Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I am this close to finishing my Kiri shawl/shawlette. Yesterday I knit the last two pattern rows. I was getting very close to the end of the yarn, but I knew I had some more Kidsilk Haze in the closet, so I wasn't very worried. I checked out how much remaining yarn there was before I worked the last row, then checked it again after I finished it. Less than half, so I don't have enough for the bind-off. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. But, ha ha, knitting fates, I know I have two partial balls of that color left over from my fuzzy legwarmers, so there!


I came downstairs this morning and went to the closet where I keep my yarn. I have my "leftovers" in a very specific place. Dug through it all, emptied it. No Kidsilk Haze, except for the green KH I used for my sister's legwarmers. The shawl is grey. Went through the new yarn. Nada. The only place I haven't looked is in the basket of sock yarn, but I can't imagine I would have put it in there. Now where on earth could that yarn have gotten to? I could have been done with this shawl by now, it could be soaking in a nice tepid bath, getting ready to be blocked, but no!

All I have to do is freaking bind off, but I can't do it without the extra yarn. I may cry. Guess I better start talking to St. Anthony.

Update (3 hours later): Found it. It was with the acrylic yarns. Don't ask me why I put a silk/kid mohair blend in with the acrylics; I don't know. But I found it. *sigh of relief* Now to bind off!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nuala's commentary on my WIP

Yarn, what yarn? Oh, were you working on something? I'll help you. Ooh, soft... What do you mean, you can't knit if I'm pressing on the ball like this? Well, goodnight, then...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tangled Yoke Cardigan and other stuff

So, I finished the Tangled Yoke Cardigan last Wednesday. I have to say, I really love this sweater. The only thing I'm not satisfied with are the buttons and buttonholes. The buttons are not quite in the right places, so I may have to take them off and re-place them. Also, the buttonholes are a mite too large for the buttons I chose, so I will have to make them a touch smaller, somehow. Easy fixes, really. This cable is brilliant. Love. It.

In other knitting news, I have a dilemma regarding my Tilted Duster. Click on that link to see what it's supposed to look like. Then see below.Now, I will grant you that I am not pregnant anymore, as I was in this photo. But Jamie is now 15 months old, and the sweater still doesn't fit right. I think I needed more ease. The top just doesn't meet the way it's supposed to. So this is my dilemma: do I give it to a more willowy friend who may or may not want it or wear it? Or do I frog the entire thing and re-use the yarn?

Then I've got a pile of projects to think about. Andy's vest is about half done. I'm about to start a pair of socks for my grandmother, then I've promised hats to my daughter, my mom, and my aunt. Not to mention my entire Rav queue. I'd better start winding some yarn.

Monday, September 28, 2009

In the homestretch

I just finished the "tangle" of the Tangled Yoke cardi! (Sorry about the poor photos, it's been too rainy for good pics, but I just couldn't wait for sunshine.)The construction of this cable is amazing and it was just magical to see it emerge from the needles. I hope I can keep the momentum going as the yoke grows smaller. I'd love to wear this soon!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I just spent fifty-three minutes purling nearly 300 stitches, realizing I had missed some critical increases, and tinking those same 300 stitches. I may cry.

Now, can I re-work that row the correct way before Jamie wakes up from his nap?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hello, the blog!

"...last published on June 8, 2009." Yikes. I know it's been a long time, but I didn't realize it had been that long.

It was a great summer. Maybe the best one of my life. And I think it's because nothing really happened, the family just spent it together and enjoyed each other. Jamie's such a big boy now, and he is just so fun to be with. Rose, by comparison, is a little lady, and so entertaining. I think Robert Heinlein said, "Happy people don't keep diaries." I'm not sure that's necessarily true, but I know that when I wasn't playing or biking or going to the park or going to Greenfield Village, I was happy to just relax and not blog. I barely knitted, too. And it was fine.

So now that we're moving into fall and Andy's back at work, I am working on two items. First, the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, which I started ages ago and now am finally up to the eponymous tangled yoke. The rows, after I joined the sleeves and started the yoke, have been taking me upwards of a half-hour to finish. Each one. I've been happy to knit two rows a day. But now that the cabling has started, I can't seem to keep my hands off this sweater. It's so fun to see the lines emerging.

The other project is a vest for Andy, knit of some rugged yarn I found at Zeilinger's Wool in Frankenmuth. At first I wasn't sure this wool was going to work ("rugged" is a kind word to describe the feel), but after I washed the swatch, the yarn really softened up and bloomed. Always wash your swatches! This is the back, up to the arms. There's not much I can say about a rectangle of brown stockinette. The front will be a little more entertaining: I'm planning cables and ribs.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I can't believe

I finally finished them.

This pair of socks, pattern Charade, took me a year to knit. Seriously, I started them on June 9, 2008. Usually socks take me about a month. I guess I've been a little busy.

A little story about these socks. I wanted to knit a pair of socks for my lovely mother-in-law. I let Andy know that I planned to do this, and he seemed to think it was a great idea. He helped me pick out a colorway she would like, and when I showed him this pattern, he agreed she'd probably like it very much.

