Sunday, December 13, 2009

knitters are the best friends!

Every Tuesday night I knit with a very special group of women. We mostly all met through knitting but have really become a special close knit group! Saturday night we had our annual Holiday party at my house.

We did what most people do during a party, ate and talked and laughted! This year we did a secret swap and it was so much fun, researching your partner and trying to make the perfect box!

I love what my partner gave me and I think she loves her treats especially the shawl I knit for her. A friend of mine made a special gift for me a traveling Women shawl in red!!!!! I just love it, I also received a great ornament, a clear plastic ornament with some knitting on TOOTHPICKS place in it! How clever was that?!?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Other Hobby Swap

Here is what my great swap partner Ceraphina,from My Other Hobby on Rav sent to me. Three pairs of great ear rings made by her. Wonderful sock yarn, a big fat candle, handcream, three fat quarters in my favorite colors, dark chocolate, a great project bag ---all packed into a great pocketed case. It was lots of fun to open each little compartment and find new treats.thank you so much

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Getting Back to Normal!

The last few weeks have been wild. I've had a surgery which I hope will help me to get healthier and loose weight. I'm returning back to work on Monday. As difficult as it was to have my procedure done, I had lots of free time to knit and rest.

My grandmother fell in the beginning of September and broke her hip. Breaking a hip is life changing for someone a few days away from 98. Since then she has been from hospital to hospital rehab and yesterday to a subacute nursing home. She and my mother are confident that she will be "home" in a few days/weeks whatever. I'm not so sure. I think staying in the nursing home might be her new normal. Please keep her in your prayers so that the new normal for her is clear and not so hard to decide.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Thanks Secret Pal 14!

Here's my last package from my secret pal. She sent me just the best treats! This last package included note cards, a hand made towel and cloth set, (I love handmade gifts!!) an real cute tool set, (an oval with everything you need for repairs or on the go), a box of chocolate treats, a candle in a great fresh scent and a little traveling pouch. Thanks so much!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I have been very lucky with friends all my life. I have good friends and I am able to be a good friend. One of my friends took me for my surgery and then the next day took me back for my follow up visit. Friends have been calling, e mailing and keeping in touch extra for the last few days. One of my friends blocked my black shawl for me and it looks great! A friend picked me up today for a few hours of relaxing knitting at Barnes and Noble this afternoon.

It is hard to loose friends. In the last few days I have lost two friends far too young. the first I found out about on Facebook. She was a super sweet women who made great goatmilk soap. We worked together on learning to make lotionand wound up sharing huge parts of our lives. I know few details of what happened and she leaves behind a huband, son, daughter and grands. We will all miss her.

The second friend to pass was a member of our Tuesday knitting group. She was also young, only 43. Sharon was struck by a car shortly after getting off the commuter bus. She passed away while everyone was waiting for her to come to our Tuesday knitting group. Sharon leaves behind a husband, brothers, sisters and neices and nephews and 14 pug dogs. She was a funny smart lady who brought new ideas and lots of energy to our group. She was the one who got us started on the EZ Adult Surprise Sweater KAL. Sharon will not get to finish hers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 2

This my first day out of surgery. My friend took me back to the Doctor's office to speak with the Nutritionist. Now I'm exhausted and all I want to do is rest for the rest of the day.

The song of the frog was here again and the Swallowtail shawl was frogged yet again. When I'm feeling better I WILL find a way to knit this thing!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stubborness Wins

I started the Swallowtail Lace Shawl a few years ago. It was right after Bob passed and my mind wandered too much. BUT I had it in the back of my mind to do it again. So Friday, I cast on again and knit but I was having such trouble understanding the pattern. Over Friday, Sat and now Sunday the froggy song of RIPIT< RIPIT was heard over and over! Finally I went to Ravelery and looked at other's people's work and READ their comments. Now I get it. The chart I'm following only gives the six stitch repeat and only the six rows of the pattern. I realize that I just was not seeing the pattern from the chart. The chart shows the repeat which is the second half of the pattern and then the first half. Once I saw that it all made sense! I will get this done!!!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Some FO's to show!

I finished a few projects recently. I started a Damson Shawl but did not have enough yarn so I finished it without the lace pattern border.The yarn is STR med weight. I love the colors. I also finished a ruffle scarf that looks like it is quick but is really LOTS of knitting.This is a fun easy pattern with short rows making the scarf twist and turn. It is my new walk around knitting so I immediately cast on a new one.

On Monday I am having elective surgery. I should be home for a week and a half and I am almost giddy with the idea of so much knitting time! Let's hope I feel well enough to get in lots of knitting!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

finished Black Shawl!!!!

It still needs to be blocked and have the ends tucked in and there are a jillion mistakes and it will be A LONG TIME BEFORE I KNIT IN BLACK AGAIN!!!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Hospital Knitting

Thursday had to be one of the worst days I've had recently! In the morning I found out that my insurance company is dickering around with an elective surgery I have planned for next Monday. Without going into all the gory details this is why people HATE their insurance companies. ?More drama will follow next week!

