Thursday, September 30, 2010


This comes from the fall Knitty, 2010.  It's called Scarlow, and I love it.  I've never attempted a pattern which calls for a zipper, so maybe it's time to stretch out of the comfort zone, yes?  I'm not a purple kind of girl, but how pretty is this?
This little baby sweater, Samantha from Kate Gilbert is too cute to pass up.  I love it in the dove grey colorway -
I so wish that I had a little girl to knit for!  Oh Patty - does your precious Abby need another sweater?  I thought so.  (This pattern had me at the picot hem). I wonder if Kate Gilbert would ever consider super-sizing it!  I'm sure that it would be every bit as popular as the legendary February Lady by brilliant Pamela Wynne.  I'll have two, thank you very much.
Another Knitty selection that looks so comfie and wearable -
It's called 'Mothed" ... by Mags Kandis.  The name makes me somewhat uneasy, but there's nothing uneasy about the design - simple and sweet with those rolled hems and little YO's.  Mags points out that the simplicity of this knit will never compete with a beautifully busy scarf, and I agree.  I'd like two or three of these!

Every year at this time my sister brings her special garlic over for me and my mother and we plant the cloves with great anticipation. 
This morning she sent an article that appeared in the NYTimes which I found really interesting.  You might too.  (Look for it in today's Home and Garden section).  Did you know that garlic is at least 6,000 years old?  And that it is mentioned in the Koran and was discovered in Tut's tomb?  I can tell you that the flavor is beyond delicious when dug from your garden plot and used immediately.  You'll never want to go back to the green grocer variety again.  It doesn't seem to store as well as its commercial cousins, but no matter.  You'll have it consumed before it has the opportunity to go south!  I've found that the same is true of my homegrown shallots. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My daughter and her dog, the wonderful Bubbha, are participating in an event to raise money for the local ASPCA.  If any of you animal lovers out there in blogland are feeling charitable, please follow the link above and help us help this extraordinary Haven for lost and deserted and mistreated animals.  Any little bit will be gratefully received and coo'ed over!!!  Our ASPCA has been a refuge for many years and their good works are too numerous to list.  Although Bubs did not come to us from the 'pound', many of our other animals have, and because of this institution now have forever homes where they are safe, and loved.
P.S. Bubs is 7 years old, which is getting up there in Boxer longevity.  He wants you all to know that this event will be a strenuous one for him - one that he wants to participate in!  And pictures will, of course, follow.
THANK YOU in advance!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The sound of heavy rain became my alarm clock at 5:30am.  I thought, this isn't good.  I rolled off the couch where I had fallen asleep watching The Ya-Ya Sister-something.  The canines were chomping at the bit - eager to greet the pitch dark WET backyard.  GET BUSY!  Breakfasts made.  Time for another and longer outing for Harley, and now, luckily, the skies have cleared.  We set out and about two miles later, the skies open and blast us with a torrential downpour.  I am walking in a tee shirt, flannel PJ bottoms, sneakers, period.  I have never been so wet in my life.

Back home, into the shower, but I first slip on the wet tiles where Harley has flopped down.  What IS it about my dog that he insists upon accompanying me in the bathroom when I shower?  Ouch.  Oucher, when I reach for my favorite Shreve, Crump and Lowe earrings to find one missing.  Oh dear Jesus, I will never be able to replace them.  This morning grows more treacherous by the moment.  I am going to be late for work because I didn't stop for gasoline, even though the gauge screamed EMPTY the night before.  I call my friend Marty, who is the senior gardener at Vassar, and ask for a favor; if I park by the greenhouses, will he give me a ride to my building?  (Other blatant and superlative bribes are included).  The slow path, if you please, the one that winds along Sunset Lake.  And yes, there is the blue heron, wading in the water, catching his breakfast.  I remember to breathe. 

Later, upon returning to the parking lot, I narrowly miss being run over by an enormous SUV with blackened windows ('tint' doesn't apply here).  Terrifying.  Six inches and slower reflexes and I would be toast.  Home.  Finally.  My cell phone rings, it is Scott calling from the hospital in North Carolina where his father has been rushed.  The news is really truly horrific.  I look up and here is what I see -
And as the sky and the forecast and the pain in my chest narrows - I once again remember to breathe.  We are doing the best that we know how to do in this new territory - this uncharted place of aging and illness where maps are of no use and hearts are broken daily.

