Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Mother's Day progress and more

The trouble with finishing Blue Cardy is that it cannot be done without complete and total focus. I've had to start a couple of other things in order to have take-along knitting for rehearsals and car trips.

New project #1 is actually an old project -- I'm finishing off my little pillow from Nancie Wiseman's Stitches class for my MIL. Got cute buttons from Joann yesterday for accents. Actually, I went a bit nuts on cute buttons and got lots more than I actually need, but, you know, they were there and they were cute.

New project #2 is just like PM's bag, but it's CNITU's backpack, to go with Blue Cardy. And he won't grow out of it. CNITU and his parents left Sunday for an impromptu trip to Hawaii. Lucky CNITU! Hopefully he will get to see lots of "feesh," which are his favorite thing. I bought fabric covered with "feesh" to line the backpack.

So far I am just coasting along on both of these and will have no problems getting them done in time for various b-days, Mother's Day, etc. The question now is what should be my next big project. Aura shawl? White Lies top? White Lies lingerie? Belle Epoque top? That pair of fingerless gloves I've been meaning to make? Please feel free to vote.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Blue Cardy at last! Side, shoulder, sleeve, and hood seams sewn, I just need to set in sleeves, attach hood and pockets, and of course do the light blue side and sew them both together with crab stitch, add buttons, etc. It's a long finishing process but I'm pleased with the way it's fitting together. Posted by Hello

Here's a detail of the pretty beaded edge. Posted by Hello

Here is Bias Betty finished! I think I will borrow Spinnity's blocking wires to even out the edge a little. I love the beads! Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Profound minutiae?

My friend Kevin has accused me, rightfully enough, of dwelling on "minutiae" in my blog. He is, of course, correct -- this is pretty much what a blog is for, particularly a knitting blog with a fairly specific readership in mind.

However, his comment did send my thoughts to the wonderful books of Sally Melville, the Zen Buddhist priestess of knitting, and her ideas about the right and left hemispheres of the brain, and specifically how the right brain is free, while knitting, to expand and create on its own. Sally mentions that activities that are repetitive and require little focused analytical thought can do this. (My DH, of course, uses this as an excuse to spend hours playing computer games. But why not, if it accomplishes the same thing?) Are the recording and processing of minutiae part of this experience, I wonder? Perhaps I will email Sally and ask her.

Thinking about right brain and left brain a lot right now while reading up on Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes for my next show. Sylvia's journals are fascinating. I think, had she lived today, she would have been a voracious blogger. It seems clear to me that she was enamoured of her own genius and knew the journals would be published one day. She knew everyone would hang desperately onto every detail of her everyday existence. Those journals are her immortality, and perhaps that's why we all blog, to put some kind of public record of our internal life out into the world.

At any rate, on to the minutiae! I have successfully blocked the light blue seed stitch pieces of Blue Cardy (and yes, Spinnity, you are right, this greatly reduced the differences between the old and new sections), and I have sewn the side seams on the dark blue side. They look very nice and tidy. Shoulders next, then setting in sleeves, which I am dreading -- any pointers? Then the same on the other side and there's a complicated bit where I have to attach the two with crab stitch -- can't remember how to do crab stitch! Luckily the internet exists for such dilemmas.

Just about done now with Bias Betty, so it will have a photo op soon and I will move on to Peter's Backpack.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Blocking vs. Blocking

Now for a brief side trip into etymology. I have been thinking about the word "block." As a noun, it's a square piece of wood, or a child's toy. Or a section of city between cross streets.

As a verb, I use it a lot in my work in the theatre. "Blocking" is basically stage movement -- where each actor travels in relation to the others on stage. I've no idea why it's called that; it's become such a natural part of my vocabulary that I never stopped to think about it. Now, however, another use of the verb has popped up, and I have damp, stretched-out pieces of Blue Cardy all over my living room as a result.

"Blocking" in knitting is where each stitch travels in relation to the others in the piece?

Not exactly, I suppose, but there's something similar there, and it's not the square shape of the stage or frequently square shape of a piece of knitting. It's the idea of balance -- by placing one actor stage right, standing, perhaps another two must be stage left, seated, in order to balance the stage picture. There are no rules to it; it must be seen and felt. The shape has to be right. That's the similarity, I suppose. I'm trying to balance the pieces of Blue Cardy so they will fit together properly and create something pleasing to the eye.

Other notes: I added about an inch to the top of each light blue side in order to "balance" with the dark blue. I'm afraid you can see the difference rather clearly between the older part that's been sitting around a while and the new part. I think I will also have to add about 2-4 inches to the cuffs of the sleeves, since CNITU has monkey arms and is already as tall as a 3-year-old.

And I'm very nearly finished with Bias Betty.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Here's Melissa's Bag! My sister has requested a backpack version in blues and greens for CNITU -- I'll post the very easy pattern as soon as I remember to write it down. Posted by Hello