Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Won!

At yarn chicken.

I finished this last night:

Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere, color Cabaret
It's so SOFT!

It's the One and Done by Casapinka and I am happy with the finished result, but boy howdy, did I almost not make it.  The pattern mentions that some people have run out of yarn, even with 400 yards and that's all I had.  I kept weighing the yarn as I was working the border section to see how much two rows used, and figuring that I had enough. Yes, I did, but then I wanted to do the Picot bind off and there was no way to know if I could finish it. I did! With a whole two yards to go. I'll make another, I'm sure; we knitters NEVER have enough scarves, right?  right?  RIGHT????

So now I'm down to three projects going at the same time, the Weekender sweater, a pair of socks and the dreaded Papillon.

I have finished the first section. I think there are three---I haven't read ahead in the pattern to know because it's so confusing and I don't need any more confusion with this project, thank you very much. 

Having a fiddly project like this one, one that I keep finding ways to avoid, is a good way to get other projects finished! 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Are We Having Fun?

Not exactly. We are in the demo stage of having a new shower put in and it's a mess. 

The view through the plastic sheeting into the bathroom: 

Where the bathtub...oops...I mean Garden Spa...and the shower used to be:

For the first stage in the project, my husband was going to do the demo, then he decided that the contractor could do the demo, then he decided that he would do the demo. It will only take a weekend (hahaha) this way, AND, bonus, he gets to buy a new toy tool, a reciprocating saw:

How Exciting!!!

So what we have now is lots of dust, mostly, and I do mean ONLY mostly, confined to the bathroom. Some has made its way out to the bedroom, and some is in the shape of footprints down the hall and down the stairs and out the front door. For the sake of my sanity and my lungs, I have moved to the bedroom and bath down the hall. Husband is toughing it out, presumably to prove that there is no harm in breathing in white dust, and is sleeping in the dusty bedroom. Yuck. He coughs a lot.

I also am wearing the same clothes daily to avoid going through the dust bowl to get to my closet. If you see someone who is in a dusty shade of black everything, top to bottom, it's probably me.

On the 19th of February, the contractor and his crew are scheduled to show up to construct a larger shower (hence the missing spa). 

I have advice for anyone who is thinking of remodeling a bathroom.

1.  Do ALL of your research BEFORE you hire a contractor.  Silly me, I assumed hiring a contractor meant also hiring a designer. But nope. No designer on this crew.

2.  And that means that everyplace we went to pick out supplies, we were asked What color will your countertops be? Um, I don't know yet. What color will your cabinets be?  Uh, maybe white? Not sure. What color tile will be in the shower? The shower floor? The accent tile?  Accent tile? We need accent tile?  Uh, I don't know. What finish on the faucets? Don't know.

Each of these questions was from a different business, the tile supplier, the cabinet store, the stone warehouse, the plumbing supplier. 

All of this shopping and comparing and decision-making should have gone on before we hired a contractor.  

So do as I say, not as I do. That's the free advice for today.

On the knitting front, this is my progress on the Papillon project. It is very slow going because of all of the %^&* short rows, and I have done a good bit of swearing (and I'm not normally one to swear you know).

There is a very, very long way to go on this.  Husband is still untangling the second skein of the purple/blue yarn and that will take hours, but not as many hours as it will take me to even need the second skein. That's how slow I am. 

AND, to top it all off today, even though it is rainy and cold and the day everyone normal should be home waiting for the Super Bowl, everyone was instead at Avalon and the Apple Store, where I had to leave my phone to get a new battery installed. 

So this means I am without my phone. I needed to take a photo of the Papillon so that I could share it with you all, but I didn't have my phone, I mean my camera, I mean my phone. I borrowed my husband's.  Phew. It is weird that I own the phone because I almost never use it as a phone. I keep my address book in it, I text with it, I check e-mails, and I look things up on the internet, but I don't call anyone and the only calls I get are identified as "Likely Scam" by Apple or whoever. But it is my phone and I have to go back in an hour or so to pick it up. GO HOME PEOPLE, so I can park! And not have to wait in a long line. 

Go watch the Super Bowl, please.

Thank you.  

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I Might Be Crazy, part 2

Before sallyknit arrived to teach Connie and me how to knit Papillon, I got my yarn out, untwisted the skein, and put it on the swift.  

But the yarn had been so badly skeined that I couldn't wind it. It turned into this:

Feza Yarns Uneek fingering

I can't even...

So I pulled out the second skein and decided to wait for whoever arrived first to help me wind it. Poor Connie was the first victim  guest. She and I tried to wind the second skein, but it was as badly skeined as the first.

Now it looks like this, after three of us tried to wind it by hand:

I knitted with a small bit of yarn that we could untangle, and dH has been working on the rest for hours. He always cleans up the kitchen after dinner, but I offered to do that if he preferred to continue on the yarn untangling project.

