Friday, May 27, 2016

...And It's a Layette...

...well, MY style layette. No blankie. I gave 'em up after the last one. It took me FOR. EVER. And I decided that if I wanted to do a baby blanket, I'd do a fleece one, and tie it together like these in the link (click the word "these" to find the instructions, but come back and finish reading!).


So thankfully, I'm now done with baby knitting. I'm back with the watermelon socks (the Opal version, not Abi Grosso). And I bought sock yarn. 


Seamless rolled-brim baby hat
From Eat Knit Dye. A Van Gogh colorway, "The Starry Night." I couldn't help it. 

Don't lie to me. You'd have bought it, wouldn't you? Of course you would have. I have admittedly been on a "sock yarn diet" for a while. Since I started this job, actually, and haven't had as much time off. 

And my favorite yarn shop moved 50 miles away. And my other favorite yarn shop is about 45 miles in the other direction. 

Which does great for my budget, but not so awesome for my yarn addiction. Hubby's happy that no "mysterious" boxes have come in the mail. I've been so busy with the baby layette that I haven't done anything else. The only "socks" were these little bitty ones...Which still count, you know. But I was hankering after some "grown-up" knitting, so I'm happy to be back with the regular stuff. 

Not sure when we'll get these to Momma. Little Guy had a slight set-back, and had a hernia operation. He's doing well, though. Should be home this weekend - or at least during the week, if he continues to improve. 

I think I'll have to pick up the February Lady Sweater soon. It's staring at me. And Kid #2 - that afghan...though I dislike afghans in the summer, because they sit heavy in the lap. 

I need to make another list of WIPs. It will scare me. But it needs to be done. Just so I have a sense of what's what. 

As far as the socks go, I know I have 3 singles: the Opal Watermelon, the Bowties are Cool, and... The Dreaded Teal Sock. 


Opal Watermelon
Why is it that the leg of the sock takes forever? As does the last inch or so before the toe. 

As far as the Opal Watermelon, I'm still puzzled. I know what watermelon looks like. This yarn ain't it. It's cute. But it's not watermelon. It's watermelon-ish. And it patterns nicely. But it's no way shape or form a semblance of the actual "watermelon" that I love in the summer (with a little salt, please!). 

I mean seriously? Look at that. Tell me if you think it even vaguely looks like a watermelon? 

Garden 2016...

Well, the garden is loving the wet weather. As you can see, the veggies are doing well. We should have pick-able lettuce in about 2 weeks. I want to mark the rows. Hubby said, "You'll know what we have when it grows."

All I see is green stuff! Except for the kale and tomatoes, it all rather looks the same to me. So I'll see if I can mark the rows and get some sense to the garden. 

I can't say enough about the raised beds. We've been able to get a jump on the garden every year. They're at least 7 years old. The recycled black plastic keeps the dirt warm, and we're able to plant a few weeks early. 

Of course, global warming has helped. Our winters have been (far too) warm and we haven't had to worry about the deep freezes. I'm not happy about it, but it is what it is. I'm strongly in favor of measures to curb carbon emissions and I think we need to pay attention - far more than we have been. And I'm doing my part. 

But some days - I really feel like it's a drop in the ocean. That being said, I'm still going to do what I need to do. I'm working on Hubby's aversion to a compost heap. I think that would not only help the garden, but it would further reduce what we toss in the trash. 

Before Kid #1 moved to VA, he and the (now-X) fiancee had a compost heap. You'll forgive me if I say that I won't be donating to theirs. Or I should say, HERS. 

We haven't gotten all the flowers straightened out. This weekend, if Mother Nature cooperates, we'll get hanging plants and I'll get the main flower bed fixed up. The Seedles are sitting there and I can't wait to plant them. We need to cull out some stuff that needs trashing. We've lost 1 butterfly bush (maybe both - not sure yet...) and one batch of Bee Balm. 

Our neighbor's basswood tree is blooming. I love the scent. The branches are hanging low with the flower pods. I miss ours, but about 17 years ago, it was infested with some sort of ailment that caused it to rot from the inside out. It had to come down. 


Campanula
And - we noticed that our maples didn't have as many whirlybirds as we usually see. That's not cool. I mean, I'm not complaining (much), but it's weird. 

So you'll notice that our poppy is going nuts. The "dead" branches to the right are the branches of our only remaining(?) butterfly bush. 

