Saturday, January 28, 2017


My month of selfish knitting continues.  I'm not going to be finished with a sweater when January is over.  I will start back up on dog sweaters.  I still want to work on releasing Doggie Knits designs as downloads.  I have been thinking about pushing the retail side of Lucky Penny again.  My inventory these days is pretty low.  I need to work around slow times for driving.  Right now it seems like Tuesday is a very slow day and my time would be best spent working on my knitting enterprises.  I have an ongoing job packing a household 1-2 days a week.  Seventy boxes packed so far, all collectibles.  The job is moving slowly because each item is cataloged as it is packed.  I had a little accident and tripped on the carpet (thankfully the client wasn't there to witness my clumsiness).  The packed box was safe but I sustained some nasty bruises on my left arm.

The photo is another sweater that I cast on this month.  It's on the cover of the very beautiful book Knitting From the North.  I could go deep into this book.  Every design is just gorgeous, this one is called Loki.  The yarn I'm knitting with is the limited edition Rifton from Mason-Dixon Knitting.  I had one cake of it, 600 yards, and didn't want another accessory.  The solid is sport weight from Blackberry Ridge in Wisconsin.  There is a 100 round chart that is very hard to read because some of the squares are solid black, and the chart is small.  I took a photo of the chart with my iPhone so I could enlarge it as needed.  I'm winding off small amounts of the Rifton cake into butterflies so I don't have so many tangles as I go.

Every day this week seems to be a new atrocity.  This was a hard country to live in before January 20, and now it's like there is a new punishment coming one after another.  I didn't go to the Women's March.  I'm not a crowd person, and as irrational as it seems, I was afraid I would run into people, or a person, that I didn't want to see.  I had a hard time with all that pussyhat business and local media treating a shopkeeper like she was some social justice authority.  I can say with certainty that she is not.  It was commerce.  It was thrilling to see all that pink in all the marches, but the association with that negative person really ruined it for me.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Month of Selfish Knitting

Tea With Jam and Bread
  I have so many goals and projects for this year, that it's easy for me to be overwhelmed.  So, in a counterintuitive move, I decided to devote January to just knitting for my wardrobe.  I haven't knit a stitch on something for Madeline, and for me, that's very rare.  My selfish knitting has included swatching for three fingering/sport weight sweaters, one with color work, and making a serious dent on this.  Tea With Jam and Bread, which has been on my wish list for years.   In Shelter, with pockets for a super casual look that will be perfect for my working the safety net life.  I'm thinking about including a surprise color that will peek out of the pocket lining.
I intend to shift my focus to knitting lighter weight sweaters, over the past few months, the few that I own have been put to frequent use.  I love my Woodfords cardigan so much that I would consider knitting another in a more neutral color.  The other thing that I've been meaning to do is working a season ahead.  I have a few warm weather garments in mind.  One will require me taking apart something that I knit a few years ago and became a snagged mess after a few wearings.  I will shoot for March to begin these projects.
New Year's Eve was my worst experience ever with driving.  Never again will I do a late night.  I don't care how much they say it pays.  There were too many drivers out to make anything decent, and the riders behaved like animals.  The worst was when I had to return a cell phone to someone, who the night before, vomited in my car.  Horrible!  A wise friend said that it happened for a reason, that I should not have been out that night.  I'll agree with that.
I've spent the last week fighting a cold, the Man is recovering from surgery, and Mad has had her disc disease flare up again.  Madeline was scheduled for a dental cleaning today, but the procedure had to be scrapped due to what they termed "wiggly behavior."

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye to 2016

It's over in a few hours, and I'm feeling even more unsettled than before.  I did some things this year to expand my safety net a little, and I plan on leaving in a bit due to the lure of earning lots tonight.
I knit a lot of dog sweaters, and a few for myself too.  I started and ended the year with some garments for the theatre.  I did a little bit of sample knitting, but that's been idle since the summer.

