Friday, May 30, 2008

Red Letter Day for Heresy

Today is the anniversary of Joan of Arc's death by burning at the stake at the hands of English clergy in 1431 at age 19.

She was later cannonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920, the only person ever burned at the stake for heresy who later became a saint.

She was a common girl who did uncommon things, and was - by her own account - an expert sewer and spinner. And by the accounts of others, an amazing battle tactician.

That's my kind of heretic!

Things continue here as usual. Shingles remain, the pain lingers, and Gerry's seeing the accupuncturist today. Small annoyances hurt more than we'd think they would.

I'm preparing for TNNA, trying to get swatches together and samples ready for our booth (1056) Life is busy, but seems so slow on this rainy day. I feel rainy, too.

For the second time this week I'll be a chaperone on a field trip (this time to the MN historical society). It's a good day for it - overcast, rainy.

We got lucky on Wednesday for our field trip on a paddle boat down the Mississippi. It was a lovely, warmish, breezy day, the kids were in HIGH spirits but very well behaved. I had 4 in my group; happy, lively, wonderful boys, all friends of Max, who listened well but also ran me ragged up and down the boat. It was fun for everyone!

It's supposed to be lovely this weekend, maybe we'll get the family down to the river for a walk, there's a nice paved walkway and Gerry would dig it!

St. Paul is a beautiful city, especially when viewed from the Mississippi River.
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posted by Annie at 7 Comments Links to this post

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memor-iable Day

This is the line waiting for the bobble feet dolls. We were about 400 back from the gate, so we got ours! YAY!! And the Saints won! That team KNOWS how to put on a show - there was NEVER a dull moment. The audience was huge, over 7,000, and SO excited. We all did the roller coaster.

And a knitter (Hi, Stella!) was ahead of us in line for food, so how could the game be any better? Fireworks!

The music is Anonymous 4,
Echo la primavera, ballata for 2 Voices, S. 58, from The Second Circle.
I thought that Saints deserved heavenly music...


Last night the colors were so saturated and rich after the 15 minutes wind-rainstorm that hit the northern St. Paul area. We missed the storm, we got in line just after it left the area. We're lucky!

Last night we may have stumbled onto it. The Saints cap color is pretty amazing, it matched the sky last night.

We spent yesterday afternoon at a block party and got to meet some neighbors we hadn't seen all year. It's been a long Winter. I was supposed to join some friends for knitting, but I needed to be here, hanging out with G and doing wife and mom stuff.

The kids ran wild up and down the blocked off street, leaving all the adults to ask, "Where are all these kids when our kids are looking for someone to play with?!" So now we know the answer! Max and Hannah are both out with friends today, so it seems the neighborhood mixer has worked its magic!

I'm knitting today - catching up on some projects and trying to figure out new ones. And playing with the bobble-foot dolls.

And trying to figure out what THIS is..?
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

89

Today my mom would have been 89. Thursday was the 4th anniversary of her death. I miss her very much, and often as I'm standing in line at the airport or the post office I'll think of her and every now and then start to call her before I remember. (I used to call her in line to pass time and touch base).

My cousin Jan called, I called back, cell phone tag. Mom was like a second mother to her, I know she misses her as much as I do - almost.

We bought tickets for the Saints game on Sunday. The first 2,500 patrons to show up get a bobble-foot Larry Craig doll, so we'll be there early! I wonder when they start letting folks in...

The thing about Gerry is, with his walker, he always has a place to sit when we're waiting in line. Mom would get a real kick out of the bobble-foot handout...

I went out for a long walk this morning and bought myself a small shoulder bag which will be perfect for travel (a pocket for wallet, passport, inhaler and small knit project) I love bibelot! The walk was perfect, Atticus was having fun and the kids are both engaged with friends.

I stopped to chat with a neighbor and thought how far we've come in terms of feeling part of the neighborhood in a year. I'd love to get Gerry out for more walks, but it's hard for him - he'd rather stay around the house where he can sit whenever he wants. I also think he feels very visible with his walker. He'd love to see the hundreds of different shades of lilac that are blooming up close!

