Are you sure it's July already NEXT WEEK?!


I just (with Cathi’s help) finished up the last of my DK weight garments for the pattern book I’m working on. If you know me, you know that I don’t often reach for the DK and US5s. I’m more of an Aran/Worsted girl. SO this has been fun-but-hard knitting. Well, not *hard* so much as just time consuming. The patterns are really easy to knit, as per my usual.

Chillin' in the cabin.  There are THREE laptops in this photo, none of them on the internets!

It’s nice to have them finished up. A few people have wondered aloud where those will be published, and I’ll tell you more about them when they’re out. You know how it goes. A hint, though, is that they’re knit with Mission Falls’s new DK weight superwash wool.

It’s SO nice to have them finished that even though Mazie’s asleep (my usual knitting time) I’m taking time to do some computing. You know what’s so weird…I spent so much more time on the computer when I worked full time than I do now. Now that I’m working from home, I spend most of my time with Mazie, the rest of it knitting or doing housey stuff like laundry and dusting. (I’m not a neat freak dusting machine, but it’s so windy lately that everything gets covered in sand, inside the house and out…so I occasionally have to clear surfaces.)

Maybe it’s not so much that I’m not working outside the house as it is just that I have a baby!

Next on the needles is a project for Kristi Porter’s new book, “Knitting in the Sun.” This will be knit in Berroco “Love-it,” an aran weight cotton blend.

In other news,
We just got back from a week in South Dakota with the Japels. Nate’s dad Marv hasn’t been feeling the greatest lately. He had to go to the hospital a few days before the trip because his blood sugar crashed and his body went into shock that mimicked a stroke. We have all been concerned about his health. This trip was a reunion of sorts…all of Nate’s brothers and their families met up in Rapid City, SD in a cabin in the woods for a week.

I’ve been through SD before, and stayed a night at the Badlands, but had never spent much time there.


We did a lot of the tourist stuff, Rushmore, 1880s train, Deadwood, Moriah Cemetary, it was a really traditional “family vacation.” One of the good things about the cabin was that even though it had all the amenities, including a game room, it didn’t have internet. So we all spent time actually talking and playing games, taking walks together…just enjoying being together. Mazie got to meet all of her cousins for the first time. It’s so fun to see how they all get along and how sweet her older cousins are with her. There are some serious family resemblances. (Especially her little chin! The mini-cleft/dimple is a Japel thing.)

Bordello-style resturaunt in Keystone, SD

1880s train

Only when on a deadline does something like this happen…

There I was, swatching along. It was going quickly and going well. I even took a photo for posterity!


And THEN look what I did(!!):

Disaster Zoomed

OMG! Only on a deadline could I do this. I know that most of you can tell right away what happened here, but for those of you who can’t…this is (was) a Colonial Rosewood single-point US 4 knitting needle. That I SAT on. And broke almost in TWO. The blanket is wrinkly and the flash is on because I didn’t even take time to set up the shot…just screamed and took the photo.

For my non-knitting friends and family, this is a total disaster. It takes years to find the perfect needle. Not too fast, not too slow. Not too long, not too short, not to heavy, etc. etc. I not only found my perfect needle in these Colonials, I had found a whole SET. So. Now my set is 4-less.

The really bad part is that when I was expecting Mazie, I had put away all of my extra knitting gear somewhere in the big stack of Rubbermaids in the garage. I mean, somewhere in the stacks and stacks of Rubbermaids.

You might say, hey, just buy a new one and move on!

We just don’t have a place to run right out and get even a a specific SIZE needle. If I were to go drive to the yarn store, and then as a last resort to Wal-Mart (both of them) JoAnns, and Hobby Lobby…I may or may not find what I need. Even if I said, “hey, I’ll knit with hot pink plastic to get this done.”

Believe me, I’ve done this on several occasions, and it’s more time-effective to just look for my old ones. (In the end, I found an old pair of Susan Bates 4s.)

If anyone out there can help a sister out with a new pair of Colonial Rosewood US4 needles, I’m a good trader!

(And I’ve dyed way too many skeins of sock yarn lately!)

