Thursday, November 25, 2010

Copenhagen, part 1

Copenhagen was beautiful! Clean, friendly, very nice. I would go there again in a heart beat. They all ride bikes there. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos, but they have very clever ways of building boxes onto the front (mostly) of their bikes to hold their children who are too young to ride. I saw one bike with a rather large box that had 4 little ones in it, ranging in age from about 1.5 to 5 years old. There were a few with the little trailers that hook onto the back of the bike, but most of them fashion these front box-type arrangements. I also learned that if you hear the tinkle of a bike bell, you had better stop because you are in the way of a biker and they are about to swerve around you. Better to stop because they have already seen you and are dodging around you. The foot traffic is heavy and so is the bike traffic. I found out too late that our hotel has bikes you can borrow from them--most places over there do.

Monkey met a friend to accompany him on his journey. Meet Cat. He looks remarkably like Tang, who is staying in LA with Carson while I am on my cruise.

One of the stores I have on my list for this trip was Camper shoes. With the help of the GPS on my iPhone, I was led right to it. I asked for their most comfortable shoes and these were the two that they recommended. They both have gel insoles. When I tried them on my feet said I bought both of them. And a pair for Carson that you will see in my next post.

Camper shoes are hard to find the USA. They only have stores in big cities--LA, Boston--I think the one in LA closed.

The yarn shop crawl across the Baltic starts with the next post. See you then!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


It has been a long time since I last blogged. The holidays are rapidly approaching, they will definitely suck this year, so I decided it was time to tell of my knitting cruise this past summer. Something that was positive, fun, and completely knitting infused that will take my mind off of why these holidays this year will be really hard for me. So keep watching, because Ringo the Party Monkey will take you to the Lands of the Baltic Sea. You will see yummy yarn, new friends, and lots of knitting. Ringo is holding the toe of my Rare Gem toe-up Monkey sock that was cast on when we pushed away from the gate at LAX on British Airways.Some of you voted for the pattern and the colorway. Keep watching! Copenhagen comes next!
(more obligatory Monkey photos to come too)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Gifting of the Socks.

Ever since I picked out the clothes for my mom to wear, I wrestled with the idea about how I would deal with the remaining 19 pair of handknitted socks I had made for her. This idea popped into my head sometime during the night before her services. After the service, family and close friends would be gathering at Robbie and Blanca's house. What better time to gift them than this afternoon when everyone was gathered together in remembrance of my mom? I picked the socks up at my mom's house. In the living room at Robbie and Blanca's, I spread them out on the floor, sorted by method of construction. Top-down heel flap and traditional gussets, then toe-up Personal Footprints. I sorted each section according to fiber content---100% merino superwash, 75-25 blends, cotton-lycra blends. For those who know sock yarns, you can see lots of Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR, a couple of Regia, one Mini-Mochi, one Colinette Jitterbug, and some Opal. As I sorted them, I told the story of each sock. It was stroll through my life and my sock-knitting life starting in 2002.

In the journey that is life, my knitting marks where I was, what I was doing, and what I was thinking at that point. I remember I started with the self-striping yarn from Opal, I discovered it when I helped Carson move for his first semester at Brown. From Opal, I moved into Jitterbug and Brown Sheep hand dye, played around with Cascade Fixation, and fell totally under the spell of the Blue Moon. I was constantly in search of the perfect sock and my mom was a more than willing participant in my quest.

My mom loved these socks. She told me once, about 2 weeks before Christmas, that the only socks she could wear were the ones I knitted for her, all others hurt her feet. At that time, I had 2 pair finished, one about halfway done, and another pair that I had just cast on. I turned up the knitting to high speed and I think I gave her 3 pair with the 4th on the needles.

