Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Mason-Dixon Fan is Born

I can't believe how much I'm enjoying Mason-Dixon Knitting! I have dropped everything to get involved in it--including frogging a half-finished dishcloth last night. It had just developed some nasty looking holes and I thought---I can either spend the time to fix this, OR I could frog it and start a ball-band washcloth, or find out what's so great about Log Cabin, or we've got a window that simply must have a Bubbly Curtain....! Aside from the incredible wit of the writing in the book, I also appreciate the encouragement to "Go, do!" without always having to stick to patterns. While I greatly appreciate patterns and the feeling that comes from finishing one, M-DK gives me permission to try something big without a pattern. My daughter has never been afraid to do this, but Mama needed a little push.

It's good to love a knitting book. Here are some others that I love:

Knit and Stitch for Beginners by Wendy Freeman
Knitting Stitch Bible by Maria Parry-Jones
Vogue Knitting Quick Reference
New Knits on the Block by Vickie Howell
Knit Scarves! by Candi Jensen

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ahh, Peace!

While I believe firmly that children learn all the time, even when it doesn't look like it, I still can't help but appreciate days like today. It looked to me like they actually learned something!! Maybe it's just my extreme affection for books, but I get excited when many books get read and discussed. And my 5 yo son actually wrote something on his own!

So today I feel (almost) successful as a homeschooling Mom. I've had a glimmer of peace and of pieces falling into place in our homeschool adventure. I close the day with a contented sigh and a prayer of thanks. And a mental note to let tomorrow be its own day~~without unfair comparisons to today. Matthew 6:34 already!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Grand Opening

Although I usually try VERY HARD not to be too serious on a Monday (if ever there was a day that needed levity, it's Monday), I have something that's not all that comical, and pertains in no way to knitting--unless you count the fact that I knitted in the car on the way there. As a passenger, I promise!

Yesterday was the Grand Opening celebration for the main campus of my church. We attended the main campus for almost 2 years, so we dodged construction debris pretty much the whole time we were there. Leave it to us to switch to a different campus right before the work is finished and the kids are out of the trailors! Even though I wasn't there physically yesterday, I celebrated for a couple of reasons: 1) It's my church and I'm supposed to, right? 2) It was an occasion for some really good free pubicity (no, not for me!). Now think about it---a large church + article in local paper = good pubicity ???? Something is definitely wrong with THAT equation!! But, you can read it for yourself here. Pretty cool, huh? Seriously, it's a great bunch of people, and I'm happy to be there. God's Word is preached, people are loved and changed, and I'm challenged--all the time! Doesn't get much better than that :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

She passed her test!

I'm so proud I could burst! This last weekend, my 9 yo daughter passed her very first evaluation for Cecchetti. In my own limited ballet training, many moons ago, I only vaguely remember hearing of such things as different techniques. It's all so much more complicated than I originally thought--and ain't that just like life? Anyway, the kid has passed her Level I test and her mama is proud. I'm so happy to see her work hard toward a goal and achieve it. It's not the same as doing well in a performance or recital--which of course she has done many times. It's the individual nature of the evaluation, proving to her (and me) that she worked hard and succeeded.

Way to go, Red! You're my Dancerina!

A side note---it was during her evaluation that a good friend described my knitting as "compulsive". I immediately pointed out that while driving, I only knit when the traffic is stop-and-go (Palmetto Driving). This defensiveness stems from my thinking of compulsive as neurotic or uncontrollable. Rather, I will accept obsessive, passionate or enthusiastic as apt descriptions of my habit, I mean hobby. At least so long as it remains a healthy pursuit... If I ever have a closet that won't close due to the incredibly large stash of yarn therein, I will seek help. I promise. :)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Take me out to the ball game

This goes along with my finding knitting everywhere---and wanting to take my knitting everywhere, too. I've thought several times, while enjoying a Riverdogs game, that maybe if I brought my knitting with me...but I never have. When my husband watches baseball at home, I usually pull up a sofa next to him and knit while watching the game. Well, I discovered today that I'm not the only one who's thought of this! I found a link to Stitch n' Pitch . I almost spilled my tea, I was so excited to see photos of knitters in the stands at Major League baseball games!

The folks at the Riverdogs are big into promotions (Aren't You Glad We're Not in Boston Night, Salute to the Cardboard Box, Dog Day [bring your dog to the game], Talk Like a Pirate) (I am not making this up!), so maybe they need a heads-up from yours truly. If the big leagues can have a Stitch n'Pitch, so can we!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Palmetto" Time

It is one of the ironies of living in the South that only on days that are not quite so hot does one have the energy to complain about the heat!

I suspect, on this reasonably mild summer day (87 degrees, sunny, humidity only 49%) that the scorching heat and sluggish humidity of life in Charleston are to blame for certain Low Country perks.

When I first moved back to this area 3 years ago, I encountered--full force--the dreaded mutant species of cockroach the locals euphemistically term "Palmetto Bug". Make no mistake, these monsters certainly deserve a special name, however unprintable it may be.

Two inches long by one inch wide, they drop from the trees in the historic district downtown ("Wow, isn't that a beautiful old mansion? Wait! What IS that crawling on the lovely wrought-iron gate?? Ewww...!"), creep out of your kitchen cabinets, scurry across your bed and skitter over the floor. They fly, too, so help me. It's bad enough that when faced with killing one, you're staring down the LARGEST COCKROACH YOU'VE EVER SEEN, and once you've initiated your plan of attack (spray, swat, whatever works!) the darn thing flies---[1]away so that you've got to spend however long it takes to track it down so you can sleep without fear of it returning; [2]at you so that every inch of your skin crawls in revulsion for days; or [3]in your hair, and I won't even go there! I used to swap stories with other recent newcomers about the terrible **CRUNCH** sound produced by squashing the things. Ugh. The bottom line is this: these bugs are bad news and the people here call them (with or without raised pinkies) "Palmetto Bugs". Pu-lease.

It makes me wonder what other nasty aspects of the area could be re-marketed to sound less negative....
1) Being stuck behind a horrible, snarling, going-nowhere-anytime-soon traffic jam:
"Palmetto Driving"
2) Everyone's late so nothing starts when planned [no doubt due to Palmetto Driving]:
"Palmetto Time"
3) 99 degrees, sun, haze, humidity at 90%:
"Palmetto Summer"
4) South Carolina is last again in nationwide ranking for school test scores:
"Palmetto Education"
5) Swarming, stinging, hydrangea-killing fire ants [found elsewhere, too]:
"Palmetto Ants"