Thursday, July 26, 2007


I'm recovering very nicely from my latest bout of Potteritis. I'm feeling much better now, but am experiencing some slight residual effects, namely sadness regarding the end of the series. J.K Rowling did a wonderful job with the series and I wish her much success with future endeavors (because I really, really hope there will be future writing endeavors, not that I'm thinking of myself in wishing her well, nope, I'm only thinking of all of her other fans).

With the final Potter book out of the way, I know only have work interferring with my knitting. I guess it's time for my confession now. I have not knitted a single stitch for over a week. I miss it terribly. I miss the feel of yarn and needles in my hands. I miss having finished objects to show off. I actually think the lack of knitting in my life has made me pretty grumpy, too. Of course, Italian is just way too smart nice to agree with me on this. I did make some progress on the lace sock before my little separation from my yarn. I'll post a picture as soon as I try on one finished sock. With luck, it will fit to my satisfaction. Right now, it's a bit loose around the leg and I am trying to remember if my other Socks That Rock shrunk or expanded when washed and dried.

In the meantime, I keep checking my progress on the Ravelry waiting list and it looks like 68 is my lucky number.

Hmmm, do I see Ravelry in my future today????

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


We interrupt this blog to bring you an important message. The nation is being brought to it's knees as a debilitating afflictions sweeps from coasts to coasts. This virus, commonly referred to as "Potteritis" has now made its way into this blog. Common symptoms include a reduction in mobility, leaving suffers sitting in one place for hours at a time, a lack of desire to engage in others who are immune to Potteritis, sudden intakes of breathe (a.k.a gasping), and insomnia brought on by an overwhelming desire to just read another paragraph.

Fortunately, suffers of Potteritis only experience systems for a few days. If you or someone you know suffers from Potteritis, symptoms will lift soon and the sufferer will return to normal.

We will return to regular blogging (and knitting) soon.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Who will buy

Me: How does this look?
LC: Um, it looks fine.
Me: Come on, you didn't even look.
LC: Well, that pink shirt with the yellow shirt looks fine, but jeans to work, Mom?
Me: I have an out of uniform day.
LC: Oh, well then it looks good.

At a nice young tender age, Little Clover has learned the importance of appropriate dress. I feel like we have hit a milestone. I can now tell him his selection in clothing does not match the occasion and he will understand. Yay! Of course, he may now argue the validity of meeting societal standards, but I think I have a few years before he can come up with really good arguing points.

Hopefully, I can soon add two new additions to my own wardrobe.

The Lotus Blossom Tank is slowly growing. I just finished one complete lace pattern repeat which is a huge hurdle for me. I have found when I knit lace, the first full set of row repeats is always rather arduous. It is slow and cumbersome and I'm pretty much knitting blind. Sure I generally have a picture or a chart to reference, but I prefer reading my actual knitting. After finish the first set of rows, knitting the lace becomes simpler and I have a tendency to knit faster. I can find mistakes easily before I knit too far along and I pick up the rhythm of the lace and can memorize the pattern. Does anyone feel the same way?

I've also been trucking along on the Fancy Silk Stockings made out of wool. These are more socks than stockings, but I think they will be lovely peeking out from under my jeans.

(How do you guys take pictures of your socks in progress? I always feel a bit silly taking pictures of my feet with a partially knitted sock.)

As for the "Who will buy" portion of the blog, I have a bag I would like to send off to a new home.

It is a lovely Offhand Design Zelda Tote that is a year old. A new one retails for $180, so I am asking $80 plus actual shipping. It has 8 side pockets in the main compartment and three internal pockets in the side compartment. The tote can hold several balls of yarn, a knitting book, a knitting magazine, and necessary knitting sundries. The tote has served me well in the last year, so much so, I want another one. I'm sending this one off into the wild simply because I found one I like a bit better. If you are interested, please email me at irishcloveratgmaildotcom with "Zelda Tote" in the subject line. The first person to respond will be the lucky owner. It also makes a great bag for things other than knitting (such as a baby bag) and it comes from a smoke free home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Do You Fish?

In the past, we try to go on a few fishing trips a year. The last year though has been amazingly hectic and has slipped by us with very few opportunities to relax, much less, go fishing. We are getting antsy. We need to be on/in the water. We need to fish. We didn't fish this past weekend, but we were at least, in the water.

Little Clover returned from Chicago with stories galore. Hopefully, he will do a guest blog entry in the next few days. He unpacked, and then packed again for a trip up to the family cabin. He was gracious enough to allow Italian and me to accompany him on this trip. Once at the cabin, we spent the large part of our time on the lake. Little Clover tried his hand at captaining a boat. Papa Clover acted as his first mate.

