Short Post today and almost entirely devoid of knitting content...

Today, the story of a picture:

In March of 2003, I went to Ireland with my grandfather and cousin. On the third day, we were traveling through Conemmara and we saw this sight out the car window. We only had about 50 feet before the entrance - let's just say that my "Oh, let's stop there!" caused my grandfather to slam on the brakes rather harshly. Minor whiplash.

Anyway, this is a photo of Kylemore Abby. Today, it's a girls school and minor tourist attraction. This photo is my favorite from the day and from the whole trip. People tell me that it looks like a postcard. I can't help but agree.

Anyway, Ireland was a truly amazing experience. I loved it. I can't believe how great it was getting to know my grandfather and traveling the country.

And the mandatory knitting content - I wish that I'd known how to knit back then - I'd have gotten some yarn while I was there.

Next time.


Love, not infatuation

Dear Evelyn A. Clark,

You amaze me. Truly. Let me explain:

Last summer, I decided (rather bullheadedly)that I was going to knit some socks. So I did what I would normally do. No, I didn't take a class. No, I didn't find a pattern labelled "starter socks" or "basic socks." I pulled out an issue of IWknits(winter, 2004), found a sock pattern I liked (in this case, retro ribbed socks, see right), and cast on.

I knew that the pattern was only a page long. I realized it was all text. And I knew that eventually I was going to have to knit a gusset even though I had no idea what one was or what one looked like. I had faith in you Evelyn. I had faith in my ability to knit a pattern. You did not let me down.

It was a wild success. Using only the words and abbreviations I knit some socks. I amazed my grandmother with my fearless conquering of needles the size of toothpicks (ok, well maybe size 2's aren't quite toothpicks, but still ...) and I loved the slow satisfaction of knitting a pair of socks.

The pattern, with it's twisted knit stitches and blocks of purls is incredible. It was easy to memorize and looks incredible. You are a goddess, Evelyn.

Now, It didn't take me long to start to take your pattern and think outside the box. I tried to use the skeleton, the bare bones numbers of your incredible socks and simply use a different stitch pattern in making my next set of socks.

But I am not you. I do not have your creativity, your gift of knowing what patterns work best on feet. I bow to your craft.

Anyway, I was ecstatic when I picked up a back issue of Knits with a (new to me) pair of your socks(waving lace). It's cute, it's fun and I have the perfect skein of hand-dyed yarn in mind ... And it uses a stitch pattern I'd never have thought to use on socks. So I will try to emulate you, but realize and try to accept that I may never succeed.

In the meantime, I'll knit your patterns.

Anyway, I write, to simply say - You rock my socks! Really Evelyn, I'm not exaggerating. And so, to that, I present, in thine honor, a button. Because, really, I love your socks.

(to fellow Evelyn admirers - steal away, but link to your own bandwith, not mine)


Ralph the Gnome

Once upon a time, there was a land named "Collins." It was a magical land where the food was plentiful, the buildings looked like castles and the people, the people .... The people were truly kind, they were respectful and they were fun. They were artists, crafters, scholars, writers and environmentalist.

Now, the people of Collins had a mascot of sorts. They loved gnomes. It stemmed, some suspect, from a set of 3 stained glass windows in the center building.

Here is an adventure of Ralph, when he stayed with me for a few days. (and if you have questions about Collins -
a residence hall at Indiana University- email me at nicole.hindesTAKEOUTHISJUNK (AT) gmailANDTHIS TOO dot com.!)

Ralph tried on Un, my first sweater.

Instantly, he fell in love with the feel, the drape, the warm, soft wool and of course, the incredibly flattering color.

But of course, there is a problem.

The sweater is WAY to big for Ralph.

So Ralph picked up some needles and yarn and got to work. But what is he making?

Could he be making a sweater for himself? That would require odd shaping because his proportions are off and his beard is just odd.

Could he be making a rug for his home in the tree in the woods?

What would a gnome want to knit?

Of course! A scarf!