Thursday, June 29, 2006

T Minus Zero

I don't know what it's like for a book writer or a doctor or a teacher as they work to get established in their jobs. But for a singer, you've got to continue to grow, or else you're like last night's cornbread - stale and dry.
-Loretta Lynn

OK, a show of hands -

How many of the doctors out there started their first real day of internship with a uniform inspection? That's what I thought.
So I'm off in inspection-ready summer whites for the last bit of orientating and motivational speaches by the Admiral. By this afternoon, I'll have patients; I'll be their doctor. (This is, of course, just an exciting prelude to a long weekend on call.) It's all very exciting. And scary. But mostly exciting.

The knitting corrollary - and there is always a knitting corrollary - Knitting Is A Metaphor for Life - is that my plan has begun with the Ladybug sweater from the Dale book. I've cast on for the hat and am making good progress on the patterned section. Photos to follow, likely tomorrow.

Which brings us to our second point: I know that many of you are faithful daily(ish) readers. My aunt reads my blog instead of taking up smoking to have a break at work (see - knitting blogs: good for your health), and my dad is on a regular schedule of showing the blog to everyone he works with, and I'm pretty sure there are even some of you not related to me. Without getting all gooey, I love knitting and I love blogging about my knitting and I'm continuing both. Expect to see approximately 3 posts a week, on a random schedule. That's the goal. This month I have Q4 call, other months Q3, and some blessed months without any call whatsoever. Variable reinforcement is the most effective, right? So hang tight, check in with Bloglines, and I'll see you when I'm not running around the hospital like a crazy lady doctor.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I Trekked

The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. -Henry Beston

In before the end of June . . . for the Trek Along With Me knitalong I trekked with my Trekking socks. (That was the idea, wasn't it?)

As part of MyNewCaliforniaLifestyle, I went on my first-ever beach hike (with sock):

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Other than the fabulous view, the good hiking, the blessedly cool breeze and cloud cover (seriously - too much sun can get to you), the best part was not getting laughed at when I asked my hiking companion to take this picture:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

. . . You never know about people you haven't known very long. You may notice that I was barefoot for part of this, but it was still a real hike. We walked about 5 miles from the beach up into the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Reserve. We took our shoes off to wade through the incoming tide (parts of this route are "swim only" during high tide, but we made it with only a little bit of water on our shorts), and then put them back on to avoid the pine needles.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Weekend Roundup

A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.
-Grace Murray Hopper

Not to dim the excitment generated by yesterday's felted clogs, but it's time for a little weekend round-up from my last free weekend in a long while. (Not that they've given us our call schedule for the month starting THIS THURSDAY or anything. That would be far far too convenient.) At any rate, I went to the launch of the USNS Sacagawea on Saturday. Twenty-six of her descendents were there to launch it into the water (40 metric tons of displacement). It was cool. I was in uniform, so there was no knitting. In fact, there has been a tragic lack of knitting these days. I used to knit a sock a day in medical school (the first two years, at least) - even on my Surgery rotation, attendings would joke about my knot-tying skills. Something tells me that the knitting-at-work days ended when I became a doctor and put on a uniform. If it's not the one, it's the other. I do have one friend who is knitting her way through (civilian) intern orientation, but she's a Pediatrician. Things are a little warmer and fuzzier over there.

At any rate, the fun-filled weekend included some knitting at the Padres game. Your eyes do not deceive you:

1. Look how close we were. It was awesome.
2. Look how sunny it was. Let me assure you that the sunburn on my arms tells me exactly how I hold my arms when knitting.
3. Look how much progress I've made on the Lace Aran tank. The back is done and the front is almost up to the armholes. If I focus, I could wear it soon. More likely, I'll wear it later this summer.

Good times. Good times.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

You're Alright!

Even if you do learn to speak correct English,
whom are you going to speak it to?
-Clarence Darrow

You're (mostly) all right, which is alright by me.*

My FiberTrends Felted Clogs version 2:One down, one to go. Talk about a quick knit!

*(But, sorry, I can't send you all prizes. You'll have to live with the satisfaction of being correct.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Fish Tacos

One summer night, out on a flat headland,
all but surrounded by the waters of the bay,
the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space.

