Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Farther Along

When death has come and taken a loved one
It leaves a hole so dreadful and drear.
Then do we wonder why others prosper
Living so wicked, year after year...

Farther along we'll know all about it,
Farther along we'll understand why.
Cheer up my sister, walk in the sunshine,
We'll understand it, all by and by.

Naah, I'm not getting all religious, but that song's been in my mind for almost a year now - I've always loved it, it's a nice hymn - simple, square and balanced (like a Methodist church) My birthday's on Friday and it occured to me yesterday that it will be the first birthday I've celebrated without a close loved one who's shared all of my others. Losing a brother - an only sibling - and a mother in a year is rough. Sucks.

All we really have of someone are the memories. The love, fights, passion - the essence of our relationship - the mementos, letters, pieces of clothing - they buttress the memories. Memory is imperfect, which is fitting, and memory is elastic.

We shape our memories, we sculpt them, form them, polish and hone them. Sometimes we sharpen them. Smell always brings memories to me easier than any other sense, so it's especially odd (and wonderful) that in the past year my sense of smell has returned after it left abruptly when I had my OC and hysterectomy. The other day I was cleaning the living room and I swear I could smell Youth Dew - the smell of middle aged women across America throughout the 50's, 60's and 70's, and the scent my mother loved best of all. It was so strong that I left the room, then returned and it still lingered. I went out and told a neighbor, then came back - still strong. I enjoyed it.

I'm in the process of rounding out the memories I have of my mother, my brother - and by extension my father, my aunt Wanda (both of the, actually...) and everyone else who's passed in my life. They're haunting me these days, and it's actually quite a nice feeling - warm and comforting. I've been thinking quite a bit of a dear friend from college who passed from Aids in the early 90's. Oddly, I ran into a friend of his family while at the Michigan Fiber Festival, a blog reader of mine who recognized my hat (but not me) and then was astonished and gratified to discover it was me beneat the hat. Of course that made me feel great. The fact that in our short conversation Darin surfaced fit so beautifully.

I find myself knitting the threads of memory together into a cohesive piece. The process is so much like finishing a sweater -

Binding Off The jarring, jolt that the goodbye was final - it comes at the oddest moments.

Blocking Fitting the loss into my reality - coming to really believe that my brother won't be at my daughter's graduation, that I can't call my mom, that I won't get a birthday card from either of them.

Joining Drawing parallels between my snatches of memory and my current life - finding a way to patch the small pieces together so I have something I can really grab hold of and wrap myself in.

Picking up stitches and creating collar, buttonband, ties, etc. Grafting these memories into my current life. Finding ways to include Jim and Mom - and Dad - in conversations with the kids, allowing myself to be reminded of childhood fights when I hear my kids bicker, remembering the sweetness of my brother's boyish face. Until Jim was 8 and I was 6, I used to creep into his room almost every night so we could listen to 45rpm records long after mom and dad thought we were asleep - Hannah and Max do the same thing now, staying up and listening to CD's together.

The best gift you can give a kid is a sibling. Sorry to be so maudlin today. I just spoke with my cousin, Jan, who is so much more than a cousin (and my last close relative - I have other good cousins, but none who are as much like a sister) She had her second round of chemo today and her hair started falling out on Sunday. She shaved her head and was unprepared for the emotional shock. I wish I were there. She's having her surgery the first week in November, when I'll be down in VA, so I'll either go to Parkersburg before or after the retreat.
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Monday, August 30, 2004

Waterless Weekend

I helped a friend learn the ins and outs of Ebay/Paypal last week, and as a thank you she gave me the keys to her Catskill cabin for the weekend with the family. Woohoo!

Okay, the bad news is that there's no electricity, no water and you have to walk to an outhouse for personal matters. Once you've absorbed and dealt with that, it's an extraordinary place! We had the best time, and the kids were so happy to just be OUT in nature, walking around, starting fires (in our campsite, supervised...) and cooking hot dogs and s'mores over the aforementioned fire. The fire was definitely the high point of the weekend. Should I be frightened?

