geekin' on yarn, parenting, & whatever else comes up.

Fotoposts Archive



May 2014



Plus la change…

Written by , Posted in Blog, Bloggy Blatherings, Fotoposts, Knitting, Legacy, MDSW

It is, roughly, the tenth anniversary of this blog.

Oh, Internets. So many ponderings, so few recent postings.

This past weekend, I attended the 2014 Maryland Sheep & Wool festival. This annual event is a marker of sorts for the calendar of my knitting life, and although I can’t attend every year, there is that mix of familiar & new each time I go that triggers a sort of fibery nostalgia.


Nana, knitting at speed & giving somebody epic side-eye

I grew up in a family of crafting women. Due to age gaps, I wasn’t able to become as close with my paternal grands as I ended up being with my maternal grands and great-grand, but both sides were knitters, stitchers, & needlewomen. My mother’s side in particular modelled the crafty life for me, from my great-grandmother (we called her Mom-Mom), who owned a yarn shop in Coatesville, PA called Celeste’s Yarns, through my Nana (Mom-Mom’s daughter) who organized knitting groups for the officer’s wives on base as they moved around the country for my grandfather’s Air Force work, to my own mother, who worked in yarn shops, wrote letters back & forth with her mother & grandmother discussing the finer points of cabled knitting, and who quilted, cross stitched, and did needlepoint like the women who came before her.


Nana, left; Mom-Mom, right. Mom-Mom seems to be wearing a hand-knitted sweater.

I lost my mother very early (she was 46) to fallout from dual auto-immune disorders, so I don’t have photos, as I wish I did, of her knitting, quilting, etc. Mama tried to teach me to knit a few times, but it never seemed to stick, though she did teach me to cross stitch, and tried to show me needlepoint. Mostly, I learned those needlearts by simply picking up projects & trying things, but my interest in crafting has definitely been a legacy I feel I inherited from the women who came before me.

I got married four months after my mother died. Just before she went into the hospital for the last time, she finished work on the final block of an album-style quilt she’d intended for my husband and me as a wedding gift. I’ve blogged about that quilt before (though it was on a previous iteration of the site & I’m afraid the photos have gone the way of the dodo; will take new ones soon) & it remains one of the more commented-on posts of this blog, I think because the idea of the legacy behind our crafts is one that resonates no matter what craft it is that any of us performs.

Lynn with baby Liz

Mama & me; Mama wearing amazing hand knit aran cardi

Mama died in February, we got married the first weekend in May, and I was pregnant with my daughter a year later. It was during my pregnancy that I asked my Nana to teach me how to knit, and so this Sheep & Wool time of year is a mental marker in a multitude of ways for me.

I know this blog has been terribly dormant, and I’m not sure what the future holds here. I don’t knit as often as I used to, and in fact my urges to write about my knitting have been lessened, and my need to document more of day-to-day life has been consumed with the more ephemeral social media like Instagram & Twitter. But I’m not willing to just give up, yet. I don’t even know if I have any readers left here anymore, but if you’re here, thank you for being with me for the last ten-ish years of my knitting & crafting & life journeys. ย There’s no community like the crafting community, and I am grateful to have been and continue to be a part of it.





March 2013



Catching Up: Everything Old is New Again

Written by , Posted in Blog, Bloggy Blatherings, Finished Objects, FOs, Fotoposts, Gifts, Knitting, Knitting Knatterings, Updates, WIPs

HI! Hi, Internets, hi!

So I’m browsing Ravelry this morning (likeyoudo), and there smack in the middle of the “what’s hot right now” list of patterns is an old knitblogger’s friend: Cornelia Tuttle-Hamilton’sย Klaralund! [rav link]

It’s possible that I am particularly knitstalgic at the moment, having finally imported ancient Typepad blog posts over that reach back to 2005. Certainly I was more clever in my blog headlines then, and FAR more prolific in my posts than the past ~mumble~ years have shown. But to come across a pattern that was one of the first in what felt like a constant wave of projects that would zoom across the (then somewhat limited, compared to today’s 2m Ravelry users) knit-blog-osphere, trending as one of the current projects that knitters are into in 2013, feels almost like an out-of-body experience. Time traveling, if you will, but with more needles and fewer Daleks.

