Due to the impending Anime’ convention in Seattle this month all knitting, spinning and other selfish endeavors have been set aside to help my minions daughters prepare for the big event.  Who am I kidding, I serve them, not the other way around.

We sort of have a work area in the garage set aside, but it is uninsulated, needs a dividing wall between it and the main part of the garage and a HEAT SOURCE!  It’s cold as balls out there.  The good news is that we have a brand spanking new sewing machine for sewing and “editing”costumes, as my middle daughter refers to altering.  It is a bare-bones, heavy-duty machine that makes me happy.  It zips through several layers of leather or heavy material like it’s nothing!


I hope to get my old machine in reasonable working order so two machines can be running simultaneously because we have a lot to finish.  Three rave (pg-13 style) outfits, three gowns for a masquerade ball, and numerous outfits for daily wear must be built, repaired, embellished, etc.  The workbench next to the sewing table is already cluttered with a variety of craft supplies and miscellaneous “weaponry” in progress.


The cupboards below are well-stocked with assorted tools, including a sander, dremel, heat gun, several hot glue guns, hack saws, etc.  At some point we hope to convert and organize the various items into one well-stocked and comfortable work, play area, where nerds of all variety feel welcome to hang out and read, watch movies or create cool stuff.  Currently the willy-nilly collection of treasures and artwork is strewn about the house.  Here are some of the things that bring joy to my family…



Some of my dh’s sci-fi toys



Armor bits and headwear stashed atop the wardrobe. Not sure what the scythe head was from.



Dh’s really old Star Wars posters.



Anime’ and original artwork.



Wigs, weapons and miscellaneous debris.



A3′s favorite characters.



Assorted wall scrolls.

Previously worn cosplays are, by and large, piled in a wardrobe in bags, but eventually we need to hang them neatly in garment bags, touch up wigs, etc. and put them on stands so they aren’t ruined. 

When our ideal area is completed I shall make a huge sign saying, “Welcome to Nerdvana” and hang it on the door.  Cheers!



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Mid Birthday Post

March is a heavy birthday month in our circle of acquaintances.  Yesterday three people I know had birthdays, including my one and only sister.  I haven’t seen her yet, as she and my brother-in-law took a mini-vacation to parts unknown.  The next time I see her I’ll give her the presents I made for her.  First, is this lacy tank made of Elsebeth LaVold’s Silky Wool.   I didn’t have enough of the yarn to make a big project, but luckily, my sister just happens to be a small person!  That being said, please keep in mind that it will NOT be this tight on her.  


Here is a closeup of the bottom lace.  I think it was “Horseshoe Lace”, but I could be wrong.  I took a random stitch pattern out of a book several years ago and made the pattern up.  Originally I intended to make short sleeves on it, but yarn ran out.


Her second present is a cranberry bracelet.  I commissioned Karen to make the white beads with the vines and berries.  She is quite talented!  The little glass “cranberries” between the white beads were purchased from a local bead store.


Friday the girls didn’t have any school.  A2 had a picnic with a friend in a park, while A3, Thor and I occupied ourselves elsewhere.  I did try taking a stealth picture with my zoom, but it isn’t very clear.  Although it was sunny, temperatures still aren’t that high.


Yesterday we made a visit to our friend in Independence, OR.  He is getting ready to go in for major surgery and will be staying in Seattle for several weeks.  We took Thor with us.  I helped him take a selfie on the ride down.


The poor pooch is having skin issues, so we’re trying different treatments for him.  The vet seems to think he has allergies, possibly to fleas, although we’ve not had a flea problem with him.  Thor has really bad dandruff so I’m thinking food might be a culprit. 

For the road trip I took the “once-was-going-to-be-a-sock-but-turned-into-a-mitten” project. 


Failure to write down instructions mean that when (if) a mate is ever completed there is a good chance that it may not be an exact mirror image.

Tomorrow my mom, Karen and Brian’s late aunt Peggy all share a birthday.  There are a few others, but my memory is atrocious.  Cheers!


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In Which Many Things Are Started…

but, alas, nothing is completed. This applies to housework, paperwork, kid duties, and even crafts.  I’m still  working on the plying portion of the Merino/Bamboo roving.  I like the sheen of this yarn, but the stiffness added by the bamboo made the roving a little tricky to draft. The result being that the worsted weight yarn isn’t as consistent as I’d like.  Once it’s blocked it may even out some more.  I predict approximately 400 yards of yarn once it’s done.  No particular project is planned for this.  


I began sewing the rhinestones, crystals and little pearls onto the fabric to make A1′s belt for her prom dress.  It’s slow-going because each cluster must have a new thread started so there won’t be any visible threads between the beads.  I’m using a wire, beading needles so the mesh isn’t torn. Plans are to cut around the beadwork so it looks like it is floating, or a part of the gown. There are some ghostly orange streaks in the picture that are nowhere to be found on the actual belt.


In addition to these endeavors, A1 has also requested that I completely re-sew the seams on a leather jacket that is too big.  It is for a cosplay she will do in April at Sakura-Con.

