Sunday, December 24, 2017

Now, with Music (volume up!)

So, have you been listening to any Christmas music?  I have, and that's what brought on this idea.  The whole thing is a bit horrible, in that, part of it has helped reinforce buying weird things on clearance and keeping them forever (well, and also the fact that I am not good at this, but, whatever).  You see, I found these little bells that I had bought years ago for a few cents in the clearance bin.  Anyway, I heard a song, and soon I had a plan.  I don't think I have a future with stop-motion animation, but I still think this kind of works.  So, here you go; turn on the sound.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tiny Knits Away

Since some far-away-family continues to have a hospital adventure, I wanted to send a little Christmas cheer through knitting.  It wasn't hard to find some Christmas-themed patterns from Mochimochiland.  Narrowing down the selection to a manageable few was, especially knowing the (often bigger) challenge of getting them in the post was yet to come.  However, I managed to just start knitting and that helped with the decisions.  First up--Christmas trees--one for the hospital and one for the house.  Then I knit a snowman, but it had to wait a bit for its embellishments.  After that, it was time to try something new--the Special Little Snowflakes (currently free with any $5 purchase) pattern.  After that, it was just time for photos and the post office.  Pro tip:  The photo session is extra challenging when the tiny knits are all so close together and they all have strong magnets inside them.  As it turns out, the post office was the easiest part of this.  I know, right?     
SpecialSnowflakeTwoTreesSnowman Now they're all on their way, and I can only hope they help to brighten the days!       

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Tree Up

Yesterday was Mom's birthday, so I put up the Christmas tree.  I'll probably add to it this month.  There are some new pieces already this year, as well as some missing ones that I've given away since last year.  That's how it always goes.  

In keeping with the theme of things going the same way as usual, I just received confirmation that a package I mailed arrived.  Yeah, I boxed up and addressed that knitted Thanksgiving meal and it went on our North Carolina adventure and I didn't get it out in the post until this week.  I'm terrible and I know it.  Anyway, I'm told it will make it's next journey to the hospital tomorrow.  I think I'll knit a Christmas tree next and maybe I'll even get it there in time.  I won't box it up the same way as the last package, so that should help.

Saturday, December 02, 2017


NaBloPoMo was fun, and I made it. Not posting yesterday was both weird and nice, but I'm back. How will it go after this? Eh, does it even matter? Anyway, I'm still going, might have some spinning to show soon, and one day (not soon) I will finish the sweater. For tonight, it's that time again--take a peek.
  1. Run out :: Now
  2. Whisperer :: Crazy
  3. Collide :: Worlds
  4. Worth :: Less
  5. Fuck :: Me
  6. Mild :: Mannered
  7. Chapped :: Lips
  8. Hope :: Eternal
  9. Itch :: Scratch
  10. Face :: Off

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Not Even Close

Of all the unsurprising things to happen this month, the "dnf" status on my NaKniSweMo cardigan is least surprising.  But, hey, this isn't actually a race.  I can still knit the sweater.  It's not as though my yarn, needles, and pattern disappear at midnight.  Still, it is a little disappointing to have only completed 44 rows.  Yes, the rows before the increases.  Oh, well.
While I might currently lack the objectivity to assess what I have accomplished, I do know it has been a very full month.  I'm plugging away at the laundry from our travels and trying to get ready for next month.  December is nearly here, and it is never empty.    

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


As you know, we sometimes have to go to the doctor all the way down in the 'ham, and that's a bit of a drive.  So, when an appointment is scheduled at the right time and we feel up to it, we like to visit Trader Joe's.  It's not a store we have locally, so it is a fun treat.

Now, truth be told, we mostly pick up junk food, so it's probably a good thing we aren't any closer and don't shop there more often.  It's not all we buy there, but it truly is the bulk of it.  At least we finally stopped buying a bottle of wine every time, because we don't drink, and we don't have much occasion to give a bottle to someone.  That being said, that hasn't always stopped us.  We're weird, and we know it.

Some of our favorites are seasonal items.  We're mental for that saltwater taffy.  One of our nephews loves the firecracker bar (chocolate with something like pop rocks and spiciness) so much.  That's another thing we like about going there; we can bring things back to others that they can't get otherwise.  My mom has never been a tea fan, but she would like to drink tea.  I made her some white ginger pear that she liked, so we brought back a box just for her. 

Anyway, on our last trip, we apparently went on just the right day, because the Advent Calendars had arrived.  We picked up a pile for nieces and nephews, and now we can finally give them to the little ones.  Here's hoping they make the countdown to Christmas more fun.  



