Mother's Day Project – A work in progress, a life memorialized

I sit in my chair, and look at the name. Someone I don’t know has died. Should that make it any less important?

I open the box of threads, thinking about color. My sister is making dinner downstairs, occasionally asking where things are. Maybe green? Green indicates hope and growth. It is a possibility, yet doesn’t feel adequate. I continue to consider colors. Maybe I should use purple? No, that is more of a color of ambition, and power. She wasn’t ambitious, I think. I look up blue. Blue is loyalty. Blue is faith. Blue can mean seriousness, stability, and softness. I choose blue.

I thread the needle. It takes a few tries. The needle pierces the fabric, as stitch by stitch the name is outlined. What goals did she have for herself? How many did she accomplish? Looking back on the life that she lived, would she have been satisfied? Or would she have wanted to do more?

I continue to work. I hear my mother downstairs, talking about her day. About her plans for this weekend, what she will do, the things she will accomplish. I feel the needle poke my finger through the fabric. Would my blood give testament to the sacrifice this woman has made, I wonder?

My stitches are uneven, I have never done this kind of thing. Only cross stitch, with orderly charts and colored boxes, make an X here, another one there. There are gaps between some of my stitches, and some areas are thicker than others. It seems appropriate somehow.Would she have cared, this stranger, knowing what I do for her now? 

Would I feel different if it was my sister? My mother? Cousin or aunt? Would I feel more strongly? Or would I be numb, feeling the helplessness of what has happened, a life ended too soon? 

As I continue to pick out her name in thread, I hear my husband laugh in the other room. I think about how lucky I am to have loved ones around me. Did she have time to know love? To feel someone’s arms around her?

This takes longer than I thought. The noises of my family die down, quietness settles over the house. I continue to stitch in the glow of the lamp, my stitches become more even. I continue to think about this woman I don’t know, who I likely would never have met. Yet here she is, touching my life.

I finish the last stitch and look down at my handy work.

Someone I don’t know has died, yet I wonder about her all the same.

Mothers Day Project – Part One

I do not remember how I found out about the Mothers Day Project, I know it was a link from someone’s blog. I have never participated in something like this, however I wanted to help with this. So I sent my email and today in the mail, I received my name.

Staff Sergeant Denise Rose was the first female English soldier to have died in the Iraq War. She was a member of the Royal Military Police’s Special Investigation Branch, and after investigation, her death was ruled to have not been a result of hostile action.

Denise Rose was there to provide support and security to the people of Iraq in the rebuilding of their lives. She volunteered for the duty. She was only there a month.

I wanted to contribute to this project because it was a demonstration of the loss of life these women have made for their countries and for others. I do feel that the US has aided in helping Iraq into the state it is in today. I don’t follow the minute details as to what has been happening in the war, as I disapprove of most of the vehicles that try to deliver me information. I do know that the reasons for which the U.S. began their involvement in Iraq are not straight-forward. Which makes me wonder if the rest of what I have been told by government officials is straight-forward. Which leads me to wonder what the people of Iraq really think of this war. What do they want for a government? What choices would they like to make? How do they feel about the involvement of other countries in their affairs? I know what news stations tell me, however what has been lost in translation and editing?

I don’t know much about Denise Michelle Rose. I would like to imagine that she chose to be there to provide an environment for others to make choices about what they wanted for themselves.

Aftermath

Having come home with my head filled with fiber fuzz and purchases which set me to dreaming, I got an itch.

Startitis. I have all of these projects I want to do, so I started casting on. Here is where I am now.

That’s right. Four socks started. The shorts I showed last week. A baby sweater. And the small whitish object at the top? A knitted lace doily.

Hmm, red, yellow, blue, purple, brown… I think I need to start something green.

First Ever MD Sheep and Wool

Oh. My. Goodness!

I love sheep. I love wool. I love knitters and the community we share.

I went on Saturday, and got there around 11:30. The line to get into the parking lot was long! (I know some people said it backs up quickly, however I had no idea such a phenomena was happening in MD yearly and I had no clue!) At first I just wandered in a daze. It was packed, and I don’t like crowds, so I didn’t want to push through all of the tents. However, that didn’t last too long.

After that, I walked through some of the booths. The colors!

All that yarn, to smoosh and squish and hug! It may be a good thing I have no nearby-LYS. I would by so much more yarn.

This is what I got.

First, I saw STR, which I had to check out, since I have heard so much about it and have not seen it in person. I got Footsey-Foo.

It is soft, and they had very pretty colors. Right next to it was some Gypsy Girl yarn.  

This color is called Cattails, which called to me. (She has some great colors, hard to choose.)

Then I wandered around, and thought better about buying a spindle, and found more yarn.

This is from Barefoot Spinner, some lovely sock yarn.

Then, I walked into and out of Tess’ tent several times. There was an Angora/Merino yarn that I brushed against that was luscious. I picked up several of her yarns, squooshing the yarn. I almost got this green/black colored sock yarn, however I did manage to put that down. However, I did get these

The first is lace weight lightly variegated yarn. I love it! I am now trying to find a pattern that would use it. The second is a very slightly variegated silver SILK yarn! SILK! My first silk ever! The color plus the feel was too much for me. I was overwhelmed.

Now I am looking for some patterns for the silk. I’m not sure what to do. I want a pattern that would use as much of the yarn as possible. It is 660 yards of sport weight. I was thinking it would make an awesome shawl, however is there something else that would be just as good? Weigh in if you have any thoughts.

