River Dance

How ironic is that title?  Well, if you live from my northern edge of the mid-Atlantic northeast, it’s not funny at all.  A local friend is waiting and hoping that the rising James doesn’t flood his garden plot, and Kathy has some scary, impressive, raging river shots on her blog…

However, timing aside, this post is about a long-forgotten finished object.  Way back in the spring of 2008, the River Citiy Knitters  guild had the very talented Renee Leverington design a stole for their KAL.  (Knit A Long, for those not in the know.) 

Project:  My First Mystery KAL Shawl    As the project’s name suggests, it was my first mystery KAL.  To date, it’s my only one too. 

Pattern:  River Dance.   It was offered only in charts, which was fine for me because I tend to use charts more than words, but don’t have a strong preference for one over the other, but a few members just didn’t like or couldn’t get the hang of reading charts.  What I didn’t like was the segmented design, which reminded me of a cross stitch sampler, and I never cared much for those either.

Yarn:  The intent was to have all the guild members who had participated in the KAL show up at the holiday party sporting their stoles, so I contacted Amanda and got this lovely wine-colored superwash.  Happily, I didn’t use up all I bought, so I have more for another project one of these days.

Needles:  My Ravelry notes say I cast on with a #8, then knitted with  #7 straights.  Well over a year, almost two later, we’ll have to trust those notes.

Verdict:  I’m not really mystery KAL material.  I don’t like surprises in my knitting, especially in my lace.   I am sorry it took me about 15 months to lightly block this bugger, but it finally told me with whom it should live, and that person happens to be capable of blocking it to her own heart’s desire.  Especially with superwash, I feared that if I blocked it HARD, as I like to do, she’d not have the option to leave it a little denser if she thought she’d like it that way.

Got your curiousity up?  Good. 

We still have two more items to review from yesterday’s marathon blocking session.  Both of them have been given FO report time here, so I’ll just flash blocked photos and ramble a bit.

… and that’s what I did this weekend.  Not very exciting, but productive just the same!  How was your weekend?

Scattergories and More

Monica tagged me for this one.  As usual, I’m not tagging anyone, but do let me know if you play along.

Take up the challenge! Erase my answers, enter yours, and tag a few people. Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things.. nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question & you can use the same answer twice.


BOY NAME: Charlie



OCCUPATION: Choir director

A COLOUR: coral


BEVERAGE : coffee

FOOD : chocolate


A PLACE : Charlotte

REASON FOR BEING LATE: car wouldn’t start



So, how was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was simply delightful.  We stayed home, the Knight and the fur-girls napped, I knitted, and everyone was happy.  There was a HOUSE marathon on, so what more could you ask for? 

No, you can’t see my knitting.  Most of it was a VERY special project for the holidays.  I’m rather pleased with myself, so not sharing it a bit of a hardship for me too.  I did grind away on my guild‘s KAL stole, so I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll have it done in time for the holiday party.

throwout21Oh!  I also owe a purge report.   Since I’ve admitted I’m a packrat, I’ll be counting in groups, bags, boxes, etc., at least until about Dec. 30th when I realize I need to pick up the pace to make it to 50!

  1. One crock’s worth of kitchen utensils
  2. One bag of books for the used book store
  3. One box of random things that I haven’t used in the past year for GoodWill
  4. One bag of old jars from the refrigerator
  5. One bag of out of date baking supplies from the cabinet
  6. Bag of trash from the Knight’s corner in the living room
  7. Bag of torn and well-used dog toys
  8. Bag of junk mail never opened
  9. Bag of wrapping paper scraps I saved to use but Sissy chewed on and/or the Knight set other things down on top of them
Yes, but Sissy only wore it in the house

Yes, but Sissy only wore it in the house

Now, in my defense, most of these bags were those plastic grocery bags, or a brown paper bag, thanks much.  I also found Mugsy’s devil costume, so that and the fur-girls’ costumes from this year have been packed away.

In case you’re wondering, I haven’t found the Palm.  I’m pretty sure we’d have noticed Sissy toting it around, so I’m betting it’s in a safe place.  (That means so safe I’ll never find it again.)

What does your weekend hold?  I think we’re going to try a new steak place near us tonight, and then tomorrow’s the fam-damily dinner.  I’m making corn pudding, cranberry sauce, yeast rolls and as a surprise (MJ doesn’t know how to find my blog), a strawberry cake.  I’ll be up baking tomorrow morning.  I think that’s about it, other than more knitting, purging and enjoying the dogs.

And you?


Ever since I first stroked Rosanne’s Panda Silk, I’ve had my eyes open for some of my own.  After swearing loudly enough for the dude sitting two doors down to hear me when I found The Needle Lady closed yesterday, I headed to It’s A Stitch, *KNOWING* the store that closes at 4pm on Saturdays would be closed for the holiday too.  Ha!  Wrong!  My skepticism was trumped by a 25% off all yarn. 

