Monday, December 08, 2008



SEA MONKEYS!!!

Ok, so I never had sea monkeys as a kid. I always saw them in the comic books, but just never had them. I didn't feel cheated, but it was on my to do list as an adult. You know that to do list you make as a child that you fantasize about fulfilling once you move out.

So, I was at WalGreens looking for presents for my son. He just turned 4 last week. I found this super cool SpongeBob Squarepants Plankton Aquarium. It was apparent that this was a repackaging of the Sea Monkeys from when I was a kid. I proudly brought them home for the low low price of somewhere around $4. Woo hoo. Scratch it off the list, make my son happy, and cheap to boot. Well, someone stole my Sea Monkeys from my car. So, I go back to WalGreens, buy more Sea Monkeys and bring them back home and take them in the house next time.

Now having something stolen just steels you desire to follow through with a project. I was determined to make sure we got those stinking Sea Monkeys off on a good foot. We waited until the day after his birthday, followed the directions and got it started. Kenny immediately dunked the bean bags he got for his birthday in the full aquarium to "play" with the crazy things. We had to put them up.

The next day after filling it up and adding the water conditioner, I added the eggs. Thousands of tiny little brown eggs. Hmmmm. After 5 days the directions say to start feeding them. Today is day 5. Every day I have been watching this thing and seeing NOTHING! I take the lid off, the light shines in through a crack in the curtain and I see one tiny, tiny little thing swimming in the water. I decide well, I'll feed them just in case, this is day 5 after all.

Now 5 hours later I go back in the kitchen to get a drink. (The aquarium is on top of the microwave). I decide I'm going to look to make sure I wasn't imagining things. The little specks are twice as big now and there are MILLIONS of them.

I feel like the baby in the e-trade commercial... I underestimated the creepiness factor.

These things are REALLY freaky. Now I know why moms don't want to get them for their kids. ACK! :)

Friday, December 05, 2008



Bruce is settling down from his marathon attention fit. He went through a couple of days where he didn't want me to leave the room or stop touching him. I feel bad for Kenny, he doesn't understand why I can't just put Bruce somewhere and pay attention to him. He is an exceptional good brother though.

On the plus side, I can get a LOT of crocheting done while holding the baby. He hates it when I knit, and Kenny doesn't want me to read.

Today I am trying to finish up a hot pad that has taken longer than it should. It is the pattern for Aldebaran by Patrizia Pizani. It can be found at this link:

http://www.crochetpatty.com/patterns/yarn/aldebaran.html

This thing is the size of a dinner plate I kid you not. The back is all single crochet and is driving me nuts to make. The front was a snap, but I get bored doing single crochet. Good pattern though. I can't wait to finish it since it will end up being a great potholder when I am done. It is a better size than most I have made in recent years.

I finished this one a couple of days ago:

http://www.freecraftunlimited.com/flower-hot-pad.html

It turned out really pretty. I am phenomenally bad at crochet gauge though. You would think that after doing it as long as I have, I would be better at it though. Anyway, because of my gauge, it has some holes in it and will serve better to set things on than to take things out of the oven with.

Tonight we go to eat at the home of my dear friends Adam and Andy. We are actually getting out of the house to be social. We have been promised Indian food and a movie. Hopefully, it will be a lot of fun. I'm kind of sad about the movie since Andy plays piano beautifully and probably wont provide background music for the movie. Last time I was over he played while we had a group sewing day. It was so nice and something few people will do anymore. He didn't do it in a way to get attention, but to add atmosphere and I'm not sure I've ever known anyone to be able to do that before.

Tomorrow I go back to mom and dad's house to work on rugs for Christmas. Mom and I have managed to make 6 rugs as of now on the loom. Hopefully we can get enough done for presents. I'm looking forward to getting this warping off and rewarp the loom with some different colors and a closer warp. I think what will hold us up is cutting the strips for rugs. We had a lot of them cut and worked through them faster than I expected. Time to start over. It's hard with the baby needing to eat every couple of hours, but probably good for my back to have a rest.

We also need to sit down in the evenings and work on puppets to give to the kids for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Well, so much has happened in the last 6 months. I had a little boy named Bruce. He was born on Sept 25, 2008. It was quite a summer. I had a terribly trying pregnancy. I ended up not returning to work. (Thank heavens!) We will see how things go with me at home and if we can make it.


Kenny, Bruce, and I are having a great time. It's a lot better staying at home than I thought it would be. I really have come to value the time I can spend with my sons. Kenny and I have a great time playing games. I'm still healing up, but things are going well.


I've had terrible back pain since April and the doctor can't figure out what is causing it. I've had a sonogram on my gall bladder, and an x-ray and mri on my back and they have turned up nothing.