He said that was a good deal.

No, it wasn't.  

Hours to go before he sleeps.  

I Might Be Crazy

Today, I am starting this project:

Not in these colors, but this is what it will (maybe?) look like when (if?) I finish it. I am totally intimidated by the pattern---lots and lots and LOTS of short rows, which means paying very close attention to the instructions and doing a lot of counting.  

It is the Butterfly/Papillon and in a moment of yarn fumes intoxication, I bought the kit at SAFF. So did several others of the group. We had vowed to not buy the first thing we saw that we loved, that we would wander the entire event and THEN decide what we really wanted to make. The Butterfly/Papillon kit was the first thing we saw. 

sallyknit has somehow already figured out the pattern, is not intimidated in the least by short rows, and has volunteered to teach a couple of us how to make it. So later today, I will, I hope, learn how to make this.

Thank you sallyknit!!!

AND, as a bonus, while the knitters are here, dH is starting a bathroom demo project.  oh yay.

There will be dust. And I hate dust. He is thrilled because he "needed" to buy a new toy, a reciprocating saw. Which will make dust. And---BONUS---noise. 

Pray for us knitters.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Yes I Am!

Well, probably. I'm PROBABLY knitting a sweater that won't fit me. 

I'm finally using the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter that I bought a few years ago. I had picked a pattern and very dutifully made several gauge swatches, washed them, dried them, and measured them. I picked the needle size that was supposed to give me the correct gauge, and....

that swatch lied!!! I started over and decided that I didn't even like the pattern. And it had short rows and that put me over the edge. Why struggle to work on something that I wouldn't even want to wear when I presumably finished it?

Over the years, I've considered one pattern, then another, then another, and finally found this:

It's The Weekender by Andrea Mowry and it's probably a quick knit (size 8 needles, worsted weight Shelter), and because it's boxy, it should fit. Someone.

I didn't knit a gauge swatch because a. they lie, and b. I didn't want to.

SO, my working theory is that it WILL fit someone, if not me, then one of my daughters or one of my granddaughters.

And the yarn will stop nagging at me from the yarn closet.  

Friday, January 12, 2018


These are Fugglers:

The reason I know that these ugly things exist is that my younger daughter suggested that I make some using THE REAL BABY TEETH my husband has saved.

Because Fugglers are made using REAL TEETH! Or really good fake ones, depending on the source. According to the interwebs.  

Either way, nononononono!

Saving baby teeth apparently skips a generation in our family. When my husband's grandmother died, the family discovered that she had kept her children's teeth. Ick.

Her daughter, my husband's mother, did not save teeth. My husband did.

Again, ick.

My older daughter, mother of four children, said that she had started out saving teeth, but then lost track of where she was keeping each child's teeth and ended up with a pouch of random teeth so she gave up and tossed them out. So a skipped generation.

I fear that my poor grandchildren are doomed. They will save their children's teeth in little packets in their top dresser drawers. And make Fugglers? I hope not.  

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Don't tell the Knitting Police.

I have been told that there are no Knitting Police, but I was told that by the internet, so who knows?  I'm hedging my bets here, so shhhh.....

I finally, FINALLY, finished the Shelby Stole. But that's only because instead of knitting 18 repeats, I gave up after knitting 16. Again, shhhh....

It's beautiful, I must say, but I did not enjoy making it. Somehow I did not "get" the rhythm of the pattern until I was well into the project, so I kept making mistakes and starting over, and over, and over.  And then I was truly OVER it. So I stopped early.


 Now I can move on to the next project:

One & Done:

After all, a knitter must knit.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Every Day

I get an e-mail from the Postal Service showing me images of the mail I will receive later that day (much, much later). It's the holidays, mail is slow, I get it.

What I don't get is why I get this e-mail at all. I've never signed up for it; none of my friends gets a similar e-mail.  

But this is the helpful e-mail that came today:

Excitement abounds!
What will be in the mail today???

Probably straight-to-recycling mail.

Friday, December 8, 2017

It Was a Rainy Night in Georgia; Now It's a Snowy Day in Georgia.

Or at least it is in my part of Georgia.  

I suspect it will be rainy again, or at least, water will fall from the melting snow in the trees.

And it's not FAIR!!!  I was just in LA and the weather was perfect every day.

The sky was blue; the humidity was non-existent, which, as it turns out, is a very bad thing.  The morning we left was the beginning of the horrible fires there. The Creek fire is within 10 miles of my daughter's apartment, too close for comfort. She is packed and ready to go at a moment's notice. We sure hope she doesn't have to go, and that the firefighters can get a handle on the various fires.

While we were in LA, I became an Angelina, according to my daughter.  I don't really think it works like this, but her statement came as a result of my having seen Angelyne.

She is hard to miss.