I started knitting, and soon found that the yarn is quite splitty, and working the PSSOs that create the herringbone rib was such a headache that I thought I'd lose my mind. But I also quickly realized that I loved the colorway, and that the socks were quite handsome, despite all the troubles I was having.

And then I had a baby, two weeks early. So the whole house was in a bit of chaos for a few months, and I didn't get much knitting done.

When I got back into the socks, I was lucky if I got two rounds done at a sitting, but I was determined to get them done and present them to my MIL at Christmas. I kept asking Andy, "Are you sure she'll like them? Do you think she'll think they're too scratchy?" He kept reassuring me that she'd love them. Christmas came and went, and I only had one sock done, so I thought maybe they'd be a Mothers' Day gift. Also, I still wasn't convinced that she'd find them comfortable. I had put it on and worn it, and it felt fine to me, but I'm used to wearing wool.

As the second sock progressed, I started to think I might keep them for myself and knit her a pair from Koigu or some other super-super-soft wool. I mentioned this to Andy, and he hesitated a little, then said, "Well, she doesn't really wear socks, you know."


So now they are mine.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Baptism sweater

A quickie because Jamie is waking up from his nap but I just can't put off posting these pictures any longer: Gabriel's Baptism sweater. (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Baby Yours in Berroco Comfort DK) Baptism booties (same yarn, Stay-on Booties with some mods) The man of the hour himself -- Look at all that hair!

Gabe, I'm honored to be your Godmother. I'm looking forward to getting to know you.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Work in progress

It's another "Baby Yours" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, this time in white for my Godson's Baptism. I'm knitting the sleeves at the same time, which (now that I'm used to it) is a very handy method. Usually I'm counting and re-counting rows, or measuring and re-measuring, to make sure the second sleeve matches the first. This way I just knit, and I know they're both the same. Well, as long as I don't turn my work before I knit on both sleeves, which is what I was doing at first if my mind wandered.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Easter cuties

Finally getting to post pics of the kids in their Easter finery:Jamie is in the sweater I knitted for him while I was pregnant. He's almost big enough for it. I didn't knit Rose's outfit; it was a gift from her Mimi.

Knitting on the Baptismal sweater continues, pictures of that soon!

Friday, April 17, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, 4/17

1. I haven't been blogging much lately, and that's okay with me. I really curtailed my computer use over Lent and found I had a lot more time for a) knitting, b) caring for my family, c) caring for my home, and d) sleeping. So I feel the trend needs to continue for a little while. I'm cutting back on the blogs I read and not blogging myself as much, so I can be present in my real life.

2. Rose has taken to calling me "Mother" for the last few days. I have no idea where that came from, but it's really cute.

3. We had our family portraits taken this week. Holy cow. I'm still getting over how expensive they are. But we got such cute shots of the kids, I think it was worth it.

4. A phrase I've been hearing a lot on TV and radio has really been bugging me: "really kind of." As in "I was really kind of surprised at his reaction." No. You were either really surprised, or you were kind of surprised. Not both.

5. We're going to Greenfield Village today! First trip of the year -- we're members and we go several times over the season. Can't wait!

6. I actually finished my legwarmers in time for the last (I hope!) cold blast of the lingering winter. They were so cozy and warm!

7. I've been asked by my Godson's mother to knit another Baby Yours in white for his Baptism! Isn't that sweet? I know the photo of the original looks white, but it's really an orange-tinged cream. Plus, Gabriel was such a big boy when he was born that the newborn size is probably already too small. I'm so excited -- off to knit a few more rows!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Remember me?

Hi all. I'm here. It's been an interesting few weeks here at our house. I've been quite busy with church stuff and family stuff and I just haven't been at the computer the way I used to. And I'm finding that I actually don't need to be at the computer the way I used to. But I have missed sharing through this blog, so now that I've got a bit of time to myself, I'm going to use it to post.

Anyone remember this?
No? I didn't think so. It's the Kiri Shawl. I started it in June of 2007 and it's been hibernating since probably October or November of 2007. I really like it. It's not a difficult lace pattern, and the yarn is Madil Kid Seta, which is pretty lovely. I just was getting to a point (pregnant, sick, exhausted) where I couldn't face how long the rows were getting, then I was worn out by a newborn and a preschooler, and now that I might like to work on it again, I just can't seem to find a chunk of time long enough to complete a row, let alone a pattern repeat.

Plus I was getting antsy to make a pair of legwarmers for myself like I made for my sister, and as I had the Kid Seta on hand (intended for the shawl), all I needed was some worsted wool to get started, and so... This one is already finished. I'll get started on the second one today. Yes, I know spring seems to be here. Yes, I realize I probably won't get to wear these until November. But if I don't do it now, I'm afraid it won't get done before I need it. Also, I live in Michigan. We could have a gorgeous warm day followed immediately by a blizzard the next. We don't trust the weather in Michigan, and we like it that way.
Now, you may be wondering, if that Kid Seta was intended for the shawl, and I've used it up in a pair of legwarmers, what am I going to do about Kiri? Well, I've decided I'm just going to finish the Kiri with the yarn I have remaining and make it a mini-Kiri! I can wear it as a jaunty neckwarmer, or maybe a lacy headscarf. The possibilities are endless! Now I just have to find the time to actually work on it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

7 quick takes 2/27

Sigh. It's been quite a couple of weeks, and while I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm still pretty busy and pretty tired. But here's some news headlines.

