Archive for April, 2007

the last word on april . . .

Monday, April 30th, 2007

april has been autism awareness month, and though it is over, i hope that we all will continue to be a little more aware of autism and how it affects the families around us. to end the month, my friend mason, who is 9 years old, has written an essay about what it’s like to live with autism.

I am Mason Lee Jusi. I am Autistic. It doesn’t hurt or make you feel sick. It just makes it hard to do somethings. It makes me feel sad that there isn’t enough research being done. There are kids who can’t talk because of being Autistic. They deserve to have help. Someone to help them know why they can’t talk. I can talk but I used to not do it. My mother and father did alot to help me. I have some doctors that also help me alot. I sometimes don’t like it when they touch me but I sit on my hands when I have to be checked-up. It makes me feel burny inside sometimes when people touch my skin. When alot of things happen all at once in my house it makes my head feel like marbles are rolling around in it and it is to noisy for me to hear just one thing. It makes me mad then and sometimes I cry because it hurts my head.

My mother and father used to use these cards all the time to help me know what I was supposed to do. One had a smiley face for happy, when people make that face they are happy. One had a sad face for upset and a frowny face for mad. Sometimes I don’t know if people are sad or happy so I ask them and they tell me. I like jokes. I learned to tell them from a riddle book. Sometimes they are not funny. If you want to teach your child to tell jokes you should get them this book. I like to read and I am good at it. I like Math and Science to. I am good at them to.

Sometimes kids who have Autism do what is called Tics. I have tics that make me blink my eyes and clear my throat. It bothers me alot if I don’t do it, makes me feel itchy and crawly until I do. Sometimes it bugs my mother but she doesn’t say so.
I think kids who have tics feel bad sometimes. They feel bad because people stare at them. I don’t know why they are staring at them, it is not polite. I don’t like it when people stare at me, if they want to talk to me then they should instead of staring. If I say hi to them, sometimes they smile and talk to me. Sometimes they turn around or walk away.

It is hard to know what people want because they don’t say. I would like it if they just said it. I like things to be straight and in neat orders. It makes me feel bad if my stuff is not where I put it. I have to put it back that way. My sister messes it up sometimes.

If your kids have Autism you should take them to the doctors and they will check them up for you. The doctors are nice and they will help your parents know what to do. If your kids have Autism then they will still be smart. Autism doesn;t make you not smart. People should not be afraid of it. It doesn’t make them sick. I am going to be a famous scientist and I am going to fix Autism so that people won’t be afraid. I think that is why they stare. My mother said it is ok to be afraid but not ok to be mean and when people stare and get mad at kids with Autism then that is mean.

I am going to build a school for doctors to learn how to make it go away, then parents won’t be scared that their kids will have Autism. I will also build a Science lab so that doctors can learn how to make everyone not be sick to.

I’m done now. Please be nice to people if they have Autism. Well you should always be nice but if you know a kid who has Autism you should be his friend. You should not be afraid or anything because it isn’t going to be catchy for you. It just makes our brains think a little bit different thats all. If you write with your right hand and you sister writes with her left hand, which one is the right one. They both are right they are just different because you and your sister are different. My doctor told me that.
Thank you very much.

and thank YOU mason for a look into your world.

what is my problem??

Friday, April 27th, 2007

hello—sorry it’s been so many days. i didn’t know what to write about. it must be the weather. it’s wet, and has been for several days. it’s nice though—a good, spring wet that’s making everything grow.

as debby said in class the other day, “you could just sit outside and watch the plants grow right now, they are coming out so fast.”

before i say any more, debbieKnitter is having a stash sale that you might want to check out (debbbie buys nice yarn always, so there might be some real finds there).

and still, i don’t have that much to write about! i did some spinning the other night, which i totally needed. i found it inspiring and peaceful and soul-satisfying. just what i was wanting. i haven’t spun since the week i got back from my brother’s funeral. i really don’t know why . . . but

it was starting to feel a little like the clothes i won’t wear because i bought them for my father’s funeral a few years ago; we went to visit him and didn’t expect him to pass away right then, but he did. so i had to buy clothes to wear to the funeral—absolute worst shopping trip ever. and now i have these perfectly good clothes, brand new, only wore them once. but i just can’t bear to put them on. maybe in a few more years.

so, i thought that going near the wheel would be the same, that it would make me feel slightly nauseous and very sad. but it didn’t. it was GREAT. thank heavens. because i love spinning and i have a ton of fiber here that needs to be made into yarn . . .

