Previous month:
February 2012
Next month:
April 2012

Progress in Knitterland

This is the wee mouse that scampered off my needles last weekend:


This is the front of my sweater as I s-l-o-w-l-y work up the neck:


Here is the man socks, also dancing slowly:


I think I'm going to run out of yarn on the socks, and that makes me knit slower, because I don't want to find out. Since I knit them from the toe up, I can just finish when I run out of yarn by using some from the finished sock, and then finish that sock again, but just thinking about it makes my head hurt. One way or another, they'll be finished soon. Then on to other projects! There is something, a sock knit-along, that I'd like to start next week, so we will see. :)

My sweater takes a long time to get anywhere, but it's good to know that I'm doing a whole sweater. It's coming out just as I envisioned it, and that's a big plus, especially since I'm making it up as I go along, hehe. The ol' brain isn't entirely dead.

My hand isn't wiggling as much today as it was, but it IS wiggling. That's another plus! I think my thumb is connected to it ... I don't see it, but I feel it. It's hard to describe. I will work at what I can do. It's a fun toy to play with, anyway. 

Rating Music

I've had an iPod since they came out, and iTunes to go with them. I've loved them lots and lots. But I just recently started to rate my music; five little stars to tell me all kinds of things that I never took the time to notice about my music.


That's how my Rating category has always looked -- empty. I never knew why people would rate their music. If I was a DJ or something, it might be different, but as I am not, it just seemed like a waste of time.

Enter the Smart Playlist. Smart Playlists make sense of the world for me. They're just short of a Star Trek scene, where the Captain says, "Computer, make me a playlist that blah blah blah blah!" and the computer instantly complies. (Actually, I think Siri does this now, on iPhones? Goosebumps.)

I have gotten into a rut of playing the same four or five CDs, so I made a playlist of all my unplayed songs (I have played them, but maybe in the car on a CD, or on anather device). I had about 4.6 days of them. Then I had it take out Spoken Word, Holiday, Jump Blues Shows, and a few others, and that brought it down to 4.1 days. Then I set it to random and started listening while I knit.

I noticed that I really liked some songs, and really hated others (don't drunk-buy a whole CD, let it be a lesson). I thought, I wish I could remember which songs I hated, and which songs I loved ... and that's how the Ratings all began.

This is how I rate my music: one and two stars for "non-effective" music, i.e., music that I don't like. I give one star to pieces of shit, or pieces that disturb me for some other reason known only to me. I give two stars to pieces that I don't like too, but they're merely boring or bad, not disturbing. Three, four, or five stars are given to "effective" music, music that I like. Three-star music is just plain old music, it's good, it makes me smile, but there is nothing special about it, other than I like it. I give four stars to music that has some feature that I really like, such as a guitar riff that I like, or clever lyrics, or mandolin playing unexpectedly, or a good drum solo, or a singer who can actually sing. It makes me smile a little bit more than a three-star piece of music. I give five stars to the cream of the crop; these are songs I just love. I want to hug them and kiss them and call them George and marry them and bear their children. Maybe they're just really, really good, or maybe it was the circumstance when I first heard them, or maybe they remind me of a time or place or person that was special. Mostly, I took my rating from the old Maine Educational Assessment grading matrix that I used the times I graded the writing part of the MEA's, and transferred it to music. Ta Da! Instant rating system.


As you can see, I have a long ways to go, but I will eventually have all my songs rated. Then I can make really GOOD playlists, good for me, anyway, hehe. 

Today I have an assistant helping me:


Who let the cat outta the bag??

Bosnian Crochet

I've been reading about Bosnian crochet. It started with reading Sapphire and Purls blog, and she mentioned the new Piecework magazine, which has Bosnian crochet in it. Like a magpie finding a shiny, new thing I pounced on it, because I had never heard of it before.

Basically, it is crochet done with slip stitches only. I have used slip stitches in crocheting, to join work into a round, and to get from point A to point B, but never to make the fabric. There is a surprisingly large amount of things you can do with a simple slip stitch! Besides going in the front or the back loops of the stitch, you  can also make colored pattens, carrying the yarns along the back of the fabric, as in knitting. Since you are creating a binary language of sorts with the front vs. back loops of the stitch, the world is before you as far as stitch patterns go. 

