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The Secret to Knitting September 19, 2009

Mmmm.  I have one of those slow-burning coils of angst, one of those long ropes of something that will need to burn itself out at some point, you know? I'm not sure when, and I'm not sure where, but it'll happen soon, I think. I find myself driving down the road and fantasizing more and more about a long trip to Venice. A long, slow couple of weeks with nothing more to do than sit at a cafe and watch the rain drip into the canal while the people run about like bugs outside.

No time, no money for that right now. Put it to the side. It'll happen, I know that.

But a bath will have to do instead. And maybe a good long lie-in tomorrow. (As if. I really need to learn that skill. I'll practice tomorrow. Sadly, I suck at it.)

Now I'll give you some pictures.


How the boys sleep. Really. They weren't moving. I have a ton of pictures like this. They're pretty stressed out little cats.


Adah would like to show you both her paw (CUTE!) and our nephew Isaac (CUTER!!). And her new perch on top of the fridge, a basket which has replaced the fuzzy basket and OMG why didn't we think of that three years ago. Less fuzz in the ice, thank you very much. (And to those of you who have had drinks at our house, ahem. We cleaned first. Of course. WHAT'S THAT OVER THERE?)


My mother's African Violet bloomed, for the first time in a year. I love this. It's on my writing desk, and every day, I love it harder.

And all right, people. This one is an act of courage. This next one is me stepping foot firmly into the Trotting Horse camp. (You already knew I carried a card, right? Now you know I'm at the front, carrying the standard.)


The newcomers to knitting will whisper wow. The ones who have been around the block (HA! get it?) will hold their sides laughing, because I DO NOT HAVE BLOCKING WIRES, and I have about the same amount of pins as patience. I damp-block and pin out haphazardly, which leaves me with little sticky-out points, which I am OWNING, people.

This is my point (GET IT? Ha!). This is Cold Mountain, silk/merino, from Ellen's Half Pint Farm, bought at Maryland S&W years ago. I gave it to my sister Christy, and she put it on, and it looked simply gorgeous on her. And from a trotting horse (or, truly, held up for close inspection) no one will ever know whether I blocked the shawl on lace wires well or on pins carelessly.

This is what I wanted to show you. Just make it. Don't worry so much.

My gorgeous sister, looking even more beeyootiful:


Happy birthday, Christy. May this be your best year yet.


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best advice ever: Just make it. Don't worry so much.

it's beautiful - sticky out bits and all!


the shawl turned out beautiful - but how many times do I have to tell everyone - there are never problems there are DESIGN ELEMENTS - yours is sticky-out points which look fabulous ;)

Lucky sister! Lovely shawl, nice quasi-blocking. The trotting horse thing? So very true.

I don't have blocking wires either, but I usually baste a long piece of cotton yard along the edge and pull it tight for blocking. I use pins every few inches to keep it the right dimensions. Works just as well. Cheaper. No storage issues.

That is a stunning shawl and a stunning sister - and you are absolutely right about the non-need for perfection!

My goodness that shawl is beautiful. I need to obsess less over details no one but nearsighted, up-close me will ever notice.

Your violet is also gorgeous. I grow beautiful violets at my desk at work (they love the desk light and steady climate), but my home ones almost never bloom.

Worn by your lovely sister, who can see itty bitty pointy bits? The smile overshadows all the rest! I like it on the table, too. Lovely white lace, but I'd hate to get food near it. I like how the far end of the stole looks like tilting blocks (you know - quilting blocks playing with illusions and light and dark)

(by the way, I have wires. I don't need them very often.)

The shawl is almost as gorgeous as Christy.

Venice is in Berkeley my dear, Venezia on Univerity at Grant. Good food, trompe l'oiel (sp?) murals and cocktails. There must be something to celebrate?!

I didn't really notice the haphazard pointiness much until you pointed it out. I dislike blocking, wouldn't know what to do with blocking wires, etc. I use random pins when I do iit, and there is usually some weird pointiness. I'm just proud that you blocked at all (ahem - ignoring unblocked shawl that I have had for months). And no one will notice when the thing is being worn anyway - especially once they know it was handknit.

Good job!

PS - I love the kitties. I'm sad that mine no longer cuddle in their old age. Emma and Casey used to sleep all curled up in a ball together but now spend little time in the same room.

The shawl is gorgeous and I too am in the trotting horse camp. The lace edging on my shawl had more points than I had pins, so I pinned them two by two. Can't tell when it's being worn!

I hate blocking wires. They promise perfection and don't deliver and they are a pain to use.

Cotton thread, pulled taut, works better for me.

love the photo of the boys... my little black girl cat Ellie sleeps like that too, with her arms dangling (preferably over my knee, but the arm of the couch will do).

I don't comment much, if at all, but I always have to laugh when you mention the "trotting horse." My grandma used to say, "from a galloping jackass or a flying philly, who would know?"

She's right - life is too short...

Beautiful Shawl. Can't wait for your book.

Pats and scritches to Digit and the gang...

Hmm...maybe you have another dad? This is yer real dad, responding to your twitter. I don't text and 6 hours ago was eating a burrito in King City.

I am running a scan on my computer but it's more likely a mixed up friend. But why sign Dad? Lala's Dad? we may never know.

Love, and have a happy non-birthday.


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