Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Friday, March 30, 2007

the latest orphan sweater

Mostly mindless garter stitch. CO 100. Knit till body is long enough. BO 25, k75, turn

BO 25, K50, co 25, turn.

k75, co 25, turn

knit even on 100 st till sweater comes to back of neck.

k48, bo 4, k48. Knit back and forth on 48 st till a few rows longer than back of sleeves. BO Repeat on other side.

you wind up with this shape. Fold on the dotted lines and sew . Makes sense? It's based on a poor-man's coat from the middle ages.

Since Miz G and I headed out to a coffee shop in the lys for our gossip session, I HAD to wear something handspun. I'll figure how to make the sideways photos stand up straight one of these days.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend! Happy trails, y'all!
Willow, near as I can tell, Scandenavian knitting usually uses 2 or three colors in the whole sweater whereas Faire Isle uses lots of colors. Scandenavian style usually features a large motif on a yoke, with a small motif on the rest of the body and sleeves. Faire Isle knitting uses one motif in repetition along an entire stripe of patterning, but Scandenavian knitting may , for example, insert a large snowflake across several rows of repeated hearts to accent the center of the yoke.
Anyone else have input on this? Thanks, friends. And Willow, good luck on that Master Knitter's Certificate!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

good morning, glory!

I just love early morning light and translucent blossoms, don't you?

Last night, when he got home from work, DH and I went to the gym and put in 20 minutes on the treadmills. That's one in a row! Hooray for us. As I may have mentioned, I am what every guy in the northern tier wants in the winter - a heavy sweater. By the end of my 20 minutes, my t-shirt was soaked, and I was so dehydrated that my fingertips were wrinkled. One whole bottle of water and twenty minutes later, and Iwas all plumped up again. Wonder if dehydrated fingertips leave untraceable prints?

If you want to see some adorable exotic critters, go visit Grandma Flea at Australian possums are ever so much cuter than their American cousins!!Grandma Flea would like to know what a junco looks like. I have been trying to get pictures, but all I manage are shots of the feeder where a junco was sitting just a flicker of motion ago. Either that, or shots from so far away that the birds look like poppy seeds. I can see that if I want to do wild-life photography, I will need a longer lens, and better reflexes. And though the lens is available, the reflexes will never be any better. I'd better stick to close-ups of flowers. They don't run away.
I promised some knitting content. Here is most of a sweater for the orphanage. I have been having fun with shaping. How many ways can you create a t-shape? Then pick up and knit a collar. I will also knit a couple of striped pockets to sew onto the front to match the stripes on the sleeve. And it will need some sort of fastening . . .
Miz G and I are headed to the LYS for tea and gossip. Tomorrow, I'll show you how this sweater went together.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The day began with little rains

It was another take the GED to the jail day, and the air was so sweet and full of new life I almost couldn't bear it. You could almost HEAR the leaves popping out. And the soft rain was just enough to bring up all those wonderful earthy odors. I nearly hyperventilated.

It was the last of the five tests, and all four of the inmates passed. YAY! That's four more people that have a better chance at believing in themselves and making an honest living.

The clouds had cleared by the time I got home, and the backyard was begging to be noticed.
Light behind the magnolia tree.

random tulips
The back porch from under the magnolia tree.

The epitome of shyness. One of our local garden writers calls them invasive thugs, but I applaud their initiative. Go violets! Good on you! DH will be running the mower over them tomorrow. I should romp out and pick a dainty bouquet tonight.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Losing weight requires drinking quantities of water. I found this cup on sale for $4 at Starbucks. (Also known as fourbucks)It holds 2 full cups. Yes, I could have a sports bottle, but a sports bottle wouldn't make me feel pretty. A pink blossom on my cup makes me feel pretty. Here it sits in its natural environment on my desk.

And here it is posed nicely on the shelf. It works. I drank so much water yesterday that I sloshed when I walked. I nearly wore out the zipper on my slacks.

As for other motivations - well, you know how you're suppose to change out all your makeup every six months? I'm gonna give myself a new item every week I stick to the program. Weight-loss or no, I am going to reward good behavior. New mascara, new blush, new lipstick, new eyeliner, new eyebrow color (I have such anemic pale eyebrows - just about invisible - they need serious augmentation.) I might even try to find foundation.

Foundation is such a quaint term. Mother used to wear "a foundation." They were elasticized, boned, engineered undergarments with metal zippers and heavy-duty hooks and eyes that required assistance to don. And when she took them off, they left welts all over her. And, by God, she would no more have gone out to dinner without it than she would have gone out without her diamonds or her high-heels. Thank God for changing fashions. Now she wears long skirts and loose sweaters and comfy shoes. And she's pushing 90. Let's hear it for life without foundations!

As for knitting, I'm beavering away on that tube sock, and for evening work, another orphan sweater. Sweater picture tomorrow.

If you want an alpha version of the manuscript, please tell me if you want it in hard-copy or e-mail attachment. I appreciate any and all suggestions, editing, and critiques. Thanks ever so!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The tote-around tube sock is down to the toe

A few stitches here and there - at the stop light, waiting in line at the bank, sitting through traffic jams, - and eventually it's time to start thinking about decreases. Not quite yet, but soon, soon.

I must apologize in advance to everyone now. I am going back to Weight Watchers and hoping to again loose the 30 pounds I put back on in the past three years. Portion control, Eating in moderation, and Snack discipline, are all problems for me. The apology is because I'm afraid I will be mentioning this a lot. If I start to dwell to the point of being boring, Please, please, don't just go away. Let me know! OK? That's what good friends do.

The folks across the street are ripping the shingles off their roof - by themselves! The young mother (maybe 30?) is ramrodding the process with a crew of what I think is her husband, his brother, their father, her father, her sister, and her sister's husband, and a whole passel of kids. I worry about the roof holding them all. And now it has started to rain again. Mercy on them! I count my blessings that I am not on the roof, in the rain, stripping off three layers of asphalt shingles. There, but for the grace of God goes any of us. I think I'll run over and offer them all knitted hats. I have a few sitting around.

Oh, you asked if I really need to come up with a title. Yes, I need to entice the publishers to read the book in the first place. A good working title indicates to them that I have the ability to write a good book. After all, there are only forty thousand other romance writers out there. I need everything I can get to make myself noticable. If I thought a red wig and four-inch high heels would help, I would be at Shoes for Less right now!

Who wants to test-read? There are four explicit sex scenes, and lots of titilation.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

my 250th post

". . . and the song of the lawnmower is heard again in the land."
This picture is from Friday afternoon when DH got home from work and trimmed the front fourty. If he hand't gotten to it then, we would have had to rent a combine and bale it. The perfume of new-mown lawn should be bottled and sold. Ohhh, bliss! The back yard is less of a problem because it gets more shade, so the grass is being totally overwhelmed by moss, which makes it much easier to mow.
I spent yesterday with a brand new, 2007 Writer's Market, looking up agents and publishers for the western. Today, I work on the query letter. Honestly, writing the novel is the easy part! Now I have to make it irresistable in twenty five words or less. "What if a wild young cowboy on the run is snowbound for six weeks in a one-room cabin with an honorable married woman ?" Do you want to know more? There's sheep and a wounded cougar to deal with. When the snow starts to melt, they make it to town where they find her useless, abusive husband who abandoned her in the woods. How to write a synopsis that maintains the suspense? It has erotic sections. Should I summarize them clinically or with spice? Whining doesn't get it done. At least the steady rain today will not tempt me to go outside and play. Thanks for all the luck you have already wished me. And thanks SO MUCH for the compliments on my sweater!! Preen, preen!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

SU&KI is done!

At last, the argyling has been duplicate-stitched on, and c'est fini! I got our favorite waiter at Sully's cafe to take the picture today. DH is having an old boys breakfast meeting. (That dark spot in the corner of the pink square is water. It's raining today.) (Doesn't that blue turtleneck do amazing things for my eyes? Dynomite blue, Dave!!)

This is the yarn I have left over. There's another whole sweater here. I'll have to dwell on designs and patterns.

After I finished the sweater, and having finished my Western Romance, I celebrated with a little spinning. I found this fiber in my stash and puzzled over why I had purchased it. It's subtle, understated, muted and sophisticated. In other words, it's clearly not me.

