Sunday, December 31, 2006

All is Quiet on New Year's Eve...

How hip are you? Do you know where the title comes from? (The real words are "All is Quiet on New Year's Day") It is the end of the month and the year and what a year it has been. I was on a sabbatical from teaching from February to July (that's how long my salary was reduced!), took some incredible courses, my father had a heart attack, a friend of mine died from malignant melanoma and left 2 kids the same ages as mine, my mother's friend's husband died suddenly, my Aunt Ruthie died, I had my bat mitzvah, my fake Aunt Bernice died, Ben went to sleep away camp, Elijah had a wonderful time being the only child at home during the summer, we're planning Ben's bar mitzvah, I transitioned back to school in September without any problem, DH has gout, and I know there were a lot more things but I can't think of them right now (and I'm sure you are all saying, "Thank God!")

And then there was the knitting...socks, scarves, some baby things, knitting for Iris Schreir (that was fun and exciting), selling my knitting in The Lily Pad (a big deal for this girl!), and winding up with charity knitting (preemie caps and a blanket).

The only thoughts that come to mind for the new year is that there will be peace in the world. No more killing, no more genocide. I also wish for good health for my family and friends, financial security, a 30 lb. weight loss for me, a larger one for DH, and that my children will always love me no matter how much we annoy each other!

I wish for everyone a very happy and healthy and safe new year. We're off to go to our friends across the street (basically because they have a big screen TV) but we have some delicious vittles to share. We don't like to drive on this night so this has become a wonderful tradition. Happy New Year, everyone! See you in 2007!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Confidence in My Blog!

I just had to write this. I was so nervous about opening my blog up to the world and the 2 comments I received have really made me feel great! Thanks! I know that not all comments in my blog future will be positive, they may be nasty and critical but thanks for the great start! I'm grinning from ear to ear!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Confidence in My Knitting

Why is is that knitters seem to downplay their talents? When someone would compliment something I made, I would respond with, "Oh, it was nothin!" Is it because I can't take a compliment? Attention being paid to something I made in my house may not merit the same attention to a "real" object of art? I was feeling this way for a long time. Then I realized that it was spreading to my family. When my husband's co-worker had a son, I told him that I would knit 3 fruit caps for the baby in 3 different sizes. "Is that enough of a gift?" he asked. Hmmm, maybe he was right. I ran to the store and got a cute photo album/frame thing. Then it dawned on me that those hats could be worth a lot of money in a store. Why did I cave and get something else? It made it seem that my hats weren't good enough.

I ran into a woman I know from my temple in AC Moore. She was buying different types of yarn because she knits scarves and sells them for $40 - $60 each! My mouth hung open. I came home somewhat agitated because I could do something like that and I know I'm a better knitter than her. (Okay, a little competition here but I don't think she knows how to make anything but a scarf!) My husband told me to make something and sell it. Naah, I couldn't do it until...

The wife of my husband's co-worker called me. She's opening a children's store that features handmade item. Could I knit up some hats for her to sell? I felt that old voice in my head say, "Who's going to pay for them? They're just hats I could whip up in a matter of hours?" I shut the voice up and said, "I'll do it!" I knitted 10 hats for her, had them delivered via the husbands, and lo and behold, seven sold! I became a "professional"! My whole attitude changed. My knitting is worth something. Even though those hats were simple, there are many people out there who CAN'T knit and are willing to buy my knitting! I even sold 2 to a friend of mine at school however I did give her a special discount. She told me the hats were so well received. It made my day!

Now I'm working on some stuff to send to her to see if she would like it for her store. In the past, I would hem and haw about it. Now I feel as if I grew a set of, well, you know...nothing can stop me now! When I get compliments on my stuff, I don't downplay my talent. I say thank you and smile!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Awake and Alone on Christmas Morning

Everyone is asleep. We went to bed very late last night after a fun time with our friends who must visit the Jewish deli every year. Gifts were exchanged, we all ordered in moderation and then home for tea and coffee. DS#2 wanted me to watch and Austin Power's movie with him. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I will probably fall asleep while watching it but I tried. For some strange reason I was able to pop out of bed, make myself my English Breakfast tea, watch the Today Show and check e-mails. I'm now thinking about my knitting.

I have to finish a preemie cap. I made a little kit with some cool yarn that I used to make my niece a sweater with when she was born. It's stretchy and bright. I plan on trying to make a few to give to my guild. My kids were born full term, big and healthy. I can't imaging what these parents go through when they have a premature baby. I just hope my little hats keep those little heads warm so they can thrive and grow. square holes sweater. This project was put on hold so I can frantically knit the Hebrew teachers' scarves and the 3rd grade secular teacher one, too. I must have mentioned dozens of times on Knit Talk that I was such an idiot! I'm just glad it's over. Now to get back to my stuff however, I really enjoyed those quickie projects.

So, on Christmas morning, I am relishing the quietness of the house, I feel the need for another cup of tea, and the need to finish that little preemie hat that was interrupted by other things. Peace.

