Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday School circa 1958

I can't remember the name of the church I attended when I went to Junior High. (It was Presbyterian and met at the East Lansing Junior High in the auditorium.) But I remember my Sunday School teacher vividly.

His name was Carl Fenner and he was the director of the Lansing, Michigan city parks. Sometimes he brought baby animals to Sunday School and taught us about them. I remember a goat, a fox and a bear whose mother had been killed by hunters. Sometimes we would go on nature hikes, have a cookout and he would recite The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service. I loved his wife's homemade pies and he promised me a whole pie if I memorized the 23rd Psalm but I never did.
When I went online to do some research about Mr. Fenner, I found that there had been a large gift of land to Lansing around the time I was in his Sunday School class. That must have been where we went on those hikes. I'm sure he must have given religious instruction although I have no memory of those lessons. What I remember are those walks in the woods, learning to identify trees, birds, and evidence of wild animals. I also remember ordering a very special Christmas present for him that I found in a catalog - a ball point pen with a tiny lense in the clicker. If you looked through the lense, you saw the text of the Lord's Prayer.
Here I am. I'm wearing the skirt I made in Home Ec. I loved the fabric. It had black, gold and white stripes. Not exactly flattering. The next semester, in Shop, I made a wooden lamp base. At East Lansing Junior High, the boys and the girls were all required to take both Home Ec and Shop. I remember that the boys made pyjamas for their sewing projects. We used some pretty serious tools in Shop. I imagine that safety considerations wouldn't allow them now.

Yes, I'm back. For now anyway. I'm not promising anything.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Scavenger Hunt package arrival & more

Nothing like coming home from 8 hours of wrangling tax returns to find a package waiting on the porch. It was from my Scavenger Hunt Swap pal, Heather.

It was filled with goodies - 3 different yarns - none of which I've used, handmade soap, candy, At Knit's End, sudoku puzzles, etc. She did a good job figuring out what I would like, although the sudoku can wait until after Tax Season.

This is a close up of the hand carved, stone button I used for my Ozark Handspun scarf, one of the buttons I bought when Jim took me to Finland in 1996. I asked for help on the Finnish Knitters forum on Ravelry and found out that UNAKIITTI is Unakite in English. It is the State Stone of Virginia and comes from the Blue Ridge Mountains. So my souvenir of Finland originated in Virginia. At least it wasn't made in China.

Ellen wanted to tackle cables in the last session of Yarn Church. Didn't she do a good job? The pattern is from Hip To Knit and the yarn is Jo Sharp Silkroad Tweed. She made me promise I wouldn't show her face in the photo - too bad, she has a nice face.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mmmmore Mmmmmalabrigo & the next generation

I just loved knitting with the Malabrigo Silky Merino from the swap. This is one of the Victoria Fingerless Mittens from Knitting Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding. I accidentally modified the pattern and made the ribbing half as long as written. They won't be durable enough for every day but I plan to wear them when I need some special cheer.

The Malabrigo Junkies over at Ravelry have declared next month as Malabrigo March. I am participating in one of the many KALs, making Herringbone Mittens with Poms, a free pattern from Elliphantom. I am using the green yarn from the swap, along with the beautiful Tuareg blue. Have to wait until March First to cast on.

Kensie was a participant in the most recent round of Yarn Church. She knit her first sock.

And this wrist warmer. Her goal was to master DPNs and I think she accomplished it. It makes me very happy to see another generation learning these skills. I just hope she doesn't fall victim to Second Sock Syndrome.

My sister sends me great links. My favorite one recently is Hello Kitty Hell.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mmmmalabrigo Swap, some recent knitting & Rats

Phew, I'm deep in Tax Season. It was great to come home the other day to a treasure filled box from my Ravelry Malabrigo Swap partner, Kim.

The entire box of goodies.

The yarn - 2 skeins of Malabrigo worsted in the Verde Adriana colorway and one of the Silky Merino (50% silk, 50% merino) in Purple Mystery. I had never seen or touched the Silky Merino - what luxury. I am already halfway the first wristwarmer.

The knitted by Kim treasures - a little neck warmer I had in my Ravelry Queue and a face cloth with some Valentine's soap.

Edible goodies - Tanzania Peaberry coffee beans and two bars of excellent dark chocolate.

