Sunday, May 17, 2009


Nikita licks the yogurt spoonFriends - true friends - weave a
Tight web that keeps you afloat
Though you feel done in.

More precious than gold,
This bond's strength depends solely
On how you tend it.


What else do friends do? They let you lick the spoon.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

The Little Things

If you've ever been away from something for a long time, you'll understand when I tell you how difficult it becomes to return to it.

When it came to relating crafting stories, I felt dried up; choking on the sameness and wanting something else. I kept waiting for the spark of inspiration or the kind of project deserving of your attention because I figured that's what was needed for me to legitimately re-engage. That is, until I observed the pure joy displayed by a 2 year old girl when I gifted her with a colorful pair of mitts the other night. She rolled around and modeled and mugged for the camera, all the while flashing her infectious smile.

FO: Luxy's Mitts
A girl and her new "sleevies"
They're little things - perhaps 4 inches in length - but they (and she) reminded me that I didn't need a grand gesture or an intricate something requiring serious examination. Yes, she put them on backwards but she no matter. Luxy was having fun. In that moment, I found clarity. This isn't life and death. It's just the occasional missive that I put out into the world; my "Hello. I've missed talking with you." Could it be any simpler than that?

Lorna's Laces Bulky (South Shore and Lilac) - leftovers from Thorpe (Ravelry link)
Four size 10 US / 6 mm dpns

Toddler Mitts in LL bulkyCast on 20 stitches, placing 10 on one needle and 5 each on the remaining 2 needles. Join in a circle and knit 12 rows of k1,p1 ribbing.

If you've ever made mittens in the round, you know the rest: increase for the palm, make room for the thumb then knit rounds until you reach the appropriate length. I topped out these mitts with 3 garter ridges and a little single crochet, but you can do ribbing or ribbon or roll edge - whatever your heart desires.

For those not comfortable with these loosey-goosey instructions, I heartily suggest you add Ann Budd's "Knitters Handy Book of Patterns" to your library. It can be a lifesaver!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coming Up For Air.

I can hardly believe a week has flown by since Rocky discovered the joys of the ScratchScroll. Luckily, he's still enamored of it - so much so that he's already plucking up bits of the tight industrial carpeting that covers the surface of the kitty sine wave. Lucky too in that the lounger kept him quiet during my mother's birthday party.

Party. Right. Didn't mention that. This was an important one (platinum I think) and she wanted a homey, intimate gathering at my place instead of a restaurant or the like. We'd been planning things for a month and everything was under control until last week's power outage. Now, there was an air of uncertainty over the impending festivities. Would the power stay on? Would the weather hold? The freezer was off long enough for the food to spoil but, thank jeebus, I hadn't yet purchased any perishables for the party.

Later that afternoon, I got a call from someone whose a voice I'd never heard before. It was KnitPastis! She and her husband were visiting Chicago for a few days and she asked if I would be interested in meeting up at one of the local yarn stores. What is the sound of one arm twisting?

KnitPastis and Husband
What a lovely couple! He, a man of few words (at least in the few minutes we were together), and she, a petite natural beauty with a faint Southern accent. We only had time for hellos, hugs and a few pictures before I had to run. Grocery shopping for mom's party and a body that hurt like hell kept our meeting from being anything other than rushed. Too bad, too. Next time, more time for a meal and relaxed conversation.

Friday was CRAZY busy! My mom was at loose ends. She and my brother arrived late and prep was still required for two dishes. She was the one holding the recipe. Guests had begun to arrive and I could do naught but answer the door in bare feet with a spoon in my hand. By the time I popped the cork on the champagne and poured the mimosas, things settled into a rhythm of serving and seeing to my guests comfort.

I was worn to the nub, but all the effort was worth it. I originally wanted to send her to Italy but my circumstances have changed since that promise was made. In my mind, a party at home just didn't measure up. That's why, when my mother hugged me goodbye, I apologized because it was so much less than what I'd wanted for her. She held me a bit tighter and said that, for her, this was better than Italy!

I sighed, put my feet up and napped more comfortably than I had in days. It was over. She was happy.

Now it's almost Wednesday again. Where did the week go?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You Like Me!

For those of you who don't get the post title reference, it is part of actress Sally Field's 1985 Best Actress Oscar acceptance speech. Since she said it better than I, allow me to quote, in part:
"I've wanted more than anything to have your respect...And I can't deny the fact that you like me... right like me. Thank you."
You Make My Day awardWhy this gratitude? Because Sarah of Bella Knitting just awarded me by saying "You Make My Day". What a compliment that she and you would take the time and make the effort to connect with me on a regular basis. If you think about it, for those few moments we become part of each others lives. It is a gift and I am grateful because you guys really do lift my spirits!

Now, according to the rules, I must name 10 people whose blogs bring me happiness and inspiration, then let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. The tough part is that I read dozens of blogs, not all of them related to the craft. Here are my nominees, in alphabetical order:

Find out what clever writer and designer Susan is up to at A Few Stitches Short.

