Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lady of leisure

BAHAHAHA! I had another post ready to publish, in which I told the sorry story of the last nine months of my life, but I’m pretty sure no one wants to hear it. Happy thoughts! Jazz hands! Or something. ;)

Short story is that my family is healthy and well and happy. And that’s what really counts, right?

So I’ve done some knitting, and I have a backlog to publish. We’ll start with the ubiquitous Annis. I knit it for my aunt’s 65th birthday. She was barely a teenager when I was born, so growing up, she was more like a big sister. She had a rough year last year with some health issues and the unexpected passing of my beloved uncle who was her best friend forever. They were so cute, and he is missed. Every stitch had a memory in it—the sleepovers at her house, the movie dates at the drive-in, the “big girl” talks. Her favorite color is light green. She lives in the south now, and I didn’t want to make anything too heavy. This turned out just perfect. :)
Annis Tall Close
It was an easy knit, and I will definitely make one someday just for me. This looks really yellow, but it wasn’t. It was a nice grasshopper green with tiny green beads in place of the nupps.
Annis Full (10)
Check out the link above to my Ravelry project for more details about the technical aspects, like the crocheted cast-on, which has become my go-to cast-on for lace-edged crescent shawls. Do you think I could fit any more hypenated words in that paragraph? ;)
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Moment, Please…

As has been the case recently, I’m struggling. I’m overwhelmed and trying to sort things out so it’s not so much. So I’m grabbing the small moments—the little things. I planted a calla lily bulb a couple or more years ago. The leaves always came up, but it had never flowered.

This year it did for the first time. And that made me happy…

Calla Lily 003

Calla Lily 002


…for a moment.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mucha Do About Nothing

OK, that was kind of silly. But it’s a silly day. Here’s a project I just finished test-knitting. It’s a lovely little Art Nouveau scarf and…well…sign me up.  It’s called Ivy and was designed by Mara Loog. The pattern will be available in mid-July. I’ll try to scoot back and provide a link when it’s available.

I was assigned the laceweight version and ended up using Knitpicks Shadow in Juniper. Hence my project name (which I’m sure is botanically incorrect, but it sounded pretty) Juniper Ivy. I’m nothing if not creative in the naming department.

Juniper Ivy Garden

Juniper Ivy Beaded Edge

Juniper Ivy Dayflower


Juniper Ivy Cast of Characters

Here’s me not figuring out how to get pictures to appear where I want them. But at least, they’re visible, right? I gotta grab all the positive I can.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Women In Me

I’ve been away for a while. Not physically, just mentally. I finished a few WIPs (yea!), and am trying to get some things in order. A thread about the women in our lives sprouted up online, and has spawned several side conversations that I feel the need to talk about.

I am one of the fortunate few, apparently. My mother has always been wonderful. I had both of my grandmothers in my life on a daily basis until I left home. I was close to many of my aunts. I have even been blessed with two mothers-in-law who treated me like a daughter.

My mother attended every band concert, school play, athletic event, and conference there was. Perhaps I didn’t appreciate the effort at the time. Or more accurately, I took it for granted. I thought all mothers were like that. She would be doing the same for her grandchildren now, except we have all scattered across the country. She is in her 70s, and is easily a day’s drive from my sister and me (opposite directions), and a couple of hours from my brother. It kills her not to be there for any event. I think of this when I read of people who complain that their mothers or grandmothers or mothers-in-law can’t be bothered to drive across town to spend time with their children. Of course, there are two sides to every story, and I often hear only one. But it always makes me grateful that I have a drama-free family. No one is feuding or playing a passive aggressive game. We like each other. We would spend more time together if we could.

I don’t know what else to say other than I wish this for all people.


Reynolds Kids

My mother (standing) and her siblings at my folks’ 50th wedding anniversary.

