Dude Stuff

Pattern: "Knotty but Nice" by Natalie Larson, available free here
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (color #300500) - 55% merino wool/33% microfiber/12% cashmere

Plus: Really well-written, highly addictive pattern. This yarn makes a really nice pairing since cables pop so beautifully in this round, plumpy yarn. To make everything that much sweeter, I found the yarn a few weekends ago in the 50% off bin at my LYS.

I had so much fun doing this, I got major hand cramps as I powered through round after round, saying, "I'll stop after this row...."

Pattern: "Stacked Wedges" by Lynne Barr, available in Knitting New Scarves
Yarn: Spinning Rainbows Handspun Yarn

Plus: This scarf flew off the needles in a flash. The short rows broke up the monotony of garter stitch; the garter stitch balanced the counting required for the short rows. All in all, a fun but easy scarf. I think I've mentioned before that Lynne Barr is kind of a rock star.

Delta: This yarn, a gift from my mother, was a rather difficult customer. I was anxious to find an appropriate home for this unique, local handspun, but it took more than a few false starts to find its match. To begin with, the rustic two-ply ranged from dk weight to bulky from foot to foot, inch to inch, making gauge a nightmare. Furthermore, the wool is minimally processed, thereby leaving it a lanolin-rich treasure trove of hay and stickers, both of which I tried my best to pick out as I went. Finally, the ply was quite crisp in some areas, while nearly felted and fuzzy in others, rendering any fancy stitchwork a total waste of time. Thus, I had to think non-fitting, industrial, and geometric, respectively. I think I managed it here and, as a result, honored the gifts and charm of the fiber.

Alrighty, so that's two more Christmas gifts, which I can add to that green hat, the blue beaded hat, the orange fingerless mitts, and the pink/orange cowl. I've also got a girl scarf and some boy mitts on the needles, along with a special order ponchette for my mother-in-law and a special-order toddler hat for a dear friend of my mother. So, if I finish everything I've started so far...that's ten gifts. Doesn't seem like many, and I'm beginning to panic. There are many more available yarn+project pairings in the stash, but what I'm short on is time. Adding to the sticky, I'm flying into Dallas on Sunday, so I'll have to choose my last-ditch-effort projects in advance, weighing speed of completion (super-bulky weight hats?!) against space in my bags (oh, uh, lace shawls). Blimey! If only I had MONEY for Christmas this year. Hopefully family and friends will understand.

Watts' Afghan of Eternity Square #35/36 (Sweet Jesus, just one more!)


Snuggly necks and chic babies

Pattern: "Darkside Cowl," by Sara Fama, available as a free pdf download on Ravelry
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb - single ply aran weight, 50% silk/50% wool/400% HEAVEN!!!
Colorway: Bittersweet

Plus: In the future, we'll all be born with our necks permanently swathed in Lion and Lamb. And everyone knows I'm a sucker for groovy textures and geometric designs.

Delta: The fun was over too soon. I see a few more of these cowls in my future. I also foresee being yarn-poor in that same future.

Pattern: "Knit 'Suede Baby Booties'," by Candi Jensen, available free but with minor hassle here
Yarn: Berrocco Suede and Plymouth Yarn Oh My! (both 100% nylon)

Plus: I couldn't help myself. These have been calling to me for years! And now I get invited to the shower of a winter baby? Bring on the baby Uggs!

Delta: I was overly ambitious/reckless in my timing of these and consequently made a mistake counting the rows which decrease the instep. I ripped back and corrected it, but the setback meant I had to show them just one bootie and provide an apologetic IOU for the pair at the shower. Totally lame.

I played hostess for Thanksgiving for the first time this year. My in-laws flew in from Dallas, and though they graciously took us out to restaurants or cooked many meals, I insisted on making every dish served on Thanksgiving. I followed Alton Brown's method for brining and cooking the bird, and it turned out scrumptious! Leftover white meat has been enjoyed in sandwiches slathered with homemade cranberry sauce for days. We're not huge fans of dark meat like wings, so I used all the leftover dark meat and bones in a lightened up adaptation of this soup. (I used 3Tbs each of flour and Brummel and Brown for the roux and substituted 3/4 c. fat free half and half for the 2 c. regular stuff--plenty rich enough!) It is ultra-comforting and delicious now that the temperatures are hanging around the 30s consistently. Yay for cooking victories!

