Fleece artist merino sliver

I started this on a drop spindle, which accounts for one end of it being a bit slubby.  85 yards of merino sliver.  It will probably become socks for the bug.


I didn’t particularly like the color while I was spinning it, but it has turned out to be a very nice subtle color.  Will the color the resulting yarn becomes ever stop surprising me?  Or is that just half the fun?

John’s hat

So, my cousin John asked my grandmother for a hat. That was 4 yrs ago. He hasn’t gotten the hat, my grandmothers hands hurt when she knits. So when I saw him at the wedding, he asked me to make him a hat. I thought that would be a fun and easy project and today I finished.

I used Noro Kureyon, and I just love the way it turned out. I had one of my faculty model it for me. Now he wants one too.


Is this how you ask?

Today I received an email at work sent to the entire department:


Yesterday i lost a silver watch with multicolored jewels on it at the *building name removed* or around the outside of the building walking to the street. if anyone has seen it i would like it back. ”

Is this how you ask?  No “please” or “Thank you?”  How about “if anyone has seen it I’d be grateful if you could let me know.”   If I had found it I would be scared she was going to accuse me of something!


I have perfected my hummus recipe.  And J tells me that it is completely authentic.

I started with a recipe that my Aunt made a couple years back when I visited.  I have been tweaking it since then, and have finally hit the mark.

I use a food processor, I put all the ingredients in and turn it on.

1 can chick peas, drain but reserve about 1/4 cup of the liquid.

3 cloves garlic

3 heaping tablespoons tahini

the juice of 1 lemon

a good glug of cold pressed olive oil

salt to taste

Turn on the food processor.  This is when you can add the reserved liquid from the chick pea can, to gain the proper smooth consistency.

Serve with a splash of cold pressed olive oil and use whole wheat pita or whole wheat tortillas to dip.

If I am feeling adventurous, sometimes I add some fresh parsley.  (OK, usually I add fresh parsley when I use the food processor to make tabbouleh right before I decide to make hummus and don’t feel like washing it out.)

You will never again buy hummus from the store…..

A combo yarn

I made this half on my old wheel and half on the new one.  I guess you could say this is my “get used to the new wheel” yarn.  It wants to go around the collar of a sweater.


Now I am working on an 80% merino 20% silk roving from tempted yarns.  I am telling you, it practically spins itself into laceweight!  I love it!

50K headache

J’s BMW has now been dubbed the 50K headache. Why anyone would own one of these cars I will never understand. Yes it drives nice. Yes it is quiet and smooth and roomy. Yes I heart the butt warmer so much that he won’t let me use it in the evenings. Because I turn it on and become useless, falling asleep when he is still wide awake and wants to go out for coffee.

That being said, let’s talk about the issues with the car. It is a 2007 higher end model. He has had it for 2 yrs now. It has only 11K miles on it. The CD player has not worked properly since I met him. Thats almost a year now. Recently the windshield wipers stopped working. As in when you press the button they turn on only when they want to and they do not “sense” the rain on the car which they are supposed to. Not in the sense of there being ice in the tension system. Then, the low oil indicator started to come on. Now, BMW’s only get serviced and get their oil changed once a year. It had recently been serviced. The low oil indicator comes on and then when you check the oil it gives a different reading every time. But wait, for those of you who don’t know BMW’s, checking the oil manually means that you sit behind the wheel, push a series of buttons, and the car checks itself, telling you on a computer screen how much oil you have. Pretty cool huh? Does anyone see the major flaw in the system? I mean, if my low oil indicator light comes on, I pop the hood, pull out the dipstick, and check the oil. Now I know if the issue is a sensor or actually my oil level. ‘Cause you know I am good like that and my daddy taught me well. But the BMW HAS NO DIPSTICK!!! So there is no way to tell if it is a sensor issue or not. This leads me to believe that BMW knows that the only dipstick in the car is the one sitting behind the wheel!!!!!

Anyhow, between J and I, I am the one with the brains for mechanical things. Scary huh? Because as I mentioned, I am the type that puts vacuum cleaner handles on backwards. But seriously, he is amazingly intelligent but these things are lost on him. And that is ok. I told him the issue was the sensor somehow. There is no oil under the car. There is no smoking or burning smell. IF the dealership did not put enough oil in when they serviced it, the low oil indicator would have come on 2 months ago, not now.

So he takes the car in and gets a loaner. A lower end Beemer but brand new. I hated that car! The only thing it has going for it is the butt warmer. It sits too low to the ground. Getting in and out of it was like getting in and out of a 2 door vehicle. There was nothing lady like about it. The seats gave me a stiff neck withing 10 minutes of riding, I’d have hated to take it anywhere.

