Thursday, October 31, 2002

Sore Throat

But, sadly, it's never stopped me from talking! I just had two of my intermediate students over for a class on finishing - what fun! Really! All of you who think you don't like finishing - well, it's better than sex. Seriously. I guess that's a sad commentary on my Methodist childhood, and I should probably leave it alone at this point.

It's so great to see people learn new things - it's addictive. I stop people on the street and show them how to cable with no cable needle (my husband swears I'll get shot one day - a sad case of "knit rage")

My throat, and the accompanying bad cold have left me tired and a little cranky. Pissy is another word for it. I'm not in the best mood. I'm out there, man. Dude (that's for Jen). At any rate, I can't go to WV to see my cousin for a few days - not until I'm totally well. The chemo causes his immune system to hardly work at all, so a cold could be quite serious. I can't even visit my other relatives down there because heaven forbid I get one of them sick, and they pass it on - too terrible to think.

I'm hoping that my Tues I'll be well enough to drive down to Parkersburg and visit him. Oy.
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Monday, October 28, 2002

Back to my recurring Real Estate Nightmare

Tonight is Monday. All day I dread that class. Ick. I spent a few hours studying the textbook (reading the phone book is more interesting) and almost missed picking up my daughter at the bus stop. We're having a test tonight. So far I've averaged between 70 - 80% on all of the tests, but as I lose steam in the class I lose focus.

Last Wednesday my evil teacher singled me out for some prime haw-hawing. She thinks it's funny to point out to a student how stupid their question is - I think it stifles free exchange of ideas, but what do I know? Hey, as long as she gets a laugh, who cares who's expense it's at? Besides, I didn't think my question was THAT stupid.

Tonight my head is staying down and I'm knitting a sock while I think of creative ways to avoid answering questions or answering them. I've stopped taking anything larger than a sleeve or sock to knit because it becomes an item of comment and - sadly - ridicule. This woman doesn't have a very happy life, and it shows.

I've launched a new blog for my kids - here it is! I'm taking questions from readers (as if I have any pool of mothering knowledge to draw from!!)
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Saturday, October 26, 2002

Halloween is a comin'!

And none too soon. If I'd let them my kids would sleep in their halloween costumes (of course, my son's is made of his red sleeper, so that's a no-brainer!)

Good vs. Evil

I've been pouring boiling bleach water over chair seats all morning (to size/shrink them and to lighten the twine I used) - I hope they turn out okay. Always a little scary to do something like that - like throwing a sweater in the washer!

I just finished the Knitting Now man's sweater - I love the look of it, but wish I'd decided to make a man's XXL instead of a medium (so I could wear it around today!)

On to a smashingly sexy woman's sweater with a plunging V-neck - that's all I can say -oh, and that you'll get a lot of dates if you wear it! Especially if you knit it up in the soft, silky LUSH yarn that I'm using. The color? #4407 I call it Volvo Blue!
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Thursday, October 24, 2002

Chilly Frost

So what else is there to do on a frosty morning but sit on a friend's porch and talk about life in general (our own inability to be 'realistic,' specifically) and how we've come to terms with the differences in ourselves that make us - well - smarter than the average bear but harder to employ Love friends like this!

Finished my first sock - woohoo! Instead of doing what I should do and starting it's partner I'm leaping on to a pair of socks for my daughter. Love that koigu that I bought at Stitches - too nice!

Yes, I do have a big foot. And I still have to work the heel - so I lied.

I'll be driving down to WV next week for a family visit, then I'm hoping to zoom by the Knitters Review Retreat for at least a day (I'll be a drop-in!) I do love KR, I love reading the very intelligent reviews of the yarns and books - Clara does a really fine job!

I'm so happy that Marilyn's doing better - she's getting her stitches (not the knitting kind) removed and I can't wait to see her zooming around on size 00's (yeah, right...)
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Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Whatever doesn't kill us...

This has been a year and three quarters. Sometimes I wonder if my overwhelming, constant exhaustion isn't partly a physical reaction to the mental and emotional stress this year's wrought.

As some of you know, we've been battling cancer in our family - several of us in various ways - and just when you're looking hard over one edge of the horizon to try to read the future a twister comes in from behind and starts exploding houses and throwing cows around.

My mom's doing better - I'm doing better - but my cousin Tommy (more like a brother than a cousin) is in very bad shape after being diagnosed just a little over a month ago with cancer in his abdomen. Just out of the blue - he's 63 - who would have thought? Apparently they have to stop chemo and the doctor feels he has a few weeks. Weeks. I think I should feel more pissed off but I'm too tired. Just a waste of precious time and energy.

