Wednesday, October 31, 2007


With great joy and unbridled enthusiam I shout "HAPPY HALLOWEENIE!" just as my youngest grandson says. Actually, when you think about it, I like the phrase much better than the slightly abbreviated and more technically correct term.

Life is grand here on the east coast of the good old US of A, despite a couple of travel knitting surprises. First, I ran out of dang yarn for the little shrug from the novelty yarn. I read the directions (free, from the Internet--- I say as if this might indeed have some bearing on the problem) and bought enough yardage. As I neared the end of the yarn as I was knitting the sleeve ribbing and it was obvious that the fumes of yarn in my zippy bag were not going to even begin to cut it I knew that there was only one thing to do. I called Knitorious and talked to the Wonderful Ann who immediately jumped to my service to scrounging through the sale bins in the back room until she found an yarn meeting my poorly phrased requirements. It's on hold until I get home---- whew! My oldest daughter, who shall be the Christmas gift recipient of said shrug saw the piece in progress and loved it. While this made my heart sing since I know that she will do the Big Smile when she opens her shrug I also know the truth. You see, my oldest daughter (bless her sweet heart) is the child that the other kids affectionately refer to as the Pleaser. This lovely daughter of mine is the one that is respectful, kind, considerate, sharing, caring, lovely, sweet to a fault and the kind of individual you are damn proud sprung from you loins! They struggled a bit with her seeming perfection in the past but have now embraced her twinkling persona and are able to deal with how she makes them look like crap on a regular basis by making fun of her sparkle. You know kids, y'gotta do what y'gotta do! I say that because even if this was the puredee ugliest little shrug on the planet and she didn't even like shrugs anyway, she would truly adore anything, and I mean anything, created by her mother. I really, really like that in a kid!

So patiently I took a piece of waste yarn and took the shrug (so near completion) off the needles and carefully tucked it into the zippy bag so that I can finish it once I've gone to Knitorious for that last ball of yarn. I love that knit shop................ how can you not love a shop that once again rises to the occasion and simply becomes the bestest of the best?

It was 11:30 p.m. at that point and my youngest daughter and her roommate were making dinner. Apparently dinner at midnight is a regular thing for them so I tried to get that look off my face. (You know the look, don't pretend for a moment that you don't!) I wandered back into what was temporarily my bedroom in her new apartment to look for another project from the travel knitting section of my suitcase to cast on. It was really hard to focus on what project to begin, I was momentarily distracted by the decorating in the inner sanctum. Between the Linkin Park black concert t-shirts and the bed on the floor I finally remembered my focus and selected yarn for a hat. Stupid me, apparently in my haste to pack more projects than anyone could possibly knit while traveling (unless you are Elizabeth Zimmermann or something) I didn't read the pattern all the way through. Not that this is a new thing, it is one of my biggest mistakes on a regular basis. I know I have this horrible aversion to directions and the thorough reading thereof but I do it anyway. I discover that this particular hat is not knit entirely on size 15 dpn's. It also requires 15 circs, and of course I do not have my beloved needles with me! I was fearful that some mean security person would see them in my bag and under the guise of national security steal them for himself. It could happen. So while the kids chattered on about dinner at midnight with an internet game of Halo underway I proceeded to knit earflaps. And earflaps they are indeed. They now really need circs and when the eldest daughter arrives for lunch and shopping today I'm sure that in her total need to please me it will be an easy task to find said circs in town.

Not that much knitting will take place until late tonight, if at all. There is the lunching with my kids and the shopping for the youngest daughter (of Linkin Park concert t-shirt fame) because apparently she has nothing. Nevermind that she can frequently go to concerts but her work pants have a hole in them. Then it will be time to pick up the grandboys from school and I don't need to tell you that it is Halloween. We've been discussing the best of scary costumes since I arrived and I'm just excited over the moon to be going Trick or Treating this evening. I can't be sure what the boys will end up being for this great holiday but only that they are going to be so scary I pee down my leg. Only candy will calm my fear, you can count on that.

Eat chocolate, laugh on Halloweenie, and Get Knittin'!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Just the headlines for the moment! A seminar calls for the remainder of the day (no knitting, ack!) and I'm trying to finish some things on my desk as well as get packed for my trip. WOO HOO!

  • Yesterday's wedding was fabulous! Bride wrangling was a pleasure and I have a fun knitting bride photo coming!
  • Yes I had cake and it was quite yummy---- white with white icing, served with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream!
  • The mitered square sweater is FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's blocking so I can take it along and look tres glam!
Can't wait to leave, my knitting in little zippies is at the ready, iPod loaded, now if I could just get the suitcase packed. First things first y'know............

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Look what followed me home!

Merely part of what followed me home today is below........

Okay, the Addi LACE turbos (ahhhhhhhhhhhhh) are for the Coreolis socks to be one of the travel knitting projects. I only have one set of Denise needles so only 1 size 6 circ. Now I have two and the casting on can begin! Sort of an unusual mix of needles but I figure the sock itself it unusual and all will be just fine! The DPN's are big ole' fatties for the hats, also travel knitting. The pumpkin? For muffins of course silly! The weather has finally decided that it will be fall and that has me thinking mightily of pumpkin. I'm going in to the studio late today so there's a batch of Pumpkin Muffins in the oven. Delightful!

Traveling requires for me a great (and dang cute) new tote bag. It is sort of like a new lunchbox and selection of fresh new crayons for school! I found the tres cute bag from Nine West at Macy's, it was on sale and I had a gift card so the whole shebang came to $30.00. Not bad! It is large enough to carry my laptop to and from work should I need to commute light, and for the trip it is large enough for a book (Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair), two knitting projects, my purse and my iPod. Can I leave now? Please???? I've been saving up Laurie's book and have been really, really good knowing it is just THERE. Okay, okay, I read the first chapter. That's all!!!!