1. Went to my first Friday Night Knit Night at my LYS last week and enjoyed it a great deal. Had snacks, finished Shannon's second legwarmer, and met a kindred spirit. I hope to make it again tonight.

2. Started a legwarmer for myself. Love it, love it, love it, and can't wait to wear the pair.

3. Jamie is going through a frustrating day-time sleep pattern right now. Gets all tired and fussy and eye-rubby after being awake for less than two hours, so I nurse him and put him down for a nap, then he jabbers in his crib for the next hour before finally quieting down. Don't tell me to keep him up longer, either, because I've tried and it doesn't change anything. It just makes him more miserable. But the one thing this kid has taught me is that he'll be different in a week. So I'm just biding my time.

4. Had an amazing rehearsal last night for a Taize prayer service. I can't even describe how serene and uplifting it was. I can only hope the actual service is as amazing.

5. My dentist tells me I have beautiful gums. "When we make dentures, this is what we try to make the gums look like," he says.

6. Andy: Rose, do you know who that is singing?
Rose: No, who is it?
Andy: It's Dinah Shore.
Rose (flabbergasted): What? Dinosaur?

7. More from Rose: "When we were at Applebee's, the Red Wings were on, and that's why Papa [my dad, her grandfather] was sooo quiet."

Can't believe I actually came up with seven. I actually have a knitting story to share, but I wanted photos first. Maybe next week. In the meantime, Jen's got her Quick Takes and all the rest here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


This is crazy. Cool, but crazy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, 2/13

With thanks to Jen for letting me participate... links to some much better thought out and written Quick Takes here.

I finished legwarmer number one yesterday. I cannot get over how much I love this pattern. I mean, they're just 26 inches of 1x1 ribbing knit in the round. I really think it's the combination of that no-nonsense wool with that fuzzy, soft, lovely silk and super kid mohair. Yarn choice really can make the difference in how much I enjoy a project.
By the way, if you'd have told me even a year ago that I'd enjoy knitting that much 1x1 rib (let alone tolerate it without pulling my hair out), I'd have laughed out loud. It's hard to explain, but I used to purl "funny." The stitches themselves looked fine in the finished product, but my style of execution was dead awkward. So switching back and forth between knit and purl that often was torture. Then I watched a video at and *ping* a light went on. Yay internet!
James is feeling better, no fever since Monday. He still doesn't have much of an appetite, though. I offered him some pureed carrots, which he seemed to love a few days ago. He gave me a look like I was feeding him rat poison. It was so comical I wish I had had my camera with me.
Yesterday Andy couldn't get his key into the ignition of his car. It just wouldn't go in. It was the strangest thing. So he took my car to work, and I Googled "Ford Focus key won't go in" and apparently it's a very common problem with the Focus. He's had his for nearly ten years, so I guess we're lucky this is the first time it's happened. I called a locksmith (seemed to be the most common solution among others with the problem) and he replaced the cylinder with the tumblers. It's working now, I hope it doesn't happen again.
So I had plans to take Jamie to his sitter's house, run a couple of errands, and clean the house from top to bottom yesterday morning. Needless to say, the first two items didn't happen, and the third was seriously hampered by himself. I do a pretty good job keeping the house tidy while still caring for the kids, but I wanted to do some heavy-duty stuff yesterday, and it just wasn't going to happen. Maybe this morning...
I got the spring issue of Interweave Knits in the mail yesterday. I'm always so excited when that magazine arrives. But I was a little disappointed in this one. It has some cute patterns, but with the exeption of the Diminishing Ribs Cardigan, nothing that I would actually want to knit and wear. Well, I also liked the sleeves of the St. John's Wort Cardigan, so that may be an inspiration for something.
Andy's taking the youth group to CYO Rainbow this weekend. I always dread this weekend alone with the kids, but it always turns out fine. And it makes me very very grateful that it's really only this one time a year that he's away, not multiple times like husbands with jobs that require regular travel.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Poor baby, more green

Poor baby James is sick with a little fever. Besides being incredibly crabby, he has no other symptoms, so the doctor said to ride it out with some Baby Tylenol. He's sleeping now, I hope the rest helps.

So I've started yet another green project. These are the Super-Easy Leg Warmers from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. My sister asked for legwarmers, and I love to knit for my family. They are super easy, super cushy, super soft, and I can't wait to knit a pair for myself.

This pattern book is great. The photography is gorgeous and the patterns are lovely. It's arranged in chapters entitled "Less than two hours," "Two to four hours," etc. The legwarmers are in the "Two to four hours" chapter, but I already know it's going to take longer than that, I think maybe because I'm using magic loop instead of a 12" circular. Or maybe I'm just slow! :P I'm averaging 4" of length per hour, so two legwarmers at 26" each will be about 13 hours of work. I don't even care, though, because these are so luscious!