Bruce is a night owl. I end up staying up until 1 am every day trying to get him to go to sleep. Kenny and I have been playing Club Penguin, so I spend my late nights knitting or earning money for him on the game so he can buy imaginary things for his "igloo".
I've knitted some really useful diaper covers for Bruce as you can see in the above picture. See my ravelry account for more pictures. My user name is Mairghead. I wish I had known about wool soakers with my first child. We are using trifold diapers currently, but I have some fitted ones cut out waiting to sew them. Snappis are the other wonderful item I have discovered with this child. They are little grippy things to hold diapers on your child instead of diaper pins. Fabulous!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ah, the sweet knowledge that my letter of resignation is complete and eagerly awaiting me on my desktop at work.

I think I made it over a major hump with my hopefully future employer last week in my due dilligence process. Tomorrow I take my exam for life and health insurance for the state of Missouri. Hopefully by next week, I will know what is going on and have an idea of what day to print my letter of resignation from this company.

It has become apparent to me that my current vice president believes that for a paltry $32000 a year I would like nothing more than to spend three hours a day on the road and work 8 being some kind of corporate trainer for them. To combat my inability to sign my child over to my day care provider the needed hours, they would be more than happy to allow me the flexibility of taking a 15 minute lunch so that I can drop him off at day care when they open and pick him up when they close (12 hours btw) and not have to sacrifice work time for something as silly as relaxing and eating. I have to say that is the most brilliant thing I have ever heard anyone say to a pregnant woman who's first child has gone from 7 to 11 hours a day in day care. I'm so glad that my values allow me to feel it is ok to institutionalize my son for 12 hours a day to make very little money for someone with a bachelor's degree. I can't wait to step up and sacrifice my lunch time in order to take advantage of this opportunity. I can't wait till the first time she tries to send me to one of the branches that are even further away from this one so I can print off a hot copy of that resignation letter and leave it on her desk on my way there.

How far up your ptootie does your head have to be to interpret this statement:

"I would really like to help you build the Tesson Ferry branch that is 5 miles from my house. I feel that I would be a much better and invested employee with a shorter commute and more time for my family"

as:

"Oh please, I would love to drive further and spend less time with my son without additional compensation just so I can feel this company values me."

They were allowing me to go to the Tesson Ferry branch, and I did such an excellent job building the business that they decided the appropriate reward was to never let me work there again because their greedy little corporate imps would like to utilize my talents to pull their butts out of trouble at the other branches becasue they lack the sense to do it on their own.

Jeez. The worse part about it is, they planned this all behind my back with out asking me for my input and believe that everyone working here actually has to be working. I work because I enjoy working and that makes me a more well balanced mother. This nice little plan does not make me well balanced or happy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ok, further delima, I can take a seminar to become certified in Olympic Tae Kwon Do judging. The problem is, I have to work the morning of the seminar and I have an SCA event in the afternoon. I'd gauge it on what I will think I am capeable of or what my preganancy will allow, but that is a catch 22. Martial arts seminars aren't dangerous (generally) and judging usually isn't at all, but I don't have a uniform that will fit. SCA is basically an afternoon of helping in the kitchen (which I feel particularly obligated to do since it is an extremely difficult kitchen and new cook), but the smell of cooking food makes me throw up. Seeing it cook is even worse. Maybe that will change in the next two weeks.

Sometimes I really wish I had fewer interests.

My husband and I cleaned up the front garden today and laid down a fresh layer of mulch. He bought me a lovely bronze birdbath for just behind the fence in my strawberry patch. I don't want to put it out front due to the possiblility of vandalism. The main birdfeeders are between two spruce trees by my front fence. It gives the birds a place to hide and makes them feel more secure. I put the birdbath just behind the fence so when they perch, hopefully, they can go to either side according to their interests. (Bonus, the asparagus I put in last year is doing great! Shame I still can't harvest this year).

This year I have to remember bird netting for my berries. Working in the garden made me feel much better, but it just got to cold to continue out there. (It's about 18 degrees here). The first couple of hours felt pretty good, but then the temperature started dropping.

Next weekend is puppetpalooza at my brothers house. I have 9 blanks made up for decorating, hopefully we can get something really creative and fun for the kids. Maybe even talk them into doing a show for us. We are also going to can up the leftover Huckleberries from last summer into jelly. (It should only make about 6 gallons of jelly). This year, less huckleberries. The last goal for the weekend is to get the 8 frame hive bodies done for my yard. With Christopher's nail gun, construction should speed by. I need to pick up some concrete blocks for the hive to sit on. I have a few, but I would rather use them in the side yard and get a different style for the hive. I need to get some that I can attach bungee cords to strap the lid down to prevent racoon invasions. I'm going to try a top entrance of the bat to combat rodent access. The city has such wierd pests to think about. Looks like I will trade him my 10 frame since I'm pregnant and by the end of the summer, checking the bees will be a curious endeavor let alone lifting full supers. Thank God for a supportive and understanding husband who's willing to put up with all my wierd projects.

Juno has decided to give me trouble with my email. Unfortunately, I can't complain. I've had the email for almost 8 years and its free. You get what you pay for. Sadly, I just figured out how to move pictures from my phone to my email so I can post them and now I am cut off. Hopefully in a few days it will resolve itself.

