Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Sock Knitters Anonymous January Mock

What is a Mock? It is a mystery Sock.
I am really blessed to be able to do this for January.


SKA2015 January Mock

The theme is Chagall's America windows in Chicago. Which of course have Chagall's amazing blues.
The first clue is finished, the second clue is up.


Clue 1 Cuff, Holiday Yarns Muse and Cascade Heritage Black

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Epiphany

I have friends waiting for this day.
For some it is the day they pack their trees away, the day wisemen visit, Russian Christmas...

A friend is waiting for a visa today for traveling.


Today I had phone calls, project editor, mentorship, and medical tests.
There was a moment of epiphany, I may actually be on the right track for the year. I might actually have a workable plan for a few months.

Last year I went to a writing retreat, I signed up for classes, I bought journals and pens, paints and sketching materials and started doing things I LOVE again. I am really bad at accountability. So I have a person I have to report to on what I have done with my week. A check in of sorts, to keep my moving forward.

I took on a job or two against my better judgement and learned a valuable lesson. I did some work I really loved. My friend and I took ownership of our book and are hiring a crew to get it FINISHED.
I started a new work, and have new contracts.
In the midst of last year we lost several friends, I had heart issues which turned out to be a collapsed lung, my daughter went 2,000 miles away to college (after a Summer abroad including Israel and my own panic over rockets). Half of my children are officially taller than I am, some by 7-8 inches.
one of them is having an actually very painful surgery next month.

So this year of rest, Shmitah, has become a Year of Hope and a year of Focus.

This year I think things will be finished.
Projects will actually be completed, and I will be doing a lot less traveling.

Did you have any epiphany moments last year?
What are you planning on accomplishing this year?

I really like how Brandon Sanderson tracks his projects. I am soo not organized in comparison by thought I would do a monthly update on where I am at in each one.

January-
 Books I am Reading: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton 80%, Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub 5%, Quiet by Susan Cain, Meet The Rabbis by Brad Young 5%, Crown of Midnight by Sarah Maas 95%

Knitting: SKA January Mock 60%, Knit-From-Stash SOM KAL half of 1/12th, Merle by Norah Gaughn 35%, Urban Cardi variation of Jared Flood's 40% ...obviously these are unfinished from last year

Projects:
Book 1-95%
Book 2- 20%
Book 3- 35%
ebook- 70%
2 articles 80% one 1st, 20% on 2nd
2 contracted projects 85%





Monday, January 05, 2015

A year of Hope

Last year was so difficult on so many levels. So I have dubbed this to be The Year of Hope. 
So many amazing things are coming this year. But I have to tell you my most favourite.

For 17, almost 18 years, our friends wished for a baby. They were so blessed with an amazing child to adopt, about the  same age as our Zem. This kid is so talented and smart. Funny and plays piano beautifully.
And will soon be a big brother!!! After 18 yrs they are PREGNANT!
It is so exciting!

So, see a year of HOPE.

This means we have a lot of baby things to make! We have been choosing yarns and colours, and we are certain it is a girl, the doctor will confirm this...eventually... Haha. 

So if you have favourite baby patterns post them in the comments!

I already finished a February sweater.
I need ideas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Knit-From-Stash KAL

I love sock clubs. I participate in several, but they can get expensive.
I have an abundance of Sock Yarn.  Abundance.
Abundance goes hand in hand with gratitude or it just becomes a hoard.
I love the knitting community.  I am so grateful for all I have learned and received from it.
So what better way to express gratitude than with something that is community and not monetary based.



Jacie found a wonderful idea for creating your own mystery sock of the month club.
For this you will need 12 months of yarn, enough to make a pair of socks each month, about 100g depending on your foot size.

Divide the yarn into 12 concealed packages, whether they are paper lunch sacks that you have decorated or containers of some sort. Have a friend pack the yarn into each month's package to help maintain the mystique. you can toss them all into a box and pull one out at random if you like.
There are some great "yarn in paint cans" and "yarn in jars" ideas, but it is about using what you have on hand, and not having to purchase anything. You will, of course, need knitting needles. :) Whatever you preferred method of sock knitting is, use it!

This is about having fun, being a community, and working from the abundance. If you NEED to go buy yarn, go ahead, no one will judge you. :)
Collect your mystery abundance (not hoard, remember) and post a picture to the group. (if you can, I know some people are not always able to post a picture.)

The last day of the previous month, starting Dec 31, a pattern will be released to the group. If it is a coupon code- DO NOT share it. Keep it in the group. Each month will have a different pattern, varying in difficulty. We are here to help each other, so ask questions , if you need some help or clarifictaion, some one will be able to help. It is for FUN, so you can modify the pattern if you want, for your own use.

