Monthly Archives: July 2015

Between Projects Panic Time

It’s still too hot to think about anything serious. 

Having finished or nearly finished two paired of socks (test knitting Up and Out Socks by Laura Linneman in Kertzer Aloe Fiesta sock yarn and vanilla socks in Plymouth Sockotta . I was in a slight panic mode. That in-between  time is about indecision and not my favorite. I’d rather be working on less than fun projects than have nothing to work on at all. 


Up & Out Socks by Laura Linneman


plain sock

 So I started two new knitting projects. I fell in love with a shop sample at Bliss Yarns in Brentwood, TN. I already had yarn (Crazy Zauberball and Noro Taiyo Sock Yarn). I just needed to find the pattern on Ravelry. It took a bit of hunting. But I did find it, Zebra (€5 by Margarete Dolff).   It will be the new knit worthy gift projects. It’s a perfect low brain power project.

But of course, I will want to make small modifications. Too late for this project but I have 3 more skeins of similar color shifting yarns in stash. Next time: 

  • Cast on 64 stitches instead of 80 to make a narrow longer scarf. 
  • Edge the border with 4 seed stitches to prevent the edges from curling under. 


Zebra, pattern by Margarete Dollf, in Crazy Zauberball & Noro Taiyo

The second project is motivated by two things. 

Gail, one of my closest knitting friends started hers.  So we’ll have a mini knit along. 

I tried on a LOT of hand knit sweaters at SSK. NONE of them looked good on me. Sigh, so disappointing that a Hitofude or Swirl or  Featherweight look terrible on me. The one thing that did look good, Molly’s Viajante (which has been in my queue with all those sweaters and requires as much yarn as a sweater). So I started it out of old stash. In fact this yarn, Araucania Lace Merino,  is one of my very first yarn purchases. Already made very minor modifications, crochet cast on, slip stitch edge and moved Kfb one stitch in from the edge. 

Viajante by Martina Behm in Araucania Lace Merino

Yeah! Not in In-between time. Love both of these projects! Especially now, it’s just to hot to do any serious stuff like cleaning the house.

Too Hot to Think

It’s extremely hot and humid in the South this week. It was hot’n’humid last week, but I was too busy at a retreat to let it bother me. This week I have to crash. 

At the retreat, I met lots of new to fiber crazy people. Made new friends and learned new crafty skill (dyeing silk and wool).  So much fun. Definitely want to play some more with dyes. Got some great ideas from Gale (, the instructor) that I hope to incorporate into my bags. 

Do I have enough brain power for paperwork? Hmm…

The Etsy shop has been updated with the new hobo bag. 

I’m thinking of calling them Lefty or Righty bags. 

What do you think of the name change?


The New Hobo Slouch Bag: Instructions Needed

It’s definitely good to have lots of people test my bags. Family are definitely honest which is greatly appreciated. 

Turns out, my sister wears it opposite of the way I designed it. 

She wants the exterior zipper pocket on the outside where she can easily get to her keys.  (I guess I’ll have to make a custom bag for her.) When I explained the design, she said I needed to tell everyone. 

So here goes….

Body side versus public side:

I designed the exterior zipper pocket for your oversized smart phone and wallet. The side that I would put closest to me. Let’s call it the body side. 


Black Ikat Slouchy Hobo bag, body side

The big pleat is the public side of the bag. 
Here’s my wacky logic. I needed a way to easily see which side is public versus body. 


Black Ikat Slouchy Hobo bag, public side

Because of the bottom.  The bottom is MY own solution to a long term problem I have always had with should bags. 

All bags have a square, round, rectangular, oval shaped bottom or no real bottom. A heavy bag at the base of  straps pivot at the shoulder bounces against a curved surface (my side). That bag rolls, twists, bounces off. Result: I couldn’t keep any bag on my shoulders. They all dropped down from my shoulders. (Except in the 1980’s when we wore those big shoulder pads. The ONLY reason I miss those shoulder pads.)

So what if I made the bag hug instead of bounce against my side?  


I cut an inside curve or basically a kidney shape.  Yeah!!! This worked. 

Left side pocket:

I’m right handed, I usually carry my bag on the right side. The left side pocket is designed for all the things I was easy & quick access. Keys, glasses, sunglasses, and pens. The left pocket has smaller pockets for these items and a snap clasp on a ribbon for keys. 

If you always carry your bag on your left side. Let me know. I’ll make the small pockets on the opposite side of the bag. 

Adjusting Slowly, Getting Better

I just want to tell you that my 90+ year old dad died last month. He died peacefully and surrounded by family. 

We are adjusting.  To keep Mom’s stress level as even or as low as possible, I’m splitting my days between Memphis and Nashville. It’s a four hour (four rest stops) drive.  Besides my sister has been carrying the heavily load for several years caring for them both.  It’s my turn. 

 I’ve set up a makeshift sewing studio in Mom’s dining room. The entrance floor is my cutting floor. It works. Except when I forget to bring things like thread and fabric. Duh! (Note to self: don’t forget the iron)

To be honest, it’s fun to work side by side with her. And my sister has volunteered to help as well. But better still, Sister is going to setup and take over my accounting. 

Makeshift sewing studio

I know there’s more learning curves ahead. It’s one thing to make bags by myself. It’s a whole other thing to systematize the process for someone else. 

Chat with you later. 

Road Trip Midwest: Sidetrip

What do you do on a long road trip?

Irrelavent question for my knitting friends. I know you’re knitting. 

But what about the rest of you?

I use to map out the route for the local public radio stations, writing down their radio frequencies. If I took the time, that is.  When hubby got tired of listening to them talk, I’d find a music station we could agree on. 

Now, I have a catalog of podcasts saved up that we both enjoy. He learns Lambic beer, exposed to natural yeasts & aged in oak barrels making them sour and smoky, (Splendid Table). Business and life skills stuff from Chris Sacca (Tim Ferriss Show). I find out about Story Core’s app (the TED Radio Hour).

I do knit. This time, I figured out why I don’t have second sock syndrome. There’s always some goof-up in the first sock that I want to correct in the second. Example: this is the first short summer sock I’m knitting. I put the afterthought heel is too close to the cuff, so it feels like the back of the sock will slide down. I added a few short rows to deepen the heel. Not really happy using self striping in the heel. Do I dare try something different in the second sock?

Sockotta, Plymouth Yarn Co., discontinued, third try knitting the afterthought heel

I also just stare out enjoying the scenery, take snapshots of clouds, and nap.


Midwest farm land

It’s easy to imagine some idyllic pastoral life as we pass by at 75 miles an hour through the country side. Instead, I became more and more alarmed. All we saw for a hundreds and hundreds of miles through three or four states, corn fields. Nothing else. No other crop. Very few fallow (resting) fields. 

There aren’t enough people zigging while EVERYONE seems to be zagging. 

Side trip

Usually we stop at a hotel just off the freeway. This time we stopped overnight in a small (10,000 population) town along the Mississippi River miles off the interstate.

It was a shock. Yes, there were a few beautifully preserved Victorian homes along the bluff, like the one below. 


Queen Anne home, small town along the Mississippi River

But just a few blocks away…most of the homes were in such unbelievable disrepair. Roofs collapsed, windows without glass, raw weathered wood, whole structures leaning to one side, & streets neglected for years. They were not abandoned homes. People were living in these buildings. It felt too intrusive to take pictures.  

It felt hopeless.  It breaks my heart. 

Apparently there are people doing something positive about the problem. I just listened to this situation in rural Washington on Rendered, Mighty Tieton