Saturday, January 31, 2009

Shanty Town

What an awesome day! The temperature finally rose into the 30s for the second time this month. It felt absolutely energizing to shed a few layers of clothing and move around outside without pain. After a predictably yummy breakfast at our fave breakfast place, The Seward Cafe, we drove to the most Minnesotan art event I could ever imagine: The Art Shanty Projects. The sun was shining and the event was in full swing on Medicine Lake.



The Art Shanty Projects are all basically versions of ice houses. For those not familiar, ice houses are little shacks that people set up on frozen lakes, then they drill holes in the ice, drop fishing lines down the hole and hope they catch a fish before they freeze. For a less biased explanation, click here. The ice is thick enough that it is safe for shanties, people and even cars to be on it. Here is a picture of the scene.



Each house has a theme and is open for perusal and/or participation. There was a rough map showing the placement and theme of each shanty.



There were even art cars there. Does anyone else wonder how the owner clears the snow, ice and salt off of this baby?



We enjoyed a show in a very intimate theater.



I knitted on the communal project in the knitting shanty. Of course there was a knitting shanty!



Paul and I enjoyed a game of cribbage in the dICEHOUSE. Clever name, eh?



We spent a few minutes in the sauna shanty. It felt a bit disconcerting to be so warm while knowing that your survival depends on the ice below you remaining frozen.



These were just a few of the many awesome shanties. If you are local, you still have some time to catch this event. The shanties are open weekends through February 14th. And, there is even a shanty in which you can make a valentine. What a fun date that could be. Check it out!

Today was awesome for a few more reasons, but I'll save them for another post.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tempeh Day

There haven't been any jobs posted this week that I want to apply to and my temp job ended on Wednesday, which meant that on Thursday, I had time to play without too much guilt.

I spent the afternoon at Jerri's. We had an awesome lunch which included pan fried and seasoned tempeh chunks. We also had a really nice amount of time to catch up and play with Zoe once she woke up from her post-yoga nap.

The weather was mild enough that I was able to walk to Jerri's and then, afterwards, walk to the Wedge. I needed to go there to buy a few ingredients for the tempeh cutlets I had starting marinating that morning. Without pre-planning it, I had a day of tempeh feasts.

I didn't take a picture of Jerri's gorgeous salad, but I did bust out the camera for the evening meal of Tempeh Cutlets Provencal (from Vegetarian Times - January 2009) and salad. The marinated and baked cutlets were delicious with the red pepper, caper and white wine tomato sauce poured over them.



It is such a treat to have the time and energy to put into making nice meals. Don't get me wrong, I'll be happy to go back to working a full-time job as soon as an offer comes along. In the meantime, I am trying my best to stay content making enough money to keep the bills paid, job searching like crazy and spending the rest of the time indulging in non-work pursuits.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sprout!

Check it out! I put seeds into my Earth Box and they sprouted! I was concerned that they wouldn't like the chilliness next to the window, but I think there is enough soil in the box that it is managing to keep warm enough. These sprouts will hopefully become lettuce and cilantro.



These sprouts have given me hope that I can grow things from seeds. I haven't had the best of luck starting from seeds in my outdoor garden spaces. It was hit or miss whether the seeds would sprout. I did ok with green beans, but couldn't get lettuce to take. I found it much easier to start from the starter sets of little plants. But, I know it is much more economical to start from seeds and in the case of world disaster, it would be good knowledge to have. (I'm watching Jericho, so I have been thinking of disaster survival scenarios lately!)

I honestly planted these seeds expecting nothing from them, so when they sprouted, I did a little happy dance. Paul was impressed too because he started expressing interest in other things we could grow if we expanded our container gardening to more of our gigantic windows. Too bad these Earth Boxes are $60 a piece or else we'd be establishing quite the indoor garden right now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Red Shiny Things

It was recently Sally's birthday, so I busted out the beads and made her a pair of earrings:



While the beads were out and I was focusing on reds, I made myself a pair too:



Making these earrings has pushed beadworking closer to the front of my mind, so maybe I'll make a few more things soon. Also aiding that cause is the upcoming sale at The Beadhive and the fact that I just finished my temp placement today. Phew! I made it. I am not sure what is next, but I expect to have a little free time on the horizon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Milkweed

I just signed up to participate in a collaborative art project called The Milkweed Project. You can too! Click here for more information.



