Tuesday, April 26, 2016

One Day Short of A Month!

I did it!  I finished my Umaro and I love it. It took a day less than a month, and according to my Knit Companion app, it also took 48 hours and 18 seconds of knitting. I am not so OCD or whatever that I would normally even know this, but the app tracks the time that the app is open, which it always was while I was working on this because the pattern was charted.

Before soaking.

Based on a conversation another knitter had with the owner of Apple Yarns, who recommended wet-blocking the blanket, I soaked this:

Heavy, sodden blanket

Heavy, sodden towels

What happens when a knitted wool blanket gets soaked?  It GROWS! It is now 46" x 77".

I didn't think to measure it before soaking, but it wasn't nearly this large. It grew about a foot in width and more than that in length.

I have the ceiling fan going overhead and I hope that will help it dry before the Rapture. I'd like to have a chance to gift it or use it.

Monday, April 18, 2016


Make up your mind. You put these on the same page. What's a reader, looking for non-professional advice, to do???

Completely unrelated:
Umaro by Brooklyn Tweed, knit from Cascade Yarns Lana Grande 6043

I have finished five of six repeats on this blanket and I am now officially tired of knitting it. I WILL finish it this week so that I can STOP working on it.

I do love it though.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Random Stuff

as if I don't always just post random stuff.

This is the BEST chocolate milk on the ENTIRE PLANET!!!

I have no relationship with whoever makes this, but yuuuuummmmm....It is really rich. I found it at Fresh Market and I haven't seen it anywhere else yet. If you can find some, buy it!   Drink it!   Buy some more! 


I found this headline online and I think the writer could have worded it differently:


I do realize what it intends to communicate, but there must have been a better way to say it. 

And a favorite of mine---there was a headline that was purportedly in a NY paper when Ike Turner died: Ike Beats Tina to Death. I suspect that the writer was snickering when he wrote that, and then the copy editor snickered and let it go to print. 


For something else totally random, one of my pet peeves, and I realize I might be almost alone (click for CBS opinion) in this, is the response "No problem" when someone says "Thank you."

Last year when I was in the UK, I thought that, of course, people there would say "You're welcome." They are so very polite on all of those PBS dramas, you know?

But at a tea shop when I thanked the server for my tea and scone, she replied.......

"Not a bother."

More polite? Less polite? I don't know. 

I give up!

And you are very welcome.

(I can't go cold turkey.)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Truth

On Friday I went to my dermatologist appointment and I was numbed, sliced and diced, cauterized, gooped up, bandaged up, and I'm a thing of beauty, I tell ya.

As the doctor went to open the door to leave, she turned, studied me for a moment and then asked:  Have you ever had any injections?

And I thought: Well, rats, she thinks I need WORK.

Then I thought: Wait, she had to ASK if I have had injections. That means I look ok and she didn't know if it was because I had HAD work or because yay me I look ok without any work. (I most certainly have not had work; I'm a coward. Things can go wrong, y'all.)

I think that this is the truth of anti-aging procedures:

From the New Yorker

So, no thanks to any "work" or "injections."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Knitting this goes pretty quickly until my thumb starts to hurt from the super bulky yarn and the size 15 needles. I think they are the largest I have ever used but in spite of them, I am really enjoying this project. Good thing since the yarn I ordered to make a second one arrived the other day.

Nail polish bottle for scale, 'cause I'm a pro!

I have now finished three of the six repeats.

Yay me!!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Will I See Dead People?

Sweet Baby Cheeses, I hope not!

Today I used an organic fertilizer on my daffodils. 

Possibly legal organic stuff...or possibly...someone's family?

Now, I am not accusing E.B. Stone of anything; I'm sure he is a very nice man who would not do anything icky or illegal, but I have seen human cremains and they do look a lot like this. Actually, pretty much exactly like this:


Mr. Stone's fertilizer is a very fine powder containing different sized chunks of .....???? I know what organic means and I think that this fertilizer could qualify in any number of ways, most of them legal, but also, possibly including having come from a crematorium. Not that I'm accusing Mr. Stone of anything...wrong?

If I "grow" anyone in my yard, I'll run and scream and then let you know.

To continue on to my main topic, I have a lot of work to do this year because my perennial garden has been ignored and neglected the past couple of years. I do, however, have an excuse which is also an explanation. 

