Attention West Coast Knitters!

“Not much meat on her, but what’s there is choice.”
– Spencer Tracy, Pat & Mike

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not teaching a LOT these days, but the teaching I’m doing is CHOICE!

I’m picking my venues carefully, and with an eye to my energy levels and the quality of the entire event.

I’ll be at Interweave Knit Lab once again, and I’m proud and thrilled to be there!

The dates are Oct 31 – Nov 4, and this will be the last time for a few of my classes (I’m working up new ones and plan to take some of my older classes out of rotation…)

You can click here, or on the small calendar to the right for more information on specific class times, descriptions and dates, but suffice to say that I find the Interweave Knit Lab to be an amazing place for a knitter to grow their skill set!

For those of you who can’t make it to San Francisco, I have some great classes up at my own online classroom,, and I have a few classes up at Udemy (see the list to the right).

More are on the way, as with everything else it’s a question of time and energy!

Pain Identifies Me

It’s been a crazy, pain-filled few days and I don’t know why.

I’ve been living a relatively clean life; no gluten, biking as much as I can (in the heat), keeping the sweets & dairy to a minimum.  But the pain has been rather intense.


Me, ostensibly working, in my sky chair in the backyard. Why do I always look drunk?

I’m beginning to wonder if one of the triggers for my Fibromyalgia may be heat? Who knows. Almost 4 years in and I’m still learning stuff.

When I was in my 20’s, my 30’s, even my 40’s, I had SO much more energy.

I could do anything – and many days I did!  I could bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pain, wash the pain (and the whole kitchen) PAINT the kitchen, remodel the kitchen, and THEN make you feel like a ma-a-a-an!

But I am utterly exhausted almost every day.  Physically, mentally, emotionally.

I am just drained. And I hate it.

Recently we spent a weekend with some friends, and the fact of my constant exhaustion was brought home when I needed to take not ONE but TWO naps one day. This is the kind of thing I can ignore within my own family, but it becomes noticeable (and noticed) when other folks are around.


The sleeping doxy

The dogs were thrilled, both Jasper and another guest’s sweet little doxy crawled into bed with me, and we three tired pups slept the afternoon away.

I apologize if I sound whiney –  I didn’t used to be so worried about whining, but a few years ago a rather nasty blog commented on how odd it was that I was always “moaning about my health, but could ride my bike to the top of the Wallace monument”  Yeah, whatever. 


My bike by a tiny Free Library in St. Paul

Some folks are always going to be nasty about something, and it shouldn’t matter.  Except the comment is trapped in my head like a wasp against a window and it buzzes every time the pain overwhelms. me.


I know my exhaustion comes from pain. Pain EATS energy for breakfast, then asks for more for lunch. If no energy is forthcoming, pain goes on a rampage and sets the garage on fire before fleeing the scene. Pain is a perp.


My bike at the Lyndale Rose Garden

And, as I’ve related ad nauseam, I deal with the pain with my bike, with yoga (in the winter) and with stretching.

Usually I can beat the pain back.

Or at least I can reason with it and
distract it while I make my escape.


So today I took a pain pill – not something I do regularly (perhaps I should take one prophylactically when I know it’s going to be so hot) – and I’m feeling on top of the world right now.  Where’s that frying pan…?


I offered a “Heat Wave” discount during my class last night, the current temp minus my ideal temp of 70º = 29% off on my books!


Last night I taught a lace class at Darn Knit Anyway, which is SUCH a lovely yarn shop in Stillwater, MN!  I love to visit there, I always find inspiration in the choice of yarns they carry (they have a good eye – or perhaps it’s that we share the same taste!)

The class was smallish, but that allowed me to really dig into the theory of lace, why stitches move the way they do, how to create scallops and waves in the edges of your work (intentionally!) and different ways to make a decrease / increase.  Overall, it was a very good class (and I sold a few books, too!)


St. Paul Cathedral at 9pm, on my bike ride home from SPNN

I’m excited to be teaching the same class next Saturday, this time the class is full, 16 folks at last count.  Perhaps they’ll have me back to teach classes on some other topics, that would be great!

All in all, a really terrific experience on a hot, hot day!

My plans on this steamy day are to bike downtown, sit at an air conditioned Caribou Coffee and knit, then head over to SPNN and edit from 4-9 (it’s ALWAYS cool in the edit suite!)

