Vicki, don't you lose that number...

Dsc06951I think I lost it... "tossed it" is probably more like it.  You know, in this big house full of crap, that stack of Weight Watchers materials was just taking up too much space -- OUT!  I've been looking for my Weight Watchers Lifetime Member number and I can't find it; I think it's likely been recycled into toilet paper by now.  Oh my goodness, look what I did find!  Look at the things I save!!  I have to say that I feel pretty far removed from the person in those pictures, which is the only explanation for why I can post it.  It's the chart I kept back in '88-'89, tracking my ups and downs the first time I went to WW, complete with "fat" and "motivational/progress" pictures.

Dsc06952That's the "before" picture -- a three-year-old Katie with a 180-lb. +/- me at the Lake Michigan shore, summer-ish 1988.  I'd given birth to Ali a little over a year earlier, but never lost the weight gained during pregnancy -- which was pretty much in addition to the weight from Katie's pregnancy that I'd never lost, either.  I'm sure I tipped the scale at 200 by Ali's birth (the last, official record was 199 and there were a couple of days before I actually delivered).  What really motivated me to join WW, though, was a video clip from our summer vacation, visiting friends on Vashon Island, WA.  Having just filmed a fun, group rendition of "The More We Get Together" at the end of our trip, I ba-boom, ba-boomed my way toward the camera to turn it off, Alison on my hip, and holy shit...  I thought I'd been camouflaging those few extra pounds pretty well.  Right there in living color, it was plain to see that I was NOT... not at ALL.  The camera does not lie!  The minute I got home from that vacation, I was on the phone, finding a Weight Watchers meeting.

It took me over a year to lose nearly 50 pounds, as you can (maybe) see*.  I really had no business being photographed in a bathing suit even then (how about "ever"), but I like to focus on the positive -- the upper half  -- don't my arms look good?  With a thinner face, my hairdresser at the time was anxious to cut my hair short, too, because he could!  Yeah, well, what I can I say... it was '80s.  Same goes for the dress...

So, anyway, I recorded a loss last night that was greater than the previous week's gain, so that's good.  This may fall under the "too much information" category, but I got my period last week -- the first one in at least two months, and probably more like three -- there's been a little stress, plus age and hormonal shifts -- so when I came home last Tuesday to change my jeans before going to WW because, apparently, the stretch feature of that pair was no longer working and they were cutting of my circulation and I couldn't stand it for ONE MORE MINUTE... well, it was probably a lot of water retention and not really fat (or the jeans).  ; )

I'll be finishing the back of Fibonacci today!  I'm right there, at the stripe sequence where the shoulder/neck shaping will take place, and decided not to tackle it last night, but to sleep on it and really think about how I want the shoulders to look, how the stripes should be, what all the magic numbers are...  I'm also to the point of adding eyes and embroidering the face on the first of the birthday Oddfellows.  ; )

*And if you guessed that I became pregnant with Maddy within minutes of reaching my goal weight, you'd be correct.  ; )


This post could go south so easily.  I'm in a mood, a funk; I've got the blahs and I'm blue; it's like someone has stepped on my rose-colored glasses.  So let's just turn around and go north, shall we?

Dsc06789My brother, Michael, lives north and I talked to him last night!  I wanted to know how his first weekend at home went; I hoped that he was entertained by visitors, but not overwhelmed by them.  Sounds like it went pretty well and they're getting used to things, figuring out ways for him to be more comfortable, working on remembering and thinking, learning more about what happened to him, playing with the dog.  He gets so emotional sometimes -- and I do, too; we all do!  It's amazing, after all these weeks, how the gravity of it all can sometimes still sneak up and bowl you right over; and maybe even more surprising is that you'd think, being bowled over a few times already, that it wouldn't seem so grave or amazing or surprising anymore -- after all, he is recovering so very well!  Well, it is grave and amazing and surprising... it's also humbling and scary and heart-wrenching and joyful... still.  I find I'm given reason to think of his ordeal nearly every single day on my way to work, when I am unwilling witness to bone-headed motor vehicle moves.  Why, yes, there was a particularly frightful one this morning.  Makes me want to put a sign on my car: "Pay attention, people.  Be aware!  And don't drive stupid around me!"

