Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blessed

Today was a little stressful, and full of working out various kinks in the wedding-planning works. I felt like I'd spent most of the day on the phone, and when I went back and tallied the amount of time I realized I'd spent six hours talking to various people about various things. Crazy.

But some of those calls were good news. And a few were purely conversational. Among them were chat with my matron of honor, and a conversation with a friend in Michigan who's getting married this Friday. (Sadly, we can't realistically make it to her wedding, so I'm incredibly grateful we got to talk.)

My Michigan friend and I don't often get a chance to talk, but when we do, it's like no time has passed. She's one of those friends I believe I'll be in touch with my entire life, that I feel I can pick up with right where we left off even if we haven't spoken in ages. We were best friends in high school, and even though we've both changed a lot since then, we are still quite a bit alike. Even our emotional states with regard to wedding planning--the way we deal with stress, how and when we experience excitement, what things are surreal--are the same. (There are often many refrains of "I knooow!" when we talk.)

My matron of honor, meanwhile, is almost the opposite of me in terms of temperament. Where she is extroverted, I am introverted; our flaws and strengths have often been in opposite directions. She draws me out of myself, and I have occasionally calmed her down.

And it's amazing, because God has blessed my life with both of these women as friends. They play such different roles in my life, and yet they are both such a source of joy. Their friendship reminds me to continually count my blessings--because I am surrounded by blessings, overwhelmed by them, if I but open my eyes and look.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stormy Weather

Storms kinda get a bad rap, you know? Oh, I know that they make a good metaphor for difficulty and darkness, sure. But what about cleansing? The wind that whips your hair, the rain that washes away, the scent of the air after?

I've always loved storms. When I came home this afternoon, the sky was rumbling and there was a wind carrying rain. It motivated me to pull on my sneakers and go for a run (ok, a shortish run, but I was by myself and I'm not in the best shape).

My Facebook status: "Stormy weather: perfect reflection of my state of mind. :) Thoughtful, excited, graced with fullness." That is how I feel, and it was reflected in energy of this weather.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thirty Days

It is my second to last real day in this apartment before I pack up some things and move back with my parents to await the wedding. When I come back—save, maybe, a night here and there if I need to be in the city for some reason—it will be with Keith, and it will not be to this corner bedroom, with its sunny windows and desk in the corner. I am both glad of that, and a little nostalgic.

Right now I am knitting nupps for my bridal shawl, and it isn’t the horrid struggle so many knitters complain of, but a peaceful process. I sit here, all the blinds drawn open, surrounded by trees that wave through the windows, as though I myself am sitting in their branches. There are passing cars and muffled voices, but those tend to fade into the background of my awareness. There is also a chiming from someone’s windcatcher, a series of high, melancholy notes that follow one another sometimes at a distance, sometimes on each other’s heels, and I think I should like to write the story they are telling, the one that pulls at something in my chest and the corners of my eyes.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Detours and other mishaps ...

Sadly, my camera is still in need of batteries, so no new yarnalicious pictures. (Like that word? I'm sure someone has used it before me.)

Just this old one from last week.



To be honest, the shawl doesn't look that much different! Just bigger. I've finished the flower design of the body, and have moved on to the edging, not without a few detours along the way.


Detour 1: I wanted to knit 13 repeats of the flower design to make it a bit bigger. But after reading other people's project notes on Ravelry, I knew it would be a tight squeeze for the amount of yarn I had. And I wasn't about to spend almost $40 on another skein. (Sigh, I wish.) So after the 12th repeat, I gave myself a lifeline and began the 13th, using my mom's food scale to weigh the remaining yarn as I went.

I'm not sure that the food scale was much help, seeing as the space between 40 and 30 grams was about the size of a fingernail. :-P But I chickened out/realized I was being foolish, and so had my first experience of ripping back to a lifeline and picking up all the stitches.


Detour 2: Resigned to having only 12 repeats, I set about knitting the border chart. Nupps were still several rows off, and the pattern was easy to memorize and knit while reading. Until row 5.

That was when things stopped matching the pattern below it in the way I thought it should. But what did I know? Maybe the pattern was supposed to look all random and raggedy at this point, despite the neatly aligned rows of stitches before.