I got some great knitting in - we brought our car battery type generator with us and listened to the radio while the kids frolicked with the dog (he enjoyed the whole excursion better than ANYONE!)

Happily, the town just down the hill from where we were staying happened to be having "Day out with Thomas" (as in , "the tank engine...") and the kids were further transported. We rode Thomas, posed with Thomas, painted pictures of Thomas, had Thomas temporary tattoos applied and had our faces painted with Thomas. We bought a Thomas ball (the cheapest thing they sold) and then all went and had ice cream and took pizza home to the cabin.

The drive up to the cabin was a bit rough for our little hyundai, but we made it! The incline on the last part of the trip felt as though it was straight up (Gerry let me drive that part of it) but we made it!

Knitting & Designing Fronts
Finishing up some projects, several swatches for my Knitty Gritty appearance and a jacket for me (woohoo!) I'm using a combination of Himalayan Yarn Sari Silk, Mango Moon Sari Silk and Oak Grove Silk/Merino Blend. I'm using the Domino Knitting technique (as described in Vivian H°xbro's book) and it's VERY soul satisfying! Lots of color, so much texture - I'm in heaven!

I have a few design submissions coming up that I need to work on, and of course classes to prepare for! The registrations are coming in for the Vermont Weekend, so if you've been pondering you probably should go ahead and reserve a space while we still have them!
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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Back to the Grind

Being on the road has it's pleasures - one of the greatest is the fact that I'm not expected to produce the amount of work that I generally do when I'm lazing around at home. Actually, the expectations are all mine - mine and the bank that holds the mortgage...

Back to designing, writing, all kinds of stuff. I have a few projects that I'm working through, a lot of instructions I need to write and revisions of my instruction books to complete before Rhinebeck creeps up on me!

I also need to get my stuff in line for Knitty Gritty - work up the "set ups" - the step by steps worked up in physical form to make explaining a project on TV much easier. I used to do this exact thing for Martha, so it's like revisiting a part of my past life.

The sales of the book have been doing very well - and I have ads appearing in several magazines this fall so I'm hopeful that sales will continue. From what I've picked up in the book/knitting world generally sales drop off after a book is touted for a few months, then it will either slide into oblivion or develop a quasi following and keep sales going for a bit. There are so many knitting books out there right now - and even more to come! Publishers who'd never thought of producing a knitting book have several in the works because - as we all know - it's hip to knit. Ick.

With all of the work, though, being home is so wonderful! It's terrific to wake up with one or two kids who've wandered into my bed after they, themselves, woke up earlier than any kid should during the summer! Yesterday Maxie and I went to the pool - my first visit all summer (usually I LIVE there in the summer) and I swam laps while he jumped in over and over. Then he wanted to swim laps and really surprised me by swimming the width of the pool and back without touching the wall. A mix of freestyle and dogpaddle that I'm certain we will all see in the 2016 Olympics...
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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Coming Back to Life

It always takes me a few days to unwind, pep up, get my rest and get used to the grind. It's SO GOOD to be with the kids again. But oy - the childhood traumas of a neighborhood clutch of kids! Someone is constantly picking on someone else, someone's in tears, someone's smirking. Quite a bit like national politics, which is really pretty sad considering the kids usually find a way to work things out without bringing the adults (or weapons of mass destruction) into the mix.

Knit For Brains

I've been kicking this idea around for a while, but during my teaching in Michigan the vision gelled and I just designed a logo with the motto: Knit for Brains.

I know, not terribly clever - and I'm sure folks have made the same play on words - but here's my own personal take on the sentiment...

Here's the T-Shirt...

And a closeup of the logo...

I put these up at Cafe Press last night - I'm going to order a few mugs for some friends - wonderful christmas gift...
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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Back Home Again!

