About Me

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I live in beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY.  I have a husband who is a masters rower and a daughter obsessed with all things Japanese.  I'm a knitter and a spinner!  When I spin too much yarn I list it on my Etsy shop www.saratogaspinning.etsy.com.
My husband is also a master metalsmith and creates wonderful wrought iron wine racks displayed at www.oldworldwinerackdesigns.com.

I am a volunteer for the AFS student exchange program.  http://www.afs.org/
 
I'm saratogaknitting on Ravelry, llenz5743 Twitter and Lisa Lenz Lessard on Facebook and llenz57843 on Pinterest!  Come say hello!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

We're On the Podcast!!

Check out the latest Knitty D and the City podcast! Tracey and I were interviewed by Wendy and Christina at Rhinebeck and our interview is in the podcast! Very exciting!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Check Out the Bread and Try the Recipe!


I've been baking bread today! Check out this beautiful loaf! And it is delicious. I managed to snap a picture before its full demolishment! This recipe is from Faith at The Knitting Cook podcast. Give her a listen and the recipe is in the show notes!

The Fish Came and Was Blown Away!



The weather was very rainy and very blustery yesterday. The Saratoga Head of the Fish was held on Fish Creek. It was supposed to be yesterday and today, but today was cancelled due to high winds. But, Mark was able to race yesterday - AND HE WON HIS RACE!!!! Another medal and maybe even one of the prized "Fish Head" plaques! The weather was so bad though, that I did not get a good picture of him.



Here's some progress on the Regia Yarn socks that I'm doing. The yarn was sent to me by my Tea Swap Buddy and I love it! The Rowing Cat has already stated that this pair belongs to her . . .




Here's a nice shot of the tree in front of our house. The colors are absolutely gorgeous! That is, until today - by the end of the day the tree will probably be bare because of the wind!




And here is a photo of the hat I made with the purple silk/merino I spun. I will now forever think of this as my "Amethyst" hat. Want to know why?? Head on over to Nora's website and see!

I've also been doing some more spindle spinning. I'm trying to spin very thin singles so I can try plying. We'll see how that goes!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rhinebeck Recovery


What a day, what a day . . . It was the most fun I have had in a long time! There were 2 buses from our LYS ready to go Saturday morning. Once we were on our way, the needles came out and the discussions started. It was so much fun to oogle other folks projects! And I was teaching Tracey the Magic Loop method for her first pair of socks, so there were lots of questions about how I was knitting!


The weather was absolutely PERFECT! And the people there were lovely! Everyone seemed to be wearing their own handknits, whether sweaters or shawls or scarves or hats, etc. I had my Market Bag with me and kept having people stop to compliment me on it! What fun!

Tracey (this is her posing by the angora bunny) and I made the rounds and still did not have a chance to see it all. Unbelievable. I was able to purchase a wonderful skein of Briar Rose sock yarn, 2 packs of Merino roving, and a gift for my Secret Pal. I was able to find just what I wanted. But boy, could you spend some serious $$$ if you wanted to.

The animals were wonderful too. Lots of llamas, sheep, bunnies and a sheep herding demonstration! I've never seen border collies working live, so that was quite a treat!

But the best part of the day was running into Wendy and Christina of the Knitty D and the City Podcast!!!!! I recognized Wendy and can hardly believe I was bold enough to go right up to her and say hello! They were both so nice AND Wendy whipped out her IRiver and asked if we WANTED TO BE INTERVIEWED FOR THE PODCAST!!! So we were! Not sure if we'll make the final cut - but I'll be sure to post when the episode comes out! I have to say it felt a little like meeting rock stars! And they talke to US!!!! That really made my day - and that happened early in the day!



As you can imagine, by the end of the day we were EXHAUSTED! We did not score any Socks That Rock, but were able to get our share of goodies. Maybe next year we'll bring our daughters and stay overnight. One way or another, I can't wait!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rhinebeck!!!

I'm off to Rhinebeck tomorrow - can't wait! I'll be using my Market Bag to carry all my goodies in - if you see me, come say hello!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Market Bag

Knitty D and Wendy mentioned the Market Bag from Knitter's Magazine in their latest podcast. I loved that particular pattern and I thought I'd post a picture of the finished product! The colors are great and I often use it as my travelling knitting bag!


Some photos of the volleyball team from Saturday. I actually got to see the Rowing Cat play! I usually miss the games because they are played when I am at work, so this was fun! And they won! The amazing thing is that there are only 6 girls on the team right now, so they all play all the time. There's some pretty good talent there!


The Rowing Cat in action!


With apologies to the Yarn Harlot, I just had to take a picture of the socks in the school colors! I wasn't quite bold enough to take the shoe off, but you get the idea!



Just a nice shot of the Japanese maple in our front yard. It is just starting to turn red. When it turns completely it is breathtaking!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Tea Buddy Struck!




