26 January 2010

knit knit knit

I know Haiti is still on everyone's mind, and I am no exception. Although I contributed to Stephanie's impressive MSF total, I am really feeling the need to do more. So I've been working on a pattern to sell for Haiti relief. I know: me and everyone else, right? But they need so much help. And hopefully, at least a few people will think it's worthwhile and I'll be able to send some more dollars where they are needed!

The pattern is a simple shawlette, knit from the tip to the top with a self edging.

The prototype is knit in some gorgeous sock yarn from Tactile Fiber Arts.

Isn't the color amazing?

After sort of a slow start last weekend (I had a cold), it's coming along pretty well now!

Which brings me to a request.

I need some test knitters! Is anyone up for it? I could really use a few super fast knitters about now! I'm writing the pattern up, but since I haven't finished knitting it myself, the bind-off is a little hazy at the moment. Anyone? (ETA: I've got test knitters now. Thank you everyone!)

The edging is garter stitch, the lace panel is stockinette, and the middle is garter stitch. It's a fun knit!


25 January 2010

Monday's Musing

"Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be." - Karen Raven

Have an inspiring week!


21 January 2010

The Mystery is Solved

Monday I filled you all in on what has come to be called "Poopgate" on my boys' swim team (yeah, I know: juvenile, inappropriate, unoriginal....). Well, the perpetrators have been found and kicked off their team. USA Swimming and Pacific Swimming are both involved, and the coach of the team in question has written a letter of apology. We know that there is at least one bill totaling over $2,000 just for clean-up at the JC. There are others for equipment rental, programs and food. I know the parties are trying to recover costs. The sad thing is the intangibles: the kids who lost the chance to compete at their zone championships.

And then there's the general tone and lack of sportsmanship of the team in question.

You see, it was no surprise to anyone which team the two perpetrators hailed from. The day before, that same team had been told by our head coach and the meet director to take their "cheer" outside when it became ugly and derogatory to the other teams, particularly ours. Their coach did nothing to stop the behavior of these kids and turn the meet into a learning experience (sportsmanship, anyone?). Is it any wonder that the ugliness escalated? Throughout this whole situation, long time swimmers associated with the team have been absolutely shocked, but apparently, USA Swimming has dealt with this before. All I can do is remain absolutely nonplussed, and hope that the perpetrators don't return to race unattached (without team affiliation) at meets.


18 January 2010

Monday's Musing

In honor of MLK, Jr. Day....

“Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

It's very very rainy here and we're off to day three of the Zone Championships swim meet. Both boys qualified. :)

Have a wonderful week, everyone!


ETA, an update on the swim meet: This year, our team was lucky enough to host the Zone Championships, a three day meet. Our fearless meet director arranged everything so the bigger kids swam in the morning (A Session) and the younger kids (like mine) swam in the afternoon (B Session). Everyone had finals in the last session (C Session). Yesterday, Sunday, an A Session swimmer defecated in the pool. Those of you who know these things, know that there was a mandatory closing of the pool for a set amount of time, while extra chemicals were added and circulated. Kids who came to this meet from miles and miles away were stuck, with their parents, waiting until mid afternoon for the competition to resume. The finals were completely canceled, and the relays were rescheduled for today, the last day of the meet. Session A resumed after Session B, and they must have been there pretty late.

This morning, we got a call from one of the other swim parents. Yesterday's social statement had been repeated, and the meet is canceled. I really am dumbstruck. One kid has ruined this championship meet for 750 swimmers. The really shocking thing is that swimming is a sport where sportsmanship tends really to be celebrated. Swimmers grow up together and see each other at every meet. Of course there are strong rivalries, but for the most part, they stay in the pool. On the business side, not only is the money for renting the venue and the timing equipment gone, a third of the entry fees will need to be refunded and we will still be paying for the programs and food not sold and the emergency chemical "house call" yesterday. As this meet was at the local Junior College (and they are furious), there is speculation that our team will no longer be allowed to use the venue - the only indoor pool in the area - to host meets.

And don't get me started on the hundreds of families who cleared their weekends and drove miles and miles to get to the meet, and the kids who were perhaps in their first championships meet or are aging up and had a last chance to get a Junior Olympics time. We are lucky; it's fairly close to us, and both of our kids got to swim. But others are not so lucky.

The meet director feels close to discovering the perpetrator (it's someone from another team), and we all hope that the person in question is banned from competition and sees a good psychologist. Whoever it is really needs help.


