Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Going International

My teaching will go international this September and I couldn't be more excited.
For the week of September 16-22, I will teach at the Bon Tricot (that's Good Knitting!) Tour hosted by Kristeen Griffen-Grimes, author of French Girl Knits and French Girl Knits Accessories books, and her family-run company Belle France Tours.
The purpose of the excursion is to "knit and relax in the beautiful south of France." I will provide four mornings of knitting instruction, then we will be free the rest of the day to enjoy the local culture and cuisine, and to knit, of course. We haven't settled on the classes I'll teach (in English), but I plan to keep them fun and informative but not overly taxing (we'll be in France, after all).
Here's a view from where we'll be staying:
Click here for more information. I sure would love to meet some of you there!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Class Success

Here's a photo of the students' efforts in my two-day class on sweater basics and finishing. They all learned to shape armholes, mirror decreases, sew different types of seams, pick up stitches, and work an elastic bind-off. I think there are going to be a lot of well-dressed teddy bears!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Into the Frying Pan

No need for a jump-start anymore -- I'm in the middle of a two-day class for Craft Cruises Knit & Ski in Steamboat, Colorado. It's a cool 8 degrees here with snow in the forecast -- good knitting weather, I think.
I'm teaching Sweater Basics and Finishing to 15 students. The class is taking place at Sew Steamboat, an adorable knitting and sewing shop in the historic center of town. I'm staying in the historic Bristol Hotel right next door. Talk about historic -- how many of you recognize the black box on the bedside table?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Knitting Again

Yesterday one of my sons was in a wrestling tournament, which meant that I sat in the bleachers for about five hours in order to see him on the mat for a grand total of 7 minutes. Of course, I took my knitting. And about an hour into the tournament I got it out. I think my gauge may have suffered when I tensed up watching kids twisted in grotesque ways, but I did knit. When we got home, I sat in a comfy chair with a glass of wine and knitted some more. And I woke up today wanting to knit instead of doing the house or office work. I think I'm past the hump.
Here's proof (I apologize for the blurry image):
 And, as for my son, he took second place (that's him in the red):

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Getting On

Thanks to all of you who offered sympathy and kind words in response to my last post. I can't tell you how touched I am to receive good wishes from so many that I've never even met. Knitters are the best!
Here are some of the helpful suggestions and how I'm applying them:
1. Accentuate the positive: I have been quite successful finding silver linings--the two men who died are at peace and will never feel pain or anxiety again; my son has decided that he'll go to college next year instead of taking a year off to be a ski bum.
2. Sleep, eat whatever you want, and watch the birds: Done. I've been taking naps, eating chocolate (five pounds, according to my bathroom scale), and I've been watching the birds and squirrels outside my office window (instead of working).
3. Go for a walk: I did that today and enjoyed the balmy 45-degree sunshine. Here's a photo of the scenery from a nearby park. (This also gives me another excuse to take another nap.)
4. Get antidepressants and therapy: In progress.
5. Read a book or watch a favorite TV show or movie: I started Joy of Man's Desiring by Jean Giono, which is a magical tail of how a couple in provincial France rediscover happiness, "the passion for the impractical, the useless."
6. Sit in a comfy chair with a dog or cat: Done. I took dinner to my parents last night and spent some time on the couch with their cat.
7. Enjoy the sunshine: Done. The last couple of days have been gloriously sunny.
8. Breathe: I'm working on it -- it's surprising how often I forget to do this.
9. Have a glass of whiskey: Turns out, holiday guests drank all our whiskey so I substituted a stiff martini of my favorite atrisan gin from Dancing Pines Distillery.
10. Sort through things and reorganize: I finally unpacked my suitcase and I'm in the process of cleaning my desk.
11. Send a note of encouragement to someone who needs it: Instead of sending a note, I hand-delivered a pot of homemade soup to my friend who lost her husband.
12. Scratch a dog's ears or cuddle a baby: Done. The friend I took the soup to has a dog and was in charge of her 5-month-old grandson when I arrived.
13. Be patient: This is the most difficult, especially as I see deadline approach and my inbox fill up.
In summary, I think I'm doing pretty well and I look forward to finding focus again.
Nobody mentioned it, but there's nothing like fresh flowers to make one sigh with pleasure--here's the arrangement that a dear friend sent to me:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Off to a Bad Start

I haven't posted lately because I've been consumed by sad happenings and I haven't even found solace in knitting. On the last night that my sister and her husband were visiting for the holidays, her husband suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Paramedics were able to restart his heart, but the damage was extensive and he died a few days later. I returned home with my sister to keep her company and begin the arduous process of sorting through papers and making arrangements.
I then got a call that one of my sons had broken his right femur snowboarding.

He had emergency surgery at a mountain hospital to place a steel rod between his hip and knee.
A few days later, I got an email saying that the husband of a dear friend of thirty years had died.
I came to home to temps in the single digits and yesterday we lost heat in our house.
Thankfully, the heat is back on so I'm comfortable at my desk and I'm able to find a lot of silver linings in so much sad news. But I find myself unable to get back to work. I just stare at my computer screen.
I welcome suggestions for ways to jump-start myself into action again.