Ring Around the Clappy

The Hemlock Ring Blanket is done. I just need to block and that blocking will require a purchase of lace wires from KnitPicks.  


I blocked it with some pins to show the pattern and make myself feel good that I did it right.

This is the only project I have started and finished in 2019.  I’m working on finishing up others that I started before I laid down my needles four years ago – what I thought was forever.  

This is my first pure continental knit.  Since it was circular it was rather easy and I never had to purl.  Well that changed with my next project, named Clapotis #2 and I quickly learned that purling via continental didn’t suit me. I ended up in agony and it didn’t feel fluid. I’m sure if I had been more patient I could have struggled through, but why?

So I’m doing the hybrid approach. Continental on the right side and English on the wrong. Who says that you have to choose just one style?

5 Yarn Over Drops

It is very difficult to knit with the yarn, it is slippery. I’m still using metal needles despite this because while yarn sticks to wood it also makes it harder for the yarn to move from one needle to the other.

I also stopped using all the stitch markers but two; one to start the continuous repeat of 6 stitches and the other to end it. I chant:

One, two, three, four, five, six…

So I always know where I am. kbl, knit, kbl, (one, two, three) followed by knit, knit, knit (four, five, six). I can go faster without moving a marker every 6 stitches and as long as I stop at 6 every time I will never lose my place.

At the writing of this post I am on the 12th row of the 6th repeat. Just 7 repeats to go on the straight rows before I start the decrease section. I had planned my yarn perfectly, but having started this project so many years ago I don’t recall the math. I hope the pattern as written with the yarn at hand will suffice. It is gorgeous. It will be mine.

Hemlock Ring Disaster – Kinda

Fall Hemlock Ring Baby Blanket

So I have already made my first mistake. By mistake I mean I should have added the lifeline I thought to after the initial stockinette rows before the feather and fan pattern started.

How did I get confused? Because I did this at night after my brain had already shut down from work. I read the pattern incorrectly. Where it identified the stitches per repeat I saw row #’s. So instead of going with my gut and following the line #s on the grid I went with tired brain.

Those are NOT row #’s brain.

So now I must unravel a few rounds of knitting. After adding a lifeline. To accomplish this I used a lighter colored skein of yarn for this project and a tapestry needle. I may have take a three year hiatus but you don’t forget how to read knitting. That is the easy part.

No, the hard part is picking this stitches back up from the lifeline to continue knitting. I’m leaving this lifeline in too, until I add the next. Not going to skip it this time.

So now I’m a few rows behind but the pattern is easy to memorize so I anticipate that I’ll be back where I was within the hour. We’ll call this my humbling moment.

Do you have a time when you were perhaps a bit too cocky and realized you messed up and had to go back and eat some humble pie? Tell us about it in the comments.

Fall Hemlock Ring Baby Blanket

Fall Hemlock Ring Baby Blanket

Hello. Long time no see.

I stopped knitting over three years ago because I physically could not do it anymore. A car accident left me unable to hold the needles without instant numbness followed by pain. At the time I attempted continental knitting; however my muscle memory was too long and recent to adapt easily.

So I put my needles down. I tried to crochet a bit but it was never my passion. I have always been fond of the fabric appearance of knitting. So instead of knitting I went back to gaming. If you’re interested in that you can check out my other blog https://purlshq.blog or watch the team in action at https://youtube.com/purlshq. Or don’t 🙂

A coworker announced she was pregnant and that she is due mid 2019. It made me want to pick up my needles again. So I did. I selected a pattern I’ve done before and not overly intricate but covered most of the common stitches. This time around continental knitting was much easier. It is second nature to me now. All I needed was time.

Just started feather and fan section.

I selected yarn I had in stock and the yellow center is because it is her favorite color and I only had a partial skein. It went further as the center. Hopefully the colors and presentation of them will be appealing. I already regret using brown after yellow; however I organized what color based on quantity for the most part. I know I’ll need more as I get to the outer ring.

Have any of you taken a hiatus from knitting – or another hobby? What is your story?

How to Knit Ten Stitch Zigzag Blanket

How to Knit Frankie Brown’s Ten Stitch Zigzag Blanket

Couch AfghanTable of Contents (Top links will bring you here)
The Basics
How the Zigs and Zags are Made
Strip One
Zig Instructions – Strip One
Zag Instructions – Strip One
Ending Strip One
Strip Two
Zig Instructions – Strip Two
Zag Instructions – Strip Two
Ending Strip Two
Strips Three and On

I originally started a tutorial for this blanket on September 21, 2013.  Someone commented on a previous post on this blanket with questions on how to knit it.  Now you don’t know me well enough to know that I love posting tutorials for things.  They are fun but time consuming.  I never managed to find the time to finish after the first part.

Thanks to Ravelry, I get many views on this incomplete post and others commenting for more.  This post is for you.

I put my existing Ten Stitch Zigzag blanket on a stitch holder, stole the needle, and pulled out a white skein of yarn reserved for the blanket.

First things first, go check out the pattern, Ten Stitch Zigzag by Frankie Brown.  If you like this pattern-stitch style, check out the other Ten Stitch Patterns using this method.  I am not paid nor affiliated in any way with this pattern or author, other than knitting the patterns. This page is not an advertisement, though the pattern is free.  I’m here just to provide some help to others who have struggled as I did to learn the intricacies of this pattern and others like it.

Once you get it, it is fun and easy mindless knitting.  Here are a few important things to know before you start.  These are rules never broken.

  1. Zigs increase at the start of the row on the right-side of the work.
  2. Zags decrease at the start of the row on the right-side of the work.



Start with ten stitches.  Use any cast-on method you prefer.  This is the only cast-on you can choose the entire blanket.  I use Long-Tail Cast-On personally for most my knits.  I always leave long tails for all starts and joins.

