Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't Call Me Square

Okay I admit freely I have an addiction to dinnerware. Specifically, Homer Laughlin Fiestaware, is my dish addiction. If you don't believe me notice that I truly do have a multi-colored monkey tattooed on my back to prove my love (See profile photo for proof).I even have my own hook up for my drug of choice, Cornucopia in Kirkwood. I call it the place where Fiestaware lives. Last week I went to Cornucopia and as I walked down the stairs to fondle the lovely multi-colored beauties waiting for me. The closer I got to the display the more I felt I was walking into an alternate universe. I could even hear a scary soundtrack in my head as I walk over to see the new colors of Ivory, Chocolate, and Marigold.

A signed proclaimed "Square is Cool."

"What, What?" I asked myself. And there before me were square Fiestaware plates!
Seeing these plates made me feel as if the polar axis had shifted. I don't even know how to feel about this. Fiestaware is suppose to be round. It has been round since 1937. Why change now? Homer Laughlin did have a line of dishes called Revere Ware and it was square. But it did not have the distinctive Fiestaware design. I just can't seem to wrap my mind around this square shape.
I bought one plate to see if I could somehow get use to the idea of square dishes. I put the dish on my table and I am leaving it there. Every time I walk by I shudder and think this is just so wrong.
To make matters worst Homer Laughlin is producing square bowls and cups. I just don't know how I feel about this, square Fiestaware, What next Fiestaware paper plates?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Tale of Two Scarves

It was the best of knitting, it was the worst of knitting. Same pattern, different yarn, both initially meant for the same person and a saga in the making. So to begin I have a friend who I will call Scottie Mom. I worked with Scottie Mom at Silly Hall and we still get together from time to time to dish about the people we know and the shenanigans that go on in city politics.

I wanted to knit her something that she would like and would be useful. I decided on the Noro Striped Scarf by Brooklyn Tweed. I loved the look and the knitting was a simple single rib. So off to Knitorious I went and dug through all the Noro trying to find some colors that I thought Scottie Mom would like. She looks so good in pastels, but it was hard finding Noro that I thought she would like, but I picked two colorways and thought it would be okay. I went home and started to work on the scarf.

As the scarf progressed I began to have my doubts on the colors. They were too garish for her, too me and not her. Then I lost my knitting on Cherokee Street; it was a drama thing I whined about on the blog. The knitting was retrieved, but I knew it was just not the right colorway.

Enter the Wisdom Yarn, Poems. I saw the colors at Knit and Caboodle in St Charles and the skeins literally fell off the shelf at me. There was a blue that just needed to be knitted for Scottie Mom. So I started all over again. Knitting and knitting that single rib, I am sick to death of knit, purl, knit, purl.

Scottie Mom's birthday came and went. Winter came and went, finally the scarf was done just in time for spring! The photo of her scarf is directly above. I gave it to Scottie Mom and she was very, very gracious. She said, "Hey, we will have a few more days of cold weather."

Once done with Scottie Mom's scarf, I went back to the original effort which was about half done. Back to the old knit, purl, knit, purl. At last I am done with both scarves. Photo of the Noro Striped Scarf is below. Same pattern, different yarn, two results. I don't think I ever want to do the single rib ever again.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In Loving Memory of Jennifer Kathleen Sutton. 7/29/83 - 3/1/09 By Sungazing
In Loving Memory of Jennifer Kathleen Sutton.  7/29/83 - 3/1/09 by sungazing.

Jennie loved rainbows.

