Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Art of Forgiveness

They say forgiveness is not for the person whom forgiveness is asked. Rather, it is for the person who asks it. The asking shows there was a breach in the trust wall that needs to be shored up again. Asking shows an understanding that there was someone or something in the world other than oneself and an acknowledgment that their space in the world was invaded.

Whether or not they offer the forgiveness is somewhat secondary and completely up to them. But the ask creates the option.

The NSA has forgiven me and is happily sitting on the love seat in full few of the 4th strip that is being made and added on. It never really left me - after all, it's an afghan. I left it and it's just happy that I am back.

Tomorrow starts September. September already. This year is winding down fast. in twelve short weeks, we will be saying good-bye to Thanksgiving and hello to the Christmas season. I know you don't want to think about it but there's no avoiding the calendar. It is eight weeks to the craft show over at the high school and I have printed out the application and I need to write the check. Once I send it in, the clock is running on how many new things I can create in that eight weeks. The goal is still to have $900 worth of stuff to sell. There also has to be a good blend of products and enough to make a good presentation without overpowering the table. So much to think about. So little time.

I did a really fun workout this morning. i got it off of Exercise TV. It's Billy Blanks, Jr. and his Burn It Up-Bollywood. It was short and sweet and really got me breathing deeply and sweating. Which I used to love when I was an athlete. I'm still feeling the energy two hours later. That's a great thing. I always forget how I love this feeling. Maybe if I remembered it, I'd keep going for it. Ah well.

I hope you have a great day. I have to clean off the dining room table and get back to the NSA and continue my rehab from fiber addiction!

Monday, August 30, 2010


There's no easy way for me to approach the subject. Some things are just better said out loud and then dealt with....

I am cheating on the Nanny square afghan....


I know; I'm Tiger, I'm Bill, I'm the Governor of South Carolina.
I don't know what it is. The NSQ has been faithful. It waits for me to return from wherever I've gone be it the store or the bathroom. It is beautiful and looks well tended. I have no idea why I feel the need to step out for a younger, newer project. But that's just what I did two days ago and I haven't returned.

I was just sitting there working on it when I saw a book and I started looking through it. That alone wasn't enough to tempt me away from my beloved but one of the patterns in the book reminded me an afghan sitting on Mr. Honey's chair and this afghan was made by his mother and I had the urge to make my own version of her afghan that would use some of the technique in the book pattern and some technique I could glean from the afghan.

I could have just made notes and continued with being faithful to the one who had been with me for some time and I don't know how to explain my need to stray but I found myself pulling out the coffee colored yarn to use as the coordinating color and various other yarns to use in the middle - because though I am an unfaithful stitch, I still have to bust the stash.

The new afghan calls for 80 squares. I have already made 30 of them since Saturday - I suppose I could take comfort in knowing I won't leave my afghan for very long. At this pace the rest of the squares should be done in less than a week. Of course, if another floozy afghan wiggles its fibers under my nose, I could be lost.

As I look over my shoulder, I see the NSQ looking at me and I feel for it. I know I shall return and I shall ask for and hopefully be granted forgiveness.

I don't know why I do it. If it continues, I will have to check into fiber rehab and sit in a room and contemplate what I have done.

At least it won't cost me $100 million.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Standard

I was over on one of Harriet's blogs - Breaking Open the Scriptures and she makes an interesting point about judging. We always say 'don't judge others' but what Christ said was to judge others in the way that you wished to be judged.

So have at it then.

It calls into question more of your own behavior, standards and values than that of the person you're looking at and forming an opinion about. It should, I believe, make you think about exactly what is important to you. It should open up your mind to those things that define and determine who you are.

If I constantly pick at little details about people; aren't I really self-analyzing? If I look at nothing aren't I also ignoring myself?

I don't like being judged. Don't care too much about judging other folks, either. But I am and I do so the best thing, for me, is to make sure those things that are important to me are as right in me as they can be and to recognize that other folks don't have the same measures as I do and to give us each as much of a break as possible.

But by any measure Glenn Beck is a jerk.

There are less than ten squares to go to complete the squares for the Nanny Square afghan. I have started putting together the third strip and plugging away at the rest of the squares. Have a loose goal of having it done before September (already!?) shows up on the calendar. Since that is in four days, I will have to get moving with the needles and the hooks to get the last of the squares done so they can be blocked and put together.

This is the kind of challenge I like - so I can get it over with and move on to something else.
Don't judge.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back On Track

First, let me say we had a raunchy time at Tamale Hut last night. Between Melissa and Vicki, I got some really good ideas...

