Archive for the 'friends' Category


New friend, old friend

p4219869fabric.jpgIn February I won a contest that Lucy held to see who could predict when she’d finish a quilt. Since it was intended to be a Valentine’s Day gift for her husband, I naturally guessed February 13 (’cause you know, these things always take as long to finish as the amount of time you give them)—and I won! The prize was a bundle of fabric pieces (leftovers from another quilt project—she does amazing quilts, as you can see here, here, and here).

Lucy and I happen to live only about ten minutes apart, so rather than get the USPS involved it made sense for us to meet in person. Sylvia and I stopped by her house last week, and while our two toddlers played together Lucy helped me choose (read: I asked her to figure out which things would go together well and just give me those, as I really had no clue) fabric squares to make into a patchwork tote. She showed me her crafting area, too, which was very inspiring—and very tidy, with stacks of folded fabric carefully arranged on shelves and a yarn stash to die organized into a wall of plastic totes.

p4219871magnets.jpgI received gifts from an old friend, too, last week. In the post announcing the contest for the IKEA bags, I mentioned a friend of mine from college, Frank. He lives in southwestern Missouri, far far away from any IKEA, so I sent him some bags and in return asked for the tackiest fridge magnets he could find. A package from him arrived late last week, and he certainly did not disappoint. An enclosed note described his quest to find them. After looking in shops in downtown Springfield and not finding anything cheesy enough, he headed south. And then: “I saw the large rump of a huge bronze deer getting ready to leap over Campbell Avenue. I knew then that I had found the right place: classic Springfield and sure to deliver on tackiness.”

As soon as I read that, I knew exactly what he was talking about: Bass Pro Shops. And not just any Bass Pro. This is the queen mother store—the original one. The magnet on the left is the store’s logo. The one on the right was obviously made by someone who grew up in the Land of Hunchbacked Deer. They’re both just perfect for my collection.


This year’s holiday knitting

Now that the packages are on their way—and the recipients aren’t likely to read this post before opening their gifts—I can reveal what holiday knitting I’ve been up to.

pc098590washcloths.jpgFor my mom, I knit two ball-band washcloths, with the colors reversed in the second one. While I was visiting her in October, she admired one I was making, and I decided then and there to knit some up for her. The small sachet is made of a linen-cotton yarn and knit up in linen stitch on something like size 3 needles. I filled it with dried lavender—yum.

pc098596cupcozy.jpgMy dad has a Sunday-morning ritual of going to a bookstore and browsing the shelves (and usually coming home with a new book) while drinking a mocha latte. For him I knit up a (reusable!) wool sleeve for his coffee cups; I used the Noro Kureyon that was left over from Kevin’s hat. I cast on 32 stitches and did a simple k2p2 ribbing all the way up, which is just right to keep this snugly on the cup. This wool sleeve will surely keep a beverage warmer much better than a paper one!

pc098603mitts.jpgFor my brother I knit some fingerless mitts out of Cascade Pastaza, which is 50% llama and 50% wool. I liked working with the yarn (though the tips of my needles split it occasionally), and I knit everything except the thumb on a 12″ Addi turbo. (And let me just say this: I am never again using DPNs to knit in the round unless I absolutely have to.) My brother lives and works in Manhattan, so he does a lot of walking around outside. I figured full mittens would be too “dorky” for him, but these will keep his hands warm while preserving some of the manual dexterity necessary for key/coffee-cup/cellphone handling.

pc098592scarves.jpgI’ve been fortunate to stay in touch with four friends with whom I went to college. (We even have our own Google group.) Over the years the five of us have kept in touch through law school, graduate school, marriages, babies, cross-country moves, international travels, deaths of family members, career changes, and pretty much any life change you can think of. This year, I knit them all moebius scarves (these are short—more like cowls) out of KnitPicks Suri Dream. I asked my friends about their favorite colors at the beginning of the year (I bet they’ve completely forgotten this) and chose the yarns accordingly.

pc098598sariscarf.jpgThese last two items, a small pouch made of bamboo yarn and a drop-stitch scarf made of recycled silk sari yarn, were made for someone I’ve never met but who’s on my mind pretty much every day. Her name is Heather, and she’s one of my mother-in-law’s oldest friends. In our office at home we have a watercolor painting that Heather made of the Dutch irises that Jan’s dad took to her house when he had dinner with her one evening while Jan’s mom was in the hospital after giving birth to Jan. Heather very generously gave us our beloved All-Clad LTD cookware when we got married, and she gave us Sylvia’s super Britax car seat when she was born. She’s been so generous to us, and I really wanted to send her something in thanks. She lives in Santa Barbara, where the weather is pretty much perfect year-round—no need for woolen knits, but hopefully she’ll enjoy and be able to use these.