Then I found out that my son had his debit card cloned and his bank account emptied out. Fortunately the bank picked up on it and called him and most of it has been replaced but not all.

Then the worst news. My 97 year old grandmother fell and broke her hip. So yesterday she had surgery and did as well as anyone her age can do. Now on Sunday we will be looking at rehabs for her. So I've gotten in lots of knitting on my shawl, finished my ruffly scarf and snapped ANOTHER needle working on the Damson shawl. Pictures will follow when I can get to it!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Tinking Black Lace

I have knit most of today and I am about 2 rows behind where I started. I was just rolling along on this project. I had the lace rows memorized, the chart was making sense and I was thinking "Why don't I do more lace?". Yes, pride goes before the fall. All of a sudden I realized that I had a bunch of extra stitches that the knitting devils must have stuck in while I was gloating about how nice this was coming along. SO I tried to pull out a patch and re knit the mistaken part. I just was able to make a much worse mess and then in true knitter's denial I knit two more rows as if a huge combination blob and hole right in the middle of the shawl would just blend in! Not only would galloping horse's rider notice it, they could disappear in it. So I had to pick out TEN rows which took me about the same time it took to knit them!!!! So I guess it is a good thing I love the process of knitting because I have no product to show!!

Picture Catch Up

I finally took some crummy pictures with my cell phone. Here is my latest Secret Pal Box. Now I can use the stitch markers!!! I'm not sure that you can see them but they are a lovely pale blue and silver.

Here is the shawl. I'd like to retire from life for a while and just work on this! Well, I go back to work on Tuesday so there is no chance of that! I'm off to the movies then an end to summer dinner with my daughter. Although I love my job I don't want to go back to work!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Black Lace

I have not felt very productive knitting wise this summer.BUT for the past few days I have just given into knitting the shawl Clothitde in black Nashua Ivy. It is a blend of alpaca and Merino with a bit of silver sparkle. No picture yet but I'll try the cell phone when it is light out. I'm on row 17 of the third repeat of a 20 row gull wing lace pattern. One more of this 20 row pattern then about 50 rows of spearhead lace. We'll see when I get this finished!

Yesterday I went to the 1st birthday party of the son of one of Caroline's friends. I got to visit with the quilt I made for him. I love seeing the quilts I make for these kids being used!

Today was I spent the day at the beach with my family. The last beach day of the season.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Thanks Secret Pal

I received a great box from my secret pal. I always feel sad at the end of the summer and this box was a welcome treat. I will post a picture ASAP but here is a description of the contents:
Two skeins of blue Ambrosia yarn - new to me a blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere (yum)

four beautiful blue stitch ,markers

a chunk of handmade soap

fall gel clings for the window

a cute potholder and towel set

101 Designer one -skein Wonders

a Go Red Love your heart pin

Thanks so much,

Thursday, September 03, 2009

September Already

i can hardly believe that there are only a few more days of freedom for me! This has been a quiet summer for me, and a fast one. I made a few quilts ,did some knitting but finished just about NOTHING!!!
i am behind in keeping up withthis blog SO I will try harder -- just not today!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer just rushing by!

I can't believe that summer is almost gone! I've been spending the last few days with my mother who had her gallbladder removed on Monday. She is doing great and I've gotten in some quality knitting time on my adult surprise sweater. I would like to have it finished by the time I go back to school.

Friday, I'm going to bring her up to my sister's house in CT to see my grandmother wh is in the hospital recovering from pneumonia. Never a dull moment around here. I still need to finish my friends's daughter's wedding shower quilt by Sunday! She may get a semifinished quilt and an IOU.

My son is off to work on a show in Canada. The secretary in his office mistakenly booked him a ticket to Ontario, CA instead of Ontario, Canada so he will be getting in late without car or hotel plans set up!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday, August 17

I had a nice weekend, spent Friday at home while my friend's husband installed my new diningroom chandelier, it sounds so pretentious but it is a very simple one and coordinates with the inverted pendant in the livingroom.

Sat. I was up early for a class at my doctor's office and then spent most of the day napping, cooking and knitting.

Sunday, I got together with some friends and we went to Belmar to have lunch and see a play. A friend's sister and brother wrote the music and script and a group put it on to benefit the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Today my mother is having gall bladder surgury. I'll probably get in more hospital knitting with this! I certainly hope this is the LAST of my hospital knitting for a LONG time!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Three Years Today

Today is August 14th and three years ago my husband, Bob passed away at age 56. It feels like forever and also just a moment! i'm glad he is finished with pain and suffering but I wish he could see how our children are doing,how his constant companion Gizmo the dog is and all the work I've done in the house. Dealing with Bob's disability and terminal illness changed me. First I was a much more angry person but I've become much calmer and understanding and I hope less quick to be judgemental. It's been a while but I really miss him.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 13th!

I can't believe that I let so much time pass without a post! I had such plans for posting very often this summer. I've been very busy with stuff that needed to be done, of no real interest to anyone but me and my family. A good friend was sick, I was sick, my mother was sick etc.