I met up with some of the knit-bloggers who were there, but they were not ones I already read! Mel, Gryphon, Theresa, Mary, Susan, Coleen, Diane, ChaCha, and blogless Larissa. I didn’t get any pictures of anyone, however you can see some on their blogs. Mel and her husband were talking about how knit-bloggers have such a great community where everyone is helpful and supportive, and how that doesn’t happen everywhere in cyberspace. It is great to have fans!

I did walk through the exhibit hall, and there were some very nice woolen goods, however the best, most awesome use of wool was this…

They felted a statue of a bobcat getting ready to pounce on a chipmunk. How awesome is that?!

I also saw fibery animals! Here are some parting shots to share.

I can’t wait until next year.

Kitchener Queen

Today, I learned how to ‘correctly’ graft the toes of my socks! (It’s a little blurry, hard to photograph)

*

Since I knit combination method, the directions of the books I was reading didn’t work out for me. So I asked my grandmother, who taught me to knit, how she did it. After showing me, (and it was different from the books) I got a great toe! Shoes off to me!

 

*Toe of Hogwarts pal sock one!

More stash-flashing (and some teaching)

I have been fairly monogamous lately, knitting on my Hogwarts pal’s sock, of which I can now say I have finished one. I am not posting here, but you will see them soon. Plus, knitting is going slowly, as I am working (who isn’t!?), doing life stuff, and I don’t feel very motivated lately. (I don’t know why, could it be because I have spring-itis? That feeling where you want to be out of school? Can teachers get that too?)

So, I give you the last of my recent purchases of yarn.

First, is yarn from Bright Dyes.

In colorways Child’s play and Sunrise.

Then, I found something I have been searching for… black sock yarn!

This is a mill end of Cherry Tree Hill yarn, in black. (really, Steph? I couldn’t tell. And you haven’t mentioned it earlier.) It is 10 oz (283 g!) of sock yarn from an eBay store, to make these socks that Jen made in January. Really, who wouldn’t want to make those socks? I have been looking for a good black sock yarn since I saw those, and now I have plenty of colors to do the contrast color with! Maybe some of the above?

In other knitting related news, I will be at MD Sheep and Wool festival this weekend. I hope to get to meet some of the other knit bloggers at the meet-up!

Also, I wanted to share this from work. I am always amused by my students’ antics. The juniors had mock-interviews last week, and some of the boys were upset that they had forgotten/lost their tie-clips. (I don’t know, is there something about tie-clips and teenagers that doesn’t really seem to mesh to you either? Where do they get these ideas?) So, in a flash of inspiration, (I wish they had more illuminations about my class content, but I appreciate their flashes of genius whenever, so that I can say later, “Remember when you were able to solve that one problem you had? If you can do that, I’m sure you can do this…”) they decided to improvise with paperclips.

It was great, I had to take a picture.

Sad news

I’m sorry to say that one of my paint box socks, the ones I worked so hard on, the first pair of knit socks I ever made for myself…one has been lost.

I am 99.999% sure I put both in the laundry bag. I am pretty sure I put both in the washing machine. When I came home, someone else had put my clothes into the dryer. One of my socks was on the floor (yes, still wet. it is so nice to live with others who pay careful attention to these things.)

The other sock was not in the dryer (I checked. 4 times.)

The other sock was not in the washer (I checked. Twice. Before I moved the other clothes to the dryer.)

The other sock was not clinging to the clean, dry clothes. (I checked. 6 times.)

The other sock was not on the floor, with the dirty clothes, or in someone else’s laundry bag. (I checked.)

Anyone have any ideas where else I could try?

 

UPDATE: Rest easy, the socks have been found! Apparently, my mom put the socks on top of the dryer when she took them out since she wasn’t sure if they can be dried. We have a stacked washer/dryer, and I am 5’4″, so I didn’t see the other one up there. The one I had found must have fallen off during the wash cycle, since our washer shakes with some frightful turbulence!

KnitWiki, knitting, and kittens

This is awesome! There is a KnitWiki! For those of you who don’t know, a wiki is a place where anyone can edit and contribute to the information found there, like an encyclopedia. That means you may have to check your facts, however it can be an awesome resource for knitters! So share your knowledge so everyone can benefit.

I have been knitting some. Nothing really to show. I have 4 projects going. One pair of socks for my Hogwarts pal, which I am not ready to show yet, one pair of gift socks, a baby sweater for a gift, and the project pictured below. That is ‘ms.green’ from Knit Scene sp 07, for those who are wondering. The yarn is Lion Brand (yes! believe it!) Organic Cotton. I wanted to try it, and it is the softest cotton I have met. My grandmother, the knitter, was also impressed by how soft it was.

I have received some yarn recently, increasing the volume of my stash. (I can’t buy anymore. I’m not allowed. You spend enough on yarn…oh! pretty yarn!)

I purchased this from J.L. Yarnworks.

It is sock yarn in Desert Mesa and Homesick. The yarn is slightly variegated in shade, so it should be very pretty knit up. (BTW, I checked out her store again, and she’s got some new colors up! The embers is beautiful! Don’t touch it, I want it!)…(Oh dang! I promised not to buy more yarn! stupid self control!)

She also sent this cute stitch marker along with my order.

Sorry for the blurry picture. I’m not good without the flash to back me up.

Yesterday I got my package from Beth.

 

This was in exchange for some yarn I sent her. She also sent chocolates, however they were melty, so I put them in the freezer so I could munch them later. Isn’t the yarn great?! I especially love the Kroy with the purple, and the Sockotta reminds me of jeans, so they should make something especially nice and comfy! Maybe a small sweater? Or socks? I’ll have to think about it.

In other news, we have kittens now as well! One of the barn cats had kittens about a month ago, and we found them this past weekend. So I leave you with pictures of cuteness.

(yeah, so I staged the last one.)