In the telling of the stories, more and more of the giftees became entranced with the socks and how they played into the life of my mom and I. Each one had its own history, when it was knitted, where the yarn came from, why some of them were worn more than others. What kinds of shoes she worn them with. What her likes and dislikes were as far as fit and color. She loved to wear denim, so many of them were blues. Differences in construction, heel flap and gussets as opposed to personal footprints. Monkeys, Jaywalkers, purl when you feel like it, hand dyed, self patterning, toe up, top down, Rare Gems, Socks That Rock, and on and on. My mom loved them and I could think of nothing better than for each of them to have a part of something she really loved. One of the asked if I was going to give them out, I told her no, I wanted them to each pick a pair- first come, first served. It was a shark-feeding frenzy that ensued! While listening to the story of the socks, unbeknown to me, they were all eyeing them and had located the ones they wanted. When given the go ahead they pounced on them and claimed a pair. I am sure my mom would approve. After a while, we gathered for a photo session. After everyone picked out their socks, I was asked several times "please tell me the story of my socks again, what is the name of my sock? what is the name of color of my sock? Where did my sock come from?" It was therapeutic and it turned a task that would truly paralyze me into a wonderful thing to share, The Gifting of the Socks.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Eulogy for my mom.

My mom was born in Roll on June 13, 1927, the same day as my dad, but 4 years later. She grew up in the Wellton-Mohawk Valley, attended grade school, and when it came time to go to high school, she attended Yuma High, as did all kids from this area. There were many shenanigans that happened during their school bus rides to Yuma High. Their parents had to get them to Wellton where the bus picked them up. One story involved their regular stop at the top of Telegraph Pass. The bus driver, called “Goofy” by the kids---they probably gave him good reason to be called Goofy-allowed them to get off of the bus. They all got off the bus and proceeded to climb up the mountain a bit. Understand, these were high school kids from the country, used to making their own fun, and not unlike high school kids of today, most of their waking hours were spent trying to figure out how to get out of school. When Goofy asked them to get back on the bus, they refused. He did what all of us in public education would like to do today, he left without them. When he got to Yuma High he reported to the Principal. The Principal checked the students, and they were all in class. Being resourceful country kids, they had hitched a ride and beat Goofy to school.

My mom and dad were married at his parent’s house in Roll on February 22, 1948. I asked her once if she remembered meeting my dad for the first time, I wanted to know what that love story looked like. She said she didn’t, she never met him, she always knew him. Their relationship spanned many more than 55 years they were married. As with many couples their age, they had one identity, BobNBerta.

They both worked in Yuma, he at Griffin Buick, she for Cecil Davis at the D & M Hair Salon in old downtown. The Endurance Flight was a big part of their early married life. She and Betty Jongeward never missed a refueling run, no matter what time of day or what obstacles came in their way, including at least one car accident. If you are familiar with the Endurance Flight you know that there are stories too numerous to tell here.

In 1954, my parents moved to Roll, to the house where she lived up until recently. This house was the site of many gatherings, planned and unplanned throughout the years. She created a place where all people felt welcome and congregated-our high school friends, ditchriders, neighbors, workers, truck drivers, you name it. There was always food, drink, and to use the colloquialism (you will have to fill in the blank here) , shootin’ the______ .

She took great pride in her flowers. If you have ever driven by her house, you have seen the bright red geraniums and double-ruffle petunias that she loved so much. She did the same in Show Low. When I would go up to spend time with her, we would have to make no fewer than 4 trips to the nursery to fill the Escalade with bedding plants.

When my dad became ill and it was clear that he was on the slippery slope of Alzheimer’s, she did all that was possible to keep him at home. He died there in that house on December 23, 2003. Afterwards, there was a pervasive loneliness in her that could never be filled.

Very recently, Robbie talked to her about meeting Father Bart, the new priest from St. Joseph’s in Wellton. Not about becoming Catholic, but just to get to know him. She agreed and wanted to meet him. Then she had to go to Tucson and stayed about a week for medical tests, and was transferred to Yuma Rehabilitation Hospital for therapy to increase her strength so that she could go home. The opportunity to meet Father Bart never happened.