Don't forget to post patterns to the group, and dont get discouraged by speedy knitters from Nordic countries who can knit a pair of socks in under 48 hrs. They have super powers. Knit at your own pace.


Thank you for Knitting along with us!
Post your photos in the Event page and on the FB group. At the end of the year all finished socks will be entered for a gift bast of knitting goodies.

1 sock = 1 point

Saturday, November 08, 2014

NaKnitSweMo progress

wow, I am not having good sweater luck this month!
The gorgeoous! Norah Gaughan I am making is massive. My daughter's is a size 36 and it fits me!
My larger size is so massive! So I have frogged back to the arm divide and I am decreasing there, no added underarm sts.
This UrbanCardi for NaKniSweMo is also way too big! I had to frog it completely.


THEN I realized I was 4 sts off, and the ribbing between cables on one side was completely off center, so it was frogged again.
I am now back on track!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

NaKniSweMo part 2

National Knit a Sweater Month has begun!

The beginning of the month had me finishing my Fading Lines sweater by JojiKnits, and ripping 8" out of my Merle sweater by Norah Gaughan, so I got a late start to this sweater project. Merle is sitting in a corner til i recake the yarn.

This Summer when I went to JimmyBeans Wool Stitch Mountain Retreat, I bought some yarn- of course...At the JBW store. It was this crazy deal, and nice fat yarn, and I knew I either wanted to make the central park hoodie OR the Urban Cardi/Jared Flood version.

Europa Tweed by Plymouth

So I am doing the Urban Cardi, in one piece. (free pattern)
Which meant I needed to chart things out on IPS so I could see what was going on.
(BTW I did not switch from in the round to kit flat mod so yes the numbers are all on one side)
(OWN PERSONAL USE, NOT FOR RESALE, blah blah blah, it i s just so i can make it without a headache. Dont ask for copies, cuz that is illegal. ya'll know the drill.)


And make it a pdf so I can put it on the tablet and bring it with me this weekend.
(photo is Jared's and just for a visual reference.)

The original pattern HERE is for a pullover. Jared modified it into the cardi and the mods are on his blog.HERE

One of the great things about using Intwined Pattern Studio is I can pop the text in and make a chart. Also I hated the symbol on the original charts, so I could make it a friendlier one. And I could now knit it in the round if it was not going to go the cardigan route. OR if I want to make it a larger size, I can now see where to add stitch columns at. So in under an hour, I had new charts, and a workable pdf.
Now the hard part- How much yarn do I pack?!
51,308 sts so just over the 50,000 st requirement for NaKniSweMo

Saturday, November 01, 2014

NaKniSweMo

What is it?
"Every year, knitgrrl.com readers knit alongside our writing pals over at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again.
How it works with NaNoWriMo: write a 50,000-word novel in a month. As they say on that page: "This is not as scary as it sounds."


How it works with NaKniSweMo: knit a 50,000-stitch sweater in a month. Just about any full size sweater will meet this criteria! If you divide your chosen sweater pattern's rows or rounds by 30, you'll have an idea of how many rows you need to knit each day to make it. Yes, the stitch count thing is crazy, but I think I can say with confidence that most sweaters out there are at least that, or more."
Join the ravelry group: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/nakniswemo-kal
So, what are you going to make?
I have 1.5 sleeves of my jojiknits Fading Lines sweater to finish, 

and my Merle Norah  Gaughan sweater is just about half way done.

But that doesn't mean I can't have a Nivember cast on, right?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Unexpected Joy

Hodu la'Adonai ki tov, ki l' olam chasdo.
Give thanks to the L-rd, for He is good. His mercy forever endures.

Every year for about. Decade, we go to a family retreat. This year, we knew there was no way we could possibly afford it. We did not even consider it.
Yesterday we got a phone call, paid rooms, come join us.
The kids' faces lit up! 
Waiting to hear about Jaden's surgery, all the stress of college and car bills, things have been hectic!
Although we had a chance to go away as adults last week, this is the whole family.
The kids get to go away and relax!
They get to see their friends. 



This is going to be great for Jaden because being post op next year, he won't be able to do camp. He can see his friends, get a little Santa Cruz time, and have fun!


They did not ask to go, they didn't complain about missing out this year. And an extra special blessing just shows up! 



