Ok, so I was supposed to study tonight. But how could I do that when this was waiting for me when I came home?


First, a little background. Several months ago a friend brought some knitting books that she wanted to sell to our knitting group. One of them was a book I had seen offered on Ebay for over $100. She was asking $2.00!! I pulled the book out and told her that she couldn’t sell it for that much – she should put it on Ebay. She said that she didn’t know how to do it, so I offered to sell it for her. Well – the book sold for $268.00!! We were both stunned. She was away on vacation when it sold, so I sent her a check. When she returned, she gave me an envelope and told me it was my finder’s fee. I was surprised to find out that she had split the windfall with me. I protested, but she insisted, saying that she would have sold it for $2.00. So, I decided to have a shopping spree with KnitPicks. Here is my loot:


I got the yarn for the Snowman Vest (for me), a 16″ circular needle, the books Knit Fix, Aran Sweater Design and
Cables Untangled and the entire set of KIP bags.
It was such fun to go through the catalog and order some things that I’d really been wanting.

My verdict on the haul? The vest will have to wait until next year sometime, so no real opinion on the yarn yet. Janet Szabo’s book? Divine!! It’s a wonderful tutorial on designing your own Aran sweater top down, bottom up, seamless or not, set in sleeve, drop sleeve, raglan sleeve – well, you name it. And if you don’t want to design there are some stunning ready made patterns. The Cables Uncrossed book is also nice. There are several nice sweaters, several afghans and accessories. It’s not quite as good as Janet’s book, but still worth the price if you love cables. The Knit Fix book? I was very disappointed. In fact, I will return it if they take books back. Don’t waste your money. It’s way too basic. Even for beginners I think there are better options. I didn’t find a single piece of useful information in the book.

The bags? I think I’m really going to like them. I probably have a dozen tote bags, but these are a little more stylish. There’s a little notions bag that I can transfer between them and even a purse that snaps on. I think these will be great for traveling! The price was right too as long as they hold up ok.

And I leave you with this adorable picture. Remember the little blue sweater set I made for my great newphew? Here is Drew modeling it – pretty cute, huh?


Grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and settle in, because I have a lot to catch up on in this post. You’ll probably be happy to hear that for the most part, it does not include school. I’m at the point at which it is sheer drudgery and you really don’t want to hear about it. However, all is well in that area and I do find myself a little ahead of the game, so there is definitely a lessening of stress. Did you ever hear about Missourians being stubborn (we prefer the term tenacious)? Believe me, at this point it’s a positive trait!

Lots of photos to follow. All of this has not been accomplished in the last week. But after studying all night, when I have an hour to steal, I have to choose between knitting and blogging. And you know which one wins out. So here goes:

First up – the Great American Afghan. Two more squares accomplished. The first looks a little plain jane:


But the interesting technique in this is the reversible cables. I won’t bore you with pictures – they look the same on the back. It is an interesting technique, but one that I don’t think has much application in the real world. They are bulky and not appropriate for a sweater (who’d ever see the back?). And they’re much too fiddly to try to do for a whole scarf or afghan. But interesting nevertheless.

The next was designed as a replication of a ceiling tile:


I love this square – so delicate and feminine. It was knit from the outside in and seemed to go very quickly. At the end you have a flurry of bobbles, with the last bobble accomplished by pulling the yarn through all the stitches to cinch up the center, then pulling the yarn tail through and knitting a bobble right in the center to finish off. Ingenious! Alas, these are probably the last two I will finish before Christmas. I have gift knitting to finish and some CIC projects that also need time invested.

