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Thursday, August 30, 2007

What the?!


I hate to sound like a drone. It is just too hot here right now. The laptop is too hot and even the pool water is too hot. Rolling blackouts are predicted for today, as all of the fortunate people crank up the air to stay cool. I remember when a rolling blackout referred to a state of inebriation. We have had a "heat emergency" declared by Arnold. I am doing my part by doing laundry and dishes after dark. It cools off in the house by midnight and sleeping is OK with a sheet. Housework is not on my short list. Speaking of short- that describes my temper perfectly. I have been surly and snappish and so I offer a blanket apology here. I spend as much time at bookstores, restaurants and coffee shops as wallet will allow. Never mind the waistband.

Monday evening at Starbucks, I ordered a DECAF (nonfat2pumpsugarfreevanillalatte) to go. It seemed so harmless.Well, for anyone unaware, Monday night we experienced a total lunar eclipse. It was phenomenal. When it ended the full moon was a golden, peachy glowing ball as it set over the ocean. I woke my husband at 1 am to see the shadow of darkness that cut the moon in half . He saw the golden orb when his alarm went off at 5am. I decided to try my daughters suggestion and have some wine to make me sleepy. Well..I did get tipsy and called Christine in DC thinking she may be up early for work. Eric, sorry to wake you up at 3:30. Diane, at least I had the good sense to text you. No more D-dialing. New pledge.

The heat has turned out to be good for simple knitting in my adopted abodes of cool air. I have completed several items for felting. That is the easy part. Felting and finishing takes more time. In the meantime I wrote and submitted a class syllabus for some knitting courses to be offered in the spring 2008 at our local community college. The dean makes the final selection of classes and I won't know until Thanksgiving if my classes will be part of the curriculum. I have also been trying my hand at pattern design and writing with a project planned for the future.

One of the things I finished knitting is the tote bag for a class I will teach at the new shop I told you about, Starry Night Hollow. Hit the posts of a fellow contributor Heather for photos of the shop and a great review. I also submitted my application to participate in the annual Olivenhain Craft Show that will be Nov. 10th, this year. It is a high quality show. Stop by if you are in the area and do some holiday shopping. My specialty is felted hand bags.

School is in session and my day is interrupted by carpool. I love that the car is nice and cool, and so I am off...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Photo Beginnings


Finally, college girl is giving me a photo tutorial! Here are the Koigu blend socks. Another pair of Sockatta sunset colored socks are on the needles for my daughter. It is true that when people see the socks- they want the socks. I may have to knit socks in secret or only while I KIP around strangers. It is a full and busy weekend with all three of the kids under the parental roof for the first time since Easter week. Now, is there a way to go back and insert photos relevant to former blogs? I have been away from the computer this week due to extreme company and dinner parties and a wonderful boating excursion. I want to practice this new skill and will be posting and editing for the next day or so...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Life is Hectic


My college girl is in town. So is a good friend that I love to spend time with. Plus, all of the normal activities are going along full speed.

High school resumes on Monday. This has been the week for the DDS, the doctor, the hair salon, and shopping errands. We also continue to be on a social circuit that wants to squeeze every last drop of summer out of the season. I have more work than I can handle at the moment and told someone today that I can't do one more thing. That is a first for me.

The ribbed shawl/vest I knit was finished and turned out with poor drape and a heavy shape. Everyone at Knitwits tried it on and it only looked good on Ellen. She is the lucky winner! It can double as body armor and keep her warm in the arctic. Maybe we will photograph it, maybe not.

My socks are so cute that I can't wait for it to not be 90 degrees. I would promise not to complain about the weather, but that would be pointless. I get so crabby if it is too anything. You'll see...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Too Hot


Most of the country is in the grip of August heat. I am too hot to cook. I am too hot to clean. I am way to hot to do laundry. If I go to the cool grocery store I will buy convenience food that requires a microwave at most. I'd prefer not to. I need to get the minimum amount of duty dispensed with so that I can take my knitting to the local air conditioned Barnes and Noble, get an "icedsugarfree vanillanonfatlatte" (yes, that is all one word in my vocabulary) and start working on a sample tote bag for a class I'll be teaching in September.

This tote is a signature bag I have been making and selling for the last 3 years. You knit it 30 inches wide and 50 inches tall with your favorite feltable yarns. Lining and trimming make it all yours. I am usually pleased with the unpredictable outcome. I search the world over in my travels for cool huge buttons and have an enviable collection. I love to knit and felt bags. It is a passionate pleasure. I sell them at a local craft fair and in some retail shops. Each one is so individual and the end result is driven by the process and changes that occur as you go along. I promise to teach myself to post pictures so you can see some of my results. Fortunately, I have photographed each one before I let it go.