They're knit holding a strand of Cascade 220 and a strand of Rowan KidSilk Haze together. Purrrrr. Smooshy gooshy goodness.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Daddy-Daughter Dance and an FO (finally)

As I mentioned on Friday, Andy and Rose were off that evening to their first Daddy-Daughter Dance. It was held at the school where Andy teaches. Rose was the littlest one there, which Andy just loved because lately it seems she's just so big. She told me exactly three things about it: First, "It was really loud music, Mommy!" Second, "There were blue lights, and lello lights, and green lights, and red lights!" And third, "I like the Chicken Dance!" And I finally finished the border on this Christmas gift. It was for Andy's parents. His mom had been hinting for a green granny square blanket for a while. Andy and I both worked on the squares. They were all done and seamed, and I had done one round of the border before we got together with them for Christmas, so we decided to give it to them as is, with the explanation that it wasn't quite done, but I'd finish the border pretty soon. "Pretty soon" turned out to be this past weekend, but at least it's finally done. I was just going to do a round of green half double and a round of single, a round of half double, and a round of single in black. Rachel suggested using Crab stitch instead of the final round of single crochet, and I tried it, and I'm so glad I did. I think it makes it look very finished. It looks almost like roping. I like how this project turned out. It's been a long time since I've crocheted, and it was fun. Grandma and Jamie

Friday, February 6, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, 2/6

I can't believe it's already Friday again! Time for my 7 Quick Takes -- don't forget to visit Jen at Conversion Diary for hers and the rest.
Yesterday I taught a song I learned at my grade school to the school choir at the same grade school. That particular layering of memories was a very interesting experience.
With the encouragement of my friend Jazmyn, I'm trying out Twitter. So far I'm reserving judgement, but I have enjoyed reading "tweets" from fellow bloggers and real life friends. And the idea of "microblogging" is very appealing. Here's my page, if you'd like to read my very random thoughts and what I had for dinner (mushroom ravioli, yum!).

I wish I could go back in time and make all my usernames the same on all the sites I frequent. Not only so my friends from different sites would recognize from site to site, but also so I would feel more like just one person!

Andy and Rose are attending a Daddy-Daughter Dance at the school where he teaches tonight. It will be their first, and both are so excited about their "date," they could hardly talk about anything else at dinner last night. It's going to be so sweet.

However, because of #4, we will have to miss the Annual Alumni Concert at our high school. It's a great tradition. The current choir students present pieces from their repetoire, an alumnus or group of alumni perform, and then at the end, all alumni attending are invited up to the stage to sing two pieces that have been sung for decades by the choir. Andy and I met through the choir, so there's that added level of specialness. We haven't been able to go for the last few years, but I was really hoping to go this year since I've reconnected with a lot of choir friends through Facebook. I just didn't feel like arranging for a babysitter for Jamie just to go by myself. Oh well, maybe next year.

My little James is sitting up better and better. I know you're not supposed to compare your children, so I won't. I'm just glad he's finally doing it. Look how hard he's working to get at that toy! And here he is, not too schlumped over.
I get to have some "me" time tomorrow morning with my best friend Rachel. We're going to shop and have lunch together. I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An award? For me?

This is from Debbie, a fellow "7 Quick Takes"-er and knitter. I'm honored, really, as I don't feel particularly creative most days, but I will graciously accept it.

Here are the official rules:
  1. Copy the award to your site
  2. Link to the person from whom you received the award
  3. Nominate 7 other bloggers
  4. Link to those on your blog
  5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated

And two addenda from me:

  1. If you just want to accept and not tag anyone, I have no problem with that.
  2. I'm only nominating the crafting blogs I actually comment to and who have commented to me. No "big names" here, just friends. :)

Here are my nominations:
  1. Jo from freestylefibre (blog) and limegreenjelly (etsy shop, check it out!). Jo and I "met" through a knitting swap and she is an artist in many media, but particularly dyeing and spinning.
  2. Amanda at OldFashionedGirl. I love her escapades into sewing and baking, and am slightly envious of both.
  3. My friend Jazmyn. She also has an etsy shop, and is a mad crocheter and jewelry maker!
  4. Katherine at FuzzyLove, a fellow Raveler and mom. I enjoy her posts a great deal.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

On Resolutions and Goals

I don't usually make New Year Resolutions. If I discover I should be doing something in my life differently, I try to make that change when I notice it, or when it becomes appropriate, not just because the calendar says I need to. For example, I started going to Curves after my O.B. gave me the okay to exercise when James was 6 weeks old. I could have waited until January, with a resolution to "lose weight," but I started in August -- and not to lose weight, but to get healthy and strong.

But even though I don't usually do the whole New Year thing, this year I was thinking about why it's so common for people to fail their resolutions, to lose momentum by February, if not to give up on them altogether. And the best I could come up with is the difference between "resolutions" and "goals." What I mean is something like this --
  • Resolution: to lose weight
  • Goal: to exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes
  • Resolution: to get organized
  • Goal: to spend 15 minutes per day in one room decluttering
  • Resolution: to save more money
  • Goal: to put away $100 in a savings account each pay

See, resolutions tend to be big, vague, and overwhelming, while goals are small, concrete, and achievable. A person could certainly have a big resolution, but if she doesn't break it down into measureable goals, it's too easy to flounder around and then give up.

