Saturday, May 31, 2008

Big News!

My granddaughter, Malaia's, husband, John, has gotten a new job in Baltimore!

That means that next weekend he'll be moving there.

Malaia will stay in Ohio while they sell the house, etc.

But, that means that she will soon be living hundreds of miles closer to me! I haven't seen her in about a year. If she's in Baltimore soon, we'll probably see her when we're in Baltimore for Stitches East! She'll probably go the Sheep and Wool Festival in the Spring! We might all be able to go to the Maryland Renaissance Festival together!

Lots of fun!

In knitting news, I've bound off the bottom of the second poncho, and am picking up the stitches around the neck for the hood. In the meantime, the needle (a 24 inch size 8 nickel-plated circular) has managed to disappear. I last saw it Monday or Tuesday, and there are a limited number of places it could have gone. Reason tells me I'll find it right away. But I spent nearly an hour looking for it, and it doesn't seem to be here. So, the poncho is on hold for a bit.

Holly and I  plan to go out today, and I don't have a knitting project to take along unless I find the needle.

I tried to find some size 6 Bryspun DP needles locally so I could knit the rune bags, but nobody seems to have them. So, I gave up and ordered a set of nickel-plated ones from Knit Picks. While I was at it, I also ordered some sock yarn. I have two pair of summer socks, and no shoes that I can wear without socks, so two pair is not enough.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 30, 2008

I Have a Store!

Amazon has been trying to persuade me for a while that I really want an Amazon store.

I've been thinking for a while that I don't.

Anyway, I broke down yesterday and created an Amazon store. You can see it here: or click on the listing in the sidebar.

Now, before you go running over there, bear in mind that this is a work in progress, and is not finished.

What is there is very nice, though.

So, if you're interested in seeing what a person like me likes, take a look

There are sections for knitting, science fiction movies and books, fantasy movies and books, plus things that Medieval buffs will enjoy.

Tonight we will be treated to a rerun of Ghost Whisperer on broadcast TV, plus new episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures and Doctor Who.

The Weather Pixie still appears to be sick.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hi! It's Thursday

Today, I'm feeling like Arthur Dent, who never could get the hang of Thursdays.

Usually I can do it, but this whole week is one I haven't been able to get the hang of.

It's been a very quiet week. Not much happening. There's nothing worthwhile on TV (except a rerun of Supernatural tonight), although the SciFi Channel will have The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Doctor Who on tomorrow evening.

I'm still struggling through the prototype for my rune bag, although it's been put on hold until I can get some size 6 DP needles. In the meantime, I've been knitting another poncho with a hood just exactly like the last one. So, there's not even any point in new photos.

But I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that in about 3 weeks we'll be going to the Potomac Celtic Festival. Usually I look forward to this with eager anticipation, but this year I feel like I'm in some kind of daze on the subject. 

I do want to finish at least one rune bag by then, though.

The Weather Pixie seems to be having a problem today. Just not feeling well, I guess.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Well, as everyone in the United States knows (because they have a day off of work) it's Memorial Day.

For those of you who do not live in the US, it's a day that we honor American soldiers who have died in wars (and get a day off of work).

Usually there is barbecuing of meat, and maybe a few vegetables, preferably somewhere out in the country, or at least in a park. 

Many people view this as the official kick-off of Summer!

Where I am, we are, in fact, having the first day this year with a temperature over 83 degrees, so it does seem awfully Summery.

The TV stations have viewed this as an opportunity to get anything worth watching off the air for last week and this week.

In knitting news, I'm knitting a prototype of the rune bag I'm designing. It's fighting back. I need double point needles. I'm going to order DP needles and quit on that for a while.

And I'm knitting the second poncho with the yarn left over from the first poncho. The one where I bought twice as much yarn as I need.

There will be a bit left over, and I think I'll make one of Crazy Aunt Purl's berets and take a photo of it for the blog.

Have a great Memorial Day!

For non-US residents, have a great Monday!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Towel Day!

Today is Towel Day!

And it happens to fall right in the middle of Memorial Day weekend. Make sure you carry your towel with you today!

Holly's sister, Heather has joined Ravelry! Please feel free to bop on over there and welcome her.

For any of you who don't know, Ravelry is the place for knitters and other fiber artists on the internet. You can see what others are doing, talk to them about what they've done, get to know new people, find someone who might be willing to part with the ball of yarn you need to finish a project and much more.

There are groups for people who are interested in Firefly, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Red Dwarf, bad movies, typesetting, publishing, making movies, reenacting, felting, spinning, fans of particular spinning wheels, and much more. 

If you're making a sweater and can't figure out the directions and what you should do next, you can get help here. You can find many (usually hundreds) others who are making the same pattern.

And patterns! There are tons of free patterns, and a few that cost a bit.

At the risk of repeating myself, it is the place for knitters on the internet!

Well, Doctor Who is on BBC in America at the moment, and I want to watch. They're showing Human Nature, The Family of Blood, Utopia, The Sound of Drums, and The Last Time Lord.

Those last three are a series (one story) and include Captain Jack Harkness as a companion, and at the end, we find out more about Jack. The kind of information that makes me want to go back and watch all the Doctor Whos and all the Torchwoods over again!