What did happen was that my dear friend, Bertha, visited with her on Tuesday, bringing her some beef soup with rice for lunch. She had a good visit with her, my mom ate, and Bertha helped her back to her room. She helped her into bed and asked if it would be OK if she blessed her and said a prayer for her. She consented, and Bertha blessed and prayed for her. She told her that God was listening if she wanted to she could talk to him. She told her she would bring her a fruit slushy at dinnertime, and would to go 6PM mass and pray for her.

She had a call from her brother, Luther after this. They had a good visit.

Robbie arrived at 3:30. My mom was upset about not being able to be discharged home, but to a skilled nursing facility instead. He bore the brunt of her displeasure. We had a business meeting with our family lawyer Steve Shadle and Jody at 4, they left at 5, and then she wanted Robbie to go see the facility that I had picked out. We did, when we returned we stayed and talked to her for about an hour. Around 6:45 she told us that we should both go home, it was getting late, we needed to eat and get home. We both kissed her goodbye and left, saying we would see her tomorrow. An hour later, I got the call that she was non-responsive and was being transported to the ER.

From the day my dad passed, I believe that she died a little, just a little, every day. The phrases we use when something like this happens are inadequate in this case—when we say “she passed or she died”, that’s not really what happened here. I truly believe she had a great day, one of the better ones of recent time, she talked to the people she loved, Bertha brought her nourishment for her body and her soul, we had our business meeting, then she sent us home, and an hour later when my dad came to get her, she left with him. She is gone, she is with him once again, in a place where things are better. A place where there is no weakness of limbs, no transfusions are necessary, you don’t have to take medicine, nobody asks you if you are diabetic, no one wants to stick you for blood. A place where she can sit on the porch watching the hummingbirds swarm around the feeder while she works on her DeGrazia needlepoint, where the weather is great and she can tend to her geraniums and double ruffle petunias every day. Right now they are probably making plans to go to the Sunday brunch at the Hondah Casino. He will be found on the Triple Lucky 7 machine, she on the Wheel of Fortune. And she Would be Winning.

Mom, Mommy, Nana, I will love you forever and miss you always.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some things are hard to do.

This is so different than when I lost my dad. My mom was alert, oriented, engaged. Robbie and I left and went home, actually, she told us we could go home-it was about 6:45. Within an hour I got the call that she had coded. Actually, Robbie and I talked about it. It is as if all her loose ends were tied up, she had a great day, she sent us home. It is not that she passed from an affliction, it is that she left in peace. As Father Bart said after listening to our story, maybe my dad came for her.

I picked these clothes out for my mom. The pink pants are what she called her comfy pants---they are pink velour, the kind you reach for when you have been out and on your feet all day, when you want to take off your shoes and relax. And a tshirt from Dillard's with the double trim around the neck. And her new Birkenstocks I bought in Berlin. Couldn't decide on the socks. Do you know she had a sock drawer with nothing but my handknits? 21 pair. 21. I had no idea I had knitted that many. She really liked them. I liked knitting them. The ones on the left--they are in Cascade Fixation. The ones on the right are STR ltwt, the colorway is one of my hand dyes from Sock Camp. They are Cat Bordhi's Personal Footprints, I call them the "Purl When you Feel Like It" design. I gave them to her for her birthday last June. The prayer shawl in the background I call her Grandma Auza shawl because I bought the yarn when I went to Grandma Auza's funeral in Flagstaff. I knitted it for her that same summer. It is a rectangle in a simple basketweave. It is the first shawl I made for her. I know she used it because it smells like Youth Dew. I left my Myrna Stahman shawl in Show Low that summer for her to use---she later told me "If you want to make me a shawl like that, it would be OK". It gives me comfort to know these things will be there with her. There is a big hole in my life now, but these knitted things contain little bits of my soul that will stay with her forever.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baltic Knitting Cruise, Part 1

What better way to start blogging about my trip than with a gratuitous Monkey shot? Here he is on the plane, minutes after
take off. I cast on as soon as I was seated and here the toe is almost
complete. By the time I (we-the Monkey and I) made it to Copenhagen, I
was starting on the heel. It is the Monkey sock in an STR Rare Gem. More gratiutous Monkey shots later--

