Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

As part of the Secret Pal4 group, I am telling all (ok, not ALL - but a lot of SOME) -
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- a nd/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I now avoid RH and will only use acryllics such as Caron Simply Soft, because it is! I now like cotton, Wool-Ease wool blend (for heavy socks) and have just begun to branch out to yarns such as Eros, Alpaca, cotton, etc.
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I don't spin but I do crochet, however I like crochet basically for hats, scarves or blankets.
3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
4. How long have you been knitting?
I have been knitting since I was about 12 or 13, and for the past 9 years I have made mostly baby sweaters. This year I will take on most anything.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I love Victoria Secret's Rapture, Heavenly Dream Angels and Breathless. Also like White Shoulders by Evyan.
7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Not really, though I do like dark chocolate raspberry jelly rings, and NY Cheesecake. I try to stay away, though, cause it always bypasses my mouth and goes straight to my hips (but a little cheating is ok, doncha think so?).
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Right now I am concentrating on knitting. In past years (long ago) I did needlepoint, counted cross stitch, crewel work, sewing, and such. But knitting is really my thing nowadays.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I can play MP3's on my "stuff." I like most kinds of music, except heavy metal, heavy rap and just plain noise. I like pop-country, soft rock, show/movie tunes, 60's oldies, dance music.
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
I love to wear black or white, beige, denim (love jeans), blue. I am not into orange or "hot" colors such as chartreuse. My home colors are light yellow, pale green (deeper green in my kitchen - called Organic green, tho my DH calls it OD green - army green), and white.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married 1 1/2 years to a great guy, I have 2 daughters, 2 wonderful sons-in-law, and one son. DH has a lovely daughter who has a terrific husband. I have 3 dogs (shhh, they don't know that they are dogs) - Cocktail - shepard/chow...Rusty - daschund....Tiemann - maltese.
12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
To be healthy enough to live past 100, live a happy, active life. To retire affordably and live life to the fullest. To have a close relationship with my children and grandchildren.
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
No favorite YET, but I like soft yarns in sport or worsted weight; Baby Alpaca; Nature's Cotton; Merino yarn.
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
"Hard" acryllics such as Red Hook!!!
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Socks, scarves and baby/children's sweaters.
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
See # 15
17. What are you knitting right now?
Man's scarf in Baby Alpaca; woman's top in Nature's Cotton; Socks using Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock
18. What do you think about ponchos? Cute for others...not sure I would wear it much.
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? I am used to straight but I am learning to use circular.
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Aluminum and bamboo (just discovered these)
21. Are you a sock knitter? Just learned how in November and love it, though I have been working on worsted weight. Going to make my first pair on size 2 needles with thin yarn - Lorna's Laces.
22. How did you learn to knit? Not sure - I was probalby taught by my aunt.
23. How old is your oldest UFO? One month (unless you count the counted cross stitch that I started 13 years ago).
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? Favorite animal - dogs, preferably maltese or most fluffy little dogs. Animated? Hmmm - don't think I have one.
25. What is your favorite holiday? Xmas (even though I am Jewish)
26. Is there anything that you collect? I collected musical snowglobes, recipe books (but rarely use them) and Edna Hibel Plates....don't want anymore. I have enough and no place to put anymore (most of my plates are in storage). Now I just seem to collect knitting paraphanalia.