I'll be going down to WV next week to spend some time with him and my cousin, Jan (his sister) and his wife, Joyce - and my other cousins, relatives, well-wishers, friends and just to hear the venacular.

Knitting wise - hmmm - finished an oversized man's sweater for Knitting Now, but hated the neckline so I ripped out the last few inches and I'm reworking it. Finished some chair seats for a friend's book and just got started on a body clinging pullover for another friend's book. Gearing up for some jewelry knitting (wee!) and I'm so glad to have the work to keep my hands and mind busy.

The timing belt went out on the car.
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Monday, October 21, 2002


So, while the kids fell in love with the Llamas, sheep, cows and goats (Hannah's favorites) I ran amok at the Sheep & Wool Fest. Let me just say, I have the NICEST husband - not only will he chase our kids for an extended period (something not even I am eager to volunteer to do) but he'll take on friend's kids so we can have some shopping time sans babies! What a champ!

After a rainy drive up and a muddy intro to the Festival, we had a chilly first day (the kids were won over by the hay maze and the rides - great strategy!)

We had a wonderful dinner that night at a kitschy faux-diner (but the food was plentiful and GREAT!) called Eveready on Rt. 9 in Hyde Park - they serve the kids meals in cardboard '57 Thunderbirds that the kids can keep - this, in itself, is enough to make it a huge hit with parents!

The next day was sunny, beautiful - everything a Fall day should be! We had such a great time, hooked up with some old friends and met some new ones and bought some BEAUTIFUL dyed boucle from Koenig Farm at a great price - woo hoo!

I saw some BEAUTIFUL stuff - and I'm really tanked to learn spinning (Handwovens of Pennington, watch out!) I was blown away by Spiralworks (Montpelier, VT) felted bowls - I don't know if they have a website, but they're absolutely amazing!

Of course, the fibre was the most amazing part - so much beautiful wool - and so much SILK! I'm nuts about the stuff - loved seeing it dyed in so many extraordinary ways. Just lovely! I especially enjoyed the fibres from Brooks Family Farm (Lancaster, TX) and LOVED meeting the folks at Susan's Fiber Shop (Wisconsin) I also had an amazing peanut butter/chocolate bar with a cup of coffee that was, perhaps, one of the most stellar autumn moments of the year.
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Saturday, October 19, 2002


Any day I wake up and see my husband, my dog and several kids in bed with me, I'm a winner!

Staceyjoy's Hat Contest is UP AND RUNNING - Woo Hoo!!! Great job, Stacey - the hats look so exceptional, and all judges decisions are (as always) absolutely right on the money! I just LOVE the Latvian Cap by Rhonda Hansal (hmm, could it be because she's from Ohio, USA??)

Seriously, all of the hats shown are so lovely -such a range of styles and colors, etc. What a variety of shapes (and so many of them are for sale, FABulous Christmas Gift Idea!)

Off to Rhinebeck this morning for the Sheep & Wool Fest - what fun! I have a hat entered there, too - I'm just a hat-entering maniac these days!

You can go to Red Lipstick and vote for your favorite hat Oh my goodness, how did THAT link sneak in there... Shameless Hussy!
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Thursday, October 17, 2002

October Road

This is the absolutely BEST time of the year - the BEST! I'm feeling like I have a little more energy - found myself dancing around the living room with my kids yesterday and felt like a different person! Finishing up a few chair seats for Melanie, looking forward to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Fest this weekend and maybe having a chance to pick up some pointers on spinning. I noticed that Handwovens of Pennington not too very far from me offers spinning wheels for rental (and drum carders!) so maybe I'll be moving into this for some new fun and excitement!

Today I received mail from Habu Textiles, where I got some AMAZING silk for dying - they promised (and delivered!) to send info on a wire resource for knitting. How cool! I also got a note from Sara at Blue Santa Beads I really enjoyed her booth at SE - great stuff, really lovely and beautifully laid out! I'm hoping to hear from Gwen at Knitability to see if she got home okay. And I just keep stroking my yarn from Interlacements Yarns so beautiful, so amazing! I'm in love (alas, it seems that the yarn isn't available for viewing at the website - too bad!)
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Monday, October 14, 2002

What is it about abbreviations?

I did the "medium" route at Stitches East this year - I only stayed over one night, took 2 classes and attended the banquet. I didn't stay at the Baddison - I stayed at the McIntosh Inn down the street (half the price, a nicer room and a much nicer continental breakfast - bagels, fruit, juice, muffins and GREAT coffee - Raddison had - well, nothing) For my money, this was a much smarter way to "do" stitches - less class overload, able to digest the lessons better and more time for meeting old friends (and new ones) and - of course - more time for shopping!

