What it Was Like

Almost exactly one year after our wedding, Querido and I finally took our honeymoon.

Guess where?


LondonLondonLondonLondonLondon (and a smidge of Edinburgh and Inverness too).

We had both visited before, but how can you ever have too much of London?

In some ways, we were going back.

In others, it was entirely new.  I would not say no to a London that was as Dickens saw it, all brick and narrow streets.  But the puzzle and fascination of London is that it is a living city.  Buildings are constantly being knocked down for new ones to take their places, reconfiguring the pattern and flow of their streetscapes.


New Sights

Speaking of streetscapes, we saw a lot of them.  I agree the black cab is iconic, but American taxi drivers have convinced me that taking a cab is an expensive way to die and I will not be easily dissuaded by reason or evidence to the contrary.  So we walked.  And walked and walked and walked.  And then, when we’d gone five miles and couldn’t manage another step, we took the Tube.

Red telephone booth, London

Simply experiencing another country, taking in the pedestrian as well as the grand, was much of the joy of our trip.  That is what has made it so hard for me to describe what we did.  Yes, we went Highgate Cemetery and Westminster Abbey and the Tate Modern, but every bit as important was that we went.  We marveled at the runners dodging puddles and crowds on the Embankment.  We gawked at the crowds tromping through Picadilly Circus en route to Soho clubs in shoes wholly unsuitable for walking on London pavements.  We saw the news of Bowie’s death on the British morning news, read outrageous headlines on peoples’ papers in the Tube.  We chatted with a British shopkeeper who had lived in San Francisco in the 60’s, and heard British English spoken with accents from many different countries.

I came home with fewer photos than expected: sometimes it was just too darn inconvenient to haul out my big DSLR, but most times I was busy enjoying being with my Querido.  Thank you, Querido, for a wonderful end to our first year.

What?  No mushy gushy?  All right–I will leave you with a gallery of my photo-happy tourist moments:


Entrance to the Egyptian Avenue, Highgate Cemetery




The partially-deflated Minnie Mouse balloon spoils the effect a bit.



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The Cairngnorms, Scotland


Today in the US we have a holiday.  I am trying to make the most of the day, alternating knitting in my jammies with lightbulb-changing and handknit handwashing.  Last week at this time, Querido and I were on a train bound for Inverness and the Great Tapestry of Scotland.  As I sit here, well insulated and surrounded by knitting, I am thinking back to our wonderful week and ahead to the new year.

Across the blogosphere, knitters are making resolutions big and small.  A Tangled Yarn and Michelle from My So-Called Handmade Life are doing socks.  Sarah at Whistling Girl Knits is making a Bohus sweater.  The Sarah of Knitting Sarah has a slew of goals with her One Plus One Plus One project.  I am a goal-setter, too, and most years in the past, ambition has gotten the better of me.  For a fleeting moment, I considered setting a goal of knitting twelve sweaters this year (scariest thing?  I have nearly enough yarn to do it).  But in order to knit twelve sweaters, I would have to give up either feeding Querido or sleeping, neither of which are really responsible choices.

Realistically, then, I can set two goals.  First: knit more yarn than I buy.  When I buy yarn, I will always prioritize yarn made from natural fibers from a known source.  I have already made a fresh new copy of my stash spreadsheet from last year.  And get this.  I did not buy any yarn in the UK.  My heart was set on either Jamieson and Smith 2 ply Jumper Weight for a Puffin Sweater or some Excelana 4 ply for a sweater top out of A Stitch in Time.  Yarn store time was limited, and none of the shops I visited had either yarn, so…I will wait and purchase online when I am ready to dig into one of those projects.


Goal the second: submit all materials for Level One of the Knitting Guild of America’s Master Hand Knitter program.  Querido has always insisted I am a master knitter, but truthfully, I am way too haphazard in my knowledge.  I have learned things that I wanted to know and completely ignored other techniques.  The MHK program is a combination of knitting and research, which will give me a chance to push myself to both refine my technique and quantify what I know.  And also beef up my stash of knitting technique books!

Less yarn, more expertise.  What do you think, knitters–can it be done?

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Travel Knitting

Sleeves and a Konditor and Cook merengue make for a good morning. 

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Let’s Commence to Coordinate our Sights

(Title thanks to the Decemberists)

Footsteps in fresh snow

Happy New Year to you all, dear readers!

Twenty fifteen was a big year. Querido and I got married. We explored our new home state. We were lucky enough to be able to join two sets of friends in celebrating their weddings, and sent our well-wishes to two others. There was a very sad goodbye.

And of course, there was knitting. So many large projects. Out of 33 projects knitted this year, there was a bed-sized blanket, two full-size shawls, and one sweater. Twenty-three projects were knitted for others. Almost five miles of that yarn came out of my stash.


Over nine miles came into my stash this year. Oops.

So I didn’t make my goal of not buying any yarn in 2015. Like not at all. But here we have 2016, fresh with a FO already in it, and lots of knitting time ahead.

We’ll leave lofty goals for later. Today, let’s just knit.

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Mostly Here

Greetings, dear readers, from the land of the barely awake. Few words this morning, but I have pretty things to show you.

