Thursday, May 29, 2003


I'm not much for the reality shows - although I do appreciate a good Survivor episode. But one show I really do like is the Amazing Race (didn't it use to be called the Great Race?) I like the editing, I like the pace, and I like the idea of running around the world like a bunch of idiots.

It was with great sadness that I saw that the old married couple finished last tonight. Too bad. They were pretty cute, but it's not a fat persons' game. I really hope the supermodels go soon, they were so snotty.

I'm knitting up a few odd things with Bamboo, Pine and Paper. Yes, odd. Waiting on some muench yarn (what else is new...) and working up some new designs. Today a student came over and we did cabling without a cable needle. She was thrilled. As she left she kind of gushed, "Thank you SO Much - THANKS!" and then she caught herself, "I mean, well, it's not like it's such a big thing, but it means a lot to me!" I told her it was my life, so of course I'd think it was a big thing. Funny the measuring sticks we use in our lives.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

It shouldn't bother me...

But it does. I'm a small person. Well, not a small person - you know what I mean... I got the Stitches catalog today - Stitches East in Atlantic City. New Jersey. (Hey - I'm from Jersey! Exit 14)

It still stings a bit to be told that I don't have enough "prime time teaching experience..." to be considered as an instructor for one of the classes. I know some of the instructors they've hired as first-timers this time - they're all great - but I have at least as much teaching experience as they have. Just not at a national venue. Oy.

On the up side I'm getting many emails every day about the Combination Method. My husband wants to make a video/cd of the technique. I'd just like to have a chance to teach it on a larger scale and 'legitimize it' myself.

I'm feeling a bit defeated today. Call me Sissyphus - pushing that ball of yarn up the hill. Speaking of "up", how do you like the new pop up window?

I'd ask for comments on this, but my yakks code isn't working again. Damn. Well, there's always email.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Oh, the things we do for...


Here I've spent 20 minutes figuring this out. My son, happily, loves it. He thinks it looks like a truck, though.

Here's a train for my little boy...


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Monday, May 26, 2003

Gentlemen, Start Your Arks!

Have we set a record for rainfall, or is it just me? Home today - getting some work done - got a bunch of submissions prepared and sent out to a mag, THAT'S a load off of my schedule. I'm thinking of submitting an idea to this - que pense?

Yesterday my Sunday Afternoon Knittng class (a loose term) met again after a hiatus of about a month. Jeez I missed those girls (and still miss you, C!) One of my students finished a hat and we bound it off, wired the brim, blocked it - you can imagine the excitement. I'm only being partially ironic - it really was damned exciting.

Now you know the full breadth of my life.

I also designed my first cabled sock. Okay - my first sock. Here 'tis!

To work out the pattern I used a heavy worsted
looks a little bulky to me...

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Sunday, May 25, 2003

... find me a find...

Well, isn't THIS just the coolest thing since sliced bread!
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Saturday, May 24, 2003

They might be Giants

One of my favorite bands - we took the kids today to a child-friendly concert down in Princeton and a BLAST was had by all. What fun! We bought a few T-shirts, took some pics and had both John's sign one of the shirts. Stopped by for perhaps one of the worst meals ever had in a 'fine' dining establishment (avoid Fudruckers - you heard it here!) but that didn't dim the fabulous family outing!

Their first 'rock' concert

Wonderful class this morning - it's so gratifying to see the little bags grow larger and the concepts of making a pocket, picking up stitches, etc. sink in - just fabulous! This is a great class - I'll bet they could do ANYTHING! Next week I should take photos of the bags in process (especially Brenda's - she's amazing!) so we can have a photo gallery of the bags as they grow.
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Friday, May 23, 2003

The plague spreads...

Now Maxie's sick. He woke up this morning so hot and in so much pain - poor little sore throat. A bit of ibuprophen later he's feeling better, tucked into bed (strategically placed so he can look out the window and watch the BIG machines that are tearing up our street today - could there be anything better for a kid?)

I can't seem to shake this, either - it's moved (as all colds I get) into my chest and looks like it's signed a long-term lease. The weather is SO grey, so cold (Hannah wore TIGHTS today!) and so clammy.

I wanted to work up a few items for the Knitted Shoe Competition that Interweave is having, but I'm just not having any good ideas. Or, once I touch the needles the ideas just fly away. Darn. Maybe I'll play hookey today and just take a break from the designing? I have decided to offer a wire knitting class in my home starting in late June - I'd been pondering this for a while, so I think I'll give it a try!

