Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rainy Day Socks




                                                     
It’s drizzly here today.   I don’t mind these rainy, gloomy days, as long as they are interspersed with sunshine-y, blossomy, birdsong ones, and they are.  The fading pink petals of the crabapple tree against the moody sky are so beautiful.  They glow like a neon sign: This is Spring!  As long as it isn’t snowing anymore [please, no] I am willing to pull a wool sweater on over a fresh sunburn.   Yesterday was sort of a wash because I spent the whole of it maniacally focused on a project that has since failed and been ditched, but of course I —as I always do—learned a thing or two in the process, so it was okay.  The problem was [this again?] value and contrast.  I swear.  Anyway, knitting is fun, so I don’t mind.  So that was a long afternoon in the sunshine, getting a little bit fried because I didn’t realize how much time had passed and that one arm was not underneath the umbrella.  There’s one downside to taking a deep creative dive.   Also, Catdog, who spends 99% of her life inert and asleep, stood up and surprised me by bolting into the underbrush.   Friends, this dog lives to relax.  I have seen her watch a chipmunk run underneath her nose without even flickering an ear.  She had her annual burst of energy yesterday, though, and I chased her in my flip flops all over the neighborhood, dress flapping, through freshly-tilled gardens and behind other people’s garages, calling and cajoling and basically being ignored, and when I finally caught up with her, she was wild-eyed and covered in creek mud, and she looked like she’d discovered something brand new.   Wait, there’s more to life than napping?   She’s still a catdog, though, because five minutes of running flat out was her limit, and, freshly dried and sweet-smelling after a warm bath, she coiled up under her down comforter, with nothing but her nose peeking out, and fell soundly asleep, a little mouse in a feathered nest.



After all that, I’m a little glad it’s raining today.  It seems like a good day to wear a new pair of warm socks.  The pattern is here

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Anoushka




Here is another pullover, off my needles.  I know, it’s not gray!  Who even am I?   This is Anoushka, by Regina Moessmer (pattern is here) in Knit Picks Palette.  You guys, this yarn.  It is so nice!  Why haven’t I been using Palette for everything?  Palette is making all the tres fancy yarns in my stash a little bit nervous right now.  I used “Currant” and “Seraphim”  (which is really a light lilac, not white as it appears to be) and they worked so nicely together.  I worried about the fit of this one as I was working, and I even wet-blocked the yoke, and then the body, and had honestly almost decided that it was going to be too small, but in the end, once the collar and sleeves were on and it could hang properly, it fits wonderfully.  I’ve worn it three times already, because even though it is the middle of May, I am almost never warm enough and wool is life.  

In other news, this is what I got for Mother’s Day:

My beautiful boy has earned his Bachelor of Architecture.  He will imagine amazing things, and people will build them!  I can’t stop marveling at that.  I could not be happier or more proud.  As I am writing this, he and his girl are on a cross-country journey, following their dreams to have a life in The West.  Letting them grow up and go away is so hard, but I am also thrilled for them, too.  Adventure!  Friends in Denver, Colorado, please take good care of them.  That’s it, all my children are grown up now.  I’m not saying I’m getting ready to start dressing the catdog in human clothes and letting her sit at the kitchen table, but I do think she would look really cute in little jeans. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

New York City Birthday




I keep saying this, to anyone who will listen:  what I really want in this life is to go places.  As much as I love my little cozy house in the country and all the ways rural life manifests for me, I am not content to just sit in my patio chair shelling peas and wondering.  I want to go.  There’s a whole big world out there!  There’s so much to do, so much to be amazed by.  When I turned fifty last week, it didn’t go as planned, you guys.  I totally meant to celebrate my half-century of life in this world, and to embrace the beginning of the next phase, but instead I wallowed in self-pity and was, in general, a giant ugly pain.  And then I hated that I couldn’t, even at fifty, be a grown-up, which made me feel worse.  I have never yet learned to keep the emotional baggage of my birthday at bay, and I always spend most of the day near tears, for complicated reasons that honestly don’t have much to do with getting older.  I am thrilled to be getting older, in part because it means I am not as yet dead, but also because I feel more free to yell when I want to and when somebody needs it, and to care less about what my hair and backside look like, and because my children are grown, I have more time and resources to go places.  So when my birthday was finally over and I had cheered up a little, Doc and I got on a train for New York.  

A word about train travel.  I’m a little afraid that somebody will find out how wonderful it is to travel by train in the US and ruin it somehow by adding a bunch of annoying rules, but until that happens, I’m traveling that way whenever I can.  I could write long verses of love poetry about train travel—it is so uncomplicated, so civilized and gentle.  So comfortable.  It is patient and kind.  Liberate yourself from the airport security line and take the train.  


I love New York so much.  There is such an abundance of life there.  The theater lights glow golden in the twilight, the same color as the hurtling, honking taxis.  They are everywhere, but still, take the subway; it is so much more pleasant and I am not even joking.  It is clean and efficient, and everyone makes room for each other, and teenage girls get up and give their seats to grandmothers, and kids on their way home from school play rock-paper-scissors and read library books, and if someone bumps your foot, they apologize.  If you don’t know how to find your stop, someone will help you.  I just love it.


Central Park is ravishing.  It is in bloom right now, and filled on a warm weekend with children and dogs and musicians and people (like us) walking hand in hand.  We walked for miles, for hours, dragging up, finally in a sandwich shop on 43rd Street, and I sank gratefully into a chair, planning never to get up again.  





At the MoMA, we finally saw “The Starry Night”, which has its own guard, and a big crowd of people lined up and waiting to take a quick picture with their phones and then leave without even looking at the painting (Doc said, quietly, to me, “You know, they sell postcards of that in the gift shop...”). The Cy Twombly gallery was the one that really made me light up, though; that one up there is from his huge “Four Seasons” work.  They were so wonderful, and I am wildly inspired now.


Of course I bought yarn.  Armloads of it.  I could have bought armloads more.  Much more about that later.  

Until next time, NYC.  #heart