Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ce Ce

IMG_1704, originally uploaded by phenager.

Yesterday I cast on. I'm making Chic Knits' CeCe - a little lace sweater to go over the new dress I've worn all summer. I hope I still like my dress as well at the end of the summer (or next summer) when I've finished this.

Most people on Ravelry have used Rowan Calmer for their CeCe -- I'm using Butterfly 10 cotton. I like this yarn for summer sweaters, there were three choice for a white-ish sweater, and the price is right. (My color is ecru.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Count This One Done!

A long car ride yesterday, and Counting Pane is finished!
Here's a close-up of my rather rounded mitered corners.

I didn't quite knit the border the pattern calls for. If I had, it would be all gray, and slightly narrower. Instead, my son & I chose some of his favorite colors from the afghan (the green wasn't a favorite, but I thought it popped) for the border. Also, the directions are NOT for knitting the whole border at once, in the round; but that's how I knit it.
The back -- my son would like this covered. I'm shopping tomorrow for either some flannel or very lightweight fleece. I think it's heavy enough, but I'm willing to try it.
Even though it's July, he's wrapped himself up in it to read. He likes it.

  • Counting Pane Afghan, designed by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer.
  • Yarn used: 11 colors of Rowan Felted Tweeds, from WEBS.
  • Midnight, Gilt, Rage, Avocado, Ginger, Cocoa, Melody, Sigh, Treacle, Whisper, and outlined in Carbon. I bought 23 skeins of yarn, and finished with two skeins of gray (carbon) and one of midnight blue unused.
  • Size 4 needles (I knit loosely -- your mileage may vary).
  • A mathematical afghan for my son's high school graduation gift.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Family Reunion and Frisbee Golf, Our Way

At the Lazy F
One of the highlights of our family reunion this past weekend was this game of Frisbee Golf. Actually, if you click on the link about Frisbee golf, you also might click on this one about Calvinball -- the version we play is also reminiscent of that. I've never quite been sure whether my cousin, Scott, taught us a game he has played before, or a game he's making up as we go along.

If you want a fun outdoor game for your next family, church, or neighborhood event, start with between two and twenty people, ready to have fun. Our group ranged in age from 6 to 55, though last year the group range was more like 5-70. Anyone who can throw a Frisbee and is mobile enough to navigate your terrain is eligible. Skill is not required, and may not even be helpful. It's better if everyone has their own disc -- lots of us used discs we'd gotten for free somewhere. The kind of discs MADE for Frisbee golf might work well, but I think you'd have to be more careful not to hit anyone with one of them, so be careful if that's your choice.

All players take turn naming holes. In a small group, each person might get more than one turn. We had about 18 people, so we each got to call one. A hole is more than just saying "throw your Frisbee and hit that tree", though that could work. The hole you can see us playing in this picture went something like, "your Frisbee has to land in that far sprinkler, then you go through the gap in the trees and your Frisbee has to hit the stage in the outdoor chapel. The hole is par 8." Other holes involved throwing discs under tables, on the left side of trees, etc. Whoever calls the hole gets to call par as well. It doesn't really matter how accurately "par" is calculated, since the score will be what the score will be, anyway. Everyone keeps track of their own score, though we've been know to "help" folks keep track of scores that are suspiciously low. Everyone throws at their own pace (or all at once), so your fellow players are part of the hazards of the course.

Besides great glory and acclaim, the winner of this game got to name the person who would say grace at the next meal. This then was either a great favor to bestow or a punishment to inflict depending on one's outlook. Other years, the prize has been a popsicle for everyone.

Attendance at L___ Camp was a little low this year, which got us to talking about why folks come, or don't come. Those of us who do come really love these yearly weekends. Die-hard fans of "family camp" exist in every generation -- grandparents, parents and kids; and some of the "in-laws and out-laws" are as dedicated to camp as those of us born to it.

