Friday, December 29, 2006

Helping Not Helping

It's taking me two days to eat the pomegranate I retreived from the trash mash of failed vegetables. It was among the dark bruised avocadoes. I found a mango, too. A small triumph of retrieval and I had hopes for the firmness i felt among the soft alligator pears.

The bread this week disappointed. This excess spread over three six-foot tables, loaf upon sorry loaf of stuff I never ate and would not now eat.

Not eating what i never ate has served me well, so I starved genteely in the nursing home after feasting at the hospital where they made gourmet vegetarian options.

Each week some intrepid citizens get or others bring-- I've seen a large black man haul in the bread--- an array of discards.
One morning this included fruit tarts, cheesecakes, cakes as welll as the standard breads. And these not day old, but day of.... a marvel that often includes the multigrain artisanal loaves, my favorite being mutligrain with currants and sourdough pecan raisin.

Ahhh it would be nice to be able to get food from the supermarket. I have a lead again on someone to hire. And yes neighbors have offered, but one was unable to find raw almonds and it required five minutes of discussion to tell her what I meant and where to find them and still she returned with a tiny bag of slivered almonds for baking. I won't bother relate other failures to get single items, because I am grateful that should my need be dire I can make a request.... but old habits die hard and I so miss being resourced and rescourcefull

Anyway scrounging among the trash sometime yileds somthing and the avocadoes were mostly a waste but five spoonfuls from them was wonderful. And in addition to the alien and delicious pomegranate was a mango.

This saves me at least a meal of two extending the time between chinese food orders. And with a Christmas invitation to a mea, it has been a week and half since my last order. So when the Chinese food man came he questioned me a bit more closely as is to discern why I was three days late on my weekly call. We chatted about the two new years and he played with Obi who let him manipulate his body into silly anthropomorhic poses.

But I'm skipping the earlier part of the day. The crochet part has now spun off to a crochet blog. My tall nieghbor was talking to a short man who she kept insisting had a communication problem. His English was fluent and articulate so I didn't know what she meant. His hearing loss left him unable to hear the higher frequencies-- mainly women's voices. This makesme laugh. He is humorous and warm.

Turns out surgery has left him disabled and out of work and his hearing loss and lack of both money and equipment compunds the problem. All these troubles and challenges since coming from Cuba. Anyway I am moved to try to assist--- seems he's fixed several computers for folks but does not have one that works and has no internet connection to boot. I call the Center for Disability Rights--- why:? given thei utter lack of doing a single useful thing for me-- I don't know. Maybe because I believe his probelm is solvable. but no. They won't help me help him. He needs to call. I could have spit I would have or kicked or punched, because I see see seee the obverse of what happens to me.
their smug insistence in not helping and the way they find to not do anything. I'm trying to help the man get the MEANS
to help hinself. An Amplified telephone a TTY. Have him call theyy say make an appointment.

I remember frantically seeking a way to get connected and help to get connected to the net. And I remember frantically searching for the apartment and calling and calling and these organizations set up to help who? did nothing for me except make ecxcuses. And these are the same folks I called to find help shopping, to find help getting an automatic door put on a building that is HUD and asupposed to be wheelchair accessible and the hlep was never forthcoming, only the wasted time.

But I had to ask. and I did, for him. The Center for Indepent Living, as for me in the past, was ever so much more pleasant and kind. They suggested he stop by. I wrote down the information and left him a note under his door.

He was out conducting his own physical therapy, walking with a walker in need of repair. I hope I can hlep myself and then maybe find a way to help Mr. J.

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Star For Friends

I woke grateful to awake, grateful to still feel grateful for the moment of peace. And had an insight into the star, an idea for another approach, because a member of FFCrochet (the freeform group) had a problem with with the adjustable ring. So
before I arose, I made two lareger stars using another method, felted them and then while on Liftline, pencil and finger shaped their hangers.

Here they are:

Felted Star Ornament 2

Ch 4 , 9 dc in 4th ch from hook,join, ch1: 10 dc
2sc, sc, around, join, ch1:15 sc
sc,dc,trc,picot:(ch2, sc), trc, dc,sc, skip two sc, repeat: 5 points
sl st to first sc, fasten off.
Using contrasting yarn, pull through center hole sl st, ch1, sl st:
You could just sl st, but adding a ch1between sl st seemed to improve the pattern

(3.5” prefelted using Grand Patons merino wool)

It was sheer pleasure to lunch with my former colleagues and what treats: dim sum of bean cake, vegetable bun, scallion pancakes, unagi sushi( my favorite and boy was it buttery sublime with my mash of wasabi and soy swirled together in the lovely porcelain demibowl. And the sublime dipping sauce. The only sour note was the horrible tasting water, but i was too busy blabbing to remember to ask for tea or something bottled.... and too soon it was time for me to go. In my nervousness I thought that 90 minutes was plenty of time... I should have made it longer, but i did not wnat to sitting there alone waiting. part of it was that everyone arrived late... oh well, rain and the weird liftline bus driver who required 4 parking spaces to pick me up because she deemed two not enough and that would be paralell parking, despite that inanity, i was grateful to get out and actually have a conversation about something other than someone's loss, or mindless chitchat.... OTOH, there was a handsome young man driver who treated me so gently and shared his concern about getting to apply his schoolwork to the work world and I told him about myself and my father--- did we ever get to apply what we learned?