Ahh, Sommerfuglen in Copenhagen. It means butterfly in Danish. The
source of all things yummy in the yarn
world. This was our first official yarn shop on our yarn crawl through the Baltic Sea aboard the ms Eurodam. I am hooked on cruising. There were 25 knitters and 5
husbands. We had a trunk show here at Sommerfuglen with Helga Isager.
This shop had beautiful yarns. Very friendly people,
very helpful. Shipped our purchases home. That left more room in the suitcase. I bought a Hanne Falkenberg kit for a Duet vest, a Vivian Hoxbro felted scarf kit, enough Isager Wool1 for a couple of shawls, even though it is yarn we can get in the states, it is from Denmark. I also bought some Shuibui (not pictured) sock yarn.
It isn't stocked in any of my LYS's I frequent. I found some cool shawl pins, they are made out of horn, deer or reindeer, I don't know which.
And a Zauberball Crazy. Again, you can find this one in the states, but it is hard to find the Crazy.

Copenhagen is very clean, very modern, very charming. Lots of cobblestone. A friend for Monkey, his name is Cat. More later in future postings. I learned so much, made
new friends, and I am still processing it all. Watch this space for future posts!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Thank you!

The results are in! It looks like I will be knitting a Rare Gem Monkey(first place) and a Plankton Ooze Sunday Swing(runner up). Thanks for voting--Tomorrow I am winding and I will be ready to cast on. Photos every step of the way---I am excited about doing the Monkey because it has been a while since I did one. It will be a toe-up, no purl, Insouciant Monkey ala Cat Bordhi. Knitted on DPNs for the a basics Yarn Harlot Lever style. I can knit twice as long in one sitting when I do it Lever style.

Later---pics, I promise!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Please help me make a decision!

OK, so I am ready for my next project which will be a travel sock. I have actually been pretty disciplined lately with my knitting, which means I am not casting on with reckless abandon. It is hard- very very hard not to cast on 4 or 5 new things whenever the mood strikes me. I figured out that the upside of being disciplined is that you actually finish projects. Who knew? My dilemma at the moment is what sock to knit, and which pattern. Which is where you come in! Here are the color choices, all Blue Moon, natch, and the pattern possibilities are all on Knitty--click on the pattern name to go to the link. I chose these patterns because they are are mostly stockinette and I can do them Lever-style ala Yarn Harlot with DPNs (aka, back to basics) so they will go really fast. Not much brain power needed. The only thing needed is the decision about which pattern with which color. These colorways would all look good in any of the patterns. But I just can't decide. Sometimes the name of the pattern combined with the colorway name is interesting, like Scum Bubble Monkeys. Or Sunday Swing Pond Scum. Or Rare Gem-RPM. Or Plankton Ooze Monkey.

So help me, please, by voting. You will be seeing the winning combination in my next few posts. Vote frequently and vote often. I need to wind the yarn on Friday, so vote now! Have your children vote! Close your eyes and vote! For my new knitting friends I have yet to meet, please vote!
Sunday Swing

And the color finalists are:

Pond Scum. I love me some Pond Scum.

Plankton Ooze.

Rare Gem.

Scum Bubbles. In real-life, Scum Bubbles is related to Pond Scum.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And yet another shawl from my needles.

I actually started this shawl way back in December. It is knitted out of Noro's Silk Garden Sock yarn. I had to tweak the picot edge a bit to get it the way I wanted. I really like the little nubs it has on the edge. Another possibility for my travels!

You can see the little corners where I threw in some increases for the shoulder to help it stay on. I think I will really like it, with those increases it helps it stay on and lay nicely across the shoulders.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Grawk called and said it wants to be a Multnomah Shawl.

Ahh yes, my lovely Grawk. I am more than happy to grant your wish. Grawk is one of the Raven Series from Tina at Blue Moon. It started its life out being Raspberry and Pond Scum. Then one day the darkness took over and it was overdyed with black. But the Pond Scum and the Raspberry still peek through, just enough to for you to recognize them.

