Monday, August 28, 2006


Today is a very hard post but I feel I need to make it.

My mother passed away Sunday afternoon peacefully. Watching her struggle to breathe over the last few days broke my heart. Watching her grow weaker and weaker tore my heart out. My mom had a long life and deserved so much more than what her life handed her. Making her smile or laugh during her final days filled me with her love. Our last conversation was a very happy conversation about me getting my girls to come see her. She smiled, laughed and gave a thumbs up. My mom was a very special lady and over the last few days I realized even more how special she was. If I could have had five more minutes I would have called my hubby and had him bring the girls down on Saturday. If I had had five more minutes I would have rubbed more lotion on her hands telling her about the girls and how much Natalie is like me and she is giving me more grief than I ever gave her as a child. I would have done my mom's hair again in a pebbles ponytail that made her laugh the first night I helped the nurse give her a bath. I would have read another psalm to her or just sat and held her hand five more minutes. I would have showed her more pictures on my computer of the girls. I would have helped her sip more water from a straw or syringe defying the nurses orders each time. I would have just loved to have sat next to her in bed as she was sleeping, holding her hand.

What I wouldn't give to have just five more minutes of her time.

My mom was an extrodinary woman and in the words of my oldest daughter -

"Grammy was a wonderful person mom who deserves to be celebrated and we need to Praise God that she is resting with him now."

I am not sure that I am going to get through this week or not. I am really struggling hourly. I am praying that I can celebrate my mom's life and give her the dignity that she deserved!!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I am currently derailed in Florida and have not been able to knit. I understand, however, sitting at home on my dining room table (where things are not suppose to sit LOL) is a wonderful box from my KSKS!!!!! My hubby openned it (ever so carefully I hear) and took several pictures and sent it to me. IT looks MARVELOUS! I can not WAIT to get home and go through it in person.

I want to thank you KSKS!!!!!! You have SPOILED ME!!!!!!!

When I get home and get more substantive pictures that are postable I will blog them.

I am knitting away - on a skirt for my daughter because it is a mindless St St in the round trading colored or fun yarn every few rows. It's a great hospital room project that requires little attention.

My Secret Swap Sock Pal - never fear - your socks are here and I do work on it when I am not at the bedside of my mom. She however, when she was more coherent earlier in the week, thought the socks were adorable and wants me to work on them so she can see them done. You got my mom on your side - coaching me on. She is force to NOT be reckoned with let me tell you!!!! I promise to finish them ASAP and get them to you!

To my knit pals - I hope to return home soon. Save me a seat and a glass for wine.

For those of you wondering - I don't think they knit much in Florida. Everyone that walks by the room, walks in the room or walks by me in the lobby (for that respite time) stares at me as I knit. I haven't been able to find a knit store yet either.... a bit concerning. My first clue should have been when my mom said - "I didn't think anyone knitted anymore." But then again - she has been out of the loop for a while - bless her heart!

Off to do a few more rows before I take a power nap.

Back to blogging and frogging (and knitting) soon I am sure!!!!

Saturday, August 19, 2006


It is done!!!!!!

I have completed not only the bag but the sock kit for my KSKS!

Here is the bag.....

And here is everything going in the bag......

I really had fun putting this together.

Dear KSKS Pal,

I hope you like your Bag and Sock Kit. I had a lot of fun reading your blog the last few months and collecting things to not only fill your bag but to make your bag with. Your bag has a story…..

The shades of Orange Yarn was a hand dye wool from home.
The Blue yarn is a Cascade Yarn I picked up in Wisconsin at Lakeside Fibers (AWESOME store!)
The Ribbon inside the blue yarn is from Sister Art Studio in Chicago (where I hang with my knit pals on Thursday Night and much of the knitting on this bag was done!)
The Fun Fur stripe was bought at a store in Grand Haven Michigan that really wasn’t a knit store, just a craft store.
The needles came from another knit store in Baraboo, Wisconsin that was also a coffee shop – very out of the way and I just happened to come across it when we were walking through town.
The Chibi came from JoAnn Fabrics in Springfield, Illinois when I was there at a conference.
The Orange Glitter pen (to mark on your pattern) came from my FAVORITE Scrapbook store in Chicago – Windy City Scrapbooking.
The Sock Needle Holder (as seen on the Yarn Harlot) came from WoolWorks.
The Pattern came from It can be worked on both circulars and DPNS so I sent the DPNs since you said you liked using DPNs.
The Sock Yarn came from a very quaint knit store in Holland Michigan that had very friendly staff (rare indeed).
The Stitch Markers were handmade by my beading hubby. (I hope you like them) The beads came from a bead store in Grand Haven, Michigan.
The Chocolate covered Sunflower seeds (unique but yummy) came from a paper store in Old Town Chicago.
The Knitting Mints came from another JoAnn Fabrics when I was in the Burbs (a very scary place).
Last - but not least - the lil creative gift bag for your daughter is from Sister Art Studio in Chicago!