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Be It Ever So Humble

There really is no place like home, and it is good to be here.  We've unloaded the car, but unpacking will have to wait for tomorrow.  For now, I'm sipping some tea with honey, and then it's shower and bed.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Well, I don't know when this will post, as I have no innerwebs right now.  All on a night when I can't sleep.  Oh, the injustice of it all!  

Today began differently than expected and it stayed that way.  We rolled with it pretty well, and then when one of the shifts in the situation renewed itself, we took the opportunity to go be silly and touristy--we went panning for gems.  

It has actually been a bit of a running joke for a few years now, complete with a hand/arm motion mimicking the activity.  But this time, we finally decided to just get out there and do it.  And you know what?  It was fun.  It was silly.  It was gimmicky.  And getting out there and doing it was a bit of a remedy for some of the ailments of the day.  
We've yet to fully identify all of our treasures, but I think it's pretty safe to say that we are now bazillionaires with riches beyond imagination.  No, no, stop--there's no need to be jealous.  You know us, we will share the wealth, and all will experience an improvement. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

If Only it Worked

Remember that cold I mentioned the other day?  I only had one rough night of it back then, but there is one lingering annoyance--the coughing.  While I do admit that I do not particularly enjoy it, it seems to be even more bothersome/worrisome for everyone around me.  So, now, I am taking OTC preparations that do not make a difference in my coughing, but my doing so seems to please others.  Oh, well, that's just how it goes sometimes, eh?    

Saturday, November 25, 2017

This and That on a Saturday

Since it is Small Business Saturday, and we were so close by, we popped into a yarn shop.  It was quiet when I first entered the store with a lesson happening at a table, and busy by the time I left with some younglings (tweenies?) getting needles and yarn with grownups who seemed doubtful that any would stick with it.  In between, I bought some beautiful blue merino/cashmere/silk fiber, a boat shuttle, and some bobbins.  I considered just getting more of the fiber, but I decided to go ahead and get the weaving stuff instead.    
We also made it out for a bit of touristy sightseeing.  We had read about the Greensboro Massacre and stopped by the marker.  If you feel so inclined, you can read more (and see it, too--there is video) about it.  We found the inscription on the sign rather lacking.  

Tomorrow promises to be a big day, starting with car-packing-Tetris.  I'm not sure just how we will get it all arranged.  I'm beginning to think volunteering to bring back someone's Costco list might have been a bit ill-advised.  Ah, but we'll only have to travel with that for a few hours, and then we can rearrange the car again (and again).      

Friday, November 24, 2017

More Turkey?

Yeah, I know many people are tired of turkey already, but I just can't get enough.  I don't think it is just because we don't have access to the leftovers, either.  That being said, there are no leftovers here, so I am left with the knitting of tiny turkeys.  There could be one more after this, but this is probably the last one.  Now I just need to stealthily stick it on someone's refrigerator on the way out of town.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  I hope that giving thanks, today and every day, makes your life better.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hotel Life, and the Wi-Fi is, Well, it's Free

We've reached the point in our travels where we get to/have to stay in a hotel.  I have mixed feelings about it all.  But right now, I'm just glad to be off of the inflatable MRSA mattress (you don't want to know) and now only have to worry about waking Bruce with my coughing.  All the rest, I just try to put out of my brain.  Now, I'm going to try and put everything out of my mind and get some sleep.    

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

UM...Yeah, it Really is All I Have Right Now

Yep, it's time to take a peek into my endlessly fascinating mind.

Unconscious Mutterings 

  • Sprain :: Ankle
  • Hesitation :: Lost
  • Navigator :: Lincoln
  • Supplied :: Denied
  • Wow! :: Really?
  • Breaking :: News
  • sigh :: Ugh
  • Justice :: Delayed
  • Everything :: Tired
  • Chapped :: Lips

