SATURDAY JUMBLE….

INSPIRATION.

I’m not much of an artist by a LONG stretch.  To be more precise, I enjoy the incredible talents of artists and appreciate their work, their sense of place, color, light, design – you name it – despite a poor understanding of much of it.  One of my heroes is Sister Wendy, the hermit/nun with an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject who has increased my own knowledge a thousand fold (and that is not saying much, LOL!)  Despite my decided lack of talent in that department (never you mind, I have other gifts the good Lord has given me and I am happy to have them), I was inspired to create the above little collage on the second page of my planner.

I read about Inez Milholland when John and I went to the Newseum a couple of weeks ago.  She was the (sort of) iconic woman on the white horse who led a women’s march for suffrage in D.C. I say “sort of” because we never learned about people like Ms. Milholland in my childhood.  A dirty shame, because she is my hero. She attended Vassar college, then NYU law school and was admitted (I believe) to the bar in 1912. No easy task in 1950, let alone in 1912! She was a never-say-die kind of woman.  Initially rejected by Vassar because they did not accept her qualifications from an English boarding school (her American family lived in England during what we would call the high school years), she took additional classes and then sat for an entrance exam at Vassar and was accepted.  There, she was an excellent student, active in theater productions, and an athlete – and,  after working summers with the English suffragette movement a very active and vocal suffragette.  She brought news of the struggles in England to just beyond the Vassar campus.  Just beyond, because the President of Vassar forbade any discussion of the topic. So she organized a women’s suffrage group in a cemetery just outside the boundaries of the college. She also was one of the organizers of the march on Washington for suffrage and it was there that she rode on her white horse.  She fought the fight for women’s suffrage – and for the rights of the poor and disenfranchised until her untimely death at 30, hope for the right to vote still burning within her. Sadly, it wasn’t to happen for another four years.

Whenever I think I am too old to begin again or to make change in this world, I think of her and all that she accomplished in her short tenure on this earth. We owe her so much.

CURRENTLY

Our son is currently between gigs, so we’ve had more time with him and that was nice.

This past week was a short one with the holiday.  I’d love to say that I got a lot done, but it was one of those weeks when everything seemed to go out of whack – one of those things being the complete breakdown of my cellphone – an item upon which I have become incredibly dependent on the work front, if not everywhere else! This time I went back to team iPhone.  It’s lovely having not having to recharge my phone every 2 hours! In any event, I got done what I needed to at work, so no complaints there.  Last night I got home, and with the help of John and our daughter S, got the drums into the car and into St. Peter’s Church in Ellicott City.  Our little dixieland band is playing our one gig of the year: Mardi gras on Tuesday. It’s my one time I get to play drums and we have a blast. Practice was this morning.  Hopefully I won’t screw it up too badly, LOL:) Laissez les bontemps roulez!

Prayers needed!

On a much sadder note, my daughter, D, texted me in the very early hours this morning to say that her mother-in-law was unresponsive and in the hospital – they suspect a stroke.  I later learned that dear B was operated upon to remove a blood clot from her brain and that the last news this morning was she’s still “deep in the woods.” D’s husband, (also D) is keeping a vigil in the hospital. We may have the grand girls over later if/when D joins him.  Prayers going up of course.:( If you are the praying type or just “keep good thoughts,” we’ll take what we can get – and a good doctor, too!

KNITTING PROGRESS

Oh dear, not much progress there, but my little corner of den is stocked with my “three” current projects and some wonderful reading material.

I am determined to finish the Greenwood sweater by Ann-Marie Jackson. I. am. so. close. Though with the 75-degree F days we’ve had around here, I wonder if I’ll have a chance to wear it before the real spring kicks in.

It doesn’t look half bad, does it?

The little Flax sweater for my young friend is moving along.  Maybe I can finish both that and Greenwood sometime this week.

And of course, I have a basket of socks I’d like to work on in my “spare” time;)!

Among the knitting reading acquisitions in the past couple of months were subscriptions to Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits and two books:  Martin Storey’s  light-hearted Easy Fair Isle Knitting and Norah Gaughan’s incredible Knitted Cable Sourcebook.   Martin Storey brings his wonderful expertise and color savvy to a book of beautiful, whimsical, yet classical fair isle designs.  I just know I’m going to knit at least one of those patterns.  As for Norah Gaughan’s book: there are only two knitting books I have in physical and Kindle format: June Hemmons Hiatt’s The Principles of Knitting and this beauty by Ms. Gaughan. It is a worthwhile sourcebook for your bookshelf and I firmly believe it will become a classic  – if it isn’t already!

