Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Weekly Coffee Talk

What is the ideal setting for enjoying the perfect cup of coffee? Who would be there - or would you be alone? Inside or out? Morning or night? With food or just the steaming cup of joe?

Sitting on a beach in the morning, with my husband, watching our kids play. We would be drinking black coffee and eating croissants. Yum!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Alhumdulillah (Thanks to God)

Where do I start?
I am thankful that I am Muslim because Islam changed my life.
I am thankful for my husband for his patience and understanding, generosity and honesty.
I am thankful for my amazing children because they remind me of what is really important.
I am thankful for my mother because she loves me even though I put her through the ringer many times over the years.
I am thankful for my best friend, Melissa because she always understands and has good advice.
I am thankful for my community - I never feel like I have to face difficult situations alone.
I am thankful for nature and beauty.
Aaaaaand.......I am thankful for yarn.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What a week!!!

This week we had Reading Day at my school, and I am in charge of the committee for the first time. The day includes fun activities like a comprehension question relay for the younger kids, and a scavenger hunt for the older kids. Plus everyone makes books and brings a secret clue to represent their favorite character.

It was a great success! Though of course I have a long list of what to do and what not to do next year. My team was great and the parent volunteers were amazing! Needless to say, I didn't do much knitting this week, but last night I made good progress on Zaahir's sweater. It's a funny pattern at first because I coudn't visualize how it was going to work. But I just followed the directions and it is starting to take shape. I hope to post some pics on Monday.

In other news, my students voted unanimously to knit preemie caps for their next project. I am so excited! I think that many of them will be able to make two or three and we can take a nice bundle to the Kaiser NICU in December. The pattern I have chosen is a two-needle ribbed hat with a pompom. For the bag they learned knit stitch, I-cord, 3-needle bind off, and how to make eyelets. For the beenie they will add purl stitch, pompoms, and seaming. Here is the pattern:

Happy Hippy Yippy Friday!
(Okay, a bit Ned Flanders, but I can't wait till it's the weekend!)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Student Projects, Plus another (GASP!) FO!!!

As I mentioned yesterday, my students are all making the drawstring bag from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and here are the first three!!! They each interpreted the pattern differ- ently. The first one turned into a teddy bear skirt; The second, (still in progress) is done with bulky yarn and the third became a hat, complete with round crocheted inset and pompoms. Pretty good for first time 12-year-old knitters!
And here is my most recent FO - a table runner/dresser scarf that I made two years ago but never finished. I found it last week in a box, and last night it took me all of 15 minutes to close the edges and press the seams!
I love the way these fabrics work together.

The blue and white fabric is the backing.

In other news, I finally received my Ravelry invite!!!!
Happy Friday!!!!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


It's true!!! I present, a darling FO, the drawstring bag from Last Minute Knitted Gifts: I used Fibranatura in Garden Topiary and I casted on 60 stitches rather than the 90 called for in the pattern. The pattern is very simple, fast, and elegant, which is why my students are knitting it as their second project. I figured I had better finish mine before they did so I could teach them how to finish!!! Tomorrow - The drawstring bag as interpreted by my students - in various forms and stages.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Coffee and Cass contests

Hurray! I love contests and I love my coffee! After you are done reading this, check out Cass's 333rd post contest at

The history of a caffeine addict.
I started drinking coffee in high school, probably around 16 years old when I couldn't stay awake for Geometry! It was about the caffeine at the time because I poured sugar and milk in.

But my appreciation for the aroma began long before; my paternal grandparents and my parents always started the day with strong coffee brewed in an espresso pot or press pot.

In college, I worked in cafes and at Peet's Coffee in Oakland, CA. Trips to Europe sealed the deal - now I am hooked. The first thing I do when I bring home a bag of Peet's is open it and take a good whiff - it smells like home. I have tried to "go off" coffee many times, but the longest I have lasted is 32 days.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Found: Sweater Pattern

After much searching and much negotiating with my son, I have found the perfect pattern for Zaahir's uniform sweater. My LYS is so cool - I walked in with my silly boys, anticipating flying needles and tangled skeins, but I told them what I was looking for, and they found it, brought me appropriate needles, and I was outta there in 10 minutes! The store is Full Thread Ahead in Los Altos, CA .
So here's the pattern, I casted on last night and was able to do one row before the baby started howling!

But after I did a few more dishcloth rows...

And a few rows of Ahmad's sweater:

I tried to lighten up the picture, but my skills are limited :(
Somewhere in the dishcloth I dropped two stitches, so it is coming out skewed, though still lovely. And it is after all for washing dishes! I was trying to finish it before my sponge wore out, but, no dice.

Last night Zaahir and I made pumpkin muffins - yummy! I think I'll make it an October 31st tradition.
Then we opened four beautiful, organic "Mystery Squashes" while we tried to predict how they would look inside. Later I baked them and sneeked some pureed squash into the macaroni and cheese for Zaahir's lunch. Think he'll notice?