Sunday, August 22, 2010


If you’ve read it and you are a knitter…consider yourself tagged!!!!
for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.
Afghan/Blanket (in progress)
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting

Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money

Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting

Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars (done it, but never completed them)
Olympic knitting

Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit

Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting

Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern

Knitting with linen

Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public
Now, what’s your list look like????

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Good-bye to an old friend

I've lived in my house almost 19 years.  For that entire time Mr. P has been my neighbor.  From my perspective, he has always been retired.  When I first moved in he and his wife welcomed me to the neighborhood.  My first summer in the house he jokingly told me that I was supposed to mow BOTH yards as it was easier to turn around on my driveway.  I was mowing with a reel lawn mower as I was too broke to afford anything powered.  The though of mowing another lawn was daunting. They told me later that they had assumed that I was a lawn fanatic because that was what I used.  After that was cleared up I would occasionally be surprised by the sound of a power mower in the front yard.  Gradually this evolved into a trade of services, he mowed the grass in both yards and I shoveled the snow.  Eventually I inherited a power lawn mower and occasionally mowed everything.  But when his mower was stolen, he got a key to my garage and used mine.  This worked out well for both of us.  I took care of the heavy snow, lawn chemicals, sometimes replanting the lawn and maintained the fences, and he kept the grass cut, front and back yards plus the alley.

Somewhere along the way, his wife passed away.  They had a pie cherry tree in the back yard, and I was given permission to pick all I wanted in exchange for the occasional pie.  When the tree died, Dad and I cut it down and I replaced it with a new one.

Every spring it is covered with masses of white blooms, and come summer, if Jack Frost misses us, masses of sour cherries.  This was taken this spring.  I picked over 2 gallons of cherries from it and never had to climb a ladder

We had created mutual gardens, turning the strip of ground between the houses into a garden with a meandering path, back to a hidden bench.  He told me that many mornings he went out there with a cup of coffee and enjoyed the garden.  I grew tomatoes  and shared the bounty.  And would typically share corn and green beans from mom's garden too. 

We watched out for each other, taking turns watching the houses  and getting the mail when one or the other went out of town.  We discovered a mutual love for Scotland, after one of my trips to in the late 90's. He and his friend Nancy belonged to a group of Scottish country dancers and I was invited to the annual Robert Burns dinners.  When I had a stroke in 2000, he checked in on me every day until I was released to go back to work.  When I was sick this winter, he called to see how I was doing.  When he was diagnosed with diabetes, I made sure to check in to see how he was doing.  Sometimes when his numbers were high, we went on walks to burn some of it off.  Many mornings I would see him out walking his dog Rosie when I left for work.

Mr. P turned 80 last fall.  For at least the last 15 years, he hasn't had to shovel snow, or worry about how he was going to get the car out, because I took care of that. When I got sick, I made arrangements with another neighbor to make sure that his walks were cleared, and he parked in my driveway for two reasons.  One to make my house look occupied and two because it meant that he could get his car out in the snow to go wherever he wanted.  But his kids suddenly had to deal with the fact that their father needed a bit of help in the winter.
But this spring his children decided that he could no longer stay by himself and that he would have to move in with his son about an hour away.  So this morning a moving truck showed up, loaded up his furniture and his daughters took him and his dog away.  All told, it took less than an hour.  I barely got a chance to hug him good-bye.

I know that he didn't want to go.  And I don't think that he knew it would be happening so soon.  We had been making plans on Friday night about how we were going to manage the lawn care this year.  He had decided that he no longer was strong enough to mow, and it's not my favorite chore, so we were going to hire my niece to mow it about once a week, at a cost of about five dollars per lawn.  We had her plant flowers in his yard on Thursday night, and I was training a mandevilla vine to climb his porch posts.  We were debating what color of hanging basket I was going to create for his porch this weekend.  All of that has gone by the wayside.  (Although his daughter thinks I should still take care of lawn.)

He had lived in this neighborhood for about fifty years.  He will be missed.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Long pause...

It's been a long time since I sat down to write. Lots of intentions, lots of photos taken, but I didn't manage to sit still long enough to organize them.

Since my last post spring has come and gone. Okay not officially but it's Memorial Day weekend and in the upper 80's for the last week, so it feels like summer has arrived. I've been to Arkansas and back. We stopped in St. Louis so I could visit the Arch. I was Barb's co-driver on the twelve hour drive to Bentonville to visit her daughter.

