10 November 2013


Evidently my technology had been withholding a post. This is also evidence of how busy I have been that I only noticed - or remembered? - today.

Still, it was a fall post.  I mention sock weather!
I finished the wedding present.

Not cool:  The photos are crummy.  I cannot find the camera.

However, back to cool?  I am trying to have a super healthy autumn.  I am eating ten million vegetables.  Fun with a CSA share. And it is cool enough for soup.

Also cool?
It is cool enough to put on a pair of wool socks.


 1. My freezer had too many "I'll remember" containers.

 2. Everything is labelled now. I thawed and repackaged a couple soups. I combined a couple "for soup stock" items.

3. I didn't have too much waste to pitch.

4. When my mother comes to visit she will be pleased with the soup offerings. It's our fall and winter visit routine. I am almost too busy, she schedules lots of visits with friends, and we visit over soup late and oatmeal early.

4. The socks I had been knitting (if by knitting you understand neglecting) were just not to gauge ad would have been a tight nightmare at the instep.

5. Cheered by that bit of freezer tending, I frogged the socks in progress.

18 October 2013

Friday Rituals on a Textile Blog?

 I was just here last week.  This is fairly shocking.
Friday:  Featuring One of those Famous Finished Objects

Yep.  Table runner.  Covering the full seating deck of a love-seat.  Decidedly big for table runner traditions, but who cares.
Funny how the blues and yellows in those greens are hightened by digital photog on a grey day.

Quarter circles were stitched by hand.  Squares were stitched by machine.  Judicious machine quilting shadows some of the curved paths.

Bound in time for the wedding.  Whee!

11 October 2013

Who Hoppen?

That was how my grandpa would say it.

What Happened Here? What Happened to You? It's Not A Big Crisis, Really, right?   All summed up in Who Hoppen.

Not writing on the blog for over a month? Not A Big Crisis, Really.  Colleagues and friends are having some real crises lately, so it's hard to find much wrong in just being tired at the end of a week. 

I've been living by lists, so here are some samples of evidence that life has progressed Chez Textiles with Not Much Crisis:

1. That I am sitting at my desk on dinner break, getting ready to go into an evening of work on a day that started work at 9:00, on a Friday at that, and in a sentence this long?   Proof I'm working hard.   (I have work I like, in the main.  Not too shabby.)

2. That I am sitting at my desk on dinner break, having polished off the rest of salad left from lunch, moving on to last of the leek and roasted veggie leftover soup I made Saturday, sparing you the list of all the veggies I ate today, (morning noon and night)? Proof I continue to tackle the weekly CSA box of vegetables.

3. That I tried on accidentally a pair of pants I should have pitched some time ago for lack of fitting, and that the pants could actually meet (although with force) at the waist, and that this was heretofore NOT happening at ALL? Proof I am eating really quite healthily with this CSA OMG TOO MANY VEGETABLES plan.  (Meanwhile, the pants weren't quite comfortable.  I'll check back in with them in a month.)

4. That I managed to talk myself out of just calling Jimmy John's and finishing some of this week's packed dinner and lunch supply in the work fridge, having yet a choice of broccoli slaw or red cabbage, grated carrot and roasted beets salad for my third course, if I want it? Proof I am enjoying my cooking adventures. They just have to start, feature, and finish vegetables. Also proof that the aforementioned pair of pants are inspiration.  Gives one hope and stamina.

5. That I have neglected my knitting but had a costume non-drama with the last production - done on time, no late nights? Proof I am REALLY working at being extra productive and efficient, and I'm enjoying some of the payoff.   Because face it, I'm not really as productive and efficient as I want to be, but I need to shush the monkey on my back.

6. That I have cider, both fresh apple and bottled alcoholic kinds, in the fridge at home for some actual weekend time not AT work? Proof I am still TRYING to keep from going nuts, and I have plans to weekend.

7. That I have sewing stacked up at home, several projects deep, and this doesn't bother me at all because when I hit the weekend I make PROGRESS on them? Proof I don't really think working on sewing and knitting projects as a way of taking a break is TOO nuts.   Especially because I'm making PROGRESS.

8. That I finished another sewing project - quilted table runner, though it is large enough to be considered on steroids? I'm moving stash AND UFO's.

So that's life from the No Big Crisis perspective.  The crap at work and the sighs about family stuff can't come out to play.  When Grandpa asked "Who Hoppen?" in that silly gruff voice with a fake furrowed brow over the twinkle in the eye, we girls would giggle in spite of ourselves. 

