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The problem with so many of our toys and hobbies is that we must pay for the supplies with which to indulge in them. My favorite yarns are not cheap, but they last longer than flowers do. (I will not mention the rosemary plants I buy from Hannafords. In my hands, they die almost as quickly as fresh flowers.) During the winter, playing at or practicing with floral arranging has been an indulgence limited to the quick bouquet grab at the food store. I love to have flowers throughout the house, especially in the winter.

Some people buy chocolates. I buy books, yarn, or flowers for my retail therapy.

Thanks to Lee, I have found an enabler for my floral passions. The Power of Flowers Project is about 20 minutes from my house. When a new donation of flowers becomes available they need to be picked up, broken down, refreshed, and repurposed into new bouquets before being delivered, free of charge, to any and all who need a pick-me-up.

Before taking apart the arrangements Paper mache containers form a mountain fo recycling A variety of tall and short containers hold sorted items

Imagine being able to freely play with a room literally *full* of flowers: roses, calla lilies, freesia, tulips, hydrangea, mums, larkspur, iris, exotic greenery, palm fronds, ferns, gerbera daisies, thistles, snapdragons, bells of Ireland, and many I have no name for. Purple spikey thing, green ball of foofy stuff, etc., were the identifiers we randomly used. We understood each other.

I am a ‘process florist’— my joy comes in creating the arrangements. I was totally joyed spending three hours in a chilled room making arrangements over and over for the Power of Flowers Project. I came back the next day when another, even larger donation arrived. There were six of us working for several hours before the last of the usable flowers were gone.

This tray is holding about 20 small arrangements. Floral arrangement creativity

Even so, there was leeway for self indulgence— I brought some straggling flowers home for myself, and dropped off a fresh bouquet at my neighbors’. She loved the treat and I felt terrific for doing it.

Spider mums don't tolerate much handling and are not saved

Read more about the Power of Flowers Project here, and here.

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Behavior Modification: Changing how you react to something to increase the probability of success.
Behavior modification is something we demonstrate for our children to emulate (actions/language). How to respond to gifts? How to handle compliments? Criticisms? Frustration? Challenges? Dining etiquette? Crossing the street? Thinking ahead/planning multi-step projects?

I can’t tell you how happy I was when I became an adult in a home where I didn’t have to be a constant ‘good example’ for the children. My social and safety skills were sufficient for just the four of us (hubby, two dogs, and moi). Unfortunately, driving solo appears to have deteriorated my driving skills. Unless dogs were in the car (they do not wear seat belts, so I am very careful of how the car leans, shifts gravity-wise, decelerates, etc.) I drove knowing my balance was compensated by pressure on the brake, knowing when to lean in, etc., plus I wore a seat belt. I forget to do the same for the rare human passengers. My son commented. Ouch. My mother commented. Double ouch!

Knitting Modification: Changing how you create something to increase the probability of success/fitting/enough yarn.

Select yarn (in this case, light worsted weight superwash marino stash from Tangled and Warped).

Select basic pattern. My go-to resource for raglan everything is from Spinnerin vol. #309, page 17 (c)1963. Out of print. My original was photocopied from a co-worker. I found one on eBay last year in mint condition. It replaced the deteriorating 35-year-old version that I used for almost every sweater I made for my kids (‘way back when they still wore things I made them).

Guestimate result. I was an English major, so it’s a ‘you do the math’ thing. Guess wrong. Call to get child’s height. Decide it will be a top that will fit her until she is at least four (she is 18 months old now).

Select stitch pattern to insert/add to the basic pattern. Curse stitch pattern. Look for errata online. Finally locate it but it doesn’t cover your situation. How could it have been missed? It has been duplicated and promoted on several blogs. How could they miss this major issue?

Rant to all and sundry on errors. Books in general have errata these days rather than correct patterns from the first printing. Having to check for errata before beginning a project is annoying and unprofessional! Be sure to stress this inconvenience to knitters and non-knitters alike. Grump. Grump some more.

Realize you have converted the pattern to be knit on circular needles rather than back and forth. You compensated by changing the knits to purls every other row, but you neglected to reverse the sequence of stitches as well.

Oh. Um…

Center leaf pattern from Knitting on the Edge, page 121—a really great book with very few errata after 5 years on the market. My apologies to Nicky Epstein. I own a few of her books and this is the first (admittedly self-induced) problem I have ever had. (Not the first self-induced one, and definitely not the last.) (sigh)

Behavior Modification: Accepting that changes are multi-step processes will increase the probability of success. Remind self to assume children are always present and act accordingly (said child may be a shortsighted self…).

