May 30, 2014

Pattern Junkie

Okay, who could blame me for this one?
Scholarly, timeless, classic.
Everyone needs this one!!! Right?!

I've done it. Again.

I can't help myself. I see them and I must have them. I tell myself I must rescue them for no one else will appreciate them the way I can. What if they fall into the wrong hands? What if that someone else (the other purchaser) does not know what she has and inevitably does the unthinkable--gasp--donates it to Good Will where it will sit unnoticed amidst unread copies of Sunset Magazine and an also-ran cookbook with a forgettable title and stupid cover art (thought to be kitchy but really was just stupid)?

I excuse myself with well thought out rationales. They are like excuse notes to my teachers:

Dear Mrs. So-n-So,

Please excuse Janelle for buying up all the past issues of Vogue Knitting from 2006 that were on clearance on that obscure website (and it was SUCH a good sale, too!). She rescued them from a fate worse than paper for a hamster cage. She probably risked her identity to accomplish this incredible act and now these publications will live on forever. 

She is truly a hero.


Janelle's Addiction  Conscience  Mother

I just can't stop. If knitting patterns were cats, I would be on the local 10 o'clock news for keeping 150
An awesome surprise gift from my friend Jessica. A find at
the local library book sale. Whew! She saved it!! Plus, it's really
cool!! I love it! I guess I am hooking other people.
of my closest feline friends in my studio apartment. If knitting patterns were felonies, I would be in for life....or worse.

What is a knitter to do, I ask you?

According to my Ravelry library, I have 4,198 patterns to date. And I know there are really so many more than that--just not yet cataloged. Some things have been given to me by enabling friends (I love you guys!), some I bought from the infamous Amazon, some from those dangerously obscure websites.

I am vaguely aware that I am riding the line between functioning normally as a good citizen and living a junkie's life, holed up for days at a time in some cheap motel, rent-able by the week, covered in knitting magazines and books, unshowered and smelling of god-knows-what, just waiting for my next delivery. My next fix.

Okay, this onewas  sort of a "Whatthe?!" It's
pretty stupid, but hey! would you leave a beloved
pet behind just because they are ugly or
chew your furniture and pee on the couch?
Well, okay, honestly....I might ...but I won't let
an old knitting  publication die.
For now, I am keeping up appearances, mostly. I make it to work, I shower, mostly,  I make meals for my family, mostly. And my excitement remains contained for the most part, only unravelling a bit each time the mailman comes with a new package for me. Then I momentarily turn into Ralphie from A Christmas Story, sprinting home from the mailbox and, instead of a sleazy motel, I hole up in my craft room, door shut, ravaging the newest addition to my library the way Ralphie holed up in his mother's bathroom with his precious Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Pen.

But I am never disappointed the way Ralphie was. No, my message is never so mundane as "Be sure to drink your ovaltine."

Mine is always satisfying. Until the next package comes.

And I think I like it that way.

May 29, 2014

Door Prize! What? For ME?

I tried out blocking rods for the first time. See my
weird little edges? Stretched out stitches. Oh, well, I
will wash it out.
For the past 3 years I have been attending the Rose City Yarn Crawl here in Portland, Oregon. I found out about this event just a couple of years after I started knitting and I was hooked after my first time out. And it turns out I only missed one of the years as it had just really started up! Lucky me. I pledged to be there for all future crawls.

The whole experience feels like being on a vacation to me. I love visiting all the stores and learning the personalities to be found in each one. And there is a permeating feeling during the crawl like you are visiting old friends, or are at a reunion--the type you want to attend. Everyone is feeling friendly, the stores are bustling like it's Christmastime and the employees and store owners are all excitement and smiles, despite their ever so slightly frazzled appearances.

It's all good, all around. But this year mine got better, if that were possible.

Every year there is a passport that you can print out from the RCYC website with all the stores/logos on it. You are supposed to take it around with you over the four day crawl and get it stamped by the people in each store. (You also get a bonus button to pin to your RCYC official bag, which I love. I have a personal goal to make my knitting bag look like Portland's own Ramblin' Rod's cardigan.)
Observe said cardigan. This is the future of my knitting bag.

At the end of the crawl, you turn in this passport to your last store. Some people do that by Thursday night, but I never can turn mine in that early--I'm pretty chatty. Imagine that. It slows my shopping down. Thus, I turn mine in on Sunday afternoon.

