Saturday, January 28, 2006

Celebrate Good Times! Come on!

Last night we had my friends Bob, Sheri, and Emily over Shabbat dinner. (For those of you not familiar, [short form] the Jewish Sabbath starts at sundown on Friday night and is observed in the home with a big meal.) Emmy’s significant other, Maxine, was unable to come because of a last minute schedule change at the hospital. (Allow me to kvell...Maxine is a DOCTOR!)

Bob, Sheri and Emmy are more than just friends. They are Family of Affinity. We chose each other, and they are very important to us.

Our Shabbat dinner was much different that a dinner in an Orthodox household. Because the Chinese New Year is this week, we celebrated with a Chinese dinner:

Steamed plain bao
Steamed read bean paste bao
Choy Sum – Chinese broccoli
Chicken dumplings
Celery & Shitake dumplings
Steamed beef and tangerine balls
White Rice
Chocolate-walnut streudel

A pretty good spread, if I do say so myself.

Sheri arrived with a belated birthday gift – a fabulous rug which looks spectacular in our bedroom. It is very thick and luxurious underfoot!

Sheri is a remarkable woman: a successful lawyer, an accomplished real estate mogul, an incredibly generous friend, and the most gracious hostess.

Sheri is also, and this is not the least of her admirable qualities, the finest thrift-store shopper in the history of the world. 8 out of 10 beautiful things in our home were gifts from Sheri, acquired at thrift stores throughout the Chicago area.

And her home is a showplace. A huge Georgian overlooking a golf course, she loves to tell the story about how the house was such a bargain she bought it without showing it to her husband. And it is a good thing she bought it, too, since she needs the room for entertaining. Sheri can easily serve 200 people on china with sterling flatware without resorting to breaking out the BAD Limoges or silver plate. Again, all from thrift stores.

I think the best thing, though, that I can say about Sheri is that she is a loyal and caring and stalwart friend. When things aren’t going well, she calls you to pep you up. When things are going great, she’s right by your side to tell you what a good job you are doing. Even if we don’t see each other for a month or two, I don’t have to worry she has forsaken me. She is unwavering and steadfast. I want to be her when I grow up.

If only she’d learn to knit! Then we’d have a million more hours to spend together!

Speaking of knitting:

I have finished my first sock – well, except for the final kitchener stitch at the toe and blocking. I'm holding off on the kitchener because I've never done it before and, while I've seen a video clip and I'read about it, I'm going to wait until my Stitch n Bitch to do it so I have the support and oversight of my Bitches.

I enjoyed knitting the sock immensely and have already cast on the mate! I think I’m hooked. Oh, and so I don't get comments -- yes, the stitches are being held on a broken knitting needle. (It looks so horribly violent!) I learned a lesson...if you are going to try on a sock while it is on the sticks, divide the stitches between FOUR needles, not three. They do not bend.

I like plain socks…I want my next pair to be a simple pair of black or grey…I wear mostly black clothes, and I would like to knit a pair for dress. Does anybody have suggestions for sock patterns? Maybe a book of patterns? Also, I’m looking for a sock yarn with cotton content in solid colors. Any recommendations?

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Yesterday was another rough day at the office, so at lunch time I quickly ate the lunch my wife had packed for me and took my knitting and iPod down to the food court in the lower level of my building, where I bought a Cherry Pepsi and chose a table, fully intending to zone out, work on my sock and watch an episode of Desperate Housewives on the pod. Knitting, sugar, caffeine, and smutty television -- what more could I ask for?

But, to paraphrase Burns, the best laid plans of knitting men often go awry. Five times in 30 minutes I was interrupted...meaning I had to put down my knitting, pause the iPod, and remove my ear buds...just so I could face yet another in a long line of insulting or patronizing comments.

I would really like to know what it is about a man sitting alone, wearing headphones, watching a video screen, and knitting that screams "I WANT TO INTERACT WITH YOU! PLEASE! I WILL DIE IF YOU DON’T TALK TO ME!"

