Saturday, November 26, 2016


I am working on the Sutter's Mill Throw even though I am supposed to be knitting a Christmas gift. When I have a deadline, even a self-imposed one, the You Are Not the Boss of Me part of my brain interrupts, and off I go in a different direction. Makes no sense since this means that my brain is arguing with itself, and I can't figure out how to bring in a third part of my brain to argue logic with the other two parts.

This is an EASY project, with super bulky yarn (Cascade Lana Grande, color 6024) and it's just too tempting to pick up and work on mindlessly. Only one row of each 18 in the pattern repeat is different so no reading or charting is required.

Isn't it bee-yu-ti-ful???!!!

And it is so soft. This is the same yarn that I used for THREE Umaro throws, and I hope the part of my brain that thought that making THREE of anything keeps quiet. What WAS I thinking? The third one is as beautiful as the first two, but knitting it got really old really fast.

I will go back to the Christmas gift....I will go back to the Christmas gift....

probably not today, though.

Friday, November 18, 2016

This is How I

roll cook:

I need a sous-chef!

I made this:  Cottage Pie

The recipe serves 10, so I made two casseroles from it, one with cheese on top and one without for a friend who just had surgery and is lactose intolerant.

It takes FOREVER for me to get everything chopped and because the recipe is British, it also required my converting kilograms to ounces/pounds, milliliters to ounces, and centigrade to fahrenheit and BONUS, I have no idea what this means:

..heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7

There is too much cheese on top. It looks awful but it will taste great (I've made it before) and thank goodness for dishwashers.

But I still could use a sous-chef.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Because I Have a Sort of Odd Sense of Humor...

And for us knitters:

A knitted tin foil hat.

Dedicated to one of my daughters someone who thinks there really are space aliens among us.  

You are welcome, someone.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Two Projects Finished in Four Days!

Well, finished as in I had been working on them for months and just coincidentally finished them within four days. 

First off, Vogue Knit's Purple and Pink Extra Long Cowl:

I THOUGHT that I had joined it in the round with no twists.  hahahaha... When I tried to pin it out to block it, I couldn't even figure out how many twists were in it. When I wrap it around my neck a couple of times it won't matter that I messed it up added a design feature of my own.  

AND, I finished my THIRD Umaro.  Whew....

This one seemed to take forever, but I think it's because it was my third---and last---for now. And thank goodness for fellow knitters. Somehow I ran out of just enough yarn, about two yards, to cast off. Another knitter was knitting a different blanket with the same yarn and gave me the two yards to finish it. 

Yay Knitters!

Friday, October 7, 2016

My Poor Brooklyn Tweed Yarn

I've just frogged my Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn, AGAIN. I had swatched and swatched and swatched this yarn in order to get the right gauge for a sweater I wanted to knit, but the swatches all lied and I had to rip out the first incarnation of the sweater. I changed needle size, got a drape I liked in the yarn, but still didn't like the way the sweater was working out. So I've frogged the whole thing, including the twisted rib beginning of the sweater and sleeves. I  thought I might soak the hank because the yarn is all squiggly, and I still might, but I'm putting it all in a time-out and maybe everything will behave better next time.

Now, on to Ireland and the UK. I first wandered around England, Scotland and Wales with my husband, and then joined my sister in Ireland.  So---photos!

Sweaters for sale were everywhere, and ON sale too, which seems odd timing considering winter should be on its way. I saw this neck border on several sweaters and loved it, so I investigated.  It is knit separately from the sweater and then attached to the neckline.  I may try it out someday.

This is a bike outside of this cute little shop in Derry. All the knitted goods inside were for children younger than my grandchildren, who live in hot Texas anyway, so I didn't buy anything here but it was fun to look at all the gorgeous knitting. Some of Edel MacBride's patterns are available on Ravelry.

Photos in no particular order:

Who says it's always raining in the UK and Ireland???

