Friday, December 14, 2007

No Time

No time for knitting or posting! I have two Christmas programs to prepare for, then it's off to Colorado we go. We are driving, and it is about a 22 hour trip. Think good weather thoughts for me. I will try to do some posting once we are there. I should have some nice car knitting to report.

Have a joyous holiday season!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

First Felting

My visit to Colorado has been good for my knitting. I worked on this bag on the plane and completed and felted it shortly after my arrival. It is based on the Booga Bag pattern. I added a drawstring closure, because I don't like bags that are open. I also shortened the handles. This was knit on US size 11 circulars with Noro Kureyon color #182. I ran it through the wash cycle twice to felt it. This was my first ever felting project; I was very pleased with the results.

I have also completed two hats; one for each of the girls. I hope to get them to model them tomorrow.


Here is Charlotte at two weeks. She has gained to 1/2 pound over her birth weight and is growing rapidly.

And here is an after bath hair style. That is her mommy with her.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nine Days Old

Greetings from Boulder, Colorado. The weather here is lovely and so are the grandchildren! Here is a peacefully sleeping Charlotte resting up for her big sister Amelia's birthday tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Presenting Miss Charlotte Elizabeth

She was very fresh when this photo was taken. Here are the stats:
Date: Friday, November 9, 2007
Time: 9:23 AM
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Length: 19.5 inches

Mom and baby came home on Sunday, and are both doing well. Big sister Amelia is helping.

Momo is on her way to Colorado this Thursday to stay for two weeks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Itty Bitty

Here is a completed kimono sweater and cap for a newborn. I used this pattern, but adjusted the size to fit a preemie or newborn. I also changed a few minor details (I rarely knit from a pattern without making some changes). The cap is my own interpretation of a pattern by Lorraine Major. The link to her patterns does not seem to be working today. The yarn is Jo-Ann Sensations Bellezza Collection Stellina, a wool blend; very nice to work with. It made an extremely soft fabric. I used US 6 circular needles.

I just mailed this set with some purchased baby socks and pants in newborn sizes. I hope that my daughter will be able to use them to bring home our new family member. The baby will be born this Friday. I am traveling to Colorado next week on the 15th. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Halloween Cuteness

Here is a little Halloween squirrel? chipmunk? She wanted to be an orange kitty, but they lost the kitty ears and tail. Her mother tried to make some out of felt, but they turned out looking more squirrel-like.


Granddaughter #2 is scheduled to appear on next Friday, November 9 (by c-section). She may, of course, decide to come early.


My daughter apparently has the pregnant women's nesting urge going on. She told me the other day that she had decided the new baby needed something knit to wear home from the hospital. She is trying to knit an outfit, clean house for her in-laws visit, and manage a very active nearly three-year-old. Naturally I am trying to help by working on a knitted outfit myself. Just a little kimono top and diaper cover and hat. The top is finished, so I should be able to knit the other two garments by Tuesday. Then I can send them express mail. Pictures soon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nearly a Sweater

The baby sweater is nearing completion. I used this pattern (but I think it is taking me longer than five hours).
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Shadows, Color: Dark Moss
Needles: US 10 Denise

All the yarn snobs may think ill of me for using acrylic, but the new mom has had enough to deal with since baby boy arrived earlier than expected. It's gotta be machine wash and dry all the way.

I am pleased with the way this is turning out. I think I will make a hat to match. Here's a close-up.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Frantic Knitting!

One of my co-workers was expecting her first baby the first week in November. Surprise, surprise! She went into labor and had a baby boy on Thursday. Was he really that early; I think not, because he weighed seven pounds and was 21 inches long. Pretty big for a preemie.

Now I am frantically knitting the baby sweater and hat that I thought I could leisurely knit over the next month. I will post pictures when I have finished it.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

View From My Window

I may have mentioned that our school is located in a wonderful wooded area. This beautiful fellow was right outside my 6th grade classroom window. The quality is not great because this was taken with a camera phone, but you get the idea. He has a rack (antlers); the kids told me he was a 4-point. It is amazing to look up and see deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and birds on the other side of the window glass. It certainly makes for many teachable moments.


I have finished one of the Jitterbug socks and have started the second. I am using a simple toe-up, stockinette foot and k2,p2 ribbing for the leg and cuff.

I must begin to work on the christening gown again. Baby Girl #2 will be here in about 6 weeks. Her mom has once again changed her mind about a name for the baby. Amelia has suggested Iguana, but she didn't like her daddy's shortening it to Iggy. She told him that was not a pretty name. Apparently she thought Iguana was.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Teaching Little Knitters

Tomorrow will be the first meeting of the year for our school knitting club. I have no idea how many kids will show up for our 8:00 A.M. meeting. I am prepared, though. I purchased some Wool-ease Thick & Quick and some large size needles for the children who may not have had time to get their own.