So I kept on knitting, until, halfway through the row, I realized there was no way I had the right number of stitches. So I tinked (unknit stitch by stitch) that half a row. And then the purl row before that. And then the whole row before that, where I had been adding two yarn overs to every chart repeat, resulting in 64 extra stitches. Whoops.


I am now past that point and on my first nupp row, so all is (relatively) well.



As for reading: I am almost finished In the Hall of the Dragon King. Sadly, I have *cough* broken a second Kindle, which means I'm finishing it on my computer screen. Argh. This one wasn't my fault, really. I can't believe it. These things are EXPENSIVE. Sigh.

Anyway, I am off to plan class and pick up a bridesmaid dress and look at wax models of wedding rings and take a dance lesson. Blessings to all and happy yarning along with Ginny!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yarn Along :)

Unfortunately, it seems that my camera is in need of new batteries. But I managed to grab a few pics before it gave up on me.


The fourth and final bridesmaid stole is cast off. Now it needs blocking--probably not until after this summer course is over next week. Two stoles to block, and then the bridesmaids' gifts are finished! The shawl pins I ordered to go with them were waiting for me when I went home last weekend, so I will have to take pictures of them at some point.

I just finished Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri--it's way overdue at the library, unfortunately--and have started In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen R. Lawhead on my Kindle. I know I read this years and years ago, but I've forgotten all of the first book. Actually, I don't think I read it myself--it was my dad who read it to me as a bedtime story. As I read it for myself the first time, I am realizing that this book really shaped the way I wrote my first novel back in high school, though I was basically unaware of it. (No, I never finished the novel, but I got to 150 single space pages. I started rereading it recently. Good times.)

Last but not least ....



.... I have cast on my wedding shawl!



The pattern is Echo Flowers, the yarn sweetgeorgia cashsilk lace in Riptide. Gorgeous .... I'm on the 8th repeat of the body pattern. Not sure if I'll do 12 or 13 total. We'll see when we get there!

(Also cast-off a hat for Japan, but sadly, no pictures.)

Linking up with Ginny.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nothing like ...

a voice beloved and full of love on the other end of the phone to send you to bed happy.

(Unless it's that voice in person.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

I shall not be dismayed ...

... by other knitters' intense dislike of nupps.

For non-knitters (or just non-nuppers), a nupp is when you increase my knitting multiple times into the same stitch--usually making five or seven stitches out of one--and then on the next row you knit or purl all those stitches together. If you have the wrong needles, or your stitches are too tight, or the yarn is slippery, it can be pretty difficult to get all those stitches knit together.

Which is why so many people hate them, including my mother. :) I had a bit of a hard time with them on my Annis, but then I got the hang of them a little ... and no, they didn't look the best, but practice makes perfect, right? And while the Raspberry Dream stole didn't have *nupps*, it did have k7tog which is pretty darn nupp-like--and I had no trouble with it.

So.

Now for my real reason for posting:

My two choices for my bridal shawl are the Swallowtail and Echo Flower shawls. Which should I do? (Imagine them in teal. :) )

I want to cast on today or tomorrow but I can't decide ... so I'm gathering opinions.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Not a Yarn-Along

No yarn along today--although I spent a not-insignificant amount of time trying to wind a skein into a ball (and resolving yet again to purchase a yarn swift), and have finally cast off the last bridesmaid stole! YAY!! Pictures to come.

Instead, I picked up one of my bridesmaid's dresses so I can mail it to her in Colorado. On the way back I stopped by a friend's house to visit her and her two babies--one of whom is quite new. And I suppose you can't really call the other a baby any more. He is my godson, and he is most definitely a little boy now, with a strong will of his own! It's great to see him interact with his new little brother--he always wants to touch him, and I think he's starting to learn he has to touch him gently, as opposed to giving him a solid whack on the head. But it's amazing to see his awareness of personhood, even though he's only one year old.

Today Keith and I also met with Father Josh, and then the DJ, and even though I did none of the grading I planned to do ... I am wiped.

So yeah ... no yarn along post.

Anyway, I feel this blog has practically become a knitting blog of late. Not that knitting (or knitting blogs!) are a bad thing, but there are other things I mean to blog about and never get around to. But the yarn along keeps me posting, and that's good. :)

Edited to add: I thought I had a new follower but when I check I discovered that I had managed, somehow, to follow my own blog. Wow. I wonder what that sort of thing says about a person?