Friday, September 26, 2008

Knit Two!

Sleeve One Wisteria: Half Done. With some luck and knitting time (which now that I am home gets more rare with each passing day) I will have this baby done soon. If I do not, please feel free to nag me about it.

I am an unabashedly big fan of Kate Jacobs "Friday Night Knitting Club" (soon to be a movie with Julia!) and there will be a sequel! Yay! Along with you, I'll have to wait until November 25 but until then, check out the teaser from Chapter One!


Seeing a pattern doesn’t mean you know how to put it all together. Take baby steps: ­don’t focus on the folks whose skills are far beyond your own. When ­you’re new to something—or you ­haven’t tried it in a while—it can feel impossibly hard to get it right. Every misstep feels like a reason to quit. You envy everyone else who seems to know what ­they’re doing. What keeps you going? The belief that one day ­you’ll also be like that: Elegant. Capable. Confident. Experienced. And you can be. All you need now is enthusiasm. A little bravery. And—always—a sense of humor.

Chapter One

It was after hours at Walker and Daughter: Knitters, and Dakota stood in the center of the Manhattan yarn shop and wrestled with the cellophane tape. She had spent more than twenty minutes trying to surround a canvas Peg Perego double stroller in shimmery yellow wrapping paper, the cardboard roll repeatedly flopping out of the paper onto the floor of the shop and the seeming miles of gift wrap crinkling and tearing with each move. What a disaster! The simpler move would be to just tie a balloon on the thing, she thought, but Peri had been quite insistent that all the items be wrapped and ribboned.

Gifts, smothered in bunny paper or decorated with cartoonish jungle animals, were piled in a mound atop the sturdy wooden table that was the focal point of the knitting store. The wall of yarn had been tidied so not one shelf—from the raspberry reds to the celery greens—was out of hue. Peri had also planned out a series of ­cringe-­inducing guessing games (Guess how much the baby will weigh!
Eat different baby foods and try to determine the flavor! Estimate the size of the mother’s stomach!) that would have caused Dakota’s mother to shake her head. Georgia Walker had never been a fan of silly games.

­“It’ll be fun,” said Peri when Dakota protested. “We ­haven’t had a Friday Night baby since Lucie had Ginger five years ago. Besides, who ­doesn’t like baby showers? All those tiny little footie pajamas and those cute ­towels-­with-­animal-­ears. I mean, it just gives you goose bumps. ­Don’t you love it?”

“Uh, no,” said Dakota. “And double no. My friends and I are a little busy with college.” Her hands rested on the waist of her deep indigo jeans as she watched Peri pretend not to fuss over the job ­she’d done. The stroller looked like a giant yellow banana. A wrinkled, torn banana. She sighed. Dakota was a striking young woman, with her creamy mocha skin and her mother’s height and long, curly dark hair. But she retained an element of gangliness, gave the impression that she was not quite comfortable with the transformation of her figure. At eighteen, she was still growing into herself.

“Thank God for that,” replied Peri, discreetly trying to peel the tape off the yellow paper so she could redo the edges. Whether it was operating the store or designing the handbags in her side business, she approached everything with precision now. Working with Georgia had been the best training she could ever have received for running a business—two businesses, really. Her own handbag company, Peri Pocketbook, as well as Georgia’s store. Still, Peri felt she had done a lot to keep things going since Georgia passed away, and now that she was pushing thirty, she was beginning to feel a desire to move. In what direction, she ­wasn’t sure. But there would be no more Walker and Daughter without her. Of that she was certain.

Sometimes it ­wasn’t very satisfying to work so hard for something that essentially belonged to someone else. It was hers but not really hers at all.

For one thing, Dakota had seemed less and less interested in the store during the last year or so, grumbling on the Saturdays when she came in to work, typically late and sometimes appearing to simply roll out of bed and throw on whatever clothes she could find. It was quite a change from her early teens, when she seemed to relish her time at the shop. And yet there were brief moments when her ­world-­weary attitude would disappear and Peri could see the whispers of the ­bright-­eyed, wisecracking little kid who loved to bake and could spend hours knitting with her mother in the store’s back office or the apartment they had shared one floor above the yarn shop.

