Thursday, April 26, 2007

I've Become a Joiner....

I knew that at some point, I would join a stitchalong or a knitalong. I've never been much for joining groups - something about the commitment and participation business just didn't appeal to me. I did participate in a stitching group for a while, but we would meet on weekends, and sometimes I had to drive over an hour to get to the meeting place, and I enjoy being a quasi hermit on the weekends.

In 2004, I met three ladies that belonged to a local chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America found here. I became the Chapter President last summer. Once the website has been rebuilt (by me - gulp) I will link to it. We're a fun group of women, with some amazing abilities.

I've had a problem with my right hand since the beginning of the year, and unfortunately there isn't anything that can be done about it for now. Due to some persistent numbness, it is difficult for me to work with a fine needle, which is what I've worked with for years. So I knit. And last night, at our monthly meeting, I knit socks. I found out that one of our new members is a sock knitter too, even teaches sock knitting techniques. Being bi-craftual is a wonderful thing.

But this year, I've become a joiner. In January, I became part of the Lime N Violet Sock Marathon. You can see what we've been up to here. In January, I joined Socktopia, blogged here, with pictures here. In March, I joined the Nancy Bush Group. This month I joined Stashalong, and Crafting for a Cause. Eek!

So much for not being a joiner. I guess the biggest thing I joined is the blogging community. So far so good.

See you soon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Slight State of Shock

My husband was out of town for a few days. On the rare occasions this happens, I plan a big project, so that I can spread it out over the house for a few days without incurring raised eyebrows or questions. Besides, it provides a distraction, especially in the evenings, and I'm not as conscious of the fact that I AM HOME ALONE.

Up until January 2006, I had at least one dog in my house for over 16 years. In other words, I was not HOME ALONE for 16 years. Even though Heidi was pretty much deaf, and moved with the speed a snail would laugh at, she was still a fairly big dog that barked. Instant security system.

From 1995 to 2004, we had our patrol puppy, Fen. He wasn't even 6 months old when he let a door-to-door salesman know that "if you come near my mommy, I'll shred your ankles". Over the years, be it mouse or man, Fen protected my well being anytime that my husband wasn't home. I thought Fen was absolutely adorable, Heidi found him insufferable. She tolerated his presence for 9 1/2 years, and I firmly believe that she lived as long as she did just to prove that she loved us more and she deserved to have us solely to herself again.

Certain projects were impossible to do, simply because of doggy curiosity, or more importantly "you could be spending time with me - NOW". Here is a picture taken back in 1996 or 1997...

Me and the pups

Fen is on the left. He weighed 75 lbs., and was pretty much fur, bone and muscle. He had picture perfect show stance, and he probably would have loved the ring, but that would have required a lot of dedication on our part. Not likely to happen. He was a pretty boy, and he knew it. Heidi is on the right. She was so smart, and sneaky. Her nickname was Heidini - as she was truly an escape artist. If there was a way to get out - she would find it. And only a space big enough for her. Fen snitched every time. She weighed between 50-60 lbs. throughout her life. And she was a girly-girl. She would nudge you with a nose to get your attention. Fen slapped you with a paw. She would drink and eat quietly, and daintly. Fen would slurp, burp and fart. Heidi would always sleep on a cushion or blanket, and would ease herself down slowly and assume a regal pose. Fen would drop to the floor with a thud and stretch out for maximum coverage. They were polar opposites in all things, except one: their unconditional love for us.

When I get started on a big project, I kind of miss having them underfoot. Sticking their noses into boxes or bags, determining if whatever is in there is edible, even tasty. Fen for the most part would pick a spot and just keep an eye on me. Heidi would shadow me, as if providing some type of moral support. "If I could walk upright, or had thumbs, you know I would help." That would have been a problem this time, as I was working on yarn.

I know I have a lot of yarn. Some of it was either still intact with their original ball bands from 20+ years ago, or wound into balls ready to knit. In any case, there is a lot of it. Much more than I thought as a matter of fact. It's almost indecent.

I always tried to keep the new yarn away from the dogs. It would come home and go into a plastic tub for a later time. Of course, when I would start knitting, dog hair would become part of the project. You couldn't get away from the downey white stuff these two shed every day of every week of every year, regardless of brushing. I still have a box of brushings in storage that I will have spun into yarn.