So, Secret Pal - if you are reading this, I hope it makes things a little easier for you!!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Sorry that I have not posted for some time. I was so busy with work and life in general. But life has been good. Gerry returned from Mexico midnight last Sunday (does midnight make it Monday?). He had a wonderful time, certified in Underwater photography and got some fabulous pix. He also came home bearing gifts, and this time....he done good! A lovely silver and black heart-shaped charm to wear on a chain, bracelet, cotton jacket with a map of Cozumel on the back, showing the dive sites (normally I wouldn't like something like this, but this jacket is nice and will be great to wear on dive days). I had also described a statue that I had and broke about a year ago. Weeelllll - he came close. The one I had was a boy, painted a deep brownish-mustard color, made from paper-mache. Gerry bought the boy and girl, same pose but made of plaster and painted dark blue. Good enough!! We have to be less fussy and more appreciative in life (or so I tell myself) and I celebrated his good judgement. Of course, he was a happy camper.
After a very busy Monday and Tuesday, I went to my SnB group Tuesday night. I still have not finished Mom's shell, but had been making a scarf for my niece's little boy. She mentioned that they were travelling from Ocala, Fl to upstate NY this week and he needed a scarf. Having yarn in the house, I decided to make it with that. Unfortunately, it was Red Hook acryllic worsted...not the nicest yarn. Funny thing is...a year ago it would have been fine, but now that my daughter Alison, as well as SnB, had introduced me to the wonderful world of interesting fibers, I cringe at using RH yarn. The only acryllics that I don't mind are Caron's simply soft or similar yarns, because they feel so good. I was actually embarrassed to be using the RH yarn. I finished the scarf, except for the fringe (I would do that at home) and started the scarf for my brother Randy, using Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Brush (gray). I am using a seed stitch. It's coming out great.
Wednesday I didn't have to go to work because I was leaving around noon for Orlando. Almost every year I get to go, along with several other teachers, to FETC - Florida Educator Technology Conference. After a leisurely morning, packing and a manicure, my friends picked me up and we were off - 4 in one car, two others meeting us there. Since I wasn't driving I got to knit all the way there....that was a plus! After checking in at the hotel we went to registration and opening session. I sat in semi-darkness and knitted. The bad part was when we were getting up to leave I noticed that I had two dropped stitches, so I had to frog about 7 lines. At first I panicked, but I was able to pick up all my stitches and continue.
On Thursday I went to a few sessions, and then met my daughter Becca who drove down from Ocala to have lunch with me. Of course, when she said she was going to the Milenia Mall, I just HAD to accompany her. We had such a nice afternoon. She dropped me back at the Convention Center and I did another session. That night we ate at a really neat restaurant across from our hotel,called Cafe TuTu Tango. The food was good, but the best part was the ambiance...all kinds of art hanging on the walls, ceilings too, and artists set up creating their works. I bought a hand-painted glazed wooden egg. The picture is below this posting (I think). I also had a reading by a woman using tarot cards and numerology. It was interesting...she pegged my personality immediately, and while I know that anyone can read whatever they want in it, she was pretty accurate in things she said (I can't tell you what it'll just have to trust me on it). When she read my friend Sherry - MAN, was she accurate.
Then 4 of us went to Universal Studios where some of the sponsors were hosting a dance at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was so much fun, we danced for about 2 hours. While there we ran into several teachers who used to work with us. They were so much fun. After the dance we were taken by the account exec of one of the sponsors, to Patty O'Brien's, a club on CityWalk, Universal, that is a replica of the one in New Orleans. We sang along with the twin pianos and again, had a ball. After going back to the hotel, my friend/roomie Lil and I went out to Denny's and had coffee and talked till almost 4 AM.
Friday was a late start. The weather was lousy but we still had to walk part way to the CC (the other mornings we walked the entire way). I spent the entire time in the Exhibit Hall, won a computer program, and listened to several presentations. By the time I walked out I was exhausted (lack of sleep will do that). So, I took drastic measures...I bought and drank a cup of REAL coffee....not the decaf that I usually drank. Within 5 minutes my eyes were not only wide open, I couldn't stop talking...that's what regular coffee does to me. I calmed down after about 5 min, but I was wide awake enough to drive the entire 3 hour trip home, go out to dinner with Gerry, and come home to knit some more.
I was so good for the past two weeks with my walking, and Pilates classes on Monday evening. Today I went to weight watchers for my monthly weigh in (I only do this to maintain my lifetime membership). I have lost 3 1/2 lbs since last month, and I know that it was all in the past two weeks. WOOHOO!!! I would love to lose 3 more and maintain that, not gain any back. Should be easy as I am watching my diet and intake of fat, carbs and cholesterol, plus walking almost daily.
Tonight we resumed our movie going. We saw Hide and Seek with Robert DeNiro and Dakota Fanning. It was really, really good, though I pegged the culprit fairly early on. If you are easily scared by psychological thrillers, tho, be warned that you will jump a few times. At least, I did!
Last but not least, I have my secret Pal's name from SP4 and can't wait to get going on it.
Have a good weekend! ****and please forgive my inability to property insert my pix where they should go in relation to my least, they're on the blog!

aren't they cute? Posted by Hello

here's the jacket Posted by Hello

Jacket showing dive sites in Cozumel, bracelet & pendant (blue on bracelet is actually darker), and statues. Posted by Hello

hand painted wooden egg - looks like Hawaii  Posted by Hello

Friday, January 21, 2005

ok - not to be undone. This is me when we dove off Boca Raton, Fl in first time petting a sting ray. It was AWESOME!!! Posted by Hello

Just had to put this pix in...Gerry took this shot of another photographer taking a pix of the sea turtle...60ft down in Cozumel. Wish I was there. Posted by Hello
I want to sleep (but I know I won't go to bed early)...I want a massage (but haven't booked one for this month)...I want to knit tonight (but will fall asleep as soon as I sit down to do so). I am not being whiney (really, I'm not), but I am so tired!!! Work was ok, but very frustrating come math time (12:45 PM daily). I love my class, but hate that it's January and I STILL have students who can't count or recognize their numbers to 10. I know it's partially because they are ESOL students and have poor language skills and so poor recessive language, but still! ARRGH!

