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August 2013
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October 2013

Wedding Shawls



This is a stunning shawl, quite quick to knit on size 7 needles, and not at all difficult. Julia's pattern is wonderfully written. I have found the upper lace-to-stockinette-to-garter edge to be a bit "flippy" and would probably work out something different there -- possibly making the stockinette section a bit wider (there was plenty of yarn left over). It's lovely as a shawl, and I've also worn it wound more tightly to the neck like a cowl. Yes, it is currently in my custody.


  • Mine is Frambuesa 
  • Make.Do BE - Merino/Nylon
  • Needle: US 6
  • Start to Finish: April 27 - June 13, 2013

Not happy with the stretchiness of my first "loose" cast-on, I ripped out the first version of Frambuesa that I knit and started again using a method by June Hemmons Hiatt in The Principles of Knitting. That resulted in a much better edge, and I'm delighted with how nicely the "points" look in these photos! This, also, was a well-written pattern and a very quick knit, also with plenty of yarn left over.

(Look for some commemorative red hexipuffs when that project is all said and done... someday!)

The patterns are available either individually, or as part of Julia's Mind of Winter Fire Collection, which also includes a beautiful pullover pattern.


I dyed the yarn once, knit the shawls, then over-dyed the finished shawls. The color turned out rich, deep, and luminous -- and pretty darn perfect.


Hm. I still need close-ups of my shawl!

Can you believe it's been three months already?!


I'll race ya!

Our nest may be empty of offspring for the first time in a long time, but there's a "new" (to us) kitty in the mix to keep things lively around here.

Porter is the first indoor cat we've ever had; declawed by his original owner, he only goes outside... when he escapes! He came to Katie through a friend, and now joins Scamp, Roxie, and Duncan to bring our total feline pet population to four! We've never had that many cats before. Two is my ideal, though it's been a long time since we only had two cats.

Relations here are touchy. Scamp is old, slow, arthritic, and possibly suffering some sort of feline dementia (if there is such a thing). Roxie is the only female in the mix; littermate of Scamp, they have the best relationship. Duncan is a wild one, a bad boy by nature with little glimmers of sweetness; he gets along best with Scamp (that's not to say great). Porter is a bad boy sort of by nurture -- super lovable, but he learned to play rough!

We had a sort of "open door policy" for the few weeks prior to Katie's departure so that Porter could become more a part of our household. Since she's been gone, we've left the door open while we work up there, leaving his food and litter box in their usual locations. Eventually that'll all move downstairs, and the door will close. (The goal being to actually rent the apartment for the first time in 20+ years!) (We sure don't need all that extra room.) (The extra $ would sure be nice.)

I'm sure Porter misses Kate, but am very happy with how well he's handling things. Other than weirdly finding his way into the basket, above, he hasn't displayed any behavior that's too off-the-wall... for him! That's not to say there hasn't been a lot of spitting, hissing, and batting of paws amongst the cats. Roxie generally keeps her distance altogether, coming in only for short periods... I sometimes close off an area for her; it's been most stressful for her, I think.

* * * * *

I had to laugh at Porter this morning-- very early morning (more like middle of the night... at a time I'd usually not be amused)...

Ever since we opened the door, Porter's had this thing about the stairs. If someone's going up, he needs to go up, too. Not only does he need to go up, he needs to go up FAST! Faster than anyone else! Let's RACE!!

It was hot & humid last night so we left our bedroom doors open for circulation. (I won't even get into the fact that I was wrapped up in blankets, wearing a sweater and socks, and even turned the heat on for one cycle just two nights before.) Of course, that left our bedroom open for other types of circulation, too!

At about 2:30 a.m., Porter came in and started dancing around my head and then over to my night table. Treacherous business, that, and he has a history of nudging things off the edge of whatever he's on. I got up and headed for the bathroom. He was tight on my heels, slinking around my ankles the whole time.

He left us alone for a little bit, but then came in again. Kate said that when he's extra persistent, it's often because his food bowl (located upstairs) is empty. I didn't want to, but thought I'd better go up and check. I was surprised that he didn't follow! I knew, though, that once he heard me on the stairs (a very old, very noisy staircase) he'd come running, and did he ever! Like a SHOT, he blasted off from our bedroom, racing through the kitchen and living areas, and beat me to the top by a footfall! It was so amusing, I almost didn't mind the time.

His food dish was not empty. I added a little more, anyway... and shut the bedroom door behind me.


Sweater Weather

The Neighbourhood

It's too cold
For you here and now
Let me hold
Both your hands in the holes of my sweater

I mostly listen to the radio at work. Have you heard this song -- Sweater Weather? It's in pretty heavy rotation on the station that's tuned in her most.