  • Long-Tail Cast-on (VeryPink Knits – YouTube Video) – I’ve added this one because it shows this cast-on in a different way.


The Basics

You will be knitting the same thing over and over again.  It is the order in which you knit that makes the zig and zag.  Here are the stitches you need to learn.  Don’t worry they will be linked throughout as well.


Strip One

How the Zigs and Zags are Made

You will always knit two rows back-to-back as you switch from a zig to a zag and back to a zig.  This causes the pattern to switch the side of the work (left and right) that increases and decreases.


Zig Increase

You will increase with the first stitch, knit to the last two stitches, and then decrease those two into one.  This causes the right side of the right-side to zig or look like the right side of a V.  You will also always end up with ten stitches.

Regarding the increase stitch, KFB is recommended by the pattern writer and I agree. It is simple and effective for the beginning of a row.  If you have another favorite that you like, I don’t see why you cannot.  A YO increase will cause holes but if that is the look you’re going for then by all means, but the holes will change sides.

On the wrong side you will knit.

Strip One Zig Row One: KFB, K7, K2Tog
Strip One Zig Row Two: Knit

Repeat until you have completed Row One a total of ten times.  Your marker should be on the tenth ridge on the right-side of the work.
Couch Afghan

Zag Decrease

This is what makes the pattern so interesting and yet so easy to memorize.  You will knit the Zig rows as you did for the Zag rows, except you will invert them. Knit on the right-side of the work instead of on the wrong-side. On the wrong-side of the work you will increase with the first stitch, knit to the last two stitches, and then decrease those two into one. This causes the right side of the right-side to zag or look like the left side of a V. You will also always end up with ten stitches as before.

Strip One Zag Row One: Knit
Strip One Zag Row Two: KFB, K7, K2Tog

Repeat until you have completed Row One a total of ten times.  Your markers should be on the tenth ridge on the right-side of the work. Couch Afghan

Ending Strip One

The key to ending Strip One and starting Strip Two is NINE.

The images below will show you how your bind-off row should look.  You will only do NINE repeats of the pattern.  Choose a zig or a zag, up to you.  I’m binding-off at a zag.

Couch Afghan


Row Ten: Knit

Again, it doesn’t matter if this is a row you’re supposed to increase or decrease on, you will knit it.  You should be on the Right Side of the work.

On the Wrong Side of the work, you will bind-off NINE stitches.  Use any method you like.  Keep binding-off until you have one stitch left.

Situate your work so it looks like the picture below.
Couch Afghan

Next we will need to cast-on NINE stitches.  Use any method you prefer, where long-tail is out.  If you like the long-tail cast-on as me, you might appreciate the backwards loop cast-on.  I always use this when casting-on like this.

Couch Afghan


Flip the work so it is Right Side up.  Your needle is at the bottom right of the work and the strip you just completed is to your left.

Strip Two and On

Each strip after the first will be completed in this method.  In fact the rows you learned on the first strip don’t change here either.  The only difference is now you’ll knit into the strip you’ve already completed.  Fun stuff, really.

Zig Increase

Strip Two Zig Row One: KFB, K8, slip st, pickup and K1, PSSO


If you’re new to knitting, these instructions can be confusing.  Looking them all up can be time-consuming.  Usually a knitter learns these methods as they go; however even if you’re a beginner I guarantee you’ll be knitting this blanket like a pro by then end of this post.

Since you already learned KFB and the knit stitch we’ll skip those and move right on to “slip stitch”. A slip stitch is just that, a stitch you slip off the needle as to knit or purl, but you don’t knit or purl it.  The video explains how to slip as to knit and as to purl.

For this pattern, you will slip as to knit.

The next stitch is “pickup one and knit”.  This is part of the binder stitches that attaches the strip you’re currently working on to the strip you completed before. In simple terms, you are going to insert your needle into the bump of the last strip you knit.  Then you wrap your yarn around the needle and pull it through the bump.  Instant new stitch.

On a side note, there is a HUGE difference between picking up a stitch and picking up a stitch and knitting a stitch.  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka Yarn Harlot talks about this on her blog with Pick-up Lines.

The video below will show you the technique of picking up and knitting one stitch.  Before you watch the video and try this out on your blanket I want you to see the stitch I personally pickup and knit from.  I’ve used my stitch marker and various views to give you an idea.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter where you pickup and knit so long as you’re consistent throughout the entire blanket.  Couch AfghanCouch AfghanCouch Afghan


The next stitch, and the last part of the binding stitch, is PSSO.  This stands for, pass slipped stitch over.  In layman’s terms, you are going to insert your left-hand needle into the stitch you slipped from left to right.  You will then lift this stitch up and over the one you just picked up and knitted.  It is somewhat like binding-off.

You will have ELEVEN stitches on your needle after completing Row One.

Strip Two Zig Row Two: P2Tog, K9

Now you flip your work over, purl 2 together (the last knit stitch and the one you picked up and knitted), and knit to the end.

You will have TEN stitches on your needle after completing Row Two.

Knit Row One and Row Two ten times until you get to your marker on the previous strip or have counted ten ridges.


Zag Decrease

Row One of a Zag is simliar to Row One of a Zig, except you will not increase or decrease at all on this row.

Strip Two Zag Row One: K9, slip st, pickup and K1, PSSO

You will have TEN stitches on your needle after completing Row One

Strip Two Zag Row Two: P1, KFB, K6, K2Tog

You will have TEN stitches on your needle after completing Row Two

Repeat Row One and Row Two until you have ten ridges or have reached your next marker.

Repeat the instructions for Row Two Zig and Zag until you have reached the last zig or zag of the strip.

The pictures below are of the sample I knit for this tutorial.  Your strips should look similar.  The first is a view of the Right Side and the last is a view of the Wrong Side.

Couch AfghanCouch Afghan Top

Ending Strip Two

The key to ending Strip Two and starting Strip Three is NINE.  This will apply to the end of every strip.

