Main

April 06, 2009

Next steps

My new potted Rosemary


It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work.
And that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.

Wendell Berry

December 04, 2008

How things get done

The way we plan our home improvements is to put them on a list. Then wait. And wait some more. Perhaps we wait six years until we're able to afford to get it done and we actually begin to believe we'll be living here a while. Case in point - our front door has needed refinishing since we moved in. We were able to get it done last week.

We also got new door hardware and matching door knobs for the rest of our doors on the first floor. While it's a small touch, it makes a huge difference. We were already prepared for how we would feel about the small improvements and we knew it would lead to wanting more, so those things have been added to the list and if it's still on the list six years from now, it might even get done!

See the door?

New_door_Schlage.jpg

Refinished_door.jpg

But you also need to see what it looked life before (with the old hardware pictured):

Door_before.jpg

For those of you who asked about the pattern I used for the blanket, here's a link that will take you to Jimmy Beans Wool - Ann Norling #35.


November 06, 2008

Art Quiz

As seen on Anna's blog:

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Non-conformist, Visionary, and Independent

15 Abstract, -3 Islamic, 5 Ukiyo-e, 0 Cubist, -8 Impressionist and -22 Renaissance!

Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which exists independently of what may appear to others as visual realities. Western had been underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. It allowed the progressive thinking artists to show a different side to the world around them. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a 'new kind of art' which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. Abstract artists created art that was diverse and reflected the social and intellectual turmoil in all areas of Western culture.

People that chose abstract art as their preferred artform tend to be visionsaries. They see things in the world around them and in people that others may miss because they look beyond what is visual only with the eye. They rely on their inner thoughts and feelings in dealing with the world around them instead of on what they are told they should think and feel. They feel freed from the tendancy to be bound by traditional thought and experiences. They look more toward their own ideas and experiences than what they are told by their religious upbringing or from scientific evidence. They tend to like to prove theories themselves instead of relying on the insight or ideas of others. They are not bound by common and mundane, but like to travel and have new experiences. They value intelligence, but they also enjoy a challenge. They can be rather argumentative when they are being forced or feel as if they are being forced to conform.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

July 13, 2008

Second annual summer blog vacation begins

I've decided to take another summer vacation from my blog and devote summer to completing things and renewing my commitment to pen, pencil and paper:

Moleskine_sketchbook_inside.jpg

I've been blue. Not scary-blue, but a subdued blue. I think it has a lot to do with how much I anticipated this summer break from my normal daily driving and the kids' school activities. I absolutely want to make the most of it. With the loss of my cable internet at a critical time a couple of weeks ago (I'm still recovering from that), I've been tackling some revitalizing tasks. I decided I want to ENJOY the summer before it fades and the school routine begins all over again. I plan to knit, write, draw, sew, embroider, clean, paint, declutter, re-evaluate, focus and create.

Moleskine_Sketchbook_Pocket.jpg

I'll try to share the evidence on Flickr and Ravelry and I'll be back to my blog in August. Meanwhile, if you're so inclined, please share in the comments whether you plan take some time to indulge your creative side and what you might be doing in the next thirty days.

See you in August!


June 22, 2008

The issue of worth

Cowl_Last_Minute_Knitted_Gifts.jpg
Pashmina Cowl (Ravelry link) from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, 2006
Blue Sky Alpacas Sportweight - 3 Skeins Eggplant

I knew I would think about the issue while I was on my trip -- the fact that each one of my sisters is pursuing a successful career and earning income of her own. While my job working part-time at the yarn shop is rewarding and carries with it opportunities to see my friends and commune with knitters (and crocheters), it's pretty safe to say that my net earnings each year are canceled out by my purchases. And I'm proud of my sisters. They each have an incredible sense of duty and work ethic. I know that my sisters are also proud of me and they constantly tell me so -- and point to my parenting, my relationships and my skills as evidence. Whenever I've been given the opportunity for more (in the way of a career and a larger paycheck) in the past decade, I've respectfully declined.

So when I see things that I've knit being passed around the room and worn -- or I spy them in suitcases, it provides a little more clarity for me. The issue of worth begins to be resolved when I see proof of how I've invested my time and energy and how lucky I am to be able to do what I enjoy nearly every single day.

