Thursday, July 31, 2008

P D James Project

I actually have 2 projects, although I'm still working on one. Since I read Shroud for a Nightingale, set in and around an English nursing students' dorm, my first (uncompleted) project was a stethoscope cover - it's basically a sleeve, about 24" long, that slips onto the tubing of the scope (you remove the head of the scope, slide it on and replace the head). Then when you place the scope around your neck (the handiest hanging spot, LOL) when not using it, your neck is protected from the tubing and vice versa. I have many that are cloth, all different fabrics, but I wanted to try it in some cotton yarn, so I started one in the round. Then I thought about this gizmo in my closet that makes I-cord, bigger in diameter than the typical French knitter, that the tubing might go through. Unfortunately, the garden finally dried out enough (barely!) for my husband to enlist me in placing the drain tile in there that he's been planning, so my first project has gone askew for the time being.
My second project (see pix), however, is nearly complete, just need to weave ends and block a bit (I had a devil of time keeping a consistent gauge - cotton yarn, bamboo needles, bad mix!). I was trying to cover double bases here, so this is a nod to the British Royals as well as another little birthday gift for my mom (who's coming here in 12 days - YIPPEE!) - she refers to herself as "The Queen" (no, she's not looney...well, not that looney - it started as a joke and has mushroomed!). It's really more of a camel color, not as orange as the pix; when I tried a flash pic the color was a little more realistic but with less definition (although it's hard to see the little bobbles on the points of the crown in any of the pix), so I left it with "natural" lighting. But now I think it may be too big, so...she can do whatever floats her boat with it, but I think it would make a great hotpad for her teapot (hmm, that's even more British!) and so I'm going to make some smaller versions as coasters!   ~  Valerie K

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who Broke the Window Solution

Solution: The note said ? (question mark) Yarnover - so he knew he should question Mark!

One summer night, Lt. Hugh Dunnit was in living room watching an old episode of Dragnet on T.V. All of a sudden a rock came crashing through his window, breaking it. Lt. Dunnit got up and looked out the window just in time to see three neighborhood kids who were brothers run around a corner. Their names were John Yarnover, Mark Yarnover and Paul Yarnover. The next day Lt. Dunnit got a note on his door that read "? Yarnover. He broke your window." Which of the three Yarnover brothers should Hugh Dunnit question about the incident?

Send your answer to me ( by midnight on Saturday, August 2.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

PD James Project

I have completed my P.D. James project. I read one of her earlier books called A Mind to Murder an Adam Dalgiesh murder mystery. This is what the back of the book says since I don't want to give too much away for those who will want to read it. "A hideous scream pierces the calm of the evening psychotherapy session. The body of a woman lies sprawled in the basement of the Steen Clinic, a chisel thrust through her heart. ........Is the killer a patient or a crazed healer?" This story takes place in a psychiatric outpatient clinic in London. One of the therapies used in the clinic at the time this mystery takes place is to give LSD "to help make the patient more accessible to psychotherapy by releasing some of the more deep-seated inhibitions". After giving LSD the patient is never left alone and is watched over by a nurse. In the days of this therapy nurses wore hats so for my project I knitted and felted a nurse's hat. AND who better to model the hat than my furtoddler Solara. Sorry I had to hold her head up initially to take the photo.
Solara says I would rather wear my hat like this.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dead Sleep Project

OK, I know I'm jumping the gun a little here, but the pictures are on my home computer, and I'm going back to San Antonio tomorrow.

I got this cute little camera for Mother's Day, and I keep it in my purse so it's always ready to take a pic of the grandkids. Since the main character in Dead Sleep is a photographer, a camera sock was the perfect project. I used leftover sock yarn. I even Made a pocket for the exta memory card and batter.

Joan in West Texas

Sunday, July 27, 2008

P.D. James Lap Blanket

In the book Innocent Blood Phillipa prepares to rent a partially furnished flat with her birth mother for a few months. She looks for items to spruce up the questionable but probably serviceable furniture. The pictured lace circle is just the size to cover one's lap for a little warmth, and hang over dreary furniture (including my own!) for a little color.

A disclaimer here. The circle you see took exactly one skein of a June yarn club offering, about 420 yards. I became rather enamored of my little project and I actually intend to take out the temporary crochet bind off and make it larger. I happily found a person or two willing to sell me theirs, but I don't have them yet.


