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01 May 2007

Great expectations

Well, I ended up a bit long-winded today... there's knitting stuff at the end.

I've been taking actual breaks at work (something new) and walking a little bit -- a couple/few times a week.  I finally have someone to walk with, and that makes all the difference -- my surroundings are rather desolate and without a little company, I'd never do it (I never did).  Using MapMyRunWalk, I've calcuated our route to be a little over a mile each time.  It would be better if it were more, but it is what it is and that's better than nothin'.

Katie and I stepped off the front porch (without a plan/water) for a walk after lunch on Sunday.  It was very warm, so when she suggested the nature center trails, I was all for it -- I thought a little bit of dappled sunshine filtered through the lea... wait a gol' darn minute!  There's nothing dappled at all about sunshine filtered through trees that don't even have any leaves!!  It was a beautiful hike and a nice breeze saved us.  The heat and sun were a bit more than I was prepared for, but I survived and I think I'll even do it again (with a plan/water).

We switched some storms and screens over the weekend, and did a little bit of garden clean-up -- pulled a lot of garlic mustard, and relocated three or four volunteer bleeding hearts (I'll soon be giving them away because I'm running out of places to go).  We figured out the dimensions for a new planter behind one of the pergola benches (I'm envisioning a curtain of pole beans -- I've definitely got a thing about dappled sunshine), and figured out how to finish off an unsightly gap behind the bench.  We also discussed the idea of a fence/screen between our backyard and the neighbors' -- something I've been thinking about for a while (since they tore down the old garage) and the time seems right.  A former resident of that house (and still a current friend) once asked, "How much privacy do you need?"  I'm not anti-social and I already have more privacy than most and it's not like I sunbathe in the nude -- I just want it.  There, I said it.  I don't want the Great Wall and am actually thinking of it more as a sculptural installation, a backdrop for a featured collection of things, or as a canvas for a mural.  There, I've got it.

We could also have talked about replacing our solid oak front door (with the bevelled oval window that I love so much -- feature number one of four that sold me on the house within minutes of entering) with a revolving door, but I'll save that for another day.  It's all good, just, well, events of late leave me feeling a little revolve-y and twirl-y and maybe a little bit dizz-y.

I did not wash the wool from the frogged vest over the weekend, but I did tie it all off neatly and threaded it onto a trouser hanger 'til I'm ready.  I thought maybe tomorrow, but I may be going apartment hunting in Madison with Kate (with the possible bonus of a short visit with Mack).  It looks like Sunday might be the better day, anyway.

My shoulder, wrist and hand were given a desperately needed rest over the weekend.  Last night was the first time I hooked since Thursday, finishing my sixth square.  I'll be knitting/hooking out tonight and should have another to show for it.  Even weekend knitting was limited to the little bit in class on Saturday morning.

Oh yes, I had a knitting class on Saturday morning.  The class was "Vintage Knitting" presented by Joan McGowan-Michael and I've been grappling with my feelings about it since before the session was even half-over.  Joan was lovely, her book and patterns and website are all lovely, the samples she brought to class were quite lovely -- and extra bonus for us that there was a student of perfect proportion and youthfulness to model them all beautifully.  I thought about it all weekend and still, "disappointing" is the only word I could come up with in summation of the actual class.  I expected much more than to be given a photocopy of a magazine article with a verbal rehash of the article and an "I won't bore you with the math," followed by a very literal interpretation of "vintage knitting" in that we knit a bit of lace edging from a "vintage knitting" pattern -- something, she said, she'd just come up with the night before, which left me wondering what had previously been planned -- while she looked through some old pattern books that another student had brought, occasionally passing one around.  It was neither engaging nor inspiring and, judging from some of the activity around me (one person selling her wares to some shop owners in class, a half-dozen others eventually pulling out and working on their own projects), I wasn't alone.

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And yet, in the end, it may be one of the most inspiring and productive classes I've ever taken in that it may yield an actual result!  I've been working on putting a positive spin to it and decided that the only way I can really feel good about the time and money spent is to actually do it -- take a vintage pattern from my collection and update it using the given method.  And if I do that, then the class might actually be considered more successful than some of the others, even though I may have enjoyed them more.