June 16, 2008

No longer in pieces

Coffee at Lola Restaurant in Seattle

For the last several weeks, my sisters and I had been making plans for a trip to Seattle to see our mom, who recently suffered a really bad fall and month-long recovery and rehabilitation. In the midst of the phone calls and updates and last-minute travel (for my youngest sister), we realized that we've not spent enough time together -- that is, just us sisters, free of emergency visits and drama. And while being with sisters is always good for a no-holds-barred reality check, it's also valuable to get the insight that only a sister can provide.

And for me, it was timely. I celebrated my 44th birthday almost 2 weeks ago and I did it quietly because it's the first birthday I've struggled with a little bit. It's not the numbers that bother me, it's the fact that the last few years have been difficult. I'm so grateful for all of you for reading the non-knitting bits here on my blog as I've used it to work through some of my thoughts. It's your comments and emails that have kept me going as I uncover old photos and history. As I dealt with some of the missing pieces, I realized that I was a little bit in pieces myself and that's not like me. I would rather have a long-term vision and a plan in place. My daily path doesn't have to be linear, but the vision is what keeps me anchored. And for the last few years, I've not had that. Or . . . perhaps have had too many. That is, I've been listening to what others have told me my vision should be and I've been distracted by too many choices and opportunities. No more.

This weekend gave me what I needed. The effort in getting to Seattle was monumental but I'm glad we all made it happen. Once or twice I was confronted with the internal question of what I'm here to do -- in the existential sense. I've always known that I've got the potential to do any number of things and I have so many wonderful people to encourage me no matter what path I'm on, but I didn't have that growing up. I had to rely on books and a lot of reading to help me choose the right attitude, how to make goals and how to achieve them. And you know what? I don't need to read any more books about those things. It's time for me to write one.

April 30, 2008

Back in business

MacBook.jpg

I'm back in business. I got a new MacBook last week but had a family emergency and wasn't able to fully engage myself in learning this new and different operating system. But the little I've been able to play with it since then? Awesome.

Some of you wanted to see the nearly-complete Lizard Ridge blanket for which I knit two of the squares:

A.M. seaming Lizard Ridge


Lizard Ridge during seaming

Details: This is a group project -- a knit=along of sorts -- for a gift. I surprised myself by completely changing my mind about the Lizard Ridge by the time I finished the first square. Had I not HAD to do my part for this gift by knitting two squares, I would have given up. However, I adore this pattern now and I'm looking forward to making another one.

March 23, 2008

Easing back in

Flora ii

We're back from vacation and I'm easing back into my familiar and much-missed routines. I had a bit of a dental emergency that threw me off the planned drawing for the Manos Silk Blend -- results of the drawing are at the end of the post.

If you visit my Flickr you already know that I scored a skein of the Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn in Vincent's Apron. It's the coveted and hard-to-find semi-solid yellow. I considered buying a skein of the Elephant's Dream as well, but I'm glad I didn't -- it's now in stock at Twisted Yarns. Is it just me, or are other sock knitters looking for deeply-saturated solid colored sock yarn?

So the one yarn shop open on a Monday was The Black Sheep in Encinitas, California. It was a great little shop, with the largest stock of Colinette I've ever seen under one roof:

Colinette Wall @ The Black Sheep
The Black Sheep

Okay, I have to admit that I'm a little freaked out by some unfinished business (not just knitting) in my life right now. I plan to take care of (that is, FINISH) at least one thing today before I go to bed. It's not often that I feel this overwhelmed by the undone, but I kept putting things off while I prepared for our trip to California. So, I'm declaring it a "no excuses" day for myself. I'll be scarce today.

Continue reading "Easing back in" »

March 19, 2008

300 :: Changes

For my 300th blog entry here, the only profound thing I am doing is changing my blog header to celebrate the inspiration I've found this week. I'll share more details in a few days -- suffice it to say that getting out of a routine is mind-expanding.

If you read through a feed reader, here's the new header:

new blog header

I can honestly say that after having had a few blogs, this is the one I am happiest with. After agonizing over previous blogs, I knew when I began this one, it would have to be something I did for myself. I like that it's not all of me, but honest parts of some of me -- mostly the parts of my life related to knitting. The family history and glimpses in to my ancestry have crept in and I am keeping them here for now.

In reading Annie Dillard today, this one small bit of phrasing struck me:

"The obverse of this freedom, of course, is that your work is so meaningless, so fully for yourself alone, and so worthless to the world, that no one except you cares whether you do it well, or ever."