Other than getting distracted by the occasional bird or log, he drove rather well. I only moderately feared for my life.

Little Clover also experienced tubing for the first time and he had a ball! He loved being on the tube and pulled by the boat. We could hear his giggles over the motor and if you rode the tube with him, he talked nonstop.
Looking back, part of the fun of this weekend was being able to experience one of Little Clover's firsts. As he grows up, those first moments are getting fewer and farther between. I'm not sure how many firsts he has left, but I hope to be there for as many of them as I can.

I even had a first a couple of weeks ago. I enjoy writing and see the blog as a safe medium for practicing the craft. There is no real rejection in the blog world. There is rejection though in attempting to get a piece published. Recently, I submitted an essay to Cast-On with Brenda Dayne. You may have heard of it. If you subscribe, then you heard my essay. My essay, "Do you fish," aired on June 29 as part of Episode 51. Below is a transcript of the essay. I'm very grateful to Brenda for accepting my essay. If you get a chance, support her podcast. She does great work and adds to the knitting community. Oh, and Sage of Quirky Nomads did a fantastic job of reading! Thank you, Sage.

Do you fish?
In my youth, I was a meadow pixie. We have pictures to prove it. I'm roughly five years old running in a wildflower meadow in the Rocky Mountains. My arms are out stretched and my Peter Pan collar is highlighted by golden sunlight. Thus, my life as a camper began. I wish I could say I excelled at camping from that point forward, but sadly, my skills really didn't progress much past me running amok in a wide open field. My family left the mountains of Colorado shortly after that summer to settle in the hills of Tennessee. We continued camping and I even joined the Girl Scouts for a year or two, but my Girl Scout sash was rather devoid of badges and our family camping trips became more and more sporadic.

Then, I met the man of my dreams and he asked me a very weighted question.

"Have you ever gone fishing?" he asked.
"Not really," I replied. "Once I dipped my uncle's fishing pole into the water when I was about 9 or ten, but that's it."

I didn't realize he was not actually asking me about fishing, but rather, gauging my likelihood as a future spouse. He took me on a fishing trip with his father and brother to a river in the Ozarks of Arkansas and I fell in love again. One look at the riverbank and the burnt out campfire circles and I felt at home. We set up camp right along the bank and I listened to the gentle rushing of water and the wooshing wings of the birds. I passed the fishing test.

A few years later, and after several more fishing trips, my boyfriend and I were married. We then added to the number of campers by having a little boy. He took his first steps at the campsite, surrounded by family and fishing friends. His little feet brushed along the floor of a cabin one night as the sound of the river could be heard beneath our cheers and his giggles. He took more and more steps along the riverbank and soon, he was sitting in our laps with his very own fishing pole, and we guided his casting and reeling. We had another natural camper and fisherman in our midst and as our number grew, camping became more of an event. Of course, we still looked forward to the relaxed atmosphere of camping. We really had no schedules or appoints tying us down. Instead, we had our routines. We would begin the day with a quick jaunt into the river, poles in hand and dressed in wading pants. As the sun travelled the sky, one by one we would leave the river and return at our own times. In the quiet evenings we would gather around the fire and watch the stars and lightening bugs twinkle into existence. We would play games and talk and sometimes just sit and enjoy the quiet.

Then, one day, in between fishing trips, I became a knitter again. I started bringing yarn with me and in the quiet hours of the day, as my little one napped or by the glow of a campfire, I knitted. I knitted hats and socks and swore never again would I wear cotton store bought socks on a fishing trip. I found Knit Picks had a colorway called "Fly Fishing" and I quickly bought enough skeins to make socks for my family. As we camped one autumn, my hands shivered while I knitted and I promised myself I would have wool fingerless gloves for my next winter camping trip. Sometimes, my yarn would come home with bits of leaves and twigs from the campsite. When I found these, I would always smile as I remembered the fish we caught or the stories we told. I would then hold the yarn to my nose and my smile would deepen as I detected the faint smell of a campfire and a hint of the river. If I listened carefully, sometimes, the laughter caught in the yarn from our last trip would escape and tickle my ears again. The spirit of the trip, of the campsite, of our memories would be caught in the yarn and released with every stitch I knit.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Trying something new

In an effort to be healthy, save some money, and make the environment happy, I've decide to ride my bike to stores within a mile or two of my house. Living in the American South where sprawl is king, the number of stores within biking distance are rather limited. Fortunately me, Target and my LYS are completely within the biking radius and I've ridden to both. Both trips have given me a brand new perspective regarding biking, driving, and the city in which I live.

