Thursday, December 12, 2013

Another giveaway to enter!
OOO, very pretty yarn!  This is from FIESTA yarns, their Gracie.  Jump on it, like a duck on a june bug!  (Remember what I said about being lucky?)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Only two more weeks

Groan!  I don't know how I'll ever finish what I want to make for the dept.  I've discovered another method of making the ruffly scarves, using a spool knitter (I know!  Who'd a thunk it!), which Disco loves to use.  I then offered her $2.00 for every scarf she could finish.  So she went off and found her smaller spool knitter, and has been happily making I-cord for two days.  I don't recall asking for I-cord.  I'm not yet ready to throw in the towel, but I am stopping at the library on the way home...mixed messages, much? 
Laws, look what I did!  I won another blogger giveaway!  Just two days ago I got a Harmony Guide to Edgings, from Lara Smoot ( [love her name...]).  And the same day, I read torirot's stitches ( found out that she drew my comment for a free pattern!  I chose her Blomekrans Vest, which is just fabulous and looks like it'll be a ton of fun.  So folks, I'm lucky -- you'd better follow this blog, the luck might rub off.
We have not put up a single holiday decoration yet, except for the Santa mobile that always hangs over the bookcase (too hard to get to, to take it down!), and a little shelf-sitter by the front door.  But today I found the cutest idea for using old greeting cards for ornaments, and I think I'll have to put that to use. 
Gotta run!  Happy holidays!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Carpe that diem

This is our little ginger cat, TomTom, modeling a baby hat I made a while back.  He totally rocks a hat.  I have been busy busy, but there aren't enough hours in the day for the knitter wanting to make holiday gifts for all & sundry.  And I have a commission to start immediatly after the holiday rush:  a coworker would like a nice heirloom sweater for a grandson!  I showed her some pics of the Gramps Cardigan ( by Kate Oates, and she was enthralled -- as I was, when I first saw this darling cardigan!  So, I bought the pattern, and then we looked at yarns, and now there are six skeins of Knit Picks City Tweed DK  calling my name.  This is such an adorable cardi for kids, I can hardly wait to get it started.  Over Thanksgiving weekend, I went to JoAnn & got a different ribbon and some bigger snaps for the Bunny Hop, and will try to finish that this weekend.  I'd really like the Princess to have her sweater before Christmas.  Also, it's filling a very large project bag, which I'd like to have for my Aidez (which will be postponed until I get the Gramps done -- Le Sigh!).  And sometime this coming year I will make a cardigan for the Plaidman; likely something by Martin Storey as I like a lot of his designs.  To recap: I'm committed (or  I oughta be...) to knitting not one or two but three cardigans in the foreseeable future.  Dang, this is exactly why I wanted to learn to knit!  I love love love sweaters.  I've been knitting for what, about 10 years now?  and the Bunny Hop is the first "real" sweater I've knit.  Oh, I've made shrugs, anybody can make a shrug--just knit a long rectangle, and sew the ends into cylinders for 10-12" -- but I'd never knit a sweater with actual sleeves.  The Knitter has arrived.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Ok, I may already BE the butterfly.  I'm thankful there's an ICHC to bring us these cute & funny pictures; aren't you? 
I'm thankful that I have access to to not just one, but two, very nice LYS's that are close enough to be able to run by when I think of it, and not have to make a special trip that will put a kink in any other plans for the day.  XOXOXO to Bliss Yarns in Brentwood and Haus of Yarn in West Nashville!  Bliss replaced my broken Addi, and agreed that there seemed to be a burr on the tip just at the join.  I can continue the Quest for a Perfect Peerless Bunny Hop.  Oh joy.
I'm thankful that my health is pretty good, no more than a bit of ol' Arthur Itis to complain of.  I'm thankful that my family's health is also OK, altho the Plaidman has had a bad bit of bronchitis (and just can't seem to remember to use the inhaler prescribed--grrr!).  I'm thankful for a new friend at work, who's also on Ravelry!  altho she's a crocheter, so I need to bring her over to the Dark Side.
I'm thankful that I can continue to work & bring home the bacon, as well as the occasional sack full of yarn.  Speaking of which, I bought 3 skeins of Cascade Eco+ to work on an AIDEZ, for MEE!!!  Woot!  I have to move some other things from the WIP column to the FO column before I can get started, but I am excited!! 
What are you thankful for this holiday season?  If you leave me a comment (that I wouldn't be embarassed to publish), you could have something else to be thankful for -- just sayin'!

Friday, November 15, 2013

How do you spell relief?

Here's the mariachi band from our Day of the Dead fetival at Cheekwood.  So much fun!!  We need to take the Plaidman if Cheekwood has this again in 2014.
As to the title, do you remember the ad campaign?  Last night I went over to Bliss Yarns to get another Addi, and the gal at the counter said I should just bring in the broken needle, which they'd then send back to Skacel for replacement!  I won't have to fool with it all!  This just makes my day.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dashed off

Again, gotta have a photo to start this thing up...sigh ... I have no idea what's in the pic, supposed to be more from Cheekwood but who can say.  Anyway, just wanted to update on the Bunny Hop sweater:  During my visit with the family, I actually bound off the front band, worked in the ends, and washed & blocked it!  Only to find that one front side is about an inch shorter than the other, so back to the WIP basket it went.  I decided the pick up & knit was wonky, possibly uneven between the sides.  Over the weekend I frogged the entire front band, and was picking up & knitting along very carefully with repeated counting of each section, and was halfway thru the left side (started on the right, over the hood, and down the left) when the worst possible event occurred.  Yes, friends, the cable broke off my Addi.  Stitches were dropped (but I scrambled to pick them up again), foul language was burning the air around me, and I was just stumped.  Because, you know, no spare needle!  Tonight I'm going to Bliss Yarns for another, and ask if they might have a copy of the receipt for the broken one, 'coz I've heard good things about Addi's customer service. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