I went to a favorite LYS, Knitorious and had yet more outstanding service there (as I always do) from Ann. We had a nice chatty visit and I wish I could have stayed longer! I'll have to pop in next Wednesday night for the knit group! I was in the back room (danger Will Robinson, DANGER!!!) looking for my misplaced copy of VogueKnits from last holiday season. I had to pass right by the sale wall and this novelty yarn just spoke to me. LOUD. I'm not usually a novelty girl, but since I'm in the gift shrug mode I think this yarn will be absolutely incredibly wonderful to shrug up! I have a vintage topaz button, big and honky that will be so cute with the topaz flags in the yarn along with the black, the cream and the gray. The photo doesn't do it justice!

And it matches my granite countertops, heck it must be meant to be!!!!

That can of pumpkin? Oh yeah................... incredibly delish muffins, easy to make and soooooooooo gooooooood! The recipe follows, I hope you'll give it a try!

Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar glazed pecans


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients to include sugars and whisk to combine. In separate bowl, combine pumpkin, melted butter, evaporated milk, beaten eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add the wet and dry ingredients and stir gently.

For the topping, chop the pecans and toast them for about 5 minutes in a 375 oven. Stir the warm pecans, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. The pecans should be a little crunchy and caramelized but not overly brown. Break up the nuts if neccessary.

Line 12-cup muffin tin with lightly sprayed paper liners. Fill the about 3/4-full with the pumpkin muffins batter, divide the cinnamon sugar pecan mixture and top the muffins. Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. YUM!

The mitered square sweater? WOO HOO.............. it's almost done! I have knit in the sleeves with the attached I-Cord and am getting ready to I-Cord the edges. Then just the neckband remains. I'm pretty pumped to get it finished, I can take it on my trip!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bitsy Haul

A bitsy haul indeed! On the way to the studio this morning I had a bit of a detour. One of our LYS's, and I hadn't been there before. Because I needed some great yarn in preparation for Travel Knitting next week it was a must stop. It's a bitsy haul because instead of a whole lotta somethin' it's a little bit of much.

The photo above shows a bit of the sheen and the hand of the yarn but the color is not well represented at all. It's actually a lavendary blue-----just gorgeous! Cascade Venezia, 70% merino and 30% silk. Yum-My. It is so soft with a beautiful drape. I plan on trying this most fab yarn on the quick, down and dirty shrug. I rationalize the one skein wonder projects like this............. if you do it quick, the yarn needs to be delicious, and this is! I'm hoping that the shrug will be quick and simple enough to do it in an incredible indy handspun I found today but haven't purchased yet. At over 50 a skein, I definitely am in the one skein wonder camp!!! I imagine myself knitting one of those Anthropologie inspired shrugs out of a gasp producing yarn of scrumptious proportions and fastening it with a really great vintage button.

Today's haul so named BITSY because it is a skein of this and a skein of that. The colors don't do much for each other, do they?

My alphabetical stitch markers arrived from Hide and Sheep and they are just delightful! Love them! Well made, sweet colors, and I'm all about well packaged goodies. The quality is good as well, you know how sometimes you are a little nervous ordering from Etsy? No fear with Hide and Sheep, good products, well priced with nice quality. I'm ready for Sockitecture now! It did occur to me that because the Coreolis socks are knit on larger needles than I usually use for socks I'll be making another trip to the LYS for another set of circs. Oh drat and dang, another trip to the yarn store.......... you know what a horrible thing that is!

Below is the extraordinarily delightful Malabrigo! LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors........... it's Malabrigo chunky and I'm planning on knitting a Christmas gift hat. Yes, more travel knitting. Of course while I was making my list and checking it twice for the holiday travel knitting and noting that I was a needle short for the Coreolis, I also discovered that I don't have ginormous dpn's for the hat project. My LYS will get plenty of my needle dollars today. While I am pretty fussy about sock needles (Addi or Denise for me) I think that the hat can use a funkier needle manufacturer.

Below is the Love from Vickie Howell, colorway Harold and Maude. It is so yum in the hand! The color in the photo is mauvier than it really is, the flash picked up the color a bit.

My old friend Lopi! Another hat, more travel knitting. I thought this colorway was perfect for my daughters room-mate. Can't wait to see how the flecks of gold, red and blue knit up!

And from the Loopy Ewe, arrived Austermann Step. The yarn in the flesh (or fiber?) is less orangy and more earthy peachy. I am trying to break out of my blue socks rut and thought this color would be great with brown. So now, with my stitch markers and yarn I can have another Cat Bordhi moment.

All that remains is the cast on party, the packing into the knit bag party and the general state of readiness!

