finished object

This lengthy blog pause has been brought to you by…..

….a whole bunch of things – let’s call it a life tsunami..perhaps tsunami is too big, the wrong scale for what’s been happening, but I’ve been really SWAMPED and overwhelmed.the-wave

I’ve been missing y’all though. So even though my darling readers (both of you) really deserve an extensive update, I’ve not got it in me.  Still, going with the idea that something is better than nothing here’s what I can give tonight: BULLETS.

  • My mobility from the end of February to early August was next to nothing – lots of pain & very hard to get around at all. That, coupled with increasing incontinence (I know – TMI!- but hey….), made gardening this season a joke – even with 2 beautiful keyhole gardens. That’s why no gardening speak on de blog. Sorry ’bout that. I hope to talk some about the garden in the next month, including the story of what happens If You Ask an Engineer to Design a Bean Trellis….
  • Modern medicine to the rescue -I got a steroid shot in the right ankle & another pill to take (vastly decreasing the incontinence(!) at the end of July and therefore was able to go on the first One Human Family Workshop Choir Harvest Tour – the first one in 9 years by my count. The ankle is still going pretty good and I no longer have to carry a towel and a spare set of clothes with everywhere I go…..


  • Sang way too many low notes on tour ( I spent a good deal of time singing BASS – can you say ‘stoopid’? – & then talked my face off til 2 and 3 and nearly 4 am most nights…so the voice was TOAST when I got back home.  Then I got summer bronchitis….still coughing up nasty stuff 3 weeks after the course of antibiotics and do not have my high notes back yet…..
  • Celebrated TWENTY YEARS of NOT SMOKING on Labor Day weekend. Thank you God so much.
  • I’m still knitting on my Shaelyn shawl…which I’m thinking I will give to a dear friend instead of it being for me.  I had to tink back about 8 or 9 rows because of some really stoopid mistakes, but all is well and if I really knit on it every day I’ll have the knitting done in 5 to 7 days.
  • I’m most of the way thru the foot of a sock in a retina searingly bright neon sock yarn ( I just realized I have not even put a project page in Ravelry for this yet….aack!) and gonna try out the Fish Lips Kiss Heel on this pair.
  • I’m on a hat kick…again.  I’ve made 8 hats since January – here’s a few:      .. . . …. I’ve got one on the needles right now in lovely squishy Brioche stitch and gonna make AT LEAST 5 more pretty soon.  More & better pictures will happen…at some point. STOP LAUGHING!
  • Number One Son is supposed to move from NYC to Northern Virginia soon.  I hope all goes well.
  • The Duke of Curl was supposed to start college this fall as a computer science major, but decided at the absolute very last minute NOT to take on the $10,000 debt( and not allow us to take it on either) that would’ve been necessary for that to happen.  SO he will start at community college in January and is currently looking for work and generally being a sweet fella to be around.
  • The Force of Nature is focused on going into the Coast Guard after graduation from HS in a couple of years – more specifically the Coast Guard Academy and has been visibly doing HOMEWORK and has started running for actual exercise 3 days a week; she informed me today that she is on the A/B honor roll.  We are beginning to think some kind of alien abduction/ switcheroo kind of thing took place while we were in the bathroom probably…..
  • Studmuffin is still sticking with most of my dietary changes and so has lost about 25 pounds.  He has also discovered a deep and voracious love for grapes. Eating about 5 lbs. per week with little help from the rest of us.  I’m not complaining – just a bit amused.
  • The last 3 weekends I was off doing singing things – that’s an unusually high ratio even for me. I will write about 2 of the weekends for sure and soon.
  • The pets are endlessly amusing and every one of them sheds a bunch.  I am sick and TIRED of hair control….. Still, they continue to be charming. Currently, the are two cats surrounding the keyboard, the younger one keeps tryna lick my fingers and then licks the older cat’s head…..weird.
  • My potential career as a 911 dispatcher was cut short by my inability to type 35 wpm (I got 34 wpm) ::::sigh:::::  Need to find some employment – orthodontics aren’t cheap and neither is college tuition.  Plus, we need a new roof and well, you get the idea.
  • Work on the book is ongoing but slow. I am determined to get a first draft completed by the end of December!!!  Of 2014!!!
  • I’ve been flirting with sewing clothing again.  I’ve bought fabric and patterns at least….very little sewing has occurred.
  • Been practicing the piano most days for a good bit of time ( guess what? If you practice, you get better! who knew?)and have the opportunity to do a couple of house concerts too. We’ll see…….
  • I have been horrified at the killing of unarmed black people by the police for some time – I really became aware of Driving While Black about 20-25 years ago and started learning a lot from there on in. This summer has been truly remarkable (and mostly not in a good way) for the 1) wealth of information about white police officers killing/tasering black people with impunity, 2) the staggering naivete/ignorance/apathy of most white people about how different life is for black people in the US especially when it comes to law enforcement, and yes, I am gonna write about it here too.      albert einstein                                 I’ve been sharing a lot on Facebook about it and some people close to me really do not like it but I cannot be silent about it!  Even on my knitting blog. I encourage absolutely every person on the planet to investigate what is happening for themselves – do not take “the media’s” word, do not take the police’s word, do not take my word for it – learn about it for yourself. The truth will set us all free and then justice can take place and then unity will appear.

