Category Archives: Craft stuff

Pollyanna and the Return of Baby Booties

Lyda here.

Because I just couldn’t resist, I made another set of baby booties. These will go to a co-worker who is expecting her first girl in August.

BABY BOOTIES, Second Edition

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Note how the stripes are the same. After finishing the first one, I unwound the yarn ball until I got to the dark purple yarn again, so the set would match. I did that with the first pair too, but forgot to mention it. Although I do think that it would be cute if the toes were different colors. Maybe I’ll try that on the next pair. Rumor has it that another co-worker is expecting twins…


Details and credits:

Pattern:  Free Baby’s Best Booties Knitting Pattern As you see, there are lots of free patterns at TLC. This is the same pattern that I used for the first pair I made.

Yarn:   Serenity Garden Yarn in Sea  purchased from Jo-Ann’s Fabrics – fine #2 yarn, very soft, colors that self-stripe on the booties, and machine washable. I used less than 1 skein on these booties – probably 2/3 of a skein.

I’m not sure that I would buy this colorway again. When I was knitting these, I thought the pale lavender stripe just looked dirty, but they look pretty good on the completed booties. I do prefer the Crocus colorway of this yarn (used for the first set I made).

Needles:  size 3 circular bamboo needles (straight needles would work)

Adjustments to pattern: None, except I didn’t include a ribbon on these. They just didn’t seem to need the embellishment, and it’s just one more thing for the parents to keep track of (and these parents already have two boys, so simpler seemed better). This time I followed the pattern and sewed the back all the way up, with the seam on the inside.

I like the way they came out.



Pollyanna loves her booty

Uh… booties, that is. Baby booties, to be precise.

Lyda here. When last I wrote about these, I was still learning to count.

At last, and with a great flourish, I present for your admiration:

Purple Baby Booties for Sweet Pea!

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I still call the baby Sweet Pea – although she does have an official name – because Sweet Pea was her “in vitro” name, the one we all called her before she was born. But I digress…

Let’s get another look at those tiny foot covers. Note the cute ruffly effect at the back:

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Note the cute little toes:

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Could the ribbon match the yarn any more perfectly?

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No. No, it could not.

Y’all may notice that I took these pictures on the seat of the car in the bright morning light. I finished them the night before, and couldn’t wait to give them to Sweet Pea’s mom, my dear friend and coworker.

She was thrilled with them!

She not only took a picture to send to everyone she knew:


Exhibit A – again, note the cute ruffly effect at the back. And the stripes!

She hugged me and then said she was going to show everyone in the office.

Which she did.

Every. Single. Person.

She says she is going to put them in a shadow box and hang them on the nursery wall when Sweet Pea outgrows them.


So, details and credits and what-not…

Pattern:  Free Baby’s Best Booties Knitting Pattern As you see, there are lots of free patterns at TLC. This pattern was recommended by Anna-Liza’s daughter, a very talented knitter and, I am proud to say, my friend.

Yarn:   Serenity Garden Yarn in Crocus  purchased from Jo-Ann’s Fabrics – fine #2 yarn, very soft, lovely colors that self-stripe on the booties, and machine washable. I used less than 1 skein on these booties – probably 2/3 of a skein.

Needles:  size 3 circular bamboo needles (but straight needles work for this)

Ribbon:  Offray purple polka dotted ribbon I found at Jo-Ann’s – not washable, but too perfect a match to pass up

Adjustments to pattern:

Heel-to-ankle seam:  I stitched it with the cast-on edge on the outside, instead of inside. That’s how I got the ruffly effect on the back, mostly because my cast-on stitches are bigger than the rest of the knitting. Happy accident. Also, I did not stitch all the way up to the end – instead, I left the top of the back open to match the front of the booties. This give a bit more looseness to the ankles, and allows for size adjustments by tying the ribbon tighter or looser. But mostly, I just like the way it looked – sort of like Robin Hood’s booties.

Ribbon attachment:  Instead of weaving the ribbon through the stitches around the ankle, I created a loop of yarn at the back for the ribbon to go through. The ribbon can be easily removed for washing, or replaced if it gets frayed or lost.

“So, now that these are done, what are you going to do, Pollyanna?”

“Knit some more, of course!”

And also, check off an item on my Bucket List. Woo-hoo!




Pollyanna predicts Yarn Storms will continue

Lyda here.

Saturday was International Yarn Bombing Day. Yarn bombing

some prefer the less-violent terms:  yarn tagging,


yarn storming

(my personal favorite, like fiber is raining down from the sky

But I digress…)

is decking out public spaces in knitting, crocheting, and/or other yarn crafting. This is a fun form of temporary graffiti using fiber to warm up public spaces. Really, it has evolved into public art. Keep in mind that this might be illegal in your area. Even if it is okay with the property owners/ authorities, someone needs to be responsible for taking the yarn down later.

