Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Book Reports

1. Shutter Island, Dennis LeHane (library ebook) - I actually snuck this one in during the last couple of days of May. I found it while browsling the library's ebook options and thought, 'what the hell!' I'd seen the movie previews, but had had little interest in the movie. Honestly, I have no idea why I decided to read it, but I'm glad I did. It was quick and fun, and the ending honestly surprised me. (Trust me, I'm not often surprised!)

2. The Snowman, Jo Nesbo (library ebook) - Books on the Nightstand has mentioned this book several times, so of course I had to download it when I found it at the library. Norwegian crime fiction is apparently (thank you Steig Larson) on an upswing, and Nesbo's book is one of the beneficiaries. The only downside is that the translation occasionally seemed off - especially in the first half of the book. There was literally one chapter ending that stated something to the effect of "insert dramatic pause" and you just knew it was a mistake because it fit so oddly into the rest of the narrative. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book a great deal, and I can only hope that US publishers continue to release Nesbo's work.

3. Caleb's Crossing, Geraldine Brooks (library audio) - I absolutely LOVED People of the Book, so I had high hopes for this one. It was good...but also disappointing. I love that Brooks once again tried to bring to life a slice of history. I was dissatisfied with the story and found the female protagonist to be (while likable) entirely too modern and self-aware for reality. Ah well.

4. The Bells, Richard Harvell (library ebook) The Bells is a great favorite of one of the cohosts of Books On The Nightstand. In fact, he mentions it OFTEN, and so of course I had to try it. It's now one of my favorite books, too. Historical fiction, fairy tale, love story, feast for the senses (especially your ears), adventure...The Bells has it all!

5. Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, Alison Arngrin (library ebook) My oh my, Nellie Olson wrote a memoir and I LOVED every minute of it! While yes, there was all sorts of fun backstage info about my beloved Little House (which is now beloved by my girls) the best part of this book is in the story of a child actor who grew up in a crazy household, had some really bad things happen to her, but was able to find healing before it destroyed her and then went on to use it as a catalyst for good. Argrin is funny, open and to the point, and I wish I knew her in person as she just seems like she would be someone great to know. (There are two other Little House memoirs, and I may have to hunt them down at the library as well.)

6. Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb. Let me start by saying that I love Robin Hobb. Her fantasy novels have been among some of my favorites, and this one looked promising enough that I accidentally bought it twice. Now I can't get through it. Weird.

7. A Room With A View, E.M. Forster (Classic Tales Podcast) I think perhaps I've hit a B.J. Harrison threshold of some sort. I love him, and I love his podcast and all the great literary works that he's performed. But. I had trouble with this one. It seemed dull, and I don't think that was Forster's fault. It could be simply that Harrison does better with more masculine works and/or points of view?

8. In The Garden Of Beasts, Erik Larson (library ebook) Fascinating! I heard about this from several sources, and I am glad I read it. I think I would have liked Ambassador Dodd, although his daughter annoys and vexes me. My only complaint is that Larson spends too much time on the atmosphere of pre-WWII Germany. More historic details would have been a better way to convey how tense it was than constantly telling us it was tense.

9. Stardust, Neil Gaiman (my audio, performed by the author) I snuck this in before the end of the month. It's my idea of comfort reading, and I have no idea of how many times I have both read my copy of the graphic novel and/or listened to the audio. Quite simply one of the most perfect stories ever constructed, and Gaiman could read a phone book and make it sound fun.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Few Answers

1. You can find the Sheep Run pattern at Ravelry, which is where I stumbled upon it while browsing any and all patterns that involve sheep shortly after our flock entered my life last fall. My apologies for not including that info yesterday! Typically I've started to leave out the links until my Finished Object post on each project...mostly because my blogging time has become very limited. I'm glad you all enjoyed the pattern so much, and I hope some of you decide to knit some sheepy socks as well!

2. A quick perusal of my Ravelry queue shows more than a few colorwork socks in line. I'm going to have fun making some decisions! Even better, colorwork sucks up more yarn so that I'll have more leftovers for my blanket.....

3. I thought I would take a moment to expand upon how I hold my yarns in colorwork. As I said yesterday, until now I've always picked up the yarn, knit the stitches, dropped it and picked up the next yarn, and so on through the row. As you might imagine, this is a slow process. It did, however, allow me to learn to get a nice, even gauge with pretty floats in the back.

Again, I've always held the yarn in my right hand, tensioning it by weaving it over the index and ring fingers and under my middle and little fingers. When I knit my middle and index finger tend to squeeze together lightly to further stabilize the yarn.