Anyway, physically, Michael can stand being upright -- sitting, walking, standing -- in the brace for about two hours, max, then he's just got to get it off; he's feeling the pain of broken ribs and shoulder blade more acutely and the brace adds to the discomfort.  Fingers and toes are crossed for the next 30 days, when he'll have his next appointment with the neurosurgeon, that the fractured vertebra have all been knitting together nicely on their own all these weeks and that he'll be able to start losing the brace a little each day.

Lifted from Nathania, a meme.  Do a Wikipedia search of your birthdate, minus the year; list three interesting events, three people who were born, and three people who died on that day.  Here's mine:


  1. 1860 - U.S. presidential election, 1860:  Abraham Lincoln is elected as the 16th President of the United States, the first Republican to hold that office.
  2. 1939 - The Hedda Hopper Show debuts with Hollywood gossip Hedda Hopper as host. The show would run until 1951, making Hopper a powerful figure in the Hollywood elite.
  3. 1975 - The Sex Pistols play their first concert at St. Martin's School of Art in London.


  1. 1946 - Sally Field, American actress
  2. 1948 - Glenn Frey, American singer (Eagles)
  3. 1949 - Brad Davis, American actor (d. 1991)
  4. 1949 - Arturo Sandoval, Cuban-born trumpeter

This is just the '40s!  Also born on this day:  Charles Dow (of the Dow Jones), John Philip Sousa, Ray Coniff, Mike Nichols, Maria Shriver, Ethan Hawke...


  1. 1406 - Pope Innocent VII
  2. 1796 - Catherine II of Russia (b. 1729)
  3. 1991 - Gene Tierney, American actress (b. 1920)

Tomorrow:  A very good chance for a completed Fibonacci back and the start of the fronts!

Also:  Please notice the new ClustrMap on the sidebar.  It's pretty cool!  Found at VeryOtterly and thought I'd give it a whirl.

And:  Check it out: 91 knitters in the pink.  How utterly cool is that?

Dsc06894Dsc06921Mack came to visit this weekend (that's him -- incognito -- almost 10 months old!) and was my motivation to finish Spherey's arms and legs, making it so much easier to grab and hold onto now.  ; )  I think Spherey's adorable -- I dare you not to smile back at that face!  (Mack's adorable, too.)

Next up is an Oddfellow or two (also from Jess Hutchison's book) for birthdays coming up later this month.  Um, well, one of them in a week... I'd better get to work on that... good thing he's a wee, odd fellow.

Dsc06947I made a little progress on Fibonacci. I don't know if I'll ever get a true color photograph -- the reds burn your retinas or the light green looks day-glo or something else is not quite right.  I admit to wondering sometimes if it isn't a little wild and crazy, but I've come up with a back-up plan, which I may implement at some point even if I like The Fib as-is.  Just because I can.  I have to finish it first, though...

I'm Fibbing!

Dsc06837rDsc06838rOn Thursday morning, I kissed my hubby on my way out the door and told him that I thought I'd be home right after work -- for the first time in six weeks!  A little later, I called him and told him that the only thing that really remains the same is that There Will Be Change...  I'd learned that the greenhouse right down the street from work was having a series of gardening classes and the first one, mainly about perennials, was that night!

