Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


If you some assistance in finding an assisted living center that may work, please feel free to give me a call, I am sire we have some providers that could be a great fit. It is a free service.

By Anonymous Chuck Bongiovanni,MSW,MBA, at 3:35 PM  

Oh no, never boring! :)

You know, a couple of people have said they think blogging is down a bit, but maybe it's just seasonal? Hope so, anyway.

By Blogger cathy, at 11:48 PM  

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008  

Life at TheCastle moved swiftly from big deal entertaining for the library to taking care of family business. My mother will be moving from the assisted living place she's in to a different one and sister and I have been looking around. Sunday we spent looking at what's available down here. There are possibilities - clean, nice, bright, safe - but unfortunately, they are full scale nursing homes, and that means the residents there are mostly people who have slid fairly deeply into dementia. As sister put it – the folks have all gone there to die. Mama still has some living left to do. The one good assisted living place won't take people in who are at level 3, which is where Mama is.

We've had serious heavy rains the past few days – NOT with the tornadoes, which were south of Richmond, (we are east of Richmond) but with enough rain to at last restore the ground water that dried up last summer. What a difference in attitude I have when I know we're going into summer with enough water in the ground. Of course, all the work I'd set aside while we were doing last minute preparation for our Weekend was still sitting on my desk on Monday. I've been ticking down through that list fairly steadily, but it doesn't make for relaxing days at work.

I'm knitting away on the cabled clutches and they will be my travel knitting, because, in spite of weather forecasts and several of our party having to drop out of the trip, I am still going to MS&W on Friday. Yup. K and I will go because she has never been and I would like to smell sheep again – even wet sheep. It means missing out on being a trophy wife in Annapolis with BD who will be a commentator on May 3, at a three-way race that pits the Sultana shallop against two of its cousins in a competition for the Captain John Smith Cup, as part of the Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival in Annapolis.

Well, that is the way it is. Our WWW was double booked with the area Garden Club of Virginia day. There are only so many good weekends in the springtime and everyone wants to use them for outdoor events. And some of them aren't really all that good. For sure, if it's going to rain, I'd rather be in a sheep barn than at a regatta.

I notice that blogland is fairly dull these days and that is the only comfort I have about my own boring writing. Still and all, I am persevering because, one of these days I am sure I'll be inspired again and till then, well, there's always the chance someone is curious about TheQueen.

Happy Hump Day.

posted by Bess | 7:05 AM


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Sunday, April 27, 2008  

Yesterday's writer's workshop went really well. David Robbins was dynamic and energetic and passionate. We had one high school boy who I suspect really benefited. He's the "smart boy" in his class and Robbins accepted his smart-boy-ness but also pried up the lid of ego and, in a manly way, slipped new ideas into this boy's head. I could really see the wheels turning. Something may grow there that will benefit us all.

Mostly the people who were there were dilettantes and dabblers. They may never write anything that gets published, but they might produce something creditable, something they're proud of, something they'd share with friends or on-line. One woman - local newspaper writer, single mom clawing her way to a college degree via Internet and off-site classes at the local community college - yes - she came away with some valuable tools, with some guidance that gently but seriously pushed her away from a bad version of a good idea and towards a better way of developing it.

Yup. He was good.

The weekend wound up with a formal dinner for 8 at the B&B. I missed the autumn one but BD joined me at this one and the food was delicious and conversation was lively and vivid. But this big event is over with and I am glad. I'm ready to do my Jill Horner stuff with computers in the back room. I'm ready to knit the afternoon away. I'm ready to go somewhere next weekend and drink wine with girlfriends.

posted by Bess | 8:08 AM


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Saturday, April 26, 2008  


If you ever get a chance to hear David Robbins speak, you really owe it to yourself to take it. We had the absolute best time last night. He kept us in our seats, listening, sometimes laughing, always processing – for over an hour. At a dinner meeting on a Friday night, that's almost unheard of. I can't wait to for this afternoon, when he gets down to brass tacks about the actual writing process.

This is a big big hit for the library, the Friends and the local B&B.

Knitting blog? Oh that. Well. I want to make myself one of those cabled clutches while lime green will still be seasonally appropriate and I want to make one for BH and for M, who is the other leg of our Weekend with a Writer triumvirate. They don't take long – about a week – so I am knitknitknitting away on them. Not much to look at, but, perhaps, when they are all done, a nice photo collage, hmmm?

