I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Monday, January 29, 2007


I will not have a whole lot of FOs to show for January, and I was getting a little upset about it. Whaddya mean, I only made a preemie hat and a Red Scarf?? (Never mind all the other projects that I am in the middle of). But then something happened that just made my day.
All it took today was a picture of a wee little baby and something melted inside.
I had made a preemie hat in Dale Baby Ull a couple of weeks ago and sent it off to the anxious parents. Their little guy was born 8 weeks early just after Christmas, and they just got to take him home a week ago.
His doting aunt, my friend, sent me pictures of him today. (They are not mine to share, so I can't show you). But I have to tell you that there are about 15 pictures of the little guy wearing the hat I made him. That hat was tiny, and it fits him just right (for another 5 minutes or so). I chose a nice fresh shade of pale green, like a spring sprout. And guess what. The walls of his nursery are that exact color. So that means the parents like the color! And all I had to go by was my intuition...sometimes you just get lucky.

If all I ever made this year was this little hat, I'd be content. Because seeing it on the baby's head, and him being all healthy and cuddly and HOME with his parents is just the best news.

Monday, January 22, 2007

cutting edge

These are the hands of my dear friend Anna cutting her Alice Starmore sweater last week.
The sweater has 15 colors of Jamieson's Spindrift 2ply jumperweight, and it took her nearly 6 years to make. Of course she made about a hundred other things alongside, like Estonian mittens, thrummed mittens, socks, hats, and sweaters for her entire family. 3 model garments for the yarn shop I used to own. And she moved house in the meantime too.
Part of the reason it took her so long to make, besides getting her master's degree in speech therapy and raising the aforementioned 3 kids, was that it required her to spread out her charts on the dining room table and not being able to converse with anyone. Which is hard to do in a house with 3 kids, let me tell you. But she persisted and persevered, and here it is, in all it's glory.
Congratulations, Anna! We will take the Rambling Rose Cardigan (from the book Stillwater) out in Grand Style! How about a jaunt to an LYS? Which is where this all began, anyway. We went on our first yarn crawl together when we shopped for that yarn, in Avon, CT. It became a tradition after that. I can highly recommend it. We go away for an entire day and come back with small armloads of yarn, having caught up with our lives and just having enjoyed the day thoroughly.
The cardigan is currently blocking. A picture and post of the proud knitter modeling her creation will follow soon!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

a slice of self

Last night was the second session of my drawing class. I think I am beginning to understand how to hold a pencil. The white paper surface is not quite as intimidating anymore. ( Ohh, I am having a flashback to graduate school....I have an MA in English with a concentration in feminist critical theory. There was this article where someone likened the act of writing to perpetration/penetration, with the pen/cil being the equivalent to the male organ that begins with the same letter. White paper: untouched woman. Anyway, I digress, and it's clear to me why I never made it to professorhood. Too many disturbing images. )

The room we were in was again freezing cold, we were shivering in our coats. They did try to fix the problem. But nonetheless. (Heck, the shivering aided in the shading of my drawing.) The other problem I keep having, and I have been trying NOT to talk about this for a week, is that the absolutely wonderful and caring teacher, who is exceedingly knowledgeable, and who is blessed with a fine sense of humor, has a very strong Russian accent. This is the first time she is teaching this class in English, so the words sometimes come out in a very different sequence, her tenses are mixed up, and I cannot even imagine what it must be like for her to be standing in front of 10 people. Would I be able to teach 10 Russians how to knit? I think not.
The only reason I am bringing this up is that I am a foreign speaker myself, and I happen to have trouble listening to other foreign speakers if their accents are very strong. I am the one who cannot and will not order the Chinese food over the phone. I make other people do it. When I happen to go to an Irish/South African/Indian movie, it takes me the first 20 minutes to get used to the accent. It's like my ears (and very good ears they are, indeed) have adapted to hearing Upstate New York very well, to the point where I speak it so fluently that most people mistake me for a native.
I grew up in Germany, even taught foreign language classes for 3 years, and believe me I know what it takes to communicate in a different tongue. But in this drawing class, it feels like I am trying to learn TWO new foreign languages at the same time, drawing and Russian, while I am listening in a foreign language...and my poor little brain is fried after 3 hours on Tuesday nights.
But somehow, I had fun last night, after a while I was determined to, because heck it's only drawing and nobody is going to die if I make a mistake.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

drawing &

On Tuesday, I went to the first night of my drawing class.
And that's all I am going to say right now, OK?

On the knitting front, I finished a scarf for the Red Scarf Project. The 10-member charity knitting group I belong to was pitching in and collecting. We got a total of 14 scarves done! In two weeks!!
The other FO I have this week is a preemie hat out of Dale of Norway Baby Ull, in a pale spring green. Oh I wish I had my camera already. This little hat is going to a little boy who was born 8 weeks early just after Christmas, and who is ready to leave the hospital on Monday.

