Thursday, September 27, 2007


Willie, please don't break my heart...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lunch with Louisa Harding

On Friday, my local LYS hosted a yarn tasting with Louisa Harding. She came all the way from England to talk about her yarn line, her patterns and designs.

Jen, one of the owners of Close Knit Yarns opened her home to area knitters to enjoy great food, good wine and cheese and of course tales of knitting and yarn.

Louisa was very candid about the challenges she faced blending family and career, artistry and business. She also shared an enchanting story about her time at Rowan.

It was a really fun afternoon, I even got to meet a fellow blogger, Beate

Beate is a serious knitter, that's her beautiful shawl. She brought it along to wear but couldn't because it was too warm out so Phyllis fished it out of her bag and showed it off.
There's my pal Phyllis with Beate and her friend. Isn't Phyllis' tank gawgeous!

I brought some knitting but I was too busy taking pictures and chatting with other knitters to even remember to take it out of my bag. This lady though, knitted throughout the afternoon. That looks like some really lovely wispy cabled something she is doing.

Kim is one of the owners of Close Knit. Here she is with Louisa. Many, many thanks to Kim and Jen and the staff over at Close Knit for such a fun afternoon. Now you know why Close Knit Yarns is my favorites LYS', promise me that you'll come to visit them soon!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Day at the Museum

I love it when my children surprise me. Last spring my 16 year old announced that he signed up for an Art History AP course. I think the look of shock on my face made him blurt, "what, you thought I was stupid?" "Not, stupid," I wanted to reply, "but,'re a jock." Instead I think I recovered with some uninspiring remark like, "Oh, that is wonderful!"

Well there is hope and I guess testosterone isn't poisonous after all! Raising 3 boys while surreptitiously force feeding them the kinder and gentler aspects to life without altering their natural DNA was really tough. I guess hours of museum tours really did rub off even if they sulked and complained along the way.

John Vanderlyn (1775-1852) Panorama: Palace and Gardens of Versailles Oil

For Andrew's summer assignment, he had to write about an exhibit at any New York museum. He chose the above panorama. He first saw this exhibit when I took him and a group of 8 or so very disappointed boys to the Metropolitan Museum of Art when they were in 5th grade. The day was turning out to be a real challenge when I had to deviate from my original plan and try a more "guerrilla" approach.

I took them up to the roof garden and bought them all sodas (bribe 1), hoping to get them to look at the giant and weird Abakanowicz sculptures.

As a bonus, on the roof of the MET you get a great view of Central Park

Then I took them to see the nudes (bribe 2), where they whispered and giggled.


I reluctantly took them past the gallery of Arms and Armor, I felt I had to show them the diversity of images that can be found in one building if only they would look. Of course this got their attention, what is it with the pageantry of war?

Japan 18th century Bamen Tomotsugu

It was after the Arms exhibit that I noticed that they were now open to "see" and they all were eager to move through each room to see more. They were on an adventure, they were now art connoisseurs moving through history. But, it was at the John Vanderlyn Panorama where they all stopped. One of the boys began turning around in slow motion. The others watched him wondering what he saw and they tried to see it too. My 5th grade Andrew asked him, what was going on.

"I was there!" Exclaimed the boy.
"Dude, no way, that's like from a long time ago." They all seemed to say together.
"Yea, and that place is still there, I was standing like right over there." The boy brought the others to the scene of the fountains and they all stood looking. Why even a few adults came over and started staring too. I think this is where my Andrew was changed. This was when he fell in love with art.

My now 11th grade Art History AP student

It was a great day that day 6 years ago. And, it is still paying dividends!

Me, Georgia and sweet georgia brown socks.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A guy hat

I haven't really made many hats for men. I make hats for me and babies usually. Most of the men I know (my sons and husband) don't want my hats. Whatever. Then, there are the hats I've made as gifts for other folks. They don't wear them either. They say that they are "saving" it for the right occasion. When is that? I don't like the mean feeling I get so I generally don't knit for other folks. My sister-in-law lives in Italy. She is a professional model. She has asked me if I would make a hat for her lovely daughter but I was a bit shy about making one suitable for a baby of a woman who models for Carolina Herrera.

Recently, a close family member asked me to make some chemo hats for her husband, a former Olympic athlete. More sad knitting but I did it. Reluctantly my soon-to-be 13 year old agreed to wear it for the camera before I mailed it off. It is the second quasi chemo hat that I made. Since it is for a guy, the foo foo hats with all the fun fur isn't suitable as a guy chemo hat. Any ideas?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How long before 3,237 other invites?

ravelry > antsy
patiently awaiting your invite?

If you've added your name to the invite request list on our front page then you can use this form to check your place in line.
Email address look me up!
Found you!

