Sadly, there was no knitting this week. I took it home one day to hopefully get some extra time and became inundated with homework while finishing recovering from a cold. I meant to get to it. I meant to remember it. I left it where I can not get to it at this time; at least, not without a bunch of extra effort.

Instead, I’m going to content myself with the notion that I got other, necessary errands taken care of this week, and most of my homework done, and most of the quizzes and tests went well. Most of them. I’m still figuring out one of the classes, but I got a very low grade for me, and I’m an A student, so I’m hoping the rest of the class did as poorly as I did. I don’t wish any of them well, but its far easier to convince a teacher it’s not your study habits when the whole class does poorly. Alas, Medical Terminology, I may grow to love to hate you and suck up a low grade. I hope this trend does not continue.


Med Term notecards…with Zeus’ help.

I did get a chicken roasted this evening, and I have been scooting cats off of books and notecards and dogs off of my lap all week when I wasn’t furiously studying note cards for brand names and generic names of twenty of the top 200 drugs prescribed in the U.S.A. I did amaze myself at the mnemonics I came up with to remember these, such as Methyl and Prenihad a date at the Concerta; see to ADHD…Which read is methylprenidate (Concerta), a C-II(controlled substance of the highest level allowed to be prescribed in the U.S.) to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It’s a mouthful, but it makes it fun and it sticks with you better. Well, it did for this quiz, anyhow.

In other news, since I was lacking photos of me doing homework, which are by no means exciting, I found these gems for the crocheters out there….My aunt Maryal needed a gift idea for my dear James, and I presented her with a few skeins of camouflage yarn that had been passed down to me a few years ago. I asked her to make him an afghan out of them, as I was still busy knitting socks and would be going to school. The said afghan has her own additions to it and is photographed below.

006 002

Dog tested, Cat approved…or vise versa.

Alas, there was no knitting, as there is a proper snow(you’re welcome to come visit to see) which makes me want to move south. Kentucky is not far enough, this year. I think they still have snow as well. I’m thinking the tropics, really. There has not been sewing, but I may see to that relatively secret birthday gift shortly, and I really need to return to the super-secret birthday gift as well. More about that as well. Please excuse me as real-life intervened this week and sacked the knitting for now. I will get some done this coming week, before my first, signed new release of book #40, Obsession in Death arrives in the mail, and I become entirely obsessed with my favorite detective and her hot, handsome, and thoughtful husband.

Get yours here;-)

Also on my current reading list, when I’m in bed not-knitting, is Sarah MacLean’s Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover. I love the Rules of Scoundrels series and how it interacts with her 9,10, 11 series…for lack of a better take.

or here….don’t scroll all the way down until you’ve read the first three books in the series. Trust me;-)

If you wish for a different, more fun take on historical romance where you will fall into the story, this is the series for you. Get it, you won’t be disappointed. See you next week, when perhaps I’ve started on the hearts of the black-hearted socks, finally.

The knit beginning

February 1, 2013

As a child of 8 or 9 years old, I watched the women of my family crochet. Sometimes, my aunt Maryal still makes me crocheted wash clothes for gifts when I mention how much I enjoy them. My mother would sometimes attempt to crochet, but she only had one go-to stitch and the yarn and the project would often disappear before she finished it. I don’t know what happened to it. I never saw a finished project, but every once in a while the yarn or new yarn came out, and she tried another project.

I was fascinated by the art of crochet and demanded to be taught. I learned how to chain and could create long beautiful chains that we could laugh at as we strung them around the Christmas tree. When I attempted the “double crochet” stitch which I later learned was a “half-double crochet” stitch, my tension became too tight and I could no longer fit the hook into it. Frustrated, I would rip out the stitches and either start over, or call it another chain. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, these were my first lessons in tension. Unfortunately for me, no one I knew of that crocheted nearby knew how to fix this. I would create chains and leave it at that, for that time.

When I was 10, we had moved from the quiet, small town of Haslett, Michigan to a rough area of Lansing, Michigan. We had found a suitable duplex that was a major improvement over some of our interment dwellings. We had a neighbor who tolerated three rambunctious kids ages 10 and under pretty well. She had adopted a collie, husky, malamute, shepherd mix she’d named Bozo. I’d visit them (and was more tolerated due to being a relatively quiet girl). Plus, I showed an interest in her knitting. She told me about it and began to teach me, but moved within a month of beginning my education in knitting and we got the dog, but I did not pick up knitting at that time. We renamed the dog Bear, and I was soon lost to Bon Jovi and boys.

