Saturday, April 29, 2017

Knitting in the ER, and a wig purchase.

I have two knit nights: the one on Tuesdays that I've been attending for over ten years. And one I picked up earlier this year on Thursday nights. It's on the way home from work. That's what I thought would be happening night before last, but Middlest called me to say that Fourthborn needed to go to the ER because it sounded like kidney stones. Middlest knows a lot about kidney stones.

I need to start keeping a day's worth of my meds in my knitting bag, because I ended up taking my evening meds five hours late.

I put about another inch on the body of Avery's sweater. Roughly twenty rows. What you're seeing here measures three inches from hem to live stitches.

I ordered Adela's wig a few minutes ago. The blonde seemed too pale. The auburn seemed too intense. So I went with the two-tone brown, and it should arrive at the office early next week.

OK, I'm done. Going back to my blanket fort. It's been a long day and a half.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Nothing to see here ... but maybe something worth reading.

I put maybe two full rows on Avery's sweater body. That's it.

However, this evening Middlest gave me a crash course in Wig Buying 101. I learned which companies have stellar customer service, whose customer service has taken a nosedive, and why I might want to consider a particular company which makes wigs with plenty of hair but smaller wig caps, given Adela (yet to be renamed) and her cute airplane ears.

So I've spent an hour noodling around on the internet, much of it on the Monique website, and I've found four "definite maybes" and added that information to my spreadsheet.

I hope to have visible progress on one thing or another for you tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

One of the things that I like about Etsy...

Is the back-and-forth with the artisan, getting the details just right, before the order is completed and shipped out. I just sent the artisan who created the alchemist's bookcase and the harp a link to last night's blog post, showing Celeste happy with her harp and Blessing happy to be reading.

The talent of some of these folks is just astounding. There is exquisite furniture coming out of Russia for the big dolls, and lovely 1/6 scale items are available from an artisan in Spain. The breakfast-in-bed tray and fixin's are coming from Austin. So happy to support a fellow artist closer to home.

Making a deliberately early night of it, as I have a 7:00a.m. appointment, and they want me there twenty minutes early.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ahead: breakfast in bed.

I placed another Etsy order last Friday, this time for a 1/3 scale breakfast in bed tray. Plate, heart-shaped pancakes, strawberries, glass of orange juice, small bud vase with a rose. Expected shipping date is a week from Friday. Slightly ironic, as neither Blessing nor Celeste has a bed. I suppose that will be next.

Very little knitting today. I will probably get another row or two in before bedtime, but my primary focus at the moment is the (human scale) quilt I am working on.

In the meantime, here is a picture of Celeste with the harp. No more calls, please, we have a winner.

Blessing is quite content to sit next to her sister and read.

Night, y'all.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Knitting progress

It's been a wonderfully restful day. After church, lunch, and a nap, I spent the evening listening to General Conference addresses and working on Avery's sweater.

Between the knitting I did in Sunday School and Relief Society, and what I've done since coming home, I've added half an inch to the sweater body.

And since coming home, I've added another half inch on the third sleeve. It's after 11:00, and I should probably go to bed now.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dude looks like a lady, and other doll meetup pictures.

The guy on the left is a girl. This is the fullset he came with. I discovered this after complimenting the owner on "her" outfit and being gently corrected. Not sure who is sitting next to him.

This one has a cat. And a chainsaw (unpainted as yet).

Two more lovelies.

This is how I felt after coming home with Middlest from the ER last week (minus the piercing, and wearing significantly more clothing).

These three are clearly plotting mischief.

As are these two. I think the one on the right looks a little like Goldie Hawn in her prime.

Just standing here, minding my own business.

And the last two. I did not take pictures of Middlest's or Fourthborn's dolls, as I get to see them all the time here at home.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Went to the doll meet tonight.

I think all three of us overdid it. Nevertheless, I'm glad I went. Fourthborn and I have been coming to these for roughly three years, and I'm finally getting comfortable in the group. It's very diverse, which I love.

We took Fourthborn home, and I drove back through scattered showers. We are currently under a severe thunderstorm warning (most severe level) and a tornado watch until 1:00a.m.

I took a lot of pictures, but I have no idea if any of them are worth looking at. I'm about to fall over from weariness, so the immediate priority is to clear off my bed and call it a day.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It's here! (She's not enthused.)

Two shots of Blessing with the harp. Here she is looking nonplussed.

In this one she looks vaguely alarmed.

