Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
So here you can see a couple of rows completed in duplicate stitch. If you've never done this before check out this tutorial (and this video...scroll down to "joining a new color yarn"... oh, and this tutorial too...). It's MUCH easier than you think, though I found working on the purl side even easier when I first started. But this is pretty easy too.
This is the next pic in line. Notice in the pic above this, the yarn tail is coming down from the top? Now it's coming up from the bottom.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
But here's something nice. In the middle of all the chaos, a weaving/spinning/knitting friend of mine who is a RNP, has begun to work for a company called "Take Care" which runs store front clinics inside Walgreens stores here in Tucson. Spectacular. Cheap, attentive, gentle medical care. Nothing urgent (like broken bones) but things annoying and impossible to get emergency visits for...like croup.
Thing 2 needed to be checked today since he got sent home from school with a (ridiculously) minimal fever. He's fine--I'm getting something nasty though--and he'll be even better after a nap, but it was so nice to have access to this easy (and did I say cheap?) health care option.
A good thing in this sickly season.
Tra la la
Off to ply...pics to come...
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
I still think religion belongs at home rather than at school, but it's nuts to actively deny the Judeo roots of our legal system--though school is not the place for prayer (unless it's private and before an exam) home is. Synagogue is. Church is.
Seriously, who wants a teacher leading prayers. Honestly! Like when did I get a Divinity degree???
At the same time, the atheists I know are the most ethical folks I know as--for them--there are no easy answers. They have to actually think about right-and-wrong rather than just have a spoon-fed, knee-jerk response (which may be wrong...witness the Teddy Bear). And while I'm totally on-board with the Nick and Jessica thing, I'm a little unnerved by the "they asked for it" overtones on the good folks who died or who's children committed suicide...
Regardless. It's interesting to read, no?
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS
Sunday Morning Commentary.
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And
it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those
beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel
threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are:
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say 'Merry Christmas' to
me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in
a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all
brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't
bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key
intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a cradle
there, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don't think
Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think
people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed
around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that
America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the
Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: Where did the idea come from
that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to
worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm
getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering
where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this
is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not
funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
[See below. This part did NOT come from Ben Stein...I wondered...] Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane
Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?'
(regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and
insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by
this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get
out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of
our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly
backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His
protection if we demand He leave us alone?'
In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings,
etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was
murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer
in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not
read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou
shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when
they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped
and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed
suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And
we said OK.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why
they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to
kill strangers, their classmates and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.
I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why
the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the
newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you
can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but
when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think
twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene
articles pass freely through cyberspace but public discussion of God
is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many
on your address list because you're not sure what they believe or
what they will think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more
worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of
Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard
it...no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought
process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world
My Best Regards. Honestly and respectfully,
THANK YOU EMANO! Here's the REAL original:
Intro from Scopes:
Mr. Stein currently offers occasional commentaries for the CBS Sunday Morning news program, and the item quoted above is based on one such commentary, entitled "Confessions for the Holidays" and delivered by Mr. Stein on that program on 18 December 2005, one week before Christmas. However, the version widely circulated via e-mail includes some transcription errors and modifications that were not part of the piece as originally aired. Here is the full version as broadcast, taken from a CBS News transcript of the program:
CHARLES OSGOOD, host: We all have our own thoughts about the holidays. Here's Ben Stein with his.
BEN STEIN: Here at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart. I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are.
(Footage of People magazine; Us magazine)
STEIN: I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I'm buying my dog biscuits. I still don't know. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores who they are. They don't know who Nick and Jessica are, either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they've broken up? Why are they so darned important?
(Footage of People magazine)
don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I don't care at all about Tom Cruise's baby.
(Vintage footage of congressional hearing)
STEIN: Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I'm a subversive? Maybe. But I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. Is this what it means to be no longer young? Hm, not so bad.
Next confession: I am a Jew and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish, and it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautifully lit-up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees.