Last spring, I spent a month in LA hanging out with   shopping with   going to the beach with helping younger daughter recover from her surgery for an acoustic neuroma (benign brain tumor). So no work done.  

What about the OTHER months in the spring? you ask.  

Well, just hush. I think it might have rained a lot or something.

The spring before that, I broke my wrist and needed surgery to repair it. No yard work (or knitting) for me.

The fall before that? I broke both bones in my ankle and couldn't do much of anything for months because of the &*()_^&*#^ brace/cast I had to hobble around in.

SO, not my fault. DH does the heavy-lifting macho type stuff. I do the maintenance; I have a lot to catch up on.

But the only help I need from my so-called organic fertilizer is to make my plants grow. MY PLANTS GROW. No one nothing else.


I have my very own lilacs to cut!

They aren't like the gorgeous, lush lilacs that grow in the north, but they are still pretty great. 

And I have azaleas, and soon will have roses and peonies. In a month or so.

I love spring in the south.


Monday, March 28, 2016

It's All About that Math, 'Bout that Math

Knitting involves quite a bit of math, which can come as a surprise to new knitters.

Knit Companion solves a lot of math-related problems by allowing me to color code and enlarge what I want to work on and I used it this morning when I ripped back a couple of rows and re-knit them. Somehow I had the wrong number of stitches in some sections, but it's all straightened out now. Then I found two stitches that I hadn't even worked---how on earth does THAT happen?! Also, I do think there are some purls where there should be knits, or vice versa, but I'm not sure. This pattern is...quirky. That's the word.

This is part of the screen of KC that I am using for this project:

I colored the repeat section yellow, and then I enlarge the page so that I only see the parts I am working on. I count the stitches necessary for each section from the chart, and then count what I actually have. Ideally they match. But today, they didn't. YO's and SSKs and K2TOG mess up the count if I'm not careful. YOs right before or after a marker can really mess up the count. They get caught on the marker, and then...which side do they belong on? 

The turquoise (my signature color!) line shows that the row I am working on is on the back of the fabric. A yellow line shows up when I am on the front of the fabric. I can see the symbols and their meanings if I want; otherwise I just lower that part of the page so they aren't in my way. There are counters on the right and I can set them to indicate what I want them to count.  

KC gets way more complicated if I need it to to be, but I actually haven't learned how to do anything more complicated yet. First, I just need to conquer the math.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Mistakes Were Made

I think.

I'm not sure.

I am working on Umaro by Brooklyn Tweed, and it doesn't look right. I'm not blaming myself (yet) because lots of other knitters on Ravelry have commented on the confusing charts. 

There are several places where the pattern just doesn't work out right, but I think I will need to knit on and then see if I should just trust the pattern (and myself) to get it right. 

The last time I made a blanket, a small baby blanket, I said Never again! and I did mean it at the time, but I love this one; it's huge but worth the time (if I get it right).  I hope.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


to my fringe factory!

I don't usually like working on what the Yarn Harlot refers to as the fiddly bits, but once I figured out a simple process to add fringe to my wrap, the task became EASY fiddly bits. A long ruler, each of the two yarns in yarn bowl/yarn bell, scissors, and a crochet hook comprise the factory---easy, peasy as my youngest granddaughter says. (She adds "nice and breezy" but I don't know what that would mean in this context.)

Of course I had the help of my quality control inspector, AKA Baxter. He approved. In fact, he approved so much that he wanted to lie down on it. NO! NO! NO!

Finished! And just in time for really, really warm weather. 

So! Just in time for summer storage.  

Magic Three-Yarn Scarf and Wrap by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

Saturday, March 5, 2016

My Doppelgänger

I do not say that she is my doppelgänger.  Other people say so. (Actually, they say I am HER doppelgänger, but I am more important to me than she is, so I say she is MINE.) When I am out and about in public, doing errands, going to a doctor's appointment, eating, shopping, at least every week or two, someone approaches me and I know what is coming. 

You look just like Blythe Danner.

I don't know what I am supposed to do with that information. Apply to be her stunt double? I don't think she does stunts so she probably doesn't need one. Maybe take over parenting Gwyneth Paltrow? No thanks. I like my own kids a whole lot better.

Also, I DO NOT LOOK like Blythe Danner.  I promise you that. 

