Thursday, March 31, 2005

English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 92% Intermediate, 81% Advanced, and 76% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 75% on Beginner

You scored higher than 29% on Intermediate

You scored higher than 12% on Advanced

You scored higher than 58% on Expert
Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid

Sirdar Pattern 5968 - Denim Ultra
Posted by Hello

I love this pattern. Maybe I'll do this up quickly before I start the Filigree Lace Jacket. I know I have the yarn in my stash in the faded denim blue color. I wonder how this would look if I increased the size and did it up in double knit Lambs Pride then felted it.... ohhhh I think I like that. I have to stop coming up with all these projects!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Finished Projects :)

I finished Clapotis Number 2 last night (well finished in the sense that I'm done knitting) - I still need to weave in the ends and block it. I have to say I really liked knitting with the Filatura Di Crosa MilleFili Fine Cotton Colorway No. 281. It's a beautiful polished cotton and the colorway came out beautiful (I'll try to post pics soon).

I really think I want to knit the Filigree Lace Jacket - the pattern seems fairly simple and straight forward and the lace stitch pattern is really easy. Now I just need to decide what I want to knit it out of. I have some Jo Sharp Wool in black in my stash, I also have some blue faced leicester yarn in a natural Ecru that I could also dye. Of course I could also use it as an excuse to buy more yarn too. I'm just looking for an excuse to buy some Alchemy Lone Star although it's almost impossible to pick a colorway they are all so beautiful. One of these days!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

clear clogs from payless Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

My Favorite Knitting Books

For Basics and Techniques:

Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook by Debbie Stoller

This is a really fun, hip book for beginners

The Knitting Experience Book 1: The Knit Stitch: Inspiration and Instruction, Vol. 1 by Sally Melville

This is a great book for beginners who want to knit something other than scarves or dishclothes.

Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting by Montse Stanley

This is a really great reference book for techniques.

Interweave's Compendium of Finishing Techniques: Crochet, Embroidery, Knitting, Knotting, Weaving by Naomi McEneely

Great for getting that finish look so your knitting looks handmade, not homemade.

Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti

Great references if you want to adapt patterns or start designing your own sweaters.

Scarves and Shawls

Scarf Style: Innovative to Traditional, 31 Inspirational Styles to Knit and Crochet by Pam Allen

Beautiful shawls and scarves.

Little Box of Scarves by Melissa Matthay

I love this - the patterns are on individual cards so that you can just carry it with you in your project back and not have to drag a book around with you.

Shawls and Scarves (The Best of Knitter's Series) by Nancy J. Thomas (Editor)

More beautiful scarves and shawls.

Mittens and Socks

Knit Mittens!: 15 Cool Patterns to Keep You Warm by Robin Hansen

Easy and fun mittens

Queen Kahuna's Crazy Heels and Toes by Mary Ann Beattie

This in not a pattern book, it's a technique book for knitting both socks at the same time on two circular needles, you can only get it from her website and it's worth every penny. The technique is easy and fun. Once you learn to knit socks this way you will never do it any other way regardless of the pattern. No more second sock syndrome, no more fraternal pairs where the two socks only sort of match. This is the best book for socks. It's easy to understand if you are a visual learner the photos are excellent.

The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook: Dyeing, Painting, Spinning, Designing, Knitting by Lynne Vogel

Fun book for socks and dyeing techniques. Very fun book.

Miscellaneous Techniques and Beautiful Patterns

Shadow Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro

I first did the Illusion Alien Scarf from the SnB book and this got me into the Shadow or Illusion knitting. Very fun and some really nice patterns.

Knitter's Stash: Favorite Patterns from America's Yarn Shops by Barbara Albright (Editor)

Great variety of patterns. I really want to make one of those felted cottage tea cozies.

Handpaint Country: A Knitter's Journey by Cheryl Potter

This is just a beautiful book - I originally bought it for myself but my sister is also a fiber artist, and weaver by trade, who also dyes her own yarns, so I had to give it to her, but only with visitation priviledges.

Glorious Knits by Kaffe Fassett

It was because of him I first learned to knit - one day I'll make that coat.

Folk Bags: 30 Knitting Patterns and Tales from around the World by Vicki Square

Fun bag patterns to knit and felt.