From the stony land

 We're surrounded by stony hills here in this part of Texas; cell phone reception is dicey at best.  So when I became very ill while visiting the family, I had to decide if I might be well enough to fly out in a couple of days, or should I take some sick time?  I did go ahead and change my flight plans -- it's no fun trying to fly when your head's stuffed and you're coughing productively.  It's enough to make yer head asplode, plus previous experiences have shown me that I do not profit from flying congested.  One such trip resulted in an awful sinus infection, and another in an equally bad ear infection.  So, I've been here 3 extra days, and will be leaving tomorrow afternoon. 
 Now, to the all-important question:  Did I get the niece's sweater, aka Princess Bunny Hop, finished?
Almost!  I bound off the button band this afternoon, and wove in ends, and it's in the wash right now.  I've debated as to how to close this little hoody, since I really didn't want to make buttonholes and the Princess seems to be allergic to zippers.  I bought some ribbon and snaps, thinking that might be a good way to go.  Then I thought about making loops instead of buttonholes, but I don't actually have buttons picked out...  I guess the committee is still working on this aspect.  Otherwise, I could stick a fork in it and call it done. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Down to the wire

I don't know why, but this particular network I'm on won't let me start a new post without a picture.  That adorable little guy is a jumping spider, probably no more than about 1/3 of an inch across (and that size would actually be considered large for one of these!).  I love his natty stripes; these critters truly are tiny tigers, roaming around & hunting in the grass or foliage.  Almost all the North American jumping spiders are striped, spotted, or both!  Tres stylish!

I have joined the body & sleeves of the Bunny Hop, and have finished the yoke portion -- now it's on to the hood & ears (Yes! floppy bunny ears!) and the button band, and finish the underarms.  I have until about noon next Tuesday, possibly a bit more since the Princess will be in school that day.  I might be working on this in the airport!  Yep, another trip to Texas is imminent.  But I'll try to post from there, so I don't think you'll miss much.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Once more, with feeling

Yes, they are.  Just wanted to let y'all know that Disco & I will be participating in the Race for the Cure for the Susan G. Komen Foundation again this year.  We'll be stylin' and profilin' in some hand-knitted accessories in PINK-is-not-my-favorite-color.  She's scaled back her ambitions from last year, 'coz the 5-K walk just wore her out.  So we'll be walking together on the 1-mile loop!  And I'd love all of you to join us -- there's almost certainly a Race for the Cure in your area, if you're in the US of A.  Or you can skip the hard labor, and just open your wallet.  Google "Susan G. Komen Foundation, (Your town)" and find them locally.  The great thing about the Komen Foundation is that so much of the funds raised are used locally -- we're helping our neighbors, folks.    News on the knitting front:  two days ago I finished the other sleeve (actually, the other other sleeve...) for the Peerless Bunny Hop, looked around for the first (erm, actually 2nd...) sleeve, and could not find it at all.  Knitter meltdown ensued.  I have been looking everywhere for that #&$%%*# thing!  Disco found it last night, about 15 minutes before my bedtime -- too late to start the joining row, but hey at least all the parts are in one place!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Purty, aint' it?  This is at last year's exhibit of Chihully glass sculptures, at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens.  Disco & I went for their Day of The Dead celebration; they had mariachis! 
This is my 225th post, WOOOT!  This morning Iron John came by my cubicle & picked up his birthday present -- the dark grey tricorn hat trimmed in blue & white.  I made a great big "cockade" for the thing, from a UNC decal attached to some craft foam, cut to just the right size to fit into a chip(Pringles) can lid.  Then I hot-glued around the edge of the foam to keep it from slipping out, and bent a folded piece of chenille stem, slipped in a big safety pin, and hot-glued that to the back of the foam.  I need to make one for my hat too!  Maybe I'll photo the process and you can all see how it's done.  Anyway, he was supposed to be here last week; I didn't want to leave the hat at my desk so took it home.  Got to thinking that it was a bit big, so carried it to the laundromat (Yes! they let me felt both hats there!) and ran it thru just one more wash cycle.  It seemed a tad small to me, but Iron John hasn't got the masses of hair I've got.  I did stretch it over a form, reattached the pins, and set it before a fan.  Last night it seemed dry so I replaced the plume.  IJ put it on and IT FITS!!!  Now if he can just keep his kid from swiping it.....
I'm 60 years old now, and I knit pirate hats.  But they're very nice pirate hats!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Serious sillies, round two

I've felted both Captains' Hats; they look great!  See:

I told her she can't wear them point-forward, as she's not a Captain, so she's wearing them turned sideways.  Love the concentration in the last shot!
The red (Paton's yarn, Cognac Heather) one is mine.  The other is intended for Iron John Bonney, and will be decorated with Tarheels insignia and some other junk in light blue and white.  The yarn was Cascade 220 in a very dark grey, which took two more cycles of hot wash than did the Patons's.  But both hats are drying now, very firmly felted!  Hip, hip, HOORAH!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Work work work

Steelers Fail at disgusting.  Their hearts weren't in it, I guess.
This is just a quick note of progress (sort of):
    The Captain's Hats are in a holding pattern for now, but I'll have to get 'em felted Friday afternoon.
      The Bunny Hop is back on the burner; got to the top of the #2 sleeve.  It looks soooo much better than the first one; I'm going to knit a 3rd sleeve like the 2nd and just hold onto the 1st one for finishing.  I have a trip planned to visit the Princess, and must MUST have her sweater done in time!  Oh how I love knitting deadlines...not!! 
         The ruffle scarves collection has grown by one more.  I have one in black & gold, one in olive & tan, one in various orange-y reds, and now one in a shade called "malachite" which actually looks more like turquoise.  I have another ball of the black & gold, more of the green & tan, more of the "salsa" red, some pastels, and some more metallics in ruby and royal blue.  That will cover about half the department.  Whew!  Got some work to do!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hat(s) redux -- for photos

Ah, friends, we've a serious case of the sillies here.  It's due to the "before felting" hat below:
We know how much Disco loves a hat.
I like it too!
It can double as a tent...
Or maybe just a burka...
The other hat is well under weigh, and as soon as I get it to the point of this first one, we'll work on felting both of them.  This will be a chore, as we haven't a washing machine.  What we have is a large plastic barrel, which may or may not hold both hats.  We'll load in a hat and some tennis balls or knotted up blue jeans (for friction), then some hot water & detergent.  If there appears to be room enough, we'll put the other hat in as well -- but we've got to leave some room so the contents can tumble about.  Then we'll cap up our barrel, turn it on it's side, and sit across from each other with the barrel between -- and just roll it back & forth to each other.  Should be loads of fun!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wow, it's September -- how'd THAT happen?

