knitting, that's it. and "Hi Mom"

knit and art. knit and art. knit and art.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Razzle Dazzle 'Em

What does a knitter blog about when she's working on a shawl, and the photo of today's work doesn't look much different than the one from two day's ago (or whenever it was I last blogged)? In the words of the song from my favorite musical to movie production, "Razzle Dazzle 'em!"

So here's Hyrna, we're now up to row 62 (progress past the last point from whence I frogged the entire thing)....THIS IS REALLY THE FURTHEST I"VE GOTTEN TO DATE WITH THIS SHAWL! Its getting exciting for me), photographed artistically with one of my favorite necklace creations. (its turquiose and swarovski crystals. the front is seed beads and crystals that are woven into the medallion shape). No, I didn't just make the necklace today, but I did find it after it has been lost for several months!

I didn't take photos of the kids' art classes this week. Its been exciting though....lots of hard core work. So I'll tell you what happened: I had two classes of 5 year old's successfully accomplish drawings using single point perspective! (thunderous rounds of applause should be heard resounding around the world). I couldn't believe they actually were getting it! Each of them in tonight's class drew cities around a train track that we used the single point perspective technique. And then they were allowed to create their own little cities - only rule was they had to use the same vanishing point (which is quite easy to do for anyone who knows what this all means, but think of this in a 5 year old's intellect). I wish I could convey to you the depth of self-pride they had when their parents came in and they showed them their drawings - and the amazements on parent's faces. I love my job! It is the single most rewarding job in all my busynesses (yes, that was the correct word).

tomorrow morning, my son will be testing for his green belt in karate! It starts at 7:00 am with a 3 mile run, then push ups (like in the hundreds), stretches, demonstrations of technique perfecttions....its going to be awesome and I'm going to be there watching (and knitting, I don't need to watch him run and do push ups for an hour and a half). He's an awesome kid! He's fought hard in life to be who he is - completely deaf in one ear, auto immune disordered, 14 but petite like a 2nd grader, bullied, ....I put him in karate and suddenly none of that mattered anymore. He's strong and carries himself with confidence now. He was in a hard battle with depression, and now look at him! You better bet I'll be there supporting him!

Someone (RHO) asked me about the shingles. they are now managed. I had no idea how serious this infliction could be and can't imagine having to go through it and older than i am. I wear a lido derm patch during the day (12 hours max) and Neurotin at night (can't take it in the day). No more darveset or atarax. Its not gone, but definitely much better. People are starting to tell me that I look better. I was pretty ragged looking last month.

Okay....all the boring reading stuff over. You may now return to your regularly scheduled "Whose Line Is It Anyway" (I love the dynamics in that group!)....and wasn't So You Think You Can Dance? awesome this week! (btw: don't try to knit on Hyrna while watching tv. )

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hyrna Herborgar progress & art

lacey shingles cardigan without the drawstring
Lacey Shingles is now done. I've worn her all week both with the drawstring and without, and I'm thinking that I like her both ways. Do you have a preference.

Things are settling down medically at least for the family, although it seems I'm in forced high drive. All the basics are still being met, so I'm happy: time to teach, and time to knit.

After much struggle, even finding the meaning of the words, I just couldn't go on with Hyrna whilst looking back at all the mistakes I made. So I de-needled her (took the needles out) and frogged her yesterday morning. Tonight, I am in the exact same place as I was pre-frog, but without errors. The first time just worked out all the bugs and got me warmed up to her. Now I feel at least able to introduct her by, "Her royal highness, Hyrna Herborbar." Ms. Hyra Herborgar She's going well now, error free this time (knock on wook).

And my teachings: Last weekend the older students studied a work by Mary Cassett and did pencil drawings based on one of the girls Cassatt painted combing her hair. I thought they did a phenomenol job. Its tough to photograph pencil drawings so I'm posting two.
One of My favorite students

More student work

These are the wee ones! So sweet and so talented. The artschool wants me to open up a third clss to teach them (because there is a long waiting list and kids are having to be turned away). I haven;t decided yet. Right now, I have to remember, that my primary living source is not teaching, or knitting, but painting, and gallery sales. And I've got to meet with a gallery on Thursday this week with at least three paintings done. (uh.....they don't come out of this air). I worked on one today, but don't have a photo. anyway. they are wonderful, these children!
The 5-6 year old group

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge No. 3

In Shakesperean Chant (rant)

Hyrna Herborgar

Mijda, oh Mijda
What name go thee by in the vernacular of the king?
If, not in knowing,
I wouldeth some way to slight thee,
what then would thoust vegeance bring?
Hyrna, the Herborgar, is fair and of a beauty I wishest for,
and your righteous scorn I surely hopeth not
fall upon her innocence.
It is I, sole and alone,
yet please not in choosing,
who holds the needles in guilt.
I begeth thee to look with mercy
upon my humbled fingers
and impart the wisdom thou doth solely possess to my frail mind.
My needle awaiteth your words.
(pause. longeth.)