Slip stitch patterns create a very thick fabric, making it wonderful for mittens and hats. The hat patterns I've seen have a sunflower kind of effect at the top, very pretty. 

There is a Ravelry group: Slip Stitch Crochet. There is a web site devoted to slip stitch crochet. Vashti Braha has a page about slip stich, or Bosnian, crochet. Slip stitch crochet is possibly the oldest form of crochet. I liked this article in Crochet Insider that is about slip stitch crochet to make "jourabs" or "Chorabs", Turkish socks. It's neat the way Larisa Vilensky shows how making socks was a way of using leftovers from carpet making to make socks. 

I've got a new toy to play with, in my mind anyway. But first, the Itchy-Scratchy sweater and the Man Socks are calling my name!

Bos6-m    Bos8-m    Bos4-m
(photos from Sylvia Cosh :: James Walters :: Crochet - Bosnian Crochet)

TV on The Brain

Know what this is?


If you guessed The X-Files music by Mark Snow, you are correct.

It's raining,  and this just came up on my iPod:

 I Wanna Watch the X-Files In The Rain

I got that song way back when was giving away songs for free. It's from Darkangeles. I downloaded it on February 29, 2004, which is an odd date. And that is all I know about it.

The X-Files was a great show, and they made a good movie, too. Every now and then, that song comes up on my iPod and it makes me smile. I remember how completely people got into that show ... kinda like the way they got into Lost, or Buffy, 0r 24, or Dr. Who. Do any shows have that kind of appeal for you now? (Dr. Who is still on, but you can talk about the upcoming new season.) Comment at will.


We just started watching some new shows. We watched the first two eps of Missing on Hulu last night; it's about a mother (Ashley Judd) searching for her kidnapped son (Nick Eversman), with the twist being that rather than being a flower shop owner as she has been for the last umpty-odd years, she's really an ex-CIA agent with mad skillz, and taking her son was The Wrong Thing to Do. Her husband, played by Sean Been, was killed when his car was blown up. I think he is secretly the one behind the kidnapping and his death was faked; but that's just me. This show is like an updated version of Scarecrow and Mrs. King, without the comedy. We laughed anyway. It's got a strangely picking-the-scab-off-my-arm kind of appeal -- it's so ridiculous, its fascinating.


We also watched Touch, with Kiefer Sutherland, who plays Martin Bohm, and David Mazouz, who plays Jake Bohm. Apparently an 11-year old has the power to affect the destiny of the whole freaking world ... with his father's help. Kiefer Sutherland jumps through many, many hoops to do Something to make the world right, and is rewarded with some little sign that he has Done Good: a smile, a touch, a spoken word. The thing is, while you watch it, it seems so believable. We are surrounded by little coincidences all the time, but how many of them do we really see? We see maybe one coincidence ... but if you were Jake Bohm, and you saw alllllll the coincidences that were connected, if you were able to change things to make them occur so that the world would be Good instead of Bad, that would be quite a thing. This show is really well-written, and Kiefer Sutherland plays a Dad struggling with his emotionally challenged son very well. I think this story will stay. 

(photo from

Fake Warmth

Spring sprung Wednesday and Thursday, and I've got pictures to prove it.

Spring1    Spring2
Spring3    Spring$

Those are pictures of my lilac bush, which usually doesn't blossom until June. I took pictures of the leaves popping out, because after the freezing weather we are about to get, probably the leaves and the buds and everything will just say "I quit" and leave me with a bunch of sticks waving in the air.

The cats enjoyed the warm weather. 


Grace snoozed on the porch instead of in the living room. 


Nicky stretched out in the sun. He is such a Valentino, no?


Nora spent the day sharpening her claws.

I sat on the back porch and then I moved to the front porch, and knit and supervised my husband while he did the raking and the cleaning of the yard ... and he cleaned the front porch, too, come to think of it. The back deck and the front porch and the lawn and my flower beds are now spic and span, thanks to him!

