In need of some rest.

These days I am definitely starting to feel the weight of my pregnancy. I’ve got another six weeks until my due date, and thus far everything has been good, I have been feeling fine, no typical pregnancy-related problems to speak of. Between the past two nights of tours and classes, and not getting sleep, and being on my feet, I feel like I’m dragging. Hopefully some rest this weekend will help me feel better!

As far as crafting goes, I might have a knitting FO to show off soon. Otherwise I have cut out some material for baby gifts, but they didn’t make it far. I also have some curtains to sew up. So outside of the 12 hours of child birth class scheduled for this weekend, I am hoping to get some sewing time in.


Things I've done…

Some of these I don’t want to do. Others I don’t know why you would want to.


Things I’ve Done (In Bold)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain – not actually rock climbing, but close enough
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby – working on this one currently!
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

100. Rode an elephant

One Reason I Go Back Every Day

In teaching, there are students and moments you question whether this is the job for you. It can be trying, (especially when you are sick and pregnant!) However there are also little moments that totally make up for it.


This is the baby blanket that four of the girls who are in my knit/crochet club made for me. Without telling me, they each used a different color, then sewed it up, and put a border on it. Which the girl who did this told me she had never done before. I am so impressed with them, so touched that they did this. This is why I teach!

Taking it Easy

This weekend I overworked myself, pushing past my prego limits (because I hate admitting that I can’t do as much as I was before), then realized that the itch in my throat was not from having to stand up and teach a class after not doing so for over two months, but from nasty bacteria that I probably got from teaching dirty, dirty teenagers (most of them are not actually dirty, but they all seem to be sick this winter!).  So I wrote some sub plans for a few days and took it easy. I did some knitting and T.v. watching, which I haven’t done in a while. I also played around with a few card ideas I have been thinking about recently. I can’t remember which blog I got the ideas from, so if you know feel free to put a mention in the comments.


I used some cards I already had printed for another use, so the text isn’t great. I like the flowers, but I think I would change the text to make it larger and more centered on the card. The butterflies I’m not sure what I could do. I played around a bunch before I glued them down. Maybe if I reversed the gradient it would look better, but I’m not sure. I would also change the font size on that one as well. Maybe there are too many butterflies.


And I know it has been a bit warmer in these parts (still below freezing some mornings), but my cat still thinks it isn’t tolerable yet. She continues to find warm places to sleep.

A Name Like Any Other?

I think I should legally change my name to Black Mim!



2.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME:  (mother and fathers middle names)
Kay Dean

3.NASCAR NAME:  (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad)
Dan Garey 

4.STAR WARS NAME:  (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)

5.DETECTIVE NAME:  (favorite color, favorite animal)
Blue Tortoise

6.SOAP OPERA NAME:  (middle name, town where you were born)
Renee Frederick

7.SUPERHERO NAME:   (2nd fav color, fav drink, add “THE” to the beginning)
The Green Chai (???)

8.FLY NAME:  (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name)
Stda (yeah, that makes sense)

9.STREET NAME:  (fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie, )
Rocky Road Oatmeal Raisin

10.ROCK STAR NAME:  (current pets name, current street name)
Freyja Sheem

11. DANCER NAME:   (1st pet, street you grew up on- OR- state you grew up in)
Sandy Willow

12.YOUR GANGSTA NAME:  (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle)

13.YOUR GOTH NAME:  (black, and the name of one of your pets)
Black Mim

Walking the Talk

Yesterday was knit group meeting. We had decided before hand that we were going to destash some yarn (mostly from Mia) and donate a few dollars for Relay for Life. So I had brought some yarn to contribute, and everyone took some home, even me, although I only got two things that were already promised. Later on, as I was talking to Mia, I was talking about everything I want to do, project wise, and how much yarn I have, and how I was never going to knit everything in my stash (not that we have to!) Also, I knew that things are going to slow down around here in terms of the amount of knitting/crafting that gets done since the baby was coming. I said what I really needed to do, thinking about what was in my stash, was to go through and get rid of a lot of the yarn that I wasn’t as excited about.