Yes, I’m working on a project for a documentary class I’m taking at SPNN (St. Paul Neighborhood Network), our local public access station.  It’s going very well, and I’m LOVING the editing portion.

More on this later as it transpires…

Some New (to me) Yarns & A Lace Class


Before I talk about the yarns, I want to give a shout out for a class I’m teaching at Darn Knit Anyway in Stillwater, MN this Thursday and next Saturday (a two part class)

It’s a class on knitting lace, learning to mistress charts and feel more intuitive about your lace, and the entire class will be working on Ruth Garcia-Alcantud‘s pattern Chambourcin, we’ll be using the nested medallion motif from that pattern as a jumping off place for lace calisthenics.


A skein of SilverSpun – 50g/173 yds

Recently I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some new yarns, well – new to me, so I thought I’d write about them on this hot, hot day with the thought of knitting with the alpaca blend I have on my needles is daunting!

My friend, Laurie Gonyea (Feel Good Yarn Company) has started a new adventure with SILVER yarn! She’s producing an American made cotton & pure silver yarn that has an amazing softness, bounce and beautiful texture! Laurie sent me a skein a few weeks ago, I did some knitting up with it and it was extraordinary!

There’s buzz that the silver can be helpful for arthritis, but I can’t really comment on that as I’m not a doctor.

What I CAN comment on is that this is extraordinary yarn with a feeling different than just about anything else I’ve knit with. It has a firmness, yet is very soft and pliable.

Laurie’s engaging in a Kickstarter campaign to help her get this yarn off the ground, I think it’s worth checking out!


TNNA HAUL: Baah, Classic Elite, Lorna’s Laces & a maribou feather from the Columbus Gay Pride Parade

While at TNNA I was introduced to a few new yarn companies worth noting, and a few new yarns by established companies.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 10.35.59 AMQUINCE & CO

This is the 3rd Anniversary of Pam Allen’s yarn company, but it’s the FIRST time I’ve used any of her lovely yarns in an editorial!

I just finished a beautiful (well, I think it’s beautiful) balaklava for Interweave Crochet in Quince & Co Tern, and I enjoyed working with this yarn SO much!  It’s got a great feel in the hand, good body, and the drape of the finished fabric is perfection!  I haven’t used it for knitting, but I’m DYING to!

I think I’ll knit some up right now as a swatch for a new lace project / class!


Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 10.00.15 AMI was pretty much blown away by both the soft firmness (can you tell I’m a sucker for a soft, firm yarn…) AND by the beautiful array of colors.

Bright, crisp and clear, I fell in love with the blues and yellows especially (it’s hard to find a good yellow!)

I’m hoping to use their lovely yarn in a new project, time will tell…


IMG_0018Not a new company, but I hadn’t really appreciated their rich, deep and satisfying palette until I spent some time handling it at TNNA this year.  It’s gorgeous stuff!

Organic merino and natural dyes combine to make a soul-satisfying palette. 

I’ve no immediate plans to use their yarns, but that’s not for lack of love!

Maybe the editorial gods will conspire to do me a solid and hook us up in the future!



Scarf & Jasper

I’ve been assigned a few pieces for the UK Magazine, The Knitter, using Drops Alaska and Nepal.

They’re both beautiful yarns, Nepal has a bit of alpaca to soften it up, but Alaska is wonderfully soft wool on it’s own!

“Girls, you’re BOTH pretty!”

I’m working up a few mens pieces, one of which is a reversible cabled scarf (shown with my own handsome fellow, Jasper the Poodle outside of a local Caribou Coffee)

I’d used DROPS yarn before, but never so much for 4 different projects. It’s a VERY enjoyable knit, and the colors are clear and rich – I like my colors like I like my men…


Flushing Colorway

In addition to a new marled yarn pictured above (I’m not sure if it’s out for public consumption yet…) LL’s just come out with some new colorways based on locations which have meaning for the LL staff.  I love this idea, and I adore the colors!

My favorite is Flushing – a beautifully masculine colorway, which would pair really well with a more feminine semi-solid for a totally different feel.

Keep up the great work, Beth, Amanda and everyone at LL!

Remember Me?

I haven’t posted for a while because we have been battling various pressures, none of them terrible alone , but together they create a firm barrier which I’ve been alternatively digging under and leaping over.

It’s curious how we underestimate a smooth, level, unobstructed path, huh?

