Wednesday, June 30, 2004


It's time again to get the retreat juices flowing! October 22 - 24 - Mark your calendars!!

I've put up an informational page on the retreat with easy to click links to register online for the cheapest knitting weekend you'll find all year!

Prices for the whole weekend run from $125pp to $280pp, depending on how many folks you're willing room with! The price includes two classes (you can take an extra one for $10) and continental breakfast plus all the soup and bread you can eat for other meals. We'll be pot-lucking in the first night - if you're not a cook, don't worry - stop and pick something up, bring a bottle of wine or dessert!

This is going to be a very fun weekend - and tremendously beautiful! There is nothing like Vermont in October (I hope that our weekend coincides with high leaf peeking - but I think we may be a few weeks late - but it will still be beautiful!)

Email me for more information -

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Monday, June 28, 2004

Dreidle, dreidle, dreidle...

Here is a wire menorah section - I'm working on this for an upcoming book...

I'm terribly late iwth it - but it's not my fault! The wire took forever to arrive - and then the main color was missing! At any rate - here's hoping it's still in time to be included in the book!!
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Sunday, June 27, 2004

Things that are pissing me off

Phone Solicitation Nightmare

10:30 - Sunday morning, phone rings - it's a private number

me - hello?
csh - Hi, this is Hector M---- with Captain Soot Chimney Service, I'm calling to ask how long it's been since--
me - Excuse me, do you realize it's Sunday morning?
csh - What? (off phone) Hey, Sandy, she says it's Sunday morning! I thought it was Saturday!

okay, at this point I should have hung up, but I didn't.

me - Excuse me, why are you being so rude?
csh - What? (loudly) WHAT did you call me?
me - Excuse me? What are you talking about?
csh - (off phone) Sandy, you should HEAR this one!

note, my tone wasn't angry or loud - my daughter was studying in the room and I was keeping my voice very respectful

me - what company is this? who am I speaking with?
csh - My name is Hector M--------- , I'm with Captain Soot Chimney Service.
me - I'm afraid I'm going to have to make a complaint to your company, this is a very rude way to behave when you call someone at home -
csh - WHAT?? (yelling) You're calling me a WHAT? Ma'am, I can't believe you're using the "N" word - (over shoulder) Hey, Sandy, she's calling me a N-----! (back on phone) I can't believe you're such a racist!

"Sandy" gets on phone

css - Ma'am, we don't like it when customers are disrespectful to our employees.
me - I wasn't being disrespectful - I didn't call Hector any name. Actually, ever since he began being abusive to me at the start of this phone call, I've been recording it on my answering machine, and I'm going to file a complaint for harrassment.

Sandy's tone gets very nasty

css - You go ahead - my husband's a policeman and it's just a misdemeanor - you can't do anything to us!

Sandy hangs up

I was stunned by this, but I'm taking a deep breath and letting it go - after I post about it here and on our local chat board...

Bush Web Ad Spot

I don't know why THIS lovely little dirty-politics ad isn't getting more comment on the commercial media. Go to the bush cheney website and watch the very prominent video comparing Democrats to Nazis.

Bear in mind that the earlier tempest over the ad was related to a submission to a contest and not an ad sanctioned by any one political party. Hell, it wasn't even an ad chosen to be highlighted by but was one of several ads submitted by contestants in the moveon contest.

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Saturday, June 26, 2004


I've been having a hard time working out exactly what is important these days - work wise, that is. (I like to think that family-wise I have my priorities straight, but there are days when my kids would vociferously disagree!)

I've just spent an inordinate amount of work this week doing sketches and swatches for submission to a yarn company. Realistically, I'll be surprised if they take ONE sketch. Then they'll hire someone to knit it and I'll walk away with perhaps a good fee for 3/4 day's work. That's after I write the pattern in 5 sizes, make the charts and schematics and send them off.

The real reason I spend the time sketching and swatching for the yarn companies is that I want to keep the yarn coming - it's so great to have a good palette to work with - and to replenish my bank of designs thatI use to submit to magazines and will use for book ideas, etc.

But while I've been doing that I've been blowing off writing work that I should be doing. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that it's GOOD for me to sit and write for a few hours. Up to now I've sort of been 'stealing' the time to write - fitting it in where I can instead of making it a priority - and if I'm serious about writing more books (and I am) I need to change my work habits in that way. I have a few ideas for some books, a few technical and project oriented, but several that use knitting as a metaphor and aren't really straight-on "how to" books at all.