Terribly pleased to see that the pattern has had more sizes added; I thought the reason it might have come back into knitterly awareness now is because of the release of the Noro: Knit 40 Fabulous Designs book, but since that happened in 2009, I really don’t know why it’s come back around. Not sure it’s relevant, really; I’m just kind of glad to see what feels like an old friend coming across my Ravelry options. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, so. Everybody knows it isn’t real unless you blog it, right? So here’s all the stuff that hasn’t been real until RIGHT NOW, since last we met:

The Sainted Husband got his (almost)annual Crazy Hat Project result earlier this year – his Skully Hat remains the most oft-worn, beloved knitted item ever to come off my needles, so, as TSH is a professional editor and English teacher, I made him We Call Them Ampersands, a spin-off of the same pattern as his skully hat, now with more typography!

True to form, I’ve discovered I haven’t got a good Finished Object photoshoot of this one, but here’s a couple action shots of the hat doing its job:


(That’s my dad in the background; we were visiting them in Raleigh, NC and it was COLD that day. YAY knitted things to keep people warm!)

And a hazy at-home, natural-habitat shot:

Ampersands Hat


Project: We Call Them Ampersands; original pattern is Adrian Bazila’s We Call Them Pirates; Ampersand chart by Susette Newberry

Yarn: I don’t actually know. Generic shetland-esque wool I had in stash, no ballband.

Needles: Addi Turbo Lace US 5s

I don’t have a timeline for this one, either, I’m afraid. This is what happens when I don’t blog for forever; I have no digital memory to help me remember these things.

Hats are pretty much all I have had any knitting bandwidth for of late, it seems; I have a rainbow Ampersands I started for myself, but will have to rip because my gauge was wonky:

Rainbow Ampersands hat in progress

That’s Kuani for the color, and I think a shetland for the white. Pondering other options for this one.

The other hat I knit last year ate up nearly all my knitting mojo, and it was a confluence of Twitter Bravado and commission. I follow many of the authors I love over on Twitter, and one day the infamous Brain Hat was mentioned as a desired object by one of my most fave authors. I, perhaps foolishly, replied that I had two sticks and some string and could probably make that happen. Several DMs later, I had a commission to make the thing.

Brain Hat in medias res: (in media? Damnnit. Stupid Latin.)

It took four football fields of yarn, months of time, and at least half my sanity, but I TRIUMPHED:

Braiiiiin (hat)


Pattern: Alana Noritake’s Brain Hatย [Rav Link]

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Sock in “Nectar”ย from WEBS

Needles: Addi Turbo Lace, I think US 4s? Can’t remember specifically what size needles I did this on, am guessing based on some in-progress pics I’ve got on Flickr; I do know that purchasing an i-cord machine saved. my. bacon. with this project; holy crap but did this ever take forever! Thank goodness the recipients were terribly patient with me for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Started: February 4, 2012

Finished: December 18, 2012

As I’m sitting here doing this, I’m realizing that even though it feels like I haven’t knit anything in years, practically, I actually did finish a fair number of projects this year! Long-time readers (if there are any of you remaining) may recall the Samhain wedding shawl knit for Miss Plum’s godmother; so, when this lady birthed her first child this year, there had to be a small suite of Wee Laddie Knits! First, the obligatory Baby Surprise Jacket:

Handspun BSJ is done but for blocking! (for @wren's pending wee laddie)

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket

Yarn: My own handspun (!!!!)

Needles: No idea. Addi, yes, but size? No clue.

Completed: Sometime in March 2012.

