Saturday, July 31, 2010


Well - I started the big clear out at 9:30am and finished at 9:30pm (I even got a nap in this afternoon for 40 minutes.) My office/workout/knitting/craft/you name it room is done. Don't ask to look in the closet - although neat, it's full - mainly with the stash and some off season clothes. I was even able to get my favorite chaise inside the room.

This is actually the second largest of the three bedrooms in our home, but now it's all mine! Dave's office is next door in the smaller bedroom (He asked for that room, honest.) Now we both have our own space to work. About time, too.. We shared a home office for about 17 years and now we are both thrilled to each have our own space. Oh, I'll still knit in the family room and such ( I'll even read in Dave's leather chair in his office, it's very comfy), but this is my own space to be alone and create. I love it, love it, love it.!!!

The pictures show my space to knit, my space to work, my space to exercise (bigger than the picture shows) and the muse. If you see the pictures behind my desk, that it the muse. I hear you saying, "They are all different." Yep , they are - you see the muse comes in different forms, so the art work reflects that. Earlier in the week the muse and I were not good terms, but that may be because she wanted this space as much as I did. Now that the room is complete she's back! In fact she's sitting in that chaise playing with some of my new sock yarn. Oh well, I guess I'll be casting on a pair of socks tonight.

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Reunion Redux......

Well, it has been a week since we celebrated Dave's 30th High School class reunion. To sum it up in one sentence, a fantastic time was had by all. Of course I have to add a few more words... these folks seemed genuinely glad to see one another. There was hugging and back patting and picture taking every time we turned around. The pictures are still being released on Facebook. It was so nice to see these folks enjoying their time together. And Dave had a fabulous time, which was my greatest wish. Dave was not allowed to participate in a lot of HS activities so in order to help fulfill some of those old HS antics, I had our friend take our picture kissing in front of his old locker when we took the HS tour.
I particularly enjoyed spending time with some good friends (who were Dave's classmates and have become my friends in adulthood,) and then there was the yarn crawl. And we all know that's the real reason for any getaway - the chance to scout out new yarn. I was not disappointed.

My friend Leslie (her DH and mine apparently sat at the geek lunch table together in school) accompanied me on my adventure. Now Leslie is a non-knitter, but that's perfectly okay. She still understood the ideas and was able to throw in some great suggestions. Leslie is an artist (her work is beautiful) so she gets it when I look at color and texture like I'm in a trance. Having her there was a joy. It was just time for us to spend together, very nice.

I was able to come across a great 50% off sale on some lovely Superwash Merino (that was a stock-up purchase calling my name) and then there was one skein of sock yarn (full price -who cares - gotta have it) that just called out to me. Lovely muted reds and golds. These are going to be my socks (I don't even feel bad about not wanting to share in this case.) I think I want to do a leaf pattern in the socks. Using this yarn will make the leaves look like they are full of Autumn's fire. And to top it off, I believe (so does she) that the owner of one of the shops is a relative of mine. Actually it would be her DH that is directly related. We did some general discussion of the genealogy and we're pretty sure there is a cross over. What a small world!!

Except for the beastly 95+ degree heat, humidity and a storm that flooded Chicago and closed the airport, the weekend was truly lovely.

To all those having a reunion this summer, enjoy yourselves.
I guess it's time to start thinking about my 30th reunion next year.....

Peace and joy to you all........
The Green Girl

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's In A Name.....

I grew-up in the greater Chicago land area of Illinois and when I was very little there was a morning children's show called, "Romper Room." The teacher was Miss Susan (we will call her miss Susan because there were a couple of different teachers over the years and yes I pulled the name from the Terry Pratchett Disc World series.) To borrow a line about Terry's character, "Miss Susan knew all things, she really did." And my Miss Susan had a magic mirror and at the end of every episode she would look into the mirror and say, "Romper Stomper Bomper Boo - tell me who do I see? Why, I see you." Then she would proceed to call out the names of all the children that she saw in her magic mirror (Steve, Beth, Tom, Stephanie, Diana.) Diana???? She saw me??? Wow!! I felt special, very special! Miss Susan knew my name.

Fast forward about 20 years and I find myself reading a book written by a Jewish Rabbi about the power of words. I wish to this day that I had kept that book. It made a lasting impact on me and how I use language. It also reminded me that using someone's name is a meaningful thing. I find that most of the time we use someone's name only when we don't really know them, but for family and friends we have found terms of endearment and nicknames to take the place of the person's actual name. I do this too, but I also try and remember that when I use a name the person I'm talking to is validated, there is no guessing as to whom I am speaking. I have even seen people's faces light up when their name is called. A name is a very special thing.