-Rachel Carson

This is what passes for knitting in the midst of my busy schedule of eating fish tacos: I wound some yarn. The yarn is Cascade 220, The Official Yarn of Knitting Underway (TM). The green is leftover from Am Kamin. The magenta I bought to coordinate.

I have two skeins (440 yards) of green and one skein (220 yards) of magenta. The yarn is being used double and it will be felted. Can anyone guess what I'm making? There may be a little something in it for you, since I'll be awfully impressed if you can.

Hint: I've made this pattern once before, used the finished object extensively for four years until it wore out, and now I miss it on a daily basis . . . hence round 2.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Good Egg

A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg
even though [s]he knows that you are slightly cracked.
-Bernard Meltzer

In lieu of actual blogging this fine Navy morning, let me call your attention to a fun new blog. JayJay is a friend of mine from Providence who will be moving to Southern California shortly. More importantly for your purposes, she is a Crafter Extraordinaire. Truely phenomenal with multiple media, including knitting and Photoshop. Read past the top entry, because you reall want to see the Charlie's Angels pose on Trouble with Trebles.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fun with Patterns

Transport of the mails, transport of the human voice,
transport of flickering pictures - in this century, as in others,
our highest accomplishments still have
the single aim of bringing men together.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Now that I have a plan, it's time to ignore it in favor of other bright shiny and new things; it's time to abandon all my lovely projects in process in favor of new things. Seriously. I have startitis so strongly that I can't even start something. It's that intense. Today (and quite possibly the rest of the week) represents a completely undisciplined random approach to some of the new fun contenders. Because the point of a knitting blog is not actually knitting; the point is talking about knitting.

A couple of weeks ago, it the hustle-bustle of all the moving, I got a lovely email from Liz "a pro pos of nothing." A few emails later, here's what arrived at my door:(Yes, I did go very far to take that photo. Why do you ask?)

Liz's description is better than mine, so I'm quoting directly from her email here:
Do you have the 2006 pattern-a-day calendar? Yesterday & Today's pattern was "Ancient Mariner Socks" -- made with Sailor's Delight yarn from Jocelyn Fiber Farms, in a cable/lace pattern designed to look like nautical rope-tying ('faggoting' it says . . . I assume 'rope-tying' is an adequate substitute).
Nautical . . . Mariner . . . Socks . . . Sailor's Delight . . . Socks.
Seems to me these could have been custom-designed just for you. If you haven't yet chosen a Sock #100 project, maybe this should be it.
Doesn't something like that make you feel all warm and gooey and full of knitblog love? While we're on that topic, go tell Liz she's awesome, especially with her back-to-back entries for The Amazing Lace.

As tickled pink as I am, I don't know if I'll get these on the needles to be Sock #100. Currently I have some Trekking socks that may or may not make an August birthday (got to get trekking first), my New England Socks from Knitting on the Road, and a plain black 2x2 ribbed pair. I try to only have 2 pairs of socks on the needles at a time, but this pattern looks nice and versatile. If I wanted to be "efficient" with my knitting, I'd make them in black so I can wear them to work. . . but I really like the varigated version. Good thing I, uh, "discovered" some sock yarn in the stash, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Reading List

Continuing to cling to the patterns you know
inhibits your ability to discover what you don't know.
-Eric Allenbaugh

I realized - somewhere in the midst of all the packing and moving - that I own a lot of knitting books that I've never made anything from. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Maybe up to 20 or so of my knitting book collection. A lot. And I just packed them, moved them from Providence to Pennsylvania, gave them to movers to bring to San Diego, and unpacked them. That's a lot of work for books I - for whatever reason - never got around to using. That needs to change, but how?

Clearly, I need a plan. A schedule. Call me Type-A, but I like my lists. And since I'm in the middle of planning my yearly schedule, what could be more natural than making a plan and checking my list?