You will only do NINE repeats of the pattern.  Choose a zig or a zag, up to you.  I’m binding-off at a zag.

Row Ten: K9, pickup and K1, PSSO

Again, it doesn’t matter if this is a row you’re supposed to increase or decrease on, you will knit it.  You should be on the Right Side of the work.

On the Wrong Side of the work, you will bind-off NINE stitches.  I recommend purling the first stitch, as in patterning, and knitting all others as you bind-off.  Use any method you like.  Keep binding-off until you have one stitch left.

Next we will need to cast-on NINE stitches.  Use any method you prefer, for continuity you should use the same cast-on as you did at the end of Strip Two.

Repeat Strip Two for ALL Strips

When you have made your blanket as big as you wish, cast-off all TEN stitches instead of just NINE.

Wash and block.

Knit or crochet a border if you like.


Family Planning

I had my tubes tied on Thursday.  The official name is tubal ligation.  I’ve actually seen it done, live in person.  I was sixteen.  I volunteered at in post-op at a same-day surgery center at a local hospital.  They allowed me to sit in the OR and watch whatever I wanted.  I saw many common procedures and some not so common.

I was sure that I would be a surgeon when I grew up.  Blood doesn’t bother me and I’m fascinated by the human body.  I still do wish it were my profession but I have no regrets.  I love my life and career and wouldn’t go back and change it even if you swore that time machine you were working on actually worked.

Nope, I’m extremely happy with my life and the fact that all my decisions good and bad lead me to this point.

I’ve wanted  be permanently sterilized before I gave birth to my son.  Him I do not regret, but I knew then that he was all I would ever want.  I felt cheated out of the entire birth experience as I was pushed into a c-section.  He was too big they said.  I’d have to have an emergency c-section when he was stuck they said.  Even my husband at the time agreed it was best as his first child had complications at birth.

I have the perfect pelvis for pushing out babies and I was really looking forward to the natural birth experience I had planned.  The only reason I agreed to not sterilize myself immediately was due to the fact that I wanted to experience birth.  Pain I can handle; other women have without issue since the first baby was born.

Children are an amazing blessing, but we have both been there and done that.  My son just turned nine and his just turned eighteen.  He also has a non-adopted daughter he raised with an ex for many years.  She is his daughter in every way even though they share no blood and he has no legal obligations towards her.

We love our life without children.  Don’t get me wrong, children are great!  If we had managed to slip up on birth control and I became pregnant we would have been overjoyed.  The issue is I don’t do well on BC and I also tend to be horrible with pills.  This means a lot of abstinence when I miss a pill.

I’m a married woman and sex is supposed to be an amazing gift between husband and wife.  It is hard to have spontaneity and enjoy when you’re constantly worried about being pregnant.  It was the one thing we agreed on before we wed, no children in our future.   We like getting up late on the weekends and not having to be responsible for feeding and clothing another person.

He could have just gotten a little snip-snip but he is overweight and his doctor told him during the consultation that it would be a tough recovery as a result of it.  So we skipped that.  I reviewed my other options.  Implants are a big thing but they are made to be removable and are not permanent.

There is also the Essure product my OB recommended, but after reading the pamphlet I knew it wasn’t for me.  I couldn’t repeat the pain and discomfort when they took a biopsy of my cervix less than a year ago.  Sure the recovery would be better but I knew that I would be nervous and unable to relax.  Plus it can take almost a year before you’re sterilized and you still need to take BC until you get confirmation from your OB that you’re good.

So I opted for the good old tubal ligation.  I knew what it entailed from my visits to the OR as a teenager to see the procedure and therefore I wasn’t scared or nervous.  The OB tried to talk me out of it as it would leave a scar and have a longer recovery time.  I didn’t care, I’ve had a c-section and survived so this would be a breeze.  Plus once I’m healed everything is good to go!

For those thinking about having the procedure, let me tell you about the recovery.  I slept on my back the first night an crawled into bed freezing.  I couldn’t get back out of bed to get a blanket because the pain was bad enough to prevent it.  I had to wait for DH to get done with the bathroom and by then I wasn’t cold anymore but he brought me a blanket anyway.  I woke up in the same position I had fallen asleep in. Getting up was okay.

Walking around the second day wasn’t easy, the same as the day of.  Since I had my procedure first thing in the morning on Thursday; waking up on Friday was 24 hours later.  I had to hold my tummy as I walked around as jiggles didn’t feel good.  I’ve lost fifty pounds in the past year, but I still don’t have the flat tummy and I’m not concerned if I never do.

Sitting down and getting up required assistance.  Not because of pain but because I didn’t want to use my abs and cause pain.  So I used my legs and braced myself with my hands on a surface.

Going to bed the second night was pleasant.  I could roll over on my side and sleep on my tummy.  I like to fall asleep on my tummy and sleep on my back.  I usually end up how you’re supposed to sleep; flat on my back with no pillow.  I just cannot fall asleep without Mrs. Pillow.

Waking up today was easy and I slipped right out of bed.  I had to be careful but it was totally easy.  I’ve been able to walk around and managed to do some laundry.  I refuse to pick anything up of the floor or lift anything heavier than my 34 oz Bubba cup filled with coffee goodness.  I also didn’t take any of the Tylenol with Codeine that was popping like candy the first two days.  Good thing too because it makes me feel sick without food and I haven’t had much of an appetite.

I spent the entire first two days organizing my file and pictures.  I merged everything into Google Drive and backed that up with OneDrive.  Most of my blogging pictures are on Flickr already but I setup an automatic uploader on my phone so Flickr gets everything once my phone is charging and connected to WiFi.

I organized my Flickr with appropriate file names and descriptions and made sure all pictures of people were flagged as private.  I don’t share my image online or those of my family unless it is specifically chosen and done with purpose.  I’m a private person, even my Facebook has just 52 friends and no public access.