  • Monday, November 20, 2017

    No, You Cannot Have the Clothes I'm Wearing

    Since I am not most excellent at the sewing machine, I am easily impressed when I do something and it turns out well, even if it is a simple sewing task.  For example, I recently altered the length of my husband's overalls.  I started with an old pair that he wears when working in the garage or when doing yard work, and when I didn't destroy those, I moved on to others.  I'm pleased to have accomplished this task, and he is pleased with the changes.  Not much of a story, is it?  Since you stuck through my saga of simple alteration, I'll give you a bonus "Tale from the VA" story.  
    On Halloween, Bruce had an appointment at the BVAMC.  Before we left the hospital to go home, we grabbed a water and a coffee for the drive.  Bruce is wearing overalls.  A man approached and said, "Let me ask you one question."  What followed was not what we expected, but instead was a series of brain teasers.  He then began to talk about the coat he was wearing and all the places in the world he had worn it.  Then he asked Bruce where he got his overalls.  Bruce told him the name of the store where he bought them.  Then he asked to borrow them.  He said he just really needed to borrow them.  We tried our best to just kind of laugh it off and make our way to the shuttle to the parking garage.  Guess who else got on the bus a couple of minutes later.  Usually, those buses are full and there is a line of people waiting for the next one.  This time there were only five passengers--Bruce and I, one man in front of us, and the brain teaser and a buddy toward the back.  Soon he started up again, asking to borrow Bruce's overalls.  He then began to complain a bit more loudly that he couldn't believe that Bruce would not lend him the overalls.  The man begins to make requests that the bus driver might drop him off somewhere besides the parking deck, which of course the driver cannot.  All the way there (it is a short drive, but seemed longer) he would again express his dismay and disbelief that Bruce would not lend him the overalls.  While having the bus nearly empty was not good in that he had almost nowhere else to direct his attention, it was good in that it allowed us a quick exit, and we did.  You just never know what kind of adventure awaits you at the VA.     

    Sunday, November 19, 2017

    Packing Problems

    I'm facing the perennial dilemma of the knitter preparing to travel--what yarn belongs in the bag and what should stay home.  I know from past experience that I rarely knit as much as I think I will, but the danger of not having something to knit is not a good feeling.  The fact that many a trip has come and gone during which I didn't pick up the needles once will not convince me to leave it all home.  I have to bring something, even if it is only for the sake of magical thinking that it helps with traffic.  C'mon, you at least secretly believe in it, too.  

    So, I begin with the car knitting.  That should be easiest, right?  What requires a minimum of accessories, no charts, and an easily followed pattern.  Large swaths of stockinette are always good for this.  This is usually the easiest knit to decide upon in the packing process.  

    Next, come two dilemmas--tiny knits and UFOs.  I reason that the tiny knits are quick, don't require much yarn, something I enjoy making, and are nifty little gifts to leave as a little surprise to people we visit.  However, if I haven't decided which tiny knits I will make, it means taking small amounts of many colors.  Fortunately, I can carry the patterns digitally, so that doesn't take extra room.  

    The UFOs are also tempting in that I tell myself that I will totally finish at least one when I'm away from home and the rest of the stash.  However, sometimes the reason the project is unfinished is either some problem I have forgotten about and not yet solved, or I just don't like knitting it.  However, if it is, for example, a pair of mittens, and I do finish them and have a need for them, well, it would be illogical to leave the project at home right?  

    It's about this time that the travel knitting bag is overflowing, and I know I need to scale back a bit.  I could make a decision, or I could just go about packing other things and pretend that I have plenty of time to figure out what is right.  Or, maybe I should just leave the knitting at home and bring the EEW5 and some fiber.  Afterall, I do have a car adapter and a battery pack, eh?

    Saturday, November 18, 2017

    That's Taters, Precious?

    At least that was what I was thinking when I was nearly finished making this tiny dish of mashed potatoes.  It was a quick knit, assembly was easy, but it was iffy until I added the little pat of butter on top.  The assembly and finishing details really do make a difference with these little knits.        

    Friday, November 17, 2017

    Bits and Pieces

    Blergh.  I think I'm coming down with a cold.  Actually, I hoped to be well in its grips by now so that I would already be on the upswing early next week.  Now I'm hoping that it's not going to be much of anything and that by Monday this will not even be a memory because I'll be so busy.  

    I have been doing a bit here and there.  I've finished spinning what I would guess (ripped it in half and then that half in half, but no weighing, so, whatever) is about one-quarter of the fiber I started yesterday.  I think I might even have some nice yarn when I'm done, but there's still a long way to go.  My knitting isn't much to show.  When I'm not working on the Featherweight Wrap to knit, I'm off in Mochimochiland, and as it is there unwritten, "Some assembly required."  Oh, yeah, I need to find the rest of the pieces before I can begin assembly.  Ahem.  But maybe some medication is in order first.


    Thursday, November 16, 2017

    Right Round

    Yeah, I'm spinning.  I needed to give the fixes on the EEW5 a go, and there's no other way to really do that than to spin.  I'm trying to follow through on what I learned in my Stupendous Singles class, so it's all kinds of new around here.  Maybe mixing together so many new elements isn't a good idea, but there you go.  It's not going super-great thus far, but I'm just going to keep going and hope for the best.  I really like this special fiber, and I want to make some nice yarn.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    Twill Be Done Done

    Ta-to-the-dah!  I finished the Twill Be Done weave-along.  I tried something new and learned a lot.  If you're on the fence about joining in on one of Liz Gipson's weave-alongs over on her Yarnworker site, I would encourage you to give it a go.  I like the answer she gave about the schedule.  Basically, she said that some people weave ahead, some follow the schedule to the letter, and some weave in their heads.  For me, weaving the pattern helped me to learn even more, but I think I could have learned quite a bit weaving in my head.     