Ho! What yonder in the distance comes to my side?
"Mijda! Reveal yourself!," I implore.
As she removes her golden cloak,an Icelandic finery,
I see her displeasured face.
She looketh upon my foolishness contemptiously,
her needle she raiseth and poketh me in my idiot eye.
"I am Mijda, and Hyrna I will not surrender to thee until thoust has answered my name's riddle.
Yet since thoust possesseth the brain of an impervious slug
and thine countanence is painful to endure,
I will telleth thee outright.
This chaos you knit is not worthy even for dishrags.
In thoust 8003 attempts before,
why thee waste me in the row's endeth,
yet continue in same manner to 8004?
Somehow wilt these knots magically transform?
Doth thou really seeth not thine own problem which lies open for all
and thus belies the extent of disease which resides between thy ears?
Remove me from her and expect not her beauty,
For I am her essence,
Thoust cannot have her without me.
I am neither at her head nor her feet, but in her heart.
No, wee knitter, place me not in her rows at the beginning or endeth;
I am Mijda, and my name quite obviously defined means middle,
and that, whacketh thee head, is the answer to my riddle.

Official Details: Hyrna Herborgar is a lace shawl from "Three Cornered and Long Shawls" (Schoolhouse press) and my second entry in the summmer Amazing Lace KAL. I have been fruitlessly trying to knit her, despite the book being primarily in Norwegian with pathetic English translations. I am following a chart, which symbols are adequately defined, except for a few Norwegian Mijda. This morning, suddenly, it hit me, why I have not been able to get even up to Row 8, without having to start over again. I seriously stopped counting how many times I've been trying to start this shawl. Tonight's attempt should work much better.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Major Problem. Look at this thing. Look closely....there at the right sleeve. Yea - thats it. I'm stuck. I CAN'T finish the sweater. Lacy Shingles Sweater

Now I just need to find that final way past finisher's block and do it. Instead, I've been napping this afternoon. (I did teach my advanced art class this morning).

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Doctors and Extreme Kntting

This is a true story. The names of the characters involved have not been changed so to fully impact the reader with the consequences of drug behavior. Drugs aren't pretty. And neither are doctors who prescribe them. In fact, Dr. Payne is not a pretty man at all. He prescribed all this medicine. He KNEW I was knitting, yet he still prescribed them. I knit in his office and he could see that what he was doing bordered on insanity. Yet he still handed me the drugs and told me to call him next week if its not enough. I had to take them....because compliance to military medical doctors is required. the new teammates
He gave me drugs. Lots of them. Its for the shingles (the darth vador march plays loudly in the background)... and its accompanying post herpatic storm troopers. These guys are deadly, cruel and viscious. They get on your nerves and try to take you down cell by cell, leaving you as a mindless zombie to follow the will of the Emperor of the Dark Side, who wants to stop the ALKAL, and all knitting throughout the universe.

Dr. Payne said the only way to fight them off is to give them the medicine to repell them. The risks were great. He warned me that I may not be able to knit (function) on them. Even though it would make knitting more difficult, I just can't let the Emperor and his nerve agents turn me from what I know has to be done. I'll fight. I'll take the medicines the doctor gave me. I must kill the enemy nerve agents. Neurotinin, Lidrodermpatch somethingorother, Darveset, Atarax, Clonepin, and Ambien CR, its time to work. But something goes wrong - I quickly realize that I could be unconscious in a matter of moments. I can't feel my hands (or my feet which seem tohave fallen into a state of paralysis. I think we wont try to do those sequential steps we call walking, tonight. I'll call in one of the jedi knights to bring me my tea). Mu-s-t Fi-gh-t to s-t-a-y aw-ayyy-ke.