Holly and I went out yesterday, and had fun admiring rolling thunder. We decided that our best strategy would be to wave and flirt.

For those of you who don't live around here, every Memorial Day weekend, DC is host to Rolling Thunder, which is a gathering of veterans to honor other veterans. They all ride motorcycles, which is where the name comes from. It's also a great opportunity to flirt with guys and admire motorcycles. There was a guy who went by on a blue chopper that caused Holly and I both to forget about what I was saying. Beautiful!

One of our stops was at AC Moore. Holly was looking for origami paper, but didn't find any. She did, however, get the Beadnik yarn she was looking for to finish her shawl. She actually owned enough to finish the shawl, but it has mysteriously disappeared. 

I found the knitting needles I had been looking for.

Well, I thought I had been looking for them. Susan Bates has a new series of circular needles out called Velocity. I'm not sure why they made them. They're exactly the same as their Silverado needles, except that the "wire" is navy blue, and they only seem to be available in one length: 29 inches. Silverado is available in 16, 24, 32, and 40 inches.

I need a size six needle to knit the rune bags I'm designing, and I thought I could use this with the magic loop method, but no, 29 inches is too short. The bag is a bit bigger around than a sock, and the needle is much too short. It's possible to knit a bag with it, but not pleasant. I think I'm going to try to get some double points and try again.

When I came home, I raided my stash to make a sample bag before committing the beautiful silk yarn. I'm glad I did. The design and construction seems so straightforward, but is proving to have a few kinks to work out.

Off to watch Utopia!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2008

New on Ravelry!

My daughter is new on Ravelry. If you drop by to see her, there won't be much to see since she only got on yesterday.

But feel free to drop  on by, introduce yourself and make her your friend.

A blockbuster Medieval movie will be on FX tonight and tomorrow. It's called Kingdom of Heaven, and it's one of the best I've ever seen of the period.

Actually, that's damming with faint praise. I love this movie! It's got everything. Action, adventure, historical figures, crusades, and a love story. This has so much in it that I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't love it. It just has everything, including Orlando Bloom! I can't praise it enough.

As a fiberartist, I have to say that the costumes are drop-dead gorgeous, and they seem to be very authentic, unlike most of what you see on the screen and TV about that era these days.

As far as costumes are concerned, the show not to watch is Robin Hood. The costume designer seems to think Robin Hood lived about 1890, and I saw Marian wear a top that I could go in WalMart and buy today. The stories aren't period, either. I watched an episode last week that's firmly based in modern knowledge and experience, and had motivations that would have bewildered anyone from the real middle ages.

Well, I'm going to go now and try to figure out why ComCast is malfunctioning (again) and not showing the movie I tuned in to.

Don't forget. Sunday is Towel Day. My towel is ready.

Do you know where your towel is?

Have a great Friday and check your local schedules for Kingdom of Heaven.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Introducing... John Ellis

Originally uploaded by lostarts4
No, that's not John above. That's Dean Fredricks as Steve Canyon, and the photo is the inside cover of the Steve Canyon Special edition DVD.

I keep talking about my friend, John Ellis, and haven't really told you anything about his background.

Well, this could keep me busy all day. This will be fun for all you science fiction types.

I met John at a Fantasy Convention in 1974. We were introduced by Jackie Lichtenberg.

There's a new section in the sidebar of Other Neat Links and there's one for John, but you should also check out his IMdB page.

He's currently working on collecting and rereleasing all the shows from the Steve Canyon series on TV. You can support him by checking on Steve Canyon in the Other Neat Links in the sidebar. He has the special edition DVD on sale. I did the cover and label art for it, although John really designed it.

Of course, this doesn't really tell you about the person. The little thing about rescuing a baby bird from his driveway says more about him. He was upset, and took time out to rescue a baby bird in distress. Apparently, the mommy bird thought junior was old enough to fly, and pushed him out of the nest (or he fell out). It was probably premature, because he didn't fly, but he seemed to figure it out a little later.

Somebody once told me that you should judge people by the way you feel after you talk to them or are around them.

I always feel better after talking to John, and usually, I am better. I learn something or do something I didn't think I could do. In fact, we seem to do that to each other. Put us together, and we both do better.

He produced Star Quest (rereleased on DVD as Outerworld), Invader, and New Genesis, and directed New Genesis.

I was lucky enough to work on Invader and New Genesis. Most of my credits are under my previously married name, Johann DesRoches.

John lives in California, now, and I miss him a lot. Things have been a bit better since Laura gave me the computer, and I've got it upgraded to a point where we can chat. That way, I get to hear about current, day-to-day projects and it will probably get me the opportunity to work on some of them, like today.

Please do support him in his artistic endeavour. He's a wonderful, creative person, and he deserves it. He's got some great stuff on his blog.

Drop on in!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


John called me up last night with a question. He wanted to know what the "WIP" under the photo of the hood with the cable on it meant.

I not only explained that it stood for Work in Progress, but I also explained more knitting acronyms than he ever wanted to hear:

FO stands for Finished Object, so of course,

UFO stands for UnFinished Object

Frog is the rippit, rippit stitch

And Tink (knit spelled backward) is, of course, un-knitting!

He suddenly had to rescue a baby bird from his driveway and feed the dogs, so he had to hang up.

