I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
The huge huge profits.
We were going to move out of Albany this year, partly to be in a different schooldistrict for our daughter. We were looking at houses for a few months before we realized: these gas prices are going to take the joy out of living in the country. My husband and I would have to commute about 15 miles each day each way. While that is not a big commute by a lot of standards, it was going to be too much for us.
Right now, we live close enough to our workplaces to bike and even walk if we have enough time in the morning. Our daughter will be able to walk to her new middle school. How much sense does it make to move out of the city, when we have everything right here?
Sure, I had dreams of a vegetable garden and a compost heap. More open sky. Country roads to ride our bikes on. But then I started thinking about what I'd lose: a great neighborhood where everyone watches out for each other. The guy with the snowblower keeps going right down the street and cleans up 3 driveways. If you're going on vacation and your fish needs feeding, the kid across the street will do it.
Just last Saturday, we had a graduation party for Tall Son for our friends and neighbors, and it felt like a mini block party. We all hung out, ate good food and talked for a few hours. Even neighbors that used to live here came.
So we are staying in the city for now. We do have a nice big garden, I just can't grow vegetable in it. (It's too shady. It floods. It is owned by squirrels.) We are waiting to see how Crafty Girl's schoolyear is going, and by February we will re-evaluate and see what we want to do.
Meanwhile, we have one car, which gets decent mileage. Dear Husband bikes to work during the summer session he is teaching, and when we have errands to run, we try to combine them into one day.
How are you trying to save on gas?
Monday, July 28, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I'm thinking, the usual September loneliness will hit me especially hard this year. I'll need to keep very very busy. Aside from going to work, which means alternating weeks of 19 and 32 hours, and no freelance knitting job lined up right at the moment...I'll need a major goal of getting some major knitting done.
So I've decided something. I'll tell you in a minute.
I am the administrator of a group I started on ravelry last November, called the great Stash Knit Down of 2008. It's an awesome group, if I may say so myself. Very inspiring and supportive. People have been knitting from stash all year, but we are not on a yarn diet. No guilt allowed if you end up buying more yarn. One person actually completely busted her stash already, and is buying for a few projects at a time only.
I digress. September. I should say that we have monthly goals in that group, and races, and knitting from sock yarn stash only, what have you. It varies from month to month, while some challenges are ongoing, like knitting an afghan by the end of the year.
September. It's after the Olympics (read ravelympics), after summer travel knitting, before high stakes holiday knitting. It's kids go back to school knitting.
September. I'll need to keep busy. I'm going to try and knit up 10,000 yards of yarn.
I've been hauling bins of yarn up from the basement and counting yardages. Every time I hit the final sum button on the calculator, I am stunned. I counted 2 bins yesterday, and they had 7,590 and 8,263 yards in them respectively. Then I stopped counting. It's only 2 bins of yarn out of 18 or so....some of which (2) contain only sock yarn and one of which contains fingering and lace weight...trying not to hyperventilate....I am shocked all over again at my total and complete love of yarn.
10,000 yards. September has 30 days, I would have to knit up 333.33 yards of yarn every day on average. I'll give you a few days to talk amongst yourselves so you can discuss how utterly crazy that notion is.
My ravelry group is already divided into cheerleaders, and fellow racers...and one of them is pleading with me to reconsider, to bring it down to a 5 km race...
Do you think it can be done?
PS: My ravelry ID is KarinMT.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Margaret owns Mostly Merino, and authored the Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting book.
Beth is most famous for her book Knitting Ganseys. She is working on a book about Scandinavian Knitting, and I for one can't wait for it to be finished!
On Saturday, there were two workshops. One on Swedish Cast Ons, and one on the Norwegian Purl.
I must tell you that I did not take a lot of pictures, as I wasn't taking the classes "for the blog"...I was fully engaged in the class, learned a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed the company of the knitters present.
Here, Beth is showing a 100 year old jacket from Sweden. The sleeves were knitted and fulled, and then attached to a sewn jacket with embellished placket and cuffs. It was stunning.
Even the lining was amazing.
