Laughing and Scratching

Laughing and Scratching was a phrase my father used to say on his radio show and it has stuck with me as the vernacular for “farting around.” It’s been a little while since I last posted and I’d like to say I’ve found the answer to world peace or done something terrific. The fact is, I’ve done my job, which is a privilege, and I have helped out at St. John’s with the mailings for the Orchestra’s 2009-2010 season, spent time with friends who needed my presence, spent time with family, had fun with friends, and knitted. What I did not do was exercise, and practice flute, something that will be remedied in the coming days:)
As one can see, there are three of the 8.5M knitting projects upon which I am focusing my time – well, four, if you count the blue lace scarf that I keep in my purse for “down times.” And yes, I have added a project, but when have I ever denied one of my kids a sweater? (Don’t answer that question!)
Right now as I type this, the two grandgirls are here; one is sleeping, the other playing educational games on the other computer. I am alternating between keeping up on my work e-mails and calls and sneaking a read in two knitting magazines and a book I’d like to mention here.
But before I write about knitting, to keep up with the personal journal part of this blog, I probably should update just a little bit. So, to hit the highlights, Monday of last week consisted of an afternoon of Family Team Decisionmaking meetings at DSS for two clients, and a Stephen Ministry mid-summer dinner. I brought my tomato/basil/mozzarella salad. The company was delightful; it was great to catch up with everybody. The “other Joan” in our group also started with her first caregiving relationship, so we are both off and running. We all took a look at a positively beautiful quilt out of diagonal diamond strips made by one of the mothers of the couple who hosted the party. It was really something – what a wonderful work of artistry!
Tuesday, I switched shelters with Priya and went to PA with Nancy to look at more choir music at Menchey’s. It took all day – with a break for lunch at a local chinese buffet – and was a lot of fun. Thankfully, work was not that busy so I didn’t feel too terribly guilty and I was available by cellphone, but got only one call all day! Later, Nancy and I met up with two other friends from choir, one of whom was going through a rough time. I won’t say much more about that because her privacy is paramount, but I will mention that as I left her house, I heard that still small voice of GodasBBL saying, “Don’t you MAKE me come down there!” The next day I was able to help out with mailings at St. Johns for the Orchestra and prepped for Thursday’s court. Friday I helped out some more with mailings and stayed up very late knitting. Saturday was not much to speak of. Sunday after church, I went to my choir friend Diane’s new place. A bunch of us from choir were there to help her christen her new condo. It was beautiful, with a great view of the woods and an oncoming storm front as it happened. We had a delicious dinner (I brought the same tomato/basil/mozzarella salad) and watched Amadeus (how appropriate:)!) When I got home, expecting only the “home team” to be there, everyone was there for dinner! How lovely!
This week was court on Monday, followed by some more mailings, Tuesday afternoon was another FTDM. Yesterday I had yet another FTDM, and went with a friend to traffic court (NO, I did NOT represent her – that wasn’t necessary and anyway I’m not allowed outside practice!). After court, I got the dry cleaning, some wine and some Chinese carryout for dinner and spent the evening with the family until John had to get to bed so he’d be coherent at work. I got to bed early for a change so I could be ready for the grandangels and here we are – the first thursday in a LONG time where I don’t have a scheduled court docket and I don’t know how to behave!
Tonight, I may be going to grab a bite with a couple of friends and then a big group of us are going to do a final push to get the mailings done for the Orchestra. I may just bring a little bit of “vino” to help the process along. I don’t know if the C of E says this, but in the Episcopal Church, they are known for that reference to Scripture that says, “Where three or four are gathered, there is usually a fifth in the midst of them.” Never let it be said that I break with tradition!
On a more personal front, I haven’t been as busy these past couple of weeks as I have throughout the year. I haven’t blogged because I haven’t been able to find the words for what’s going on in my strange, sick mind. Life has been OK, I have no complaints, yet sometimes dreams die, dreams about which you dare not speak. That’s OK. I have so many many more!
Alrighty then, from the sublime to the ridiculous: if anyone really cares, what’s on Joan’s needles?