Max started baseball this week, he hit the ball a few times at practice but his catching needs some work. He's on the same team with "old" friends and a wonderful, supportive coach. I was thinking about this when this ad came on TV



I'm beginning to believe it's all a conspiracy to see how wrinkled the skin under my eyes can be with a week of crying. I'm closing in on Eleanor Roosevelt territory.

We went to the Surly Brewery last night for the most low-key tour in the world. A bunch of folks standing around tasting beer, then a brief talk by the brewery owner about how he got started (we all should have been sitting around a big bar...)

I asked if the brewery was named for the Duff beer character, but it's not. Oh, well... For me, it was the best kind of tour but not so fun for the kids so we ducked out when the talk winded down. I did buy a growler of Furious, it's very hoppy!

Max is off playing with friends, Hannah is meeting a friend at the playground and later today we'll all go to Indiana Jones as a family event, although Hannah and her friend may exercise their autonomy by seeing a different movie. Not Baby Mama. Although I'd like to see that, myself...

I sent in the promo proof manuscript of Knit With Courage to the printer, along with the cover. I'm having 200 printed in a small run to hand out at TNNA and send to reviewers, to start a bit of buzz and find the places in the book where things may need to be explained better.

The actual pub date for the book will be September 1st, Gerry's "birthday" - his first day with his new stem cells last year. I put Atticus on the cover because he deserves to be, and used my favorite photo of Gerry and the kids on the back cover.

I've never hired a PR person, and I'm not sure if I can afford to this time, but I'm reading up as much as I can on ways to get the book into the right hands to review it. I did a lot of leg work with Confessions and it really paid off, but so much of the work is researching which person at which publication should get the book. And, of course, which bloggers need to get a copy of the book, too...

Very helpful in this process is my old standby, Bestseller in 30 Days, which has a lot of great tips on ways to position and market a book. I was surprised by how short the marketing process seemed to be for my 3 published books, it was as if they expected the market to die off in 6 months, so there wasn't a lot of push after that. I believe that knitters tend to be a longer-term market, and thus deserve a long-term marketing strategy.

Now if I could only come up with one...

You may have noticed the large SC to the right on the blog page. It's the Stitch Cooperative, a new endeavor I'm involved with - several independent designers are getting together to offer our patterns for retail (online) and wholesale (through shops) in the hopes that a cooperative will allow yarn shops to more easily carry a variety of independent designers. Instead of needing to buy a minimum of 5 or 6 of each pattern, they can just buy a few and spread their minimums across all the offerings of the Stitch Cooperative.

We've secured a booth at TNNA - #1056 - and we're hopeful to start taking orders to see if this is an idea that might fly!
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Different Kind of Email

Sidenote to Beth: I just finished Bottle #3, I cannot thank you enough and if I could have another kid I'd name her Schlafly (for the beer!)


I received a question today that is something that I address in classes, so I figured I'd write it out in the blog in case anyone else could use this info. I was knitting for 15 years before I figured it out - with the help of Marjorie Winter!

Question
Hi Annie,

I'm a beginner, taught myself with the guides. I'm wondering why when I cast on my first knittable row is purl. I'm starting my first sweater and it instructs to start on the right side. I am right handed and do the one hand cast on, it's coming out on the purl side. What am I doing wrong?

Thank you, L.
Answer
Hey L -

I'm assuming you're using some type of 2-strand cast on (long tail, etc.) where you have 2 separate strands involved in the casting on process.

When you cast on with 2 strands, one strand is casting on (usually the tail) and one strand is actually knitting the first row.

Note: Reminded by my friend, Helen, here are just two of the MANY ways that one can crack this nut! Who knew casting on was an esoteric thesis waiting to be written? Thanks, Helen!

There are 2 ways to deal with this:

#1 WORKING YOUR FIRST ROW AS A WRONG SIDE ROW
In this case, if you want to work your first row (not the row that's part of the cast on process) as a wrong side row, you need to address it (by purling it if you're working in St. st, for example).