Watts' family afghan of everlasting torment square #34/36:


Don't Get Yer Gloves in a Twist

Pattern: "Lace Twist Mitts" by Debbie O'Neill, available in Knitscene, Fall 2009
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy (no, I do not think I use it too much, thankyouverymuch)
Colorway: Chinatown Apple

Plus: This easy-peasy lace chart mimics much a much more complicated twisted cable approach. I love anything that makes me look more clever or talented than I really am. I am also pleased with how the semi-solid enhances, rather than distracts from, the stitch pattern.

Delta: I hate this "after-thought" thumb style, where you knit with waste yarn, slip back then keep going with main yarn. 1) I always struggle to put the correct live stitches back on the needles and 2) I always, always, always end up doing lots of awkward doctoring on either edge of the thumb with tail ends, resulting in an ugly *pflgth* framing the join.

In the continuing saga of the brown bane....

I should continually emphasize that this is a learning experience. Now, what, exactly, have I learned? Well, I learned that if you're going to do something, freakin' DO it. Don't pussy-foot around. I wanted to lightly felt the sweater, so I neglected/altered many of the circumstances necessary for optimum felting. I used warm, rather that hot water. I used light agitation, rather than heavy. I opted out of the suds so I could check every five minutes and rescue it at any point, without worrying about rinsing. As it turns out, felting incorrectly results in badly abused woolens, NOT light felting. The sweater emerged BIGGER and covered in ratty pills. Did I then abandon my strategy, like a sane individual? Heck no! I did the exact same thing, hoping for a different result. Finally, I read, thought, prayed, cursed, and took the plunge, letting loose all the felting power my humble washing machine possessed.

Results are mixed: I still spent an hour pulling off ugly pills and the sweater sleeves are still far too long, the armpit way too deep. On the other hand, the sweater is more dense and snuggly now, so clearly, I was moving in the right direction...right?

The RUFFLES. The button band and collar did a funky thing, shrinking and pulling in such odd ways that a full-fledged ruffle now frames the individual wearing this dreadful thing. Not manly. So what's a girl to do? I can't go back--no time machine. I can't leave it here--too big and ruffly. So, go forward and felt it one more time? Obviously, the ruffle problem will only increase, but maybe once the rest of the cardigan is appropriately sized, I can sew/cut/pin my way out of that mess. So that's just what I did....to be continued.

Watts Family Afghan of Eternity Square #33/36 (really tough)


I Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Pattern: "A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend," by Stephane Nicole, available free on her blog
Yarn: scrappy leftovers such as Berroco Comfort (acrylic/nylon), Queensland Collection Sugar Rush (sugar), and Sirdar Juicy DK (bamboo)

Plus: Quick and easy male-appropriate Christmas gift. I like that the simple design lends itself to horizontal stripes, which in turn lend themselves to stash-busting. I accidentally created a palette of colors perfect for sporting around a football game for my alma mater. Unfortunately, no one with whom I associate would ever attend such an event, even when we were students there. During the Homecoming Game one year, my group went instead to the theaters to catch the opening weekend for Fight Club. Good choice.

Delta: It seems a bit squatty to me, even after adding 1/2 inch extra before the crown decreases. Also, I think my plan for the stripes creates an optical illusion of the head flattening off abruptly across the top. Stupid idea, my fault entirely.

I'm married to the man of my dreams, so the "curse of the boyfriend sweater" should have no effect on me, right? Well, fate has found a way to reach around that inconvenient truth and give me a decent bitch-slapping anyway.

Oh, who am I kidding??? It's my own durn fault.

Meet "Smokin'" by Jared Flood. Let's talk first about what I did RIGHT, hmm? I carefully knit, frogged, and reknit until I achieved gauge. I measure Jake's favorite hoodie to determine which size to knit. I selected a yarn very close to the original requested--chunky, tweedy, wooly. I checked the website for errata before beginning and carefully noted those changes in the pattern. I worked on it dutifully and steadily for three months so it would be ready in time for fall in Virginia.

Now, the WRONG: I noticed that the sleeves looked humongous...but did nothing. I noticed that the fabric was floppy and slightly see through, despite Jared's comment in the pattern that the cardigan is knit at a tighter-than-usual gauge...but did nothing. I tried it on before attaching the button band/collar and saw that it could pass as a brown whale Halloween costume...but did nothing. In short, I ignored the signs that I was headed for trouble because I wanted to believe that if you select the right yarn, gauge, and pattern size, you're in the clear.

