Drawing lines above my head

๐Ÿ˜‰ – But the fan keeps spinning over me

Life has been SO busy here the last few months, well its been busy for my hands. I have not been without a hook or needles in my hands in weeks, and there doesn’t seem to be an end to it anytime soon – not that I’m complaining.

potholder edges

I have a series of crochet workshops at WEBS this summer, plus a year long blanket class, my summer run of Crochet 1 and a 6 week tutoring session, and all the samples needed to be done by early May, to be put on display in the store, photographed for the website, and available so potential students could see what they’d be making. Then it was time to start on the samples for Fall classes!

potholder in 2 sizes

Somewhere in there my kids finished up school, I attended 2 baby showers – with gifts that HAD to be handmade, my sister’s 30th birthday party with her handmade gift, my 13th anniversary slipped by, I participated in a hotpad/potholder swap ( I needed 5 – I made 12), weekly trips to the farmers market started, we got to meet the 2 chickens that will come home with us sometime this month, jam making, pickle making and I was asked to take over the Friday afternoon drop-ins at WEBS.ย 

decorative discs

Just to see how high I could pile it, I wrote 2 patterns. This one from last week and one more. The potholders that I did up for that swap were my own creation, based on a inspiration pic I’ve had for a couple years, and now you can make your own. The pattern is up in my Etsy shop – have at it ๐Ÿ˜‰



Hold on, hold on tightly

๐Ÿ˜‰ –ย You’ll run and not grow weary

All sorts of projects are falling off the hooks now. See


That’s the hat that goes with the mittens from the last post, she doesn’t know that stuff is for her for the holidays. She thinks they are samples for the store – ha! I pretty much made the whole thing while we watched 3 episodes of Doctor Who (Tom Baker years) on Saturday night.


That’s Saebra in my new hat – um, ok she says its hers now. Felted crochet, really dense stuff and it really does fit her better.


and I’ve started another sweater, top-down raglan, its a test knit for a friend. Its slow going on the sweater simply because she has no deadline and I have a pile of things to make for friends and family for the now swiftly approaching gift-giving season.ย 

I have also doomed myself to a bit of additional holiday rush by signing up for my third year in the Ornament Swap. Can I get away with chickens again?

of course I can – besides my sister wants a chicken mobile for the new baby so I can mash it all in together as one big project. It’ll be great – I love lying to myself!

I had a parent teacher conference with Aurelia’s teacher last night and it was everything I expected it to be. I think I may adore this woman as much as my daughter does. My kid is smart, so smart she’s sometimes spinning her wheels while she waits for the rest of the class to catch up and she ends up staring out the windows or whisper-chatting up a storm with one of her neighbors. Yes, Mom, it sounds JUST like me in 2nd grade. Oh, and she’s horrible about turning in her homework – the homework I watch her do everynight, the homework that is in her bag, in her locker instead of in her teachers homework box each day. uh-huh.

Miss Henneman says that her biggest problem with Aurelia is just that she dissapoints her sometimes, she throws a bit of ‘tude around because she knows she doesn’t have to work as hard as some of her classmates, but Miss Henneman loves that even on days when she has to call Aurelia out for “bad” behaviour my kid still makes it a point to give her teacher a hug at the end of the day and say thanks for being a great teacher.


its reassuring to know that we’re doing something right.

I have Saebra’s P/T conference on Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


Give me the grace to hold my line

๐Ÿ˜‰ –ย there’s nothing to waste,ย it’s only light

Welcome to everyone traveling over from Susan B. Anderson‘s lovely site. Click on the winking smile for my musical inspiration of the day. C’mon in! The crazy is fine.

Some days I think, “Children be damned!”, I want to pull the bus over and grab my camera and live in happy-picture-taking-land. Alas, the schools, the parents, and the company I work for, I’m sure, wouldn’t be so keen on all that. I bet the kids would be fine with it though. “Sorry kids. You’re gonna be a little late to school today. There’s a leaf over there with really cool bug damage that I just need to snap a few pics of, and OH! is that a red tailed hawk!?! Hey look at ….”

Today I saw 5 separate flocks of wild turkeys with a wide range of ages from almost grown juveniles to mere chicks – poor littles are in for a tough fall. Its pretty impressive to see that many of these birds on my little 16 mile loop when you consider that they were almost completely wiped out in New England (the last known native bird in Massachusetts was killed on Mt. Tom in 1851) and only reintroduced in 1972.

