actual craft content plus some knitting

Waaaaaay back when the Boy was a baby, which seems like an impossible state for the Boy from this point six years on, I bought Heather Ross' gnomes and fish fabrics because I loved them. My intention was to make something for the Boy and/or his room. 

Time passed, as it does. 

I rediscovered the stashed fabric while searching for something else. And, so, I made a couple of things for a friend who is currently great with child:


(One of these was sewn twice because I forget to cut off the selvedge edge. Because my brain isn't a finely tuned work of exquistie German engineering.)

I need to finish up a couple of other bits and pieces and chuck the whole box in the mail. 

I've also made progress on this:


It no longer looks obscene.

Finally, I've started a sweater for the Diva from some of the Stitch Bitch's leftover yarn.


So far the Diva approves of both color and pattern. This could change at any moment, of course, because we are mean and the universe is capricious. 

shameless self-promotion, 346 in a series + some flowers

The shameless promo: How the Boy might be Harpo Marx reincarnated and the local bingo scene.

Also, over the last two weeks, I seem to have started and finished this:


It's Cedar Hill's "Sweet Violets," which I bought as a kit at Frame of Mind in Rochester. (I actually wanted the one with the Poppies but am easily distracted.) I found it while airing the stash and decided I needed to work on something springish. Since the kids weren't around for a week and Downton Abbey was streaming, the work went quickly. Now to have it framed.

My hope was that it would bring spring with it. No such luck. Feh.


*Benjamin Patton took some fine pictures, eh?

actual knitting content + plus some cross stitch

Oh, February. I'm firmly starting to believe that I've begun freezing from the outside in. I can now see the appeal of saunas.*

In order to cheer myself up, I found the springiest sock yarn in my stash - meaning no brown, gray or white - and cast on.


This is sock #1. I imagine sock #2 will look the same, tho I've only finished the toe increases. Ah, pink. I heart you. The yarn was a gift from Dana at Unwind Yarn Company.

I'm also plugging away on St. Ciaran.


It doesn't look like much but, dang, those rows are long. 

While I was digging out craft bags, I uncovered some neglected cross-stitch. McGregor had to help with the picture.


And a shot without a cat head:


I should get back to work on that. The cross-stitch elves appear to have gone on strike. Stupid elves.


* I still can't quite wrap my head around why you would bake in a sauna and then throw yourself in a frozen lake. I suspect it helps to drink large quantities of aquavit beforehand.

felted nuts

I haven't been knitting all that much lately. 

I know. I'm a little surprised, too. 

But the projects I had been working on were simply pissing me off and have been put in the time out closet. I have a sock project all bagged up and ready to go. I want to work on it, since I think it will be lovely but can't take the time to start it, since it looks like it will require the use of my brain. And by the end of the day, my brain is done.

What I have been doing is crochet. 

I know. I'm a little surprised, too.

But I'm not quite ready to show that in progress yet.  But I can show you what the Diva (and friends) and I (and friend) made on Sunday.


There was fiber involved.


And warm water.


And friction.

Eventually, we wound up with balls.


Which, with the Pie Goddess' matching skillz and my hot glue gun magic, grew into little acorns.


It's not knitting. But I still dig it.

actual craft content, Big M

I haven't been in a knitting mood lately. I think the mittens broke my mojo. I'm sure that it'll be back.
Instead, I've been working on this for the Diva's room:


Once it's done, it'll look something like this. The Mirabella stuff is totally not my thing -- but Maddy will love it. 

Gratuitous cat picture:


Barney stalking the little birdies that mock him just outside this window.

Speaking of mocking, Margaret and Helen take on healthcare, Michele Bachmann and "Values Voters." I'm still snickering.

before the knitting

For the next few days, the most exciting content I have is of the "hey! look what I found in a box!" variety. ou have been warned.

Before I learned to knit, I learned to throw pots. On a wheel. With, like, dirt and stuff.

I found my efforts.



The blue dish pictured below isn't falling off of the window ledge. it just has a really unstable bottom, which would be a great band name.


I never did improve much beyond this point because, frankly, I gave up. Pottery isn't very portable and has too many upfront costs for my needs. I like to buy well made dishware, etc., but will not be making it myself in the foreseeable future. Still, it's a kick in the head to find my lumpen efforts.

Oh - and the books totally bred like rabbits while they were packed away.


This is only a smidgen of the collection. I'm starting to think that I might need a 12-step program.

it may never be spring

This is a fallow time.  I just finished a big, huge project, which will eventually come back to me with the editor's letter and notes. I don't have any great ideas for the next big, huge project. There are little writing projects that I'm fussing at, sure, but the bulk of my writing brain is resting.