It can be as simple as putting a scarf on a statue, or as crazy-wonderful as covering a whole bus in knitting (see picture #13 in this gallery of yarn bomb pictures.)

Or even a whole building – check out LA’s Craft and Folk Art Museum:


covered in yarn courtesy of Yarnbombing Los Angeles. This installation will be displayed elsewhere in the city after it comes off the building, and will be turned into blankets for those in need.

Pittsburgh is spearheading “Knit the Bridge“, which will cover a bridge in panels of yarny goodness. Later the panels will be distributed to homeless shelters and such.

Check out this cheeky video of yarn bombing in Freeport, Maine. And this one of yarn bombers in Melbourne.

Look around – you may see evidence of yarn storms in your area this week.

“It’s rainin’ yarn… hallelujah… it’s rainin’ yarn…”

When Pollyannas Collide…

From the dusty archives of our Drafts folder:

This is what happens when the Pollyannas met up on Facebook late one night… The colors let you know which Pollyanna is which. Also, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Not us. Our families, silly.

Anna-Liza:     Hey there – are you really on right now? Or is it just a Facebook illusion?

Lyda:              Yes, I’m on.

I went and started a cooking project and now I have to stay up ’til I’m done.

How much longer are you going to be up?

Hoping less than half an hour. I have something simmering – have to check it once in a while. Then I can pour it in a jar and let it cool and go to bed.

Not too much longer, then.  Hey, I graduated.

I saw! Congratulations!

It’s kind of weird. It felt like this huge thing before it happened, and hardly anyone has even acknowledged it. I thought the people at work would all sign a card or something.

Wow. Nothing?  Although it’s not totally surprising, I guess.


Then again, there’s that whole karma around getting validation from outside.  Bleh. 

People keep asking me “What are you going to do now?” and the truth is I have no idea. I’d like to do something completely different, but I’m not sure what.

I’m hoping that, now that the kids are in school again, life will be less crazy and I can indulge myself with a call to you once in awhile again.

And, in re: “boring job,” you *must* read “Radical Homemakers.”

That would be awesome! I miss our long talks. I saw your note [on Facebook] about “Radical Homemakers.” Sounds interesting.

It’s a quick, but sort of intense, read. I think it will weirdly fit in with your studies.

My son the Sith Master thinks I should be a teacher and teach English so kids will learn to love books and reading and writing, instead of learning to hate it.  I don’t know though.

I have to do some posts on the blog…

God, I am not even sure when the last time I posted was. Blogging is another thing I want to get back into.

And I’ve started making these cute little stitch markers that my knitting group is “test driving” for me. If they work well, I’m thinking of selling them on Etsy.

Me too. I need to post about graduating, for one, and check off a big thing off my Bucket list. I did do this.

To jump around a little, one of the big reasons we like living in our own house is that we can garden a lot more extensively. We want to do an “urban homestead” kind of thing with a lot of edible landscaping.

Stitch markers – cool! I haven’t knitted in so long. It’s finally cool today, so I can think about dusting the needles off. I’m thinking I’ll just make a scarf with yarn I have, and then give it away to someone…

Maybe even backyard chickens eventually.  A scarf’s a good way to get back into knitting.

“Urban homestead” – I like it. Edible landscaping is a terrific idea.

You know those books about women’s knitting or quilting groups? I swear our knitting group could inspire one of those.

There you go, something else to do in your copious free time. And hey, while we’re at it, we really should write a book together too.

We’re growing pole beans on our front porch railing, and we’ve been getting really tasty green beans.

[about writing the book together] Yep.

Something with lots of sex in it. I’m not having any right now, so at least I can live vicariously by writing about it.


I can’t write well about sex – it always comes out too serious.

Or just stupid.

“Mmmmmmmm .. Mmmm … Mmmmmmm … ” Didn’t we make fun of some book like that way back when?

I know – comes out serious, stupid, or insipid when I write about it. Maybe together we can keep it fun and funny.

 “RRRRRRrrrrrrr …. VVVVVVVVVv”

Sorry. Got carried away there.

You are cracking me up!  “And she arched her back and screamed like a lioness…”

Do lionesses scream, exactly?

I’ve always wondered…

The scream thing annoys me. How many women actually scream when they orgasm?

Probably not so many.

Well, mountain lions scream, or so they say. I haven’t heard if they scream during sex, though. On the nature shows, the lioness always just looks bored during sex.

