Stasia's Place Of Grace


Saturday, August 24, 2002

Making A Little Progress

Today I was able to publish Amelia Carlson's Andean Plying page at

It made me feel good to make a little progress on the site, which has taken me quite a few months to develop. I have all of the video files uploaded for the rest of the pages, but have yet to write the HTML.

It shouldn't take me long to finish those, once I sit down to do them... but the web host changed some of the administration functions at the site, and so today was slow going as I navigated new pages and commands, and moved Amelia's files around.

One page at a time... then I won't get overwhelmed by the project!

Since giving up on the Fiesta Feet socks, I have been working away on my Welcome Back, Old Friend sweater from the Fall, 2000 issue of Interweave Knits.

Would you like to see a photo? I am finished with the back, and almost finished with the front. Here it is:

"Welcome Back, Old Friend" sweater, Fall 2000 IK, Front

This sweater has been sitting in its tote for almost a year since the last time I worked on it; I began it right after receiving the magazine, so that is going on two years since I started! This is knit on rather large needles, for goodness' sake, so should not have taken me this long to finish, except for all the other things I got involved in in-between (especially socks and running the Spindlers discussion group!)

I am feeling much more capable, and better able to progress on things, doing one thing at a time. I am almost ready to do the neck decreases, and made more progress in the last two days than I have in many months. Luckily, using large, circular needles is easy on my hands. (I am watching "Little Women" while I knit this weekend!)

The yarn for this sweater is Tahki Chelsea Silk which is a very soft silk and wool blend, with a tweedy, flecked sort of effect. It is a very nubbly yarn. The color is called "Charcoal," I believe. I think this will be my favorite sweater when I finally get it finished - it is very stretchy, very oversized, and gray which is my favorite clothing color. It will have a turtleneck, which is my favorite kind of sweater for our chilly Wisconsin winters.

I am really enjoying knitting this, knowing I don't have anything else waiting for my attention. I also like that the cable row is just challenging enough to provide interest, and then the reverse row only involves knitting or purling the stiches as they present themselves... it is nice to have one "focus" row and then one "mindless" row. I also love looking at the chart, rather than working with written-out instructions (like the Fiesta Feet socks).

I hope you are having a productive, fiber-filled weekend, too, getting some little things accomplished and enjoying the process!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Friday, August 23, 2002

Funny Music

One thing that always cheers me up is listening to unusual, unique, or just plain weird music. This ranges from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (great CD!), to John Denver and The Muppets' rendition of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas."

I remember The Swingle Singers from when I was little. I don't remember if the music was on Sesame Street or on a commercial, but this music always brings back vivid 1960s images. (I don't even know if it was around that early, but that's what it brings to mind!)

The Swingle Singers did some great a capella versions of Bach pieces. Click here to go to one of their CDs, and when you get there, listen to song number two. I hope it'll make you smile and remember those sweating, primary-colored metal glasses we drank our Kool-Aid out of...

Animal Breed Zip Code

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Knowing When To Throw In The Towel

I've been working on the Fiesta Feet socks today... and it has not been fun.

In my life, I have always pushed things to the limit. I always tried to go the extra mile, be super-professional and -efficient, and never give up.

It really wore me down, literally to the point of collapse.

Now I find myself struggling with these silly socks. The pattern isn't hard, but it requires that attention be paid to it. It also requires two-color stranded knitting, something I've never been good at and have never enjoyed. I think that in the last row or two I made an error, and frankly, I don't want to figure out what that might have been. Life's just too short... my energy resources, too limited... my attention span, non-existent.

FREE TO GOOD HOME: A "Fiesta Feet" sock pattern by Lucy Neatby, one sock in progress with possible error in last row or two, enough yarn to finish the pair. Will also include the pattern for her Gingham socks if I can find it because that, too, involves two-color knitting.