After work I walked again, for 30 minutes around the school hallway (which is outside). Olivia, my principal, joined me. She walks a little slower than I do so I dropped my pace a bit, but she stopped after 7 laps...I do about 13, 2.05 miles. It's so much easier to just do this walk than to trek to the gym, etc., etc. After that it was my weekly manicure - hey, some things are just a MUST! and then to Mom's. We went to the Olive Garden for dinner. I don't go there often but I really love it. I had a glass of wine, something I rarely do cause I am not a drinker and usually a glass, or more like...half a glass...makes my gums numb, brings a slight buzz. But tonight it just made me feel relaxed and...aaaahhhh! So, after a really tasty dinner, I dropped her home, stopped at Publix to buy my poor dogs some food, and finally got home at 8:30. Long day! SO - where were my dogs who usually greet me with barking hellos, tails wagging, tongues trying to lick my face? They are all in my tenent's apartment (which is attached to my house). Steve adores my maltese Tiemann, and is so good to him and the other two. When Gerry and I start to leave the house to go anywhere, the dogs line up outside Steve's door. And since Gerry has been away this week, Tiemann and Rusty, our daschund, have been sleeping at Uncle Steve's, and Cocktail, our beautiful apricot Shepard/Chow has remained loyal and sleeps in front of my bed. Of course, I did tip-toe into the house tonight, cause I really relish the quiet for a bit.

Tomorrow is all mine! I plan to get up whenever, putter around, knit some while I watch some TIVO'd programs. The weather here in S. Florida has been really cold, but today it warmed up a bit and tomorrow promises to be around 75. I NEVER go to the beach,even though I live about 1/2 mile away, but I plan to take a chair, book and knitting (if it's not windy) and sit on the beach in the early afternoon. My perpetual tan has faded and I want to bask in the sun a bit, catch some rays and, dare I say it...relax!!

My knitting goals this weekend? To finally finish Michael's socks, finish mom's shell (just have to rib the neckline and armholes), make my niece's son a scarf, and start on my brother's scarf in gray baby alpaca. Can't start on the sockapalooza socks till I get my needles. I couldn't find #2 DP needles anywhere so I checked on e-bay and found brand new ones, right length and all, for $5.75, seller pays shipping! I also bid on and won 2 lbs of needles, many of which I do not have.

Time to change into something comfortable (flannels and a T), get onto the couch with my knitting and try to hang in till at least 10. To those of you reading my blog (both of you) have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Nothing I can do about having to go to work. Not that I don't like what I do - teaching kindergarten....oh, stop that Ohhhh, how cute...not all of them are CUTE (just most of them)....but I would rather just have the money and be free to do other things. Like knitting. I have so little time to knit, so today I brought my knitting to school and during my (barely) 30 minute lunch break, I ate and knitted for 6 minutes. Since I am working on a sock, getting even several rows done was a plus. After school we had a meeting, and so out came the knitting and I got several more rows done. Tonight, watching my TIVO'd Oprah.....a few more. It adds up, but I would really like to be able to just sit and complete it once and for all. Saturday is coming...a day all to myself, so I am sure I can set aside a big chunk of time to finish this sock, and Mom's shell (unless I find some errand to run).
The meeting at work was twofold - the first part was a staff meeting, nothing earth-shattering there. The second part was about walking. My county is participating in a wellness program through our 2 health plans - Vista and Humana. The school that has the most participants, most shape ups, etc, wins cash. We are starting a walking group on Monday. I thought we were going to walk today, so I had worn my sneakers and had brought workout clothing. When the meeting was over and I found out that no one was walking, I thought, "Hmmm, I have to go to the gym after I visit with a co-worker who had been in a bad accident in Oct. and who I visit when I can. But the thought of getting to the gym around 7 PM, changing into workout clothing just to walk on the tread mill for 30 minutes didn't thrill me. So - I FORCED myself to walk right then and there. I did laps around the school, a total of .35 miles in 1/2 hour. Not bad. I am just starting to get back into walking, etc. - having gotten notice that my cholesterol is up, knowing that my diet is excellent and it's genetic, the only thing I can do it exercise. I also started going to a Pilates class on Monday evening and I like the instructor and other participants in the class. I just have to FORCE myself to stick with it.
YEA - tomorrow is Friday. Work, manicure and then a nice dinner out with Mom. Gerry is still away, having a great time...wish I was there, and so does he. Can't wait till he returns on Sunday.
Oh....and aren't I one crazy person? I told my niece that I would knit a scarf for her 5 yr old, and have it to her in less than 2 weeks, as they are flying from Fl to NY for a vacation. As if I didn't have enough projects to work on!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I love meeting new people! And I LOVE meeting people (who usually tend to be women) who are into knitting AND are nice! Such was the evening I had. I have been stopping in at The Giving Tree, a wonderful yarn store in the Festival Flea Market (one of your better flea markets, I assure's huge and clean and has lots to offer) in Pompano, Florida. The owner, Judy, told me about two weeks ago that she was starting a StitchnBitch group there on Tuesday nights. "Sign me up, " I said immediately. I had had such a nice time at Alison's SnB group in Phoenix that I was eager to have my own group to go to. The Knitnightouters who I joined one evening last month were really nice, too, but that group is just too far away.
Sooooo - when I arrived, the group was sitting around a table and knitting away. We introduced ourselves, but I am so terrible at remembering names (tough being over 35). I was so surprised to find that many of the women were beginners. This, of course, does not include those who work part time at the store. The greatest thing about it, though, is that they were all making either scarves or shoulder shawls, and using these new, funky yarns that have come out, their work looked GREAT! Barbara, sitting next to me, was making a throw for her soon-to-be grandchild, in what looked like a sherpa-type yarn. She is also making a beautiful cardigan with a yarn called WOW, which is a thick chenille. She was very generous in letting me have a copy of the pattern, as she had extras with her. Thank you, Barbara.
I worked on Mom's shell. I learned how to join the shoulders of the front and back by knitting them together instead of sewing them. I also learned how to seam the sides in such a way that you can't see or feel the seam. This was easy because it falls right into the knubbyness of the pattern. Sue, one of the women assisting us, told me to make the ribbing on the neckline and armholes using a small circular needle. She makes EVERYTHING on circulars, and has a set that is one "wire" with interchangeable needles. How cool is that? I had to buy a new circular needle for this project as all of mine are way too big. I also bought a skein of Reynolds Swizzle sock yarn (75% Merino Superwash, 25% nylon) for my Sockapalooza socks. It had a pattern on it that I will use, and I can also use the Lorna's Laces Sherpard Sock yarn for that pattern as well, as the yarns are pretty much the same type.
I decided to finish the shell at home and worked a bit more on Michael's socks. I want to finish them in time for Alison and Michael's visit for Mom's party in Feb. No problem...I have one and 1/8th completed, and that pattern doesn't take long at all.
The group is meeting every Tuesday from 5 - 8, and I plan to be there. I really loved it! I have no one around here who is into knitting, and it's always fun to have women to sit and knit with, and of course, it helps to have on hand those women who can assist a (still) learner like me.
I got home around 8:30. Gerry was on line a little bit later. He finally got to dive, but had to take dramamine as it's still very windy in Cozumel. He said the dive was great and the water crystal clear. He got some good photos while 60 feet under. I am jealous. Next time I WILL be there with him. I have to try out my new dive computer anyway! Hmmm, maybe I can find some rubber yarn and knit us matching dive hats! Nah....don't think so!

