Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Intarsia or Knitting a Wind Chime

Tonight I joined a brave group of gals at Knitters Kove to learn the color art form of intarsia. This is another technique I need to master for my KIC Level Two.

Once we got our bobbins wound and first row cast on, one gal made the observation that is looked like we were knitting a wind chime. From this picture, I think I have to agree.

The first lesson I learned: do not overwind the round style of bobbins (shown on left). I had wound mine as homework and, being the person I am, did not want to run out of yarn too soon, so I wound them as full as I could get them. Mistake! These bobbins are designed to work best if they can close fully over the yarn to hold it in place. Mine worked for a while, as long as they were laying on the table. But as soon as I let them hang in place where I could work with them, they leapt for the floor and proceeded to roll away, unwinding a large length of yarn as they went. Lesson learned and remembered - check!

I went home and decided that I would try some other bobbins that my mom had brought me to use for this project. I traded the fuller of the round ones for the flat, H-shaped ones and now, not only do I have better fiber control, but, also, a more interesting and eye-catching "wind chime" to work on.

I will check in again to let you know how I like this version of colorwork.

I have to say that leaving the day job and joining a class in something I love was a great way to end the day and decompress.

Hope you are pursuing the things that bring you joy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Things We Learn

This post contains bits of found wisdom, historical fact and trivia.

1. Found on a box of Celestial Seasonings Tropic of Strawberry tea -- "A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Be good ships. Sail out to sea and do new things." --Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. Her motto was "Dare and Do."

2. Found in a blog that referenced Sock Camp 2008 -- "It can be difficult to admit, but if you’re not averaging at least an hour a month pursuing a hobby, it’s time to let it go. The space you’re sacrificing in your home is too valuable to store things you don’t use. If you don’t have storage issues, it’s still worthwhile to get rid ofyour unused hobby stuff. Every time you walk past it I bet you think,“I wish I had more time to do X. You don’t need that stress and guilt.If it were really important to you, you would pursue it." These words will help me go through the last box of cross stitch supplies and get rid of them. If anyone is still cross stitching and loves snowmen, I have a deal for you. Let me know.

3. From Peter Mayle's book A Year in Provence -- he references visiting a village during the annual goat races. He learns that an "empty goat runs faster than a full one." Who would have thunk it!

4. And from my own research this week -- the more technology you think you need, the more upgrades and fussing with your existing you will have to do. Why can't it be easy?

Hope you are learning new things every day with gusto!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Church of the Pigskin

Yesterday I attended the first game of the inaugral season of the CS Flag Football league organized by my co-worker. It was a cold and snow covered field that they kicked off from early morning. Then, in typical Rocky Mountain Spring fashion, the day turned warm and lovely. From the field there is a beautiful view of Pikes Peak to the west.

Currently there are seven teams playing in the league. The organizer has promised to track stats and keep the website updated with pictures and video from each week's games. So far it looks like he has that under control and updated.

I was amazed at how many guys participate in this sport. It is a fine way to spend a Sunday morning.

Hope you are out enjoying your passions and pursuits!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring Cleaning and A Historical Morning

I spent the weekend spring cleaning, changing out my seasonal wardrobe, and preparing itmes for donation. Pedro helped, of course. He had to sit in each tub I opened so he could be assured of petting and the occasional chase game. And he inspected the clothing coming out as well as the clothing going in. For the most part it was an all day job with breaks for walks outside and knitting.

Squiggy came by for a visit and a snack of unsalted cashews while Pedro watched and twitched.
Then, this morning on the way to work. I detoured to downtown for a drive up what used to be the wrong way on a one way street. The city has finally reopened Tejon Street to two traffic after being a one-way thoroughfare for 37 years. They had closed the east side of the street for five blocks over the weekend to repaint the parking spaces, now angled in the correct direction, and add "look both way" signs to the pedestrian crossings. On the AM news a city official reported that they even came up with two additional spaces. Oh, the things that excite us in the spring.
Hope you are all finding buried treasures in your spring cleaning!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fun Celebrations in April

Pedro says - whatever fun he can have while running through the house with his tail all fuzzy is fine by him.

What great celebrations do we have in store for the month of April, you ask.

On April 7th we can celebrate Caramel Popcorn Day.

On April 13th it's Scrabble Day, followed by International Laughter Day on April 14th.

I am not sure how many us want to celebrate Tax Day on April 15th, unless, of course, you are getting a refund. However, the first McDonald's was opened in 1955 that same date.

On April 17th we can Go Fly A Kite and on the 20th we can celebrate Allergies Day. I am gearing up for National Jelly Bean Day on April 22nd followed by Picnic and Cherry Cheesecake Day.

And to wrap up the month, we can celebrate by baking cookies for National Oatmeal Cookie Day on April 30.

Whatever you choose to celebrate, do it with gusto and a fuzzy tail if you must!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

And When I Am Not Knitting

I am creating things to use for knitting. These were designed and made for my mother. She is going to be knitting a wrap that calls for 10 stitch markers: four of one color, four of another and two distintively different designs. In this case, I did four with pink beads, four with purple/blue beads, on with a cat and mouse charm and one with a butterfly charm. I found the marker hanger in the form of a keychain at Walmart. Now she has markers that she can hang on her knitting bag and know where they are when she needs them.
I have plans to make some more sets of these as gifts eventually. They are lots of fun to create and mix and match. Most of the components I found at Michael's and Hobby Lobby.
Hope everyone is using their creativity to create fun in their lives!