Sunday, December 30, 2007


Where has my vacation gone! I'm lucky to work in a school so I know that I get very generous vacations BUT this one seems to have shot by with the speed of ? (well not my knitting needles!) I had planned to get in lots of rest and wanted to have my neverending Kauni sweater done. I really think that the sleeve unravels itself after each knitting session.

Yesterday, I got some sock knitting in while visiting my friend and some very special knitting on her last project. I was grandma sitting (she's 96 and frail but sharp as a tack) for a few days. She is the grandmother who taught me to crochet (which I hate). She never seems to ask for anything but I spend all day doing one little thing or another. In some ways it is like having a small child around. Life is dominated by meals, secret naps and trying to allow her independence without putting her in a dangerous situation.

Today, I am feeding the twin addiction of quilting. I'm going with my mother to a quilt shop for her to buy material for a quilt for my oldest niece. I still rememberthe quilt I made for Laura when she was born.

I'm hoping the finish the Kauni sleeve today, I want that sleeve done before 2008!!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I'm back!

I just looked at the date of my last post and I can't believe how long it's been since I posted last. I'm feeling SO SO MUCH better, almost back to normal. I'm still seeing the chiropractor and I'm getting back to almost normal energy.
I decided to really simplify this year partly from necessity and partly because I just want to make thing less complicated and stressful. My daughter and my almost daughter put up a real tree and decorated and I helped but we didn't go so crazy. Christmas Eve was supposed to be easy, just six people, my mother, grandmother, my two kids, and my associate daughter. At the last minute my sister and her family rang the bell. Their plans were canceled and they were going to just say hello then eat at a restaurant. NEVER so we rearranged and had a great night and I still had leftovers!

The rest of vacation has been very pleasant, lots of family time and getting together with friends. My usual Tuesday knitting group came to my house Thursday night for coffee, desserts and knitting. I really had a nice relaxing evening.

One of my oldest friends is at the end of her long struggle with lung cancer. I've been visiting and bringing food to her family while she is home on hospice. We used to sit and knit together much earlier in her treatment and some days because of the fog the chemo left her in I would redo most of what she had done during the previous week! Today her daughter asked me to finish off the last scarf she was making so I sat near her bedside and bound it off and tried to make my stitches as tight as Beth's. I'll really miss her.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

December 9th

I've been very quiet on this blog because since a few days after Halloween I've been mostly sick. I've been to the Doctor's office or hospital more times then I've been at work! The first two problems were treated but I'm left with neck, back and siaciata (sp) like pain which is knocking me for a loop. My family doctor wants me to follow up with an ortho but I'm thinking of seeing a chiropractor first. Some days I can knit but most of the time all I try to do is get into a comfortable position and not hurt! I'm feeling a little better and I plan on going back to work on Monday so wish me luck!

BTW, I finished my Noro Vest from Folk Vests EXCEPT for the sewing on of the side panels and blocking. I just hope I can get that done soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Got a great package from my coffee swap partner

I got a wonderful box from Liz full of Texas treats. She sent French Roast Sunset Blend from Mozart's in Austin, a taste of Austin from Central Market, and two samplers of South Texas Pecan and Texas Velvet Hammer. I can't wait to try them. And to drink all that coffee in she sent a cup from Luckenbach. I also got a Kona Buzz Brownie which was delicious and it is certainly gone!

The yarn she sent was just as yummy. A skein of yarn from Brooks Farm a luscious blend of blues this yarn is a blend of wool,silk and vicose. AND a Knitclinic Yarn Buttercups on the Breeze which I believe she did the dye work. I also have a new pattern for a lace scarf.

Thanks Liz everything in the box was just wonderful.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My favorite place for a cup of coffee

What is the ideal setting for enjoying the perfect cup of coffee? Who would be there - or would you be alone? Inside or out? Morning or night? With food or just the steaming cup of joe?

My family has a house at the beach. We are ten houses from the ocean. I get up early year round (sad consequence of a long commute). I love to slip out of the house and bring a cup of coffee, a book or some mindless knitting and just sit and relax in the gazebo. It's so quiet and peaceful. I watch surfers, people fishing, grandmas walking with wide awake babies to keep them from waking up a whole house!

In the summer I love to go out in my backyard and read the paper and have my coffee before the rest of the neighborhood is up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Change of Plans

I had this Thanksgiving week all planned out. I was going to catch up with all the work that has piled up at school while I was out sick for just about 2 weeks. I was going to do some baking and my two children and I were going to join my family at my sister's house for Thanksgiving AND Friday and Sat. I was going to clean and decorate for Christmas AND I was going to finish the vest I've been working on.

Man plans and God laughs. Here's what is really happening. I made a tiny dent in what I have to do to catch up at work and went home Monday night with a nagging back ache and very tired feeling. I woke up 3:30 Tuesday morning in terrible pain took a warm shower, tylenol,walked around and though I was a bit better but really I wasn't SO I wound up in the ER and was scanned,IV'd etc. Sent home with a handful of scripts and told I can't return to work until next Nov.26 and not to travel for Thanksgiving.

I think it is going to turn out fine. My daughter,who has trouble making a grilled cheese sandwich is going to cook, my son is coming and I am feeling a bit better. Still to groggy to knit but I'm sure I will by Thursday. Maybe this is the Thanksgiving that my kids and I need.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fiber Ornaments

I spent this afternoon doing a fun little project. I needed a holiday craft to sent away in a swap and I need some handmade things to use as parts of little gifts, so I made these scrap ball ornaments. I really like the way they came out and I was able to use stuff that was mostly in the house. All I did was cut scrap fabrics into strips and wrap them around the styrofoam balls then wrap some red silk yarn aroundthe ball and made a place to hang with a bead and a pin. I'm thinking of these as Christmas ornaments but I think they would also look great in a bowl on a table.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What I'm Thankful For

The Thursday upcoming is Thanksgiving in the U.S., so let's all - American and not alike! - just share a post with what it is we're thankful for. A wonderful thing to do any time of year, I thought it'd be a nice thing to share for this week with the group!

This is the topic of the week for th Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap and it really has me thinking. The first thought that comes to mind is that I am thankful for my children. I have two wonderful young adults as my son and daughter and I am always grateful to be a part of their lives. I'm thankful for the rest of my large extended family, especially at still having a mother and grandmother alive at my age!
I am thankful that I had the support of family, friends and hospice services to make my husband's passing peaceful.

I am very thankful to have a job which I love and which pays me well enough to support myself comfortably. I'm thankful to have work that I love and to have been able to be an important part of a school community for over twenty years in the same place.

I am thankful to have friends who make my life so much richer and enjoy my company and after my scare with being hospitalized I'm VERY thankful that I am really still healthy and getting better each day and STILL ABLE TO DRINK COFFEE!!!!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thanks to my Secret Pal 11

On Sat. I received a Knitpicks box from my Secret Pal 11. What a treat ~~~~two skeins of lace weight alpaca yarn in tidepool colorway. I'm just itching to work with them, a great book,
The Well Knit Home
and a bottle of Kookaburra Delicate liquid soap which I've never tried.

I've been leafing though the book and there are some really great patterns in it. I've done lots of knitting but very little of this type of knitting. One baby blanket has the cutest little cable owls knit into it. I did those owls on mittens years ago and a baby sweater. I know there are a few things I will make from this book. Thanks!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Baby Surprise Sweater

This first picture is the Baby Surprise Sweater when you are finished knitting it in ONE piece. It is a pretty fun knit and just what I love --- garter stitch!
I've made a few of these and I still almost can't believe that it will fold into the sweater! All I have to do now is sew two small seams across the sholders and sleeve tops. Elizabeth Zimmerman "unvented" this years ago. While I'm supposed to be home off my feet for a few days I think I'll make another one. Someday I'm going to make an adult one for me!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Got some unexpected KNITTING in

This weekend I was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work I needed to do at my school and I was thinking that my knitting would be only in short spurts for a while. Well, you just never know!

I went to a party Sat night and indulged in non WW treats so when I woke up with the worst pains of my life and spent the rest of the weekend running to the bathroom I thought it was the revenge of real fat in my diet. By Monday morning I decided to get a Doctor's note because I just could not get into work. One thing lead to another and by the evening I was admitted to a local hospital. After much poking and prodding and some testing which was quite gross I received a diagnosis of Acute Ischemic Colitis which of all the things they were suspecting was by far the best! I'm out of the hospital and feeling much better.

I DID GET LOTS of knitting done. I knit a really cute hoodie for my niece's expected baby and a EZ Baby Surprise Sweater in three shades of Knitpicks Palette. This was great hospital knitting basically easy but kind of a puzzle to work out.

