Monday, October 29, 2007


I've been spinning and spinning, and plying and skeining and setting the twist and then waiting impatiently for the skein to dry. I wish I could get a picture that shows the true color, but I wasn't able.The real colors are more saturated than the first 2 pix, and more olive-tones than the last 2. It's more Targhee. (I love Targhee!) I think it may become a Clapotis. One way or another I am just itching to finally knit myself something out of yarn I spun myself. So far the only thing I've knit with my own handspun is the moebius I knit for my mom for her birthday. But this beauty is mine, all mine!

(speaking of mine, all mine, I made the last payment on my Joy spinning wheel today. My sister, who so generously loaned me the balance a few months back, is no longer the co-owner of my wheel. We are both happy the transaction has been completed!)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fun Birthday/Weekend

My birthday itself was rather a busy, errand-running day, but I did get to have some fun in the evening. I met up with my knitting buddies at Borders, and Tam brought some homemade cannolis that were to die for. Thanks Tam....they were sure delish!

I bought myself a birthday present while I was there: More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlotte Schurch.

My weekend started bright dark and early Saturday morning. I left the house about 7:15 for my 2 hour drive to Lansing. I was spending the day at Threadbear for their 3rd Annual Fall Festival. The shop was hopping the entire's so fun to be in the midst of all that excitement! I brought socks to knit, and also brought my portable wheel. I was able to get both knitting and spinning done while I was there for over 8 hours. I also sold some goodies. I did a little better than last year, selling some bookmarks, orifice hooks, patterns, stitch markers, pens, etc. But no matter what, it's always great to be there.

One of the other vendors there was selling some gorgeous yarns and rovings she had dyed. I ended up getting a bag of superwash merino roving that I am going to try to spin for a pair of socks. It's from To Knit Perchance To Dream and it's appropriately called Last Leaves of Fall. Pretty, no?

I finally got a chance to meet Kristi....what a sweetie she is! And Kellie was working that day...I had originally met her in line at a Yarn Harlot book signing. It was nice chatting with her again too!

My friend Kim was there for a while, hanging out with me and one of the other vendors, Rebecca, who she's known and been friends with for a lot longer than me. Kind of fun that we were in the same place at the same time again this year. I originally met Rebecca at a similar event at Heritage Spinning and Weaving a few years back, and we both also did the Threadbear event last year.

After a fun day hanging out surrounded by tons of fibers, I drove home (in the dark, having missed out on a perfectly lovely, above average temperature, sunny fall day....but it was worth it). I was pretty exhausted when I got home just before 9pm, and was dozing at times while I did some laundry. I would have loved to just drop into my bed, but I had to get Kaitlyn and her friend from work at 11:30. They are ticket-takers at the haunted house/haunted hayride at one of the many orchards in town. What a fun job, huh? Not fun for those of us who have to pick them up at that late hour though. Oh well, it's just for this month, and she's loving it.

Sunday was my birthday celebration with my mom and dad, and Kim and Drew. Mike made dinner for all of us. Oh my, was it good. We had Beef Burgundy with homemade noodles, a loaf of bread fresh from the breadmaker, roast butternut squash, veggies and dip and mom's banana cake for dessert. Mike did all the shopping and cooking (except for the squash, which I made,and the cake, which mom made), did all the dishes during prep and after dinner, etc. It was just so nice to sit back and relax. Thanks Mike!

I got some great gifts for my birthday. Earlier in the week, my friend Jane sent me a package of goodies. I could feel there was fibery goodness in the package and I couldn't wait a few more days til my birthday to open it, so I tore in and found these goodies. A green Chibi, cute bumblebee tape measure, some great sock yarn from Lotus, and these two beautiful Zitron rovings. I can't wait to spin those rainbows! Thanks Jane!

Then on my birthday I got a Knitpicks gift certificate for my mom and dad. My plan is to put it towards a set of Options needles. I've wanted them for a long time, but was in no big hurry because I have 2 sets of Denise needles (one of which I am planning on selling, so if anyone is interested, send me an email soon, before I put them up on ebay). Thanks Mom and Dad!

Kim and Drew gave me a gift card to renew my XM subscription, which was just about to expire. And the cutest cell phone holder EVER. It cracks me up every time I look at it. I tried really hard to buy myself a pair of lime green Crocs (or knockoffs) all summer but every time I found them in lime, they didn't have my size. Maybe next year. Thanks Kim and Drew!

