Monday, February 28, 2005


Sorry for not posting, but the head and I have been at odds. I think I've narrowed it down, but it has been a rough week! Not even felt up to knitting! You KNOW it is bad then!

Had 10 in my knitting class Saturday. We had 3 generations learning! Mom and daughter from the last time, plus Grandma and another daughter! This looks as if it is going to become a long-term project, meeting every other week. 3 cast on for a sweater! Two of those had only knit (not purled) before the classes, the other hadn't done either! I'm so PROUD of them! I really wish I had been able to capture the moment when they "got" it! Their face just lit up! One of the "I'll never be able to learn" from last meeting was helping new knitters! They CAN DO IT!

Friday, February 25, 2005

I thought the headache was better at this point, but you can see that straight had nothing to do with how I was seeing! I was using a STRAIGHT-EDGE ruler too. sigh When we laugh that I can't see straight, take it literally!

I've not felt up to knitting, even garter stitch. Even now it is a bit beyond me, which is "interesting" as I teach knitting again tomorrow. Watch for pictures! I hope. We may be busy enough that I don't take any!
This is the start of the headache that kept me offline. See how I neatly made all the 7/8" inch marks the WRONG way first, and had to redo?

Monday, February 21, 2005

another view of the roof. I have to tell you, that piece over the front upstairs was the piece that just about did me in, trying to visualize. Whew! It all fit! You will notice the staircase is on the floor, waiting for someone (me) to paint it, and then put it in place. Still trying to figure out where to put the extra room that is coming, which will probably be kitchen and fiber studio. It is a bay shape, so could go on this side, or I can cut a door into the wall of the living room, and make it there. Decisions, decisions!
I had such a time trying to visualize the way the roof went together, I finally gave up and PUT it together. Now I'll mark the shake lines on each individual piece, before I take another roof piece down. Also realized, with some chagrin, that gee, I'm going to have to paint the UNDER side of all the roof parts, aren't I? sniffle
from this perspective, you can see the approximate colors of the inside. The right hand rooms are lavender and yellow, the left pale blue and pale green. May need to lighten up the upstairs a bit, the bedroom color looks pretty dark!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Satuday Whee!

Howard found my wedding ring! Actually, this is the third incarnation, as I lost the diamond to the first, the second had to be cut off my finger when I crushed the wrist. This one was a 25th anniversary gift, and a big surprise when I received it. Ask Howard or Serena for the story. I was totally dumbstruck, and forgot how to walk when he sprung it on me!

Anyway, even though I checked my jeans pockets repeatedly, I didn't find it. But, it must have fallen out of a pocket into the laundry. When the laundry was being done today, guess what surfaced, all clean and shiney new! Thank you for all your concerns! I cried when it was found. Big surprise.

We've pretty well established that Hobby Lobby is off limits for me. Too bad, as it is the only store with doll house supplies "nearby", meaning within 20 miles. But, 2 trips and 2 asthma attacks should say something.

One dollhouse bootie done, one on the toe. Actually, this is the 3rd, the second was whipping along when suddenly the yarn broke, dropping several stitches, with no way to pick them up. Die-aster! as the kids used to say before they could pronounce it correctly. So, I started again. sigh. When this pair is done, at least another 4 pairs to go. Luckily, they are going faster as I adapt to the 6-0 needles and size 80 thread. I, so far, find it easiest to work WITHOUT my glasses, with the work held close to my nose. Of course, that also means that whatever is on tv is heard but not seen. I have a choice between the glasses and tv, or no glasses and the tiny knitting. Guess which I usually choose?

Howard was a dear today and bought a student desk to permanently house the 2 ball winders and the swift. I'll get a picture of the set-up as soon as it is finalized. Both ballwinders (large and small) will be permanently attached to the top, as well as the swift. That way, they should be ready at any time to take yarn from hanks into balls. Right no the swift (or skeinwinder) is in pieces, awaiting new pieces for Howard to bolt it to the desk. That thing shouldn't be moving once it is anchored! That will prevent the suicidal walks from the edge the other swift took. Should also (I dearly hope) prevent the entanglements perpetrated upon the rayon/silk yarn from Margaret.