So what have I learned from this?
1. No matter how important you think you are at work a whole school will not dissolve into thin air if someone else does your Election Day Staff Development
2. A well developed supply of yarn is very important. It would not have been good for me to postpone hospitalization while I purchase a few days worth of projects
3. Never go see a doctor without your emergency knitting sock right next to the insurance ID!

Friday, November 02, 2007

A FO finally!

I finished my Seamingly Simple Vest yesterday and wore it to school today. I still don't have a working camera but my vest is exactly like the one on the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Site. I even did it in the sample color, Lagoon. How unoriginal-- but I'm very pleased with it and it felt so cozy. A few people told me it should have pockets and one 5th grade boy explained exactly how I could have done it and he was very accurate!
I was doing a demo lesson today and several kids in that room told me that they like my vest but were disappointed with my socks. We got into a brief discussion about my too plain for them socks (Lisa Souza oil slick colorway, black with small drifts of green). It's funny how many kids in my school associate knitting and Math!
I want to make a few more vests for the winter. I think I get more use from a wool vest then a wool sweater. Today it was fun to wear my own hand knit socks, vest and sweater.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

WinterCoffee Swap (YES, I'm joining another swap)


What are your favorite kinds of coffee? (Brands, Roasts, anything at all you'd like to share!)
I like a rich dark coffee. Usually I'm not too fond of flavored coffee. I do like a good french vanilla but I never drink fruit or complicated flavor blends. I cannot even imagine a blueberry coffee.
Do you prefer whole bean or ground coffee?
whole beans

This time of year, there are often Holiday Blends available, and many flavored coffees - do you drink flavored coffee? Do you enjoy special blends?
I love to try holiday blends, except for french vanilla I'm not a flavored coffee person
How do you take your coffee? Cream and Sugar? Straight up? Decaf?
Black no sugar NO DECAF please
Do you prefer drinking from a nice thick mug, or a matched cup and saucer?
usually I love mugs
Winter and Holidays - PLEASE be descriptive! Your pal will need this information to be sure to put together a package you will enjoy!

What is your favorite part of Winter?
I hate the cold weather but I do enjoy the social aspects of the holiday season and the occasional snow day!
Do you celebrate a holiday in December, and if so, which holiday?
I celebrate Christmas in a non religious way.

If you celebrate Christmas, do you put up a tree?
Yes I do.

Would you enjoy items related to the holiday, or would you prefer a Winter themed package?
either is OK

Do you collect anything? Are there any holiday or winter-themed items (Snowmen, Angels, Snowflakes, Santas, etc) that you collect?
Do you wear scarves? Mittens? Hats?
yes, yes no!
What is your favorite holiday or winter treat?
I love cookies and other sugary treats BUT I am changing my food habits and trying to follow Weight Watchers so treats in portion sizes and low in sugar and fat are best for me right now.
Please share a favorite Winter or Holiday memory.
I have always celebrated Christmas Eve at my home, first at my apartment now the house we've been in since my kids were in 1st and 2nd grades. My mother, grandmother and great uncle would all sleep here. The next morning after all the opening of presents I would make a huge holiday breakfast with waffles, fresh strawberries, real whip cream, bacon, pancakes, muffins, scones, etc. For a few years when my husband was sick and not comfortable with people around too much we did the brunch at my sisters house. The first Christmas after my husband passed away both of my kids asked me to start doing the Christmas morning breakfast again, except they want a brunch.(they don't want to hop out of bed too quick) This was always a relaxing time with just the people closest to me.
Yarn and Crafting

Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long?
I've been knitting since I was 5 and I'm 56 now!Do you like wooden, metal, or plastic needles\hooks? Circular or straight?
I like any well make needle that suits the project I using it for.
What sort of projects do you enjoy making?
I was addicted to socks for a while but now I'm making sweaters, vests and so on. I usually try to have a mindless project or five going and then something a bit more challenging.

What are your favorite types of yarn to work with?
I love to work with natural blends, especially wool, silk, mohair and angora.

Do you spin or dye?
I know how to do both but right now I don't have a working wheel and I'm in a mess free mindset these days so I am not doing much with dying!
Do you do other crafts such as scrapbooking or needlepoint or anything else?
I do quilting and redwork.

When is your birthday?
August 5th
Do you have any children? (Furry kind count!)
A son 24, a daughter 23 both finished with school and WORKING!!!!!! I inherited my husband's dog so I am trying to be a dog person, two cats of mine and my daughter's crazy cat/kitten.
What are your favorite colors?
I love blues, greens, purples and other rich jewel colors. I also love natural colors or blends free of dye.Do you have any allergies?
just iodine which usually is not a problem knitting!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

What a weekend then WHAT A WEEK!!!!

I spent last weekend at Stitches East. We went to Baltimore early Friday morning and got back to NJ after 9:00PM Sunday night. We had a class packed, shopping, walking fest. I took three classes, Engineering with Entrelac, Russian Continental and A Taste of Bead Knitting. Each class was very useful in a different way. The entrelac class had a very patient teacher( Joan Schroeder SP?) who discussed working without patterns and ways to design your own sweater or vest. Just the thing I like to do. I would take another class with her in a heartbeat. The second three hour class was with a Russian women named Galina, (can't remember her last name) A very different class, an interesting teacher, very opinionated but not the most patient of people. She did deliver what she promised and I think I finally have found a purl that I LIKE to do. The bead class was one of the hour market classes and it just was fun.

I bought enough yarn to enjoy but not too much. I picked up some black angora merino to make another shawl for myself, some great Merino twist from Blue Moon Yarns in Lagoon, luscious greens and blues to make a vest for myself, a lace book, a few patterns and a beautiful oak swift. It is one that sits on a table not an umbrella one, now that I don't have an extra set of arms around often a swift is very useful! I got some other yarns but they are earmarked for my swap pals so I'm keeping them secret.

We enjoyed walking around, tried to enjoy eating out, and just had a good time visiting and soaking up all the great knitting vibes.

I came back to the week from Hell at school. NYC is rolling out more computer based programs to track, measure and monitor each and every blip that any poor kid in our schools does. All of this nonsense requires HOURS of training and work and they are FULL of errors and never up when you need them. Right now I'm wishing for the days of chalk, pencils and teaching!!!!

On top of all this I am doing two major projects (at least pretty major for my time and energy) one for principals and another for about 30 or more teachers from several schools. I don't like working with groups of principals and big groups of teachers in these one shot deals. What I love about my job is working with the same teachers for months and years and really seeing the growth and development they make. For me it's like knitting. I love the process not just the product. I've done these things before and usually all they really want it the "packet of papers" to use as a short cut. They want to skip the process and work and then never understand why it just does not work for them! Well enough whining!!!

I've been practicing my new continental stitch on my new Blue Moon vest but I've been so tired this week I have done very little. Sat., we are having a family party for my Grandmother's 96Th birthday. Sunday, I want to clean up quick then just sit in my backyard and knit all day!

Friday, October 12, 2007

And I'm Off

It's rainy, dark and 6:00AM and I feel free as a bird and almost giddy. WHY? Because I'm off to a weekend at Stitches. I took a personal day from work so we will be there all day Friday, Sat and Sunday. My daughter gave me a CD for the car ride, the Simon and Garfinkle 1981 Central Park Concert. I have goodies packed and now I'm ready to go off to a weekend of no work just wooly fun!
See you Sunday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coffee Swap Three

Here are the questions:
1. Whole bean or ground? Whole beans
2. Fully-loaded or decaf? FULLY loaded!
3. Regular or flavored? I like regular coffee but will drink French Vanilla
4. How do you drink your coffee? Black with no sugar
5. Favorite coffee ever? I really don't have a favorite coffee, I love dark rich coffee.
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? I'm fussy when I can be but in a pinch I'll drink anything except instant or sanka!
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? I used to love scones and cookies but now I'm doing Weight Watchers SO I am trying to be more careful.
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? I love to try new coffees and coffee that has some type of a local connection.
9. Yarn/fiber you love? I'm a wool or natural blend type of person.
10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Crackly plasticy yarns
11. What's on your needles? Kauni sweater, STR flower power sock
12. Favorite colors? blues, greens, cranberry
13. Allergies? iodine
14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest?

I'm an easy person to please. I enjoy these swaps and plan to have a good time!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Hot Day to Go to Out Walking

This is October. I'm in New Jersey. We should be having fall like weather. the air should be crisp and you should be able to wear the shawls and sweaters you've worked on all summer. Well, we are still having roastingly hot weather.