I also signed up for Offce 365 as this increased my OneDrive to 1TB and gives me MS Office on my laptop, computer, tablet, and phone.  DH can also have it on his desktop, laptop, and phone.  We’re set.  I’m just waiting on my Windows 10 to be ready to install.  I have been on the reservation list for months.  He registers and the next day is able to download.  I’m quite upset over his luck.

I haven’t ceased knitting and I’m working on updating my Zigzag blanket tutorial which has much demand.  Here’s a picture just to get you excited if you’re waiting on me to finish.


TKGA MHKP Swatch One – Attempt One (Failed)

I have been a member of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) since January 15, 2015.  Almost seven months later and I have yet to start.

I mean I’ve started but each was frogged.  I’ve had the worst time figuring out how to increase by five stitches evenly after a k2p2 rib.  Something so simple has thrown me for a loop (pun intended) for at least five attempts.

Today is going to be the last.  I’m going to post my journey in this post and those who already follow me on Twitter @CrazyPurls with live updates #TKGAMHK.

I’ve previously mastered the long-tail cast on method, however my friend Polly who writes Knit Me For a Loop has told me she thought she knew too but perhaps wasn’t doing it the way TKGA would want.  So I’ll post links here in case they help someone else on the journey.  As usual, I’ll update my How to Knit page too.

Fair warning, the data below is live knitting data and therefore I cannot know for certain if my tips and tricks had their intended effects.  I might come back and update this post after I submit to TKGA but don’t count on that.

Speaking of that, here is the reference for my long tail cast-on method.  Long-Tail Cast-on (Howcast – Video).

Long Tail Cast On

Long Tail Cast On

For the ribbing I recommend K2P2 (Tricksy Knitter – Blog) to learn the stitch.

My biggest issue on this stitch is keeping a nice even tension on the edges.  What I do is knit the first stitch (in pattern) and then insert my needle to pull a loop through as to knit again; however you do not let the parent stitch fall off as normal.  First you pull your working yarn taunt.  Not too tight, a quick light tug will do.  Let the parent stitch fall off and then bring your yarn towards you for the p2.

K2P2 Rib

K2P2 Ribbing

Now time for the decreases.  For this I just Googled my question.  I’m not the first person to have attempted this and I’m certain that someone else will have solved this problem.  You see I’m on the gray line between perfectionism and OCD.  So it must be even.  How to add five stitches evenly to RIBBING is not a problem I’ve encountered previously.

I started at Stockinette Increase (TECHknitting – Blog). While that was a good demonstration it wasn’t what I needed.  Increasing in Ribbing (Knit Witch – Blog) had just the thing, even though it refers to 3×3 instead of 2×2.  I think the same theories should apply and therefore I’m going for her method.

I’m still driving myself crazy with the whole “increase evenly” thing.  Go from 20 to 25 stitches evenly in the same row.  I never end up with 25 is the problem.  I mapped this out and it seems like a good choice.  It compliments my perfectionism without being perfect.  I can live with that.

I started with this, just instructions for the row without increases.  (warning I did something wrong here; will update in new post)

k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2 (20 sts)

Then I added two lines | to signify an increase.

k2, p2, | k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2,| k2, p2 (22 sts)

I’m left with needing three more lines.  I decided to put one in the very center.

k2, p2, | k2, p2, k2, | p2, k2, p2,| k2, p2 (23 sts)

That pleased me with symmetry so I figured I’d break up the sections just outside the center in half.  I’m thinking this will work.

k2, p2, | k2, p|2, k2, | p2, k|2, p2,| k2, p2 (25 sts)

If I were to add m1 to each line above, then we’d have the following as instructions.

k2, p2, m1,  k2, p1, m1, p1, k2, m1 p2, k1, m1, k1, p2, m1 k2, p2 (25 sts)

I’m worried on how it will look so I’ve modified the stitches so that they match the stitch they are with.  So I’ve written down the instructions as I knit for accuracy.  Hopefully it helps someone else who is struggling the same as me.

The m1 I’m doing can be found in detail on Stockinette Increase (TECHknitting – Blog).  I won’t borrow someone else’s images, so you must review this post to understand anything I say below. For ALL increases, insert the head of the right needle into the red stitch and put the red stitch onto the needle exactly as shown in TECHknitting’s blog post.



pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch



pull up and purl into the back loop of red stitch,



pull up and purl into the back loop of red stitch



pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch (I’m sure this is where I messed up.  I will try the backloop next time)



pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch



Count up and make sure you have 25 stitches before you move on!  Here is what I ended up with.

K2 P2 Increase Row

K2 P2 Increase Row

Now on to work in garter stitch for some time, that should be easy.  This just means I get to knit each row until I have the prescribed length.  For help with garter stitch, see Garter Stitch (Dummies.com – Website) or Garter Stitch (New Stitch a Day – YouTube Video).

I couldn’t resist taking pictures in progress.  I think the increases I did will work but I had to knit a few rows before I felt more confident in that.  Thoughts?

RS Garter after Increases

RS Garter after Increases

LS Garter after Increase

LS Garter after Increase

I won’t know for sure until I block.  Now just to knit in garter for a bit to get the below.

TKGA Swatch 1 before Bind Off

TKGA Swatch 1 before Bind Off

I will have to reknit this and update this post with the proper increases.  It was definitely one I had wrong and I’ll need to review my notes in this post and correspond with the loose stitch.  since this is for grading, it has to be perfect.  I’d ignore such an error in a sweater.

Mistake in Increase

Mistake in Increase

There is always next time!

Sick Take 2 & Project Organization

The flu wiped out my department at work for a week just a month ago.  This week some head cold replaced it and it has taken us down one by one.  I went home at noon on Friday.  It was month-end and I had an AM conference call so I put in an appearance, having worked the two days before just as miserably.  My nose hurt from all the blowing and it was really hard to concentrate.