Now if I can just hold the memories of the fake warmth we had until the real warmth gets here. 


My Knitting

I'm making progress on my knitting. Here's my weekly mouse:


And here's my sock:


And here's the front of my sweater:


The back is done, but I forgot to take a picture of it. Ooops.

It's funny, but I knit a lot yesterday, and I should be feeling the effects of it today, but I'm not. My hand feels fine. One of life's little mysteries; maybe my hand was getting tired of Winter and it wanted a little Spring to warm it up.


Nice Weather We're Having

What a beautiful day it was yesterday! Today, the weather man says it'll be about 80˚; yesterday when I checked, it was 75˚. It's only March. We're having a little spike of warm weather, before heading back into the 40's and 50's, a more seasonable temperature. I'll take it though.

Yesterday, I practiced my walking on the outside deck, and soaked up the sun. I only stopped because my right arm was dragging like a lead weight; I know I could use a sling, but I thrust it out of my sight the last time I used it, and God only knows where it is. I could knit a far prettier one, hmmm ... that's an idea.

Knitting an Itchy-Scratchy sweater is not really in the forecast for today, so I think I'll start my second sock. Poor thing, it really needs a mate. I feel like God, making the mates of socks out of the remaining yarn from the first one. I sincerely hope they don't make a mess of things like Adam and Eve did.


Times, They Are a-Changin'

A lot of technology has changed since I wrote my very first blog entry back in January 2004. Back then, blogs were fresh, new, and not everybody had one. They were not ubiquitous. They were on the cutting edge, unlike today. Today, blogs are somewhat quaint. When I say I have a blog, people respond with, "Wow, how ... old-fashioned!" 

There was no iPhone in 2004. Nor was there an iPod Touch (though there were iPods, with the clicky little wheel and the black-and-white LED display) and definitely no iPads. There was no Facebook (!!!), no Twitter, no Clouds. Downloading audiobooks was hard to do. I never downloaded printed books, though there were some on Project Gutenberg. How did we ever get through the day?

But, people are still knitting. They might design things using new technology, but they knit one stitch at a time. I read that there are 53 million knitters in the U.S. alone.  According to the industry group Craft Yarn Council of America, the number of women knitters in the United States age 25–35 increased 150% in the two years between 2002 and 2004, so they're not slowing down. Yarn-bombing has sped up.

I love the new technology, and I look forward to all the new, wondrous things that will come around in the next few years. Most of all, I love how knitters are slowly but surely taking over the world!


(photo from Wikepedia)


The Yarn Shop

There used to be a yarn shop in Camden, the best yarn shop in the world, in my opinion. What's funny is, I don't really know the name of it, but I think it was called The Wool Bin. (I used to grin when people didn't recognize the name 'Unique One', but they knew the yarn shop -- or the sweater shop -- in Camden!) Anyway, The Wool Bin was my personal Yarn Shop. It was located where half of Camden National Bank is now, between the bank and the post office. There were fabric sculptures of funny people in the window, and inside, there was a front room and a back room. It was quite small. There were wooden needles (Merrill Needles? Monroe needles? They were made in Maine.) in a glass jar on the table. And there was lots of yarn.

I used to go in and buy a sweater project every chance I got to come down to Searsport or Camden. I'm from northern Maine, and the coast was my favorite getaway. I remember once when my sister was dithering about whether she could knit a vest that had a little cable work on it, and asked me whether she thought she could do it, and me being, well, me, and tired of her dithering, said, "No. You're too stupid." So of course she bought the yarn and the pattern in a shot, and promptly knit it -- for me! It was a perfect shade of purple, and I wore it for years. I loved that vest. What's more, she could do it; she just had to prove to me that she could! I think we both learned something that day.

I learned that being stubborn is a great motivation, and we're both stubborn, my sister and I. I think my brother is too. But we get done what we really want to get done. My sister was mad at me the whole time she knit that vest, but she was proud of it when it was done!



I waited for my buttons to show up in the mail, but they're not here yet, and I was commiserating with Lynne about it. She said, "Get in the car. We're going to Belfast!" And off we went. Helen has a lovely store there, Heavenly Socks, where I got the most beautiful buttons:



Lynne even sewed them on for me! It was a good trip all together :) Thanks Lynne!

The Shape of Things

For years, the form of space was thought to be Euclidean, ranging off indefinitely, seemingly flat. Measurements as we knew them seemed to confirm this. 

In the last twenty years or so, measurements have suggested that the universe may be hyperbolic, may be finite. That's sorta ... exciting! What's beyond the universe? How will we find out? What is the shape of this present universe? How can it be expanding, yet have some kind of weird shape?

Dr. Daina Taimina first sought to make a hyperbolic model with crocheted shapes, and she succeded. They're everywhere, and patterns can be found on Ravelry (36 for 'hyperbolic' alone) and all over the Internet (I found 57,100 pages on Google when I searched 'hyperbolic crochet pattern'). Hyperbolic crochet is hot. 

I think it's interesting that the shape of something like the human brain, a coral reef, and the universe all share a similar feature with Grandma's doilies. I think women have always known, deep down, that We Understood The Shape Of The Universe and Everything. (Well, ok, crocheting men maybe, too.) 

Dr. Jeffery Weeks, a freelance geometer (what a cool job that would be!) has calculated if the universe is finite, it's hyperbolic radius might be 18 billion light years. The Institute For Figuring (IFF) said that "The WMAP [Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe] satellite currently taking pictures of the early universe will hopefully provide evidence one way or other in the next few years, so that humanity may at last know the shape of existence itself." The satellite has been finished with the evidence for two years, when NASA concluded its observations of the cosmic microwave background, the oldest light in the universe. Did it prove the existence of a hyperbolic universe and I missed it? Do they need more time to go through the results? This is the kind of thing I wonder about. 

Human-brain_1001_600x450   Coral-reef_507_600x450    Crochet_12

(photo credits: the human brain; a coral reef; a model of a hyperbolic universe)


Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Beannachtai Na Feile Padraig Oraibh!

Knitting on Empty

Maldiva glared at the empty glass on the table, and kept knitting. Her hands would hurt tomorrow, but she'd finish this shawl if it killed her. The edging was flying off her needles so fast you could barely see her hands move. She wished she had some Scotch. Better yet, she wished she had a great big chocolate milkshake, or one of those iced things from Dunkin' Donuts. She knit another few stitches and dreamed about it.

The knocking on the door roused her from her choclatey-icy goodness, making her scowl, but she kept on knitting. They'll likely just go away if I am really quiet, she thought. Then she saw some eyes peering in through the window, and finding life, they quickly resumed knocking.

"Maldiva! I know you're in there! Let me in!" Rosie's voice came through the door like a battering ram, making Maldiva flinch. Getting up, she threw open the door and Rosie impatiently brushed past her and flopped on the couch. Maldiva went back to her chair, scooped up her knitting, and resumed knitting.

"Maldiva. They've done it. The harpies have finished Torchon! In two days!!"

Maldiva's hands hesitated, but kept on knitting. "I knew they would. It was just a matter of time," she replied.

For a few minutes, there was only the sound of clicking needles in her hands, the rhythmic sound that was regular and had a certain beat to it. Then Maldiva put her knitting down with a scowl, and said, "Come on."

"Where are we going?" Rosie asked, breathless, but her eyes were shining. Maldiva was going to make lace-knitting history.

"To the yarn store. One of you girls is going to be a hero, and I'm going to coach you. Now come on!"


(photo credit: Raising Homemakers)


Hehe. I'm so bored. Anyone want to finish this story for me? Or at least the next installment? 

Beth picks up her knitting and smiles.


This week's mouse is called "Stripey", for obvious reasons:


He's cute. I have to start stuffing my mice soon, with catnip and stuffing. I forget how many mice I have so far, but I figure stuffing 10 or 12 mice at a time is probably about the limit for most people. 

My Itchy-Scratchy sweater is about 3 or 4 inches short of a full back:


I tried to finish the back yesterday, but my hand and arm was telling me, "Silly Beth, trying to do too much again. I shall have to hurt you!" and I stopped. Part of the problem was, I also knit way too much on the sock day before yesterday, but I got one sock done!