Then the really wrong thing: when Jake tried it on and saw that it was uncomfortably large in every way, I did not frog the sweater like a good little knitter. I decided...to try....and felt it.

To be continued.

Watts Afghan of Eternity Square #32/36


Haul Out the Stockings!

Pattern: "Monkey" by Cookie A., available free online here
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy (a yarn I will gladly make-out with), 100% superwash merino in fingering weight
Color: Cloud Jungle

Plus: It's delightful--great yarn, brilliant pattern. If you're one of the few knitters left in the world who hasn't made them yet, submit, submit, submit.

Delta: I think I started the toe decreases just a smidge too early, so the heel flap pulls down a bit under my foot, rather than resting smartly at the back. Also, I decided to trust her judgment and knit a plain stockinette heel flap, but now I'm wondering whether I should have gone with a sturdier eye-of-partridge. I think I'll cry if these socks get a hole.

Jake is pretty much kicking arse and taking names up here in Virginia. His law school buddies have taken to calling him the "future editor of Law Review" and "the teacher." They frequently gather for study sessions in which Jake basically explains complicated cases or principles to them using a white board and marker, while they take notes and ask questions. He's also consistently scored the highest in the class on all assignments for Legal Writing. Unreal. I'm actually kind of disappointed. I was hoping that he was finally going to be in an environment which pushed him to the limits of everything he's got. Don't get me wrong, he's still working on law school about 80 hours a week....but he seems more like a kid in a candy store than an overworked, stressed-out student. Crazy, no?

Oh, and public service announcement: no more ex-boyfriends, relatives, friends, STUDENTS or knitting bloggers are allowed to get pregnant this season. Enough, people. I know that it's something normal people manage to do every day, but to someone like me, it's like watching everyone you know win the lottery at once. I'm happy for you, blah, blah, blah, now QUIT. Thanks. :-)

Watts' Family Afghan of Eternity Square 31/36


From My Cold, Dead Hands

Pattern: "Thorpe," by Kristen Kapur, available as a free download on Ravelry
Yarn: Noro Iro - bulky single-ply; 75% wool, 25% silk
Colorway: 57 (I think)
Mods: Rather than using contrast yarn for crocheted edge and braids, I used more of the same yarn

Plus: I adore this. It looks fabulous, sassy, and vintage on me. It's my new favorite hat.

Delta: It was NOT supposed to be for me. I intentionally picked what I thought would be a masculine colorway and knit the largest size so that it would be a generic, male-appropriate gift for this Christmas. No dice. This baby is MINE!!!!

Mama's got a brand new bag...and it's got intimidating, metal parts and an LCD screen. Yikes. I already broke one needle in half and bent a second one pretty dramatically. Oh well. It's all part of the learning process.

This is my first finished object, a "stitch-sampler tea towel," instructions available in the Sew Everything Workshop. Oh yeah. I'm clearly on my way.

In the meantime, I'm starting to struggle with loneliness here. I dragged myself to a "Tuesday Night Ladies Club" event for the wives/girlfriends of W&L law students, and it was okay. The girls seemed nice, but I didn't really make any instant connections. I had planned on attending a knitting group gathering at Panera in Charlottesville on Wednesday night, but it was so rainy and cold that I bailed. Jake had made tentative weekend plans with some guys from school who also have wives, but that fell through a few minutes ago.

On the bright side, we discovered the wonders of Roanoke two weeks ago: Abuelo's Mexican food, Barnes and Noble, Target, Starbucks, a mall....pretty much heaven for this city-starved girl. Jake and I woke up this morning hankering our traditional donuts/Starbucks/couch-reading Saturday morning (which we haven't really done since I started Weight Watchers in March). Of course, the nearest Starbucks in 45 minutes away, but we figured Jake could make coffee while I ran to a donut shop. Alas, the nearest donut shop is also 45 minutes away. Donuts, y'all. Donuts.

Watts Wedding Well Wisher Afghan: square #30/36 (this was pretty challenging for me)



That's right. I've finished the first of my (hopefully) many Christmas offerings. I'm going to use my approach from last year: make as many items as possible in a variety of styles and colors, alternate male and female sizing/style, and lay them out at a party for people to take what they want.