Next Project?

Ok, so maybe I got up on my high horse yesterday, but it was something that need to be said. We just need to be kinder to each other.

I forgot to add my obligatory knitting so here ya go. I'm heading down the home stretch of my clapotis, into the decrease rows. I'm not sure it's going to be long enough... but I am hoping that once it's blocked it will be. (keep your toes and fingers crossed).

So since I'm getting close to finishing this project, it's time to start thinking about the next one right? I have some socks, but now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit, I think I want to do something other than socks, scarves or shawls. This is what I found on White Lies Designs, isn't it pretty? I just ordered the pattern. I love her designs - especially for larger sizes.

Pretty? Posted by Hello

The Empress

The Empress Card from Robin Wood Tarot - I just love that she's spinning. Posted by Hello

She's the matriarch, the mother of the tarot. She is compassionate and nurturing. The one the teaches you and takes care of you.

She is strong, a rock, someone you can lean on in times of trouble and uncertainty.

Rocky Boy Posted by Hello

Spirit Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Group Dynamics or the trials and tribulations of an Internet Group

Perhaps I could start a new career in internet anthropology. LOL! Having been a participant on the internet before it was the internet and known as ARPANET. Back when the only access was through scientific, government industries or academia, you know back during when dinosaurs roamed the earth!? It has been quite interesting to see the changes that have occurred since the masses were first unleashed on to the "net" via prodigy, followed quickly by Compuserver and eventually the floodgates opened with it all became AOL.

Now I'm not saying that life on the net was better back in the "good old days", or that there weren't flame wars, or personality conflicts, etc. Some of the best flames I've every witnessed and experienced were back in the newsgroup days. would get quite heated over disposable or cloth diapers, SAH or Working Moms. I think I still bear the scorch marks, and surely inflicted a few of my own.

But the one thing we did have, was a sense of rules, or net etiquette. Some of these rules were spelled out from group to group, others were implied, but for the most part there was civility and the discourse was interesting most of the time.

There was a sense of community with the various groups. Each catered to a general or specific interest, so most of the exchanges were on topic. Many of my closest friends were formed from our initial contact through a group online and now we are friends almost 20 years.

After several years online it became apparent that there were distinct cycles to every group, they ebb and flow and eventually either get new blood or just fade away and die out. It's inevitable. It's basic group dynamics of which there are specific stages.

It seems that the more and more people that have access to the net, from various socio-economic and education backgrounds, the faster that group dynamic seems to cycle through the stages.

But this is not a complaint, just an observation. After a recent rise and fall of a special interest group (no names - but they know who they are). There just seems to be too much noise, and the noise seems to be too needy and demanding at times, and much too often unkind and cliqueish.

I think we have lost the etiquette piece. I think some of are too sensitive or often read into the words on the screen their own interpretation or feelings. Most of these eruptions are pure misunderstandings that if either side just stepped back, waited 24 hours before responding AND thought objectively how what they were sending would be perceived, a lot of this nonsense would be avoided.

So remember the next time you read something that gets your back up, and just before you hit that sizzling send button please remember that there is a human on the other end of that communication which appears is too easily forgotten by many of us

Please check out the rules of Net Etiquette for more details on how to behave like a grownup online.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

There really are some things more important than knitting.

I'm sending a couple of files to friends today. One is a blank format for a Living Will. The other is the link to your States form for a durable power of attorney for health care or disability.

As has most of the country, I've been following the Terri Shiavo case. For me, it was a wakeup to make sure that my wishes are clearly written down and that I have specified *exactly* who I wish to make decisions for me if I reach a point when I can't make them for myself.

The forms are very easy to fill out--they required your name and address and the names and addresses of your choicen agents who will speak for you when you no longer can.

The Living Will form doesn't make as strong a statement about appointing an agent, but it makes it perfectly clear that I would not want to be kept alive if I were essentially dead. The Durable Power of Attorney specifically states who would make decisions for me if I were physically incapacitated.

The state-specific forms can be found here. If you want a formatted Word document, you have to pay for it. The document text is available, though, and you can cut and paste the text into a document yourself.

To *execute* these documents, all you need to do is have them notarized. Many companies have notaries employed; almost any bank will have one as well.