Even in its negativity, her statement is incredibly positive. To write and create for yourself alone is also freedom. Freedom is what I finally feel with this blog.

February 25, 2008

All about eyes and a little about yarn

all about eyes
30 ml of AMAZING

My under-eye puffiness has now been resolved. I love this stuff -- and I just have to use a tiny bit so it's likely to last a while. On Friday, I stopped by the Clinique counter at Macy's to pick up some foundation (One tube lasts three months). One of the ladies there asked if I would like a complimentary makeover and although I always (always) politely decline, I decided to indulge this time. Earlier that morning, I'd had a traumatic 3-hour ordeal at the dentist's office, so some pampering sounded nice. She used the All About Eyes on me with a little bit of concealer and even though I couldn't see it, it FELT amazing and very lightweight. She also used a nude shade of lipstick on my lips (anybody who knows me knows I do not wear nude lipsticks!) and I loved it: Metallic Sand. Because I haven't run out of lipstick, I didn't buy anything other than the eye cream and foundation. I have incredible self-control when it's not related to yarn -- to wit:

The Patons Classic Merino caught my eye today at Michaels, so I bought just one skein to try:

Patons Classic Merino

Until I can do a proper update on the state of things around here, I want to thank you for all the comments and emails on my previous entries. By the time I post this blog entry, my mom should be happily back at home after a week in the hospital. Her going to the hospital was just what she needed -- her medications have been tweaked and next steps are underway to help her with pain management. She will be fine!

I have a million serious topics I want to blog about, but this frivolous one makes me the happiest.

February 14, 2008

Processes unrelated to knitting

I'm experiencing heightened intuition and perception, along with feeling extremely empathetic (to the point of weepiness sometimes) and strange maternal and nesting urges TOTALLY unrelated to pregnancy (no chance of that). And these are the GOOD parts of this female aging process. I'm not sad to be starting to experience pre-menopause, but I am a little unsettled. The skin changes and grey hairs don't bother me, but the forgetfulness and anxiety DO upset me a bit.

And to be quite honest, I wasn't going to mention this particular process at all on my blog. Then I remembered my goal of having a blog as a record for myself -- and also my desire to use this blog as a way to capture some things in REAL time that might help my daughter twenty years (or more) from now. I know that my mom doesn't remember anything at all about what she went through and I wish she did.

Knitting helps. I am able to focus and concentrate on knitting when I can't focus on anything else. On some days I feel incredibly sharp and focused and others I feel like I'm in mental quicksand. But the heightened perception -- I'll take that any day. With unexpected surprises (both physical and mental) around every corner, successful navigation requires that I have an optimistic attitude. Pollyanna? You bet.

I wait until I feel sharp enough to tackle demanding tasks and this past week has included working on our income tax returns and organizing some historical family documents and vintage photos. This one of my mom and her brothers was taken in the late 30's, presumably before the death of their father (my grandfather). My mom was nine years old when he died, so I'm fairly certain that this was taken before then:

Valentine Vintage
Keiji, ??, Michio, my mother

When a bit of time opens up and I'm able to organize my stash, frog hibernating projects or wind yarn, if I get an urge, I'll allow myself to indulge in a quick project. These two one-day projects have been enjoyable and entertaining. Oddly, they're both Malabrigo:

Drawstring Pouch 3 - LMKG
click the photo above for more information

compelling

So go ahead . . . indulge yourself.

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 03, 2008

Thoughtful awards and more

Calla Coaster :: Purl Bee
Click the photo for project details

I took a brief hiatus from project monogamy (I almost typed monotony -- so what does THAT mean?) in order to knit a few gifts last night (while watching the first two episodes of the Sarah Connor Chronicles). The only finished object I can show right now is the Calla Coaster from the Purl Bee.

Calla Coaster :: Purl Bee

I should mention that I've had some serious love for Purl Soho since I first started knitting seriously (obsessively?) in 2004. Back then, when Purl Soho was just a website and not yet a book, a blog or Purl Patchwork, I would visit the site a few times a day just to see the colors and the exotic fiber. And when their book was published, I had to have it -- and it remains the book from which I've knit the most patterns. I'm pretty sure that it's Joelle Hoverson's love of color and exquisite yarn that keeps me inspired.

Meanwhile . . . I just got some happy news that my laptop is ready. I got the news via a recorded message so I don't know if "ready" is synonymous with "fixed," but I'll find out soon enough.