Fast forward to yesterday, 7/29/2010. I put out a blog regarding my frustration in not being able to get a pattern that I am designing to come together properly. As not many people read this blog yet, I figured this is mainly my way to purge excess frustration with myself. Then low and behold I got a message from a fellow Ravelry member. She paid the blog a nice compliment and noted several things that made me realize that she had read more than one posting. She also gave me some encouragement t0 keep going on the pattern. Well, I was thrilled! Someone had read this blog and commented and encouraged me, Diana.

Well, here it comes the purpose of this entire diatribe.... the name that encouraged me.
A great big thank you goes out to CAROLINE, my new friend from the UK. I worked on the pattern last night and I figured it out. Either my threat to the muse worked or your encouragement worked. I think it was you (I'm pretty sure my muse was still over at the pub.) Thank you so much, Caroline.

Peace and joy to you all...... (fill in your name here)

The Green Girl

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Designer Dilemma....

The design process - I think everyone goes about it in their own way. It is an extension of an individual's creative force so I doubt that one person's muse is like any other person's muse. And that is a good thing! However, I'd like to have a little chat with my muse - show yourself, I say! I'm almost ready to trade her in for a new model! You see I have been designing a scarf/hat pattern for three weeks now and I know it's oh so close to being right, but each night my muse goes off to the local for a pint and some chips and leaves me with a splitting headache and nightmares of the a fore mentioned pattern.

The pattern is perfection on paper - the colors are oh so smoothly blended - the majority of the knitting looks fab. I think the pattern is solid, but there are two lines in the knitting that just do not jive! It throws the whole thing off to the point that I've ripped it back so many times the yarn has lost it's bounce.

Ok - I can hear you all now - put it away for a while - don't think about it - let someone else look at it.... Been there! It's the only thing I want to work on from sun up to sun down. I'm obsessed, I admit it openly. The frustrating thing is that this project is causing me to lose my zen! I've been on a knitting high for weeks now and I can feel it slowly leaking away. STOP!!! I want my zen back - please!!! I know there is a light bulb moment out there and that muse of mine better get her act together and help me find it soon.

Ah - it feels good to rant. Your local programing will now resume.

Oh - what do you think of my logo picture??? Feedback much appreciated.

Peace and joy to you all.... (and to your muse)
The Green Girl.....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Hello and Good-bye.....

Hi Folks -
It's been two days now since we returned from my DH's 30th HS reunion. I have a couple of blogs that I want to write, but to be perfectly honest my motivation is a little low. However, I promised myself that I would not be one of those bloggers that only update their blogs every month or two (nothing against those that only updated now and again, but if I follow your blog, I'd like to be able to read something each week. That's just me.) So, I'm sending out a blog of cheer and good will for today. Would appreciate some mojo being sent back my way so I can write this week. I'm working on a new pattern for a scarf or a hat (pattern will work for both) and hope to publish it on Ravelry (freebie) by next week. I'm almost done with the demo.
Stay tuned - my addled brain should kick back into gear soon.

Peace and joy to you all......
The Green Girl

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Knitting Haiku.....

Once in a great while I try my hand at a Haiku. I'm not very good, I know that. However, they say that trying new things is good for the brain cells. So here is today's try at something different for the blog and my old brain.

"Bliss to the knitter
For sharing their art with us
Socks, scarves, and much more....."

Peace and joy to you all.....
The Green Girl

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Felt.... It Isn't Meant for Elmer's Glue.....

When I think about felt, I always get transported back in time to the 2nd grade when we made Santa Cookie Tins for our parents at Christmas time. We each brought a coffee can from home and with the instruction of the teacher, we took our Elmer's Glue and covered the can with red, white and black felt to make them look like a Santa suit. Then we made a Santa cap to go over the lid. In our house this can sat on top of the TV every holiday season throughout my high school years. It never held cookies, but rather homemade fudge. Oh, nice story, right? No, not nice, it was an experience that imprinted on my brain the certainty that felt was bad, very, very bad. Felt and glue, not a combo that should be attempted by the faint of heart. I learned from that project, that felt and glue do not (that's DO NOT) play well together. I was peeling felt and glue off my fingers for days. Children were crying because their Santa cans looked liked blobs of felt and glue. Now granted we were second graders and our skills were less than stellar, but these cans were just bad. I blame the teacher (who had been teaching since the dawn of time) because she should have known better. I really think she liked seeing children struggle. I base this on the craft incident and other examples (ask me later.)

