My first attempt at blogging: I knit and have started a crochet project as well. I'm a retired elementary school teacher who still subs occasionally. I have a married daughter and a son who just completed his masters degree and, hopefully, will find a good job soon! My husband and I are currently organizing a walk for pancreatic cancer research through the Lustgarten Foundation. I will attempt to write about these aspects of my life, as well as about political issues of the day.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Here is my ensemble! The shawl was described in the previous post. After initial concern that enough yarn was not on hand for this recycled project, lo and behold...enough was left to add this bag. The bag was started with a 25 stitch chain & then formed with enough sc rows to make a bag sized to fit my dreams. The strap started with 3-chain & enough sc rows for my 5-foot-tall frame, then edged with sc. Now, if only I were pleased with our freedoms under the present government, I could happily celebrate the 4th in true patriotic colors!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I finished my second crochet project!!!! Last summer I knitted a shawl with this red cotton yarn (no longer have the label, so cannot give details!) I was never really pleased with the results, and therefore never wore it.

Flash forward a year, and find me a much more confident needle artist. After making the white shawl with Rowan rope yarn, I thought, why not adapt the pattern and recycle the red shawl. Rip, rip, rip, think, think, think, revise the pattern by using a size 5 hook and adding rows to compensate for the thinner yarn, and here we are! Now I know that no yarn is ever wasted - any unsuccessful work can be made to disappear only to be replaced by a large ball of yarn yearning to be worked - and I am more confident in my ability to interchange knitting and crocheting to fit the project! Next up, a crochet bag using the remainder of this yarn - an ensemble is called for, and will be modeled by me for this blog in the very near future! After that, my set of Denise knitting needles look forlornly at a Rowan sweater pattern...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

shawl - back view

shawl - back view
Originally uploaded by sharipip.

I could not resist showing the rear view as well!

Next, I am going to recycle a thinner red cotton yarn to try the same pattern with a 5 mm hook. I had used the yarn for a knitted shawl, but never liked the way it turned out. Now I hope to have enough for this pattern ... though probably a shorter shawl this time.

Stay tuned!

shawl - front view

shawl - front view
Originally uploaded by sharipip.

I finished it!!!!! This is my first crochet project in 35+ years!!!!! Back in my college days...those wild late 60's... granny vests, scarves and hats were "in".

As previously mentioned, it is a pattern from Rowan Cotton Rope. The only modification made was that I bordered it with a row of single crochet. .

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Yes! I am not only feeling more confident about this crochet project, but for the first time, I uploaded photos from my digital camera to my PC and then into Flickr and finally onto my blog!!!! With no help from my family of techies!!!!!!!!!!

I am about 2/3 of the way finished with this "Morocco Shawl" - pattern from book entitled Rowan Cotton Rope Collection, made with 7mm hook. I can now work the pattern without looking at my cheat sheet for stitch definitions.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Have you ever had an experience that left you wanting to live every moment of your life?

This past year I watched my 50-year-old brother cope with terminal cancer. He always measured his worth in terms of his professional accomplishments - seeing his success in completion of tasks requiring weeks of 12-hour work days. To the frustration of his girlfriend and me, he used his last days of strength to finish a work project rather than to relish what we would consider to be the more important parts of our lives. But that was his way; it was what defined him as a person.

I also accompanied a very close female friend through her journey from "unhappy,but unwilling to admit it wife" to divorced, self-confident, dating, single, independent woman. She had long been the wife who kept peace by puffing-up her husband and having her own interests, needs, and accomplishments ignored. This past weekend, she gathered all those who helped her see herself through our eyes for a celebration. She is beginning to see what we see in her: a fantastic person!

What does define us as individuals? It should be more than our professional titles. Though they are vital parts of us that, hopefully, help us mold the world, they do not necessarily reflect our inner selves. We are friends, parents, siblings, children, lovers, spouses. We as individuals are the sum total of the many, many roles we fill each day, and of our interactions that come with each of these roles.

And, as the song says, "We Should Live Each Day as if We Were Dying". Maybe that explains why I have lately been so open to trying new (and for those who know me) unexpected things. This past year I have really become a knitter. I have been fearless in attempting a complicated first crochet project. And most unexpectedly just returned from a family vacation that included more outdoorsy activities than this Brooklyn-born woman ever imagined. Me in a log cabin? Me in a kayak? Go fiqure!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Lustgarten Walk for Pancreatic Cancer
This coming July 23, my husband and I are organizing an "In Your Neighborhood" Walk to raise much-needed money for pancreatic cancer research. My family has been deeply affected by the disease- my husband's mother, sister, and brother all lost their battles against it!
The Lustarten Foundation annually runs a huge walk in Westbury, Long Island. For the past few years the foundation has encouraged folks across the nation to add walks of their own. Please follow my link on the sidebar to get more information, and, hopefully, to join us in this worthy cause.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Welcome to my new BLOG!

My name is Shari Piper. My daughter, Kim ( Werker, has been pushing me for quite some time to begin my own blog. Today she took me up on my willingness to try in her usual "go to it" manner. I followed her advice, and here we are.

After letting go of my younger crafty college days, I again picked up knitting in the past couple of years - beginning when I brought my mother to visit Kim in Vancouver. If Kim could do it, I sure would try! I quickly found that knitting kept me calm as Mom retold her stories for a countless number of times.

I made the obligatory scarves, poncho, then a shawl, and more recently, two sweaters. The sweater pictured being my first! And it was made from a Knitty pattern on size 10.5 needles with Blizzard 65% alpaca, 35% acrylic yarn. Most of my friends and colleagues have been amazed - and more than surprised - at this domestic side of me.

This past year has been a stressfull one for me. My 50-year-old brother lost a four-month battle with cancer on Thanksgiving Day. My 84-year-old mother has had two relatively minor surgeries. For both of these family members, I am the closest relative, and therefore spent much time commuting from my home in Albany County, New York to their homes in New York City. Knitting has calmed me on many occasions as I faced long evenings and difficult realities.

Life has calmed down into a "new reality", and I have kept right on knitting. I love it!

This month, my son received his Masterd Degree, thus making us quite proud. And then my family - son, daughter, son-in-law, husband - and I took our first ever Piper family vacation. We had a blast in Vancouver and on Galiano Island!

And I re-learned to crochet!!!! Once again, daughter leading mother. Follow the sidebar link to view our FAMILY PICTURES!

My first fitted sweater!

Mom's Knitted Sweater
Originally uploaded by kpwerker.

Proud me showing off! This took about 2 months of compulsiveness to complete! I even worked on it while subbing ( I retired as an elementary school teacher in June of '05, and now just sub in my home school when I feel like it.) Yesterday, I wore the sweater to work, and my colleagues were speechless.

I used Rowan Calmer cotton yarn (size 6 & 8 needles) that Kim made me buy on sale last summer! When I got up the nerve to try a fitted sweater, I returned to my favorite shop, Periwinkle Sheep, to find a pattern - since misplaced - to fit my amount of yarn. And this is what we came up with!