Saturday, October 27, 2007


That's my girl! Now isn't she just the cutest thing or what?

When Science Meets Knitting

This is Katie, Susie's daughter. At my mother's request I am writing about my world of knitting. For background purposes you must know that my parents are the enbodiment of the saying "opposites attract". They are like day and night. He is an engineer who wears plaid. Mom is the star of the party. So as the progeny of the two I am a strange mixture of science and creativity. I have a BA in Music in Open Studies, which basically means I took music and a lot of other stuff, namely chemistry, biology and math. I am now studying to be a medical technologist and hope that some day I can open a knitting/sewing store called "Sew Ewe".

Having said that you will understand that I approach knitting from a math/science perspective. I love charts and spreadsheets. There is a place for everything and everthing is in its place. It is not enough to just have an idea of what is in my stash I must have a spreadsheet detailing exactly what is there. There are calculations for everything. If I have a partial skein I can weigh it and calculate appoxamately what is there. I have a running total of how many yards of yarn I have. At this point I am close to having 20 miles of yarn (ironically this is the distance to the nearest knitting store). I can also find yard substitutions based on yds/gram of the original yarn and how much is needed. I have arranged my stash in order of the visible light spectrum and have all of my patterns arranged by subject digitally and in physical print-outs.

Knitty people are in general veiwed as quirky people...I have brought this to a new level of eccentricity.

Knitter and Spreadsheet Queen

New Rules in the House!

Alright ladies, let's just all admit it. We see yarn, we love it, we buy it with the most honest intentions of using it and two months later we can't remember what we bought it for. The STASH grows. It's like the blob that ate Chicago. Or someplace else really big! What can we do to relieve this horrible feeling that we'll never catch up?

If you have a daughter or son, all is not lost. You must teach that child the skills you have. ALL of the skills. With my daughter Katie I started with embroidery. Cross stitch at 7 years old, then when she was 9 I took her to the AQS quilt show in Paducah, where we live and it was ON! She wanted to try everything. Vendors loved it because if adults saw a small child there ready to try something, they assumed they could do it as well. And off we went. Paper pieces, Brazillion embroidery, Silk ribbon embroidery, general sewing, and finally knitting. She was hooked. Her first real job at the age of 17 was Quitlers Alley in Paducah. They loved her and she loved the job. She became really skilled at handwork. I would take her to a class with other adults and they would complain because a child was in the class until they saw her nimble little hands work. Before the class was over they would ask her for help! OH YES, Get you somma that!

So, back to the stash. Katie met a cop, (long line of cops in my family, Father, Uncle, Cousin, Son) they fell in love and married. The way they met is a fairy tale and would be a whole other post but they did meet and married. After she graduated from SIU, she became a manager at a Joann's store. She was the only person in the store that could actually sew. Imagine that????

Last week I set out new rules for My House. So I called her. "Katie, there are new rules for coming home!" Since her mother is the ADHD poster adult, she said, "Okay, what are the new rules?" I know she was snickering although I couldn't hear it! "This is the deal", I said, "Every time you come to my house, you must take home some sock yarn and some regular yarn from my stash". She was puzzled, but I went on to explain. "I have far more yarn than I will ever be able to knit up, even if I live to be 100, you must start to relieve me of that burden", I said. She was a happy little daughter. We all remember when we were first married and couldn't afford the things we wanted to do. Katie has gone back to school for her second degree and is only working part time. She needs yarn to comfort her and can't be spending a lot of money right now. It's the perfect solution for both of us. My stash grows more manageable and she gets things she really loves. I think I shall expand this rule to include other crafts. The fabric closet is so crowded, and the DMC is a bit out of hand.

Katie is coming by this weekend, should I run down to the LYS, "With Ewe in Mind" and pick up a few new things? Nah, I think we'll have plenty to choose from.

Take a lesson Ladies, "Pass the Needle". That's what Katie and I called it when I taught her to do something or we took a class together. It works for me! Just last week my Granddaughter said, "Nana, I wanna Net". What? She's a bit southern in her accent, so I wasn't sure. She actually was saying "Nana, I want to Knit"! Yes! The next stash reliever! Life is good!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I took these pictures yesterday to mark the end of the most beautiful fall. We have heavy rain today and that will be the end of the leaves. It has been one of the most beautiful leaf years I can remember.

Now it is time to get on with the projects. Our local library is celebrating the reading of one book, a bit like the Oprah book club. To raise funds for this celebration local artists. (yes they called me one?) and asked me to I transform old avacado green plastic books ends into something nicer. I choose to make covers for them in crazy patch. Mine are in shades of what would you think PINK. I titled them "IN THE PINK". I deliver these tomorrow and they will be on display November 1 in the downtown windows and then be sold. Like all the things we create it took far longer than I could have ever imagined. Now I am finished..... it is a good feeling.