    The pattern is for a table runner, but instead, I used my warp to weave two placemats because I think that it will get more use that way.  I certainly see the errors and where I need to improve.  I might want to try using a temple to help me with draw-in, or maybe more experience will be enough.  The changes that happen throughout the process from having the woven piece under tension on the loom, to off the loom, and all the way through washing and drying cannot be underestimated.  I like these pretty well.  Now I just need to make the move from looking at them to using them.

    Tuesday, November 14, 2017

    I'll Totally Finish This By Month's End, Right?

    I finally cast on for my NaKniSweMo Featherweight Wrap to Knit.  It really was deciding the color that was holding me up on this.  Making decisions like that has been an issue for me lately, but I went ahead and picked one so I could move forward with this.  Then there was a brief interchangeable search.  I did manage to round up several wayward interchangeable components and (somewhat) returned them to their proper home.  Thinking back, I don't remember where the cable I was seeking had been hibernating, but I did find it.  I could have begun the sweater without finding it, but eventually, it would be a problem to work the sweater on the short cable length I had used to knit the sleeves on the previous sweater.  
    Anyway, I'm (barely) on my way.  Impressive, no?  I hope to curl up on the couch with the project and catch up on some shows, but this is a time of many interruptions around here.  If I make a bit more progress, it could be a good companion to other goings on, but for now, it's fits and starts.  One day, I will have a new black cardigan.  I feel rather doubtful that I will finish this month, but soon I think I might have opportunities for some good knitting time, so there is still hope.        

    Monday, November 13, 2017

    The Waiting is Over

    I loved my first Electric Eel Wheel, (the fourth version) and I love my EEW5 even more.  However, hiccups happened, but most were resolved quickly.  One issue I faced along with other spinners, was that of wearing.  Those spinning thinner yarn at a higher speed seemed to come across this issue more frequently.  I noticed that it was happening on mine, but kept going, because I knew it would be fine for a while, and I wanted to keep spinning.  Replacing hooks could be a bit of a patch, but not a good longterm fix, and that wasn't the only part with the wearing.  The Ravelry group is great, and following the example of others, I used wire to wrap the hooks and other parts, and that helped, but again, it was a patch.  It didn't stop me from spinning, and I have already spun wonderful yarn on my EEW5.  I kept peeking in on the EEW group on Ravelry from time to time and knew they had been working on a solution.  Maurice spent a lot of time problem-solving, and I received an email the other day to let me know that the replacement parts were ready.  Now it is time to apply the fix.  

    Sunday, November 12, 2017

    UM...Nothing to See Here

    It's been a long time since I've played along with Unconscious Mutterings, but when it popped into my inbox, the time seemed right.  Besides, nothing I'm working on is in a photographic state right now, so instead, you get to look into my endlessly fascinating mind.  
    1. Prayer :: Wing
    2. Rerun :: Daily
    3. Blue :: Monday
    4. Chat :: Bot
    5. Boycott :: Everything
    6. Design :: Feature
    7. Paste :: Copy
    8. Backspace :: Delete
    9. Connections :: Webs
    10. Reality :: Bites

    Saturday, November 11, 2017

    Not Great, But Maybe Not As Horrible As I Think It Is

    It's not looking great for the home team on the Twill Be Done piece, but I reserve judgment for now.  I've made it through the twill-y bits and clove-hitch knots at the beginning and am now chugging along on the plain weave center portion.  So far, I see a few problems, but some may be less problematic after finishing.  Possible problem one is that I think my beating in the twill-y bits is not wonderful.  I'm a little less concerned about that as things look different under tension.  Also, I am learning something new, and that is likely to show.  Another problem is that my twill-y bits didn't seem to show up very well so far.  The color mix might not work well.  I don't find it to be ugly, but rather unfortunate to go through the effort only to not be able to see it well.  It actually looks better in this progress picture, I think, so maybe it's not so bad.  However, looking at the picture, I'm pretty sure I also have some outright mistakes in my pick-up, but I'm moving on and just trying to get something done.
    Besides, that, it is going well, I think.  I had a nice rhythm going working the clove-hitch knots, and am glad to have learned another edge treatment.  I might make placemats or towels instead of the runner.  I guess I'd better check the warp length and make some decisions.  After all that, the plain weave seems a bit boring now, and I'm ready to get back to the pick-up sections and see if I'm improving.    