Here's the plan: Intern year is divided into 13 "months" of 4 weeks each. For each month, I will select and begin a project from one of the books pictured at right. These are great books. With great patterns. What have I been missing? There are 18 books, which gives me a bit of flexibility, and a wide range of projects from sweaters to baby garments to pillows. Bonus points for using stash where possible. Finishing within the month is not essential, as I have no problems with the multiple WIP reality, and this is all about trying new (but old) things. Books that I do not use will face a serious hearing as to whether they can be best served by a continued placement on my bookshelf. New books may enter the rotation, but note that they may displace older and deserving books.

The Bottom Line: My own personal Knitting-Book-A-Month Club. The books just happen to be books I already own.

Now, in this plan I'm not including magazines, pamphlets, or "reference" books. Reference is defined rather broadly. Kaffe Fasset's Glorious Knits, for example. While I did tag the pepulm shaped poppy jacket (eBay photo, only one I could find) late at night -- and I can't decide if it is so out there that it's incredibly wearable or if it's just out there -- this book is really not in my collection for the patterns. And magazines . . . someday I'll organize them. In the interim, watch as my sidebar explodes with new projects. Ribby Cardi? What Ribby Cardi?

Monday, June 19, 2006


Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven.
-Tyron Edwards

Together again at last! I finally reached that point in my unpacking and moving in where I organized the stash, some of which has been packed for ten whole months!

Scenes from the organization process:I only have one big bucket o' wool (that doesn't go thematically with something else, like lace yarn, sock yarn, yarn for specific projects, oddballs . . .) which isn't too bad. I think it's going to stay in the bin and live in a closet, though.
For MyNewCaliforniaLifestyle, I put all my cottons in a big basket front and center to inspire me. Notice the extensive collection of discontinued Cotton Ease (and how nicely they match the throw rug the wonderful Kate D. gave me eons ago). A great yarn, great rug, great friend.
Non-white walls are great fun, although the green of that and my comforter are not the best-ever match. All that's left now is curtains. Since I can't find any I like, I'm thinking I'll make some with my snazzy new sewing machine. (Famous last words?) My roommate discovered a discount fabric place and spent last evening re-upholstering an ottoman to match the chair she did previously, so I'm in good company.

There was a minor casualty, however. Note to self: slippery silk should be contained before travel.My old TV stand is getting a new lease on life as a yarn storage cabinet - look how pretty!

Now I am completely re-inspired, re-invigorated, and raring to go with my knitting. But I have to go re-certify in CPR instead. Nevertheless, it's going to be a great week on the blog, full of yarn, patterns, and good ol' fashioned knitting fun. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Photography Not Allowed

Photography is not allowed aboard Naval Medical Center San Diego without express permission from the command.
Pursuant to NAVINST xx.xx.
-Sign aboard NMCSD

The Amazing Lace Challenge #2

Once again, I refer you to just how much work it can be to administer a knitalong with 450+ people in it. Then I acknowledge that lately, Rachel has been doing the lion's share as I moved cross-country and had limited email access. It'll all come back in spades next week when she goes jaunting around Europe, I'm sure. So those are my excuses for getting my challenge entry in just under the wire. And now to explain the entry . . .

I had all sorts of great ideas. I'm working daily a beautiful hospital built into the walls of a canyon with fabulous views of the bay, the city, and the sunrise. It has a pool, all sorts of sports facilities, lots of clueless interns running around in Navy uniforms, and all sorts of dangerous medical supplies. The possibilities were endless. Or nearly endless.

Until I saw the sign. No photography allowed aboard NMCSD. What's a knitter to do?

I returned to my faithful trusty companion: Felix. Felix would help me out. Felix loves being on the blog. (And he's really pleased with all the compliments he gets, online and in person. I haven't bought gas in SD yet without someone commenting on my car.) What Felix really doesn't love, however, is when I put things on his roof in order to find my keys, free up a hand, etc. Usually I put coffee there. Only once have I then driven off with the coffee still there. Only once, but Felix is rather intelligent. He remembers. And today he starting blinking a warning when I placed my knitting on the roof. Felix really doesn't want my knitting blowing in the wind, nor does he want to accidentally run over it. X-tremely upsetting for Felix. The knitting in question is the Saucy Lace Aran tank, for those of you keeping track. The back is finished, and I was zipping along the front at my first-ever San Diego knitting group yesterday. Good company. Good times. I like knitters.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Excuses, Excuses