Here's the first look at the Nanny Square afghan. I must say that I am enjoying how it's coming together. So I suppose I am back on track with the project. I know I wasn't talking to it for one day and that could have become a cold war but it hung in there waiting patiently for me to return to it. And after the fling with the poncho, I did. The diversion was a good thing. There are four more of these squares on the blocking board and I think seven are waiting to be sewn together and one more on the needles - it is moving along quite nicely. Perhaps it's a good thing to have some fiber affairs when you're seeing a project - just so you know it's the one you want to take to the end. Of course, I usually go all the way with my projects. It's the kind of girl I am.

The blood sugar levels are way down in the normal range - less than 100 and I am feeling a whole lot better. Still eating the way I'm supposed to; yesterday was my free day so I had some ice cream (Naughty,naughty Melissa!) and some other stuff. You're supposed to have one day a week that you eat whatever you want but I go every eight days - just because I can't follow any pattern the way it's written.I was looking forward to that ice cream and it was chocolate from Baskins-Robbins. So good.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I feel a follow up to the spoon issue is almost an essential. At the end of the story, Mr. Honey stood in the kitchen and declared there were teaspoons in the sink. Well, over to the sink I teaspoons.

However, the mystery has been solved.

I found a couple of teaspoons in a mug that he has on our lazy Susan and...sigh...I found a couple of them on my craft table. Now, he insists that what he found were teaspoons - they were not - but I cannot i
n all honesty ignore my role in the missing teaspoons. So, while he is still a man - he may not be one of those men. We can move on.

I was making a square for the 42 square afghan and I kept messing it up. The 3 strike rule applies to squares as it does to any knitting project but not being able to get this simple 4 row
lace pattern was enough to make me want to put away the 42 square afghan. I could not do this so I allowed myself a one day diversion. And I leafed through the book I bought on the next to the last day of the yarn crawl.

Family Circle Easy Accessories (I got it for 50% off) is full of really nice projects that are - as they say - easy. At least at first glance. I stopped at the first project which is a poncho made up of - squares - surprise!!

I pulled out the Feza Opera that I have in six different colors (seven, really, but only need six for the project) and made the squares. I like them. They are big and cushy and I can't wait to block them to be a little bigger than the 12x12 they are and make them into the poncho. I finished the last square last night and that got me over the hump with the 42 S.A. I put together the second strip for that and got started on the last squares I will need.

I will get to the poncho in short order because I think I am entering a poncho phase. I will say the only flaw in the pattern is that it doesn't give instruction on how to put the poncho together. It tells you to make two strips of three squares each and then to look at the photo but there's no photo of the back of the poncho to show how it all connects together. A beginner is going to get lost - I'm not a beginner and I had to pull out old patterns to make sure. Bad editing - especially for a book that says it's for the beginner.

I'm going back to the 42 S.A. I would like to have a bunch of the squares to take with me to knit night tonight. The next major project will be another granny square afghan in gold, brown and white. It's a frogging of the biased afghan I was doing. That one didn't thrill me after all so it's going to be transformed. Better that than just sitting there.

Such is the life of a knitter.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Missing Spoons

The teaspoons are gone. I wanted a bowl of cereal this morning and I don't like the tablespoons. Never have. I think they're too big and I like eating stuff with teaspoons. So I open up the silverware drawer and there are just three serving spoons. I look in the dishwasher. No teaspoons. I look in the sink. I find one. Just one. I go to the drawer that has the other silverware and I find butter knives, forks, tablespoons. But no other teaspoons.

This has Mr. Honey all over it though I can't explain why. I wash the one teaspoon and eat breakfast and I wash it again (along with the bowl and a couple of dishes) and I say to myself: "I'm going to ask him about it and he's going to find teaspoons even though I've looked for them."

When Mr. Honey arrived home, I asked where the teaspoons were and he said, "I don't know." and then two minutes later, "Here are four in the sink."


The 42 square nanny square afghan is coming along very well. Five squares were blocked yesterday and another five are on the boards now and there are five more waiting. 27 more to go and we've got ourselves a beautiful afghan.

Friday is here already and I intended to go to the sidewalk sale at Mosaic, but frankly, I slept a little late and forgot all about it. Oops. It's not like I'm going to spend a lot of money (or any) anyway because I am in afghan mode and I am surrounded by fiber already. I would have no idea of what to do with whatever I purchase. So really..why go. I think i will go anyway just so I can have the experience of it. Still can't make myself go to Stitches so I will have to rely on the fabulous Melissa and Marion to tell me about it. Marion is taking classes so she should also have visuals for her show and tell.

