Tuesday, April 20, 2010


After a couple years of wanting shorter hair, I finally took the plunge! This bob works well with my natural wave/curl, so I can just wash and go. Very necessary with two kids. It even looks OK with my old glasses.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kung Fu Panda

 "There lives more faith in honest doubt, / Believe me, than in half the creeds." (Tennyson)

Speaking of cute softies... This adorable little crocheted panda arrived in the mail for Sophie last week. It's handmade (and probably designed by) my friend Kristi.

It was this "golden pig" for Sam that got Kristi, already an experienced blanket crocheter, into making little softie animals a little over a year ago. And she told me that she usually creates her own designs. This panda is perfect for Sophie! (I made the back picture small, since she thinks her embroidery is not expert enough. I like it just fine.)

And there she is--licking the spatula while Sam licked the beaters from a chocolate cake for Auntie Trish, who is visiting tomorrow. I kept her away from the white panda while she was all chocolatey!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

4 down, 4 to go

"Our patience will achieve more than our force." (Edmund Burke)


I'm knitting an octopus. More knitted sea creatures to follow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lent and Easter

"Our Lord has written the promise of the Resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time" (Martin Luther)


Lent kind of slipped past me this year. We left for China the day before Ash Wednesday and arrived home in the middle of Lent. The only lenten practice I had this year was to join our parish knitting ministry in creating a square for a blanket they're making for a local nursing home. I knit it during Holy Week.

I used this book (from my mom) to find the "Inverness Diamond" stitch pattern (Dec. 13 on the perpetual calendar). Details (in case I need to do another someday): CO 40 stitches; K 5 rows, K3, do pattern, K3. Do three repeats of 12-row pattern. K 5 rows. I used some worsted weight washable purple wool (darker than in this photo). The "square" was supposed to be 7 x 9 inches.
 Knitting-related Easter shots: Here's Sophie wearing the Easter sweater my mom knit some 40-plus years ago (for me and/or Amy). It's missing one bunny-tail pompon and is a bit "felted," but still fits a 1-year-old perfectly. Sam wore it last year, too. 

For more cute Easter pix of the kids and family, go to Dear Sam and Sophie.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

China stash

"A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark." (Chinese proverb)

So here's my wooly loot from China. I bought some red washable wool to make a sweater for Sophie. On trip #2 to the yarn store, I added some black. The plan is to knit Sophie a Chinese-style sweater in red with black trim.

This is some super soft orange wool (it's not as bright as it looks in this photo--more of a "pumpkin" color.) I bought enough to make an adult-sized sweater for myself, according to the shop clerk. But later I realized this would be perfect for the Hex Coat by Nora Gaughan that I wanted to knit for myself. Thanks to Ravelry, I could look it up back at our hotel room, return to the yarn store the next day and get enough for the sweater/coat. (That's when I got the black, too.) I think I paid about $30 for all of this--all three colors!

For the orange, red and black, I had asked for "cashmere," but not sure what got lost in the translation. Then, in a second yarn shop, our guide pointed out that this yarn was the very best from a special animal in the mountains. I assume that it's cashmere. I bought a box of the red for my mom. (Even this was only about $20.)

It came in this fancy box and with some matching thread. I have no idea what that animal is on the front. If anyone can read Chinese, feel free to fill me in!

I also bought some buttons at a little button stand. These are all just cheap plastic buttons, but I thought they were cute. If  I had known I was going to buy orange yarn, I would have gotten orange squares instead of purple. I think these cost a total of about a dollar.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Yarn shopping in China

"Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts little wisdom." (Chinese proverb) 
 I always try to look for yarn when I'm in other countries. I remember how hard it was to find any in Ireland, of all places! And I didn't find any in Vietnam. But our guide in Nanchang asked around and found a nice yarn store in the city market area. Outside they were selling yarn in huge cones.
This is the outside of the store. 
 Cute sweaters hanging outside. 

Woman knitting in the store. 

Look at all those colors. I asked for "cashmere" and they showed me what looked like regular wool, although it was pretty soft. 

That's our guide "Nana" translating for me. 

I didn't have a pattern in mind or with me, so I just bought enough for an "adult sweater" and "child sweater" plus a gift for my mom. Those pictures and details in the next post.