Monday, March 31, 2003

Media Bias?

I ran across this from the Bergen Record - it's interesting.

Hey - anyone up for a peaceful "Knit In" this weekend?
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Sunday, March 30, 2003

SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!

Today is my Sunday knitting class - I love these women! They're a wacky group of interrelated chicks from Nutley (and all over NJ) who come by on Sundays for knitting. They started a few weeks ago, and now every one of them is working on something spectacular! One of my amazing students is finishing her FIRST PAIR OF SOCKS (prodigy!) and another is getting started on a wonderful linen top. We also have a cloche hat, a pillow and an amazingly beautiful Trendsetter Aquarius scarf in the mix, too!

I've started teaching at my daughter's school on Tuesdays - knitting at lunch! I love the kids, and only wish that my schedule allowed me more time to do it. Unfortunately, the lunch period coincides exactly with when Maxie gets out of preschool, so it's a bad fit and I can only do it when I have other arrangements made for him.
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Saturday, March 29, 2003

Getting Faster...

Yesterday I had three deadlines for submission to magazines - I'm definitely getting faster and working smarter when I send out my sketch & swatch packages, which is a very good thing!

I also got notification that my screw-up sweater WILL be in the Fall Knitters (I guess I'd better stop calling it that...) I think it's a really fun design, and it knits up so quickly but has a lot of bang for the buck! I think they're calling it the "Puffy Jacket" - which makes me think of that Seinfeld episode...

I went for a walk yesterday to the post office to send off the above mentioned design packets and BANG! down I went on the sidewalk on Scotland road in South Orange! What a fall. You know when you start to fall, and you build momentum as you're going down, but you try to save yourself and you just add more forward momentum? Sometimes you're able to pull out of it ( l an RAF pilot in a WWII movie) and sometimes you crash an burn.

Yesterday was the latter for me!

My knees are more skinned than they've been since I was 5 and my palms are scratched up and sore. A very kind man watched me fall (probably wishing he had a video camera) and came over to help me up. Kindness makes me cry, but I was able to hold back a bit until I stumbled on to the Post Office - no room for tears there!

BTW - one of the reasons I've been posting so little is that I'm doing some graphic work for a political campaign in my town. Nothing big, just Village Prez and Trustees, but it all starts on our own blocks, huh? Here's my latest effort.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Spring Fever

I've been pretty low key the past few days - sorry for no updates. The hail did me in.

The spring is amazing, though - finally - about time - something beautiful to see. We have croecus coming up and the Tulips and Hyacinths are poking their green shoots up all over my yard - what fun! I love this time of year.

I've been working on a cardigan sweater that I'm going to offer in all sizes from baby up to XXL Woman. Here's a sample of the stitches use:


A couple of the stitch motifs used
Not as hard as it looks!

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Saturday, March 22, 2003

Weather Changes


From Hail to Flood to Sunshine
Where are the frogs?
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Friday, March 21, 2003


Hannah Celebrates Spring!

... and now back to our previously scheduled knitting...

I've been getting a lot of knitted jewelry ready for the Art in the Park craft show at Anderson Park in Upper Montclair on May 10th. It will be my first real craft show (I did the Quilt and Craft Fair in South Orange in December, but that was a different kind of event where items were sold in a boutique atmosphere)

Working on a lot of pieces is a great way to perfect design elements to make them easy for others to repeat in instruction or kit form. I've hesitated making knitted and crocheted jewelry kits because so much of the technique is specialized, but I'll have three wire necklaces in the next Interweave Knits so I feel it would behoove me to get some kits together for sale.

I'm also going to take some of my nicer stuff (my couture line? Pleeese!) to Henri Bendels on April 14th for the Designer Open Call. I'm going with a friend who does knit scarves - hopefully we'll get in and get a good reception.

Atticus had a trim. I bought a Canon S200 Elph. Here's proof of both:


Gerry said we traded in our dog.
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Thursday, March 20, 2003

Minds in Conflict, Hands at Peace

So we're at war.

