Getting the Band Back Together


About 24 hours from now, the official Coleman Family Reunion 2013 will commence.  We have a lot to catch up on – in the past three years, we’ve grown by six, our grands and the St. Louis branch grands – all girls, age three and under.  I’m looking forward to lots of girly giggling and princess playing, as that’s the Papoose’s favorite thing and she’s a tad on the bossy side at times.  Festivities start with a cookout at Babydiva’s house tomorrow evening and will wind up Sunday, when the St. Louis branch heads home and the Little Rock branch heads for the couch and a nap.  Party on!


in the road, take a picture.  Seriously.  I was walking on Monday, there was this fork, just laying in the middle of the sidewalk.  I walked about four more steps, decided I didn’t really care that the people driving by probably thought I was nuts, backtracked and took a picture.  I mean, really, how often does one really, really come upon a fork in the road.  Anyone besides me and Mr. Iknead remember the old Johnny Carson/Teri Garr skit, the one with a map and at some point Johnny would point to a map and say, “when you come to a fork in the road”?  Hilarious.  Or maybe you just had to be there.

This is the actual fork in the road.

I’m always seeing bizarre things on my walks, I’ve started carrying my phone for picture proof that yes, I really did see it.  On a walk last summer, a black chicken ran across the road in front of me.  Swear.  I think Mr. Iknead had seen it before and had actually gotten a picture.  If he did, I’ll post it.

There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.  Alexander Woollcott



WIPW 04/17/12


I’ve been able to rein in my knitting ADD, at least for the moment, trying really hard not to veer off into the ozone with knitting projects.  I’m working on Knitty‘s Interlocking Leaves socks in the oh so pretty Shibui Poodleskirt color and I also started another Olivia Petit sweater, this one in a larger size.  Oh yeah, I’ve been knitting up dishcloths at Bigmama’s request and they’re a nice break from those long rows of Olivia.


Interlocking Leaves


Olivia Petit 2.0

In case you’re wondering, that’s a set of frosted glass windchimes that I was too lazy to put away this morning, thus their debut on WIPW 04/17/13


Babymama and I, along with Babydiva, Bela the standard poodle and Josie Pug have plans to visit the dog park this afternoon.  I’m expecting it to be loads of fun, and am right now charging Mr. Canon’s battery (sounds kind of nasty, doesn’t it?) to document all the fun.  Look for pictures to be posted later this week.

Don’t forget to visit Tami Ami’s WIPW blog and check out all the neat WIPs!

Develop a passion for learning.  If you do, you will never cease to grow.  Anthony J. D’Angelo



Divadom, Birthdays and (dare I say it?), Triumph!


Babydiva’s first birthday was a complete success, judging by the fun that was had by all, even though it was originally planned to be an Easter egg hunt and having to move the venue inside due to rainy weather. She was (as always) gorgeous and carried her divadom like she was born into it, which she was. Great presents, great cupcakes, great company and great fun!



I’m positive I’ll have at least a gazillion more pictures, both of Babydiva and the Papoose and Sprout, just as soon as their mommies are able to slow down long enough to get them posted.

Party On, Papoose


Yeah, it’s corny but  I couldn’t resist.  Yesterday was my first pottery class and I have to admit, it was the coolest thing.  The class, Beginning Handbuilding, is combined with another, way advanced class, Independent Study and it’s really neat to check out what the more advanced students are working on.  The basic class is very small, four people and a teacher, two ladies about my age, me and a young guy (they’re all young guys now), a 25 year old self employed furniture restorer.  I’m beginning to believe that creativity is a thread between some people, maybe like calling to like, because one of the first things we did after meeting each other was show off and admire tats.  Three of the four students had them, probably not that unusual, it just struck me as interesting.  Then, later in the class, the instructor saw my tat and asked me if I was a knitter, especially since it happens to be a ball of yarn with knitting needles.  I told her yep and here’s the coolest thing – she said “me too”, another of the students said, “me too”, and two of the advanced students said, “me too”.  Now, tell me that’s not awesome.  Out of eight people total in the room, five of us were knitters, mostly hardcore too.  It’s a thread, I tell you.  Oops, sidetracked, we learned to make pinch pots, took a tour of the pottery department and learned a little about the different clays and different glazing techniques.  I made a couple of butt-ugly pots, but hey, it was my first time.  Next week, we learn more about glazing and how to use the slab technique to make a coffee cup.  I can’t wait!  Sorry no pics, too busy and distracted by all the stuff going on.  Next week, promise.


