Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter on this early cold Easter. The last time Easter was this early was 93 or so years ago. This only person I know who was around then was my grandmother and even she was a child!

This will be a quiet day for me. My son is still in Florida working. Caroline and I were supposed to go upstate to spend the day with my family at my sister's house. I've had a little bit of the colitis I had in the fall so I've been staying close to home these last few days. I really want to get into work this week so I think rest and fluids at home is better then travel and holiday foods!

The silver lining is that I get to work on my pinwheel sweater for another chunk of time. I put the edge on a holding yarn and started working on the 1st sleeve. I tried it on and I think I'm going to like it. I would love to have it done for that sweater period that leads into summer. A few years ago it was my goal to have a pair of hand knit socks for every day I wanted to wear socks. I do and it's great. Now my goal is to have a handmade sweater or shawl for each time I want to wear one.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Day Off

This whole week I've been working extra hours at a test scoring project so I've been working from 7 to 9 plus commuting so there has been no time for knitting but today I am off from work and so I slept late, sorted through mail, I'm doing laundry, went out to lunch with my daughter, took a nap and now I am going to settle in with a few netflick movies and just knit the afternoon away! My replacement knitpick needles came in so I'm good to go!

Spring Fling Yarn & Coffee


1. What is your preference? Whole beans or ground?
I only use whole beans when I have a choice!

2. What kind of coffees do you enjoy? A rich, bold roast; a light, fresh one, or something in between? Leaded or non?
I love my coffee the stronger and darker the better! No Decaf for me!

3. If you were headed out right now to buy some coffee for the house, what would you be picking up?
My usual everyday coffee is A&P whole beans.
4. Do you drink for caffeine, pleasure, or both?
I drink coffee for caffeine and pleasure!
5. Do you enjoy flavored coffees? How about add-ins or flavored creamers?
Some flavored coffee are OK with me but not too sweet or exotic. I drink my coffee plain.

6. A large, lovely mug or a small, dainty cup?
I drink from a huge mug.

7. Describe your perfect cup - not JUST the coffee, but how you'd enjoy it!
I love my coffee strong and dark in a large cup with a cube of ice popped in it. I love to take my coffee out to the garden or to the beach.

8. You're sitting down to enjoy a nice cup in the local coffee shop, knitting bag in hand, iPod all tuned up - or maybe you're there with a few friends for knit night! What treat do you pick up to enjoy with your coffee? A sweet, rich brownie, or something more healthy? How about a salty treat? What goes best with that great cup and company?

I would love to eat the richest, sweetest pastery going but I'm trying to keep on Weight Watchers so I usually eat fruit or a vitalicious muffin.


1. Do you knit or crochet?
I knit, I can crochet but I hate to actually do it.

2. What are your favorite types of yarns to work with?
I love to work with natural fibers, wools, alpacas, silks cottons. I love Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Malabgigeo Yarns etc!

3. What do you have on the needles (or hook!) right now?
Right now, I working on a pinwheel sweater using a Tahki Windsow tweed yarn.

4. What are your favorite colors in yarns? What about those that you'd never find in your stash?
I love rich reds, blues and greens. I also love interesting neutrals but really don't like yellow or orange or any neon colors.

5. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using? Any you just detest?
I usually match my needle to my project and switch between adi, knitpicks both in metal and harmony wood and bryspun which actually are my favorite. I just love that sprongy little point.

6. Are there any particular notions you absolute do NOT need? Some of us swap a lot - are you sure that you have enough tape measures to last your lifetime? Enough stitch markers to mark every stitch of a 10 foot wide afghan?

I have enough measuring tapes, and kitchner tip card for several lifetimes. I never use needle end protectors or stitch counters so I have pleanty of those. I would love some pretty beaded stitch markers.