Here is my mystery KAL - don't you just love it! Kathy designed it and led the KAL. If you didn't get a chance to join us, you can still get the pattern in the files on the Yahoo Group.

MY PD JAMES Projects

I read Devises and Desires

It started with a young girl leaving a roller skating dance thing (I think, lol) and she threw a shoulder bag over her shoulder as she ran to try to catch the bus. I actually made this awhile ago, but thought it fit in perfectly.

The killer/murderer was always wearing a Beret, so I decided I had to make a "Killer Beret" I crocheted this one with Patons Merino and then decided to felt it. Well it really shrunk, lol. Here is the felted version

And this is what it looked like before felting
Here also is the KAL we did this month. I didn't block it, I fully intended to before sharing the photo but do you think I can find the cloth now??? It's truly a mystery, LOL.

So there you are... nothing great but at least this time I have something to show.

Now the real challenge... finding something to knit from Dead Sleep...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Road Rage Revenge Solution

Solution: Lt. Dunnit didn't believe Annie's story because if she didn't know there was a car behind her she wouldn't have known it was a man. Everyone guessed that one There was another clue and that was that Annie did not like to drive at night. Therefore we would assume it was daylight, and of course possums only come out at night. Annie had decided to teach the driver a lesson about how dangerous it was to tailgate. Unfortunately the man carried that lesson to his grave, and Annie was arrested and charged with vehiculaqr manslaughter. Everyone who guessed got at least one part of the solution right, and the winner of the drawing this week was Shelly! Congratulations Shelly. Please choose a prize from the prize locker (there are some new ones this week!) and send me your mailing address.

Annie Blatt was on her way home from her weekly knitting group meeting. It was getting late am she really didn't care to drive at night - her 70 year-old eyes were not what they used to be. The truck behind her was tailgating her at a much too close distance for her comfort. The driver gave a long blast on his horn and closed the gap to mere inches of space between his front bumper and her rear bumper, hoping to intimidate the old woman into pulling over and letting him pass. Just as he lifted his hand to honk the horn again he saw a sudden flash of brake lights in front of him. He tried to veer around the car but that sent his truck soaring off the road at 50 miles per hour. It rolled over three times before coming to rest in a ditch off the side of the road. The driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. Annie continued driving until Lt. Hugh Dunnit stopped her at a roadblock. Another driver had seen most of the accident and was able to identify Annie's Chevy Blazer. Lt. Dunnit asked her if she knew that an accident had occurred back when she slammed on her breaks. Annie looked up at Lt. Dunnit with a confused look on her face. "Oh, I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't know he was behind me. I saw an animal in the road, a little possum, and I had to stop and let it cross. I hope no one was hurt." Lt. Dunnit read her her rights and placed her under arrest for vehicular manslaughter. How did he know she was lying?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Finally, my Spring Swap is sent out

I finally sent off my Spring Swap today. Yes I know it is Summer now and that I am soooo late in sending it out. My apologies to Patty Ward. I am so sorry that it took me so long.
Just thought I'd share with you what is taking up all my attention this last month.
This is part of my front yard on the 8th of this month:
And this photo was taken yesterday evening at 8:19 pm. You can see the big difference.
I've spent the entire day today outside sitting on my porch listening to the water fall, talking to hubby and my daughter and then the last hour, knitting. It's fantastic.
We still have a few electrical things being worked on and next week a brick wall will be where the red and white vans are now along with some flowers and solar lights.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

P.D. James Project Prize

Every good sleuth needs to carry and emergency kit at all times and for this group, that would have to be a knitting emergency! The prize for the P.D. James project is this Emergency Knitting bag (donated by MaryLynn) filled with some emergency On-Line sock yarn, dpns, and some easy portable projects for knitting in traffic jams, waiting rooms, and anywhere else you find yourself with a few minutes to spare! Post a photo or description of your project by July 31 to be eligible to win this prize.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Last week I received my whoduknit mystery knit swap package. My partner was Lilli and I sent her a cake of pink, blue and white very short eyelash yarn I received from my friend who lives in China. Lilli knit me an ear warmer and even returned the remaining yarn from the cake.