I am worrried that I will not have enough yarn to complete the second sock. When I weighed the sock and weighed the yarn, they were about the same; this is one time I really miss my digital-readout scales that I had at the shop. Anyway, either I will have enough yarn, or I won't. If I don't have enough, but I have just short of enough, I can always unravel the top of the finished sock until they're even. One way or another, they'll be good! 

I love the colors. If I have to knit slowly, I am sure enjoying the ride. It's killing me to work at this snail-like pace, and not just dive in and zoom up the back of the sweater and be done the pair of socks by now, but working slowly has it's advantages. I thought at first that it would be drudgery, but it's not.It gives me more time to think, which is kind of fun. You never know what I'll think of next :)


"Mmmmmm, bacon... you know you want it....." and with that in mind, I set off to find it, in Knittingland.

Deep in the wilds of Ontario, land of bacon, I found these Bacon Mittens from Spillyjane:


I love Spillyjane's designs. I have her Willistead Mittens to knit ... someday. 

Next up was this lovely Bacon-and-Eggs Pillow from Tamara Kelly, crocheted, of course. Crochet seems to lend itself more readily to bacon, no? Perfect for the breakfast nook!


My search widened to encircle three gorgeous bacon scarves. The first is the Bacon Scarf, by Holly Oyster, whose name just begs to be a designer. It's a free Ravelry download.


Next up is Twinkie Chan's Bacon and Egg Scarf, from her book, Twinkie Chan's Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies. Wear it after breakfast while you're shoveling out the driveway!

Baconandeggscarf(photo from

The third scarf pattern is the very imaginative, trés cool, double-knit (so there is no wrong side) and totally free "Vegan Wrapped in Bacon". I love this.

It is by Robyn Wade, who must be a genius. Seriously. I want to mind-meld with her.

(While I was looking, I found this awesome recipe for "Oh, Canada!", a fudge that has chocolate AND maple AND bacon in it. I love the theme song, too!")

So enough with the scarves. Found plain ol' Bacon and Eggs, by BacoKnitter; it's a free Ravelry pattern download. It makes a yummy decoration for the breakfast nook!


To carry on my search, I found this yummy Bacon & Eggs Handbag pattern, by MK Carroll. It's another free Ravelry download!


Lastly, just before I stumbled back to civilization, I found this charming example of crocheted wonder, "Strips of Bacon" by Aoibhe Ní. It's a Ravelry paid pattern. 


Now I will wander away, leaving the sound of bacon gently sizzling behind me, the sweet perfume of cured pork floating in the air. Stay hungry, and happy knitting!

All About Yarn

My laptop has made a heroic comeback for the present; hard to say if it will last, but I am glad I am reasonably able to type now. The only keys that don't work are the bottom left four keys, which are fn, control, option, and command. I never knew how much I used option and command until I couldn't anymore. Luckily, they are on the right-hand side as well, so I can still use them, though it is a bit awkward because of my one-handedness. But I am not complaining! I am very glad to be able to type at all!

I used to teach a class that was always well received. Since it was a lecture class, and I yammered on for about three hours, and no knitting was involved, I found it somewhat surprising that people seemed to hang on every word. It was the most-signed-up-for class every time. It was All About Yarn.

When I started teaching it, there was no one place which had a run-down of yarn anywhere, even on the internet. It's so vitally important, but it was hard to gather all the bits you needed into one place. I could do that, and by listening to me (reading tended to make knitter's eyes glaze over), knitters learned, and made note of what they needed. They could knit while they listened. 

I had a whole yarn shop at my disposal, so I had examples of every kind of yarn, from cob web to super chunky, and everything in between. I had different types of fiber:  wool, cotton, acrylic/micrfiber, alpaca, llama, viscose, silk, camel, tencel, you name it. I had yarn that was singles, two-ply, cabled, chenille, wrapped with a thread. I brought examples of them and passed them around so they could be touched and squeezed and fondled over. I had samples knit out of the yarns.