A woman yesterday interrupted my sock knitting to tell me that she teaches beginning knitting and asked if I would be interested in taking her class. Even though I've been knitting for 35 years, I managed to brush off the question without being rude, but when she said she had never knitted a sock before, her train of thought was obvious: “He’s doing something I’ve never tried, but he must be a novice because he has a penis.” What -- is the X chromosome the crafty one? So women must be twice as skilled at things with yarn, right?

Then there is the woman who interrupted my knitting (and a scene from Desperate Housewives where a lingerie-clad Eva Longoria was climbing on top of her sweaty gardener) to tell me “How great it is to see a man knitting.” OK, only a slightly annoying interruption. But then she proceeded to tell me how, in her day, “All the hunters and fishermen knit their own wool socks off-season.” To translate for the uninitiated, she really was saying “Not all men who knit are queer. Once upon a time manly men knit.”

Apparently there is an insuppressible fascination with the sexual activities of men who knit. There are, I am quite convinced, women who can’t sleep at night because they were unable to determine if that man on the bus likes boys.

Since wedding rings are no longer a decisive indicator, these women have had to develop new ways of bringing the conversation around to the “boys or girls” topic. My favorite of these is the leading question. “OH, what a lovely [sock, scarf, sweater, etc.]! Is that for your wife?”

I know what they really want me to say is either “Yes, it is.” Or “No, it’s for my oldest daughter.” Or “Oh, no. I’m not married. This is for my boyfriend’s drag ensemble. He does a wicked Judy Garland!” And while I am irresistibly in love with my wife and quite proud of having done my part towards the continuation of the species, I don’t think my private life is a topic to be discussed with total strangers. I usually just say “No, it’s for me.” Even if the knitted item in question is a shocking pink mohair twin set with crystal beading.

The interruptions were so numerous that I packed up my shit and went back to my floor where I finished up my lunch hour knitting in a chair in our storage area -- the only place I could think of where I wouldn't be interrupted.

Please don’t get me wrong. I like women. My best friends are women. I know it isn’t ALL women who behave this way, and that those who do behave this way are a small minority. But, while small, they are an assertive group. This doesn’t only happen to me. I’ve talked to other guys – they all know what I’m talking about. And, gay or straight, their reaction is the same as mine.

Why does a it matter so much to these people? I don’t know them, I don’t really ever see any reason I should ever come to know them, and yet they want to know intimate details of my life.

How would they like it if I asked if they’d ever faked an orgasm or used a vibrator? Or maybe they like girls?

Maybe next time I'll ask.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How Green Was My Valley.

Brenda Dayne, the Fairy Podmother of the knitting community, asked me to join the Welsh National Team for the Knitting Olympics. As you can see from this photo taken with Brenda (in our Welsh national knitting costumes) -- I am much younger than she. I am humbled and honored by her request, and have undertaken a course of study (in addition to training) so that I might do my new country proud.

The national anthem of Wales is Hen Wlad fy Nhadau. It's a beautiful melody, but the words all sound like they are sung with a mouth full of caramel. Don't ask me how to pronounce anything. Pretty much everything can be pronounced by taking a bite from a charleston chew and reading from the phone book.

The capital of Wales is Cardiff. There is nothing funny about Cardiff. I've looked. Nothing.

I contemplated attending university at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, on Cardiagn Bay, but changed my mind, realizing I'd never be able to pronounce so much as the name of my dorm.

Wales' major exports are: manufactured goods (would this include wool?), fuels, chemicals, food, beverages, and tobacco.

Natural hazards: winter windstorms, flooding. So if you move to higher ground to escape the floods, you run a risk of being blown away.

Nothing more to say now than GO TEAM!

Sunday, January 22, 2006


...How you gonna make a dream come true?

I know I'm not alone in playing the "If I Won the Lottery" game. It can be a lot of fun -- those sometimes with a sad edge. It's fun to think of the wonderful things you'd do for your kids if you could, but it hurts just a bit to know that you'll never be able to.

