Saturday, January 31, 2009

resolute progress...

One of my resolutions this year was to find knitting friends. I can check it off my list - I did it. *blush*

Every other Tuesday, a group meets at the Harmony Bar. Harmony is located in a bohemian neighborhood of Madison. I imagine the bartender there asks patrons "the usual?". I hadn't been there in 15 years, first I missed it and then I admit that I drove around the blocks several times wondering if I could walk in alone... I mean, maybe there would be no place to park, maybe no knitters would be there, maybe I was too early. I don't think I am good at meeting people - but I want some nearby knitting friends, so I knew I what I had to do. Worst case scenario - I would walk in the front door and out the back, right? I would have still counted this as progress for the wall flower. em.

Anyways, I saw a little group at a back table. I stalked up and breathlessly announced "I'm Peaknit, and it took a lot of courage for me to come in here.":) whew, big breath. (talk about just jumping in with the potential of looking like a totally friendless fool) The knitters were so welcoming. I sat down, ordered a fabulous Blue Cheese burger and pulled out my scarf. (I knew enough to take mindless knitting, so I could focus) The talk was easy, these ladies were so fun. One specifically said "we swear a lot", oh thank you - I'm home.

The group grew to about 12+ women through the evening. One of their husbands works with mine. The world is small - and a nice one. I am glad I went and will count the days til I go again. To further impress upon you the severity of my nerdness, I came home and wrote down the names of everyone I could remember, looked them up in a Madison ravelry group and wrote their Rav names next to their real names. I'm nothing if not studious.

Anyways, because I think every posts needs something pretty, my scarf:


The Brulee. A great way to incorporate some handspun. It only awaits fabulous buttons. I stole this entire inspiration from knitPhilistine, see hers here - right down to the Mission Falls buttons. I confessed my copycattedness to her and she offered to get me some buttons at her yarn store. Where does the kindness of knitters end? Of course, I hope I never find out.

p.s. Tuesday rocked a lot actually. I got a huge report for Court off my desk and delivered to the court house. So I took the afternoon off and treated myself to Revolutionary Road at the theater before the knit group. Great acting - but middle class peoples who had higher hopes could leave awful damn depressed. "I'm too well read to be at a job I hate" - says Leonardo Di Caprio. Peaknit says - get a hobby!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

catching up

It's been a good weekend of knitting friends - old ones and new ones...

tuvolu knitting

I went to a new-to-me coffee shop and met my friend Tina. We ate a really great lunch and then we knit. It was so nice to knit with someone. In a great chair, at a great little cafe, with a great friend. We chatted - it's been too long - so many things to talk about. She is a relatively new knitter so I had fun being a mentor. I gifted her the Thermis Cowl I knit, for her birthday - I put the buttons on this morning under the buzzer. Two women at the cafe approached us and commented on it - they liked it but didn't know what it was - I assured them that cowls are the thing. Tina raved to this ladies about my knitting skills so much I was embarassed - in a good way. aw, shucks.

On Friday, I was at a gathering at my husband's work place when his co-worker's wife sought me out. She started something like this..."I'm really not a stalker" - I was charmed for real. It was so nice to be in a place where bikes are made to have a chance to talk knitting with a serious knitter for an hour. As a purely-for-the-fun of-it-biker-fish out of water I suddenly felt comfortable. We chatted up about Ravelry, patterns, gatherings, what knitting is to us. It was nice to meet you Jeanie! Remember you promised to comment *wink, wink*

On Saturday, I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I ramble on about it here. I really have to recommend this one. It appeals, at least in part, to the animal loving part of me. My nickname is not the Pied Piper for nothing - it is not uncommon for me to have a cat or dog, or both next to me no matter where I am - putting on my make-up, taking a bath, reading, writing on my blog (hello, Ernest - who is at my knee right now). Peaknit the Pied Piper - kinda works. Anyways - if you read, I'd love to hear what you think - the reviews might be mixed, we'll see.

Finally, I also did some more spinning this weekend, I had a very nice fiber related weekend - but it's hard to divide my time between my favorite-est albeit selfish things to do, knitting, spinning, reading. A working mom only has so many hours in the day - and I think I need to spend more of them sleeping for awhile. Night Night bloggy friends.

**ETA: I just listened to Oprah's live webcast with the author of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski - listening absolutely added to the richness of this moving book for me. It made even deeper sense of things for me. Just an FYI, the webcast will be available on tomorrow and the podcast on ITunes.:)

Monday, January 19, 2009

giddyup - spin-cessful!

I have a skein of handspun that has made me squee with delight...ah. I looked at it, held it, talked to it, rocked it - yay - loving this handspun. I might just dress it up and put it in a pram - my baby. 140 usable yards - I'm pretty excited.

yarn love mosaic
Yarn Love superwash merino in Fairy Tale

I was off today and spun some more and watched the last bits of Band of Brothers. I had a chance to go to Slumdog Millionaire by my lonesome - but I was too lazy. Or maybe I was enjoying the house to myself? I confess, I read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and napped under my heated throw blanket - not a bad day. not one bit.

I also did some secret knitting - my knitting penpal, Christine, and I have a little single sock swap coming up - I'm in love with this sock - I can't wait to share... Meanwhile my Inga Hat and Acer sweater languish. And did you see Kirsten's new mitten pattern? I need another day off.

yay tomorrow btw. historical. wonderful. hopeful.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

ramblings...sock yarn...and a movie

Something is so liberating about clearing things out my stash. Ravelry lends itself so nicely to this process. I have been thinning the herd, but I need to be straight with you and say - I have been buying things from other people's stashes. I have been trading up in some sense for things that I am more content to share my space with. (like some Plucky MCN, some coveted Hello Yarn club fiber - squee!) Give a little get a little. And I'm not out anything except a little time, whew. The good news is I haven't been spending any new money - that is a good thing. Because seriously, I'm feeling embarrassingly overindulgent about my stash - 2009 must mean a new leaf. I mean, look at this economy - sheesh. Time to get a grip, Peaknit!

