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Sunday, December 24, 2006

kitty: Happy Holidays to one and all

Wishing you and your families all a wonderful Holiday season. May the New Year be filled with lots of crafty goodness.

Kitty Kitty

PS. Don't forget to enter the contest.... ho ho ho

kitty: Knitbuddies first Holiday Contest... ho ho ho

You know it is kind of funny if you think about your fondest memories of Christmas and how funny they would sound to other people. Then on the other hand the elements that are similar and cross generations due to traditions. In the last couple of days I have really been setting and thinking a lot about my Christmas memories and the sorrows that have occurred in my life on December 25th. As years pass my ability to deal with Christmas has really dwindled to the point I find myself bursting into tears for no apparent reason. Not healthy I know.

So here are some of my fondest memories as a child.................

... Mom never forgetting to get me an advent calendar so I could count down the days. I am so thankful she continues even now to send me.
... Spending countless nights with mom in the kitchen getting all the Christmas Cookies and Candies ready. What I wouldn't do for some Mamie Eisenhower Million Dollar Fudge, Jets (funny the first link on Google is for the Roanoke Magazine), or what the family called T's cookies.
... Waking up on Christmas morning and having to wait for Granddaddy to put on his green Sansabelt pants and his red alpaca golf sweater.
... Knowing that there would be something maple sugar in my stocking and those little bottles of liquor filled chocolates.
... That Santa Elf T, would have all of Santa's gifts displayed like a fantasy store window.

... The dear stocking that Santa Elf L made when I was a child and then updated it to Calla Lilies when I was older. I always treasured them and I doubt she knew how much they meant to me.
... Putting the tree up on Christmas Eve and watching Granddaddy put one light on every branch and making sure it is perfectly balanced. And I do mean perfect, Granddaddy was a perfectionist in all he did.
... Grandma's stuffing balls and gravy
... Or how magical the table was always set with more food than anyone should eat, date nut bread, and all the Christmas cookies/candies.

As an adult my fondest memories would have to be...........

... My first Christmas with M and his insane obsession with Christmas music.
... The year the servers went down for one of our clients and we had to drive to the ISP to reset the servers at 1:am Christmas morning in the snow. The realization that the sacrifices we make are important for our employees and clients over the holidays.
... M surprising me that he tried to buy me a spinning wheel and called dealers that we had seen at MS&W. Unfortunately he didn't know the difference between a loom or a wheel. :) You don't know how touched I was that he was doing this all as a surprise. This years surprise that he is going to buy me a loom.
... Different International Cuisine for dinner during the holiday.

So now you are probably wondering why I have made you read through my Christmas memories. It is so exciting that MG and I are getting to celebrate another Christmas with our blog friends this year. I am very thankful for all your kind words of encouragement and support over the past year. I thought really hard about what I could make to give your all as little Christmas presents. The first year I came up with the needle chart to keep in your purse. This year I really couldn't come up with a good idea to make something to post. So I decided on the First Knitbuddies Contest.

So What is this about a Contest???????

I would love to hear your favorite holiday memory. They don’t have to be about crafting, knitting, spinning, or weaving… we’re talking about your fondest memory of the holiday new and old! Leave your memories in the comments by Friday, January 5 at midnight EST. (Don't forget to include some way to find you, blog url or email) There will be one or two winners depending on the number of comments we receive. the winner will be picked randomly. The person who wins, will receive a $30.00 gift certificate from either my favorite online yarn store or a bookseller and another surprise depending on whether it is crafty or literary. It will be your choice.

Just a little thank you for being our net friends and being their for support over the previous year. Have a warm and happy crafty holiday..... back to work for me time waits for no one....

Kitty Kitty

Saturday, December 23, 2006

MG: an end

sometimes, everything in one's power is not enough. sometimes, i'm my worst enemy. at the juncture of a spectacular failure, of an end that didn't have to be, an end to the life i wanted. all i can do now is shed a few jars of angry tears then gather the pieces, hold them closer, and march forward...

because time is lived in one direction ...because i fought as best i knew how ...because even if i were to puzzle together the girl i want to be from these fragments, she would still require inhabiting to cement her.

in the mean time: the longest night of this year was pregnant with stars; the Garden State soundtrack has just enough angst, just enough guilt, just enough sadness sprinkled with hope to allow soaking in heartbreak without despair; and finally, tea and knitting make things better, for a little while.

