Needle Tart

If I'm not knitting or sewing something, I must be cooking something!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Speed of Meme

OK, so I went to Knitter Bunny and she is helping a student out. As a teacher, I am a sucker for any student-related blog (and teacher ones, too!). The Student in question is trying to find out how fast memes travel. We post and link to him, then to Technorati. Somone, somewhere, somehow, keeps track of all this and we find out cool technical stuff about the power of the web (have these people ever heard of The Harlot and her Olympics?).
I will post pictures of the most recent knitting adventures as soon as I have a day off. It's sub season at my school.

Friday, November 24, 2006


It was a rather slow holiday here. Both boys are home, but both are out at work. As school is out for the whole weekend (plus Monday, we are, after all in PA, home of the hunting related school schedule) I have plenty of time to sit in front of the computer/knit.
I have seen this meme on at least two of my regular stops on the blog-line so here goes:

1. Which do you like better: Cooking at your house, or going elsewhere?
Cooking at home. The Baby insists that we have exactly the same meal every year (it's also his birthday dinner, though his birthday is in March)

2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird?
Frozen. Mostly because then we can get a kosher bird, not that we keep kosher, but it's been brined which is supposed to make it moister.

3. What kind of stuffing?
None. Here's the back story for Cygknit For years (and years) my (older, much, much older) brother raved about Mom's stuffing. He couldn't get enough. He waited all year for Thanksgiving (which is also sometimes his birthday. See, he's a turkey). One year he did all Mom's food shopping and she put.......... Stove-Top stuffing on the list. He was crushed. I on the other hand never cared that much (or there was never any left by the time the dish came to me. Your choice.) for stuffing. I would rather have my bread with butter. Of course, Mom couldn't bake bread without killing the yeast off, so bread at home was usually Strohman's Sunbeam. Probably why I bake bread today.

4. Sweet potato or pumpkin pie?
Pumpkin with lots and lots and lots of whipped cream, fresh, not the stuff in the can!

5. Do you believe that turkey leftovers are a curse, or the point of the whole thing?
The whole point! During dinner yesterday, I was thinking about (and looking forward to) the sandwiches to come. Must bake bread!!

6. Which side dish would provoke a riot if you left it off the menu?
Mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, The Boys are picky.

7. Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock?
I always think about it, but we like our soups vegetarian (mostly).

8. What do you wish you had that would make preparing Thanksgiving dinner easier?
A rack for under the turkey. Every year I think of this on Thanksgiving morning and every year I wind up using wadded up foil.

9. Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour?
We eat at the usual time. The Husband needs to keep his intake more or less regular.

10. If you go to somebody else's house, what's your favorite dish to bring?
Either bread or apple pie.

11. What do you wish one of your guests wouldn't bring to your house?
Any pork product or shellfish. Other than that I am glad to see the company.

12. Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you're happy to see?
We don't have guests for Thanksgiving. After the big holidays in Sept/Oct we are happy to be just a little family (that doesn't mean we won't go to someone else's house, so long as The Baby gets his home-made Thanksgiving dinner sometime over the weekend!)

13. What's your absolute favorite thing on the menu?
Turkey, no wait, mashed potatoes, no, wait! Ummmm........ all of it!

14. What are you thankful for this year?
A family that can be together and a house that is still standing (at least so far, Barnes and Noble opened less than 4 miles from the house and The Husband has been visiting.) Also, all the wonderful people in Blog-land!

Happy Shopping Day!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I am so frustrated that I'm having trouble typing this. A few weeks ago on Criminal Minds a child was machine gunned on camera, last week on Law & Order 4 children were killed just to make the point that a psyco was a bad guy, on Numb3rs children were put in harm's way for corporate profits, on Medium children were murdered in their beds (but at least we weren't shown that), tonight on Law & Order CI a child was used as a shield during a shoot-out. When the bad guys drove away, no one checked on that kid! The officers just stood in the street shaking their heads. Law & Order SVU is supposed to show us a "angel" (about 6-year-old child) who is really a devil.
I am so offended that I tried to send a message to NBC, but after 15 minutes I gave up. Apparently, NBC doesn't really want to know what I think. I got to take a nice survey about what I watch, but I was not able to tell them why I was about to quit watching!
Remember back at the beginning of the new season, I said that I had cut my TV viewing to 23.5 hours? After all the children that I have seen threatened and murdered, I can cut my hours to 13 with no problem, mostly NBC shows, but CBS comes in for a little cutting, too.
Have we, as a nation, gotten to the point where we are only amused if we can see children murdered? Are we so decadent that we need "bread and circuses" to keep us quiet? What the #$%^ is going on? Maybe I wouldn't even have noticed if all these shows hadn't run the "kid in trouble" shows at once. As it is, I need to go do some soul searching. What kind of person am I if I keep watching? What kind of person will I become under these influences? Is the fact that it bothers me enough? Can I drop out of American society? How long can I pretend that some people think this is good entertainment?