I'm sure he was enthralled with all this information.

Not a lot is happening around here, so I'm going to quit blogging for the day.



After I wrote that, I went to Ravelry, and was reading their weekly news, and found this:

On one of the discussion threads, someone (people shall remain anonymous during this post) said that she was going on a plane trip and wanted to bring along something to knit, but was worried about what she could take onboard with her, and asked for suggestions for a project.

The answer she got was: snakes! Someone said she should knit snakes on a plane!

The post referred her to a design for a snake themed scarf.

I should read Ravelry before I post.

Here is an article on Ravelry about the BBC clashing with some knitters over Doctor Who. I haven't read the whole thing yet. I have  a busy day planned, but I will read it very soon.

There will probably be more discussion about this tomorrow. Pay attention. There may be a test!

Have a great Wednesday!
I'm sorry about the info on Ravelry. I just found out that you can't go to the link or read it unless you already belong to Ravelry.

Here's a photo of the bird John went off to chase.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's Good to be King

Today, in the early evening, the SciFi Channel will be showing the Stargate SG-1 episode, It's Good to be King, which is one of my favorites. Actually, the episode before it, Sight Unseen is pretty good, too.



I went to the library yesterday and brought home a college course worth of  books on self publishing. I'll be busy for a while.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Towel

This is what it looked like out my window at about 8pm last night. I just love the ever-changing view out my window.

I set yesterday aside to watch the Indiana Jones movies on SciFi.

Then I noticed that the BBC in America was showing the two Doctor Who episodes, Tooth and Claw and School Reunion, and after being on the computer for a while, I watched them from my DVR recording of them.

This was followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Yes, I got to watch them in chronological order for the first time, courtesy of my DVR. I don't know what's wrong with SciFi. They, of all people should know to show them in order instead of the way they were released.

Since I waited for all this to be recorded before watching (so I could fast forward through commercials), I didn't get any further on this.

But I got to see the Family Guy Star Wars episode and the Chicken whatever, also about Star Wars and Holly was right--they are VERY funny. I'm going to have to watch them about 10 more times (at least)!

During all this television, the towel was finished. I am now ready for Towel Day.

This is the whole towel, and below is a close-up.

I'm trying to decide if I should be happy with my towel and quit, or if I should try to find some navy cotton yarn and make another one. I always pictured the towel in navy blue, from the moment I heard about Towel Day. I can't decide.

I know I should be finishing up another project, but I picked up the yarn that was left from my poncho, and I'm making another one. The frugal part of me just doesn't want to let that yarn go to waste.

I will do other projects, but this is good, mindless filler knitting.

Holly and I went out on Saturday, and mostly did utilitarian errands before we had dinner. We debated about going to see Prince Caspian, but Robin called and needed/wanted her for something, so she said we'll do it next week. So, it was a very quiet weekend.

As soon as I try on the nearly finished poncho for fit, and add the closure, I'll post a photo.

I heard from John Saturday night. He said that Laura found software for the computer she gave me that she hadn't included. She's sending it to me. This may be the last bit of the software puzzle that makes it all work.

In reading news, I finished Prince Caspian this morning, and am now back to the Dresden book, Blood Rites.

I have to go. I have a busy day ahead of me. My books are in at the library and I have to go pick them up. I ordered a batch of books on self publishing. Maybe I'll be a publisher someday.

Then I have some other errands to do.

Have a happy Monday!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Here is my towel from earlier today, when it was 14 inches long. I will add 4 more inches, and then I will do about 3 inches of border and bind off.

I originally thought I wanted a towel that was 30 x 40, but after seeing how big 30 inches is, I changed my mind to 20 x 30.

Actually, my gauge is a little off so it will be 20 x 32. But that's the nice thing about towels. Precise size isn't essential.

The big news today is something I found on Ravelry.

Joss Whedon is working on a new series. For fans of Firefly and Buffy, that's a cause for celebration.

The new series will be called Dollhouse (more info here), and stars Eliza Dushku as the heroine, Echo. Her IMdB page shows what we all know, that she was Tru in Tru Calling, and Faith in Buffy. She was also the daughter in True Lies (one of my favorite movies).

The SciFi channel is having all three Indiana Jones movies both Saturday and Sunday. Right before the series on Saturday, they're showing Timeline, which is an excellent movie, but an even better book.

Timeline, the movie bears little resemblance to Timeline, the book. You have to adjust your mind-set if you want to watch both of them.

After the three Jones movies on Sunday, they'll be showing Mystery of the Crystal Skulls, which seems to be (judging by the trailers), a bit about the actual archeology that the new movie is based on.

And Holly has notified me that the Cartoon Network will be showing the Family Guy episode about Star Wars on Sunday evening, followed by Robot Chicken, which is also a Star Wars episode. She says both are hilarious.

And, of course, Sarah Jane, and Doctor Who will both be on SciFi tonight, at the same time as the season finales of Ghost Whisperer and Moonlight.

And Prince Caspian opens in theaters today!

What an exciting weekend!

This was intended to be mostly a knitting blog, but the science fiction people have overwhelmed me this weekend.

Have a fun one!

