Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Shawl


To me, the beach has always conjured up the most heartwarming memories. As a child, I always recalled every summer we spent as a family at the Jersey shore. I remember my Dad, and the safeness that I felt as he held me so close as the waves approached. His arms were my haven and never wanted our time together to end.

It was just a short four years ago this Christmas season, just after having relocated to Pawleys Island with my newly-retired husband, that I was diagnosed with cancer. I retreated to the beach, and found comfort in my memories that the sounds and smell of the ocean evoke. I knew then, that being at the beach was exactly where I needed to be. The beach always was, is, and always will be my little bit of heaven right here on earth.

This fall, I was invited to participate in a wonderful knitting opportunity - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Shawl. This is the brainchild of a wonderful woman, Kay Meadors. The idea is that this shawl would travel to a knitter in each of the 50 states, each doing their part, and then passing it on to the next knitter, until it had passed through the hands of 50 remarkable and talented knitters. After the Shawl's journey is complete, it will be raffled off, with the proceeds benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

On Christmas eve, the shawl arrived at my home. And could not have thought of any place in the world where I would rather be when I knitted it, other then on my beloved beach...

My contribution to the shawl was done in honor of all cancer survivors, and in loving memory of my father, Robert Delaney. Dad, I miss you so much....

It is now on it's way to another knitter. If you would like to follow the shawl and it's travels around the country, go to the blog and catch its progress. And, most importantly, if you would care to donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, as well as have the opportunity to win this shawl, visit the Passionately Pink page.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby Cakes!

The shower was yesterday.  My darling DIL was so surprised, which made all the work that went into the shower worth it.  Here are photos of the topping to the cake, that was eerily realistic.




Everyone just looooved my Christmas Stockings, and I was finally able to get a "family portrait" to share.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Christmas Stockings - Part II

I'm just about finished the remaining two Christmas Stockings.  All I have to do is line them.  Dee, my expert seamstress extraordinare sister, will give me a hand with that.

Here is the one for my most wonderful daughter-in-law...


And here is the one for the baby - patiently awaiting the birth so that I can add the name....


I am hoping that after the shower and things calm down around here, to be able to sit down and get the patterns into some sort of format that I can share. 

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dad's First Christmas Stocking

My son and his wife are expecting their first child, my first grandchild in December. They have been married for 5 1/2 years, and survived 3 deployments (Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan). I could not be more excited about anything.... anything!

I wanted to knit something to commemorate the blessed event, something that would be timeless, forever. I finally decided upon the most perfect item - A Christmas Stocking!

I will be making three - one for Dad, one for Mom and one for Baby - each with varying designs. Every year, as they hang their stocking on the mantle, I will be remembered. And that is so heartwarming.

As I knitted this....

I had tears of joy in my eyes, as I realized - My baby is going to be a Dad!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Shawl

I am flattered, beyond words....

Yesterday morning, I was asked to join a group on Ravelry - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Shawl.  I will be joined by 49 amazingly, fabulously talented individuals who will be working on a Shawl - together.  The shawl will journey across the country, from one knitter to another knitter, until it has been passed to a knitter in every state of our GREAT country.  Once its finished, it will be raffled off with the proceeds being donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  You can follow this shawl as it travels at this blog.

Everyone has been impacted by cancer.  I am honored to have been asked to represent the State of South Carolina in this momentous endeavor.  I am participating in honor of all cancer survivors and dedicating my efforts to the memory of my Dad.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Vista, vista, vista....

My new laptop arrived today.  This beauty is replacing the one that was stolen in Denver.  (Did I already say that I hate Denver?)

Brand spanking new.  Complete with all the newest bells and whistles, including (shriek) Vista!  A friend told me not to this darn thing know that I'm scared, because it can smell fear.  (insert evil laugh).

So, it will take me a while until I get accustomed to all the new-fangled icons and gizmos.  Wish me luck.  I'm going to need it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Travel Updates...

Sunday, August 10th - Ah, Denver

N and I "pulled" into Denver yesterday afternoon. We are staying at the Westin in Downtown. It's verrrry nice. :-D His guys start arriving tomorrow, so we will be having almost 48 hours to ourselves. This is my first time that I am really getting to "see" Denver and I am enjoying myself. And.; it's really nice that everything to do and see is within walking distance or a tram ride away.