As engaging and hands-on as Lizbeth Upitis & Joyce Williams were -- I dyed yarn, brought some home with me, bought many (many) packets of Kool-aid -- I've never dyed a single skein of yarn outside of class.  Lily Chin's "tips & tricks" packed such a punch that it was almost overload -- I did buy a special tool as a result of that class.  My sample Faroese shawl from Joan Schrouder's class is adorable and almost -- but, alas, still unfinished.  I fell head-over-heels for Fiona Ellis and hung on every word; I run across and pet the freeform cable swatch done in class once in a while and think, "Fiona said she really liked that part," and then I put it down.

That's Sweater #33 from the Vogue Knitting Book, Spring/Summer 1959 (when I was just a wee babe).  The magazine is one of many that were given to me by a friend some time ago and this would be a great way to honor her gift.  I'm going to fool around with #33, I think, perhaps making 3/4 length sleeves and giving it a little more length.  I might have enough Cotton-Ease in white that would be suitable for this project -- or maybe something else.

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There were other models in the magazine, but I was inexplicably drawn to everything this one was wearing -- or maybe just to her.  A little vintage girl crush.  I'll bet she's around my mother's age, and I'll bet she still turns heads.

Wisconsin knitters/vacationers/travelers:  Maisyknits Yarn Shop is new to the list (at right); located in Ripon, it's the only shop I know of that's open 7 days a week!

Comments

That's too bad about the knitting class. It sounds like it should have been great.

Sounds like the teachers wasn't well prepared or thought it wasn't worth her time. Putting a positive spin on it sounds like a great idea because you'll end up with something that's YOURS. Love the idea!

So good to hear that your achey arms are better! Bummer about the knitting class, but I'm glad it inspired you to pull out this great vintage pattern book. Oh! And THANK YOU for the mapmyrun(walk) link -- I hadn't seen this before, and it's such a great resource.

Way to "keep on the sunny side." Vintage girl crush, indeed. My mom likes to say that "tall, slender, blonde women make everything look so bright, shiny and beautiful." But my mom is 4'10" and she is impressed with anyone who is taller than she is...

Knitorious Designs! I like the sound of that:) Glad you're feeling better!

I,too, had a disappointing experience with the last knitting class I took. It was to be a 3 hour class. Started 30 minutes late and ended 30 minutes early. It was meant to cover changing numbers on patterns so we could alter things. Only thing covered was how to change a pattern from one weight yarn to another; did not address how to change increase/decrease rates or change necklines or armholes or any of the stuff I thought should have been included. I walked out feeling I had wasted my afternoon and been taken advantage of since I did get the three hours I had paid for.

Vintage Girl Crush, I like that!
It's hard not to like those perfect fitted styles if you have lived/knitted through the oversized boxy 80"s!
I'm glad you were able to get something out of the class.

Good for you, making lemonade out of lemons. *high5*

And hey, a mile is GOOD! Don't discount your effort - anytime you move that body is good for your heart!

How about some old-fashioned sweet peas in that planter? Or maybe it is already a bit late to plant them; I know they are an early-in-the-ground seed. I'm partial to their fragance -- imagine sitting in your pergola with that sweet scent wafting over you. Pure heaven.

As a teacher it would just pain me to think that anyone came away feeleing that way. Food for thought - but I love you positive spin on it. New store in Ripon!!! I think that's close to Green Lake? Good to know when we make our obligatory trip there this summer to see Jon's reletives...

Privacy is great, IMHO. I love people but it is really nice (and necessary) to have personal time and space so I can continue to love people. Find whatever privacy you need. :-)

Madison, eh??!

I also took that Vintage Knitting in San Diego and loved it. Ms. Michael showed wonderful garments that were made from actual vintage patterns or were designed using elements of the same and it really inspired me. Sorry you felt disappinted, but I can't imagine why.

Sorry to feel your disappointment this far away, but I do understand the desire to re-work some of these great designs. I hope you are on the mend; have been dealing with some of the same aches by rotating what I focus on and trying to get more exercise... age is just a number, right?

Oh no my friend, The Sow's Ear in Verona, WI is open 7 days a week.

http://www.knitandsip.com/contact.htm

love it love it love it.

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