Pattern: "Odessa," by the brilliant knit blogger Grumperina, available as a free pdf download on Ravelry
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino - dk weight single ply with 51% silk/49% merino wool
Colorway: Matisse Blue

Plus: If you haven't tried a project with beading yet, don't be shy; it's a cinch. The hardest part is threading the beads on the yarn before you start, but one can find a great tutorial on Knitty. The pattern, to no great surprise, is clear, clever, and succinct. If you don't follow this girl's blog, you really ought to. It's one of the few that spends a great deal of time on process, knitting math, intimidating techniques, reviews, etc., because she's NOT trying to save up designs and ideas for a book.

Delta: My only big problem stemmed from the fact that I printed this pdf on my home printer, which was out of color ink. I knew the pictures would disappear, but who cares, right? Well, I was at my in-laws, chatting and knitting up the ribbed brim, when I pulled out the pattern to examine the next instructions. They made NO SENSE. I read, stared at my knitting, read, stared.....my Titi Dolly (a novice knitter) started making comments along the lines that patterns never make sense to her, either. Oh, hell no. I can read patterns! I had Jake pull up the pdf on his iPhone, and there was the answer. Half of the IMPORTANT words in the pattern were written in purple so as to grab my attention. In my colorless copy, of course, they were entirely absent. Woops!

Watts afghan square #29! 7 more...Lord help me. I need to start thinking about a border for this thing. I could go boring and just do basic i-cord. Or I could go high on effort and time with a mitered corner garter stitch. What say you, fabulous knitters?

So, I'm kind of in love with my job. Sure, there are some frustrating aspects. My students' computers still have not been hooked up to the network. I have no access to the building at night or on the weekends. The "teachers' lounge and workroom" is locked 24 hours a day, and we don't have keys. I've discovered 4 different varieties of spiders that consider my room home. Students cuss me out when they're in a bad mood. But....all those issues aside, I feel ALIVE with inspiration, purpose and challenge.

These kids, tenth and eleventh graders, are literate only in the most basic sense of the word. I'm regularly asked how to spell words like "read" and "coach," and I can assure you that these are not second language learners. On the first day of school, most told me that they "can't" or "don't" read. Their writing follows few grammatical conventions, and they don't seem to sense any distinction between their spoken dialects and formal written English. Getting them to make an inference, even an obvious one, about a piece of literature on their grade level is akin to torture. There is clearly a lot to do, and it is my professional opinion that the best thing for them is total immersion in, and a fierce, vital connection with, excellent literature.

I spend my days helping kids find books that let them know they are not alone in the world. I read 2-3 books a week in order to keep up with their demand to pick "another good book" for each of them. This rag-tag group of 31 non-readers have already finished about 9 books in 2 weeks, and every one of them seemed genuinely surprise to have loved the experience. The core of my class time goes to independent reading, with at least 100 minutes a week of required reading time. When I told the kids about that time commitment at the beginning of the year, they freaked, pleading with me to understand that they could NEVER read for that long. Lo and behold, most days they beg to read LONGER, and on Fridays, when they can choose from a long list of literacy related activities, every one of them settles down with their book to read for the entire hour.

Many teachers would see these struggling readers, read through the Virginia standardized test, and start digging through worksheets and canned reading drills to reinforce basic reading habits. But that's NOT how kids who pass the tests with ease got to that point! They breeze through those tests because they're readers. It's obvious to them what the text says or infers, how it's organized and what is it's intent. It's obvious, because they read so much, their brains have learned to detect and organize important distinctions and patterns like that. MY kids have not had that luxury. Their brains see very little in a written passage that is familiar, and with every passing year, they get MORE behind, for reasons that completely elude me. Well, not on my watch. I am honored by the immense responsibility and humbled by the chance to make a real difference in someone's life.

The only problem is that I want to spend every dollar I've got now on books, portable cd players (for books on cd), comfy rugs and pillows, etc. so I can turn my room into a well-stocked reading oasis!!!!


