It’s All Relative

I thought for a bit of fun I might expand a bit on my previous post where I said I’d been distracted by my family history research of late.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to regale you with a dull list of names and dates, but I do like to look at the “fun” side of this hobby once in a while.

Have you heard about the Six Degrees of Separation?  The notion that everyone is connected within six steps of each other, not biologically, but the friend of a friend’s brothers wife kind of thing.  There was even some college level research done a while ago that resulted in a kind of game about The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, which was about linking as many Hollywood types with the actor.  You can read about the whole Six Degrees thing and how it came about here.    And just to stay true to my knitting roots, Rachel Coopey even has a pattern set called The Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon!  Why seven, I don’t know, but there are also 12 patterns too.

I have my family tree online at WikiTree.  I like the idea of OpenSource, I like the idea of collaboration rather than everyone adding a personal tree, after all, we’re all related and looking for our cousins, and I love the idea of using proper sources instead of something your Gt Auntie Dot might or might not have remembered.  Anyway, WikiTree has this thing called 100 Degrees of Separation, whereby they think that it could be possible that every person in the entire world, alive or dead, can be connected within 100 steps of each other.

So using myself as an example, and the wonderful WikiTree as the source for the information from all of our worldwide trees, here’s a little list of well known people that I can connect too, not biologically, but I can connect to them nonetheless.

For this example I’m going to use Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.  Apparently I’m 26 Degrees from her.  It goes like this:

Queen Elizabeth, her father, his father, his father, his sister, her husband, his brother, his wife, her mother, her father, his brother, his son, his son, his daughter, her husband, his mother, her father, his brother+, his wife*, her 1st husband*, his father, his sister, her son, his son, his son, his son -> his daughter which is ME!

*right here is the intersection.  Mary Caile married my ancestor Thomas Cummins, after he died she married John Storey, marked thus +.  Clear as mud right?  But fun!

Here are some more for you with the level of separation from them to me listed.

Legendary actor James Stewart (How The West Was Won, It’s A Wonderful Life) ~ 23 Degrees

Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde ~ 38 Degrees

Canadian singer, songwriter, novelist and poet Leonard Cohen ~ 29 Degrees

Aviator Amelia Earhart ~ 24 Degrees through my husband

As much as I find these worldly connections very interesting I’m MUCH more interested in having an accurate, well sourced family tree of ancestors where I have biological connections.  And to that end if anyone can tell me if my Gt Gt Grandmother Elizabeth Park, born in Glasgow in 1832, is Scottish through and through, or if her Father came from Northern Ireland I’d be incredibly grateful…. cause it’s a brick wall I’ve been banging my poor head on for far too long!


Three Things On My Needles

Gosh the days are flying past at the moment.  Every day I think “today will be the day I’ll write that blog post” but it never seems to materialize!  I also got a bit knee deep in my genealogy research recently as I found a 3rd cousin via a DNA match.  It was fun filling in some blanks in our shared history.

I may not always find the time to blog about it, but my knitting is a constant companion.  I usually have a couple of projects on the go at home and at least one at work.

This is the current work project.  It’s Punica by Rachel Coopey and the yarn is Hansen’s Hand Dyes Bounce Sock in Lavender Wisp.  As of today, the first sock is now complete and the second sock has about 15 rows of ribbing complete.

The first home project is a stranded tam, it’s new to the needles, and so far it took me longer to pick out my yarn than it did to knit the rib!  It’s an Occitania Tam and the yarn is Happy Fuzzy Yarn Corrie Sock in the very pretty Azores colour, along with the charcoal black of Patons Kroy Sock.

This pattern has a couple of plain knit rows separating the two main motif sections, and I’m seriously thinking of adding in some purple for that!  Yes, no, too much?

And finally, there are socks at work so there have to be socks at home too.  A quick pattern by a favourite designer.  This is the start of The Lily Petal in the Fishbowl by Heidi Nick, and my yarn this time is Holiday Yarns Flock Sock in Gold Olive.

And as it was a balmy 39F/4C on Sunday afternoon with the sun positively beating down out of a cloudless blue sky…… this happened. Mad dogs and Englishmen anyone?

February And Ravellenics Round Up

There was a knitting and an unknitting frenzy going on here in the last week.  No time for anything else, there were medals on the line!  For the first time I got really inspired by The Ravellenics, previous Olympics I was a bit Meh about it for some reason, but I really got behind it this time and cranked out a good number of items, along with some frogging, so the wool gets a second chance of being turned into something that fits, looks nice, isn’t full of learner knitter mistakes or all three!

So my February round up is really a Ravellenics round up, plus one more project, so I’ll make most of these brief as you’ve seen them before.

Ravellenics Projects:

Deflect Socks ~ WIP Dancing Medal

Team Colours Hat ~ Hat Halfpipe Medal

Brambles Beret ~ Hat Halfpipe Medal

Honeycomb Mitts ~ Mitten Moguls Medal.  I’ve yet to get a proper photo of theses, they’re made with the same lovely green yarn that the Brambles Beret is made with, and I almost put moss stitch in the cable centres… I really wish I had now!

I earned 4 medals in the Aerial Unwind category for Autumn Garden Mitts which were too big, I’d like to make them again at some point.  Serenity Plain Jane Socks, also too big (whatever possessed me to knit socks on 3.25mm needles with fingering weight yarn?) but they won’t get made again because I no longer knit plain socks.  Amble Socks because I didn’t know any different at the time and knit the first one EXACTLY as stated and could hardly get it on, so I added more stitches to the second one and it fits!  But the first one never will so I still couldn’t wear them! 🙂   And the final frogged project was Snozzberries.  The pattern said the cables pulled in a LOT, so I used the largest size with my 2.25mm needles and predictably they were huge, but these will definitely be remade as I’m in love with the pattern.  I’ve already repurposed the yarn though.