I'm finally home - and it's so good to be here! I arrived last night at 8:30 just in time for Gerry to help me carry the stuff in from the car, then we both collapsed. He needs to leave by 3:00 am to be at work by 4:00 (he's filling in at Fox Channel 5 this week - and as far as we know next week - running teleprompter for the morning news show)

I walked a bit, but slept most of the day so far. Tired, worn out and sore. Catching up on orders that arrived while I was gone (Amazon, BN and Knit Picks have placed new orders - wahoo!) and working on some new ideas for other book stuff.

I received a rejection, but a nice one, from a yarn company - at least it was a letter that was kind, and the writer took the time to thank me personally instead of in some zany form letter. Off these sketches go to a magazine - I think they were all a bit too "editorial" for a yarn company, anyway...

While teaching in MI I was asked by a few knitters why my stuff isn't in some magazines (as if I know..?) All I can say is that if there's a mag you'd like me to submit to, please let me know and I'll send stuff in. By the same token, if there's a mag you'd like to see carry a few of my designs, let them know - it couldn't hurt!

Personal Note
... as if this whole blog isn't one big, fat personal note!

Eleven months ago my dear brother died suddenly of a heart attack. The irony is that he'd been hired and was to start at the American Heart Association the following week, where his wife still works! The week before he died he, Karen and Alex participated in the Heart Walk to raise money for Heart Disease research. Ironic, huh?

My sister in law, Karen, will be walking again this year as part of a different team. If you'd like to make a tax deductible donation in memory of Jim, or anyone else you know - or in honor of someone - or just anonymously - please visit her AHA donation page and consider tossing a few bucks to the #1 killer of women (stroke is #3) - and take a nice walk today!
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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Oh! Canada!!

I'm in the land to the North tonight! I finished up at the Michigan Fiber Festival today and packed up the car. After goodbyes all around ('bye Lynn!) I picked up my check and took off for Port Huron.

I decided to drive home via Canada for several reasons:

1) I was going to go visit my cousin Jan in WV, but I have rarely felt this exhausted and have a great amount of pain - I think for several reasons I have to get home and rest a bit before I overextend myself terribly.

2) I wanted to see Canada - haven't been here for 12 years!

3) Pretty Money.

4) OTC Codein.

I'm splurging - SPLURGING! on a super-duper king sized room with a jacuzzi! It's deep, it's full, and I'm about to step in. The only thing I regret is that I'm not here with Gerry.

Yesterday was our 11th Anniversary, and I love him and miss him so much! He's such a gem to be great about me being on the road so much this summer - I appreciate it and I love him for it (and for so many other reasons!!)

The Michigan Fiber Fest had such a lovely atmosphere - very gentle, friendly and happy! I loved the little 1840's village that was on the fairgrounds, and hung out there a lot listening to my book on CD (yes, I bought myself a portable cd player) and knitting. So lovely! The weather was cool for some folks, but it was beautiful for me and I loved it! Cool at night, warm during the day and sunny, beautiful!

I enjoyed the fiber fest, but I really, REALLY need a shower! The showers at the fairgrounds were out of hot water the last two times I attemped to take a shower - I'm bad news, let me tell you. Consider yourself lucky this is the internet.

On Friday night I went to see I-Robot at the local theatre in downtown Allegan with two new friends - we had a great time and strolled around Allegan with ice cream cones on a mild night. I really enjoyed this fiber festival (previous incident with the 'evaluator' aside) and so enjoyed my students! What a terrific and inspiring bunch - a great week overall!

But - with luck on my side and my book on CD in the car, I'll be home late tomorrow in time to see the kiddies and kiss my hubby!

I'd like to mention that I bought some yarn (gasp - Me? Buying YARN?) from Oak Grove Yarns and I'm just in love with it! I'm happy, happy, happy!

