"To label any human being as inferior based on their health, their appearance, their size, their choices in food or physical activity or any other arbitrary measure that is nobody's business but their own is bigotry." ~ Fat Heffalump


The Librarian Project: Parts 3 and 4 or What I Did On My Vacation

Hello Internet! I'm back from my trip. I had a good time, but it also was a rather difficult trip for me. It was extremely hectic, and I was with a bunch of people who are tall and walk very fast. I had a terrible time keeping up with them. We did a LOT of walking too. We went to Washington DC for a week to take in the sites. We visited Mt Vernon, fabulous museums, most of the memorials, the National Mall, toured the White House,

Me coming out of the White House

sat in on the Senate in the Capitol building,

and ate a lot of good food. The capitol of our country is very interesting. We didn't see half of what there is to see, so I hope we can go back one day.

On the day we went Memorial touring, we rented bikes and rode them around. It was so much faster and easier than trying to walk to them all. The National Mall is 2 miles long! Riding bikes really sped things up. I saw the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial,

the Vietnam memorial, the Korean memorial, the Martin Luther King memorial,

the Washington memorial, to name a few. We visited part of the Smithsonian National History Museum, and most of the Smithsonian American History museum, which is just a drop in the bucket of museums on the mall. Did you know there are 19 of them? No way could we visit them all in a week.

We also visited and toured Mt Vernon, which is the home of President George Washington. It was a fascinating place. We toured the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center which is an air and space museum. It's HUGE. So many airplanes to see. But the highlight for me was the space shuttle Discovery was there.

I finally got to see a space shuttle up close.

Under Space Shuttle Discovery
I actually got to stand underneath it. Wow, what an amazing vehicle.

After a week in DC, we went to New York City. We took the Amtrak train to New York, which was a blast. It's been years since I rode a train and I forgot how much fun it can be. I had to ride in the dining car because there were no seats available in the car the rest of the family was in. It was a packed train, but I had a whole table to myself, with nice big windows. I knitted most of the way.

In New York we walked through Time Square, took in a Broadway show-Mama Mia to be precise. It was wonderful!

We toured the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island,

rode the subway, visited Grand Central Station (a gorgeous building!),

and ate more good food. I learned that it's true-pizza is better in New York.

Unfortunately, while crossing Time Square I was looking up at all the pretty lights while half running to catch up with the family and I tripped and fell. I landed BANG! hard on both of my knees. Oh man, did that ever hurt. The crying and nauseous gonna-throw-up kind of pain. For some dumb reason, I decided to grit my teeth and bear it, rather than stopping right there and taking care of myself. So on to the planned events we went. By the time we got back to the hotel, I could hardly walk. My knees had swollen up to the size of basketballs and the bruising was horrible. I am on blood thinners, so when I bruise, I really bruise. Both my legs were completely black and blue from my knees to my feet. I iced them good that night. But the pain was excruciating. The next day I decided I must carry on and walked, actually it was hobbling, all over Liberty and Ellis islands, then several blocks in New York. Needless to say, the swelling got worse. That's when I started getting to ride in taxi's, which I much prefer over the subway anyway. The subway is crowded, smelly, dirty, and under the ground. You don't see New York under there. I hated it. Taxi's are much better.

After New York, we rented a car and drove to Providence, Rhode Island to visit my daughter Sarah and son-in-law Frank. We stayed with them just a couple days, but I enjoyed it so much.

Grandkitty Meadowlark

Finally, the hectic pace we'd been going at could stop. I just wanted to spend my time with them. No site seeing please! We played games at the kitchen table, talked, went out to dinner, and relaxed. I got OFF my feet and started actually taking care of my poor injured knees. I really enjoyed the visit. We had so much fun just being together.

I finished 2 of the librarian projects while on my trip.