We began today sharing a crepe at a small sidewalk cafe and then spent the rest of the day walking along the 16th Street Mall from one end to the other. Yes, my feet are killing me! Another quiet dinner tonight with a good bottle of wine!

Friday, August 15th - Rocky Mountain High.

Yep.. Still in Denver!

Ah... toe time!?! Now that is bliss! My last was a few weeks ago. It was the #1 priority on N's list after my arrival. He had been postponing getting his, waiting for me, so that we could go together. Now? Tell me that isn't too sweet! But, as I sit here and gaze upon my scuffed up toes, I know that is time for another. Hmmm... we have Mon and Tues available.

As for knitting? I just completed the Dale of Norway ensemble of a sweater, romper, hat and socks. I substituted Paton's Grace for the Stork, and being an entirely different guage, I had some head scratching to do. I cast on for the size 6 mo, but gauge-wize, it completed as a size 12-18 mo. I still have to get moving on a homecoming outfit. But, being the perpetural Girl Scout that I am, I came prepared. I have enough Stork and Baby Ull to do another 2 outfits, but I am not seeing anything that grabs me. So.. I'm working on a pair of socks.. the ultimate filler. And, I have enough yarn for another 2 pairs!

I am thinking of doing a Christmas stocking. I have been looking at patterns, and nothing has been screaming "knit me". I think that I might just get out some graph paper and begin plotting away.

Thursday, August 21st - Chicago, Chicago....

Yesterday morning began bright and early. Well, it was early, but definitely not bright as our wake-up call came at 3:45 am. We showered, packed and jumped into our seats on the shuttle to the airport at 4:30, Check-in wasn't too eventful and we were at the gate by 5:30 for our 6:30 flight to Chicago.

We are staying at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers on North Water. Our room is at the end of the building, in the curved tower, which affords us a fantastic 180 degree view of the lake, the lighthouse and the river walk. After we checked in, N left to begin his work for the next 5 days and I ambled around the river walk for a little while. When they got back, N and I walked along Michigan Avenue, in search of a barber for him to get his haircut. We were lucky and found this little place on Huron.

Back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We were to meet S/s in the lobby at 6:30 to go to Ditka's, to join N/M and their wives. Well, we tried... but got delayed. It seems that N was rushing me and we hit the elevator at 6:20. N pushed the button for the lobby, and the car went few seconds, and then seemed to drop... and then we stopped! OMG! Now, I have got be "Queen Phobia". I'm leery of revolving doors, escalators, elevators, heights, and here I am stuck in this elevator somewhere between the 9th and 10th floor! I can feel the panic attack about to emerge; I pulled all the strength that I could muster to hold it at bay. And thank goodness that it was just us and a service guy that had been returning from a call. He had is walky-talky and called for assistance. We had to wait for the Otis people to get there, which would be about 15 minutes. N called S/S in the lobby and told them where we were and perhaps they might want to go ahead and we'll join them later. He also called N/M... who howled in laughter, thinking that N was pulling their legs. Heck, I could have come up with a better joke than that! Well, one hour later.... They finally got the door open on the 10 floor and brought a ladder for us to climb out of the elevator. Trust me, dragging this fat ass though the opening was NOT a pretty sight.

We arrived at Ditka's and everyone was sitting there with their drinks, patiently waiting for us to have dinner. The waitress came to the table and asked, "Would you care for something to drink?"..... OH HELL YEA! Dinner was great, and we even got to meet Ditka himself, who happened to be there.

This morning, N and I shared a beautiful sunrise on the lake, lazing in bed with a pot of coffee. Now that's living! He's off for the day, and this afternoon we have some water cruisey thing planned.

Wednesday, August 27th - Travel update... and btw... Denver Sucks!

Loved Chicago, even with the elevator scare. We had the most beautiful hotel room, I overlooking Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, where I witnessed some fabulous sunrises. It was so convenient to everything.. shopping (Norstroms, Neiman Marcus, Macy's, yadda yadda).. eating (Ditka's, Smith & Wollensky, Rosebud, The Palm, Schula's, yadda yadda)... sightseeing (Navy Pier, Museums, Parks, River Tours, yadda yadda). I even managed to find a LYS. I know.. that's no big surprise!

