Early Birthday

My gift

See this? I just got one! My dh has been conferring with me for a month about an appropriate, milestone birthday gift, and this is what we decided upon. A few weeks ago I was visiting my 79 year-old mom who spoke wistfully and enviously of my aunt. Apparently she had lots of audiobooks to listen to on a plane trip to NY because her kids had loaded them for her onto her “what is that called again? — an iPod.” So … my mommy wants an iPod! Here’s the win-win scenario: I give her my 5G 60GB iPod video with mom-appropriate selections from my music library, sign her up for an Audible.com subscription, load it up with some wonderful audiobooks and give it to her. Then I replace my iPod with a new iPod touch with the way kewl touchscreen interface. Everybody’s happy! 🙂

I adore that I can surf the web from this gadget, including checking gmail and my favorite blogs and Ravelry and Surfline.com. I also have access to web-based apps like TaDa List, which is an easy To Do list program and Tumblr, which is a super-simple personal blog, kinda like leaving one’s self a voice mail or e-mail only searchable and linkable. Never mind that I can also view movies and TV shows and, more frequently, video podcasts. This thing even downloads YouTube videos, although that’s not a major deal for me. Mostly I’m just having fun figuring out how to streamline my organization system to just this gadget and my phone. Of course my Circa agenda is my hard-copy backup to everything, but it’s nice to condense all my crucial info into a small, portable form.

In lovely, ironic Teresa-fashion, we scored this sexy Apple product at Costco for $10 less and with a 90-day return policy. So it was riding in the cart on top of the new blender, next to the mondo pack of stewed tomatoes, 12-pack of Eclipse gum, right above the cases of bottled water and Propel, but far away from the condensation of frozen Lean Cuisines.

For the present, my new toy is being protected in an old Apple-supplied iPod slipcase, awaiting my new Invisible Shield, just what the name implies in terms of protection, that comes highly recommended on iPhone sites. Also, manufacturers have not yet shipped (so no reviews yet) cases for the Touch, so I’m transporting mine in a pretty pink leather case meant for 3×5 cards.


hoping your weekend is as great as mine!


Emptying the Nest

Busy, busy weekend moving my dd into her freshman dorm! The reality is starting to set in — my first baby has flown from the nest. Here she is in her bedroom at home wearing the Parisian Beanie Beret from Stitch Diva that she commissioned me to do pronto. It’s in Karabella Aurora 8 in a colorway whose name escapes me at the moment. It was a lovely, soft yarn to knit, but tended to unravel as I used the cabling technique with no cable needle. I plan to use it again though, but with non-cable stitches.

Also, I included some detail shots. She wore the Beanie practically every waking hour since it was finished and we said our farewells on the campus to her wearing it. Very comforting for both her AND me….


Starting to get sad, but excited for her, too. I keep telling myself there’s always texting and e-mail and phone calls and even Skype calls since we both have cameras. But her bed room is achingly empty tonight….



Help Wanted

Below is a post to our knitting Yahoo group from one of my knitting friends. She is one of the most generous and talented people (and crafters) I know. I am heartsick that her family is suffering such uncertainty. I hope some of you might be able to help.



Hello Friends,

Please forgive me if you receive this message several times, I wanted to get word out to as many people as possible right away.

Many of you may not know my full name, Renata Fossett, or that Steve Fossett is my uncle. Steve has been missing in the Nevada desert since he went for a short flight last Monday and never returned. I am hoping you can help find him. The search is going on and not diminishing, although coverage on the news has scaled back somewhat. A week sounds like a long time, but he is a stubborn, knowledgeable survivalist. If anyone can come through this it will be him, but he is undoubtedly in need of assistance or he would have hiked out by now. So it is vital that the search for him continue and in that area you can all help.

I just found out tonight that they are using a systematic search of satellite images and anyone with a computer who can examine the images can help. All the details are on his website: http://www.stevefossett.com . They are also asking for helicopters and observers to aid in the search directly. I have left a message volunteering to do this, although I have no training in that area. If anyone out there does have a helicopter and can help search, please call, but if you can’t do that, please sign up to help with the satellite image search. Here are all the particulars of what they are asking for:

Mark is still looking for additional aviation assets to aid this work – specifically:

Additional turbine helicopters required: We can still use more turbine-powered small helicopters to explore this rugged terrain. Small and powerful aircraft are preferred – up to and including Jet Ranger in size.
Additional trained helicopter observers still sought: we also need more trained helicopter observers who can make their own way to the ranch and stay for a period of time.
If you have an appropriate aircraft available, or are an experienced observer and wish to volunteer, please call Karen at (415) 256-9273. She will put you in touch with the search teams.