Details on my Ravelry page where I am known as knitterati. Basically, this took about a skein and a half and I went WAY up in needle size. The pattern is written for a size 3 and I bumped it up to a 5, swatched by actually starting the shawl, then bumped up again to a size 7. Instant gratification and a fast knit!

Calling Miss Woodhouse.

How often does it happen that you are snooping around on Ravelry and you find a shawl with your name on it? I mean literally, the shawl's name is your last name? Well, it happened to me and here it is!

For details, see my Ravelry page. I love all things Blue Moon, and this is knitted in Seduction which is 50% merino ad 50% tencel. It has a luscious hand. More shawls to follow.......................

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I've Been Busy Lately.

I bought this Rare Gem at Sock Camp 09, aka KnittyHaha. It was a mdwt STR and had two different kinds of yarn it that composed this skein. Half of it appears to be Silkie STR and the rest regular mdwt STR. I think the colorway is Crabby McCrabbypants. I decided to knit this shawl, aka TheTraveling Woman.

Here it is all blocked out. The SilkieSTR is on the top and when I broke out out to the patterned area, I went into the regular STR. It doesn't show up so good in the photo, but in real life it looks heathered on the top and brighter on the bottom patterned section.

I went up 2 needle sizes from what was called for in the pattern because I wanted it really lacy. This ended up having me run short about 3 rows. I had a skein of ltwt McCrabby pants and so I went up a needle size for the last 3 rows and the bind off. You can't tell. Even Tang can't tell in this photo, as he gives it the final "Cat Scan". Everything I knit seems to get Cat Scanned.

This Miss Woodhouse Shawl is blocking as I type. I knitted it in record time. There are two more shawls I want to knit before my cruise, so I am casting on the "Multnomah" Shawl from Ravelry in Silkie STR in the Grawk colorway (from the Ravens clan). I love all things Blue Moon Fiber Arts!

Photos of Miss Woodhouse hopefully up tomorrow!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When the Yarn Speaks to You.

Sometimes you can't resist buying a particular yarn because it speaks to you in someway. Like this one I found at The Yarn Lady on my yarn crawl back from LA last December. Schaffer names the type of yarn is a first name, like Andrea, Audrey,Anne, etc. Their colorways are named after influential women. Not only is name of this yarn Nancy but the colorway is Elizabeth Zimmerman. How could I deny myself? It would have spun the Earth off its axis had I passed this up. I think it wants to be a very simple shawl.

Sometimes the pattern speaks to you. I found this pattern on Ravelry and knew immediately that my BMFA Seduction in Pond Scum had met its destiny. Seduction is 50% Merino and 50% Tencel. It has a great hand. The tencel doesn't take the dye as much as the merino and it gives it a great sheen. Pond Scum is a Shaded Solid and is my all time favorite Blue Moon colorway.

School is almost out, that means more time for knitting! Have a happy summer!

Monday, April 19, 2010 out for the's addictive...........

Okay, so Shirley Weber and I (also The Rice Czar, can't leave Mr. Bill out) were at knitting last Sunday. Shirley was asking about a pattern for some scarf yarn she wants to knit up. So I told her about this pattern and this yarn I bought at Purls in Tucson (when I was ummmmmm..........chaperoning the HOSA students at their state competition/convention. The male chaperone took over so I could have a break). It is Bamboo by Southwest Trading Company. It's one of those things that one of the ladies in the store was wearing, I overheard her telling another knitter that every time they got this yarn in Boom! they sold out. She had this scarf on in this colorway. So, being of weak constitution, of course I bought it. And another skein, different colorway. When I got home I cast on, and OMG, watch out, it is super addictive. Maybe moreso than the Ewe. Any kind bamboo yarn would work, you need a yarn with a soft, drapey-hand. Louisa did a scarf like this with bigger yarn. You can see it here, just scroll down to Jan. 16.I will bring it on Sunday. I am knitting it on size 5 needles. It is listed as a size 3 yarn which is DK or lite worsted, I think. Watch out for this scarf, it will beckon to you....................must.....................cast..........on............................

