Saturday, February 23, 2008


A room with a view
Originally uploaded by littlekidd
We left 50s and sunny this morning, and arrived here this afternoon. This is the view from Jim and Lisa's house in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Jim grew up with this view in his backyard. We've been coming here together for 20 years, but it still takes my breath away. We'll be here for a week of skiing and exploring, and dreaming of maybe living here someday.

Jim is hovering waiting to use the computer, so I'll wait till tomorrow to tell you how Elizabeth Zimmerman would be turning in her grave to know how I dorked up her Garter Baby Surprise Jacket.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Originally uploaded by littlekidd

Baack to Life, Baack to Reality.

My eyes were not happy to see my contact lenses this morning. “So soon?!” they cried. “Didn’t you release us from your suction-y grip a mere five hours ago?” It’s about 5am here in Portland. Zack just asked, in his most polite gentle voice, if he could please snuggle in with us. I was left with with about six inches of mattress real estate. So, I got up.

I’m still coming down from the Madrona high. I’m sure there are folks who have the time and resources to show up at fiber fests all over the country, kind of like Phish groupies with really nice sweaters. For them, maybe some of the magic of knitting en mass has worn off. Not for me, though. I loved every minute of lounging in the lobby of the hotel, watching people parade around in their knitted finery -- truly exquisite stuff.

I loved the late-nite knitting gatherings, and uncontrollable silliness that is the natural byproduct of camaraderie among folks who have escaped the daily routine of life, work and family to the luxury of just knitting. Or just spinning. Or just doing a little of both. Or neither. (But most of all not doing cooking or cleaning or laundry.)

I loved the giddiness of being in the midst of the famous fiber folks. Charming Ruth Sorenson and ALL those Kauni groupies. Graceful, elegant Nancy Bush gliding around leaving a trail of warm and fuzzy in her wake. And most of all Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, with her big-hearted philosophical vibe and stellar comic timing. I was fortunate enough to chat with her on a couple of occasions and even off-the-cuff she is so wise and open and true to herself she makes me want to work harder to shed my lemming-like ways and do a better job of following my heart as a mother and a person.

I loved my classes. Thanks to Pat Bruner I left Tacoma knowing in my heart how to make a sweater for anybody that will FIT, pattern be damned. I spent Saturday morning laughing with Stephanie and 14 other fun ladies from all over the country. We got talking about first concerts at one point. For one student, it was Elvis. For two others, The Beatles. Cool. Stephanie was full of her usual sage advice, including nifty tricks for “reading” one’s knitting, which is a personal soapbox of mine. I hope she will make good on her plan to teach a class next year on how to be a more efficient knitter.

I celebrated my birthday at Madrona this year, and my friends led the whole lobby in an impromptu midnight sing on behalf of my 43rd year. Within seconds, this really nice knitter just materialized with gorgeous cupcakes she just happened to have on-hand from her own birthday celebration a couple of days before. Man. Could it get any better? Thanks again for those!

And best of all, I didn’t get pink eye.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

On Pins, Off Needles

Falling Leaves
Originally uploaded by littlekidd
Here's a favorite from Scarf Style. I've blocked it since, and the little leaves march in a much more orderly way now.

I'm going to use this pattern for teaching this spring, and encourage folks to buy this fantastic book and knit a different scarf from it each term through the year.

Four days and counting till Madrona and I'm desparately trying to finish my version of Oblique. I think it's actually going to fit!! Imagine that. I have all the knitting done, two sides and one arm to seam, and ends to weave. I'm still in the tunnel, but the light at the end is getting very bright.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hat To Be
Originally uploaded by littlekidd
Looks Like Crochet...
But it's not!! It's a slip stitch pattern I'm working out for an upcoming class at The Naked Sheep.

Is it too dizzy? I sort of like it.

I'm back in the computer groove, baby, thanks to Ravelry! Wow. WHAT a resource. I will get a bug on my blog soon to pay homage. I have reconnected with long lost knitters both here in Portland and out in cyberland. There aren't enough hours in the day...

My son Zack is home from school with Pink Eye. This means he's well, but can't go to school because he could make everyone else sick. That, coupled with the fact that I've only just discovered Ravelry, means that I'm not a very creative mom for him while he's out of school. "Sure! You can play the Wii for another hour!!". Building those critical thinking skills, right? (?)

The mere mention of pink eye makes my skin crawl. I haven't been in proximity to a case since college. Really it's just a cold in your eyes, but it looks pretty gross and it's soooo contagious. Of course my doom-and-gloom scenario is that I'll be infected just in time to go to Madrona next week. I better go wash my hands. Again.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

This is Where I Live

Socks for Waiting
Originally uploaded by littlekidd
I'm giving the socks a front row seat to Portland's rain show, as seen from the dry side of my windshield. These are "Serendipity," the first package from the Blue Moon folks in this year's Rockin' Sock Club.

I live in Portland. During this bleak midwinter, I also live in my car. The gutsier among us don rain pants and ride bikes, but I can't do it. Not this year -- the worst I can remember in the 10 I've lived here.

So, I spend a lot of my day in this driver's seat. Driving to school, then to work, then back to school where I park in this spot and wait and knit and listen to NPR's "Fresh Air." Some days I only manage five minutes. But when I get 20 it makes me a much nicer chauffeur for the little people who come streaming out of the building when the bell rings. From here it's on to soccer or gymnastics or taekwondo or who knows where. More opportunities to sit and wait. And knit.

The sun is making a feeble but persistent effort on this day. Do you see it? Over on the right side of the frame. Rain won out in the end, but soon.... SO soon it will start to get better.

I've been poking around Ravelry these past few days and it is super cool. I still would much rather have my nose in my needles than a computer screen, which is why I am just now discovering its greatness. It's also why I don't blog nearly enough.

Taking pictures is the other problem with regular blogging. Natural light is at a premium these days in the dreary Northwest. How to find the light, take the pictures, get them into the computer, upload them, and write?

Yikes! I have the best intentions, but obviously I need to figure out how to streamline my process and quit whining.

When the sun comes back out I'll be much easier to take.