Short Story:donatelife.net/CommitToDonation/ The Real Story:The paper cranes in this photo were the backdrop of a friend’s funeral service. Did that get your attention? I hope so. Because I am desperately asking you to read everything I have to say here.Jennifer Sutton had Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic, genetic disease that affects the lungs. A disease that she struggled with her entire life. On January 17, 2008, after many trials, Jennie was given the gift of new lungs. Unfortunately, over the course of the following year, her body rejected those lungs. According to legend, if you fold a thousand paper cranes, you are granted a miracle. When she was placed on the transplant list again this January, her family and friends began to fold cranes. With each crease, we were hoping and praying for the miracle Jennie needed. I learned a little bit about cranes during the time that they were folded. But one fact stood out above the rest. Unlike similar birds that tuck their necks in during flight, cranes fly with their necks outstretched. This should make anyone who knew Jennie laugh a little. How perfect that we folded so many of these for her. She wanted to beat her disease…and she fought as long as she possibly could have…with her stubborn neck outstretched. No doubt about that. On March 1, 2009 at the age of 25 1/2, Jennie Sutton, passed away, surrounded by family and friends. There were 1008 cranes in the ICU waiting room at Barnes Jewish Hospital (St. Louis) when she died. So, where is the miracle in that? I’ll tell you what Jennie would want that miracle to be. She wants you to be informed about being an organ and tissue donor. Organ donation gave her one more year of life (albeit labored, there were a lot of good times in that year!). And organ donation gave her and her family hope. All the way to the end. It gave them hope. Did you know that 90% of Americans support organ and tissue donation, but only 30% know the steps that they need to take to become a registered donor? Don’t assume that you are in that 30%!! Every state has different rules and essential steps you have to take in order to be a registered donor. There very well may be more to it than signing your license and telling your family! Please. Go to this site and click on your state to find out more: donatelife.net/CommitToDonation/ Educate yourself about organ and tissue donation and what you need to do to be a registered donor. It is never too soon to make this decision. (If you do not live in America and have a link that I can post that is specific to your country, please post it in the comments)! By all means possible, please, feel free to blog this photo and story, pass along the link to your friends and family, or share it on twitter and facebook. Favorite and comment so that this photo can get more exposure.Please, tell everyone you know about organ and tissue donation and help them take the steps they need to take to become a registered donor. Tell them that just ONE organ and tissue donor can help up to 50 people! Tell them that ALL major religions support organ and tissue donation. Tell them, about Jennie.Jennie didn’t get the lungs she needed. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t be a part of her miracle and legacy. I am 100% certain that I will be an organ and tissue donor when I die. Are you?

Since knowing Jenny and Selena I signed up to recycle myself. Please think about donating your organs, I miss my friend Jenny. Those cranes are so beautiful, but so sad. And my very talented friend Sungazing also put together this amazing little video. Please click over and enjoy http://www.flickr.com/photos/sungazing/3367153398/

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Last week I celebrated my 2 year knitiversary. Some of the first real yarn I bought was this lovely Dyeabolical Yarn, in Derby Girl colorway. I liked it so much I bought a second skein. I thought I would knit a pair of wristwarmers and socks for my sister with the lovely yarn. I did get the wristwarmers knitted and given to my sister. She loved the gift, but the socks never materialized. So the leftover skein and then some has been hanging around in my stash for almost 2 years.

Early January I decided to knit a very simple shrug for my sister with the yarn. I looked and looked for the pattern I saw in my head and had no luck finding it. After several fruitless hours on Ravelry I picked up sticks and charged forward making up the design as I went along.

I was pleased with the end result. It is not perfect, but my sister loved the shrug. My mom is so adoreablely modeling the shrug in these two pictures.

My sister loved the shrug too, but she has yet to send me pictures of herself in the garment. I am including my "damn the torpedoes" instructions just to keep the information available incase I want to knit another one. I can't promise they are good directions since this is my first attempt at keeping track, but here goes...

I used 1 skein plus about a forth of another of Dyeabolical Yarns Alter Ego Merino Sock Yarn 100g-430yards per skein.

1) First I cast on 52 stitches on size 8 dpns.

2)I used a knit 2, purl 2 rib stitch for about 5 inches.

3) For some reason I knitted a row before increasing.

4)I wanted the shrug larger on the next round so I knit a stitch and then added a yarn over knit the next stitch added a yarnover and continued to the end of the row (lesson learned, I was a bit over-enthusiastic here and should have probably added a yarn over for every 2 stitches).

5) I knitted three more rows on the size 8 dpns.

6)At the end of the third row I switched to size 11 straight needles and knitted a row flat.

7) On the wrong side I knitted the first 4 stitches and purled to the last 4 stitches which I knitted.

8)I continued to knit and purl my way through the skein.

9)As I started to run out of yarn I went back to the size 8 dpns and knitted 3 rows.

10)This next part was tricky, but I was happy with the outcome. I knit two together and did a yarn over all the way around.

11)On the next round I knit two together, until I had 52 stitches again. At this point I understood why I did step 3.

12) I followed with about 5 inches of knit 2 purl 2 rib

13) Cast off.

