Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ending the Year

Well, here we are at the end of 2006. It was a difficult year for me but I also received an incredible amount of support from family and friends to help me get through it. I know some people list all the projects they did during the year. ME, I really don't have a clue! I did lots of socks, some shawls, lots of scarves, etc. I really enjoyed knitting lots of Sock That Rock this year, getting together with my knitting friends, going to Stitches East, Rhinbeck and a knitting show in King of Prussia during the summer. I've gone to some very interesting yarn shops and accumulated more yarn and fabric then is reasonable! I'm going to do a modified version of Wendy's Knitting From your Stash. I think I'll also try to quilt and redwork from my stash also not because I really am worried about accumulating so much but BECAUSE I have some great stuff that I really want to use and stuff that has been aged long enough! SO until Stitches or Rhinbeck or Maryland Sheep & Wool I'm going to try to concentrate on doing what I want from what I have!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

And so Christmas came and went!

Hard to believe that after all the rush and preparation Christmas is already over! We did Christmas Eve here at my house and it went well. We had a small group,my mother, grandmother, my two kids and my semi-daughter Rachel. Things got wild for a while, with the new toilet bowl leaking (clean water Thank God), toilet box and parts all over, my son's girl friend on the cell with him every two minutes, my mother FOUR hours early for dinner AND my mother's dog trying to eat my dog! I took a deep breath, thought about it and decided that none of it was worth getting crazy about! We managed, the toilet is still broken, the dog uneaten, dinner finished and thank goodness all the company gone for a few moments! My nephew gets in today for a few day's visit. He is going to Iraq in early Jan so we will visit with him for the last time for at least a year. He is leaving Friday morning to see his family in New Hampshire. I have lots of outings planned for myself for the rest of the week. I do hope to get some knitting and relaxing in!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

What kind of gift giver are you?

You Are a Creative Gift Giver

Your gifts are one of a kind, special, and well chosen.
Whether you've made it yourself or searched all over town...
There's really no one who has more of a personal touch than you.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Finally Friday!!!!

This was the VERY LONGEST week I ever spent in school. The week before vacation is never productive for me. I work with teachers helping them improve math instruction and that is the last thing on their agendas the week before Christmas! I do lots of running around, try to clear up paper work and change every plan and schedule endlessly! I even drove half way across Brooklyn for a meeting/training and the presenter did not show up! BUT it was all worth it for me to see the children's holiday show. I've been teaching since 1972 and in my present school for 18 years but I still get very teary to see the chorus just belting out songs and to see those shining happy faces. I work in a total inclusion school, about 25% of our kids have IEPs and most have parents or guardians who struggle with finances and in many other ways. Lots of kids I have worked with have been lost to the streets, drugs, gangs etc. There is something about watching the kids sing that makes me feel that they all have a chance and that there is no better place to work! Our current music teacher allows any child to join the upper or lower chorus with interest as a requirement not talent so sometimes the notes are off but they all look so happy and proud.
This is my first Christmas since Bob died and I'm very teary often and missing him often. He was a social Worker / Drug Counselor and he spent over 25 years working with mentally ill clients and addicts. He alway organized a holiday party for the staff and clients at the clinic where he worked and I would bake hundreds of cookies for him to take to work. I'm sure that I am not the only one missing him this year.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Wonderful Gift

I came home one night this week feeling blue and full of thoughts that this is the first Christmas since Bob died this summer and I found a box on my front stoop. Great, I thought my Humbug Swap box from Soapnuts. I love the swap that Denise puts together each year but I was feeling not so festive. When I opened the box, I was floored to find a handspun, hand knit prayer shawl from Cheryl. I wrapped myself up in it and have had a hard time taking it off! I have the book Kniting into the Mystery by Jorgensen and Izard and I have thought of making one for someone else often but I never thought that someone would do this for me!
The shawl is a beautiful dark, cocoa brown with white highlights.It is warm and comforting and just the right size to wear outside as a shawl but also to snuggle up in at home.
My cheappo camera can't show how beautiful this really is nor can I ever thank Cheryl enough for putting so much time, love and energy into it for me.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sock Drawer Almost Full!

I learned how to make socks years ago. I didn't get too excited about them at the time. In fact I don't remember the first socks I made! A few years ago, I caught sock fever. All I wanted to knit was socks!!! socks on double points, on two circs, on the magic loop toe up, cuff down, one heel after another, one toe after another.Then collecting as much sock yarn as possible. You get the picture! My goal then was to be able to wear handmade socks whenever I wanted, to get a full weeks worth, then to have a full color range. The more I make for myself the fewer I want to give away! My Queen Kahuna sock book is inscribed "may your sock drawer be overflowing" in a few more pairs I'll be there! This is my drawer now, it's always missing a few with the wear and then wash cycle! Pretty soon I'll need another drawer. Well, I guess I can do with less underwear! Now if I knitted up all the sock yarn I have, I could have an entire dresser FULLL!!!

P.S. Caroline is doing fine, still very puffy from the allergic reaction to medication and still in pain. I tried calling it discomfort and was certainly corrected!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Got lots of knitting done!

Caroline had her surgery done today and except for an allergic reaction to a medication she did fine. Right now she feels like she was hit by a truck but I guess that is normal. I did get lots of waiting room knitting done in the last few days. I really hope this is the end of it.
Caroline is normally the Christmas decorator in the house. She developed the hernia before she got a SINGLE Christmas thing out so we may have a minimally decorated holiday this year. We are still trying to figure out how a thin young girl who normally lifts nothing heavier then the remote control or cell phone developed a hernia!
Oh, and the socks are the last two Socks That Rock Club yarns and the lace scarf is an $5 ball of wool mohair lace from Stitches!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Update on Caroline

We got to sleep in late today before making the doctor and hospital rounds! Caroline is having hernia surgery on Friday. We found a surgeon she likes WHO TAKES OUR INSURANCE!!!. She is OK about having it done but a bit nervous. I am praying that I see MANY less doctors in 2007!
It is supposed to be very unusual for someone as young as her, an thin as she is and a female to have this type of hernia BUT she is young, strong and expected to heal well. I'm taking Friday and possibly Monday to take care of her and be with her.

Less Stress NEVER

While I was away this weekend, my daughter called and said that she thought she had developed a hernia. I really thought it was unlikely as Caroline is young, thin and not prone to heavy lifting. I gave her my usual advise about going to the DR. And she did and she does. So after a trip to the doctor and the emergency room she is being evaluated by a surgeon this morning. It's amazing how quickly my big deal project at work was canceled. The upside to this is that she does not have an infection and I did get about 5 inches of razor clam lace done yesterday in all our travels. Please wish her luck and keep her in your prayers.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Getting Away for the Weekend

Well after a pretty stressful week I went for a "girls out" weekend with a friend. We spent the weekend in Pennsylvania. Just staying in a hotel, eating out, no cooking (like I cook anymore!), no laundry, no dogs or cats OR kids!!!!! WHAT A TREAT We went to two yarn stores and I got more yarn then I did at Stitches (like I need more yarn!) I made a quick scarf to send off to my Secret Pal 9. We went to the Pennsylvania Christmas Gift show. It was fun to spend a day with my friend and her sister but the show itself was disappointing. LOTS of buy and sell and very little craft or original products. I did manage to purchase a few items. Got some nice soap, some interesting ornaments,& unique tin work.
When I got home I found two pencil sketches which my nephew's friend made of Bob.He made a special trip to drop them off. They are so good and beautifully framed and capture so much of Bob's spirit. I really was moved by this young man's generosity.
I'm hoping that the coming week will be less stressful but I doubt it. I have a project at school I find stressful and I have lots of work to do. Last week, I forgot the dog in the yard and had to call someone (THANKS DEBBIE) to let him in after I left for work. Once I really did let him in and forgot that I did but Friday I really had left him out!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

what Element Are You?