“Extra” time this week was spent making arrangements to get my van repaired.  Somebody turned in front of me on the highway.  It was an honest mistake and we were able to get the damage fixed with no out-of-pocket expenses.  The logistics involved and hours of phone calls were obnoxious though.

Minute amounts of knitting have been added to what was once a sock, but is now turning into a fingerless mitt.  Pictures to come later. I’ve been making some bracelets with a variety of beads and other materials, but I cannot show pictures until next week.

Elsewhere, I’ve started Bonny on a kitty diet and exercise regime.  She is quite fat and it’s starting to adversely effect her health.  Her breathing sounds labored and she walks like her joints hurt.  She is taking daily meds for the arthritis. She enjoys the laser-light toy, but not as much as the other critters. Not much else to report from Vancouver at this time.  Hope you are all well.


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It’s not much to brag about, but my “knitting blog” contains some actual knitting!  First up, the Katniss Cowl for A1′s cosplay for an upcoming convention.


Next, here is an afghan in its infantile stages.  I’m slow and haven’t had, what I deem, to be enough time between other tasks to do much with it… so, it languishes in the knitting basket.


Something that is not suffering from neglect is the spinning wheel.  Last night, after many months of disuse, I broke out some Meriboo from Spunky Eclectic and started some singles.  


And finally, I met some local ladies this afternoon for a couple of hours of knitting.  A portable sock, started long ago, was plucked from the WIP shelf.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember what I was did, where I intended to go with the pattern (it was an idea I had), or even the best way to incorporate a heel cup with the previously knitted eye-of-the-partridge heel flap.  I ended up frogging it back and the sock might be downgraded to a fingerless mitten.

The others who brought their knitting made leaps and bounds with their projects.  Sharon was working on these amazing colorwork mittens.


Minna finished a vest.  The color gradations are gorgeous and this picture does not give justice to the garment!minnavest

And Miss Ellie, even completed some stitches on a dark green scarf!


Getting out of the house was thoroughly enjoyable. It served as a much-needed break from the daily stresses born of mundane activities.  Hopefully this event can be repeated, with even more people next month.

In non-fiber news.  My parents stopped by on their way through town a few days ago.  They came laden with stacks of fabric.  My mom is giving it to my girls so they can practice sewing.  

The critters are up to their usual antics, in fact, a demanding squirrel is glaring at me through the window as I type.  Those particular rodents are not high on my favorite list right now.  I had hoped that at least a few of my hydrangea and daffodil bulbs had survived their scavenging, but a few days ago curiosity prompted me to dig into the pots in search of green shoots.  No bulbs, but the little jerks had buried peanuts in their place.  Cheap flowers were purchased so the pots are no longer bare.   Spring can’t come soon enough.  Cheers!


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Snow, Gifts And A Cowl In Progress

Since starting my original blog, “But Mom“, over 8 years ago, I have never gone this long between posts.  It may be partially due to the fact that I’ve not completed any projects during this time. The mystery project shown in my last post, in its infantile state, has been a ball-breaker.  I’ve ripped it back so many times that the yarn is starting to pill.  I’m thinking this latest version (the last frogging was yesterday) will be the final version, regardless of what it looks like.  The project is recreating the Katniss Cowl from the movie, “Catching Fire.” A1 will cosplay as Katniss at Sakura-Con in April.  Quite a few people have written patterns to replicate this piece, but I didn’t care for any of them.


I also made a half-assed attempt to work on a special project during the Olympics, but that goal will not even come close to completion.  It’s okay though.   I do have some pictures to share from this non-productive time!

Unlike the east coast, we have been pretty lucky this winter and only had 4 days of snow here.  During this time we trekked to the park and went sledding on Hefty bags.


Following the brief snowstorm we had several weeks of rain and wind.  Lots of debris litters our yard, roof and gutters, but nothing was damaged.  A leak in the roof over A1′s bedroom left a huge stain in the ceiling drywall and it’s looking pretty gross (black, yucky mold and rust stains).  This morning the rain broke and new shingles, etc. were delivered. Tomorrow the old roof will be torn off, the leak (in a peak seam, so probably a flashing problem) fixed and we’ve got our fingers crossed that the new roof will be up before it starts raining again.

Three out of four critters were curious about the truck unloading the shingles and loading them on the roof via the conveyer belt.  They kept sticking their heads through the blinds and the rattling was driving me nuts. I finally opened them so the cats and dog could see easier.  Steve, Roxie and Thor ended up spending most of the day looking out the window, even after the excitement of the delivery was over.


Speaking of deliveries, a surprise delivery arrived all the way from India!  Inside the package were two amazing items, courtesy of Swapna.  First, she sent this amazing set of Denise, interchangeable knitting needles.  They are made with casein, which was a material a physical therapist suggested I try knitting with because it is supposed to be gentler than metal and more durable than many woods.  I. Love. These. Needles.  The Olympic knitting project that will not be done for a long time is currently on a set of them now.