I can't say that I learned a whole lot, but it was good to get the gardening mojo going.  One idea that I will put into use this year is to work more annuals in with the perennials.  In exchange for my $10 class fee, I got a $10 coupon and was eligible for door prizes -- they gave away four Dramm professional watering tool sets.  I didn't win one (my companion did!), but there were a half-dozen available for $10 and I made sure I snagged one.  I wasn't rude or pushy, I don't think I was even aggressive... I was determined to have one of the six.  (It thrills me that the Dramm company is right over on the lakeshore, in Manitowoc.)  I also brought home a few primroses, which are blooming and brightening the area around the kitchen sink and will eventually get planted outside, and a pot full of ruffly pansies.  I didn't find them at first, and then asked a lady where she got them, and then thought, "Oh, I'll just stop on my way home from work one of these days," but when I said that I especially loved the ruffly ones and she said that there weren't very many of those left -- well, bee-line to the pansy department!!

Dsc06840Dsc06841Madeleine had a bunch of girls over last night -- enough to cover the living room floor and the couch -- so while they took over my regular spot, I brought my knitting into the computer room and listened to podcasts while I worked on...

The Fib!  I love it!  I am using a combination of Alexandra's pattern with (I think) a very basic, modified drop shoulder cardi pattern.  I did some calculating based on my swatch, also determining that I think I'll have enough yarn, and I played with the (very limited) color feature of Excel!  I love it!  The print-out of the stripes represents the entire length, the width of the stripes, and the order of color.  I love it!  I stayed up past my bedtime, even for a Friday night, to complete one color repeat (seven colors) in the Fibonacci sequence (2, 2, 4, 6, 10).  I love it!!!

Have I said that I love it?

Several weeks ago, one of my sisters called and told me that she'd just taken every single thing out of one of her bathrooms and cleaned it and then put back only what she really wanted and she said that it felt so good!  I think I'm going to try it today.  ; )

Who knows?

Dsc06800_1I am getting so excited about Fibonacci!  Alexandra has some other cute designs (go see!) and she's also the designer of the popular Soleil.

I made this mess into neat little yarn cakes on Wednesday!  Last night, I knit a big swatch (uh-huh, a swatch!) and it will soon be time for pencil, paper, calculator and (probably) Excel!  Now, I'm not 100% sure I'm going to knit this exactly as written -- I'm thinking that I'll still knit a raglan but I may do it in pieces, from the bottom up, rather than on a circ from the top down.  The circs and I just don't get along and nothing would spell UFO to this sweater more than c-i-r-c-u-l-a-r.  (My Tivoli -- which isn't even called that anymore -- is a shining tarnished tarnishing example.)  Also, while I'll be using the same Fibonacci sequence for the stripes, I will be using seven different colors of yarn rather than five, in this order (I think):

Dark Green/Gray, Orange, Tan, Rust, Spring Green, Red, Gold

I'm still working on Trellis -- knitting both fronts at the same time.  I didn't get to the sock last night, and eventually I'll have to stop ignoring the shrug...

* * * * *

My brother called me last night.  I think he missed me!!  I'd been worried about the ride home -- he had to wear the brace and it's over an hour from the hospital to their home and it's spring in Wisconsin (which means that bumps in the road and potholes are EVERYWHERE!).  Apparently, I needn't have worried because he told me that he actually fell asleep in the car!  I'm chalking that up to my SIL's good driving and Michael's apparent ease in a motor vehicle -- not remembering, but being aware of what happened to him (he has not seen any pictures or read any accounts of the accident, and doesn't want to yet -- not 'til his bones heal -- or maybe never, but he does ask questions about it and talk about it from time to time).  There was a very happy reunion with his dog.  Said dog was curled up at his feet when we spoke, hadn't left Mike's side -- except for a walk, which Mike meant to do, but he'd fallen asleep.  Sleep and rest are still so very important.

* * * * *

So, who knows?  Cassie's post, The secret life of a blogger, was interesting to read the other day; she wrote about things that cross my mind frequently -- some more than others, some more lately than previously.  I started to leave a comment, but, as so often happens, I was distracted, and now it's much more than a comment... more like a big, ol' ramble!