Make Sense, Not War


Two nights ago after GWB's address to the nation PBS had a special FRONTLINE and NOW that I found eye opening and compelling. What was especially compelling about them was that they were on the way to convincing me that ousting Saddam is a good thing.

What I can't support is the method we've used to go about doing it. I keep returning to the imperfect analogy that it's stupid to throw stones at a hornet's nest. And makes less sense to blow up the tree where the nest is hanging. We cut it down, and the hornets just fly to the next tree and start a new hive. In the mean time we've lost a tree and all that was contained in the branches.

If Saddam and his close buds are the hornets, there must be better ways to get him out than to terrorize a nation and make ourselves the pariah of the world.

Have you noticed that SUV drivers can be very dangerous because - for the most part - they're folks who haven't been trained to drive what is, in essense, a small truck? (this is connected, I promise - stay with me)

I used to drive a 15 passenger van into NYC every week full of undergrad students, so I know that it's a whole different animal. An SUV is in many ways more like driving a 15 passenger van than driving a Hyundai. So when an SUV driver tailgates with their blindingly bright headlights, drives too fast and is unable to stop quickly, tries to make a sharp turn that would be no problem for a normal sized car - well, they're in trouble.

Without meaning to, SUV drivers can become bullies on the road - pushing other cars out of the way, tailgating, speeding - things that wouldn't be so serious if a smaller car did them. And, sadly, those who are the most in danger are those outside of the SUV.

I see our country as a big, fat SUV of a nation right now. And the guy driving it doesn't understand the danger of being percieved as bullies by the rest of the world. Doesn't understand, or doesn't care. I do believe in nation building (which, up until a week ago, GWB didn't think was such a great idea) and this is NOT nation building.

And this guy wasn't even elected.

Knit this.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Thanks for the Gumball!

I've been experimenting with some gumball type bracelets:


Funkalicious
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Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Down, but not out!

I apologize to anyone who tried to get in touch with me today - my server was out. This meant no email, no blogger and no website. Got some knitting done, though! And, most important, I got my tax information compiled so I can send it to my accountant! Woo hoo!
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Monday, March 17, 2003

Think Pink

In case any of you have been in a bottom drawer for the past few weeks, climb out of it and visit Knitty and enjoy the pinkness of perfect spring knitting!

It is warm and lovely here - 70 today - I got out the "miracle pansies" which are supposed to come back to life after their dormant winter on my back porch and bloom again. We'll see - I want flowers! The tulips and hyacinths are coming up and the croecus' are already starting to bloom. FINALLY.

The down side of all this warmth is the mud (it's the mud, it's the MUD) The other day Gerry got out of the car with Maxie and said, "Watch out Max, it's Mud City over there!" Max replied, "...and there's Snow City, and there's Ice City, and there's Poop City!

Ah, the joys of dog ownership.
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Saturday, March 15, 2003

All we are saying...


Worldwide
7:00 pm Sunday March 16


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Friday, March 14, 2003

The Big City

Today I spent the day shopping in the city - what fun! I bought seam binding, thread, some knitting needles, some nylon tape yarn - so much fun stuff! It energizes me so much to walk around New York - I do miss it! It's great to have the time alone, too - well, just me and my walkman and Brian Lehrer.

I bought myself a tiny little anvil to use when I make my jewelry - now I can reenact my own little "What's Opera, Doc?" production in my living room and sing the Anvil Chorus! I'm in the market for a new digital camera - the teaching gigs that I'm getting require that I make up some new handouts, and I want a better camera to do it with. Any suggestions?
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Wednesday, March 12, 2003

For Tami!

My amazing student who finished the lace scarf from IK - and is now working on Socks on 2 Circular Needles - I hope this illustration helps! I'm sorry I'm so bad on the phone, especially with abstract concepts!

To my other students - you guys rock! I can't tell you how much I get from all of you when I see how good you are getting - it makes my day!
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Tuesday, March 11, 2003

One up, one down...

Another batch of sketches returned. Hate that. Especially when they only return 2 of the 12 submissions along with a 'thanks but no thanks' letter. The truth is, there are SO many rejections for each acceptance. I think the testosterone helps me deal with this.

