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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Knitting ADD

I mean no disrespect to anyone suffering the diagnosis and effects of the very real disorder of ADD or ADHD. I have several members of my own family that are currently on medication for treatment of this malady. I have never been diagnosed with this particular disorder. Usually the opposite. So, please allow my comparative analysis.

I would like to submit that I do have a form of it. It is KADD. That is right. Knitting attention deficit disorder. Do you suffer from it also? I know I have it because I cannot stop casting on new projects, when I have so many UFO's laying around the house.

I have entered a knitting challenge with an end date, to force me to complete a sweater for my daughter. My competitor and I have changed the end date to accommodate our KADD. She was distracted by TNNA and I have started a purse designed by Louisa Harding. It is causing me to knit frantically to finish to see the end results. I love the stitch and am inspired by meeting the designer. I want to knit several other of her designs ASAP. How about the Manos throw I promised my brother for Christmas. I have the yarn!

Then there are the unfinished socks that I put in the car for the waiting times. I hate to pick them up. I may have to admit that I am not a sock enthusiast yet. Perhaps when I master the Magic Loop technique?

I have a lace Mohair scarf that I love to work on and it is beautiful. I made a mistake in the 10th row and it bothers me. I refuse to FROG it. Mohair tends to full to itself. I have it more than half way done. So now I must work the mistake into the other end so it will match and become a design detail.

I want to draft a pattern for the herringbone stitch on large needles and design a bag for a class of the future. I am also planning to teach Intarsia with double stranded knitting in 2 colors soon.
I want to propose it to the MTM (Members teaching Members) committee of NCKG. But, I need to make a sample. And I saw the cutest pattern on the web I want to order.

So, please do not show me anymore luscious yarn or intriguing patterns. Stop the magazines and books and internet research. Do not entice me with your projects or knit talk. Wait a minute! I am the guilty one here. I need to reign it in. Get control. STOP! in the name of love.

My books are being neglected. The house needs to be cleaned. My wrist and fingers are aching. I have it wrapped with a thermal patch and Ace bandage. I have been cooking and eating. That is another story that calls out for control. The issue is control. Choices. Needs and wants. That is the struggle of the day. I think I will knit a few more rows and ponder a plan...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Scarves Serve A Purpose

Many expert knitter's have a penchant to disrespect the scarf. A universal first project, it allows a beginning knitter to make a useful garment while learning a new skill. Some knitters never move beyond that project. They get stuck as they hone their skill. Their confidence in a job well done fixates them.

Some take this confidence and use it to leap into the next learning project and onward to the ultimate- a sweater project. From the simplicity of a scarf to the complexity of a fitted garment is a progression that can take days, weeks, or many years. I respect the time line, as knitters tend to be very individualistic. As a knitting teacher, I have seen students advance at every conceivable rate. It is always a joy to behold. Anyone that teaches, relishes the "Aha" moments.

I need you to know that I always have a scarf on the needles. It is the way I sample lace patterns and stitch designs. When I swatch, if I like what I am doing I will continue and turn it into a scarf. It is always a perfect, brainless carry along. Compact

I am the chairwoman of Philanthropy for the NCKG. We annually provide beautiful scarves, lovingly made, (RED) for Heart Scarves,(PINK) for the Breast Cancer Society, (Military colors) for the Armed Forces, (Multi-hued) for the homeless at the San Diego Rescue Mission.

So, pick up a pair of size 13 needles. Cast on 15 stitches with a chunky yarn. Knit until a minimum of 5 ft is reached. A scarf should be as tall as you are, as a rule of thumb. Bind off. Fringe, tassel, bead, crochet a finish. Wear it or give it away. Relax and enjoy. Let's stop judging each other and have fun...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Washing Rough Wool

I knit a lovely lace scarf from a free pattern I got in Washington DC, at Stitch DC. That was years ago, but it was my nod to the inauguration. I knit it in what I call- rough wool. It is so fresh off the sheep that it is oily and has little bits of straw and grass in the ply. I bought the yarn at a stash sale with no label. It was black and I wanted a black scarf. Seemed appropriate.