Various recurring health battles (both for Gerry and myself) have reared their ugly heads, made bolder by the non-Spring weather, which kept me from cycling (which has slowly worn away my health resources.)

Nothing fills all my reservoirs like a good, long bike ride. As a matter of fact I was SO hurting for a ride that I borrowed Ysolda’s prop bike from her TNNA booth and rode around the show floor for 10 minutes.

Not near enough, but it was fun while it lasted. I got the idea when I saw Cat Bordhi doing it, so haul us both off to convention center jail!

Yes, I went to TNNA. I wasn’t going to go. Between Gerry’s returning health issues and my own recurring pain and exhaustion I felt as if it were too much. About Gerry was insistent – he said something to the effect of “if you don’t go to TNNA and have a bad year, design-wise, I will feel responsible.”

I didn’t want to drive alone, I haven’t driven long distances for several years, (not since I took out a construction barrel on a highway in Illinois and scared myself silly) and I wanted to take Max with me. But I didn’t want to leave Gerry home alone, and he was up for the ride!

So we did the drive there over two days, stayed a day at an extended suite type of place (good for everyone!) and while I was at TNNA doing the necessary schmoozing, Gerry and Max slept in, then went to CoSi and had a terrific time (Gerry’s dreamed of taking Max to this great science center for years!)

Hannah (who would like to be called “Andy” for the present) is already up at Menogyn working as an engage for 2 sessions, then late in July she will head out on her 32 day Nor’wester canoe trip up into Canada with 4 other young women. I’m alternately bursting with pride, and terrified for her.

I’ll be teaching a two part lace class at a FABULOUS yarn shop in Stillwater, MN, Darn Knit Anyway!

Lovely Laces: July 17th 6-9 pm and July 27th 10-1pm.
We will cover the basics of lace knitting, charts, and how to go about memorizing a repeating motif to make lace knitting more enjoyable and intuitive. ANYONE CAN KNIT LACE!!

It’s been a crazy busy few months of designing, which I love and which is good work for me as it doesn’t require a lot of movement (I move we’ll many days, but sometimes those unmovable Fibro days coincide with a teaching engagement, and all hell breaks loose…)

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt both so useless, and also as if so much is depending on me. It’s a bad feeling, but there’s really nothing for it but to keep my mind on my work and do my best.

I’ve just finished 16 designs for various magazines and knitting pubs, all places that pay fairly and offer good terms for designers to retain their rights on their designs. Look for my work in Jane Austen Knits, Downton Abbey Knits, Interweave Knits and Interweave Crochet, Twist Collective and in Austrlia in Yarn Mag and in the UK in The Knitter.

I have 6 other designs I’ll have completed by mid-July, also for publications that deal openly and fairly with their contributors, so I’m actually very fortunate, all things considered.


I had a chat with a sister designer at TNNA where I was warned not to “burn my bridges” and I laughed. Some “bridges” are little more than zip lines, they only work in one direction.

Other bridges may be burning, but I didn’t set them on fire, I simply balked at the high toll.

I know I have carved a well deserved reputation for someone who will speak her mind about fair working conditions for hand knit and crochet designers and teachers, and that this has perhaps made me persona non grata with some entities.

There are still publishers who still insist on retention of designers rights after publishing a pattern, will only pay 10% of online pattern sales to a designer (50% should be more like it in my book!) or won’t cover the full hotel and airfare for a teacher at their functions (another designer told me this weekend she makes NO money teaching at TNNA for Offinger, but she does it to get at least part of her airfare covered.)

To me this remains unacceptable.

I think I was a little afraid I’d go to TNNA and begin to regret decisions I’d made to avoid/openly discuss corporations that make money off of the fruit of designers and teachers, yet treat these same designers and teachers as if they’re doing THEM a favor by hiring them.

But, happily and surprisingly, I found myself comfortable with decisions I’ve made, happy to continue to work with old friends and eager to forge new relationships with other yarn companies.

There is room for MANY different opinions in our business. If holding a position outside of the mainstream means I’ve burned a bridge, that might not have been the right path for me, anyway.

Now, off to get a good LONG bike ride in so I can start rebuilding my health and grow my strength for what lies ahead. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if hard work and fair dealing cannot provide me an income in this industry, it may not be right for me. I’m not going to change that by underselling myself or working on the cheap.

Note: if you see odd typos in this post, chalk it up to the fact that my computer has been out of commission for wifi use for 2 weeks, so I’m doing all of my online stuff with my iPad.  This is my first time doing a whole blog post on this tricky, disappearing keyboard!