(Footage of Christmas trees)
STEIN: I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are — Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they're slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. I shows that we're all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.
It doesn't bother me one bit that there's a manger scene on display at a key intersection at my beach house in Malibu.
(Footage of manger scene; menorah)
STEIN: If people want a creche, fine. The menorah a few hundred yards away is fine, too. I do not like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat. Or maybe I can put it another way. Where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and aren't allowed to worship God as we understand him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we used to know went to.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Of course, I now have a new haircut to show off today.
This is me trying to finish a 50,000 word book in four more days.
Yeah, I know.
This is a lighter pic of me in the office (see, TWO this Sunday!).
And here's a question for all of your knitty types:
those little sweater stones...do they work? My Rogue Hoodie is getting all pilled along the cuffs and inside of the sleeves. Stone or little rotary reverse-fan looking-thing?
Your call. It's all a mystery to me.
And what have I been wearing today? My Harry Potter Sock Swap Socks (THANK YOU CASSANDRA GRUBBLY-PLANK!) and my Rogue Hoodie.
BECAUSE IT WAS COLD!
It's 49° out there right now, at 10pm!
I LOVE THIS!!!!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Everyone needs a merit badge.
Near as I can tell, these are the above, in order left to right top row:
- Rally Day
- Word-Count Padding,
- Random Ending
- Caffeine Abuse
- the Eureka Moment (when the puzzle piece fits)
- NaNo Socializing
- Secret Noveling
- Creative Nonfiction
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
I have the BEST friends in the world! Two friends from the local Handweavers and Spinners guild (TH&SG) had a warping board they could live without. Me? I'd gotten to the point where using part of the great room and the dining room table with a Ginger Ale 2-litre bottle on it (to make my cross) was getting both OLD and dangerous with two small boys who like to crash into things.
This has saved Christmas.
Too late for Hanukkah.
But it's great. You see two colors of chenille warped up here to make SOMEthing for SOMEone who occasionally reads my blog. It's a short warp b/c it's a kit. Had I my druthers I'd have warped all 14 feet of this lovely lady.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Ah well...the best laid plans, blah blah blah.
And, of course, I'm not the only sick one.
Andrew leaves and Thing 2 gets Croup. I've never met Croup before. It's horrifying. The poor little guy couldn't breathe in OR out. His cute little voice had been replaced by hideous, raspy, seal-boy, barking and wheezing--not a high pitched wheeze, either, but this low, growling, rolling, aching snarl
I hope I never hear this again.
I tried to get an inhaler in his mouth--HA! He was awake and crying but not really awake enough to reason with (who am I kidding? He's three...like we ever are able to reason with him). I pulled down one of the humidifiers--which was strangely missing it's water-container cap. Okay, so that's trash--not fun to discover at 12:30am. Humidifier #2 comes down and it's good to go...but there are no available plugs. Unplug the air purifier and...find yourself unable to get the humidifier plug into that socket.
One whole I Love Lucy sketch later, and the humidifier is in. Thing 2 has already collapsed backwards in bed, sound asleep and breathing pretty well.
I go back to bed and fall into it. I'm still having trouble myself, so I take a hit off of my (brand new) inhaler and pass out. I come-to about 15 minutes later, coughing myself awake. I pop a Halls (mmmmmmmmmm mentholyptus!) into my mouth, take a swig of water, and curl up again.
Thing 2 and I repeat our comedy act three times during the night. Finally at 5am, I ask him if he wants to get into bed with me. Yes he does, so we stumble back to my room, which is (mercifully) dark as a tomb, and I arrange the pillows around him for maximum safety. He snuggles in and I ask if he wants to hold my hand. No. He grabs his hand away from me and is fniffy in ways that only a three year old can be--followed almost immediately by this little arm snaking through the covers to find and clamp onto my hand as he falls, immediately, into an occasionally fitful sleep.
I just stay there, listening to make sure he's breathing.
The next day, yesterday, after nearly four hours at Urgent Care (our pediatrician sucks) they give him a liquid steroid.