I went through my teen years knit-less, and occasionally crocheted a border chain for our 12 x 14′ living room. My parents were no longer impressed by this feat, nor amused. I gave my attention then to sewing partly due to interest, partly due to a 9 week course in home economics where I found I was a natural with a sewing machine. However, we did not have a sewing machine at home and I didn’t visit the aunt who did once I turned 12. So, I hand-sewed when I could get my hands on fabric to sew. My dad declared me the best button sewer he knew of and refused to pay money to have a button sewn back on, since I’d been taught how “professionally.” However, since I wasn’t big on the recycling theme that’s so prevalent today, getting my hands on fabric was easier dreamed than accomplished. My teen years and college years were spent pursuing college and the money to pay for it.

Once the money for college ran out, I joined the Navy to help pay for it. Out of boredom and due to missing my family before I learned what “underway” really meant, I began sewing again. I had some spare cash and access to fabrics and thread. I began sewing a quilt as a gift for my best friend and I sewed my niece and nephew fleece and flannel blankets for their birthdays. The feeling of the fabric and the simple act of creating calmed me. I even went on to sew dresses to show I could. I made one for my two year old niece and a civil war style work dress for myself. However, this is not a sewing blog, even if I do consider myself an accomplished seamstress.

So, how in the world did I become a knitter if I never learned and sewed for some time. I’m getting to that, I promise. Mostly, I think it was sheer curiosity and book. I’d read about characters knitting as a relaxation. In addition, while searching Goodwill one day, I found a bundle of knitting needles wrapped together in a rubber band for an affordable price. I bought them and proceeded to Jo-ann’s Fabric and Crafts where I found an interesting book called Knit Stitches & Easy Projects. I looked through this inexpensive red & white book and its stitches, liked the photos and the descriptions and decided to buy it. I also found a beautifully soft burgundy yarn, which would make a great scarf. I bought the yarn and the book and went home to begin knitting.


By this point in my life, it had been suggested that I could have ADHD. I have never had this confirmed, but I’ve never had it confirmed that I didn’t. I thought my symptoms were related to anxiety, which I knew I had. I couldn’t have it. But then I ‘had’ to research it, and learned I did have symtpoms. I decided to apply some suggestions that worked for people with ADHD. One of the problems I had was that I would start 15 new projects of various mediums and I might finish 3 of them.  I reminded myself that finishing could be its own reward, but I had to get over that hump from “the beginning” to “seeing the end of this tunnel.” In addition, I needed a system.

I decided to write each project I was working on a 3×5 card and post it on a card on my fridge.  I also decided to create a rule that I needed to finish a project before I began a new one. Then I decided to be brave and set up some goals including organization and included them on my fridge. I’m still working on the organization. Some days, I’m not sure there are enough shelves in the world. But how are these note cards and organization items related to knitting? I had to learn about me, and how I worked.  I had already been shown the stockinette stitch and held some of it in my memory. I just had to access it. I also realized, if it was too easy, I’d grow bored with the process. So, I needed something that engaged me, like reading a book and you keep reading so you can find out what happens next…. I had to find out what happens next in knitting and I leafed through my booklet to find a pattern and a project with a simple twist that would keep me focused on the item I was creating. Yet, I had to be careful not to overdo it, as I’m good at overdoing it.


I found a 63 stitch scarf with a pattern that repeated every four rows called “Little Shells.” It was pretty and would make a nice scarf. I got out my burgundy yarn and two matching needles and began to knit according to the pictures. I decided this scarf would be for me as it would likely be full of mistakes, which it was. As I knit, I also discovered that my stitches tended to increase until I remembered to count them and realized my tension was almost non-existent, and all over the place. Even with the scarf’s imperfections, the yarn was beautiful to me and the pattern remained engaging. I completed my first and began another. Since it was too wide for a scarf in the end, I thought about making it into a shawl or part of a small blanket. I then finished a second ‘panel’ as I had begun referring to them and somewhere in there found which led me also to Debbie Macomber’s books-specifically the Cedar Cove and Blossom Street Series.  They still remain two of my favorite series ever, and though I do not re-read many books often, I have read and do recommend Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber to anyone who wishes to read a book of inspiration.

I did continue knitting the little shells pattern with a different yarn, a variegated brown with turquoise I loved, but was later disappointed that it didn’t quite match the burgundy, so the blanket would have to wait.  During this process, I learned about double-pointed needles(dpns) and knitting in the round. I’ll save that for the next blog.