Your Element Is Water

A bit of a contradiction, you can seem both lighthearted and serious.
That's because you're good at going with the flow - but you also are deep.

Highly intuitive, you tune in to people's emotions and moods easily.
You are able to tap into deep emotional connections and connect with others.

You prefer a smooth, harmonious life - but you can navigate your way around waves.
You have a knack for getting people to get along and making life a little more peaceful.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

November 26,2006

Here's the only Thanksgiving picture I have before my batteries died. The daughter has more but getting them from her will be a chore!
I can't believe that this four day weekend is almost over! I only hope that the next four days of work go as quickly! Even though I didn't work a craft fair this week end I did go to one. I went to a fair that people have told me to sigh up with this promoter for years but the fair was dead. I did get to visit with lots of crafter friends and did buy myself some treats but I saw too many empty hands walking down the aisles and heard the same story from every crafter! It was fun to walk around as a browser with my friend then end the day with cheesecake and knitting at her house instead of lugging everything home!
Today was a lotion making and packing up orders day. I will be going to dinner with my son and daughter later. Steven is going back to Honolulu, Monday morning. I didn't see him as much as I would have liked but what's new with that!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Delivers

I came home on Wed. with a mission---to cook and get ready for Thanksgiving BUT there was a distraction in my driveway A BOX FROM MY SECRET PAL. I received a luscious prewound ball of Interlacements Worsted Weight yarn in Submarine which has all my favorite colors together and a great secret pal mug with a card and bookmark. The book mark is already in the new Tony Hillerman mystery! I placed this yarn near the pitcher containing my Thanksgiving flowers to show how much I love these colors! I have about 475 yards now to decide what to make from it! THANK YOU secret pal.

Friday, November 24, 2006

What kind of coffee are you?

You Are a Cappuccino

You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.
However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.
You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.
You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Enjoying the Weekend

This week end with my nephew and his friend is going very well. We had not been in contact with him for years due to my husband's family's hobby of inventing and nourishing grudges. It has been so good to see my daughter getting to know him again and for me to see the adult he had grown into. He is in the service and scheduled to head off to Iraq in Jan. with some training stops along the way. I sure hope those plans change and he is kept out of harm's way.
This is the first time since Bob passed in August that we have had over night guests and it does really feel good to have the house full again and to cook for more then one! Matthew's friend, Douglas is quite an artist and he took a picture of my husband and made a pencil sketch which so captures Bob's expression. He has offered to do another one for us so that Caroline and I can each have one. It feels strange visiting with Bob's family without him, and it feels strange to be happy but I know that life goes on and the last thing my husband would want for Caroline and I is to just prolong our grief. Caroline and I are going to a tree lighting ceremony to honor Hospice patients on Nov.28. I don't know how anyone can go through this kinds of times alone.
I did get some knitting on my sweater done. I have the back done and one front pocket and pocket detail done. It has a very simple four row eyelet design which I had to rip out about five time because I kept loosing the design. Finally I had to make tick off columns! As I was knitting in the group Matthew looked any my knitting and said,'that how I remember you Aunt Franny, always sewing!'Well at least he did not say crocheting!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Last Week's Craft Fair

I did my one and only craft fair of the season last week. It is always lots of work but I did it and I really enjoyed doing the show. I love making and wrapping the soaps, and doing all my other products. I love standing back and just looking at everything I've made. What I don't like is getting up predawn to cart ALL that heavy stuff somewhere set it up, then cart the REST home and have to put it away!

I've been tired all week but I am catching up. My nephew who is in the Navy is visiting for the weekend with a buddy and I am having Thanksgiving here so I have done very little knitting but as soon as the turkey is wrapped and put away I'm giving myself a sitting on the couch and knit day. So far I have the back of my new Cozy Cottage Sweater done.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Here's my latest pair of socks, knit from Lisa Souza's Mardi Gras Sock! I got the chance to meet Lisa Souza at Stitches East and see so many of her other great colorways. I'm doing a craft show myself this weekend. I'll be in Ocean City, NJ Music Pier Sat and Sun selling soaps, cream, lotions, scrubs etc. I hope I sell tons so that I have less to carry back. If the weather is good, this is a great show, if the weather stinks, I get to knit, shop myself and walk around and visit other crafters! Hopefully I will be so busy I just get to run to the Ladies a few times a day and NEVER step out of my booth.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Stitches East

I just spent the weekend in Baltimore at Stitches East. I either feel confident of reincarnation or plan to live forever because I am already at STABLE (Stash At Beyond Life Expectency) for sock yarn and this week end think I also hit it for lace! I'm also nearing it in sweaters lined up for knitting. There was so much beautiful yarn in one place how could I resist?!!!!! I went with two friends from my knitting group and we took two classes in addition to wandering around drooling over yarns, patterns and books.
We also spent some time at the Inner Harbor but certainly not enough! Here's a picture of my loot from Sat. It does not look like much but there are three skeins of STR, some Lisa Souza yarn , some lace weight kid merino, a sweater's worth of cozy cottage wool ,patterns etc.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Let's Try This Again

I've been trying to post forever this morning and keep getting error messages SO I'm hoping this works. I got my Secret Pal box on Friday and I LOVE it. My daughter finally brought my camera back so I even have a picture of it! Cute sock blockers, which I've always wanted, a cute sock shaped purse and sock shaped needle protectors. ALL in blue which I love. I've had a busy weekend, ate out both Friday and Sat. night , went to the movies Sat. to see Man of the Year with Robin Williams, very funny and makes a good point. Sat during the day I did a cream, scrub and lotion marathon to get ready for my November show. Today I'm baking for a Bridal Shower at work on Monday. I made scones and a braided prune filled coffee cake. Later my mother and grandmother are coming to visit SO I need to get off this computer and take a look at this house through their eyes!!!!