P.S. I finished 2 hats. Here's a picture of them. Yes, that is an acorn squash and a clementine!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Grand Re-Opening

I read in a previous entry that I opened this up to the public. That was news to me. Why have I been so shy? I don't care what people see. It's another side of me, that's all. What have I been doing with my knitting? First, I made a little pocket money selling 7 hats in a store. Not bad. I'm not going to get rich from it but it was very flattering to know that people will pay money for my knitting! It definitely boosted my confidence! I gave the store owner some holiday hats to look over. I have to call her tomorrow to see if she is interested in them. I made 2 newborn sizes: one was a Christmas hat and the other was a Chanukah one. That one was done in navy blue with silver fun fur around it!

I am working on Iris Schrier's Square Holes Sweater from her Modular Knitting book. I'm getting close to finishing the left front. I'm really enjoying this project. The yarn is gorgeous and the pattern is fun. Some of my students today told me that I was in a gang called the Ladies Knitting Gang. I told them that the name of my gang was the Hipknittas. They thought that was the funniest thing they ever heard. I've got jokes!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fried Brains

We are having a heat wave. It is so unpleasant. Okay, I shouldn't complain. I have AC but when you walk outside, you are hit with a wall of heat. I was talking to someone for 5 minutes and I was sweating from under my eyes and in my cleavage. I am not a sweater! I don't mean the kind you wear. I mean one who sweats. So what do I do today? I decided to meet a friend for lunch in a very cool place. (I mean a place with AC, not hip but it's pretty hip right now.) And, I knitted. I'm working on the second sock and when I was up to the second pattern, I realized that I never increased after to ribbing. I frogged back to the ribbing and am almost where I was when I ripped. The second sock is always faster than the first. In fact, I am having thoughts of doing another pair with some self-striping yarn that I was going to make a baby sweater with. The person had a boy and the yarn is for a girl (purples, oranges and greens) That would make a very funky pair of socks.

I am having some wonderful brainstorms of marketing my knitting skills. That's all I'm going to say for now. I need to write it down so I won't lose my focus.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

One Sock Done

We visited DS#1 at camp this past weekend and it was a great, albeit rainy day. I was so excited to see him. We actually saw him Friday night when we had to drop off DS#2 because they allowed siblings to sleep over. DS#1 treated him so beautifully! He made him feel so special. DH and I went to Tanglewood that night where Mozart was playing and I knitted until it got too dark to see the navy blue yarn.

The next day we arrived at 8:30 and the camp was in the playhouse having their morning sing. The words of the songs were projected onto a screen. They sang everything from Beatles to James Taylor to Neil Diamond (Sweet Caroline) to goofy songs about meatballs. Then we hung out, played basketball, tennis, ate lunch, and attempted a parent/camper softball game but it poured! So it was back to the bunk where we found out that there were a bunch of leaks. Then when it stopped raining it was time to go! It was hard for me to leave. DS#1 had his arms around us the whole day. He told us that he didn't want us to leave but he understood that we did have to go. I felt that I was going through that whole missing process again like when he first left back in June.

On the way home we stopped at some local farmstands and bought sunflowers, blueberries, cherries and peppers. DS#2 discovered the world of flea markets and junk shops. He bought baseball cards there and DH told him that they may actually be worth something. He was bitten by the bug. DH and I use to troll antiques stores around the area before kids. I now see that it's in the genes!

SO, I finished my sock using a different pattern for the heel and gusset. It came out fine. I'll wear them. Them? Oops! I have to knit another one.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Total Frustration (from my sock)

I started the Fair Isle socks from KnitPicks and the heel is not turning the way it's suppose to. I started it on 2 circular needles and when I got to the heel, I switched to dpn's. I must have done this part 4 separate times and it's not working out. There are holes when I am turning the heel and if I continue with the foot, there aren't any gussets. I think I'm going to just follow the directions from Cat Bordhi and do the heel her way. I called KnitPicks but the woman I spoke to doesn't knit. She told me to send an e-mail to the Webmaster. I'll do that afterwards.

Yesterday I went walking in the mall for 26 minutes! It was strange at first but I got into the groove. I went around 5 times. That's the equivalent of .6 miles. I also attended a WW meeting. I didn't gain that much. Less than 2 pounds. I am on the right track.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Looking in the Mirror

I am having a reflection crisis. I can't stand what I see when I look in the mirror. Dare I say it that I look like my mother? My weight gain is not flattering and I feel it is getting a stronghold on my psyche. I find myself staring at women's stomachs on TV and seeing how flat they are. Even at my thinnest I never had a flat stomach but I had a great shape. My breasts feel enormous. By dropping the weight, I know the "girls" will also get smaller. I went up 6 inches in my bra band. I went shopping yesterday to get some shorts and shirts. I got shorts with the idea that yes, they fit but I don't want to wear them next year. What is preventing me from being successful? I don't like going to WW when I'm up and yes, I am up. Actually, that's the time I really should be going because I need the help but I like to see my weekly weigh-ins go down! My cholesterol is slightly elevated and for me that is devastating. I always had low cholesterol. It's proof of what 30 extra pounds can to your body! I was walking but it got too hot.