Watch Cap

This is a cap you can pull down over your ears and keep warm! It works especially well with the dickie pattern, which can be pulled up over you face almost to your eyes. With the addition of the cap, you have something that resembles a balaclava, but is more comfortable when you don't need quite that much warmth.

Materials and Supplies

A bit over 200 yards of worsted weight yarn.

16 inch circular needle, size 6

16 inch circular needle, size 8

5 DP needles, size 8

Measuring device (Only needs to be 6 inches long)

Stitch markers

The tapestry needle and scissors you need for every project.


4.5 stitches per inch on the size 8 needles in stockinette stitch

Start Knitting

Cast on 96 stitches using the size 6 needle.

Place a marker and work in rounds in 2 x 2 rib for 4 inches. Be sure to check that the knitting is not twisted on the second round.

Change to size 8 needle and stockinette stitch and work even for 6 inches. Somewhere along the way, prepare for the decreases by placing 7 stitch markers, one after each 12 stitches around. Make sure that you have a marker that is different at the beginning of the round.

Dec Round

*K 2 tog, work to next marker* around.

Work a dec round every other row, switching to DP needles when the circumference gets too small for the circular needle.

When you get to 16 stitches left, start working k 2 tog around with no even rows between until there are 4 stitches left. 

Using 2 DP needles, work 3.25 inches of I-cord. 

Cut yarn and thread through a tapestry needle, run through all sts of the I-cord twice, and bury the yarn in the middle of the I-cord. Cut excess yarn and tie the I-cord into an overhand knot.

Darn in ends, and you're done!

Variation: Instead of doing the I-cord knot, you can run the end through the last few stitches and crochet a loop that can be used to fasten it to a button on your coat so you don't lose it!

If you want to make this a school cap, you can do it by adding a 3 round stripe of the second color when you're about 5 inches from the end of the cuff, knitting 6 rounds of main color and 3 more rounds of the contrasting color before going back to the main color and decreases.

Colors are: 

Gryffendor: Scarlet and gold

Hufflepuff: Black and gold

Ravenclaw: Book, blue and bronze; movie, navy and silver

Syltheryn: Green and silver

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Welcome to the Middle of the Month

Today is the 15th of May, and that means that we're about half-way through the month.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a really dynamite day on the SciFi channel. Their daytime rotation will be "Firefly," starting from the beginning with both episodes of "Serenity" and concluding with "Jaynestown," which is my favorite episode. If you're not familiar with Firefly, you should watch the whole series to get full enjoyment out of it. But it is funny.

On Sunday, SciFi will be having an Indiana Jones orgy. Check your schedules.

After not seeing a movie in a theater since Order of the Phoenix last summer, there are suddenly three movies coming out that Holly and I want to see, and they're being released on consecutive weekends.

First is Prince Caspian, the nearly next Narnia story. Well, it's the next one with the same children in it. I've read the stories, but I'm rereading it in this book, which is the approximate weight of the "Dawn Treader." It's not fun to carry around.

Anyway, the next movie in this cavalcade is the new Indiana Jones movie. See the aforementioned reference to Indiana Jones, and catch the previous movies on SciFi. By the way, if your love the theme music from the Indiana Jones movies you'll be fine. But If you don't want to hear it, turn the sound down on your computer before you click the link. I loved it for the first minute or so, but it gets old quickly.

Then, for Memorial Day weekend, the Sex in the City movie will be coming up.

Maybe we can see it on Sunday so that I can bring my towel with me for Towel Day. By the way, I have 10 inches of my towel done, and am beginning to think that I might be happier with a towel that's 20 x 30 inches rather than one that's 30 x 40 inches. Not only am I debating how much fun this is going to be to carry, but how much time do I actually want to spend knitting it?

I'm overwhelmed by all this.

Have a great middle-of-the-month!

Crazy Aunt Purl's Beret for Worsted Weight

For those of you who are fans of Crazy Aunt Purl, you know that she published a pattern for a beautiful beret, which she recently wore on her trip to Rome. She's so lucky!

Her particular beret pattern was written for chunky/bulky yarn. My stash doesn't include a lot of chunky or bulky yarn, and so I transposed the pattern for worsted weight yarn. In the spirit of not reinventing the wheel, I thought it might be nice to share so that all of you out there wouldn't have to do the least fun part of knitting--the math.

Laurie, if you're not happy about me publishing this, let me know, and I'll take it down.

This is a variation of my watch cap pattern math coupled with CAPs design.

Tools and Materials

A 16 inch circular needle in size 8 or whatever size lets you knit at 4.5 stitches per inch.

You don't really need this, but if you have a 24 inch circular needle in the same size as the previous one, it's more comfortable for me to use this size, and it might be for you, too.

Either 5 DP needles in above size, or 2 circulars (for the 2 circular method of avoiding DPs) or a l-o-o-o-n-g circular (for the magic loop method) in above size.

a 16 inch circular needle two sizes smaller than the previous one.

About 200 yards of worsted weight yarn. Actually, 200 yards is cutting it pretty close. You'll probably have only a few yards left. It's safer to get a bit extra.

Stitch markers (you'll need 7 of these, plus a different, distinctive one to mark the beginning of rounds), a yarn needle, and scissors.

Start Knitting

Cast on 96 stitches using the smaller needle and long tail cast on. OK, if you think it helps elasticity, you can cast on with the larger needle.

