Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Green leaves, blue sky

Green leaves, backlit against a blue sky. It's one of the most lovely and peaceful views in the world.

I snapped this photo last week on a visit to Cambridge, which was a tremendously stressful and sleep-deprived trip to defend my dissertation proposal. When it was all over, and I walked out into the perfect, sun-streaming, blue sky day, I kept thinking how I wanted to forever capture that feeling of strength and harmony with the world.

I walked up to Mind's Eye Yarns, where I found the a skein of her wool/bamboo sock yarn in luminous sky blues and grass greens. I've made good progress on a pair of simple socks. When I wear them, I'll remember the beauty of that day in Cambridge.

After Cambridge, I headed up to Vermont for the weekend, where I got a good dose of family, woodsmoke, pine sap, maple syrup, cold water, lilacs, and lily of the valley. It's heavenly. So heavenly that it makes my heart hurt when I think about it.

Anyways, it's been a whirlwind few weeks of travel, and I'm looking forward to being relatively settled for a little while.

Monday, May 18, 2009

desert blues

Well, I'm back in Arizona. Back to the big blue skies. The hundred-degree heat. The wide open spaces and the long driving distances.

Over the weekend, Mountain Man and I joined some friends in the Chiricahua National Monument, which is one of the "sky islands" southeast of Tucson. It's a gorgeous and rugged place, almost unworldly, with these wild pinnacles rising high above the desert.

We took the scenic route there and back, giving us a solid ten hours of driving over the weekend. Between that and the quiet camp mornings, I thought I'd finish my current knitting project, but it was not to be. So, here's just a snippet of a progress shot for now:

And after all that blue, wouldn't your eyes like a shock of another color? I'm happy to oblige with an Engelmann's prickly pear flower, shining in the midday sun.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

spring blossoms and knitting memories

I stole a few days in DC this past week to visit my sister. It was glorious: my chance to drink in a real, honest-to-goodness East Coast springtime. The air carried the perfume of cut grass and honeysuckle. The sky was blue, except when it was raining, when it was gloriously gray and wet.

And my soul got its fill of spring flowers: catnip, azaleas, peonies, buttercups, irises, wisteria


There was a bit of knitting content snuck in during the week, too. We stopped at Knit Happens in Alexandria, which is one of the sweetest knitting stores I've ever visited, with an impressive array of organic yarns. And, of course, I was knitting on planes, trains, and automobiles.

I'm thinking very fondly of the drive back to the airport this afternoon. My sister was driving. I was riding shotgun and knitting. We sang and sang the whole way, me singing the melody and my sister singing harmony. It was a beautiful moment.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The Contemplation Pouches pattern is finished! Here's how I describe them in the pattern: "I knit these bags to carry the essentials on my meditative morning walks. They’re seamlessly knit in eco-conscious yarns and embroidered with symbols of mindfulness, nature, and flow "

I made a conscious effort to use environmentally-friendly yarns for both the main color and embroidery:
Green: Fleece Artist Lanica and Ever Green Yarns Organic Worsted (both are organic merino, naturally-dyed)
Brown: Cascade Eco-Wool (minimally processed, undyed wool) and Earth Arts (naturally dyed wool)
White: Pakucho (organic, colorgrown cotton) and Be Sweet Bambino (organic cotton blend, from an awesome women-owned South African company)

The pattern is available for purchase (at a very reasonable $3!) over at Ravelry. Alternatively, you can email me at to buy it directly from me.

The winners of the free patterns from my contest (thank you for your patience!) are:
todayandeveryday, Eve, TheRaven, Vickie, and AmIAKnitterYet. I'll be sending you all out a pattern pdf today! And thank you to everyone who took the time to leave me an Earth Day message.

Monday, May 04, 2009

lessons from a pheasant

This pheasant showed up in my backyard this morning. He strutted about, pecking in the grass, dashing for cover under the orange tree and oleanders, and finally hunkering down in dry pecan leaves.

I have no idea what a ring-necked pheasant is doing in Phoenix. I can only imagine that it's an inauspicious start to his week. Poor fellow.

I'm just coming out of a bad week myself, one of those weeks where everything I do comes out stupid. So, I didn't finish the pattern for those little zen pouches. But soon. Soon it'll be finished, and I can draw winners for the contest and pat myself on the back for the accomplishment.

Come to think of it, this pheasant seems curiously at ease in our backyard. He's good at strutting through difficult situations. Maybe I could take a lesson from him!