Saturday, March 28, 2009

False Finishes

  We hear about false starts all the time in life from running races to knitting projects (eg. "I had to cast on and restart 5 times before I got the pattern right!") but we don't hear as much about false finishes.  Mountain climbers know what I'm talking about (eg. "ARgh, I thought we were there, but this is a false summit!"), but except in mountain climbing, which makes everything more exciting, false finishes are just a drag.   False starts are made when your relationship to your project (to stick to knitting from here on) is still fresh and vibrant. You and your yarn are a young couple working through the early realizations that no relationship is perfect, but it's Almost Fun to Argue a Bit, Hash Things Out and know that the Making Up part is coming soon (and that's always something to look forward to). You're in Love, everything will be Just Fine. Gauge will come with patience and devotion.
False finishes however, are more like old worn out arguments between you, and your now long time companion. You still like each other well enough, and you know you'll be fine in the end, but arguing is just tedious and repetitious. "How many times do I have to tell you that the cuff needs to be Longer? I said Longer!" 
"This is silly; this is the second time you've had to work my  button band. I told you you should have
 counted as you picked up all those stitches!" "I still like your colors, but your ends are sticking out all over the place."
But, as Pa in the Little House series says, "All's well that ends well." Long-time relationships that weather these continuous aggravations with even more patience and devotion are the ones with which we want to be involved (what good is an almost done sweater stuffed in a bag in the bottom of your cedar chest?), and, though maybe not as sparkly are often more elegantly beautiful in their maturity.
Bacardi, I love you more than ever (just keep those ends in)!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

That was a long day

     O.k., o.k.! (How on Earth should that be punctuated? I said it enough as a teenager; there's surely some way to write it. ANyhow...) I know it has been well more than a day since I said I would post pictures. This one is going to be heavy on the folks for all their friends since they (the folks) never use a computer themselves. (Is that "themselves" right, Kate?)

     Jake and Susan came to visit us in early March and we had a swell time. I took a half day personal day on Friday and we all (including Charles and Reida) drove up to Salem (Oregon's small, and not terribly exciting capitol city) to go to the Mission Mill Museum. It's an old wool mill so of course Reida and I were in our glory. It operated until the late 1950's. Now Pendelton (you know their shirts and blankets) is the only remaining big commercial wool mill in Oregon. Here we all are in front of a huge automatic loom. Nothing was running today, but I did see the loom run once, and it moves so furiously they have to have a thick plexiglass wall to save you from death if the shuttle flies out of control.

We also saw the oldest frame house still standing in Oregon -- fires and "urban renewal" are forces to be contended with in the West even more so than in the East or Midwest-- which had very tiny rooms (four families lived here when it was built to house the movers and shakers of the Mill works (engineers. managers, etc) and super cool long skinny windows.

 Charles and Reida went back home then, but the rest of us ate dinner at a little McMenamin's called Boon's Treasury, where Herbert Hoover played on the roof as a child (?!), then we went to (insert tootling trumpety sounds announcing big event) Michael Feldman's Whadyaknow live radio show. This might not sound overly exciting to many of you, but anyone who knows that I am a Public Radio addict may understand. I listen to A LOT of Public Radio and Whadyaknow is my absolute all time favorite show. Once I got over the disappointment of realizing that "mezzanine" means not-connected-to-the-floor-where-he-might-talk-to-you, I relaxed and had a most excellent time watching how the magic of radio happens in the magical Elsinore Theater (Salem does have a few bright points I guess).

So, we went home and went to bed, then we got up on Saturday and drove out past Charles and Reida's, grabbed them and the dogs, and headed south. We didn't make it more than about 15 miles when we stopped at King Estate Vineyards and (excellent) restaurant for a fancy brunch. We continued on down to Coos Bay then turned East though a teeny town (outpost?) called Allegany (yes, the first white settler was from Alleghany, PA, but he didn't know how to spell it!) up a creek called Glenn Creek, so we obviously HAD to take Dad there. We went on a few short rainy walks to Golden and Silver Falls Sate park. They are truly amazing--probably the most impressive I've seen in Oregon! Mostly though we hung out in the house eating, playing and knitting.

I thought I had finished my Bacardi Cardigan, but as you'll see in a future post it was not to be.



On the way home on Monday (another personal day) we went a bit farther south along the coast to a beach just near Charleston wher we saw a sea lion rescue attempt and the world's longest bull kelp, which Dad and Seth and I used as a jump rope! We also saw a huge jelly and not much else. It was beautifully clean and nearly deserted. The dogs had a great time racing up and down the beach. A few miles more southward is Shore Acres. The gardens were closed, but the rocks there are darned impressive. the waves were not a huge as we've seen them, but they were much less scary for that!





The rest of the week was a bit more sedate (except Mom might argue that being dragged to my classroom to help with a crazy silk painting art project, and then running the car battery down at the art store and having to call triple A was not a sedate day) involving more good food and general hanging out even though I did have to go back to work. It's always fun to have them visit. We are truly lucky to have such largely agreeable parents/in-laws. Life is hard enough without having to deal with bad relatives!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Glenn Creek Revisited

1. My folks are in town visiting for an entire week and we decided to use up some of that time by taking my parents to the Glenn Creek house. Many of you know that my dad Jake's real name is Glenn, so that's pretty cool, donchyathink?

Pictures to come tomorrow after I recover.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February is for Finishing

A few weeks ago I noticed that there is a Ravelry group by this name, and although I didn't join it (I didn't want that sort of pressure!) the idea struck me as a good one. I only finished two very small projects, but I'm pretty close on a sweater.
Last week I finished my Entrelac scarf, which I have worn almost constantly--even while I'm inside! It is SO soft (Noro Silk Garden; colorway 246). I decided to bind off when I hit (yet another) knot in the yarn that wasn't tied to the same section of color. I was a bit disappointed because I like really long scarves. It turns out though that entrelac stretches A LOT. When I washed and hung it to dry, it totally stretched out to over 6 feet long! Very Dr. Who.

I also completed my own beaded spiral bracelet. Now all the women and girls in my family have one--a twist (HA!, spiral...twist..get it?) on the friendship bracelet theme.

They aren't huge projects, but they're lovely (if I may say so myself), and I'll take whatever accomplishments I can claim.
Besides, there's always March (and April, and May, and ...).