My room even has a nice sofa I can sit on after I get out of the jacuzzi (which is now full and warm) and knit, knit, knit while I watch the Olympics! Ah - to be clean, comfortable and watching TV!!
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Thursday, August 19, 2004


Writing in my blog, then reading it later and getting comments is like getting a nice hug from a friend long distance - thanks folks!

Today my two classes went very well! The first was colorwork - and although I didn't have enough material to fill 3 hours (generally I teach it as 2 hour class and the info I had to strech the class along was snapped up by the participants!) it went well and the students left very happy.

This afternoon was borders - also a good class - and although I sent all of my students on a dogsbody errand of knitting a ridiculous ruffle so we could add picot trim to the end, they survived - we all learned something (I learned the most!) and we moved on to double knit slipped stitch edging which was a terrific way to end the class.

Tomorrow are my favorite two classes - lace and cables. Love those classes! I think I especially love them because so many folks walk into the class fearing these two topics, but end loving them and feeling empowered! Woohoo!

Today as I was teaching, though, one of the festival organizer women came by my class and just stood with a rather impassive and imposing look on her face. It was during the rough time when I was trying to talk a few ladies through chart reading 101 and she just stood there staring at them (and me!) I asked if I could help her and she said, "No." Then after she stood for another few minutes I asked again, "Can I help you?" "No - I'm evaluating."

I told her that she was making me feel uncomfortable - I could tell from my students faces they were very uncomfortable, too. She said, "I'm evaluating - I'll be gone in a few minutes..." And just stood there staring. So rude. No introduction, no smile, nothing to put anyone at ease. Just a strong feeling that she wanted to be a 'presence' and that she wanted to be intimidating in some way. I told her that she was making me feel so uncomfortable that I'd have to step away for a few minutes, so she finally left. When she was gone the student she was standing directly behind looked up and said, "Thank you!" The other students echoed her sentiment. I heard from another teacher that she had the same experience in her class.

I've been evaluated before - 'sat in on' - etc., and there have been folks walking through all of my classes here, taking pictures, smiling, who knows if they're checking up - it doesn't matter to me as long as they don't disrupt the class. This was an odd sort of feeling though - it was like the principle was coming to visit and she was PO'd at something. It kind of gave me the creeps.

I hope the only visitors I have in my future classes are smiling ones!
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Camping In

Life in a camper is certainly different! It's actually quite luxurious compared to the tents and yerts that have popped up around me - and it has built in radio (which I leave on when I'm gone because for some reason I'm freaked out to walk into a silent trailer...)

Today Lynn arrives and I've created a small, colorful sign on our trailer. Trailer #1, of course...

I teach at 1:00 - my Combination Class - always such a lot of fun and a terrific way to start! I'm sharing what appears to be an airplane hanger with two other teachers - the spinning teacher was cranking away with her students when I was there earlier today. Something tells me we'll become good friends, these other teachers and I (we'll HAVE to be!)

I miss hub and kids terribly. And Atticus. Feeling a trifle forelorn, but had breakfast at a wonderful bookstore/coffee shop where I will undoubtedly pick up a few gifties for the kids before I go. Allegan is a sweet little town!
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Tuesday, August 17, 2004


I arrived in Allegan this afternoon around 3:00 after a detour through Toledo to visit my childhood home (they've put an addition on the back - it looks good!)

I'll be staying in a trailer with Lynn (of Colorjoy) and I'm headed out to Kinkos in Kalamazoo to get copies made, and then on to Target for some sheets, etc. Yes, I should have remembered to bring my own, but I forgot and I'm picky about them (hate polyester anything, especially sheets, which is what is in the trailer...) Oh, well, we can certainly use another set of sheets...

The shower is a hike away from the trailer (damn!) and there's no TV, which isn't such a big deal except that I'm HOOKED on The Amazing Race which is on TV tonight. It will, however, be really lovely to take a break between classes and actually take a nap or rest in the trailer reading.