Dinner break is over.  
Happy to have work I like.  
Happy to be well-fed.  
Happy I get to sleep in a little tomorrow.

Hope your weekend has some simple pleasures and No Big Crisis.

08 August 2013


Road trip



Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North, Virginia near the Cumberland Gap. A couple additional hurry-throughs.

A little knitting.
A little reading.
A little breathing.

Nice to do some things on the summer list as well as to follow a few impulses.

Impulsively threw some slipper knitting into the car.  Wasn't in the summer stash knitting list, but definite stash knitting all the same.  This was a full skein of Noro Kureyon from a years-forgotten impulse purchase.  Have to guess which second skein will yield a sisterly slipper mate.  Then on to more slippers for three sisters and their mama, my wise friend Liesl.

I have unpacked halfway, swept and mopped.  Need to get cranking and leave for the day, but I wanted the bathroom floor to dry.  Time to plan the rest of today's productive reentry into life and work and summer's end.

Hope your summer journeys are fruitful.

17 July 2013

Steamy Summer O' Stash

Happy to have a good reason to make and take a quick baby quilt along for a visit to one of my knit camp friends.

Curiously non-babe colors in the juvenile print fabric my sister passed from her stash to mine.  The maroon print in the center sported some of the same colors as the animal filled backing.  Found some neglected 5x5 squares, the right amount of batting, and voila!  Two days, though rightly could have been a one day project.

Lunch with visiting and knitting leads to completion of October birthday gift.  

Am elbow deep in a couple quilt tops, 14 placemats, and a table runner.   Very steamy day, though.  May have to take some of the latter and go find a table in an air conditioned location for some basting time.

What was that about summer of stash?  I'm determined to finish that table runner and the holiday placemats.  Stash, UFO, call them what you will, they shall be finished.  And leave.

Quilt one - some stash, along with a little new acquisition because all two of next year's grads listed turquoise in lists of favorite colors.  That was the picture from the prior post.  Did I mention that there are four high school grads next spring?  I am on a mission.

Quilt two surprised me today.  Those neglected 5x5 squares I hauled out of storage?  The remainder are now 4-patches.  Culling out some unwanted stash as I move along to put in large alternating shadow blocks.  It will go to church for the young people's quilt making project for charity.  Last summer I  stitched up several from the coordinator's prepped fabric bundles for volunteers.  This summer I am determined to donate some stash as well as sewing to the effort.  The kids start out the year tying some quilts. Later they move into the rest of the process and do some start to finish.  It seems to work well for them to get a start with some prepared tops.

It feels like Progress, though today seems slow moving.  I think I will take another shower and move on to some air conditioned productivity.  

15 July 2013


Why yes, it is!

08 July 2013

Anniversary FO

My mom gave me a number of my grandmother's UFO's.  Among them was a repair project.  At their wedding, my aunt and uncle had received an afghan made by the groom's sister.  Years of good use and little boys toes and perhaps a couple outdoor cats napping inside in the winter window sun had resulted in some damaged squares.

My grandmother had the afghan to see if the rest of the squares could be resewn into a lap throw.  The mission moved on to me.  No rush, my mother said.  

This past week I realized there was a 35th  anniversary to mark.  Well.

Five damaged squares removed.  An end row removed for reconfiguring.  Some border crochet undone at one end.

Voila.  Three days.  

It's anniversary day, and it's going in the mail.

04 July 2013

A Fourth of July Morning

How nice it is to be sitting at my mother's kitchen table, looking at cookbooks, drinking iced coffee from a silly glass.  I've worked past the halfway point on my nephew's scarf replacement.  October birthday package nearly prepped!

Breakfast was lovely, too. Local berries.  Yum.  Definitely a cereal morning.

I'm going back to doing some garage scraping and priming.  Call me strange - and you'd not be the first - but this makes for a lovely 4th of July morning!

14 June 2013

Another From The Basket Of Partly Done

These bags of hand piecing have been in progress for many years:

I finished last week.  Meanwhile, I am redirecting the project.

There was a plan for 8 columns of six - a wall hanging.  I haven't been able to recreate the actual plan - never did make a schematic.

I regrouped and came up with a plan.  Wedding gift table runner.  

Ready for backing and quilting. 

And I'm even ahead - the wedding is September!

Found: Five Bucks

Or so....

Spent about 30 minutes on one of those Warhol-like boxes I want to eradicate from my sewing space.  