Off in the mail it went today and I can't wait for her to get it. I am a little nervous (OKAY VERY NERVOUS) about her liking it.... but I still had fun picking everything out and putting it together!

I can't wait to start on my Funkified Scarf for my Swap Pal!

I need to (and I am going right now) to finish those socks for my Sock Swap Pal. There are coming out quite nicely I must say - eventhough I am still on the cuffs. I am making my own pattern from my classes at Stitches last week!!!!

I spent five hours with the Hubby earlier tonite Scrap booking at Scrap Nite.

The kids are away - we had DATE night.
What a wonderful date night it was too!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

PH-unkified Scarf.....

  1. Let’s get the allergy part out of the way. Are you allergic to any fibers? NOPE - of course I could say that I can only wear cashmere, alpaca and silk blends..... but I w0n't.
  2. Do you prefer any fibers over others? Alpaca is very warm and snuggly here in the windy city.
  3. Thinking back to Scout’s post about what funky means to you, post an image of something that you think is funky! Let me get back to you on this one!
  4. Would you prefer funky yarn or a funky pattern? Funky pattern over funky yarn.
  5. What are your favorite colors? Lime Green, Orange, Black (come to think of it - I do not have anything in black...... that I have knitted....), Deep Blues, and Deep Purples. I HATE Pastels
  6. What is your favorite piece of art? Anything by Salvador Dali!!!
  7. What colors would you never have up close to your pretty face? Pastels - just so not me, not my color, not my personality - just not me.
  8. Would you prefer an actual scarf or a cowl? I think scarf but would be happy with either.
  9. When you wear a scarf do you prefer a wider/shorter scarf or a thin/long scarf? I wear a thin long scarf to repetitively wrap in this windy city.
  10. What is the climate like where you live? Winter is windy - and cold but so crisp and clear. The fall is rather chilly in the evening full of wind. The early Spring is cool, bright and windy. Are you getting the windy part?
  11. Would you prefer a functional scarf (to keep you warm) or one just to funk-up your wardrobe? One to FUNK up my wardrobe.
  12. What else would you like your partner to know about you? I live in a REALLY windy city. And - WHATEVER goes. I am easy. I am excited about this swap and realize it is just important to HAVE FUN!!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

101th post!!!!!!

Apparently my excitment over STITCHES had clouded my view of the hundredth post on my blog!!!!!! So happy 101 to me!!!!!

So- the funkified scarf starts.... and I am so armed with the initiative, creativity and tools to make one!!!!!!!!!

EXCITING!!!!! I get to use my skills on the sock (that I am knitting RIGHT NOW!) and this scarf.... amongst other things!!!!!!!!!

Stitches next year???? 9-12 August 2007. RESERVE that time NOW!

Stitches Part Two

Girls all packed, room somewhat cleaned (who am I kidding, that room is going to be sandblasted clean while they are gone and garbage deposited appropriately), I know I forget what it is to be a kid but I never thought my room looked THAT bad. Ready to head off to Michigan tomorrow courtsey of Amtrak. Their first train trip. They are SO excited!!!!! (Can you say fragments and dangling participles?)

I am now propped on my couch knitting my sock for my Secret Sock Pal. I WILL have it done by the end of August - I WILL!!!! (shhhhhh I know that the deadline is ever looming.... soon..... but so is the end of the week for my KSKS pal and I got some really cool things to plop in her bag. I can't wait to get it out to her. I can't wait to see mine!!!! I am liking these swaps!!!

So - as you all know I practically killed myself and ran myself broke the very first day of Stitches Midwest. Fortunately I did not have a morning class on Saturday so I SLEPT in! Ok - slept in a lil. My friends all had AM classes so getting up was easy. I did take my time getting ready and sat an knitted a while in the room. It was just kinda of nice not having to count stitches and jump up to discipline and unrulely child, clean a spill, mix up something for lunch or scream a hush! (scream a hush just cracks me up... to have to raise your voice in order to calm the chaos is a hillarious oxymoron!)

