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Showing posts from 2008

Sheep and Wool Festival-Dutchess County 2008

The Sheep and Wool Festival was wonderful. My sister wanted to see a photo of the man whose family makes and sells the baskets from Ghana, so here they are, Karen! These baskets are so beautiful and well made, this is always my first stop at the festival. I added a beautiful oblong shaped basket to my collection, which holds much wool waiting to be knitted into something wonderful. The weather was breezy with a hint of autumn, the apples were crisp, just a perfect day. I met many Ravelry colleagues, we all complimented each other's knitting as we were all wearing our most favorite creations! A friend of mine was lucky enough to go on a fiber tour recently in Oaxaco, Mexico, I am envious and am waiting to hear all about the time she had! Maybe next time I can somehow be able to arrange to go along, I hope so, Steff! My latest project is a Vogue cabled vest with a shawl collar. It is really pretty and coming along well. I chose to work on it during the break on Pare

Saturday a wonderful day, I did sleep late but I have spent some time on adding photos and updates to my account.    Here are the socks I am working on, they are a good project for the car. I finished the sweater, It needs to be blocked out and I am still looking for the best buttons. Right now I have a beautiful old sterling silver pin on it. Still working on this Fans and Feathers shawl, I got mixed up and have been scared to pick it up again. This weekend may be the perfect time! AND a cute little baby sweater that I am practicing on...I have a lot of friends that are having babies!

Update, update

Sorry, sorry, so busy working I have not kept up to date, I have been able to knit lately, it has been so drastically hot that there is no choice but to crank up the a/c and stay inside. We did venture to the beach last weekend, but got a taste of what the poor pioneers faced traveling over the desert, just exceedingly hot. It has been 6 days of over 90 degrees so this is an official heat wave! BUT I have made headway on my celery green sweater. I always stall on the sleeves, is it because they get wider at the top and never seem to end? Or is it because it is the last step in the process and I am afraid of finishing and the project not be great? Maybe all of the above. But the sweater does look pretty good, I am going to make some clay buttons at camp, I need big 2" buttons, just 4 of them, two for the front and two for the back so today I may start on them. The baby booties are for a friend, so cute! I loved this pattern because they are so different and adorable! I


The day has finally come! I am out of school! I haven't yet adjusted to the idea that I am not supposed to be someplace doing something for someone is luxurious. I am lucky to have visitors this weekend, my son and his darling girlfriend. She has exhibited the tiniest glimmer of interest in my knitting so, of course, the whole closet comes open and all the boxes and bags of stashed yarn comes out. a perfect opportunity to take some photos that I have been meaning to take for weeks! This is the alpaca that mom and dad brought home from Peru for me! It is exceptionally soft, and the colors are electric! They actually look great together so I am looking for the perfect project with two colors for this gorgeous yarn. Meanwhile I am still working on my summertime shawl which only seems like it is never ending because it is repetitive. Here is a detail of the stitch. I have also been on Ravelry to further organize my stash and projects so I can enjoy the knitting

More Socks

This is the soy yarn, I love the way it feels, and also the way it is working up. The colors are very bright! Beware having too many socks cast on to too many different sets of needles. None actually get finished because it is too much fun starting them! I am also working on finishing the Celery Green sweater that I am copying from my friend's sweater. Hers is cotton but mine is all Chaco wool. It is coming along, draping well on Adele, my dress form. It has been so so hot that it is hard to knit unless I am in an air conditioned environment, LJ and I were going to play golf yesterday but it was 102 degrees at 4:00 so we called it off. I ended up in my TV room, knitting the sleeve of the green sweater. I was just as happy. Today is a bit cooler, only 84 degrees at 12:45.
Busy, busy, busy, that is all I can ever say, the days fly by and there is never enough reflection time or knitting time! The good news is, I have been able to work in some knitting time for example on the bus to Pennsylvania when I took my fifth graders on a field trip (four and a half hours on a coach bus each way) So even in the busiest times, knitting is a soothing distraction and helps to center me again. I have picked up where I left off on these socks, I love to knit socks and since I have so much new sock yarn, I thought I had better get these done, I love these colors and they are working up so nicely! I have already cast on new socks with some yarn that I bought in Maryland, it is made with soy...which I find fascinating but not rational! I eat soy so it is hard to concieve of that turning into yarn! I like the feeling of it so we will give it a try.
I have just spent half an hour reading how other knitting obsessed people store their stashes. This proves to me that I am a hopeless addict, as I am reading I am commenting in my head "NO! No! Store the pattern WITH the yarn!" I am sure I have the best method! Here is the thing. The yarn is the utmost important, but you must also have a pattern or an idea of what you want to do with that yarn, and to keep those two in sync is the key. I have many books, magazines and binders with patterns I have been collecting. I also have them all marked with stickies if I am really interested in making them. One binder has all of my "in progress" patterns so that is at hand all of the time. Matching yarn with a project is always an AHA! moment. Sometimes I buy yarn just because I like it and then I match it up with a pattern so I like to have a library of many patterns or an idea in my mind that I can create for all of the yarn that I have collected. I do not have a phot