Had to stop because I ran out of focused pitching mode.

How do you keep from saving addresses you'd like to save but probably won't write to?

And what to do with birth announcements from kids now grown, parents split?

I stopped working on the box when I stopped being ruthless. One hour of progress is it this morning.  And most of a sheet of stamps, 14 cents away from their first-class prime time.

Maybe I'll have better luck in the office.  Much file purging to do there, too.  I'd rather knit.

ETA:  hmmm good thing I posted this nonsense.  Discovered previous blog posting failure.

11 June 2013

Sewing Days

Machine quilting went well, though I may have a faulty machine walking foot.  I refuse to think I wore it out doing half a dozen placemats.

Next?  Binding.  Batch two is waiting for me to assemble and baste layers.

Point of clarity:  tops were assembled a year and a half ago.  I may get these out of here yet!

06 June 2013

A Swatch Is A Swatch

There are excellent guidelines for swatching.

Sometimes I follow them:

Targeted 4", extra stitches at sides, knots in the cast-on tail to record needle size, wet blocked aggressively.  Still too small?   Project goes up a needle size.

Sometimes I don't:

What size needle?  One strand?  Alternating?  Two strands - marl the marled?  What about a 1x1 rib?  Nope, squares.  How big a square?  

Lots of decisions.  It's almost tougher to replace a list project made from stash with another dive into the stash.  But I will not buy yarn for this one.  And it should be quick knit, since a do-over has boredom knit into it before we start.

Worst swatch ever, but it was all the sampling I needed!  And this one will be ripped out.  I think I need the yardage.

05 June 2013


A reminder to myself:  progress isn't only items crossed off a list.  It's a verb, too! Move from one to the next.  
Move forward.

I am making good progress (on the list) in progressing from spring into a summer.  It is June. I'm getting some summer conference and vacation plans organized.  I'm doing some of the work I want to do to make the autumn better.

Doing some catch-up cleaning and some deep cleaning.  Doing some catch-up sleeping and some extra napping.

I'm getting some good textile play in.
That personal sock club kit prep is going gangbusters.  Have yet to decide how I'm doing two scarves, but patterns are selected, prepped, swatched for the rest. I added one extra skein of sock yarn and bagged it up with a pattern.  Have a library book to fetch, a photo copy to make and I'm set.

The kits would be useless if there were no knitting.  And there is knitting.  Have resurrected activity on a scarf for my aunt AND whomped out clue one of a mystery shawl KAL.  I never do those.  (Not true.  I did one pair of socks, ending up about a year behind.). But look:  real progress.  Stash yarn and stash leftovers, to boot!

Sewing is on the move, too.  There's some patchwork underway.  (Story another day.). Monday I powered through the mending basket, which was stacked with an extra half basket of content.  I think there are only a half dozen items left.  Hemmed up a new vinyl tablecloth for a summer freshen-up.  The long-stashed fabric had patiently awaited its day in the light.  Progress.

I walked for an hour this morning.  Spinach, poached eggs, and tea were a good reward.

Moving forward.

30 May 2013

Any Port in a Stash

Earlier this week I spent a half day tidying the stash.  It was sort of like tossing the stash (cue the citations of other people's terminology now passed into frequent and familiar use),  I tucked away the souvenir yarn from my January travels.  I tucked away the leftovers back into the bins where they belong.  I reorganized.  And, with a great deal of dismay, I entered a whole whack of new yarn and previously ignored deep stash (again, borrowed jargon) into Ravelry. 

Goodness Me.  I Have To Knit.

I have a couple promised/requested scarves (for mother) and a scarf in progress (for an aunt) that were already slated to take up some stash yarn.   

My nephew lost a scarf I made him and sheepishly asked if I'd make him another.  Just like its predecessor, a stash sock yarn scarf, this one will come out of the sock yarn bins.  Yes, bins.  Not huge, but  surely plural.  And suddenly I'm onto another copycat imitation inspired bit of flattery.

It is a slightly stormy evening.  I have an errand to tackle, but while waiting for the weather to pass, I organized a Summer of Sock Club Kits From Stash:

Nephew scarf 
Mitts for cantata alto (RAK)
Red self-striping socks
Green self-striping faux-isle socks
A Mystery Shawl KAL
Trekking handpaint socks
A neglected pair of barely-started Skew Socks

That could do it for a start.  Need to do a bit of swatching and decide needles and patterns on a couple of them.  The result? I have an organized cache of portable projects for the summer.