One of my cousins shared that when he told folks he worked with that his vacation included a family reunion, they thought that was "too bad". I guess they imagined "having" to be with people he didn't know or like so well. We enjoy a weekend of three generations eating, playing and catching up on the news of the past year. But obviously not everyone who's invited sees it that way. I suspect it's possible for the same event to be a real drag and a great blessing.

Still, it was a great weekend. And next year, when some of the folks who wanted to be there but couldn't are there, it'll be even better.

How about you - are you a fan of family reunions? Or not?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I just finished this book -- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I was lucky to get an advance reading copy from the New Yorker. What a delightful summer read!

Novels written through letters (epistolary novels, if you're persnickety about vocab) tend to distance the reader from the story, I think. Instead of being immersed in the events of the story, the reader is a bystander, hearing about them, by eavesdropping, later. However, I found myself engrossed in the characters and plot of this book.

Juliet Ashton is a writer on a book tour, as this novel begins. She receives a letter from a man on the island of Guernsey, who by chance has a copy of a book about Charles Lamb that she once owned. The story is told through letters between this man, Dawsey Adams, and Juliet, as well as letters to and from Juliet's best friend, Sophie, her publisher, Sidney, and others.

The story takes place just after World War II. Guernsey's history during the war is a very interesting part of this book. Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, was occupied by the Germans for 5 years during the war. The title refers to an initially fictitious literary society, "created" to provide an alibi for neighbors caught out after curfew. To substantiate their alibi, the literary society begins reading and discussing books together.

This is a story where "story" features strongly -- as a theme of the book, but also in the sense that besides charming characters, there is an interesting plot as well.

The book is due for release on July 29 -- I'd heartily recommend it for anyone (but I think the main audience for this book will be women) who likes warm-hearted, history-based fiction with a British bent.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blanket without borders

Counting Pane Afghan
It's all done but the border!
Counting Pane Afghan
My son likes it.
Counting Pane Afghan
Now to knit the border, and decide what to do about the back (nothing, or something).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A meme

Flickr Meme -
I saw this meme over at Tiennie's blog, and I thought I'd try it. For the record, my first meme. the rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.
the questions:
1. What is your first name? You know!
2. What is your favorite food? ice cream
3. What high school did you go to? Wapato High School
4. What is your favorite color? Blue
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Viggo Mortensen
6. Favorite drink? Red Wine
7. Dream vacation? Prince Edward Island
8. Favorite dessert? Chocolate Mousse
9. What you wanted to be when you grow up? Teacher
10. What do you love most in life? My family
11. One Word to describe you? Creative
12. Your flickr name? phenager

(Photo credits below)
1. Pam Pam, 2. Ice Cream Dressed in Red, 3. Dad, Steven, and Arlene, 4. llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam - HDR, 5. Viggo Mortensen, 6. The Storm, 7. Charming Prince Edward Island, 8. three is not a crowd, 9. My family, 10. Pipe Cleaner Muscle Man, 11. Love will come through.., 12. Sea to Sea 08

Some of these answers are more surely true than others. I especially love the picture I found for "blue" - a bookstore window in Amsterdam. How many me-ish things can you put in a picture?

Monday, July 07, 2008

From Sea to Sea

Sea to Sea 08
They arrived on Saturday -- the cyclists from Sea to Sea. They're riding their bicycles from Seattle to New Jersey to raise awareness and funds to fight poverty in North America and around the world. It was amazing for our tiny church (40 families) to welcome about 170 cyclists and their support team. They camped in a park beside the Columbia River.
Sea to Sea 08

On Sunday, we worshiped together with them.
Sea to Sea 08
People were strewn across the lawn in front of the band stand, where ever there was shade. It may be the first worship service in history that began with a sample of Queen's "I Want to Ride my Bicycle".

Two Canadian cyclists stayed at our house for a couple of nights. Sea to Sea 08
Dora and Alida are doing the whole distance -- a few cyclists are doing a segment, such as Seattle to Denver, or Grand Rapids to New Jersey. They're my new heroes!


Video coverage here.