I'm trying really, really hard to find time to get my mitered square sweater finished. The sleeves are blocking now and once they get seamed and set in the sweater there is a fair bit of I-Cord and bands to add to the sweater. I'm frustrated that my schedule has not been fully cooperating with getting it done, work has once again had the lion's share of my time. I'm working on the website(s) to get them freshened up. The leggings? 3 more inches of stockinette up to just south of belly button, then the ribbing/casing and elastic.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wedding Details, The Cliff Notes & Travel Math

The Cliff Notes go something like this:

  • Bride very nervous
  • Groom very nervous
  • The maid of honor (the sister) forgets the rings in the back of the church
  • No kidding
  • Wedding is stopped to hunt for the rings
  • Hunting Continues
  • Rings are found
  • Wedding continues
  • Unity candle blows out several times
  • Location photography stupid as wedding party is more interested in getting drunk
  • Apparently drunk is a novel concept
  • Reception is at the Zoo
  • 3 tables empty, bride and groom sad
  • Groom can't throw the garter because he left it in the car
  • Photo "mocked up" with a piece of weighed down ribbon
  • Not the same, sadly
  • Brides sister passes out in the bathroom drunk as a flying monkey
  • Puke is involved
  • Paramedics called
  • She is 18
  • Time to leave? Didn't come early enough!
  • And, I left my knitting at home! Oh well.
On the knitting front, my freebie yarn from Vickie Howell arrived today! Wow, that was fast and I am SOOOOOOOOO appreciative. It is a ball of "Love" from the Vickie Howell Collection, bamboo fibers and silk in the Harold and Maude colorway. Smashing! It feels just fantastic and the color is great. I can't wait to swatch it up! Thanks Vickie!

I am jonesin' to make a shrug--------- I have a super simple one from One Skein Wonders that I think will make a couple great Christmas gifts with some fun buttons. I'm going to knit with Rowan Kid Classic, hey--- what's not to love? But the one I am panting after is from Crystal Palace Yarns, in Kaya, the Aran Cabled Shrug. It is completely delicious. Definitely not your basic shrug at all.

I'm working 1/2 day tomorrow (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) and the mailman just might bring me the Austermann Step from The Loopy Ewe. How yummy do you think that will be anyway?

I'm flying to the east coast for a quickie a week from today so I'm ready to have a big old cast on party in preparation. I don't know why I'm compelled to over prepare for travel knitting! I know I do it, yet I repeat the same foolishness every time! Basically the formula is simple, take the number of days you will be able to knit away from home and multiply this by 3. Three is the number of time warp weirdness that you actually believe you will be able to knit. Then take this number and cast on 4 projects for every increment. For example, if you are going to be gone 5 days multiply this by 3. That gives you 14. Now cast on 4 projects for the 14 Magic Knitting Days. That means that when you arrive back home you will have 196 completed projects. Really. I mean, I wouldn't lie!

Horrible, isn't it? I think I will be able to realistically scale down this year and only take 5 newly begun projects with me. I have no doubt that they will all be finished down to the last weave in by the time I return home! I mean, it is a 2.5 hour flight and I'm only visiting 2 daughters and 3 grandsons, certainly that is plenty of time to just knit myself silly.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Local Needle Community

Okay........... so I'm frankly delighted! Week two with local knitters found on Ravelry and happily knitting away mere blocks from my house! YAY! Today was a grand stew of projects, yarn colors and textures and wonderful people with divergent interests, it was absolutely wonderful! I worked this morning until about 2 so by the time 3:00 came around and it was time to Go Knit I was more than ready. I've found this group bubbly and warmly welcoming, so what I needed!

My knitting has suffered a bit to schedule woes, and with schedule woes comes the dreaded Hurry Knitting. Said knitting has resulted in my hat being frogged all the way back to the ear flaps, ack! I was knitting when I was too tired and by the time I got into the wave pattern it was clear that what I needed was sleep, not knitting. I hate it when that happens, but it did just the same. I can tink all day long but this was definitely more than a tink, and I'm not a neat frogger so it just came flying all the way back. So, now I'm ready to start marching up the hat again. While I have the opportunity I think I'll change the first few rows on the base of the hat though so I'm trying to think positively.

The leggings are JOINED! WOO HOO! Miles and miles of lemongrass Swish joined finally at the hips. I have a couple more rows before I begin the waist decreases, then the short row shaping for the back will happen before the waistband gets knit on. I've been thinking of that as the Butt Knitting, and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it.

I'm looking forward to the mail arriving next week as well. I have put off and put off a trip to actually be AT the Loopy Ewe in person because it just never happens, never. So I ordered a socks worth of Austerman Step to knit a pair of Coreolis Socks'. I'll be on an airplane a week from tomorrow and that will be a perfect travel project. Don't get me wrong, I am still dying to go to the Loopy Ewe, but I just can't let it get in my way of scoring some of their great yarn!

Photos tomorrow! I might be back with stories of the wedding this weekend as well. It was a Zoo (literally)! And NO knitting bride pics either---- I was not in the Zone at all when I left the house and didn't even grab my knitting bag on the way out the door. Shame, shame, shame.

Get Knittin'!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

pony hat

It's funny, the thing I miss the very absolute most about my life now is long stretches of solitude. I really and truly am very, very good by myself, always have been as a matter of fact. In my past life, now seemingly ages ago, it was not uncommon for me to have a week and more with just myself to worry about, at least on the adult front. It wasn't so much that I enjoyed eating what and when I liked, or coming and going as I pleased, although that was lovely. I loved having TIME that was mine to spend where I wished. Hours and hours at a stretch doing whatever it was that my hands found to do. The odd twist is that in the then of it I needed the time to decompress and re-focus, remembering that I was a good person worthy of love and happiness, I found the doing of things to help ease my soul. Now, there is far less time to muddle about and the focus is almost always work related. That is probably easier for women who have always been about dividing their time between work and 'off'---- I never had that distinction to make so the foreign-ness of it all is at times overwhelming and exhausting. As my son says, it is a darn shame that I am not a Trust Fund Child. I'd be a very good one!

Yesterday found the rest of the staff off on location so from 11 a.m. the day was blissfully, happily, delightfully MINE. I spent it reading a bit, listening to music, and ignoring the laundry and the dust bunnies while I knit. It didn't seem fitting to knit more on the leggings that have become an epic unto themselves, and the Noro hasn't arrived to put together the sweater. I gave in to the siren song of fresh starts and new needles.

