Thursday, June 28, 2007

Color Craving

This morning I finished re-knitting the first front panel of the linen jacket. I'm not including a photo because I don't consider it blogworthy right now. The linen in the "natural" colorway is beginning to get to me. I'm starting to crave color. This is a bad sign so early in a project. (Of course, if I'd gotten the front panel right the FIRST time I'd be ready to cast on the first sleeve, but going there is NOT helpful at this point.)

Last week, in a moment of weakness, I ordered more Callista. The more I wear the Moroccan Blue Callista tank the more I love it. It's so airy and comfortable, and I like the fit and the drape. However, the new Callista is in the Copper and Cafe Creme colorways. Neither of which are likely relieve my sense of sensory deprivation.

My next project needs to be summery or at least lightweight. I'm sorely tempted to buy some yarn, but there are lots of colorful options in my stash.

A while back Nancy sent me some yellow and orange Berocco Pronto. There's not enough for a tank, but it could make a cute summer bag.

Below is some Baby Silk. There's enough of the peridot to make a small shawl. There's enough of the blue to knit up a shawl with doubled strands, a la Brooklyn Tweed.

I was on a Malabrigo kick for a while. Back when you could buy a skein of 950 yds of lace weight merino directly from for less than $8.00, I sort of loaded up. (Not all at once, though.) Clockwise from the top left, there's a hank of Azul Bolita, Azul Profundo (a teal, really), Jacinto (I have a certain fondness for periwinkle), and Oceanos.

There is more lace weight merino Malabrigo in my stash in reds, pinks, and even orange, including this hank of Amaroso. Somehow I see this Amaroso as a Diamond Fantasy Shawl someday, but that could change.

One of the jewels in my stash is this leftover cake of Sundara semi-solid lace weight silk in Periwinkle over something. (Did I mention I like Periwinkle?)

I used part of the Sundara silk to make the Scarf with No. 20 Edging from Victorian Lace Today.

The scarf/shawl is gorgeous. Unfortunately, I didn't make it quite long enough. (I stretched and stretched it during the blocking process, and I think it's 56 inches long now.) The pattern has you knit up one side, then pick up stitches along one edge to knit the middle from end to end, then knit down the other side. (I'm not sure this description will make sense to you, if you don't have the book. Sorry about that.) I measured the first side before I stopped adding pattern repeats to lengthen it. However, it's hard to tell with lace how big it will be after blocking. Unblocked and on the needles the shawl easily stretched to 70 inches. But I did not remember that once it was pinned out width-wise it might not stretch so far length-wise. A rookie mistake.

When the shawl turned out to be too short, I would have had to rip back one whole side plus the middle to make it longer. Instead I decided to live with it the way it was. So there's enough leftover silk to make a small triangle-shaped shawl.

It's a good thing Sundara's on vacation until July 9th. Before I made the Scarf with No. 20 Edging, I knit a Swallowtail Shawl with Sundara semi-solid silky-merino sport weight yarn, and it turned out to be one of my most favorite hand-knitted garments ever. (My poor photography skills could never do the rich colorways of Sundara yarn justice.) I'm completely smitten with the Sundara yarn. I've been wanting to buy more ever since.

But I really should knit from the stash and stay on my yarn diet, right?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lesson Learned

To continue the saga of the linen jacket... In yesterday's episode I completed the first front panel, then discovered the seed stitch hem was noticeably narrower than the seed stitch center border.

Yesterday, after consideration of several options, I decided to pick out the cast on and knit the hem down to make it long enough to match the center border. (Experienced knitters may see disaster looming here.) This is where I learned an important lesson: seed stitch - at least the way I knit it - is interlocking. Once you pick out the cast on, you will NOT be able to pull the stitches out by tugging the yarn. After several unsuccessful attempts to pick up stitches, I consulted Teresa, who gently gave me the bad news. I wasn't going to be able to pick up stitches to knit down, and I couldn't repair the cast on either. Bummer.

The front panel I spent all day knitting on Sunday is ruined.

Last night I faced the music and cast on another front panel. I did not have the heart to rip back the original. That will come in time.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hazards of Designing on the Needles

This weekend was rather quiet. Dave had to go out of town over night Friday night. The trip took a lot out of him, so he was low energy all weekend. The weather was gray and overcast. The America's Cup yacht race was on TV. In short, it was the perfect weekend to do nothing but knit. I loved it.

