Saturday, December 13, 2008

Almost vacation!

I am SOOOO excited about the upcoming vacation. Let's face it, vacations are always terrific and I always feel like I'm trudging through the desert to get there -- but this time, I REALLY need it! My husband has been working like a crazy person since the middle of October, and so that leaves a lot of child duties and house duties to me (in addition to my full time job.) Can we say T-I-R-E-D?

People have asked what I am working on these days, and I am not a monogamous knitter. So here are pictures and labels:

A sweater for my niece.

A blanket for my nephew.

Super cardigan for me.

and a mindless in the round yoke sweater with Jamie Harmon yarn.

Hopefully the new year will be full of F.O.'s for all of us!

Happy Winter Solstice


Monday, November 24, 2008

Instant gratification

I have been working on a lot of knitting -- a sweater for me, a sweater for my niece that was born in October, a blanket for my nephew (born last April) and my Clessidra socks. So of course, you know, I was totally fantasizing about a new hat. Actually, that isn't exactly true. It was FREEZING here last week, and I hated the hats that I had, so I made a new one.

This is made of Jamie Harmon yarn, and is so soft and incredibly warm. I really love it -- and it is reversible. (It is basically a tube, as you can see.)

I met Jamie at Rhinebeck this year, and I ordered a sweater's worth of yarn that she is plying for me. Her yarn is so soft!!!!!!!! It is 50% merino and 50% angora. Definitely a luxury - but if we didn't want this really special stuff, we would just buy all of our sweaters and hats!

Happy Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Popping the liberal bubble

During the past few weeks I have been feeling so proud that I live in a country where people care about civil rights and are able to elect the strongest candidate for president regardless of his race and that all types of people, all over this country, have rallied in support of gay marriage. People have shown that they believe that all law abiding citizens are entitled to the same rights and privileges.

I live in one of the more liberal cities in one of the most liberal states, and I am proud of this fact and grateful to live here. I am also a Jew and my city has a sizable Jewish population. I became complacent. Living in my liberal bubble, I believed that racism, bigotry and antisemitism happened in other (less enlightened) places, but not here -- Not here in Newton, where the public schools are closed for the Jewish holidays and not here where we give truckloads of food to food pantries and knit mittens and hats for the homeless.

But despite the open minded values and world healing actions of my synagogue, some person decided to spray paint a Swastika to the entry sign of my synagogue.

Let this be a reminder to all of us that we should never take our freedoms for granted. All over this nation we need to continue to fight hate and denial of civil rights, because if we are threatened here in this liberal bubble of Newton, MA, we know that the rights and freedoms of all are at risk in this country.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm still alive - and still knitting

It has been quite a while. This summer just sped by, and it seems that I just got caught up in all of the traveling, relaxing and having fun with the family. Before I knew it, I was back in school and going 75 mph. It is a crazy life we live. I always think that I will be able to get the mess in my house under control if I just clean 20 - 30 minutes a day - and that is true. The thing that I forget is that I am exhausted at the end of the day and have NO desire to clean at all - thus the incredible mess in the house!

I discovered "Facebook" this summer. I had been on it for a while, but many of my high school and college friends are now on it, so it has been fabulous hearing from those people again. I've gotten together with some, have talked baseball with others and generally caught up on the past 15 -20 years. That has been TOTALLY AWESOME. (Is my '80's culture showing?)

I finally finished this sweater for my daughter. She LOVES it. It took me about a year and a half, which is really embarrassing, but I found it really boring to make. Every time I would pick it up, I would kind of snooze after a couple of rows. I'm glad I finished it, and also glad that she is so happy. (even though she has goofy smiles in these pictures.)

Hope life is good wherever you are.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Teacher's Swap

QuiteCool (aka Amanda) on Ravelry was my swap partner in the Teachers who knit swap. I got some great goodies. I love the knitting needle bracelet, and I can't wait to make the "Amanda" hat. How thoughtful! I also love the teapot cloth. Amanda called it a rag, but I don't think I can use it for something where it will get so dirty!