Internet satellite image analysis: ‘The ‘Amazon Mechanical Turk’ internet-based satellite image analysis project continues in its efforts to find Steve. To offer your help, please go to:



There you will be shown sample images of a similar aircraft and an actual recent single satellite image to review. You will be asked to note if there are any objects that resemble an airplane like the one Steve Fossett was last seen flying on Monday. The instructions to report are straightforward.

You can also see the same area in context on Google Earth, although to ensure you see the most recent image of the assigned area on Google Earth you will need to follow additional instructions.

We would like once again to express our deep thanks to all who have volunteered their time and equipment, to those are participating in the Amazon Mechanical Turk project as well as to those who have sent their heartfelt best wishes and prayers for Steve.

Stay positive. We are.

Thank you!
~ M Renata Fossett

FO Kureyon-Chan

I started and finished this one-skein-of-Noro-Kureyon purse when my current OTNs seemed they would never be finished. It’s Kureyon-Chan from the December 2006 MagKnits online knitting magazine. This is the before-felting shot with my Treo for scale. The Treo fits flat on the bottom of the completed bag. I especially love the braided handle. The bag is the perfect size for my phone, wallet, glasses, keys and mints.

Yay for quick, pretty projects!


Roundabout Leaf Tank Redux


I LOVE Norah Gaughan’s patterns. This is an almost FO of the Roundabout Leaf Tank from Knitting Nature. I used a single skein of Lobster Pot Whale of a Skein (I forget the colorway). I got all the way to about an inch on the first strap, then … I FROGGED it all. Yup — what you see in this photo is no more. I’m not crazy — just a little detail-obsessed. Here’s what happened.


I had dutifully checked the publisher’s errata and modifications on the internet, but ignored the latter because it seemed to look “fine.” It’s meant to be an asymmetrical pattern, right? Then I tried it on and looked more closely, and the wonderfully detailed modifications by (name escapes me — I’ll add it later) began to make sense. Notice in the detailed pix below how one side of the lacy faggotting (crisscrosses) looks flat and wonderful and the other side looks just like big holes, esp just before and after the leaf detail. Asymmetrical doesn’t bother me, but too much flesh showing through holes does. Compare to the after version next to it.


The lovely after shots contain symmetrical, flat, textbook-like faggotting. I was also able to place the leaves a little more off-center and I’m much happier with the project now. It’s awaiting blocking before I stitch the straps to the back.



I haven’t calculated how much time the doing and redoing took, but I think I began in early July. One lesson learned: trust that itchy feeling when I’m considering whether an error will bother me when I wear the garment.



Knit This, Purl That — Yarn Crawl

Nothing beats the blues like a new yarn discovery! I’m back in the Bay Area
handling estate administration details (grumpy-making!) and am thrilled to report a new, wonderful LYS. Not Commuknity this time, although I visited and scored some wonderful Cascade for a new sweater (more on this later), but a very new store in Pleasanton. It used to be called Main Street Knits (there’s probably still a website and links to it). Since April it’s been Knit This, Purl That and boasts a WONDERFUL collection of unique, eclectic, fair trade, small-producer and other fine yarns and accessories.

The first picture is my entire purchase — I didn’t have my camera with me, or I’d post pix of the store itself. It’s very cozy and welcoming and Allyce (daughter of owner Beth) was extremely helpful. Here’s the breakdown:

Yummee Yarns, colorway Butterfly. 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon, one 460 yd skein for socks. She produces a colorway called Knit One, Purl That exclusively for the shop, not available elsewhere.

Linie 194 Solo
, one 20m skein each of 4, 13 and 101, a fun ribbon yarn for skinny ruffled scarves.  The pattern comes free, depending on where you order the yarn.  Yarn Harlot wrote about it in April 2007, I think.

Mirasol Miski, 100% baby llama from Peru, 4 skeins of 82 yds each, project TBD

a happy puppy