And last night?
The boy slept.
But none of that has anything to do with the title of the blog post.
In the middle of all of this, I've been working on socks for the Second Hogwarts Sock Swap. Luckily, both my pal and I have had a hard time finishing--I'm doing the Railroad (I think) pattern for gentlemen's socks from Nancy Bush--lovely pattern, easy to memorize repeat, freakin' tiny gauge. They're taking me forever.
But will be lovely when they're done.
I have about another two inches before I can start decreasing for toes.
The end is near.
Next? I weave.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I know this won't look obviously suspect to most of you, but the yarn is quite definitely off to the right side.
Now under normal circumstances, I knit Continental (picking the yarn off of my left hand) but this project--my sister's squid hat--is a pain in the wrist and I'm finding myself employing as many different knitting techniques as I can possibly remember. Overhand, throwing, knitting backwards...you name it. I'm doing it.
It's called desperation.
Monday, October 22, 2007
He and his wife Beth (the fabulous) were neighbors of ours in Brooklyn and I count the day they told us they were moving to Chicago as both one of the sadder days of my life as well as the first step towards leaving Brooklyn ourselves. I mean, really...why stay?
Bookmark 'im. He's funny. And if you stop by, tell him I sent you. Otherwise he'll wonder where all these knitters came from!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
WHOO HOOO! I made it onto Joan's blog!
This is the shop run by the fabulous Joan who taught me how to spin warp yarn that didn't feel like wire (as well as how to fix a broken warp thread--easy as pie when you know how).
I'm also pondering the best way to make Thing 1 (my 7yo) a Headless Horseman costume.
It's always something, no?
Friday, October 19, 2007
I have been tagged...I'll return to ante up when I'm done with my eleventh anniversary.
Okay. Back I am.
Here's the deal: Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.
1) I stepped into a bad bout of Bronchitis (or just a nasty chest cold) yesterday and cannot for the life of me remember how to make a mustard plaster...which was a remedy used on me as a child. And worked. Random Fact: If I get a cold, it goes straight to my chest.
2) Crochet Compulsive had a bootlegger grandfather? I have a crazy Frontier Abortionist/Snake oil salesman in my genes...he had three wives, two of which died under "mysterious circumstances" and the third is only known in the family annals as "Mary the Cherokee"
3) My husband remembers seeing me a few weeks before I remember meeting him. However, when we did finally meet we sat at LuValle Commons at UCLA talking until we suddenly realized the sun went down. I was smitten (smited? smote?) and that, as they say, was that...
4) I have lived in at least two haunted houses (apartments) and wonder about a third.
5) My best friend is an empath. Seriously. She'll call and say, "DUDE! TAKE SOME ASPIRIN OR SOMETHING! YOU'RE KILLING ME!" and I'll have been toughing out a particularly bad day of knee pain...or something like that.
6) I have always been sad that no one let me go to my Great Grandfather's funeral. Yeah, I was only five, but I really loved him and completely understood that he was gone...but I didn't get to say goodbye.
7) I'm scary good at reading Tarot.
8) The first time in my life that I can remember experiencing anything like homesickness was this last move from Croton-on-Hudson, NY to Tucson AZ. For me, usually, every minute is a new minute and I don't generally spend time looking back. But this one took the wind out of me.
Okay, eight bloggers to link to...this is brutal...um...Agathon, Sydney's too busy so maybe Juno, and Jen, Abby and The Professor, Spinner Erin and Spider Knit, and my local bud, Kate.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Happily, I made it into one of her pictures (scroll down). Between her blog and Stephanie's and the podcast (oh! And Knitter's Review!) you'll get a pretty clear picture of what SOAR is like...and why we're so tired when we get home!
I also found the origin of Stephanie's T-shirt but not yet where you can get one. And, now. I'm off to get a (an?) "Haute men of CraftLit T-Shirt!"