Today, I went to an Antique and Craft show in the Asbury Park Convention Hall. It was so hot inside I could not get out of there fast enough. All I bought there was a $2 drawn work place mat. I hate these beautifully handmade things selling for almost nothing. I try to give as many as I can a home! I also got two 50 year old postcards from the beach town where my family has a house.

Then we went to a street fair in Belmar. I was very glad to be only a visitor. I remember days of roasting in a tent while people bought socks and crap from the "crafters" around me! I met a few old buddies from when I was doing shows and they were upset at the level of vendors allowed in the show so they will not be back and it will be the loss of that show!

After the HOT street fair we went for a cool lunch in a local pub then went to walk around the antique and fun shops in downtown Asbury Park. Cookman Street is really starting to be a fun place to shop and hang around.

I'm in three swaps right now, Tea, Coffee and Secret Pal! I was able to buy fun local things to add to their boxes. Now I'm going to go blast my AC, frog out all the Kauni sweater work I did in the car and watch TV until I go to sleep. An exciting life isn't it. No school Monday---NYC still celebrated Columbus Day so I get to sleep late again.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sat. October 6th

Today was a day of errands and house chores. I did get up late for me -- 8:30. Skipped Weight Watchers for not good reason other then I am not loosing as fast as I want to. ( so I'll show them by not showing up-----yes, I agree it makes no sense!) I visited a friend at her craft show, went a got LCN done to my nails, now I can knit without wearing off my french manicure by mid week! Did grocery shopping and freezer cooking for the week, laundry and some cleaning. Now, I want to knit but I'm afraid to stay still for too long or I'll fall asleep. I WISH I WAS A STITCHES!!!!!!!!! and I hope I can find a way to go to Rhinbeck also. Yes, I know a bit greedy but so what.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thanks Secret Pal 11

I still don't have my camera cord at my finger tips SO take a deep breath, close your eyes and just imagine the wonderful box my secret pal sent me!

Everything was nicely wrapped in hot pink tissue paper with a few items in cool pink and orange tissue. The first thing I opened was a pack of Trader Joe's Pretzel Slims. Very WW friendly, then a box of Nestle Sugar Free Cocoa. A great treat to look forward to when the weather finally gets chilly. Then SEVEN fat quarters in great shades of green, I can't wait to get working on these. AND a little stork scissor just like one I lost and have been wanting replaced for years AND a really fun, colorful box shaped tape measure. Now a skein Schaffer Yarn , a blend of merino and mohair with a touch of nylon. Just so soft and in a wonderful colorway called Edith Piaf, soft shades of gray, cream and tan. I think I'll make a lacy scarf from this. It's so soft that I keep going back to it to pet AND the 25Th Anniversary Edition Of Vogue Knitting which I am taking into my room with a cup of tea to read and relax for the night.

This generous and thoughtful gift was topped off by a funny vintage snapshot card.

SO thanks for so many treats!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

September 30

I can't believe that September is already gone. I've been back to work for just over a month and it seems like both forever and like I just got back. Work is severely cutting into my knitting time!

I was invited last week into a third grade class to talk to the students about my life as a reader. The teacher was looking for an adult to model to the students how reading is a important part of his/her life. I had such a great time with this. I organized my talk into three parts, my childhood and teen age reading, how reading helped me with an interest- knitting (no surprise here!) and what I read as an adult. This is a inclusion class where one third of the students have a form of autism called Aspergerger's Syndrome. The rest of the students are mostly minority students, many new comers to the US and struggling with English.

I showed the kids my knitting books and explained how my grandmother taught me to knit but that she never had the opportunity growing up in Italy to go to school so she was totally illiterate. They were fascinated looking at pattern books and seeing that the socks and sweaters came from them! I was able to explain how I could expand what my grandmother taught me by reading and sharing with other people by writing what I know.

We had such fun especially when I told them stories about how I got into trouble sneaking to read books in school when boring lessons were going on! One little boy who really has trouble with conversations responded more then his teachers have ever seen him do before. He wanted to know if my mother is still telling me to stop reading and go outside and play in the fresh air!

I went on a kitchen and catering house tour in Bayhead, NJ yesterday with my mother and two of my sisters. The homes were beautiful but some were so perfect and decorated that they seemed so cold. One house really seemed like a home and appealed to me because the owner was obviously into crafts and had some beautiful needle points and quilts around. There were also pictures of young children in beautiful knit items so I wondered if she also knit. None of these home looked like anyone actually lived in them or that they grew with the families!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kauni Addicted

I can't believe how long it is since I last posted! I am back at work AND I started the Kauni rainbow colored sweater that Stephanie from the Yarn Harlot did a while ago. Yesterday I finished the body and this morning I got up early and sewed and CUT all the steeks. Now I've got he first sleeve started so I have hours more of mindless knitting ahead of me. I love to knit but for some reason this sweater has the ability to just suck me in for HOURS of knitting time. I expect to do one row and hours later I'm in a panic because it is so late and I need to do stuff before I start the commute-work-commute cycle again! I love my job but I resent the amount of knitting time it eats up.

I still can't find the cord to attach my camera to the computer and my home phone charger. I'm sure they are resting in some obvious spot and will only resurface when new ones are purchased and the packaging is tossed. I may have to humble myself again and ask my daughter to show me how to email a picture from my phone! (after I take a car ride to recharge the cell phone!)

Well, I off to a birthday party and I hope I get a few hours of knitting in there!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Just checking after a week back to work

I would gladly give my fantasy lottery winnings to the person who could make the months of January and March pass by as quickly as July and August! I don't mind Feb. -- that cold month goes by quickly!
After the shortest summer vacation know to man (or at least me!) I'm back to work. This first week is hectic, pressurizing, HOT, exciting, fun and very exhausting. I love seeing teachers who were scared first year teachers last year come back as confident and SO experienced this year. I look at the new batch of young people I'm working with this year and I get excited to start again. I just wish I could teach elementary night school. I have to get up at 4:45 in the AM to get to my job by 7 or 7:15. I always try to be one of the first people in the building so that I can be available to anyone who needs help in the morning. The older I get, the harder it is to yank my body out of bed at that hour. My dog is having a fit at me for disturbing him so early and he is very indignant that I expect him to do his business so early . He keeps looking at me as if to say I thought we had these early hours settled!
I treated myself to a manicure on the way home on Friday and I am going to the beach this weekend with a teacher friend and a student I taught in 1st grade. She is in her second year of college and has kept in touch all these years. She came in on Thursday and helped me to put up my new bulletin boards. This is one of the things that makes teaching the best job in the world.
I'm bringing my new Kauni wool with me and I'm celebrating surviving two days of NONSTOP meetings by starting my new sweater!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Secret Pal 11

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I hate knitting with anything that feels plasticy, acrylicish or crummy wool.I'm currently knitting with a yarn that is a blend of mohair, nylon and acrylic and it is soft and great. I thought it was mohair and silk. I've also done my life's share of most novelty yarns!:)

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have a very nice needle case from a previous swap but I still mostly keep my needles in mugs, baskets and ufos.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I learned to knit when I was 5 and I'm 56 now so I've been knitting for a while. I can do very complicated and difficult knitting but I pretty much don't right now.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Nope

5. What's your favorite scent?
I make soaps, creams and lotions as a small business now pretty much just as a hobby. My favorite scent Patchouli.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I'm doing the Weight Watchers plan right now BUT I do have a major 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 quilt, do Red Work, make natural soaps, creams, scrubs and lip balms. I've played around with some jewelry making, beading and used to do stained glass. I HATE counted cross stitch. I used to do it but I did my life's share. I know how to spin but right now I don't have a wheel. Since my husband passed I'm also getting pretty good at doing "day labor" at my house.

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, Paul Simon, that type of music. I have an i pod but MP3 is beyond me. I do listen to CDs in the car

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I love greens, blues, reds. I'm not so fond of orange, and yellow or pastel colors although I love the quilting fabrics from the 20's and 30's.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? My husband passed away in the summer of 2006, I have a son 24 and a 23 year old daughter. One dog and three cats live with me. Only one cat is mine. The dog and one cat originally were my husband and sons. One cat is my daughter's. Somehow I wound up taking care of all of them!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I wear scarves and mittens. I think I wear hats but really never do. When you are my size a poncho is a knitted crime.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I was on a sock jag for a long time but now I'm also doing sweaters. I love to knit socks on 2 circs.

13. What are you knitting right now? Right now I'm working on a sweater in Lily Chin Greenwich Village from her signature line.( got it half price when a yarn store closed) and STR socks.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes I certainly do!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I have knit with all the mentioned needles and what I really do is match the project and yarn to the needle. I don't like working with very large needles but I just finished a sweater on size 15! The needles I reach for are my Knitpick options and bryspun needles. I love the thin flexible points.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I own a winder, I used to be married to the swift. I'd like to own a swift if it was in my budget!