    Friday, November 10, 2017

    What to Do When There's Nothing You Can Do

    Late Monday night the phone rang with news of a relative far away hospitalized in ill health.  She's too far away to visit, so what to do?  Well, I do the crafty stuff, so I guess I make.  The problem is, I don't know just what to make.  Maybe some little bitty things from Mochimochiland, like the Thanksgiving turkey and pie, or would something woven be better?  What do you think--weird little stuff or something useful/practical?  She definitely needs a new embroidered handkerchief or two.  I'll finish adding the bamboo to the one with the panda.  I'd like to get something to her soon, so I'd better hurry.  I guess getting my NaKniSweMo on the needles will have to wait.  Then again, if I cast on, I'll have it cast on, right?  Guess I better decide on the color, eh?  Which do you think I should choose?  What?  I'm not avoiding things.

    Thursday, November 09, 2017

    It Might Help if I Could Stay Awake...

    ...but catching up on sleep probably needs to happen first.  Life has been very busy lately.  If I cannot figure out a better way to take care of some of the new stuff on the list, I'm going to have to find a new way to do everything else.  Until then, the "everything else" is suffering a bit.  Today was a bit of a breather, and that was nice.  I managed to tackle some things around the house, weave a little, and play with markers and pens a bit, too.
    Something else I thought would be good for today was watching weaving DVDs.  My collection grew by two during birthday season, but I haven't had the chance to watch them.  The problem is that when I sit down to watch most anything, my eyelids get very heavy.  Since I'm trying to get my sleep schedule back on track, I am avoiding naps for now.  That means I need to set these aside for now.  I'll get to them eventually, and then I will be an expert, for sure, eh?  

    Wednesday, November 08, 2017

    Warped and Waiting on a Wednesday

    Perhaps you noticed my stalling on the start of my Twill Be Done.  You would be forgiven for thinking it was just a poor attempt at trying to stretch a small amount of content into several blog posts. Sure, that's certainly a plus, (ok, not the poor part, but that's kind of how it goes around here) but it's not what was happening.  I was just trying to finish the last project and life was not cooperating, but I finally made it happen.  I now have a new cloth for the coffee table, and I think I like it.  It was also nice that I finally got around to using the 15 dpi reed, and although I do need to try out some different, smooth yarns with it, that will have to be later.   
    Anyway, I finally have the warp on the loom.  After the last project, setting this up with the 7.5 dpi reed seemed super-quick.  I hope to get weaving on it soon, but for now, it must wait and wonder whether the colors will work.  I really don't know if they will, but I've made it this far, and I'm going for it.  The blue will be the main weft and the yellow will be the twill-y bits and clove-hitch knots (yes, more new stuff!).  My picture is still a bit off on the color, but not by tons.  Really, it's the variegated warp that has me wondering, but worse case scenario, I only learn new things and have ugly cloth.  Stacked up against everything else in life, how is that even a concern, eh? 

    Tuesday, November 07, 2017

    If Squish Thinks I Can...

    That's right, I'm sleep-deprived and suggestible, so I'm NaKniSweMo-ing it, and so is Stacey!  I'm making another Featherweight Wrap to Knit.

    Now I just need to decide the color and get knitting.  Should it be black, beige, or purple?  Of course, I need some sleep first, or counting all those stitches to cast on just isn't going to work out well.  Night-night, all.  If you have time, please put my yarn, pattern, needles, and stitch markers in a project bag and set it next to my purse.  Tomorrow starts early and will be long.  

    Monday, November 06, 2017

    Almost Makes Me Want to NaKniSweMo

    I finished a sweater last month.  Yes, I finished it last month, but I started it way back when--January 25, 2015, to be precise.  After I picked it up to work on it, I was pleased to discover that I could figure out where I was in the pattern and just how close I was to finishing.  I was most of the way done with one sleeve, and then all that would be left was the second sleeve.  Upon binding off that first sleeve, I was free to try on the cardigan without the entanglement of needles or trailing a ball of yarn, and I felt good about it.  It really was inspiring.  Then we had some cooler weather, and I wanted to finish it so I could wear it.  The closer I got to completion, the more I thought about knitting this pattern again in this same yarn in other colors.  I considered small modifications.  I even thought about NaKniSweMo-ing it.  That thought didn't last long, though, but I do have a new sweater.   

    Of course, now that it's done, we have a warm-up and increased humidity, but that happens.  I'll have plenty of opportunities to wear this sweater in comfort, but I didn't wait for that to attempt a photo shoot for it.  I just kept setting the timer on the camera and posed over and over and hoped that something would turn out alright.  By the time I came in, I had taken 336 photos, and I didn't like any of them.  However, the Google Photos Assistant created an animation from some of the photos, so that's what you get. 