On a good note, though, I got my new KNITTERS last night and guess who's on the cover?


HEY - That's MY sweater!!
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Monday, March 10, 2003

This just in...

I just saw Staceyjoy's blog and HAD to post this pic of my own little chicken eating her peep


The blue ones are the best...
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Insurance - or lack thereof...

There was a piece on NBC this morning about the uninsured. In the piece they mentioned that many folks think that the uninsured are those who don't work. Allow me to introduce myself - I am uninsured, and I work. At least our kids are covered - but that's tentative.

I work, and so does my husband - but we freelance. If he could find a full time job with benefits he'd grab it, believe me! But after a year and a half of looking there is still nothing on the job horizon - just more free lance work. I still have such wrenching bouts of exhaustion that I think a full time job is beyond me - besides, I am actually carving out a knitting career. We don't earn enough to pay for private health insurance, so here we are. This isn't a plea for pity - I just thought this might be helpful for some of you who think that you don't know anyone like you who's uninsured.

Max ate a penny on Saturday. The doctor assured me that if he wasn't choking (he wasn't) then there was minimal danger and he'd pass it in due time. Lovely. On Sunday, in the middle of my knitting class, Max walks in and announces, "I found this penny in my underwear - back here..." - he looked too worried to be lying, but the penny looked too - well, clean - to have been the errant traveler. After a hand (and penny) washing - and after my giggling students went home - Hannah confessed to me that she had dropped the penny into his underwear unnoticed. Ah - older sisters!

The knitting class was spectacular, though - one of my beginning students (knitting a total of 3 weeks!) is already almost finished with 1 sock and is 1/3 of the way through the matching one working on 2 circular needles. Another student started a sock on dpns yesterday and still a third started a hat on circular needles. The latter 2 are using some of the yarn I've been playing around with dyeing - we'll see how those items turn out! My 4th student had to miss last week, but she's started on a narrow scarf in garter stitch using Trendsetter Aquarius - what fun! I am so proud of my students!
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Friday, March 07, 2003

" . . . and I'm a natch'rall man. . ."

We have a copy of the Rabbit Ears Radio production of John Henry and I, personally, love it.

Fortunately, so does my son, Maxie. He and I listen to it all the time. The very amusing aspect is hearing my 5 year old with a sweet, piping voice belt out, "O-oh my name is John Henry an' I'm a nach'rall man -- I was bo-orn one mornin' with a hammer in my hand!" Too cute.

Opie Taylor sings BB King.
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Thursday, March 06, 2003

Que Pense?

I've been fiddling around with hand dying and painting for a while (in my spare time) and here's a swatch of some of my stuff. Calling it a colorway sounds too grand (even without the "u") but I call this combination of colors "Summer Day"


Summer Day - Wishful Thinking??
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Wednesday, March 05, 2003

More Students!

I just finished a GREAT first class - quite small, but really wonderful! One of my students from my Tuesday evening class brought two friends and have created their OWN Wednesday afternoon class.

Of course, this would be the day that:
1. My husband's car breaks down
2. He has to be in Southern NJ for a work gig
3. It's a long day at school for Max (a fact I forgot when I scheduled the class for 12:30 - yikes!)
4. My asthma is pretty bad due to the wet/cold weather

Aside from that - everything's stellar! I'm supposed to be starting a "small business" class at the local adult ed center tonight. My registration was returned yesterday by the PO (still trying to figure THAT one out) but when I called they said to just come to the class and pay at the door. I'm looking forward to it! I'm (amazingly) actually selling a good number of patterns and kits from my website - now I have to get serious about the business end of it and treat the teaching / lecturing / designing & kit making all as parts of one small business entity. At least I have a good accountant!
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Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Peggy Phlegm

I got really smart and thought I'd make the kids a skating rink in our backyard. What kind of moron am I? (wait, don't answer that...) Now, if I could KNIT the skating rink...

