Meowdemeow Knitting

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

A very quick post to wish everyone a great Thanksgiving. Wish us luck--we're making a turkey this year. When you put a vegetarian in charge of the meat, you never know what will happen.

More on the baby sweater soon...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Poem for Today, More China, Joshua Tree, Baby Update

On Wednesday night at writing group, Holly had us do the annual poem ritual for our last meeting of 2008. She chooses 20 poems, prints them out, and we each choose the one that's calling to us. (We can't see them ahead of time. She has them rolled up like important documents, tied in ribbon.) The poem I picked is below.

From The Little Mariner


Whatever I was able to acquire in my life by way of acts visible to all,
that is, to win my own transparency, I owe to a kind of special courage
Poetry gave me: to be the wind for the kite and the kite for the wind, even
when the sky is missing.

I'm not playing with words. I mean the movement you discover being
written in an "instant," when you can open it and make it last. When,
in fact, Sorrow becomes Grace and Grace Angel; Joy Alone and Sister

with white, long pleats over the void,

a void full of bird dew, basil breeze and a hiss of resonant Paradise.

Odysseas Elytis
(trans. Olga Broumas,
from Eros, Eros:Selected and Last Poems,
Copper Canyon Press, 1998)

At first, I liked it, but I didn't really understand why I got it. Then, when it came time for everyone to read their poem aloud, I realized it was perfect and I got emotional reading it. There's so much hope and a sense of overcoming badness to get to a peaceful, joyful place. I especially like: "to be the wind for the kite and the kite for the wind..." That says a lot to me. And the last line is so fresh and soaring and wonderful. Plus, it's called "The Little Mariner," which people pointed out is appropriate for the baby. (Below is a picture David took when we were at Joshua tree a couple of weeks ago. It seems to fit the last line, too.)

In crafty-related news, this is a woman who worked at Sina, an internet company in Beijing. I really liked her scarf and sweater (plus, it's USC colors and she did the Fight On! symbol), so I asked if I could take her picture. She very nicely obliged.

Another place we went to just out of Beijing was the Green Cow Organic Farm, owned by Mrs. Shanen (shown below). It was a wonderful experience and a nice contrast to all the huge factories that dominate China. She wants to keep her organic farm/bagel business/restaurant small and fresh and sustainable. (The food was delicious, by the way.)

Back in California, David an I went to Joshua Tree the weekend after I got back. It was very cold and windy, but we still managed to have a picnic and go on a hike. Here we are at the picnic spot.

In China, I started the Baby Surprise Jacket. This is my progress as of Friday at lunchtime. I should be finished very soon and will post a picture of the finished product. I hope the baby will enjoy wearing it.

Finally, I know some of you have been waiting for this. Here's the baby ultrasound from Wednesday. Everything's going really well. The baby's about a pound now (!) and moving around a lot. Even David's been able to feel it. On the ultrasound, we were able to see it kick and move around. Plus, we got to see it swallow, which looked something like this.

Okay. This is a long post, so I'll close for now. Look for more pictures soon of the baby cardigan and my finished Februrary Lady Sweater. Woo hoo!

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Back by Popular Demand.

Well, not really, but I finally caught the blogging bug again. (Just an update on my last post from September 2007. I found the sweater pieces and sewed everything up. Now I have a cool, brown sweater that, unfortunately, is a little scratchy. I should be able to wear it more now that the weather is cooler.)

I have some cool pictures to share. It's been a long time, so I won't try to give a recount of the entire past year (plus!). Instead, I'll just start fresh (like the US did on Tuesday - yea!) and go from there.

Here's me and Thomas the cat just before Halloween. I got the wax fangs (berry flavored!) and scary finger from Holly at the writing group that night, so I had to use them (esp. since I was going to be gone for Halloween). I don't think Thomas looks frightened enough that I'm going to scrape and eat him. He's so fearless.

And, scene change, here I am at the Great Wall! I traveled to Beijing, China at the end of October with a group of EMBA students. The Great Wall was truly amazing, and the section we went to was quite difficult to walk/climb. But I can say I did it! We had wonderful weather and clear air. Whew!

This is the woman who helped me when I went to this yarn store in Beijing. She really didn't speak English, but she spoke knitting. The random guy who was in the shop tried to help because he spoke some English, but he didn't speak knitting. So somehow, between the three of us, I managed to buy some nice yarn. I got some pink cashmere (!) but not enough to make a sweater because even in China, cashmere is expensive. I got some nice cream colored camel, and some Granny Smith apple green wool. All in all, a successful trip to a yarn store. I love doing yarn tourism. And since I'm the only one who knits on these trips (so far, anyway), I don't have any tagalongs. You would only sit in a taxi in traffic for an hour to get to a store if you really loved yarn, right?

Here's the outside of the store. I noticed more yarn stores in Beijing than Shanghai; I suspect that's because the weather gets colder in Beijing, but that's just a theory. Last year in Shanghai, the yarn I found was tucked into the corner of a larger sweater store. Hmm...

We were so lucky to be able to tour the Olympic sites. First, we went inside the Water Cube, which was much smaller in person than it looks on TV. After that, we went to the Birds Nest, which was so cool and impressive. We even got to go out on the field, so I can say I was out on the field where they did the opening ceremony and where athletes actually competed. I'm a big Olympics nut (just ask David), so it was amazing for me to actually be there.

By now, you're probably thinking, wow--Brenda's gotten super fat, especially around her belly. Which is true and a valid point. But there's a reason. There's a baby in there! Don't worry--I got the go ahead from my doctor to travel to China and really had no problems except for finding clothes that fit and the fact that my leg goes numb when I stand/walk too long (it's some nerve thing). Overall, I think the baby enjoyed the trip because I started to feel movement (weird bubbly type of things) that week.
Anyway, because of that, I hope to blog more frequently so I can keep people updated on everything. We'll see. Also, there should be baby knitting to report on. I'm working on the Baby Surprise Jacket from Elizabeth Zimmerman right now. It sure looks funky, but from everything I've read, if I just keep at it, it will magically be a sweater at the end. I got the yarn in Santa Barbara back in September at a cool yarn store called Knit and Pearl. It's malabrigo, lovely soft gray and blue in buttery wool. (By the way, we don't know the sex of the baby and don't plan to find out. I just liked the colors!)

I'll leave you with this cute, tiny hand knit "Open" sweater from Knit and Pearl. I hope to be back soon!