I was drawn to participate in this project because I love the concept of collaborative knitted artwork AND because I have an affinity for milkweed that can be traced to my rural Wisconsin roots. I loved playing with it...the stalks that bleed "milk", the textured pods that can be cracked open, the fluffy white pods with the seeds that fly off in the wind...loads of fun for a young, country girl!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lovely Gifts

Remember this scarf?




And, this pottery?



Well, Jamie had gone to No Coast the day before I did and had bought me that exact scarf and a sheep bowl by Jennie the Potter. When she saw my blog post about my favorites, it was hard for her to keep my gifts a secret, but she did. I guess she knows my taste!

Her mom knows my taste as well, because she got me this gorgeous bowl and an equally gorgeous mug.



I've been enjoying many tasty treats out of my new pottery. Thanks, Jamie and Charleen!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Clasp Solutions

Judging by all of the Christmas crafting posts, you might think that I didn't get any gifts this Christmas, but I totally did! With my birthday being so close to Christmas it is a windfall time of year for me. I am not going to detail each and every gift that I received, but I am really thankful for the generosity and thoughtfulness of my friends and family.

I did want to post about a few of the gifts. The first of those being a gift card from Sally. The card was to Bella Lana, a very posh yarn store in Northeast Minneapolis that I had heard about but had never been to. A few weeks ago, I had been planning to go to the store on my way to a party in the same area of town and to spend my gift card on whatever struck my fancy. That same morning, I picked up a stack of clothing which included my Minimalist Cardigan and the Moving Mud glass stick that I was planning on wearing with it. The stick fell off and hit the floor where it promptly shattered in half.


As luck would have it, I found the perfect replacement at Bella Lana.


I have seen this type of clasp before, but never have I seen one that looks this simplistic. I love the basic silver and the pounded ends.

I was also able to get one of these needle gauge pendants made by Debra's Garden. I chose the teal one and plan on making some type of necklace to string it on. I've been wanting one of these since I saw them at the Minnesota Knitting Guild meeting in November.



Thanks Sally!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Weekend in Knits

I know it is almost the end of the week AND that I didn't actually take any pictures of people this past weekend, but I can tell you what I was up to in the form of photos of related knits.

After running errands on Friday, Paul and I settled in for dinner and a marathon session of watching Jericho. I made a bunch of progress on my Herringbone Puzzle Top while we watched the engaging and exciting, but poorly written show. Has anyone else gotten hooked on this show? We are watching it through Netflix streaming so I am not even sure how long ago it was aired.



This project is a bit difficult to explain. It is part vest, part tank top and part wrap. I am looking forward to seeing how it comes together. I also worked on this project during Sunday's Crafternoon gathering. We had another fun session and even had a knitter join us who hadn't picked up her needles in 5 years. Yay, Jill!

I volunteered at the Cedar Cultural Center on Saturday night and met a knitter who invited me to join her knitting group. I am looking forward to hooking up with them next weekend.

Since I had the day off on Monday, I packed my laundry and knitting into the car and headed to my mom's house to turn dirty clothes into clean clothes. While I was there, I enjoyed kitty cuddle time with Ginger, civil rights related shows on the History Channel and lots of knitting time.



Tiko was especially interested in watching me knit. Luckily she was restrained and didn't attempt to cause any trouble. She just watched and watched and watched very intensely.



I also worked on a pair of socks. It has been far too long since I have knit a pair of socks. There is something so satisfying about the little stitches lining up into neat little stitch patterns.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change AND Hope


Photo from www.barackobama.com

I have never before felt any tinge of pride for my country, but today I do. The full impact of the election of Barack Obama didn't completely set in with me until I spent the day yesterday watching shows on the History Channel about the Civil Rights Movement. I had a moment where I felt how recent those events were in the lifespan of this country. We aren't as far removed from that time as I, living in my liberal bubble, thought we were. For our country to have elected a person who is so innovative in his approach to leadership AND a person of color goes a long way in restoring so many people's hopes for a more just and equitable world. Don't get me wrong, I know he can't fix it all, but I think he will be an amazing motivator that will inspire many people into productive action. I am really excited to see what the future holds as a result of this much needed change of leadership.

