Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Turns out that I'm not done whining about my return to work.  Having The Bean here makes me want to stay home and play hookey.  There are so many things that we could be doing together!  Now I regret the unfortunate decision to reveal my blogging to my supervisor.  What was I thinking!

I could tell her that my head is pounding and that I just want to rip it off.  Do you think she'd buy it?  

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I am doing the Happy Dance.  You'll have to take my word for it as there are no pictures of the whirling, dipping and little hops with bottoms of feet tapping!  I was sitting at the table last night, pulling paper off of a pieced runner, when I caught an image over my shoulder, just outside the french doors.  THE BEAN!  Herself, her beautiful self standing right there smiling, instead of thousands of miles away!  She did it again - she blew the doors off of my world, she is so cunning, so diabolically secretive, that one.  I'd had a feeling all day that SOMETHING was up, but I couldn't put a finger on it.  And now, here she is.  So, I can't stick around.  Have to go inhale that child of mine.

P.S. That's Carson showing you his tongue - I couldn't figure out how to crop him without hurting some feelings!  He's a wonderful person, especially when he makes my daughter laugh.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I took some time for myself the other day.  I pointed the car westward and set off at a leisurely pace - back roads, no real purpose or plan.  I came across this guy.  He was most disagreeable and not even a little bit grateful. Apparently he had no wish to be carried from the middle of a blind curve in the road back to his pond.  But hey, this is what I DO.  I cannot help myself - turtle rescue is, for me, as natural as breathing.  He tried to bite me.  I was not amused.  He wouldn't even come out of his shell to give me the beauty shot!  I really admire the house that he carries around on his back - it's so leathery and substantial, so ancient and perfect.  I really wanted to touch it, a lot.  But this guy is a snapper.  A SNAPPER!  I moved on...

Can you tell what part of the country I live in?  This range is referred to as The Gunks.  Lots of climbers like this particular grouping of rocks.  It's a perilous business, if you ask me.  I get the sweats just thinking about those ropes and pulleys and spikes and cliffs!

It is really breathtaking up there at the top.  We use it as a short cut when we are making a fabric run to our favorite quilt shop in Woodstock.  

I had one more stop before I got to Elaine's house.  Each year this wonderful roadside stand features the most magnificent sweep of sunflowers.  And their cinnamon rolls aren't too shabby either! 

There's a really great image of Elaine in her studio, but I haven't gotten her permission to post it, and she might not like the notoriety.  She is a very private, very talented, fiber artist.  If I lose my squatters rights over at her place, I don't know what I'd do!  Elaine is to fabric what the Can-Do-Guy is to wood.  You get the picture!  

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The Can-Do-Guy was really touched by your comments on his pergola.  I promised to do a walk-through of the house to capture some of the other pieces of furniture that he has made - but that would involve the dread Housework, so maybe another day!  The 'H' word and I are really incompatible.  The way I see it - Georgia O'Keefe achieved her splendor and excellence without the trappings of an immaculate house.  She probably had staff.  In any case, she didn't waste her creative time staring at dust bunnies, and that's good enough for me.

Autumn is here and this means that Halloween is in the air.  My favorite season.  Warning: You'll be seeing a lot of ORANGE throughout the next few weeks.   Let's start with the dining room - oh!  The harvest table is one of the pieces that Can-Do-Guy whipped up in time for our first Thanksgiving family gathering.  We had just moved to this place that we call 'Cloudwalk' and the family agreed to come for dinner, but we didn't have a table suitable for seating 12!  So, Himself went out to the barn where he had recently built a new staircase and fashioned this beautiful table from the old stairway stringers.  He. Is. Amazing.  The table is a keeper. 

A box arrived in the mail a few weeks ago.  It was filled with delicious buttery alpaca - what a feast for the eyes!
 Thank you Lally, you little Yarn Enabler.  Who is better than you?  NOBODY.

 Yes, that is a Kureyon bouquet in the bowl above. When I haven't any fresh flowers I find that the Noro is a fine substitute.  No need for watering, no messy petals dropping.  Now, if I could find a way to keep Bella's paws out of the mix, I'd be a happy camper. She has few redeeming qualities, that one.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Weekends take on new meaning when one returns to the workplace.  Suddenly it is paramount to leap from bed at the first sign of light.  The early bird gets the worm, and all that.  Bear with me, I promise to hit my working stride and stop whining about this.  Soon.