The new needles were the very fun Pony needles, US size 5. I purchased them some time ago and have had them tucked away in my DPN case just for such an occasion! I adore the color, reddish orange---- they scream FUN! The quality has me a tiddle less than impressed although I almost never use a set of DPN's for an entire project so I could make it work just fine. They are slippery as the dickens and definitely slower than my Addi's or my beloved Denise's.

They are, I think, like me. Not as fast as they could be, but they'll do the job just the same.

So I cast on for a fun hat. From the Knitty archives (of course!) The photo below is the hat all grown up. It's been way too long since I fiddled with the whole color thing and I'm finding that I'm a bit rusty. Ack. But I love the hat and the recipient is my son (whom I just adore, he's the greatest!) so I'm having double joy knitting for his sweet self.

Is that little low-key peace sign in the ear flaps just the coolest? LOVE that!

Thankfully, the yarn carry's on the non-public side don't look as bad as they do here. The longest carry is 8 stitches, I think I really should figure out a way to make neater carries. I keep telling myself, hey it's a hat, not like you need it to be extra special neat. But, I'd like it to be so just the same. As ever, suggestions accepted and encouraged! :)

Work came with a vengeance today, isn't that always the case when you've enjoyed a lovely wallow? I did manage to get a lot off my desk and made several brides smile-------- always the mark of a good day!

I've fallen in lust with a new project from the new Vogue Knits............ I don't know if the passion will be acted on or if I'll just toy with it's emotions. I'd show you the object of my affections but the Vogue Knitting website is 'under construction' at the moment so it'll have to wait.

Patience................ it always boils down to patience, something I'm really not very good at. I'm much more the immediate gratification girl.

No instant gratification at all with the leggings, but I am happy to report that I am just about 'even' on the legs. You know, the ones that I am still kicking myself over not knitting two at the same time over???? When they're equal it will be time to join them and work them to the waist in the round. I'll be so happy when I'm to that stage as I'll be able to see the finale. That time is so seemingly close---- with a couple of trips in the next month---- that I'd better be lining up my new love interests!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Weaving In Ends

The woven ends (and ends and ends) go on (and on). The Mitered Square Sweater has 44 squares, each bringing it's own tail dragging behind it. That is quite a few pieces of yarn to weave. For the most part it's satisfying work, while it seems to go on for way too long, it does make a dramatic difference in the appearance of the back of the knitted work. Neat. Clean. Tied up and tidy. Ahhhhhh!

If only it were as easy to tie up the loose ends in life, to take the bits and pieces threaded on a needle and weave them into the past, or carry them into the future. We surely do try, don't we?

Spirituality seems like those loose ends for me right now, oddly enough. I didn't grow up in church but became very religious in my late 20's. By very religious I mean that I aligned myself with the Christian faith, attended Bible studies and even taught many over the years. I was always in church and very active in the various churches I attended over the years. If the opportunity to look back exists for me now I would have to say that I erred on the side of caution, that is I chose a very narrow road that many might call moral high ground. In any event, I truly believe that whenever you say "never", or make really biiiiiiig life statements, the universe tosses into your lap the very thing you ran from. They become loose ends and it falls to you to weave them back in. You can run from them by cutting them off but they'll only unravel and leave a big hole when you live a little. Or you can very carefully and with great thought decide on how to knit them in. With a strand from your current situation and the strand of the old end you can devise a very good weave, serviceable and strong.

The practice of yoga, and Reiki as well as things from other faith cultures have shaped the wrong side of my work these days. Yoga has taught me flexibility in body and soul, Reiki has taught me about healing and connection with Divine. Things like Tibetan Prayer Flags have taught me that maybe, just maybe my religiosity didn't have all the answers and that it was just perhaps a bit egotistical and bold to say that my way was the only way.

I continue to grow spiritually, knitting is part of that. Each stitch is part of a greater body of work that creates a web of thoughts, prayers and bits, each leaning on each other to form an item of even greater worth.

I have a pile of yarn ends now, after carefully knitting them into the project and weaving them in a bit, they were free to be cut off, removed from the project. What to do with those colorful bits that have outlived their purpose? As in life, I suspect that there is something to be said about them. I'll be thinking of a proper and mindful use for them.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fall Foof In & Out

Don't look now but it's a day off! I KNOW........... I'm pretty excited about it! When I got up this morning I knit on the last mitered sweater sleeve until I ran out of yarn. Yes, I knew it was going to happen and ordered another ball of Noro from Webs last week. It just smokes my trout when that happens and I even purchased extra, oh well. Good thing if it isn't exact dye lot it will be okay, not perfect but okay. Until then I've picked back up the EZ leggings and have just passed the knee of the second leg. Ahhhhhh, that lovely mindless knitting, tres perfect today!

I'm foofing up the inside of the house a bit for fall, y'know some leaves and fall colors, candles, different table settings, etc. While working on it it occurred to me that I didn't do the fall spruce up last year at all past maybe putting some cinnamon candles on the table. Don't ask me why but there must have been a great reason.

Yard work called (the Outdoor Foofing) so I got mowed (ack!) and overseeded with perennial rye, the fertilizer was spread a bit over a week ago. By this time of year I am just DONE with the yard, ready to move on and swearing that I will never mow the dang grass again! Of course, by the time spring has arrived after a dreaded winter I'm raring to go and first in line at the nursery to pick up plants and get the blades sharpened on my mower. Maybe the mower is the problem, it is one of the push mower types and when the lawn gets to the end of the season and is all thick it is a hard slog let me tell you! The watering is done, the yard smiling and I have some time to grab a bite and commune with my leggings.

