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

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

to tree, or not to tree...

...that was the question.

(I was going to put this up later, but I just need to finish up and pack and get going.)

We didn't get a tree this year, because we are not going to be here for the holidays.

Crafty Girl, however, made this little tree from a file folder and a pile of pompons.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
I'll see you after January 1. After we've celebrated the first Christmas with my family since 1993, after I've given everybody over there a big squeeze, after we've attended Christmas Eve service in a 14th century church, and after we've celebrated my father's 70th birthday on December 30th, 2007.

last minute

This is what I managed to complete during the past week.

4 hats for co-workers. To be given today.

About 200 yards of handspun from a Grafton Fibers rolag. My mom requested some of my handspun, and I am glad I'll be able to deliver!

I'm off to work now.
Tomorrow, we leave.

Monday, December 17, 2007

it's time

This article should be filed under "What else is new?".

It really is high time that we begin to step up our efforts and do something. And don't wait for the oil companies or whoever is in charge.

I realize I haven't touched upon the subject of global warming in a while; we all get busy. Holidays, the Mitchell report, you know, stuff like that.

I know it's cold out and cars need to get warmed up, but please consider not idling your car unless it is absolutely necessary. How many times have you gone to the bank lately, and someone was sitting in the car next to you, with the car running? Do you pick up your kids from school and leave the car running while you wait?

Idling your car for more than 30 seconds adds more pollution than turning the engine off and restarting it.

Even Martha is in on it. See here.

Remember the bank parking lot? Well how about the drive-through teller? How long do we sit there? Then consider all the other drive-throughs. McDrive. DDonuts. $tarBUCK$. It adds up. Not only do we drive too much, we sit in our cars with the engine on and we don't even go anywhere.

I think it's time we turn off the engine, and those of us who are able, walk into the bank on our own two feet. We may even be able to deposit some money in the process, instead of pulling it out.

Getting off my soapbox now.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

contemplate this!

I have been invited to teach at a knitting retreat at the end of January. This is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I hope that some of you will be able to join us! Yoga and knitting and meditation at Sky Lake in the Catskills, in the snow in winter....doesn't that sound wonderful?

Here's the official write-up.

(Please go to the website to sign up.)

January 26 & 27, 2008
Led by Elaine Yuen
Shambhala meditation instructor
& Karin Maag-Tanchak
knitting designer and former owner
of the Periwinkle Sheep Yarn Shop
in Albany, NY
Part of what makes the act of knitting so appealing
is the way it enables us to slow down. By focusing our mind
on the yarn and needles we find ourselves more relaxed and
at the same time present. This program will serve as an
exploration and deepening of the natural mindfulness
inherent in knitting. The focus will be on letting go of the
written pattern and getting to know the knitting itself,
as a way of finding the path towards one's own creativity.
Instruction will be given in a simple yet profound mindfulness /
awareness meditation technique, suitable for beginning
meditators. Light yoga and various sensory appreciation
exercises will be offered , plus ample periods of knitting time.
- the program will begin on Saturday morning and run
until after lunch Sunday,
- consider arriving arriving on Friday night to settle in,
knit with others, show off (or swap) yarn and your favorite
knitted objects (whether finished or not!)
- bring loose-fitting, comfortable clothes for meditation
and light yoga.
- participants should know how to cast on,
knit, purl, and bind off.
- bring a selection of your own
choice of yarns (leftovers are great!), and 3 to 4 different
needle sizes, either straight or circular.
- limited to 25 participants,
so make your reservations early!
Nestled in a forest of tall cedars and white pines
along the Shawangunk Ridge, Sky Lake
is a Shambhala contemplative center for
meditation, arts, and community. It borders
Mohonk preserve land filled with walking
trails and vistas.
Cost : $150.Commuter rate (includes lunch both days )
$200 Lodging rate - Saturday night (includes Sunday breakfast and lunch both days)
$250.Lodging rate - two nights Friday and Saturday (includes breakfast and lunch both days)
Register at www.sky-lake.org
SKY LAKE LODGE, 22 Hillcrest Lane, Rosendale, NY 12472 845-658-8556
at Sky Lake Lodge

Friday, December 14, 2007

be amazed!