We spent about a week away. Toured local yarn shops, met the new boyfriend, (as of yesterday fiance) and did some gardening on Andrea's deck. Barb also claims that it was machine knitting boot camp for her. We took our machines with us. I managed to knit a sweater from the book Indigo Knits: The Quintessential Guide to Denim Yarn from the Founders of Artwork. I had scored about 8 bags of Rowan Denim when an LYS closed it's doors in March and spent some time deciding which patterns to make to start using it up.  The first pattern knit was Surf Hoodie (rav link).  Barb managed to knit half of a beach cover up for Madison.  

I've also crocheted a bikini, hand knit a seed stitch tank,  and machine knit a cute little top with this bit of stash.

I also went back to work with Creative Spaces in late April.  We are much busier this year than last, and I've been putting in a lot of overtime.  I'm also discovering that while my doctor said that I could return to work without restrictions after my surgery, my body doesn't always agree.   I can't lift as much, and I seem to get dehydrated and tired much quicker.  I really need to find a job in project management rather than physical labor.  In other words I'm getting too old for this work. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care Reform

All day long I've heard a lot of bashing of the recently passed health care bill. As one of the 10.7% in Ohio who are currently unemployed and one of the millions who has in recent years have spent several months with no health insurance and been scared to death, I have a different perspective issue.

Let's be clear, I am not one of the uneducated, too lazy to work stereotypes. I'm a college graduate, a licensed professional and when working these days am actually one of the many classed as being under-employed. I want to work, and have in essence taken a 75% pay cut in order to earn enough to survive and have a job with some form of health insurance.

Right now, thanks to government picking up 65% of the cost, I managed to hang on to my health insurance. If I had had to undergo my recent health issue and subsequent surgery without health insurance a couple of nasty things would have happened. First, my issue probably would not have been diagnosed until it had almost killed me, because without health insurance I was avoiding the doctor for fear of being diagnosed with something that would then be classed a pre-existing condition, making me uninsurable. Second, the cost of treatment would have skyrocketed because of the delay. And third I would have probably lost my house and/or had to declare personal bankruptcy because of the cost of care.

No one should be forced to choose between their health and being able to eat. Between their health and having a roof over their heads. Between their health and bankruptcy. But that's what the existing system does.

We are the richest nation in the history of the world. We spend more per person on health care than any other country on the planet. Yet the average person doesn't even see a physician in any given year, our life expectancy is lower and our infant mortality rate is higher than the other developed countries. And the major difference between us and them is universal healthcare. We have known about this problem for more than 20 years and we have let it get worse. We say we're going to change it and it just gets more expensive and fewer people are covered, and nothing changes.

Do I like what the politicians came up with? I don't know enough of the details to be able to say. Will I like everything they came up with? I doubt it. Do I think that big insurance and the religious right had too large an influence on it? Not a doubt in my mind in regards to the insurance industry, and the arguments about abortion make me wonder about the other. Personally I don't think they went far enough. I would welcome a one payer system like Canada's. Despite the horror stories fed to us by insurance lobby, I haven't met a Canadian who doesn't love their doctor and love the treatment they have received. They must be doing something right.

Do I think this is going to solve everything? No. But I think it is a start in the right direction.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Winter Olympics

I love the Winter Games, both sports and knitting. Four years ago I designed and knit myself a coat. I was a fairly new machine knitter and wanted to stretch my skills. I had a great time and was a successful medalist. This year is a different story. Much like the weather in Vancouver my life has been experiencing some unfavorable conditions for an Olympic competition.

Right before Christmas I was experiencing some really painful backaches, but between the holidays and the standard female issues, had to put off the visit to my doctor until January 4. When I went in I insisted on a full female exam, which like most women I truly despise. Nothing makes your day like having your doctor ask you if you are sure that there is no way that you are twelve weeks pregnant. I pointed out that Christmas would be moving to July if that were the case. (Never let it be said that I'm not a smart a.. in the face of potential problems.) Additional testing and consultations with a GYN resulted in me being scheduled for surgery to remove a defective part on the fifteenth, three days into the Games. In the run up to this, I had all a complete physical which said I was incredibly healthy, great heart, good cholesterol, clean lungs, everything else checked out A-OK. Just a bad part, one the warranty had evidently run out on. And I'm cleaning my house, cross country skiing, shoveling snow, dealing with parental health issues. In other words living a normal life.