I climbed so many humps this week I am not sure what else is left to do at work in the coming days. This leaves me feeling slightly uneasy, but that may also be due to the knowledge that we'll be short staffed. Let us hope that is the cause. I haven't gone through all my stash yet, a sensory-deadening prep for MS&W so I don't buy More Brown Roving and Rust Colored Yarn. I've circled 10 vendors I'd like to visit, but the only thing I can think of that I'd actually like to buy is a set of sock blockers.

Okay – I haven't cleaned the house in weeks and there are a few hours before I head in to town .... I wonder if the vacuum can suck up all that dog hair.

posted by Bess | 8:13 AM


I'm really unsure about where the past few months went. I swear, it was winter, it was cold, I remember very clearly that it was cold.

And without any transition, it is now very hot in my house, and suddenly MDSW is next weekend and my WHEEL comes home, and it's just really, really odd how that happened so quickly. Rain or not, I'm very much looking forward to giving you a big hug. I'll have to check my calendar (don't I sound important) and figure out when I'm going to be there....

By Blogger Amie, at 9:24 PM  

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Friday, April 25, 2008  

Lawsee – I have become such a sluggard. Thalia has deserted me along with all her other literary sisters. I feel slightly sad and a tee tiny bit guilty about not writing, especially not writing beautifully – but then I look around at the things that are happening and I just have to accept that, what is, is what is. For the most part, the only time I have to write is early in the morning and I've been sleeping hard and long lately – a good thing because I have dragged myself through enough endless days following insomniac nights over the past 5 years. I am sure my silence is not because I have become suddenly stupid this 2008, or insensitive to my surroundings.

I knew that this spring was going to be cram packed with the type of thinking that I don't usually have to do – analytical thinking about the role, quantity, specific type, and ethical use of technology at the library. A big project suddenly grew enormous when we found ourselves changing the library software. I have to know the most about this stuff because I have to be able to share and convince not just the staff and public users, but the policy board and funding people. I have to admit this has been fun – something of a challenge, an opportunity to push people into thinking about New Things – but it seems to have sucked up my urge to communicate anywhere else in my life. It's going to go on, too, for another couple of months. Possibly till October, though not all the time at full tilt. I promise, there will be opportunities for verbosity this summer and I shall take full advantage of them.

What's happenin' this weekend, though, for the lucky few who have yet to hear about it, is our Friends of the Library's Weekend with a Writer. I was so thrilled when my cousin, BH was able to take on this group last spring. She'd already been a board member and helped with some great projects, but as president she has been a dynamo. She hooked up with the innkeepers at our pretty local B&B and cooked up this idea of inviting an author to T-town for the weekend. The author speaks at the Friends dinner on Friday nights and does something at the library on Saturday afternoon – varying as the interests, scope and talents of the author do. Last fall we held an antiques roadshow with author Emyl Jenkins. This spring, David Robbins is going to hold a writer's workshop. He's writer in residence at the College of William and Mary. Guests at the inn get to come to the dinner, and the writers workshop and have a more intimate dinner with the author on Saturday night at the inn.

So far we've had really good response from everyone and we can only see it growing. But it's still a learning experience for us as we plot our way through the challenge of raising the literary bar in our community. (That is a wordy way of saying we've made lots of mistakes but it's still been lots of fun.)

What else that is happenin' this weekend is that my sister is coming on Sunday and we're going to look at nursing care for my mother down here. Pressure and change have again touched my family and we are looking for solutions. The load of caring for my parents, though greatly lightened by them moving into group housing, still lies heavily on my one sister. I can help very little living so far away. Mama has to move anyway. There is one place down here that might suit her. Besides, I have always understood Mama better than my sisters. Weird things she says, that drive them nuts, make sense to me. I like the doctor she'd have, there is a good, if small, hospital in town that could transfer her quickly if her needs were beyond their capabilities. Best of all, it would cut the burden in half for my sister.

So. So. The wheel turns again. And this being a week that is This Full, and also the week right before Maryland Sheep and Wool – well – I didn't want anything too demanding from the Creativity Jar, nor anything that required casting on. I want to have needles free for whatever I purchase next weekend. So. This week's activity is to Write a Love Letter.