I headed off to the Market Place to see if I could do any more damage to my finances and indeed I did. I found this fascinating booth that I apparently missed the night before. I got a tail winder that I love. I bookmarked her WWW for my hubby for future gift ideas. I like to make things easy!!!! I also found several cute stores like this, this, and this. Two of these are near me.... hmmmmmmmm

After a less than tantalizing lunch I head off to my Cuff Craze class with Karen Alfke which was mind blowing. the techniques I learned were so eye openning I am now enabled to make up my sock patterns and be even more creative. Between Karen and Debbie look out knitting world..... red head is unleashed. Karen is THE KAREN of the UNPATTERN fame and I was UNPATTERNIZED when I left. Now I know that I have beenin a knitting slump prior to Stitches - I think I frogged my secret sock pal's sock five times in the last week. I am having a huge attack of OCD right now. This class jump started me and I haven't stopped to frog once. I will have those socks done!!!!! And - little did I know but Karen is the KAREN that wrote the ROCK and WEAVE sock pattern (yes THE pattern that the HARLOT promoted!) from SOCKS THAT ROCK!!!!!!! Can you believe it!!!!!! No better teacher!!!!

Leaving Saturday was hard.... I ran down to the Market place just one more time for a quick purchase. You see - I signed up for one last class at the last minute. I had a class on Sunday - but I switched it. I went from Demystifying Gauge to Off the Cuff Beaded Wrist Warmers. I needed BEADS!!!!! So - not knowing what Japanese Seed Beads were or where to purchase them - I ran to the market place and hit here! Seed Beaded loaded I left to return home to the Fam.

Sunday Morning came way too early for me and infact, when my friend Donna, (of the knitted wool bathing bikini in the hot tub fame) called to tell me she was leaving to pick me up, I was still in my pj's and wet hair. EEEEEK.

Off to my Beaded Wrist Warmer Class - with my Czech Seed beads.... (a no no I know but I was desparate) I was ready to learn a new trick to knitting. The class was taught by the wonderful Susanna Hanson who shared with us some fabulous books I MUST have. This Japanese book (who needs translation the photos are BEAUTIFUL and the charts are easily read) I understand I can go here, Susanna's favorite Yarn Shop. and this wonderful Pulse on Pearls available here. Again - no translation needed!

Now - during the beginning of the class my dear friend and local fav shop owner, Donna (another Donna), showed up to take the class too!!!! What a GREAT companion to have!!! Little did I know, looking at her bead stash she toted in - that she had SEED beads!!!!! Who would have thunk it - well DUH!!!!

This class was fun and tantalizing. I learned how to place beads while knitting and some really cool techniques and tricks. I also learned how to do the Crochet cast on. My mind was mush and so were my hands by Sunday AM but I am sure I am going to learn to love the Crochet Cast On!!!!!

Of course - the spending hadn't stopped. I quickly went and purchased one of Susanna's other patterns at the Market Place. I really enjoyed this class. Light but interesting!

I honestly thing, eventhough I returned home early afternoon and was still able to attend my church, I needed today to recover from all the learning and knitting. Who knew knitting could be so calorie burning!!!!!!

I made one more sweep through the Market before leaving on Sunday - I had to stick around for the Grand Prize Drawing (knowing for sure they lost my entry form) (okay so they were FORMS.... I know I went shopping - I have the yarn to prove it!!!) I also had to stop HERE and fondle some more of her wonderful hand dyed yarn and more. I loved the patterns she had and had to have a few. Of course - the www is now bookmarked and awaiting my purchase! I love that the company's name is her daughter's!!!!

I hope those of you who made it to Stitches had an equally interesting time. I can't wait til next year!!!!!


I am still, twenty four hours after the fact, amazed, dazzled and overwhelmed by everything I experienced, saw and learned at Stitches MidWest! I am so glad that I went! It was definitely not a waste of money or time! I had to take the last twenty four hours to mull over in my overly packed head (more with air than brain tissue at times) what exactly I learned and saw. Of course - being a mom and a wife - I had to deal with those everyday tasks while doing this. Maybe that is why it took 24 hours? No - reality is - things go slower as you get older!!!!!

For me, (and I know others started on Thursday Evening and I am highly envious of those who got eve a few more prescious hours in the knitting guru camps....), Stitches started bright and early on Friday morning after very little sleep. I was highly charged and wide awake with an eager to learn that made me highly nervous to be around so many accomplished knitters. I quickly learned that even the most accomlished sock, lace, sweater and alike knitters were very open, friendly and accepting of us novice knitters.