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Every time I think I've found the oldest another older thing pops up.

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas and Thanksgiving

19. Is there anything that you collect? I collect Polish pottery, (Boleslawiec), blue wedgewood, quilting fabric, redwork patterns and yarn!

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 let all my subscriptions go. I would like Cat Bordhi(SP?) new book.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I would like to learn to knit or purl backwards.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am an recovering obsessed sock knitter. My foot is 9 1/2 inches long and about 9 inches wide at the ball of my foot.

23. When is your birthday? My birthday is August 5th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? I got on Ravelry and never did anything with it so not really!

Friday, August 24, 2007

One finished --one ripped

I hardly ever jump into the frogpond BUT with my Noro silk Garden sweater I went under. I knit a sweater adapted from a Noro pattern for silk garden. The sweater was a cropped length and the bottom edge had a nice curve. So I decided to make the sweater longer but keep the curve.---MISTAKE---- When I finally tried it on with the border knit on and button holes placed etc. the bottom curved piece pouched under my not so flat belly and I looked like a 56 year old women surprised by a nine month pregnancy! No amount of time at Weight Watchers was going to change it. Then on the the second surprise of the day, Silk Garden is horrible, terrible to pull out.

My garterlac vest is blocking and it appears to be what I wanted, at least I look post baby (too bad my "baby" is 23!) in it! It has been so humid in NJ recently it may take until Thanksgiving to fully dry!

Yesterday I went to the beach with friends, and the weather was not cooperative so we walked instead of sitting! Good for my activity points not so good for knitting. Today, I am bringing lunch to a friend who is recovering from chemo. We WILL sit quietly and knit. She has memory problems related to her medication and chemo so each time I go I have to figure out what she has done and sometimes correct it and start the new part. I don't know who has knit more on this sock me or her but it is a good thing for both of us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One finished item another started

This weekend I was on a mission to finish the polare sweater that I started at the end of July. I finished knitting it, seamed it up, even made buttons for it. I just have to decide if I am putting snaps under the buttons or knitting i cord frogs. As soon as it is blocked and the button issue decided I will find a way to post a picture. I have been camera- less all summer. I finally found my camera, but now to find new batteries to charge and the cable to connect it to the computer. Well, if only I knew how to use my camera phone I could do that also!

As soon as I finished the polare sweater I started a red cardigan from Lily Chin Greenwich Village yarn which I also got half price at that sale.My hands were just itching to start it. I'm doing a mindless sweater for walking around non-thinking project. I ordered Kauni yarn and I am just itching to get that started. I don't know how quickly that will work up but I do think I'll get hours of knitting fun from it. I plan on doing the same sweater that Stephanie, the yarn harlot did. Not very original but why mess with something that really calls to be done!

My poor socks are languishing at the botton of my pocketbook, somehow I have lost sock steam but it will pick up soon! I also NEED to finish up the garterlac vest and the silk garden noro sweater. All the intersting parts are done for each and I just need to force myself to finish up so that I can actually wear them instead of just carting them around in project bags!

Had two friends over for lunch today, we got so involved in talking that I forgot to pick up my knitting while we were hanging around. Tonight was knitting at Barnes and Noble. I didn't have the time or energy to make dinner so I had an individual pizza there. I checked on the calories of the buffalo wing pizza and it had 500 calories , 20 grams of fat and came out to 11 points. Last time for me! I wish that they had something there to eat which is lower in fat or sugar. Next time I will have to eat before I get there unless I have tons of point to toss away!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thanks Steven and Caroline

For my birthday my two children, gave me money towards a day at a local day spa, so I went today and had a facial, pedicure and manicure AND got a haircut. I really, really felt so relaxed and spoiled by the time I left. I should do this more often!
So thanks, Steven and Caroline for a very relaxing day and a new french manicured & moisturized me!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Guess I Should Just Stay Home Today

I hopped out of bed this morning with the idea of going to the early WW meeting then heading down to the shore.
Problem # 1-- daughter blocked my car in drive way and she is at the beach herself. So, I look for the spare key where it is supposed to be and to make a long story short, nope--- no key and she does not know where it is.
Problem # 2 my other car will not start, call AA and they send someone to the wrong address, he does get the car started and I get to the meeting one hour late AND I have gained .4 lbs. Does aggravation weigh anything?
Problem # 3 Car does not start when I try to go get coffee, so I have to get towed to a station to see what is wrong. I should have called AFTER the meeting but this was ALL precoffee.

So I was out and about for THREE hours this morning, had to make my own coffee, didn't get to the meeting, am now facing a new car bill and found out that I gained weight!!!

Well, I think I am going to sew up my polare sweater, work on the quilt for my brother and block my garterlac vest and work on an extremely dirty look for the daughter when she gets home! Wouldn,t think she would be so innocent looking would you? Here she is(the little key witch) with my grandmother about a year ago.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fridge Update

Last week, I showed the amount of space the previous "repair" man said needed to be devoted to "Keeping the fan clear" to a few friends. They agreed with me that it was insane and suggested that I return to store where I bought the item in the first place.
The salesman and owner quickly agreed with that that it was BS and arranged for a different service person to look at it on Friday. That man was here and he actually took the back panel off and checked things out. He removed a small piece of Styrofoam but said that he did not find anything wrong and to call again if there continues to be a problem. He gave me a receipt so that if it does not stop I can start documenting it for the lemon law.

This service person was much nicer. The people at the store feel that there is a problem with my refrigerator because they sold many of this model without any complaints. I'm hopeful the problem will not reoccur and I feel much better probably because I was treated well both at the store and by the service person! Now if the refrigerator performs well I'll really be OK.

Continuing the Summer Plan

Yesterday was another relaxing day. My mother and grandmother came over for a visit and because my mother brought her dog we stayed in the yard to keep him away from my dog. I have spent lots of time working in my yard but this was the longest I just spent sitting there and relaxing and knitting!
After a quick grill lunch I went to visit a friend of mine who is battling cancer. I've been teaching her how to knit socks so we sat and worked on her socks for a few hours until I could see that she was getting tired, I'll go back next week when she has another good window with her chemo.
Then after running home and a quick dinner there I went to meet with friends from my original knitting group at a new yarn shop south of me. I worked on my sweater and showed a few people there garterlac technique again. A quiet relaxing evening although the shop is too long of a drive for me to go there often.
Today after a return visit from the refrigerator repair man I'm off the meet my painting and carpool friend and a fellow carpooler who has just retired for lunch. I made a nap quilt for her granddaughter and I really need to get it to her while the kid still naps!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Knitting poolside

I spent a very relaxing afternoon at our local pool club just knitting away. I now have finished the back, two sleeves and one front side of my latest sweater. It was a lazy afternoon, no swimming just getting wet a few times and then back to knitting. I hope to have that sweater done real soon.
We were members of this club when my kids were young and I just may join as a single adult next summer.
Now I have to decide if I want to stay awake and try to work on my sweater or will I just watch TV and fall asleep very early?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14th 2007

One year has gone since Bob passed away last year on this date. I have been so busy this summer that I was either too tired or too busy to focus on last summer events. As soon as Caroline's party was finished and I've had some time to relax, I've really been feeling sad and missing Bob again.

Today, Caroline and I went out to Long Branch for lunch at a cute Sushi restaurant near the beach and to walk around and just spend some time together. She was just perfect to be with. We spent time talking about both sad and funny memories. My son, just does not understand sadness and he was stressful to be around. At one point when I was feeling very sad and weepy all he could focus on was how well I'm doing, how much I have accomplished etc. DUH, I could have wacked him of the side of his handsome head! He does not understand how what he is saying can be true BUT I can still feel such loss NOW!!! Their father and my husband is only dead a year. We are all entitled to still feel grief! He hides his feeling from Caroline and I in an attempt to be strong and not upset us. I wish he could just listen without needing so strongly to fix it right away.

I'm going to go knit with my friends tonight at B&N and as they are ALL women there I feel OK about going. I can feel how I'm feeling and the knitting will be an OK distraction.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stick a fork in me because I'm done for the Summer

I am not going to do one more bit of work until I go back to work the last week of August!
We had a party yesterday to celebrate my daughter's 23rd birthday and GRADUATION from college. So from 4 in the afternoon until about 4 in the morning when I shooed the last stragglers upstairs to go to sleep or at least get out of my range of vision we had a house full of people!