Now, if you are from the Chicago area and grew-up in the 60's you may remember a morning children's show called "Ray Raynor and Friends." Ray showed cartoons, gave the weather report, the local sports scores, feed his duck "Chelviston?" corn flakes and made a craft projects. Now Ray should have learned right at the beginning that felt and glue were not good friends. Every single time that he brought out the felt, I would shriek in terror, "No, Ray not the felt." I knew exactly what the next few spine chilling minutes would hold. It was like watching the proverbial train wreck. After so long, I just started to turn away. I couldn't take it anymore. It was crushing thing to watch. Ray would try and try and try and no go. Once again, I was certain that felt was bad, very, very, bad!!!

It is these two specific incidents that have made me shy away from the act of felting any of my lovely knitted projects. I mean why would I turn all of my hard work into a pile matted ugly fibers. It just seems to go against the natural rhythm of things. I have gone into LYS after LYS and have been asked if I would like to attend a felting class. Pretty as you please as if it weren't a conspiracy to get their hands on my precious knitwear. I know what they wanted and I wasn't buying. The next thing you know they'll be telling me to get out my Elmer's glue and I can turn the felted project into something even more beautiful. Ha!!! HaHa!!! Yes, I have issues, there's no shame in my game when it comes to admitting that. Anyway, I would nicely decline and then run from the store.

Now, about two weeks ago I'm minding my own business and searching around for free knitting patterns for house socks/slippers. What do I come across? Felted clogs/slippers. At first I recoil just slightly and then I notice that these clogs are cute!!! Felt, eh? Interesting! I go on and read up on this felted clog and no where in the instructions does it mention Elmer's glue. This is looking up. I'm not ready to commit yet, so I go on a little Google search and I find page after page with information and patterns for felted items made from good old knitted wool. I'm not recoiling anymore, it got me! I seem to remember a pair of slippers that I knit a few months ago that were made of Fisherman's wool. Lovely chocolate brown with cream, but truth be told I wasn't wild about the slippers. They were just there. So, I decide to go home get said slippers and try my hand at felting (I think I'm possessed at this point.) I was literally unable to stop myself from throwing 100% wool into my washer with hot water. I wait the twenty minutes of the wash cycle and there they were, felted slippers! I was able to form them into sweet little boots and then I got hit with another idea. Take out that cross stitch floss that's been sitting around and put some little star/flowers on the cuff. "Oh, aren't they sweet." All of the sudden I realized that I had felted. The world didn't come to an end, ghosts of second graders didn't come flying into the laundry room. Everything was just fine. No one got hurt, no glue was used, and I was hooked.

So, why is it that we dig in our heels? I don't have the answer to that one, but I do know that felt is a lovely thing as long as it stays away from Elmer's glue.

Peace and joy to you all......
The Green Girl

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reunion Getaway...

This coming weekend is my husband's 30th High School Reunion. I know he's excited because he's been posting pictures to Facebook of himself and his friends from back in the day. He doesn't get on FB very often, so that was my first clue. I must say he was a cutie back then as well. Anyway, this entire thing can be pretty boring for a spouse that didn't go to the same school. I have been fortunate and had a chance to meet some of these folks and they are wonderful. I have become friends with a few special people and therefore my life has been enriched. So, what else could I want, but to escort my DH to the events and enjoy the time together with him and high school friends? You have probably guessed it by now, I'm going on a yarn crawl (you know like a pub crawl, but no booze. Lots of string though.)

I have been surfing the net for shops in Bloomington, Illinois. I've been making my list and checking it twice. I'm on a mission, as there are no independent yarn shops in my area of the state. Not a bleeping one - zilch!!! Very frustrating! I have even found that a fellow Raveler is attending another event in the same town this weekend and will be checking in at the same stores. I've talked a dear friend into going on this crawl with me and she is a non-knitter. However, she is an artist so maybe we'll have a convert by the end of the weekend. I think I get extra points for converting a non-knitter to a knitter. Hmm... maybe there should be a "convert" punch card. Convert 10 people to knitting and get a free set of Addi turbos or sock pattern and yarn of choice. Oh this is an exciting idea......

I have picked out the projects that I'm taking with to knit during the drive and during the the weekend. Do you think anyone will mind if I finish up a sock during the cocktail party on Friday night? Certainly will be a conversation starter. Perhaps I'll even find some folks to crawl with us on Saturday. DH may be mortified so maybe I'll just keep it in my handbag until the cocktails are flowing freely and no one will understand what they are seeing.