Place the distinctive marker at the beginning of the round and work around in K2, P2 rib for 1.75 to two inches.

Increase Round

*K1, K in front and back of next stitch (1 inc made)* around. 144 stitches.


Switch to larger needles, and K even on every round for about 4.5 inches. Somewhere while you're doing this, place stitch markers every 18 stitches.

Decrease Round

*K2tog, knit to next marker* around.

Alternate this dec round with one round worked even until there are are 16 stitches. Work dec round on NEXT round. *K2tog* around on next row. Break (or cut) yarn leaving a long tail. Use the tapestry needle to pull the yarn tail through all the stitches. Then go through all the stitches again and knot. It goes without saying that you'll switch to the shorter circular needle and then to DPs or the circular method of your choice when there are too few stitches to fit on the longer circular.

I'm assuming here that you know how to use two circulars or the magic loop method to substitute for DP needles. These are both good methods, and I love the magic loop for knitting mitts. If you don't know how, use DPs or look on the net here for magic loop. This doesn't give you precise directions, just an overview, but it gives you a list of links for very precise directions. Good luck with that. It's very liberating.

Weave in ends.

If you think it needs it, you can block, but it may not need it.

That's it.

As CAP says, it's easy.

And it looks GREAT!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Movie, Family and Knitting News!

Here's a photo of my granddaughter, Malaia, with her Aunt Heather's new baby boy, Mitchell. There's not much to say here except aaaaw.

My sister, Lynn, who is the best sister in the world, sent me an email that I saw just a little while ago.

It turns out that Karen Allen, who will be in the new Indiana Jones movie is a knitter, and also a knit designer. You can find out more about it all at There's a lengthy introduction which is the best part of the whole site. Enjoy.

As if that wasn't enough, she also sent me a link for more information on the movie at The information on Indiana Jones is at the bottom left of the page, and there is a little sidebar next to it with a link to an extended trailer for the movie.

But wait, there's even more information on the new Sex and the City movie at the top left of the page. I haven't even read that article yet, but I thought you'd want to know.

The towel is a bit more than seven inches long at the moment. That's nearly 1/4 finished! It looks like I'm going to make it in time for Towel Day!

Oh, and there's a new pattern right after this post.

Have a great day today!

Dicky Pattern

I bought a copy of Knitters Magazine last January.

They have several patterns for what could only be called dickies. And they showed one of them for a man. Complete with a really dumb hat that sits on the top of your head and leaves your ears bare, and out in the breeze.

After studying their various models, and liking the idea but not the execution, I wrote my own dicky pattern.

So, without further ado, here is the pattern:

Dicky Pattern

About 200+ yards of knitting worsted weight yarn. I've noticed that particularly fat yarn tends to take more yards than a thinner yarn, so you might want to make sure that you have a bit more than 200 yards to be sure. Mine took up almost precisely 200 yards. There was a yard left over.

A 24 inch size 8 needle. You might want a 16 inch needle, too, to get started.

A size 10 needle (of any kind--straight, circular, DP, whatever)

A stitch marker to mark beg and ends of rnds.


The size 8 needle will get me a 4 to 4.5 stitch per inch sample in stockinet stitch depending on the exact "worsted weight" yarn I use. Substitute another size if that doesn't work for you. The rib is very stretchy, and you can probably get away with a size larger or smaller, even if your gauge is exactly the same as mine.

Start Knitting

Cast on 88 stitches, and work around in K2, P2 rib for six to seven inches depending on the neck of the person you're making it for. You've probably noticed people who have long necks and others who seem to have no neck at all. Use some common sense.

If you can't get all the cast-on stitches around a 24 inch circular needle, and you don't want to have to do the first few rows on a 16 inch needle, just turn and work flat for one row and THEN start working circularly. When you darn in the end, you can close the one row space. And when you start working circularly, make sure that you check to see that it isn't twisted on the SECOND round.

At the end of six or seven inches, work an increase round as follows:

*K2, P1, Inc 1, P1, K2, P2* See note below.

Between each inc rnd, work two rnds even in rib as established.

Next inc row: *K2, P3, K2. P1, Inc 1, P1*

Work an inc rnd every third round, increasing in every other Purl section of the rib, making sure the incs don't occur right over the incs in the last inc rnd.

Keep going like this until you have 6 sts in each purl rib and you have finished the two even rnds after the last inc rnd.

Work in K2, P2 ribbing as established for an inch (you'll be adding a K rib in the middle of the P6 section).

Use the size 10 needle to bind off in pattern.

Darn in the ends and you're done.

Note about the incs: place the inc as close to the center of the purl rib as you can. The least obtrusive way I've found to do this is by making one backwards loop cast-on.

This can be worn like a turtleneck, folded over, or in really cold weather, pull it up over the lower half of your face. This works best if you have a hat that you can pull over your ears and the back of the dicky.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Friday the 13th is on Tuesday this Month!

Happy Tuesday the 13th!

I have to  check some things on the poncho, try it on, make sure the fit is right and probably add a tie or button near the bottom of the hood, but it's otherwise finished.

I've started the towel for Towel Day, although I haven't gotten very far.