Desperately Seeking Groove

I’m certain it’s no secret to anyone who reads my blog or knows me that I’ve been battling with some pretty strong stuff for a while.


Gerry & Jasper, BFFs

It’s not just Gerry – overall he’s doing well, his cancer return is being handled by Revlimid & Dex and we putter along as if we’re retired folks. He’s great on his own for short periods, but I do feel that I need to be here with him most of the time.

And it’s not just my Fibro – I deal with it, I suffer through it when the flare ups come (more often in Winter) and I hesitate to write about it much because, well, who needs the nasty comments about me ‘moaning about my health’

Keep those cards and letters coming folks!

I’m not certain exactly what’s been up, but I’ve felt like a hermit, a pariah, adrift and alone in the midsts of friends.

I know I’m not, I know exactly how fortunate I am, but handling the demons of self-doubt has been very difficult this past year. I question everything I do, I fear that I’m past any usefulness.

Yes, I realize what I’ve just written is a little dumb, and self pitying to boot.
Let’s just say it’s Wintertime, and the wallowing’s been easy.

After my radical hysterectomy (return with me now…) I was put on a blend of estrogen and testosterone. Although generally considered a male hormone, women’s ovaries produce trace amounts of testosterone, which is necessary for many things. Evidently self confidence and weight loss – at least in my case – are connected with Mr. T.

As I am no longer the bearer of a set of O’s (the procedure to remove them is called an ooectomy, which always makes me laugh) I produce neither estrogen nor testosterone.

But, insurance companies being what they are and our coverage being spotty for the past years, at some point my company stopped covering my estratest, then they wouldn’t cover the generic version of it, and then I had to go to a non-testosterone hormone replacement therapy (hrt)

Before anyone writes to tell me I shouldn’t be taking hrt, don’t bother –
Since I had a radical hystero, I will take hrt.

Had I my lovely ovaries, I probably would just deal with more holistic remedies.

After another marathon session of, “50 reasons why I hate myself” I realized that there was something going on that just wasn’t explicable. I battle depression, that’s not a secret, but this felt entirely different.

So I spoke with my doctor and she agreed to try to get me back on an estrogen / testosterone supplement, just to see how that would go.

No, the drug isn’t covered by my insurance, but I felt I really needed it.

The mechanics involved were insane – the drug is killer expensive – and I am grateful to WalGreens which has a pretty great drug club type thing that brings the cost to $30 for a 3-month supply.

After a few weeks I’m noticing a difference. I feel a bit less hopeless, more able to see clearly. I feel stronger mentally, more agile and less a constant ‘victim.’

I have NO idea if this is all in my head, if I’m experiencing some kind of testosterone placebo effect, or if it’s real. But I’ll take it.

I’ve been on radio silence for so long – hesitant to blog, to send emails, to communicate with many folks because I felt so weak (mentally and emotionally), so unable to cope.

IMG_0004The Winter That Will Not End wasn’t helping, but at least it’s pretty.

So this weekend I see a bunch of students at Yarn Over (the Minnesota Knitting Guild’s yearly AMAZING knit class / marketplace extravaganza) and I see a bunch of peers.

Seriously, Yarn Over is an event that is spectacular.

Outside of the knitting convention type of events like IK Knit Lab, Stitches or Vogue Knitting Live, this event brings in the most exciting teachers.

Yarn Over is the event at which I taught in 2006 when I ‘met’ Minnesota for the first time and determined to move my family here.  Ironically, it was then held at Arlington High in St. Paul – which is now called Washington High – and which is where my son Max is a student!

IMG_2140One more ‘moving to MN sidebar’

At the Yarn Over Teacher Dinner back in 2006 there was a prom group at the restaurant. They were SO happy, everyone all together as a group, not terribly “datey” or money centered (limos, etc.)

I remember thinking, “This is what I want for Hannah, a prom that is FUN, not an explosion of $$ and broken hearts…”

And this past weekend at her Perpich Gala, that is what my dear daughter got – a lovely dance with great friends – a dance that ANY kid would love.

Seeing my peers at an event like Yarn Over is always wonderful, sometimes scary, and I’m interested to see how my pathway out of confusion and darkness helps me interact better with folks that – true or not – I feel judge me.  Peer review, it’s the name of the game in any industry.