Back side
Twisted Stitch Mitts

Pattern: Twisted Stitch Mitts by Amy McElwain
Size: Ladies Medium

Yarn: Vintage by Berroco
Content: 50% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 10% Nylon, worsted weight
Color: 51191 - Blue Moon

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 4

Cast on: March 17, 2014
Completed: April 2, 2014

Palm side

Margaretes Fingerless Gloves

Pattern: Margarete Fingerless Gloves by Sybil R
Size: Ladies Medium

Yarn: Astra by Patons
Content: 100% Acrylic, sport weight
Color: Ocean Mist

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 4

Cast on: April 2, 2014
Completed: April 9, 2014

On Friday I went to see a doctor about my knees. I was beginning to wonder if I'd broken something in there because the pain has been so incredibly intense. Nothing is broken. Just really really sprained. I'm to stay off my feet until the swelling goes down, while applying ice packs several times a day. I also got a prescription for some pain killing Hydrocodon which is helping a little, but not as much as I'd hoped. The damage shouldn't be permanent, but it will take several months for them to heal completely. The swelling has gone down considerably since I started following doctors orders. I'm gonna be okay.

It's good to be home. Spring came while we were away. My crocuses are blooming, the daffodils have sprouted, leaves are opening up, there are flower buds on the trees, and the grass is green. We had 2 beautiful sunny days over the weekend.

Mostly, it smells so good here. Fresh and clean. The thing that struck me most about New York was the horrible smell. The city stinks something awful. The air is thick with the odor of urine mixed with garbage and exhaust fumes. Everything is filthy and the roads are in terrible condition. It is very much like Acapulco was. I was very disappointed. It's also very crowded. I don't understand how people can live in an environment like that. To each his own, I guess. Washington DC, on the other hand, was beautiful and clean, but so incredibly noisy! Helicopters fly over the National Mall all day, and there's airplanes, and traffic. Police and fire engine sirens were going on every 5 minutes. Just a constant assault of loud noise on the ears. Made home sound downright silent.

Unfortunately, the one thing I wanted to see the most, cherry  blossoms blooming, were closed up tight. The unusually hard winter delayed their blooming by 3 to 4 weeks. So we saw DC in it's winter clothing. That's okay. I can try again some time. I will see those cherry blossoms yet.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Starry Night

The knitting was done weeks ago, but I just got the beaded chain done last night.

Starry Night Pendant Bag

Pattern: Bead Knitted Pendant Bags by Theresa Williams

Size: 2.5 inches

Yarn: DMC size 8 Pearl Cotton
Content: 100% Cotton
Color: Black

Beads: Size 10 Czech Cut seed beads
Color: Mixed metallics and iris

Needles: Size 0000 Double Pointed

Cast on: January 27, 2014
Completed: March 25, 2014

Comments: I forgot how much fun these are to make. I finished knitting it February 10, 2014. Usually it takes just a few hours for me to knit one of these, but I was knitting along with a class I was teaching on the subject.

For the chain, I used size 11 Japanese seed beads in black, and the leftover Czech beads from the bag. I also used an assortment of glass and sterling silver beads for embellishment. Stitch used on the chain was netting.

Close up of bag. It's about 2.5 inches across.

Close up of flap with dangle.

Bead embellishments.

The netted chain.

The front.

The back.

Bottom view

I will enjoy wearing this.

Important news: I am going offline for a couple weeks. We're taking a trip to Washington D.C. and Rhode Island with my brother-in-law and his family. I will get to see my daughter Sarah and my son-in-law Frank. I am very excited. You'll hear from me again mid April.

Live long and prosper. \\//


My Gansey

My Gansey

Pattern: White Gansey by Beth Brown-Reinsel

Size: To fit me.

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
Content: 45% Wool/35% Silk/20% Nylon
Color: Oxblood

Needles: ChiaoGoo size 4 and 6

Cast on: December 23, 2013
Completed: March 22, 2014

Comments: I made quite a few changes to this sweater. I adjusted the size so it would fit me properly. For instance, I shortened the sleeves by 4 inches because I have short arms. I replaced 2 of the original stitch patterns with different ones and left another one out altogether. Instead of the rolled neck, I did a 1x1 rib neckband. However all the basic traditional Gansey elements are there.

It fits perfectly and is so comfortable! I wore it all day Sunday. I really love this sweater.

Close up of the stitch patterns I used. From top to bottom: Diagonal, Granite Stitch, Diamonds, Basketweave, and Zigzag, separated by a couple rows of garter stitch.

The underarm gusset, full on

and side view.

The neck gusset and shoulder seam.

The neckband.

Laying out on what passes for our lawn around here at this time of year. Actually, I should be thankful it's not covered in snow. Usually it is in March.