I've discovered the local library - always interesting how each library limits internet access. In this one you have to have a library card (can't get one, not a resident) or a drivers license. Are they afraid I'll steal a computer? Oh, well - I'm glad it's here and glad they seem to have evening hours during the week - yahoo!

Allegan looks like a cute little town - I'll write more about it after I look around and see the sights! Right now it's good to be here!

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Sunday, August 15, 2004


I received VERY good news from my cousin, Jan, that a bone scan & several cat scans show that the cancer has NOT metasticized! We're all overjoyed to hear it - I'm not sure if we could deal with the loss of another dear family member so soon!

I feel that I've ignored my written duties in the last few weeks - not updating my blog regularly, not writing chapters in the book I'm working on, not writing to friends aside from a brief, "Hey!" Even when I see friends in person, like Rose who came out on Friday for a nice visit with her sweet husband, I feel very distracted, as if I had several minds all competing to be the top dog.

We had a nice visit, knit a bit together and then had dinner, but I just felt as if I were floating above the room and someone else were sitting in my place. And now I'm leaving for another 10 days...

Tomorrow morning I leave very early for Cleveland, where I'll stay with a good friend and do a little knitting, then on Tuesday on to Allegan, MI for the fiber festival. I'll teach on Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday - I'll stay overnight and then drive home, where I will stay for 2-1/2 weeks before I leave again.

I've been looking into some kind of online books-on-tape to take with me while I travel. I'm still using OS9.whatever on my mac, and some of the book clubs require OSX (I'm not quite ready to move up, some of my software is old and creaky and doesn't travel to new operating systems very well...) If anyone has a suggestion for one, I'd love to hear it!

Steamed Up

Jane asked in my commets: I haven't used my steamer for my clothes or knitted projects. Are they not to strong for fabrics? I really would love to use it if it wouldn't harm the fabrics.

A steamer is actually not too strong for most fabrics - I use it on silks, cottons, woolens & blends. I got in the habit of steaming instead of pressing when I was in grad school (costume design) and find it refreshes garments when I hang them up and give them a good steam!

When blocking with my steamer I hold it farther away from the delicate fabrics (tiny gauge or sensitive fibers) - and do a swatch test with my steaming on any fiber that has a man-made component to make sure it won't melt!

When steaming a piece my first step is to get the piece damp and warm. Then I pull it back and forth with my hands to even out the stitches, and lay it flat and smooth it with my hands so that it can cool flat. It's not really how to steam something that does the work of blocking, but how it cools! It's like when you blowdry your hair - you need to hold it on the brush or pin it in place until it's cool.

It's the same with the fibers in knitting - I use my steamer to cajole the fibers to lay the way I'd like them to lay, then I allow them to cool and dry thoroughly before I move them again.

But you do need to be sensible and test a swatch to see if your fabric is too heat sensitive for a steamer. As far as affecting dyes, the only problem I've had with that are with dyes that aren't set very well (it happens!) and by the time I've knit a garment I have an inkling that this might be a problem because of the dye on my hands. If the fabric can take it, I find that steaming can actually help set a color (I've also been known to microwave my yarn that is bleeding dye to set it!)

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Fried Mush

My mother in law, the lovely Elaine (who will be coming out to stay with the kids while I'm in Michigan next week... - THANK YOU ELAINE!) knows mamaliga as the traditional Yiddish dish of fried mush - she had it as a child served with sour cream. In our family we eat it with jelly.

Either way, my brain is fried, and mush. A lovely dovetail of yiddish and hillbilly culture. Oy-hoo!

When we were in West Virginia last week I forgot Hannah's bathing suit at a Motel6 in Parkersburg. The worst part was that she LOVES the suit (it has sleeves and she LOVES it - it has kept her from getting terrible shoulder sunburn this year!) and when we stopped at the next Motel6 in Harrisonburg, PA she couldn't swim in the pool...