I still play. In my house it's called "The Kabillion Dollar Lottery Game" and I play it more and better than anyone in the family. Myfanwe hates the game -- for her it only holds visions of the things she can never give. Norbert plays along, but I sometimes think he feels bad that MY dreams don't come true.

So today I happened upon a very nice dream, should I win a kabbillion dollars. A lovely little private island off the coast of Scotland with plenty of land for a small flock of sheep and a coop of chickens. Wouldn't it be the perfect place for a combination B&B and knitter/spinner/weaver's retreat? Think of those stables fit out as individual worshops! And knitting and spinning round those fireplaces? My dreams of Wee Cumbra are very detailed. Cakes made with fresh eggs...sheep shearing...the bleating of newborn lambs...mutton stew...all for the low, low price of three million pounds sterling. Sigh.

I must retire now. To sleep; perchance to dream.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


After reading Meg's post on the Two Sock Knitters blog, I laughed out loud at her description of a guy in a bar asking what guys do at a "Knit Club" for guys.

Imagine my elation ... amazement ... horror ... when I viewed the video short Knit Club!

I wonder if they had a Knitting consultant? Not one who was able to teach a college boy to knit, apparently, but somebody had to put that knitting on the needles.

And on the knitting weather, my joy shall be diminished and shortlived. We only got about an inch of snow where we are and it will probably melt by tomorrow noon. And those lucky people out in Northwestern Illinois got all the snow, and now they are on the news complaining about it. Some people...don't they know that a snowstorm is G-d's invitation to knit and drink cocoa?

I'll tell you this...snow or no snow, when I get back from the foot docs, I'm laying in bed and knitting. And I won't complain about it, either. Unless my wife tries to medicate me with cocoa from a packet!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Aaaaah. This is More Like It!


I do love winter the best! There ie really nothing more beautiful or serene than the world covered in freshly fallen snow! Of course, right now what we have isn't exactly snow, more like snow mixed with sleat. But it we expect between 4 and 6 inches tonight. Do you know what that means?


And since I am expecting to have some minor surgery on my feet tomorrow, I will have pretty much unlimited opportunities to knit this weekend. As long as I stay propped up in bed or the recliner. Maybe I can get a nice chunk of that wrap behind me.

I ordered the pattern for the felted clogs yesterday. I decided to make the clogs as my project for the Knitting Olympics. Bless that Yarn Harlot and her great ideas! Even more reason to get through with this infernal wrap.


But they mustn't stitch simultaneously without being sued.

Most knitters have heard about the controversy. A New York sewing store has forced all Stitch n Bitch groups in the country to change their names, which has resulted in a great deal of ill will and animosity towards the company, So Fast, So Crappy, or something like that. (Knitting isn't even their gig! AND they claim there was no use of the term Stitch n Bitch before 1997 -- which would really surprise my Stitch n Bitch group fron 1994!)

Like many other Sitchin Bitches, I feel angry and victimized and powerless. And I worry that my "Stitches in Britches" name will be stolen from me and my mens group will someday have to stop using the name. Don't say "It'll never happen!" It could happen again. I'd register the trademark myself, but it costs somewhere around $240 just to register.

Knitting can be so calming...I think I'll make a pot of herbal tea and get a bit of knitting in.

I hope it snows a lot!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Blah, Blah, Blahs

I am stuck in the winter duldrums.

Chicago has the reputation for horrible weather. And I guess we have the occasional storm, but I describe the winter here as the Oatmeal season -- the entire winter is the same color and temperature as day old oatmeal. Just cold and gray. I would enjoy winter so much more if we had a decent snow every week.

But far worse than the winter dulrums are the knitting duldrums. And I am 34 inches into them.

The wrap I am knitting consists of two rectangles 18 x 30 3/4 inches knit in a twisted 1x1 rib -- all of the knit stitches are knit into the back of the stitch. I am 3 inches into the second piece, and dammit -- I am bored. Bored, Bored, Bored!