Lets see... since my last post I have found myself to be pregnant. It's added an interesting twist on things. It's been a joke for a few months at my work that I don't really have a desk since I am daily moved to provide a warm body where needed. That has upped now to include different branches as well. From one day to the next I have no idea where I will be located or what I will be doing. I'm glad I'm able to help out where I can. My poor manager has her hands full with the two new branches our bank has opened up and I have no idea how she is managing.

I finished one of my college courses, but still have the other waiting in the lurch. I may need to withdraw. Either Monday or Tuesday I take my pretest for my life and health license in the state of Missouri. I really hope it goes well. I need to schedule my exam, but I am so overwhelmed with throwing up I'm having a hard time organizing myself.

On the craft front, I finished the Water washcloth and hope to have the corrections to the pattern up soon. Basically I had to add one stitch to each row to make the edging work. Fetal stele is already rearing it's ugly head and I neglected to realize that the edging demanded an odd number of base stitches. I have also finished two market bags and am halfway through another. I also picked up a book on freeform knitting and crochet and completed a muffin hat/beret thing that is really warm and comfy. My husband says "It looks crafty". It probably makes me look like an excentric cat lady, but it serves it's purpose and I learned a great deal. I'm looking into some of Prudence Mapstone's pieces for ideas of where I would like to take it. There are some really beautiful applications out there of this style and I'm interested to see how I might develop it to my tastes. Jenny Dowde wrote the book I read and I believe it is a great way to learn the technique. I'm not sure her style is one that I will adopt however. I think she is able to see the bigger picture with her chosen techniques that I am unable to. I feel very clumsy with the scumbles she uses and hope I can soon find time to practice and develop some of my own that I can more readily utilize to suit my tastes.

Hopefully, tomorrow paypal will clear my payment and I can look at one of the Prudence Mapstone pamplets I ordered. Her website: www.knotjustknitting.com has a great deal of information and links on the technique. I'm in love with the woad coat at http://crochet.nu/ I think I'm going to aim for smaller stitches than with Jenny Dowde and see where that takes me.

It's entirely possible I may just spend the next month in the bathroom studying for my licensure.

Oh, I was complaining to a friend last night that I can't get any decent birds at my feeders here in St Louis and I just looked up and saw a small black and white woodpecker at my suet feeder. I'm so excited! I've never seen a woodpecker at my feeders before. I only get sparrows, grackels, morning doves, and starlings. I really like the sparrows and morning doves, but the rest aren't so nice to watch. It appears to be a downy woodpecker, it's bigger than a sparrow and smaller than a grackle. I realize they aren't the most uncommon bird, but for a girl who grew up chasing snakes and exploring nature in the country who now lives in an urban industrial area, it's exciting.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Knit to Live by REbecca Mercier

I am halfway done with another market bag. This time I used this pattern: http://tiajudy.com/stringbag.htm It's an easier stitch pattern and is going very well. Almost mindless in the knitting. I used the same Sugar 'n Spice yarn and size 15 US needles from my Denise Interchangible needles. I had to really focus the first couple of rows until I got the transition from row to row down. I like how free the pattern is to yarn choice and needle choice. The other bag went faster, but this one doesn't require as much concentration.

I'm getting tired of this cold. It's the wierdest thing, I feel fine if I sit still and don't do much, but moving around gets me really winded and achy. Kenny is doing much better. It turns out he had an ear infection and now he is on an antibiotic. He tells me the bees are gone though. I'm really proud of his good attitude through all this. I'm glad his is such an optimistic and happy boy.

This weekend is an event called Queen's Prize in my historical reinactment group called the SCA. Artisans sponsor new people to the arts to enter and everyone goes home with a prize and hopefully some new people to talk to about what they are doing. It's a fabulous way to meet people with the same interests, find new resources, and get good positive critiquing of how they can take their projects to the next level. I'm sponsoring three people this year. They are all my apprentices. The first, Una, is doing a very interesting project about Moghul food and food presentation. I'm impressed at the ambition and the interesting thought and research process that she took to develop her ideas. I can't wait to try the food. Next, is Galla, who is an incredible costumer. She has such an eye for detail and produces good quality clothing. Hopefully, I won't be able to sponsor her again because she will get promoted in the organization to the point where she can sponsor her own people. Lasty is my dear friend Maddie. Maddie has adapted a play called "Gammer Gurton's Needle" for a monolgue style. I have heard through the grapevine that it is really clever and funny. I wish she could have performed it for me ahead of time, but alas, I have to wait just like everyone else.

Jack, my former apprentice and now laurel is sponsoring some people. His apprentice Carmina is entering in costuming I believe, and I'm not sure who else he has. Seth, one of my other apprentices has two people entering as well. One is a complete costume from Northern Europe and the early middle ages. I'm not sure what the other one is either. Seth is an amazing costumer. I'm not even sure he realizes how good he is. His documentation is impeccable and he hand sews all his own clothing. He has a natural eye for what he is doing. I know that his focus has been to present the best image for his time period and sewing was an inexpensive way to accomplish that, but he has a fabulous knowledge and skill base at this point. Jack and I hope to get a website up soon where each of our associates can post articles and learning tools to help others in the SCA.