Busy, busy...a couple of posts ago I mentioned new digs for our local Jo Ann Fabric & Crafts.  Last weekend (a long one, so very needed!) we finally got to go over there.  I used to complain to the sales clerks & even the manager, about the poor lighting over the yarn in the old store.  Well, I'll complain no more (at least, not about the lighting...)!  The new store is HUGE and very well lit up; I thought Disco was going to need a bread-crumb trail to find her way out of the beading section -- which looks like a good sixth of this very large store.  I'm just so pleased with the look of this redisigned Jo Ann's.  My only issue is the paucity of yarn lines stocked.  This was about the fifth place I'd checked for (of all things..) light blue eyelash yarn in the carrying weight (think Lion Brand's Fun Fur).  I went to Michael's last, and of course that's where I found some.  It's not Lion Brand, but it'll do.  I've got a particular project in mind, and actually well under weigh -- and yes, that's the correct spelling as it's a nautical term, entirely appropriate for the project in work:  Tricorn (aka Pirate Captain) hats!  Oh, I crack me up somethines... The pattern is free on and I've wanted one, like 4-ever so I shall have one.  But I'm making two....who will get the other one?  Can't say, as the scurvy dog just might read this here blog.  The plan is to have both ready before Sept 19.  I think I can, I think I can....

Monday, August 5, 2013

Two idiots & a van

That's what I saw as I approached the ramp to the Interstate.  These guys had been two cars ahead of me, then some of their gear fell off the back and the two cars between bailed out into other lanes.
You can barely see the one on the left.
Anyway, as soon as the van got onto the Interstate they slowed to surface road rush hour traffic, with a posted limit of 70 mph.  I was going bonkers trying to get around them, so afraid either a large piece of furniture or a person would come bouncing out the back.  What a thrill, one I could sure live without!

In better news, Disco has had a good job interview, once she got it in gear to get her little self down to the big job fair.  We are hopeful; if you've any pull with The Man Upstairs please mention her desire to be gainfully employed.  'Preciate it!  Also, over the weekend I finished the first and started the second sleeve of the Bunny Hop!  Progress!!(Science!! sorry, couldn't resist..)  I'm also working on some stealth projects, just real simple stuff for the gals at work. 
Speaking of the Docs In a Box, we're expanding.  We've got dibs on some space one floor down, and my department will be moving there mid August.  Always such a joy, moving.  I can't remember how many times my workspace has been shifted; which is understandable since I've been there 21 (soon to be 22) years.  Heck I do good remembering what I ate for breakfast.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Not that I needed it, but

I've been on book binge lately.  Bliss Yarns had a Wild Wednesday sale right up my alley.  I came out of the store with two Martin Storey books, and a Nicky Epstein, and a paperbound stitch dictionary.  This is on top of the Thriftbooks order (supposedly already shipped; where are my books?!?!?) for Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting, a Vogue On The Go - Caps & Hats, and The Harmony Guide to Aran and Fair Isle Knitting.  If you haven't looked at Thriftbooks, now's a good time!  Yes, the books are used.  Everything I've had from them so far has been in good shape, and very reasonably priced.  Of course, they're not going to have the latest publications; check those out of the library until they're a few years old.  Yes, you can find knitting books at the library.  You can even get electronic issues of knitting magazines from the library. 
I am still slugging away at the BunnyHop for Herself.  I've been working on more stranded baby hats too!  And I finished two of the ruffled scarves, and have the yarn for at least six more.  They're pretty quick; I need to decide whether they'll be gifts or for sale.  The yarn was on sale at the local JoAnn, as they're getting ready to move into new digs (which look even bigger!!) very soon.  Hmm, I should go back this weekend & see if there's any left -- it's likely to be even cheaper. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What's up?!?!?

Blogger isn't letting me edit the previous post.  I've tried like 5 times now --- but you know my "other" roomie isn't "Disoc", she's DiscoDame (aka Disco).  Anyway...I've revisited the first two Fair Isle hats I made -- yes, there's a third one done, and a fourth in work -- and decided my floats weren't loose enough.  So I'd like to rip & redo, before Thursday.  I'ma be at the knit night at Bliss this Thursday, to meet up with a classmate.  We'll chat & look at decreases.  So, what are you knitting now?


Oh I am so S-M-R-T smart!  I picked up the stranded aka Fair Isle knitting like (snaps fingers) that!  Finished one little toddler hat, and then a second one.  I had them covering my hands last night, pretending they were puppets, and calling them "my minions".  Disco says I'm easily amused.  Ya think?!?  Yeah, I got this.  I'm feeling cocky now -- so I signed up for Toirrot's July Mitten KAL.  Have you seen the stuff she makes?  Fantastic!  And once I get the mittens done, I think I'll get some Kate Davies patterns and really get crazy. 
We went to the movies (ok, one movie) this weekend: Man of Steel, and he's also Man of Too D**n Cute.  But for the real cuteness, we must wait:  Despicable Me 2 hasn't been released yet.  I loooove the minions!  I had to talk myself into seeing the first one, wasn't at all sure it was my cuppa.  But it's just so cute & sweet & funny!  Kinda like having a bunch of 3 month old kittens in the house, that kind of cute & funny -- and nuts.  Well, after the movie, we went to the Waffle House for supper.  The Plaidman and Disoc both decided to have breakfast for supper; I opted for a salad.  The salad was supposed to have hard-boiled egg on it, but I was just as happy that it didn't.  What it had in abundance, however, was wilted lettuce -- I left about half in the dish.  About 3 am Sunday I bumped into Disco as I left the bathroom.  She wasn't feeling well, nauseous & gassy.  Turns out the Plaidman had digestive issues too; were the eggs they ate bad?  I guess we'll stay away from that Waffle House!
Bliss Yarns has a new summer promotion, Wacky Wednesdays -- they'll put some yarn on sale, based on some feature not usually used as criteria.  Today's feature is Red, White & Blue: any & all yarns with these colors are 30% off.  I got some Berocco Weekend, figuring I'll make some more of the Cutest! Little! Hats! (seriously, they're adorable).  I was really tempted by some blue Kidsilk Haze Trio....until I saw the price.  Hmm, not sure it's worth it for just one skein.  And I have just so much yarn at home already....I can't even put away my Patons Classic Wool (I think I have at least 4 balls each of 6 colors, or is it 6 balls of 4 colors?).  Problems, problems.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Worth it

