Monday, March 26, 2007


Hi Friends,

I'm still working on the button band on the Cabled Cardigan, and have gotten the buttonholes made. It's my first time making buttonholes big enough to need binding off and casting on. Not much to show yet, so I decided I'd entertain you with views from my embarrassingly Spring-like yard:

Azaleas in full force:

More Azaleas:


Maybe next time I'll have something knitted to show you.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Me Skull Cap

Howdy, Howdy. I hope you all had a wonderful St. Paddie's Day. Mine was completely uneventful. No green, no cabbage, no beer. How boring am I?

Well Spring Break is just about over and what did I accomplish? I knitted a whole lot. I graded some. I got absolutely no Spring cleaning done. Just to let you know, Springtime in south Mississippi means pollen. We are in the middle of a pine forest, and pine pollen along with a good dose of oak pollen is everywhere. All things are covered with a light green dust. I really need to sweep my porch and my dining room, as the stuff is getting tracked into the house.

So I was talking about knitting. I've got all the parts for the Cabled Cardigan made and blocked. They've been that way for several days. I bought this quilting grid at Hancock's for about 10 dollars and it really made blocking much easier, but it's constructed of corrugated cardboard, and probably won't hold up for many projects. It's doing the job right now, and that's all that matters. I'll start putting these pieces together, and knitting the front bands and collar this week.

What drew me away from my cardi was this project. I had all that Elann Devon left over from Enid and thought the skull cap would be a great way to use it up. I finished the first We Call Them Pirates cap this morning. It is intended for DH, but he had to go into the office this morning, so #1 with his massive cranial capacity volunteered to model it. Here he is looking mighty snarly:

Side view:

Top view:

This is such a fun little project. I intend to make one for each of us, and then I may make one for every baby I know. Don't you think it would be cute on a little matey? When I make the next one, I'll pass on the interior lining and just make a ribbed cuff or a moss stitch edge. I really don't like the tacking the hem process, but I did do better on the provisional cast-on this time.

I hardly ever talk about what I'm reading, but I finished Gulliver's Travels last night. I never read it in high school when we were supposed to. It's a little crude at times, and I'm surprized they want high schoolers to read it.

We went to the library yesterday and I checked out Richard Rutt's A History of Hand Knitting. I'm curious to learn about the development of this craft. I'm a little obsessed with sticks and thread these days.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Break

The first day of break. I went to the office and found a parking spot nearby. Graded 19 portfolios and fewer sketch diaries. (Those kids are in trouble). Caught up on a little gossip, then went to the grocery store. Had lunch with DH. Went home and started a crock pot dinner. Bratwurst, slaw mix and chicken broth. The house smells yummy.

Sat down and got a little knitting done on the cabled cardigan before time to pick up the kids, and here's how it stands. I frogged the right panel and reknitted it over the weekend. Then I made a sleeve. After the sleeve was done, I was pretty sure it was WAY to long, so I pinned the sweater together, and tried it on. Yes, the sleeve looked as if it had been made with an orangutan in mind. I mean, on the model, it just brushes her knuckles. On me, it hangs beyond the tips of my fingers. I folded it up and it was the right length, but the sleeve is pretty close fitting, and the bulkiness of the folded cuff didn't do it for me. I measured how much shorter it should be in order to do what it's doing on the model, and it needs to be exactly 1/2 the length it is, which would 3.5 inches, also how long the ribbing is on the bottom of the sweater. Does that model have abnormally long arms, or am I the freak?

So I'm reknitting that sleeve to have a 3.5 inch cuff instead of a 7 inch one. When it's done, I'll pin it to the sweater body just to make sure it's the right length, and if so, I'll make another. I'm determined to get this sweater just right. (You know, after ENID). I googled the pattern and found a few bloggers who also made it, and they all seem to have the too-long-sleeve problem.

I'm not frustrated though. I'm looking at this as an exercise in patience and reward. I am thinking in advance of how nicely I'm going to sew the seams, and how I'll finally overcome my "picking-up" clumsiness. The button band/collar/button hole band is one long k2 p2 rib that is picked up from the bottom of one panel, around the neck to the bottom off the other panel. That should give me plenty of practice on picking up and knitting. I think I'll block the pieces before sewing together, instead of after, just to see what happens. Hopefully, the reward will be a sweater that I love and will wear often.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A New Cardi

I bet you guys think I really love cardigans, don't you? I've started my 3rd adult cardi. It's Project 19 from Vogue Knits Fall 06, aptly named Cable Cardigan. The original pattern calls for Trendsetter Kashmir yarn, and at $25 a ball, that just wasn't going to happen. (The pattern calls for something like 10 ballls). Anyway, I'm substituting Knitpicks Wakashan 100% Baby Alpaca. Much more affordable. We'll see how the thing drapes.

I've finished the back and the front left panel, and am almost to the armhole shaping of the front right panel. At this point, I have discovered some shaping mistakes I made on the left front, not to mention the big boo-boo in the first row of cables. Did you notice it? Well, I can't live with the errors, so when I finish the front right, I'm going to frog the front left, and fix those problems.

I'll wait until the whole thing is done before I decide on whether I want to make the belt or not. It's getting really Spring-ish here, so I probably won't get a chance to wear this one very much. We are going to Chicago in May. It'll probably be cool enough there to wear an alpaca sweater, don't cha think?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

What is Beautiful?

Recently Susan wrote a wonderful post in which she refers to the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. At the end of her post she told any reader to consider themselves tagged. As soon as I read that I knew I must respond and I immediately thought of this young woman.

As a college professor, I deal with many young women. My job also requires that I consider the meaning of beauty. To me, prettiness is surface and fleeting, but beauty is ageless and truly comes from within. As soon as I met "Medusa" (her own screen name) I knew she was special. She is tall and carries herself with confidence. She defends her opinions (which are well informed) respectfully. She is curious and unsatisfied with partial understanding. She pursues knowledge and creativity with joy. And she is kind. To me she exemplifies what a young woman should be. Happy, smart and beautiful.

So, in the spirit of Susan's post, I'm passing the tag along. Think about what beauty really means and do something about it. Encourage girls and young woman to recognize their own beauty, because I believe it is there in us all.