I’m aware that tomorrow is WIPW and not today, but I finally got a handle on the Olivia sweater, and lack only the sleeves in finishing it.  I’m not ashamed to say that this pattern totally had its way with me, slapping and kicking me around (see Yarn Harlot‘s blog post for today, I totally get it), but finally I gained the upper hand and like a bully, once I showed no fear, it slunk off to sulk and get over itself.  And, OMG, it was totally worth it, every second of every frog, tink and the blood, sweat and tears it generated.  Here’s a peek at the back –


What did I say?  Totally worth it, right??  Even so, the next time I get a hare-brained idea like, “of course, it’s just a month before Easter but three sweaters for the grands is totally doable”, I’d appreciate a good smack to the back of the head, just to snap me out of it.  Unfortunately, most of us knitters are also enablers and I can already hear a chorus of sures, absolutelys and totally doables going on in background.  Meanwhile, today’s only goal is a sleeve.

There are some things only intellectuals are crazy enough to believe.  George Orwell (1903-1950)



DITD, Book Love, Birthday Girl, FO Friday


I’ve been a tad down in the dumps the last few days or so, nothing spectacular and nothing that makes me want to stay in bed with the covers pulled over my head, just a mild case of long sighs and dysmotivation*.  I should tell you that there’s no real reason for this dumpy mood, except maybe that my calendar says spring, the clothes catalogues say spring and last week one day it was 70 degrees, but the last few days have been cold and windy.  Windy to the point that power was out in some parts of the city.  Thankfully, we didn’t lose power, that might have pushed me right over the edge and I would have been forced to go buy a pair of sandals or a new pocketbook or something.  Dodged that bullet.


I’m continuing my love affair with the writings of John Steinbeck with Travels with Charley. I’m late to the party with this particular one and am thoroughly enjoying this travelogue. This affair all started with East of Eden, first in a Reader’s Digest condensed book, so long ago I can’t remember the year or my age. I’m pretty certain it was junior high, around 1968 or so. Later, I filled in the blanks (it was a condensed book, remember) with a paperback from some school book club, probably Scholastic. Remember the Scholastic book club?  I lived for the days they handed out the new Scholastic book catalogues and would study them for days, making lists of the ones I wanted.  Even so many years ago, it was always “so many books, so little time”.  I got into trouble more than once for hiding a book inside another book in class, just because I needed to finish “just one more page, I promise”.

Travels with Charley in Search of America


I usually am tooting my own horn over the grands and I will, later in this post, but I want to share how proud I am of my big girls, my daughter and my daughter in law, Bigmommy and Babymama.  They’ve both started blogs and mentioned me as their inspiration.  Teared me right up, it did.  So, pop over to The Mommy Life 101: Welcome to Motherhood and wife*mother*disciple and see why I’m usually awestruck by these two young women and their accomplishments.


Three hundred sixty five days ago, Mr. Iknead and I were up in Labor and Delivery, anxiously awaiting the birth of another precious granddaughter.  Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed and happily added Babydiva to the growing roster of grands.  So much happens in a year and I forget how quickly babies grow and change,

from this

to this

to this

Happy First Birthday Babydiva!


Lolita Vest

Lolita vest

I think it turned out nicely.  I wearing it today, again.

Don’t forget to check out Tami Ami’s blog for more FO Friday treats.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.  For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.  Albert Einstein

*Dysmotivation – a word I made up to describe the feeling of not wanting to do anything resembling most definitions of productivity and being compelled instead to read, watch trash TV and surf Rav.



Play On, An Honor and Mad As A Hornet


I had the privilege of staying with my sweet grand, Babydiva, while her mommy was on a girl’s trip and her daddy was, sadly, being there for his best friend and brother of the heart while his father was fighting his final battle with cancer. Having lost my father a year ago in July, I know too well how difficult these final struggles are. Joe, you’ve been such a special person to Jordan, first as a teacher and mentor and then as a colleague over the years.  Thank you for your guidance, caring and sharing.  It’s been an honor.

Play On, Joe.  We’ll Miss You!

Jordan and Joe

Teacher, Friend, Mentor, Colleague


The Papoose and the Sprout

I couldn’t resist sharing this.  The Papoose’s smile makes me wonder what’s going on with her other hand, could there be a pinch involved somewhere??  Really, though, I think it’s just the Sprout’s temper showing.  Still…..

