Saturday, December 30, 2006

SP9 Oops

I forgot to post that I received an e-mail from my SP9 secret pal. It was a pattern for a knitted gnome (or should it be gnitted gnome).
Love those gnomes.

A Year of Knitting

Well, I didn't accomplish all I wanted to do knitting-wise this year. My first sweater still needs its sleeves and to be put together. I still don't know how to knit socks, though I do have a "doable" pattern and plenty of needles.

Sadly, I lost my favorite knitting buddy this year. I still miss and love you Lily and will forever. Though not nearly as attracted to knitting as she was, Norman and Phoebe Thibideux have joined my feline family. Oh, and Clarence still loves to chase those needles.

As for New Year's resolutions, I'm among the majority who find them useless. Still, I really want to learn to make socks--and get that sweater finished.

An early Happy New Year to you all.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday Knitting

Like most years, I had big plans for holiday knitting. And, just as in those other years, they all got pushed to the back burner, where they sit in assorted knitting bags. I can't even get up the initiative to finish a sweater for myself. All I need to do is knit the sleeves and put the thing together. After all, it's been in the 50s and 60s here in Upstate New York, not exactly winter weather--and only a week until Christmas.

I have done some knitting, off and on. I wanted something that I could work on in short spurts, so I'm doing an afghan made up of individual squares that are then put together. Oh, oh. There's that "put together" thing again.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Looking for a knitting way to make a difference?

If you're looking for a way to make an international difference, please consider the following, which was posted on an e-mail list to which I belong:

This is a project to bring warm items to children in

What is needed: knitted hats, scarves, mittens,
gloves, vests, & sweaters. Natural fiber preferred,
wool in particular. Lama Gursum is taking these items
to a small rural school in a remote part of Tibet.

Learning will be so much easier for these children
when they are warm!

Thank you and bless you for your much needed help.

If you wish you can include a picture and or note from
yourself for the child receiving your gift.

Items need to get to Pam by the end of February 2007,
her address is:

Lama Gursum
C/O Pam Zobar
836 East Cinnabar Phoenix, AZ 85020

If you need to speak to Pam her phone # is

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Knitting, Unemployment, and Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is my last day at my full-time job. Though not by choice, I will become a freelance book packager. Okay, it's what I have wanted to do for a long time, but I would have rather waited until I had a financial cushion in the bank.

So, what am I going to do with the extra time? Oh, I don't know, knit? I do have some writing contracts, so I will be working on those as well. Then there's the cookbook that's supposed to be ready for e-sales in January. Hmm. Perhaps there isn't as much free time as I thought. What I really want is to find a way to combine writing, knitting, and food into some money-making opportunity.

First, there's Thanksgiving! Yea!!!! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. While some kids thought Thanksgiving only meant that Christmas was much closer, I was quite content with celebrating Turkey Day!!

Most of my memories center around smell, and the smell of Thanksgiving can't be beat. The smell of my mom's turkey and dressing was heavenly. For me, those smells had the aroma of pies and hot rolls beat by a mile.

Since leaving college, I think I've missed making Thanksgiving dinner once. Even if it was just going to be me, I made turkey and the trimmings. I was going to skip it this year, though. Finances are extremely tight. But, hey, turkey and dressing can be frozen, and employed or not, I have to eat. So, there may not be as many side dishes, but as long as I have the bird and dressing, I'll be one happy camper.

If you would, I'd like you to take a minute and think about how you're going to spend your Thanksgiving. Many of us are going through hard times of one sort or another, but most of us are able to have that special meal and the wonderful memories we can draw on when times seem the most difficult. If you're so inclined, I'd like you to consider those who won't have Thanksgiving and perhaps donate the cost of a meal to your local food bank or to America's Second Harvest. (To find out more about America's Second Harvest, and to make a contribution, please click on the link at the bottom of this site.) You'll be helping someone make memories and have something to be thankful for.

Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


This is a little late getting to the blog, but hey, I've been busy.

I received a wonderful Halloween package from my SP. She even remembered the cats!!! They loved their new toys. And, I got some nice things too--including gnome gum and lip balm. Who knew they made such things??? I also got some lovely trekking yarn and double-pointed needles. I guess I really need to learn how to make socks.

Thank you SP.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

When is enough enough?

I love yarn. As a knitter, I do believe that happens to be a requirement. Okay, I can live with that, but where exactly is someone supposed to put that yarn?