I arrived back in Denver yesterday at noon. It seems that I made a major oops when I made my reservation. N already had his flight planned, so I tried to get on his same flights. The one leaving? Not a problem. However, for the one returning yesterday? His flight was over $400.00, and a flight leaving 1 hour later was $170.00. No brainer, I picked the hour later one. Or... so I thought. You would think that AA (no.. not Alcoholics Anonymous. But, I would think by this point on my trip, I'm awfully close.) would have all their flights listed chronologically. Nooooo. So, when his flight at 9:05 was listed above my flight at 10:40, I just assumed that mine was 1 hour later. Well, just think of that Odd Couple skit then Felix made the diagram about assumed ..."Makes an ass.." Well, that was me. My flight was not 1 hour later, it was 11 hours earlier! I tried to change it, but at a cost of an additional $420.00, I decided NOT! So, I departed Chicago yesterday morning, arrived in Denver at noon, took the shuttle to the hotel and vegged.... or so I thought!

Now, we have been on the road for just about 1 month, and we have all the stuff that goes along with traveling. But, since we were only going to be in Chicago for 6 days, I only packed 6 days worth of stuff and left all the rest of the stuff in the truck and in the parking lot of the hotel. When I got pack here, I went to my room and dropped my bag and then went to the car to get my laptop. It took a few seconds for it to sink in, as I saw the interior in a shambles with papers and CDs strewn all about.. that the truck was broken into! It seems that they were able to "pop" off the passenger door handle/lock and entered there. Well, between the tinted windows and the sunscreen across the windshield, they had a field day! What was taken? 2 suitcases of clothes, my messenger bag with my laptop/phone accessories/iPod, etc, the Sirius radio, the Garmin, N's cigars, tools, camera. That was all that I could recall off the top of my head. I called N in Chicago and all he could say is "The bastards". I went back into the hotel and the lady at the desk directed me to the Denver PD website to report a crime. As I was completing the form, I started to cry.. and I called N back... crying. He said, "I was wondering when you were going to realize." The entire thing was very traumatic; I felt violated. But what hit me the most.. they took all my knitting stuff - All my yarn, all my needles, and hardest of all - they took all the outfits for the baby that I have been working on for the past month! That was when I lost it. The fruits of my labor are sitting in some dumpster right now! The bastards!

As I was winding down from completing the forms, N called back to inform me that he might not make it here. It seems the FAA computers crashed and flights were being canceled. He'd keep me posted.

All I can say is thank GOD, there is a dinner right next door to the hotel... I went over and ordered a few Margarita's! Trust me.. I needed them!

Well, N arrived not much later than expected, and left the hotel room at 6:30 to go to the Ford dealer to get the door fixed. He doesn't have a Garmin to feed in the address, so he had to do it the old fashioned way... pages and pages of directions via mapquest!

Our plans are up in the air for the next few days. He has a few demos and requests that have come up, but nothing in stone. We were planning on leaving here and heading down to Taos, and then Santa Fe for the weekend. What is definite is a meeting with Santa Fe next Tuesday morning, so who knows where we're heading.

Life is an adventure! And I'm just along for the ride!

Thursday, August 28th - Did I already say that Denver sucks?

Well, let me say it once more... Denver sucks!

N and I spent yesterday playing catch-up. N found a Ford dealer that would be able to repair the passenger handle/lock while he waited. Its not totally done, as the door is scratched and bent where they used some sort of tool to open the door, but it is usable. We had to get our 6 days of dirty clothes washed, as we had no more clothes. Thank goodness that there was a wash & fold place not too far away. Then to an electronic store to buy another GPS. The particular model that we wanted was not available, so we came back to the hotel and purchased it on-line and its being shipped to our hotel in Santa Fe.

N has 2 meetings today, that were scheduled for yesterday, but... This morning, we went down to the lobby at 6:30 for some coffee and then he left for the first of his meetings. Within minutes, he came back into the lobby, threw his hands up in the air and announced that they did it again! This time, through the driver's door. The entire lock/handle mechanism is broken and hanging out. He's heading back to the Ford Dealer, with hopes that they have the parts to repair it!

Thank goodness that our 6 days of CLEAN clothes hadn't been placed in the truck yet! And that we purchased the GPS on-line!

Keep your fingers crossed... I'm hoping to make it out of Denver, alive and without any further scathing, before the end of the day.

