31 December 2007


resolution #1: stop saying I don't make New Year's resolutions.....

This year I will. They may be simple - finish UFOs and such - or not. I'll share (some). Here are some sites I'm prowling for ideas:

27 December 2007

Code Pink: support the rule of law in Pakistan

Benazir Bhutto, 1953 - 2007

An excerpt from an essay written for the Architects of Peace -

Benazir Bhutto reflects on working toward peace

"...And to push for peace is ultimately personal sacrifice, for leadership is not easy. It is born of a passion, and it is a commitment. Leadership is a commitment to an idea, to a dream, and to a vision of what can be. And my dream is for my land and my people to cease fighting and allow our children to reach their full potential regardless of sex, status, or belief."

25 December 2007

teabird's first tigerpaw

tigerpaw1 I decided to improvise a sock - plain 2 x 2 ribbing, stockinette leg and foot, Eye of Partridge heel - so that I could pay attention to the sock and knit it as a meditative project instead of "it doesn't look like the picture and I'm a failure." It worked!

I c/o 48 stitches and loosely followed the sock recipe in Sensational Knitted Socks, just to get the numbers right. It fits perfectly.

Now I'll cast on for the second peaceful, dove-grey tigerpaw sock...

(I hope the menagerie will approve!)


24 December 2007

heaven and nature sing

"Hard times, come again no more," one of the loveliest of Stephen Foster's songs, sung by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Rufus Wainwright, Emmylou Harris.


23 December 2007

take that, Anne of Green Gables!

Oh dear.

Caitlin, you had better fold up your Anne of Green Gables tent and slink away before the idiots nut jobs good citizens of North Bellmore, Long Island come after you with their torches ablaze...

Think I'm kidding? I just came across this. I checked it out. It's true.

(And yes, I'm a Long Islander, but - North Bellmore is in the Other County.)

13 December 2007

even though I can't swim...

... I could not resist this book. I have lived all of my life on Long Island, but - I can not swim. (Literally, dozens of people have tried to teach me, including Red Cross instructors, camp counsellors, and my grandfather. I'm not meant to swim.) I can not tolerate more than a minute or two of sun. I can't even type the word "ferry" without becoming queasy. I can not do anything nautical except delight in sea air and lighthouses.

However - how could I resist a book with patterns for starfishes and sea horses, two of my favorite creatures? And kelp? And turtle tracks?


Political musings.... if Dennis Kucinich looked like Mitt Romney, would he still be considered "unelectable"? ... Is there any excuse whatsoever for Hillary's camp to have mentioned Obama and cocaine in the same sentence? (Variation: does anyone believe that this happened without authorization from the top of her campaign?) ... Valerie Plame, Abu Ghirab, weapons of mass destruction, destroying the evidence of Americans using waterboarding, all of the souls who have died in Iraq by American hands, Blackwater... what exactly would it TAKE to impeach this administration? ...

11 December 2007

at random

I was knitting a simple scarf in the staff room at lunchtime today, listening to "Divinities" by Ian Anderson on my little MP3 player, and feeling less anxious than I've felt (in real life) for days. I thought I saw someone else in the room when I pulled some yarn from the hank, but I'm so nearsighted... A few minutes later, I pulled the yarn again, and saw that someone was there: a friend, just sitting across the room and looking at me. I turned off the music, took off the earphones, and looked back. He sighed. "I was watching you knit because you reminded me of my aunt," he said. "She used to crochet for hours..."

I guess I'm still thinking about it (but I'm not sure) because it never would occur to me that my presence would calm anyone else, especially when I'm this close to flying to pieces. When I'm writing down today's things to be grateful for, though, this will make the list.

All of my winter holiday packages are on their way. I indulged myself by sending out a couple of children's books, including The Mitten by Jan Brett, which is delightful in every possible way, from the really great story to the fanciful yet accurate drawings of animals. If you have children, or if children visit, or if you just love the world, you'll find much to love at her website.

(I have a few of her books at home with me, including Comet's Nine Lives, which is about a cat and lighthouses, two of my favorite things.)

Speaking of cats -- Chris from Stumbling Over Chaos linked to Bridget's post, Cats' Letters to Santa ? How cool is that?