It might help if I'd actually made the rink when it was FREEZING instead of the day before our temps soared to 40F - oh, well! Maybe the grass will be REALLY green in that part of the yard..?


Hows' this for a lutz?
Tonight is my knitting class - love these days -

UPDATE
I definitely will be teaching at the CT Sheep & Fiber Fest - the last weekend in April. I'll be teaching a class on Intarsia on 4/27 in the morning and another class on Knitting Lace on 4/27 in the afternoon - come on by and take the class(es)!!

Stitch by stitch, row by row - that's what makes our sweater grow!
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Monday, March 03, 2003

Day of Knit Instruction

Yesterday turned into a teach-a-thon! It ended up being a long day, but a really nice one.

One of my students from my Tuesday evening Baird class came by for some extra cabling help (she's doing so well, she walked in with a long, beautiful faux-brioche stitch scarf that she made in addition to the first 3" of the cabled sweater she's making as a class project) We sat down and chatted and knit and I helped her feel confident about finding her place in the chart.

It's funny, she's an amazing begining student, but some of those multi-size magazine instructions can be SO confusing to read. It's an entirely separate skill, reading those patterns!

Then I had my regular Sunday Afternoon beginning class. They're great, too! One student started a pair of Koigu toe-up socks - I think she's going to be amazing - she has a long commute to NYC so it's the perfect train project! The other students haven't started projects yet, but we did some minor cabling and continued with our ribbing excercises yesterday.

Then later in the day it was great to have another of my Tuesday students drop by. She hasn't been able to come to class for a few weeks and we've missed her! She's making a very cool wool and fuzzy eyelash bag, sort of her own design, and last night I showed her how to work on circulars and put a pocket in the bag. When it's finished we're going to felt it - I hope it comes out well!

I've spent a good deal of time in the past week making contact with various fiber festivals to see about teaching - the response has been so gratifying! I'll keep you all posted about any "away" teaching gigs I have, maybe I'll be in a town near you in the coming year?

I couldn't sleep last night so I was up late into the night finishing all but the heel of a long sock I'm making for myself and casting on the begining of it's partner. Something for me - woohoo!

I finished the Merino Soft sweater for Interweave- it's really lovely. I blocked it and have it on the mannequin - I just LOVE how it looks!
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Saturday, March 01, 2003

Face to face

I had two meetings with fellow bloggers this week - I love seeing these new friends that I've made online. Last night Marilyn (aka The Knitting Curmudgeon) and I met at B&N for some coffee and kniting chat. She's so great - such a good knitter (Achim is a very lucky guy to be getting the GORGEOUS Cashmina Gansey she's knitting for him - and he's not even Scots!) and we find that our previous lives as knitting editor / techincal writer dovetail at some odd places. A good person to know.

Earlier this week I stopped by StaceyJoy's wonderful establishment, Red Lipstick in Brooklyn. I had to be in the best borough on earth for a lunch engagement, and stopped by to FINALLY pick up my hat from her hat show and contest in the Fall. Great to see her - although my timing was either excellent or terrible as I showed up just as she was leaving and we had barely 2 minutes to chat! If I'd been a minute later I would have missed her - so I was lucky (but not lucky enough to have time for a nice cup of tea with her!)

Today I'm back to designing some new jewelry pieces - I'm trying to put together a line of new stuff for an online entity that may take some of my stuff to sell online. I finished the Merino Soft sweater and I just love it - my wonderful neighbor modeled it for me (she's a really nice person, a perfect fit model and really beautiful to boot - a triple threat - did I mention that she's a mom to two of the most beautiful sons you've ever seen?) I'm very lucky in my neighbors. It makes me miss Fred all the more.

Bob Garfield from On the Media had a lovely bit about Mr. Rogers - you can hear it here (it might not be up yet... it's not as of 9:00 am on Saturday EST) I love that radio show - it's really the best of public radio.

Okay - repeat after me - CONSERVATIVE MEDIA BIAS - if we keep saying it often enough perhaps it will slip into our consciousness. If you don't believe me, read this.

I say we toss the scum into the cement pond.

Jed!
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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



Chullo-licious


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