Jack and his wife, and Maddie and her husband have applied to become the new Baron and Baroness (leaders) of our local group here in St. Louis. They are joined by a very charismatic couple as well. This weekend the King and Queen of our region will announce their choices for who gets the job. I'm looking forward to the event and really hope everyone is satisfied with Their decision.

I also get to travel to the event with one of my favorite knitting friends and hope to get a great deal of knitting done. I will have to start one of my backlogged pairs of socks so I can use straight double pointed needles. I've gotten so used to the circluars now, but they didn't use those in the middle ages, too bad. All my other projects I have in the works are currently on circulars. I really like doing socks on one long circular now, I hope I can adjust back to the multiple straight sticks. I have quite a few sock kits in my workpile. Although, it is probably foolish not to work on one of the million projects I already have going.

Happy Crafting, and if you are in the midwest right now, good luck staying warm!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Interesting weekend. I seem to have gotten some strange virus that only affects you when you try to do anything. If I sit still, I feel fine. If I get up and try to cook or clean house, I feel like an elephant has taken up residence on by solar plexus. My son is going through something too. I'm so worried about him, I really don't have time to be sick. For the last three nights, he has been grinding his teeth in his sleep. Last night, he tossed and turned and wimpered until he finally made me get up to take him to the bathroom. We were there off and on for two hours. While he was on the potty, he kept telling me to get the bees out of his ears. I cleaned them with a Q-tip, and that soothed it but no more than 15 minutes later they were bugging him again. He wanted me to get my needles (knitting) to get the bees out. I'm glad I've made a habit of keeping the needles out of his reach and put away! Finally, after 2 and a half hours, we decided that going for a car ride would help him sleep. (Can't say the same for me) We took off and drove the interstates of St. Louis until I thought he was completely unconcious. I brought him into the house and laid him on the bed. He immediately woke up and started crying again. I just broke down in tears. I am feeling so poorly and having been up all night, I had hit my wall. My sweet and wonderful husband got up and took him downstairs for me. So in about a half an hour we have a doctor's appointment. I hope he is ok, and it is something identifiable.


On the plus side, being at home sick on a holiday gave me the chance to finish up the Knit to Live piece and I made a market bag. I've been so excited to get onto Ravelry.com to gain access to a community of knitters, but they are a wonderful resource for patterns and ideas as well. I decided to do the market bag from MagKnits: http://magknits.com/June06/patterns/market.htm

I like the way it turned out. It was an far greater challenge to use size 15 US needles than I expected. I'm so used to sock knitting with the occational really huge size 6 US needles that it threw me off. I had to start it over again about 5 times in order to get the pattern. It isn't a difficult project, but my hands just had no idea what to do with the broomsticks I was holding. (OK, I know that is an exaggeration.) :)

Well, I'm off to the doctor. I hope the little man is ok. I never knew fear and panic until I became a mom.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Well that's a poor quality picture, but a morning of mass, thomas play, and video games have worn my family out.
My hive is almost completed. I apparently used the wrong nails to attach part of it so I have to scrounge up some small nails to put together the last frame for the brood chamber. My brother is making me some hives that are a slightly different style and I need to decide what to do about that. He is makin 8 frame hives for me and this one is a 10 frame super. I may just try both out and see how it goes. Christopher and my concern will be that a full super will be too heavy for me to manage with 10 frames. Ah well, I'm starting with 10 and we will see how the summer plays out.
The OMAC cooking is going really well again. I'm about a third of the way done and the recipes have all been super tasty so far. The Chai Banana Bread was a real winner. I don't think it will make it to the end of the day. I need to see what is in the freezer, because I don't have as much space as I expected.
Well time for a break, I'm going to get back to work on Knit to Live and hopefully take a nap somewhere in the middle of it.
Cheers!

Friday, January 18, 2008

All right, here is my ambitious meal plan for February:

Breakfast foods and snacks:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Rosemary, Pine Nuts, and Dried Cherries
Alaskan Salmon Muffins
Apple Breakfast Bread
Banana Chai Bread

Meal 1:
Jamaican Sesame Mint Burgers
Carrots with Dried Cherries
Parsnip Chips

Meal 2:
Moroccan-Spiced Salmon
Cashew Raisin Pilaf
Beets with Orange and Ginger

Meal 3:
Corsican Chicken with Rosemary and Honey of the Maquis
Garlic and Lemon Thyme Mashed Potatoes
Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Meal 4:
Wild Rice Quiche
Beet, Bean, and Apple Salad

Meal 5:
Meatloaf with Fried Onions and Ranch Seasoning
Rosemary Mashed Potatoes and Yams with Garlic and Parmesan
Carmelized Brussel Sprouts with Pistachios

Meal 6:
Pear and Prosciutto Pizza
Blueberry Crisp

Meal 7:
Beef, Bean and Cornbread Casserole

Meal 8:
Delicious Ham and Potato Soup
Beer Rolls

Meal 9:
White Bean Chicken Chili
Banana Nut Corn Bread

Meal 10:
Basil Tortellini Soup
Broccoli Corn Bread

All recipies from:
www.30daygourmet.com
www.allrecipies.com
www.tasteofhome.com
www.herbcompanion.com


That is terribly ambitious, we will see how it goes. Generally, the breakfast foods and dinner rolls get cut if I run out of time. I still need to sit down and line up the order of cooking and correspond it to my burners and available pots. I also need to do the grocery list, but that won't take long. Last month went really well, wish me luck.