I wanted a nice wool wash to soften the scratchy stiff fabric produced by this yarn. I was going to buy some Eucalan at the LYS when my friend Heather presented me with a goodie bag from TNNA. Included was a sample bag from Unicorn, with a wash and finishing rinse. It was exactly what I was looking for! I love it when things work out so perfectly. Cold water, biodegradable, non-matting, etc...
I followed directions and soaked the scarf for 5 minutes. Then on my final rinse, I added the rinse conditioner for 5 more minutes. I gently squeezed the excess water, drained it for 10 minutes, placed into towels and walked on it, finally laying it out to air dry. It is soft and lovely.
I recommend this product and my procedure. It smells clean, with a soft lavender lingering. Steezy enjoyed the show! Try Unicorn Fibre Wash and Rinse. At your LYS or online.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Beth Moore "Esther-It's Tough Being A Woman"

It is not too late. Join us at the Village Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe. We are having so much fun with this study. Call the office at the contact on the site link.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Thursday evening, 8 pm. Evan pulls into our driveway, at the wheel of his fantasy car. A 1985 El Camino. Mainly midnight blue. Mechanically, very sound with low mileage. Some Bondo and replaced parts, but not bad. Evan was on top of the world. He has always wanted an El Camino and the search has been going on for a while now.

I said "you have one hour to go show a friend and come back". He drove off into the warm evening, heading west, to the beach. One half hour later we get a panic stricken call. He is at the beach. The headlights are on and he has locked the doors and the keys will not open the car!! Off Dad goes to the rescue with a clothes hanger and saves the day!! Disaster averted.

Disaster delayed is more like it. Friday morning. Last day of the semester that had the 3.0 required to receive a car. Minimum day. Evan is allowed to drive to school and back. Bell rings at noon and off he goes to meet his friends for lunch. It is raining lightly. Near the new Library, he takes the curve too fast, looses control, hits a parked camper trailer, the trailer shoots down the hill and smashes into a vintage MG and slices it open (like a can opener) with the hitch. Loud and destructive. The neighbors call the police and Evan calls his Dad. He was not hurt. Shaken and stirred is more like it. The police were very nice. He was not ticketed. LUCKY. Dad was kind as always. I am pissed and let loose on him. The men could relate to the 16 year old boy. Me, not so much. I am tired.

The car was purchased at a time when the $ was needed for so many things. Sacrificial giving to the kid. So, in less than 16 hours, Evan knew the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. He has a story to last a lifetime. The financial fallout of the damage to the vehicles on the street, plus the cost of his insurance, will have far reaching consequences.

Much remains to be seen. I know that we are blessed that no one was hurt. I know that the people that own the damaged vehicles are kind and very understanding. I know that we set loose an inexperienced boy with a heavy weapon of mass destruction. Culpability. We have all learned something...

These Boots Were Made For Walking

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful Princess and she was in love with a handsome Prince.

The Prince turned out to be a fink. He sent his Princess far away.
She wasn't feeling in the pink. Her broken heart ached every day.
Shopping will help, her friends did think? To Anthropologie, you must sashay.
The boots sat on the shelf edge brink, willing her to run out and play.
Wrong size was the kink, searching for options, she knelt to pray.
Go online and find the link- pay with plastic-credit card- obey.
Happy feet help heal in a blink-the Prince shrinks as a blip on the horizon,
As our Princess walks away.
Happily ever after? Not yet. Wrapped in stylish, super-soft leather, you bet!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Arabella Moran dines Alfresco

The courtyard of the RSF Champagne Bakery was the setting for Arabella Moran's debut to the public in our area. She did not disappoint. Arriving by convertible stroller combo, she astounded those present in the garden-like setting with her beauty and calm (sleeping) posture.