Don't worry about the world ending today;
it's already tomorrow in Australia.
-Charles Schultz

I'm in love. With the cable guy who fixed our internet this morning (don't forget - it's still morning in San Diego). With San Diego. With sunshine. And with my shawl. For the three of you who haven't noticed, I started intern orientation this week - it's basically a fascinating combination of paperwork, shots (ouch!), and nighttime fun, all of which precludes knitting. But I did do a great deal of knitting last weekend on my way to and from D.C., aided by the ever-thoughtful American Airlines who gave me a 3-hour delay in O'Hare. Quality knitting time. Aren't they sweet?

So, this is the Peacock Feathers Shawl from Fiddlesticks. It is my (first) Amazing Lace entry. And it is getting tantalizing close to the end. . . but it turns out that the patterning changes a bit at the end. Combined with a pattern change and a chart change, I had some minor issues. Can you see it above?Look dead center in the photo. There's a mistake in about 3 rows where that center st st section is supposed to look tree-like, and here it looks half-tree-like. See it?

I realized this after I got the hang of the new chart - basically there's a shift of 1-3 sts leftwards in a few rows. It's minor, basically a matter of emphasis rather than a dramatic alteration in the pattern. Probably due to the the fact that I never
a) use stitch markers except to mark the center
b) use a lifeline (GASP!)
Now, if I was using a lifeline, I might be inclined to pull back and fix it. But since I'm not, and I didn't notice it for 10 more (long) rows, and it is pretty minor, and I think it's not particularly noticeable . . . (are these enough justifications and excuses for you, or do I need more?) . . . I'm leaving it be. Live and learn. For my next Peacock Feathers Shawl (don't laugh, I'm seriously thinking of making one right after this one in the blue Tencel from Webs) I'll know better.

Turns out I might not be as much of a perfectionist as I thought.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dressed in Black

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black.
-Johnny Cash, "The Man in Black"

And now, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, I bring you the most boring blog post in the entire world! That's right folks - come on down! No photos! No witty prose! No cool links! But at least it's not very long. . .

I owe something like a million (or maybe 40?) emails, but we've been having serious internet connectivity issues. Somewhere between Cox, Motorola, and us, we have never managed to have a functioning connection and a functioning modem at the same time. I blog through the graces of the San Diego Public Library, but, alas, they have a bandwidth limit on uploads and downloads. No long podcasts; no cool photos on the blog. As you may have heard about DoD/VA information security issues recently, we cannot access web-based email from any Navy computers. Ironically, I can blog all I want, but I can't get the photos. So there you have it. I'm doing what I can until then, and we should be fully functional with internet at home by Saturday. In the meantime, well, leave a comment. I can read (and post to) my blog all day long (between all that other stuff I have to do, like Intern Orientation, i.e. paperwork).

Admittedly, I could have sought out internet access last evening, but I went to the Padres game instead. It was great fun, and I got to knit about 4 inches of my new cotton-blend black socks. Maybe you're lucky that I don't have any photos of it . . .

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Getting There . . .

The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done - men who are creative, inventive, and discoverers.
-Jean Piaget

Still closing in on 100, here are Socks Number 97 and 98. The Fancy Silk Stockings I finished in Providence, and just sent off for the Sock Yarn Addicts Club swap. Number 98 I finished as we were driving into San Diego on Monday morning - talk about timing!

Fancy Silk Stockings
Pattern: Fancy Silk Stockings from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Miata colorway, won in a contest on Leah's blog
Needles: US 1 bamboo dpns
Notes: 1) I did an eye of partridge heel instead of heel stitch. Otherwise I followed the pattern. 2) This was the April/May sock for the Knitting Vintage Socks Knitalong. And it's still May.
Best Thing About This Project: Did you note the phenomenal yardage of the Lorna's Laces? Very impressive.

