Why this journey?

I've been retired now for over a year. Husband has been sick but is now doing quite well with new pacemaker. I continue to knit and knit and crochet. Recently I became friends again with my sewing machine so you will see some of those projects, too. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fiona Shrek (is that her last name?)

One of my favorite characters is Fiona in the Shrek movies.  She's so strong and independent and knows herself and her own mind. And no matter the day or night Fiona is beautiful -- Shrek knows that and so do we.  Women of all ages should look to Fiona as a role model.

I finished some things to mail to the East Coast for the two beautiful GiGi's (greats) there, one of whom has hair even redder than Fiona's.

A fleece blanket, two-sided, with knotted fringe on all four sides.

Both girls are princesses and beautiful.  Don't you agree that the Fiona Shrek ears are an excellent highlight indicating loveliness?

Pillowcases -- complete with lace, matching lace.

And strawberry sox -- an essential accessory in every girl's wardrobe, no matter the age.

I often think that the only thing I tell you about is the latest 14 patterns I've decided to try with the 23 yarns I found in my stash -- or worse, ran out to buy!  Really glad to be able to report some items are complete, though they aren't in the knitting category.

I've had fun with each of these, watching them unfold and become real.  And it was a good break from knitting.

PS Two blankets are also in progress -- one is crocheted and one is knitted.  See I had to be honest about my compulsion to begin new projects.

PSS A closeup of Fiona's castle.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Most US bloggers will, on July 20 or shortly after, include some mention of the shootings in Aurora, CO. . . for which there are, as yet, no Explanations.

I find that my own attempts at Explanations of irrational acts are generally based on my ideas of rational thinking. . . and this process never ever, never, produces anything useful or meaningful as Explanations   Irrational minds -- even those operating temporarily in the irrational sphere -- engage in ideas and acts that, by definition, cannot fit into any rational Explanations.

For a bit of comfort, then, I resort to the things in my life that -- yes -- do have Explanations.

Baby Afghans -- I scrapped one idea for a second one.  I didn't like that one so I dumped it, too.  Finally settled on this.
Explanations -- didn't like the way the two crochet patterns
were working up in the yarn; I wasn't enjoying the crochet;
I was collecting some awful RSS (repetitive stress
syndrome) in my lower arms.
Scrapped this one.
Explanations -- didn't like the color combinations and so
it wasn't much fun to continue.  On the plus side --
I was using up stash, but so is the final selection above.

I can also partially explain the WRT (waiting room time) I experienced today before, during and after a glaucoma laser procedure.  Explanations certainly help us understand; acceptance is harder.  The entire morning was spent on the road, in a chair, waiting, waiting, waiting.  

The procedure itself took all of 10 minutes.  It takes lots more detail to provide Explanations.
  • Files didn't get transferred.
  • Outcome after laser wasn't what any of us expected.
  • Wait time is required in between procedure and pressure testing.
  • Traffic was awful going and returning.

Explanations -- we will all want something to help us understand what happened in Aurora.  We will want a tidy package that says "Oh, it was because of A, B and C."  

However, sometimes the best Explanation is "Who the hell knows what causes brain synapses to fire the way they do?"

I'll be knitting -- I can find Explanations for my knitting choices.

Great set of patterns.

Adorable Child.

That six-year old who died was also adorable.  No Explanations.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Giving away the Treasures

If you are willing to give it away, you must also be willing to let go.
Like beauty, treasures are often in the eye of the beholder.  In the case of crafty types, we can sometimes assign the word "treasure" to an item (or two) as a self-proclaimed identifier.  In truth -- and as a reminder to each of us who gift our work -- the "treasure" appellation is not ours to ascribe; that privilege belongs to the recipient.

Two GREAT granddaughters celebrate 2 and 1 yr in August and September so I am busy making a birthday package for them.  Keep in mind I'm doing stuff that I hope will be treasures for now and later.   And when I wrap the collection in a box and affix a UPS or FEDEX label, I will remind myself that the "treasure-ness" was in the gifting of my heart to theirs.  It's not about the actual item -- these things will be theirs to use as they please.

Pillowcases -- don't grammas often embroider pillowslips for grandchildren?  I feel like I've become my mother (don't all aging women feel this at one time or another?)  I remember watching Mom embroider stuff -- pillow slips, quilts, towels, etc. -- and then give them as gifts.  I don't remember any of the recipients, only the items and the bits of thread that collected on the arm of her chair.

Tho the edge is nicely finished I will add some frilly lace.
Princesses need lace, I think.

Not quite finished.  "Little Girls"  will be added to
"Thank Heaven For" plus another purple and yellow
butterfly.  Lace, too.
Pillow slip Doll -- actually it's all the pieces, though I found instructions for making the same doll from an actual pillow slip.  In this case, the fabric is printed with pieces to assemble -- arms, head, body, etc.  More lace, of course.