Now. Doesn't that sound like fun?

posted by Bess | 6:55 AM


I was looking at the weather dot com guys and suddenly realized that it could rain for MS&W.

...Which is why we in the GWN hold our local S&W Festival in late June or early July. The chances of having to include mittens (lovely, by the by!) in our luggage is lessened that way...

Pretty it may be, but -11C with a wind chill of -18C and snow everywhere is not what's supposed to be happening here in April!

By Anonymous Marg in Calgary, at 8:58 AM  

I'll definitely miss MS&W this year but I went to a smaller fest this year to tide me over. It was a nice little festival but cold and rainy which wasn't as fun as 80 degree weather with sun. I didn't get to see any sheep. I'll definitely be traveling for MS&W again in the future. When it's your first sheep & wool nothing else compares.

By Blogger erica, at 8:36 AM  

Hi Bess,
I'm BUMMED! I won't be able to go to MS&W this year. We'll be in Massachusetts for a birthday party. When I realized it was the same weekend, I was dissappointed. I won't be able to come by the Spirit Trail booth and say 'hi' to you and Jen like I did last year. I'll just have to get my fix by reading other peoples blog accounts of the festival and seeing their photos. Hopefully I'll get to say 'hello' to you in 2009. Have fun!
Meredith in Maryland

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:40 PM  

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Monday, April 21, 2008  

I was looking at the weather dot com guys and suddenly realized that it could rain for MS&W. Imagine that. I've never been to a really rainy MS&W. I believe it was drizzling the first year I went and cool. And another time I wore a sweater in the morning. But usually that first weekend in May is a glorious sweep of vivid spring green against blue skies. Usually we can wear shorts by the end of the day – and believe me, I take a change with me. Usually.

But one never knows what the weather will do, does one?

I finished up those rustic mittens yesterday.

Happy FO dance going on here – and cast on for another cabled clutch. I've mislaid the bag with the good #5 needle in it – the one with the pointy tip and the bright blue rayon yarn. I confess. I have let my housekeeping go to pot and unless I take an afternoon off sometime, the house will remain in chaos mode till after Maryland. A week after – since I have to go straight back to work on the Monday following. Never a good thing. But that's just the way the schedule works out this year.

Fortunately, I have lots of needles and I'm using very bright green cotlin from KnitPicks. In fact – as I look at the clock, I see I have time to knit a bit more – so off I go.

Happy Monday to you all.

posted by Bess | 6:51 AM


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Sunday, April 20, 2008  

Thank you, thank you all, for the kind words. We are still giddy with joy in this house, having a binocular guy again. He is so happy he bought himself a new sail boat. New to him, of course. He sold his boat last fall and has been looking around for its replacement all winter. Suddenly, 2 weeks ago, a Tiki 21 showed up on the market – not 100 miles away. I won't see him now for the next month.

Just in time for me to slip away to MS&W – hmmm? Where I can't imagine there is anything I want to buy this year – not anything in particular, that is. I have enough wonderful yarn and fiber to keep me happy for years – I have wheels, spindles, needles. I have books, patterns, a swift, a ball winders. I have no place to put a drum carder and since that is essentially a bed of nails, I am not tempted to try to force one into the house. I guess I'll just be going for the funnel cakes.

Oh. No. I forgot. A funnel cake is 12 WW points. I think I'll pass on that.

So. Why am I going? Well. I'll be going with friends I like – at least one of whom has never been to any fiber festival. Introducing someone to the magic that is a huge fiber extravaganza is bound to be a treat. And I do love that green pasture and the excitement of all the people flush with their happy purchases. The fiber arts competition is always inspiring – some of the garments really knock your socks off. And this year I can sit through the auction if I want. Nothing I need to buy but it'll be fun to see how prices run. And while I am not interested in livestock – I would love to watch some of the animal judging. I've had my catalog for weeks now but haven't had time to read it – I'll do so today and see if there will be any animal displays I'd really like to see. Looking at a fiber on it's source is truly educational.