Camp starts on Monday. I love walking the kids to the camp - something I used to do 2 years ago, but didn't do the year I had my hysto because I was just too darned tired. A nice walk downhill to the camp (a harder walk home) but it's a good 2 miles - and it's good for the kids to get used to a nice walk, too.

After I drop them off then make my way home, I'll have several hours of peace until they come home. They're actually great kids, but our backyard has become 'kid central' and a gathering spot for all the neighborhood kids, so I can't really let them run around unattended out there or we're itching for a lawsuit (terrible to have to think this way) I sit out back and knit while I watch them - it's lovely and not a burden - but not time that I could be writing.

So here's to a nice, balanced summer - lots of walking, lots of writing and lots of knitting!

Later today I'm going to a graduation party for a boy who I've known since he was 6 months old. He's one of the most remarkable people I've ever known, just a wonderful, loving, funny and kind person. Plus he's a redhead (like his sibings) and his black-haired mom and I used to joke that it was kind of her to have my children. Well, now he's graduated from high school and I'm verklempt. I want to go get him a nice present, something art-related (he's quite an artist) so I'll head over to Jerry's later this morning after my first class. I love this kid so much - and I'm stunned that so much time has passed.

I went on vacation with his family when he was 5, at that time I was in grad school studying Costume & Set Design. He asked what I did in school and I told him I built little tiny models of scenes. He was such a clever kid, he said, 'I know why your name is Modesitt (mod-uh-set) - it's because you build "model-sets"'

Is that remarkable. I know, I sound like a grandma! A parent wouldn't be so cheesy in their praise!

Happy graduation Frank - we love you so much!

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Thursday, June 24, 2004


It's an indication of how tired I've been the past few days that I haven't posted! I have submissions that I'm putting together - it's taking longer than I remember it from previous times, but that probably has a lot to do with the humid weather (hard to knitt when you're sticky!) I think I'll call today to see if I can get a bit of an extension -

The book sales continue to do well - it seems that one by one the errant books are arriving - please let me know if yours hasn't yet, I'll track it!

I'm in the market for a postage meter. Anyone who has information on one, I'd love to hear it! Apparently, from what my husband's found out, there is downloadable software that lets you purchase more postage for the meter, etc., but - of course - the USPS and the companies they work for are still snoozing in the 90's and only write the software for Windows based operating systems. Since I refuse to put myself through the hell that is Windows (it's not just an operating system, it's an adventure!) I guess I'll be going a different route.

Actually, my husband has a PC that he uses for Teleprompting work, and I use sometimes when I get a client (database design) who needs me to work in Windows - we could probably use that for the postage stuff.

Anyway, any advice is appreciated, especially from someone who is on a Mac and is using a postage meter system!

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Monday, June 21, 2004

Endless Summer?

Isn't today supposed to be the first day of Summer?

Busy day today - I'm very exhausted, just a symptom of how easily I become exhausted these days...

8:15 -Dropped of Hannah at Bus Stop
8:30 - Drove Gerry to rental car place so he could be signed on as a drive to my rental car (replacement while they fix the car I racked up driving from Texas to WV)
8:45 - Finish silk "corset cover" in Spirit Trails Fiber - I think it turned out rather well.. (A kit will be available through Spirit Trail Fibers in the coming weeks...)

9:45 - Drop off Max at Bus
10:00 - Package a dozen book orders
10:30 - Finish baby dress for neighbor (gift)
11:00 - Yoga / Knitting time
1:30 - Kids home
2:00 - Sign Hannah up at library for Summer Book Club
3:00 - Go to bank
3:15 - Find out Troop 333 balance is $750 less than I thought
3:20 - get miffed at teller
3:25 - get miffed at bank manager
3:30 - talk police officer out of parking ticket
3:40 - go home & check deposit slips
3:41 - discover my mistake (make mental note to apologize to bank tomorrow)
4:00 - take Hannah to swim team practice (work on STF vest)
5:20 - drive kids to fast food joint (baaad mommy)
5:45 - finally check email

I missed last week so I have to go to Knitting tonight -I wonder if anyone else will be there... Starbucks in South Orange - I'll be the one with two kids eating ice cream...