I had enough handspun leftover to crank out a wee tiny Aviator cap:

In which @wren should avoid looking unless she wants spoilered:


I can’t remember what book I cribbed this off of; it was one of the very first knitting books I ever got, but it’s about the same as any other infant ear flap hat pattern that’s floating around out there. I was just ridiculously proud that it was knit from my own handspun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then there was a second wee laddie sweater:

Sweater for pending Wee Laddie is DONE! So. Cute.Pattern: Fibre Space‘s Baby Stripes

Yarn: Spud & Chloรซย Sweater, purchased at Fibre Space

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular US8s

Completed: March 12, 2012

I have a grey hat in progress for another friend that stalled out on the crown decreases; need to take some pics of that for you; also I took some of this Clover Leaf Farms fiber in colorway “EarthTones”:

4oz braid of Clover Leaf Farms merino in "earthtones"

And am turning it into some handspun, like so:

Bonus 365 shot: playing with bouncing flash! @xPeregrine @tylluan

Not sure yet what that’s going to be.

Holy crap you guys, there is so much. I shall sum up what remains in a forthcoming post.

Meanwhile, tell me how y’all are doing?

PS: I went from dirty blonde to red while you weren’t looking:

For @mizjawnson, LOTD: Why Did I Wait So Long to Get the Naked Palette?!


and After:

2nd day flat iron curls:



July 2006



Cycles, Circles, and Aranmor

Written by , Posted in Aranmor, Bloggy Blatherings, Fotoposts, Holidaze, Knitting Knatterings

So I dug through the scary-front-closet-of-Doooooom the other day, so as to unearth the long-neglected beginnings of Aranmor for my husband.

Begun initially for a potential Christmas gift, I had to realize my own limitations and working style, and I said perhaps I’d have it just in time for his mid-August birthday!

It appears that I will have to amend that to Please-Knitting-Goddesses-Let-Me-Finish-This-Damn-Thing-By-Giftmas!?!

Current pictures this evening; Here’s where I was before:


I’d only gone a bit more than halfway through one center motif repeat of the back before setting it aside in frustration before. I’ve now approximately doubled that progress and a bit, having since completed one center motif and halfway through another.

Still, I do love the yarn and the patterning; had to re-teach myself how to cable without a cable needle, and that helps make this sweater nice to knit on rather than a nightmare.



June 2006



Visiting Monarch and Quilt Blocks promised

Written by , Posted in Bloggy Blatherings, Fotoposts, Quilting, Updates

In the midst of the series of truly brutal thunderstorms we’ve been having here in Alexandria, Virginia and the D.C. environs, we had one lovely soft evening before the storms, so to speak, when we were visited by royalty.

I give you, our home blessed by a Monarch! (and if I’m wrong about the butterfly species in question, do please let me know…but I’m leaving the names in the blog here because it’s so easy to draw fun phrases about visiting royalty and such. :))


I opened the front door, and there it was, perched on the edge of our letter box, just sort of hanging out. I thought somewhat sadly that it may have come there to rest and die, because it was a bit rough around the edges, but we left it alone and it was gone in the morning. I like to think this is because it flew away  happily rested, rather than having been eaten or something. ๐Ÿ™‚



I love this photo. He/She was so lovely, and spread its wings for me as I approached for the pictures. (No, I never touched it — any missing dust is due to whatever it experienced prior to visiting us here at the house.)


So that was a lovely little interlude.


Now, theoretically this was a separate post I owed you almost a week ago, but the storms have meant that I only have internet access at work (except today, strangely enough, where it’s working at home in the lull between storms). I have created a photo album over on the right sidebar, there, of the detail shots from these blocks,  but here are the full-block pics of my mother’s quilt blocks she appliqued for herself:


This is the semi-sheer overlay that’s used to help you place applique pieces in the right spot as you stitch over time; generally, when using somebody else’s patterns, you would trace the pattern directly onto this gridded stuff, which I think masquerades as interfacing at various fabric stores like Hancock’s and JoAnn’s, et al.

This is the Dove of Peace block, which like many of mom’s blocks for herself, is still unfinished:


That’s the Dove from Noah’s Ark, presenting his Olive Branch, and surrounded by a lyre-type wreath of olive leaves and branches.


This is my mom’s memorial block for her father, also still unfinished, in honor of his lifelong military service in the U.S. Airforce. The feathers on the Eagle’s wings are stitched one by one in ribbon embroidery. (yikes.) ๐Ÿ™‚


This is a peacock, in case it’s difficult to tell. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the way mom stitched the feathers on this one, but have to say that the actual block design does very little for me.