I don't know if her arms are too heavy, or it's just that I haven't played with her much in the seven years I've owned her. Middlest will help me figure out what's what. Meanwhile, her arms refuse to come anywhere near that harp, as if she were saying, "Get this thing out of my face and put me back with my books!"

Here are some closeups of the harp. The detail is just amazing, and I'm so grateful that the artisan was able to repair and restore the harp to its intended glory.

BJDAttic on Etsy. This is the last one of these that she's making.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Progress on Avery's sweater.

I've done a lot of knitting today. This doesn't look like much, but it's eleven rows of stockinette above six rows of garter stitch. I've done at least eight of those rows since I woke up. Eight rows x 134 stitches per row equals 1,072 stitches. Not counting the ones that slipped off the tips of my needles and had to be caught and re-knitted.

By my calculations the sweater body needs to be 5 3/8 inches long before I join the sleeves. I spent the better part of an hour working out the math for the raglan decreases. This piece is 7/8 inch long. We are talking something like 104 rows from the bottom of the sweater to the armscye.

Yeah. I'm a little bit crazy.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Something my son-in-law said at my birthday party.

He didn't know (or had forgotten) that I have a blog. He suggested that I monetize it. I've resisted that on the primary blog for years and one of my dear young friends has monetized hers and is supporting her family of five quite nicely with the proceeds.

I'm toying with the idea of monetizing this blog. I may or may not have enough traffic to qualify. I know that I get annoyed as heck with the lifestyle blogs that Bloglovin' pushes at me. And I would love to boost the Etsy shops that I frequent, the doll companies I do business with, etc. I would probably also find new places to spend my doll money. That could be a mixed blessing [insert sheepish face here].

I don't have any pictures for you today, but I'm pleased to report that Avery's sweater is underway again. Knitting swathes of stockinette is something I can do in the car when I'm stuck at train crossings, drive-thrus, and long lights. I still need to catch the third sleeve up with the second sleeve, but that's a sit-still-and-focus task. And I need to order more laceweight from Knit Picks. They've come out with a handful of new colors which should play nicely with the ones that I already have.

I'm going to pray over the money thing and see if I can get some inspiration as to how I should proceed.

I'm off work tomorrow, so I hope to have progress shots for you when I post tomorrow night.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A very dolly Easter, with the Yo-SD's, and a surprise guest.

We have a lot more dolls in this size than in the tinies. These three are all Middlest's: Toby, on the left. Twinkle, the deertaur, holding the pink egg for Sarabelle, kneeling.

Middlest's Owen Sebastian.

Middlest's Simon Oliver.

Charity, looking wiped out with her full bucket.

Middlest's Doran, sulking as usual. (Yes, I made his sweater.)

Middlest's Noname (pronounced noNAHmeh, as he is currently without a proper name), the little daredevil who climbed to the top of the statue.

Faith and Middlest's Starshine. Faith is holding tightly to a pink egg and saying, "No, you can't have it. This one is mine." Starshine is not happy about that.

Middlest's Christopher Owen, getting ready to eat that blue egg, and Hope, reclining semi-gracefully on the piano keys, because she likes all things musical.

I nearly forgot Middlest's Link.

And bringing up the rear is Avery, who asks, "How could they miss all of these eggs?"

A very dolly Easter, with the tinies.

The raw materials: tiny buckets from the baby shower section of the party store; shot glasses to fit inside, because the warning on the box the buckets came in said "not for unpackaged food"; tissue paper to swathe the shot glasses and impersonate grass, and other tissue paper to foof the presentation, but I ended up trimming it because it stuck up too high.

The baskets, ready to rumble.

Middlest's Tober, determinedly climbing the statue to get that blue egg.

Middlest's Joey, looking bemused as always.

Middlest's Reji, tongue out from exertion.

Joy, looking contemplative.

Grace, straining to reach that yellow egg.

Chutzpah, making off with more than her share of eggs. "Whaat?.

Praise, sitting on the piano, having just hoisted up that egg from between her feet.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I'd meant to post this last night, but we spent it in the ER for the epic battle of Middlest v. Kidney Stone.

What is wrong with this picture? Hint: it's the pale green band. I skipped a stitch in the lattice pattern on the left, which has since been mended with duplicate stitch embroidery, and there's an extra zigzag pattern. So I've cast on a third sleeve, and as of this writing I'm ready to do the single row of Morse code before beginning that lattice. The third sleeve would probably be done to this point, but I underestimated how long we would be in the ER and didn't bring enough of the non-teal yarns to make it so.