And even more good news: I got a couple of awards! Here and here, from Brenda (Molecular Knitting) and PJ, (And Sew It Is), respectively.

excellent2baward.jpg


YouMakeMyDayAward.jpg

Now it's supposed to be my turn to spread the love and nominate more bloggers for these awards. It's going to be tough to name just ten twenty of the blogs that I think are excellent and/or make my day, but I'll try.

The A.D.D. Knitter - Heather has some great stash and her taste in yarn is quite similar to mine -- as well as her lack of self-control. (I mean that in the most endearing way, Heather).

A Friend to Knit With - Leslie shares her Cookie(s) of the Week and some super-accomplished knitting, cooking and photography skills. Plus, she's always incredibly encouraging and generous with her feedback.

Berlin's Whimsy - a brand-new addition to my sidebar, and I think her blog, photos and projects are a treasure. I don't even remember how I found her blog, but I love reading her.

Black Dog Knits - Nora's back! I get a ton of inspiration from Nora and her constructive feedback always helps me figure out the pesky details. (I'm not so naturally good with the details -- but I count on others who are).

Cherry Blossom Hill Studio - Fabulousness - I love peeking in and seeing the knitting and the sewing - and she makes me glad I have a colour (heh) monitor.

Chronic Ennui - I go see what Kim's up to and usually feel that I couldn't possibly measure up to her knitting skill or speed, but I can't stop going to her blog. Doggie photos are a bonus!

Coiled - Kat's tagline is "some knitting and drawing and other stuff too." She's a MAJOR inspiration.

Crimson Purl - Stacey is comprehensive in sharing project notes and details -- so much so that I can usually count on her to knit something I have in my queue and help me decide if I want to attempt it myself. She and I share an addiction a love for Malabrigo.

Gotta Knit - Debbie is usually up to something fun and never fails to make me laugh. When I think of Debbie, I think of steel magnolias.

Kent's Craft - I think I found Kent via Flickr back when he was posting some great vintage photos and about the same time he was working on his lovely v-neck. He seemed to disappear for a while, but now he has a shiny new laptop and camera. Surely he'll post more now. :-)

Knitsane :: Hannabirke - My favorite adventurous experimenter turned street photographer. I love the details in her posts.

Knitting Underway - Theresa is my sock-knitting hero!

Lekkercraft - Knitting interspersed with bits of everything else I love.

Lollyknitting Around - Lolly is probably the nicest, hardest-working knitblogger out there. Community building? Lolly defines it.

Molecular Knitting - I would have given her this award even if she hadn't given me one. Even though I know that she sometimes has to make the time to blog, she never gives the reader the impression that she's too busy to do it well. I love her photos along with her taste in fine sock yarn and M's cocktails.

Stumbling Over Chaos - Yet another hard working blogger. Chris works full time and has two delightful kitties to take care of and I don't know how she finds time to knit, blog and leave such nice comments.

Superstarra - A somewhat new-to-me knitting blog - I enjoy her knits and project photos and I've been reading through her archives to find those little gems I might have missed.

V's Blog and her Flickr too - she's a Midwesterner turned Pacific Northwesterner and I love following her adventurers with T and Miss Trixie.

Very Pink - Staci's a knitting superhero. Here's a quote from her Ravelry profile: "The most unusual thing about me as a knitter - I’m a one-project-at-a-timer, and I’m STASHLESS." She's a rare species.

Zebra Knits - Another blogger I've been reading less than a year but I am hooked. Every post is a treat, and the photos are awesome. Here's one of my favorite knits of hers.

Now excuse me while I spend the rest of the day feeling anxious about forgetting those blogs that I love and read regularly but forgot to mention. Everybody in my sidebar is excellent and inspirational.

January 31, 2008

Shiny :: Happy

Signature Needle Arts
Click the photo above for more information

I got these knitting needles earlier this week and am in love with them - they're pretty and functional. You can design your own based on your tip and length preferences. While the prices are higher than most retail superstore knitting needles, they're in line with the finer straight single-point needle prices such as the Lantern Moon hardwood. * If you love knitting with straight needles, put Signature Needle Arts needles on your wish list.

Green :: Grey

I got a wonderful surprise gift from Nora in Australia. She made this wonderful accessory bag to match my favorite Mama Llama Forest green/grey colourway. So that settles it -- the next sock yarn I cast on will be my Mama Llama sock yarn.