I plan on stopping by the neighborhood knitting group this afternoon for the first time. I haven't been yet and have to say that I'm looking forward to it---- nothing like knitters y'know!

And as if the day off could not get better----- the body of the mitered sweater is blocking and looking pretty good!

I was a little worried about how the I-Cord around those points curled up and how it would block out. I have my fingers crossed. Note the pink cell phone, how Contessa-like is that anyway? I just had to have it, it is a cheapie Sprint kiddie phone and just about the only screen saver you can get is Hello Kitty. I did find the Eiffel Tower so it was a fair compromise!

Putting a bigger smile on my face is the fact that Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters is on tv tonight, great knitting company indeed! I'll be coming home from knit-chat to mashed potatoes, green beans and thin French-style pork chops with a cider-mustard cream sauce.

I think it's Happy Sunday! :)

I dug my prayer flags out of the bottom of the heap in the closet. (Don't ask about the heap... you know you probably have one too!) I made them last year in my Reiki Master class and haven't put them to use at all. I do love the sentiment------ to place your dreams and wishes onto a flag, when they move by breeze or movement, the imbued thoughts for those dreams are scattered into your space. Love that! Abundance, love and longevity were only a few of my flag string. These are up for the moment in my sewing room, it looks very happy in there. Perhaps it will stir my spirituality a bit as well!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's like this Officer....

So, there I am---- as always on a weekend following behind the limo in the studio car with the second photographer. The limo in this case is one of those big schmancy party buses and we're fortified in the car with diet coke, some crackers, a half can of cashews and a handful of candy. This limo has even less respect for red lights than on a normal wedding evening. Zip. I pretty much have to stick with the limo because I'm following the photographer, I have the other photographer with me and we NEED to stick with the bride and groom and wedding party. So if a light gets blitzed, I generally follow behind. Last night the (female) limo drive blew 2 red lights. They were red when she went through, by the time I went through they were REALLY red. It was downtown on a Friday night so there was lots of traffic both vehicle and foot. When the limo buzzed through the third red light we were on the way to a reception I'd never been to before, and if I got lost I'd have no idea how to get there sooooooooooooooooooooooo I followed once again through the light.

Hi officer. Yes, I know I went through the red light and I'm really sorry sir. Really. I'm working sir and part of a wedding this evening at the Met, I need to follow the limo. Yes, I know that's no excuse, really I do. Normally I am a very good driver officer, yes, yes I know that normally doesn't cut it. Officer? Really, I need to find my limo, now I'm lost and I'll never find the Met. Oh, yes sir, I'm sure that you would be more than happy to direct me after you issue my citation but since I'm always so good at paying attention to the speed limit and never running lights do you think that maybe, oh no sir, I would never try to, oh no sir. Well sir. Yes sir. Officer, of course I respect you, I always respect the Police Offi----------- yes sir I'll just be quiet now. Absolutely.

The Cliff Notes version? 3 Red Lights ran. Stopped by Police on the 3rd. Warning citation issued.

Wedding Today? Consider the limo warned strongly.


Friday, October 12, 2007

The Dynamic Path----- Legacy???

This morning on my way out the door to finish packing up for the wedding today, The Today Show had on an exceptional interview that I stopped to watch. It was with Meredith and author Jim Citrin, who penned "The Dynamic Path" focusing on the making of a true champion.

Champions in this context were those who had arrived in stages to a status that was noticed, appreciated and honored by others. A true champion is a Nice Person who cares for others, I agree Mr. Citrin!
  • Stage 1: The Champ
  • Stage 2: Great Leader
  • Stage 3: The Legacy
Mr. Citrin used the examples of Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and Bono as he described a life lived in such a way that a champion in almost any field can achieve greatness used to benefit humanity.

Wow, inspiring at the very least.

Steps along THE DYNAMIC PATH are:
  • Grow or Perish
  • Build on experiences and accomplishments
  • Focus on the success of others
  • Play to your strengths and interests
  • Find a worthy and relevant cause
Personally I believe that if we all stopped to think of ourselves as champions of our own lives it would make us more easily step up into the role of leader and on to legacy. No matter what you do from the incredibly important stay at home Mom to the CEO of a company --- being a leader is important to show others how to live lives of meaning and success. To become a legacy seems at first thought nearly impossible to the ordinary person, but everyone wants to leave a legacy behind from a life well lived.

I'll be visiting and buying "The Dynamic Path" very soon! After all, building a legacy requires a bit of effort! I may not be Bono anytime soon but I bet that you would join me in taking steps to encourage others, to be a good example and to care for those around me. Dynamic knitters unite!

Today brings a Friday wedding, or wedding eve for the Saturday wedding tomorrow! What can I say, generally in October it is raining brides indeed. I have to confess I'm already thinking about cake, how sad is that???? I want to eat a Cake Legacy, yeah that's it! I know I am up to the challenge!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Knitting Off

Okay, it's been two days since I've knit a single stitch and everyone knows that makes me seriously cranky.

I've been at it since 9 this morning and really the sad part is that I don't have a heckuva lot to show for it. Ridiculously crazy.

Two, count 'em two brides to wrangle this weekend, both big weddings--- one Friday and one Saturday. I'm bringing my knitting if for no other reason than I will want to look at my sleeve occasionally and willing it to grow. I might have to sneak in a knitting bride photo as well!

