Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Failure to fly

Well, I gave it the best shot I could, and tried to get enough small presents made for all in my dept. at work, but I was still trying Thursday morning! Without complete success -- I'm still lacking about 5 gifts. I just can't see bringing in enough goodies for just "some" of fellow serfs. what? I will bring in the mitts featured in the last post, for Amanda. Wouldn't you know, Wednesday she had to tell me how useful & handsome her hat was, and how glad she was to have it! The rest of the finished gifts will go into a bin for next year's holiday gifting. And I WILL continue to knit up some small items to add to the bin.
I'm likely to add another craft soon: I save up my old, beautiful calendars with the intention of learing how to make the pages into small boxes. My sister-in-law makes these, as well as her own Christmas cards. I have expressed interest in learning the craft, but so far no response. I plan on checking it out on the Innerwebs.
DiscoDame came thru at Christmas, with some more handmade stitch markers in the larger sizes! One set is just so clever; instead of beads, she used small buttons! A clever way to use some of the immense excess of buttons we have.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More FO's

Yeah, baby! We like this kinda party! Erm, I mean, I have really enjoyed the mini-vacation I just had -- I worked last Wednesday, and didn't come back until today!-- I did some knitting (of course), and I actually finished & photographed some more fingerless gloves. Presenting another (!!) pair of my own design, the Cob Stitch Fingerless Mitts in Lion Brand Wool-Ease:

And just who it that Mysterious Model? None other than the fabulous DiscoDame, with a different prop. Makes her look intellectual, doncha think?
I've started on yet another pair of fingerless gloves/mitts, the Twisted Chain Link Fingerless Gloves (you can use that title to find the pattern on Ravelry). The charts are wonky: written instructions for rounds 3 & 10 include purl stitches, but they're not on the chart; the stitches represented on the chart appear to read from left to right which is weird because aren't most charts set up to be read the same direction as the stitches are worked -- right to left? Anyway, after several attempts to reconcile the chart to the written recipe, I've decided to ignore the chart. I figure the pattern was probably written down first, then charted but not proofed. So the written instruction is likely (more) correct than the chart, right? Stay tuned for further developments.
You know, I have been entering just about every blog giveaway I can find--so it had to happen: I won one! I will tell you all about it in another post, when my prize arrives. I can say, I'm tickled; I never win anything. That's why I don't buy the Power Ball & Mega Millions tickets; I can just about gaurantee the big $ isn't coming home with me!
Oh, Disco had a disappointment last night: I had just about decided to let her frog my Olympics vest, but when she pulled it out of hibernation, I saw how little was left to do--so it's still intact, only needing a few more rows on the back, a couple of seams, and the front edge/neckline.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wondrous light

Ok, I got the neatest picture the other day, purely by accident. Disco was modeling some of the FOs from my last post. We'd decided to "dress up" our photo shoot with nice scarves and a few props -- Disco has a large handful of very large marbles, which looked nice in her palms while she wore the mitts. But the photograper (moi!) didn't realize just how reflective those things were, until editing the pics. Check this out, you can see me in each of these marbles (click on pic to make bigger):

Every one of the pics with the marbles in it also has my self-portrait. Kinda cool, eh?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More ways to win!

So, I see another giveaway--and another chance to win something! Have a linkie:
and check out this lovely cowl. Now you know I love me a cowl, though frankly I'd rather knit it in the round. Don't know if I can adapt this one or not, but I guess if a provisional cast on was used, a three-needle bind off or Kitchener stitch would make a nice closure. Well, go check it out!
I have FO's!! DiscoDame was willing to model & help with props:

Whaddya think of them apples, huh? Wanna see more? These are F. Pea's Raging Fingerless gloves, which are knit flat in her pattern, but which I converted to knit in the round. This pair is going to someone tiny.

And LO!, there are more FO's -- the resized granny square stockings for Donna Kirby:

Donna was kinda tickled that her stockings were going into Ravelry & on a blog; she thinks she'll be famous! LOL!! Merry Christmas, Donna!

Monday, November 29, 2010

In a hurry

Just got a minute or two, to say that I finished re-working the Christmas Granny Square stockings! They're to be washed today, & get photographed, & then they'll come up to work with me tomorrow! Maybe I can get the recipient to pose with them draped over her? I recently bought a sim card for my phone, and found out that the camera in the phone actually takes a fair pic. Nice to know, huh? Other FOs are the teal cob-stitch mitts & the brown ones for Abby; will get pics ASAP (it's rainy today). Did a dumb thing this morning: packed a project without a) the pattern or b)the next size of needles. So it's sitting on the desk, stuck on the row before the needle size change. GRRR!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wish list giveaway

The giveaway I mentioned on last post is for one's "wishlist" on In order for them to save your wishlist you do have to register on the site, make a wishlist of their products (not hard to do; they've got TONS of stuff for knitters!), save it & share it through a link on the wishlist page or in your blog. I've done both, as I believe in redundancy.
This Thursday, we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the good ol' US of A. A lot of employers allow their staffs to bring in & share food during the week, and for our department this is the day. I took a couple of "before" pictures of my plate, and plan to snap one "after". Yes, I'm blogging at work, but I have my "Break Time" sign up at my desk so it should be ok. Blogging and eating; I think I need a bib.
I worked a lot of overtime last week, was up in the office both Friday & Saturday. I was nearly done Friday when DiscoDame called to say that Plaidman was going to drop her at the library (she doesn't drive!) & go to work, so could I please come pick her up later, and by the way, what's with the box of yarn on the front porch? I knew nothing about a box of yarn. Turns out I had a "run-by yarning"; the neighbor lady had been to a yard sale & bought me a box of assorted yarn! Wasn't that lovely? They're both such nice people. I see lapghans in their future....
"So, CeltChick, what's new on the knitting front?", you ask politely. We-a-l-l, it kinda stalled this past weekend because of my work schedule, but I will be burning up the needles this weekend. I did finish one pair of mitts, and got to start the thumb gusset on another. I plan on two more pairs of mitts; after that I want to work on something else for a bit! Maybe hats, maybe bookmarks or headbands/earbands (depending whether the recipient is a gal or a guy!), nothing as big or time-eating as a scarf. I have a hard time deciding which items to knit after the mitts. Hats are really pretty quick so I think I'll do 4-5 of those.
I got on Facebook weekend before this last one, to find a quick note from The Amazing Abigail. I did write back, but as I haven't been back to Facebook since I don't know if she got my message. It occurs to me that she'd had her internet priveleges pulled; I sure hope she wasn't cheating on her punishment! Oh yeah, The Amazing One gets punished now & again. Sis is watching out for her nestlings.
Now, time for gratuitous kitteh pics:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wish I may..

See my wish list from Knit Picks?

If I share it, I could win it! Until 11/22/10 you could share yours too & maybe you'd win it. Ok, go now...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A winner?

I'll bet I've commented on a dozen different knitbloggers' "giveaways", just this week. Sure would be nice if the Magic Number Generator picked my comment, once in awhile! No, I'm not giving you any links; you can just got out there I find them yourselves.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Up in smoke

I had a dream to finish, over the weekend, the two pairs of fingerless mitts on the needles. One is the lovely pattern I designed in teal acrylic, looks like this:

Unfortunately, I forgot what needle size I'd used for the first one, before I started two other projects...the upshot of which, is that when I made a second one, it was wa-a-ay smaller than the first one. Well that first one was huge, so I frogged it & have since finished it with the same needles used for the "second" one. The other pair on the needles is a slightly tweaked version of Raging Fingerless (Gloves? Mitts? brain is swiss cheese & this bit seems to have slipped away!), which is an F. Pea design. My version looks like this:

These are the second pair I wanted to finish, as the first one (pictured above) was well on the way to being done. But with the delay in getting the teal ones finished, all I managed on the brown pair was to finish the first one and start to cast on for the second--I didn't even finish the cast on, as I fell asleep with the needles in my hands! I was using Pie's Long-Tail Purl cast on alternately with a regular long-tail cast on, to make the cast on edge K2P3. It's pretty slick, but I have to look at her pictures & instructions every time (see above, re: swiss chesse for brains). I still haven't started on a repeat customer's request to modify some of the granny square stockings I'd made. Remember these old friends?:

Yes, they're crocheted. Generally, they need to be bigger. This can be accomplished by frogging the stitches that are holding the two sides together & adding a row of double crochet, or a couple of rows of half-double crochet, to each side before rejoining. It's a good thing I've still got lots of Christmas-y yarns left.

We've been around the bush three times with the &^%^#& auto finance company. I'd set up a payment online, gotten a confirmation, then a week later they started calling about the "delinquent" payment! Meanwhile, we received a statement showing the payment credited. They kept calling anyway! The bank traced down the payment, and spoke to the finance co rep, and she "admitted" the payment had been received. So we know they are bad actors, and if they call us again we'll tell 'em off. But I'm quite pleased with the service from the bank!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Be a friend

Go to and see how you can help Tabitha's family bring home an ophan adoptee. For nothing but your good wishes, you can still help by going to and leaving a comment! The Butler boys are all terrific kids (shh! don't tell anyone that Mattie is my favorite!) so I know Tabitha & Danny would be great adoptive parents.

I'm still knitting furiously on the gifts for the holiday. Someday (probably tomorrow!) I'll take my WIPs outside & get some decent pictures, to upload here & on Ravelry & Flickr.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fast but not so furious

My holiday knitting may be outta hand: just figured out the work currently on the needles includes 3 pairs of fingerless mitts, 2 pairs of slippers, and 2 pairs of socks. This doesn't include anything currenty in "hibernation", like the Lorna's Laces stole or the bamboo tank top, or the red sweater that just needs to be seamed up, or the tiny stealth novelties (need at least 3 more knitted, then all felted). However, I've heard from Sis that she's used the latte jacket (tall enough to cover a Starbucks grande, felted, crocheted buttons applied--finished ON HER BIRTHDAY while she was getting her highlights!). She loves it. I'm tickled. I must get started on the girls' bracelet bags ala CAP. When? Your guess is as good as mine...

DiscoDame & I went to Cheekwood on Saturday, to see the Chihuly glass sculptures. Dingbats that we are, we left our camera at home. Now, that wouldn't have been a problem if all the glassworks were indoors, as photography is prohibited in the museum proper. But most of them were outside in the gardens! So we had to run into the gift shop & pick up one of those one-time cameras. We used all 27 shots, then I filled my phone's camera memory and she just about filled hers, and we still wanted to take more pics. You see, in addition to the beautiful glass, there was a Dio De Los Muertos festival going on -- including Aztec and Spanish dancers, lots of folks in costume, a Mexican market, parades, crafts, whew! We were there fore about 3.5 hours, just wore ourselves down to little nubs. After all that, we couldn't face cooking our own dinner, so we went to Dalts & had the special. Anyway, the pictures on the one-time camera aren't on a memory disk, our computer's CD player/reader is borked, and I don't have the equipment to move pics from the phone camera into the computer. So there's no telling when I'll be able to show any of them on the blog. Just imagine Disco & I having an absolutely wonderful carefree day, with lots of walking around a extremely interesting site, and the two of us getting along so well!!