The campanula is going crazy. I think a bunny must have tried to take a nap, because one side of the plant was sort of flattened. I had to tie it up. Hubby has a "turkey wire" contraption that he's going to put around it. They're so tall - it's difficult when it gets windy. 

But the hummingbirds love them. And the foxglove, which has made its biennial appearance - wasn't sure if it was coming back. 

Speaking of hummingbirds, we've got some bold ones! They were buzzing Hubby as he was putting up the feeder. Maybe I can actually get some pics, because as I was tying up these beauties, the most brazen of the bunch was flitting around. 

We also have a nice batch of garter snakes around the house. I don't mind - they eat the bugs. They camp out under the deck and the steps of the front porch. Hubby is ok with them - we just have to be vigilant because Quinn and Raisa are rather quick and they'll try to catch them. And they'll succeed...

We may end up just doing hanging baskets and skip the potted plants in the front this year. We'll put out at least 1 more hummingbird feeder, but we'll also plan to get hanging baskets the hummers can sip from. 

Work...

...is not fun... We're on day ELEVEN of a 2-day hearing. It's chaos, to say the least. We're looking for a law clerk to help us out. I hope we get someone who's a worker. And who has a sense of humor. 

The yoga studio is going well. I think for some reason, my classes are popular. Either the time, or the teaching style? It's a basic class, but I have students at all levels. 

My dream would be to quit the "day job" and teach full-time. That may come. Or it may not. I'm working toward it coming...but we shall see. 

Random Picture...

From the Business of Yoga Bootcamp in Florida last year. A walk on the beach in the morning. Looking down. I see a heart. 

It's clearly a gift. Not sure from whom. Or maybe I should say "from Whom." 

But it's there. I take a picture. I pick it up. I take it home. 

It's in a glass in my office. Reminding me of where my heart is. 

What's in your heart? Where is your heart taking you? 

Are you listening? 
























Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hats, Socks, Politics & Facebook...

Well, there's probably a connection there. We'll see how this goes...

Knitting...

The baby layette - at least my version of a layette - is moving right along. I needed a set of size 5 circulars in the 12" length, and of course I can't find the (3 or 4) pair(s) that I have right now. So Hubby, ever the smart man, says, "You should hit the knitting store if Michael's doesn't have what you want."

Now you see why I married him, right? 

We went to Michael's. Before that, we had (gasp!) a date-ish night. And then we went to get balloons. 

Yes, this all ties in together, just stick with me. 

So Michael's? The knitting department at our local store has gone wayyyyyyyyyy down the flusher. They used to have several aisles. Now they moved it across the store, it's 2 aisles and a part of a wall. 

I found 2 sets of DPNs; one bamboo and one aluminum. I got both. (NOTE TO SELF: When you're in a notions department, pick up tape measures. Whether you need them right that moment, pick up tape measures...Trust us on this.)

There were only 16" sets of circulars. Oh well. It never occurred to me to hit the JoAnn Fabrics right across the street. 

Such is life. Ironically, to pick up the balloons, we had to cross the street anyway. I keep forgetting that JoAnn's is there. 

All of this is for BABY. Mamma came back to teach yoga this morning, and I got her some "Welcome Back" balloons. 

I'm zipping right along on the hat. I think this may be my "favorite hat pattern" if it works out well. I think the rolled brim will be adorable. 

As for the socks, I'm finishing up the Opal Watermelon socks. Remember - the ones I thought I'd lost? 

Lately, my friend Roberta has been posting bird pictures on Facebook. And today, she said, "Wow, every one of these makes me think of how the colors would look in socks! It's like a sickness, isn't it?"

Well, yes it is. 

After I finish the Watermelon socks, I will likely pick up another UFO and see if I can make some headway. I'm kind of done with baby knitting for now, though something is nudging me to whip up another baby sweater. 

As it is, though, I can always do a hat easily. I'm thinking it'll take me longer than the weekend, but hopefully within the week. 

Facebook...

...has become a war zone. I'm serious. I'm posting goofy pictures of my dog, knitting pictures, funny memes.

What I'm avoiding for the most part are the political posts. Too many of my "friends" have gotten really vicious about Hillary. 

One more time: I am not a Hillary fan. But I will not vote Republican, as long as I have ovaries and a uterus. 