Yeah, she does. Lions seem a lot like this one guy I dated…

[On “How many women really scream during sex?”]  Good question. Probably less than men pretend they do. But is that because the women are worried about someone hearing, or are they thinking, “I’d scream, but it would be stupid”?

Or it’s just not a natural response.

Moaning, gasping … “Mmmm”ing … seem more real.

OMG, I think we should do a whole chapter of the book comparing old lovers to animals from the nature channel.


Names or aliases? I think names could cause problems…

Yeah, moaning, gasping is more real. I think Playboy started the screaming rumor, and some women just play along. Probably most women don’t even talk except to say “yes yes more more” but really, what else do you need to say?

Definitely aliases. We might want to visit Texas again someday.

[On what else women need to say during sex]  “Stop that”

“Get off me”

“I told you not to do that”

Hopefully followed by “do this instead,” or “let me be on top now.”

Yeah, but I wonder if men hear it after “stop that”. It would be a turn-off to hear her say “I hate when you do that”… or maybe not, what the hell do I know?

I think we have a blog post here.

I don’t think I’d say that during the act…

Well, “stop” if something hurt or was really unpleasant.

At least one! Hey, let’s just turn it into a knitting / quilting / urbanhomemaking / sex blog.

Isn’t it that already? Well, maybe the urban home thingy not as much.

I keep having this image of two very proper people explicitly discussing sexual acts over the tea and crumpets. Sounds like a Monty Python skit.

Which is actually not a bad idea…  I mean, if you really need to give detailed feedback or suggest something complex, maybe it’s better to discuss away from bed.

The Radical Homemaker thing is about disengaging as much as possible from what the author calls the “extractive economy” and engaging in the creating of a “life-serving economy.” Backing off from consuming…

Yeah, I guess the urban home not so much, especially since I stopped writing about cleaning too.

And yes, discussing away from bed is probably best.

Wait; let’s go back to talking about sex.

Nothing like a serious discussion to kill the mood.

We should just copy and paste this chat to the blog.

True. Et voila!

And when discussing one’s partner’s technique, they might feel safer if they have their clothes on. Of course, the dinner table might not be the place either… not if there are knives on the table. Better to serve pasta…

Or gazpacho.

Yeah, hot soup would be a bad idea….

This one time, the bed collapsed. I thought that was pretty frickin’ hilarious. How can you not laugh when the damn bed collapses? The man in question, however, did not think it was funny. An important clue that this was not the guy for me.

So another chapter in the book = funny, embarrassing, weird moments in sex.

Hey, are you done cooking yet? And by that, I mean on the stove…

How could we not? I remember the bed collapsing story – still can’t believe he didn’t think it was funny. That happened in a production of Fiddler on the Roof I did makeup for – Tevye’s dream sequence. He ran and jumped into the bed, and it collapsed.

Yes, the jars are cooling now.

Oh wow. I bet everyone working the show still tells that story.

Cool. We can work on the post tomorrow. Or I should say “I can work on it tomorrow.” Since I’m not the one with two active kids at home…

Probably. “Tevye” is now a voice actor in CA. Works for Disney, done some good stuff.

And I’m babysitting AND Very Superior Husband is doing a weekend retreat up at the cabin.

I sometimes wonder if I’ll run into one of our theatrical classmates out here but hasn’t happened.

Speaking of sex… you could go jump in bed with your gorgeous husband now. But… don’t jump too hard.

And no I can’t – he’s at the cabin.

You see how I did that with the bed-collapsing reference? I’m so good.

Which is probably why I’m up late cooking.

[finally getting a clue] Oh. Well. He’s at the cabin and you aren’t?

[about the “I’m so good” thing] Yes! You are!

And he’s doing a retreat.

So you are herding the kidlets alone this weekend? Wish we could do it together. Damn I miss living in the same city as you. Stupid pointy mountains!

Pollyanna thinks she should join

Lyda here.

I just found Craftaholics Anonymous courtesy of BlogHer.

Where I saw this pattern for a very cool crocheted lampshape that I had to share with y’all.

which led me to hip2thrift, the blog of the creator of said lampshade and other cute projects, crocheted and otherwise.

BlogHer has a whole section on knitting and crocheting, and another on sewing, as well as just about everything under the sun, including tutorials and links to all sorts of blogs.

And the baking section has a link to Pastry Affair and a recipe for Black Tea Cake among other delicious goodies.


Just thought I’d share with y’all.

I love the Cosmic InnerNetting…

Pollyanna calls it a moral victory

Lyda here.

With the Quilt of Unusual Size completed

Mentioning it as an excuse for another picture of QOUS – on the Sith Master’s bed – and no, his room is not red, it’s just the lighting and/or my mad indoor photography skills

QOUS on bed

How’s that for digressing?