    Pattern--Featherweight Wrap to Knit
    Mods:  M1R/M1L instead of YO increases
    Yarn--(sit down--it's scandalous) Woolike (85% acrylic 15% nylon--told you it was scandalous)
    Verdict--Would knit again (or not, I don't knit many sweaters)

    I think this cardigan will work well for me.  I like the way it fits through my armpits.  I'm weird that way.  I may not really be describing it right, but I just do not like clothing stuck up in my armpits.  There is a similar (both in name and appearance) cardigan pattern that was popular a few years back, and I really wanted to knit it, but it seemed like it would do that, and I don't think my body shape/size was a good fit for it either.  Anyway, I was glad to find this pattern, because I would like a few cardigans in the wardrobe.  This is a nice, basic pattern, and I can think of some simple modifications I might make if I were to knit it again, such as changing the length and perhaps decreasing a bit more on the sleeves.  If I feel really adventurous, maybe one day I'll spin to knit one. 

    Sunday, November 05, 2017

    Happy Birthday, Eva!

    When the birthday girl is this sweet, going to a birthday party at the infamous children's party place doesn't bother me a bit.

    Saturday, November 04, 2017

    Ah-ha! (I hope)

    As I mentioned previously, I'm participating in a weave-along over on Liz Gipson's site, Yarnworker. We are weaving Twill Be Done from Handwoven Home.  Some of the terminology and skills were intimidating to me when I read the description, but the opportunity to learn grabbed me.  The first bits were simple--things I already knew.  Then I began to feel rather stupid.  It was time to learn to read a draft for a floor loom and create a drawdown chart.  I knew what the first thing was, in that I had not really understood how to do it and only felt more confused each time I tried.  The second thing could have been anything, but I hoped to learn.  When it came to reading the drafts, it all seemed counterintuitive, upside down, and backwards.  Now might be the time to confess my rather poor sense of direction.  I think there is a connection.   

    Finally, after several viewings of the video lessons and reading of the passages, I think I had a breakthrough.  Once I understood that the drawdown is like a charted representation of what the weaving pattern will look like--kind of like a colorwork chart, I was on my way.  Then I had to get out of my head and try to just follow along step-by-step without understanding what I was doing.  About halfway through the first twill pattern, I could follow what I was to do, and then coloring in the next was a breeze.  
    I like the relaxed format of this weave-along and feel like I can keep up with each week without too much pressure.  We'll see what happens--next week looks to be a doozy.  

    Friday, November 03, 2017

    Not Ready for November

    Here we are, the new month is already rockin' along, and I haven't set my goals just yet.  I guess I'm still recovering from October.  To help me through the transition, I'm trying to relax a little bit more, and that means getting my mind to move in a different direction.  Anyway, one night I followed a link (somewhere on twitter, I think) over to Amazon, and clicked around there for a while, and next thing you know I had added a book to my wishlist.  I've found doodling to be helpful sometimes when I am trying to calm, focus, or re-direct my brain a bit.  I have some nifty pens and pencils, and even some Zendoodling books, too.  Now, thanks to my brother, I have this new book.  
    So, sometimes at night before bedtime, I flip through the book and try drawing some things, and occasionally I even color them.  I'm not likely to become super-skilled, and while, in a dreamy, fantasy way I would like to be, that isn't the point.  In fact, it likely has no other point than just doodling.  I'm not creating anything for any particular purpose--just something I'm doing sometimes.  It's a nice way to relax, get ready to sleep, or just play.    

    Thursday, November 02, 2017

    To Bamboo, or Not To Bamboo--Is That Really a Question?

    Well, I've finished a sweater, don't feel like picking up Bridgewater, and the weather has turned a bit bleh, so knitting just isn't really doing it for me.  My inspiration is running a little low.  That can have many causes, but I think a need to straighten and organize is tops on the list this time.  So, I've been doing a bit of that.  Sometimes I get a bit messy when I'm in the midst of things, and that's why I have the same cycle of tidying/creating/messiness repeating.  It's not ideal, but I do find ways to make it work better for me.  When I'm feeling a bit meh about creating, I can clean without taking time away from some project I'd rather be doing.  It also prepares my space for when I am ready to go again and helps me find things.  The other helpful part is rediscovering things I haven't thought about in a while.  It's kind of like the magic of shopping in your own stash.  

    In between organizational sessions, I'm weaving.  Once I did the hem-stitching at the beginning of this piece, I was able to get rolling with the weaving, and I think I'm probably somewhere around the halfway point, so that's good.  I think I've decided on the yarn for the Twill Be Done Weave-Along.  I'm having a little trouble focusing on the new-to-me terms associated with this, but I'll get there.  