Why yes, I did crochet her shawl. More pics later.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Been there, done that

Austin was, as usual, very laid back & quite relaxing. The Amazing Abigail & I got to spend some more time knitting together, which was the best of the highlights of this trip. Turns out she's seen Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'N Bitch, so maybe I could get her a copy of it without her Momma going nuclear. I'll consider that for the holiday. I met Ms. Estella, and that was an interesting experience. She's got a degree in Psychology, and a way to cut right thru to the heart of things, bless her heart! As a result, I've had discussions with the rest of the Plaid Patrol about the state of our base of operations (aka home sweet home), to the effect that the master bedroom has been "tidied" without my having to do all the work. Also, I've let it be known that the folks who're at home most of the day should be doing more to maintain pleasant living conditions WITHOUT MY HAVING TO STAND OVER THEM WITH A WHIP. Ahem, excuse my emphasis, but this issue has rankled in my mind for a long time. My roomies are not live-in houseguests; I spend about 14 hours every workday in the process of getting ready for work, traveling there, working, and returning home. I have about 2.5 hours from the time I get home in the evening until I must retire for the night, while the two of them spend most of every day sitting on their duffs reading, playing Bejewelled, or watching TV. So, I've expressed my indignation at their expectation that I will "take care" of all the cleaning in the household, in very strong terms. I feel better now.
In the Knitting News, I have been pounding away on the fingerless mitts for gift giving. I will try to get more photos as I get a few more pairs ready. DiscoDame wants a pair in "disco colors"; I'll have to go stash diving this weekend & se what I can come up for that. I have a stealth project planned for Disco, too -- which I'll not mention here as she's following my blog. I don't plan on buying any yarn for it, and I believe I've got enough on hand to work up something for her & still have some for me, if I stick with the plan.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


The black mitts have been given to their new owner, and she's thrilled with them! I did not get a photo of both of them, as I finished the second one last night when it was too dark to take pictures. I'll bring the camera to work later this month & see if I can catch her wearing them. I used Cascade 220 superwash; it's lovely stuff, nice & soft & bouncy. Now I need to ask E if she'd test knit the pattern for me. Should I bring her the yarn, or let her choose her own? I figure she can keep the mitts she makes, along with a copy of the pattern and maybe a blog mention ("Knit by E") on a future post. As far as I know, E doesn't blog.
I am still packing, or thinking about packing. I may have to go to the larger suitcase, in order to take all the knitting & gear I'd like to. I can pack anything I'd need in the checked luggage, but have to figure out what I can put into the carry on bag. I've decided against taking Dolly Blankie #3, since it's only half finished & needs a backing to look decent. Wish I could have gone to the last Thread Fest--I'm not sure I have any appropriate cotton backing.
10-16 In Austin! Spent last two hrs talking with The Amazing Abigail!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

*Pack; repeat from * (with apologies to Franklin)

I started packing last night, for the trip to Texas. I nearly knocked down DiscoDame at least 4 times -- small house, big gal running around crazy trying to gather gear, and Disco trying to play with the cats -- it was a madhouse. Only the cats have sense enough to stay outta my way!
I've got all the thumb gusset stitches held on a length of yarn, and about two more rounds done after, on second of the black mitts:

* * * * * * * * *
And I have such a lovely model: DiscoDame wears my printed scarves very well, don't you think?

Monday, October 11, 2010


I'm going to Texas this weekend! My sister has a birthday (so does my brother, but I don't think we'll see him), and I've got handknits for her & her "brood". I may be able to watch the Pittsburgh game with my Dad, shades of long-ago childhood. And I won't have to cook or clean for at least 4 days...I hope I can pack enough of my knitting to keep me busy. I have 5 pairs of fingerless mitts finished, and one of a pair done with the mate about half done. This pair is special: they are my own design, and my first test knitting of that design. If it all works out (I plan to knit it again in a different size, so will write that size as an option in the pattern), I'd like to ask another knitter I know if she'd test knit it--just to be sure the instructions are clear enough for a knitter who doesn't live in my head, as it were. And if the instructions are clear, I'll put the pattern here and link to Ravelry! But I really have so much to do before then: Sis' handknit needs to be fulled completely (enough so that I can cut it if it's not the right size--I'm pretty sure it's bigger than needed!), and I have to start filling all my 3 oz bottles, and figuring out what to wear in Austin, and what knitting to pack & what to carry on, and whether I should take the interchangeable needle set only or pack a bunch of sock needles too...all before 6 am Friday. Travel is so enlightening.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Where to start?

Note to self: just say "NO" to more knitting to order. I have committed myself to a pair of fingeless mitts for another coworker, not in my dept, while I'm in the midst of trying to produce enough pairs for my dept. CW wants black. I had knit a hat from a Classic Elite free pattern, the Montera Cob Toque, and wanted mitts to match it. (See "Commissioned Work", 5/10/10 post) So I wrote up a pattern for them! The cob stitch is pretty basic, and mitts are too, so it wasn't exactly rocket science to write up a little pattern. Do you think I should send it to CE or the designer? I mean, anyone could come with this simple stitch pattern--and call it anything at all. So...I will think about it a bit more. I will put the pattern up here, once I decide whether I can.
Got to charge up the batteries for the camera, so I can get pics of the finished pairs --yes, there are several!--of mitts I've dropped in the gifties bag. DiscoDame will be modelling for me; I'm gonna make these shots "artsy" if I can. This just means I'll make her wear a veil or cover her face with her mitted hands.
Good grief, fall arrived this week in a hurry. It's been cold enough in the mornings that I've been grabbing a hat & a cowl on my out to the car. I've got to get some more wool socks knitted! My feet freeze up here in the office, all day long. I have one pair of socks that I knit; I guess I could wash them in the sink and hang them in bath at night. This is where sock blockers would come in handy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back at work