My evening knitting group has been working on knitting the E Zimmermann's Surprise sweater, either the baby or adult version. It's been lots of fun. It is so interesting to see the same pattern is different colors, textures.

I have received wonderful swap packages from my secret pal 14, Ravelery My Other Hobby Swap, and Swap-bot My LYS Swap,and Summer Apron. I took no pictures and by now the swap items are being used and read etc. Everything was great and gave me a lift when I needed one. I apologize for being such a crummy swap partner.

I am back to work in a few weeks and I feel like I've barely gotten a break. I know it is greed to want more vacation when I have so much BUT I just do.

Next Monday my mother is having her gall bladder taken out. She is very anxious and worried so please keep her in thoughts and prayers. I'll be with her for as long as she needs so who know how often I'll get to post again.

I saw the movie Julie and Julia. A young women turning 30 decided to cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year and blog about it. It was very good and maybe I need a project to spark blogging. What could my project be? Knitting my way through the Knitter's Almanac? Knitting a sweater a month (already pooped out on that one!) but to do her project she had to be selfish. Can you be as selfish as she was if you have a family? would I even want to be?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another Rainy Day in NJ

I understand the need for rain BUT it is getting to be too much here in NJ. We have hardly had any great beach days AND now that we are getting ready for my daughter to have a Christmas in July party which I really wanted mostly outside we are being slammed by rain again. I'm full of hope for a rainfree night Friday!!!!

I went to knitting this afternoon, worked on a swatch for my Adult Surprise Jacket and then my Baby Surprise sweater. Nice afternoon, then Caroline's friend and her baby came for dinner. We had fresh tomato and mozarella cheese with basil from the garden, fussili primavera with alfredo sauce. I made a fun dessert. I poached some fresh nectarines then made a packet of Bird's custard. I filled cake dessert shells with the nactarines, covered that with custard then topped it with a hot chocolate sauce. Just some melted bittersweet chocolate melted with a bit of heavy cream and butter. I don't cook very often but when I do I really enjoy it! After we ate the girls decotated the house with Christmas decorations and I cleaned up. Now for the fun on Friday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14th

Today is a beautiful day here in NJ. I spent my morning in the yard and doing chores.I think that I am going to love being retired but not just yet! Yesterday, I spent the day in NYC taking a class that will let my school pilot a new program in assessment of K-2 math. It was exciting and I'll miss this when I retire.

Today, I'm still feeling the effects of a sinus infection. I plan to do some quilting and napping until knitting this evening.

I thought I would miss my son while he is on tour BUT so far due to the wonders of the Internet I am talking to him more then when he is at home. He is in Scotland right now and then will have a short break on Rome with the girlfriend! then home in early August.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

a dog story

I really never tell cute stories about my animals but today is my exception. For a few days I noticed that Gizmo did not seem to be eating his usual Milk Bone dog cracker. There was always one in his usual snack spot. So the other day I was sitting on the couch and I saw Giz eat a milk bone. I anticipated his whining for another one and was waiting for him to start when I saw him walk over to the box, and grab it with his teeth. He had ripped part of the box away, and was able to shake out a milk bone for himself. He took one, ate it in the usual spot and repeated it a few times. When he was satisfied he took one extra and left it in his snack spot. I guess it is like leaving the table set!

We have new neighbors moving into both houses that border on the back of our backyard. Gizmo exhausted himself yesterday and over the weekend barking and watching one family move in so today all he is doing is sleeping. The second owner who is a friend of my daughter is moving in on Wed so it appears he is resting to resume his supervision! I just hope these new people are more friendly them the fussy women who lived there before!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Noro Silk Garden Chunky Vest

I love working with noro. It just makes me feel good. I did this vest very simply. I knit a tube, steeked it open into a back and two sides. then I picked up stitches and knit the connecting pieces on the sides, sewed the shoulders together and did an i cord trim. It has not been blocked yet or had the ends woven it. I may do another row of i-cord to leave loops open for buttons or I may do i-cord loops. I'm just going to think about it. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Secret Pal 14

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

I love to knit with wool or a blend of wool and silk. My two favorite yarns are anything Noro makes and Malabrigo.

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

I have a nice crock and several zippered cases.

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 years old --- I'm 57 so I've been knitting for a while! My grandmother taught me and I consider myself advanced because I've had experience with lots of different types knitting BUT I still learn from others all the time.

Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, I don't. Whatever I want I usually just get for myself.
What’s your favorite scent?

I love patchouli, lavender and vanilla in that order and any combination.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I have set of sweet teeth! Dark chocolate with any type of interesting add ins, or black licorice or caramels are the things for me.

What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I quilt, do redwork embroidery, make cold process soaps. I can spin but I don't have a wheel right now.

What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I enjoy classic music and old favorites like Paul Simon, the Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and some newer artists like John Mayor, Jack Jackson.

What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand?

I love red, blue and green in just about all their variations. I do not care for yellow or orange especially mustardy or yellowish green colors.