Home Sweet Home

Pattern: "Frock Camisole," by Katie Himmelberg, available free here
Yarn: Louisa Harding Cinnabar - worsted weight; 30% viscose, 25% cotton, 15% acrylic, 10% silk, 10% Linen, 5% Nylon, 5% Acetate (whew!)
Colorway: 6

This simple, cool-to-the-touch project was great to pull onto my lap during stressful moments as we were moving. Only the very top strap portion requires moderate attention to the pattern. I love the feel of this drapey, metallic, slightly slubby yarn against my skin. It's truly the perfect match for this cute tank. I love the cut of the top itself and find it universally flattering.

Delta: I feel like it looks outstanding from the front, okay from the back, and a little sloppy on the sides. I wonder how one would tidy that up without messing up the way the front lays. Decreases along the center back?

Okay, we need to talk about how skinny I look in these pictures. I've lost 40 freakin' pounds, people!!! If I can do it, then truly, anyone can. I jog/walked my first 5k on July 15, and I'm planning on jogging an entire one on September 12th with Jake. In addition to increasing my activity, I've been using Weight Watcher's clever POINTS system to make sure I'm eating the right amount for my needs each day. I still have tacos and ice cream and cheeseburgers, so it's more like a paradigm than a diet.

Jake and I are all settled in our new little townhouse, with which we are ENTIRELY in love. Since we rented it sight unseen, we were preparing for the worst, but this place is AWESOME. Hardwood floors, beautiful molding, huge garden bathtub, tons of storage, lovely tile on back-splash and bathrooms, two bedrooms so Jake can have an office, and two-and-a-half baths so Gracie's litter box can sit somewhere I never, ever have to go. There are a ton of law students living in this development, particularly a lot of people in Jake's class, which has helped us make some connections in town quickly. There's even a couple a few doors down, in which the wife is a drama major who knits. (!!!)

My new teaching job is incredible and life-altering, but I will speak more of that next posting. For now, enjoy the newest Watts afghan square, #28/36


Friendly Yarns

"Parallelograms" by Lynne Barr, available in Knitting New Scarves
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy - worsted weight, 100% superwash merino
Colorways: Happy Forest and Tea Party
Mods: I carried the non-working yarn up the sides of the stockinette sections, wrapping around the working yarn. I'm not into weaving in when I don't have to!

Plus: I heart Lynne Barr. Her designs rock, and her instincts for texture and geometry always thrill me. Even though the pattern is somewhat hypnotizing to stare at, it was simple, instantly memorized, and lightning fast! Jake requested that I make a cool, masculine scarf for one of the high school students he worked with last year at Berkner. There were a few months when Jake was on the lookout for the perfect satchel for law school, and he noticed this kid's bag. Upon complimenting its style and inquiring where he could get one, Jake was startled as the kid emptied the bag of its contents and handed it to him! The student insisted that he was finished with it and was about to switch to a new bag anyway, but Jake was so touched by this generosity that he insisted I make him a fabulous thank you gift. (p.s. The kid is gay and always raves about Jake's handknit sweaters and accessories. Too cute.)

I think that it would look better even wider. I actually did not use a needle size as big as called for, because the fabric was too floppy at that gauge, so maybe it's meant to be wider. If I knit this again, I would work with at least 25 stitches, instead of 20.

"Owl Coffee Cup Cozy," by Sabrina Thompson, available free here
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
Mods: I only added safety eyes to one owl cable instead of all 5. I skipped the beak embroidery because the more I tried, the harder it sucked.

Plus: My dear friend Sonya requested this one after seeing a previously finished coffee cozy. I've been meaning to try out one of the zillions of owl cable projects out there, and this was a perfect use for a 1/4 of a skein of cashmerino.

I think these are kind of dumb. Unless it's a felted version, these simply stretch and slip too much to be useful. I've now created one with the cable running vertically and one with a horizontally situated cable; doesn't matter--they stretch and slip. For the last one, I ended up weaving in tons of elastic thread along the inside and cinching it tight, a pain in the rear which led to negligible improvement. For this one, I ran out of time and left it as it, but I suggested to Sonya that she could a) use fabric glue to attach it to a regular cardboard sleeve or b) use the elastic thread method or c) wash and dry it regularly. We'll see. I won't make another.


Some Babies Have All the Luck

Pattern: "Rose Leaf Blanket, Bonnet, and Booties" by Kristan Spurkland, available in Blankets, Hats, and Booties to Knit and Crochet
Yarn: Madelinetosh tosh dk - 100% superwash merino wool
Colorway: Coral
Mods: On booties, when binding off the five stitches, I left the first (slipped) stitch intact. This created an eyelit pattern rather than the creepy, elven-looking triangles. I think it fits the style of the set much better.