There was a caravan on Saturday of minivans hailing from Jersey -  a sure sign that autumn is arriving, and with it - the apple pickers.  Our quiet country road becomes a freeway of impolite and ungracious drivers, each trying to beat the next to the orchards.  There's enough for everyone, people.  Please. Slow. Down.  I'm walking here.

I've noticed that some of my favorite bloggers refer to their significant others in pseudonymous ways.   I like this playful technique of protecting and keeping our family members anonymous.  I've been pondering obscure tags for my partner,  the Master of the Can-Do.  He is one of those self-made renaissance types.  He can build a heartbreakingly beautiful piece of furniture from a photograph - he can sleep an entire Sunday afternoon away.  Secretly, I think his middle name should be 'Ready', because he is - for anything.  Don't look for his picture here, both he and my son have ways of avoiding the camera lens.  Speaking of my son, his is a toss up between The Enigmatic One and Mr. Mercurial!   This is a young man whose career choice finds him running into burning buildings.  We have called my lovely daughter The Bean since childhood, but when you see her you might agree that Hollywood is more to the point.  She will let me know which she finds more offensive.  Trust me, she WILL let me know!

Anyway, it was a lovely Saturday.  Can-Do-Guy was refiguring a display piece that he had built originally to showcase my cinderella pumpkins and gourds.  He is getting it ready for next week's charity golf outing/auction.  The Enigmatic One came by on his rebuilt crotch rocket (shudders) and spent some time with his mother and his dog.  The only one missing was The Bean.  I keep waiting for her return.  I never stop missing her.

Last spring I requested a new pergola to frame my long perennial border.  I made a few short sketches and turned my back, knowing that the Can-Do-Guy would create something really special.  I was careful to include my wish that this structure not overshadow the natural beauty of the existing stone walls and old-orchard landscape.  What I received was what I now refer to as the Parthenon!!!  Honestly, it's imperial, it's downright grandiloquent!  Prudence is not in his vocabulary.  Go large, or go home!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


If you look closely you will find tiny dragon images scattered across this piece - there is so much to see and absorb and this piece is not yet bound or embellished.  I'll reintroduce it when the beads are all in place and the owl, magician and dragons have proper eyes!  Consider it the kick off to my favorite season - autumn and Halloween.  Much more to come...

Sunday, September 13, 2009


For me, the summer is over.  Tomorrow I return to my desk job after 10 glorious weeks away.  Trust me, this is not an easy task.  It will take every ounce of strength and determination that I possess to crawl out of bed, dress myself, walk the dog and face the bridge traffic after being a Lady of Knitting, I mean Leisure, for these blessed weeks.  I dread it.  Today I will race around like a whirling dervish, attempting to complete projects and ready myself - laundry, ironing, why do I always wait until the last moment?  It must be my supreme expression of denial- if I don't acknowledge it, maybe it will disappear.  Ok, Scarlett.  

I've packed my knitting bag, I mean, after all, lunch hour knitting is what gives the work day meaning.  Doesn't everyone feel this way?  Go ahead and say it - WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BAG?  I love that bag.  I loved it so much that I was willing to go without, well, all KINDS of things in order to own it.  I still get a little thrill every time I look at it.  It's made by a company called Bodhi and it is truly scrumptious.  Why yes, that IS an Anne Hanson pattern spilling out of the top - 'STONEWALL' and I am knitting it in Blue Sky Alpaca's limited edition 'Royal'.  Words fail me when I attempt to describe this yarn.  Anne's patterns are legendary for good reason - it only takes one knit to discover why she and knitting are linked iconically.  I suspect that she talks to the fiber and I know for sure that it talks back!  I cannot put this stole down.

What's that, you say?  Ummm, yessss - there IS more Blue Sky Alpaca in that bag.  I currently have a wicked bad case of alpaca-love.  My friend Patty knew that I was suffering from the back-to-work blues, so she brought me some sport weight baby alpaca in the dreamiest shade - kind of a toasty Carhardt-caramel!  Patty is such a good friend - she's even agreed to do a little knit along with this fiber and we have our eye on the 'Whirligig Shrug' in Interweave's 'Weekend' publication.  It's the bees knees.  

