Look was waiting for me in the mailbox last night!

Two whole skeins of this gorgeous wool/nylon blend, worsted weight yarn by DyeFi. It’s got this sheen to it, which makes it look like spun precious metals, and it absolutely sparkles. The colors in this photo really pop, and as I was winding it into a center pull cake, it seemed very bright and very definitive in color changes. But I couldn’t stand it, I had to see it knitted up. The stripes are very wide – much wider than I anticipated when winding it up – but they sort of melt into each other.

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So, as we speak it is being knit into the Baby Bolero pattern from OneSkein by Leigh Radford. The model in the book is done in cotton (ugh) and so the whole project just looks sort of bulky and flat. Have you ever noticed how the yarn makes the pattern? Anyhow, something told me it would be so cute in stripes. I think it will actually be very gender neutral despite all the sparkle.

I was also pleased to have a non-splitty yarn for the next project. Lately every yarn I’ve knat is extremely splitty. When I first saw it, I thought it was really strange that it has a little nylon net around a wool core. (How do you suppose they get the wool IN there anyway? Do they have a tiny sausage machine for wool?) And I wondered how it would knit up. I’m a big fan of fuzzy sweaters, and I was afraid it might be too smooth. But the fabric is really very light and airy. I hope that when I block it, it does expand a little. The pattern calls for size 8 needles and worsted weight yarn, and my gauge is spot on, but it seems a bit loose. In any case it should be perfect for a November baby in Austin.

And there will probably be a good deal left over even after I pick through it to make the stripes match up. Maybe I should get on that toy that Susan suggested. I think this might look nice in a dinosaur.

Last night I finished quilting 5 more squares on the baby quilt before my fingers were so raw and bloody – ok, NOT bloody – that I had to stop. And I sat there and sweated through every one of them. We’ve managed not to turn on our A/C yet and I’m trying to keep it that way for as long as possible. I’m just not ready to have another $400 electric bill. Ugh.

So there I am up in the loft – remember heat rises – listening to the TV, windows open, fans at full blast with a blanket on my lap. I seriously considered stripping down to the bare essentials, but I was already in shorts and a tee shirt and I didn’t think anyone would really appreciate a quilt made for their baby while naked.

Well, maybe some of my friends would. They are just crazy enough to think it funny.

Happy Earth Day! Save some energy! Open your windows, turn on a fan and make something naked!

PS – if you’re in Texas, today HEB is giving away free reusable grocery sacks in exchange for 5 plastic grocery sacks (or 5 buddy buck bubbles).

Dude. Did you see how much  Barack Obama made off his books last year? I am so going to write a book.

No.

Really.

I am.

It’s something I’ve wanted to do since high school, but the problem is figuring out what to write about. I’d love to do one of those eye candy craft books with pretty pictures and projects that SEEM simple until you try to do them, but I seriously doubt I could come up with enough original projects. Much less projects with some sort of theme (all knitted, felted, or sewing).

I’ve also been toying with writing a “memoirs”. I’m not sure my life is all that interesting though. It’s not like I’m Augusten Burroughs who grew up in a family so dysfunctional that it makes my family look more wholesome than the Cleavers. (BTW, I just noticed that the “Cleavers” sounds like a family of homicidal butchers.)

Then, there is the whole fiction angle. Friends and I used to write these really elaborate, but completely unrealistic chain stories. We even had one online for a while. I’ll have to contact Jen and see if she still has the dumb thing. It was hilarious. Or maybe not. Maybe you had to know all the people we were writing about. But I digress… I can’t even seem to come up with a character to write about, much less an entire BOOK.

A few people have advised me to just start writing, and I know they are right. But I can’t even make myself blog more than once per week. Well honestly, if I was doing something other than making a mad dash for the finish line on the quilt in progress, I might actually write more. Only¬† 48 more squares to go… (that’s just over half.)

One of my friends suggested starting with the blog entries themselves. Is that even a good idea? Do people want to RE READ what I’ve already written?

I do love to write when I have something to say. On a few occasions I’ve even written some things that make a tiny difference in the world. The one that comes to mind most readily is when I wrote a long elaborate letter to the HR department and building supervisor of ERCOT to investigate having a Mother’s room in the new addition to the office space. At the time, I was still nursing Alexis, and pumping at work was hell because there was no definitive room to use. I got shuffled around at least 3-4 times in about 10 months. I got compliments from people I didn’t even know on that letter, and a year later, long after I’d left the company, a friend of mine emailed me to let me know that they had indeed decided to include the Mother’s room in the new building.

The biggest problem with my current job is that it doesn’t make a difference. I just want to make a TINY difference in the world – or even one person’s life. Is that too much to ask? Can I make that difference by creating an eye candy book? or writing a funny story? or telling people about all my health problems? I don’t know. But maybe that first book could lead to something more important. Or maybe it could just provide relief from daily misery.

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Yep, there is all my spare time lately. A herd of Elefelts. For sale on Etsy. The two gray ones and the purple one already sold, but there is another purple one and 3 others in various stages on the way.

I also spent the weekend thinking about what other animals would work well in my shop. I’m about ready to dump all the other inventory and stick to the plush toys. So far, the black cats at Halloween did really really well, and the elephants have always done well. I’ve got a couple of chickens that have been listed forever that no one seems to want, and an orange kitty that is aching for a new home. And I’m going to retire the current fish pattern. I need to make a new one.

So I think I want to make a hippo, and spent the weekend drafting a pattern based on about 14 other hippo patterns and actually animal pictures I found on line. I think I’ve got one, but I’ve yet to actually try and sew it up. Alexis will be happy when I do, because she always gets the “prototype”.

But if any of you two readers have suggestions on cute, faceless stuffed animals, let me know. I suck at ideas.

babysacksocks.jpg I don’t know what my problem is, I’ve had this adorable pair of socks and baby sacque done for weeks and I couldn’t get it posted. The pattern is Knitting at Knoon’s Sweet Pea (what is my problem? I consistently type “Sweat Pea”…), and the yarn is the suggested Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

As cute as it is, and as perfect a baby gift it will make, I don’t think I will ever do this pattern again. Can you say “boring”? I’m talking about stockinette stitch. On size 3′s. For miles. I thought it would never end, and just when I thought I was done with it, and could do (whee!) reverse stockinette, that is, when I reached the end of the decreases – which were themselves like 15 rows apart – I double checked the pattern and see that now I’m supposed to continue for another four inches. Yeah, I put the knitting down and walked away.

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So now I’m on the hunt for something a little less traditional. But still cute! It must be cuuuuute. And I’m flat out rejecting anything that has even a few rows of stockinette. I think I’ve met this year’s quota. Bleh.

I’m scouring Ravelry, but it seems like every FO or pattern on there is from the same three patterns. I’m thinking some sort of rainbow variegated yarn would be nice. This mommy has a completely different style… think, Grateful Dead meets Paul McCartney and Bobs Dylan and Marley. And throw in just a touch of Mary Poppins. She’s also my oldest friend. So it has to be perfect whatever it is.

Anyone got any bright ideas?

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