Here is the progress on the little red heart gansey:


Front and back done, shoulders three needle bound off, neckline done and one sleeve started. In picking up the stitches for the sleeve, however, I found out that I made a bonehead mistake. For some unknown reason, when I put the underarm gussets on a holder when separating the front and back, I added three stitches from the back on one side. I have no idea what I was thinking (or not thinking). It wasn’t discovered until picking up the stitches for the sleeve and at that point, the neckline was finished and all ends woven in – so I ain’t goin’ back! I just comfort myself that it will make no difference in keeping a little body warm, and, as my mother is always fond of saying, “It won’t be noticed from a galloping horse.” To see an adorable finished version of this same sweater, head on over to Marguerite’s blog. And just to be on the safe side, I’m grateful that I have a Ferocious Yarn Protector for the rest of the yarn:


While Kirby can be counted on not to chew up things, apparently the same cannot be said for Hester. I often comment about what a good dog she is. Just to let you know that she is no Goody Two Shoes (or wouldn’t be even if she wore shoes) – here is the damage she inflicted on one of my knitting bags during our weekend getaway:


Do you think she was bored – or lonesome? Thank goodness the yarn and projects escaped unscathed. All of the finished pieces to Izzy’s Christmas project were in this bag!!! And the damage is confined to the handles, so I can just take them off and use some webbing to replace them. We’ve tried getting chew toys for Hester to work on when she’s bored, but anything we get is chewed up in about 5 minutes. The only time she has done damage in the past was at night, but we put her in her crate and that solves the problem. Any suggestions for when we go away and leave her alone for a weekend? We have our son come in and feed and play with them a little and they have access to a small yard via the doggy door. But apparently that was not enough for her. This is the first time she’s ever done this while we were away.

Well, there’s still more to talk about. New knitting needles, a new book, but I think I’ll save it for another post. Otherwise I may not have anything new to blog about for a month. So – back to studying!

Did anyone read the comments on my last post? Hubby really does read my blog! And he reminded me that it has been 34 years, not 32. Apparently I can do complicated statistical computations, but simple math eludes me.

The weekend started out on Friday the 13th. Appropriately enough, I started off by taking my statistics exam. It was hard, but I think I did ok. At least I could face the weekend knowing it was over. So we packed up and headed off for our weekend getaway – only to be greeted by the notice, “All ferries cancelled due to fog.” Oh the joys of living on an island. We decided to wait it out. Driving off the north end of the island and going around would have taken us 6 hours. So instead, we waited for 3 hours for the ferries to start running again. Thankfully we came prepared with hot coffee, snacks, books and knitting. Waiting in line, I finished these:


Just in time for fall! The yarn is On Line Supersocke 100 that I bought at Weaving Works during my yarn crawl with Lorette and Kris. Once over on the Olympic peninsula, we decided to head on up to Hurricane Ridge. Bad weather was predicted and we wanted to get up there while we still had some sunshine. We were rewarded with a spectacular view:


As predicted, crummy weather moved in by Saturday. It was gloomy and overcast. After exploring downtown, we decided to head on up to some falls nearby and then to a yarn shop in Sequim. We got to the falls and found a sign informing us that the falls were a 45 minute uphill hike. My husband turned to me and said, “I’d rather go to the yarn shop!” Well, it didn’t take much convincing for me. A wet, soggy uphill hike or a warm, cozy yarn shop. So off we headed to “A Mingled Yarn” only to be greeted by this sign (by this time I’m getting tired of signs!) – “Last Day. Going Out of Business” Well, rats! Everything was 50% off, but it was pretty slim pickings. However, I did score a book (Miss Bea’s Rainy Day – a Rowan book of children’s sweaters), the Fiber Trends Peace Shawl pattern, 10 skeins of Encore DK for a sweater for Izzy and 10 skeins of Cascade 220 in a bright kelly green for CIC sweaters.

All told, it was a nice relaxing weekend, but it certainly didn’t turn out as we expected. But we enjoyed celebrating 34 (that’s right, isn’t it?) years together and look forward to 34 more! And I did get in some nice knitting time, – besides finishing the socks, I turned out this:


One-half of a pair of fingerless mitts for me. This is Knit Picks Merino sock yarn. My office can get chilly in the mornings during winter and these will help keep me toasty warm. Tomorrow it’s back to the grind at work and more statistics!