In the end, turns out that the BMW needs software updates just as computers do, and that is what caused the issue with the cd player, wipers, and oil indicator.  The dealership has to download the updates from the company and install them in the car.

J says he owns beemers for “peace of mind.” I say peace of mind is my 8 yr old $14K subaru that rarely gives me a headache and when a sensor goes, I can manually check the oil and know that the issue is the sensor. A car that is as much a work horse as a car. A car that maybe does not have cruise control, a cd player, or a butt warmer but I can drive it and be fairly certain it won’t yell at me when the temperature gets too cold. You see, the dipstick in my car is the one that sits happily under the hood.

Who knew that riding in a “fancy” car would give me such an appreciation for my own!

What would you do part II

I have come to the conclusion that what bothers me most about this issue is not the fact that I haven’t forgiven said person, I think I have.  If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be able to completely forget about it in between contact.  It would eat at me and make me irritable when I thought about it.  I would probably have anger and anxiety dreams.  Yep, pretty sure the forgiveness is in place.

What hit me this last time was that knowledge that people just don’t change!  10 years later and it is the same story.  Also, this person comes very close to being similar to my ex and I don’t want either personality in my life.

So that is that, no contact will be made from here on out.  Messages from said person will be deleted and I can continue to give it as much thought as I do between contact.  Which is none.

What would you do?

Say 10 yrs ago you helped someone out with some money issues, on the assumption that you would be paid back.  This person consequently did not pay you back and it was to the tune of $1,500 to 2K.  When you confronted said person about it, they basically made it seem like they were entitled to your money in some way and had no intention of paying it back. This person is not a family member.  That person tells you that they cannot afford to pay you back and then 2 weeks later has a nice brand new dream car.  Obviously they couldn’t afford it because they desired to use the cash for something else.

You chalk it up to being young and stupid and you learn your lesson.  You move on.  That person contacts you every couple of years trying to chat you up and see how your life is going.  You always ask again for the money and inform said person that you can’t be “friends” until the issue is resolved, or at least some good faith attempt to resolve it has been made.

That person, of course, considers you a real “witch” for bringing it up in the first place.  Now, I would have to say that over all I have forgiven this person.  In the years between contacts, I can honestly say I don’t give it a second thought.  Nor do I give said person a second thought.  I’ve let it go and moved on.  But when the contact comes, it makes me want to ask again for the cash even though I know I will never get it.  Just to make sure they know they aren’t let off the hook.

So what do you do?

Do you continue with current plan?  Ask for the cash and let them know you don’t want to be friendly?

Do you forgive them completely and let it go, letting them off the hook and just know in your heart that you won’t lend money to untrustworthy people again?  I mean after all, I have had to borrow money over and over lately, some of which will probably never be repaid properly.

Do you just out and out refuse to respond?

Are there options I am not thinking of?

Candidate found guilty of faking disappearance

I caught this story this morning on Good Morning America as I was spinning and waiting to go to work.  If you don’t want to wade through the whole article, the overview is that Gary Dodds, a former congressional candidate in NH, was found guilty of faking his disappearance to gain attention for his languishing campaign.

I watched the interview Diane Sawyer conducted with Gary Dodds and his attorney.  to be honest, he was a fairly believable character and I was tempted to believe that they had been too harsh with him, and possibly even gotten it all wrong.

He faces up to 7 years in jail for this offense.  Which, if it is true, is a huge offense if you ask me.   All the heartache of his family and loved ones, all the emergency workers called out working long hours and overtime on someones dime.  I am sure there are many more reasons this, if it is true, would be considered a terrible offense in addition to the fact that it is a lie.  I don’t think “up to” 7 years is unreasonable.

But as I said, he was believable, and I started to feel sorry for him.

Until Diane Sawyer asks him if there is anything he would like to say in conclusion.

He says “May God have mercy on their souls.”

Well, now he has lost all credibility in my book.  It isn’t like he has been tried and convicted with a death penalty.  If he is innocent, in probably much less than 7 years he will be back to his family.  Yes, it would be terrible if he wasn’t guilty and they found him so.  But did it warrant such a strong statement such as “May God have mercy on their souls?”  No, to me these are very strong words.  Too strong of words for this situation.  Smacks of melodrama if you ask me.

Any thoughts?

More spinnerly news

So in the last post, I mentioned that I sold my wheel. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that wheel! It worked well, and was great to learn on. But at the speed I picked it up I thought maybe I could get a different wheel if I sold the first. (This, btw, would not have caused an issue with my spinning speech except that we had a snow day). I’ve gone without a wheel for nearly 3 weeks now. I wasn’t ready to purchase a new one when I sold the old one. This was great for my knitting, I got a great deal done because I wasn’t spinning. Even Bug was missing the wheel though, she would ask where it was and when I would get it back.