My goal during the crawl is to look at some Addi Turbo sets, check out all the sales and find some yummy yarns that want to come live in my stash. Maybe even a pattern or two. I have a list. If I didn't have a list, I'd come home with everything, including the kitchen sink. Oh I'm not so silly as to think there won't be an impulse buy, there will be!!!

I'll also try to grab some pictures along the way and post the good ones next week. So, if you're looking for a good way to spend a reunion weekend, plan ahead and take a crawl, a class, whatever fills in the time between cocktail hour on Friday and dinner on Saturday.

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Just a Lazy Day!

Today is Saturday and I am hereby sanctioning this as a lazy day.I didn't get to sleep until 3:30 this morning. Nope, I was not out partying and whooping it up, I was writing. Serious writing on a paper and I'm not even happy with the draft yet. Ugh!! You know I can't imagine what writers did before the computer, the amount of paper and typewriter ribbon wasted must have been immense. On top of that,I have been having nightmares for three weeks straight. So when I finally went to bed I had four hours of non-stop nightmares. Oh joy - "Let's celebrate this." It's not that the dream is so completely ghastly, but rather parts of it are worrying and the dream goes on and on and on, forever and ever and ever. I can't wake-up and shake myself out of the dream state. Very annoying! I just have to ask myself what my brain is trying to work out and why can't it do it during the daylight hours. Some of us need sleep!!!
Oh I have the laundry going (otherwise we end up at work naked - just not a pretty picture.) I will at some point run the dishwasher with dishes that we use today and I may even clean the kitchen floor (let's be honest, most likely that will not happen until tomorrow.) However, the rest of the day is for reading, sleeping (cat naps probably 5-10 minutes,) watching the Food Network in the background and knitting. I'm about to start the second panel for the baby blanket I'm making and I'd like to get the scarf from last weekend finished so I can block it.

So, enjoy your weekend and feel free to adopt the lazy day scenario for your own.

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl....

I've Got You Under My Spell.......

(music plays softly in background) I know, Frank Sinatra, old Blue Eyes himself sang, "I've got you under my skin..." Well I'm taking some poetic license here and changing it to "spell." I'm talking about the magical power and influence of spinning (not the cycle class at the local YMCA, but the wheel with the fleece that becomes yarn.) This blog is dedicated to all those that spin and find that they have literally reached nirvana. I shall explain of course....

I have recently learned of an event called the Tour de Fleece. From what I gather you give yourself goals for how much spinning you wish to accomplish starting on the first day of the Tour de France and you spin each day of the race along with the riders. A totally cool activity. This makes sense since I do like to spin. I mean if I'd never spun a fleece before and had no drive to do so, this might just sound like another weird activity that people dream up to pass the time. Anyway, since I heard of the event, I started thinking about my history with the spinning wheel.

When Dave and I were first married almost three decades ago, we were the typical young, poor married college students. We lived in Dave's home town of Bloomington, Illinois as that is where the university that we were attending was located. Every Autumn right outside of town in a lovely apple orchard there was the annual Apple Festival. You could go and watch them press the juice from the apples, hand make brooms, look at quilts and (wait for it) watch spinning demonstrations. Now as I was already a knitter, I found the spinning demo completely fascinating. This woman was sitting there with a wool fleece and making yarn - real yarn that could be knit into lovely gifts, warm slippers (we tended to keep the heat down as paying for electricity was a big budget item for a couple of married students,) sweaters, etc..... All I can remember of that day was a thought that kept running through my mind, "Diana, you have to learn to do that, it's so cool. You could make all of your own yarn and surely that's cheaper than buying it at the shops." OK - all of you knitters and spinners can stop laughing now, I was young and uninformed at the time.

Now we can fast forward five years and Dave and I have moved to Pensacola, Florida. Dave is in flight school for the U.S. Navy and he has just been stationed to Whidbey Island, Washington. However, I have a contract at the hospital where I work and I need to stay in Pensacola for six months to fulfill that obligation. After Dave moves, I started spending a little more time at the local yarn shop. My sisters of the "needle and yarn" where all there to support me through this time alone and I was ever so grateful. One day, while I'm there someone mentions that they are going to have a spinning class and they will provide the wheels as part of the class. No big outlay of money at this point. Yeah!!! It may have been five years later, but we were still a little less than flush with cash. So, off I went happy as a little lark. I was going to learn to spin and save yarn money and make all of my knits from beginning to end. Hurray!!!!

