January 23, 2019

Closing shop

I was at the laundromat a week or two ago, and the owner came in, saw me, and said, “Still knitting?!” I said, “Yep, always!” I’ve been knitting, off and on, for about 40 years now. You can have my knitting needles when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

But I’ve decided that I’m not going to design patterns to sell anymore, and I’ve stopped selling the ones that I have. (The free patterns are still available.)

This decision has been a long time coming. I thought it was going to be harder to do, but it’s been a couple weeks now, and I’m fine with it.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me in this endeavor.

October 1, 2018

To Knit (or Crochet) a Better Washcloth

Dishcloths and washcloths are pretty popular items to make. (I use washcloth to mean a cloth for washing the body, rather than for dishes.) If you look on Ravelry, there are over 275,000 projects in the category of washcloth, and a lot of those are actually multiple cloths in a single entry. Like blanket squares, they’re small, so they don’t take up a lot of yarn, or a lot of time, and they’re incredibly portable. They give you a chance to try out a new stitch pattern or technique, or they can be completely mindless work to keep your hands occupied while you’re watching tv. And they’re plain useful. Continue reading

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December 10, 2017

Go fix me a turkey pot pie!

School has been keeping me busy this semester, even though I’m only taking physics and Spanish. Let me just say, I hate physics. I may have said it before, but my opinion hasn’t changed. I have to pass it this time, so that I can take the second semester, and finally get my bachelor’s degree, almost 30 years after I finally settled on a major. So far I’m getting a C, which would have horrified me almost 30 years ago, but right now, I’m thrilled. As long as I have done well enough in lab (I missed two labs, but I’ve got good scores on the rest of them) and I don’t completely bomb the final on Tuesday, I should be all right. Spanish, I’m not so worried about. I’ve had a B throughout the semester. Again, that would have been bad before, but I’m okay with it now. That final is on Thursday.

But even with school, the rest of life goes on. Like meal planning. I was working out this week’s menu, trying to decide if I want to thaw the 2 pounds of chicken breast tenders I have in the freezer (they were only $1.99 a pound, I had to buy them at that price). And if I do, what will I make with them? And then I realized that I never did post my recipe for chicken pot pie. Continue reading

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October 10, 2017

Sometimes I’m Silent for so Long, Even I Wonder if I’m Dead.

But I’m not. And I’ve published a collection of four patterns, all related to each other: Nature and Artifice. Two hat-and-cowl sets, using all-over cables that are very similar to each other. The Nature set uses a thick-and-thin, “intertwined,” super-bulky yarn, to achieve an organic look. The Artifice set uses a single-ply yarn with a slight thick-and-thin texture that gives the finished project a nice, polished look.

Nature and Artifice Collection

Nature and Artifice Collection

The patterns are available through Ravelry, and if you buy one at full price, you can get any (or all) of the rest of them for half-price, now or in the future, with no coupon necessary.

May 13, 2017

Attack of the Bake Sale Goodies

Being a mom of four, I have many opportunities to participate in bake sales. Trying to find the sweet (heh) spot between affordability of ingredients, ease of making, portability, and customer appeal is not always easy.

My oldest went off to college last fall, and joined the Creative Writing Club, which, natch, had a couple bake sales over the year. For the first one, I made Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies, which seemed to go over well (seeing as how for the next sale, the club asked for them), but they really need to be made, sold, and eaten in a short space of time. I wanted a little more breathing room with the next sale. Continue reading

April 23, 2017

Being Noticed

I knit in public all the time. I knit while I’m in waiting rooms. I knit on the bus. I knit while walking to the post office. It is always awesome when someone notices and comments, even if they think I’m crocheting (well, sometimes I am crocheting, but you know what I mean). And when it’s a fellow crafter, and they ask what it is you’re making, and want to talk a little shop, that can be even better. I was at the garage, getting an oil change, and a woman came in to drop something off for the cashier, but she spotted me in the waiting area and came over to see what I was making first.

Knitting with wire

I knit with wire. It doesn’t hurt me.

It’s really awesome when you can say, “I’m knitting with wire!” and your admirer’s eyes widen a bit in appreciation. Continue reading

April 14, 2017

It only seemed fair.

