A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Risky Knitting

I have been reading with interest the conversation on the Knitters at Work list about knitting and reading at the same time, and you should go over to Jane's blog and see the cool method she uses to clip books open and read while she knits. Now, even though I have been knitting for 45 years (yes, since I was a five-year old tyke), I have not even tried to master knitting and reading at the same time. But, I thought I would give it a try last night.

I knew that I needed to get to work on the gift purse, and pulled out the lovely aubergine wool (don't you just LOVE the word "aubergine"?) and read the beginning of the directions... cast on and knit in the round for 13 inches. Now that sounds easy enough, and so I thought I would try knitting while reading blogs. I didn't need to get any fancy clips, and I am behind on my blog surfing, missing my e-buddies. This was working great, as I only have a dial-up modem, and could check in on my work while pages loaded, and get a good start on the purse. Maybe I could move on to books later...

However, this morning, I realized I should have been practicing my reading on the directions to the project. There is a cute little ruffle that I was planning to make out of a grey-violet wool that gets added in at the top of those first 13 aubergine inches, and somehow, I had never read that it should be made with one strand of feltable wool and one strand of Kid Royal .... sheesh! I had looked at the directions at least a few times to figure out how much yarn to order and had missed this part entirely.

So, here I was, before breakfast, trying to rifle through my stash and figure out what would be a good carry-along to match my project. I settled on a fluffy blues and purples novelty called Amsterdam that I got at a close-out sale awhile back, and THEN went back to the directions to check and see how much yardage I was supposed to have... after I had cast on the 180 stitches on size 15 needles. Nothing like taking chances - will I make it? I have 71 yards and the yarn called for has 104. Now, I am not the greatest with math, but even I can tell this is far short... so, I am asking myself, "I wonder, how much of that yarn did the designer really use?". After all, the pattern calls for five rows of this yarn carried along with the wool. The ruffle is made separately, on larger needles, then attached to the body of the purse in a clever decrease row, so I decided to give it a try, and have made it through the four rows before I need to attach it... only one row to go! Nothing like living dangerously, for a knitter. I'll keep you posted. I did decide to abandon my plan to try knitting and typing blog entries at the same time.

Here's what I was doing this lovely fall afternoon... participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the restored two-stamp gold mill in Forest City. That's me, to the right (the really short one with ash brown hair). This project has taken six years and lots of volunteer effort... the fellow on the far left is holding a certificate of appreciation for being our volunteer committee chairman. The steam engine in the background was fired up and ran one of the stamps several times through the afternoon.

I wanted to share this great mural with you, painted over 100 years ago on the back wall of the meat market, over the door leading to the shopkeeper's quarters. This building has been a home for decades, but somehow the mural has survived intact. The new owner, Dale, is 100% committed to preserving it.

I hope you are all keeping good thoughts and sending out prayers to those affected by Hurricane Rita. Although I did not know anyone personally who was affected by Katrina's devastation, it turns out that several friends or relatives of friends are affected this time by Rita. I just heard from jewelry designer Leslie, in Dallas, whose husband Chuck has many relatives evacuated, as does my friend Ed, who attended the event today, while doing some construction on my brother-in-law Doug's Forest City house. Ed and my DH, Glenn, have been friends for 30 years, and Ed's eldest son Jacob and wife and baby were forced to evacuate from just north of Galveston to his wife's family in San Antonio. Ed's former girlfriend, Rachel, had returned home to relatives in Louisiana two years ago, and they are all living in the affected area. Another friend, who used to live here in the Sierras, is now in the Lake Charles area, and had to evacuate, but her boyfriend and (adult) son, chose to stay behind, and we are all concerned for their safety. I know many of you have similar stories to ponder tonight. Be well.


Blogger FaeryCrafty said...

I hope all of your friends and relatives are safe. They are all in my prayers. Thanks for the link to the book idea. I have been trying to figure that out.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous margene said...

I wish I could knit and read. I get so zoned into the knitting that reading is a distration. We are all praying for Katrina victims. I hope they are able to connect with lost family members.

2:50 PM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Reading and knitting will never be high on my priority list...I prefer to focus on one or the other. You folks who either try or actually master (as Jane does) the skill just amaze me! When vision is impaired, there are compromises to be made, thank goodness I can still do both activities, just with limitations!!! Plus since I'm so besotted with lace, it's something I need to even leave off the TV for!

9:01 AM  
Blogger Lynette said...

I absolutely can't read and knit at the same time but wish I could. Alas, I miss books.

Aubergine sounds much lovelier than eggplant.

4:37 PM  

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