Friday, February 18, 2005

This is Clapotis2, growing slowly. I'm using Eileen's method of dropping the stitches when you feel like it, instead of waiting until you've reached a milestone.
well, this was 2 pieces of 11 X 17 flooring for the wood, and one for the "linoleum". Unfortunately, there isn't enough for the second floor. I have enough for one room on the second floor, leaving 3 rooms bare.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Hello. Doll house is coming along, touch-up is needed for some walls, and it will be ready to put together! Whee! I think tomorrow we will be laying the floors, and then putting it all together. Well, a lot together. Still have all those fiddly pieces to cut and paint, or more likely, paint, then cut out. Joy. But, it is actually going to start coming together. Whee!

I think we are going to have to move the dollhouse into a different room. The wall color in the dining room seems to cause the camera hives. Well, not hives, but it can't compensate. As I want to be taking progress pictures, moving is in order.

You will notice no progress pictures at all. That's cuz there hasn't been any. sigh

I also put my wedding ring in a "safe" place. So safe, I don't have a clue where it is. Hello Murphy?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Sometimes in life we celebrate life's SMALL victories. Today is one of those. Remember the yarn that was thoroughly enmeshed on the swift? I just spent 2 hours on the floor (to keep tension on the ball winder so the stuff didn't get any ideas and escape further) unwinding it. Of course, it wasn't easy. I bemoaned the Knitlister who has gone incommunicado who styled herself The Professional Yarn Detangler. I sent her a box of tangles once, she sent it back later (I paid postage for her) untangled, for the price of several skeins of yarn. WELL worth it! So, I sat down (or really, knelt) to work. Over, under, form a ball, and keep at it. Stop for occasional phone call, or mental health break.

As I untangled, I pondered. Margaret calls this yarn color "Day's End", but it can also be a metaphor of life. All the dark, stormy colors, the difficulties, the lighter colors, the clear yellow of day, with a tiny patch of blue, and you are in the darkness again. But you always return to the light. It is always there. And that gives me hope.

Of course, I also thought about the correspondence I had with someone regarding ball winders. I wrote to ask if the yarn could get caught under the shaft. The person wrote back that it should never happen, no matter the ball winder, because one should pay attention as one is winding. Which stopped me cold. It seemed such an
"interesting" response, allowing no other way to do things. I am WELL known for getting the yarn tangled in the gears. It was wonderful when Nathan was home, he either enjoyed doing it, or hated listen to me gripe about it. I don't know. Did notice that his dog absolutely hated the ball winder when I brought it up there, he whined the whole time it turned. Wonder if Nathan trained him to do that? I digress. For a while, Howard wound the yarn into balls, because he said it was easier than untangling it from the gears of my old ball winder. Well, I bought the big version, that will hold so much more. And you know what? I STILL can get the yarn underneath, but this version is easier to untangle. I guess I'm ahead.

We once again have a kitchen sink. It wasn't my fault after all. No green scrubby in any of the damage. But he found 15 inches of a clogged 3" pipe from the dreck of the years. And it had then caused the floor drain to clog "completely" according to the nice man who had to spend 4 hours at my house today.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Clapotis 2 -- Margaret's Days end on size 2 needles. I think others could go up in size, but I am a loose knitter. I was concerned about color pooling, but I think it is going to be gorgeous!

Saturday, February 12, 2005


I've gotten a couple of questions from friends, asking for definitions of terms I used. So, I thought I'd try to explain a bit.

A swift is used to hold the skein of yarn (when it doesn't come wound in a ball or on a cone) that replaces having a victim hold the yarn on both forearms while you wind it onto a ball. This site shows a variety of swifts. My original one was an Ashford, which had a distressing tendency of wiggling free of the clamps holding it down, and throwing itself off its perch. Over time, it developed several identifying marks -- the black electrical tape holding metal splints, reinforcing places where ribs had broken in the suicidal leaps. I recently purchased the one pictured on my blog, with yarn on it. The pegs have now been replaced, but I haven't had the courage to untangle the yarn currently on it.

Lind is a simple zippered jacket that I really like. Enough that I have made 1 and a half. Even if I did frog (rip out) the half. I'll be making it again.

My first Lind pilled. Badly. I was very frustrated, because it looked sad. Old, tired, and worn out. I threw it in the washing machine and then the dryer, shrinking it somewhat. Not seriously, enough to control the pills. And shrink it enough that I no longer have to roll the sleeve cuffs. In the fiber world that is called fulling. Other people call it felting. Or shrinking.


