I am well aware that my posting has been scarce lately.  Mom came out for a 10 day visit which was fabulous!  Life just seems a little easier when she is there.  She really got my yard in shape since I have a combination of lack of motivation and fear of snakes stopping me.  Once she has it in shape I can maintain it just fine, but getting it to that point is something I can’t seem to bring myself to do.  She was saying that we should have taken before and after pictures, which I wholeheartedly agree with!

I took Mom to the airport on Friday afternoon then returned to work.  And then the excitement started!  I generally stay until 5 PM.  Around 4:45 my boss, who lives just down the street from me, came into the office and hurriedly said “The tornado sirens are going off and there is a big storm to the north of us, I don’t know about you but I like to get my daughter and get home when this happens, you are free to go too if you like.”  Well, I always like to leave early, and I like even better to be home when it storms.

Do you see where this is going?  Should I trademark the “I’ll just beat the storm” concept?  Because I always try it!

I run out of the office, run up to her school where she is already safely in the shelter with the other children, take her from the shelter all the while saying “Bug, now would be a really good time to listen to mommy and hurry!” while she obeyed perfectly with the background noise of tornado sirens.

We got home and I opened the car door to the first of the rain.  We got inside, I turned on the TV to see what was going on and started to shut windows.  At this time the wind was picking up and whooshing the tree’s around in a disturbing way.  The weatherman kept saying that this wasn’t a tornado but more like a hurricane with 100 MPH winds.  We didn’t even manage to get in the basement before it hit.  The winds were insane and it dropped golf ball sized hail.  The power flickered on and off, on and off until finally the weatherman was no more and we were left to our own devices.  I held Bug with her face to my chest under the arch between the living and dining room while she attempted to control her panic.  The whole thing was surreal and it happened so fast!  I think it was probably as fast as a tornado, it was there and then gone before we could comprehend what was going on.

And behind the wind and the hail was a rain storm that just pounded us.  I watched this out my front window.  The street in front of me turned into a river in which massive tree branches floated out toward the main road.  My sun curtain on my porch was shredded, and all the porch furniture was gone.

And then it was done!  The sky brightened and the cold front came through and all was clear.  The river in the road dissipated and we were left to survey the mess.  I grabbed a broom and got my shoes on.  What I really needed was a shovel for the front porch.  It was plastered with leaves and shreds of the sunshade.  I swept it all into a big pile, hung up the rug, and retrieved my porch furniture which had migrated to my lawn.  Bug just kept saying “What a MESS!  What a MESS!” and she was right.  She thought playing in the piles of hail was such fun though, I mean ice, on the ground, in the summer??!!  This has to be every child’s dream!  My neighbor came out to tell me that she saw my garbage can float down the river that was our road and figured hers had gone the same way, so we began to trek out to the main road to bring them back.  Indeed they made it all the way out onto the main drag.  On this trek we began to see how extensive the damage was.  I would say at least every other house had either large branches down or entire trees uprooted.  I live in a historic district so the trees there are mature and beautiful but also dangerously large.  Fences were pulled out and scattered about as well was every yard item you can imagine.  As we walked we returned the items if we knew where they belonged, and pulled the largest of the branches out of the road and onto the side.

At this point I was still hopeful that we might get our power back, as the city seems to be pretty good at keeping on top of things.  Then we meandered in the other direction.  I realized that the ONLY way to get out of our area, the only entrance and road clear of a full tree across it, was the way we just wandered.  And in the trees that were down we could see messy tangled power lines.  It was then I realized that it might be awhile.  We got in the car to turn the radio on and listen.  I realized that the entire city had been hit and it was safe to say that most were without power.  I tried to make phone calls but of course the networks were too busy.

In the end, we didn’t get power back until last evening.  And from surveying the damage I would say the city did a wonderful job, as I expected almost a full week.

The best moment of the weekend?  As I sat and listened to the local TV station on my radio in the car after the storm the newscaster gave us this little gem:

“At last update there were calculated to be 120,000 homes without power.  Compounding this and the clean up effort is that it is humid and getting hotter, and without power we don’t have  AC.  So I would suggest that everyone open up your windows and put a fan in the window.”


Hush Hush Handspun Hootinany

I have never joined a swap before. I have never bought yarn for someone else and sent it off in order to receive something else sight unseen. It sounds scary to me, and then to top it off I have heard various horror stories about what people received or perhaps they received nothing at all from a swap partner. Part of the reasoning is that I feel that I might BE the bad swap partner. What if what I send is not good enough? I don’t like that thought at all.