What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I was widowed a few years ago and I have two adult children a son, 26 and a daughter24. We have two cats and a dog.

Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear scarves,mittens but NO hats or ponchos!

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

Right now I love to do sweaters and vests. In the past I had a three year obsession with socks! I have since recovered :).

What are you knitting right now?
Right now I'm working on a vest of my own design from Silk Garden Chunky.

Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

It is so so nice to receive a handmade gift. I love handmade gifts.

Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I use both straights and circs and usually match the fiber and project to the material of the needle. I have just about every type of needle! I really like the tips of bryspun needles. The only kinds of needles I still want are bryspun circs in sizes 5 to 9 29 or 40 in.
Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

How old is your oldest UFO?

At least 20 years old!

What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?

I really enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Is there anything that you collect?

I collect blue polish pottery, yarn, stitch markers knitting books, fat quarters.

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 a few subscriptions, Interweave Knits and Verena.

Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?

I'd like to make a Bohus sweater.

Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

My foot is about 8 1/2 inches wide and 9 inches long.

When is your birthday?

August 5th

Are you on Ravelry? If so, what’s your ID?


First Week of Vacation

It is hard to believe that the first week of my vacation has already passed by! I've been working on my silk garden chunky vest. I just love it. Now I have miles of I-cord to knit. A good beach project! Pictures as soon as I get around to it!

I've been keeping to my schedule of one bag of junk daily from the spare room and it is getting thinned out. Lots of the obvious junkola is gone and I moving into the someone could really use this. So I may be taking some trips to the Goodwill boxes or the Thrift Shop a local church runs. AS LONG AS IT IS NOT HERE!!

I'll be at the beach the next few days, sitting in the sun with friends and family. Knitting, reading, swimmng, relaxing (probably eatting more then I should) being around friends and family ---Who could complain?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 2 Vacation

As do most teachers I wait all year for summer vacation, sometimes patiently --sometimes eagerly but it is that carrot at the end of early up every day and drive in to work etc. So here I am at the second day of my summer break and I have made progress, yesterday I was up at six today at seven! I might have slept later but my darling daughter asked me if I had really intended to leave the sprinkler on ALL night? Now, the question I would like to ask her is why this did not rate a middle of the night wake up or are those strictly reserved for Can you iron this for me, or I need a ride or I'm short of cash! Well, our flowerbeds had their own private storm yesterday and I guess that it what they have gotten used to here in NJ.

Yesterday was a delightful day. I met with my group of Monday friends and we went out to lunch. I had a California burger with all the stuff that makes it delicious and so bad for you BUT I really enjoyed it. Just cottage cheese and fruit for dinner!

I have a goal this summer of cleaning out my "spare bedroom" on my main floor. I can't call it a guestroom because the guest would only have a choice of sleep under tons of stuff ( aka junk) or draping themselves over it. There is a speculation that the rug in there is green but I have not seen it in years! As I have cleaned out and sorted over the past three years this room has become the resting place of choice for those things I just can't throw away. It also has all the stuff aka junk that supported my craft fair shows. All I've done to it in a few years is throw more stuff in and keep the door firmly closed! this summer I am going to get this room pared down to a reasonable amount of stuff aka junk. I'm going to use a modified flylady approach. Every day I will go in and clear away a garbage bag of stuff. It has to be thrown away of PERMANENTLY put away. NO MORE piles anywhere. Yesterday I filled the garbage pail and now I am sorting through a pile of patterns etc. (sad to see the names of so many places not around any longer) I want to be able to have a picture of this room on this blog by the end of the summer! I will not even CONSIDER a before picture. You have to come to my house and knock me down to see in there!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just Relaxing in Yarn Heaven

Yesterday, after I spread out my new yarn purchases to take a picture I just sat on the couch in the middle of all this yarny goodness and logged in my purchases in the stash section of Rav, then I started working on a new sweater for myself from the silk garden! I LOVE noro silk anything and it just jumped the line of all the other yarn waiting more patiently to get knit up. Both Katie (my associate daughter) and Courtney (my niece who is semi staying with us) ran in and said the same thing---"You look like you are in yarn heaven." Well they got it right but today instead of going to the beach I moved yarn heaven headquarters out to my backyard. I always seem to only go out at home to work in the garden or clean up etc. so today I went outside with coffee, a bagel, my Sunday NY Times, my laptop, the knitting and the dog. I'm going to stay out here all day and just veg out. Caroline and Courtney went to the beach, Katie went off to do errands so it is just me and Gizmo. I may even head over to the hammock soon!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

retail therapy takes care of the blues

I woke up feeling a bit weepy and blue. School ended yesterday and while I know teachers are required to love the summer vacation (AND I DO), I am not doing any school work this summer, not going on a real vacation or doing anything big in the house AND I went to say good bye to my son who is going away until August. So I woke up feeling kind of blue and unfocused. I have about 4 or 5 years until I should retire and I was feeling a bit useless. THEN I went to meet a few yarn buddies. We met at B&N so after a quick latte to go, we headed out for a bag sale at a local yarn shop. OMG, I am so out of my feeling at loose ends. Now I know what I can do for the rest of my life, I can knit the yarn I got today! The deal was that you can stuff as much yarn as you can in a bag they give you for $25. I got 5 bags of STUFFED yarn. I am on Noro overload. 26 skeins of silk garden chunky, 10 skeins of matsuri cotton wool blend, 4 silk mountain, 11 skeins of colinette cadenza in 2 color ways, 44 skeins of RY Classic Yarns Natural Silk Aran!!!!!!!! If I had paid full price I would have spent $957!!!!!! (which I never would have spent in a million years. And 4 skeins of a new to me yarn from The Fiber Company, Terra in Acorn.