What I'm doing now is that I tension both yarns as usual, but only place the working yarn over my index finger. The other yarn hangs loose to the back. When it's time to switch colors I bend the index finger, lower my middle finger, and then when the yarn drops off of my index finger I do a little scoop to pick up the other yarn. (Are all of you non-knitters thoroughly bored now?) It's a little bit faster and is helping me to adjust to the idea of holding both yarns at once. As of now I'm pleased with it as an intermediary step, but there are better techniques out there that I would like to learn.

In the past, I have tried to hold one color over my index finger and one over my middle finger...but that doesn't work because of the way I tension the yarn. Inevitably the yarn that goes over my middle finger isn't tensioned at all and goes all wonky. Also, my ring finger feels strangely untethered and starts to feel tight. Ideally, this would be my perfect solution, so I will be trying to figure out a better way to do this.

One fix is to hold both yarns continuously over the index finger and just shift a bit so that you use whichever you need without having to drop them....but this fix has eluded me. When I try it the yarns end up so close together that it's near impossible for me to separate out one from the other. There are gadgets to help facilitate this project, but I think they are silly and most likely am not going to waste my time on this technique.

The other fix is to hold one yarn in each hand. I'm not at all so good at holding the yarn in my left hand, though, and when you add DPN's into the equation my attempts have been largely bungled by not-so-unexplainable clumsiness. Ahem.

I would like to point out that the one thing working against me in all three cases is that I have 20ish years of knitting experience, and my hands long, long ago found positions that were comfortable and easy for them. I don't honestly remember the last time I had to think about what my hands were doing when knitting a project!

However, none of that means anything. The beauty of all of this is that there is a chance to change, old habits can be readjusted, new tricks can be learned and I intend to have found my perfect fix by the end of the summer!

I will definitely keep you updated.

Thanks to Kelley and Shelda for the conversation topics!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Camp Within A Camp

I am in love.

It's as simple as that.

Let me start at the beginning.

My sock-knitting partner in crime, Shelda, is enjoying her very own summer camp this year by spending three months working on toe-up socks. (I might have - ahem - stolen the idea of a crafty summer camp from her.....) For her, this is a new technique and one that promises plenty of opportunity to learn. It also fits in quite well with the ideology behind our crazy year of socks...which is basically to push us outside of our comfort boxes.

I spent last month catching up, and then was supposed to start on something new at the first of the month. What I WANTED to do where the fabulous Sheep Run socks, but I didn't have the yarn required. Two and a half weeks later I was still fussing about it....not satisfied with any of the other socks in my queue. (It is important to note that part of the project is to use what we have...those yarns which have been driving us crazy by the mere fact that we bought them because we loved them, and then promptly never did anything with them.)

I wanted to knit Sheepy socks.

Finally, I pulled three troublesome skeins of Koigu (obtained in a Ravelry swap, loved, but with no plan for use and that troublesome low yardage) out of the stash and just cast on. My sheepy meadows wouldn't be happy daytime meadows, they would be meadows at twilight.

Less than a week later, the first sock is almost finished and I am hopelessly in love.

It's not just the sheep...or the yarn....or the colors....or the clever pattern.

No, I am in love with colorwork.

And so, for my camp within a summer camp....we'll call it the rest period portion....I am going to work on colorwork socks all summer long. I have the yarn for at least two more pair, and that makes me deliriously happy.

As with all good summer camp activities - rest period or no - I will be learning something. I've always loved colorwork, and have done several great pieces, but I've been reliant on the slow pick up/put down method of swapping the colors. With my sheep sock I've graduated to holding them both in one hand and using the index and middle fingers to switch back and forth. On my next pair I am going to go all out and try to hold one yarn in each hand. (There may have to be some sort of practice continental knitting first....and let's not get into the debate about which is faster. I'm an extremely fast knitter with my right hand, and I don't want to hear it!)

And if it goes the way I think it will....that Fair Isle sweater I've always wanted might happen sooner rather than later!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

E. Fay Jones

During my vacation week I downloaded the first two seasons of HBO's True Blood - a show I had long wanted to check out - to watch while I was doing all of that sewing. (This perhaps contributed to the ultra-slow pace I fell into!) In season two much of the action takes place in a church in Dallas, known as the Fellowship of the Sun.

As soon as Sookie and company stepped into the sanctuary, my heart took flight.

I KNEW that architect.

I had been in two of his chapels.

