Friday, September 30, 2016


Another day of knitting and reading under my belt. I'm at 95% for the book and I got another whole pattern repeat on the knitting project. I was unfortunately, not interrupted by anything more interesting though. I edited the color out of this project too since it is slated to be a gift like all the doilies were. I really do doubt that the intended recipient will stumble upon it as I don't think anyone I know in real life actually reads my nonsense, save for the husband and maybe a couple of friends. Better safe than sorry though, right?

This weekend's plans involve binging a new show on Netflix with the family and likely not leaving the house, so I'm hoping to get the novel read by today and I guess I'll have tons of time to knit then. I'll keep crossing my fingers for a new idea or project to come up though. We've had a lot of unexpected expenditures lately and I could really use some sales.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Nothing Pictured

Oops, I forgot to take a picture of anything yesterday, so I've got nothing of interest to show you. I did spend much, if not all of my day, knitting and reading. I reached the 90% mark in the novel and with a book this long, that both feels great and is likely a misleading milestone. I also made some nice progress on the knitting project. I'm on the fourth repeat of the pattern so it's finally starting to embed in my head. Well, that was a weird sentence. I guess what I meant is that I'm starting to work more from memory than with the printed pattern.

I start today just like yesterday with no other projects besides the knitting and reading. I don't think that I'll finish the book today. In fact I'm pretty sure the end it's still quite a few days away, but hopefully I'll make another small dent in it and maybe another repeat of the knitting pattern. Really though, I'm hoping for something more interesting to happen to give me another lace project. Anything will do, really, pretty much anything.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


 I actually had a fairly productive day yesterday despite not doing anything besides schooling until well after noon. I pulled out the shadow box frame I ordered and the newly arrived pins and selected one of the Armenian lace doilies to experiment with. A little measuring and a little cleaning off of complimentary cat hairs and I was pinning away. It actually turned out perfectly...well, I think so anyway. The pins are very short, but you can still see them and they kind of remind me of those old string art pieces from the 70's. We had a sailboat one when I was a kids. So I'm calling it this a success and will be ordering up the rest of the frames I'll need to mount the others and a nice chunk of my holiday gift giving will be completed.

I also managed to finish up the Armenian lace necklace I was remaking for the shop. What's funny about that one is how long it too me to remember how I added the beads to the thread. I forgot that I couldn't pre-load them like with tatting. Instead I eventually remembered that I knotted that section with a beading needle so that I could easily add the beads as they were needed. It's a pain to knot like that, but it's the best way to get the beads into the mix.

That leaves me starting today with only my knitting project and reading of course. The knitting is going much better now that I'm using larger needles and the reading is going much faster since I left the gibberish chapter behind. I should be able to report good progress on both tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not Much

While I finished the tatted necklace I was remaking, I didn't get very far with the Armenian lace necklace. Schooling took up the entire morning and I decided that we needed clean clothes, so laundry ate into some of the day as well. I also scrapped my knitting project and started over with larger needles. I should really remember to ignore pattern instructions when my own experience tells me that it's coming out far too dense to make a comfy blanket, even if the gauge says it's right.

Then we had some errands to run in the evening, so there really wasn't much time to focus on anything for too long. We ended the day watching the debate, and I use the term 'debate', loosely. I know you have no interest in me going on about my thoughts regarding that, but I will tell you that I did drink some wine and yell at the television. So, all in all, it was a weird day. I'm hoping to buckle down and finish this necklace today and maybe get some knitting in. I also got the sequin pins I ordered to mount the gift doilies with so I might give that a try today, if I get some uninterrupted time. We'll just have to see how the day goes.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekend Recap

Well, we had quite the busy weekend. On Saturday we headed out to the coast and went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the day. The weather was nice, but it was quite crowded. We usually go on weekdays, but we hadn't made it out at all during the summer so we made an exception. We also met up with one of my brothers who lives nearby there and had quite a lovely day. Incredibly I also got an order while we were out for a couple of necklaces; one Armenian lace one, and one tatted one.