I'm frankly stunned at the whole BernieBot phenomena, but I'm somehow not surprised, given the vitriol and anger in the discussion, and the decay of rational dialog in general in society. 

Speaking of goofball pictures of my dog, this is Quinn, who is absolutely embodying the "dignified and elegant" Norwegian Elkhound persona right now. She's sacked out on the couch. 

At least this time, she's left room for any human who wants to go sit with her. 

Milestone...

So my friend G wanted to meet me for a walk. We've touched base on FB, on emails and the like, but we really needed to talk. She's my "owner-mentor" as I work through the fun(?) of owning a studio. 

We decided that today was a great day, which it was. My Jawbone UP had a moment!!

As we walked and talked, I wasn't paying too much attention. We had a grand time. It buzzed when we got close to the end of our loops around the trail. 

When I came home, I checked the phone. Over 11,000 steps! In two hours!! Yipee!

The good news (aside from the fact that I actually MADE it) was that the shoes I wore are going to work out fine for my trip to Oxford, MS. The other news is that I need to make sure I have lighter socks. I'll pick up a second pair of shoes so that I can alternate them. 

Trip...

The trip to Oxford will likely be the last one that Kid #2 and I take for a while. First off, I'll need to visit Kid #1 (more later). Second, Kid #2 will be starting a Master's Degree program and will probably take most of the classes during the summers. 

We're going by way of Cairo, IL so we can get the Mark Twain Connection. You have to travel with an English teacher to get that...

The news about Kid #1 isn't great, but it's ok. 

Over Easter, The Fiancee gave back the ring. We're very sad. They've been together for about 6 years. But of course, the flip side is, if The Fiancee "isn't happy" then I'm glad that was decided BEFORE they married. 

Kid #1 is doing ok. Relocated to Virginia, which is where he'd planned to go for years, but The Fiancee didn't want to leave. I get it. I always wanted to leave, and I left. My siblings didn't leave; though I think mostly they wanted to. 

And now, they won't or can't leave. I wouldn't have trouble starting over somewhere new, and Kid #1 is learning that now. I'm glad. Sad, because it's not exactly a day-trip. But glad that this is what he chose. 

He's found work; he has a plan. Life goes on. Once he's settled, we'll figure out how to get Larry (his cat) out to him. But that's a while yet. 

Garden 2016...

Veggies 2016 are in. Today, we went to Eastside Greenhouse to pick up some tomatoes and herbs. Hubby decided to plant all 4 tomato plants, even though in 2 months, he'll be complaining. 

We got a 4-pack of kale, so we'll see how that goes. He'll eat kale (which I just cooked tonight with leeks and garlic) so I'm hopeful that if it's a bumper crop, it won't go to waste. If nothing else, I'll be a smoothie-bot!

Also got basil, lemon basil, Rosemary and Thyme. No parsley, no sage, for you Simon & Garfunkel fans! We have parsley in the freezer from last year, thanks. 

We've also planted leeks, Brussels sprouts, radishes, lettuce and carrots. Oh, and a few cucumbers, too. 

The herbs will be planted next week. I'm a little worried about the huge herb trug; it was pretty infested with ants. I think what happened was that Hubby covered it - and the ants were nice and cozy through the winter. He's going to empty it all out and refill with clean dirt. Hopefully that will fix it. Also, we'll leave it open year-round. 


The Monster Bleeding Heart has come back for another year. It's a little over 30 years old now. 

And a VERY peeved hummingbird just buzzed Hubby. We saw it while we were eating dinner, so we rushed to make a home-made syrup, which is cooling. He grabbed a feeder off the porch to scrub and the bird, in a fit of pique, buzzed him, as if to say, "Hey, dude!! I'm HERE... Where in the &*^%% is my food???" 

Should be another 10 minutes and we can put food out for him. 

Random Picture...

This is the Monster Bleeding Heart. It's on the northwest corner of the porch. I planted one plant. Over 30 years ago. And it keeps coming back, larger and more beautiful each year. 

This year, the dill came back (surprise, surprise); so did the lavender (it never really died), the Icelandic poppy (rivaling the Monster Bleeding Heart for persistence), one bee balm, one butterfly bush, and the carnations. 

I still have to plant wildflowers. Columbine are back, looks like foxglove may be back, and some oddball wildflowers I planted last year (brown-eyed Susan, and a few others that I swore I marked...). 