I'm going to pull out the free patterns I scored last weekend and take a look at what's there. I know I have some garments and I will take a look at them with the mindset that I might actually make a garment one day. I'm not thinking of getting into sweaters or anything, I'm thinking ponchos. My mother-in-law gave me a poncho several years back and it was hand knit by one of her friends and I love it. Ponchos would be fun to make....

It's time for me to eat (every three hours.) Think I'll have some more cereal. I can go take a look at these teaspoons that showed up in the sink I've already looked in. Don't ask me why he would do something with teaspoons. But he's a guy so the reason doesn't have to make sense.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Business of Business

I am busy posting items I've made. When I get down to the real business of doing business, there's a lot that goes into it. After the photographs are taken, they have to be downloaded to the computer and then they have to go through whatever retouches need to be done. (I use Picasa because it's quick, easy, organized and free!)

Then it goes to the Etsy shop, the website, my notebook and the inventory sheet and most of the time, it comes here to the blog. And let's not mention how it has to go on Facebook and Twitter! Right now, I am looking at a zippered bag holding two afghans, a pillow and four prayer shawls. They each are involved in one stage or another of the posting process. The business of business takes a lot of time. I could, of course, not do it. I don't have to be a professional knitter. I spend a lot of time being a professional writer. I could spend more time doing that.

No, really, I can't.

There's something about being able to create things with two sticks and a string that I find appealing, challenging even fulfilling. And this part where I share it in service as well as commerce seems a natural extension of the gift. So the business of business has to go on. MY natural laziness wants to pull me from it but the greater good must win out. And it does....most of the time.

I actually enjoy each piece of the process. Each one holds a challenge from framing the photograph to writing the copy for all the sites. It's a great gig combining all the stuff I like to do in a way that earns me just a little more yarn money.

This weekend is the yarn sidewalk sale at Mosaic Yarn Studio. I like hanging out there to begin with and now they are having a yarn sale. It's also Stitches Midwest but I will be sitting that one out. As I've said before, conventions aren't my thing. The yarn crawl also continues through the weekend so fiber is king here in the Chicago area. All that going on and my heart is broken because the Cubs traded Derrick Lee. Now I will actually go to the game for the sport instead of just watching the first baseman. Maybe some knit/crochet will soothe me.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Little Things

I've been watching the coverage of the mosque in New York and the rhetoric that's been flowing. I cannot believe that we choose not to be better people.

But that's another post I'm working on...for now, we can have better
living through knitting.
The 42 square afghan is evolving into something completely my own...don't drop from the surprise. I had nine squares but decided they weren't coming out the right size and I didn't want to do make them work so I frogged them and started new squares. I already have seven of them and the makings of a nanny square afghan. A little different than a granny square afghan but incorporating both knit squares and granny squares. I'm liking the nanny square name, too.

In the midst of everything that goes on - even those things which threaten to destroy our spirits and mar our souls - the creative spirit can bring us back. Maybe everyone in the world should be required to knit, crochet, paint or sing - something that brings body, soul and spirit back to the center of our being. Maybe we can breathe cleanly and behave better.

I know I don't want to kill anybody after a great time spent with the needles, hooks and yarn. Could be why I do is so much. Nah, I really enjoy it. I'm really enjoying creating this new afghan. I am choosing the stitches going into the squares and having a great deal of fun. It's knitting up pretty fast and easy and I anticipate having it done in just a matter of days - which is a good thing cause I need product for these shows coming up.

We haven't been invited yet to the holiday shop showcase. We were the top sellers for the past three years and I don't want to assume that means we will be invited back but I am going to drop the hint to the show's organizer so that if we are coming back, I can begin to prep folks (and me) so we have the proper organization and know who will be doing what.

I picked up a wonderful book of Knitted Prayer Shawls at Mosaic over the weekend. There's about twenty designs and only two I would not make. They are all knit and it was less than $10 and I got a discount!! Great book. Great price. Great find. I won't be able to get to it for a while but it will so be worth the wait.

It's time for me to go to work. I have to photograph some things for the shop and the show and I have some more writing in the novel to do.

I am striving to keep a constant prayer for our country and for all the people of the world. I have every belief in a life hereafter but I'm so anxious for us to kill ourselves to get there.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stitch And Pitch - White Sox vs The Twins

So let me start by saying I will probably do another Stitch and Pitch. I am also going to try and do a group knitting outing at Wrigley whether associated with Stitch and Pitch or not.