Summer Stripe Socks
Pattern: simple st st on 64 sts with a picot hem, short row heels and a regular toe
Yarn: Regia Cotton, from The Great German Sock Yarn Stash Enhancement of 2006
Needles: bamboo US 1 dpns
Notes: Love the picot hem. And I was feeling so inspired (at the time) about those short-row heels, but then I remembered - I hate the way they fit. Why do I always remember too late? On another note, check out the photo on packing material. We're running a special on cardboard, since I think we have enough empty boxes to climb to the moon at the moment.
Best Thing About This Project: Finishing these cotton-blend sassy summery stripey socks just as we crossed the San Diego county line. How perfect is that?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Feels Like Home

Feels like home to me . . .
-Chantal Kreviazuk, "Feels Like Home"

Look what was waiting for me when I got back from DC! My very first piece of mail (sorry, Mom - she beat even you) at my new San Diego address, and it's a package full of exciting goodies.

It turns out that Emily of Yarn Miracle was my the Sock Yarn Addicts Club sock swap sender, and, in an amazing coincidence, she included a pin for Washington, DC, the city from which I just returned. Small world. The pin makes me think that these are my socks (scroll down), which means that I now own socks that have made it to Maryland Sheep and Wool. Would that I were as lucky as my socks!

She sent me these gorgeous bright green and blue socks - a lovely rib pattern with a cable going up each side. They fit wonderfully (but that photo didn't come out well at all). Nice and stretchy, gorgeous colors - Emily, tell us, what yarn is it?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Road Trip, Part Two

What makes a desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.
-Antoine de St-Exupery

There are two photographs in this post. Together, they pretty much sum up the rest of the drive from Ft. Worth to San Diego. (Actually, if we're going to be technical, the photo on the left has too many trees for the Southwest. I think it's from Tennessee. But you get the idea, right?) The landscape west of Ft. Worth was almost entirely like that seen out the car window below. 1400 miles. Of that.

Our National Parks are a treasure.
I did a lot of knitting.

Total distance covered: 3242 miles
Miles I drove (approx): 1621
Miles I knit (approx): 1621
Chart I reached on the shawl: end of 5 (end of row 156)
Number of rows I've knit on the shawl in San Diego: 2
Number of stitches added each RS row: 4
Number of stitches that seem to be added each RS row: 400

After my first cross-country road trip, my college roommate and I developed a saying: "I've seen the entire country. It's about the size of my windshield."

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Road Trip, Part One

Go west young man,
Haven't you been told?
California's full of whiskey, women, and gold.
-Toby Keith,
"Should've Been A Cowboy"

As promised, here's a road trip recap. (Plus, it buys me time to actually do some knitting to blog about.) Part One today, Part Two tomorrow, and then we're moving on, literally and figuritively.

I believe I left you somewhere in Mississippi. From Jackson we hit our southern point and basically just headed west. (You can feel sorry for Billy now, since he had to listen to that Toby Keith song many many times. I think he was really wishing he and my sister hadn't given me that iPod . . .) At a perfect stopping point, we met up with Knit'n'Lit Jenn and her husband in Fort Worth, TX.

Fun! Fun! Fun! Jenn beat me to the blogging by an embarrassing week. What can I say? West Texas is huge.

They took us on a fabulous tour of Ft. Worth. I knew something about the city right away when Jenn said, "I'll have to get my husband to come, since I've ONLY been here 9 years." ONLY? Let's just say that we got the million-dollar tour. And Ft. Worth is a beautiful city. East meets West right there.The socks got to visit the Stockyards where they parade cattle every day (Jenn has much better photos of this, btw), and then we had great Mexican food,* visited the yarn store, and spent a little time blogging from their wired (and book-filled) house. Bloggers understand. The best part? We talked about knitting a little bit, but mostly about art, culture, travel, books, the price of eggs in Alaska, really all sorts of stuff. The internet. Bringing people together. It does make me wish we lived a little closer, though. Go tell Jenn to come visit in San Diego.