Of course, I couldn't help but think of another favorite sweater song.

Mason-Dixon Knitting's Ann & Kay

If you knit for a friend,
Does that make it a sin?

Today's Yesterday's Ten on Tuesday topic is 10 Songs That Make You Want To Dance. I'll tell you what, there are about 10 million songs that make me want to dance! I am always tapping my toes, swaying to-and-fro, dancing in my seat... it makes my brain implode to think about narrowing it down to 10. I thought it might be a good time to finish this post, that I actually started it at the end of July!

I've been listening to a lot of music on Spotify lately. I love music -- all types -- and I especially enjoy my friends' playlists wherein I sometimes rediscover old favorites and always find some new (maybe only to me).

In heavy rotation lately is Kate's summerfallwinter2013 list, including: Avicii, Saint Motel, Lana Del Rey, Fitz and The Tantrums, The Boxer Rebellion, Foals, Lorde, and Deb Talan.

I honed in a little more on Deb Talan yesterday and began listening to her album A Bird Flies Out. My first thought was, "Sharon would like this," and I had an impulse to call her up! Instead, I'll call you all up and share what I'm listening to (some of it really does make me want to dance!):

1. Avicii: Wake Me Up

2. Saint Motel: My Type

3. Lana Del Rey: Young And Beautiful

4. Fitz and The Tantrums: Out Of My League

5. The Boxer Rebellion: Diamonds

6. Foals: Late Night

7. Lorde: Biting Down

8. Deb Talan: Rocks and Water

9. Nina Simone: Sinnerman (Felix Da Housecat's Heavenly House Mix)

10. Lana Del Rey: Summertime Sadness [Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais] (Cedric Gervais Remix)

What's playin' on your boom box?

Coming up for air!

Ohmygod, I haven't been this tired -- bone tired but good tired -- in a long time. I've had some tossing-and-turning nights recently, but last night was NOT one of those and I am pretty certain tonight should be a repeat.

It's been taking daughters to school and to the airport -- and by that I mean, MOVING OUT and/or AWAY, and so a helluva lot more involved than just driving over with a few boxes and dropping them at the door -- farmer market days, knit nights, book club and, today, another rummage sale.

I'm sure you will be AMAZED to learn that neither of these items sold at today's rummage sale. The sentimental packrat in me would love nothing more than to enshrine these -- the mug, at least -- but the packrat was stifled today. Stifled hard. (We still have a bowl & plate with similar -- cuter, even -- decoration.) We sold a lot of stuff -- BIG stuff, so-happy-to-get-rid-of-this-stuff -- but there was plenty left. Again. Of course. We boxed and loaded it up into my car and my husband's, and we drove DIRECTLY to the Goodwill donation center to collect our donation receipts. There's another load to go sometime over the weekend.

GONE, baby. All that stuff is GONE. I can't believe how good it feels.

And my front room. Wow. You should see how much room there is!!

Tomorrow is another farmer market -- the Fall Fest version, which means that it is quite a bit bigger, there's a lot of stuff going on, and it's on 'til 2:00 instead of noon. It was chilly today (barely reaching 60F) but will be a bit warmer tomorrow, and it should be a fun day! As tired as I am, I am looking forward to it -- and I'm bringing a lot more than just yarn.

Sunday is a birthday party and a football game. Mostly, though, I'm looking forward to sleeping until I naturally wake up on my own.


It's just the normal noises in here...

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Miss About My Home When I'm Away

1.  My own pillow and my own bed. It's not uncommon to pack my pillow when I go away -- sometimes even a nice hotel pillow is just too much -- or not enough, or too soft, or too hard (Princess & The Pea, anyone?) -- and not every place I stay has a pillow menu! I always make sure that my pillow is wearing a loud or colorful pillowcase so it doesn't blend in and is less likely to be left behind.

2.  My kitchen -- knowing what I have and where everything is!

3.  My coffee pot -- it goes with the above, but is a worthy line-item!

4.  My... um... chair... area. There's my chair, the side table, the chest a little beyond that, and all the project bags and books on the floor around it (winter's on the way... this is insulation) -- needles, scissors, tools, some yarn -- all at-hand. The whole area is actually due for a massive clean up! (Soon.)

5.  The bathroom! A creature of habit, I don't spend a lot of time fussing & primping, but I like to have my stuff

6.  My shower! (6 is to 5 as 3 is to 2) Heh.

7.  Mail! Granted, the mail isn't what it used to be -- actual cards and letters are rare -- but I still look forward to the daily delivery of the mail at home!