Saturday, November 18, 2006


What with the big non-demoninational American holiday and all, I thought I'd number up a few things to be thankful for:
1. I can speak above a whisper again. The Husband said at lunch today, "I'm glad you have you voice back, now you talk and I'll just grunt!"
2. Both of the children will be at the dinner table on Thursday. All through their childhood, I was insistant on the whole family being together for one meal a day. I miss them.
Quick update: The Brother called this afternoon and asked the Eastern PA family to come for Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. Family is good!
3. The Husband is a great cook and a total enabler. This is the bread I baked from the recipe he found:

The recipe came from the New York Times. Mark Bittman came up with a way to make artisanal bread in a home oven with very little work. The recipe is in the Times archives, which costs to access. Maybe he'll put it in a book.

The Husband also got me the King Arthur Whole Grain Cookbook. So far, I have had 50% success with the recipes in it. I made some sour cream muffins, but they tasted more like plain whole wheat and weren't worth all the fat and sugar added. The chocolate cake roll, on the other hand was delicious! Elder Son ate one slice and enjoyed it until I told him it was all whole wheat. I had to(scarf down) eat the rest by myself.
4. I have met some great people this year, mostly through their blogs. Thanks for all the well wishes, and keep writing!
5.Friends for whom to knit. This is for someone who needs a hug. I have knit a whole bunch of lace, but this is the first large project in lace weight. It is the Lovely, Lacy, Leafy Shawl from Knitters. I will put the exact pattern up when I'm finished. No, really!

This is about a week's knitting. I can't take it to school because I need to watch the kids (at least that's what I get paid for) and can't take my eyes off of the pattern. I am almost ready to start the leafy pattern which has a purl row every other row. I can look up during that, so reading is possible. Some blogger or other has been writing about reading while knitting and has some good help suggetions. I started reading and knitting while in college (which explains my gpa!)
6. Family who expect wierd things from me. This year (stop reading, Niece!) I am giving a family gift that looks like this:

They are napkin rings with names on them (I hid the name so you won't know which family this goes to). Every couple of years I try to make or find something that can go to every family on the list. This year it's napkins and napkin rings. I have found fabric that is special for each family (well, most of them, I still have a few to find) and made 4 to 8 napkins with personalized napkin rings. The rings are pretty easy and not too expensive. Just string alphabet beads with the name of the family member and add some nice glass beads that go with the fabric, or kitchen decor, on heavy duty beading elastic and knot. I stuck the ends back through a couple of beads, after knotting, and before trimming.
7. I can still get excited by quilting.

I have looked at this pattern for years, and last week I finally pieced it! Apparently, I like the colors and shapes of quilting, but am not so excited by the actual quilting. This is my goal for the weekend: To get this quilted and hung in the entry hall before Wednesday!

8. We live in a country where even though 60% don't approve of the job the president is doing, no one takes to the streets with weapons to "fix" things.
9. We no longer feel the need to hire security for services on the High Holidays. In past years we have had a guard roving around the outside of the building, while inside we are praying for forgivness for our sins. Just in case, you know, someone decides he (or she) really doesn't like Jews. This year we feel safer.
10. I have a place to live, food in the kitchen, a family to care for (and who take care of me), a job I love, and lots of new friends in blogland. Life is good!
Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Silence of the Knitter