Here are some examples of Beth's Twined Knitting. We learned a bit of twined knitting during the Swedish Cast Ons class. The mittens and socks made with this technique are extremely warm and durable because they are knitted with two alternating strands throughout. Two-color and tone-on-tone patterns are possible. Beth's website has the patterns available, which are like mini courses on the techniques and worth every penny.
In this picture, Beth is showing her sweater from the book The Natural Knitter, by the late Barbara Albright. This sweater is a tour de force of knitting techniques, as it includes twined knitting, stranded knitting, and intarsia in the round...
With these two samples, Beth is demonstrating the importance of color dominance in stranded knitting. In the (sleeveless) sample on the right, black was the dominant color. The sample knitter didn't like the result and decided to reverse the dominance. On the little sweater on the left, the pattern is much better visible. They are both knitted from the same chart!
Yes I had a headache at the end of the day, but it was a testament to how much we learned.
Sunday was reserved for a 6 hour Latvian Mitten class. These mittens incorporate 2 color cast on, braids, lace scallops, knitted in fringe, and colorwork.
Beth had a whole collection of authentic mittens with her, but my brain was foggy (or something) and I plumb forgot to take pictures of them....
This is how far I got before I getting picked up after lunch and a visit to the sheep pasture.
I must tell you about Kip. He is Margaret's Border Collie and the sweetest dog...he always made sure we were staying together.
Here's Margaret, bringing carrot peels as a treat for the sheep and her guard llama.
She has 17 sheep, among them merino, cormo, and bluefaced leicester. Truly a handsome flock! Oh and the yarn that comes from them...
Make sure you go see Margaret at the NYS sheep and wool fest in October this year.
I know I will.
Friday, July 18, 2008
July 8: Olana.
Crafty Girl and I went there together last year, and we have been saying ever since that we have to take Oma and Opa here. I did not take a lot of pictures this time around, but I'll let you go to their website if you want to find out more. It's definitely one of my most favorite places to visit simply because of the color schemes inside the house...I took copious color notes again this time. I can't wait to try some combinations on yarn soon.
July 10: Grafton Peace Pagoda
which is on the way to Williamstown, MA and The Clark. We decided to just walk the grounds this time around, as my parents were more interested in the modern art of MassMoCa.
Our next stop, after a picnic, was this: a fascinating place.
Naturally, taking pictures of the exhibitions is prohibited, but we were OK here: biospheres for visitors to become part of.
On July 11, we stocked up on groceries and ran errands, but made it downtown to the Hudson River to go for a walk.
July 12: I went on a guided Wildflower Walk with my parents,
before meeting the rest of the family up at Thacher Park for a picnic and a hike.
On the last day of my parents' stay, July 14, we went to a local diner that makes its own ice cream. I can't have any dairy, so I enjoyed an iced tea.
Afterwards, we went to Five Rivers one more time. My parents (both 70 years young) are avid hikers and get itchy if they don't get to walk a lot!
Here's saying good-bye....
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I did take my nap yesterday, then brought my daughter to her track practice, had dinner and promptly went to sleep.
Here now is an attempt to catch you all up on the couple of daytrips I took my folks on, after the graduation party on the 4th of July weekend.
On Sunday, July 6th, we went to Saratoga Springs. Just to give you a heads up, Saratoga is most famous for two things: horse racing, and water. As in mineral water, springs, spa.
Also, apparently they have Smart people up there:
This building comes with its own resident horse:
A toy store window decorated with nothing but kites:
The famous landmark The Adelphi Hotel:
The restored carousel in Old Congress Park: you can ride on it for a quarter.
These tourists are my parents, fascinated by a huge hibiscus plant.
Away from the main beat, we found Beekman Street, an arts community that is restoring old houses and putting galleries and restaurants in them. Of course I could not take any pictures of all the original art, but these horses didn't mind.
In Saratoga State Park, people come up to this spring with carloads of water bottles and fill up.
This next part completely took us by surprise. We came upon the preparations for a wedding reception. I asked a waiter, and it turned out that this was an Indian wedding with about 1500 guests.
We almost felt like paparazzi when we hung around to get some photos...this was a huge event.
The bride and groom were off to the side getting their picture taken for about an hour. I caught a glimpse of what I could swear was a princess: