Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I think the time has come to put the blog out to pasture.

I realized after Thanksgiving weekend that all I think to do here is complain - case in point, our Thanksgiving weekend was kind of a miserable experience and it's all I could think of to write about on Sunday, yesterday, and today. And who wants to visit a blog that's just a bunch of whining about stuff? No thanks.

This blog and the internet community have been a great thing in my life for the past 2 years. All of the kind words and thoughts you all shared when my life was capsizing helped right the ship and send me on my way...more than once, I might add.

I know there are a couple of you who will say, "no! don't go!" and to you I say thanks, I am completely flattered. But you know who you are and we have a relationship outside this forum, which I intend to keep up. I will visit your blogs for as long as you care to write them, and I will email and IM as per usual. There are some who will say, "I understand, do what you need to" and to you I say thanks, also, for getting it. And anyone else will say, "who cares?" and delete me from their blogrolls. That's fine, too.

I'm sorry if this seems sudden, but it is not sudden for me. I've been thinking it through for awhile now, and it's just not working for me anymore.

Thank you for hanging with me through 382 posts! I may come back under another name at another time. We'll see what feels right. I'll leave this up for a bit before I zap it out of existence, leaving it in the google cache forever.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Just popping in to report that housing construction continues apace:

Five houses are completed for my new bedquilt. This pattern is fun and highly challenging until you figure out the proper way to place all the roof pieces. Or maybe I'm just dumb. But I finally got the hang of marking and pinning properly, and now one of these houses is my reward during naptime if all my chores get done. I'm just using whatever stash calicoes float my boat, with a background of 200-count muslin in ivory.

And this is most of one sleeve of Daughter's next sweater. Anyone recognize the pattern? Hint: it's a Starmore design. I love it and I've only made one big screw-up on it so far - last night I unraveled about 17 rows of one cable to correct a twist that was going the wrong way. Why can you never spot those mistakes until you've knit on for several inches?!? Anyway, you can see toward the top left in the photo where the stitches look lumpy and sloppy. I'm hoping that will work itself flat in the blocking and wearing of the sweater.

This sweater, along with some socks, mittens, and hats for my little family, will be accompanying me on a long, long drive for the holiday. I just dragged a suitcase down from storage and it's aired out now, so time to start packing for the 3 of us.

Many Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours. If you are traveling, be safe. If you see a red minivan hauling down I-90 West towards Illinois with a crazed knitter in the passenger seat, wave to me!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

a sweater and a schoolhouse

Hey! I missed my two-year blogiversary at the beginning of the month. Oh well, that shows you how much I'm into blogging these days. Bleh. I'm turning into one of those people who irk me...the once-a-week posters. Yikes!

Thing is, not too much has been going on. Daughter is at an age where she can do so much, but she wants me with her. She has so few playmates that I have to fill in and color/play blocks/eat pretend food/etc. and that barely leaves me time to cook and clean and do a few things for myself. Also, I really don't want to talk much about Daughter anymore, because she is getting older and deserves privacy. I personally don't agree with sharing every aspect of a child's life on the world wide web. I mean, think about that. I don't really want anyone with a computer and an internet connection reading about my child and her bowel habits and whatnot. Though I will brag for a moment that Daughter can write most of the alphabet. And no, we did not make her start writing letters, she tried on her own and then asked us to show her. Good heavens, I love that child. I'm so glad she loves to learn new things!

And I could tell you how I almost had a throwdown with one of the moms at Daughter's playgroup this morning over the appropriateness of video games for toddlers (her: they're cool! me: you're high!) but you don't need to read me being all opinionated yet again.

Moving on, I have been making some stuff:

Sweater for Daughter. Because I still haven't found a good worsted-weight cardigan pattern that has lots of cables in a 2-3 year size, I was forced to semi-design one.

This is the Knitting Pure and Simple neckdown cardigan in a 2-4 year size. I modified the heck out of it, though. First, I knit it down a needle size. I can't do worsted weight on size 9 needles...it looks like crap. This is using size 8 needles and I am happy.

Next, I chose 3 cables from a book o' knitting patterns. The front, seen above, sports a simple 6-row cable twist going in opposite directions.

The back is kind of yucky. I asked Hubs to choose a cable and he chose this. It's ok, but I miscalculated its width and ended up with it sort of kissing the rest of the sweater body. It would look a lot better if there were stitches separating it from the body. Woops. That's why I tried this little experiment using Wool-Ease I got on clearance for $1.19 a skein.

I chose a third cable to go down the middle of the sleeve. I like this - it reminds me of pretzels. Mmmm.....pretzels. I shoved my sleeve press inside so the cables would open up for the photo, which is why it looks funky at the bottom.