We had FUN! The class started off with 1 high school girl, one elementary school girl and her mother, a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law, the 4-H person. After lunch, another high school girl joined us. It has been decided that this group is coming back in 2 weeks, with the other group, and will progress. Almost everyone wants to start a sweater for themselves -- after knitting one day! I'm so proud of them! Our youngest is going to knit a purse, she thinks, the thought of a sweater is overwhelming.

This was a group which showed that all ages can come together and learn. And laugh. There was a LOT of laughter today.

My thought had been that I'd teach everyone to knit continental (yarn in the left hand.) Not a chance. There are going to be 2 that do that, the others hold the yarn in various ways in the right hand. They each knit until they were comfortable, then switched to purling. When that came easily, they started stockinette. All in the course of one day. I'm so proud!

I had a difficult time estimating the yarn to be needed, when the packaging doesn't give a CLUE about yardage. Sheesh! I'm going to have to find the manufacturers and complain for those 2 brands!

I'll try to post later with dollhouse pictures, but I'm going to go sit down for a while and REST!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Friday Thoughts

Okay, it is Friday. I'm teaching a knitting class tomorrow. I have some things prepared, and it should be fun.

Today's project was painting the exterior of the dollhouse. Would have painted the interior too, but I forgot to mark which pieces go to which room. So the color coordination was gone. Of course, I had this sudden terrible realization that while I'm covering the floors, I'll still have to paint the ceilings.

The loom is sold! Someone from Prior Lake MN is buying it. Whew! I'm looking forward to it finding a new home where it can be used and appreciated.

Well, as we can see here, the camera does NOT like the color of the dining room. Neither me, the vest, or anything else is quite so blue (this is after playing with the picture to make it better!) This is part of the dollhouse, getting its first coat.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The moment of truth

Well, my Lind 2 hit the frog pond today. Big time. It just didn't look right. With the body done, it sat on the couch for a week. And shouted that it was wrong wrong wrong. I finally listened today. sigh

Dollhouse paints were purchased today, as well as some lights for said house, and a staircase. A staircase actually came with the house originally, but we were not able to get it to work, no matter what we did. On top of which, can you imagnine how unsafe it would be, to have a staircase without a handrail? sigh I have this frightening tendency to treat this house as if the problems were full sized. We also picked up some wood flooring for at least the living room and linoleum for the kitchen/hall/wherever. I'd have bought more, but the store seemed to stock mainly baby pink and baby blue flooring. Blech. The people in my house don't have that kind of taste.

Anyone know where you can get a floor loom for a dollhouse? I was thinking that, as I can't have a fullsized loom any more, that perhaps my dollhouse should. Don't you think that would be appropriate? I also want other fiber stuff, as there is a part of me that would prefer to make the large upper room into a fiber room, the people can sleep in the smaller room! LOL

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I spell relief -- REFRIGERATOR! LOL As in, there is a new one in the kitchen, icemaker is working -- makes the same noise as the old one when the ice is dumping, but I suspect we won't have to pick out the ice with the bits of tube lining in them any more!

LOTS of room inside, right now, emptying the poor cooler into it, looks as if there is more refrigerator than could ever be filled! I'm sure we'll manage it. After no refrigerator since Friday evening, I'm so relieved! We picked one out, and less than 3 hours later it was delivered! WHEEE!

Talked with my cousin Larry today -- somehow he didn't get any of the e-mails thanking him for that glorious yarn. Sigh. We had a good chat.

"Borrowed" Howard's cashmere sweater today. He hasn't worn it all winter. I was cold, and downstairs. Remembered it, and put it on. Bliss. Light enough that it doesn't feel as if it is on -- but warm!

Classes cancelled again at Hancock, no one signed up. whimper. We are going to try again, this time asking people to sign if interested, and what times would be good.

Tomorrow we're going to buy some paints for the dollhouse. Hopefully I can do it myself. Otherwise, we'll wait for Howard to have the time.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

subtitled -- when yarn escapes captivity. Don't try this at home.
my nightmare! Do NOT do a slippery yarn from the center pull! Do it from the OUTSIDE. Because of the problems with the swift, it has picked up loops from elsewhere.

I'm trying to salvage this -- wound part of it onto the Fricke, then the tangle became too much, so I started on the other as well. HOPEFULLY, it will work out that I can then wind from the little one on to the big.

