Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wham Bam Mom is Knitting

My mom is an amazing crafter.  She sews, embroiders, quilts, and is just generally crafty.  As her daughter I have always had the will to do crafty things, but not always the skill.  When I started knitting it became something special to me.  Something different from my mom. 

Last Thanksgiving mom decided she wanted to make these knitted, ruffly scarves.  The yarn for these scarves comes with the loops already to knit with on the edge.  It truly was just a matter of teaching her to pull the yarn through the loops.  She liked making these scarves so much to date she has knitted 32. 

After all these scarves I knew she had the muscle memory to start knitting with regular yarn.  All I had to do was teach her to make her own loops.  Enter the Wham Bam Thank You Lamb Neckwarmer (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wham-bam-thank-you-lamb-neckwarmer).  The pattern is so easy and does not require the patience to knit a long scarf, or the shaping of a hat.  I would have to teach her a cast on, a bind off, and a full (loop and all) knit stitch.  I thought we were both up to the task.

I bought her some a soft, bulky, alpaca yarn and size 13 needles, I printed an extra pattern, and I was ready to go.  Saturday night with patience and attention I taught my mother to knit.  Yes, I actually taught my mother something.  She had trouble with the cast on at first, but with a few extra tries she mastered everything, but the that first stitch.  I kept saying, "Make a pretzel and put in the needle."  For some reason she never did see the little yarn pretzel.  However, everything else seemed to go well.  She caught on to tension and gauge very quickly.  And the cast-off was a breeze.
Mom in Her New Neckwarmer Knitting
I think she did great.  All in all it was a good experience for both of us.  I even sent her home with more yarn and a plan to make 2 more neckwarmers.  I am a little worried she will have problems.  Or maybe she will end up making 32 of these neckwarmers.  But mostly, I am worried she will get better at knitting than I am. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rainbow Tide Hitting the White House

Did you hear the what President Barack Obama said during his inaugural speech?  Well, just in case you missed it let me me show you:

Furthermore he said,“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall…”
– President Obama, second inaugural address, at the Capitol, January 21.

I am not going to lie to you, at times I have been disappointed with the presidential commitment to same-sex marriage rights, but Monday he made it clear where he stood.  I cried.  I believe that very soon my marriage certificate will be valid with the federal government.  My state map will get much pinker.  And I will finally be an equal citizen under the law.  Hope what a wonderful word it is.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wham Bam Thank You Lamb! Neckwarmer

How can you not love a knitting pattern called Wham Bam Thank You Lamb! Neckwarmer?  Add to it that the pattern is easy, quick, and simply written, equaling a great finished project.  Thank you Ava from my Sunday knit group for turning me on to this fun pattern by Susan Chang (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wham-bam-thank-you-lamb-neckwarmer). 

I also have to think how well timed this project turned out to be.  I wanted to knit something for my work BFF, Cynthia, on the occasion of  her birthday.  This neckwarmer turned out to be just what I needed.  Hitting my stash, looking for some bulky yarn, I found 2 odd balls of yarn with some bright color changes.  Birthday knitting was on.

In the end I knitted 2 Wham Bam Thank You Lamb! neckwarmers, one for BFF and one for me.  She looks great in her's and with the recent wintry weather I was not only warm, but smug knowing I had knitted my own awesome cowl.  I think the unexpected asymmetric construction was inspired and makes this project perfect for beginners.  In fact I was so inspired I promised to teach my mom to knit using this pattern.  Maybe I should have quit while I was ahead?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chely Wright, Wish Me Away

Over Thanksgiving someone mention to me an award winning country music singer who came out of the closet only to be black balled by Nashville.   My ears pricked up and I was like, who is this person?  I am not going to lie I am not a top forty country radio station listening kind of person.  Don't get me wrong, I love some k.d. lang, Dixie Chicks, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and Garth Brooks, I did grow up in the Midwest.  However, a diet of C&W is not on my menu.  Not knowing who Chely Wright comes as no surprise. 

My interest peaked I set out to find more about this person.  I discovered Wright had not only come out of the closet, but written an autobiography, as well as a documentary about her coming out.  I knew both would be on my to do list.  The documentary, Wish Me Away, was found on Netflix and the library had the book, Like Me.  Chely Wright was in my sights. 

