First, happy Jewish New Year, my friends! Take a moment to celebrate life and those you love whether you adhere to the Jewish faith or not. We don't take enough opportunities to remember the overall beauty of the world we live in, I think.
Are you done? Ok, back to me.
While I watched the debate on Saturday night, I finished the collar on my Ribbi Cardi! Now all that's left is to (find and) install the zipper, and it's d-o-n-e! I'm going to weigh it before I put the zipper in; at the moment I'm not certain how many yards it is, but it's definitely a big ol' chunk of them!
Also falling under the "finished!" tag are my little sissy's Christmas hat and scarf:
Pre-blessed by my mom's cherub fountain! I used the Torch Island handspun for this and I'm quite pleased with how it knitted up. The gradations I worked out on paper ended up pretty close to what I got in a finished fabric, so I'm quite chuffed with the whole she-bang. And as a final finish, I put buttons on the Theodora sweater:
Astute observers will notice the buttons don't match; this is because I used buttons from my great-grandmother's button box. I was utterly charmed when my mom pulled the box off the shelf and let me dig through it; it started life as a little 6 oz tin of buttered toffee from England and has grown to fill a Christmas cookie-sized tin; later that afternoon Mom gave me the original 6 oz tin and let me chose some buttons to start my own button collection. Things like this give me a feeling of being connected to my past. Growing up in Alaska, far away from most of my extended family, I didn't ever really connect with my grandmothers, aunts or uncles. Of course I love them dearly - they're family, after all - but we were definitely cut off from a big family experience, and so I don't know them as well as I would wish. I sat for hours stirring buttons with my mom while she told me that certain ones reminded her of her grandmother, great-aunt or mom. Occasionally a button would recall a specific sweater, or make us cackle with how ugly the original garment had to be to deserve such a monstrous button. Mom was delighted that both her children had used Great Grandmother Madge's button box in the same day; Gabe needed a button for some khaki's, and he learned to sew on a button while I tacked on the three wee buttons for the Theodora sweater. I think now that I have the beginnings of a button box, I'll be more likely to pick up a few here and there when I see them. I already have plans for a few of the lovely buttons I took from the original box, and I'm pretty secure in the knowledge that if I don't actually use them, they'll all fold back together again when the box comes to me.
I've also been working on an Accordion sweater for my friend's mother. She asked me to make a sweater for one of her nephews, and I accepted. I've never done anything on commission before, and I don't know that I will again. Despite the fact that I liked the pattern and didn't mind the yarn, I definitely felt a slight undercurrent of mutiny while I was knitting away. Hopefully that won't come through in the finished piece; at the moment it's waiting to be sewn together and blocked:
But on to the main event! I met this lovely icon on Saturday:
Cat Bordhi and her workshop were everything I wanted them to be. Mom and I joined Jasmin and her mother Gigi along with our friend Colleen and trekked up to Lafayette for a day of mind-blowing ideas. Jasmin and I have been saying for quite some time that neither of us understands toe-up socks or short rows like we want to, and in the 8-hour workshop Ms. Bordhi settled both problems with alacrity.
The woman has magic hands, I swear. She thinks like an engineer and an artist at the same time. We all agreed that one of our favorite things about her is her genuine desire to teach people instead of market her own ideas. I can't yet explain the things I learned at the workshop, but I am reasonably certain that I'll be making many more toe-up socks that actually fit me from now on.
After lunch, we stepped over to the charming Yarn Boutique, and when I walked into the store and Jasmin looked up like a deer in headlights, her arms full of Kauni. For shame! But according to our deal, it's okay as long as she's getting rid of an equivalent amount. This afternoon we'll be doing some weighing out of both of our stashes; I simply could not allow this Anne to stay orphaned at the shop:
Isn't it stunning? I'm in love. Yesterday I stopped by Purlescence to replace some Addi needles I lost when I misplaced a sock bag and picked out this for my stepmother's Christmas present:
I think the bright pink will amuse her when she looks down at her feet during the day; there's an added bonus in that her feet and mine are exactly the same size, so I don't even have to guess about stitch counts. I also cast on these in the same pattern:
That's some of the Regia Man Yarn I bought pre-SPE. It will probably be socks for my dad's Christmas present, but I'm not sure yet.
The mail has been pretty busy lately; I got a fleece back from Sherri at Morro Bay. It's a Lincoln/Merino cross named Steve, and for whatever reason it just tickles me that somewhere in the world there is a Sheep Named Steve. I also got my Knitters for Barack Obama gear:
That's the hoodie and t-shirt; I also got a mug and stickers for my car. I was able to customize the shirts and the mug with my name, and for whatever reason it makes me feel much more involved than if I had simply ordered the stuff without. Zazzle is awesome, people.
And really, this stuff is just in time. Let's have a tiny chat about Sarah Palin, shall we? She's debating with Joe Biden on Thursday, and frankly I'm looking forward to seeing her crash and burn. She may have done fine as governor of my home state - my dad the staunch Dem *loves* her - but she canNOT be allowed to have any part in running our country. Equating being neighbors with Russia and Canada with foreign experience is theatrics - although theater is by and large more watchable than Palin. Everything that comes out of her mouth borders on gibberish, and what isn't ridiculous blustering is jaw-droppingly ignorant or party-line. She's simply appalling, and I'm embarrassed for her as a woman and as a politician. My friend E is heading to Reno to campaign for Obama this week, and I plan to join her as an Alaskan for Obama for a weekend in October.
I think one reason we lost the 2004 race is largely that we sat back a little, thinking no one could possibly vote for Bush after the shit he pulled during his first term. It was a mistake - if so small a term can be used for such a monumental failure - and I for one don't intend to let it happen again. I believe it was Olberman who said that if Sarah Palin gets elected VP, all 350 million Americans will have to evacuate the country, and he's so right it hurts.