Monday, February 29, 2016

Beatles Month

For a couple of years now I have deemed February Beatles Month.  During the month I listen to, you guessed it, Beatles music, watch Beatles films and videos, and try to learn new things about the Beatles.  I always start with the 1 album and work through the others I own.  I also listen to some of the solo stuff.  Usually, I watch at least one movie, Help is my favorite.  Basically, I wholly in everything Beatles.

February can be a cruel month.  The weather is often cold and miserable, the days short and nights long.  February also reminds me of the bleakness from 2010, when I lost my ,dad.  John, Paul, George, and Ringo help me cope with my memories of a painful times.  This month I even get a bonus day to enjoy the fab four.  Thanks Leap Year, I needed the extra day.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Yesterday one of my co-workers committed suicide.  I saw him the day before, he gave me a big smile and told me he was doing great.  We always smiled when we saw each other.  If we had time, we talked about how things were going in our lives.  He always seemed happy and upbeat.  In fact seeing him was one of the bright spots in my day.  I, like everyone else was stunned by the news of his death by his own hand.

I was also angered at the news because I feel I failed him in some way.  I failed to notice that under the veneer of his smile was so much pain.  Pain I could have in some small way eased or lessen.  Pain I was oblivious to.  No one knows why he ended his most precious life, but we all reeled from the knowledge that he was gone.

I cannot turn back to Thursday and rewrite my last conversation with him, but can at least tell you what I wish I had said.  I wish I had told him how much I appreciated that he always took the time to smile at me and acknowledge our connection as workplace allies.  His warm hellos and inquiries as to my quality of my day were a tonic against the harsh realities of our jobs.  I would say to him I would miss him if he went away and so would many others.  I would tell him, as I am telling you, his life matters.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Knitlandia or I Read a Book

I know I am trying to get credit for something I should do anyway, but I read a book this week.  I rarely read anymore, if I can't get it on audio I normally just don't read a book.  This week I made an exception, I purchased and read Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World by Clara Parkes.  I had heard she had a new book out by the fine knitters over on the Mason/Dixon Knitting blog (  Ann and Kay have never steered me wrong, so I made it a point to buy the book, as in a real open the cover and turn the pages kind of book.  Parkes already has some of my bookshelf real estate with her The Knitter's Book of Yarn  and The Knitter's Book of Socks, surely I could make room for another book by her.  Both of her other books made me think about the technical side of yarn taking me a step beyond my usual questions about yarn, is it green and is it soft.  I appreciated the education and still utilize the yarn book from time to time.  Intrigued by her travelogue in the world of knitters I dragged out the debit card and as soon as I got the book home I started reading. 

Parkes does not write with the marathon prose of Stephen King or Tolstoy.  In fact her prose is compact and direct which made for a quick read, which I appreciated.  Yet, her stories of festivals, conferences, and sock summits abound with kniterati and sparking dream locations.  I mean of course I want to see Edinburgh, Paris, and Iceland, but now I want to see those places from a yarny perspective.  Parkes allowed me to enjoy her adventures while safely sitting on my futon drinking hot tea.  I devoured the book and immediately went to the internet to check on prices to flights to Iceland.  If only I had the time and the money, I would be on the next available flight to Reykjavik.   Okay, maybe I would wait for spring.

One of the things I took away from Knitlandia was how amazing it is to read about a woman who has in fact as she says, "I was simply following my heart .  Which as it turns out, is the best way to do it."  How inspiring and wonderful, women can find success in the world of fiber.  I can only recommend the book to my knitting friends and wish Parkes continued success living her dream.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sweet Hitchhiker

Knitters are just like any other group, when friends knit a pattern we often find ourselves wanting to knit it too.  The Hitchhiker by Martina Behm is one of those pattern up there with the Clapotis (yup knit 2 of those) and the Central Park Hoodie (not yet) for knit popularity.  I checked on and the Hitchhiker has been queued 22,541 times.  The pattern runs about 500 yards of yarn per finished project, if you do the math on that it is over 6000 miles of yarns or about the distance between St Louis MO and Hawaii, but I digress. 

I wanted to knit a Hitchhiker for myself.  I had bought the yarn for the project on the yarn crawl last summer and I just need to do it.  With all the holiday knitting and crocheted owls done, it was time to knit that Hitchhiker.  I used a brightly colored DK weight cotton yarn and size 6 needles. I found after awhile I got a little addicted to knitting the points on the pattern. The pattern calls for 42 points or teeth on one edge of the pattern. (For the Douglas Adams fans out there, yes both the pattern name and the number of points are in reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)  As is often the case, I knit mine large and added a few extra teeth, because I had the yarn.

Rocking my Hitchhiker
After I started on mine I decided Natalie needed to knit one too, because that is what we knitters do, share a fun pattern.  We also have a friend getting ready to move to Minnesota and I thought she could use a warm neck wrap.  I knew I had some old school Dyeabolical yarn in a fun green and black color way which would be perfect for this pattern.  Pretty much I said knit this pattern with this yarn and Natalie did.  Both Hitchhikers turned out great, but it is amazing how much different they are.  Mine is a little largish and her Hitchhiker is a little smallish, but both are fabulous.

Natalie's Black & Green Hitchhiker
You would think I would be done with the Hitchhiker, but no, not me.  I actually can't wait to knit up another.  However, right now I have moved on to a large green poncho.  I don't think I can convince Natalie one of those, but you never know.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


I don't really care for sports.  It could be a lack of athleticism on my part or just plain apathy, I don't really know.  That said, if you like sports, please don't berate me for my apathetic opinion.  Please love your sports and let me not love them.  I will find something else to do while you watch the superbowl.

Now if knitting were a sport I might have to buy season tickets.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Jury Duty

I spent Monday and Tuesday at jury duty.  I really dislike jury duty.  I spent 2 days contemplating why I feel so passionate about jury duty.  I think it is because the lawyers are allowed to ask personal questions and you are expected to reveal to a room full of strangers your private thoughts.  In many ways I felt like I was on trial.  However, after 2 days I was released, unpicked for actual service on a jury. Glad to be able to get back to work in the jail.