My laptop is still not home but it's still in the safe hands of the local Geek Squad for a few more days. I love those dudes though -- and have trusted them with other computers in the past. Meanwhile, I've had to be creative about doing the things I used to do without thinking -- like checking emails and updating my calendar. I'm feeling a little cut off from my friends, family and my Outlook calendar. I woke up anxious and fearful that I might be forgetting to do something important. I can access new emails through my webmail program, but nudge me if you haven't received a reply to something important.

Continue reading "Shiny :: Happy" »

January 28, 2008

Lipstick and yarn

Araucania Ranco Multi
Araucania Ranco sock yarn (click the photo above for more info)

Thanks to the ongoing computer woes, I've been spending a lot more time with my yarn and my knitting. While my son was waiting for his turn at the computer yesterday (I have to compete with the kids for computer time now), we talked about how we would each spend our first million (a purely imaginary windfall). I asked him what he would buy first if he had a million dollars -- he said he'd buy a scooter and then a house. When I asked him what he thought I would buy first, he said, "Lipstick." He predicted that after that, I'd buy yarn and "yarn books." He knows me too well.

I've been swatching (i.e. starting a new sock) with the Araucania sock yarn I bought several months ago. I fell in love with all the warm colors on the cool blue base. The only downside to this sock yarn so far is the yardage is on the low side and it's not as soft as I'd like. However, it's still a good knitting experience -- the stitches are even and smooth.

Araucania Ranco Multi

And, finally, a book purchase I put off entirely too long. Thanks to a nudge from Borders in the form of a 30% off coupon and a $5 gift certifcate, I now own The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd:

Finally . . .

I put off buying it for so long because I thought there wouldn't be "new" information in it -- but I've already highlighted several helpful things -- I should have purchased this book long ago.

Edited to add: This entry at Tiennie Knits, demonstrates how the Ann Budd book can inspire an already-accomplished knitter. Awesome.

January 25, 2008

Cynical

CYNICAL
1966

I actually had a great day; I got a lot done at the school (a scheduled meeting) and got to see some of my friends at the shop. I'm making big plans for Spring Break and the future.

But yesterday while answering a backlog of wonderful emails and getting caught up with current events via my favorite websites -- somehow I now have some type of adware infection on my laptop. And it's not looking good. So while I'm getting it resolved (thankfully we have another uninfected computer), I'll be even more scarce than I've been over the past week.

The good news -- although I'm cynical about my adware issues, I'm truly excited about my knitting. Keep an eye on my blog sidebar and my Flickr as I try to finish my works-in-progress and start some new, exciting (to me) knits. Peek at my queue if you're on Ravelry.*


*If you aren't on Ravelry already, now is the time to request your invitation.

January 01, 2008

Happy first day of 2008

Family 1970s
Family photo from the early 1970's

I went to sleep with some big questions last night and woke up with the answers. The big questions have to do with a goal of mine -- something I want to complete this year involving a family story.

I love this photo of my family. Due to the age difference between my oldest and youngest sisters, it was rare to get all of us in a photo together. This is how I remember my Dad. I'm startled now when I see photos of him with white hair and his thinner, smaller frame. During most of my childhood and the years I lived in Oklahoma, he was stocky -- and looked like he did in this photo.

Longtime readers know that I don't "do" resolutions, but I do evaluate what's working for me and what's not. In 2008, I'm taking some steps to enrich my life -- I'm excited about the things I'm considering. And because the most effective method I have of dealing with unresolved issues is to write through them, I'll continue to do that and will probably share more of it here on my blog.

My knitting goals for 2008 are rather vague, thanks to a refreshed point of view and a desire to be true to myself -- I will knit what I enjoy knitting and do what I enjoy doing. Because I don't struggle with discontent or disappointment internally, I'm going to take full advantage of the absolute freedom I have to just BE.

And now, for the winner of the hand knit socks . . . congratulations to Susan at KitKatKnits. I'll be contacting you to get your color preferences and shoe size!

Look for more fun contests and giveaways in 2008.

December 30, 2007

2007 Music Mix & Mitten Thanks

And . . . I'm not sure why my list of 25 is only 23 songs.