The shop was located on ­Seventy-­seventh and Broadway, just above Marty’s deli, amid boutiques and restaurants in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Only a few blocks from the green of Central Park, and the cool of the Hudson River in the opposite direction, it was a lovely part of the city. Oh, certainly there was lots of noise—honking taxis, the rumble of the subway underneath the streets, the sound of heels on the sidewalk and cell phone conversations swirling all around—but that was the type of commotion that had appealed to Georgia Walker when she moved in. She ­didn’t mind the beeping of the Coke truck at five a.m. bringing supplies to the deli on the street level. Not if it meant she got to live right inside the action, showing her daughter the world she had barely imagined herself growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania.

Of course, now Peri lived in the upstairs apartment that had been Georgia’s and the back office was no more. The wall had recently been blown out to make a separate showcase for the handbags she designed and sold; each purse was individually displayed on a clear acrylic shelf mounted onto a wall painted a deep gray.

The change to the store had come together after much discussion with Anita and with Dakota, and ­they’d consulted Dakota’s father, James, too, of course, though mostly for his architectural expertise. But it made financial sense: Peri had turned Dakota’s childhood bedroom in the apartment into an office so there was no need to tally up receipts in the shop anymore. Why waste the store’s valuable real estate? And there had always been the understanding—with Georgia and with James and Anita after Georgia died—that her handbag business would have the chance to flourish. She had reminded them of that while purposefully avoiding the one ultimatum she knew everyone most feared: She would leave the store if she ­wasn’t able to remodel. The concern hung in the air, and she saved voicing it unless it was absolutely necessary.

After all, what would happen to the store if Peri left? Anita, who had turned ­seventy-­eight on her last birthday though she still looked just barely old enough to collect Social Security, certainly ­wouldn’t be about to take over. Though she continued to arrive two days a week to help out and keep busy, as she said, Anita and Marty spent a lot of their time going on quick trips, by train or car, to wonderful country inns in New England and in Canada. Those two were on a perpetual vacation, and Peri was happy for them. Envious, a little bit. Definitely. Hopeful that ­she’d have the same thing someday. And if that legal department coworker her pal KC kept mentioning was half as cute as ­he’d been described, who knew what could happen?

And then there was Dakota, who had nearly finished up her first year at NYU. It ­wasn’t as though she could step in to run the store—or that she even seemed to want to do so anymore.

Not everyone wants to go into the family business.

Peri’s decision to work at the yarn shop, and create her own designs, had not been popular within her own family. Her parents had wanted her to become a lawyer, and ­she’d dutifully taken her LSAT and earned a place at law school, only to turn it down and leave everyone guessing. Georgia ­hadn’t been cowed by her mother, who flew in from Chicago to pressure Georgia into firing her, and Peri had never forgotten that fact. Even when difficulties arose over the shop, Peri reflected on how Georgia had helped her and she stuck it out. Still, the work of two businesses took up all of her days and many of her evenings, and the past five years seemed to have moved quickly. It was as though one day Peri woke up and realized she was almost thirty, still single, and not happy with the situation. It was hard to meet guys in New York, she thought. No, not guys. Men. Men like James Foster. Peri had had a mild crush on the man ever since ­he’d come back for Georgia, and he remained, for her, the very epitome of the successful, confident partner she longed for.

Of course, James had only ever been interested in the store from the standpoint of keeping an eye on Georgia’s legacy to Dakota. And Georgia’s old friend Catherine was surrounded by crap up in the Hudson Valley, thought Peri, where she managed her ­antiques-­and-­wonderful-­things-­blah-­blah-­blah store. Besides, Catherine ­couldn’t even knit. And she and Peri had never really connected; it was more as though they shared several mutual friends but ­hadn’t quite managed, even after all this time, to get to know each other. Peri often felt judged whenever Catherine glided into the shop, soaking in everything with her perfectly ­made-­up smoky eyes, every blond hair in place.

No, over the years the feeling had become more definite that either Peri would keep things going at Walker and Daughter or it would be time to close up the doors to the yarn shop. The desire to keep everything just as it once had been—to freeze time—remained very strong among the group of friends. So even as she advocated change, Peri felt guilty. It was almost overwhelming. Stemming from some natural fantasy they all shared but never discussed: that everything needed to be kept just so for Georgia. For what? To want to come back? To feel at home? Because making changes to Georgia’s store, without her presence or consultation, would mean things were really final. ­Wouldn’t it? That all the moments the members of the Friday Night Knitting Club and the family of Georgia Walker had experienced, the good and the bad, had truly happened.