While I was swatching this morning, I caught an episode of What Not to Wear. The guest/contestant/questionably-dressed individual for the day was a fiber artist! Every piece of her clothing had a story. That was the most interesting part of the show…her going through the stories of her garments as they threw them into the big trash can. She had a sweater that she had knit from silk produced by worms that she ahd grown, carded together with mohair from a friend’s goat. They let her keep that one.

I really have a love-hate relationship with the show, I think they make everyone who goes on there look like they all stepped out of the same catalog. But at the same time, I really like seeing the new haircuts and how just a haircut can really make someone look like a different person.

Oh crap, it’s lunchtime already?! OK, I’ve got to get back to my swatching. Mazie is with her grandma today and I need to take advantage of these few hours.

Carseat and KIP and shopping and shopping and nap missing…

Saturday was another big running-around-all-day day.


We started off by going to Knit In Public at La Llorona Park on the Rio Grande.


We were nine knitters and 3 kids in all, so a pretty good turnout. We found a nice big shade tree, spread out blankets and lawn chairs, and settled in for a few hours before it got too hot to be outside. It was another 110-degree day!

After the park, Mazie and I went shopping. We picked out Nate’s Father’s Day gift, and then took it over to my parents’ house to wrap it. Then me, Mom, and Mazie all went grocery shopping, then came home.

By the time we got home, it was almost 5, and Maze had missed both of her naps. The thing about the bigger carseat is that you can’t just snap it onto the shopping carts…so I had to wake her up from both her 1 pm and 4 pm naps. It was kind of a rough evening last night until she finally forgave me and just went to SLEEP.

I took this with my phone, so it’s neither high-quality nor a very good angle:
mazies-new-seat.jpgWe’re not really GIRLS WEAR PINK people, but it was this one or a black one. We live in an area where it’s over 100 degrees in MAY…so we took pink. The poor baby would roast in a black carseat. (Her last one was black and SILVER, so we know from which we speak.)

Little Ms. Big Girl!

In knitting news, I’m still in hustle-mode, getting a few inches here and there done on my projects. Here’s another preview:

Sneak Peek

In other news, Mazie turned five months and suddenly outgrew EVERYTHING.

We’ve had to buy new clothes, go up a Robeez size, and today she gets a new carseat.

My mom’s coming over in a few minutes, and we’re going to drive to El Paso to go to Babies-R-Us. I’m oddly excited about this car ride. It’s an hour down and an hour back. With Mazie safely strapped in and occupied (or sleeping.) So…I will get a full 2 hours’ of knitting time in. In the DAY time!!

I’m also really looking forward to going to Babies-R-Us. We have no dedicated baby toy store (or even a toy store!) here in town. There are little boutique-y shops where you can buy a blanket for $60, but nothing with just a lot of toys. Mazie has been going on a lot of play dates lately, and one unexpectedly great thing about them is seeing which toys the other kids have that she responds to. She’s one of the youngest babies, so the others have all kinds of things that I wouldn’t have thought she’d be ready for…but is!

It’s just so fun to see her progressing from a baby-baby to a standing, almost-crawling, incredibly vocal, happy, laughing, cat-petting baby, and I’m excited to pick out some new toys that will challenge her and help her to that next level.

5:30 am and I was still knitting!

I’m working on a sweater pattern using the new Mission Falls DK weight wool. So far, I’ve really liked working with it! I can’t show you the whole sweater until the pattern comes out, but here’s a shot of what the fabric looks like. This is their “Tricolor” yarn in the Wildflower colorway. Great stitch definition, and it’s so SOFT!

Mission Falls DK Tricolor

June is a busy month!

I have two garments and two book chapters due at the end of it….so I’m hustlin’. Yesterday, Mazie and I did some errands like going to Target and to Kinko’s to copy my book proof so I have something to reference over the next few months until it’s officially OUT. While we were doing our jobs, I picked up a copy of the third season of Weeds. (The new season starts on the 16th, if you have Showtime, which I don’t.)

After we picked Nate up from work, we stopped in at the brewery for a beer and a burger, then came home. He watched soccer and I worked up a new knitting pattern while Mazie had some tummy time.

5 months old today!

After Mazie went to bed, I decided that it was a good time to start knitting and ended up staying awake until 5:30 this morning…knitting and watching Weeds.

Sometimes, it’s just so nice to have a few uninterrupted hours, even if they *are* at some completely insane time of day.

PS: Mazie’s 5 months old today!