I've been reading Richard Rutt's A History of Hand Knitting and finding it - well - both dry and juicy at the same time. It's interesting, and I'm enjoying reading it. I like to read a history with opinions for a change. But at times I wonder what those opinions might be masking... Knitters are nothing if they're not opinionated - but in the time since the first publication of this history to today there's been a sea change in the knitting world. Where once it was very common for knitters to cling to the style of knitting they learned as a child at grandma's knee, now they're more open to learning new techniqes to enlarge their knitting reperatoire.

There was a good deal of nonsense on one of the knitting lists a few years ago about the need to "unlearn" a technique to learn a new one - some knitters quailed at the thought of holding the yarn a different way than they were used to. Or - horrors - forming a stitch in a different way (ie, Combination or Eastern Uncrossed) because it would force them to unlearn the way they currently knit!

I think I have more faith in the intelligence of knitters. I find it quite possible to hold several different ways of doing something in my head at the same time without "unlearning" anything. Unlearn indeed. Oy. That's like saying a classically trained singer must 'unlearn' what she knows to belt out some jazz. Jeez.

The tone of some of Bishop Rutt's writing reminds me of the atmosphere of knitting 20 years ago, when I was told quite often that I was knitting "wrong" (as if there could be a 'wrong' way of knitting as long as you get the results you desire.) Ironically, the author is quick to point out the a certain narrow-mindedness in the knitting world of Victorian Times, but I find a general atmosphere of "there is a RIGHT way to knit, and a WRONG way to knit." through his book.

Could it be that I'm just a little sensitive on this issue? Hmmmm, could be..

I do reccomend it - but borrow it from the public library first to see if it's something you want to add to your own knitting library.
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Thursday, May 22, 2003


I love the knitting meetup! We met again last night at Borders on Rt. 10 in Livingston - what fun!

For any of you in the area who may not know, we meet the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 and just hang out and knit - compare notes, show what we've done - the usual stuff. (huge thanks to Athena and Jen for being the catalysts getting this going back in the fall when the numbers of knitters each month were thin!)

As a matter of fact, we had such a good time we're thinking of expanding our knitting activities to more than once a month - change venues every now and then - maybe meet for some nice outdoor knitting sometime, etc. Go to to register for meetup, or email me if you want to be part of our loose group - or just come along!!!

The next time we get together will be June 4th, 7:00 pm at the Borders on Rt. 10 (actually, on Daven, just off of Rt 10) Come on and join us - just show up - bring your knitting (Lisa...)

I just sent in my entry for the Art to Wear competition at the Cambridge Artists Coop. Let's hope they like it! There's another upcoming competition for the Bamboo Society of America (can't wait to see what I actually come up with for THAT!)

My meeting yesterday was really nice - the woman I met had some good comments and seemed to like the knitted necklaces quite a bit. Cross your fingers. Amazing how one can feel such a neophyte in middle age.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2003


So darned tired - residual of weekend child sickness, I think. I walk my usual 2 miles this morning and when I got home I thought I could sleep for a week. Today was knitting day at my daughter's school (she's still home with a fever - she was in our bed for a good part of the night which is probably why the exhaustion is severe today) and after that I did some market research (pricing items at several stores at which I'm seeing buyers) and back home.

I finally received the yellow muench Merino Soft to swatch with for my IK piece - it was so great to see, what a nice color - and it really brings the other colors to life! Yellow is a magnificent thing.

I was watching Dr. Phil and the segment was on Menopause and peri-menopause - as always, I wonder if the exhaustion is linked somehow to my surgery last year, etc.
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Sunday, May 18, 2003

Missing Muse

I've come to the sad conclusion that I'm in need of a regenerative boost - nothing seems to want to come together in the way I need it to (design-wise) so I'm going to try to step back a bit and concentrate on some other stuff. I feel like the little witch in Kiki's Delivery Service (a movie I highly reccomend for anyone with kids - or who likes the idea of flying!) Hannah's decided that for Halloween this year she'll be Kiki - fabulous! In the movie Kiki loses her powers - and is advised by an artist friend to take a break. I'll follow that advice, too!

In case you're not familiar with Hayao Miyazaki's work - well, you SHOULD be! The same themes repeat themselves in many of his movies - flying, freedom, self-sufficiency, being at one with nature and - yes - KNITTING! Plus so many of his characters are redheads - something we enjoy greatly in our house! I'm thinking of knitting him a sweater to thank him for these amazing films. His most recent release here in the US was Spirited Away, which won an Academy Award this year.

So - off to bed - I'm nursing a cold (the same one my daughter has - she was feverish yesterday and today, but seemed better this evening) Tonights my night for the fever, let's hope it doesn't move on to Maxie or Gerry!
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Saturday, May 17, 2003

Class Again!

