Monthly Archives: February 2015


Staying distracted and busy is the goal for today. That’s what happens when you’ve been hit with a nasty Norovirus and you have to miss your best friend’s baby shower.


I am so unhappy about that.  Not only did I miss out on cake and fun and seeing Susan in all her giant belly glory, I missed seeing a whole lotta other friends I’ve been missing.

I guess I can take solace in the fact that the puking/diarrhea/fever train seems to have left the station.  Now it’s just lingering hot flashes, dizziness, sensitive stomach.  I can function, but who knows how contagious I might still be?

Maddie had the crud, too.  It’s possible she gave it to me when we met at The Alley Light last Sunday for dinner with our old friend Kim. Or maybe I gave it to her. Either way.

Since the miserable sickness seems to be on its way out I can finally move around and eat, and sew.  Because what else do you focus on when you’re wallowing in shower-missing sadness?


I re-threaded my serger, figuring I need to practice with it if I’m going to get serious about sewing apparel for myself. As much as I’ve enjoyed making things I’d still put my skill level at novice.  There’s a lot I need to learn about finishing techniques.  And putting together-y techniques.

You know what I mean.

I think my biggest obstacle is a total lack of decent fabric sources locally.  I’d have to trek out to Richmond (okay, that’s not terrible, but I AM pretty lazy).  Ordering online means taking a gamble if you’re not completely sure what you’re looking at. And trust me, good fabric makes aaaalllllll the difference.  Especially if you’re sewing with standard-issue machines, as I am.

Anyway, I worked on a three-quarter sleeve tee shirt today.


I’m loving the clean edges with the serger. Unfortunately I can’t use it exclusively to sew the pieces together since I seem to be having a lot of tension issues with it.  Maybe because I’ve got the cheapest serger on the market.



I love this Renfew shirt pattern from Sewaholic for its ease of use and how simple the dang neckline is! I’m pretty happy with how well it turned out, even though my stitching could be better.  I thought for sure when I sat down today that I had a twin needle to work the hemlines, and as it turns out, I don’t. So…….I sewed one line, moved the fabric, and tried to make the next line as parallel as possible.  It’s not bad, but it’s not fabulous, either.


See? This is the sleeve hem. Not bad, not great. (I did order a twin needle. It’s coming next week).


The one issue I have with the pattern is the banded bottom hem. I want just a simple, regular ol’ tee-shirt hem.  Again, no twin needle.  What I’ve ended up with is a hem that doesn’t look terrible, but there’s a stretch issue now that’s making it kind of ripply and weird.  I’ll be revisiting the hem on this when the twin needle (and more stabilizer tape) arrives.

I did have a lot of success with Cake Pattern’s Espresso Leggings.  They were super easy to assemble and I had fabric already that I knew would be perfect for leggings (just a standard Ponte de Roma knit from


I love that they have you put a looped ribbon in the back so you know which side is which.  It looks a little more polished somehow!


They went together in less than an hour and fit perfectly.

No, you will get no pictures of them on me today, due to the previously mentioned illness. I’m not looking my best right now!

Next I think I want to try Papercut Pattern’s Ooh La La Leggins.  They have more visual interest and look challenging in a very fun way.

Also, I should mention that THIS BOOK has helped me tons.  It’s a great reference for sewing knits, and I need all the help I can get!  If you’re new at sewing knits or, like me, need extra help, I seriously can’t recommend it enough!

Tagged: Sewing

Vineyard Tri-Vets …

MV Triv-Ets


I’ve been doing trivia questions since March 2009… and snippet pictures since June 2012…  I thought I might combine them and thus the post title… Triv-Ets.


Trivia question #1 –  which is further north… West Chop or East Chop

Trivia question #2 – name 4 presidents who have spent a night or more on the Vineyard

Trivia question #3 – what does the name ‘beetlebung’ mean

Trivia question #4 – why did Alexander Graham Bell visit MV in 1895

Trivia question #5 – what town is the only town in the world with its name


How many places can you name.