And speaking of packages, I sent very few this year because I fell way behind in the paltry knitting plans I had, and because I wanted to put as much financial energy (i.e., money) into the hands of Heifer International that I could. My packages are missing something, on purpose: wrapping paper. No more wrapping paper for me. I'd rather use my share of paper for letters, journals, and books, than for a pile of pretty paper that will be discarded. (And, I'm the world's worst wrapper.)

10 December 2007

all the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey...

... and yes, I do wish I could be in California. Specifically, San Francisco.

Did you see Tom Brokaw's "1968" last night? 1968 was the year that taught me I was not a freak for being radical, political, feminist, poetic, musical, long-haired, scruffy, or any of the adjectives that still define me. I'm still the woman who worked for Eugene McCarthy, hung out in bookstores near Washington Square Park, protested the war, wrote bad poetry, ate no meat, braided her hair, and took refuge in needlework.

I'm also the woman whose depression already required drugs that had to come from a drugstore, and the woman who needed solitude as much as those pills. As then, as now. In fact, even the technology I now use to supplement ink and paper reflects who I was then, and now.

I have signed onto Second Life. It never would have occurred to me were it not for a
library program I attended last week about Web 2.0. I was so intrigued that I decided to join to see the library presences there. There's even a Hogwarts library...

So yes, I joined SL for a purpose, but I strayed... as I would have in 1968, as I do now. I have wandered (or flown) lonely as a cloud to an exhibit of fractal art, to a store that gave me free purple sneakers, to Obama for President headquarters (where I received the t-shirt that my avatar is wearing), to Kucinich for President headquarters, to a tea shop, to a meditation garden, to a knitting store -- and to a Victorian village, where I ride a gilded carousel by moonlight.
  • Digression: the woman who gave the presentation used "knitters knitting mittens" as a web niche, and not only knew about Ravelry, but knew it was still in Beta. I posted about the program on the librarian board at Ravelry. As if by wizardry, within a day or two, Ravelry had a new feature - you now can check the availability of knitting books at your local library.

30 November 2007

meme, via Carrie and Kim -

  • Two names you go by: teabird and melanie
  • Two things you are wearing right now: blue socks with a teacup pattern, forest green t-shirt
  • Two of your favorite things to do: knit and write letters
  • Two things you want very badly at the moment: more tea and enough yarn to finish a hat
  • Two favorite pets you had/have: Marlo (the dearest cat in the world), and Cio Cio San (the smartest cat in the world)
  • Two things you ate today: plain fat-free yogurt and Post cranberry-almond cereal
  • Two people you just talked to: (does e-mail count?) my husband and Maven
  • Two things you're doing tomorrow: having tea and a browse at Barnes & Noble, and reading
  • Two longest car rides: Montreal, and Washington D.C. (both from Long Island)
  • Two favorite holidays: Halloween, and Winter solstice
  • Two favorite beverages: tea, and tea

25 November 2007

my journals, my journey

I started to think about my journals thanks to Penny (a/k/a Penguin Girl), who linked to this wonderful article about journals.

I started keeping a journal around 1970. Since then, I've moved several times, married, divorced, remarried, changed professions three times, and completed a graduate degree.

Sometimes I think that my old journals are the only things in my life that have remained unchanged. That can be comforting. No matter how scattered my life or my thoughts, I'll never lose those memories, or at least the memories as I experienced and wrote about them at the time. It can be amusing or enlightening, as the pages reveal misconceptions, decisions, and my ever-changing handwriting (in ever-constant purple ink). It also can be frightening, a Pandora's box that could open and let out suppressed and excruciating memories.

My old journals include tarot readings that I used to do, mostly for myself. I never was a believer in supernatural powers of any kind, and I certainly never thought that the cards or my readings were predictive. They did focus my attention on certain desires, needs, aspirations, and faults that I needed to attend to, and they allowed me to slow down in a quiet ritual of my own devise.

I have, recently, become interested in tarot again, for many reasons - for example, one of the characters in my novel discovered tarot notations in an old diary. (Do you sense a pattern here?) I've always loved myth, legend, fairy tale, archetype, anything that illuminates the common consciousness (Jung's collective unconscious) and our common journey.

Having those journals in my closet is a mixed blessing - but a blessing, none the less, as Varda Branfman's article proves.