My husband and daughter were inside a store and I took the opportunity to sit outside on the steps of the store and soak up the skin-cancer rays vitamin D. This Pepto Bismol Corvette pulled up in front of the store, and the woman inside, with clouds of blonde hair, sat there for about 10 minutes, reading through some papers. And then she left.

I thought nothing of it since lots of people in LA look for ways to get attention, but when I told Sarah about the pink car, she said that I had seen a famous LA celebrity. She is now in her 60s, so she probably doesn't look exactly like her billboard, but she is still, apparently, a local personality. It was her goal to be famous, so years ago, she paid for billboards to advertise herself, and made herself a celebrity for being ... a celebrity? (According to the Googles, she sings and acts. Or used to.)

The conversation inside the store was one that might happen only in LA. My daughter was in line behind an actor, but she didn't notice him. The cashier pointed him out after he left the store, and then told Sarah that Angelina Jolie's kids had just left, but that other than them, they had only had "B-listers" in shopping, no "A-listers."  

I wonder who decides who is who. Who is whom?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Me? A Professional Baker?

Sure, I make great pies!  

But I think if I were a professional, I would have someone to clean up after me, right?

If not, forget about it...

Look at this beautiful pastry!

Do not look behind the curtain...I mean at the Pillsbury box. So, yes, I don't make my own pastry, and I suppose no self-respecting bakery would hire me.  

But I do make great pies!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving---with lots of pies, of course!  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Scandinavia Photos

which I said I would post ages ago, but honestly, photos on Google are so much better than mine!

So here goes:  

The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. Isn't she large?  Isn't she beautiful?

This is not my photo of her.

This is:

Surrounded by tourists. Some on land, some, like us, on a boat.  

She's not all that large, and she's not way out in the water. I think she should be and then she wouldn't have been beheaded at least twice in the past and she wouldn't have had a bikini painted on her during a conservative era in Denmark.


According to the exhibit at the hotel in Fläm, this was traditional dress in Norway at some point in the past. I never saw anyone wearing these clothes, not a surprise, but what was a surprise was seeing a number of people wearing what was probably traditional dress in Sweden, even whole families of people walking along in traditional dress. Maybe it was some sort of holiday; it was a Sunday, so maybe for church? I don't know, but it was fun to see.

Culture shock, says the caption.

But I think it's genius.

While it is no surprise to see two single beds pushed together to make one king-size bed, it was a surprise to see separate covers for each, and it's brilliant!  Neither sleeper gets strangled by the other one yanking (ahem) the covers over to HIS side of the bed. Once we returned home, I made our bed the same way, but with our existing king-size mattress and one bottom sheet, but two duvets, twin-bed size, for each of us. Success!!!  No more nighttime fights over the covers; no one gets strangled.  

This sculpture in the Vigeland Park is one of the most popular and most photographed. I suppose it is meant to celebrate woman, but when I look at it, I see a woman about to tear her hair out.  (H-is this you?)  Vigeland Park is the world's largest sculpture park by one artist, and has over 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. It also has more rose bushes than I have ever seen in one place and they are beautiful. I suspect that long days of summer sunlight are the biggest factor in their blooming. 

Once again, I took a photo of a strange sign, this one at a gas station in Sweden. Anyone know what this means?

Is it racist?  Is it misogynist? Is it whatever word makes fun of yokels?  Are there yokels in Sweden?

It remains a mystery.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

If all else fails, read the instructions, right?


Rats. I had to give in when I tried to sew yesterday. I couldn't remember how to thread this machine and how to fill a bobbin. I think everything should be intuitive, but after years of not sewing, I realized that my intuition just didn't work.  

Where were my grandchildren when I needed them?! For them, it would have been easy, just like everything computer-related is easy.

Now, you might ask, why is Knittergran sewing? She's a knitter; it's right in her name.

It's a matter of mission creep. You know--- how you paint a room and then the room you can see from the freshly-painted room suddenly needs paint too? Mission creep.

My mission creep started with this:

My Instant Pot. I've made several meals using it, and they have been great AND fast!

This 15-bean soup, for example.

What does soup have to do with a sewing machine?

After the Pot arrived, I was cruising the Instant Pot Facebook site for recipes when I came across this cover:

I can do that, I thought. 

I put out a bat signal to the hive mind of my contacts, asking if anyone had seen this fabric, and within minutes, minutes, I tell you, Sallyknit found the fabric at a shop in Ohio.  

I ordered it and it was here in just a couple of days. Now I need to make the cover. 


I forgot that I don't really enjoy sewing; I did enjoy it when my daughters were young and I could quickly sew up the cutest clothes for them. I even made them matching outfits, so clever am I. (As adults, they informed me that since they are almost seven years apart in age, my outfits meant that one of them was guaranteed to be wearing age-inappropriate clothing. hmph...CUTE age-inappropriate clothing, says I.)

Too late I realized that I need to MAKE MY OWN PATTERN for this cover.  Yikes! 