“Water” Washcloth
(This pattern has not been tested, should you find this and wish to test it, please leave comments for how it works out. Thanks!)

Square washcloth with chinese character for Water in the center.
Gauge: 20x26
Needles: US 7
Yarn: One skein Sugar n’ Spice Variegated Blue

Directions:
Cast on 50 sts
Rows 1-6: k1, p1 across sts, ending with k1
Rows 7,9,11,13,15: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k40, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Rows 8, 10, 12, 14, 16: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p40, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 17: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k23, p1, k16, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 18: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p16, k2, p22, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 19: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k22, p3, k15, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 20: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p14, k4, p22, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 21: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k11, p1, k10, p1, k1, p3, k5, p1, k7, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 22: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p7, k2, p8, k1, p9, k3, p10, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 23: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k9, p5, k9, p1, k7, p3, k7, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 24: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p8, k3, p6, k1, p7, k7, p8, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 25: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k11, p4, k7, p1, k5, p3, k9, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 26: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p9, k3, p5, k1, p6, k3, p13, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 27: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k14, p3, k5, p1, k4, p3, k10, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 28: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p11, k3, p3, k1, p4, k3, p15, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 29: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k16, p2, k4, p1, k3, p3, k11, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 30: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p12, k3, p2, k1, p3, k2, p17, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 31: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k17, p2, k3, p1, k2, p3, k12, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 32: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p18, k3, p1, k1, p2, k2, p18, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 33: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k19, p2, k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p2, k9, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 34: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p8, k8, p1, k4, p19, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 35: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k18, p2, k1, p2, k1, p5, k2, p2, k7, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 36: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p13, k3, p1, k1, p3, k2, p17, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 37: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k16, p2, k4, p1, k2, p14, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 38: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p17, k1, p5, k2, p15, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 39: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k13, p4, k5, p1, k17, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 40: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p17, k1, p5, k3, p14, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 41: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k15, p2, k4, p2, k17, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 42: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p17, k2, p21, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 43: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k20, p3, k17, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 44: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p16, k3, p21, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 45: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k22, p2, k16, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Rows 46, 48, 50, 52, 54: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k40, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Rows 47, 49, 51, 53, 55: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k40, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Rows 56-61: k1, p1 across sts, ending with k1
Bind off using sewn bind off.
(Do not mass reproduce or distribute this pattern, post it to another web site, or use the pattern in any way for a profit without my written permission. To do so is a violation of copyright.)
Copyright 2008 by Jacquelyne Aubuchon

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Pure” Washcloth
Inspired by the "Knit to Live" washcloth. I've often wanted to make some wash cloths, but did not like the patterns out there. It seemed that the chinese characters so often used for garden rocks would be very nice on something to wash your body. I chose the first character in pure for this piece.

