Monthly Archives: May 2007

A Very Quilty Weekend


We had a really nice long weekend. The boys were home from school on Friday (teacher in-service), so it was a four day weekend for us. Long weekends are a lot like snow days- you wish for them with visions of togetherness and making things and then about three hours into it, I think : “What was I thinking?”

This past weekend was the exception. There was togetherness and making things- making things together even! My sewing/knitting Laboratory has always been off limits to the kids with very good reason, I might add. Occasionally, they would be allowed in until they couldn’t sit still anymore. This weekend Angus came with me in there and worked, quietly for about 40 minutes. There are now a couple of ground rules: Rule One of Mommy’s Magic Sewing Room- Follow the Rules! Rule Two of Mommy’s Magic Sewing Room: They are all Mommy’s Rules! These seemed to work pretty well. Angus asked me for some pins to use on the scraps he found. His plan for the fabric is for me to sew a pocket…

Not exactly sure how that is going to work, but far be it from me to tell him that. I completely decline to squelch any interest he has in the fiber arts. When he was done pinning and began telling me how to make the quilt I was working on, it was time for some diversionary tactics. I asked him to pick out some fabrics that he liked and we could make something from it. Here is what he picked:

And let me tell you this MIND BLOWING OCCURANCE! First- I left him ALONE in my sewing room!! Can you imagine? I couldn’t imagine but I DID DO IT! When I left there were scraps and pins EVERYWHERE. When I came back in Angus, ALL BY HIMSELF, had put all the pins back in the box, put the lid on the box and put ALL THE SCRAPS IN THE TRASH CAN!! Holy Crap! He had no help, it was his own idea and he executed it PERFECTLY. This feat of wonder earned him the right to have his own little corner of work space in in Laboratory. He is really getting the connection between initiative and rewards earned. Very Cool and I never, ever thought I would see the day. My secret hope is that he will turn into a version of Jane’s Thomas- advising, helping and playing.

Do you remember this quilt top? I finally got around to putting the borders on it this weekend! And I think I found the fabric for the backing and binding. Now all I have to do is make the sandwich. EEEK! This gives me fits of jitters but I do have my pins, masking tape, floor space and a quiet house. The pansies in the front are for the binding and the large leafy is for the back. What do you think? I am liking it, though I would never have picked the lotus fabric for the outer border. Followed a suggestion from my new local quilt shop- WHICH I AM LOVING! Will tell more about them later. So whaddya think?

Here is a bigger picture, and again I am pretty pleased though a wee bit uncomfortable with the wide border- still not sure if I am 100% about it or not. And I am willing to try new things, plus fabric is a renewable resource, Right?

There are two more parts to my very quilty weekend. They have nothing to do with each other.

This was a fun, but not very personal post- Laura- I pledge to get more personal. Yes, I promise to take the coaching!

Thank you to all of our service people who stand tall and ready to defend our lives. God Bless you. I cannot manage more on Memorial Day as I get too choked up. For more read my post from last year here.

Love you all. Thanks for reading and Be Good to Yourselves!

What I Have Been Meaning To Share…


Somethings I know about myself:

As much as I hate to admit it, my grammar and punctuation suck.

While I shouldn’t, I often begin sentences with “I” or “And”. The shame is immense.

My use of the semicolon is dismal; however, I love the semicolon.

The quarter inch seam is as elusive as the lost city of Atlantis.

My youngest son announced at 5:50 AM that he was a rooster and his job was to Cocka Doodle Do from the rooftop to make sure the family was awake. (He was in our bed, and thankfully not on the roof.)

(Oh, and I love parentheticals.)

Pretty sure we are done having babies which has me desperately sad and somewhat relieved.

Two nights ago I dreamed about Jane’s Allotment quilt throughout the night.

I dropped out of College.

Tom Waits and Bob Dylan are my favorites.

I am adopted. Can I tell you how shameful I feel for not knitting for the Red Scarf Project? That could have been me, easily.

One of my favorite words is idiopathic.

