January 7, 2008

Crafty lady

I’ve been thinking about the Things that Matter to Me recently, and having a creative outlet (be it writing, crafting, cooking or knitting) is very high on the list. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but one of my intentions is to spend more time this year being creative.

I’ve had plenty of inspiration in the creativity department recently, like this amazing gift from my mom: a handmade book by Mendi Stubson, acquired on our summer trip to Ashland, Oregon and sneakily gifted for the holidays.

Book7

Knitters will note the judicious use of ribbon and eyelash yarns...

Book8

Gardeners will be charmed by the vintage seed packets, gardening notions and gold-stamped flora and fauna... Hands-on types will pluck out each envelope’s contents, sniff the lavender and thumb through the wee book-inside-the-book...

Book5

As a knitter, book lover and enthusiastic (if inconsistent) gardener, this book is a constant pleasure. I open it over and over again and each time I discover something new and beautiful. This time it’s a packet of wildflower seeds tucked into a pocket in the front cover. Another time, the quote “It's the cracked ones that let in the light.”

And each time I look at it, I am inspired. Thanks Mom for such a wonderful gift!

In other news, I, a non-baker, have made bread. Not just any bread. I made crusty, chewy, rustic bread that, to be quite honest, kicks ass.

Bread1

The recipe is a variation on the famous NY Times No-Knead Bread recipe, and it takes maybe 20 minutes of active work. And now I feel like a Baking GOD.

I even finished one of my knits over the weekend – the first Trekking sock is done.

Trekking3

I like this yarn so much that I wove in the ends immediately after finishing the toe, so I could block it right away.

I’m trying to avoid ladders in my plain socks, so I scooched the needle joins over by a few stitches each row. This minimized laddering (yay!), but made for consistently uneven stitches over the whole sock (boo!). The unevenness mostly smoothed out in the blocking, though I did get wee ladders from the stitch markers I used to mark the instep stitches. You can see it if you look closely.

Trekking7

I’ll just have to remember to do the same things on Sock Two.

Unfortunately, my hands and wrists have been hurting quite a lot recently, so I am (gulp) not knitting this week. I’m trying to be very conscientious about ergonomics at the computer as well, and hoping that being careful and giving my hands a rest will fix things up. I may even get some reading done.

This knitting hiatus also provides an excellent opportunity to evaluate (and ruthlessly frog) stalled WIPs.

So which UFO’s will make the New Year’s cut?

Stay tuned.

7 comments:

Karen said...

That book is so cool - what a great Christmas gift. And home-made kick-ass break and a finished sock. Wow, you've been busy. Resting your hands sounds like a really good idea though - best not to push yourself if you're feeling pain. Enjoy a quiet week of reading. :)

Valerie said...

What a wonderful book, seems like I would spend hours looking at it too. Good job on the bread, it looks so yummy. And the sock looks great too, you wont notice the ladders after you wash it a couple times.

Macoco said...

I can't see those ladders at all. Beautiful yarn.
I'm sad you're unable to knit! I hope things remedy themselves soon.

Sarah said...

I love that book, it is beautiful! What a wonderful gift.

I am sorry you can't knit. Rest those wrists!

Jenny said...

I'm catching up on my blog comments and I have the following things to say:

1. I want the bread recipe. Please.

2. I would love it if you would bring that book some Wednesday, it looks like the most wonderful thing ever and I'm dying to look at it.

3. I am, without a doubt, suggesting at next week's staff meeting that our company's official word to irate clients is "Baby, you know we love you." Or, possibly a variation on that, "Girrrl, you know I'd never wanna hurt you."

4. In response to your very excellent progress in the field of not-buying-yarn-at-the-end-of-a-bad-day I have to say that my thought was exactly this: "Huh, I've had a horrible day... Maybe I'll go buy some yarn!"

Aaaand 5. I'm stealing your friend's line whenever I forget to/don't have time to/don't feel like buying a present for someone. "I was going to buy you a present, but then I found Jesus." I guess it would also work for those irate customers... "Baby, we would have recovered your 3 months of lost data sooner, but then we found Jesus. Don't cry, girl... shhhh. Don't cry."

rfx1982 said...

I can't see the ladders, either.
Hope your hands feel better!

Quirkles said...

That is an amazing altered book. Some of the women in my book club make those. There are books with ideas and how to get started making them.

Anyway, I'm bummed that your wrists and hands are hurting. I guess when you do what you do so much, you don't go blind, your wrists just hurt. And I mean knitting.

I want to know the identity of your office heroes, and why I'm not one of them!