Tonight my plans are to sketch & swatch for a Wednesday deadline. Tomorrow is the last day of school.
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Sunday, June 20, 2004

Comments Right Back At Ya'

A few comments back to my readers on a Sunday morning...

Anne - THANK YOU for the Costco suggestion! I'd forgotton who'd mentioned it, but you were absolutely right!!

Charlotte - Quite often knit items are lined for the same reason fitted garments are lined - 1) For strength - to keep the fibers from streching. 2) For Utility - to make the blanket something that can be tossed on the grass and used as a play or sleep area, and 3) To hide icky stuff - the wrong side of a knit piece, especially with a lot of colorwork, can be unsightly and also dangerous for tiny fingers which slip into floats and get caught.

Eklectica - Yes, I think it is a Space Invader, but I'll have to check with Alica!
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Friday, June 18, 2004

Bridge The Gap!

The above is not an error - it's from the Costco pharmacy website. Yes, the price for generic prozac is a mere 4% - FOUR PERCENT - what the brand name drug nets the drug company. There must be some kind of correlation that can be drawn (4% of the uninsured can actually AFFORD drugs?)

June 19th is Bridge the Gap day - a day when Americans all over our nation - the richest in the world we're constantly reminded - will gather to protest the widening gap between insured and uninsured Americans.

I - and my husband - are two of the employed yet uninsured folks. If one of us were to become seriously ill not only would it devastate us financially, but it would cost YOU - fellow taxpayers - more than if we were to have heath insurance (and therefore maintain our health...)

I have personal reasons for supporting this movement - but even if YOU are insured, take a moment to look at the website, and perhaps even make a commitment to joining one of the Bridge The Gap events.

There is no reason why we cannot provide health insurance for our citizens. We're better than this.
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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Settling Back In

My feet touch the ground, then they're off again. The ankle is healing very nicely, all things considered a much more minor sprain than I thought it was.

I started watering the lawn today just in time for a thunderstorm to roll in. My mind is in 100 places, divided and hard to push together. Another Amazon Order just came in - that makes a total of 150 books I've sent to them.

Last night at the knitting meetup we presented one of our members with a blanket that several of us had been working on for a few months. Kirsten was so happy to receive it - we were all so proud! here's an image of how it looked in my living room. Everyone knit a square with yarn I'd suggested (Gems Merino - Topaz) which is machine washable even though it's great wool yarn. We lined it with fabric from the Repro Depot and I gave both the knit parts and the lining a good washing before putting it together so it will be pre-shrunk. Let's hope baby Jude loves it as much as his mom does!

I'm starting to get hesitant, concerned emails from folks who still haven't received their books - let me know if anyone out there is still missing yours, if you ordered it before 5/31 you should have it by now!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004


I twisted my ankle - it hurts. OUCH!

Yesterday I had my aforementioned meeting with a literary agent and it went quite well - I like him, he seems like a good guy and easy to talk with. He also had some good ideas and interesting ways to approach my writings. Mostly I appreciated that he was pretty low pressure, and I'd read some nice stuff about him on writer's discussion boards.

As he was leaving and I was walking him to his car I stepped across a flower bed in my front yard right into a hole and twisted my ankle. It REALLY hurts. I used to twist my ankle all the time, I ripped ligaments in high school playing basketball, but I haven't done this in quite a few years.

To his credit, he helped me inside, sat me down and fixed an ice pack for me. I hate it when folks lose their heads over minor emergencies, and I appreciated his willingness to venture into a strange pantry and find gallon sized ziplock bags.

Obviously my yoga & knitting session will be postponed, but I did invite my yoga teacher over for a few hours of knitting, so she was able to work through a problem she was having on a really lovely tank top she's making and next week when we get together we'll close the shoulders using a 3 needle bind off.

I knit for the rest of the afternoon, finally returning to the beautiful Spirit Trail Fibers vest that I hadn't been able to work on while I was traveling so much. It's amazing yarn - three types of silk - so rich, so well dyed - the colors really sing!

I think if Jen's able, she should try to attend TNNA next year - her stuff would really shine against some of the other hand painted yarns!
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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

You like me... You really like me...

I have always loved Sally Field - and I loved her more because of her Oscar speeches. I know how she feels!

I just got a sweet note from the Supervising Producer of Knitty Gritty telling me that "the grassroots campaign" has worked, and also mentioned that her inbox is getting a bit jammed, so perhaps my fans could cease and desist..?