Today we FINALLY have the 2nd class of our Sampler Bag Class. I wish the 2 week break since the last class hadn't been necessary, but circumstances alters cats (as my grandmother used to say...) but last week being the craft show and all, it would have been pretty near impossible to have class.

I'm excited to see what the class members have done in the past two weeks. They're all supposed to be finished with the bag bottoms and read to pick up the stitches around the sides - we'll see... Gerry just ran out and got bagels for the class - he's such a mensch!

Still trying to work up some hat ideas. They have to be quick and easy to knit because I may be farming these out to other knitters if I begin making them for retail. If they could be hard, time consuming, etc. that wouldn't be a problem! But simple AND stylish - well, we all know that's the rub!
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Friday, May 16, 2003

New Hat

I'm working up a bunch of hats to show a buyer next week. I keep having these great ideas that melt away when the yarn hits my hands. Here's one of my latest:

A little Aquarius, a little Aurora 8 and some Gems merino

I'll also be taking a certain amount of my jewelry - I think I'm going to post some of it for sale on my website, too - I'm so bad at this marketing stuff.

I call this pair White Zucchini - they're a lot of fun!

Anyone know someone who is a good rep or good marketer who'd like to work with a Virgo designer? I feel like I'm writing a personal ad.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2003

So why not 100%?

Odd... Compatibility Test

Your match with Annie
you are 98% similar
you are 80% complementary

How Compatible am I with me?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2003


Mixed feelings tonight. A fabulous, fun, rolicking class where we went over finishing techniques, how to repair an error 20 rows down, making a Vertical Double Decrease - and then the phone call that Open South Orange had lost the local election. Bittersweet. To be honest, running against a 12-year incumbent is rough - winning would have been good, but we need to use the energy and talent we've discovered in this campaign to keep pushing for the best local government we can create!

Okay, enough with the local soapbox. I do feel proud of the graphic work I did - the yard signs, the website. My next goal is to get the Baird Center - our local recreation center - to begin treating our local residents in a kinder manner when they have interactions. If I bring anything out of this campaign it's the realization that I'm not alone in my frustration in dealing with the Baird center.

Today at Hannah's school I knit with the kids at lunch hour - always fun! A reporter was there to write a piece on us for Knit it! magazine - how bizzarre is that? It's such a small world.
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Okay - I'll bite... Compatibility Test

Your match with Amy R Singer
you are 79% similar
you are 89% complementary

How Compatible are You with me?

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Monday, May 12, 2003

It's Baaaa-aaack...

I FINALLY figured out how to make my yakks code work again - you can leave a comment!

The problem was dueling java scripts. I still can't figure out how to make the code AND the mouseovers work together, but the code is really more important for the blog at this point.

I've kind of enjoyed being comment-less in an odd way. Comments are nice, but there's such a feeling of rejection when days go by with no chatter. Today I got not one -not two - but THREE packages of rejected designs from one magazine. Each one with it's own individual photo-copied rejection letter. Some good stuff - but not what they were looking for, I guess. Sheesh.
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... okay ...

At first glance it would seem that the Art in the Park craft show wasn't a huge personal success - I only sold about 20 pieces. However, as we checked out other booths to see how they'd done we realized that we'd done much, much better than so many vendors. Some vendors hadn't even made expenses - some hadn't sold one thing.

The craft show itself was set up beautifully - well organized, easy to find and navigate - a really wonderful show. The fault (if any is to be assigned) is - say it with me people - THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

But I digress...

Back to the knitting and designing, which I've been ignoring for a few weeks so I'm WAY behind schedule. I'm currently swatching up a colorwork motif for a sweater in an upcoming Interweave Knits. I'm using the same Muench yarn that I used in the last sweater for Interweave (scheduled to come out in the Fall 2003 Issue). Here's a small section of the swatch:

It's actually going to be in SIX colors... woohoo!

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Friday, May 09, 2003


I've always loved them, and now I find myself making them with wild abandon! Finishing up the last pieces for tomorrow (Rain - stay AWAY!) and at the same time swatching with some new yarns that have arrived for an Interweave Knits project. It's colorwork - and HOW!

Rereading this it sounds like some Glamour magazine column, so it's obviously time to put my mind on hold for a few minutes and return later. I'm also beginning I'll NEVER get my yakks code to work, either. Harrumph.
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Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Preparations for Craft Fair

The shopping bags are here, I just picked up my order form - I'm finishing up earrings and bracelets and working out ways to display them! I have the canopy, my parter in this endeavor has the table - we're getting ready!