I admit to having a good time but that was because I was surrounded by people who's company I enjoyed. We met Adriana for the first time that evening. She's a crafty one with knitting and sewing and she and her husband were fun to talk to.

We got our tickets from Loopy Yarns and they cost $25 each (the face value of the ticket was $39) and we were out in the outfield. With the cost came a small knitting project
bag (looks like one of those small gardening bags) and a stitch marker. Eight folks from my group came: six knitters and two significant others.) Marion brought a friend and then there's the wonderful Melissa and April. So, while I had fun with them. I don't know what I think about U.S. Cellular Field.
I like the plaza both inside and outside and I like how they have their concessions all in one place but the park itself seems a little cold. In truth, this is not because I love Wrigley. Wrigley isn't even my favorite park - The Great American Ballpark is my favorite park on the outside and Miller Park is my favorite overall park.
The Cell is the first park I've been in that I didn't fall in love with in some way. It didn't move me. Which disappoints me.

But I did a lot of walking which was good for me and a good boost to my eating better - blood sugar is back to normal and I do feel a great deal better. I have continued eating the way I should so that part is going well. I'm working out more consistently as well. The troubles of the past couple of weeks seems to have gone away.

Last Friday was the start of the first annual Yarn Crawl. Fifteen LYS in the Chicago area are offering a 10% discount, free patterns and fun for ten days. There's a chance for a huge knitting related prize worth of $700 and each store is offering their own raffle. We've done four of the fifteen over the weekend and I can probably get to a few more before it's over. What was a great thing was two of the stores, Loopy and Mosaic put out tons of their patterns and just gave them away. I walked out of Mosaic with about five free patterns and over 100 from Loopy.

What's more enjoyable is the camaraderie that happens. Stitchers are just fun folks to be around. A conversation that starts out about knitting can soon turn into about job hunting, raising kids, and in-laws. There's always laughter and always empathy. There are some folks I know I would not choose to hang around with but for the few hours I am going to be with them, I will enjoy what they have to offer because I know it won't be more of a commitment than that.

I don't know who thought of the yarn crawl but it's a great idea. I hope they do it next year and I hope we get more notice than we did. It would have been fun to arrange for a bus to take us around to the different shops. Just take one morning and hit as many as we can with a five hour window. Or any number of arrangements. It was a lot of fun. Next weekend is Stitches Midwest but I don't think I'm going to that. I was never one for convention type things and I won't be able to spend a lot of money on yarn because there's no room for yarn. (Yes, I bought some this weekend but not enough to touch the stash bust!)

Overall, the last week into the weekend was a blast! The best part was making myself feel better by eating the way I am supposed to and not pressing myself so much that I make myself feel as poorly as I did

The next best thing: spending Sunday with Melissa, April, Marion and Robin. Four different women with four completely different personalities and I get a kick out of all of them. Thanks, Melissa, for introducing me to Cheeseburgers in Paradise, I am going to take Mr. Honey there for dinner. It can be added to our cheap eats list.

I am frogging some of the squares for the next 42 square afghan because they are too wide and I don't want to stretch the others to fit. In doing the frogging, I came up with a new design to the old afghan so I'm thinking this step wasn't so bad.

and the goodness continues!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Great Big Nothing

I get up early to watch reruns of The West Wing. I can just as easily set the DVR and stay in bed but there's something about watching it when it's on that I cannot explain. The show is on the Bravo network and watching it in real time means watching the commercials and sometimes the beginnings of the shows that come on after and this has led me to the following questions:

Who the hell cares if Bethanny got married?
Do real housewives whether in New York, New Jersey or D.C. walk around all day in 5 inch heels and ride around in limos?
Can Rachel Zoe, like, say a sentence that, like, doesn't irritate the, like, grammar police and the, like, sensibilities?

I haven't been feeling all that well for the past few days. My blood sugar has been up a little bit. It has been in the normal range between 90-120 but two Sundays ago it was 110 (which is high for me) and this last Sunday it was 105. In the normal range but enough to make me feel funny. So, I had to pull myself back into discipline mode and watch what I eat and, this is important, how often I eat. Basically, I started following the Body for Life plan which I know works for me.

Three days later and I feel much better. I don't feel flighty and the energy has already increased. It's an added bonus that the Michigan peaches have come into the store and they are so good. It's a shame we have to wait until August to have the really good peaches that aren't big lugs of fiber but they are so worth the wait. This is the time of the year where there is no problem getting the five servings of fruits and veggies. It's also great to live in the middle of the country where there are all these farms where local produce can travel less than 100 miles to get to you. Over the weekend, I had some wonderful locally grown corn and the person who made it said she didn't add anything to it, just shucked it and threw it in the water and it was the sweetest corn I think I've ever had and the kernels weren't mealy or overly big. Summer fruits and veggies make you love being alive - with a full set of teeth!

