Sunday, February 29, 2004

Magknits Is Here!

I hope you enjoy it - I have a plaid tank which is not as complex to knit up as one might think... Good luck, Kerrie!

The cookies are also in! I picked them up yesterday and will get the 2nd batch tomorrow from Montclair - then it's distribution hell here on Irving Ave!

For those who feel they may have missed out, I'm still taking additional orders...

Friday, February 27, 2004


I've spent the past couple of days coming up with some wire holiday projects to submit to Melanie Falick for consideration in her newest book. Much of it is wire, and I've been doing some rather funky stuff. I can't go into it in great detail, but I will say that double knitting with wire has occured, and it's not as scary as I thought it would be!

Magknits Countdown - 2 Days!

I continue working on what will be a GORGEOUS jacket for Spirit Trail Fibers - worked up in Tussah Silk and Mohair in amazing Autumn colors.

I'm also doing an edit of my book so far - oh, boy, was I on crack when I was writing some of that stuff? It's incomprehensible! Actually, because of the cut and paste nature of trying to meld the book together there's repetition where it's not useful, and that's the major problem.

I have a lot of work ahead of me on this!

My review of The Passion Of The Christ will be up at very soon. I was asked to write a review along with my husband - sort of an interfaith Siskel & Ebert. Reporters from the Christian Science Monitor & Washington Post were given my contact info from the editors at IFF and called me to chat about how an interfaith parent would approach the topic of the movie with her kids. I'm interested to see how accurately I was quoted!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Knitting Is Fun

I FINALLY ran across my good friend's blog - I knew it was out there, but kept missing it (I know what you're thinking, if you're such good friends why not just email her and ask for the URL..? Too easy)

Anyway, click on the link above for a glimpse into yet another madwoman trying to carve a living out of the yarn biz. I like her blog's name - knitting is fun - that's easy for me to forget after a week of teaching, designing and killer knitting.

I've just sent out my email to my list about my classes and already several are filling up! If you're interested in any of the classes to the right, email me or register to secure your place!

I'm also offering a microwave dyeing class on Saturdays - let's cross our fingers and hope for nice, WARM weather in March!

Warning: Non Knitting Potentially Controversial Content
So I was watching Ellen Degeneres yesterday (as I'm likely to be doing as I knit) and who should pop onto my TV but the GWB with a strong pronoucement on the Sanctity Of Marriage.

Here's my take on the whole business; I was married by a Judge, not a Rabbi, not a Minister. Is my marriage santified? Damn straight. It's the love in my marriage that sanctifies it. Those who are upset that the 'sacrement' of marriage will be diluted by allowing non-straight folk to marry should ask themselves if the government has any BUSINESS regulating sacrements at all! What's next - regulating who can be baptized? Who can take communion?

If one follows their argument to the logical conclusion, my marriage isn't santified because it was 'godless' in the sense that it was performed outside the framework of organized religion.

Marriage is a contract between two adults, period. Any added godliness or enlarged definitions (marriage is to create children; marriage is to honor god; etc.) is the choice of the partners, not the government. Some of the most committed, loving and supportive spouses I know are parters in gay or lesbian unions. To deny that these are marriages in EVERY sense of the word is an insult to the couple, their children and their families.

It is the job of our constitution to secure rights for our citiziens, not deny rights. If two adults love each other, and want to build a life together, how does it diminish my own marriage for them to be allowed to legally commit to each other? And the more gay families we see, with the inherent marriage problems like divorce and separation, the more necessary it will be to codify these relationships legally for the good of our society and the good of any children of that union.

I can't see where the discomfiture of some uptight straight people should be enough to deny the legitimacy of a gay couple's love.

I guess you all knew that I couldn't be quiet on this. I'm sorry if this is troubling to any of you, but now you know where I stand. I feel it's incumbent on those of us who support our non-straight friends to NOT be silent on this.

Monday, February 23, 2004

I Got Steam...

I saw this infomercial a couple of months ago for the Scunci Steamer (yes, from the hair product company) and fell in love with a steamer. It was small, red and had a very long hose. The woman demonstrating it breathlessly explained that it would clean just about everything and disinfect it, too!


It's a pipe dream among many fiber artists to own a steamer. I'd long wanted one of the professional Jiffy steamers, but it was just too much of an inve$tment (and rather cumbersome for what I need) I couldn't see myself dragging it around to fiber shows and classes.

I almost ordered the steamer right off the TV, but held myself back (even though ordering within the next 5 minutes would have snagged me "...this beautiful carrying case and FIVE super-useful attachments!")

Imagine my joy when my husband called from Drug Mart this week to say he saw my steamer on sale there for $9 less than the TV rate (payable in 3 easy payments of $19.95) and, of course, since he would carry it home there would be no shipping charges! Woohoo!

Well, having used many professional steamers during my time as a costumer and TV wardrobe person, this one is as good as any that I've tried. And it disinfects. I'm giddy about it (which is pretty embarrassing, and hesitated to write because I knew I'd gush like a schoolgirl. A schoolgirl with an amazing powerful STEAM CLEANER!)