That Georgia’s yarn shop was the place where an unlikely group of women became friends around the table in the center of the room. Where Anita, the elegant older woman who was Georgia’s biggest supporter, learned to accept Catherine, Georgia’s old high school friend, and cheered as Catherine rediscovered her own capacity for ­self-­respect and left an empty and unfulfilling marriage. It was at Georgia’s that dour and lonely graduate student Darwin found a true friend in director Lucie, who had embarked on ­first-­time motherhood in her forties, and that Darwin realized just how much she wanted to sustain her marriage to her husband, Dan, after a brief night of infidelity. It was at Georgia’s store that her employee Peri admitted she ­didn’t want to go to law school, and at Georgia’s store that her longtime friend KC confessed that she did. It was here that Georgia’s former flame, James, had walked back into her life and the two discovered their love had never lost its spark. And it was at the store that Georgia and James’s only child, Dakota, had once done her homework and shared her homemade muffins with her mother’s friends and flaked out on the couch in her mother’s office, waiting for the workday to be finished so the two of them could eat a simple supper and go on up to bed in the apartment upstairs.

And if that all had happened, then it also meant that Georgia Walker had fallen ill with ­late-­stage ovarian cancer and died unexpectedly from complications, leaving her group to manage on without her.

For just over five years ­they’d all kept on just as ­they’d done—still meeting up for regular ­get-­togethers even though KC never picked up a stick and Darwin’s ­mistake-­ridden sweater for her husband remained the most complex item ­she’d ever put together—and Peri had left everything mostly the same in the store. Year after year, she resisted her impulse to change the decor, to redesign the lavender bags with the Walker and Daughter logo, to muck out the back office with its faded couch or to update the old wooden table that anchored the room. She kept everything intact and ran the store with the energy and attention to detail Georgia had demonstrated, had turned a profit every quarter—always doing best in winter, of course—and furiously created her line of knitted and felted handbags with every spare moment. She even found the energy to branch out in new lines, new designs.

Until, finally, ­she’d had enough working on her handbags late at night and never feeling rested. She put down her needles and jammed out an ­e-­mail in the middle of the night. She required a meeting, ­she’d written, had broached the remodel. It had been an impossible concept, of course, the idea of changing things. And it took a long while for Anita and Dakota to agree. Still, Peri stood firm, and ultimately the wall came down, some new paint went up, and even the always serviceable chairs around the center table were replaced with cushier, newly upholstered versions. The shop was revitalized: still cozy, but fresher and sleeker. As a surprise—and in an attempt to woo Dakota’s emotional approval—Peri had asked Lucie to print an outtake from her documentary about the shop, the first film she had shown in the festival circuit, and had framed a photograph of Dakota and Georgia ringing up sales together, back when Dakota was only twelve and Georgia was robustly healthy. Appropriately, the picture hung behind the register, the Walker and Daughter logo next to it.

“She would have liked that,” Dakota said, nodding. “But I ­don’t know about the changes to the store. Maybe we should put the wall back up.”

Georgia believed in forging ahead,” said Peri. “She tried new things with the shop. Think of the club, for example.”

“I dunno,” said Dakota. “What if I forget what it used to be like? What if it all just fades away? Then what?”

Tonight, for the first time, the entire group would see the updated store in its completed form. It was a pleasantly warm April night, and the Friday Night Knitting Club was getting together for its regular meeting. Whereas once the women had gathered in Georgia’s store every week, the combination of their busy careers and changing family situations made it more difficult to meet as often as they once did. And yet every meeting began with hugs and kisses and a launch, without preamble, into the serious dramas of their days. There was no pretense with these women anymore, no concern about how they looked or how they acted, just a sense of community that ­didn’t change whether they saw one another once a week or once a year. It had been Georgia’s final and most beautiful gift to each of them: the gift of true and unconditional sisterhood.

But if time had not changed their feelings for one another, it had not spared the natural toll on their bodies and their careers and their love lives and their hair. Much had happened in the preceding five years.

KC Silverman had made law review at Columbia, passed the bar with flying colors, and ended up back at Churchill Publishing—the very company that had laid her off from her editorial job five years ago—as part of ­in-­house counsel.