I've been wanting to write about my experience as a first time e-bay seller – which was frustrating and tense and complicated and which also turned out well. Trouble is – when it was all fresh and inspirational, I was swamped with Other Things To Do and now as it's receding into the background, I don't feel the passion of my muse. The good news is that I made some $ and I also know how to sell things on e-bay. I'm not all that sure I want to sell things on e-bay – but I know how to. Whew. And getting that harp out of my house has opened up a whole room. It was so big and so delicate it just sat in the room upstairs daring anybody to come in. Now there is a place for a desk and my paperwork and even for guests to stay once again.

This is NOT the room that could be a studio for me. It is already half BD's and I don't intend to share studio space with him. But it will be wonderful to be able to sit down at a desk and do the family bookkeeping. And then close the door behind me when I walk away.

Fiber news will come later on – maybe later today, certainly sometime. Again, thank you all for your warm support.

posted by Bess | 7:03 AM



By Blogger Catherine, at 7:18 AM  


By Blogger Larry, at 9:18 AM  

Belated Happy Anniversary...and praise God that BD can see a bit better, the beautiful woman who's been by his side for so many years.

Mazel tov!


By Anonymous Marg in Calgary, at 5:58 PM  

A belated Happy Anniversary from this side of the world, too! Such brilliant news about BD's sight!

By Blogger KathyR, at 9:15 PM  

How very wonderful.

By Blogger cathy, at 1:08 AM  

Oh, what wonderful news!

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 8:47 AM  

Happy anniversary and Yay to the universe for being such a great shopper!

Hope you like Enchanted!


By Blogger Amie, at 6:08 PM  

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Friday, April 18, 2008  

Our anniversary gift from the universe was the return to BD, a month after extensive eye surgery, of a little vision. Enough to make him wake up shouting happily. Some gifts are beyond price.

posted by Bess | 6:29 AM


A very happy anniversary to you both!

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 8:53 AM  

Happy Anniversary!

By Blogger Catherine, at 12:00 PM  

Happy anniversary! How wonderful to spend many years with someone wonderful!

By Anonymous diann, at 7:37 PM  

very cool
Digg / All News, Videos, &

By Blogger Jesper petersen, at 8:38 AM  

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Thursday, April 17, 2008  

It is our 34th, which according to the jewelers is the opal anniversary. I really like opals – they are one of my top favorite stones. But we shan't be shopping for jewels today. I'm not sure what we'll be doing other than dining out. I'm taking the day off. We both read late into the night like naughty kids, giggling about who gets to hold the flashlight. It's a blue sky sunshiny day and is supposed to get into the 70's. That is enough of an anniversary gift for me.

It's not too early now but since nobody has anything to get up for, I believe BD is going to sleep way late – so I am off to watch Enchanted.


posted by Bess | 7:41 AM


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008  

Not just the day after 2 board meetings and a committee meeting.
Not just the day after paying my taxes.
Not just the day after juggling bank accounts.
Not just the day I finally get my teeth fixed.

It's Wednesday and everybody knows that Wednesday means Story Hour Day!

That giant whooshing sound is me - sighing.

Hope you feel the same way.

posted by Bess | 7:22 AM


Me too, Dear Bess, me too. I came up as a peanut, that is. Good thing, too, as it's my favourite butter. I eat it right off the spoon -- almost daily!

P.S. Our snow is gone, but it's still too cool to garden...


By Anonymous Marg in Calgary, at 8:44 PM  

Hazel Nut here, and Happy Belated Anniversary!

It's truly beautiful that BD woke up to the happiness of seeing better! Huzzah!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:55 PM  

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008  

You Are A Peanut

You are popular, even with people who tend to have picky taste.

Kids love you, as do dogs. From rednecks to snobs, most people have a place for you in their hearts.

As popular as you are, there are some people who can't be near you.

Don't take it too personally. There's just a few people you rub the wrong way.

What Nut Are You?

Thanks for the link, F. And the chuckle. I suspect this is pretty much on the mark.

Today is my hump day because it's meeting day for both my library board and my Friends board. Lots on the table. Lots to discuss. Easypeasy when it's all over, in spite of dentist on Wednesday.

posted by Bess | 6:46 AM


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Monday, April 14, 2008  

Thanks anonymous! I had forgotten I had a link to instructions on how to use excel for making knitters graph paper. What fun. I have open office so I haven't been able to save this as any sort of graphic file I might post on-line. I could scan it – which I might actually do, and I have Microsoft excel at work so I will give that a try at lunchtime today. But if any of you wise guys out there have any idea how to make an excel chart into a .jpg file, inquiring minds want to know.