I cast on what I hoped would be the right number of stitches for a sweater body in plain knitting, and I overestimated significantly, so somebody's doll will be getting a monochromatic scarf of Doctor Who proportions.

I'm still playing catch-up on sleep; this is it for now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Alchemist's bookcase.

I thought I'd taken a picture of this last night, but it turned out that I'd taken a video, and I can't imagine anything more boring than a video of a bookcase standing there doing nothing. So, no.

It's really pretty, and solidly built. She did a great job with this, and she showed so much imagination in the contents for the shelves. All of those little skinny books are paper over foamboard.

I finished the garter stitch cuff of the third sleeve and got partway into the first band of Fair Isle.

I mailed the broken harp back to the artisan today. She should have it on Thursday, and I'm looking forward to having it back, mended.

Monday, April 10, 2017


The bookcase is in good shape, and I'll take a picture of it later. I wish I could say the same for the harp.

This is what greeted me when I opened up the box. Notwithstanding the care with which she had wrapped everything, the harp broke in multiple places, and it's mostly unstrung.

I searched through the bubble wrap twice and could not find the broken bit for the top of the harp, but Middlest's younger eyes and hands found it tucked in a fold of the wrapping. It was so small and so light that it didn't weigh down that corner.

The base is broken as well. I've written to the artisan, and I have no doubt she will find a way to repair the harp, or to replace it.

Fortunately, the package was insured.

I'm going to go knit.

Edited to add: she can fix it! I've swaddled it within an inch of its life, and I'm shipping it back to her after work tomorrow!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The harp and bookcase are in transit.

Expected delivery is tomorrow. And I'm not sure where I'll put them. Or what Blessing will sit on to play the harp. I checked with the artisan, and she says that I need a chair with a seat that's six inches high. There's another maker in Austin who creates a chair that might work. I like the basic lines of it, and it's relatively inexpensive, but I'll need to see what Middlest thinks.

I've realized that the new doll has airplane ears rather like a goat we once owned. Nubian goats have ears that flop down. Alpine goats have ears that stick up, like a llama's. Nubian-Alpine crosses have ears that stick out like airplane wings. Tuffy's ears were horizontal and parallel to the ground, while the doll's are horizontal and perpendicular to the ground.

I still don't know what I want to call the new doll. (Some of my kids would say I'm nuts for saying this, but she hasn't told me her name yet. Doll people will understand.) All I know is that she wants to wear warm pastels, which is problematic because I don't tend to collect yarn and fabric in those colors.

I checked Knit Picks last night, and there are new colorways in both Shadow (100% merino laceweight) and Gloss Lace (70% merino, 30% silk), all of which are calling my name.

What do you call a virtue who is truly virtuous, and also high maintenance?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Yes, I have sticks in my fridge.

Yes, I have sticks in my fridge. Don't you?

I can't remember if I shared this picture of a window at the quilt shop, where long sticks were wrapped with fabric scraps and displayed in a tall vase.

I picked these up in my front yard this morning. They're in the freezer to kill any wildlife that may have burrowed into or laid eggs on or in them. I was going to bake them at a low temperature, but my kids informed me that googling "drying vegetable matter in a low oven" might get me a visit from the DEA. So, no. These will (eventually) get wrapped to make a doll-scale arrangement.

I may or may not already have a suitable container for them. First item of business is to get them ready to display. When the twigs are ready, the container will appear.

I think we may have a name for the new doll: Serenity. I was thinking Felicity, but the consensus at our dolly work party this afternoon was that it was almost what we were looking for, but not quite.

Got notification from the artisan near Chicago that the harp and bookcase have shipped! Now to figure out where they will go once they arrive.

Friday, April 7, 2017

New girl in town.

Still unnamed. And un-wigged. Inside the shipping box was this really great carrier.

Middlest set her eyes in. (I'm scared to try.) They look pale brown in this picture, but they're actually a very soft lilac. And they're glass eyes, so no need to upgrade from acrylic. Her faceup is perfect. The horn is held on with magnets, but we're going to have to gently glue it on, because the magnet inside her head is dremeled in, and it's not centered in the space for the horn, so the horn wants to shift an eighth of an inch off-center.

I will need to launder the pink floofy outfit. There are stains on the white shift that goes under the pink overdress. But Fourthborn's dental bill will get credited for an agreed amount, so everybody wins.

And the doll will probably get a minor boob job (via sandpaper) in the near future. It's just not that cold in this house.