Ah, it can only happen to the living!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Louis Mulkey

It was just about one year ago that this world lost someone truly special - my friend, Louis. He was one of 9 Charleston (SC) Firefighters who perished in a fire last June. Louis had touched so many lives and he is forever in our hearts. ESPN has done a special on Louis and his legacy - the Summerville HS Basketball team. I just wanted to share this with you.

Louis, I am proud to have known you. Proud to have called you a friend. You will be forever missed... and loved...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


On behalf of the South Strand Knitters, I offered to host our very own World Wide Knit in Public Day.

Huntington Beach State Park
16148 Ocean HWY, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Saturday, June 14th.
12:00 noon - til you can't knit no more

Is there a more appropriate place for the South Strand Knitters to host a WWKIP other than the beach?!? So, bring whatever beach paraphernalia you normally use (chair, umbrella, sunscreen), water to drink, and of course... your WIP (Work in Progress). Join us for a fun day of knitting, chatting, knitting, fun, knitting, sharing, and a really good time!

As Huntington Beach is a State Park, they do charge an admission fee to enter.
Daily Park Fees:
Ages 16 and older: $5
Ages 6-15: $3
Ages 5 and younger free
S.C. residents ages 65 and older and S.C. disabled residents $3.25
There is no admission charge for seasonal pass holders.

Driving Directions:
From Murrells Inlet: Drive 3 mi. S. on Hwy 17. Park entrance is on the left.
From Georgetown: Drive 20 mi N on Hwy 17. park entrance is on the right.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Here is the link to the youtube video of my son's homecoming.
I just had to share.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Desert is Abloom

Life in the desert is usually sunshine - 365 days a year. But, this winter, it rained. That's not too unusual for the Southwest, but a rarity all the same. And now that Spring is upon is, the normally brown hills and mountains are just awash with colors! Now, that is unusual.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My First Quilt
In reality, even though it was completed after the other quilt, it was the first one that I started. I had the most wonderful assistant, teacher, and mentor... my sister Dee. Who would have imagined that quilters are even more horrid enablers than knitters? Go figure!I am happy with my endeavor. But, I have so much to learn about color. I chose very complementary colors and I think I needed to use more contrast. Perhaps, a better choice than the purple would have been a very dark green?
I just love the ticking that I found for the backing. And the lady who did the machine quilting did a marvelous job. All in all... I'm tickled pink!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Do you remember this Ugly Duckling?
Well, after many, many months in the Frog Pond, it has finally become a Swan.
If you remember, I did complete the Mystery Stole 3 in its entirety last year. I was wide-eyed with enthusiasm as this was to be my first endeavor in the "mystery" genre. Each week, I waited anxiously as the next "clue" was announced. I was loving the progression of the stole that was blossoming before me - up until the end of Clue 4. My doubts began as I began to knit Clue 5. The pattern abruptly changed and seemed to be going in a direction to where I did not want to go. But,to keep faithful to the spirit of the KAL, I blindly persevered and I continued and knitted along. Being the consummate over-achiever that I am, it was completed before the week was over after the final clue was presented.

I tried to like it. Really, I did! I just couldn't bring myself to like it. I tried desperately and it was not going to happen. It looked like two different shawls had been mismatched together. I did like both halves, individually, just not together. So, I frogged the shawl back to the end of clue 4. And that's where it sat for the past 6 months - lost and forgotten and hated.

Fast forward to now... After all my exuberant Christmas sock knitting, I decided it was time to finish all the left over UFO’s in my pile - with this being one of them. I am so proud that I finally finished it! Wah la! Over! Kaput! Fini! Stick a fork in me! Dun!
Obligatory Stats:
  • Pattern: Mystery Stole 3/Swan Lake
  • Designer: Melanie Gibbons
  • Yarn: Elsbeth Lavold Hempathy
  • Colorway: White Beach
  • Skeins: 6/918 yds
  • Needles: Denise US Size 6
  • Blocked size: 29" x 84"
  • Made for: Deirdre (shhhh! Don't tell her. It's a surprise!)

