Knitting, Botany, Mycology, Nature, Adventure, and Life... in no particular order.

21st May 2013


The Final Countdown

dodo doo do

do do do do

We are into single digit days till I marry my fella and start calling him my hubby. So low in the single digits that we are almost at the prime number run. I think this explains why perhaps I have been so quiet.

Other than that things are pretty good and normal. To alleviate planning stresses I picked up some amazing yarn dyed by the lovely Jill Daper. Splendor Sock Yarn (Superwash Merino, Cashmere & Nylon) in the North Atlantic colorway. I have plenty of yarn for knitting, even for sock knitting. But I turned to the fella while out at my favorite LYS and explained that I needed simple stress relief knitting. That I needed to be able to just knit, whenever and wherever, despite whatever was going on around me. And, that I needed to be able to do this NOW without pulling out the swift and ball winder (which involves clearing surfaces to put the swift on). He agreed immediately, wholeheartedly, and encouraged me to pick whatever yarn would be the most stress relieving to knit with.

How could I not want to marry that man.

That was April 7th. I now have 1 sock done (after tearing back from above the ankle to before the heel) and am mostly done with the heel of the second sock. EMERGENCY STRESS RELIEF SOCKS ARE SAVING MY SANITY! (And if they are done before the wedding I am bringing them, just in case.


I have also been working on something to have knitted for the wedding. I figure it should be small, so as not to make me crazier than I already am. I also like to think of it as lucky… Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Knitted, Something Blue, and a Silver Thruppence in Your Shoe. (Note: I only added 1 phrase there. I don’t think I’ll get a three pence, but  considered it.)

For my something knitted I decided that making a wrap to go around the bouquet was an excellent idea. It is small and I get to hold it. I picked up some Manos Silky Wool also at my favorite LYS. (If you haven’t been to Gather Here yet you really need to go.) I picked up the Natural and then swatched a bunch. The end result is now blocking and waiting for me to sew on hooks.

Blocking Bouquet Wrap

I used the Shifting Sands pattern by Grumperina and it turned out just how I wanted. Texture and cables without seeming celtic or too cabley. Now I have to decide if I want to find a way to attach my Grandmother’s wedding ring to the piece, perhaps with a clasp so I can put it on that morning, or wether to just wear the ring. My Grandma taught me to knit when I was pretty wee, maybe 4 or 5, so having the ring be with the knitting seems right. I don’t want to hand that off to the florist though. So, we’ll see. No matter what she’ll be with me, as will all the matriarchs from the other side of the family. I’ve got something from them that will either be my old or borrowed and totally floored me. You’ll have to wait to see what it is.

I’ll try to be back soon, maybe even with some wedding pictures.

(reference for those who wonder what all the do do’s are at the top)

Tags knittinglifelovefellawedding


13th March 2013




So I’m knitting matching hats for the fiancé and me. Both are Habitat by Jared Flood. Both are knit in Swans Island worsted with natural dyes. Mine is in Vintage Lilac and is cruising along. His is in charcoal and the progress is slow. Why? Crocking.

Turns out with indigo (a pigment and not a dye) you can get something called crocking when you knit with the yarn. (Same thing if you wear dark jeans and the color runs off on things.) In this situation it rubs off on the needles and my hands. A lot.

So this is after maybe 4-5 rounds of knitting, which is not a lot of knitting and a lot of crocking. While I love natural dyes and Swans Island I think that I’ll avoid indigo in the future. What a crock…

Tags knittingcrockingswans island


11th February 2013


To Read or Not to Read

I have a book out of the library and I can’t decide if I want to finish reading it.

The book is Girlchild: A Novel by Tupelo Hassman. I saw it at the library and it looked interesting and the plot summary sounded interesting. I took it home. I started it.

It was a bit shocking and not what I expected. It is excellent. It is raw. It is heartbreaking. I am only 73 pages in.

It is not fun, light, or at this point a feel good story. That is ok. I even like this sort of thing sometimes. I am not sure if now is the time.

Normally I finish novels (non-fiction I often start off strong with and then peter out). Even if they are not what I expected I finish them. (I do not finish them if I dislike them. Fuck you Wuthering Heights.) This book I do not dislike. I might even like it; however I feel like I might not be emotionally prepared to handle it right now.

I have been using books as a way to escape, kill time, relax, destress, etc. I have not been using them for rigid intellectual stimulation. I have not been reading anything that is hard to read due to content. The questions is, should I?

I know there is no should. It is whatever I want. I just feel uncomfortable that this story makes me uncomfortable and squamish and feel bad. That I want to just have places to escape to and this is not that place and the character need a place to escape to as well.

So, yeah. I don’t know.


10th February 2013



Deco Update!

I am on row 14 of my 3rd repeat of chart 2. Once this row is done I will have 120 rows left before binding off.

The yarn is lovely and squishy (classic elite silky alpaca lace) and the addi turbo lace make knitting easy.

Chart is straightforward thus far though sometimes the way the pattern progresses is unintuitive. So far the result is lovely!

Back to it!