My Secret Pal 9 Box is here

I came home on Friday to a nice treat. My box was here from my Secret Pal. As you can see she really knows me. There was a set of sock blockers, something I've always wanted but been too lazy and cheap to make or buy! There was also the cutest little purse shaped like a sock and a set of sock needle protectors. I'm going to use the little purse to store stitch markers and the needle protectors.
I've had a busy and fun weekend. Out to dinner on both Friday and Sat. nights with friends. Sat. during the day I continued the marathon to get ready for my November Show. Made scrubs, creams and lotions. Sat. night I went to see the new Robin Williams movie, Man of the Year. VERY funny. Today I am baking for a Bridal Shower at my school Monday morning, made a big batch of scones and a braided prune filled coffee cake. My mother and grandmother will be over to visit later.
On Friday I get to go away to Stitches. Can't wait!!!!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A very quiet week

I had a super quiet week. I went to work on Monday and had a sliding door from a small storage unit slip off its hinge and wack me on the head. WOW, did it hurt but I put ice on the lump that formed right away and kept thinking that the headache would go away. Well, on Tuesday I woke up with a splitting headache, ready to barf and with shooting pain in my neck and in MY KNITTING ARM.
So I took myself to the Fast Track at the hospital and was diagnosed with a mild concussion and a neck sprain. SO in spite of having very nice new yarn around, lots to do for my upcoming shows I have spent the last few days doing nothing but sleeping. I'm going to work tomorrow. I have a meeting in the AM and it will be a nice place to sleep!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rhinebeck WOW

What could motivate five women to be on the road by 7:30 on a Sat. morning! Rhinbeck This was my first time at Rhinebeck and all I can say is it will not be my last, actually I would still be there walking around if I had my preference! I didn't even buy as much as I thought I might but my mind is full of fibers, fleece and everything connected. The first thing on our agenda (after mandatory restroom visits) was the Fold booth. We got there shortly after 10:00 and the place was mobbed with a line down the aisle for addicts waiting to pay. It was dazzling to see ALLthose colorways right before the eyes. I restrained myself and just got two skeins lagoon and dreidle. The rest of the day was less pressured, relaxing fun. I found a cute needle felting kit to make pumpkins, I'm splitting some beautiful romney blend fleece with a friend and some silk merino lace weight yarn with her mother! I bought something for my Secret Pal 9 and a few skeins of an organic cotton & ecospun for scrubbies and wash cloths. BUT what was really great was just wandering around for hours looking and feeling the most delightful yarns and fibers, meeting people I know, spending time with my knitting friends, eating a delicious chicken pot pie for lunch, meeting the Yarn Harlot and seeing her wedding shawl, getting complements on the shawl I was wearing. I'll get to Rhinebeck next year if I have to crawl. And I also have Stitches to look forward to in two weeks!!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Knitter Tea Swap 2 Arrived

I must be the luckiest swapper in the swap! My swapping pal Amanda from PA was just wonderful spoiling me. First I got a great handmade card with three fragrant tea bags on it just to let me know that great things were coming. The box came yesterday and it was so great. I still don't have a camera so I'll just have to paint the picture of this jam packed box with words. First there was a Rooibos tea sampler from adagio, six tea varieties in charming green tins, then a Yankee candle in Tea & Honey fragrance. More tea related items were a metal mesh tea infuser, a really cute black and white tea bag holder and the sweetest ever handknit tea cozy, made from Noro Silk Garden. It fits just perfectly on a blue tea pot that I love to use. I also got great snacks, three varieties of New Tree Chocolates, Rejoice, Pleasure and Renew, AND some great Gardener peanutbutter melts and chocolate covered treats AND a crunchy biscotti AND a bunch of honey sticks. You would think that this is enough but there was also a delightful set of tea themed stitch markers, a tea pot, cup and tea caddy. AND tiny tea pot leash to hold stitch markers AND in the new Scaponia color a skein of SOCKS THAT ROCK yarn. I could not be more thrilled with this box. I certainly cheered me up on a cold rainy day. I brought it last night to my Monday knitting group and it is getting another outing to be shown off at my Tuesday group.
Thanks AGAIN Amanda

Monday, October 16, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Contest Questions

1. Where is your favorite knitting spot?
My favorite knitting spot is curled up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee, the cat near by, the dog out of the picture and some nice company, or it might be the comfortable chair at my weekly knitting group!
2. If you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead?
I would quilt, or read.
3. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?
I would travel to England and see all the spots I read about in the English mystery novels and knit for a bit in each one.
4. When you were little - What did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?
I wanted to be a doctor but I wound up being a teacher and I absolutely love what I do. I am not in a classroom anymore but work as a math staff developer. Who would have guessed as a kid, I didn't even know this type of work existed!
5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I still LOVE a good vanilla.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Soap fest continues!

I can't believe that I let another week pass without even one little post BUT with the week I had, I should be excused! I had a four day week at work but feel like I did six days of work there. Stayed late every night and I'm getting too old for a series of 14 hour days! Somehow while cleaning my laundry room last weekend I unplugged my freezer. So on Wed. I was faced with a whole freezer full of defrosted and rotten food. What a mess.
This weekend I had a workshop all day on Sat. then friends for dinner. On Sunday I wrapped and trimmed about half my soap for my November show (I'd take a picture but we all know when my camera is), and now I just need to squeeze in wrapping the rest. So now, I'm going to sit and knit on my sock for a while.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Soap's almost made! Now I can knit!

This weekend and the two previous I've had to spend about half of the weekend making soap for my Fall shows/season. Today after I run out to buy poppyseed for peppermint poppy and I make my last 4 batches I'm done making soap, now all I have to do is cut, trim, wrap, price then sell it! As soon as the witch brings back or sends back my camera I can post a picture of the mountain of soap waiting to be wrapped etc! Then I start lotion, cream, scrub and lip balm marathons.
I have to admit all I want to do for the rest of the weekend is sit on the couch and watch movies and knit. I'm working on a pair of socks in Lisa Sousa's Mardi Gras color way and I really love the way the colors are knitting up. I'm doing them as a modified KAL from the JustSocks group. The leg will have a simple lace pattern called Dublin Bay. Well, more later, I can't get too comfortable here, soap does not make itself.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Secret Pal 9 questions and answers

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?I love knitting with wool, silk, alpaca. I hate crunchy acrylic yarns.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? A pottery jug
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I've been knitting since I was a child. My grandmother taught me.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? no
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)patchouli, karma, vanilla
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I have a serious sweet tooth. I love chocolate, the darker the better.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I love to quilt, and do redwork. I have done some spinning and I'd like to start again. I make cold process soap, lotions, creams and scrubs.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)I love classical music and still love Simon and Garfunkle.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I love blues, greens, purple. I can't stand neon colors.
10. What is your family situation? I have two college age children a son and a daughter. My husband of 24 years passed away this summer.
Do you have any pets? I have two cats and one dog, the ruler of the house!
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I wear scarves, hats and mittens. I leave ponchos to the younger, thinner people!
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I am addicted to sock making.
13. What are you knitting right now? a pair of socks and a fir and cone wrap
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? I love receiving handmade gifts!
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I prefer circular needles. I have lots of addis and just got a set of Knitpicks Options.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I have an old winder, no swift.
17. How old is your oldest UFO? About 25 years old.
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
19. Is there anything that you collect? Boleslawiec polish pottery, yarn, quilting fabric, books!
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have most of what I want!
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? knitting and purling backwards, entralac.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I knit socks compulsively! 9 1/2 inches from toe to end of heel, and 9 1/2 around!
23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) August 5th 1951

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Quite last few days!

