Kristen said these words the other day, and then Jessica did, too: "Your readers are SO GENEROUS."
I love you. You are all so wonderful and you make my life so much richer.
And here is a guest post from Kristen:
She-Who-Now-Has-A-PhD-But-No-Job here filling in for Norma while she rests her garden-and-puppy-weary body and Harlem-Renaissance-weary mind.
I have thanked many privately, I wanted to publicly declare my
gratitude to all of you who stepped up to the Great Destash 2009
challenge. The current financial fracas—oh, hell, this is Norma's
blog, I'll just call it what it is: SNAFU—is hitting every one of us
and I was overwhelmed by how many people were willing to go look at my
stash and even consider merging one of my woolly adoptees with their
own. I always knew knitters were special people, but when my dear
friend Norma put out the call my head spun with the speed at which you
week later, I've found myself in that lumpy-throated-stinging-eyes
state when I did some math. Confessing this is a wee bit ego bruising,
but, frankly, you helped me make my COBRA payment for this month.
Given that I've got a couple of irritating health issues and a few
ridiculously expensive prescriptions, this is no small thing. Thank
you a thousand times over.
bit of good news to share: I've recently been offered a one-year
visiting lectureship at my alma mater, so at least starting in
September I will be employed and "secure" for the next academic year.
(Meanwhile the summer job situation remains a most hideous beast, which
I'm sure any of you with college-age children have discovered right
about now.) I hope in the fall I will have the opportunity to help
someone else through this current economic slide as all of you have
Because not everyone comes back and reads the comments, I wanted to highlight the comment I received late in the day from Ryan yesterday:
Oh man. This is too awesome. I can't even BEGIN to thank everyone who has voted for me. It means so much to me. I really don't know what to say except that I will model any and everything anyone here knits!* Again, thank you everyone. Let's hope this all works!!! ;-)
And NancyMc, the shirt I'm wearing says "Deuces Wild" and has two women laying across my chest. The shirt is from Express Men. Now, you might be thinking, "that shirt is a little inappropriate, if not obscene!" But what you don't see, because of the angle of the picture, is that those two women are crocheting.
Our Dear Rachel H. responds:
...But Ryan, darlin'? You've gotta be a bit more careful with what you promise a pack of wild knitters. "I will model any and everything
anyone here knits!" ?? Dude, that's just asking for trouble.
The Red Scarf Fund total as of last night at about 8 p.m. Eastern: $2,535.
It's been exactly one week. We are smokin'!
Rather than show more prizes today (yes, there are more to show!) I'll share (with her permission) this note I got from Lynn in Virginia.
I have to thank you Norma. I was new in the area when I started
reading your blog and found out about Red Scarf. Then I found out
that the headquarters for OFA is a couple of miles from my house. So
I sent an email offering to help last year, but things were so hectic
no one got back to me until it was pretty much over. Instead I helped
process scholarship applications - an experience that moved me
enormously and really drove home the importance of the work this
organization is doing. This year I will be helping with Red Scarf,
but it won't end there.
Random Friday Photo, because I know some people hate blog entries without a photo.
Why I willingly pay $4.49 for a dozen local farm eggs: The colors.
...to thank you all for your supportive comments yesterday and to let you know that the biggest drama of the day was that I lost my keys and couldn't find them at the end of the day. After a huge search involving the assistance of all the sound personnel and lighting techs and security guys, I found them.
In my purse.
Underneath my lipstick.
And there was a small irony: The only speaker who tripped me up was a senior college student, American, local (I even know her dad, it turns out), no accent. She only read at about 6,900 words a minute. She was a tad nervous, clearly. The only good (and it's good enough) mistranslate was when she was going like a bat out of hell and she was quoting the guest of honor: "When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitive tits become irrelevant."
I kid you not. It was supposed to be, of course, "national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant."
At one point I just stopped writing. I had to stop, take a deep breath, and regroup. It was the only thing I could do. It was better that than make mincemeat out of the thing. But the speaker I was worried about? Piece of cake. Except when he said Shavuot and Yahrzeit. I was quite pissed at myself that I didn't have those in my dictionary, but then why would I? Most reporters around here wouldn't even know what those are, but because I'm Jewish, I could have possibly anticipated them. When he said, "Between Passover and Shavuot," and I knew for a fact that I did not have Shavuot in my dictionary, I substituted, "between two Jewish holidays." And when he said Yahrzeit, I just pretended he didn't.
Head in the sand works for me.
And kaddish did not translate properly, either. Damn. I saw that it didn't the first time he said it, and when he said it the second time, I wrote instead, "prayer for the dead." It's all about making a readable and understandable transcript.
The reason for no speech being supplied ahead of time? Because he winged the entire thing. No written speech.
The many hours of prep I put in paid off in spades, though, and I got lots of love and positive attention from many in attendance. Many hearing people, including the sign language interpreters, were, at times, reading the translation because they could not understand the accent. Later, a VIP asked me, "Just out of curiosity, how did you know all those Jewish words?" Heh. Of course, he doesn't know the half of it, because the true question is, how did I have them all in my steno dictionary. Knowing the words is one thing -- having them translate is quite another. Of course, knowing them is the requisite first step.