The sickest part is, using this thing has become like a drug! I cleaned the oven (it looks new) the dishwasher, the stove and all the counters & sink. I moved on to the dining room and cleaned all the dirty, muddy hardware on our sunroom door and all the tiny windows in our French doors leading out to the sunroom (LOVE the squeegee attachment!).

In fact, I cleaned all the windows (they have NEVER been cleaner) and steam cleaned the sink in the bathroom. Then I used my other attachment, the one I've designated NOT FOR CLEANING, and steamed some milk to make myself a chai latte. Delicious.

Driving the kids from skating class yesterday I kept thinking, "..and when I get home I can steam the front of the cabinets, then I'll clean all the mirrors in the bathrooms..."

Being a Virgo AND of Dutch ancestry, this is a dream come true!

Did I mention that I used it to block a sweater for IK on Saturday? I have the editor of that fine mag green with envy over my new steamer!

Oh - this is a knitting blog - here's a portion of the sweater I'm sending into IK today. It is one of the nicest sweaters I've ever done, and the coolest aspect of it (the side to side construction) was a suggestion by Pam Allen at IK - thanks Pam!

Friday, February 20, 2004

You are bamboo.
Warm, cozy, and thoughtful, you take your time and
enjoy how things feel, smell, and taste. You
love the craft and beauty of traditional
things, and you value the comfort and
experience of knitting as much as the results.
But while you are reveling in your warm cozies,
don't get stuck. Warm is wonderful, but so is
the whole wide world!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, February 19, 2004


I'm always fascinated at the wide range of opinion when my classes peruse a new knitting magazine. What would be a fashion faux-pas to one, is high art to another (or maybe high art IS a fasion faux pas..?)

At any rate, it is a humbling experience to see designs that I like from designers I admire being passover with a short, "Eh - " and the page immediately turned. Oh, well, you can't please EVERYONE all the time, I guess. I suppose the most important person to please, in an artistic sense, is yourself.

My current sweater set in IK is nice (to be honest when I had one of my students at the knitting retreat try it on it looked more right on her than it did on the model in the magazine) but that's not a dig on the model. She's a lovely girl and wears the sweater well, but there's just something, oh, I don't know, missing about the photograph. I love Veronique Avery's two pieces - especially the short sleeved surplice - and was interested to read Meg Swansen's essay on the myth of the "Right Way To Knit."

I was feeling rather Eh - about the sweaters publication until I got a very nice note from a designer and writer who I greatly admire praising the neatness of the knitting. That was a great compliment. In her note she also made a comment about the 'slave wages' that yarn companies are paying knitters to work up garments, and it's true.

Knitters are paid anywhere from $50 to $300 to knit up a sweater, with most of the fees falling in the $150-$250 range. To my mind, anything under $200 to knit a garment and take a week of one's life is too low. There's not much talk about this, so it's kind of a dirty little secret, but that's not helpful to our growth as a knitting community! Perhaps the answer is to run fewer designs in an issue? I know there's a finite amount of money out there - and as a designer I'm not doing myself a favor to ask that knitter's wages be raised because it will come right out of the designers fee. But fair is fair. I'm just about ready to break into a rousing chorus of "Look for the Union Label"

I've written about this before, but I just don't feel it's right to cash in on someone's passion by paying them peanuts to work up a garment. I feel the least a yarn company or magazine can do is to give "knit credit" on a pattern to the person who actually knit up the sample! If this happened, maybe the knitter would get a bit more respect.

Wouldn't you, as a knitter, like to see the pictured garment's knitter given credit?

As it would happen, I am having one of my first sweaters knit by someone else right now. It's a design I've sold to a yarn company, and they've offered to find a knitter because I told them I was rather backed up (with work) right now. I just sent off the instructions yesterday, and I'm VERY curious to see how it comes out. This is something I should have been doing for years, but I like knitting up my own stuff - it's hard to give that up.

TB is coming along well - much of it is written and has to be reworked into the framework of a larger book. There is a lot of duplication. I'm writing the book to be picked up and read starting anywhere, so I hate to leave out something vital that a knitter might miss in a pertinent chapter.

Back to the needles!

Saturday, February 14, 2004


I heard this story about hypergraphia on Morning Edition a few weeks ago and realized that I could be accused (diagnosed?) of having this condition; except with knitting...

It's described as, "a driving compulsion to write" and also known as the Midnight Disease

At times I feel a driving compulsion to create with fiber - usually within the framework of knitting - and it can be overwhelming. But productive. BTW, thanks to everyone who posted or emailed about my twin set in IK - I'm STILL waiting to see it myself....

In addition to my current knitting, I'm also supposed to be writing several pieces right now and I'm experiencing a bit of a writers block. I think it has to do with time management, and I'm hopeful that this week while the kids are out of school, but engaged in a 1/2 day activity program at our recreation center, I'll have some morning time to collect my thoughts. Try as I might, I can't really get it together to write well in the afternoons, mornings are best for me.