And BONUS!  Mission creep wasn't over with this sewing project. I have been asking, pleading, begging for years for a food laminator aka vacuum/sealer thingy. While I do realize that I put a hex on any gift needing a plug, couldn't my family figure out that this was an exception? Apparently not.

Now that I have the means to make many, many leftovers with my Instant Pot, I need a way to store the food without freezer burn.  Hence, the food laminator.

I ordered it my own self:

No, of course I have not read the instructions yet.

I'm counting on it to be intuitive.

Monday, October 30, 2017


I am just back from a long weekend in Black Mountain, NC and Asheville, NC.  A group of us attended SAFF, the big animal fiber fair held on the WNC Agricultural Center grounds.  

The leaves had the generosity to change colors as we watched.

There was little color when we arrived on Thursday, but by Sunday, after a cold front blew through, this is what we saw from the deck of our rented house on Black Mountain.

We were a little disappointed though---in the past, the event took place in the arena where cattle auctions are held, and it was larger than the new building we used this year.  Imagine this area filled with all fiber-related vendors and displays:

This year, the arena held goats and sheep and at the top, above the seating, were the gorgeous angora rabbits.

Really, there IS a rabbit in there!

This is a French Angora Rabbit, cleaning his ears.  

There was a seven-year old girl with us, and boy-howdy, did she want a fluffy rabbit!  But her grandmother held firm, and no one carried a rabbit back to Atlanta.

Partly thanks to the cold, and then the rain, and then this:

we stayed indoors and knit. And knit. And knit. The owners of the house were pretty adamant that yes, there are bears (and snakes) so we lit a fire and enjoyed the company of the ten of us who went up the twisty, turny, hairpin turns on the sometimes paved, sometimes not, roads up the mountain.  

Yarn was bought; needles were bought. Other knitting-related items were bought. (Passive voice to avoid identifying the guilty)

One of the group made these bags to hold our purchases:

What, you might ask, does Y93.D1 mean?

Well, just in case you work with yarn or other fibers, Y93.D1 is the medical billing code for knitting/crocheting injuries. Really!

There is a code for that.


Monday, October 16, 2017


My husband asked me recently what kind of doctor I would be if I were a doctor. I don't know why he asked, but I immediately answered "a brain surgeon." I had given this some thought a couple of years ago when my daughter needed brain surgery and I read a lot about the topic. I've considered other activities as well:  if I were a baseball player, I would be a pitcher; if I were a professional tennis player, I would only play singles, etc.. Keeps my mind from obsessing about the possible apocalypse or about conspiracy theories.

Today I had to fix stitches in my Shelby Pattern. It's knit with fine lace yarn, and it's intricate, and when I finally had conquered the lace portion, after ripping the whole thing out twice, I messed up the border. It's supposed to be garter stitch, but on the purl side I kept purling the border stitches instead of knitting them, and so I was getting stockinette stitch. (Non- knitters may want to bail on this post.)

I set up my surgery station and started work:

I had all the correct tools: two sizes of steel crochet hooks, the Ott light, and the attached magnifier lens. After about an hour, I was able to put the first five stitches back on the needle and purl across the back to get to the last five stitches and fix those. But---ACKKK---now I had done something wrong and had too many stitches in the first lace section and I couldn't figure out how that happened. I tried; I really did.

And I ripped the whole thing out once again. 

So I have concluded that I lack the dexterity necessary to perform brain surgery. Patients are safe from me. I know it's a poor workman who blames his tools, and I can't do that, but I do think that if I were a surgeon, I would have a better surgical assistant than Baxter. He did check everything out and he approved of my set up and tools, but then he just kept getting in the way. 

I have fired him.

Monday, September 25, 2017


Odds and ends from our trip:

Of course, the high point were the fjords in Norway.

From the boat tour:

From the train:

From the railway website:

And because I can't help myself, I take photos of weird signs. This sign in the bathroom on the boat we took through the fjords was only in English, so apparently English-speaking people have been behaving badly. They should stop.

Photos don't do justice to the fjords, so I'll stop, but these were formed by glaciers millions and millions of years ago, and the water in this area is deeper than 1,000 feet. I can't even imagine what this must have looked like millions and millions of years ago, before the glaciers completely melted. There are only a few left in this area, just small areas on the tops of some of the mountains.

If any countries need tunnels, they should contact the powers-that-be in Norway, because they are champs at building tunnels. We went through dozens of them while travelling around, but this is my favorite. It is the longest tunnel in the world at about 15 miles long, has air filtrations systems, and these sections of blue that are supposed to simulate daylight driving, but I thought they looked like driving through a glacier (I hear they are blue).

Nobel had to invent dynamite! It became the best way to tunnel through the mountains in Norway, and driving was an efficient way to deliver goods (and now tourists) through the country.

More to come.