Then when I read about Hush Hush Handspun Hootinany I realized this was a swap I could get behind! The deal is that we send 4oz. spun fiber and 4 oz. roving to our partner. This sounds right up my alley so I jumped on board with very little hesitation.

Now I need to blog a questionnaire about myself for the person who will be sending to me. Here goes nothing!

1. How long have you been spinning? What skill level do you consider yourself?

I have been spinning for about 8 months now. It came easy to me. I would consider myself intermediate to advanced in basic spinning, but have not tried techniques such as long draw or any type of art yarns.

2. What kinds of yarn do you create (singles/2-ply/3-ply/art yarn)?

I’ve done some singles. Most of what I spin is 2-ply sock yarn. I have done quite a bit of navajo plying as well, since I think it is downright enjoyable. I have never spun art yarn nor have I done traditional 3 ply. I’ve never knit socks with my sock yarn either!

3. What do you spin with (spindle/wheel/both)?

I have a majacraft rose. I invested in her after buying a second hand ashford kiwi and falling in love with spinning. (And spinning fell in love with me!) I do not have my own spindle, and had never used one prior to purchasing my wheel. I did learn to spindle spin for a public speaking demonstration, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

4. What are your favorite fibers to spin with? Anything you don’t like?

I like merino and merino blends very much. Spinning with silk is like a dream. I love slippery fibers and tend not to like the rougher wools very much. I also do not particularly like BFL. I cannot tell you why, and I know you will all think I am strange, but I have just not had the best of luck with it. This could, in part, be that I received low quality BFL or poorly prepared BFL, but at this point I might have a mind set against it.

5. Who are your favorite crack dealers fiber sources (etsy or otherwise)?

I have gotten most of my fiber from The Loopy Ewe but am perfectly willing to try something new.

6. What kind of fiber do you want to try?

I’ve always wanted to try some non blended silk or bamboo. I have also not tried many different wools other than merino, coopworth, and BFL.

7. Is there any techniques you would like to learn?

I’ve not done a traditional 3 ply yet, and I would like to get better with my laceweight.

8. Do you dye fiber? If not, would you like to learn?

I have done some koolaid dyeing and have ambitions to dye my own fiber but they have not yet been realized.

9. Do you have fiber prep tools (and like to use them) or would you prefer ready to spin fiber?

I have a pair of hand cards which have never been used. I just purchased them for some angora I was given. I cannot say if I will enjoy the process or not but I do believe I would prefer prepared fiber.

10. What do you do with your handspun? What projects have you completed?

Is it OK to say none here? Well that might not be entirely true. I did complete a pair of socks for my daughter out of my second handspun ever. I also completed a print o’the wave shawl out of my third handspun. I’d really like to make socks and lace out of handspun but have not done so yet.

11. Are you in need of any spinning gadgets (WPI Gauge, threading hook, etc)?

Heck yeah, I don’t have anything like that!

12. What colors “fall into your shopping basket”? Any colors you just can’t stand?

I love color! I want to be thinking out of the box on this one. I do not have colors which I do not like so I am safe with someone picking for me!

13. What is on your wheel/spindle right now?

I have 8 oz Blue Moon Fiber Arts merino in Ravenscroft colorway. I am completely in love with this fiber. It is prepared so nicely and drafts like a dream. I wanted something very subtle for socks for my dear friend Nick and this just seemed to work perfectly. The added advantage is that there will be enough for 2 pair!

14. What other crafts/hobbies do you have?

Well knitting of course, which is a bigger obsession for me than spinning. I enjoy reading and listening to audio books. I’d like to travel one day but for now my travels are kept within a small radius of my home. I love cooking Mediterranean food. I enjoy biking in the warmer weather. Why do I now feel like I am filling out a personal add?

15. Other than crafts, what are you passionate about?

I love to learn about different cultures. I tend to lean toward crunchy hippie gal who dreams of her own organic gardens even though I don’t appear it on the outside.

16. Do you have an online wishlist?

I have a Loopy Ewe wish list.

17. Is there anything that you collect?

Besides stash? Not so much.

18. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What magazine subscriptions do you have?

I have an interweave knits subscription. I am jonesing for both “A Gathering of Lace” and “Victorian Lace Today.” I work with only bamboo or wood needles. I would someday like the be in the presence of both Wollmeise and Numma Numma yarn. Me and thousands of others I suppose!

19. When is your birthday?

Dec. 9.

20. What book or movie character do you most resemble in personality?

Did you see Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride? Totally me!

