Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Think This May Stick

I decided to straighten out my office...pause while you laugh and try to get out "What..again?" without disrupting your respiratory system too much...done? I actually made some progress...pause while you pick yourself up off the floor.

I moved all the yarn bags, boxes and totes to one side of the room. They literally almost reach the ceiling. You know I am not going to show you that. But when I look at the other side of the room, I can actually see the carpeting. (This is not necessarily a blessing.) There were boxes that did not hold yarn, that I remember, and I decided that each morning from now until Doomsday I would go in and take care of just one thing. This morning was a box and I didn't think it had much in it so I went in the office with the idea of just picking up the box and taking it to the trash.

I should have taken a picture of what was in there: besides the copies of three movie DVDs I didn't even know were not sitting with the rest of the DVDs were some knitted items: a child's poncho, an adult sweater (small), a baby sweater (thought I sold it) a scarf - garter stitch, must have made that one a long time ago - and a book with patterns I didn't realize was missing from my shelf.

You know you are really into something when you have stuff you didn't know you should be missing. As it turns out, it was a good thing I went through the box and just didn't throw it out. One day I would have remembered something - probably the book - and would have made myself crazier wondering where it was. So, i guess I'm really into this knitting/crochet thing if I have so much stuff I'm surprised to see some of it.

I completed another square and it looks nothing like the photo - I mean nothing. The designer would have me drawn and quartered for wrecking their design. I do not have a sense of - whatever sense you need to be able to make flower petals in chain stitch. I do not have that kind of talent. It took me most of the day to learn how to chain stitch let alone try and get it to make flower petals. The square is cute in a 'this has no meaning or resemblance to anything that has a meaning ' kind of way.

It's not a flaw - it's a design feature.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I did a count of the blocks I've made for the afghan I am producing and I was a little astonished that the number is ten! Ten blocks have been made already. That means the afghan is nearly 1/3 done, right? I did say thirty blocks didn't I? Don't make me go back and look. I am having a somewhat lazy day.

We had some fun over the weekend - but let me not talk for the fabulous Melissa, the wonderful April, the charming Chantal, the lovely Laeh and the beautiful Pilvi. I had a great time hanging out with them on Sunday and as it turned out, we hung out all day with nary a man in sight.

We met up at my church to head out to the Morton Arboretum to participate in 'Lichen It' which is part of the Arboretum's Unframed Art display. We gathered (with a couple dozen other crocheters) in a room and created lichens (pronounced likens.)Lichens are fungi and algae that live closely together and help each other survive.(Per the website.) We made ours from crochet rope in purple, yellow and red and they will be sewn together and then artist Carol Hummel will dress a tree from trunk to branch tip with them. The installation will be in May and will stay up until November. That was a fun two hours and I have a pang of guilt which I am trying to rid myself of because we were supposed to stay there at knit together but we called an audible to go visit a new yarn shop. Now going off to a yarn shop is nothing new for us - we've done that
before as an impulse - but Pilvi couldn't go because she lived very close to the arboretum so she hung out there to knit and I feel guilty that we left her.

But we did.

We traveled from Lisle to Chicago - not a bad trip but not a short one - to visit Windy Knitty - a very spacious, light filled shop. It was very comfortable and welcoming, the yarn was deemed reasonably priced and the fabulous Melissa said she found fiber there that she had not seen at other shops. It's a place we want to go back to and we are hoping to add it to our Sunday afternoon outings so that would be another area of the city where StitchCraft can rule!

From there, we headed back to my place so we could get the yarn I packaged up for the charming
Chantal but forgot to put in the van and we went to eat - for some strange reason, none of us had sufficiently nourished ourselves that morning. At Elmwood we ate and looked at the books Melissa, April and I purchased. (Melissa got her via mail and April and I purchased ours at the shop!)

After that, we were
ready to for bed - all before 7pm - we're rockers for sure!

To top it off, I received some good news from one of my buyers: the hat I made and sent three weeks ago finally arrived and she loves it!

Perfect ending.

Monday, March 28, 2011

This Week's Top Ten List

There's some funky stuff going on in Etsy land. I intended to find shops in Denmark but the site is having some bugs - instead, I just went searching through the treasuries to find ten things that got me going:

Hey Necklace by pianobenchdesigns. It's just cute and if you're stuck on a train, you should have something interesting to read.
by Onike8 - Unicorns are still my favorite but peacocks are right up there!
Messenger bag by Rustic Leather Co. The ULTIMATE knitting bag!
Knitted Necklace by hogen birk knitwear - I saw this made on Knit and Crochet (Now, Today, Whenever.) Looks good here, too.
Map Letters by Little White Dog I'm amazed at how people can recycle or repurpose things and making decorative letters our of old maps is unique and fun!