I took Lucy Neatby's Toe Up Socks class - so enjoyable and my first introduction to sock knitting of any kind! I bought my first skein of Koigu for the class and immediately bought three more skeins (one for a matching sock for my own pair, then one skein for a pair of socks each for my kids)

Merrike's YOYO Class was great - I was late (silly me, I thought it was at 9:00 and was out in the parking lot at 8:00 cleaning out my car - at least I was late for a very VIRGO reason) and did a total Jerry Lewis stumble as I entered the class, "Lady, LADY!!" but settled down after that and just knit away for three hours - delightful!

Loud, large and the food was dreadful. Just awful. What WAS that piece of meat? It had the taste and consistency of breaded, baked playdough. Also, does ANYONE at XRX have another CD besides Best of George Winston? We practically cheered at our table when the music finally was turned off! I can't see doing this again - not for $55 (or whatever it was.) I snuck out to have a drink with a friend at 8:30 and we had a hell of a time. Next time a group of us should start a counter-banquet, very small, and just have dinner and schmooze together. I also thought it was telling that in an industry where the clientele is roughly 97% women all of the speakers at the banquet except 2 were men.

I also found some great Inox needles (my favs) and - I didn't mean to buy more yarn - but I couldn't resist - the tremendous prices and astounding colors of Judy Ditmore's Interlacements (I bought two HUGE skeins of hand dyed yarn called "Seeds" - 800 yds each - for $24 each - more than enough for a long, long tunic sweater for me - what a concept!)

The greatest thing was seeing old friends - Gwen, Sally, Nancy & her lovely daughter, Lisa, Catherine, Ann - so many friends! And meeting new friends - Bev, Marna, Sara, Linda, Jaya - what great folks! I'm so over the convention center hype that accompanies these shindigs, but I guess it goes with the territory - when you have a lot of folks in one small area who share the same interest there is bound to be an overwhelming atmosphere that can be a little circus-y at times. Odd, because so many knitters are really quiet folks at heart.

I go because it's good to see friends I won't see otherwise, it's good to take a few classes because that helps me be a better teacher - but the whole experience seems wierdly superfluous. I had the thrill of seeing one of my hats knit up by someone (always so much fun) and found some TREMENDOUS sources for supplies for upcoming editorial projects.

All in all a good weekend. Looking forward to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Fest next weekend!
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Thursday, October 10, 2002

Where the Elite Meet to Eat

After reading about Beth's pre-delivery Birth Day Shower, and all the gifts from Ellen, Theresa (who, BTW, is also doing a dual design with Amy for Knitty) and hosted by Carolyn (aka Dangerous Chunky) I decided that I'd have my very OWN Meet & Greet with a fellow blogger!

I've met StaceyJoy (a truly happening chick if there ever was one!), Betseee (who really doesn't spell her name with three "e's") and Athena (one of my most excellent intermediate students)

But I had yet to meet the inimitable Knitting Curmudgeon (authoress of the fabulous Unaffiliated Reviews) for some Coffee (her) and Tea & a brownie (me) at the Barnes & Noble on Route 10 in Morris Plains. Happily she works not far from where I'm taking my Real Estate Class (I got 82% on my quiz last night on the first 9 chapters of the book!)

What a great time we had - knitting, chatting - she's truly a lovely person, and doesn't look at ALL like the picture at the heading of her blog! Plans were laid for a NJ Knit Designers Collective - stay tuned!

Marilyn - best of luck on your surgery today - and let's hope that you're back to knitting in no time with NO pain and increased speed!!

Knitwise I FINALLY received a package yesterday that had been sent via Priority Mail on September 14!! - egads! And, of course, it contained yarn for a sweater that is due on November 1st! Heaven help me. (Our carrier is really a lazy type who spends more time asking all of us on his route to hire him for odd jobs around our houses than he does delivering the mail)

He said, "Yeah, this has been sitting down at the PO for a few weeks now - I guess the girl replacing me didn't feel like delivering it - that's what happens when you try to save money on cheap labor!" Okay - folks - he was on vacation for ONE DAY in September and he's blaming this on his replacement? Oy. Enough to make someone go postal. Which I did. I think he was about ready to get the mace out! Grrrrrrr
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Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Best Party EVER!

The birthday party was wonderful! Lots of kids, lots of adults - lots of running around with capes and hats and playing wizard! Best Store Bought Prop: The Glasses. Annoying Goody-Bag item: The horns (I will NEVER do that again, sorry parents!)

Amazing what $13 of felt and $10 worth of craft foam can do for 15 kids!

