Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Today I worked a full day.

Then I met the Lovely Myfanwe at her office and walked with her to Grant Park for the Taste of Chicago. While at the Taste we ate: chimichuri chicken wings, cumin-dusted fries with sweet mango tamarind sauce, stewed goat and jollof rice, fresh/hot potato chips with hot sauce, a giant bbq turkey wing, chocolate chip cookies, lemon ice, and a rainbow cone. We ate the turkey wing while sitting 50 feet from the Barenaked Ladies, who were performing tonight. And then we went to hear Honeyboy Edwards, the blues performer.

All of this -- beginning to end -- cost only $40.00 for the two of us. No kidding.

I love Chicago.


In knitting news. I am about 1 third of the way through Candle Flame Shawl. The Candle Flame was my first lace, and it made me very tense. It wasn't an appropriate pattern for first lace. But nobody could tell me I wasn't ready yet -- I knew better -- and I did it anyway. It wasn't disastrous, but I really wasn't ready for it and it just made things more complicated. I wish I had listened and waited, but you can't turn back time.

Anyway, I'm enjoying this knit a great deal. But I already looking forward to my NEXT project, which I believe will be Eugen Beugler's Lace Dream (aka Ostrich Plume) Shawl from Shawls and Scarves: The Best of Knitter's Magazine. It is amazingly beautiful. I should have the Candle Flame done in time to start this and have it established so I can take it with to knit in Dublin. I want to have the shawl done by fall.

I'm going to knit it for a very dear friend (who happens to be a physician) who has been ill for several months -- she had a rather indelicate surgery which didn't go well, the surgeon really did a number on her, and the wound was an absolute mess and wouldn't close and wouldn't heal and became infected which made her even more ill and the surgeon told her she was a baby and stopped taking her calls, so she just kept on changing the dressing while things got worse, which resulted in her loosing 12% of her body weight -- and she was thin to begin -- and, to make a long story short, she's had corrective work done by a new surgeon (who has filed complaints with the old surgeon's boss AND his boss's boss) and has a would vac and has been off work for two weeks and is embarrassed to have to tell people what has happened to her. If she can make it through all this, the least I can do is to knit her a shawl.

It's getting late, and I have had a big day. Good night, Gentle Readers. To sleep, perchance to dream.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I Took Math for Music Majors


I have 69 stitches on the needle. I need to increase 22 stitches in one row.

Maybe I'm loosing my mind -- I used to be able to figure this out -- but for the life of me, I can't. Can someone tell me -- in the simplest language possible (I'm VERY dim this week) -- how to affect this. I though it was after every 3 stitches, but that wasn't even. and I ended up off center. I've ripped back, but don't want to go through that again if my feeble brain is just going to spasm again. So I thought I'd ask The Blog for help.

May the Force be With You.

Friday, June 05, 2009

I Have an Odd Sence of Humor

For the record, I didn't knit even a single stitch today, and I don't like the way it makes me feel. I don't like being so busy I can't find half an hour to get in a couple of rows. So I don't think I'll do this again.

Food is very important to me. I cook most of our meals from scratch, believing, as I do, that processed foods -- while not poison -- are not wholesome. I make my own soups. I can my own preserves. I try to explain to Norbert how food is grown, and I try to give him a connection to the food because I think that if you know how and where it is grown, you are less likely to waste it.

I particularly enjoy baking my own bread. Especially challah, the bread traditionally eaten by Eastern European Jews as part of the sabbath meal. It is a dough rich with egg and oil, braided and risen and topped with poppy seed or sesame seeds, or my own creation -- and my favorite -- with salt & pepper.

Knowing what you now know about the importance I place on food and my bread baking proclivities, you won't be surprised to learn that I buy my flour in 50 lb. bags.

A couple of times a year I drive to Shipshewana, Indiana to buy a car load of supplies. A few bags of bread flour, a few pounds of yeast. I do this because I like the fact that the wheat is grown in Indiana by Amish farmers known by the store owner. The wheat is milled in the next town over. Again, by someone known to the community. And it is then sold in the community.

And I never buy New Rinkel flour without getting a jolly.

Now why, you may ask, does this amuse me? My Jewish posse will see it right away.

This last picture has nothing to do with anything, except that my grandmother, z"l, always had a few African violet plants sitting in saucers in a north-facing dining room window. And they brought her a great deal of joy when they bloomed. Last year at the end of June I bought a few African violets on sale a t Jewel. And I lovingly tended them through the winter. And I was rewarded with this.

The picture looks blue, but the posies are more accurately purple. I happen to LOVE purple flowers. As Miss Shug once said, "I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it. " So I try to notice it every chance I get.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


For all my Chicago and Northern Illinois friends, I have big news. Extraordinary news!

Loopy Yarns, (47 West Polk Street in the Dearborn Station) has just started carrying Signature Needles! Since I purchased my first pair, I have become so attached to them that I passed on a lace project because I couldn't use the Signature needles for it. The quality is absolutely unrivaled.

I am extra excited because Loopy is the only shop in Chicago to carry the needles and they did it, in part, because I told them how much people will fall in love with them.

I plan to pick up a pair of 7-inch size 5 stiletto tips when I go to Loopy again. And I think you should go in and do the same! Tell them I sent you. And while you are there, ask to see their $9.00 a ball alpaca lace yarn. A very economical, soft, beautiful yarn perfect for your next shawl!