I also received two lovely new mystery books I haven't read yet which will go on my to read list and a mystery book on CDs. I have never "listened" to a book. I read all about people listening to books on ipods and cassettes. I think I have a portable cassette player but I would have to go looking. I do have a portable CD player handy though.
There were three skeins of eyelash yarn in my package to add to my collection. The one that looks like blue is really purple but for whatever reason photographed as blue.
In the box was some Werther's Original Candy AND, of course, Solara wasn't forgotten.
I hope I didn't forget anything.

This and more is on my blog at

I also have written on my blog I know what I want to knit for the PD James mystery I read. It is only a matter of finding the correct yarn.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Swap Package from Cindi

Swap Package from Cindi
Originally uploaded by mlj1954ohio
As part of our one skein swap, I received this grand package from Cindi this morning. First of all, she was kind enough to not include any candy (thank you so much for that)! She also sent two mysteries -- neither of which I have read (Still LIfe and Club Dead) and a Murder Mystery Crossword book. Along with the books, she sent a skein of Merino Lace in a dark (hunter's?) green lace weight yarn (1,375 yards). And, out of the skein that I sent her, she made me felted slippers that are really awesome and fit perfectly! Thank you Cindi!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Where There's Smoke There's Fire Solution

Solution: Ms. Dunnit knew that if smoke inhalation were the cause of death, the canary would have died of it long before its owner. She remembered that canaries were used by miners to detect the presence of gas underground - the birds would die when exposed to the slightest amount of gas and long before the miners noticed it. Because the bird was in the bedroom and was unharmed, and because the body was not burned, she knew the man must have been dead before the fire started. Although Lt. Hugh Dunnit suspected Debbie Bliss of killing her husband and then setting the fire, he was never able to prove it.
She is now happily knitting away in the Bahamas with her new husband.

Ms. Dunnit's neighbors were gathered on the street watching with horror as firefighters battled a blaze in the front half of the Bliss family home. "I wonder if he is okay," Ms. Dunnit asked one of her neighbors. I know that his wife, Debbie, left this morning to go on a sock knitting cruise, but his car is in the driveway so he must be home. "It depends where he was in the house. Since the bedroom is in the back, maybe he is alright." A firefighter emerged out of the front door with the family canary squawking in his cage. He handed the cage to Ms. Dunnit and asked if she could care for the bird until they could locate the wife. Ms. Dunnit didn't know how her neighbor could sleep through a fire with that bird in his bedroom. The bird was loud enough to keep her awake. Canaries are only supposed to sing in the morning, but this one squawked constantly. Just then another firefighter came out the front door with a body on a stretcher. "We found him in bed," they heard one of the firefighters say. What a horrible way to die," one of the neighbors said, "It must have been smoke inhalation because the body doesn't look burned or anything." "He didn't die of smoke inhalation," Ms. Dunnit suddenly blurted out. "He was dead before the fire even started."
What brought Ms. Dunnit to that conclusion? E-mail me at by midnight on Saturday, July 19 with your solution!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Overzealous...that's me!

My first idea and second to do project is a dog leash. In this book, people are being murdered by a dog leash. (which cracked me up with the character of the series's name being Dangleash....too funny!) However, I was unable for a long time to find the nylon cording I wanted to use for the leash. After all, I must have a USE for my projects. I'm just like that. Anyway, two days ago, I found the nylon and here is my dog's new dog leash and collar.
This leaves us with project idea number 2 and finished project number 1. The summer skirt. I was quickly making this for dd2 (yes, she has a slip for it, but are you kidding. I got her to model it at 11:45pm....there is NO WAY she was looking for the slip, so sorry 'bout that part......mind you, I've been asking her to do this since Monday. Beggers can't be choosers.) She wanted another skirt to take with her on her vacation with my parents. I had the yarn in my stash, and was waiting for the "right" time to use it. As I was knitting on this during dd1's softball tournament (the day before leaving FOR vacation) it hit me. I could see the charcter Amy, walking along the beach in such a skirt.

I may not have been a big fan of this particular book, but I thouroughly enjoyed thinking about potential projects as I progressed through the story.

Thanks for reading!

Mystery kit finished1

I just finished the prize I won some weeks ago, and I really love it, it's so cute (and very rewarding, since knitting it took less than one hour). Since my keychain broke some days ago, I'm more than happy with it. It's a substitute that's much prettier than the one I had before.