I cast on 132 stitches with a gauge of 4.5 stitches to the inch for a total of (about) 30 inches. I'm hoping for 30 x 40 for this. We'll see how it goes. There's 12 ounces of yarn in the ball for a total of 608 yards.

I put up a pattern from my other blog for socks. It's right before this one. More will be up soon, and not long after that, I will be adding a PDF for each pattern, so that you can see the whole pattern and see if you want to commit to it before printing out the PDF. All patterns will be listed in the sidebar for ease in finding.

I've been trying to read Prince Caspian because I'd like to see the movie this weekend, and rereading it would be nice beforehand. But the copy of it that I have is in The Chronicles of Narnia, which weighs about as much as the Dawn Treader. I have no wish to carry it around with me when I go somewhere, so I'm reading a Dresden story, Blood Rites, because it's light and easy to carry.

At least that's the way it's supposed to work.

In actuality, I've gotten caught up in Blood Rites, and can't put it down. I've read it before, and it's probably my favorite Dresden book. I've worked on some low-budget movies (New Genesis and Invader), and in this book, Harry works on a porn movie. Besides, who could resist the first sentence in the book, "The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault."

But speaking of Narnia, on Saturday, at Borders, we saw the most incredible Narnia book ever. It's a Chronicles of Narnia Pop-up book! It's the most amazing pop-up book I've ever seen. It is far more detailed than any other, plus it's not just die-cut paper. There's a "page" for each book, and the Dawn Treader has real fabric sails, The Horse and his Boy has real string reins, etc. It is a stunning piece of art and engineering. We were amazed and awed.

Well, I've been out walking a lot today, and I'm going to lay down for a little bit.

Have a good evening!

Feather and Fan Socks

You'll need to know something about knitting socks to do this because I assume you know how to make a gusset, heel flap, etc. I made my heel flap in plain stockinnet because things tend to irritate my feet and give me blisters easily, so I'd rather darn a hole or knit a whole new sock than limp around on blisters.

Stuff you'll need

1 ball of Knit Picks Risata for each sock. Mine are in the color Dusk.

Size 1 (2.5 mm) needles of your choice (DPs, 47 inch circular for magic loop method, whatever)

Measuring instrument (tape measure, small ruler, whatever)

The tapestry needle and scissors you need for every project

Modified feather & fan stitch (in the round)

Rows 1, 2, & 3: K around

Row 4: *K2 tog* 3 times, *YO, K 1* 6 times, *K2 tog* 3 times

Row 5: Purl around

8 stitchs per inch. Just make sure that the total stitches around fit your foot circumfrence.

Start Knitting

Cast on 108 sts.

K1, Sl 1, K1, PSSO around, placing marker after 18 sts. 72 sts.

Work 11 repeats of modified feather & fan stitch.

Work 1 row of K. Next row, *K3, K2 tog, K 8, K2 tog, K 3* around (4 reps) there will now be 16 stitches in each quarter (64 sts total).

Work even in St St for 1 inch. Mark work.

Work heel flap (3.5 inches for me)

Make square heel: *K to center of heel flap, K 7, K2 tog, turn. Purl to center of heel flap, P 7, P2 tog, turn* Rep until all side stitches are used.

Pick up sts on sides of heel flap and make a standard gusset.

K even until about an inch from the end of your toes. Measure this and note the length for the next one.

K to within 2 sts of the end of first needle, SSK. At beg of next needle, K2 tog, then work across in K. Repeat. One dec rnd made. K 1 rnd even.

Alternate dec rnd with even rnd until 12 sts rem at end of dec rnd. Work one more dec rnd without an even rnd between it and the last one.

Weave toe together. Darn in ends.

Make another one just like it.


Additional note: Knit Picks has discontinued the yarn I used for these. You can use any fingering weight sock yarn. I think the original yarn came in balls that were 230 yards, but the socks didn't use quite a whole ball, so you could probably get away with less, but if you buy yarn that comes in 166 yard balls, you're going to need three of them for a pair.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Monday!

I'm going to recap a bit on Mother's Day.

Here is the yarn Holly bought me for Towel Day.

I had wanted to get something fuzzy, like chenille. I was thinking of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, but couldn't find anything like that in the store available (Michaels) that was absorbent and towel-like. You can't see it in the photo, but this is a really big ball of yarn.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Holly showed me her new pen. It's a Lamy fountain Pen, and we have both fallen in love with it. The photo doesn't make it look like anything special, but in real life, it looks and feels like you're writing with a big diamond. And the ink is a beautiful periwinkle blue. Somewhere between blue and lavender. Either of those labels could describe the color.

I've been knitting and am almost done with the poncho. It has about 2 more inches left to do on the hood, and this is what it looks like now:

I'm going to quit, now, because I'm currently missing Jake 2.0 on SciFi.

Have a great Monday!



I was just over at Crazy Aunt Purl's blog, and she has a contest going on. Hop on over there and sign up to win. She's giving away some high-tech shopping bags, but also a copy of her book each day for the next 5 days.

I'm entering mainly for the book!

Oh, and Saturday, Holly was asking me about the new Dresden Files books coming out this fall. I nearly forgot, she bought a copy of the next Dresden book while we were at Borders.