Then I looked closer, studying the fiber content and the great ah ha struck. It's alpaca, angora, coridale and tussah silk noil.

It was heaven to spin! it felt sooo good sliding between my fingers. And what a luscious soft yarn it makes! All you master spinners out there who produce fine, even, smooth and beautiful yarns are free to compliment me on the quality of my yarn models.

The color of this yarn is called, "Thundercloud."
What to make with it?
Five ounces - not big enough for even a vest. Fluffy / thick-and-thin - not really appropriate for lace (And I hate to knit lace anyhow.) Suitable quantity and texture for a scarf. Who do I know that would like a soft, violet-hued scarf? Hmmmmm . . . I'll have to think about this.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I finished the western!

Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day. I've got a beautiful feeeeeeling, everything's going my way.

I really do enjoy sunrises. Too bad the poor camera can't pick it all up for you. But then, it would also need audio and olfactory and tactile recordings as well to give you the feel of above-freezing mildness against your skin, and the scent of every blooming thing within twelve blocks, and all the birds waking up and squabbling affectionately in their little nests.

This early-morning light makes the old tool-shed look charming.

And oh, those magnolias! Lush. Sensual. SEXY!!

The early-morning light casts shadows that intrigue Candy no end. She would rather chase shadows than play with the actual fingers. She's the reincarnation of a British lady professor of philosophy. She prefers her ivory tower, thank you.

Japanese quince blooming with zest.

And the edges of the yard are showing grape hyacinths. Ahh, the fragrance of concord!

I have finished the western romance. (YAY!!!) and am going to treat myself with spinning for a few days and maybe even build a quilt before I plunge back into the writing. Would you want to buy a novel titled "Micah and the Married Woman." ? Titles are sooo hard!

I have a pair of knitting needles - size 10 twelve inches long, made of purpleheart, with zebra wood finials. Anyone who can come up with a really attention-grabbing western title wins the prize.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I took GED tests to the jail again yesterday. These folks are doing better than the average run of high-schoolers. One fellow, not the fastest horse in the stable, but not ashamed to ask questions and not prone to making hurried mistakes, is doing exceptionally well. Wish I could post his scores and point out that he consistently does better than the impatient smart-alecs.

I had twenty minutes between the time I got back from the jail, and the time my writer's group began, so I have found a sun-trap at the top of a seldom used stairwell and settled in on the concrete for some sock knitting. But I had to get a picture of this lovely white magnolia counterpointing the bare black shadows beside it.

Naturally, when I got home, I had to turn the camera on our magnolia tree as well. Translucence!

I stood with my back against the chain-link and shot across our whole backyard. In the shaded background you can see the plum trees flowering. There are almost no bees this spring, so this bounty of flower will produce very sparse fruiting. sigh. There is something so hedonistic about picking and eating a completely ripe sun-warmed plum. Our pears are pretty bodacious, too. The apples? Meh. Maybe they're good for pies, but I'm not a pie afficianado.

Except for the sock, almost no knitting last night. I fell asleep when I got home, woke for dinner, fell asleep till Survivor, then took my bath and hit the hay. DH is still fighting his flooding sinuses, and is sneezing like a one-man epidemic. If my body wants rest, I think it counts as preventative medicine. I do not WANT that cold!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The artist and her cat

I delivered the bespoke (and paid for!) farceeing hat to the new owner, Pat the artist. Her house is just a treat, as you no doubt might imagine. She specializes in murals and faux finishes on walls, but she also paints like a master. She already has a children's book available on Amazon - "Bonkers the Pig." I think I'll have to get it. The illustrations are charming!!

Anyway, here is Jan in her new hat. I keep forgetting that I need to wear my glasses when I do photography so I can see just what Ihave photographed. Sorry about the blur.

Jan has a polydactyl cat named Bob. Bob is a sweetie pie. Look at those feet. Extra toes. He is a big, gentle, playful boy with wonderful, slightly crossed blue eyes and a soulful Siamese voice. Pat tells me that Bob is dumber than a box of rocks and, on one of the few times he was allowed out, tried three times to run through a chain-link fence, being thrown back, getting up, yelling his war cry, and charging straight into it again. I have days like that.