Each store that you visit gives you the option of signing up for door prizes and that big passport turn-in puts you in a grand prize basket drawing.

I never win anything, in spite of visiting all the stores. And more than once.

But this year I did. It wasn't a grand prize or even a big basket, but it was a door prize, nevertheless. I'll take it. Close Knit's owner, Sally, emailed me to tell me the great news and I immediately emailed back, then picked up my poncho kit the next day.

Before I left the house, my husband was joking that it was probably going to be "some color they don't want anymore!" He laughed.

When I got to the store, they handed me this cute little project bag that contained.....

...goldenrod yellow yarn--TECHNO-- and a Sasha wrap pattern from Blue Sky Alpaca. Lucky for my I love that color.

And I adorned my wrap with my grandmother's very cool, very old pin.

May 28, 2014

Tutorial: Aunt Janelle's Super-Duper-Easy Fingerless Mitts For The Very New Knitter

Garter stitch fabric, which you will be making, is
extremely elastic-y and Olivia's mitts even fit
my size small adult hands.
Before I send Olivia's finished fingerless mitts off in the mail so that she can shake the package to see if there are any breaking glass or screeching cat sounds inside, I thought there might be someone out there who would like to know how to make them.

These fingerless mitts are extremely easy and fast. They are easily sized up or down, and are also interchangeable, with no specific right or left mitt.

Please read all the directions through once to the end before beginning. It's just like a cooking recipe--and we all know how that can go if we don't read them through first. If you don't completely understand something, that's okay. It will all make sense as we go along. Hopefully.

This is a tutorial. 
(Say that like announcer Ryan Seacrest of American Idol fame, emphasis on the "this." It's much funnier than the zero funny it is right now.)

First, you will need a few things:

-Yarn, just a little bit. We used 43grams/74.39yds(68m) of  a 100g/244 yd(223m) skein of Red Heart Team Spirit Worsted Weight yarn. This included our gauge swatch, which we kept aside and did not reincorporate into the project.

-Straight needles. We used  US8/5mm needles. You can use any appropriate needle size you like (within reason, of course) to achieve the fabric look you want.

-Paper and pen--after all, you are about to create your own pattern. (Don't freak out.) Be sure to write down your personal measurements and progress as you go. It will be very helpful when making the second mitt.

-Yarn darning needle and scissors, and an adult helper, if you need one. No, you do not have to be a child to need this piece. God knows I have needed several adult helpers in my knitting life--and beyond.

To begin, you will need to make a gauge swatch:

Cast on about 25-30 stitches, or what looks like about enough to make a fabric that will be 4-6 inches wide. This is not a critical measurement, but bigger is better. Knit all stitches back and forth for 4-6 inches, or until you have a square.

**note** This tutorial assumes that the reader already knows how to perform basic cast on/bind off and the knit stitch. If you need help with those things, please watch this video from

Bind off all your stitches and secure the final one by running the tail of the yarn back through the last loop/stitch on the end. Cut yarn and set aside.

Measure your hand:

Wrap a piece of yarn around your hand at the widest point--your knuckles are probably the best
spot. Cut the yarn where it meets itself. This piece of yarn represents the circumference of your hand. Let's call this the "gauge yarn."

Amy's finger indicating the spot to cut the gauge yarn.

Next, decide how long you want your fingerless mitts to be. Olivia wanted hers to go from the middle of her fingers down to the "little blue pops on my wrist." She meant the veins in her wrist; she wanted them covered up.

Hold up your gauge yarn lengthwise from the imaginary top to bottom of your intended mitts. Make a knot in your yarn to mark the "end" of the mitts' length. (See photos, left, below) You can keep this piece of gauge yarn to make future mitts for yourself or someone with hands similar                                                                                                     in measurement to yours.                      
Here is our knot to show our intended length.

Determine how many stitches you need for your mitts:

Laying out the gauge yarn onto the swatch.
Lay your gauge swatch on a flat surface. No need to wash it first, or stretch it out, just let it sit there.

Now lay your entire gauge yarn, knot and all, across the center of the gauge swatch. Line up the edge of the gauge yarn with a stitch, be sure the gauge yarn is fairly straight. Count how many little stitches are along the gauge yarn. The stitches look like little smiles, or "u" shapes. (See our photos, right and below.)

This number will determine your cast on number for the mitts.