Anyway… this past weekend I found myself with time to turn a few UFOs into FOs. So I dug out some quilted bags that I started forever ago and never finished. These were supposed to be gifts in a giveaway in 2008 that never happened. Finishing them at last is a moral victory.

Now they will be ready the next time I need a quick gift for someone.

Finished Object #1: a crazy quilt bag

Bag 1

Note the leopard print edge at the top. Grr!

bag 1 inside

As you see, the inside is blue. The back of the bag is the same fabrics with different shapes (plus a bit of the leopard print), but apparently I forgot to take a picture of it.

That bag was practically done – it only needed the handles added.

Finished Object #2: another crazy quilt bag

bag 2 side 1

One side

bag 2 side 2

Two side

bag 2 inside

Red side, inside.

How Dr. Suess-ian.

That bag only need the inner lining, the edging at the top, and the handles added.

Finished Object #3 – striped bag

striped bag

striped bag inside

Which, it turns out, was completely finished already and had been put in with the UFOs. Apparently to give them hope that it could happen to them. Very Velveteen Rabbit.

UFO #4 – Another crazy quilt bag. No pictures. This one was made with scraps from a box I got from a friend – I am not proud, I will gladly take the discarded fabric of others, and there was some good stuff in that box. If you have fabric that needs a home, send it on over. The quilted outer part of the bag was about a third done. But it just didn’t appeal to me anymore. I worked on this bag for a few hours on Saturday, decided that I just hated the whole thing, and with a great lightening of heart, gave up on it. It is now in the scrap pile, to be cut up into strips or squares or something, and put into some other crazy quilt project. Or not.

It was a relief to walk away from it.

It’s funny how things like UFOs press on my subconscious, nagging at me at a level that I’m barely aware of.

For example… oh geez, here comes one of her stories, run for it!

I made a quilt for one of my grand-nephews, who was born on the fourth of July. But I didn’t send it to his parents, because I thought it would hurt his 2-year-old brother’s feelings if he didn’t get a quilt too. So I thought I’d wait and do another quilt, and send them both.

You guessed it. That second grand-nephew quilt, which has an African jungle theme, is in my UFO pile.

And I still have the completed Yankee Doodle Boy baby quilt sitting in the closet. How I wish I had just sent it.

These boys are now much older, and the quilts they would want now – if they wanted such things – would be vastly different (plus much bigger). And the whole family now lives across the ocean. And the boys have a little sister – who also did not get a baby quilt, see above reasoning.

And none of these children is pining away for the quilt they never got. None of them even knows about these quilts! I hereby dismiss any guilt or embarrassment in this matter. Begone! You have no power here!

I’ve decided I’ll donate the completed baby quilt this year. Our county fair collects baby things, displays them at the fair, and then gives them to the children’s hospital. If I finish the African jungle quilt – I’ll make a baby-sized version instead of the larger one I’d planned, and save the rest of the fabric for other things – it will be donated too.

Y’all, I have to confess that it was only last year when I stopped feeling vaguely guilty when I changed the radio station in the car because the song was good but I wasn’t in the mood for it. I don’t know what I thought – that the musicians were going to get their feelings hurt? Because I changed the radio station?? I’m such a weirdo. But I didn’t even realize consciously that I was feeling guilty about it. It was just a vague discomfort… Sometimes I even listened to a song that I wasn’t in the mood for, or that I didn’t particularly like, because it was a “good song.”

And one day, I was driving along, and I reached to change the station, and became conscious of this nagging hidden guilt I’d been carrying for… well, years, I guess…

And I burst into laughter.

And the guilt evaporated.

But I digress… Quite a lot, it seems.

My quilting UFO pile has now been significantly reduced. And I did all my mending too. UFOs now includes the aforementioned African jungle quilt, and The Increasingly Inaccurately Named Easy Heart Quilt, a project that I created for myself and really love, but never quilted because I was scared that I would ruin it.

A project that I started because I fell in love with a book and because – wait for it – I wanted to do something small.

That I could complete quickly.

Please note that this project was started in 2008.

Cue the uproarious laughter.

That is two – only two – quilting UFOs left.

The Heart Quilt project is going to be one of the next things I pick up.

It’s only fabric and thread.

I’m not afraid any more.

Pollyanna urges Pollyanna on

Hey Anna-Liza – check this out!

As part of his recent post, Franklin writes about The Fiber Factor. Franklin will be a guest judge! Exciting! If Delores decides to join the judging, the wool will fly!

A certain Pollyanna should apply to be a contestant. Seriously! Definitely not me.

Y’all comment and encourage our Pollyanna of the Rocky Mountains – aka Anna-Liza – to strut her knitted stuff!