23 November 2007

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

Kerri Smith at the Wish Jar Journal has a list of things to do on Buy Nothing Day. Her ideas include writing a letter (insert smile here), donating to something you believe in, writing about the best gifts you ever received, and having a swap-with-friends day.
You can click the appropriately-austere logo for the official site. While you're there, send an e-mail to MTV, which has decided that a burping pig is too controversial for such an elegant station... Just remember -- sock yarn doesn't count.

22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving to all -

pink hatI'm almost finished with the lacy cap that I think will be my mother's. It's a fun knit, but if you try it, do not use yarn that doesn't have a good stretch, and use pointy needles. K3 tog is horrible with Wool Ease and Denise needles, which are, at best, blunt instruments.

My copy of Socks Soar on 2 Needles arrived yesterday, so I took up my Addis, fetched some lovely grey yarn, and nearly squinted myself to death. Hint: if you have never tried a technique, do not use bright silver needles and silvery grey yarn. I switched over to Online Linie 3, tried again, and -

two circs
I think I get the basic concept.

However, I'm sure I look like this right now,It'll get better. Right?

20 November 2007

Thank you!

Bridget at The Ravell'd Sleave just gave me this award! I'm so pleased - she's one of my favorite people, and we hang out at some of the same places online, so I'm glad she likes my company and doesn't just put up with me.......

Now I get to give it to 5 people. (Just 5? Gracious.) In no particular order, these women (plus dozens of others...) make me smile:

Anna of KnitWrite
Crescent Knits Caitlin
Paula the Basset Knitter
KnitNana Sallee
On the Needles Stephanie.

All of these lively, funny, creative women have become close and dear friends over the last few years. Go and visit them!

Wordless Wednesday

19 November 2007

choose your own and do with it what you will

MoonRani suggested a writing topic for us - what book or story would you like to see as a film? You can read our answers at Tea Reads, where MoonRani wrote about the biblical story of Esther, and I wrote about The Ladies by Doris Grumbach.
(I've been neglecting Tea Reads.)


The poem-a-day calendar that I keep on my desk at work gave me this verse on Friday. It was one of my father's favorites.

Rubaiyat 51
The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Omar Khayyam

15 November 2007


Anna (Knit-Write) tagged me for a meme:

Open the book you're currently reading to page 161 and read the fifth sentence on the page, then think of 5 bloggers to tag

I'm reading The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor: "They started off through a field of rough yellow weeds to the hog pen, a five-foot boarded square full of shoats, which they intended to ease him over into."

I'll tag Kim, Sallee, Bridget, Caitlin, and Silvermoonrani (all of whom just love to be tagged...)

14 November 2007

Only this moment

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently as if it is the axis on which the whole world revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live in the actual moment. Only this moment is life."
  • Thich Nhat Hanh.

11 November 2007

Ravelry, again

If you know me, you know that I have the soul of an agoraphobic hermit. So how did I end up spending this afternoon at a local Panera, knitting and drinking tea with 3 women from Ravelry? Simple: I got there because I didn't plan to go.

I was browsing the Ravelry boards a little after noon, I noticed that there was going to be a meet-up at the Panera at 1:00, I pulled on my shoes, I shoved some knitting stuff into a knitting bag, and I went. Cindy came in, then Marian and Helen, and we talked, and we knitted - it was great! Why haven't I done this sooner?

(Because I have the soul of an agoraphobic hermit...)

In other Ravelry news, I am now one of the moderators of the fairly-new Pen Pals group. We're already comparing notes on our favorite pens and paper and exchanging addresses. Some might see an irony in finding letter-writing friends in a virtual community, but they'd be way too cynical.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In honor of all who served - and in honor of my parents, both Marines who served with honor during the Second World War - and in honor of those who serve now -


06 November 2007

the vortex: Ravelry, ink, and thanks for all the fish

Ravelry. Whatever you like or dislike, whatever fiber you do anything with, whatever your political, religious, or baseball team preference, whatever you read or write - there's a group for you in Ravelry. What that means is that it's a one-way street. You never leave. Even when you think you're not there, you are, because you're thinking about a pattern, or a yarn, or a discussion thread, or a new friend, or a new technique that you just must learn. (I've been obsessing on oak and squirrel mittens for weeks. I've never done colorwork. Must. have. mittens.) It's scary.