i spun up the rest of my secret agent man merino superwash from Crown Mountain Farms. it is so cool. i had previously spun about 3 or 4 ounces of it into sock-weight yarn

and i said when i spun the rest into a heavier-weight yarn, i would show it so we could see if the coloration changed when spun differently.
so here is the newer batch. the smaller skein of worsted-weight was spun quite some time back, and the singles sat on the bobbin for a while; i just plied it the other night. the larger skein of DK weight was spun and plied the same evening. it seems as if the second half of the roving might have had more white in it.

i expected that the chunkier yarns would have more spotty coloring and the sock yarn would look more blended, and that’s true. but i dunno; they all are fraternal for sure; it’s not a big distinction. lots of nice variety and no mud; i like them all.

tonight i’m going to start spinning some more of this

adam and i are going to trade—some of his Hand-Dyed Yarn for some of my handspun. i’m looking forward to it. check out adam’s blog, be sure to say “ting!” and that anne sent you.

and speaking of outdoor colors, check this out

does anyone know what this plant is? i bought it a few years ago in the shade plant section of a local nursery. it is a small, delicate-looking ground cover that i love. it has these tiny star-shaped fuschia flowers and a lime-green leaf with a reddish edge that glows like a little lamp in the shade, where it lives. despite its delicate appearance, it comes back year after year, and seems to love our garden (not like those other, traitor plants . . .).
i divided it last year and the new ones are also doing well. but boy, would i just LOVE to have a carpet of this to fill some barren areas in the deep shade. however, i have never seen it for sale again (ain’t that just the way?). and, shame on me, i lost the little nameplate, too.

ok, back indoors to look at my socks.

these are knitting up quite pleasingly; the fabric feels sooo nice. the smooth, buttery yarn and a little lace pattern is making them go quickly too. in fact, i’m starting to dawdle with them a bit, just to make them last longer. by the way, kim has posted some more of this yarn in new colors . . . i can wait . . . i’ll be here when you come back broke return.

and i am really, REALLY close to being done with this pink ragg sock. i’ll be happy when it is off the needles. i’m tired of fighting with this prickly yarn . . .

i’m sure i will love them much better when they are keeping my feet warm next winter.

i have to laugh . . . as i said, it’s been very gray and rainy here this week. everywhere you look it’s sort of brown and green. the trees haven’t leafed-out yet, so the landscape is a little raw, still. except for this

we have this errant tulip growing by itself near the garage. every time i look out the window i see this bright red spot and it makes me smile, and reminds me of my favorite childhood movie, the red balloon. such a rogue.

on knitting backwards

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

well, if i could actually knit backwards i might feel like i had a new accomplishment to share, but right now, i am “knitting backwards” in the sense that i am making less-than-zero progress. and counting “backwards progress” as a learning experience is reaching for it.

(i swear this is not the same photo as the other day . . . it just looks like it—amazing, right??)
it’s not that anything is wrong; all componenets that i’d like to work with are coming together more or less nicely. it’s the glue.

i need a few more pieces to act as edges and transitions, and i’ve been trying different things out, then tearing back. knit and rip, knit and rip. it’s a little frustrating, even for me. so i got out a second needle late last night and cast on another one of anne’s beautiful colors, this time the brighter green-yellow. after i write this post then i’ll go play with that. tandem swatches . . . that should be fun.

one tree scum sock is almost done—woo-hoo. i’m almost to the toe decreases. i’m still not sure that these are going to fit david, even with the extra stitches. but they look handsome.

i don’t know why, but i’ve been feeling a little irritated in general the last day or so—i would rather be immersed in a project that is moving forward i guess; i’d rather be in the middle of something right now than trying to start something. i get annoyed at myself when my thoughts are scattered.

i’m sure by tomorrow i will have swung completely in the other direction.

maybe what i need is some spinning this evening instead of knitting and designing. that would give me a breather for sure, and some time to think. hmmm. maybe that’s exactly what i’ll do.


a word about pattern updates . . .

for anyone who might be new-ish to my blog and my patterns, i always welcome an email if you find any typos or problems with instructions. when i get a correction from someone, i post it on the page which has the pattern sales information, with changes in bold text.
these pages are easily found by using the search tool in the sidebar, and typing in the pattern name. corrections are dated, and the PDFs updated immediately so that newly-purchased patterns are always up-to-date.

there have been two tiny corrections to the morning glory shawl pattern since it was released.