This is my favorite of the non-quilted blocks Mama stitched, particularly because of our three flags of heritage flying from the masts; The United States, Scotland, and Italy. Also, the cutwork on the flowers, and the oriental print wave fabric fussy-cut for the water are just wonderful from a handworker’s point of view.  I have tons of detail shots of this one over there in the album since it’s my favorite. (It’s also the one block for my own album quilt already begun that I’ve managed to stitch, although in a slightly different way, which I will show you in post that is not already so picture-heavy. :))


This is the very incomplete Tree of Life block; I love her fabric choice for the bark, however, and the varied greens she chose for the leaves.

Those are the blocks that she did not set up to do "quilt-as-you-go" before she passed away; I have two more amazing blocks of mom’s to show you another day, that she managed to get quilted, or prep for quilting, that show very well both her own stitch artistry and also the steps taken to get to a completed quilt, block, or what have you. And I have the picture of my first sailing ship block, and a huge quilt project I am going to undertake to tell you about. So, stay tuned!



May 2006



As Promised

Written by , Posted in Fotoposts, Knitting Knatterings, Sockapaloooza, Updates, WIPs

First and foremost, I give you my long-traveled and most wonderously beauteous Sockapaloooza Socks, knit for me by Kimberly of A Knitted Frenzy!


Pay no attention to the terrible night-time-is-the-only-time-I-have-time-to-take-photos, photos; they fit perfectly, are of one of my favorite yarns (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, Cranberries), and in a pattern I’d tried myself in the aforementioned Socks That Rock yarn that I thought I didn’t like. More on that in a moment. These are the Nancy Bush Child’s First Socks pattern from her Knitting Vintage Socks book, which I am utterly addicted to. My own pal’s socks were a pattern from the same book.

Kimberly is from Fresno, and sent me with my wonderful socks some poppy seeds, (I don’t know if I want to make bagels or stage my own scene with green face makeup, rubbing my hands together and cackling, "Poppies! POOOOOOPPPPPIIEEEEES!") a picture of the socks reclining on the bench in the subway with Kim’s iPod (who sports its own knitted cozy, natch), a handwritten card, and (as if this weren’t all enough) homemade strawberry jam! Said jam is three-quarters gone already, as my daughter and teen step-sons discovered and anhililated it inside two hours. It was scary, actually. ๐Ÿ™‚

THANK YOU, Kim! These are fantastic, and I am so tickled I haven’t taken them off hardly a moment. YAY! ~happy dance~

Now, as to the haul from MDSW, it was, as I said, somewhat meager. Here is what I got that I have in my hands — (There’s still Enya’s  fleece to come, in process of being…um…processed)


This is Mohair roving from Persimmon Tree Farm, owned by Greta Dise. (The Farm, not the roving in these photos. :)) I love it — these two photos are of the same ball of roving, but different sides. It’s called Fall Harvest, and I got the same stuff last year with glitz in it. I have grandiose notions of one day getting myself a spinning wheel and plying the non-glitz with the glitz. But then, ALL my notions tend towards the grandiose.

This is a horrid nighttime photo of my gorgeous Bosworth midi spindle, purchased from the Journey Wheel folks themselves. (THANK YOU, MR. BOSWORTH!) It’s made of Black Palm, with what I believe is a Padauk shaft. It’s LOVELY.  And yes, that is some yarn on the spindle shaft, why do you ask? ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of this spindle and yarn, behold! My first actual wee ball of handspun: (The Google hits on that should be rediculous…)


Sheila? That’s the Falklands wool you sent me that I was gushing about in a previous post. It’s SO lovely! This wee ball is all I could get on the spindle before it started to bobble, so I think I’ve a ways to go to learn about wrapping the shaft properly as I wind on.

