Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yarn Along!

This is my first time participating in a yarn along over at Ginny's blog, small things. I forgot about it until this afternoon, and today is a cloudy day, so you'll have to forgive the poor lighting. :)



I handed back a batch of essays to my Seminar in Composition class--always a good feeling. Between that and turning in a story draft for workshop on Monday, I feel like the world has fallen off my shoulders. Which means: time to read and knit!

The third bridesmaid stole is still on the needles. My goal was to finish it by the end of March, so that I could knit the fourth one in April.

Not happening, obviously.

The pattern is Upstairs, and the yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Meadow. For some reason these particular balls of yarn seem somewhat fuzzier than the ones I was knitting with before, which is odd; but I'm still enjoying knitting with it. The pattern's easy to memorize, so I can take it with me and knit wherever I am without having to worry about losing my place.

The book is Crossing the Sierra de Grados, by Peter Handke. I'm reading it for a class; otherwise, I admit, I would have put it down by now. The narrative has been meandering around and reflecting along with the main character for the past 60 pages, and it's getting ... sleepy.

But if I must read a book, then I might as well read it generously. So I'm willing to sit back and see where the author takes me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So apparently I have acquired a stash...?

Ugh, it's such a fuzzy picture ... but you can see all the pretty colors ... :)

Most of these yarns are destined for a specific project. (All that green at the bottom is going to be transformed into a blanket and a bridesmaid stole.) There's a couple skeins of sock yarn in there I got for Christmas, and some Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks. (Actually, about half of that yarn is from Knit Picks, a company that I really can't praise enough. Yarn that's cheap and yet still lovely.



I am still debating what color to make my bridal shawl. Right now it's between these two. I have to bring them both in to see how the teal looks with the bridesmaid's teal, and (perhaps more importantly) how the white looks against the white of the dress before making my decision. But the teal is ... delicious. I wish that pictures could convey softness and texture. It's a cashmere-silk blend from sweetgeorgiayarns, laceweight, in the color "riptide." Definitely a splurge, but for my wedding? Totally justifiable. :)



More Knit Picks. I bought two skeins of "Hush" in Shimmer (an alpaca/silk blend lace) because I'd admired it for a while, and found out they're discontinuing it.




And yes ... I did spend too much time taking half-decent photos of yarn instead of grading essays. There was sun, and the essays were unfriendly ...

Back to work.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ideas for a Knitting Party

So since reading this post on Design*Sponge, I've been itching for an excuse to throw a knitting party.

How would this differ from simply getting together with lovely ladies to do crafty things? Not too much, I guess, except I love the idea of it being learning about knitting, and being centered around celebrating something, like the advent of spring. And of something planned a little more thoroughly, perhaps.

I'd love to celebrate the advent of spring by knitting. But my schedule is far too busy this month, and too unpredictable to plan something for April.

So here are other ideas--most of which are farther away than I'd like, but oh well.

-A knitting "bachelorette" party. This idea just occurred to me while writing this post, and it tickles me, because it is a lovely inversion of society's notion of having a final fling of singlehood while you still can. It celebrates something associated with domesticity and being a wife. Fun, no?

-A knitting housewarming party, after Keith and I move in to the new place. I have to say this is my favorite idea, because it would give me an excuse to use all my new teacups, show off the new place, play hostess for the first time as a married woman, and really and truly warm the new apartment up with the presence of lovely women.

-A knitting party to celebrate fall. Because after all, there is no lovelier season, in my opinion. The advent of weather that makes you want to cozy up in a sweater and cradle a cup of something warm in your hand is a perfect thing to celebrate with knitting.


Those are my ideas so far ... any others are welcomed. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Making it Real

Keith and I signed a lease on an apartment this week.

We're pretty happy. It's a two bedroom, like we wanted; it's in the neighborhood we wanted; the only less-than-ideal thing is that the lease starts May 1*, which means we could possibly be paying rent on three places in May.

I'm hoping to find someone to sublet my current apartment, though. I'll be moving back up with my parents sometime in late May; my stuff (half of which is actually Keith's stuff, really, which is ultimately a moot point anyways since it is soon no longer "mine" and "his" but "ours") will go into the new apartment and wait for us there.

