Feb 7

Feb 4

I remember doing it.  I remember putting my Hiya-Hiya interchangeable set into  something (a box, a bag?) and taking it upstairs to my studio.  I remember thinking at the time, “I am going to regret taking these out of my bedroom when I need some different needles.”  And you know what?  I was right!

I finished the two main projects I was working on (Harris Tweed socks out of the Brenda and Heather Yarns colorway Napoleon and the Drops baby sweater out of Drops 100% alpaca yarn) and wanted to start something new.  I could have started Scott’s coif (aka Warm All Winter by Cat Bordhi), or I could have started the Martinmas Shawl with a couple skeins of my hand spun yarn, or I could have started the Basic Norwegian Star hat for Jon, all of which I really want to do.  I had the patterns printed out, the yarn, but I could not find my Hiya-Hiya interchangeable needles, which means I had no needles for any of these projects.

So, what I did start (and for which I found the needles because they were in my sock knitting notions bag) was this:



Susan B Anderson’s knitted dolls.  I have the kit for Morgan, the doll on the right.  So, I started her last night while Scott and I watched some YouTube videos on Medieval clothing styles and fighting techniques (Scott got to pick last night).

I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret part of Benita.  I love dolls.  I love miniatures.  I love tiny little things, and I have been looking forward to knitting this wee dolly since she came in the mail sometime last fall (late summer?).  So, maybe this is God’s way of letting me know that it okay to take time off from knitting for others and make something for me just for the pure joy of knitting it.  I’m okay with that.

Feb 2

Jan 28

For pick-up only!! I have for sale a 40″ wide, 8-harness, 10-treadle, Herald loom. With it comes the parts to convert the warp beam into a sectional beam, the bench, an original shuttle, a 12-dent reed, lease sticks, extra tie-up wires, a home-made raddle and instructions. Both the front and back beams are removable for ease of threading. Stained walnut and in very good condition. Except for the home-made raddle, everything else matches the loom and must have been part of it when it was originally made and sold. It comes apart into two sections for ease of transportation, but you will need a pick up truck or small trailer to get him home.  $1,000.00 for everything.

If you want to look at the instructions, they can be found here: http://www.basicallybenita.com/?page_id=4559

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Jan 25

Jan 19

Well, you all (both the commenters here and those elsewhere) have eased my mind.  The two young relatives will not be getting any more knitting from me (or gifts in general since there have been others that have also gone ignored).  I am sad about that because I love giving people things that I make and I am very careful to give them things that I know are their taste, colors and style.

On another note, another relative contacted me last night and asked if she could pay me to make her a pair of wool socks.  She drives a school bus and her feet have been getting so cold, she has been getting chilblains, which is very painful.  Pay me, my foot! It just so happens that she wears the same size shoes that I do and I have several pairs of lovely, wool, handknit socks, so I have packed two pair up for her (and an alpaca scarf that I knit) to help keep her warm.  By the time I knitted a couple of pairs for her, spring would be here and that would not be any help for her at all. My pay is her words “Thank you so much.  You made my day!”  Knowing that she appreciates and will use them is more than enough pay for me.  I may have found a new knit-worthy person to make things do, and I am so thrilled.

It’s good to be appreciated and needed.

Stay warm, everyone!

Jan 18

The past couple of months, I have been doing a lot of gift knitting, and most of the recipients have been thrilled to received them (just had a co-worker show off the socks I knitted for her saying they were the warmest socks she ever had).  But, what do you do when asked to knit something for someone, and you don’t even get an acknowledgement that the package you mailed to them arrived?  How hard is to it just sent a text or a PM on Facebook that says, “Got the _____ in the mail today.  Thank you.” ?

I have knitted some beautiful items for two people (one of whom asked for said item) and I had to ask one of them (three weeks after I mailed it to them) if they received it (I got a “Yes, I got it. Thanks.”) and the other one I heard from a third party that the package got there.  I am told they both loved their gifts, but I have to admit that it is very hard to knit other things for them when they can’t take the time to let me know that said gift even got to them.

I am knitting another gift for one of them, and I will admit that I am having a hard time finishing it because I don’t know that it will be appreciated, much less even acknowledged.  This person does not know it is coming.  Should I just not send it and gift it to someone else who will appreciate it and who always lets me know that they got it and love it?  Do I write the said two people off as being not knit-worthy, even if they are family?  I mean, the items I made them were from the softest wool, not cheap acrylic, and took some time and effort on my part.

And that is my dilemma.  Should I or shouldn’t I?  Part of me thinks they will come back and say “You always knit stuff for others, but how come I don’t get stuff, too?”  In a way, I hope this happens because I’d love to tell them, “Well, because I hear from the others that the gift arrived and that they like and wear said stuff.  I never heard from you on the things I sent to you, so why should I continue sending you things that you won’t even acknowledge receiving?”

