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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tommy Emmanuel - Windy & Warm + Classical gas, Seoul 2009

Awesome acoustic guitar, Classical Gas.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Now you can download the free pattern from Lion Brand, and crochet this Simple Crochet Shrug. It only takes 4 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun and a size N crochet hook, and before you can say "Wrap it Up", you've got a snuggly cozy shrug to curl up in.

I've added updates to my other discussions on the TURTLEBACK JACKETS : EASY SWEATER TO KNIT


Monday, April 18, 2011

Preventable mistakes, and what we can learn from others...

"Have you helped a friend fix a knitting mistake yet? Or asked someone new at your LYS to help you? Next time you get really frustrated, I challenge you to take a deep breath and keep in mind the fact that when you mess up...
You Gain Resource-Awareness
The more you ask, the more you learn who you can and can't go to for reliable knitting help. There will often be people delighted to help you - the gems are the ones who will show you where you went wrong and how to fix it yourself. This doesn't apply to just people, either. Knitting resources of all kinds - books, videos, and websites, need to be explored so you can find what kind of help works for you.
One thing that's wonderful about being a highly-evolved species is that we can learn from other people's mistakes as well as our own."
Liat Gat
Your devoted video knitting teacher
December 26, 2008, I decided to pick my needles back up again with a firm resolve to conquer my long-standing animosity about knitting. I have been a crocheter for over 35 years, and always found excuses to NOT want to learn to knit. One famous old saying I heard was, "you either are a Crocheter, or a Knitter, but usually never both/ You either like one or the other." I've since found that that old adage is so completely NOT TRUE!
So, with debit card in hand and a lot of want-to, I went on eBay and bought a boatload of needles in every size-I hit PAY DIRT, and wound up with like 30 sets for under $20. I was in heaven.
Then I printed up about 20 dishcloth patterns, from Grandma's Favorite, to more complicated techniques like Diagonal, and cable stitch patterns. Then I set off on my new adventure in knitting. I had a RIOT learning all the basics with the help of a couple instruction booklets my mother bought me back when I was a kiddo.
In Jan. 2009, my Dear Mother-In-Law (DMIL) took me under her wing and began instructing me on the finer points (pun intended) of knitting. She even gifted me some books for my birthday in April.
One day about a week after my birthday, I expressed my interest in knitting socks, in a blog post. I always referred to my DMIL as my instructor, and off the cuff commented that DMIL had said, "I do not know my limits". The first thing that came to mind, was, I have no limits other than what I place on myself.
That set off a string of emails in which she told me never to speak of knitting again. I think she felt that if she was not the Teacher for this one project, that I was rebuffing her teaching in general.

After several attempts to make her understand that I wasn't dissing her teaching, she finally told me to never speak of it again, and even told her daughter I was writing horrible things about her in my blog. It became necessary for me to delete every blog that had a mention of "DMIL", from my posts.

For the next 3 months, I could not knit, it hurt so much to even bring myself to pick up the yarn I had bought with DMIL, to do a project we had planned together. That project still sits in a bag, for another day, and have promised I will get to it.

This week I am approaching another birthday, and I have still not heard from nor spoken with my DMIL, as it seems she has written me off completely. Since that time, my video library of knitting techniques has been my primary visual tools, along with the help of friends in Ravelry. Without those tools and friends, I might not have come this far in my knitting.
I've kept those emails as a bitter reminder, and should probably just suck it up and delete them. The hurtful parts still bring me to tears. 
On the anniversary of my exile from DMIL's helpful tutelage, I stand firm in my resolve to move forward. DMIL may never know what valuable assets she has thrown away as a result of her stubbornness. Nothing can take the place of someone sitting with you sharing the joy of camaraderie and the love of knitting together.
Could I have prevented this mistake from happening, and be further ahead? Probably not, because I speak opening and honestly about how I feel, and if it offends anyone, then it's probably best not to read my blogs.

We're never too old to learn. Heck, I got my motorcycle license on Monday, and ACED it, 100%. The world can EAT MY DUST, ZOOOOOOOM, Bay-bee!!!

