Category Archives: life stuff

2018 Recap

Hello, lovelies. How’s your year been?

In January, I mostly just cooked.

(More about that over here.)

In February, the truck broke down and it took a month to get the transmission rebuilt. I’m super lucky to live right on a bus route that gets me to work on time, but it adds an hour to my day each way, so I mostly just went to work, came home, ate dinner, slept, went to work, etc., and there was not a lot of time or brain space for knitting or cooking or pretty much anything.

Which pretty much takes care of March, too, although I did manage a hat and a pair of flip-top mittens to make my commute/walk a little toastier.

(Socks That Rock Mediumweight in Fuschia Rose & Deep Unrelenting Gray, yarn held double for the hat, patterns just sorta made up as I went.)

In April, I rediscovered the worsted weight scrappy striped blanket I told you about way back in 2016.

(Pay no attention to its 10-stitch companion. I thought that would be fun but it wasn’t.)

At the time, I said I thought it would be a 24″x36″-ish lap blanket. Something about the garter stitch and the stripes were just exactly what my brain needed when I picked this back up, though, and by May, when it was lap blanket sized, I didn’t want to stop.

June was mostly yardwork, but also I made this cake.

(Smitten Kitchen’s “I Want Chocolate Cake” Cake)

In July, we said goodbye to Zoe.

In August, we said hello to Alistair.

In September, I celebrated my birthday a smidge late with a trip to StevenBe and this pompom has made my life better, I can tell you that.

In October, I Rhinebecked. 


Remind me to tell you the whole story some time. It’s called Four Hats and No License, or Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Pack My Own Bag.

November was for playing with my Rhinebeck haul.

(Peace Fleece Worsted that wants to be a Cathedral Grove cardigan when it grows up.)

And December was all about shiny new things.

(tosh merino light in Mint Condition, which was the full skein in the 2018 modern Christmas advent calendar from eat.sleep.knit. I have squooshed it on my nose several times and it’s real good.)

As Far As Things I Actually Finished Go

Yarn/Pattern Info (L-R, top to bottom)

Aforementioned mittens & hat; previously discussed worsted weight scrap blanket (which, of course, outgrew my scraps, necessitating the buying of more yarn and eventually weighing in at 6 lbs); Tosh Sock in Electric Rainbow/my usual cuff-down plain sock

Regia Pairfect Design Line By Arne & Carlos in 9135 Fall Night/exactly as the ball band calls for with 64 sts on 2 mm needles; DiC Smooshy in Damp Pillow/my usual cuff-down again; red mystery fingering weight wool/Spruce Point Pullover aka my Rhinebeck sweater that has yet to be properly photographed; bunch of yarn ends/fill some glass Christmas ornaments

Misc sock scraps/the last 2 of my scrappy socks that I found needing only toes and finished up while I was in bed sick one weekend – Lorna’s Laces Solemate in an Avengers colorway I think was called Assembl/a waffley rib textured hat for Dan – and madelinetosh BFL Sock in Well Water & Whiskey Barrel/improvised triangle shawl; STR Mediumweight in Deep Unrelenting Gray/improvised ribbed hat with special fancy birthday pompom; Cascade Eco held with DiC Smooshy in Milky Spite/Lamb Shoes but w/no face embroidery; Miss Babs & Tosh Sock & Frabjous Fibers/On the Spice Market all as detailed here

In the Deep Hue Sea Carribean colorway Salazar/my usual cuff-downs with a slightly longer cuff to work better with my new Docs; Cascade Eco + in a purple heather and Cascade 220 color 2215/There and Back Again (TABA) by Shanel Wu, which is a really fun sock knit flat that I got to test knit; Patons Kroy & KPPPM & something I can’t remember/Jewel, which I knit in April 2017 but only just found a loving home for and finally found the will to weave in the ends and block properly; oh and I made a quilted coaster which has nothing to do with knitting but it’s almost an actual square and I am very proud so please look at it thanks

And wow yeah so that was a year.

Let’s go do another one.

In conclusion:

In the Interest of Full Stitch Fix Disclosure

Good morning! I have homework due today, so let’s talk about clothes, yes?


Oh wait no, first let’s talk about home improvements.  When last we spoke about Stitch Fix (that’s my referral code, and it gets me $25 credit if you sign up through it, FYI), I was planning to skip a month or two so we could get what is going to be our bedroom fixed up, and I was lamenting the amount of sanding we would have to do to get the dark blue paint cleared away to make room for something significantly lighter.

And then we discovered this:



Yeah, so, basically the walls here were painted in thick layers of goopy horror that still like however many years later doesn’t actually feel dry, and it turns out we can just peel the paint off of them in giant sheets. Imagine somebody stuck a bunch of fruit roll-ups on your wall. It’s like that. We had half the room cleared in one MST3K.

But then life and indecisiveness and school got in the way and the weather got cool and dry, which it turns out greatly affects the peeliness of our paint, and now it’s 6 months later and the room is still a half-blue pile of we’ll-get-to-that-someday.

Anyway, I went back to getting Stitch Fix boxes but the picture quality got even worse but I still want my stylist to have some idea of how things are fitting me and also I do like telling the world about how great I think this service is, is my point. So, let’s get to it.






I lost my list but I want to say this top is a Crescent somethingorother Mixed Material something in XL? My stylist, Jenny, noted that she sent this in a larger size because it tended to run small across the bust. Honestly, I think I could have gone down a size and been fine, because it’s very loose and the armholes are big enough that I wouldn’t wear this without something on top, but I kept this size because I wasn’t sure how much smaller the next size down would be and also because with a cardigan over I don’t really think it looks too big at all.



The pants are Margaret M gray bootcuts and I lurve them. They’re very nice to my butt.




This is pretty much exactly how I like my pants to fit. Not too high-waisted and too long to walk around in barefoot.

And the stripey top is pretty great too.




I really wish I knew where this receipt went, because this shirt is hanging up downstairs to dry and I’m not going down there to get the details right now. It’s a dolman sleeve, which I think is my new favorite, and it’s long enough not to ride up but not so long it looks odd.

These jeans are pretty great too, except they’re not. They’re Liverpool 4-way stretch…somethings, and they are the best-fitting pair of jeans I’ve ever worn in my life. They also smell terrible, which I didn’t notice until after I’d paid $98 (before all the discounts & such) for them. The night I got this box I did a quick try-on and planned to do a more thorough test run later in the week, but everything was so perfect immediately I just decided to go ahead and buy the whole box. So, my 2 minutes with these jeans were fine, but when I wore them to work a few days later, I realized — partway through my hour commute and too late to turn back and change — that they smelled like moth balls and a new shower curtain and too much oregano. 4 or 5 washes later that hadn’t changed and I hadn’t been able to wear them again, so I got in touch with customer service. They said it wasn’t normal but they didn’t have a replacement and gave me a refund. So, I’m sad about these jeans, but still overall very happy with the service.