Proud parents, Alexandra and Paul unveiled the blanket and removed her hat to applause and cheers. Newly crowned Yai-Yai (Greek for Grandma), and Auntie Christine lent their able assistance in the presentation of their charge.

The shutters clicked as she was passed around for cuddles, kisses and admiration. What a miracle a baby is. Quasi-Auntie Marsha was duly smitten. Offering hand knit goodies and babysitting services to the happy family. Three weeks into the whole experience, this little family is a symbol of hope in a world seeking change. One beloved baby at a time...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Louisa Harding Grooves at The Grove

I had the distinct pleasure of attending an evening with knit designer Louisa Harding at The Grove, in South Park. The Grove being one of my favorite places in the city. Love the concept and the site. The owners set out a generous feast and provided the shopping opportunity for both the books and yarns of LH.
Louisa started with her success story in the world of knit design in the UK. We Americans love a story with a happy ending, especially when delivered in the lyrical tongue of the British native.
A trunk show of her designs were modeled by the audience and passed around for the touchy-feelie portion of the lecture. Louisa shared her inspiration and journey with humor. When she broke to visit the loo, we lined up with our books clutched to our chests awaiting our chance to speak with our new best friend. What a delightful lady.
As you can see from the photos, she has an approachable and friendly demeanor. So I took advantage. I got permission to photocopy 25 copies of her patterns from her book to teach Intarsia to my KnitWits. She autographed my books (2 out of 3, in my excitement, I forgot to get the new one signed). Then she helped me figure out a pattern change to adapt one of her designs to fit me! I could not ask for a better venue to meet another Rock star of Knitting.
My non-knitter friend Christine came along for the show and we cancelled our dinner plans after enjoying the wine and appetizers included. I limited myself to 3 balls of exquisite yarn to use to embellish a LH cardigan I plan to knit for Moi! Now, I am off to join her fan club on Ravelry...

Tropical Sunsets

When the thermometer hits 90 in January, you must be in the tropics or some exotic local. Not in your own backyard. But look at the photos taken on Sunday and Monday, January 18 and 19.

Diane was down from gloomy Portland. Kirstin was visiting from frigid Denver. So it was a special weather treat for them. I want the clouds with cold to make me feel the winter that matches my mood. The winter in my wallet...

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Own Monday to Bum Around

Today I will knit. I am sorting stash and organizing our bedroom/office area. I am doing laundry, dishes, dog walking, kid pick up and cooking.

The sun is shining brightly and it is unseasonably warm. The Santa Ana conditions have rendered my hands dry and my lips chapped. The upside is that you can see the sun glinting off the ocean from the kitchen. Atmospherically, that only happens in January and February.

It is the kind of day that just screams out for gratitude. What a beautiful place to live. If I were a true bum, I would heat up the hot tub and get a tan...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Checking It Off

I am happy to report that everything on the list has been checked off for the first week of January. The hair is cut and colored. NCKG got off to a great start with the new board in place and a wonderful program. A doctor that specializes in repetitive action injuries addressed the needs of injuries sustained while knitting. We learned a lot of useful exercises. I want to see him for some wrist and finger pain.
I left the details to God (and Tori) on the Bible Study and the kick off went well. We have 3 full classes with room for more. The study is exciting. It is written by Beth Moore and it is called, " Esther-It's Tough Being a Woman" All are welcome. Wednesday mornings at the Village Presbyterian Church. Wednesday evening was my happy return to KnitWits. It was a teaching night. We ripped out (Frogging-rip-it,rip-it) Robin's throw. We planned the decreases for Lynn's bolero fronts, demonstrated the moebius cast on to the ladies, and welcomed a new knitter guest Leslie. She learned to knit and proved to be an easy and productive student.
Court went well on Thursday. After pleading guilty with an explanation, my ticket was reduced form $946 to $206. Traffic school will insure no rise or report to AAA. I am pleased and was warned that the state is enforcing traffic violations with renewed vigor in an effort to raise revenue for the CA state budget. Beware. Drive the speed limit and pay attention.
Friday started with Breakfast club, proceeded to Literary Guild for a beautiful luncheon with author and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo. The venue was the palatial Grand Del Mar Resort. Oh my. This was my birthday gift from Tori. Thank you so much. I ended the day by seeing the movie " The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons"with Karen. I am glad I saw this film. I am glad I saw it on the big screen. I think the impact would be less than riveting on the small screen. In all a satisfying week.
By the way. I was able to organize and put away all of the Christmas decorations by Monday evening. I love it when the real estate we call home, becomes bigger and uncluttered. It feels new again and inspires me to think about fresh paint and projects. Bring it on January...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