Nope not to work, but to ourselves, to our friends and loved ones, in service to our community only a lucky few get to do what they are trained to do--- truly... I was reviled when I tried to apply any of my newly minted MBA skills at the ad agency in the 70s... maybe they are smarter now, but I told him that work was hell but he seemed old enough to know the truth and he was to get his degree anyway and perhaps design a way for us to be free... howw I knew my faher's job was far far less than his intellect ranged until the end of his career when he traveled around the country advising on computerization and mechanization

Thank you dears for calling me out to play.... makes me remember the girls who cme to get me when I first moved to queens and would have just stayed inside and read, Lord bless them for coming to get me, in that way that kids know there is a kid in need, not the mean kid paradigm, but the other where somehow, the group of souls connect and bond and Leslie Walker, Sharon Brown, and Cynthia Atkinson came and got me and rescued me and helped me grow. Thank you dear ones.

Like meeting Marilyn Beverly as a prefreshman at Williams College that was some magic i grokked her we were both music majors she a violinist-- that was my first instrument and I was a cellist , basoonist and singer and here we were two young black women going offf to this formerly all male cold hostile New England Berkshire barren psycholgical gulag,leaving the Emerald City behind--- what were we thinking? We should've gone off to the Sorbonne or Oxford-- we would've been treated better and come back with exotic connections and had a hell of a lot more fun. oh well....and going to discos in Manhattan wearing those six inch platforms I bought on 8th street and loved so much-- trying to walk with them up that steep Harlem hill on/by Edgecombe Avenue.

My my my . Rescue me rescue me.... Andrea rescued me this year and all praises as did Karen and Jim and Jacqui
and all those who worked on the benefit for me thank you dears and all those poets who sent money that kept me from starving and living in the street. Thank you thank you thank you. Connie and Louise cutting my lawn o! thank you thank you I've never neede so much help ever before... how is my catalpa that i palnted? My new maple? my emotional rescue. my material rescue. Keep those cards and letters coming folks. Keep me in your prayers I want to rise up and walk again and make my way.

I no longer ask to be without pain, I would take the pain to walk again, because it hurts anyway, everyday. Be clear, i say, what do i need? To walk again and then I can get all I need, myself. sigh.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Designing, Discovering

Felting did not yield quite what I wanted…
For some flowers the densification was a muddying

For the bud and sepals, a caressable object that suggests an organism was formed.

I’ve tormented myself searching for a solution to my flower scarf. I wanted it to be flowers and leaves. Then I thought of oversizing the leaves, then the ever challenging for me question of color.

Especially now when I do not have my stash, my “fiber office” as my second niece, when a baby, so aptly named the room that was the library and yes was filled with books, but whose closet and diaper station turned into yarn shelves, and floor spoke of fiber use.

I see my table top loom there on the floor by the fronT facing window. O lord let me walk again..please!

Back to today’s narrative which is about design and my limitations. I feel it like a craving like a hunger that can’t be sated until it is enumerated, articulated, clearly defined, spelled out.

My next flower pattern set was to be Akua’s Fabulous Furled and Fluffy Flowers which I so thouigth that the wool felting would improve but no… To be fulfilled in felt the design owould have to be amended as the furled petals hardened and were wayward and the fluffy petal, so dependent on stitch construction for their loft, deflated.

I saw two commercial flowers that I dug.

One took more work than my nature-mimic multilayer rose and it is flat, but the spoke rays of it are energetic and while my color pallet is more winter than n summer, the stretch and size of it gave me some new thoughts about the flower scarf.

Then I found this flower and loved loved loved the spiral and was reminded that a simple embelishment of the crochet hook and yarn itself could be used to enhance the flower.
At Gourmet Crochet

This Bolivian scarf showed an oversized direction but it's not integrated.... $68 ?!
between this and this

I knew there was an easier way:

this suggests joining as you go:


and that's just what I've developed for this very greengold or browngreen--everything else made it look heavy. and the makeflowers sew two together was too much sewing and I did not to be another mere.near doily flower maker. I remember thinking about interlocking rings, so that's what I've designed: interlocking flowers, one open and the sme motif with a densified center, making it slightly larger.... I wonder if I want a their flower, but it's so wonderful that as I complete a flower, it's complete!

Little Spiral Star Tree Ornament

I need some gift-ettes and thought-- I've got some wool-- I can felt some stars for trees!
This whole process took about 20 minutes--- from crocheting through felting. It's adorable and
feels affectionate.