Monday, September 27, 2010


It's no secret that this is my favorite time of year.  There isn't much about autumn that doesn't delight the senses.  
I finished hand-quilting this Halloween runner - it was a joy.  I always forget how much I love hand quilting.  Nothing compares to the quiet satisfaction of the running stitch in a gorgeous variegated thread.  I long for the old days when I actually quilted all of my pieces by hand.  I didn't have the sense of time racing by back then that I do today.  Have to find new ways to SLOW DOWN!
I wanted to bind this, but remembered that 'HUEY" still has my sewing machine.  Heads are gonna roll!
Some of this fabric came all the way from Australia.  Scott brought it back for me when he travelled there to see his daughter.  He selected two 3 yard pieces which I treat like precious jewels - cutting in the most frugal way!  
Happy Monday, all.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I am a lover of books.  Books that involve knitting are usually in the front of the pack.  I had to emphatically curtail my purchasing of books this summer, but, somehow, a TREASURE made it through.  And I want you to know that it is my all-time favorite 2010 knitting book:
Can I just say that there are at least FIVE projects within that I MUST knit?  You will see me at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool this October and be able to identify me by these two wearables:
And this -
It had better be a cool event - like last year when everyone was wearing sweaters and hats!  The year before was downright COLD!  And I love it, bring it on!  Maybe I'll wear this one on Sunday -
These are seriously wonderful designs. If you all are as addicted zealous as I think you are, I'll see myself coming and going all weekend long!  Am I right?
I've been having a housework-less quiet weekend.  Scott left for NC frightfully early on Saturday to be with his father who is ill.  I wanted to go and thought that I really should, but there is work to do and animals to keep.  If the situation worsens, which I pray it will not, I will find the means to go.  I pulled out some beads in the morning that had been calling to me
I see a brilliant lanyard-necklace in that little grouping.   I am going to teach myself how to make peyote-stuffed beads.  Woo-hoo!  The house is so still - perfect for reading;
I'm going to send this along to my sister when I finish.  I recommend it highly.  Things are not going well at the Nursing Home.  There has been another change-up in personnel which always brings with it unfavorable conditions. I am discovering unexplainable actions and events which are being swept under the rug, all of which make me extremely hyper, and unquestionably ferocious.  The feelings that I once experienced when my children were small and defenseless has revisited me.  And in almost every way my father is like a child again, and needs my protection.  I'll be dragging my major attitude in to meet the new director on Monday with a LIST.  Wish me luck.  Wish HIM luck. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I love my new sock (singular).
 I'm really enjoying this and Anne Hanson's directions are so easy to read.  She makes me believe that I might have the  talent to become a sox knitter! Whoa, Nellie.  I'm getting ahead of myself here!
Jelli - can you hear me?  I. AM. KNITTING. SOX.  For real.  I have this vision - of opening my chest of drawers to find an entire collection of hand-knit sox.  This is what I would call opulence.  Decadence.  Happiness.
A basket of sox would suffice, too.  I have this wonderful new book from which this image is lifted.  I cannot remember ordering this book!  Does anyone know how it came to live with me?  I'm serious!
It's a lovely book and it contains some of the juiciest sox patterns ever.  And I like her pedicure.  A lot!
One pattern is more interesting than the next!  I'll never peruse the sox aisle at TXMax again.  How can one pull on commercial sox when the handmade variety is out there, waiting to be created?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Has anyone noticed that my photos steadily worsen?  Is it the camera?  Is it the photographer?  Last night's post was a lesson in blur-ography!  I apologize and will try harder to capture a clear image with this old point-and-shoot!  It was a long day.  Our receptionist called in sick, half of the students on campus are sick (which includes our tour guides and senior interns) and most of the counselors on on the road.  I had to help out with visitors which gave me an opportunity to KNIT! 
Blue Moon Fiber Arts - I sing your praises.  You were worth waiting for.  Trying to get this hand painted sock yarn to travel in a straight line was a bitch challenge, one that I failed, but it's all good.  It's such a nice fiber and the colors are soothing and delightful.  I'm happy.  You also sent me my Moonstruck pattern.  This is a sweater that I intend to get very familiar with!  The pattern couldn't fail- what, with a name like that?  (Moonstruck is one of my all time favorite movies - I never miss an opportunity to see it whenever it airs.)
When I arrived home this evening, I found Scott taking the vegetable garden fence down.  I think he is worried about me taking another header over it.  I stopped counting the number of falls and mishaps that have involved that fence!  My latest slider involved bruised ribs which have made it hard to sleep at night without making little gasps and grimaces!  My september garden is vibrant, with or without the fence.  Mr. Parsley -
Oh, and look at these nasturtiums - they are massively exuberant!
The broccoli is finished, but its flowerets live on - so delicate, such a great shade of yellow.
I am a bit concerned about Mr. Frog and his protege who recently showed up in the waterfall.  We are going to have to disconnect and dismantle his home for the winter.  I hope that he has time to find one of the many local ponds and move on down under its muddy floor.  