I had let a several friends and a few family members in on my health issues, but not my mother. About the time this all happened she was having health issues of her own, a newly diagnosed diabetic, she was having a hard time getting it under control. I was forced to tell her on the eleventh, when she called to tell me that she had scheduled a meeting with the dietitian for herself, my father and me for the seventeenth. My sister drove me to the hospital and stayed with me all day, our pastor waited with her through the surgery.

My understanding of the events that morning are that they opened me up and the endometriosis was so bad, that the intern thought it was really cool, and the team couldn't believe I had actually been able to cross country ski the day before. The surgery was extensive to remove the diseased tissue and separate it from my healthy organs. A complete hysterectomy was performed. When I woke up in recovery, it was later than I expected and my only question was how much was removed? (Everything) My first question to my sister, was Do I get to keep my hair. (Yes).  I spent the day in and out of consciousness and hooked up to a morphine pump.  What was supposed to be an overnight stay, last four days, and the one week recovery at my sister's house became ten days.  Needless to say I didn't meet my Olympic challenge.  But life happens.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let's see if I can figure this out

Several years ago, Ruth Lantz, who is on the board of Ohio Designer Craftsmen, proposed to a group of her friends that the publicity art project for Winterfair be a knitted cozy for a VW Bug. She talked to people that she knew and got the yarn and some enormous needles donated. Several of us batted around ideas of how to accomplish the task, before deciding to create paper pattern pieces of the body panels for individual knitters to fill with knitted fabric. So one breezy evening Ruth and I took a large roll of bumwad aka tracing paper and some markers and draped a friend's Bug to make the pattern pieces. Pieces and yarn were handed out along with instructions for the decorative pieces for the public participation part. The results were published in the Dispatch and you can view the article here. I want to thank Tim Feran of the Dispatch for his help in getting permission to link to it.

Recently I discovered that the project had been nominated for two Bobbie awards on Ravelry, Most Unusual project and Best Group project.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter wonders

It's been a while since we actually had enough snow to be able to cross country ski. Don't get me wrong, it snows in Central Ohio, but usually not enough at one time nor does it last very long. So when we had several inches arrive around the 8th and 9th, I looked at it as Mother Nature's birthday present and tried to make the most of it. I think I got in at least eight hours of skiing over 3 consecutive days.

This is Big Darby Creek in the Prairie Oaks Metropark. I'm skiing along looking for access to the creek and skied over not realizing until I was about 20 feet away that the creek was actually partially covered in ice. I watched a little bird hopping along on the ice on the other side for several minutes.

The next day I went back via a different route and took my gear and enjoyed a hot lunch along the creek.

Not a bad spot to spend lunch. And hot cheesy noodles hit the spot.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year

I don't do resolutions any more. I never remember them. It almost sounds preachy but at this stage of the game, I would like to think that I've learned a few simple truths/lessons. (See Grandma I really did listen.)

1. Treat everyone fairly, like you'd like to be treated. Usually you'll get it back. Aka, do unto others ... It should be without saying that it doesn't matter, their religion, gender, native language, etc.

2. Everyone pulls their pants on one leg at a time. Regardless of how much those pants cost. You should never be afraid to talk with anyone as if you are equals. In general, you are.

3. It costs nothing to be polite. (Well maybe a bit of ego sometimes but ... that won't kill you.) And it will get you much further. And polite, but stubborn will get you your own way in the end.

4. Listening is important. It's just about the most important communication skill you can cultivate. And about the easiest. I always think of it as a subset of number 3.

5. Be flexible in achieving your goals. There are usually several ways you can get there, and someone else may have a better idea. See item 4. It costs nothing to take advantage of what someone else has learned.

6. Keep learning. It does your brain good, keeps you flexible and makes you a more valuable person. Curiosity is a good thing.

7. Ask questions if you don't understand. The only stupid question is the one you are afraid/forgot to ask.

8. Don't lie. Period. If people know that you are honest and try to be fair it makes life a lot easier.

Do I manage to do these? I would like to think so, but sometimes it is hard. Sometimes you get tired. Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes you have to deal with people or situations that make you really uncomfortable. But at the end of it all, I want all parties to be able to say, it was honest and fair.