To top off a really fabulous day, Jenn sent us on the road with some lovely gifts. Some wonderful blue KnitPicks Shadow - lace yarn, of course - for me (although I would have happily shared if Billy wanted to), and for him, some travel games and a big batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were, um, unavailable for comment at the time this photo was taken, but here's the rest: Isn't that fabulously thoughtful, and just plain fabulous? That boring black Sockotta and the 5" bamboo dpns represent my haul from Jenn's local yarn store. 5" bamboo dpns in US 1 - these should solve the conundrum that Brittany Birch needles smaller than size US 2 break too easily and all the other bamboo needles I have are 6". And boring, basic black? I'm wearing a Navy uniform every day, folks, and I've gotten far too accustomed to handknit socks to give them up. We can suffer through the miles of 2x2 rib in plain black together. I'll knit them, you can follow the painful process here. The things I do for my country . . . or is it my feet?

Tomorrow: We'll pick up in West Texas and finish off the road trip, complete with shawl updates.

*Speaking of Mexican food . . . You've heard of 24-hour coffee/espresso places, 24-hour diners, 24-hour gas stations, etc., right? Well, San Diego has 24-hour Mexican take-out. And they are everywhere. I think I pass four on my way to work. What a great concept.

Friday, June 09, 2006

California Girl

I wish they all could be California girls . . .
-The Beach Boys

So, what was wrong with Blogger this week? Was everyone else getting those "unscheduled maintenance" messages? And here I had so much to blog about! So bear with me as I get caught up on 1,700 miles of driving, my first week in San Diego, and all sorts of knitting adventures (and caught up on my bloglines and responding to comments - you guys have been busy!).

Because this is my blog, and I feel inspired today, I'm going to work backwards. Today I'll talk about San Diego, and then tomorrow we can go back in time and talk about exciting things in West Texas (no kidding).

OK, San Diego. Billy and I arrived safe and sound on Monday, and promptly set off exploring. (Look left to see actual proof that Bill arrived safely, but, tragically, not yet able to knit.) Here we're standing on Coronado enjoying the view of the bay and downtown. We were there to do some paperwork on one of the Navy bases (and do tax-free shopping), and The Best Brother in Blogland (TM) even bought me lunch. Isn't he great? Ask him anything about Ikea bookcases; he's now an expert. And don't they put Navy bases in beautiful places?

On your right, note the sock relaxing in the only sun we've seen all week (June Gloom). That would, in fact, be a Trekking sock. And enjoy it, because that is the only gratuitous knitting content of this post. . .

Although, in other knitting-related news, the movers have somehow misplaced half of my household goods (apparently the "unaccompanied baggage" half, whatever that means). I'm sure it will show up at some point, since I now have half of the Personal Property Office working on the trace (is it bad that they recognize my voice when I call?). The problem: Most of my stash is in that shipment, along with my paper shredder, bathrobe, and other miscellaneous useful items.

And for our final non-sequitur of the post: Apparently there are weekend knitting groups in San Diego - a fabulous concept. But guess what I'm doing this weekend? Flying to Washington, DC for a wedding. That's right - five days after getting here, I'm turning around and going back.

Maybe next week I'll begin to feel settled? Settled or not, I'm starting work next Wednesday!

ETA: So I (yes, I, not the Personal Property Office whose only mission in life is to keep track of personal property) found my stuff. It's been in a warehouse in San Diego for 2 weeks, but the paperwork had the wrong social security number attached. Of course, now they can't deliver it until after I start working. Argh!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I May Never Knit Again

The sewing machine joins what scissors have cut asunder,
plus whatever else comes in its path.
-Mason Cooley

Theresa is in San Diego and her computer is not yet hooked up. So here is a post from her future archives.

I know. That's a scary title for a post. On a knitting blog. But look at my graduation present:Is this the best graduation you've ever seen? Seriously. I have The Best Parents In Blogland (TM). Now, I know pretty much nothing about sewing machines. But I do know that after my mother came up with the idea that I might use a sewing machine (and they didn't even see this blog entry until later), my dad did all sorts of research into consumer satisfaction and this rated very highly. He also reports that there are many sewing blogs, should I get so taken that I abandon knitting altogether. So apparently this is a great sewing machine. It makes buttonholes, and some fifty different stitches.

