VKL NYC Homework!

Just a quick reminder that some of the Vogue Knitting Live classes have homework!  Rather than wait till the night before, I am going to look at the homework now, over the holidays, and see what I need to do.

Hey! C’mon. This will be my 4th time attending the NYC event, and the first time that I’ve actually planned to do the homework AHEAD of time!  Usually, it occurs to me while I’m packing my bags the night before.  Yeah, sure I’ve survived and everything is fine.  But why not do myself (and you!) a favor and allow it to be completed in a leisurely fashion?  Why not indeed.

VKL NYC Homework

Luckily 2 out of my 3 classes don’t require homework.

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Maybe that’s one of the reasons I picked them? (Just kidding!)

Knitting Update

Knitting Update

Finally! The update that I’ve been waiting to write and to show you what I’ve done with that beautiful yarn from Shunklies, through Etsy.

Lovely!

I finally decided upon a crocheted scarf that would more clearly display the segue from one color combination to the next.  I also included a couple of rows of white to show off the colors better. (One of the tips from Lucy Neatby in my Vogue Knitting Live class, Various Variegations, last year.)

Knitting Update

Knitting Update

Knitting Update

…and I don’t know if you can tell, but it is really long!

Knitting Update

I’m pretty sure I am going to sew the ends together, so that when I double or triple it to wear I don’t have to worry about it coming apart.

…but wait! There’s more!  I decided to use up the leftover yarn by making a long i-cord that can be used as a necklace or scarf or wrapped around my wrist.

Knitting Update

It’s not done yet…but it sure is pretty…

Knitting Update

and then when that’s done…more projects await…

Knitting Update

Thanks to all the Black Friday / Cyber Monday specials…and this yarn was so lovely. I know I’m eventually going to get some more!

Reading Resolution Report

My New  Year’s Resolutions for the past two years have included reading goals.  I am happy to announce that I have surpassed the goal of reading at least two books each month!

I have been coveting the book Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby for some time now. It’s a collection of his monthly column articles, “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” that ran for a decade in “The Believer.”   I’ll admit that I’ve only read the first two columns but I am already hooked.  He is irreverent, funny, literary and insightful.

Reading

I am going to adopt his reporting method and share my reading adventures on a monthly basis.

Without further ado, here’s November 2014.

Books Bought November 2014

TitleAuthor
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human DietRobb Wolf
Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole HogMatthew McCarry and Stacy Toth
Easy Paleo Gelatin TreatsCaitlin Weeks
Make Ahead Paleo RecipesSarah Swanson
The GriftersJim Thompson
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last ReunionFannie Flagg
The HeistDaniel Silva
Ten Years in the TubNick Hornby
Noro Magazine, Fall Winter 2014Magazine
Debbie Bliss Magazine, Fall Winter 2014Magazine
Vogue Knitting 2014 CrochetMagazine

The abundance in Paleo material was due to Amazon’s Kindle special of Paleo-oriented eBooks for $0.99 and above – well, even one was free!  I could not resist!

One of my book clubs is reading The Heist. I’m not liking it so far, but I keep telling myself that book clubs help me read material other than what I would choose on my own.  It will be interesting to listen to the others’ reviews.

Here is my November Reading Report

TitleAuthorRating
You Should Have KnownJean Hanff KorelitzOkay
The Warmth of Other SunsIsabel WilkersonThumbs Down (did not finish)
Twenties GirlSophie KinsellaThumbs Down (did not finish)
The GriftersJim ThompsonReally Liked
The Last RunawayTracy ChevalierReally Liked
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last ReunionFannie FlaggNot enthralled, still reading
The HeistDaniel SilvaStill Reading
Ten Years in the TubNick HornbyLoving it so far
Pros & ConsJanet Evanovich and Lee GoldbergHated it
Beyond BaconMatthew McCarryYUM! Will be a good reference.
Easy Paleo Gelatin TreatsCaitlin WeeksUninspiring

I really enjoyed The Last Runaway and The Grifters this month. The Last Runaway is about a Quaker Woman who lives in a community on The Underground Railroad route.  It’s a fascinating read on slavery, Quakers, relationships, history (and quilting) and was written by the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring (on my To Read list) Tracy Chevalier.