This afternoon I joined a group for asthmatic knitters. (See what I mean?) I'm also in a group for people who want to have pen friends. (See what I mean?) When I mentioned fountain pens, at least a dozen posts sprung up, from people who love fountain pens, miss fountain pens, want us all to see their fountain pens...

Now, you're probably wondering how, in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, am I going to link asthma and pen friends? Simple. I have read almost everything that Louise De Salvo has written, whether on Virginia Woolf or her own memoirs. One of her books, Breathless, tells of her developing such severe asthma and chemical sensitivities that she was forced to stop using her beloved Mont Blanc fountain pen because she could no longer tolerate the ink.

When I first read that book, I was taking notes with a Sheaffer. As I'm typing, I'm getting ready to write a few letters with my Waterman Charleston (a gift, a wonderful gift), filled with purple ink. Reading, writing, knitting - all knit together, as it were - into the teabird organism. Who would I be without ink?

I'm going back in, now. Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.

(By the way, Knitnana is trying to force me to buy some of this. Just because I love ravens, and the Pallas Athena color looks like the Adagio black tea flavored with plum that I'm drinking now, I have to buy it? What do you think? )

03 November 2007

the truth is out there!

First, a finished project! This is for Caps for a Cure: Checking on the colonel in Patons Decor. It's very very soft, and the pattern shows up very well (although not in the photo). I'm pleased with it, and I hope it gives some comfort to its recipient.

I'm still struggling with the Anne of Green Gables lacy scarf. I think I'll stick to razor lace this time, since nothing else seems to be do-able with my mind in a fog, fibro- and otherwise.

Now, for the big news. Did you see this? A second X-Files movie! How great is that?

02 November 2007

tea swap goodness

My new pirate friend "Will Pillage for Yarn" (yaarrr!) sent me a tea adventure in a box! Behold! A variety of PG Tips that I never tried before, plus Glendale orange pekoe and three varieties of Indian tea from TeaSource, each in its own bandanna. Lavender blueberry dark chocolate from Dagoba, French Lavender honey drops (Boules de miel), a cute little bank for saving up my pennies for yarn --

- and did I mention yaaaaaaaarrrrn? Two skeins of Koigu in a blue/green/lavender colorway, and Handmaiden Sea Silk in "mermaid" - so appropriate from a seagoing lass! Plus a tea-charm bracelet, plus bamboo DPNs... treasure!

What could be better? A new friend and a new stash of tea and yaaaaaarn. Thank you, Rainy! And thank you, ringleader Suzie and all of the Tea Swap ladies!

Just do it

Go over to Will Pillage for Yarn and read this.

30 October 2007

it's a good start

I've already started to obsess about the holidays. This year, I would like to urge all of my friends to join Kim of Handeye Crafts, who is collecting for The Heifer Project. She would like all of us to buy a knitting basket. I think we can do it!

My holiday present to my friends will be a share in that basket, and maybe a beehive or two...

Another great idea : my dear friend Maven has pointed me in the direction of Buy Handmade. You can take the pledge, and support our fellow crafters.

Of course, the offshoot would be to hand-make your own gifts. That goes without saying! My list of things I love to give and receive includes poems, stories, drawings, hazelnut biscotti... How about yours?

26 October 2007

Friday's feast

Friday's feast is a meme that posts five questions a week.
Today's questions:

Name a great website you would recommend to others.
The Huffington Post - an aggregator for news and blogs from the progressive side of the world. It's thorough, timely, funny, and quirky.

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?
Eleven. (For those of you who have seen "This is spinal tap"...)

Did you have a pet as a child? If so, what kind and what was its name?
Many pets - Dogs (Blackie, Lassie, Le Roi de Champagne [don't blame me, my mother had a thing for fancy poodle names], Golda. Cats (Cio Cio San, Pumpkin, Nixie, Pyewacket). Parakeets (I don't remember their names, but one of them lived in the tv room with my grandmother, who exercised with Jack LaLanne every morning. The parakeet would chirp "one, two, one, two" as she did her jumping jacks!)

Main Course
If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?
Fountain pens. Need I say more?

What is your favorite kind of hard candy?
Real lemon drops.

22 October 2007

Jane always gets it right

From The Jane Austen Quote of the Day:

  • "Where little minds belong to rich people in authority, I think they have a knack of swelling out, till they are quite as unmanageable as great ones."