The view of the back of Kilkenny Castle:

A portion of the wall around the city of Derry/Londonderry. 

Just some of the oddly shaped rock formations at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

A hurdy-gurdy player in Galway.  I had never seen one before and had to google it to find out what it is:

An old school at the entrance area to the Giant's Causeway:

Complete with the iconic red phone booth. We saw one of these in London painted black and with a sign indicating that it is now a source for WIFI. 

A pretty street---I don't remember where it is and the new iPhoto program no longer identifies location for photos. Either that or I have some setting wrong.

Another street.....somewhere.

Sheep wandering wherever they want:

A quaint view from a hotel window near Dublin.  hahaha.  Wind turbines are everywhere, and I imagine that with all the windy days they have, these are a good source of electricity.

More to come.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

My Apologies

to the island nations of the UK and Ireland. I just spent about three weeks wandering around both islands, and to have enough space in my luggage for whatever I might buy to bring home for my grandchildren and me, I followed the advice of two friends who travel a lot with only carry-on luggage. They do this by saving soon to be discarded clothing (underwear and shirts, whatever, isn't readily visible to the public) and discard them along the way. I did that, and it is a great idea, except that I don't know where island countries put trash. 

So I apologize for the usual things that I discarded in hotel wastebaskets, but I especially apologize for these:

This is, or rather, was, my right Dansko clog, which I alternate wearing with my sneakers when I have a lot of walking to do. My sister and I checked into our hotel, left for dinner, and when we returned, there was black crumbly stuff on the floor.  Hmmph. Some vacuuming job, we thought.

The next night, in a different hotel room, the same thing happened. Hmmmm. Must be one of us picked up something outside...two days in a row???

Not likely, so we checked our shoes and my Dansko had disintegrated. 

Out it went. Off to a landfill I suppose. I read once that we don't really throw things away; we just put them someplace else (like the landfill) and that's true. So I apologize to Ireland.

But my sister and I had a great time and it could have been different. The last time we travelled in a car together was many decades ago and the trips involved: Mom, she's in my space. Mom, she won't stop looking at me. Mom, D (our brother) is bugging us. Good times, y'all, good times. 

But none of that happened on this trip. And as a bonus, my sister is a map genius! Who knew! I am definitely map-impaired and need instructions: turn left at ...., go straight for 11 miles, etc. She was the perfect navigator and I could concentrate on driving a manual shift car, shifting with my LEFT hand, driving from the RIGHT side of the front seat, on the LEFT side of the road. I adjusted by the second day so it was easier than I had anticipated.

---time for pictures of a gorgeous country:

We met some real Mayo Blackface Sheep:

Came across a wedding party at Bunratty Castle:

1941 Cadillac

Watched a rooster and chicken try to share tea with a visitor at the tea room at Bunratty Castle:

And we climbed way too many tiny stairs to get to the top of Bunratty Castle:

William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was here, as a baby, in 1646.

All for now! I will put up more pictures when I organize them in my brain...and on my computer. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lessons Learned

I hope.

I am currently working on three, no, four projects at once.  And I have messed up two---so far.

I am making my third Umaro, this time with a lavender Cascade Lana Grande, and so far, so good. No mistakes.

And I am working on the Shelby Stole, with a lovely 100% silk yarn. So far so good on that too.

AND I am working on the Purple and Pink Extra Long Cowl

in the same colors shown in the designer's photo. Yum. However, after I finished the first 8 rows of the pattern, it was only an inch wide which meant that the whole thing (24 rows) would only be 4 inches wide. Turns out that is how wide it is supposed to be, but according to Kitterly, I could just go ahead and use all of the yarn in each of the four skeins provided.(There are no knitting police.) So that is what I am doing, and this is it now that I am into my third skein/colorway:

I think it will be about 8 inches wide, and that is fine.  However, and this is a BIG however, the 351 stitches on a circular needle are joined so that I am knitting in the round, and I thought that I had joined the cast on row so that there were no twists in it. But I just needed to count the stitches and in the process I noticed that it is twisted---three times! Yikes. I am not ripping out 351 stitches x 45 rows and starting over, so it will be a mobius, mobius, mobius cowl. Weird possibly, but I am hoping that the fact that it can be wound around my neck a couple of times, and the fact that it is very colorful, will be a distraction from the possible weirdness. It's a "design element" y'all, not a mistake.  