On Sunday we got to suss out which of our circuits our smoke alarms live on because last week we had a false alarm with all 10 of them going off and further inspection informed us that they were all 10 years old and needed replacing. Just another one of the little things that makes me miss being a renter. New alarms have been ordered and then we'll have another lovely day rewiring the new ones when they arrive.

I did spend a little time tatting to remake the necklace that sold. I'm not quite done with it yet, so I've got that to finish today as well as remaking the Armenian lace one that sold. It's been quite some time since I had this much to make and I have to tell you that it makes me quite happy. Hopefully I'll get both done today, but that all depends on how complicated schooling gets today. I'm also reading a really interesting chapter in Jerusalem that's written in parlance of an insane person, that is to say that it's written in gibberish that takes an insane amount of concentration to work out, not to mention a fair amount of reading out loud. It's making me feel a bit like a crazy person, which I can only guess was part of the author's point. It is taking forever to read though, so not much progress to report there. I'm almost through it I think, so perhaps I'll be feeling a bit more successful tomorrow.

Friday, September 23, 2016

More reading, a little tatting, some knitting, and then I remembered that I had this little project tucked away in my nest.I only managed a round or two on it because it wasn't until late in the afternoon that I ran across it.

I also had to field a tatting request in my etsy shop that I was disappointed to have to turn down especially since I could really use the sale. The request was for a custom designed mask. Why did I say no? Well, there are a few reasons. Designing something from scratch can be a long drawn out process with lots of trial an error. You know I love to design new pieces, but doing so on a deadline is incredibly stressful and without an inspiring idea to start with, crazy hard. There's also the matter of price. It's hard enough to price a piece once the final one has been created, it's impossible to guess at one before the design is done, so either I charge too much for what turns out to be a simple design, or more likely I charge far too little for something that takes forever to design and make. Lastly, there's the issue of pleasing the customer which could involve more than one prototype as designs and elements are rejected, meaning lots more work and the possibility of never creating what they were looking for and losing the sale altogether. It's just too much stress.

Don't get me wrong, I have on many occasions designed from scratch for customers, but not usually masks and never without some sort of inspiring moment in the request. Mostly I'm asked to simply modify existing pieces with colors or enhancements or to design something to a very specific shape or size. I had to turn this one down, because I knew I couldn't do it and be satisfied with the outcome, but man do I hate saying no.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Good Morning

Well, I was right. Yesterday was pretty much a repeat of the day before except I had laundry to do as well as read. Oh, wait no I had a really interesting beginning to the day, and by interesting, I actually mean horrible. It started off with our smoke alarms going off for no good reason. No, not that annoying chirping, I mean that loud, all encompassing alarm noise that can only come from like eight hardwired alarms all sounding at once. We scrambled around the house disengaging them all because apparently that button does not shut them off. Anyway, that sort of set the tone for the day.

I did remember to take a picture, though I can't say it's terribly interesting. I spent part of my free time while reading tatting up another couple of sets of cat ears. I still have to sew them on headbands though. The rest of the time I knitted. I just finished the funnest section of the book yet and I have to say I am quite enjoying the roller coaster ride that is Jerusalem.

I also got the first frame in for the doily gifts and it looks like it's going to be perfect. I'm still trying to work out the best display method. The frame has a nice cork and cloth background so I'm going to trying pinning the doilies in first since that method is least likely to damage the doily should its' future owner want to take it out for any reason. I also thought about using a spray adhesive to stick it to the backing, but then it's mounted permanently and maybe I'm just afraid of permanently. I was hoping I might be able to sew it on, but that cork and cloth backing is sealed to the wood behind it, so that options is right out. I ordered up some short sequin pins and when they come it, I'll get to mounting. Until then it's more reading and knitting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

So Little

I accomplished so little yesterday that writing this morning seems like a very silly thing to bother doing. I am awake though and I have a little time to kill before I hit the treadclimber, so write I shall. I got to about 56% in the novel I'm reading and since I started last Tuesday I've feeling pretty good about my progress. If the book had page numbers I'm guessing I've read about 800 of them so far and that's nothing to be ashamed of.