I've spent the last few days at home. Friday, I stayed home to have a repair done here. I wish things could get fixed at night or at least on the weekends! Bob was always home to take care of these things. Friday night and most of today Caroline and a few friends of hers and I had girls night. We watched most of Grey's Anatomy Season 1 and 2! I still have season 2 going. Well, now one sock is done from the August STR club yarn. I'm up to doing the gusset on the second sock! Hanging around at home does get knitting done. I should be able to finish up that cuff at a family birthday party on Sunday. I have some Lisa Sousa Sock! calling my name AND the latest STR yarn. The daughter is getting a new camera this weekend so I will be getting my camera BACK!!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Great Boxes Came in the Mail Today

I wish I had my camera to show the treats I received in the mail today! My one skein partner sent me a BEAUTIFUL pair of cozy cable footies. They are a delightful violet, and I just love them. What beautiful work and the very first pair of handmade socks that I have had made for me by someone else! THANK YOU Violet. And Violet also slipped in two votive candles in a butter caramel fragrance. I'm burning one now and it is scenting the whole house! AND Libby, who worked with me last year as a literacy staff developer,( I'm a math staff developer )sent me a two skeins of sock yarn from Austria. She and her husband are teaching in Vienna for a few years. The skeins are only sold in Vienna because they are the colors of Vienna's football team. So, I the least sport minded person around will be wearing Vienna Football socks!

Monday, September 25, 2006

what flower are you?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Check this out to see what type of flower you are!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Knitter's Tea Swap 2

Well, I received my Tea Swap buddy this weekend and received a message from the person who will be sending to me. So in honor of the tea swap I've been drinking tea all weekend. So far, I've had vanilla bean tea from the sensuous Bean, in NYC and an unlabeled Chai Tea which I love and can't remember where it came from to replace! I also made a pitcher of cold green tea flavored with a bit of lavender rosemary honey. It sounds strange but is a great combo. I'm also almost finished with my sparkly tan and gray socks. They are VERY fraternal really close to just cousins! I did one either at the hospital or rehab with Bob and I can't remember exactly what I did. Reading the stitches is more trouble then it is worth so anyone looking at these sock cuffs is in for a surprise. I'll have to be sure to wear long pants with these and photograph them with a disguise in mind! The camera is still in the land of lost stuff taken to college by Caroline. Maybe she will let me borrow it back.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Where does time go?

I keep thinking that I will post at least once a week-- I used to think I could post every day! For some strange reason, maybe being back to work after a busy and stressfull summer,(and being very busy at work) living alone for the first time in 26 years, or some such nonsense-- time keeps on getting away from me! I noticed today that I passed almost two weeks without a post.It is cool and rainy here in NJ so when I got up early this morning I made myself some baking powder biscuits for breakfast and started poaching a chicken for pot pie and soup. AND I've broken my soapmakers block and have three batches in the works with plans for the rest of what I'll need to make for my abbreviated Fall/Winter season. It felt good to make a batch of lavender soap again. This must be the longest I've gone without soapmaking since I learned how! Caroline is away AGAIN with MY camera or I would take pictures. I may need to buy her a camera in self defense.

Monday, September 11, 2006


So many of you fellow bloggers show beautiful photos of flowers from your gardens. I would have to buy flowers and hold them up with bamboo sticks to get a shot of anything in my current garden. BUT I did have beautiful flowers to enjoy all weekend from Denise and her family. I took the arrangement apart and had upstairs and downstairs flowers.I'd show a new picture of the fir cone wrap but my progress is so slow you might as well go back and look at yesterday's shot! Well off to knitting tonight.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Batteries = Pictures

I finally went to get some batteries to take pictures of the fan & feather scarf I finished last week. I also took a picture of the fir cone stole from Wendy Knits. I frogged it so much last week end that I should have twice as much as I have finished. It is going well now. I just joined a knit along for the Swallow Tail Shawl from Interweave Knits. I love the look of triangular shawls but I was having trouble with that one! This weekend I got back into cooking. I even have meatballs simmering in tomato sauce all day! Yesterday I made cream scones for breakfast and a beef stew with homemade rolls for dinner. This morning I made cornsticks for breakfast. I've got meals frozen to take to work now. It's too expensive to keep eating out and I have a house full of groceries to use up. Bob ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at home and I just stopped cooking when he went into the hospital and rehab. It has been fun to getting back into it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Quiet Weekend

I've had a quiet weekend. My back has really been bothering me so I spent lots of time on the couch with either the ice pack or heating pad. I also used the meds the Dr. gave me so about half of what I've knitted this weekend got frogged! Caroline went back to school today and NOW the house really, really feels empty. Next week will be super busy at work and that will help the empty feeling but might not help with progress in my projects! I started a stole from Wendy Knits blog. It's called fir cones and after a few false starts it is working up nicely. Now I hope I don't jinx myself. Can't show pictures as Caroline left for college with all the batteries and all my laundry baskets and probably most of my good clean towels!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

First Day Back at Work

Today was my first day back at work. I went in on Tuesday just to set up and prepare but today was my first day with responsibilities. I did two workshops and they both went well. My topic was Moving Towards Algebraic Thinking in the Elementary Grades. I didn't let anyone know the theme until the end or some people would have objected! I'm also seeing lots of people for the first time since Bob died and as much as I appreciate their good wishes and condolences it get hard and I felt weepy too much today. I made plans to go to Park Slope on Sept 16th to see the Yarn Harlot in person. I plan on bringing one of my own socks in progress along for the visit! I'm making good progress on my fan and feather scarf and I have used so little of the cone of white silk wool lace weight yarn I got from the jagger, zepher coop that I think I may not need to ever buy lace weight until I am ready for retirement!or later. It feels so soft and comfy. I'm thinking of doing one for my grandmother's 95th birthday. She is ALWAYS cold and this soft scarf would be nice tucked into her sweaters etc.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

August 27

Yesterday I took the medication the doctor prescribed and felt better but must have been more woozy then I thought because I totally messed up the shawl I was working on and had to frog the entire thing! I started a scarf with fan and feather so I'll try the shawl when I can better concentrate on it! I spent today quietly at home and cleaned up my desk. I have thank you cards to write and so many medical bills to deal with. I've been feeling a bit blue the house seems too empty and quiet. I go back to work in a few days and it will be good for me!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

50th Post

This is my 5oth post. I guess that is a marker of some kind! I could not sleep last night because my back is killing me. I hurt my back during the big rearranging of furniture etc. we went through earlier this summer. It seemed to be getting better with hot and cold packs etc, BUT yesterday the pain returned with determination. I was up almost all night using hot and cold packs and searching for a comfortable position. This morning I went to the doctor and he is not sure what is wrong but he gave me a fist full of prescriptions and suggested an x ray. He also said to take it easy for a few days. I think this means sit on the couch and watch movies and knit, or at least that is what I plan to do. I have four projects on the needles and I can't concentrate on a specific one so I just keep jumping back and forth! The camera is promised back later today so I will post pictures.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thanks to my swap pals

I have gotten goodies in the mail the last few days, actually I have gotten wonderful things in the mail ALL summer and I am confused about who all this wonderful stuff is from! I still don't have my camera, so pictures will have to come later. I got a spoiler package from my SP8. There was THREE wonderful skeins of yarns, chocolate and hot chocolate. Then today I got another pack of two skeins of sock yarn, Sock It To Me in great shades of blue and greens and I can't figure out what swap they are from! I think my brain is fried. I joined the SP8, the One Skein Swap, and the knitting chicks not secret swap. BUT I keep getting everything confused!!!! Right now I'm into startitis, I started the Swallowtail Shawl from the current Interweave Knits, and the Rabbit Proof Scarf from Morehouse Merino Knits AND I have about 12 other things I want to start RIGHT away. I go back to work next week and I have millions of projects to do around the house SO why am I starting two projects now?