I'm back in harness today – another long busy week with ThingsToDo. And teeth to fix. Suddenly my teeth decided to go all old age and crippled on me. Thank goodness they waited till my insurance ramped up to include dental. Whew. I think, otherwise, I'd be $pending big buck$.

No knitting was done this weekend. I spent Friday afternoon outdoors with BD, really being in the early springtime. Work on Saturday and gardening on Sunday and more laundry than you could believe two people could amass sprinkled throughout the days left me with little time for fiber. I'm giving serious thoughts to MS&W these days. I am thinking that I really don't have anything to buy. Of course, I think this every year and then spend like a crazy drunk anyway, but I wonder, really.... what do I want this time? What am I looking for? Some more spindles? Any books? Special fibers? It's odd, but in a way, the Creativity Jar has made me look at my stash and use it as well, made me move forward through interesting projects in a way that, say, the Year of No New Yarn did not. Re-framing things to something more pro-active, something less punitive, has satisfied a lot of my acquisitiveness.

Well – all that sounds mighty hifalutin but that's not to say I shan't succumb to the group energy of mass buying. I'm fairly broke this year, so that should help curb my spending some. And I'll be introducing newbies to the show and they tend to be careful too. Seasoned attendees will dig deep into their pockets, but first timers are usually too overwhelmed to spend much. Besides, K is the measured and careful sort.

Ahh well, It's all 3 weeks away and between now and then I have a mountain of Other Stuff to manage, accomplish, achieve, and do. Off I go to face the week. May yours be creative and filled with joy.

posted by Bess | 7:43 AM


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Sunday, April 13, 2008  

Oh dear. I am not very good at color charting. At least - not for public viewing.

Whenever I am working on something that needs charted out I tend to just scratch out a few lines on paper and mark the squares with x's. I've charted out several stitch patterns in my 2nd Barbara Walker book – I love me some charts.

But coloring in 24 x 31 little square neatly and tidily is ... boring. And not my best skill. I wish I had some sort of drawing program that would let me just click in the colors – but so far I haven't figured out how to do it with Paint. Ah well. I shall persevere.

And here is a nifty website for printing out knitters graph paper - you know - the kind with flattened rectangles instead of squares.

The week coming up is a demanding week. There is Much To Do and I am looking at this week, not as an adversary, but as a very complex pattern I have to figure out, plot, and execute. And then I begin to wonder why I'm making such a Big Deal out of it. I suspect it is because most of my life is pretty easy most of the time. So when, now and then, a week comes along that is highly structured, full of activities and still a long way away from easy living vacation retirement style – I feel daunted.

Also there is a dentist appointment that includes repair work.

I'm glad today will be an at home day with ordinary household tasks – and knitting!



There's a serious case of Boat Fever raging through TheCastle these days. Any of you out there ever have to live with someone laid low with Boat Fever? You know whereof I speak.

3 more weeks to MS&W! Ta.

posted by Bess | 7:49 AM


Color charts are nice!

Do you have Excel or similar spreadsheet package? It takes a bit of time, but if you re-size enough cells (or rows and columns) for your chart, you can then put color in the cells as needed (I think, without going to look, that the background color choices is under the Format tab) - highlight several to format at one time, or do one at a time. You can also copy one cell into another cell.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:21 PM  

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Saturday, April 12, 2008  

Yes Diann, the purple is lilac, but the creamy one is a Burkwood Viburnum – my anniversary flower. Not because I carried a bouquet of them in a wedding – we got married at the courthouse in Rockville MD. But because they always bloom, most fragrantly, in mid-April, when our anniversary occurs. I discovered them in the old parking lot of the Va. Museum of Art in Richmond and was enchanted. I tracked down a source for them and planted 4 in my garden.

Yesterday was the first really hot day of spring and I got to spend most of it at home. I have to work today and on the weeks I work Saturdays I usually take Friday off. Alas, I had an appointment with the library furniture salesman and had to go in anyway – and isn't this just the way of the world – when I got there he called and said he was running 2.5 hrs. late!!

