Yarn Along No. 2


OK so it’s very clear I’m the newbie in the Yarn Along group when I look at everyone else’s pictures, but that’s OK!

So this week I’m working on a bookmark. This is actually bookmark 2.0. I’ve discovered a few things about knitting:

  1. I need to keep my cast on stitches loose, or I have to start again.
  2. I have to not grab one ply of yarn and make that stitch, thereby creating TWO stitches from ONE yarn strand….

So I’ve started this book mark a few times. I did a tiny one earlier today, which was acceptable. This one is a lot better.  There are still mistakes. I am ignoring them.


I’m using my harmony needles #5, and Knitpicks Palette yarn in Huckleberry Heather, which I just love. The yarn feels very nice and knits up really well.  I’m planning on getting some more colors that the pattern suggested. It’s a fingering weight yarn.

As for reading, I just finished Veronica Roth’s Insurgent, which is number 2 in her Divergent trilogy. I usually have to read these books twice so that I get all the details Roth puts in, but that’s fine.

(Sorry about the pic quality–fast iPhone picture).

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 31


A khaki colored silk faille skirt from Talbot’s (I love, love full skirts); a red short-sleeved cashmere sweater (it’s not even 80 here today), black flats, red earrings a la Mary Crawley from my favorite Etsy shop.


Nothing Daunted, for book club; it’s our August book. Also Keeping House, Organized Simplicity and the last book in my Austin series re-read, Troubling a Star.

In the CD Player::

a Mix CD I made a few years ago.

Around the house::

I had a “nothing on the schedule” weekend so I got to actual work down my to-do list. I cooked twice (glorious meals!) and cleaned the kitchen, as well as put some things back where they belonged. Today: vacuuming and mopping the kitchen floor.  The house is slooowly returning to its pre-show appearance.

From the kitchen::

Over the weekend I made two Rachael Ray recipes–Drunken Tuscan Pasta, which involves an entire bottle of Chiant and a meal based on her trip to Cinque Terre, in Italy. I had some timing issues with that one, since it was basically three small dishes that were being made at once. But I’m going to fix that, and make it again at some point, because it was just really good. Or it had the potential to be good before my can opener decided not to cooperate. Tonight is pasta with olives and Italian breadcrumbs.

Being healthy::

The back is cooperating, so some yoga tonight, I think. Dance classes are starting again at the end of August so I need to think about re-enrolling in those. It’s too cold to swim but it’s nice enough for a bit of post-dinner walking, if I’m so inclined.

Being creative::

Doing another round of editing to the novel I finished during last year’s NaNoWriMo. Also casting on a new knitting project since I finished the scarf, which actually sort of morphed into a really fun and ruffly sort of cowl thing, instead of a basic scarf. I have no idea how I did that. But it’s pretty! The new project is a bookmark. I keep re-casting on. I think I’ve got way too much tension and just need to be more “loose” with my yarn.

Praying for::

Thomas Peters

My cousin who is pregnant with her third child (yay!)

Some other special intentions

Plans for the week::

Haircut tomorrow because my hair is craaaazy long

Book Club on August 1 (For our July book)

Dominican chapter retreat and Dominican Rite Mass on Sunday.



Also– the idea of keeping just things I love, from Organized Simplicity. I have a lot of books and movies. I am fairly sure I don’t love them all. Like, yes. Love? Not so much. So it’s time to get them out the door.

Grammar lesson!

Or general English Language Lesson:

  • Per se is not spelled per say
  • Segue, not Segway (which is a thing you ride on, not a word in English.)

Whether vs. weather

  • Weather: The stuff outside. “The weather forecast said it would be 80, but it’s -20 outside!”
  • Whether: A conjunction: “expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives.” “Carrie was unsure whether she should go to the concert, or the park.” OR “expressing an inquiry or investigation”: “I’ll call Elizabeth and see whether she wants to come.”