I live in a smallish apartment with seven cats. Yeh, yeh, I know. Anyway, I seem to be amassing a rather formidable yarn stash. Since I never seem to know what yarn I have, I decided to get organized. Unfortunately, just when inspiration struck me, so did Mother Nature. A major bout of rain caused part of the bedroom ceiling to end up on the floor. This, of course, is where I keep the yarn. So, the safety of my stash secured, I moved all of it into the great room (a big name for a kitchen and living room combo). Not to be deterred from my organization frenzy, I bought several of those large plastic drawer units on wheels. Quickly they were filled with my yarn finds. Not so quickly was my ceiling repaired. Finally, after about four months, my the insulation in the ceiling was patched with a lovely shade of blue plasterboard; the walls and ceiling are white. My landlord assures me he will fix it soon (I am assuming that it will not be until after he returns from Aruba). So, in the meantime, the units stay in the greatroom--conveniently close to my knitting chair. There is not one empty space, so that should deter me from getting more yarn. The emphasis is on should.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Not exactly knitting related, but , , , A CALL FOR RECIPES

I am putting together a cookbook for my family as a holiday gift. They frequently ask me for recipes, so it seemed like a logical thing to do. It's going to include recipes for soups, stews, and sopping-type breads.

After thinking about it for a while, I said to myself, "Self, why not make this available for everyone!" I have a DBA as a publishing company, not to mention a block of never-used ISBNs. Of course the catch-22 is that I also have little money, and there is a very real chance that I won't have a job by the end of the year. Buy, what the heck--I'll do it as an e-book. That way the costs are limited, plus I can pretty much do it on my own.

So, if you have any recipes that you'd like to contribute, please send me an e-mail ( You won't get any money or free books, but you will get credit in the cookbook. Plus, 10 percent of the book's sale price will be donated to America's Second Harvest (click on the banner below to learn more about this wonderful organization).

Hope to hear from you all.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire Answers

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I'll knit with almost anything, but I love alpaca!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have one of those knitting rolly things.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I taught myself many years ago. After not knitting for a long time, I picked it up again about 5 years ago. I guess I'm an advanced beginner.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.) None

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? No

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I love to cook. I crochet. No, I've not yet learned to spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Almost any but country. Yes, it can play MP3

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Favorite--Purple. No can't stand colors.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Live with 7 cats

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes to all but ponchos

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? shawls, scarves

13. What are you knitting right now? 3 sweaters, slippers, cocoon jacket

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Straight, bamboo

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes to both

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Oh, about 8 months

18. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving

19. Is there anything that you collect? Recipes

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? No subscriptions. Lily Chin Manahattan patterns I really want

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I want to learn to make socks

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Not yet. Foot about 9 inches

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 08/27

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Toastie Toes

These are sample slippers I made before trying to make them for my SIL. My toesies are nice and warm, which is good because it's going to get cold and I hear rumors of snow flurries. I have one of my SIL's slippers finished, but I'm thinking I should keep them too--you know, make another, better pair to send to her!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Knitting Buddies

I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Norman Thibideux (top) and Miss Phoebe Thibideux, my new knitting buddies. They are shelter rescues, and though the shelter says they are littermates, I have my doubts. They're probably related, but I doubt if they are from the same litter.

Norman and Phoebe were found when their family moved and just left them behind (jerks). By the time they found Norman, one of his arms was crushed and paralyzed. Because there was no way to fix it, they amputated it. He gets along quite nicely, thank you very much.

Phoebe was very shy at first, but she has come around--especially after finding the wonderful world of toys. On her back she either has a white elongated heart shape--or the mothman image from the film The Mothman Prophecies.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I think I have it figured out

You know, I really didn't have a problem with the way the old blogger worked, but hey, far be it from me to stop progress. So, I went in and updated the template. Sheez, I lost all of my links and had a heck of a time figuring out how to reestablish them. Oh how I longed for HTML. OK, it took a while, but I found how to add back the links.

I have discovered that I have a problem finishing things. I have a sweater that only needs the sleeves done, and then I can put it together. But, I found--and started--another pattern. I need discipline.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Prayer Shawls--Who Benefits?

My sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. I knitted her a prayer shawl in her favorite colors of blue and lime green. Of course I was in a hurry to send it off, so I didn't get any photos. I'm making her a matching pair of slippers (gotta love the Aunt Maggie's Slippers pattern for something quick and easy), so I'll post a photo of those when they are done.