This was the first time since Bob got sick and passed last summer that we have had a big party either outdoors or inside. The weather was just perfect, warm enough to be pleasent, dry but not so hot that everyone wanted to be inside. My kids and I are blessed with wonderful friends and family who helped set up, clean up and lent us whatever we needed! Everyone seemed to have a great time. Everyone ate and drank lots but today I have enough food to start another party! Next time I'm going to estimate what I need and then get half!

For the next two weeks before I go back to school I am going to knit, read the last Harry Potter book, have friends over for quiet little lunches, and go to the beach. I am not going to paint, scrap or sand anything! NOR am I going into Lowes, Home Depot or Costco!

I did finish my garterlac dish cloth and I made a little scrubbie out of the leftover yarn to go with it. I have two sweaters and a vest I want to finish by the time it is cool enough to wear them.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Called in too tired to do more!

On Thursday my friend and I were painting until about 12:00 midnight---just TOO much for me. So Friday I called in too tired to myself to do more work and I've given myself the weekend off! Friday morning I took my sewing machine and went to a knitting friend's house to quilt. I worked on machine quilting one of two baby blankets I'm making for a friend at work having twins. I did some quick shopping then in the afternoon I took a long nap then did some knitting spaced with some cleaning up.

Saturday, I went into Queens for the Baby shower of the mom having the twins, with the quilts NOT finished. I didn't have the fabric I wanted to bind them off and Rags a local craft store has closed so I went to JoAnns another fabric shop and if the sorry quilting fabrics they had available says anything they will be the next to go! I try to shop locally but right now if I don't take a nearly 45 minute to hour drive I can't get anything but the most dated tired looking fabrics. So I'm back to online shopping!

After the baby shower I visited with a few other women I used to work with. They are much younger then me and one is also pregnant with twins! I have so many baby gifts to get out and now they all seem to be doubling! Today is my birthday so there was a luscious cake and a nice barbecue.

Today I am going down to the shore with my kids to be with my family for my birthday. My sister who is currently living in California is visiting with her family so we will all be together. If all this eating and cake stuff continues, I'm afraid to get back to WW this week.

Every time I sit down I'm working on a sweater in Polare a bulky tube like yarn on size 17 needles. They feel like logs after all the socks I've been doing BUT it sure does move fast!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Finally got to knit on my patio after using the grill!

On May 23rd I bought a new Weber Grill to use on my new patio. Well there was one delay after another and what could go wrong did go wrong. After much hoopla,(gas line destroyed during patio construction) I had to convert the grill from Natural Gas to Liquid Gas. The store where I purchased the grill ( also the place where I got the wonderful fan/freezer!) told me that Weber grills do not convert BUT the Weber Grill hotline was so helpful. MY GRILL does convert and a very helpful women sold me the parts and convinced me that I could do it. Yesterday afternoon when I was crawling around under the grill in 90+ degrees screwing and unscrewing and soaping up joints to look for leaks I was not really sure. I almost called her back to invite her to visit me and do it herself "while she was here!" BUT I got it completed and we actually used the grill last night. Just a simple meal, barbecued chicken, corn on the cob and my version on my grandmother Italian style Rattatoui. While the chicken was cooking I actually sat down and worked on my new sweater from Polare from Plymouth.

Tonight is Caroline's last college class for her degree. She had to drop this speech class last winter when she had her hernia operation. It is hard to believe how much has changed since last year. Last year at this time Bob was on hospice in the nursing home and we were getting the house ready for him to come home . He would be so pleased to see Caroline and all the changes we did to the house. I still miss him.

My friend is coming over for another marathon painting day. After today I am throwing in the towel until the fall. I'll do little things but I just am not doing anymore "day labor" . After this most of what I need to do can be done in chunks during cold afternoons in the winter!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Went Yarn Shopping!

Yesterday while I was minding my own business doing errands, a knitting & quilting friend of told me that another friend was making a last minute run to a yarn shop that was closing after 32 years in business. Everything was on sale for 1/2 price SO how could I resist? We did a quick run in and I got yarn for at least three sweaters. I got some Polare by Plymouth which has to be years old but just what I need right now. I started a sweater last night with it. The yarn is huge and knits up on size 17 needles which is just what I need to rest my hand after my sock marathon. It's a nice olive color. AND I got a ton of red yarn to make a sweater or two and a few other odds and ends. Now I really need to STOP spending or I'll be living in my car soon.

Today I am continuing my painting marathon and really hoping to complete it. Just a few ceilings and about a million doors and miles of trim to go!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Went to Michigan and back!

I took a quick trip to Whitelake, Michigan to go to my nephew's graduation party and see where my brother and his family moved. They have a delightful home and seem to be in a lovely area. When I heard prices etc. all I could think was WHY am I still in NJ?
We went into Detroit Sat. morning and walked on the Riverview, while some of the guys went to a train show and on Sunday we went on a few pontoon boats on Whitmore Lake. I don't do lake swimming so I sat around and got a sun burn and ate junk food!
In all this traveling I did get my sockapalooza socks done. I use Tofutsies sock yarn. This is a blend of wool, soysilk, cotton and chitin actually made from shrimp and crab shells. It does feel nice BUT was one of the most miserable yarns I have ever worked with. It was splitty, and slippery and totally irritating. I was trapped in the car a total of TWENTY HOURS so I finished these socks but I'll never use this stuff again! It was such a pleasure to cast on with STR again!

Maytag Saga continues!

Last week I received a phone call from a delightful women from Whirlpool Customer Service scolding me for not responding to her call to me canceling the servicing on my "new refrigerator". When I said "What call, I never received a call, I have an appointment for Wed." I was briskly informed, "Don't tell me that, I called you, my boss is right here!" I'm still a bit baffled as to how that proves she made the call. I was informed that she "does not have service people in my area SO my service was being canceled!" This is from the same women who made the original appointment. NOW, even in this range of delightful service how is this my fault?
Well, I had to call Maytag back and after much switching and waiting and BS I got a coveted appointment for this morning. The service man was here and he very politely informed me that the freezer is not really working well because I have food on the shelf in front of the fan. I had to have him repeat this several times because I had a hard time understanding that the top shelf (which is the largest space) is designed as follows, the left third is taken up by the ice maker, the middle third is reserved for the FAN and I can actually use the space on the right side, the smaller bottom shelf and the two shelves on the door. Oh, I can actually place a few items, maybe like a small pack of peas on the shelf under this wonderful fan. So my freezer will work perfectly if I don't use most of it.
I pointed out to this man that I am not new to the planet and at 56 have owned other freezers. I was told that this is a new improved model and very energy efficient! His suggestion was to buy a small freezer chest. YEAH RIGHT I'm going to run right back and do that! I just hope I don't need to buy more IMPROVED models soon! The finale of this service call was being told that in the first three months they don't charge for "customer education" calls but after that if I need help determining how much of the freezer is not available for use they will charge me.

You can't make this stuff up!!!!!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Maytag Should Get A New Commercial!

I didn't buy my new refrigerator based on the commercial but that image of the lonely repair man certainly stuck in my mind. WELL, my NEW 5/23/07 refrigerator is not working. My ice cream melted and the ice maker is leaking. (Plumber says it is the unit not the connection!) so I called for service, WELL they are very busy and can't get to me for TWO WEEKS!!!, when I said I could not wait that long the first suggestion was to move my frozen items to my OTHER freezer, Gee poop, I only have one right now. The other brainstorm suggestion was to borrow a refrigerator for a few weeks. NOT TOO MUCH trouble. When I protested that I would just take the refrigerator and put it on the front steps of the store that sold it to me, I was given Whirlpool to contact. After much run around with them, where I was told they ARE VERY BUSY I was given a local service authorized by them with ONLY a five day wait for service! AND Gee Lucky Me, I can't have a time appointment, they will call me between 6:30 & 7:00 the morning of the service date and give me a two hour "window" then call me 1/2 hour before actually showing up just in case they are "early or late". HOW convenient! I guess I can get some knitting in! You can't make this stuff up!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Finally Got to Knit Today

Today I had a DR apt. I took my sock in homes of having some knitting time but the Dr was running exactly on time and I whizzed in and almost out. He noticed that I haven't had a bone density test so they asked me to wait a half an hour to get one. I was thrilled!!! I almost finished my sock before going back to day labor at my house! Nothing is finished but I keep starting new projects. On Sat. I am going to work on finishing up what I can and bringing back some order to this house. I was supposed to go to a Harry Potter event with friends at Barnes and Noble tonight but I had to drive the plumber home and there were already 750 people in the store by the time I got there so even though my friends had a bracelet for me I could not get in. Oh Well, I'll go to bed early and maybe have the place back in shape by Sunday night!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I have NEVER put up wall paper but I have had the opportunity to take down acres of the stuff. When we moved into our house (more years agon then I want to admit) almost everyroom was wall papered. Yesterday and the day before I removed THE LAST of it. I make a firm promise to NEVER put any up and I'll never buy a house with it again.