Though I am 38, almost (August 22) 39 I have yet to feel like a grown up.

My Mom looks better than me (and most) than I ever will. We each have our lot in life.

My husband’s love confounds me on a daily basis.

My kids will call out “Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!” and then I realize they are calling me. How did I get to be the mom? Yes, I do understand biology…

Being the Change I want to see in the World is hard and wonderful and awful all at the same time.

Post Secret is a guilty pleasure.

Both my kids are in school all day, 5 days a week and while I have MANY things to occupy me I often wonder what to do.

The thought of them leaving home is crushing to me.

The “Let’s cure everything RIGHT NOW” culture really weighs on me.

I have never, ever checked my stats for who or how many of you read this blog. Ever. It would make me too nuts.

I love you all (whoever you are)!

Crap! The iron is on upstairs! Crap!

Oh- I hate wooden spoons of all varieties.

My current obsession is knitting that resembles marquetry floors!


My Mom Went to Japan and I Didn’t Get a Crappy T-Shirt


So my mom came to visit this past weekend, which was also her birthday. We gave her a few small gifts (paints, sketch book, etc) and then mom got to shop my stash. The conversation went something like this:

Mom: Wow, look at all that beautiful, colorful yarn!

KT: Oh that is the Blue Moon yarn I have been telling you about, Socks That Rock. You should take some home with you!

Mom: Why? I am never, ever, EVER going to knit socks. I just don’t do that. (not an exact quote but you get the idea-imagine I suggested she tatoo a barcode on her forehead.)

KT: Mom, you can make a bunch of things other than socks with this stuff. (I whip out the mitres, the snake scarf for Duncan, the sweater, the baby blanket)

Mom: But because it is sock yarn, you must use a really tiny needle, right? (Tiny for me is size one, tiny for Mom is a six.)

Then she felt all the squooshy loveliness and I suggested that the Blue Moonstone would be perfect for her and I saw it. That little spark in her eyes that she didn’t think I saw/wanted me to see. Four skeins of STR heavyweight in Bluemoonstone (and some other things) later she was on her way! Our plan is that she get in touch with the BMFA gals and order the same color in a fiber that she can carry along with it so it can be knit on an 8 or 9.

Oh my goodness Lookie!!!! My folks went to Japan and look what they brought me back! It was so kind and generous of them- Thanks Mom & Jerome! This particular set of parents (yes there is more than one- I should org chart it for the blog-HA!) have some very good friends that are Australian, lived in Hong Kong for a good long while and have travelled to Japan frequently over a great number of years. Off the four of them went with a wee request from me… If at all possible could they score me some Japanese fabric? John & Judy took time out of the trip to show my folks fabric shops and I think markets and what they found was enchanting! Some of these are available here (shhhhhh! don’t tell) and I couldn’t care less as they are fabrics I never would have picked for the stash and that is good! It is always wonderful to find uses for things that you might not normally pick. Expanding horizons and all that.

First there is some Kaufman fabric. This falls into the category of something I would not pick and will love to find a use for. Very exciting as the fabric will always be special to me and the funny part is my maiden name is, indeed Kaufman! No relation as far as I know, though my grand father used to own textile mills.

The next lot I thought were fat quarters but upon unpacking them I saw all the edges are sewn down. Placemats ? Japanese doilies? Panels? Don’t know and I will certainly find a use for these too. Jan (or anybody else who knows about all this)- if you are reading and have any insight into any of these Japanese mysteries- we would love to hear them!

There are two more lots and I am not certain which I find more wonderful. The first is several squares that feel like Bark Cloth but are most certainly synthetic- maybe rayon? I love these so much and may have to incorporate them into some sort of clothing….Appliques on a T-shirt maybe? Who knows! I love these to bits.

The last lot has a charm all its own. Look at how these bundles are put together! Sewn though the middle. I find this so practical and basic and lovely and decadent (piercing the fabric? oh I adore it!). Never have I seen this before, it is such a contrast from all the prettily tied fat quarter packs I have seen in my local shops. I think my preference is this way….