It's amazing this thing has lived this long, because the sorry stuff that passes for "dirt" in that spot is impossible. I've got lily of the valley in the north, right behind it on the left side of the porch, which you can barely see. But that stuff will grow anywhere. 

Apparently, so will Bleeding Heart. 









Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It's a Sweater...

...and even a pair of tiny little socks! Now, all I have to do is finish the hat. I have to get a 12" circular size 5 needle. 

Of course the moment I buy one, I'll find that I have 6 of them...That's the way that works, I suppose. 

I love the way this yarn pooled at the back. The front, I'm ok with, and I really like the stitch definition. It's Cascade 220 Superwash, hand painted. The little guy's mom isn't exactly a "pink and blue" traditionalist. I think she'll like the edginess of this sweater. 

Before seaming
It's a great pattern: New Arrival Cardigan - and it's on Ravelry. I got mine from a promo for renewing a magazine subscription, but I'm happy to see it's on Rav - I think it's a wonderful "first sweater" pattern. 

I usually make the 6-month size and this time was no different. After all, I was planning for a "regular" delivery - not a preemie! So we joke that the sweater will actually fit for longer than 5 minutes...

Before buttons
The socks are from Pure & Simple Layette, from "Itty Bitty Knits." The socks are more newborn-sized, so it'll be interesting. I'm also doing a simple hat that I found on Ravelry as well, because I have the yarn. The hat is going to be "baby" sized - in other words, not a preemie or a newborn size, but a regular "baby" size of about 14 - 16" circumference. I think that way we can stretch the entire gift so that he can wear it over several seasons. 

I got the yarn on clearance, so it's doubtful that I can find any more of it - and I may as well use it. I didn't think I'd have enough, actually, so I'm not sure how it all worked out, but I'm happy it worked the way it did. 

As you can see, the buttons really pop here. I used my plastic "wide eye" needle and simply crossed the yarn from one hole to the other and then tied it off. It's the easiest way to secure the buttons. 

Normally, when I sew, I use a "spacer" to give the button a little bit of a neck. When you sew your button on, you don't tighten it up to the fabric. You leave it a little loose, and when you pull the thread back up (before you go into the shaft or the button's holes), you wrap the thread around 5 or 6 times, giving it a little "neck" which is quite sturdy in spite of how it appears. It looks loose, but it really is strong. But it's not for a baby. Tighter is better for a baby, with the whole issue of choking on buttons. 

All done!
This sweater looks great in any similar weight yarn, and I've made it in pastels, brights, ombres and solids. I've done it in acrylic, with a "giveaway" yarn that I thought would make a good charity project. What I mean is, I was given the yarn, did a yarn test because we had no ball band, determined it was acrylic, and then knitted this up in a blue-white ombre. I used buttons from my button tin and it'll be lovely for a Giving Tree or something. I haven't decided what to do with that one. I have enough of that yarn to make a hat as well. I've got it partially started, and I'm just playing with a "made it up" pattern I'm tweaking. I'm not sure if it'll come to anything, but I want to try it. I like to try to give "pairs" of things for babies. 

I used my Kollage Square needles, and I have to say - those points are SHARP! But it was worth it. The tension came out perfectly and I was able to knit for quite a long period each time. There's only one hitch - I do worry about the cable connection to the needle. 


It's smooth; it's lovely. But I noticed that it looked like it might be wearing a bit. I'm hoping it's just an illusion. So far, I've never had a circular pair break. I think it'd be a tragedy if they broke mid-project, but nothing I couldn't deal with. 

For the socks, I just used plain size 5 DPNs, but a set of 4. That was awkward, especially at the toes. But for this size sock, the toes turned out remarkably nicely with a Kitchener closing. I was able to bury the one "ear" when I pulled the thread through the back and tied it off. 

This was speedy-knitting at its best! I finished the socks in a weekend. One sock a day. I could see doing this as a charity project. But I think I'd do a plain heel. After all, as newborns, (a) they're not in shoes, and (b) they're not walking. 

I did my usual knit a row around before the ribbing. I do wonder about just doing a straight up knitted sock - would they roll off? Kick off? Would they stay up on a chunky leg? Might be worth a try. It takes about 1.75 ounces of yarn, which was almost the rest of the ball I had left after the sweater was done. It was a great way to use up the last bit, which I wouldn't have used in a hat, because I like to do hats with a whole ball - no tie-offs in mid-hat!