Having extra time on my hands for the first time in months, I started “Project Organization”.  This projected involved (notice the past tense) redoing our fail filing system so I can not only find what I need but get the paper clutter under control. I had piles strewn throughout the house.  I also wanted to start a home and budget binder.

I went to Office Depot and bought lots of goodies.  I should never be left unattended at a yarn or office supply store.  I tried to stall when DH asked me later how much I spent.  Let me say that every dime was worth it.  I made our files easy to move, since we will buy a house this year (if I state it as a fact it must come true).  So I bough multicolored hanging folders, binders, a labeler, paper, and other misc items for the chores ahead.

Our files are now in two file boxes, divided into color zones.  I will go into details of that in a later post.  I have a few sources I’ll share then to help anyone looking for a simular system.  I didn’t follow just one program and kinda made up my own with inspiration from others.  I also put together my buget binder and a household binder.  I have already advised DH that I’m tracking our finances and he has agreed to provide me the receipts I need.

You see, we have a joint checking and savings account we both contribute to, but we also have personal checking accounts that we use however we please.  This means no fights over the same pool of money.  It works for us and everything is paid upon receipt or is auto-paid out of the joint accounts.  We contribute almost equally and share any surplus.  We are a team, but lately we have been extravagant and I want to protect our nest egg before we do it any more harm.  It will after all fund our new house and renovations.

So a budget we will have!  I had to swallow my perfection and skip over January completely.   I started with February.  I plan on going back to January before the year is over if I find the time.  I will share my binders and the printanles I used and created for each.  As I go I will make modifications and plan on sharing perfected documents instead untested drafts.  I found that many existing printables don’t work well for our house and I had to make those used for my budget needs.

I also started on my TKGA Master Hand Knitting Level 1 project.  I read the directions for the second time and took notes, because I have to make a binder for that too.  I sketched out the sections and printables I will have to make for that.  By next week I hope to have started Swatch #1 research and attempt a cast-on for it.

The first few swatches are really easy, but I want to do this right.  I was telling Polwygle at Knit Me For a Loop what I hope to get from this endeavor and I am now sharing that with you.  Obviously being one of the few to achieve the pin is an honor it itself, but I also have long-term goals for my future in knitting.  I want to design patterns and teach classes.  The TKGA program will do this by teaching me the basics in the way I learn best (self-teaching) by giving me a structured learning plan to complete at my pace.  There are no quizzes or tests, just swatches and projects that require research and detailed reports.  If what I submit passes, I move on.  Otherwise I correct my mistakes, lessons learned, and try again.  It will be a journey, but I’m lookong forward to it.

What are your knitting goals this year?

I’m a Grandma

Last weekend was interesting to say the least.

We got up really early on Saturday to take Bubba to the vet.  He had a 9:30am appointment but they asked us to come in at nine.  I have to say that Simmons Veterinary Hospital is the best place for dogs, ever.  Here is a list of reasons, compiled during our initial visit and then the tour.

  1. We are five minutes away.  Any traffic conditions.
  2. They greeted us like old friends.
  3. Bubba was excited to be there.
  4. They are clean and sterile like a human hospital.
  5. They are open 24/7 for emergencies.
  6. They have daycare.
  7. They have boarding.
  8. They have five parks for the dogs, several with water!  Ponds and lagoons.
  9. They bathe and make your pet smell good after a day of romping.
  10. They took an amazing photo of him for his file.  They printed a copy for us.
  11. They printed a plastic card with his name and immunizations for us to keep.
  12. They trusted us to come back to pay for his annual visit.

So the story is quick, my list covered most of the important things.  There are a few tests pending but Bubba is healthy and happy.  We have decided we will put him in daycare twice a month.  During the weekend so we can run errands without guilt.  He is kenneled during the day while we’re at work.  We feed our snakes every two weeks and so on those weeks Bubba will not have to stay in his kennel as we feed them and clean everyone else’s tanks outs.  


Bubba and the picture the vet took. Love this!

The lady at the vet who was checking us out was backlogged on something and couldn’t fully check us out.  We had expressed interest in a tour, but the dog wasn’t welcome as it wouldn’t be easy to navigate him around.  So we took Bubba home and paid for his visit when we returned a few minutes later.  We passed through the medical portion and past the surgery suite.  There were isolated kennels for dogs with contagious infections.  A post op area.  Then we crossed through another room and past the next door were the kennels.  I believe there were 100 in all.  These were very nice, inside and air conditioned.  One even had a television!  They have three walls and a fancy gate.  No fighting between the bars, just seeing the neighbor across the way.

They named the hallways for streets and each room has it’s own name.  It is a neighborhood of kennels.  We arrived during feeding time and it was very orderly.  Each kennel is labeled for the dog and has the appropriate medicines and documentation outside of each in a mailbox.  Dogs do not wear personal collars and each is assigned a color-coded collar with their data printed onto it.  Waterproof, like those bracelets you get at parties and events.  We went through another door and into another kennel section, it was just like you’d expect at the pound.  Past that we came outdoors and toured the five parks they use to exercise the dogs.  We were impressed with the way they clean everything and sterilize those that can be.  From kennels to the turf they have in the parks.  Happy dogs everywhere.

Tour over we made our way home and relaxed for a few.  I wandered into the kitchen and saw something that didn’t register at first.  Morticia was in her stump hidey and I saw white lumps all over!  She had laid some eggs!  I was shocked but not really surprised.  We knew this male and female had lived together at their previous home and that is why we took them home.  We had prepared ourselves mentally for the eventuality of a clutch.  Immediately DH called Wild Cargo Pets and spoke to the owner.  DH had seen an incubator there weeks ago and it was still there.  We put Bubba up and drove over.