For almost two years now, I've been dealing with costochondritis -- a condition of inflammed muscles & connective tissue between ribs -- which sometimes gets so bad I have trouble sleeping.  It's been bad all this week, and I've been resisting taking the NSAIDs around the clock, but the pain was interfering with my work.  As I'm currently the only gainfully employed member of the Plaid Patrol, it's rather important that I be able to work!  So I took some OTC NSAIDs Wednesday night, and followed with more eight hours later, and again Thursday afternoon.  I'd been afraid I wouldn't be able to enjoy the class in Fair Isle knitting, since I was hurting so.  But by class time, I wasn't in such bad shape -- still hurting, just not to the point of it being a total distraction.  And the class was just lovely, a real upper for my mood -- and I'm knitting a Fair Isle cap for a toddler!  I can so totally do this.  Had to buy some Dreamz needles (two sizes, there's ribbing involved), and I rather like them in spite of them being wooden.  I am just thrilled to be FINALLY getting to this year's "Knitting Resolution".  So, who else wishes they were Kate Davies cousin? 

Still plugging away on the Bunny Hop, but I think my "jogless" stripes on the first sleeve are kinda wonky.  I hate the thought, but I may have to frog & reknit, see if I can make that transition smoother.  Also, I think I may try carrying the yarn up the sleeve -- although it will always be two strands carried, I guess I can catch them alternately.  The stripes are all 8 rows deep, and I think I can use less yarn if I carry it along.  Sure hope I have enough!  Maybe the sleeves will be 3/4 length? 

What new craft techniques are YOU learning?  And who is your teacher?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Can you feel it?

I'm so excited: this Thursday & next I'll be taking a class in Fair Isle knitting!  AND it's at my most favorite LYS ever: Bliss Yarns in Brentwood.  Late last year I asked a Bliss staffer if they could/would add such a class to the schedule, and if so could it be in the evening.  I'll be able to have a quick bite between work & class, and the rush hour will be long over before I leave Brentwood.  I'm totally pschyed. 
The Plaidman had about two weeks of "his" day (June birthday, Father's Day), what with having to buy him a new phone about two weeks ago, followed by getting the new string trimmer the second weekend of June, and then plying him with chocolates & browines & new shorts yesterday.  All in all, a good haul for the old dude. 
I'm still plugging away on the Bunny Hop, got one sleeve just over half done.  I did take some time to swatch with some Paton's Wool & size 8 bamboo circular, for the Fair Isle knitting.  This quickly devolved into me practicing some Continental knitting & purling for a while, to get used to using my left hand to hold yarn. 
I've noticed that a lot of the bloggers I read regularly seem to be taking the summer off...kinda disappointing, but totally understandable for the ones with young children; summertime is often a special family time.  I'll be glad when the kidlets go back to school, I guess!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bunny Hop

Oh boy!  The first two, and especially the second one, have more accurate color.  Since these were taken, I've put the body on a long stitch holder and started a sleeve.  I'm not allowed to bring a camera as such into the workplace, so I took these out in the parking lot and left my camera in the car -- I know, I'm lucky I still have it.  I like this yarn, which is Spud & Chloe Sweater.  There's just a bit more superwash wool than organic cotton, so it's soft, but breathes.  And yes, it looks like the ribbed hem will be "rolly"; sure hope it'll block out ok.  
Plaidman has assembled his Birthday/Father's Day gift: A Ryobi 4-cycle walk behind string trimmer!  He's been having problems using a trimmer that's carried, as the vibrations make his arthritic hands go numb & super stiff.  Disco has been told that her part of this gift will be learning to use it & spelling her Dad.  I can just see her tumbling into the drainage ditch with it....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Better (than...)

The injury to my arm has abated a good bit; thanks for all your good thoughts.  The Peerless Princess' Bunny Hop ( sweater is now just a mite over 11 inches long, and I'll continue at a moderate pace.  I had a thought about the possible difference in gauge between the flat knitting of the body, and the circularly knit sleeves.  My purls are slightly looser than my knits.  The sleeves, being knit in the round, will not have any purls.  I dread the math that may or may not be required to make the gauges match up. 

We had a quiet weekend, good for remembering the servicemen & -women who've bought our freedom.  I thought about Big Tom a bit, and the Plaidman's brother (still with us, thank goodness), and of course Pup.  Pup was in training as part of the Army Air Corps, and he told me some stories about that time, while I was visiting this spring.  I tried to write down a lot of them, for Disco mostly.  Not sure if I can share them here.

The Plaidman was idle (how dare he?!?!) for a bit on Saturday, so I suggested he make some magazine holders for me.  I'd picked up some of the smaller postal boxes (hey, they're free & sturdy), and had a copy of a tutorial for making the holders, and Pup had given me a whole craft knife set (SCORE!!) -- so Plaidman went to work.  He's made two; I could probably fill a half dozen easily.  But before we get carried away making any more, I want to rearrange the bookshelf and look for other areas that could hold magazines if we cleared out some other clutter.  Shoot, I could probably get the Plaidman to put a shelf over the headboard--I should totally look into that.