I really enjoy helping these young ones learn to knit. Sometimes we even get parents who want to learn. One of the moms is bringing muffins and juice (although I will probably need coffee) for an early morning treat.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Back Again

Sorry for the long delay in posting. I had a somewhat rocky beginning to the school year. I spent countless hours trying to come up with plans to accomodate a special needs child into our school, but it was all for nothing. He was sent to a public school before I could implement the plans. I hope the poor little guy is able to make a smooth transition. I don't like admitting defeat!

There has been some knitting going on, and I even have a picture for you today. Here is an almost completed sock with the lovely and colorful Jitterbug yarn in the Mardi Gras colorway.

No, that is not a picture of me holding the sock, that is my daughter Shelly. Oh, if only I were that slim and trim!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No Time

Just a quick post to say that I am still around. The opening weeks of school have kept me very busy. We have a child with special needs this year. I have been very involved in trying to find ways our school can accommodate this child. I will post more when things have settled a bit more.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


WOW! Susan has nominated me! My students occasionally tell me that I rock (usually when I refrain from giving them homework), but I don't think I have ever had another adult say it. Susan also gave me some encouraging words which I also greatly appreciate.

Now it is my turn to nominate someone. I choose Marete (Knititch). She lives in Denmark and knits glorious, complicated looking Nordic sweaters (among other things). She is also a teacher and has begun a new job this year. Rock on, Marete!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Easy Come, Easy Go

Last Tuesday I received insurance benefits from my mother's death last year. I had planned to use some of it to pay off a home equity loan that she and I had taken out in the 1990's. Then I was looking forward to having a little cushion of money, just enough to keep the wolf from the door. Right.

I payed the remainder owing on the loan on Wednesday. On Friday, my poor old car began to make a strange knocking sound. The diagnosis: an almost thrown rod. In short, the knocking was a death rattle. Now, the car has been a good one. I bought it new in December of 1995. It has taken me many places with no major repairs. It owes me nothing.

My daughter and I walked from the car repair place about a mile to a local car dealership where we spent my small cushion of money on a down payment on a nice used car. After all was said and done, even though my cushion dwindled to $32.82 (yeah, we really cut it close!), I was grateful that it happened this week instead of last week -- we would have been stuck with no transportation. I think my mom is still looking out for me! By the way, she would have loved this car. It is a lovely dark blue Chrysler Sebring with all the bells and whistles, including a sun roof. And it has a working air conditioner!

Knitting News

I have finished the front of the christening gown (Oh, we now have a name; the new baby will be Charlotte, so Amelia talks about Baby Charlotte, instead of Baby Whosie). I am very pleased with the way this pattern is turning out. It is very pretty without being too frou-frou. I am still waiting to get a cable so I can show you pictures. Maybe I can do that later today.

I have started a short shawl for a dear friend who has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemo. I wanted something truly soft and warm and comforting like a hug from a friend. I found some perfect yarn at Jo-Ann's. It is their Sensations brand Bellezza Collection Dolcetto, a wool/nylon/cotton blend, that is wonderfully soft and lofty. I am using a very simple pattern in garter stitch. I hope to have the shawl finished before she has to go for her next chemo session. Isn't it a comfort that we can put our hopes and prayers for a friend into a tangible item?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Playing Catch-up

I have been neglecting my blog lately. This is the week that I had to come to terms with my attitude about returning to work in this state, instead of in Colorado, where I want to be. The nature of teaching requires that the teacher be one who has a positive attitude and can instill that attitude in his/her students. Therefore it was time for an attitude adjustment on my part.

I now have two classrooms to decorate and prepare for the opening days of school. The music room is no problem - it has no bulletin boards. I hate bulletin boards! They just sit there with their blank faces staring accusingly at you until you finally cover them with something. There are FOUR bulletin boards in the room that will be my homeroom.

I went to school yesterday to work for a little while, having first stopped at a teacher supply store. I purchased some bulletin board border and a few posters and a wonderful fabric pocket chart for attendance. I had not been there long when one of the other teacher's children came in to ask if they could help me. I was delighted to let these great kids work on the bulletin boards. They finished three of them, and the boards look wonderful! So, thanks Livie, Adam, and Katie!