There are two that will be appearing at almost the same time, Welcome to the Jungle (which finally has a cover), and Backup, which is actually Thomas' view on something he and Harry do together. 

If you're new to The Dresden Files, the first book is Storm Front. There is also a DVD of the short-lived Dresden Files TV show. I cannot recommend these books highly enough. This is about a grown-up wizard named Harry. They are fabulous!

You may now resume your regularly-scheduled Monday.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Holly and I celebrated Mother's Day yesterday, and had a wonderful time!

We stopped at Michaels and Holly got some origami paper, and bought me a big ball of Lily's Sugar 'N Cream yarn to make a towel for Towel Day. As you'll see, there is a KAL for knitting towels, and the deadline is May 25, which is Towel Day. On that day (which happens to fall on the day before Memorial Day this year) all participants are expected to carry the towel they made (or any towel) to show respect and honor for Douglas Adams (and to show what a hoopy frood they are). These are actually two separate things: the KAL, and Towel Day itself. So, you can participate even if you don't knit.

I'll show you a photo of the ball of yarn she bought me tomorrow. Technical problems with the memory card.

Then we went to WalMart because Holly had a gift card for $50 there, and there were some things she wanted to get. She bought me some wine coolers and snacks. What a thoughtful child!

Then we went to dinner at Macaroni Grill. After arriving there, we decided that it was probably a good thing that we decided to celebrate on Saturday because we had a 20 minute wait anyway. We had a delicious dinner with wonderful company and witty conversation.

Then we went to Borders. Holly was looking for a book that they were out of, Woman's World. She did find two rune books she wanted, The Book of Runes: Read the Secrets in the Language of the Stones, and Practical Guide To The Runes: Their Uses in Divination and Magic, plus a book on palmistry. She also bought me a bookmark.

The bottom of the close-up is the part of the bookmark that I like best. I bought one of these when I bought Deathly Hallows last summer, but It was damaged, which didn't show up at first, but eventually left it in danger of coming apart. So I've been looking for another one to replace it for a while because I really like it. So, I was thrilled with my gift!

All in all, it was a wonderful day.



I just came across this link for fellow Eureka fans:

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I can't remember if I put this information up, but tomorrow (Mother's Day!), the SciFi Channel will be showing reruns of "Eureka" during the day. I love "Eureka."

And in knit news, I've finished binding off the hem of the poncho and picked up stitches around the neck edge from the provisional cast on and have knitted about 5 inches of the hood.

And Lion Brand sent me a newsletter yesterday, and they have new colors available in their Jiffy yarn. I love the yarn in my poncho, but I've been sad the whole time I was knitting it because the yarn (Red Heart Symphony) has been discontinued. I want to make some ponchos in other colors, and the beautiful new colors of Jiffy may let me do that. They have some blues that are beautiful, and several purples that are all so great I can't decide between them.

I hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Firefly! And SF Update!

Next Friday, the SciFi Channel will be showing Firefly during it's normal daytime rotation. They will be starting from the beginning and getting as far as they can in the time alloted.

When I first watched Firefly, I liked it until I got to "Our Mrs. Reynolds," Then, I loved it!

Then the next episode was "Jaynestown!" "Jaynestown" was (in my opinion) the best episode of the series. And it will be the last episode that they'll show next Friday, so you'll get a chance to see it.

They will not be showing The Message which is the one that all the knitters want to watch. This is the one where they pick up mail, and Jayne gets a hand-knit hat from his mother. It's awful!  It's an earflap hat which hasn't been blocked, so it's curling up, and the ends haven't been darned in, and it's yellow, orange and red. And Jayne loves it and wears it for the rest of the episode.

Anyway, for you knitters, you should record them. In several episodes, Wash wears sweaters with cables that are fabulous! You'll want to go back and see stills of him wearing the sweaters.

Tonight, on SciFi, they'll be showing two more episodes of "The Sarah Jane Adventures," The second part of "WARRIORS OF KUDLAK" and "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SARAH JANE - PART 1." Sorry about the caps, I copied it directly from the SciFi schedule and that's the way they had it.

That will, of course, be followed by Doctor Who with "PLANET OF THE OOD." If you're a fan, you'll remember that we ran into them before in "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit."

Next Friday, after Firefly, in the evening, they'll be showing two more Sarah Jane, and the Doctor Who episode will be "THE SONTARAN STRATAGEM."

This evening, CBS will also be showing a new "Ghost Whisperer" and "Moonlight."

In the meantime, on Monday, SciFi will be showing "Jake 2.0" during the day. The best episode they'll be showing is "Double Agent" in my opinion. SF fans will love the inside jokes.

I should have taken my books back to the library yesterday, but the rain was pouring down all day, and I was not happy about walking over there. There were flood warnings for my area last night. It rained, and rained, and RAINED! There were also tornado and severe thunderstorm warning for surrounding areas. Yesterday was a bad day weather-wise. Today it's raining a bit off and on. 

I've added a weather pixie to my sidebar so you can see what the weather is like around here. Actually, it reports the weather at the airport at Fort Belvoir, Davison Field. I love going past that airport! There are choppers of various descriptions and Lear Jets going in and out frequently. Especially the choppers.

I'll have to pull myself together and return some books.

I just finished reading the series by Angie Sage that starts with "Magyk." It may be a kid's series, but it's awfully good.