So much for brevity.  How’s by you?

Writing for the blog is still writing, yes?

Hello sadly neglected readers! I think of you often. No really, I do! Stop laughing.

So I was on Ravelry ( as I am DAILY ) a few days ago and I decided to take a minute and  count the number of projects I completed in 2012 because I’m masochistic like that. I completed TWELVE. Yes, that is an improvement over 2011 when I think I completed just ten projects, but I think the GINORMOUS afghan I made for the folks counts as three maybe even four projects. Here’s quick recap:

A hat for the Duke of Curl

Fingerless mitts fer Pops STILL no picture

Orange stripey socks for ME!

Big Bugga Twerps for ME!

Baby blanket #1

Baby blanket #2

Lumpy lampshade

Neck Wrap that was supposed to be for me, but the color was much better for sis-in-law

A stuffie for older sis of baby blanket #1

Color Affliction shawl

Knee Warmers for Connie


I do believe I spent more time knitting than I spent on Ravelry looking at knitting….well, I’m pretty sure. I guess I’m pleased with my output – especially since I discovered PINTEREST,  which is a HUGE time suck for me. Fortunately, most of the time I spent on Pinterest was time I would’ve wasted on things like sleeping & housework (mostly sleeping).  Yep, I’m still making really adult decisions like that……

I did not complete ONE-SINGLE-PODCAST in the entire year. And I’m not sure what that means at all.  I sure did try!

Hopefully 2013 will bring many, many more completed projects!  I have four main knitting goals for this year:

  1. To stay true to my yarn diet (the 2 year yarn diet I hope to write about soon)
  2. To learn entrelac
  3. To increase my knitting speed
  4. To complete a whole sweater or cardigan for myself

God willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be having another giveaway & soon.  So, what are your knitting goals for 2013?


P.S. I’ll be on the air tonight as I am most every Thursday from 6:30-8 pm on WJAB for Blues Classics.

P.P.S.  I **won’t** be on the air tonight after all.  We got a few snowflakes and everything here has shut DOWN. :::sigh:::

The LARGEST thing I’ve ever knitted!

Here it is:

It’s the size of a full size bed spread.

Here it is on my clothesline.

I wish I knew how to take super pictures like some other bloggers I know. Oh wellll…. just a couple more pictures:

The last few weeks before I finished it – I took this all over the place with most of it stuffed into an old pillowcase to keep it clean.  Finishing it felt wonderful and now I know I can do pretty much anything knitted; I am no longer daunted by size.  Plus Mom loves it. WIN!


Happy HOT Fourth of July! and lots of photos

Hope it was lovely.  I spent some time showering in cold water (water heater still broken), trying sort out & clean things in the master bedroom, sweating, doing large amounts of laundry, sweating, taking photos of the garden before it goes all crispy, sweating,  taking more crappy phone pictures of a finished project, a work in progress, and some recent stash enhancement, and sweating. Did I mention it is hot?

I’ll save the garden stuff for the next post, and I still have some serious catching up to do (I can hardly WAIT to share my much belated “Mothers’ Day” present pics with you, many yarn crimes have been tagged for sharing and yes Virginia, there IS a podcast), but there is some actual knitting /yarn content here for you.

Just before we get to that, I made a rather eclectic Spotify playlist for today, and if you wanna get all patriotic and stuff, you can find it here:


I’m trying to make this more exciting with the animations. Is it working?

Finished Object

Well, mostly. A few ends to weave in here and there and perhaps some blocking…..

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the right color in the picture.  One ply is a raspberry red and the other ply is bright orange. It’s a yummy combo. Here’s the Ravelry link, and even tho’ it’s really hot, Boris was *still* willing to model it for me:

He’s so purty.

Work In Progress

I have begun the afghan for Mom & Dad and I’m having fun with it.

So much fun to see how each color looks next to the others – I’m neglecting things I really need to get done.  And now the fun stuff!