Now the fourth project. I am going on vacation and I want to take a small project with me: hence, socks. I pulled out the socks that I have been ignoring for a month or so because I hate knitting on size 1 needles. I want to put them on my Knit Picks wooden needles rather than keep them on my Signature Needles, which I treasure and adore above all other needles. They are metal and really pointy and I think they could do some damage to someone if that's what I intended to do, which I don't, but the authorities might not believe me on that.

See my beautiful, precious, pointy, potentially dangerous needles!

When I took a look at the sock in progress (Gale's Art Wonder Sock Yarn, graffiti and asphalt colorway), I noticed that because it's been rattling around in the project bag for a month, maybe longer, a lot of stitches had fallen off the needles. If there is anything less fun than retrieving dropped stitches, several rows down, on size one needles, I hope not to find out what it is. 

Anyway, I have rescued the stitches and now I will put them on the wooden needles. TSA or its equivalent in the UK can have my Signature Needles when they pry them from my cold, dead hands. Which they won't be able to do because I am leaving them behind. sniff...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

So The Check's in the Mail???

What am I talking about? you ask.

WELL, there is a new movie out titled Florence Foster Jenkins (appropriate title since that was her name. She is deceased.) It stars none other than the wonderful Meryl Streep, along with Howard from the Big Bang Theory and Hugh Grant (really? He is still leading man material after his dalliance with...never mind).

Anyway, I discovered Florence Foster Jenkins, y'all.  Back in December of 2012.  I can only assume that one of my zillions of readers was an agent for the movie studio that has made this film, and without any notice or permission, decided that Florence's story should be told.


Also, the video link has disappeared from my blog post, so here is one that is just audio. ENJOY! 

So that's that. No big bucks for me apparently. And you are welcome for my unleashing  introducing her to the public.

Now, for something completely different.

Aren't all the good people of the world, at least the church-going ones supposed to actually BE at church on Sunday mornings???

We went out to ride bikes on the greenway this morning, thinking that it would be close to empty but SURPRISE!!! it was packed with cyclists, runners, children, dogs --- heathens all! 

So we bailed on riding there and went back to the middle school parking lot, which was almost empty of cars but definitely empty of other cyclists, runners, children and dogs. I'm surprisingly uneasy about riding so I need target-less locations still.

However, as practice, my husband suggested that I try to ride on the white lines in the bus areas.

Aren't you always supposed to remember how to ride a bike???

I could.not.stay on that line. I could ride to either side of it, back and forth, back and forth, over the line, just not intentionally.  

Practice, practice, practice says my coach.

Now go see a movie!  The reviews of FFJ have been mixed, so don't blame me. I had no input.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I Heard the Other Day

that if you've searched and searched EVERYWHERE for something, and just can't find it, look for something else and you will find the first lost thing. It's true! It just happened!

When we went to Ireland last year, we used this map:

It was a great map and we used it to get around Northern Ireland and Ireland. Never got lost. We need it again this year, and we haven't been able to find it anywhere! (Mostly my husband searches...he asks me if I have found it and I mumble Haven't seen it. I know, not much help.)

So my husband found this one on the internet and ordered it. It arrived a week or so ago:

It's perfectly good, but we really wanted the lost one.

Part two:

I have been looking all over the house for the creamer pitcher that goes with this sugar bowl:

I remember that the handle had broken off and I had given it to my husband to glue back together. I cannot, cannot find it. Today, in my search for the lost china, I found the missing map! (So really, I did help!)