Swizzle yarn for Sockapalooza socks Posted by Hello

Monday, January 17, 2005

I couldn't wait to put Gerry on the plane for his trip to Cozumel yesterday. It's not that I needed to get RID of him, but I was looking forward to having time to myself.
So, I came home after the airport and tried to go back to bed but I was wide awake. So I finished doing the laundry, had a light breakfast and did some knitting. I had to pick up Suzzette and Brian, my step daughter and her hubby, and loan them Gerry's car, as theirs was at the mechanic's again. Then I went to Mom's. She and I had lunch at a nearby bagel shop. When we go there we always split the whitefish salad platter, something I rarely treat myself to. I even ate a WHOLE bagel - I rarely eat bread. Then we went to Town Center, which is a very upscale mall in Boca Raton. I still manage to do sale shopping though, and bought a nice cotton sweater at Ann Taylor (though I prefer to shop Ann Taylor Loft, which isn't in this mall). I just love when items are marked down and then the sign says ...Take an ADDITIONAL 40% off....50% or more would have been better, but it was still a good buy. I had received money for Xmas, and it's sitting in my checking account. It's not that I don't want to buy new clothes, but I DON'T need them (contrary to what Gerry thinks). I mostly wear jeans and camisoles, fitted t-shirts or sweaters when it's cool, shorts when it's very hot, and I have plenty of all of those. Not to mention a teeny closet. Then there is the problem of pants. I am not a big person, but I am slightly rounded at the hips, and there is this conspiracy against women that says that if you find a pair of pants to fit your hips, it definitely will stand away at your waist by 6 inches. So, why bother! I make do with what I have, but every now and then I give in and try on a nice pair of pants, only to be disillusioned once more! God, how I loved it when I was 102 lbs and could walk into any store and buy any pair of pants! Of course, that could get costly! See how much money I save now!?
Then we went to the movies to see Hotel Rwanda. A very moving and powerful movie. It was very sad, too. I can't stand watching man's inhumanity to man. When I watch movies that depict true events, and show such uncaring people and disregard for the sanctity of life, I feel ashamed to be a human being. Ah, don't get me started.
Afterward we were able to return to Mom's to write out the invitations for her party. My brother Jon and I are making Mom an 80th BD party in Feb (that's what the coral shell is for...see posts below).
Once home, I got onto the couch, put on the Golden Globe Award show (I love award shows for movies and TV) and went straight to work on my knitting. AFter about an hour I got sleepy, put down the knitting, and that was asleep, missing the rest of the show. Luckily I have TIVO and the show is on again Saturday night, so I will record it and watch what I missed. It's no biggie that I know who won...I just love to see the stars and their beautiful clothing.
So - that brings me to today. A day off from work, a day all to myself. I woke early, futzed around the house, hung out on the computer, and made a call to Alison for help with a sock pattern (read further on)... and finally left around 12:30. I had to take Gerry's work briefcases down to his office, about 20 miles from here. Then I stopped at Wal-Mart, hoping to get double pointed luck. Stopped at mom's to pick up my knitting that I left there...Michael's sock, still needing to be completed, home to change into workout clothing, then to the gym. I pay for a gym every month but never go - sound familiar to some of you reading this? But I NEED to get back in. My cholesterol is up and I don't want to take medication for it, so I am watching my food intake EVEN closer than usual, and I have to exercise. I went to a pilates class. The instructor is really nice and personable and ran a good class. I know I'll be hurting in a day or so. Then it was off to JoAnn's Fabrics and again...very poor selection of needles. Guess I'll have to buy them at The Gifting Tree when I go to their first Stitch n Bitch meeting tomorrow after work.
I am almost done with mom's shell and will finish Michael's socks, but I wanted to get working on my socks for Sockapalooza. Problem is, my "person" to knit for has large feet and most of the patterns are for medium. I don't know how to compensate. So, hopefully there will be someone to help out at the SnB meeting. I could have gone to the Knitnightouters meeting tonight, where Catherine Wingate is. She is the person who wrote The Sock Journal. But that meeting is SOOO far out of the way from here.
With all this activity, would you believe that once home and alone (with just my 3 beautiful dogs) ....I am bored. I miss Gerry. I love knowing that he is here, that there is someone else's voice to hear - not to mention the tv, which is always on, usually to a sports channel or being surfed! I did get a nice long e-mail from him last night, and we have talked on-line by IM this morning and tonight. The weather is very windy in Cozumel and so far they have not been out diving (he is on a trip with our dive shop). However, they think that they will definitely go in the morning. Best thing....he misses me (well, I knew he would) and swears he will never go on a trip like this without me again (I couldn't go due to work). And the best part....well, he's not really a romantic, but after telling me how he wouldn't go again without me, he wrote..."you complete me." How can you resist a line like that? It made my night (for I am a hopeless romantic).
Tomorrow it's back to work, probably my new student is coming in. But I have my SnB group to look forward to.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