We had already planned on traveling to the store that day, because our large retail boa Odin was going to them to find a home.  He was just too big for us and a pain to take out of his tank to feed.  Not aggressive, Odin was a sweet giant.  Heavy and active.  We ended up leave Odin home and thankfully so.  We arrived to find a kind gentleman, we’ll call him Frank.  He had had a snake wrapped around his arm that he’d brought from home with his four small kids, one in a stroller.  The snake wasn’t eating and he wanted to talk to the store’s owner about possible solutions.  DH mentioned Odin and Frank expressed interest and wanted to know for how much. DH wasn’t looking to make anything and wanted the new owner to be someone who’d take care of his needs.  So it was a free exchange.

DH collected Frank’s information while I shopped.  We needed new substrate for the balls because we are moving them into Odin’s bigger tank.  I also needed sand for the beardies because it is easier to clean their lunch out of it and they like it too.  We are going to set up the balls old tank for the beardies, because we have the sides covered with shelf paper for privacy and glare reduction.  Then we’ll clean the beardie’s tank and wrap it in shelf paper and set it up for the uromastyx.  This way all creatures will have three walls and less glare from all the lights and other exhibits.  We plan on using Onyxia’s smaller tank (we moved her into Loki’s tank with newly found Nefarian when we found Loki a new home last week) for feeding the ball pythons so I still need to sterilize that.  The one tank we’ll have leftover will be just that.  In case we need to isolate someone for sickness and also for the new beardies!  How awesome to have this leftover tank just when we needed it most.  So I’ll start setting that up so it is ready in time.

We had to make a trip to Home Depot to  buy vermiculite.  It is a lightweight substance used in gardening and apparently is the best medium for egg hatching.  We finally made it home with rats and crickets in tow because it was feeding time for our zoo.  I released the crickets and fed them.  DH fed the balls and I set up the incubator.  I got the eggs in the incubator and setup a secondary thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the Tupperware.  It was advised that we put the eggs on the medium in a Tupperware inside the incubator.  We have finally got it set to a good temperature.  The incubator is at 89 degrees and the Tupperware is at 83 degrees.  Bearded dragon eggs need 80-85 degrees to hatch.  The hotter the sooner they hatch, the cooler the later.  The temperature also determines sex.  Which I find incredibly cool!!  I’m trying to stay in the average so it could go either way.


This is only the first clutch.  We got 14 eggs and so far all of them look good.  She could lay one to two more clutches.  The later ones may not be fertile, apparently she will have stored the sperm needed for this already and will lay her clutches regardless if they are fertilized or not.  The eggs will be yellow if unfertilized and white if they are.  All 14 are white, so I’m hopeful.  I have to baste the medium under the eggs a few times a day to keep the humidity around 50%.  We probably don’t need the incubator because South Florida weather is perfectly suited for this.  Not taking any chances on my first clutch!

A few hours later after all of this excitement, DH went to Frank’s house to drop off Odin.  He picked me up on the way home to check out a reptile store a few miles south of us that we’d never been to.  Turns out I had a few years ago but long forgot about it.  We were obsessed with their grapevine selection and snagged a piece that cost $50.  Expensive for a piece of decorative wood but the picture does this justice.  It is a rare find of it’s kind.  The rest of the decor was cool and they even had venomous snakes!  Definitely a store to visit a lot in the future.  DH made an order for a special hidey for the balls and we stopped for dinner and went home.


Bubba checking it out.

Sunday DH let me sleep until noon.  It was really bad because I had lost an entire day on Saturday and still needed to finish laundry.  The house needed cleaning too but that is something that can be done during the week.  We need clean clothes, a clean house can wait.  I fed the lizards and made him breakfast.  Took Bubba outside and got dressed.  We hung out for a few hours until the late afternoon and I was hungry.  So we decided to go to Taco Bell, but he needed to pump gas first.  When he came back to the car, I’d had a thought that the place down the street that sold garden stuff might have shale rock like the kind decorating the gas station for the bearded dragons.  So we drove there and lo and behold they had WOOD.  I wish I’d taken a picture of the crate of wood they had but my phone was charging at home completely dead.  The pictures of what we bought should suffice.  We spent a little more than we paid for that one piece we bought the night before.

I can only imagine that everyone at the store thought we were crazy.  I mean we were excited as though we’d just discovered a lost civilization.  When they told us the wood was $2.75 a pound we took weight into consideration as it was relative to the piece’s size.  We bought 25 pounds of wood and walked away like we’d robbed a bank.  If we were to buy that at the pet store it’d cost well over $300 or more.  They sell this stuff for premium prices and we got one large piece for six dollars because it was light!  Easily would have paid thirty or more in store.


Doesn't look exciting, but I can't wait to put it together.

So we finally drove to get our foods and went home to unload our treasure find and eat noms.  The rest of the evening was just us playing World of Warcraft and me folding clothes.  We had a guild LFR run tonight to help gear up a few guildies and alts.  It was fun, lasted a few hours.  I’m now sitting here talking to you.  I always like to write my posts out while the weekend is fresh in my mind and upload it later after I’ve had a chance to add pictures.  This way I can tell the whole story without being distracted by uploads and picture edits.  A less stressful way to blog.

Lolita Dreams

Lolita is the color of yarn. Sweet Dreams is the pattern.

Just a few picture updates. I haven’t knit on this in a few weeks. I should be able to work on it sometime this week off and on.

Clickity Clack Woof Ruff

Polly over at Knit Me For a Loop has challenged me to be her partner on a very exciting venture.  We are going to participate in TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program©.

This is something I’ve wanted to achieve for over a year and never prioritized.  I’ve already acquired the instructions and started reviewing to ensure I understand the entire course.  We’ll start sometime in the next month or so after we’ve had the time to physically and mentally prepare.

We will have to knit 17 swatches of various stitches and one project.  I’m under the impression that Knit Picks® Bare yarn line is acceptable to use for this program.  It appears I can knit the mittens in color so I plan on using colors I’d wear for the project piece.  I haven’t decided and won’t finalize my choices until I review the yarn guidelines of course.