Thank you all for the mitten suggestions -- and to Nora whose gentle nudge to look in an EZ book I already own and love . . . of course, I should have done that before bemoaning my mitten. Thank you also to Elizabeth for reminding me about positive ease -- clearly I have knit too many socks! I'm very happy to hear I'm not alone and there are simple solutions. I don't care to avoid mitten knitting, because I'm kind of in love with the idea of knitting some of the mittens in these:

Books of Christmas

More specifically, I swooned over the ones in Clara Parkes' The Knitter's Book of Yarn. Any guesses as to which one I thought was the most awesome? (Hint: Check Flickr Favorites and Ravelry Queue).

The Gypsy Soup was amazing! It will be a repeat and I'll use a tiny bit less turmeric. It was otherwise a hit with my guests, humble as it was.

Please tune in tomorrow -- I'll announce the winner of my hand knit socks.

December 16, 2007

Am busy?

I'm sorry. Can't post now. Am busy.
Malabrigo Pom Pom

And it's something to cross off the list of things I wanted to accomplish in 2007. Click photo for details.

December 15, 2007

Looking forward by looking back

There's still time to share your recipes! I'll draw a name after the holidays.

For now, I wanted to share that it's been a purposeful thing for me to be doing absolutely NO gift knitting in the days leading up the holidays. I wholeheartedly believe in knitted gifts, and I enjoy seeing what others are knitting for their friends and loved ones; I just made it a point to lower my expectations for myself in the belief that if it wasn't already done, it wasn't going to get done.

So with no knitting to show until December 26th, you'll have to put up with some non-knitting content.

I learned so much last month while both my mom and daughter were here at the same time -- when three generations are under one roof for a couple of weeks, there are some things you can't help but figure out about yourself.

Mom/Me/Daughter

One of the things that Erica told me was that she wants to be able to stay home with her kids (when she has them, that is -- we're not in any hurry, right?) I vividly remember the agonizing choice it was for us to decide that I would no longer work full time, but would be there for her when she got home from school every day. At the time, it was JUST her and we had no plans for other children yet. To sit across from her as a full-grown young woman, and have her tell me that she will be making the same choice -- was a gift. When I quit my job, she was almost 8 -- and I know she remembers how much I enjoyed my job and the co-workers I considered my friends. On paper, it wasn't so clear that we could AFFORD the choice, but once we made the decision, I never went back to work full-time. Since then, whenever I've considered going back to work, even though the opportunities were good ones, the time still isn't right. For now, I'm happy with my part-time position at my local yarn shop.

Now that I have the boys (who will be 10 and 8 next year), I can't imagine not being a part of their day. While my mom was here, she questioned why I go to so much trouble to drop them off and pick them up at school. This is the first year I have done this -- that I haven't taken advantage of the school bus that stops directly in front of our house. I tried to express to her that I do it because I can; because I know that I will never get this time back. When Erica graduated from high school this past May, it was probably THAT day that I realized how quickly time had passed. And frankly, it's the reason I don't knit as much as I used to. And when my mom asked why I make their lunches every morning (and I indulge the limited palate of my youngest son by fixing him the SAME THING every day), I tried to explain it as ONE tiny little thing in the big picture. We don't spoil them, but I do try to indulge them when I can.

The kicker -- each of them has delighted me this past year by confirming in some way that they appreciate my knitting. My youngest has been the most vocal about asking for handknit socks and demanding to learn how to knit (we still have an attention and attitude issue). My older son is quietly appreciative that I knit him some blue socks and he said he would like a matching hat, scarf and mittens. And Erica called and left me a voice mail last night asking that I send her a text message with the name and number of the yarn store closest to her so she can buy find yarn to knit a scarf for her dad. (Oh, I hope they're nice to her there!)

And in this photo, taken the day before she left to go back to Florida:

Erica knitting

She felll in love with the "Geranio" Malabrigo Worsted -- it was so irresistible she had to cast on and start knitting at the store

December 12, 2007

Your recipes

I love it when bloggers share their recipes and post photos of food -- and it's rarely pastries or cake that catch my eye and make me want to cook -- it's the savory, the highly flavored.