Hot damn! United States of America, we got ourselves a smart President!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Liner Mittens

My next post-Christmas F.O. is a pair of mittens. I had a purple pair made out of this yarn, but lost them last winter. Luckily, I had some of the same yarn in a different color and was able to make a new pair. I say "luckily" because I love this yarn but it was discontinued a while ago and I have a limited supply, mostly in small quantities. The yarn is Artful Yarns Fable in the color Little Red Riding Hood. Fable is a mix of pima cotton and silk and gets soooo soft after it is worn in.



These mittens are intended to be used just like the purple pair: sometimes as a liner pair inside of bigger mittens and sometimes on their own when the weather isn't as cold.



This little set-up shown in the photo above led to an awesome discovery. In my Christmas stocking this year I received some of those little magical heat pouches. I can slip one into each hand between the two mitten layers and it works like a little furnace in there! I'm saving my last set of warmers for when Paul and I go to the Art Shanty exhibit.



To make these mittens I loosely followed the Fittin' Mittens pattern by Nancy Lindberg. When I made the purple pair before, I had used a hat-like decrease for the top. For this pair, I followed Nancy's instructions and ended up with a pointier decrease. I prefer the rounded hat version, but these will work just fine.



Thanks to Jack for helping model these mittens. They looked a little stale and boring when photographed by themselves so he acquiesced to my photo shoot needs.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winner!

A while back, I won a little blog giveaway from Knitty founder Amy Singer. It arrived this week so I thought I would share a photo of the fun loot.

I love getting mail, especially when it consists of knitting related surprises!

Three Cups of Tea


Three Cups of Tea
One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin


Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to be amongst the crowd gathered together to hear Greg Mortenson speak. It was a bitterly cold night, but the room was packed to the brim. It is not a surprise that so many people braved the cold as Mortenson is worth the trip.

Mortenson is the author of Three Cup of Tea and the man behind the creation of numerous schools in rural areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the creator of Pennies for Peace. One of the many remarkable aspects of the schools built in collaboration with Mortenson is that girls are allowed to attend them. If you haven't read his book, I would recommend that you do so. Mortenson's work has recently earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. You go, Greg!

Friday, January 16, 2009

For Real, Minnesota?!?!

I am getting ready to take the dogs out on a walk. Here is what the current temperature is:

-22°F
Feels Like
-39°F


That is an other worldly type of cold. For the first time in their lives the dogs are just getting "walks" that are purely go-out-and-pee-and-poop-as-fast-as-you-can-so-we-can-go-back-in walks. Those are unheard of for our apartment dwelling dogs, but when it is this cold, they don't even mind skipping the exercise. And, they are going to wear coats. That is also pretty unheard of for them.

ETA: Per the anonymous commenter's request, here are the dogs in their coats:



Don't they look embarrassed? Sort of like a little girl whose mom forced her to wear a hat to the bus stop and she knows it is messing up her hair and making her look uncool.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Post Christmas Cowl

So, after months of creating gifts, it was an amazing feeling to be free of my "to-do" list and to knit freely. The first project that I completed was with the skein of yarn I bought in mid-December expressly for the purpose of having an instant gratification project after the Christmas presents were completed.



The yarn is Araucania's Chacabuco Multy and this cowl consumed up every bit of the skein. The pattern is called Cowl With a Little Twist and is a free Ravelry download. I made this with more repeats of the pattern because I wanted it to be longer and because I wanted to use up the full skein.



The cotton yarn is soft and snuggly. It doesn't really stand up well against the immensely cold temperatures Minnesota is experiencing lately, but it is still comforting to have my neck encased in the springy, cottony warmth.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Resolutions Present

Now that I have reflected on my past year's resolutions, I am ready to move onward and declare my resolutions for 2009. They fall under 3 categories:
  1. To Knit
  2. To Learn
  3. To Be
Now, as I have learned from past resolutions, the most successful resolutions are those that are well defined and measurable. That is not always possible, but I will try to set myself up so I will know if I accomplished the goals or not. Here is what I have set out to do within each of those categories.