Age is no guarantee of maturity.  Lawana Blackwell



Smudged, Hugged and Loved

Is there anything sweeter than hearing “I luv you all da time” from a child?  I’m here in Stuttgart giving and receiving hugs, kisses and snuggles from the Papoose and the Sprout, lacking only the presence of the Babydiva to make it totally what I call Grandma Nirvana.  One of the best things about grandparenting is that the phrase “all of the pleasure, none of the guilt” really applies, along with “what happens with Bebe stays with Bebe”.  Mr. Iknead has been sick with a bad cold so I made this trip solo, but I miss him and I know the grands miss him, too.  The Papoose has asked several times today where Pawpaw is; she’s not used to seeing one of us without the other.  I’m willing to bet that as soon as he feels better he’ll be hot-footing his way to Stuttgart to make up for lost time.



The Velvateen Rabbit and The Berenstain Bears have been hot commodities around here today.  Loved both the firs


around with my kids and am still enjoying them in reruns now.  The bears never fail to make me smile and the Velveteen Rabbit always leaves me teary from sweetness alone.

The Papoose loves looking at the pictures on my iPhone and Nook.  I always wait a day or two before I clean the screens just to relive how they acquired the smudges and sticky spots that accumulate.  It’s as good a storybook as one found in a bookstore, written by a celebrated author.




Action is the antidote to despair.  Joan Baez





Late Start


I’m getting a late start on blogging/computer housekeeping today, usually by this time I’ve blogged, cleaned out my inbox, answered e-mail, peeked in on what what’s going on with Rav, oohed and ahhed over the Friday FOs and moved on to thinking about dinner, maybe baking a little, knitting and reading and doing the straightening up that never seems to be quite finished around our house.  Not today.  Thinking about dinner has been accomplished, with chicken thawing, a couple of loads of laundry is in process and I just measured my newest on the needles project at a good, honest (no stretching allowed) 12 inches, a good start on a pattern that starts out with 16 inches of knitting in pattern.


I’m now 17 days out from my surgery and continue to feel a little better every day.  I’d been missing my daily walks with Josie and decided to start back yesterday morning.  We (Josie and I) walked to the post office, probably about a half mile round trip and probably since my speed is a lot slower than usual, I spotted some springy goodness along the way.  Can spring be too far off?

I have an appointment Monday morning with my surgeon and am very hopeful he’ll release me to drive then.  I’m beginning to get a little stir crazy here at home, even a trip to the grocery store sounds fun and exciting.  Yeah, it’s that bad.


The Sprout – Just Happy to be Here!

Babydiva 2/6/13

Babydiva at Her Most Charming

and last, but certainly not least –


The Papoose Rocking the  Shades

Cutest, sweetest, smartest, most beautiful and all other superlatives grands ever.  I promise.

Real love stories never have endings.  Richard Bach




Tiny Dancer, Pacy Covet and New Project Excitement


on seeing a naked two and a half year old ballerina stopping mid pirouette to potty, you’ve truly missed out on the highest form of funny cuteness. That’s right friends, the Papoose is in the midst of potty training and I think it might have clicked yesterday. Then, just when our giggles were starting to slow, she ran into the bathroom to flush – her potty chair is in the den, getting us going all over again. Thanks to the wonders of the digital age, it’s all on video. If you’re wondering why her potty’s in the den, you need to know that potty training at this stage is more about timing and convenience and less about location. What’s true in real estate, location, location, location ain’t necessarily so in potty training.


Way way invested in Robert Massie‘s biography, Catherine the Great. I’m just right at her arranged marriage to 17 year old Peter of Holstein. I’ve mentioned my fascination with the Russian imperial family before and finished Nicholas and Alexandra a little bit ago. Loved it and am loving CTG just as much.


on the needles is Olivia Petit, a sweater I blogged about in How Come.  I got the yarn ordered this morning (13 skeins) and am anxious to see it in person and start gauging.  After a little more thought over the past few days, I think I’m going to scale back my grand plans just a little and just go for a Easter sweater for the Sprout, I’ve not knitted anything for this poor babe.  I guess that comes from being #3 in the grandbaby line up, so I’m giving her first dibs.  Check my blog post How Come? to see the project picture.  It’s the cutest thing!


the much coveted monkey pacifier that the Sprout got as a baby gift.  It is really, really cute, a pacifier with a soft, floppy monkey (think Beanie Baby) attached, making it easy for little hands to hang on to.  Well, let me tell you, this monkey pacy is much admired and coveted within the Coleman/Vaughan circle of grands and is fair game if it gets dropped or somehow laid aside and forgotten.  See what I mean?