We rescheduled.

And I had another meeting so it wasn't a total loss of day-offedness and I managed to get the grocery shopping done and to get home in time to take both a fantastic walk with dogs through the springtime forests and fields
with a stop off at Jacob's Gut for a bit of a cooldown (there are three dogs - but one is to the right, in the shaddows)

There was even time for a long ramble with BD down the less familiar roads of Essex Co. I'm pretty familiar with all the roads of central and upper Essex, but the lower end of the county is mostly a mystery to me. We had an errand to run yesterday down below Dunnsville and BD, who knows this county like the proverbial back of his hand, navigated me all around.

This week's Creativity Jar task is:

knit a pair of mittens

How fortunate that I'm half way to completion already. But I want to write up the pattern for these mittens, which includes a colorwork chart ... last week's task ... These mittens are knit from some wonderful Cotswold x CVM cross I purchased from Spirit Trail and I would love for Jen to have them for people to look at in her Maryland Sheep and Wool booth – which, my dears, is just 3 weeks away!!

Yep. Fiber Nirvana is that near. I knew it was coming and I've reserved the hotel room, but there has been, and still is so much to do this month that I hadn't counted up the days. I will be taking friends from T-town this year who haven't been to MS&W before so I shan't be working at Jen's booth, but I'd like to make a little contribution to my dear friend's endeavors. A nice sample of her fibers, spun and knit up ought to help a bit.

So – my fiber time over the next 2 weeks will be spent pattern writing and knitting and by then, it ought to be warm enough to take advantage of another of the slips I know is lurking in the CJ, and go drink my morning coffee out on the pier. Hmmm. Come to think of it – it's that warm this morning. I think I'll indulge myself.

Happy knitting to you all.

P. S. Is this a House-0-Dogs or what!?

posted by Bess | 7:13 AM



By Blogger Amie, at 2:01 PM  

Could you send some our way? We still have sn-sn-sn- (you know)!


By Anonymous Marg in Calgary, at 9:27 AM  


Very different from spring flowers in the SF Bay Area. Is the purple flower a lilac? Are the creamy ones primroses?

By Anonymous diann, at 3:44 PM  

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Thursday, April 10, 2008  

April flowers too

posted by Bess | 7:30 AM


Your colors look beautiful together. Love the striped bit at the tip that echoes the corrugated ribbing. Spinning on three different wheels? Playtime! :)

By Blogger cathy, at 11:50 PM  

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008  

Is it Spring yet?

Here is the rustic mitten, pre-blocking. I was a bit concerned that it was too small – too short at the fingertips, but wet setting it opened up both the fiber and the stitches so that it fits my hand perfectly. It's also very cushion-ey and warm. My original intention with this yarn was to make fingerless mitts, but I think such a hefty yarn created too big a pattern across the hands. A more delicate fine yarn knit into fair isle patterns would please me more. Something rugged and rustic like this looks better in the full mitten shape.

My short term memory is pretty much shot to hell these days. I had forgotten I'd spun 2 small skeins of the gold yarn. Happily I discovered a second one in my knitting bag so I know there will be plenty of yarn to knit mitten #2. In fact, I'll cast on for that today AND chart out the stranded colorwork pattern, thus fulfilling my CJ project. In fact, I plan to write up the pattern, along with spinning instructions for those who are inspired.

Another crammed, crowded, weird April week in store for me. The planets are all at war with each other and I am going to duck my head, take nothing personal, and plow forward.

posted by Bess | 6:57 AM


Wow! pretty mitten!! Can't wait to see it in person.

Sounds like you had a nice rainy Sunday, too ~ I did, too (lots of knitting on an Icarus shawl :-D ).

Hugs, Jen

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:41 PM  

A very belated comment on this post from early April when I visited -- what a wonderful day that was! I feel particularly privileged to have had the opportunity to spend some time in your lovely home, and share a meal with you and BD, and test your wheels and play with fiber and doggies. Just a lovely, lovely day. I'm still in awe of your property. Thank you so much for having me! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 3:03 PM  

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Sunday, April 06, 2008  

Usually the April showers ditty has nothing to do with Virginia. Usually it's March showers and April drought and maybe a little May relief. But this year we are really getting April showers. Rain and then rain and when it doesn't rain, I seem to be indoors at work and never realize any lovely springtime weather has showed up till I go home in the evenings. It was rainy on Friday night, and yesterday morning and last night and it's raining again right now. But in the afternoon, when M visited, the rain let up just enough to let the bright green of springtime show through.