I tell my students that, for instance, if they're working a 4-row stitch repeat, they would work this first wrong side row as Row #4 of the repeat. Row #4 (or whatever the last row is of their repeating stitch pattern) will be a wrong side row, thus when you get back to the Right Side you'll be ready to work Row #1 of the stitch pattern.
#2 CHANGE YOUR TECHNIQUE SO YOU ARE PURLING WHEN YOU CAST ON
To do this you'll have to experiment with your cast on style. Watch what you do, very slowly, and see exactly HOW you're forming that knit stitch that is becoming a row of your work. Now, experiment with different ways of working that portion of the cast on so that you're approaching the stitch from the opposite direction, and creating a purl.

Remember, the technical definition of a knit is that the needle is pointing away from you, and with a purl the needle is pointing toward you. So see if you can work the cast on so that for the 'creating a stitch' portion of the cast on the needle is pointing toward you.
I'm sorry if this last way to deal with the wrong side first row issue is confusing - unless I actually see how you're casting on I can't make it clearer, but I'm hoping that by understanding the concept of what's going on and experimenting you might be able to work it out yourself.

Having said all of that, I HIGHLY recommend using #1 to deal with the RS/WS first row issue!
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Humor, Me

In case you have never met me, or haven't taken a class from me, allow me to explain that I use HUMOR to teach.

I tell jokes. I make fun of a lot of things in my classes including myself and sometimes - if a student is up for it (and only if a student is up for it) I will include them in the joke and poke fun at them, too.

In this case apparently a woman who I had shepherded - spending a lot of extra time with her - through three of the four classes, became upset after the forth class. This same student made a point of telling me after Saturday's classes how grateful she was that I'd taken so much extra time with her during the classes that day.

On Sunday, in the last 17 minutes of class, I was firm with this student (and a few others) because she - they - needed to be told, firmly, that they COULD do a seemingly complex technique and it was important that I get their hands to move in the correct way at least once so they could go home with the muscle memory.

I was not mean, I did not yell, but I was firm.

Yes, sometimes I push students in a class, and sometimes I back off. If students talk in class, I ask them to be quiet. If students rip out, I ask them not to again. If students insist that they can't do something, I try several different ways (prodding, joking, pushing, pulling) to get them to a place where they can see that they will eventually get the concept.

If you don't want to grow, don't take a class with me. I will make you a better knitter - a more intuitive knitter - but I may push you.

As with any teacher, I may not suit every student. Luckily, you have my blog to get a taste for my sense of humor and my teaching style before you take a class with me.

This class in KC was one of the hardest to "read" in my teaching career. I think I've only had two other classes in my life that were this difficult to read. Folks who I felt were having a horrid time told me later they had a blast, and folks I thought had a blast emailed me later that they were sorry they took the class. Go figure. I rarely have such a hard time "reading" classes like this, but it's all part of the learning curve that teachers go through, too.

I try to read different classes so I have an idea of how far I can go with certain jokes, and in this case apparently my jokes (which were so mild compared to my usual 'material') were too much for some students.

The email that had upset me so greatly yesterday - and, for whatever reason, it just skinned me from the inside out - was from someone who I had been very supportive of in class. Then she sent me an email that I wouldn't have sent my worst enemy. Some days you just can't win.

At certain times in certain classes I joke - yes JOKE - about "Class isn't really fun unless I get one person to cry, that's all I ask ..."

I have found that jokes like this are a good way to get people to laugh. They laugh because it's absurd, because it's not true. They laugh because I deliver it in a "Doctor Evil" voice.

They know it's not true, so it's funny.

I told this same joke in each class this weekend and guess what? People laughed. A lot.

Are we going to politically correct ourselves out of having ANY fun? Will I have to start saying in class, "Lighten up or I'll hit you with my knitting needle!?"

Oh, that was a joke...

To hear such an absurd comment - a joke - and think that it is in any way SERIOUS shows a want of perspective.

What seems to have happened was that a student was offended because I was firm with her, and she was even more upset because I was firm with the student next to her. So after stewing about it she used the fact that I'd joked about students crying to write me an email which was one of the cruelest I've received, insinuating that I really DID want to make my students cry.

Now THAT was an email that was definitely sent with the intention of making someone cry.

Ellen wrote: "What if it is that you are just so worn to the nub that an email you might have let slide off your back a year and a half ago has given you a worse time than it typically would?"

That's definitely a possibility. This was pretty raw, though.
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hang It (overreaction?)