I thought about making a DVD of the class and selling it, but the class would lose a lot because people wouldn't be able to touch the yarn, and really, that's what it was all about. We were learning, as knitters, what various types of yarn feels like, the different feel it has if it's cob web or DK, the feel of cotton vs. wool vs. rayon, and unfortunately, the technology isn't there yet. You have to get the knitter one-on-one with the yarn.

So now, I have to get one-on-one with my Itchy Sratchy yarn, or it will never get done!


Dolly Llama, from Good Karma Farm. Ya gotta love it.

Patience Is Hard

First, look at this:


This is Shelagh's Bobble Hat! Isn't it gorgeous? It makes me happy :)

In other news, remember not to spill coffee over your open laptop, like I did. It wasn't much, and I immediately picked it up and my husband turned it off for me. Being one-handed is dangerous in so many ways! It is fried, so I am typing on my iPad now. I will not be able to take pictures; there's no interface for that on the iPad. 

Furthermore, I am learning that patience is required when knitting a sweater and a pair of socks when you are trying to avoid carpal tunnel. I knit a fair amount on my socks day last Friday, and it felt pretty good, so I then knit 10 rows or so on the Itchy Scratchy sweater, and that was too much. When I woke up this morning, the pain in my hand was telling me that I had done wrong. I didn't knit at all the next day. I have decided that 10 rows a day period is my limit, apparently, and that really sucks, but not as bad as being handless entirely and in a lot of pain does. We make our choices. So I will leave you with three quotes about patience:

“Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is concentrated strength.”

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

“Patience iswaiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow -- that is patience.”

I don't know who said this, but I like it. 

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”

Arnold H Glasgow

I will patiently knit 10 rows a day until the sweater is done!


(Photo from Necrodancer)


What I Have Been Reading

While I was not knitting due to my poor hand, I was reading, and I finished up two books. 

One was Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World, by Lisa Randall. It was a fascinating book, but I found myself just reading the words in a couple of places. You know how it is; you read the words and you can understand each of them, but you don't really understand what she's telling you. There were a couple places like that.

I disagreed with her about religion, surprisingly. I didn't realize I was so religious. She spends a chapter contrasting scientific and religious perspectives, and I thought I was all over the scientific perspectives, but I grew increasingly more uncomfortable about it. A lot of what she had to say came from being a scientist through and through. She's a theoretical physicist, for goodness sakes. I guess I am a little more whimsical on my outlook on life.

I loved her discussion of scale of matter in the Universe. Interestingly enough, I found this website on Facebook when I was reading it (and they say there's no God, pfft). 

She spends a lot of time talking about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and since this was my primary reason for wanting to read this book, I can tell you, I was not disappointed. It is magnificent in the way that works of art are magnificent. It's like building the Eiffel Tower and then putting it to work finding answers to questions about the nature of the universe. It is  a wonderful piece of machinery.

The Higgs boson, the strange subatomic particle that physicists have been trying to find, is one of the things that the LHC was built for. When Lisa Randall wrote the book, it hadn't been found yet; recently, I read an article that they are closing in on it, and physicists everywhere are totally excited, the way knitters are when they find yarn on sale.

I learned a lot from this book, I found it interesting, and I look forward to what is in store for future searches.

I also finished Ten Discoveries that Rewrote History, by Patrick Hunt. You may recall that the last time, I was about to enter King Tut's tomb. Well, I did; after that I went on to Machu Picchu, Pompeii, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Thera, Olduvai Gorge, and the Tomb of 10,000 Warriors in China. All were very interesting, and I may have bookmarked a few more books to read about Thera. I liked his discussion of Machu Picchu best of all. I think some places are magical, and it sounds like Machu Picchu is one. There wasn't, for me, the one-time teacher of world history, much that I hadn't heard before. But there were a few surprising gems, like most of our surviving Roman artwork is from Pompeii. That was pretty cool. I didn't know much about the Dead Sea Scrolls, like how many of them there are -- 850 to 1000! And I didn't know much about the Tomb of the 10,000 Warriors. It is amazing how that discovery has stimulated archaeology in China, and the technology was more advanced than had been known before it was discovered. I think as a whole, technology has always been more advanced than we knew, and discoveries like this prove it.

