Traditions, Old and New…

November 27, 2015



Situation normal…Mom, I’m keeping the bag…no you can’t have the contents.

This morning was Thanksgiving and I worked a bunch of extra and unexpected hours tossing cards at people(literally for this game). Then I came home to get the requisite five hours of sleep so that I might travel to visit Dear James’ family for gathering and food gluttony.


Just when I thought I might get to knit without furry help…It never lasts…excuse the terrible photo…

I enjoyed the day and trying a new wine…perhaps I’ll aim to try a new wine every Thanksgiving, and perhaps I’ll share one of my aged Chianti’s with them each year. We’ll see how that tradition develops. I’ll discuss stocking topics closer to Christmas. You’re welcome, it does happen to be my favorite tradition. For now, I have some simpler traditions and potential new ones to discuss. My oldest niece and I play the ‘I love you more,’ game. I thought I’d won it this past year when I told her that I loved her enough to share my ice cream with her. She’ll be 14 in two weeks. You can imagine how long she remembers the ice cream at that birthday party.


Look, look! Do you see what I see?

However, as I’m knitting these socks for my younger niece, I’m realizing we’ve yet to create our own catch-line tradition. Lizzie’s specialty is funny faces, and making people laugh. But as I knit, even tired, on little sleep(and only a small mistake I chose to ignore). I had knit these socks these socks right “Down to the toes.”


Scamp, sleeping where the knitting bag should be. She’s making her own traditions…

This line is going to be included with the gift of the socks, because every girl(every child, even,) deserves to know they are loved, right down to their toes. And what better way to accomplish that, but with a pair of warm socks that are knit…

Right Down To The Toes. 


Gussets and Daydreams

November 20, 2015

That sounded better in my head….but that may be the wine talking.


Some days, the knitting is easier without help from Briannag…

It’s a busy time of year. I normally have Thursdays off. Tonight I worked six hours. I had a good table, and my favorite table for most of the night(shh…don’t tell my superiors, please). They don’t think my job should have too many fun elements…though I have to make BlackJack look fun, even when I’m the one with BlackJack…alas, let’s talk about yarn. Life is better when you have time for yarn.


Almost can’t tell I’ve broken my own rules;-)

I’ve semi-broken one of my own rules this week, but it’s working for me, so far. I haven’t knit the entire repeat of the cable knitting pattern rounds. I’ve stopped at various intervals of knitting. I’m not even attempting to pick it up tonight. I’m too tired. But as I knit this week, I reflected on two things. I reflected on finishing the sock and the layout of the cable knit pattern. I hope the travel section is lining up. I’m also gifting this to a child who may or may not get the concept of a left and right sock. This pattern has a definite left and right sock.

But it was my youngest niece’s first choice. My oldest niece is the one who believes that socks have a left inclination and a right inclination. If you listen closely, you’ll learn she truly believes this. If you agree with her, this pattern was made just for you. I’m working on the right sock, and must remember that as I work…If Lizzie doesn’t, well, that’s her problem.


I hope these match more of Lizzie’s clothing…but blue’s semi-neutral, right?

I said two reflections, correct? The other is, what next? I’ve been thinking, as I knit once again what I’ve knit before, I keep thinking my next pair of socks must match more of my clothing. Though I think I want lavender and gray colors. I have a lavendar sweater, and a lavender paisley print shirt with black pink and gray, and a fair amount of shirts these socks will match.

I also have some burgundy and black as well as some cream colored sweaters. I think some burgundy and cream socks would go really well with these. I think I need a trip to the local yarn store….now I just need this check with the extra hours of the extra work day, I would have only agreed to under great duress….though this week was close. In the meantime, I’m due for a trip, so don’t be surprised to hear about more yarn soon…. Well, once I obtain some foam cubes and begin that hand-made camo toned yarn.


Current prgoress…hoping for the best…but we’re getting there…

If it’s not one yarn, it’s another. In the meantime, I need to cook up some steaks for dinner, (such a hardship, when use what you have means cook up those old steaks, that don’t remain freezer-burned once you sear them well)…Alas, wish me knitting luck and great finds for new yarn…and well, french market pattern or something more interesting?

This week, I’ve been nearly as exhausted as last week. I still got knitting done, and I made a 2+ hour drive to take my Aunt Maryal to visit my Aunt Jane. It was a perfect day to wake early and drive to get some heart-warming dinner at Bob Evans. We had a good visit and got to chat and catch up. Since I don’t spend many day-time hours awake, I enjoyed the evening visit.


Squib, helping me knit…

Now, about the knitting…I did get some done, and with fewer errors than last week, thankfully. I was much more careful about knitting when tired. I can work on the quilt or the jeans when tired. I finally got around to starting to update my jeans in the hopes of keeping them around longer…and a floral patch deserves some embroidery, right? Only, I’m not a huge fan of embroidery. I suspect crochet vines and flowers would be faster, but I do not know how to crochet. Instead, I’m embroidering. I will simply make some time for it each night, and listen to Dear James pout that his fix wasn’t good enough. I suppose I should tell him I’ve been planning this embroidery the whole time.