21. What is the climate like where you live around this time (need to know for careful shipments of anything meltable)?

Feelin’ Hot Hot Hot!

22. Tell us one weird fact about yourself!

Didn’t I just do that with the Runaway Bride comment? OK OK, let’s try something else. I love process cooking. For instance, I make my own yogurt and whole wheat bread. Next on the list to learn is cheese. You will never see my home lacking in homemade yogurt. It just never happens. Or how about the fact that I do not like ice cream? That usually gets me some stares.

favorite painting/picture(link):

Candy: I like dark chocolate. I really don’t like many other candies.

Food: I love hummus, tabbouleh, genuine falafel, lebnah, there are few middle eastern and Mediterranean foods I don’t like. I actually can’t think of any. I am also crazy for kraft 3 cheese mac and cheese, and I am not sure why. They must put something addicting in that stuff!

Drink: Well, I drink a lot of water, distilled water. I have always thought that water is the best tasting drink out there. Barring that I might have some nice dark coffee in various flavors or jasmine green tea. Also wine, I do like a nice glass of wine every once in awhile.

Movie(s): Well, I love independent and artsy films. My latests favorites are “Once” and “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.”

TV Show(s): There hasn’t been much that has captured my attention lately. I loved “Heroes” but the hiatus has been too long. “Lost” has lost me, much to my chagrin. I have been watching “Dr. Who” in dvd lately.

Book(s): One of my all time favorite books was Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal Dreams.”

Guilty Pleasure(s): Fine dark chocolates. Also cheese. I am crazy over fine cheese.

GK clue 2

I think I can say that lace knitted in the round is equally as awesome as lace knitted any other way.  I chose chart C for this one, though D looked very tempting as well.


Now that the latest branching out scarf is done, we can get back to working on a few other ongoing projects.  And add a few new ones!

I’ve joined the Goddess Knits anniversary shawl knit along.  This is a round shawl with a mandala theme.  What I am enjoying the most about it is that the designer is giving us chart choices, so every shawl will look a bit different.

I am using jojoland harmony yarn which borders on a cobweb weight.  It was quite a challenge to start it, but I am getting a bit more used to it now.

This picture is through clue one. 

I have also started on a pair of Monkeys for a cousin whom I will see in August.  I am working on them as my work project and feel fairly confident they be done by then.

Wicked Alien Baby

I have just listed 2 more handspun yarns on my etsy site.  Wicked and Alien Baby.

I have to admit even though the colors were way out of my comfort zone, I had a serious obsession with them, and spinning them was a blast!  The color saturation is wonderful and the silk makes spinning this an absolute dream.

I can imagine Alien Baby made into socks with alternating black strips.  I’d do it myself but I just can’t find the time!

Another unoriginal hat

All we are doing tonight is going up and down the basement stairs.  Tornado sirens stop and we come up just to get settled and hear them again.  Ridiculous.  Nothing is getting done tonight and I have more than enough to do!

Today at work I finished another cable hat.  This poor picture is of the back of my head.  You’ll just have to take my word for it that it is cute!


This weekend was the IA sheep and wool festival.  I had signed up for a class and was all set to go.  I intended to pick up hand cards for the lovely angora I received (remember this?) and perhaps some dyes.  I’ve been counting down the days.

But earlier this week we got a little heads up to check the website.  It could be the case that the fairgrounds would be under water due to all the flooding in IA.  We were told to keep checking back.  I checked the forecast there and noticed that they were indeed going to receive more rain in the next 3 days.  So I remained optimistic that perhaps the forecasts would be incorrect and the rivers would not swell to the point that they did.  First I read that the road to the fairgrounds had flooded, but my optimism barely waned.  In the end, last evening, I received a call from one of the planners indicating that they would have to cancel as the fairgrounds were under water.  And I was so sad.  Then I remembered that my silly sheep and wool festival cancellation is nothing compared to the people losing homes and crops to all this water.  I am very selfish.

On that note, anyone know how I can get to Estes Park, CO this weekend?  😉

Nick guest blogs again.


It has been awhile since we have heard from Nick. I figured a bit of background on this post might be wise. When I started dating J, he introduced me to the yogurt making process and to Lebnah, which has become one of my all time favorite comfort foods. Bug is crazy over it too, and gets quite excited when I make yogurt as she knows what is coming. So for the past year, I have been attempting to get Nick to try it, as I know his tastes and I just knew he would love it. But he just wasn’t convinced. A year later he finally gets himself on a little health kick and decides to give it a try. Here we see the results of that. (Oh, and I must add, he is doing a shortened version, using plain yogurt rather than making his own yogurt)

ETA:  J would like me to inform you all that this is a traditional Lebanese dish.  I cannot figure out how I managed to forget to add that.  He very much enjoyed Nick’s post as it showed an American perspective on a traditional dish.


