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What did you do over the weekend?

First we got new sidewalks and a driveway–and they discovered a leak in the water line.  Replacement is Weds. and $$$$.

Then Steve slipped off his bike in the driveway and broke his arm–and we had a nice visit at Presbyterian ER.  Really, it went very well.

Then I dropped my phone into a cup of coffee–

and it began to vibrate and make strange noises.

I hope things come in threes and that we are finished.

Steve is fine.  He even walked to CVS to get his own pain killers.  He saw an orthopedic surgeon this morning and they will do the “screw it back together” surgery tomorrow. Mostly he is just annoyed.  He’ll be off the bike and the weights for at least 6 weeks.  I will probably spend a lot of time upstairs out of the way.

Got a new phone this morning.  Lost all my numbers.  Email me your number so I can program you in and then will answer if you call.  First the email contacts, now the phone numbers–Am I being told something?

Fortunately I had time to work on Summit for Meghan.  She loves it.  Needs about 12 more inches.I think I’ll offer a class on this.  It’s so much fun to knit, especially if you can knit backward, which I teach.


1.  Crisp by Wendy Bernard in Queensland Haze

I love the saddle shoulders.  Have raised the neckline some.  Now to shape it to my body.  I love the feel and color of this yarn, too.

This pattern is called a vest and is shown over a shirt.  When is a vest a sleeveless sweater?  I’m guessing the answer is —when it’s worn alone.  Do be careful that the neckline and armholes aren’t too big.

2.  Liesl in Summer Tweed.

I saw it at Charlotte Yarn and fell in love.  I was unaware of this pattern, yet about 2,000 people on Ravelry have knit it and posted pictures.  Just missed it when it came out.  It’s the picot bind off on the little cap sleeve that sold me.  Also it can be knit in one day if you want.  For most two skeins of yarn will do, but I need three.  I am going to shape the bottom just a bit so it emphasizes the waist I wish I had.  I’m also leaving off the picot bind off at the end.  I’m not quite that frilly.

3.  A line skirt in Louet Euroflax

The skirt I designed originally as very modern and showcased the Claudia Handpaint linen I bought at SAFF years ago.  But is wasn’t fun to knit and it just kept getting pushed aside.  Eithna pointed out that the purple solid really didn’t work well and encouraged me to frog it.  She was just the friend I needed–an honest one.  I have restarted a much simpler skirt which I can knit mindlessly and wear with joy.  It will be shaped like the purple one I knit last year.  I’m not sure what the bottom will be, but I don’t have to decide until I get there.

4.  Sleepy Hollow Socks in CTH

This project has been snoozing while I knit this:  The PKOK sock in worsted.  I had this Cascade 220 superwash and wondered if 100 grams would really knit a pair of socks.  It did, but my size 6 1/2 foot used almost all of it.  Definitely need two skeins for a man’s sock or a woman’s large.  I used 40 sts and a size 3 needle and they fit nice and snug.  I wore them yesterday in my too big shoes and they were perfect.

In the queue–

Meghan’s sweater in turquoise Hempathy;  Steve’s socks in CTH Moody blues; Vicki’s Belk Sweater in a cotton/silk blend

Random Acts of . . .

. . . rubbing it in.  This one is for Kate in Boston.  The red globe came from her yard in Charlotte, and the daffodil is to say Spring is coming!

. . . efficiency.  Thanks to friend Toby and her Anna May, Jake has a new dog door.  Anna May taught Jake about them and he has been fearless.  Henry just looks and sniffs.  I have hopes of being able to someday have a rug that isn’t small enough to go into the washing machine after it has been anointed.  I also like that I don’t have to stop knitting to go let him out.

. . . luxury.  I drug out the old paraffin bath and dunked my feet which look and feel like rhino skin.  If you have never done this, you’ve missed a real treat.  The warmth, oh, the warmth.  The spooky look of your skin covered in wax.  Do you remember Vincent Price and The House of Wax?  But then, you peel it off and your skin feels like the smooth behind of a newborn babe.  Does wonders for the hands as well.  Ah-h-h-h-h-h.

. . . knitting.  This is the Queensland Haze that is now going to become — after 200 yards of swatching– Crisp, a top down pattern from Wendy Bernard.  I bought the pattern from her website and started it this morning.  It starts with little saddle shoulders.  Now why that is cool is that I just knit those as my gauge swatches and proceeded from those numbers.  It has some trick weaving on the saddles and in one place around the body, but the rest is just knitting.

I’m liking not having to think so much.  If I get bored, I’ll add some pattern.  A great thing about stockinette stitch is that it’s hard to mess it up during social knitting.  Lately anything more complex just has to be frogged when I get home.

I’ve written a pattern of my first Saddlebag Vest and given it to Remi for the shop.  It will be given away if you buy the yarn from her.  I, of course, will be glad to answer questions.  Check with her and I recommend a cotton.  Cotton Fleece or Mission Falls 1824 Cotton would make a nice casual vest.  You can ask to try on mine, but remember it’s been hanging for a long time and will be more stretched than normal by now.  Changing the size is so easy.  Just fewer or more stitches and fewer or more rows.

On the needles

The Sleepy Hollow Sock which knits the gusset as you knit the heel flap.  I discovered this on Yarn Harlot’s blog (great photos) and immediately ordered it and Persephone from here.  I rarely buy sock patterns, but when I see a new technique that interests me, I go for it.  I’m using a size 0 needle and CTH Supersock from the stash.  Love the leaves.

Olympic knitting.  The armscye looks promising, but I need to get further to see.    The front maple leaf is self explanatory, but the area below is mogul tracks.  This is a design as you go sweater.   Also, I’m worried about having enough yarn.  Ain’t life grand?

Started a sock yarn blanket.  I did say “Start.”


New linen skirt is snoozing and new Saddlebag Vest is resting until the Olympic thing is done.

Also have two new sock patterns, but I need pics before I release them.

Hope you are staying busy.

Updates and Injuries

Steve gave me these for Valentine’s and I am hanging some guilt.  These daisies are my favorite flower and I love any yellow flower.  He had to sneak these in the house on Friday and hide them in the Bat Cave (his workout room) in order to give them to me when we got home from Georgia on Sunday.  That was a lot of planning and thought.

What did I give him?  Nada.  What with all the chaos of leaving town, putting up class schedules, Olympic knitting—I just forgot.  Slacker!  How does this good man put up with me?

Speaking of Olympic knitting–seven inches into the top down sweater.  But here’s the real story. 

I’m blaming this on cold weather and dry skin.  I will change the bandages before I go out in public.  I will NOT stop knitting.


Check out the blog called Knitting on Impulse.  She is a knitter who happens to live in Whistler, Canada and is helping with the Olympics.  Her photos are great and the insights from a local are neat.

New website to follow up on the sock blanket post.  This isn’t a sock blanket and it is crocheted instead of knit, but it has the same look and it is very clever and I just love the name of the website.


Visit and take a look at this lovely pattern.  It’s a reason to learn to crochet if you don’t already know how.  Maybe Turtlegirl76 will make it in sock yarn for us.

Olympic Knitting

Here’s the swatch.  I am following Yarn Harlot rules for the Knitting Olympics and am allowed to swatch because that is like training.  Since I’m designing this sweater myself, I feel charting also falls in that category.  I had planned to knit a traditional gansey just like my first one and did the planning for that using Beth Brown-Reinsel’s magnificent book Knitting Ganseys.I also planned to use the same yarn as before–Cotton Fleece.  Kept the yarn because I love it, but last night I had an epiphany.  Why not design this gansey as a raglan and test my theories about how to shape it to fit the body better and to eliminate that bulk under the arm?  I mean this is really supposed to be a challenge, not just an excuse to knit.  So I slept on it and woke up thinking about it and spent the last 5 hours drawing and thinking and here is where I am today.The first 63 rows!  The front and back will be identical and will have centered maple leaves in knit/purl pattern to honor the host country Canada.  The sleeves will have a snowflake centered down the top of the sleeve.  I may change that large knit area on the sides and put in a pattern, but I have a few rows before I have to decide.

After this, it isn’t yet planned.  Maybe a ski slope like pattern in the middle section, maybe not.  I have 17 days.  And if my theory doesn’t work, I’ll need them all, nights,too, to rip and retry.  I did much more planning than I usually do before I start knitting so I hope that will teach me something else important.

Now I am sitting around waiting for the Opening Ceremony time so I can cast on and try out my ideas.  Wish me luck.

I really hope it doesn’t snow.  I want to go to a basketball game in Georgia tomorrow.


Sometimes you just have to start over—

I have a pink sweater—a cardigan that is sort of a shawl/cardi.  The front hangs down in a v shape and it covers my thighs (always a good thing.)  I paid $17 on sale at Target.  It is made of the finest acrylic and I love it.  So when perusing some old Knitters magazines, I leaped upon a pattern called Chocolate Wrapper.  (The word “chocolate” didn’t hurt either.)