PS…My dad is awesome, too. He didn’t get to attend a lot of stuff because he was a farmer, and as anyone who grew up on a farm knows, when the farm calls, everything else waits. He can build a tractor out of baling wire and duct tape, though. He was McGyver way before his time. :)

PSS…Happy Birthday, Mom!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Marilyn and Lester…together again

I belong to an internet forum (don’t we all) where I met Lester and Marilyn (not their real names). I didn’t actually meet them, of course, but they were frequent and much-loved contributors. Lester had to be 80-ish, and Marilyn probably clocked in around mid-60’s? Close enough. Lester was there first. He was intelligent, well-read, very down-to-earth, blessed with common sense and wisdom, had a well-honed sense of humor, and was like a father/grandfather to us. And he loved Marilyn with all of his heart and soul.

He had a way of cutting to the heart of the matter when there was a kerfluffle on the forum. His wise words were always delivered with kind directness. He was refreshing and wonderful and made us all want to be a little better.

A year or two ago, he suffered a stroke while picking a tomato out of his garden and died shortly thereafter. We were all heart-broken, although none so much as his beloved wife, Marilyn.

Marilyn, who had not participated in the forum much prior to his passing, came to spend more and more time there among those who loved Lester. It was easy to see why they worked so well together, even though their history was in interesting one. We all grew to love her, and were especially glad that that voice of wisdom and common sense was still there among us.

She became ill over the past few weeks, and her family has let us know that she is in organ failure and is dying. She may, in fact, have already passed as of this writing.

While we are all terribly sad and will miss her, the first thing we all thought of was that she would be with Lester again. I know that the term soul-mates is incredibly cliche, but these two people were obviously meant to be together. The universe threw them together via some pretty convoluted means, but it was clear that it was supposed to happen. To a person, regardless of our views of the afterlife, there was a sad joy in our community with the absolute knowledge that they are where they belong—with each other.

God speed, Marilyn. And say howdy to Lester. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lingering in another girl’s paradise

My best friend and I used to have this coping mechanism whereby we would imagine what our alternate universe counterparts would be doing in their world on a given day when we were experiencing …uh…teh suck in ours. There were plenty of alternate universe spa visits, let me tell you. While massages and pedicures don’t actually fix anything, they are certainly a more positive (if expensive) way to escape reality than, say, heroin. Of course, for po’ folks, pedicures and massages only exist in our imaginations.  But it’s what we had.

Today, my alternate universe counterpart is having a 2 hour massage, complete with hot stone treatment, and a pedicure that’s heavy on the foot massage and light on the polish.

I’m having a bad week and a worse day. I’m overwhelmed, and I’m struggling. It happens. I just needed to clear my head a bit.

But my family is happy and healthy. Sometimes one needs to step back and focus on that.

My whine for the day was brought to you by a picture of…

Brett Knitting


Raymond Knitting

…because it makes me a little happier. :)


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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fancy Schmancy

Because I am technologically challenged, I decided to use Windows Live Writer as a publishing tool. So I’m just playing around. I hope it doesn’t make me cry like all the other mean girl applications do. (I’m probably using the words “publishing tool” and “applications” incorrectly, but that’s all I know.)

And now it’s time for gratuitous pictures!

Let’s call this “Breads I Have Baked”.

First up, we have Buttered Rosemary Rolls in a cast iron skillet. These are a staple at our house. Thanks Pioneer Woman!

PS…you’ll notice that two of the rolls are nekkid, rosemary-wise. That’s because one member of our family has not developed a taste for rosemary—yet.

Rosemary Rolls

And now, here is my friend Naan. Mmmmmm, Naaaaaan. (Say that like Homer Simpson). I don’t remember where I got this recipe. I’ve tried several recipes I’ve found online. You just have to experiment. I haven’t found the perfect one, but I suspect since I’m not baking them in a hot clay oven, they won’t ever be as wonderful as the ones we get at our local Indian Restaurant. But they don’t suck, either.

Naan 003 

No knead bread. My carpal tunnelly wrists thank Jim Lahey. Note: I use 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 1/2 c water after some experimentation. The amount of water you need will vary by your regional humidity and room temperatures. I always sprinkle sesame seeds on top, because who doesn’t love that nutty roasted sesame smell?

No Knead

Well, ok. That was pretty easy. Yea, Windows Live Writer!

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