Continuing on with my previous thread a couple days back I do have some musings about friends and coming into the lesbian community 4 years ago------ I didn't expect culture shock but got it just the same. You see, there is almost (at least in my experience) a backlash against the formerly married to a man types like myself. Like it somehow denigrated anything about me! I was too 'pretty', too 'girly', too something or other. I didn't fit 'the mold' whatever that was. (Don't you hate that, fitting into anyone's idea of what they think you should be.....geez!) I don't measure people but just try to love them for who and what they are so the whole thing sort of took me back, y'know? For me anyway it is about respecting each other as well as loving individuals without feeling the need to categorize or label. I felt labeled and wrongly so. Generally speaking, I didn't make 'friends'.............. there just wasn't the click. I had been used to friends that you shared things with, dished with, and did 'things' with. The doing things with was not a problem but the dishing just didn't happen. All that to say that I'm pretty much learning that the women around me at the moment (both gay and straight) are peripheral friends. I keep a lot to myself and learn how to handle things on my own, it's all good. What seems to be the common thread in friendships for the moment are two things, knitting and spirituality.
My knit friends are largely online--- a group that sounds like loads of fun meets on Sunday's near my house but I haven't made it over there yet (shame on me). Spirituality has always been incredibly important to me and I do have a core of friends that share my beliefs.

I'm learning that I don't have the friends in the same context I used to------ and learning to make that work. NOT to fall into the lonely pit, we've gone there together before and it really isn't a place I like to stay!

Why does it have to be about the makeup on the outside????? The stuff we throw on literally and figuratively that makes us fit the mold? It seems to me that we spend an awful lot more time worrying about that than what's on the inside!

The old friends? Almost all of them threw me over when I didn't have the Mercedes or the fancy lifestyle. They couldn't accept the fact that I was happy but only focused on what it was on the outside. One of my best friends from 'back then' has a daughter getting married in this town in a few weeks, and no----- we're not doing the wedding. It makes my heart hurt a bit that I wasn't invited, even as a vendor! My ex-friend and I had always looked forward to the day when we'd live in the same town, do things together, dish and talk all the time and travel and have the best time! Instead she cut me like bait. Sometimes I feel sad, lonely, and the rest of those negative feelings-------- lately I'm trying to remember that it is truly her loss. Big loss sister, you have no idea! I'm also secretly hoping that she looks like crap in her mother of the bride dress. Mean, but true!

Seems to me like I need to Get Knittin'! If I hurry I might be able to get even a row of my sleeve done, and that Blitters might begin to set me to rights!

Monday, October 8, 2007

What NOT to wear to life......

The wedding on Saturday was great, the bride was lovely, the groom handsome, the parents just fabulous. Their venues were elegant and despite it being hotter than seven hundred dollars it was a great day! Arriving at the reception at one of the most magnificent hotels in town I noticed a guest that I had seen earlier at the wedding. It was actually hard to miss her as she was wearing a red handkerchief hem dress----- cut up to there (and I mean there). In the front as well as the back. When she walked you could (and I am not exaggerating) see her underwear. The dress was bad enough just standing still with no wind, but walking??? Yikes. I have to believe that this poor dear had no idea that setting the dress in motion with her stride would make that hem dance and rise in ways that would horrify her. I kept thinking that she could not have possibly looked in the mirror when deciding to wear this dress. The photo above is taken on the roof of the hotel where they had a second bar set up. As you can see, there was a breeze which made that slutty little number do unspeakable things. Please know that I spared you the shot of her butt...... there are just some things that I don't think you need to view, your gentle imagination is plenty! You will also note that she is AT THE BAR. By 8:30 p.m. we had to call security to have her quietly removed from the party as she was totally hammered.

This dear Blitters is what NOT to wear to life. It says ugly things about you in my humble opinion and even if you are a very nice person, other humans who are traveling with you might be led to think unkind thoughts about you. Heaven knows that we really don't need a lot of help in the department of folks thinking we're a dpi short of a full set! I don't think you need a Nun's habit to negotiate life but a smidge bit of modesty is often a great idea.

Our little guest at the very least had the decency not to be all parading around at the reception at this tres chic venue in that dress with thong panties on------------- oh now that would have just elevated the whole thing to true skank!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Stalwart Anticipation

I don't care what the weather says, I'm going to believe that fall is going to arrive. Really. The task this afternoon has been to go through the closet and put away almost all of the summer wear and haul out the tubs containing the fall and winter gear. I always feel so dang virtuous when the job is finished and hate like anything doing it to begin with. The weatherman says that we might be in the low 70's next week with some 50 degree starts to the day----- thank heavens the heat of October might be winding towards crisp! At least the clothes are at the ready. If you think the job is awful for one woman, try changing over the closet for two clothes horses! :) What can I say, it's a task and a half!

This morning after sleeping in (7:45 vs. 6:15, ahhhhhhhhhhhh) I sat in the quiet house with the dogs and picked up the needles. Bride duty had me standing up almost all of a 9 hour day yesterday and I just didn't have the starch for a walk! Last night we got home from Bride Duty around 10 (very early for us but the reception venue was nearby) and while winding down I finished sleeve one of the mitered square sweater. I'm thrilled to have it done but kicked myself yet again for not doing two at once on a long Denise cable------ stupid of me! So I cast on my 10 stitches and began the over 80 rows that make up the cuff. I was in the process of beginning the applied I-Cord to the finished cuff when the realization hit me that it was a double stupid day! I had completely forgotten to slip the first stitch and knit the last. An hour and change of mindlessly knitting along on the cuff and now I didn't have a nice pick up for the cord! ACK! What is a girl to do besides rip the whole dang thing out and go make pancakes!