On to the 8 stitch per inch sweater. I think the ribbing is the "black hole" it never seems to get longer. Will start bloging about this later this week.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I have now been to the great show. Stitches East in Baltimore last weekend. It was a wonderful event. I met my friends and had 3 days of knitting shopping. It was just wonderful. We shopped, talked knitting, ate and then repeat again. How fortunate I was to be involved in this great trip. My knitting friends and I go back 20 years so we have the greatest relationship. We met at camp with Elizabeth Zimmermann. We are still going strong. This is the same group I went to the Gunflint lodge with plus a couple more old friends as well.

I did not get any great feel for where the knitting world is headed no particular theme. Still lots of socks and lace and great modular knits.

Did I come home with anything? Now really what do you think? Yes indeed some lace weight for a sweater, yes I know it will take quite a while to knit but I am on a mission and will tell you all more about that later. Lace weight for yet another knit along. And lots of things to make the knitting fun. "Knitting Jewelry" is what I call it. Bracelet counters, stitch markers, scissor fobs and the like.

Then the neat little weighted bag to hold the yarn. Now Sammy the puppy stealing pooch is just out of luck I hope I have outfoxed him this time. In case this alone does not work I purchased the "clam shell".. You place the yarn end through the hole in the top and snap on the base. Now this is new and I had not seen one before.

I pick up Mr. Sammy today at my daughters we shall see how all of these things work in real life. I will travel to baby sit tonight and then back home and will fill all of you in on the rest of my trip.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Pictures will come later when I get chance to unload the camera. I am headed home from a grand week. First at Stitches East where naturally I got a bit of yarn.

I did not get any great sense of what the knitting world is headed into next. Socks still are all over the place. Lace still showing its lovely stitches. Traditional sweaters are still arround and some glitz remains. I got no definite idea where things are headed. Yes I purchased patterns and some beautiful other gizmos but that I shall save for later.

Then to visit my knitting friend Sally and now I am in Cape Cod, Mass until tomorrow visiting with the most wonderful Aunt and Uncle a Girl could wish for. I hope tonight at dinner to have a picture for you. When I get home I will be mailing my Fall into Autumn Swap package. I waited until after Stitches to send it as I always find wonderful fun items there. So that will be on its way by Friday morning and I am sure will arrive in plenty of time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What I am knitting

Yes books are just grand to own but I do use them. Here is the knitting from the past few days. In honor of fall the felt pumpkins. Thee is now web site for these delightful patterns but you may contact Marie Mayhew 1791 Portland Ave
St. Paul Minnesota 55104 phone 651-6491505. Just the most fun to make. Then there is my own pattern the Surprise Mitten and Lillie's Little Sweater done in blue for a little boy soon to arrive. There is more but time is flying for me and I am off to Stitches East. Yes Yes Yes.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I am loving all the swaps out there in blog land and so I have joined the "Fall Into Autumn Dish Cloth Swap" Each Monday there is a discussion topic. Today it is about stash. Yes indeed I have quite a yarn stash but one of the suggestions was for the book stash. How interesting that this weekend while my daughter was here she did a big job of putting all the books back in alphabetical order for me. I had them this way once upon a time. Then as the stacks of books out grew the shelves I purchased new shelves and more new shelves and the books just landed any place. This is not a good thing when you are looking for something. I also had a wonderful list of all books by author. They quickly was no longer accurate. Are you all out there aware of the dreadful thing book publlishers do to us. "SAME BOOK NEW COVER". This really makes me angry. Now when we cleaned the shelves I find several I have more than one copy of I am so pleased my darling daughter loves to knit and so she was delighted to take home the extras. Some I just forgot I owned and so purchased them the second time. Now I will get to work on that new list. So for all of you who like to view someone elses stash here are the pictures of mine. First let me tell you I have been buying knitting books for many many years and some of the old valuable ones I purchased when they were published. Some others I purchased from a used book seller when no one wanted knitting books. That was one of the best investments I could have made. I had no idea all these first additions would turn out to be something wonderful. so for all of you to enjoy take a peek at my stash.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fall Into Autum Swap question of the day

Oh how easy to answer the dish cloth swap question today. In fact when thinking of wonderful things to cook for the fall I did not have to search far. Susie sent me the easiest and most delicious recepie for stew....It atkes 5 hours and no peeking but mmmmm is it ever good and the house will smell fantastic. So my contribution today is from Susie my parallel friend.

5 Hour Beef Stew

2 lbs. Stew Beef 3 tbsp tapioca
4 to 6 carrots cut in 2-3 in. slices 1 _ tsp salt
1 -2 medium onions chopped black pepper
4-6 potatoes cut up 1 tbsp sugar
1 cup celery chopped 2 (12 oz) cans V-8 juice
1 green pepper chopped

Place the meat in the center of a prepared Dutch oven. Place the vegetables around the meat. Mix the tapioca, salt, pepper and sugar, then add the V-8 juice. Pour over the other ingredients in Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 5 hours at 250. Do not open during the 5 hours.

For a hot stew, add hot peppers or use spicy V-8 juice.
Serves 8 people.