Tags knittinglacedecoshawl


8th February 2013



So I’ve been quiet but happy. Here’s some new exciting things in my life. A new engagement ring we picked out. Every time I look at it I think about how much my fella loves me and how much I love him. (Hint: a LOT!)

While slowly adjusting to my new life as a fancy lady (in jeans and a hoodie) we are also attempting to plan this wedding thing. So far we have a date for immediate family. Until we have more set I can’t say more.

I swear I’ll blog about knitting soon!!

Tags engagementlovelifeshiny


22nd January 2013



DSCF2114 by Jacob Barss-Bailey on Flickr.

I hung out with a bunch of nerds over the weekend. We tried to solve puzzles. I love these guys! #GrandUnifiedTheoryofLove

Tags mitmysteryhunt2013mysteryhuntGUToL


1st January 2013


Rhinebeck 2011

As promised, some pictures. Very late.

Encountered some enthusiasts pregaming in the parking area. With tea. In china teacups. (I must do this sometime! The collapsible tables are excellent!)

I can’t remember who did this shawl, but it was there in 2012 too and it just knocks me out.

Acting like a real grownup I ate apple crisp for lunch (or earlier) and avoided the lines.

The Ravelry meetup was well attended

The animals were cute and silly!

The artichokes french were the best things I have ever eaten. (And if you wait till late afternoon the line is fine. Just don’t wait too long or they might run out!)

I competed in chopstick speed knitting (poorly)!

And I walked away with very reasonable goodies. (No yarn at all, but just what I was looking for!)

Thanks for being so patient. I’ll try and catch up and be better this year!

Tags Rhinebeck2011NY sheep & wool


31st December 2012


And so it ends

Well, the countdown on 2012 is here and we can all gear up for 2013.

I haven’t managed to get better at blogging regularly. I haven’t figured out what planning a wedding means. I certainly haven’t managed to keep my hope spotless, free of laundry, and with a tidy office/knitting room. Also, still no monogamous knitting or only stash knitting.

I am working on giving myself a break. Apparently I have Puritanical grief. I am looking forward to figuring out how to plan a wedding. I am glad friends have new jobs they love, even if they are farther away. I am looking forward to more runs and exercise as my leg improves.

I think 2013 is going to bring us good things. Not necessarily more blogging, but good things. I am going to ring it in with my fella, some friends, good cheese, boardgames, and a variety of single malt scotch.

Happy New Year to you!

Tags looking backnew yearhope


10th November 2012



Deco At Last

I finally stumbled upon the perfect deco shawl pattern on Ravelry that I also think is a reasonable size project to tackle. It is not a wedding shawl since I think one should have a better idea of what they are doing for their wedding before picking a shawl to knit. It will be perfect for dressing up and drinking cocktails and dancing. Guess I should learn how to dance better!

Pattern: Glenallen Shawl by Design By Dee

Tags knittingplanning


29th October 2012


Here Comes Sandy

Well I hope all of those along the Eastern Seaboard are well battened down. Here in MA they have closed almost everything! (Even major Universities that are known to never close have closed for the day.) It is likely some of the farther out suburbs and also people along the coast are in for some trouble, but nothing like what NJ, Virginia, DC, and the NYC area are about to get. They are the ones I am worried about.

Anyways, here that means that perhaps I will actually write a Rhinebeck roundup post, because man was it super fun.

In the meantime I better shower and then fill the tub. I assume everyone learned from their parents to fill the tub if a big storm is expected. (Drinking water is not tub water though, however if you loose power for a while the ability to have water to flush a toilet can be pretty excellent.)

Stay safe!

Tags Sandystormlife


20th October 2012


Mobile Testing

I am testing to see how blogging from my fancy-schmancy mobile device works. Tomorrow is Rhinebeck and I am hoping to post pictures here sine I never did last year.

Also, I need to figure out a better way to do posts with pictures since Flickr isn’t keen on imbedding theirs.

Next up: YARNVENTURE! (I really need to not purchase a spinning wheel, a cuddly animal, or a whole fleece.)

Tags bloggingyarnRhinebeckadventure


11th August 2012


A slight disparity

I am cranking away on Color Affection and will show you soon. I have about 35 hours before the games are over and I have to be done and I have to do things that are not knitting between now and then!

So, my disparity is with my wonky leg, which is actually getting much better and less wonky. It a strange tale of my puzzling and surprising doctors, but that is not what I am here to tell you now.

So, my healthy leg has a circumference of 39cm (or about 15.35 inches). I can just squeeze this into most knee high boots. Lovely. However my wonky leg is now a whopping 43cm (16.91) at its largest point which always refuses to fit into the matching member of any pair of knee high boots I find.

Fall is coming. (Winter too but I won’t give you the satisfaction of using the phrase directly.) I could really use some black boots (probably without or with very low heels) for work/dressing up.

Who knows where to get boots for legs not shaped like toothpicks?!

Tags legshoesknitting


15th July 2012


Ravellenic Games Approach

So this year’s Summer 2012 Ravelympic Ravellenic Games are quickly approaching! The opening ceremonies start at 7:30 pm in London (that’s London time) and that is when anyone crazy enough can “compete” in knitting/crochet/spinning events from their homes (or a pub or wherever) while watching the games.