Overall I was incredibly happy to get 8 medals.  I also won a project bag donated by a fellow  Ravelete on the team I was part of (Team Michigan ~ 83 total medals), and I donated a nice skein of Michigan yarn as a prize to be awarded to another competitor on my team.

So, my only non Ravellenics project to make it off the needles went right down to the wire last night (28th Feb).  They were a pair of White Walkers socks.  Obviously only one is blocked in the photo, I had to submit them to a couple of sock challenges that were closing at midnight so I didn’t have time to block the second one.  I did find a cute prop thought, but what that has to do with a Game of Thrones inspired sock is anyone’s guess!

Yarn is Artesano Definition Sock in the very British colour of Mushy Peas!  It knit up very nicely so it’s a shame that the company went in to liquidation the other year.

So today is March and it’s pouring down once more, only today it’s going to change to snow by early afternoon and drop 6″ – 9″ of very wet, heavy snow by midnight…. so that’s something to look forward to for the commute to work tomorrow. Not!

I’ll share my March plans in another post, they include mittens, socks and a stranded tam.  More later.



Random. Every once in a while I look at my phone, or the camera, and see what I’ve taken pictures of in the past week. Last week seemed to have been dictated entirely by the weather, which is OK by me as it was the “good” kind of weather… snow.

We walked in the snow…


We ate the snow (not really!)…


We watched the snow plows plowing the snow in tandem, and got horn honks for taking their pictures…

We cross country skied in the snow…

We walked some more in the rapidly diminishing snow…

And in the now pouring rain and ridiculously warm temperatures, I finished my Brambles Beret for The Ravellenics and mourned the loss of the snow…


The Ravellenics ~ A Week In

I have to admit to being pretty pleased with my knitting progress for The Ravellenics in the past week.  Today marks exactly one week since The Opening Ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and in that week I’ve managed to:~

Finish my Deflect Socks for a WIPS Dancing medal.

Cast on and then finish a stranded Winter Games Hat for a Hat Halfpipe Medal.  It needs blocking still and I’m pretty sure I’ll put a pom-pom on it at some stage, but I’ll calling it done for now.

And I’ve cast on and got pretty far along with my Brambles Beret too, not many more rows before the decreases start.

Colour me happy, why don’t you!?



Hand Dyed Yarn Pt2

You can read Pt1 here.

So to continue with my meagre yarn dyeing adventures!  I dyed three skeins in total on that first weekend.  After the red one I talked about in the original post I moved right along to an orangey one.  Still on a wing and a prayer and basically just having fun, and still only using KoolAid drinks powder I came up with this one.  I say “came up with this one” like I know what I’m doing but it sounds so much better than “messing about and seeing if I like what I get!” which, frankly, is much closer to the mark.

It turned out more peachy than orange though.  It looked great in the water, but it was made to look darker due to the indoor setting, but as it dried I saw that it was just as splotchy as the first one drying next to it.  Thankfully I didn’t have any white yarn showing, I had learned the lesson of not tying the ties so tightly at least, so that was an improvement.

So back into the warm water it went, and when it was fully soaked through I mixed up a packet of bright pink with not much in the way of warm water and just dribbled it about a bit.   Finished and in the spinning basket it still didn’t look like much of anything to be honest.

But fully dried I fell in love with it.  It wasn’t what I set out to do but boy was it pretty!

Skeined up:

Once again the yarn is Kraemer Yarns Jeannie, I’d bought two skeins from Ebay in order to begin my dabbling.  The KoolAid recipe this time was 3 packs of Lemonade and 1 pack of Orange pre-mixed with the warm water already in the crock pot before adding the yarn.  After that it got 1 pack of Pink Lemonade, mixed with a little warm water and drizzled about.

The next day I thought I’d go for a bluey/green.  So into the pot went 3 packs of Lemon-Lime, 1 pack of Green Apple and 1 pack of Blue Raspberry Lemonade, followed by the pre-soaked yarn, which this time was Wool2Dye4 Platinum Sock.

I have to admit to being surprised that the blue didn’t come through more, so I took the yarn out of the pot and added another packet of Blue Raspberry Lemonade and another one of the Lemon-Lime.  And it  still didn’t make a jot of difference.

Pretty though….

It was an interesting weekend though, I definitely had a lot of fun and decided I’d like to do a bit more dyeing.  Nothing intensive or anything like that, just a couple of times a year perhaps, have a bit of fun but not take it too seriously kind of thing.  Neither of these two yarns have made it into a project yet.  But looking at the pictures makes me want to go digging them out of the stash once The Ravellenics is over and done with.


Knitting And Snow Days

Winter Storm Matteo is still dropping snow on us 15 hours after arriving, and is slated to be here for another three to five hours.  We have almost 7″ so far, so by no means a blizzard, but enough to make me stay home for a snow day, although I was up and logged in to my work laptop by 6:30am.  But there was time for a little knitting here and there, as well as catching the end of the live stream of the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony about 6:45am.  I managed to get two of my projects cast on and underway.

The view from inside:

Cute little birds nest with a snow topping!

The hard work taking place outside (I was shoveling the paths after taking a couple of photos):

And progress on my two new  Ravellenics hats:

A good day all in all, and hopefully two more good days still to come!