The only thing that keeps me awake is making lists in my head of future projects. Next up:

1. My first pair of socks.

2. I plan to reclaim the yarn I used to knit a king-sized blanket. It was knitted in stripes which I never joined. I'll have, conservatively, about 4400 yards of Lambs Pride worsted weight in four colors to play with. I am thinking about knitting several pairs of felted clogs. I have a decidedly Asian aesthetic running through the house, and I think it would be gracious to have comfy clogs available so guests might slip out of their street shoes while visiting.

3. I'd like to knit an Aran sweater for my son, Norbert . I know he would really, really love it. But kids grow so damn fast! Maybe I'll start one this summer and make it a full size too big for him. Then he can get two seasons out of it. But Norbert very much loves his Celtic heritage, and I know he would wear the sweater with great pride.

Now back to the tedious neverending wrap.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Time Out!

I was really lazy this weekend when it came to my knitting. I had so much going on this week that I felt my creative powers were best served by rest.

That said, I picked up sock yarn on Friday to serve as an incentive to finish the wrap currently in progress. I finished the first piece of the wrap and cast on the second and got about an inch knit in the course of the weekend. Now I'll just settle in and get it done so I can move on to my first socks!

I recently found a great sale at Sur La Table and couldn't help myself. I bought the Nordicware Holiday Tree Bundt pan. Originally $30.00, I got it on sale for $3.50! What's that you say? But I'm Jewish? What do I need with a "Holiday Tree" pan? (Please stop sounding like my wife!) Well, aside from festive cakes for Tu B'Shvat, tree cakes are appropriate for any occasion. I baked two chocolate sour cream cakes in it this weekend (one for neighbors and one for us) and they were both absolutely beautiful. And despite her criticisms, my wife ate the cake and hasn't become an evangelical yet. (Although one taste of my cooking has been known to give people a true and lasting belief in G-d!)

I was thinking maybe for the fall making a yellow cake batter and dividing it into bowls where some of it can be colored moss green, some a rich rust, some a bold gold and some a chocolate brown. Then I could spoon the batters in at random and let the cake bake up into trees in fall colors!

I mean, IT WAS ONLY $3.50!

Saturday we had our new dryer delivered, so I spent most of the weekend doing laundry. No complaints -- after 3 months of line-dried socks, I was happy to do it!

We did celebrate the laundry effort by going out for dinner Saturday night for Korean. I can't really tell you the name of the restaurant -- I had their card translated from Korean and the card says "Jae Joo Hae Mool", but the credit card receipt says something else altogether. The English sign over the entrance (3326 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago) says "Korean Noodle Restaurant". This is my favorite everyday Korean restaurant. Their side dishes are not as numerous as in many Korean restaurants -- this time we had the ubiquitous kim chee, a spicy daikon salad, a sweeter daikon salad, slices of home made tofu topped with a spicy sauce, and been sprout salad. I would have liked those little spicy crispy fish. Yum. Anyway, We ordered fried mandoo, (my favorite -- and really done well here), duk mandoo guk -- s soup of beef broth, rice cake, and dumplings, and bul go gi. Everything was superb. I love their fried mandoo because a) they never fall apart, which is one of my pet peeves, and b) the sauce they bring for dipping is really sublime. I always wish I knew enough Korean to ask if I can buy some.

Sunday I made tandoor chicken, naan, a massor dal with lots of sautéed onions and a little tamarind, cauliflower in a Punjabi spinach sauce (a jarred sauce from Trader Joe's), cucumber raita, Sri Lankan sambol, and spiced basmati rice. I was going to make a rice pudding, but I had the cake, so I decided to make the pudding next time.

Now we are back to the work week, and I am determined to spend my lunch hours this week knitting. I keep telling myself "This is one more row towards completion!" I don't know if I'll be able to make it to my Activity Formerly Known as Stitch n Bitch. (there has been a little pissiness about trademark infringement by a shitty company in New York called Sew Fast Sew Easy -- or is it So Fat So Crappy? I forget.) Anyway, I might not make mine tonight...I'm a little worn out.