7. You walk into the yarn shop and have exactly and only enough money to purchase 2 skeins of yarn in their 2 for 20 special they have going..The choices are a soft, thick cotton/viscose blend in your favorite colors, slightly variegated..a beautiful sock yarn that's just squishy and sproingy in your hands.. a soft, worsted weight wool like malabrigo.. and a lovely bamboo blend with colors to just die for. Which do you walk out the door with?

Now this is hard, because you have named two yarns that I love squishy sprongy sock yarn like Socks That Rock and Malabrogio. I would probably sell my shoes or something to get both!


1. We're starting sign-ups on the first day of Spring - is it already truly Spring-like where you are?

I'm in NJ so we are getting peeks of spring but it still is pretty cold and we are still waiting for Spring.

2. What's your favorite spring flower? Do you have one?
I love liliacs, I have a few bushes and while they are late in the season when my liliacs bloom and scent the air I REALLY know winter is over!3. What do you most look forward to about springtime?
I work in a school, as a staff developer so for me when it is spring I know that summer is not too far away.

4. They've predicted a gorgeous day tomorrow - Sunny and about 65 with a nice breeze - how do you spend your day?

I might take a walk along the beach or work in my garden.
5. The day after, it's going to be cooler and pouring down rain - does that impact your mood? How do you spend that day? what helps cheer you up?

I am influenced by rain and dark weather. I'd probably spend the day indoors drinking coffee and knitting and napping!
Odds n Ends

1. Do you collect anything BESIDES yarn and needles?
I collect quilting fabrics especially charm packs and batik and depression prints. I also love polish pottery mugs.

2. Are you allergic to anything?
3. Do you have pets?
Three cats and a dog who really thinks he is the King of the House
4. Is this your first swap, or are you an old pro? What are the last 2 swaps you participated in?

I have participated in many swaps in knitting/yarns and soaps/handmade lotions etc. I've slowed down in the past year. The last three swaps for me are A World of Tea 2, A Dish Cloth Swap (a first for me) and a Favorite Color swap (Red)5. List 3 of your favorite blogs - craft related or not - and tell us why you love them.
I use up lots of time poking around blogs. I think my favorites are:
The Yarn Harlot
Mode Knit/Knitting Heretic

I've met briefly all three of the ladies who write these blogs and I enjoy reading about their knitting and families lives. But I drop in and out of reading many other ones.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quiet Day

Today has been a weird day for me. I drove my daughter to the airport at 3:45 at night or morning and was home by 5:45AM the time I am usually meet my carpool friend for work! I jumped back into bed but all day all I want to do is sleep. I've been working on my pinwheel sweater, I hope I like it, this is a totally new sweater type for me. There is a little more of me around especially in the middle then I like!

Both of my kids are in Miami, Fla right now. My son is on a job working there and my daughter is visiting him. I will be working this week from 7:15 to 8:00 plus my usual commute so I don't expect to get anymore knitting done after I finish up today's session. Yesterday the tip of my new Harmony Knitpick #9 popped off. I pushed in back in and called them and they are sending a replacement. I received a broken needle with my last order and now my set is having problems. I really like the Harmony needles but if they are going to be like the Brittney Birch and always broken maybe I NEED to return to metal!

Oh well, back to napping!

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors? Red, Blue, Green

2. What crafts do you really enjoy? I LOVE to knit, quilt and do red work.
3. What products do you really covet? I really would like some more stitch markers.
4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things? I enjoy reading, working my garden,I love the beach.
5. Is there anything you collect? I collect Polish pottery, blue Wedgwood, quilting fabric, and old fabric items like doily, pillowcases, napkins etc.
6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol? I am a Leo and I was born in 1951.
7.What are your favorite…

scents/smells? I love patchouli, lavender, and spicy complex scents. I'm not a food scent person except for vanilla.strong>…

types of music and/or bands? I like classical music, Dylan and Simon and Garfinkle etc.

authors?em> I read just about anything except Romance novels. I especially like mysteries, and try to read most of the books on the NYT best seller's list.

animals?em> I have three cats and one dog. I'm a cat person the dog was my husband's best friend before he passed away. That little dog and I are still working out our relationship. He thinks he is king of the house. I have trouble agreeing to this!