So, my neighbor and wonderful friend Susie came over to gather some late bloomers for her three-year old son Jack's birthday party.  It was both fun and nostalgia-producing to wander through my fall garden - it reminds me of a stout floozy, with her dress thrown over her head!  Petticoats and ribbons and all manner of movement - everywhere you look!!!!  Wild carefree abandon.  Goodbye summer.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009


There are two women who work at the nursing home where my father resides now.  One is a physical therapist, the other, an activity coordinator.  Both are women of exceptional character.   I don't have the words to express how much I admire and respect them, as well as the work that they do.  I stumble out of there sometimes, blinded by sorrow and exhaustion, but they stay behind, caring for our loved ones - and always, and I mean this, ALWAYS with a smile and a cheerful word.  

Kathleen is a ray of sunshine.  Annie is goodness personified.  To each I owe a debt that will never be repaid.  But I'm trying.  Annie is getting a quilt - I'm not ready to show that to you yet.  But Kathleen's gift is drying on the line this morning and once I finish the beading, she will have it  - and I hope that it will relay to her how much she means to me and my family.

'It's the sun in the belly with a million rays.
The rest is nothing. 
It's only for that reason that Matisse is Matisse -

it's because he carries the sun in his belly.'
-Pablo Picasso

Kathleen and Annie not only carry the sun, they are transmitters, they spread it over us like a favorite shawl.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


The color of my new cardigan reminds me of tomato soup - it's also what passes for 'red' on Nantucket!  The yarn is a wonderful worsted called 'ECCO' by Zitron.  When I saw it on its LYS shelf, it called to me.  You know how that goes.  You can find this terrific pattern on Ravelry - it's called 'Cardigan to Love' by Linda Cyr.  Thank you Linda!  You were right - it IS a cardigan to love!  The lace pattern is mesmerizing and satisfying, and I was almost sorry when I finished that second sleeve!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I never got to Chatham this season.  In years past, my son would rent a little house and invite everyone who wanted to come to the beach.   Last year he hadn't reserved a rental, but we drove up on a wing and a prayer, hoping to find a hotel that would house us for the few short days we had to spend.  We stopped at many places, without any luck.  Andrew suggested that we try the Hawthorne, a gem of a hotel on the bay, one that rubs elbows with the famous Chatham Bars Hotel.  Did we mind changing rooms each day?  Hell, no, I don't think so!  It was beyond wonderful.  I sat on the private beach and knitted lace.  I watched the fog roll in and out and listened to the seals that dotted the outer banks.  In the evenings we feasted on fried calamari and clams.  Heavenly.  

There was a small lake nearby - not even two miles from the shore, where we took the dogs to swim.  I think everyone had a good time.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


The Knitted Beaded Bag first caught my eye from across the counter in a small yarn shop.  It dangled there quietly, nearly hidden by the bodacious eyelash synthetics and racks of imported needles.  What an interesting contrast it made to those raucous yarns with its little matte beads and pretty color changes.  I immediately purchased 6 skeins of Koigu, an impossibly small circular Addi needle, and a pair of #2 dpn's.  Then I went off in search of beads.  

This is where it gets good.  I discovered that a bead shop had recently opened in a nearby town.  I wandered in and instantly went into a Bead Trance, from which I have never recovered!  I also had the incredibly good fortune to meet Janice, the creator of I Dream of Beading, and we have been friends ever since.  If you ever get to Poughkeepsie (I know, I know, quit with the lame jokes!) you NEED to visit her shop.  I'll have plenty to say about THAT at another time.

All six beaded bags were created and given as gifts.  I confess, I put the tattered pattern away and forgot about it for years.  But recently I rediscovered it and decided to try it in a different yarn - one with more 'tooth'.  That's the Knitter's Prerogative you know,we reinvent our projects the way we wish.  What is there to stop us?  

Friday, September 4, 2009


There is knitting going on, but the batteries in my camera need replacing, so I ask for your patience!  I do have one image - it's the gorgeous new silk bag that my friend Patty made for me.  In it, Blue Sky Alpaca 'Royal', the most amazing fiber.  The Lantern Moon needles were a surprise to this circular needle devotee - the shorter length makes them very comfortable and portable.  And I just like the feel of these beauties!