Last night I found myself yarn-sitting.  There was a new, lonely little skein that had come in the mail and needed rocking.
It sat on my knees until its composure was regained.  And today, it will meet the skein-thingy and all of its relatives.
Of which there are many ... as you might imagine.  Doesn't this pattern say "Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool" to you?  One wants something new, but not something that screams NEW!  I'd better get busy.
Here is our poster child for anti-busy!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Almost through my first day back.  It's gone well - no handcuffs, no bail set.  We are backing up our work computers before we lose everything so - images that I have loved and hope you will enjoy before they are gone forever ...

My beautiful children enjoying the Cape this summer ...
The lovebirds - Carson and Hilary at the Cape.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


It's time to return so I won't dwell on it or cry out after a different arrangement.  One needs yarn.  One needs to buy Nutra for the dogs.  One needs a pedicure once in a while.  So many needs require a cash flow.  I spent my last day of vacation quietly - partly on the porch and then making some rounds.
This is Anne Hanson's 'Oh, Canada' that I started for my mom and am now focused on finishing for her birthday.  I'm making good progress -
We call this 'vanilla' knitting.  I love working with neutrals, especially creamy whites.  Sometimes I wish that I were of smaller statuette - I would wear only white and cream!  (and look like a beluga whale!)  I was gathering some things to take to work with me and I remembered buying this -
Does anyone else love Charley Harper's illustrations?  This is a desk calendar that I found a few weeks ago.  Inside, one image is more wonderful than the next!
This one scares me and makes me sad - the fate of the sea turtle.  Maybe I'll take a vacation that week and thus avoid seeing this image!  
I went to see my BFF and we worked on her yarn collection.  After she closed the shop she was left with some significant yarn.  In big black bags.  What's a GOOD BFF to do?  So we sorted and stacked and she felt better knowing that she had enough yarn in her house to make it through the Sheep & Wool Festival winter.  She has the most generous heart in the universe, so I left with a huge sack of yarn too.  AND she gave me some of her beautiful Sundance skirts - OMG, does it ever get any better than this?  I'm not posting pictures because it's not nice to make you drool.  Let me just say that they are scrumptious - silk, piped with the most amazing hemlines.  Lucky me.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Looking out across the patio this morning - a fiery red late bloomer.  My dahlias!
Planted as an afterthought, but splendid in every way!
I can't talk - I've got mindless tasks to complete!
Fringing a scarf - the only time I use a crochet hook!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Glorious cannot begin to describe this day.  I won't try.  Scarves and sweaters were blocked.   Dogs were allowed to wander around until they asked to go indoors -
We shared chunks of sharp cheddar cheese and I threw the ball until Harley lost interest.  Then I sat on the stoop and worked on my cousin's hat.  It's an original.  It's being knitted in (aaahhhh) cashmere.  She's a lucky woman!
If she loves the fit and gives me her nod of approval, I will share this, my first pattern, with y'all.  Did you hear my drawl - I picked that up when I lived in Kentucky and have never let it go, entirely.  Miss the south sometimes.
Isn't this color contrast amazing - the true color falls some where in between these two images. I wish that you could reach in and pat the screen - there isn't anything that feels like (aaahhhh) cashmere!
This is one of those knits that I will MISS when it's finished.  I never get tired of the feel of it in my hands.  Here comes an understatement - I am really truly hooked on knitting.  Socks are next.  Did you hear that, Jelli?  SOCKS.  
We wandered out to the vegetable garden to pick some zinnias and mexican sunflowers.  One of my late-bloomers is showing off tiny hot peppers - I wish that I had kept the label because now I don't remember what I planted.
They look like little green candy corns.  I'll bet they can bring the tears to your eyes.  Upstairs to work on the Bento Box flannels and I think that I've got enough blocks now.
NEED. MORE. WALL. SPACE.  I was so close to chucking these flannel scraps.  They'd been sitting around for a long time and since I've become a truly discriminating non-hoarder, they were destined to join the league of other 'collections' which were falling into the 365 day category.  If not used within a year - one of three things needs to occur - (1) give it away, (2) contribute it away, or (3) throw it away!
I'm wondering how to quilt this flannel top w/o compromising its soft appeal.  Machine quilting is fantastic, but it does give rise to stiffness.  Any ideas?