It's crazy, really. You have all these images of being married, and even though the reality will be different, now there's a place for those images to inhabit. I have these moments where I picture the Fiestaware sugar bowl on the counter, our coats in the closet, our towels (courtesy of the bridal shower!) in the bathroom.

And there is something sacred about that space, and those things in it. The makings of our life together, of the home it shall become.



*Well, that and the carpet color. And the weeeeird mirror thing in the living room. But that's what life's adventures are made of!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Showers

I've definitely been something of a lazy blogger lately, but I haven't been without my excuses.

For example, last weekend I was completely surprised by ... a bridal shower!

Although I sensed that plans were afoot, I figured that it wouldn't happen until much closer to the end of the semester, so the timing was unexpected. And the set-up was perfect. My dear friend and matron of honor is pregnant with her second child, and her mom told me I was going to a shower. Which means when I walked around the corner, gift in hand, and saw a row of people ready with cameras, it took me a few moments to realize it was my shower. (Yes, I brought a gift to my own bridal shower!)

My mom and Stephanie threw an absolutely beautiful shower. Everything was coordinated in the colors for our wedding, including the beautiful tea-themed favors. These were put together by Vicki, a wonderful woman who runs a tea shop called The Still Room down the road from my parents' place.

It was great to get gifts from the registry, but I think what I enjoyed most was the unexpected things--gifts people chose themselves for me and Keith. I was showered with teacups of all shapes and sizes, so now I have a lovely collection.

But what made it most beautiful was being surrounded by a community and communion of women. Of my friends who were there, three were married (all less than three years), another four engaged, and the rest lovely single ladies. My mother and Aunt Jeanne and Stephanie's mother have all been married for much longer, and my Aunt Marie and Great Aunt Dolores were there as beautiful examples of living a single life. Women of different ages and places in life and vocation coming together to celebrate marriage--so beautiful!

And then Keith showed up near the end! While I was wearing an awesome bridal shower hat!
















So yes, the bridal shower was wonderful. As you can imagine, I got little else done that weekend, so I'm very grateful my mom and Stephanie chose to throw it the weekend beginning break.

And now I'm off to another shower--this time my cousin Theresa's. It's showering all over the place these days. Fun times.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wherein Rosemary Wishes to Knit ALL THE THINGS.

My mom and I are, apparently, bad influences on each other. Like mother, like daughter?

Anyway, she had some birthday money that was burning a hole in her pocket, and I just got my paycheck, so we made a trip to Natural Stitches today, which is really a sensory overload for anyone with a love of fiber. There's the colors, and the squishy-softness, and the sheen, and the various textures, and ... well, there's everything. It's enough to turn you into a yarn zombie. (Think someone walking around with glazed eyes and outstretched hands, caressing skein after skein of yarn and saying, Prettyyyyyyy .....)

I wanted to get something other than teal or purple, which are, granted, my favorite colors of late--which explains why I have a lot of them already. I got a skein of madelinetosh's Tosh Sock in Nectar, which is a lovely variegated peach color. All of her yarns seem to glow with color, and they are crisp and lovely.

I also bought two skeins of Road to China Light in Carnelian. (Or more accurately, I bought one, my mom bought the other for me.) This is a deliciously soft yarn, a blend of aplaca, cashmere, camel, and silk.

Camel! What has happened to me? I have become a FIBER SNOB. My roommate wants to learn how to knit, so I brought her to Michael's a few weeks ago to buy needles and yarn, but I bought nothing for myself because most of what they have is acrylic. But as I said to my mom, it's easy and fairly cheap to get a soft yarn spun from acrylic fibers, while getting something nice and smooth against the skin in natural fibers gets more expensive.

But is it worth it?

My vote is yes. :)

Now I just have to figure out which patterns to knit up with this precious stuff. I'm thinking a cowl and/or fingerless gloves with the Road to China yarn, since it is so soft. Or I'll knit the fingerless gloves up with the Tosh ... but there are some lovely shawls it could become, too ... really, I would just like to knit everything there is. But life and yarn (not to mention money!) are limited, so I'm happy making a decision between different pretty things.