Saturday, September 15, 2007

more weekend observations: blogs, books, knitting plans, and dog escapes

I quite enjoyed making a random list of observations last Saturday, so I think I'll try that again.

1. Miriam Felton, the designer of the Icarus Shawl I recently completed, mentioned my shawl and linked to my post this week--check it out here. I was so excited that someone was linking to me and sending readers along that when I first commented on her site, I encouraged her to make an Icarus, assuring her she'd love knitting the pattern. How embarrassed was I when I put 2 and 2 together to realize that the Mim of Mimknits was the very Miriam Felton who'd designed the shawl. But my embarrassment was considerably mitigated by being able to chant "Miriam Felton likes my Icarus, Miriam Felton likes my Icarus" -- cool, eh?

2. Because of the aforementioned linking, my Statcounter yesterday registered over 130 visitors, up from a previous high of 61!! Last I checked today, it was already over 40. Not one of those visitors left a comment, though. Although I completely understand this, having been a lurker for a long time myself, and especially since they really only viewed my blog as part of the experience of reading Miriam's post, it still feels a bit odd. It's a bit like sitting in my office, hearing crowds of visitors file through my living room, looking around, nodding, commenting perhaps to each other, but leaving without ever popping their head through my office door to say "hello." Plus I can't help feeling that if I'd known they were all coming, I'd have cleaned up a bit, maybe baked some cookies -- or at least had a livelier post than one on my frustrations with ants!! Still, most of them only went in the one room, the one with the Icarus photo. I hope a few enjoy what you see and come back for a longer visit another day. I make a mean blackberry pie . . .

3. Once again, we're trying to discover Skeena's latest escape route, and it turns out we're overestimating her size considerably. Perhaps she's lost some weight lately--I've been giving her a Senior's Diet to keep her trim. She's definitely lost bulk through her recent haircut. Whatever the reason, Paul's having to adjust the distance between the fence palings. We're hoping the next round goes to the humans -- last Monday, when my daughter, Rhiannon, paid a surprise visit, Skeena met her freshly back from a romp in the ocean and a lovely roll in sand and dead smelly stuff! We like to minimize those opportunities and they're what Golden Retrievers live for. Some day this girl's going to realize she's almost 10 and really needs to slow down. In the meantime, better fences!

4. Last week I started the Commonwealth Prize-winning Master Pip by Lloyd Jones and I'm loving it. But I've interrupted my reading to fold in a reread of Dickens' Great Expectations; really, it must as well be my first time with the book since I last read it in my teens. (Of course, few readers can come to such a text new as it's so commonly referenced in so many ways.) Except for reading Hard Times when working as a Teaching Assistant during my M.A. 12 or so years ago, I haven't read Dickens for decades and had forgotten how funny he is, how well-drawn the characters, and how the plot draws you in. In fact, Master Pip uses as its central structuring element the way the children in a small tropical village under siege, caught between rebels and government repression, completely cut off from the outside world, are mesmerized by a teacher whose single pedagogical resource is his copy of Great Expectations which he stretches out chapter by chapter, so that they beg him to read to them and are caught up in wondering why the characters do what they do and what will happen next. I'm thinking this would be a great pairing for a future 1st-year course in the novel. Meanwhile, I'm having fun reading these two together and I think you might enjoy them as well.

4. If I sit down for an hour or so, I could easily finish up the Montego Bay scarf, so I'll try to do that and show it to you this week. I'm thinking I don't want to bother with the fringe, but will knit it a bit longer to compensate.

5. So that means that I have to decide what my next knitting project will be. I love Muir Woods, the shawl in the latest Knitty.
I'm also really keen on the Debbie Bliss Silver Belle cardigan, free pattern available online from Vogue Knitting, shown on the right.
And I have a bag of GarneStudio Silke Tweed that I bought to make the Dollar and a Half Cardigan, shown below.
So now, in the immortal words of the Lovin Spoonful, I guess I have to "finally decide" -- although at least I don't have to "say yes to one and let the other one ride," just pick the one to cast on first and then see what happens . . .


  1. I've been cruising around Ravelry today updating my queue of items, and now you've reminded me of another thing I wanted to knit when I saw it--the Dollar cardi.

    Decisions, decisions.

    Congrats on all the web traffic!

  2. I found your blog from Miriam's site, and am respectfully posting a comment.

    After reviewing a few of your entries, I am adding your blog to my Favorites, so that I can stay current. Nice knitting, and nice blog!

    The Knitting Girl

  3. If you are interested in Silver Belle, check out the Susan and Sally have been tracking progress, problems, etc.

  4. I've been out of town for the week and had the pleasure of reading the build up of blogs that I missed all in one sitting! I love your shawl; I can't believe what happened with the ants; and I'm impressed you can still find time for knitting, running, cooking etc. with the fall semester back in swing! Caitlin

  5. Knitting Girl: Oh, that's so sweet -- I feel a bit bad that I said anything about the lack of comments, 'cause I'd never mean to make folks feel guilty. Until I started my own blog, I have to say that I rarely ever posted anywhere,thinking it wasn't necessary if I didn't have anything specific or new to contribute. Now, of course, I see it from a whole different perspective. If it ever gets to the point where I get so many comments I can't keep up with answering them, I guess I'd see it from another perspective again!
    Anyway, I'm pleased you've enjoyed your visit to my blog, and I'm really glad to hear you'll be back.

    Mary Lou: I have checked the RaineySisters' account of knitting SilverBelle. Useful and Inspiring -- thanks for the heads-up!

    Caitlin: good to have you back. yes, the ant stuff sucked!

  6. (popping my head through your office door - though that sounds fairly painful...) Hi! I so enjoyed my visit. You are on my favorites list now, so next time I'll be looking for pie!


  7. Jane: It's an open door; otherwise, big ouch! So nice of you to stop by, and good to hear you'll be coming back.

  8. the silver belle cardigan would be nice on you (and I think the Dollar and a Half Cardigan would be nice on me!)


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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