Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

My Photo
Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Booking Through Thursday

I was web wandering this morning and found A Bluestocking Knits where, through her latest post, I wound up on Booking Through Thursday "Ah ha!", I said to myself, "Given my love of reading & knitting, this seems to be a perfect match. A Me-Me where a question about reading is posted every Thursday and participants answer it on their blogs & leave a link." So, without further ado, my first Booking Through Thursday entry:

Where do you do most of your reading? Your favorite spot?

It's usually on the love-seat in the living room with my feet up on a mismatched footstool so I can prop my book against my knees while I knit or crochet. Second most common place is the recliner in the family room where I can do the same while watching TV and read during the unending commercials. The third one is the recliner in Mom's living room when I'm visiting her. The first two locations are surrounded by my books & yarn, Mom, however, is still Mrs. Clean so I have to keep my "junk" more contained {g}..

I'm over half done on both the green rag-tag and the purple shawl. Last Thursday I almost forgot about the K4 meeting and when DH reminded me I rushed out forgetting the bag with the first two rag-tags & the two shawls. Hopefully, next week I'll remember them and have one more of each finished.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Two Rag-Tag Afghans

Here's what I've been working on in the evenings....

The second Rag-tag Afghan of 2007 with various shades of red ranging from deep cranberry to pink on the ends and whites & creams in the center section. It's amazing how many shades there are of cream and even white. Many of the skeins that are donated to our K4 group are partial ones so the rag-tags are a good way of using up the bits and pieces. They remind me of the saying my Grandmother who went through the depression often used: "Use it up, wear it out. Make do or do without."

Also I have a royal purple garter stitch shawl on the needles and a good start on Rag-tag #3 which will be like this one but with shades of green on the ends.

We've had some very warm weather here in S.E. Michigan - old record highs were broken both Monday & Tuesday when the temperatures climbed into the high 70s - in March! In Michigan! Late Tuesday, a cold front came through along with some pretty powerful thunderstorms. We had a downpour here, but nothing like what hit over by Mt. Clemens where some areas received close to 4" of rain in an hour. People over there are cleaning out their flooded basements and it got me to thinking what would I grab first should the lower level of this tri-level flood. My quilting corner is full of fabric along with a foot deep pile of finished quilts on the bed. I have bins, baskets & bags of yarn down there - partly mine and partly my K4 stash for the rag-tags. Then there are the quilting & knitting books and magazines and even more "stuff" in the crawl space. Some of it could be washed if it got wet in a flood - even full skeins of yarn wash nicely if the label is removed and the skein is placed inside a knee high stocking. So, I expect that I'd first grab the unfinished quilt tops (those don't go through the laundry all that well because the seams fray), then the books & magazines, the finished quilts, and however much fabric & yarn I had time to get upstairs. I'm going to double check to make sure that all my photos are at least on the main level. Watching someone else's heartbreak makes one consider how to avoid it - just in case.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I tend to multi-task.. I read while I'm knitting or crocheting. When I watch TV, I have my needlework at hand and normally a book on my lap to read during commercials. I get a lot done that way, but at the same time it limits me to semi-easy projects. I can still work fair-isle patterns while reading, but working lace without watching every stitch defeats me. I'm still no further on the Adamas shawl than I was about this time last year and while I discovered a nice size ball of lace weight yarn in off white on the free table at the Sr. Center, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it other than admire it.

I've been multi-tasking for so long (I taught myself to knit while reading back in college over 40 years ago because I had so much reading to do that otherwise, I'd never get to pick up my needles) that it seem to be a part of me. Sitting and only concentrating on my needles makes me nervous - something is missing. Maybe if I tried hard enough I could get to the point where I could do simple lace while that other part of my brain gets on with being entertained, but I don't think it's going to happen with small needles and yarn that's so thin it looks more like crochet thread. With the Highland Triangle & the Wool Peddler shawls that I worked in Wool of the Andes on size 10½ needles, I got to the point, especially on the WP's lace & the two outer borders of the HTS, that I could work them without watching (but I put frequent life lines into the work just in case). I'm thinking of trying the Irish Diamond from the Folk Shawl book, but doing it as a triangle rather than a square. Because it's worked from the neck out as 4 triangles, I think it should be semi-easy to eliminate the center two - I'm still considering.