“Finally, I’m invaluable,” she had told the group upon starting the job. “I know every side of the business.”

Her new salary was transformed, with some guidance from Peri, into a fabulous collection of suits. And her hair was longer than the pixie cut ­she’d had in the old days, shaped into a more lawyerly layered style. ­She’d experimented—for a millisecond—with letting her hair go its natural gray but she decided she was too young for that much seriousness at ­fifty-­two and opted for a light brown.

“If I had your gorgeous silver,” she told Anita, “it would be a different story.”

Lucie Brennan’s documentary circulating on the festival circuit had led to a gig directing a video for a musician who liked to knit at Walker and Daughter. When the song went to the Top Ten in Billboard, Lucie quickly transitioned from ­part-­time producer for local cable to directing a steady stream of music videos, her little girl Ginger ­lip-­synching by her side in footie pajamas.

At ­forty-­eight, she was busier and more successful than she ever imagined—and her apartment reflected the change. She no longer rented, but had purchased a high and sunny ­two-­bedroom on the Upper West Side with a gorgeous camelback sofa that Lucie, still an occasional insomniac, would curl up on in the middle of the night. Only now, instead of knitting herself to sleep, she typically mapped out shots for the next day’s shoot.

And the tortoiseshell glasses ­she’d once worn every day had been joined by an array of frames and contacts for her blue eyes. Her hair, if left to its natural sandy brown, was quite . . . salty. So she colored it just a few shades darker than little Ginger’s strawberry blond, aiming for a russet shade.

Darwin Chiu finished her dissertation, published her very first book (on the convergence of craft, the Internet, and the women’s movement) based on her research at Walker and Daughter, and secured a teaching job at Hunter College while her husband, Dan Leung, found a spot at a local ER. They also found a small apartment on the East Side, close to the hospital and college, the living room walls lined with inexpensive bookshelves overflowing with papers and notes. Unlike other women, Darwin had hair free of gray though ­she’d hit her thirties, and she still wore it long, without bangs, making her look almost as young as her women’s studies students.

Peri Gayle, striking with her deep brown eyes, mahogany skin, and meticulous cornrows that fell just past her shoulders, ran the store, of course.

Anita Lowenstein settled into a happy arrangement with her friend Marty, although their decision not to marry came up now and again.

“I’m living my life in reverse,” she told the group. “Now that my mother ­can’t do a damn thing about it, I’m rebelling against society’s expectations.” ­She’d been joking, of course. Moving in together was a simpler solution, quite frankly, in terms of estate planning and inheritance, and, as the movie stars say, neither she nor Marty needed a piece of paper to demonstrate their commitment.

­“We’ll just call him my partner,” corrected Anita when yet another of her friends tripped over how to describe her relationship. “It seems overreaching to call him my boyfriend at this age.”

They had, however, purchased a new apartment together and moved out of the garden apartment in Marty’s Upper West Side brownstone, allowing Marty’s niece to incorporate that level into her family home. Anita was ­seventy-­eight, though ­she’d lie about it if anyone ever asked, and certainly appeared younger, with her layered, silvery hair and her ­well-­cared-­for hands. Thanks to Anita, Catherine truly appreciated the value of high SPF.

Catherine Anderson’s little business flourished north of the city in Cold Spring, though many days she continued to take the train, spending some days in the tidy, expensively furnished cottage ­she’d recently purchased and others in the San Remo apartment that Anita had shared with her late husband, Stan.

It seemed that five years was about right for all that had happened to settle in, and for the urge to try something different to begin to swell.

“Not much of a surprise if the presents are all out there,” exclaimed KC at the entrance to Walker and Daughter as she wheeled in a red wagon filled with stuffed animals perched inside: a monkey, a giraffe, and two fluffy white teddy bears. Peri stopped trying to rewrap Dakota’s gift for a moment to wave hello.

“We should try to hide in the back office and then jump out and surprise her!” said KC, waving back even though she was mere steps away. “What do you say?”

She and Peri were from different generations—KC was ­twenty-­three years older than Peri—but they were, as the ­volume-­impaired and talkative KC explained to anyone who cared and often to those who ­didn’t, the very epitome of BFFs.