In knitting news, I finished the bind-off for the poncho, and am now picking up stitches from the provisional bind-off around the neck for the hood. Photos soon.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I Like My New Blog!

This new blog is so much fun.

I "talked" to John today via iChat, and he sent me lots of links for widgets and other stuff for my blog. There's enough there to keep me busy reading and doing stuff for the next week (at least).

I just installed Google Adsense yesterday, and they make it really difficult for me. When you sign up for it, you have to promise not to click the ads they put up on your site. Which makes sense because they don't want you adding lots of clicks for the people who pay you on a per-click basis.

But they've chosen ads that are so neat that I really want to click them. Right now, there's an ad about symbols up there.

There were a number of things that I loved about The DaVinci Code, but one of my favorites was the lecture about symbols at the beginning.

I really want to click that button.

Oh, but I'm not allowed to ask people to click the buttons, so don't do it.

Unless you really want to.

So, anyway, I have lots of things I want to do today, and not much time to write, so you're getting a short post with almost no information,

There are new episodes of Supernatural, Ugly Betty, and Grey's Anatomy on tonight along with a rerun of Burn Notice.

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Silk Yarn Arrived!

The silk yarn arrived yesterday!

It's very pretty. That goes without saying. It's silk.

The "grey" yarn is less grey and more beige than I'd expected, but it's still pretty.

So now I have to wind it into balls and get started.

They will be transformed into bags to hold runes.

I've chosen Wunjo for happiness, Kenaz for creativity, Algiz for protection (also, it appeared in a movie I worked on and appeared in--New Genesis) and Fehu for wealth.

Actually, I think Holly wants the same runes on hers. I know she wants Wunjo, Kenaz and Algiz. I don't think we ever settled what the last one should be.

If this goes well, it may be the start of a book for me.

There's a jewelry company, Wild Women, that sells jewelry at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and their slogan is "Jewelry with significance." Everything has a symbol on it that means or meant something in some culture. They have mermaids, stars, runes, and lots of other symbols on their jewelry.

Symbols change, though. In the Middle Ages, a five pointed star (called a mullet) was considered a symbol of knighthood. The points of the stars symbolize the rowels on spurs, which were worn by knights. Today a star seems to be a symbol of freedom, happiness, and hope. I like stars.

The same goes for colors as symbols. If you look at paintings of the Madonna from the Middle Ages, you'll see that she is always dressed in blue, the color of purity. Now, if we thought about a color to represent purity, we would probably choose white.

I'm thinking of a book with knits of significance. Knitting patterns with all sorts of symbols from other cultures.

Did any of you see the beginning of the movie, "The DaVinci Code"? Near the beginning Tom Hanks' character gives a speech about symbols. He shows a bunch of people who are identified by the audience as KKK members. Then he explains that they're really an ancient order of monks. And he shows a swastika, which brings on another negative reaction, but he traces the symbol back to it's peaceful roots from several cultures. The Norse rune, sowulo means success, and Hitler used it twice as the symbol for his incorrectly called "SS."

Actually, sowulo might be a good rune to use on one of the bags.

You can find out about runes here.

I'll be winding yarn and mulling it over.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I've gotten the poncho to a point where it's 17 inches long. I'm doing one more round so the bind off will be the way I want it, and then I'll be binding off and picking up the stitches for the hood. It looks like I may have gotten twice the yarn I'll need for this, so I can make another poncho, or something else entirely. I'll have to think about that.

Oh, and the SciFi Channel will be running "Eureka" all during the daytime on Mother's day (which also happens to be my Mom's birthday--I wish I could spend it with her) with their usual evening programming.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Well, I just checked the Beedle the Bard contest on Amazon. They chose only poetry, and I wrote prose, so that let me out right off the bat.

The poems are cute, even the ones written by adults. One has footnotes.

You can see the entries and vote for your favorite here.

Oh, well, I tried.

More later, I hope.



OK, here are the photos!

This is what my WIP poncho looks like as of yesterday. I have a provisional cast-on at the neck, and am expanding outward toward the bottom. Since the needle is much shorter than the hem of the poncho, it currently looks like a bag with a hole in the bottom. It needs to be 17 inches long, and it is now 16 inches long. Unfortunately, since it's expanding, every other row gets longer, and the last inch will drag on forever.

And here is a photo of my new lazy kate, the one I got at the Sheep and Wool Festival.

I just hope it works as well as it looks. I haven't tried it yet.

Hi! This is the First Post!

I have been blogging on Xanga for a few years (, and like it, but a friend recommended Blogger (now that I finally have a computer to blog from). I would like to get a fiberarts business going, and wonder if Blogger would let me get business-related (but still entertaining) stuff up on the search engines a little better than Xanga.

So, this is a test. For a while, I'll be posting the same stuff to both Xanga and Blogger, and we'll see how it goes.

You can expect a lot about me and my life, discussions about fiberarts, science fiction, TV and movies, and lots more. You can also find out more at and my website (which I will start updating real soon, now at
I'm just back from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, so I'll show you this photo that I took last year:

This is just a note to let you know that this is the first post, and you won't find anything earlier than this.

This is just general orientation. I'll be putting up real posts soon.

Have a great week!