As we were leaving the Motel6 in Harrisonburg, I forgot to double check the bedding for Max's blankie and "pat-the-cat" and - you guessed it - they were left behind.

I just spoke to the Motel6 folks in both locations and it seems everything has been found, and will be sent on to me. Hooray! Guilt rises like steam off of my fried mush of a brain.


I've made my reservations for LA - flight, hotel, car - I'm ready to roll! I am very excited about this, and have received and am in the process of filling out my paperwork for the show. I need to do several set ups of the project (a breakdown of the steps involved in making the sling chair - something I did all the time at MSLO) and have arranged to have 2 chair frames sent out to LA so I won't have to carry them there. I don't really want to bring them back, so the very kind folks who will be housing me for a night or two (or three) will be the happy recipients of a chair or two!

I'm also taking out some child-sized frames to make demonstrating some of the steps easier.

Before I go I need to:
- Make my setups
- Knit a complete multi colored chairseat
- Take my current sample seat off it's frame and CLEAN it
- Make a fitted, short jacket for myself to wear on camera (woohoo!)
- Make a list of other knitted goodies I'd like to take with me as on set decoration
- some of my lace hats
- some of my bags (Aline & perhaps the tinker toy bags...)
- My fiesta tea set (which is SOMEWHERE in this house...)
- A few wire knit pieces
- Make a list of materials needed for class at Wildfiber
- Arrange to send the stuff out early so I don't have to lug it in my bags!

Ah, I love making lists!

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Sunday, August 08, 2004


Clearing up a couple of things on this bright, crisp and cool Sunday morning that I've left dormant for far too long!

1 - THANK YOU DOT!! A student of mine, who was moved by my plight when she saw how devastated I was by the early demise of my Scuncii Steamer, financed the purchase of a NEW Scuncii steamer! (many of you will remember how I waxed poetic over my first one - well, this one is JUST AS GOOD!)

2 - Limerick Fibers in Gordonsville, VA is an WONDERFUL store! They have one of the most complete collections of Cascade Fibers (a real work horse of knitting, and economical, too!) and the atmosphere of the place is just wonderful. If you're near Charlottesville, NC and would like to take a few classes or stroll into a smaller town for a nice visit to a yarn shop, check out Limerick Fibers. The owner, Lola, is such a nice person - I thoroughly enjoyed my time teaching there - the students were wonderful, the new large teaching space is fabulous!


On my recent drive down to VA I listened to Amy Tan's The Opposite of Fate and thoroughly enjoyed it. Several times I had to pull over because the descriptions of her relationship with her mother were right on the money for me. An extra bonus was that her last chapter dealt entirely with her struggle with Lyme disease. Her description of the disease sounded frighteningly familiar.

In 1990 I had Lyme disease - pretty badly. I was in grad school and apparently was biten by a tick when I visited a local NJ state park historic site in a skirt and sandals. After I experienced the bullseye rash and some of the basic symptoms, I headed to the Rutgers infirmary where I had to beg them to perform the Lyme test (which took a month to get back from the state of New Jersey) It was a lyme titer test, and it was quite high. At the time I was given a short course of antibiotics, the symtoms returned, and the whole process was repeated 3 or 4 times, each time with the symptoms returning stronger and for a longer period of time.

Eventually I lost control of half of my face, which wasn't terribly obvious unless you looked at me for a while, I tried to talk, or you noticed the drool pooling at the corner of my mouth. Lovely. Finally I was given a course of intravenous antibiotics, which seemed to do the trick, and I was able to stay awake for more than 6 hours at a time and finish my degree.

The symptoms I've been experiencing for the past few years echo my earlier bout with Lyme, although the brain fogginess is much more severe. Why, when I started having the joint aches, brain fogginess, exhaustion, I didn't immediately think "Aha! Lyme Disease!" is beyond me.

