Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Your input is invited...

Hey fellow (and sister) knitters -

I'm sending in a bunch of submissions on Monday - as always, acceptance of my designs is a crap shoot based in equal parts on 1)What I'm able to come up with, 2) What the mags are looking for, 3)The phases of the moon and 4)What the editor had for breakfast.

With all of the comments I've been reading lately about the Winter issues of the major magazines I though, Why not go directly to the source for input on what the average knitter would like to see in a mag?

Now, not that you guys are the average bunch of knitters, but if you had your choice What would YOU like to see when you pick up the Winter 2004 issues of the major knitting magazines?

Design victimization aside - what sorts of things make you salivate and say to yourself, I absolutely must get some fabulous yarn and knit this baby up! The beauty of asking this question is that everyone will have a different knitting detail that turns them on, a different shape of garment that gets their hearts a-pounding, but c'mon guys - YOU are the reason the mags are printed in the first place!

Hey - here's an idea - after you post here and please, DO post here! I'd love to have your input! why not write to the major mags and tell them what you'd like to see in upcoming issues!

Interweave Knits
Vogue Knitting
Knitting Now

Que pense?
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Monday, November 25, 2002

This Just In...


Now all I have to do is pass the state licensing exam - wish me luck! I'll try to take it as early as I can next week so I forget as little as possible!!!

I was so excited on my way home that I ran into a curb and got a flat - a really nice guy named Ron (who, incidentally, also has two kids ages 4 & 5, 14 months apart...) stopped to help me. It was both of our first flat tire fixing, but we struggled through - thanks Ron!
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I should be studying...

But I'm taking a break to post this:

The swatch shows the "wrapping" effect from
diagonally placed YO's & corresponding decreases.
Originally I envisioned the collar portion
in bright jewel tones (lots of red) and gold.

It's the original concept for the Egyptian Collar that's in the current Winter 2002 Knitters. My original idea was for a long dress or tunic knit with traveling YO shaping so it had a wrapped look (referencing Egyptian silhouettes) knit in white linen (another nod to ancient Egypt, with which I'm fascinated!) I've read so much on this in the past week that I thought it might be interesting for you to see the genesis (dare I say Exodus?) of a design!

The neckline was to be short row shaping which would leave all of the stitches on the needle so the collar could be worked in the round when the front and back were joined. I was a little sorry to get the note saying that only the collar would be accepted, but no editorial decision is easy and having our designs altered a bit is all part of the hand knit design game. I still think this would be a killer resort-wear dress or long tunic - very sexy and also (I think) quite flattering on a variety of body types due to the simple shaping and tromp l'oeil faux "wrapping".
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Sunday, November 24, 2002

Lurking in my own Life...

I feel like I'm sleepwalking these days - getting over the exhaustion of my trip, dealing with the projects that all seem to have deadlines the same week (two sweaters, a necklace and a bunch of art stuff for the South Orange Craft Fair due the first week of Dec) - Did I fail to mention design submission deadlines for several publications the first week in Dec, too? Oh, and for good measure let's throw in Thanksgiving (we're doing NOTHING, I'm just too tired) and Hannukah (we're not doing a lot - although we are having some neighborhood kids over to "show them what we do" the weekend after T-day).

Okay, having said all of that I have SO much to be thankful for this year - believe me, I'd feel very lucky to be able moan about how busy I am - so much better than the alternative. Now if we could only see the dollar bills following the work! And I apologize in advance for the long diatribe on my Real Estate Class and my total lack of knitting chat in this blog entry!

Did I mention that my final exams for my Real Estate class are on Monday and Wednesday?

Warning - Real Estate Teacher Vent
This woman is just beyond endurance. Well, not actually, because I am enduring this class, but I'm not learning a whole hell of a lot from her. Last Monday we had was was supposed to have been a 'practice' exam. Guess what? It was the WRONG exam! It was a BROKERS exam, not a SALESPERSON LICENSING exam, and was filled with a lot of important stuff that falls under the category 'This will NOT be on the State Licensing Exam so why are we cramming it into our heads?'

I got 60 correct out of 110 (that's 54% for our audience at home) and I did better than most folks in the class. Yikes! I think our teacher just screwed up and brought us in the wrong test, then was too stubborn to admit she'd made a mistake.

On Wednesday we had another practice exam (I passed, just BARELY) that was, thankfully, on stuff that we DO need to know. It was heavily skewed toward agency law, but that's good for me because I'm good on the math and could use some extra help with the legal stuff. After the test she quizzed us on a series of questions from another test and we answered orally. Some of the answers just did NOT compute, and it was so confusing because - for example - I KNEW that Capital Gains are taxable as income but Equity is not. But she insisted that Equity, in answer to that question, was income taxable. So confusing.