I always say:  It's the hair.  We have the same hair.

My hair

Although hers is grayer. Mine has mysteriously stayed its original color.  

This past week, though, my protestations backfired on me. The nurse at a medical office said: You look like someone famous, but I can't think of her name.

I sighed and replied:  Blythe Danner. I hear that all of the time. It's the hair. We have the same hair.

She said that I shouldn't mind being told about the resemblance because Blythe Danner is pretty. Then she proceeded to ask the questions she is supposed to ask a patient. At one point she stared really intently at me and I was impressed. Wow, I thought, she is really concentrating on my answers.

But then she announced: You're right. It's the hair. You really don't look anything like her.

So I guess that means she took back the pretty part.  


Saturday, February 20, 2016


I finished these socks yesterday; I started them in MAY of last year. Yikes. 

They aren't even remotely identical but I knit them from a Gale's Art sock flat, which is yarn already knit up, dyed and stamped, and you unravel the flat piece of knitting as you go. I'm not sure that it would be possible to cut the yarn to get identical socks; I doubt it.The yarn is all squiggly (technical term) and a little difficult to control. I'm sure I didn't get gauge because the squiggles (technical term) wouldn't allow me to hold the yarn tightly, but then, I never really try to get gauge, so it doesn't actually matter. (Don't tell the knitting police on me!) Kitchenering the toe was really fiddly because of all the squiggles.

AND, last week I finished my Easy Folded Poncho in this purple silk. The yarn, Shibui Knits Heichi, has been discontinued, and I can't imagine why. It drapes beautifully. Shibui! Re-think this decision, please!

So now I am laser-light focussed on finishing up projects before I begin another.

Hah, hah, hah, hah, hah............

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Just Back

From Austin, Texas, where I went to celebrate second grand-daughter's 13th birthday.  My daughter now has TWO teenaged daughters!!! (Good luck, H.)

I went from this gorgeous weather:

back to Georgia, where it is now snowing. It's pretty, but it won't last.

We took Feebee to a dog park where she had the best time running and playing with other dogs her size, but what is a mystery is how dogs determine who is the leader. A dog that looked like a German Shorthaired Pointer, but with a long tail, arrived, and ALL of the dogs immediately followed it, chasing and running all over the park. Not fighting, just playing. I guess it was the alpha dog, but who decided that?

My 15-year old granddaughter, who must climb all.the.things found a tree to occupy herself in:

And the day before, when we drove through the LBJ Ranch, I found Air Force One-Half! No joke. That's what the sign said. There is a runway on the ranch, but it can only accommodate small planes, hence the tiny Air Force One-Half:

I peeked inside through plexiglass doors, and it is really small! It can maybe hold eight passengers.

We didn't have time to go through the house the day we were there, but we did drive around the ranch, which is still a working ranch, with cattle wandering loose on the land.  

We didn't have enough time because we were on our way back from Comfort, Texas, a cute, cute, cute town with lots to see, including shops in buildings from the 1800s. The prettiest yarn/needlepoint/cross-stitch/weaving/felting shop EVAR is there, in what appears to be an old Victorian style building, with large rooms and high ceilings. We spent way too much time there, of course, and even, imagine this, found yarn to buy. 

This is yarn in a bundle for this project, the Magic Three Yarn Scarf and Wrap:

I had more photos from the trip, but I can't find them. My 15-year old granddaughter helped me "organize" my photos by putting them in Google photos, so that I would have room on my iPad for games my 7-year old granddaughter wanted to download. Now I can't find the photos!!!

Not to worry. The next time I see her, I'm sure she will find them for me in a matter of minutes.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016


my husband always says that he doesn't know what to give me for my birthday or Christmas, and he claims that he welcomes suggestions.

Well, I will have a birthday this year, just like every year, and I told him what I would like:  a mini-facelift!

He said:  Not on my watch.

So, I guess that means I need to replace him, preferably with a plastic surgeon so I can have a FREE mini-facelift. That way, if I don't even like the guy, I get something out of it. I'm no dummy. 

Anyone know a single or soon-to-be divorced plastic surgeon or an unhappily married plastic surgeon I could stalk meet??? (Call me.)

He also said he is afraid I would end up looking like Goldie Hawn.

Now that's just unfair, says I. The paparazzo who took this picture wasn't using flattering lighting, filters and whatnot. Poor Goldie. She should totally sue the guy.