Sometimes life isn't about being first, being best, completing everything perfectly at all costs. I'm not Martha Stewart. I'm not even Florence Henderson. I just want some mindless knitting while I sit here and watch "Pride And Prejudice" or toss a ball for my dogs or have a conversation with my husband. Because those are the things I really enjoy... the things I didn't make time for before, and the things that aren't worth giving up just because I like the look of these really cool socks. I can, and must, handle acknowledging that something that once would have been achievable for me just isn't any more.

That's ok, because I am learning that being is as important, or more important, than always doing. Being in the moment, noticing and appreciating the world around me, is more valuable (and necessary) to me at this stage in my life than achieving goals at all costs (and hating the whole process!)

But that doesn't mean these socks wouldn't be a piece of cake for you, so e-mail me, titled "socks" if you're interested in having this kit to work on, and I'll do a little drawing tomorrow (Friday) evening!

Good, one more project "finished." Now I just have that gray sweater... but though it's a cable pattern, it's one color and has an easy-to-follow chart so at least I can listen to a book on tape without fudging it! (I hope...)

And now I have a good excuse to cast on a simple pair of socks, so that I have an easy, mindless portable project available! The Fiesta Feet would not have made for good airport knitting, and I've been itching to cast on this new Regia and work up my mindless pattern!

Things I Have Thrown The Towel In On

    Horseback riding, ballet dancing, aerobics, rollerblading, having a career, eating whatever I want, playing the flute, sitting in a chair for very long, gardening, wearing nice but uncomfortable clothes and shoes, moderating and coordinating busy (yet fun) Internet discussion groups, several Dale Of Norway sweater kits, and now the Fiesta Feet socks.

Things I Can Still Enjoy (If I Am Careful And Take Appropriate Care Of Myself)

    Walking, knitting, spinning, playing with and training dogs, visiting others' gardens and horses, hiking short distances (sometimes), shopping (sometimes - thank goodness for the Internet!), meditation, reading, listening to music, canoeing (or at least riding along), watching polo matches.

Things I Took Up After Having To Stop Doing That Other Stuff

    Weaving, making spindles, bike riding, eating more healthfully, Qigong/Tai Chi, mindfulness, playing the recorder, wearing comfy clothes without feeling guilty, saying "No" without feeling guilty, accepting help without feeling guilty, sharing what I can with other people (sock pattern, textile link pages, bee website).

I am thankful I can allow myself to throw in the towel now, and not beat myself up about it. I am thankful there are other towels coming out of the dryer, fresh and clean and warm and fuzzy, now that I have gotten rid of the other ones.

Animal Breed Zip Code

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Things I'm Thankful For Today...

These are the things that made me happy this fine day:

  • A surprise spindle from Jennie C. - metallic seafoam with little handpainted Angora rabbits and flowers. Very cute!

  • The sounds of crickets in the field as I walked the dogs this afternoon, and tree frogs calling for rain.

  • A huge, loud, lightning-y thunderstorm - it's actually enjoyable with Jeff and the dogs here to keep me company, and honey-scented candles lit all over the house in case of a power outage.

  • Clearing all the shipping boxes, bubble wrap, and newspaper I keep "just in case" off of my treadmill, to have it available to actually use as the weather starts to get colder.

  • Jeff making homemade cream of corn soup from this week's shipment of organic farm veggies. I don't care for the soup, but it's nice to watch him make it, and see all the carrots, onions, and corn diced up and ready to put in the pot.

  • Getting a HUGE package of sixteen quarter-pound Usinger's Angus beef hot dogs from the famous Usinger's sausage house in Milwaukee. Jeff's friend Matt in Canada is addicted to them. They were the official hot dogs of the Olympics in Salt Lake City and are yummy! Usinger's sausage is made by elves (see their site!) The elves look like the dwarves in the "Babar And Father Christmas" book I mentioned a couple of days ago. Their sausage-making antics are painted in murals all around the high walls of the shop, which dates from the turn of the last century. The counters are all made of marble and shopping there is like taking a step back in time.

