Gift Knitting Without a Pattern

•January 21, 2014 • 1 Comment

I’ve been doing some knitting for a friend’s daughter’s birthday. Her birthday was almost a week ago, but this particular friend knows how things go when I’m making something and makes allowances. This project has been a little bit of a challenge.

First off, she loves Assassin’s Creed. She got a copy of AC3: Black Flag for Christmas this year. She also refuses to wear hats. Not even assassin’s hoods. So I grabbed a chart for the logo here – it’s by IAm 4Man and it’s lovely – and got to work on making somthing she might wear – a pair of mittens. I decided on putting the logo on the outside and another pattern on the palm. There’s a pattern in Folk Knitting in Estonia that looked like it would work.

One’s finished so far, but it’s not been blocked. So as soon as both mittens are finished and blocked, I’d be happy to share a picture before I send them off. The worst part is that the floats on the front are uneven – it looks like it’s quilted, but I think it’ll block okay.

Other things have been going okay. BatFit is going pretty well. I’ve given up on weighing myself more than once a month, and am much happier. I’ve been doing some form of exercise (either yoga, Wii Fit or DYAO) almost every day. I missed this past Sunday, but it was pretty busy here with the Broncos winning the conference championship and going to the Super Bowl in 2 weeks. I’ve also been meditating every morning but one since Jan. 1. I’m not sure that I’m noticing any differences in how I feel from that, but we’ll see what things look like next month.

Spinning At Last

•January 9, 2014 • 2 Comments

For the past few days, I’ve been getting into spinning again. It makes me happy, and I realize how much it’s been missing in my life for the past few weeks.

I’ve been working up to going back on the wheel. I mentioned that I bought some new fiber right after Christmas, and it finally got here. There’s a Merino/silk dyed blend that’s going to be A’s graduation shawl. And there’s this:


The bag says it’s a bison/bamboo/Merino wool/cashmere blend. It feels like baby hair, and it spins up incredibly easily. Very little effort to get a nice, fine thread. Like this:

Yep, that’s my Bosworth Mini. I could have probably used the Lollipop also, but this one was easier to get to. Even as a fine, fine yarn it’s still soft. Not sure how many yards 2oz will give me, but we’ll see. I might try using this as singles too, but it’s very fine so maybe testing this half a spindle full is a good idea. Two of the fibers are brand new to me – the bamboo and the cashmere. I’m glad now that I tried them in a blend with at least a little wool in there. I’ve heard that both the bamboo and cashmere are quite slippery on their own, but the blend really is easy to work with.

After I’ve gotten a spindle full of this down, I’ll give the wheel a try and make a couple of samples.

My, um, workout: BatFit days 3 and 4

•January 4, 2014 • Comments Off

There’s also some obligatory spinning and fiber-related things in this one.

Yesterday was Day 3 of BatFit 2014. It was all about workouts. Workouts and I have never been friends. If I get tired or sick – and thanks to lots of things, I’ve been getting tired a lot – I quit. For a while. I get bored easily, and quit too.

There are some activities that could be characterized as “exercise” that aren’t boring, though. Going on hikes. I’m lucky enough to live in an area with some pretty damn spectacular hiking within a 2 mile radius of the house. Hell, even taking A to school is a mile each way, and not a bad walk by footpath. I need to check with my former PT to see if bicycling would be a reasonable/sane thing for me to do with my neck situation. I love it, and I miss it desperately, but I don’t know if it’s realistic any longer. I’d also like some alone time w/A while she’s willing to be seen with either or both of her parents, and I think hiking at least once a week (not counting back and forth to school) might be a very good thing indeed. There’s also the “Dance Your Ass Off” option. Providing there aren’t any witnesses…

Yesterday, I got my Giftmas present to myself: 2 different packs of spinning fiber. One is 8 oz of a merino-silk blend that’s going to be a shawl for A’s 6th grade graduation. Sometime soon I’ll write about the “time-honored” tradition that is 6th grade graduation; suffice it to say we’re going to shop for a good dress and heels very soon. Dear Bob. The horror.