OK- so you're wondering about this "spell" business. Well, I'm sorry for the big run up, but you need to know just how long I had been waiting to learn this skill, to feel the wool slip through my fingers, to take the strands and ply them together. This dream had been roaming the halls of my mind for five years. Maybe it had grown a little over that time as well. Then the night of the first class arrives and the instructor mentions that people have been known to fall into a trance while spinning. The motion of wheel, the timing of your foot on the pedal, the even movement of the wool through your fingers, it's all very calming and relaxing. Well, that's interesting, but let's spin already! I wonder why she thought that was an important piece of information to share with the class??? Hmmm.. We begin and progress through class and as it is late into the evening when we are done, I take my rented wheel and my wool home, set them in the living room and head off to Bedfordshire.

The next night after I get home from work, I can barely eat any dinner as I am full of energy and cannot wait to start practicing my spinning. I pull out a dining room chair and place it in front of the TV, place the wheel in front of the chair, I get my wool and place it by the chair and I pop in a VHS tape of my favorite TV program, "The Dick Van Dyke Show." Honestly it's the funniest program I have ever seen and I stand by that to this very day. You really do not know what you're missing if you haven't seen this show. Your TV education is not complete. Oops, a little rant there, sorry. OK - I'm ready now, I pick up the wool and start to spin. I pedal, I pull the fibers and the wool becomes a thread and I am giddy with excitement. Then the next thing you know it is an hour later and two Dick Van Dyke episodes have played, but I don't know which episodes they were because I find myself coming out of a daze so heavy that at first I think I've been asleep, but I'm still spinning and the bobbin is well on it's way to being full and the fleece that I was spinning is almost gone. Then I remember what the instructor said and I realize that I have been in a spinning induced trance for an hour. It got me....I was under it's spell....and let me tell you, it was the most peaceful and productive hour of my life. Now, I realize that there were many factors that played a role here, I was tired from work, I had a history of these type of events, such as being a sleep walker as a child and lucid dreamer as an adult and I had even been hypnotized in a high school assembly once, so I guess I am susceptible to this type of thing. However, on that night in my little apartment in Pensacola, all I could think was, "I have reached spinning nirvana." I had lived my dream, literally.

A few months later I moved out to join Dave in Washington. Two days after I arrived he was sent off on a two week flying exercise and I was alone with no friends or job on an island. Time to explore!!! I got in my car headed down the main highway on the island and found a lovely little yarn shop and guess what??? They sold spinning wheels and fleece and everything else that goes with the craft. The woman and I talked and talked and drank coffee and in the end she offered me a wheel on a payment plan of two months and the name of a woman on the island that raised sheep for their wool. I packed my wheel into the car, along with some fleece and headed back to our little room in the Bachelor Officer's Quarters on the Navy base. The next day I called the "sheep lady" and she said that if I wanted to come and learn to sheer, I could have all the wool I wanted at no charge. Cool!!! I did it! I learned to sheer a sheep, clean the fleece, card the wool, spin the wool, knit the wool. Hurray!!! For the two weeks that Dave was gone, I had our bathtub full of fleece being cleaned, I had rope hung across the room for wool to hang and dry, and I sat and spun myself into nirvana each and every night. Once again, I had lived my dream that started all those years ago in an apple orchard.

It was not cheaper than buying the yarn, but it was one of my top ten life experiences. Just this summer I am using the last of a very fine light weight cream colored wool that I spun during those two weeks. I've had tons of it from that one sheering and I've always used it for making baby gifts. This final gift is going to friends here in my new home town. I guess I have to find a new sheep farm in the local area in order to build my supply once again. (music fades.)

Peace and joy to you all,
The Green Girl....

Friday, July 16, 2010

I've Been Through the Desert With a Book With No Name

Yes, I have blatantly mangled the line from the America song, "A Horse With No Name." However, read on my dears and all will be made clear (probably as mud.) I have been thinking that there is book out there floating around that needs to be written, but as it hasn't been yet, we will call it The Book With No Name. Over the past couple of weeks, Dave and I have been watching (putting in the background while he computes and I knit) some of our all time favorite movies. Watching these films reminded me of a conversation that we have had in the past about how lines from films sink into our everyday language. After re-watching (not all in one go), "Ghostbusters," "In-Laws (original from 1970's,)" " Lost in America," " Four Weddings and Funeral," "The Castle," "The Dish," and "Bridget Jones Diary" I realized just how many tag lines we have in our everyday speech. My heavens, but we're one big film strip on auto-play.

Here are 10 examples of things that Dave and I say on a regular basis and they all come from the movies listed above.

