Archive for May, 2015

So Very Proud!

My eldest daughter, Abby, graduated from the University of Delaware yesterday.  I can’t possibly say how proud, and how overwhelmed, I am.

Baby Blue Shoes GraduateShe graduated with honors, in the top 5% of her class, with a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of Delaware.

The sash represents her supervising a group of volunteers for the Alternative Break program over spring break.  This involved traveling to Florida and doing landscaping and yard work for seniors and those with disabilities.

The cord represents honors in French language.

The shoes are the ‘reveal’ that she’s been the schools ‘junior’ mascot, Baby Blue, for the last three years.

Abby and Parents  Here are Steve and I with her.  That glow is as much from our pride and joy as it was from the beautiful (but really hot) day.

Congratulations Abby!  You’ve done a great job, and have a great life ahead of you.


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Catching Up

It’s been a full week since I’ve posted.   I think I just needed the time to recover from the Blog Week posts.

I received the Neighborhood Fiber Co yarn I posted about, and for which I broke my ‘yarn diet’ after a really short time.   It is amazingly beautiful, and totally worth it.

Neighborhood Rustic Fingering SandtownI also picked up some more of the KA mini crochet hooks and a Clover yarn snipper for the notions bag.  I’ve also made some slightly larger stitch markers, so that’s it for the general bag building.  I’m sure I’ll be getting more as needed for particular projects

I’ve really appreciated the Blog Week comments.  I did read the survey results, but didn’t really conclude anything from them – I guess the tool is only as good as the user…  The point is, you’ve all said some very nice things, and I think I must have gotten a bit cocky, because I messed up the socks a bit.

The Sock Story

I had been knitting from two balls of the blue.  When it came time to add the white I used a single ball (the leftover white from the Vexing Socks), and I knit from both the center and the outer edge of the ball.  It worked well enough.

TARDIS windowsI did end up switching to a larger needle in the middle of the windows, because, well, my calves do thicken up substantially.  I don’t think it’s an aesthetic issue, and it will definitely help the fit.

Then, when I got to the black and white portion, I decided that trying to knit from both ends of two balls of yarn would be too much to keep track of.  So I tried cutting a shorter piece of each color, and using one ball and one single strand for each sock.  That, too, was too much to keep track of.

stuck socksIf you look closely you can see that I used the same piece of black yarn to knit both socks. Nope, not the plan.  So I tinked one sock back, and went to my notions store to find a better solution than yarn butterflies (which I can never tie well, they become a confused jumble – hence the confused socks…)

I ended up finding a couple of funny old yarn bobbins.  I think I’ve figured out how this style is supposed to work.

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Hopefully it’ll all be more straightforward from here on out.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

Another Plutonium Muffins giveaway – this one is for really cute stitch markers (31 May).

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I posted this before, but somehow it got swallowed by the ether, leaving only the tags behind…

Today’s question is “Where and when do you knit and crochet?”

It might be quicker to talk about where I don’t.  I tend to take a WIP with me wherever I go.  It’s gotten to the point where if I don’t have a project with me my friends and family express concern.

I work on my projects as a passenger on a vehicle (private or public) and in waiting rooms of all kinds.  While carrying on conversations or listening to podcasts.  While waiting for a meal or watching TV or playing (tabletop) role playing games.

When the weather is nice, I like to sit outside in the sunshine and stitch away.

KIPping Fish

That’s it for the 6th Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading (and posting) as much as I have, and that you come back and visit again once in a while.

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Today’s blog post is to publish a poll.  I’ve designed a ‘how do you use my blog?’ poll on Survey Monkey.  It’s pretty quick and easy, so if you’re up for providing some feedback on this blog, please visit Surveymonkey.

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Today’s blog post is to be something different.  I was thinking of writing some flash fiction, or perhaps publishing a rant about race relations, but then my daughter said that we should go down to DC for a day and look at museums.  It’s been a long time since I did the ‘tourist’ thing with this blog.  About a year, actually, when the National Zoo closed its Invertebrate House.

So I present to you the day in pictures:

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What Came Before

With all the posts I’ve given to my project bags and notions cases, it’s not really surprising that blog week asked for another one.

First, to review.  My sister made me four really lovely project bags for my birthday this year.

bagsI already had a Nancy’s Knitknack case for notions.

KnitNackboxI ordered a set of three more Lantern Moon clamshell notions bags from eBay.



I said I’d be stocking the bags and report back.  This seems like the perfect opportunity to do just that.  I’ll start with the smallest project bag (as currently stocked) and work up to the largest.

Bag 1 – striped bag

This is holding the almost finished stereo cuff.  To be fair, there are a few beads and findings which are packed separately in their own sub-bags, but that’s the way this project worked out.