I’ve been pondering the concept of passion. For whatever reason, I feel I’ve misplaced mine, so I am trying to line up a series of interviews with other knit folks about PASSION.

If I happen to see you at Yarn Over and drag you into a corner and ask you to give me 15 words on what excites you, please play along – I’d appreciate it!

And if you’re not a member of the MN Knitting Guild, you SHOULD be! You can only take Yarn Over classes if you are, but you can register at the event and I know that I still have places in my knitting with wire class.  Bonus – you’ll leave class with a lovely bracelet, and the ability to create many more for Springtime graduation/Mother’s Day/May Day gifts!

We’ve Made HISTORY!

Well, it’s FINALLY ready for pre-order from Cooperative Press!

Hmm, which cover will end up on the book?

Please note that this book is available only for PRE-ORDER.

All purchasers will immediately receive a one-page preview PDF, followed by the full digital book download within a couple of weeks.

Printed copies will ship by late December or before.


I’ve been quiet, but it’s because I’ve been COOKING!

We had an AMAZING Thanksgiving; excellent food, wonderful family time, lots of rest and lots of laughing!  The only thing that could have made it better would have been house guests, but we just weren’t confident of Gerry’s pain levels or my energy levels to open ourselves up to perhaps disappoint friends.

We needn’t have worried – dinner was spectacular (just enough, all tasty, not a ton of leftovers!) and pain/energy levels held pretty steady all weekend.

Pacing, that must be the key!

I will admit, though, it was very nice to know that I could stop and recharge my batteries with a quick nap whenever I wanted to.

Time at home like this can fool me into believing that I have no exhaustion issues; it’s just when I travel and need to accommodate someone else’s schedule that it becomes crystal clear how small my energy reservoir has become.


I’m heading off for NYC/NJ to teach a few classes.  I’m anxious to see how family and friends have fared in the aftermath of Sandy, and to touch base with the place that was my home for 30 years.

If you’ll be in the area on Dec 1 or 2, you can catch a class with me  on New Directions In Knitting With Color (including creating the groovy plaid shown at right):

Knitty City
208 West 79th St,  NYC 10024
(212) 787-5896
Sat, Dec 1 at 5pm
66 Elm St # 2  Westfield, NJ 07090
(908) 301-0053
Sun, Dec 2 at 1pm

I hear the classes are filling well, so if you want a space I’d call right away if I were you.

Relaxing on the Road

Oh, baby.

It’s been an intense few weeks, lots of teaching, lots of travel, LOTS of fun! But also lots of exhaustion!

  1. Beginning with Knit Lab in New Hampshire (which was excellent);
  2. Then my ModeKnit Minnesota Retreat (need I say, FAB-U-lous!);
  3. On to Knit Lab in San Mateo (also amazing!);
  4. TWO terrific classes at ImagiKnit in San Francisco (what a tremendous shop! What a selection!!);
  5. Back home to MN for a few days to repack – I love my home –I’m a Virgo;
  6. Then to Riverside, CA for classes at the local guild;
  7. And finally an extra special (and HUGE) experience with the wild women at Raincross Fiber Arts (also a DELIGHTFUL SHOP in a tiny space!  Amazing!)

Hyatt in Riverside, Aaaah!


I am tired to the bone.

I can’t explain this exhaustion, what it’s like, how it encompasses every aspect of my life when it comes on. What I can explain is that I ‘store up’ my energy, and use it as I can.

When I have a run of weeks like this (hey, I have to work WHEN there’s work!) it knocks me out for a long period of time, which is why it can be weeks between blog posts.

Library in Riverside (classes)

When I read Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, I loved the book. Then I adored the movie. I must confess that when I learned she had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I didn’t really understand it. “So she lays in bed and writes, what’s the big deal?”

Now I get it.

Sometimes after a hard day I sit in my chair at home (or a sofa in a hotel, or a bed) and I literally cannot move a muscle for an hour or so. I feel lazy, indulgent, slobbish – all of those things – but I also know that this is something that can’t be helped.  Or, rather, that I’m doing all I can to minimize it (eating right, resting, getting good exercise) but there it is.


All those times when I was tired in my youth and said, “I can’t move a muscle!” – well, I was exaggerating.

Now I know how that TRULY feels.

It’s easy to allow myself to feel marginalized, out of step, when I’m this tired. I don’t have the mental or emotional resources to fight off negativity (whether it originates internally or externally) so I try to focus on the positive things, and know that I’ll feel stronger soon.