From the Sprout

To Babydiva

and finally

Back to the Sprout via Babydaddy

A word to the wise – if you come across one of these pacies, buy multiples!

You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.  Mary Morrissey



WIP Wednesday 2/27/13 and the Setting in of Antsiness


Me, that’s what.  Today’s the first day I’ve really felt nearly back to normal, at least as close to normal as possible being only a week out from major (from what I’ve been told) abdominal surgery.  Yeah, every once in a while, mostly when Josie needs to be more comfortable, my belly reminds me that it’s been much put upon in the past week or so and that perhaps I need to give up being the official recliner/throne/bed of the Empress, at least for an hour or so.  All things considered, I do think I’m doing well, but I’m getting restless, not really bored, but I want to do a bunch of things Mr. Iknead has made me promise not to do for a while and, well, I try to keep my promises so today I had to be satisfied with piddling around in the kitchen but not baking and making a grocery list, but not shopping.   I’m sort of embarrassed to complain about things like that, just being retired and learning to be a SAHW, but I love taking care of my home, my husband and my family.  There.  I said it and I’m glad I did.  I’m a closet housewife and proud of it!


The Rio Wrap is nearly finished.  It’s been measured and remeasured, examined and reexamined and finally, bound off.  The joining together will be done tomorrow (I hate the mattress stitch), blocking will begin and I hope by Friday will be finished and ready for show and tell.  Here’s how it looks unfinished but off the needles.  Boring, I know.

Today, A Pile of Stockinette

Tomorrow, Hopefully an Etched Rio Wrap!


Not as much contact with the babies as I’d like, with us all passing around a nasty upper respiratory thing and the hospital, but here’s a recent favorite –

Isn’t he handsome and isn’t she gorgeous??

Don’t forget to check out Tami Amis for more WIPW 2/27/13.

By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist, we create it.  Nikos Kazantzakis 





As of yesterday, all three grands have the sniffles and little fevers.  The Papoose and the Sprout came to visit on Friday so, of course, Babydiva and her mommy joined us for lunch and a nice, long afternoon of play.  The Papoose had a little runny nose, but that was all.  None of us is particularly germ conscious; there were perhaps more sneezes than usual, but everyone felt well and like I said, played nice.  I did catch Babydiva and Papoose swapping paccies back and forth, but that’s pretty par for the course with a two year old and an 11 month old, it’s going to happen, no big deal.  Now all three grands have the sniffles and sneezes, along with me and Mr. Iknead.  I, for one, caught a couple of sneezes full in the face but that’s the price you sometimes pay for two year old kisses and hugs.  Totally, totally worth it.  The Papoose did progress to croup and wheezing and got a tour of the Stuttgart ER Friday evening, but after a breathing treatment and some cough syrup, went home and resumed normal two year old activities.


I started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society yesterday and am totally enthralled.  The setting is Guernsey (duh), a channel island off the coast of England, during World War II.  The letters sent back and forth between these friends are sometimes funny, sometimes poignant and always interesting.  Remember when you actually had to compose a letter, stamp it and take it to the post office to send it?  Remember the anticipation of getting a letter in return and then doing it all over again?  I still love getting and reading real letters, on paper, with pen and ink.  The mailbox is so much more exciting than my inbox, I think.


I finally got the Metalico yarn sorted out and rewound.  With encouragement from vocalizard, I decided to salvage it and keep using it for my project and I have to admit, it looks a lot better than I thought it would; maybe a little fuzzy in spots, but that’s about it.  Here’s a look at the one of the fuzzy spots.  I don’t think it’s too terribly noticeable, do you?

I’m dying to start a new pair of socks with the lost then found Parakeet yarn but just can’t seem to settle on one pattern.  The yarn here is the star, not really the pattern, so I want it to be fairly straightforward, so the yarn can shine on its own, but fancy enough to catch the attention of admirers.  Does this make any sense?  I’m always in search of the perfect pattern for the perfect yarn for the perfect sock.  Must be a knitter thing.  Suggestions?

Question:  When’s the last time you sent a real pen and ink letter?  Mine was to an aunt a few weeks ago, along with some old photos I found and thought she’d enjoy.