Well folks, in the past few days I have been developing some sort of cold or something.  And though I hate to be wimpy about such things, I am going to take the rest of this windy, stormy Saturday and immerse myself in some knitting and some lovely reading. The laundry is done, the house is quiet and it might be wise to enjoy the calm before the inevitable (human) storm.

Hope to see you soon. Be well and tell your dear ones you love them.  You never know how long you will have them with you.  Until next time,

God be with you ’til we meet again. +

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YIKES!:) How about I break the silence with a little bit about what I’ve been knitting these last six months?

I’d tell you I cannot believe it’s been over six months since my last blogpost, but of course I believe it. It’s been more than six months and not because I haven’t been knitting! I have been knitting like a madwoman (as in late at night, under the influence of red wine and never getting enough sleep). What I haven’t really done is write about it.

And yes, I did finish that wonderful baby blanket for my friend’s Diane’s darling little granddaughter. She did me the kindness of sending a picture of her in it.  What an adorable baby:)! Not surprised, given the incredible good looks with which everyone in that family has been blessed. This was my first “commissioned” work and it took up a lot of my knitting time, but it was worth every minute!

As usual, I seem to collect knitting projects like lint on velvet.  I finish one project and three or four others spring up to take its place, LOL!

Since finishing this baby blanket, I’ve also finished three other projects:

Erigeneia by Silke Terhorst:

The yarn for this project was a bunch of leftover yarn I got at a yarn swap about a year ago.  I liked how the colors blended, so I set it all aside to knit or crochet a shawl that might lend itself to a gradient-like color pattern.  The pattern seemed to be just the thing I was looking for! It took no time at all to crochet.  The colors were perfect for my daughter, S, so she has made good use of is.

Drachenfells by Melanie Berg:

OMG what’s not to like about anything Melanie Berg designs! There’s not one of her patterns I don’t love.  The yarn used here is grey cotton dishie from Knit Picks and two colors of Berroco Comfort  – both machine-washable. The Berroco Comfort was cannibalized from another project (it started as part of a fair isle project; then I discovered I’d have to either knit back and forth or steek non-felting yarn, neither a pleasant prospect). I love the colors for this.  Because I knitted in a worsted weight, rather than fingering, the knitting got done sooner and that was just fine with me.

and a Yew Tree Cowl:

Another free ravelry pattern knit with this delightful angora I picked up at  – yes a yarn swap! Delightful to knit and there were leftovers  – used for a pop of color for the Anni Cuffs below.  (Never waste pink angora. Never.) The upper photo is a better indication of the actual yarn color.

So naturally, it follows that I have picked up about a dozen projects:

Greenwood in a bright cherry red Berroco Vintage yarn (more about that later);

Anni Cuffs in leftover yarns (love this pattern);

Grace Infinity Scarf out of a Caron cake:

A few others I really haven’t begun yet (I’m terrible about posting sock projects on ravelry, don’t know why that is); and finally

Flax by Tincanknits in some lovely Donegal Tweed yarn straight from Ireland!

This last is going to a client of mine in foster care.  He’s a toddler who has had a number of physical issues and is now with a pre-adoptive family, doing incredibly well.  The foster mom had received this yarn as a gift from her parents when they returned from a trip to Ireland, but she didn’t have time to knit anything, so she gave the wool to me when I went to visit my client at her home.  It seems only right that this little guy should get a sweater out of the deal:).

Am really enjoying the Greenwood pattern.  It’s the first time I’ve knitted a sweater side-to-side. At least it’s the first time I’ve gotten this far in knitting a sweater side-to-side that I can remember. I might have tried in the past, but got easily distracted by something shiny…(oh look – a chicken!)…

I’ve been fairly monogamous with this project, with the occasional sock or the above Flax (with the immediate gratification inherent in knitting things for small people).  It has required a lot of concentration and though the stitch pattern is rather simple, lending itself to extensive TV knitting, one does need to pay attention.  Ask me how I know. It’s also important to make sure the front and the back match as far as width. The only difference between front and back is the neckline. Right now I am about 2/3 of the way through the back, and have finished the front. Then I will be sewing front to back (both sides include the sleeves) and then adding ribbing at bottom and cuffs and a cowl neck.  Am really looking forward to it.  As you can see from the link to the pattern page, it is not a sweater with extremely fine finishing.  It is meant to look rustic – at least I hope it is! I imagine it will be terrific over pants or a skirt and am hoping it gives me enough ease to be just shy of oversized. We shall see.

