In retreat: the snow, a bit (thanks to the January thaw, which arrived late this year), but not for long. Me, too briefly, with a group of knitters, last weekend. Hockey season: two weeks to go (surprisingly bittersweet, that). Basketball season.
Advancing: soccer season (arriving in March). High School for 13 (next fall, but placement tests and parent orientation last week. Not. Possible.). Knitting: a handful of small, sports-sidelines projects, all inspired (in color, or pattern) by this:
Elaine called it: another We call them pirates hat. Number 3, in fact. After subtle and less subtle, this version goes with the original black and white. Modeled here a few days ago by its owner Nine; worn most recently by me -- shoveling snow today, walking the dog yesterday when it was 10 degrees (Fahrenheit; that's -12 everywhere else), more or less. (Mostly less.) Winter's back, for real, and I'm counting this project as my return to two-handed knitting, after last winter's broken arm slowed me down. It's good to be back.
I've switched to Typepad's new threaded comments: any comments?
For this, to begin, that Typepad remembers who I am, and that I didn't need to scrounge around for the password to let me into the long-neglected blog, to catch up .
That my cellphone still has year-old numbers stored in it - and that even with bad directions (the GPS, alas, spent Rhinebeck weekend traveling to soccer games in southern New Hampshire) I arrived at the festival just before they locked the gates on Saturday, and found friends.
That I finished my minimalist cardigan - this year's Rhinebeck project - in my hotel room Sunday morning. Never mind that it was too cold to wear it - the sweater meant for last year's festival stood in just fine.
That the same cold snap that weekend reached Hanover, too, and I came home to find the tomatoes and basil wiped out by frost. Stay with me here - I've always found it hard to decide when to stop running out with sheets to over the tender things as fall moves on and the nights get cold. Autumn was long and glorious this year (at least that's the way I'm remembering it, now that we're firmly settled in cold but no-real-snow-yet early winter) and it was pleasant to have the matter of declaring an end to the summer garden taken out of my hands.
That 400 tulips, 100 daffodils and another 200 or so crocus and snowdrops are safely in the ground, waiting for spring. I've got 5 months to plot how to keep the deer from the tulips...
That Eleven's soccer season lasted into post season play as far as the state finals - which made for a lot of knitting time. (For Thirteen, too.) And for the hockey knitting - thanks, Nine.
Okay, and a bit of grafting and some seaming. But still - Minimalist Cardigan is nearly done, and ready for a return trip to Rhinebeck - kind of like a salmon swimming home. (The yarn came from Persimmon Tree Farm' s booth there last year.)
Work has been a siren the last few weeks, trying hard to lure my attention from anything else, with extraordinary story assignments involving emails datelined Kabul and phone calls to Dubai, and an interview with an author whose work amazes me -- but also a relentless march of deadlines demanding more of my time than had been bargained for.
And if you've ever moved between work out there - when the positions's a good one for you, and you like it - and domestic life, you know the appeal of professional life: the company of peers, work that stays done (unlike the laundry), recognition for a job well done. It's never quite as tidy at home.
Working from home today, with the crew off school for a long weekend. Turned them out into the woods this morning, to go play. Lunch, and then I think I ought to join them.
(There are pictures, just not here. Typepad's new Compose screen was waiting for me when I sat down to post. It is not interested, apparently, in uploading any images.)
Suddenly it's summer: nearly 90 the last few days, and a thunderstorm and downpour yesterday evening that got the streams running again in the woods for a while.
If you hear a story about a conversation that began with a comment about a front lawn with an unusually large crop of dandelions and segued neatly into the observation that immigration has been a terrible, terrible thing for Britain -- well, I heard it first. (My lawn. My dandelions, thank you very much.) It's one of the many things that have left me speechless over the last few weeks.
Most of them, thankfully, have brought on the good sort of speechlessness instead, the focussed, quiet "I really need to think about this for a while" kind. Like a month-long read of everything I can get my hands on by Caryl Phillips, who's coming to Dartmouth to teach and read this summer. And seeing productions of two plays written by a student I profiled a few months ago.
Plenty of ordinary busy-ness, too. Evidence of actual gardening:
And with two weeks until school's out for summer, it's high season for conferences, tournaments, open houses, performances: two a week on average for the last few weeks, and they keep coming (bonus: minimalist cardigan is growing).
Thursday, a rock musical of Homer's Odyssey. Eleven is singing Penelope. Have promised I won't knit while she weaves.
You know why? No frenzy. No too-muchness. Just enough.
(That's Eight running right down the middle.)
There was gorgeous roving, lots of tools and books, inspirational F.O.'s (including Icarus and Forest Canopy shawls on display at Spirit Trail - irony of ironies, Spirit Trail is from just up the road from our old home in Virginia), impromptu spinning lessons and of course, fiber-y creatures:
There was beautiful yarn, although somehow I managed not to come home with any, let alone photograph it; too busy visiting the rabbits and persuading the children that adding one to a household with two cats and a dog already in residence was Not a Good Idea. The only knitting purchase was a copy of the Paton's Street Smart booklet - yeah! And I ran into Norma just as we were leaving.
Not pretending that it's paradise - there was a cashbox stolen, recovered with the money gone and checks and credit cards left behind. New Hampshire Sheep and Wool is a very ordinary place: kids were playing in the dust of the barn aisle while the 4H sheep quiz bowl was going on a few feet over. But it's ordinary in a way where daily life includes animals, and hard work, and making beautiful things. Not everywhere is like that - being part of it made for a very good day.
In honor of Davidson's amazing basketball team, let me introduce you to my oldest work-in-progress: my alma mater's official seal, cushion cover to be. Started: fall 1984. Time to pick it up again, maybe?