Brenda

If you're looking for a description of the professional me, please head on over to my career bio. If you're interested in who I am outside of work, you've come to the right place. Kick back and relax, and let me tell you about myself...

I was born May 28, 1956 at Saint Luke's Hospital in Richmond, Virginia to Native American parents and I'm a member of the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe. My grandfather was a chief, my uncle was a chief, my father served as acting chief for several years and the honor is currently held by my cousin, Kenny. The older I get, the more I realize how important my heritage is and how much it has shaped my life and value system. Having two older brothers who struggled through reservation life during the 40's and 50's has taught me a great deal about cultural tolerance and the real value of opportunity.

Both of my parents are deceased and I miss them daily. When I bought my first car, my father wouldn't let me drive it until I learned how to change the oil and change a tire. My mother taught me how to sew and how to inflict self-induced guilt when I don't do my best:

If a task is once begun,
Never leave it 'til it's done.
Be the labor great or small,
Do it well or not at all.
-- Author unknown, but oft repeated by Mom...

I started taking piano lessons when I was 6 and graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory in 1979. I still play piano and guitar when it suits me. My father always said "I can't play a piano, but I play a mean radio."

At the age of 40, I married my one and only husband in 1997. The best thing about our relationship is that I married my best friend and we're still best friends. The scariest thing is that I'm completely convinced we share a brain. More than anything else we do together, we laugh. It's nice to know you can still play when you've reached the era of black-balloon birthdays. I've never had a face lift, I don't dye my hair and I'm perfectly happy with the way I look.

The rest of the story remains to be written, because...

Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.
-- John Lennon

Jun 102017
 

Governments don't build towns. People do. Nowhere is that more evident than our small towns where it's pretty obvious that it's local entrepreneurs that keep the wheels of progress rolling in the right direction.

That's why it's so important that we the people do everything we can to keep the government operating within its bounds, hold our elected representatives accountable and support our neighbors in every way we can to help local businesses grow.

That's why one of our own has established The Evergreen Defense Fund to help local businesses with the legal fees and other costs associated with ensuring they can defend themselves when the system breaks down.

Please help us save a small business. Whether you're a business owner or patron, we all lose when someone has to close their doors because they couldn't afford to fight a corrupt bureaucracy.

Feb 112017
 

A Facebook friend posted a comment this morning that really made me stop and think...

I realized I really would love to have a world where we can provide a safe haven for political refugees. But I'm more afraid of the wolves who will use that as an opportunity to hide amongst the sheep. Because that's what evil people do.

I would like to see an America that continues to be the land of opportunity for immigrants who want better lives for themselves and their families. But I'm more afraid of the ones who will use open borders to bring in drugs and sell them to our kids. And even more afraid of the ones who will import terror. Because that's what evil people do.

I support the voice of protesters even if I don't agree with them. But I'm more afraid of the rioters who seize the opportunity to tag along for the ride in order to deliberately destroy property and do bodily harm to law enforcement and private citizens. Because that's what evil people do.

I would like to live in a world where most of the guns are in the hands of the military, law enforcement or sportsmen. But I'm more afraid of the predators who neither care about nor abide by laws and will always take advantage of law abiding citizens who no longer have the ability to defend themselves and their families. Because that's what evil people do.

Up until 3 or 4 years ago, I used to fork over some cash to the homeless person walking down the street or standing at a stop light. Then a guy approached me in the train station asking for cash so he could buy a train ticket to New Hampshire. I was down to my last $20, so I politely declined and almost felt guilty enough to give that up. I saw the same guy every day telling the same story at the same time for two weeks. I had a one hour delay one day and watched him collect at least 3 to 4 times the cost of his train ticket. About two-three months later, he was at it again. Because that's what evil people do.

I would give someone in need the shirt off my back, but it pisses me off when I'm cheated or threatened. It pisses me off that I've become cynical. It pisses me off that evil people have that kind of power over every aspect of my life. It pisses me off that evil has bred in me an inability to trust strangers. It pisses me off that evil has shaped my opinions of the world and my politics. And it pisses me off that while the rest of us waste time and energy arguing with each other, evil is allowed to run rampant.

Call me a wimp, spineless, gutless, fearful, cynical or a whole host of other things. You can question my judgement. I am more than willing to own those flaws.

But do not call me a hater, a bigot, biased or stupid just because I don't see the world and her problems through your eyes. You can refuse to accept any of this or you can refuse to accept the fact that there are millions more who could repost this and mean every word. But that denial would be a pretty good indication that you have some issues of your own -- not the same as mine, but no less negative, biased or cynical. And if you deny that as well, then you are also blind.

May 222016
 

br-sw3-155-24x52-sample

This is a 24-stitch version of the classic Rose Trellis stitch pattern suitable for punchcard knitting machines with transfer-only lace carriages (i.e., Brother).

Also available:


By adding 4 stitches, motif also got a bit taller... so I had to make the center motif a bit taller as well to make it looks more like the original. The smaller "flower" had too much stockinette inside the trellis and it just didn't look right to me.

br-sw3-155-24x52-chart

The download includes a punchcard template as well as a DAK file that should work on electronic machines. Click on the image to the left for a larger view of the chart. Note that the punch card is 104 rows... so you'll either need a card roll or you'll need to connect 2 standard-length cards. Note that the punchcard is only suitable for Brother lace carriages. It will not work on a Silver Reed, Studio or Singer.

Get the file...

May 222016
 

br-sw3-155-20x44-sample

This is Brother's version of the classic Rose Trellis stitch pattern. It's not quite identical to the original. The motif at the center of the X's uses one-stitch transfers instead of multi-stitch transfers.

Also available:


br-sw3-155-20x44-chart

This pattern is not suitable for punchcard machines as it's a 20-stitch repeat, but the download includes a DAK file that should work on electronic machines with transfer-only lace carriages (i.e., Brother). It will not work on a Silver Reed, Studio or Singer. Click on the image to the left for a larger view.

Get the file...

May 222016
 

There's an MKAL in progress on Ravelry where some of us are trying to knit the Ultra PimaRose Trellis Shawl Vest from Cascade Yarns.


Ultra Pima
Rose Trellis Shawl Vest


There's a hand-written chart available from Tonyanelson's notebook, but it's a little hard to read... so I managed to duplicate the chart in Intertwined Pattern Studio. Click on the image below for a larger view.

chart

A few explanations are in order...

The pattern is a multiple of 20 stitches plus 2. Each repeat is 20 stitches, but the repeat does *not* apply to the same set of stitches in every row. I've colored the two center repeats yellow and green so you can see where they start and end. If you compare rows 1 and 3, you'll see that the first repeat on row one starts with the 2nd stitch, but it starts with the 3rd stitch on row 3.

You'll see some stitches colored pink on the right and left. These are stitches that are added to the beginning or end of the row... i.e., before the first repeat or after the last repeat.

Lastly, you'll see some stitches colored blue on the left. These are stitches that disrupt the pattern repeat. For example, look at row 21. The pattern repeat ends with k3tog. That's impossible when you only have 2 stitches remaining. So the yo k3tog at the end of the pattern repeat has been replaced by k2.


key

The stitch key is shown to the left. Click on the image for a larger view.


Also available:

The DAK file is also available for DesignaKnit users who want to do their own tweaks.