To Push The Publish Button or Not?

Dear Friends of the Blog-

Thank you for reading and for comments. I posted a comment made anonymously, that was critical of my Christmas attitude. The reason I posted it is that I believe that criticism is a great learning tool. I reread my posts about the tree and decorations and see where she might get the impression that I hate Christmas.

I have actually been known to say cryptically that I hate Christmas. I must clarify. I hate the trappings of Christmas. I hate the expectations of Christmas. The work to make it magic for the family has fallen exclusively to me for 30 years. Just like making dinner every night. Sometimes, you want a little take out, even an elegant restaurant occasionally.Come on and admit it, being served feels good every now and then. I keep that in mind as I serve. I am doing for the recipient.

The celebration of the birth of our Lord is something that our family celebrates daily in the depth of our personal relationship with God. I am a sinner. Born again every morning in my imperfection. Forgiven. Accepted. Free to leave both the big stuff, and the smallest detail to God. I have no shame in my claims to my faith. I also have the greatest respect for your own belief. Your expression of it is all yours.

In my humanness, I like to complain sometimes. "Evil Marsha" is one of my many personalities. She is the cynic. The one with sharp discernment and a sharp tongue. I pray often that the words out of my mouth go through the God filter. Every now and then something slips through. Oops! I apologize, if my rants and raves offend anyone. I am convinced that most forms of expression, including writing, have the greatest potential to offend. I will not censor myself here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Help for Re-entry

Monday the New Year officially kicks into high gear. Haircut and color. Banking, errands, prep for Bible Study Kick-off. Tuesday is the first NCKG meeting with a board meeting prior to our program to meet and greet the new officers. Wednesday, Beth Moore "Esther" Bible study begins. KnitWits will resume in the evening. Thursday, court date for ticket. (****) I was late for the airport, and the cop was a poop. Friday culminates with the new Elder dinner but commences at 8 am with the Breakfast club. During the week I need to get the Christmas out of the house and back into the garage where it belongs. Did I mention I need a full time job with health benefits? There is knitting to finish and knitting to start. All the while chanting, simplify, simplify...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Can't Win This One

That damn tree is staring me down. It is daring me to get up and dismantle it. The nerve...

Post Christmas Fairies Needed

How much do I hate taking down the Christmas decorations? 10x more than I dislike putting them up. If it were not for my friend Karen, I would not do much for Christmas. I swear every year that I will be out of town. How can I achieve this? Perhaps, I can go away for the week before the holiday. That way I would be too busy for all of the prep at home, with full participation in the activities out and about. I will go to sleep now and pray that the elves of after-Christmas will descend upon the house and work their magic. Then I will send them to Helen's house. That girl needs help! She has more decorations than most small stores stock. She actually displays more than 250 Nativity scenes. What??? I counted at least 5 trees. Maybe more. Now, I feel better some how...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Depressed Doggie Alert

Where did my girl Brynn go? Back to Monterey to work
and play. She is taking a 4 credit course to ease her final
semester load. Plus she is scheduled to work during the break.
Steezy is already missing her, so I gave her a blanket to cuddle.

Happy New Year Tori

Today is your birthday! My friend born in the sixties. She's so young. She's so fine in 2009!