Finally, there was this other shirt that I wore on Friday so it’s also drying downstairs and I’m not going down to look and get the details. I have this fashion blogger thing like 100% down at this point is what I’m saying.




So soft! So comfy! Such cowl neck! PERFECT SHIRT


Anyways, this box made me so happy (and Buddy enjoyed the photoshoot as well). I like to try to keep detailed notes here but it’s been forever, so I wanna say I paid about $300 for all of this after the 25% buy-it-all discount, I think I had a $25 referral credit, and then plus sales tax.


October: We peeled a little more paint, I got a winter coat.


Andrew Marc Risor Quilted Puffer Coat:




In October, I asked for a good winter coat, something that could stand up to a midwest winter but still let me move my arms enough to drive in it. This coat is PERFECT. That’s really all I have to say about it.


The other stuff in this fix was not so great, though, even though it was pretty in line with what I asked for. Besides saying I needed a coat, I sent this picture along so I could maybe get some stuff that would go with my next few shawls I planned to knit.




Everything was in line with this request, but just not quite me.


Papermoon Kanyi Pullover Sweater & Liverpool Reagan Skinny Pant:




These don’t look so bad and they were super comfy. I very nearly bought the sweater.


Market & Spruce Poppi Textured Pullover:




Also not so bad. But overall these 3 were just a bit too much like what I used to wear in high school when I kind of hated my body and didn’t know how to deal with that when it came to clothes and so everything was just stretch pants and baggy cotton sweaters for a few years.


I also said I needed a purse in my note for this fix. Again, Jenny sent something very close to what I asked for — big, lots of pockets or compartments — but it was just a little off.




Too many zippers & tassels.

In the end, I just bought the coat. It was $168, so minus the $20 styling fee and plus the sales tax I paid $154.76. I’m still beyond thrilled with it except that it’s dry-clean only and I’ve spilled a bunch of stuff on it. That’s really not the coat’s fault, though.




Eadin Pencil Skirt, $48.00 (medium?) — Queensland Dolman Jersey Top, $48.00 (large?)




I think Jenny heard me when I said something like “OH GOD DOLMAN SLEEVES I LOOOOOOOVE THEM.” This shirt is just perfect. It feels like pajamas but looks like work clothes.

I was really surprised I loved this skirt! Back in my first fix I got a pencil skirt that just didn’t quite work. I haven’t gotten a skirt since, but Jenny’s note said that she thought this one was cut to fit a little better. You guys, let me just say. This service is so personalized. I really hate shopping for clothes, so just having someone pick stuff out for me is enough. But I feel like my stylist actually does look over my previous purchases and comments and my Pinterest board and make decisions that make sense. Even when it’s something I don’t think I’ll like, more often than not once I try it on I love it. Man, it’s just the best.


Millie Textured Knit Dress, $68.00 (large?) — Everdeen Suede Wedge Pump, size 7, $110.00



So. This dress. This dress marks a turning point for me. I tried it on, it was adorable, but I didn’t really see it being a work outfit and that is primarily what I’m doing Stitch Fix for. We rarely go out and I spend 98% of my home time in jammies. But then I remembered the styling cards. Like, this is what they’re there for, right? But I never use them. One of the options for this dress had it paired with a scarf and a gray cardigan, so the next night I hit up a couple stores and found decent approximations, and suddenly this was a perfectly biz caz option. Which is great because this is beyond comfortable and also the cut avoids all potential “when are you due” questions I might run into.

OK, but the shoes.



It’s tough to see detail in these photos, I know, but this dress is navy with an emerald textured pattern over it. These shoes are PERFECT for that. (I’ve been wearing it with black tights & boots for now, but it’s like 4 degrees here, so.) The day this box came I had worn the green sleeveless top. I tried the shoes on first and was wandering around the house saying “OK these are really comfortable and they go with the dress, but I guess I’ll have to see what the dress fits like and I don’t know if I really need these” and generally trying to talk myself out of them, and my husband looked over and said “they match that shirt perfectly too, and you wear that all the time.” So this is the other thing I love about Stitch Fix: when I signed up I said I needed to build up a work wardrobe from scratch, and I’m finding with every box I get something that goes perfectly with something from a previous box. I am almost to the point where I don’t wear anything BUT my Stitch Fix stuff, and it’s easier to shop when I do feel the need to go out and pick something out at a store, because I know that everything I have at home already goes together.


Lizzy Colorblock Striped Sweater, $68.00 (large?)





So, this all came to $342. After the 25% off for buying everything, $20 styling fee credit, and sales tax, I paid $254.46.


In conclusion: Stitch Fix is the best, blogging 3 boxes at once is a little overwhelming, I don’t have to worry about what to wear to work this week and it’s the most exciting. Good night.

Not gonna lie, I was kind of hoping to get out of this one.

Yesterday morning I went to grab a shirt for work off the drying rack and noticed my husband had hung up these socks too. I was a little “aw dang, I must’ve tossed those in with the regular wash” and figured they were probably shrunk but didn’t think much of it. All my shirts were all still pretty damp (WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THE MIDWEST WAS SO HUMID?????) and that was the much more urgent issue. I grabbed the purple shirt I wasn’t overly excited about from my last Stitch Fix box and put it in the dryer on low for about 10 minutes.

The shirt’s a polyester/rayon blend. Now, I know. I know that rayon isn’t meant for the dryer. But most of my work stuff is of the hang/lay flat to dry variety, and I’ve gone years and years before with most of my clothes being of that same variety, and I’ve found that most of it can stand a little dryer time here and there, especially after several wearings and washes. And this was on low. For barely 10 minutes. Basically, this was the safest risk I could take. Also I have another polyester/rayon blend shirt that recently accidentally went through an entire dryer cycle on high and came out just fine.

Here is an artist’s rendering of how not-fine this thing came out of the dryer:





It lost an entire foot of length. The width is still fine, and I can’t explain that, but now I have a super comfy crop top to sleep in. I had to wear a damp shirt to work and let the car a/c dry it on the way, but at least I avoided a lower belly sunburn and some weird looks around the office.

After all that, I was pretty convinced my laundry luck was just bad right now and I was for sure going to find those socks were ruined once I got home and could finally try them on. And once I had that thought, I realized it was kind of a welcome thought. My sock project has not been going very well, despite what I assure you are pure intentions, and I’ve had a hard time getting moving on my finish-all-the-things project too. The thought of these socks falling off the list due to an accident that was beyond my control (well, I mean, yes, I could have actually put them where they belonged instead of in the regular laundry basket, but let’s not dwell on particulars) felt like…absolution.

No such bad luck, though.