To Knit
In 2009 I resolve to design and knit a cabled throw.
I have done a little bit of cable work, but I have loads to learn. I imagine that this throw will be knit in strips, rather than blocks. I hope to divide up the knitting into monthly chunks to prevent it from taking over the entire year's worth of knitting time. At this point, I am thinking of using Cascade Eco Wool as it fits my image of a really rustic, natural-looking, super warm, cabled blanket that doesn't cost more than all of my living room furniture combined.

To Learn

I hereby admit that I am dependent on Paul for my technology needs. It is the thing that comes naturally to him. He is very capable of handling the things that need handling in regards to our home entertainment technology, our computers, our music, photos...you name it, he is the one who knows how to deal with it in our home. I have been OK with this in the past, as it seemed our division of duties included me handling other things around the house and him handling the stuff that plugs in.

Well, I am over it. I resolve to be independently capable of operating our computer/TV, watching a DVD, burning/ripping CDs, managing my music files and processing photos. Part of the reason I have avoided this area in the past was that it seemed whenever I learned how to operate something, he would "update" or adjust something without telling me and it wouldn't work the next time I tried to use it. It made me really frustrated so I sort of surrendered to not knowing in order to avoid being regularly thwarted and made cranky by our technology.

Now, I am not a stupid person. I can understand basic technology. However, because Paul is interested in techie stuff, our "system" is not user friendly. It is complicated and convoluted to anyone who didn't set it up in the custom way that is oh-so-awesome and just what we needed, AKA Paul. I spoke with Paul and he has agreed to explain it all to me AND to keep me in the loop whenever he tweaks something that impacts the functionality.

So that is the home entertainment component, but that isn't all I want to learn. I also want to learn how to be independent with my music and photos. In order to accomplish that goal, I will need to learn the following: using an external drive to rip and burn music files, gain more in depth knowledge of how itunes functions, learn more photoshop skills, learn how to backup files on CD.

This resolution sounds pretty awful to me, but I know it is necessary and I will feel better knowing I can be the boss of our inanimate objects.

To Be
This is my most vague resolution this year, but I feel it is important to put it out there and remind myself of regularly. I resolve to be mindful of my needs and my choices this year in regards to nutrition, exercise and stress. This is probably the most common resolution EVER, but I think it is especially relevant to my life this year.

I am adjusting to a life that does not include as much daily walking and in order to compensate and feel physically well, I need to find other outlets for exercise. I just signed up for some dance classes through community education, so if those go well, I will keep taking them each quarter and be all set. My fingers are crossed.

I am still job searching with no way of knowing when that will be over and that is, as you can imagine, stressful. I have been doing pretty well with managing that stress and keeping a level head about my situation and I want to continue in that way.

I like sweets. Probably too much. So, this year I am going to try to be more conscious of how much sugar I am consuming and minimize my consumption. I am not "dieting" or freaking out and cutting it out of my diet, I just want to be more mindful about my sugar consumption.

So there you have it. I've declared them and now I have my work cut out for me in 2009.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Resolutions Past

In 2007 I made the first New Year's Resolutions of my adulthood. I found them to be great motivators and they provided me with focus. Granted, a few of the resolutions were vague and sort of fell by the wayside, but I largely felt the experience was beneficial.

I continued the tradition in 2008 and made the resolution to cook at least 3 new recipes each month. Paul had agreed to be a part of it, but as it turns out he wasn't really that interested when the time came to plan, shop and cook. I was fine with going solo, so over the past year I have been making tons of new recipes and, in the process, feel more comfortable making up my own dishes, deviating from recipes and have broadened my knowledge and use of spices.

Luckily Paul WAS interested in eating new foods, so I shared them with him and with friends and family. Many of the recipes I tried throughout the year have become new go-to favorites of our house. I also realized this year how good soup can be. Soup made from scratch tastes infinitely better than soup from a can! I received an immersion blender from my mom and Roger this Christmas, so I foresee making many batches of soup in the future!

The other component of the 2008 resolutions was that Paul and I declared it to be The Year of Honesty in our home. I wrote at the beginning of the year what that meant in terms of possessions and knitting, but that declaration came to mean something totally different towards the latter part of the year. After our move from Boston to Minneapolis and the subsequent uphill and still in progress job search, we needed to be honest about what our true needs are. Together we have tackled the concepts of "need" vs. "want", evaluated the careful balance between money-making and mental health, and have questioned many of our assumptions and perspectives about our place in the world. When we get down to it, the honest truth is that our needs are being met, but we both have many desires that are not. We have come to the conclusion that we can exist how we are right now, but we are both eager for the growth we were seeking when we planned our move. The latter part of the year has been full of love and at the same time it has been a bit harsh to us. I guess, if we are honest, that is what life is, isn't it? We struggle, but if we are lucky, we are loved and we get through it with eyes set on bigger goals.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Scarf With A Timeline

Last, but not least in the Christmas crafting reveal: Jamie's scarf.

