Updates from June, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 10:15 am on June 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply  


    buckminster-fullerWe went yesterday to see the (thankfully) extended exhibit on Buckminster Fuller at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art.  This had been on our radar, and almost missed it.  The exhibit had a lot of his personal sketches and correspondence, and 3 separate films.  This man was truly a visionary, and inventor.  He was a great proponent of the geodesic dome, prefabbed housing, housing for the poor, and most importantly, a plan to share the world’s resources evenly.  Now imagine that.   My only disappointment was the realization that he had taken an idea from a former student and later called it his own with no credit.  Kind of knocked him down a bit in my viewpoint.  Also, in looking at the exhibit, you can clearly see influences that were taken by Frank Lloyd Wright years later.  Bucky was one prolific writer, and speaker.  I had the fortune to see him speak the year prior to his death.  He spoke for 4 hours straight, a departure from the usual 8-10 of earlier years.  It was quite interesting, and a highlight of my school years.


    My knitting is chugging along, I want to finish some things so that I can start a new, exciting large project.  I started a new pair of socks yesterday for my husband.  Just plain ribbed socks, but they work well for traveling on the el, or driving in a car.  

    I want to start these socks for myself, loved them when I saw them on Ravelry.  We are going to the beach for the 4th, and I think that these might be the best project.  They have been viewed by over 8,000 people on Ravelry—amazing.  This is a great example of simplicity really thought out well.2504602449_79be1a0131_m

  • knitting1105 8:29 am on June 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Keep your fingers moving 

    women knitting

    I found this article on the Internet the other day about staving off dementia. Most everyone knows that knitting is good for the brain, in addition to great end results for yourself or others. I had always heard that needing to use math, the memorization, etc. were the reasons. Here comes a new one, keeping your fingers moving. That one surprised me a bit. They talk about kids that used to use an abacus had better memories later because their fingers were moving. I suspect that it has as much to do with the mental math as anything, because my fingers are moving quite rapidly as I type this posting, and I am not sure that will keep my mind properly exercised. In any case, I will be continuing to knit, enjoy the products, enjoy the fun of it, and hope that my brain gets a good workout.

    Move your fingers to improve your brain

    Many people marvel that Asian children seem so intelligent. It could be because they use their fingers more frequently. They eat with chopsticks and at one time, they used to compute with an abacus in school. In fact, some studies have been done with children who use an abacus daily, and findings show that engaging the fingers stimulates nerve endings that go directly to the brain, increasing circulation. Take advantage of this by practicing motor activities that use your fingertips, like crocheting, knitting, and other arts and crafts where you are manipulating small parts. Try playing the piano or a stringed instrument. 

    Why does this work? A map of the brain shows that the nerve endings on your fingertips correspond to more areas of the brain than any other body area, except perhaps the tongue and lips. Therefore, finger exercise and movements can be useful in stimulating the neurons in the brain. The National Institute of Mental Health conducted experiments that showed finger exercises enlarged the capacity of the participants’ brains, increased connections between neurons, forged new neural pathways, and increased circulation to the brain areas. The researchers concluded that finger exercise contributed significantly to brain plasticity, the ability of the brain to renew itself. Increased circulation means more oxygen and nutrients for the brain cells and decreased waste products that clog up the brain.

  • knitting1105 12:04 pm on June 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    And the Heavens opened up… 


    Wednesday was the third day in a row of scorching heat, and my house had finally succumbed.  I can keep the coolness in by shutting all the windows, pulling shades, and using fans, for about 2 days.  I had asked my son and husband to try and remove the storm window in the dining room so that we could get our big A/C unit in, but they were unable to get the unit off (it was well caulked).  Last year when we went to install it, we realized that our new, much more efficient storm windows reduced the opening size by just enough to cause the air conditioner to not fit in.  We hobbled along with an old relic that was way too small last year, and I did not want to repeat that. Not to mention that a week of 90’s and 100’s was to come. Well, about 1:00 in the afternoon, the skies darkened, the wind picked up, and I opened the windows hoping to capture all of that cool breeze. Then the rain started, and just as I opened the side door of the house, leaves and branches came flying down the gangway, and I heard a huge crack. I went upstairs to find the carnage shown. Apparently we got about 3.5 inches of rain in about an hour, and winds coming from all directions. At times, the rain was horizontal. Luckily, 3 people had decided to park in front of my house, and I had to park across the street. I was a bit peeved at the time, as they also blocked my sidewalk. Well, underneath the tree in the photos is the car that took my normal parking spot. I bet they won’t be parking there again.