Friday, August 18, 2006

August 18th

I have no knitting ,quilting or soaping content to talk about in this post. I have not been able to quilt or touch knitting needles since Monday. We had Bob's funeral on Wed. and I believe that his life was celebrated by the number of people who came to support us and remember him. My daughter and I made a collage of pictures of him and that was the most healing act for me. I have the picture of his face in pain in my eyes and seeing him in happier times and remembering what he used to look like helped. I can't be in the family room right now. There is a HUGE hole in the room where his bed was. I went to IKEA yesterday and bought a work table to put there. I'm going to move my computer, sewing machine and yarns etc down there. Right now it's the little things that side swipe me. I made an appointment to have the dog groomed and the groomer said, "Where's Bob been?" She went on to mention that Bob used to walk the dog over near her store to visit with a stuffed bear outside the florist next to her. They were wondering if something happened to Bob or the dog. I am going to my afternoon knitting group today, then out to dinner with friends and on to a planning meeting for a workshop I participate in every year. Last night I had dinner at my mother's house. Steven goes back to Hawaii on Sat and Caroline goes back to school soon also. BOY, this house is going to be empty!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bob is at rest

Yesterday at 4:50 Bob passed away. Caroline and I were with him and his dog was very near. His passing was very peaceful and he was in no pain. During the week that he was home, family and friends visited and the dog was on and off his bed. He knew he was dying and his strongest wish was to be at home. The funeral is at 10:30 Wed. morning at Holy Family Church on Route 36. Following the funeral we will be going to my sister Carol's house in Marlboro. Please join us to celebrate his life.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bob's back home

Bob came home yesterday. He is home on hospice care until the end. The goal is to keep him comfortable, painfree and in his own space until his end. Right now I'm his main care giver. Caroline helps out and I do have the hospice services. I don't know how often I'll get on the computer as it is on a different floor then him BUT please keep us all in your prayers. Steven is coming up on Wed. and I hope that Bob is awake. Right now he is not really awake but he does not seem to be in pain either. I wish he could have come home sooner when he was in better shape but who knows why things happen the way they do.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Still melting

Well, lots has changed since Friday. Bob had an appointment with a pain specialist Monday afternoon. After a bone jarring ride in the ambulance which left me with a back ache we met a doctor who was the exact opposite of the puffed up a** we saw on Friday. He actually listened to Bob, was patient and waited for him to speak then outlined his options. Bob has decide to begin hospice services in the nursing home and do a bit more of physical therapy then come home ASAP! We met with the visiting nurse service they signed him up, had a medication review with medication specialist and we were told how grossly under medicated he has been for his pain! New order were written and now a few nurses are dragging their heels at giving him the "Amount" of medication he is receiving. TOO bad, I want him comfortable and home. If they don't get with the program, I'm just going to bring him home in a few days and do the physical therapy at home. I'm so glad that the hospice nurse kept telling him he has a right to be comfortable and pain free as much as possible NOT trying to tolerate as much pain as possible! I finished another petal bib and a garterlac wash cloth BUT the darling daughter filled my memory card with trashy pictures from the beach so you will have to imagine them!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Not much knitting but lots of other things going on

Is everyone else melting out there? My AC bit the dust a little over a week ago! There is one small chance of getting it going again BUT I spent a lot of time this week buying TWO window units, lugging them home myself and putting them in. My windows tilt out so I can only keep part of the house cool. I spent most of last week painting, rearranging and getting the downstairs ready for Bob to come home. He is coming home on my birthday, August 5th just for a trial, from 11 to 6. Hopefully he will come home for good on August 14th. We will start with home health care then transition to hospice when he needs more services. We had a frustrating doctor visit on Friday. Through miscommunication my poor husband was carted off by ambulance to see an orthopedic who would not see him BECAUSE he is post surgery!!!! Well DUH that was carefully explained when the visit was being set up!!!!! You would have thought that he would have share that little tidbit BEFORE we paid for an ambulance etc. It has taken Bob all weekend to recoup from the visit. After lots of venting on my part and much apologizing from the staff we are now are working on setting up an appointment with the first surgical deity who cannot be usurped by the local deity. He has an appointment with a pain management doctor Monday afternoon and I hope that he has some ways to help Bob. He is in constant pain and if that could be addressed things would be so much better! I'm up to the heel flap on my latest STR club sock and just about up to the cuff on a very nice sparkling sock. I need some sparkle in my life now. I made and gave away three of the petal bibs from the One Skein book and the Moms were thrilled with them. I had to reassure them that they really are made to be used!!!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Two Finished Projects and what's going on now!

I've been knitting with Sugar'n Cream the last few days. A real change from the sock yarn kick I've been on for months! The first is a bib from One Skein by Leigh Radford and the kitchen mat which was inspired by the Mason Dixon crochet bath mat.
The bib was challenging to make with following the short row shaping but really fun. I'm going to trim the fringe on the mat but it really is very soft and cushy.
Yesterday, Bob and I met with a nurse from a hospice program as suggested by his doctor. We have not decided if we are ready to use hospice services yet. I hate this whole insurance scramble. It seems like a cruel game. You need this, but they will give you some of it---- if you handle EVERYTHING perfectly, jump through each and every hoop, and anticipate all contingencies perfectly! Tracking down his doctors, getting information from the insurance companies,whose's a provider who is not etc.
I really want to concentrate on taking care of Bob and myself and so much of my time and energy goes to managing these other details. Right now the plan is for Bob to see a spine specialist July 28 and hopefully get a more comfortable brace and better pain management. I am hoping for him to come home mid to late August. We are trying to figure out the home care, pain management etc. Caroline and I are working on setting up the family room floor for Bob. He will have a bathroom, kitchen ,family room and bed all on one level and wheelchair ready. My friend is lending me a ramp and one of those scooter motorized chairs. Hopefully Bob will be able to be comfortable and we will see what will happen!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Opposite of Socks

I started working on a project today which has to be as opposite as possible from socks. I've been eye balling the bathmat in Mason Dixon Knitting BUT I do not crochet and I'm not about to start now! SO I decided to BUY size 17 needles and use three strands of Sugar and Cream and using a modified log cabin approach I'm knitting a kitchen sink rug. I just want a cushy rug to sink my toes in while I do the dishes or just gaze out the window! I already have a square about 14 inches done. It would take me a life time to do this in sock yarn on size two needles! I'm not ready to talk about what is going on with Bob yet but please keep us in your prayers and good thoughts. We REALLY need them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another pair done!

Here's my latest sock, done in between running (actually slowing pushing a wheelchair) to physical therapy and OT with my husband and WAITING on hold on the phone and trying to understand the in and outs of insurance. Who pays for what, from which provider etc!!!! It's a FULL TIME job. I can't understand how someone like my husband who is not up to all this would actually be able to do all this in a hospital bed with very limited energy and limited access to a phone. I keep coming home and knitting like a crazy women and deadheading every flower my my garden that does not run away from me!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Can bones hurt?