1) "It's more of a guideline than a rule." (Ghostbusters) - Dave uses this so much that he had everyone at his office saying it as well. This has got to be Dave's top repeat movie line.

2) "Let's celebrate this..." (Lost in America) This is said equally in our home, it can mean just what it says or we can use it in a mocking way. Example, one more thing to fix on the house, "Let's celebrate this. "

3) "They serve it up with orange juice, grande the big one." (The In-Laws) Now when I say the title of this film most people will think of the re-made version with Michael Douglas. Nope! Trust me when I say that there is nothing in the re-make that even comes close to the wit and genius of the original film with Alan Arkin and Peter Falk. This is mostly my line. I just say it, no real reason why, it just feels good on the tongue.

4) "That was your big idea.... get her." (Ghostbusters) Again, this is usually said in some cynical manner.

5) "If you know my heart the way you say you's was simple neglect, not disbelief." (In-Laws) One my personal favorites while studying at the University of Washington. Can be applied to just about anything. Go ahead give it a try....

6) "You must be very proud." (Four Weddings and a Funeral) This is the quintessential phrase to say when going through a wedding receiving line. It stuck so completely in my head that I said it in my mind for hours the day of my brothers wedding. Hey it works! It's good to have in the arsenal of phrases.

7) "I'm off to Bedfordshire." (Bridget Jones Diary) To be honest, I think Dave has only ever seen this film once and that was in the theater when we went with our good friends Craig and Laurie. When it's on at home, his earbuds go in and he turns on his i-pod. It's not "War and Peace," but I like looking at Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, so sue me.

8) "I'd call that a big, yes." (Ghostbusters) Again, this is a big one in our household. We say this so much that as I was writing down some of our favorites for this blog, I almost forgot it because I hadn't remembered that it came from a film. I know now that Ghostbusters holds some sway in our home.

9) "We're going to Bonnie Dune." (The Castle) This is an indy film from Australia and all I can say is, get a hold of a copy and watch it. It's sweet, funny, just good cinema. Anyway, this is our mantra when we set out on any trip. We're heading to Chicago, "We're going to Bonnie Dune" and on and on.

10) "The American was here, he was wanting pretzels." (The Dish) We say this as is or put in the country of the guest and their request. You get the idea.

So there we have it, ten sayings from films that get used daily, weekly, monthly or whenever the feeling strikes us. More than you wanted to know about Dave and I, but I'm guessing there are film lines running around your houses as well. Have a think, I bet you come up with a few. In fact I bet that research would show that everyday language in the U.S. is full of these little quips and if nothing else a book about the subject could end up being hilarious for one and an everyday phrase book for another.

As you can see from the title of today's blog, film lines aren't the only thing that gets recycled. We do it for books, music, etc....

Any interested parties should now write up a proposal and run to their editor as someone will grab this book idea and make enough money to be "Rich beyond the dreams of Avaris."

Peace and joy to you all.....

The Greengirl

  • Posted on: Wed, Jul 14 2010 10:53 AM

Vanity or Artist????

Good Morning Folks - I hope everyone had a grand weekend. I spent mine finally getting the knitting organized, but that's a whole other blog. As I was knitting on Saturday evening, I looked at the scarf I was making and thought, "Wow, this is so beautiful and I made it." I had these feelings of joy that the cables were perfect in their twists and turns, that the edges were smooth and even, and that the colors were melding so well together. Every few minutes I would stop and look at what I was creating and sigh a little.

Fast forward to Sunday morning, I've done the weekend fry up, pancakes, bacon, cheesy scrambled eggs and coffee. Dave is off pitching horse shoes and I decide to knit a little before getting into the shower and starting the "Organization of the Knitting 2010" kind of like my own "2001 Space Odyssey." As I knit a few rows it hits me once again this feeling of joy regarding this little scarf. Then I hear it. Right there in the back of my mind, I hear my mother's voice. "Diana, stop being so vain. No one cares that you made this scarf." This idea of vanity or pride in my own accomplishments has always been my mother's warning to me since I was quite young. And once again I found myself retreating from the joy that I had felt over this project that will become a gift to someone I love. Right after that, Dave walked into the house and so I asked him, "Am I vain to think that this scarf is truly lovely and to feel enraptured because I made it?" Well, he looked right at me and said, "No sweetheart, all artists get that feeling." I must have looked shocked, because he said it again, "you are an artist." Then he walked away and went about whatever it was that he was doing at the time. He said it matter of factly as if it was no big deal and that perhaps he was just reminding me of something I already knew. Wrong, I had no idea that he thought this. I felt like he had just given me the Noble Prize for, well for something. He thinks I'm an artist. I've been called a designer, knitter, crafter, etc... but no one has ever applied the word artist to my craft.