I love the Olympics more than any other sporting event, though I cannot chose which 1 event is my favorite (or even which season). The best of the best in the whole world (well, of the allowed countries) coming together to compete in pure athletic ability. Want to see amazing human ability, watch the 100m or 200m sprints. It is almost inconceivable how fast those people run. My jaw hangs slack the whole time.

So, in the spirit of the games, I chose to participate in knitting events to challenge myself while watching those who define the levels of human ability and self challenge. I hope to watch the games this summer with friends, colleagues, knitting strangers, at home, in pubs and public places, and even streaming during lunch breaks.

So, how will I compete while cheering on the best of the best? That is an excellent question!

1. I will knit a pair of simple socks in one of my most coveted yarns. Toe up, and hopefully matching!

2. I will knit a shawl. (here comes the hard part.)

For the shawl I will either knit a lace half-circle shawl called Vostok in Classic Elite Silly Alpaca Lace (silver) that I am considering as a wedding shawl (no, I have no actual wedding details yet). (Photo from pattern page and from Webs page. Seems to be from flickr and copyright of user DisgruntledOwl. It is an amazing photo and certainly not mine.)

Or I will knit the currently super popular shawl Color Affection (that has been dubbed the Color Affliction by the Yarn Harlot) (This photo from pattern and copyright veera. It is being used from the blog 100% Rain where you can also buy the pattern.)

So, the question becomes, which one to knit?! I think the lace would be a huge challenge but lots of fun. It would be hard to do while in transit or while actually watching tv. (Socks would be fine in these situations.) The striped shawl is beautiful, looks like fun, and seems like it would actually be quite useful as the temperature drops. It also seems like something I could finish in the allotted time along with a pair of socks. (Note: allotted time: 16 days (really 16.5 or so) during which I have work and other commitments. Yes, I do plan on taking some vacation days in there for Olympics/Knitting/Relaxing.)

It has been mentioned by me and my betrothed that perhaps rushing through a lace project of that complexity that I hope to use for a wedding might be stressful. I also feel very excited by the garter stitch stripes. Very excited.


Tags knittingknitting olympicsRavelryRavellenic Gamesshawlengagement


30th May 2012


10 Years and a change in direction

As I just mentioned, my fella and I were celebrating our 10 year anniversary on Friday. I may have also mentioned he stepped up his game.

Well, it turns out I wasn’t wrong about that. We had a lovely breakfast, packed a lunch and headed off to Naonet Woodlands. It’s a lovely site with pretty easy trails, nice woodlands, a fun old mill site and a view of Boston from the peak. (When it’s not too cloudy.)

After our lovely sweaty hike (90% humidity I think) we had time to relax and clean ourselves up for a fancy dinner. He put on a shirt and the Space Invaders tie I got him. I put on a new fancy dress and accouterments. Then we had a little moment on the porch.

There was shaking, and nervous babble, declarations of love and not wanting to be without the other, a brief recount of Cracker Jack ring history and in the end a very important question was asked. “Will you marry me?” The “Yes” came immediately and without hesitation or need to consider. We then embraced and happily hyperventilated.

Fortunately we had anniversary dinner plans so I quick called my folks and then we were out the door for our fancy dressed up dinner and to let it all sink in and be stupid happy and in love.

I figure at some point my brain will stop exploding. Some time after that he and I will start looking into that think that has to happen in order for us to be called wife and husband. Not yet though.

This is on top of the peak. This is just how happy we are when we do fun things together normally. I bet our eyes were glowing or something crazy that night once we were ENGAGED!

Tags loveanniversaryengagementAdventure


25th May 2012


10 Years!!!

NOTE: I am not dead! Woo! (I did think my blog is dead because my firefox won’t connect to the server. Soon, more regularly scheduled blogging!)

Today (the 25th of May) my fella and I have been together for 10 years. It is amazing and wonderful and terrifying just so so joyous.

Have all the years been easy? Nope. Have there been rough patches and arguments and tears? Yup. Did we manage to survive living in 2 different places for 5 whole years? Yup. (Still amazed on that one sometimes. It was HARD.) Are we still in love? Yup. Can he still make my heart flutter with a kiss? Yup. Is he my best friend (which comes with the good the bad and the ugly)? Totally. Do we know eachother so well that sometimes we know when the other person was thinking about saying something so the other says “What did you say?” and think they heard something? Yup. (Which we know is crazy.) Is it totally easy and effort free to love someone? Nope. Am I super glad I put in the effort? Hell Yes!

It really has been an incredible 10 years and I’m not sure I would have wanted it to go any other way. My fella’s totally awesome after all.

For now I might go hyperventillate in the corner (Holey shit 10 years is a long time. Also, I think this means we’re getting old.) by my flowers.

He’s really stepping up his flowers game. I tell him I would even like weeds from the roadside so long as it’s not grass! Totally stepping up his game.

Tags lovefellaanniversaryflowers


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