Today my new wheel arrived. It was not exactly assembled when I got it. My biggest frustration was the lack of pictures helping me understand how to put it together. I mean, I am the gal that puts the handle of a brand new vacuum cleaner on backwards (not a fixable mistake) and throws out the “extra” parts. I know my dad fixed that little mistake and I am fairly certain it wasn’t the first or last he fixed!

So I put it really close to the swift, hoping some of Nick’s mad woodworking skills would rub off on me. It seems to have worked because I only needed to take one thing apart again to fix it.

Say Hi to the new member of my family


I swear I feel like I am learning all over again. She spins like a dream, very quiet and smooth. But I am not used to her yet, so I have to remember that some things don’t come quickly, she and I need time to figure each other out. The treadles feel completely different that the Kiwi, the tension is different, I am all out of sorts. I know it will come to me, but tonight I am a bit annoyed. Ready to pull out the drop spindle actually!

Drop spindle

So….I decided to give a spinning speech at school. I thought it would be a great instructional speech. Then I sold my wheel. (Don’t panic, it was for a good reason, I’ll get back to that.) So realizing that it would be fairly difficult to give a spinning demonstration without a wheel, I asked Corrie to let me borrow her drop spindle. She kindly did so, and the day of the speech I started teaching myself to use a drop spindle.

I practiced at work on my breaks and became good enough to use it during the speech by that evening. It was a frustrating experience at first, but I soon found that the things I learned while spinning with a wheel applied to the drop spindle as well. It is sorta fun, though not nearly so fast. And I love the versatility of it, I can spin sitting or standing, I can completely imagine me doing this while in line for something. Though I am sure it would get a lot of stares. Not really unusual for me.


I also think this would be a fantastic way to teach the Bug eventually. I will keep it in mind!

Diva Baby Blanket

So…progress has been made. See this big blob? It is the body of the blanket with all stitches around the outside picked up and knit to begin the border.


Here is where knitpicks options are worth their weight in gold…the directions tell me to put all the border stitches on a scrap piece of yarn and then knit them in as I knit the border. I don’t have to, because I have them all on my largest 60 inch options cable with a stitch holder at one end. Then I can use the other end to knit with while I make the border. It is very helpful!

Let’s take a closer look at the border


Looks pretty nice so far, I am more pleased with the result than I thought I would be!

Spoiled Rotten Bug

Nick got to meet the Bug when we were out for the wedding. He brought her the cutest little toy which he had made himself. A wooden duck on wheels. It even waddles!


We joke that Bug named the duck “No.”

So apparently that was a fun little project, even fun enough to get the book and make another. We shall call him “Way.” Bug is already calling him her “hippopotamus” in a very know it all voice, as she has been watching his progress via email. You’ve really got to see him in action too!



Reminds me of Bug’s favorite song:

“Hey Daddy there’s a dragon in the driveway

Momma there’s a grizzly on the lawn

You better come quick ’cause there’s a hippo in the bathtub

And he’s goin’ down the drain, Oh no! he’s gone!”

Nick says that a frog is next….pretty soon we are going to have Noah’s ark!

Keeping myself honest

Awhile back I wrote a bit about my weight loss journey.  I had some fears of gaining a bunch back over the winter.  Luckily that hasn’t happened, I’ve put on about 5 pounds overall, but am still down significantly from where I started.

I certainly could use some more exercise.  The weather out here is COLD this year, and I have less time than ever now that I am taking classes.  I hope with the upcoming spring that I will be able to get out and enjoy walking/running again.  I also have a little girl who desperately wants to go running, and asks me every day if we can go.  I wonder if the desire to run is hereditary?  Perhaps she got that one from her dad?  If she got something from me, it would have been more like rollerskating.

I also wanted Miss Bug to start to learn to enjoy some of the foods which I enjoy.  Now when I eat my lebna (homemade yogurt cheese with olive oil) she will come sit right next to me and ask me for wheat bread so she can dip and eat too.  That is a good start.

Here I showed you 2 of my favorite dishes.  I am going to attempt to give you the recipes as I make them.  Trouble is, I really don’t have exact measurements of anything because I am currently making these by feel.  But here goes!


Start by putting 2 handfuls of cracked wheat in a bowl.

2 bunches fresh parsley  (If you can find something labeled italian parsley, get that!)

Take the heads off the parsley and throw out the stems,  Wash, dry WELL, and put in a food processor.  Add this over the top of the cracked wheat.