    And, my favorite contractor came to the rescue on Thursday morning to uninstall our storm window and get the monster A/C unit put in place. I rewarded him with an ice cream maker in addition to his fee (well worth it, as it remained hot the rest of the week).

  • knitting1105 1:00 pm on June 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Louie the couch potato 


    Well, actually the Moser Chaise Lounge potato.  I needed some comic relief, and Louie came to the rescue.  He is such a goofball, but a sweetie none the less.  

    Twisted my ankle at the “South Oak Park Housewalk” after-party.  I was serving hors d’oeveurs, and the went out to clean up.  Missed the last step and fell on the patio.  My ego was bruised as well, and I was most concerned about the red wine on my favorite summer pants.  In spite of everything, when I finally got home late in the morning, I took them downstairs, and soaked them in OXO and Charlies soap, and voila, all cleaned up.  Jim brought me crutches, which I have been thankful for.  Yesterday I did a bit too much, I am taking it slower today, and keeping my foot up.

    Look at this posting about the walk on Strange Closets:


    I have continued to work on my Hanne sweater.  What a lot of knitting!  If your resolution is good, you will see one darker stripe on the back.  I got my sequencing wrong in one 3 row section, and decided to leave it.  These colors are so close I wasn’t sure that it would matter at first.  I am not ripping it back for 2 reasons: I think that I am the only one who will notice it, and it provides me with a reminder of how effective this technique is; and as the Amish do, you put one mistake into every project so that it does not appear that you are trying to be perfect as only God can be.  I have also added the slip stitches to the arm edge for pick-up.  the pattern says specifically NOT to, but no matter how much I thought about it, it made most sense to put them there.   The pick-up ratio is the same as for the front banding, and this will give a clear definition of where to pick up, and make a very clean line.  I hope that I don’t live to regret this decision, as ripping it back would cause this to be shoved into the back closet.


  • knitting1105 12:11 pm on June 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply  


    I am now back from my trip to California, and trying to get my house in order, and everything cleaned up.  My husband and son did a fair job of keeping things in order while I was gone.  Lloyd was very happy to see me, appparently he was very depressed while I was gone.

    Our last full day in SF, Jill and I drove up to Petaluma.  Had a very nice lunch at an Italian restaurant, went antique shopping at this beautiful old bank that is now an antique store (where I found the coolest item, must call to see about the shipping), and then went to visit Mimi on her farm.  I had met Mimi the previous weekend at the Marin Farmer’s Market, where she had her old Toyota truck backed up as her stall, hay bales sitting on it, and a table with baskets of yarn from the sheep and llamas that she had grown.   I stopped to talk with her, and she gave me a card that said that she gave tours of her farm.  So, we arranged for Saturday, and drove up to visit her.  

    After driving out of the town of Petaluma for several miles, through beautiful roling hills, we drove up a beautiful driveway lined with American Black Walnut trees providing a wonderful canopy of shade and enclosure.  The path opened out onto a small circular drive, surrounded by pastures with llamas and goats, a ramshackle barn, a wonderful outdoor patio that separated the barn from her house, and the beat-up Toyota truck, along with 3 other various types of vehicles that looked like they had been parked for quite some time.  Mimi came out to greet us, and Jill and I had to take off our cute walking shoes for something more practical, and suited to walking in the pastures.  Mimi is a joy, full of life and vigor.  Always seems to be happy and positive.  She has 26 acres, and we saw the llamas (not friendly at all), goats, and went into the sheep pasture.  A young boy sheep with the most beautiful brown coat was very friendly with Jill and followed us.  Mimi then showed us the wool form the sheep and llamas at various stages, and the wool that she had dyed on the old viking stove sitting out in the patio space (the wonderful thing about California is the outdoor cooking areas that you can have and actually use).