NOTE TO ALL BOOK PUBLISHERS: CRAFT BOOKS SHOULD, BY RULE, BE SPIRAL BOUND! Part of the reason this square beat my butt was because the book was little hard to manage. I couldn't put it on the scanner to copy the page and the book is too thick for the clip on the light so I had to count the stitches on each row. If the book was spiral bound, I would have had other options. I really had to trust the pattern would come out looking as it was supposed to because I used a post-it to track the rows. It's only in taking the photo that I see it did come out almost right. I did some improvising on the top, bottom and sides so I wouldn't drive myself intarsia insane. I really like it!

Back to the list!

Washcloth and Soap Sack
by indulgent creations - These simple things can be so cute!
Crochet Brooch by Nothing But String - Gotta love it when someone in your field can do something that has 'wow' impact!
Stoneware by mudpie2 We received a piece of handmade pottery as a wedding present and I would have loved to receive this!
Antiqued earrings by pinkingedgedesigns I was actually looking at something else in the shop to add to the list when I saw these - drooling!
Funny Cowl by NonnaLia Funny, yes, but you must love the creativity and her other items are lovely as well!

There you have it! This was a really diverse list - and that's because it came from the treasury listings on Etsy which are created by individual buyers and sellers - so it's the best of what others consider the best! No matter how it came to be - this list is a great sample of the artistry out! Go support it!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

I spent the morning languishing in bed. i woke up at my usual time and I was still tired so I lay in bed and thought about stuff. Stuff I wasn't doing with my days that I could be and stuff I could be doing and just about stuff. I am not sure I reached any conclusions but I do know that while spending time with the core folks of my knitting group that I had a good time last night. Being with people who mutually enjoy each other is a great gift and it was during that conversation listening to the fabulous Melissa explain how she has a plan to get herself moving again that I found the inspiration to continue moving myself.

I would take a photo of the item on the blocking board but it's really quite nondescript. We are getting new members in our church and the pastor wanted to know if I would make some spa cloths to be part of a welcome gift. I put this before my knitting group on Sunday and they thought book covers and book marks would be a good idea. I put that option to the pastor and she wanted the spa cloths.

So I made the book cover. I already have spa cloths made. I thought it would be a fun thing for them to have both. They take only a few hours to make and it does help go through the stash so as far as I'm concerned they can have the spa cloths with the book cover and everyone can be happy. I can even attach a bookmark to the book and make a trifecta!

The next square in the afghan is something of a challenge. It is intarsia and has some detail in it. I admit to being somewhat scared of it but I am going to go through with it. The block with the cables and beads is about to come off the blocking board and it does look better blocked - but we knew it would.

So, just to be clear I am working on:

2 book covers - 1 already made (just needs seaming)
4 spa cloths - 3 already made
an intarsia square

I have no idea what I'm going to do Saturday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I'm not quite sure what to make of this: I received some sales lit in the mail to switch my cellphone company to one called Credo because they are a progressive phone company and because my old cell phone company may have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to tea party and other candidates...

who knew owning a cell phone could be a social statement?

In any case, my real concern is that AT&T is set to buy T Mobile and I really liked T Mobile and have had it from the days they were Voice Stream so I am a little concerned because I used to work for AT&T - that came out wrong. My working for them made them a better company and I left it in better shape than when I came in.

I finished knitting the cable block without cable needle
s and I am not sure I will use one again - except when doing big ass cables a needle may come in handy. I am in the process of sewing in the beads - can you see them? Of course, blocking is going to make this look a heck of a lot better.

My next decision is whether or not to add some simple stockinette blocks to break up the pattern blocks. The 42 Square afghan uses a common color around each square to break up the patterns while the nanny square afghan uses the granny square as a common block to break up the other patterns. It gives them a different look - one more artsy and the other more rustic. I suppose if I combined them it would make the piece rusty - which I'm
tty sure I don't want, either. You know, both of those afghans are really pretty. I have an idea of which style I am going to choose - if you'd like to voice your opinion or guess which one I'm going to take, please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

God's Sense of Humor

Saturday was a great day. I made out my schedule and did just about everything on it. I was really psyched about it and looking forward to the next day...but God made me humble.

i haven't been on schedule since. Church. Knitting in Evanston - all enjoyable and fun but they took time from the schedule. No problem. It was time well spent. There was Monday.