I didn't, however, do much else. I started another pair of cat ears, but then set them aside. I knitted a few rows, but set that eventually aside as well. I watched a couple of shows I had dvr'd including that new one, The Good Place, which I think I will definitely keep watching as it's quirky and weird and I've been missing that from TV lately. Unfortunately I think today might very well be a repeat of yesterday, so I'll at least try to take a picture of something to liven up the boring post for tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I started the day, after schooling, with tatting up cat ears and sewing them to headbands. I only did two, so I might do some more today. They tend to sell in little clusters and then sit in the shop for months. I also made a few slight adjustments to the pattern and a change to how I sew them on. They still look the same though.

After those two were done I finished the last round of the Armenian lace doily. I also ordered up a frame to see if my gift idea will work out with it. So when that arrives, I get to experiment on the best way to mount them without destroying. I already have a couple of ideas and I'm hoping that the simplest one is the right one. If it works then I order more frames and a large chunk of our holiday gifts are taken care of.

I'm about halfway through the novel I'm reading now, so it will still be sometime before I have the desire to shift gears to any other big project. I do still have the knitting project though, so that should fill in for the knotting for a spell.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekend Recap

It was a really, really long weekend. I had a lot of alone time on Friday, but I didn't get much reading done as I was trying to catch up on shows that kids really ought not watch with me. I did get some knotting done though.

We spent Saturday morning at the Northern California Renaissance Faire. We've been going every year since it started at Casa de Fruta. Honestly, at this point, we mostly go for the food; our favorite is the Toad in the Hole.  This year there were quite a few new vendors and I was surprised by one I was familiar with online because of my now defunct steampunk blog. We had a lovely chat and at one point they realized they were familiar with my online presence as well. That sort of 'internet comes alive' moment is pretty rare. I could probably count with less than one hand how many people I've met in real life that I first encountered online.

Sunday turned into an accidental Halloween costume shopping trip for the oldest child after we accidentally ran across a squirrel tail that was perfect for a costume she had wanted to do last year, but had given up on, Marvel's Squirrel Girl. It was a strange day of shopping. It wasn't until the evening that I was able to do any more reading or knotting. I think I'm almost done with this doily. I might get it wrapped today, but I did sell my last cat ear headband yesterday though, so I have some tatting that needs doing as well. The book should have me for at least another week or two, it's a dense tome.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Same

I fear my posts as of late are bound to be rather boring, at least until I finish this novel. I am currently averaging about 9% a day though so it's going to take me at the very least another 8 or 9 days to finish it and that's probably being generous, I've got other things that need doing in the next couple of weeks. In fact this weekend is the opening of the Renaissance Faire near us, so we'll be there much of Saturday and that means reading is right out. There's also our usual family time on Sundays, so I likely won't read much then either.

The point I was trying to make before I got distracted by my own weekend plans was that I apologize in advance for what is likely the next couple of weeks of boring blog posts about me reading and knotting, knitting, or tatting at the same time. When the book and this last doily or done I was thinking about finally trying to put together a tutorial for the Armenian knotted lace though I still feel a bit like an outsider doing so. I guess only time will tell if manage to muster up the courage to do it or not. Personally I'm still crossing my fingers for the sales to start back up in my shop to keep me busy that way. We could definitely use the money.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


I was a bit distracted by household tasks and recorded television shows yesterday. Nothing too major, but it made me double down on my reading to see if I could make the same progress as the day before. I made it to 18%, but just barely. I think what really suffered was my knotting. At one point I was reading and peddling on the stationary bike, but I can't do that and knot. I needed to move more than I needed to knot though. I was getting pretty sedentary.

I was asked how I read and knot at the same time and this is how. I never thought I'd get into digital reading as I do love the feel and heft of a printed book, but the freedom it allows me is amazing. My hands are free to knot or tat or knit. I can get up and read while walking and put it down anywhere without losing my place. I can carry what would be an enormous 1200 page book in one hand. Page turning is a tap I can accomplish between stitches or knots. I can also have any book I want in a matter of seconds and you just can't beat that. I do still buy printed books from my favorite authors or when I find a good deal at the bookstore, but for multitasking, the kindle is king.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Read and Knot

Well, yesterday went just as I though it would. I spent much of the day with my kindle in my lap, reading while I tried to pay just enough attention to my knotting that I wouldn't mess anything up. I was actually much more successful at both endeavors than I thought I would be. There are no page numbers for the book on the kindle, so I can only tell you that I managed to get to 9% yesterday. At the same time I managed to get to 8 inches on the doily.