I'm home, thank heaven, but I'm thinking of going on hiatus from teaching for a bit.

After I fulfill my current obligations, I don't think I'll be taking any more classes on for a while. Time off is needed. I'm feeling quite raw.

Different shops and areas seem to have different personalities. This was my first time in Kansas City (which was lovely), my first time teaching in Missouri (also lovely, very green). The folks were very nice, the classes seemed to be well received. The shop - Studio Knitting & Needlework - was filled with a lovely selection of all kinds of good yarns and needlepoint accessories.

But I had the nagging feeling that no matter what I said, it was going to be the wrong thing. I knew this came from inside of me, but it just felt so hard to get smiles from some knitters. I couldn't seem to put a foot right, I felt like I was failing miserably. It had to be me, (it must BE me), and I'm afraid unable to figure out how to be other than I am.

So with all of this soul searching all weekend - especially on the flight home - I came home to find an email telling me that I had failed as miserably as I feared.

I've seldom felt that any word, any movement, any comment I made in class might be offensive to someone - but it felt that way this weekend. Damn.

Whether this was just me (most likely), or circumstances, or the weather, or whatever, I don't know. It was an odd feeling, as though I were invading someone else's space. It's a wretched feeling.
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Worry

Worry is haunting me, and it has NO business being here. Begone, worry! I will fight you with the tremendous power of crochet hook and knitting needle!

First, Gerry definitely has shingles, the rash has made it's appearance. Ouch. The doctor said there's nothing to do but keep taking the anti viral, but it seems good that we jumped on it as quickly as we did.

One fellow in the MM support group we go to suggested coconut oil. Gerry visited Mississippi Market (our local coop) and was advised by a nice woman there to mix coconut oil, agave and a little cocoa powder for a wonderful spread-on-crackers treat. Gerry feels he's getting a roll around the middle, but he's still painfully thin to me - so EAT UP Mr. Landy!

My back is very painful. Apparently I sprained it by wrangling all that stone last Friday, then standing all day on Sunday didn't help. So I visited our local chiro (finally!) and I really liked him a lot. He helped me quite a bit, explained where the problem was (it's a good sign when the chiro can tell you exactly what pain you've been having - and he's RIGHT!)

After an adjustment and some electronic pain treatment I felt much better. I am now wearing a belt to hold my pelvic bones together and trying to rest as much as possible. Knitting while reclining is not easy. I see him again on Monday, and I'm feeling much more ready to tackle Kansas City head on! I'm walking as much as I can, a few miles a day, but unlike Gerry riding a bike does NOT make my back feel better.

I've been absent from the blog lately, and I apologize. Partly it's been the back - the pain was pretty amazing at times. But I've discovered a vicious circle where, as I begin to feel a little down, I post less. Then - missing my posting, the support and the venting that my blog allows - I get a little more down. Rinse, repeat.

So I'm taking some time before my flight to Kansas City today to blog - huzzah!

Perhaps worry isn't the word I should use - it's more a vague, overwhelming sense of impending work, and a fear that I will fall short of my duty. I's easy to fall into the Life is work, Work is life spiral. I've been doing just that, and not experiencing as much joy as I should. Joy is work, work is joy.

Reading over my previous year's posts (I'm doing the final edit for Knit with Courage, Live with Hope) I've noticed a definite pattern. Right before each TNNA I have this odd downswing in my confidence.

I look around and see so many other teachers and designers presenting new books, new patterns, new TV shows and - a happy as I am for them (I am, really!) - I'm envious, too.

So there - now it's out. Time to get back to work. Thank heaven I love my work, and my work loves me! And I love my blog.

And I love my daughter, who's been experimenting with cooking (I'm going to get her a subscription to COOKS to share with Gerry - they both dig the scientific way they dissect the recipes!) Here are some BEAUTIFUL dumplings that she made this week, along with chicken by Gerry.

And - one more thing - here's a hat I've just finished for Shaefer yarn, for a book that they have coming out. I love this shape, and want to play with it more (it's a nice, simple but flattering shape that will look good on many faces.)