(Emma on the small-minded Churchills - Emma, volume 1, chapter 18)

19 October 2007

it's trying time again

Today, I shall try to adjust my short-term expectations. I've wanted to do too much, dizzyingly so. I've wanted to start and complete too many knitting projects, read too many books at once, and write too many words.

I have, actually, knitted 2 1/2 chemo hats, played with some lace patterns, and unearthed the sock I abandoned a few weeks ago. I've read Anne of Green Gables and a few chapters of The Madwoman in the Attic, as well as some short stories. I've written some letters. I've also gotten myself to work, (almost) every day.

I'm exhausted.

Anxiety and racing thoughts don't make anything better. Perhaps my hypersensitivity is hardwired, but so is my intelligence - so maybe I can (at least) be mindful of this moment, this reality, and this dollop of energy.

Wish me luck.

11 October 2007

Air sitar

alpine rose rhododendron
No, I'm not taking a trip to India. I was playing air sitar in my car. Also, air glockenspiel. Doesn't everybody? What better daydream than to imagine creating lovely music?

A friend at work gave me a story by Alice Adams to read ("Rose, Rhododendron"). I read it last night before I settled down to begin the last few chapters of Anne of Green Gables, and now I am finding it hard to remember which story had the roses, which story had the mayflowers, which story...

In both, two small girls meet and recognize the other as a kindred spirit. Flowers figure in both stories, but the flowers in "Rose, Rhododendron," are screens to hide something less lovely and more dire than either girl really knows.

(I was reminded of Hawthorne's great story, "Rappaccini's Daughter," with its toxic garden...)

Anne's flowers represent nothing more or less than pure beauty, and each time she interacts with them, they become lovelier. What pleasure to be reading her story now!

Wordless Wednesday (on Thursday)

08 October 2007

Anne, caps, and a peaceful day

It's so lovely to have a day off. The only sound in the house is the whirr of the washing machine. Earlier, you would have heard buzzing; that was the sound of my defuzzerizer. (Translation: lint and pill remover.) Once the laundry is done, I shall settle down, listen to Anne of Green Gables, and knit.

My thoughts and energies have been darting about, exhibiting and causing great mischief. Therefore, I've been doing small knits - a dishcloth, hats - and only doing larger or longer projects a half hour at a time, if that long. Still, I have gotten some things done.

In the picture: a pink beanie for Caps for a Cure, and the beginnings of a red Spiral Preemie cap. (The hat is so cute that I want to bite it.) I started the hat at the beginning of last night's Yankee game. I'm sure every Yankees fan's emotions were spiraling until we had a comfortable lead. (Damn that Steinbrenner!)

The blue lace scarf is Barbara Walker's vine lace, and the yarn is Starry Night. I had a couple of really bad false starts with the pattern because I didn't read the last lines - i.e., end K2, or end K1. After a few "why do I keep ending up with 2 extra stitches?" experiences, I went back to the book... I'm substituting Slip 1-knit1-psso for the SSK because I hate SSK (and because Barbara Walker says I can).

Although I still plan to knit mittens for Anne of Green Gables, I have decided that this scarf will also be a project for Anne.

  • "Listen to the trees talking in their sleep," she whispered. "What nice dreams they must have." The scarf will the her night sky.....

29 September 2007

my Clapotis yarn arrived ...

... and it is beautiful (and so soft) -

Lisa Souza's Super Sport in her Jonquil colourway

I shall begin to swatch this weekend -

24 September 2007

Rainforest Jasper

I just purchased a pair of earrings. Not only are they pretty and inexpensive, but they feature a stone that is said to possess wondrous properties.

Rainforest Jasper (rhyolite) helps the reclusive by allowing others into her life, to listen without distorting the speaker's message, to balance emotions, and to free creativity.

If only! I do not, in fact, believe that stones possess anything but geologic history and beauty. They can take on meaning as personal touchstones, reminders of what you need, want, celebrate, and love, but they are, alas, quite inert.

