My Kind of Game Show

For some reason I have been recording Hollywood Game Night. I do not follow celebrity news, do not know many of the celebrities on the show, refer to the show as Extroverts Extroverting Themselves, and have no idea how the participants can connect in the final round in describing so many so-called famous people.  It’s like a study of another world.

It made me think -  In what kind of Game Show would I excel and be interested?  Here are the clues that I thought would be fun:

  • Loves variegated colors, dyes her hair in crazy colors…
  • Does great cable designs, publishes in Vogue…you bookmark all her designs, really great at construction
  • Her patterns often resemble nature, recently retired from Berroco
  • Founded KnitPicks, has a podcast
  • Has a store in Reno, has great customer service, they’re very helpful with everything!, wrote the Red book about Knitting to help fight against heart disease
  • The queen of Fair Isle, British

I was at work the other day, lamenting with a co-worker about what we would rather be doing…turns out we’re both knitters!  I’m betting she would have the answers to the above…

  • Lucy Neatby
  • Deborah Newton
  • Norah Gaughan
  • Kelly Petkun
  • Jimmy Beans Wools – Laura Zander
  • Debbie Bliss

Knitters Unite! Let’s go to the TV Execs and ask for a show that would really be interesting!  Knitters Having Fun talking about the Knitting Culture!







Tunisian Crochet

Tunisian Crochet is described as “the knitter’s crochet.”  All the stitches get loaded up on the hook for a row and then are crocheted off.

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It creates a densely woven fabric that was originally only used for pillows and upholstery, but is now also used in clothing patterns.

I practiced the basic stitches described in the Tunisian Crochet book (“the book of knitting with the ease of crocheting”) I purchased from Knit Picks (True Confession 1: I received the Vogue Knitting book and pattern sale email, compared the selection to the Knit Picks 40% off sale and ended up buying the book and a set of hooks from Knit Picks.)

After knitting, err I mean crocheting, about 6 inches, I stopped and assessed my progress.

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Pretty.  Interesting. Pretty interesting.

True Confession 2: Not fully satisfied with the piece of fabric.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I do like it, I just don’t think I’ll ever do anything with it even if I finish it to become a scarf.

Frogged it!
Frogged it!

I’m thinking it might be fun to take a really thin yarn and Tunisian crochet it so that the stitches are loosely woven.

In the meantime, I like knitting the best.  It allows more flexibility with the shape of the created fabric, the stitches can be tight or loose, lacy or not, all in one single pattern.  I think there’s a lot more room for creativity with knitting.

Back to the work in progress…The next time I post a picture of this scarf, it will be done.  (True Confession 3: I hope!)

More than halfway through!
More than halfway through!

Why I…Love Knitting

Numbered, but not listed in a particular order (other than my chain of thought).

1. Divergent Thinking.  I can knit and sort out different matters while concentrating on my knitting.

2. Tangible evidence of time spent.  No, I wasn’t just watching TV/attending a meeting/socializing with friends.  I also knit all these rows!

3. The yarn. Such pretty colors.

4. The yarn. Feels so soft!

5. The patterns.  So many choices.

6. Creativity. Mine, or someone else’s, or a blend.

7. Community.  Common language, always an opportunity to learn and to share.

8. Ongoing. My list of projects, the number of choices, the yarn, my stash, my queue.

9. Gifts. To give! (and receive!)


Penguin Books

Penguin Books

In the bookstore the other night I realized I have an unabashedly faithful relationship with Penguin Books.  I automatically assume a book published by Penguin is going to be good.

This started with The Phantom Tollbooth…

the book that started it all?

and continued on in a family trip to England, probably around middle school years.   Some of my best souvenirs were Penguin Books that I brought home to read…and probably still have to this day.

Now that Penguin has merged with Random House, I am doubting my allegiance.  Will Penguin lower its standards?

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Will “Published by Penguin Books” warrant the same level of anticipation as in years past?

Guess which one I'll pick up first?
Guess which one I’ll pick up first?

I am unwaveringly loyal until proven wrong.

But that’s a whole ‘nother conversation!


I have had a rough couple of days at work. I was so proud of myself last evening that my “I’m upset and am going to binge eat” activities stayed within my food sphere…

Chicken wings (unbreaded, though I didn’t ask in what kind of oil they were cooked)
A huge salad
Potato chips (although out of the bag instead of portioned out on a plate)
Chocolate coconut milk ice cream
Did you notice #2 – a huge salad? c’mon! Way to go!

Not bad.

Today I received the terribly difficult to ignore
All Patterns & Books on Sale! email from Vogue Knitting, with a crochet book pictured as one of the selections.

I clicked. I browsed.

I compared selection and prices with

May the actual bingeing begin.

An interchangeable crochet hook set and a Tunisian Crochet book (from knitpicks) later….I’m feeling a little better.


Kool-Aid Flavors

Kool-Aid  Life is all about choices.

Today, I got annoyed because I felt that some people I work with are choosing the wrong Kool-Aid flavor. The Kool-Aid reference is from the Jonestown Massacre, where the people believed in the cult so much that they drank the Kool-Aid laced with cyanide for their mass suicide.

The bottom line is that we all drink Kool-Aid in one flavor or another. We all believe in something – whether at work, in our food choices, our religious preferences or even the choice to not be religious.  We can all find some proof or arguments to strengthen our choices.

Last night I went to dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Throughout the menu, with fairly astronomical prices, they boasted about their corn-fed beef. Really? What corn? The kind they grew in the movie King Corn?  The kind that wasn’t edible to humans? And that they feed to cows? I cringed at the menu. Yes, I ordered some beef. It was the social experience that was more important, and one meal…is just one meal.