We had a nice brunch at a new restaurant then I found out about a local store with Birks on sale so I was required to head over and they had a sale BOGO 1/2 . So I got 2 pairs of Birk sandals for $105!!!

So here I am listening to Bruce Springsteen on my Ipod and looking forward to going to the beach Sunday. It will be a good summer!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The End of the Weekend

For whatever reason this week end seems to have gone on forever! Friday I had to go from Brooklyn to PA for the funeral of the father of a friend/coworker. He was a good man who died too early.

Friday evening I went to see The Taking of Pelham123. Good movie --a bit too violent for my taste.

Sat.morning I was up early, took the dog to the groomer, ( he looks so much better now--smells better too )and then went out to breakfast at a local Friendly's. This was a restaurant Bob and I went to very often when the kids were young. What a disappointment. It was run down, empty and looked like it was about ready to close.

While Gizmo was gone I popped into Home Depot and picked up my Father's Day gift to myself. I got a copper "thing" that waters the lawn. It is about 3 feet high and has two spinning wheels that are spin around powered by the water. It really looks nice. I also got myself 4 hanging baskets for my black iron hangers. I'd like the rain to stop long enough that I could spend some time outside!I spent a few hours weeding and cutting back some "stuff" which is trying to take over the driveway fence.AND the rain started again!

THEN,I was off to getting a manicure and pedicure. Nicely relaxing. I picked up a pizza and a quick grocery shopping and spent the rest of the evening reading a good book.

Today was cleaning and laundry and sorting and tossing. How did all this junk that I'm tossing ever get into this house? I spent the rest of the day reading a book by a young man with Aspergers. JUST 5 MORE DAYS OT GET UP EARLY FOR WORK!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

NJ Guild's Quilt Show

Yesterday I had a busy day. Up early, did some quick housework then off to meet my friend to go to the quilt show. I did observe Worldwide Knit in Public Day by knitting in front of Zebu while I was waiting for my friend. We grabbed coffee and a quick snack to go and we were at the quilt show before it opened. I love this show, I've been attending for years. The only two years I missed were when Bob was in the hospital and the year after that. There were beautiful quilts both new and old. I am so amazed at beautiful work done by women who live in NJ! I make quick fun to make quilt but some of these are really works of art and just wonderful.

Well, there are vendors of course and I brought home another dozen fat quarters, a great apron themed applique quilt pattern,a ruler and rotary cutter to make circles, a small red work flower kit, and a roller kit to pick up hairs and lint etc. This I already used!

I spent the rest of the day reorganizing, doing laundry and really giving my downstairs a good spring cleaning. Got that in just at the end of spring! This morning I washed all the floors and now my back aches and all I want to do is go back to sleep! Another rainy day here in NJ.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where is Spring?

12 days until Sumer vacation and it is cool, rainy and foggy in the morning.I could use some nice sunny weather! I did some knitting last night at our knitting group. I'm working on a short row scarf, relaxing and lots of fun.
I've made plans to go to the NJ Guilds Quilt show Sat. morning. I only hope I can look and not buy! Well, we will see!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

June 9th

Not much new going on around here in knitting or quilting. I was too tired when I got home last night to do anything with the fat quarter land downstairs. I've been drooling over two quilting books in my spare moments at work.

I want to make a quilt from 60' degree triangles and just have fun with it. I also want to make a quilt for my friend's daughter's bridal shower and so my friend and I have been looking at books and planning.

Just 13 more days of school before I have LOTS of knitting and quilting free time.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Fat Quarteritis

I went to pick up some thread that I ordered at my not so local but regular quilt shop on Sat. They were having a fat quarter sale. So, naturally I had to get a few or 63 to be exact. Sunday morning, I decided to put them away and somehow, I realized that I have a few more fat quarters then I thought, so I decide to fold and iron them and in general organize them. Easier said then done, at last count I reached about 400 of these little suckers. AND that's just the intact ones, not the ones that are cut into and have turned into Fat Eighths or just a great scrap or my bolts of backing or the 100s of jolly packs (4 or 5 inch squares), or the jelly rolls or layer cakes or even the few honey buns or the few charming jelly cakes or just plain yardage etc.
My clean from Sat. family room now looks like a fabric explosion. I want to really find a way to organize and store them because I have so many duplicates and some gaps!

Well, only 14 more days of school after today!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Back Again!

