Knitting gone wild.


Welcome to 1984, when Native Americana was fashionable. Another one.

Nice rings. Sorry about the rest of the sweater.

Computer-generated knitting patterns. Here is an Atlantic article about the project. On TwitterThanks, gayle!

No shade zone.

I love this story!

Plenty of time to knit this before Halloween.


Posted in LInks knitting | Leave a comment

Smokey update.

  • He was discharged on Friday with a long list of follow-up appointments.
  • Feels fine, slightly better than when he went in.
  • Basic questions remaining to be answered: why prostate so enlarged, why hemoglobin so low. All other symptoms stemmed from those.
  • Complicating matters for me was the fact that Saturday night was to be the annual dinner for our county party, and as co-chair, I am heavily involved.
  • I had planned to spend Thursday doing all the last-minute stuff that couldn’t be done earlier, with Friday to clean up any loose ends.
  • That plan went out the window.
  • Friday became the day to do my stuff — finalize the PowerPoint to accompany the candidate speakers, figure out Mail Merge to print 100+ name badges, print sign-in sheets and miscellaneous signs, etc., etc.
  • It all got done by 1:30 Saturday, 10 minutes before I had to leave.
  • Dinner went off perfectly, in spite of last-minute changes in the speakers, mainly thanks to my army of volunteers.
  • The Skype call with a candidate (projected on the wall) worked, the video from our US senator worked, the PPoint worked.
  • When was the last time ALL the technology worked?
  • When I texted that to a friend a few minutes ago, she recommended that I buy a lottery ticket.
  • Today is reserved for Netflix and knitting,  perhaps accompanied by an adult beverage later in the day.
  • To top it off, the snow is melting!


(Before you ask, that black square is a Post-It note stuck on the window to discourage a persistently determined bird last summer. It was pretty sure it could fly through my office and out the other side of the house.)

Posted in Smokey VA, Spring, Winter | 7 Comments

Rusty, dusty links.

Links rusted

“She had a rump like a silken waterfall, and I trembled to admire it.”

This is a bit long but worth it.

Kittehs will find a way.

Life advice that we all can use.

“…I am now the morale officer of my workplace…”

In the US, it would be the theme from Law and Order.

Bank Butt, Burf Pink, Dorkwood, Sreeterd Gray, Gray Public, Flumfy, and Dondarf: let those paint names flow! Thanks, gayle!


Posted in Links | 6 Comments

“Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it’s always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.” — Roseanne Roseannadanna, SNL


Smokey went to Minneapolis yesterday for a routine appointment with his nephrologist. I had opted to stay home rather than accompany him; usually we both go and make a fun day of it, but I am kinda sorta swamped with stuff that needs to be done by Saturday, so no fun day for me.

Workingworkingworking Phone rings noonish.

Smokey: Well, I am gonna be here awhile. Quite awhile. [He goes on to list a bunch of abnormal lab results, plus an alarming EKG.]

Me: Are they going to admit you?

Smokey: Yes. I’m not in my room yet but I should be by the time you get here. [He goes on with instructions as to how to get Younger Son’s Volvo, which has been sitting in our pole barn for several months, started and running. Smoke had taken my car, and that Volvo was my only option. Said instructions included a socket wrench with a 10mm socket.]

I packed an overnight bag, including knitting, told the dogs to be good, and headed out to the VA*. When I got there at about 3:30, he still was not in his room. The unit secretary knew he was coming but had no idea where he was nor why he wasn’t there yet.

Me, in my head: WTF? Did something else happen?

I waited around in a nearby lounge, and eventually got a call from Smoke.

Me: Where are you? What’s going on?

Smokey: I am in the emergency room…

Me, in my head: OMG, he had a heart attack/stroke/something horrible. [Never mind that he is actually talking to me, wide awake and apparently normal.]

Smokey, continuing: …because they didn’t have a bed available until someone is discharged.

A bit later he was wheeled up to the unit on a gurney. Younger Son arrived an hour or so later after work. We all hung out and chatted while various medical personnel stopped by to draw additional blood samples, inquire about his medications (pharmacy resident), his medical history (hospitalist), do another EKG (nursing assistant and someone else), talk about what he needed right then (nurse), weigh him (student nurse, who is a 40-something male Army vet who had done a pre-med major in college), do a routine nose swab for MRSA (nurse and nursing student), yada yada.

I had texted both sons earlier in the afternoon about Smoke’s admission and been on the phone with each of them as I learned more. Elder Son wanted to know certain of the lab values, which I got from the hospitalist when she stopped by. Earlier he had been able to tell me what was going on, based on what I remembered from my first conversation with Smoke. To simplify his explanation, one thing — enlarged prostate — had led to another thing, which led to something else, which eventually led to abnormal heart rhythms. Our bodies are a bunch of interrelated systems, doncha know.