  100_8645 Snippet #1

IMG_1174 Snippet #2

100_2174 Snippet #3

100_1524 snippet #4 Snippet #4

DSC_0052 snippet #5 Snippet #5

So how did you do?   Full size snippet pictures and trivia answers in a few day.

Bonus question:  do you know the name of my photography blog ?


If you enjoyed this you might like to visit previous posts.

CLICK HERE for Snippets

CLICK HERE for trivia questions.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward …

I received this amaryllis at Christmas.  I fell in love with it and enjoyed watching as each stalk grew and these beautiful flowers bloomed.  When all the flowers were done I followed the instructions to cut the plant back to 2 inches and treat it as a house plant.  I wasn’t sure this would work for me but lo and behold last week I got my reward…. the plant is growing and who knows, maybe next Christmas another reward when it blooms again.




Scary Stories

Thank you so much everyone for the great show of support over my last post. It took me two months to figure out how to write those words, and now that they are out there, I feel liberated.

I also feel this horrible pressure to produce a stellar follow up. I look at my word processor with a little bit of fear now, thinking about how I am going to top the last post? Or, screw top it, just match it? How am I going to do that consistently, two or three times a week, every week, forever?

The obvious answer is, of course, to put my butt in a chair, my fingers on a keyboard, and start typing. For a long time though, even that was too hard for me to do. I would sit down and the ants-in-the-pants feeling that prompted me to learn how to knit just so I would have something to do with my hands–that can’t keep still, have to fiddle with something anxiety that settles in my jaw and hardens my shoulders–would paralyze me with tension. If I let it go too long, it turned my stomach and knots up my neck until I can’t see for the pain radiating through my head.

I used to open up a word processor and fear my potential. I would sit numb in front of my computer, the ability to think having fled in the face of this big, scary thing I said I wanted to do. Not wanting to take the time to search out the right words was easy to blame on being busy with work, being tired from the kids, being burned out by school. Closing the lid on my laptop was so simple and authoritative an action. No writing today.

November 1st, I sat down at my computer and told myself to write 2000 words. No pressure. “They don’t have to be good words,” I said to me. In fact, let them be shitty words. Let them be boring words, just write them. You can always change them later.

That’s how I got through the whole first draft of my novel.

Nanowrimo taught me how to write everyday. But I was still afraid to do simple things in my story–honest things–like have two characters who are fighting get really pissed off at one another. My climax was the most amiable, life-changing altercation you’ve ever seen. The problem was, in my head, this pivotal confrontation was monumental, but the conflict on the page read as trivial at best.

The final third of the novel hangs in the balance, and I’m afraid to let the main characters say too many mean things to each other in case the reader stops liking them?

How stupid is that?

Not only does that not give you, as the reader, enough credit, but it completely undermines the whole point of the story. No conflict = no story. If my characters were sensible people, he and she wouldn’t be in the predicament they’re in in the first place, and you probably wouldn’t ever read it, because it would be boring as hell.

(You’re enjoying all this vague talk about my novel, aren’t you? What’s not to like?)

Fear of readers not liking my characters kept me from committing to a crucial scene, and fear of boring you now made this a really difficult post to write. Scariest of all is what I’m planning to do next–which is to pursue writing as my (eventual) main source of income.

Isn’t that the freakiest shit you ever heard of?

Scares the pants off me.

Not only does seriously pursuing a freelance writing career involve sitting down at my computer every day and facing the fear that my words are fucking lame, but it also means that I have to drum up the courage to make for myself the profession, but have always feared I’d fail at.

What’s even more horrifying though, is not trying at all.


btt button

So, in honor of the shortest month of the year … how do you feel about short stories? Love them? Prefer them to novels?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Just Hanging …


Bezant Cowl

I just released the Bezant Cowl (formerly referred to as the Baah! Cowl in Episode 1 of the podcast).

It’s a stranded, reversible cowl, with the same construction as Thornhill and Byzantine.  It’s soft and sumptuous, perfect for that extra bit of warmth around your neck!


bezant full




bezant side

All the pattern details are below!