Blog Updates

I've been fooling around with the blog a little bit. Can you hear the music? Name that tune! Also, the bookshelf on the sidebar has all of the books we have reading beginning with our very first book, The Tooth of Time. In the months we have done authors, I just picked one of the author's books.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Now that the spring swap is winding up, it's time for a whoduknit summer swap! The Yard Sale Swap was a lot of fun last summer so I decided to repeat it. I don't know if this is true where you live, but here in Maine "Yard (pronounced 'yaad') Sailing" is a tradition in the summer. Everybody loves a bargain and you just never know what you will find - one person's trash is indeed another person's treasure! And who is more qualified than Whoduknit members to track down bargains! So this is what I came up with for our summer swap. You have $10.00 (not including postage) to spend on your pal - that's right - $10.00 - NO MORE! This is a real test of your creativity and thriftiness (read that as CHEAP). Shop yard sales, thrift stores, dollar stores, surplus stores, and of course your own stash. Some things that come to mind are yarn, books, wool sweaters that can be unraveled, or felted down, tote bags, vintage knitting magazines and books, handknit items, etc. etc. etc. I'm sure that you can think of lots more.THE RULES:Sign-ups begin now, July 1, and end July 14. Partners will be assigned shortly after that. You won't be sending to the same person who is sending to you. It's up to you whether or not you want to remain anonymous but you should contact your partner at least once a week just to say 'Hi' or send an e-card, or comment on their blog. Remember - whoduknit swaps are all about getting to know one another.Packages should be in the mail before Labor Day so the deadline for mailing is August 31.To sign up:E-mail me at with
Your Name:
Mailing Address:
E-mail Address:
Blog Address (if you have one):
Also, if you have participated in Whoduknit swaps before, please let me know who you swapped with all so that I can try to match you up with a new partner. LET THE BARGAIN SLEUTHING BEGIN!!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Case of the Dentist's Patient Solution


Although Hemp claimed never to have heard of a Dr. Evelyn Williams, he knew the doctor was a dentist, and a man. (photo removed because it was giving people the creeps!)

Dr. Evelyn Rayon, a dentist in Downeast Maine, was preparing to take a wax impression of the right lower teeth of his patient, Nora Kureyon. Silently the door behind him opened. A gloved hand holding an automatic appeared. Two shots sounded. Miss Kureyon slumped over, dead.
"We've got a suspect," Lt. Hugh Dunnit told his brother, Captain Howie Dunnit. "The elevator boy took a nervous man to the fifteenth floor a few minutes before the shooting - Dr. Rayon has one of the offices on that floor. The description fits John Hemp who is out on parole. I had him picked up at his apartment. As far as he knows I want to question him about a minor parole infraction." Hemp was brought in and angrily demanded to know what this was all about. "Have you ever heard of Dr. Evelyn Rayon?" asked Lt. Dunnit. "No, why?" "Nora Kureyon was shot to death less than two hours ago as she sat in a chair in Dr. Rayon's office. The elevator man says he took a man answering your description to the fifteenth floor a minute before the shots." "It wasn't me," snarled Hemp. "I look like a lot of guys. I ain't been near a dentist's office since I was in the Maine State Prison in Warren. This guy Rayon, I bet he never saw the shooter, so what can you prove?"
"Enough to send you to the chair," said Lt. Dunnit.

What evidence does Lt. Dunnit have?

E-mail your answer to me at by midnight, Saturday, July 12.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

P.D. James Project

The P.D. James book I read was An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. It's one of her Cordelia Gray series in which Cordelia is hired to investigate an apparent suicide, which of course turns out to be not a suicide at all. As you can see from the cover of the book, he was hung with a my somewhat morbid project is a belt. I knit it with some Koigu merino in a simple lace pattern:
CO 13 sts with size 3 needles.
Row l: K2 *slip 1, K2tog, passo, yo twice; repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2
Row 2: K2, *P1, K1 into double yo, P1, repeat from * to last 2 sts. K2
Row 3: Knit
Repeat rows 1-3 for pattern.
I added two D rings to one side of the belt to loop it through.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

My prize just arrived!

My prize for solving the sportscar-mystery just arrived yesterday. I chose the "mystery kit", and I just love what it turned out to be. It's a key ring with a small sock blocker, an instruction for the matching sock and some nice yarn. I just love it, since my key ring broke lately, and thisone is absolutely appropriate for a dedicated knitter like me (a thing like thisone is not available in Germany at all, as far as I know). Dear Jane, thank you very much for mailing it to me.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

4th of July Murder Solution

Solution: Ms. Dunnit suspected Kid Merino because she didn't believe that Maize would have her hair done before racing in a regatta.
There were 5 correct answers and the winner this week is....Karen G. Congratulations!