When I got home from work today, the package had arrived! It had not taken long, but I now had my two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock yarn, color...Sweetie. It's so pretty. I am going to use it to make socks for the Sockapalooza sock exchange that I am in. I plan to use a pattern from The Sock Journal - Knti the Year in Socks by Catherine Wingate. It will be a bit of a challenge because 1) I have never done any other pattern other than the one I have been using, and with a heavier yarn (wool ease -worsted) and so 2) thinner yarn than I am used to. But I am up to the challenge. Pix is either just above or just below this post.

I was looking forward to going to a dance class tonight, the second one since we went last week. But Gerry didn't like it - and he was right, it wasn't really a beginner's class (swing dancing) and I was ok with that because I have been lindy hopping with mom for years (though not that confident about it). I had intended to go without him tonight, but truth be told, it just wouldn't be fun without him. So I am going to get off this blog, get a bite to eat, and do some knitting. YEA!!! Seeya!

This is the Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock yarn that I will use for my Sockapalooza Sock exchange.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Two days back at work, and both days were pretty good. I am all caught up with whatever I need to do - probably because I worked till 6 on Monday; the kids were really good both days. But - don't ever think that kindergarten isn't interesting. When I stopped by the office today during lunch, to get any notices, I was informed that one of my little darlings (a boy) BIT one of my other darlings (a girl) on her....TUSH....yes, you heard me...on her little cheek, through her JEANS, and lightly broke the skin. How could this happen, you might ask? Don't know! They were on the lunch line, and there is always too much going on in there. I guess he just knelt down and....crunch! Since the skin was scraped, which is still a break in the skin, protocol is to call 911. The EMT's came, took a look - with the female principal present, of course, and said that THEIR protocol is to transport. However, the mother came and signed a release that she would take her daughter home and to the doctor. Later on in the afternoon I had to sit in on a meeting between the principal and the boy's mother. She was not too happy that her son is suspended tomorrow and she has to lose a day's work, but how fair is it to the little girl, or the other mom who now had to pay a dr and lost part of her day's pay? Can you believe what goes on with little ones today?

After work I went to The Gifting Tree (hopefully my post about it is below - still haven't got the hang of posting pix under my writing. I'm working on it. Came home tonight and was thrilled when my dog Cocktail greeted me with barking and came running (sort of) to see me. Gerry called me at work this morning to tell me that Cocktail had eaten a lot of his food. Tonight he ate again, which is a great sign of his health improving. The dr. (the really cute vet), called tonight and confirmed that Cocktail has Geriatric Vestibular Syndrome. They don't know why the dogs get it, and it can make them very ill, but he said that Cocktail will make an almost full recovery - he might have a residual tilt of his head - but I think that makes him look even cuter. Cocktail has already outlived his life expectancy, so we are just hoping to have him with us a bit longer so we can give him some extra loving.

Time for me to FINALLY get off of this computer and sit by the TV with Gerry and do some knitting. Night for now!

Baby alpaca brush for Randy's scarf Posted by Hello

Mom's sweater, so far Posted by Hello
I have almost completed the back of my mom's "shell" sweater, made with Nature Cotton. I stopped by The Gifting Tree today, where I got the pattern and yarn. Judy, the store owner, helped me with my slight confusion re: the said to bind off 26 sts in the center and I wasn't sure if I knit the first 14, bind off 26, then knit the remaining 14. Judy confirmed that I was going in the right direction, so now I am ready to continue.