  • Listening to hammered dulcimer music on a CD I got at the Cracker Barrel restaurant. Fall always reminds me of hammered dulcimer, and vice versa. I like Cracker Barrel, too... especially the fried okra and hash brown casserole!

  • Having insurance. So many people don't have it, and so many others who do don't appreciate how much their employers pay for it. Today I found out that I can get prescription sunglasses for biking (no more bugs in my eyes!) for free because of our insurance. I am so grateful for that! (Bugs in my eyes really hurt!)

What are you thankful for today?

Animal Breed Zip Code

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Tidying Up Loose Ends

Today I finished up some projects. All that was left to do was to weave in some loose ends. Sometimes, that can take longer than the project itself. The item sits and stares at me, saying, "I'm almost finished! Finish me!" But of course weaving in ends isn't as fun or relaxing as the actual knitting, so I tend to put it off... way off.

Well, not today. I finished:

  • Lorna's Laces socks in the "Vera" colorway, which looks much better in real life than it does in the photo;

  • Regia socks in # 5270 (I love Regia yarn!);

  • A hat for the Spindlers Stand Down project for homeless veterans, which was knit out of my handspun. I made up the pattern as I went along (it took me three tries to get it right!)

If anyone can tell me why the brim of my hat seemed to flare out like a bell, even though I had stopped increasing, I'd like to know. I knit the last few rows very tightly, and bound off tightly as well, and that seems to be the only thing that saved it. It looks good on Jeff, but next time I would like to know a better way for finishing up a top-down hat. Thanks!

Now all I have on my knitting needles are the Fiesta Feet by Lucy Neatby socks, and the gray cable sweater from the Fall, 2000 Interweave Knits issue - it's called "Welcome Back, Old Friend" and is lovely. These two projects are somewhat complicated, but I'm hopeful that by devoting myself completely to them (no other knitting or spinning projects allowed!) I might be able to finish them by winter. Definitely no more sweaters after this - I'm sticking to socks and mittens!

I also hand-sewed a little sack for my deck of Harry Potter Uno cards. Jeff and I have been having fierce, days-on-end competitions, and I needed a little something to carry them around in (preferably to Starbucks!)

Our edition did not come in a nice little storage chest, but this one does.

Yesterday I paid all of our bills, which I'd been putting off for some time. I also re-did my "master list" in my organizer book, re-prioritizing my goals and crossing off accomplished or outdated tasks. It left me feeling refreshed and in control.

I am thankful for tidying up loose ends, finishing projects, and organizing my tasks. It helps me get a fresh perspective on life, free from worrying pressures and full of creative possibilities.

Animal Breed Zip Code

Monday, August 19, 2002


This is a katydid. It is ugly.

Since I didn't design it, I don't know if it was made this way for a reason. I assume several reasons - to be less appealing to anything wanting to eat it, and more appealing to lady katydids are two that come to mind. (Heck, maybe it is a lady katydid!)

Usually, I only get to hear their chirping at night, when they are high up in trees, hidden in the darkness. They sound like insomniac cicadas.

I am not thankful this katydid is ugly, but I'm thankful I got to see it on my front door today... it is the first live katydid I have ever seen.

I am also thankful that, at night, you can pick out our yard from a block away, just from the sound of the katydids. During the daylight hours, you could find our yard, blindfolded, by the sounds of the birds, cicadas, and crickets. I am thankful that we don't use a bunch of pesticides and herbicides and other-cides on our yard, so that Nature achieves her own perfect balance, and we're treated to a symphony of sounds while our neighbors' yards are all silent. I swear this is true!

I do not think I would be quite so thankful for katydids if one were ever to land on me. I wasn't too thrilled with getting this photo for you, but... at least it is a very nice shade of green!

Sometimes there is a certain beauty in "ugly" things. I will continue to look for it... will you, too?

You can hear our katydids (if you have QuickTime) by clicking here.

Animal Breed Zip Code

Welcome To Stasia's Blog

Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

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