My tea swap partner Suzanne send a wonderful package! I worked late tonight and didn't get home until after 8pm. The Rowing Cat was practically jumping out of her skin with excitement! I let her open some of the packages and she was in heaven! My husband has already eaten half of the delicious shortbread cookies and I can't wait to try the teas! The box of caramel Nips is coming to work with me tomorrow!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Saratoga Pictures

I thought I'd post a few pictures of Saratoga - there will be more as I get around town with the camera. These are just from Sunday morning after breakfast out. Of course, my husband and daughter were just supposed to go get the car and pick me up - a distance of about 2 blocks - and what did they do? They got in the car and started to drive home without me! I was wondering why it took them so long to drive 2 blocks . . . !

This is a picture of the horse in front of City Hall. Every August the horse statues come out in celebration of the six weeks of thouroughbred horse racing at the Saratoga Race Course. There are several different ones up and down Broadway. They'll soon be brought in for the winter.




This is a picture of the clock in front of the Adirondack Trust Company, the local Saratoga bank. I like the way it reflects the Victorian heyday of the city.





This is a picture of my family's pharmacy! The store has been in existence since the early 1860's and in it's current location since 1871 when the building was built! Menges and Curtis were the original owners and the name has been the same ever since. My Dad bought the business in the very early 60's and my brothers own the business and the building now. It is an old-fashioned pharmacy with lots of interesting front end items. The sign is made of small squares of glass. I spent one summer cleaning every one of them by hand - it took forever because I couldn't push hard or they would come out of the panel.




And here is a picture of my LYS, Saratoga Needle Arts! The horse in the window is named "Purl" and changes her accessories regularly. My sister-in-law and I are going to Rhinebeck with a bus trip that the store puts together each year!


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Secret Pal 9

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely NOT like?

I really enjoy Cascade 220 - it's my favorite yarn for sweaters. I also like handpainted yarn - I make lots of socks out of handpainted. I don't usually like to use bulky yarn.


2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I am lucky enough to have my grandmother's knitting bag for storing my needles! The circulars are not very well organized however ;-)

3. How long have you been knitting and how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate, or advanced?

I learned to knit when I was about 9 or 10 from my grandmother. I was sidetracked by embroidery and cross stitch for many years and picked up knitting again in my 20's. I took another side track into crochet for several years and came back to knitting after my daughter was born. I've been knitting exclusively for 13 (!) years.

I would consider myself an advanced intermediate. I have made sweaters, love to make socks, lace shawls, fair isle, entrelac, intarsia etc. However, I have never STEEKED!

4. Do you have an Amazon or other on-line wish list.

I do not.

5. What is your favorite scent (for candles, bath products, etc.)

Citrus or tropical.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Of course! I love chocolate - just not with peanut butter. Favorite candy is Heath Bars!

7. What other crafts or other Do-it-yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

Spinning is my other hobby. I use a top whorl drop spindle, but am just a beginning spinner.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play mp3's? (If your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like fun music from the 60's, reggae, Irish music - I can use mp3's.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I like crazy colors for my socks - bright orange, purple, pink, greens, etc. I love to experiment with socks! In general I like burgundy, blues and greens.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Married with one daughter (13) and one black cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear scarves, hat, mittens - all necessary for our cold and snowy winters. But no ponchos.

12. What is/are you favorite item/s to knit.

Socks!

13. What are you knitting right now?

Socks are always OTN. I am also knitting 2 shawls and a hat and scarf out of my handspun.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Absolutely!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I prefer circulars - I knit socks using the Magic Loop method. I primarily use Addi Turbos, but also use bamboo for some yarns.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift.

I do not although I can always dream . . . ;-)

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

About 5 years old - but it's ALMOST done . . . my daughter kids me about it all the time - it's a shawl . . .

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving- lots of food and fun!

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Besides yarn??? Not really.

20. Any books, yarns, needles, that you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting subscriptions do you have?

My current want to have book is Spin to Knit. I would love to try Koigu, Trekking XXX, and Shaeffer Anne. My subscriptions are many - Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits (my favorite), Simply Knitting (from England), Creative Knitting (from Australia), and Knitters.

21. Are there any techniques you'd like to learn?

I'd be interested in learning to STEEK! I'd also like to learn more about shadow knitting and playing more with color. What I really need to learn more about is drafting fiber in spinning!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I am definitely a sock knitter! Women's size 8.

23. What is your birthday (mm/dd)?

October 30!






Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tea Swap Package Ready to Mail!!!


Here is the Knitters Tea Swap package all wrapped up and ready to mail! I hope my swap partner likes what is hidden inside! I can't wait to get my package!

Here's a shot of my husband cleaning the hood of our Wolf stove - a thankless job, but someone has to do it and it is not me!


Here is my purple merino spun up waiting to be cooked. The bottom skein was spun first. Do you think that I was more relaxed spinning the second skein?? I can't believe the difference. I wonder if it will look this different after the warm water bath?



This is the warm water bath. A little dish detergent, gently bring the pot up to a simmer and leave it there for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the water cool to handling temperature. Then it's into the washer for a short spin cycle and hanging in the bathroom to dry. It is already hanging although I don't have a picture of that. It feels very soft already and it is still damp. I might combine it with some white mohair and knit a very soft hat. We'll see!