Monday, January 10, 2005

I miss my knitting

Winter break is over and I had to go back to work today. While the day went VERY class was amazingly excellent most of the day - I didn't get to knit and I sure missed it. There is no time during my 30 minute lunch break to knit, and after school I was busy working in the room. I had planned to go to tonight's meeting of Knitnightouters. I stayed at work until 6 PM, figuring I would get gas and shoot over to the meeting. Then I could knit for two hours, get some assistance on the top I am knitting for mom, and enjoy the other ladies company. Well, I never got there - I went home instead. of my dogs, Cocktail, has been sick. He is a 15 yr old Chow-shepard mix, a red head who is absolutely beautiful. I took him to the dr. on Thurs for his vaccinations. Ever since then he has been lethargic, won't eat (except when I force fed him with a spoon last night), sat outside all day and refused to come in - probably because he couldn't walk on our laminate wood floors, and he even walked funny, sort of like a John Wayne sway. Gerry took him to the dr today who was stumped, too. But Cocktail had lost 4 lbs since Thurs. (all that Not eating will do it every time)...and has also been vomiting about once a week for a few weeks. Bottom line...he could have an inner ear infection, though the x-ray of his head didn't show one, or it could be something worse that we wouldn't know about unless he had a CT-scan. But that's $800 and if it showed something SERIOUS we wouldn't put a 15 year old dog, no matter how much we love him, through agressive treatments. So the dr. gave him a shot, prescribed prednisone and an anithistamine. When I got home tonight he seemed a tad bit perkier and walked a teeny bit better. We are hoping that he improves and eats and hangs in there a bit longer. After all, he is our oldest four-legged baby (we have three in all).

So here I sit, still have not knitted and I need to. I have to finish Michael's socks (one down, one to go). I am also working on Mom's top and will stop at The Giving Tree to pick up an order and ask for assistance with the pattern ( a minor confusion on my part, but I want to make sure I get it right). I am picking up yarn to make my brother's scarf, and also waiting for two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock yarn, color "sweetie" that I ordered from e-bay, to make a pair of socks for my secret pal sock exchange.

Friday, January 07, 2005

CLOSED??? What a bummer!

I couldn't wait to get to The Gifting Tree to pick up the yarn that I ordered to make my brother's gray scarf. I wanted to wait until I could include the trip with my other errands, as it's a bit of a ride from my house. I finally arrived at 2:30, only to find that they were closed for inventory. I was able to speak to a woman working inside....through a mesh gate. She said that they had expected to be open but were not done yet. Gee - I didn't see her running to get my yarn and open the register, after I sadly told her that I had driven ALL THE WAY from Delray Beach just to pick up my yarn. Ok, so I fibbed a little, I didn't tell her that I had other stops, but the shop WAS the furthest from my house, two exits below my last errand. Guess I'll have to stop after work on Tuesday (Monday I am staying late at work to attend the Knitnightouters group.

The day wasn't a total loss, though. I had to go for a routine bloodtest today (had not fasted when I went for my checkup so I had to return early in the morning); picked up some books on CD and tape for my rides to and from work next week (been on vacation for two weeks - a nice teacher perk); stopped at the shoe repair shop, post office, laundramat to wash my dogs BIG bed, and then was rewarded by being taken to lunch by my hubby. After a short stint home I did my other errands, including the non-satisfying trip to the yarn shop.

The weather in S. Florida was beautiful today, so I rode with my convertible top down all day. And, being Friday, I got my nails manicured AND had a pedicure. Listen, ladies....we all need to treat ourselves right...right?

Yea - instead of our usual trip to the movies on Friday evenings, we are staying in tonight...after Gerry and his son-in-law Brian go to Home Depot. So I plan to work on mom's birthday present - the knitted top. I want to get that done so I can put it aside and finish the socks that I started - one half of a pair is done. Then I will be ready to start Randy's scarf, and make the scarf/belt out of Eros Glitz for Mom (what can I say? She admired the one I made for myself and....who could resist those longing eyes?).

Ah - finally learned how to work our new TIVO. Of course, Gerry mastered it day one. So I am now enjoying watching the recorded Oprahs and/or deleting them. I am not really a TV watcher so I forget to watch Oprah or other programs that I think might be good. Now I don't have to worry about missing anything! I just have to find the time to sit and watch what I recorded, in-between Gerry's watching, that is.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

And now the "child" becomes the teacher

Thank goodness for my daughter Alison - and her patience with her mom. She has helped me tremendously with this blog. Tonight she taught me (over the phone, b/t AZ and FL) how to put items such as other blogs onto my sidebar. I put one there...Quick Recipes...and tomorrow I will add a few more. I am having so much fun blogging. She also helped me become a member of FiberRAOK - Random Acts of Kindness - and now other people beside Alison and her mother-in-law Karen actually read my blog (well, maybe two or three more). How cool is THAT??

