Monday, November 26, 2007

Halfway mark

First, thank you all so much for your kind comments about my husband's bike; he was really touched that The Knitting Bloggers cared. I think that, as devastated as he is by the loss of his bike, what made it all worse was the thought that someone could have really been hurt. He's so relieved that it didn't work out that way (and he's definitely buying a new rack!).

Aside from that ending, we really did have a lovely weekend. Friday was a very relaxing day for us; we puttered around the house, and I knitted and listened to knitting podcasts (this is a dangerous discovery, as it extends my knitting time almost infinitely). My favorite local yarn store was having a sale (20% off everything!), so I popped over there in the afternoon. I picked up a few things that I've had my eye on for a while, which strikes me as the perfect use for a sale (as opposed to being lured into buying things just because they're on sale). First, I got this:
which is much less orange and more goldy in the real world. It's already been designated for Anne's acorn socks (the little bitty acorn that goes into the heel flap on those socks just kills me every time I see it, and I lust to possess a pair of my own; you all know how I feel about California's live oaks, so these are the perfect socks; between these and my raven stole, I shall feel quite mythic)(or something).

I've also been wanting for some time to knit a lap blanket, probably a log cabin one (a la Kay and Ann), so I got some yarn for that, too. This really was the perfect use for a sale, since the yarn for a blanket is no small investment. I got some of the Lorna's Laces worsted weight, which I have been lusting after for exactly this purpose for some time. The only trouble was choosing the colors!
But I think that these will do nicely. I got two of the navy, since that'll also be the edging for the blanket. This will be a nice mindless break from complicated knitting, and, until it gets too big to lug around, perfect meeting knitting.

On Saturday, we spent the day in San Diego. First, though, there was a brief detour at Common Threads, since they carry a set of blocking wires (with yardstick and t-pins, no less!), which I know I'm going to want when Simurgh is done (Rick and the girls were very patient with this detour). We went to Hillcrest and pottered about until we'd found a place to eat lunch (this is something we rarely get to do, so it was part of The Plan For the Day). Then we headed to the San Diego Museum of Natural History in Balboa Park to see the Dead Sea scrolls exhibit, which I've been looking forward to since before it got here (I love the whole archaeological/historical part of the find).

I must say that I was tremendously disappointed with the way the museum handled the crowds. We knew we were going on a bad weekend, but it's been the only weekend we've had to go. We bought our tickets ahead of time, for a particular time slot, and then got there 15 minutes early. The security line (which was apparently a relatively new thing) took over half an hour. They were taking away people's pens. I'm not sure I entirely understand why, since everything was under glass, but there it was. In the long run, it's not so much that I object to the security (although I do feel quite a bit of frustration with the culture of fear, but that's for another post), as to the fact that they put up no warnings on their website about either the security line or the pen-confiscation, nor did anyone mention it to Rick when he called to buy the tickets. That strikes me as silly in the information age.

Once we got in, the crowds were insane, which made it hard to see the exhibit (especially since grown-ups who should have known better were leaning against display cases and wall posters, making it impossible to see). This was a pity, since the exhibit itself was very well put together, and did a great job of conveying what makes the Dead Sea scrolls such an amazing archaeological find. If the crowds had been half their size, or better managed, it would have been a wonderful exhibit. As it was, it was good (and it wasn't just this weekend; my friend who went months ago told me the crowds were bad then, too). I particularly loved the last part of the exhibit, which was about the art of printmaking, and which showed some illuminated manuscripts. At the end, they also showed three pages from a King James Bible which had been illuminated in the 1990s -- the first illuminated version in hundreds of years. It was truly a work of art, and (in keeping with this week's theme of continuity), I loved the idea of people sitting down to a task which printmakers did for centuries. Griping notwithstanding, I'm very glad we went.

The rest of the weekend was spent knitting. I am now over halfway through with Simurgh. I was very tempted to block the first half before picking up the stitches for the second half, but couldn't bear the idea of waiting for it to dry before knitting again, so I didn't. However, here it is laid out.
It's about 30 inches long, with no stretching at all, so I think it's going to be the right length once it's been blocked. The lace motifs are lovely. Here's the larger feather merging into the smaller feather motif.
And here's the quill section and the edging at the bottom:
This yarn has the most amazing sheen to it. It really does look exactly like a raven's feathers. I can't wait to be wearing it -- and it looks like it'll be done in time for Rick's company party (I hate company parties, and have no idea what to wear -- but this stole is something!), which is a good thing.

Tomorrow it's back to classes. I really should be reading right now, but am having trouble getting back into the swing of things. Wish me luck!

P.S. Kate: thanks so much for your wonderful comment from yesterday. I will definitely check out that cookbook -- I have a shelf of vegetarian cookbooks (they're some of my favorites) and that one sounds like something I'd love. Hope you're feeling better soon!


anne said...

ooohh, prettty!

Marianne said...

My goodness, or rather, *your* goodness, snagging all that sale yarn, they're all a delight to the eye.
Sounds like a good day albeit frustrating... you're lucky to have that exhibit so close at hand.

Seems to me there's been a HUGE amount of 'neglectful' parenting that's been going on for quite some time now... adults not knowing how to behave in a museum?

I took Conor to a play when he was 6, we had a nice chat about 'theatre behavior'... I was terribly embarrassed by the 'adults' behavior.. and after having heard beforehand what was acceptable.. Conor was pretty wide eyed about it also... he's such a nice boy :^)

Carrie K said...

I can't look at your knitting, I'll want to knit one for me and I just can't right now. But PRETTY! Perfect color for it.

Shame about the museum! The Dead Sea Scrolls would be something to see. With all the crowds around, surely some kind of crowd control would be in force?

Best experience I've ever had at a museum was going to the Smithsonian on 10/1, right after 9/11. The Mall was deserted. It was lovely.

Anne said...

Too bad about the museum, but hurray about all the knitting time! As far as difficulty getting back into the swing of things is concerned, me too, in spades. Can't we just call it a semester and be done?

Bea said...

The shawl is looking fabulous and I want that first yarn...I love orangy gold yarns. I probably don't need any more but I love them! Too bad about the museum. That would have been something really really nice to see especially since its put together so well!

hopalong682003 said...

I love the way the stole is turning out. Beautiful, and a great thing to wear to a company party. Plus, you may be able to win a trivia question by knowing what a stole is. ;-) Honest to God, I had never heard that word until I started knitting. And now I LOVE making them. Your pattern is beautiful.

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Alisha said...

Love that orange yarn and the shawl is very very nice!!!