8.  Our pets. Scamp, Roxie, Duncan and, now, Porter! We are well on our way to being Crazy Cat People!

9.  The porches and pergola and the outdoor privacy we have at home.

10.  And just the usual, the overall things that are familiar...  the normal noises and bumps in the night that are unique to my home and to which I am accustomed. Even if they annoy me sometimes, at least I know what they are!

I couldn't find a clip with the intro... some scuffling, a bump or two, and a girl calling out: It's just the normal noises in here! One of my all-time favorites! And I love this song, too. That whole album -- Damn The Torpedoes. I'm pretty sure I still have that LP. And a turntable to play it on, too.

What do you miss most when you're away from home?

* * * * *

Wondering about Kate and how she's doing in Edinburgh? You can follow along on her blog, Artsy Abroad, and/or on Facebook (and/or on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram... look for the icons that interest you on the blog's sidebar).

(She's doing great!)


All aboard

Kate & I went out for coffee yesterday.

And dinner... with Rusty, Ali, Rod & Jillian.


Missing only Maddy... already away at school.

We visited Mom.

I picked what's probably the last of the sungold tomatoes.

We went out for coffee again today.

And tea and other stuff and last-minute visiting.

She finalized the final packing.

And I took her to the airport.

And she ought to be on-board as we speak, the plane due to lift off in about :20. She'll wing her way to Detroit, then to Amsterdam, and finally to Edinburgh tomorrow morning -- or, rather, afternoon on her clock. Either way, I look forward to hearing from her along the way. And all the time.

I can't wait!


A post about knitting stuff

Not the least of which is the crowning of this year's Knitters' Chick & Knitters' Hunk!

I approve.

I pulled out this cute stitch marker last night to mark the beginning of my round when I picked up stitches for the first sleeve of the Garter Yoke Baby Cardi. It was a gift from Laura, organizer of the bus that delivered 50 knitters, including me, from NE Wisconsin to Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, IL, a month ago. I can't believe that was a month ago! I had fun meeting, talking to and/or shopping Lisa Souza, Cephalopod Yarns, The Verdant Gryphon, Zen Yarn Garden, Miss Babs... you know, the place was just plump full of gorgeousness!

Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival is this weekend, but I don't think I'll make it this year. That's okay. It's not like I don't have any yarn. Heh.

Lord, I just keep knitting and knitting and knitting... it's definitely PROCESS time right now. I'm barely registering a finish -- or bothering to finish -- before moving straight on to the next thing. Baby/kid stuff. This needs buttons, those need to be sewn, that one needs some ties. The "next thing" isn't even really decided upon until it's time to cast on... but I must keep knitting... reaching into the hazy fog to pull out a pattern and some yarn... okay, let's knit THAT.

I have no idea what's next, but I've little more than a sleeve and buttonband to figure it out.

I'd like to see some sheep and wool, and have entertained a vague notion of October in New York... feeling like I deserve something like that right now. Or maybe just a little off-topic trip to NY. Or someplace.

I'm happy to learn of JC Briar's return to Yarn by Design's Midwest Masters in April. That's something to put on the calendar. Have you heard about her Stitch Map project?

Do I seem jumpy? Sending my kid off the day after tomorrow for her first day of school -- in Edinburgh! We practice Skyped (upstairs/downstairs) yesterday.



Makin' moves

It was not a bad day to be at the market yesterday.

It was mostly cloudy, and a lot cooler and less humid than originally predicted for the weekend. Thankyouverymuch!

I did some knitting... actually got a little carried away because, by the end of the day, I discovered that I went a bit too far. Today, I'll be ripping back a little bit and finishing that bottom edge, then picking up to finish those cute, wee sleeves. I'm not sure yet exactly what size this is turning out to be.

In other news, Maddy came home yesterday afternoon, as planned, to pack the trailer for the move into her first apartment (yay, no more dorms!). This was a change from an earlier plan, which had this all happening a week later. It's been a tough transition through the end of summer to the start of school; poor kid, she had to be at work (for the school job) two weeks ago, but her new apartment was unavailable until... NOW. She's been couch-surfing a lot, and even spent a night (with a friend) in her car. So, anyway, BUSY BUSY BUSY. She worked until 1:30 yesterday, was home by 3:00, and packing up by 3:05.

Waiting on laundry to dry, we ordered pizza and had a nice visit over dinner with Kate -- who just returned from her LAST DAY AT WORK. At one point, with the late start, we thought we might not drive the trailer over until Sunday morning, but there was good energy (and weather), so we took off for points west right after supper.

The unloading goes SO much faster than the loading! Maddy's roommate and lifelong best friend was a big help on both ends and it made all the difference! They were all moved in and we were headed back home before the sun went down. Don't they look happy? It's a cute little apartment -- clean and it smelled good -- perfect for them!

Here's to another great year at school!!