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Monday, April 30, 2007

Back to Square One

Update: The Hokie Bird chart has been made and sent out so if you still want it or wanted it and did not get it, please email me and I'll get it to you ASAP! :)

Here is my first official square for Hokie Healing! It is a simple stockinette square with a braided cable up the center. It is made out of I don't know what-something I found in the bottom of one of the few baskets of yarn I have around the house. (maybe just like 1 or 2....ish) It is a pretty heathered orange and is some sort of wool and I like to look at it because it has pretty bits of different colors of orange in it. I have started square 2 also but have not finished because Thing 2 turned 5 today!!!! We had her big birthday party yesterday at the park (yay for Spring birthdays that keep 5 million small creatures outside and the mud, crumbs, and general tornado of kidness that comes with them!) and it was lots of fun. She loves all things pink, of course, and requested a pink pony cake so we had that and blue juice and all sorts of other bad for you, sugar loaded stuff. I cannot believe she is 5 already-where did the time go? I know everyone always says it, but it DOES go by so fast!! It has truly been a joy to watch her grow up into a sweet, gentle, kindhearted little girl and our family is better just by having her in it. She starts school in August and she's pretty excited. Me-not so much. Why do we have to let them grow up? Can we stop this somehow? Incidentally-my Thing 1's solution for that was "feed us lots of junk food then we won't grow very much"-nice try, don't you think? Using my own lectures against me. (I informed her that she would in fact still grow, but out instead of up and it would be very expensive at the dentist if I followed her plan-she is undeterred and still thinks it's a good idea.) Next time I turn around, they'll be in college! (as HOKIES of course!) At least I will still have Thing 3 at home with me for awhile. And my smelly dogs. And my laundry. And my dust. And my dirty bathrooms. And my vacuum cleaner. Oh boy. Well, I will have my baby-and my yarn!

All is NOT lost.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's a GO!!

I got word from Virginia Tech that it is fine to make the Hokie Bird chart for the Healing squares-woohoo! SO everyone who emailed and anyone else interested, I will be getting the chart made and will email it to you as soon as I can-my little girl's (Thing 2) birthday party is this weekend so it may not be until Sunday evening, just FYI. I will also try to email all of you back individually-I just hadn't gotten a chance to do it yet. Thanks for your interest in helping with the blankets!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

It's Hip To Be Square

I miss that Huey Lewis....

Anyhoo, thanks for all the comments on the Hokie Healing Squares! The knitblogging communty is so awesome-a force to be reckoned with indeed! In response to some of the questions in the comments (sorry, I didn't have emails/blogs to respond back to each of you personally):

1. I believe machine knit squares are ok as long as they are the correct size-8x8 inches
2. It does not need to be machine washable-hello cashmere!
3. Crochet is fine, too.
4. It doesn't need to be complicated or fancy so novice knitters, show your stuff!

The complete specific directions are here as well as the mailing address. The quick and dirty directions are: 8 x 8 inches, any stitch pattern (that means garter stitch is fine if that's what you can do!), colors can be maroon, burnt orange, black, or white or a combo of those, and preferably in a nice, cozy yarn. If you need to see the colors or any VT info, head on over to here. If you are interested in knitting a square with my Hokie Bird chart (it is intarsia-just fyi), email me and I will compile a list of folks who want it. I'm still awaiting a response from Virginia Tech about the use of it but I wanted to start a list of interested parties. I do want to note, however, that if I get the go ahead from Tech, it should ONLY be used for the the Hokie Healing squares and not for any money making/marketing use so if that's what you'd like it for, please don't ask for it. I am not trying to be mean, just trying to respect the University's policies. Thanks for understanding, fiber friends!