Diane sent my gifts home with my mom and dad when they were visiting her recently. She sent a great skein of Rio de la Plata sock yarn in a bright yellowy-green. It's got a funny story behind it. Several months ago, Rob from Threadbear had called me (knowing my fondness for all things green, and sock yarn, esp. RDLP sock yarn) telling me about this skein, and wanting to know if he should save it for me. At the time, funds were very tight, and I couldn't justify buying another skein of sock yarn. I was IM-ing with Diane, and told her about the phone call from Rob. She immediately emailed him and told him she would buy it for me for my birthday. I had completely forgotten all about the phone call until I saw the note on the yarn. Isn't she sweet? Diane also sent me a great green vase from a store called Blooms. She's always finding me something that's got "Bloom" on it, and I love that. The bag was tied with ribbon that said Blooms, and there was also a pen with their Blooms logo. So cute! Thanks Diane!

My friend Maria in California sent me a Starbucks gift card. I look forward to sipping a nice hot cup of Chai Latte while thinking of her. Thanks Maria!

Here is a picture of the felted pumpkin basket I gave to my friend/neighbor Donna on her birthday Friday. I kind of screwed up the increases but I think it still turned out ok. She loved it! I'm not sure if it was the pumpkin, or all the chocolate I packed into it. =)

All in all, it was a great few days!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, it's my last birthday that starts with a "4". EEK! I'm so old I was born in black & white!

I wish I could just hang out today, to sit 'n spin, or sit 'n knit. Unfortunately I have a lot on my plate over the next few days and need to get busy. I did get to spin 3 times in the past week though, which feels good after several months of the wheel(s) collecting dust.

Today I need to do some banking, run to the Secretary of State to get tabs for the plates on Mike's car (which is in the shop getting a new ball joint in preparation for being sold....we're wishing we had done this before the tabs needed to be bought, but oh well...I digress....)

I also have some more to do to get ready for Saturday at Threadbear's Fall Festival. I'll be bringing a bunch of my beaded stuff to (hopefully) sell. Even if it's not a huge money-maker, it's always a lot of fun to be there.

However, this visit to Threadbear will be somewhat somber. Connor passed away this week. Connor was one of canine members of the Threadbear family. She and Tate could always be found wandering around the shop, or settled in for a nap on the ottoman or elsewhere. She will be missed by many, but especially by Rob and Matt. If you will be stopping by Threadbear, be sure to give the guys some lovin', and give Tate an extra petting too. He's got to be missing his buddy as well. Sniff.

After creating more goodies for Saturday, I will be at Jake's school this afternoon for my weekly library duty. From there we'll finish up any errands I didn't complete earlier in the day, and we'll meet Mike at New Moon restaurant for my birthday dinner. We have somewhat of a tradition in our family of going out for Chinese for our birthdays. Usually we end up at Leong's in Chesterfield, but that is in the opposite direction from where I need to go after's Thursday, so it's knit night with my buddies. I definitely don't want to miss THAT on my birthday!

Speaking of my knitting buddies...we have another sweet baby girl born to our group this week. Just about a month later than Deb's baby girl was born. I can't wait to sniff me some more baby head. Congratulations, Miri and Michael, on the birth of your beautiful baby girl! (who was born in color, I might add)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Spirit Week/Homecoming

It's been a really strange week around here. Spirit Week started with the Powder Puff football game on Monday evening. That was a lot of fun. The Junior girls won the game, and of course the Senior girls all claim it was 'fixed'. There were so many girls on the team that Kaitlyn only got to play for a short time, but they all had a blast, even if it was mostly cheering from the sidelines.

Mid-week there was a bomb-threat found written on a bathroom stall so they evacuated to the football field, had the building searched, and then had heightened security the rest of the week because the threat actually pinpointed Friday as the day something would happen. Lots of security at school, the football game, etc. Kind of put a damper on things. We didn't go to the football game because Kaitlyn had to work that night. Luckily nothing came of the threat, but these days you just never know. Used to be kids would pull the fire alarm at school to get a few minutes out of class. Now they've resorted to terrorism. Most threats I'm sure are just pranks, but each one has to be taken seriously. When it is a prank, it just just a huge waste of time, resources, manpower and money. I really hope they find out who made the threat and put a black cloud over what is supposed to be a really fun week at school.

Yesterday was the Homecoming Dance. Here is a picture of Kaitlyn and her date, Bruce.

In knitting news, I'm working on another pair of socks right now. I've got 2 pairs on the needles...must be because I'm teaching sock classes these days. This pair is in OnLine Supersocke Tropic color 928. It's a strange mix of colors, but they will be cute. I'll post pix when both pairs are done.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Lots of things have been changing around here in recent months. Luckily most of the changes have been positive, if not downright wonderful!

Labor of Love Yarn and Fiber Arts opened August 1. As many of you already know, I've been working there, and teaching. I love teaching knitting classes!I'm in my second group of classes now. Monday morning and last night were the first classes of the "Toe up 2 at a time Magic Loop socks". Getting the magic cast on and the increases going, after reviewing or teaching the Magic Loop method was a little touch-and-go at times, but at the end of the class(es) I think everyone had a pretty good idea of how to head on up the foot and could execute that knowledge. I hope everyone gets their homework done. They have 2 weeks to knit 2 socks to the point of turning the heel.