A little Peace bear - because of my past history as a Peacenik?? There was oh-so-much more, a tiny knitting emergency tool kit, a fleecy throw and socks, a strange creature with rolling eyes, hand cleaner (Kim is a nurse) and lotion. Plus she made a donation to Heifer. Wow!

I finished my Monkey socks designed by Cookie A. Thanks again to my Holiday Swap partner, Jocelyn, for the yarn and pattern.

I stole this picture from The Yarn Lounge blog. I made almost matching scarves for Courtney and me. One skein each of Ozark Handspun and buttons I bought in Helsinki back in 1996 when Jim took me to Scandinavia for my 50th.

And, because this is the Year of the Rat, be sure to check out Hero Rat.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What my name means?

What Cate Means

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.
You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.
A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Only one 2008 FO so far

Boy, work sure interferes with knitting productivity. These little socks are my only FO so far this year and I knit them on New Year's Day! They are for the latest campaign for afghans for Afghans.

I do have several WIPs - Monkey socks by Cookie A, using the pattern and yarn that were in my Holiday 2007 swap package. I work on these at lunch time and am about 3/4 finished with the second sock. This is the most popular sock pattern on Ravelry with over 3,000 versions posted.

I have finished the sleeves and back and am 3/4 through the left front of Cable Jacket by Martin Storey from Rowan's Knitting for Him. The DXH bought the yarn (O~Wool) and book for me at my request so I could make him a sweater. This is a very enjoyable project, all the cables and patterning keeps my attention and the wool is a pleasure to knit.

The white Cormo yarn from Elsa Sheep Company finally arrived at The Yarn Lounge so I have my Twisty Turns by Norah Gaughan (from Wrap Style) as my endless - ten feet - mindless knitting.

And now for some more 2007 FOs

The Nomad Hat from Interweave Knits made for my next door neighbor out of some absolutely heavenly Australian merino yarn. She gets cold easily and I made this for her to wear when she walks. Don't know if she has needed it yet. It has been a warm winter.

Once Stewart made one of these, everyone at The Yarn Lounge had to jump on the bandwagon. It is the Sideways Cap, a pattern written specifically for O~Wool and knit using some in black. I made it over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and have worn it lots.

My friend, Beth, liked mine so I made one in red for her. I met her because we both have Scottish Deerhounds so I used some antler buttons for her hat. She likes it because it keeps her ears warm when she walks the hounds.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Real Job & more 2007 knitting

I just found out today that I have had a real job since Monday. I've been working for a temp agency for over a year and just before Christmas they asked if I would be interested in moving over to their full time division. Hmmm, let me see......

Real Health Insurance vs. very crappy coverage

Paid Holidays and Vacation vs. no work = no pay

Between assignments get paid for a 37.5 hour week vs. see above

401(k) plan vs. what?

Did I say yes? It took a bit of time due to the holidays and the fact that they had to find out if I really had done the things I said I had. I went in today to show them my driver's license and Social Security card (the one I have had since I registered for Social Security in about 1961) and to sign all the paperwork to become an actual participant in the amazing world of benefits. I am 62 years old and this is only the second job I have ever had with real benefits. And I will still be a temp, doing what I like, which is relatively short term projects in a different place every few months. In fact, I did exactly the same thing this week in my real job as I did last week in my temp job (because it is the same job) and will stay there until April 15.

When I saw the pattern for these socks on MagKnits, I knew just who should have them.

Mimi! She had a very busy and stressful Fall so it took some time after I finished them to get them to her. Finally I ran into her one day at the Post Office and made her wait until I went to my car and got them. I had been carrying them around with me for weeks hoping I would see her. Right before Christmas she came into The Yarn Lounge wearing them and looking her usual fabulous self so I was able to get some pictures of the socks on her feet in some of her amazingly high heeled shoes.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Weeds & some late 2007 knitting

I know I am way behind the times. The first season of Weeds just floated its way up my Netflix queue and into my mailbox. I watched the first three episodes last night and loved, loved, loved them. I may have to rethink my boycott of cable television. Oh, on second thought, it's still way cheaper to subscribe to Netflix and be able to pick and choose what I watch. Anyway, the show is brilliant and I am so lucky to have so many episodes to look forward to. (A Cate historical aside - I learned to play Little Boxes on my guitar in about 1964.)

I made these socks with my yarn from the Ravelry Libra Birthday Swap. It is the Annetrelac pattern from Interweave Knits.