The second item(s) in the package was this set of hand-woven mug rugs.  They are made of cotton and they have the loveliest shade of periwinkle with the cream and beige!  Swapna is crazy-talented with her weaving skills. I’ve put them in my display cabinet under my special teacups, china and family keepsakes.


Other non-knitting activities include the usual kid ferrying between schools and extra-curricular activities (I often have A1 drive).  A1 and I have also been on the hunt for a prom dress.  This is harder than you might think because most of the offerings are often tacky, slutty or way out of our budget (starting at $400).  

Elsewhere, I joined a gym!  Not a weight-lifting, steroid-laden, sweat-filled gym, but rather a large chain.  There are classes for the more graceful to participate in, free weights, stationary equipment and a lap pool.  The last feature is my favorite because if I lose my balance no one can tell.  I am not a good swimmer, but it feels great to get out and move several times a week.  The gym claims to have a “sauna”, but they really don’t.  It is a cedar-lined room with an electric stove where the temperature raises when you turn a knob.  A sauna is supposed to have a stove (wood or other) with rocks on top.  Once the rocks are hot the sauna is ready to start. There should be a bucket of water with a large ladle nearby so  people can challenge each other to endurance contests with skin-boiling steam.  There are no rocks in this room.  There is no water.  There is no steam.  It’s just a hot closet.  Sorry, but growing up with Finnish family members meant that we had a small house next to ours made just for taking saunas (clothing was optional). 

Hopefully, by the end of this weekend, I’ll have the Katniss Cowl finished and I’ll be able to convince one of the girls to model it for photographic evidence.  Cheers!


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Twenty-Three Feet and Four Inches

Take that Tom Baker!  

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This seemed like the scarf that wouldn’t end and there were times I considered cheating and leaving a few color repeats out or not knitting quite as many rows as the pattern called for, but A2, a.k.a. the middle kid, would have noticed. She checked periodically to make sure I wasn’t “forgetting” any and to see that I hadn’t lost my place. With the fringe this sucker is 23′ 4″ long!  


The colors, chosen by A2 herself, were not exactly like those of the original scarf, but they were what she wanted.  She wanted her scarf to be just a little bit more vibrant.


I asked her if she needed a curly wig to dress up as this version of The Doctor for Sakura-Con and she informed me that she had no intention of Cosplaying him at all. She simply wanted the scarf to “Derp around in and wear to school sometimes.”  After all this work I was kind of hoping that she’d wear it daily, plan to feature it in  costumes for the next decade, get married in it… that isn’t too much to ask.

The only way that the kid would agree to a picture of her 5’2″ self wearing the excruciatingly long, and destined for the closet accessory was if I didn’t show her face. It is Sunday and that equates to “Pajama Day” at our house.


On another note, my finger is mostly back to normal, it just won’t bend all the way at the last knuckle.  

Here is the start of A1, the oldest daughter’s, chosen Christmas knit.  Any guesses as to what it will be?


Since the first of the calendar year we’ve been taking turns passing around an assortment of ailments.  A3, the youngest daughter, recently endured a grueling stomach bug and now, alas, it is my turn.  Nurse Bonny is keeping me company.  She does tend to get cantankerous when I need to move my legs though.


As part of the unpacking and settling in project I’ve been sorting through bin after bin of old documents and pictures.  Our old house was big enough that we were able to just shove stuff into the attic for consideration at some future point.  The point is now.  We have old tax documents from before the year 2000.  Some bins and boxes contain photographs of people we don’t know in large ungainly frames.  Other boxes overflow with framed pictures of friends and family members we do know.  

I’ve created a substantial pile of papers to be shredded (anything over 5 years old, except for birth, death and marriage certificates).  Pictures are being systematically removed from frames.  Once freed I write as much information about the people in them as possible and they go into a tote.  Eventually they will all be put into books.  The mountain of frames will be given away or donated.

The sweet little darlings in this frame have now all grown up into fine young ladies and gentlemen.


In addition to the hard copies being put into books, I continue to take digital copies as well. 

So much progress has been made in the garage that we will soon be able to begin closing/walling off the studio area!  As a bonus, my DH’s little red car will fit in the front bay. We haven’t had much of a winter this year, but him not having to go scrape the windshield each morning would be such a treat.  Not much else to report. Cheers my friends!


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It is true that I am merely 2/3 of the way done with the knitting portion of my middle daughters’ Christmas present (it will also need lots of ends woven in, fringe attached and blocking).


It is also true that I haven’t even cast on my oldest and youngest daughter’s Christmas knits; which include a Katniss Everdeen cowl and a stuffed Daleks.

There is irrefutable evidence to back up my claims of having a valid excuse for my tardiness.  Days later my now-not-so-favorite-finger is still swollen and hurts like crazy.  


I go in to the fracture clinic on January 8th to have it evaluated.  That date just happens to be the birthday of three of my most favorite people: Elvis, Erin and Michelle.  With that kind of positive universal energy I’m expecting nothing but the best of news. (it was only taken out of the splint for the picture, I promise that I’ve been a superb patient).

In the meantime, daughter number two is crazy excited about getting her Dr. Who scarf… emphasis on the crazy.
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