It is nice to be home for a while and to get reacquainted with my tools (toys). I wove a baby blanket on my floor loom and added a cute little octopus for fun. I miscalculated and had to order more yarn but it’s a win.

A friend needed some help getting a knitting machine working and it reignited my interest. I made a few hats and a vest for myself (which was not a win). Then my daughter requested some baby gifts for friends.

A few years ago, I made a heap of crab slippers for her frisbee friends. Now the clan was expanding and I used the same motif to make a baby crab vest.

Nothing beats hand knit though. I made a little aran sweater – but the hood is a little wonky.

I couldn’t resist knitting another Forest Path Stole. It’s a fun and interesting knit.

My she-shed bee-shed is doing its job well. All my bee boxes are stored, along with Sparky’s boat gear and my underused telescope.

But here was my latest challenge. My daughter’s friend was expecting her first child. Her labor was induced because the baby was expected to be large. She was in for the long haul. I had “received” a new to me knitting machine and wanted to give it a go.

I decided to try to knit her a baby sweater contemporaneous with her time in labor. I hoped she would deliver before I finished the sweater. But alas, it was not to be. I took breaks to sleep, swim, eat, and relax and I still finished before she ultimately delivered – after two days of labor, 4 hours of pushing, and ultimately a c-section, the trifecta of labor and delivery.

Her final product was more beautiful than mine but she can keep the sweater as a memento of her time in labor – or not.

Goodbye Tappan Zee

The old bridge was demolished last week in a controlled explosion with very little fanfare. My daughter sent this Reddit link from an engineering site she follows.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, winter moves on. I managed to adjust the chain saw helmet so it fit like a glove. The chaps were warm as anything and now all of our wood has been cut. Tim even helped move wood with the last batch. More importantly, he had surgery to correct his wrist and it was a smashing (he he) success. All systems go for our February departure.

I’ve sailed through my projects: Birthday quilt and pillowcase, done; New baby gifts, done; 5/7 boat cushions recovered; Leg warmers, done. Several of these left the house so quickly, I never got a photo. Even squeezed in a deer hat.

Yesterday, I put work and projects aside and walked with the ladies’ hiking group. This is an intrepid group of women who hike year round in the Adirondacks. Yesterday’s group was large, probably due to the several weeks we’ve had cooped up indoors because of icy and frigid conditions.

Champlain Area Trails’ new Vail trail

One loop had several cattle skulls as fence posts. I tried to take a photo through the eye socket but my phone did not like the cold.

Now we brace ourselves for the next winter storm this weekend. It’s been called a major snowstorm with “plowable” amounts greater than six inches. Greater than 6 inches? 7? 50? Time will tell. Better fire up the snowblower.


At my darling daughter’s request, I’m back to knitting hats. Stranded  hats.  She wore one of my hats to a party and ended up requesting 4 more, including 2 moose hats, which I had to design.  I got out my punch cards and away I went.  They appear to be frolicking or playing leapfrog though.

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Frolicking moose

I’m going to sew these on my machine to try to speed up the assembly.  Right now it takes me almost as much time to finish them by hand as it does to knit them on the machine.

Our good friend is heading way north to volunteer for the Yukon Quest.  She is an avid dog lover, skijoerer (yup I spelled that right.  Skijoring (in Wikipedia) which is defined as:  sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving. So she wants to see the pros at work with their sleds and  beautiful dogs.   I made her a hat of course.

It’s not my pattern; I bought the knitting chart and made my own punch card for my knitting machine.  I’m quite pleased with it.  Everyone at the dog shelter coveted one too.  A good endorsement.  The pattern is Husky Sledding Chart and its graphics are perfect.

Next up are panda hats I am still designing and punching cards for.  Three color punch card is keeping my brain fresh. My machine is older and relies on punch cards instead of the computer.  This means a lot of up front work before a pattern may be knit.

Loki looked stranded in the snow yesterday when he was stalking something in the bushes.

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So handsome.  Then he came in and cuddled with the rambunctious, hyper, mildly annoying, but so sweet, kitten, Elli. They were even touching for warmth.

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We had a small dinner party the other night and I made the American version of a self saucing pudding and I have to say it was delicious and easy.  The recipe is from King Arthur Flour.  They call it a self saucing chocolate cake.  Our chocolate loving, skijoerer loved it too.  A good testament.  Here’s how pretty the table looked before dinner.  I won’t show you the aftermath but a good time was had by all.

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Here’s the link to the King Arthur recipe.  Try it!


Work, work, work


Or for me it’s really play, play, play.

I had several days to work with my knitting machine. I made the transition from thin acrylic yarn on cones ( where did I get this anyway? I would never knit with it) to wool in my stash, And I’m off!

Plus another knitter in the machine knitting universe sent me a spare part I needed. So I tried my panda hat.

It’s a pain to knit, by hand or on the machine, because a lot of it has a 3rd color on some of the rows. It’s a little clearer by hand but I have to knit the white backwards every other row.


Next time, I’ll add the white at the end with a duplicate stitch. I’m timing myself now to see if the machine actually saves time because fair isle is a little fiddly. Just like John Henry, and as Tim says, we know how that worked out.

Then on to baby things. The little tike needed a pair of mittens. Done up in no time.


The question is, “Does he need thumbs?” I opted for no.

But he does need leggings. I modified these from an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern, added short rows so the back is higher than the front to accomodate his diaper bulge, but they still may be low risers.



On the weaving front, I measured 480 threads, 7 yards long, to tie onto the warp I used for beautiful towels. The pattern was complex so I thought I’d save time by tying the new ends onto the old. But..with one misstep, the old warp literally flew off the loom and I have to start from scratch again. ; (




I’m dragging myself up the learning curve on my knitting machine. Plenty of opportunities to learn with all the mistakes I have made.

I did make a hat in a fine gauge yarn that is basically an adult version of the hats worn on newborns in the hospital. I may still have my kids’ old ones. Here’s mine.


I practiced and practiced and wasted lots of yarn. Luckily, I’m known locally as a fiber enthusiast (nut) and receive yarn when people destash. No loss.


My colorwork kept having problems but I finally figured out why. I had jury -rigged a yarn feeder from a bic pen cap because only one of two was included with the machine. This was creating just enough drag to botch up the tension and cause minor disasters. I put a request out to the machine knitting world and a new feeder is in the mail to me.


Once I relegated myself to only one feeder, things came together.



By jove, I think I’ve got it!