After the frenzy of the Maryland Sheep and wool Festival and the glut of yarn I came home to face I had to seriously think about organization of this massive, and growing pile of yarn, my stash, my security blanket, my treasure chest...but what good is it if every time I open the door I am met with a terrible clash of bags and boxes and piles of mismatched and disorganized mayhem? Enter...Ravelry. It is a website. Now the website itself cannot get you organized but it did help me get focused enough to start and to help direct me in ways. I spent the entire day on Sunday emptying out my yarn closet. I inventoried all of my yarn that has not been used. How much I have, what weight, where I bought it, how much I have. I put each in it's own bag. I stored it in cedar lined trunks. I also inventoried all of my projects that are in progress. These remain easily accessible in the yarn closet. I have all of the directions and patterns in a binder marked "In Progress"
MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL!! Wow, the day I had been waiting for, I drove down to Pennsylvania to stay with my friend Steff. We woke up early to drive to Maryland, arrived at 9 to see a long line of other yarn enthusiasts waiting to get in! We spent the day looking at yarn and all other items associated with sheep, wool, knitting, spinning, weaving, hooking... the list is endless. It was a day of sensory overload. I could barely sleep that night, I kept seeing yarn and colors and feeling textures. I came home with a mountain of new yarn, I have to say I caved when it came to sock yarn, it is my personal weakness. I was also introduced to a basket weaver where I was tempted yet again. I came home with a load of new baskets, too. New this year for me was watching the Border Collie show. These are the smartest cutest dogs. It was really amazing. Of course, the alpaca were special, I love those critters. So, now, I will knit like a fiend, try to use all my yarn, and look for

Knitting Club!

We have a knitting club at school! The fifth grade girls asked me if I could teach them how to knit so we get together on our lunch time and knit! How cute are they?? I am very excited that they are picking up on it so quickly but the more important thing is that they get a chance to just talk and gossip while they re knitting and learning this skill. They don't get a lot of time in the NYCBOE to do creative and fun things so this is a treat! In the meantime, a friend asked me to post the picture of the sweater that I am NOT happy with and want to rework. Here it is...I said that I would include some of my disasters as well as some of my favorites...This sweater is made out of such gorgeous wool, but the shape just didn't do it justice, and I liked the idea of the ruffle but it wasn't wide enough. So, I will rip this out and start again!

Early Morning the only time I can think or write anything, the rest of the day becomes a blur of activity, decisions, meetings, driving, I can barely face the pile of things I have to attend to that await me on my dining room table. As much as I hate the blinking alarm clock going off at 5 it is really the only quiet thinking time I get. Today I am meeting with my fifth grade "knitting club" they asked me to please teach them to knit. They set this all up. About 15 little girls come to my room during my lunch time to learn how to knit. It is so wonderful to see these kids knitting and proudly carrying around their projects. Much of it is the social time we get to spend together because now in the schools, or at least the New York City Department of Education, every minute must be accountable, every second spent in assessing and goal setting. The huge push is on writing and so the kids are consigned to their desks for close to six hours every day writing and reading. This is

Rainy Monday

Rainy Mondays always give me the blues. Getting up at 5 is terrible. Now is the time I try to find any bright spots in my day to help me along and the one thing I can actually be quasi happy about is that I can knit on the way to work as it is Melissa's day to drive. I used to knit or crochet while I was driving when I drove by myself into Queens, too many people saw me and cautioned me against it. It is the only thing that kept me sane on the LIE during that dreadful commute. As a multitasker out of necessity it pains me not to be doing at least three things at once, and considering the things I love to do the most, the are all mutually exclusive activities. I have tried to imagine reading and knitting at the same time, and although Elizabeth Zimmerman insists that you can train yourself to do that, I haven't yet reached that level of confidence. Rowing and knitting? No, running and knitting? Running and reading? Rowing and running? Computing and knitting? Actually,


The last day of my freedom turned out nasty and cool, slightly drizzly. A perfect day to wrap up on the couch and knit, I felt driven to get to the gym first and was unsuccessful in my attempt to get Laura Jean to accompany me. After that, I created a video in honor of my son Michael's birthday.  This necessitated several sniffly, weepy hours of work, all of which I feel entitled to as a proud mom. I was pretty satisfied with the tear jerking result. NOW IT IS TIME TO KNIT! I am working on the celery green sweater, it is straight knitting right now so I can watch the Yankees while I am working on it. I registered on Knit Picks today, I am interested in seeing what other knitters are working on and having trouble with. I want to add another photo so my mom can see it.
This is the quandary I am in, too much to do, not enough time to do it in. This past week I launched this blog, sent it to many friends, read a mountain of information about blogs and how to write/advertise/earn revenue with them. It has been fascinating! I also cleaned out my basement (YUCK) and donated an enormous amount of gently used clothing and household goods to Vietnam Veteran's of America. Next, I re-arranged my bedroom and cleared that out of unwanted clutter. I visited the gym several times, YAY, and was able to get a little bit of a base tan on my face. Did I knit? not a lot. that is what I really wanted to do but it seems as though knitting is always what I reserve for "when I get everything else done." Right now I want to knit because in the big clean up I found three projects that need work. I have a pink sweater that is luscious, but needs the collar reworked. Note to knitters; Crochet a nice neat even edge around the collar opening before picki