Sunday morning

I'm ruining my rhythm today, posting in the morning!

I have a new swift. Last night, I was trying to wind my lovely hand-dyed rayon/silk from Margaret There were some rude mutterings about the fact that Margaret's luscious yarns and I do not always communicate. I mean, I put them on the swift, and try to wind them into a ball. They, lovely, slippery, darlings that they are, would prefer to slide, and shimmy and do other things. I finally realized, saving more nasty thoughts Margaret's way, that it isn't HER fault. It is the swift. The posts to hold the yarn are too short, which means strands keep (in their lovely, silky way) popping over the top of the post, and convening a meeting with surrounding strands. Okay, we can deal. I'm threatening to change the 2 inch posts to 12 inches (!) and then gradually cut them down to optimal. This is ridiculous.

But I digress. I had started this rather late at night (I have been honest about my desire to start this, it finally grew to insurmountable levels.) Howard was going to come upstairs to bed soon, so I knew that if the frustration level grew, as it has with this swift, that I would stop.

When he came upstairs, I commented that I was glad he did, as I was frustrated with the project. The man, who has lived with me for 31+ years (so you would THINK he would have learned better by now) said, "You know, some day you are going to have to learn to stop on your own, you can't use me as an excuse to stop."

sigh. communication -- who EVER said we could understand the other sex?

Rain right now. Almost all of the snow has melted, after the last few gorgeous days. Then 2-3 hours of freezing rain this afternoon, followed by 2 inches of snow? I think staying home sounds like an excellent idea today, what about you?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Murphy is ahead on points!

A couple of weeks ago, the repairman from the appliance place came by, because a pump had gone out on the dishwasher. As he fixed it, he listened to the refrigerator as it growled and shrieked. Turns out the compressor was going. He told us to watch it. The thought was the poor thing would run more and more. We bought a new refrigerator thermometer, because the old one registed 40+ degrees in the upright freezer, I really didn't think it was a reliable gauge any more. This afternoon I noticed that it was warming up in there. After dinner tonight, we emptied the refrigerator, and filled a large icechest with the perishables that can't go in the freezer. I wonder if we will wait until after the trustees meet Monday, or if something will be done sooner. Luckily, the temps are supposed to drop tomorrow, so we can put stuff out on the back porch to stay cool too.

I've started knitting on 6-0 needles. eek. Right now, 2 rows of 35 stitches seems to be my limit. Then I put it down, and wonder where my sanity disappeared. again. Starting off with a dollhouse rug. I think. We'll see how it looks when complete. The dollhouse isn't together, isn't painted, and I'm doing what?

Had a returning knitter come by today to pick up the rudiments. She didn't remember how to knit, but within 2 stitches she had remembered and was working away at a scarf with a stockinette center and garter edges. Much fun!
Straight on view, almost, you can see better where the staircase is supposed to go. What do you think about doing a floor back there, and a door to step out on the porch roof? Do something so people can't fall off. Otherwise, I know children will climb out the window, as my sister and I did when we lived in Missouri, to sit on the porch roof and look at the world from a different angle
Front of the dollhouse. The plans have the stairs coming down from the arched entrance at the front of the porch, I have to admit to a worry that someone will fall off the edge of the porch! There isn't a railing on that side -- we'll have to contrive something
This is the dollhouse home. This is a tv stand, there is a turntable under the plywood that holds up to 500 pounds (surely it won't!) This, as you can tell is the BACK of the dollhouse, the plywood turns completely as desired.
Silk I just ordered -- 16,200 yards per pound, and I order 2.5 pounds? I'm NUTS, I tell you, NUTS!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Doll house fun

okay, I'm still having a difficult time over doll house colors. I chose the colors for our HOME faster! sigh I know I want the deep blue from Serena's room as exterior trim. I really think that for the whole house, it would be overwhelming. So, I guess I need to go to the paint store, look at the information they have on file for our house (aren't computer records great!) and then look at the paint swatches. I want to use the upstairs bathroom color in at least the kitchen of the house.