One Size

Circumference: 25in / 63.5cm
Height: 7¼in / 18cm

Baah! Aspen, 75% Merino, 15% Silk, 10% Cashmere, 330 yds / 302m per 3.53oz / 100g, 1 skein each in the following colors:
(A) Coral Reef (205 yds / 185m)
(B) Sirena (185 yds / 170m)

US4 / 3.5mm 20in circular needles or size to obtain gauge (read PATTERN NOTES)

25 stitches & 34 rounds = 4in / 10cm in stranded stockinette stitch
25 stitches per 4in / 10cm in garter stitch

minimum (1) stitch marker (more if desired to use between repeats), yarn needle, waste yarn for provisional cast on

knitting in the round, stranded knitting, grafting, provisional cast on, reading charts

Art Deco Elevator …

Madison, New Jersey train station.



Farm Blankets are Here (but not for long).

So, the thing about being 7+ months pregnant, is that  you can justify putting just about anything off.  Didn’t do the dishes? Whatever– I’M MAKING A HUMAN BEING, y’all!

Thus, it had taken me more than a month to get this year’s farm blankets listed in our online shop.

Every year we make a couple of dozen blankets from the fleeces of the older members of our flock who’s wool is no longer fine enough to be blended into our yarns. These blankets are very precious to us, and to our customers, who covet and collect them.

We have a super limited supply on hand this year and I expect them to go quickly. And, because I was so late getting them posted, I solemnly swear I will get them shipped ASAP so you still have time to snuggle in their warmth before this long, nasty winter is over.

Juniper Moon Farm Wool Blankets

Juniper Moon Farm Wool Blankets

Juniper Moon Farm Wool Blankets

If you would like to purchase a little piece of Juniper Moon Farm, you can find out blankets here.


Podcast Episode 2: Stitches West-ward Ho!

In this episode I talk about a couple designs in progress; review yarn and two books; tell you about my trip to Stitches West; talk about Bullet Journals; teach you about ears for the At Home Pet Check; and update you on my progress on the health challenge.



Elemental Affects
The Fibre Company


Brioche Chic by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Sock Architecture by Laura Neel
Woolfolk Yarn
Woolfolk Far
Woolfolk Tynd


My stuff!

My stuff at Bijou Basin!

Bijou Basin Ranch

Top: Eileen of Bijou Ranch
Middle Pics: Yaks!
Bottom: View of some of the yarn — I think this is the Yak/Merino.

Eileen of Bijou BasinFelted yaks! Bijou Basin Felted yaks! Bijou Basin IMG_0704 Bijou Basin
Amy Gunderson
Dragonfly Fibers

Top: Gorgeous rack of Indigodragonfly yarn.
Middle: Kim of Indigodragonfly with her new scarf pattern (available later this year to all, right now club only).
Bottom: Me and Kim!

Indigodragonfly Yarn Kim with her new scarf design -- club only right now Me and Kim of Indigodragonfly!

The Sherlock yarns are Use Your Mind Palace!; Cumberbacchanal; and In a World of Locked Rooms, the Man with the Key is King.

Indigodragonfly Sherlock
Jill Draper

Jill DraperSincere Sheep

Top: Natural-dyed wonderfullness.
Bottom: Love that she has plants in her booth!

Sincere Sheep

Sincere Sheep


Top: Me & Ve
Middle: Gorgeous gradients!
Bottom: Awesome shelving.  Just a little bit of yarn still left!

Me and Veronika of YOTH yoth (sigh of desire) yoth



80 Skeins (and the post with me!)
Bullet Journal


Examination & Medication (Washington State)
Ear Infections / Otitis (Veterinary Partner — a highly recommended general site!)
Ear Infections (Long Beach Animal Hospital — I’ve worked here, it’s a great hospital.  Scroll down for some great pics.)

Malibu Creek XTerra Trail Run
Disneyland half marathon
Avengers Half Marathon


The Madeira on Double Crown Records
Burning Mirage from Sandstorm!