Thursday, January 31, 2008

all is well

Youngest Son is fine. It is amazing the difference this current dentist has made. I am grateful we found him. If your need a referral for a Pediatric Dentist in the Seattle area, I can help.

I have spent the past two hours sitting on the couch knitting the Faux Russian Stole. I made myself stop to write a little. I do have a dealine approaching. The Writer's Group meets on the 10th and I would like to get a first draft of 2 chapters to them by the middle of the week. One chapter is done, the second has a good start. If I am going to be able to finish the second chapter I need to put the knitting aside and concentrate. "Stay on target."

Posting to the blog is not goofing off, it is actually helpful. It gets me sitting at my desk, focused on putting words to paper.

Speaking of is a new favorite. Do not click if you are hungry, or if you should be thinking about work, not the warm & gooy things that could be coming out of your oven.

open wide

Youngest Son has a dental appointment this morning. He is going to have some worok done, for the first time. He is very nervous. I am going to give him some medicine before his appointment that will make him sleepy. Dentist will give him the gas at the office. With any luck he will fall asleep. This appointment will be followed by 2 others. A lot rides on how well things go this morning. Send good thoughts this way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

so much

On any given day my desk looks like this

neat, tidy, void of all the crap the family tries to put here.

Those of you that have been reading the blog for a while know that I can not function in clutter. Here is my desk today

OMG! It is a mess, even if you can not see the glass of wine hiding behind the computer. There is so much to do. The funny thing? I do not mind at all. I look to the right and see Youngest Son and I drawing comics about his upcoming dental appointment. I look left and up and see all the numbers I need to keep handy as I muddle through this whole Sciatica thing. I look left and see writing. Books for my research and a second chapter from a member of the Writer's Group. This is not clutter, this is work in progress. It is all good. I am not sure if I could live with this for more than 24 hours, but right now, if feels very productive. Who knew?

For the first part of the month I blogged everyday. The past few days have been silent. Not because there is nothing in my brain, but because there is so much. I am overflowing with energy. Too much for one post. I will back up a bit and try to keep it small.

First, and furthest past. Writer's Group. You may recall that I was practically nauseous at the prospect of attending this group. At the same time, I was trying to be strong and courageous. So I attended. I went into this meeting nervous about sitting down with real writers. As we went around the table for introductions the nervousness turned to terror. The friend that invited me to join this group is a well known published author. The members of her group are multi-published, VERY respected authors. I felt a little shaky. As the afternoon wore on the shakes calmed, and I was struck by how welcoming and genuine and just plain wonderful these women are. Wow. I left feeling confident and included and energized. A truly amazing afternoon.

Not only have I been working on my non-fiction piece, which is at the top of the pile, but I have also done a bit with the fiction. It flowed so naturally. I have heard interviews with writers where they talk about how things pour out and characters take shapes of their own. I did not believe it was true. It is true. The fiction is spilling onto the page and I am amazed at the events unfolding.

Our next Writer's Group meeting is fast approaching, and I need to get all my notes together and turn them into paragraphs, so that I have something to present at the next meeting. In the meantime there is an Inbolc party and I am invited. How cool is that? What will I plant? I am not sure if it is suppose to be a secret. Can you guess?

Friday, January 25, 2008


Bee Fields will remain on the up next next list. Instead I chose to start Morning Glory Wrap. In thinking about colors for this wrap I was leaning towards an indogo. I checked the pattern for yarn requirements and was happily surprised to see I needed 700 yards of DK. A trip to the cupboard produced this.

I love this yarn with all my heart. Instead of indigo for the flowers, it will be green for the vines. I am very happy. Please excuse me while I set up the ball winder.

I am off to camp this weekend. See y'all on Monday.

details, details

I had planned to make the Invisibility Shawl my next project, I spun the yarn a couple of months ago. Now I am bored with that idea. Maybe as Halloween nears I will be in the mood? So what next? I am thinking Bee Fields. I do not have the yarn, so a search begins.

A couple of people asked about the sock club. The Sound Socks club is of my own making, just for me. It works like this. Once a month I find a sock yarn I have never tried before, in a colorway that I love, and make arrangements for it to come to my house. Sometimes the mailman will bring then, sometimes they will be chosen from a LYS. When I purchase this yarn, it is only this yarn, not part of a larger stash enhancement purchase. That keeps it special. Choosing colors I love means I do not have to feel guilty about not knitting up the variegated neons. I also do not need to spend a lot of time knitting the purple yarns only to have them end up in my give away pile. It helps if the color I chose gives me a good pattern idea. From time to time I may include a doo dad, cause that is always fun. I realize as the year rolls on that it may become more difficult to find yarns I have not knit in colors that I like. I will find a creative way to deal with that when it happens.