Our one big celebration of the holiday was going to Centennial Park to listen to live blues.  Taj Mahal was the headliner!  I got lots of pictures, even a short video with our dinky camera.  So y'all have that to look forward to, once I get those off the camera and onto my flash drive. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Work, work, work

I've about 8.5" knit on the body of the Bunny Hop sweater.  At 14.5" it goes on to a holder, while the sleeves are knitted.  Started on Thursday, after swatching earlier in the week, it looks super -- my gauge is consistent, spot on for row gauge albeit a little off on stitch gauge.  Somehow, it's wound up being about 34" wide, which is about what the pattern calls for (35" when buttonbands are added).  I did do some other swatching, for a coworker's gift of "muffatees".  But I really need to measure her hands! 
*** Above was written Tuesday, which was the day I went back to work after a mini-staycation.  I think I may have suffered a knitting injury, or more accurately, a knitting-or-reading-a-big-book-all-in-one-go injury.  My left shoulder is killink me; I could not sleep at all Tuesday night.  It's abated a little bit, but I'm taking a break from holding big books and from knitting for a couple of days.  Only, I really need to get the sweater done.  I have knit (on Tuesday) another inch on the body, and will try limiting my time with it starting this weekend (it's currently in time-out). 
Oh BTW -- the staycation was basically about giving DiscoDame a good launch into "spinsterhood".  We did a few chores & birthday shopping Thursday & Friday, then took her to a movie (Star Trek: Into Darkness -- a must-see for us fans!!), and dinner at one of her favorite eateries: the Waffle House!  I kid you not, she had a waffle for dinner.  I had the Official Old Lady Kit wrapped up for her, with all the wacky junk I'd been buying.  The reading glasses are way too strong, so we're thinking we'll give them to Goodwill.  No one in the house has dentures, but the denture crème is stored in the bathroom.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I got pictures!

Ok, I failed to take pictures of my nieces in their new made-by-me handknits.  And I really wanted pics of the Leaves of Grass fingerless mitts I'd made for Miss A.  So...I knit another pair, for me!  Check these:

And this weekend, after much swatching, I've started knitting a Bunny Hop sweater for the Princess.   This is in Spud & Chloe Sweater yarn, in colors Grass (more like green apple), Midnight (a dark teal) and Popsicle (either a deep rosy pink or a raspberry-like pink).  I'm chugging along on it too; making the largest size for Herself as she's tall for her age and very athletic.  Hey, Miss A got a sweater from Auntie Anna, so the Peerless Princess needs one too.  The best part?  Both the pattern and the yarn were a giveaway prize from Yarn On The House!  I am just thrilled to have it all, and will probably be sending pictures everywhere (to V, to the designer, to Spud & want a copy?) 

Today we're celebrating DiscoDame's 30th birthday.  I gave her an Official Old Lady Kit, with prunes & Milk of Magnesia, denture paste & wrinkle cream, a tube of BenGay, some reading glasses, some adult diapers (!!!boy did I get some grief over that!!!), and a muu-muu type housecoat with pictures of cats pinned all over it.  That's her Official Crazy Cat Lady uniform.  I took pictures, but I'd better not put them here; she knows where I live (since she lives there too....).  The Plaidman found a Plano tackle box in the size she wanted, for a lot less than the price at the outdoor store.  It's huge, and she's going to put all her beading gear in it.  By the time she gets it filled, she won't be able to lift it.  Anyway, part of the celebration is a visit to the library, so here we are.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's getting silly...

When I got home last night, I had a package with a Royal Mail stamp on it.  The silk noil lace yarn has arrived, from Colourmart.  Good golly, but it's so very thin!  It looks more like sewing thread than yarn.  I may wind off a couple of cakes and try double stranding a swatch. 
I've bound off the distal end of the 2nd Leaves of Grass mitt in my pair -- this is what I'm calling my mod of the pattern.  And I picked up the thumb gusset stitches & knit the first round.  I should work two or three more rounds in stockinette, then four rows of k1p1 ribbing & bind off.  Weave in the ends, and have a pair I can photo & wear at my desk in the meat locker.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Excitement unending

Wow, was I surprised when my Knit Picks order came in!  I'd ordered the same yarn like, six or eight months ago -- and got to thinking it might not be enough.  So I ordered more, knowing I'd probably have to alternate between the first batch & second due to them being different dye lots.  This is not going to be the case, because the second order is from the same dye lot!!  How cool is that!  I've already sent hugs to the Customer Service folks at Knit Picks; they are my heroes.  I got in some more books from ThriftBooks, very inexpensive and hey, these aren't meant to be "coffee table" books so I don't mind if the dust jacket has a piece missing, or if the spine is a little worn. 

Come to think of it, I've never shared all the goodies that came with me from Texas.  I did in fact make purchases at The Yarnivore the day Pup & I visited: some sock yarn (doesn't count, right?), a shawl pin in dark wood, and a pack of Clover cable needles, just like the other 2 (or 3?) I had at home, but which I forgot to pack even though I was working on a cabled project.  The Monday before I came home (aka Tax Day!) I stopped at Hill Country Weavers in Austin, which is way too much fun.  I bought some gorgeous alpaca lace yarn pour moi, and two skeins of a Berocco yarn for MeMaw's scarf -- which should probably be a cowl, and needs to be very smooth and light, something she can use to keep scratchy collars off her neck.  I have since reconsidered the yarn, and bought something else.  I also picked up several Mission Falls booklets, which were "free to good home".  But I'm getting things out of order -- Sis & I went to the Half Price Bookstore at one point, and I got three terrific and BRAND NEW books for a song.  One is Reversible Knitting, full of curious ideas about ways to wear their knits.  It's not so much that the knits can be turned inside-out, but that they might be turned topsy-turvy or sideways.  Rather an adjusstment to the viewpoint, than to the patterns. 