My first class was "Shockin Stockins." It was taught by the incredibly accomplished by Joan Schrouder. I learned the Toe Up Method and several different ways to customize the sock to meet anyone's foot size. The great thing about these??? If you do not know you have enough yarn, knitting toe up will save you the frustration of not making it to the toe. Just bind off the cuff when needed. I learned a GREAT provisional cast on. I also learned how to shape the right toe and left toe. This was a light but tantalizing first class.

After I bound off my lil sample sock I rushed down to the Market Place and made a BEE LINE here to get this! I picked up four skeins which two of will goto a friend I was shopping for (honest hubby - I am an enabler - all four are not for me!) I loved their booth and also picked up some patterns to use the yarn on. If I had unlimited resources of money I could have gone hog wild in that lil booth. I then stumbled across this quaint store while text messaging my friends (that I would later meet up with) that I was now BROKE. This store had the cutest skirt kit and couldn't help but put that in my purchase bag as well. I have two girls you know..... How could I resist. It was a steal for the price of the kit including all the yarn! They also had THIS and I bought enough to make a hat, entralac scarf and cable fingerless gloves!!!!

I might have been less restrained if my dear friends from my knit night didn't come to my rescue. Meeting up with them curbed by yarn fondling and purchasing. Heading off to my second class I was invigorated by all the fiber and knit enabling at the market place. My class was with the highly talented Debbie New. I will be honest, I did not know who she was. The class was full as everyone else apparently did know who she was. I learned SO MUCH my head hurt when I walked out. I learned how to do a three needle bind off with ONLY TWO NEEDLES. I don't want to learn the three needle bind off now. This way was too cool. I also learned how to cast on and play with the yarn direction to create different cast ons. I learned an easy Kirschner stitch that I will use in place of for all my sock needs in the future. I learned two great bind off techniques that will loosen my bind off and also leave loops if I want to pick up stitches later. I learned a most awesome way to make a sock without knitting in the round using all the techniques that she taught us. The most important thing that happened in the class was the spark to make me knit without a pattern. The spark to be creative. How awesome is that!

I met another knitter, Barbara from Indiana, who was nice enough to help me learn these new techniques and encourage me to keep growing in my knitting. She was a most warm and inviting person I can see why see why she teaches kniting at her favorite yarn shop in Indiana!

Friday was a filled and packed day that ended in a lovely dinner and the hot tub with my friends while we knitted and talked. There were so many people in the hotel and restaurants knitting it was so funny. I think the waiters were freaking out. Donna - I still want to see that wool bikini you promised to wear in the hot tub. I am holding you to it!!!!!!

Now I would love to show you pictures of my yarn stash addition BUT I would have to kill you after. My hubby - bless his heart for letting me go away this weekend) hasn't even seen it yet! I would also love to show you pictures of the weekend - but I apparently would have been killed if I took them. (Understandably so - there were alot of cool sweaters and scarves and items to knit on display. I however and NOT that talented!!!)

Later - more on Saturday and Sunday... I now must pack up the kiddies for their big train trip to Michigan for a few weeks with the grandparents. I will definitely be knitting away while they are gone to fulfill that empty nest syndrome.

Happy knitting!!!!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

The count down

The count down has begun - 7 days (or less) till Stitches Midwest!!!!!!

I can't wait!!!!!

(Actually I can - I haven't done my homework yet... eeeeeeek)

I am finishing up my bag for my KSKS. I have all the stuff to stuff it with. I have to say this was a VERY fun swap!!!!!

I checked out Scout's new swap - Funky Scarf Swap. It looks like a blast. I am currently stuck in a Sock Rut (which necessarily isn't a bad thing) and this might bump me out of it. I think it has just been so flippin hot that I only want to knit something light and portable.

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I am excited about this swap because I can basically experiment on everything I have learned in the last six months of knitting. When I went to see the Yarn Harlot lsat week someone asked her what the difference was between someone who knits and a person who is a knitter. a person who is a knitter looks at a pattern and either decides to alter it OR doesn't follow a pattern. I have branched over into the knitter category. I have been altering patterns for the past three (or four) projects not on accident either I might add. The bag I am making for my KSKS is like three patterns I merged together and did some personal altering. Now - to put those skills to work on a scarf - get me out of the sock rut and onto something Phunky and fun!!!!!

Okay - off to work I go.... I had one day off this week and enjoyed it with my girls and then myself at Knit Night - now it's a four day stretch and then BACK TO SCHOOL STUFF for the girls!!!!!!!

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!!!!!