Plus, all I want is a little lift of what are called "jowls." No puffy lips, no eyes pulled up almost to my forehead, no mask-like skin. Just a mini-mini-mini lift.

See?  It's possible!

Two problems:  

a.  I'm a coward. I don't like being knocked out.

b.  Apparently, things can go wrong.

Ouch!  Those cheeks!


click here.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Long Time, No Post

I've been busy avoiding rain, snow, winter weather, and also, being lazy and just knitting. And this weekend I went through some of my stash in order to record where each skein is stored. I had put my stash on Ravelry (or FB for knitters as my younger daughter, who is not a knitter, calls it) but I hadn't indicated where they were stored. My LYS is no longer holding knit nights (@#$%^&). Since the shop is about 15 miles away and I don't go there usually except on knit nights, I guess I will be doing more shopping from stash. Now I know which location each skein is: bin one, bin two, turquoise cabinet, or the closet. 

What fun going through it. I found yarn I hadn't remembered that I had! Too bad I don't know what projects I might have bought them for, but some are so pretty, I can name them and call them pets:

Does anyone know what this is? There is no label.

100% mink!

They are so FLUFFY!

AND, over the weekend, I finished this:

What hot water bottle doesn't dream of a turtleneck sweater?! It is made from soft, soft, soft Malabrigo Rios.  It would have been an easy project had I read the instructions a little more carefully.  

I read the measurement for the ribbed flap at the bottom as 3/8" instead of 3"/8cm. I realized the error when I had almost finished the cozy. Knitter Anna suggested I just pick up stitches and knit until I had 3".  It worked!  And Hey!  I read instructions! Not carefully, I admit, but at least I did read them.

And to cap off the weekend, I found that I could stream my favorite British police drama DCI Banks.  PBS has only played series 4 and I love it, the stories, the actors, the characters they play. I've started streaming from Amazon and it's fun to see how the characters started out, how they all met and worked together, and to watch the character development.

I have half of series one, all of series two and three to go!

Snow? Rain? I don't care!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Forget Turkeys and Pedicures

Let's get back to knitting, shall we?

I just finished this cowl:

Får Away, free pattern on Ravelry
I made it for a gift, although I hadn't chosen the recipient yet. As it turns out though, I made it for me. It is so soft and so comfortable that I decided to wear it ONCE, then wash and block it and give it away. Never happened. It's mine, all mine. Another knitter, less selfish than I, made a beautiful scarf as a gift, wore it once, then washed and blocked it, and gave it to her daughter-in-law for Christmas!!!  

I am in awe!

I am also working on a second Easy Folded Poncho in a purple silk. It requires about fifty inches of stockinette stitch knitting, so it's both easy and boring. I'm making good progress.

Easy Folded Poncho

AND, I have promised myself that I will finally finish the sweater (Trillium) that I (on my broken ankle) hobbled into a yarn shop to buy the Shelter yarn for, oh, two years or so ago . I have swatched multiple times, knitted, frogged, knitted, frogged, and by all that is holy, it's time to finish the %^&*I(* thing. 

I'm using the same color yarn that the model is wearing in the pattern and I may not do the zig zag patterning. I don't think it shows up well --- or at all in this photo. Shaping for the armscye is done with short rows, and although short rows are easy, so I'm told, I am always intimidated by them. 

So we'll see.

But first to finish the poncho. It's dark out at 10:30 in the morning and cool and damp and promises to stay that way all weekend. Good knitting weather.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Health Risk?

I may have just inhaled some of my skin.  

Is that a bad thing?

I bought one of those Amopé skin sanders (might not be its real name, but it should be). Ouch. I bought it because when I asked my dermatologist about all the scary things I have seen on the internet about nail salon-caused infections, she said that there is no way that the workers can reliably get at all of the evil things that are in the pipes of the foot baths. Even if they put disposable plastic bags in for each customer, the plumbing can still carry bacteria or whatever. And those scary things the internet says pedicures can cause---they are TRUE, according to my dermatologist. And the internet.

So I can do this myself, I thought. But there was a white cloud of what I can only assume was bits of ME in the air as I used the sander. (Probably TMI, sorry.) And the bits of the cloud went everywhere.  

So I have inhaled me.  

Does that count as some sort of recycling?