I just did not expect to be so moved by her story.  I was overwhelmed by how hard Wright tried to not be a lesbian, praying every day for God to take the gay away.  She struck a chord in me when she talked about knowing at a very early age she was different and being terrified that someone would find out.  It was as if she was taking a page from my life.  Her constant struggle with living her dream of being a country music singer and hiding her lesbianism was heartbreaking.  This documentary definitely shines a glaring light on what happens when we hide who we are.

The autobiography, Like Me, was more introspective and elaborated on the themes from the film.  The narrative could have been more cohesive, but because of the memoir format, Wright makes it work for her.  Overall I can say, thank you, Chely Wright for standing up to be counted.  I wish more people in the country music industry were like her.  And Chely I wish you a happily ever after.

Official Wedding Photo from the Wright/Blitzer Ceremony

Monday, January 7, 2013

Quartet of Slouchy Lace Berets

My holiday knitting post mentioned that I had made three Slouchy Lace Berets for my nieces and sister of the heart, Tammy.  I was pleased with the results from the pattern, and since I am a person who can upon occasion get obsessed with a pattern, I knit one for me in green.  In my defense, I scored some Classic Elite Lush yarn at a yarn swap and the yarn was perfect for the pattern.  After three berets knit in acrylic I felt my fingers deserved to do the pattern in a yummy angora and wool blend yarn.  Also, not that I am defensive or anything, since I had memorized the pattern what was one more cruise through the lines of lace knitting.

I did cast on with size 2 dpns(douple pointed needles) because the band on this pattern just was a little too generous.   The lace pattern is muted by the fuzzy angora fiber, but I love the halo effect the beret has when I wear it.  The weather has been chilly here so it was just in time too.  I think it looks great, and the next time I am with the three previous knit berets I will have to get a picture of the quartet together.  Finally, not that I am defensive or anything, it was nice to knit something for myself. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Blogger is refusing to let me upload photos at this time, I am working on trying to get it fixed.  So you will have to wait to hear about my latest knitting victory with photos.  Sorry, blame blogger for the hole in your virtual life. It is okay to laugh at the the hubris of that statement now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


For the past couple of years I have been trying to focus on a personal goal for the upcoming year.  Last year my resolution was to try to enjoy my journey.  I will not lie, sometimes that is very hard.  I, like most people, want to get there NOW ((http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2012/01/trying-to-enjoy-journey-tested.html).  Last year I did focus on my journey through life as well as the drive to work in the morning.  I discovered a Tesla electric sports car in the next lane as well as many OBAMA/BIDEN bumper stickers on the cars in front of me.  I recognized that sometimes yelling at the sea of humanity making different driving choices than I would have does not improve my journey.  I also discovered after driving 100,000 miles in a hybrid car, I would and did buy a second hybrid (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2012/08/things-change-or-my-new-car.html).  I went to Florida to see family.  I also went to Nashville to see a group that altered my musical tastes from the first time I heard one of their songs (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2012/09/dead-can-dance-in-nashville.html ).  Not every mile was appreciated, but in the end the journeys were.  I leave 2012 with a greater understanding of what it takes to get from one point in my life to another.  Thank you 2012.

I reflected on my idea of what I want to focus myself on in 2013.  I want to write more in the upcoming year.  After taking a month off from blogging last year, I realized how much I really do like to express myself on the page.  I need an outlet for my brain to wander and poke around in, and the written word is an excellent form of expression for me.  Also the more I write, the more confident I am about writing and myself.  Resolution done.

Or is it?  I want to stick to a single thing, I do, but maybe this year I will add something else.  The last 2 years I have secretly said, "I will knit a sweater this year."  Epic knitting fail.  I have no sweaters to photograph and brag about to date.  I figure if I say it here ,now, I will shame myself into knitting this sweater.  It is not like I don't have the yarn or a few patterns to achieve this goal.  You heard it here, Tempesttea will knit herself a sweater in 2013. Hold me to it folks.  Now I am going to go cast on...a shawl, I know not a sweater, but it will happen.  I swear.