I don't think I can expect the same kind of progress everyday though. The kids had a light schooling day and I had little else that needed doing yesterday, save for software updates. I am quite enjoying the book, though I must say that it is definitely not for everyone. Saying it's a weird one would be a gross understatement and I'm fairly certain that I haven't even scratched the surface of the weird it has in store later in the novel.

So today is the same plan as yesterday, unless I get wonderfully distracted by a tatting order or something of that nature. Here's to a wonderful distraction sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Plan

Well, it was a fairly low key day yesterday. The oldest child had to interact with her new teacher for the first time and it appears there is definitely going to be an adjustment period. Though I don't sense it being too bad in the end, just more change to get used to. He is just really, really new to this and there is a lot to learn.

I really didn't do anything after schooling was wrapped except knot the Armenian lace doily. I actually stopped and measured it as well. It's at about 7 inches across right now, so there's about three inches to go. Id like to say it'll be done this week, but I just downloaded the new book from Alan Moore, Jerusalem, and I'm pretty sure it's going to take up a whole lot of my time and energy. The last book I read by him was definitely not an easy read and this one is 1,280 pages, so I'm anticipating a long relationship with it. So today the plan is knotting lace and reading a book.

Monday, September 12, 2016

To Hope

Well, let's see, the aloe cuts are all healing nicely and the sore muscles have almost completely abated. I have had weird cold symptom recurrences all weekend including the mother of all headaches last night, but this morning I'll risk saying I'm feeling pretty good. Oh, and the television died a silent death on Friday afternoon, going to black and staying there.

So as you might've guessed we spent Saturday shopping for and then setting up a new television. Thankfully they are much cheaper than they were we when bought the one that died, but it was still a pretty painful purchase. Of course it's one of those new smart TV's because that's what they all are now, so we spent the rest of the day figuring out how to use it.

Sunday I got to sit and knit and knot. I haven't been measuring the latest doily, but it seems to be coming along nicely. Since I don't know how big it is, I'm not sure how much longer I have before it's done.

This week we're also breaking in a new teacher for the oldest child. I'm definitely a 'roll with the changes' sort of person, but I am disappointed that we're going from a teacher with over a decade of experience with this program to a fellow who was just hired and who has never taught this grade before either. To say I'm feeling a little apprehensive is a bit of an understatement. Hopefully the transition will be smooth and my worries will be unwarranted. I'm also hoping for some sort of huge surprise purchases in my shop to take the edge off of our weekends unexpected purchase. Here's to hope.

Friday, September 9, 2016


Well, yesterday was...interesting. After schooling I decided it was time to move a giant aloe plant that the husband had tried to move by himself and ended up knocking over on it's enormous side. With the help of the oldest child we got it sorted, but as a result I am now covered in enough cuts to look like like I got in a fight with a small tiger and lost. I feel like that happened as well. It was just after that that my throat started to get scratchy and the day just went downhill from there. Right now I'm sore and scratched up from the aloe event and clearly sick as well.

That wasn't the whole day though. I managed to make the tatted ring order after the aloe and before whatever plague I've gotten settled in and made me miserable. You can even see a couple of the smaller leg scratches in the picture. I tried to avoid photographing them altogether, but there are too many and I was too tired to make a better effort. I also got a little knitting in and some knotting. I didn't get very far with anything though. Actually I'm surprised I had enough brain power to remember to take photos. I'm crossing my fingers that this cold or whatever it is moves on quickly. The youngest child was only sick for about 48 hours when she had it, so I have hope.