I have been very busy the last few days doing outdoor chores and refinishing some outside furniture. My daughter and some of her friends have been helping me get the spring outside work done and getting the family room floor wheelchair ready for Bob. He will have everything he needs on one floor. We are painting ,replacing some rugs with smoother flooring and dejunking. We have to add rails and remove the thresholds. I can't just watch them work so I've been working along with them and then just keeping on by myself. ALL my muscles hurt and I think even my bones! The only exercise I've been getting is knitting! Caroline had her oldest best childhood friend sleep over last night so I got up early this morning and made a double batch of my cream scones and Becky's banana muffins. We had some and then I brought the rest to the nursing home for Bob and the weekend staff. I had breakfast in the backyard, and read the paper there, that alone makes all that yard work worth it! Now I'm going to make myself a light cold latte and try not to move anything except my knitting fingers for the rest of the night!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Three June Socks and Bob was on his feet today!!!!

Here are the three pairs of socks that I made in June mostly while visiting with Bob. I have a single sock made from two more pairs and soon I'll post them. Bob got out of his wheelchair, held a bar and kicked out with each leg six times to each side and then used a walker and WALKED about 40 feet! He was so excited we were both near tears. He did sleep most of the afternoon to rest from this big feat. We are hoping that he can return home at some point with home healthcare. I just had to order more sock yarn (really I have nothing suitable for him) because he is complaining that with all this knitting he has not gotten a pair. He has forgotten the pair he destroyed the Christmas of '05. I am not in the mood to fight with him about!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4th

Wow, where does time go! It's been a while since I posted but I hope to get caught up now that school is finally out! I've been spending lots of time with Bob at nursing home. He is making lots of progress (at least in my opinion!). I'm also zipping along on socks, have three complete pairs done, one orphan sock waiting for it's partner and one on the needles. I need to take pictures! Have a great 4th!!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bob's back in NJ

Hi, Well, Bob arrived at the Medical Rehab, or in regular speech Nursing Home at 4:30 Friday afternoon. We quickly realized what a faux pas it is to arrive during DINNER and on a FRIDAY and WITHOUT ALL his medical records!!!!!! Sorry next time we'll try to arrive at a more acceptable time. I'm not going to name the facility he is in because I may have some really nasty things to say about it. Sat. was much better. I went there and found Bob clean in a nice freshly changed bed. I also brought his list of medications and they had given him everything except one item that was scheduled to arrive from the pharmacy. He is promised the air bed and an electric bed by Monday. He will also receive another evaluation from the Physical Therapist and hopefully will be more willing to use the brace and start getting up. I very politely told the staff that I live just 15 minutes away and that I'll be in and out all the time. The Sat. staff was very friendly and really seemed interested in taking care of him. They did monitor what he actually ate by the high tech way of actually looking at his tray NOT asking him. They brought him alternates that he was willing to eat! The hospital he was in was terrible in this regard. I'm starting on sock number 4 and have only THREE more day of work before summer vacation. My daughter took my camera to a wedding so I'll post pictures as soon as I can. (Of the socks not Bob, the yellowest man in NJ)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Good News

I finally have good news to report. I just came home from looking at a subacute or medical rehab for my husband. He may be able to leave the hospital the earliest Friday or by Monday or Tuesday of next week. He still is very sick but he is doing SO MUCH BETTER then the doctors thought he would. I don't know how much function he will regain but he is still with us. He is totally yellow, skin and bones and half asleep most of the time but he is looking great to me! This rehab is an easy 20 minute drive from my house, and the dog will be able to visit with him! He has been in the hospital since May 30th and still has not been out of bed. He is being fitted for a brace and hopefully will be able to sit up and get out of bed soon. I never would have thought that I would be happy to see Bob in this shape but given what we thought was happening not too long ago I am very happy with his progress. I know that everyone prayers and good thoughts helped him so much. So far I have finished THREE pairs of socks since he was has been in the hospital. They are not my best work but they did keep me sane!!! I'll post a picture when I am not so tired.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sat. June 17th

When I got to the hospital yesterday Bob was excited about going home. Someone had said something to Bob to make him think that he was going home in a day or so with a visiting nurse seeing him once a week to bring him meds. I was floored at the idea of taking care of him at his level of illness . I asked the nurse to see the charge doctor, no response, then his lunch came and it was a total mess and I just about lost it. Then I met the Chaplin who has been visiting Bob and also talking to me and shared my frustration with him. Evidently he was the person to talk to because within a few minutes all the people I had been asking to see were eager to see me! Basically, Bob's liver is continuing to fail. He is receiving aggressive IV treatment for the infection, and fluids etc. to keep him hydrated etc. to try to give his body a chance to recover as much liver function as possible. If the liver shows no improvement he may be moved to a Medical Rehab where he can be kept comfortable and it would be a more relaxed setting. Bob still feel that he has a "shot" at getting better and I want him to keep that hope. When I asked the liver Dr. what I could do to help his suggestion was to get him to eat and try to talk to him and keep him alert. Except for salty foods the Dr said bring in what he wants to eat. I ran out to a local restaurant and we had pizza for dinner last night. This is the first time he really ate anything! Steven visited yesterday and it was a difficult visit for both of them but hopefully the start of some type of healing. I am knitting constantly and watching more daytime TV then I ever thought possible. He plays with the remote constantly but all I insist on is no Jerry Springer type shows and all shows must at least be in English!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thursday June 15th Update and secret pal gift

I have gotten so many letters, cards and messages from friends. I can't thank you all enough. I have not answered hardly anyone because all I do is go in to work for a few hours in the morning, then go to the hospital and home to sleep! It really has been a crazy ride the last few days. We have had conversations with three doctors in the last three days and ALL three gave us TOTALLY different information! I am going to ask to speak with the doctor who is the case manager and ask for clarification. Bob however looks much better and was finally moved from intensive care to a bed on a medical floor. He thinks he is better and is very irritated with me "for keeping him there!" I went my doctor today because I am still coughing and he was very upset by my blood pressure until I told him about Bob so he'll recheck me when things are calmer! I did come home to a delightful package from my secret pal. I really love Karma and do I need some GOOD KARMA now.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday June 12th

Caroline and I spent the day with Bob at the hospital. Although he is clinically worse he seemed better and more willing to talk, even complain a bit and ask for his cell phone! He is in end stage liver failure and they are talking about trying to transfer him to a hospital that specialized in this condition. No decisions have been made yet and we will be with him again on Tuesday.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday June 11

Bob is still not showing any improvement. His liver continues to decline and in a few days he maybe beyond the point of being able to benefit from any treatment. I am becoming his health proxy on Monday and the doctor has asked me to try to think about what Bob would want in his last days. Bob asked me today to please just let him die then a few minutes later spoke about something in the future. My kids and I may need to make some hard decisions soon so please keep us in your prayers. Caroline is going to the hospital on Monday with me.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

News from the Hospital

Hi, as soon as I finished writing the post this morning I got a call from the hospital and Bob pulled out his breathing tube last night and while they were trying to reconnect him they realized that he was breathing well on his own! They were shocked that he could tolerate it!!!!! The liver numbers are still very bad , the highest and worst they have been BUT they are getting bad slower then before SO MAYBE he can last longer on that crummy bit of functioning liver that he has. He is very confused and showing a much higher level of dementia then before so it really is a trip trying to keep him in bed and keep explaining why he can't go home and what happened! All he remembers is falling off the bus. Today is Knitting in Public Day so I did my part and knit at the hospital ALL day!