I was able to finish the back of the linen jacket and knit one front panel. The MaggiKnits linen ball band does not provide washing instructions. I once tried to block a seed stitch swatch of the linen with terrible results. This time, I emailed Robin of "Ballinadee Cardi" fame to get her advice. She said not to block the garment, and to have it dry cleaned. She cautioned me again about the linen's tendency to stretch. (Robin - Thanks so much!)

Last night, I pinned both pieces to the bed just for picture-taking purposes.

I was feeling pretty good about everything until I noticed that the seed stitch center border is wider than the seed stitch hem. I set out to design this garment largely on the fly. As I knit the back, my first decision was to make the seed stitch hem 2 inches, primarly because seed stitch is not as rhythmic as other stitches, and I got bored with it. All was good until I unwisely decided to make the center border on the front panel 3 inches wide. Of course, me being me, I didn't realize this was a problem until I finished the entire front panel. When I laid it out, the difference was noticeable. To my eye, the garment looks goofy. R.A.T.S. (Actually, I said something stronger than "rats" at that point. In fact, I may have made several stronger comments.)

That leaves me with 4 options:

1. Carry on and make a garment that will be proportioned a little strangely

2. Frog both pieces and start over

3. Pick out the hem and try to pick up stitches to knit the hem downward on both panels

4. Re-knit the front panel and make the center seed stitch edging the same width as the hem

I get the feeling knitting this garment is turning into a saga.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Confessions of a Lazy Knitter

(We'll save Confessions of a Crazy Knitter for another day.)

Once the Moroccan Blue tank was on the blocking board I started swatching with the MaggiKnits linen - and swatching, and swatching... It took a while to find a needle size that would give the fabric a nice hand. The ball band suggests US size 8 needles. Size 4 worked best for me. I'm making a cardi/jacket, so I wanted a fabric with a stiffer hand.

When Maggie Jackson came to town, she was wearing what I think is probably her signature jacket, because she hasn't published a pattern for it. It was linen, had tassels, and was fabulous. I've been wanting to make something like it ever since. (Maggie has since published a pattern for a jacket with tassels in Book # 13 The Romantic Look. However, the design of that jacket is far more elaborate than the simple jacket Maggie wore or the one I have in mind.)

In Maggie's Ireland I found the pattern for this skirt and shrug with tassels. The directions for adding tassels to a garment look pretty straightforward, so I'm using that as a guide while I design my linen jacket/cardi on the needles. This pattern and most, if not all, of Maggie's designs for linen garments use a seed stitch border. I plan to use that design element, as well. However, this pattern led me astray initially. It gives gauge for stockinette stitch, but does not give gauge for seed stitch. Presumably, once you get gauge for the stockinette stitch, the directions for the seed stitch border will automatically fit the garment. WRONG. I soon discovered I needed to swatch in seed stitch in addition to the stockinette stitch swatches.

Robin's blog has a photo of a great Ballinadee Cardi she made with MaggiKnits linen. She commented that her cardi stretched after awhile. So I scaled down the pattern size to allow for some stretching.

In addition to the Maggie Jackson design elements, I intend to borrow a design element, namely a collar, from the Vera Jacket designed by Mags Kandis of Mission Falls fame. (This is where I get lazy.)

I've made the Vera Jacket (sans stripes) a couple of times using different yarns. I've also worked the collar design into other jacket/cardis I've designed on the needles. It's easy to knit, always fits properly, and lends the finished garment a kind of jackety look. In the past, I've worked button holes into the design, but this time I plan to take an even easier approach. I've noticed that Talbots is selling a lot of sweaters and jackets with hook & eye closures instead of buttons. The front pieces meet in the middle without overlapping. I like the look and plan to incorporate it into the linen jacket, as well.

I took the below photo on Monday, thinking I could get a post together before now. In that photo, the waist shaping on the back panel is about complete. It doesn't look very impressive at that point. (My poor photography doesn't help much.) I've since completed the armhole shaping, and it still doesn't look like much. We'll have to wait and see what develops.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Susan's Moroccan Blue Tank - Finished!

As you can see, I finished the Moroccan Blue tank this weekend. I'm really happy with it EXCEPT that the side seams are a bit wonky. Note to self: Ask Teresa why my seams sometimes turn out that way.

Pattern: Mine (Actually a major modification of the Lacy Tank pattern that appeared in the Spring/Summer 2004 issue of Vogue.)
Yarn: 5 skeins of Callista in the Moroccan Blue colorway. (I didn't use much of that 5th skein, though.)
The Callista was frayed in one place, and had the occasional knot. As a result, there were a LOT of ends to weave in. Callista's got it's quality issues, but I'd use it again. I really like the resulting fabric. It's soft and very airy to wear - without being see-through.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Susan's Considering Her Options

I'm having trouble getting to separate paragraphs. Please bear with me.