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Due to my rushed packing, I completely forgot to pack a ball-winder or Nøstepinne, so...the skein is in my box being shipped back to me. After it returns to my waiting hands I'll swatch it and upload it for all to see.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I'm having a wonderful time. I've met the nicest (and most interesting) people, who I'm only rarely able to get on the microphone (folks are SHY!). I'm learning a ton from Joan--about both spinning and weaving...and how to turn a military career into a fiber shop.
No, the downside is October. Last year we missed Halloween at home, which stunk, but the Grandparents were there (all of them) so really, the kids didn't suffer with me gone (would they have anyway? They love their Daddy!).
No, the problem is that in October I have my husband's birthday and our anniversary (11 years of marriage this year, 12 of living together and 19 of me being in love with him--but who's counting?).
So, this year, Andrew gets a phone call. And that sucks. I don't like it at all. But there isn't much I can do about it this year. I can make it up to him on our anniversary...I hope...
So here it is, your birthday clipart:
And, hey? If you get a chance, can you swing by and leave a happy birthday comment to him?
I was able to corral my Dad, Stepmom, Mom, and Sister into surprising Andrew for his birthday. He had NO idea. We had Thing 1 and the babysitter in on it. He sounded SO happy when I phoned the restaurant. At least it was something.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
First, before I get all snipey, as always, the people from Interweave and the Spinners themselves, are spectacular people I've been able to spend a van ride and a breakfast with Jan and Meg from the UK (Basingstoke--home of the Magic Roundabout) and they once again confirmed my love of all fiber folk. We're just great.
Okay, enough of the happy happy.
We got here after a VERY HOT AND HUMID VAN RIDE--for which I wasn't prepared. It's suddenly 85 degrees here--it was 70-75 on the Google Weather up until the morning I packed. Did I have the computer on while packing?
No I did not.
Am I woefully under prepared?
And no umbrella.
Will it rain?
Was that on the radar?
So, fine. I'm at a resort, right? It's not like I'm going to be OUTside! I'm going to be INSIDE at the conference meetings.
Um...except for the whole, "oh, um...yeah...we're remodeling, so we had to move rooms around."
My room was not only craptastic, but it was hell-and-gone from the main building (steep hill down to the room or up to the conference). Now, in all honestly, I can use/don't mind the walk, but rain + spinning wheel isn't good.
There is a way, though, I'm sure.
There have to be shuttles and such things.
Well...there sort of are...sort of...
Okay, fine. So the room is decorated in Victoria Club, (Riverside, CA) circa 1979.
It smells musty and vaguely unused.
Okay...at least I'm not sneezing.
There's a little refrigerator...so that's good right?...and would be great if I had a way to get some groceries...
There is no hairdryer--I know this doesn't sound catastrophic, but I don't have comb-and-go hair any more. So...drowned rat is my new morning look, followed by the you-did-a- lousy-job-ironing-your-flatass-hair lack-of-body look.
But why should I care? My husband is in AZ. He wouldn't care anyway.
That's how wonderful he is!
The Internet is down!
The Only Thing I Asked About When Making a Reservation...
The Only Thing I Wrote About Just To Make Sure and Confirm...
I don't even care if it's wireless. I'm prepared. I just need access.
O there was a signal. But it was a faux signal. One that you couldn't actually USE, you could just SEE it...like Tantalus, I spent HOW much time last night trying to get it to work???
All reminiscent of Thing One and me in Denver...
So this morning I go to the desk to ask about a hairdryer and the internet and was told that (a) housekeeping could get me "a hairdryer...maybe....we'll see...", and (b) "yeah, um...the internet's been down in that building for weeks...we keep calling..."
Long story short... My room was in a condo. The condo association is responsible for the wireless. 'Nuff Said.
So I beg. I plead. I smile nicely and remind her that it's the ONLY thing I requested.
"We'll see what we can do. You can bring your laptop up here, we have desks back there..."
Didn't I see a business center on the map?
"It's closed for the renovation..."
The "desks" were dinner tables.