I hope I am not sounding petty on this.  All I want, really, is a quick note saying that the gift arrived safely and a simple thank you for it.  Is that asking too much?

Dec 9

Okay, I knitted a couple of hats as Christmas gifts for two of my nieces.  The first one I made using the needles sizes as specified in the pattern – 6 for the ribbing and 7 for the main part of the hat.  It fit me rather snuggly and, while I figured it would fit the smallest of the two nieces (4’10”), I knew it would not fit the taller of the two nieces (5’7″ ish).

The second one I changed the needles to 7 for the ribbing and 8 for the main part of the hat.  I also reversed the colors so they would look differently.  I was completely shocked at the size difference between them.  For what it is worth, I love the fit of the second one.

size difference

One needle size difference.  That is all.  Same yarn, same pattern, just one size of needles being the difference.

Which makes you think about how changing the needle size on something like a sweater, which is much larger than a hat.  Which, again, make you think about gauge and gauge swatches.  If nothing else shows the importance of doing a gauge swatch, this does for me.

Interesting lesson, eh?


Hat pattern is: Celtic Fair Isle Beret knitted with Cascade 220 in Twilight Blue (dark) and Robin’s Egg Blue (light).



Dec 8

Scott and I worked at moving furniture and equipment into his studio on Sunday afternoon, and we got a tremendous amount done.  Remember, these are “in progress” shots and we still have several hours worth of work to do to finish it up.


This is looking toward the computer area with the painting area just to the right in that east-facing dormer.  Yes, you are counting monitors right – three – one for each computer he uses.

The left hand monitor goes to the computer that runs the scanner.  The scanner works great, but there are no drivers for anything beyond Windows XP for it, so this computer has to be kept alive for the scanner.  The scanner is an 11 X 17 one and they are hard to find at a reasonable price.

The middle monitor goes to the internet computer.  This is the only computer allowed onto the web and Scott uses it to communicate with clients, do research for his art, and to publish our books and update the Johnny Saturn site.

The monitor to the right goes to the graphics computer, a huge monster that he does 99% of the digital portion of his art on.  And yes, there is another computer sitting on the floor, but it has issues booting up and really just needs to be scavanged for parts.

The photocopier in the foreground is one we bought in 1997 and it still works just fine.  I dread the day it dies because it weighs a ton and a half* and getting it down the stairs is going to be one pain in the arse.

Batgirl (drawn by John Byrne, I am told) watches over Scott while he works.  It’s nice having your own personal superhero keeping an eye out for you.



This is looking from the relaxation station (the corner to hold the chair, ottoman, music, boombox, etc.) toward his drafting table in the west-facing dormer (we have large dormers upstairs, which we love).  The door on the right goes to the small walk-in closet where he stores nearly all of his art supplies (very neatly, I might add).  The stacking cubes will hold artist models and other knick-nacks, as well as some art reference books.

I love the color in this room.  So much better than that gloomy pink and green.

Yesterday, I took a trip to southern Indiana to pick up my Christmas turkey from the farm who raised and butchered it.  It is a small, heritage breed and I am looking forward to it becoming the main part of our Christmas dinner.

I love historical markers and will stop and read most that I pass.  This one really caught my fancy.

canal sign

Canals are as romantic to me as railroads and I love trains.


And it’s still there, if rather diminished in size.  Sorry for the gloomy weather, but it is December and I was just glad it wasn’t raining, sleeting or snowing for my drive south.

Speaking of trains.

old train1

I was told that this train was pulled into this spot a couple of decades ago and just left.

old train2

I stopped and took pictures of them to show Scott.  He loves painting derelict things and I knew this would capture his attention.  We might have to go back down there early next summer and give him a day to draw and paint these.

Sometimes, it is good to get off your normal route and see what you can find.  I am sure these sites are just normal to those living in the area, but to us getting to see them for the first time, they are very interesting.

Sandy and I will be working on the newly brought-home fiber tonight and it is my goal to get the shop updated by the end of this week.  I hope your weekend was as pleasant as mine was!!

Dec 4

Tomorrow, I (and a student/friend of mine) are off to Ohio Valley Natural Fibers tomorrow.  I will be picking up 15 processed fleeces from them (to be added into the Dyed in the Wool shop by the end of next week) and dropping off two dozen (plus) more for processing, plus fleeces for a couple of friends of mine from their own sheep.  If you think Laurel the CR-V is going to be full, you’d be right, but such a lovely, satisfying load of goodness.

Needless to say, I will be stopping at Jungle Jim’s on the way home.

And to let you know, I am now on Instagram as fiberpusher.  Please come and follow me so I can follow up and we can share all of the goodies we are making.

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