I figured, if I’m not going to bake while wearing all black, the least I could do is work on my off-white angora scarf.

Unfortunately, the lovely angora fibers all over my shirt and skirt don’t photograph well.

And now I’m eating pizza, so I’ve put the scarf away.

March 11, 2017

Slippin’ Out, Slippin’ In

There are a bunch of things I’ve been wanting to write about, but I’m going to take them one at a time.

A couple weeks ago, I found myself working on two projects that both use slipped stitches. It wasn’t intentional, and it wasn’t one of my big Proof They’re Watching kind of coincidences (seeing as how I was the one who picked the projects), but I thought it was worth noting, especially since the slipped stitches have completely different purposes.

I bought a Swiffer a year ago or two, with the intention of making a reusable cover for it. I started one that was crocheted, in some obnoxious hunter orange acrylic that I had, only to find out when I ran out of the first ball that it wasn’t the obnoxious hunter orange acrylic that I thought it was, and I didn’t actually have any more to finish it. I got busy with other stuff, and my Swiffer sat in the laundry room, unused. I finally made a different cover for it, the Ballband Dishcloth Reusable Swiffer Cover from Strange Yarns;;Skull Charms. It’s based on the Ballband Dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I should have done a full three repeats of the pattern, I think. I haven’t tried using it yet, but I imagine it will still work, even if it’s a little small.


It’s a simple pattern, and a nice way to use up some cotton leftovers. I should make at least one of the dishcloths, too. I’m pretty sure the point of the slipped stitches is to get the reverse stockinette to puff out and make it better for scrubbiness.

My other slip stitch project is a Mermaid Tail Blanket for my little Cindy Lou Who (who is much more than two). There are a bunch of patterns out there for making these. I’m not sure why I picked this one, but, I did.

Mermaid Tail Blanket Top

Mermaid Tail Blanket Top

For this one, the slipped stitches give the illusion of scales on the tail. Purely decorative, and since starting it, I’ve realized how handy they’ll be for my Cindy Lou Who to loop her toys through and pull the stitches out. I really like the way it looks, but I know how good she is at destroying knitted things, and I’m wondering what made me think this was a good idea. But, I bought the pattern, I’ve already started, and if I can keep her from mangling it up, I think she’ll really like it and it will get a lot of use.

The tail is worked in a pattern of welts, knit one row, purl two rows, knit one row.

Mermaid Tail, Not Just a Fluke

Mermaid Tail, Not Just a Fluke

Of course, I misread the instructions where it talked about ridges, and was making it about twice as wide as it needed to be. Luckily, I caught my mistake just before I got to the decreases.

I’m still working on the top part. I took theses pictures today. It uses large needles (US11, I think), and my carpal tunnel syndrome has been giving me fits lately, so I can only work on it for a few rounds at a time, and then I have to switch to something else on smaller needles, or, really, not knit for a few days.

But there you have it. Two different uses for slipped stitches. Well, I thought it was interesting!

February 28, 2017

Spiraling Back towards Center

I have two patterns in the February 2017 issue of Knotions! There are lots of great patterns in this issue, or course, and Magical Spirals Hat and Magical Spirals Cowl are no exception.;-)


I started working on them last summer, but with one thing and another, they didn’t get done soon enough to go in an earlier issue.

They’re knit up with Knit Picks Bare Wool of the Andes Superwash, in a 2×2 cable over 2×2 ribbing. This makes for a very stretchy fabric! Then, a slip stitch chain of Lion Brand Fun Fur is crocheted onto the bars between the cabled stitches. There’s a step-by-step tutorial for the crochet, complete with photos.

October 14, 2016

Pom Poms and Stuff

So, here are my pompoms. Pom poms. Pom-poms. Hmm. However you spell it, they came out pretty damned awesome.  The picture isn’t, but they are.


Now my problem is that I’m casting on 576 stitches. In laceweight. Black. (Well, “Midnight Heather” which is kind of a blue-black, but it might as well be black. But I guess the answer to how much more black could it be is not, in fact, “None, none more black.” It would be, “Some, some more black.”) I’m using the Chinese Waitress Cast-On with Crochet Hook, which is generally awesome, but for some reason, I’m having trouble occasionally getting the hook to go through the loop. Oh, well. I’ll get there eventually.