We counted the "smiley mouths" with a pen tip. Our cast on for
Amy Rose was 17 stitches, and Olivia's was 24.

Begin knitting:

You are done knitting when you meet up with your
know measurement.
Cast on your number of stitches that were determined by your gauge yarn. Knit back and forth on all stitches until your piece of fabric is long enough to meet up with the knot in your gauge yarn. (See photo, left.)

This photo shows how we sewed from each end separately,
ending each seam just before the thumbhole. Here, we are just
starting to do from the wrist, up and we have completed the seam from
fingers, down.

Bind off all stitches, securing the last stitch by pulling the yarn back through.

Look at your fabric. Determine which side you want to be the "right side," that is the "public side."
Fold your mitt in half, with the right side in.

The "wrong side" of the mitts
is facing out during seaming. This
photo shows how you can
continue your seam from the top,
down after leaving a thumbhole

Using your darning needle and yarn, sew up the side however you like, making sure you leave a spot for your thumb to stick out on one end. Holding up your hand to the mitt will easily show you where this should be.

Amy Rose models her mitts. And I think I
REALLY need to cut her fingernails.
Tie knot where your sewing ended and put on your mitt. You might want to wear it while making the second one, just for fun.

**A note on color: we used a self-striping yarn. I helped to determine where the colors began and ended so we got pretty close to the same width in stripes at the top and bottom. You can also use 2 colors separately (even trying some fun fur would be cool!) to achieve this look when you want to get fancy, but solid  or ombre colors would look great too!**

May 26, 2014

Rainy Days+Camping+Birthdays=Knitting

Amy Rose and Olivia: ready for anything, but definitely
bike riders extraordinaire.
Every year on Memorial Day Weekend, my husband and I take our kids (as they get older and busier, that means whomever is available at the time) camping at Fort Stevens. We join my husband's brother and his family for some hiking, bike riding, Oregon and WWII history and some serious eating (for some reason, camping makes us really hungry). Since the campground also happens to be on the Oregon coast, we also heavily prepare for some potential serious cozy time.

It rains in Oregon. A lot. The average rainfall in Portland, Oregon is around 39 inches per year, but head west to Astoria and that number bumps up to 67.26 inches of annual rainfall. Therefore campers must be ready for anything. You might get to do more bike riding than book reading while camping, but you might also find yourself relegated to your tent or trailer for the entire trip.
Amy is always desperate to be outside,
no matter what the weather.

My husband and I, both traditionally tent campers at Fort Stevens for nearly 40 years, have caved
in during middle age (and after an incident in which our tent was nearly floated away with rainwater and everyone camping that weekend was offered their money back at the ranger's station as they all left early) and purchased a camping trailer. This lovely trailer has truly made us ready for anything. This particular weekend was an ordinary local combo of hard rain, mist, fog and sun, but there was another thing to be prepared for this time: extra knitting.

Yes, I always knit--constantly and probably much to the annoyance of friends and family. But on this trip my niece announced that she was just dying to do some more knitting.

We had done some in the past, but I guess I hadn't realized how much she had enjoyed it. My brother-in-law confirmed her earnestness, saying she had been asking at home frequently to knit more.

Well, lucky for us the weather cooperated and gave us plenty of indoor time. And even luckier for us, there is now a newer fabric store near Fort Stevens, which also happens to carry knitting supplies. Luckiest of all, it was my niece's birthday. I had a trifecta of lovely excuses to go yarn shopping and spend the weekend knitting away.

"Aunt Janelle, her name is 'Annie' and she's
a purple girl. I want that one."
Amy Rose, my niece Olivia and I headed happily to the store on Saturday morning after only one night of camping. Olivia picked out a cute kid friendly "how-to-knit" style book and some yarn. I picked out the needles for her and we were armed and ready for the coziest possible weekend.

We knitted away, reviewing things we had done nearly a year before and learning new things in fits and starts. For her weekend project, Olivia picked out a very simple fingerless mitt pattern from her new book. They were knitted up in garter stitch as a rectangle and sewn up the side at the end, leaving a small thumb hole. (You know the one.)

The mitts progressed very slowly. Aunt Janelle (that's me) had to help a lot. Every once in a while, I'd even sneak the project away and do a couple of quick rows, just to give the impression of acceleration. I didn't want to her to feel like her project would never be finished.