Thank you so much Amanda!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday night friends

For a few years now I have been knitting with friends on Wednesday nights. We have met at coffee shops and lately at the Watertown Library. It has been fantastic! It is an eclectic group of (mostly) women, and so nice to sit and knit and not have to worry about the stuff that usually consumes my thoughts. It may be one of the things that always keeps me knitting on a regular basis - the excuse to keep connected with these people and also connected with all of the people that I have virtually met through the internet and Ravelry in particular.

Last night, though, I used my "evening off" (from the family) to have dinner with an old friend. She uses the same day care that I do, so I run into her a couple of times a week, and we get to chat for a minute or two. But last night, it was just the two of us -- no husbands, no kids, no special event - just us. Can I tell you, it was so TOTALLY fantastic. She was one of the people that I did things with on a regular basis when we were both single (the mid to late 90's) and we realized that we hadn't gotten together, just the two of us since my first daughter was born in 2002.

The thing that was so great was that we were talking at a deeper level immediately. Not heavy, just honest - it probably helps that we see each other so regularly, but it was just so great to just dive into things without background info.

Life gets so busy for everyone. Between work, kids, family and trying to not let my house fall down around my ears (a losing battle), I feel like I have lost touch with some important people in my life. Luckily I do have the knitting group to have the socialization on a regular basis - but those non-knitting friends are really special too!


Monday, June 30, 2008


The summer has finally started, and really there is no better time for a teacher. Sure I love teaching, and I really enjoy my students, but I REALLY enjoy the summer!

We started things right this year by going to Westport, MA for a week. We usually go to the beach there, but it is an hour and a half from our house. So, my husband had a great idea to rent a place (see picture) which was such a fabulous idea. It was a lazy vacation with trips to the beach, zoo and plenty of time to enjoy the backyard. The kids flew a kite and balsa wood airplanes, and we had a chance to enjoy the local strawberries (unbelievably good!) and LOBSTER!

I got to do a lot of knitting. 2 interesting observations for you:
1) I am knitting my Clessidra socks (almost done with the 1st) out of blue moon fiber arts yarn. Westport was really humid and everything was slightly damp. The interesting thing was that it brought out the vinegar smell in the yarn. I don't know about you, but vinegar always reminds me that the yarn is hand dyed, and you feel even more decadent using it.

2) I also did more work on a sweater for my daughter that has been sleeping for about a year. (luckily she doesn't grow too quickly!) Anyway, I think I haven't worked on it for so long because it is all stockinette. That is CRAZY boring! I feel like I have some strange knitting tick as I knit and watch television. I think I probably slept and knit the sweater at the same time. I have another sleeve, a pocket and an i-cord to go. I am going to have to watch something REALLY exciting and finish this silly sweater. So to answer the question of "Do you knit complicated things so that people will be impressed?" The answer is, NO! I do it, so I will finish the projects!

My goal for the summer is to write more. Hopefully I'll stick to it.

Wear your sunscreen.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

still chugging along

Well another week, and I still have been faithful to the same 2 projects. Am I maturing? I doubt it! I am almost finished with another skein for the blanket, and the first sock.

I read a horrible book over the weekend - actually, I didn't finish it. I figured that life was too short to read bad books - ESPECIALLY when they are my entertainment. I can try to get through some important literary work - but this was DEFINITELY not one of those, and it was just bad. The author did a great job of having you feel how aimless the main character was, but it did not keep me reading. The protagonist was always sleeping around, and so I thought of my knitting - I know a strange hop - but it related to my inability to commit. I have started LOTS of projects, but my finishing rate is about 1 for ever 4 or 5 I start, which is frustrating. So then I think that I won't start anything new until I finish everything - and that is just unrealistic (and as my husband says, knitting is my hobby, so there aren't any rules - he's such an enabler! - one of the many reasons why I married him!!!!) But I do think I should have some rules about starting and finishing - any thoughts are welcome.

Sorry no pictures!