Most of my bus route is pretty rural and I drive it 4 times a day but I get to see some pretty beautiful stuff. The only bummer is that everything is SO beautiful in the dawn/early morning light that trying to go back and capture it later in the day with my camera just isn’t the same. This morning there were dozens of spiderwebs all decked out in morning dew between the power lines over Knights Pond, the turkeys, a moose – if I happen to mention how absolutely huge these creatures are, in the case that I see another one, believe me! I drive a school bus and the things head was almost even with mine!ย 

So, no wild turkey pics but I do have lovely new yarn to show you!! See, I’m all about the mollifying.I have 3 Twilight inspired bits on the needles/hooks right now. Two are mine and one is a test knit. This:

is for a scarf and fingerless mitt set called “Reminder and a Promise”. SO yummy, the Shibui is to die for! I want to crawl into it. And the pearl cotton was a total steal at Webs – 10 little skeins for $3.50! 280yds for less than 5 bucks. I can’t wait to get this one out of final design tweaking and really get working with it.

Thats it for today. The Hubby is off to CT to pick up a load of bricks and cinderblocks to build the arch – essentially the oven – for the new in-progress sugar shack for 2009. That’s right a REAL sugar shack, not pallets and plastic wrap anymore! And we even have a name for it. Ready?

Occasional Creek Maple



sweet and low, little girl

๐Ÿ˜‰ – when that day comes

School time again – they left this morning at 8 (right after the neighbor knocked on our door to tell us that the black bear was back! – more on that later)

Two new school bags were made this past week in fabrics the girls chose themselves. I put up a tutorial if you want to make one – SO simple.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!


I had a job in the great north woods

๐Ÿ˜‰ – Sure was gonna be rough

I’m still trucking along on the knitting and crochet front but I’m shifting gears a bit. Its that time of year again, school begins for my girls in one week, so… its time to make school bags again.

I have all the materials ready, ironed, cut, reinforced and ready to sew and I’m documenting the whole thing for my next post over on Craft Tutorials early next week. I won’t get to the actual sewing until later tonight or maybe tomorrow.

Tonight I’ll be at Webs teaching this square.

Yeah, see that wonkyness in the corner,(of course you can I drew a big pink square around it!), that’s because I missed 2 cable stitches and had to frog back 20 rows of 12 stitches and I just don’t have time to block it out severely enough, resoak and reblock back down to 12 inches before the class. ugh.

I finished the blue tree for the other square and its blocking so I’ll put that all together this weekend hopefully, I’m chugging away on circles for my Gail project and contemplating yarns for my latest Twilight knit, you can check it all out on the Rav or wait for me to post more details later in September. Enjoy the beautiful weather today – if you’re in New England!


Let me have my way

๐Ÿ˜‰ – when was the last time you danced?

This is a busy weekend for me, though you wouldn’t know it by lookin’ this way. My final project is due in my art class on Monday night. We’re doing an exquisite corpse type thingy, with each student telling a story in 15 drawings and then doing a 16th drawing to transition to the next person’s story. I decided to do all of mine in Adobe Illustrator. We’d done a project earlier in the semester where we analyzed a painting, this was mine.

Jar of Apricots by Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin

I’ve got 8 more images to do in the next 2 days. I blew through 5 today so I’m not worried but I am busy. Aurelia had a brownie meeting this morning, Patrick had the usual Saturday errands to run, and Saebra is off to her first sleepover birthday party with 9 other 6 year-old girls – brave parents, those.

Somewhere in the middle there my Auntie Jo and cousin Tiffany popped in. I’m sitting here at the computer, clicking away at my assignment and I begin to wonder who the strange female voice is speaking to my children outside. It wasn’t one of the neighbors and I wasn’t worried so much as curious – Patrick was out there with them – when I looked up I saw my Aunt. I should clarify and tell you that no one in my family just pops over for a visit, they all live at least an hour away. They were out looking for hanging baskets full of an assortment of flowers that contained no purples. Not finding any to their satisfaction in the usual neighborhood haunts they had driven over to Northampton. Still unable to find the elusive purple-free flower basket they headed over the bridge and ended up on the road that eventually – and by eventually I mean that you take two lefts, an immediate right, merge right and then two lefts over the course of 15 miles – leads to my house. We visited for a bit and I’m proud to say that I didn’t feel compelled to hastily clean my bathroom before letting my Aunt “use the facilities”. I am not a good house keeper, its usually a mad scramble around here in the hours before we know company is due to arrive. They stayed for a bit to visit – crap, I never offered them anything,ugh. I loooove you, Auntie. Tiff too! – and they headed back out to find their prey.