This is a vest pattern.  Well, you know how long it takes to knit those pesky sleeve things.  Besides, sleeves are rarely necessary in Charlotte. (I am now rationalizing because I don’t need any more vests.)

In the stash are 11 balls of elann’s Bamboo Fusion in Garnet; it’s probably enough.  Swatch?—What swatch?  I don’t need no stinking swatch!  (Have you figured out where this is headed?)  Cast on 119 sts and knit for two days.  Learn some neat stitch tricks to follow the pattern I almost like while suspecting from the get-go that the gauge is wrong.

What is this insane hope that it will work out that takes possession of an experienced, usually smart knitter and keeps her plodding along for two days before the Big Rip-out?  Even Steve knows that doubt is always a sign for the knitter to stop now.  That’s why I never tell him when the doubt creeps in.  No, I continue to knit, filled with hope and belief, right up until the Roadrunner drops the anvil on my head.

Ripping out isn’t so bad.  I can now prevent the cotton overstretching by using a much smaller needle.  Cotton has no memory and once it is stretched out, it just stays there.  I can also use some different st patterns.  Too many holes in a design are just opportunities for me to catch it on something and rip an ugly.

The upside is that I met this new yarn and it is CHEAP!  Here are the specs:  50% bamboo, 31.2% cotton, 18.8% acrylic; 19 sts/4 inches on US7; 50 gr = 96 yards.  It is an 8 ply (I counted them.) and therefore it will split some if you are not careful.  It costs $2.98——yes, $2.98 a ball plus shipping.  It knits up so SOFT!  Like holding a cloud in your hand.  I’m talking soft.

The bamboo catches the light and gives it a little gleam, not quite a shine.  The bamboo and acrylic mix keep the cotton from being so heavy it will stretch to the floor while wearing it.  I haven’t laundered it –no swatch, remember?—but I anticipate it will do well.  The ball band says “machine wash cold; dry flat.”

Why would I take the time to carefully knit a yarn that is multi-plied and therefore splittable?  It’s the softness factor.

I could get softness from a softball spun yarn such as Blue Sky DyedCotton which has one big, soft ply and a thin thread wrapped around it, but those softly spun yarns pill like crazy.  Especially under the arms of a garment.  I’d rather get my softness from a multi-ply that won’t pill.  And you know me, if I lose a ply or two in a stitch, I’ll just touch it up with some sewing thread at the end——or not.

Now, the website is elann.com.  Please leave some of the blue for me.

Cozumel, Magnets, FO

Steve at the bowWeds. night was the cocktail party (yeah, this is time warping to tell these stories) where the group was gathered together again.  Everyone wore handknits and praise was heaped.  I wore my linen skirt and an Oak Leaf shawl.

My greatest contribution to the discussion was the use of magnets to hold your shawl closed or your scarf in place.  ($2.95 at Michaels) I felt so proud being shown off to everyone and offering such wisdom and cleverness.  —This morning I couldn’t open my stateroom door.  The magnets had degaussed my room key.  New thought:  keep the magnets away from magnetic strips.  Another pedestal crumbling under me.

Storms started last night.  Lots of pitch and roll.  I stayed on my balcony a long time watching.  Once we sailed into a rain shower and I could see it approaching down the side of the ship.  Amazing.  I love the vast power of the sea—as long as I’m safe of course.

Cozumel looks much nicer and more developed than the other stops.  I didn’t visit.  I knit a while on the top deck with my new friend Doris.  I worked mostly on the second Anemoi mitten, desperately chasing the work FINISHED.

Bordhi toeThe Bordhi sock is rocking, BUT—I think it may be too big.  Do I frog or do I try to find a way to cheat?  Of course, I knit another inch before deciding I needed to frog.  Steve made fun of me.  Even he knows that asking that question means it is time to frog.  Had these socks been for him, he would not have said a word.

The Lililandia Cowl is finished.  It is too small really even though I added stitches.  I think it is beautiful.


Evan loved the cowl and took it home with him.  Fits him perfectly but he was not into having a photo made.  Here’s the cowl on me.Liliandia cowl on meDo you feel stupid trying to take your own picture?

Taking my own picThis is the unedited pic of an idiot in the Malabrigo Neck Thingie.