“We help each other get ahead,” KC explained when Dakota asked at one meeting why the two of them spent so much time together when, on the surface, they looked and acted so different from each other. “We gossip, we go to movies, she picks out my clothes, and I give her legal advice for her pocketbook business.” Their shared devotion to career—and KC’s years of experience—also kept up the connection. As proud as she was with her professional reinvention, KC had ultimately traded one workaholic lifestyle for another. Just as ­she’d put in long days at the office when she was an editor and followed it up with nights reading manuscripts, now she spent her evenings reading contracts on the sofa in the prewar ­rent-­stabilized apartment on the West Side that had been her parents’ home.

But while Peri kept up with a steady crowd of pals from the design courses ­she’d taken, KC’s relationship with Peri filled a bit of the gap that had been left by Georgia, who had been a young assistant when KC met her. For a woman who would never describe herself as a nurturer, KC made it a practice to look out for others and to mentor them. And she had a deep fondness for Dakota, who seemed exasperated with her latest concept.

“For one thing, no back office anymore,” muttered Dakota, inclining her head toward KC and motioning her to take a look behind her. “So it ­wouldn’t work.”

“And for two, we have a ­no-­scaring-­pregnant-­women policy,” added Anita, who was two steps behind KC and coming through the doorway. As she did every day, Anita wore an elegant pantsuit, and a selection of tasteful jewelry. The oldest and wealthiest member of the club, Anita was also—everyone would agree—the kindest and most thoughtful. In her arms Anita carried a giant hydrangea plant in blue; Marty carried a second one in pink. She nodded solemnly.

“The renovations are excellent, my dear,” she said, though Peri suspected her words were meant mainly to bolster Dakota’s uncertainty since Anita had checked on the shop’s progress repeatedly.

“I’m here, I’m here,” came a voice from the stairwell. It was Catherine, sweeping into the room with a bit of ­self-­created fanfare and an armful of professionally wrapped presents in brightly colored paper and a large canvas bag filled with several bottles.

“Hello, darlings,” she said, blowing out enough air kisses that everyone in the room got three each.

“Hello, grumpy,” Catherine said to Dakota, lightly wrapping an arm around her shoulders as they surveyed the room.

“I was afraid I was late,” said Catherine. “Is she here yet?” The store phone rang as Lucie called to say she ­wasn’t able to get away from work and not to wait. Peri looked at her watch and let out a cry of concern. Quickly, KC pulled out a box of cupcakes from the bottom of the red wagon, and Catherine opened a magnum of chilled champagne without a pop.

“When I think of the Friday Night Knitting Club, I always think of plastic glasses,” said Catherine to Dakota. “It adds a certain je ne sais quoi.” She winked at Dakota, managed to charm a shrug out of her young pal. The two had forged a big sister–little sister bond since Georgia had taken her in years ago and let Catherine bunk on Dakota’s floor during her divorce; many times in the ensuing years since Georgia died, Catherine’s cynicism and ­over-­the-­top drama had been the perfect antidote to Dakota’s teenage moodiness. Anita remained Dakota’s source for unconditional love; Catherine was good at keeping secrets and seemed willing to become her partner in crime, if only they could think up a scheme.

“To Walker and Daughter,” said Catherine, taking one sip and then another. “To the reno, to my favorite kid, and to the club.” The rest of the women raised their glasses.

Even though the vague unease about the remodel persisted, Peri could tell it was going to be a happy night. Anybody could see that. The gang was all here, together again; the volume was already deafening as everyone spoke at once, trying to cram a month’s worth of news into a few minutes. She began to relax as she saw Dakota flop into one of the new chairs, throw her ­jeans-­clad leg over the arm, and bum a sip of champagne off Catherine, the two of them glancing to see if Anita had noticed.

Tonight, the Friday Night Knitting Club would have made Georgia proud. They were holding a special meeting to throw a surprise baby shower for one Darwin Chiu, who was finally, after many long years of trying and hoping, expecting her first children.