As usual, the heel turn was magic even in a teeny tiny little sock. It came together a lot more quickly too. 

Sock #2 is nicer. Sock #1 is a little smaller, which I can't understand. I'm a religious "note taker" knitter. I think it'll be ok, overall. But it bugs me a bit. I try hard to match my socks. 

I hope Mamma likes the set. I can't wait to start the hat; that'll be this weekend. I think it'll go really quickly because it's a rolled brimmed hat. Knit, knit, knit till the decreases, and then tie off the top. I might try an I-cord for the top, just to add a little interest; not sure yet. 

A New Venture...

Way back a little less than 40 years ago, I dabbled in watercolors. Mrs. Decman, our high school art teacher, taught us. I see so many different things on Pinterest and the general internet - I thought it was about time for me to play with them again. 

Note to Self: Buy the better brushes. It's worth it. The cheapies shed. 

I've only used the paint pots so far. I've done a few things for the studio - little abstracts where I then put a word or phrase on it. Just to say "thank you" or highlight an upcoming class. It's been fun. I bought a book. I'd like to take a class; not sure how much talent I actually have, but if you're half-way patient, watercolor is pretty interesting to mess with. 

If you've ever tried something "back in the day," consider picking it up again. I think it's really interesting to see how your perspective changes. you think about things differently. You're a little more loose in your attitude - at least I am. I figure it's just playing. After all, in high school, we were graded on art. 

Now? I'm just having fun and trying to mess with my brain in a good way. Heaven knows that with work and other things in life, it's nice to have a "mild challenge" that exercises your creativity and allows you to experiment. 

Knitting is great - as you know, I do it a lot. But I thought that this was another way to tap into my creative side. I bet you have a way of doing that too, if you think about it. 

Politics...

Sooooooooo sick of the Bernie v. Hillary memes. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has to go. Once again, let me repeat: this is an ELECTION. Not a CORONATION. I'm reading some polls that show that Bernie is a better bet to beat Drumpf. Hillary - not so much. 

This has fractured friendships - possibly permanently. It's created a lot of tension in so many groups. So many families, even. 

As a nation, we have to decide what we want to be as we go forward. And as we go FORWARD, we have to be careful to not go BACKWARD. We're already headed backward with the assaults on voters' rights and women's rights. What, as women, do we want for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces? 

I have boys. Those boys will, God willing, marry. And I want my future daughters-in-law to have full rights. Equal pay would be nice, but we won't go there right now. 

Young women should have full reproductive rights. Young women should be safe. Right now, women are threatened in both of those areas. We're not in charge of our bodies in quite a few states. We're not safe in so many more cities. And on far too many campuses. 

This has to change. Along with the many other things: this country needs jobs. Needs a stable economy. The rich need to pay their fair share of not only Social Security, but taxes in general. 

And corporate welfare has got to stop. Even my SILs who live in Alaska are astounded at the breaks the oil companies get. Not to mention the tech companies who pay nothing in taxes. Click here to read more about the concept of corporate welfare: where for-profit corporations make millions for their stockholders, but pay ZERO... -0- ... zip ... nada ... in taxes. They ship jobs to other countries, have no concern for their workers and only care for profits. 

I'm not an idiot. I'm a small-business owner. I want to make money. But I want to have a sense that I'm contributing something to this world, not being a taker. 

We do need a revolution. It's likely to take a couple of election cycles. But I'll say this out loud, risking turning off some readers: the conservative Republican ideal is not the way to go to move this country forward. 

We are not now, nor have we ever been, a nation founded upon Christian principles. We are a nation in the throes of growth. How we grow is important to all of us. The way to keep going forward is to vote and work for liberal principles - ideally progressive principles. 

Either way - if you don't vote in November, shut up and sit down. Exercise your right to vote. Too many people in other countries die for that. Don't be a jerk about it. Vote. 

Random Picture...

Our associate brought us Mother's Day gifts -- beautiful orchids. I'm jazzed because I've managed to keep the one in the studio alive for nearly 2 years! I think I can keep this one alive. 

I had to look high and low for orchid bark. I bought some "orchid medium" and it turned out to be pretty heavy and buggy. I mean, "lots of gnats" buggy. Urgh!

I think the bark is better. Hopefully, my orchid appreciates it. 














Wednesday, May 04, 2016

While I'm Waiting...