I’m embarrassed to say that I still don’t have updated pictures of the shawl in progress just yet, but hopefully later this week I’ll take a few and post again next weekend.

I do have a bit of news.  My mom needed to find a home for her Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, Bubba.  She pulled this dog from the mother and I nursed him back to health after a big parvo scare.  We lost one puppy in the litter to the disease and saved two.  The remaining pups had already been sold.  He has always been my big puppy.  For record purposes, he was born March 25, 2011.

NBK's BOCEPHUS "Bubba" (FG's Adonis x FG's Raven)

Bubba (Front) & Indie (Back) = Brother and Sister + Best Friends picture taken April 7, 2011

NBK’s BOCEPHUS “Bubba” (FG’s Adonis x FG’s Raven)
NBK’s INDIGO “Indie” (FG’s Adonis x FG’s Raven)

Saturday morning, my mother drove up with Bubba and goodies in tow.  We’d planned on taking him last weekend but things didn’t work out as planned.  A few hundred dollars later to buy all the food and collars and other items we needed to prepare our house for him and he is happily settled.

Bubba on May 7, 2013

Bubba on May 7, 2013

We still have to schedule a vet visit for him to be checked out.  Thankfully we have one around the corner so traveling is easy.  I’ve also been advised that he gets his annual shots in January, so that is something we need to do for sure.  He has also been on heartworm medication for a year in addition to flea/tick drops monthly.  He has been extremely well taken care of provided for and so we’re very thankful to not only have a loveable and well trained dog but a healthy one.

He has taken to our various lizards and snakes.  He sniffs around the bottom of their stands and is barely of a height to reach them unless he puts his paws up.  He hasn’t bothered them thus far and I don’t anticipate any issues.  We have him setup with his kennel in the spare bedroom, complete with a nightlight.

Bubba on  May 7, 2013

Bubba on May 7, 2013

Our plan is to block that room with a baby gate and allow him to sleep in there, kennel door open, at night.  I wouldn’t mind him sleeping in our room if I could ensure he stays away from the laundry.  He will be kenneled while we’re at work.  I’ll walk him in the AM and DH will walk him in the PM.  In the evenings I like to sit outside and relax, so we put an anchor into the ground that allows us to tie him out with a 25 foot lead since we don’t have a fenced yard.  This way he can play and roam safely and I don’t have to worry about him chasing a duck across the lake!

I’ll take pictures of my ventures this week and post them with a quick caption.  I need to take more pictures and I might as well blog here with them because I’m not much of a facebook user.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and have a great week everyone!

Bubba on Jan 17, 2015

Bubba on Jan 17, 2015

In Progress

I’ve made some progress on the shawl I’m working on. I’d post pictures but I’m sitting in a chair at the salon waiting for my color to develop. I’m going burgundy red and added a lot of layers to the cut so I have some volume.

My hair is naturally curly. Spirals. It took me a long time and many mistakes before I learned to take care of it. Curly hair specialists are far and few and I’m lucky that the closest one is near my job. If this one didn’t exist, I’d have to drive over an hour to another county.

I’m bored and left my knitting in the car and my husband took that to go get his hair cut. So I decided to write in my blog since I have nothing else to do.

So far we have managed to stay true to healthier eating. It just so happened that DH was hospitalized on New Year’s Eve and so this makes it appear as a resolution but it isn’t. He needs to eat better and lose weight. I’m cooking healthier and making him a packed lunch with snacks so he can eat without having to worry about the healthy choices.

Since I’m already making him salads for lunch, I make one for myself too. I dislike many lettuces but its my way of being there for him and I could stand to lose a few inches myself. I use a mixture if greens, spinach is my fav. I mix in a lean protein with cucumbers and tomatoes for me, peppers and onions for him. I cook chicken with a vegetable for dinner and make him egg white omelets the morning.

It has only been a week but it is working. I make the salads at night because my mornings are busy with the animals and getting them fed for the day.

Happy New Year

We rang in the new year with a bang. DH was hospitalized with chest pain Tuesday night. We also had gunfire in our neighborhood during New Year’s celebrations.

I’ll start by stating that DH is fine. He couldn’t sleep Monday night and complained about shortness of breath and a weight on his chest. He had a weird EKG at the Urgent Care clinic and they sent him straight to the nearest ER. We were out of the ER quickly and they did another EKG before assigning him to a room in the ER.

They admitted him for observation and testing. There was no place for me to sleep so I went home. I couldn’t sleep and finally closed my eyes around 3 am or so. I was up early and got to the hospital by 9 am. He saw a cardiologist and had an electrocardiogram. His triglycerides were bad and his bad cholesterol was in the safe zone but high in it. They released him in the early afternoon on New Year’s Eve and we went to bed early that night around 6 pm. Neither of us had slept good the night before and we were exhausted.

Fireworks woke me up at midnight, I know because I looked at the time on my phone. It was really loud and I couldn’t go back to sleep for a while. I heard the pops and bangs and the sound of fireworks exploding.

I also heard what I thought was glass breaking, but my dreary mind blamed it on the bearded dragons scratching on their glass. Turns out I was wrong.

DH was up before me and we only noticed the broken glass on the sliding glass door when I was making breakfast. I thought someone’s firework went off wrong and hit it. Turns out it was some idiot across the lake celebrating with their firearm.

We called the police to file a report and
They found two more bullet holes, one in our grill and the other in a satellite dish. We were lucky with the grill because it just missed the propane tank. We don’t use the satellite because we have cable.

DH will follow up with a cardiologist and do a stress test. He got meds for cholesterol and is feeling better. I don’t expect to hear from the police about our report but stranger things have happened.

We remain positive and are thankful no one was hurt. It had been a rough few days but we are alive and well with healthy New Year’s resolutions in mind. I plan on knitting more and cooking healthier. This year we will buy a house and I look forward to whatever 2015 has to offer.