Now, I just have to match some of my shirts;-). Or embroider some shirts to match. This may take some time. I’m not starting an embroidery blog, however. I still have cooking and quilting to focus on. In the meantime, as I do find time for knitting, I ponder the next color I will choose as soon as I begin searching out my next skeins of yarn. I have a favorite shirt in gray and purple paisley on black. I do enjoy this shirt and I thought it would be nice to have more socks that match my shirts. I may be buying some lavender and grey heather style socks soon. I like these colors and I think they’d be nice to knit up. I also think they’d match another favorite sweater.


Putzer, demanding his massage as I knit…

I’m knitting Lizzie’s socks as I ponder the colors of the next pair, and as I reach the 7” point, it occurs to me that if I’d followed directions, I’d be halfway done with this sock. Honestly, though, they are going together quite well…and I need to determine which pattern to knit these new socks in. These are the thoughts that go through my mind, when I’m not cursing the pattern or ripping out stitches.


Current Progress on this sock…(almost half-way done with this one…)

It has been a week for ripping out stitches(one of the reasons for the smaller amount of errors). If I catch the errors in that row, I frog (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it…yes, knitters are often punny), back to the errors and re-knit. If I do not catch the errors in that row, there is no true idea of how many rows I screwed up, and I call them angel kisses. Who doesn’t like angel kisses?


Maeve, snuggling while I knit…

In the midst of frogging, and a relatively busy social calendar, I decided I also need another project on the needles. There are two reasons for this. I wish to have another Christmas gift knit by Christmas, and I decided it would be great to have something relatively easy or mindless on the needles that only requires me to knit and purl. So, I’m breaking the rules, as my nephew is sixteen and has just begun driving. He didn’t want me to knit him anything. However, a car evens the playing field, with some minor issues…


My new yarn…nothing drool worthy, but still better than Red Heart…(see what I mean about mindless;-)? Leave it to me…)

More Travel…

November 6, 2015


The view from my room…

It’s been a tiring week. I went back to Mackinac City for a quilt retreat. I was a good girl, I took my knitting along with me, for when I’m up in the middle of the night. I was also a bad girl. I didn’t touch the knitting the entire time, except to move it from its resting spot.

I did get some knitting done, but I’m wondering if I should have. I know better than to knit when I’m tired, which is part of why I didn’t get the knitting done at the retreat.


Briannag, suggesting I should rest the needles for the night…

I had a good time, and made some progress on the super-secret fantasy quilt. I even received some compliments. It’s amazing what you can do with fabric when you cut it up to make small shapes and turn them into interesting creations. I saw many a beautiful quilt, but did not take many pictures. I took more pictures of the view from my room.

Oh, the view….you have to see this. The balcony overlooked Lake Huron and the lake curved just right to get a good view of the bridge. I even got photos of the swans because my aunt would enjoy them…


Swans near the bridge for my aunt…

See? Swans…no, I don’t see a new quilt idea forming about the swans, but there is that bridge;-). Somedays, I would love to stay home and knit and sew…. At the retreat, I was got to do just that, well, the sewing part anyways. I can sew tired, as I hand sew, but like I said, I know better than to knit tired.


A view of one of the ferries at the end of the season…

I still tried to get some knitting done last night, and it went well. Tonight, I began the travelling stitch section. It didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped, but it wasn’t entirely terrible either. It just isn’t right, and I was too tired and too frustrated to rip out entire rows. I had already frogged enough of the cable work tonight. I don’t like frogging, though it may be easier to frog when I’m mid-row, than when I’ve completed a row or a section.


I haven’t decided if I’ll rip out this section, I don’t think it looks that bad, but it doesn’t look that great either. I told a couple of the girls at the retreat that we knitters call mistakes Angel kisses….mine has really been more angel kissed than I like tonight. But I hate ripping out the rows more than I hate angel kisses;-).


Hidden areas of the angel kisses…in the interest of fairness…

Bags and Travel

November 2, 2015

Dear Scamp,

How is that bag?

Love, Mom

Dear Mom,

It smells funny and is on the floor. I must inspect it. Why is this bag here? It wasn’t here before.

Love, Scamp


Scamp, pretending she’s not investigating the bag…and thinking she’ll keep me here by laying on it.

Dear Scamp,

The bag is there so Mom can get packed. I’m going on a trip.

Love, Mom

Dear Mom,

What’s a trip? Is that like when you broke your tooth?

Love, Scamp


Squib, running away from that mean bright camera…Maeve in background…

Dear Scamp,

No, the broken tooth was from the curb tripping me in the wee hours of the morning as I walked the dogs. The sidewalk fought back. This is a different trip, a longer one that will leave me coming back smelling funny.

Love, Mom

Dear Mom,

I smell you everyday. Have a good trip.

Love, Scamp


Squib, claiming bag, while Scamp playfully considers reclaiming it…

Dear Scamp,

We’ll see if you feel that way when I return, but for now, it will just be a few days I’ll be gone to a quilt retreat in Mackinaw City.

Love, Mom