Of course, artists with white pets are bound to do a little decorating for the holidays. Bob is wearing a bit of green for St. Patrick's day. Food-coloring on a cloth, and just pet the kitty. He loves it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

a sick husband garnereth much knitting

It's neurotic of me, I know, but when DH is laid up, I like to stay with shouting distance. So while he spent the weekend sleeping (his sure-fire solution to most illnesses) I spent the time watching Northern Exposure CDs and knitting.

The SU&KI sweater is down to the duplicate stitching now. I had to take out the first row four times untill I figured out that I had made diamonds with an even number of stitches in each, so a single line of duplicate stitching was bound to look lopsided. DUH! I used up pretty much all of three skeins of that wonderful blue color, so I did the bottom band in the striated grape. I'm eyeing my leftover 1/3 balls and wondering what else I can do with them. A matching hat? A happy striped scarf? Hmmm. Actually, there's enough yarn to do a Fair Isle vest . . .

Here we see the progress on the Purple Iris socks. A few stitches here, a few stitches there, it adds up. The black thing behind the sock is my calendar, also known as my brains. If it doesn't get written down in there, forget it. This book is my memory and my organizer and my day-planner, all for $7 a year. I used to have a memory that handled everything for free, but I lost it somewhere.

While sitting and knitting, I kept hearing a sound like a furious lawn-mower dopplering back and forth past the house. Finally I got up to see what it was. One of the neighbors has a chopped Harley pocket bike. Isn't that the silliest thing you ever saw? Boys and their toys! I think I made him uneasy with my camera. The pocket bikes are not street legal.

Another neighbor has a hobby Harley. He can't get it to run, so his hobby is tinkering with it. Every time he gets it started, it's so loud that the whole surrounding four block area knows about it. And DH will shout, from wherever he is, and in spite of whatever he is doing, "The timing is off!" Then the bike chokes to death, and silence reigns. Knitting is a relatively quiet hobby (obsession.)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy post Patrick's Day

I was trying to include some knitting content today, and displayed the SU&KI sweater to the best of my limited ability. Half a sleeve, a bottom rib, and the internal argyle diagonal lines, and it's done! Dave's yarn is SOOOOO pretty and SUCH a treat to knit with.

And then, who should decide to act on the cat motto ("Everything is better with me in it.") but Blackjack, AKA Jack the Ripper, AKA the three-cornered cat. He hopped up on the desk, got himself attractively posed and said, "This is my best side - three quarter shot please."

He has been having some trouble getting around, because his back feet were slipping on the hardwood. I put him on his back on my lap, and though he usually HATES to have his feet fooled with, he sat very quiet while I trimmed the long fur from around his foot pads. He has much better traction now.

Blogger is having problems (again!) so if you want to comment, and it won't let you on, go ahead and e-mail me ( and I will edit you in.

DH is still snarfing and sneezing and sick in bed. And I bet a nickle he will get up and go to work like the hero he is tomorrow. When he's too sick to go to work, I start thinking it's time to go to urgent care.

I am thinking warm, cozy safe thoughts to everyone who is facing snow and such crud today. We're back to rain, but it's fifty degrees, so life is good! Of course, we'll have to hire the whacker brothers and their machetes to get the lawn down to mowable height in another week. Anyone want to loan me a sheep?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

it's Saturday, it's sunny, and I got sky!

As promised, for those poor folks suffering in the snowstorms back East, this is what spring is going to look like. Flowering plums against blue skies.

Red Camelias the size of saucers.

Willow trees budding out in that specila color that is almost yellow.

Forsythia exploding in blasts of happiness

This is what spring is going to look like. Teenagers will shiver in t-shirts and shorts while it is still far too cold for them, women will buy strappy sandals and wear floral print skirts, and the song of the lawnmower will be heard again in the land. You just have to hunker down and BELIVE!

more sexy flowers

When I went to get the paper at 5 AM, the sky was a mass of stars and a warm breeze caressed my hairy bare shins. I had all sorts of plans to go shoot sunny pictures of flowering plum and ornamental cherry trees all pink and frothy against a bright blue sky. By the time the sun rose, a heavy fog deck had rolled in. Well, maybe it will burn off this afternoon and I can post saturday sky photos on Sunday. But to give you poor folks in the East a taste of spring, here are the blossoms on our tulip tree. I had thought it was a magnolia, but I was told it isn't because the blooms are only the size of oranges, not huge honking grapefruits.