Friends on the mind

I’m all for recycling and limiting consumption, but one practice I cling to is sending out holiday cards. I love the speed, ease, and low cost of e-mail, but there’s something so delightful about the tangibility of snail-mail. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have nearly as much time as I’d like to devote to old-fashioned, pen-and-paper correspondence, but when I do I get such a thrill from retrieving a letter from my mailbox or sending a note on its way to a friend.

Around this time of year I send holiday (no mention of any particular holiday save the start of a new year—there have been times, though, when I was so late with my card-sending that my greetings ended up being perfectly timed to acknowledge the beginning of the new lunar new year) cards to most of my friends and family. We make the cards ourselves (Sylvia’s contribution this year is “patting down” anything that’s been glue-sticked onto the blank card), and I handwrite all of the addresses (recipients’ and ours) and notes inside.

Sure, it would be quicker and easier to print out address labels and stick them onto the envelopes. But I enjoy the slow pace of writing by hand and thinking about each recipient as I prepare his or her card. Most of my friends are scattered throughout the country (and in far corners of the world), and I don’t see them nearly as often as I’d like. Our interactions are infrequent, but I treasure those friendships nonetheless.

But some friendships just don’t last, unfortunately. People change, time and distance make it harder to maintain relationships, and sometimes there are even fallings-out. Sometimes you just have to let go.

For several years, I used a Palm Pilot IIIxe PDA as what I called “my electronic brain.” Mostly it functioned as an address book and calendar for me, and when it ceased working a little over two years ago, I was able to print out the address book backup file from my PC. Since then, this stack of papers has functioned as my address book, and it now has handwritten corrections and deletions all over it. This year, as I prepared our holiday cards, I also wrote addresses and whatnot into the still-blank address book Jan and I bought for our anniversary three years ago. The printout will be tossed into the recycling bin when I’m done.

At the same time, I took this opportunity to remove (well, in this case, “remove” means “not write in the new book”) the names and addresses of people I was no longer in contact with and didn’t think I would be again. There are a few people I don’t miss—a handful of former friends who have become unfriends. There are lots of people I’ve just lost track of and think that the gap between us has grown so great that the casual friendship we shared a long time ago isn’t a strong enough base for renewal of that relationship.

And there’s one person who’s died. She was someone I went to grad school with (she had started in my department two or three years before me), and although we weren’t close friends who made plans to get together socially, we had many great conversations when we ran into each other on campus. I remember sitting with her in her office for a couple of hours the week before I left for Oregon, talking with her about fieldwork (she had already completed her own dissertation research, in Indonesia) and the Nikon SLR I’d just purchased from her. She’d bought it while in the field but found that she could not use a fully manual SLR because she had a slight tremor in her hand that prevented her from adjusting the focus accurately.

After I moved to the Mid-Atlantic several years ago, I didn’t keep in touch with her, but her contact information stayed in my address book. Last summer, I heard from another grad school colleague with whom I’d been out of touch and who told me that our mutual friend had committed suicide nearly three years earlier by stepping in front of a freight train. I was stunned to hear that news. And now, coming across her name on my printed-out address list, I was a bit taken aback again—and saddened not to put her in my new address book.


Hats for Tina and Kevin

I first met my friend Tina in 1996, when the National Science Foundation decided to give me money to do some predoctoral research in Oregon. I needed a place to stay for the summer, so I looked up the University of Oregon student newspaper’s classified ads online and found an ad for a sublet. The person who placed the ad, Jeff, was himself going to be doing predoctoral research that summer, but in the South.* He said, “I think you’re fine, but my housemate, Tina, is the one who’s going to have to live with you, so you’ll need to talk with her, too.” I did, and we hit it off just fine.

When I drove out there by myself a few months later and arrived at her house, a yellow house with pink trim (next door to a pink house with yellow trim) in the Whiteaker neighborhood in Eugene, the first thing I saw as I walked through the wide-open front door were two kids jumping on the sofa in the front room. One looked about five years old, and the other looked to be around three.

“Um, hi,” I said. “Is Tina here?” “Tina!” the older one yelled, “your new housemate is here!”