i was wondering though, if this is a convenient system for posting updates. would it be easier to have all pattern errata on one page instead? your feedback is appreciated.

this is another fritillaria, cousin to the checkerboard one i showed the other day. i just love these tiny flowers—so odd and dark. it’s hard to even notice that they are there unless you look for them; they tend to “blend”, with their bladelike leaves and stony colors.

it’s earth day; plan-et well

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

and though my hope is that we keep the health of the planet in mind every day, in all our actions, at least on this one day we would each do well to make plans to tread more lightly on our planet in the coming year.

the grand system that is earth is becoming ever more fragile under our care. it is our house and we are letting it—no causing it—to deteriorate. and, as they say, they are not making any more of it . . .

i am not by nature a doomsayer—i have plenty of optimism for the future (ok, that might make me a fool, and might make you turn me off now).
but neither do i think that there is a lot of time to waste.
it is likely that we can each think of a few small, healthy changes that probably won’t make much of a dent in our time, budgets, or desires. the most important areas to look at will be our usage of fuel, water, plastics, and household chemicals. you’ll know where you can pare down—just think about it, and do whatever you can.

and now for some knitting content.

i must tell you now that i need to work on a few “secret projects” in the coming weeks, but all will be revealed later . . . so if it seems as if i have little to show, be assured there is more going on in the background. i’ll try to keep it entertaining with a bevy of other diversions—probably some more small projects.

i have been working on swatches for several projects this weekend, trying to get the visions in my head realized with stitches that i’ve fallen in love with from my books—stitches i’ve had earmarked for something some day, and have finally found a nice for (or so i think . . .).

bzzzz—bee shawl. i shouldn’t jinx anything by saying this, but so far, so good. i had a little portfolio of stitches picked for this one since last summer and i think we are going to end up with something pretty. in the process of testing the stitches together, i’m trying out all the colors anne sent me. i can see i am going to have a tough time deciding; these are all wonderful interpretaions of my idea.

so far, S2a is looking good. it’s fresh, it’s yellow, but it’s green—and just look at the way it catches the light and then throws it back threefold. it is the essence of summer. later on, i’ll try S1a, and see what happens. i am also going to test that goldy-tan color; i have a feeling about that too.

i still have some work to do to pick an edging or two, but like i say, so far, so good on the stitches. hopefully, later this week we will be off to the races. (bee races—ha!)

once i decide on a color, i’ll need to wait a little bit for the yarn to come, so i’m going to start another project with some beautiful merino laceweight from deb at fearless fibers.

now, deb knows full-well that if she dangles a gorgeous gray colorway in front of me, i’m gonna go crazy. i’m using some of this same yarn for another project and omigosh—this stuff is incredibly soft; delicate, but still has something to grab onto when i knit with it. and did i mention it is soft??

in fact, deb just finished knitting eunny’s print-o-the-wave stole for her niece—if you like lace-and-yarn porn, you might want to go look.

oh, did you want to see socks?? cuz, they want to see YOU.

pink raggs are finally behaving and i am about halfway to the toe. if i can manage to finisht it correctly, this sock should be done real soon.

tree scum is all fixed up as well and right back where we left it last time we saw it, SO—(and i know this is a stupid faux pas) i did not take a new picture. i know—i’m a glutton for punishment. not only that, but i’ve totally turned my back on all those promises i made a few weeks ago to scummy. i’ll bring that one to class tomorrow and hopefully finish it off. i’ll show you then. sigh. and then i need to start sock number two of that pair.

and now, i have the new sock to show you, the one that i’m using my woolen rabbit yarn for. and can i just say? this is IT. this yarn knits up so beautifully and is so nice to work with—just look

this is the next manLace piece. you might not be able to see it clearly here, because i did not have a model available this morning (he needs his beauty sleep on weekends . . .), but this actually is a lace stitch. a small one—we don’t want to scare them . . . it’s closing up a bit here in the photo, but i promise we’ll get to see it on a leg soon. this is sort of a dress sock—thinner, smooth, and with a little air-conditioning, but not underfoot. man-approved.

and lastly, have you seen this?

it’s a wonderful book by teri shea all about Selbuvotter—norwegian mittens. it’s got history, tradition, technique, and patterns. i pre-ordered mine in march, as an addition to my library of world knitting traditions. i have several books on norwegian mittens; a few of them in norwegian, which i can’t read, but knitting is pretty universal . . . anyway, if you buy one through the website, it will be autographed.

off for a bike ride now—we are back on the road. be careful . . .