Because of the pattern name and because I always make my sister socks for her birthday and Christmas, I made these for Annie. She is the true owner of the Evil Foster Whippet so it was entirely right that I used some of Peach's yarn scraps to finish the toe of the second sock when I ran out of yarn.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Knitter's Scavenger Hunt Swap

Well, I finally had a motive to post to this blog. Sorry for the long silence. I've been sucked into the fibery vortex that is Ravelry. I've signed up for a scavenger hunt swap and need to post my answers to the questionnaire.

1) Do you knit, crochet or both? How long have you been doing it?

Both but rarely crochet. I can't remember when I learned to knit although I know my cousin, Jane, taught me how to make fair isle hats in about 1964.

2) What is on your needles/hook right now?

Monkey socks with pattern and yarn from my Ravelry Holiday swap partner, Jocelyn.

Jim's cabled cardigan from Rowan Knitting for Him in O-wool Classic.

My revised Not-Tangled-Yoke Cardigan in Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool.

3) What is the most frequently used tool in your knitting bag?

1. Tape measure. 2. Scissors. 3. Tapestry needle.

4) What are your 3 favorite yarns (fiber type or brand)?

Any Fleece Artist sock yarn. Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted. Jo Sharp Silkroad tweed.

What are your 3 least favorite?

The usual icky acrylics.

5) What is your favorite color?

Dark Blue-Green.

6) If you had a 5 minute shopping spree in your LYS, how would you plan your attack?

Piece of Cake! Armsful of Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool, Rowan Felted Tweed, Fleece Artist sock yarns, Malabrigo worsted, Elsa Sheep & Wool Cormo (any weight). If time, Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca & Silk, Jo Sharp Silkroad tweed (any weight), Thirteen Mile yarn. You get the picture.

7) What is your favorite FO and why? (post a pic if you have it!)

My Knitting Pure & Simple cardigan knit from Lamb's Pride dark charcoal worsted. It is too big for me now but I still wear it all the time.

8) What are your favorite things to knit/crochet?

Socks. Sweaters. Items for afghans for Afghans.

9) Do you collect anything?

Dust bunnies. I am at the age where I really want to get rid of things, not acquire them.

10) What are your five favorite things (not necessarily knitting related)?

Sitting on my sofa knitting with the Whippets in my lap and Dogwood nearby. The time in bed just before falling asleep.

My morning coffee in the mug my brother, Craig, gave me several years ago. Falling in love with a new author and reading every book s/he has written. Sitting at the table at The Yarn Lounge, knitting and listening to my friends talking with each other.

11) Are you on Ravelry? What is your ID?

Oh, yes, I am knitfitt on Ravelry.

12) Do you drink tea/coffee/cocoa?

Dark roast coffee, freshly ground from whole beans.

13) Favorite Sweets?

Really good dark chocolate. Just discovered the Vosges chocolates with unusual combinations of flavors. I also really like bread pudding, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt.

14) Any allergies?

Just cats.

15) Do you have pets? kids?

My beloved Scottish Deerhound, Dogwood. My Whippet, Moose. The evil long-term foster Whippet, Peach. No kids.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Thanks for the emails & comments. October slid by and I never got around to updating here. Here are some highlights of the month.

I made this Sand Dollar Pullover from Knitting Nature by the genius, Norah Gaughan. I used Zealana Chunky, a merino/delaka blend. Delaka is the evil New Zealand "possum" which is eating the country.

We did a Libra Birthday Swap on Ravelry and I got a great package from Sharon. The best part of the gift was a donation to Heifer.

I also participated in a mitten swap on Ravelry. My upstream pal, Delana, totally wowed me with her beautiful gloves made from Rowan 4 Ply.

I finished the I Love Gansey socks from the Six Sox KAL. The skulls didn't really look like skulls but the twisted cables turned out well. They were my first attempt at cabling without a needle. I haven't worn them yet. The 80 & 90 degree F weather stuck around for most of the month. Now that they are properly photographed, they have been added to the sock drawer.

Finally finished the green blob that had been lingering since May. It is the Knitting Pure & Simple Split Neck T. Knitted with some well marinated Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in Cactus.

Had to show you my sister's fabulous find. Annie got Alice Starmore's Tudor Roses at the Gloucester Public Library book sale. She is selling it, if anyone is interested.

And for a bit of a laugh. This is from a recent Sunday New York Times fashion spread. Doesn't she look like a Goth Borrower?

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