Dice 2 medium size tomatoes, very small. (when I feel lazy, I put these in the food processor too!)   Add to bowl

Use a food processor to chop 3 green onions and half a hot pepper.  Add to mixture.

Peel off 3 outside leaves of romaine lettuce, into the food processor that goes too!

If you can get about 1/2 cup fresh mint, chop it up and add too.  I use dried mint in the winter.

Add the juice of one fresh lemon

salt liberally

Add a generous splash of olive oil.

Mix this all together and let set for 5 minutes or so, this will soften the cracked wheat.  Then eat by scooping the mixture up with romaine lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves.  It is SOOO good and SOOO filling!  I want to eat it every day!

Lentils and rice with onion:

Put half a bag of dry lentils in a large pot.  Cover and then some with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer.  Check in about 15 minutes.  add a cup of instant brown rice and salt to taste and continue to simmer until rice and lentils are tender but not mushy.  (I assume you can drain off excess water if necessary)

While lentils are cooking, put canola oil in a large skillet.  Slice 5 or 6 onions and let them fry until golden brown.  Drain off oil.

When both of these are done, add about a cup of the onions to the lentil mixture and stir it in.  Put the rest of the onions on top of the lentil mixture.

Serve with a nice salad on top.  I make my salad with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, fresh garlic, basil, oregano, and a bit of fresh thyme.

Another very hearty meal, the most calorific part being the onions in oil.  The entire pot of lentils?  Only about 180 calories.  That is made of win if you ask me!  And when I eat them, I feel full forever!

Christi, thank you for your comment and keeping me honest.  I’ll post the homemade yogurt process too if you think you might want to give it a try.

Promised pictures

The BS Johnson hat with the complete cabled band, completed at school last night and kitchenered together this morning at about 1 AM while the Bug was up sick.


And my modified branching out scarf, very little done, mostly just seeing how it will work out.


I have yet to take pictures of SotSii, I haven’t anywhere that will show it up well right now.

Oops I did it again.

Yes, I started yet another project.  J has been bugging me to knit him a hat.  I have not done so because I cannot find a pattern that I think he would be enchanted with, and that would  fit his rather large head topped with too much hair.

Yesterday I can across this. I was completely fascinated by the asymmetry and it looks rather loose.  J keeps telling me he wants a “cool hat” which I think really means he wants something very different from something I could pick up in a store.  I think this counts.  I decided he needs it for valentines day.  So last night I cast on, using the leftover yarn from B’s sweater.  I figured J paid for it anyhow, he might as well get something knit from the leftovers.  I have just about the right amount.  (Yes, I did also get him a regular gift, not just something knit quickly from leftover yarn that he paid for, ’cause that would be just plain tacky.)  Oh, and he likes asymmetry as much as I do so this hat is a win in that department too!

I haven’t taken pictures yet, maybe when I am done with the cabled band.   But this has been a great learning project!  The cabled band is knit onto the ribbing similarly to the way one would knit on a lace border.  Well, that is one thing I haven’t tried yet but will need to learn quickly since both Print o’the Wave and the baby blanket have such a border.  What better way to learn than a scrap hat rather than with my nice lace?

Think I can’t finish before valentines day?  Oh, I think I can.  Well, we won’t see each other before Friday evening so I have until then.  And I am halfway done with the cabled band now.  I think I have a good chance of finishing it up.

Also, stay tuned for pictures of the 4th clue of SotSii, I finished it Sunday night but just haven’t bothered to block it out and take pictures.  Also, I find myself feeling uninspired by never ending flowery motifs and I see no end in sight.  (OK, well I really can’t SEE the end, or even the next clue, but I reserve the right to be uninspired for now.)

Let’s talk briefly about other projects which I have going on, just as an  update.  I think I will knit one more full skein on the baby blanket then start the border.  It is actually coming along quite quickly right now.  Since I am actually knitting on it, see how that works?   Print o’the Wave needs 5 more repeats before I start the border, so it is also coming right along.  And that is it, nothing else significant has made much progress.

Oh, and might I mention that I started another project?  Branching out is a project I have always wanted to try.   Remember this post?  See the handspun yarn of unknown origin?  The purple stuff?  Well I have decided to knit it into a branching out scarf.  I originally started as the pattern is written, but decided it was too thin with the very fine laceweight, so I frogged and started again, doing 2 repeats separated by a 3 stitch garter row down the middle which imitates the 3 stitch garter borders.  Not much at all has been knit on that project, as it was just something to entertain me for a time over the weekend.  Sort of like swatching I guess.  I plan to just knit until I run out of yarn.  And keep it for myself, I really like the color.  I’ll have pics of that when I take pics of the other stuff.