    I ended up purchasing 2 skeins of a bulky wool that had been dyed with the black walnuts from the trees.  I really did not have a need or much of a desire to purchase more wool (still reeling from the moth scare), but felt obligated to get something after all of the time that she spent with us, and how sweet she was. And, I love how the deep chocolate brown color looks.  Now, what to make?  I was thinking a garter stitch Faroese shawl.  Would be warm and beautiful, just letting the colors show through.


  • knitting1105 11:43 am on June 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Sliky Tweed sweater 

    This is a sweater that I finished for my sister a couple of years ago.  It is an Elizabeth Lavold design, knit up with the Silky Tweed yarn.  The combination of fibers make this yarn drape so beautifully when knit up.  It is light-weight, and easy to wear in moderate temperatures.  I also both like how the yarn holds the cables, and the design of the sweater itself.

    I have some of her yarn in my infamous stash that I need to use up, and a long-languishing UFO that really just needs to be sewn together.  Seeing this sweater again first-hand makes me want to finally complete the other sweater.  




  • knitting1105 11:17 am on June 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Marilyn’s socks 

    I finished up the socks for my sister the day that she had surgery.  Marilyn was one of the oldest kids in our family, and she was like a mother to Jill who was the youngest.  So, I thought it only fitting that these socks go to Jill.  She loves them, although being wool, they are not really appropriate for the summer SF weather.  I love how the Monkey sock pattern worked up with this highly variegated yarn.  They remind me of the colors of the ocean.  



    Continuing to work on the Hanne Falkenberg Butterfly jacket.  It is a bit of a slow go.  240 stitches per row on size 2.  The deceiving part is that it is compressed right now, and will relax when washed up.  

    Went to Berkeley the other day with my sister.  Saw the Chapel of the Chimes by Julia Morgan, a wonderful Chapel devoted to creamation.  An amazing unfolding of small spaces.  Hard to describe, and these photos don’t really show the interior private spaces where there is room after room of walls filled with vessels.  Looked like an old gothic library at first sight.



    Then we tried to go into Bernard Maybeck Church in Berkeley, but it was locked up.  I will have to return to Oakland/Berkeley in the future and tour the Maybeck and Morgan edifices more thoroughly.  


    • theLady 2:40 am on June 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Oh hey! If you come back to Berkeley, you need to check out Lacis on Adeline at Ashby, if you haven’t already been. Are you back home yet?
      Also, I would venture to say that those socks are appropriate even now – at least here in the East Bay we’ve had heavy duty June Gloom, I’ve been wearing wool myself.

      Did you get to hit up some yarn shops in the East Bay? We’ve got a lot if you’d like a list. 🙂


    • theLady 2:42 am on June 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      PS – nice socks! Those went quickly!


  • knitting1105 5:44 pm on June 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    25 years and counting 


    When I was growing up, in a family of 10 kids, material things were limited, and that extended to Christmas.  Santa always came, but we also got one other present from one of our siblings.  It was a big deal the day that all of our names were put into a hat, and we picked someone out to shop for a Christmas gift for.  Other than the little things that we found for our parents (with one of their help), this was the only gift that we personnally picked out and shopped for.  There was a dollar limit to what we could spend, and my mother was very good at keeping us to that.  She was so good at shopping for the Santa presents also.  She would set herself a dollar limit, and then keep track to make sure that all of the kids had the same amount spent on them, and the same number of presents to unwrap.  She was very socialistic.  

    So, one year I drew my sister Jill’s name.  I was in college at the time, and made her this sweater.  I am not sure how I finished it with all of my school work (and we usually only finished finals 2-3 days before Christmas).  But, I made her this sweater.   I seem to remember having bought a cone of this wool yarn at the yarn store in Ann Arbor.  I remember making one other sweater similar.  Not even sure if I had a pattern.  My finishing techniques have definitely improved.   Jill now lives in San Francisco, and wears this occasionally.  She says that she gets compliments on it whenever she wears it.  I had forgotten she even had this until she reminded me a few years ago.  Now to keep, wear, and cherish a hand-knit sweater for that long is special.  My sister Janice also has a sweater that I made her somewhere around the same time that she keeps special.  I knit her a Faroese shawl a couple of years back.  I said that anyone that honors my knitting deserves another.