Great news, right? But I'm still missing the creamer. 

New Project

I am working on this Purple and Pink Extra Long Cowl:

using the Koigu colors in the photo, so it will be exactly like the one in the photo.

Only it's not.

I finished the first color section, which is all of 7 rows, and this is how wide it is, about an inch.  

What the #$%^

I re-read the instructions. The cowl is 30 rows wide??? That means slightly over 4 inches???

(7+8+8+7=30  Right???)

I wrote an e-mail to Kitterly who sold the kit and said "What the #$%^?

They wrote back saying that they hadn't written the pattern and they hadn't taken the photo and it looks to them like the cowl IS only about 4 inches wide.

So there we go. It is an extremely narrow but long cowl. But I, dear readers, am throwing caution to the wind and knitting as many rows of each of the four colors and I choose, and the pattern be damned!

It will be a thing of beauty, but it will not look like the picture.  

There are no knitting police. I'm taking the Yarn Harlot at her word on this.

Monday, August 1, 2016

As the Flying Spaghetti Monster is my Witness

I will NEVER ride an exercise bike or walk on a treadmill (unless it's for physical therapy after I fall and break something while riding a real bike, as I did the last time I rode a real bike) AGAIN.

I realized over the weekend that the reason I avoid going to the gym is that I HATE, HATE, HATE riding exercise bikes and, even MORE RED HOT HATES, walking on treadmills. (Has no one noticed that they don't GO anyplace on these things?) I was vindicated in this hate when I went to the Dublin Gaol last year and discovered that early treadmills were used as punishment in jails and prisons. HAH! I knew it! Treadmills are from h*ll!!!

So this weekend I bought a new bike to replace the bike that tried to kill me. I sold that evil thing.

This is my new bike, bought after many journeys on several models around the bike store parking lot.

It's so pretty. 

And after I showed the salesman this:

the scar from the broken wrist surgery that I needed after my last bike ride on Killer Bike, I made him promise that I was buying the proper size bike for me.

So off I go, but I will not be riding on the Forsyth County Greenway that crosses over swampland. Swamps don't provide the cushioning you might expect. Trust me on this.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Well I Never

will get this book apparently.


Nice of them to let me know, but sweet baby cheeses, I hope I'm still here when it arrives...

Willpower. I Have None.

My older daughter, who is a knitter, has been visiting and I decided we should go visit Eat, Sleep, Knit in Smyrna. Just to introduce HER to the shop, you understand. I've been there before. I was just the driver.

I used to have an LYS where I went to knit nights, but the owner discontinued them. I can buy yarn anywhere, and I'm not about to drive out of my way to go there to knit when I have no idea when other knitters might stop by during the day; we came from a very widespread area in and around Atlanta. So there are no knit nights where I used to fondle yarns, look at what others were knitting and get enabled inspired. ESK has become my shop of choice when I need to TOUCH yarn I might want to buy. They have more yarn than any shop I've ever been to.

So off we went to ESK. I am really, really certain that there must be a way to get there without going on the interstates. I just don't know where that way is. Both the Garmon and Google maps kept pointing us to I 75 and 285.  

NO! replied Knittergran, who, it must be said, has very little geographical sense. So I kept going hither-and-yon trying to find the way that MUST exist, and ended up, both going and returning, on the aforementioned interstates, strictly out of desperation (and because I was lost).  


So, even though only my daughter was going to buy yarn, I somehow ended up with two skeins of yet more sock yarn. I promised myself that they would not end up as socks, since I already have a lot of socks, and an even larger amount of sock yarn. What they will be I can't yet say. Ravelry searches will occur.

You tell me that you could have resisted these gorgeous colors from Hedgehog Fibres:

Color:  Medusa

Color:  Pod

If you do say you could have resisted, I refuse to believe you, unless you are not a fiber artist, like me. (I was once actually called that! But I demurred. I'm nothing if not humble.)