For the “totally nonbiased!” file

This is probably the worst sentence on Wikipedia:

…Mao is regarded as one of the most important individuals in modern world history.[1] Supporters praise him for modernizing China and building it into a world power, through promoting the status of women, improving education and health care, providing universal housing and raising life expectancy.[2][3] In addition, China’s population almost doubled during the period of Mao’s leadership,[4] from around 550 to over 900 million.[3] As a result, Mao is still officially held in high regard by many Chinese as a great political strategist, military mastermind, and savior of the nation. Maoists furthermore promote his role as a theorist, statesman, poet, and visionary, who has inspired revolutionary movements across the globe.[5] In contrast, critics, including some historians, have labeled him a dictator whose administration oversaw systematic human rights abuses, and whose rule is estimated to have caused the deaths of 40–70 million people through starvation, forced labor and executions, ranking his tenure as the top incidence of democide in human history. 


(Bold is mine)
Yes, the man who killed MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, abused their rights, and generally was a horrible person–he may have been a dictator. Just maybe. Starving women definitely helped raise their role in society! And raised life expectancy! I mean, if you provide universal housing and health care, does it matter what else you do? According to this writer–nope!



Music to knit by

I can talk while I knit, but since I live alone, that might lead to me talking to myself more than I really should be talking to myself.

So instead, I put on opera, because I can absorb the music without having to be “watching”, like I would if I was watching a TV show. I like watching opera much better than listening to the CDs, because I can look and see who’s singing and what’s going on on stage.

Mary and Leicester , Act I, Maria Stuarda

Mary and Leicester , Act I, Maria Stuarda

Last night I was talking to another opera-loving friend, and I realized I have a quite a few operas on DVD now! So here’s the list of “knitting music”, in no particular order. (And yes, I like a lot of Renee Fleming. I’m working on adding more Joyce to my collection):

  • The Ring Cycle (1990s at the Met)–German (four operas: Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried, Gotterdamerung)
  • Arabella, with Renee Fleming–Italian
  • Otello, Renee Fleming and Placido Domingo–Italian
  • The Barber of Seville, Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Florez (this is the “Joyce in Wheelchair” version)–Italian   }
  • The Marriage of Figaro, Renee Fleming–Italian    } This and the above are part of the same story. The Countess in Marriage is Rosina in Barber.
  • Madama Butterly, Patricia Racette–Italian
  • Dialogues des Carmelites–French
  • Rodelinda, Renee Fleming–English
  • The Enchanted Island (LOVE this one!), Joyce DiDonato, Vanessa DiNesse–English
  • Don Giovanni, Renee Fleming, Bryn Terfel–Italian
  • Armida, Renee Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee–Italian
  • Eugene Onegin, Renee Fleming–Russian
  • La Traviata, Renee Fleming–Italian
  • Rusalka, Renee Fleming–Czech (This is one of Fleming’s signature roles, with one of her signature pieces, the “Song to the moon”.)
  • Manon, Renee Fleming–French (this is a looong one, but good)

So what do you think? Any picks for the next one I should watch?
If you knit or craft, do you listen to music while you do it? What’s your crafting music?

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 25



So we’re starting with this quote, which I got from Elizabeth F.

The father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, ‘Daddy, I need to ask you something,’ he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan. ~Garrison Keillor



Going to post my prayer requests again, in case you missed it.  There are just a crazy amount this week.


So after I posted this last night, I made lots of scarf progress! I have no idea how long I want this thing to be, in exact inches, but it’s for me, so that is a general guide to length. Maybe until I run out of yarn? 🙂 (I have two skeins of this color so I’m pretty good for awhile. And I won’t need that much yarn.)

Speaking of yarn, I found a wonderful set of colors yesterday called “Imagination”, which is based on fairy tales. There is a color called Ruby Slippers. Why yes, there is a Ruby Slipper wrap in my future….


The weather here has been divine lately–perfect. Almost fall like, actually. So yes, this means I can’t go swimming, which is sort of a bummer, but I love being able to sleep with my windows open, or sit outside on the patio of a random restaurant for lunch.  The mid to upper 70s is about perfect for me, temperature wise.  However I do want to go swimming sometime soon. 🙂 So as long as it’s not 90+, I’m OK with that.


I have successfully introduced my parents to The Big Bang Theory. Since my dad is a computer scientist and mathematician, and the rest of us are, er, with Penny when it comes to math, I thought they’d enjoy it. And they do. Score for me.  last night was one of my favorite episodes, where Sheldon attempts to explain physics to Penny.

Penny: Just teach me a little physics.

Sheldon: A little physics?