4th of July Murder
Maize Berroco was murdered in the basement of her apartment house yesterday, Lt. Hugh Dunnit told his sister, Ms. Dunnit. The murder weapon was a knitting needle which was wiped clean of fingerprints. We have two suspects, Lt. Dunnit continued, Hunter Galway and Kid Merino, a pair of rival suitors. Maize's body, dressed in sneakers, shorts, and a white handknit cotton short-sleeve sweater, was found by the janitor at noon, about an hour after the time of death. She had been registered as a crew member aboard Hunter Galway's sailboat for the 4th of July regatta that afternoon. She'd been in his crew before. Galway got to the docks around noon, an hour late. He claims he was delayed by motor trouble, which he fixed himself. Nobody saw him do it. He could have spent the hour killing Maize. Kid Merino was seen talking to Maize that morning in front of her apartment. He claims he asked her to go to a 4th of July picnic with him. He says she refused because she had an afternoon engagement and had to hurry to the hairdresser. Merino, a fiber artist, then went back to his studio and dyed wool all day. But he has no confirming witnesses either. "I talked to Galway and Merino for hours," concluded the Lieutenant, "I can't shake their stories. One of them is lying, I'm sure of it." "So am I," said Ms. Dunnit. Who did she suspect, and why?

Solve the mystery and e-mail your solution by midnight on Saturday, July 5, to .

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fabo package from Patty W.

Here is a photo of all the wonderful goodies I got from Patty today.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Yummy and Warm Swap Goodies

After receiving a reprieve on the Lisa Scottoline project Monday I dived guilt-free into my Mystery Swap package. My swap partner Barbara made short-finger gloves for me, perfect for Southern California and I admit I hinted shamelessly. They are lovely. The picture above was taken at night with a flash so you can see the detail of the gloves on my hands. The true color is closer to the picture below. Aren't they great?
The first thing that greeted me was my favorite salt water taffy (and boy, the orange ones were good!) But the box also held home-baked bread, spread, honey, and fudge dipping sauce. We exchanged the same One-Skein book with each other as well as used the same Woolgirl greeting card. Yes, we have found many similarities in taste and are still smiling about that. Barbara also gifted me with the premiere issue of Verena. And what I thought was a box of Altoids is full of cherry little goodies. Plus stitch markers. And there is Berroco boa yarn that I have just the use for (early Christmas planning.)
Of course there is reading material, from one of my favorite authors Charlaine Harris (A Bone to Pick) as well as The Grilling Season (Diane Mott Davidson) and Murder in the Smithsonian (Margaret Truman). I haven't read any of them and so am all set for the 4th of July weekend. The Grilling Season looks especially fun, with recipes interspersed throughout the book.
Thank you, Barbara, for a wonderful package. I had to take the gloves back off right away in this heat, but believe me, they will get plenty of use!

Lisa Scottoline Whatchamajigger

As I got deeper into Lisa Scottoline's Mistaken Identity I became obsessed with doing a project that captured the "twins but not/good twin-bad twin" theme that is so integral to the plot. I dreamed of mirror image fair isle, maybe gloves--but while searching for color patterns with the images I wanted amid other time commitments it became obvious that Sharon was not going to have the time to knit the many tiny stitches required of a detailed image, let alone make a pair.
What to do, what to do... As the month ran out I suddenly got the inspiration to make a single tube in mirrored black and white, my first intarsia in the round ever. What the heck is it, you ask?

Well, in Southern California we don't wear mittens, though I frequently sport fingerless gloves in winter. Some of my favorite outerwear has no pockets--so, how about a portable pocket?

Now that it's finished and had a test drive, I'll tell you what's more likely to become of this little wonder--a 2-sided shoulder pouch. But I had to show you my original concept. And hey, I can use it as a finger-warmer whenever I feel like it, right?

This was fun. Hope you enjoy the pics and the story.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Prize Locker

Cell phone sock
sheep magnet with 10 patterns from the 2008 Pattern a Day Calendar
The "Clutch You'll Never Give Up" from One Skein