The past few weeks have been challenging, with intensive rehearsals for performance of Robert Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri (Paradise and the Peri) with the Philadelphia Singers Chorale and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In spite of the hectic schedule, there was time to knit (during preparations for three performances in Philadelphia, and especially during the trip to the Carnegie Hall (!!) performance last Friday).
So what’s the state of the UFO knitting basket after all the to-ing and fro-ing?
I’ve finished the first of a number of Hanukkah knits – a working dreidel. My knitted menorah is proceeding slowly (photos coming soon), and the latkes are waiting to be felted. More information about the dreidel, including the pattern (one of my “Patterns for Peacebuilders”), is available here and here.
My second Noro Striped Scarf (popularized by Jared Flood) is nearly done. The first I share with husband and resident son. This second is for my nephew, HS; it’s about time I finish something special for him, after all the attention I’ve showered on my niece-lets. (In the spirit of fairness, to me – he returned, unworn, and without explanation – the felted clogs I made for him for Hanukkah last year). HS chose this project, and I look forward to seeing it wrapped around his impressively-growing frame. This is a project that gets attention wherever it appears – the miracle of Noro and the miraculous properties of its variegation.
For a final push to finish the Clapotis I started a year ago for my sister’s birthday, I’ve joined the Second Wave Clapotis KAL. I used the 3 hanks of Ottawa hand-dyed yarn from Handmaiden’s Jane Origami Pullover pack, but neglected to alternate skeins as I proceeded; thus, beautiful even variegation for the first two hanks, but serious concentration of gray and blue on the third. Fortunately, my sister loves this “sin free” yarn from Nova Scotia, however the colors are distributed over the shawl. We’ll see if I can, with communal encouragement, complete the last corner before her next birthday in mid-January.
On Sunday I began the R.S. Tikkun Knitters project in religious school classrooms. Four teenage students in the “Confirmation Academy” learned to knit. In a few weeks they’ll begin their projects with Peace Fleece’s Baghdad Blue, which will give us many hours of conversation about knitting and peace.
I’ve also (finally!!) completed my entries to my Ravelry account. It’s taken an unreasonable and inordinate amount of time to do so, made that much more difficult by the distractions offered by the sometimes fascinating group discussions. My principal commitment is to the “Knitting Our Way to Peace” forum, a noteworthy group in which interfaith and inter-ethnic conversation takes place with remarkable respect and mutual concern, though not without occasional fireworks.
The challenge of the past few weeks have included not just the seemingly endless project of emptying the UFO baskets, but also finding a way to to do so without developing carpal tunnel syndrome. To that end I’ve embarked on a journey to expand my repertoire of knitting techniques (which will also expand the ways I can assist new knitters). So, I used my version of the Kusha Kusha Scarf to learn to knit Continental style. Online resources (1, 2, 3, 4) provided plenty of instruction (video and written) for Continental knit, Continental purl, Eastern continental knitting, Eastern continental purling, alternating Eastern (K1, P1). [[Note: The Habu Kusha Kusha Scarf kit was beyond my budget (two sons in university), but I located sufficient discussion online to be able to work out my own version. It’s taken the better part of two cones of Habu’s silk & steel thread, so I may not have saved myself much. But I love the indigo & red merino lace from Handpaintedyarn.com , and am looking forward to felting the scarf soon.]] After more than 40 years of “throwing” my yarn, American (or English) style, it’s been a revelation to carry the yarn in my left hand. It works! I’m almost accustomed to the different directions the knit and purl stitches face (at least the way I’m producing them). Next? Ambidextrous knitting …