Darwin and Dan were having twins.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bride No Knit-- Wisteria to bind off

So..................... there she be, almost ready for bind off. If I hadn't been more intent on watching Lipstick Jungle last night I'd be ready for sleeves. There you have the selfish confession of trash tv! When it comes to the girls on the Jungle, I'm there! Well that and Project Runway make up my not to miss telly. Speaking of PR, "my" designer from the Ravelry group was Blayne. Blayne, dear over-tanned boy that he is sadly departed the fix a couple shows ago so I'll be sending knitterly/yarnerly goodies to the Big Winnah of my group when it all shakes out. Anyway, I'm taking a couple of hours this afternoon to get the front off the circs and get the sleeves on the dpn's. For those of you who knit, I decided not to put the sleeves on one (or two) circs but to work them the good old fashioned way on the double pointed needles. I may live to regret this!

No knitting bride from last weekends wedding 'away'. To tell you the truth I was so exhausted and busy that I just flat forgot................ and it would have been so easy! They are adorable though aren't they? Young and fresh and full of dreams, just as it should be on your wedding day!

I'm (thankfully) getting caught up at the studio and am ready to tackle the new stuff instead of merely finishing the old.

Life goes on, get knittin'.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sleeping in my OWN bed

nothing like sleeping in your own bed, absolutely nothing--- and I got to do that for the first time in almost two weeks last night.

I'm still exhausted, really you just have no idea. There is a very dirty house to clean and a lawn that badly needs mowing----- my desk is stacked fairly high (although the staff here has been pretty great about dealing with a lot of it). SO, on I push.

The worst thing is that this morning when I was unpacking I realized that I did not get a knitting bride photo last weekend and it would have been the easiest thing EVER. I can't even believe it. This above all else should tell you how tired I am! I will bring a photo or two when they get unloaded cuz I know you like to peek at the brides!

Wisteria has only a couple of rows to finish the body and then finally I start the sleeves. Good thing too as I have loads I'm anxious to begin.

Some things never change!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hospital in the rear view mirror

Short and sweet:

Mom is home from the hospital after a little chemical intervention in the poop department. I told her to lie about it, that everybody did. She didn't believe me so 8 hours later, when I was ready to jump off the roof, things moved and she was released at 8 p.m. Her nurse said that she is like the only patient to follow the rules that closely. Ack.

So one day to help out at home until flying out early tomorrow morning for a destination wedding. (remember----NON exotic destination!)

Girl dog still very sick and boy dog seems to be tummy sick.

Wisteria about half way through the cable section at the bottom, I'd like to have a sleeve on the dpn's before I head out for the day in the airport(s) tomorrow.

Mostly.................. I just wanna go home.

Monday, September 15, 2008

No gas below

On the gas front, it seems to be rising and making the headlines everywhere but in a certain hospital room in Phoenix. Ack! Her doctor (not surgeon) is a very charismatic Indian gent who with his lovely lilting accent says "you are not to worry! You will f.a.*r.t. soon enough, your body has no choice". And I hope she does, I would love to get her home here before I have to head out on Thursday.

During the time yesterday when I tucked her in bed after a long stretch of walking the floor and sitting in her chair, I closed her door for a well deserved nap and headed to Jessica Knits. AHHHHHH. Lovely. The shop was full to the brim of knitters in various stages of knitting or picking out yarn. As usual, gorgeous smorgeous stuff! I was in limited capacity to really enjoy a good shopping experience but did get the new IW Felt and two skeins of Manos silk blend.... let us not forget a package of point protectors!

I found out yesterday that my little girl dog had some sort of seizures Saturday night/early morning and was taken to the puppy ER hving shaken her little head so hard that she was bleeding from her ears!! Seems things are very serious and I am well and truly heartbroken.

When it rains it pours, please tell me the rainbow is on the way!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Notes from the Hospital

No photos and certainly no lengthy post............ I'm writing this from Phoenix before I leave for the hospital, day 3. My Mom came through her surgery beautifully, everything looks very good. We never thought that it would be so important to know that life hinges at this point on passing gas for pete's sake! :) She's still NPO and would really like nothing more than the pleasure of a glass of water, much less a cup of rubber hospital jello! Perhaps today will be the day and once that happens the ball will start rolling with the oxygen coming off, the pulse ox gadget coming off of her finger, the catheter being removed and just a bit more general happiness. She was getting downright cranky last night so I take that as a good sign that she has had enough of the hospital and wants to come home, bless her heart! For those of you who are mothers, remember not being able to leave the hospital before telling a nurse that your bowels were moving appropriately? I confess to lying about that at the time and I think for a cup of tea and something to munch on, I'd lie about the gas thing too!