I'm SO psyched to see this book, because the yarns I've been using are just stunning (I actually ended up using a very simple cotton (Susan) in a light color (Lilian Gilbreth), but I'd played around with several stunning yarns in beautiful colorways - named for strong women!! - along the way!)

Working through this pattern was intense. I'd done about 5 versions of this hat (one early hat try is to the right - along with the 1920's magazine that inspired that version) but it just would NOT come together.

I finally just sat with the yarn and knit for love, knit to enjoy it, not follow a chart or even taking notes.

Then I charted what I'd done and reknit it (to make sure it WAS knitable) Sometimes this is how the patterns come, it's always such an adventure.

To forestall all of the pre-TNNA angst, the worry, the reknitting of projects, I've downloaded a new book and I'm LOVING it! A few years ago some blog readers had suggested the Outlander series, but Audible wasn't offering it unabridged, so I didn't even consider it.

But now they have the unabridged version, and I'm completely smitten. I love this listen, it's excellent and Davina Porter is an amazing reader. I wish it would go on forever.

Thank you whoever suggested this. And if you like historical fiction and a little sci-fi, this is the book for you!
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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Stoned on Mother's Day!

On Friday I carried home 900 pounds of rock.

Gerry and I acquired 380 pounds in the afternoon, We drove to Leitners, picked out the stone and put it in the car, then drove home and carried it from the car to our backyard on our cart. But 380 pounds wasn't nearly enough.

So Hannah and I picked up an additional 520 pounds later in the day and repeated the whole ritual. Rock is heavy.

Where did all this rock go? Onto our newly leveled area in the backyard, where it was carefully shifted into place and covered with sand, then swept (repeatedly) to push the sand into the spaces between the stones. Then we tramped it down and sanded and swept it again.

We piled up the dirt we'd dug out last week around the edges, and tramped that down, then watered the whole thing. I want to plant shade loving plants around it as grass does NOT want to grow in the vicinity.


It looks good, we're all very proud of our work (I have the most amazing family), and we're looking forward to a less-muddy backyard. We're also amazed that it took SO MUCH STONE to cover such a relatively small area - now THAT'S a lesson for the kids!

On Saturday I celebrated my Mother's Day early, I took Maxie, one of his good friends and Atticus for a wet walk at the off-leash dog run in Minnehaha park (or, as one of my students called it, the "off leash 10-year old boy run")

It was wet, sprinkling and beautiful. The falls were rough & hard, alive, as we walked through the valley down by the river. There were new leaves out, new grass, lots of moss, the air was fresh with a woodsy, rich spicy scent. I wish I could have bottled it!

In several places we had to cross mini-streams by walking over logs, creeping across fallen trees. It was so much fun. Atticus did himself proud, as did the boys.

I wished Hannah was with us, but I was also glad we were just a threesome (I'm not sure if she would have enjoyed the tree crawling as much as the boys did - and as well as Gerry's doing, it would have been beyond his ability...)

Then our "annual" trip to our favorite Chinese restaurant, Little Szechuan, and home where Hannah taught us a new card game (Oh-Kent?) which we LOVED! What a perfect day!

Today the rain is a memory, it's beautiful here in Minnesota - just lovely! Sunny, breezy, a little cool (okay, downright COLD earlier this morning) and it seems the entire world is out throwing frisbees and riding bikes!

I taught. And I loved it! One groovy moment was when one student identified herself as Max's art teacher - so even in the middle of teaching a class I was indirectly connected to Maxie (who was learning his new Ramah at Hebrew School while I was teaching knitting...)

I'm not just blowing smoke, or courting my neighbors, but Minnesota Knitters (and Wisconsin...) are among the best I've met. Even the newbie knitters have such a sense of - presence - in their knitting! It makes teaching more challenging and enjoyable, that's for sure!

The huts where we held the classes were COLD, and eventually we moved outside into the sunny, grassy area to finish up class #1. Class #2 started outside, then we moved inside to take advantage of tables for the chart-reading portion of the class.

I had such a great time - I LOVE the atmosphere of fiber festivals - and wished I'd had more time to walk around the vendors booths. I bought some honey, checked out some handles by Homestead Heirlooms (really great shapes and color assortment!) and some stunning felted scarves by Judy McDowell from Misty Meadows Icelandics (I stopped a woman wearing one of her scarves to find out where she got it!)