KNITTING RETREATS….

I attended the Columbia Sip ‘n Knit’s Fall Retreat at the Bishop Clagett Center in Adamstown, MD. I had a blast, the weather was great, the company fantastic, and the knitting was awesome!  No politics – there was a money jar with pics of Hilary and Trump in case anyone decided to violate that.  Luckily I went on a yarn shopping jaunt with a fellow liberal and we got it out of out respective systems in the car on the way;)!

But seriously, check out this view. Isn’t it lovely?

And I’m going to another retreat in about four weeks from March 24-26 and I can’t wait! This one is in West Virginia – I’ve never done the Spring retreat before, so it should be fun! The only downside is our beloved Annece will not be there, hopefully we’ll sense her presence in spirit.

On the work front, it’s been inordinately busy, which is a bit strange in that our caseloads haven’t really increased, rather, we have had an influx of new cases, which are more labor-intensive.  And some of the older cases have presented with some more complex legal issues, requiring more time and effort on our parts. Hey, that’s my job. I’m not complaining at all! Just explaining my absence from the blogosphere:).

FAMILY STUFF

Thanksgiving and Christmas were wonderful.  Our youngest was at her S.O.’s family for Thanksgiving, but they came for Christmas and it was terrific having everyone all together under one roof. The grandkids are young enough to still enjoy each other’s company and the littler ones still look up to the older ones. I dread the day they all get too cool to hang out with us (wait, that’s probably already happened, LOL!)

THE BIG APPLE AND VOGUE KNITTING LIVE!!!

This gets its own subtitle.:) John and I took a trip we have taken in the past – during the MLK holiday weekend – we went to NYC and stayed one of Marriott’s hotels, which is always such a pleasure. Marriott is the best (yes, hubby works for them, and even if he didn’t they’re still great). We saw not one but TWO Broadway productions: On Friday we saw “Front Page” – an amazing production by a number of acting veterans from the stage, the silver, and the small screen.  On Sunday, we saw Waitress! OMG it was soooo good!

So what happened Saturday? VOGUE KNITTING LIVE!!!! While John went out to explore Manhattan and see a movie, I went to a lecture about cables given by the brilliant and inimitable Norah Gaughan.  Her Knitted Cable Sourcebook featured prominently.  The lecture was about using one’s imagination and working with various cable patterns to create something completely different.

Afterwards, I browsed the Marketplace and may have bought a few things…

John and I went to lunch nearby at the Olive Garden restaurant on Times Square where we could get a good view of the pedestrian traffic in the area; then back to Vogue Knitting for a class with one of my knitting heroines:

AMY Freaking DETJEN!!! 

It was about the Rib Warmer vest/jacket, basically deconstructing it (well, that was the title of the class, LOL!) There were a number of Facebook friends present that afternoon.  I actually got Amy to autograph my copy of her and Meg Swansen’s book, Knitting with Two Colors! It was such a treat to meet her in person.  She is a wonderful teacher and just a delight- and OMG so funny!

WASHINGTON, D.C.

No, sadly, I did not participate in the Women’s March – I had an important skype meeting that morning with a client- but I was with them in spirit! What an awe-inspiring experience to see those pink “pussy hats” not only in D.C., but everywhere in the US, in Canada, and around the world! YES!

However, I did have the opportunity to stay in a beautiful (yes Marriott) hotel in D.C. last weekend.  John and I celebrated my (mumblety-third) birthday by watching our son perform in one of the most intense plays I have ever seen – he plays the young husband who with his young wife is invited for drinks in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolff at Ford’s Theatre  – yes that Ford’s Theatre.  We were in fabulous seats – and a brief glance upwards revealed the flag-draped box seats where our (truly) great President Lincoln met his terrible fate.

I have at this point in my son’s acting career told him numerous times that I (a total non-professional, of course) assess his acting ability by the extent to which I do not see him as my son, but as the character he portrays. This experience was a new level of incredible for me. A three-hour play, every moment took my full attention. When we had dinner afterwards – he and his beloved Serena, John and I – the conversation turned to the play, what we each saw in each of the characters, the plot and its incredible twists and turns. We even forgot to ask him how HE was doing, LOL!

So yeah, it was good.  Really good. Unfortunately, today is the last performance. But, like all good working actors, Dan has more gigs coming up in D.C. and in Baltimore.

AND IN OTHER NEWS….

Life keeps moving on and I’m glad to remain on the roller coaster.

Be well my friend, I will try to update this thing a bit more regularly. Until then,

God be with you ’til we meet again +