Friday, January 13, 2006

"I Get No Kick From Champaigne...

...mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all.
So tell me why should it be true,
That I get a kick out of you."

Today I celebrate the 4th anniversary of my sobriety. Without a doubt one of the hardest, yet easiest things I've ever done.

I was lucky, and I know it. Things never got "rock bottom" for me. I didn't lose my job or my home or my wife or my kid or my friends. I may have, temporarily, lost their respect, but I always had their love and support. I saw the writing on the wall and I knew that if I didn't quit, I would lose everything that was important to me.

And so "I finished a lifetime of drinking rather sooner than one might have expected." (I stole this line from the writer, Anne Rice, but when I had the occasion to mention it to her, she said "That which is freely given cannot ever be considered stolen.")

I say it was hard and easy to stop drinking because, for an alcoholic, giving up drinking is the hardest thing they will ever do. The enemy is truly "cunning, baffling, powerful"! You have got to want it real bad.

But I was lucky -- I had great incentive, and that made it easy. I love my wife and son more than anything, and the thought of someday loosing them was more than I could bear. My friends provided a harbor of safety and security for me. My neighborhood AA meetings provided encouragement and empathy.

There are so many people who believed in me and supported me and encouraged me -- too many to than by name, but there are a few special people who stand apart who can and should be acknowledged: My lovely wife, Myfanwe, and my great son, Norbert. My friends Nancy, Ben, Aaron, David, Chuck, Leora, Michael, and Wetzelwoman.. Thank you so much, and may G-d bless you as much as I have been blessed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I'm NOT Laughing.

I strolled through a Chicago area knit shop recently. I'm not going to name it, but I will say that, regardless of their name, they didn't make me laugh.

I am an accomplished knitter. I, like many of my sisters and brothers in yarn, like to buy yarn. I like to go to yarn shops and touch it and see how the light plays off it and examine the twist and chat with the yarn shop staff about yarn. I am not a naive consumer -- I know there are less expensive ways of obtaining quality fiber -- but there are intangibles associated with yarn shops which are worth the extra cost. Or maybe not.

To get back to my most recent visit to the Shop Which Must Not Be Named. I had just selected a button for my current WIP at Tender Buttons to mark the half-way point in the project, and I thought I would give myself the incentive to get the second piece started by picking out the yarn for my next piece. I think I have mentioned in this space my desire to undertake the Adventure of Socks next.

I walked in the door to Che Hoity-Palloity. There are six women in the store, including the owner and two employees. I look around the walls for sock yarn, but this place is really, really crammed full of stuff. So I asked the owner, "Lettie", who was knitting at a table, where I might find the sock yarn. Instead of rising from her seat, she told me to look at the bottom row of bins behind the cash register. As I walked in the direction she indicated, she called after me "Leave your bag on the counter before you go back there."

Now this was not my first time at this particular shop, and I have spent a considerable amount of money there -- it being the closest yarn shop to my office. Did she really think I was going to steal sock yarn? It isn't like "Lettie" didn't know me -- I stick out. How many heavy-set Jewish men buy yarn from her? I swapped brisket recipes with her friends one day, for Pete's sake. I'm a known entity. I couldn't believe the insult.

I don't know why I was surprised -- I've never been treated with much regard at this shop. My design judgments are always questioned, my opinions always dismissed. Immediately upon entering the store I always feel like they want me to leave as fast as humanly possible. I quickly placed my bag on the counter where she could see it and fell to my knees to look at the selection.

Then comes the next indignity. I had to ask for the price. Nothing -- and I do mean NOTHING -- is marked with the price. You must ask how much something is. And all prices are arbitrary. I have paid two different prices for the same yarn in the same week. I really think the price is very much dependant on if the owner likes you or not. And I don't think she likes me.