I have wanted to catalog the yarn, so that I can "shop" in my own home before buying more. And I have some beautiful yarn - silk and wool and cotton and soy, and every combination that you can think of. In sock yarn alone, I could easily make 100 pair. Think about that for a minute - 100 pairs of socks. For me, I could go a whole year without wearing the same pair twice due to the fact that if the weather is warmer than 65F, I will probably be wearing sandles. And speaking of socks, here is pair #13 that I have finished this year:

Colinette Jitterbug Socks

I finished these up this morning. Made from Colinette Jitterbug in the color Bright Charcoal, they are comfy and fit well. I doubt I will be wearing them soon, it will be in the 80's by the end of this week. Still, 292 yards less of stash.

I have input into a spreadsheet every skein of yarn that I found in my craft room. It took about 14 hours to complete. Spread out over my living and dining rooms, 20 tubs of yarn were sorted, separated and re-tubbed by type. I was surprised by how much I determined would be allocated to "charity" knitting. Maybe color is a factor, or just the realization that niether I nor my husband would be wearing a sweater THAT warm. Let's just say, by the time I was done, I was in a state of shock. Trying to justify the purchase of one more skein of anything is going to be really hard to do.

UPS just delived a wool shipment from Webs. I better enter it into the spreadsheet and then find some room for it. Two more pairs of socks and two sweaters to knit. Hey, at least it was on sale.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I Guess I Spoke Too Soon

After much soul searching, I decided to leave the job I took just 6 weeks ago. This is something I've never done. I usually stick with something until way past the time a normal person would give up. I guess I've finally gotten to a stage in my life that I don't want to have to settle.

When one door closes another opens.

My reasons for leaving were simple - I couldn't stand the way they were running the company. Douglas Adams once said: "I love deadlines. I like the sound whooshing sound they make as they fly by." I think this was part of their mission statement. There was no sense of urgency. This is the first time in 15 years that I haven't had any part of the "operations" of a company, and, quite frankly, I was looking forward to it. Had I failed to provided system access or business cards to a new hire that had been in place for 6 weeks, I would have had my keister handed to me on a silver platter.

The job hunt continues.

Off to happier thoughts......

I love to knit, amongst other things. It has pretty much become an obsession these past few months, even though I learned to knit at the tender age of 8. Here is an example of something I finished just a few days ago....

Gentlemen's Fancy Socks

They are green, aren't they? This is the 12th pair of socks that I have knit this year. This particular pair was knit using Schaefer Anne, a Superwash Wool/Mohair/Nylon blend that feels just wonderful to knit and wear. The pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush, and it is called Gentleman's Fancy Sock. I think this is the 4th pair I have knit from her books. I met her at Stitches West this year, and she is a very lovely, charming woman.

A couple of days before I finished another entry for Socktopia ( These are called Move Your Fanny, and the pattern is available at the site.

Move Your Fanny

I used Tofutsies from Southwest Trading Company. The yarn was wonderful to work with, and I liked it so much and had enough left over for these....

Tofutsies Wristers

These are called Wristers and are from Very quick knit. I finished them last Sunday.

I will blog again soon. I'll take some pictures of what I am working on and load those. It's supposed to be rainy tomorrow, so maybe I'll stay in, watch some movies and just knit.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 02, 2007


This is my first attempt at blogging, so I make no guarantees as to whether or not it will be interesting, or funny, or topical. It's something I've wanted to try, so here it is.

One month ago, I started a new job. For the first time since 1996, I have a view of something other than traffic, alley's or a wall. I’m working in the town of Emeryville, of Pixar fame. I am on a floor high enough to have an unobstructed view of the Bay – San Francisco, the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges, Treasure Island and the Marin Headlands. To say it is beautiful is too inadequate. Fortune smiled upon me this time.

This is a new career for me, a drastic change from my old life. It’s actually my 4th change. In my former life, I was an Operations Manager for a Mortgage company. Now I am a staffing consultant. The hours are better and I’m still able to work with a variety of people in a positive way. It’s taking a little getting used to, but I’m always up for a new challenge.

As this blog unfolds, I will be sharing some of the details of my life. Most of it, I have a feeling, will be craft related. Occasionally I might take a foray into politics, or something from the days’ news. I might share some family stuff. When we go somewhere, I might share that too. We’ll have to wait and see.

I have become a great fan of blogs and podcasts. You could say that I have become a little obsessed, even. I’ll probably share that too.

So, again I welcome you to my blog. Please let me know what you think!!

The Gate

Not the view from my office, but from Vista Point from the Marin side of the bridge.