Perspective

Perspective


THE 500

I had planned to make a big deal about this post, my 500th, a milestone.  Then, last night’s tornados brought perspective;  the Iknead family is safe and untouched, but so many have lost loved ones and all they owned. So, thank you to all who’ve encouraged me, reading and commenting on this blog and then, back to the things that are truly important.

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Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.  Mother Teresa

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Exit Thanksgiving, We Love Surprises!

Exit Thanksgiving, We Love Surprises!


THANKSGIVING

I hope everyone had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as the Iknead crew did.  As it happens every year, I overate, overplayed with the grands, overtalked and just all around over busied and basked in the company of loved ones.  I finished the Scapula scarf (yay!) and worked on Christmas knitting when I wasn’t overdoing whatever it was that I was overdoing at that moment.

Did you know that Stuttgart, Arkansas (home of the Papoose and Sprout) is the Duck and Rice Capital of the World?  Did you know that the World Championship Duck Calling Contest coincided with Thanksgiving this year?  I didn’t think so.  There were so many duck callers around that I expected every duck on the planet to swoop down and pay us a visit, but fortunately, that didn’t happen.  There was, however, the obligatory person in a duck suit.

 

The grands had matching PJs –

L to R

Babydiva, the Papoose and the Sprout

Everyone played nice:

The Sprout showed off her two new teeth –

and showed what the Le Miz poster looked like live and in person

We got a photo of something other than the back of the Babydiva’s head –

And best of all…….

Babydaddy and Babymama announced that Babydiva will be a big sister next year!  That’s right – we’ll be welcoming a new grand around July, 2014 and we couldn’t be more excited!  Let the baby knitting begin!

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.  John Gardner

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Shutdown, Spirals and Festival

Shutdown, Spirals and Festival


YOU CAN DO THAT?  REALLY?

Mr. Iknead and I woke up this morning still wondering about the predicted government shutdown, even though we pretty much knew from last night that nothing had changed or had been agreed upon.  This hits pretty close to home for us – Mr. Iknead works for the State of Arkansas, which in turn is contracted by the Feds, so we’re sort of up in the air.  I feel very, very fortunate that at this point in our lives we don’t have to worry about our finances and if Mr. Iknead is furloughed for a bit, it’s not a crisis situation.  I know others who are not so fortunate.  Thank you, Mr. Iknead, for the austerity program, even though I gripe about it sometimes.

GONE TO POT

Pottery class is going well.  Teach told me yesterday that I definitely had gotten the hang of using the wheel and with practice, I’ll get better at it.  Still have nothing post worthy, but I’m planning on going in to work on the wheel more this week and hopefully, I have something at least minimally postable.

Here’s the spiral bowl I glazed this weekend with shiny black.  Can you tell that I totally didn’t check the background when I whipped out my phone to take a pic?  This one cracks me up.  It looks like it’s drinking out of the bowl –

LOOKING AHEAD

The first Diamond State Fiber Festival is this weekend.  I’m really looking forward to it and I’ve already got some extra money budgeted for whatever strikes my fancy (up to a point, of course).  Hoping to come home with enough fiber to keep me spinning for a little while, at least.  Violet, yeah, that’s my wheel’s name, is making the trip and hopefully, I’m going to learn a lot in the beginning spinning class I’m taking. I’ll take lots of pictures.

The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.  Zeno

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Harlot, Grannies and Sweater Karma

Harlot, Grannies and Sweater Karma


OMG!  IT’S HER!

Yesterday was the long awaited Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka Yarn Harlot visit and talk at Mt. Magazine Lodge here in Arkansas and it was crazy good!  The subject was “This Is Your Brain On Knitting” and covered the how and why knitters/fiber artists are (usually) so calm, cool and collected.  Hint:  Theta waves.  Knitters and other fiber artists have known about the benefits of playing with fiber for probably centuries, but it was really neat and affirming to have actual scientific studies proving what we’ve known all along.  Besides being the consummate knitter and knitterly author, she’s a very engaging and likable speaker – someone you’d LOVE to be sitting next to at the next knit night.  Thanks, Stephanie, for visiting and sharing with us your humor and wisdom.  It was a blast!!!   By the way, she’s from Toronto, Canada and arrived with the first ever May snowfall in Arkansas; she joked that she was the first person to visit Arkansas in May and wish she were back home in Toronto warming up!  It was COLD – snowing and sleeting hard when we left the Lodge for the drive home to Little Rock.  More about the knitting fun in the next post – so onward and upward.

NEW SKILL

I’ve lately been sort of obsessed with crochet, more specifically, granny squares.  I know the basics of crochet, it’s just not been my craft of choice.  I can do it well enough to finish a knitting project, like joining pieces together or making a neat, sort of lacy edge, but that’s about it.  It’s not that I don’t like to crochet, it’s OK, I’d probably like it a whole lot better if I practiced and got better, I just haven’t – up until now.  I saw the prettiest crocheted scarf at my LYS last week, very light, very airy and very soft and, well, that lit my fire.  I don’t know about you, but crochet always brings to mind stiff, scratchy, thick and heavy (think out-dated and ugly acrylic).  Light, soft and airy were words I just didn’t associate with crochet but I’ll admit it, I was wrong.  So, I found a book that had nothing but granny squares, grabbed some leftover sock yarn and a hook that I didn’t know I had and gave it a try.  It will probably never replace knitting as my #1 obsession, but, there’s still something nice, rhythmic and satisfying about watching string reinvent itself into something more interesting,  all the time getting more comfortable with the whole hook thing and the way it all comes together to make a square.  Here’s a look at my first efforts:

I know the colors are funky – it’s leftover sock yarn!