places to shop?em> I'm not a shopper in malls or department stores. I do love poking around in antique shops, flea markets. AND I LOVE going to yarn &quilt shops. My knitting group has been getting together every few months and taking a road trip to a new yarn shop. I do most of my yarn shopping either at Knitting Festivals or Conventions or online.

season?em> I am a summer person. My family has a beach house at the Jersey shore and I could spend my entire life sitting in the sun, reading, knitting, swimming and hanging out with my family and friends.>…

<strong>em>yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies?em>
I usually try to knit with natural fibers and really love knitting with wool the most. I have tons of lace and sock yarns and would like more worset weight interesting yarns. I collect quilting charm packs and jelly rolls.

candies or goodies?em> I am back on weight watchers so any treats that I have need to be calorie friendly. I do enjoy interesting natural teas, and coffees.

Do you have any wish lists?em> <strong>Peace on Earth, an end to World Hunger, Universal Education I don't have any online wish lists.

9. Are you allergic to anything?

10. Do you have any pets? What are they?
I have one cat but I live with three cats and a dog.

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy. Also, if you have a Ravelry ID, please include it here.
I would really enjoy receiving something which is different and local to your area. I'm flexible and enjoy receiving surprises. My Ravelry ID is Franhaz.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Two Yarn Shops and a Class in ONE Day

Right now, I'm having hugely busy time at work. I've been working a series of long stressful days and finding very little time to knit. Friday, I got home from work at 10:30 PM and either had to go back and work at school on Sat or get up as usual at 5:00 to get some work done and e mailed in before 9:30 because on Sat.night I had a class planned at Anglefire Studio with Annie Modissete (SP?). The class was not until the evening BUT I had a broken nail and I was not taking a knitting class missing a nail nor am I going through the round of meetings scheduled for next week with a broken nail. After all not one person will notice all the weight I am gaining back if my nails look good. (Well at least I hope!)

Well, I'm just going on and on and going off my topic but in my mail there was a postcard that yet another LYS is closing up! Another owner going off to knit from stash and enjoy her family. SO now our only really local knitting shop is a store I really prefer to avoid BUT there was a big sale starting SAT. and my knitting friends who are really on the ball had already arranged for us to meet early shop there, then eat out and go on the our class. The sale was great, the dinner lovely and the class a treat! AND I hit the sale basket at the shop class and now it is official I need to live to at least 106 because I have enough yarn to knit for another 50 YEARS.

Today, I spend most of the day working again, calming my principal down about our Quality Review and baking a cheese cake for my friend's birthday. TWO more days of craziness at work then a breather for two days before I start a three week project where I will be working 7 days a week, 12 hour days during the week PLUS commuting and a shorter day on the weekend. When I'm finished I'll have lots of extra money to buy enough yarn to knit for the next 100 years.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

How Far Is Spring?

I should have been born in a warmer climate. I know NJ is not as cold as many other places but I just hate winter. It's not just the cold I hate, what I really hate is getting up at 4:45 for work, traveling a good part of the way is the dark and then returning home in the dark. I'm luckier then many people with my schedule because my desk is right near a window and most of the classrooms I work in do have natural light BUT this dark commute makes me feel like a mole!
There is a new earlier retirement plan that is becoming available to teachers in NYC and when I was wondering if I wanted to do it, two things came to mind---no more commuting in the dark and unlimited knitting time. The disadvantages are -- I really love my job and I like being able to afford to do just about anything I want knitting wise. SO it seems that early retirement might give me the time but not the money!!! Oh well, I think March is a month made for complaining!!!!

I still need to get the zipper for my sweater and I need to make peace with the sleeve of the sweater I am test knitting ( it is very close to becoming a vest!). I'm working on a mistaken rib scarf in a great alpaca I was given for Christmas by a teacher at my school and I'm trying to decide which sweater in my mental line up is jumping on my needles next!