Crocheted Sample Ghan

This is a fun project from Leisure Arts leaflet 555, "63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches". Choosing from the 63 patterns, I used an H hook and worsted weight yarn for this project.

The Will by Reed Arvin is a captivating story written in a very wordy style. It's the story of a fortune left to the local "crazy man" known as Bird Man. This intricate story holds interest, but needs a good editor!

Max is getting in the Christmas spirit by wearing his festive tie! He is the most handsome Boxer ever!

Whoever thought up the word "Mammogram"? Every time I hear it, I think I'm supposed to put my breast in an envelope and send it to someone. -Jan King


People Like Us

This is a fun baby gift to crochet in the half-double stitch with worsted and an H hook using each of the pocket colors for the border. The final border row is picot done with yellow. Crochet each pocket separately and whip stitch to the blanket. I crocheted the animals for the first one of these I made. As you can see, I purchased small, plush animals for this one.

People Like Us is a tour de force of the frivolous and avaricious among certain people in New York City society. It is all the more appalling because it is based on Dunne's experiences as a quasi-member of this social group in the years following the murder of his daughter.
The character of Gus Bailey is quite obviously based on the author who uses his fictional self to avenge the ridiculously meager prison sentence given to the murderer. That, however, is the underlying story of Gus. The focus of book is on the wealthy, wealthier, and trying to be wealthy as they claw and scratch their way through the social house of cards. In disappointment, shame, or sorrow, there rises the indominantable human spirit.

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy. -Helen Hayes (at 73)


Crocheted Quickies

Here are two small projects that I enjoyed making for Christmas past. Sister Merry-Merry was crocheted with worsted weight yarn and an F hook. She is stuffed with black hosiery to avoid white batting from showing between the stitches. You can find the pattern at

The ginger bread ornament was made in the same way with an F hook and worsted weight yarn. Cinnamon and ginger sprinkled on the filling add a freshly baked aroma to this ornament. I particularly enjoyed decorating the gingerbread man! Find him at
Snobs by Julian Fellowes is a satire of British society which is perhaps third or fourth strata of self-important people living in country estates and manors. Edith, common but pretty, weds the passive, dim son of a very haughty mother, Lady Uckfield. Love that name! Not an impressive book, but got more interesting as I read on. The great questions about marriage and happiness being answered with "I'm happy enough." Trade offs.
There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.--Mother Teresa


Give Thanks

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.who made the great lights,
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
to the one who remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
and freed us from our enemies,
His love endures forever.
and who gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26 (NIV)


The World Unraveled

Chicken Little may think the sky is falling, however my world unraveled last night! I was very brave about it, not stoic, but brave. After seeing some loose stitches along the color changes, I pulled the switch..errr...yarn and removed the ocean from the world. I pray there were no casualties! It is now reknitted to the point of the very first posting about J's world. There! Now I feel better.
Another Christmas gift is completed! Yaaay! All two items that I knitted for gifts this year are finished! (Hold the drumroll and trumpet fanfare, please!) Isn't it these small victories that bring us joy?!! Here is the striped, mitered tote bag in prefelted mode. Then after the magic of hot water, detergent and agitation, it is all wonderfully sized and finished. The free pattern is available at
The colors are Renaissance blue, navy, and plum from Jo Sharp done on size 9s. I enjoyed the mitering so much that I have started a mitered throw using leftover yarns in shades of green including two different shades in chenille on size 13s. I know! I know! I just started the Ghan of the World, but what can I say? Although I am an avowed one-man-woman, alas I am easily wooed by patterns and become a multi-project addict all too easily. Just take a look at the simple, yet lovely mitered squares ghan here Now you understand, don't you? Amazingly, it is knit in one piece! It's just all too easy, too alluring, and...I fell! Spare me thoughts of little J waiting forlornly for his World Ghan!In other news, a summer read found its way to the top of my book stack. Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand rather drifted into a Harlequin teen romance through most of the midsection. The focus is a family that returns to their Nantucket summer home for their yearly stay after the sudden death of the father in a plane crash. The wife and teen twins are shattered and endure a summer accentuated by old romance, new romance, death, birth, and renewal. The writing is not terribly impressive. It is a nice, easy read. :)

Praise the LORD with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. Sing new songs of praise to him.
Psalm 33:2-3, NLT

All good wishes for a happy, blessed 
Thanksgiving Day!


J's World View

It arrived yesterday. The sizeable manila envelope addressed in large six-year-old handwriting containing J's map colored in a most interesting way. It appears something has happened in Asia. Have I missed something on the news? It is delightful and will make for an interesting ghan of the world. Using his color scheme, I will proceed in knitting my way through The Pacific Ocean toward the compass rose and my first landfall in South America! Here is Vogue Knitting Chart One that I will use with J's colors.