A special shout out to my Dad who gave me a memory card reader while I was out there for the wedding.  My cord was not transferring pictures appropriately.   It was really borked.  The little card reader ROCKS MY WORLD!!!!!  I am no longer fighting to get my pics transferred causing me to tear out my hair.  It is now a breeze!

My stick with holes.

I needed something to help organize my circular knitting needles.

Nick to the rescue!

He made me a stick, with holes in it. I labeled the holes with transparent labeling tape.



See that leather strap? Know where it comes from? HA! Nicks pants! That gives me quite a laugh.

And here it is in use.


I absolutely love it, it works great, and even looks rather interesting hanging on my wall.

What does Shells eat?

Now that I do not eat much meat, I have found a few things that I think are so good that I rarely crave meat anymore.

First up, Tabbouleh. The first time I had it, I didn’t like it, the flavors were so very different from what I was used to. The second time, it tasted “interesting.” The third time I decided I wanted more. After that I was hooked and at this point I am fairly certain I could eat it every day.


J originally told me that it cannot be prepared except for chopping all the parsley very small by hand. I kept saying that we should try a food processor. He said that in his experience it made the parsley mushy and ruined the dish. I finally convinced him that if I used a salad spinner and then chopped the parsley in my food processor. He was amazed at how fast it went and how much easier it was. Now he doesn’t like to make the dish at all without the use of my food processor. BTW, the dish above I made myself.

My second favorite is lentil salad.

Lentils, brown rice, and fried onions:


On top of that I will put salad with homemade olive oil/garlic/lemon dressing:


Sooooo delish!  I just love it.  The onions get so sweet and add this very interesting flavor, while the lentils give a bit of a different texture than just eating salad.


I have a snow day from school today.  They canceled evening classes.  I am well surprised but very pleased.  It is like gaining a free evening.  The trouble is, now I have no idea if we have a speech next class or not.  Hopefully that information will be forthcoming.

This morning I got the Bug up.  I took her downstairs while explaining to her that she couldn’t wear her pink crocs to school because it was going to snow and they had holes in them and she needed to keep her feet warm.

She said “It IS snowing!  It is SNOWING!”

I said “No no, it is gonna start snowing later on.  When you get out of school it will probably be snowing.”

She insisted that it was snowing.

I got her down to the car, opened the garage door, and realized that we already had 2 inches of snow!

It was snowing.  Mamma is dumb!  Mamma should listen to her Bug!

A few nice things

In the past couple of days, a few nice things have happened to me, which I want to highlight here.

The day the Bug and I flew back from the wedding, the midwest was bitterly cold.  With wind chill it was -17 F and we could feel it hit us like a ton of bricks even as we stepped off of the plane.  It was snowing and the wind was blowing crazily.  We had to wait awhile for a shuttle to the airport longterm parking.  When we got on the shuttle, there was a very kind older man driving who helped me with my luggage and got us settled as we headed out to the lot.  I told him that I had written down that I was parked at O5.  I wrote it down because I always think I will remember but then I forget anyhow.  But there was NO O5!!!  How could I have written it down incorrectly?  I was really upset that I could have done such a stupid thing.  I told him I could be wrong, and he said “No no, they changed all the signs this weekend.”  Phew, I am not completely insane after all.  So he took me whereO5 used to be.  We had to drive around quite awhile to find me poor car.  We did finally find it, and he said “Now, I am afraid your car might not start, so get the baby in the car and start it up while I take care of the luggage.”  What a gem!  Car started right up, and by that time I had my luggage in the car.  Since we had been up since 2:30 AM, any help I could get was wonderful!

I had class the same evening.  I had anticipated going to the grocery store, but it was the kind of cold that you do NOT go out in.  I even contemplated skipping class because I was just so very very cold and by that time the temp had dropped even more.  But I dutifully went to class.  I got to my parking lot, and had my money all ready, but couldn’t get the machine to take my money.  The parking attendant came over  and told me to get back in my car.  He made sure all the money was refunded, and swiped his own parking pass for me! How nice, a free day of parking while he stood out in the cold!

Yesterday I needed to get my car registered.  It expired today.  I was not enjoying the anticipation of spending my day at the DMV, but brought my knitting along to pass the time.  I also needed to change my address on my drivers license so I knew it would be productive.   When I got there, there were no lines, hardly any people.  The cashier I talked to took care of both things right away, as well as making sure I had an updated DL picture (I am way smaller now than I was 5 yrs ago) and was registered to vote.  In the matter of minutes!  It was too easy.

How can I keep on this winning streak???

Anyone want to join me at the casino?  (Totally joking, I do NOT gamble, ever!)