Saturday, March 01, 2008


In January, Hubby had a business trip to Florida. I decided to join him. After it was over, he went home, and I stayed on and spent a few weeks having a wonderful visit with my sister, Dee. I had such a wonderful visit. We had a great time, talking, bonding and sharing. But, I guess that perhaps, she shared a bit more with me.Dee is a gifted seamstress and quilter. Her talents are well evident in the fabulous quilted jacket that she made for me last Christmas, and the two gorgeous quilts that she had bestowed me this Christmas. Well, I asked her if she would help me make a quilt. Quilters are even more diligent enablers than knitters - she was more than happy to oblige. This is ONE of the quilts that I made!
I am proud of my endeavor. And even happier that I had the opportunity to visit with Dee. A sister's love is forever.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Best Valentine's Day.... EVER!!!

Yesterday, my son came home....

Nicholas had been serving in Afghanistan since January of last year. This was his second deployment, having already served one tour in Iraq in 2003.

I left PI bright and early, and headed up to Fort Pope Air Force Base to meet his plane that was to arrive at 12:00. It took me a while to navagate through all the red tape, but I managed to be there waiting. My heart was in my throat as I saw the plane approaching and making its final descent. Slowly, it manavuered over to the ramp and a unit of soldiers went up to the plane to lay out a red carpet for the returning guys.

Off in the distance, I could see all the soldiers come off the plane and I had such a hard time tryng to figure out just which one was mine. Then finally, as they were parading past us in formation, I saw him. My baby.

After a little formality, they were able to break ranks and he rushed over to me and scooped me in his arms. We wept and hugged. I held onto him for what seemed like eternity, not wanting to let the moment pass. Secretly, I was so happy that I didn't have to share him with anyone and he was mine, all mine, just mine once again.

When Nick completed his processing - turning in his firearms, etc. We high-tailed it out of there and made the 3+ hour drive back to Myrtle Beach for Phase II of Operation V-Day - surprising his wife.

Kirstin hadn't a clue that he was returning early and keeping my excitement a secret was one of the hardest things that I had to do... ever. Still dressed in his fatigues, with an armful of 6 dozen long-stemmed roses, Nick walked into her classroom. The principal was videotaping a "therapy session" and caught the entire thing on tape. Even Marguerite was there, with her camera to capture the moment. There was not a dry eye in the house.

We arrived back home and the front of my house had been decorated, by the rest of my posse - Carol and Barbie, with bouquets of red, white and blue balloons to welcome him home. It looked so festive, a true hero's welcome. And there was a welcome basket, tied in a huge red bow around American flags, that held champagne, cheeses, strawberries, whipped cream, grapes, crackers, breads, chocolates. I have good friends. No. I have great friends.

I awoke this morning, still in a daze, hoping that yesterday wasn't just a dream. But, it was real and it did happen. My hero came home. And it was the best Valentine's Day... EVER!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Sister's Love
I just wanted to share a picture of the TWO lovely quilts that my sister lovingly made for me for Christmas.
Gosh. And all she got was a lousy pair of socks....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so..
Love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the ones who don't.
Believe that everything happens for a reason.
If you get a chance , TAKE IT!
If it changes your life , LET IT!
Nobody said it would be easy...
They just promised it would be worth it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It was worth the wait!

I came home from a luncheon today, and there was a box waiting for me by my front door. It just so happened to be from my ISE5 Pal, Ann.

First, there was the most beautiful scarf....

It is called "Argosy Scarf", crafted from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in the colorway Olive Garden. She pegged my colors perfectly..... "think Tuscan landscape... dotted with sunflowers and lavender". I have to apologize for my horrid photography, it does not do this beautiful scarf any justice. It is truly stunning and Ann did the most fabulous job blocking it.

Then there was this yarn......Two beautiful skeins of Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Fingering Merino. The colorway is called Ingrid's Blues, and is so beautiful. This yarn is begging to be knitted up into a pair of socks... with my name on it!

And then, this book.....

"The Secret Language of Knitters". I have only a short time to skim through it, but I know that I will really enjoy it. I will share some of the "whitty knittyism" with my weekly knitting group. It is surely going to bring a few howls from the ladies.

And there were other goodies... cookies that never made it to the photo shoot. I'm busy dusting the crumbs off my shirt now. And two beautiful lace patterns that I have been eyeing... "Print of the Wave" by Eunny Jang and "Wing 'o the Moth Shawl" by Anne Hanson. Now that I have finished my Christmas marathon of sock knitting, I will be heading back to my lace. These will be on the list.

Thank you Ann for making me feel so special. I enjoyed your package, and even more, I enjoyed getting to know you through your emails. You have touched my heart.