On the other hand, I have been busy:

These two shawls, started with 3 stitches at the bottom tip, increasing one stitch at the beginning of each row until there are 8 stitches and then with an easy K4, YO, at the beginning of each row to form the border and shape the triangle are quick and easy - an 8 ounce skein of Bernat or Red Heart Super Saver and size 15 needles. These will go to a local nursing home where the ladies are actually more apt to need a shawl in the summer because of the air conditioning. I'm also about 3/4ths of the way through another crocheted rag-tag afghan - this one has reds & pinks on either end and whites, creams & tans in the center - and I have the start of a royal purple shawl on the needles.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

One Rag-Tag Afghan

It's finished - I put the last couple rows on this afternoon at our K4 meeting.

I spent the rest of the meeting working on the bright yellow garter stitch shawl which is about half done gauging from how much yarn is left. I'll either continue working on that this evening or perhaps start another rag-tag - it's so much fun playing with the colors of the leftover yarn and making them blend into a pleasing mix.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Good News For A Change

Mom is continuing to bounce back from the fall she took at the end of December and hasn't shown any bad reactions from the leukemia as of yet. We've been giving her a little more space as she doesn't seem to need the hovering we were doing in January & February - in fact, she's getting downright feisty about needing help and telling me to go home {g}.. We are continuing to insist that the three of us eat dinner as a family as I'm pretty sure that the fall was the result of her fainting because she hadn't been eating enough. Tonight's menu is salads, fish sandwiches & chips; last night DH fixed a pork roast along with baked potatoes and steamed vegetables. You've got to love a man who cooks!!

I'm taking a break from the endless hats & scarves I've been making for charity - 85 hats & 74 scarves since the first of the year are enough for a while. I have a bright yellow garter stitch shawl on the needles and I'm starting to use up some of the leftovers in a rag-tag afghan. After all the rather dull "guy" colors I've been working with recently, it seems nice to work with bright yarn for the shawl and play with colors in the afghan. The shawls are popular at the local nursing home and there's always a need for afghans, especially for the home bound seniors served by the Meals On Wheels program from the Sr. Center.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It Means A Lot

Thanks for all the kind comments posted this last week and a half since we lost our "furry kids" - it really means a lot to both DH & me. We haven't quite adjusted yet to the almost empty house. I'm still over to Mom's most of the time and I'm so grateful for being able to have Tiger over there for a while - if I hadn't had those three weeks, I think I'd be even more of a basket case than I have been. DH is talking about adopting at least one cat and maybe two - let's face it, Callie is about as close to having an Avanti toy cat as one can get in the cuddle department. In fact, it would be easier to cuddle the toy. The technician at the vet's told us that she's found orange or yellow tigers to be the most likely to have a cuddlesome personality and when I search the Pet Finder sites, most cats that color are described as friendly lap cats. Does anyone have other recommendations?

In the knitting department, I'm still "knitting up a storm" - I missed the K4 meeting last week because of the nasty weather, but I'll have at least a dozen hat & scarf sets in "guy colors" to turn in this Thursday. After that, I'll start in on shawls for the nursing home or, more likely, rag-tag afghans to use up all the left-overs from the hat & scarf sets. I'm still reading a lot and need to update the list over there in the sidebar. Right now, I'm in the middle of the next to last of the Kevin Kerney mysteries by Michael McGarrity and I have two of the Alex Cooper mysteries by Linda Fairstein on my stack along with a Dan Brown that I missed when it was on the New Books shelves. Those should keep me busy the rest of this week.

Acrylics Anon/a