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I definitely have Knitter’s ADD. I have absolutely no problem frogging something when either boredom hits or the project just doesn’t seem right. The latest victim – the Jamieson and Smith afghan. I do love this pattern, but it just doesn’t suit the yarn. It needs something in color – soft and heathery and all wool. The wool/acrylic Encore in off white just wasn’t hacking it. In addition, I had originally thought I needed this for my “mindless knitting” project, but that wasn’t working either. It was so mindless that the thought of 5 1/2 more feet of it was enough to enduce catatonia. Not that I won’t want to do it later, but definitely not in off white! So. rethinking things, I returned to the pattern that I originally bought the yarn for – The Great American Aran Afghan. Now, this is definitely not mindless knitting, but because it’s done in squares, there’s always a little “finishing high” coming really soon. I need that right now. The first square:


Yes, that’s the ticket – amost immediate gratification. This was my reward for not squirting blood out of my eyeballs this week. (See previous post if that one throws you for a loop!).

On the school front, I took my psychology midterm this morning. It was pretty hard, but I think I did ok. And, it means the class is half over. The statistics midterm will come next week, and I will really celebrate the halfway mark on that one.

Not much else to tell – my life has pretty much consisted of studying, studying and more studying this week, with a little work thrown in there. Next weekend hubby and I are going to get away for the weekend to celebrate our 32nd anniversary! We’ve lived here for 26 years and have never been over to Hurricane Ridge, so we’re going there. There are supposed to be gorgeous views (weather permitting), so maybe I’ll have some great pictures for you next week.

We’re back from a quick (and safe) trip over the mountains to Eastern Washington. I took the camera, but we were so busy, we took very few pictures! We did stop in the great city of Washtucna:


The name of this little town has always intrigued me, so we took a little side trip off the highway to explore. That’s about it folks! No town to speak of, but at least three nice little parks.

We visited family and I attended some events and a seminar at WSU. The seminar was an introduction to operant conditiong in general and “clicker” training for dogs specifically. The teacher was outstanding and I am really looking forward to the practical application. We had a chance to see it in action and I was pretty impressed. Beyond training dogs, the whole field of operant conditioning has a great deal of application in other areas. The basic premise is to “catch” people doing good and reward them for it. It’s not bribery – bribes are offered to entice someone to do something. A reward is something positive for a behavior that already taken place. I’ll keep you posted.

Rather than take one of my existing projects, I cast on a new one – a baby surprise jacket for a shower gift. My goal was to see if I could complete it during the trip (about 14 hours of total driving time). The verdict?


Close, but no cigar. Daylight and my fingers gave out about the same time. It won’t take long to finish – it’s just a matter of finding the time. The next two months are going to be pretty intense. I spent several hours this afternoon studying statistics. At the same time my husband was watching a nature program that profiled a lizard that, when threatened, builds up pressure in its head until blood squirts out its eyes. I told my husband I could identify because that was going to happen to me any minute. This stuff is crazy. They take you through all these complicated formulas, rules on which formulas to use, double talk like crazy and then tell you it really doesn’t make a difference anyway because you can never prove or disprove anything. My goal is just to get through the next two months and then we will never speak of this again!

Before I left, I did get a nice package in the mail:


I enhanced my Options needle collection, plus some Wool of the Andes just in case I run out on the CIC gansey, some merino sock yarn for some fingerless mitts (winter’s acomin’ and my office is cold in the morning) and various patterns. Only one complaint – The pattern for the Rona lace shawl is WRITTEN – no charts!!! In this day and age it would seem to me that the standard is charting and if a pattern is not charted, it should say so in the description. I will write to Knitpicks to complain, but for $1.99 I don’t feel too cheated. Just a warning to anyone else contemplating buying the pattern.

And – thanks to all who commented about my “10 Knitterly Things.” Usually I try to reply personally to every comment, but time is crunching me, so please accept a group “Thanks”. Although I will try to respond to comments, please be patient with me until December 1st, when life will presumably get back to normal.