First, biking
Bikers (and pedestrians) have the right away. I knew this fact, but unfortunately, not all the motorists I encountered knew this fact. Well, I like to think they didn't know it. That is a much happier thought than thinking they knew it and found great pleasure in scaring the devil out of cyclists.

Also, Target and my LYS seem very close to my house if I drive there, but they are much farther away when you bike there, much, much farther away, especially in 96 F with a humidity of 76%. I should also get a bike basket instead of wearing a backpack to hold my purchases because my back gets pretty sweaty in 96 F with a humidity of 76%. I may also want to get my own bike before I get a bike basket and return my SIL bike to her, since I've been borrowing it for the last two years. After I get my own bike, I will definitely knit up the saddlebags from Vogue. Who knows, maybe the knitted Vogue saddlebags will make my biking experience more chic as well.

Now, on to cars
Bikers and pedestrians have the right of way, and most motorists are completely oblivious to this. Riding a bike on any major road in this city translates to a very exciting bike ride, and not always in the "wee, this is fun" sense of exciting. I discovered I'm very good at breaking.

I also found I envied the smug motorist with their air conditioning. "At least I was being fit and exercising," I would think to myself. Then a daunting hill would come into my sights and I quickly lost any smugness as I tiredly pedaled up the hills. I almost wondered on some of the hills if my pedaling was doing any good.

Finally, my town
My town has a lot more hills than I realized. Growing in central Tennessee, I was surrounded by hills. Living now in the delta, there is nary a hill in sight, unless you are biking and it is 96 F outside. Then there are hills every where. But hey, those knitted saddlebags are gonna luck darn cute.

In addition to biking around town, I learned how to put in a light fixture. I have this thing for lighting fixtures. In both of our houses, I almost immediately change out lighting fixtures. I'm not sure why they mean as much to me as they do, but they seem to add a very personal touch to a room. Generally, I hold the tools while Italian changes the fixture, but this time, I felt the need to be liberated and learn how to do it myself (with Italian there to talk me through it of course).

We took down the brass fixture in the kitchen and replaced it with a nice new nickel plated light. It looks amazing up! Italian and I stood back and admired our work. As we looked at the new light in the kitchen, we realized the rest of the kitchen doesn't quite match the light. I think we may have more work to do.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy (Belated) Birthday!

Friday, June 29, was Papa Clover's birthday. As a daughter, I adore my father. He can fix anything, he can do anything, and he is one of the best guys out there, ever. He is the man I compared all potential mates to, and he will always have a very special place in my heart and in my life. As an adult, I love the friendship I have with my dad. We listen to some of the same bands and we share some of the same interest. He instilled in me a love of the outdoors and taught me how to row a canoe. One day, I will go to a concert with my dad. I think that would be a hoot! He is also a treasured grandfather to Little Clover. They have their special games and their special rituals. In a nutshell, I love you, Dad! Happy (belated) birthday.

I occasionally reread my posts to see how I can improve as a blogger and a writer. I find I have a few snoozers of posts out there and I try pick apart those posts and see what could make them more exciting to read. I personally find the "Leaving on a Jet plane" post rather dull and was going through each paragraph until I hit the "my company has a yarn closet" bit. The fact of a yarn closet existing in an office is just astounding to me. My company, aside from Project Warm Hearts, does nothing with fashion, textiles, or needle crafts, yet, there is a yarn closet. Wow! I loved my job and company before, but this is a huge bonus! If my days get too stressful, I can send a little email with the subject "Need Yarn!" and I'll have a skein within a day or two. How can life be bad if yarn is so accessible?

I did leave Minneapolis with a couple of balls of cotton. I'm researching double knitting and am jotting out a little swirly pattern.

The colors are brighter than I would normally choose, but these knits will be returning to the wild, and will hopefully brighten someone who is in need of some human kindness. I'll profile the recipient charities in a few posts.

I did finish another hat and will be shipping it to Minneapolis.

The pattern is from Knitty and I intended it to be for Little Clover. Unfortunately, my perception on his size is slightly skewed. He's a lot bigger than I want to admit. He's so big, he's out of town without me in Chicago. He is supervised (he's not that big yet), but he's still traveling without either of his parents. I've had a difficult time with this. Granted, I've enjoyed the new grown-up time with Italian. We've had quite a bit of fun and are trying to take advantage of the situation by eating fancy food and playing really tennis games, but I still miss Little Clover immensely. He even lost a tooth while in Chicago and I missed it (and the rate for a tooth in Chicago is way higher than the going rate in Tennessee. I may need to have a conversation with the Chicago Tooth Fairy). I think I'll distract myself from the lack of kids in my life and make a reservation to someplace hip and funky.