I wish good health to everyone, but in the event that something tragic happens, keep the government out of my business, and away from my body. I'll make special arrangements with those of you (you know who you are) who will help me end my suffering if need be. I firmly believe that we all have the power and right to chose the time of our death to end needless suffering and eliminate any unnecessary burdens both emotionally and financially on our loved ones.

This case had succinctly pointed out the potential travasty that can occur when people don't talk to their family and friends about their wishes in an open and sincere way, then record them in legal documentation.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Weekend update...

Well it was an interesting weekend. My friend Alicia had called me to see if I could meet she and her sister for a drink at the new restaurant in town. We just met at the bar and I brought my tarot cards to read. There were a couple of guys at the bar, buying us cocktails so I read their cards too.

It was fun, but being a cheap drunk, 2 dirty Absolute Martinis and I was done.

Saturday, my DD begged for me to take her and two friends to the Mall... I guess that allowance was burning a hole in her pocket... Literally, when she got to mall, she had managed to lose it somewhere in the car. Oh well, I'm trying to teach her responsibility, but it sure is painful for both of us.

The good thing, was that after I did my errands, I got to sit in the food court with my cuppa java and knit on my clapotis #2 for a bit. It's coming out nicely. I'll try to get some pics posted soon.

After the mall, we all went to the movies (my treat!) to see Robots. It was cute.

Then home to bed - I was beat.

Then Sunday DD confesses to me that someone had taken her gym stuff (her only pair of sweats and sneakers) and that she had been missing them for over a week, that she thinks some mean girl took them (I doubt it, knowing how nasty those sneakers smelled) or threw them out (probably for the same reason... smelly sneakers). Sooooo, you couldn't have mentioned this YESTERDAY when we were AT the MALL!? Sheesh! So after making her do all kinds of nasty chores, cat box cleaning, toilet bowl cleaning, empty dishwasher cleaning, etc. I relented and took her BACK to the mall, found some sweats on sale... ok, but she had to have specific sneakers, Converse Chucks, Black with Flames on the sides. Exactly the same as the missing ones, because those were her "signature shoes". Eight shoe store later, we can find the shoes, just not in her size. We did have an opportunity to order them at the 1st store we went to, but noooooooo, she would have none of that. So by the eighth store there is no friggin way I'm going all the way back to the first store at this point, I'm outta here.

So bitch, bitch, bitch all the way home....

I couldn't wait to get dinner done and over with and take myself to bed with my knitting.

Now I'm off to my T'ai Chi class, to see if I can find my balance.

Another fun quiz

Which flock do you follow?

this quiz was made by alanna

Friday, March 18, 2005

Problems with Hello posting pics

This is a test Posted by Hello

I haven't been able to figure out why I haven't been able to post my images from my homepc but now is appears to be working with my work PC.... I guess I'll try again later

Finding Balance

I started taking Tai Chi and I think I'm really going to like this. I really need to bring some balance back into my life. I'm so overweight - never lost it after Grace was born, but now that she's thirteen I can't blame it on baby fat anymore. LOL! So I needed something to start moving again. My knees and feet have been killing me, so I figured Tai Chi would be nice slow movements putting little strain on my body. I had no idea it could be so strenuous as well, but strenuous in a good way. Non-aerobic, more isometric, but you can still build up a good sweat.

The other thing I need to do it get back to my tarot cards. I really miss reading them for people. I love the tarot, they are like opening a door so you can actually see clearly. It's like the storyline suddenly starts to make sense. I'm a bit rusty, but I'm looking forward to doing some readings for friends tonight.

My favorite tarot cards are still Robin Wood's Tarot. They are so beautiful and so easy to read. If, anyone is considering learning tarot, I would highly recommend this deck.

But anyway, I'm really looking forward to tonight.

I'm working away on Clappy #2 and have dropped 4 stitches so far, it's looking good. I would post a pic but for some reason I'm having a problem posting pics through the Hello server, so I just need some time to figure it out.

I'm also thinking that I need to make a felted bag to hold my tarot cards as well.

More later...