The pieces seem to be completely irregular in size. There is a LOT of bunny fabric, which I find perfect. These little bundles came from this shop:

Have a great day everybody! Love you all. Oh, and my mom will probably kill me for this but here she is being her cute self with her grandbabies & her husband:

rain drops on roses


(this was written Wednesday night but posted Thursday . Again the internet.)

If those folks do not fix this problem soon, I am going to have kittens. The internet is out again. Lord only knows when this will post. Tomorrow is supposed to be the day they lay the new (temporary) pipe, we shall see.

Today was a pretty neat day for all of us. (The following may not seem like a big deal, and for us it is. We weigh each gram of food that our son eats and strive to make sure that his diet [as it pertains to Type One Diabetes] is in check. ) Each month Angus and his class take a field trip to the big library in town. As it was the last trip of the year today, they got to have smoothies on the way back from the Library. So I popped into the juice joint, put some insulin in him and off I went. He got to hang out with his friends, be a cool kid and I had a pretty big exercise in letting go. While I am at it, I would like to give a big, HUGE, public shout out to Jamba Juice! I do not know much about this company and what I do know impressed this mother of a diabetic. All and I mean all of the nutritional info for all of the smoothies and other goodies they sell is available online and in the store. This means that we were able to go online, read the info, Angus got to pick what he wanted and I knew ahead of time what the correct dose of insulin to give him was. Because this company took the time and effort to do this, my kid got to take part, we as parents felt confident and I commend them 100%. We really wish that more folks took the resources to do this. Jamba Juice will now be a special treat in our family.

This baby blanket has been a really interesting knit. Garter stitch log cabin, interesting? Why yes, you nay sayers! The most challenging part of it has been thinking outside of my colorway box. As I have said before, it is not that I do not like these colors, I just do not think in these colors. For the colors I see and think and dream in, look at my last post. So, in a way this blanket has also been an exercise in letting go. Trusting you about jewel tones has been a big achievement for me. There have been several times that I have really, really wanted to abandon this project and reclaim the yarn. Then I realized it didn’t matter all that much. Yes, I want to make a beautiful gift for a baby girl whose mother teaches my son everyday. Yes, I want this to be treasured and used and loved. And it will be, almost regardless of what I make it look like. Alice in the Heartland (would you get a freaking blog already?), whom I met at camp, advised me of the most wonderful thing….that I think too much. This comment was taken to heart and yes, I have heard it before. So, I chose to just go with it. Add a color, switch when I want to, more of this and less that. More of the spirit and less of the letter. Oh and did you know that Iowa has 2 coasts? When I assemble my knitting posse for the underground bunker, Alice is SO on the list. You are too, don’t worry!

One more thing. Today before the juice joint, I stopped by an old haunt of mine, Ben Franklin Crafts. Years ago (on a planet far, far away) I used to shop there. Sure it was not the toniest of places and yet they always had something that was fun, new or new to me. So, I went back today and holy cow! The yarn selection used to be very, very limited and in a dark back corner of the store. Now it is almost one whole wing and the selection was pretty darned good, not perfect and much better than expected. One of the reasons I like this place is that they are locally owned and have been there for 32 years. Yes, BF is a franchise operation and not a one-off but at least the dollars stay mostly in the community. It was a really pleasant surprise.

Have a great day!



This was so much fun to make. The colors make me so, so happy.

This was my inspiration:

The main color is Lemongrass and the contrast is Backstabber. (Love that name and it is perfect for the color!) Both are STR Heavyweight. Knit on size 4 needles, 6 sts to the inch-unblocked. Please ignore the seaming, I am going to unpick the seams, block this and give the seaming another go. The Backstabber started as a full skein and after I was done, I weighed it and it was 6oz. (having started at approximately 7 oz.). The entire square weighs 3 oz, so I figure that from one skein of heavy weight I can get 3.5 finished squares, or 14 mitres in the main color and 28 mitres in the contrast. The 4 mitres sewn together are roughly 11 inches square. Mainly I am telling you this so that I can have a record of it that I will be able to find later, ha! Btw, I have not seen the Backstabber on the site- I bought it at camp and wish I had bought more. Oh which reminds me of something that I was really happy to hear and I suspect that you will be too. All the colors of STR are available, even if they are not on the site. Just call em and if they have it already fini, then you can have it right away and if not once enough people have requested it, they will dye more. I think I got that right. So if you thought your favorite colorway went bye-bye, call ‘em- I bet they will have it!