She came downstairs, introduced the kids (who lived next door)**, showed me around, and then was off on her bike to her West African dance troupe practice. She was a fabulous roommate, and we had a great summer together. We kept in touch, and a few years later–when I was back in Oregon for a year-long stay to do my doctoral fieldwork–I visited her in Portland (where she’d move to pursue a graduate degree in social work), and she visited me in southern Oregon (where we hiked to the summit of Humbug Mountain and created huge sculptures on Lighthouse Beach with driftwood, seaweed, and other stuff washed up by the sea).

Since I left Oregon, we’ve still kept in touch through lots of changes: my cross-country moves, her four-mouth solo backpacking trip through Latin America, my marriage and the birth of Sylvia. A couple of years ago, she fell madly in love with an Irishman named Kevin, and last year they got engaged. In August, they were married at an organic farm in Hood River, and though I very much wanted to be there, time and money just wouldn’t permit it.

I wanted to give them something handmade as a wedding gift, and my first thought was to knit something lacey–perhaps a table runner or picture-frame mat (like the ones in Melanie Falick’s Handknit Holidays. I tried it a few times but found that the tiny needles and wispy yarn were just not my cup of tea. I have no inner lace knitter (at least not now–maybe one day, though…). So I gave the lace yarn to a friend who is a lace knitter and starting thinking about other possibilities.

pb118244hats.jpgAfter much deliberation I finally settled on matching-but-not hats: a duo knit in the same pattern but of different yarns. (It seemed a fitting comment on marriage as the union of two distinct individuals.) For hers I used Loran’s Laces Revelation, and his was made of Noro Kureyon–both lovely yarns to work with, made of wool that will keep their heads warm during cold-weather excursions into the Oregon wilderness. I used the Valerye pattern in Cathy Carron’s Hip Knit Hats; if you click the link, you can see the original hat in brown and black on the cover. The yarns I chose knit up tighter, though, so the resulting hats are a bit shorter and less droopy than the original.

Shortly after this photo shoot in my living room, the hats were packed up and sent on their way to Portland. I hope Tina and Kevin like them. (And I hope the hats fit!)


*I asked Jeff what his research was on, he said, “Environmental history in the South.”

“Oh,” I said, “I have a friend here in Illinois who’s also working in history in the South, but he’s interested in race relations and politics.”

“Really? What’s his name?”

I told him.

“You’re kidding! Tina and I went to college with him in Florida! We’re all best friends!”

It’s a small world, indeed.


** Those kids were pretty sweet. I saw a lot of them that summer, as they loved to play in my garden. I also saw a lot of them in that they often liked to run around naked.


USPS rant

I’ve mentioned before that I have a very good friend who lives in Australia. She and I have been pen-and-paper penpals since January 1993, and when we first started corresponding, she lived outside Montreal. We’ve never met, but she’s one of my best friends–maybe one day we’ll meet, maybe not.

Our daughters were born three days apart, so it’s been fun to swap parent talk with her. (She has a son who’s three years older, so this isn’t her first time around with diapers and toilet training.) She recently told me how much she liked some of the clothes Sylvia wears (lots of earth tones and simple lines) and mentioned how difficult it was to get non-pink, non-girly stuff where she is. We chatted back and forth about this, and the upshot is I volunteered to do some end-of-season hardcore sale shopping for her kids–just a few things, whatever I could find that was ridiculously inexpensive–and send them to her.

So a few weeks ago, in about an hour I managed to score some great, high-quality, non-girly stuff for her kids–for almost nothing. Seriously. Something like five shirts and two pairs of pants came out to under twenty bucks. (Clothing is cheap in this country!) The best part is I bought summer stuff that was on clearance because summer is over…here. It hasn’t even begun where she is, so these items would arrive just in time. I wrapped it all up in the smallest possible bundle (brown paper secured with packing tape–not even a box or envelope) and took it to the post office.

I handed over the package and the customs form I had filled out at home. (Pet peeve: people who take up time at the counter filling out postal forms, and the postal employees who don’t attend to other customers while waiting for said forms.) “This can go surface mail. There’s no hurry on it.”

The man behind the counter shook his head at me. “There’s no more surface mail. Only air mail.”

“Are you kidding? When did this happen?”

“Mother’s Day. Wasn’t making any money.”

“Hmmm. Okay, then air mail it is, I guess.”

“That’ll be thirteen dollars.”


Um, hello? That’s almost the value of the contents! I took my package home, deciding to send it when I had more things to add (since the first chunk of postage is the most expensive, a slightly larger package shouldn’t cost a lot more to send).