The thing about ruining socks in the washing machine is it doesn’t work if the yarn is superwash, even if you entirely forget that the yarn is superwash while you are fantasizing about how great it would be if they got ruined in the washing machine. They came out a little fuzzier than after a normal hand-wash, but they still very much fit and they still very much need mates. I could, I suppose, just let it go and say they are an intentionally mis-matched pair, but the thing is I don’t really like the orange and gray yarn knit up all that much and wouldn’t so much miss having a pair of them, while I love love love the brighter, fruity colored one and definitely want a full pair. I could just knit another fruity one and call it a day, but then I’ll have this one sock I don’t even like kicking around and making me feel weird.

So, I know what I have to do. You know what I have to do. Two more ankle socks, knit at the same time, just like the first ones. This shouldn’t feel daunting; they are ankle socks! They should only take me a couple evenings! I can do this! I know I can do this! You know I can do this!

I bet we both also know I’m gonna work on the sock blanket for a while first, though.

Who needs filters?

And so, another Stitch Fix review (that referral link gets me a $25 credit if you use it to sign up, FYI). The last one until September, actually, because WE ARE GOING TO FIX UP THE SHINY BLUE CAVE ROOM!!!!! and we need the extra cash in August. Soon, my friends. Soon I shall have a big, white, light-filled space where I can take pictures that don’t look like I’ve applied some “blurry photo your grampa took in 1952 and then left in the sun” filter to them. This is good news for me, good news for my knitting that never gets to look pretty enough on the blog, just great news all around until I realize how much sanding it’s going to take. But let’s not talk about that part now.

You can read about my first two Stitch Fix boxes here (that one explains how the whole thing works too) and here.

Yet again, my stylist, Jenny, sent some stuff that was very me and heard my feedback and requests. There were some great things in this fix and some not-great things and also some personal timing problems that prevented me from getting everything I loved.

Let’s break it down:


Liverpool Harper Printed Bootcut Pant in Dark Grey, size 8P, $88

In my note for this fix I asked for some new work pants, preferably in gray or tan. These are gray and bootcut and I was a little excited when I saw the description in my checkout screen (I have found that “cheating” really helps me be prepared for how much I might spend before the paycheck comes in and needs to be allocated, and it turns out I don’t actually want to be completely surprised by these boxes). My first impression was that these had an overall pattern to them and I really think I might be a solids person? Like, I am letting myself be totally open to knew things so that I can figure out if I even like clothes in the first place, but something in me really protests the idea of any kind of patterning that isn’t stripes. I don’t know what that is, but I know it felt weird about these pants. Maybe it was that these felt distinct and I’m very used to owning very plain things because when you can only ever afford one or two of a particular type of clothing, you try to make them as plain as possible so people don’t really notice you’re wearing the same thing every other day? This is a question I’ll have to sort out is my point, but not just yet since these nowhere near fit me anyway.

In my profile, I specified no petite sizes. I am short (5’1″) but I find petites are either way too small in all directions or they fit lengthwise but assume I’m significantly wider than I am. I have loved the 2 pairs of fairly short pants so far in my last 2 fixes, though, so I can see why Jenny chose a petite size for these pants. Just 2 problems: one, despite my adoration for the Margaret M cropped pants and the ankle-length jeans I can wear with sandals and that stay totally out of my way, at the end of the day, I really like a longer length for pants, especially if I’m going to wear them with heels; and two, these are the kind of pants that have a zipper, a button, and a pair of those little hook dealies, and if I really really really tried I could get the button done and then that allowed me to get the zipper almost all the way up as long as I didn’t move or breathe, but there was no way those hooks were happening unless I was flat on my back and exhaling fully.



The shoes tho!

Franco Sarto Ingall Snake Heel Pump in Dark Purple, size 7, $89

Holy jesus, these shoes are fantastic. Definitely purple but so dark they’re almost black, a significantly high heel, and I really liked the snakeskin texture on the heel. These were an absolute definite yes, totally the most me thing that I’ve gotten in a fix so far, but then when we really sat down and looked at the bills for the week and the empty fridge and how often I’ve been buying lunches because I wasn’t planning for leftovers with dinner lately, I just couldn’t do it. Hy-Vee got my extra $89 this week and these went back in their little bag but also onto my Christmas list.



Market & Spruce Bri Knit Cardigan in Teal Green, size L, $48

I wear cardigans all the time, and we know how I feel about this color from my last fix so I might have squealed a little when I took this out of the box. The cut & length were good, but the sleeves were very tight around the biceps — like, I could only wear this with a tank because there was no extra space for a sleeve — and the shoulder seam was very lumpy and kind of stuck out right at the edge of my shoulder.






Pixley Darcy Weave Jersey T-Shirt Dress in Green, size L, $48

So, here’s a thing that’s been happening to me lately. Twice in the last year or so I have been just minding my own goddamn business trying to buy some practical item at a store, and a cashier has pointed straight at my stomach and asked what I am going to name it. I do my best to make it as awkward as I can for them, because even if I were pregnant this would still be none of their actual business, but it’s not really the kind of interaction I crave from strangers. This dress is cute and the ruffly thing it has going on is interesting, but if I want to keep these 2 isolated incidents from turning into a real trend, this is not the dress for me.

From the front it’s kind of ok. It gives an almost hourglassy effect. I’m not a huge fan of short sleeves, but they’re not necessarily a dealbreaker.




This is a dealbreaker tho:



Not all of that is even me! Several of those folds are the dress itself. But unless I paint “several of these folds are the dress itself” across the dress itself — and even then — I don’t think this is going to do anything to stop the nosy strangers. I will say it was an interesting dress to try on on the anniversary of my Essure confirmation x-ray, tho.


So, not the best box so far. But we do have one small triumph.


Loveapella Delany V Neck Knit Top in Dark Purple, size L, $48

I didn’t love this when I tried it on. Dark purple is definitely my color, but this particular dark purple was a little too jewel toned, maybe a little too burgundy. I don’t like warm tones. I’m a very cold person. Or something. The fit was great, the cut was great, the fabric was super light but not in that weird clingy way where it just wants to form a bond with your skin and you spend the whole day trying to escape its clutches. But I kind of thought “meh” and tossed it back in the box.

Then the next morning I went to get ready for work and there was not a single shirt that was clean that I could bring myself to put on. It’s been in the high 80s and 90s here with just absurd humidity levels and we have no air conditioning, and every shirt I was faced with that morning might just as well have been a winter coat. Then I remembered how wonderfully floaty and gauzy and still work appropriate this was. And I thought about how the Margaret M pants from my first fix have that great barely-there sort of feeling even on a hot day even though they’re black. And I thought about the shiny sandals I sort of got from my second fix and, well:



100% Stitch Fix outfit achievement unlocked


I tell you, I was very nearly comfortable the entire day. It was nice.