No excuses, I just blog when I think of it. I've been a quilting fool. Not as much knitting as unual but a few nice quilts, both baby gufts.
My son is on tour in Finland with Bruce Springstein and his band. He is working with the generators to power the tour. I hope he enjoys it.

We have about 18 days of school left then TWO MONTHS OF PEACE at home.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Where did My Vacation GO?

I go back to work on Monday. As much as I love my job being on vacation also has it's perks!

I went on a yarn crawl Wed with three fellow knitters. We went to three yarn shops, one near a famous university in NJ was too snooty for my taste But the other two were great. We went to Wooly Lamb in Pennington where I got some multicolored boucle mohair for a shawl at my favorite price 50% off, then we went into the shop next door a---- QUILTING shop and I got a new pattern and fabric to make an apron for swap. Then we had lunch at a rib restaurant, and off to Twist in PA. I love that little shop. I got a great pattern for an entrelac jacket/sweater and some organic yarn to make a soft toy for a baby. NOT so bad for me trying to cut down!

Yesterday, I went to the airport and picked up up my neice in from California, we had a nice visit before I dropped her off at my daughter's job. That's youth---- fly in a airplane ALL night get up, freshen up in a airport restroom, look great -- then be ready to work all day and go out all night!

Somehow, I've come down with a strep infection in my throat and ear, so today I feel pretty low. I'm on my third day of meds so I should be feeling better soon.

Very little knitting done , just more work on one of my sweaters.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stash Hide Out Reorganized!

I am showing this "reorganization" for two purposes.
First, it should be a wake up to me about HOW MUCH of this stuff I have because this is NOT ALL!!! I have many more baskets in a corner of the family room and even more in a room up stairs! AND I am going on a yarn crawl with friends Wed. Now if my friends see this they should NOT allow me to buy more. Well maybe buttons?

Second, if you think this is a mess you should have seen it before! I need to go through it and fold and sort and toss but somehow something else always calls!

AND here is the real sick thing--- I have 40more skeins of yarn on the way from various coops and orders! Oh well, if I live long enough to knit and quilt my way through this stuff, I'll be here forever!

Floor ----to be continued!

My friend's husband started working on my floor early yesterday, and things were going fine--- most of the family room is done UNTIL he slipped and severed part of the tips of two of his fingers. WOW, did that perk us up. Fortunately, his wife is a nurse and she works 5 minutes from my house so she had him rushed to the ER in record time. They were not able to reattach the severed pieces although we did wrap them in clean wet paper towels saved in a baggie. today he is home and needs to follow up with a plastic surgeon but probably will be fine. So the downstairs is on hold BUT I finished the floor in my yarn and fabric closet or that spot where fabric and yarns go to rest until they are called to serve!
Maybe a picture tomorrow!

Meanwhile, I'm clean out and sorting etc. The only knitting is dish/wash cloths and they are for swapping partners.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all who celebrate. I've been baking for a few days to get ready. I made over a dozen loaves of Italian Easter Bread with the eggs tucked into the braids, a blueberry/raspberry pound cake, a tray of brownies and my usual cheesecake.

All the prep work for the floor is done and at 8:00 AM Monday the floor starts going down. YEAH for finally having a clean and cleanable floor!

I'm making an early quick trip to the nursing home to visit my hospice lady and bring her some Easter Bread and the cheese doodles she really wants then I'm off the spend Easter with my family at my sister's newhouse in CT. Yes, life is good. And all the knitting I've gotten done is a few quick dish/wash cloths!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back Again!

Well, it's been over a month since I posted. The usual excuses, too busy, too tired, etc. Work has been a bear and as usual I'm involved on another improvement project in my house. I have one of my daughter's friends who is an electrician replacing the oldest ugliest fan in my living room with a pretty pendant light and actually installing a light over my dining room table, repairing and replacing outside lights and just moving and replacing old stuff. THEN I had a flood in my downstairs level, due to my own carelessness with my washing machine. It was a blessing in disguise as now I am finally replacing the LAST of the wall to wall carpeting my my house. The old rug was scarred with Bob cigarette burn marks and when wet smelled of the gazillion kitty and puppy accidents AND a huge burn mark when I dropped an iron years ago! Soon, like today or Monday I will have new flooring in the living room, kitchen and foyer!!!!!!! The down side was moving EVERYTHING from my fabric and yarn stash or should I say grave yard of projects.

In spite of all this and mega work at my school I am almost finished with knitting MR Foster,just have to finish off his head, I've been working on a sweater from Interweave and I'm going to get started on my Hanne F sweater again. In addition to several quilts I have in my mental line up. It almost makes furniture moving seem lass stressful!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Books and more Swap

I am so lucky. I've gotten just the best swap partners. I came home really tired and stressed and look at what I received! I love just everything here. Great yarns, more stitch markers for my collection,a handmade new project bag,a collection of teas, new cable needles, don't know where my old ones are! Two items are missing a beautiful pair of fetching fingerless mitts, can't pry them off my daughter yet and Ann Budd's book of sweater patterns. I love the yarns and new knitting magazine and the chocolates and WOW WW cookies that I have never seen. So today, I'm going to make myself a cup of tea and relax with a new knitting magazine!

