Katherine the Great
I like to think of myself as a storyteller. Mostly I tell stories about knitting.

Friday morning at the Dallas-Fort Worth Fiber Festival, I was to take Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Knitting for Speed and Efficiency class for the second time. I want to handknit socks for so many people that I really want to master Lever Knitting to increase my speed. (I pronounce it leaver because that’s how she says it). I gave it a shot a couple of years ago and couldn’t seem to figure out how to purl for the life of me! I was SO EXCITED to get into her class again. and a little nervous. I want to be clear that the reason I needed to take it a second time had nothing to do with her class and everything to do with me having a hard time wrapping my mind around a new thing. Turns out I’m human and we’re not great at change.
Class started at 9:30am.

The Fiber Fest market opened at 9am and the only thing I needed was Must Stash Yarn – Rainbow Yo-Yo. one for me and one for a friend.

So, I purchased those and then said to my partner in crime, Deborah, “I think I might be done. I’m not sure I’m going to get anything else.” She looked at me like I’d lost my damn mind and kindly didn’t comment. We made a plan to reconnect later and I left her in the Must Stash booth.

After class and some gracious troubleshooting from Stephanie, I finally understood how to purl! I need to practice of course, but I could finally see how it’s possible!

I met up with Deborah and agreed that she and the delightful third member of our group would wait in the Knitting Lounge while I finished my shopping. I went back to the Must Stash booth for a while and then as I walked back by them, I smilingly tossed a bag containing 4 hanks of Must Stash to Deborah and continued towards White Birch Fiber Arts. She grinned and said, “That’s more like it.”

I laughed in response and headed off to buy Christmas yarn. It’s quite a luxury to have friends that get me. I guess I just didn’t have the headspace to buy yarn until I had the Lever Knitting thing sorted. The universe is back in balance and I’m ready for another year of sock knitting. or a few months anyway….depending on my speed. ;)

The Details:
Top pic is Rainbow Yo-Yo from Must Stash
Second pic (from left) is Must Stash – Polka Dot Afro Circus, Martian Rainbow, Night @ the Roxbury, and The Shire (Simply Speckled)
Last pic is White Birch Fiber Arts – Little Green Men and Santa Baby
Full Disclosure:
I also bought project bags from Lone Star Arts and Diana Couture.

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On Sunday, The Husband and I were to cook Thanksgiving for my brother, his lovely wife, and their adorable little girl. We rolled out of bed early and got to work. The first step is to mix up the stuffing and get it in the bird. I’ve been involved with this for at least 2 holidays per year for the past 17 years. I’ve done it countless times on my own. It includes melting butter, adding chicken broth, heating to a boil and stirring in the Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix. We are not talking rocket science. We planned to get the turkey on the grill at 8am, so I was moving right along. I melted the butter, added broth, and brought it to a boil. At this point, I removed it from the heat and tried to pour the two bags of stuffing mix in at the same time while stirring because The Husband was busy getting the neck and innards out of the raw turkey. I was having trouble mixing the stuffing well, so I grabbed a huge plastic mixing bowl and dumped everything in. I was starting to really settle into my task when I realized I couldn’t pick up the mixing bowl. I’d set it on the hot stove. I believe my next words were, “oh, shit.” followed by a scary calm, “that’s not optimal.” I flung all of the stuffing off the hot eye, dumped the bottomless skeleton of the bowl in the trash, and grabbed a fork to scrape as much melted plastic up as quickly as possible. I wiped the plastic in the trash can and went back for another load of melted bowl, not realizing I was leaving tiny cobwebs of plastic across the kitchen. The Husband was wrist deep in raw turkey, so he just let me do my thing for a minute.

He soon appeared at my elbow with a container of razor blades and stared into my eyes, “hey, do NOT cut yourself and make a bad situation worse.” before handing me my first straight edged razor blade. In that moment, I was grateful he had them handy. Later, I would wonder what the heck he was expecting that he thought we’d need one hundred razor blades? My question was soon answered as he said, “use a blade and throw it away, trying to clean one to reuse it is how you’ll get cut” Ok, I began methodically and carefully scraping what looked plastic marshmallows off our glass cooktop with a razor. I soon realized that scraping a hot eye with a metal blade heats the blade and was grateful he’d bought in bulk.