Now, I’ve been pretty good about defending the USPS in the past. When I was in college, a friend of mine told me about the time he got a letter addressed simply to “Todd Davis, Belleville, Illinois.” That’s it. It was for him, and it arrived something like two years late, but it did arrive. And on the envelope, some postal employee had written “Are we good or what?” Wow.

In light of that–and in light of the stellar service I’ve gotten from the USPS–I’ve been a bit of a fan. Rate hikes have been mildly annoying, but I didn’t mind them that much. (Postage in the USA is still pretty cheap.)

And then the employee at the local post office hassled me when I tried to send a package without a return address. (This was for my first Secret Pal swap, SP8.) Okay, this wasn’t really the fault of the USPS. I blame this one on the Bush-Cheney war on American civil rights, er, I mean the war on terror.

The rates hikes earlier this year didn’t bug me much, until I found out that the international postcard rate was going from 70 cents to 90 cents. Whoa! What’s up with that? That’s one heck of a jump–and since then my Postcrossing has ground to a halt (a temporary one, I hope).

But completely scrapping international surface mail? USPS, you’ve really let me down now. For shame, USPS. For shame.

P.S. You can try to suck up to me by issuing a set of knitting-themed holiday stamps, USPS, but it won’t work.


Knitting and friends

One thing I love about knitting is how it’s introduced me to the social circle known as the local knitting group. Mine consists of about a dozen women, and at one of our meetings there are usually anywhere from four to eight of us present (though we’ve had larger gatherings–and even gatherings of just two people). For years (long before I joined it) the group has met monthly at a local community center, and last fall we added a monthly meeting at Starbuck’s to the mix. Some time during the winter, a few of us found ourselves wanting to get together more often, so we started having spur-of-the-moment meetings on “off weeks” (when we weren’t at either of our regularly scheduled locations) at Barnes and Noble (which not only has coffee and snacks, but also stays open quite late–and we do close down the place!).

This group consists of some relatively new knitters (like me) and some very experienced knitters (pretty much everyone else). Everyone is so generous with knitting advice and knowledge! I created a private Google Group for us about a year ago, and it seems that every day someone is asking questions, answering questions, sharing interesting links, pointing out fun patterns, and engaging in fun banter and chitchat. I love it.

Last Thursday, we held a yarn swap/sale among ourselves, at our scheduled meeting at the community center, which is the only place with tables where we could spread out the swag. And wow, we really needed those tables: people cleaned out their stashes and brought boxes and boxes of stuff to swap and sell. My own stash is fairly meager, so I brought only some sock yarn in a lovely-but-definitely-not-for-me color (which I swapped for something else). But I went home with a tote bag full of stuff that other people no longer wanted–but for which I already have ideas. What fun!

In early summer, I signed up for the Knitting Gnome Swap. It’s a linear swap: you get a box with a knitted gnome and some knitting-related stuff in it, and you keep the stuff and send the gnome (along with knitting-related stuff that you’ve gathered for your pal) to the person downstream from you. Gnorm the gnome (and his brother, Gnuman–there are two traveling gnomes for this swap) has been on the road since May and, after a month-and-a-half delay in New Jersey, finally made it to my house last weekend. My knitting group was excited to meet him, so I brought him to last night’s get-together and took lots of photos.


Vermont: the yarn

p8106175.jpgLast summer, when my family went to Vermont for vacation, we stayed in the Northeast Kingdom. This meant that on the way up there, we passed right by Putney–so of course we stopped at the Green Mountain Spinnery. (And on the way back home, we stopped by one of my favorite restaurants in the world, the Miss Bellows Falls Diner.) This year, though, we went to the other side of the state, about thirty miles northeast of Burlington. Our route took us through the Adirondacks and on a ferry across Lake Champlain, far from the Spinnery.

p8106178.jpgBut of course that didn’t stop me from acquiring some yarn during my vacation! On a rainy Wednesday, my friends Gina, Katie, and Beth (who were vacationing with their families on the same pond we were on) and I drove to Essex Junction, just under an hour away, where we visited Kaleidoscope Yarns. Hands-down, it’s the best knitting shop I have ever visited. The staff was friendly but not in-your-face (and certainly not snooty or unwelcoming like pretty much every other yarn-shop owner or employee I’ve ever encountered). And the yarn selection was…well, let me just say that I am still amazed at my willpower. I was surrounded by amazing yarns (with no tacky novelty yarns in sight) and managed not to buy anything. I was sorely tempted by the Malbrigo and by Green Mountain Spinnery’s Sylvan Spirit, but I decided to wait until I had a particular project in mind before making any yarn purchases.