My Parents think I am a Genius

My Mom and Dad have said many times "You should take pictures of all your sweaters!" So, since it is time to store them all safely away I am posing them on Adele, my dress form, and sending them along to share with you.  I must say that every single sweater is a symbol of a learning experience and I am willing to point out all the flaws and what I have learned from them!  First, however, I must post pictures of some smashing successes,  just to show Mom and Dad that they are right...I AM a genius (sometimes) 
A Picture of my yarn closet...I spend a lot of time just looking

Knit AND Crochet

My knitting needles are stored in an old wine crate

Knit AND Crochet

I am a Knitting instructor for a Continuing Ed program in my local school district. I also teach a night of crochet every week. I always encourage a cross over between the two because when I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me how to crochet. We spent hours sitting on her couch, she was so patient, it was a lovely time. I continued to crochet through my life and was so adamantly a crocheter...I never even considered knitting. When I began to want to create clothing, though, it turned out that, in my opinion, knitted garments drape much nicer and the result was much more pleasing to me. HOWEVER, I love a crocheted edge on a knitted garment, and also the inverse, that is, I love a knitted edge on a crochet piece! So it is with great pleasure that I welcome my knitting girls to join our crochet group and the crochet girls to visit our knitting group.

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival as it is coming up very soon. This is the place to see miles of yarn and all the other accoutrements that go along with sheep, wool, knitting, spinning, yarn...the list goes on! This year the Festival takes place on May 3rd and 4th in West Friendship, MD. This is right outside of Baltimore, see the red star on the map. Please visit the link if you want to go! Here are some details and directions. Howard County Fairgrounds - West Friendship, MD o From I-70 [West from Baltimore, East from Frederick], take the MD 32 exit (#80) towards Sykesville/Clarksville o From Baltimore, turn left onto MD 32 South. From Frederick, bear right onto MD 32 South. o Turn RIGHT onto Rt. 144 (Frederick Road) o Turn RIGHT onto Fairground Rd. o Look for signs to the Howard County Fairgrounds


I just read in a knitting blog about stash and collecting yarn, I didn't realize there were so many of us. My stash is commendable. I like to play with my yarn, I like to touch it and wind it and put it into different bags and in different orders. I might waste a bit of my knitting time doing this but it opens up my mind to new possibilities and creations. This week I am off from school! so one of my prioirities is to make serious headway on a few projects. One is the celery green sweater that i copied from a sweater a friend had bought. It is coming along perfectly, it is a very simple design. I am going to write it up. Second is the light blue tunic shaped sweater that I am knitting out of "unspun" that I bought at the Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, NY. (every October, usually the third weekend) The sweater is being designed as I go using some tips from Margaret Zimmerman's book, the Knitters almanac. I love her relaxed attitude about knitting, ev

Crochet Class

More of my students showed up last night than the night before! I had one knitter who just needed some hand holding to get through the Tree of Life pattern. I did not get to work on much, but I did start to knit a loose shawl with cotton that came on a cone from Ann. I only got two rows done, the rest of the time I was helping. One lady was working on a very detailed doily, it took some figuring to get the pattern right, but she was on the right track when we left. P.S. I finished the two back pieces of the celery green sweater and one of the button bands. I worked on it in the car on the way to work.

My Stash

The room was dark when I walked in, it was already just a few minutes before 7. I took out my project and started to knit, thinking that it would be just seconds before someone came in and interrupted the shuttling motion of my needles. I never get to work on my own projects during my class. It got to be 7:05 and I thought, just maybe no one will show up! Sure enough, Judy came in a few minutes later. We sat and knitted for an hour and a half, just chatting and knitting. I enjoyed the time despite being a little bit disappointed that my girls didn't show. It was just a rare few hours of peaceful knitting. We left at 8:30 so I could go home and spend some time with Laura Jean!

Market Bag

I have just spent several hours working on this great "market bag" It is knit with hemp so it is very sturdy, it is not quite done. I found the pattern on Knitting Daily , another blog, which has great patterns and tips. It's a nice small project and can be finished quickly so you get that instant gratification. I want to start to keep a record of all of my projects, there are almost too many to name, it is such a shame to have them in bags in my knitting closet. I am determined to try to finish at least some of them! I have recently reconnected with an old friend, we were friends in High School and just fell out of touch. It turns out that we were both at the Maryland Sheep and wool festival on the SAME DAY last year but didn't see each other. I had no idea that she was a fiber fiend like I am but she is a weaver. I visited her house in Pennsylvania last weekend and we talked fibers and played with yarn and it was just inspiring! she sent me home with a