I got another terrific surprise, and yes it  involves yarn (what doesn't?!?!).  I'd commented on an interview in Yarn On The House, for a giveaway that I thought would be a pattern and three skeins of yarn.  The pattern's in my Ravelry library, and I was waiting on the yarn -- and thought I'd likely have to buy six more skeins (Spud & Chloe Sweater) for the size sweater I wanted for the Princess.  The giveaway yarn arrived in the mail, and it's all NINE SKEINS needed for her size!!  I am floored, just gobsmacked I tell ya.  And I love the colors -- I did pick them out, but hadn't seen them "in person" before the box hit the mailbox.  Now I need to get it in gear so she can have this sweater before she outgrows the largest size.  The Princess isn't going to be a small gal, but will likely not have an extra ounce of fat on her.  She's very athletic!  I guess she takes after her mama's "gymnast" side; Miss A has her mama's musical gift.  Hmm, just had a thought: the Princess collects American Girl dolls (actually both girls do); wouldn't it be too cool if I could make a sweater for her dolls too?  I will have to look for patterns.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Blogger fail

Well, I've searched & dug through all the photos I've taken lately -- without finding any of the lovely fingerless mitts I made for Miss A.  But it's not all bad news: courtesy of a fellow Raveler, I have 3 more skeins of the Stitch Nation Alpaca Love in Dusk colorway!  Two are one dye lot, and the third is another.  I figure about I can get legwarmers from the matching two, and at least 3 more pairs of mitts from the other. 
I have gone crazy for new yarn; could it be due to Spring finally starting to show up here?  I bought some yarn to make Betty A a scarf, but then decided it was too heavy for her.  So I've ordered from Colourmart, a lovely lace weight silk noil that looks tweedy(!) medium brown.  The flecks are NOT neutral, but all kinds of color.  Can't wait to see it!

I was re-reading the latest post on The Panopticon, and thought about part of my recent trip to Texas.  While in The Yarnivore in San Antonio, I got to see some remarkable artifacts.  The store owner had a silk (?we think) camisole, possibly cut down from a slip, that had some fabulous lace trim & lace straps -- and it looked to be from the early 20th century, likely 90 years old.  Then she reached under the counter and pulled out three darling little caps, one done in tatting, one in bobbin lace, and the third looked to be crocheted.  All very old & somewhat yellowed, and showing some minor damage -- but what lovely work!  I sure do wish the camera hadn't done a big fail that day. 

I bought some more yarn from Knit Picks, and just got an email letting me know it'd been shipped.  So now I've got yarn coming in the mail from three sources -- I really gotta get a grip on the stash acquisition.  I don't know what made me think I could knit the Plaidman a sweater with 10 balls of aran weight yarn; I'll soon have another 10 of the same stuff (different dye lots, I'm sure -- not a prob, I'll alternate rows between the two dye lots).  As to the third source:  I won a giveaway on Yarn On The House!  I'm so tickled!  FREE yarn, what could be better. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Home life

Yep, I'm back in middle Tennessee, with the Plaid Patrol up to our usual tricks.  How quickly my roomies revert to type; I don't think they cooked or cleaned in the kitchen the ENTIRE week I was gone.  Yesterday was my first day back at work, really hard to get in gear -- and I did not have dinner waiting when I got home.  Sigh!  Even the cats seemed a bit underwhelmed by my return.
After picking me up at the airport, Pup drove to The Olive Garden Restaurant -- one of his "usual" haunts!  Pup doesn't cook for himself, so he's been eating two meals a day at restaurants.  After lunch, we swung by The Yarnivore, just off NW Military Hwy and only about 3 or 4 miles from Pup's house!), and I picked up some  (more) cable needles -- and why did I pack a cabled project without the cable needles?  I did my packing Tuesday evening and was up way past my bedtime getting it done, so I guess I'm lucky I had a toothbrush!  The brain had gotten a bit frazzled by the time I put my head on the pillow... Pup & I then went to his house and relaxed until dinnertime, when he took us to the Black-eyed Pea restaurant.  I ate just the most tender, flavorful pork chop I've ever encountered.  I checked yesterday, and glory glory there's one in Hendersonville!  I can't wait to take Plaidman there; he's crazy about a good chop.
Thursday the two of us cruised over to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, had lunch in their recently refurbished cafe, and strolled around a while.  The orchid enclosure is not to be missed.  I took pictures (of course), but didn't get Pup to take mine as he'd already told me I looked like a Greek orphan.  I guess it was the navy "short pants" and sweater?  Whatever.... We made plans for Friday, Witte Museum in the a.m. followed by lunch, then hitting the road for Austin.  But it didn't quite work that way.  We left for Austin about noon, and stopped for lunch at Jim's (Pup had another pork chop!), arriving at Sis' about 1:30 or so.  Bro-in-law was there to let us in, but Sis & the nieces hadn't gotten home yet.  Pup decided not to stay the night, and left before the ladies got home.  O..K...  Friday was the Princess' birthday, and we were all supposed to help her celebrate.  There was a bit of another hitch:  Miss A was away at a competition, and wouldn't be getting back until about when the Princess should be going to bed, but wanted us to wait on her arrival before we went to dinner.  I think Sis turned the Escalade around 3 times before we got it sorted, and Bro agreed to go pick up Miss A after the rest of were seated.   I think it was worth the trouble.  Miss A's orchestra won the State competition!  and she got a Level 1 (tops!) for her solo!!  So we had lots to celebrate.  There was a lot of laughing, and we all decided the Princess' birthday should just continue all weekend (not quite what my Mom would call a "Polish birthday", but sort of mini-version of such).  More plans were laid: we'd all go to see Jurassic Park 3-D on Saturday!  (Insert maniacal laughter here.)  Nothing's more fun than scaring the snot out of an eight-year-old!  Sis threw popcorn at me; I threw it back--the usual family shenigans.  We wouldn't be our parents' kids otherwise.
During the two days I spent with Pup, he told me quite a few interesting stories, some about his service in the Army Air Corps, some dog stories.  When I get done writing down all I can remember of what he said, I'll have to do some research -- the wartime stories are particularly interesting.
Well, I was hoping to put pics of Miss A's mitts here & on Ravelry, but they're not on my flashdrive...and I'm at the library.  I've gotta go soon; Disco is across the street at the convention ctr, volunteering at the booth shared by Susan G. Komen Foundation & St Thomas Health.  And I haven't had any lunch yet, so I hope some of the vendors are giving away snacks....