p8106180.jpgAfter a terrific lunch (thanks to a recommendation for a local restaurant from the yarn-shop staff), we headed to the Pine Ledge Fiber Studio, owned by Joanne Littler. Her in-home studio/shop is open only by appointment, and it took a couple of days of back-and-forth phone calls to find a time that worked for all of us. But it was well worth the trouble–what amazing yarn. It’s super-bulky stuff best suited for hats. The huge, hanging skeins Joanne had were a bit out of my budget, but she had a few baskets of odds and ends–ten yards here, thirty-five yards there–available at a discount. From those baskets (and the two giant plastic totes of other oddments that she brought out for our perusal) I managed to put together enough yarn for three hats: one for Jan, in blue (top photo); one for Sylvia, in purple and magenta (second photo); and one for me, in red and a russet autumnal mix (third photo).

p8106181.jpgSylvia has her own “knitting bag” at home–a small totebag filled with my yarn scraps and gauge squares. It also includes a giant crochet hook, which is just right for her version of “knitting” (i.e., poking at a clump of yarn bits held in her hand) but not something that’s likely to poke out her eye. Joanne had a few bunches of brightly colored merino tops, so I picked up an orange one for Sylvia to add to her knitting bag. (The fuschia one is going to my downstream Virtual Vacation Swap partner.)

p8216599.jpgA few days later, after the hike featured in the previous post, we stopped in a little shop attached to a nearby historical society. There, amid the books, jewelry, cards, and prints featuring the work of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, I found locally spun and dyed yarn. I had no idea how much I’d need for an adult-sized sweater, but figured that five four-ounce skeins of heavy worsted would surely be enough for something for Sylvia. I chose a subdued periwinkle blue that I think (hope!) she’ll like.



I am very very fortunate to be part of a local knitting group. It’s been around for years (ten? fifteen?–long before I moved here or even started knitting), and I joined about a year and a half ago at the urging of two friends who are fellow knitters and parents of some of the kids in Sylvia’s playgroup. At the time, the group meet monthly at a local community center. Since then, we’ve decided that we like to knit together so much that we’ve added a monthly meeting at a local coffee shop and impromptu meetings at a bookstore. These “impromptu” meetings generally take place during a week when we’re not at the community center or the coffee shop. In short, we’re meeting pretty much every week. I love these evening get-togethers–partly as a chance to spend some time with grownups, partly as a chance to let my husband have some time on his own with our daughter (post-dinner playtime and bedtime), and partly because all of those women know a heck of a lot more about knitting than I do, and I get to learn a lot from them.

img_0001.jpgI’ve decided to knit a sweater for myself. It’s a wrap cardigan called Damson Wine that uses Rowan Kid Classic. I’m actually using the called-for yarn for this, though in a dark green rather than the original purple. I thought about throwing caution to the wind and just plowing right ahead, but since I don’t have the 7.5mm needles the (British) pattern calls for, I’m using the nearest equivalent, US11, which is just a smidge larger than the 10 7/8 the 7.5mm would be if they actually existed in U.S. sizes. My knitting is often a bit tight, so I figured the extra needle size would probably be a good thing.

With lots of help from my knitting pals to figure out exactly how many stitches to cast on, I knit a gauge swatch last night, using Jil Eaton’s technique of adding a few rows of garter stitch (I used four) at the top and bottom and three garter stitches on the left and right sides to create a tidy, easy-to-measure “box” of knitting in the middle. This pattern is a twelve-row knit pattern that uses 7.5mm needles on the odd rows and 5mm (US8) needles on the even rows. (Good thing I have Denise needles! I just put one of each size on either end of cable, and I’m good to go!)

This is not the ideal project to work on if you’re hanging out with a bunch of interesting people and aren’t familiar with this type of knitting. Let me just say this: I am a terrible multitasker. Truly awful. If my husband tries to talk to me while I’m addressing an envelope, I screw it up. If my little paladin is running across a wide-open space in the middle of the desert in (geek alert!) Tanaris, she has to stand still so I can type “Hello” to a friend who just logged on. And if I’m trying to knit a swatch with yarn-forwards and k2tog and skpo and all sorts of stuff like that–and different in every row–I cannot talk to anyone. (But I can listen to conversations, as long as they’re not the sort that expect a response from me. So maybe I have a teensy weensy bit of multitasking ability.) Fortunately, the gauge swatch didn’t take very long to do, so I was able to move on to a project that let me be a bit more social.

