Monthly Archives: July 2006

Rating System


Don’t we all love looking through pattern books, catalogs and of course the internet dreaming of projects to take on? Certainly, I spend far more time than is prudent partaking in this kind of dreamy state than I care to admit. Also included are cookbooks, garden design books and seed catalogs. Rowan long ago captured my heart. My first one, Number 12, was a revelation for me. I made 6 different pieces from my dear, dreamy Number 12. It is safely tucked away because I really would cry if something happened to it, and with the boys it is a strong possibility. Over the years, I have collected almost all of them. Sigh.

Now, I have begun to amass the Rowan/Kaffe quilting/patchwork books. I love them too, though the commentary takes away from the overall effect- reality intruding on my dreaming. I do prefer to let my mind drift and imagine things as opposed to having it all explained to me.

As with both sets of books, they rate the experience level a person should have to undertake a project. With the knitting books, this never really bothered me, I simply ignored it. But now as I spend more time sewing, I find I pay attention to the stated difficulty level more. This bothers me immensely on two fronts. First, it bothers me that I pay attention to them and hear myself thinking “Oh, that has THREE stars, I couldn’t make that”. It is maddening to me and I consider this a flaw in my character. Second, closely tied to the first, is why bother rating them at all? If you tell somebody that something is difficult, then it IS difficult. Why not let me have at it and see where I end up. Maybe I will learn something new. With the boys, I really try to limit my telling them something is difficult. I will absolutely tell them it is dangerous (which will not stop them), and shy away from saying something is difficult (which will stop them).

If they insist on a rating system, don’t you think they could come up with a more encouraging one? How much Joy will this bring you? How many generations of your family will get to enjoy your beautiful creation? How special will the recipient feel when they receive your gift? How much will you learn or better how much your confidence in your abilities will be boosted? That is the kind of rating system I am interested in.

And this little baby, is a ten out of ten on the How much Joy will it bring you scale. I am smitten.

The Food Chain


A few days ago, when I picked up the boys from summer camp, I noticed the daughter of the Director sitting and knitting. She is a beautiful young lady of ten. As I approached, I noticed she was knitting chenille. Then I spied her knitting needles. Pencils. Two colored pencils – both white if you must know. And rust colored chenille. My heart began to sing. The drive, the ingenuity, the adorability of it all. It does in fact, get better…she was knitting a bracelet for her big brother. Ponder this for a moment. I strive to raise my children like this one. So, I did have the presence of mind to take a deep breath and not scare the daylights out of her, then I did the silliest thing in the world. I said “So, are you knitting?” Uh, no I am building a nuclear reactor – to her credit she only said yes, I am knitting and then she told me that her teacher offered free knitting classes last year. It was necessary to reign it in again as I was about to scar her for life with my excitement.)

Then she seemed to be having some trouble. Again, I took a deep breath and asked what she was trying to do and if she needed help. She said “I am trying to finish this off and could you help me?” So I showed her how to bind off. This was such a great experience. The next day I dropped off a little package for her to keep in her mom’s desk at work. Yarn, needles, a needle/stitch gauge and Kid’s Knitting. The joy that is brought me to give her more knowledge, for me they were not things but gateways to her self expression, was wonderful.

This is all part of the Food Chain. Many, many people over the years have taken the time to share their knowledge with me and I am much the richer for it. By taking the moment to share my excitement with a young lady, I feel that I am fulfilling my part in the Food Chain.

While I have been knitting for many years, and sewing for some years, I still consider myself a novice in both arenas. Not a beginner but a novice, and yes, I do think there is a difference. Part of me always wants to be a novice in many areas of my life, with my handwork, my husband, my children. How boring would it be if I learned all I could learn about these areas (or any area) of my life. To me, being a novice means being always curious, always wanting to learn more and trying to do better.

