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silent poetry reading!

I’ve been quite remiss with the blog posting recently- and even the reading of others’ actually.  So it was with great delight that I read some over today and saw that it was silent poetry reading day- and I didn’t miss it!  I usually do.  I managed to post last year, but I think I was a few days late. 

Anyway, this year’s reading comes from my very favourite poet  A. A. Milne.  I have two of his books of poetry that my parents gave me when I was very little- Now We Are Six, and When We Were Very Young, and they are well loved and even a bit beaten up.  My very favouritist poem is from Now We Are Six and it’s called, “The Good Girl”

It’s funny how often they say to me, “Jane?

  “Have you been a good girl?”

  “Have you been a good girl?”

And when they have said it, they say it again,

  “Have you been a good girl?”

  “Have you been a good girl?”

I go to a party, I go out to tea,

I go to an aunt for a week at the sea,

I come back from school or from playing a game;

Wherever I come from, it’s always the same:

  “Well?

   Have you been a good girl, Jane?”

It’s always the end of the loveliest day:

  “Have you been a good girl?”

  “Have you been a good girl?”

Well what did they think that I went there to do?

And why should I want to be bad at the zoo?

And should I be likely to say if I had?

So that’s why it’s funny of Mummy and Dad,

This asking and asking, in case I was bad,

  “Well?

  Have you been a good girl, Jane?”

I’m sure you’ll have trouble figuring out why this was a favourite of mine…

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Turquoise bliss

Don’t you just love the word turquoise?  It’s such a foreign sounding word- and I just looked it up in Wikipedia and found out it’s a French word.  Probably used because the stone was traded in Turkish bazaars and that’s where the French came across it.  Anyway, I digress.  I just love the color of deep turquoise as in the sweater below:

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Sorry about the weird green shirt underneath it.  Didn’t think about that before I took the pics.  Ah well.  You might recognize this yarn from my Monday morning still life post

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It’s a sweater that has two purposes.  The first is that I just desperately need a sweater and it’s damn cold!  It’s knitting up very fast on size 5 needles (which would probably be 7s to everyone else as I knit so loosely.)

The second purpose is to be a pattern for my top down sweater class at Yarntopia.  I’ll have to make up a different sample though because I want to wear this sweater and it’s not made from yarn in Dona’s store.  The pattern is very simple and can be embellished miriad ways.  Here’s a detail of the cable that runs down the shoulders to the wrists.  I love how the ribbed cable lies so flat.

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 And here’s a sundrenched picture that’s a bit closer to the real colour.

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Hope your day is sundrenched too!

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Finished Objects!

So I have actually been doing some knitting- in fact, a ton of knitting- since I got here to the Big Apple and I’ve finally finished some things.

Here are some socks I made from the STR that I bought at Rhinebeck. 

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They’re in the colourway Spacedust.  They were a blast to knit and I can’t believe how long they got.  They’re a bit crazy, and I might not wear them in public much, (they’re also so thick- I used the medium weight, that they won’t fit in many of my shoes.)  I wish I’d gone down a needle size for the ribbing because they don’t stay up very well.  I could unravel them and do some decreases and knit the ribbing again, but how likely is that?  I’ll probably just apply my learned lessons on the next pair.  I’ve got one more ball of STR in a nice dark green almost solid colourway.  These socks are my own pattern, knit two at the same time on one circ using magic loop.  I happen to be teaching a class on that at the moment at Yarntopia.  These babies knitted up super fast- I think I spent a total of two weeks knitting them.  Hard to say because I kept putting them down to work on this:

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This is a fair isle bag that I’ve been designing with a class in mind at Yarntopia.  The idea is that it gets progressively harder as you knit.  Those are some gauge swatches at the bottom there.  I’ll have more photos once I get going on it again.