In other knitting news, I have FINALLY finished and blocked my Kiri shawl (see sidebar for details) and will hopefully be wearing it to the Memorial Service for the Civil Engineering department tomorrow. Here it is pre-blocking, all small and crumply-like:

And here it is blocked, all big and lacylike:

Here's close-up of the laciness:

And OOH OOH! My big bonus-I've been eyeing up some blocking wire sets and trying to find a nice (read:cheapy) alternative and lo and behold, I found the best solution! I got a 20-pack of floral stem wires from Michael's for $1.99!! They are shorter than the fancy pants sets but I just used three along the top and it worked fine. AND they are aluminum and therefore rust-proof---WOOT! I feel happy with me.

Knit On, Hokie Healers!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hokie Healing

It has been a very long and difficult week here in Blacksburg and healing seems like something way off in the distance, but we are all making a start. Mosaic is coordinating Hokie Healing, a project collecting 8 x 8 inch squares to assemble into blankets for the families of the victims. The details are on the Mosaic website (go look now-I'll wait...) and I would like to reiterate the request that they be made of the softest, nicest yarn you can afford-these are meant to heal and comfort as well as to last and be a lovely remembrance of those dearly loved-let's all do our best to make it that and not a festival of day-glo orange scratchy yarn, ok? I'm not trying to be all yarn snobby, but it would be great if the blankets are something really, really nice for those families. I have a chart I made up for my husband's Hokie Bird Socks that I am in the process of trying to figure out how to make it go from a colored piece of graph paper to a sharable intarsia chart. I'll do my best to get that available as it would be nice to include one Hokie Bird square in each blankie, don't you think? I also have to check with the University to see if it will be any sort of infringement on licensing rules so I will get that figured out ASAP. I'd love it if there were enough squares for the survivors of the attack, as well, because they are in serious need of comfort, too. What do you say, knitters? Are you prepared to barrage Blacksburg with Hokie squares?!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

There Are No Words

Nothing can describe the horror and devestation of what happened today in my town, where I live and call home and where we went to school. We knew at least one of the victims, we kept their baby while they sat in the hospital, we felt their pain, we prayed for them and will continue to do so. My heart hurts for all involved-my head hurts from worry and lack of sleep. It always happens "somewhere else"-today that somewhere else was right here. Virginia Tech will never be the same. Blacksburg will never be the same. Lives will never be the same. There truly are no words....

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Here's the reason for our road trip!
Debbie, I have NO idea how you knew, but here he is! He's 8 months old and a little bit silly-he should fit in just fine!! We are still deciding on a name but are getting closer to a final decision-if you have any great ideas, now's the time to leave a suggestion in the comments! (Sorry, Mimi-it was too late when I heard about Spike-all you pug loving knitters, check him out-he needs you!!)

Our other dog is not so much excited:

There is now enough fur in my house that Knitting with Dog Hair doesn't seem quite as weird...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Kiri Me A River

My house is still full of sick Things but they are all asleep-ahhhhh.....however, this will be a pictureless post because I am just too stinkin' tired-a week of 3-4 hours of sleep per nite will do that to you. I am trying desperately to finish my Kiri shawl. I started it way back before Thing 3 was born and somehow I have not had the time to finish it since then-what in the world have I been doing with my time, I wonder??? Must be all that sitting around watching soaps and eating bonbons... Anyhoo, it is knit on laceweight and I love knitting it but it took me awhile to be able to knit it without paying very close attention because sometimes lace is just that way for me(especially with very tired little eyes) and even though now I can knit and watch TV while working on it, I'm not sure that for me it is a completely "mindless knit". I'm much more in tune to the stitches now and can read them and spot mistakes much easier and fix them faster but still, I need to look while I'm knitting which can be slightly annoying when I want to get it DONE!! I really thought I could finish it fairly quickly but between new baby, 2 other kiddos, major sleep deprivation and very little time to actually pay attention to, well, anything, it is not done-YET. But I am finishing the last repeat and then I start the edging-woohoo! Has anyone had any experience with blocking Jagger Spun Zephyr? I am wondering just how much it will grow when blocked because it is still pretty small and I am afraid I cannot knit i any longer or my eyes will fall out!! I am going on a little road trip this Thursday and if it is not finished before then, I'm sure I can finish it in the car. So, hopefully next post will have pictures of Kiri finished and blocking! Oh, and also of a little surprise that is the reason for the aforementioned roadtrip...Stay tuned!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

If a Mime a Falls Down in the Forest, Will Anyone Hear It?