In the space next to the indoor pool...that much humidity and me? And my laptop?
I head to breakfast with no faith, but a "what the heck can I do about it" regard to the day.
I get back to my room (after a very nice meal with Jan and Meg) and start working...then the phone rings. It is, in fact, Jessica at the front desk telling me they have a "studio" I can have in the big house.
I assume this means I'm moving to a closet. I don't care. I'm ecstatic! Uncontainable enthusiasm returns! I will have a connection to the world and work! I'll be able to put the podcast up! I am fully realized again.
The van comes to get me (15 minutes late, but who's counting) and I get my new (working) key, open the door and here's what I see--in order:
1) A really bitchen Murphy Bed
2) OMG there's a whole kitchenette here!!!!
3) OMG there's a fireplace here!!!!!
I don't deserve this.
But, in my defense, I didn't yell or scream. I was very nice. I just asked to have internet--like they promised me when I booked my stay.
The only thing wrong now is that have a WHIRLPOOL TUB AND ANDREW'S NOT HERE!
There is a cruel irony there.
And now, it's time to get lunch, then back to work...
*Spin-Off Autumn Retreat
Saturday, October 06, 2007
This guy is good!
I'm looking forward to this.
I'm also recalling that last year, while it was a a nice change, it was exhausting! Like handcrafting bootcamp...in a good way. I'm wondering if—now that I know what I'm getting into—it'll be different, or if I'll still be wiped out on the plane back.
I'm armed with my plane knitting, my work, my iPod (Cast-on's and Wait! Wait!'s that I've saved up), two great books (Jasper Fforde's last Jack Sprat and Calamity Physics)...I think, if I can successfully pack for weather twenty degrees below what I'm in here...I'll be fine.
Shockingly hard to imagine life in the 80 degree range right now.
Tra la la,
Off to the Airport!
Monday, October 01, 2007
If you have a second, please do this for my buddy.
I'm in a competition you may have already heard about. I wrote a book, a romance, full of yarn and alpacas and sheep and hot knitter-on-shepherd action (no, really). I entered it in Gather.com's First Romance Competition. I posted the first chapter, and it garnered enough votes to move on to the second round (in the top 25 of more than 300), so I'm thrilled to say that I'm a finalist, with people now voting on the second chapter. It's kind of an American Idol type of thing, if you can imagine, and this second round is still vote-driven, and the the most important thing to know is that if I end up in the top three, with the most votes, I move on to the last round where THE WHOLE NOVEL IS READ BY SIMON & SCHUSTER and their favorite is published. Oh, my god. I would like that. I would love that.
So I need your vote. I *really* need your vote. I'm in fourth place right now, and the three people ahead of me have LOTS of friends, but so do I! And my friends are prettier and smarter and nicer, too. Look at you!
Here's what you do: Read chapter one, but don't vote on it. That one is nice and content and voted on as it is. Please ignore the typos. They hurt my soul, but they're there.
Then read chapter two and please DO vote. If you like the chapter at all, please give it a 10, as they only count 10s (they throw out all votes of 1-9). The chapters with the most 10-votes win.
Even though I know you want to, don't vote more than once, since they're watching for IP fraud. And you DO have to register with their site in order to vote, but they won't spam you, and they don't share or sell email addresses. They will send you a daily email which you can easily opt out of.
Here you go:
Don't vote on chapter one:
DO VOTE on chapter two:
All my thanks. Really, ALL my thanks. It means so much. Whoo-hooo!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I don't like hypocrisy. I particularly don't like the zeal with which Senator Craig has gone after others who--like him--have had to make difficult choices about how to live with who they really are. And I sincerely wish the world would move past caring about any of this.
In the mean time--I think Scott Simon (par normal) does a lovely job summing it all up.
NPR : Reflections on the Sen. Larry Craig Case
Friday, September 28, 2007
I've nearly killed muggles by talking about knitting.
I podcast about knitting (and other stuff) at Craftlit.
If at all possible, I drink while knitting.