Monday. When Mr. Honey walked in the door and announced we needed to do our taxes. 'Doing our taxes' is a euphemism for 'sit and the computer and put in the numbers I tell you.' It usually takes about an hour or so but this year there's a bug in the tax software and it took nearly all day. Mr. Honey also expressed surprise at the amount of money I made last year. He said he saw me working but he didn't know I made that much. Now, this would be something if it weren't for the fact that I made less than I made last year and he didn't seem at all surprised then. I am wary he may be trying to pull a Scott Walker on me and use this as a means to take away my collective bargaining on the amount I get every month.

The hat in the picture sold (YEA!)but I didn't write down the pattern. It looks pretty straightforward so I hope I can recreate it. I search books and notes for the pattern and can't find it. However, I did ship it off but I can't relist it until I know I can do it again. I actually sold two hats because my friend Victoria's mother insisted on paying me for the second hat I made her daughter. I was protesting until she explained she didn't want her daughter thinking everything would just come to her without cost. That's a smart mama.

So today - finally - I got myself back on track at about 9 this evening. I worked out for the first time in three days. I was going to do it earlier but the routine I wanted to do is On Demand on cable and the service went out for about three hours (yes, I paid the bill - I checked) it went out because of the storm.

I got some knitting done and I am working on another square from the Block by Block book. I was knitting it while watching an episode of Knitting Daily and Eunny Jang showed how to cable without a needle (How the heck does she hold her yarn like that?) and I am working on a cable block so I tried it and I really like it. It does speed up the knitting! Now see, taping those episodes have some merit!

I will be with my group tomorrow night at the mall and it should be a great time. I have to figure out what I want to take to work on and I have a funny feeling it should be the welcome gifts I need for the new members joining the church: bookmarks, cup cozies and spa cloths to go with the baby blanket for the baby being baptized - at least that's done!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Block Head

That bobble lace block on the needles was giving me fits last night. I was coming up short on stitches even though I was certain I had the stitch count right. It took me three tries before I figured out I was reading the pattern incorrectly and not doing one of the stitches in the bobble. Once I had that figured out (which didn't involved too much swearing, I swear!) it has been pretty smooth sailing. The project is coming along nicely. There's a block missing - it's on the blocking pad. It takes about 5 minutes to do the right side row of the block - the private side is purl across (except I am knitting the first and last stitches because I'm a rebel.) It's 16 rows and has to be repeated four times. I am two rows from finishing the second repeat so I should be able to get this done during the free time I have today.

I wanted to have six squares done before I start the put together phase - there's no real logic behind my logic it's just what I decided. I am going to frame each square in green then slip stitch them together. The final size should be about 60x72.

I am also looking for ideas on what to make with my Nuro Kureyon. I have maybe a dozen balls in two colors that would work together. I want to be able to do small projects because I want portions of the proceeds to go to an agency helping on the ground in Japan. I am thinking fingerless gloves. I've never used the fiber before but it looks beautiful in the skein which means it probably knits us beautifully as well. If anyone has any ideas on small projects that can be used, I'd love to hear them!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fiber Fill

I am designing a simple baby blanket. It is so far in its infancy (get it? baby blanket - infancy?) it is not yet worth taking a picture of. It involves stockinette and bamboo stitches and some embellishments to be added when the blanket is complete.

I am also working with another square from Block by Block. It would be square number six and it's going to be a little lacy. The living room is becoming filled with finished objects and I am in the midst of cataloging all the items from this year and previous years. Some things are being held out because they will be placed aside to be donated, So far, it's two scarves.

My neighbor returned my stuff. I gave her two bags of my items from 2010 and before saying she could take two or three things and I got back one bag with stuff and an empty bag. Not quite sure what all was taken but the preliminary count is : a pillow, two shawls, a baby blanket and at least one afghan. I won't know for sure until I do the new inventory and there are some things still in the van. Even with all that gone, I have a lot of stuff left. I need this stuff these treasures to find loving homes and that means I will have to go the donation route. That sounds like it's something I don't want to do and that's not true. I want to do it and I am going to do something like the Red Scarf project except I don't want to be stuck to a certain color.