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.  Mae West



From WIP to 02/08/13 FO Friday Ready in Just One Hour


Still working hard at the Etched Rio Wrap, I’ve done ten repeats of the 28 repeats the pattern calls for and I’m still loving both yarn and pattern.  The knitted yarn has amazing drape and softness, the only thing I can think of in the con category is that it’s very “grabby” and requires care not to become entangled with itself.  This happened with the first skein, it got very tangled and by the time I got it sorted out, the yarn had lost some of its sheen and was a little what I call pilly.  I’m trying to decide whether to bite the bullet and buy another skein (if I can find a matching dye lot) or go ahead and use the previously tangled yarn, probably at the very end where hopefully it won’t be too noticeable.  Here’s what I mean:

Looks even worse than I thought.  What’s your opinion?  Use or not?

Now, on a happier note.  In my efforts to find the misplaced yarn, I ran across a couple of WIPs that just needed to be cast off with the ends woven in.  That’s how a project goes from WIP to FO in an hour; why did I procrastinate on this, that’s not usually how I am, did I get distracted by a newer, sexier yarn or pattern, did I put it down and lose it in the mess of the stash (this seems much more likely) or was it abducted by aliens and returned last week?

Ribs and Ruffle wrap

A good sized wrap/shawl/blanket I’m calling Rib and Ruffle because, well, it’s ribbed and has a ruffle.  Why was it unfinished?


It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted pics of the grands and boy do I have some cuteness today.  First up, Babydiva

The Sprout during tummy time –

The Papoose in action –


Blessed, Mr. Iknead and I.  A million times over and then some.

Don’t forget to visit Tami Amis for lot more FO Friday awesome!

Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.  Dalai Lama



Yippee, WIPW 02/06/13 and a Stash Dive


Thanks Mollie aka deepbluerenegade for making me the winner of your 100 Blog Posts contest.  I opted for a $10.00 gift card from Mr. Yarn and plan to use this to feed my Shibui Sock addiction.  I’ll make my final decision sometime today and get it posted to share the yarny love.  I love me some contests!


I found this cute pic when I hacked into visited Mr. Iknead’s Shutterfly stuff.  I’m a Flickr-phile myself so every so often I check out his Shutterfly to see if I’ve missed something.  Here’s this week’s fave –

I love the way the Papoose has her chin in her hand, it seems to be such a “big girl” attitude and the way Babydiva is looking at her, little girl learning from big girl.  So cute!


Earlier this week, I got it into my head that I’d misplaced a skein of really expensive (for me) sock yarn and since I didn’t have any socks on the needles, decided I couldn’t go one more minute without getting a pair started and absolutely, positively couldn’t use anything but the misplaced yarn.  Naturally, this meant turning my yarn stash upside down, digging feverishly, just knowing it had to be in the next box or bin or bag.  Didn’t find it.  Looked under furniture.  Didn’t find it.  Looked in the stash overflow area.  Didn’t find it.  Instead, this is what I did find – balls and skeins and hanks of yarn that I, either intentionally or unintentionally, had forgotten and this is why organizing/reorganizing your stash can be hazardous – you get caught up in one of two reactions or at least, I did.  The “what was I thinking??” reaction or the “OMG, I love this stuff!  How could it have been languishing all this time??”  When this happens, all work comes to a screeching halt and for the next little while, I’m looking, remembering, fondling and running to Mr. Iknead repeatedly showing him the treasures I’ve found.  Mr. Iknead’s enthusiasm for this is so low as to be nonexistent, by the way.

OK, back on track.  Anyhow, last night I figured out why, after multiple searches, this yarn is still MIA.  It’s because it’s been wound already and I’ve been looking for a hank.  I even remember winding it. Today I’m going to search again, but for the correct shape and I bet I find it right away.  This yarn has nearly reached “Holy Grail” status in my single minded obsession to find it.  Is that odd?


Here’s what I’ve accomplished on the Etched Rio Wrap so far, when I wasn’t turning my stash upside down (see above).

I love the color of this Metalico yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas, a pinky-gold.


I’m currenting listening to A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  Strangely enough, I learned about this book while watching one of those sort of embarrassing shows on the I.D. channel.  You know the ones, with bad reenactments and strange voice overs.  The author committed suicide back in the early 1970s and after his death, his family found this unpublished novel hidden away, sent it to a publisher and, bang, a bestseller.  Interesting book, interesting back story.

Don’t forget to visit Tami Amis blog  and  Small Things Yarn Along for more WIPW goodness!

Man’s mind, stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.  Oliver Wendell Holmes