My kids know about the blog, but Katie's the only one who reads -- and it's semi-regularly, at that (and I am thrilled beyond all reason when she leaves a comment).  DH knows -- he thinks it's cool and has even met some of my "blog friends," but he is not a regular reader (I'm not sure he could even find the blog).  I kept the blog secret even from them -- the people I live with -- for a while.  I eventually told one of my sisters after about a year.  She told blurted it out to our dad (of all people!) and to my youngest sister (who is very envious of my "blog friends" and wants some of her own) and to some of her friends -- they all think it's cool, but completely overwhelming.  None of them read very often (some -- dad? -- maybe never).  The blog is not really a secret, but I've learned that -I- would rather be the one to tell people about it, if I want them to know.  None of my "real" friends know.  I, too, have all these new "knitter friends" from the far corners, and I, too, have more contact on a regular basis with some of them than with "real" friends, and I, too, have traveled to meet up with them -- I've got to wonder (too) where my mom thinks they've come from...

I shot daggers at my sister the first time I heard her mention my blog to someone (dad).  All sorts of thoughts ran through my head and she retorted, enthusiastically, "What?  It's you and it's fun and you haven't written anything to be ashamed or embarrassed about."  She was right -- and now I can't.  ; )

At first, I was quite cautious about my identity and location, careful about photographs and things.  Not that I've actually spelled it out anywhere, that I know of, but I'm not bent on complete and total anonymity.  I think I'd make an excellent detective or secret agent -- I can keep secrets and be very stealthy and hold things close to the vest -- I'm quiet and cautious and a little shy, but I'm just not secretive, and I don't blog that way; it's not a natural approach for me.  I know my blog personality is a little different than my real life personality -- I can be a little more "out there" on the blog -- but, you know, I'm ALWAYS fooling myself into thinking that I'm "out there" ALL the time, in ALL my personalities, and I'm really not.  (I'll bet y'all really want to meet (all of) me(s) now, huh?  Heh.)  I'm such a stick-in-the-mud wallflower and I always have to push and stretch myself to participate!  However, I do have it on good authority that I sound different on the blog.  ; )

Yeah, yeah, about my kids and the dangers of the internet and all the bad people...  well, I don't live my life in fear, either.  In fact, I refuse to live in fear and I have never modeled that for my kids; caution, yes; knowledge, yes; communication, yes; fear, no. You better believe I am sometimes afraid -- sometimes frozen with fear -- for my kids, myself, my neighborhood, my world -- and, oh, it would be so much easier to be a hermit... but that's not living.  I live, I blog, I blog (some of) what I live.

Six weeks ago, my brother was in a terrible accident and I blogged it.  I blogged most of it (not all) every day of the however many weeks in ICU, the surgeries, the rehab and recovery -- I couldn't imagine not blogging at all and there was nothing but that to blog for a while; those were my only choices.  I briefly questioned whether I should.  Because of the blogging, he will soon be the recipient of a blanket made up of squares knit by many knitters, spearheaded and sewn together by the generous Christine, in conjunction with a blanket project she had going for her brother.  It's one thing when I receive the occasional package in the mail from a blog friend, but how in the world was I going to explain an entire blanket for my brother?  Everyone watched me knit the single, solitary sock in the hospital waiting room, they know it isn't even BLUE.  (Abracadabra!  Let me pull this sock out of my hat...!)  I couldn't just present a blanket out of thin air (and, besides, I want to tell my brother about the squares and the knitters!), so I told my SIL about both the blogging and the blanket.  Not only that, I copied and formatted all my blog entries about the accident and what I'd written about my brother and printed and bound them for her to read (and eventually share with my brother) -- and I also offered to delete or modify them online if, for some reason, she wanted it that way (thank goodness, she didn't).  Yep, handed her the blog on a silver platter.