You guys are incredible. I feel slightly abashed at having instigated this love fest (but only slightly) Wow - maybe I can get you guys to get me on Public Radio next...? And, not to sound to maudlin, but this is a time when I really need this nice vote of confidence, so thank you to everyone who wrote to Knitty Gritty. She said I'd actually already been on her list to contact, but perhaps this moves me further up the line?

Today I get back to Yoga & Knitting, which I've been looking forward to all week! In the morning I have a meeting regarding future books, which should be enlightening. I feel like things are starting to happen - it's exciting - but I'm more prepared than ever for things to turn sour at any given time. Don't think of me as a pessimist, but as a realist who knows that sometimes things work out the way you envision, sometimes they don't - the true gift I try to find in myself is the ability to handle the downswings (and the upswings) with grace.

To be honest, sometimes I find it harder to be gracious with the successes - perhaps a lot of folks feel this way?

So, in short, you can stop writing to Knitty Gritty - you are an amazing group to have in my corner, thank you!
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Monday, June 14, 2004

Am I Hip Enuf?

Deb A. sent me this link to a new show on DIY network, Knitty Gritty with the comment, you should be on this show!

So what do you think? Am I hip enough? (excuse me - enuf) My gut feeling is that i'd make a great guest, but I may not be as 1) Thin 2) Young or 3) Overtly Hip enough to pass their stringent test and be asked on the show.

However, if you think I'd be a good guest, why not write and ask them to put me on the air...?

I'm shameless. But am I hip?

and don't forget, it's flag day!
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Sunday, June 13, 2004


I think it's the exhaustion, but I felt drained and rather blue today. Just sad - lots of driving, lots of thinking. I know I'll have to go through a lot of sad time in the next few months, but this was a rough day. In many ways I'm glad I was alone for most of the day - I hate to cry in front of other folks!

Yesterday while chatting with Pam Allen and Debbie Bliss I mentioned how happy I was that I published my book early enough for my mom to see it and - without warning - I began sobbing. I had to walk away and collect myself - I felt like a terrible ninny. It's like touching a bruise to see if it still hurts, then being so shocked at how sensitive the area is. I'm very grateful to Rose for being so suppotive and being, literally, a shoulder to cry on for a bit!

I came home to a daughter with a TERRIBLE sunburn - blisters on her face and shoulders - she had a Girl Scout pool party on Saturday and Daddy forgot to put sunscreen on her. Plus, she was at the Maplewood pool, which is rather more sunny than the South Orange pool (lots of shade). She gets angry at me when I insist that she wears a Tshirt over her bathing suit, but she'll be doing that for most of the summer now - at least until her skin completely heals. The last time she got a blister burn on her face she was 3 and the next year the scars under her eyes were still visible. We redheads have painfully sensitive skin. I'm keeping her out of school tomorrow so we can see the doctor.

So while Hannah's home I'll be knitting up some of the delicious yarns I acquired at the show! I'm especially excited about working up a few ideas with some organic cotton and wool I got from Cottage Industry - what lovely stuff! The proprietor and I were discussing the possibility of me going out to Minnesota to teach some classes. If anyone has a yarn shop in the Twin Cities area I'd love to put together a teaching 'tour' to keep the expenses to a minimum!

I just got my creative strands final papers - I'm so psyched! It's going to be like being back at college for a week (well, except I'll be teaching...) I think we'll have to have my mother in law come back out and stay with the kids while I'm away - I hope she's able! She's so wonderful to help us out like that!

I found myself actually placing ORDERS at TNNA for some stuff that I'm going to try to sell at my various teaching venues - items that I'm so excited about. I hadn't planned on ordering anything, and I'm a little stunned and scared that I spent the money, but I think my decisions were good ones and if anyone wants a bag, let me know...

Not having a shop (and not planning on ever opening one!) I'm not looking to compete with any of my local yarn venues - but I'd love to have an opportunity to sell some bags to my students who come by for classes - so often they're looking for them, and I was really carried away with the quality of the Dancing Cat Bags that I ordered! Cannot WAIT to see them!

One order I placed was for some lovely Nepalese Sari Silk. I'm finally going to kit up the Wire & Nepalese Silk headband that everyone seems to love so much and offer them when I teach and through my website - another cool knitting with wire project!!