A Large Cat

Right now, though, I’ve been given a gift. An extra day!

I made a mistake when I booked my airline ticket home, I booked it for the 13th instead of the 12th (I got confused about Veteran’s Day) and so I have an extra day in Southern California.

Quel Dommage!

While I’m always sad to be away from Gerry and the kids, I’m happy to extend my car rental a day, and book a hotel with priceline ($60 on Redondo Beach!) so that I can sit by the ocean, knit, have a nice cup of tea, and just REST for a day.

This is a gift that I’m giving myself.

And who knows, after I rest a day, I might actually have something DECENT to blog about besides the sad tale of my tiredness!

The most WONDERFUL women in the world…

just happened to be in Minnesota for a great weekend of knitting, eating (OMG!) and SO much laughter!

Somehow it transpired that 13 of the funniest, nicest women came to Minnesota for the ModeKnit Fall Retreat, and it was a terrific time!  The knitting was nice, but the relaxing was the REAL goal of the weekend.

Everywhere I turned litte  groups were chatting like old friends and ravelry names were being shared! Folks were knitting, resting, swimming or relaxing in the whirlpool or having seconds of tamari Salmon.

One of the most interesting aspects of the weekend was how healthy and inclusive the food was –most of it was gluten free, much was dairy free and vegetarian was achieved in every meal deliciously. Kathleen is an amazing cook – she used to do catering – and I feel fortunate to have her as my friend and my chef for these retreats!

London – – is known to many of you as a supreme dyer of yarn and crafty woman.] She’s also an amazing friend and helped me organize the event, created the goody bags and acted as assistant to Kathleen.

Our own Beryl and Daisy!

We learned about simple Double Knitting, worked up a little bag, did a lot of laughing and – most memorable for me – ate incredibly delicious food as if there were no tomorrow.

Kathleen & London, my two partners in crime, cooked and organized and worked their butts off.  I was frankly astounded either of them had any butts left, after all the work we did.

I can’t say that I’ll do the retreat again – my own energy level was so poor and pain levels so high that I had to go lay down for a rest a few times, which made me feel very guilty – but if I do have a 2013 Retreat, there’s no way I could do it without Kathleen and London!

[we missed you very much, Heather & Bekka!]

Sleeping in San Jose

Once again I’ve been quiet, thank you for your patience!

It’s for mostly great reasons – a lot of work!  Suddenly I’m engaged in several designs, writing a few articles and arranging teaching trips for the coming year.  October is going to be HUGE for me, I’m hoping I’ll have the stamina to carry it off!  But I’m always at my best in the Fall – my favorite time of year.

I’m at Stitches West in Santa Clara, my first visit to Stitches as a teacher and I’m loving it!  For some insane reason I’d almost forgotten how wonderful the marketplace is, and spent several delicious hours strolling the many aisles, falling in love with yarns and beads and patterns.

I remember when I was just starting my second design career in 2001, visiting Stitches in Pennsylvania in October and being rather overwhelmed (in a good way) with the variety.  I still have many of the items I bought on that trip, and I can remember individual booths as if I stepped into them yesterday.

It’s been 10 years since I’ve even BEEN to a Stitches (if I’m not teaching, it seems like a superfluous expense to entice myself to buy yarn I SERIOUSLY cannot afford!) and because of that decade-long-break my walk through the market was almost as mind-blowing as my first in 2001.  Later I’ll write about individual booths and great items, I was just getting my sea legs yesterday!

My View

It is SO beautiful here – absolutely wonderful!  I arrived on Thursday and discovered the lovely San Jose airport.

I’m falling in love with small airports.  Little Rock was wonderful, just the right size (and free wifi!)  San Jose airport is another little jewel.

I rented a car because I was able to find a bargain ($25 for the weekend) which was cheaper than either a shuttle OR a cab, and I really love having my freedom.  I feel so trapped sometimes when I’m at the mercy of $10 bowls of oatmeal and few gluten free options, a car gives me a sense that I can escape when I need to.

My room is lovely – the view is gorgeous – and I truly appreciate the hypo allergenic sheets, bed, etc., which – although boring – are fabulous in that they allow such a great night’s sleep!  Boring is beautiful!

I’ve discovered a restaurant here – Hobee’s – which has a LOVELY gluten free menu.  It’s not huge, but it’s definitely appreciated!  I had breakfast there yesterday, and I may again this morning (gf pancakes!)