Once again, I have lost my voice. This makes twice in six weeks! Either the kids are handing me the same virus over and over (I need more hand sanitizer breaks in the day!) or there has to be a better way to get their attention ("Yo! I'm teachin' here!" has it's limits). On the up side, I need to aviod all public places. Not so I won't spread the contagation, but so I won't be tempted to talk and prolong the suffering. The Husband is having trouble carrying the conversational ball. Ha!
Avoiding the public means I can't go to meetings, or religious services (Former music teacher. Do you think I can resist trying to sing the prayers I love the most? How well do you know me?). It also means I get to avoid all those people who think this is funny. You know. The doctor who repeats everything I say with a little dance in the middle (to be fair, he was repeating it into a microphone at a Temple meeting, but still!). All the lovely people who whisper back to me when they can speak in a normal voice! Makes me nuts!
While I am keeping quiet, I sit in the corner of the living room, watch taped shows and knit. The shawl for my friend has been ripped back twice now. I started the knitpicks Candleflame shawl, but it didn't seem wide enough, so I started the Lacy, Leafy, Luxury Shawl from Knitter's 61 (Winter 2000). I had about 6 rows done (292 sts) and I realized that I used the same color stitch markers at each end and had no idea which row I was on. I ripped and used green (for the first row) and a pink marker at the other end. Now I have no excuse for mucking up the pattern.
Tomorrow I will have to take some pictures of the socks for sale and will post some for y'all to ogle.
Silently yours.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why I Blog

Over at Yarning to Write we were asked to list why we blog. I don't know if I can reach the grand total of 15 reasons, but here goes.
1. I blog because Stephanie told me to.
2. If I didn't blog, I would not have "met" some great people (there are a lot more but find your own!), or as Elder Son put it, "Now I have friends!"
3. The people I meet in blogland don't immediately assume I am a stuck up snot because of my accent (sort of Mid-Atlantic American meets BBC, but when I'm pissed, I sound as though I've swallowed the OED and a grammer book)
4. Most of the blogs I read are nice, normal people who are just a little twisted on one subject (of course it's normal to spend the children's college funds on yarn. Encourages them to do well in school for those scholarships).
5. My husband doesn't have to listen to me rant, or to the ever-so-clever wording I've thought up to describe the former mouse (still with us, but growing fainter every day)
6. I am often inspired by the wonderful ideas others put up on their blogs.
7. You make me laugh! If I can pass it along or add to the humor that's just icing.
8. My computer skills are improving. (See, links! Next I will conquor buttons)
9. I'm terrific, and so are you!
1o. After a long time wallowing in the slough of despond, I have found some people to play with who love words and all things stringy. The world is a better place.
11. Who else would think this is a cool project?

An ice cream sundae soft sculpture. I sold it to a fellow who wanted to surprise a friend of his. Now The Husband says i should make more to put in the nearby college art show. Only if I can find the time....Did you read yesterday's post?

Oops! Guess I'd better get to work on some of those things I listed. Don't forget to vote! Polls are still open and if you don't vote, you can't complain...well, you shouldn't complain.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Working, Working

I've actually accomplished quite a bit the last week, I'm just too lazy to take some pictures, download some pictures, and post some pictures. Rest assured that I will take the pictures and get them to the computer soon.

I finished my Socks for Soldiers. They are long, black, and waiting to be washed before mailing. Friday I was a 6th grade teacher and lo and behold, it was the Social Studies class. We were even reading Weekly Reader's article about the war. Naturally I had my knitting with me, and I passed the finished sock around the class (hence the need to wash) to show that we can all be as involved as we want to be. It made a great connection for the kids. Today I was a speech teacher and one of the kids asked my if I had finished the sock. Grammer? No! Mrs. Gordon's knitting? Yes! Some of the kids even ask me to wear the Map of the World sweater (from the Olympics) just to prove that I finished!
Having finished SFS, I need something on the needles to take to school (there's not a lot of down time some days, but I neeeeed the knitting). So far I have cast on a shawl for a friend (Hanukkah), socks for DH (Hanukkah, again), a sweater for someone (technically Christmas, but he says "Winter Solstice"). So naturally, I am making a quilt for my front hall with a Thanksgiving theme. I also need to start/finish mitts (Christmas, to be mailed), finish writing a pattern for some socks (shhhh! I sold the pattern and it's due the 19th of November), do some sewing repair work for another teacher, bake cookies for The Baby.......Hmmmm, sounds like I'd better be off and doing needlework stuff (as if that's a burden).