Peanut Butter Granola Pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour (multigrain is awesome)
a handful of your favorite granola
2 tbs. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tbs. melted butter
1 egg
1/4 cup peanut butter

Combine flour, sugar, granola, baking powder and salt.
Beat milk with egg and peanut butter until smooth.
Add to dry ingredients and mix just until moistened.
Lightly butter a hot griddle and spoon batter on with a ladle.
Cook until golden brown on both sides, top with a schmear of peanut butter and hot maple syrup.

They were, as always really really really good. My favorites are the peanut butter granola pancakes or the pumpkin spice pancakes------- both heavenly treats!

I must say thanks to those who have expressed their kindness recently, I do appreciate your comments so much! And in addressing the comment of Hapagirl, "Do you know how brave you are? Starting over after divorce is hard enough." Mmmmmmmmmm, brave? I don't think so, not in the traditional sense of the word anyway. I believe that the bravery came when I stayed in a marriage that was painful and hard for many years until my youngest child graduated from high school and moved on with her life. THAT was brave and the very act was fueled by the grace and strength of God, no doubt about it. Staying (and being pleasant about it) was my gift, I still believe that to this day. Getting through that phase was truly hard to do and it had little to do with me and all about letting the strength and power of the Universe carry me along. Please don't think for one minute that there were not many days of tears and sadness, even anger. There were. But as always happens, time has no choice but to pass, and it did.

When I think about it, I'm not sure how I arrived here! The baby steps along the way of creating a life that is mine after giving my all to family and friends have made this place where I am presently. Not perfect but without many of the painful things of the past.

I always thought I'd celebrate my 50th birthday by buying a Harley! I don't know why I thought that this would be a good idea but during my 40's I said it all the time. The notion that a woman married with 3 children, who drove a Mercedes and lived in a posh and gated neighborhood in Hawaii would drive a Harley was I suppose my little daydream of what it would feel to have some hard fought freedom. When I turned 50 I didn't have my Harley at all, I'd recently left a marriage and friends in paradise and moved to the mid-west to live with the love of my life. I laugh now when I think that getting a Harley would have been far easier for many who knew me to embrace. That of course brings me to the subject of friends and how coming into the lesbian community left me rather at odds.

It's a tale for another day, I have a closet to finish and the vacuum to run before I sit to make some progress on the sleeve while dreaming of my next Project! The reality is that I need to finish the September EZ project of those leggings but I won't think about that now!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Power of Words indeed...

The new Studio location is in a historic area, we're the top floor of a re-habbed old building with a mural painted on the side. The photo above is an area of the mural, the words are so lovely aren't they? Words are incredibly powerful, just one of the reasons why we all love blogs.

Here it is, Saturday. If it's Saturday it must be time for another wedding. Today's wedding is going to be 'okay'. The bride and groom actually live in California and because of the distance we haven't seen them that much and have only done one engagement session in the past year. Their venues are gorgeous so that will be nice but I just don't feel terribly 'connected'. After the wild Sniffle Fest of last weekend that may well be a good thing. I don't know this bride well enough to ask her to hold my knitting du jour, how sad is that? Although I might just to savor the look on her face!

I've been asked if I still feel lonely, if I'm still sad--- the answer is both yes and no. I am not sad, really and truly. I am a firm believer that life is what you make it and I made this life, it is mine and generally each day brings things that please me. Am I still lonely, yes I suppose I am. Here's the thing, I don't have the friends I used to have mostly because I don't have the life I used to have. I do have a collection of friends that I could call anytime I wanted to, hang out with, exchange chit chat, you know. But they're not heart friends, those people that you can tell anything, spill your guts and know that your secrets are safe and cherished. I just need to adapt, and I will!

Sometimes when I'm at a wedding reception, I feel as if I'm looking into the room of happy partying people and that I am the dried bologna in the sandwich! Certainly the only one in the whole wide world that is not dressed up for a special party at a lovely venue, the only one who has to work on a Saturday night wrangling brides and being the go to girl. And absolutely the one that guests must whisper about behind their champagne flutes! Ridiculous! I generally enjoy what I do and I know that I make a difference at the end of the day, all things considered not bad for a days work!

The media is suddenly all atwitter over the phenom--- LAM is the newest buzzword for Lesbian After Marriage. The whole phrase just kind of leaves you sitting in the middle of the road if you ask me! What it has meant for me is not only a new life but putting things together in a new way. Some previous friends walked out of my life leaving me hurt but a lot more things walked in that made me smile. Personally I don't think life is about the labels. It's all about love, it's about the choices you make and how we all are called from our faith traditions to love one another, to respect each other and to value the lives of those around us. Our society has made that tough to do in many respects, knitters generally know how to do it much better!

In the long run I continue to know that people really don't whisper about you behind OR in front of their flutes and if they do, I really don't much care! It's all about love, about respect and about the work of your hands bringing joy and happiness.

What it isn't about right now is FALL! We're all lamenting the fact that fall has fallen away leaving summer in full force. Record breaking heat is on the agenda today with temps near or into the 90's. ACK! My bride will be a bit sticky I think, time to pack the damp paper towels in the cooler!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Make a Happy Face, Pard'ner!

So, this was me yesterday. We had a senior portrait session out in the boonies, and it was a lovely haul to boonieville and back! I was able to knit away on the sleeve that apparently has no end. Because of the way the mitered square sweater is constructed the sleeve is sort of raglan-ny, so it is longer than the average sweater. Enough already----- I want to move on!

I should have sucked my stomach in a bit harder but honestly I didn't know it was going to be a portrait moment!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, much better the back of my head! Hair looks nasty but you can't see the gut.