The Moroccan Blue tank is on the blocking board. I hope to assemble it this weekend. That Callista takes forever to dry when you use the immersion method. Teresa's right. I've got to get a fan to help the blocking process along.

I'm having a little trouble deciding what to make next. Yesterday I mailed a hefty check to cover Brian's summer school tuition, so I really shouldn't order more yarn right now. I'm not one of those knitters who will knit with wool in June or July. Instant gratificant isn't instant enough. When I knit something, I'm not going to want to wait for the season to change to be able to wear it.
A couple of years ago I went with the other Knit Wits to see the Irish designer, Maggie Jackson, give a fashion/trunk show at Yarn & Needle on the River, an LYS. Maggie's got a wonderful sense of humor, and she's very entertaining. If you get a chance to see her, do. Her designs are high fashion eye-candy, but when she talks about them they seem very doable. So of course I bought a bunch of her books. Shortly afterward, I saw her linen yarn on sale for an excellent price, and I jumped on it.

I've been trying to figure out what to make with it ever since. Turns out Maggi Knits Linen is not the easiest yarn to knit with. It consists of 3 loosely wound strands, which makes it splitty. Plus, the yarn is thick and think with slubs. This is charming, but does not lend itself to a lot of garments/patterns. Right now I'm considering the possibilities. Not having a project on the needles is making me twitchy, so if you have a suggestion let me know.
TOMORROW is the last day of the school quarter for T. Yay!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

We Are Not Amused

On Sunday night I was knitting along on the back of the Moroccan Blue tank when I encountered a knot (really another knot) in the middle of the row. It was bedtime, so I put the tank down, mid row. Last night I picked it up, tinked back to the beginning of the row, cut out the offending knot and tied in the yarn again. I knit one row. In the middle of the next row, I realized the rayon strand had frayed and broken in the row below. (I was watching Kyra Sedgwick on Inside the Actors Studio or I would have caught that sooner.) So I tinked back to where I tied in the yarn, untied it, cut out the offending frayed/broken yarn, and tied it in again. I knit two rows, then realized there was another knot coming up. This thing with Callista is turning into a love/hate relationship. In the photo below, you can see where the yarn was tied in (just a couple of inches above where I tied in a new skein). I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of extra ends to weave in before this is over.

My son John came home yesterday. He's finished his first year of college, and I'm really proud of him. Now that both boys are away at school most of the year, we no longer think of the other 2 bedrooms as Brian's room and John's room. When Brian's home he now sleeps in the room where I keep the ironing board up. When John's home he sleeps in the computer room. In order to download the above photo from the camera to the computer I was forced to slip into the room where John was sleeping this morning. Now that's dedication to the blog.

John feigned sleep, but I'm sure he was not amused. (I'm going to hear about this later.)

Only 4 more Days until T finishes the quarter.

Monday, June 11, 2007

5 Days and Counting

Teresa will be finished with the school quarter in 5 days. I'm counting because she's been so busy she hasn't had much time for emails, and I miss her.

On Saturday I took myself to the Yellow Springs Street Fair. Everyone I asked had to wash their hair, or wash their dog, or work, or something. YS was jammed. I parked in the first spot I saw, which was just past the first light near the sign the says 'Village of Yellow Springs', and hiked in. Among the booths I found only one fiber artist. Now that's just plain SAD.

The artist is Marcie Brooks, of Cincinnati. Her business is called Handknits By Marcie, but she didn't provide a website on her business card. The weather was hot and sunny, and I don't think she was doing much business that day. Here are some of her wares.

On Sunday Dave and I rode our bikes from Spring Valley to Xenia Station and back - 14 miles round-trip. Last Sunday we met some friends in Beavercreek and rode downtown and back, an 18 mile round-trip. The 18 mile ride included a stop for a snack (pound cake and OJ) at a coffee shop in the historic Oregon District and lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant. I'm sure we consumed more calories than we burned that day. Yesterday's 14 mile trek did not include any food stops, so I'm feeling virtuous.

I did manage to get some knitting in this weekend. The front of the Moroccan Blue tank is finished, and I'm about 7 inches up the back.