Square washcloth with Chinese Character for Pure in center.
Gauge: 20x26
Needles: US 7
Yarn: One skein Sugar n’ Spice any color
Finished Size: apx. 12 1/2" x 12 1/2"
Directions:
Cast on 50 sts
Rows 1-6: k1, p1 across sts, ending with k1
Rows 7,9,11,13,15: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k40, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Rows 8, 10, 12, 14, 16: (k1, p1)x2, kl, p40, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 17: (k1,p1)x2, k1, k10, p5, k25, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 18: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p24, k8, p8, (k1,p1)x2, k1
Row 19: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k6, p10, k24, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 20: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p8, k1, p14, k12, p5, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 21: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k5, p3, k6, p3, k14, p2, k7, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 22: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p6, k3, p3, k1, p10, k2, p7, p3, k5, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 23: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k5, p3, k7, p3, k9, p2, k2, p3, k6, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 24: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p5, k3, p3, k2, p2, k2, p5, k3, p7, k2, p6, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 25: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k6, p2, k7, p3, k5, p2, k2, p3, k2, p3, k5, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 26: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p10, k2, p2, k2, p2, k1, p4, k2, p8, k1, p6, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 27: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k6, p1, k8, p2, k3, p2, k2, p2, k5, p1, k8, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 28: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p7, k3, p4, k1, p2, k4, p2, k2, p8, k1, p6, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 29: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k15, p8, k6, p5, k6, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 30: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p7, k6, p2, k1, p1, k2, p1, k7, p13, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 31: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k11, p7, k3, p2, k1, p4, k2, p2, k8, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 32: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p9, k2, p2, k3, p1, k3, p3, k2, p1, k4, p10, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 33: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k9, p3, k3, p2, k3, p3, k1, p3, k1, p3, k9, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 34: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p10, k3, p1, k1, p2, k4, p2, k2, p3, k3, p9, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 35: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k9, p3, k3, p2, k2, p4, k4, p3, k1, p1, k8, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 36: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p7, k7, p3, k3, p3, k2, p3, k3, p9, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 37: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k9, p4, k2, p2, k8, p9, k6, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 38: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p6, k3, p1, k5, p8, k2, p2, k4, p9, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 39: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k15, p2, k2, p3, k2, p4, k3, p2, k7, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 40: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p8, k2, p3, k4, p1, k8, p14, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 41: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k11, p9, k3, p3, k3, p3, k8, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 42: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p9, k3, p2, k2, p7, k7, p10, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 43: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k15, p3, k2, p2, k8, p1, k2, p3, k9, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 44: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p10, k3, p10, k2, p15, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 45: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k15, p2, k10, p3, k10, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 46: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p11, k3, p9, k2, p15, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 47: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k15, p2, k9, p3, k11, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 48: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p11, k3, p9, k3, p14, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 49: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k14, p4, k9, p1, k12, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 50: (k1, p1)x2, k1, p22, k4, p14, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Row 51: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k14, p4, k22, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Rows 52, 54, 56, 58, 60: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k40, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Rows 53, 55, 57, 59: (k1, p1)x2, k1, k40, (k1, p1)x2, k1
Rows 61-66: k1, p1 across sts, ending with k1
Bind off using sewn bind off.
(Do not mass reproduce or distribute this pattern, post it to another web site, or use the pattern in any way for a profit without my written permission. To do so is a violation of copyright.)
Copyright 2008 by Jacquelyne Aubuchon


Yesterday I finished the homework portion of Principles of Banking, I just have to wait for the tests and I will be finished. What a relief. Now, I just need to finish up accounting, but there is so much more busy work involved I'm concerned I won't be able to get it done before I leave my job.
I've decided to give financial planning a chance. My commute to work has become insane now that Highway 40 in the middle of St. Louis is shut down. It's sad because I really like my job. I am looking forward to going through the process of becoming a financial advisor though. I have to pass my licensing before I can hire on. I really like the people I have interviewed with and the training schedule seems very friendly towards ensuring success. The additional bonus is that I will be working in Edwardsville, IL and should not have any traffic at all.
Sadly, their next class starts next week and I am going to an SCA event to support my apprentices. The first weekend in February is also an event that I need to teach some classes at. That means I won't start classes until the end of February. The plus side is that will give the company I am at currently enough time to get adjusted to their new ownership of two new branches. I would hate to leave right now while everything is up in the air.
Back to my personal craft issues now. Last year, one of my girlfriend's mothers would send me sporatic packages containing pages from a "knitting pattern-a-day" calendar. I liked it so much I bought one for myself this year. That may have been a mistake. I worked so hard yesterday trying to get my one class completed and setting up the second one that I was completely brain dead when I got home. So, I decided to find a small project that could fill up my evening. I started to play "Maternational" on my playstation with my son, but realized it was "Ghost Hunters" night. So, I went to the calendar to see if there would be something interesting to knit. (Like I need another knitting project) Honestly, I didn't want to work on a project that I cared to succeed at because I was so tired. I found "Knit to Live" (http://whimsicalknitting.blogspot.com) Thinking about my stash, I realized I had several balls of a nicely colored cotton yarn with no purpose that would be perfect. I got about halfway through it which was really exciting and a good boost to the instant gratification loving child in me.
Today I need to get my next months recipes put together so I can utilize this nice three day weekend for cooking. (and hopefully putting together bee boxes!) I found some great recipes from www.herbcompanion.com that I hope will freeze well. I also found another web site for OMAC cooking I hadn't seen before at: www.30daygourmet.com. Last month's meals worked out really well, I hope I can duplicate that this month. We still have quite a bit left, but since I will be gone for two weeks I want to get it done. I'm a little frustrated at my inability to find good vegetable recipes, but I may just buy a couple different kinds of mixed vegetables and throw on some spice mixes to toss into the freezer in seal-a-meal bags. That's pretty easy and convenient to heat up.
Back to the grind...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008



Project 1: Pinwheel Sweater


Cost: Pattern - Free


Yarn - 15 balls Elann Highland Wool - $2.38/ball - $35.70 plus tax and shipping


Denise Interchangable Needles - abt. $22.00



I am currently working on the http://www.elann.com/ "pinwheel sweater". I chose some different colors than they advertise on their site, and went with a purple and green theme. So far so good. It's simplicity messes me up though and I am forgetting if I am on an overcast row or a straight knit row. This project made me breakdown and invest in a Denise interchangable knitting set. That way I can have one VERY large circular needle. Normally, I knit socks, but I try to make one or two sweaters each winter to get out of the small gauges.