Today I should start the fun part. My friend is coming to help me again and we should be able to start painting the livingroom dining room area. We are using a brick red for an accent wall then a cavern (mossy)green and a creamy color called of all things pony tail! I got these colors by taking my favorite dish to Lowes and matching up the colors. I've never had these colors in my living room before but I must like them because I have TONS of fabrics in these colors and my dishes will look great with them.

My son is also coming to do some outside work and start the wainscotting in the kitchen. I'm working my way down my to do list.

I've finished another baby quilt and I NEED to get my Sockapaloza socks done soon. I have knitting friends coming over next week so hopefully I will get some time to knit!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hey, Where did time go?

I can't believe that it is already July 15th! Time sure flies when I am on vacation. I spent last week taking a class in a school right on the river near where the Twin Towers used to be. A great location, boring class.
I'm continuing my home improvement marathon and this weekend between Caroline and I (mostly me) the yard is organized, all the unused pavers put in a neat spot, all the junk from the projects waiting to be picked up AND THE PATIO is finished. Caroline and I and her friend had the inaugural dinner out there today. Not a barbecue because that is still not hooked up!
Last weekend I painted the steps coming in the house from the back yard and painted the 1970's paneling. I hung all my quilted wall hangings that don't really fit in somewhere else in the house and hung some handmade Shaker peg hangers that I've been looking for a spot for in my house since we moved here. I draped my shawls on them. Right now this is my favorite spot in the house.
Next week I'm picking out colors to repaint the living room dining room area and then on the repainting the soap kitchen. THEN stick a fork in me I'll be done. (Except for all the ceilings and my real kitchen left to paint) I should just go back to work and take a rest!
Knitting wise I'm going slow, I'm finishing up STR Mustang SOmething or another socks and the silk garden sweater is haunting me BUT not very effectively.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July 3rd

I keep meaning to post on this blog but then I do other things and at the end of the day I still have not posted!!!! I received several GREAT swap boxes and took pictures of them but now the camera is missing so no photos.
I have not been knitting much BUT my garden is looking great. I've spent days yanking and pulling grass from my flower beds. a few years ago the people who take care of the lawn reseeded without covering the beds and I had better grass in my beds then the lawn. BUT now the beds look the way I want them. I lost lots of my perennials in neglecting the garden these last few years so I was able to add lots of plants and still have room for more. I also dragged and wheeled out so much brush from my yard that the entire street front of the house if bordered by a line of it waiting to be picked up by my town at their convenience!
The patio project seems to be nearing completion and I think I am going to love it. Next year I plan to have tons of fill brought into the yard and have real grass replanted. Right now I'm just out of time and money.
Yesterday I had to take my mother into NYC for a small medical procedure SO I had some knitting time. I have to complete the left front one sleeve and part of another sleeve and then the finishing of my silk garden sweater. I'm just loving how it is coming out. I need to stop working outside so long that I collapse at night and leave myself some knitting time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Virtual Vacation Swap

. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why? I would like to visit Hawaii. My son lived there for a while but I was never able to get out to visit.
2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why? I would go to Australia because my sister lived there for a while and both my kids visited but I never got to go AND I've heard So much about it. (Is there a theme going in this?)
3. Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries? I've driven to Fla from the NJ/NY area many times as a child and several times as an adult. I used to travel weekly to Vermont during ski season years ago from New York City.
4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? No, I've been to England, France, And Italy as well as several Caribbean islands but never to a really exotic place. I would like to go to Bali and India. I've read about both places and would love to experience their vastly different cultures.
5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? I loved visiting my father's family in Italy. It was wonderful connecting to to these relatives and living in Italy as an Italian for a brief time!
6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain. I currently live in NJ but I grew up in NYC. I've had friends and family (family from Italy, my sister's friends from Australia) come into NY and taken them to all the tourist attractions in NY.
7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker? I love beaches and museums. I loved going to all the famous museums in London when I was there. I used to go to the museums in NYC regularly BC (before children). My family has a house at the beach and I've been able to walk to a beach almost all my life. So living with sand and surf boards does not seem like a vacation to me.
8. What's your favorite type of yarn? wool and wool and silk blends

9. What's your least favorite type of yarn? scratchy, crinkly yarns of any content

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet? I love to knit socks, and I'm getting back into sweaters but I've knit just about everything but a cat bed!

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation? Socks
12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet? I quilt, do red work, wool applique.

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise) Iodine!

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite? I love blues, greens and red. I'm not a yellow or orange person.

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)? Sweet

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know?

I live in New Jersey

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Getting Out from Under

I have not posted recently, I have not sent out boxes to my fellow swappers, I've barely knit. I get up in the morning, go to work , WORK all day , go home and jump into bed.
In the last few weeks, Bob would have had his 58th birthday, we would have celebrated out 25 Wedding Anniversary and I have so many memories of first dealing with his terminal illness at this time last year and one of my aunts died. The work at my house has hit a depressing snag and I've been feeling sad and over whelmed.
Yesterday, my son called me and asked if my daughter and I would come down to the beach to be there for Father's Day with him. I guess I had planned to say home and be sad. Well, I went swimming, got sunburned, had a nice dinner within my points(WW) and spent the day surronded by my family and my kids' friends. I need to get back to doing things which make me feel good. SO if I owe you a box or anything else I'll try to get it all done this week!!!!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday Memorial Day

I can't believe it's already Monday! I've been BUSY all weekend. Tuesday the patio project starts so the driveway has 5 tons of crushed stone dust and 5 pallets of pavers and edgers. It also appears that the one piece of plumbing that was not replaced during the huge bathroom redo has failed SO if you use my tub or shower you also water the back yard! Fortunately, the water is leaking exactly where the patio is being built. If the concrete was still there the leak might have gone undetected for a long time. My brother is arranging the work so I know he'll take care of it!

Because the plumbing might have to be reached from the crawl space OR the wall of the soap kitchen which backs up the bathroom I had to do a major clean out of the soap kitchen. I don't know what gene in me makes me save each and every scrap of junk that gets into my hands. It's a good thing I cleaned out this room before I died or my kids would have brought me back to life to do it!!

SO, today I am taking it easy, meeting friends for lunch then having a friend and her daughter come over. I plan to knit and relax.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mommy Questions!

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME? I was not married when I got pregnant but I was married when my son was born.
3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? Shocked, my husband had a condition which was supposed to keep him from having children!
4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU? OK for other people but not an option for me at that time.
6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? I was so sick in the morning that I went to a DR, thought I had a flu!
7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? My husband.
8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? Did not have the option then!
9. DUE DATE? Jan.15, 1983
11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? nothing
12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? Nothing I was very happy.
14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? Yes, I had always dreamed of having two daughters.
16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER? I had 2. One for my family and one at work.
17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? They were both a surprise.
19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? Beth Isreal Medical Center in NYC
20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? about 36 hours
24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? Not until the end, my son was transverse and face up. Some how he turned during my labor and needed to be delivered by section!
25. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH? 7 lbs. and 12 oz.
27. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? Steven Alexander
28. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY? My son turned 24 this winter. It is so strange to realize that he is a man not a kid anymore.

Here's My Stash

I spent some time last weekend reorganizing my yarn collection. Doesn't calling this ever growing mass of wool a collection sound better then the S-- word? I collect other things without much hope or need of really using them. I have more cups, china and pottery pieces then I'll ever use and let's not ever go into the old pieces of lace, napkins, doileys, etc. or the books!

I used to store extra holiday dishes etc. in this closet but now my goal is to move all the yarn from it's hiding spots in the house to this closet. OR at least most of it. There are two other main storing(hiding) spots in this house, and one is on the floor that Caroline is converting into her living space. I need to empty that room before she does it for me! I wind up buying things that I already have just because I can't find them!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thank you Secret Pal 10

I must have the bestest secret pal around. She send me another just wonderful box. TWO skeins of sock yarn from a company new to me, Online supersock 100. Great colors in greens and reds,I was just admiring yarn like this with two strands plied together and thinking that I have not knit with that type of yarn in a while, and more really useful little items like a memo pad shaped like my initial, a cute plastic container, point protectors, a book mark and a delightful pattern with a Hawaiian theme. I'll show that to my son today and see if he is familiar with the place it remembers. And I've already used the oven mitt and pretty yellow tea towel baking scones and muffins this morning.
SO thanks again and enjoy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 04, 2007

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go!