A visit with Leslie will always lighten your mood A Friend To Knit With.

You'll find warm and welcoming Opal at Akamai Knitter.

Witty and talented Bonne Marie rambles on about fashion at ChicKnits.

Chris always reminds me that there is goodness in the world at Crafty Angels.

Debi's got the tutorials, humor and an exotic short hair dubbed The P-Man at Fluffy Knitter Deb.

Anne gardens, cooks, and brings a modern, wearable twist to lace at KnitSpot.

Wry Meg is truly sweet, creative and caring. Inch By Inch.

Co-bloggers Lynette and Monica, prolific knitters with puppies and a positive attitude at PassionKnit.

Susan and Sally bring their knitting prowess and down-to-earth wit to The Rainey Sisters.

Limiting the list to 10 was tough. There are others, of that you can be sure but rules are rules. I mean I really wanted to give a shout out to my girls at Chicago Bites, because I don't dare dine in the city without consulting them; to Laura at Frog Is A Four Letter Word because she always makes me smile; and to Kathy, aka Grumperina, because she's a totally fearless, articulate and inspirational knitter.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Gifts, Year-round!

The gift of friendship
knows no season, has no price.
It's always welcomed!

Not a lot of knitting in that mitten, but each stitch is full of well-wishes and good intentions for the recipient. The mate is more than halfway done. Although the pair will not be complete by Christmas, I have no doubt they will be no less appreciated.

Peace, y'all! And thanks.

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Friday, December 14, 2007


Found: one bouquet of peachy yellow tea roses with daisies and matching greens with yellow buds in the immediate vicinity of my front door.
Get Well Flowers
There was an unsigned note attached that urged me toward good behavior lest The Warden turn the hose on my sorry self. There was also a small ceramic button attached to the purple vase proclaiming, "Live, Love and Laugh."

Sounds good to me as I recover at home with my caretaker, my cats and the good wishes of my friends to keep me company. I am fortunate, I know. What I don't know is who sent the flowers? Do tell, if you're of a mind. I love them!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Alive, Alive-O!

Thanks for the well-wishes and good vibes everyone! You guys are the best.

The hospital has graciously allowed me the use of the COW, or Computer on Wheels, which I think is pretty cool. This way, I can let you know that I'll be here at least one more day because of some unexpected pain. If things go well with the occupational therapist and the physical therapist, I should be sprung no later than Thursday. Meanwhile, I am enjoying the fine food and friendly service of all the staff members.

Sorry, but no pictures of me in my fetching green cotton hospital gown. Catch you later!

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Gone Fishin'

Well, the neckwarmer made it into production Saturday, doing its job quite admirably on a wintry Chicago day. I think the new owner looks smashing in it.

Tammy at Renegade Craft FairSpecifics
* Hand spun fade-dye merino from the talented hands of Lisa Mendez
* Original concept is a modified basketweave with a 5-row seed stitch border
* Two brown leather buttons hold the concoction together
* Dimensions are approximately 6" wide by 18" long

If I do this neckwarmer again, I'll make it shorter or add another fastener of some sort on the inside so that it becomes more like a collar, which was my original vision. I do love Lisa's yarn though, since it was, in part, the color fade in / fade out that inspired the piece.

Pattie, outside Pulaski Park field houseAnother original, Pattie, also known as Pirate Alice to friend and foe alike! Pattie has been known to bring grown men to their knees with her withering glance and wicked repartee. Pattie will be filling in for me for a bit as I recover from my surgery and the ministrations of The Warden. Love ya, mom!

Pattie loves crafting of all kinds, with her interest sparked at a very young age by her mother. Pattie promises to share the fun crafting projects she's found online, as well as some of the projects already completed and (still) in progress. Along the way, you'll meet her traveling companions Nigel and Elvis and, quite possibly, She Who Must Be Obeyed, Mabel the cat. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays y'all.

*Photos used by permission

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Do, Or Do Not.

"Do, Or Do Not. There is no 'try.'" -- Jedi Master Yoda

Sure, Yoda. I live in the real world where sometimes "try" is all you have and failure is a strong possibility. What am I talking about? Exhibit One, your Honor:

Almost Garter - Unfinished
I will not finish this gift of the Almost Garter scarf before Monday. For some reason, maybe concern for my recovery and lack of understanding, my caretaker-to-be has forbidden me to knit. I was read the recovery riot act last weekend. I love my mother, but she baffles me. I must comply for a few weeks, though, because I need her help. She once told me that even a good friend of hers calls her "The Warden."

Exhibit Two? I lost at least one friend through inattention or carelessness; possibly both. Here again, I tried but apparently - inadvertently - did not try my best. This loss does not make me happy. It does, however, make me realize that there are things I need to be mindful of, especially when it comes to other people's feelings. By the way, please do not rush to my defense. We all fall down sometimes.

There is hope for the neckwarmer, though. The brown leather buttons arrived earlier this week so it seems possible - no, likely - that I'll get this one in under the knitting ban wire!

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