Now I'm reading Cryptonmicon, by Neal Stephenson, a work of fiction, for a change. It's got some mind-bending weirdness going on with a few characters, and it reminds me a little of Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon. Stay tuned.

(Photo credit)


Sharon asked me for my catnip mouse pattern, and it got me thinking I should rearrange my whole blog -- you know, the sidebar stuff that I usually don't change. So I did; do you like it? Most importantly, I put all the patterns, which I have put here on the blog over the years, under "Beth's Free Patterns" as links on the side, so you can get at them easily. The catnip mouse is on the top of the pile.

In exchange, what I would like is for people to send me pictures of the mice they have knit with their (or someone else's) cat(s) playing with them. Don't worry, there's no knitting police, you don't have to do it, but I think it would be fun because I have a cat obsession. And if you have pictures of any of my other patterns you've knit, throw their pictures in, too (cats are not necessary, but welcomed in these pictures). It will give me a warm feeling to see the stuff I have designed coming to life. That's one thing I miss about the knitting cruises and the knitting shop; I never get to see that stuff anymore! I will post your pictures here on my blog only if you give me your permission, I promise.


"Please send your pictures so Mommy won't chase us around with a camera anymore. It's frightening."

Spicy Italian Sausage Egg Bake

We had this for breakfast the other day, and it was really good! It wasn't TOO spicy, it was just a little spicy. I guess it depends on how much cayenne pepper you put into it. 


Spicy Italian Sausage Egg Bake

6 eggs

1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage

1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes

8 medium sized Kalamata olives, chopped

1 small red pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1/3 cup half and half

1/4 cup  feta cheese

1/4 cup Kraft Italian three cheese

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese for the top

1 teaspoon of paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Brown the sausage. Sautee with it the onion, pepper, and mushrooms. Add sun dried tomatoes, olives, feta cheese,  and Italian three-cheese to the sausage mixture and spread it in an olive oil greased two quart casserole dish. Beat the eggs and half & half and pour evenly over. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Sprinkle paprika, cayeenne and salt and pepper on top. Bake uncovered for thirty minutes at 350˚. 



This week's mouse is named Groovy:


He's adorable. I am going to go nuts making brown mice. Maybe I can jazz them up! 

I have not knit much. My 20-rows-a-day plan got sidetracked when I woke up one morning, after only two or three days of 20-rowing, with a severe pain in my one good hand. I decided to take a break from knitting for a couple days and did only one catnip mouse and 2 rows on the sweater. Since then, I've done only ten rows a day on the sweater, or 15 rows a day on the man sock. It is slow going, but slow progress is better than none. 

Therefore, my Itchy-Scratchy sweater is not yet done the back, because it is getting heavy, and I really can't handle that. But I still do several rows when I work on it.


I have it done to about two inches beyond the armhole. Poor sweater, will it ever be done? The good news is, my technique seems to be working, as I have not had a recurrence of the hideous pain in my hand.

My sock is a lot easier to knit, as it's lighter and uses size 1 needles instead of size 8 needles.


I'm knitting them toe up. I like that way better now, since when I am finished, the toe is already grafted. I just can't graft with Kitchener stitch anymore, and I have tried. It comes out looking horrible. That's not to say I won't do it anymore, but I am trying to let it go and accept that toes of socks done that way are not going to be perfect as they were before. There is no really good way to hold the piece in order to graft it; you have to turn it around a lot and then it gets funky. As you can imagine, I am not letting go of this as well as I should, but until then, I'll make toe-up socks.

Except for these:

This is my current ball of adoration, pictured with "Saxony" socks by Lisa Lloyd in A Fine Fleece. I just love that design and that whole book. It is one small step to knitting all the items in the book before I die. The yarn is Ball and Skein's "Sophia" (80% merino/10% cashmere/10& nylon) in color Bittersweet. It is lovely. I have 1 skein, 400 yards, which is enough for socks, but maybe I'll look on Ravelry to see what other projects people are making with it. There are some lovely scarves in Victorian Lace Today that would be nice, too. It's fun to ponder!