At the moment, I can't can't even sew with one stitch. But I'm going to learn. I have a zipper to put in Rogue. I want to make pillows. I want to make The Weekender Bag. And, inexplicably, I really really want to make this Civil War-era ballgown. I know, but I can't exaplain it either. I think I'll start with pillows. Actually, I think I'll start with lessons.

The Best Parents in Blogland (TM) were also considerate enough to give me this graduation gift before the movers came, so the machine is all packed up and on its way to San Diego. Just one more thing to look forward to in MyNewCaliforniaLifestyle.

Monday, June 05, 2006

True North

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
-Canadian National Anthem

Since road trip is the theme of the week here at Knitting Underway, let's revisit one of the best all-time road trips.

Spring Break 2002: Senior year of college. Cancun? Daytona Beach? Try Canada. Who doesn't love Canada in March?

The road trip - 5 women, 3 of whom had driver's licenses, 2 of whom could read a map, my trusty old Volvo - Brunswick, Maine to visit Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's house, then the border.

Pleasant Canadian border patrol: "What brings you to Canada?"
Me: "Anne of Green Gables."
Her: "That would be pleasure, not business, eh?"
Me: "Oops."

Nine hours later, Prince Edward Island. Anne of Green Gables. (But, alas!, no Gilbert. Where was Gilbert?) And MacAuslands Woollen Mill.

Aren't those lovely brown paper packages all wrapped up with string? They included the yarn for my favorite Aran sweater. We also hit the Briggs and Little factory store on the way home (where I bought the Heritage yarn for my Rogue). The trunk was stuffed to the gills, literally barely able to close because of all the yarn. We reached the border again. There were dogs. Marines. Border guards.

Border guard: "Ma'am, will you open your trunk, please."
Me: "Sure."
Him: "What is in this brown paper?"
Me: "Yarn."
Him (incredulously): "Yarn?"
Me: "Yes."

Let's just say we had to open up every single one.

I'm heading away from the Canadian border and to the Mexican border, which I never would have guessed at the time that photo was taken, before medical school, before the Navy. Amazing what changes four years can bring, isn't it?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Smooth Ride

Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
-Greg Anderson

The journey is going well so far - both the cross-country drive and the lace knitting. (Bill says "hi," although he refused to pose with the lace today. He did, however, learn the definition of knitted lace/lace knitting. We're making progress.)

Pennsylvania. Started the shawl (although barely - see the photographic evidence of the state line above). Maryland and West Virginia (oh so briefly). Virginia. Tennessee (definitely not brief). Mississippi (now I've been to 49 of the 50 US states). Louisiana. And now Texas. Everything is bigger in Texas. Including my shawl. The last photo I took, however, was in Mississippi (I think). Let this be a representative photo of all the national parks and battlefields we've visited.* If you don't have one yet, go get a National Parks Pass. How else can you pose your knitting with battle regiment markers?

I have really gotten into the rhythm of the pattern. It's fun. Easy, but not boring. And gorgeous. It has these fabulously well-defined lines of decreases that make shapes. Shapes. It's enormously entertaining. Enormously. And the Zephyr. . . let's just say it's a close call as to whether Felix or the Zephyr is smoother.

*For the curious, Skyline Drive/Shenendoah NB, Andrew Johnson Birthplace NHS, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Shiloh NB, Natchez Trace Parkway, Vicksburg NHS/NB, with many more to come. Have you seen how many National Parks are in New Mexico?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Amazing Lace Challenge #1

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.
-Chinese Proverb

Thanks for all the fabulous comments yesterday. You should have seen the look on Billy's face when I showed him. At first he was resistant, but after 300-some miles of the middle of Tennessee, he was beginning to talk about starting a knitting blog. Not knitting yet, but we have time.

In other news, Rachel and I had big plans to put up our challenge responses early. We were the co-hosts. We wanted to set an example. Then we had to add 450+ of you to the sidebar. So, under the wire, just before the June 4th deadline for Challenge #1 of The Amazing Lace, here's my entry.

The road trip begins.

Following directions is important.

But all along the way, it's about enjoying the experience. The smooth shifting of the gears. The soft hand of the merino-silk blend. The music on the radio. The company of my brother. The entire country flying by on the windshield.

Lace is a journey, not a destination.