And then there was the Socks That Rock. It was a madhouse trying to get this stuff, frankly, and if I had it all to do over, I might skip the mess and order online. But I’m very glad I tried it, and I do love it after all. Note the evidence, to the right:


Pardon the flash — I did say as night photos were all I could swing, if I was going to EVER show you guys this stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

So yeah — that would be some picot-edge Jaywalkers, which was the only pattern that was ever going to work with the Mesa colourway for me. The mint green just killed it in any other pattern. So Cara is right. Again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I sent one skein — the Watermelon Tourmaline, don’t ever let it be said I don’t take care of my swap peeps  — to my Sockapaloooza pal with her socks, so these four are the remaining ones. Of these, I think the Alina is my favorite, and the Lemongrass and Fred Flintstone may have to become part of a fair-isle or mixed sock. (I actually like all three colourways together, but haven’t decided that I like that plan)

These jaywalkers are my first try at a picot edge, and I have to say that I am so in love with it! I especially love the way they make little crenellations like the wall of a castle. I showed them to TSH, and referred to them in that conversation as "dits". He asked what a dit was, and I said, THOSE!




July 2005




Written by , Posted in Fotoposts


So I’m sitting here checking up on my Bloglines feeds (and incidentally…what is UP with you people? ENTERTAIN ME, MY MINIONS!! lol), the one half of our pair of Ratz (read: teenagers) was in his natural habitat in front of the television, and the felines of the household were also accounted for. Sophie was sitting in her high chair next to me, having a piece of string cheese for a snack.

I sat here at my computer with my Dominion Root Beer, gotten from the refrigerator, savoring the tangy, cool goodness. When, over the dulcet sounds of channel surfing and baby babble, from the kitchen, there was a sudden BANG!!~crackle~ sound. And then fizzing.


When my stepson and I rushed into the kitchen to see what was going on (and this is how I know there was nobody near anything), we beheld this:

So, a few salient points to this phenomenon:

  1. Nothing was near the root beer at the time
  2. The root beer was awaiting the current stash of root beer in the fridge to dissapate, so it could then be cooled in the fridge itself; therefore, it hasn’t moved since being purchased almost a week ago.
  3. Nothing FELL on the root beer.
  4. The temperature in the house remains at a constant range of 70 to 72 degrees year round.
  5. All members of the household who were home, furry members included, were all accounted for at the time of the event.
  6. We have a ghost in our house.

Oh, wait, haven’t I told you this story yet? ~giggle~

It’s coming. But first, we must have dinner, and I’ve got root beer to wipe up. (tease? moi? NEVAR!)



May 2005



Where was I?

Written by , Posted in Fotoposts

Oh yes!

The blurry one was busily rubbing her head against the bars, ostensibly to scratch. If I’d been wearing that much wool on Saturday, I’d have been a sweaty, itchy mess, too! As it was, we’re only posting one photo of me at the festival, taken not on Saturday, but SUNDAY, because I had to grab my husband and go back with my built-in baby-wrangler. Saturday first, though – So I went. It was insane. Wall-to-wall people, and I don’t mean that in any exaggerative fashion – one poor woman in her wheelchair was stuck in the same spot for several minutes because folks were so rabid and self-focused that they wouldn’t move aside. I apologize to anyone I encountered Saturday by way of ramming them with my big-ass SUV of a stroller – and for anyone offended by my audacity in bringing a large stroller to the first hours of the first day of the Festival. My only excuse was ignorance – I had never been and thought it would be…well, different, somehow. Clearly I was temporarily insane. Despite the crowds, we had a wonderful time wandering around with no timetable. Despite my lapses in brain power, I had the forethought to pack lots of water, Capri-sun, and snackies for Sophie, so we escaped without ever having to brave the lines by ourselves on Saturday. I walked into Pucker Brush Farms’ booth, and walked out with the following:

1,000 yards of baby loop mohair/wool/something-or-another – I didn’t care what it was, I wanted that COLOR:

1,000 yards of Mohair, however, takes a VERY long time to wind into a ball by hand. I’m only halfway through.

Still, that wasn’t all – there was a pair of yarns hanging on opposite sides of the booth that I spotted and had to join together, as seemed right and proper:

The non-loopy yarn is, I think, a merino/silk blend, and the other is another baby-loop mohair blend. Whatever – they’re georgeous and I am in love with them. That entire vendor I could easily have spent a paycheck with. Lucky for my family that I didn’t have it with me! LOL (editor’s note: No, I would not do such a thing. Yeesh.)