Of course, not every kid was into the wizard theme, but those who wanted to run around like maniacs played on the driveway with bikes and little cars - all in all, I think everyone had a good time.

I cannot thank my friend and neighbor Alison enough for the AMAZING Harry Potter cake she made for me - I've been so bone tired, and she didn't offer so much as tell me she was making Hannah's cake! It was so beautiful - I can hardly express how grateful I am - it truly made the party!

The Amazing cake!

Absolutely NO knitting was accomplished during the birthday weekend! But I am SO PSYCHED for Stitches East - going down on Saturday, coming back on Sunday! Woo hoo!
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Friday, October 04, 2002

Even Steven

I loved that Seinfeld where he realized that every time something bad happened to him, something equally good would counteract it. That's how I feel today.

Bad Thing
I was referred for a job with a party planning place - spoke to the woman on the phone and she 'booked' me for today. Silly me, I thought it would be like stylist stuff - but it turned out to be a lot of heavy lifting, carrying, etc. Not usually a problem, but with my total exhaustion it's out of my ability right now.

After a few hours I asked the boss if I could do something less stressfull, she said, "Yeah, I heard you heaving and sighing over there..." she sort of created a scene, drawing attention to the fact that I didn't 'want' to do the heavy work, grudgingly allowed that I could 'sit and tie bows' and - at that point ladies - I felt so embarressed in front of the other workers that I told her regretfully I'd have to call it a day. Nope, I won't be stacking chairs in THIS town again, that's for sure.

Good Thing
I got a call from one of my editors that they've accepted a few of my pieces for an upcoming issue. It was so good that I got the call today - a nice balance. And it's a cool project, and a groovy editor who trusts me to use my best judgement to create a third piece to go with two others that I've submitted. Lovely!

And speaking of even, my amazing husband evened out the hillock of dirt in front of our home where we'd pulled out a few bushes last month. Okay, he pulled out the bushes. I want to put a pergola in place there to dress up the front of the house and give us some shade from the scorching afternoon sun.
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Thursday, October 03, 2002

I figure her lawyers are too busy setting bail...

To sue me for libel. Besides, all I will say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I worked for Martha. Or, more to the point, I assisted the Art Director on her TV show and worked on the mag for a few years in the mid 90's (1995 - 1998.) She is hands down one of the smartest women I've ever met, and - well - one of the rudest.

I'd given birth to one child, was pregnant for the next and my days there were numbered (Martha doesn't "do" fat people.) When I was six months pregnant she got on the elevator with me and - when informed of my encentiente state - said,

"My! And look how FAT you're getting..."

That was lovely, and just what a pregant woman wants to hear. It didn't help that I looked like I was having twins (instead of my own 10lb baby girl!) and a woman in the office down the hall was due on the same day and looked like she'd had a large lunch.

I'm getting misty about the pregnancy - today is that baby girl's SIXTH BIRTHDAY!! Happy Birthday Hannah - I love you, sweetie pie!

Note the hand knit headband on my cutie pie!
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Wednesday, October 02, 2002

On Strike

... until someone posts a comment. So there.
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Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Still going...

But I'm exhausted. Bone, bone, bone tired. My mom's back in the hospital with pneumonia - this on top of her liver and lung cancer - what a time she's having. I would like to be there, but it's not possible on so many levels - and she sounds good on the phone, just tired.

I'm sitting here grateful that my private student is late this evening - a few moments to write up some bloggishness and sit with a cup of iced joe. Hark - the dog barks - could this be the student?

No. Tomorrow is my first beginning knitting class at the Newark Museum and I'm very excited. Part of the thrill is lost in the transportation calesthentics I'll have to engage in to get there - Maxie gets out of preschool at 11:30 (downtown SO), must be at sitters by 12:00 (next door to my house), then I have to catch a train (downtown) at 12:19 to be in Newark by 12:30 to walk to the museum. It's a mile between my house and downtown, so that's a 3+ mile walk.

Having only one car in service bites - especially when DH has to take the car in the morning! Class is out at 4:00, but I have to be in Morris Plains for my real estate class (an hour away) by 5:30. I'll scoot over to the train station, catch a train BACK to South Orange and (hopefully) meet DH at the station so I can get the car and zoom to class just in time.

DH was changing oil and air filters, all that good stuff, but somehow cracked something on the Hyundai Sedan so it sits in our driveway like a white trash lawn ornament until he gets out to practically- Pennsylvania to get a spare part.
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Alison's Scarf
Link to pdf file of cable/trellis lace scarf

Hannah's Poncho
Link to pdf file of multi-sized poncho


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