I have not knitted so much for such long lovely stretches of time in ages and ages. Wisteria will, on the next row, begin the bottom section of cabling--- which may be harder in the hospital setting than sailing through the body section. Somehow in my 5 a.m. departure from home I mistakenly tucked Wisteria into my checked suitcase so I had nothing for the plane trip through Atlanta and into Arizona except a book and my iPod. It was TORTURE. Of course I was befuddled when leaving home as well and didn't tuck in the double points for the sleeves when it soon becomes time to pick them up from their resting stubby state (I have decided not to loop them) so I had to dash through Michael's at five minutes to closing last night and pick up a set. I have every hope that I'll be ready for sleeves soon. I bought wooden ones in case they are still in progress when I have to get back on a plane, I can't think of anything worse than having to remove them to live stitches and jet off!

No Jessica Knits yet!!!! Perhaps tomorrow. My brother and his wife are here from LA and before they head back we'll be going to Scottsdale NOT (sadly) for Jessica Knits but for my favorite Mexican restaurant ON THE PLANET, Lupe's in Old Scottsdale. I am quite a fan of their margaritas (sooooooooooooooooooooooo good) and feel that going to my favorite knit shop in the world properly lubricated with tequila would be dangerous to the point of folly! (Is there such a thing?)

Back to the hospital I go, Wisteria in my lovely new knitting bag in tow!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wisteria and the Lady in White

I'm so glad to have knitting bride back.............. I miss it when my brides don't get a chance to vamp a bit with the sticks!

Sarah is one of my favorites this year, she is adorable, and her wedding day was nothing short of spectacular. Isn't her gown lovely? It was very light and 'floaty', the bodice front waist was wrapped and jeweled, very pretty. I have to say that her new husband is one of the good guys! I love his sweet and respectful spirit, and oooohhhhhhh was he gaga about his bride. It always makes for the very best photos (and some just smokin' hot!)

Wisteria is looking pretty good too if I do say so myself! As of this writing I'm 9 rows short of beginning the waist shaping with the sleeve stubs waiting on pieces of waste yarn.
Look at that mega-watt smile! It's almost like she's getting married or something! :) The location is in front of the Art Museum in St. Louis, called Art Hill.......... actually down at the Grand Basin, you can see the fountains in back of her.

One day to try and finish up loose ends around here before heading off to Phoenix for my Mom's surgery. Thanks a lot to all of you who have sent emails and hugs, I do appreciate it. I'll be without laptop and probably pretty much incommunicado for the next 9 days, then I launch immediately into a wedding. Of course there will be another knitting bride, she's already told me that she's looking forward to it.

I'll be face down in my knitting---- and looking forward to seeing the girls at Jessica Knits as well.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Frumpets

Well Friday it is, at long last. My days of madness have sort of exploded exponentially over the past couple of days and it has caused me to come smack up against projects and deadlines and has caused some radical reorganization.

I got a call that my (birth)Mom is having surgery this next week in Phoenix. She only tells enough of the story to get you by (as most mom's do) and upon closer inspection of the tale, surgery can't wait because there are 'suspicious' polyps in her colon. Her beau had insisted that she have a routine colonoscopy, and she complied. They are newly in love and we all know that when you find the love of your life you want to maximize the time you have with them, especially if you are not exactly in the bloom of youth. Her colonoscopy revealed polyps that could not be easily removed so surgery was needed, and their pathology suggests cancer. We have a big family wedding the week after next and her surgeon strongly recommended that she do the surgery and send her regrets to the bride. Quite telling I say. During surgery they will remove 10 inches of colon, the lymph nodes and other things necessary to make sure that any and all cancerous and pre-cancerous things are removed and which will give her the best chance for clear seas ahead. I made flight reservations immediately. Two one way tickets ($$$$$$$$$$$$$) one into Phoenix and returning at the last possible moment flying into Kansas City so I can scoot into the family wedding (we are shooting it) the next day. Back again if that should be necessary.

The wrinkles (and aren't there always wrinkles??):
  • I can't take my laptop as while I'm away someone will need it to cover the things I do to run the business on a daily basis
  • Those other two huge projects in the works? Gonna' have to wait. I need my computer for them.

So I guess you file that into the Oh Well category. Life has taken things out of my hands and I shift roles.