Thing 2 and Thing 3 are little sicky-poos right now and can
hardly breathe-hence the reason for very little time or material in my life for blogging the past week. (Incidentally, there is nothing more heart wrenching than a tiny stuffy-nosed baby or a pale-but-still-smiling almost 5 year old saying "I lub you, bama") So today I spent a lot of time with my 7 year old while the other 2 slept. We had some great moments today-like when she asked if we could just sit together and knit for a while-yay! The best part though was when we got to go to church tonite, just the 2 of us, for Good Friday. (Religious content ahead-if that offends you, you should probably keep on reading beacuse you need it! ha-so there!) I love the Good Friday service at our church because it is always so beautiful and such an incredible reminder of all Jesus did for us on the Cross. It is different every year and this year was no exception. There is a group of kids that do some miming/drama ministry stuff and I have to say in the past, I have really not been a fan of this group. They are good kids with good intentions and all, but....miming? Really? Not a fan. AT ALL. (At least the ones at church do NOT wear that nasty make-up...shudder) But tonite, I sat literally in tears as I watched these kids, completely devoid of self-consciousness, do 2 performances telling the story of the Crucifixion from the viewpoint of bystanders in Jerusalem. They did a routine, for lack of a better word, to 2 different songs and put everything they had into this routine. At first I felt really uncomfortable-I mean, did they know that miming is, well, weird? Don't they realize their friends are watching?! Which led to my next thought, "wow-they are so bold- I would never have done that in high school, heck I wouldn't do that NOW!" But then I found myself completely drawn in and before I knew it, the tears were rolling down my cheeks. What has happened to me? I've gone soft...having kids does that to a person. But they really were tremendous and while I am still not necessarily endorsing miming per se, I was really moved by watching them and my daughter LOVED it. Besides what it obviously got me thinking about (Jesus), it also got me thinking about how uninhibited they were. They just didn't even seem phased that a few hundred people were watching them while they put it ALL out there. I mean really, ALL-they were SO into it! Why am I never like that? I always hold back-afraid of being laughed at, not being good enough, not knowing enough, of people not really liking me. I do it with everything from my knitting to my friendships to my faith. I was completely humbled by watching those kids pour themselves into their performance as they told the greatest Love Story ever told. Sometimes we have to look at things we normally would write off as stupid or cheesy or weird and see that maybe they can teach us something pretty darn significant.

(Kind of how a lot of us learned to knit on Fun Fur and Splashesque yarns, eh? This IS a knitting blog, right? I felt compelled to tie it all together, even if I had to bring novelty yarn into it-sorry Mosaic ladies.)

Finally, in the "Things that Make You go Hmmmm....?" category, I leave you with this. Have a great weekend, y'all!

Monday, April 2, 2007

To My Dear Dishcloth Cotton Readers

To those of you who got the less than desirable result of "Dishcloth Cotton" in the previous post's quiz, this is a re-write for you:


You are the workhorse of the handknits-without you there would be a lot of messiness to clean up. You make the everyday tasks of life a little bit brighter and more enjoyable just by being there. You only get better with age-softer, more mellow, and steadfast where it matters most. You are of utmost importance in the very heart of the home as well as with young children. You have a natural beauty that is not achieved by synthetic means, but simply by being yourself. You may seem plain to the untrained eye, but are invaluable amongst all the other rough, scratchy and high maintainence choices out there. The rest of us are glad to have you around.

Now, is that better?

ps-The black background on the blog was driving me a bit nutso so I'm trying out the white-what do y'all think? Leave a comment saying which you prefer!!!