When I said that, I realized that it would be a weight off my mind if I did, and that I wouldn’t feel as much pressure from my stash to knit faster. I could work on projects that I enjoy instead of feeling obliged to knit because I had the yarn. I really wanted to clean out my yarn stash.

So I got home, dragged everything out of the closet and dumped the bins on the floor. I looked at the massive pile I had growing, and decided I should record how much I had to get rid of. (And take a few pictures to make the blog interesting!)

Davis saw the pile of yarn on the floor, raised his eyebrows, and said, “That’s a lot of yarn.”

I started with the sock yarn.


That is 100+ pairs. I have enough to make 100 pairs of socks, plus two mill ends that could probably make at least 8 more pairs of socks. And as I was looking at all of my sock yarn together, I realized something else.

I bought a lot of the same/similar colors.

IMG_1182  For example.


And what about these, almost the same except for a little blue in the one. And let’s not talk about how much yarn I have that is dark blue with some black/grey/white in it. As I worked, I also thought about the fact that I have small feet, so after I knit these socks, I was going to have a lot of leftover yarn. What was I going to do with that?

I culled 20 pairs worth of socks. I understand that I still have 80 pairs worth left, but I feel better.

As for lace-weight, I have about 15 different colors of lace yarn, and could make well over 15 projects with the stuff, depending on what I made. As far as yardage goes, I have 15,107 yards of lace yarn! When the heck am I going to knit all of that? I didn’t get rid of much though, because I like what I have. I won’t be getting much more anytime soon, and hopefully my draw to lace gets me knitting some of it soon!

In all, I also had enough for 8 sweaters, 43+ dishcloths, 5 undyed skeins of fingering-weight yarn, 5 small bits for cowls, a mass of remains, and other odds and ends. There were also 5 balls of crochet cotton, one in rainbow, and a bunch of yarn that I got for weaving. (You know, if I get a new loom, a lot of that sock yarn could be woven up!)

Considering that last year I managed to finish 3 pairs of socks, a pair of shorts, a shawl, two scarves, and a handful of smaller miscellaneous projects, I don’t think I should have any problem of running out of yarn to knit anytime soon. So I got rid of yarn.

In addition to the 20 pairs worth of socks, I also culled 2 sweaters, 28 dishcloths, at least 5 hats, and number of other small bits worth of yarn. There are 5 overflowing grocery bags waiting to go out of my house.

I think I walked well.

I broke the dam…

Although I haven’t gotten a flood of books. I had a goal on my 101 list to not buy books for 365 days. That meant any books, unless someone else bought them for me as a gift. I reached that goal on Jan 24th of this year, and continued to refrain from literary purchases. Then, at the beginning of the month, I decided to buy some books. (There are so many I want!)

Besides a baby book and some non-fiction reading, I also got a few crafty books.


I got Things I Learned from Knitting as a fast, fun read. It was humorous as most of Stephanie’s work usually is, and also gave me more ammo (if I happen to need it) to defend one of my chosen ways to spend free time. My favorite part is the chapter about patio cows. (You have to read it to find out!)

The two embroidery books, Sublime Stitching and Doodle Stitching, were both good for different reasons. Sublime Stitching was good because there were good descriptions about the types of stitches, the different ways to go about stitching, and a ton of iron-transfer patterns included. (About 70% of the book is patterns). I also like that she mentions how hard it was for her to find resources on how to start, since most books when she began embroidery made the assumption that you already had knowledge of what certain stitches are. I found the same thing when I started looking at embroidery books.

However, Doodle Stitching would be my recommendation if you were going to pick one of the two. There are patterns in the book, but not iron-transfer and not as many as in the other book. There are many more ideas for how to use your stitches in projects or as accents. Her sense of color combination and her whimsical designs are great. For example, scattered about are some of the things she has done before, such as this piece.


She also shows many variations on each type of stitching, and how to combine them. Out of the projects, I really love the little stuffed racoon!


The two sewing books, In Stitches and Seams to Me, were also great resources. Both have an introductory section with patterns following. There are a variety of patterns for both books. However, I have to say I like Seams to Me much better. She gives a much more in-depth discussion of tools and techniques, and uses a chatty tone that is like talking to a friend. I also want to make many of the projects in her book, whereas I only want to make one, maybe two from In Stitches. Seams to Me goes further, talking about color/texture selections, trims, and basics about the sewing world. This would be a much better choice for a novice sewer than Amy Butlers book. IMG_1168

Overall, I am happy that there are so many people writing about all the crafty things I like to do. It means I will never run out of ideas and projects!

