The Musings of One Miss Julie

Friday, April 29, 2005

Knitting on DVD

Last night I watched the DVD The Art of Knitting, which I checked out from the library.

Most of it was interesting enough even if there wasn't a lot of new info for me. I guess a more accurate assessment of it would be that it was a pleasant program to watch in the background as I sat on the couch and knit. I did enjoy the discussion on different fiber types from the woman who owns Prism Yarn. I also got to see an alpaca shearing demo. (When I told Scott last night that I wanted to change careers and become an alpaca farmer all I got was a "That's something my mom would say." I'll take that as a compliment.) Perhaps my favorite segment was the discussion on dyeing with the two women who make up Twisted Sisters. I know nothing about hand dyeing nor about the color theory behind it and I found it fascinating.

Too bad the production was so low-budget, though. Some of the segments were filmed at fiber festivals and the background noise and terrible lighting nearly made me turn off the DVD at several places. The DVD topics were lacking in specificity, too. "Shearing" took me to the alpaca demo, which was fabulous, but it only addressed alpacas. "Spinning" took me to a quite brief profile of a family-operated mill but didn't give real information on hand spinning, which is what I expected.

And then there was the section entitled "Zen and Knitting." One of the first things I loved about knitting was its meditative quality, for lack of a better description. But that was, for me, something I appreciated simply because it was therapeutic in a quiet and repetitive way. The author who led the zen discussion started off okay but really soured for me when she got all poetic about how each stitch of my knitting is symbolic of my place in this world. Eeew.

In real knitting news, I am making progress on the second sleeve for the baby sweater. I should finish it this weekend with no trouble.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A Good End to a Good Week

It's almost inconceivable to me, but I actually held steady and finished one of the sleeves for the baby sweater yesterday. I'm going to cast on for the second one today and see about maintaining my pace.

I can't believe I forgot to mention this yesterday, but Friday was an exceedingly happy day around here. First, the day we'd been waiting for: Scott's last day of student teaching. Whew. No more crazy late nights, no more dancing around trying to please too many people and forgetting entirely about himself. Now it's just down to finding a teaching job, which could be no simple task for a wanna-be high-school drama teacher with Michigan's economy the way it is.

Second, I got promoted. I've been waiting for months and it's finally happened. I'll now be Manager of Interactive Content, which just puts me up higher on the Web ladder at work. I think I'm most excited about having an office. And did I mention that office will have a door? Ah, the simple things.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Me vs. Natural Order of Things

Whew! So I'm finished with the primary knitting on the back and front of the baby sweater and I'm rushing my way through the sleeves now. My friend's baby is now two months old, so it's a scurry against time to make sure he doesn't reach 12 pounds before I'm finished with his gift.

I really like the clean-babyness of this sweater. I mean, I don't think anyone prefers an ooey, dirty baby, but I rank with the best of 'em in terms of really, really disliking the gooey-fingered, drooly candy-mouthed, Kool-Aid moustached variety of little tykes. Something about the white and blue combo just says "Clean, Dry Baby Sitting Smiling in His Pram." I'll have to bug my friend for a picture of her little Jake wearing my handiwork just to prove my theory right. I'd better get back to the needles -- he's probably growing faster than I'm knitting.

Oh yeah, we're supposed to get up to 14 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon. I wonder if anyone reminded God that it's almost May.

Friday, April 08, 2005

What's Up with Me?

I enjoy many activities (sewing, mucking around in the garden, that sort of thing). I'm nearly obsessed with others (reading, thinking about knitting as often as I can, knitting, and recently, listening to Keane). But something happened to me in the last couple of months.

When we drove to Louisiana two weeks ago, I was sure I would spend much of the 16-hour trip clacking away with the needles. I didn't even pull my work out of the knitting bag. It was as if the act of moving the bag from the back seat to the front was so exhausting I needed a 15-hour and 59-minute rest. I did manage a few rows on the return trip, but it wasn't with much enthusiasm.

Even my lifelong passion for reading has diminished. I've started numerous books sure I was going to be utterly delighted. Not so much. The most recent example was Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It's precisely the sort of giant book I dive into and never come up for air. I've already renewed it twice from the library and I'm only into about page 150 of 800. I don't think the library will let me renew again, and I can't muster the energy to keep going.

I'm hoping that with the springy sunshine I'll get a boost of Julie exuberance and feel familiar to myself again. In the meantime, I guess it's just going to be me, the iPod, and the musical chaps from Sussex.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

We're Back

What a fantastic vacation we had! And sheesh, did we need it.

Scott & Julie Do Tabasco We spent a few days with my sis before heading south to the Big Easy. Over the course of our trip we took in the Tabasco factory, which you can see here. (What is it with our delight at standing next to super-sized versions of everyday objects? Admittedly, Scott doesn't look as charmed as I do.) We visited Oakley Plantation, where the birdman John James Audubon spent some time. We encountered a lovely white peacock at the plantation (I cut most of my dopey self out of the background of the photo, but that's the bird we saw) that apparently took a liking to us. It put on quite a show for us. We also lounged on my sister's couch, an understated but very enjoyable part of our trip. We walked all over New Orleans, taking in the fantastic aquarium and zoo they've got there. And oh yeah, I bought some yarn.

Yes, pleaseI finally gave in to my need for the Noro Kureyon. I hardly need any more yarn sitting around and reminding me that I'm not a fast enough knitter to move through it as quickly as I'm buying it. But hey, when I finally do make that Booga Bag with it, I can remember my trip with fondness. There's justification for you.