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


Thinking positive thoughts and sending prayers to you and C.

I envy your lucky students tomorrow, getting such a great teacher to usher them into the wonderful world of knitting.

I just splurged and bought myself Sensational Knitted Socks -- I like a lot of the patterns in there. Have you seen the new Interweave socks book? Any thoughts?

By Blogger Mary, at 1:26 PM  

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Friday, March 09, 2007  


I've heard from my cyber twin C. She's on the mend. She's not seeing all that well and she said that prayers and white light and good juju are accepted down there in Hurricaneville, Florida.

No need to ask twice. Molto prayers are winging their way down from Champlain, VA.

As for the status here, well. It’s hard to write about the past few days. On the one hand I don’t want to get all gloomy. On the other hand, I can’t feel happy, or even relief, till Mama actually moves. On that other extra hand, I don’t want to count chickens before they’re hatched. All sorts of things can go wrong, but all sorts of things can go right. I’m concentrating on that vision of Mama laughing and smiling and telling her wonderful stories to new friends who are glad to see her. I’m seeing her sitting up straight, enjoying life, with younger, swifter, more deft hands doing all the mundane chores for her - those ones that sap all her energy, remind her of what she’s lost instead of what she still has, and suck the joy out of her life. Nobody needs to spend 30 minutes doing a diabetes check, when some young thing ... even some 54 year old thing - can do it for her in a minute and a half.

Nope. I’m concentrating on seeing her with a cute little dog or a purring kitten in her lap. (Did I mention this place allows small pets?) I’m envisioning myself as a guest for the weekend, taking her to the museum, stopping by for lunch in one of the new outdoor bistro restaurants. I see myself telling her one of the mildly risqué jokes she so loves to hear and then both of us laughing till our eyes tickle with tears. Oh La - I see so many happy visions. I’d love to fill a basket with them so that some time in the future I’ll be able to pull them out, like I do the beautiful skeins of yarn in the basket by Pop’s chair, and marvel at the intricate beauty that is the memory of time spent with someone you love.

(Of course, for TheQueen of Loquacity, it doesn’t take long to get the words flowing.)

So. What else is going on in TheCastle?

Tomorrow I will teach knitting to new knitters for 5 hours. That’s a heckuvalotta knitting teaching. This will be my second stint as a fiber arts teacher for the Virginia Consortium of Quilters. Last year I taught spinning for quilters and found that needle women are swift learners, so I have prepared a pretty full day of projects. By the end of the day they should know how to do the Knittin’6-onSticks: cast on, bind off, knit, purl, increase and decrease. All else flows from those six techniques.

We start with this Heartstrings bunny:

Then I'll have them make this little hat for a 14" doll (or bear)

When I wrote up the prospectus I promised I’d also teach how to make a cable without a cable needle. Neither of the projects I’ve planned are suitable for a cable and I’d thought to drop that technique, but when I talked to B, the program chairman, yesterday she specifically mentioned that people wanted to learn that. Thank goodness then, there are 5 hours in the day’s class. I will be able to fit in one more little swatch to teach cable knitting. And I have found that learning something that looks complicated right off the bat is a tremendous confidence booster - in any field.

I make up kits so that we're all starting out on the same page. I'll be teaching the 2 circular method for knitting small tubes. Everyone gets 2 #7 circulars, 2 skeins of yarn, 1 darning needle and some handouts.
If there's time, we might do a little colorwork. You know me and colorwork.

I have been messing about with a gorgeous skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn sent to me by L as a birthday gift last September. It’s the most luscious stuff. It makes me shiver every time I look at it. It is the same yarn that the Koigu folk perform their dyeing magic on and it is what Spirit Trail Fiberworks will be using in her sock yarn starting .... now, I believe. I have knit the toe and one repeat of the pattern of Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. This is a toe up sock and she calls for so many stitches - it’s a 12 stitch repeat. It’s a fabulous looking sock and I think it would look good in this yarn, but I just don’t knit tightly enough for 72 stitches and I’m afraid 48 stitches will be too small. Also, with this darkly patterned yarn it’s difficult to see the stitches and very easy to leave out a YO in one row and get completely off the pattern in the next. I’m going to rip back to the toe, try one repeat of the pattern at 48 stitches and see if I like it. If not I’ll just have to find a different pattern.

The KipFee? She’s checked into rehab, obviously stressed over all the attention she’s [not] getting. Fortunately she hasn’t done anything quite so rash to shave off her cuffs or dye them purple. But we should all leave her alone to find herself. With some good counseling and proper diet and rest we have every reason to believe she will join us soon, in full stranded colorwork splendor.

Off now, my dears, to assemble the kits for my students.


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posted by Bess | 6:19 AM