Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Head for Trouble by Julie Turjoman

Before Thanksgiving I enrolled in a class at Kirkwood Knittery taught by Julie Turjoman.  I had previewed her book, A Head for Trouble: What to Knit While Catching Crooks, Chasing Clues, and Solving Murders, at knit night and signed up for the class.  The class was a great deal because it included the book as well as learning more about knitting.  I did not really ask what the class would focus on, maybe I should have.  I showed up not even sure what we were doing to discover the class was on embellishments and using beads.  I have seen my friends use beads with their knitting projects and thought it was complicated and annoying.  I looked around the room at the quality of knitters and felt like maybe I was in the wrong class.

Turjoman book had impressed me with the clever idea of knitted hats worn by female detective characters in mystery novels set in the 1920s.  The adorable hats were there for us to examine and even try on.  Seeing the construction of the headwear made me want to pay attention and learn to overcome my fear of beads combined with yarn.  I discovered under Turjoman's tutelage and cool visual aid beading is not so bad. I even knitted a cute little beaded leaf, yay me.  I also learned techniques for a flat flower and a ruffled one, again I say yay me. 

My nervousness at being around other amazing knitters turned out to be unfounded.  Everyone was so supportive and helpful. Learning something new is always better when surrounded by fun people.  I am so glad I signed up this class and I love the new book.  I have earmarked the beaded Daisy cloche as something I want to knit.  I liked Turjoman's designs so much I even purchased another of her books on tops called, Knits that Breathe.  Thanking the ladies at Kirkwood Knittery for putting together such a good event.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Building Block #11 & 20 Cornered Grannies

With all the things going on in my hometown, I have felt frivolous blogging about my knitting and crochet.  I am struggling to make sense of all the events that have happened and how I feel about it.  I have opinions, but then again don't we all.  I have decided to stop expressing my opinions and just spend my time on working towards solutions in the way I live my life.  I will continue to judge people by their actions not physical or social traits, I will continue to respect the law and those that enforce it,  and I will continue to be a human in a world full of wonderful and amazing creatures.  Personal manifesto stated is it alright if I discuss my fiber crafting, without too much judgment? 

Stack O' Corner Grannies
I have been trapped in crocheting corner grannies, 20 of them to be in fact.  Our crochet along group assignment was only 8, but I soldiered through to get all 20 done.  In working towards stash busting, I realized that I needed to get all of my corner grannies done before moving on to a different block.  I needed to be sure I had enough of the colors to complete these blocks and judge what I would need for the next block pattern.  I repeat to you, working out of your stash is hard.  I have also discovered I do not love crochet as much as I love knitting.  At the end of a trying and difficult day watching your hometown going up in flames, I want to knit the hopelessness away, not crochet.  With discipline and resolve I stuck to the corner grannies and I am gratefully done with them. 

Building Block #11, The Make One Square
As soon as the crochet task was done, I looked at my calendar and realized my monthly block was not finished.  With a squeal and a flurry of needles I whipped out building block #11.  This month the block was all about the make 1 stitch.  I dislike make 1 in knitting because it always leaves a hole, but following the instructions I did as I was told.  This block is not my favorite, but I do have a better grasp of the make 1 stitch now.  Practice aside, I think I will still continue to use the knit front and back (kfb) as much as possible.  November block done, just in time in for the  December block, the last block.

One final thought, I hope your Thanksgiving celebrations found you warm, safe, and with those you love.  Peace my friends.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cornering in on the Granny

I am admitting, I have always wanted to make a granny square.  I am working on a crochet along so I can learn to make granny squares.  In the process I am also hoping to get better at crochet so I can diversify my fiber skills.  I am also trying to use yarn out of my stash.  I am succeeding at all of it, but the last one.  Knitting or crocheting out of my stash is hard.

Test Granny
After a test corner granny with much crocheting and ripping out and weighing of the yarn I was able to work up a strategy to use stash yarn and get the 20 blocks I needed.  I have been hooking away to get these blocks done. I have got one corner of corner grannies done.  Check granny squares off the fiber bucket list for me.

