Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Days of Dreaming

These days my mind is swirling around itself with project ideas, colors, patterns, yarn, fabric, thread.

Last week I took a much-needed long walk into Central Square (Cambridge) in the middle of my work day. I swung by Goodwill, knowing full well what was about to happen. I spent $10 and walked out with a J. Crew 100% wool sweater in a stunning shade of cornflower blue, and a 100% cashmere sweater in a very pale icey blue.

I can't wait to start ripping. The cornflower is precisely the same color as Little Man's eyes, and I've been looking for that shade for a couple years now. Clearly there's another Little Man sweater on the horizon. I'm not sure what I'll do with the cashmere, especially since it's probably fingering or sport weight.

Danielle has a colleague who wants to commission a memory quilt for her daughter's high school graduation, and I agreed to do it. So I've been pouring over pictures, learning about this amazing young woman and the sport of synchronized swimming, and thinking about designs. I haven't started sketching yet, but I'm very close. Watch out colored pencils.

I'm 75% done with a Booga Bag, a long-overdue gift for a secret recipient. I love Noro, and after Little Man's Chunky Cabled Sweater, I'm loving this long stretch of knitting in the round. The colors are so incredible, I just want to lick the yarn.

Next week I'll be taking time off work to attend three workshops by Sandra Betzina at the Fabric Place. I have her books, I've read them, and now I'll meet her. So exciting! I asked for these workshops for Christmas, and didn't get them (grrrr!!!!), so I've been selling my body and soul to MIT brain researchers in order to fund the classes. I really really really really want the Pants Fitting class, and I've earned nearly enough money to go. Naturally Wifey (and my better judgment) think that any extra money I earn should go into our household account (which is not quite Red as Emma anymore, but a nice variegated pink/black 2 ply). However, I've been looking for a pants tailoring class for about 4 years, so come hell, high water or domestic strife, I'm going to this one. Wish me luck on the domestic front, k? (speaking of, I couldn't bring myself to tell her about the 'professor' thing. I'll just be content in the knowledge that I'm not being a "poser" (THANKS Y'ALL!), and resist the temptation to rub her nose in it.)

I'm shopping for sock yarn for SockapalOOOza. PippiKneeSocks and I have been emailing because I LOVE her colors and I want to patronize this very cool chica. But I also took a gander at the Koigu at A Good Yarn yesterday. For some odd reason, two skeins of a lovely variegated green jumped into my bag, stole my debit card, made love to the swipe machine and nestled into the lowest corner of my bag with the receipt tucked between plies, before I even realized what happened. Even stranger -- I got back to my office only to realize that my sockpal doesn't like green. Hmmm ... I'll probably have to exchange those skeins for something she'll actually like. And no, at the tune of $22, I can't keep it for myself and buy more for the SockPal. Hrumpf!

For over a year I've been meaning to design a quilt block based on Matisse's Blue Nude series. I have the exact image in mind, the whole production process mapped out, the supplies in my craft closet, and two gift recipients who know that something is "on-the-way," but are probably losing faith in my ability to deliver. But these days, I'm feelin' it. Perhaps I'll dig into the closet and resurrect that pile of blue fat quarters.

Wifey, Little Man and I spent last Saturday helping Wifey's Dad with some home renovations. In other words, I spent time wandering through the glory of Portsmouth's fabric and yarn stores (aka 'entertaining Little Man') with Wifey's step-Mom, while Wifey sanded and primed. I'm a lucky girl. Wifey's step-Mom is a quilter and a knitter and fabulous cook and an overall crafty chica. I love her. Sometimes I love her so much that I want to kiss her. Last weekend was one of those times. First of all, she gave me a pair of blue Danskos, because the footbed is too hard for her feet. These shoes ... oh these shoes. Love. The leather mocks the skin of a freshly picked blueberry, alternating between shiny and matte, dark and light. Love. She also introduced me to a new yarn store in town - Yarn for Ewe, which has an amazing selection. If you're near Portsmouth, NH, check it out. Back at the ranch, I nestled into her craft room (room!) to browse the heaps of quilting books for ideas for the SynchroQuilt. Before I started into the quilting books, I spotted Scandinavian Knitting Designs. Love. Lucky me - she said it could come live with me on a 'long-term loan'. Yeah! Which reminds me ... around Christmas time, she gave me two old Kaffe Fassett books (Glorious Color and Glorious Knits) on 'long-term loan'. While the patterns are SO not my style, they're very inspirational. Love.

Through all of this, I was reminded why I adore my Little Man so much. We walked into downtown Portsmouth, which is a decent walk for an adult, but a LONG walk for a boy. He jumped and ran and twirled the entire way, so by the time we reached downtown, he slumped into the stroller with a juicebox and his Magna Doodle. This left me free to browse. Although, sporting his brand new Chunky Cabled Sweater, he was a conversation stopper in The Yarn Basket, both because of the sweater (blush!) and because he was carefully fondling the yarn, ohhing and ahhing, naming all the colors, saying "knitting" and "yarn" over and over again, and giggling about the Monkey Fur scarf.


Anonymous said...

Aww, your little man is a sweetie! I wish I got to hang out with him more and get to know him ... :)

Beth S. said...

I love Portsmouth! Such a cool spot. I'll make a mental bookmark about Yarn For Ewe: must investigate on next visit!

And I love your kid-wrangling strategy, too: let 'em frolic till they're completely exhausted, and then they'll rest quietly in the stroller while you (and the other customers) get Uninterrupted Yarn-Fondling Time. You should patent that move and spend the proceeds on Koigu. ;-)

Ragnar said...

Persist in your determination to take the pants tailoring class. Betzina is a wiz and you will never regret the money spent. There is no such thing as a ready made pair of pants that actually fits...and if you offer to tailor a pair for your wifey she will forgive the expense.

nina beana said...

i've got portsmouth envy...

also, have fun at your classes. am i allowed to have class envy, too?

carrym said...

Sounds like we'll have another little knitter on our hands, very soon!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're in a very creative place. I'm jealous. How about a lacey shawl with the recycled cashmere?