See bottom of post for Monday Mantra.

Goodbye, September. You have always been one of my favorites. Each year you evoke a longing for the sound of the grinding crank of a manual pencil sharpener, a reminiscing for the smell of old textbook glue, and the envisioning of myself in some new plaid something.
Similar to My Childhood Dress

I remember a plaid skirt I had sometime before grade three. I think I remember it had shoulder strap-like suspenders but maybe not. 

I had a plaid dress with elastic at the cuffs It was a pretty plaid--largely white background.

My most treasured plaid memories are all the flannel shirts that have been in and out of my life. When I married my husband, he must have had eight or ten of them. He enjoyed downhill skiing, and we both wore them on trips to the mountains. My fabric stash has plaids all through it. In fact, I came a cross a plaid hearts quilt my mother started some time ago. I should get that out and get to work on it this winter.

Looks Like Me, Yes?
Monday Mantra: Blanket yourself with the warm love of family and friends.


Yes. Vermeer. Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window.

What has this to do with me? MY windows are OPEN right now. As a Florida girl, this pleases me to NO END. I have FaceBook friends, former Floridians who have noted the same unusual (at least, to us) circumstance this week. I also have FaceBook friends (still in Florida) who have indicated cooling of temperature yet emphasized their proximity to the beach--as if THAT is of any importance to those of us who KNOW what AUTUMN will bring. It sets my soul free...


"Who Mourns for Adonais?" Star Trek, episode #31, 9-22-1967

I am still stuck but working through it. I sewed a little bit on Thursday and even had a demonstration ready for the guild meeting Thursday night, but it was not needed. I brought home a charity quilt top to put together, so I have hopes that I can pull out of this funk soon. There is nothing like helping someone else to make you feel better.


We are much closer to the Central Time Zone than when I was growing up in Florida. As a result, I find the narrowing of the daylight hours remarkable. It is almost seven o'clock in the morning and still too dark to go outside without the porch lights.

This made me research when the time change would occur--Daylight Saving Time will end November 3 this year. I expect in one month, it will be nearly eight o'clock before dawn.


Did you know squirrels eat toadstools? Neither did I. 

We have had fewer squirrels in the yard lately, at least not so many in the front yard. 

I wonder if that is because we have seen a number of hawks lately.

It could be that the grocery store birdseed in the feeders is not enjoyed by the squirrels OR the birds.


I am reading Sidetracked, by Henning Mankell. I read the title in a sentence last night!


Happy birthday, Dad!
Tea Time Tuesday
I could have put a CHOCOLATE POT here, in honor of the day, but I have done that. I could show you my Brown Betty or my Russel Wright, but you have seen those. Here is something to honor my dad, who loves chocolate more than anyone I know.

I found it HERE. I warn you, though. If you go out and buy the ACTUAL set, do not drink from the mugs unless you lip a corner.


Monday Mantra

If anyone has ever given YOU that chance, won't you try to give that chance to someone else?



I have a "thing" about fish-shaped objects. As long as I can remember, I have loved three fish plaques that hung on the wall of every apartment I remember, back in the day of black and white film. I remember them as teak with glass amber eyes. Most of my eBay searches involve finding copies of these fish. I have NEVER EVER found any like them ANYwhere. They were attached to the wall by means of beeswax lumps. They had a similar shape as these.
But these, found HERE, are a little less symmetric. My three were the same size and the wood had a more subtle grain. The search continues.


What is inside this fish? Where is it? I LOVE it.


I do not know if it is popular because everyone does it or if everyone does it because it is popular. What ever the case, happy Talk Like a Pirate Day.


Have I been doing it wrong all these years? 
Or have I never had a true dialog before? 
Or does it count if I am willing for the other person to change?


Tea Time Tuesday
Are you ready for the day? Want to knit something special? Go HERE and get this pattern for the cutest Talk Like a Pirate Day Tea Cozy.
Look at her! She even has a little parrot on her shoulder!