I don't care what its name is. I still love it to pieces! The pink and white striations, the elegantly shaped petals. Turn one of these blossoms over, and wouldn't it make an exquisite skirt for a formal gown?

While I was out snapping pictures of the blooms, our next-door neighbor came out in bathrobe and slippers, wearing a stocking cap over his bald head, and carrying a cup of coffee. Pretty soon, his wife, also in bathrobe with coffee joined him. Evidently, they drink their coffee and smoke their morning cigarettes out on their back patio every day. Boy, they are wayyyy tougher than I! Two minutes of photos, and I'm shivering like a dog pooping peach pits. It's gotta be a lot warmer before I want to spend any time in the yard in my bathrobe.

I have started socks with that lovely Purple Iris Lorna's Laces that Janette sent me. Since it's fine yarn, knitted on skinny needles, I have taken to carrying it with me everywhere. A few stitches at a stop-light, and a few more in the grocery line . . . it's amazing how fast those few stitches add up. I'm rather ashamed of myself because everyone else does fancy lace or cables or other exciting things with their socks, and I'm just knitting plain old 2 / 2 rib. But I love 2/2 rib. It's so quintisentially ribby!

I was looking out the window yesterday, envying grandma Flea her echidna. I could see two meadowlarks, two robins, two grey squirrels and about a dozen juncos. Drab, mundane, ordinary critters, but amusing none-the-less. The juncos were a stitch. The boy juncos would stuff their beaks full of dry grass till their little heads were just dwarfed by the bale poking out in all directions. Then they would hop up to the lady junco of their choice and lay their offering at her feet. All the lady juncos have headaches this early in the year, so they would spurn the proffered down payment on a nest, and turn back to hunting for bugs. So the boy juncos would gather the whole wad back up and hop off to harass another girl junco. Sometimes, the boy juncos would get into fights ove a particularly choice piece of grass, and their bundles of dry grass would get strewn all over. Whereupon, other boys would jump in and snatch the best bits up. Courtship is hard, regardless of the species!

I am so close to the end of my novel. I wrote another torrid scene yesterday, then went to lick DH on the ear and beguile him into some in-depth research. Unfortunately, he has the crappy snorfles and just was not in the mood. It looks like he is going to be spending all of today in bed. Alone. Sneezing. Poor darling!! Looks as if I'll have to amuse myself today.


Friday, March 16, 2007

more yarn porn

First the yarn. Tammy, at, had a competition for chicken names. Tammy, the lucky woman, works for Blue Moon Yarns and will be a counselor for Camp Cockamamie - a Socks that Rock club function. I've never been to camp, but I am told the camp counselors need pseudonyms, often chosen to fit with a theme. Camp Cockamamie's counselors will have chicken names. Tammy offered a prize, and I suggested Pertelotte as a fine chicken name. (Chanticleer and Pertelotte are the hero and heroine of the Nun's Priest's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.) So would I go into this much detail for a contest I did not win? Of course not! I got a honking big skein of glorious BlueBoo - allegedly a mistake, but utterly perfect in my eyes. I am gazing at it with childish delight and plotting garments. Perhaps a ripple-stitch cardigan with alternating rows of complimentary colors to stretch the goodness.

The second half of the prize was RockyHorror Socks that Rock yarn. Here is an object lesson in letting someone else choose your colors. The more I look at this moody, dramatic, autumnaly colored yarn, the more I love it! It is not something the inner magpie would have chosen, but it is exquisitely pleasing to my inner artist. Thank you so very, very much, Tammy! What wonderful prizes!

Lyssa said that the flower photos were not sufficiently arousing. she also needed some vampire sex. Gee, Amy Lane WRITES hot vampire sex. Lyssa, that ball of silk yarn you sent me will soon be showing dividends.