Catching up from wed.

Hi, I have not had time to respond to everyone's individual posts and messages but as soon as I have time I will. I slept at a friend's apartment in Brooklyn Thursday evening, and I have limited access to email at work and none at the hospital. The news about Bob is that his current condition has not gotten better but it is not worse. His liver is in such poor shape that he would be put on the list for a transplant if he were eligible. He is the yellowiest man I have ever seen and so swollen that he looks like he is oozing fluids. They are trying to wean him from the respirator with very limited success and are talking about doing a tracheostomy to provide breathing support and allow him to be able to speak and use his mouth. The abscess between the spine and thorax is doing better and the infection in his spine is responding to the treatment BUT his liver is so damaged from his hepatitis C from when he was 19. The intensive care doctor told me that the liver doctors give him 6 months to one year to live with the current liver functioning. Liver doctors have been telling him at his liver is terrible for years so who knows how tough he really is! I try to spend as much time as I can with him BUT I can't be there all day every day. I am going to knitting on Monday night at Barnes and Noble and I'm going to my support group on Wed. Night. I realized that I was getting to tired to function when I tried to tell a friend how to turn a sock and I could not remember the directions! I am almost finished with one sock from the current STR club colorway but I didn't use their pattern. I was working on a gray, blue and black sock but I needed to look at bright and cheerful colors.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Holding his own

I spent most of the day at the hospital with Bob today. They tried to take him off the ventilator for a few hours in the afternoon and he did well then got tired. The Dr. will try again Thursday. Both of my kids came in form New Jersey to visit him . The hospital is not close to where any of us live and it makes visiting hard. I got a lot of support from my kids and in my heart I know Bob did also. He had a very sweet and caring nurse which makes it much easier for me to leave him there.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

No Good News Today

I went to the hospital today and found Bob back on a ventilator. They lost control of the bleeding on his surgical site and had to put a pressure bandage around his neck! His liver is failing so he is not clotting well and his lungs have fluid in them. They are doing everything they can and the doctors feel he has a chance. His kidneys need to remain strong but I am very fearful and sad.

Monday, June 05, 2006

An update on what's going on with me

No new projects, no nice pictures. My time is being taken up with my husband who is in the hospital. Bob went into the hospital a week ago and was transferred to a different hospital and had emergency surgery on Sat. He is very sick but made it through the operation and has been taken off the respirator. He continues to be very sick BUT he made it through the first 24 hours which were the most critical! I would have thought that I'd be getting lots of knitting done as I sit around but I just have not had the concentration! If you believe in prayer please keep Bob in your prayers. He has osteomylitis, a serious bone infection in his spine.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Another quilt finished

I spent yesterday at a carnival at my school doing face painting so I had to get up very early to put the finishing touches on this quilt because the shower is at 12:30! I still want to make a handmade card to go with this and I bought an envelope template at the flea market sale yesterday so I can make a nice matching envelope much easier. Early Bird is finished, just one more Sat. Enrichment class BUT we are heading into the final planning for next year AND closing the school year craziness so I will have to struggle to fit in some quilting and knitting. I did get my new STR club pack yesterday. I love the yarn the pattern has to grow on me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Just checking in

I keep meaning to write in this blog but somehow after I read everyone else's blog, think about what I want to post, work on my various projects, I don't get it done! I spend Mother's Day with my mother, grandmother and my two children. We went out to eat, then my daughter took us to see her new apartment. She is moving out of the dorm and sharing a condo with a friend. Very cute place and so neat. It seems that the roommate can get her to to be neat---something I certainly never had success with! There is a river and water falls behind her building with a tennis court and swimming pool. Not bad for a struggling college student. I wore my new shawl made from Blue Heron Rayon boucle. I love the way it feels and looks BUT it kept getting caught on my earrings! I finished the STR club socks and already wore them. I still need to take a picture of them. I already started on another pair in Koigu, just my generic toe up sock. I'm amazed about how much quicker I can work when there is no pattern just mindless knitting with the yarn doing the work. Now I need to ignore the socks and work on the quilt I am giving my friend for her wedding shower. It has to be ready for Sunday and still need to pick threads, and hand sew on the binding. I should clean up the threads as go but I never do.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Check out these slippers!

One of my knitting girls has been working on these slippers every morning. She finally got them finished this morning and boy was she proud of them. The pattern is very simple but comes out totally cozy. I am a few rows away from finishing my STR club socks. I really want to finish them before I get my next club shipment! I'll post a picture as soon as they are done.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Knitting Hands

I have not been posting much BUT this is what I've been doing. I've been working in Early Bird Knitting and teaching an Enrichment Sat Club at my school. I love it BUT this work is cutting into my free time. Commuting into Brooklyn one extra morning is such a drag! The Sat. Club is really fun. We have a small but steady group of girls. I teach knitting and quilting and another teacher teaches dance. I work with the girls on their projects but I also show them mine and in spare moments work on my stuff. We are working with all donate supplies and I'd like to thank Southwest Trading for their generous donation of yarns. The pictures here show most of the girls working with their cottons.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

24 questions about myself for my secret pal!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?I love to knit with wool, mohair or wool blends. I hate to knit with plasticy acrylics. 2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?I have needles in pottery crocks, a drawer in a storage unit, my pocket book, various tote bags etc. 3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?I was taught as a young child by my grandmother but didn't really knit much until I was in college. I am 54 now so I've been knitting for a long time! I would consider myself an advanced intermediate knitter. there is still lots for me to learn. 4. Do you have an Amazonother online wishlist No 5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Patchouli, karma, lemon verbena 6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I love candy, and especially chocolate. 7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I play around with spinning but I have not had a working wheel for about 20 years. Sometimes I do spin a bit with a hand spindle. I love to quilt, hand piece and do red work. I also make cold process soaps, lotions, creams and scrubs. 8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I love classical music, folk music and I don't even know what a MP3 is! 9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? I love blues, greens, yellows, red. I'm not a brown or orange lover. 10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I'm married with two children, a son 23 in college, and my daughter is 21 also in school. My husband is retired on a disability. We have two cats and dog. I'm the cat lover and my husband is the dog person. 11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I wear hats, scarves and mittens. Ponchos I leave to the younger thinner set. 12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I LOVE to knit socks! 13. What are you knitting right now?Right now I am working on a pair of socks, the club pattern for SocksThat Rock and a tank/vest from black chenille yarn and Blue Heron Rayon Boucle yarn 14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, I do! 15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Addi Turbo circular OR Bryspun straights 16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I own a winder not a swift. 17. How did you learn to knit? My grandmother taught me. 18. How old is your oldest UFO?about 20 years 19. What is your favorite holiday ? Christmas 20. Is there anything that you collect? Boleslawiec Blue Polish Pottery, silver bracelets, blue wedgewood, fat quarters. 21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Right now I'm getting Spin Off. I've let the other subscriptions lapse. 22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? backwards purl 23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am an addicted sock knitter.My foot measures 9 inches around, 10 inches long and 6inches from the tip of my toe to my ankle. 24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 08/05

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I'm back!