Sunday, June 1, 2008

I missed May!

Happy June! I hope all is well with everyone (if anyone even reads this any more!) I have been busy with life - working, cleaning and just the usual things that go on around here. Work has been crazy - my seniors finished up, but they also had to take their AP Psychology tests in the middle of May. I think they did well. They sounded very positive about the test which can be a good sign.

We also got our class assignments for next year, and at the moment I will be above the union maximum, which has had me in quite a tizzy. The response from my director when I pointed this out to him was, "you shouldn't be so good." Hmmmm - how does one respond to this? Isn't that always the way - if you do a good job then usually you are rewarded with more work. In general I don't know how to deal with this. I have an easier time if people don't feel like they can depend on me, but...... I feel worse about myself. Or.... I try hard and get rewarded with more work. It is a strange world in which we live.

The Red Sox are back, and I have been doing a lot of knitting. I have been faithful to 2 projects - my nephew's blanket and my Clessedra socks (pictured above). They are the perfect balance of ease and difficulty. Knitting wise, I feel satisfied, and my eyes are not wandering to other projects.

Summer is coming, and I can hardly wait.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wow has it really been this long!

Spring has sprung!! Many times people have said to me, "You have a blog? When do you find the time?" Well now you know - I don't!
What a crazy month April has been. It has all been great, but it has kept us busy. Note to self, prepare better for April next year.
We started the month with both of my daughters' birthdays. They are now 2 and 6. This meant family get togethers and a party for my oldest. The highlight was the clothes that I got at Good Will for dress up time - Very fun!
The next day my nephew was born (mom and son are doing great) and the week ended with a passover Seder which meant 2 days of cooking and cleaning and polishing silver. My parents and out-of-town sister (not the mother of my nephew) were here because of the new grandchild and it was really terrific to have the whole family together for Passover. It had been a LONG time. It really was a dream come true.
I have done some knitting. I've been working on my nephew's baby blanket. After a false start, with yarn that looked much darker knitted up, I started on one in more "baby" colors, and am thrilled with the results.

I hope all is well with you, and I am sure I will be a more regular writer until next April.

All the best.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Red Sox Swap

Lot's of goodies - don't you think? I'm so excited I was in the "Red Sox Swap" on Ravelry. My partner was Kniterati. She got me EXACTLY right. Great sweet treats, GORGEOUS yarn - Fabulous tea, absolutely adorable baseball stitch markers and reading material. I shouldn't forget the tattoos, because I will definitely wear them on Tuesday - Home opener day. (I'm a teacher, so I can get away with that.)

If you're on Ravelry, and you like the Red Sox, you have to sign up for the Sox Knitters Group. It really is a lot of fun, and really informative. It is really one of my favorite things on Ravelry.

Thanks again Kniterati!

Go Sox,

Friday, March 21, 2008

Baby hat

(This baby does look weird because it is a doll)

I just finished this baby hat the other day. It is made for a baby that has been having a rough time, but hopefully has gotten through the worst of it. I thought she needed something pretty and soft. I'm pretty happy with it, and I hope the parents love seeing their daughter in it, and the baby wears it in the best of health.
This is the first knit that I have designed and finished. I've seen similar hats before, but I didn't make this one from an existing pattern. It is made out of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, on size 4's. I originally cast on 356 stitches, knitted 5 rows, and then knit 3 together all around to make the ruffle. Then I continued and made a regular hat. The cranberry stripe was added later with duplicate stitch.
It was so nice to finish something. My house seems to be full of UFO's, but these days I'm so beat, I hardly care. To give you just an idea of how crazy life is at our house, today I took my daughter to day care, but didn't realize until I took her out of the car that she wasn't wearing shoes. You just have to laugh!