p8015774.jpgSo here it is, the gauge swatch in all its glory. As you can tell, it is unblocked. And after my friend Pat measured it about a dozen times to be sure, it still comes up about a quarter of an inch too short in each direction. So what to do? If I go up a needle size on the large needle, then I’m using a US13, which will surely be too large. If I go up a needle size on the small needle, then I’m using US9 and US11…and they might be so close in size that the big-small variation in the pattern gets lost. Pat’s advice: “Steam it, pin it to the measurements you want, then see how the yarn likes being stretched that way.” We’re both optimistic that blocking will do the trick–even just pulling the swatch by hand opened up the lace pattern nicely. I’ll keep my fingers crossed…


To market, to market

p7025317.jpgWhen I was in market-bag-knitting-mode in May, I gave one of the bags I made to my friend Katie. The handles were too long for my liking but just right for her, so I was happy to give her the bag. (This was not a total freebie, though: I did leave the ends for her to weave in herself. Mwahahahahaha!)

Katie insisted on knitting a bag for me–and I was delighted to say “Okay!” because I don’t think it’s possible to have too many reusable bags. She even let me choose the color of the yarn, which was awfully nice of her since she already had a ton of suitable pink-orange-yellow yarn in her stash but she knows that color combination makes my head explode. (But you know what? If she had made my bag in those colors I would have loved it anyway and taken it–without my head–to my local farmers’ market.)

She gave me the bag last week, and I’ve already put it through its paces. She is a looser knitter than me (aka “Death Grip on the Knitting Needles”), so the bag has some stretch to it. But it works wonderfully and provided the perfect container for the produce I bought last weekend. There’s something awfully wholesome about seeing fresh fruit and veggies peeking out through the holes of a cotton string bag. Thanks, Katie!


I rock. On toast.

rockingirlbutton.jpgThe very excellent Mei has named me a Rockin’ Girl Blogger, and now it’s my solemn duty to pass it on to five other people.

  • Katie, at Maylee Beezir, who is a fellow knitter, a fellow Whedonophile, and one of the nicest people I have ever known. She’s my favorite person to go to Target with. :)
  • Beth, at knitsmitten, who is a fellow knitter, a fellow outdoors enthusiast, and one of the nicest people I have ever known. She also gave me a chunk of her mint plant, for which my mohito-loving husband is very grateful.
  • Gina, at the Mirthful Menagerie, who is a fellow knitter, a fellow cat lover (she has five–all rescue cats!), and one of the nicest people I have ever known.) She also writes some of the most gut-bustingly funny posts I’ve ever read.

(Do you see a theme here? I am very lucky to know so many really nice people!)

  • Pixie, at My Obsession with Fiber, who was my SP10 spoiler and did such a great job of choosing wonderful gifts for me. She’s been a fantastic correspondent, too!
  • Knittymama, my SP10 spoilee with whom I have an uncanny amount in common. Both of us are vegetarians. Both of us use the same cloth diapers for our kids (well, not the exact same ones, since our kids each have their own sets–just trying to nip in the bud any literal interpretations out there). Both of us own omops. (If she tells me that she wrote in Ralph Nader on her 1996 ballot, I think I will pass out from disbelief.)
  • Arianna, at *stars upon thars*, who was my SP8 spoilee and has so many interests (knitting, social activism, literature) that I’m amazed she has time to breathe. Plus she worked on Lord of the Rings Online, so she also rocks for geekery.
  • Lynnette, at Linnet’s Nest, who was my SP9 spoiler and sent me all sorts of interesting stuff (including a ball of yarn made of pineapple fiber!). She also just put up a post that includes the phrase “farting poodle,” so she definitely rocks for that.
  • JD, at jean.e.ology, who is a fellow knitter and writes amazingly thoughtful posts. We met when I stumbled across her blog and saw a recent post in which she offered to give away two extra issues of Interweave Knits that she had. She also rocks for having one of the coolest blog names I’ve ever seen.
  • Imperatrix, at Peaceable Imperatrix, who is a fellow knitter and a fellow wordsmith. She gets outraged about the same sorts of things that tick me off too, but she’s much more articulate than I am about them.

Okay, okay, so I’ve listed nine people, not five. Math was never my strong suit. Besides, since I rock (on toast) I should be able to make up my own rules.

(The toast reference? It’s something very geeky that Jan and I say when we really want to emphasize the awesomeness of something. Example: Sylvia has just gone to sleep for the night, and we’re feeling all mushy-lovey about her. “Sylvia rocks…on toast.” Rockin’ without toast is pretty good. But rockin’ with toast is even better.)

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