The other mod I tend to do with these KP&S patterns is to change the ribbing to seed stitch. I just like the look and I prefer the edgings hang straight rather than pull in.

Now I have only 2 projects on needles. WEIRD. There's a shawl and a pair of socks. Everything else has been finished or ripped. I've finally reached a place in my knitting where I give myself permission to rip something if it's boring me to tears. I used to try forcing myself to finish stuff that I was hating, and it made me unhappy. Life's too short. Knitting is supposed to be fun.

In the vacuum left by the lack of knitting projects, I've rediscovered my yen for piecing quilts. We desperately need a new bedcover of some sort. Right now we are sleeping under a $25 clearance WalMart comforter that I picked up in an emergency 2 years ago, after our much nicer comforter was stolen from the laundromat. (That was annoying, though I quickly decided that someone wouldn't likely steal a comforter for fun - whoever took it must have needed a warm blanket.) Anyway, it's ugly and plain and some of the stitching has started popping out from use and repeated washings. So I'm going to try to make a new quilt. I say I'll try because I'm awfully good at starting things with good intentions. Finishing, though...not my forte. But I will try, and the pattern I want to do is this one:

I desperately love schoolhouse quilts. This is such a classic block, made all old-school with templates and everything. I can't believe how many of these were made in the old days, because the bias seams are enough to make you nuts, but I made this block today in about an hour (by machine) and it's not too bad if you take your time.

The quilt I want to make has lots of schoolhouses and they are interspersed with birds made from the drunkard's path pattern. Those almost have to be pieced by hand because of the curved seams, which might make good TV-watching work. I'll try one and see how it goes...if it's terrible I'll eliminate the birds and just make the schools. If I can get the whole top done I hope to have it professionally machine quilted. That's expensive, but I have a friend who does it and I'm hoping she'll give me a discount!

We're going away for Thanksgiving this year. Crazy! We never go anywhere! But little sis is hosting, so away we will go. I don't know how much I'll be around between now and then...I might use this as a break to get over my blogging ennui. I'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Hello, hello...I'm here, just not very interested in blogging these days. Also, I'm in the beginning stages of caffeine weaning, which sucks out loud and leaves me with very low energy. It's all I can do to shower, do laundry, and prepare meals just now. I love you, coffee. I'll miss you. Mwah!

In the burst of late-night energy I experience 'round about 9:30 pm, I've been working on some winter necessities:

Clockwise from upper left:

Basic hat for Daughter in wool-ease...some sort of heathered rose colorway.

Cable hat with tassels for moi, knitted using Lion Brand Fisherman Wool that I dyed myself using Rit. The pattern is from Inspired Cable Knits, and I'm happy to report it was a well-written pattern and easy to execute. Can't wait to try more from this gorgeous book.

Mittens for Daughter knit from some leftover Baby Ull in a pretty purple. I used a vintage pattern and they came out cute, but a bit snug due to my super-tight knitting. Whoops. Oh well, they fit for now.

And one of my favorite projects of all time - wee knee socks of my own design (if you can really call it a design), knitted from Naturespun Fingering in the ash colorway. These were knitted on size 1 needles at a gauge of 10 stitches/inch. I did a bunch of measuring and hoped for the best, and these fit Daughter's little legs and feet perfectly. I'm quite pleased with how they came out!

I've also done some sewing. First up, I finally used up these dang yo-yos that I started making in, like, 2003:

Last year I intended to make a garland from these for Christmas, but I ran out of time. They went back into their box until a few weeks ago when I got a wild hair to finish stuff (again). Turns out I had 107 of these babies, so I put 100 of them together in a 10X10 mat for my dining room table. It makes me happy. Daughter is using the remaining 7 as "cookies" in her play. So it was a win-win.

And for today's final f.o., I finished this little quilt last night:

This is my own "design" in that I didn't follow anyone else's written instructions. Just a basic grid-o-squares. The squares are 2" finished size, and the whole thing is roughly 30" X 30". I intended this as a decorative covering on the wall where our ugly gray circuit panel is in the hallway off the family room. Unfortunately I mis-measured and that section of wall is just about exactly 30", so I'm not sure it will work out. Too bad, I guess I'll just have to make another wee quilt!

And speaking of quilts, I just checked out a slew of great quilting books from the library - books I've never seen before, filled with classic quilt designs. I've already picked out around 15-20 that I have to make right now. Yeah, right. Let's see if I can make one. Heck, let's see if I can finish a few more languishing projects, eh?