Friday, August 2, 2013

Barbara Walker and being a Loser Mo in Santa Fe

My birthday present this year is a trip to Santa Fe, NM, to see opera and visit my home state.  Why such a nice present you ask?  Well, it's one of those years that mark a certain point in life.  I prefer to think that it didn't happen; so, we will just say that I'm still 39.  However, Santa Fe is definitely happening.

I had forgotten about the Super Mos here in this city.  Wow!  They wear perfect blazers with crisp pressed shirts and pants and VERY expensive Italian shoes, while sipping cocktails and talking about some one's nice home but how it "tragically" has no view.  OMG!  I don't know how many Mo points I need to catch up to these guys.  What I can say, is that I was wearing VERY expensive Italian shoes that I actually bought in Florence.  You have to have some street credentials here in Santa Fe.

The operas have been great.  We saw La Traviata first.  Of course, this opera brings out ALL the Mos.  If you don't know it, Violetta represents the gay man's biggest dilemma, whether to fall in love or party and fornicate forever.  Truly, this is such a struggle for us Mos.  Speaking of Mos, here we are at the opera.  I'm the cute one with the sexy smirk on his face.
This is the view from our seats.  This was the set for La Traviata.  Yes, it's very minimalist but it worked.  My friend Pat wouldn't have cared for this set.  She's old school.  If there isn't a velvet chair and a chandelier, it's just not Traviata for her.

The second opera was The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein.  It was a very cute operetta.  I highly recommend it if you want something light.  For you beer fans, you might think of it as the Hefferveisen of opera.  Unfiltered, fun but not appropriate for all seasons.

Last night we saw Rossini's La Donna Del Lago.  This is a rarely performed opera but it seems to be making a comeback.  It was the BOMB although the first act drags a bit.  It takes place in Scotland during some war between the clans and the king.  Of course, there is a beautiful maiden that the whole story revolves around and she ends up saving the day.  Don't get you hopes up for opera and bagpipes; it's not happening here.

Opera isn't the only thing we have done.  We have been hiking and site seeing.

 This is Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch New Mexico.  The base of the trail is at 6500 ft.  You hike about one and a half miles and you end up here..... 7000 feet and with some incredible views.  Now, when you come from 600 feet and try to hike at 7000 feet, you suddenly feel very, very out of shape.

This is the Sanctuary of Chimayo about an hour outside of Santa Fe.  If you are not familiar with this church, I will tell you about it.  There are many stories about the miracle that led to the building of the Santuario. The most common tells of a villager named Bernardo de Abeyta, who was a Penitente, the brotherhood that kept the Catholic faith alive in New Mexico when priests were few. On Good Friday, in 1810 or 1811, Abeyta was performing the rituals of penance when he saw a light bursting forth from a nearby hillside. Upon digging at the source of the light, he found a large crucifix, which he called the Miraculous Crucifix of Our Lord of Esquipulas
Bernardo de Abeyta and other Chimayo villagers formed a procession to carry the crucifix to the nearest church, 8 miles away in Santa Cruz. But the next day the crucifix was missing from the altar, to be found back in its original place in the hills of Chimayo. The procession was repeated two more times before it became clear that el Señor de Esquipulas wanted to remain in Chimayo, thus prompting the building of the original small chapel on that site. Then the miraculous healings began, growing so numerous that the chapel had to be replaced by the larger adobe mission which is the current Chimayo shrine. Named el Santuario de Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas, the shrine was finished in 1816, and is now commonly known as el Santuario de Chimayo.  
In a small room next to the chapel is the well of Holy Dirt.  Yes, I said Holy Dirt.  There are many miracles that have happened attributed to the Holy Dirt.  People leave their crutches there as well as testimonies about miracle cures.  It's a very powerful place.  Anyway, being a good Catholic boy I got some of the dirt to bring back home.

Now, being that New Mexico is such a large and very sparsely populated state, I bought along my knitting for the long drives between destinations.  I decided that I would continue on with my Barbara Walker throw down.  So here we are on page 11. Same drill as last time, US 3 with what I believe is a sport weight.  Also, my sample is backwards from Ms. Walker's.  The bottom is Seed Stitch; the middle is Moss Stitch and the top is Double Seed Stitch.
I'm a HUGE fan of textured knitting.  I like it almost as much as stranded knitting.  The big thing for me here is that I like to knit sweaters and I really like ganseys.  Traditional ganseys are made of  many different combinations of knit and purl stitches and maybe an occasional cable thrown in for fun.  While I like all of this three stitches, I'm least fond of Seed Stitch.  It doesn't do much for me. OH!  Sorry, I'm at a hotel and I didn't want to iron anything so none of these is blocked.
Okay, turning to page 12, we have Sand Stitch, Dot Stitch or Spot Stitch, Broken Rib and Double Broken Rib.
So, I was really lazy on this one.  Sand Stitch's pattern shows up on the even side rows, which to most of us, is the wrong side.  That is why I am showing you the wrong side of the work.  The bottom section is Sand Stitch.  I have to say that I really don't like it.  It just looks like really messy knitting on the wrong side to me.
Now, the reverse side of Sand Stitch is Dot Stitch.

It's the bottom section again.  I really like this one.  It has lots of different effects.  One that I really like, that you can just see on the far left, is that it has the illusion of little diamond shapes.  I can definitely see myself using this on a gansey.  NOTE, if you do this pattern, keep track of where you leave off.  I forgot what row I was on several times and had to rip back a few rows to fix things again.

Now the next two are Broken Rib (middle section) and Double Broken Rib (top section).  I like both of these quite a bit.  My favourite of  the two is Broken Rib.  I have used this on a gansey and it looks really good over large areas and sleeves.  In one of my gansey books, the Broken Rib is called Moss Variant and Double Broken Rib is called Betty Martin Pattern.  Who knew Ms. Martin was so famous?  Okay, enough for now as I have a plane to catch to get me back to my beloved Pacific Northwest.

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