The price she quoted me was a full 17% higher per ball than another, newer, friendlier, customer-centered shop adjacent to Downtown Chicago called Loopy Yarns. I know the price difference because this second, friendlier store prices all of their merchandise. Oh -- and, though I have only been a customer for a couple of months, they encourage me to come in, sit, knit, and enjoy the store. They remember me -- when they received a shipment which included a type of cable needle I had been looking for, they called me at home to ask if I was still in the market for them. THEY know how to attract and keep customers!

I left the Shop Which Must Not Be Named vowing -- not for the first time, but hopefully the last -- that I would never again darken their doorstep. My money is neither wanted nor appreciated there. I will gladly spend my yarn allowance at Loopy.

Sorry for this long, negative rant today. Maybe I'll be more upbeat tomorrow. You know what might make me feel better? Maybe a couple of balls of sock yarn!

Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grown

Our first meeting of Stitches in Britches, while sparsely attended, was an unqualified success. We have, at present, four members and a couple of other people who have shown interest, but I didn't give much notice for the first meeting. Franklin had a photo shoot, and Andy had a previous commitment, so it was just Jonathan (above) and me, below.

We've already heard from a couple of people who plan to come next meeting, so we are confidant there is enough interest to allow the group to grow.

We had a great time, got in a lot of knitting, and made some important discoveries.

1. The Borders Cafe, while very accommodating, was loud, crowded, and uncomfortable. And I swear to an awesome and benevolent Dog that if one more person had dragged their heavy metal chairs across the stone tile floor, I would have had to kill them with my bare hands. It was like dragging a rake across a freakin' blackboard...for three hours!

2. Said chairs were a hot commodity. I had to damn-near wrestle the chair I was saving for Jonathan away from a sneak-thieving teenager who had already been told the chair was taken. But as the saying goes, "Age and treachery will always triumph over youth and skill." Needless to say, I won.

3. We had to find another place. One nearby. One that wasn't crowded mid-evening. One with more comfortable seating. With adequate lighting. And we found it! Argo Tea Cafe, located next door to Borders at 16 West Randolph! Jonathan and I went in, checked it out, and talked to the supervisor -- nice boy named Tyler, I believe -- and we were warmly welcomed. I think they may hope for an edgy, hip crowd of young, buff urban knitters, but will be satisfied with us.

(Note: In pursuit of full disclosure, my wife, Myfanwe, doesn't have anything nice to say about Argo Tea -- she thinks anyplace that charges $3 for a glass of iced tea should be shuttered permanently.)

I got another few inches done on the first piece of the wrap I am making for the Akiba fundraiser auction. I am almost done with the first half. Then the second half follows, and then the dreaded finishing. I'm looking for an impressive, simple sizable button similar to that in the photo, so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

I am looking forward to completing this wrap because I am not allowing myself any other projects until this is finished. When it is, I want to take up socks -- something I've never done, but I think I would enjoy. And I want to try dying some yarns, too.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Stitches in Britches Lives!

With the help of Franklin and a new aquaintance, Jonathon, I have made significant strides towards establishing Stitches in Britches -- a new men's knitting group here in the Chicago area.

We have a Yahoo group site, Stitches in Britches, and we have arranged meetings on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month from 6:30 to 9;30 p.m. at the Borders Cafe at 150 N. State Street.

I am 20% finished with the cream asymetrical wrap I am knitting for the Akiba auction. Yesterday I purchased a rotor cutter and mat so I could start my next project. I have about 8 yards of a purple knit fabric I used a couple of times to cover tables, but am not using currently. So I am cutting the fabric into approximately 1/2 inch strips, tying the strips together, and balling the resulting "yarn". When I have it all balled, I plan to knit a throw rug for our bedroom. I haven't swatched it yet, but I'm trying to conceptualize the results on a large needle vs. an extra-large needle. I think for a rag rug I'd like it to be a little tight. But it will all become clear in the swatching.