I will make more of these for sure. In all honesty, I tried making some last year and I kept making them so the stitch count was off at the end. And I was WAY too embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t knit a mitre correctly, so I clammed up about it. So, Emily to answer your question- that afghan didn’t happen. It might be really interesting to make something (a blanket*cough*) where the main color was the same throughout and the contrasting color changed from square to square. Hmmm. Now I am not saying this will turn into anything, proclamations are always the death of me, it was just really fun to make. I may have a few other color combinations kicking around in my head…

ps: This will get posted IF the internet ever comes back on. It has been going out pretty regularly at about this time each day- you know- the time I have the whole post laid out in my head.

eta: the square was unpicked and steam blocked. It looks beautiful! Even if the square unblocks itself (it is superwash afterall ), it will have been worth it to make the seaming easier. Let’s see if I can get that badboy seamed and photographed before the internet makes a return.

eta: This post was written Tuesday and not posted till now because we had zero internet for over 10 hours! I will post a picture of the blocked and seamed square later today- I just want to get this post up before the internet goes out again!

thinking big


We can hardly believe that the move was over a month ago. Time really does abstract when you move. Requests that were made of me that I SWEAR were made last week, were actually made a month ago. There has been no routine, only very loose scheduling and general mayhem as we muck through the backside of this move. Plus we have had three different house guests since we moved in. Plus Duncan has been home with me because there was no room in the new school until Fall. Great news! A spot in his age group opened up and he started last week! Yay for Duncan! Yay for me! Then Duncan got his “Welcome to your new school” gift. Pink Eye has kept Duncan home from school on what was to be the first full week at the new school. The good news is that he can go tomorrow if Mama got the drops in his eyes soon enough (if he had the drops by 10 he could go Tuesday). Call the Pediatrician to just call in the prescription (with a visit to the doctor) so I can make the deadline, rush to the pharmacy, put the drops in Dunc’s eyes before even leaving the parking lot. Phew! Made it with a minute to spare. Anyhow- my point was not to talk to you about the Goop Du Jour (now there is a stellar idea for the sidebar…Goop Du Jour featuring the Goop Cam! And believe me there is no shortage of Goop in this house. You have no idea how many, many Goop Stories I spare all of you. You are welcome.) Wow, does the above sound whiney? Yep? Is it true? Yep?

Okay, before my whining is over there are a few more things I want to mention:

a) When the icemaker (yes I am grateful to have one) is about to make ice, it sings like a Humpback Whale for about 45 seconds beforehand.

b) The microwave (yes I am grateful to have one) is a bit of a relic, I call it Hanford.

c) The gas stove (yes I am grateful to have one) lights only when it wants to.


d) All of these are easily replaced and we DO love this house (Really, Annette- we do!!!!!).

e) The tree peonies are blooming and knocking my socks off! Holy cow!

f) The boys are outback counting tadpoles in the pond.

g) The tooth fairy comes tonight for Angus.

The point was to talk about how easy it is to not think big, to get pigeon holed or in a rut and too caught up to realize that you are not thinking big that you are indeed thinking about your microwave. And I find myself not thinking big of late and I do not like it at all. It hurts. I was watching Duncan play the other morning and asked myself: “Do I lift him up? Do I help him to dream, to be creative? Or do I reprimand too much?” Then I asked the same questions of myself, about myself. The answer was a resounding “Yes!!”

The cure? Dream a little dream and sing along to the song of the Humpback Whale.