I had a $25 credit from a friend signing up, so after that came off and tax went in I paid like $26 and change. Not my most exciting experience with Stitch Fix so far, but since I’m not going to be able to get another box until mid-September, maybe hitting kind of a low note is good since I won’t be pining away the next 2 months.



We Have Got To Paint This Room Soon

It’s Stitch Fix time again!!! Oh, man, I could get used to this. What if I just keep getting clothes sent to my house every so often forever and I never have to go to Kohl’s again? I’m almost afraid to think about it.

If you missed my last post, you can check out how Stitch Fix works & my review of my first fix here. You can check them out for yourself and sign up here through my referral link. (I get a $25 credit if you do. And you’d get my eternal love & admiration. It’s probably a fair trade.)

The good news this week is that I found one time of day when I can get an almost-decent picture in the shiny blue room. The bad news is I found it on Saturday when it was sunny and took most of these pictures on Sunday when it was raining. We’ve been putting off fixing up anything around here until we have a solid plan, and we haven’t been painting because we know we have to redo the ceilings, but I maybe have reached my fuck it point because not only can I not get a good picture, I can actually even barely see myself in the mirror. (Yes, I could move the mirror, but every bedroom — all actual 4 of them! — is painted a color this dark.)

Anyways there are worse problems to have, so let’s just talk about clothes for a bit.

In my feedback on my last fix, I noted that the style of the shirts I got was pretty spot-on but the fit was just not right. I asked for longer tops with a looser fit this time. For my second fix, I got the same stylist (Jenny! She’s great!) as last time and she noted that she made a point of including longer shirts in stretchier fabric. I think one of my favorite things about this whole thing might turn out to be the little personalized note you get from your stylist. The whole thing feels so personalized anyway, but that extra touch of someone explaining why they picked what they did really makes you feel noticed and acknowledged, I think.

When I pulled everything out of the box, I was super pumped about the jeans and one of the tops, thought the sandals were pretty cute, and wasn’t quite sure about the other two tops. I decided to try the tops on in ascending order of how excited I was about them, so that if there were to be disappointments they would hopefully come earlier and I’d end the whole thing on a happier note.

So, here’s what I got:

Dear John Kyleigh Straight Leg Jean in Navy, size 8, $78

41Hawthorn Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse in Green, size L, $58


One thing I mentioned in my style profile is that I have a really hard time with button-downs and don’t really wear them anymore. All my upper body proportions, but especially my shoulders and upper arms, seem to be off from how a person is meant to fit into a button-down shirt. It ends up being a choice — I can either move my arms or look like I have a torso and not some shapeless void hovering over my legs. Jenny said she picked this top because the cut is a little more generous and she thought if I wore it unbuttoned over a camisole it might be a good fit. Sadly, no. It’s a really gorgeous color and feels like a perfect light summer work top, and just standing there like this I think it looks great. It still gives me pretty much every problem a button-down can, though.


Problem #1: The Arm Lift/Breast Shelf Situation.

If I go like this…



…it stays there.



This may not seem likely to come up very often, because how often do you do jumping-jack arms really, but trust that this happens if I lift my arms just enough to take a sip of coffee too.

Problem #2: The Gappy-Chest Conundrum.




Problem #3: HULK SMASH Shoulders



Oh, the pulling! Any position but anatomical position and my circulation becomes threatened.

This was definitely a more generous cut than other button-downs I’ve worn, but I still needed help taking it off because I thought I was gonna bust the seams. Perfect fit and length everywhere but the shoulders and chest, though, so I have to say I’m super impressed with Jenny’s ability to pick out clothes for someone she’s never met or even seen a picture of (though I did add a link to my Stitch Fix tag to my note for next time, so, hi, Jenny, if you see this!).


OK, but these jeans, tho. Remember last time how I was saying about the black pants that it was like I didn’t even have to think about them while I wore them? I don’t know about you, but I typically have to do a lot of thinking about my pants. Are they so long I’m walking on them? Are they riding down while I sit and need a good hike when I stand back up? Should I change before I eat so that there’s room for food? Etc. But these jeans! Perfect fit, perfect rise, perfect length. I have walked around the house in them all day and not stepped on them once! Actually, let’s back up: I have worn these around the house all day! I pretty much never wear non-jammies/sweats/yoga clothes inside, largely because jeans just are never comfortable enough to curl up on the couch and/or eat in, and that’s just about my whole weekend and every evening right there. But these might as well be pajamas, that is how comfortable they are. I have curled up on the couch and eaten food in them and everything. Get yourself into these pants, you guys–or, well, buy a pair, I mean. You need them.


Papermoon Wigan Shoulder Zip Short Sleeve Knit Top in Light Pink, size L, $44


I liked so much about this shirt. It has (working) zippers on the shoulders, which I wasn’t quite sure whether I liked, but once I had it on I didn’t feel like they affected the look of the shirt or how it fit. This one was actually pretty perfect for me, and even though I wasn’t sure about the zippers and I don’t wear short sleeves too often, I pretty much always wear a cardigan at work, so those factors wouldn’t even really be a big deal. I did have a sneaking suspicion that having a piece of metal on my shoulder while the sun beats down on my car window on my drive to work mightn’t be the greatest idea, though it would probably give me a cool scar.


Laila Jayde Bowie Solid Dolman Sleeve Top in Turquoise, size L, $58


Before I do anything new I tend to read up on it a bunch. So, I’ve spent a good month at this point reading Stitch Fix reviews and getting a feel for what people like/don’t like about the service as well as some of the trends or pieces it seems everyone gets at some point. And I do want to get the most of this experience, so I try to add a bunch of things to my Pinterest board that I’m pretty certain I would like wearing and keep any notes about things I don’t want to wear in my style profile. But I don’t really feel like I have much of a personal style at this point and I’m definitely staying open to trying whatever I get sent. So, while I did add some NOs to my profile based off some of the things that seem like Stitch Fix staples that I know for sure I won’t wear (for example: everyone seems to get a jean jacket at some point, and they all seem to love them, but I have worn a lot of jean jackets in my day and I can for sure tell you they are not for me), I also made a point of not putting in any preferences beyond that. Like, if there’s something I’m not sure I’d care to wear, I don’t say a word about it, because I really do want to try new things before I just decide to feel a way about them. All of which is to say, Stitch Fix seems to carry a lot of dolman sleeve tops and I’ve never worn a dolman sleeve before but always kind of figured they’d be not the best cut for me and I never thought they looked very comfortable. I guess I kind of assumed you’d feel like your arms were tied to your hips?