I knew it was time to leave TNNA when I found myself getting petulant with a woman at a distributor's booth who made disparaging comments about my book's illustrations. The fact that she was right didn't help - and the episode was not uncomfortable or nasty, but I could have been more gracious. That's when I realized how exhausted I was and that it was time to have lunch, get in the car, put on the book on tape and start driving!

This month is a really terrible time to have run out of my serafem (prozac by another name) n'est ce pas?

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Greetings From Columbus

I'm writing from the back offices at the Columbus Hotel, where I"m staying with Rose (who will be opening her shop, Yarnivore, in Brooklyn later this year)

It's 4:00 am and I can't sleep. Insomnia has been a problem for the past few weeks, but tonight it's really taken hold. Combination of things - and although the bed is incredibly comfortable, it's not mine. Each room has a high speed internet access cable, but that doesn't mean there's access! So the desk clerk was kind enough to allow me to use the hotel computer to check email, and I'm taking advantage of the time to post to my blog!

The TNNA show is absolutely overwhelming. It's my first time and I'm SO GLAD that I made the effort to get out here! What an amazing array of yarns - I only wish that the division between the knitting yarns and the needlepoint booths was more geographically directed. It's tiring to walk miles and miles on a concrete floor (with a thin carpet, true, but still a concrete floor...) passing booth after booth of pithy sayings on canvas to finally get to the yarn at the end of the aisle. And I'm sure the needlepoint folks feel the same way!

Having said that, though, it's been amazing to visit so many of the yarn companies that I work with, see folks at magazines that I generally don't get to speak with in person and feel and touch new stuff! Tomorrow I'm putting in an order for some of tne nepalese silk used to knit my wire & fabric headband, and will make up kids to work it up (everyone always wants to know if I have a kit - now I will!)

Rose is a wonderful companion, we're having the best time together! We tramped all over the show yesterday, then attended the low key but very fun IK party (exciting to see one of my scarves on a table) where I drank several more beers than I should have! Then several of us stumbled across the street for dinner, another beer and a cup of coffee. Probably part of my insomnia is the alcohol, I haven't drank so much in months - probably years.

Tomorrow I visit some of the booths I missed, place a few orders and hit the road for the long drive back to NJ! I'll write in more detail about some of the amazing yarns I found when I get home. It's been so exciting to see my book at several of the booths (especially Unicorn books!) Woo hoo!
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Friday, June 11, 2004


After my hysterectomy [lost a few readers there] I seemed to have lost my sense of smell. I don't know if it was hormonal, but food had very little taste and things just didn't have a smell.

That has changed with a vengence. I've been noticing it over the past few months - especially when I enjoy my chai tea - the fragrance is more enjoyable than any other part. As I was driving through Alabama last month my windows were down and it was evening. The sweet smells coming from the flowering bushes and trees that lined the highway was almost overpowering - just lovely!

We have a honeysuckle vine in our backyard - I love the smell of it! In the evening or early in the morning it's the strongest. This morning as I was packing the car for TNNA the scent wafted over the entire backyard - I wish I could take it with me in the car!

I took a few moments to plant a hydrangea bush I bought last week, and a butterfly bush that came in the mail yesterday. It rained last night and I love to plant during or after a rain. It's comforting to see the things I plant blooming and growing - it makes me understand why the appeal of gardening grows as one ages.

The "sticks" I planted a few months ago have already sprouted small branches and many leaves! We'll have a Mimosa tree in our front yard and a hybrid elm in the back yard. Woo hoo!

I'll drop Maxie off at a school friend's house for a morning playdate, then they'll ride the bus in together. Gerry's home by 1:00 these days so he'll be home to get the kids off the bus. I'm looking forward to my excursion, looking forward to being away without having any family responsibility.

I think I need to look into getting a postage meter. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Thursday, June 10, 2004


I'm going to TNNA. I have a need for some driving time, yet again. I'm not sure why I like it so much - perhaps it's because while I'm actually driving a car nothing else is expected from me.

I realized this on one of our car trips with the kids when - upon taking the wheel for one leg of the trip - I felt myself melt into the drivers seat, relax, and really enjoy the trip. Suddenly if the kids were fighting, it wasn't my problem! If someone spilled a beverage, if we lost a beanie baby out the window - none of it was my responsibility. Except for those annoying moments when I almost fall asleep (which really has only happened once to me) I enjoy driving immensely.