Of course, I also checked out Jennie The Potter's booth, and had a nice chat with Joe (Mr. Potter) while perusing Jennie's new, cool ceramic buttons. They're so groovy!


Back home for gifts - a lovely necklace and earrings from the kids and a letter that made me cry (when I was alone) from Hannah. She is a very good writer, she makes me proud. And now I do the resting ritual, me - alone in a chair with my computer - to just sit for a few hours and gain some energy. Standing all day on hard concrete in a large, cold, empty building is hard on the back and legs and stamina. But my pain is minor compared to my honey's new hurt.

Gerry's been having pain on his left side. It started with some tingling on his leg, which moved around to his back. I insisted that we rush over to the doc because it sounded like shingles, which is annoying for most folks, but rather serious for folks who have had bone marrow cancer. Shingles is an infection, if allowed to worsen it can turn into a chronic, painful condition which can be almost impossible to heal in a MM patient.

Infection is the main worry for someone in his condition, we were reminded of that at the Mayo clinic last week. To be so concerned over a silly thing like shingles knocks both of us out of our feeling of complacency that we'd been enjoying.

The doc gave him some antivirals, which he started immediately. Today he says the pain has lessened (it was pretty severe for a bit) but the sensation of tingliness has spread up to his arms. I'm worried, he's worried, but he refuses to go to the ER (which the doc told us to do if the pain worsened) because he says it's not worse, just different.

We get along well, doing gardening, working around the house, and then every now and then there's a reminder that the life we've carved out is uncommon and tenuous, so we appreciate it even more. We hold fear and good fortune together in one breath.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Level Ground

The new windows are in, life is great!

We are definitely a low or no AC kind of family, we like ceiling fans and loved our attic fan in NJ. Getting one here may be down the road, I'm a believer in the power of the attic exhaust fan. It's kind of a question of finding our attic, though...

I'm astounded at how quickly the windows went in - amazing!

We were doing a few top floor windows where there had been damage to the window or some rotting, and had anticipated the job taking all day. The guys showed up at 8:00 and were out by noon, the job was well done, very tidy and the guys were pleasant. An all around great experience!

We had read some horror stories about Home Depot so we initially steered clear. But we revisited that option and that's who we eventually went with. The company they contracted to do the work was Success Remodeling, and they were very - successful! I would highly recommend this option for anyone looking into windows in our area.

I was sitting on the deck working on a crochet piece for IK Crochet (Fall) when one of the guys looked down out of the window and said, "Nice life!" I explained I was actually working, but agreed that I was one incredibly lucky person!

The yarn (Mission Falls 1824 Superwash Merino) showed up pretty late, and my idea for the bag was a little half baked. It all came together beautifully, though, and as soon as I was able to work with the yarn it just made sense. I can't say much about it except I was inspired by beer...

I was also inspired by the handles that I picked up when I visited Lantern Moon last week in Portland! I knew I'd be working on a bag, so I asked them if it was okay if I used their knitting-needle palmwood handles. They looked amazing, and I cannot WAIT to see it in the magazine!

So all of this work inspired us to do some work ourselves.

We have a shady back yard with areas that become muddy - grass just won't grow in certain parts (very dense soil, clay-like, and hard packed by the dogs and kids) I've been wanting to put a stone patio down like we'd done in NJ, where eventually a little grass grew between the stones and looked nice and not too paved.

I've been digging the area for a few weeks, off and on, between my teaching gigs. I've been trying to move dirt from the "hills" to the "valleys," but work was slow until the whole family got involved. Yesterday the kids both jumped in to help, Gerry did some great work, and before dinner we were able to even out the dirt.

Fortuitously, there's an old, HUGE, built in sandbox in our yard from the previous owners. We did nothing with it last year, but Gerry wants to fill it in and just have more yard. I'm not sure what I want to do with it, but it's filled with beautiful SAND - aha!

So we put down a layer of that black weed-stopping fabric, then covered it with a few inches of sand to even out the area even more, and now we're ready for some nice stones.

All our work will be appreciated on those rainy days when the kids and dogs are NOT tracking mud all over the house - yay! (For the time being, they're just tracking sand...)