I love how this project is also reversible.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Belated Birthday

This year my birthday was delayed because I felt it was unimportant compared to other events. So I have had the weird random belated birthday gift thing going on. I love gifts, so I am not at all complaining. However, I was surprised by this beautiful gift from my friends Rachel and Deborah. Deborah bought the Karaoke yarn and made Rachel crochet this gorgeous scarf.

It is so surprising and stunning all I could do was clutch it to me and gush. I wore it Thursday to work with a shawl pin. I felt so chic swooshing it around in the library. My boss told me to wear it more often it was so awesome.

I have some of the best friends. Thank You.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sad Day

Today is Jenny's funeral. I could wax on about the unfairness of today, buy my friend Elizabeth who gets paid to do just that has done a much better job than I ever could, please read on:

Make a miracle happen: Become an organ donor
They say if you fold a thousand cranes, you can make a miracle happen. And we called her Miracle Girl.
Jennie Sutton had cystic fibrosis. By the time I met her and her mother, Selena Rochlis, she was already on the transplant list. The disease had robbed Jennie of an adult body, so petite and whisper-thin that at first I thought she was perhaps 14 years old instead of a woman in her 20s. Jennie and Selena came to St. Louis from Chicago to wait for lungs, and eventually they were rewarded.
Jennie's transplant went very well, and for a time, we got a glimpse of a Jennie without disease. She could walk without help, could go out without an oxygen tank. In Kimmswick, Mo., a little town along the Mississippi with famous levee-high pies, Jennie relished the ability to walk about the town unaided, finally free.
She was going back to college, she told me. Her dream was to work in early childhood education, if her health would allow.
But Jennie's freedom was short-lived. Last fall, her body began to reject the new lungs, and soon, the doctors said there was no way to stop it. Jennie needed new lungs again.
Jennie hesitated at first to go through the process again. But in the end, she decided to fight.
On the one-year anniversary of her transplant, her re-birthday, we gathered to celebrate. We had to be quiet when Jennie spoke because she did not have enough breath to shout. She told us she had been accepted back onto the list as a good candidate for a transplant.
That's when we started to fold the cranes.
Drawn from every color and pattern, from origami kits bought at stores to random pieces of paper. Nearly everyone folded the cranes, including my son, because we needed a miracle to happen. Jennie was getting weaker every day as we waited for lungs.
And waited.
There are more than 100,000 people on the transplant list, and every organ donor could save as many as 50 lives, and there still aren't enough.
You do the math.
As long as I've known her, Selena has worn the kelly-green ribbon for organ transplant awareness. The frustration she experienced is something I cannot imagine; knowing that every day, perfectly good lungs were going into the ground and her daughter was left gasping for breath.
Imagine my surprise, as someone who has checked "organ donor" on her forms since she was 17, to turn over my driver's license and discover that I am not actually an organ donor. I never signed the back of the license, you see. And you need to do more than that to become an organ donor -- you should discuss it with your family and register with the Illinois Secretary of State's office. If you haven't done so since 2006, you might not be a donor.
In the end, there were 1,008 cranes decorating the waiting room of Barnes-Jewish Hospital's intensive care unit when Jennie Sutton died Sunday night at the age of 25. She died holding her mother's hand and surrounded by her friends and family.
She died waiting for lungs.
Perhaps the real miracle was that she got a breath of time without this wretched disease. Perhaps the gift she received was the chance to walk by the river, and perchance to dance. Her pain is over now.
But I am angry. I am furious on behalf of Jennie and Selena because if we all turned over our licenses there would be no need for a list. There would be no need for Selena to watch her daughter gasp away her last breath. We are not meant to bury our children; there is something innate in the human soul that forbids such a thing.
So I would ask of you this small favor. Turn over your driver's license and sign it. Then make sure your family knows that this is what you want, and go to lifegoeson.com and sign up. You are not too old or too young, too sick or infirm. They will try just as hard to save you if you are hurt, and they will not push your family into a decision they're not ready to make. If tragedy strikes your family, ensure that it will at least prevent another tragedy from taking place.
Because Jennie Sutton did not have to die.
Elizabeth Donald is a News-Democrat reporter and a friend of Jennie Sutton

Sunday, March 1, 2009


My friend Jenny (front and center with her mother and grandmother) died tonight at Barnes Jewish. She was surrounded by many friends, family, and over a 1000 paper cranes. I was not there, but knew it was coming. Fly onward Jenny surrounded by much love. You will be missed.