The Grifters, written in the 1970’s, is about a man who lived primarily by conning people, but it is also about how he had a normal life in order to hide the illegal one. Since it was written over 3 decades ago, it also provides a glimpse into the culture and customs of that era (in which I grew up!).   This one was made into a movie (for which Anjelica Houston was nominated for an Oscar).  Some members of my book club want to read this during a busy month, so they can watch the movie instead. I think it would be better to read the book first and then all watch the movie together!

I am admittedly into New Year resolutions.

Sometimes the better resolutions come to mind before (or after?!) January!

I found this in some notations I had made over the summer:

I am going to be true to myself, keep my eyes open, and be open to possibilities.

Food for thought as the new year approaches.

Cut Out Evolution 3

MoMA’s Matisse Cut Out Exhibition

…or you know you’re a knitter when you see knitting pattern possibilities when looking at one of art’s great masters.

Verve Cut Out

ES was in town for Thanksgiving and took me to the MoMA’s Exhibition of Matisse Cut Outs as a birthday gift.  It was a perfect gift – getting to spend time with my son, going into the city, and going to the MoMA.  (Then, of course, I took him to lunch [at Momofuku Ma Peche, which we spontaneously selected due to proximity to the museum] which we both enjoyed before heading back home.)

 

MatissCut Oute started doing cut outs from paper when he was putting together designs for his works.  It seems simple enough, I’m sure many of us have done it.  When I first walked into the exhibition, I thought, well, this is interesting but is it really art?  The exhibit also displayed quotes that some people weren’t sure of it either.

 

 

But then as his work and the exhibition continued, you can see it evolving from simple paper cutouts to his thought processes…

Cut Out Evolution 1

 

 

 

 

Cut Out Evolution 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut Out Evolution 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and in some cases, they had the final result – the actual artwork (like a lovely stained glass window) next to its respective cut outs (not pictured in this post).

You know when some people just have a knack for composition and colors, they make it look so easy.  That’s what this exhibit was about. I love colors and loved the way Matisse placed the shapes together.  But this exhibit also shows that he worked at it.  Played around with the composition and juxtaposition of the shapes.

Cut Out Evolution 4

 

 

 

My son and I discussed how revolutionary these designs were in Matisse’s era.  It may now be deemed more commonplace, though still appreciated (Marimekko and Kaffe Fassett came readily to mind) – which is amazing that we’re seeing its origins!

If you are a fiber enthusiast – knitter, crocheter, spinner, embroiderer, etc. – I’m betting your mind is just humming with these colors and patterns, like mine was!  Designs for a hat, scarf, throw, new color compositions to consider, etc.

The Sheaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sheaf Evolution 2?

 

 

 

 

 

The Sheaf Evolution 3?

 

 

 

 

One more – easy knitting design?!!

Matisse Cut Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and if NYC is a schlep for you, but you’re planning to go to the NYC Vogue Knitting Live in January, you’re in luck! The exhibit runs through February 8, 2015.

Matisse Cut Out
This was one of Matisse’s later cut outs, which was considered a final art piece in itself.

 

 

Before Frogging

Frogging is an Aerobic Exercise!

In a previous post, I said I would keep you up to date on my progress using the lovely DK yarn I purchased on Etsy from Shunklies.

Lovely!

I have frogged it twice already!

I really want it to be a very long scarf that shows off the wonderful colors.

First I tried Tunisian crochet, but…

  • The colors were too close together and
  • I wasn’t having much fun with the technique,
    • So I frogged it.

Then I tried knitting it. I used No. 10 needles so that the yarn would really shine through and the stitches wouldn’t be too tight. After about 5 inches, I listened to the nagging in my head and Stopped the Project.