I had to learn more.

(I imagine this is not the standard reaction to that tv show...but there you have it!)

A quick trip to the magical world of Google helped me to find everything I wanted to know. For all of the details, please check out the Wikipedia page for E. Fay Jones. I won't bore you by trying to summarize what others have said much greater detail than we have the space for here.

However, I did want to share with you some of the magic and majesty of this amazing architecture. There are times when I've tumbled across artists and have just known instinctively that they know something more than the rest of us...that they are more connected to God and the universe, and are able to share that with us all.

The chapels which I have stood in are nothing short of miraculous. You walk in and feel a sense of awe and peace in a space where heaven and earth meet...where the outdoors and the indoors work together to create beauty. They are quiet places to reflect, and I feel rested when I must leave them. My personal connection is closest to the Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel as it's only about an hour away from my parents' home. In fact, I wanted to get married there, and one of my greatest regrets in life is that I didn't stand up for myself to get what I wanted on one of the most important days of my life.

I've been a few times, and every time I end up in tears because it's just so beautiful. Normally I feel I am fairly articulate, but in this case language fails to provide the words necessary to describe the chapel. (Just an FYI...this interior shot makes it look more enclosed than it actually is. There are glass panels between all of those pillars which open the structure up considerably, but the pillars do make it a more intimate structure than some of Jones's other works.)

I was in the 8th grade when my family visited Thorncrown Chapel. Even then I was aware of the fact that I was sharing in something special by merely being in that sacred space. I had never seen anything like it just can't tell where the inside ends and the outdoors begins, and you feel the entire structure stretching upwards towards heaven.

I urge you to take a thorough look at their website as they have many, many beautiful pictures taken during all seasons. I would love to go back someday to see it again.

And for the record, True Blood filmed their church scenes at the SkyRose Chapel, which is part of a Memorial Park in CA. While I do think it's a bit irreverent to film such a show in such a place, I must admit that it was the perfect backdrop for a fictional church that focuses so much on light.

So there you have it, a little bit of inspiration and magic for your Sunday afternoon. I hope your day is as beautiful as mine has been!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Camp

Summer camp is all about two things.

1. Spending time relaxing with the things you love to do.

2. Trying new things.

The memory that comes with that statement is of myself in church camp the summer after my 8th grade year. I spent lots of time playing my dulcimer that week under the trees by the lake - something I knew well and loved - and I also discovered that I was really, really good at archery. As in, I was better than ALL of the boys. And for the record....I was given the award that summer for being the happiest girl camper.

I digress!

In the spirit of summer camp, I am branching out this summer. After all, arts and crafts was always my favorite camp activity!

Yes, I am spending plenty of time with my knitting and spinning, and that's all well and good. However, for the first time since I had children I actually have the time available to try new things. (This is thanks to the fact that the girls are old enough that they can entertain themselves for large chunks of time...without me having to worry about what they are doing!) Once the girls go back to school and I get my bonus children again, my free time will once again become very limited. I need to try all of my camp activities now so that I can figure out what will and won't follow me into the fall.

Besides, this keeps the Green Woman very happy...and she was starting to get restless. One must keep one's creative muse from becoming restless, because you never know what trouble she will get into if she gets bored.

I've already dipped my toes into the first of my summer camp activities - sewing. In fact, I enjoyed my bag project so much that I've bought the fabric to make all of the other bags in my book that I want. (I never do anything by halves.) Happy me, happy Green Woman. As I've said, it'll never become my full-time craft, but I am very pleased that I am competent enough to produce the few beautiful things I want.

Next up?


I have about four really great embroidery books which I love to flip through. I've never actually tried any of it, though, in part because I'm not exactly the sort to have an embellished household. (Sorry, embroidered tea towels and pillow cases are just not my cup of tea.) The trick will be in finding ways to use my embroidery. First, though, I need to do some practicing! I have all of the basic materials, and am planning on starting sometime this week.

I have a few options for my third (three months to the summer!) summer camp activity. At this point, I've narrowed my selection down to three things - sketching, bobbin lace, or music. The first is something I've long wished I could actually do, but was so frustrated the last time I tried that I set it aside without giving it a real go. The second...well I remember the bobbin lace people who came to the Lost Arts Festival at the historic site where I worked as a teen with a real sense of awe. I know where to get a started kit for cheap, too. As to the third, it's been years since I played my dulcimer and it could be fun to reconnect.

Decisions, decisions.....

So what are your summer plans?

Are you embracing the camp ideals and trying something new?

