buttons, buttons, buttons

I finished knitting the Baby Surprise Jacket a few weeks ago and the last thing I needed were the PERFECT buttons. So I took a trip to JoAnn’s and here were the few the I came up with.

first set of buttons

second set of buttons

third set of buttons

Then I took a vote.  I basically presented the blue round buttons in the top image and the brown round buttons in the bottom image to about 15 different people.  Then I expanded the vote to include the purple hearts in the first image.

Results:  Blue: 9         purple: 4          brown: 2

Here is the final product:

(wait for it…..)


bsj finished

bsj finished

bsj finished

So I ended up with a totally different button, as you can see.  I ended up going to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston and found these and thought they would be PERFECT.  I think the pink/salmon really contrast well with the purple-blue-green colorway and the scalloped edges work well with the knitting.  They are a little too big and snag a little on the button holes, but I figure it can be worn open anyway, so I’m not going to worry about it.  Besides, I won’t be the one dressing little Gabrielle Joy, now will I?  (the sinister older sister rears her little blond head….ha, ha, ha, ha!)


The Harlot, redux

If you can remember back to the end of April, Kate and I took a trip down to Oak Lawn (about 50 miles away) to attend a book signing by an author that we both enjoy, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka The Yarn Harlot.  The result of that trip was a cancelled flight for Stephanie and a $450 muffler repair for me.  Friday night was the rescheduled singing.  Here is the good, the bad and the ugly of the second trip to Oak Lawn.

Good.  Kate and I left at 3:15 instead of 3:30.  Any attempt to leave earlier in the day should result in better traffic.  Optimal word: should.

Ugly.  This is what I got stuck behind for about 10 miles of stop and crawl traffic.

back of truck 

Bad.  This is what we were chasing.

storm approaching 

Good.  This was my top speed, maintained for about 15 miles once we passed the O’Hare toll booth.

top speed on 204 during rush hour 

Good.  We got here at 5:10 PM, p-l-e-n-t-y of time to get to the hotel early and get good seats.

oak lawn water tower 

Bad.  This is what we came out to after a quick bite to eat.


Good.  We did get to the hotel early and were able to secure some really, really good seats.  Fourth row, directly in front of Stephanie.


Excellent.  Here she is.


Her talk was hilarious, to say the least.  If you’ve read one of her books, then you know what her humor is like.  It’s the same in person.  I personally love the way that she lifts knitters (and basically anyone in the fiber community) up and validates our craft.  People who are not passionate about knitting (aka non-knitters) have a hard time understanding the draw of fiber, technique, and projects. 

Bad.  There were about 200 people there (at least 200, possibly way more than that) and I had to stand in line for about an hour and twenty minutes. 

Good.  While standing in line the three ladies right behind me live up in my area (Libertyville, Lincolnshire and Lake Bluff) and we talked about knitting groups and getting connected.  It made the wait for the book signing extremely bearable and worth it.

All in all it was an excellent evening, even if I did get sick from eating Cold Stone at 10:30 at night.  Well worth the trip.

Hey, I even made onto her blog…check it out.  Scroll down until you see a block of photos…I’ll be in the “First sock brigade” section…pretty cool.  My dream came true.  Thanks, Kate, for being my sock coach!

pics of Waukegan Public Library (renamed)

I had to go to downtown Waukegan last week to pay a parking ticket.  The Waukegan Public Library is on the same street as police department where I had to pay my ticket.  This is the back of the library.  Isn’t this cool?  How many characters do you know?

Waukegan Public Library

Waukegan Public Library

Waukegan Public Library


going to meet the Harlot (post renamed)

(caution, this post may contain explicit language…read at your own discretion)

I woke up thirty minutes early this morning in an ecstatic state of anticipation.  Today is the day.  The day. Today is the day that I will lose my virginity.  My Harlot virginity.  Today I am going to meet the Yarn Harlot.  I am so ready for this…I feel like I’ve been waiting for it my whole life.  I have my book for her to sign.  I have my first socks for her to see.  And I have my camera ready and charged to capture the whole thing.

It’s hard to reconcile this childish excitement that I’m feeling right now.  I mean, come on, I’m almost 40 and I’m still acting like a kid anticipating Christmas?  Probably not a couth thing for me to admit, but there it is.


On the Knitting Front
I know that I’ve been promising pictures of the Baby Surprise Jacket but you’ll have to wait even longer.  I remembered my camera today but forgot the USB connection, so I can’t actually download the pictures.  I’m still in the process of buying the buttons and I’m taking a field trip to Vogue Fabrics tomorrow to peruse their selection.  I have 2 different buttons that I like from Joann’s and have polled about a dozen people as to which they prefer.  I’ll put up pictures of the options and the polling and then in a few days I’ll show you all which one I went with.  Anticipation…it’s the stuff that keeps us going, right?