I'm exhausted, and I have a long day ahead of me Thursday, and possibly Friday as well. So I just wanted to pop in and tell you what an awesome bunch you are. Oh, and there are only one or two pole burns.
I've just received a fresh order of Blessed Juno soaps. My goodness, Laurie has a way with scents. I'm not fond of perfumes and colognes, as they often give me a headache, but essential oils and naturally-scented soaps, if done right ... whoa, yeah, baby. Sensual and brain-awakening.
This order includes a bar each of Lavender Grey, Lavender Oatmeal, Sunshine, Gentle, and Sachet. The package, when it arrived, included a sample bar of Aweigh. Aweigh is, to my surprise, anise-scented. Holy cow. I probably wouldn't have ordered it without smelling it, but now I want an entire order of that one alone. These lovely herbal scents make my brain sparkle. I'm asking myself how fast I can use up this soap so I can order more. Nice.
Vermonter Home Girl Pippi (didja know she has a book deal?) sent me a gift of a cheerful skein of exquisite softness over the weekend (colorway: "Mermaids").
She is unabashedly working on tempting me to knit more socks, and when I said, "Don't forget, the socks I've been knitting are small and in worsted weight," she said I didn't scare her; and not to forget that she had some worsted weight hand-dyed yarns too! Well, when I received this, I immediately thought "Abigail." The shade of royal blue that dominates this skein is one of Abigail's favorites. I'm thinking a hat, not socks, and not Dulaan. I'll work on finding a pattern that I feel is right for Abigail. Thank you, Pippi! Your aesthetic is beautiful, bold and bright, and makes me so happy. I can't wait to see the book.
Speaking of socks (or not, heh), a few weeks ago, I purchased one of the last skeins of the original Real Vermonter sock yarn from Jessie. (she has a new version now)
She named the color, "Girls' Night Out." I might call it "Cape Codder." It is the color of the cocktail, sans the lime garnish. Come to think of it, maybe that's what Girls' Night Out refers to. This will make a beautiful pair of warm socks something (maybe not socks) for me. The soft all-Vermont 70% mohair/30% Romney/Corriedale wool content will make it extra-warm, and the color will be a joy to look at.
We are lucky to have so many talented folks among us, with such lovely products on offer.
In other news, I'm busy warming up my boxing gloves. I'd like to punch a few people's lights out.
I can't wait to wear that t-shirt. Won't I be the coolest mama? And I'm so excited to introduce Abigail to Teddy Thompson*. Thank you! The next time I see you (soon, hopefully), I will hug my thanks to you in person.
*It's so super-cool when a mom can introduce her young adult daughter to some music before her friends can even do so. Wicked cool.
The Contest: Or What Ancient Project Did I Finish?
The long-overdue gift for a friend -- thrummed (fleece-stuffed) mittens made from Coopworth wool roving, which was a beautiful gift from Carole, and which I spun into the yarn used for these. The thrums are locks of an incredibly beautiful Polwarth fleece, a gift from Kim. The inside of the mittens look like this:
The story of these mittens is they were knitted for a friend, but I ran out of yarn (and there was no more Coopworth roving to be spun) before I could complete the two mittens, so I went back and took off the cuff of each mitten and knit a different cuff made of Lamb's Pride worsted. Other things got in the way (notably, the Red Scarf Project and lots of other projects), and it took me over a year to get back to these.
My friend's wife is a knitter. When he opened the package, containing one completed mitten and one still on the needles, he said: "I know what this is: A promissory note!" He asked me if he was going to have to wait a year before he got the finished pair, and I insisted that no WAY was he going to have to wait that long. Erk. There have been several sub-zero days this winter during which he could have worn thrummed mittens, and I feel bad that I did not get them done well before now. I'm happy they're finally done. I'll package them up and mail them out this week.
And the winner is: Margene! She is the only one who guessed these mittens. I know exactly what she needs as a prize. :)
Look how beautiful! I am not tooting my own horn here, because I did not knit these. They are a lovely, thoughtful gift from FluffyKnitter Deb. Isn't she wonderful to knit these for me? Look at those scrumptious colors! I have never felt socks made with Mountain Colors Bearfoot before, and this is my new favorite sock yarn. So soft and so warm, with the super-soft mohair content. I am in love. Thank you, Debi and P-Man, as I'm sure he helped! They are beautiful, fit perfectly, and are much loved.
This afternoon, just in the nick of time before they slammed the doors shut at the post office, I drove on the hazardous roads to mail the latest finished transcript -- 189 pp. Just before then, I turned down a job for tomorrow, giving the reason that I have too many pages to do. After I slid back home and made it into my garage (just barely), I did an inventory, thinking that maybe I had overreacted.
900 pages pending. At least 600 of which they want yesterday.
Nope. Not overreacting.
It's 10:59 p.m. and I just had a "second dinner" at the computer for the evening -- a bowl of Campbell's Chunky Chicken Noodle (please don't point out that there is nothing good in there for me, and salt and wheat are mine enemies. I already know this.) The first "dinner" was jarlsberg melted on Ezekiel bread and a glass of white wine. Tell me I don't know how to live!