But I have got to tell you, I pulled this shirt out of the box and I almost cried a little it looked so perfect. And then I put it on and sent up a little request to the universe that Jenny has something really fantastic happen to her this week because she deserves it. Oh, people. It fits perfectly. It’s roomy but not voluminous; I think how it’s fitted at the hips helps with that. It hits my hips EXACTLY where I like a shirt to. The color is fantastic. The color is the color I painted my dream hutch. I match my hutch now! It looks great with these jeans and I’m betting it’ll pair nicely with the Margaret M pants from last time too. I was so excited to wear it to work tomorrow that I couldn’t wait and wore it today so now I have to do more laundry and maybe I’ll get to wear it to work on Tuesday.

So, yay for this shirt and yay for being open to new things! I’m not rethinking the jean jackets, tho.


Let’s talk about Stitch Fix math for a second. You pay your $20 styling fee upfront and then that’s deducted from whatever you decide to buy out of that fix (or you lose the $20 if you don’t keep anything). If you decide to keep everything, you get 25% off, which can easily be more than one entire item costs depending on what sort of price range you request for your items. The jeans and the turquoise top were definitely buys for me and they came to $136 combined, which went down to $111 with my styling fee and an additional $5 credit I had from a friend signing up through my referral link. The green top was a definite no, but the top with the shoulder zips I could have gone either way on. So, this last item ended up being really crucial in my decision making.


Steve Madden Sharin Beaded Sandal in Blush, size 7, $80


Agains, I’m not sure these are something I would have picked out for myself, but I love how they manage to be neutral and shiny at the same time. Shoes are one of the only things clothing-related I have ever enjoyed shopping for, so, even though a big part of signing up for Stitch Fix was about letting someone else pick things out for me and being open to getting stuff that I would never think to grab for myself, I wasn’t expecting that element on the shoe side of things. But twice now I’ve gotten shoes that I thought “that’s cute, but probably not really my thing,” until I put them on and then I LOVED them.

I was wondering if these would feel flimsy at first, but I wore them around the house a bit on Saturday and they were actually really comfortable and they stayed put really well. The ankle laces are just long enough to knot securely without trailing behind you and getting dirty. What really had me sold on them was when I realized I had nail polish that matched them perfectly. I don’t have a ton that I can wear these with right now, and that’s something that usually holds me back, but I had to remind myself that I’m intentionally building a wardrobe here and if my first two fixes are any indication it won’t be long before I have a bunch of stuff I love and surely some of it will go with these sandals.

So, the sandals were $80, which would bring my total to $191. This was a little over my budget for this fix and I would have had to move some other things around. It wouldn’t have been great, but I’m trying to relax about money a bit and prioritize myself these days, so I probably could have made it work if I really needed to. I liked the shoulder zip top well enough, but at $236 for all 4 items I would definitely be out of my budget. The thing about Stitch Fix math though is that at this point it actually makes sense to buy all 5 things. The total for all 5 would have been $206. I would have ended up with the green shirt that didn’t fit, but I probably could sell it. So at this point I knew I wanted the sandals and just had to decide whether I wanted to spring for the extra $15 and get the shoulder zip top, even if I still couldn’t shake the feeling I’d end up with the shoulder equivalent of when you put on your jeans too soon out of the drier every time I wore it on a sunny day.

This was a really tough choice to make! In the end, I decided to look around and see if the sandals were available for less anywhere else and let that be what made my decision for me, whether I just ended up buying them for less or getting a price match from Stitch Fix. (I googled everything, actually, and I did last time too, but it would have taken some amazing like $3 sale price to get me to send back the jeans and top and wait for them to come again from somewhere else once I had them in my hands.) I found these, which are identical except for the back…heel…part…thingy (there must be a word for that?) is a strap instead of the full-coverage of the ones I had. They were $40 and then Retail Me Not got me another $10 off and there was free shipping, so there was really no question at that point. I liked the ones I had, but that slight design difference wasn’t worth $50 to me. So, the Shoebuy ones are on their way and the Stitch Fix ones are back in their little bag and waiting in their prepaid envelope with the other two tops to return home tomorrow. Buying the Shoebuy pair also brought me down below my original budget while still getting everything I really wanted, so I’m still just beyond excited about how this is working out. I’ve got my next fix scheduled for the 20th — which means probably the 21st, given how FedEx has been behaving lately — and I requested some work pants in gray or tan but nothing special beyond that, since I didn’t really feel like there were any major issues in this box that needed to be addressed.

So, in conclusion: STITCH FIIIIIIIIIIIIX!!!!! Seriously.


This is Not About Knitting

(This is just gonna be me talking about Stitch Fix and the short version is OH MY GOD LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT and here is my referral link — I get a $25 credit if you sign up through that, but I am not sure if you get anything fancy, so do as you feel is best — so feel free to come back later for the knitting content. There will be LOTS OF SOCKS and a blanket update to talk about in the next post, I promise. But I’ve been so excited to get this box for a few weeks now and I’ve been reading a million Stitch Fix reviews and found them so helpful and I want to contribute to that conversation and tell EVERYBODY how great this is, so here we go!)

I hate clothes shopping. It’s the worst. And it’s been something close to 15 years since I had the money AND the time AND the energy to do it with enough regularity to keep up anything like a nice wardrobe. But back when I could do it, I did enjoy the end result of actually liking how I looked when I got dressed in the morning.  And that’s a feeling I haven’t had in a looooong time. Also I started a new office job a few months ago and have to look fairly decent and aside from a panicky aaahhhh I start a new job Monday 6-hour Kohl’s excursion back in January and the occasional Target clearance shirt, I haven’t bought “nice” clothes in something like 4 years and thus have no wardrobe to speak of. And now it’s summer and everything I bought in January is sweaters, so. Yeah. I’ve been really needing to buy new clothes since like late April but I just have not been able to make myself do it, and it’s been so long since I could really think about these things that now clothes shopping makes me feel like I just got dropped off on this planet and am wandering around a mall wishing someone would tell me how to human.

Enter Stitch Fix.