I don't like horses and generally don't have a thing to do with them. In all fairness, they are lovely animals just very smart, that is to say they know that I'm terrified of them and they return the favor by showing me no respect. None. I was tossed from a horse ages ago and as the old saying goes, I never got back on. So in the middle of the session yesterday our senior hopped off for more photos and it fell to me to hold the horse. Me. ACK! Mocha gave me that look like, "listen lady, you are just an old wussy booger and I'm going to do whatever I want". And Mocha did exactly that. I didn't mind if she munched on a little grass-- which she did---- but she walked me all over the place.

Me and a horse! Who knew!

Thanks to all who sent emails or made lovely comments about my last post, I appreciate it. I do (big surprise) have more to say on the topic and I'll check in more than likely after a weekend of bride wrangling.

It's hot as blazes here, 90 in October for pete's sake! Tomorrows bride is a bit of a deb so it promises to be one long day.

I'm riding off into the sunset now............

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Knitting, Brides& Loneliness

C'mon........ that is one gorgeous sleeve! In all of it's lovely Noro striping wonder, now appearing is sleeve one, almost finished now. The cuff is about 2 inches high and worked sideways, I-Cord surrounds the top and bottom and the sleeve itself is picked up and rises above the I-Cord increasing merrily. It's a bit of a pleasure to knit the sleeve after all of the mitered square fussiness. It's garter stitch, smooth sailing!

The bride and groom? Aren't they gorgeous as well? It was sort of a sad day for me knowing that when Mike and Michelle got married there would be far less contact than there has been over the past year when we did four engagement sessions with them. They are after all, one of my absolute favorite wedding couples. We love their extended family (with two former brides and grooms among them) and we've done family portraits and events for their wide circle of family and friends. These two are super special though, just a delight! Michelle is not only pretty as can be but so sweet and kind and genuine you are really taken by the whole package that is this woman. Her husband Mike is probably one of my favorite grooms EVER. Let me tell you, everybody just adores Mike! He reminds me a lot of my son although not in appearance, but in personality. Mike is the nicest guy in the world with an A+++ personality, funny---- warm, kind genuine, and adorable! When I asked them to pose with my knitting they immediately agreed and Mike said "Hey, I'm here for you, I am all about the knitting blog!" Whatta guy! I am pleased to report that their wedding ceremony was beautiful, Mike WROTE A SONG for Michelle and his cousin performed it right in the middle of Mass! So romantic! Then when we went out on two hours of location photography we just had the best time AND the weather was near perfect, sunny and with a nice breeze to keep it from being too (unseasonably) hot. The reception was held at a lovely country club and it was such a very nice event. I know you want the "Cake Report" but I must tell you first that dinner was unquestionably the best meal I've ever had at a wedding reception, filet medium rare, skin on garlic mashed potatoes, a veggie medley and all that yumminess was preceded by a really good Caesar salad. Fab! A glass of wine would have been great but y'know---- that working thing! Cake was merely 'okay', white cake white frosting---- it was rather typical wedding cake. Do not for one moment be tempted to believe that I did not eat every bite and scrape the plate with my fork of every squidgel of that sweet wedding cake frosting!

The funny thing about the day, with funny being not the word I'd use, is that I cried all day long. Really, all day long. It started at the church when the bride's dad kept crying------awwwwwww so touching! They were a dad and daughter who really and truly loved each other so much! Then I cried during the ceremony, if you could have seen the look on Mike's face when Michelle came down the aisle, wow! Of course during the song he wrote for her (titled "THE ONE") I was damn near losing it--- no Kleenex and knowing I'd look like rat pooty for the rest of the day! I kept it together pretty much on location as we were in and out of the car/bus so often and I was busy with bride wrangling. The reception? Oh dear............... sniffle city. Remember, I do this every week and almost never cry! The first dance was so sweet, the father bride dance was heart wrenching (of course they danced to "I Loved Her First") and the other little details that comprise a wedding reception were just achingly fresh and sweet. Occasionally during the reception we have a laptop slideshow of a few of the day's images so I'm busier, but on this evening I really had almost nothing to do. After eating of course. At one point I was in the back room (used for lunches at the club perhaps) which was empty of guests and there was a side door going out, I could see a patch of gravel against the building and all I could think about was how much I wanted to go outside, curl up there and just sob like I couldn't stop........... cry for everything and anything that was now or had ever been missing in my life. I was at that moment more lonely than I've ever been in my life. Achingly, emptily, sadly, horribly alone.

Friends are the jewels in your life, they love you no matter what, support you in all ventures, keep your head above the water when your going down and make you laugh for the good as well as the bad. My friends have, for the most part, all sailed away. Since arriving in a new town four years ago I am relatively friendless. The two guys across the street whom I adore don't count, they just don't. And that my Blitters, just sucks. Up until the gravel called me to sit and reflect, to fully embrace my sadness, and to cry buckets I had largely ignored this fact. This truth. I'd rolled along laboring under the notion that it was OKAY. After all, I've always been really, really good at being solo---- I like my own company, I love 'me time', and I'm pretty good at entertaining myself. I guess the crowning touch was when I was pulling email. The email addresses come across for those who have gone to view events we currently have online; weddings, engagement sessions, family portraits, kids, babies, etc. One of the names that jumped out from the screen (out of nowhere) was that of a woman who used to be My Friend. She betrayed me, cut me loose and really hurt me at a time when I needed friends most. That particular time in my life is still raw and painful. Seeing her name was like a blow to the gut that took my breath away, and yes I've been sniffling ever since.

It is going to be just fine---- it always is. But for now I'm still a little weepy. I went to bed last night at 9 o'clock----- maybe with a bit more sleep and maybe a cup of good coffee from the place down the street from the Brand New Studio Location, the sun will shine again.