Fireworks and Confetti!

Wishing you blessings in 2006.

Happy New Year!

Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:19


It Seemed Important at the Time

"Wow! You've finished all of Mexico!" exclaimed J when he saw the world ghan that I'm knitting for him according to his color specifications. Two reactions: This map is recognizable--goodie-good! And, he doesn't realize that it has taken me an entire month to do this little bit! What with the end of the semester, Christmas, and all! I am now entering Canada, which J has determined to be yellow. This ghan is a fun and easy knit! And---he likes it!!

An odd little book, It Seemed Important at the Time by Gloria Vanderbilt (mother of CNN's Anderson Cooper) is "a romantic memoir" that reads like listening to someone talking into a recording machine. It is very much a romantic view of the lives of the extremely wealthy. Voyeuristic, yet odd somehow in its narrowness, its undeveloped stories. Why did she write this? Then there's a touching section about the death of a son and a husband that almost has depth but not enough. There's a certain thinness, a withholding of the material.

: : : : : : : :

I think you should take a picture of me eating this cookie! --Little j, age three years


December 27

The house.
Too quiet.
No musical sounds from toys.
No crying for bottles,
Or giggling at silly words,
No gleeful laughing.
No grand children.
No sons.
No women who complete them.
Wonderful sons now men.
"Good-bye, Mom!"
He said.

Weren't they just children?
Wasn't I?
Aunt Lucy Jane died
Nine days before Christmas.

Be still and know that I am God. Ps 46:10



The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel--which means, ‘God with us.' --- Matthew 1:23

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. --- John 1:14


Ready for Christmas, so...

Finished a charity lapghan in a variation of basket weave. It's actually a soft yellow color with a dark green crocheted edging.

Look at this web site for a cutie-cute hat and sweater set for a child.

Read a quickie novel by Barbara Delinsky entitled The Woman Next Door. Who would have thought? This is a lusty, sensual story of married love and living life with gusto, passion, and deliverance!

If at first you do succeed, try to hide your astonishment.
--Harry F. Banks


Deck the….er…deck…with boughs of…uh…juniper…

That's my song and I'm stickin' to it! At least when I'm on the deck with the boughs and festive ornaments adorning the flower planters, I will. Max supervised, of course. We covered the bare soil in the box planter, the table planter, and at the window too! Much improved!
Christmas lights? Not this year! At least the back of the house is colorful, right? Yes, it is! And, when the snow melts that is now covering all this beauty, others will be able to enjoy it too--just like Max and me!

I made this ghan with "Light n Lofty" yarn for charity. I devised the pattern as I got into it, then repeated it until I finished off.

Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice. ---Unknown


Dos Ponchitos

A headless child wearing a nice, warm poncho!..hmmm. I knit this child's poncho with WW blend and added a fun fur trim. Very simple, very neat.

The mesh poncho below was made with Berroco Suede which was fine, although I didn't really enjoy working with this fiber. I don't know specifically why I didn't. Maybe it was the fee

l of it or the way it turns when it's crocheted. Added a bit-o- fun fur here too.

Christmas decorating is complete for this year!
There are two small trees in a corner near the bay window in the living room. One tree is a taller than the other. 
Tree #1 is decorated with birds and small gold balls with a bird on the top. The ribbon steamers don't show in this picture. They are wired white and gold ribbons. There is white tulle around the bottom.

Tree #2 has snow flakes, icicles and white tulle with a white star on top. Around the bottom is a poinsettia tree skirt that I crocheted about 25 years ago. 

My experience with West Nile Virus is that there good days and bad days by which I really mean that there are bad days and worse days. And, that is why there are days when I don't post to my blog. Recently, there have been too many worse days so a reprieve should be on its way. I would like to hear from anyone who has experience with West Nile. Please leave a comment. Thank you.

As for reading, Good Grief by Lolly Winston turned out to be a captivating book with a bit of melancholy for me. A 36-year-old widow ponders cancer, sadness, loneliness, and memories of quiet, fleeting, precious moments. Written with clever, witty, stream of consciousness asides, the author allows us to know Sophie Stanton as she grieves, loses her grip, forces herself through days, reaches to others and says in the end--"Its' OK." Just what my Dad said to me when he was dying.

Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart. --Myla Kabat-Zinn


A Rose By Any Other Name...