The quilt in the background is one from Davis’ childhood. I’m not sure where it came from, whether someone made it or not, I’ll have to ask.

'Dem's Small Potatoes!

At the grocery store recently, they had fingerling potatoes on sale. That was good. What was better is that they came in purple! I love purple potatoes, not because there is much special about flavor or anything, I just think the color is so cool!

I made some boiled herb potatoes out of one batch, the other I made Crash Hot Potatoes. These are great if you haven’t tried them yet!


The only problem with the purple potatoes in this recipe is that you can’t quite tell if they are browning in the oven. (Kinda blends into the purple!) However I think if you just turn the oven off and leave them in a few more minutes if you aren’t sure won’t hurt the results any.

Just to prove that these are good, this is what the pan looked like at the end of dinner.


And that was my biggest pan! Davis ate most, but I had my fair share!

The other thing I have done is dried some fruit this month. Bananas and pineapple have been on sale, so I put them in my dehydrator and get some yummy, naturally sweet snacks to eat! If you have not made your own dried fruit, I have to recommend it. They are so much better than any store-bought kinds that have preservatives in them. All you do is chop, place in the dryer, and turn it on. Most fruits would be finished within 12 hours.


The only problem I have with this is that two pineapples makes less than a pint of dried fruit! (That’s a little less than half a liter for those metric people!)

A bit of a jag..

For the past few weeks, all I want to do is knit lace. And not any lace, but shawls and complicated wraps. I have been adding lace to my queue on Ravelry like crazy, if anyone has been looking there. (I think I added about 10 in the past few weeks.)

But then I read Gryphon‘s blog, and she had a St. Paddy’s Day post. And what new goodies is she offering, besides green yarn?




It is The Clovers Shawl (rav link), and is beautiful, just the green I am currently being drawn to, intricate enough to be a challenge, (more, I’m sure I’m understating it) and lace!

The pattern calls for sock yarn, but I was thinking maybe I could adjust the gauge and repeats a bit (you know, add some maths to make it harder), and make it from some lace-weight.


Or maybe hold two strands together?

Or maybe I’ll have to jump someone for some green sock yarn! (Because I have to make this shawl green)

Can You Iron Too Much?

Since I have little more than two months left until baby makes an appearance around here, I am trying to get some of the stuff I want to done. I have to finish all of the sewing for the nursery, and of that, the most odious is going to be the curtains.


I want to make the view D from this pattern. (It is the blue one in the upper left corner). You don’t actually have to cut out a pattern, it is a long trapezoid that you pleat and swag over a rod. Not hard. I did the math for it, and at the time I was pretty confident that I did the math correctly, but now I am second guessing myself, which I probably shouldn’t be. Because to make these curtains, I need this.


That is six yards of fabric, cut in half to make two curtains, hung over the railing in my foyer so they don’t get wrinkled (it goes to the bottom of the railing on the other side too. Three yards each).


This is the lining, as I was ironing it so I can have a somewhat even curtain. I finished the ironing today (which has given me, if not exactly a blister, the sore spot on my thumb that is a precursor to a blister) and hung it over the railing as well, but have not put the pieces together. That is for tomorrow. I also want to hem my jeans and clean my office a bit before I do that. Plus, I’m going to have to make sure that my sewing area is relatively clean so I don’t get hair/thread/fuzz all over it, because it is going to be a pain to clean.

I also remembered to take a picture of my sock today, since I had a bit of sunshine. They are coming along slowly. I am still using the bamboo needles, even though I feel like I keep snagging the yarn with them a bit. I thought about switching needles to my metal ones, but I didn’t want to take a chance on changing the gauge. I’m also afraid that I knit them a bit too tight, so I might be making them for someone else.


While I was taking picture, I remembered I hadn’t shared these goodies, which my student teacher gave me. I love these note cards, they are so pretty I don’t want to use them!