Plus: This leaf motif is so delicate and classic, if not for the hip, hand-dyed yarn, people might think these were antique heirlooms. Once blocked out, the effect is truly breath-taking. I'm so happy to have this book that coordinates layette sets like this. It saves me the hassle of finding three different patterns for the same yarn or trying to rewrite patterns so the stitch motifs are aligned.

This set certainly garnered a great deal of lust. My knitting buddy Shelley did all but promise me the deed to her house in exchange for this yarn (her signature color, which she did not find quite right in subsequent dye lots). Another knitting buddy Hannah implored me to think of anyone who deserved these items more than she; promises of instant tears and constant use NEARLY won me over. When I finally presented the woolly darlings to my pregnant friend Danielle, her sister's eyes widened, and she suggested that since I'll surely be bored in Virginia, I can spend all my time knitting sweaters and blankets for her. It's good to feel wanted.

Delta: Once I started the lace border, this project went pretty slowly. It's not a difficult lace--I could tell immediately if something went awry--but I never quite memorized the chart. Additionally, I would suggest to any future knitters of this blanket that they use a provisional cast-on (rather than cabled) when beginning the lace border to avoid an ugly seam there when finished. I was kind of annoyed with myself for not thinking of that at the time, but I have never done a blanket construction like this before, and I was mystified as to what in the world was happening. Additionally, I found the booties pattern pretty confusing and sometimes, outright wrong-headed. If you're familiar with top-down/heel-flap sock construction, feel free to read ahead and rewrite to your tastes.

My favorite part of the WHOLE project was the "beaded bind-off" across the back of the bonnet. Do you see how the bit across the nape of the neck makes pretty little scallops? Neat-o.

Well, we are officially relocated! After brief overnight visits with my parents in Richardson, then his parents in Plano, then my sister in Nashville, we made our way to Lexington, Virginia, our home for the next three years. Our townhouse is PERFECT for us in every single way, and we're working hard to get everything unpacked, hung, decorated, etc. Once we're finished, I'll definitely share some pics. For now, just know that:

  • Everyone here is extremely friendly
  • The bugs are huge and plentiful
  • You can see a bazillion stars from our back porch
  • I panic every now and then thinking about how far I am from a Starbucks or Target


Drool Worthy

Pattern: "Chevron Scarf" by Joelle Hoverson, available in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino - 100% superwash wool, fingering weight
Colorways: p623 and p136
Mods: Only one skein of each colorway, rather than two. It was plenty long, both the scarf and my relationship with it.

Plus: Umm....have you been looking at these pictures?! This thing is freakin' fierce!!! This pretty thing is for my old college roomie Emily. Long, long ago, when we lived in the second poorest neighborhood in St. Louis, she fought off the stress of finals by crocheting me a super-duper long, thick scarf out of that Lion Brand Homespun acrylic yarn you can get at craft stores. It sounds dorky, but the colorway truly was cool, and I was utterly touched. I still have (and occasionally wear) it now, and I decided it's high time I return the favor. Not long after I learned to knit, I wrote her and told her I wanted to makes something. She told me she "wears the crap out of scarves" and can never have too many. She's pretty eloquent for a professor of political science, huh??? Her adorable husband is an artist whose work fills our current apartment, so I thought this painterly project appropriate. Perhaps they'll be so moved, Darick will send more art.

Delta: Blocking was a tad frustrating. It's incredibly wonky right off the needles, and it remained wavy and curled after the first wet-blocking. I re-wet-blocked....then steam-blocked it...and finally just ironed it within an inch of its life. That did the trick.

The pieces are coming together for the big move to Lexington, Virginia! Jake has a law school. I have a job. We've got a respectable collection of sturdy boxes to start packing. The rental truck is arranged. Now, all we need is a HOME. For some reason, these laid back country types don't feel especially obligated to return phone calls or reply to emails. We've been bugging I don't know how many realtors, apartment complexes, and property owners....all to no avail. Boo. I hope we don't end up somewhere that blows simply because we had no time left to deliberate.

Watts Family Afghan of Infinity Square #27....9 more!!!!