Tuesday Mewsday: The Mighty Huntress

As part of our spring yard-update, we’ve added a bird feeder.
Squawky Jay

The birds appreciate it, and it keeps Maggie occupied for hours.
I am Maggie, fear me

I am Maggie, fear me
She is absolutely certain that jay will be hers, but never fear—we’re hung the feeder where she has no hope of climbing up to it. She just sits on the ground below it chirping and telling the birds “My mouth’s down here—come fly into it!”

Hats, Hats, Hats

This is Harry Potter Weekend on tv, so I simply must sit and watch—but right now Goblet of Fire (my least favorite of the movies*) is showing, so I need a bit of entertainment on the side as well.

Earlier this afternoon, my friend Chris introduced me to the Hermione Hearts Ron hat pattern (inspired by a hat Hermione wears in the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), which is free on Ravelry. Which lead me to wonder what other worthwhile free hat patterns I’d missed on Ravelry. Which has now lead to a queue that’s bigger by 13 hat patterns. Besides Hermione Hearts Ron, there’s…

Gingerbread Hat
Basque Hat
Snowdrop Beret
Lauren Hat
Beaumonde-Inspired Hat
Hues of Lothlorien
Maze and Chevron Hat
Embossed Leaves Hat
Advent Pillar Beret
Cloud Braided Beret

*I really dislike the way Dumbledore’s role is scripted in Goblet. Early on, he tells the students that “eternal glory awaits the winner” of the the Tri-Wizzard Tournament, and he continues in the same vein for most of the film. Does that sound like Albus Dumbledore to you? Eternal glory? For winning a three-school competition? Albus Dumbledore? Throughout the picture, he comes across as a breathy little fan-boy. But the Albus Dumbledore I know has bigger, more important things on his mind. Voldemort’s out there. Harry has so much to learn. There are the hoarcruxes> I can’t help myself: I take these things seriously…

Who Decided…?

• that cardigans that are too narrow to meet in the front would be flattering on anyone?

• that a sweater in bulky yarn with a neck so wide it leaves the entirety of one’s collar bones exposed would make any sense in any climate anywhere?

• that a woman’s upper arms would be flattered by some big-ass cables running down them?

• that any knitter would be interested in a pattern for a garment that doesn’t look properly fitted—even on a model assisted by a full staff of stylists, make-up artists, lighting technicians, and, of course, a photographer?

Perhaps not the most pressing questions of our time, but having just spent some time browsing patterns, I feel compelled to ask them.

I’m sure I’ve left all sort of things off this little list of questions—feel free to add your own.

Color is My Kryptonite

Color wheel
I think one of reasons I am a knitter is that I am powerless in the face of color—it’s sort of like my kryptonite. I see certain colors, and I just get all weak. I just want to stare at them. And, when the colors are on yarn, pat it. Pat it and stare.

If you ask my friend Chris her favorite color, her answer is “all of them.” I am a bit less ecumenical, but if I were to offer a broad answer it would be “the tertiary ones.” I love the way they seem to mix beauty and tension in equal parts. They feel alive to me in a way that the primaries and secondaries rarely do. Avocado, apple, tangerine, poppy, fuschia, peacock—yum!

My short drive to and from work offers me a wonderful buffet of colors. Going up to campus, I’m heading toward a line of tree-covered hills with a wide sky above. To the right, I look across a valley that’s often draped with fog. On my left are open pastures. Going home from campus, I look out across to city to the bay and across it to the dim shadows that are Carmel, Monterey, and the mountains behind them. Today, as I was drinking all these in, I found myself noting that nature doesn’t use a lot of primary colors. Nature, like me, seems to prefer the tertiaries. Most foliage isn’t green—it’s blue-green or yellow-green. Flowers are red-orange and red-violet. OK, I know this is an over-simplification, but I trust you can see my point: nature likes those tertiaries.

This morning, the redwood trees went from rust to black-green as they reached toward the sky, which was an improbable light blue with a few brush strokes of cloud. I can see a banana tree out my office: it’s yellow-green going to yellow, then red-orange, then brown along the tips. Nature puts all sorts of colors together—and I love the fact that as a knitter I get to do the same.