I certainly hope that the old adage "Third time's charm," is true. I was working on the socks with the Jitterbug yarn using a toe-up lace pattern. It was coming out well. I had worked about three inches of the lace pattern on the instep. Then I decided that it would really bother me to wear a sock with this much patterning on the instep. I am not fond of pattern on the foot part of socks as the pattern part can be uncomfortable to wear. So, defeated once more, I ripped the whole thing out again! Now we are going for a plain foot with maybe some lace on the leg. Maybe. I make no promises! Too bad I haven't taken any pictures, so that you could see all my many sock boo-boos. I will be posting more pictures when we get a new USB cable for the camera.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Out of the Pond, Back on the Needles

After completely frogging the sock in the lovely Jitterbug yarn, I decided to try a toe-up lace sock. Hopefully this plan will allow me to actually make two socks without running out of yarn. If only the Colinette folks would make that skein just a little bit larger! Still love the yarn though; it is soft, yet it has frogged beautifully.

In other news, I am expecting my camera (and my daughter) home tomorrow. Maybe over the weekend I can put up some photos to show the progress on the sock and the christening dress.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Frog Pond (sigh)

Not too far into my modified Jaywalker sock I realized that there was absolutely no way I was going to have the amount of yarn necessary. Funds being a little tight right now, I will be sensible and refrain from making another yarn purchase. Besides, the Jitterbug yarn will work up beautifully no matter what pattern I use. (Did you sense that I am trying to convince myself?) I am sure the difficulty I am experiencing is some sort of cosmic knitterly retribution for my ADD approach to WIP's.

That being said, I will now work some more on the christening gown.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Fickle, Faithless Knitter

I loved my little cable sock pattern. I loved the feel of the Fortissima yarn. I loved the color -- a rich dark green. Things were good between us. But my eye was captured by the lovely jewel-like rainbow hues of my Jitterbug purchase. My fingers had to stroke the enticing softness of this magical yarn. Usually I can be content to put a new yarn acquisition next to the computer so that I can see it and pet it occasionally, but not this time.

It started innocently enough. I was anxious to see how this scrumptious colorway would look as it was knit up. I only intended to knit a swatch. Just an experiment in color. That was my first mistake. The bright colors called to me. They told me they would be perfect as Jaywalker socks. I agreed; I found Grumperina's pattern. I got gauge on US 1's (I knit VERY tightly, it is a rare thing for me to get gauge with the recommended needle size). I gave in to the temptation to knit this sock because I have been waiting a long time for the right yarn to come along. I know the rest of the knitting world has used this pattern many times, but it was the first time I had tried it.

I knit until my fingers were sore (it didn't take that long since I was using little sharp pointed metal needles). I loved the way the pattern looked, but hated the way the resulting fabric felt. It was stiff and no longer enjoyably soft. What to do? Was this a sign that I should put this siren song calling itself sock yarn back on the computer desk and go back to my neglected cabled socks? Possibly, but I ignored the sign. I was a woman driven with the desire to make the perfect sock. I quickly ripped and frogged, and I started over.

I needed larger needles, but that would mean an adjustment in the number of stitches. I switched to US 2's for the cuff and cast on only 60 stitches. I also switched back to bamboo; I really don't enjoy using metal needles. This worked nicely, but I was afraid that the pattern for the leg would be much too tight on size 2's so I started the pattern with US 3's. I wanted it to be stretchy enough to go on over my foot and ankle. Instead of knitting 7 stitches between the increases and double decreases (as per the original pattern), I only used 5. It seems to be working, and I absolutely love it! I will probably switch back to size 2 needles for the heel and sole. I love this yarn!

I will try to have pictures by the end of the week when my camera comes home from Colorado.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Summertime, and the living is HOT!

I am not a fan of hot weather. I have not melted yet, but I came pretty close yesterday. Susan invited me to Threadbear Fiberarts in Lansing to meet her and some of her knitting friends. Lansing is about 45 minutes from me, and I have easily made the trip before. But not in a car with no air-conditioning! Yep, the car's AC died a couple of weeks ago.

I set out on my adventure, and arrived a mere hour and a half later, very red-faced and dripping with sweat. I was red-faced, not only because it was nearly 100 degrees F. in the car, but also because I got lost. Susan had very kindly offered to give me directions, but I have access to the Internet -- I know how to use Mapquest and Google Maps -- I am an independent modern woman! So, I got lost, and it serves me right because I know that Susan's directions would have included landmarks.

Once I was surrounded by a very welcoming group of knitters and tons and tons of fabulous yarn, I forgot the heat and had a great time. I met several knitters whose blogs I read (a big hello to Sharon, Kristi, Sarah ), Karen and two lovely ladies who I was told were blog free (isn't that a nicer sounding term than blogless?) I also met Rob and Matt, the store owners. I can see why their shop is so successful: it is huge, it has the aforementioned tons of yarn and other goodies, and there are many nice little seating areas set aside for conversation and needlecraft, and the owners are completely charming, as is their staff. If you are ever in the Lansing area, this is a must-see for fiberholics.