Today we are off to Devon to go shopping in the Indian markets -- one of our favorite outings and one of the reasons I could never live in a small town again. I love the diversity of experiences available. I'll try to remember to take pictures.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Oh What a Night!

I picked up NancyKwik last night and headed for the new Stitch and Bitch hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art on the first Tuesday of the month. Last December was their first, and I heard they had about 4 people.

Well what a difference a month makes! I would guess there were 50 knitters -- and I wasn't the only guy. The incredibly talented Franklin Habit met us there. Whew. I can't tell you how much more enjoyable it is to have someone around to take half of the rude glares, half of the insulting comments, half of the condecending questions...

It was really amazing how many people were there. And the space couldn't have been better -- it is walled off from the rest of the museum, so we didn't have to keep it down, there was plenty of room for everyone, and they had really good spiced tea. I was happy.

I had arranged to meet up with Franklin to discuss pulling together a Mens Group -- there are obviously enough men knitting in Chicago, I think it would be a lot of fun to not be the odd man out -- at least just once in a while. If you are a guy, a knitter, and a resident of the Metro Chicago area, click the Yahoo link at the far right and join up. We aren't going to set a time and place until we have at least a dozen members to poll. So join already!

Franklin is a stitch -- so if you haven't read his blog, grab yourself a cup of coffee and settle in for some good writing, some funny delivery, and some delightful illustrations. I really, really dig the sheep. I think he should develope a line of stationary with the sheep.

I definitely plan to go back to the MCA SnB, but I don't think I can add any more knitting groups to my schedule. I've got a regular Monday night, a Tuesday once a month, and I'll soon (kinehara) have a Stitches in Britches to attend. More than that and my wife is going to kill me!

The woman on the right in this photo was wearing a sweater her grandmother had knit for her mother, which she inherited when her mother passed away. I thought that was such a nice and comforting thought. My son may pass on sweaters or scarves that I made for him. That's a pretty powerful idea.

I am currently knitting on the wrap which I making to donate to a fundraiser at my son's school. I had to rip it all the way out yesterday -- my guage was off -- but I'm glad I did, because I must ahve cast on the wrong number of stitches, because my pattern was off as well. I wouldn't have know otherwise until I'd started the second piece, and then it would have been too late to rip back! I feel very fortunate.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year! Happy Birthday!

From l to r: Myfanwe, Joanna on Helen's lap, Ron, Jessica, Lilly, Norbert on Sean's knee, Eileen on my knee, and Jim.


After a weeks visit, we saw my in-laws off on their return to Peoria. After a recouperative nap, we stopped by a Chanukah party at the home of one of Norbert's school chums, then rushed North to pick up my nephew, Sean, and his Significant Other, Michelle Lilly. (I call her Lilly, as I already have too many Michelles in my life!)

Together we all hied our way to Dae Woon Hae, a fantastic Korean restaurant on Chicago's north side, where we met up with our friends Ron, Helen, their daughters Jessica and Joanna, and Helen's sister, Eileen and her beau. We had an absolutely outstanding time. The food was great! You can see on the table the bones of a might fine meal!

I laugh now, thinking about it, but Ron, Helen, Eileen and Jim are all physicians. We were probably at the safest dinner in the city!

Monday, January 2nd, was my birthday. I spent the majority of the day with Myfanwe and Norbert -- working on Norbert's science fair project, going to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire again, and then we went out for Carribean food. Then, after dinner, I went to my Stitch and Bitch for a couple of hours and got a couple of inches knit on the wrap I am knitting for the school auction.

I imagine there are a lot of people who don't have as much fun in a year as I packed into just over 24 hours. Damn, I'm lucky. Life is good.

Tonight I'm planning to meet up with Franklin Habit at the Museum of Contemporaty Art Stitch 'n Bitch. Among other things, we want to talk over starting a men's knitting group. I think we both like the idea of it, but neither one of us feel like we have a bunch of free time. I really like the idea, though, so I may have to make the sacrifice.