Which is good. It needed the rest. But it just feels wrong to not be working-working. Yes, there are classes to teach and kids to chase. Rest is good, so that you have energy for the next onslaught.


The Featureless Saint pointed out that I had nothing writing-like planned for the summer. "You know you don't do well with down time, right?" he said.

My initial response was to fire back with, "You don't, either, buddy." Instead I said, "you're right."

Which might be proof that I'm slowly becoming a grown-up.

I have ideas, sure, but none that I'm willing to commit to quite yet. Waiting is, as RAH said.

I am, however, getting antsy.

But what this time is giving me is the opportunity to get some hands-on projects done. Like these two cross stitch pieces that just came back from the framer.


This was the only picture that I managed to take outside. While the thermometer claims its a balmy 44 degrees, there is a wicked-ass wind that cut through my coat. Ah, spring.

I'm debating about whether or not I should go ahead and hang these or wait until we move. My fear is that if I don't hang them, one of the small people of felines will wreck havoc no matter where I store them.


I now have Just Nan's Winter (top) to hang next to Fall (bottom, in case the pumpkins didn't give it away). I've started the stitching on Spring. Hopefully the season itself will get here before I finish the project.

random crafty things plus gratuitous cat

I don't know that there is much holding all of this together other than we happened to have actual sunshine on Friday, which made we want to take pictures of things. The coming of spring also made me want to run around outside without a coat, boots or pants -- but the fact that it was only 50 (or 10C for you metric folk) was what stopped me.

So I took pictures while the light was good.

As a reward to myself for finishing the dang draft of the next book, I bought a small box of chocolate from Foodzie, which is a small site that acts as a clearinghouse for independent food crafters. This Etsy, but edible.

These were from Luca Chocolates. The packaging rocked.


The chocolates themselves -- vanilla buttercream, Earl Grey truffles and sea salt caramels -- were OK. My earth remains unmoved but they were good enough.

In the crafts-I'm-working-on department, Just Nan's* Winter in the Square


and Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke cardigan in Jo Sharp Silkroad Tweed DK that had been marinating in the stash for a couple of years.


So far, so good. But it's hard to tell at this stage, eh?

Oh -- and this is my first project with Knit Picks wooden interchangeable needles. Anyone have advice on how to ensure that they don't unscrew themselves? So far, I've used the provided pin to tighten them as much as possible, which seems to be working. But wonder how long that will work.

Also, if you buy my house, I'll chuck in this lovely photographer's assistant, who does not like it one bit when you use his patch of sun for a backdrop.


Not. One. Bit.


* As a rule, Just Nan isn't to my taste. I like these Season/Square jobbies, tho. I just ordered Spring, because I feel that my stitching should be aspirational even if we are certain to have a few more weeks of winter. What can I say? I'm quirky.

down the rabbit hole

Long story short - I was looking for something else and found these. It's telling that I can no longer remember what that other thing is.

I had no idea that Etsy was chock-full of cross stitch patterns.

Yes, yes, you can get some renderings of common characters whose legal status is, at best, questionable. But there's a host of other cool stuff. Like beefrank's dedications to all things Whedon; TeaPartyRevolution's Gothic Lolitas; Larripin Labs' portraits of Schrodinger*, Kaku and Feynman; ExpressionEssentials hip-ass owl; Xavier Crafts' interpretations of Arabian rugs** and Maggiemwdesign's interpretations of the same; Nrapture's Cthulhu; tinymodernist's mid-century chairs***; andwabisabi's chandeliers and kiwi fruit****; and knottyyarn's movie quotes *****.

It makes the pattern I'm working on, pictured below, seem lame.


I love it anyway.


* No word yet on when the cat-in-box companion piece will be completed.
** which blow my mind, frankly. Especially this one.
*** for the Hub: the Barcelona is here.
**** and a martini glass.
***** I had to google the last one.

not sure how it happened

 I am slowly rediscovering the top of my desk. I'm stunned, too.

I also finished the ornament that has been waiting on my desk. Here it is, in situ (or "in treetu"):


Later on, I might actually deal with Christmas cards. Again, stunned.

Kinda unrelated -- but it is because I got the above ornament  off of my desk that I found the note about this event that I'd hidden under it: For those in the Oneonta area -- The Green Toad is hosting a women-only book trivia night on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7:30. Anyone want to team up?

Right. What else can I get done? I'm giddy from all off the finishing.