A Spin-Off Blog

Yesterday I got my daughter to go outside with me and take pictures of my American Girl Dolls and their cat, posing around the yard, like I’ve seen other in my knitting groups over the years do. I’ve always thought it looked like a lot of fun.

Two American Girl dolls climbing a tree to get their knitted cat down.

Getting their cat, Shadow, out of a tree.

Well, it is. In fact, it’s so fun that I’ve decided to spin it off to a new blog where I just post pictures of my dolls doing things. I want this blog to be focused on the things I started it for.

So, here’s a link to my new blog, Dolls Playing. Let me know what you think!

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Felicity Joins Kirsten and Jane

Long story,  not to be repeated here. Suffice it to say, we’re all glad that I finally found Felicity in a box instead of the thrift store I thought I had accidentally sent her to.

Hide and Seek game over



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American Girl Doll Cat

On ravelry, I’m in the knitting for American Girl Dolls and other 18″ (and other) dolls group. Every month, they have a Knit-A-Long (KAL) and August’s KAL was “knit your dolls a pet”.

I decided my two dolls needed a cat. I started one pattern from revelry, but it was taking so long that I didn’t think I would finish. I will, eventually, but I found a smaller, faster pattern. I knit it up and here are the cute results:

my two dolls with their new cat

my two dolls with their new cat


Jane and cat

Cat playing with Jane’s shoe lace

So fun to pose my dolls with their new cat. I plan to take them outside when it gets sunny and take better pictures. I can’t wait for next month’s KAL.

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I’m trying to get better at accountability, so here I am, reporting back in on the deadlines I set for myself last week. So, here they are with the results:

1. Shred all the paper from my office by Thursday, Aug 21.

RESULT: It was done last night, Aug 24, Sunday

2. Mail all boxes to my son by Fri. Aug 22.

RESULT: Done by the date specified. With the exception of the tent and putter, which are waiting for the gladiolas at my store to give up a box so I can mail them (tent & putter) this coming payday (Thursday)

3. Finish AG crop top by Sat, Aug 23.

RESULT: I finished the knitting ahead of time, but then didn’t like the look of it. I finally, this morning, decided to put the buttons on it anyway, dressed my dolls up in their summer jeans and sneakers and crop tops. Now they are very, very cute, and I like the look of the yellow crop top better with buttons. (pictures are forthcoming after I get my photographer daughter to go on a photo shoot with me.)

4. Make a schedule for decluttering the rest of the house and keeping it clean with daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.

RESULT: Nope. not yet.


So, all in all, I think that the deadlines worked pretty well this week. I am making new deadlines, but I probably won’t post them here. I’ll post them on my computer and on the fridge though.


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Knitting in a Post Vacation Visit Funk

My husband, as a surprise to the girls (and me, except that I found out about it a couple of weeks early), flew my son and his little family (and me) to CA to visit my sister and mom and then flew us all back here to NJ for a two week visit. They helped us clean out the massive mess that was my home while they were here, besides having fun times with the girls and my daughter-in-law’s sister and husband that also came up to visit from MD.

They left last Friday and since then, I’ve been in a funk. It was nice to have a two-week vacation from the things that have been pressing on my mind. Unfortunately, as is usually the case when others see your life, some “new” things cropped up during their visit that I now have to deal with. And, of course, those things that were put on hold for two weeks are now all clamoring to be done. That, added to the lack of sleep which, in my case, always accompanies vacations and visits with family, has put me in a blue funk.

Knitting has taken a back seat to these activities, but I’m still doing a little. I started a KAL from the ravelry American Girl Knitters group – to make an AG sized pet for our dolls. Of course, I feel like I should design a pattern, knit up a sample and then make two or three, one for each of my dolls. I can’t help but want to add variations to the pattern I chose (a cat sitting all prim and proper). We’ll see if I finish it, as well as the second one that I’ve already got plans and yarn for.

I’m also working on the second sample for an AG doll top that I’d like to get ready and have test knitted soon, but because of my funk, I have a hard time making myself do it. The thing is, it’s in a bright, happy color and I found the cutest buttons on the planet for it. But I still can’t seem to make myself sit down and knit it. Ok, I started yesterday and have 4 rows done, but still!

Along with those, I’m trying to finish up the (feels like overwhelming) task of finishing the decluttering we started two weeks ago, plus trying to instill habits in all of us to maintain the wonderful, newly super-cleaned parts of the house so that we never, EVER, have to do that kind of deep, super cleaning ever again. All while trying to catch up with things that need to be done and all the things that are done regularly now: church responsibilities; chair yoga class for me; SAT practice for my 17-yo; helping my 19-yo find a job; working at my day job; finishing up my third book on programming so I can eventually leave that day job; home schooling said 17-yo; getting my belly dance class ready to perform in Oct; getting back on a good sleep (DETOX!!) and eating schedule; going through all the medical bills again to make sure that they all have contacted the third insurance company we had before the deadline to submit “old” claims.

Not easy – especially when all I really want to do right now is sleep until the Second Coming.

I need to make deadlines for myself. Ok, here are some:

1. Finish the sample AG top by Sat, Aug 23.

2. Mail all the boxes of stuff that I promised my son by Fri, Aug 22.

3. Shred all the paper still needing to be shredded by Thu, Aug 21 ( that’s paper recycling day here in NJ)

4. Make a schedule for decluttering the other rooms by Sun, Aug 24.

And do all the other stuff by the time that it is due.

Oh well. It’s time to drive my husband to the train and get on with my day. I’ll print out that little list of deadlines and get going.

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American Girl Doll Bathrobe Now Available

I am proud to announce that my newest pattern is available for sale on revelry:

Cozy 18″ Doll Bathrobe

two American Girl Dolls in bathrobes

Cozy AG Bathrobes


I’m very happy that I had it test-knitted. The women that tested it for me really helped me find errors and refine how I worded things.

The link to buy it will be on my pattern page.

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An Idea for a Website

or maybe a book.

I want a lace pattern website/book that lists the lace stitch patterns by stitch repeat count. Or maybe even for non-lace stitch patterns.

Are there such books? My stitch pattern books don’t organize things that way – it’s by type of stitch, or perhaps by difficulty of said stitch patterns.

Why do I want this? Well, I want to make a Pi Shawl, and instead of just doing stockinette stitch, I thought it might be nice to add some simple lace patterns to the various rounds, but to do that, I need pattern repeats that fit in the various stitch counts of the Pi Shawl sections. Most Pi Shawl variations I’ve seen online are way, WAY too complicated for me to do without too much fuss and concentration.

So, I think I may decide to create a website like that, or, at least, a spreadsheet for myself. After I figure out what (if any) lace patterns I’ll use on my Pi Shawl.

Time to go dig out my stitch encyclopedia books.

P.S. Found, totally “by accident”, a site that does exactly what I was wishing for. Knitting Fool has a stitch count listing of all kinds of stitch patterns, not just lace. I’m going to be spending a lot of time happily rummaging around in their lists.


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