It's mid-week already, thank goodness. My vacation was by turns relaxing & slightly stressful: I spent most of the week on the couch, knitting for holiday gift giving -- that was the relaxing part. We got some news about our car loans, also about the mortgage, and more medical bills from Plaidman's surgery -- which was the stressful part. I declined to allow myself more than about 10 minutes of stress over this stuff. I just will not let myself get too wrought up about the money matters. This has always been a big source of excess worry for me, and I'm tired of it, and that's all I'll say here.
On the holiday knits front, I've completed several small projects which I'll not photograph or describe in detail, just in case someone I know checks out the blog. I'm having fun, and using up lots of acrylic yarn.
Ok, last week was my birthday week. What, you don't take a week to celebrate being alive? Try it, you'll like it! Pup sent me a check, so I went out & got some glasses & new lenses for my sunglasses. I bought myself 3 new purses -- and you know, I don't really like changing purses all the time, but these were cute & cheap. Plaidman & DiscoDame took me to the Haus of Yarn (in Paddock Place) for a spending spree: Disco gave me a copy of EZ's Knitting Workshop, which has the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern--yippee! I've only skimmed it, but already learned how to cast on without a slip knot, something that had never occurred to me before. I got two new Addi 40" circulars, in sock sizes for Magic Loop knitting. I also got some aluminum DPN's, sizes 7 & 8, for the Christmas knitting. AND we went to Books A Million--I got a paperback copy of Wee Free Men: The Beginning, which I tore through in no time. The Plaid Patrol loves the Nac Mac Feegle! Ach, crivens!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Count down to vacation

Next week I have a birthday, so I'm taking off work the whole week as per my usual routine of having a Polish birthday. DiscoDame & I went to WallyWorld & found the plastic bangles I was wanting, for a price that I was willing to pay! So I can get started on the Bracelet Bags (from Laurie Perry's book--I think they're in the first one, Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair)for the nieces. I'm going to use some of the stash enhancing gift I received from Debbie Stoller, though I'm not sure which yarn(s) as I'll have to check them against the bracelet colors. I'm knitting another pair of fingerless mitts, with corrugated ribbing at the cuffs -- whew! what a PITA! I have a piece of knitted fabric made up to felt for Sis' latte cozy; just haven't done the felting yet. But I'll have a whole week to play with yarn, so I imagine this will get done soon. I found a site that sells undyed sock yarn in cones, about 1 lb of 80% merino/20% nylon sock yarn just waiting to be dyed. It's very tempting! Of course, dyeing would mean winding off hanks (I have a swift!), figuring out what dye to use (lots of ideas on the Innerwebs!), and setting up dye pots, utensils, etc etc.
I bet you're wondering at the hopeful attitude expressed by all the knit blather above. The Plaidman has cashed in one of his retirement accounts, so we can get all caught up on the bills & likely stay that way at least thru the winter. It's so nice not to worry about whether the mortgage company will foreclose on us, or if the cars will be repo'd. It's a bit sad for him, but he has another account and it's kinda his fault we got in such a fix anyway, so I don't feel too badly about it. Anyway, the Captain of the Plaid Patrol should be able to take one for the team. Now if we could get DiscoDame employed somewhere, we'd be able to stretch his cashout even further. But I'll think about that another time--it's too depressing for the day before I start vacation!
ETA: We just had our Departmental Meeting/Birthday Luncheon (combined, so we can all have an hour to dine!), and boy did we eat! We had pulled pork BBQ, turkey BBQ, fried cornbread, white beans, turnip greens, mac 'n cheese, squash casserole, sliced tomatoes, homemade chow-chow, and topped it off with CocaCola cake with ice cream. I'm stuffed. I'm so stuffed I'm almost in pain. It's naptime!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Long overdue

I have finished the pair of Fetching Mitts I started oh ages ago! Couldn't remember how to do the picot bind off on the second one, so I just winged it--it looks the same as the first one LOL. I really detest the yarn, Schachenmeyer Nomotta Bolino! But these four balls were only $1 each at Threaded Bliss, way back when it was still Threaded Bliss. Anyway, I also finished another pair of Aunt Maggie's slippers, and cast on for yet another pair as well as another pair of mitts in the Bolino. No cables this time! For fun (!?!?!) the cuffs are corrugated ribbing, what a PITA. I'm glad the rest of the things are in stockinette, up to the knuckles, and plain 2X2 ribbing after that. I think the pattern calls for a thumb gusset, which should be interesting. So, the count of holiday gifts finished includes one (1) pair of slippers and one (1) pair of mitts. The holiday WIPS are a pair of mitts, a pair of slippers, four Grumpies (need to be felted),and one tall latte cozy to be felted. I still have to mail Dolly Blankie #2, and the books for The Amazing Abigail. I have two sets of metal bangle bracelets, which I'm thinking of using for bracelet bags for the nieces--but I'd really rather have plastic bangles for them. Depending on some financial footwork the Plaidman is supposed to be performing today, those plastic bangles could be bought this weekend. If the bracelet bags go pretty quickly, I may work a couple of them for office gifts.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not much, what's new with you?