Jamie is a knitter. Her projects of choice tend to utilize big needles and thick yarn. She likes her projects to be simple enough that she can talk and knit because most of the time when she knits she is doing so in the context of chatting with friends. Jamie, as is the case with most knitters, has a yarn stash that contains many beautiful yarns. Her stash also includes roving and other fiber, as she has also become smitten with spinning and dying fiber. Jamie recently became a first-time mom and is working full-time. With the increased demands on her time and energy, Jamie's stash has started to overwhelm her and become a source of insidious stress. She feels like there is so much she could make out of her stash, if only she had the time and energy to do it. This notion, coupled with her overflowing brain full of ideas, is driving her a little crazy.

When I asked her if she had any requests for things I could make her for Christmas we discussed options which resulted in her passing on some gorgeous white merino wool and silk blend yarn spun into a lofty singly ply. She bought this yarn when she came to visit me in Boston and we traveled to Rhinebeck together in 2007. Before she flew home, she started a scarf with the yarn. When she pulled the yarn out to give it to me, she had not made any progress beyond that first inch she had knit in Boston. Her request was for me to knit her something out of the yarn for her Christmas present. She wouldn't have to do the knitting, but she could still have something she can wear from the yarn she loves.

She was specifically imagining it as a wide, long scarf that could be wrapped around her neck a few times for big, fluffy warmth. After some Ravelry browsing, we decided on a pattern (Lace Ribbon Scarf) and I went to work on it.



Since she already knew what she was getting, I wanted to think of some way to make some part of it a surprise. When brainstorming ways to make it a little more special, I locked onto the concept of knitting memory. I had listened to a Cast On episode in which Brenda Dayne explored the concept of knitting memory. I had also recently seen a post on a blog (I can't remember which one) where someone had indicated the places they were when they knit parts of their project. I decided to merge these two ideas and take advantage of the linear shape of a scarf to turn one edge of the scarf into a time line. I liked the idea of Jamie being able to connect with where I was and what I was doing during the creation of her scarf.



I created the time line by attaching markers each time I stopped knitting. I kept notes along the way and numbered them according to the appropriate placement. After I blocked the scarf, I wrote up the notes and attached them at the appropriate points using a hole punch and a bit of scrap yarn. The result is the crazy edge shown in the photo above.



The funny part was that I knit this scarf during a really busy and distracted couple of weeks, so sometimes I would sit down to knit and at some point I would make a mistake, have to rip back and end up where I started. I made note of these points too so some of the markers were right next to each other!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Watchcap

There were two people on my gift-giving list this Christmas that seemed to be destined to have imperfect gifts. In knitting gifts for these two people, I made one failed version for each of them and one version that was passable.

These people were Roger, my mom's husband, and Sylvia, Jamie and Adam's baby girl. I first made Sylvia a pair of felted booties that were very oddly shaped and not at all shaped like her feet are shaped. I couldn't give her those so I made her mittens that were acceptable but not to my usual standards. I decided I had to just let it go in order to continue chipping away at the many other gifts that still needed to be made.

Roger wanted a brown stocking cap, which should have been simple, but somehow wasn't. I made 3/4 of a hat in fingering weight alpaca yarn only to finally admit what I had suspected from the start: it was resulting in gigantic, non-human proportions and needed to be ripped out. I was running short on time, so I headed to the yarn store and bought a skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted in their new semi-solid Cafe Au Lait color. My mom told me that Roger's head is "large" so I knit the large size of the Marsan Watchcap.



Again, it was passable, but a little too big. The design includes a very long cuff and that was definitely the case with my version!



I did like how the yarn showed such crisp stitch definition with the twisted rib and the color of the yarn was really well done. My mom says he wore it to shovel snow the other day, so that is promising.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wipe

Next up on the Christmas gift reveal: sets of cloth napkins that I sewed.