What changes can I make? I can start walking in the mall after I drop Elijah off at camp. I can stop getting bored and grabbing for stuff and get busy by spending 15 minutes straightening something up, reading, knitting, etc. I have lots of things to do. I can reward myself for positive changes. Nothing big. Time to knit would be a good reward. A cold beverage at Starbucks. I should think of working on 5 pounds at a time. My body responded really well to exercise. So why did I stop? Schmuck!

I feel better putting these feelings into words. I see that I do have the mindset to work on this weight. It's like knitting. One pound at a time. One row at a time. My health is worth it.

OKC: Simple Stripes Fair Isle Socks

Friday, July 14, 2006

Random Thoughts and OKC

Yesterday, DS#2 and I went to a local diner for dinner because DH went to a BBQ with the temple's brotherhood. A man walked in with a little girl and for a second I thought I recognized him as someone I spent my summers with at Lebanon Country Club. All of a sudden I felt sick to my stomach. Last year, at a friend's bat mitzvah, this man's nephew was sharing the moment and he was there. This man has a twin brother that I was friendlier with. His sisters are also twins and one was my counselor and the other was my sister's. My friend, Jeff, was very happy to see me when we had a mini reunion last year. When I went over to Mike, he was so rude and cold. I kept wondering what did I do wrong? I never said anything to his sister, who is a member of my temple but it did disturb me. Anyway, there was Mike in the diner. I had to decide whether to ignore him or to say hello. I couldn't believe me, Robin, was having a confidence crisis. I decided that I was going to say hi and the worst he could do is be unfriendly...again. As DS#2 and I were leaving I stopped by and said hello. We introduced our kids to each other and he joked around with my son about the Yankees. He even remembered that we saw each other recently but I guess he doesn't remember being unfriendly. I'm glad I said hello. Maybe he was having a bad day that day, a fight with his wife or relative, who knows? Maybe it was me but he's over it.

Seeing Mike made me feel that I aged so much. True, we were friends when we we all 11 up to 17 or 18. It made me feel like a fart. I talked to DH about it and he told me he thinks I'm still beautiful. How nice. Somebody wants something! I have to get my edge back. I'll work on it. Doctor's orders.

Okay, so this is the hipknitta blog so I have to put some obligatory knitting content (OKC). I am working on my socks. I'll post a picture when I finish the first one.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Little SEX (Stash Enhancement Expedition)

Today I visited a new yarn store. It's called the Katonah Yarn Company and it's in Katonah, NY. I knew of this store but I avoided it because I really didn't need anymore yarn. No, I'm not sick. I have a lot right now. My friend Toni gave me a gift card for the store so I had to check it out. It's a very cozy place. The store has a very lived in look. By that I mean that it's very comfortable looking. There are chairs, a big table in the middle of the store and a little sitting area in the back. The shelves are stocked with Noro, Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Jade Sapphire, Artyarns, Lorna's Laces, etc. I didn't know how much the gift certificate was for but Amy, one of the owners, scanned it for me. $36! I was thrilled. Toni gave me this gift on the occasion of my bat mitzvah! Nothing really caught my eye. I realized then that I had a lot of stuff at home. I perused the books she had to some idea of what to buy. I looked at Pam Allen's Scarf Style book and I remembered I always liked Ene's Scarf. They had a sample in the store. It was done in Lorna's Laces in a maroon color. Very pretty. Amy showed me that I could use Jade Sapphire Cashmere but it may be too fuzzy for the scarf. She left me alone so I could look and touch around the store.

While I was alone, I decided that this store is nice. There's nothing outstanding about it but there is a good selection of yarn. However, I could get a lot of comparable yarn from KnitPicks and other sources. The owners were friendly and when I couldn't choose between 2 colorways of yarn, Amy was there to help me decide. She even wound the hank into a ball for me on her swifter. I also had to add to the giftcard because the yarn was $54 and change. That's okay. Considering that 2 other local stores closed in the last few months, this store is a good place to get some very nice yarn. I believe they give lessons as well as classes and I signed up to get their notices via e-mail.

That was all the SEX I had today.

Today, I finished my niece's hat. That meant I had absolutely nothing on my needles to work on. Okay, I did start an afghan a while ago but I don't love it. I may rip it out. Now I have to decide whether to start to scarf or work on some socks. I forgot that I ordered yarn to make a KnitPicks pattern. Decisions, Decisions.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Opened to the Public

This is a picture of my 3 yo niece's mitered cardigan. The pattern came from KnitPicks as did the yarn. She has bright red hair, similar to the orange color in the yarn. The pink heart shaped buttons are the only ones I was able to find to match the colorway and that were whimsical!

I finally opened my blog to the public. My previous entries weren't very knitting oriented but this is a place where I can write about whatever I want to. Welcome.