For myself, just for fun, I decided at the end of December that my resolution would be "to blog more," with the immediate goal "to post each day in January, except Sundays." Really, I was just curious to see if I could do it. I decided that I would regroup at the end of January to see if I could continue with that goal, or if I should modify it. This is what I learned from this experiment:

  • That I could, indeed, post every day (except Sundays) for a month.
  • That it was tricky -- okay, not possible -- for me to come up with intereresting posts that often.
  • That I enjoy blogging more when I'm not putting myself under pressure to do it.

So for the next month, I'm modifying my goal. I plan to post no less than twice a week for the month of February. That way I'm still accountable to myself to be out there regularly, but I don't have to kill myself coming up with ideas every single day. We'll see what happens this month!

Friday, January 30, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, 1/30

I've never been so grateful for coffee as I am this morning. I've definitely come down with something.
What is Twitter? I've been through the little "What is Twitter" show they have on their homepage, and I've looked at people's pages, but I just don't get it. It seems to be akin to the status updates on Facebook. Do any of you do this, and what's the difference from Facebook? And what's the appeal, for you?
The Yarn Harlot apparently just started Twittering. And apparently, she follows Wil Wheaton. Who knew?
The hand is still painin' me a bit. I may have to go see the doctor. I really don't want to.
Because of #4, I haven't been knitting as much, and I've actually been watching TV instead of just listening to it and glancing up from time to time. I finally saw a commercial I've heard about a hundred times, and there was a kitty in it, and I never knew -- I love cats. (oy, can you tell I have no brain this morning?)
People, if you buy something you had no intention of buying, but buy it only because it is on sale or you have a coupon, you're not really saving any money.
Jamie is 7 months old today! I can't believe how quickly the time has flown.
I can't believe I was able to put this together this morning. I feel so lousy. Please visit the originator of 7 Quick Takes for a much better post, and links to others who participate in 7 Quick Takes Friday.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The bright side?

I have nothing good to write about today.

You know those lists that say things like, "I am grateful for piles of laundry to do, because it means my family has clothes to wear" and "I am grateful to clean up dishes and a cluttered kitchen because it means I fed a house full of friends" and stuff like that? I usually can talk myself into thinking that way, most of the time. But right now I'm trying to see the bright side of not being able to see the top of my desk. And I just can't see figure out how to be grateful for a headache and sore throat.

So instead of me complaining, please enjoy:

This always cracks me up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

St. Patrick, Wyandotte Michigan
Parish established 1857, current building built 1870

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Knitting Update

Well, I'm back to knitting, as much as my hand will let me. It's not constantly sore like it was a few days ago, and the only activities that bother it now are washing dishes and knitting. It doesn't hurt to knit, exactly, it just gets a bit achy in the base of the middle and ring fingers, and in my palm just below those fingers after a few rows.

So I stop when it starts to ache, and that seems to be working fine.

Both of my current projects are on fairly small needles. I wonder if I cast on a project in larger yarn on larger needles if that would be more comfortable?

This is the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, so far. I'm almost done with the main body portion. It has a fake seam in it, which I think adds a nice tailored effect while still letting it be knit in one piece. Nice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I love this

One of the items I brought home from my trip to IKEA was an easel for Rose. I set it up just before dinner and she could barely eat, knowing that a fresh white piece of paper was waiting for her in our family room. As soon as she was done, she asked if she could go draw. She didn't even want dessert! So we let her go, and enjoyed a leisurely cup of decaf with some homemade coffee cake (not mine; there had been a bake sale at church). Jamie had already gone to bed for the night, so it was so very pleasant just to sit at the dinner table and not have to tell anyone to sit back down in her chair for the 983rd time, or to shovel in the vittles while jiggling a crabby baby on my lap. Later, we heard her coming back up from the basement, saying in that delightful sing-song voice, "Come see what I drew-ew!" I was so delighted by this on so many levels. I love that her people have bodies and legs and arms and hands and feet now. I love that Jamie is horizontal, and I love that she gave our cat Nuala a big grin, even though Nuala just runs away everytime she sees Rose. I love that she signed it, and I love the finishing touch of the curliques all the way around the portrait. When I miss my baby girl, these are the kinds of fun big girl things I have to remind myself about.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sweater quiz

I pretty much agree with the summary... but dude, that photo? Come on.

You Are a Cardigan

You are traditional, old-fashioned, and even a little conservative.

More than anything else, you are a creature of habit. You haven't changed much over the years.

You shy away from flashy ideas, people, fashion, and foods.

You have simple tastes. You go for established quality and longevity every time.

Friday, January 23, 2009

7 Quick Takes, 1/23

I've been awfully weepy this past week. Probably just a combination of hormones and the season, but still tough.

One of my comforts in this cold spell has been to wear my flannel nightgown with a pair of handknit socks and this wrap I knit. It's so Louisa May Alcott/Laura Ingalls Wilder that I want to bake bread or something. Oh wait, I did!

Today I will treat myself to a massage after I play the school Mass. It's something I like to do every other month or so. I'm so grateful I have the time and the extra money to do it.