Pink and purple KnitCircus gradient yarn in a turquoise yarn bowl

Lovely KnitCircus gradient yarn that came in the bag of funder goodies from the Great Northern Knits Kickstarter.

Talamu shawl in progress

A Talamu shawl, with the end in sight.

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Forward and Back

Happy Black Friday, readers–did you all survive the shopping? I woke up to a window glazed in ice and decided that this was not a day for going out.

More time for knitting, right?

I found that the best way to get out of the middle bit of my Midtown Cardigan was to go through.  The back is now folded up and sitting quietly in the WIP bin, and I have the excitement of getting the fronts started.

Brown fronts of Midtown cardigan in progress

They are not much more than a start, unfortunately, because I discovered that the Talamu shawl was too small…

Blue and cream Talamu shawl in progress

And had to be restarted.  Bleugh.  Thankfully, it’s Wovember, and I have had plenty to read and I attempt to gallop back to where I was several days ago.

Happy knitting!



Happy Thanksgiving, all you Americans. Happy random Thursday night, everyone else. While Kansas proclaims WINTER outside my iffily insulated little home, I am thankful for many things. My sweetest Querido, who’d better have his sweater on right now. My family and friends (how about you all put on your sweaters for good measure too). My cats. Health and safety. Being employed in my field, with really awesome coworkers. Good woolly yarn to knit, and of course, all you lovely people out there on the blogosphere.

Much happiness to you and yours.


The Middle Bit

cat looking at knitting spread out on a couch

“I could sit on that for you.”

Yesterday I did a very impressive thing: I went into a nice yarn store, and I didn’t buy any yarn.

Some friends and I were at the Yarn Barn. I don’t know what happened the first time I was there, because it didn’t seem like a particularly exciting store. Yesterday was an entirely different story: glorious chubby hanks of bulky wool and alpaca, gorgeous locally dyed fleece and sock yarn, subtly variegated American wools and a rainbow of every flavor of Brown Sheep. We touched *everything*, perused their incredible book selection, and I only left with the spinning wheel repair kit I needed. And maybe a zippered notion pouch. My friends helped me think of ways reasons it was an essential purchase.

Today I am dutifully at home, knitting away on WIPs with the cats. I realized as I was updating Ravelry photos that I am so desperate to start something new because everything on the needles right now is in the middle bit. Each design is interesting and elegant and well-written, but there is a point in just about every knitting project where you just have to chug along until something happens.

Midtown needs another two inches on the back before I can get to the exciting slip-stitch patterned fronts.

Talamu is 1/3 of the way into a repeat, with the rows getting longer, so holding one’s breath for the next eyelet row would be a poor choice.

Talamu knitted shawl in progress

Jilted is one round past the point where you divide body and armholes, which means I have many inches of fingering-weight stockinette in the round before I get to (brace yourself) *ribbing*.

Oh darn. I’m getting angsty just listing all these out. Grumpiness and avoidance will not get me anywhere. With all these projects, the only way out is through. Wish me luck, knitters!

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One from the Archives

Tabby cat sitting on an orange, red, and green knitted wrap

Malthus makes her best Edward Gorey face.

Continuing the theme of cats sitting on knitwear, we have Malthus sitting on a wrap I knitted ages ago.

It was when I was a new knitter, and Brown Sheep still sold yarn in hanks. The yarn store I shopped at, the only one in the Valley, had a whole wall of these hanks, a wooly spectrum of saturated color. Fall colors were my favorite then too, and I picked out a strong orange, dark red, walnut brown, and forest green.

I can’t remember if I had the idea to make a poncho before or after I bought the yarn, but that’s what I knitted. I had advanced far enough that I could match yarn to the appropriate needles, but not so far that I was using others’ patterns. I had been playing with the Diamond Lace pattern from my 70’s-tastic Arco Guide to Knitting Stitches, and cast on a dozen repeats plus a garter edge. It didn’t even occur to me to worry that the color changes chopped two diamonds in half, and actually, my color changes were incredibly tidy.

When I had a long rectangle, I bound off and crocheted one side together. After ponchos went back out, I undid the crocheting and used it occasionally as a wrap. More often than not, it lived in its moth-proof Ziploc body bag. Today, I took it out of the bag for the first time in years to wear as a scarf. It was snug enough to ward off a sharp morning breeze, and what do you know. It makes an irresistible kitty bed too.

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Everything is a Kitty Bed

Hello, dear readers.  How have you been?

I feel like a very bad blogger, sneaking in after a long absence and hoping all’s forgiven. Will a cat picture appease you?

I finished Querido’s sweater, just barely in time for the cold weather. …If you count having four buttons instead of six as done. My vintage button collection needs some building up in the 1″ size range.

Again, cat picture. In the time it took me to thread my needle, Eloise had arranged herself in a perfect kitty-loaf. All the cats are obsessed with this sweater. I’m not sure why: Quince & Co. Yarns are not particularly sheepy. Perhaps after all the time it spent in my bag, it smells like me? Once it smells like Querido the two of us are going to have to hide it from them or he’ll never get to wear it.

Have your pets ever picked a favorite from your crafting projects? Tell me about it while I try to find my blogging mojo!

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