On the Reading Front
I have the opportunity to do something unique with some women at my church.  We are reading a book called Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson.  The Thursday morning women’s bible study group has a blog and we are conversing about the book on the blog.  It’s a pretty cool idea, and one that I am happy to participate in.  You can find us here.  I’m also in the process of purchasing books for my classes this fall and am looking to get at least one for each class read before school starts.  Very loft ambition.


Well, I guess that’s all for now, folks.  Toodles.


I Blew It

Saturday was World Wide Knit In Public Day. It’s kinda like a national holiday for knitters, except world wide. I’ve seen blogs from across the world talking about people getting together and knitting out there, out in the real world, open for everyone to see.  I found a group who were going to take the train into Chicago, spend a few hours and then return, replete with signs in windows, t-shirts and balloons.  I so wanted to go and make some new friends.  But as it turned out, Saturday was my "be a bum" day – the day where I get to sit on my bum and watch tv/movies all day long – not going anywhere or having any contact from the outside world.  My roommate was gone and life was perfect.  I watched the last 8 episodes of season 5 of West Wing and then 4 episodes from season 2 of Felicity.  And I knit.  I FINISHED (well, almost finished) the Baby Surprise Jacket!  Woohoo!  All I have left is to redo one of the arm seams and put the buttons on. AND . THEN . IT . IS . D.O.N.E.!@!!!!  (I’ll have pictures soon, promise)

Sunday also turned out to be another bum day and I’m not sure why.  I was exhausted from the previous day’s bum use (or non use as it may be) and was looking forward to putting my bum into use on Sunday by going to church, lunch, and even possibly knitting in public.  But when I got up, I went back to bed.  Bummer.  I did, though, have a chance to finish a washcloth and soap bag for my friend Julie (sh!  please don’t let her know) and I’m thinking about making one for my roommate, thinking that if I gave her a place to put her soap, one that would be all her own, maybe she would buy her own soap and put it there.  I don’t know….just a thought.



Baby Surprise Jacket

I am really almost done with this very cute little jacket.  I have, maybe, 14 more rows to do.  I am way excited about actually finishing a baby gift before the baby gets here, instead of being months late after the baby has arrived.  The colors are perfect and I think my sister will really like the sweater.  It looks as though it could be big enough for Gabrielle when the weather starts to turn in Atlanta.  I’ve been worried that it would be too small, but I think it’ll be okay.  I’ll have pictures up for tomorrow.




There are so many things that I could write about Nashville and the conference I attended last week, but I don’t have enough space (or memory) to do so.  First, though I want to talk about the hotel.  We stayed at one of the Gaylord resorts and they are by far too large.  They are like a mini-city – complete with anything you could possibly want without leaving the complex, with the exception of a movie.  I have a small photo collage below.

My room was at the farthest possible point from the conference rooms.  On the hotel sign, the place that is pointing to “You Are Here” is where my room was, the dark blue rooms in the upper right are the conference rooms.  Way too far to walk.  I estimate I walked about 3 miles round trip just to get to the conference rooms and back, not counting all the walking around in the conference rooms.

On the plus side I got plenty of exercise.  On the minus side I was exhausted.  But on the plus side the atrium, which is basically the teal, red and green sections, had lots and lots and lots of things to look at.  They had restaurants, waterfalls (one pictured below), dragons (again, pictured below), tropical plants and of course, shopping.

Typically on the Friday night of this conference the company takes us out to experience some local fare.  This year they took us to the Wildhorse Saloon located in downtown Nashville.

You can’t really read the sign but it says “Wildhhorse Saloon”.  The inside has a few surprises waiting for us.  First, the place is three stories, with the 2nd and 3rd floors open down to the first floor where there is a dance floor. 

Nashville 2008

The had some really, really good pulled pork BBQ and apparently a delicacy of theirs is fried pickles (yes, you did read that correctly).  One of the surprises were a heard of horses running upside down on the roof.  A whole heard!

On the way out we saw I saw a fake horse sitting on a chair (pictured below), who looked as if he was ready to go out dancing with his girl.  I was beginning to think that this place (and Nashville in general) was obsessed with dressed-up statue horses, but I was as the Wildhorse Saloon, so I was trying to give them a break.  But…. at the hotel the next day I ran into a pair of horses jiving up a tune (one of them pictured).  So this sort of solidified my impression of Nashville’s hankering for dressed up horses.  Kind of eerie if you ask me.

In general the food was good, the hotel room was great, the exercise was good and lastly, the conference was good.  Ready for next year.