I really do have the best blog thoughts while brushing my teeth.  It happened again tonight!  I was just standing there furiously scrubbing my teeth and my mind wandered. 

Sadly brushing your teeth prevents you from recording anything for later use and I often forget these brilliant ideas by the time I remember I had one.  I have what is called a very short term memory.  I am great at memorization by using mind tricks to make retaining the data easier.  Usually by associating that memory with another item so that one helps you remember or relate to the other.  Sadly this takes time and sometimes repetition to stick forever.  My mind wanders too much and too fast for any memorization techniques to take effect.

So I chanted “face” in my mind until I had a chance to sit down and write to you.  I even took a detour by pouring myself some cereal and chatting with DH.  I sat on the couch and watched the last 10 minutes of a show I started earlier, washed my bowl, and came here for the promised weekly post.

I may be a few days late on this post, but at least I’m here and that is better than my blog abandonment for the past months. Look ahead and not behind I say.

Onto the topic at hand…

I am lacking in habits and I’m really trying to fix that.  This is what I was thinking during my ‘inspiration’ time.  You see, I always have the best intentions but I never follow any routine for too long and my hard work goes to waste. 

Case in point.  I forget to wash my face one night and the next morning it looks like a minefield! This usually occurs because I was wearing make-up on one of the rare occasions I deem worthy of such preparation.  I know better and yet I do it again and again. 

So I thought out a game plan to force myself into such routines.  I would document the journey with pictures.   Maybe not to always show off but to have so I retain the motivation during and after. 

This thought lead to others and I started to make a list in my head of the things I want to add to my daily routines.  Since this blog is mine and I can do whatever I want with it, I figured I could use it to keep track of these goals and sometimes report results *cough* failures to you.

1. Wash my face every morning and night.  This includes extra diligence during the weekends because I cheat a lot on those. 
2. Apply lotion daily.  I do this this a few times a week but I sometimes don’t do it for weeks.  I have dry skin and I want to take better care of my largest organ.
3. Kinda with #2 but I want to track it separately.  I want to take better care of my hands and nails.  I have only recently experience strong natural nails with pervect cuticles.  A big part of this is moisturizing but also filing daily.  It also means I need to stop biting my cuticles.  I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.

I’m going to leave the list at that.  For now.  It takes thirty days to create a habit and this list will keep me busy for three! I’m sure I’ll come up with more in the meantime.  

A Knitter’s Life

FYI this post was composed three months ago and never posted.  I’ve removed the draft status and published without edits.


Have you ever had that thought when knitting something, that one that whispers to you, “I don’t feel like knitting for this person anymore”?

That time when you’re knitting with frayed yarn all the time because you keep ripping it out over and again.  You love the garment but somehow it has created ill wishes in you towards the recipient.

This tension increases until you dump the piece all together and vow it is all the yarn’s fault.  You have just the yarn in your stash.  No, don’t bother with unraveling the mess you just created first.  Put that evil monster to rest.

You dash off to yarnia, a small closet reserved for your precious collection.  You cheek your favorites and smoosh a few more for good measure.  Your eye falls to yarn you’d forgotten all about; a sweater you’d dreamed about.

“I must knit it now!” you say.  Onto Ravelry you go, you knew the pattern was in your queue.



So I’ve been away.  Honestly I haven’t checked for how long because I don’t want to be distracted from my goal.

You see, I’ve put a lot of thought into reviving my blog lately.  It all started with a twitter message from the writer of Polly’s Blog.

Plowygle_blog updates

WordPress isn’t the only thing I left, Twitter was long forgotten as well!  I think I clicked on Twitter one day in mindless boredom and discovered I had messages.  Since then I’ve thought about blogging again because I really do miss it.

I started this blog so I’d have a history of me.  I wanted to post about my hobbies and just life in general when I need a vent.  The more I thought about it the more ideas I got for blog posts.  These were never recorded as they would come to me while brushing my teeth before bed or randomly during inconvenient times at work.

So I pushed it off until today.  While washing my face when I got home.  I did my entire evening routine chanting, “Blog Post,” in my mind.  From the moment my computer turned on I went straight to WordPress.  I won’t deny that I’ve had distractions while writing this post.

My mind floats and I guess this is why I figured I’d have a knack at writing.  If I let myself go I can just imagine the words in perfect order and write them down before the thought is gone.  This behavior is bad when you’ve thought to screenshot a Twitter post and end up Pinning something from Facebook that you’re significant other shared for you to see.  This lead into me logging into World of Warcraft, because that is how I spend most nights.

This lead on and on for a good 20 minutes before I finally arrived back on this page to upload a picture I had to snip, crop, and edit before uploading and linking.  And here we are now, with you reading the nonsense involved in writing this post.

So I bid you hello old friends.  I’ve somewhat made a goal tonight to post here once a week.  Because I want to and not because I feel obligated to.  This blog took up too much of my free time and I couldn’t figure out how to make it work.  I guess what I needed was to be less hard on myself and just post when I have time.  And that is exactly what I’m going to do!

I also decided, aptly while brushing my teeth, that my blog name is perfect for whatever direction I take.  I’m a bit crazed in the hectic and eccentric sense.  I hope you enjoy the journey 🙂


(Just so you know how odd I am; I was going through the post options, in the old editor because the new one is weird, and clicked on my Publicize Settings.  I saw a new social media app to publish to called Path.  Intrigued I signed up on the website and downloaded the app on my phone.  I was thrilled to see it supported Window’s phones because so many companies do not.  After typing my annoyingly mobile-phone unfriendly password without using my swipe keyboard I finally got in.  I’ve surfed the website a bit and haven’t found a way to do anything on a PC browser.  I did just allow WordPress access to my friends list and to publish to my Path.  Anyways, off to play WoW.  We’ll talk soon.)