Gratitude and Abundance.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Psalm 23

Each summer the kids go off to camp. They make new friends, deepen old friendships, learn more Hebrew and come home singing. Like all the way home, 5 hrs of driving, they sing. Their voices harmonize that familial way and they sing. The radio is off. They have their own music in their souls, waiting to burst forth.

One of their favourites is a rendition of Psalm 23. One of their camp directors even sang it at Zemy's Bat Mitzvah.

It became one of my songs as I traveled through Poland to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, Jedwabne, Krakow, and Warsaw. Through Germany: Nuremburg, Dachau, Munich, Berlin... Through Austria: Vienna, Linz, Mauthausen. 
In places that felt dark, I would sing. Whenever fear, irrational old, past generational fear, came sneaking up, making my pulse quicken and my breathing slow, I would sing Psalm 23.

There is a line in both the scripture and the song: "You prepare a table in the presence of my foes." 

I admit it, I have thought about that table. A large stretched out table in a lush green field, covered with a feast that puts Thanksgiving banquets to shame. 
I thought about that table in a prideful and almost arrogant manner. "You, my enemy, you will see me lifted up and feasting at that table."



But, in those trips to death camps, with the voices of my children echoing in my heart, the meaning changed. The table stopped being a place to gloat. 

You, my G-d, prepare the table. It is Your bounty not mine.
You make this in the presence of those who are called my enemies, those who would hate and kill me. 
You do this because WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE ENEMIES ANY LONGER! in You we can find peace, hope, love, and forgiveness. We can stop seeing ourselves and our own hurt and see each other.
We can sit at the table together!

There is something about eating together.  Not formal banquets. Family meals. I told a room full of how many? 100, 200? German Christians this year, in Munich, that I was not very good at banquets, but we were very good at family meals, and invited them to feast with us at that Passover Seder meal. It was amazing. As we ate together and prayed together, we SAW each other. Walls crumbled. There were tears, they begged us to forgive what their families, their nation had done. Those in the room who were Jewish asked for forgiveness for only seeing he Jewish pain of the Holocaust, and we were able to sing with eachother in English, in German and in Hebrew. 

He prepared a table. Enemies were made friends and my cup overflowed, over flowed! There is no place for pride when love fills up the room.  

He prepares a table, in the presence if my foes, he anoints my head, and my cup it overflows, and surely I will dwell in the house of the L-rd, forever.
(Paraphrase)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014




“Abundance is grasped by infusing our souls with 

the intoxicatingly liberating fact that life is a privilege, not a right.” 



There are many things that are scarce around here, but love is not one of them.
My oldest is away at college so we are all on a tighter budget. I was blessed to hear her say "Growing up with out a big house and a lot of money has taught me that there are things I can live with out." I worry about if she has warm socks, enough tea, if she is eating....well, i worry about a lot of things. But I no longer worry about if she has "enough".
My 16 yr old son wrote to his "dear sister" about how much he loves and misses her. Her 12 yr old sister created images with Tirzah's favourite things to show that she misses and thinks of her. All of them love each other. This is the greatest blessing, to have children who love each other and do not see each other as competition.
This is our abundance. We get to be a family, we get to be in each other's lives.

What more do we need?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Centering Thoughts



Teshuvah (Return), Tefila (prayer), Tzedaka (charity).
All month these words have been in our conversation, in our community and are a part of the centering that comes with the new year.

Teshuvah is a type of  repentance, it is an act of returning to, going back to, and rediscovering.
I love this word. It is actually my son's middle name. When he was born, he ushered into our lives a time of returning and renewal, both spiritually and between my husband and I. We contemplated ending our marriage that year. We were sooo off kilter. We needed to be recentered, like pottery on a wheel. If the clay is off center, it spins wildly out of control.
My parents have a friend, Mike Rozell, he is a potter, he does this performance art thing with clay and wheels, while his wife sings. It is pretty cool. (many youtube videos). My favourite part of his routine is when the clay gets of center. It starts smal, and soon is wildly out of control, flailing about, can cause injury.

That was how we felt. We needed teshuvah, returning and repentance. 

How we got there? Tefillah, prayer and fasting. Tefillah is more than just prayer as well, it is attaching or clinging to. I hate fasting. But there is something holy and like a deeper giving, a sacred seriousness...an act of letting go, changing focus, that comes with fasting. I TRY to Fast 1 day a week. I did this more faithfully when we were praying for Sean and Sarah as they battled his cancer. Since his death, I feel a little lost in it. Sean's death did shake certain aspects of my faith. Were those days of fasting wasted? Nope, not one. So I am trying to recommit to fasting, because those days I pray with more focus and less distraction. Less focused on ME.