My yard is nothing to show off these days, especially to a gardener, but we were devoting yesterday to fiber toys anyway, and besides, gardeners know that sometimes we have to give it a rest. Or even an abandonment if that's what's called for. There's a lot of fun just knowing that out there beneath the weeds and honeysuckle are secret surprises.

What we did do was to paw through some of the bags of fiber on top of my stash and spin on all three of the wheels and all half dozen of the spindles. And all my babies played nicely. The wheels spun, the spindles didn't hit the ground and there was blue faced Leicester, and there was boarder Leicester and there was alpaca and silk blend and there was some blue merino and ruby wine red polwarth. And now I just remember - I never showed her my spinning notebook. Rats. Well, she'll just have to come back again.

Ha! and there were no photographs! At one time all three wheels were out in the living room and BD walked in and said “This looks like a shop.” I believe M took one photo and I hope she posts it. It is of Priss, one of my Good Dogs, spinning. But here is what's left of our fiber debauchery.

We also looked through the choices in the Creativity Jar and this week's task, deliberately picked because the rest of April is going to be So Crammed Packed with Dooty, is to

Chart a stranded colorwork design. In short – play with graph paper and colored pencils. May your Sunday be full of color too.

posted by Bess | 8:29 AM


Vi passed along a new moon ritual and asked me to share it with you. Write yourself a "check" on yellow paper. On the pay to the order of line write your name. On the dollar line, write paid in full. on the signature line write the Law of Attraction. On the note line, write the thing you wish to have. She swears she's been doing it for years and it works.

By Blogger Catherine, at 6:32 PM  

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Saturday, April 05, 2008  

The New Moon takes place 2.55pm Sydney tomorrow. That's 4.55am Sunday in London and 8.55pm Saturday in New York. The closer to just before then that you make a wish, the more powerful it's said to be. Because Venus is making a hard angle to Pluto at the time of the New Moon, it's a particularly good time to let go of any obsessive, compulsive behaviors which you know are doing you no good. Ditto any unhealthy relationships you have with food or money or both. The New Moon is always a great time to start again - and it's a Use It Or Lose It Chance. This New Moon in particular is a good Start Over moment because it's in the first sign of the zodiac, Aries.

Okay, my friends – that's this weekend and it comes straight (with a leetle bit of editing) from MsHoroscope. Get your wishes ready and don't wish your boss would drop dead, either. Wish good stuff for yourself.

I haven't pulled my Creativity Jar slip this week yet. I was swamped with work on Thursday and Friday and since M is coming for a visit, I thought I'd wait till she got here and we can pick one together.

And with that – I better go clean my house. This is her first visit and I want everything to be as nice as a rainy Saturday of spinning can be.


posted by Bess | 7:41 AM


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Friday, April 04, 2008  

All that is left of that mitten now is the cuff and about an inch of the hand – and I'm about to rip that back too. I decided the problem with that mitten was the thumb placement. I'd put it too low, so the rest of the mitten was bound to rise too high, making the mitten way too long. There was one little flaw just below the thumb placement and since I've ripped out this much, I may as well go all the way back to the error and have a pattern perfect piece.

Yesterday was another long one in the city – with dr. visits and some few errands for BD and with lunch thrown in – well, there you have it. Another day gone. But we don't have to go back for 2 weeks. Not that I don't enjoy trips to the city with BD and the chance to meet with friend for lunch. But I do have a job that is a major player in the financial game of my life. 6 days out of the past 3 weeks is making an impact on my productivity.

We're still wending our way through the magic that is being an ebay seller of bulky heavy objects. Not done yet but I believe I see the light at the end of the tunnel. We were so busy constructing packaging last night I never pulled out a Creativity Jar slip. Guess I'll go do that this morning. As for last week's cartoon movie – the best I could do was Song of the South – which my dear friend lent me – and which I remember watching when I was a wee thing. Zippidooda! I love me some Br'er Rabbit.

But I still plan to see Brave little toaster and Shrek.