I wore the Boysenberry lacy tank again yesterday. I really like the Callista yarn - both to knit with and to wear.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Teresa's Finished Basalt Tank

The good. The bad.

The front.

The back.

The details.
Pattern: Basalt Tank from Knitting Nature
Designer: Norah Gaughan
Yarn: Cotton Fleece
Color: Mauve
Needles: size 4

Cast on: April 28, 2007
Finished: May 27, 2007

The explanation.

Let's talk about what I don't like about Basalt first:

1) It's too long.
I could kick myself for not making mine like Susan did - basically making the "teen" version and adding the half hexagons on each side. I kept saying it was going to be tunic length and it is, but knitted stuff that ends up being set on doesn't tend to look real pretty once you get know? Damn.

2) I wish I had not used Cotton Fleece.
Don't get me wrong. This is the first time I've knit with Cotton Fleece and as a yarn - I **loved** it. But it ended up being a bit too heavy for this FO. It's probably not Cotton Fleece's fault...I'm sure it's because of how long the tank ended up being. But, if I were to make this again, I'd think really hard about what yarn to use. Right now, I think Calmer would be a nice choice.

3) I screwed up and got impatient when I washed Basalt for blocking.
It looked beautiful when I took it out of the gentle wash, but it was SO HEAVY. So I spun it again and then put it in the dryer on air. After about 15 minutes I took it out and it looked really nice but was still pretty wet and heavy. So I thought a little heat wouldn't hurt it. In fact maybe it would shrink in length a little. Ugh! I know better. 80% cotton and 20% wool. I KNOW better!! But, for some reason I couldn't help myself. It bloomed. It's fuzzy. UGH!

You live. You learn. (**Hopefully** you learn.)

So. The good:
I LOVED knitting the hexagons and the construction of this garment.

I’ll be knitting another one - the teen version - for my granddaughter. She tripped me up and asked that I knit it in white instead of pink. So I ordered some while Sonota this week from Elann. Their delivery is so fast, I'm sure I'll be casting on Corynna's Basalt early next week.

I'm also pretty sure I'll make another Basalt for me sometime. Maybe next spring.

In the mean time, my Cotton Fleece Basalt might make for a nice winter vest.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Susan's Lacy Tank - FO & A New Project

Again, here is the inspiration for the lacy tank. This pattern was published in the Spring/Summer 2004 issue of Vogue

The pattern called for Microspun yarn. In my first version, I modified the pattern but used Microspun. I think the reason it looks longer in back is that the "crochet stitch" that makes up the lacy bottom called for a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 stitches. Instead, I cast on a multiple of 4 stitches plus 4 stitches. That meant the holes for the laces on the edges of the front and back weren't even. (The problem is exaggerated by the way I'm standing in this pic, though.)

This is my latest FO. It's the same lacy tank using a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 stitches for the crochet stitch lacy bottom part. I'm really happy with it. The details are below:

Pattern: "Lace-Up Tank"
Source: Vogue, Spring/Summer 2004 (pg. 82)
Yarn: Callista
Colorway: Boysenberry

I was looking for a light and airy top to wear sailing. This fits the bill nicely. It definitely "breathes." It's almost like not wearing anything. The rayon in the Callista can fray, and the yarn can be a little splitty, so it's important to pay attention while knitting. If I made this again (and I might), I would make it about 3/4 of an inch narrower on each side. It's just a tad too big.

Below is a variation on the same theme using the Callista in the Moroccan Blue colorway. Nancy suggested I make a top I can wear to work, and I took her advice. This time I'm using the "crochet stitch" to make a 2 inch hem. One of the nice things about the crochet stitch is that it lies flat. The upper part of the lacy tank is made with what the pattern calls "bodice stitch." For this top, I'm making the rest of the tank using the bodice stitch. The fabric is still light and airy, but I'll be able to wear this one more places. I made this one 3/4 of an inch narrower on each side.

To continue the "Variations on a Theme" theme, I'm considering whether to make a swimsuit coverup using the Callista and the crochet stitch. I'm not sure what the pattern would look like, though. Again, I'm open to suggestions.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Yarn, Yarn, & More Yarn

This is Nancy.

We’ve been friends for over 20 years. Maybe that’s why she humored me by allowing me to photograph her yarn collection the other day.

This is the door to the Magic Kingdom.

Most knitters have a yarn stash. Nancy has a yarn ROOM.