Grey's Anatomy obliged by showing a rerun tonight. (It's an OUTRAGE!)
And Melissa made me grin from ear to ear by sending me this:
I'm not sure if you can appreciate what it is, what with the flash and the bad photo, but look, she made a tiny red scarf and put it inside a clear glass ornament. Yup. Grinning from ear to ear, that's me. I'll get a better photo of it later. Mel has been a great supporter of the Red Scarf Project right from the beginning, has knitted several scarves for it herself, as well as created care tags and done various and sundry other tasks for the project.
It was a grey and dreary day, one filled with more HP Tech Support Bite Me moments. And just then, a ray of sunshine came through the clouds: A package from the Royal Post from my pal from Florida, Jennifer. She is spending some extended time in my favourite place in the whole wide world, London, and she sent prizes for the Red Scarf Project. That's the luscious selection of Fyberspates yarns on the right. A lovely skein of sock yarn, and two skeins of Blue-Faced Leicester (omygod, is that stuff SOFT and squooshy!)
If you knit a red scarf and let me know about it, you could have a chance to win these lovely, lovely yarns. So what are you waiting for??
Now, perhaps equally important, on the left are the things Jennifer put in the package just for me, me, me! Jennifer tells me that she wasn't so sure about the inclusion of the Marmite (I love the new SQUEEZABLE bottle!), but her knit group insisted. Heh-heh, I have to tell you, Jen and group: I did not intend it this way, as I had bought some nice things to cook for dinner -- but I was on the phone for so many hours with HP support -- I went all the way to corporate, where I told them that I had reached the end of my rope with HP support and they'd better start refunding my money and they'd better start thinking about revamping their entire support system, and, oh, it's all a long story that I can't even tell, I'm so exhausted from the rage -- so I had Marmite and cheese on toast for a relaxing and comforting "supper" while I prepared to try to lower my blood pressure and watch LOST. Then I ate several HobNobs during the show. So thank you, Jennifer. It was a wonderful thing you did. Not so good for my waistline, but good for my soul. Thank you, thank you. I'm going to go now and fondle my skein of BFL in the colorway "September." Thank you.
A short while ago, Jennifer A. from Toronto wrote and said she had inherited a bunch of yarn from her grandma, and she has no real interest in knitting it. She'd like to see it knit up into warm things for Dulaan, so she was wondering if I'd be interested in taking it for my Dulaan knitting. Of course I said yes, and told Jen that I could also pass any surplus around through the blog. Well, this is not quite like Ryan's avalanche of yarn, but it still qualifies as an AVALANCHE. I could knit this from now to eternity and still not be done! If anyone is interested in helping me knit this up into warm things for Dulaan or other charity knitting projects, please let me know and I'll send it your way. There are acrylics and wools and wool blends in a wide range of colors and cream. There are a lot of baby colors in acrylic, so if you have a preemie charity or such that requires washable yarn, this is the stuff for you. Just let me know if you're interested.
Notice that bag almost in the center of the photograph? It's a bag of healthy treats for Vinnie. He was thrilled. He took one in his mouth when I offered it to him with a look that said, "Pour moi!? Really?!" I tried hard to get a picture of him with one of them in his mouth, but I couldn't manage. His reaction, though, was precious. We both thank you, Jennifer. I promise to incorporate the yarn into my Dulaan knitting.
As a matter of fact, look at the wicked cute hat I've already made from your yarn.
It took me all of two and a half hours the other night, using this free pattern and size US 11/8mm DPNs. (You may have to register to look at the free Lion Brand patterns. It's the Ear Flap Hat for Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, and it's a great pattern. There is a crocheted version, but I followed the directions for the knitted one. It's adorable.) I'm going to use this pattern often in the future, using 100% wool yarns. Love those earflaps.
And then I took more of your yarn and some lovely soft bright yellow Lovikka yarn, and I used it to soften the edges of some gold razor wire Lopi yarn to make a scarf to complement the hat. Cuteness. Wait, something is missing.
There. That's better. Finis.
Vincent update: Vincent seems to be doing very well. The Bravo raw-food diet, this supplement, plus cod liver oil, and canned pumpkin (which I learned from the internet is excellent for adding fiber to the diet) -- and milk thistle capsules for his liver -- seem to be keeping him comfortable, perky and happy (dare I hope "healthy"?) for the time being. He does not like his new doggy sling, though. I take it as a good sign that he is well enough to assert himself in this way. :)
Coincidentally, in my deposition the day before yesterday, both the deponent and one of the lawyers said they just, within the last month or so, have gone through exactly the same thing with their dogs. Both of their dogs did not make it -- one withered away; the other didn't make it through the surgery. In my mind, the evidence is mounting that it is those nasty drugs they encourage us to put on our pets in the spring that is causing this. Both of those dogs were also 10 years old. It can't be simple coincidence that all these dogs are getting critically ill, and so rapidly, at the same time of year. To my mind the one common denominator is those nasty, horrible drugs. I am starting to get livid about this. But of course they will deny it left, right, and center. The "they" I refer to is the pharmaceutical and mainstream medical establishment. Ergh.