As I cleaned, The Husband and I surveyed the plastic cobwebs and decided that we should not serve this dressing. So, he left for the HEB Grocery with me thanking my stars that we were not celebrating on Thanksgiving and they were definitely open. Once I had the majority of the gooey plastic off stove, I cleaned up the dressing I’d slung. By this point the cooktop had cooled off and I was able to use my Cooktop cleaner on the glass top. Ya’ll, by the time The Husband returned, it looked almost new. I felt like I was on the set of a commercial for glass stoves. People can say what they like about how gas is better, but when it comes to cleaning melted mixing bowl, I’ll choose my electric stovetop every day and twice on this particular Sunday.

Ps. When I told my father this story, his response was a nodding, “oh yes, single blades, they are cheaper by the hundred”. I guess girls really do marry boys like their fathers.


I was lucky enough to hear Brené Brown speak about her new book, Braving the Wilderness, Tuesday night. I expected a talk full of warmth and inspiration. What I got was a challenge. Brené spoke about several things that were not easy to hear. America is more segregated politically than we’ve ever been. The feeling of “if you’re not with me, you’re against me” is hurting us all. Brené mentioned that in 1976, around a quarter of people* lived in areas where the winner won by a landslide. In 2016, that number was 80%. This explains why the civil political discourse of the past is nearly gone. We’re no longer living with and connecting with people who vote differently than we do.

This climate is why my Instagram feed has been 100% non-political up to this point. I wanted a safe space to be with my fellow yarn lovers. I avoid Facebook because some of the people I love with my whole heart post political triggers. I have tried to talk politics with my friends and family. If I’m being honest, it was not to share and exchange ideas, it was to “convert” them. Lately, I can feel myself pulling away from people I care about. I talk to them less frequently about things that matter because it’s more comfortable to talk about shallow things we agree on. Brené is challenging us to connect with people who don’t think like we do. She writes, “People are hard to hate close up. Move in.” So, I’m leaning in and will have open and honest exchanges. I’m going to listen.

And I’m putting my yarn where my mouth is.
If you’re one of the first 3 people to post a comment that includes 2 things about yourself to help us get to know you and at least one political opinion/fact/idea pertaining to an issue you’re passionate about, I’ll send you the yarn of your choice from my destash page ($25 or less). If you’re not a user, you may select a handknit washcloth or sock ornament in the color of your choice.**

Please don’t call anyone a name. I have to approve comments, so if trolls show up, you won’t see it. You’re safe here. I know ya’ll and we can do this. It may not be comfortable; I think it’s worth it.

I’ll go first.

Hi, I’m Katie. I love our 12 year old yellow lab so much that I dream about cloning her. She’s smart, sweet and soft as a bunny. We’re so lucky to have rescued her.

As I’m pretty sure you know, I knit far too much…wait, is that a thing? I have 6 knitting projects on the needles right now; I’m hoping to be down to 5 by the end of this weekend. The key to happiness is achievable goals, ya’ll. :)

I hear moms worried about the safety of their kids in restrooms. The bathroom ban was supposed to help that. My understanding of the facts is that bathroom safety is not threatened by transgender individuals. The only incident I’ve personally heard about was a person that seemed to be a straight man in a women’s restroom. He did not cite protection from anti-discrimination laws when he was escorted out. The Texas bathroom ban died quietly in August. I do not know if that’s the last we’ve heard of it.

Another topic I’m mulling over is the sugar in our food. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine (which we do regulate) and is contributing to our national health costs being high. The World Health Organization recommends 25g or less and there’s 22g in the small chocolate milk McDonald’s serves to kids. One idea is a sugar tax. or maybe we should limit the size of sodas? So, you can drink 32 oz. of soda, but you’re going to need 2 cups. What ideas do you have?

I’m concerned about the future of our planet. I feel that corporations are not willing to cut profits a little to pollute less. Regulations are needed. Also, I’d like to leave pristine National Parks to future generations.

We need tax reform. Companies paying zero percent tax while using our aging infrastructure is not acceptable.

So, people who knit and/or who admire knitting, let’s hear your ideas about the issues.

*I cannot recall if it was 20 or 25%.
**People will be able to select yarn based on the order they post in.


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