Working and teaching again, surrounded by fibery things, makes me very happy :-)

One big change this week has been the weather! HOLY COW....we've had a very warm fall. Warm? Did I say warm? Let me rephrase's been a freakin' blast furnace around here! On Monday it was hotter in Michigan (record breaking 90 degrees) than in was in Key West and many other parts of the south you would consider tropical paradises. But in October, in Michigan, I doubt many people want to have 90 degree weather. We've all long ago closed our swimming pools for the season. My parents had already put the cover on their a/c unit so they suffered through the heatwave. We had our air on for 3 or 4 days when it was hovering around 90 before actually getting there.

Yesterday? A most beautiful sunny and 72. (WHY can't we have a string of THIS weather, I ask?) Because now....after one short day of bliss, we are headed to the dumper. The rest of the week will be wet and/or low to mid-50s. WTH?

While I'm happy for the change from the heatwave to more seasonable weather, I'd like to see a more gradual reduction in temps...not a 35 degree drop in 2 days! Sheesh!

A HUGE and wonderful change is that hubby has been offered a new job. He's nervous about it, as is to be expected. Anytime you leave what is familiar and comfortable it's hard. I'm so proud of him for taking the steps necessary to make this happen, because it was a change that was very long overdue. This is going to make a huge difference in our lives right now, and our future, as well as our kids' futures. For several years we have been struggling in quicksand. And while this job will not put us in a castle on top of the world, we can get outselves out of the quagmire and stay afloat, and that is good enough for me. Yay Mike!

A change that has just begun is a change in my body. I know I am overweight. I have no misconceptions about that. I know I need to do something about it. Knowing it and doing it are 2 completely different things. You have to have get to that right frame of mind before you can do anything about it. I've been trying to get there for so long. I've actually gained weight over the last year, probably because of my knee injury. I've spent a lot of time just sitting around because it was too painful to do much of anything else. Now that I've had physical therapy and can get around without hobbling, I can move around more. I still think I have a tear in my meniscus, and will eventually get an MRI to confirm that and will probably need surgery. Meanwhile I am dealing with the discomfort (reduced, but still there) and will work around it to do what I can in the way of exercise. Even with some limitations on that front, what I CAN do is change the way I've been eating. A few weeks ago something finally clicked in my brain and I knew I was ready to start making the changes. Once you've gotten it right in your mind, it makes it so much easier to do. You're not fighting yourself anymore. You just do what you need to do.

I've made huge changes in my diet, and it is paying off even after a short amount of time. I have lots of weight to lose, and I hope my will stays strong. I have a great support system, and I know that will help. I will turn 49 next week, and my goal is to be a completely "new and improved" me, inside and out, by the time I hit 50 next year.

I realize it will not be easy. I have to take it one day at a time, one meal at a time, one pound at a time. I hope this time I can stick with it. I've done it before (about 12 years ago, before I was pregnant with Jake, I lost over 50 lbs). Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see how long I would keep it off because I got pregnant soon after working so hard to lose that weight. And well, you know how the story goes from there....

So think good thoughts for me...and if you have any great tips to help me, including delicious-but-healthy recipes you might want to share, please email me and help me along this journey to a better me by the half-century mark. THANKS!

Kaitlyn is 16...and so are most of her friends. That means they are off on their own, no longer needing me to chauffeur. Kaitlyn doesn't have her license yet, claiming she doesn't really like driving and doesn't care if she gets it or not. This is just like Kim...she didn't get her license til she was 18. Anyway, it's a time of newfound freedom for Kaitlyn. And a renewed sense of worry for me. She's got great friends and I know you have to let go and let them find their way, but it's still nerve wracking. It seems like she's never home any more...and many times this involves being in the car of another 16 year old. Scary stuff.

She recently has ended a relationship of about 1 year and a half, which was hard for her to let go of, no matter how little fun was being had by either one of them in the end. Why is it so hard to let go even when things have gone bad? Just because it's more comfortable to stay? Kind of sounds like Mike and his job situation all over again. Young love....

I kind of miss her old BF at times....he spent a lot of time with our family...but things change. At their age things are in a constant state of flux. I'm happy to see that she's spending more time with some of her old friends that were being somewhat ignored, and making new friends. She has been asked to the Homecoming dance which is this weekend, by a very nice, polite, considerate young man, and I hope they have a great time.

So it's a time of changes for Kaitlyn, and of course whatever mood she's in will often affect the mood of the household.....things can get rather intense around here. Anyone who has a teenaged daughter (or remembers BEING one) knows exactly what I'm talking about!

So, lots of transitions going on in our lives right now. Jake seems to be the only one in the household who seems to be immuned from changes in his life. He's blissfully unaware of the ebb and flow of a lot of this. As it should be when you're 10 years old.