Then I had to indulge my curiosity about needle-felted creatures that I’ve been seeing around on eBay, so I got some pretty dyed roving from another booth, a very small amount, and two felting needles, one of which broke as soon as I got home. Oops. Anyway. Here’s the roving, all rainbow-y – there are more colors than the photo suggests.

If I ever manage to get anything vaguely animal-like out of my endeavors with that, I’ll let you know.

I then walked past the booth for Persimmon Tree Farm, and stopped. And stared. And wished with all my might that I’d had a) my camera, and b) the ability to spin roving into yarn. Because she had this stuff – this cloudy puff of exquisitely colored softness in a bag. It was called Fall Harvest with Glitz, and it was just what you’d expect it to be, with copper metallic fibers strewn in here and there. It was glorious, and I am still kicking myself for not getting it when I had the chance, lack of spinning knowledge be DAMNNED. I am SO. not. making that mistake next year! Greta, the spinner/dyer in question, is going to do another batch of the colorway, although she cannot of course guarantee the same hand, color combos, etc. Still, she’ll try, and if it’s even CLOSE, I’m buying!

Which brings me to Sunday!

Having my (tolerant, wonderful, adored-beyond-measure, sick-at-home-today) husband along made all the difference, as did (I think) the fact that it was the second day of the festival.

Look at my beautiful baby and cute hubby – am I lucky, or what? (even if you don’t agree, smile and nod. I’m not rational about this one thing.) My poor husband will kill me for posting such a badly posed picture on his part, but I don’t care – I still think he looks a little like Jean Reno in those sunglasses. Je t’aime, mon amour!

The aforementioned ONE photo I am willing to post of myself, and that reluctantly, as I resemble nothing so much as a gigantic strawberry with a mushroom for a head:

Um, we’re OUTside the bars, there. In case you wondered. ๐Ÿ™‚

Since Persimmon Tree had sold out of the roving I foolishly walked away from on Saturday, I felt I had to console myself with this:

It’s 100% silk, and a relatively small amount. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but it’s so soft and lovely that I may just knit it for the feel of it. (Feeeeeeeeeeeeel of it, Nana says!)

So, exhausted and happy, we trekked home, but not before catching photographic proof of my daughter’s genetic relation to me – my husband was watching her for me as I roamed the (mostly emptied) booths on Sunday, and he snapped this:

What else is there to say than that? ๐Ÿ™‚



May 2005




Written by , Posted in Fotoposts


Saturday morning, my daughter and I got up early and took ourselves out to the wilds of Howard County, Maryland for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. YAY!

First mistake: Taking my little girl into that insanity.

Second mistake: Forgetting the camera

Third mistake: Not getting up early ENOUGH!

I have switchboard coverage I have to do this morning, so the rest will have to wait, but I leave you with the following teaser:



April 2005



Oooh, a fotopost!!

Written by , Posted in Fotoposts

It’s cherry blossom time in DC again, or at least the tail end of it. As the spring breezes blow through the city, they fall from the trees and start drifting like snow. To wit, at lunchtime today:

Splendor in the grass by the Capitol building, which is about three blocks from my office:

Drifting blossoms:

my fave, right down in the grass:

In case anybody was curious, I took a picture of one kind of cherry tree’s label. I love the notation in the lower left of the placard – the federal government evidently believes that all your base AND your  trees are belong to us:

The dome itself, in case you wanted to feel all Patriotic. Or something.

Then there was this little guy, who was meandering around the fountain park that leads up to the Capitol from the direction of Union Station, more or less – I love his curly-q tail feathers!:

Now THIS says Washington to me – Oh! Is somebody watching? With CAMERAS? Quick, stick your head under something and pretend you can’t see! Maybe if we ignore them, they’ll go away and we can go back to what we were doing before!

Knitting pics tomorrow – hopefully this will tide you over. ๐Ÿ™‚