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I hosted a play date this morning...which was mostly an excuse to lure two of my favorite friends to the house for some grown-up girl time.

To my delight, Aimee brought me some leftover sock yarn for my blanket! As she had rather large balls of leftovers, I just did a quick square from the two skeins so that she could take the rest home and make more socks. Isn't it lovely! Aimee is probably the one person I know who's personal color favorites most closely match my own. That's a pretty big deal given my very non-traditional favorites. I also must say that I admire her personal sense of style. Aimee is one of those people who always is dressed as herself...if that makes any sense.
But what I really want to say about Aimee is that I love her honesty. Good, bad and ugly she will bluntly lay it out like it is....and thank God! There have been times when I've really needed to know that my reactions to certain situations are normal - even when those reactions aren't what society tells us they should be. With Aimee I feel completely safe being myself, and so I'm VERY happy to have a little piece of her in my blanket!

PS. Aimee is also one of my biggest supporters in the food allergy arena as she's dealt with some very serious food allergies in her own family. I would be lost without her and my BKB!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Something A LIttle Bit Scary

Ta Da!

Amy Butler's Cosmo Bag from her fabulous book, Style Stitches.

The fabric is from her Soul Blossoms collection, purchased at Satin Stitches.

I'm particularly proud of my edge stitches.
And the pleats make me swoon.

Not only is it fully-lined, but it also has four roomy interior pockets.

So why a bag? Why sewing? What changed my mind about that particular craft?

First, I have never been able to find the perfect knitting bag. There is always something a wee bit wrong with every bag that I've tried - even though I have loved many of them. When I found Style Stitches, I fell head over heels in love with the patterns, and could see the possibilities in learning how to make my own.

It occurred to me recently that I've had three problems with sewing.

One, I am just not a quilter, no matter what I've tried. (The one caveat - if I had the time and skills I could easily get into art quilting.) I'm not sure of the why, and I don't necessarily think I need a why. It is what it is. The fact that we also have two fabulous quilters providing our family with treasured heirlooms - thank you Mom and Aunt Suzy! - also means that there is really no need whatsoever for me to make quilts.

Two, the one time I tried making anything other than a quilt I let my mom purchase the fabric for me. (She was VERY excited that I wanted to learn how to sew.) Unfortunately, I detested her choice...and thus detested the project, which I never finished.

Three, I am a very, very slow sewist who needs lots of time to focus and puzzle out the directions. Mom and I think too differently for her to be of help to me in this, and unfortunately I didn't have someone teach me when I was small enough to learn it intuitively. Given the restraints on my time I chose to do things that I am very good at and don't have to fuss over. I'm a lazy crafter that way.*

I can't tell you how happy I am that I was able to find fabric and patterns that made my heart sing. It took me almost the full week to make my bag, and I enjoyed every minute of the challenge. Nope, it's not perfect...and I could point you to a half dozen wee errors. BUT, I did MUCH better than I expected and wound up with a bag that I absolutely adore. Even better, I have the confidence now to attack other patterns.

*I am mulling over a post on the topic of my crafty laziness...or rather on the fact that I generally only do things that come easily to me. It's an interesting least to me!s

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sneak Peek

When my mother picked up the girls last week, she told me that I could use all of my time to spin up all of our sheep wool. I laughed. Why on earth would I spend my vacation week doing something that I can so easily do with the kids around? After all, the beauty of spinning and knitting is that it is so easy to pick up and put down as need be.

No, vacation time should be about doing something completely new and different...something that perhaps is a bit scary, requiring a great deal of focus.

For me, the decision boiled down to two choices. I could either give my sewing machine a true go on a project that made my heart sing or I could finally try out some hand embroidery with the fabulous patterns and books I've been slowly collecting.

What to do...what to do....

Recently a friend gave me a very nice gift card to Barnes & Noble, and as the gift was completely unexpected I used it to buy a book on sewing that I had long admired. Given my past history with sewing, though, I would never have bought it on my own, and I don't know that I ever thought I would get around to trying any of the projects.

In the end, I couldn't resist the book.. The projects, for one thing, in this book are practical and could give me some answers for old problems if it worked out. The sewing machine won.
A quick bit of research on the Internet sent me to the one store in town that carries the fabric that sets my heart to flutter. Lovely.

Any guesses as to what I made? or who the designer is?

Tune in tomorrow to see the fruits of my labor!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Hello All!

Just a quick word to let you know that I haven't fallen off of the face of the earth.