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It is getting hot.

Summer is almost here. And for lots of us, a break from school. The photo above shows my projects for the Knitting Olympics. At 12 is a pair of toe-up no-purl Monkeys for Karen. I had to re-knit from the ankle up because something strange happened to them in the too-tight department. They are in Tide Pooling BMFA STR ltwt. Going clockwise, those are toe-up no-purl Monkeys from my mom in Bella Coola, BMFA STR ltwt. They had the same mysterious ailment that Karen's Monkeys had. Some kind of Monkey-dysfunction, undoubtedly caused when I got my new Signature DPNs and switched over in the middle of the sock. I had to tink both pair back to the lifelines for the legs and reknit. Next around the clock are my Queen of Beads in the colorway My Blue Heaven, BMFA STR ltwt from the RSC Club last year. I had one almost done, the second one went really fast. And no, the beads to not bother you when you wear them. Last on the clock are some socks for my mom--one of Cat's patterns from her Insouciant book. They are in a rare gem that I bought at Camp last year.

Speaking of Camp, I am missing it this year. They have 2 sessions this year. The first session is on right now, it runs from Thursday to Tuesday and the second session follows starting Tuesday of this next week. No way that I could go this year. Work has been too cray and both sessions fell after break, I just couldn't justify it, plus we have no subs this year. And I have no LPN, and I do miss Bertha. So, as a consolation prize, I have booked myself on a Knitting Cruise---from July 9-19 in the Baltic Sea. It leaves from Copenhagen then cruises on to Warnemunde Germany for a day trip to Berlin, then on to Tallin (Estonia), St Petersberg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Kiel (Germany), and back to Copenhagen. I spend an extra day in Copenhagen before the tour starts. Classes are taught while at sea, and at each port there is an organized yarn crawl if you like. And I do like:)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Personal Discovery Footprints

We have been having a knit-along and here are the results! This is Helen's Personal Discovery Footprint. This photo is actually old--she is done with the first sock, save for the Super-Stretchy-Bindoff. The leg and rib are now added onto this sock.

Has anyone tried to feed my fish? You can put your cursor into the fish tank and click to feed them. They follow your cursor.

This is Shirley's Footprints-her socks are both done now, this photo is not current. Have you started a new pair yet, Shirley?

And these Footprints and Feet belong to Andrea, my Daughter-for-Knitting! Are they keeping your toes toasty in Colorado?

Hope everyone has a restful Spring Break!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Addison's Reversible Triangles Baby Blanket

I LOVE this baby blanket pattern! It is knitted out of Encore Colorspun worsted weight, I really like how it worked up. For some reason it went much faster than the one I did for Jackson out of STR heavy weight. The Colorspun has long color repeats and you keep going because you can't wait to see what happens next. I threw in some blue whenever, where ever. I could have used less of the pink, But I did want to keep the gradation of color continuous, without starting a new ball, so it was important to keep the color attached when it was the main color section. I will bring it on Sunday. I know it will be my go-to-baby-blanket pattern!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Snuggy's 17th Birthday

This posting is brought to you by Tang.

Today was Snuggy's 17th birthday. We used to celebrate it like this. We both loved tacos from Chili Pepper.

Or sometimes we would take cat naps. Sometimes she was more tired than me, so I watched over her, and sometimes she stayed awake to watch over me.

And then, sometimes, we just snuggled together.

........and sometimes now, if I close my eyes really tight......................

...............I see her like this.