I sort of started my mom's sweater - I opened the yarn and made it into a ball and cast on. That's a good beginning, doncha think? So, I sit here on the computer instead of am I ever going to find time to do it all?

Tonight was both fun and a bit disappointing for me. Since I met Gerry we have discussed taking swing dancing lessons. Ok, maybe not DISCUSSED, but mentioned it a few times. I finally took the bull by the horns and checked out a school just a few blocks from here. They had a class tonight, and told me it was a group lesson for all levels. Gerry wasn't too thrilled to be thrust into it but being very unselfish, he went along with me. There was only the teacher and one other man plus three women in the class, all obviously had been there for previous sessions. This was to be West Coast Swing (unlike what my parents do - East Coast). The lesson started and right away I saw that the teacher was going too fast for beginners. I didn't have too much of a problem because I have done the lindy with my mom for years - I'm just not as good as she is. Gerry loves to dance and he is good, but he dances freestyle Rock and Roll. I could see that he wasn't too comfortable with this but he gave it a shot. After about 45 min he sat down. Larry, the other male student, danced with me at times and I was able to follow him most of the time. I was really disappointed that Gerry had given up, but he told me at the end of the class that they just went too fast for him, and he was right. Larry then gave Gerry a 5 minute TRUE beginner's lesson, and we realized that it was what he needs. Well, Gerry can't come for next week's class, and the teacher is switching the two weeks after that, one of which Gerry will be in Cozumel and then I will be in Orlando. However, I am going to attend next week and the week that Gerry is away. I can't help it...I love to dance and even if I never get to dance West Coast Swing with anyone at a wedding, at least I'll know I can do it. There, I've done my venting. Now I am going to go to the couch and knit a few lines before bedtime (and it's already after 11:30 PM). Night!!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

for mom's sweater Posted by Hello

Phil's socks - this is my 4th pair - I think I have the pattern down pat by now and I'm ready to tackle something in a finer yarn with more detail. Posted by Hello
I am sorry that you can't see the brightness of the colors or the sparkle of the "glitz." And, to you the reader, please forgive me for having a header over each posting. I have not yet learned how to post a picture without using a header, as Alison does. But, at least I HAVE learned to put the pictures here. I am sure that once Alison sees it she will IMMEDIATELY contact me and tell me the correct way to do it! She's great that way!
Here is the yarn, Eros Glitz, and the scarf that I knitted but use as a belt. Isn't it pretty?

my scarf/belt Posted by Hello

Eros Glitz yarn Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I had originally gone into the store not just to browse, but to buy a different type of yarn so I could make one of the socks that are in the Sock Journal or The Sock Calendar. Most of the patterns call for very thin yarns and I have been using worsted weight, so I will have to find just the right pattern that will be easy enough for me to do but challenging enough to hold my interest. Well, guess I will have enough projects to keep me busy. Now I have to start joining Gerry when he watches TV, cause its hard to knit while working on the computer.

I am getting the knitting addiction

I went to lunch with Carla and Parker today. He is SOOOO cute, looks just like his dad, whose name is Jody - a great guy! Parker was good, but Carla said that he was good because she held him on her lap. He just bounced up and down, cooed, played with his toys. I held him after we ate. Getting in practice for step-daughter Suzzette is due with her first baby in August, which makes me very happy, but my REAL thrill will be when my daughter Alison comes up with news like that. There will be no living with me then!

Carla and I always exchange a small gift for the holidays. This year she gave me a big candle with the scent Ocean, on a ceramic dish. It will look and smell great in my livingroom. Carla mentioned to me, back in October, that she was interested in knitting,so I gave her a Learn to Knit kit that I bought in Costco, along with a skein of soft yarn to futz around with. I really wanted to be the one to show her what to do, but we didn't have time. I am sure she will do ok though, as she used to do various crafts.

After leaving them I drove to the Festival Flea Market in Pompano, 'cause I heard that they had a yarn store inside. They do and it's great. They have lots of funky yarns. Of course, they are pricey, but REALLY nice. I ordered a very soft alpaca blend to make a scarf for my brother Randy in OKC. I plan to use the new stitch that I learned at the Knitnightouters meeting last night. The owner of the shop was wearing a really pretty lavender top. I admired it and eventually purchased the yarn, but in the only color she had left - coral - with which to make a top for my mom for her 80th birthday. The yarn is Araucania Nature Cotton. My mom looks good in oranges so I think this will look very pretty on her.