But first, I do have a couple of yarny things to share...just two more things, generous holiday gifts...

I was given some Julie Spins, thank you very much knitting penpal - Christine somehow manages to always send me new things. The Merino/ Cashmere/ Nylon (MCN) bases slay me. Period.

Julie Spins Grapelicious

Another exciting thing is Yarntini's Happy Hour Sock Club - the memberships close tomorrow - so grab up! She is offering a choice of some of her favorite self-stripings as an extra little something for a great price. I just love her vibrant colors - she was my first favorite indie dyer. My first indie love, you know kind of like you always love your first boyfriend? It's like that. I have been lucky enough to get treated to a membership for no apparent reason, just generosity and kindness...such yarn blessings in '09.

Yarn-love aside - I was so moved by a I saw a movie last night - I really need to share. The Reader (based on this book) with Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes. I saw it at the Sundance theater with my sister and just the trailors thralled me (I know, trailors! independant films are like that for me, I want them all - damn, like indie dyers, huh?). Anyways, I read the book years ago and was touched by. It's sentimental for me. The movie was adapted flawlessly. The story is sort of painful - a May-December relationship deeply affects a naive teenager - later played by Fiennes, in such a way, it distracts him - from living. The emotions are palpable.

In addition to the deeply touching story, the act of reading, the need for it, is a thread through the film - this hits it out of the park for me - a reader - I feel bonded somehow. And lastly, I came home to the Golden Globes - Kate Winslet picked up best supporting actress - the icing on the cake.

next up - Revolutionary Road - I started reading it last night and it just happens to be coming out next Friday - another Winslet award winner. hmm.

Friday, January 09, 2009


Stricken is the best word I can come up with about my latest read. Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed...

wally lamb

I am utterly disappointed with this one. I waited until the new year to savor this, ack! I loved his other books so much - but this was a confusing, over-populated mess in my humble opinion. This review nails it.

But it leads me to share that I have started a new blog with my formerly-blogless knitting penpal Christine. We are both avid readers and have decided to blog about it together. I yap about Lamb's book more there. Anyways, Christine and I have our own personal reading goals - mine continues to be the 52 books in 52 weeks plan. I was stunned to see Ravelry has a group named the same - Ravelry truly has everything. It's one stop shopping.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

the road ahead...

This year is getting off to an interesting start - I can see far into my knitting/ reading future as my queue grows faster than I can knit or read. I have such a glorious pile of books, it is making me a little anxious. I have several on loan to me from my brother-in-law and I am antsy thinking, "I should read and get these back" but then books like Citizen Soldier show up today from and omg, I want to dig in after my Band of Brother's Marathon. Okay, I took lamaze - I need to do my breathing hoo hoo hoo. I'll get to it all, right?

Then I have knitting projects piling up next to my stack of books. I have cast on several things since the beginning of the year and wound yarn for several more. I knit some simple mittens for my 3-year-old with the leftovers of the handspun from my Toasty - and as luck would have it I ran out of yarn at the thumbs - so I unraveled the tops of my Toasty mitts and knit the thumbs - they were connected as if by an umbillical cord - much like me and the receiver of these tiny mittens - it was kind of fun - proving that even frogging can be fun, or a journey perhaps.


I also knit a hat for my daughter's American Girl Doll. It is Through The Loops! pattern for the Thorpe - just downsized, I used dk yarn on a size 7 needle and knit the medium hat, could have probably knit the small - and knit as is. My big sweetie took the hat to school to showcase it to all of her buddies, I thought that was special.


Today I had a little time at the hospital where my father-in-law was getting a tune-up to swatch for my Acer. I really want to finish this sweater before spring, and getting the swatch out of the way is liberating. I have it blocking right now - my lazy self really hopes this is a one-swatch project. Then I cast on an Inga hat for my husband - he decided that as long as the colors matched his tri-bike, the nordic-y-ness of the hat made it manly, so well see. And I also wound some Yarntini Peaknit sportweight for a baby sweater for someone - just because I wanted to wind some yummy pink bubblegum yarn, and I always have big ideas of how many projects one person needs to fill a day at the hospital - never touched it. Good intentions...aren't they supposed to pave the road to hell? Oh jeez, here I come.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

knits of 2008

knitting 2008

I've seen so many cool mosaics of people's "year in knitting" - I had to go back and remind myself what I have accomplished. Wow, 28 FO - not including 3 single socks, or other little half knits. I'm pleased - what will my goal for 2009 be?

Looking back, 2008 has been a year of firsts. I purchased my first wheel after many bits of sage advice from Bockstark, I took a class, I even spun 4-5 skeins - for now it is quiet. I haven't made the time to spin. Somehow I have compiled a helluva fiber stash though...I'll get back to it, promise

I have knit two sweaters - though, for the record one was in pieces and just needed seaming - but I have two sweaters that I might even wear.

I tried some stranding this year. The endpaper mitts were a perfect project, and the Selbu - though we had a rough go at times, I ended up loving her.

It was interesting to page back through my projects, each unlocks a little memory. I knit on my February Sweater in the hospital when my grandma had surgery. I worked on the Embossed Leaves while watching Paper Moon, I was also mad at my husband for something - but thankfully, that I have forgotten. I finished the red Evangeline's while home with an epic case of the flu.I knit the Mystery Socks while I vacationed in Florida, something familiar during such a crazy busy week. I knit the endpapers during a marathon of TrueBlood on a day off of work.

I am ready for 2009. I am Toast(ing) in the new year of knitting with my new Toast mitts - Here's to you blogging friends.