SPEAKING OF REINVENTION

In The Knitter’s Life List, a book I’m currently hooked on, one of the things listed is to unravel and recycle yarn from another, not so cherished, project.  That idea has been hanging out at the back of my mind for a week or so, especially when I found a sweater I knitted lord knows how long ago that was so poorly knitted and put together that it immediately was relegated to a shelf at the back of my closet, never to see the light of day.  So, a sweater so ugly I never let a camera even share its space has been reinvented and has become this:

I call it The Yarn Formerly Known as Sweater

All I can remember about it is that it’s 100% cotton.  I’ve got my eye on a nice, simple top down sweater for its reincarnation.  Something with just a little shaping and minimal seaming that will be as happily worn as it was knitted.  Do sweaters have karma?

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

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Just Call Me Tinkerbell

Just Call Me Tinkerbell


BY THE BOOK

Not reading/listening much at the moment.  There are a couple of books that have piqued my interest, Mary Coin by Marisa Silver and Fever by Mary Beth Keane.  As far as I can tell, neither one is in my local library’s collection yet, frustrating for me due to our (Mr. Iknead’s) austerity plan.  I’ve requested them, but this takes time, which I have a lot of, but unfortunately I’m continually short on patience.  Could this be a sign that I need to finish the books I’ve started to make room for those I want to start?  Possibly.

JUST WHEN

I think winter is really over and begin to anticipate spring with warmer temps and greener everything, Mother Nature brings another surprise.  After a couple of days of short sleeves and sunshine, the weather turned cold again with snow in the northern part of the state and rain and sleet for the rest.  I’m tired of sweaters and long sleeves and am finding myself thinking more and more about swimsuits, sandals and the beach. Our August vacation seems soooo far away!

ON/OFF THE NEEDLES

I cast off Lolita last night, all she lacks is a light blocking and then sewing the shoulder seams.  I’ll get a picture when she’s officially finished.  Still working on the first Olivia Petit sweater.  I ended up tinking back even more when I noticed a dropped stitch about ten or 12 rows back.  I tried to convince myself that I could totally live with it, that with a little blocking it would be next to unnoticeable.  You know how far that got me.  Bit the bullet, tinked back and redid and am much happier.  Two more buttonholes, then separating for the sleeves and I’ll be ready to start knitting the peplum.  Suddenly, knitting two more of these doesn’t seem like such a great idea.  Hmmm, wonder why?  Here it is so far:

Sorry the pic sucks.

Off to start blocking Lolita!

Love life and life will love you back.  Love people and they will love you back.  Arthur Rubinstein

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Happiness is

Happiness is


watching Finding Nemo with the Papoose, drinking a cup of fancy coffee, while it’s so cold out that I don’t even feel guilty for not taking a walk. Just in case you’re curious, it’s 27 degrees F and sleeting here in the duck and rice capitol of the world. Stuttgart, Arkansas for the still curious. Babysis is sleeping in her swing and has been for the last hour or so, Bigmommy is taking advantage of my extra pair of hands and is taking a well deserved nap and as I already mentioned, the Papoose and I are watching Finding Nemo and sharing a piece of cake. Does it get better than this? Not in my world or probably yours either.

BABYSIS

Annabelle aka Babysis was baptized yesterday and charmed Rev. Arnold by grinning at him the whole time. Needless to say, he joined the rest of us who are under her spell. She wore the family christening gown and by my count is #5. The first being her mommy, Lindsey aka Bigmommy.

Before church, hanging out with Papa aka Mr. Iknead

Life is good.

Familiar acts are beautiful through love. Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Got Back

Got Back


WHAT WE DID

Our trip to Stuttgart aka the Duck and Rice Capitol of the World to check out the Papoose’s new digs was amazing.  The parsonage was really nice, if a little dated, with big rooms and a great backyard, the Papoose is really loving it, lots of running room.  It’s right across the street from the church, so they can just walk over.  The congregation was very welcoming and warm and put on an awesome potluck after church.  I suppose I should mention that the church I’m going on about is Grand Avenue United Methodist, in Stuttgart, Arkansas and my best son in law, Clefton Vaughan, is the new pastor.

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Susannah Grace aka the Papoose

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Babydiva aka Harper with her Uncle Clefton

As usual, when we all get together (forgot to mention that Babydiva and her entourage was also there), a good time was had by all, with everyone talking at the same time, someone looking for a snack most of the time and, of course, paying homage to the Papoose and Babydiva, the prettiest and smartest girls ever.

It was hot so Mr. Iknead and the Papoose took a dip in the pool, where the Papoose made sure that her Papa was well watered, pouring water over his head from a watering can.  Cutest thing ever!

ON THE NEEDLES

I don’t really want to talk about it, it’s painful you know, but I frogged back about four inches of heel flap and sock leg on the 9 to 5s.  I still haven’t a clue where the wheels came off, I looked and looked, and counted and counted, never figured it out.  Fresh start on the heel flap tonight after work.  Frustration doesn’t look good on me, so I hope to get it straightened out so I can move on.

Failure is instructive.  The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.  John Dewey

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