    All of that is well and good, but it doesn't help me with the need to have something to do while I'm sitting on the couch watching television.  So, embroidery, yeah?  That's what I'm thinking.  I stitched a panda on a handkerchief, and I could start a new handkerchief, but I'm thinking of some bamboo on the opposite corner.  What do you think?

    Wednesday, November 01, 2017


    Yes, October is over, and what a month it was.  We had computer troubles, and now we have a new computer.  We will probably attempt to repair the old one, but even if we have success with that, it is probably good that we bought a replacement, as the old computer seems as though it really doesn't intend to be a computer full-time for years on end.  We'll go ahead and totally blame my lack of blogging on the computer woes, but we both know that really is not the truth.

    We had medical adventures, oh, so many planned and unplanned medical adventures.  Bruce has been doing OT for a sad rotator cuff and PT for sad hips.  He got a painful injection in his hand to help a trigger finger.  All that and a few regular appointments were all planned.  Then the unplanned kicked in for real.  Bruce had a new experience--sleep paralysis.  That was brought on by chest pain during r.e.m. sleep, and that took us to the hospital, which brought us a couple of medication changes, future testing, and doctor appointments.  After all of these years with the heart trouble, it's kind of funny how so many of these visits go.  The doctors' assessments seem to often line up with something along the line of, yes, this was something to do with your heart, but you're in no more danger than usual with it and there is not anything we need to do, you may or may not have needed hospital monitoring in this instance, but you need to come in each time this happens because it could just as easily have been a deadly thing.  This is the second such hospitalization this year, and even the docs can't really agree on anything other than the usual lifestyle advice.  You know how it goes; follow the diet recommendations, take your meds, be active but not too much, and follow up as needed.  Lather, rinse, repeat--it's not just a hair care regimen.  

    I've also embroidered, woven, sewn, and knit.  I either finished a handkerchief or just need to add a little something in the other corner.   The weaving was not to completion, and I need to get to it because I need that loom free.  The sewing was little baby doll dresses that went to my niece, but I never got pictures.  As for knitting, I finished a sweater (just need pictures) and made good progress on the Bridgewater.

    Does my writing seem more experienced, mature, and nuanced?  No?  So you're saying I just look older, right?  I guess since my birthday is over, I can't expect everyone to be nice all the time, eh?  Yes, I had a birthday last month.  Many thanks to the many people who remembered and helped me celebrate.  I really had some awesome birthday-ness.  I will be playing with my new toys for a long time.  Looks like I'll be starting with the weaving, as I have a weave-a-long over on the Yarnworker site, and I'm already behind.  

    Monday, October 16, 2017

    Riddle Me This

    How is it that the days are getting shorter and longer at the same time?  The tedious, boring, draining drama of everyday life that is common to most people is running full force around here.  I'll spare you the details, but I just needed that bit of venting so that I could better move on to other things.  

    Anyway, I've been working on this month's goals.  My first completion was watching my Spinning Stupendous Singles class.  Now I just need to make myself put it into practice.  You know how it is when you worry about wasting precious materials on learning something new.  Anyway, I think I will start by seeing if I have any more small bumps of fiber to start.  Then I should find something so wonderful that I won't want to stop spinning, right?  Eh, I'm just tossing around ideas.  

    I completed the horseshoe lace chart of Bridgewater, so that's another one completed on the goal list.  It's time to work the edging setup round, adjusting the beginning of the round and adding a few more stitch markers to mark the corners.  After that comes a provisional cast on and then eleventy-gazillion repeats of the edging chart.  For now, the big, brown blob sits and waits.  Since I am having some computer problems but still want to include a picture in this post, you get to see an old picture of it.  Truly, it does not look terribly different.  Just imagine that the blob of garter stitch also has bunched up, unblocked lace worked around it.
    I've been working on embroidering a handkerchief.  This is my first time using q-snaps instead of a hoop.  It's too soon to judge, so I just keep stitching.  I already have an idea for the next handkerchief, but I need to finish this one first.  I also want to try embroidering on kitchen towels, pillowcases, and maybe an apron or two.  

    That's all the progress I have to report so far, but hey, I still have about half the month left, so there you go.       

    Monday, October 02, 2017

    Goal-y Moley

    It is a new month, so it's time for new goals.  Last month I probably scored somewhere around 70% completion--not great, but not terrible.  Let's see how I do with this month's list. 
    • Watch my Craftsy Spinning Stupendous Singles Class (Dear Craftsy, Please restore the ability to cast (Chromecast, y'know?) app content to my tv and develop a Roku channel.  My back, neck, shoulders, etc will thank you.  Also, I stopped buying classes when you did your unfortunate redesign of the app that took away the ability to cast.) 
    • Get the 15 dpi idea on the Ashford (if it works, that's great, but if not, then I know and will have learned something)
    • Weave towels on the Cricket (we need some new hand towels in the bathrooms)
    • Stitch/embroider a thing (should have enough thread, eh?)
    • Go to the gym at least four times by myself (this might be my biggest challenge)
    • Finish the Horseshoe Lace chart on the Bridgewater Shawl (only about eight more rounds to go on this chart, but those rounds are long)
    That seems like a pretty good list--challenging without being overly ambitious, but I think for me it is doable.        