Now you have all the information you need to start your own Sock Club For One. Knit on!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

shawl part 2

It is true, I am a bed blocker

close up of the leaf pattern

au natural

I am VERY pleased with this project. Oceanwind Knits, merino sock yarn, Vancouver Island, 4 skeins (I had most of one skein left) size 5 needles.

music and lace

I just placed a bid on a concertina. You may remember that one of my New Year's Goals is to learn to play. There are actually 2 on ebay that I am looking at. I will be at camp this weekend when the auctions close. I hope I do not lose it at the last minute. Maybe I will get one of the kids to deal with it while I am away.

There is a set budget for this new toy. If all goes well I will be able to buy this musical toy AND a fiber toy. Cross those fingers.

What am I doing to day? Packing for camp, a little house cleaning, a trip to the grocery store and blocking a lace shawl! Yep, I finished last night and will commence blocking as soon as I finish breakfast. Pictures this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

sound socks

Here it is, the first installment of my very own monthly sock club.

Rio de la Plata sock yarn, in a color I am calling Dandelions. Also included in my club are a pattern, written by me, called Dandelions in Summertime. Lastly, a set a beautiful abalone stitch markers.

I wish the picture were better. There are 4 abalone and 2 jade markers in the set. They have been handcrafted by SeeJanyeKnit and are quite beautiful.

I am very pleased with my first club installment. I had planned to bring a pair of flap mittens to knit while at camp this weekend. This may have to go first. They will be my first socks of the year.

My club needs a name....well, since I spend so much of my day gazing out at the waters of the Puget Sound, I think Sound Socks is appropriate. Yep, I am loving this. You too should make a sock club for yourself.

I wonder what February will bring?

Monday, January 21, 2008

you make my day award

Gosh, Tan is so nice. She has given me a "You make my day" award. There are rules to be followed...

"Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

Here are my top ten faves:

Vortex of Chaos


Yarn Harlot yes, we all read her, but if we all do not chose her, thinking someone else will, that would be bad.

Wendy Knits, see above

Sheri at The Loopy Ewe


Rose Kim Knits

That is so queer

Crazy Aunt Purl

Knit Like A Man

Thank you to all of the bloggers who make me laugh and try new things and think.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

my work is done

I have spawned a knitter. A sock knitter. My work is done.

Friday, January 18, 2008

not a winner

I did not get into The Loopy Ewe sock club. Disappointing to say the least. So no sock clubs at all for me this year. I wonder if it will effect how many pairs I turn out? I wonder if I will miss the clubs, or feel free to make my own sock of the month club? Treating myself to a new and different yarn, and maybe a doo dad every month? That has potential.

All prescription pain medications have been stopped. They were freaking me out in so many ways. Yeah, it hurts like hell, but I would rather deal with the pain then the side effects of those meds. I start physical therapy on Tuesday. God I hope it helps.

Yesterday I did something scary and completely out of my comfort zone. I met a friend for coffee. (that is not the scary part) I love this person and our families work so well together. She is a Writer. The "has published many books and gets paid" kind of Writer. So, we were talking and she asked if I had ever thought about writing. I confessed that I had. She asked about my ideas and thought they were great. She then invited me to join her Writer's Group. My first reply was a polite maybe. But she is persuasive, and before I knew it I was asking what time I should be there, and saying yes to adding my name to the email list. So this is it. I have said my goal out load and stepped onto the path. OMG

Thursday, January 17, 2008

i'm a winner

My Inbox contained a very happy email.


You have been chosen as one of the lucky 101 winners of Storey Publishing's Skein-of-the-Month Sweepstakes! You will receive one package each month of 2008, each with a free skein of yarn that has been carefully chosen by the experts at WEBS--America's Yarn Store.

I did a little happy dance. The club is not very expensive if you would like to join in the fun. There is even a Ravelry group.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Here is what is cooking for dinner this week.

w/ sauteed greens on the side

Vegetable Cassoulet with Biscuits
This is a time intensive dish but so worth it.
I use whatever veggies are in the house and the biscuits bake on top of the stew.

Big Salad
homemade bread
In our house a big salad is a large bowl of greens surrounded by many bowls of assorted vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, hard boiled eggs and avocados.

Fruit Salad
I substitute the pastry crust with sliced steam potatoes. The filling is eggs, smoked cheese, red peppers and a green vegetable. I think it will be peas this week.

Lasagna, vegan style
1 pan plain, 1 plan with zucchini and sauteed greens
I LOVE my vegan lasagna!

This weekend I am off to camp and the family diet will go all to hell. There will be much bacon, hot wings and ice cream consumed. But it is OK, I do not have to cook or eat it.