...for the copier to cool off. I figured I'd get a jump on the blog, since I'm trying to communicate with you all a little more frequently. 

We're going to trial on a matter, and exhibits need copying. My little green heart is palpitating because we're killing trees at an alarming rate, though the last 2 batches I was able to copy double-sided. Yikes...

A Sweater Is Almost Born...


It's beginning to look like a sweater! I'm now churning along on the other sleeve and front. I'll look and see if the pattern is on Ravelry. It came in a booklet when I renewed a subscription about a decade ago, and it's my go-to sweater. You'd think I could knit it in my sleep. But I still need directions. 

Speaking of which...There's a part where you take off the stitches you held on a holder - put them back on a live needle and "join yarn." The yarn that you cut to do the one half, you now have to put back and immediately bind off a number of stitches. 

I've puzzled over that for a long while and I've tried various methods. The directions simply say "join yarn." Following the dictum of Elizabeth Zimmerman, the doyenne of all things knitterly, I used my brain. Knitting, says the immortal EZ, is not rocket science. See the quote above! 

So below are some photos. The yarn is striping up nicely; it's going to look wonderful on The Little Man. And the 6-month size will be plenty for him to grow into. 

The next photo shows the stitches removed from the holder and placed live onto my circulars. It's a fairly easy job to do so, and just takes a tad bit of time and some patience. You don't have to worry about orientation because this is straight knitting. Nothing fancy. Let the yarn do the work for you. 


Weave in row below live stitches...
I grabbed an easy-threading needle and pulled about 6" of yarn off the ball; I picked an area just below the live stitches, on the WRONG side, so that I could weave it in and it wouldn't show on the front. I put the needle through the first stitch, and then proceeded to weave in and out for a few stitches, dropped down a row, did a little more weaving, and then finish it off. 

You'll notice that I went in on the right side of the needles - it is the WRONG side of the fabric, but you have to attach the yarn so that you can immediately pick up that end as the "working" yarn. 

This technique also involves a crochet hook, which I find particularly helpful in snagging up those last ends of the yarn, and also in pulling through when your needle is long and the tail of the yarn is not.


Go below the row you started in...
Keep a crochet hook in your tool bag. Even if you never crochet, you'll find a multitude of uses for it, including (shudder) picking up dropped stitches, picking up the gusset stitches of a sock (so much easier than "knitting on" the stitches - at least to me...), and if you're a fringe person, a crochet hook is the way to go to knot the fringe on the ends of a shawl or scarf. Or wherever it is you people put fringe...

In fact, if you're ever stumped for a gift for a knitter, a set of crochet hooks, while it might sound counter-productive, is actually a good idea. I find Susan Bates to be just about the easiest to get, and they have a decent size range. I'm not even going to provide a link, because Google comes up with about 6 or 7 ways to purchase them. 


Easy-thread plastic needle is good for yarn thickness...
The easy-threading needle is probably a Clover. Again, Google is great in figuring out where to buy these things. I've tried several different ones, and while I really like the Chibi needles for Kitchener stitch, for this purpose, the plastic one suited the project much better. 


Crochet hook to pull through.
Tool kits are awesome and are easily personalized once you experiment with what tools you may need for the knitting you do most often. Another thing I've done is replicate that tool kit. Yes, I know - sounds counterintuitive. But remember, if you have multiple projects going, then you have multiple bags to work with. Having a couple of tool kits makes it easy to make sure that everything is at your fingertips when you need it and you don't have to (gasp!) stop knitting to find something. 

So now it's a chug for 8" and then I bind off the bottom of the other sleeve. Then the body and it should be done, needles willing, in about 2 weeks. 


Finished weaving...
Which is good, because perhaps The Little Man will be home and this will be nice to greet him with. 

I'm not sure I'll have much left over; I'm thinking he needs some Baby Uggs, and maybe if I can find some red superwash wool in the stash, that would balance out those bright shiny red buttons I have planned for this sweater. It would be cool if I had red - a tiny little cap with a rolled brim? Too, too cute!

And I made this...


Mala Bag
This is a long-ago project that I recently dug out of a purse when I was switching things around for my MIL's funeral. This is hand-dyed sock-weight yarn from my friend, now passed, Sonda. I made a hat with this yarn, had a whack of yarn leftover, and I decided to make a little bag. This is enough to hold a rosary (if you're Catholic), a special necklace, or I use it for my mala beads. 

