Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Getting Things Off the Needles

I haven't had an FO for more than two months, so it's clearly time for me to focus and show a bit of knitterly discipline. I'm starting by near-monogamous knitting on the Three-Color Cashmere Cowl. It is a super-easy knit -- perfect for these evenings when I'm tired from adjusting to a new school.
I can show embroidery project that soaked up much of my summer because the Madison Contemporary Fiber Artists show opened this weekend. Here is my piece, Original Garden:
The main panel is all hand-embroidered with plain-old DMC thread. I drew the flowers as I went along. It was a much bigger undertaking than I realized at the beginning and I'm still kind of amazed that I finished it. Each flower is native to Wisconsin (which was required to be in the show).

The opening reception was Sunday, and I am so grateful to the friends and family who were able to come. The show is up through October at the Arboretum, so I hope to get back and take a better photo.

Last night I started Mao II by Don DeLillo. I have never gotten very far in any of his books, but this one is calling out to me. I can say that the beginning is much more readable than other DeLillo books I've tried. We'll see.

Joining up with Ginny for Yarn Along.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Swore I Wasn't Going But ...

A friend talked me into going to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. (Don't you love how it's not my fault?) "But I'm on a yarn diet!" I protested.
"It would be a great place to sketch," she countered.
How could I turn down an offer like that?
 So, we headed off to look at these guys and, yes, we just had to wander through the market. I was quite restrained, but couldn't resist this pattern and yarn. If you look closely, you can see that the buttons have little bikes on them. The whole package is from Jenny the Potter's booth.
 I asked Jenny how our festival compares with Rhinebeck and the Maryland festival. She said that those festivals draw a lot more people and are more profitable, which makes sense, given the population density on the East Coast. However, she lives in Minnesota, and enjoys how easy it is to get to Jefferson, Wisconsin, and the mellow nature of our festival.

And, yes, there was drawing. We perched ourselves on the bleachers and watched some of the competitions:
Full disclosure: There was one  other purchase but that deserves its own post!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sometimes Progress is Slow

I'm afraid my knitting is rather boring as I'm just working on the heel flap of the Granola sock. I'm hoping that things will calm down around here and I'll be able to make better progress soon. I am making the leg much longer than the pattern because, well, I live in Wisconsin.
I read Regeneration by Pat Barker at least a decade ago, but I picked it up last night and it is still an amazing book. I was inspired to pluck it out of the bookcase (ok, one of the bookcases) by the Audible book I'm listening to, The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Both books are about World War I, and both involve a doctor character who is interested in what came to be called "Shell Shock."

Don't forget to link up with Ginny for Yarn Along.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

It's a Lovely Weekend

 It is a picture-perfect weekend here, which is especially nice on a holiday weekend. It's really too bad that we have a three day weekend after two days of school. The year is off to a great start so I certainly didn't need a break!

 I snapped this photo of a compass flower on a bike ride yesterday.
 I have finished the knitting part of Arika. It's hard to believe it is going to turn into this.  It's all in the blocking!
 Today we are going to take my dad to Chicago for a family gathering. Sadly my mom has the flu, so she won't be joining us. Here's my contribution:
I hope the weekend is a lovely one for all of you!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Slow Going But Beautiful

After working in middle schools for 11 years, high school is a breath of fresh air -- and a poses a sharp learning curve. My head is just spinning! My high school is large -- about 2,200 students -- and I have so many people to keep track of and so many new procedures.
All of which is a way to say there hasn't been a lot of knitting. I am just too tired when I get home! But I have been making slow progress on Granola. It is a Tin Can Knits pattern, so it's very well-written. I haven't done cables in years, but these are easy ones and it doesn't take long to get back the hang of it. I'm using Sun Valley Fibers yarn in a wine-type color that doesn't show up real well here. How about you, Judy? Have you started yours?

I'm still reading The Harder They Fall by T.C. Boyle. It's dark but compelling.

And thanks to all you bloggers who raved about The Summer Before the War. I'm listening to it on Audible, and it is fabulous. I highly recommend the audio version.

I'll be joining up with Ginny to Yarn Along.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Getting Back to Real Life.

 Coming home from vacation can be hard, don't you think? All that time to enjoy life and see new things -- and then it's back to work. While teachers in my district don't officially start until tomorrow, I've been tackling some of the paperwork that dogs special ed teachers.  I know I'll be glad in the long run that I got a head start on things.
With all the focus on work, I've been doing mindless knitting on my Three-Color Cowl. It's a pleasant TV knit, but not terribly exciting to make. It did get me through the latest season of Orange is the New Black. I thought this season was excellent, but also disturbing.

I'm nearing the end of White Trash by Nancy Isenberg. I don't think it lives up to the reviews. It starts out focused, but seems to lose focus by the halfway point. Kind of mad I bought it in hardcover.
Last night I started T.C. Boyle's novel, The Harder They Come. As always, his writing sparkles with wit and word choice. I'm hoping it's good.

Join me over at Ginny's to Yarn Along.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Airports are for Knitting

Our trip home from Canada went smoothly -- outside of the fact that we flew through Toronto, which is not our favorite airport -- so I finally got some knitting done. I'm on the  heel flap of the first sock. I'm still loving this Happy Feet yarn.
The reason for so little knitting was sketching:

 Quebec City is definitely more charming than Montreal, but I still like Montreal the best. It has a cosmopolitan vibe and an amazing art scene. I'd move there if I could!

See how happy Keith and I are?
It's probably because we had a piece of this:
If you haven't had Maple Syrup Pie yet, you must buy a ticket to Quebec immediately. It's kind of like pecan pie with no pecans and maple syrup flavor. In otherwords, it's amazing.

I haven't read blogs for a week, so I'll be catching up over the next few days. I've been thinking of you all and wondering how you are faring!