I started this project right after Thanksgiving. I had to take a couple weeks off right before Christmas to knock out some last minute gifts for some people. Right now, one round on the sweater takes about 20 to 25 minutes to complete. With 14 rows left, that should take me about 5 hours to complete the body. I try to work on the sweater for an hour a day, so theoretically the body should be done by the 20th. HA! Realistically I think I have about a month or a month and a half before I finish.





Project 2: Socks from July (the knitter.com sock of the month club)


Cost: probably $16.95


Yarn: 2 balls Regia 4 ply wool Nations (red, white, and blue)





Socks from July, you say! Well, it's like this.... I keep a pair of socks going in my purse and pair on my bedside table. These are the bedside table socks. I don't actually keep up with my sock of the month club, but I do knit a pair of socks a month. I keep subscribing because they are a lovely monthly suprise. Now, I have a three year old who believes he is indeed the center of the universe. While he was a baby, I got into the habit of knitting before I went to sleep to help me relax. Kenny (my three year old) has decided in the last few months that I need to pay attention to him. I like him better, so, as you can see, I am still working on July's socks. I have about three inches left on the first sock. I am knitting them with one large circluar (Addi turbo). I love the one circular method. Since I started this sock I have learned to knit two socks at once. I'm sad I didn't do that on these because I have been looking at them for so long and I dread the second sock. Its a great pattern and a fairly easy lace with a solid sole. Estimated time to finish: at this rate forever.





Project 3: Bell Lace Wool Ease Socks


Cost: abt: $2.50


Yarn: One skeen Lion Brand Wool-Ease in variegated green and browns


Pattern: http://www.knitlist.com/96gift/giftbellsocks.htm





So I had this brilliant idea before Christmas that I could knit my mother my favorite pair of socks. I've knit this pattern and it is the most comfortable pair of socks I have. They go fast being worsted weight. I'm doing two at once on two circulars. What I realized after I had the cuffs done was that even though this is an acrylic wool blend, my mother would still not touch them because of the wool. She swears she is allergic to wool. Ah well. It's very sad that I will have another pair of my favorite socks soon. These are my current purse socks.





Project 4: Scarf


Cost: free sample wool from Jehovah Jireh Farm http://www.woolmill.com/ (I purchase through ebay)


Pattern: Feather Lace Scarf http://www.yarnmarket.com/yarn/Windy_Valley_Muskox_Free-Feather_Lace_Scarf_Free-2134.html





I buy too much wool from Jehovah Jireh Farm. I really enjoy their colorways and it is a very easy wool for me to spin. The sample I recieved was colorway Sangria. It has some very nice wine, red, and purple tones to it. I spun it fairly thin. It is most likely a DK weight after plying. Therefore, it looks nothing like the picture after knitting, but is still turning out nicely. I only had about 3 ounces, so I don't know how long it will get, but as it stands it is about 14 inches long. I haven't worked on it since October.





Project 5: Baby Socks


Cost: Yarn - Crystal Palace "Maizy Print" Springtime $6.25 per ball - 2 balls


Pattern: Maizy Ruffled Socks - http://www.straw.com/cpy/patterns2/socks/maizy-ruffled-socks.html





I started these when I was on jury duty in October. I started with the infant socks and decided to do two at one time. This is a really neat yarn made from corn fiber and nylon. It is very different in hand than wool to knit. I have trouble picking up every strand of the ply, but I'm honestly facinated by the yarn. I will definately use it again. The cuffs on this pattern have an incredible number of stitches. I'm to the point where I need to turn the heels and I haven't worked on these since October either. I should finish these soon, I just have to keep from getting distracted by something else new. This is an absolutely slow going pattern for me with the two at once. I may just switch over to double points and knock them out.





Project 6: Tippet Class Presentation





I have another hobby as a medieval recreator. I try to get presentations ready to teach amateur costumers. I just completed my presentations on Cotehardies and Houppelandes. Those are the classes I will teach in February in Kansas City. I always try to get one more knocked out while I have some momentum going and think a class on tippets might be just the thing. Tippets are narrow pieces of fabric that hang from the elbow in some 14th and 15th Century styles of male and female dress. There are many interpretations of the style. The two main groups seem to be separate cuff styles and tippet cut with the body of the sleeve styles. I was taught the main body style, but am working on exploring other options as well as supporting the main body style with pictorial evidence from the art of the period. Robin Neatherton (http://www.netherton.net/robin/) has apparently written an article on the tippet that I hope to be able to read by the end of the week. No time limit on this project. An example of a tippet can be seen at the top in a piece from the Romance of Alexander.

Project 7: College Accounting

Ack, never take accounting by correspondence. This would be so much easier if I had someone to show me how to do it. I'm doing well though. Currently struggling through Chapter 5. I may have to withdraw if I change jobs this month but we will see.

