine is green and white stripes.) I had to put up hooks which meant manning a drill and a screwdriver. The first hole I drilled was too big and the screw just slid in and out. Oops. A little to the left, a drill bit two sizes smaller, and one hook was up. The second one went seamlessly...well, so the hammock is a little farther off the ground than I planned and so I need a step stool to get in...that's okay. I was a little nervous that I could flip out onto the concrete trying to get in so I gingerly climbed up the stool and eased over the edge...I was sitting up perpendicular to where I was supposed to be laying down but the hammock was holding firm on the hooks and the beams weren't groaning so I inched into supine. Ahhh...welcome to summer I think to myself. After I was laying down, I decided I really should have something cold to drink beside me in case I get thirsty. Hmm...how to get out? Gravity made it easier coming out than going in. Out and back in with the something cold to drink on a patio table beside me...now this is the life--if I only had something to read. Back out, back in. Now Toby, my older Maltese, wants in--she's such a lap buddy--back out part of the way, scoop up the furbaby, lay back down, reach for my reading, knock off the cold drink. That's okay, I'm not thirsty now...but I can't quit thinking about it, so out and back in, dog settled, reading on my lap, eyes closed...eyes open. I don't have my cell phone! What if Darling Daughter is trying to call from somewhere near Seattle? (I really need to look at a map; I should know where Darling Daughter is temporarily located on this planet-but then those of you who know her know that she doesn't stay put for long--so I don't ever get too attached to any address she gives me!) Out and back in, knocked the cold drink off again. Out and back in, water within reach, but out of the danger zone. Ten minutes later, I have to get out of the hammock to meet a friend. There's always next Sunday.

Now this weekend has come and gone, I think it was sunshine-y out there, but I was in "study hall" for three days. I was working on analyzing some data for an article I am writing with colleagues at the U. I started Friday a.m. and worked solidly through until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night...Whew, I'm glad to have that part behind me. I had promised myself that I would spend a couple hours in the hammock reading a NOVEL, but by the time I was done staring at the computer screen it was raining. Oh well, there's always next Sunday.

For entertainment while doing some of the mundane formatting of the text, for my part of the data organization, I listened to podcasts . My new fav is Socks in the City by Carrie B. I'm a sock knitter and she's a sock knitter, so it's like we're kindred spirits. I used to say I'm so low maintenance I can be entertained watching the grass grow, but now I can say I am entertained by listening to a perfect stranger describe each and every one of the skeins of yarn in her stash...enough yarn to knit 26 pair of socks. Here's how nerdy I am...I keep a tab active for Etsy, search for the seller of the yarn and look at the yarn while the Socks in the City lady describes it. Pathetic--I really need to think about getting a more exciting life.
Next posting, I'll tell you about my new nephie, Samuel William, and what I have on-the-needles...but I promise not to describe my stash...until the posting after that!

Let's see--on the schedule this week: Routine work, a research meeting, dental work AND the new Harry Potter book comes out Friday at midnight. I'll be at Barnes and Noble at the stroke of midnight--where will you be?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Welcome to my blog!

After reading others' blogs for awhile now, I've taken the plunge into my own blog space. I'm a mom, a professor, a student and a knitter, ...so plan on my blogs being varied (and sporadic). I hope to hear from you soon!