On the upside, there should be a LOT of knitting happening! I might even take a quilty project along.

Wisteria is still much loved by me, I've moved the stitches that will become the sleeves onto waste yarn and am heading down the body of the sweater.

Another upside is that one of my favorite yarn stores on the planet is near the hospital where my Mom will be. When she and her honey are making eyes at each other I plan on heading to Jessica Knits--------------- ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Retail therapy with kindred souls. I have a feeling both will be needed. Girls.............. put on a pot of tea, break out the tequila, show me your best stuff, I'm on the way!

Once again I am reminded that when we are the busiest making plans and up to our proverbial eyeballs, life steps in to gently (and sometimes not so gently) take us in another direction.

Big Big Big wedding tomorrow, there WILL be a knitting bride (sporting Wisteria in progress of course), followed by a couple of days trying to clear the decks and get ready to head off next Wednesday.

Until then I'll be knitting in the box at the ball game tonight, the Cards are in town and a beer and a hot dog or two sound like wonderful ideas!!! The website(s) go live this afternoon and with that one enormous project off my desk a brisk evening blowing off some steam will be wonderful.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Heading toward Fall. Really.

I've made peace with it, well about as much as this woman with Hawaiian sand in between her toes can possibly make. Fall is coming, and with it will come cooler weather (I steadfastly refuse to believe that even further down the road comes the downright cold, nay buttfreezing weather that makes my head spin). Labor Day weekend is, in my book anyway, the end of summer. Even though the warm (and here humid to the point of almost unbearable) weather prevails, you know for a fact that it won't be long. Making peace with the inevitability of the coming fall *(and winter) is not a bad thing. I am ready to put into place some things that will not so depress and devastate me when the really cold stuff arrives.

The first of which is the effort that Wisteria will be able to be worn from the beginning of the season and not yarn still struggled with when sweater weather is winding down. That is after all my normal operating procedure.

It helps that knitting Wisteria is fascinating!

The photo does not even begin to show it off................. this happens when one is in a rush and has just come in from trying to get the yard mowed before the promised 5 inches of rain arrives. Regardless----- you can see that progress is being made! I'm about to the point where the twisting, intricate, intriguing cables that cascade down from the lattice of cables at the neck get ready to enter that stretch of stockinette. I'm kind of excited to tell the truth! You can't see it's gorgeousness sort of wadded up on the needles as it is, trust me, its a great sweater. (Sitting there in front of my new Green Mountain Knitting Bag that I'm quite in love with).

I'm ready to knitter-up and tell you that I have conquered (thank you very much) the whole reading the chart thing. To be totally honest, I wonder why in the world I fought against them for in the first place. Must have been one of those little cogs in the brain that got stuck there and refused to give up! From stitch one, at the neck edge, the sweater has been a blast to knit, to watch unfurl row by row, and each and every row has been different. A journey of cabling that while fun, has also been less than totally travel worthy. I did NOT take knitting along on the wedding last weekend as I don't have a travel project since cannibalizing the Denise size 8 tips for this project===== hence no knitting bride, sorry about that!

Schedule wise things are insane----- totally nuts. The website(s) that should have gone live on the 1st have not. For a lot of reasons, many of them the fact that there are other things that require my attention as well, none of it housework or cooking. I'm hoping that by Friday the website piece of work will be live and done (yay) and I can move on to the next project. And then the one behind it.

I have realized one very important thing............... I have to make time for ME. And that generally means at this juncture that I need to sit and knit. I could (and have) worked 14 hour days and keep on that schedule for a good long while. Instead I have forced myself to walk away and be something other than She Who is Consumed.

It has worked out pretty well, and Wisteria is coming along.

On a humerous note that I feel somehow compelled to share, I have purchased new brassieres. FOUR of them! In four different colors, it has been a long time. I don't know why it has been such a long time since I've given in to happy bras, must be linked to the reticence to knit from a chart. Perhaps you will remember my efforts to salvage still perfectly good bras with bralerations to shorten straps that were stretched beyond their lifespans. While a good effort in saving money as well as a bit of anti-consumerism------- those bras had sighed their last. I am happy to tell you that comfy (and pretty if the truth be told) undies combined with knitting that is progressing has done a heckuva lot for my mood.

I recommend it highly.