    Who can ask for anything better from a hand-knit gift?

    • Janice 5:02 pm on June 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I love the shawl that you made for me , and the beautiful green sweater was so much better than that mouse trap that you wrapped for me the year you drew my name. Love Janice


      • knitting1105 6:41 pm on June 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Janice, I don’t remember the mousetrap, I thought that it was a bunch of old towels, and that was for 2 reasons—you peeked at every present before Christmas given half a chance, and I didn’t have the sweater finished in time. Love you too!


  • knitting1105 11:39 am on June 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Hanne, Queen of Garter Stitch 


    This is my second Hanne Falkenberg design that I have knitted.  I bought the kit from someone on Ravelry.  When it came, I looked at it and saw 3 VERY closely dyed pinks, and thought I would never be able to keep them straight.  I was in a hurry to grab a knitting project to bring out to CA while I am with my sister.  I had just finished freezing this yarn (from my recent moth problem), and looked at the kit and thought it was all there, planning done for me.  Unfortunately, I grabbed a ton of 1,2 & size 3 needles, none in the right length.  So, I now have 2 more size 1 and 2 circulars.  I tend to use these a lot, and I bet they are on UFO’s.  

    The pattern is just garter stitch.  You start with one color, knit across the row, push back to the beginning of that row, knit with color 2, push back to the beginning of the row again, knit with color 3.  TURN.  And repeat this over and over and over.  This is one of those Zen type knitting projects.  The result of using 3 very similar colors is a beautiful mosaic of pink.  At first glance, it looks like it is a variegated solid, except that it is a regular pattern.  Almost make a glistening pink color.  I love this technique, and want to try it to get stripes on a regular sweater, or using more varied yarns.  Hanne is really a master at the garter stitch.

    The first Hanne Falkenberg sweater that I made was the Ballerina sweater many years ago.  While that is posted on Ravelry, it predates my blog, so here are the photos of that sweater.  I really love the design in it, and the colors.  I get great compliments on the sweater whenever I wear it.  


    • Liesl 7:58 am on June 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, what an intresting technique! Did Hanne “unvent” it? I think I’ll have to try it so I can see what it looks like in “real life!” Can’t wait to see more pictures as you go along.


    • theLady 9:57 am on June 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t visualize this technique – do you knit off of the right hand needle if you’re not turning the work at the end of every row?


      • knitting1105 10:35 am on June 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Let me try to clarify if I can. *You start with yarn color A and knit the first row. Do not turn, slide all of the stitches back to the other end of the needle, knit one row with color B.Do not turn, slide all of the stitches back to the other end of the needle, knit one row with color C. ** These 3 rows were knit with the right side facing. Now turn the work, and repeat from * to ** for the wrong side. Keep repeating these 6 rows, and you end up with a horizontal ribbing. I think that this technique could easily be applied to single row stripes on a stockinette stitch.


  • knitting1105 5:18 pm on June 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Ravelry forums 

    Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil. 
    Elie Wiesel 

    I posted on a Ravelry forum that I had seen a particularly offensive political thread, and pondered what could be done.  The first 6 or so responses were informative.  Then it regressed to people telling me to stay inside my house and not even peek out of the curtains, and essentially vilifying ME for not wanting to see offensive things on Ravelry.  Luckily, the moderator had a posting at the top showing how to not have a thread register on your own account, and I have now blocked my own thread that I started, as I have a thin skin and just don’t like being called names.  Funny thing is, that when I look at the profiles of a lot of these voracious posters, they actually do not knit that much.  Seems that they get a thrill out of beating people up that they haven’t even met.

    This past semester when  I was taking a break from teaching at the community college, I walked past a room where the students were learning some type of computer skills.  The teacher was saying that they needed to type their emails, put them into draft mode, and come back and read them later.  Don’t just press the send button.  I chuckled at the time, but it was probably the best advise that they could be given.  Now if only that could be transferred to some of these Ravelragers.

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