Speaking of letting go, school is about to start and another year closer to adulthood marches my brood. College girl is coming home for a short visit next week. Can't wait to see her and spend some mom time with her. I miss my girl. This house is heavy on the testosterone and I can hardly breathe some days. My cousin Diane is coming Friday for the weekend and we always have a great time. Sunday a breath of fresh air blows into town from D.C. I hope we get to spend some time cooking and eating and laughing together Christine. Dog days of summer are ending like a finish line at the Greyhound races!

Just want to shout out to Annie Modesitt on their progress at the Mayo Clinic. I am so happy that things are looking up right now. Check out her site for all the details. Peace and I'm outta here...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Craft Night

For more then 10 years a group of friends have gathered the second Monday of every month to scrapbook together. If any of us face a deadline, addressing Christmas cards, paying bills, knitting for a sale, wedding invites, etc; we have the freedom to work in the good company we have established. These fine women are confidants and rock solid. Some of them also attend our weekly knitting group- the Knit Wits. We are a multi-generational group that love to laugh and learn. If you are knitting solo and wish you had some company, start a group. There is a large network of "stitch and bitch" groups all over the world. Join one. Check out your LYS for guidance.

I am all about community. We are all members of many "mini" villages. If you create your own, there is a sense of ownership and an investment of commitment that goes beyond obligation. I wasn't able to chose my family of origin. Who did? There are times when we are gathered in the same place en mass, that makes us wonder if we would start a conversation with one another? Is that too honest? Human relations and family matters are just too big to cover tonight. Blessings and curses are part of every ones heritage. I like to make time for the blessings and pray over the curses. Works for me, most of the time...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Party Time all the time

Party here, party there. Party, party everywhere. You would think that I'd spent my life in a cloistered convent against my will. Upon escape, I made my way to every buffet and wine bar with something to prove. Summer really presents so many delightful occasions to celebrate. Birthdays, baby showers, weddings, long lost cousin reunions, knitting group, swimming/hot tubbing, and any other moment that could be enhanced by good food and drink. (that was just this week!)

Tomorrow a friend opens a new little shop. Starry Night Hollow is described as a unique quilting, crafting retreat and gift shop. Her dream realized 8 months after she spoke it. It just makes you proud to see these women make their vision a reality. It inspires me to BELIEVE. We all dream. So, let's stop wishing away our lives and begin our believing. We all have amazing potential to succeed. When I visit the new shop it will be another celebration. No doubt, with a little champagne and goodies to eat. All best wishes go out to the entrepreneurs.

I had been searching for some lace inspiration for some fine fingering weight yarn. The books I coveted were too dear for my budget. Then something wonderful entered the inbox. KnitPicks summer book sale at 40%. Today, I made it to the mailbox and there they were. Bliss. I also bought some sock yarn on sale that I hope to knit up for a dear Aunt in Northern MI. The toes get real cold up there. I do enjoy knitting socks in the summer. Doesn't everyone?

I must consume less food and drink. There isn't enough exercise in the world to compensate for the fun I have ingested. I am tired and sated again after star gazing in the hot tub with our friends and fellow astronomer wannabes. Isn't it fun to discover that you have something else in common with people you already like? I love that. I love life and celebrating it in all it's incarnations. Now, if I could just keep track of my 15 year old skateboarding boy...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Knitwits

Monday-dumped out yarn and donated hand knits all over the living room.

Tuesday-North Coast Knitting Guild meeting.

Wednesday-Knitwits tonight, cleaning today, maybe?

The guild meeting yesterday was a panel discussion of published knit designers. The topic- how to get in print or make a career in knit design. We are gifted with talent in this area and w/o naming the whole panel- suffice to say-I was inspired. When you have a passion for something and it takes up a lot of space in your brain, you tend to get carried away with the possibilities. These thoughts may fall into the Fantasy file. Only time will tell.

How does one reconcile the demands on their time with the desires of their hearts? Age old question applied to every facet of life imaginable. Career, education, motherhood, parenting, marital relationship, family(immediate and extended), friends, community, recreation, housing, and anything else we struggle with.

As a mom of 3, I have been known to remind my children that the only person that they have the power to change is Themselves. I give great, free advice. I find it difficult to follow. For instance, today I want to knit and float in the pool, with an occasional load of laundry done in between. Is that wrong?

The progression of my tan is in direct correlation with my respect for the demands on my time. I am a little too tan right now.

I started a ribbed vest Sunday and will finish today in the name of efficiency. The vacuuming, dishes and dusting have to wait. Do you see how an occasional inclement day would motivate me to do the right thing? Then again ...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Never on Monday

I can see the ocean from my backyard this morning. That means it will be hot today. My house is a mess. Aftermath of the #1 sons visit. I contributed by taking all of the collected donated knitting projects and yarn out of the car and garage. I brought it into the house to be sorted, cataloged and shipped.