We have us a compass rose....And it's rather well balanced! This, remember, is the world afghan that J thought I might have finished by Christmas. How about Easter, maybe? We are now moving through the Pacific toward the western coast of South America. Actually, it rather resembles the back of a pair of pants on a diapered child, doesn't it? Sort of an Esher thing!

The stockings ARE hung by the fireplace. You can see the ones I knitted with a few purchased ones among them. Can you find the 

single crocheted stocking? There are five more that should be hung there, but their owners aren't coming home for Christmas this year.

I crocheted the Christmas angel and Santa in 1983. Th
ey have survived the years rather well. Doncha just love her pink feet?

I came across this amazing web site today that truly blesses me. The lady who has the site has written a book about prayerful knitting so I ordered two of the books and one download of the journal that accompanies it. I printed the journal and am so anxious for the books to arrive. This site is a blessing, a true find that I'd like to share with you. The URL is
The Joy of Soulful Knitting: Reflections on the Art of the Craft by Patricia Turner is a book that I am so looking forward to reading!

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. ---Proverbs 31:10


Of A Dog -N- Bad Hair

 did I mention that Max is a grand and gentle babysitter? Well, baby little j and I think so! What's a big lick across the face got to do with it? The perpetual runny nose is definitely taken care of. Baby j's not Max's!

Gotta love this little tree! She lives--where else?
-- in front of a hair salon. I don't know what's with my fuzzy pictures! Anyway, this little tree lady gets twinkle lights in her hair at night. Isn't she the cutest?

Birds in winter need food too! Here's snowy view of the feeder and house outside the bay window of my office. It's a challenge to keep it "seeded". It's like ringing a dinner bell every time I refill it. There's something calming about watching the birds despite what Hitchcock would have had us think!

Elsewhere, I have returned to J's World Ghan and have almost completed the compass rose. This is where my creativity kicked in, which is code for I am reworking it because it was off center. It is looking a bit better. Symmetry can be daunting!

On the reading front I am deciding whether to read Anne Rice's Christ the Lord Out of Egypt or Shelf Life by Suzanne Strempek Shea. Which to read next? Any suggestions?
What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?---- Dr. Robert Schuller


Crochet Mini-Stocking

The itty-bitty stockings are fun to make with worsted weight yarn or some of the holiday colored variegated cotton yarn and a G hook.

Chain 11.
Single crochet back and forth on 10 sts until the piece is approximately 3.5 inches long, chain 5 more sts onto your piece.

SC for approximately 3 inches, then return back on 10 sts.

Continue in sc on the 10 sts until the piece is the same length as the original 3.5.

Fold in half. Join in sc from the foot, over the toe and up the front. SC around the top, making a chain of 15 at the back for hanging.
Continue around the top of the stocking and finish. Cute!

I enjoy selecting the motif and color combinations--stripes, finishing the top in white, crocheted the join in a contrasting color. I hope these directions make sense because this is quick-n-EZ!

In Confessions of a Bigamist Kate Lehrer writes "We have obligations, jobs, family....If we're lucky, we stay involved with our children and grandchildren, parents...friends." This fantastical story line with a surprise ending kept me enthralled in the page-turner story of a woman and the exploits of her alter ego in her professional life. This book is full of insight and surprises that make it an unusually fun read!

Having a sense of humor is like knowing you'll have an umbrella when the rain rolls in.
---Kathleen Keller Passanisi


From One 2 Four

The lone gauntlet of yore has been joined by it's mate as well as another pair made in Denver Bronco colors for K3. These are quick to crochet in child's sizes. The pattern link is below. The other pattern link below yielded this scarf knitted on 13s in Spice and Idena Magic for K2.

The quickie projects are fun to crank out. I understand why people get addicted to them! Alas, I do need to get back to J's abandoned world! All the grading is finished for one of my courses as of tonight! I have another set to grade yet for another course. Then, well....hmmm....Still more work to do, but the knitting time will definitely increase between semesters!

John Jaffe wrote Shenandoah Summer set in the Virginia countryside with an interestingly named character, Alvin Dwight Palifax, Jr. who is mercifully nicknamed "Tug". This is the romantic story of a DC drama teacher and a New York artist who meet and fall in love during a summer at her farm and his stay at a nearby artist's colony. It's a wonderful evocation of place. An enchanting, quick read.