Here’s a play by play on the Lebnah… Or as I jokingly call it Lebahaha…

Get a 2lb container of Stonyfield Farms organic yogurt (low fat) and a package of cheesecloth…


Get a bowl that’s larger than the amount of yogurt you have… Open up the cheese cloth and cut it so you have two layers lining the bowl overhanging by a good amount.


Plop the yogurt into the cheesecloth lined bowl. Rinse out the yogurt container for later.


Bunch up the cheesecloth and tie the top to make a hanging “ball”….

Now tie the other end to a cabinet handle so the ball dangles above the rim of the bowl that is sitting on your counter.Photobucket

Now let it hang and drain overnight.
The next morning you’ll have a bowl with this lovely yellow liquid (whey, lots of protein, but I’m not sure how it could be used) and the “yogurt” will be about a third of its original size and the consistency of cream cheese.


Cut it out of the cheesecloth “package” and plop it back in the yogurt container with a teaspoon of kosher salt mixed in.


As G. Love and Spacial Sauce once said, Stick it in the fridge…

Toast up some pita triangles in the oven (10 mins at 300 deg should do it).

But 1st brush them with olive oil and crack some pepper on them…


When you are ready to eat spoon some out on a flat plate and spread it out with the back of your spoon. Drizzle with good olive oil…




Last evening I had a work event to go to with recently retired coworker.  I was to be her date.  I was quite excited about this and eager to wear this dress. That dress still looks absolutely fantastic and flatters in all the correct ways.  Actually, I have noticed that this designer does that for me in general.

I got to the event looking nice and looked around for recently retired coworker but could not find her.  I stopped to chat with another coworker.  I was standing by the soda bar when one of the waitstaff dropped a soda which immediately became shaken and unsealed, causing it to spin around in circles spraying soda in a 4 person radius.  It was quite extreme and I am sure that my eyes about popped out of my head at the thought of all that soda on my favorite dress ever!  Luckily, I’ve worked in catering and knew to immediately ask for a dry cleaning voucher.  She offered me a free drink but I insisted on the voucher.  They did take care of that with some expediency which was good.  I have a few other things to take to the cleaners anyhow so now is the perfect time to do so.

But it really got me thinking about all my time as a caterer and the wealth of stories I have of those times.  I thought I should probably try to document a few of them as far as I can remember them.  No, this will not be a week off type theme, but I will try to add them in as I get a chance.

I started catering when I went off to college as a work study program.  I was rather a nervous new college student but usually up for just about any adventure even if it scared me.

Now, the catering manager at the time was a woman who was…how shall we say…difficult and demanding to the extreme at that moment in her life.  I think she was always trying to prove something and therefore nothing anyone did was quite good enough.  If we weren’t fast enough or if we didn’t do things just as we were told to, she could get into quite a tirade.  We knew it and tried to avoid it as much as possible.  Compounding this was the fact that due to understaffing and lack of time there just wasn’t good training for the young students so we always felt that we were winging it somewhat.

It was my first fancier china reception, it took place in a nice lounge in the student center.  I and a group of students were working with the difficult manager.  This company did on average 14 events a day, and I know that it was a busy time of year.  We were, as usual, running behind.  This reception had hot food in chaffing dishes with the lit sterno’s underneath.  We had been setting the buffet up against the wall and had already lit the sterno’s and added the hot water to the chaffer pans when manager decided to check in on us.  She got a bit perturbed because we were running behind and also because we did not pull the buffet away from the wall in order to make it a double sided buffet.  We were asked to pick up the chaffers and the sterno’s and move the buffet.  That would have been fine, as the sternos were always set on upside down bread and butter plates, which perfectly housed the sterno making it stable.

There was only one problem.  Someone had used saucers instead of bread and butter plates, so rather than nestling comfortably on the bottom of the plate, the sterno was unsteady and could tip over.  I picked up the saucer and the lit sterno went flying.  It hit the carpet spreading flammable gel in a large arc, immediately starting the lounge on fire.  I was horrified but everyone else seemed in shock and no one was moving!  I decided to stomp it out to smother it.  Now the goo is stuck to my shoe and my shoe is on fire!  So I grab some extra linens to smother it, and the linens caught on fire.  In the end I grabbed a chaffing dish lid and covered the whole thing up smothering the flames.

