twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

It’s a brand spankin’ new year August 30, 2009

Filed under: jewels,knitting,laughter,life,writing — kathy @ 10:09 pm

Time does funny things in my mind sometimes.littlekathysm

For instance,  ever since I entered grade school, the “new year” has begun for me in September instead of January.


What did it? Was it the smell of freshly sharpened new #2 pencils and clean spiral notebooks, or proudly carrying a brand new metal HR Puf’n’Stuf lunchbox, and finally plucking new shoes from their tissue filled box and tying them on? Was it the excitement of meeting my new teacher, or finding out if I was going to be sitting  close to my best friend–note-passing close. Was it the opportunity I felt being given the chance once again to show I was I a good student? The starting fresh from zero? Clean slate fresh?


Ever since those years, ages past the days when I’d be packing my car to head back to college, every September that sense of fresh, new opportunity gives me a poke, as though to say, “Here’s another chance. Let’s go.”


With that in mind, I decided to make a list, in a very public way, of some of the things that are most important to me to accomplish in the upcoming year:

10. Sew a bunch of aprons and hobo bags in vintagey fabrics (which I already have)

9. Take new pictures of jewelry for Etsy and my website

8. Lose 20 pounds…again (yarn diet does not count)

7. Work out at least 4x per week

6.  Meditate daily (but not while working out)

5. Plan and start mini renovation on this old house

4. Open new TalismanKnits shop on Etsy to sell knitterly jewelry and stitch markers

3. Finish 1 knitting project per month (2 if small) (utilizing stash only) 

2. Blog at least 2x per week

1. Finish novel and send out queries

Wish me luck! 🙂 So it’s a bit ambitious and optimistic. But I feel like I can and I’m gonna try like hell to do it all.


I (heart) Finished Objects August 29, 2009

Filed under: knitting — kathy @ 12:13 pm

I am sad to have returned from the place that is dearest to my heart: Chicago, and my family/friends who live there. But at least I have another finished object…my Moss Canopy Shawl. I loved it straight off the needles. Turned out even better after I blocked it. I ended up doing 14 pattern repeats for a 66 x 33″ shawl.   canopybugAnd for a lace pattern, it’s really as easy to memorize and work as everyone says. It doesn’t even bore me. Hooray. I have, like a half dozen sock yarns that are too nice to walk on that I plan to make into lacey scarves or shawls, and this pattern will be perfect for at least a couple more.canopyme 


I encountered a glitch trying to work on my Merlot Merletto Mitts in Miss Babs Lilacs while in Chi-town, so I kept working on my Dancing Poppies in Bergamota Malabrigo, though even that gave me a little trouble. I was crocheting the poppies too close together, so I had to frog them back to the beginning. Now I’ve got 1/3 of them completed and should be able to finish that in a day or two. I’m off to the wedding of a Knitting Pal’s eldest daughter, so I’ll close here…but tomorrow, I’m starting fresh…details to come!


Bang, Zoom! August 14, 2009

Filed under: knitting,life — kathy @ 9:04 am
The Bug in a T

The Bug in a T

I just made Teva Durham’s Ballet T-Shirt. In. One. Day.

Seriously, I needed some instant gratification, and I must say this filled the bill nicely. It was the perfect combination of stash-busting (even better that it was stash yarn leftover from a previous project–that sort of yarn has a lonely existence. After I’ve used a yarn once, the thrill is usually diminished somewhat…unless it’s Malabrigo of course. 🙂 ), super-easy, well-written pattern, and an adorable model. Here it is on Rav:

And let me say, I don’t knit fast. But even this pattern went like lightning and put a smile on my face. Which is what I needed.

So now, since I’m in  the mood for instant gratification, I’ve started another super fun, quick project; the Dancing Poppies Scarf by Sylvie Damey: 

At the beginning...

At the beginning...

 This is an adorable pattern; I’ve made it before, gave it away, and wished I’d kept it. Well, heaven knows I have pa-lenty Malabrigo to make one for moi.

And it’s just the perfect size (like a pair of socks or gloves) to fit into my JessaLu Box Bag and carry around in my purse. And the Mal is wonderfully soft around my neck. Just love it!

It’s going so quickly this time, that I’m glad I packed an extra skein of Miss Babs and a couple of sock patterns…I actually think I’ll get to it on this trip home to Naperville.

In fact, here’s a fun thing Captain Romance, Bug, and I did before CR went back home to California:

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry!