I left about 7:30 to head home to the dogs, whom I found prancing about with their little legs crossed, doing the potty dance (but had not relieved themselves in the house during my absence, yay!).

Today’s email report from The Bear:

My labs are coming into normal ranges and I feel fine. Sleep was hard to achieve due to hospital routines, two roommates, no APAP, no dogs, and an uncomfortable mattress. No guesses as to causes of the problems or length of hospitalization. My EKGs were reviewed and judged normal. Minor annoyances abound, but the care is overall adequate.

Breakfast included limp toast, canned fruit, room temp milk, and a small scoop of scrambled eggs. The high point was the packet of grape jelly — so different from the excellent food at United [Hospital in St Paul, where he had his knees replaced last year] and not near your feast at Applebee’s [where I had stopped to eat on my way back to WI]. I tried to keep in mind that many in Syria would be grateful for my humble breakfast.

I was able to watch Rachel’s interview with Comey on MSNBC. Nothing new.

My nurse is Kathy.

I know this is a busy time for you so don’t worry a bit about not visiting. I’m fine, probably less stressed than you.

Dog treats — both canisters are almost empty. The bag for refills is on the wire shelves in the closet right outside our bedroom at about butt high.

See you soon (I hope!)’


…and back to work for me, with a measure of relief in my head.

* I stopped for gas on the way, and, because the car had been sitting for so long and I thought I had seen an oil slick on the garage floor after I backed it out, checked the oil. Oil level was fine — I had to call YS to find out how to open the hood — and I was once more on my way. Until a few hundred yards later, when the hood flew open, yikes. I was still in a 30mph zone coming up from the river valley, so it wasn’t as dangerous as it might have been. Pulled over, slammed the hood firmly shut, and drove on keeping my fingers crossed. No more problems with the hood, amen.

Posted in Smokey VA | 11 Comments


Progress continues — two steps forward, step-and-a-half back — on Carbeth. Funnily enough, I am not bothered at all by having to rip and reknit repeatedly, probably because the knitting, on US#10-1/2 needles, goes so fast. Plus, I got to learn German short rows, which are a big improvement over wrap and turn.

red sparrowWhat I really want to talk about today, though, is reading — specifically, Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. This is by far the best spy novel I have ever read; I have been recommending it to everyone who might be remotely interested. The author was a CIA operative — a real spy! — for 33 years, and the novel is filled with authentic detail, including Russian idioms and adages. And, of course, lots of spy stuff.

As soon as I finished Red Sparrow I requested the next book in the palace of treason.jpgtrilogy, Palace of Treason, from the library. It was a bit clunky in the first few pages but then settled down to being as fabulous a read as book one. And I have requested book three, hoping that it will arrive by the time I finish book two.

I know there is a movie out based on the first book. Based on the Atlantic’s review, I think I will avoid it. But I highly recommend the book if you are at all into thrillers.

Aside: this Guardian article from 2016 goes along with Red Sparrow quite nicely. Another article here. Clearly, I need to watch The Americans. (Yep, just requested Season One from the library.)


Posted in Books, Carbeth, Unraveled Wednesdays | 7 Comments

Guess what. We got some more snow.


The view from my laundry room. The high winds blew much of the snow off the deck railing, which made it difficult to gauge how much snow we got. 15.8″ at the MSP airport, 23″+ in Green Bay. We are somewhere in between.


Nice crop of icicles I have, don’t you think?


Smokey brushed off [most of] my car on Monday and managed to get it up the driveway hill to his garage, thereby getting it out of the way for our plow guy. The car is a little too tall for easy clearing of the snow on its roof; the snow slides down onto the windshield and hood when I slow down for the turn or stop sign a couple miles from home. Happens every time.


The wind did a good job of packing snow into my wheels, thereby inducing a shimmy that evidences itself at around 50 mph. I know when the snow has fallen out of the wheels when the shimmy disappears.


This snow pile at the top of the driveway hill looks more impressive in person. It is taller than I am.

Forecast is for 50˚ by the weekend, 60s next week, maybe even some 70s. Flooding, anyone?

Posted in Rural life, Winter | 9 Comments

Passionate purple links.

knitting purple.jpg

Excellent question.

Offered without comment.

A knitterly, sheepy cake.

The silliness, it burns like fire. Oh, hell yeah.


Oh, yeah, I’ve been there.

This is magnificent.

These socks are impressive, but these take the prize.

Reversible socks.

Tarmac Tuesday: it’s a thing.

“It’s like walking big, not-very-well-behaved dogs.”

Invisible short rows. Method 1. Method 2.

Yarn maze!

Posted in LInks knitting | 6 Comments

An easy knock-off post.

Compassionknit’s ten questions:

*Have you had a hostess cupcake knock off? There are knock offs?

*Have you heard of rolled ice cream?  (Thai origin?) Nope. I live in the hinterlands. The nearest Thai food of any type is a good 50 miles away.