So, between sun breaks and rain, bike rides and short visits to the campground's historical sites and the nearby playground, we finished a single mitt. And it was HUGE. I was hoping to not have to give a lesson on gauge, but gauge is no discriminator of age or skill level. (...and I am painfully aware that I recently claimed to be a total convert--I know, another duh me.grrrr....) I may have learned my lesson once and for all.

For this case I simplified the gauge lesson. I measured the first gigantic mitt, stitch count and all, using a piece of yarn--no inches/cm included. This showed her the concrete idea. Then we cut a  length of yarn to match the circumference of her hand. We compared it to the big mitt to decide how many stitches we really needed. Then, we tied a knot in the yarn as another guide, this one showing us how long we wanted the mitt to be. We knitted up the foundation rows in 24 stitches instead of the pattern's 32 and we worked it to the length of the knot in our "gauge yarn."
Get to it! It's so exciting to start a new project!

The second mitt went faster than the first one and Olivia had a good attitude all around: "Aunt Janelle, even though this one is huge," she held up the original offending mitt, "it's still special 'cause it's the first thing I ever knitted. I'm keeping it."

I have sneaked away the materials and am finishing up the second one for her. It is her birthday after all. And Olivia, figuring out what had gone missing as of this morning says, "Yes! Can you send it to me in the mail? I can shake it and listen to it like on cartoons!" She pretended to shake something in the air, "...except on cartoons there is always this sound of glass breaking and some cat sound or something. That won't happen. Anyway, I want to make more stuff! Ponchos and sweaters...I could make an Oregon Ducks flag for my brother and I can make slippers! Can I make clothes for my American Girl Doll? Do you think?" She smiled.

I smiled too, another knitter is born.

May 22, 2014

Three Test Knits in 18 Days? Coffee please!

Bruffle is currently linked to my Ravelry project
page. Once the pattern is "live," there will be a
link there right to it!
If you are going to commit to three test knits, that are all sweaters (albeit small ones), you need to gear up. You need sustenance. You need coffee. Lots of it. Something stronger you say? Okay, then: 42 quad shot Americanos with room for the velvety cream and 2 tiny packets of cancer that we call Sweet & Low.

With that kind of fuel, you are ready to tackle anything, including your normal workweek, family laundry, feeding, bathing, butt wiping, etc. Okay, to be honest, my family was not totally fed properly over the last 18 days and they wore a few things twice....and I learned that Amy Rose is not particularly good at wiping.


those never before tested knit sweaters are all done: surveyed, photographed and delivered to their respective designers.

The final test knit over this past 3/4 of a month is called Bruffle. It is a shoulder shrug style sweater for girls that comes in sizes ranging from 6months old to 10 years old. It is super cute and quite fun to knit.

It starts out with ordinary raglan shaping, but once you separate the sleeves from the body, things
get interesting. The entire edge, front and back (with the exception of the sleeves of course) is joined in the round (some stitches need to be picked up for this) and knitted as one long, continuous eyelet ruffle. It's cool, too, because your stitch pick-ups don't have to be perfect; as long as the total is a multiple of 6, you're okay. This prevents the knitter from endlessly counting and recounting how many stitches they have "so far," as they try to pick up the exact number required in the pattern over a predetermined distance.

This totally sets you free, fellow knitter. Be free form. Have any muliple of 6 you like. Heck, get crazy and go for 142 like I did. It was totally like Thelma and Louise....without the cliff.

Speaking of setting oneself free, I apparently failed to read my last post about measuring.

Well, I did measure Amy Rose's back, as instructed to. I even did a gauge swatch, which turned out just fine ( I think after 6 years of just "diving in," I am finally joining the faithful of the gauge swatch religion and seeking its truth after can't always live by the seat of your pants, it turns out. Just most of the time.) .

But once I started knitting in my Bernat Cottontots yarn, lovely, soft, sort of drapey and sort of well, a bit bigger than the usual worsted, let's face it, my gauge went from 4 stitches/inch to 4.5 stitches/inch.

Let me tell you, that's a vast difference, non-swatching, unconverted-as-of-yet-to-the-gauge-swatch-sister-and-brotherhood knitters.

My size 12.25inch back measurement went to nearly 15 inches just like that (*snap*).

Now my former sized 2 year old sweater back measurement is more like the average 5-6 year old. This will be fine as Amy really is 5 years old and will wear the sweater longer, but her chest size is much smaller than the average, as I said in my last post.