Trying to post from my iPad. I find Apple products to be completely counter-intuitive and frequently incomprehensible.  
1. It is not allowing me to select the date I want this to publish so I will have to keep hitting save then remember to post it sometime tomorrow.
2. It now wants me to select Sep 28 as the publishing date.
3. It will only allow me to select photos from my Picasa stream and showed me six photos it says I put there, but I no longer use Picasa. And these are all photos from last week.

So here I am back on my REAL computer. Here are the pictures I wanted to show you to illustrate my Monday Mantra.

All the time I was trying to get my TOY computer to do this, I kept thinking, "I want to throw this across the room and pick up my knitting."

This would have worked just as well. Too bad for me, Mom is 12 hours away. And my elbows hurt from too much knitting.


I am knitting about 100 yards a day. This is supposed to be a shawl that increases a specific way which EZ figured out by rows. Unfortunately for me, her rows were as tall as her stitches were wide because she used garter stitch only. I am going to try to experiment with doubling the distance rather than the row count. You can see some of my faggoting rows are three and four times the width of the garter rows. 

Knitting and back to reading. I have two more Nevada Barrs and a Henning Mankell.

I would like to listen to books, but I have not quite found the perfect combination of free, high quality narration, and books I want to hear.


I am enjoying this most recent incarnation of the USE IT UP cotton/linen shawl I am knitting. I have a third of the length done but since the number of stitches doubles a la Fibbonacci, the final two thirds will take MUCH longer than a day. I should remember it took me four days to settle on exactly what I wanted to do and at what gauge after I selected the yarn. 

I am following the structure of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Are Square Shawl, and on each row, I am recording what I did just in case I want to make it into a pattern.  I do not think it is a pattern I could sell because the structure is not my design,  just the stitch combinations. I am not much on garter stitch and not at all with cotton yarn because it is so dense and cotton is HEAVY. Instead, I am doing lots of eyelet stitches and faggoting.

Until I get a chance to photograph what is on my needles, look at the picture of Elizabeth, herself, wearing her garter stitch version of the shawl.


Okay, so I have been knitting AND reading. I ran across a small stash of cotton yarns in varying neutral tones. I have been knitting the same 12 inches of a shawl with the same ball of yarn every day and unknitting it the next day. It is a wonder the yarn has not disintegrated. Each time there is some issue that requires a COMPLETE start over. Every new incarnation of the shawl requires several attempts with different sized needles to see if the drape is right with the stitch combination. 

The silly part is I have no reason to be doing this. Cotton is ridiculous to launder. Knitted cotton, anyway. I expect it will be washed once for blocking but probably not again after that. That is the reason I chose a shawl. I have about 500 yards of worsted weight which I could expand by dipping further into my cotton stash.  I have been through all the shapes: rectangle working the length, rectangle working the breadth, half-square triangle, half-circular. I am considering trying the half-circle again today. I will let you know what is next...


Remember when I was noodling around about unsolicited public art? I said some things about yarn bombing? Well, this from Squidtree made me stop and think a little bit.


I do not believe this was unsolicited. In fact, one of the creators is an Artist in Residence in San Mateo where you can find this so I suppose this particular yarnbombing is more like a commissioned building mural than grafitti

I will have to think longer on it. I also gave some written thoughts about performance art. I remember being at the Louvre and seeing  "statues" that came to life in the courtyard. I cannot remember if they were buskars or part of the museum experience. I DO remember enjoying them. Hmmm.


 AwaySon--have fun on your European Tour.

Today, I will be three blocks behind on my block of the month, three sets of fabric behind on my Scrappy Collection.  I don't care. I am going to Friendship Group anyway. If I don't , I will still be behind but then I will have to make a separate trip to get my supplies. My back has been painful most of the week, but I am beginning to see a change and the studio has less in it than previously. I have slowed down on the reading but have reknit the same ball of yarn several times. Yeah, think I am in a rut.


 Tea Time Tuesday

Talk Like a Pirate Day is coming. Do you have a tea pot for that?
Find out about this tea pot HERE.


I am still reading. Reading. Reading. A good enough mantra, I think.


It is CANDLE season! 