It looks like the Goddess of yarn backed up the truck and dumped a load here. I have the best intention of organizing this mess today. We'll see...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Fantasy World

This is a "Ryan Weekend". Every other weekend my Autistic son leaves his group home for 48 hours with his "first" family. During those 48 hours we focus on his visit and the time revolves around his desires. Ryan tends to be anti-social with a few specific exceptions. He shuns stimuli such as TV, radio, visitors, outings, and any form of extreme weather. Fortunately for me, he finds comfort with me sitting in my spot on the couch, needles in hand. or a book or my laptop quietly occupying my time. This all sounds pretty placid and non-taxing. By definition, autism describes a person that appears to live in their own world or fantasy land, if you will. Ryan lives there, and likes to carry on a streaming dialogue throughout his waking moments. Nonstop talking interrupted by blocks of blessed unconsciousness.



We love him and welcome him home, yet it can be exhausting. We have a lot of the bases covered on coping. Living in San Diego precludes extreme weather. When we lived in MI and he got wet, he would strip naked to remove the uncomfortable wet clothing. This ceased to be cute at age 3. We have learned as a family to do without the aforementioned electronic conveniences that usually entertain us. Quiet time is well spent here working on individual projects or study. Sounds lofty (LOL), but we occasionally sneak on headphones and put a DVD in the laptop.



This weekend I have had the best time in my own online knitting world of fantasy. I went on a virtually tour of the world with all of the websites I could find under Knitting Tours. I was inspired by the ads in the back of the latest Interweave Knits Magazine. How does an Alaskan cruise sound to you? France in the spring or fall with Chez French Girls? My love affair with Italy could only be heightened by Tactile Tours. Sea Socks 08 has a nice sound to it. England, Scotland or Nova Scotia accompanied by knitters. Sign me up. Only limited by money and time,never by imagination.

The rest of my Internet fantasy involved an elusive search for a pattern to satisfy the longing I have to use a finite amount of delicious yarn with a lacy pattern recently seen and coveted on a fellow guild member. The pattern comes from the Joan Mcgowan-Michael book, Lingerie Style Knits. A beautiful book I can not buy right now. My Koigu inspired socks will be completed tonight and I have 2 other urgent projects at my elbow calling out to me. All in all this weekend of fantasy was well spent. I may not be going to Europe any time soon, but I was inspired to make a reservation to attend the TKGA show in Oakland,CA this fall. Our local guild will be recognized for its longevity and maybe I can find a class to take or a ball of yarn to buy...

Friday, August 3, 2007

What a week

I can't believe it is Friday already. I have an empty nest this week. With a year round college student daughter, oldest son living away from home and my baby boy away at camp-I had big plans to exploit all of my freedom. I was going to explore, organize, clean, knit, dine out, cook gourmet meals, write long letters, make long overdo phone calls to loved ones and read a few great books, including the latest Harry Potter. HA!



Yesterday I accomplished a few missions from my to-do list. I scooped up Heather for a road trip to explore 2 LYS in Orange county. The first is the classic Yarn Lady. A large store full of yarn. Lots of novelty and Encore. Perhaps it was the 92 degree temperature, or the disorientation I felt in the space, but I didn't buy a thing. The store manager was very helpful and kind in trying to fulfill the list of must haves I was looking for. No luck,but I'll be back for their events and famous bag sale.



Next stop was a double header. Former knit shop co-worker, Nancy has landed a job at a sweet little shop that had the most pleasant color ambiance I've seen in a long time. La Petite Knitterie pops up unexpectedly in the middle of OC endless suburban mega-homes. The store had yummy samples and yarns presented in a comfortable setting with the yarn color palette creating a decorating backdrop that invites you to sit and knit a spell. Only thing missing was the cafe a' lait and croissants. Here I found some treasures for specific projects I have in mind and all on sale! I'll have to turn to Amazon to get the book that no one seems to have. I'm not sure how Nancy stays on point at work as the store is next door to a fine wine tasting room. This would be very distracting to me-or between buying yarn and wine, my profit would be nil. Heather wonders when I have ever came out ahead of my spending when employed by a Yarn shop.LOL.

By the way, it was pointed out to me that in my last post I forgot to mention cash as the gift that keeps on giving. It is wonderful and definitely, easily consumed. There is a gifting stigma that is attached and invites comment. So have at it-what is your favorite consummable gift?

My heart goes out to the Twin Cities and the victims of the bridge collapse. It brings back the post 911 response. Prayers and peace to the whole community. I am happy to report that the Modesitt/Landry family is intact and safe. Life is tenuous even at it's best. Enjoy it...