I'm just plodding along on the Blankie & the stole. The last couple of days I've been playing Bejewelled every evening until I got too sleepy to care. So not too much progress on either, sad to say! But a long weekend beckons, and then I'll take some time off for my birthday. No Polish birthday this year; the celebration will have to be kept low key & very cheap! Plaidman goes back into surgery next Tuesday, and we've gotten the bill from the surgery center for the 1st one. Get this--we had to pay the $500 deductible up front, and then were told that after insurance we'll need to pay $243, which had to be paid the day of surgery; and now we have a bill from them for another $400! Unbelievable. And we get to do it again on Tuesday. I don't see how we can even have a Christmas dinner this year, at this rate. Welcome to Land of Stress!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back again

8/21/10 Back in the library, to return Pride & Prejudice -- I finished it this morning. All in all, I'd say I enjoyed it. I had the annotated version, and at times the notes got a bit in the way of the story, but they were also very enlightening. I don't know if I'll read another Jane Austen right away, but I will likely read one later.
8/25/10 Amazing how fast a week has gone by! I haven't been back in the stacks or requested any more Jane Austen. I HAVE been checking Crazy Aunt Purl daily, to see if maybe she'd fallen off the face of the earth. Not yet! She posted again (whew! had me scared for a bit!).
In knitting news, I've worn & washed my MocCroc's twice now--and I love them! I'm still plugging away at the F&F stole, but Dolly Blanket #3 has been in an extended time out. I washed DB#2, inside a zippered pillow cover--which it absolutely needed, as there was a mort of multicolored fuzz inside the cover when it came out of the dryer. The pillow cover will be sent with the blankie. Sooner rather than later, I need to start on two KALs I've joined--one for Wendy Johnson's Pi shawl, & one for the OK Mitts. There's a major stash dive in my future.
DiscoDame has run out of money (who didn't see that coming?), so now she's doing the big cleaning jobs around the house as her payment in lieu of rent. This is fine by me, as long as we discuss it first. Yesterday she tackled the inside of the fridge, and it looks great now. Very empty, but nice & cliean!
The Plaidman got thru his cataract surgery #1 ok, and has been back to the opthalmologist since: his distance vision in that eye is now 20-20! Makes me wish I had cataracts, so I could get insurance to pay for surgical vision correction! He's still using many different and terribly expensive eye drops, and will likely continue those for a while after his second surgery. He's been back at work since the Friday after his Tuesday surgery.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Boy am I ever. I'm actually enjoying Pride & Prejudice. Yeah, I'm gobsmacked by that, too! It's funny. I'm not sure I actually needed the annotated version, as the notes sometimes get in the way of enjoying the tale. I'm also reading about 4 other books, since the Plaid Patrol LOVES the library. Get a bit tired of Lizzy Bennett, just pick up Mercy Thompson about a different culture! Yesterday the Plaidman had his first cataract surgery, and all went well. We didn't have the $ for the entire co-pay, but the surgery center was cool with another check on Friday, when our paychecks will be deposited. Plaidman was using 3 different eyedrops, which he has to continue for weeks, and they prescribed another one. Now, none of these drops seem to be available as generics, and they're all specialty drugs, and each cost $50 a pop. So he's got a little zippered case with $200 worth of eyedrops, a plastic eyeshield & tape, and a schedule for the drops. I told him he'd better not lose that bag! Later today, he's to check in with his doctor for a work release or a note to cover his absence, whichever the doctor decides is appropriate.
He & DiscoDame are to go back to the library today, to get online & apply for employment with a company I used to work at. Desk jobs! I sure hope one of them gets hired; Chez Plaid needs the income. It's an absolutely dreadful place to work; the corporate attitude sucks big time, but beggars don't have choices.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Library time

I've got my annotated Pride and Prejudice, and two lace knitting books. I've been on Flickr to add some photos, so I may as well put them here too. Here's the progress so far on Dolly Blanket #3:






And here's the Reborn Feather & Fan stole:





The Zokni socks came out of hibernation only long enough for photos, but I'm running out of time on the library computer, so Adios for now!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just a quickie

Finally got a circulation notice from the library, seems my requested copy of Pride and Prejudice is ready for pick-up at the branch library ... which is closed on Fridays. I stopped in there last evening on the way home, hoping to find it, but no luck. Guess what I'm doing tomorrow! Library first, then grocery shopping. Then knitting, and more knitting. I must get started on the mitts for my KAL.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I am so toast