Knitnightouters...and now I'm one of them

After a (too) relaxing weekend in Central Florida, I arrived home Monday afternoon, put everything away, prepared dinner, then headed down to Ft. Lauderdale to attend my first meeting of Ft. Lauderdale Knitnightouters. It was held at Border's bookstore. Even though it was a schlep for me - took about 45 minutes to get there - it was certainly worth it. It was attended by 8 women of various knitting abilities. Catherine, who is sort of the "leader" of the group, is quite an accomplished knitter. She wrote two books on knitting socks - The Sock Journal and The Sock Calendar, both of which I purchased from her as I LOVE knitting socks. I sat in awe as Beth and Catherine discussed buying a sweater at a thrift store and possibly "frogging" it and reworking the yarn. I could never imagine even finding the tucked in threads needed to begin pulling out the stitches. Two of the women who came were new knitters (although Lois was crocheting at the moment). Martha, who has been knitting for only a month, had three projects going. Although she needed help to rip and realign her stitches, she is doing an amazingly wonderful job. I felt pretty proud, though, as others admired the socks that I had made (thanks to Alison and her friend Becky, whose pattern it originally was). I learned a new stitch by watching Andie make a scarf in cashmere. Catherine called it the Brioche stitch. You purl 1, then knit 1 into the space BELOW the stitch, and at the beginning of each row you slip one off. My brother Randy wants me to knit a cashmere scarf for him and now I know just how I am going to do it. I also got some tips on where to buy certain yarns. I am looking forward to attending next week's meeting. They usually meet every second Monday, but last night's was just a bonus meeting. I'm so glad I went.

Today is busy (of course) - meeting my dear friend Carla and her baby Parker for lunch. Carla moved to Atlanta in 1999, married her high school sweetheart and now has Parker to show for it. They are visiting her mom here in Florida, then leaving in two weeks because they are moving to.....the center of MANHATTAN!!!! How lucky can you get (ok, not THAT lucky because it's COLD there). I am excited, though, because as a holiday gift I bought a Learn to Knit kit at Costco for Carla, who expressed an interested in knitting. I hope she catches the bug. Look what happened when I taught Alison the basics!!! Tonight I am meeting my friend Cindy for's great to see people who I don't ordinarily get a chance to spend more than telephone time with.

So - I'm off to get busy!!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Starting the New Year off right

Happy New Year! It has been a fun but quiet New Year weekend, for which I am very thankful! Gerry and I drove from Delray Beach to Central Florida on Thursday afternoon. A 3 1/2 hr trip took us over 6 hours. First we got stuck in a traffic jam. Traffic was at a standstill due to a fatal car accident several miles north of us. We were able to do a turn around, back track 10 miles and get on I 95, only to miss the exit that would have put us back onto the Turnpike, above the accident. We drove to Cocoa Beach (of I Dream of Genie fame) and took the Beeline Highway straight across to Orlando. There we stopped to eat at the Olive Garden, which I have to tell you, was delicious. Ok - I never order red sauce there, preferring my own to all else, but you can't beat the soup, salad, and bread, and I had a seafood dish that was really good. From there we drove to The Villages, a senior city where my in-laws have a house and we have the key. The best part of the trip was that I got to knit almost all the way (until it got dark). I had purchased Eros Glitz yarn the day before at a new knitting booth in the flea market, along with size 13 bamboo needles. I worked on the scarf and was halfway done by the time we reached Orlando. I finished the rest of it New Years Eve night after the NY ball came down. I had purchased the Eros because I have been knitting socks, socks and more socks and needed a change. Before I finished the scarf - which is so easy cast on 18 stitches and knit each row until you are done - I was on line and found a pattern that was similar but started with 36 stitches, knit 4 rows, knit 2 st together all the way across and continue with 18 sts till desired length. Then increase in each stitch until 36 st, K 4 rows and bind off loosely. That gives a litle ruffle at each end. Since I had already done half of the scrarf, I ended as in this pattern, then picked up 18 stitches at the beginning end (oxymoron?), increased in each st to 36 and K4 rows. Today I was dressed and about to leave the house when I got a brilliant idea....I used the scarf as a belt. It looks fabulous on my jeans.

While here in the Villages I went into a craft store where they have great yarns, but they were very pricey so I'll wait until I get home. I can always do pricey at the booth in the flea market or other private shops in the area. I am once again working on socks. This pair was to be for my son-in-law Michael, Alison's husband, but I found out that Alison is knitting him the same pair in the same color, so I'll give these to my son-in-law Phil and make Michael a green pair.

Before going on vacation I went on line and researched Stitch and Bitch groups. I found a similar group in Ft. Lauderdale. I wrote to and received a response from one of it's members, Catherine. I will try to make the meeting on Monday night, but we are first getting home from vacation then so I might have to wait until next Monday. However, Catherine is very nice, and upon hearing that I like to make socks, she told me about the book she wrote that is all about knitting socks. I checked out her site and it has pix of the socks featured in her book and her Sock Calendar. Now I REALLY am excited about meeting her, and can't wait to get the book. Here is the site:

We had a nice visit with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law (from my first marriage). We ate at TOOJAYS. For those of you who are not familiar with TOOJAYS, it's a gourmet deli. The food is SOOOO good, and I treated myself to whitefish salad, which I rarely have. I am always so full after eating that I never get dessert. Too bad, because they have a wonderful bakery there. Then we walked around the Town Center where there were booths set up with many different kinds of items for sale (no knitting booth so I didn't spend a dime).

Gerry and I are now alone and will have two days left here before going back to South Florida on Monday. That's probably more than enough relaxing for us! But I will definitely get much more knitting in - finish Phil's socks and work on Michael's.

Happy New Year to one and all!