But still.  Are we supposed to be impressed that it’s corn-fed beef?

Man, if the menu said Pasture-raised beef, I’d be standing in line to pay more for the meal, ready to support a business that is interested in moving our food supply away from CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).

So the Kool-Aid flavor I ate last night was corn-fed, which is not the usual one that I choose.

The Kool-Aid flavor that someone at work annoyed me with today was “strawberry,” while I usually choose “grape.”

Everyone makes her own choice. I just hate when someone throws their flavor at me as though it’s the only choice.

Not Just Nostalgia

I tore a ligament in my wrist a week ago. I first went to an Urgent Care center where they x-rayed my wrist and didn’t see anything.  Instead they gave me an Ace bandage and told me to see a specialist if it continued to hurt.  I looked at the bandage, and do you know it doesn’t even come with the little metal clasp anymore? It comes with a flimsy velcro-like end that loosely grips the bandage.

It got me thinking that my children and younger people don’t have much experience with real materials. Almost everything they use is plastic.  Simple household objects are now made of plastic instead of glass, metal, or even wood.

  • Ice cube trays
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Many drinking glasses
  • Some eating and serving utensils
  • Earphones
  • Mechanical Pencils
  • Key chains
  • Or are almost extinct: Typewriters, Payphones

Okay, maybe not everything (keys, pots and pans, china, etc.) but much of their daily lives is plastic.  I saw this article, A Threat to Male Fertility, in the NY Times while this was on my mind. Plastic is in more than we are aware:

The gender gap was particularly wide when it came to phthalates, those ubiquitous compounds used to make plastics more flexible and cosmetic lotions slide on more smoothly. Women who wore cosmetics often had higher levels of phthalates in their bodies, as measured by urinalysis. But only in their male partners were phthalate levels correlated with infertility.

I know that sometimes my friends and family think I’m over the top with my desire to eat traditional foods, pastured raised meats, organically grown, non-GMO, non-processed food products.  I also do not use commercial moisturizers or lotions.  But reading this kind of information makes me think I’m not doing enough!

Phthalates belong to a group of industrial compounds known as endocrine disruptors because they interfere with the endocrine system, which governs the production and distribution of hormones in the body. The chemicals have been implicated in a range of health problems, including birth defects, cancers and diabetes.

I do use plastic containers to store food, and at work, I will put them in the microwave.  Time to rethink that practice?

Phthalates…include not only cosmetics and plastics, but also packaging, textiles, detergents and other household products. Phthalates are found in the tubing used in hospitals to deliver medications; in water flowing through PVC pipes; enteric coatings on pills, including some aspirin; materials used to create time-release capsules; and countless other products. In 2008, the government banned them in children’s toys, and the European Union is also moving forward on restrictions.

This is why I get so annoyed at people who are seeking cures for diseases. We should be looking to prevent disease rather than cure it.  That’s my goal anyway.

Letting Go

Letting Go is hard to do.  Relationships, Possessions, Children, you name it.

I have started cleaning out my house.  On one hand it becomes addictive. Once you can throw some things out and donate others, it becomes easier to do some more. It becomes almost inspiring to do more.  Almost like a personal contest – how much can I allow myself to get rid of now?

On the other hand, it is emotional. Memories. Draining. Sad. How did the children get so old already? Decision Making.

I had gotten through yesterday of throwing some things away, putting some out on the curb hoping someone would drive by and find it useful before the garbage pick up (80% success rate so far), setting other items aside to take to Goodwill.  I was fine with it all. Then I drove to my ex’s house and saw the decorative chairs from my grandparents’ house on his front step.  We had placed them there when we moved in.  I left them when I moved out.  But geez, it just took the wind of my sails to see them.

It was all about having been through the day of letting go, and then being reminded again that I needed to let go of knowing that my grandparents’ wrought iron chairs were on my ex’s front steps.  Whoosh.  And I’ll go through it again the next time I visit him.

I have some of my grandmother’s books that she received as gifts, with inscriptions.  One was from 1927. I love having these items.  These, I won’t let go.  I was wondering who will I leave them to? Who will value them as I do? My daughter was urging me to clean out the house over the winter break and seemed cavalier to my sentimentality.  My son is off forging his way in his new world.  I still have time to decide.  Possibly a niece, nephew or daughter-in-law, or grandchild? (egads!, hard to imagine that now!).

The good thing about my Cleaning Out Plan is that I’ve realistically given myself plenty of time.  About a year and a half.

Also – here’s an interesting blog about cleaning out that I received recently.  I felt a spur of companionship reading it.  It’s much more practical than mine.  I needed that. A peer with a plan.

Sex and Knitting

It’s vacation time! I am sitting here in the lobby of my hotel in the Bahamas writing this latest post. Now, that’s a dedicated writer!  Nah, it’s just that I wanted to capture the moment and have a post titled “Sex and Knitting.”

Conjures up interesting images!

I’d love to see your comments of where your mind went. Please bear in mind that WordPress has a keep it clean policy….so we may need to rein in your most creative thoughts.

For me, Sex and Knitting is where my mind goes while I am sitting on the beach. (Photo to be inserted later, as I can’t seem to figure it out on this tablet.)

I am pleased that my mind doesn’t only go to knitting, and also that it doesn’t only go to sex. I am also pleased that it doesn’t go to food or drinks.

I am quite content with Sex and Knitting.