Monday, July 25, 2011

A Montana Wedding

Back from Montana, y'all! 47 billion mosquito bites (and yes, I will continue to complain about this relentlessly everywhere I lurk on the internet until I stop itching), 4 states, 5 days, lots of new friends, and too much booze! And even some yarn! It was a wonderful trip, and I'm so grateful to have been able to be a part of Sean and Sharon Cowan's beautiful wedding. I have a few pics and a poem to share with you.

My boyfriend and I went to Montana because his very good friend from college was getting married, and Andrew was asked to do a reading in the ceremony! It was a big honor, especially when you consider the ceremony was all of 8 minutes long. He fretted over this for awhile; he initially wanted to write something original for the ceremony, and while I am sure it was wonderful and would have brought tears to my eyes (not hard to do), he decided to go with something already written, and picked out a lovely poem with a wonderful sentiment.

So, I looked up the poem to copy it over here, and found an interesting little back story. Apparently this "Roy Croft" fellow may not have existed at all, but may have been a pseudonym. The poem may have come from a German poem entitled "Ich Liebe Dich" ("I Love You"). Crazy! But I don't care, because when I watched my boyfriend speak this poem to his friends in their special day, I was moved to tears and my heart melted. You did a phenomenal job, Andrew, and it made me love you all the more to see how much your friends mean to you and how much you mean to them.

Love by Roy Croft (?)

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am when I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what you have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me.

I love you for
the part of me that you bring out;
I love you for
putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the foolish, weak things
that you can't help dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out into the light
All the beautiful belongings
that no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern, but a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign. 
You have done it by being yourself. 


Here are some pictures from the wedding.

The woods outside the cabin where we were camping. The ceremony took place at a lakeside cabin at Little Bitterroot Lake, in Marion, MT (near Kalispell).

Our new friend, Bertram Woofster. He is a poodle/lab mix, but his mom described him as more of a "pooderdor" than a "labradoodle." He is handsome, and neurotic, and wonderful. His family are my new friends, and they're pretty awesome, too. 

I wish I had taken a picture of the tents after it got dark. But it gets dark so late in Montana that by the time that happened, I was wayyyy too drunk to think of it. The wedding was beautiful. It was simple, but in no way cheap. It was lovely. I am an especial fan of the pinwheel decorations that the groom's mother made out of paper lunch sacks!

Here we are at the reception! Little did I know I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes the whole time. I love this picture of the two of us. 

Relief! Reading is over! Now we party!

Lakeside brunch on our way back to Spokane. 


More gorgeous scenery! Montana was breathtaking. 

Aaaaaaand, you know I can't end without some fibery goodness. I visited a lovely yarn shop in Kalispell called Camas Creek Yarns. I picked up some Noro Kureyon Sock in a super fun hot pink and black colorway. And outside the shop, they've been yarn bombed!!! Well, I suppose they did it themselves, but fun nonetheless, and an improvement over plain old metal rods. 

Oooh, and that's our rental car in the shot! We got upgraded to a sweet little brand new Ford Escape SUV. It was nice because we were able to drive other people to parties and stuff, which was advisable on those twisty mountain roads. Loved the car! 

In the end, it was a trip full of friends and love. I am so happy to have gotten acquainted with some of Andrew's not-LA friends, and to see the love that they have for him, and for each other. It was a wonderful trip, and I am so happy to have been part of the festivities. 

Go read some wedding poetry

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Bittersweet

I hate bittersweet shit. I mean like movies. Not like chocolate. I like all varieties of chocolate. But I have bittersweet sentiment in movies and television and songs. I fucking HATE The Notebook. I know this makes me not a real girl apparently, because every girl I know LUUUUHUUUHUUUVS this movie, but it makes me want to punch someone in the face. I don't like movies that feel manipulative to me, like they are willfully trying to illicit an emotional response from me. They are TRYING to make me cry and I don't appreciate it.

The only kind of bittersweet I like is poetry. I don't like bittersweet books, they piss me off. But I like poetry. Maybe it's because it doesn't have such a lasting effect on me. But that isn't quite right, either. For the most part, poetry does stay with me longer than a book or movie. Certain lines will continue to run through my head, like getting a song stuck in my head, only more potent. Sometimes I get certain poems mixed up with others, because I have a mash-up going in my brain of one line from Yeats, and two lines from Wordsworth, and one line From Eliot, and a line from Dickinson, and a dash of Keats, and always a healthy helping of Hardy. In fact, my term paper for my Contemporary Poetry class was a series of mash-ups that I "wrote" ("compiled" might be a better word) of two or more poems we had studied. It was fun, and helped me study these poems in unexpected ways.

But back to the thing with lines of poetry running through my head. And the bittersweet. I've had these two lines from Yeats's famous poem "When You Are Old" running though my head: "But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, / And loved the sorrows of your changing face." I love this line. I get a little lump in my throat and a knot in my heart when I think about the kind of love Yeats is talking about. It's beautiful and something people dream about. But I'm talking about bittersweet poetry today, and this is definitely one such. The rest of the poem breaks my heart every time I read it, but I relish that heartbreak, instead of getting angry like I do when I watch The Notebook.

When you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And his his face amid a crowd of stars.

Now I try not to be a sap. I really don't like romance movies. But I love love poems. And I love this one. Even though it makes me cry every single time. And I would take the sadness. I would take Love fleeing, and hiding his face amid a crowd of stars, if I got to have someone who loved the pilgrim soul in me. And somehow I know the only way you can have that kind of love is to pay the price of that kind of heartbreak. They go hand in hand, and if you want one you have to accept the other, too. It's bittersweet.