What is it with cats and paper? Nuala has never been a lap-sitting kitty, but put a piece of paper down and that's where she wants to be. Even if it's on a lap.

Since I read The Green Beauty Guide and learned how the terrible stuff we put on our skin gets into our bodies and into our environment, I've been slowly replacing the old stuff I use up with greener options, and trying some of the easier "recipes" from the book. The first thing I replaced was the kids' shampoo and soap. Then I bought cleanser and moisturizer for myself from Aubrey Organics. Because I'm a cheapskate at heart, I really wanted to finish up my old cleanser and moisturizer. So I used the old stuff in the evening and the new stuff in the morning. Well, the difference in how the Aubrey products smell, and feel going on, and make my face feel throughout the day compared to how the other products do got clearer and clearer over the last couple of weeks, until last night I couldn't take it anymore and I just tossed the old product. The miserly part of me was groaning, but the rest of me is very glad.

James has graduated to Rose's old car seat. And as much of a pain as getting Jamie in a snowsuit and putting him in a regular car seat is, I'm so very happy that Rose has moved up to her booster. It's so much easier than buckling her into a harness, and she loves being a big girl who can use the car's seat belt.

Real Simple magazine's question of the month was "How do you alleviate stress?" and not one, but two of the readers' answers included knitting! There was even a lovely photograph of a basket of red yarn. Nice.

More 7 Quick Takes can be found at Jen's place!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cutie pie

It's been so cold in our drafty old house this winter. Jamie pretty much just wears sleepers all day, but when we go hang out in the basement, where the family room is, I put a thicker bunting or a baby track suit on over his sleeper.

Yesterday, I wondered if that sweater I knit when I was pregnant would fit him yet. Almost. It's still a bit big. But doesn't he look quite the little man in it?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I profoundly hate to talk or write about politics, so this will probably be the last time.

I didn't vote for Barack Obama. I think he is an amazing, intelligent man, but I disagree with him in one fundamental matter.

That said, I was very, very moved yesterday. I was proud to live in a country that could come so far in just half a century, that, as President Obama said, "...a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath. "

Andy was watching the ceremonies with one of the kindergarten classes. A little boy was leaning on the teacher of the class, watching intently, and at one point piped up in wonder, "He looks like me." Pause. "Hey, I could be president one day!" Andy said he and the teacher just about burst into proud tears.

I also appreciated his call to service and responsibility, that each of us must work and serve.

"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."

Yes. Let's do it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Baking bread and an unfortunate hand

I made bread from scratch yesterday! I'd been following Amanda's adventures in bread and this recipe finally made me tell myself, yes, you can at least try this.

There was a point in the dough mixing where I wasn't sure if it was all going to come together right, because I was sifting and mixing and sifting and mixing and it felt like it was taking forever, and I had remembered hearing on Food Network or somewhere that over-mixing would make bread tough and dense, or maybe that was pancakes, anyway, I started to get worried. Then the kneading wasn't going very well, and I was waiting for that lovely, smooth, elastic ball of dough that you always see on the cooking shows, and it just wasn't happening. I thought I'd better quit while I was ahead and let it rise.

That part was so cool! I left this ball of dough in a covered bowl, and went to get Jamie out of his crib (great timing on his part, he woke up from his nap just as I decided I'd better be finished kneading). He sat pleasantly in his high chair as I cleaned up my floury mess, and then we played a while, and after about an hour I peeked in the bowl, and the ball of dough was twice as big! I know this is what is supposed to happen, but to see it actually happen was just too neat. Then I formed it into two loaves (I had halved the recipe) and let them rise in their pans. I think I could have let them rise a bit more, but all in all, I think they were okay. And Amanda? I don't know about that "hollow sound," either. I thumped them, but I couldn't tell.

But, man! When the loaves had cooled and I cut off that first slice of warm bread and put real butter on it and put a bite in my mouth -- well. I will be making bread again. Amanda, thank you for the annotations. I think they made a world of difference.

In other news, I have injured my right hand. Not badly enough that I can't get things done, or type, but knitting is fairly uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough that I need to take a break from it for a week, then re-evaluate whether I need to see a doctor or not. I was trying to put Rose's old car seat in the trunk, and it slipped out of my hands and fell into the trunk, and it all happened so quick I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I think my fingers got yanked backward by the strap as the seat fell. There was no bruising or swelling, but it's painful when I squeeze my hand into a fist or try to grasp anything firmly, especially in my ring finger and palm just below my ring finger. Anyhow, it hurt right away, as soon as the seat yanked my hand, so I know that's how I hurt it, and not through some repetitive injury issue. That's a bit of a comfort. :/

The bright side is, I've had books piling up because, as much as I love to read, most days I pick up the knitting first when I've got a moment free. These are the books I've currently got in my pile: A Meeting At Corvallis by S. M. Stirling, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, The Shop On Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber, and The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. So I figure I can make my way through at least two of them while my hand is healing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A wee aran sweater