How do we do it all? I guess what I really want to know is how we do it all well? I have no idea but continue to plug away - I suppose there's room for more prayer and faith - if I can remember it.

I hope your weekend is great. I will be with my knitting group on Sunday in Evanston. We have a couple of new members in the group and I look forward to meeting them soon. We've had a third day of nice weather...Spring officially comes this weekend. I'm breaking out the grill!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Never Ending

I never celebrated St. Patrick's Day much...wear green, say 'Top of the Morning' that type of thing. But fourteen years ago whatever celebration I had for that day really ended because I lost my mother on St. Patrick's day.

Since that time, I have moved from the day being one of sadness to going back to my traditional non-celebration of the day - though I am not wearing green today. I don't have a lot of green clothes and I am just lazy enough not to go looking for them. But I have a Celtic Sun Catcher so I'm feeling pretty Erin Go Bragh.
Instead, this day has come to symbolize the beginning of that never ending circle that is the relationship with my mother. At her death, we were close so we always be close.

She will always be that mother insisted we not change our plans to pay homage to her illness but keep on doing what we needed to do to pay homage to our faith that everything would happen that was supposed to happen when it was supposed to happen. So as I continue on I'm not really without her - she's behind me and because I am a woman of faith - she's ahead of me. This relationship has changed but it has not ended.

One of the pleasures and joys I have is watching my friends with their mothers and their daughters - I love it when Betty, Julie, Hannah and Maddie are in the same place at the same time. And when Gayle, Cindy and Rachel are sitting at the same table (Rachel doesn't sit very long) it's a thrill for me. MY sister-in-law still has her mother so when she's up here it's her mother,
MaryKay, Katie, Erin, Abby, Ella and Grace. In my own family: Carole, Kate, Kayla, Jasmine; Vel and Nic.

I am not envious at all of those relationships. The one I have with my mother is full and complete and my prayer is that they are all like that or become that. It's not until you have no choice about how the mother/daughter relationship works that you understand what you held or what you let go.

I miss my mother everyday but especially today because I haven't quite navigated this new phase of not having her dimensionally here but I am working on it because there are really no good alternatives to getting on with it and because there is so much she would have me do. She was really a woman of powerful faith. And I am her daughter.

Top of the morning!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shake My Bootie(s)

Come on now. Give it up for the cuteness. Not a bad first, second, third attempt. I found these to be something of a challenge and the lifeline saved me. There was an instruction that's akin to a turning row where you knit the stitch on the needle with a stitch several rows below and that was kind of awkward until I decided to place a lifeline at the beginning of the turning section. That made it easier to find the place to pick up that second stitch - yes, I know, once again I am a frickin' genius!

This might be interesting to do again in a more stable fabric. Even though this Cuddle Muffin is supposed to be DK weight and the booties were designed to be done in sport weight, the DK still seems kind of 'soft'. I think it might be worth doing in a cotton or a light worsted just to make them a little more solid. On the other hand, they are booties and not boots so maybe it's just me.

I am also on square number four of the book and I am still having fun. Photos of those will be coming when there is a more substantial number to be shown - just for the effect of it all - you know.

I saw some old friends last night (old in the sense we've been friends for a long time not that they are long in the tooth - though some of them certainly are that but far be it for me to say. It was a Lenten supper and it was held at our church. There will be one each Tuesday until Easter. It's soup, dessert and a program. This year, we will focus attention on the new country of South Sudan and study a book called, A New Way of Seeing by Gregory Pierce. He was there last night and gave a talk regarding the book and it's premise that the Kingdom of God is here and now and we can plug into the eternity of it today. I found him to be very funny and insightful and it's a small book so there should be no problem getting through it. I am only going to attend four of the seven suppers but I'm thinking I won't be left behind.

He presented the Lord's Prayer in a way I had never thought of before and it has gotten me to thinking about how we do relate to God and Heaven as if they are both far off instead of closer. It should, I think, make me change my behaviors if I thought the Kingdom was a lot closer than I think it is now.

Food for thought.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Kid on the Block

The fabulous Melissa has had this book for some time and we have ooohed and aaahed over it. I have wanted it for some time but just couldn't bring myself to spend the $30 on it...then through the magic of technology, there was a coupon off one item at Borders and this beautiful book made its way into my home for the magical price of $17 and some change.