Well, I've been very busy quilting, knitting, reading but not blogging! With work, getting ready for my craft show and everything else I've neglected this blog. Here's a little quilt and matching bag I just gave to a friend as a baby gift. I have two I Spy quilts tops and a queen size quilt top ready to be sandwiched and quilted. I need to do one more I Spy quilt then all my shower gifts are at least started.
I finished the shawl I did in Blue Heron Rain Forest Rayon Boucle and am almost finished with the hand dyed mohair shawl. I'm crocheting a trim on it and I hate crocheting! I hope I finish it on Monday night.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

This week

This week has been a very slow week for knitting for me. I was VERY busy at work, the Math tests are finally over. I just need to do the make up tests for some students and package them for scoring.
I'm still working on a very boring pair of socks. I like the way they fit and I like the pattern BUT the yarn is very boring. You could just buy these socks. I love using yarns from Socks That Rock, Koigu, and other colorful ones. I got this yarn on sale and it knits up nicely and they are warm useful socks but they just are tedious to look at!
I ordered a few knitting books and they all came this week. Now I own, Not Just Socks by Sandi Rosner, Confessions of a Knitting Heritic by Annie Modesitt and Knitting Over the Edge by Nicky Epstein. I also got another order of WOL and a tote pattern to felt.
I've done very little knitting this week and weekend. I went to a play, The Rabbithole and out to dinner on Sat. Then to the Sugarloaf Craft Fair on Sunday. I've also worked on more soaps and now I am finally soaped out for my Spring shows, now on to wrapping and making creams, scrubs, lotions, whipped butters, lips balms. OH just the thought of it makes me want to run and knit even if the socks are boring.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Gotta medal !

Here's my medal. I love the socks, they are enough of a reward. warm comfortable and they match my favorite shoes!


What I've Been Doing

This has been a very hectic week at work for me. We are in testing season and it is the Math test that is coming up this week SO I've been doubly hectic.
I spent most of Sat. wrapping soap to get ready for my Spring and Summer shows But I did manage to sneak in a bit of sock making this week. I am trying a new to me sock pattern This pattern has the heel flap under the foot and I think would be especially nice to use with a pattern or cables. The socks I'm working on now are pretty boring but I have some nice new more interesting yarn to use.
I got some Koigu on sale. The colors are nicer then show up in the pictures AND I joined the STR sock club and should be getting my first shipment some time in March. I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Vacation just sailing away!

I'm on Winter Vacation from work right now. I've been relaxing, knitting, eating out and just went to see a play last night. So for a totally unscheduled vacation I've been pretty busy with enjoyable things. First, I did finish my Olympic pair of socks. I used my usual pattern BUT my challenge was to finish them within the time limit. I didn't knit on anything else while I was working on them and I've found I don't like to be monogamous to a pair of socks. Was pretty monotonous! Well, I've solved that! I started working on a new project ~ a pair of fingerless gloves for my daughter. So far both of us are very happy with them. I may just go back and make myself a pair of gloves WITH all the fingers! Am I getting socked out?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Back to real life!

I spent last weekend quietly knitting through the snow storm. I missed Monday at work due to the snow but the next four days at work more then made up for the extra day off. In New York City where I work the children are taking a math test in early March. We are on vacation for a week, come back for a week then BANG the test! As Math Staff developer for my school, this really felt like crunch week. BTW, almost ALL the snow is gone but it is now bitterly cold!

So now I have a week to clean my house, knit, visit with friends etc. Hmmm , wonder which I'll concentrate on?

I also worked on getting a swap ready for a soap group I belong to. A friend of mine helped me finish it up and now it will be mailed off on Tuesday. Lots of nice soaps, lotions and other bath treats are on the way out.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snow Storm Productivity!

We have had a record amount of snow in NJ and NY this weekend SO I've been in the house and busy. I finished the heel and am almost up to the ribbing on my first Olympic sock . This Olympic challenge had really kept me on track. Every time I start to stray to another knitting project, just thinking of not finishing brings me right back to the project sock! I have also made six batches of soap, five rebatches and one new one. Here's a picture of yesterday's soaps. They need to cure for a day or so then I'll cut and trim them. In a few weeks when they are wrapped I'll post another picture. I've also made something else but I'm going to send a few to my swap sister so I'm not going to mention what it is!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

1st day's progress from Knitting Olympics

Yesterday, I attended a Cast Off Party to start my knitting Olympics projects---socks! I'm using my usual pattern, toe up on two circs, with an after thought heel. My challange will be finishing them within the time span of the Olympics. I've made such good progress so far, that right now it does not seem too difficult! While I was at the cast off party I did more then knit I made a convert to toe up two circ knitting! I helped a fellow knitter cast on and start her toe! I've been knitting so much that I have not done much with any of my other hobbies. I just added a picture of a piece of redwork I did a few years ago. This morning I need to make soap and lotion bars. More pictures on Sunday!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Restocking and trying something new

I sold out of every cream, lotion and scrub that I make shortly after Christmas. Last weekend I did scrubs and a few lotions today was the start of restocking creams, tomorrow I'll start tackling the whipped butters and make at least one or two soaps or I sneak off to the movies or if I have the energy do both! Now I have my least favorite task to do, label, seal and shrink wrap all the stuff, it's worse then weaving in ends or seaming up pieces! I did try something new today I worked on felting soap. I took wool roving and covered soaps with them to make soaps with a felted layer, soaps in a sweater. I saw a demo of this this fall at a soap gathering and I 've been planning on doing it ever since. I ordered the roving right away then realized that I didn't have time to play with these until after the Christmas rush so I decided to make them my swap project for my annual Ringing in the New Swap. I host a swap on Soapnuts every year to try something new. This is my contribution this year. They were kind of fun to make but pretty time consuming so I don't know if I'll ever sell them. I do like the wool roving around a face bar as a very nice way to use facial soap.

Friday, February 03, 2006

What I've been doing.

I'm lost two days this week to not feeling well. I actually did not pick up a knitting needle or book from Wed. evening through to Friday morning. Friday morning I went to the Dr. & had a shot which helped with the nausea and then spent the afternoon comfortably knitting. So far this blog has been about one of my main passions in life BUT I have another hobby which takes over my life. I make soaps, lotions, creams, scrubs and other pampering products. Today I had 50 pounds each of palm and coconut oils, boxes of shea, cocoa and mango butter and jugs of specialty oils like cherry kernel oil delivered to my house. Soon I'll be turning these into soaps, lotions and creams. I want to experiment with more body butters and hand balms. I think I'll use my knitting groups as testers! I'll post pictures on Sat. Of some of my finished products as well as the latest Lucy bag which I am determined to finish by Sat morning!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Finished my socks that rock

Here's my latest pair of socks and the first I've done from Socks That Rock yarn. I'm wearing them to work tomorrow. I might even cheat and also wear them to bed , they are so warm and comfortable!