They are folded in the triangle style I learned while working at a restaurant in high school. I was required to fold TONS of cloth napkins at the end of each shift. I folded so many napkins that I will never forget how to do it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hanging Towel Sets

We aren't done yet! I still have a bunch of Christmas crafting that I have yet to reveal.

A few people received variations on the theme of dishtowel and dishcloth set. I found some neat vintage hand towels from the thrift store and devised my own method for turning them into hanging dish towels. I have a crocheted version that was a hand-me-down from my Grandma that I love, so I tried to make some updated versions with knitting. I made the first one out of some handpainted, merino sock yarn and quickly learned that I really should just stick to kitchen cotton. It ain't named kitchen cotton for nuthin'.



Shortly before Christmas I was in a present wrapping frenzy when I realized I hadn't photographed these sets yet. I had a hard time capturing them how I wanted and I really just wanted them to be wrapped, so all that remains are these lackluster photos.






Monday, January 5, 2009

Sally Sews Skirts on the Seashore*

To top the weekend off, Paul, Sara and I ate a delicious and filling breakfast at the Seward Cafe. I am bravely branching out from my usual Super Green Egg Earth in order to try some of their other specialties and so far I have not been disappointed. I heartily recommend their foods and I recommend paying attention to what other people are eating as it may be something worth noting. On a past visit I witnessed someone eating multiple cloves of raw garlic with her breakfast. Today we saw a woman who ate an entire, heaping plate of cooked kale for breakfast. That was it. All she ate was kale and a ton of it.

After breakfast we bid farewell to Sara as she went on her way back to Madison. A short time later, Sally came over for some sewing time with me AKA The Sewing Hack. My mom called while Sally was over and when she heard what we were doing she laughed. My mom laughed because she knows that we are a family of sewing hacks that really have no business teaching others how to sew anything. Anyway, Sally absorbed the basic instructions I gave her and spent the day bravely cutting and sewing her ankle length skirts and transforming them into knee length skirts. That is, she was doing that until my sewing machine revolted against her 4th skirt.



We decided to call it a day, but not before I finished Fanny's newest toy, a heavily modified version of the Catwarming Set from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation:



There is something magical about the combination of single ply wool knitted into a vaguely mouse shape and stuffed with polyfil. She LOVES these toys.

*Ok, we were not at all on the seashore, but it was much more tongue twister-y if I claimed that she was on the seashore. Forgive me for the fib.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Flurry of Activity

I have only been working 3 days a week but with all of the holidays and other causes for celebration things have been super busy.

Beth is in town for a visit this week, so on Friday we had a dinner party in her honor. In attendance were Beth, Mark, Zoe, Jerri, Paul and myself. We ate Gorgonzola Puff Pastry with Raspberry Jam appetizers, Vegetable Satay Salad, Lentil Butternut Curry Soup, Garlic Bread and Baked Apples with Ice Cream.



Yesterday I started the day by doing a bit of job searching. Then I stopped by Bella Lana to spend my gift card from Sally on my way to Mark and Jerri's afternoon party at Sen Yai Sen Lek. I got some neat things with the gift card, which I will post about later.

After the party, Beth and I headed to the Walker Art Museum to check out the Text/Messages: Books by Artists exhibit. We didn't have a lot of time at the museum since it closed at 5, but we did have a a few minutes to walk through another exhibit and to check out the always interesting contents of the gift shop. I want to go back again to get a better look at the Tetsumi Kudo exhibit.

Part of the Text/Messages exhibit included art books that were out on shelves for people to page through. Beth and I spotted this gem called Sweaters That Talk Back:



The book is full of copyright free patterns that all contain messages charted into the designs. Beth was impressed with the concept of using charts to convert images into stitches and then into sweaters with text. I liked the notice in the book that encourages people to use, copy and alter the contents of the book as a form of grassroots activity/political expression.

After all of the socializing and activities of the last few weeks, I was happy to opt out of the dinner and drink plans Paul and his friend Sara, who is visiting from Madison, had made for the evening in favor of enjoying the quiet house by myself. I made dinner, took a bath, had a doggie cuddle session and then relished the rest of the evening while knitting and watching crime TV shows. All of these activities contributed to some much needed down time.


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