Did I buy anything? You know I did. I limited myself to sock yarn, some yummy Colinette Jitterbug in the Mardi Gras colorway. Oh, and some ChiaoGoo bamboo DP needles. And thanks to Sharon who just had to let me see Abby's Angel sweater (so adorable, you could just die), I had to buy the pattern. I came home and immediately found some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport yarn (River colorway) that I had been saving for some unknown special something, and , 0h joy!, there was enough to make the sweater. It will be too small for Amelia, so I will make it for Baby Whosie (Amelia's name for her sister who will be born in November). That's OK, the big sister calls herself YaYa, even though she can now say Amelia.

My daughter Shelly is visiting her sister in Colorado and has the digital camera with her, so I can't show you any pictures of my purchases. But I need to stay in practice, so here is a gratuitous YaYa picture that was taken at the Estes Park Wool Market in June.

Amelia's mother knit the little green top with Cotton-Ease. Here is a view of the front (and some Australian shepherds).

By the way, mostly garter stitch Cotton-ease will stretch -- a lot!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pictures? YES!

This is my first successful attempt (after many frustrating tries) to post a picture. This little sundress was knit from a Sassy Skein kit that I purchased on eBay. It was fun to knit. The yarn is mercerized cotton. The kit contained everything: yarn, pattern, needle (US size 6 circular - but I used my favorite: Addi Natura), measuring tape, buttons, tapestry needle, and more!

The pattern was only for the sundress. I had yarn left over, so I decided to make a little diaper cover as well. I just sort of made it up as I went. I'm not entirely sure I could replicate it. But I was pleased with the results. So was Amelia -- she calls them her clown pants. The dress was made in the 4T size which was just perfect for her. She is a very tall girl for her age. She will not be three until November. Her dad is 6'4", so it's not too surprising that she is on the tall side.

And here she is (acting like a clown) modeling her sundress and "clown pants."

Sorry about the slightly fuzzy picture quality. Blame it on an uber cheap camera and a moving target! It couldn't possibly be the fault of the photographer. Right?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Such a Slacker!

Oh dear! My blog is not even a month old, and here I am neglecting it! I will do better in the future, but this week I am doing the music for our Vacation Bible School. Instead of lazing the days away (as I am prone to do in the summer)I am spending three hours each day singing and dancing with lots of terrific kids. It is fun, but as I have mentioned before, I am not exactly a spring chicken. After all the fun and frivolity I have to take a little nap.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Goodbye, Dishcloths

I still have no news concerning jobs, moves or anything else, but I have decided that I can't let the fact that I am currently in limbo affect my knitting. I have made the choice to venture on beyond garter stitch dishcloths to sock knitting.

This is not my first sock. It is, however, my first sock with a cable. I like to start small and have wanted to get back into cable knitting for a while. A sock with a nice dainty cable down the side should be well within my ability range. So here is the pattern I have chosen. I am using some Fortissima Colori in a sort of hunter green. Let's see if I will have the concentration necessary to make this happen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Still Waiting!

Thus far, no word from the possible job in Colorado. Don't these people realize I have a life to plan? Of course, I know that as the days pass and I hear nothing, the more likely the fact that I didn't get the job. Not a happy thought.

Here is a message for Susan in Jackson. I couldn't get your link to work, so I am hoping you come back here to read my blog again. I think we could be twins! It sounds like we have a lot in common. I live in Hartland about 30 miles north of Ann Arbor. I couldn't agree with you more about renting vs. buying a home. I was always taught that renting is like throwing money down the drain, but I think it is just insurance that you don't have to be responsible for fixing things when they stop working. Why don't you e-mail me at swhunterATsbcglobalDOTnet, just substitute symbols for capitals? I would love to talk to you about moving, grandchildren, and such.

Picture Progress
I am sad to report that there has been none. Instead of increasing my geekiness and learning to post pictures, I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean III or whatever it is called. I don't go to movies very often, so I find it hard to sit still for that long. It was amusing, but it needed to be about 20 minutes shorter. I think they could have cut that much from the interminable battle scenes, but I guess they are going for an audience of ten-year-old boys. Now I just sound old and crochety. Oh wait, I am old and crochety!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My First Comments!