On the knitting front, work continues on the next 42 square afghan as I prepare for the Stitch and Pitch tomorrow. I have my transportation plan in place. It's supposed to be hot and humid in the day and I know the humidity has stayed around all day. Though the game is at night, I have to dress for it to be muggy. This will be my first game ever at US Cellular and I cannot even tell you the last time I was at a Sox game except to say my parents took us and if I was in school, I was in grade school - Moses was the grade school graduation speaker to give you an idea.

Yes, the Sox are in the pennant hunt and the Cubs are woefully bad but still I am not drawn to the Sox. I can't even pretend to be going for the game or even care what's going on during the game other than I will be a part of a company of knitting/crocheting men and women. Truth to tell, Milwaukee is doing their Stitch and Pitch tomorrow as well and I wanted to go to that one. I like Miller Park and I would be interested in the outcome of that game even though it won't help the Cubs one bit. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. Who am I kidding?

I'm going to lunch with Mr. Honey and then it's knitting, knitting, knitting shop and more knitting!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Can't Tell You Why

I have started another 42 square afghan. Don't know why. Don't really don't how. But I have started another 42 square afghan and I am going to use the blocks they use in the pattern - except for the squares I won't use.

If I go back to look at my logic, it has something to do with going to the ball game Wednesday evening. I will need an easy to carry project and the crochet afghans will require too many color changes. The 42 square afghan has some color changes within certain blocks but not as many as the others. I can get away with just bringing 4 or 5 skeins and since this trip will involve some walking, I don't want to have to carry around a big project so it makes sense to do something that can be easily toted.

Wow, that kinda makes sense.

I am thinking of about adventuring into garments. It's not that I haven't made wearables - I've done the baby sweater, but I am thinking I may need something of a challenge. I will probably sit down until this feeling goes away.

In the meantime, I am on square 1 and have to go make progress!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Only Fun After It's Done

They tell you about the road to hell. They tell you about it very early in life and it gets repeated in the knitting life. It is paved with all that good intention stuff. You are looking to do a project and you say to yourself: 'Self, make some squares out of stash yarn and when you get enough of them just sew them together and make an afghan. That would be cool.'
You know how the conversation goes and you get yourself all kinds of excited because this is a culmination of a bunch of knitting stuff.

First, there's knitting/crocheting: just the very act of it makes us giddy with delight and we are enthusiastic about what will becoming off the hooks and needles.

Second, using the stash. There's a love/hate relationship with the stash - you love to have one, you hate to use yarn out of it
because then there would be no more stash and you love your stash but using the stash means going to the LYS or yarn section of the craft store to buy more yarn ( GOOD!!) and refresh/renew the stash - and we love that.

Third, the creativity - every square can be different. We can experiment with stitches and colors and mixing fibers together and almost anything goes because if you rim the square and then the entire afghan with an unifying color then the whole thing comes together and if it doesn't you can get away with it by calling it rustic.

It all sounds really good - and it probably really is - but what they don't tell you; what they save and make you discover for yourself is that there are details - details that you will have to deal with. "Oh, yes, all those squares will have ends you have to do something with." "You will have to sew or learn to crochet
them together", "You will have to watch carefully so you match things up just so..." They don't tell you that and I think they leave it out on purpose. It's a test to see if you really belong in the crafter's circle. All craft genres have their little quirks that the crafter has to deal with. The very first person who discovered he had to deal with a yarn end decided not to tell the next person because he wanted them to have that unique experience for themselves and the when the second person discovered he too had to sew in an end, went to the first guy and said,"Dude."

To which the first guy replied," Yeah, I know." and the code was made. When women started to get into the guilds, you know they d
idn't share the code with them. So now, this discovery is something of a rite of passage but we never really learn it. We forgive the process because we like the end result. For all the swear words we say while we are making our projects as soon as the delivery is over we fall in love and forget about the pain that was with us just moments before.

We even look forward to the next one that's how sick we are. So, this one moves from the WIP to the complete pile. Now there are four WIPs in the hopper and I don't see a completion date in the pike for any of those and I'm looking two weeks down the road. I am running into a little snag with the biased crochet afghan and I hope I am working it correctly considering every row has a color change and this is the third time starting it. If it doesn't work, then all those color changes will become a granny square afghan. Hmmm, now I don't know what to hope for.


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