This went on for about 20 minutes, with the class getting more dejected and demoralized about our total lack of comprehension of this topic, when she discovered that she'd been using the WRONG ANSWER KEY. Okay - number one: Why didn't she REALIZE that the answers were wrong based on her own experience??? Number two: she didn't actually ANNOUCE that she had the wrong key, just surreptitiously shuffled her papers and the news trickled back to the class that - DUH - the answers she was insisting were correct were just plain wrong.

Then she began asking the same questions over, which was even more confusing. When half of the class would answer with the right answer, the other class would insist it was the answer we had just learned was 'really' correct 20 minutes earlier, and she didn't have the clarity to step in and say, "X, Y & Z are the true correct answers..." Just letting us flail around in the class trying to figure out which answer was really correct.

As she is a licensed broker/salesperson, one wonders whether it really is in her best interest to have more licensed salespeople out there. Is this just a clever ploy to reduce the competition?
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Monday, November 18, 2002

Dead Tired
I haven't written for a few days because I'm still recovering from my trip - it's so annoying to be so exhausted. A friend suggested coenzyme Q-10, and I've been taking that with some really good results, but I wore myself out on my trip to VA/WV and now I'm paying!

I just updated my classes page - I'm offering a new class this spring at the Baird Center in South Orange (they're calling it Contemporary Knitting - it's basically a how-to-knit class for Combination Style, so it's good for both beginners and more advanced knitters who want to learn a different technique)

I feel like I gave the Knitters Review Retreat short shrift on my last entry - that's what exhaustion will do to you! I wanted to reiterate how great it was, how much fun Bess's EZ sweater class was (the percentages for yoke decreasing were great to learn, I love knitting that way! So democratic and universal!) and how much I LOVE the yarn I bought (blue, blue, BLUE!) More socks for the family for Christmas!

So Much Yarn, So Little Time...
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Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Good to be back home!

I had a whirlwind trip through Virginia & West Virginia then back home to New Jersey - all in 5 days.

Friday I passed through Harrisburg, PA and stopped at The Mannings for some chenille, needles and a book or two. I'd never been there, and if I felt I had more time I would have sat on the porch and knitted for a while! But I had to get down to my friend Lynn's to see her and her great family AND the amazing new baby Llamas that she has! Two little ones (and another on the way) and a very large male who seemed mystified by me.

Saturday I left for the Knitters Review Retreat and spent the day there knitting, meeting some extremely nice folks and schmoozing. Sunday was on to WV to visit my cousin Jan, her brother Tommy (see below) and other family that I haven't seen in months - some for years! Monday I stayed in one place, then returned to NJ on Tuesday in time for dinner and the Simpsons with the kids and Gerry. So much driving - and all the way I listened to my Real Estate Class CD's.
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Friday, November 08, 2002

Go to the Movies!

It's out - Far From Heaven is in theatres tonight! It looks like a good one - go see it - if only for the MAGNIFICENT sweater in the Christmas scene!

Knitting is FUN!

Best part - working with Sandy Powell - a personal heroine of mine...
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Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Hey! I won 4th place!
and I didn't even know it!

We went to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Fest - we even saw my hat in the 4H booth but the folks there told us that it hadn't won anything, they just put it up for display.

Today I got my hat back in the mail with a big, fat yellow ribbon! I'm foolishly happy about this as it's my first fair entry - of any kind - and I won FOURTH PLACE! Please don't burst my bubble by reminding me that only 4 folks entered...

Listen, after last night I'll take ANY victory.
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I am sick at heart

Is it that the Democrats don't know what they're doing, or do we just not care?

Hendrik Hertzberg said it best in the Nov 4, 2002 New Yorker:

...And Democrats can be forgiven for feeling a little bitter that the political legitimacy he [Bush] failed to earn at the polls ended up being conferred on him by Osama bin Laden.


Bitter doesn't begin to describe it. I urge everyone to visit Howard Dean's site I'm hoping he is the future of the Democratic Party.

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Tuesday, November 05, 2002

And now for something completely different...

Modeknit Knitting Book Picks

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Saturday, November 02, 2002

Hey - get me! I'm Bill Clinton!

And you might be, too! Take the "Wait, wait, don't tell me!" Newsquiz and find out which newsmaker you are!

This is hands down my favorite show on the radio (well, okay, this AND "On the Media" - oh, and "This American Life" - oh - and Car Talk!

I guess favorite is a relative word - I guess that's what gives me my Bill Clinton edge...
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Silver Lining

I am very sad not to be able to be in WV right now, but the silver lining is that I'll be able to attend a friend's birthday party that I had already RSVP's "maybe" on - wahoo! Love parties! If it were a costume party I'd go as Brenda Vacarro or Susan St. James (we're going by voice here, not looks!)

Another silver lining is a chance to finish up a few projects here - a book sweater, the chairs, and work up some necklaces that I'm going to try to sell. Want to see one?

Here's just a corner of the finished necklace.
It's in Bronze & Copper with purple/blue beads
Any ideas on price points?
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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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