Tzedaka- Giving back, like the other hebrew words layers of meaning. Righteousness, Justice... So giving and also not focusing on...ME! 
This year we are not planting trees in Israel or doing some of the regular things, but as a family we try to give back, and I need to do more giving of myself. Not just the easy giving of things I don't want anymore. I read this article : America, stop giving your crap to the poor! Ok, it is funny and true! We do give the out of style, worn out and down right ugly stuff away to the "poor".
I want to give the good stuff away. 



Friday, October 24, 2014

Shawl for October

Each of our girls, so far, have had a hand knit shawl for their Bat Mitzvahs.
I did not post Zemeira's as I sold the design. This week Tje Unique Sheep's Inspired by Art club shipped, and it is no longer secret.

Zem's version is smaller and heavily beaded. 100% silk from Tactile Fiber Arts in more of a fingering weight.


This is the amazing 100% silk lace weight version that is at SAFF this weekend. I did not have beads on this as it became an overwhelming amount of beads by the end. 

The yarn for this club shipment is gorgeous!


The subtle shifts in gradients really look rose like.

I had some amazing testers for this! Sharp eyes! So this should be one of the cleanest and have the fewest typos ever. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Days divisible by 4

About once a year, we drive up to Quincy and it just happens to be on a day divisible by 4.
This means, I get to go to The Wool Room.



 Medrith Glover's shop is more than a place to grab an extra skein of yarn. It is a legacy and knitter's historical landmark.



Medrith's mother, Emily Ocker, created a cast on you may have used. Sadly Miss Emily has been gone for 2 yrs now, may her memory be a blessing.
Emily and Elizabeth Zimmerman were contemporaries and friends. Medrith grew up with yarn and knitting camp. 



This is a serious yarn shop, I'm telling you. Which is why, every chance I get, Shmuli knows that I will bat my eyes and beg to go in. I long for a day I can just lounge there.

If you get a chance to go to Quincy, Ca, you have to visit The Wool Room.

BTW- I picked up a couple mini Jameisons 1oz skeins and some gorgeous Malabrigo. ;)

Monday, October 20, 2014

20 years

This week we celebrated our 20 Wedding Anniversary. Sometimes it seems to have gone by so quickly, other times it has felt longer.

under the chuppah with the Rebbe

Time is a funny thing. C S Lewis writes about time passing and how although we live IN time and are surrounded by it, we are always surprised by its passing. It is like a fish being constantly surprised by the wetness of water. 
Ha! I love that! It is true and we are ridiculous creatures.

We were blessed with 3 nights away, beautiful autumn leaves and even a rain storm, which we desperately need in our drought.


Over a decade, we have visited Antelope Lake, each year checking out the new life and recovery of the area from a devestating fire. It feels like "us". We have gone through some devestating things, but there are these glorious moments.



The golden aspen leaves against the burned out canyons, painted incredible colours.


This was just before the evening rain.

Shmuli was able to fish, I knit and got the body finished on my Jojiknits Fading Lines sweater. 

It needs sleeves and blocking! But it is a yummy alpaca yarn and SOOOO soft.

It was 3 days with out cell phones buzzing like crazy.

Now, back to normal life.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Heart of Flesh

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

Every Shabbat this is recited. It is actually the center of 3 verses we say. "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27"I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."

Dealing today with heart issues and watching my little boy ( who now towers over me) go through tests. My Jaden, my laughter.



As we stood there, listening to his heart, I remembered the first time I heard his heart beat. It was after we had lost his sister, Lily. Hearing that beat was so reassuring. He was strong and alive and we had a fight for this kid! I was insanely sick with morning sickness and had a IV back pack and eventually bed rest before and after his birth. When he finally made his appearance, the umbilical cord was wrapped 3 times around his neck, unable to loosen it, they flipped him over and over to get it off and get him breathing. He was a patient at Johns Hopkins in the first month.
The rabbi did his bris on day 9, not 8, because none of the other Jewish families in the DC/Baltimore area would have a Bris on Christmas Eve.
We weren't so picky. We were just glad he was with us. 
After the Brit Milah, I picked him up out of the bassinet and as I turned, ambient candles shattered, scorching his blankets with flaming glass.
Seriously! It has been a fight for this boy!

I used to complain about his broken noses. Was it 9 or 11? Until we found out if he hit his chest, it could damage his heart. Thank G-d, the kid falls on his face!

Now we find ourselves in a season if rest and waiting. How much we are needing it! A sabbatical year to catch eachother up and just be a family together.

(Tests are off to specialists. So literally more waiting.)
 
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