Immediately upon obtaining my teaching packet I ran into a good friend, Lorna Miser, and we had a lovely chat.  I’m a bit of a recluse when I travel, unintentionally anti-social, because teaching zaps my energy SO severely.  An impromptu and unexpected visit with a friend is a gift.

I’ve only been scheduled for one class a day, which is a bit of a treat for me and allows me time to get some work done, and perhaps even to work out this morning!

I’ve reached the point in my Fibromyalgia journey when I realize that saving up my energy is the best plan on teaching trips.  Students have paid good money to get as much of my strong, clear attention as possible, they deserve it.  When I deviate from my energy saving plan and socialize, I’m not able to give 100% of my limited energy, and that I’ve failed in some way.

Embellishment Class Swatch

My classes are full, and my first class yesterday (embellishments) was absolutely wonderful!  The students were above and beyond my expectations – each one smarter than the next – engaged and eager and so much fun!  I could have taught that group for 6 hours and not cared!

As it was, I went over my time limit (so hard NOT to do with 24 students) and tried to make a connection with each woman.  That’s hard – it’s natural to want to gravitate to a few students – but giving each one a bit of her “own” time pays off in comprehension.  As always, I learn so much in my classes, and I’m very grateful to my students!

One student had just returned from a wedding trip to India, showing hints of a hennae mehndi tattoo on her hands.  I was enchanted, and loved how the beautiful design was offset by the carpet in the classroom.

Off now to the fitness room, then breakfast and a private lesson before my class – life is good!

Sleeping in Orlando, And Other Past Times

In-Hotel Room Hair High-lighting

It’s lovely in Orlando.  Apparently it’s chilly here, but to me it feels just DANDY!

My first evening here I engaged in my usual, I’m BORED hair lightening event.  It was fun, and the results aren’t bad!

So I was fully prepared and beautiful for my full day of classes on Friday for the Knit or Knot Guild.

I have seldom taught such a fun, hardworking, wonderfully challenging and enjoyable group as I have this weekend!  So far my classes have been really great – I’m pushing folks kind of hard, but they’re all stepping up to the plate and doing really splendid work!

The water heading out the door...

Unfortunately I was a bit late to class today because my toilet sort of exploded (one flush, something within the tank went ‘pop’, and the water just POURED out into the room, onto the carpet and OUT into the hallway!)

I swear I was not flushing watermelons or rubber gloves, but it was a heck of a way to start the day!

I regrouped, changed rooms, & rushed to the classroom where everyone was patiently waiting for me, 10 minutes late.  Dang.

It was a high concept class today – Entrelac/Entrelace class.  There are some REALLY tough techniques in the lesson, but this group got them and asked for more!

I’ve taught a lot of tricks and tips tossed in with my classes so far this weekend, and the Knit or Knot Guild has really stood up to the challenge.

Tomorrow is the Universal Handbag Class, which is a great ending class because it’s fun, not as mentally challenging as some of the other stuff, and there’s a little final product (a small bag) at the end of the class.

One of the guild members set us up at her neighborhood club house, it’s a great teaching location and the built in kitchen made the pot luck lunch today such a nice, homey alternative to going out for a quick bite!

Last night I had dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years, I’ll be staying with her on Monday night, more time to catch up!  Tomorrow she’s taking me to one of the Disney parks (she works there in costuming) so I’ll get a bit of tourism fun.  Mostly, though, I’m just trying to rest when I’m not teaching so that I am fit to teach again!

I guess you can tell from the very simple blog post how tired I am – but it’s an extremely happy tired!  One lovely woman made gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for lunch and I took some home to my hotel room.

"Do The Hustle!"

As I walked through the lobby I noticed an unusual amount of flautists tweeting away in corners of the hotel, then I saw this sign:

Either the folks who play flute in Florida are an exceptionally happy lot, or they were just incredibly glad to see each other.  At any rate, being surrounded by so many joyful flutes was enchantingly surreal!

This evening has been a delight of private, in my room online scrabble playing, tea drinking, cookie eating, and now some good bed time with a great book.

The best evening EVER!

I’d give a great deal, though, to have Gerry and the kids here!  I missed Max’s band concert (rumor has it he ROCKED!) and I’ll be home just in time for his birthday on Tuesday.  Slight guilt, but mortgage must be made!