This is my first weekend where I don’t have to be anywhere for huge chunks of time since….April. Wow. So I want to do things! I want to knit! I want to cook! I want to make pickles!  I want to devour my stack of books! How much of that will actually happen? Um….


 So I finalllllly finished Bring Up The Bodies. I have to say I didn’t like it nearly as much as Wolf Hall, especially since I’m sort of sympathetic to Anne Boleyn. Say what you want, but the woman wasn’t a witch and the fact that Henry couldn’t have a boy with her wasn’t her fault. Totally raw deal, there.

In My Own Little Corner

of the world, there are so many, many prayer requests. Some have been answered–my friend Liz just gave birth (Or was “safely delivered of”) a baby girl. It’s her second child, and everyone is so happy for them. My cousin is pregnant with her third child. These are good things.

But so many other requests:

  • Thomas Peters
  • The same cousin’s husband has a family member with a young family, and he has a brain tumor. He’s in surgery now.
  • A two time double lung transplant recipient has just died. She had her 23rd birthday yesterday. She had two transplants, but they never seemed to “take” in her body. There was talk about trying for a third. She went in for a fairly routine test this morning and a blood vessel burst and…they couldn’t save her. She had lots of siblings and her family will be so devastated.
  • a friend’s private prayer request. I don’t know what it is, but you ask me to pray, and I do.

Four big fat prayer requests this week. Five, if you count the baby. That’s the most prayer requests I think I’ve had on my plate, ever.

If you are so motivated, would you pray for them, too?

St. catherine sculpture Nashville

Yarn Along No. 1

So excited I can actually participate in this now!

So I’m working on my scarf. The pattern is from the Chicks With Sticks Guide to Knitting. Really, it’s just a basic scarf. I’m using Knitpicks chroma worsted yarn in Regency, because, as a Jane lover, I must have Regency. 🙂 I’m also using Knitpicks US 11 Sunwashed needles, which are fantastic. Really I love all their needles. (Thanks for the recommendation, Elizabeth!) As I knit, I put on opera DVDs, so I can just absorb the music.

It’s my first project. There are mistakes. That’s OK. (I keep telling myself it’s OK. It’s a scarf for me. It’s fine.)


When I’m done with this I’m planning on tackling a washcloth that I’ve already cast on and is just waiting for me to come get it.

As for reading:


As usual, I’m reading a bunch of books at a time, including a cookbook or two. 🙂 So here’s some of them:

A Feast for Crows

In My Kitchen

The White Princess

Want to join up? Head here 

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 30


Black and white stripped maxi skirt; purple elbow-length sleeve top. Both from White House, Black Market.

Black flats


Re-reading Madeline L’Engle’s Austin series, so I’m on book two of that (out of five), and Keeping House.  I have a $50 B&N gift card so I’m going to go stock up tomorrow. Last week I read Veronica Roth’s Divergent, so I need to get the sequel, Insurgent.

In the CD player::

Renee Fleming’s I Want Magic! American opera arias.

Around the house::

Unpacking from the weekend, and the show. Still have some things that need put away from the Les Miz adventure. Also mopping the kitchen floor, vacuuming and taking out the trash from upstairs.

From the kitchen::

Gosh, I haven’t been to the grocery in about two weeks. I think I’ll see what’s hiding in my pantry. Also I love this. Think it’s time to do this again.

Being healthy::

Workouts this week shall resume. I sort of gave myself a week off post Les Miz. I went hiking over the weekend and did outdoorsy things. So now we get back into the regular routine. But not today, because apparently I did soemthing to my lower back while being all outdoorsy, so I’m taking it easy until it decides to cooperate. Grrrrrr. Oh well. more time to knit (see below) and watch opera on the telly!

Being creative::

Since I finally learned to knit, I’m working on my first project, a scarf. I’m also going to write outlines for two writing projects I’ve been pondering.

Praying for::

My friends’ houses to sell.

My pregnant friends, and their babies! (I have three friends who are currently pregnant. One is supposed to deliver her daughter tomorrow!)

Plans for the week::

Tomorrow–book shopping 🙂

Wednesday: Lunch w/ dad

Weekend: The FIRST free weekend I have had in months. Like, since April. The only thing on my calendar is a virtual book club meeting (book: Moloka’i), and that’s fun. I am going to delight in this.