Friday, April 12, 2013

from foreign lands

I have been visiting with the family in South Texas, and I'm having a terrific time.  Wednesday was arrival in San Antonio, which is a lovely town.  Dear Ol' Pup carried me to a shop called The Yarnivore, only a few miles from his house.  The folks there were lovely, and I really wanted to take some pictures of them.  I took out the camera, and it opened the lens, but then the batteries went dead.  So no pictures -- and I have their business card with the names of all their folk, but it's in another room.  Thursday Pup & I strolled through the San Antonio Botanical Garden, gorgeousness everywhere we looked.  I have pictures, and will be uploading them tomorrow.  But TODAY is the Princess' birthday!  and we're going out to celebrate in about 10 minutes!  She's eight today, and so much more mature than the last time I saw her, and so wonderful.  Happy Birthday, Princess Peerless!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fly Girl

My Darlings,
If you do not hear from me for a few days, do not despair!  For on the morrow, I depart for the wilds of South Texas (Behar County, y'all) to reside in the bosom of my family, or what's left of it.  I have handknit gifts for the Princess, Miss A, and Sis.  I'll carry along Pup's Steelers socks, so he can see what progress I've made; also I expect there will be plenty of knitting time for me this week so I might actually get thru the  &*%$$^ heel -- which is all black with black reinforcing nylon.  It's enough to make my dry eyes really tired.  But I'm hoping there will be lots of daylight to knit by, always very helpful when knitting tiny dark stitches. 
Miss A's gift hasn't been photographed yet.  I used the Elegant Alpaca Fingerless Gloves pattern, but only worked three repeats of the lace -- I wasn't sure how far my partial skein of Debbie Stoller's Stitch Nation Alpaca Love (Dusk colorway -- deep purple!) would go.  As it turns out, I probably could have worked one more repeat on each glove -- but oh well!  I have found some more of this yarn online, and expect delivery soon (likely while I'm gone to Texas), which I'd like to use for leg warmers for Miss A. 
While I'm visiting San Antonio (love that town!  and they love Volunteers, too: the Alamo is right downtown) I'm going to check out the Yarnivore yarn shop, which is on (near?) NW Military Dr.  I've read some good reviews of this shop, in Ravelry, and would like to visit & review myself.  Of course, I'll see the Riverwalk again, and maybe a museum or two.  Should be fun.  Then it's off to Austin, to see the gals there & deliver their gifts in person (be still, my heart!).  I may even make it there on the Princess' birthday!  Woot! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Just breathe normally..."

I need fireworks:  I've survived a week of health-provider visits!  Last Thursday it was the dentist (everything ok there), then Tuesday was a follow-up colonoscopy (everything ok there; the Dr. even gave me some nice pictures to take home [!?!?!? Why !?!?!?]), then today I had my annual check-up and a bone density scan.  BP's a little higher than it needs to be; have to wait on blood test results to know whether statin drugs are in my immediate future.  I've been taking niacin with supper for several months now, to help bring down my cholesterol--hope it's working! 
Gad, the hat craze has had me.  I made a rose pink cabled hat for Disco, with plans to make another for myself -- as part of our ensemble for Team Pink Ruffle.  I finished the second hat, and it was just a bit less deep than the first one.  So I added earflaps with i-cord ties, with tassels!  Good grief, but it's wacky looking!  Disco has claimed that one (thank you, Dog), so I'll just have to muddle thru with the original.  But I was having so much fun with this cable pattern, I had to make another hat--only NOT pink.  I cleaned out a lot of acrylic yarns from my stash (three 13 gallon bags of it went to Goodwill), and found this denim blue stuff.  I don't think it was an entire skein.  But I started another hat with it, with only two cable crosses.  Then I worked some increases (knit f & b) to increase each repeat from 11 to 16 stitches, and started on a floral lace pattern.  It's done, and again a little shallower than it should be -- but I ran out of yarn!  And Dog only knows how old that yarn is; I don't think one can even find that brand anymore.  I put in a lot of work on the "fruit salad" socks today, what with two appointments hours apart.  Still have about 2.5" of foot before toe decreases.  The heel flap on Pup's Steelers sock #1 is complete, just started the turn.  Sure hope I can figure out how to work the entire heel in a color different from the main color!  I'm sure this will be a learning experience. 
Bliss Yarns had a sale last weekend.  I fell big time.  I may be one of their favorite customers.....

Friday, March 15, 2013

With feeling

There's a "movement" (and how many of us think of Alice's Restaurant when we hear that word?) afoot, about helping crafty folk reclaim time for their crafts:
The aim is to set aside 8 hours a month, for crafting.  Well, I think I already do that, but I like the idea of setting up a designated time.  I pretty much work on either knitting or crochet whenever I'm parked in front of the TV.  Last night was an exception, because I wanted the overhead lights out so I could watch a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones, season one.  Yes, we bought the DVDs.  The Plaidman & I are just completely hooked on the books, and have finished all that have been published so far.  I was reading a fan site last week, and the gossip seems to indicate at least two more books coming, but not soon -- it'll likely be 2018 before Winds of Winter makes it to the bookstore.  We are officially jonesing for more G.o.T. at Chez Plaid.  Last year it was the Malazan Empire holding us in thrall; at least we're dealing with (mostly) humans this trip.  Boy howdy, if someone could figure out how to turn Tales of the Fallen into a series, we'd be over the moon. 