There are so many people that inspire, teach and guide me. It is amazing to me how lessons in one area of my life can inform a completely different area of my life. My father, an attorney whom I love more than anything, has taught me so much about creativity, the innate beauty in the world and being true to yourself. Really, his training and mine could not be more different and yet his academic training has informed almost all of my creative endeavors. The Food Chain in action.

Lastly, I wanted to show you a sketch made out of fabric. I have been sewing, pressing, sewing, pressing and making progress on the Awry Log Cabin Quilt. I am making samples/ sketches/blocks to see how they look. Here is a sample, laying on Frog, who is laying on a rain coat of the boy’s. I think these experiments might turn out beautifully.

Have a great weekend and thank you for stopping by-

xoxoxo- KT



I just said to Angus, “Someday there will be a girl you love, other than Mommy.” He said: “I will always love you best.” Oh my, how I wish it was true.

Again with the Precision


While I am not as precision oriented as some, I do love it. The joke is, okay the fact is, that I am the world’s most lazy ocd type person. I can see where every little thing is out of place and not do a thing to fix it.

A while back I wanted to plant some seeds in the garden beds around the house and the boys very much wanted to help. We have a saying in this house:”It is only help if the other person says so.” The help I wanted (?) was making holes in nice little rows and then covering them up. Not a chance. The boys did not want rows of any sort. To say this was frustrating is a total understatement. Going against every fiber of my being, I handed them about 3 seed packets each and instructed them to plant them “over there.”

It is difficult to capture the charm of eight kabillion sunflowers in a 25 square foot area. I see it everytime I look out the kitchen window and am delighted that I just let the small hollerin boys have at it. In the distance is my brand new vegetable garden, complete with deer fencing. Maybe, I’ll take you on a tour later this week. It is my favorite place.

There has been log cabining happening here. Last year (?) I bought a bunch *cough* Rowan Cork from here. Some very mindless knitting was needed, so this happened. I will simply knit until I run out of yarn. The estimation is that is will be roughly the size of a crib blanket. The colors are great individually. Together, I am not so sure. Certainly they are hard to take your eyes off of, but so is a train wreck.



Precision is not my forte. I would like to think it is my forte but, truly it is not. Craig, the Hubbalicious, however IS precision personified. If there are two different routes to a location, he will drive them each, time them and factor in the variables and always take the shorter of the two. Craig has a mathematical brain, whilst I have more of an artist brain. I rarely cook with a recipe, though I am having quite the Nigella moment over here. (I am of the opinion that Nigella is the Ann & Kay of the food world.)

When Craig and I were engaged, I was making scones one morning. As I chopped the nuts (which I had not measured),

Craig: “Um Honey, what are you doing?”

Me: “Adding hazelnuts.”

Craig:”You can’t add those!”

Me:”Why not?”

Craig: “They are not in the recipe!”

You get my point. So, many months ago I made a sample block with some fabric I had bought to make Angus a quilt. Over the long weekend, I picked the fabrics and cut roughly 596 pieces to make Angus a Barn Raising Log Cabin Quilt. I used my trusty Log Cabin Ruler. I will confess I had the niggling little thought- “Do I really want to cut these out all at once?” I cut, piled and got the cutting done. Then next day, I began to make the blocks. The were off. Worse, every time I added a new piece of fabric, it got worse. Each piece became consecutively longer and more off. I tried this about 5 times, with 5 different blocks. I was in deep despair.

What is a gal to do? Call in the Big Guns, that’s what. I grabbed the instructions, a quilting ruler and my beautiful but off block. Knock, knock, knock, Honey I really need your help. Craig, bless him, measured, figured, calculated, measured some more and then delivered the Bad News. 16ths, 8ths, some unconventional *cough* cutting methods and seam allowance had all conspired- it was hopeless. With the fabric I had cut, I couldn’t make the Log Cabin idea work. After I stopped being so upset and aggravated with myself, I decided to make Lemonade from Lemons as it were. I will sew all the strips together (I have a light and a dark for each length) and make something beautiful for my boy. Sigh. Yet again Precision kicks me in the rear.