Anyway, the other is 2 oz of a Merino/cashmere/buffalo blend that was on special and I’ve been curious about. It’s kind of an oatmeal color. Definitely not what I expected, with the buffalo in the mix. I don’t know what I’d like to do with it. Depending on the resulting yarn, I might make at least one more Tit Bit for my mom.

Being Kind: BatFit Day 2

•January 2, 2014 • Comments Off

Today’s BatFit Kickoff Day is a difficult one. It’s an especially difficult one for most women, I think. Men too, I suppose, as it’s not something that’s encouraged in our society. It has to do with the concepts of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness. For other people, certainly. That’s easy, at least for me and some other people in my RL. But towards ourselves?

Today’s question that the Curious Professor Z asks is:

I ask you, dear readers, how will you cultivate Compassion, Gratitude, Forgiveness and Generosity in your own lives, and most importantly, towards yourself?

I am (mostly) okay when it comes to extending compassion, generosity and understanding toward others. It’s something that I actively work on. But not for me.

My feelings about myself are becoming a problem. Mostly because they are bleeding into my daughter’s feelings about herself, and that needs to change. She’s a wonderful kid, in every way. Because she’s adopted, I was hoping that the way I am wouldn’t be relevant to the way she is (emotionally at least). But that’s not the case, apparently, and I’m hoping to change that. At least a little.

There are some people in my life that I’m working on forgiving. Forgiveness in their cases will probably mean turning my back and letting them out of my life. If I hold on to the anger I feel toward them, it’ll only hurt me. Plus – it’s an example for A.

Gratitude is a little easier, I think. Not something that comes without thought either, but counting my blessings and remembering what I have is something that seems easier, anyway.

Compassion and generosity is…at least for myself, a hell of a challenge. But I will try. I think taking some time out for meditation and doing at least that for myself may help. Might not, but we’ll see.

New Year, New Things: 2014

•January 1, 2014 • 1 Comment

So, this year I thought I’d try something new:

It’s something more along my lines of interest. So maybe this will help.

This year’s Bat Fit theme is “Detoxify”. As in removing toxic substances (things, foods, habits, people) from one’s life and getting healthier in the process. Here are my goals:


  • I will finish at least half of the certificate program I’ve enrolled in this year. With grades of at least a B in each class.
  • I will put at least one new item in my store this month.
  • I will exercise at least every other day.
  • I will cut out dairy from my diet.
  • I will find time to meditate every day.
  • I will be less severe with myself.
  • I will find time to practice at least 30 min. every day.


  • I will practice my CBT list when I need it, before a situation goes too far for it to be useful.
  • Sometimes you cannot wait for other people to reach out to you. I need to remember and practice this.
  • Even though I love my friends, I will not allow them, even unintentionally, to hurt me.

That’s all I can think of for now. More for another day.

Candy Canes and Crochet

•December 16, 2013 • Comments Off

It’s probably not what you’re thinking.

This week I finally found out what different family members want for Christmas/Giftmas/holiday presents. Most of our family have been notorious for their unhelpfulness in the past (it is too a word, Ms. Spellcheck). This year was no different. Although…this time I did get the hint of an actual object for 3 people (too late for 2 of them, alas). 2 beanbag iPhone stands and a beanie.

The beanie was started Saturday afternoon. It’s drying now:


The handspun I used was from last summer; a couple of skeins of Shetland lambswool from a farm in WI, hand-dyed, spun woolen from rolags at my usual light DK/sportweight size. It crocheted up easily. Even survived a couple of rounds of ripping-and-redoing. Now it’s drying. Pretty soon it will be wrapped along with some care instructions and sent off to the other side of the US. That and some video game cash for the nephew should do it.

The only other things I need to make are another couple of these and I’ll be done.

My New Knitting Project

•November 28, 2013 • Comments Off

Here’s a link to my latest knitting project. I hope to have at least a few ready before they’re needed.

My mother’s going into the hospital for a mastectomy tomorrow. She won’t be able to use them for a while, but she’ll need them soon. There’s more that I’d like to write, but I can’t bring myself to do that now. Continue reading ‘My New Knitting Project’


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