OK, this is a lesson in discipline and order for me. There are some really beautiful creations in this thick tome of 150 squares and most of the squares are stockinette with a little embellishment but they make those stockinette squares very textural and interesting.

Now, I know in the past that I have wanted to start something and go completely through it and it has sometimes happened and sometimes not - OK, more times not - but I really want to do an afghan with these squares. I've already knitted a couple of them and since they are basically stockinette, they come out the same size which is 11" square so I would really need just 30 to make an impressive sized afghan.

I already know there are three squares I won't be making: the seed stitch square (can't stand the repetition of the seed stitch. I could change it to a double seed stitch.) The garter stitch - it's too stretchy which is why I won't be making the rib stitch square.

But for the most part, I want to make these squares. I definitely want to make enough of them to make the afghan. I'm not putting pressure on myself, I just think this would be a great project and it would be nice to Julie/Julia the book.

Yes, I get bored. I get distracted. Something else calls my attention and I get forgetful. But I can do this. I can focus on it --- oh look at that bird outside.

I have some rewriting to do on my Glee pattern and it's on my list as well - not that it will take me away from knitting the blocks - laser beam focus, I tell ya. I wrote it up knowing the decrease section was a little snarky and sent it off to be tested and the tester came back and said the decrease section was snarky but was a real help in getting it straight. She made some suggestions to fix it so I am going to have to redo it in my language. She was very thorough and helped a lot.

We had a full Spring like day yesterday. Odd such a gorgeous day coming on the heels of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. Nature is quite an amazing thing - beautiful and lethal at once. I add my prayers to all who have prayed for guidance, peace, comfort and the sprinkling of blessings and miracles.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This Week's Top Ten List

This week finds us looking in the state of Wyoming in Cheyenne and in Colorado in Colorado Springs for our list of items I think you should know about and shops you should click:

Coconut Lime Soap by BungalowBathBody - It looks really pretty and will probably scent the whole house the first few days it's there. Then you can use it!
Bitty Bunny Ears by puddintoes - c'mon, if you don't think these are cute, you either don't have a uterus or don't know anyone who does.
Earth Witch Scarf by Ssheilah I have no idea what an earth witch is but she'd look cute in this scarf.
Wood Vase by Cindy Drozda I like the rustic vibe and the clean look!
Sun Catcher by Newmoonglass - you know those banners folks hang outside - which I totally don't get? This is a suncatcher version of that.

I've had my second sale of the year this week! This was also a custom order, which shouldn't be a surprise, everything is now a custom order. I am already planning a sampler sale. How does this help the stash busting goal? I'm not sure that it does. But it does allow those people looking in my shop who say to me: "Does it come in ____ color?" to order the item and have it made in the color of their choice. There are other benefits but we need to get back to our trip out west.

Punk Rock Princess by Nahvrianna - These are so cute and will the babies running around, I can see a lot of these going!
Backpack Buddy by menwy74 Cute seems to be the order of the day and this little keychain brings a smile and a chuckle.
Chandeleir Earrings by Craftygal - Oh these are two pretty, I mean, too pretty!
Snow Boot Baby Shoes by Playing with Fiber - OK, you know that uterine uprising I was talking about a few days ago? Still having it!
Sterling Silver Pendant by Firefallstudios - Simple and beautiful. This would look great on just about everybody.

I realize there's a lot of baby stuff and needlework stuff - that's just how that goes! I certainly didn't plan it, the artisans in those two cities work in those media. Don't fret, I am sure the earrings and tote bags will return in short order.

With the rising cost of fuel and all the unrest in the country and the world, shopping local is a worthwhile endeavor to taking part in the community and saving the planet. Perhaps, in a small way, it will help us to calm down. That has to be good for all of us.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Uterine Uprising

Babies are abounding! Cheree had Johann last year, Erin is about to have her first, Michelle had little Dani just twelve days ago, Toi (pronounced Toy) is expecting her second in July and we are having a baptism with little Jaden in a couple of weeks. I am using that as an excuse as to why I have been compelled to knit these: I know I said a few posts back that I had the urge to make a baby sweater and I don't think I knew myself why the urge was strong and then I put together how many babies were coming into the world and I am willing to join the two of them together because knitting is life and life is knitting - especially where babies are concerned. Oddly enough, the sleeves on the green sweater are actually red but I am finding I like the orange sleeves a lot - almost enough to make me cast on another sweater. I do plan on doing another one - just in cotton for the Spring and Summer seasons.