Because of my ongoing exhaustion issues I have a routine where I drive for 2 hours, then pull over to the side of the road in a shady spot, lower my seat and close my eyes for 15 minutes. Sometimes I sleep, but generally I just veg out a bit and feel much more refreshed and focused when I crank the seat back up.

For this trip I have a rental car. As you probably remember, I had a minor accident in Kentucky and, although my car is driveable, we've dropped it off at a body shop for estimates and repairs and the insurance company is footing the bill for a rental - so why not? It's a chevy cavalier and it feels less roomy than my Elantra. Plus it doesn't have cruise control or electric windows, and it's black (hot), but it DOES have a CD player so I'll be off to the library later today for some books on CD. Wish I had satellite radio so I could hear Air America!

Since this is kind of a spur of the moment decision I haven't really prepared much. Yesterday I sent out 240 books (yes, 240!) and today I have about 50 to send - I'm just waiting for my next shipment from UPS which is due any moment. I'll take the balance of the books with me to Columbus so if I run into a yarn shop owner who wants to get a few from me after closing time I'll have them. I just sort of feel like it's a good idea to show my face, wear my "Knitting Heretic" T-shirt around and generally be available. I'll also have a chance to see some publishers and maybe interest folks in my next book ideas. Yes, IdeaS with an "s".

My book has been available for 8 weeks - here are the sales thus far...

I'll put a couple of homemade "press kits" together, with the above graphic, and take that with me, too. A literary agent called yesterday (he's been emailing me and I sent him a book) It's flattering that he wants to meet me, and I'm fortunate that a few good friends do consulting for book publishers so I can bounce ideas and proposals off of them. I don't really feel giddy-excited, but just calm and happy about the way the book is doing, I think the curve of the sales so far is a good sign!

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Wednesday, June 09, 2004


I sent off the tablecloth yesterday - I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Drying behind the garage

Pressed and on the table

Today I write up the instructions for it - thank heaven's my office is air conditioned!!!

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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Timing is Everything

" helps to continue to practice your classes in other venues, particularly any events that provide a similar teaching atmosphere. In my personal opinion, without this practice, it is very difficult to compete against some of the Stitches 'old favorites', who have been with us for many years..."

The above is from yet another form letter rejection from XRX (this one with a nicely xeroxed signature and little cartoon smile) telling me, yet again, that I'm not able to compete with the 'old favorites' at Stitches events.

My frustration doesn't spring from being rejected (okay, maybe it does a bit) but rather from the tone of the letter - a tone that implies, "We can't use you because you're not [good enough / well known enough / experienced enough] for our purposes..." It rankles. It would be easier on this end to receive a simple letter stating that teaching slots are limited and they weren't able to fit in my class.

The extra impersonal paragraphs blandly stating that lack of experience is the reason my classes weren't chosen feels a bit patronizing. If they want to include a personalized note about why my specific classes weren't appropriate for this venue, that would be helpful. But a blanket one-size-fits-all assumption that the recipient is not an experience teacher isn't as useful as it might be. One would expect more.

Of course, at this point with my blog and my comments I really don't expect Stitches to ever hire me, they seem to have a major problem with teachers and designers who - however respectfully - speak their minds.

There's a Wal-Mart-ization of knitting involved that is difficult to swallow, especially if one tends to view knitting as more than just a job or hobby, but as a way to connect with an inner peace and meditative spirituality that can't be found in other non-fiber activities. I love visiting the marketplace, but also feel a bit queasy when I see folks leaving with thousands of dollars of merchandise - realizing that their local yarn shops will not be supported in the way they need to be. I have enjoyed every class I've taken at Stitches, but hate the feeling I get from some of the teachers that they can't 'be themselves' during the event. The lesson I need to pound into my skull from this is that perhaps it's a blessing that I'm not quite "Stitches material"

But - as you know - rejection is rejection. And it's so funny how I totally forget that I've applied for some position until I get the rejection notice, that's always an additional kick in the pants.