Those who can, do. Those who believe others can also, teach. --John E. King


Hidden Content

Knitting is present here with mini-Max, pillow Max, and Mighty Max. Yes, it is indeed the blue and cream pillow I made for Max with Dive' Super Cotton Club and size 17 needles. A make-it-up-as-you-go project, it is a combination of stockinette and garter stitches. Very simple. Very fast Very Max! Do you see the wonderfulness on the window seat? There were serious doubts about the Gerbera daisies being left on the deck too long into the Fall weather. After slight
tending, the Lord gave me this beautiful gift! How glorious! Now I want the pot to be full of these luscious blooms that I so enjoyed in the summer!

A trip to the library is in order today to pick up Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy for the "Knit & Crochet the Classics" group project at

This will be a welcome change after reading Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon about the role of Denmark in the Resistance Movement of WWII after the main character, Annabell Sydney, marries a Danish musician. It is a sorrowful story that I didn't really enjoy. It is the story of lives--all lives--and war. The changes caused by aging lends a very strong sense of futility.
No joy.

Every setback might be the very thing that makes you carry on and fight all the harder and become that much better. --Les Paul


Run it or throw it down?

...couldn't decide so I crocheted the gauntlet! As soon as my Berroco newsletter arrived with the free pattern, I grabbed some Plymouth Encore and an I hook and cro-eated. (Looks weird, but it's my word for crocheted and created.) I borrowed the yarn from the mapghan, which you can probably guess is going slowly since I haven't mentioned it. It got stalled since I had to wait to get some more yarn bobbins. (Having West Nile virus keeps me home until a "good" day.) I do have the bobbins now, however it is moving into the last week of the semester and I have loads of final projects to grade. Oh, woe is me!

Meanwhile back to the gauntlet, it is child-sized for K2 whose rainbow consists of purple with maybe a touch of pink. If you're brave enough to pick up the gauntlet, you may do so here: Let me know how you do yours. It would be fun to see all the variations! I also plan to make this if I have enough fun fibers in my stash!

I had a most unusual reaction to Symptoms of Withdrawal the so-called memoir by Christopher Lawford. In his repeated referral to being "a second-tier Kennedy", he appears to be struggling mightily in this book to present himself as a first-tier Kennedy, or top of the heap, or whatever the label might be. He somehow manages to end up with a large red L on his forehead. It is a compelling read, but not a good one. This is a book that shouldn't have been written, but I couldn't stop reading it! It was quite perplexing to read the first person account when I found myself truly disliking the author! I seldom, if ever, feel that way about anyone. I must admit I wouldn't have even considered reading this book were it not for the Kennedy connection. Yet I find it irritating that his name appears on the cover with Kennedy as his middle name rather than Sidney, his actual middle name after his father and paternal grandfather. Then there's the book jacket with the author as a toddler with his ill-fated Uncle Jack. See what I mean? What a conundrum of reactions. I felt as though I were listening in on sessions between the author and his shrink knowing that shouldn't, but unable to stop. This man is a person of weak character with an excuse for every bad decision, large and small. The book left the reader with true distaste for the author and the desire to take a shower. Low, very low.

If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all.
---My Mother & probably Ben Franklin



Behold the Wonderful Wallaby sweater knit with Mission Falls 1824 cotton on sizes 7 and 5 needles. Because it's knitted on dps and circs—voila!—no seams! This is the hoodless version at the request of K3. You can, of course, make a pouchless version….a hoodless and pouchless version, or a hooded and pouched...well you get the idea! The sizes are from a child's size 2 to super size adult! I made a size 4, which—by the way—is called the "Willie Wallaby" in this nifty little pattern book!

Here's the contact info to get the booklet with all the sizes:

Cottage Creations
At the Farm on Deer Creek
Carpenter, IA 50426-0070

Honestly, I am not kidding! That really is it! And, the pattern booklet is as quaint as the address. Just think! Your entire family could be decked out in wonderful wallabys (wallabies?) from the toddlers to the grandparents! Do I hear needles clicking?

Belonging by Nancy Thayer is a wonderful-wonderful story of a career woman who eventually discovers aspects of "belonging" in different places and with a variety of people for diverse reasons. This is a fascinating study of the evolution from superficiality to deeper meaning. EXCELLENT read!

Back by popular demand, well--OK--there was ONE comment, is Mighty Max my wonder dog in his holiday tie. Maybe I'll try to teach him to bark "Jingle Bells"....hmmm....

That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing...I meant it.