Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In search of The Duke

On Sunday, KnightStar and I went to Winterset to see John Wayne's birthplace and take a few pictures for the Piker Press. See them here and here. There were a lot of activities on Saturday, but we couldn't get there until Sunday. That's just as well, since neither of us is crazy about big crowds.

I forgot to mention last week, but I had another photo in the Press, of Venus and the Moon. It is here. That one is also going to be in our astronomy club newsletter soon.

I've knit a couple of afghan squares and started a new sock. No, I haven't finished any of the socks-in-progress yet. Leave me alone.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Haul

When KnightStar started asking for birthday gift suggestions, I handed him the Knit Picks catalog. He did good:

Three books, and the Options needle set, plus chocolates from Chocolaterie Stam. I made a circular needle from the needle set and used them to finish a square for the Greensburg afghan project.
Nice, nice needles. I am very impressed.

When I got home from work, I had a package from my friend Hope.

Last weekend, the KnitWits went to Omaha for a quick yarn shopping excursion. With the help of Alcariel, I added to my stash of Koigu, with the goal of making a Keepsake Shawl at some point. (Or maybe something else. Who knows?) This is the old stuff mixed in with the new:

I though we did pretty good, considering we were trying to coordinate with a bunch of yarn I couldn't describe.

T and I had an early birthday dinner last night, since he had to work today. Today after work, I went to an art opening with some co-workers (free drinks!) and T brought home a piece of cheesecake he nicked from a buffet at his office. Tomorrow, I think the work day will end with more co-workers and more drinks, and then the big KnitWits birthday extravaganza. Amy's birthday is two days after mine, so we get to celebrate together. Felix & Oscar's, stand by!

Monday, May 21, 2007

A good excuse for knitting

Rebuilding Greensburg

I grew up not far from Greensburg, Kansas, the little town that was wiped out by a tornado earlier this month, and the stories of destruction and rebuilding have been of particular interest to me.

A knitter in Kansas wanted to make an afghan for the family that her church "adopted", and she put out the call for donated squares. Judging from the size of the mailbag she received recently, she may have enough squares to make afghans for many families.

Her suggested pattern is a simple diagonal garter stitch square. (The instructions are on the blog link, above.)

If you have some wool or wool blend worsted marinating in your stash, consider making a square or two for this cause.

It's true, except for the "delicate" part

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Shetland Wool. You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a little on the harsh side. Though you look delicate you are tough as nails and prone to intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are widely respected and even revered.
Take this quiz!

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gettin' gaudy

Susan at Resolution Every Day recently showed what happened when she started scribbling with her pastels. Hey! I have pastels! And I know how to scribble! And thanks to a big clearance sale at The Art Store, I have a huge sketch pad.

It's not as sublime as Susan's lovely art, but it was massively fun. I call it "Atlas Goes Snowboarding During the Berlin Airlift".

The patroness of the arts was so impressed, she hugged my neck.

(KnightStar would like to point out that he has just updated his blog with some pictures from his nature walks. Zoom in on the deer in the last picture.)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Shopping at the badge store

Recent delurker Goody led me to the Official Badge Generator. My gosh, there are a million possibilities, but probably not this late at night.

Goody mentioned that she knew the Sunbonnet Girl quilt block from her Girl Scout days. (That is the design on the bag in the photo at the link in the previous post. Got that?) As I recall, one year my mom's quilt guild in Kansas had a different pattern in their newsletter each month, all on a Kansas theme. If you made all of the blocks, you would have enough for a sampler wall hanging. That was probably in the late 70s or early 80s. I don't know if she made all of the blocks, but she immediately saw the possibilities for this one.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Storm at Sea

This week is the Mother's Day issue of the Piker Press. One of my pictures accompanies my contribution to the article, Reminds Me Of My Mother.

One of the items in the picture is a quilted wall hanging that my mom made for me. Here it is, unfurled and displayed by KnightStar:

I love all of of the motion in that design. If I did hard drugs, this would be the thing I contemplated for hours on end.

Speaking of arty things, what is more dramatic than the Sphinx?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

(Almost) Every Day In May

I'm a little late starting, but what the heck? French Toast Girl invites us all to be creative Every Day In May. I need to pull some illustrations together for the next issue of the Piker Press, so I may as well get extra credit for them.

Anyway, Aser adjudicated that knitting also counts as creative. So there.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's gonna get frenzied

I signed up for Script Frenzy, the script writing equivalent of NaNoWriMo. The goal - write a 20,000 word script in the month of June.

I was ready to resist joining. One grand literary failure per year should be plenty, thankyouverymuch. But our municipal liaison from NaNo is doing it, and she sort of dragged me along with her enthusiasm.

To prepare, I have read the book "Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need" by Blake Snyder. To his credit, Mr. Snyder made it sound like something I could do. I'm already thinking of ideas, which is more than ever happens when I try to write fiction, so I am cautiously optimistic.

One of the interesting things about screenwriting, as opposed to novels, is that "The Industry" freely admits that there are Formulas That Work. They aren't embarrassed to tell you exactly how many pages to write, and exactly where to put your turning points, and why one type of character is better than another - in short, what sells.

Selling, of course, is not my goal here. Trying something different is the goal. I'm excited about that.

(Here's a gratuitous extra graphic to satisfy the whims of Blogger's sidebar.)

In recent comments, Lydia asked how the lace yarn was coming along. Right now, it is marinating in the yarn stash, waiting for the right pattern to come along. If I come to visit this fall, Lydia, will it be lace shawl weather? That might spur me into action.

Aser asked how handknitted socks feel and how I launder them. They feel fine to me. They have some thickness to them, and if you have sensitive feet, you can probably feel them on the soles of your feet. I don't have any issues with wool, and because wool wicks moisture, I find them comfortable even when it is not cold.

As for washing them: I usually use superwash (non-shrinking) wool for socks. Some may call me a heretic, but they go into the washer, and the dryer. I've got yarn to make more if I need them. The silkier ones, though, I might handwash - once they are finished.

Dragon Knitter
commented on my ramen art, and I noticed that it has become separated from the article it accompanied in the Piker Press. So here it is, my most dramatic painting to date.

I Don't Like Ramen!
Acrylic on ramen noodles