You see, part of the problem is I don't KNOW what this house is going to be? Already I'm pretty sure it isn't going to be strictly period. I think more of a reflection on a family that has lived there a long time. So you have older pieces, and then newer ones, rubbing along side by side. It needs to reflect the current occupants, but acknowledge those that have lived there before. Does that make sense? So, when I think of doing it as a Victorian, my mind blanks out. I brought this BIG pile of books home from the library today, to try to see what style I wanted. The end decision was no decision. sigh I wanted a bit of this, and a bit of that... pot luck?

Then, I had this perhaps hare-brained idea. The 40/2 linen Dianne gifted me with... what would happen if I knit dollhouse curtains or rugs from it? 4 ounces of any color should be more than enough to do anything, i would think! The question will be whether it works in scale. So, that is also on my "to-do" list. Don't you think a Clapotis in miniature size would be fun? Make it wider, and you have an afghan!

By the way, I have my revenge on the pilling Lind. (evil gloating, washing my hands together) -- I fulled it! The sleeves are no longer 2 inches too long, and the body is at my waist, but it isn't pilling! Thanks to Dianne who fulled her sample and has carried it around for several days without a pill. grrrr.. Next stop, knit it up again, allowing for the fulling? Would be a LOT easier to knit yardage on the machine, and full it. Wonder if it will work on mine? Probably not, but worth a try. At least it saves a disastrous project, and makes it possible. Second Lind hasn't moved in several days.

And the lovely yarn from Margaret is still calling to me, begging me to wind it, so I can do another clapotis. I admit it, my name is Mary, and I'm a fiberholic.

The auctions on e-bay continue, although we are noticing the prices listed for mailing, as generated by the post office, have absolutely NOTHING to do with the price we pay AT the post office. Inflation must have hit big time.

Having trouble sleeping tonight -- Howard asked if I was going to visit the computer -- my drug of choice. guilty, your honor. Cheaper than other addictions!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Random thoughts today, sorry!

Making Pain du Campagne (sp) and the stuff exited the mixing bowl more cautiously than a toddler leaving its mother! It is rising on the first rise, hopefully it will do better this time. Almost time to check. I put levain in the refrigerator for starter, since the taste improves over time that way.

Laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. How can 2 people generate so much?

Trouble sleeping last night, among other things in the waking time, I wondered about rearranging our bedroom with the bed in front of the windows. We don't open them anyway, would open the room out more.

I have found the best way for the telephone to ring is to be on the elliptical exercise machine. Just about a guarantee -- how do people know?

I THINK I've finally settled on the dollhouse exterior, I'm going to buy the white Magic Brik, and tint it yellow, for yellow bricks. We'll see how that holds up over the next few days.

Need to finish some projects so I feel free to start more!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

February 1st

personal grumble alert! I hate ad days on e-mail lists. It seems a good deal of the posts that day are just that. And I'm trying REALLY hard to be good.

Lind 2 needs to be steeked (3 steeks) 2 sleeves, and a collar to be done. It has sat all day. I picked up the stitches for Caroline's Sleeves in Your Pi instead, because I didn't want to do the steeks. That's all right, the Pi is in a cashmere blend -- yum! I want to get it back to her, to see how she finishes it!

I forgot to mention the most scrumptious yarn that came in from Margaret at Heritage Yarns scroll down to the first yarns I have Day's End, a celebration of evening colors. It wants to be a shawl or another Sleeves in Your Pi (for me!) We'll see. I was SO CLOSE to winding it into a ball today, but was able to discipline myself not to do so. Barely. It is sitting in front of me as I type, tantalizing me. I must have willpower. Of course, the yarn from Periwinkle Sheep (yesterday's birthday yarn) and the yarn from Larry (Uruguay) is also calling ITS siren call. What's a knitter to do? Here is the Day's End -- you will notice it "happened" to come open this far. It is now on the swift, but I didn't wind it in a ball. Yet. By the way, this might make a really neat Clapotis too. Summerweight, for when the air conditioning is too much...

Listed the loom today on weavers-sale-ads group. I'd like to see it in a place where it can be loved and used. I suppose the inkle loom should follow, but I haven't done that yet.

Yesterday (a busy day, I'll admit) I also made a down payment on some of these
Alvin Ramer Super Mini Combs (bottom of the page) in cherry or walnut. I told Janet Lynn that either would be fine. Janet is a super enabler...Thank you Janet.

Would someone PLEASE explain WHY alarm clocks have a LARGE snooze button and a SMALL off? Guess how I found that one out. Howard's alarm. snivel