If you want a specific recipe just ask and I will type it out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

patience is over rated

I could not wait to ply the singles

they turned out great. A little thicker than I intended. I can not seem to remember that the yarn is going to fluff up quite a bit after it goes for a soak. The colors are wonderful and I am very happy with the results. Maybe I can combine this with some commercial yarn and get socks? HHHMMMM, the wheels are turning.

Monday, January 14, 2008

round and round she goes

This is the current spinning project as seen on Thursday afternoon.

This is what it looks like Friday evening.

I love the colors and it spun up like a dream. Faulkland, I think.

It may be a few days before I am able to do the plying. I am not sure if I will have enough to make socks. I am hoping to use this fiber for my first pair of handspun socks. I am thinking Flower Power.

My plan for the weekend was to finish the Leaf/Sand Dollar Shawl. I had 8 rows of edging before the cast off. No. The chart for the Medallion/Sand Dollar pattern has an error. After much furrowing of the brow I thought I had figured it out. Turns out my fix was not quite right, after a couple of repeats I was unhappy with the result. So I ripped back about 25 rows. Considering that the rows are now about 400 stitches, this was a huge set back. I decided to ditch the medallions and the chart error and add ripples. I am now half way through one ripple repeat. I am also off by one stitch. After the first chart error I am not confident the new chart is correct. The mistake is very hard to see, at least before blocking, and this is a shawl for me, not a gift, so I think I will soldier on for a while longer. She says while crossing her fingers and wondering what sort of good luck talismans are in the house.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I just ordered a spindle from Butterfly Girls. I am in search of a new all purpose spindle and thought Etsy would be a good place to start. There is a lot of stuff on Etsy but this is the cream. Go, look, buy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

looky here

The MRI was fine. The calmest 30 minutes I've spent in longer than I can remember. Results in a few days.

Even though I skipped the last Loopy Ewe Sneak Up, there have still been fiber related purchases.

My new Lazy Kate

It is a Kromski, in Walnut. No more trying to ply using toilet paper rolls and a laundry basket. Woo Hoo!

Spinning goodness from Dragon Fibers

Banded Iguana is a 50/50 Merino Tencel blend

The Rhubarb is BFL. I talked myself out of ordering a 2nd braid of the Rhubarb. I wish I had not, it is lovely.

So, I had planned to spin Pie In The Sky as a single for socks. Now I have to make it a 2 ply so that I can take the new kate for a spin.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

no thank you

Last night I received a Loopy Groupie email alerting me to a Sneak Up. Know what I did? I hit the delete button. I feel so proud. Like I just said no thank you to my drug dealer.

This morning as I was sitting in Doctor's waiting room I was composing a blog entry about rest and how I hate to pay good money to have someone tell me to rest. I thought it would be funny to ask Doctor to write a note to my insurance company so that they will pay for the replacement maid and cook and teachers. Oh and a shofer would be good too, because it hurts like hell to drive. Boy do I wish that was the end of the whole thing.

Turns out I have Sciatica. I had x-rays today, an MRI is scheduled for tomorrow and I will begin physical therapy as soon as the MRI rules out surgery.

I am having a tough time with the whole thing. For one, I am not old enough to be old. And 2, of all the adjectives I have for myself, fragile is not one of them. I hate that my whole lifestyle has to change. Pisses me off actually. GGGRRR.

Tomorrows MRI will take between 30-90 minutes. And I am pretty sure I will not be able to knit while in the tube. Too bad because I am coming to the end of this.

I am planning one more medallion/sand dollar repeat and then the edging. I might have enough yarn for 2 more repeats before the edging, but I do not want to travel that "might have enough yarn" road, too stressful.

Monday, January 7, 2008

fresh off the spindle

My day began at 6:30 AM with the sound of the recycle truck in the neighborhood. The truck is not suppose to be here until lunch time. Here I go, wool coat over the jammies, Dansko without socks, into the cold to bring the bins to the curb. Husband had done it last night. All that panic was pointless.

That panic was followed by the stress of a new Dentist for Youngest Son. Our regular dentist recommend a Pediatric Dentist because there were some issues at his last appointment. I was at that last appointment and I can tell you that Youngest Son's reactions were justified. We left the office knowing he would not be going back.
Anyway, new dentist. Son is scared and they would not let me back with him. What is up with that? So we arrive home and I call Orthodontist for his recommendations. He gives me a name, I check the newest guys website and it sounds like they do not want parents with the kids either! Can someone please explain this?

I have always been able to sit with the kids. Even if they did not need me to be next to them the whole time I was able to walk around and peek at them and see how things were going. So I need to see if I either Dentist will make an exception. Tomorrow.

Today is very busy and I need to let go of the whole dentist thing until tomorrow. Here is a nice picture.

This is what I have been spinning this week.