Cruise stops-a slanted view

First stop on the cruise was Costa Maya.  I took four pictures from my balcony.  Two of the land jutting out to the sea.costa maya1Dry, desolate, but with a lovely color combo.  Soft yellow-green, pearl sand, grey trees–sounds like a colorway.  The turquoise water flowing up to the beach makes a great highlight.costa maya 2Costa maya3The brilliant pink and hot peach stucco of the shopping district with the grey thatched roofs is another treat.  Dots of true blue umbrellas, a soft yellow wall add interest.  However—————-this shopping district, built for and by the cruise lines, holds no interest for me.  (No yarns shops) Our personal cruise shopping guide is meeting passengers at the jewelry store to assist them in buying diamonds.  She had a program on the ship’s TV last night about this.  Jane and Steve respectfully decline.

I sat by or in the pool this morning.  Very quiet with all ashore.  I’m working on the Lillandria Cowl from ravelry.Liliandia startI’m using Silk Garden from the stash and double pointed needles as the designer highly recommends.  I used this stitch in my Seaworthy Shawl and do enjoy knitting it.  The Noro colors are stacking nicely.  I’m too relaxed to knit anything requiring more thought.

My last picture of Costa Maya is of the people from the two docked ships walking down the pier to spend money on stuff.Costa maya 4At dinner last night we were alone.  Doris and Ken, our former tablemates, had transferred to another dining room to be with her sister.  We ordered a bottle of Cote du Rhone and had some nice conversation.  Yes, folks, Steve talked!  He looked so awesome in his new suit and yellow tie.  Our table is by the window and looks out over the water–lucky us.

After dinner we hung out in the casino to watch the gamblers.  Lots of money exchanged hands.  I don’t get the attraction, but I ‘ll bet they wouldn’t understand my yarn room.


FINISHED TODAY—ANEMOI MITTENS.  Pic later after blocking.  So happy.

Debbie Bliss Class

We were at sea all day so we had a knitting class.  Sorry I didn’t take my camera.  Debbie Bliss is a wonderful and generous person.  She talked for a bit about her design technique.  Here are some of my class notes–

Lots of texture;  uses Mock Rib a lot in garments (k1, p1 on right side, p on wrong side); img-The_Big_Easyswatches through the blocked periods and then designs just begin to come; no large reverse st st areas; puts her bobbles in surprising places; paneled pieces are knit one panel at a time and then manipulated to create the design; loves moss st.

She allowed us to try on lots of her pieces and the fit was surprising.  All of her samples are knit at 34 inch size, yet they fit a huge variety of people.  She agrees with me and therefore must be right that people tend to knit garments too large.  I tried on a coat from her book  The Big Easy and discovered that I needed to knit the 36″ size, not the 40 or 42 I might have chosen.  img-The_Big_Easy4Isn’t it adorable?  I may have to knit this.

Debbie is not a natural teacher.  The class was great through the fashion show, but then we had about 4 hours left to just sit and knit from a worksheet of stitch patterns and she would help if you needed it.  I will say she did generously help anyone who asked.  However—-the textured patterns were mostly cables.

Yes, Jean, I said cables.  I was 5 weeks into teaching the Great American Aran Afghan and I was not going to knit anymore cables!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I happily went to find Steve and the pool.

OMG!  The bodies.  They were everywhere.  It didn’t matter if they were attractive or not, it was just the enormity of the amount of exposed flesh every where I looked.  I was overwhelmed.   So I drank a mojito and ran off to lunch alone.

I found Steve and we found a really isolated deck with a great view of the water and a good breeze. (Our balcony was currently in full sun.) I did the Cat Bordhi toe from the Discovery Sock in her new book. I like it so far and this new technique intrigues me.  It seems more practical and less showboat than the others.  I mean that in a nice way.Bordhi toeYarn is Yummy from Universal,  a gift from Hal.

Saw Cuba–well, I saw a dark blotch on the horizon, but the captain said it was Cuba.  I don’t think he would lie to me.

Tonight is the first formal dinner.  I asked Steve if he would need extra time to do his hair.  He gave me the skunk eye.  He gets cocky when the socks on the needle are NOT for him.

Am reading another book about AD/HD.  This by Sari Solden about women and adhd.  Shelley is right; I need some testing.  I have so many ideas and I need some strategies to corral them and get my brand on them. (How about that metaphor?)

Tomorrow we dock in Costa Maya and Steve is  going on a biking/kayaking trip.  I have no plans—well, there might be some knitting.

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