I see the art in so many things, I think dentistry is an art, I mean have you ever seen a crown being made or the tooth being prepared? I have and it's artistry plain and simple. I have now started to think of my creations in a different way, I have begun regarding them in the same way I regard the work of a painter or a musician. My medium is different, but I still take raw material and information and create something wonderful. If I don't like it, I rip it out and start over, I make changes and when a pair of socks or a hat are finished I always smile and wonder at their magic to make me so happy. My little piece of knitting will bring happiness to someone. That's what the work of Marc Chagall does for me. No, I'll never paint like he did, but my art and the art made by all of my fellow brothers and sisters of the "needle and yarn" can bring just as much delight to people.

So, to all my fellow knitters - let your work bring you joy, feel the pride in having made something so lovely and remember, You Are An Artist....

Peace and joy to you all.....

The Green Girl

  • Posted on: Mon, Jul 12 2010 10:49 AM

We're Having a Heat Wave.....

It has been hot here in the Chicago land area for the last couple of weeks. I don't mean warm, I mean HOT! 90+ degrees each day, humidity that makes you want to run naked in the sprinklers. Now, when I lived in Seattle, we had days like these. typically about 4-5 a year, but no humidity. It was still hot and we had no AC just fans, but we survived. Here in the Midwest we have AC to keep us from melting into a pool and running out under the door. They are pretty smart here in the Midwest.

Now there is another problem. It's the AC - it's freezing inside! Even if you set the temperature to nice 74-75 degrees, it's still cold inside. I know this must have something to do with the wide difference in temp between inside and outside, but honestly nothing feels just right.

In order to fix this problem, I have taken out my Winter wool for knitting. I've actually put the lovely cottons away. There is no warmth in the cotton, but the wool on the other hand keeps me toasty. So, someone is getting a lovely wool blanket for the holidays because I have started to knit said blanket to stay warm while I'm inside on the hot 90+ degree days. After the blanket I'll start on someone's sweater, etc... If this heat doesn't break soon I'll have all the holiday knitting completed before Labor Day. That will truly be a first!

Peace and joy to you all,

The GreenGirl

  • Posted on: Thu, Jul 8 2010 3:01 PM

Why Greengirl????

I have now been asked about 20 times, what the name Greengirl is all about. Most instantly think that is has to do with the environment or the fact that I lived in Seattle, WA for 21 years. Those are good guesses, but wrong! Really there is no way that anyone would know this unless they asked, so thanks for all the inquiries. I will now reveal the meaning behind the name. Oh - ah - aren't you all sitting on the edge of your seats in anticipation? I know you are.

My mother has two younger sisters, my Aunt Patty and Aunt Bobby. To say that they spoiled me with their love and attention when I was little would just be a missed opportunity to say that I was the most loved little girl in the world by these two extraordinary women. The Aunts have taught me so much that I carried through my entire life, but little did they know that a silly, slightly scary, made up bed-time story held the biggest lesson of all.

My mom and I stayed with my grandparents a lot when I was very little as my dad was in the U.S. Navy and gone quite frequently. That allowed me to sleep with the Aunts and as I was a child that loved a good bed-time story; my mantra was always, "Please tell me a story." And given that they loved me so, they would always oblige and tell me as many stories as it took to get me to fall off to sleep. Did I say they loved me a LOT!!! They did! Anyway, my Aunt Patty came up with this short story of the "Little Green Girl." It was the story that had to be told over and over and over again. I couldn't hear it enough. The little green girl was different, well it says so right in the title, she was green. She had a heart full of so much love that all she knew how to do was give, give, give. Ah - I know you're saying what a sweet little story to tell a child, but wait for it, there is a twist. Everywhere the little girl went, people would say this,"I love you, I love, I love you to bits, but you scare me right out of my wits!" Again, the whole issue of being green was really freaking people out. Now you're thinking, in the end the people learned to love her back even though she was green. Nope! The little green girl is so upset by her differences and the way people treated her that in the end she jumps off a tall building and she didn't have super powers to keep her aloft. It's just the end!

Now, if you are like the few people that I've told this story to you are thinking how terrible. Who would tell a child a story like this. Let's remember it was suppose to be a little scary. I never felt scared by it, I saw it differently. I saw that people treat one another wrongly because of their differences. I saw that people can make other people so full of despair that they jump off buildings. I learned that we each are special and unique and full of beauty. I learned to never treat someone wrongly because I did not understand them. I learned to understand someone's ideas before I decide if I disagree. The lessons that I learned from that strange little story have stayed with me and over the years, I have learned to fight for the little green girls of the world. So, in honor of all the little green girls, boys, etc... of the world I have named my blog after them. I keep them with me in my heart every day.