This is just short of 4 ounces of Faulkland. It is just short of 4 ounces because I was so sick of the colors I could not make myself spin the last little bit. This was not for a project, just practice spinning. I gave myself permission to be done.

The roving was ordered online. The colors are not what I would ever spin or knit. It was good practice. I was trying to spin a thicker yarn. The yarn will reside on the CD shelf as a place holder.

When we finished the built-in shelves, the alphabetized CD's needed spacers. I separated the CD's with balls of yarn. It looked nice, but not quite right. Over the past few months I have replaced the balls of yarn with skeins of handspun. It is like my own little fiber art gallery. If you have the space, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

first goals of the year

OK, goals for the year...

1. Become a Writer.
This goal is very personal and highly subjective. It has nothing to do with being published, but has everything to do with learning the skills needed and allowing myself time to do the work.
2. Say goal #1 out loud and often.
3. Help Youngest Son become a fluent reader and confident writer.
4. Write Grandmas once a month.
5. Garden.
6. Find someone else to be Twilight Camp Director. ~ still undecided ~
7. Finish Faux Russian Stole.
8. Learn to play the concertina.

This is a good list. I do goal lists throughout the year, it helps keep me moving forward. There has already been action related to the list. I purchased Office 2007 so that I can actually save files AND retrieve them. I have been fighting with the 97 version for just over a year. Enough already. Then there are the online writing classes I am taking. Not so much content as grammar and structure. This will help with both basic skills and my mindset.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I have spent the morning doing something strange and unusual. I have been sitting on my bed, reading blogs and knitting and drinking tea. I have been doing this for hours. I think I can safely say I have never sat in one place for so long in my entire life.

Almost 3 weeks ago I pulled a muscle in my leg. Not only has it not gotten better, it is getting worse. I have begun taking lots of Motrin. I figured it would get better if I would just rest. There are 6 active people in this house, there is not a lot of time for rest.

Then Husband scared me. It went something like this:
Husband-How is your leg?
H-What are you going to do about it?
H-What if it is a surgery thing?
M-What? No, I just to rest it.
H-What if you walking around while it is hurt is turning it into a surgery thing?

So, this weekend I am doing my best to do nothing. If it begins to feel better, great. If not, I will go to the doctor.

Friday, January 4, 2008

a funny thing happened on the way... buy a spinning wheel. I talked myself out of it.

The family did not give me a wheel, as I expected. Instead they told me to go pick out a Concertina. A Concertina is another something I have been wanting. Another expensive something. I am excited to go out and find a nice squeezebox. Most of the instruments I play are woodwinds and this will be a fun addition.

Now, my Grandma (yes, I still have BOTH my Grandmas) wrote me a check for $500.00. That does not quite cover the cost of my wheel, but its close enough to send me running to the computer to order one. I did not do it. I have spent the last week spinning. I had some frustration because I was trying to spin a thicker yarn and my spindle did not seem to be the right tool for the job. I thought about buying a new spindle, or buying a wheel and decided a could collect a good number of practical spindles for the price of a wheel.

Is there still a wheel in my future? Yes! But I would like to wait a bit. I am in no hurry. Right now I am spinning for specific projects or practice. I do not need the speed of a wheel. I can wait. I will however be purchasing a lazy kate and bobbins for plying. I will be able to use those items after my wheel comes home. I also purchased a new spindle. MMMM Good.

Could I be having a fit of denial? Will I change my mind next month and hit the ORDER button? Only time will tell.

Resolutions are coming, really.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

new year, new blog

Here we are, 2008. My 1 year blog anniversary. WOW. What a year it has been. When I began I did not think I would be able to keep a blog for one year. I did. When I began I did not think that people would read the blog. They did. Now? Now what?

90% of the past years content has been knitting related. This will change. I finished an amazing number of projects last year. This year I will be doing a lot of spinning (still spindle) for larger knitting projects. Progress will be slow and boring to everyone but me.

I have this whole vegan/non-dairy/vegetarian/MSG allergy/carnivore household cooking thing going on and it requires a fair amount of brain cells. Some tasty stuff has been coming out of the kitchen. Still working on pleasing more than 50% of the people at any given meal. I will share the good stuff.

Oldest Daughter will be going off to university this year. OMG. This also requires brain cells, but at this point I am denying the cells that need to be allocated. I figure I can put of off until acceptance letters arrive.

Not only is Oldest Daughter going off to University, but Youngest Daughter has elected to attend the local public high school. AAAHHHH. Can you please scream with me? AAHHHH. Yes, the local public high school is a "good school". People perform all sorts of perjury to get into this school. Still, it is a public high school, with 1800+ kids. I am very apprehensive while trying to be supportive for her.

The boys are great. No taxing issues at all from them.

I have a big New Year's Resolutions list. The biggest one ever. Should I share?