I know the mission. The sleeve must get done in order to save the Republic, the ALKAL. The whole integrity of the ALKAL rests on getting this mission done - because tomorrow is a different mission of much greater importance (I have to teach art to 5 year olds). Why are there 3 sets of needles in my sweater. Which is the sleeve? OOOH pretty little tweety birds - they're not suppossed to be here. That doctor - did I check his credentials or background? Was he from the dark side...a secret agent of the Emperor? He's not going to thwart my mission. I've knit in tougher places before. This is going to require me to go into Extreme Knitting mode. I have to simulate from two charts with different row counts, 8 and 13, to come up with sleeve edging (heavy gunfire is heard in the background, the storm troopers have broken through the seal on the hatch and I'm hiding in one of the egg modules (my chair). Get over here Quinacridone and Shingles. Gidget! Mona! I need all reinforcements to the bridge NOW. Reinforcements
"The doctor must have been Darth Vador wearing human clothes. I'm pretty sure of it. We still need to somehow attach this arm to the body of the bodice. Gidget, you're the one to do it! The force is stong in you. You're going to have to lick my face and see if that will release enough serotonin that I can get my hands to work. That blank empty stare told me she could handle it.

It was about 4 hours later, and we could relax finally. The evil drugs did not prevent me from getting the knitting done.

Mission Accomplished. We saved the ALKAL.

I think its pretty mindboggling that I could knit, much less design a cashmere cardigan while enduring a severe case of shingles. I deserve a comment for that.

Oh, and I’m calling her Lacey Shingles Cardigan...for obvious reasons.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Amazing Lace Update

Lace Cardigan
The challenge for this week in the Amazing Lace KAL is to post on extreme knitting. You know, for a person who isn't always "all-there", I can't think of an extreme knitting example. I thought about climbing up on top of our roof and knitting up there for a while - you know, on the shingles, since I have shingles (sorry, bad joke). But I still hurt too much (whine) to go climb up on the housetop. So here's my photo, and the thought of my extreme knitting.....because, after all, isn't it the thought that counts?

By the way, there was an upset on the team this week. I predicted that Shingles would get cast off first, but somehow he's still here. Pink Diva Bear, though, wasn't so lucky. She's officially been thrown off. Her constant ranting about fashion trends kept causing doubt and confusion and hesitation for the rest of the team and nothing could get done. I couldn't knit with her, so I made an executive producer choice (as Nigel said he could make on the last episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" - yes I watch it!!!!) and she was outta here. With cashmere, you just gotta do what you love, and not worry about how long it will be in fashion. I hope the best for you, Pink Diva Bear. You're good, you just gotta figure out that you can't be trying to please the world when the world is constantly changing. Stop worrying so much about what's in and out, and start thinking about what you love and want. Be you! Its your most flattering look and will lead you into a much more satisfying direction in life.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Lace and Little Ones

Lace cardigan
I'm slowly getting better, while making tons of progress on my cashmere lace cardigan. The design has taken some major changes: I decided that I did not want it to wrap, but it will close in the front as a traditional cardigan. I'm loving this yarn!

I also got notified by Vickie Howell that the Linen corset top (the white one done in Euroflax and crocheted) has been accepted for her book "Catwalk Crochet" to come out in 2007. I'm excited! I really wanted to see this pattern published!

And even though I've not been able to paint much, I did finish this commission piece for the Ballet Conservatory of NorthWest Florida. I love little dancers!

Shingles are still here, but today has been my first no-muscle-spasms day! Its been nice. I haven't had to take any pain medicine. First day since this all started! Maybe I'm finally getting better.

Thank you everyone for being so kind and sending me well wishes!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Poor Mona

I think I know what she was feeling today when she carefully picked her little fluffy bunny toy up and carried it up onto the window table, set it on the window sill, and then laid her head down on top of the rabbit. She needed a pillow. It was raining outside and there was nothing else to do but look out and watch the raindrops fall. If you look carefully in the photo you can see her little rabbit. I think that if Mona were a knitter, she would want angora.

I'm in a lot of pain. I see why people get depressed when they have shingles. I just can't get away from the pain. The doctor upped the darveset (pain med) and tomorrow I'm going back in to see them. I've got a big bumper crop of them coming out. This just seems more like the actual chicken pox than shingles. My back is covered in them and I'm so fatigued. amazing lace KAL
I'm attempting still to knit. This is my next design project. I was going to do it with diagonal lines, but I couldn't concentrate enough. And tonight I'm ready to frog the whole thing and just forget it.

My art kids
On a pleasant note: I got this photo emailed to me from the artschool I teach at. Its one of my 5 year old classes. They did those bears free hand! Its so personally rewarding to see these kids as they learn the techniques of art and are proud of their works. They are an awesome group and one of my major sources of energy.

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