Here's how I've decided to show off my hats. I'm not going to sell them at the craft fair, but will take orders for them. They're labor intensive, so I don't really want to make a bunch of them without knowing what might sell well...

As far as the bracelets and earrings - jewelry - I'm just making whatever moves me and I'll decide (based on what sells) which styles I should pursue.

Here's my makeshift display for the jewelry -

Yes, those are knitting needles...

And here is how I'm going to display the hats -

Vaguely "Lord of the Flies" - but I like it...

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Sunday, May 04, 2003


From start to finish, a wonderful day!

I got a bee in my bonnet about going down to the Maryland Sheep and Fiber Fest a few days ago. I got screwed up in my timing and thought it was later in the year. When the dust had settled and after I'd rearranged my schedule for today Gerry and the kids said they wanted to come along, too, to the festival.

We left this morning at 8:00, had a great drive down (picking up Charlotte's Web on CD at a Cracker Barrel and dropping it off on the way home!) and arrived at the fairgrounds around noon. The kids went with Gerry to see the dog trials, watch sheep being sheared, etc., whilst I visited booths, knitted with Lucy Neatby and found some amazing yarns for sale.

It seemed that everywhere I turned there was someone I'd met before, or someone wanted to meet me to find out about my hat (I was wearing the Rosebud - it got a lot of comments!) Several yarn shops that had booths are interested in carrying the kits (yahoo!) and I found a tremendous source for Nepalese Sari Trimming yarn - The Cooperage in Townsend, MA I want to try it in some winter hats that I'm working up to show a buyer. It seems to be similar to Sanskrit that is currently offered at Artfibers in San Francisco.

I also bought some bee-you-tee-ful hand dyed rayon from Janet Stollnitz of Silver Spring Looms. It's woodgy and has a mind of it's own, but I can tame it by mixing it with some firmer yarn that will take it in hand.

The most amazing coincidence of the day, though, was the tremendous friendship my kids struck up with a couple of boys who were roughly their ages. While I wandered the yarn booths my kids rolled down the hill over and over again under the watchful eye of Gerry and Joel (the dad of Hannah and Max's new friends, Joey & Andy) We were gearing up to leave and Gerry mentioned that he'd promised the kids we'd stop by the Mangham Manor booth where our new friends' mom was selling fleece, yarn and other knitting and spinning sundries.

Imagine my surprise to find that Michele Mangham, the mom in question, is one of the organizers of the Virginia Fiber Frenzy and was able to give me the brochure for the event listing the 4 classes I'll be teaching - what a coincidence! It's the most wonderful and amazing thing when 4 kids get together and hit it off - I'm taking this as a sign that the Virginia Event will be a success in many different ways. What a great day!
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Saturday, May 03, 2003

Lovely Class!

We just had the best class - the first of the Technique Sampler Bag - what fun that was! We have 5 more session, but the first class is generally pretty low key - just the casting on and starting the bottom of the bag.

I re-vamped the instruction book this time around. I made the cable panels a trifle easier and more interchangable and added a 2nd size (now the pattern is good for Super Bulky AND worsted/sport weight) and added a section about how to create twisted cord for the handle with illustrations. I think the book will be a huge help to the class.

In honor of the fact that it's a gorgeous day, it's lovely and the class is so much fun I'm posting a link to download the technique sampler bag booklet below. You'll need adobe acrobat to open it. You can print it out in booklet form by printing every odd page, then turning the paper over and and printing every even page on the reverse side - fold it, staple it, enjoy it!! Just don't sell it or copy it!

Technique Sampler Bag Booklet - Click to download!

I'm still working on how to get my comments to work in my blog. It's just not happening for me at this point. It's kind of a relief, in a way, to know that I don't have to log on and wonder, "Does anyone like me enough to leave a note..." or - alternatively - I can be political if I want without flaming. But I feel that comments are an integral part of the blogging experience so I need to fix it, darn it!
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Thursday, May 01, 2003


Sorry I haven't been keeping up (or upkeeping) the blog entries. Life flies and I float along on the breeze it leaves behind!

Yesterday was the Tie Dye Brownie meeting - what a blast THAT was! I cannot WAIT for the girls to see the T-shirts they've dyed (I brought them home still tied up due to the potential 'mess factor' of untying 16 shirts by 16 excited 6 year olds!) Here's how they came out:

Krewl, mon!

Also, in a shameless bid to the feline afficianodos out there - here's my happy, happy cat a-sittin' on the printer that was just REPLACED last night. Aren't we happy?

Drool, mon!

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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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