Monday, March 02, 2009

quilts and snow

I hate snow and cold weather. I should have been born in a warm climate. If I could just stay in until ALL this snow is gone I'd be happy. I worked non stop on these two baby quilts Sat and Sunday. Today we have a totally unexpected snow day so I was able to finish them! Now that these are done my daughter tells me that another of her friends is expecting. I feel like I am in the middle of a baby boom!

Monday, February 16, 2009

the Secret to FOs

I am on vacation. This weekend, I did not teach Sat school, or visit the nursing home, or grocery shop, vacuum, wash the kitchen floor, cook anything or really go out much. What did I do? Knit, do laundry, knit, shower and get back into a clean nightgown then knit some more! I stayed up to 2:15 last night and really enjoyed finishing the rib warmer.

The rib warmer was made from noro. I always mess up on EZ paterns because I tend to skim them and you CANNOT skim her patters. EVERY word matters. This was a fun short row knit and I tried it on last night and it is so warm and warms without adding bulk.

NOW I have tons of new projects calling, Hanne Falkenburg's Trivoli kit, a beautiful Sunday River vest/sweater, the Elsbeth Lavold silky wool Or more ufo then I can to list PLUS at least three sweaters' worth of yarn from Stitches and some Malibregio calling my name.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

FO Finally!

I joined a group on Ravelry to finish 12vests or sweaters in 2009. If I just finish up mostly done UFO, I'd be half way there. BUT with human nature or at least mine the way it is as soon as I decided to do this all I wanted to knit were scarves and hats. Now anyone who knows me knows that I don't like to knit scarves but I did two of them, then a hat then a baby quilt. So here I am in mid Feb and not even one project done. Well, I changed that today. I finished the Big Bebe Vest. It was a pretty easy knit, the only time consuming part was the endless I cord. I still have some of this yarn left and can you believe --another scarf is calling!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

coffee chocolate swap

I received such a great swap box from Gail, Grannygail. Just bursting with goodies, sox yarn, two kinds ofchocolates, nuts,licorice, stitch markers in a cute tin, rich fragrant coffee, a new journal, a felted purse,and even a pattern in case I'm all socked out. Gail also sent a tiny pair of scissors with a thimble which opens for a little spot to hide a message. Thanks so much for this thoughtful box. Everything came wrapped in my favorite color tissue paper.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Thanks Secret Pal 13

Sunday afternoon the doorbell ran but there was no person just a priority box on my door step. So did my mailman deliver on a Sunday or did someone get box and redeliver?

I'm so glad that I did get it. It was a very thoughtful box for me. A great skein of RED malebregio, green sock yarn of a brand new to me, Sundara Yarn very nice also.Now I am a cold process soap maker so a bar of heavy,beautifully beveled bar of patchouli soap just loaded with great oils is a very special treat for me!!!The box was rounded out by a generous bag of seeds, jelly beans with sayings, note cards and neat Daily Dose of fiber cards. Thanks for being such a great Secret Pal.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

KCS4 Questionary
1. Whole bean or ground? beans please
2. Fully-loaded or decaf? Fully-loaded
3. Regular or flavored? I like dark, very rich coffee
4. How do you drink your coffee? black no sugar
5. Favorite coffee ever? I can't name a specific coffee but I really like the most bold, darkest coffee possible.
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? At home I grind the beans for each pot, and try to use really good coffees. On the go I'll drink anything if I have to but I like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts best.
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? I like shortbread cookies, brownies and dark chocolates.
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? I'm not very flexible, but not fussy! I like most dark, whole bean coffees.
9. Yarn/fiber you love? I love non scratchy wool. I love most Noro and Malibregio.
10. Yarn/fiber you hate? I don't care for slick feeling yarns and cheap acrylics and most frilly novelty yarns.

11. What's on your needles? I'm working on a noro vest and a rib warner also of noro.
12. Favorite colors? Red, blue, green

13. Allergies?
14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest?
i love the surprise part of a swap. It realy is fun to have someone send something new and different!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just Another Sick Day!

This is just my year for being sick. Since Thanksgiving I've had a sinus infection, been in the hospital with colitis and now out of work again today with a miserable migraine! I feel like visitor at work! I did see the DR and my medication for blood pressure is being changed. I've been waking up with my hands and feet swollen. ?Not too good for knitting or walking. Well enough whinging, I did get half of my rib warmer done over the weekend and now I'm feeling better so I'll work on it some more.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Great Day

Today was a very special day for our country and for my family. I am very moved by our new president but on a personal level, my son closed on his house today! It is small, old and beat up BUT it is where he wants to live, it's a start and a great chance for him to get ahead ! I think I will always remember Steven's new start and Obama's moving speech as somehow connected.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Sockacide--is there a word for something that was killing socks? I have a large collection of handmade socks that I have been working on for a many years. I love my socks, they are so comfortable and keep my square, fat feets so warm! Well, for the last few weeks HUGE holes have been showing up in my socks! I have discovered the culprit. I got a new pair of Birkenstock clogs. Also so comfy but I realized that the edge on the back was cutting holes in my socks. So now I have to wear my new comfortable shoes with the few commercial socks that I own. I guess not a major serious huge problem but quite annoying. So now I've been re knitting the holes in the socks or darning them depending on the size. I do have some left over yarn from the initial knitting but not for all of them so I have some very unusual patches on my soles.