I just found these socks, mostly completed,

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while I was organizing the stash a little bit so I took them to my parents’ house to knit on through Thanksgiving.  Again, they’re knit two at a time in magic loop from the toe up.  It’s my technique of choice on sooooo many things.  I was trying to work out a heel here and I have to admit it’s not my favourite.  It’s a square heel, with eye of the partridge stitch and it actually fits pretty well.  I just don’t like that square heel for some reason.  I think it is the fit- while they fit well, they just don’t feel quite right.  Hmm…  Luckily I’ve bought Cat Bordhi’s book New Pathways for Sock Knitters and it rocks.  She has all these master patterns in there, including a toe up heel with a heel flap and now I don’t have to do allthe math myself.  I love that woman- especially as I’ve never gotten the math right and end up frustrated every time I try to do a heel flap on a toe up sock.  There are some things I just can’t wrap my head around when I try to work them out myself, but when I read her master patterns, it’s all so elegant and clear.  If you’re a sock knitter and you haven’t picked up that book yet, I would highly recommend it.  I use it all the time.

Here’s another pattern I’ve been working on. 

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It’s a hat to go with Eunny’s Anemoi mittens

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which I’ve had on the needles forever.  (They just keep getting bumped for other stuff because I have to concentrate on them and I’ve got too many other patterns to concentrate on at the moment.)  I’m calling the pattern Fiddlehead, because my friend Julibeth thought they looked like fiddle head ferns.  But of course, I haven’t finished it because the decreases aren’t going quite right and I got mad at it.  This seems to be a theme with me.  The knitting hits a snag somewhere and doesn’t look like the picture in my head, so I get mad at it and punish it by putting it aside for awhile.  We can only hope the knitting will learn its lesson.

So here’s some noodling around that I’ve been doing. 

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I’m trying to put something together for the call for submissions of Interweave Knit’s next Fall’s issue.  So far, nothing is working as I would like it to, so there’s a lot of knitting sitting around here on needles learning to behave.  I may have to rethink this strategy…

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It works!

My sweet friend Bloomlikeflowers taught me how to add youtube video portals to my blog posts- and I am forever grateful!  Here’s another parkour video just to try out the new “skills”. 

Parkour and FreeRunning

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No longer exhausted!

I have been getting so much sleep lately that I may never be tired again.  Don’t you wish you could just store sleep up like pennies and break it out when you need it most?  I seem to be one of those people who needs a solid 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night, but at the same time, I have trouble turning off my brain and falling asleep.  Whenever I hear stories about people who can get by on 4 hours, I get so envious.  If I had even one more hour in my day I could get so much knitting done!

But let me randomly jump over to what I did on Sunday.  As I mentioned in the last post, it was the New Yorker Festival and on Sunday they held this really excellent presentation on Parkour.  Here’s a video of it from one of my fav action movies called B13.  It was French and actually had a plot along with beautiful stylized actions sequences featuring Parkour. One of the main characters is played by David Belle, the founder of parkour and he was the guy that the New Yorker had come to speak at the presentation.

It was great fun, set in front of the Javits Center where they have these enormous concrete pillar things that David and about 20 other traceurs jumped all over.  The basic premise is that you overcome obstacles by leaping and jumping over them.  It looks very much like watching a group of monkeys run through the jungle in the tree tops by swinging from branch to branch.  There’s a kind of bounciness to the landings and they really rely on their arms to get from place to place.  I think it would be a great thing to have taught in elementary school gym class as it teaches you how to fall and roll back up and I think it would give children a lot of physical confidence that I think they just don’t have anymore in a society where we’re always badgering them to “be careful!”  If we were all practitioners I’ll bet insurance rates would go down too!

Here’s another video that shows more of what it’s about.  I think this one really shows the monkey-like movements.

Will you guys let me know if you can see the videos?  (edited to add: They do seem to be coming up!  Yay!)  Also, does anybody know how to insert You Tube videos so that you get the little screen to come up?  I have so much to learn with all this blogging stuff.