*Do you have a favorite Episode of a favorite Tv show? Well, there was the turkeys-thrown-from-a-helicopter episode of WKRP in Cincinnatti back in the day.

*Do you have a hammock? Nope, but we had one when I was a kid.

*Have you knit outside lately? ::sob::


Photo taken yesterday. afternoon.

*What is your go to Dk or aran  weight yarn? Don’t have one, really, although Berocco Vintage DK is quickly becoming my bitch.

*What’s your noisiest appliance? The damned dishwasher. It’s the third [nearly identical] KitchenAid that we have had. I bought the first one 15 years ago because Consumer Reports said it was q-u-i-e-t. And it was. When it died we bought another one, used. It too was quiet. But the third one, also used, can be heard all over the house. Grrr. I blame it on the incomplete installation — I can tip it out of its base cabinet space a good 10˚. And then there is the fan over the stove. When it is on I have to turn the TV up annoyingly loud just to make out the dialogue. ::first world problems::

*Is it easier for you to give yourself some slack or someone else? I tend to give everyone a fair amount of slack, including myself.

*How many circular needles do you own? Too many to count; I have four — 4! — sets of interchangeables, plus a complete assortment of US#0 to US#8 circs with multiple duplicates. I use circs exclusively.

*Name of sign of Spring you are happy to see! ::sob:: (see photo, above)

Posted in Miscellaneous, Silliness | 6 Comments

Uplinking the links.


Don’t listen to their bullshit.

Glitter beer? Srsly?

More on Millennial English.

Everything you wanted — or didn’t care to know — about the royal wedding in May.

Science rocks!

Good advice.

Alexa… ” (you may need to scroll down to see the post)

Just another example of wisdom being ignored.

I think I am there.

Slutty citrus.

Robert Downey, Jr. is a true hero.

Links from another true hero.

Posted in Links | 6 Comments


The Carbeth preliminaries:

  1. Decide on yarn. Given that a 100% wool DK- or worsted-weight sweater is often too warm for me (hello, post-menopausal self!), Berroco Vintage — only 40% wool and machine-washable and -dryable — was the perfect choice.
  2. Order yarn. Don’t bother to glance at the pattern.
  3. Discover that pattern calls for double-stranded DK weight, not the worsted weight I ordered.
  4. Decide to keep the worsted Vintage. Why not? My stash is minimal. Not.
  5. Order Vintage DK in same color.
  6. Knit a gauge swatch. My gauge with a US#10-1/2 needle was spot-on. Perfect — score!
  7. Do the math to adjust the cast-on for my, er, substantial hips. Check.


The first knitting:

  1. Cast on the calculated # of stitches.
  2. Screw up the count; frog and cast on again.
  3. Repeat step 2, above.
  4. Repeat step 2, above.
  5. Screw up the set up for for the ribbing; frog and cast on again.
  6. Get the ribbing right this time.
  7. Knit the ribbing and about 6″ of stockinette.
  8. Despair over how the ribbing insists on flipping up.
  9. Put sweater on three circs and try on.
  10. Discover that, my math to the contrary, it is w-a-y too big. Did my hips magically shrink? Was my math off? Who cares?
  11. Frog and cast on again* with somewhat fewer stitches. Pray to the Knitting Goddess(es) that this is the right #.

* But first rewind the two skeins into cakes.

The second knitting:

  1. Work 3″ of ribbing. That frickin’ ribbing is gonna lie flat, dammit.
  2. Knit 7″ of stockinette.
  3. Put sweater on three circs and try on.
  4. Rejoice that it seems to be the right size.


The second knitting, cont’d:

  1. Notice that another sweater of somewhat similar shape tend to hang several inches shorter in the front due to my, er, substantial rack.
  2. Remember that this happens with pretty much every sweater I own.
  3. Decide to incorporate some bodice darts in the new sweater to combat this tendency.
  4. Mark the correct placement of darts on the sweater in #1, above.
  5. Compare placement to sweater OTN.
  6. Realize that I am at the correct place to start the short rows that will produce darts.
  7. Arbitrarily decide to do the wrap&turns every second stitch until I have completed ~12 rows.
  8. Discover this may not be the best rate of short-rowing.
  9. Frog back to beginning of dart section and begin do the w&t every fourth stitch.
  10. Discover that my w&ts look terrible.
  11. Frog entire dart section.
  12. Research German short rows. Perfect — score!
  13. Work entire dart section without reference to the second part of the German short-row video that shows how to do them after turning from the purl to the knit side.
  14. Knit the entire dart section.
  15. Discover when knitting that first row back over the w&t rows that I have completely screwed up half of them.
  16. Frog entire dart section.
  17. Study second part of the video more closely. Resolve to keep iPad close by as I knit the dart section and to refer to it frequently.
  18. There is no #16. This is the point where I am at the moment. Six and a half weeks after deciding to bang out make a Carbeth.


Posted in Carbeth, knitting, Sweaters | 10 Comments