More to the point, it is now seasonally acceptable to use my favorite fragrances. 

I just ordered Apple Pumpkin and Autumn Leaves candles. 

For myself. 

Of course, if anyone else in the family breathes while I have them burning, I will be happy to share. I love the scents and colors of autumn.


WHY? Is the grunge look back again? It seems so adolescent. Well in defense of the tutorial writer's work, it WAS posted in 2009. I'd like to think we have come a long way since then. Wait. that was only four years ago, not 24 years ago. I guess all those little kids from the 80s who couldn't afford wrecked clothing THEN are finding ways to wreck them now.

Why not? When I was in college, we bought ours at thrift stores, pre-wrecked. I guess kids are kids.

Actually, I have a tremendous amount of respect for all the people publishing tutorials. Showing us in the universe how to do things for FREE. Youtube is a great example. In fact, if you want to rip up your jeans, you can look HERE to see how to do it.

ETA: I am enormously grateful for all the free tutorials out there and all the choices I have. I am glad tutorials like this are out there even if it is not my style.


Yarn humor. Sometimes, knitting another scarf is a good thing. I find the clicking of the needles comforting, and the quick progress is heartening. If I spend half an hour on a scarf, I have a greater percentage behind me toward a goal than if I have spent the same amount of time on a sweater. A scarf. Hmmm. Yes. Might work on one of those today.


Coming out of my funk a little bit. Cleared away a quarter of the half yarn clean up I started in the studio two weeks ago. I had gotten my yarn and project stash out, analyzed it, sorted it, put half of it away then inertia hit me like a solid wall of something that can't move by itself. I have a better understanding of people who look at something and say, "I just can't."

I entered a few of my little quilts in a show which had me stirring things up in there, looking for the right ones and printing the forms to turn in. Our local guild is putting on QuiltFest 2013 in October. It is a biennial event. 

I was never really clear on that phrase, BIENNIAL EVENT. Does it ALWAYS mean every other year or can it sometimes mean every half year? Well, for Misty Mountain Quilters Guild it means every other year although it almost didn't happen this year. It is a huge event. People can get college degrees now in event planning. I think I know why.


Like I said a couple of days ago, I HAVE been reading. In case you thought all I had read in the past three months were five books by Henning Mankell, let me tell you I also read two by Nevada Barr and eleven twelve by Faye Kellerman. I am on the look out for another mystery writer who has had or is having a long, successful career. Every time I find a likely candidate, I read two or three books and research the writer and find out he or she died before publishing more.

Faye Kellerman
The Ritual Bath
Sacred and Profane

*The Quality of Mercy
Milk and Honey

Day of Atonement
False Prophet
Grievous Sin


Prayers for the Dead
Serpent's Tooth

*Moon Music
Jupiter's Bones
The Forgotten

Stone Kiss
Street Dreams

*Straight into Darkness

The Garden of Eden and other Criminal Delights
Double Homicide

* not series specific

@ means close at hand but not yet completed

Just read Nevada Barr's Liberty Falling yesterday and two more Henning Mankell. I finally read The White Lioness on Sunday and then on Monday I read The Man from Beijing. I REALLY enjoyed that one. I think it is one of his best even though it is not part of the series.


Time to remind you that TLAPD is coming up. That's right, Talk Like a Pirate Day. September 19, every year, thanks to Dave Barry. HERE is the official website.

You can celebrate with one of these. Find out about it HERE.


I make a drive into Blue Ridge often--mostly in the daylight.  There is that ONE HILL and as I reach the crest, I REALLY CAN BELIEVE something wonderful is about to happen.

This will be my reminder for the week.


Well, I HAVE been reading. While not doing much else...

Henning Mankell
Faceless Killers
The Dogs of Riga
The White Lioness
The Man who Smiled

The Fifth Woman
One Step Behind


The Pyramid

The Return of the Dancing Master

Before the Frost

The Grave
The Troubled Man

*The Man from Beijing
* not series specific

The @ sign means I have it on hand. The numbers tell which month I read the book.