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.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Guess Who Is No Longer Camera-shy???

Someone is becoming very comfortable around the camera.

To the point where trying to get a clear photo of my latest K4 project is becoming difficult unless I close the door to this room with Boomer on the other side. Under that mass of black & white fur is a smaller rag-tag than usual - this one is more suitable for someone in a wheelchair as it isn't large enough to get caught in the wheels while still being big enough to cover the lap & legs.

Ok, I confess - I didn't have the heart to banish him.. But I did try to move him to one side so the lace pattern on this shawl would show up. It's a simple K2tog, YO on one side of the center line and YO, SL1 to knit, slip 1 to purl, transfer back to the left needle & knit together. That lets the decreases slant out from the center.

I had to take the photo in a hurry because my new camera hog decided to get right back in the middle {g}

Back at Booking Through Thursday, I'm slightly late this week. The questions are:

Does what you read vary by the season? For instance, Do you read different kinds of books in the summer than the winter?
If so, do you break it down by genre, length of book, holiday, or...?

No, while my knitting and quilting activities change with the seasons, my reading matter doesn't. Mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, historicals (not hystericals - those overwrought romances set in the past), adventures & political novels are my usual fare and what I read when usually depends on what is on the new book shelves that suits my tastes or if I find a new-to-me author with half a shelf in the stacks to devour. Right now, I'm reading Melanie Rawn's Spellbinder, a modern day fanasty. Before that it was Stuart Woods' Fresh Disasters, a mystery, & Jack McDevitt's Odyssey, a science fiction work. I see that I need to bring my reading list on the sidebar up to date.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Booking Through Thursday #4

This week's question is "Okay, there must be something you read that's a guilty pleasure . . . a Harlequin romance stashed under the mattress. A cheesy sci-fi book tucked in the back of the freezer. A celebrity biography, a phoned-in Western . . . something that you'd really rather not be spotted reading. Even just a novel if you're a die-hard non-fiction fan. Come on, confess. We won't hold it against you!"

No problem here - and I'm not really ashamed of it - but we have lots and lots of comic strip collections! Far Side, For Better Or For Worse, Cathy, Doonesbury, Crankshaft, Calvin & Hobbs, Overboard, Dilbert, Sally Forth, Baby Blues, Foxtrot, Rose is Rose, Zits, and probably a number of others that I can't remember at the moment. They rotate in and out of the bathroom and on & off the end table downstairs providing a quick read and more than a few smiles. Collections that I hope are either out or will be coming out soon: Heart of the City, Stone Soup, Candorville, and maybe On The Fast Track; DH is looking forward to Pearls Before Swine. They're about the only books that we actually purchase (the rest of our reading material coming from the library) as we know that they're the ones that will be read again & again & again.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Three For Four

I can't remember the last time I put up three posts in four days, but then life has been a little more exciting recently.

First off, thanks for all the great name suggestions. But last night, I was sitting here looking at the cat curled up in my lap {BG} and it suddenly came to me that he wanted to be called Boomer. This morning, DH & I talked it over and while I was visiting with Mom, DH & the cat talked it over so Boomer is now official.

As you can tell, he's far less skittish than he was yesterday...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What is difficult to see under all that cat (Boomer is BIG) is my third rag-tag afghan of 2007 - this one in various shades of blue on the ends. Ok, I was feeling a little wild & tossed in those few stitches of bright yellow just under Boomer's left paw for the fun of it. I've done this more than once when making a scrap quilt when the blocks are all fairly coordinated and then I toss in an odd one in a different color or even a different pattern. I'm working on afghan #4, just finishing up the middle section of off whites & creams. The ends on this one are going to be narrower and just dark colors without any theme. I'm also working on a pair of slippers for DH who has been waving his toes at me through the holes he wore in the previous pair and muttering about charity beginning at home.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A New Family Member

We went to the Cat Adoption Event at the Sr. Center this morning looking for a 2 year old orange or yellow tiger - we came home with a 6 year old white with black splotches.

Just out of the carrier and feeling strange..

Exploring a little but making sure to turn my head when the flash goes off..

Hmmm.. A catnip mouse is a good ice breaker!

Ah, YES!!!

I think I may like it here, but what's my name???


Sunday, April 15, 2007

I Got Bored

I got bored making the same old garter stitch shawl for our K4 project, so I started this one from the neck down.

I started with 5 stitches and then used YOs 1 stitch in from either edge and 1 one either side of the center stitch for 4 increases each row. It's worked in stockinette stitch with the even rows purled, so it was still pretty mindless knitting.