All of the printed embroidery items are from Jack Dempsey Needle Arts and all are made in the USA.  They also sell floss (DMC) and sometimes the kits come complete with floss, sometimes not.

Blanket for fall -- it's hot where these babies live so I expect this one will be put on the shelf till cooler temps arrive.  Pattern is from a book their grandmother sent me -- 50 cents for a Coats and Clark baby crochet book.  Yarn is from my stash.  Patons Astra.  Hook is size G.

Now that you're completely confused about family tree, here's the details. 
  • Babies -- 2 girls
  • Their mother is my husband's first granddaughter, making the babies his GREAT granddaughters.
  • The mother of the mother, the grandmother, is my husband's youngest child.
  • Me?  I married into all of this almost 32 years ago, before the mother of the babies was born.
  • Hope that helps.

I've got a couple of other things to add to the package and will share pix later this week.  Goal right now is to get everything except the quilt from last week's post "Free to Quilt" in the mail by Friday, 7/20.

Tempus fugits.  Back to the Treasures, none of which can be considered finished -- yet.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


That's what I have left -- U N I T E D.  The Manchester is finished and what's supposed to pass for a soccer ball in the middle.  (It's a scarf for a Manchester United fan, and my 100th follower on Twitter.)

And just to show that is really is Double Knitting, here's the other side folded over the right side.

The squiggly thing at the top right is the best I could
do to portray the small ball that appears in the MU logo.
Various images are here -- Manchester United.
The back side?  Well the letters appear there, as expected.  However, they are in mirror format.

Having a great time with this one.

  •  I'm learning double knitting. 
  •  I'm designing some graphics, especially letters. 
  •  I can see progress on a steady basis.

But it's intense, I'll warn you.  Every stitch and every row is carefully placed and I'm always watching.  Mistakes can be corrected but remember, for every mistake there are two stitches to fix -- one on each side.

Wanna try it?  Here's a tutorial from KnitPicks with great photos.

PS for the curious.  Yes, I did knit the sock monkey.  Twas a kit from KnitPicks several years ago, but no longer available.  Sock Monkey has a gray robe, too, which was not shown in the posting.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sock Monkey Adventures

We had another wonderful visitor today.  Sock Monkey is a seasoned explorer.  Here are the records of his adventures.
Watching Sponge Bob

Swimming with the Power Rangers

What a lovely day to water the flowers

Aahhh!  The flowers are soooo beautiful.

I'm a climbing monkey (in the fuchsia basket.)

I can see everything from here.

Whew!  Need a rest.

Oops!  I need help!  I'm stuck.

Peaches are healthy and nutritious.
I probably had too much wine.

I need a clean towel for my shower.

Oral hygiene is always first.

Coffee is my favorite.

I've already had a bath.  What is this!?

Cold water only please, so I do not shrink.

I'm always safest if I set the alarm.

Wait til those blossoms become tomatoes.


Mozart is my favorite.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Free to Quilt

Finished cutting and piecing a fun quilt top on the morning of the 4th.  It was a kit, from Nancy's Notions.   It has a date on August 10 with the talented Heather Spence for a pantograph quilting design.

Very colorful and shows off all the wonderful characters from the memorable stories.  Hope your own reading is as wonderful as the Berenstain Bears.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Free to Knit

Everyone in the US will do their own personal homage to Independence today.  We're free to do that, to speak and write as we please, even if sometimes our words and pictures offend.

Everyone in the US will have some sort of celebration, probably including food.  We're free to feed the hungry when our own abundance overflows -- and when it doesn't, we still are free to feed the hungry.

Everyone in the US will go about their daily life without restrictions.  We're free to do that, to drive (within the framework of the rules of the road) and to visit and to convene.

But perhaps, just perhaps, all of us here do not recognize that we are also free to do the right thing, not just the thing we think best for us.

Perhaps, just perhaps, this 4th of July will be a reminder that it's not all about me.  There are others who are celebrating, crying, laughing, sharing, and worrying.  We are free to be part of their lives and to lift them up.

We are free to think about others and their needs.
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Finished the Arimono Shawl, while on WRT (Waiting Room Time, first cousin to HT, Hospital Time.)

During the last week of finishing, Megan Goodacre of Tricksy Knitter announced the release of another wonderful pattern in hand-painted yarn from SweaterMaker Yarns.  Fledge Shawl in Romance  Great customer service.  Megan emailed me when she realized her pic of the yarn was mis-named.  She held two colors for me until I decided which I preferred.

I'll wind the yarn and cast on for this one.  I promised myself a new something when I reached 2 minutes on bridge/plank.  Done!  and done more than once.  Getting stronger.  Better for knitting.  Core strength helps with everything you know.
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We US Catholics are finishing a Fortnight of Freedom.  I am celebrating the freedom I have to be a professed Roman Catholic, to take this belief and faith into my daily life, to worship, to give, to share, to be joyful in Christ.

Happy Freedom Day to each of my US followers and readers.