Oh look, the folks over at AllFreeKnitting ( ) have another really nice giveaway!  I have a little shawlette I made last year, that I wasn't wearing because it jest seemed too tiny, but lately I've been using it as a scarf.  I get lots of compliments on it!  It's Wendy's Seriously Simple Shawl, worked in sock yarn from the Loopy Ewe.  I like it so much, I would like to have several more.  So heck yeah, I want this book!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Silken prize

How'd you like to win some yarn?  Did I mention it's hand dyed silk?  Check out this giveaway from

The yarns are purple, green and blue-green -- my very favorite color combo!  Good luck, and if you win please send me a pic of what you make from it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Number 200

I've really been holding back on this one, as I've no idea what to say.  I wish I had a poem to give you.  Failing that, how about a brief book review?  I finally finished The Map of Time, and boy howdy was I surprised at the final chapters.  I really had no clue as to where this story was headed.  I understand there's a sequel; for the first half  or two-thirds of Map, I figured I wouldn't bother with the sequel.  Now I believe I'll have to read it!  I don't want to put out any spoilers, just say that it this book may "start" slow but you will be hooked.
I'm still working on Shadow of Night, the sequel to A Discovery of Witches (Deborah Harkness).  I'm interested, but I keep putting it down to work on other things.  One of those things is a Mercedes Lackey book, Crown of Vengence -- which has totally sucked me in; I have a very hard time putting it down. 
The Plaidman & I have been "jonesing" for the last book in A Song of Ice & Fire, which as far as I can tell hasn't been published yet.  So he bought the first season of Game of Thrones!  We'll be watching that whenever we can.  I'd like to get ther first seasons of Downton Abbey too.  And just to be sure I get enough variety in my reading, I finished Mary Roach's Packing for Mars (HILARIOUS! I laughed out loud about every third page.), started her book Stiff, and just yesterday picked up Catherynne Valente's The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland.  Not realizing that this is actually a sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making; so I suppose I'll have to request that on from the library too.  God bless the library; the Plaid Patrol loves to read. 
I have been knitting too; still working on the Cenote socks, and the fruit salad socks, and the large lace beret (Janet's Beret, if you want to find it on Ravelry.)  I knocked out a hat to match the ruffled scarves I made for myself & Disco, and have more than 1/2 of another knit (we must match!).  All small projects, although I keep buying yarn for larger projects.  I need to destash, or ask Disco to move out (not gonna happen!).  OR -- and here's a radical idea -- I need to knit up some larger projects.  EEP! Time to knit a vest, maybe?  I don't know why it's so difficult to decide what to make with a pile o'yarn; could it be that once the decision's made, the loss of other possiblities is disheartening?  But there's yarn everywhere; it's not like I live on a desert island with only "this" much yarn available.  And heavens, I may have reached SABLE status already. You don't know that acronym?  It's Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.  Yarn, I haz it.  Some of it can go bye-bye (I'm looking at you, acrylics!), and some of it is in single skeins that have been admired for years without being knit.  I've started making pom-pom sheep with some of that.  I'd like to bring about 1,000 pom-pom sheep up to the office.  Or maybe I could make up a mix of sheep & bunnies, and call them Easter decor?

Friday, February 8, 2013

199 notes to self

This is my 199th post.  I am knitting a good bit anymore, having finished Disco's pink hat, finished the heel flap for the second fruit salad sock, and added another inch or so to Pup's sock #1.  No two-color knitting yet!  But I've been looking at patterns, from extremely simple to (only) slightly more complex stranded patterns.  I'd like to start with something small, like a hat or mittens.  Of course, now that she's got the hat & scarf and gloves, we need to be thinking about legwarmers for Disco -- and for me, the hat & legwarmers.  After all, we're a team in the Komen Run for the Cure; gotta have team togs!  To that end, I've been to Bliss Yarns to get some pictures of "the ladies" holding my socks and to pick up an Addi Lace 40" circular, size 8 (5 mm).  Disco's hat was worked on birch dpns, which developed splinters & splits before I was finished!  I kept having to stop & sand down the points again.  I've worked the Thistle Hat's cable crosses on my hat, now just need the crown. 
the wall of Cascade at Bliss Yarns!  And they were getting ready to add more.....
I may have put this one up before, it's Disco nearing the finish line after her 5K walk for the cure last October.  I made a scarf for each of us, and I figure I'll add to the outfit yearly. 

I don't know why no one has left a comment in like, forever, but please don't be shy!  I usually try to say hello or "nice work!" whenever I visit another blog.  But whatever you say, please say it nicely: I moderate, and I don't publish comments that are derogatory.  It's my blog, after all.  

Happy Valentines Day! XOXOXO

ETA:  I can't put up pics of Bliss Yarns, without a pic of my "other" home away from home, the Haus of Yarn on White Bridge Road. 

Today's their 10th anniversary celebration, and they had cupcakes (Disco indulged!), and dark chocolate with pomegranate (I indulged!).  And I found something fun that had to come home with me:  Zauberball!
Is that wild, or what?  I see some rather snazzy socks in my future...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I have 'em.  No blisters on mah fingers; just calluses.  I"ve been switching between Pup's socks, the ones that look like fruit salad, and the lacy beret.  The third repeat of the 8-row pattern for the hat is upon me, so it's nearly decision time: Stop at 3 repeats, for a wide beret?  or continue with the 4th repeat (ala Abby's hat) for a slouchier version?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Knitting Resolutions

I'll go out on a limb here, to state that my knitting resolutions for 2013 are
1. to become comfortable with left-hand (aka Continental) style knitting so that
2. I'll learn to knit Fair Isle/stranded colorwork, and also
3. To knit at least two sweaters during 2013 -- Terry's, and one for me! 

I made a border of garter stitch in the round for my green washcloth, which I worked entirely left-handed.  Since garter stitch in the round calls for knitting one row, then purling the next, I got some practice with both.  I want to start my stranded knitting with something small, like a pair of mittens.  Anyone out there have a favorite and easy (& free!) stranded mitten pattern to suggest?  Please leave me a link in a comment.  I'd also like to hear about other folks' knitting resolutions -- maybe we can "egg" each other on!

Pup's 1st Steelers sock is now 4.75" long; at 7" I'll split the insole away from the heel; add on the Malabrigo fingering (solid black) for the heel flap, turn & gusset; then drop the solid black and work towards the toe. I have some black reinforcing thread I'll hold with the Malabrigo, to strengthen it.  The toe wiill be worked in the same materials.  I believe I'll use black heels & toes for all 3 pairs.  Erin has seen a stitch pattern that she'd like to have for her socks, in a booklet I've got.  The booklet pattern calls for a heavier yarn, so I'll have to do some swatching to figure out how many stitches to cast on & the number of repeats to work around.  Oh noes, teh dredded knittin' math!