Happy Friday

posted by Bess | 6:51 AM


Ah, Dear Bess...A gorgeous mitten-in-progess, despite Mount Everest! Come visit me one January, and I'll find you some snow!


By Anonymous Marg in Calgary, at 8:52 AM  

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Thursday, April 03, 2008  

I check my horoscope pretty nearly every day. It's fun. It's like a puzzle or a fortune cookie or just a giggle. But now and then MrHoroscope hits the nail smack on the head and this week he's done it two days running.

Passion is a wonderful thing, provided it's aimed in an appropriate direction. Strong feelings are hurtling through your heart and mind. You are overreacting to factors that don't deserve as much energy as you feel inclined to give them. Begin your return to a greater level of comfort by refusing to let a certain matter worry or irritate you. Bring your enthusiasm for a particular idea back down to a realistic level. And don't let a minor matter start to become enormously significant.

I am dealing with something new and irritating and I am sure I'm making Mount Everest out of nothing and I'm constantly having to push down Fears of Failure. But it will eventually end. I just have to take a deep breath and do the Next Thing. When I'm done, I'll be better off than before it began. I always knew it was this middle stuff that was going to be such a pain. Now I'm in the middle, though - nothing to do but go forward. But this sort of plug in my energy wrecks havoc on all sorts of happy fun things; like blogging, for example.

Other things prodding into blogging time and literary exuberance are More Dr. Visits (today) and allergies (much better, though) and work and oh yeah, income taxes. No wonder my knitting is going awry. I'd hoped to post photos of my hand spun mitten knittin' project but it's got to be ripped back almost to the cuff. I've got to eliminate some rows from the colorwork pattern and see if I can shorten it without loosing the dark brown in the dark red. I am positive I can and I'll do a tidier job of knitting it this time.

The fabric it's creating is incredibly thick and plush and if I only lived in the frozen north they'd probably be my favorite mittens in the world. One winter we shall have snow and I will be the last one to get cold hands in the snowball fight.

Happy Thursday to you all.

Oh, what the heck. Here it is.

posted by Bess | 7:28 AM


The suspense is killing me--what animated movie did you select?

One of my favorites is an oldie, but a goody: "The Rescuers," with Bob Newhart and Ms. Gabor. I love it!

By Blogger Nerdy Knitter, at 3:14 PM  

I watch an insane amount of cartoon movies. Many of them quite enjoyable.

I do think the perfect movie right now is Enchanted, which is only part cartoon. But it has absolutely everything that entertains me (well, except for Gene Kelly and dancing Gregory Hines). Great music, silly jokes, flighty romance, mocks itself, lead woman isn't wimpy when she needs to be strong, pretty costumes.... I watched it twice last week, and that's without the DVD extras that can easily entertain me for hours more.

By Blogger Amie, at 11:32 PM  

A little behind, but just catching up.... Lucky socks and the hero doctor's grandson -- good omens, to be sure!

By Blogger cathy, at 12:19 AM  

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008  

Oh la! Time is slipping by again and I've intended to blog but: allergies have thrown off my sleeping pattern; my BD, who isn't permitted to read right now, wants lots of company and has been way too loving and dear to just abandon to himself; it's been raining too hard to take photos; and I've been caught up in an ebay adventure that I will share, once it's over – let us hope sometime this week.

But to catch up on the news:

The Birthday Socks were a wild success – they fit, he loves them, they're good looking. I'll photograph them one of these days but suffice it to say – a Happy Birthday was had. We discovered a new (to us) restaurant in Colonial Beach and, even though WW is tonight, I indulged in fried seafood. I never eat fried seafood but oh am I glad I did last night, because it was done to absolute perfection.

I didn't start the new clutch purse because suddenly I wanted to knit on the mittens I'm making from the handspun fibers from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. She has photos of the fiber up on her March 25 blog post. I had abandoned them for the socks, but also because I wasn't happy with how they were turning out. While Birthday knitting the answer came to me in a flash and I ripped back a wee bit and started again. I'm TONS happier now and I will have a picture up soon – though, alas – probably not till Thursday. Late night tonight, early departure tomorrow.

Looks like it'll have to be Shrek. Thanks for the suggestions, dears. Off I go.

posted by Bess | 7:30 AM