This is the project I've been working on. "Baby Yours" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in STR Mediumweight. It's for my newest Godson, who is due in March. His mom Heather is one of our oldest and dearest friends, and as soon as she asked me to be Gabriel's Godmother, I knew exactly what I wanted to knit for him. The shower was yesterday, and I wanted it to be a surprise. Knowing that Heather occasionally peeks in (Hi, if you're there!), I had to be quiet about this little project as it came together. It was so hard to wait to share this! I'm really pleased with the pattern, the way it was written, and the way it turned out. There's only one little thing I'd change if I could, and I might be able to. When I blocked the pieces, they blocked to measurements exactly. When I blocked the entire sweater after seaming (and what a lot of seaming, ugh! but it was worth it), I didn't have the schematics with me and blocked it too wide and too short. But, I should be able to fix that with another good blocking -- it just means I'll have to ask for it back for a couple of days. Now I've got the bug to knit sweaters for my other two Godsons!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I spent most of my free time yesterday dealing with this computer. It was running s-o s-l-o-w-l-y. It was so slow that the weekly virus scan, which is set up to run at 4 am Fridays, was still running when I got to the computer at 6:30, and not only that, it had only checked seven files. So I cancelled it and tried to write my blog entry for yesterday, which took more than an hour because it was so link heavy. Each time I opened a new tab to open a page I wanted to link, it took literally a minute or more to open. Frustrating.

I ran Spybot and Disk Cleanup, then realized that a print job I had cancelled the day before was still in the process of deleting. After more than 15 hours. Nothing I did would make this print job go away, so I uninstalled the printer software and reinstalled it. Now everything is running as well as before. Yay! But pretty much every free moment was spent in front of the computer, and not doing anything fun, either. Boo!

The good news? While waiting for scans and uninstalls and installs to run, I finished seaming and weaving in all the ends of the ... whoops, almost spilled the beans! ;)

Friday, January 16, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, 1/16

With thanks to Jennifer at Conversion Diary for letting us play along!


I bought myself Stephanie Pearl McPhee's Page-A-Day Calendar, Never Not Knitting, just after Christmas. It came with an offer for a free online page-a-day calendar that comes in your e-mail. There were a number of choices, including Cats and Brain Teasers, and I chose 365 New Words a Year. It's been a lot of fun to open the e-mails, scroll down just far enough to see the word, and quiz myself before checking the definition. Then, there's always a link to click for more information on the history and etymology of the word. Yes, I'm a word geek.


Living right across the Detroit River from Canada, I'd come to enjoy CBC Radio 2 for classical music and great programs like Vinyl Cafe. So I'm sad that they seem to have changed formats from nearly all classical to more eclectic. I have nothing against eclectic, but it was nice to have an option in addition to Detroit's WRCJ for classical. At least there's classical in the afternoon, and Vinyl Cafe is still on Saturday mornings.


I made a dastardly treat yesterday. But next time I need to make sure the butter is super soft and mix the ice cream in quicker. It was still pretty yummy (For those of you worried about Jamie, we didn't have it until after he was in bed since he sleeps most of the night, and I only used a splash of rum).


Is it just me, or are people using the phrase "It is what it is" an awful lot lately? I have nothing against the phrase in particular, but I'm getting tired of hearing it.


My little project is almost done (Ravelry link, because I believe the recipient occasionally checks in on this blog). I knit it up in four days, and it's taken me the last three to seam it. I hate seaming, but for this one, it's worth it. All will be revealed on Monday.


Last night I was mulling over ideas for this post as I was putting Jamie to bed, then came downstairs to jot down a list to remind myself this morning. Of course, my mind blanked out before I remembered them all. I was thinking and thinking about the last one, willing it to come back into conscious memory, and then it did! And then I clicked my pen with gusto! And then I realized that I was holding the pen upside down and the ball point was already out! And then I said "OW ow ow ow ow" and forgot what I had remembered.


I know Christmas is over, even for us Catholics, but I had to share one last picture of the season (the plants are fake):

Isn't he the cutest thing?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One reason I love the internet

I just read Sarah's review of a parenting book by Dr. Ray Guarendi. The book is called You're a Better Parent Than You Think!: A Guide to Common-sense Parenting. The review was a good one, and very timely, as I'm starting to find myself reacting to some of Rose's behaviors with frustration and anger. She and I are a great deal alike, which I know adds to the frustration. I'm hoping that the book will give me some insights into how I can react appropriately to her, or better yet, be proactive in what I do and say to help her act better. Sarah points out that in the text of the book, Dr. Ray uses the term "good sense" rather than "common sense," which I like very much since it seems common sense isn't really all that common!

Anyway, back to why I love the internet. First, the whole concept of blogging as a means of "regular people" sharing information and opinions. Next, as soon as I had read her post, I went to The Library Network for my area, checked to see if it is available, and it is, at a couple of the libraries. I placed a hold on it, and I'll receive an e-mail in a day or two, as soon as it's been delivered to my local library. All within a matter of minutes! I love the internet.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

"Mommy, I want a brother and sister picture. Please?"

With much thanks to Sarah for the idea, because I have no brain today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bad Timing

Well, James had his six-month checkup this morning, and as I had expected, he's now too long for his infant carrier/car seat. It's just as well, since the combined weight of him and the carrier has started to be too much. But I love being able to bundle him up into that cozy cocoon while still indoors and the way throwing a blanket over it makes a warm little tent, protecting him from the weather we've been having.