Rather, last Monday my girls went to spend a week with my parents. Normally when this happens I either get sick (I have a terrible habit of getting very ill when I relax. That started in high school. The most annoying example would be when I came down with a really horrible case of vertigo the first time my parents took both girls for the weekend. Seriously, who gets veritgo?!) or I have to use the time to tackle a big cleaning out the basement.

I am very pleased to tell you that neither one of those things has happened this time. Instead, my husband took the week off as well and we decided that we were going to devote the week to fun.

It's been the best vacation we've had in years.

We are not the kind of people who really enjoy travel all that much. It stresses us out, and quite frankly all of our fun stuff is here in our home. By fun stuff, I am referring to my husband's computers and my crafting supplies. Sometimes I wish we were different, but it is what it is.

Without our children, we've had plenty of time to unwind. We've gone out to eat almost every day (In fact, I haven't cooked once! Yay!), have spent as much time together as we liked, and have also had the alone time we both need so badly. My husband has been gaming to his heart's content - and has also finished another short story. I have made several goals with my knitting, but have also tried something completely different. (Post coming soon!)

Tomorrow I will be picking the girls up so that we can celebrate Father's Day.

And Monday I will be back to regular posting!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Momentous Occasion

The edging for my Princess shawl is done.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

Opal is quite fond of watching the birds and squirrels frolic on the deck. She shows absolutely no inclination to actually go outside - thank goodness - but she will spend hours every day in this exact position.

I had grand plans for this week, but they've all been derailed by a rather horrendous summer cold. The running joke is that if I didn't like kissing my husband so much, I wouldn't have caught it. Even my grandmother rather solemnly told me this morning that, "that's what you get for necking with those boys!" In my defense, he wasn't showing any symptoms at the time.

The good news - being this sick is an excellent excuse for staying in bed with my iPad to catch up on the ebooks I downloaded from our library.

The bad news - I went back to the gym on Tuesday for the first time in months to restart my exercise program. (This was mere hours before the first tickle in my throat started.) Not only did I have to miss a class I've been wanting to take for more than six months, but I also worked hard enough that my body hurts. Normally I enjoy this sign of hard work, but right now...well, let's just call it all bad timing.

So here are a few random things, and we'll all hope that I'm back up and normal in a day or two.

  • We received a letter in the mail a few days ago to let us know that the Princess has qualified for the gifted program, EEE. (Extended Educational Experiences)

  • I am, quite naturally, enormously proud.

  • I can't help but also being a bit worried. One of these days I will have to write a post about my own conflicted feelings about my experiences with the 'gifted' label. It's not always good, folks.

  • Thank you to my mother in law, who whisked the girls off for some fun at the pool today.

  • When I posted the picture of the cats a few days ago, I should have given you the punch line. My husband's only request when we decided it was time to add a new cat was that we not get any more black pets. You will notice if you look back that I managed to bring home a tortie and a grey. Ha.

  • Can I just tell you how glad I am that we brought home two new cats? I think the kitten would have driven us all nuts if she didn't have another young cat to wrestle with constantly.

  • I'm back on my thyroid meds. Back in December I went to see my doc to tell her about the food allergies, and we decided to drop the pills for a while to see what would happen. After all, I had not noticed any improvement on them until I had my allergies straightened out. Alas, I went in for a follow-up test this week and my TSH level has gone back up by two points since then. It's still in the normal range, but the fact that it's rising is a definite sign that I need the pills.

  • Granted, I have felt like dog doo for much of the last few months, despite having been a very good girl on my allergy diet. Hopefully this will be the last little puzzle piece to fall into place.

  • The cicadas are making me nuts. The last time the 13 year cycle hit was prior to our marriage, and as I was living at the family farm I didn't notice them so much. Living as we do now - surrounded by trees - we don't dare go outside because they are so loud. They are actually drowning out the dreaded highway noise!

  • Odd fact for the day - I like donuts, but I certainly haven't ever eaten them often....maybe twice/year or so. (They are, of course, off of the menu permanently now.) So why is it that I now dream about them ALL of the time? Strange.

Time for another nap.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Tools

Spinning is not necessarily a gadget-heavy hobby. You need a spinning tool - wheel or spindle - and some fiber. Easy enough.

Sometimes, though, something special comes along that you really just NEED. I found this lovely Drop Spindle Distaff while browsing spindles on Etsy.
I had been contemplating making on for quite some time...but was never really happy with the patterns and designs I had seen. This beauty, however, was just exactly what I wanted...and the price was phenomenal!