Here are a few notables that I am going to share so that I can capture the links and can come back to them:

Lynne's Bacon, Potato, Leek Soup
Catherine's Gumbo
Kim's Minestra di Lenticchie
Leslie's legendary Cinnamon Apple Cake
Lolly's Butternut Squash Parmesan Gratin
Alicia Paulson's Mushroom Marsala
Andy Paulson's Eggrolls
Fluffa!'s Salsa Mexicana
Cheri's Pico de Gallo
Wen's Chicken and Dumplings
Angry Chicken's Curry Cauliflower Soup

Now it's YOUR turn. Share a recipe you've posted on your blog (I love food photos) or on Flickr and if you link to it in the comments, I'll add your name to a drawing for something special -- a pair of knit-to-order socks. If one of your recipes is linked above and you'd like a chance to win some handknit socks, give me a shout-out in my comments.

Thank you guys for reading and sharing and thank you for offering some of the nicest comments and feedback I've ever received (on yesterday's entry). I'm trying to reply to all of your comments personally and I keep getting a bit sidetracked. But please know that I appreciate everyone's words. Nora, thank you for your simple and perfect advice about my other concern. I will follow it.

Sixth birthday
A photo from my 6th birthday -- when I asked my mom to fix hamburgers to go with my birthday cake

December 11, 2007

Wrong impressions

1970 passport photo:

squarejanet.jpg

I've debated even writing about this but it's just lingering in my head; sometimes writing THROUGH something is easier than writing ABOUT something.

On Sunday we had to take my mom to the airport for her trip to see my younger sister. She stayed with us for a month and we were able to enjoy some great Japanese food and spend time with each other. I still haven't picked up my knitting as much as I'd like, but it can wait.

Since she needs a wheelchair at the airport, I typically ask a ticket agent for a pass that will enable me to accompany her to the gate (I've done this a few times in the past with no problems). One of the Continental Airlines employees pointed me towards a set of three ticket agents who were free and I approached them and asked them for a pass -- I gestured toward my mom who was waiting on the other side of the ropes (in her wheelchair) and I asked for a pass to go back to the gate with her. I explained that I was her daughter and the male ticket agent looked at me -- then looked at her -- and I said, "She's Japanese." The ticket agent said, "How do I know you're her daughter?" (Obvioualy, since I'm married, I don't share the same last name as my mom). I told them my mother's name and where she was traveling and he just looked at me and said, "So you're HALF-Japanese?" He didn't believe me. He pointed at himself and said, "THIS is what half-Japanese looks like." And, actually, I could tell by looking at him that he was, in fact, Japanese. I asked him what the other half was and he said, "Dutch." (My other half is Irish-American, but he never asked me that). He very RELUCTANTLY gave me a pass to go to the gate with her and . . . I understand that it's his job . . . and I know I don't LOOK half-Japanese. I don't speak Japanese. I don't read it. I can't even use chopsticks. I didn't have anything on me other than my phone and my driver's license. I thought I was going to have to wheel my 78-year old mother to the ticket counter and let them interrogate her. He must have been feeling charitable -- he let me go to the gate.

I would love to go back and prove it to him, but I won't. I'm sure he's already forgotten about the 5'2" non-Japanese looking potential troublemaker. I had nothing other than my sincere insistence that I was being truthful and genuine. At this point, I'm just glad I didn't have my double pointed needles with me or they'd never have allowed me to go back with her!

Some things have happened recently that are making me wonder if I've given people the wrong impression or offended somebody in some way. I'm typically unfazed by what others think about me (you're free to not like me!), but it would really bother me if I have hurt somebody's feelings or offended them. Those of you I call my friends are those to whom I lend my full support -- and sometimes I'm overly enthusiastic about that. And because I know myself and I realize I'm NOT likely to ever go back and talk to that ticket agent (even though I could . . . and have had imaginary conversations about that in my mind), then it's highly likely that those whom I've offended will probably never tell me about it. That's okay too. Just know that I'm sorry.

By the way, if you're a reader, please know that you're allowed to lurk here and I'll never force you to comment; no delurking contests here. The comment approval system is in place so that when I hit "publish" and step away from my computer for the afternoon, I won't find a lot of spam comments or trackbacks when I get back. (I can count on one hand the times I've had to delete an offensive non-spam comment).

July 29, 2007

Tortilla Girl Lunch Tote

Not necessarily knitting-related (but it could hold knitting), here's the lunch tote I got from the talented Tortilla Girl:

tortilla_tote.jpg

Of course, you already knew I was a sucker for cute, colorful and handmade. This is well-constructed and sturdy -- don't you love the just-right denim handles and the top-stitching details? I do!