We miss you and love you Snug.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


FYI to anyone who reads my blog==I am having difficulties with Blogger. When I try to go to my homepage it tells me that "allthingsknitterly does not exist" Today,it has also added the comment that this name is available for registration. I have not abandoned my blog, I am trying to get help from google, as there are other blogs who have experienced the same problem.. Hop to be back up an running soon!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Yarn Crawl

I never posted about my yarn crawl on the way home from LA when I visited Carson. I had several new places and old favorites on my list. So here's the goods!
I started at Wildfiber in Santa Monica. The first time I experienced Wildfiber I drooled over the their Big Wall O'Koigu. Right around the corner from Koigu is the Scrumptious Wall of Cashmere(mynames). I didn't take a photo of the front of their establishment because the building was getting a facelift. Literally--it was being restuccoed painted, the works. I have been here every time I come to LA, which is not a frequent as I wish. There is no comparison to Wildfiber. Great selection of yarn, lots of natural light from their big windows, friendly helpful staff who remember you. Definitely one that you should have on your listif you get within 100 miles of them. I mentioned in my blog a couple of days before that I was going to stop there first. I received an email the next day from the owner, saying that she had read my post and that a free blogger gift awaited my at the shop. She wasn't there when I stopped by, but one of the ladies who helped me took my name and address. Natasha Hopkins, the owner, sent me a gift--how cool is that? The goodies included a project bag, highlighter tape (a must-have), a small box with stitch markers and point protectors. (photo to follow soon) Thank you to Natasha. Your shop is worth the trip, even if it is 301.2 miles and 4 hours, 49 minutes from my front door! Be forwarned though, they really enforce the parking restrictions here, tickets are easy to come by and pricey.

Next I visited Jennifer Knits. I had read about them, and I had a vision of what I thought this shop would be like, but it was nothing like my vision. There were about 10 ladies lined up at the door waiting for them to open. I sat outside knitting on my sock. When the doors opened, they all lined up and signed their names on a whiteboard. The shop owner gives them one on one attention whether they are shopping or need help with their knitting. Which is nice, if that's what you are there for. I was there to touch, sniff, and drool on yarn. Everything was in big ziplocks, the shop was small and didn't tweek my creative side. Living
a long ways away from any yarn shop, this one didn't fit my needs at all. No sock yarn sightings either.

So back in the car, heading for Laguna Hills and Yarn Lady. OMG. Yarn Lady. What can I say? I could have curled up on any one of their several seating areas and knitted all day. It is a large shop, but they have several areas set up with seating, furniture arranged to make it feel like they were separate rooms. Of course I bought some yarn--Schaefer's Nancy in the Elizabeth Zimmerman colorway. And some sock yarn. Actually two skeins of sock yarn. OK, and some other stuff too. A yarn wrap necklace by Perl Grey. And maybe a scarf pin.
On the 5 again, to Common Threads in Encinitas, one of my perennial favorites. Stopping by there reminded me why I always like going there. Basically the same things I have already mentioned--they are friendly, helpful, remember you, and they have a nice selection of yarn.
Also in Encinitas, Black Shop. Nice selection of brands also. They are really quick with shipping too.

Next, a visit to a shop I haven't been to for a while--Needlecraft Cottage in San Diego, over by the beach. A new owner, nice selection of yarn (esp. sock yarn), and they ship. They get the stuff out to you really quickly. A definite plus for me since I live in a yarn-barren town.

Lastly, a stop to the yarn shop we call the "Hooters Yarn Shop". It is right next to the Hooters Restaurant in the Mission Valley area. Nice ladies, but more needlepoint than yarn.
So, in summary, the perfect yarn crawl from Yuma to LA would include driving to San Diego, hitting Needlecraft Cottage (for the sock yarn esp), then on to Laguna Hills for Yarn Lady, and end up in Santa Monica for Wildfiber. Wildfiber is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, for sure!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Birth of a Sock

YES! This is a sock with the leg opening recently liberated. Shirley finished the heel and opened up the leg. Now it is a race to the cuff then binding off! Pretty awesome!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Christmas 2010 AND The Knitting Olympics.

Rachel is already knitting for future gift giving occasions, i.e. Christmas 2010. These are washcloths she is making--the pattern follows. She says they are quick and you have to pay just enough attention to cure any boredom that might pop up. Great idea---

Rachel's Washcloth Pattern
Row 1: Sl Kwise, (P2, K1) to end
Row 2: Sl pwise, (K2, P1) to end
Row 3:Knit

I like this pattern, it would make a nice boy-hat.