When I was a child, I loved the idea of pen pals. Imagine exchanging letters with someone who lived in an exotic country across the globe. The world of knitblogging is such a wonderful place! The internet allows us to be pen pals on a truly grand scale! I love the fact that we can now write across the miles almost instantaneously. My very first comments are from terrific ladies in two different countries thousands of miles from me. So, thank you for your comments and your words of encouragement, Jo and knititch!

My next big blog adventure will be learning to post pictures. Yes, I have actual pictures of knitting (some FOs and some UFO's). I think this may be the day to become more technologically educated.

Learning something new will be a good way to keep my mind off the fact that I have no idea yet where I will be in two weeks! I hope to hear something definite tomorrow. You may hear either my shouts of joy or my sobs of dismay! Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Will Wonders Never Cease?

Just when I was sure that I was meant to stay in Michigan, I received a phone call today that may mean I will be moving to Colorado after all! My life this summer has been a constant roller coaster ride with many emotional ups and downs. We will just have to wait and see if this up quickly changes to a down. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I have accepted my lot in life. It seems that I will still be employed in this state with no exciting plans to move closer to my family. That doesn't mean that I am giving up, though. I will still check craigslist and other sources. It may be that there will be a job opportunity before school starts. I can dream, can't I?

Absolutely no knitting to report. It has been far too hot. The weather has been much more moderate today, and should continue that way according to the forecast. I'm glad because I hate the heat and humidity that we have recently been experiencing.

Once I stop feeling sorry for myself, I will try to be more creative.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Que Sera, Sera!

Patience is a much over-rated virtue! I am still waiting to hear a yea or nay about the possible job. I keep having flashbacks of Doris Day singing, "Que sera,sera", but it's not helping.

I can tell that I am more than a bit stressed over this situation because I cannot concentrate enough to knit anything more difficult than garter stitch washcloths (which I will most likely donate to the drive that Rabbitch is heading ).

In a completely different vein: I have been reading a series of delightfully funny books by Ann B. Ross. The first one is Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind. I am originally from Nashville, TN, and I can tell you that many of the characters in these books could have been based on some of my acquaintances. Who am I kidding? -- they could have been based on some of my relatives. If you have ever lived in the South, especially in a small town, you will find these books laugh-out-loud hilarious!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Once Upon a Time

Many years ago, I tried to keep a diary -- it was the thing to do in high school. It wasn't a very successful venture as I was (and still am) a bit scattered. I do remember using it to write down MOMENTOUS happenings. As these events didn't occur very often, most of the pages in the diary were blank.

I want to use this blog to record some of my random thoughts about knitting (my current obsession) and life in general. My life at the moment is on hold as I wait to hear if I will be moving in two weeks to another state. My daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter (the light of my life) moved last year. Now there is another granddaughter on the way. I am desperately seeking a position closer to them.

A new job seems to be in the offing, but I won't know until this week. If the job comes through, I will have to throw clothes in a suitcase and leave almost immediately. One would think I would have better sense than to attempt something like this, but staid old lady that I am, I seem to enjoy the challenge of life on the edge.


I have done quite a bit of knitting recently, all for other people. I never seem to get around to knitting for myself although I have several items in my stash that are just waiting for me to get around to them. Many people I know are having babies, so I am enjoying the pleasures of making tiny garments that make folks go "awwwwwwww" in squealy little voices.

I have finished two EZ surplices (pattern found in the spring/summer 2007 VK). For both of them, I used a US size 6 circular needle and a lovely imported English yarn in a DK weight. (Is British DK closer to US worsted weight?) The surplices turned out to be approximately 6-month size, just what I had hoped. The fact that the yarn is acrylic did not bother me in the least. I am one of those practical knitters who realize a new mom does not have a lot of time for handwash/lay flat to dry. The yarn is called "Marble". It has heathery tweedy colors that gently self stripe The first little sweater was for a baby girl. I used the purple/lilac/white yarn. I had two balls of yarn, but I only needed one for the surplice sweater, so I made a cute little hat and booties to match. Sadly, I never got a picture of it - one of those finished the gift moments before it had to be wrapped for the shower. The second was for my daughter's new nephew. It was done in shades of blue/gray/white. I also made a hat to match that one. I haven't mailed it yet. If I can figure out how to post a picture, I will add one later.

My favorite project of the moment is a christening gown for my new grandchild who is expected to arrive in November. I found the pattern online. It is a free pattern called Tapestry by Judy Lamb. You can see it here: I really like this pattern - simple, elegant , and not too girly. We know this baby is a girl, but if I am knitting an heirloom, it should be gender neutral. I am using Filatura diCrosa Zarina (a washable merino - soft, soft, soft!) in white, of course. I will post progress pictures as soon as I learn how to do that.