KnitKnacks StripesYou can’t see it in this picture, but I’m using a Debra’s Garden needle gauge as a zipper pull for this bag.  What you can see is that I use a lot of KnitPicks notions.  Honestly, their interchangeable circulars are my go-to needles, so I like to keep a tightening pin in each notions case.  The cable needle is from their Harmony series.

I got the KA mini crochet hook from Paradise Fibers.  The adorable embroidery scissors come from Salty Yarns in Ocean City, Maryland.

Except for a single large lockable one, all the stitch markers are sock needle sized.  Some I made, some are blue glass beads and some are silicone jump rings from Michaels (these, sadly, are discontinued.  I should have gotten them in more colors). I should probably get a couple of larger ones for this case.  In the back of the case is a failed attempt at a stitch marker/row counter which I should probably disassemble.

Bag 2 – peacock feathers

This bag holds the cthulhu themed dice bag.  Because of project specific notions, I’m using the largest Lantern Moon bag for this one.

Largest PeacockI’m using the needle gauge as a zipper pull again, this time it’s a HiyaHiya. The safety eyes are from Devlin’s Creations, and they glow in the dark.  I posted about the needle tag back in March, and that system has been working out fine.  The Peace Sign is a discontinued Lantern Moon tape measure.  I stuck a few needles in the Knit Picks connectors pouch, and that’s been working well.

My youngest gave me the Cthulhu Mints, and the stitch markers include the ones mentioned above, a few larger ones I’ve been gifted with, and a working row counter I made.  I should probably put that one back in the KnitKnacks box because, as you can see, I have room for an over the needle one here.

The only thing which hasn’t worked with this one is the Tonic Studio Scissors.  They are a great product, but they are a bit long for this bag, and if I don’t pack them just right every time they poke holes in the lining.  They’re long enough that I don’t think they’d fit in at all with a sheath, so I will have to find a replacement.

Bag 3 – flower bag

The Belle Green shawl is no longer hibernating, but it’s going very slowly.  This one uses the middle sized notions bag.  I’m showing a few of the beads here too, along with the really tiny crochet hook, the rest are still strung and the strands are in the bottom of the project bag.

Medium FlowerAnother KP cable needle here, along with the connector pouch with a tapestry needle stuck in.  This one has a commercial box of stitch markers.  I have one home made split ring marker stored in there just in case.  The stork scissors have been working out very well.

Bag 4 – London bag

I’ve said before that it’s silly to have socks in the largest bag, but given that they’re TARDIS socks I just went with it.  Which is why the smallest notions case is in the biggest bag.

Smallest LondonThis one uses the sock sized Debra’s Garden needle sizer as the zipper pull.  The cable needle is a different style, and hidden behind the tape measure here.  Those are foldable scissors (very compact, no pokes).  They are perfectly functional, but not beautiful.  I have the needles and stitch markers in an Altoids mini tin. So even the smallest one is big enough for everything I need in a ‘plain vanilla’ project.  I could fit a few more stitch markers in the tin, and the row counter (which is on the socks needles right now) nestles snugly in the bag.

Wanted/Needed for the Notions Bags

I would like one more needle gauge/zipper pull.  Probably another Debras Garden, but I’ll keep my eyes open for other options.

I need one more pair yarn snips.  Either scissors with a sheath or some sort of guarded blade – there are plenty of cute ones out there.

I don’t need them at the moment, but I would like more bigger-than-sock-sized stitch markers.  I *used* to have a bunch of them, and hope they’ll show up with a hibernating project.  I know I can make more cute ones.

It would be nice to have a crochet hook/stitch rescuer for each bag, so three more.  The one I have is small enough to fit in event the tiny bag, and it was cheap. On the other hand, there’s something nice about having different tools for each bag, and there are probably other mini hooks out there…

Blog Contests and Yarn Giveaways

I haven’t done a contest update in a week, so I might as well stick one in here.  I didn’t win the pattern and yarn from While They Play.  I haven’t entered the Homeless Bridge Yarn Bombing giveaway, but wanted to post  it here so you’ll still hear about it even if I don’t get around to it.

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Today’s assignment was to photograph my knitting in a different way.  As it happened, I was down in the US Botanical Garden with a WIP and an FO today.

TARDIS with Iris

Here are the TARDIS socks in progress, taken with some Iris outside the conservatory building. I love the blues and purples, and I also love how much richer the socks look in natural sunlight.

Cable with Cactus

This is the Seaglass tote. The picture was taken inside the conservatory, but also in natural light as it’s basically one huge greenhouse. I love how the division betweent he green and aqua is clearly visible here, as well as how the succulents seem to glow with their own light.


I published this one before, but I couldn’t resist bringing it up again. It’s the Belle Green Shawl as I’m knitting the stockinette portion. This is two pictures of the same piece, taken while driving through an underpass. You can really see how this yarn fluoresces in the sunlight.

This has been a fun exercise, and a good reminder that I should photograph my knitting in sunlight more often.

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