I'm leaving this evening to go to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I've been wanting to go for a few years but the last few years I've taught a Sat. Knitting Club in May and June and could not take the day off. This year I was talking about going with a few people but never really made plans and then realized last Tuesday that I only had a few days left to arrange something. No one was able to go at my Tuesday knitting group BUT then I got a phone call that someone had canceled from another group of friends and I could take her place!

I said yes immediately and I'm leaving today and I'll be back on Sunday. All I know is that we are staying with someone's friend and I'm not driving. My daughter is taking care of the animals and my house and I am off. Usually, I plan and anticipate everything so this is a nice change for me. Hopefully the weather is nice and I'll have a chance to find some spectacular things to send to my Secret Pal 10, my coffee swap pal and my sockapalooza pal who does not want a wool pair of socks!(too bad I have more wool sock yarns then I've live long enough to knit!)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Coffee Swap 2 Questions!

1. Whole bean or ground? I really prefer whole beans if possible.

2. Fully-loaded or decaf? ONLY fully-loaded!
3. Regular or flavored? I do sometimes drink French Vanilla or Hazelnut but I usually don't care for the more exotic flavors except the spicy ones in the winter.
4. How do you drink your coffee? Black with no sugar.
5. Favorite coffee ever? I don't really have a favorite, I have used A&P whole beans most of my life from convenience but I've enjoyed many other varieties.
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? When you drink coffee black there is no fooling around so I will drink it if there is no other option but I avoid no name cheapee coffee.

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Scones and muffins which is why I've joined Weight Watchers!
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? I'm easy to please and love to try new things.
9. Yarn/fiber you love? I love wool and any blend with silk in it.
10. Yarn/fiber you hate? I hate stiff rough yarn regardless of its content.
11. What's on your needles? STR socks, a noro entrelac vest, and a sweater from noro silk garden are active. I have others that are resting and waiting a turn!
12. Favorite colors? I love blues, greens and red.AND purples. I avoid neon colors and usually don't care for orange or brown.
13. Allergies? Iodine which I'm sure will not be an issue!
14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest?
I really enjoy receiving new items in swaps and trying out ethnic or local items.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Got My New Socks That Rock Club Package!

Right now I'm going through a part of the school year that I find boring, full of paperwork without the excitement of either planning for the new school year yet or the challenge of seeing how things really worked out. SO, I was plowing through yet another mound of paperwork and I thought that a new shipment of STR was due and there it was when I got home. It was a rainy, nasty day here in NJ but the priority pack was just the brightest spot in my day.

I really like this new shipment. It is a bit different from the other ones AND comes with a toe up pattern. Somehow I think that the silk in this sock will let it jump the line and get started next. AND I think I might even follow the pattern exactly! Or as exactly as I can.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Blip in the Yarn Diet

Sometimes you can be minding your own business, knitting, reading or whatever and your friends will toss temptations, suggestions, opportunities at you! A few weeks ago I was just minding my own sock at our weekly stitch and knit when the subject of a local yarn store changing ownership or closing BUT selling yarn at a discount came up. So my friend innocently suggested a little visit. So we visited and I went on a Noro spree!!!! I love good yarns but I also love paying my mortgage etc. so as much as I love them I'm always looking for a bargain. I must be pretty good at this because I have enough fiber to keep me busy through my life time and several more reincarnations BUT I could just look and get new ideas---- Well, we all know the end of this story. I took my buying pass and went to town, I got enough silk garden to make a sweater (13), a ten pack of kureyon, four loose kureyons and TWENTY Big Bebe, and a Noro book. I have so many sweaters in the line up to work on that I feel guilty that the silk garden jumped line. I have the back and up to the arm opening of one front done already done. Getting this new influx of Noro into the house got me to work on my entrelac vest that has been hanging around since some time in the winter. I'm especially excited about the Big Bebe because I got a bunch of that on sale in Pa this winter for a $ 1 hank now I have to dig that from it's hiding spot and see what I can do after I finish the silk garden and vest. I'm not really sure who or what I'm hiding this yarn from! My husband never really caught on to how much money I spend on yarns and quilting stuff. He just had a Chico shopping bag radar that was incredible and if he knew how much I spent there he would has passed YEARS ago!!!
I'm really really not buying anything else until Stitches or Maryland Sheep & Wool if I can get other people to go to that with me!

coffee swap

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Great Box from my secret Pal 10

Last week end several boxes were left at the door. The top box was addressed to my daughter so I put them at the bottom of the stairs for her to open when she got home from college this weekend. WELL< I should have checked the name on the bottom box because my latest wonderful swap box was hiding under my daughter's stuff!
My partner out did herself. She sent two skeins of alpaca hand dyed yarn in dreamy blues,greens and browns. A great purse or bag knitted from red raspberry colored ribbon, a yarn needle and stitch holders ( I never have enough of these), a magnifying pen (what a clever little devise) and a Laura Ashley journal. AND a raspberry colored bag with a jar of red raspberry preserves! AND the cutest cat knitting card. I've never used alpaca before so I 'm going to look for a pattern for suitable for 100 grams of about worsted weight with a suggested gauge of 18 stitches to 4 inches on size 7. ANY suggestions?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Caroline Job Promotion

This is my post to brag about my daughter. Caroline is just the best daughter ever. She has been such a help to me and is turning into a wonderful, generous, beautiful young women. For the last few years Caroline has had a part-time job while she attended college full time. Today is her first full day as a permanant employee. She has been hired full time before she even graduates from college. Caroline will graduate this summer and move back home with me. Caroline has turned into a hard working, full of life and very loving daughter. I am always posting pictures of socks and other stuff but what really makes me feel the best is that both of my kids are doing well and have turned into kind and loving young adults. There were times in their teens that I wondered if it would happen!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Easter Bread

Every year I try to bake Easter bread. Some years I bake more then other years --this year I stopped at eight. These breads are made from a sweet dough and braided around uncooked eggs. Each braid has a filling of almond, orange peel and chocolate. Some years I add anise seeds also. I'll bring some with me on Easter day and give some out to friends sooner. If I get my energy back I'll drizzle a simple confectionery sugar icing on them. I'll probaby eat one myself with sweet butter for breakfast over the next few days. It's a good thing that we are starting Weight Watchers at my school on April 17th!

Apologies to my Secret Pal

My secret pal has been great. She sent me a beautiful card then a needle organizer and samples of different yars and a very cool tape measure which clips to a key chain. I goofed and failed to post or probably even say thanks! All I can do is say I'm sorry and plead brain blip! I thought about doing it so much I think I convinced myself that it was done!
So Secret Pal thanks for everything and please accept my apology for being so late to acknowledge these gifts!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Knitting nice and cozy

I spent most of today doing errands and running around. I did manage to have lunch with my daughter at her office. She showed me her new little cubicle, she is proud of landing a full time job before even graduating. While I was doing that--- new central AC and new heating units were being installed in my house. It has gotten cold again here so I'm still using the heater. I stopped at Whole Foods and got myself some brown rice sushi, and a few other treats so now I am going to curl up to just knit the night away!

Monday, April 02, 2007

A Three Strike Day

Today was the first day of my week off for Spring break. I did some laundry and some how in the cleaning out of Bob's stuff one of his FISH HOOKS, one with three hooks, must have fallen on the laundry room floor, and got snagged on a sock and GOT WASHED WITH A DOZEN on my hand knit socks. So far it seems that only a poor koigu sock was partially destroyed. Although when I saw the fish hook I came close to passing out and there must be many more gray hairs then I had before!

Next, a few days ago I bit on something and heard and felt a crack in a back molar. I was hoping for a filling but today I experienced an tooth extraction from a dentist who looked about 12! He was very gentle and very sweet but that tooth must have had roots down to my knees.

Finally, the guy who is installing my heating and AC called to tell me that his helper had a death in his family and they are postponing my installation until Wed. My perfectly planned week is drifting away!

Oh well, on the lighter side I did get lots of knitting done waiting at the dentist's office and I am going to take another pain pill and hopefully get a great night's sleep!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Still Busy just NOT with Knitting!