People like to give Nancy yarn, and she feels compelled to use up every bit of it. If she has part of a skein left over, she’ll buy another skein or two to make another blanket/scarf to use it up. Because she often mixes yarns and knits or crochets with double strands, she often ends up with left over yarn that she feels compelled to work into something else. You can see how her system might spiral out of control. (One year for the holidays I gave her a copy of Odd Ball Knitting. It seemed like a fitting gift in more ways than one.)

Nancy asked me to include this photo of empty yarn boxes to show that she tries HARD to use up the yarn – or to at least make a dent in the pile. (Actually, the stash has shrunk significantly since the last time I saw it. It is now possible to walk in there.)
These days Nancy gives her knitted, crocheted, and quilted projects away – usually to charitable causes. She has two friends who are nuns, and they distribute Nancy’s scarves, baby blankets, and lap robes to the needy and infirm. She donates premie caps to hospitals. She gives her Bargello pillows to the nuns to sell at a church-affiliated shop. The nuns once told Nancy they knew of a woman who liked to crochet but could not afford yarn. Nancy gives them yarn for the “crochet lady” regularly.

Recently, in one of our daily email exchanges Nancy wrote the following:

What I do not understand is how I have given 2 large boxes and 1 large garbage bag of yarn to the crochet lady and my place seems to have more yarn not less. Makes me wonder what exactly goes on in here when the lights are out.

When I asked whether she thought gremlins were lugging bags of yarn into her place at night, she replied:

Something is multiplying when I am not looking. I think it is just sex. The yarns have no control and no condoms.

This is a pile of 6 baby blankets that are ready to be delivered. The blankets are unbelievably light, soft, and fluffy.

Nancy’s Comments:
The crib blankets/lap robes were made with T L C Amore made by Coats and Clark. It is a medium weight worsted and is acrylic so it may be washed. The other yarn was Bernat baby fingering yarn, also acrylic so as to be washable. I crocheted the 2 yarns together using an N hook. I do a base chain of 58 stitches and then double crochet all rows until the fingering yarn is gone. It is finished with an edge of single crochet using the Amore. The size is around 40 X 40 give or take an inch or two. I have used the Amore with lots of different yarns as it is light weight and has a fluffy look. Michaels and Meijer both carry the Amore which comes in several colors, but I have been ordering it from Herrschners as I buy 12 to 24 skeins at a time.

Behind the baby blankets is a really cute scarf that’s destined to go to the nuns.

Per Nancy: The finished scarf is Regia sock yarn which was mixed with Jaeger Matchmaker, all washable. It was knit on 9 needles. I have made many of these with the sock yarn as I like the color mixes.

In a corner of the yarn room, Nancy is working on a counted cross stitch baby quilt. This one is 60 inches long and will take a while.

On Nancy’s needles:

The scarf on the needles is Nashua Wooly Stripes. This is 100 % wool but could be hand washed. Each skein has several colors and it works up in wide stripes or sections. I have been getting this from Brenda. (Brenda owns One More Stitch, an LYS on Madison Road in Cincinnati.) She has a good selection of color combinations and my nun friends like these scarves. The in progress scarf is on 9 needles, 36 stitches ribbed in twos.

Older examples of Nancy’s fine needlework decorate the rest of her condo.

These days it’s all about doing for others.

Nancy sure makes retirement look appealing.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Boysenberry Tank is Blocking & Fiber Art

It was a busy weekend, but I was able to finish knitting the lacy tank last night and get it on the blocking board. You may notice that the shoulder straps on the front are an inch longer than the back shoulder straps. After I cast off the front I realized I got a little over zealous with the shoulders. Rather than rip back a half an inch, I decided to make the back shoulder straps an inch shorter. The end result should be that the shoulder seam sits back a 1/2 inch from the top of my shoulder. If this technique is good enough for Jean Frost, it's good enough for me.

I've been a little concerned about fit, so I basted the tank together and tried it on before blocking. It looked fine. The "crochet stitch" lacy bottom part seemed noticeably narrower than the "bodice stitch" top part, but I'm hoping blocking will take care of that. Blocking can work miracles.

On Friday afternoon, my friend Patti and I left work early and headed to Cincinnati for Summerfair. This is an annual juried art fair. Artists come from all over the US to exhibit. I look forward to Summerfair all year long, and I never miss it. Dave and I even attended the day before our wedding. (I told him it would get him into Husband Heaven.) As far as I'm concerned this was the best Summerfair ever. There were lots of new artists and lots of original work - much of it gorgeous.