On the less self-pitying front, I had an amazing Yoga class yesterday with a private instructor. We've set up an arrangement where we'll meet each week and exchange yoga lessons for knitting lessons. She's a left handed knitter who works her stitches from the right needle to the left needle as she works, and it's fascinating to me to see folks knit like this! I showed her left and right slanting decreases yesterday, she helped me center myself - a nice afternoon! Then on to our last Brownie meeting of the year - badges and yearly membership stars were handed out, stories were told and the girls ran around like maniacs on the playground after scarfing ice cream sandwiches and cupcakes. Then some knitting at Starbucks, outside in the lovely evening in beautiful downtown South Orange. A great day!
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Sunday, June 06, 2004

Set the Table!

I've finally finished a rather large project I'd been working on for a few weeks. It's a big knitted tablecloth that actually has very little knitting (in comparison to the size of the cloth!) I'm not entirely finished - I still have to hem the darned thing and press it out.

It will be included in Melanie's Holiday Knitting Book, and I was working on it the whole time I was in Texas (and even at the funeral home while sitting with my mother. ) So many of you have written kind notes with hopes that I have found time to knit in the midsts of the turmoil. Yes, I have - I can't imagine NOT knitting in the past few weeks. Working on the tablecloth was a great comfort - I only wish I could have found a way to knit as I drove!

My grandmother, who was a very good knitter in addition to her other needle skills, hemstitched a lovely tablecloth with some pulled thread openwork and embroidery all over. I'd never seen it - didn't even know it existed. My mother had it in a drawer and told me about it as I was sitting with her one evening in the nursing home.

It was around this time that she would fade in and out of reality (pain and drugs taking their toll) and sometimes would call me "Mom" I look a great deal like my grandmother, and seeing me sitting there working on a large tablecloth must have seemed to mom as if she'd gone back in time.

I had the funeral director drape grandma's beautiful tablecloth over the lower portion of mom's casket while it was in the funeral home, it looked lovely there. Now it's in a drawer in my home.
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Thursday, June 03, 2004


I had a class on Tuesday, Wed was the non-meetup meetup in Livingston (so great to see my friends) and tonight I had a private student who is a gifted and intuitive knitter. I think she'll be joining the Tuesday evening class, which is terrific because she'll be a wonderful addition.

I did some gardening today - bought some plants at Home Depot and some Sweet Lavender arrived mail order so I planted that, too. I have a hydrangea to plant in a few days, after it acclimates (?) to the area where I want to plant it - I'm just letting it sit out for a few days. Do hydrangeas like sun, or are they mostly shade loving? I guess that's what the internet is for.

In the midsts of the activity I feel great inertia - it's taking quite an effort for me to want to do anything. As usual, I'm feeling a need to get away, to be alone, but this time there's a reason. I think I need to be away from my family to really mourn my mom. I had written off going to TNNA, but perhaps I'll find a way to go so I can have a weekend alone... We'll see.

Perhaps you'll remember the saga of Gerry and the Speeding Ticket (and Towing...) Well, his court date was 6/1 but he dropped a letter off to the courthouse explaining that he would be in WV for a funeral. I wish he would have asked me because I would have told him we'd CERTAINLY be home by then, but he didn't - so there you are.

Anyway, apparently the letter was lost, filed or ignored because when he didn't show up they issued a bench warrent for him. Lovely. He's trying to straighten that out right now. The really annoying part is that he could have EASILY gone to court yesterday - no problem - and I still don't understand why he didn't. I would have, even if I'd sent a letter, I would have shown up anyway - it's not like he was doing anything earth shaking here at home!

Sweet mother of heaven, sometimes it feels like I have to do everything, or manage everything, and that's not a great way to feel (nor is it true, I know, but this is one of those weeks when I feel like mom to the world) Hmm, wonder why... I feel a bit at my wit's end.
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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Back to the Old Grind!

Old Grind, New grind - I'm having a hard time telling the difference!

Back to the tablecloth for Melanie's next book - plus a wire project which will be a LOT of fun! Still waiting for the shipment of books (I'm definitely going with a new printer next time!) and I apologize profusely to those who have ordered and are waiting! I've been so overwhelmed with personal stuff that I haven't had the wherewithall to speed up the printers (who had promised a ship date of 5/24!)

I'm doing a new project for IK (2 actually) but missed the last round of submissions due to the ongoing personal funk that I sometimes feel I'm living in. I will have a Ravelings essay in the next IK that has a lot to do with my mom (total coincidence!)

In the mean time, if you're interested here's the eulogy that I gave for my mom on Saturday. We released balloons on top of the hill where she is buried. It was 8 months to the day since my brother died.
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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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