Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I-64E near the airport and beyond has been wretched for years, (the continuous, horrid whump-whump-whump from driving over the dratted seams), but they've recently worked on it, so here's hoping that'll last awhile.

How exciting about your storytelling biz! If ever a person was meant for that, it's you. :-)

How fun about your knit-along -- I can't wait to see everyone's progress! And that "Purl Where You Can" technique sounds quite handy.

By Blogger Mary, at 12:40 PM  

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Friday, September 29, 2006  

When I took a vacation, I hadn’t intended to vacate the blog too, but even when the whole day lies before me like a wide field covered with freshly fallen snow, I’m still on dial-up and whatever I don’t get done by about 8 o’clock is going to take simply hours to do. It shan’t be till 5 p.m., when the east coast starts its homeward commute and the phone lines open back up, that I can use the net again, and by then, I’m likely to be doing something else. If I didn’t have access to library computers and high speed, I’d definitely have to pop for satellite till that wireless tower across the river (promised last August) goes up. Ugh! Dial-up is evil.

But that is the only downer type of thing I can say today. Everything else in my life is simply deliciously wonderful. The weather this week is Camelotian. Rain after dark. Breezy blue days. High temps between 75 and 80. The trip to C’ville was productive. I found out that I had two bobbin frames (I know where that box of bobbins is, too!) and a warping mill. Both have now been priced to sell. Barbara will offer them in her booth next week. I have asked the universe to send just the right weaver to her booth. :D

Then, of course, there was a wonderful lunch with J, who had brought me yarn for my birthday - gorgeous beautiful soft sock yarn. And magical things she’d made in her kitchen. We had lunch at an Indian restaurant, browsed the book stores (Oh law, there was the most beautiful book about famous illustrators of children’s literature. Just a tad out of my budget, but oh, oh my), picked up an Addi Turbo at the ruinous price of $16.99, and caught up on the important things happening in our lives. It was a glorious afternoon of hangin’ out with a girlfriend I haven’t seen since MS&W!

The drive to C’ville is always half fun and half horrible. The horrible half is 295, the eastern beltway around Richmond. It was built out in the middle of nowhere and even still is largely surrounded by Chicahomany swamp and undeveloped, but it’s heavily used and is the most pocked and pitted and chuck-holey road in the entire Richmond area - perhaps the entire state! Based on the condition of that road you’d think we were a 3rd world country who got an infusion of $ and a crooked contract with a road company back in 1970, but haven’t seen a penny since. Well, maybe a penny. There are some patches on the road, but lawsee - the drive is a nightmare. It’s a high speed road and I’m not sure if going 75 is fast enough to sort of leap over the holes or if it is a guarantee that your alignment is shot for good, along with your shocks. I drive teensy cars and you can feel every clunk in the ride. OTOH, I64, which you pick up at Short Pump, about half way there, is as smooth as silk and the pavement shows nary a sign of wear and tear - even though that road is at least 20 years older than 295.

Hmmm. as if you are interested in the history of road development and construction in Virginia.

Happily I got off at Maidens on the way home, to take the bridge there to my sister’s house. This is the sister of the recent wedding. She and I had some family business to conduct, but we also had some fun play to do. She belongs to a YMCA gym and her husband goes too. She took me along to a killer step aerobics class and, again, I realized just how much I miss those classes I used to take at our gym. I think I’ll hunt out another one in addition to the Wed. Jazzercise class, because I’m ready to ramp it up a bit.

All my chores done in TheCity, I did a little clothes shopping on the way home. My wardrobe is somewhat shabby and I have a cluster of events coming up for which I want something fresh and new. There is a wedding of precious friends on Saturday and if I have to wear that red tapestry fabric dress and jacket again I will hang myself in the closet instead. And on Monday I get to go be a Wife of Important Guest at Westover Plantation - one of the reeeeealy gorgeous James River plantations - and one that is almost never open to the public. You can walk in the gardens but that’s it. But this is Jamestown event and the Governor will be speaking and my own Mr.Jamestown is on the guest list. The chance to see inside Westover isn’t likely to come along again in my lifetime and I’m not letting it pass me by. I wanted a west-endish looking outfit to wear - autumnal, casual chic, fresh looking, new - and I bought one.