Oh, I almost forgot the last event of the day that was definitely the cherry on top of a very unpleasant sundae. Our television started acting up and going to a black screen or a screen full of weird colored lines. A little internet searching revealed that our particular television has a habit of this problem that pretty much means it will be dead soon and fixing it will likely cost more than replacing it which is not a cheap thing either. Yep, I've definitely had better days, though I suppose I've definitely had worse as well. Best to look on the bright side.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sleeping In

I actually got to sleep in until my alarm went off this morning. Sorry, but this is out of the ordinary. Usually a certain black cat meows until I get up and he's been doing this starting at, oh 3:30 or so, for quite some time. I guess I just wanted to take a moment to enjoy the extra sleep I just got before I launch into my usual recap of the day before. Okay, I'm over it.

I went back and forth between the doily and the knitting project to keep my mind working. I can't afford to mentally check out right now because schooling the kids is requiring much more attention. I suppose that's why the progress on the doily is so slight today. I have managed to continue making it quite different from the others. In fact I actually have no idea what I'm doing with the next section. I'm just going to let the lace tell me what it wants to be and hope it doesn't want to be a tangled mess.

I also woke up today to a small tatting order that needs to be made, so I get to change my focus for a little while today at least. It's just a ring, so I'll have it done quickly, but I'm certainly glad of the order regardless. Here's to it being the first of many.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Schooling is starting to get into a bit of a rhythm, but we're still missing materials, and the oldest child is getting a different teacher this week, so I'm not certain how many tempo changes may still be in store for us. For the moment though I've got some semblance of a routine, so I managed to get some things done.

This is theoretically the last gift doily I'm making this season, though we all know that could change. I've tried to make each one at least a little unique, but I tried a little harder on the beginning of this one. If I mange to keep it up, this one should look pretty different, well as different as a doily using the same technique can look anyway.

I also managed to get laundry done and to put a cap on the day, the youngest child has come down with some plague or other. It's likely just a matter of time before I, or the other child get it as well. She's basically a ticking time-bomb of illness, but she was still able to get her school work done before the worst of it hit. I'm crossing my fingers for heath, class materials, and yes, sales in my dead etsy shop today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekend Recap

There was much running around over the weekend and I didn't finish the latest doily until yesterday. Here it is all done though. I also started a knitting project as well. This time it's a blanket that's meant to be a gift as well. With my etsy shop so slow and bringing in little to no money, I decided to really focus on handmade gifts this year. They will both use the time I have with no customer projects, and make sure we don't spend money I haven't made.

I started the last doily on my gift list as well. There's always a chance that I'll think of someone else that would like one, but I think this one might be it, at least for the time being.I didn't take a picture of it yet, but I'm guessing it's what you'll be looking at tomorrow. I should make a little progress even with all the catch up schooling I need to do with the oldest child this week. It's become a necessary stress relief technique.

Friday, September 2, 2016

One Down

You'll never guess what happened late yesterday afternoon. Yep, the biggest schooling issue was resolved, leaving a couple of other issues in its wake, not least of all is the need to now catch up on all the classes we missed the last 4 days. Now the real stress starts as we just now get to use the new online system and find all the questions we didn't know we needed the answers to before. So, yay.

Now I'm not certain if I'll finish the doily this week, maybe over the weekend, but my focus has definitely shifted and from what little I've already gleaned from the new schooling system tells me we're going to be much busier this year. Man, I really wish we'd had access to the system even before school began to get used to it. I hate being under-prepared. Here's hoping things smooth out quickly and I'm in a better mood next week.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

So Slow

Nope, school issues are not yet fixed. I am assured that people are working on it, but I fail to understand why it's so difficult to fix. Perhaps it's because no one has yet explained what the actual issue is, but really I don't care what or how, I just need taken care of and I am beginning to lose my very carefully cultivated sense of patience. The oldest child currently has no classes, nor materials. Oh, and I'm sure you're already sick of hearing me whine about it as well, so let's cross our fingers that it's resolved soon for all our sakes.

Onto doily news. Well, there's really no actual news. I'm at about 21cm across right now. I still think I should get it done by weeks end. Though to tell you the truth, this week is the longest one I've experienced in some time. I suppose it's true that vacation flies by, but work crawls and work riddled with problems that have to be fixed by someone else is downright sloth-like. So, here's to school problems miraculously fixed, many surprise sales in my etsy shop, and time moving at a more acceptable pace.