Archive for July, 2014

This weekend is looking like it might be an interesting one. Seems like I’ll be crocheting a sleeve. That’s right crocheting, not knitting, one sleeve. Not two sleeves. Just one. Not a garment. Just one sleeve.

The Skipper’s socks are almost done. I completed the torturous gusset decreases and am now sailing away on the foot towards the toe and finish line. But they are on hold for the weekend.

The crochet garment I was grading is complete except for the sleeve measurements. I crochet, but not often. I can, for the most part, read crochet patterns and figure out what comes next as long as I have the item in front of me and am physically doing the crocheting. While I can follow a knitted pattern in my head without picking up the needles I am not that adept with crochet. Hence the one crocheted sleeve weekend.

I have the yarn, I don’t have the exact size hook required but I do have the next size up from it. Usually I crochet tightly even when relaxed, so I normally use the next size larger hook. For this project I am counting on being wound up to the gills so the larger hook should work. The hook, even one size up is still very tiny. It will make lovely minuscule, tight, stitches. (Note to self: Super clean the reading glasses.)

In preparation for this weekend of crochet I’ll be stopping by CVS to replenish my headache / migraine tablets. I’ll also visit the organic food store for more relaxation drops. The relaxation drops come in a very, very small and expensive bottle with an eye dropper. Place one excruciatingly small drop on each index finger and massage into temples while inhaling and exhaling deeply. I figure start with the drops then on with my crochet odyssey.

I mean how hard can it be to crochet one sleeve? There are directions. I don’t understand them, but they’re there. The sleeve has some sort of sleeve cap shaping at the top which might be a little dicey in crochet because I can’t count crochet stitches as easily as I can knit stitches. (Note to self: Read dosage amounts for relaxation drops over a 48 hour period.)

Have a great weekend.


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At the moment I have a number of vintage crochet patterns that need grading. No not the kind of A, B, C, grades one gets in school, rather it’s sizing them to fit current measurement standards. So how do I go about grading vintage patterns when, as we all know, no actually true sizing standard exists? Lots of research.

While I am easily familiar with baby and children’s sizes I am not so with women’s sizes. I can look at rows and rows of figures for children and pick out which ones are out of sync by eye. Not so with adult sizes. Having worked so long with small people’s dimensions, the world of adult sizes all look so…big.

I feel like my little seven year old self who, when going clothes shopping with my Nana in the “big” stores, sensed exactly how small I was in the scheme of things. Along with that sense of smallness came the attendant feelings of awe and fear. I remember that when it all became too overwhelming for me, I hid in the middle of circular racks of clothing. My Grandmother would search the various racks until she found the two stick thin legs ending in scuffed and torn sneakers sticking out from the bottom of the rack below the clothes. I always felt a sense of rescue at that point. She had finished shopping and I knew I’d be whisked back to her car, driven away from the store and returned to my smaller world.

Unfortunately, today I don’t have a circular clothing rack to hide in. I have considered my closet, but the amount of things I’d need to “rearrange” to fit myself in there and close the door is daunting. Today there really is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Being an adult is like that.

I have one gem of information to share from my foray into the world of adult sizes: Bust size is not chest size. The bust measurement taken at the fullest part of the bust is just that. To find a woman’s chest size the measurement is taken with tape measure wrapped around the chest under the bust. It is the chest measurement taken from under the breasts that decided bra size. The difference between the bust size and chest size determines the cup size of the bra. A 4″ difference is a D cup, 3″ is a C cup, 2″ is a B cup, and 1″ is an A cup.

Why is the chest size important? Divide the number in half and it’s close to the crossback measurement. So for those women who don’t have someone to measure crossback try measuring the chest and dividing it in half. Subtract an inch or half an inch and viola! crossback measurement.

And now I am going to look for a clothing rack work on sizing these patterns.

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Another night of destruction for Yarn Rascal. His second Gold Paw award in as many days.


He is truly nocturnal and I am losing the struggle to turn him into a normal dog. The time has come to let go, hope for the best, but be prepared for heaven only knows what, and let him develop as he will.

Last night he trashed my decorative silk flowers. The African Violet ones that I so carefully searched for in store after store because I wanted them to be realistic. We had quite a windstorm last night with heavy thunder and the wind must have knocked them out of their holders (little wicker baskets) and onto the floor where destructo dog found them and…well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty this morning.

On the positive side, his gastrointestinal tract still seems to be functioning normally.

Mom saw the doctor. It wasn’t one of her better days. Too boot, my parents’ car battery died and The Skipper had to go rescue them in the heat and humidity.

On the positive side some very good news. Two of the sweaters I tech edited are now available for sale.

knit baby sweater with stripes raglan shape

knit baby sweater with stripes raglan shape

It can be purchased here. When I knit the pattern I made some modifications as you can see when you compare my alterations with the original below.