I need some structured play time, otherwise I don't do it.

I promise, I am walking when it isn't so stormy.


I had the flu, actual flu, earlier this spring.  I had only enough sense to knit a square.  
I had sense enough to want to tackle a baby gift for a baby due shortly.  
I had sense enough to eyeball two skeins of indifferent baby acrylic that had been in the stash since certain other preschoolers were expected.  

It became a mission to get this done, and  that energy wasn't lost even when I set myself other spring-deadline hats.

The baby is here, enough weeks in that I can have a visit with the mom without overwhelming.  The blanket is drying from its quick wash.

But.  Seriously.
I bought a third skein, only to have 3/5 of it remaining.  I decided it seems big enough.  
I was too sick at the beginning to catch on to the fact that I would have gauge issues shifting from the garter center to the stockinette surround.
I thought an I-cord bind off would curb the curl, and it is not so.
I washed it, and days later the acrylic is still not dry.

This sucker is not square. I will try not to care.

In other serious news, I tossed the stash.  I entered long ignored items into ravelry.  I have one more box to go through.  

I am appalled.  I must knit more.  Seriously.  SABLE indeed.

Seriously not entering the kitchen cotton.

Excuse me.  I need to go work on a gift scarf that's been lingering in the basket.

09 May 2013

Dead Fish Hats, Unite!


Mostly used a skein of Malabrigo for each.  Tried to up other yarn on hand for details.    

06 May 2013

Almost Done!

Fish in need of eyes.

I'll finish them just in time for the fishing opener. I hope the little guys enjoy them.

And if the big folks are bemused, there are still leftovers.

25 April 2013

I Foresee...

Summer Sock knitting lies before me.

This one is a toughie.

That's the back of the heel this time. It too has had five winters of real wear.

That has to be good, right?

PS. Thanks, Fujiyamamama. I was still getting comments on them now and again. May think about that pattern again - Potomatomus.

PSS. There was a hole in the other sock, sole of the heel there. Clearly I wore that pair OUT.

27 March 2013

Look! Spring!

The hat has to be completely dry so I can mail it.

But look! Done!

PS. Thanks, Fujiyamamama, for the encouragement. I fixed that dropped stitch in the hat. Seems I only dropped half of it.... but it surely was the active half!

14 March 2013

Sprung in Hopes of Spring

Not bad for a five-winters old sock!

I wore out the soles of both heels at once.

The color has really been going.

I am ready to toss them.

10 March 2013

Done. Oops. Not Done.

I was done with the hat.
I washed it, to test my theory that a wash would add more slouch.
It was good I washed it.
Yes, it relaxed.

Yes, that safety pin is holding a brioche stitch that I seemed to have dropped. I managed to knit something else above it to keep the pattern up.

Washing an unknown dropped stitch caused a tittle laddering. Whee.

I have to figure out how to fix it without undoing the whole hat. I am too sick this weekend to figure it out.

Stash Happens

Looking for yarn for a gift, I stumbled - if you can call looking at the highest box on the back corner of the upper shelf a stumble - upon these skeins of Bernat. They were a good sale, appropriate for the gift they were going to make at the time. Time passed. Oops.

This is how it goes. Stash happens. And I'm pretty thankful for it, what with this having been a lousy weekend, full of temperatures and coughing and tea and only enough concentration to work in a big square of knitting.

20 February 2013

Did I Mention?


Lost and Found

Sadly, I must report that I have lost one glove.

Happily, I can proclaim that I am knitting a quick pair of gloves from stash.

Miraculously, somehow I didn't obsess over selections of yarn or pattern.

Admittedly, I confess I should have been doing other work.

Candidly, I deserve that much time. And also there may be some other quick selfish knitting from stash on the near horizon. It's cold out there!

16 February 2013

Meanwhile, From Main Street USA, Sock Progress

In another cafe, but this time in Galesburg Illinois. I had to be out of town last night, so I am having a La De Dah day on my way home today. I am so close to finishing these socks!

A little coffee, a little housemade meatloaf panini for which the tobasco waits, marble table tops and woven backed rattan cafe chairs all tell a delightfully jumbled tale of place.

I am having a really good small town mainstreet day trip. Bought seam rippers (to do list) at a small sewing center. Grocery shopped for a bit of local bakery bread and good cheese at the adjacent market.

I will even have a few minutes to knit on sock cuffs before my sunny February-cold afternoon drive. I should even be able to swing home, feed the cat, and get back to work for the evening event and cleanup.