12 January 2010


It was a whirlwind weekend at TNNA. So many people; so much yarn to fondle. :) I started off by flying into Long Beach on Friday afternoon. I was rooming with Laura Nelkin, but she was setting up the Schaefer booth so I had lots of time to hang out with Anne Hanson. I was really looking forward to seeing her, and it was fabulous to catch up! We took in a panel on design, where I finally met Kate Gilbert in the flesh. She's totally adorable and she looks like she's 16! It was amazing to see who was in the audience (Cat Bordhi sitting next to me, Veronik Avery, the Ravelry folks, Rick from Knitters Magazine and so many more) and who was on the panel (I got to meet Clara Parkes!). After the panel came the fashion show, and then Anne and I went to dinner with Jess, Casey, Mary Heather and Sarah from Ravelry, as well as Kristi Porter and (my blind date roomie) Laura Nelkin (did I mention that she is totally awesome?). It was around this time that I realized I forgot my camera.

The next day brought the opening of the show floor and I began my trek from one side to the other, hoping not to miss anything or anyone. This was about the time when I realized I had forgotten to take my extra business cards. Do you sense a pattern here? :sigh:

I was really taken with how nice the yarn companies were to designers, and I so appreciated that. I tried to stay out of the way of buyers, but I think that most were looking Saturday and buying Sunday.

Anne had introduced me to Sylvie from Fiber-Isle the day before, so I made it a point to drop by her booth first. Her yarns are absolutely incredible. She's the creator of Mooi which is distributed by Louet, but she also has other amazing goodies. Here are a few mini skeins I picked up from her. I can't wait to swatch. The yarn is a mixture of bamboo, bison and merino. Yummy!

It turns out that although Sylvie rarely gets on the internet, my site is one that she frequents! I was honored. :)

Onward to Kraemer, where I picked up some color cards and a skein of merino, silk and sterling silver sock yarn. Wowza. I love sparkly stuff. Sparkly purple stuff. Mmmm. I think this one will become a shawlette. I'm really looking forward to knitting with it.

Speaking of beautiful things...I also made sure to stop by The Fibre Company. Can I just say how much I love hanging out in that booth? It always makes me happy. Kate and Courtney are fabulous and the yarn just puts a smile on my face! Last year, I got sample of Road to China and Canopy. This year they gave me sample of Terra, one of the most incredible yarns I've seen. It's difficult to see in the picture, but the yarn has slubs of different fiber and they take the dye in a really unique way. I'm trying to think of the perfect use for this skein - I love the color.

After wandering the floor, I met up with Anne, Cookie A. and Janel Laidman. I was excited to see Janel, and to have a chance to get to know Cookie. Anne, Cookie and I went out for sushi in Little Tokyo. Janel was exhausted and crashed.

Here are a few bad cell phone pics of the most amazing sushi I have had in years and years.


and Cookie. After dinner, we all went back to Anne, Cookie and Janel's room and chatted away.

The next day, I scored some gorgeous Schaefer Audrey, a merino/silk single. I wish my pictures did it justice!

And there might have been a little bit of Schaefer Anne, as well. It's a merino, mohair, nylon blend. Yummy!

I wandered more and ended up having a really lovely talk with Veronik Avery. Her new yarn is really very nice. It's like a Shetland wool, but softer, and it knits up beautifully. I was a little star struck at first, but she was so wonderful (and she actually knew who I was!), that I felt at home almost immediately. Speaking of star struck, I saw Norah Gaughan and I think I may have made a bit of an *ss of myself. Heh.

I left Sunday from Long Beach Municipal airport where I was patted down. Apparently I fit the description of a dangerous yarn smuggler. Either that, or the 30 or so TSA agents didn't have anything to do since there were more of them than passengers. But I made it through without having any yarn confiscated and the boys (all three of them) met me at the San Francisco Airport, where I worked on filling my hug deficit! It was a wonderful time.

Next: a couple of book reviews.


11 January 2010

Monday's Musing

"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity." - Bo Bennett

I thought this was a great quote to start the week. I can't tell you how inspiring it was to meet and talk to everyone at TNNA this past weekend. Full report coming soon!


07 January 2010

TNNA Bound

Yep, I'm off early tomorrow morning. I can't wait! I'll get to see Anne and meet Kate in person! Woot! And that's just the beginning. :) Details upon my return!


04 January 2010

Monday's Musing

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." -Frederick Koenig

The happiest of Mondays to you!


01 January 2010

Happy New Year!

May this year bring good health, joy, friendship, love, prosperity and success into all of our lives! Oh, and fibery goodies, too. :)

Happy New Year! It was quite a decade.