March 29, 2005


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Cue the Stormy Theme Song: I'm a birdwatcher, I'm a birdwatcher, watching the birds go by, my oh my. . . .

So the roosters have been with us about three weeks, now. From time to time I've felt a twinge of conscience and thought, I really should go down to the local feed store and post a "Found Roosters" notice. But I haven't acted on that twinge. I've also thought that whoever lost their roosters ought to be able to find them -- and I know that for at least four weeks the roosters were on the recreational path that runs alongside our yard. So I have not had the feeling that whoever lost their roosters was acting very diligently to get them back.

Then, over the weekend, Scott happened to see a news clip on CNN about a problem that's becoming so severe in Roanoke, Virginia, that they are thinking of making it a crime and issuing citations for it: People are driving their unwanted roosters out into undeveloped areas and abandoning them. When Scott told me about this news clip, I had a little A-ha! moment.

Today I'm packing and getting ready for my trip to Philadelphia and the TKGA national convention. I'll be meeting up with my Knit-bud Anne from Portland. (She and I attended a TKGA national convention in 2000, as well.) This morning, in a rare moment of planning ahead, I've been looking over my homework assignments for the classes I'm taking:

Designer Workshop with Lily Chin: Bring whatever objects inspire you. (Well, I could pack a dozen suitcases with objects that inspire me! Will have to focus on just one or two projects . . . or three . . . .)

7 Things that Can Make or Break a Sweater with Margaret Fisher: When Anne and I attended the 2000 convention, we took several classes with Margaret Fischer, and really hit it off with her, so I look forward to taking a class from her again. Margaret Fischer is not only a marvelous knitting teacher, she's also a Master Knitter. She's assigned homework: the knitting of several swatches. Sounds like airplane knitting, no?

The Long & Short of Knitting Alterations: Also with Margaret Fisher, who's serious about assigning homework. This one requires the knitting of two 4x4" worsted weight stockinette stitch swatches, plus a swatch that's 4"x4", half in ribbing, half in stockinette. Good thing my flight is a long one, no?

Beadaring, Beadelighted, Beadazzled, Bead Knitting! with Lily Chin: Something I regretted a few years ago was not being able to take Lily Chin's bead knitting class at the Gig Harbor retreat that year. But I was teaching full time that year and couldn't take the day off. So taking this class is like the fulfillment of a dream. Remind me to pack Knit and Crochet with Beads by Ms. Chin, won't you? I hope I can get her to autograph it. Homework: Bring colored pencils, white-out, yarns, a stitch dictionary that has both textured stitch patterns and colored stitch patterns. This Harmony Guide is always in my knitting bag.

Color Design in Fair Isle Knitting with Melissa Leapman: I am curious to hear what Melissa Leapman can add to the discussion on this topic. No homework.

I read recently in the Smithsonian magazine that there's a Salvador Dali retrospective happening at Philadelphia's art museum. I would love to see this, although it may mean that I skip one of my classes to do so. But it would be a shame to go that far, and then not see it.

I leave you with a gallery of photos of the knitting that's been on my needles the last two days:

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I've finished the cables and bobbles chart of the Prince Caspian sweater and now am onto the main body, which is all knitted in False Rib stitch. I am not enjoying this stitch pattern. (I think it looks too lumpy.) I may rip back and try something else, like Broken Rib.

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Sandness sweater. I know it doesn't look like there's been a whole lot o' knittin' goin' on here. But pictures can be deceiving. I was this far along on the small size . . . had a serious discussion with the Spouse about fit . . . scrapped the small and started over. So what you see in the photo is the medium that I am now officially working on.

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Agonizing over Agnes. I think Agnes, from Vintage Style, is a darling little summertime sweater. Love the style. Love the yarn. Love the color.
Two problems have reared their heads, though. First, when I began knitting this top, I wondered whether there was enough moss stitch in between those stockinette columns to keep the stockinette from rolling. Now that I am this far along, it is obvious that the stockinette is going to want to flip up. And to have the bottom half inch or inch of my sweater flipping up on my midsection -- I'm either going to have to be re-adjusting my clothes every few minutes, or I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get my belly button pierced so that the flipping-up looks intentional. So I am thinking of starting over and putting a hem on the bottom of Agnes.

And the other problem? I usually think I am wise to the ways of the magazine photographers and can spot the carefully arranged model who's hiding some unattractive attribute of the sweater with the way she holds her arms, tucks her hands in her pockets, whatever. I've been fooled before, and so I thought I was immune to being fooled again. In this case, it's the artfully draped shawl that's hiding the shaping. Two of the stockinette bands on either side of the sweater are decreased away over the course of a few rows, and then increased back over the course of a few rows, to provide some waistline shaping and a sort of dart effect. (Rather like the Audrey sweater, if you recall that one.) The k2tog decreases on the one side disappear in a lovely fashion. But if you look at the left-hand side of the photo of my knitting, you see some of those ssk decreases on the other side, and they are glaringly obvious. I don't know that my figure really is suited to a dart effect, anyway.

Posted by Karen at March 29, 2005 11:39 AM

Started Sandness AGAIN? Whatta gal! It's lovely.

Don't rip out for a hem, just knit up from the cast on. That's how I make all my hems.

This is the first time I can wish someone a delayed flight and know that they would be happy about it (that's a lot of flight knitting you've got planned, missy!).

Have a great trip!

Posted by: Janine at March 29, 2005 10:17 PM

Janine, you *are* a genius. Pick up from the cast-on, and knit "back" (so to speak) the hem. Perfect. O-kaaayy. But -- just when it seems you have saved me from ripping back -- what about those decreases? Urgh.

Oh, and, by the way: I had in mind this absolutely adorable photo I was going to take, of Peeps crossing the driveway, chez Campbell. But every time I tried to put my Peeps down on the driveway, those damned roosters came bearing down on them!!

I gave up on Peeps photos. But not on Sandness. Or Agnes.

Posted by: Karen at March 30, 2005 05:06 AM

Mom, you'd look purdy sexy with a bellybutton piercing! Just think - we could go shopping for body jewelery together!

Posted by: DD#1 at March 31, 2005 11:31 PM

Wow what luck! Thank you I really look forward to the book. I was visiting my Mom for Easter, gallivanting all over NE Arkansas with her and my Grandmother. We were quite without internet access so I was unable to get the news or reply until I came home.

About packing for your trip: forget underwear but double check your knitting supplies. It'd be awful to be short something in flight!!

Posted by: Aarlene at April 5, 2005 04:55 AM