Depression (like my own, bifurcated variety) is not inert. Depression plays many tricks, both overt and sly. Would that a bit of Rainforest Jasper had the power of pharmaceuticals, that I could wear more or less of it instead of submitting to chemical anodynes for my biochemical illness. I need so much that the stone could offer. I could be present to my family, friends, life without feeling toxic or inauthentic. I could accomplish --

Well. I know this begins to sound like "if I only had a brain." I do, in fact, have a brain, and I also have enough years of therapy packed into my life to have some semi-useful strategies - Rational-emotive techniques, for example, which a former therapist swore by (even as he drop-kicked me to the nearest M.D. shrink): redefine your beliefs, and control your emotional responses. (See below. I remain a skeptic because Ellis is a fanatic.)

All right, then. I believe in knitting. Last night, I continued to swatch lace patterns with my "Starry Night" yarn for a scarf. I tried at least 10 of Barbara Walker's designs - tilting blocks, various diamond patterns, spider lace - but they didn't do what I wanted, and they were way too fiddly. Finally, I decided on vine lace - simple to knit (and to tink), with enough movement to remind me of Van Gogh's roiling sky. I'll cast on tonight, and I will be soothed as the fabric grows. One Dali sock is almost finished, one hat for Caps for a Cure is almost finished, two Red Scarves are finished. These are small projects, good for me when my attention is shaky.

I have two new projects to begin, both challenges in their own way. I'll start the Clapotis when the yarn arrives, and I'll take comfort in the company and assistance of knitters at the knitalong site and Ravelry.

The other new project: mittens for the Anne of Green Gables knit/readalong. I've never made mittens, although I love them. Anna has signed on as my knitting guru. Although I aspire to making squirrel and acorn mittens like hers, and although my part-Latvian self longs to make these, I shall start with plain woolen mittens.

Rainforest Jasper also aids in regeneration. We'll see!

  • David Demchuck's article in Knitty is amazing.
  • I bought the earrings from Walnut Ridge Studio.
  • Albert Ellis: "When people keep challenging and questioning their self-disturbing core philosophies, after a while they tend to automatically, and even in advance, bring new, rational, self-helping attitudes to their life problems and thereby make themselves significantly less upsettable."

22 September 2007

I don't even like orange!

You Are Cameo

You are understanding and very empathetic.
You don't tend to have acquaintances. Everyone is your friend.
And all of your friends tend to be friends. You have a knack for bringing very different people together.

18 September 2007

A meme, revisited

Via Dorothy, a Christmas meme. (And so early.........) I did an expanded version last year, and I decided to repeat it...Enjoy!

Since I'm Jewish, some of my answers aren't as specific as they might be, but it's a great meme, and the spirit of the holiday season brings generosity and gratitude into focus for us all.

Oh, and Adrienne -- you're tagged!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate, definitely.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa may dispense with wrapping paper if he likes!
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White, twinkly lights. Lovely.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? no.....
5. When do you put up your decorations? You mean, rearrange my stuffed bunnies? They're with me all year round.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Sorry, it has to be dessert. Pfefferneuse.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? receiving a book I really wanted.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? um.......
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? I'll open gifts anytime!
10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree? I always help decorate the tree in the library's staff room. I love icicles and candy canes.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread? At the beginning of winter, love it (under 4 "). By January, dread it (over 4").
12. Can you ice skate? HA! No. I can barely walk without falling. I'm way too clumsy to ice skate - unless you count the involuntary slippage where you lose your footing and break two ribs. (true)
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? A copy of Little Women from my grandfather.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Opportunities and excuses to make donations in my friends' honor, and to knit for them.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Pfefferneuse!
16 What is your favorite holiday tradition? Reading Christmas Carol. Is that odd for a Jewish woman? I don't think so - it affirms generosity.
17. What tops your tree? um......
18. What is your favourite holiday book? Christmas Carol or Little Women.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? "Good King Wenceslaus" - again, the spirit of generosity. Ye who now would bless the poor, shall yourself find blessing.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy? Yummy!

13 September 2007

I have created an illusion

First there is an owl - then there is no owl - then there is -
(With apologies to Donovan)

This is my first attempt at illusion knitting. The pattern is "Hedwig illusion," but I think she'd be nipping at me if she saw this unflattering picture!

Illusion knitting is an interesting technique. The design nearly is invisible unless you look at it slant (thank you, Emily), and even then it's more of a through-the-looking-glass-image than a certainty.

owl illusion 1

12 September 2007

Sometimes, they really get it right!

