Dala Horse

Here it is:  The completed Dala Horse.  I have made some loud sweaters in my life, but this has to be in the top ten for loudest.  Total Riot.  Here's the back:

Just in case there weren't enough different motifs on it I threw in a monogram, too.  I maybe need to look into the concept of moderation.  But not today.  I love those horsies.

I also finished retooling the manuscript, which only took a week longer than scheduled.  I have a whole new shock of gray hair from it.  The difficulty of creating words is only surpassed by the difficulty of re-creating them.  I have a whole new respect for movie directors.  It's tough to watch something you struggled to create hit the cutting room floor.

So today I am luxuriating in the possibilities for what to work on next.  I could get started on a swell matching set of father and son vests I have planned.  I have not been told whether or not they are getting published yet, though, so jumping the gun could jinx me, if Murphy's Law has any say in it.  There are a number of UFOs I'm neglecting, for all the reasons everybody neglects UFOs, namely that they kinda suck.  If anybody knows a way to more kindly reassess a UFO, I'd love to hear it.  I feel bad for having fallen out of love with them.  Just not bad enough to pick them up again.  I have a swell new pile of Peace Fleece sitting here, which has been whispering to me that it's destined for the last cozy sweater of this winter.  By that I mean that my optimism for Spring is eventually going to take hold and lead me away from heavy cables and their brethren.  If I want to do any hard core snuggling under a heap of the warm stuff, now, rather than August, would be the time.  Send me your votes, will ya?  Cotton vests or Woolly cables.  Your advice is deeply appreciated.

Surgical Strike

I know this may be a disturbing image for some - heck, I get a little twitchy myself, looking at it.  I thought it was interesting, though, how only by doing this (cutting open the patient), can you get to see this:

The Fascinating Sweater Guts.  I know - I probably need get out more.  But it is cool no?  See how the inside is a perfect reverse of the outside?  It causes me to pause and reflect on the nature of surgeries, both physical and intellectual.

I am in the process of re-writing my book, which is very like surgery, in that it has a lot of blood and guts, and makes me long for painkillers.  Each word and sentence and turn of phrase has to be taken apart, examined for possible problems, and then stitched back into place.  I want the result to be beauty-enhancing reconstruction.  I deeply fear a Frankenstein outcome. 

I am intellectually balanced on the scalpel's edge between the way I would like to write my writing and the number of pages there are to put it in.  This means that I have to reduce the number of words without changing their meaning.  That's not so hard, but I am finding that the edited version of things always sound like somebody else's writing.  And of course, putting everything under the microscope this way creates a serious loss of perspective, so maybe I'm worrying about nothing?

One of the problems with introspection is it's awfully hard to know when you're done...

The Sweater Gets Redder, and Other Developments

See?  Now it's way more of a red sweater.  I always think sweater tubes look so weird at this stage:  A testament to the many wonders of blocking, I guess.  It looks like something a boa constrictor would wear. 

My horses don't look much like the Dala horse I looked at for inspiration:

but they feel like her, so I guess that's enough for me.  Here is something I betcha didn't know:  It's danged hard to take pictures of your own hands while you are knitting something:

This is one of my attempts at a photo of binding off the top of a sleeve steek.  Doing it is way easier than writing down how, and photographing it is way easier than sketching it.  You may remember that my excuse for making this sweater is that I need to provide illustrations that support the techniques in my book.  The hope is that the illustrator who will actually be making the drawings has a clear idea of what I'm talking about.  So far I'm not sure which is harder; the showing or the telling.  I'm supposed to have all the pictures done on Friday, but true to knitting, this project has expanded to fit the time allotted to it.  I have no idea whether I'll make it or not.

Speaking of ongoing projects, today is the 10th birthday of one of my favorite people:

which means that while I wasn't looking, she managed to swallow a decade, whole.  I'm not very good at math, but Phillip explained to me last night that we have now been the parents of this particular smally for more than a quarter of our lives.  Quantifying things is hard when you are not good at math, but what this means to me is that if my life had only four phases so far, they would look like this:

1.  My own first 10 years, spent mostly running, jumping, singing, and knitting in trees.
2.  The second 10 years, spent acting on stage, railing ineffectively against various unfairnesses, and forgetting about knitting in favor of boys.
3.  The third 10 years, spent forgetting about other boys in favor of the one I married, and remembering about knitting.
4.  The last 10 years, since meeting this wee person. The time it took her to go from throwing up on me to rolling her eyes at me was a lot shorter than I expected.  She still looks cute in sweaters though, so I think we'll keep her, at least till adolescence.