In other knitting, I completed the Ruffle Scarf AKA the Potato Chip scarf(because you can't make just one) to be given as a Christmas gift. The pattern is available at where you can download the pattern for free! I used Cascade yarns "Pearls" and size nines which yielded a slightly heavier weight as seen modeled here by Mighty Max my
Wonder Dog! The next one I make will be with an airy fiber for a wispy ruffle for K2's birthday in February.

A Puzzle in a Maze in the Dark of Night

Joan Didion's The Last Thing He Wanted challenged me to concentrate and strive to stay with her. Challenging style! This is not a book to lay down for a day or two and return later! I had to review to understand where I was, what was happening, and to answer "Who ARE these people?!" After seeing Charlie Rose interview the author on PBS, I wanted to read some of her work preceding her current best seller The Year of Magical Thinking. Her elliptical writing is thought-provoking. I do enjoy her technique of restating phrases in full as often as three times in a given short paragraph. Another charming device is using phrases such as he "may or may not have..." stating oppositions that appealed to my own imprecise memory although the intent was to write in the need-to-know basis of a CIA covert operative. The whole thing finally makes sense and comes together in the final few pages. The author succeeds in
placing the reader in the helpless abyss of a covert agent who must wait for an unknown contact to provide a glimmer of the next action.

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.


The Beginning of the World

J is excited to help me make his map of the world ghan from Vogue Knitting, Fall 2002. He has selected the colors for each country and colored his map to match the yarns I have purchased for our creation. With Plymouth Encore knitting worsted and size nines, I have gotten as far as the orange trim and blue ocean. In all honesty, I had to frog down to the first four rows of blue after discovering that I had incorrectly done the color pattern. I added two blue at each end of that section rather than the requisite one at each end. Since this would be problematic with a ghan that is knitted in panels. Taking a deep breath, I yanked it all out and have not yet restored it to the point in the picture. Woe is me! I first saw the pattern at . This is an exciting project! I plan to frame J's colored map to go with the ghan.

FYI: Although I do teach online courses, I am affiliated with the state system & not associated in any way with the sponsor of the blog counter.

A Place in the World

A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi started ho-hum. I wasn't even certain I'd finish it--a memoir, romantic, lush with food and Damask and descriptions of Italy--chiefly the lagoons and waterways of Venice. Everything has a golden hue--even the man with one sharp front tooth! This writer paints with words in recounting meeting and marrying a Venetian man, giving up everything and moving to Venice. She, a renowned chef and writer from St. Louis, MO, USA, traveling to far-off Venice to marry a banker seemed preposterous to everyone who knew her. How wonderful it would be to travel beginning in St. Louis and visiting all of the places in her book!! A slow, extended tour to see the richness, the beauty that she describes--to delight in the succulent foods and wines she tastes!

"A thousand days. A minute. A flash. Just like life I think."

--a luscious book to savor--I hesitate to begin another and diminish the "taste" of this one~

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isaiah 26:3, NLT


Off the Sticks...

Hands and Heart: Made with Bernat Soft Boucle on size 17 needles, this long scarf is knitted on 41 stitches in moss/seed stitch. I crocheted a fairly wide scalloped edging to provide a finished look.

Eyes and Mind: The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford is set in the environs of London in the 1920s and 30s. The story details social life and mores of the upper class a few rungs below the royals. The unconventional family is led by a foul tempered uncle of the storyteller who spends summers with her seven unruly cousins at Alconleigh--a wild estate filled with game to hunt and horses to ride. The exploits of the family are shocking and surprising. The aunt and uncle as well as the other characters are based on the author's family, who indeed must have been shocked and surprised when they read the book!

The second story in this volume centers on socialite Polly Hampton who engages in a scandalous affair that could destroy her social standing. Nancy Mitford's writing has a beautiful flow, precise language, wit, and satire.

...make me truly happy by agreeing whole-heartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose.
---Philippians 2:1-2, NLT


Here I am in blogland!!

Did I slip down the rabbit hole with Alice? I can't believe I'm here! I mean-- I've considered blogging for about three years, but never-never thought I'd make the leap! I mean, I'm a private person--almost hermitic, even! How wondrous to go on and on and on about reading and knitting, even though I can do those things in my knitting group and book club. The thing is...I have West Nile Virus and haven't felt able to attend those groups. So, in addition to teaching online college courses, I will now blog-bloggedy-blog about two of my favorite things: reading and knitting. Most likely, I will toss in a few of my other favorites as well!

The child is in me still and sometimes not so still.---Fred Rogers, Ph.D.