I’ve never been–my family always went to the Art Institute or the Field Museum.  There was so much to see; my favorite was the wonderful Harry Potter Special Exhibit that’s there until the end of September, I think.  Personally, I loved seeing the costumes best. I saw Ron’s tweedy Weaseley sweater with buttons on the shoulders, as well as Ron’s burgundy tweed sweater from “Prisoner of Azkaban” that has seam binding tape around the neck and is really cool. I think it would be great on CR…hmm. Time to think about holiday gifts. Sadly, they didn’t allow picture-taking in that exhibit.

Anyway, another wonderful thing to see was Ron’s crazy stash-buster blanket. It was great to see all the different squares up close, and I gushed over it so much that a woman who was a few people ahead of us in line turned and asked, “Are you a knitter?” I guess I’m obvious.

We also enjoyed the US Space Program Exhibit–very cool.

It's an AstroBug

It's an AstroBug

And  the perennial favorite of all ages,

The Chick Hatchery!  They’re soooo cute!

Chick, chick

Chick, chick

One of the best things about being home is knitting with my 3 BFFs. Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend the evening with my Darling Cuz, Laurie, and knit and yak! Soon I hope to be sharing Lattes and secrets with my BFF Meggie!  With any luck, I’ll get to sneak away to have coffee with my sister, but since she’s getting ready to move, her dance card is pretty full already. I love coming home to Chicago and my BFFs! It’s my favorite place in the world to be!

I’m going to make the most of every moment I’m here, that’s for sure.

And I just wanted to give a note of heartfelt thanks to all my dear friends who’ve sent me their love and prayers on the passing of my fuzzy friend. You are all so very kind, and I am so lucky to call you friend. Thank you, thank you. ballet_tee2


My heart is breaking… August 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — kathy @ 9:18 am

I should be excited about the wedding shower I’m going to today. I should be thrilled that in a few days the Bug and I will be heading to Chicago to spend time with family and friends. I had planned on writing a big ole post today about my Jewelry Open House.

Instead, my heart is breaking.

My dearest fuzzy friend and companion of 19 years is dying.  Her liver is sick, she’s refusing to take the meds, and she’s stopped eating. The measures I’d have to take to keep her alive would be so invasive and painful, that even the vet is not pushing for me to go that route.

My beloved Foozle

My beloved Foozle

Here’s the part of loving a pet that’s painful. Here’s the part that you don’t think of when you pick up that mewling bundle of fur from the cage at the shelter and fall in love at first sight.

Through the years, when a friend has a pet pass, you stop and think a moment that that’s down the road for you; but that’s not something to dwell on and instead, you continue to enjoy the love and antics of your furry friend.

For the last day or so, my eyes have been so wet so often, that now they are swollen. And then there’s that lump in my throat and knotted sick stomach that never seems to go away.

I’m finding that thinking of the happy memories and love she’s given me is the only way to keep myself from being so selfish as to prolong her misery.

She is 19 after all. and though I know she’s sick, it’s tough to believe because she doesn’t look 19. Her eyes, until now, have been bright, and her fur silky and full.

Foozle in her little Eichler cat house on a warm spring day

Foozle in her little Eichler cat house on a warm spring day

Now is the time I must put all my selfish feelings aside and let her go.

What I have been trying to do is remember our good times together, the funny things she used to do. She would’ve been a wonderful mother, I’m sure, because whenever anyone cried, she always came running to that person’s side. Whenever I was actually sick enough to be in bed, she’d be my little nurse, snuggling next to me like a little hot water bottle.

Yes, we’ve had plenty of tough times. Just read my first post. That’s because she’s a smarty. I suppose that’s why she’s been so much fun. She could be quite the character.

And one of the toughest things of all is watching Bug go through all this. These two have been best buds. Fooz is like a sister for Bug. They snuggle together every night and the Bug sings to her, and tells her all about what she did that day until the cat falls asleep.

She’s inconsolable. She understands there’s nothing to be done and that Foozle is likely suffering. I know after some time passes, she’ll get through it; I just wish I could make it all better for her now.

Oh yes, Bug would like me to add that she loves Foozle with all her heart, and doesn’t want her to suffer, even though she can’t bear to part with her.

I apologize for such a sad post; my mind simply cannot get past this. I promise the next one will be much happier.

And I will get through all this myself in time. Remembering is bittersweet, but it will keep her close in my heart. For instance, the thought of how she’d join me in the living room every morning, stretched out on the rug under Grandma’s chair, just her toes poked into the sunny patch, sleeping. That will always be her place. There and in my heart.


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