Well, a LOT, LOL! The pics above are of the three projects I’m focusing on this week – and as many who have read this blog know, that could change next week. But for now I’m working on finishing Jared Flood’s Tweed Baby Blanket, Sandrine from Chic Knits, and Buttony , a free pattern by Katie Marcus for Sabrina. Buttony, featured here for the first time, is a cute, top-down sweater, with a line of buttons on the side. A picture is available on the link above. There is also a ravelry link. Sabrina picked out the yarn out of my stash – a navy blue acrylic (Caron Simply Soft) so she can just throw it in the wash and the dryer without concerns about felting.
The baby blanket is about twenty rows and an i-cord finish away from ending. A good thing, since I’d like to be done by the baby shower on the 23rd! Thanks to a weekend of sitting with my Dad and watching old movies and the first season of MadMen, this blanket has gone fairly quickly. I am now only 12 or so rows past the point where I put the sleeve stitches on bits of scrap wool and the rows are going a bit more quickly – after all, 307 stitches goes a little more quickly than 441 stitches do. I’m still really liking the KnitPicks CotLin and think I will have enough. We shall see if I have enough to do an i-cord edging on this one, too.
Ever the knitting book and magazine connoisseur, I have a few things I’d like to share with you in a few seconds, but I did want to mention here that I’d like to try my hand at designing an aran sweater. Thanks to Janet Szabo’s books, some generic sweater patterns, and a number of stitch dictionaries, I am going to give it a shot. It may be a year in the making, what with having to knit swatches and figure out sizing. Then again, it may just be a sweater for one person. We shall see. Wish me good luck!
OK, this week, I’d like first like to take a look at a fairly new (to us on this side of the Atlantic) knitting magazine. The Knitter, now on its seventh issue, is a very tastefully done magazine, focusing on – you guessed it – knitting patterns and knitting news. There is an interesting page about what “the Knitter likes, ” including a website called Serenity Knitting and a small feature regarding Annie Modesitt’s two-month teaching blitz in the UK. The Table of Contents gives a nice summary of the pattern and articles and I show you a brief glimpse here. A bit expensive because it’s from the other side of the proverbial pond, I still think it’s worth the extra
money. The glossy pages are on high quality paper and patterns are all challenging enough, and appear to be well designed.
This month’s Vogue Knittting was also quite nice and I show you a few glossy pages to whet your appetite for what looks to be some beautiful autumn knitting inspirations! By the way, I like that hat on the second page and will be knitting it, probably in a different color.
As always, Vogue finds interesting ways to deal with cables – switching directions, using lace. It’s all good! The thing with all of the Vogue publications is that even for someone like myself, someone who shall not soon be wearing anything under a size 20, even these items for those women I internally call “skinny minnies,”(probably out of some outdated form of envy – I’m working on that) are translateable into something interesting for someone like myself who is…. well …. not.
And here are pages from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia. Oh. My. G*d. This book represents to me a life sentence of knitting. And to think these women just knitted these things from their own memories and imaginations! What a way to go! As if that weren’t enough, Ms. Bush provides a beautiful stitch dictionary of Estonian lace patterns, so that if there is another piece of lace knitting you’ve been aching to design, one can have at it! The book represents a great deal of time and research the author put into living with, speaking with (through interpreters from what I understand) and learning from the women of Estonia, one of those countries who went through hell during the Second World War and an almost equal amount of hell during Soviet occupation during the Cold War. Yet, they have maintained and established their cultural identity – at least they have through their beautiful knitting!
Well, dear readers, that’s all I have for today. Please note that the pictures above were “pictures of pictures” and not stolen from anyone’s bandwidth. I wish you all health and happiness and may God be with you ’til we meet again!

Published by fuguestateknits

Wife of one, mother of six, Grammy to eight (so far) and lawyer for many young persons, I love to sing, read, knit and walk. My politics are somewhat left of Marx and I want to hear what you think, too!

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