Currently on the knitting front I'm finishing up a hat for Shaeffer yarn - I am SO late on this. I'm also working up a scarf idea with Argosy yarn and Signature Needles - also very late.

I have some tech editing patterns that are coming back to me, and I'm preparing for TNNA. It's odd to think it's less than 3 weeks away! I so wish I were teaching, but it will be very nice to just be an observer (I'm even TAKING a class - I haven't done that in years!)
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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

BREAK!

I've taken a week off the blog - I didn't mean to, but life has been SO busy here that the daily writing about how busy life is just got away from me!

COURAGE!
The draft of Knit with Courage is off to the editor, I'll be creating uncorrected partial proof copies to give out at TNNA in June to get a buzz going. It's a collection of blog entries (edited into a more readable essay format) from 2007 outlining our family's unexpected journey into Multiple Myeloma.

Yesterday we went down to Mayo for another checkup to see the "numbers" and whether Gerry's had his "M-spike" yet.

Not yet!

His numbers look very good, some are so small they can't be quantified, so we're feeling in wonderful spirits.


We adore Doctor H! She's funny, and honest, and believes in causing as little pain or discomfort to Gerry as is necessary. We asked the traditional, "So, how's it looking for the long term, doc?" and got the usual response, "Who knows?"

Living day to day is not so bad, we'll take it!


When I get more details on the book I'll post them - right now I'm looking at a Sept 1 pub date (that's Gerry's 1 year anniversary!) and we're on track for that. It feels good to get SOMETHING done this year (something besides basic survival!)

I also had some groovy MOO mini cards made up for the TNNA show in June which feature past class comments and my contact info - good to hand out to shop owners as I get classes set up for the next few years.

We went for a long walk at the dog park this week, and it probably wasn't advisable. We've been loving the warmer weather, getting out a lot, but unfortunately we got a little - ahem - lost. So we had some extra walking to do, and it did a number on my already-hurt knee.

A few weeks ago when I was in Atlanta I dropped off my rental car and began taking my suitcases out of the trunk. While the trunk was up, a rental car employee jumped in the car and backed up - right into me - and hit my knee pretty hard. Dang.

It was an all time idiotic thing (WHO backs up a car when the trunk is up? Without checking behind you?)


I filed a report and figured the soreness would abate. I've been favoring that knee, though, and now my other knee is hurting so I'm seeing the doctor today to see what she has to say about it.

If any of my students in Portland wondered why I spent minutes standing on one leg, now you know.
Contrary to popular opinion, it was not my homage to Hillel. Now you know why I was spending so much time in the soaking pool at the Kennedy School!

Today we're getting a few windows replaced upstairs. They weren't working (wouldn't open, broken cords) and we suffered through it last year. This year we figured it was an improvement that would make our summer happier AND raise the value of the house. The 2 criteria for anything we do in the house. It's supposed to hit 80 today, so it's just in time!

Saturday Hannah starts soccer, Sunday I'm at Shepherd's Harvest, then I fly down to Kansas City, MO the weekend after that. There's been some confusion on my classes (caused by me!) so here's the rundown of what I'm doing in KC at Studio Knitting & Needlepoint

Lecture: Knit with Courage, Live with Joy
5/16/2008 5:00 PM
Putting one stitch in front of the other is how we get through a project. It's also how we can get through a life. The rhythm of knitting is far more than just a soothing past time, it can be a window to the workings of our soul.

By accepting that the worst that can happen when we expand our knitting horizon might be an ugly stitch - but a great deal of earned knowledge - we better understand that our mistakes and missteps in life - if wholeheartedly embraced and accepted - increase our wisdom.

Perfection is a false prize, joy is the goal and courage is the way to get there!
Cable Mania (Look Mom, No Needle!)
5/17/2008 10:00 AM

New Directions in Knitting With Color
5/17/2008 2:00 AM

Tips & Tricks
5/18/2008 11:00 AM
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posted by Annie at 10 Comments Links to this post

Alison's Scarf
Link to pdf file of cable/trellis lace scarf


Hannah's Poncho
Link to pdf file of multi-sized poncho



Chullo-licious


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