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

(can not be) Wordless (this) Wednesday (sorry)

WARNER: I hope in the recesses of your heart that you know that strategy will continue the casualties, stress on our forces, stress on military families, stress on all Americans. Are you able to say at this time, if we continue what you have laid before the Congress, this strategy, that if you continue, you are making America safer?

PETRAEUS: Sir, I believe that this is indeed the best course of action to achieve our objections in Iraq.

WARNER: Does that make America safer?

PETRAEUS: Sir, I don't know actually. I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind. What I have focused on and been riveted on is how to accomplish the mission of the Multinational Force in Iraq.

09 September 2007

The world is too much with us, late and soon

Sometimes, what I need is a gentle day. I've been listening
Sense and Sensibility while knitting a Red Scarf,
sitting in silence while I knit and turn the heel on
my Dali sock, and yearning for a respite from
nearly everything. I'm tired.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreath├Ęd horn.
-- Wordsworth --

08 September 2007

synchronicity and dada in random online generators , a meditation

The first contest for Paula's Short Story Month was to submit a first line. My submission -- I think someone set my cell phone to stun -- probably won't even be my first line. (In fact, it reads more like the caption to a cartoon than a line for/from a story. Too bad I can't draw.)

However, in the hands of the masters, any line can become meaningful. Paula urged us to submit our first lines to the Bad Poetry Generator, for fun and, perhaps, inspiration. Here's what I was given:

I think someone set my cell phone to stun
Now that I've brought you a box of small turtles,
things are not always as they appear
dress'd in drag as anne of green gables

Now, this may read as word salad to you, but look to the sidebar. What see'st thou there? Why, it's the Anne of Green Gables Knit and Read Along!

Will Anne be in my story? She certainly shall be invited!

Now excuse me while I shop around for Anne of Green Gables tarot cards.

07 September 2007

What would Jane do?

What would Jane do? She would ask the The Tarot of Jane Austen, of course ! This is so on my wish list!

06 September 2007

Vincero! In memoriam, Luciano Pavarotti

Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o, Principessa,
nella tua fredda stanza,
guardi le stelle
che fremono d'amore
e di speranza.

Ma il mio mistero e chiuso in me,
il nome mio nessun sapra!
No, no, sulla tua bocca lo diro
quando la luce splendera!

Ed il mio bacio sciogliera il silenzio
che ti fa mia!

(Il nome suo nessun sapra!...
e noi dovrem, ahime, morir!)

Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All'alba vincero!
vincero, vincero!

05 September 2007

wordless Wednesday

thank you, thank you!

Paula, the Basset Knitter, has given me the Blogging Star award!

The recipient is supposed to display this award on her blog along with a link to who gave it to me, and to mention that it originated at Skittles' Place so Barb can follow its journey. Barb has created the award for bloggers who shine their light throughout the Blogosphere, with humor, creativity, or with their kind and thoughtful nature.

Thank you, Paula!!

Paula has passed the award to Caitlin of Crescent Knits, and so do I. Caitlin has become a close friend whose humor, creativity, kindness, and thoughtful nature have illuminated my life.

Ditto, Kim at Handeye Crafts and MindFull. Kim and I have been friends for several years, and our friendship would be deep and rich even if she wasn't also funny and creative. (However, her readers have voted Jeremy Irons out of the running in the hunk contest. Really, she should have rigged the results.)

I can think of dozens of other blogger friends who deserve this award. I know they'll get their turn!

03 September 2007

progress on tidal wave socks, and my friends know I love rabbits

First, gifts from Stephanie (left) and Adrienne (right).
The painting is from Toadbriar. If you visit her site, you will be enchanted. Believe me.
The tea towel is so cute that I can not possibly use it for anything as mundane as drying dishes!

Thank you, dear friends! Your gifts cheered me immesurably.

Tidal wave - Dali socks

This is the third repeat of the Tidal Wave socks. It's a lovely pattern, so easy (even for me) and so soothing. I've almost conquered my clumsiness with slip/knit/psso; when I'm still clumsy, I have almost figured out how to fix it without breaking into hives.

Everyone else who has knitted socks from this beautiful yarn has ended up with stripes. I love the way this is pooling - and I hope I'll be able to duplicate the effect for the other sock...

I hope you all are having a happy, safe Labor Day!