It's a simple stockinette stitch, and then a ribbing toward the top. I also used yarn-overs to make holes every so often. Then I created an I-cord and wove it through the holes to tie up the bag. The bag seams up the sides; simple weaving stitch. This is a nice way to use up sock yarn, if you need little "trinket" bags. They're relatively mindless till you get to the yarn-overs, and frankly, I did them on either side of a 3x2 rib...so to me, this looks like the top of a sock, which is kind of a full circle. Sonda got me started knitting socks...

Knitting Injured...

If you zoom in on this, you'll see a "blister bandage." I'm a pusher. I push off the right needle when I knit. And in this case, with the Kollage steel needles, those stinkers are SHARP! And I've developed a little nick in my left index finger. After several hours of knitting, it gets irritated. 

Band-Aid "blister" bandages - which are useless on blisters, in my opinion - are perfect for this kind of knitting injury. They're cushioned, they're waterproof, and they stick like crazy. Except for the taper at the tip of your finger, they fit nicely, and can be trimmed with a sharp scissor. 

I've used this technique each time I've used the Kollage square needles. I love those needles. They make lovely stitches and they do enable me to knit for long periods of time. 

But they're so sharp that it's very easy to stab yourself. Or someone else, come to think of it! (No, I didn't really say that out loud, did I?)

What we knitters do for our craft!

Politics...

So Bernie won Indiana and Cruz dropped out of the race. I heard a scary thing today. As the "presumptive" nominee, Trump will get courtesy copies of a version of the President's Daily Briefing. It's a tradition extended to the nominees of both parties. 

Much as I dislike Hillary, I can trust her to keep her mouth shut. Trump? That narcissistic SOB will likely Tweet them out... 

While we're at it, let's talk about civility and keeping friendships intact. 

There's this group I (used to) belong to. It was made up of strong-minded women who differed quite often in their opinions but listened to each other. 

This election cycle? Notice the parenthetical statement. I have just walked away. They've gone nuts. Absolutely insane. If you support Bernie, you're a moron. If you don't support Hillary, you're a traitor to the Ovary Crowd. And some of the Bernie folks have become Bernie-Bots. Several people hurled accusations against each other. Several had and have hurt feelings. A few say they didn't do what they're being accused of. 

So a group which has had at least a decade of friendships has gone pffffth because this election cycle is so warped and so mean. Really. 

Let's just think about this. Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee. 

Trump. Reality show. Serial bankrupt. Selfish misogynist. Wants to build a wall around Mexico and have them pay for it. Has "huuuuuuuuuuuuge" plans, but can't give specifics. A moron. 

The world is laughing at this development, but I believe there's a hit of terror in that laughter because this idiot could be elected. 

If the Democrats don't get their collective heads out of their nether parts, we will lose this election. Period. 

I don't like Hillary. I don't like the idea of a coronation. I do like the idea of a woman president, but I don't like her. But I'm going to vote AGAINST Trump being president. 

While we're at it, can people please stop making ignorant comments about President Obama? Especially his daughters. I mean, seriously people... The child got into Harvard. Her father graduated from Harvard. Her mother graduated from Princeton. 

For God's sake: even George BUSH - not the brightest crayon in the box - had a legacy seat at Yale. 

The kids are off-limits. Even Bush's kids. They're just off-limits. 

So in regard to our group? I'm not sure I'll be back. I'm really not a "take my toys and go home" kind of gal. But I really have been assessing what's healthy for me. Healthy in the sense of, do I really want to be the "mom" of the group? One person has chosen to assert herself as putative leader. She's someone I don't always agree with and I can live with that. What I can't live with is being dictated to. I already have my own mom who is happy to tell me what I should be doing... Don't need it in my social life. 

So I may or may not return to the group after November. But for sure, I will be thinking about how this election has affected families, friendships, and other relationships. 

We need to pull together to think about what's good for our country. But right now, we're so polarized, I'm not overly confident that that will happen. 

Random Picture...

One recipe of my lovely MIL's - and no, I don't have it handy, otherwise I'd post it here. They're Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies and we usually add coconut because we love it. 

Hubby made them. Yes, I've been avoiding sugar. And it's been about 10 days of full-moon-like behavior from people around me, so yes, I've eaten (more than) a few...

I keep telling myself that oatmeal is good for you. And so is coconut, right?

Right?