FRIDAY is the day! The start of the 2010 Winter Olympics and the KNITTING OLYMPICS. Yes, Virginia, there is a Knitting Olympics. Go to
and sign up. The rules are listed there, but in a nutshell, you pick a project, and cast on when they light the flame in the opening ceremonies. Your goal is to be done when the flame is extinguished at the closing ceremonies. Yarn Harlot lists all of the rules on her website.

I am knitting the Shoalwater Shawl out of some yummy handyed merino/cashmere/silk that was a Christmas gift from Christmas 2009. It will be perfect for this and I can't wait to start. But, I do have to wait. You can swatch before the flame is lit (it is like training for your event), but you can't cast on until afterwards. Join up!

Anyone interested in Knitting this weekend? Monday?

Knit onward.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Aspiring to Mediocrity.

Our district Admin is going crazy again. Musical chairs with campus Administrators. Moving two out, offering them classroom teaching positions if they so desire, a Principal from one school moved to another. An interim AD moved from one to another,an assistant from one school moved to another. One assistant moved to a school that already has a full complement of administrators, even though my campus is minus one administrator. Why?

One of the reasons listed by dao is that morale at this particular campus was down. Is this a result of the recent survey asking about job satisfaction? Is it possible that these cuts/changes were partially driven by this questionnaire? That was one of the reasons given by district admin (notice no caps) for these changes. What will these actions do to morale now? If it was low before, how low will it go now? They don't exactly instill confidence and trust. We need leaders on each campus and at the district level that we have confidence and trusting relationships with. This is crazy.

Why is it better to do it now, halfway through the first grading period of this semester rather than spring break or during the summer? Could they possibly have chosen a more disruptive time and method to implement these changes? This will cause problems on all levels of campus life, down to each student in each classroom. Some of these positions that have been vacated will be filled by others with Admin Certification who were now teaching up until this time, which will mean that other teachers will be moved around in order to have coverage in each classroom. Out of the 6 schools in our district, 3 were left unscathed, and I am happy for them. The other 3 are going to have big changes on Monday.

And is there any truth to the rumor that there will be a nation-wide search to find a new principal for this school next year? Is our district sound enough financially to undertake a search like this? We have to scrape and beg to get copy paper or printer cartridges, and they are considering a nation=wide search for a principal? Look at our past nationwide searches, they didn't turn out to be all that great.

Seems to me that in our district, if you are perceived as being competent and good at what you do, you get jerked out of your position and moved to a different campus. It has happened before, now it has happened again

Likewise, if you are bad at what you do, you don't get invited back the next year. If you are really bad you are fired midyear.

However if you are somewhere in the middle, merely mediocre, might just be the best place to be. Hence my new goal---I am now Aspiring To Be Mediocre.

Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.
-Elizabeth Zimmerman

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Addison's first 24

Both mom and baby are really tired. Being born is a hard job for all involved, especially when you have to be in the hospital for 10 days prior to the actual birth. They are both exhausted. Addison is in the NICU, Aimee still is in the hospital. In some respects it makes it easier for her to be that close for feeding purposes, but it is so hard to rest there. She just gets to sleep and the janitor comes in or time for vitals , or friends calling in, excited about the baby, wanting to know when they can come see her. Having a complicated birth is just that, complicated. You can't visit in the NICU unless one of the parents take you in there. So that eliminates most everyone except for grandparents and immediate family. Hopefully tomorrow's feedings will be better and bring them closer to going home. There is no place like home.

Addison has lots of toppers to keep her head warm once she gets out of the NICU's warming lamps. There are acutally two more that didn't get photographed and I have two more on the needles and bunches more in my head. They are fast, fun, and a bit more addictive than socks. Those of you with the sock bug know what I mean. These go way faster. And I now have two hats on the needles, one lace, one a knit-in-the-dark hat. Two hats for two different knitting environment/mind spaces.

How about knitting on Sunday, Anyone up for it? At the usual place, usual time!