You signed up on July 10, 2007
You are #15399 on the list.
3238 people are ahead of you in line.
16923 people are behind you in line.
37% of the list has been invited so far
I'm seriously trying to figure out what all this Ravelry fuss is about. Is it another blog that I have to remember to update? Is it another knit-a-long that I'll have to remember to update? Is it another list that I'll have to remember to update AND read?

Ok, ok, I trust all of you guys who say it is better than alladat. So I guess I'll be waiting for my invite...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Can you knit when you are sad?

Hakucho's blog said that her husband's birthday is the same day as my husband, September 11. For obvious reasons, I struggle to get into a festive mode that day. We've considered 'moving' the celebration to another day but how do you change someone's birthday?

So, I spent the day in a sort of meditative state and somberly made him a tie.

I hope that when he wears it, he'll remember that where ever he is in the world, I rejoice in the small miracle of a safe return home from a day's work.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Do I garden, read or do I knit?

These are tomatoes that I picked this weekend. I grew over 12 plants of different varieties. My favorites are the ugly heirlooms. They produce huge uneven tomatoes that are juicy and sweet.

I've longed eliminated those other pesky tasks that interfere with my knitting: laundry, housework, ironing... Those things get done whenever and no longer occur on a scheduled basis. Life is too short, I say, and there will always be dirty underwear so why stress about it??

Gardening is another favorite past time of mine. The problem I have with gardening is that each year at harvest time, I'm still astounded that the earth gives me more than what I put in. Each year I pledge to do more so that I get more but I'm always very skeptical that anything will grow with my refusal to used pesticides and herbicides and the constant battle with weeds, water and critters.

Next year, God willing, and global warming doesn't kill us all off, I hope to do a better job with my garden. It doesn't cost anything really to grow food, just time and desire. I didn't get much from my garden this year because I lost the battle with weeds that all but consumed my plot and chocked out all of the string beans and the rabbits ate all of the herbs and the drought really required that I visit there more often to water and .... Still the earth gave me such sweet offerings. Life is so good.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Knitting with Friends

Last week I met up with my pal Phyllis at Close Knit in HoHoKus. She was getting ready for her new assignment with the store, Knit Doctor. Phyllis will provide free assistance (or analysis if your problem is more cerebral) for all of your knitting conundrums. There is no one I know who is better suited for such a job. She has eased me through many mental knit related breakdowns - socks, seaming, etc.

I was eager to show her my latest knitting projects made from yarn I bought while visiting North Carolina.

That's my delish cabled scarf sitting on Phyllis' kitchen plans for her new house. The scarf is a modified Irish hiking scarf that she did for the store. I knitted it a while back in Skacel's Adaggio. This time I used this wonderful Goddess Yarn in Frederique. It is an alpaca silk blend that feels divine. The North Carolina store, Yarn Etc., had it on sale for $4 bucks a skein. Why I only bought 4 skeins, I'll never know.

Phyllis is making the most beautiful cashmere sweater for the store. I can't wait to see the finished product.

I didn't violate my yarn diet too badly while I was in North Carolina. I told myself that I was only able to buy sale yarn and I had to make something right away. I kept to both of my rules, except for the bag below, I got carried away by choosing an ambitiously large bag and ended up running out of yarn

Phyllis gets very involved with my projects.

Finally, I finished a summer poncho I started 2 summers ago in Florida. It was during one of those hurricanes and we were stuck in this Disney resort with practically nothing to do but look at the electricity working. (Disney gets its electricity directly from the electricity god, whoever that is. There was this other rumor that while most of central Florida was without lights Mickey Mouse and Tinkerbell got together and, well you get the idea). Personally, I think the real deal was more freakier involving Jeb, Enron and Disney but I digress...

Yeah, that's Phyllis seaming it up for me. I am so lame...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

You can teach an old dog new tricks

This weekend I spent my time watching 2 children lament about the summer being over. My almost 13 year old actually cried when I refused to let him sleep over with some kid who just got back from Vegas. I don't know about y'all, but having a lazy learner hang out two nights before school starts with a kid who just got back from partying in sin city was not happening on my watch!

We spent the day instead at Staples buying school supplies.

"How could you do this to me, on my last day of vacation, forcing me to go buy school supplies?"

"How could I do this to you? Do you actually think this is my idea of fun, dragging you around when I can be someplace else knitting?"

Somehow that always sobers them up.

I did get to complete 1 sock during the many, many hours buying back-to-school clothes and classroom supplies.

I must also bring this to your attention: I LEARNED KITCHENER

After going to 3 supermarkets and two drug stores and not finding safety pins large enough to do that toe trick I mentioned previously, I realized that I was spending more time looking for safety pins than the time it would take me to rip out and reknit the toe if I screwed up the seaming. Thanks to the description in the book, Sensational Knitted Socks, that somehow penetrated whatever sewing/seaming phobia I've had since a dreaded 8th grade Home Economics class. I can now say with assurance that you can learn anything just before your 50th birthday!

Oh, and today was the first day of school! It's the most wonderful time of the year!