As I was packing to go to VA I received an email from my cousin, Jan, asking if I'd considered Lyme disease as I'd had it before and the symptoms seemed to be exactly what I was experiencing. I tucked her comments away in the back of my poorly functioning brain - it wasn't until I listened to Amy Tan's book on tape that all of the pieces seemed to come together.

So now I go in search of diagnosis and treatment - me with no health insurance. I hate to say, "I hope I have this disease!" - but I hope I do! I conquered it before, perhaps this is a relapse brought on by my OC surgery several years ago and exacerbated by the mental stress in my life. Or maybe I was bit again and didn't realize it. With the proper antibiotics I can whip this again, I'm sure!

It would be amazing to feel like my 'old' self again.
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Thursday, August 05, 2004

Sweet, Sweet South Orange!

I'm so glad to be home! As we drove into South Orange the kids started making up an impromptu song about being back - in harmony (early Buick horn!) and I had to sing along!

We left Parkersburg Wednesday after breakfast with Jan. She's feeling well, but she's scared (of course!) and next week she'll start a round of VERY strong chemo that will cause her to lose her hair and give her much, much nausea. I think she's more afraid of the nausea than anything else - it's a terrible feeling. My mother's chemo was much milder than Jan's will be.

When I went to her doctor's appointment with her at the hospital where she works I was struck by how EVERYONE there doesn't just know her, but LOVES her, too! She's been at Marietta Memorial as a nurse, supervisor, or (currently) the supervisor of all nursing for 30 years. I am so proud of her - and I am worried. We're very close - we think of each other as sisters, not cousins. Her mother and my mother were sisters, and both of us have lost our only sibings, our brothers, in the past 2 years.

She doesn't knit, but I intend to teach her in the next few months to give her something to do when she gets bored sitting around a bit. I'm planning on going down to WV after the Michigan Fiber Festival for a few days to help her along.

We left Parkersburg on Wed, and usually I make the drive back in 8 hours or so - but this time when we got to Ohio we ran into a terrible storm, and it followed us across Pennsylvania. When we got to Harrisburg I gave up - feeling very tired, worn out and just needing to rest. We stayed over at a Motel6 and finished our trip this afternoon - it was SO good to see Gerry, Atticus, the cats, the neighbors... I love South Orange!

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Monday, August 02, 2004


What a few days I've had - oy!

I arrived in VA on Thurs evening - it took longer than I'd expected as I got lost - and hit the ground running on Fri teaching a class (it was going to be two, but one was cancelled)

Sat & Sun were both triple class days - but great days!

On Friday I got the most amazingly strong feeling that I HAD to be in WV after I was finished in VA, so I asked Gerry if he'd bring the kids down for a few days together in VA, then I'd go on to WV with them while he returned to NJ to work (what a menschilich SAINT that man is!)

About an hour after I left the yarn shop in Virginia I got a call from my cousin in WV telling me that she's been diagnosed with level 2 breast cancer. We both agreed it was an amazing 'coincidence' that I decided to visit right now. Honestly, it was the equivalent of a psychic dope slap from mom (or whoever...) that I get my butt to WV - I'm glad I listened!

I'm going with her to the oncologist tomorrow morning for a preliminary visit before her chemo begins. She's pretty much all I have left in the way of family-who-grew-up-with-me - she's beside herself. It sucks all around.

Once again I'm at the library in Parkersburg, where everybody knows my name, only this time I have two redheads in tow who are on the computers in the kiddie room playing elmo games and surfing the kids internet. Life is grand! Tomorrow they'll stay with cousin (aka, 'call me grandma') Patsy while I go off with Jan.

When I called Gerry last night to tell him, he told me that Atticus had run away about an hour before he returned home. Our friends were feeding him (yes, we promised NEVER to leave him home along again, but it was just going to be for ONE day!) and he bolted. I fretted all night - thinking, "How on EARTH can I lose one loved cousin, a brother, a mother, another loved cousin and a DOG - it seems very irresponsible on some level..."

Atticus returned today - hallelujah!

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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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