Oh, people. I gotta tell you. Any problem that requires me to shop for anything but yarn or books is a problem I can’t solve by shopping. But I do, however, seem to be into any solution that moves me closer to an entirely subscription-based lifestyle. You know how I feel about CSAs (although we don’t have one this year, though I did end up with a bunch of mystery seedlings in the garden, so it’ll be kind of  like a CSA once there’s stuff to harvest). Mighty Nest sends really cool stuff every month. We’ve been doing Blue Apron on and off for a few months and it’s made grocery shopping and meal planning and trying to find a cooking routine that works with a 9-to-5 again feel way less stressful, plus everything is delicious. As part of my “what if I liked how I looked again?” experiment, I signed up for Ipsy and Birch Box too. (Those are also my personal referral links for Ipsy & Birch Box, and I think I get points if you sign up through them? Idunno, this is all very new. Also I can’t say I recommend Ipsy’s sign-up process. They seem to try to trick you into spamming on every possible social media front or waiting 6 months to get in but if you push back a little they’re like LOL J/K YOU CAN JOIN RIGHT NOW PLEASE TELL 90 FRIENDS WE LET YOU IN AND THEN FOLLOW THESE 700 TWITTER ACCOUNTS. I really liked the stuff I got from them, but their marketing model is annoying as hell.) Also, we’ve been without a steady paycheck for so long that figuring out how to spend consistently every week and get out of the feast-or-famine money mindset is tricky. On the one hand, my instincts to never spend anything so that there’s something left to pay the bill for whatever is due to get shut off next month are still there, but on the other hand we finally can trust that there will be money coming in every few weeks for the foreseeable future, which means we can finally start catching up on the last 3 years of borrowing and credit card spending and just plain not paying for things. Basically, I still feel like we have no money for me to spend on clothes, but if I think of it in terms of taking a bit out of every paycheck and trying to get a few things every few weeks, we actually totally have the money for me to buy clothes AND still eat and keep gas in the car and the power turned on and all that other fun stuff. So Stitch Fix kind of had me hooked as soon as I heard about it is what I’m saying.

The basic deal, if you’re not familiar: when you sign up you fill out a pretty detailed profile with your sizes, preferences, style opinions, etc. You can specify certain things you do/don’t want — they offer clothes, shoes, outerwear & accessories; for now I’m asking for just clothes and shoes, because we are still so far from a place where a new bracelet’s going to solve my problems — and link to a Pinterest board where you have clothing ideas too. I had a ton of fun setting all of this up! Even the Pinterest board, even though I find Pinterest almost impossible to process visually! You pay $20 and pick a delivery date and then an actual human looks over all your information and picks out 5 items for you. Once you receive your package, you have 3 days to try everything on — at home! with your own mirrors & lighting! and with your other actual clothes & shoes so you really know if what you’re getting is going to work! — and send back what you don’t want in the pre-paid envelope they include. You’re charged for what you want to keep minus the $20 you paid up front (you lose the $20 if you don’t want to keep anything, so $20 is really all you’re ever risking). If you keep everything, you get a 25% discount, which feels super generous to me. (I kept 2 out of 5 items from my first box and spent $169 and change including tax. The other items came to around $175 but if I had bought all 5 I only would have spent $243 plus tax. The full value of the box before any discounts or tax was $351. There’s a question in the style profile quiz about how much you’re willing to spend on various items, and I chose the least expensive option for most items.) Also when you’re checking out you can leave detailed feedback on each item. Your stylist even writes you a little note about why they chose what they did for you. The level of personalization in the whole process really impressed me.

Anyway, my point is: clothes shopping bad, ordering things online good, also lately I feel like I need my choice taken away in a lot of arenas because life is overwhelming and I want to use my brain for the things I like, so any opportunity to subscribe to something necessary and have it brought to my front door is at least something I’m going to take a second look at.

Alright, let’s get to the actual clothes. This is a little photo series I like to call “having someone else pick out your clothes is a way better life choice than dark blue high-gloss walls, but only one of those choices is mine to make, so.”

Let’s start with what I kept:

Nine West Xeena Pointed Toe Pump in dark pink, size 7 ($79)

Margaret M Sylvie Straight Leg Pant in black , size M ($98)




So, I took these out of the box and I figured they would be the things I wouldn’t keep. Cropped, straight-leg pants are not my usual could-stand-a-good-hemming bootcuts, and a 2″ heel is basically a flat if you ask me. But oh my god. OH MY GOOOOOOOOOD. These are the most comfortable pants I’ve ever owned. The fabric is stretchy but still sturdy enough to make me feel contained (I like to feel like my pants hold me in a little, like how thundershirts work for dogs, I guess?), and between the stretchiness and the length they actually just kind of…stay out of my way is the only way I can think to describe it. It’s not like not wearing pants, because that’s not a feeling I prize very highly, but it is like not wearing pants that I have to think about. If they weren’t $98 I would buy another pair to sleep in. And the shoes were just actually too cute and they looked great with the pants and I don’t know who I became when I put these things on, but that person who doesn’t wear cropped straight-leg pants and 2″ heels is gone now and I don’t know if she’s coming back.


Next up: what I almost kept.

Margaret M Christiana Textured Skirt in Olive, size M ($78)


Just like the pants, this was a great mix of stretchy and sturdy. You know how sometimes you wear a stretchy skirt but it’s more like spandex and see-through and you really feel like you need a slip, but then what kind of slip that won’t make the stretchiness go all weird? Well, it’s not like that. The fabric is thick enough that I wasn’t even thinking about a slip. This skirt was so comfy and again a pretty perfect fit, but I decided against it in the end because the color wasn’t totally me and also because it kind of rode up the more I walked around in it and I thought that could be annoying to deal with all day at the office. I’m not sure why it was riding up, since I can’t remember the last time I wore this style skirt and if it behaved the same. Maybe because it came pretty much just below my knee, so it was more affected by my moving around than it might have been at another length? Idunno. It was close to staying with me, though, and if I’d ended up keeping the other 2 items in my box, it would have been a definite considering the buy-all-five discount.


Finally, the stuff that just didn’t work at all.

Loveappella Button Detail Striped Knit Top in Grey, size L ($48)


Right out of the box, I thought this was a definite keeper. It looked exactly like something I would wear. The colors, the stripes, the shape. I’m fairly belly-heavy right now tho and the last few years of upper-body-centric jobs — grocery store, bartending, housecleaning, farm work — had me upping my shirt size quite a bit when I filled out my Stitch Fix profile. I think of myself as a small-medium, but I weigh the most I ever have right now (165-ish last I was at the doctor’s) and clearly none of it went to my legs since my pants size hasn’t changed and also I finally did that thing the internet keeps telling me to and measured myself to figure out my bra size and I guess I’m a 38 D? Who knew. Anyways, my point is, I went with L as my shirt size and they sent me L shirts, but. This looked long and flowy and then I put it and it was short and sausage-casing-y.



Also the sleeves were weird. I guess they would be short sleeves on an average-height human adult? (I am 5′ 1″ with short-ish arms.) But on me they were just to my elbows and they had buttons. Buttons right at the biggest part of my arm. Buttons keeping me from bending my elbow all the way when the sleeve twirled around, which sleeves always do for me. (Socks , too. I don’t know what’s with my skeletons, you guys.)  I wanted to love this shirt. This shirt did not want to love me back.

Skies are Blue Shani Crochet Trim Top in Off-White, size L ($48)

This looked just huge but like a nice layering piece before I tried it on. I said in my profile that I mostly wear tanks, 3/4 or extra long sleeves and that I needed summery work stuff, so a sleeveless top that I could layer a cardigan over was a really great choice on my stylist’s part.