Well, as is always the case with catering, the show must go on.  We quickly moved the buffet to a new position, covering the burns with the buffet tables.  Soon after I asked to be excused as I was shaking so hard and not really in the mood to try to circulate a cocktail tray full of food.  Manager was having none of this until one of the headwaiters stepped in and told her that she would most certainly take my spot if I could be left in the servery to calm down.  I happily folded napkins and polished silverware for the rest of my shift.

This experience, though extreme, was in the end a very fortunate event.  I went on to work my way up the ladder within the same company eventually becoming the manager myself.  I worked with countless new and inexperienced students who always managed to do something which they thought horrifying and embarrassing.  And I could always assure them that they should laugh over whatever it was, because no matter what they did, no matter how many trays they dropped, no matter how many glasses they broke, they had never burned the lounge like I did.  Whatever their current failure, mine was always worse!  It went a long way to creating student workers who were dedicated to their job and willing to learn.

The weekend

I think I’ll just go with a generic weekend summary today. I’ve a couple things to post but nothing earth shattering.

Bugs father called me recently and asked me if I was pregnant. My reaction was along the lines of “WHAT?!?!? NO WAY!!! Where did you hear that?

Apparently her dad had put her in a shirt that didn’t fit. He told her that they had to stop wearing it. She informed him that she intended to take it home because Mommy could use it for the new baby.

Um….she must know something I don’t know!

This weekend we went to the “scariest movie I never saw.” We went to see “The Strangers.” J had thought it would be a fantasy type thriller and I thought I could handle that. We did not expect it to be a horror film.

Initially he saw my reaction and said “It is just a movie….it’s just a movie!” Then he started realizing JUST how scary it was, pretty soon he is hanging onto my hand and saying “I am sorry sweetie, I didn’t expect it to be like this!”

Now by that time I’d had my eyes closed for awhile. I had no intention of watching a scary movie that would stick with me. I could tell by the music that it was a very effective scary movie, as well as the audience reaction. Actually, it is rather amusing to listen to everyone in the theater scream, including the guys, and repeatedly, when you are not actually watching the movie and aren’t that scared. Meanwhile J is still saying “Sweetie, sweetie, don’t open your eyes, just try to sleep or something.” How funny. I don’t think he will try to put me through that again.

I worked quite bit on my Kauni this weekend. I am bored of the current colors and am hoping for new ones to line up soon. I also worked a bit on the pomatamus sock and figured that I’d give a full repeat picture for posterity’s sake.

Francies are done

I absolutely adore these socks.  With the ribbing they cannot help but fit properly.  They are interesting in their construction and they were a great deal of fun to make.

I used jojoland melody yarn, which is supposed to have soft even color changes.  I am not sure what happened with the left sock, but I managed to run from red into blue in constructing the heel and then I ended up with a band of color change over the top of the foot.  Oddly, I am totally OK with that!

You’ve seen the tree like bottoms in another post so I didn’t take a picture of that.  I finished them at work today and I haven’t taken them off since.  I just adore this pattern!

Pomatamus mess

I picked out some Lorna’s Laces shepherd sock in color childsplay for my pomatamus knit along. I was so excited to use this bright summery yarn for the project, I thought it would look just plain fantastic!

I was not that lucky.

Yellow on one side

Pink on the other.

Not really the effect I was going for. And that color wasn’t moving! It was fully intending to pool like that for the leg of the sock. I looked up some pom projects on ravelry and it seemed like anyone using that colorway had the same issue. I think it has something to do with the fact that the pom sock has a 72 stitch leg rather than the typical 60-64.

I went back to the drawing board, I pulled out all my available sock yarns and photographed them. I asked some knitting peeps and decided on chameleon colorworks glacier moraine color.

Yep, that’ll do!

Heavy Lopi

My lite lopi is heavy! But progress has been made.

I have spun up all the yarn I have for this, and I am not convinced it will be enough, I may have to get more coopworth roving. But I do have a full sleeve attached and a second sleeve started.

I do hope that the rolled hem blocks down a bit, it is longer than it looks!

Yes I did finish a project

While I was busy thinking through various memories and blogging about them, I finished a project.

This is a branching out scarf, done in handmaiden sea silk held double throughout. I absolutely adore how it turned out, and blocking and ironing it after it was complete made the whole project shine!