I both censor what I write here and I don't.  This is not the place for airing out any of my laundry -- maybe on another blog.  This one is mostly about knitting and, most of the time, how knitting relates to my life and, in some ways, about how knitting has changed my life -- the new friends and the travel.  The dreaming...  My sister is right, though, I have nothing to be ashamed of here.  Some people may not really get it, might even think it's stupid, but hey, whatever; the tables can always be turned in that game.

So, those are some of my thoughts on my blog -- and the who and the what they know.  Interestingly, I still have not told my mother, in so many words, about the blog.  Mom hears talk about the blog, she hears my sister lament the lack of blog friends (and sis knows it's directly related to the lack of a blog), she knows about the blanket that "my knitter friends are making," and she was with me when I bought the pink yarn for Grace's blanket squares the other day -- if she has questions, she's keeping them to herself.

Next up

Dsc06800I didn't photograph even half the stash the other day.  I'd really like to, though, mainly to document my intentions for a particular batch or ball of yarn (if any) because I do tend to forget about stuff, especially if it's not in plain sight.  Some stuff just won't be forgotten, though, no matter what, and that's the case with this Donegal Tweed -- "leftovers" of a sweater kit that my sister made (enough for another sweater!) and I knew its destiny the minute I saw Fibonacci in Magknits (check out the latest issue).  I have never wavered on that, but I have never started...  I think it's time to get crackin'.

Dsc06818_2Dsc06819_1I finished the back of Trellis last night, and I think it's going to be too small for the Mackster.  I could be wrong -- maybe it'll bloom and grow in the blocking -- but I'm prepared to tuck it away and save it as a gift for another baby.

I'm also thinking pink for Warming Grace (working title; button forthcoming).  Grace is Cynthia's brave and adorable niece (oh, those EYES!) who just celebrated her 5th birthday.  When Cynthia writes about Gracie being "a very special girl," she's not kidding -- Grace is in the midst of a long treatment program for leukemia... oh my goodness, with personality!  In the spirit of Comforting Jef and Mike, Cynthia has put out the call for 5" pink squares in cotton or soft wool for a blanket for Grace.  Check it out.

Yarn on my mind

Thoughts of projects are crowding my mind.  All of these have been dancing on my brain for a while, but they're really calling me now -- loudly.  They don't care about Ai's sweater or Kt's sweater or Mdd's sweater or baby hats!

I finished the back of Goldie last night and cast on for the front; it has a kangaroo pouch pocket and I really enjoy making those.  All the while, though, these other things float through my head.  And while I like what I'm making (and Ai seems to be pleased), well, I've made it before (and I'll be making it again), so the thrill is gone, I guess, and the mind wanders...

Dsc03939_1This is some wool that Yvette sent me a while back.  I wasn't sure what I would do with it 'til Saturday night.  That's when I saw "Finding Neverland" with Mdd and I now know that these will become a tam; a two-color baby tam.

Dsc03942This is some old Donegal Tweed that was left-over from a kit my sister made years ago.  She thinks that they gave her too much yarn.  Ya think?  There are quite a few untouched hanks there.  I think these would be perfect for Fibonacci.  That issue of MagKnits came out quite some time ago, and that's how long this project has been on my mind.

Dsc03941This very pale gold shetland was purchased on sale several months ago.  It wants to be something.  Something for DH, perhaps.  It's just tired of living in the stash basket.

Dsc03940And this stuff really doesn't want to be a cushion cover.  It's the Rowan gift yarn from last year and it's been moving from drawer to basket and back to drawer.  The colors are gorgeous.  I wonder if this might like to become mittens of a Latvian nature.

Perhaps now that I've acknowledged all these things, they'll stop hollering at me all at once and get themselves arranged in an orderly queue.  Maybe they'll leave some room for the grrs' sweaters and baby hats, too.

Mr. Dashwood be damned.  I'm moving on in the baby hat department.  I will most certainly be making another Miss Dashwood (in cotton, minus earflaps), but, as you can see, I don't have time for all this fooling around with sex-change operations.