gone.

Yesterday I finished reading Ellen Meloy’s The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky. This book truly moved me. It made me ache, hurt, long, dream, exhale. I know some of Meloy’s places, and I hope we all know, or grow to know, our places as well or as intimately as Meloy knows hers. I set the book down yesterday thinking that I wanted to share a chunk of it here with you, and this morning, sobered by unthinkable news, I opened it and it fell to a page upon which I had underlined these words:

“In those days my friends and I strode through an uncertain world, strong-limbed and reluctant to settle. Our emotions were nearly torrential but not very durable. In our young lives, in those glorious mountains of summer, this swing was, like the waterfall, a necessary flight from the sheltered to the wild.” (p.115)

These words are far more powerful in the context of the stories Meloy is telling about her youth, but I share them here partly in rememberance of the energy, encouragement, inspiration and exuberance of a knitter whose company I was lucky to enjoy weekly at my knitting group out west. I was the baby of this group, and she was always so excited about the things in my life for me, about the discovery and adventures in my future, about what was around the bend. From where I sat, she was someone I wanted to be like: confident, capable, silly and selfless.

She was out riding her bike on Monday evening, and was struck by a car. She died there on the road.

She commented here on the blog occasionally, and I learned of the accident because I happened to glance at my blog stats, and noticed that several people had done searches of her name and found my blog. I googled too, wondering why.

I write this here for two reasons:

(1) These kinds of accidents tend to incite heated, hyperbolic, angry debate between motorists and cyclists. In the eyes of the law, bicycles are vehicles, and they/their operators have legal rights and responsibilities as such. The majority of cyclists understand and obey the rules of the road. Many motorists respect cyclists and obey the law. Despite this, there is still quite a bit of confusion and anger, on both sides, about what the rules are. We need more education, for both cyclists and motorists, about how to peacefully and safely coexist on the road.

In this particular case, it seems that my friend did everything right. It wasn’t enough.

(2) I write this because I’m saddened that it takes something like this for us to tell the people in our lives what they mean to us. I have lost someone who inspired and encouraged me — someone whose kind words convinced me to go home from my very first knitting group night and seam up my first sweater. I imagine that this particular person had a similar impact on a whole slew of people, and my thoughts are certainly with her husband, her children, and her community.

Comments are closed on this post. Instead, please make sure someone who has inspired you knows it.

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a sock story, revisited.

Morning, folks. I think I posted about this when it actually happened, but as last night was likely my last regular attendance at weekly knitting night, allow me to tell you a brief sock story. Back in the fall, my internet was down for at least a week. My ISP couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and I was frantically working on all of my graduate school applications, so I was spending an hour or so every night at the coffee shop closest to my house. One Tuesday evening, when I stopped in to submit some forms and check email, I noticed a table of women who looked incredibly fun doing something with their hands — I had to look again to confirm that they were actually knitting! I introduced myself and asked if I could join them. Luckily for me, I had one of those fleece artist yellow tiger socks in my bag. They welcomed me and encouraged me, and soon I was knitting with them every Tuesday night. I’m heading to Base Camp next week, and then off to New Home for graduate school, and while I am going to try to meet up with them whenever I come into town on a Tuesday, yesterday was the first of all of my goodbyes. They marked (ha) my departure with an incredibly sweet and unexpected gift: gorgeous sock-sized stitch markers from Hide and Sheep (on etsy).

See how the marker itself isn’t simply circular?

It was all I could do to keep myself from casting on another pair of socks at 11 PM last night, just to admire these on a sock in progress. I am plugging away at Sunday Market Shawl number 2 — brought the remains of the one the dog gnawed through to show and tell last night, and am slowly adding length to its replacement. Here’s a rather blurry picture that shows the gorgeousness of the purples in this Dream in Color Smooshy yarn:

You’d think stockinette wouldn’t be tricky, but when I yanked this out of my bag last night, I managed to pull out a bunch of stitches and picked them back up all weird. Ramona to the rescue!

I feel incredibly lucky to have found such a wonderful “real life” knitting community — I will be thinking of you guys on Tuesday nights this summer — and I will particularly miss the “mommy” talk.

car commercial picture.

At knitting group this evening, there was much discussion of silver Hondas. I may have mentioned that I like to take pictures of my CR-V, particularly when the situation at hand requires that I get out the picnic table in the back, sort of like we are in a car commercial.

I’m learning that you can’t mention such a thing to people who actually READ your blog without requests to post photographic evidence of said table/car. Here’s the best CR-V and picnic table shot I’ve got, taken in the fall of 2006, on the CR-V’s inaugural camping trip. It’s not a great picture of me. It was a deceptively cold October weekend during elk season (not that we were hunting), and I’m both shoving food into my mouth and wearing many flattering layers of warmth, but the CRV and the picnic table look fabulous:

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While I’m dipping into the photo archives, here are a few more pictures from that trip (taken by my camping companion, who likely has no problem with me using his pictures, but also has no idea that I have a blog, so forgive me for not properly/formally crediting him):

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That looks like a setting suitable for a CR-V commercial, no?

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Sigh. I’m going to miss living and playing out here.

another west side sunrise.

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I dropped my first stitch (intentionally) in my Clapotis last night, surrounded by happy thoughts and perhaps some nervous empathy at knitting group. Due to dog circumstances, I haven’t found any time or space to knit over the last few days, so escaping from the madness and sitting down with a chai and knitting friends last night great improved my outlook on the week.

I’ll try to take some pictures of these dogs to share before I head back to my own bed on Friday. Boh is covered in slobber, and all three of the dogs are loping about with their tongues happily lolling to the side. Last night they spent almost an hour playfully fighting about who would be the one to run around the yard carrying (dragging) a stick larger than they are. These dogs are having the best time ever!

spontaneous cast on

A family that is very dear to me has experienced what can only be described as tragedy: the loss of a wonderful person — son, brother, friend — to an act of senseless, seemingly random violence. There is a celebration of his life this weekend, and the final spreading of ashes, and I am planning to head down and spend the night with them.

Last night, at knitting group, I asked, “What do you knit for someone who is dealing with that kind of loss?” In addition to the obvious: listening, hugging, being present, I have been feeling the need to “make”. A tea cozy was suggested, and upon thinking more carefully about the intended recipient, this is just right. I cast on last night, and am setting other projects aside in hopes of completing this before this weekend’s celebration.

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After looking through my pattern books, I settled on the Cashmere Tea Cozy from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (Ravelry link). I love the way this is gathered at the top, and I really like the simple stitch pattern. I am making this in a reddish-orange-brown (sort of like the color of adobe) in Cascade 220 Heathers, and the stitch definition is beautiful. It would be perfect for a man’s scarf.

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I have just under 4 inches completed, after starting with size 8 needles and deciding to go down to 7s for a tighter fabric (a decision which enhanced the stitch definition) last night, and knitting to an old episode of Cast On this morning before work. I think I will be able to get this done by Saturday morning. Suggestions for special tea to accompany this?