Now go read some poetry. You'll be quizzed later.

Jillian the Sap

Friday, July 15, 2011


So, Carmageddon is this weekend. I had renamed it Carma-Bed-In, as a make love, not traffic type protest, John Lennon and Yoko Ono style. But since my boyfriend hates traffic more than anything (ANYTHING), I doubt he will be coming over to participate in my bed-in. So I'm changing it to Carma-Knit-In, as in, I'm going to stay home and catch up on knitting and designing. IT'S FOR PEACE, PEOPLE. Less traffic = more peace.

Today is the first day I've really felt 100% after the strep throat debacle, so I'm hoping I can sit down to knit withOUT falling asleep. We shall see.

Point is, more knitted goodness shall be available for you, HERE, over the weekend sometime.

Stay safe and stay off the roads and have a rad weekend. Leaving you with a little Dickinson. This is one of my favorites and it's been on my mind lately.

Go read some poetry.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Emo Poetry Time

So, I've been feeling blue lately. You don't have to be suicidal to appreciate Sylvia Plath. And her life was fascinating even without the suicide. I busted out my contemporary poetry anthology (a Norton anthology, thank you very much. I don't fuck around.) and I wanted to read this poem. Tulips. It's...unexpected. It's scary and sad. It's how I feel today. I was going to copy it over, but it's long. So I'll put some lines that I particularly like, but you can read it in its entirety here. And you really, really should.

"I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions."

"I didn't want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free--
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.
It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them
Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet."

"The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me...
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck."

The whole thing is better. Read the whole thing. You'll like it.

Go read Tulips.
Emo Jillian

Sick day, take 3.

So, I went in to work this morning...made it to lunch and bailed. I asked the kids to please keep it quiet since my throat is still sore and I couldn't yell at them. Heh. By the end of my third morning class (middle school kids, nonetheless) I was DONE. Came home, napped, woke up and continued working on these mittens. 

They're great fun to knit. I'm test knitting these for my friend Donna Druchunas of Sheep to Shawl who is working on a book of Lithuanian knitting patterns. I can't wait for the book to come out, and I love getting a sneak peek at the goods in that book. Donna recently had an interesting article and accompanying slipper sock pattern come out in the new issue of Knitty. I'm super excited for all of Donna's new endeavors, and happy that I get the privilege of helping her out and testing some of her patterns for her. Inspiring!

But it's back to work tomorrow, FOR REAL. ALL DAY. I feel like such a slacker because I'm taking off three days next week or the  much anticipate TRIP TO MONTANA with boyfriend. Very looking forward! Not, however, looking forward to sad, strep throat paycheck. So yeah. Mittens, vacation, sick days. It can't be this good all the time, I suppose. 

Go read some poetry

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Thoreau!

I've always had a crush on Thoreau. Can you have a crush on a man who is long gone? Shit yes, you can. Happy birthday, you sexy philosopher, you. Here's hoping you're sitting all by yourself somewhere, next to a pond...naked. Wait, what? 

"Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without." Henry David Thoreau

Go read some Walden

Excuse the dust...

Just so you know, the formatting &c, will be getting a makeover during the next few weeks. Keep coming back to see how it all shapes up! 

Also, check out my projects on my Ravelry page. Add me as a friend! My Ravelry name is jillianfree. 

Now go read some poetry.

1, 2, 3, Go!

So, first entry. I won’t say “Hi!” or “Welcome!” because I doubt anyone is actually reading this yet. This is my knitting blog where I will be publishing the patterns that I’ve designed as well as share my current projects, musings, and whatnot (knitting related or otherwise) with everyone who’s interested.

A little about me. My name is Jillian, I live in Southern California, and I’m a Master’s student in English Literature. I’m obsessed with Shakespeare, ice cream, Shakespeare, knitting, Shakespeare, poetry, and Shakespeare. I quote Shakespeare when I’m drunk. Then I quote Shakespeare when I’m sober. Lady Macbeth is my favorite Shakespearean character, and my first pattern that I’ll be publishing is inspired by the sleepwalking lady herself. I have a great group of friends and a great boyfriend. Most of the time I’m like, “yay, life!” but right now I’m recovering from strep throat, so I’m more like, “boo, life…” today.

Other things on my mind today:

Boo, life. Strep throat blows. Hard. I also passed it on to my poor boyfriend.

My best friend is getting married in eleven months. I’ve been thinking about knitting something for her, but I wouldn’t want her to feel obligated to wear it if she doesn’t like it, and I don’t want to commit myself if I can’t end up finishing it in time. I don’t know how my school load is going to be this next semester. I’ve been thinking about Shipwreck from a 2009 issue of Knitty. This is a project that you dye after knitting, so if I were to make it wedding-themed, I would either leave it undyed, though I worry how it would contrast/match/coordinate with the wedding gown, or maybe dye it a pale, pale lilac, a much lighter shade of the bridesmaid gowns. I think it would be pretty in a pale lilac color. Also, she’s a really petite girl, and I worry this shawl would be too big for her, that she’d just be swimming in it. Quandaries.

Currently on the needles:

Baby items for my friend's little boy, to be born in October.

Kuusk, from the most recent issue of Knitty. Not using handspun, though. Malabrigo Lace, and who can complain about that?

A pair of Lithuanian mittens I’m test knitting for my friend Donna Druchunas, of Sheep to Shawl. They’re fun and interesting and I’m so excited for her book of traditional Lithuanian patterns. 

That's all I got for now. Back to my sick day, which consists of knitting and Battlestar Galactica. Thanks for giving me a read. I'll have more photos and interesting stuff up when I'm feeling better. 

Go read some poetry.