Last night we watched a good movie, Hugo. I don't watch many movies, but I liked this one!

It's about a boy, Hugo Cabret, who lives in a railway station in Paris. He is an orphan, and the police are always after him for stealing, but he has to eat. His life is caught up in this automaton that his father was working on when he died in a museum fire; it becomes his life. He steals gears and things from a toy shop to continue working on it, and gets caught. 

The toy shop owner sees him fixing broken toys, and puts him to work to pay for what he stole. He meets Isabelle, the god-daughter of the toy shop owner. Together they find the secret of the toy shop owner's real name and what he really is.

Hugo(photo credit:

This movie is fabulous for lots of little things that they put in without bashing me over the head with it. I love, for example, that Django Reinhardt was always there in the background; there are two little romances that we get to watch that are not related to the main story; the Paris that the tale encompasses is brilliantly portrayed in lights. It got an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects, among others. 

HugoMovie(photo credit:

There is a lot more that I like about it, but that would spoil it for those who haven't seen it. We rented it on Amazon, and I am sure it's everywhere. It's a good movie!


Oh Dear.

My husband wants me to write a book. Lynne wants me to write a book. Everyone wants me to write a book.

I can't think what to write about, that I don't write here!

Maybe a book of patterns interspersed with stories about overcoming hardships? Hmmm. I like the "patterns" part. The "hardships" part is, frankly, pretty depressing. It might be helpful if you've had a stroke though, but so far I have not many seen any of those. People might get it in case they have a stroke; it comes at you out of left field and hits you with a whammy. Actually, I should be dead, but I'm not, so I'm thinking there's a reason.

(Scratches her head.)

I will think about it.


I'm Obsessed by Things that Glitter. And Cats.

I love things that glow in the dark, and I have sold yarn that glows in the dark and several -- three I can think of, off-hand -- types of needles that glow in the dark, and even some drop spindles that glowed in the dark. But the next best thing, is yarn that glitters. 


This is Schulana Kid-Seta Lux. "Lux" is short for luxury, and it is the lamé of yarn. It glitters subtly, like moonlight on water, or sunlight on water; depends on the color. 


I saw a woman knitting this scarf when I was in Have A Yarn, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. That's a great little yarn shop, by the way; do stop in if you get a chance. I never really was taken by ruffly scarves, though they were hot a couple years ago, and I like ruffles on other things, but the combination of a different kind of ruffles and this glittery yarn captured my heart. I was obsessed. I got one ball and I will knit that glittery, ruffly scarf later, and it will be good. 

In other news, Ravelry is celebrating its 2,000,000th member! Woohoo!

Here's the cat picture, Nora on the move:


She's on the hunt!

Knitting Images

My sister-in-law's husband is a wonderful man. He's a photographer, a good one. Maybe you know him? J. Kevin White, of J. Kevin White Photography? You often saw his work in Knitting Now newsletter.

He did two very special photographs to auction off at the supper for me in Appleton, and he very nicely gave me both of them, framed, for my birthday. 

This one is in the living room:


Don't you love the colors? I do. This one is in the kitchen, and it is appropriately where I sit most of the time:


I love this. I just want to dive into the bowls of yarn and knit a scarf.

He also did one of mittens from Unique One; the four on the right were samples of mittens in a Tullymungan kit; I'm not sure where the little green one on the left came from. 


This is wood stove in his kitchen:


The socks are not hand knit, but the mittens are. That stove looks mighty cozy.

He has done a lot of  animals, like sheep and donkeys and oxen and horses and ducks and cats (he even did one of Nora, and she's been a diva ever since; child stars, you know what they're like). He has landscapes that steal your heart. I love his still lifes; besides yarn, he captures images that you might see every day or that you saw in your childhood, but pictured beautifully.

Photos like Kevin's are worth buying as gifts. He has a picture for someone who has everything, and I guarantee you'll find more than one you want for yourself. There are great photos of animals, so if you have sheep or donkeys or ducks or cats, they're perfect. He captures country life like no one else, and he does several shows each year. His schedule is on his web site, and his most recent work is on his Facebook page. Go check him out!