A Corner of Corner Grannies

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Show Me Marriage!!!

Today a judge said it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to be married in St. Louis MO, my home town.  I blogged about this case ( and here we are, on the right side of history.  The Recorder of Deeds announced they are ready to start issuing licenses and will be opened 8-5 tomorrow to do just that.  Even the Secretary of State has said there will be no stay on this ruling.  What this means is if you want a marriage license tomorrow, same-sex couples will not be denied. 

When I got the call today with the good news, I was with my wife.  We squeezed hands and as soon as I was off the call we kissed and laughed, then I shed a few tears of joy.  It has finally happened.  Not only are we legally married in our home state, but now if we weren't already married we could go tomorrow and get married.  So wonderful.

We have had some calls, text messages, and facebook inquiries, if Natalie and I are going to get married, again.  Natalie's response was, "How many times do we have to get married?"  I am agreeing with her, we have had a union ceremony, registered as domestic partners, and been married in Iowa.  No big ceremony, no "yes to the dress" thing, and I am definitely saying no to the muscholli.  However, I am ecstatic for all the couples that can finally get married.  I wish them all the biggest congratulation.  Happy Day!!!

Natalie and I singing with excitement over marriage equality in our home state

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Building Block #10

2014 is just melting away and soon I will have all 12 blocks of my knit along with Natalie done.  Block #10 was all about the slip, slip knit stitch or SSK.  Both of us knew this stitch well from the Clapotis pattern (, but it is nice to use the stitch to knit such a pretty block.  Unlike last month's block, I really enjoyed knitting this one and the end result was a lovely block in purple. 

The only negative thing I will say about the SSK is that it truly is a booger to tink out. (Tink is to unknit your stitch to fix a mistake).  If anyone has any suggestions or tips on how to do this successfully, I would be most grateful.  MOST.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Marriage Equality Wins

What an amazing week it was, same-sex marriage keeps sweeping the nation.  By letting the lower courts decisions stand 11 states were released to begin same sex marriage.  It has not been smooth, but it is happening.  Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wisconsin, Indiana, West Virginia,  Virginia, and North Carolina are either performing marriages or getting ready to.  Allowing equality is still a struggle in Wyoming, Kansas, and South Carolina, but it is coming.  A court in Alaska has also said the states same sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.   Again it is coming.
I am happy for all the gains, but still wish the U.S. Supreme Court had taken the cases and made marriage equality the law of the land.  Still waiting for Missouri to not just recognize marriage licenses from other states, but to overturn the ban on same sex marriages, again it is coming.  Looking forward to equality.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Today We Bought a House

Our New Place
Today we bought a house.  I say that, but it is not like we went to the house store, picked one out, paid for it, and brought it home.  Several months ago we started looking at houses.  We looked at big one, small ones, new ones, rehabbed ones, expensive ones, cheap ones, brick ones, and more brick ones.  In the end we chose the one with the big yard, because that is truly what my wife wanted.  I had hoped to have a new home which didn't need a bunch of work, but again we went with the house with the big yard, so some work will be needed.

We went through the painstaking process of getting a loan on the new house.  It was not that we weren't loan worthy, it was that we kept having to produce the same pieces of paper over and over to the bank.  It was a nightmare.  However, today everything was in order and we met at the title company and signed our names dozens and dozens of time.  And then after all the papers and signatures we had a new home. 

We are lucky, Natalie owns Casa de California.  We will be able to take our time to get the new place in order and move at our pace.  I am not loving the idea of moving my fiestaware and my whole life, but eventually I will say goodbye to the casa and hello to the new place.  I keep telling myself today was a good day.

P.S. The State of Missouri's Attorney General did not put a stay on recognition of same sex marriage licenses from other states, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear same sex marriage rulings which had already struck down marriage bands.  Several states started marrying same sex couples (Virginia, Colorado, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma).  Today was a very good day.