The fact that this is a prayer shawl wouldn't mean much to my sister-in-law, and that's all right with me; at least I know she appreciates it and the fact that I made it. But, the fact that it is a prayer shawl means a great deal to me. That got me to thinking about who really benefits from a prayer shawl. Of course the recipient will know that extra love and good thoughts went into it, but the person making it benefits as well. There is the time spent in prayer or reflective thought during the creation of the shawl. And, when finished, there is the sense that you've done something to help ease someone's discomfort.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sock for Soldiers

There is little in more controversial in the US than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless of how one feels about the wars, there is one thing that all are in agreement with--the soldiers must have our support.
Here is one way knitters have to support the troops--Sock For Troops. This group is collecting hand knit black socks to send to the troops oversees. Fancy not required--it's even not accepted. To get more information, contant Sockforsoldiers at Yahoo Groups!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happy Knitting Recipient

When the flooding ended in July, a little kitten was found in someone's backyard. After a while, the person who found him decided he couldn't keep the little furball, so one of my coworkers took him. She and her husband named the wee one Noah.

It is tradition that I knit a blankie for the new kitties (and even one baby mouse) who find their ways into the lives of people I know. And Noah was no exception. His mom's favorite color is green, so this green alpaca and acrylic blankie became Noah's. As you can see, he likes it a lot.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

New E-Mail List Announcement

I am a big girl (some might even say a very big girl), and I love to knit. But, it can be hard to find patterns that flatter--or even fit. It can also be hard to find knitting-related e-mail groups that deal with this. There are a couple, but there's room for one more: Big Girls Knit Too. Come and join me and hopefully many others who share those characteristics. We'll learn from each other and, though we'll try to stay on-topic, well, I can't say we won't stray.
Big Girls Knit Too is a Yahoo group. If you have trouble finding us, let me know (

Friday, July 28, 2006

Gnitting Gneedles

I love gnomes. They're about the only things I collect--except for yarn, of course. I even have them in my office. Imagine my delight then when I discovered the website www.DesignsbyTami. And what to my wondering eyes did appear but gnomes sitting atop knitting needles. It is impossible to say just how fast I ordered those little cuties, and I wasn't disappointed when they arrived. Those little gnomes are adorable.

I was visiting eBay the other day and noticed that she has items up for auction--including needles and stitch markers with alpacas on them. Yep, they are on their way to me.

So--if you're looking for the unusual, check out (NAYYY)

OTN: Berroco's Maura sweater and the Cocoon Jacket

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Red Scarf Project

We knitters are a compassionate bunch, and there is an organization that needs our compassion. The Orphan Foundation of America sponsors the Red Scarf Project, and I encourage everyone to participate.

The Orphan Foundation of America is collecting 2,000 scarves to include in their Valentine Care Packages that will be given to America's college-bound foster youth. Your knitted, crocheted, woven, or sewn scarf will be the personal touch in these packages and bring students the support they need to move forward and graduate to a brighter future.

Here are the guidelines:

Size: Approximately 60 inches long and 5 to 8 inches wide. Scarves should be long enough to be wrapped around the neck with tails long enough to be tied in the front. Fringe is optional.

Style: Unisex collegiate. Both males and females will receive these scarves.

Color: RED!! But, that covers a lot of territory, including burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, multicolor hues including red. Don't like red? Well, other unisex colors such as black, navy, gray, teal, olive, or gold are also welcome.

Texture and weight: Soft and supple. They should not feel scratchy on the neck, and they should drape and tie easily.

Finished and Tagged: Yarn ends should be secured. For the personal touch, attach a tag saying "Handmade for You" with your name, city, and group affiliation, if any. If you wish, you may include washing instructions or a brief message of encouragement as well.

Scarves should be mailed in January to:
Orphan Foundation of America
Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive, Unit 130
Sterling, VA 20166

Or, if you'd like to send them to me, please e-mail me and I'll give you details (

Please help send warmth and encouragement to these special young people.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

My Knitting Buddy

On May 7, 2006, I lost my knitting buddy, McKittycreek Lily McMunster, to a blood clot. She was just a month shy of her fifth birthday.

Lily and I had a special relationship. I love all of my cats, but there was just something unique about the bond she and I shared. She was my first female and my first Maine Coon. I never had to keep track of when my period was due; she let me know. Uncanny, but amazingly accurate.

I've been lucky that my cats generally don't bother my knitting. Of course it could be that they think I'm making something for them. Clarence likes to hit the end of the needle while I knit, but that's about it.