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Here are some photos of my former LYS, a store that I miss so much that I get all misty eyed whenever I think of it.  It’s a huge place with tons of yarn- a really good selection too, not just one of those stores that’s like, “Well, I can fit it in here, so we might as well have it.”  Hickory and her husband Steven are really good at ferreting oout the best in yarns and displaying them attractively.  They also have the most comprehensive library of books that I’ve ever come across.  But really, all of that is great, but I think it’s the people I miss most.  I’ve only managed to get to one knit night since I’ve been down here in the city and those women were great, but of course, I’m just getting to know them.  What I really miss is having a place to come to every Thursday where we’ve all mostly known each other for at least two years and we just relax into the knitting and all the juicy details of everybody’s lives.  We can quiz each other on how we’re doing with our projects, what’s new in our lives.  It’s really the laughter I miss the most.  Knitting and laughing and just really enjoying each other’s company.  This was a really diverse group of women (with Steven coming in to join us occassionally- and yes, he knits beautifully,) and I have to say, if it hadn’t been for knitting, I just wouldn’t have really known them at all.  Many of them are older or younger than me, and not working in jobs that would bring our worlds together.  A lot of them are mothers- and a surprising number are nurses!  So really, the only thing we had in common was knitting.  And then we had in common that we were knitters who knit together on thursday nights.  And then we had in common that we really cared about each other.  I’ve put up some photos of my girls who happened to be at Knitting Etc on my last night when they threw me a lovely going away party, but I won’t put in the names because I forgot to ask them whether or not they wanted to be named on my blog.  Here are some of my favourite people in the world:  I miss you guys.

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(edit: I wrote this back in July and apparently forgot to post it. So here it is a day late and a dollar short.)gratuitus yarn pic

And it’s been moving very fast lately.  The first week of July Ko and I went up to Montreal for the Jazz Fest- what a fab time.  I love that city and may even post some photos/stories about it later in the week.  Of course, I only brought one battery for the camera and left the charger at home, so my pics are of the first few days.  Then Ko and I were getting ready to move, which meant that I would see Ko walking around the house pointing the camera at all our furniture and then it would disappear the next day to someone on Craig’s list.  We had the “real” move yesterday to a storage unit until we get an address in NYC, so the house is completely empty.  It feels surreal in a kind of William Gibson novel kind of way because I still have my desk and office set up like normal, but the rest of the house is empty.  I feel like my desk is a little bit of focus in an otherwise blurry house.  A site coming out of the ether. 

I forgot to mention that I did a little work for a group called Impact Development- you can read about their work here.  It’s complicated to explain, but I was working with another teacher and a group of 12 volunteers and we built wigwams for a children’ summer camp.  The other teacher had the job of asking them (and they were new hires for a big corporation,) “what are we learning from this?  How will we use this in the future?” (and I must say she did an excellent job!)  I had the job of saying, “Don’t cut your finger off with that saw!”  Well, it was a little more complicated than that, but it wouldn’t be off the mark to say that I was supposed to think about every possible way a person could hurt themselves on my worksite and then prevent that from happening.  I was sometimes known as the voice of doom and gloom, but for the most part my peeps were  really thoughtful about how they might maim themselves and adjusted accordingly.

So now that I’ve moved and I only have to clean up the house  I’ve started reading the new Harry Potter book which I got last Saturday, and Have forced myself not to read because I knew I’d never get anything done- and I know a couple of you out there have moved recently and YOU KNOW how much has to be done.  Oh my god, I thought I’d never get all that stuff into boxes.  It was just incredible to get the movers in here and see them make such short work of the boxes that I worried I’d packed too heavily.  I had trouble moving just one of those boxes and these guys whipped through carrying three at a time.  They were like machines!  Very friendly, animated, and funny machines.  We might even have them do the “big move” down to NYC.  What impressed me most about our move: we managed to cull everything down to a 10’x10′ storage unit.  Ok, ok I admit that we got rid of most of our furniture, so we’ll have nothing but office chairs to sit on when we get there, but if any of you ever saw my book collection, you’d know that this was really an amazing feat.

Ok, last but not least, now that I’m all packed up and I have access only to a little bit of yarn, I got my invite to Ravelry.  Wheeeeeeee!  I’ve been hopping up and down with joy all morning!  but that joy is tempered by the fact that even though I’m going to have all sorts of time in the coming month, I won’t be able to get my stash set up there in Ravelry because it’s hard to get to.  I admit that I’m making little plans to take the camera out to the storage unit and go to town there photographing.  Yarn would look good in an industrial setting right?

That photo at the top shows a huge ball of Brooks Farms mohair/wool/silk yarn that I just got done knitting into a scarf for my sweet mummy.  It was her birthday on the 21st.  So knitting has happened lately.  I just don’t have any photos of it!

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