For those of you who aren't spinners, a wrist distaff is a tool that you use to control your fiber when spinning. By wrapping the fiber around the distaff, you are able to keep it neat and manageable and can easily put it down if you need to. Already I am wondering how I ever lived without it!

I did want to also mention that this particular Etsy seller is a gem. She has incredible customer service and is very friendly.

I also broke down and bought a Trindle Spindle (also on's the funky looking thing with the pink beads). I remember seeing the press they received some time ago in Spin Off, and being curious. At about that time they also were "Harloted" when the Yarn Harlot blogged about trying one out, which is a very big deal for anyone in the fiber industry. I don't know that I would ever have wanted one, though, if I hadn't heard the interview Jeremy Armstrong, the Trindleman, did on Fiber Beat.

I was completely fascinated, and of course immediately had to go get one for myself. It only just arrived, and so I haven't had time to give it a test drive yet. I can say, though, that in my hands it spins forever, and it is as light as can be. This particular model is a lightweight spindle for lace - fingering weight yarns. I've ordered a second set of featherweight beads for cobweb spinning.

My only complaint is that the customer service wasn't so great. I emailed them a question and it wasn't answered. Then I ordered the second set of beads before the first was shipped, requesting they add it to my original order...but that didn't happen. No news yet as to when the second set of beads will be shipped.

I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt because I know they are very busy, and I know it's just the two of them. I'm willing to be patient for an artist!

And I am one happy, happy spinner.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Zoo Times Two

The Pixie and I went last Wed. with her school...which was more stressful than fun.
Which is why it was so important that the girls and I went back on Saturday with my good friend Frankie Pooh and her kids! (Her kids being Cupcake and The Boy - the two I babysit.)

The stingrays are the best.

We could have stayed there for hours!

Cupcake was unimpressed by being in her stroller all day.

I corrupted The Boy with his first cotton candy!

The Pixie refused to participate in this photo.

It was a very, very hot day. The elephants had the right idea.

The rhino was actually out, and we could see more than the tip of his horn....a first.

Best of all, though, for the first time EVER we actually saw the cheetahs. They are notoriously shy!

A special thanks to our friends the Lehmanns and the Callaways who joined us for the day. We loved seeing you all!

The Infernal Monkeys

Knit. Sock. Love

Sundara Merino Sock - 1 skein Tuscan Rose over Lemon

Knit Picks 2.25 mm needles

80 stitches, 1 inch 2x2 ribbing, 5 pattern repeats in leg, 10 pattern repeats overall

April 1 - June 2, 2011

Shelda and I decided to do a Monkey along in April as part of our grand sock scheme. Sadly, I made a poor decision regarding needle size given past knitting experiences and wound up with a mess. I started out with a size 2.0 mm needle, and quickly discovered how tough it was to knit this pattern at that tight of a gauge. That first leg was sooooo sloooooow, and I really hated the process. Moving to metal needles helped a bit...but nothing could make it a pleasant knit.

And then it didn't fit.

As in, it wouldn't even go over my heel. Ugh. I was so disgusted that the whole thing was thrown aside and I didn't pick it up again until a few weeks ago.

I moved up a needle size, started over with a bit of trepidation, and tried to trust the process. To my great surprise, the finished sock fits beautifully! Even better, with the slightly larger needle the process was very fast and comfortable.

Shelda and I have had many conversations about this, and have basically decided that this pattern draws in a lot more than you think it would. My comparison is that a plain sock in similar yarn and on the same needles would be a 68 stitch sock to get a good fit. It's just wild!

But then, that's why we are doing explore, and learn and play!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


After a very crazy, busy week, we are all taking a bit of time to rest today. I'll be back tomorrow with new finished projects, tales from the zoo, summer plans, cute pictures of children, exciting new spinning tools and more!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Self-Analysis Via Knitting

conviction that handmade is the BEST = It is true, I should have been born 100 + years ago.
tendency to make crazy-difficult garments for my children = lack of self-confidence as shown by a need to one-up other moms in the only way I know how (sad, but true) also love, also pride

taking forever to do finish-work = tendency to procrastinate / more interested in process than product

sticking to one pattern and/or idea = fear of change

always doing other people's patterns = fear of failure making it work no matter how crazy it makes me = stubborn as a mule

tendency to tackle huge projects = delusions of grandeur

all of the lace - the higher the difficulty level the better = deep rooted need for control / need to create order out of chaos / need to create light to combat the dark

It's something to think about!