Now, that is. Lily didn't really bother the knitting. She'd lay quietly on a box at my feet, and I'd not notice she was there. Until the feeder yarn became a bit wet. I'd look down, and she'd be grabbing the yarn as it went from knitting bag to my project.

I miss that kitty slobber. And I miss my knitting buddy more than I can believe. The pain of loss is almost unimaginable.

I love you Lily. I always will.

Friday, July 14, 2006

On the Needles

My delight in easy patterns is no secret. Frankly, I see nothing wrong with anything knit in a garter stitch in bulky yarn and with big needles--got to love those 50s!
This week I used Homespun (OK, shoot me), but I used small needles, a size 7. And what was I knitting? Why, I mat for a baby mouse--or as I call it, a mousepad! (I crack myself up.) My boss's son found a baby mouse on his bedroom floor. As much as I dislike mice, it is a cute teeny thing. I have a habit of knitting blankies for new pets, so of course, Thimble the mouse got his. Around mother's day they got a new kitten, and I knit 2 blankies for Minnow.
A coworker adopted a very young kitten this week. The poor thing survived the flood, and except for some fleas and mud, seems amazingly healthy. I'm off to knit a blankie for Noah--in green, his new mom's favorite color.

Friday, June 30, 2006

In Time of Crisis--Knit

We're cleaning up from the biggest flood we have had in years. I mean "we" as in the royal sense, as my immediate area suffered no damage. Helicopters keep flying overhead, but now they are ferrying government-types over the area to survey the damage. Just a few days before they were rescuing people from their homes--and their rooftops.

The morning of the flood, I was glued to CNN, listening to what was happening in my area. I have been knitting pink scarves for the American Cancer Society, but I wanted something more challenging to keep my hands occupied. So, I started the Cocoon Jacket from Trish Designs. There were a couple of things about the pattern that I just could not understand. Nevertheless, I plunged ahead, and when I got to the parts that made me nervous, they suddenly seemed clear. The project is going to take quite a while since I'm kind of a slow knitter, but it's fun.

This project has also taught me two things. First, I have to inventory my yarn supply. I'm tired of buying yarn I already have. Though, you can't have too much yarn--it's just not possible.

Second, I need to break out of the box in my yarn selection. Yes, I have all kinds of yarn (though most seem to be from Lion Brand), but I seem to always pick out the Homespun. This means, of course, that I have to go buy yarn each time I do a project. My next project is going to be something other than Homespun. Oops. I've already bought yarn for my next project--a hooded sweatshirt designed in Homespun. I'll find a non-Homespun project--I promise.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Think Pink--and Do Some Good

In my last post, I told you all how you could make a difference in the lives of those affected by the tsunami and hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I have found another way we as knitters can make a difference.

There is a woman collecting knitted and crocheted scarves, which will be donated to the American Cancer Society. Any pattern or type of yarn will do. The only requirement is that they be pink. You can learn more about this project at

I'm off to knit my first one now.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Another Way to Give

Well now, this might hold a record for length of time between posts. I'd like to say that I was just so busy knitting between the last posting and this one, but that wouldn't be quite true. Life intervened, and I wasn't even able to knit as much as I would have liked. But, after a couple of stress-related health issues, I have decided to knit at least a little bit every day--and to post more often.

Knitters and other needleworkers are well known for using their skills for the betterment of others. There are many, many charity knitting groups including Afghans for Afghans, organizations knitting burial clothing for babies or helmet liners for soldiers, and even those of us who knit blankies for animals in shelters. Knitters and needleworkers have big hearts and busy hands.

I'd like to call attention to another way to benefit people in need. I am fortunate to work for a publisher who also believes in doing good works. Through Village Earth Press, we are publishing books that will raise much-needed funds for organizations. Our first book, The Gift of Hope in the Wake of the 2004 Tsunami and 2005 Hurricanes will be available in July 2006. The publisher and our director of photography traveled to Thailand last year to document the recovery efforts in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami that hit the area the previous December. Later last year, they visited Louisiana, witnessing recovery efforts from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Gift of Hope is the result of those travels. Eloquent prose and evocative photographs gives testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. The Gift of Hope in the Wake of the 2004 Tsunami and 2005 Hurricanes can be preordered at Village Earth's web site: One-third of the purchase price will be donated to Habitat for Humanity and Give2Asia, organizations working with residents to reclaim their lives.