Stash Enhancements

Lana Grossa Divino –

75% cotton, 25% viscose, RL = approx 120yd/110m/50g

I got this because I’m really curious to see what it looks like knitted up, and to see if my hands can take it. I have a hard time knitting cotton… And it would be such a pretty summer shawlette….

A new book! (this actually came in the mail).

I wanna see if this will be useful in chart reading.

My friend Sarah M. gave me the Knit Picks interchangeables (top) to play with, and I’m not quite sure why I got the bamboo ones (bottom) now…..  It might have been to start on this beautiful thing:

Rav link: ‘Venus’ by Karen Bradley

I’ve been itching to start a shawl, and I do so love the look of this one. After consulting with the yarn enabling salespeople at Yarn Expressions, I decided on this yarn.

Lang – Mille Colori

75% superwash wool, 25% nylon; 400 metres (437 yards.)

It feels so yummy in the skein.  But then I looked around some more and saw these:

The Alpaca Yarn company – PacaPeds

Colorway – Paccachino

65% Superwash Merino, 15% Nylon, 20% Alpaca
about 100 grams
360 yd / 329.2 m

I could make 2 of them, right? Yup, I can.

Then, like a fool, I started looking at the Madelinetosh yarns

I found that the one I’d left behind last time  was still waiting for me:

Tosh Lace in Flashdance!

100% superwash merino wool

950 yards / 868 meters

I couldn’t leave it behind again….I just couldn’t.

I’m not certain what happened to me next – perhaps the fiber fumes made me a little woozy, because I got this one too:

Prairie – another Madeleinetosh laceweight!

100% superwash merino wool

840 yards / 768 meters

The color, which is called “Fathom”, is very different from the picture; it is deeper and more tinged with black.

(Go and see their picture on their website – it’s WAY better than mine)

Yep, I was-

  • in too deep –
  • way over my head –
  • out of my depth –
  • drowning –
  • going overboard –
  • sinking…ok, I’ll stop. 🙂

Alas – once more into the fray…   I mean, I’m already in BIG trouble here, so why not?  Let’s make the spousal displeasure & subsequent scolding REALLY worthwhile……

Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere

“Cranberry Melt”

100% merino superwash wool
400 yds.

NaKniSweMo & an actual finished object

Yup – It started today and I totally forgot about it. National Knit A Sweater Month began and I didn’t even think about it. Of course SARAH did, ‘cos she’s awesome.

This is not my garage nor my picture...but it is very much like my garage!ht

I haven’t even unearthed last year’s attempt from the junk heap that is my garage. Our garage has never been this messy before, but then again we’ve never re-done a room before (have I mentioned that we’ve been doing the Duke of Curl’s room….since AUGUST?!).  I cannot say that we have started this endeavor auspiciously…perhaps we will improve. It’s so bad out there in the garage/storage/ fabric & yarn stash that:

1) to complete the Force of Nature’s Halloween costume via sewing machine I had to put up a table in the living room and import said machine from out there,


2) I, who have a rather obnoxiously large stash of fingering weight yarn, have been buying black fingering weight yarn to make some family Christmas gifts because I’m a little afraid to rummage in the pile o’ stuff at the moment.

This coming weekend, if it does not rain, we must attack the garage…or rather, set it to rights (not do it physical harm). I say this with no small amount of trepidation, because there is a rather good chance that Studmuffin will have a much better appreciation for the size of the yarn stash and how it has grown. He’s off in California for the week, and he did take with him his practice swatch to work on at night. Hopefully, all will go really well with his knitting and he’ll not be threatened by the stash but maybe even EMBRACE its luxuriant abundance……

I do have a finished object to share with you, but it is very late and I’ve already put it on Ravelry AND another blog, so I’ll have you click on over there. Click on ze picture below to see the mittens.

embroidered mittens for a little girl

An actual FO!

It may be a cliche by now, but what a cliche! My first Noro Striped Scarf.

Originally uploaded by helenkosings

Originally uploaded by helenkosings

Originally uploaded by helenkosings

I knit it once, frogged it and knit it a second time because I wanted the texture to be more even. I was working on it some this weekend at the One Human Family 10th anniversary reunion and many of the Canadians had to come over and fondle it. I used a sewn bind off on this (I’ve never done that before) and I am delighted. I will be sending this to a swap partner, but I will be buying more Noro ASAP to make another one. The color changes are simply fascinating!!! My favorite kind of project – not huge effort for a BIG payoff. I cannot recommend it highly enough. 

I’m also really pleased the pictures came out as well as they did : my camera phone to the rescue!