Alishan Oolong & knitting, Far Leaves Tea

Thursday, December 21, 2006

kitty: weave, weave, weave

In an ideal world, there would be:

Time to Weave
Time to Spin
Time to Knit
Time to Dye
Time to learn
Time to travel the world to explore new crafts ......

The harsh reality is there are never enough hours in the day to explore every dream one has. Though I am certainly glad that I have started to weave.

I have definitely deiced that there is a loom in my future. I am not sure I am ready to invest in a new one, but my weaving teacher is keeping the eyes out for me for a good used one.

There is something magical about the fact that by just setting at a loom you can make fabric. I don't think anyone who weaves will ever look at a bolt of fabric the same way. To see groups of strings being lifted and dropped and a piece of cloth is being born before your eyes.

Ahhhhh..Fabric..... weave, weave, weave...

Not the most exciting weave structure in the world. Just a simple plain weave that has twill woven stripes. I wanted to start with something really simple so I could really concentrate on learning the fundamentals, but using amazing fibers.

Two more photo links for you: Click Here - Click Here

Updated: As Mia pointed out, M is getting me a loom For Christmas. It was going to be a surprise, but I kind of ended up finding out about it. :) So there definitely will be a loom in my future, I just have to be patient. Unless I can find room for 45"*37" in my office.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

kitty: ah......

That pretty much sums up how I feel!
Holiday Knitting Report!
Something for Mom - Just need to weave in the ends
Something for MG - Well I know what I want it to be, does that count?
Something for Mia - Well the yarn has been spun, but um, still need to ply and oh knit it. I even started before Thanksgiving
White Sweater for M - Yarn and pattern in hand
Knit the center of a table cloth that looks like a snowflake, take a photo, print, and mail Christmas Cards
  ......Oh and finish a project by the 28th that has M and I working 20 hour days

So, know you know why I feel like Kattie up above. Where has all the time gone this year. And this bloody warm weather really isn't helping to get any of us in the Chirstmas Spirit.

Geuss things will just get done late or I could go with less sleep...I look at all the sites where people have loads of stuff completed and ready to be sent out and I feel like such a slacker this year.

Here is a fun link to share with you:

I was surfing around on Shanghai Tang, for last minute gifts and came across this totally awesome sweater. Check out the needles and ball of yarn. I thought it was totally awesome.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

kitty: you know, knitting hits main stream when...

one of the commercials during a J-Pop Awards Show is......
...the hair growth results vary with individuals
(loosely translated)
(Images captured from the commercial that aired during, The Best Artist 2006 show, Nov 29, 2006 in Japan.)

Yes, that's right, the Prince of Knitting is doing a Hair Loss commercial that is getting pretty expensive air time. The Best Artist 2006 is a show about best musical artist during 2006 voted on by 16million fans.

Here are a few links to read more about the Prince of knitting:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

MG: story time here too

Cara's Story Time post touched my heart and settled there. i've been turning her story over and over in my head since i read it. i ache for her pain and admire what she did in the face of expectation. but at this moment, the deepest impression lies in the fact she told the story. i think most of us guard our difficulties with feelings akin to shame. it's a way to protect ourselves; it's what we are asked to do--hide our sweat and tears; smile to the world; stiff upper-lip.

finding our way in life--to meaningful days, to who we want to be--is messy. such storytelling is comfort for both tellers and hearers, so here is another...

once upon a time, there was a smart little girl. she took college classes while still in high school, finished university with a double major, honors, and a thesis in three years, then promptly received a fellowship to graduate school in her field of interest. she had known since the age of 17, since the first class in that subject, what she wanted to study, so off she went.

there was a problem though. this little girl was closely and pathologically conditioned about who she is and is not allowed to be, what she is and is not allowed to have. a part of her was broken, the way horses are broken.

nine years later, she is still fighting--tooth and nail--for that PhD. by the end of this semester, she has to take the next step or this path is closed to her forever. this is still what she wants to do with her life, her time: an academic, an explorer of unknowns, a discoverer of truths, a promoter of knowledge. making sense of chaos. for what could we accomplish without first knowing, and what could we not accomplish if we were to understand. but taking that next step might be more than she is able.

there it is, and here i am.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

kitty: oh no.......