I am so thrilled for all the new parents! Babies are cool - especially when you can have all kinds of fun with them, get them jacked up and then send them home with their parents!

We have a crocheted bedspread on our bed. It was created by one of the women from my mother-in-law's craft group. I found it years ago at their annual craft show. We have a full sized bed and this spread covers it nicely and they were selling it or just $40. I jumped all over that and I do believe that helped get me back into crafting. I've been looking to try and make one of those rippled bedspreads myself.

I started it this afternoon. I have a pattern and I am using scraps to further clear out the stash. We'll see how far I get before I want to pull out my hair. It's 231 stitches...not 230; 231. That last stitch is important.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today Is International Women's Day

I celebrate women! I enjoy being a woman and i admit that a great deal of that enjoyment comes from enjoying men - but it doesn't necessarily follow that if you are a woman you love men - but I do.

When I look back over the years, I have always had a small group of really good women (girls) around me. They tell me the truth and love me anyway. They have been funny, smart and beautiful - some of them all at the same time. The cadre of women I have around me today are powerful, strong and passionate. It is hard to keep up with them and it's a blessing they let me hang around them.

No matter what your relationship with her, your mother was the first person with whom you were a couple. Some couples stay together for a lifetime, some breakup and some have staying power and a powerful relationship. In the end, I have no complaints about the way my mother raised me. There were some mistakes but she raised me right enough to see them and at least think about changing them instead of staying stuck and blaming it on her. Being a mother isn't an easy thing. You have to balance the love which is often impractical and a barrier to the raising of a human being that will enter the world. Ready or not there we go.

Being a daughter has it's own share of angst. We learn what it's like to be a woman from our mothers. Our mother may also be a wife or a single parent, an employee or an employer. We want to stick close to our mothers until our hormones kick in and then we think she's the strangest person on the planet. A few years later, we amaze at how much smarter she's gotten and by the time we have kids of our own we want to be under her wing again. She is our first teacher of womanhood because we will choose how we will be just like her or how we will never become her. No matter how far we may run something in us is like our mother. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is our choice.

If you have a sister(s), I hope you are also lucky enough to have a sorority. My sisters and I are close and I rely on that closeness when I am afraid to try something new or am tempted to do something wrong. Within my sisters' care, I am free to be the baby sister. It's a great place to go back to. Though we are seven and ten (I think) years apart, I never felt left out.

Some of the girlfriends I have today, I have had since I was five years old and at a new school. I am still in touch with friends from grade school, high school and some previous jobs and there are the friendships formed from church, the knitting group and theatre.There have been laughter and tears, joys and sorrows but this is a group of women for whom nothing is impossible.

International Women's Day is a day to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women. This is the 100th celebration and women as a class in society have made great headway and we still have ways to go.

If you're a woman, congratulations, I don't know what it's like to be a man but I'm having so much fun as a woman that it's something I don't wish for.

If you are a man and you have a woman who loves you, then you are endowed with one of the first blessings God gave to mankind.

If you are a woman and you love a woman, celebrate the achievements that women have made including the achievement that allows you to be who you are. There is still a road to travel but you have sisters around you who support you.

Celebrate the special gift of being a woman!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sshhhh..It's Coming

I don't want to tempt the Fates or maybe the Furies - are the Fates and the Furies the same? I don't know how anyone kept the Mt. Olympus personnel straight. Either way, I don't want to tempt anyone who can change the weather - especially since they are saying the 's' word is going to make a reappearance. This has been unusual weather, the winter as furious with the snow coming earlier than usual and all that 's' last month. But I do believe Spring is coming.

Which is probably why I shouldn't show you something I knit up a few weeks back: Did I show this to you
already? I'm too lazy to go back and look. OK, let me say for the record that crochet is fun. In some ways it may be funner (I know it's really more fun) than knitting. Before I get thrown out of the 'Knitting Rules' club, let me assure I am not abandoning my first love. There's much more about crochet I don't know and I don't believe I am interested in learning to jump over to the 'I used to be a knitter' side of the aisle. I don't even think there is such an aisle. But crochet has a great many benefits to it that makes it a great companion to the knitting. A sidekick. A Robin to a Batman. A Batgirl to a Robin. Did you notice there was never a Batwoman? So when she turned 50 she would still be Batgirl?

