Thursday, December 29, 2011

Seen in New York

While out and about today, I ran into a friend and a friend of hers. Look--a hand-knit scarf! A friend of my friend's friend knitted the scarf.


It looked fabulous. The length is just right and the color is a perfect match of her eyes.

I mumbled," Teva Durham's Corkscrew Scarf". But since neither my friend nor her friend are knitters, they didn't catch what I said. But I do love playing "I Can Name That Knit in Two Seconds! "

Friday, December 23, 2011

Teeny-Tiny Tree

The hubster and I usually go to Zingone's and get a not-very-large tree for Christmas. And we carry it home in our SUV (Sidewalk Utility Vehicle.)

However, this year, with the elevator still being repaired, there was absolutely no way we could manage to haul even a not-very-large tree up the stairs.

But it just doesn't seem like Christmas without a tree. So we went to Zingone's and found a tree that we could easily carry!


We brought it home and decorated it. Perfect!

It may be teeny-tiny. And it's a rosemary plant and not really a tree. But, I see memories and happiness.

Angie, the angel, is the only tree topper I've ever known. She's probably at least as old as I am and I'm pretty old!

We found the handcarved Santas at a craft fair during vacation in the Adirondack Mountains. I look at them and I'm relaxing on the porch overlooking the lake at the cabin we stay at every summer.

In the heart ornament, I see family and friends who touch our lives. Friends whose faces I can picture. Online buddies who I know only by emails, comments and avatars. To all of you, I wish you the tons of happiness contained in this teeny-tiny tree!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Angel in a Walk-Up

I believe that angels are the unseen little whispers and breezes that nag at us and guide us. But they also can take human form. I met one of those angels yesterday.

I was waiting for a bus--the bus stops in NYC are little shelters that have bench seats. An old woman sat next to me and said, "Oh, this feels good." I did a very un-New York thing and said something back to her. Something neutral that I can't even remember.

She then told me that she didn't start feeling her age since her birthday last month. "May I ask how old you are?" I politely asked. "90 on November 25th," she replied. After I expressed some surprise, she then told me how she's been living in a 5th floor walk-up for 42 years. I said, "That must be very difficult to be walking up so many stairs."

However, I was totally thinking of myself when I said that. For the past five weeks, the one elevator in our building has been under repair. I'm old. I have bad knees. I'm out of shape. We live a few flights up.

Then the old woman told me she had a system for walking up the stairs. "I rest. I don't run. Let those teenagers run. The apartment will always be waiting whether I run up the stairs or if I take my time. Why run up and drop dead? The apartment will be there."

I told the woman about our elevator and having to walk up the stairs and that some days it's very hard. There are times when I think I won't make it.

She looked me over. "You're no teenager. Take your time. Your apartment is going to be there whether you make it home in five minutes or fifteen."

The bus pulled into the stop and I asked her if she was waiting for that one. "Oh, no, dear, I'm only resting here." I boarded the bus and, as I got on, I heard the old woman call out to me, "Bless you." I waved at her and yelled, "Thank you and bless you." I don't know if she heard me.

And so I went on my way. Three heavy shopping bags later, I faced the stairs.


As I began to climb the stairs, I thought, "The apartment will always be there. No need to rush." I walked very slowly and put the bags down and rested three times on the way up. I can't say resting so much made it any easier. But I wasn't huffing and puffing and my heart didn't feel like it was going to leap out of my chest by the time I opened the apartment door.

And, just like the old lady said, there was my apartment. Waiting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Days and Counting

It's our tradition that we don't put up the tree or decorate till a few days before Christmas. But I can't put other Christmasy things off till then.

Gifts that need to be mailed are wrapped

and ready to go to the Post Office.

This little guy, however, is quite eager for the festivities to begin!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


The stealth project I've been working on.

Wasn't crazy about the pattern even before I began it. Didn't like it a couple of inches into it. A full skein later, I still disliked it. I found myself working on it less and less. And, when I did work on it, those voices in my head kept repeating, "Ugh, ick, blecch!"

So, it's history.

HOWEVER a new stealth project has been started. The stitch pattern is more eye-pleasing and I'm very excited to get it going!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Final Retreat Post

Yes, two weeks later and I still have more to say about the Knitters Review Retreat--but--this is it!

First, many thanks to the Knitters Review Retreat Hostess with the Mostess (of yarn), Clara Parkes. Clara's careful planning makes it such an easy and relaxing weekend for the participants.

Clara provided a beautiful place where we could knit by the fire.

and laugh with friends.

She made sure we had souvenirs from this special 10 year anniversary of the Knitters Review Retreat

and that we had plenty of interaction with yarn. (This is a photo of the stash lounge. It didn't look like this by Sunday!)

The classes I took were terrific! In Cat Bordhi's creativity class, I was gently nudged out of my knitting safety zone. Cat got us to randomly put knitting elements together to design a cowl. There's something very exciting and freeing about this.

Ann Budd's kitchener class was held early on Saturday morning. I'd had a very late night and, though my brain understood, my fingers weren't cooperating. But kitchener I attempted and kitchener I'm not afraid of anymore!

This is not a pretty sight! I know I can do better than what this looks like. I used a contrasting color to show the work.

I had a great deal of restraint in the marketplace and purchased only some gorgeous Briar Rose yarns.

This is Glory Days. DK Blue Faced Leicester.

And this is sport weight Nate's Sock Yarn:

Now it's all a happy memory! But I do hope that 50 weeks from today I'm all sad because I'll be returning home from the Knitters Review Retreat 2012!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


While at the last breakfast at the Knitters Review Retreat, I saw the most amazing handknit. It was the sort of knit that makes me want to put down my knitting forever. My little, small efforts to produce something out of needles and yarn pale in comparison to this sweater:


That's a fair isle sweater a woman knit for her son when he went off to college and that's the inside of the sweater. The "ugly," non-public side. When the woman explained how she knit the sweater, she completely lost me. But, somehow, there's seams in the sweater and she doesn't like the look of seams. So she covered them. However, she knit the college's motto into one seam cover and, on the other, her son's name and year he would graduate.

As gorgeous as the outside of the sweater was, the inside was magnificent!

I'll never, ever be this caliber of knitter--but--seeing what is possible is inspiring.