Cable insisted on being in at least one photo. Silly girl.

I am so happy with this sweater! And I got it done in time to be able to wear it for at least a few weeks.

Now, on to the next one.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Gansey Update

The last stitch has been bound off, and the last end has been woven in!

Pics after the blocking.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Friday Feline 2

This is Chenille's profile.

She's been in the family a long time, 12 years. In 2002 we went to the local shelter to see if there was a cat we could add to the family. Chenille was just 3 weeks old. She and her 2 brothers had been abandoned in a box on the doorstep of the shelter when it was closed. They weren't even on solid food yet. The heartlessness of some humans is appalling.

The shelter doesn't usually adopt out kittens that young. They care for them until they are 8 weeks old and weaned, but I assured them we'd do right by her. So they decided to trust us. I took her to our vet immediately. He gave us advice on how best to feed her and our adventure began. She had to be fed every 2 hours, including in the middle of the night, just like a real human baby does. My daughter Sarah took on the responsibility. She did a very good job, and learned a lot from the experience. Fortunately, kittens grow and develop quickly so the lesson lasted just a few weeks.

Chenille is MY cat. Or rather, she considers me HER human. She's a tiny little thing. Being taken from her mother too early stunted her growth. But she's my sweetie. She spends inordinate amounts of time snoozing in my lap when I'm knitting, or computing. She talks to me a lot too. I don't understand a meow she says, but I pretend to. This makes her happy.

We have a morning routine. When she thinks I should be getting up (based on her need to see me again, usually), she starts loudly meowing outside my bedroom door. Eventually I get up cuz she's very LOUD and insistent. I open the door. If the water dish is empty, she tells me about it and trots over to the dish to point it out.  If not, then she is just happy to see me.

She usually wants me to pick her up, carry her over to the living room window so she can look out for a minute, then she wants down. After that she waits, impatiently I might add, for me to feed the dog, make coffee, and do whatever else needs done before I sit down and boot my laptop. As soon as I sit down she's in my lap. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

If she's feeling good, then it's a good thing. She settles down, purrs, and eventually dozes off. Occasionally, not as much as she did when she was young, she'll settle in for a session of toe sucking while I stroke her back. Like thumb sucking, but one of her front toes. She is most comforted by this behavior. Most of the time, though, she's in a bad mood. She doesn't feel well most days. She has a bit of arthritis in her back and she's getting old which makes her grumpy. Then it's getting in my lap, begging me to scritch her head, getting mad at me for scritching her head, yowling and jumping off in a huff, then returning 5 minutes later to 'reluctantly' settle down and go to sleep. She can be quite the drama queen.

Because I'm hers, she doesn't scratch me like she does the rest of the family when annoyed. She bats me with her claws in. Everyone else gets ripped open. Sometimes she'll be so cranky she bites. She doesn't bite me hard enough to hurt me, but she draws blood on everyone else.

I am thankful she chose me.

Live long and prosper. \\//


I Was So Close

Phooey! Last night I had just 3 inches left on the second gansey sleeve. I was so excited! I was gonna finish that baby. YAY!


Yeah, something was wrong. I had space for 5 more decreases and 11 stitches left to decrease. I have no idea what went wrong. I thought I was very careful with the note taking when I made the first sleeve so the second one would match. I ripped the sleeve back and have started over. So far, so good...

Live long and prosper. \\//


A Sock

It still needs to be blocked, but here is the sock I've been knitting along with my sock class. It will be my next pattern.

Haven't cast on it's mate yet. Been working on the gansey. I've got half a second sleeve done. So close to being able to wear it!

The class is done now, and I'm relieved. It was not a fun one to teach. It was, in fact, extremely frustrating for me. It started out great on the first session. I don't know what happened after that. Only one student actually finished a sock. That would be the guy in the class. He did very well on his sock. It turned out beautiful. His wife will love them when he gets the second one done. Not all classes are fun to teach. Hopefully, the next sock class will be better. I've got one scheduled to begin in May.

I finished the entrelac mitts class this week too. Glad to be done with it. No more classes for me until mid April. Something else is planned. But that is for another blog post.

In the meantime, the sun is shining and today's high is expected to be in the 50's. Look out deck! Here I come! Woo HOO!

Live long and prosper. \\//