The living room is becoming filled with finished objects. I am going to have to go next door and retrieve my goods. I gave them to my neighbor because she wanted items for an auction and she didn't know what she wanted - now the auction is over and she hasn't brought them back yet and I need to get them so I know what's no longer there but also so I can begin to pack away the items from this year. Next time (if there's a next time) I will take the time to make the decision. I was too busy this year.

Wish for Spring to come, my friends, I know it's only March but aren't you ready?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Late At Night

I took something of a nap this afternoon. There I was going along with my day when I found myself really tired. Naps are not something I do. Mr. Honey does one every day. He comes home, eats, if it's Friday he will go to part one of his grocery shopping, and then he takes a nap. Usually lasts about four hours. If I am really lucky, Duke will go upstairs and nap with him and I have the entire house to myself with the strange comfort of having both boys home but out of the way.

But today I found myself upstairs doing so
mething and then I was lying in bed and I told myself if I could count to 100 and not fall asleep or lose my place then I would get back up. (I couldn't do it - in fact counting to 100 was a tip my Mom gave me to lull myself to sleep.) I was awake when Mr. Honey came back and he got into bed and it was a mere hour later when he turned that I knew I had to get up. One, I was in bed for almost two hours and I didn't sleep well, and two, that turn meant the snoring was about to begin. It can throw off airplane tracking so I had to get out of bed.

Turns out naps aren't for me unless I'm sick. Good thing to know.

Look at what I made. It's more than you think. Yes, it's
another Glee Gnome Hat but this one has a detachable pom-pom and what's more it has a pattern to go with it. I stayed up last night and knit this while writing the pattern. I then requested two knitters from the Ravelry testing patterns group to see if they could follow my instructions to whip it up. (Except their instructions were for attaching the flower like in my first hat.) We'll see what happens. If I can clear up the instructions, it will be the second pattern I sell. I will also be putting this one up in the shop as a special order.

The second baby sweater is almost done. I have to do the second sleeve, block and put together. That will leave me some time to try and get my friend Victoria's second hat done. Don't ask me why I am making another hat for her because I don't have the answer to the question. I suppose since I will be knitting anyway I can spare the fiber and the time to bond with a great kid.

It has been raining all day. It stopped long enough for me to take pictures of the cap but the rain has been almost non-stop. I am not complaining because this could be snow - which they are saying we are going to get a light dusting of. My flowers are poking out there heads on the side of the house so I guess Spring or something like it is coming.

I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The First

My version of Quinn's hat from Glee. I saw the photo but couldn't tell if it was a button or a flower so I made this big ass flower. It sold the first day I put it in the shop - but there's another listing up. I have to write the pattern for this one. It took me a few days of looking at the photo to figure it out. I think I told you in an earlier post.

I finished the baby sweater, too. I started it Wednesday after we went to StitchCraft and I had it to show off Sunday a
t Evanston. I have another one on the needles and it will be a little different. It's the green in the back. The heart is in red and the sleeves will be red with a little green heart of the sleeve. I am going to offer it made to order in the shop. The Coordinating Sweater is the body and sleeves all one color and The Contrasting Sweater will be the body and sleeves are different. I did one front in intarsia and the other in duplicate stitch and though intarsia was easiest to manage, the floats are a pain. I am also thinking about what other motifs I can put on the front that will be more gender neutral - though I have no objections to either gender wearing this soft, comfy bit of goodness. Maybe and ice cream cone or a cupcake.

Feel free to let me know what you think - but remember - it's a baby sweater so keep the idea small.

Actually, that photo has a lot crammed into it. The completed sweater, the sweater WIP, the box for me to send the Glee hat in. My, that ottoman is an office on wheels.

By the way, I did a smaller workout today because the leg is still a bother and I got through it just fine. I have to practically start all over and build up my time but I think it will go pretty quickly and now that the weather has turned to the better, I can add walking! Yeah!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Darling Girl

This is our girl. We had no idea what we were getting into. I was nineteen when she was born and I didn't do any of the work. it wasn't until I was older that she came to us.

My sister was changing her life and she needed to move and Nic didn't want to go and my sister asked me if I would look after her.

Me? You sure you want me? You want me to be responsible for a teenager? But how can one say no? That first moment when my sister was gone and she walked in the door, all the responsibilities hit me. How the hell do you people do this from the time they're born?

