Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Challenge yourself in the New Year - I said. Don't always knit within your comfort level - I said. Try lace - I said.

Well, I can tell you that it is like trying to knit dental floss with toothpicks! I worked hard, really and truly, for the better part of a week, trying to get past the 10 or so setup rows. I wrote out charts into row by row instructions. I set aside the one pattern I wanted to try because it began with "Cast on 329 stitches." I put in life-line after life-line each time I started over. It's not that I can't do all the stitches that the patterns called for - I can - most of them in my sleep! I have concluded that the sheer size of the needles and the yarn are what sits between me and success. A deadly combination!

By the time I finally admitted defeat, my eyes hurt, my hands hurt, my shoulders hurt - if only it could all be counted as an honest workout!

So, fine lace knitting is now set aside. I will probably try to give it another go at some point in time, but not for a bit.

You don't have to be a knitter to understand the frustration of failing at something that you anticipated you would be able to do. Onward, to a project that will be new, but not quite as challenging!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"Home is the nicest word there is." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

As you can tell by the photos, we are no longer in the snowy northeast. The day after Christmas, we began our trip south, with a few stops along the way. In the process, I decided to skip last week's post - first time in nearly 5 1/2 years! Anyhow, we are now at our Florida condo, and so glad to be "home".

I can't tell you how happy I am to close the door on 2016, for many reasons. But - one of the ongoing ones is the fact that we have not had a permanent home. Our Florida condo is fabulous, and we are so fortunate to be able to have it, but it is not "home base". When we sold our longtime home in Central New York last May, we never imagined that we would be this long without another home to call ours. Due to a number of factors, plans fell through and we found ourselves renting and staying with friends while deciding what to do.

Happily, that journey has come to an end! Week before last, Bruce and I closed on one half of a duplex in Tully, New York, about 15 minutes north from where we have lived for many years. We had had so many "almosts" that I held my breath until every "i" was dotted, and every "t" was crossed. We are so happy to put this behind us.

Since the previous owners do not want to move in the winter, we will be landlords until the first of May. I wish that we were already in and settled, but I guess that if we have waited this long, and have a place to live, it's all good. By the time we move in, our possessions will have been in storage for exactly a year. I will be happy to un-box things, and sort through once again. 

So - here's to new beginnings and the hope that 2017 is kinder to us all.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Meet my friend, Bonnie..........

When I began to contemplate packing up my studio in order to move, I decided that since I hadn't quilted in quite some time, I would gift most of my fabrics. I have a number of friends who sew, and one of the first who came to sort through my fabrics is a dear friend from my knitting group. She gravitated toward the Christmas fabrics. I remembered where I had purchased most of them (A quilting shop in VT probably close to 20 years ago).

Bonnie, like many crafters, has taught others, and been happy to learn from others. This is one of the many wonderful qualities of people who work with their hands. When we gather weekly, we share so many things - including knitting! Mostly however, we cheer, we laugh, we cry, we bolster each other in every possible way. I love them. 

Last night at knitting, after I had been settled in around our table, Bonnie walked in with a package rolled up under her arm. Known for her generous spirit, it was no surprise when others asked - who is that for? Bonnie started walking toward me with a smile on her face and said - Why, it's for Tracy!

I can hardly express my surprise, my delight, my--------I still don't know what to say. 

Bonnie had sewn me a quilt made from the fabrics that I had given her. 

I cried. She cried. I think that there were a few other misty eyes 'round the table. She talked to me about her reasons for making it - the year that has passed, her love of our friendship - well - so many wonderful, humbling things.

Just look at it! 

I know that for every Christmas from this point forward, my heart will sing when I see that quilt! I will think of Bonnie, and her generous spirit.

One of the knitters asked - how do you say "thank you" for something like this? I don't know - I really don't. I do know that Bonnie knows what is in my heart.