I’m going to go make some pizza for dinner, doughs been rising for a couple hours and it smells so good. Soon I’ll fill you in on my sudden need to make bread. I’m also sneaking in a few stitches here and there on a drawstring bag for my crochet 1 class. Its leftover sock yarn from these and I SO love the colors – it reminds me of Wardi’s Happyscapes.


weepin’ on the faraway shore…

๐Ÿ˜‰ ahhh the velvet fog

Pat and the girls picked these yesterday.

We usually use them to make this:

Violet jelly, mmmm. Cool color, huh?

This year I decided to make an extra something. Super simple.

Violet scented sugar.

I’m finishing up my final art project,ย  working out kinks in projects for my Crochet 1 class and thoroughly enjoying the return to warm, sunny weather here in Western Mass.


I like my bands in business suits…


When did I get old enough to say, “Twenty seven years ago…”? When I realized that Raiders came out in ’81.

We’ve had a great weekend. A nice pleasant start to a week I can honestly say I have been dreading. February vacation, even with all the distracting activities at theย  library and playdates with friends was not a “good Mommy” week.

We ran errands on Saturday and listened to Huey Lewis and Enter the Haggis as we did – nice combo, huh? Saebra spent most of the ride with her head almost out the window and Aurelia with her nose buried in Black Beauty , “Mama. I get it! Black Beauty is telling the story.” We had dinner and a lovely evening with friends (sans Patrick. he was changing oil, oil filter, gaping sparkplugs and changing tires on his car, studs are no longer needed ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and we watched a gorgeous full moon on the way home.

Sunday we were busy in the morning, as my car got the same treatment Pat’s had gotten the night before and our weekly pancake breakfast was whipped up. In the midst of all that Saebra fell twice, once scraping up a knee badly enough to need Daddy to wash and bandage her up and a second time out of a tree. Not so bad except that she was wearing a skirt and little girl undies are no protection from sappy, splintery pine. We’ve decided that we’ll only wear pants outside to play from now on.

Then we headed off to Pat’s parent’s place to celebrate his youngest brother Shaun’s birthday. We went on a great hike up to the Boulders. We saw two garter snakes cooling off in a little runoff stream, one wild turkey,ย  a stealthy turtle, and a pile of beautiful little wildflowers all poking up out of the leaf litter. The girls did great on what ended up being a three hour hike and they we’re still awake when we got home, though I don’t think I’d closed the door to their room before they were conked out.

Today they made me breakfast – english muffin with jelly, and played wonderfully together out side until lunch. Currently they are on a plant hunt down the street, Aurelia with small scissors for cutting “samples” and Saebra with the collection basket. It took them 1/2 an hour to to both sides of our end of the street, I wonder how long they’ll survive (get along) on the way down and back from the other end.(it took another 45 minutes and they were in great, sisterly spirits when they got back ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Hopefully we’ll have an interesting project to do with what they collect, I’ll let you know.

Yarn caressing continues as well. I’m working on a pair of socks for a classmate and my crochet 1 class begins again on Tuesday at Webs. I only have 2 weeks left to my classes at Umass so they will be a bit crunched with the crochet class added in but I’ll manage ๐Ÿ™‚




I’m sketching like mad. That’s right, sketching not knitting – I’m done with that for March, don’t worry I’ll be all tucked up in yarn again tomorrow. I have an assignment due on Wednesday morning. Sort of a cinematic thing really. I have to draw a certain space with a specific lighting component and from a distinct viewpoint.ย  I have 5 choices for each of those elements and I can combine them any way I want, sorry, Prof. Plum isn’t a choice but I suppose I could use a candlestick. Trick is, once I have chosen say, an elevator withย  a candle from an angle, I have to convey an emotion or feeling – without the presence of anything living. This is the kind of stuff I like.
Last week we had a very Hitchcockian assignment, draw a staircase with a sense of mystery: This was my attempt.


Can’t you just see Carey Grant rushing through that space and pausing to tighten the belt on his coat beforeย  nimbly descending the stairs while gazing furtively over his shoulder? I can. (it’s this stair from the other side, upstairs)

I’ve also had to do self portraits. These are NOT me but whoever she is, she’s cute.

self-portrait-in-pencil.jpg self-portrait-in-charcoal.jpg