OK - so that's the story, but if you have any imagination or have read the book "Wicked," you might be thinking. interesting that this is similar to the story of Elphaba. I thought the same thing. However, the Aunts told me this story in the early 1960's and Aunt Patty made it up out of thin air. Somehow I think that Mr. Maguire owes my aunt royalties, but we'll never know. All very interesting.

Now, a little knitting lore regarding the Little Green Girl. Several months ago, I was at a yarn shop and found this lovely lime green yarn flecked with all other colors. I instantly wanted to turn it into a pair of socks. I decided that since I do Pilates on a regular basis that I should use the yarn to make yoga/Pilates socks (that's no heel or toes.) When they were done it hit me that they were my Green Girl socks. Green like she was, full of color to represent all the other people she met. These are the socks in the picture. I'd be happy to share the pattern, they are quite easy.

In the end, thank you Aunt Patty and Aunt Bobby. I love you both so dearly. (De)

Peace and joy to you all,
The Green Girl

  • Posted on: Wed, Jul 7 2010 10:41 AM

The Green Girl Blogs..... Oh My

This is it, my first blog. I decided that I would dedicate this blog to knitting, jewelry making and books. It just wouldn't be right not to blog about books. All kinds of books. I've been reading since I was four years old and the written word just never gets old. For me, knitting is yoga for the non-flexible. Knitting helps release the tension I build up while designing a new piece of jewelry. Jewelry making allows me to think outside the box. It's all just a circle.

OK - it's time to introduce myself. I am, Diana and I am 47 years old. I've been married to the same man for 28 years. His name is Dave and he is literally the best person I've ever met. I still learn new things about him after all these years and he makes me laugh daily. He is my luv. Dave and I have lived in Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington and Illinois. I have also lived in Virginia. We are currently living just south of Chicago, Illinois.

I am formally educated in Biology, Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Bio-anthropology, and Comparative Religions.

OK - enough general stuff. This is about knitting, jewelry making, and books. So, to start lets talk about a book that is about knitting. The title, "The Yarn Harlot," by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Stephanie is a neighbor to the north, she lives in Toronto Canada with her husband and three daughters. To say she is a knitter is to say that "Watson and Crick" were scientists. She is a KNITTER and they were SCIENTISTS!!!! I actually could have written this book, although the name of the husband would have had to have been changed from Joe to Dave. Otherwise there would have been questions. Stephanie is my kind of knitter in that she thinks the same as I about the art, the yarn, the tools, and she is just as nuts as I am about knitting in general. This is a book of essays and I was laughing, crying and nodding my head in agreement at every turn of the page. This may be why my neck is out of alignment for the past four days. I really need to get to the chiropractor. If you are at all interested in knitting, give this book a read and also it's sequel, "Free-Range Knitter." Hilarious stuff! However, if you crochet, be warned Stephanie is a bit well prejudiced about crocheting. In her defense, she tired!

I am currently trying to convert the knitting technique of Entrelac knitting over to technique that can be used on a knitting loom. I found that it helps to be in a zen place when trying to take a complicated idea and convert it to another form of knitting. Otherwise the TV is bound to get hit right in the face the next time I throw the yarn and loom across the room. Letting go of that tension may also help the whole neck out of alignment thing as well. I'm just thinking positively at the moment. When I have accomplished this task, I'll post some pictures and directions.

Now, I know that some knitters will think me a traitor for going to the loom. In my defense, I found that it helps me to knit chemo caps for my Facebook group quicker. In this situation I want quality and quantity each month and the loom allows for that. I had cancer three years ago and this group is my way to give back. I am healthy and well and I do what I can with no shame. So, don't go there unless you want a nice stroll in my shoes. I must also admit that loom knitting is quite fun. I have found very little in the form of patterns and so forth as compared to straight knitting so I am trying to help my fellow brother and sisters of the loom by converting some straight knitting techniques and creating some patterns for them to enjoy. These endeavors will all be blogged as I go.

OK - enough for today. I feel like I have rambled on a bit and I know I would never use this as a final draft in academics, but I was advised that this blog should be fun and easy and that whatever I do, do not make it about being perfect. I won't!!!

Peace and joy to you all...
The GreenGirl

  • Posted on: Tue, Jul 6 2010 3:17 PM