Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wear Sunscreen

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40; maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.

(a column in the Chicago Tribune by Mary Schmich, 2005)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Leftover spaghetti recipe

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Really stretchy Bind Off

Great for the top of socks, arm warmers, necklines, lacey edges, etc.

K2, slide the left needle into the front of the two stitches on the right needle and knit them together (leaving one stitch on the right needle). K1 one again, and repeat the process until one stitch remains -- pull tail through loop and weave in.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Moving Mom

For about a week after changing rooms she was more agitated than usual.

"Am I here because I am dying?", she wants to know. "Everyone here is really old and crazy."

How can you say "That is why you are here"? Even if she is not REALLY old, she is increasingly more frail mentally with each passing day. She doesn't need help standing up so much as her brain no longer tells her why you would want to stand up -- or what muscles you would need to do that. She isn't happy or unhappy about her surroundings. She is just slipping slowly, inexoribly into a place where the surroundings don't really matter so much -- as long as she is warm and clean and not hungry. She sleeps not so much from boredom as from the exhaustion of constantly having to try to make sense of every little thing. What day is it? Is it morning or evening? Why are these people all smiling at me? Should I know who these young people are? Didn't I just eat? How did I get these clothes on? Do I have a purse anymore?

Knitted Star Pattern - Inside Knits - Knitting Daily

Knitted Star Pattern - Inside Knits - Knitting Daily

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cable cast on for stretchy edge

This cast on creates a solid edge. It is quite similar to the Knitted Cast On. The difference is in where you insert your needle and draw the loop through. In the Knitted Cast On, you are drawing it from the previous stitch. Here, we draw it from between the two previous stitches.
Make a slip knot and slide it onto one needle. Create a second stitch by using the Knitted Cast On method.
Insert the tip of your right needle between the two stitches in your left needle.
Wrap the yarn around and draw a loop through.
Insert your left needle tip into this loop from right to left and remove your right needle from the stitch. (I find that this is easier if you use a crochet hook to maneuver the yarn through the cast on process)
Repeat these steps to create the appropriate number of cast on stitches, lightly tightening the stitches as you go along.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Laws

"You know, I was worried that we wouldn't have anything in common -- that it would be awkward to be together for a day or two. But they are really okay! I mean, I like them a lot and this is not going to be bad at all. I feel much better!"
"You know, they can hear you -- we are in the same car."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bits of stuff for the book . . .

I am not even sure what her name is -- she goes only by her stage name which is Tamale. She is an MC for Drag King shows and has a bustier tatooed from her hips half-way up her back -- front and back.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sewn Cast off for stretchy edges

Preparation: Cut the working yarn leaving a tail three times the length of the item you wish to cast off. Thread your yarn tail into a yarn needle.

Step 1: Working right to left, pass needle through the front leg of two stitches, as if to purl: Pull the yarn through and make it snug, but not tight.

Step 2: Working back to the right, pass the needle through the front leg of the first stitch as if to knit. Pull the yarn snug.

Step 3: Slip the rightmost stitch off the needle.

Repeat steps 1 – 3 until all stitches are cast off. When working in the round, I just close the gap by inserting the sewing needle into the work at the beginning of the round as in step one, then back into the work from the front, and weave in the end. Tah-dah!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Generic short row heels

Description of how to make a short row heel for socks without yarn overs or wrapped stitches:


Maybe not really for public consumption at all . . .

I really would like a place to store things that I would like to "clip" and save from Internet browsing and increasingly I realize that this would really be a simple vehicle to do that. It is not my intent to share this with the world, but I guess that I will, in fact, be sharing it with someone otherwise why save the stuff? Unless it is just saving for the saving and I am becoming a digital version of my mother-in-law . . . Come to think of it, she was a reasonably happy gal.