This Pearl Blue Panda Silk came home with me.  I’m thinking it will be a scarf, probably for the to be gifted pile, but I’m open to suggestions.  It’s very soft and silky (duh?), but it really is bamboo and wool with a dash (5%) of silk.  I’m still looking forward to the soy version, due out in a month or so.  I love knitting with wool and alpaca, but I’m also very fond of soy and bamboo.  Heck, here lately, you can add cotton to the mix too.  I’m just all about soft, squooshy yarns, it seems.

My other big find was my $10 handbag.  No, really, and from Kroger’s (grocery store) nonetheless.  I had pulled up to use a self-checkout lane, and the employee supervising said stations noted my fabric bag and asked if I’d seen their cart of similar bags, 1/2 off.  I said no, and tried to present my best, “Really, not interested!” aura, but I’m glad I failed.  It wasn’t the Vera Bradley knock-offs I’ve seen at other grocery stores.  I’m not at all sure what made him think the two types were similar, aside from the fact that those in the cart weren’t leather or vinyl, but fabric…

It’s the perfect size, style, shape, colors… everything.  I hope it doesn’t run in the rain or fall apart before the summer’s over.  I even love the little bow!  I’ve always been mad for little bows.  The colors washed out in the close-up; they’re close to true in the first photo.  The contrast stitching is done in that pale pink.  Truly, I would have paid LOTS more for this bag.  It’s as though someone designed it with me in mind.

Inside, there are three little pockets.  The standard, flat zippered pocket built into the side, and two cell phone sized pockets.  The one on the left was too narrow for my phone, but the second pocket holds my phone just fine.  Everyone keep their fingers crossed that this bargain holds up until I get tired of it, please?

I’m sure you’re quite tired of reading about my little bargain bag, but I really am blown away at how well-designed it is.  It even has the little “feet” I like on bags! 

That’s the last of the bag blabberings.  Thanks for bearing with me.  You know how picky I am if you’ve been reading about my knitting bag search, so this really is a find.  Along the same lines, Vera Bradley has announced the next four colors to be retired, and they’re 25% offright now.  I might order a baby bag, just to try it.   I’d like to wait for a bigger discount, but that also means I’d risk the colors I like (Mesa Red and most especially, Botanica) not being available in the pieces I want. 

The mystery lace is complete for a few weeks.  Clue #2 is done.  It’s rather easy, as lace goes, and I’m just crazy for the yarn, both the color and the feel. 

It’s not a great photo, but at 9pm, you take what you can get. 

Whew!  I need some iced green tea now, after all of that.  Shall I pour for you too?


Pardon the morning sun dancing across the lace, and the “Sissy was here” wet ear marks on the right, but that’s all of clue #1 in our Guild’s mystery KAL.  That means I’m half-way through for the clues I have on hand.  I’ll start on clue #2, probably after I post this.  I frogged what you’d seen before and started over on #7s Friday night.  Interestingly enough, it flowed, mistake-free.  I don’t know whether the slightly larger needle allowed me to see the stitches better or what, but it seems my shawl is happiest on #7s.

I’ve done a few rows on Stardust, and otherwise, the weekend has not been following my plan.  I tried to go to the Needle Lady  yesterday.  I even waited until the farmers market should have been over.  (The market takes up one entire, precious parking lot.)  For whatever reason, there was not a parking place to be had downtown, so I scrapped that and proceeded to the grocery store for more frustration.  Then, I headed home with most of what I went to buy, and made macaroni salad and brownies for the Knight’s duty crew at the firehouse.  At first, it appeared it would be dinner for three, but then my Favorite College Kid showed up (the Knight mentioned the brownies to him), followed by some dear friends from out of town.  What a great surprise!  I happily forgot all about my plans to knit the night away at home, and hung out at the station, catching up and laughing, and eating. 

I did pick up the supplies to begin training Sissy to the invisible fence, so that adventure will start in a while.  As I type, Mugsy is exercising her on the front porch in a rousing game of chase.

Friday afternoon marked the arrival of one of my recent Etsy purchases.  The gals of Chestnut Bay Fibers have a new fan!   Each hank arrived individually bagged, closed with cute little horse head stickers.  Very few of you know that horses used to be a big part of my life (prior to the back surgery), so this was a great added touch for me.  (Details.  I love those little custom details that make me feel valued as a customer!)  The yarn is so soft, and so beautiful, so it was with a heavy heart that I bagged it back up and set it aside for a day to be determined by my ever-growing queue.  So much yarn, so little time to knit. 

I know.  Some of you already think I have a lot more time to knit that you do.  And that’s true enough I suppose, but knitting really is my zen.  It centers me, but I also say only half in jest that knitting is part of my Alzheimer’s prevention program.  You see, it’s on both sides of my family, although all cases were in great aunts, so there’s hope…  They seem rather certain that continued learning of new things/skills help fight off the brain disease, so I figure as long as I keep learning new stitches, learning about new fibers, etc., knitting really is good for me!

Someone had said she wanted to see the package I sent my Coffee Swap pal.  Holly has received her care package and has blogged all about it, so you can see that HERE

Now, back to knitting.  And training Sissy.  Have a great Memorial Day for those in the USA.