Project 8: Principles of Banking

Also a correspondence course. Very Easy. Very Informative. May try to pound this one out before I end my current employment. I'm really enjoying both of these courses, but this one has such a light work load that I don't believe it would be difficult to wrap it up quickly. I don't know that I am learning much that will apply to my life outside of banking, but the content is absolutely facinating. I wish I had taken it 5 years ago. Did you know the first paper money in North America was promissory notes written on the back of playing cards in what is now Canada?

Project 9: Complete 14th Century Noble Ladies Outfit/ Wardrobe
Cost: I hate to know

My current plan is to make hosen, chemise, cotehardie, surcote, houppeland, belt, hat and something with folley bells to wear in the SCA. I have all the fabric in varying degrees of "are you really going out in that?". Not really, but the linen is in chartreuse and a very bold pink. Those are under layers and linings though. The outer layers are quite nice eggplants, pinks, and a taupe print. Every time I try to work on this, my son throws a fit because I am in the way of his trains. The houppelande is cut out and will be in a style I have found in the Decamareon by Boccacio. I will tailor the other garments to fit this manuscript as well so they are cohesive. I've developed a cotehardie pattern using some exant finds with a close fit from the same time period. Mostly they are based on the Herjolfnes finds in Greenland. So, the pattern is done, the houppelande is cut, but I really need to get on getting the rest of it cut.

Project 10: Muppets
Cost: apx. $15 per puppet in supplies
Pattern: www.puppetproject.com the glorified sock puppet and the basic round.

My brother and I have been doing puppets for a few months now and they are really turning out well. They look great and I hope to offer some on ebay soon to recoupe some of the cost I have incurred. My neices, nephews, and son have been have a great time putting on puppet shows for us. These people at puppet project have great patterns that are clear and easy to follow. I highly recommend them.

Project 11: Bees
Cost: $200 round about

Last year my brother picked up on my enthusiastic desire for bees and started a hive on my parents farm out in the middle of nowhere. He invited me out several times to help, but seems to be trying to sucker my husband into caring now. We will see. My bees arrive the last week of March from The Walter T Kelley Company in Kentucky (http://www.kelleybees.com/). I cannot wait! I had zero sightings of bees in my garden last year and it was terribly depressing. I have my hives and all my equipment. Hopefully they will increase the production of my fruit trees and shrubs. Additionally I hope they won't completely freak out my neighbors. None of my neighbors are outside much though, so I don't think they will notice anything but more flowers in their yards. I live in the city of St. Louis so this should be a great adventure. Fortunately, I live really close to the Mississippi river, so I am hoping for some good tasting honey from all the wild plants nearby. I chose the Kelley company because we had such a good experience with their bees last year. They were incredibly easy to handle and wonderfully healthy.

My brother and I collected a wild hive from a barn at one point in the year and that was a competely different experience. They were angry, crazed, and aggressive bees. It was so much fun and a great learning experience. I definately learned what "she had a bee in her bonnet" meant.

Project 11: My Garden

So, last year I decided to plant Thai Bottle Gourds. This is a really fun plant that likes to have fun in your garden. If you decide to plant these, I've learned a couple of things.
1. The fruit hides and needs to be harvested young for eating.
2. If you miss the fruit and it gets big, paint them up for Halloween, they make great decorations.
3. Plant them far away from your garden with plenty of room to grow. Trellises are good! (50 ft high trellis)
I have a garden that is about 40 by 50 feet split up into 4x4 foot planting areas for square foot garndening. I did two plants in a 1x4 ft area with a 8 foot high trellis. They completely took over the ENTIRE garden. I would go out and prune every weekend to no avail. They loved my yard. One day I got out of the shower and looked over at my dining room window and they were on the ceiling of my house! It was crazy. After battling them all summer I let them win and decided to depend upon a good freeze to knock them out. Now I need to clean up the garden. I also need to plan what I will plant next year.

Next year, I am thinking staples. A ton of dry beans, some chick peas, okra, tomatoes, one section of melon, one section with squash, and some summer squash. Hopefully, the addition of bees will get me some good summer squash for a change.

Project 12: New Rabbit.
Cost: $100 with adoption fee and vet bills

Ok, so I have this terribly fercious bunny named Oreo. He is a siamese colored Jersey Wooley and is about 1 1/2 years old. I adore him. He believes me to be a necessary evil. He also believe he can take my 14 year old cat in a fair fight. Fortunately my cat believes this as well. I have collected about 2 gallon bags of his fur to make something out of, but alas, I am a little obsessive and want more. More importantly I would like to get him a friend so that he can stop bullying the cat. Hopefully, I can get signed up with the Missouri Houserabbit Society soon and find him a displaced buddy.

Sadly, I know there are more projects waiting patiently in my home. I know there are more costumes and sweaters and socks and crazed indoor citrus production ideas on the burner, but this is what I can think of for now. Maybe I can post again sooner than in the next year and a half and use this as my list to keep me on track. Maybe that is too much to ask.

I probably start a new job soon that will lead to additional classes in an effort to get licensing. Ah well.