Next thing I will make for him is a wrap sweater from an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern my friend loaned me. This sweater/cardi has a clever row of eyelet = button holes around the bottom, so as the little guy grows, the width can be adjusted! Leave it to EZ to come up with that...

This week I was blessed with a bunch of commissioned/test knitting for Decadent Fibers. Also they commissioned design work. I am very excited.

I was going to leave you with some deep wisdom for the day, but you know what? Sometimes you just have to go and take care of your house and go grocery shopping and get ready for some lovely people who are coming over for dinner tonight.

So, take good care and enjoy the long weekend!

Monday, January 8, 2007

and now, a message from your mother.

Dear son,

I get the sense that the global warming issue is on your mind a lot lately. It worries me too, watching this crazy weather we have been having.

But I want you to remember something: the only time you feel helpless about something is when you can't do anything about it.

We can sit and wait for the government to do something about the climate crisis, or we can start taking matters into our own hands by doing something ourselves.

The issue with global warming is carbon emissions, which have to be curbed drastically. This means everyone needs to curb their energy consumption.

How do we consume energy? Not only by driving big cars. Also by using multiple electronic devices, by leaving the light on where and when we don't need it, by driving when we could be walking or riding a bike. I am sure you can come up with more.

I promise you we will change some of our lightbulbs in the house to compact fluorescents, so we can save some energy around here.
I always combine trips when I have the car, so as not to run out separately and using more gas. We are buying as much food and as many products locally as we can, so that whatever we use will not have traveled thousands of miles.

Read about this: www.100milediet.org

I plan to use my blog as a platform to talk about energy use and conservation, as it relates to people's everyday lives. We must raise consciousness in people as much as we can, in a way that will make them want to do something about global warming themselves.

Why don't you start talking to your friends about global warming, if you are not already? Talking about the weather is a good starting point. Go to the websites Al Gore recommends and present people with facts and solutions.



These websites have links to "what you can do", items people can easily follow through with in their lives.

Maybe you can even take it as far as starting your own environmental group on campus? You father and I can help you.

It feels good to be doing something, and to stand for something. Other generations have had to fight for things before us, like the civil rights movement. Now it's our turn.
I truly believe (without wanting to sound conceited), that the global warming issue supercedes all other issues, as our very planet is at stake. It will affect everyone of us, no matter what our convictions and beliefs.

I love you, and I believe in you, and you have my support. Let me know if I can help you in any way.


Sunday, January 7, 2007


It always starts innocently enough. I start the new year all organized. For example: my plan was to knit one charity item, one pair of socks, and one sweater (or shawl) a month. Then I start knitting. And the inevitable happens: I become dizzy. Over the holidays, I was reasonable enough to put away most WIP's so we could actually have guests and decorations. Now it's January 7th, and I am surrounded by yarn and needles already. I can't stop thinking about all the projects I want to make besides the ones I already have on the needles. My mind starts thinking in yarn. Colors. Stitch patterns. I want to do it all NOW. I go digging in the stash, because a friends' sister had a preemie little boy last week and of course he must be knitted for. Then there's another little boy in Nova Scotia for whom I've wanted to knit something since he was born in September. I am also joining a local KAL for a Dale sweater; my parents are both turning 70 in about a year, and I want to make them both Dale sweaters. I have two hand-dye companies to design for, who are both waiting for designs from me. It's all whirling together right now, and there are not enough hours in the day to do it in. I stir the pasta on the stove, I think of a new circular scarf pattern. I do the dishes, the soap bubbles evoke a new stitch pattern. My husband catches me staring into space on the sofa and wonders (once again) what's wrong with her?

So what do I do to stop the whirling? I go knit in the round. Go figure. Plain old socks on 5 dpn's. Nothing calms me like knitting in a small round. I got half a sock done this morning, and I feel better already.

Today, I will finish a red scarf for the Red Scarf Project. At least that'll take care of my charity project.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

a first

Not so much a resolution, but the realization that it's time for me to learn new things. Step out of the comfort zone and tackle old fears, ineptitudes, find new territory.
I am finally going to learn how to draw.
I still draw like a 2nd grader. Paint, that's a little different, I can do abstract at least, let the brush take over, and be happy with the colors. Drawing something that I see and have it be a representation of what I think I see...forget it.
There is a course called "Drawing for the Absolutely Terrified" at the local arts center. And while I am not terrified (I mean, who would be terrified of a piece of paper and a pencil??), I am a beginner. I just signed up for it, and it starts next Tuesday.