What has gotten into me?!?!? I've agreed to join Crazy Aunt Purl's summer read-along, reading JANE AUSTEN!! Do you know how many times I've tried to read Pride and Prejudice? Too flippen many. But I will try again, just as soon as I can get a copy from the library. *Sigh*
As if that's not bad enough, I've also "jined" Wendy's EZ 100th birthday Pi shawl KAL. I was thinking of frogging the feather & fan stole (again! HA! I should call my sis and let her listen to me frogging the thing; she hates frogging!), but I think I'd rather use that teal merino laceweight I got a couple of autumns ago. I'm pretty sure there's enough of it. And I could have a stole, AND a shawl! I am apparently not doing any holiday knitting this year...
But then again, maybe I will: I've said I'll particpate in another KAL, for some fingerless mitts. They look fairly basic, and would probably make nice gifts...and there's a prize drawing for those who participate. It's a huge project bag full of yarn & tools. I'm not saying who's got this KAL, as I want to win the prize!
I'm clicking along on the re-born Feather & Fan shawl. The Zokni socks are hibernating until I can get a better 2.75 mm 40' circular koff ADDI TURBO koff needle. Dolly Blankie #3 is looking wilder than ever, with the addition of some more colorful variegated yarn & a bright green. What else is on the needles? The Drops lace tank is hibernating, the stealth knitting for Xmas is hibernating, the "Charming" mitts are lacking just the thumbs and they'd be ready for gifting.
This morning I got an email: the lady that has had me crocheting granny square stockings for her kids & grandkids now has a great-grandchild! So I should plan to make another stocking. Whew! I need another pair of hands.
On the homefront, the Plaidman's recent visit to the eye doctor resulted in him being scheduled for cataract surgery. I will have to wait a while longer to get my glasses, due to the expense of his surgeries. Then we'll have to find a good deal, like a 2-fer-1 deal or half price. He won't get a prescription until after both surgeries are completed.
My employer has a position open for a courier, which would suit the Plaidman well once he gets his eyes seen to. I've sent him the info, & I hope he'll follow thru, because Chez Plaid is needy for cash. The part-time work he's doing doesn't even net as much as his unemployment, but he can't quit because he wouldn't be able to draw unemployment. This is the definition of a drag.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Dear Coach Cowher,
I am so sorry for your loss, of which I just today heard. I read your statement on the Steelers' website. I've wanted to tell you how heartbroken I was when you retired from coaching the Steelers, and then how happy for you I became when I watched you making commentary on games -- it was so good to see you smiling! Now I understand that your retirement was for Kaye's sake, so she could have her family around her during her illness, and I admire you even more for such a gentlemanly decision. I'm sure this support from all her family made her struggle more bearable. My prayers go out on behalf of you & your family, that you might find some comfort.
"Lady Boss", aka Ann

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hey, y'all! Watch this! (Part Deux!)

Lookee, lookee! Brand new hand-knit socks! And it only took me 2 years and 3 months to produce these! I am so ready now to cast on another pair. Let's just have one more look, shall we:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gotta take some pictures!

I'm nearly to the toe shaping on the second Moc Croc Mark II! And I'm working the third column of mitered squares for Dolly Blankie #3. I went to Bliss Yarns on Friday the 16th, and picked up some more solid colors for this blankie. One thing I noticed there -- a whole basket of Noro sock yarn mill ends, most just a few grams. They sure were tempting! I can see me getting about 8 different colorways, and putting them away for my own mitered square throw. But not just yet; I really need to buy less & knit from stash as much as possible. One of the projects that needs some time: unraveling all those thrift store sweaters I bought for the yarn! I should show DiscoDame how to do that, she loves frogging. Right now, all those sweaters are just in a bag behind the dresser in the living room, waiting for attention. Some are cashmere, some merino, etc -- can't wait to see how much yarn I get out of 'em. I've actually worn one that I bought at a yard sale, labelled as lambswool, and a very nice navy cardigan. It was meant to be unravelled for the yarn, but got picked up & worn. Guess I can keep it as is!
***About a week later (7/26/10): I finished the second sock on Saturday; after remembering that the first one was just a little bit short for my foot I added another repeat of the pattern to the foot before starting the toe. Now, I've frogged the first one back to just before the toe, Russian-joined in some more yarn, and I'm almost ready to work the toe (again! 3rd time better be the charm!). I must take some pictures!! And decide what pattern to use for that red Cascade fingering yarn. I'm thinking I could get pretty crazy with texture, since it's a solid color. I'm going to post this without pics, and add another post when I've got something to show!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday wonder

While I was sick with bronchitis, I was supposed to see the dental hygienist & get new x-rays. I cancelled that appt., and called on the 13th to reschedule. The first available spot was 9:45 a.m. on the 14th! So I've already been, got a clean bill of oral health and some samples.
I'm still plugging away on the Moc Croc Mark II second sock, with 4" of the foot done --which means this cuff-down pair is very close to being done! I have been looking at sock yarns online, as if I actually had moola to spare for such luxury as new yarn. I will have to start another pair as soon as MCM-II is done, preferrably in a (mostly) green colorway. I'll go stash-diving this weekend, I'm pretty sure I can find what I need.
The mitered-square Dolly Blankie is coming along rather slowly; it's mostly TV knitting, and I just don't have much time for TV anymore. I've about decided it needs a backing, to help hide all those ends of cotton yarn. It'll have to be thin fleece, but whether a plain pastel, white, or a print? I haven't a clue. Maybe I'll carry the finished blankie to the fabric store.
I haven't started Sis' felted latte cozy yet. She specifically mentioned felted. The only way I can think to get it to fit would be to garter stitch a rectangle, felt the heck out of it, sew some toggle buttons at one end, and cut a few rows of "buttonholes" across the other end. In fact, I'll likely cut slits all the way 'round, make 'em look like a "design feature" -- and I could embroider around a few of them, too. Yeah, there's an idea. Wonder if the toggles would tear up the felt? Only one way to find out!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hanging on by a thread

