Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Grandma made afghans and pillows, lap robes and goofy 1970's toilet paper covers. She crocheted these silly chickens that fit over the plastic eggs that L'eggs pantyhose used to come in. She made countless lap robes that she donated to "old folks' homes" (she was the same age as the majority of these "old folks"!). She made at least one special item for each of her nine grandchildren.
Through the many moves of my adult life, my beautiful round pillow with the braided chains in variegated pink, blue, and white yarn got misplaced. I consoled myself in the knowledge that I didn't need the THING that Grandma made because she gave me a more precious gift in the SKILL to make my own things.
And then my mom did something miraculous. She pulled from her sewing room an afghan that Grandma had crocheted in the 80's. It was one of her "Indian Pattern" afghans, worked in rows and rows of single crochet, every ninth stitch a double crochet into the row beneath. Then in the next row you start your nine count a stitch earlier, so you end up with a diagonal line pattern throughout.
Grandma made this particular afghan with scrap yarn from her myriad other projects. It's very Joseph's Coat of Many Colors! It's also very cozy, and I love it! Mom gave it to me because she thought it would look fabulous on my red couch. It does.
The bonus miracle here is that I have a ton -- A TON!! -- of scrap yarn and had been thinking about how I wished I had this very pattern to put that yarn to work. And here comes the afghan, out of Mom's sewing room and into my arms!
So that's the news for now. Don't forget the Stitch 'n' Bitch at RPH tonight! 7:00! Bring your friends! And as always, til next time, Peace, (radical) Love, and Yarn! XOXOXO
Monday, October 21, 2013
Thanks to a lot of love and support from a lot of people dear to me, I survived another October 20th. I lost Michael Richard Schultze, the first man who ever loved me right, on October 20, 2010. I lost my father on October 20, 2011. Last October 20, I stayed in my pajamas all day, waiting for the next crisis to befall me.
This year, I approached October 20 with a new attitude. I girded myself with weeks of journaling, meditation, prayer, and daily trips to the beach. I had a very cathartic counseling session ten days ago. I made sure my Habibi was coming over to distract me on the 20th. And he did distract me -- he sat on my sofa with my head in his lap, stroking my hair and saying really funny things, for two hours. I really love this man.
I also made a list of everything I feel guilty about with regard to my relationships with Michael and with my father -- all this unnecessary baggage I've been carrying around. Things like, I was impatient when Michael told a story. He liked to paint a picture when he told a story. I just wanted a snapshot. And now I regret that.
So anyway, I made this list. And then I burned the list -- safely, in a glass bowl, in the back yard. And then I took those ashes and scattered them at the lighthouse pier on Pratt Avenue beach -- the same place I scattered Michael's ashes in the spring of 2011. And it felt really cleansing; really freeing. Because I don't need that guilt anymore. I need to celebrate the lives -- no longer mourn the deaths -- of these two men who were so integral in shaping the woman that I have become.
I still love them both dearly, and I think of them every day, but with the release of that outdated guilt, I can think of them with a smile on my face.
So that's the news for now. I'm dressing at the opera tonight, but I'm pretty sure Emily will be stitching at Grace & Leavitt Tavern at 7. If not, her adorable and entertaining husband Matt will be behind the bar, so you can just hang with him! I'll be back at RPH on Wednesday night. Until Wednesday, as always, Peace, (radical) Love, and Yarn! XOXOXO
Friday, October 18, 2013
I have some ideas to ease your grey October funk. Here they are, in no particular order.
Cook something comforting. Here's my new favorite quick comfort food recipe:
Sausage with White Beans and Tarragon
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
- Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
- Add the carrots, onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the beans and wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Fold in the sliced sausage and tarragon.
Go see a play! Support local theatres! Some of my favorites are Lifeline, Corn Productions, and The Hypocrites. See what they've got going on.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Last night I was unwinding in front of the TV. The WE channel was airing many, many episodes of "Will & Grace" all in a row --perfect!
I was partaking of the episode where Karen sets Will up on a date with her cousin, Barry. In this episode, Grace is unpacking in Leo's apartment. Rosanna Arquette plays Grace's neighbor. She comes in wearing a fabulous crocheted hat. I stopped paying attention to the lighthearted comedy and focused solely on the construction of the hat. I think I figured it out. I'm going to start experimenting with it later in the week.
This is not the first time inspiration has struck in an unexpected place. I am not a stranger to taking photos of people's interesting scarves or hats as they sit in front of me on the El. I've never been caught -- thanks be to God! But you can't let creative awesomeness just pass you by!
In other news, I will not be at R Public House for Stitch 'n' Bitch tonight, but I'm pretty sure some other awesome crafters will be there. So there is no reason not to carry on without me! And check back here on Friday -- I'm rocking a three-post week nowadays! As always, friends, Peace, (radical) Love, and Yarn. XOXOXO
Monday, October 14, 2013
Monday, October 7, 2013
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is my pleasure and thrill to announce to you the First Annual Craft-tacular Art Spectacle, a holiday craft bazaar, which will take place at the Loyola Park Field House in Rogers Park on Saturday, November 30th, from noon til 4:00. I have gathered a talented group of artists and crafters to provide for your shopping pleasure fiber arts, pottery, shadow boxes, bookmarks, handmade Christmas cards, paintings, drawings, T-shirts, jewelry, and balloon animals. That's right -- I said BALLOON ANIMALS! Stay tuned here for more information on this amazing event!
In other news, my Stitch 'n' Bitch has a new location on a new evening. We can now be found on WEDNESDAYS from 7:00-10:00 at R PUBLIC HOUSE, 1508 W. Jarvis. RPH is a wonderful, friendly place with marvelous pub food. I'm so excited to be there!
That's all the news for now! Please check back here regularly for more information on exciting upcoming events! Annnddd, add always, Peace, (radical) Love, and Yarn.