It's not like we didn't know each other - Nic was always my child - my sister just birthed her for me. I used to go and get her on the weekends and we would just hang. When my other sister asked me to come to Maryland and stay with her kids while she and her husband were away, I took Nic with me and we explored Washington DC. We sat in the park and fed birds out of the palms of our hands. We took the Metro to the Smithsonian (most of it.) We both saw the White House for the first time together.

But this was a little different. I was responsible for her. I couldn't just be the fun one. There were rules and boundaries and when the time came to discipline her. Well, thank God, it was just one big time she did something that completely crossed the line with me. Both Mr. Honey and I decided we needed to deal with it so when she walked in the door, he did exactly what I expected - he went upstairs to hide. She's been his kid for fifteen years.

She's provided us with some hilarious moments: like when she got a speeding ticket and wanted to go to court to fight it. She wanted the judge to know she was speeding - just not as fast as the officer said.

She went to college at some design institute and needed help with her homework assignments. We went to the zoo, we went through some of my old photographs - OK, I basically did her homework for her. And the professor sent her a note saying her assignments had become very creative.

She changed colleges every year and after about three years of that, I told her she had to graduate from whatever school was next. DePaul. Not too shabby. Then she went on the get her Master's. She's a Phoenix.

And proud moments. I was very proud of her when she did go to court for another reason. There was a serial killer/rapist running around the Chicago area and he held a gun to her head in her backyard and robbed her. This guy murdered his male victims and raped the female victims and somehow she escaped that but she held herself together when she was on the stand and when the defense attorney said to her: "He didn't hurt you." She was very firm when she said, "Not physically."

That's my girl.

Not being known for her patience or her tact, we were surprised when she said she was going to be a grade school teacher. I'm still surprised at that. When she said she was moving to Seattle, Mr. Honey wanted to write to Congress and get the western half of the United States declared foreign territory. When she said she was driving with a friend out there, we set such strict rules that we thought she wouldn't go. instead, she just followed the rules. Like call us every three to four hours. Let us know where you are when you stop.

She called to say they had just left Buddy.
"Who's Buddy?"
"The city; Buddy."
"What state?"
"Spell it."
"You're going to teach kids?"

You could have wiped us off the floor with a towel when she left and Mr. Honey worried about her every mile of the way though he tried to be really cool about it. He taught her how to take care of her finances and the day she called him her other Dad you'd of thought he was a body builder the way his chest poked out.

She's all settled in her town and her job. She has friends and hobbies and is enjoying herself. I haven't told her I have the premonition that she will be a wife and mother in a couple of years - she doesn't read the blog so I'm not worried she'll find out from me.

The important things are that she's healthy and happy and we didn't mess her up in those formative teen years.

And today is her birthday.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring Season Has Begun!

The Cubs have lost their first two pre-season games. So the perfect season will not be.

Note to Albert Puljols: you turned down a 10 year $200 million contract. Let me give you a reality check - no one on the planet is worth $200 million. Considering that you will be 41 - way old in baseball years - that's not a deal you turn down. With workers demonstrating in Milwaukee, you don't turn down the amount of money that would pay them all for several years.
You get $16 million a year now - you should play one year for free.

Here's the other granny square hat. Poor little Styrofoam head can't handle the rasta. It took a lot to try and keep her upright when the cap was on her head. I need one of those heads that have hair. I've said that before. I say it again because I still don't have one.
At our Wednesday get together and the one we had this Sunday the wonderful Melissa and the endearing Chantal had some orange Sugar N Cream Cotton which I just fell in love with. Chantal would not even think about letting me have it - I asked - and I knew better than to ask Melissa. This morning when Mr. Honey took me out to breakfast I asked him to drive me over to Micheal's so I could get some of the goodness for myself. Now I have three balls of it along with two of a nice blue I didn't know they had.

But these are the small skeins so I am wondering how many scrubbies I will be able to get out of them but I am filled with happiness that I have them and I know where to find them if I should want them again. I was so tempted to buy the self striping cotton yarn but saved that for a later time. (This is why we have husbands...)

I believe I will be finished with my special order hat today - the gnome hat inspired by Glee. I made one last night that turned out more skull cap but it's really cute and it serves as a nice cap - especially with the flower I put on it. I am writing up the pattern and I will take a photo a little later. I want to finish the other cap first and write that pattern and do a two-fer.

Tomorrow is the kid's birthday. Mr. Honey mentioned it at breakfast today. 33. Where does the time go?


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