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!!!!!!!