Top on my list is, of course, The Book, or TB as I've come to call it. It's in little pieces and I just have to write enough to sew it together. As much as I love finishing this should be a breeze, but it's not. Then I have a few profiles due and - finally and most exciting - I'm writing a review of The Passion Of The Christ for I write for them every now and then, most notably an article called An Interfaith Sweater where I discuss my connection to the Judaism of my husband from my own lax-but-proud Methodist perspective. I suppose as a Methodist I should remember that pridefulness is a sin, huh?

Today I'm taking Gerry on a surprise date! A friend is taking the kids for a playdate with her own 2 kids, so we'll have the afternoon & evening to ourselves! We're going to see Big Fish (I'm prepared to be totally overwhelmed emotionally, my own relationship with my wildly exaggerating late father - who did own a carnival among other unbelievable & true tails, was rather rocky. It remains unresolved)

Anyway, after the movie I'm taking him out to dinner at Cent' Anni in Maplewood, then to pick up the kids by 9:00 pm. HUGE thanks to my friend!!

I hope you all have an amazing Valentines Day!

Friday, February 13, 2004


& it also happens to be birthday time for a few friends...

Many happy returns of the day!!! Have a swell time and let's get together soon!!

To make your own heart, visit Acme Heart Maker. The possibilities are endless!

I've been busy and - well - I'm ashamed to say it but I've been sick again. If it wasn't for the few weeks of really great health I would think this was all in my head, but here I am, full of stuff and sniffling, coughing, tired, feverish - yick!

Time to bundle up and get some fine, fine knitting done. Luckily I have a sweet little kitten who has fallen asleep next to me...

Monday, February 09, 2004

No, I'm not!
You are Shetland Wool.
You are Shetland Wool.
You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a
little on the harsh side. Though you look
delicate you are tough as nails and prone to
intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are
widely respected and even revered.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Okay, I had to take this test like EIGHT times to get to be shetland wool. It kept telling me I was mohair, then dishcloth cotton (YIKES!) until I finally realized the ONLY question on the test that really mattered was "What is your favorite Christian Slater Movie..." I want to be a fine Merino or a hand dyed chenille. Fibers Mr. Slayter probably hasn't even heard of.


You'll notice, dear blog readers, that I've added some new classes to the right in the green column. The classes I'm currently teaching are winding down and I find myself so blue when I think of how I'll miss my students. What do people DO who don't knit?

Well, the auction was a blazing success (we snagged over $20K) and I'm off tonight to the Dancing Goat to celebrate with a frothy Chai Latte!

But I won't stay long! I'll be coming home to watch the American Experience on Tupperware. Life is so full, and I'm livin' every danged minute!

Ah, don't you envy me the unending excitement?

Friday, February 06, 2004


Today is Go Red For Women day - heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the US. Stroke is the #3 killer of women. Wear something red today.

Even better - knit something red today!

I'm putting together classes for the late Winter / Early Spring and it's exciting! My current classes will be winding down in a few weeks and they've been so popular that I need to get on the stick and get them organized! The Saturday morning class has been popular, so I may add a Sunday morning class, too!

Today I'm sending in designs to Vogue and FCEK. I've adopted a wait-and-see attitude about them (aka "holler down a well and see if anyone answers...") But I'd feel remiss in not sending stuff in.

The tree outside my window is coated with ice - pretty, but MAN is it messy in our part of the world.

Monday, February 02, 2004

2 BZ 2 Post

I've been busy lately, which is very nice! I just finished a third scarf for the movie (to be worn by Elizabeth Shue, which is a nice coincidence as she's from South Orange originally...) and I'm finishing up some sweaters for Unique Kolors. I'm also FINALLY getting into gear with Jen at Spirit Trail Fibers (what lovely stuff!) and just last week sent my sweater into Kerri at MagKnits. I also have some intense swatching to do for a few IK projects, but they have a bit more time...

Into all of this add a few weekly classes and some workshops and you have a busy life. Add Brownies and the GS Cookie Sale (so far our troop's sold around 750 boxes!) and you have a VERY busy life. Add the Seth Boyden Auction (I'm doing the database for all donated items and working the checkout) and you have an absolutely INSANE life. But it's a life!

This Wednesday the Yarrn Pirates will have our non-Meetup Meetup (where we meet 2 weeks before the "real" Meetup) Here's where we're meeting - if you're in the area and want to meet some nice knitters, stop by! (Click on address for map)

Wednesday Feb 4th, 2004
7:30 - 9:30
Cosí Cafe
Route 10 East, Livingston
(by the Eisenhower Traffic Circle)
Red Carpet Convertible
Gerry's Multiple Myeloma Expenses Fund

Good Friends Set This Up...
Steal the button if you want...

Snail Mail:
Annie Modesitt / Landy
1043 Grand Ave
PO Box 117
St. Paul, MN 55105

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