    Sunday, October 01, 2017

    Annual Occurrences are Annual

    Yes, once again, it's National Spinning and Weaving Week.  That seems like as good a time as any to make a plan, but first I'll show a bit of my spinning and weaving from this year.  I played with cotton for a bit.  I had an idea and read in my books to try making it happen.  Then I sampled.  What?  Yeah, it was the right thing to do, and I'm glad I did it.  I'm not too disappointed with the results and feel that I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do differently.  Then I returned to spinning the cotton singles.  It is not my favorite to spin, though I do feel a sense of accomplishment when I do spin cotton.  Anyway, the plan is to spin more of the textured cotton yarn and weave with it.  

    Then, I got into the silk hankies and spun some more.  I had plans for weaving with them, but I don't think what I have right now will work.  I have other hankies that I might be able to add to this pile and then maybe I can.  

    The other spinning was a getting-to-know-you spin for my Electric Eel Wheel 5.  I do love that little machine.  Anyway, I grabbed eight ounces of wool and spun for ages.  The plying was a breeze.  Plying on an e-wheel is wonderful.  Winding off the skein nearly did me in, but I made it, and it seems like I made some decent yarn.  I was proud that I only had a small amount of singles leftover on one bobbin to ply back on itself, so maybe I am improving.

    As for weaving, I got out the inkle loom and tablet weaving cards and book and played a bit.  It was about time, as I bought the cards and book a few years ago, and they mostly just sat all that time.  Anyway, I now have some new lanyards and a bit of experience with tablet weaving.  

    The other weaving was a birthday gift for my niece.  She loves little blankets for covering dolls, stuffed animals, and pets.  So I made a long, random, textured warp on the Ashford and wove the blankies for her.  I'm pleased to learn that she has been using them, so I consider it a success.   

    Now for the plan--I want to try out my new 15 d.p.i. reed for my Ashford rigid heddle loom.  I have an idea but do not know if it will work, but I am ready to try.  My other plan is to weave some towels on the Cricket because I need more.  As for the spinning, I don't have a real plan, other than to spin some.  I could return to the cotton, or maybe try something new.  Who knows?  So, what's your plan for the week?

    Monday, September 25, 2017

    But It's Such a Good Deal

    So, this year I've been playing a bit with embroidery.  I don't have much to show for my efforts, but it's something to do.  So far it's just some handkerchiefs, but I have plans for other things.

    Now would probably be a good time to make the move from planning to doing.  You see, I had an encounter with the clearance bin, and now I have an excess of embroidery floss.  It was so inexpensive that I kept picking up more, but I left piles and piles for other bargain seeking stitchers.  Maybe I will become the embroidery floss fairy and just start giving away the extra.  Do you need any?

    Monday, June 26, 2017

    Found it in the Couch Cushions

    I love Anna Hrachovec's patterns and books.  I have knit so many of her tiny creations.  They are some of my favorite things to knit for so many reasons.  They are cute, relatively quick, and more than once, knitting them has been therapeutic.  I have knit some of her medium size patterns like Zaru and Boo, but mostly I come back to the tiny patterns.  When I finally got around to buying Knitting Mochimochi, I thought the first thing I would knit would be Pigs With Wigs.  I even bought a bunch of pink yarn.  Then I didn't knit any pigs, started knitting a Grouchy Couch, set it aside, turned all of the pink yarn into Pussy Hats, bits of life sprinkled throughout, and then my knitting mojo wandered off for a bit.  Sometimes when my knitting mojo disappears and I cannot find it, I pick up an abandoned project and try to finish it.  That's what I did this time.  I picked up the Grouchy Couch and worked on it.  Perhaps the fact that I omitted the colorwork contributed to the fact that for me, the pieces were not particularly exciting to knit, but whatever the reason, it did not matter that as returned to knitting I wasn't really feeling it.  I just kept chugging along, and soon I had a bunch of pieces to stuff and seam.  Then I grabbed the Love Monster that Cookie made for me and placed it on the couch, snuggling it under an old swatch that became its blanket.  Then I knit a Baby Gator, some donuts, cheeseburgers, and gnomes, and more.  Throughout it all, life kept on doing its thing, and knitting found its way into it, becoming a part of it again for me.