Just to make it clear from the beginning, I have nothing to do with this project other than I sold Leslie the yarn when I had my shop.
Then she knitted 100 squares. It took her one year. Leslie is visually impaired but can knit just fine, as you can tell.
Here's her dog Java and a stuffed bear showing off the finished blanket, which I helped put together.
I think the blanket is about queen size.

I swear I have never seen so much knitting all in one project.
Even the bear was simply stunned speechless.

Acres of love and dedication!

It was intended as a wedding gift for dear friends of hers, but now is an anniversary gift.
What a lucky couple to have this knitter as their friend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

pretty soon...

....I may lose my mind. I thought I could avoid the pre-holiday madness of last minute knitting. Unlike the Yarn Harlot, who is on a schedule this year, I THOUGHT I was on a schedule, but I quickly lost it when my arm wouldn't stop hurting. It's under control now, thanks to some vitamin B6 and a couple of massages, but the fact remains that I fell behind in my preparations.

I managed to make 15 hats for the event downtown last week, but I never even took a picture of them. Then the new mom of the week before asked me if I could make the little guy a hat, and of course I gladly obliged. Again, no picture, because the hat was delivered right away.

A big debate ensued with myself last night when I realized that I have not spun enough yarn for my father's birthday garment. Said garment has been "downsized" to a vest.

The funny thing about all this is that in German, "spinnen" means to spin, but in colloquial language, it also means "being crazy". I am effortlessly combining the two meanings these days.

How are you all doing?

Are the catalogs still flooding your mailbox? Are you spending your evenings ordering gifts on the web, or are you wrapping already? I have never felt the ubiquity of "Christmas" as a Commercial Set-Up as much as this year. I really can't stand it.
I want to know from folks who do not celebrate Christmas: what does it feel like to be exposed to that in-your-face kind of Christmas, the santas and the giant inflatable lawn ornaments, the goofy music blaring everywhere ??

A friend of mine sent me an excerpt from Bill McKibben's book, One Hundred Dollar Holiday.
Definitely food for thought.

And I swear. Next year, I will
-knit from stash only (unless I am submitting a new design)
-make all gifts myself
-and start in January!

Now back to my spinning dilemma...

PS: my word verification for this post has the word "om" in it. Hmmmm.....

Sunday, December 9, 2007

New York City

Yesterday, Crafty Girl and I went to New York City for the day with her friend and her friend's parents. Here are some highlights:

Empire State Building from Penn Station.

Giant ornament balls at Chase.

View from the top of Rockefeller Center.

The tree at Rockefeller Center. The crowds were incredible, I could barely get good shots.

Late afternoon, Grand Central Station and Chrysler Building.
On the way home (i.e. back to Penn Station and the train), Macy's all lit up.

We were good an tired after all that walking, but the girls loved their day...especially since we stopped at the American Girl Place. If you don't know what that is, DO NOT worry. :)
I managed to get quite a bit of knitting done on the train; socks for my father-in-law. I finished one this afternoon.
Tonight, Tall Son's recital.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


I have to have about 25 hats done for this event next Friday. Elissa Halloran Designs has had my silk scarves for sale in her shop for ages, and this Friday she will be featuring 4 knitters for the First Friday event. Of course it's an opportunity I appreciate very much.

As you know, I am also trying to make my father's sweater.

What I haven't told you is that I also have to have a submission ready for a book contribution for Donna Druchunas.

My hands are killing me. Ever since I have had to make the "Twisty Turns Shrug" from Wrap Style, in time for the Sheep and Wool Fest (and failed miserably), my hands have not been the same. I think I have carpal tunnel, in fact I wake up every night with my entire arm numb and some fingers in great pain. I have been taking turmeric capsules to fight inflammation and recently even began taking ibuprofen to get through the day.

Before you feel all sorry for me, I have to put things in perspective:
Today is World Aids Day. See this article, for example. Or this site. Or here.

I think I'll just knit a little more slowly, and mindfully, today.