For my personal knitting, I have come to realize that first and foremost I am a sweater knitter.  My favorites, and the ones I wear the most often, are fingering weight.  I still have a lot of worsted projects in progress, but, moving forward, I think I will focus more on the lighter weight garments. Perhaps this is because my personal thermostat has moved up a notch.

I don't really want to go into detail about everything that's happened this year, if you're curious, there's a bit of content in the 2016 archives.

I'm looking ahead to my goals and desires for 2017, and gathering my thoughts for the next post.  Hoping that 2017 treats us kindly.

Friday, December 23, 2016

We Get Older

I've been feeling a lot of malaise in the last few weeks.  Some having to do with the death of this country, and some having to do with the revelation that my physical self is crumbling.  Mostly I feel okay, but there are days when the realization that my body is compromised is daunting. I can maintain with some much needed self care, and insurance, which is okay for 2017, but after that is anyone's guess.  My friends and I are pretty much in agreement that we are in for some punishment.  I've read on Facebook that it's God's plan.  Really?  Does your God hate us?  I'm glad to be an atheist.

In the meantime there's not much to do except get out of bed each day, take care of the Mad, and be my most creative self.  Madeline's sweater is the Madeline Basic 4.5, knit with Briggs and Little Heritage, in that hunter orange color.  We disapprove of hunting, but that color is everything.
Year end wrap up of the crafty events to follow, along with some wishes and goals for 2017.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What's Normal?

It's hard to think that anything is going to be normal for the foreseeable future.  I am afraid for my shrinking safety net.  It turns out that as violent as people say Chicago is (an exaggeration), it is one of the safe places for a person with my views.
What I would really like to do is curl up in bed and pull the covers over my head, but I'm working, taking care of Mad, loving knitting, and furiously working on the Magic Flute sweater that's due in eleven days.
A little of my Steiff dog collection, because it makes me happy.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Sweater Weather Returns?

I'm repeating my showcasing of Madeline's sweater wardrobe every morning on Periscope for the month of November!  It won't be all reruns and leftovers, as I have been knitting dog sweaters all year, have a few in progress, so there will be new work to show.  This is the Madeline Basic 4.5, pattern for sale on Ravelry and Craftsy.  I knit this in Fancy Tiger Crafts Heirloom Romney, color Radish.
I am on a deadline this month--I'm knitting a sweater for the costumes for the Magic Flute that will be performing at the Lyric Opera next month.  I got a peek at the costumes for the show and they are amazing!

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Taste of Autumn

This past winter, I was at a memorial service for a childhood friend, and I spent time with a young woman who remembered me from her childhood.  I had brought my green tomato salsa to a party at her house, and she wanted the recipe for it.  I don't recall the origins of this, perhaps I adapted it from a Moosewood cookbook.  I have not made this in years.  It takes me back to my attic apartment in Lakeview that I shared with Yoda.  I am reminded of crisp autumn weather that I long for now, and many walks in the neighborhood with my sweet tiny old dog.  There was a little Mexican produce store maybe a half block away where I would buy the ingredients.  I made some again last week, using tomatoes that I purchased at a farm stand in Wisconsin.  With some sturdy chips,  it makes an excellent breakfast.

Green Tomato Salsa

5-6 unripe tomatoes
3-4 yellow onions
4 cloves garlic
1 6 oz can diced green chiles
1 T. cumin
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 bunch green onions
1 bunch cilantro

Chop the tomatoes and onions.  I do a rough chop and then put the pieces in the food processor, using the slicing blade.  Bring onions, tomatoes, crushed garlic, and green chiles to a boil, adding cumin and seasonings to taste.  I have opinions on adding heat producing seasonings, but you could add jalapeƱo sauce if you wish.  Let the mixture simmer for about a half hour, then turn off heat and let cool on the stove.
When the salsa has cooled, add chopped green onions and cilantro.
This is a very heavy salsa, more like a vegetable stew, and needs a sturdy chip.  I purchased some home made style chips from a local tortillery at the same Wisconsin farm stand where I bought the tomatoes, and they were perfect.