I'm not apologizing for being absent, just letting you know: I was SICK, you vultures! Bronchitis again *sigh (immediately followed by kaff-coff-kaff)*, another doctor visit. I'm still coughing, but not as puny as I was. For about 3 days, I got sleep 10 minutes at a time, then woke up & coughed for 10 minutes, ad nauseum. Talk about tired!
I'm making a third Dolly Blanket for Princess Tess' babies, even though I've still to send the 2nd one. I have a bag full of Sugar N Creme in various pastels, which are being worked into mitered squares - very cute! Sis has asked for a cozy for her tall latte; I will have to check the stash for something feltable. Should be fun! I started the Feather & Fan stole again, this time with US 6 circular needle, and alternating skeins every other row. No more pooling & flashing! It should come out with a more consistent color over the entire thing. Not that it wasn't lovely; but it will be lovelier now!
We had a bit of a financial melt-down at Chez Plaid Patrol -- the bank screwed up by dinging us for two mortgage payments, although we'd only authorized one. We had funds for one mtg. payment and weekly essentials (minimal groceries, gas, doctor visit). Needless to say, the second mtg payment sent us into the red in a big way, and we didn't even know it for almost a week! So we're blithely using the debit card for groceries & gas, and our life insurance autodrafts came out.
ETA: We missed a credit on our tax return, and got a check from the IRS!! Surprise! The Plaidman had to call them up & ask if it was "really" our money. And Pup sent a check too, God bless him. So our straits aren't quite so dire at the moment. We've made a pledge: No more checks by phone! Then I had to stop the Plaid One from making one just two days ago...he went to the library to do it online instead.
The mitered Dolly Blanket is moving quite slowly. The second sock is moving along well:

And, saving the best for last, at a job fair over on the Lipscomb campus, Plaidman got hired!! He's in training today & tomorrow, which is our 33rd wedding anniversary. After that he's going to work 3rd shift, not so great actually, but at least it's a job! I'm so relieved.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I took the Chunky Monkey Hat home Wednesday night, and removed the ears--I'd decided they were A) too small and B) placed too high on the hat. So I got out a bigger crochet hook (an N - seriously big) and remade those ears, sewed the new ears on the hat, and took more pics of the hat being modelled by our sweet little TomTom Kitty. DiscoDame & I about laughed ourselves silly. So, now it's on my desk at work, waiting for the "client" to pick it up, and garnering a few compliments. I did put it in the wash between the picture-taking and bringing it to work; the yarn is so much softer now!

It looks like I'll have to make another one for TomTom; he's enjoying it so!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Graduation from Daymar Inst

What a great day! This past Saturday DiscoDame had her graduation ceremony.


Here's the Dad & Grad shot:

Sunday I finished the Baby/Toddler Monkey Hat. I'll have pics later. This little thing took some brain-burning to make: I had only a sketchy idea of what the lady wants, and the free patterns I found online all used sport/baby or DK weight yarns. I had nothing in the stash in the colors wanted, in sport/baby or DK--but I had it in chunky in the main color, and in worsted in the contrast color, and both were the same fiber blend. So I triple-stranded the contrast to match weights with the main, jiggered the maths for the size hat I wanted, and started the thing about four times. The earflaps aren't real big, but they're noticeable, even though they're knit in one piece with the rest of the hat. Here's what I came up with, pattern-wise:
Materials: Main color (MC) - about 1/2 skein Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick
Contrast color (CC) - about 1/2 skein Lion Brand Wool Ease (solid color)
Size US 13 circular, either extremely long for Magic Loop, or use two of them, or Sz 13 DPNs if you prefer. I used two circulars for the hat.
Size 11 US DPNs (two, for I-cord ties)
Tapestry needle, tape measure, stitch marker

For baby/toddler size, the total circumference needs to be no less than 12", and should probably stretch to about 13.5". Gauge - well, I never checked it exactly, but the Thick & Quick ballband calls for a US 15 and 9 stitches over 3" (I think, I'll check this before I post). I figured it would be a little bit smaller with the smaller needles, and that would also give me a nice firm fabric for this hat. Decide whether you want this as stockinette or garter, & work accordingly.
First earflap: In MC, cast on 3 sts. Turn, work even across. For the next rows, work RS rows with an increase near each end, and wrong side rows work even.
Next row (RS): K1, make 1, K1, make 1, K1. Next row (WS): Work even (5 sts).
Next row : K1, M1, K3, M1, K1. Next: Work even (7 sts). The contrast color edge will add width & length to the earflap, so cut the yarn (leave enough to weave in) & place these 7 sts on a holder or DPN.
Now, work the second earflap as for the first, but don't cut the yarn. Instead, use a backwards loop cast on for 11 stitches (work these as tightly as you can!) for the front of the hat. Making sure the right sides of both earflaps are outward, knit(purl) across the first flap. Again, backwards loop cast on 11 stitches (back of cap), join for in-the-round & place marker, and knit across the second earflap. Work even until piece is 2.5" above the earflaps. Next round, *K4, K2tog*, repeat to marker. Work even for 3 rounds/rows. Next: *K3, K2tog*, repeat to marker. Work even for 2 rounds. Next: *K2, K2tog*, repeat to marker. Work even 1 round. Next: *K1, K2tog*, repeat to marker. Next round: K2tog around; repeat until there are only 5 stitches left on the needles. Cut yarn, leaving a 6" tail. Thread yarn tail onto large tapestry needle, run through the remaining sts twice, remove circular needle & pull to close the top of the hat.
With US 13 & CC triple-stranded, pick up all stitches around bottom edge of cap. I did the MC in stockinette, so decided to work the trim in reverse stockinette; but I know lots of folks don't like to purl that much--try garter stitch. I made two rows even, then on the third row when I came to the middle 4-5 stitches of the earflaps, I worked short rows twice to extend the length of the earflap. Continue around to marker, then bind off. For the "ears" I just made a 2-chain crochet chain, worked 4 single crochet into the first chain (careful not to work over the tail end--the loop can be pulled tight later!). Slip st to 2nd chain st, work 1 sc same st, 2 sc in each st around, slip st & pass cut end of yarn thru loop. Repeat. I sewed the "ears" on just forward of the middle of the earflaps, about where the first row of decreases appears.
Now, find a willing victim/model, and LOL at the cute hat!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An accomplishment

Last Saturday I figured out the instructions for making a blind hem on the little Brother sewing machine. Now, I know this doesn't seem like much -- but I'm only 5'1" and everything I wear has to be hemmed, I'm closer to 60 than to 50 and I've never machine-hemmed anything except a nightgown or two. So, today I'm wearing a brand new pair of trousers, that I machine-hemmed! And there's another pair in the closet, all nicely hemmed, and brand new! You'd never know I took home-ec in school...back in the Stone Age. DiscoDame is supposed to be picking up her cap & gown today, so this new skill will likely come in handy again--she's an inch shorter than I am!
Just for fun:

DiscoDame downtown, what can I say!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Take a style, kid!"