Lucia was asking if the heroine of my western romance was off the mountain yet. Oh yes. She and the cowboy have made it into town, found the rotten husband, and watched him get shot to death. The new widow and the cowboy have had their tryst, their mandatory misunderstanding, their inevitable passionate reconcilliation, and are well on the way to happily ever after. I have one, maybe two sex scenes to write, and a little connecting filligree to embroider, and I will be ready to start looking for romantic / erotic publishers. Writing those sex scenes should be easy today. I am really in the mood.

Now, if you are easily offended, go on to the next blog. This is the porn part.

If you are not easily offended, you might consider printing this off and leaving it where your beloved might run across it. I have had reports of unexpected connections on the sofa as a consequence of just such stimulation.

Hail the return of Persephone!

The apple blossom buds are pink and swollen as nipples,
pregnant with promise of delicious bliss.
The robin’s song is throbbing with longing.
Spring’s deep, earthy scents permeate the air.
Daffodils are thrusting their bright heads
into the hot, embracing sunlight,
cherry trees exploding in climactic froth,
magnolias bursting from their constraining coverings,
spreading their delicate petals
to the tender penetration of the tongues
of greedy honey sucking bees.
A moist breath of air caresses the erect heads
of the new ferns making them tremble
and twitch with eager life.
The six pomegranate seeds are paid for.
It’s time to wallow in all life’s pleasures.
On a day like this,
how can you stay inside and clean??

Thursday, March 15, 2007

goood morning Or-ie-gone!

It was clear and cloudless last night which means that the temperature plummeted and frost formed on the edges of everything. And this morning, the sun rose in sparkling clarity - as I was driving in to work. Geeze I hate daylight savings time! I did this driving into the dawn a month ago. Still, it was a beautiful sunrise. A sliver of moon floating over the southern horizon and a few mackarelle clouds picking up the peach and apricot light until the sun rolled up in blinding glory. I learned from watching "Black Sheep Squadron" on black and white TV, to hold my thumb over the sun to keep from burning out my retinas while facing in that direction. Who said TV wasn't educational?

Lucia referred to me as "The new Georgia O'Keefe in Oregon. So I have gone silly with sexy flower photos. Lush, sensual spring!

I could write some naughty poetry to match if you like.

Now, DH wants to take the laptop to visit the geeks, so cheerio and pip-pip dears!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

You never miss the blogging till the computer goes belly up

My laptop is getting incredibly coy about finding the internet. How can I blog without the internet? I suppose I could blog on the desktop, but it has the security set too high to allow me to post pictures. I'm at the point of high magic and pure superstition to get things to work. If I diagnose the problem while leaning to the left and while the laptop has a connection to the internet, then re-connect using only my right hand to punch the buttons, then hold my breath and cross my eyes while the silly computer counts its fingers and looks around to see if it knows where it is, I MIGHT be able to make the connection - - sometimes. In other words, time for a visit to the Geek Squad. Sigh. I would much rather spend the money on yarn. Or beads. Or bubblebath.

On the plus side, the vinca is blooming. It's also known as periwinkle or, "Love over the ground." Those old English names are sooo charming! Vinca is an evergreen, hardy groundcover vine that thrives on neglect. Just my kind of plant!

I finished two more farceeing hats. This one is for a local artist who has actually paid me real money to produce this for her. Jan York, you are a splendid human being!!

This hat is for my dear brother in law, the scoutmaster. I found some outdoorsy buttons at JoAnnes, and sewed them on as well.
An eagle, a buffalo, a wolf, a fish and a deer.

The (PLASTIC) eyes are for a muskie fish. This photo kind of shows off the red and green-ness of them. I left the loops live, then glued the antena sock to the antena so the loops look like tentacles or eyelashes or something. Wayyy cool!

Pictures, folks. We need you to model them and send us pictures!!

Has anyone else been hit by the time-change? I feel as if I had been run down by an Izusu! My face feels puffy and my eyes are gritty and gravity is stronger in my vicinity. Even my swimsuit has lost its snap. Simple words appeal to me: words like droop, and sag, and snooze. Snooze. Snoooooozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....................