I signed up on Ravlery for the National Knit A Sweater a Month Insanity! Since I joined, I've made two scarves, a hat and I'm working on another scarf. AND I don't make scarves usually. So where are my sweaters and vests? Well I started the Big Bebe Noro vest and the noro rib warmer also. Last night I also cast on the Hemlock blanket but pulled it out. Maybe I need to join a Startitis Support Group. Well I'm off to work on something until I fall asleep!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thanks Secret Pal

I received a lovely box from my secret pal with three skeins of Malibregio Yarn and a pattern for a sweater. I received a skein in a red, green and blue my favorite colors. I need a few more skeins to finish the sweater off so I'll have some fun deciding on a few more colors. I have a deeper blue from my stash that looks promising and I'm thinking of a creamy color and amybe a black for the banding. Thanks secret pal it's lots of fun to plan a new sweater!

What a Little Snow Will Do

I am the worst cold weather person. When it is cold I just want to stay in. I'll do anything to avoid actually going out in the snow! Yesterday we had snow, not really much but freezing ice, blasty winds etc. SO I stayed in and kept busy. I finished my one row scarf, cooked up a storm (or actually cooked during the storm!) did most of a baby quilt for a friend's baby shower and started a noro hat.I also "gathered Christmas". The tree is gone since New Year's Day but now I've gathered most of the Christmas decorations to one spot ready to be boxed and taken back to the Christmas storage closet. I leave my snowman collection out until sometime in Feb.

So today I want to finish the machine work on the quilt, finish my Noro hat, shop for the testing lunch we do for our teachers before the ELA test. Next week is a very stressful week in NYC schools. We have the NYS ELA test. So much emphasis is put on this test due to NCLB which is more like KICK the Schools in the Behind!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Remembering "Tootie"

Since September, I have been visiting either on Sat or Sunday afternoon a great older lady on hospice care in a local nursing home. On my way over to visit her today , I found out that she passed on Friday. Tootie was a lot of fun to visit with. She knew she was going to die soon but she was not interested in complaining or whining -- and she sure did like to talk!! We spent hours just talking about our lives. Tootie liked to listen as well as talk. She told me funny and sad stories about growing up in Bayonne and Jersey City. I heard about living through the Great Depression and World War II. The only thing she was still angry about was that her son her only child died when he was only 40 and his wife a few years after.

Most of the time when I visited with her she was wrapped in the ugliest green variegated Red Heart Afghan that she had crocheted herself. Yarn snob that I am, I wanted to make her a soft beautiful shawl but she loved that ugly thing brought from her home! I never made her a shawl because every time I visited with her she proudly reminded me that she made this Afghan! I'll start visiting with someone new new week but I know I'll keep a picture of Tootie in her treasured green Afghan tucked away in my heart.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Adding to the Yarn Stash

If you ever saw my yarn closet and the various places where I have yarn stored (hidden) it would surprise you (it surprises me) that I spent yesterday going from one LYS to another buying yarns like my house was empty of yarn and I had six years or so of vacation to just sit around and knit!

I was in the company of fellow addicts which does not help and probably even makes my actions seem normal! First we went to Stix and Stitches. They were having a yarn sale and there were some great buys to be had. I picked up enough Silky Tweed by Elsebeth Lavold at half price to make a sweater and I got one of her pattern books for $5. We had a nice lunch then went off following my phone navigator to another yarn shop. the last time we were there, the place had a great sale basket and seemed like a yarn treasure chest. Yesterday, it just seemed like an over stuffed junk pile (nice junk) and the owner was kind of distant and cranky. I did manage to get enough Noro to add to some Noro I had at home to do a vest. Then we went to the last store, Modern Yarns which I had not really liked on our last trip. I got some beautiful kettle dyed wool from Araucania also in the half price bin and some coordinating full price cascade yarn to make another sweater AND and orphan LOrna Lace single skein of sock yarn. A quick stop at Starbucks and we were off to go home!

So now I need to start knitting and not stop for years BUT what did I do when I got home? I ran out to Kohls and spent my preChristmas Kohls bucks on a set of new pots for Steven, a new pair of black dress shoes for me and a new front door mud rug. Well I spent my $30 free dollars and a bit more THEN I jumped back into reading about Sookie Stackhouse and the vampires! I can not believe that I am reading all this nonsense BUT it really is entertaining.

Today , I need to get organized to return to work, meet my mother and grand mother for lunch and make two baby quilts BUT all I really want to do is get book 8 in the Sookie Stackhouse series!