End result: A jumper dress for Docious that will grow with her from 18 months (as a dress) to 4t (as a top). Modeled by Blue. (Human model not available at time of photo session.)

or
New York is HOT

NO,really, it’s HOT. It is steamy, close quarters, in-your-face HOT. Sardine-close, hold-your-breath squeezed-into-a-subterranean-tin-can close.

Then you go outside into windy, frigid atmosphere and recoil in frozen pain. Breathing icicles of air, driving shards of frost into your lungs.

The apartments in NYC are also hot. You can’t really control the temperature that comes into the apartment through the radiators, nor through the heating pipes that travel up through your apartment to the floors higher in the building. Most NYers have at least one window cracked all winter. One is toasty warm wearing just your own skin. Fresh air by the head of the bed compensating for the steamy heat… I loved it!

The NYer winter uniform is The North Face outerwear, in black. New Yorkers apparently are not aware that it came in colors and neither was I (at first). Only one brave soul sported North Face winter garb in non-standard (for NYC) color.

I tried to kinnear a shot of the variety of black coats, parkas, jackets, and activewear, but remember the part about this being NYC and the subways are (insert paragraph one here)? I couldn’t get *to* my camera, let alone sneak a photo.

There are a lot of people in NYC (doh!), and almost as many hole-in-the-wall places to eat. Truly a culinary melting pot of different cultures blending different tastes from every major and minor country/region in the entire world. The Chilean-Brazilian-Asian chicken restaurant we enjoyed for dinner is a good example. An entire roasted and spiced chicken with curried rice, and garden salad. We were served by a plethora (okay, there were only three or four hovering) of Mexican and Chinese wait-staff. To get there (four short blocks away) we passed several equally small bakeries and restaurants featuring cuisine from mixes of Vietnamese, Mexican, French, Philippine, Vegan, well…you get the idea.
Waving 'hi' to DH

Vogue Knitting LIVE did not see fit to list more than a few dining option$, and most of those were inside the Hilton it$elf. (Yes, I did mean to use dollar signs—$8.50 for a cup—not even a mug— of coffee???) There was a Starbucks within sight of the hotel, but the lines extended OUTSIDE the building. Two out of my three days were booked solid with classes and lectures, leaving only 30 minutes for lunch/food scrounging. Frigid wind tunnels outside discouraged aimless wandering. The hot dog vendors outside made a killing on the starving masses.

INSIDE Vogue Knitting LIVE it was also totally hot, with the most impressive collection of knitteratti superstars ever seen in a single gathering. I took pix of many superstars. Franklin Habit probably came out the best, if a mite fuzzy. The Yarn Harlot managed to come out fuzzy *and* have glowing demon-possession eyes. Nancy Marchant was completely back-lit which shows off her fit figure but illuminates little else. The crowd around the Susan Boye booth were hogging Drew the Crochet Dude. Lily Chin was in conversation with Brett Bara (Knit & Crochet Today on PBS). The lighting (as mentioned previously) totally sucked. My photo skills are limited at best. I’m more of a ‘lucky shot’ photographer. Out of respect for them I won’t be publishing any of my fan shots.

The class teachers were all superstars and just the nicest possible people IRL (in real life). When Taiu Landra (Koigu Wool Designs) pulled her mitered knitting pieces out of her suitcases I blurted out “I know that piece! I have that book!” (Knits from a Painters Pallette) Fiona Ellis encouraged us to chart our own Celtic cables after going over the basics of knitting Celtic knot designs (definitely NOT your grandmothers cables!). Many faces I didn’t know until I managed to connect their work with them (Nicky Epstein = Knitted Flowers and Knitting on the Edge, for example).

I passed *this* close (in the Market Place, there were so many people you couldn’t help but rub shoulders!) to Cookie A (link goes to my first of many designed by her), Jared Flood, Cat Bordhi (a typical Cat-style video), and so many more familiar faces from Knitty.com, Ravelry (a huge time sponge and wonderful reference for ideas, patterns, and, and, and), and the Twist Collective patterns.

The latest count of attendees that I saw was 3,000. Wow.

Would I do it again? I would WANT to, but its final expense tally was much higher than anticipated. Remember, I only purchased extra mawata and a set of needles. I stayed at my sister-in-law’s and rode the subway to the Hilton. Bonus—walking the streets of Manhattan and viewing treats like this:

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