Little Star Tree Ornament

Make loop( aka magic ring), 5 sc in center, sl st to first sc,
2 sc in each sc, join to first :10 sc
Change yarn, in any sc : *sc, dc, trc, sc, skip sc* repeat: 5 points/petals. sl st to first sc, fasten off.
With contrasting thread up through center hole, sl st in spiral, grabbing vertical threads of sc.
(I'm going to use a spiral sl st in a lot of plain centers --- inspired by this at Gourmet Crochet

After crocheting, I did some tugging to pull the points...if i could, I would have steamed this flat first.
I then "finger felted" it --- ( place Little Star under hot water in sink, a dab of dish washing liquid and rubbing between palms and on scrubby. I then tugged on the points, reshaping it rinsed in cold water and pressed to damp dry.... again if i could, I would speed this drying with an iron).

I don't have any ornament hangers, but I will make one using some brass wire that it have: I'll make a spiral and then a 90 angle,poke it through a point and then make another spiral/curve at the top.
I'll put up a picture as soon as it dries a bit.

By the way-- it works unfelted, too.

Joy in the making,

Sunday, December 17, 2006


For that they shelter yet fall
fall and cover
save from rain
rain they sift down
dry water
becasue they effloresce
as dying flame some
their last days
because their name is
stands for single thing
a page or many and
departure because
so much has left

i miss my catalpa. She leapt large and survived that first year's attacks to produce leaves bigger than my head.
What is she like now i send her my love and my apple tree too....

I've been designing leaves and now have some woold to evolve Aku's furled and fluuffy fflower patterns with to make the
multiflower and leaved scarf....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gifts for the Givers

Here by the Grace of God, I am. The flying fickle finger of fate pointed and I am hobbled, cracked in half, rolling rolling rolling along. I am busy busy busy making making gifts for those who kept me alive this year, whose efforts on my behalf kept me alive. and ooooo i ache so again i pray this burning twiching numness means awakening, but I don't know.

I've been making bracelets and flowers and designed an eyeglass case/ Cellphone case for the step mum who reveled that she is a gree person.

How did i miss all these calls to make things to give to the needy babies. My head is so sensitive to heat loss, I have designated one of my hats as my sleep hat. The Save the Children organization is sponsoring a charity knit/crochet project entitled Caps to the Capital. Warm caps to keep babies' heads warm and needed medical supplies and interventions can help lower the death rate among newborns. The caps will be mailed by January 2, 2007 to Save the Children. "In January, Save the Children will deliver caps, along with the notes, to the President in Washington, D.C. to demonstrate that Americans want to do more to save the lives of newborns around the world. All the caps that have been donated will then be delivered to newborns and families in countries where Save the Children works."

Now the All Crafts for Charity folks got me started and It took SEVEN phone calls before I got through to the Golisano Children's Hospital... sure reminds me of why people don't volunteer this was an incredible round of phone tag for the person to tell me to just drop by--- which i cannot do.So finally she gave me the adddress to mail things to: Neo NatalIntensive Care Unit Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 619-334 Rochester, NY 14692 She said they need everything: botties, hats, blankets...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Looking, Learning, Designing

I've been thinking about leaves and scarves and developing a (new for me ) leaf pattern.
It's a maple leaf. I've got a new flower in process, too. I'm working on a leafy, viney scarf
pattern, but I'm tugged toward freeform.

Amazing as I completed objects to be given away, I got a gift... a wonderful box of yarns, hooks, candies and needles and angels from CA in Montreal. Merci mille fois, ma chere! I've been dining on these felt creations

Elina Saari is so compelling--- I want everything I see and the pictures from her workshops are
so exciting. You can tell they worked with souls alighted there, the energy leaps out of the pictures

I've been working on a reindeer and then saw this and was annoyed at my own literality

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I was given a huge white Granny square and its accompanying white yarn. A neighbor's mother saw my sign asking for stuff and brought in her mother's? sister's? hooks and this one square and white yarn. She looked to young to be his mother and I was so touched when he asked if it was me who had posted the sign and introduced me and she explained how this person was no longer able to think/pay attention enough to make anything. So this repuposing is a wonderful arc of giving.

I made the square an envelope/pouch and picoted all around it.

I liked the efficiency of this pattern the best. Seamless:

I read several patterns that suggested using worsted and G hooks even this said I or J!
I think I ended up with the right size using worsted weight and an E. I did all the sc in the back loop because I think someone on the All Crafts for Charity list said that gave the bootie some elasticity.

I amended it a bit more by adding two rows of my favorites picot:( sc,ch2,sc in the same stitch)

I also thought this was a great pattern, too!
Also seamless,it just seemed to work up a bit too big for preemies....

I made a simple white hat that also has this picot edging.
So gee, a set is made!

It occurs tome that this is something that this troubled city might do more of-- maybe there's a way to organize people to make things locally--- and the Red Scarf campaign in January--- red scarves for orphans at college --across the U.S,
sounds wonderful... but it would be cool to teach some young folks to crochet and make things for themselves and make things to give to needful others, the poor preemies, the homeless---but I'm still struggling to find a niche for my work, and a way to again create a way to make money. but oh, I'm not going to let go of this glow just yet,