Check out Liat's videos on, as well as on YouTube, she's pretty amazing!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Knit Motif: Lace Spiral Pattern : Lion Brand Yarn

A friend just sent me this cute spiral knit spiral pattern. I see a set of coasters and/or hotpads in someone's future!
Stitchfinder : Knit Motif: Lace Spiral : Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) about Knitting and Crochet : Lion Brand Yarn

Cast on 8 stitches and divide evenly over 4 #5 needles.
Join, taking care not to twist stitches.
Rounds 1 and 2: Knit.
Round 3: [Yo, k1] 8 times. (16 sts)
Round 4: Knit.
Round 5: [Yo, k1] 16 times. (32 sts)
Round 6: [K2, k2tog] 8 times. (24 sts)
Round 7: [Yo, k1, yo, k2tog] 8 times. (32 sts)
Round 8: Knit.
Round 9: [Yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k2tog] 8 times. (48 sts)
Round 10: [K4, k2tog] 8 times. (40 sts)
Round 11: [(Yo, k1) 3 times, k2tog] 8 times. (56 sts)
Round 12: [K5, k2tog] 8 times. (48 sts)
Round 13: [Yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k2, k2tog] 8 times. (64 sts)
Round 14: [K6, k2tog] 8 times. (56 sts)
Round 15: [Yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k3, k2tog] 8 times. (72 sts)
Round 16: [K7, k2tog] 8 times. (64 sts)
Round 17: [Yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k4, k2tog] 8 times. (80 sts)
Round 18: [K8, k2tog] 8 times. (72 sts)
Round 19: [Yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k5, k2tog] 8 times. (88 sts)
Round 20: [K9, k2tog] 8 times. (80 sts)
Round 21: [Yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k6, k2tog] 8 times. (96 sts)
Round 22: [K10, k2tog] 8 times. (88 sts)
Round 23: Purl.
Round 24: Knit.
Round 25: Purl.
Cast off loosely purlwise.
Motif directions reproduced with permission from 150 Knit&Crochet Motifs, Interweave Press, 2011
Sample shown in Wool-Ease.

k = knit
k2tog = knit 2 together
st(s) = stitches yo = yarn over

I'm going to cast one on using Elmore-Pisgah Peaches and Creme yarn. Updates to follow :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Last Vestiges of Winter

I took this photo after discovering a fairly large sinkhole in the back yard one day. What at first looked like a rabbit hole, turned out to be the remnants of a rotted tree root system. It was definitely a recipe for disaster; no telling when the next deer herd would come through and someone was going down. It wouldn't be Igor this time...

Posted from my Motorola Xoom

Monday, April 4, 2011

Good Food, Good Drink, Good Grief

Gloria, Earl, Bud and Shirley

We lost a dear friend Sunday morning.

Our former Landlady, Gloria, passed after a nasty fall several weeks ago, breaking her hip for a second time. I believe she was 89.

Her husband is 96 and his son wrote to tell me the sad news yesterday. He said his dad has lost his short-term memory, so this is doubly sad.

I worry that Earl may not be long for the world without his Gloria. With tireless devotion, she took care of both her "boys", Earl and his brother who lives with them.

We lived on the other side of a nice stone double, in a lovely neighborhood in ‘Tosa; of all the places we’ve lived, this was one of our favorite place (besides where we are now), we loved living there. We have many fond memories of summer days spent sitting on the back porch with them.
Fun with Books

They got a kick out of my letting our Budgie, Spaz, fly freely in there screened-in porch. He would even fly in their house if the back door was open. They got a kick out of him landing on Earl’s shoulder and calling Earl a “Jerk Birrrrrrrrrrrrrd”. Spaz has quite a vocabulary.
Spaz is King of his Castle

We have many wonderful memories of that time and place, they were a big part of the healing that we both went through during our divorces. I have to say, it was the best place for us, at the time. Earl’s Brandy Manhattans and Old Fashioned’s helped me get through some tough times, too! He loved to get me schockered on one of his yummy drinks, just to hear him laugh at my going on about his drinks-they could knock the socks off a bear, if a bear wore socks. HA HA!

Some of my fondest memories

Gloria: I will miss coming over and working on your computer, after Earl turns it off by unplugging it from the wall, YIKES!

I will miss hearing your laughter from the other side of the wall as we “chat” back and forth on our computers. We use to laugh that we were on opposite sides of the wall, could practically talk through them, could hear each others giggles, and still we chatted on the computers, for fun. Those were some fun times and I always got a kick out of every time you called to have me come over and “fix” something.

I will miss seeing our evenings, sitting on the back porch reading, having a cocktail or listening to rainstorms, or the endless traffic next to our block that never stopped.

The Gang's All Here!
Gloria and Earl practically adopted us, they were like the grandparents we never had. We were so grateful when they welcomed the kids with welcome arms and open hearts and had a blast visiting with them, whenever they were up.

The Grill Meisters
We loved our barbeque grill-outs with you, Gay and Dean. The Jello-Shooters were hilarious fun!

Glo-Girl: you were my Pen-Pal after your computer quit and we could not chat online anymore.
You are so loved, and until me meet again, we will miss you, Glo-Girl

as your last email was always signed,
Much love    Us