Super tight around the chest, like, I wouldn’t have been able to move my arms if this had sleeves. And then under that…a really short tent?

So, basically:


So, here’s a thing about me: I do not like my mid-parts all exposed-like. No matter how big or small they are at any given moment. They must be covered. I prefer form-fitting shirts, but I need them to hit my hips at least. The main problem with both these shirts is that they were just too short. They left the one part of me that I really insist on keeping covered just kind of hanging out there. But they really did look like things I would wear and with a few tiny tweaks they could have been things I kept and loved forever. I went back to my Stitch Fix profile and upped my shirt size from L/10 to L/12 (XL/14 is the largest they offer right now, so hopefully I’m not just landing somewhere out of their shirt range) and we’ll see how that goes for my next order. I also put in a note requesting tops that are a little looser and more like tunic-length.

(I still needed some new shirts, though, so the next night I went to Target and came out with one L that’s pretty fitted and one S that’s long and flowy, so maybe this just all boils down to problems in the clothing industry, and I am actually fine?)


But overall, folks, WHOA DAMN this is one of the best choices I’ve made in a while. I said in my first note to my stylist that what I really needed was to build up a good basic work wardrobe, and I figured over several boxes I might see a good variety of pieces building up. But then I got 2 shirts, pants, a skirt and shoes, which, if I had loved all of them, would have pretty much given me a basic work wardrobe right there. My stylist noted that she sent the shoes because I had pinned a lot of outfits with pink pumps, and I hadn’t even realized I did that! She was paying more attention to me than I was. The sign-up and checkout processes were smooth and painless. It was so relaxing to just play around and try on new clothes in the spare room while my husband made dinner. When do you ever finish trying on clothes and then immediately get into your jammies and sit down to a big plate of chicken and mashed potatoes and 3 or 4 episodes of Leverage? Exactly never, in my experience, until last Monday. I scheduled another box for next week after I get paid again, and I just checked my account and IT’S ALREADY SHIPPED!!! and I kind of can’t wait.

Also I hope I get shoes every time, because I want a million of those shoe bags.

Also I hope I get shoes every time, because I want a million of those shoe bags.



Putting This Here So I Don’t Forget

Well, here we are in Iowa. It’s a month today since we arrived, and this weekend I’ve managed to finally start to feel like I’m getting back to my normal life. The house we’re in needs a lot of fixing up, so we’re holding off on completely unpacking and organizing until we know what we want to do when. But we’ve got a basic living room and bedroom set up and I’ve just about unpacked and organized all the kitchen stuff.

We’ve made a lot of it feel familiar, but one thing that will be very different is just how far we are from stuff. There are a couple grocery stores I drive by regularly but they’re a little pricey. It’s a good 45-minute drive to a town with the big box-pet-grocery store combo we typically need. It feels strange after living in a tiny apartment for so long, but we actually have a lot of space in this kitchen. So, I’m trying to get into a once-a-month shopping routine.

I think only doing 1 big shopping trip a month will be pretty easy, but making sure I get the right amounts of the right things will be trickier. Meal planning doesn’t really work for me, but we do tend to like to have a lot of the same things around regularly. For this first month, I just went around the grocery store (2, actually! Aldi & Trader Joe’s) and grabbed everything I know we like and/or looked good.


This picture is a little misleading, since I had to stock up on some kitchen and household basics like you usually do once you’re in a new place. We won’t need a new toaster oven every month, for example. But, then, it also doesn’t show the bulk stuff I’ve ordered from Amazon and King Arthur Flour.

This one gives you a little better idea of how the food and household stuff breaks down once it’s out of those bags:


So, some of these items I definitely bought more than a month’s worth (we’re not going to make it through 6 liters of liquor in a month, for sure!), some I know I bought exactly a month’s worth (31 cans of cat food), some I didn’t try to get a month’s worth (not that much trouble to grab a gallon of milk every week), and some are things I’m going to need to track to see how how long they last. I figured I’d put this all up here and use this as sort of a master tracking post that I can come back and edit (add a date & strike through) as I use things up and then have a reference to generate my shopping list next month.

(Also, if you just come here for the yarn, there’s totally a pair of socks at the end of this, so go on and scroll ahead if you’d like.)

Leaving out all the household stuff and including all the stuff I bought from Amazon and King Arthur Flour, this is pretty much what we’re dealing with:

        • roast beef 4/30
        • salami
        • 1 wedge parmesan 5/3
        • 1 log goat cheese
        • 1 block cheddar
        • 1 bag shredded mozzarella 5/7
        • 2 pizza crusts 4/26
        • bacon
        • 2 whole chickens — 1 frozen whole, 1 broken down & frozen in pieces
        • 1 red onion
        • parsley 5/5
        • chives
        • basil 4/26
        • jalapeños
        • vegetable gyozas
        • boisenberry jam
        • crushed tomatoes
        • kalamata olives
        • store brand knockoff Cheerios
        • peanut butter
        • grainy mustard
        • pickles
        • milk 5/3
        • baking powder
        • hot sauce
        • 2 bottles of olive oil
        • 5 lbs of jasmine rice
        • peanuts
        • seltzer
        • 3 kinds of juice
        • 2 bags tortilla chips
        • store brand knockoff Fig Newtons
        • peanut butter cup cookies
        • gummy candy
        • Little Debbie Fudge Brownies
        • black beans
        • navy beans
        • pinto beans
        • pecans
        • almonds
        • walnuts
        • pretzels
        • oatmeal
        • potato chips 5/2
        • 2 loaves of bread — 1 kept out, 1 frozen
        • Fudge Stripes
        • another kind of peanut butter cup cookie 4/26
        • seltzer
        • 4 bags pasta
        • 2 cans diced tomatoes
        • 2 tubes tomato paste
        • 28 oz. whole bean coffee
        • Oreos
        • brown sugar
        • almond milk
        • salsa verde
        • powdered sugar
        • green olives
        • 2 dozen eggs
        • pie crust — 1 for the fridge 5/7, 1 for the freezer
        • 3 yellow onions
        • spanakopita 5/3
        • 1 eggplant 5/2
        • fresh ginger
        • 2 lbs butter — 1 for the fridge, 1 for the freezer
        • 1 wedge gorgonzola
        • mango chutney
        • dried apricots
        • red bell peppers
        • garlic
        • whipping cream
        • 1 bag shredded “taco blend” cheese 5/7
        • beets
        • orange juice
        • avacados 5/1
        • hazelnut creamer 5/1
        • frozen broccoli
        • frozen peas
        • fennel
        • maple syrup
        • red grapes
        • tomatoes 5/3
        • green beans
        • orange juice
        • brussels sprouts
        • cauliflower
        • tomatillos
        • mushrooms
        • zucchini
        • broccoli
        • corn 5/7
        • cilantro
        • cabbage
        • scallions
        • celery
        • MAVEA Elemaris pitcher & 6 replacement filters (should last a year)
        • 4 bottles of Torani hazelnut syrup
        • 6 pounds of Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal
        • 7.25 pounds of Bob’s Red Mill groats
        • 3 pounds organic sugar
        • 10 lbs Country Save laundry soap
        • 10 lbs King Arthur all-purpose flour
        • 5 lbs KA whole wheat flour
        • 6 lbs KA semolina
        • 1 lb KA yeast

Um…yeah, I think that’s it! Not including, of course, the food we already had. We haven’t gone the whole last month with a completely bare kitchen, it’s just that we haven’t really been able to stock up until this past week. So this is what it looks like when I stock up. A lot of this was planned excess; you can see a lot has already gone in the freezer. But I’m sure we’ll run out of a lot more than I expect a lot sooner than I expect, too. I’m curious to see how it all goes.


