Tuesday, November 30, 2010

november sweater

Holy crow, two posts in two days... how long has it been since that happened? (No words from the peanut gallery, please, I know it has been months.)

Speaking of months, how long has it been since I finished a sweater? April, if anyone is counting, but I finally have another entry!

OK, OK, so it's a vest but I maintain that it still counts as a sweater, even without the sleeves.

It should have been a really quick, easy, painless knit but for some reason, my brain transformed it into a zombie project. I dropped stitches multiple times (hard to pick up in this brioche stitch pattern), ripped it out, made it too big, ripped it out, made it too small, ripped it out, seamed the two fronts together (durrr)... The original pattern called for sleeves but I couldn't face working on it any longer. I cast off and called it a day!

And it is wonderfully smooshy and warm and I have worn it every day since I wove in the ends on Sunday. The peanut gallery here in the house hasn't chimed in on that yet but I have been surprised by the restraint.

(In case you were wondering why the pictures are slightly out of focus and off-center, they were taken by my six-year-old photography assistant and he had a bit of technical difficulty with the camera. I think you can get the general idea, though.)

Onto December... as if!

Monday, November 29, 2010

magic gardens, revisited

Despite all appearances to the contrary, I am still here. I am also very busy but with things that I can't share just yet. These things are very exciting and engaging me in creative ways that are really stretching my brain, which is wonderful... but when it comes time to put together a blog post the end of the day, I opt for collapsing on the couch instead. No great photo ops there.

This past weekend, though, I actually got off my couch and have some pictures to share! Today's set focuses on the act of creating art, something I have been doing a fair amount of thinking about lately. We revisited Isaiah Zagar's Magic Gardens on our trip to Philadelphia over the weekend -- seems to be turning into an annual pilgrimage.

These pictures were taken in the outside portion of the installation.

It is hard to convey the work using conventional means; it defies mere textual description and photographic attempts to document its scale.

Instead it tends to resemble a lot of trash and random items jumbled together, which at its most basic level it is, but it is also a lot more than that.

You'll just have to visit and wonder at it for yourself.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

not my season

From time to time, people ask me why I don't join this spinning guild, or that knitting group, or this choir, or that project, and here is my stock answer:

It is not my season for that right now.

Tonight was a perfect illustration. I am lucky enough to live in a pocket of the state with quite a few spinners living in a 15-mile radius of each other. Thanks to one particular dedicated soul, meetings happen every month, without fail, rotating among the spinners' homes. I love spending time with these women but I am sure, to them, it seems as if I blow them off on a regular basis. It's a wonder they still invite me.

I tried tonight, truly I did, but first I had to wash a smelly dog, who rolled in goodness-knows-what for the second time today.

(Not too much help from this quarter, the new Call of Duty game came out four days ago.)

Then I needed to get the cashew and peanut brittle weighed and packed up for the church boutique tomorrow... my LSH and I made five batches last night.

Luckily I had a helper, though as you can see from his face, the occasional piece did hit the floor. (I would just like to note for the record that we did not put those pieces in the bags for sale. He ate them.)

OK, all done. Now to take it to the church...

And field an emergency call from my poor LSH, who was running an entirely different set of errands. Secondo needed to be picked up from soccer practice.

Back home, eat dinner at 8:20 pm. We are on a European dinner schedule these days, the only way we can eat together as a family. Clean up the kitchen, throw in a load of laundry, sit down to check where the spin-in is taking place and...


That rotten dog is sitting behind me, and I obviously missed a particularly pungent spot. Back out to the hose we go.

Towel him off, check my watch and... oh blast. I've missed the spin-in again. Maybe next month?

I doubt it. Not my season right now, and that's OK. I could shake my fists -- futilely -- at the heavens.. or I can thank them for all the goodness and richness, with the possible exception of the smelly dog, of the entirely different season I am in.

Some day, before I know it, I will be left twiddling my thumbs on a Friday night. Until then, I hope everyone can forgive my absence.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Today, my husband ran the NYC marathon.

It was amazing and inspiring and once-in-a-lifetime and I didn't even run it. But he did, and he finished in quite a respectable time. I am really, really, really proud of him, and also really sure that I will never do it myself.

His support crew -- me plus all three boys -- managed to run a little mini-marathon of our own (in the style of Rosie Ruiz) to see him three times.

Near the start of the race, in Brooklyn near my brother's house:

Photo compliments of my brother --
despite the appearance of Primo taking a picture,
the camera went on strike at that particular point

At the Manhattan side of the Queensboro bridge:

(He is not actually in that picture, so don't bother squinting;
it was so crowded and I was screaming so hard that
I neglected to take a picture when he went by.
Not that it would have been much better than this one.)

And then just before mile marker 25, in Central Park, as close as we could get to the finish line:

Taken by Primo, just as my LSH spotted the boys

This was his cheering support crew at the start of the race -- signage thanks to our current obsession with spray paint:

Here we are at the end, getting him back to Brooklyn where our car was parked:

My LSH wins the prize for looking the worst for wear, but it was truly no contest. Let's hope his post-race recovery is a little easier.