Monday, March 14, 2005

Clappy No.2

Filatura Di Crosa MilleFili Fine Cotton Colorway No. 281

I really love this colorway - it's so bright and the clappy is coming out great. I'm about 1/2 through the increase section and I still have quite a bit of the first skein (136 yds) to go. I really hope I can get a shawl out of this.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Yarns for Clappy #2 and for Red Socks Posted by Hello

Ok I caved in. I found the $25 gift certificate my sister gave me at Christmas for my local yarn shop (The Woolpack - see links).

So of course it was burning a hole in my wallet! I really wanted to do another Clapotis but, this time I wanted to do a light cotton shawl for summer. I found this gorgeous cotton, Millefili Fine in this beautiful variegated cotton. This picture just doesn't do it justice.

Then of course I had to find RED yarn for the KnitRedKnitAlong! I didn't want to be left behind! Well, I ended up spending more than the gift certificate of course. That's how they suck you in!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Well this past weekend didn't really go well. I was waiting for my daughter (for an hour and a half) so I sat there knitting contentedly on my Clapotis #2. This one I was doing in a worsted weight NZ wool, that was a lovely deep purple and midnight blue variegated. I continued knitting on it Saturday morning and had reached the dropping stitches portion of the pattern. But I had errands to do, and housework too. Oh to be rich enough to pay someone else to do the work so I could sit on my butt and knit all day. But alas I had to do the drudgery myself and figured that the faster I could finish up, the quicker I could get back to my knitting.

So, upon returning to the 'Clappy' I got to the point where I dropped my 5th stitch and lo and behold I see I had made a big old boo-boo about 7 inches back. Feh!# Any way, I couldn't think straight and was not only peeved at myself but didn't want to tink back, nor did I want to try to pick up stitches having just dropped 5 of them, so I just looked at for a bit then frogged the whole damn shawl back.

I was so mad at myself and too tired to restart the Clappy, I just dug through the stash and came up with some cotton and started knitting a dishcloth. I haven't knit dishcloths is years, but it was therapeutic I must say. Or as Kitt for Knit Chick put it "Aren't dishcloths the greatest pout reliever"... I guess they are! LOL!

So I just finished up the dishcloth. Now I need to start something else. Although I guess I really should start working on my Einstein coat as there really isn't much more of the last body piece to knit then it's just the sleeves and finishing. It would be nice to be have for Spring.

Speaking of Spring... it's SNOWING again and temps are supposed to drop in to the single digits again by tomorrow. I'm really done with this weather, between the crappy winter weather and the snarky teen I want to run away from home. Preferably somewhere warm with cabana boys that bring umbrella drinks to me on the beach.

Speaking of beaches and running away. Someone sent this to me today and it made me smile, in spite of the nasty weather outside.


About two years ago my wife and I were on a cruise through the western Mediterranean aboard a Princess liner. At dinner we noticed an elderly lady sitting alone along the rail of the grand stairway in the main dining room. I noticed that all the staff, ship officers, waiters, busboys, etc. All seemed very familiar with this lady.
I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told she owned the line, but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last four cruises, back to back. As we left the dining room one evening, I caught her eye and stopped to say hello.
We chatted and I said, "I understand you've been on this ship for the last four cruises." She replied, "Yes, that's true." I stated, "I don't understand" and she replied without a pause, "It's cheaper than a nursing home."

So, there will be no nursing home in my future. When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess cruise ship. The average cost for a nursing home is $200 a day.
I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get a long term discount and
senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:

1. Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.

2. I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the restaurant or I can have room service (which means I can have breakfast in bed every day of the week.)
3. Princess has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers and shows every night.

4. They have free toothpaste, razors, soap and shampoo.

5. They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

6. I will get to meet new people every 7 to 14 days.

7. TV broken? Light bulb need changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.

8. Clean sheets and towels every day and you don't even have to ask for them.

9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip, you are on Medicare. If you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship, they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia or name where you want to go? Princess will have a ship ready to go. So don't look for me in a nursing home, just call shore to ship.
P.S.: And don't forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side at no charge!

I guess I like this idea :) Not to mention that now that I have the nursing home situation all settled and no longer have to worry about my kid picking out a place for me, I guess I can be a bitch right back at her now. LOL!

Back to startitis...

