Sunday, September 29, 2013

What's on the Needles and Score Keeping

I often write about the millions of the projects that I have going on at one time and I'm not joking around. It seems that my WIP's (Works in Progress) get worked on based on the following criteria:
  1. Window of Fun--The fun of the project and the loveliness the yarn is greatest at the beginning. The "window of fun" gets smaller and smaller as time goes on. Must knit fast if going to finish before the Window of Fun closes. Measured on a 1-10 scale with 10 being highest fun factor.
  2. Pressure Meter to Meet Deadline--how long can I put off an obligation before it bits me in the back. Measured on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being no pressure and 1= Final Deadline
  3. Handiness of Materials--do I have all of the necessary tools or materials to work on the WIP
Here's what I'm talking about.
I'm working on Tucked Pullover from knitwear Fall/Winter 2013. This is a bottom up pullover with textured yoke knit in Elsebeth LaVold Silky Wool. Joanie and Miss Mary commented on the sweater when they were perusing the magazine, so I thought I would give it a test drive the pattern since we have a decent supply of Silky Wool. 
Window of Fun:  10
Pressure Meter:  10, no deadline
SCORE: 20 out of 20

Yarn, check...#4 circs, check, pattern, check. Cast on and knit.  One evening and 7" into the deal and one ball of Silky Wool later, I realize that I read the pattern wrong and did k1p1 rib instead of k1 round, p1 round. ooops--will it really matter?
Window of Fun down to 8.

Ball #2
Go to knit Tucked Pullover, can't find pattern.
Window of Fun down to 7.

Finished second ball last night. Must remember to wind and take home new skein.
14" of knitting in the round with shaping every inch or so---lots of mindless knitting.
Getting close to "The Great Divide", where front and back are worked separately--my motivation.
Window of Fun still at 7.
SCORE: 17 out of 20

I knit an Entrelac iPad Cover in Noro Silk Garden for a shop sample and possible class. The class is a go but the iPad cover is too little to fit iPad--makes a cute purse though.
Must prepare for class and re-knit entrelac "swatch" in two colors of basic yarn for demonstration purposes.
Window of Fun: 7--working with Noro Silk Garden was a 10.
Pressure Meter: 8, I have a few weeks before the class is scheduled
SCORE: 15 out of 20

In the beginning of the summer, a customer asked if someone would knit the mate to a sock. Jill mangled her hand and was out of commission and I'm the singular sock knitter---so I cast on and knit to the middle of the instep. The patterning was matching perfectly, but I was knitting a little tighter than the original. The sock was put aside until I figured out how to remedy situation.
Window of Fun: Dropped for 10 to 5 quickly
Pressure Meter: 5
SCORE: 10 out of 20

Fast forward 3 months, the sock still in instep mode and phone call from customer about status of sock. Told her situation and she says finish it as is and we'll make it work. One evening should finish up knitting the toe and doing the kitchener, another evening for weaving in the ends and blocking.
Window of Fun: 3
Pressure Meter: 2
SCORE: 5 out of 5

I can continue with the million of other projects that tease me.. but I'll spare you.

Bottom line: the higher the score, the more likely I am to work on that project. The lower the score, the higher the priority.

Yikes---its almost October and Christmas Stocking Knitting needs to get cranked up. Xmas Stockings start at a Window of Fun of 3. And we know what the deadline is........

Friday, September 27, 2013


Captain John suffers from iLove.

He LOVES everything Apple.
He says, "The products work the way they're supposed to work."
He loves the entire Apple product line, the simplicity of the product designs, the ease of product use, and the Art of the new product releases. He was one of the many who waited in line last Friday for the release of the new iPhone 5S.

I love my Apple products, but I have my limits-- there will be no waiting in line at the Apple store for me and there is no immediacy to upgrade to the latest models and I'm usually two-three software updates behind.  When Captain John suggested that I trade in my trusty iPhone 4S for something worthy of waiting in line for, I grumbled, "What's that going to cost me?"

Well, we got into his "new" car, a vintage 1978 Honda Civic CVCC, and ambled out to the Apple Store at Kenwood Mall--reaching max speed of 63 mph.  (The car situation is a whole 'nuther story.)

I got the new iPhone 5C, the cheaper model that required no waiting in line. The very next day, John sold my old iPhone on eBay in 20 minutes and for much more than we paid for the new phone.

I do love the new iPhone but there is some getting used to. Remember when TVs went to the wide-screen HD format and the remote control could do things that you never knew you needed to do? Well, the new iPhone is like that. The screen is much larger, it is lightning fast and it is capable of so much more than I am.  I do love the extra $ that's burning a hole in my pocket--I'll probably end up spending it on iPhone 5C accessories since all of my old cases, cords and adapters are now obsolete.

I love that John loves Apple products and old Hondas (he has three with a combined age that is close to our combined age). John loves that I love knitting and have more projects going on than the combined age of his Hondas.

Moral of this story:
Enjoy what you love and share the love with others!

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life:
That word is love.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Day Off and A Day Away

My Blogging Machine- Love the Cover!

Sometime during the day yesterday, I decided that I would take today off.

Jill and Janet are scheduled to work and I would normally go in anyway to try to make a dent in the tremendous amount of undone work piled in and around the office. There are towers of books---full of inspiration and information that I intend to peruse "some day". There are stacks of file folders filled with random papers---some may be important "some day" and some just waiting for me to figure out a suitable filing system. There are bins of yarn and UFOs (unfinished knitting objects)---you got it, just waiting for "some day" when I got the urge to do something with them.  Scattered amongst the piles and bins, handwritten notes and tattered e-mails that serve as reminders of things I must remember to do.