I also wanted something special and fun to wear at my Story Telling gig in Chesterfield this coming Friday! Oh! One week from today! I’ve been asked by the principal at J’s school to tell The Story of Cotton at the dedication of the school’s garden. I’m still trying to decide on both “costume” and business name for my (future, but really already here) story telling business. I have a winterish outfit but it’s too hot for September, and I have a summerish outfit and it’s not warm enough for this particular September. So I’ve purchased something that is swingy and has some movement and in warm colors that would invite children to listen. It’s not cotton, which is too bad. But I can work around that. It’s a skirt and sweater outfit, not so costumey I can’t wear it in the rest of my life, but when I settle on the image I want to present, I’ll put together something (or things) that is reserved exclusively for story telling.

As I typed the above I realized that it’s time I sit down with my most trusted advisors and put all that together - name, image, outfit, the works. I think I will make my beloved BD and perhaps my dear friend DC, my sister P and maybe N, or some other children’s librarian, to sit and watch my program and get their input for all those decisions. I’d really like to have a promo package to send out before next summer.

So. That’s the news about me. Except the important news that I have cast on and knit 7 rounds (of 330 stitches each!!) of the Knit Picks Palette Fair Isle Sweater! Yeah me! And I’ve joined a knit-along too - see button to the right - in the hopes of actually finishing this sweater. Yes. Imagine that. Of course, I’ve already decided to change two things about it - the corrugated ribbing - which I’m knitting in Meg Swansen’s “Purl When You Can” technique so that the color changes in the purl columns don’t have those wretched blips. I mean, no point in having checkerboards that aren’t nice clean squares. I’m sure the sample knitter had to do that, but the instructions don’t tell you to.

The other major change I’m making to that pattern is that I will not - not ever - especially in horizontal stripes - knit myself a drop shoulder sweater. The photo in the catalog is such a lie - no offense to the KnitPicks folks. All fashion photos are lies and are never what we’d really like to have. They’re selling the idea, the concept, the image. But if you look at the two pictures in the KP catalog, one woman is slouching in a very dark chair so you can’t see all that extra sweater fabric around the bust and shoulders that has been tucked behind the model. The sweater looks trim and fitted, doesn’t it. In fact, it looks like what you’d like to look like, doesn’t it? In the other photo, which is a more straight on shot, if you look you will see that they have tucked all that enormous extra fabric that results when you make a drop shoulder sweater into two pleats that start at the shoulders. Then they’ve belted it so the fabric doesn’t blouse out around the waist.

Drop shoulder sweaters are only flattering on flat square shaped people - a.k.a. - men. They’re cute on very slender women who look like they’re wearing their big brother’s clothes. On women with bosoms, with round sloping shoulders, with anything that looks like a weight problem (what? 70% of American women?) they look like blankets thrown over camels. Drop shoulder sweaters are easy to knit. They’re a traditional style. They look horrible on most women. I won’t knit a gazillion stitches into a sweater that looks like a camel blanket on me.

So. I’ve given it serious thought and I will knit set-in shoulders and put some sort of solid color stitching where the “seams” meet. The solid colors will create an edge that separates the pattern repeats in the stranded colorwork sections, allowing me to concentrate on fit, not pattern, when I make my decreases.

I’ll be posting here and on the KAL blog (if I can figure out how to access a typepad blog) and there will be photos, thanks to M.

Whew. I didn’t intend for this to be quite such a long post. Sort of a 2 for the price of 1 post. Too bad it’s the last workday of my vacation, but the rest of autumn is packed full of other types of days off. And I do feel refreshed and soothed and loved by my house and my surroundings - in addition to knowing I’ve done some important dootiful things during this sweet week off. Best of all - I have no deliberately added heavy responsibilities up ahead. Life may throw me some, but that can’t be anticipated. One must just shoulder them if and when they come along. But till they do I intend to savor a calm life of steady steps, one each, in front of the other.

Good knitting to you all!

posted by Bess | 8:35 AM