This year, instead of looking for wall art, I concentrated on photographing fiber art for the blog. There were a number of artists who work in painted silk, painted rayon, painted apparel, sewed apparel, and quilted apparel. However, I focused on artists who work with yarn. I asked 5 artists if I could photograph their work for my blog. Three said yes. Four of the 5 artists were weavers. There was one woman who knit and crocheted exquisite, ethereal sweaters, vests, etc. However, she wouldn't allow me to photograph them.

Below is the work of Anne & Bill Howson of Bear Lake MI. Their company is called Freestone Valley Weavers.

Anne has an amazing talent for mixing colors. (I like bright colors, can you tell?)

Her jackets are made with chenille.

Patty van Gilse of Lebanon OH weaves fabulous rugs. She was a little puzzled when I asked her if I could post pics of her work on the blog, but she graciously agreed. I only wish my photography could do her rugs justice.

Barbara Rubright wove the following jackets. Her company is Barbara Rubright Wearables. I have her contact information if you want it, but her website is down for renovation.

Barbara jumped at the chance to have me post photos of her work on the web (even after I told her only 5 people read our blog). She asked me to photograph these 3 jackets because the designs at the hems are her signature.

I think Barbara also has a gift for mixing color. You can email me for Barbara's contact information.

Donna Mundschau, the artist at the "Natural Attractions" booth declined to allow me to post photos of her weaving. Her colors are more subtle than the others, but her garments are every bit as gorgeous. She explained that she and her husband had to commission special cotton yarn so it would have the color and interesting textures to make her garments. She said most cotton yarn is "pretty flat," but she uses cotton because her customers prefer it. She also commissioned an artist to make the fused glass stick pins she uses in lieu of buttons. Her garments are designed so the wearer can place the stick pin higher near the neck or lower with broader lapels - depending on one's mood or taste. She sold me this stick pin. (Again, I wish my photography could show its depth and colors to full advantage.) This winter I'll make a sweater to go with it. Donna said that if I send her swatches, she will send me other fused glass stick pins to match. Natural Attraction is in Manistee MI. They don't yet have a web presence, but you can email me for contact information.

Many of the artists who exhibited at Summerfair this past weekend plan to exhibit their work at the art fair in Columbus OH beginning this coming weekend. It's tempting to drive up there, but Patti and I spent 5 hours at Summerfair on Friday. It was in the 90s, humid, and sunny. Our feet and our wallets need a rest.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Today Dave and I are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. I often tell him he’s the luckiest man in the world because he has ME. But I’m the lucky one.

Dave is my dream-come-true in so many ways. He’s a man of action. He’s a professional pilot, and he saves lives nearly every day.

He’s a bicyclist, an adventurer, and a good sport (after all, he lives with an obsessive knitter and a house full of yarn). Before I met Dave I was a distance bicyclist. He was one of the few men I met who didn’t have to blow the dust off his bicycle seat to ride with me. That’s the two of us on the beach just off a bike path between Cape Cod and Woodshole MA. That was summer 2005, when we drove my oldest son to Boston and moved him into the dorm for his freshman year of college.

This pic was taken Summer 2004 at Harbor Springs MI. We rode our bikes from Petosky to Harbor Springs and back that day.

All of my adult life I’ve wanted to go to Israel, and last year we did. That’s Jerusalem behind us. (Notice I'm wearing my periwinkle Soliel tank top to celebrate the occasion.)

I’ve always wanted a house full of art, and that’s happening, too. This is one of the paintings we bought in Israel.

Every year my agency throws a big gala as a fundraiser. It’s part of my job to sit at a table with donors and talk up the agency over dinner. I’m painfully shy, but Dave handles these affairs with poise. Having him there means a lot to me.

When I was a kid, my uncle and aunt took us sailing every summer on Lake Erie or the Niagara River. When I met Dave he told me he owned a boat and he’d have to take me sailing. He kept telling me that. After a while, I began to chide him that he didn’t really HAVE a boat – he just had a PICTURE of a boat. He has a boat.

Perhaps the best part of all is that Dave is a wonderful stepfather to my sons. When he wasn’t on duty Dave went to all of their high school orchestra concerts, Academic Team meets, awards events, Brian’s theatrical productions, and many of John’s soccer games. He’s been to the emergency room with both boys (on different very scary occasions). When Brian was in the process of deciding where to go to college, Dave took time off to fly to the east coast to check out some schools with us. This is Dave with John on vacation in Petosky MI.

Dave’s a great guy and a wonderful husband . These five years have been the happiest of my life, and I am truly the luckiest girl in the world.