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  • I wasn’t sure how long it was going to be
    • Even though I had cast on over 300 stitches
  • I didn’t like the pattern I was making up as I was going along
    • Stockinette a bunch of rows
    • Reverse Stockinette a bunch of rows
    • K3, P3 a bunch of rows
    • P3, K3 a bunch of rows
    • (And then I would have repeated the first two sections)
  • The knitting and ribbing didn’t show off the color variations very well
    • The colors were too close together and
    • They appeared as a cacophony of colors instead of being able to appreciate each color set

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When I pulled it off the needles, I saw that it was actually very long – 139 inches to be exact!

Cool! Would it be worth it to finish it off there or (gasp!) put the 300+ stitches back on the needle and carry on?

No!

Continue with the new plan to Start Over.

So I ripped out at least 5” worth of 300+ stitches.

Who says Frogging isn’t good for you?

My Fitbit captured it as over 900 steps!

Frogging is an aerobic exercise

Now I am on to crocheting in my usual Crocheted Scarf pattern. I think it looks good. It gives each color pattern its own place to shine. Keep your fingers crossed that this pattern is the one. I’ll keep you posted.

After Frogging

Feeling old?

Feeling Old These Days

I’ve been feeling old lately.  But in a good way.

DDSO’s birthday is two weeks away.  I’m not dreading it as in the past couple of years, but it is still out there, waving its hand at me.  Two weeks after that is his yahrzeit (anniversary of his death).  I’ll get through it as I have the past two years.

My birthday is 2 weeks after that, and I’m looking forward to it.  I’ll accept every year that comes!

The feeling old part – I guess I’m finally getting my act together, understanding and accepting who I am and putting myself out there – yes, it’s me, here I am!

Who am I?

Among a myriad of other descriptions, I am…

Someone who enjoys knitting and high heels.

Feeling old?And surrounds herself with beautiful objects.2014-10-24 07.49.46-1

The good old days

What happened with my generation?

Disclaimer: I do realize that children do not share all their activities with their parents and I am getting filtered reports.

  • The weekends started Thursday nights.
  • Panty raids and early morning parties, along with beer and Abe’s doughnuts, that started at 5 AM
  • Yes, we also studied, and we’re fully functional adults now, many are the breadwinner in our families

I visited my daughter up at college this weekend and couldn’t believe the differences between her college experience and mine. I drove off the campus wondering how my generation became so uptight!

Today’s Greek members (fraternities and sororities) seem to spend a great of their time in social engagements for their respective philanthropic organizations. My daughter had at least two to choose from on Saturday and another one or two on Sunday. I’m lucky I can even remember my sorority’s philanthropic affiliation (helping others with sight issues) from my college days. Also we rarely, if ever, spent time with other Greek organizations participating in efforts for their affiliations.

I only recall the Dance Marathon weekend which I think might have raised money for Muscular Dystrophy. I’m not sure if that was for a particular Greek house or just a university-wide event in which the Greeks participated.

No, we spent our time singing dirty songs on the university’s chapel steps. This was an annual competition during Greek Week. We changed the lyrics from popular songs to dirty words, dressed slutty, and provocative, and sang our hearts out on the university chapel steps.

Greek Week

We partied with other Greek houses, went to socials and formals in each other’s houses, and had a blast!

The chancellor of my daughter’s college (and my alma mater) has a reputation on campus of being against Greek affiliation. According to his bio, he graduated law school in 1981 so he would be roughly around 60 years old. I wonder if he’s been so uptight his entire life. But it’s not just him. It’s our generation. We are raising our children to be socially conscious, politically correct young adults. Was our upbringing disastrous? Were our “wild ways” so bad? It’s like our generation has a stiff, non-removable stick you know where.

Our children have enough pressure to succeed. The population is bigger, the competition is tougher. We also need to teach them how to relax every once in a while. Like we did!