So now, just in time for the most bitter weather of the season -- highs of 8 degrees F (-13 degrees C) later this week -- I must move James into a regular car seat. Poor little kid. At least we've got lots of warm clothes for bundling up, not to mention plenty of knit and crocheted blankies!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well, it *is* my favorite color

Your Blog Should Be Blue

Your blog is a peaceful, calming force in the blogosphere.

You tend to avoid conflict - you're more likely to share than rant.

From your social causes to cute pet photos, your life is a (mostly) open book.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Update alert

The name will stay. See item #5 here for details.

Fiber Cafe

So, why "Fiber Cafe?"

After Rachel had taught me to knit, and I started to really get into it, I started wishing there was a yarn shop closer to me than downtown Detroit. Now, I love City Knits, and I love Ewe-Nique Knits, up by where Rachel lives, but either way I was going to be in the car for at least an hour getting there and back, not to mention the time spent petting and ogling the yarn. So I spent a lot of time daydreaming about opening a yarn shop in my town. I knew it would never happen, with my non-existent business sense, but it was so fun to imagine "the perfect yarn shop."

First of all, it would be in downtown Wyandotte, because I love our little downtown. Not to mention it would be nearby.

It would be cozy, but not too small. I would carry all my favorite yarns, and have a running "wish list" on the counter so customers could request their favorites, too.

There would be comfy seating, warm lighting, and coffee and tea available around the clock.

I wanted a clever name, and thought "Fiber Cafe" was a cute pun on "Cyber Cafe." Of course, those who knit and those who don't probably have different connotations of fiber. For me, "fiber" = wool or cotton or alpaca, etc. For most of my friends, "fiber" = bran muffins. Come to the Fiber Cafe, have a bran muffin with your coffee! Hee hee.

Anyhow, when Rachel and I started this blog together a couple years ago, we went through a whole list of names, all of which had been taken by other people in Blogger land. The only one which hadn't was the name of my imaginary yarn shop, so we went with that. It was only after we started that I thought to Google "Fiber Cafe," wondering if we had stepped on anyone's toes. I found an alpaca farm, a couple of clubs, and something about fiber optics, but no shops and no other blogs by this name.

The happy ending is that there really is finally a yarn shop here in Wyandotte, yay! It is indeed cozy, there's comfy seating, it's downtown, and while there's not coffee, every Friday night there's a knit night with food for only $5. The name is also a clever one -- "Miles and Miles of Yarn," after the owner, Diana Miles. I'm so glad she's here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, 1/9

With thanks to Jen for letting us share the fun. Hers and all the rest can be found here.

It's been really fun to discover new (to me) blogs through the 7 Quick Takes project. A couple of them I've enjoyed enough to follow and add to my sidebar. And I love that many participating bloggers have been kind enough to leave comments. Thank you!
I probably shouldn't put this in writing since, if I do, it'll all change tomorrow, but for the last 5 nights my little James has only awakened once, at 5am, to nurse, then slept again until his normal wake-up time. I'm trying not to get too excited, but it's the first real consistent nighttime sleeping pattern he's had. Also, having had a good night's sleep myself, I don't mind just getting up for the day and getting started, in fact, it's been quite enjoyable to have an extra hour to myself every morning.
Maybe I should use the extra time to start writing in his baby book. He's already 6 months old and I've filled out maybe a page and a half. Ugh.
I have my virus scan to run early Friday mornings. Looks like I'm going to have to change that time now that I'm hoping to actually use the computer at that time. It makes everything run so frustratingly slow.
Speaking of frustrating, my town's marching band (of which I was a member) has been getting pressure to change its name before they go march in the Inaugural Parade later this month. They are the Wyandotte Marching Chiefs, in homage to the Wyandot tribe that once lived here. Now a professor in Wisconsin, who as far as I know has never been here and probably doesn't know much about our town or its history, thinks they need to change the name of the band, and all the uniforms. In two weeks. *sigh* I do want to be sensitive. Can anyone out there give me some gentle insight into how "Chiefs" is disrespectful? I hate to be glib, but it's certainly more respectful than "Fighting Irish!"
Update, 1/10: I got word from a mom of one of the band kids that the Chief of the Wyandotte Nation actually flew in from Oklahoma yesterday, visited with the band, said he was very proud of them and fully endorsed their name. Yeah!
I figured out my Blogger sign-in problem. I had bookmarked the start page instead of the Dashboard page. Once I replaced my bookmark, I didn't have to sign in every time.
I have to replace my kitchen faucet. I don't want to, I don't know when I'm going to have time, but I have to.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I think she likes it.

My darling Rose, modeling her blue hat. It's about time I got around to it. She's had her little blue mittens and scarf for a year and a half (although the scarf is AWOL at the moment, grr). She'd been very patient with me during my pregnancy-induced aversion to knitting and the exhaustion that followed.

I wish the speckling had come out more random, but I think I know why it happened, and when I knit another, I think it'll turn out better. Yes, despite the wicked k3togs, I'm probably going to knit this pattern again. We both like it a lot.