Striped Jumper and Beret by Highland Crafters

Striped Jumper and Beret by Highland Crafters

It’s a fun sweater to knit and will be a mainstay in any child’s wardrobe. The pattern is easy to customize. The raglan shaping is classic and looks smart. The funky stripes and simple lace ribbing gives the sweater a playful look while keeping the knitter’s interest. I really loved working on this sweater. The pattern goes quickly. The neckline and hem are folded over and sewn. This is a wonderful feature as it reinforces the sweater at precisely the points where wear is most likely to occur.

When I look at this sweater I hear a child laughing, see it playing, running and jumping and enjoying life. Check it out. Striped Jumper and Beret by Highland Crafters.

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So much is going on that it will take more than one post to tell it all. But first up, a little aside. Yarn Rascal won another Golden Paw Award!


Along with Mom not doing well, Yarn Rascal’s decided, for some unknown but worrisome reason, that he can’t eat his food out of his dish without being hand fed by me with a spoon. Even then, it is reluctant eating. However, the Little Devil Darling had no problem chomping down this:

Spool of Thread Yarn Rascalized

The plastic parts of a spool of navy blue thread which I mistakenly left on the end table after sewing on the buttons to my two newest baby sweaters.

baby hoodie fs 1

Baby Sweater Collar LS

While I am waiting to see what’s up with my mother’s condition, I am also nervously awaiting complications in Yarn Rascal digestive tract from eating the plastic spool. Oh how I wish spools were still made of wood!

In the meanwhile this picture I found on the internet sums up exactly how I feel.



It’s my next knitting project.

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I’ve been a bit quiet lately. It’s not that I haven’t been knitting. I’ve been knitting so much over the last 6 days that I could have completed a nice sweater for a T Rex. If it looked like yarn and it didn’t move it turned to knitting on my needles. This is what I do when the stress level in my life rises far above my comfort zone.

Mom was in the hospital the last 6 days. It was a sudden kind of thing and when I got the call the first thing I did as I ran out the door was grab the knitting bag. Since I know my family well, and I know how things in life can go down hill as fast as a sled on ice, I keep a prepacked knitting bag handy. Inside the bag is everything I need to meet whatever stress level I will achieve while dealing with the emergency. This time the bag held two sock patterns, a shawl pattern, needles, yarns, and crochet hook.

One sock pattern was for low to medium stress. The pattern was moderately challenging, requiring some attention, but not enough where I couldn’t monitor medical equipment, changes in mom’s condition, or repeatedly put it down mid-knit to speak with nurses (nice people), or in that very, very rare instance a doctor, and not be able to pick up the sock again and easily continue on in pattern.

The second sock pattern in the bag was an ICU type knit. It required no mental attention from me, something just to keep my hands busy so I can’t strangle the doctor when and if he ever does appear. I can easily monitor all medical equipment, keep current with the medical charts and closely monitor changes in the patient.

The third project in the bag is a shawl. It too requires no mental attention from me, except to turn the work at the end of each row. This is for the long, arduous trek. The hospital stay that may not end well.

When I got to the hospital and assessed the situation I realized that sock number one was the appropriate project for the situation. After 3 days and no doctor visit, my mother’s condition worsened and sock number one wasn’t quite controlling my desire to seek out her elusive doctor and drag his sorry self to her bedside. The woman hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink (per doctor’s orders) in 72 hours and now both her blood pressure and blood sugar levels were going off. Yes, her doctor had time to deny her food and fluids but not enough time to step in the room and see her and start treatment.

On day 5, I changed to sock number two. I walked through the halls knitting and to the head of the hospital’s office. I know his secretary very well. The hospital head and my friend were horrified at what was going on especially since the remedy was simple. Alas, the head of the hospital said he had “no control” over the doctor’s that worked there. Really? That’s when I paused my knitting and nicely put it in my bag. With the knitting now out of my hands I crossed over into a feral state.

I resembled a mama woodchuck protecting one of her woodchucklets. I believe I might have even bared my teeth. Before I could walk the entire hospital back to my mother’s room (a small hike like the Appalachia Trail), navigate through the mental health patients that are permitted outside their wing and who love to stop people and chat about all kinds of interesting things (why do you walk and knit? How do you tell someone on a mental health wing I walk and knit so I don’t strangle my mother’s doctor and make it sound sane?), the doctor had been “in” and “seen” my mother and ordered treatment.

They released her on day 6. Her release coincided perfectly with the severe thunderstorms and their down pours and damaging winds. Flooded roads, downed trees, and an entire block of electricity poles knocked down like they were toothpicks and still I got her home and myself home safely.

I feel a giant yarn binge coming on as a sort of celebration.

Have a great weekend.

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