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's been a while

Sorry it has been so long. Part of the reason is that I am running around like a loon most of the time, and the other problem is that things have not been all that exciting for me lately. Although, I have to say, this past weekend was pretty good. We went with my husband's family to a house up in Vermont. It is definitely the beginning of mud season, so we didn't ski, but his aunt and I went to a sweet yarn shop called Six Loose Ladies. I tried to resist buying yarn, but of course I couldn't. The woman knew her customer, and she showed me all of the stuff by local artisans. So I bought a silk wool blend, and then I went over to feel the handspun alpaca. I put it in my hand and it felt so good, so I kept holding it. By the time I was ready to leave the store the yarn had become a part of me and I just had to have it. I'm glad that I did. I also bought the fiber trends pattern for felted slippers. One day I will make them in my free time. (HA HA HA)

Peace to all,

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm still 40

I had a great birthday weekend! The party was terrific. Like all parties it was definitely the people who were there that made it so great, and I really had a great group that came. I feel so lucky. After such a terrific weekend it was really hard to get back into the swing of reality on Monday. I'm sure most kids and teachers in Massachusetts were feeling like last week took forever!
I started a new project. This one I don't feel guilty about starting because it is for my sister's child that will be born in April. It is a modular square baby blanket. I am thrilled with this project. It is so satisfying.
As you can tell, I've got a LONG way to go!
My other big news is that on Friday I started my first lease on a car. I pick up the car on Wednesday, and I am thrilled.
Hope all is well wherever you are.


P.S. I forgot to write that the bag in the photo was made for me by one of my friends in my Knitting group - It is such a sweet little bag that I wanted to show it off!

Friday, February 22, 2008

OMG - I'm going to be 40!!!!

So tomorrow is the big day. Yep, I'm turning 40! I can't believe it. 40 seems so adult, and really if you talk to many people who know me, I am not that mature. No, really - My reading is "chick lit", my favorite type of humor is potty humor (a good gas joke gets me every time) and I'd rather spend my days playing with my toys. The toys these days are knitting and needlepoint, but they are the same things that I was playing with when I was 12. Fortunately for me there are a lot of other people playing with yarn and needles and I'm not the only one any more! (by the way, you did read that right, I have been cheating on my knitting a little bit with needlepoint, but I'm having fun, and that is the point. I think I needed a mental break from knitting for a little bit.)
Yes, there is a big celebration planned. Tomorrow, my birthday, my sisters, mother and I are going to have a "spa day," and lunch in downtown Boston, and then tomorrow night I am having a PARTY. I am so excited. My parents, sisters and their husbands will be there. My cousins and in-laws are coming. Friends from college and grad school, co-workers, fellow knitters and parents of my daughters' friends will also be there I am so excited. So today I bought wine, beer and stuff to make coffee drinks and all of those great appetizers that you love to eat at parties and never eat anywhere else.
So wherever you are, enjoy Feb. 23rd. I think everyone should be happy on my birthday!


Friday, February 15, 2008


Why is it that whenever I think of vacation I can't get the Go-Go's out of my mind? Perhaps because their song just states how I feel at this moment, "Va-ca-tion, all I ever wanted. Vacation, have to get away...." It just doesn't get better than that.

Yep, here comes one of the perks of being a teacher in Massachusetts - February vacation!!!! I just ordered my tea from Upton Teas (I HIGHLY recommend them) , now I'm going to plan my knitting - and I am going to relax for a week.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ding Dong, I'm dead!!!

As predicted, I did not last long in the "Hat Attack."
At 2:30 today, my husband and I had just sat down to lunch and the doorbell rang. "Who's that?" he asked. "I bet it's my hat - I'm dead." With that I ran upstairs to throw on some clothes, because I did not want to die in my nightgown. (Hey, I had been knitting and cleaning all morning, and the kids were with my mother-in-law, so yes, I was still undressed!) I was right, it was Ana of How to wash a shower curtain. I have to give credit to my dog, who tried her best to kill Ana with kindness before I received the hat. Here is my daughter modeling the very cute instrument of death.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to photograph the hat that I was working on. However, I do feel better that there is a reason that I didn't get to finish that project!
I have to say, that besides being "alive" in the contest for only about 29 hours, I had a really good time. I got to meet another great knitter, who is also a fabulous cartoonist, and had a great time fretting about our impending doom with my friend who also was assassinated in person around the same time today. It is amazing how much being a part of the knitting community is enriching my life. So though I am "dead," I feel incredibly lucky.