But enough about the vegetables. Let us get to the yarn.

The drive out took 3 days. Knowing that we’d be driving separate (driving a 16-foot truck and towing a Rav 4 felt like too much, especially since the tow hitch rental would have been more than the gas for the Rav 4), I did not expect a lot of knitting time on the trip. I decided to pick up a second sock as my travel knitting.

When last we saw these socks, I had finished 1 and was hoping I’d remember what mods I’d made to the pattern so I could knit a second one. By the time I picked the yarn back up last month I had given up on the idea of duplicating my changes. I decided to just knit a plain sock and then unravel the existing one and knit a match.

But moving has a strange effect on me, you guys. I start out less than pleased about the whole thing but believing that if I just keep at it, then this time it will go beautifully. Then I get rid of my absolute last fuck somewhere around the T-2.5 weeks mark and it’s all downhill from there.

My point being that I started this plain sock the week before the move, deep in the belly of the “no fucks left” period, and once I finished it I realized that as long as the patterned sock didn’t actually feel different on my foot, then they were enough of a pair for me.


My last time ever having to go outside in my socks because no light can penetrate where I live.

These are the same yarn knit with same size needles and worn on the same size feet, and that’s enough matching for me. I love them to pieces and they kept me warm as I travelled halfway across the country, and so they have earned their status as A Good Pair Of Socks.

Pattern: Java for 1, just a standard 64-stitch top-down heelflap sock for the other
Molly’s Toes in Kasey’s Color
2mm Karbonz DPN’s
9/12/14 on a plane to San Francisco
Some time before 3/24/15 but not too much before but who even knows because no one was paying attention at that point.

Gonna have to put the blanket down for a bit.

Friends! These are exciting times chez YarnAndSass.

It’s getting harder and harder to take pictures of the Life-Long Blanket at all, let alone any where a decent portion of it is in focus. This is partly because I’ve added so much to it, and partly because I got bored with adding squares back and forth typewriter style, so I’ve been working more on a diagonal and it’s getting tall fast.



I’ve been able to make it so tall because I found a few awesome folks to trade with.

Andi over at My Sister’s Knitter sent me some beautiful yarns all neatly skeined and everything, and then I forgot to take a picture before I’d already balled most of them.




And I made a trade for a whole gallon bag’s worth of minis through Ravelry.




So, yes, the blanket is very well fed these days. We are slightly less well fed–or, I should say, we are rather more weirdly fed these days. Over the past week, I’ve had lunches largely made of black olives, whole wheat crackers, sharp cheddar, pickles, leftover pot roast, and handfuls of Reese’s Puffs. Folks, I am in full-on “must clean out the partially consumed food” mode in preparation for moving. Again.

This time, at least, we are not moving because I got laid off and the rent was going up. We are moving because I’ve gotten an opportunity to start on a career in farming and we’re both looking forward to a change of scenery from where we’ve both spent pretty much our whole lives. So, we’re moving to Iowa in a few weeks and the blanket is going to have to take a rest soon, because I’m going to need some more portable knitting.

Of course, the good news is that the most portable knitting really is socks. And in the end that only means more food for the blanket. So, overall, I’m gonna go ahead and say that this Iowa thing is going to be good for us all.

It’s Working! (And a life update.)


That, my friends? Is proof of button band. And since it goes all the way up, around the hood, and then back down again, it is also proof of a button hole band. And and I have even moved on to the sleeves.

There has been some sock progress. Also longing fondling of some yarn at the bottom of the baskets, but no – I repeat: NO – new projects cast on.

This accountability thing is working. Folks are checking in, most notably my lovely friend Jess, and I am feeling a sufficient amount of obliation/shame – but, for serious, in the most positive way! – knowing that anyone might check in at any time that I am chugging along and have full faith that by the end of the month I could easily have a finished project or two.

Accountability is glorious. Let me know (in comments, or here or here) if you want in.

Also, in personal news, now that I’ve linked to my Ravelry and Twitter pages, you might have noticed that I’ve given up randipants and changed my name. This is an across-the-board, screen name, real name, everything for all time name change. I might write more about it here at some point, but for now I just wanted to let y’all know that if you see an Aoife around your blog and/or happen to wonder where randipants went, that’s what’s going on.

Gifts from the Internet

I am just a huge fan of how much stuff I can acquire without having to get off the couch, and often without having to pay real dollars for it. Seriously, the internet has done so much for my yarn stock. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten a few little packages that are increasing the sock:other yarn ratio quite nicely.


There you have some Patons Kroy I got in a Ravelry trade. The bad light in this apartment does not do justice to how neon that yellow is, but some of the entries in the Ravelry projects gallery give you a better idea. This is a yellow, yellow yarn, and I don’t have anything like it, and I cannot wait to introduce it to Cookie A. There’s only 1 of the stripey Kroy because I kind of couldn’t resist and I already knit a sock out of the other skein. One of those things that just happens before you even realize it sometimes, you know? And all those tiny balls are fuel for the Life-Long Blanket. Stephanie over at woolythyme was working on a sock blankie recently and offered to share her minis with her readers, and there is no way I can resist an offer like that.

Common Ground is coming along nicely, after a few false starts wherein my ability to count and follow simple directions sort of took a vacation. I’m past the lace on the body and just a few rows away from the bottom ribbing. Really this would take about 3 good, solid evenings’ worth of knitting to finish, but with my school/work schedule, it will probably be another week. But it will happen, and it will be beautiful!

In life news, school’s OK, work’s OK, my little business venture is more than OK, and over at the other blog I’m getting very close to the end of Alias season 1 and starting to feel almost OK about the whole series. But the real big life news, the most exciting life news, is this:


His name is Mix Fleetwood. Isn’t he handsome?

We got a really big tax return, so I got a really big treat. I love him and I use him almost every day even if I’m just making scrambled eggs for 2, and he’s basically the greatest thing. And he’s sooooo purple!