I've been wondering, how other people pick their patterns, is the style the color of the yarn, the kind of yarn, or something else?

And once you do pick out the pattern to knit do you always use the suggest yarn? So you always do it exactly as show, even down to the same color?

I'm not sure what draws me to a particular pattern, sometimes it's any of the above, or the ease of the pattern, I'm not sure exactly. But I do know that I hardly ever use the yarn suggested (although almost always I do it in the same weight) and I rarely if ever do the project in the same color, and I would be just as happy if all the patterns were only shown in black and white.

Well I guess that's it for now, I really have to get back to doing some 'real' work. BTW, if you haven't checked out Stitchy McYarnpants March 3rd blog entry - do it! But I will warn you not to have and liquid in your mouth at the time, you will spew it all over your computer screen. It's just hilarious. Enjoy.

Friday, March 04, 2005

White Lies Designs

Check out these beautiful knitting patterns in ample sizes.

Joan McGowan-Michael does beautiful things.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

It is spring yet?

If it would just get a little warmer. I'm so sick of this cold weather. I'm just thankful in MA it's not gloomy and at least the sun is out. I just wish is was warmer.

I got some knitting down on Clapotis #2 last night, while I was watching West Wing. I'm still not sure why I still watch this and if it weren't for Jimmy Smits being added to the cast I probably would have stopped watching a long time ago. It's just not as good as the first 3 seasons.

This was also the first morning of our (me and my daughter) new arrangement. She's now responsible for getting her own ass out of bed and on the bus in the morning. I will no longer nag, in fact I will no longer say a word (other than answer questions). If she misses the bus, and I have to drive her causing me to be late to work, then she loses her computer and phone privileges for the evening (which has also been cut way back). She actually did manage to catch the bus as it came back around (she has 2 attempts to catch it) and I didn't have to harp or nag once and it was my first pleasant morning in a long time.

We negotiated some other changes (thank the Therapist who can at the very least mediate these discussions) so I think once she starts taking some responsibility and we both have some control over our own lives we will both start being happier. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Yarn Diet?

I really, really, really need to go on a yarn diet :) I have yarn stashed in bins everywhere.

I finished that scarf (I'll call it my addiction scarf) so of course being the addict I am I had to start another project even though it was already 10pm at night.

So, I'm digging through my stash and came up with this beautiful dark blues and purple varigated wool in worsted weight. I probalby have enough to knit a sweater (over 1100 yards at least). So I decided to make it into a Clapotis Shawl. What is it with the Clapotis - it's like an addiction on top of an addiction!

The best thing was that starting the clapotis this time was painless, it all made sense now.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

In like a lion?

Let's just hope the old adage is true, because I could really use an early spring this year and have March go out like a lamb!

We didn't get the 12 inches predicted (thank the Gods) only a mere 6. At least it wasn't enough to call another snow day, only a 2 hour delay. Especially since the kid was home all last week for winter break. Yet, I wish I had a day off just to sit and knit.

I've been so busy with the redecorating of my daughters room, I had little time to really start any more projects.

Although I will now admit that I am a full fledged knit-aholic.

Last Friday I was on my way to pick up the daughter from her electric bass lesson. This requires me to sit in a dark subterranean waiting room for 45 minutes. So I usually knit. As I'm on my way I realize I didn't grab my knitting bag on the way out of the house that morning. YIKES! So I whip into Michael's Craft store that's on the way to run in and purchase a couple of skeins for a scarf and some cheapie needles. I think I need to keep an emergency stash and needles in my car at all times now.

So I am working on that scarf. I'm knitting it lengthwise for a change. It's a Mode Dea and Bling Bling combined in these really pretty pinks and reds. I guess I'll just give it a friend since there is just so many scarves one girl can use right? Although it's almost as bad a shoes now.

I still love my clapotis and wear that almost every day. I guess I'm going to have to make another one soon. This time I think I'll make the shawl size (If I even dare think of buying more yarn!) Maybe I can use that big skein of Cherry Tree Hill Oceania I got in the Gypsy Rose colorway. It's a beautiful merino wool with a boucle twist and a strand of glittery lurex running through it. It's what I knit my shawl in. There is about 1440 yds in the skein so that should be plenty for the Clapotis shawl.