Friday, February 8, 2008

I know you haven't heard from me in a while but .............

The contest begins tomorrow. I have to admit, I am feeling the butterflies. The person that I'm making a hat for lives in Nevada, and the person who is assigned to assassinate me lives 15 minutes away! (The person knitting for her lives in N.C.) Needless to say, I believe I will be "dead" on Monday! (If not sooner!) Oh well.
So you may be wondering why I haven't blogged in a while. It seems to be symbolic of my life right now. I haven't been "producing" much. The vest that I talked about in the last post is in the same condition it was in, and then I have been "working" on knits from my Rockin' Sock Club, and the Webs skein of the month club. For the socks, I have started them about 6 times. The last time I got to the part where you turn the heal, and then I decided that I really should make the small size. For the Webs yarn, the pattern was really difficult to start (for me, at least) and that took me two nights to do.
I will berate myself, to my husband, about my lack of drive to finish my projects and he just says that it is a hobby, and I should be enjoying myself. He does have a point - but boy, what an enabler he is! Am I a lucky girl, or what?!!!

Happy knitting,

Friday, January 25, 2008


A defense mechanism is something that we use to protect ourselves from anything that we believe (unconsciously, of course) will hurt our egos. Well I believe that I have been using the defense mechanism, Avoidance. For the past couple of weeks I have avoiding finishing this vest. I decide that I want to read, or have to clean or am too tired, or can't find the directions. It is weird, because I usually knit two or three hours every night, and lately I've hardly been knitting at all.
I realized I was doing this, because sometimes finishing is tough because when you start a project you think it is going to be fabulous, and then once you have really gotten to know the project, and spent so much time with it - like any relationship, you see the flaws. However, if the project is never finished, you never have to show those flaws to the public. That perfect piece that everyone wants to see is "not quite ready yet."
So I decided to finish this vest and I did, but then the right shoulder looked awful - it poked out like I had kept in on a hanger. I tried re-blocking, sewing stitches together and then just realized that I had not spaced my picked up stitches well, and tore the arm band out.
I'll finish this vest soon - but not tonight, I think I going to organize my stash!

All the best,

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Central Park Hoodie

This is a swatch. People who know me, know that I am not the most patient of people, so swatching is not something I regularly do. I know that it is a GOOD thing to do, but I always want to jump right into the project. But I have been listen to a bunch of podcasts that all recommend swatching (as if the Bold recommendation in patterns is not enough) and while I was in the Dominican Republic I finally felt like I had the time to do this. As you can tell, I feel very pleased with myself. Swatches take time. This one is 30 stitches by 30 rows, and took me about 2 hours to do. I am glad that I did that though.
The yarn is Cascade's Quatro - which I am totally loving. But I get 5 stitches to the inch, and the CPH has a gauge of 17 sts for 4 inches. Luckily the pattern is written for the amount of sts that I need to get my size.
I'm loving the pattern, and the yarn. The yardage (220 yds) is amazing. I am almost done with my first skein, and there is 4 inches of ribbing on this thing.
We're bracing ourselves for a snow storm around these parts - can I just say, the grocery store was CRAZY today.

Stay warm.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

I am sorry that it has been so long since I have posted. We were away for the holidays, and life is just beginning to get back to normal. My parents, sisters and their families and us, all went down to Punta Cana Dominican Republic, for a wonderfully, warm and relaxing week in the sun. It was really nice. It is so rare that you have time to just hang out with your family let alone parents and sisters, so this was just great. My kids got to play with their cousin, and I got to go for a week without making dinner or cleaning!
I got some good knitting time, got to watch the Pats go 16-0 and got to catch up on my silly reading. Totally a great thing.

I'll write more knitting news next time.

Happy New Year.