So it is true, another knit/spinning blogger has bit the bullet and started weaving. For the last 2 weeks I have been carefully setting up the threading of my loom for my first project. So the picture up above really isn't much to look at. I just need to finish the other half of the beater and I am ready to start. All my headles are strung.

I am using an old dry spun Irish Linen that from what the teacher guesses was probably from the 40's or 50's. The studio that I am studding at has a quiet old candy room where there is yarn on spools dating back until the 30's. As you can imagine the room is quiet magical, but quiet dirty and dusty as well. I am just amazed that the facility has had a rebirth the last two years. Before that it had just sat dormant for many years.

For the weft, I am really thinking about using some of the Habu silk that I have in my collection. I have a brown and a pumpkin orange.

I really haven't decided on the weave structure, but I have been reading a lot about the design philosophy of Anni Albers. There is something really magical about her and her husband's work.

"A longing for excitement can be satisfied without external means, within oneself; for creating is the most intense excitement one can come to know."

-Anni Albers

What is amazing is how many of her designs we really take for granite as part of our mainstream textile designs. She taught at Bauhaus for many years and then moved to the United States and lectured at Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

“the thread should speak for itself, that somehow the hand of the artist, the hand of the craftsperson, the hand of the weaver wasn’t going to interfere with how the thread wanted to be seen,”

- Matilda McQuaid,
a Cooper-Hewitt curator
for the Anni Albers works.

I have been finding a lot of resources about her weaving and textile designs.

Here are a few:

Analysis of Anni Albers 3-ply Tapestry

A diagram for one of her tapestry

Ancient Writing at the Smithsonian American Art Museum - The piece reminds one of a rosetta stone of an unknown languagee.

On Weaving (Dover Craft Books)
by Anni Albers
Publisher Information:
Dover Publications 2003

(My nighttime reading as of late)




Anni Albers
by Anni Albers, Nicholas Fox Weber, Pandora Tabatabai Asbaghi
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; New Ed edition (July 2003)

(My nighttime reading as of late)

Anni Albers and Ancient American Textiles: From Bauhaus to Black Mountain
by Virginia Gardner Troy
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing (August 1, 2002)

(trying to get inter-library loan)




Anni Albers
by Nicholas Weber, Nicholas Fox Weber (Editor), Pandora Tabatabai Asbaghi (Editor)
Cover Image
Pub. Date: October 1999

(trying to get inter-library loan)

Woven and Graphic Art of Anni Albers: Essays by Nicholas Fox Weber, Mary Jane Jacob, and Richard S. Field
by Nicholas Fox Weber
Pub. Date: May 1985

(trying to get inter-library loan)


I can only imagine how magical it would have been to take a class with her in NC.

I really want to do one of her simple 4 harness designs, we will see if I can do it. Maybe it is only a newbies dream, but we will see. I could really fall in love with weaving I fear. I do have a couple of looms in the basement so that doesn't help at all with the looming fear.

Monday, December 04, 2006

kitty: hurry up and wait socks are almost born

The Specs:
Pattern: "Hurry up and Wait" (My Own Pattern)
Shelridge Farm, R.R. #2, ON Canada NOB 1 BO - in Thistle Flower 100% Wool Soft Touch Ultra
Time: Only one sock done, but about 4 hours
Unknown since it was a Sweet Halloween Gift from Mia

The name of these socks was born out of the realization that the majority of my life is spent waiting; waiting for computer programs to run, waiting for clients to call, waiting for M to be ready to leave the house, waiting for M to help me with the project I am working on, waiting on M so we could actually eat, waiting, waiting, waiting. This project is taking a small portion of that hurry up and wait time when I am in public. It has been living in my purse. I had really not wanted to work on it at home. So I could really estimate how long it would take, about 2 weeks. I did cheat and do the toe in bed over the weekend while watching movies though.

I am really enjoying the yarn. It is slightly overspun, but it knits up nicely. I was really happy with my cable stitch definition. It is soaking in a sink with Soak as I type so we will see how it washes up.

The Habu scarf is coming along slowly. Only 36 inches to go on 2's and 1's. WOHO!!! I must say the fabric is lovely, but I really don't own the right needles for this project. The hair size yarn falls off way to easily and with the weight of the scarf just runs down 20 -30 rows before you can even grab the crochet hook. I don't know what I would do without M a couple of times when he has held the needles as I picked up the stitches.

Better get to work. Deadlines are pressing, but I am in one of those hurry up and wait times!