Creating memories

So with all this talk of memories and roots and such things, I decided that I should spend some time with the Bug doing things that weren’t housework related.  It seems that there are so many things to get done that I often don’t just take her somewhere for fun.  She has been bugging me to go get ice cream, and since I don’t like ice cream and I don’t take her, I have resisted.  Well yesterday I decided we would go get us some ice cream.

Turns out that there was also an art show with vendors and live music where we went.  We got our ice cream, I even ordered some for me.  Bug had “blue with sprinkles” and I had some sort of brownie thing that I thought I could like.  Trouble is, I just don’t really like ice cream.  So I ate about 3 bites and saved the rest for her.  She ate all hers and then I offered mine.  Well she didn’t like mine!  Probably the lack of blueness to the ice cream turned her off.

We then wandered around the vendors and sat for a long time listening to the live music.  It was a nice afternoon!

I learned a lesson yesterday, if I leave my knitting needles on the couch, and Bug walks on them and breaks one, I am going to get a lecture.

“Bug, you broke one of mommy’s needles”

“Well Mommy, that is why you shouldn’t leave your knitting on the couch!”

“No Bug, that is why you should not WALK on mommy’s couch!”

In other news, I hit an all time low on my weight again today.  I haven’t been working at losing this year, because I just don’t feel like I need to.  I am down so far from last year that it just doesn’t seem necessary even though I could stand to lose more.  I noticed last week that my clothes seem to be more ill fitting than usual again, the pants that were previously large are literally falling off, so I thought perhaps I should step on the scale.  Lo and behold, all winter weight is gone and then some!  Of course, now I am inspired.

My own version of a scrap quilt

This has been a fantastic week of wandering through some of my memories and contemplating that which makes me who I am. Thank you for indulging me. There is something special about getting some of those thoughts down in journal form that makes me think perhaps I am tending some roots for The Bug.

As a wrap up, I have decided to show you something I have been playing around with this weekend. Let me assure you, I cannot quilt, and my sewing skills are sadly lacking. I don’t have fabric for scrap quilts nor do I have the expertise to make one. So I can only make something which would suit me.

I bring to you the mitered square scrap blanket. I will be using sock weight and fingering weight for this, and I will make it from all the many scraps I have been saving in the hope that they could be used somewhere.

Each color has its own story. Yes, I would take donations to speed up the project but only if they come with their own stories as well.

I am most thrilled to add bits and pieces of handspun, the large plum colored square is the leftover from favorite coworkers stole.

This is a long term project but I think it will be fun to see it come together as time passes.


I have always had a love affair with scrap quilts. I just love to look at all the colors and fabrics and imagine where each may have come from. A scrap quilt invents a story in your mind, even if you do not know any of the fabrics personally.

Even better if you do! Looking at a scrap quilt and being able to identify the first projects of the pieces of fabric is a very centering way of admiring a quilt. And if someone close to you can identify them and pass along a story or a tidbit about a particular piece, it is a way of passing on history and wandering through your roots.

Scrap quilts make me think of my Nana. I was blessed to be around for 16 of her late years. I remember actively trying to wake up as soon as I heard her wandering about the house. This was often very early in the morning. I would tiptoe down the stairs hoping that no one else would wake up so I could have her all to myself. In both winter and summer the house seemed cool and comfortable in the early mornings. She would drink coffee and sometimes rock me in the rocking chair. I would ask her about things I did not know and she would tell me stories. I was somehow fascinated by her. I was fascinated with her hair and her skin. She never ever looked “old” to me, she just was.

She was rarely with idle hands, she did a lot of quilting and knitting. It was early on in my childhood when I found a love for yarn, through her. She would give me her scraps of yarn, the pieces left over, and she taught me to knit on my fingers. I remember also knitting a baby blue garter stitch scarf for awhile as well. If she was quilting, I was allowed to use the iron and iron her scraps. There was sort of a distinctive smell to them, a combination of starch and mustyness from the closet which was enhanced when I put the iron to the cloth.

She could tell me stories about her scrap quilts. She could tell me which piece was a handkerchief and which piece was a part of a dress and which was my PopPops old shirt.

My aunt tells me now that I knit like my Nana. I start too many projects, practice ADD knitting, yet somehow either get them done or get them frogged. It might annoy me about myself, but I couldn’t be happier about the correlation being made! You see, when I was a child, it did not occur to me that my Nana might have been human, held down by the various foibles of this world. To me, she was perfect. And if you lose that person at a young age, she continues to be that in your mind despite anything you might later hear. She goes on in my memory being just as she was when I was a child, and that is a wonderful gift. Just like a scrap quilt, those scraps of memories somehow center me.