Is today that "some day"?

Heck No!
I have the whole day ahead of me with no commitments but plenty of good intention but I'm really fighting the urge to go into the shop.

So, here I sit at my computer blogging with a second cup of coffee.
Blogging has often helped me get my thoughts organized---the ideas that are racing around in my brain have a chance to formulate as I type them out on the keyboard for all to read.

I ask myself a few questions:
What would the perfect day be?
What direction should the resuscitated blog go in?
Should I pre-blog, make a list of potential blog entries?
Should I do laundry while I blog?
Would a third cup of coffee be a bad idea?

Coffee, yes. Laundry, yes. Pre-Blog, maybe--but blogging just happens. Resuscitation, just try to keep the blog going this time. Perfect Day?

Junko's Perfect Day List:
  1. Get up whenever I get up.
  2. Hot Coffee.
  3. Knit.
  4. Good hair day.
  5. Spend time in a lovely, peaceful setting.
  6. Learn something unknown.
  7. Spend quality time with good company--good food, great conversation, much laughter
  8. Do something for me---mani/pedi, massage, cupcake
  9. Coffee.
  10. Knit.
  11. Nap
  12. Go to bed when sleepy.

Weidemann Hill Mansion, Newport, KY

My Perfect Day is scheduled for Saturday, December 7th, 2013, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.
We (Knitwits) have rented the lovely Weidemann Hill Mansion in Newport, KY for the day and we're planning "A Day Away" from the chaos, hustle and bustle of our regular routine. Janet and I imagine a day spent in our Downton Abbey style mansion decked in Holiday style, filled with our favorite people. Coffee, tea and trays of lovely refreshments are available throughout the day. Guests explore the many rooms full of turn of the century decor, relax on the heated patio with the greatest view of Cincinnati and have lunch in one of the lovely formal dining rooms.

Knitting and crocheting is encouraged throughout the day and special guests stop by to enlighten and entertain. Laura Lough from The Unique Sheep will give a presentation/fashion show of her lovely hand-dyed yarn. Dr. Theresa Holstein will give a presentation on surviving "The Change". Santa will deliver Holiday Cheer....and gifts.  Klaude Kocan and his team of Merry Massage Therapists will be "On Hand" to give Hand and Neck Massages (appointments can be made for a more substantial massage). Janet may even "Cook Up" a little something.

Guests are encouraged to display their own works of art---quilted, needle pointed, painted, knit, crocheted, baked, beaded, etc.  Many of our guests are full of talent that often goes sight unseen.

The cost of "A Day Away" is a $135* and includes lunch, a skein of The Unique Sheep Yarn, Hand and Neck Massages and every thing on my Perfect Day list except #4-Good Hair Day.
* Tickets purchased before November 18th will be sold for $125.

Well...So much for the day off, I just got a text that I'm meeting someone at the shop in a little bit.
Some Day.......

The ART of Blogging

Junko, I kept your lovely e mail and today when I redesigned my web site, 
thought I would forward the new  site so you can see it.

 As you can see, Asian influences are very strong for me....
who knows if it started on Rogers Drive and the wonderful folks next door.

I hope all is well with you ...


I received the above e-mail today from a former next door neighbor.
When I say "a former neighbor", I'm talking about over 20 moves and 45 years ago.

Joy (a very fitting name), was and still is stunningly beautiful, the mother of a childhood friend, art teacher and an artist. I clicked on the link and entered the amazing world of Joy, the artist.

I clicked on everything that you could click on, studied every one of her paintings and read every word that was written.  My final click landed on "Blog".
Her first and last blog entry was dated 01 December 2011 11:43.

WHAT???? 01 December 2011 !!!!!!
I felt like I hit a dead end.....hungry for more posts and more tidbits of information about the 45 years since we lived next door to each other.

Thinking that she may want some information about me and what I've been up to since the age of say 6 years old, I thought I would send her the link to the Knitwits Blog. It has been so long since I checked on this blog that I had to Google "Knitwits Blog" to get the http address. The search results popped up and I clicked on the KnitwitsBlog.Blogspot link.

WHAT???? May 17, 2013 !!!!!!!!
The opening line of the entry was "It's been a very long time since I blogged!"
I'm so sorry I've left you all dangling again.

While I was there, I reread several of the past blog posts (many of which start out "It's been a very long time since I blogged!") and was amused to read the accounts of my history that I found blog-worthy. As the Knitwits Blog administrator, I can also access the "backside" of the blog---the charts, graphs and traffic statistics about readership.

WHAT????  Over 20,000 people have read the Knitwits Blog !!!!!!

Well, For Joy and those 20,000 others..........It's time to resuscitate this blog!
 Here's a little update:

Dear Joy,
Thanks for the e-mail and link to your website. Beautiful!
Since you moved from Rodgers Drive, I went on to finish first grade and eventually graduated from Fox Chapel Area High School. I then went to Penn State and majored in Art. Since graduation, I have have a variety of careers--retail, marketing, management....slight u-turn.....flight attendant/knitter.....another u-turn......Knitwit.

Perhaps in the few years that we wore down a footpath between our homes, we influenced each other in more ways than we realized.  An Asian influence emerged in your art and a deep appreciation of art and creativity grew within this Asian.

Thanks for endless hours of play, for showing me the difference between "Arts and Crafts" and Art, and for teaching me that Art has no rules.


For those of you interested in Joy's work, click here.