We put this door in years ago and never painted it because I wanted red and Bob wanted white. His huge compromise was black but black was not closer to red for me then white! Yesterday, I painted and now I have the reddest door in my town. It looks splotched in the picture but that is the camera ( little cheapee camera that it is!) but it real life it is pure true fire engine red. My daughter hates the hat and hid it when her date came to pick her up last night. Very mature for a 22 year old.
The floor is my other big accomplishment. I had tired stale old never can really get clean anymore carpet in my bedroom. I don't like wall to wall carpet but Bob never wanted bare floors in the bedroom. Yesterday when I was trying to vacuum it clean for the millionth time but really hoping to change the color and age of the carpet with a Dyson I decided to just pull it out. What could be so bad under that old disgusting carpet? Well, this floor does not look so great now but it will soon.
So between work, having to attend a funeral this week and these two projects my socks are resting quietly in their spots not even daring to call out. Today is a paper work day, Monday I'm getting a new AC and heating unit installed so I may have time to knit then or not!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Finally finished black socks

Well, I finally finished my black socks. I can't take a picture of them since I wore them to work yesterday. One of my co workers looked at them and said that they looked like professional real socks. I wonder, does that mean that my other socks look like unprofessional, phoney socks! I did these socks from Lisa Souza yarn in a color way called Oil Slick. They are mostly black with just a bit of green and blue drifting through. I wear black lots and sometimes I just want a black sock. Boring to knit but I will get lots of use from it. I already cast on a new pair from Socks That Rock in Rare Gems. I got this as a bonus from the sock club last year and it is looking great. I'm out of my house from 5:40AM to around 8:30PM both last week and this week working and commuting, so when I finally return to having a life next week I;ll post a picture!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Lazy Day Here

Yesterday, I thought that I would curl up early and knit but I was obcessed with doing whatever and wound up working and knitting till late. Today I am making up for it. I felt lazy and sleepy all day. I did about 10 rows on the sock pattern I am trying out for my friends' online store, read, ate and napped! Now I'm getting ready to got to a friend's house to knit for a while.
I got a beautiful card from my secret pal yesterday. It is a beautiful peaceful scene, lovely enough to frame.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bathroom completed!!!!!!! (Just about)

Well, the bathroom is just about finished. I'll get some better shots in a day or so when the camera battery cooperates. I thought I had a completed bathtub shot but I downloaded an old in progress one. What a pleasure to finally be able to use this tub again. We stopped using this bathroom due to the leaking roof and the other repairs that were supposed to get done in AUGUST. Then things just happened and here we are seven months later. I love the colors in this room and the wooden vanity. Now I have the bug to get everything else done in the house! I was supposed to work scoring test today in Brooklyn but the weather was too risky so I was able to stay here and seal the grout, and finish the painting, hang the shower curtains and take the first bath.
I'm getting very little knitting done, just too busy at work and too much running to help take care of my mother. She is doing better now that she is taking medication for the bronchitis which triggered the asthma attach that landed her in the hospital. I'm sure her MD just forgot to send her home with a script. Finally when my mother was not getting better and she went back to allergist/pulmenologist (spelling?), he gave her a script and she started improving right away. The "family or primary MD " is a sweet women but either careless or overworked. First, she said my mother was going to have to take antibiotics at home but after she was sent home without a script DR Forgetful said she didn't need to take more medication. I am positive she just forgot! My mother refused to ever complain or bother this doctor so it is a never ending battle.
As soon as I finish this post I am going to plant my tired aching self on the couch and watch old stuff saved on the DVR and try to work on my sock. I just hope I stay awake past one show.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Secret Pal 10 & 100th POST

I have been very quiet on this blog because my house has been a whirlwind of change and work. The bathroom is almost done and ALMOST ready for pictures. I also have a new roof, new facias(didn't even really know I had old ones!), new gutters, lots of new plumbing, a shed and old swing set gone and some many repairs. The laundry/ unility room is being remodeled to accept a new heating and air conditioner unit. The top floor is being worked on so that when my daughter finishes college she can live there in a semi self contained unit. I am also cleaning out years of old stuff and junk, AND painting anything that does not run away!

SO lots of work but very little knitting. BUT here is the Secret Pal 10 questionaire a bit late but here it is. I did get some knitting done yesterday because my mother is hospitalized due to asthma and I'll visit later with my knitting . I just hope I can stay awake.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love to knit with wools.
I don't like stiff harsh yarns whatever their content is!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Crocks, baskets, cups, a flat drawer and in many UFO's.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I'm 55 and I learned when I was about 5 so I'm knitting a long time! I know lots and still have lots to learn.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent?
I love Patchouli blends.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
YES, and I love chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I quilt, do redwork and I have spun but currently I don't have a working wheel. I also made cold process soaps, natural lotions and creams.

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 classical rock -- Beatles, Dylan etc. I don't really know what a MP3 is!

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love blues, red, greens, purples. I;m not partial to orange, and muddy shades.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
My husband passed away a last summer. I have two chldren. My son is 24 and my daughter is 22. I have two cats and a dog has me!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
NO ponchos but everything else.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

13. What are you knitting right now?
I'm working on socks, and an entrelac vest.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes, I do.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I like circulars with sharp points. Right now I'm knitting with Knitpick Options.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I have a winder not a swift.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
How old am I?

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas, Thanksgiving

19. Is there anything that you collect?
blue pottery from Poland, blue Wedgewood

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. I just need time to use it.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Norwegian Purl

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I LOVE TO KNIT SOCKS!!! I wear an eight in American Shoes and a 38 in Birks. My foot is about 9 1/2 inches wide and 9 1/2 inches long. It really does not look like a box!

23. When is your birthday?
August 5th

Sunday, February 18, 2007

lots of work progress hard to find!

I used to inwardly roll my eyes when someone went on and on about having work done in their house. I used to think "How bad could it be?" Well, now I know! One the bright side everything that is being done is necessary and will add to the value and comfort of my house. On the side I see and am living with every day , there is more dust then I thought was possible. I'm not even doing the work and my hair is always dusty. everything has extra hidden STUFF .WRONG. Everything takes three times as long and is costing way more then I expected. BUT my brother is doing this for me at cost during a slowish time of the year for him. Or it was slowish until he started working for me and then he got quite a few emergency jobs.
The more I do around here the more I want to get done! Yesterday I changed out the curtains in the kitchen, painted the window sills and window frames, the bathroom door and in general decluttered the kitchen & this was after going to Home Depot, Lowes, Linen & Things, the Library and the A&P. This morning I hopped put of bed, drove over the my sister's house to get my grandmother and her twenty bags and boxes of stuff, get stuck on ice and had to chop out a ton to get out of their driveway. Since I've been home, I've been rubbing off the grout haze on the bathroom tiles, cooking for everyone, doing laundry, finishing work on the kitchen and taking care of my grandmother. My grandmother is 96 and really a pip. She said today that she will be no trouble to me at all and I should just go about my normal stuff. Yes, she is not trouble but she needs three cooked meals a day, help with showering and getting around, and always needs just a bit of help with her hearing aide, or walker or something. Monday, we start with the plumber, roofer and his helper and my brother and his helper, all over again! Tonight my son is coming for dinner and to drop off his laundry. I'm not complaining but another full week of this and I'll be too exhausted to go back to work! AND I HAVE GOTTEN NOT A STITCH OF KNITTING DONE OR EVEN GOTTEN TO OPEN MY LIBRARY BOOKS!!!!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Correction to previous post!

The previous post has a mistake!!!!I don't know how that slightly naughty beach picture got into my bathroom and scone post but here are the photos that really go with it. I've tried to correct it and I think that blogger is off for the weekend!

not finished bit at least it's not pink

We've had a very mild, warm winter in NJ until recently. Now it's so cold that those warm day seem years away. As my brother continues to work on my bathroom I am finding out that the pinkness of it was the least of my troubles. Whoever installed it had a unique sense of plumbing. The overflow pipe just dumped onto the flooring under the tub, there was NO insulation in the bathroom and it was cold enough that the pipes were frozen. Well I could have told him that everything in that bathroom was frozen! AND assorted other odds and ends were discovered. I'm very lucky that my brother is doing this for me at a slow time for his business. I would be flipping if I was paying full price for all this work. Do now I own lots of new plumbing and none of it is pink and there are signs of progress ---a new white tub and insulation! See the pink shelves in the closet? It was covered with shelving paper while I've been in the house but at one time it was the color of the ENTIRE bathroom. What a treat that must have been.
I have not gotten much knitting done this week, just working on that never ending black sock. I've been baking for my brother and his workers every night so here is my favorite scone recipe.

Cream Scones

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
a good shake of salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 to 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
extra sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a food processor. Whirl a few times. Gradually pour in 1 cup of heavy cream while the machine is on. Add another 1/4 cup if needed to have a ball of dough form. Turn of processor as soon as a dough ball is formed.

Lightly flour a counter or board and gently flatten the ball into a disk . You can make one disk of full size scones or two for smaller ones. Cut each disk into eight pie shaped wedges. If you want soft edges bake keeping the pieces together. If you want the edges crispy separate them on the ungreased baking sheet.

I brush the scones with some of the reserved cream and sprinkle lightly with sugar and cinnamon. Bake around 15 minutes until barely brown. Check the bottoms and don't over bake.