Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Adventures in Knitting

I listed knitting as one of my interests. Here are some projects, two are items I began some time ago and decided to finish last week. The other two are new, done last week and this weekend.

The hat at top right and below, left was one of the two unfinished projects. Done at last! The difference in color is due to the light I used for the close-up. I wanted to show the swirl pattern, but wasn't very successful! You can see the swirl in the Heart Hat below.

The Heart Hat is from a Vogue Knitting pattern in the Winter 92-93 issue, as is the other hat. It's a pattern with variations.

The scarf is for my older granddaughter and the mittens are for me! The scarf is knit in Misti-Alpaca 100% baby Alpaca. It feels softer than a handful of cotton balls!
The mittens were one of my unfinished projects. Only the right thumb was the only thing left to finish. The pattern, "Checkerboard" can be found in the book, "Fox & Geese & Gences", by Robin Hansen. It contains a collection of traditional patterns. The use of two or three colors gives the warmth of lining, since the yarns are not dropped when the color changes, but are carried along the row. The technique is explained in the book.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Things of Childhood

These objects each hold memories from childhood. The pictures show the maternal grandparents who raised me after the death of my mother. It was taken around the time of my birth in 1939.
I very rarely had a babysitter. They took me everywhere they went, whether to a dinner at a friend's house, followed by an evening of bridge, or to Gram's "Sewing Circle" afternoons. Somehow I managed to amuse myself and was never bored. I was always welcomed in these homes. The adults never talked down to me.

The other objects recall different moments of childhood wonder. The little vase bears a Japanese symbol in a circle of words which read, "Goldcastle Made in Japan." The beauty of this vase drew me. I studied its details and made up stories about who the lady and gentleman were. The lady was obviously a musician, and composed wonderful songs which I sang while she played and the gentleman listened. When the music stopped, I received rich gifts of gold, peacocks, and spirited horses.
Sometimes the man was her father, at other times her husband, but in my favourite scenario, he was a handsome prince who came to rescue the lady from a wicked magician. In the latter case, he had to cross the ocean between them and face many dangers. Gigantic sea creatures were, naturally, among these dangers. Since he was the hero, he always conquered.

The seashell, ah! the seashell! Gram said an uncle who was captain of a ship that sailed the Great Lakes gave it to her. "If you put your ear to it", said Gram, "you can hear the sea." I did, indeed, hear the waves crashing on some distant shore, and heard mermaids calling.

Childhood is, or should be, a magical time, when anything is possible. Belief knows no bounds. As we grow up, the myths of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, fairies and elves (although I'm not quite sure these last are myths) are exposed. We enter the world of reality, which useually less pleasant and more complicated than our childhood realms. But we should never lose the ability to dream and let imagination soar, which means we don't become cynical, whatever trials adulthood brings.
We must retain the ability to shape reality with our best dreams and imaginings. How else do inventions come about, astronauts travel to the moon and beyond and scientists discover cures for maladies unconquerable yesterday? Hold onto reality, but take time to dream. Then make a plan to realize those dreams.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

There'll be a change in the weather...

Just as the song of the title says, there's been a change in the weather here. I suspect it was blown in by the heavy winds we had yesterday, continuing today. The weatherman says that it's 34°, but feels like 23°. It feels even lower to me! But, as always, there's cause for rejoicing; the colder it gets here, the sunnier it is!
There's a lot of glorious sun out there, trying desperately to warm things up, but the wind has other ideas. Don't you love it when everything works together to create confusion?
The card immediately above, was made for my older granddaughter, who will become a teenager next month. The House Mouse one will be a Valentine for someone.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

If There's Rain, Can Spring Be Far Behind?

To answer the headline question, yes! Far, far behind! For three days now, we've had low temps--30's!--plus Jack The Ripper fogs at night, so thick they precipitate. When I venture out in daytime, it's like walking in an imaginary land where all is muted, no hard edges. Headlights of cars disperse, unable to pierce adequately the clinging mist.
But all this is not a harbinger of an early spring. Oh, no, not for us hardy too-far-northerners! Never fear, snow will come again. This is just a respite, and a chance to let those 8-foot snow banks melt a little. I do not exaggerate about the 8 feet. Admittedly, they're that tall because of the trusty snowblowers, clearing streets and filling lawns. Soon, the thermometer will
plunge and more snowstorms will come.
Below, two cards made for Ink Stainers challenges.