Years ago I heard of an aerialist family, showcasing their newest star -- a teenaged granddaughter of the Pater Familias. She was up on the highwire, no net beneath her, and doing great! She'd made it all the way across, turned and was halfway back when she lost her footing and fell. Her grandfather caught her! He immediately put her on her feet and told her to "take a style": she was to act as if her fall was part of the act, and make a grand fluorishing bow. She did it too. Well, here's mine:

TAA-DAA!! An entire new Moc Croc Soc, Mark II! And the mate's been started, with about 2" of the leg done already. This "first" one, on the Addi 40" with Magic Loop, was done a lot more quickly than the absolute first one, which was done on DPNs. Back then (April 2008! I've taken my sweet time on these!), I wanted to knit socks like the Harlot. I'm so over it now. I think I could actually work two at once on the Addi circs. I have sock yarn, just need to decide on (FREE) pattern(s). I have a gold/green/tan/brown mix, self-striping, that will need a pattern that doesn't get lost in all that color. I have a bright cherry red that needs some texture or lace to make it pop. I have various other self-stiping yarns, which were a bit less expensive (Heart & Sole), but I'd especially like to hear anyone's ideas for the gold/green & red yarns. I've been studying what's available on Ravelry, and my head's about to explode from info overload. So, I've got like 200 sock patterns favorited on Ravelry, loads of photocopies from library books about socks, and of course several books in my own library to consult--whew! I wish I could do a giveaway of some sock yarn for ideas, but folks there's no telling when I'll be able to buy yarn again! So what's in the stash is my "lys" for the time being.
I have another commission, for an earflap cap for a baby/toddler, with a look of a monkey face to it--of course, there's tons of earflap cap patterns out there, and just as a coincidence I happen to have the colors requested in my stash--so when I use them up, & get paid to do so, I'll have a little $ to set aside for future yarny purchases.
Let's just see it once more, shall we?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Too big a bite

Ok, there were a lot of plans made for the weekend, but not much got done. The first Once&Future sock was into the ball of the foot, had about a half inch of slip stitch reinforcement knit there when it occurred to me that the balls of my feet are really rather sensitive. So I pulled it off the Addi, frogged back all that heavy-duty slip stitch, oh so carefully picked up all the free stitches & got back to work again. I might have finished it, except that Disco & I made another run to the library (about 3 hours there) on Friday, followed by a couple hours in the grocery. So not too much knitting done Friday. Saturday I was doing pretty well with it, until Disco reminded me that we had discount movie passes & could we please use them? Another 3 hours shot out of my life, what with traveling to & from the mall and watching Robert Downey Jr be super bad. Sunday morning I got up early & knit for a few hours, then got dressed (what? you don't sit around in your housecoat on Sunday morning, reading the paper & watching TV?), then spent a very warm afternoon cleaning the kitchen & cooking dinner. I wanted to be sure dinner would be ready when LOST came on. DiscoDame & the Plaidman were out doing laundry in the afternoon, dinner was mostly in the crockpot. And there was NO way any of us would miss LOST. *sigh* I guess that's another hour of knitting time each week, since it's all over now. We may as well sell the TV, there's not much else we watch!
What are my plans for this coming, extra-long, weekend? Well, I'd like to hem at least two pairs of trousers for work -- I bought some last year (!!!) that I never did hem, partly because I knew I needed to lose a few pounds to wear them comfortably. I weigh 12 lbs less now than I did last summer, and these are summer-weight trousers, so now would be a good time to get them into wardrobe rotation. I'd like to hem the winter trousers I got this past fall (I've been wearing them with faux cuffs pinned in them!), but as they were a bit big on me before & have only gotten bigger maybe I'll have them taken in first. As far as knitting & knitting related projects go, that socks need to get along; the thrift store sweaters need to be raveled & washed & wound, the lace tank should be brought out of hibernation, and Plaidman's alpaca/silk sweater should be started. Whew! You'd think it was time to start Christmas knitting...or is it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time flies

My one little chickadee has turned 27. Go over to her blog,
and bug her about being such an "old lady"!

Let's back up a step or two: the Lorna's laces has been rewound into cakes. The Regia sock yarn has been wound, and I've applied a Russian join to my sock-in-progress-once-again [sort of the Once and Future Sock...]. I plan on finishing this sock this weekend, starting the second one immediately, and making some sock blockers from plastic placemats. I'll make a pair of blockers in my size first, and if that goes well I'll make some for the Plaidman & DiscoDame. My other tasks for the weekend include hemming at least two pairs of trousers, and hitting the library so I can get into Ravelry. Next weekend will be a four-day, since we have a holiday! I'd really like to start unraveling some of the thrift store sweaters I've got, so maybe I'll devote a big part of the holiday weekend to that project.