Then I decided to get fancy & add a lace border. I was going to use an edging knit on sideways, but trying to do lace while chatting with my DH isn't the best idea. I flubbed up the first repeat so tinked back & put it aside until after he went to bed. Then I realized that I was making this pattern up as I go and I had no idea if the remaining yarn would be enough to work the sideways edging all the way around the shawl and decided to just add a few rows of a simple lace pattern that I could cut short if it looked like I was going to run out.

This is the lace pattern from the inner boarder of the Highland Triangle from Folk Shawls. It's a simple 6 stitch, two row repeat, but I still *MESSED* it up the first row and didn't discover it until half way through the next pattern row where I suddenly had three YOs where I should only have had two. So I tinked back and got it right on the second try, by which time it was about 2 a.m. Once the pattern is set, it's easy to stay on track (thank goodness!!!) I did 4 repeats working the increases into the pattern as I had enough stitches. The photo above is the point on one side - notice how the lace makes it curve more than the body of the shawl. It did the same thing when I made the Highland Triangle but I like the look.

Here's the center point that came out a nice mirror image on each side. I finished off with 8 rows of garter stitch to keep the bottom from curling. All in all, I'm quite happy with the results.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

An Engrossing Book

This week's Booking Through Thursday question concerns getting so involved in a book that you miss something else:

Have you ever missed an important appointment because you have become so engrossed in a book you forgot the time or were up so late reading that you didn't wake up in time? Been late to work because you couldn't resist the temptation and left the house too late?

If I didn't have the help of my sweet DH, I would often be late in getting over to Mom's for morning coffee because I didn't get to bed until 2 or 3 in the morning. Sometimes it's because I'm web wandering, but usually it's because I want to finish the book I'm reading. It happens more often now that I'm retired because Mom is more understanding than a boss. I still remember the first time I stayed up *all* night reading a book. It was back when DED & DYD were both little and I had a copy of Heinlein's latest book, Time Enough For Love, published in 1972 - I started it about the time the girls went to bed and I was just finishing when they got up the next morning. Fortunately, they took a number of naps that day because I was a zombie {g}.

On the knitting front, I finished the willow green shawl - I'll be glad when the rain lets up and the sun comes out so I can take a few photos outside because the flash is washing out the colors.

I have most of a blue rag-tag afghan finished and I'm working on a lime green shawl that's knit from the neck down using four YOs every other row for the increases. I'm almost to the point where I want to add a lace edging worked sideways like the one on the Highland Triangle shawl.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Continually Late

Here it is Friday and I just remembered that I was supposed to check the Booking on Thursday site for this week's questions. They're rather heavy ones this week:

1) Just out of curiosity, as we enter into Passover and Easter season . . . have you ever read the Bible? Just the odd chapter or Psalm? The whole thing? (Or, almost the whole thing? It's some heavy reading, of course, and those "begats" get kind of tedious.)

I'm into genealogy, so I don't find the "begats" all that boring, but, no, I haven't read a lot of the Bible. We had to memorize verses back in Bible School & Sunday School, I think at one time or another I've read through Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. But I draw the line at reading Paul's anti-female nonsense.

2) If so, was it from religious motivation or from a literary perspective? Stuck with nothing else to read in a hotel room the Gideon's have visited? Any combination?

Trying to understand where some of the sermons I was hearing in church were based.

3) If not, why not? Against your religious principles? Too boring? Just not interested? Something you're planning on taking care of when you get marooned on a desert island?

I see the Bible as a book written by men who were trying to understand the world around them - more history than holy. Don't get me wrong, I believe in a higher power and find a lot of good lessons in the four main gospels. I try to live a life that helps others - you might say that every stitch I put into the hats, scarves, shawls & afghans is a mini-prayer that the person who receives it will benefit and be watched over.

4) And while we're on the subject . . . what about the other great religious works out there? Are they more to your liking?

I've read the Tao Te Ching - which is sort of like Christianity without the personalities - everything comes from the Tao, everything returns to the Tao, the Tao that can be encompassed in words is not the Eternal Tao. Maybe it's the same with Christianity - Jesus' love lives in our hearts and actions, not in some sermon.


On the knitting front, I finished the green rag-tag & the purple shawl and turned everything (3 rag-tags & 3 shawls) in yesterday.

The green rag-tag is more square - wider & shorter - than I usually make, but it should still keep someone warm. I was actually running shy on the creams & off whites for the center section and unable to get into the craft room at the Sr. Center on Monday to pick up more as there was an "Ask A Lawyer" session going on in there.

The color on the shawl came out all wrong - it's royal purple, not magenta.

I have a blue rag-tag and a pale willow green shawl on the hook & the needles right now.

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