Tomorrow, after the humans have all rested, we will look through another box of Middlest's wigs to see if there's a temporary fix. And I will start researching wigs online. And figuring out what virtue this girl embodies. She has the happiest mouth I've ever seen in a BJD.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

So, yeah, it looks a little different around here.

I loved the colors that I'd chosen, back in the day, but I didn't like the layout. Too much empty space. So I browsed what's available these days, and this is what Middlest and I agreed looks best with the colors I prefer to use, plus I found out how to expand the width of the columns. I may try to tweak the fonts at some time in the future, but I am momentarily content.

I've finished knitting the orange tabard and woven in the ends. It's ready to block.

Adela will arrive at my office tomorrow. I may or may not have pictures for you tomorrow night. I think she will borrow a teal T-shirt that Middlest had put on Steadfast when he came to live with me. I have at least two pairs of leggings she can wear for now. And once I've figured out her style, I can give the T-shirt back to Middlest, who had originally made it for a different doll. Steadfast is wearing a button-down that Middlest and C made for him and shows no sign of demanding anything else.

I'm going to knit a little more on Avery's second sleeve before calling it a night.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Two more for the dolls' library.

Unlike the Arlington stores, the two Dallas stores that I visited after work (the Big Main Store on Northwest Highway near I-75 and the one on the southbound service road of I-75 between Belt Line and Spring Valley) do not have their miniature books gathered in one spot, near the gift items. When I went to the second store, the clerk told me that since they didn't sell very well, they were tucked among the full-sized books of their type, and the most likely places to look would be Religion, New Age, and Self Help.

Since I already have a book of Georgia O'Keeffe's flower paintings, I hit the Art section first and found a gem. Moving on, I found a pocket edition of Khalil Gibran's The Prophet. Ta-daa!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Five more bitty books.

After Knit Night and taking Fourthborn home, I ran by the other Half Price books in Arlington, as it's more or less along the way. (The one two weeks ago, in central Arlington, is a little out of the way, but then it's books we are talking about.) I was hoping to find more small books.

They were less per item than the ones I bought last week, and the manager very kindly knocked a significant portion off my tab "Because it's been a long time since Christmas."

In knitting news, I am about halfway up the back of the second tabard and nearly done with the salmon X-O pattern on the second sleeve of Avery's sweater (with most of the ends to date woven in).

I also shanked myself in the left calf while waiting for the elevator to go home after work. Says I to myself, "Did I just get bitten by something?" But no, there was a 0000 needle sticking out of the side of the bag. I haven't peeled out of my jeans yet to see if there's a visible mark on my leg.

Adela's arrival has been updated to "before the end of the day on Friday." I just don't want her to arrive on Saturday. We have important dolly fun planned, and I don't want to interrupt it to drive downtown to fetch her.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Avery sleeves

Avery's sweater stalled out sometime before I went back East to pick up Middlest last year. I don't remember why.

This morning, during General Conference (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I carefully put the first sleeve back onto needles and cast on for the second sleeve. When I took this picture, I had just completed the two-row pattern of little purple squares. As of this writing, I am midway up the orange X-O pattern.

My plan is to knit the second sleeve to where I stopped on the first, fit them against Avery, and work both sleeves up to the armscye. I think I remember that I lacked an inch, but it was a year ago when I tried it on him, and I've slept since then. Once the sleeves are ready to join the body, then I will decide if I want it to be patterned as well, or if I just want to knit it plain up to the armscye and knit a patterned yoke as I do the raglan shaping. Or round yoke. Or whatever. He's got great shoulders and could carry off a round yoke. We shall see what the muse declares. Or what Avery insists on.

Changing topics slightly, that soft orange is a perfect match for the ties I bought to make skirts for Adela and the Nana I have my eye on next. It's the yarn I used to knit a wee sweater for Middlest's little guy, October.

I've spent some time this weekend browsing Etsy. There are Russian artisans who make beautiful furniture. And today I found a shop that makes Thonet rockers in doll scale. Not bentwood like the human scale ones, but carefully crafted plywood ones. I think that maker lives in Spain.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Dolls and their toys.

Middlest bought this for the dolls last weekend.

Three of my Pukifees with their toys and/or pets: Joy, in the back with the bear that Beloved bought for Chutzpah. Chutzpah with the zombie doll that Squishy gave her, the ball from the penguin bowling game (out of camera range), and a little red wagon bought on my honeymoon. Praise with her puppy and the miniature Fisher-Price toy that I bought coming home from Tennessee last month.

Night, y'all. I'm tired and happy and going to bed.