I recall that part of the original purpose of this blog was to allow you, dear reader, to follow me into
my knitterly journey, down the winding, every expanding path that leads to no definitive end. All this so you could see my errors and foibles and pitfalls so as to avoid them yourself.

So if there are lessons to be learned here, the smaller one is duh: measure your gauge periodically as you knit, no matter how you think it "looks." Man who uses eyeball instead of level to hang pictures has many crooked frames in his house. (I wish Mr. Miyagi had said that one. He would have sounded so cool.)

But really, what I remembered over these past 18 days is that sometimes we are ready for a challenge. I remember when I was pretty new to knitting, which was only 6 years ago. I thought I was soooooooooooooooo slow. I only knew how to make those T-shaped slippers that were knitted holding double worsted yarn on US 11 needles and just sewn up the back. Should take only like two hours to complete, if that.

I would talk to myself: these are so easy and I just can't increase my speed! I am a terrible knitter. Oh, well. 

Then, I suddenly got a wild hair and took a toe-up sock knitting class from Chrissy Gardiner. It was an absolute revelation. To my disbelief, not only did I keep up with the class, I went home and just started making socks--not fast, but I did it.

To see the other test knits, just scroll down to my last few
Sometimes we need a challenge and, when we are ready for it, we can surprise even the ones who thinks they know us best, including ourselves.

So step out! Take a class, get a new book! Join a guild! Maybe you are not bad at knitting ( And anyway, I absolutely refuse to believe anyone is "bad" at it), maybe you are just stale or bored. And you are always welcome to pick up your Starbucks Americano and join us at the Free Pattern Testers Group.

And, as always, remember to take time to get your cozy on.

Overly enthusiastic, if not misguided, misdirected and sometimes just plain wrong knitting fool

May 18, 2014

Measure. A Revelation.

CROP has bottom up construction with a side closure.
In spite of my foolish decision to take on three test knitting projects lately, I have finished the first two. The paperwork is filled out, pictures taken, check, check.

This latest project, called "CROP," is another Gabrielle Danskknit creation. It is a children's tank top, sized newborn to 6 years. On her pattern, she provides chest circumference sizing too, which was very helpful for me.

It just so happens that Amy Rose has a pretty small chest circumference compared to the "average" 5-year-old. I found this out when sewing her Easter dress. I measured her for the first time ever, which I have never apparently thought was important when knitting her things (can't you always just assume that age sizing is accurate?). I now know that this is why her top "Diamonds for Beatrix" was so huge, with giant, drooping sleeves. Duh.  Cardinal rule for carpenters, sewers AND knitters: measure twice, cut once.
I used some buttons from my Grandma
Miller's button tin, of course. (Required an
inordinate amount of washing of the buttons)
What was ON there?! It was like tape and
glue... from 1955.

Amy's chest circumference is only 19 inches, which is about four or five inches smaller than the "average" 5-year-old sewing or knitting pattern would tell you. This completely freaked me out Easter week while sewing her dress; when I compared this real-life number to the pattern sizing, I was just sure my measurement was wrong and was really worried that the dress would turn out too small. So, like all normal perfectionistic people, I chased Amy Rose around the house, saying, "Just let me check one more time...." Amy Rose ran away all around the house, saying "Mom!! Not again!!"

I measured her in different lights, at different times of day, standing up, sitting down, in a box, with a fox, on a train and on a plane (wait, that one's not in there...). I just couldn't believe my measuring tapes. (That's not a type-o. I used about three different ones...including a wooden ruler.)

The truth was clear for me only after her Easter dress was completely done: She is a 2/3-year-old-size on the top with a 5/6-year-old's length. Tall and skinny.
It may not seem so odd to say it like that, but it was gut wrenching cutting out that precious fabric in two different sizes separately for top and bottom.

Now I know better. No one has to reinvent the wheel. You can actually believe the old "measure once" adage. Those carpenters knew what they were talking about. (I suppose anyone who understands the meaning behind completing the square really should be believed.)

I am set free. My only payment for my crime of knitting stupid was ripping out the Beatrix top. But redemption came in the form of a perfectly fitted Katren Cardigan, knitted for a 3-year-old, but with longer sleeves for a 5-year-old, and in the Beatrix yarn for extra salvation.

Now I take another leap of faith in knitting my third test knit: a shrug in a 2-year-old size. While I am still feeling nervous about this one--it is a different pattern, after all--I forge ahead with measuring tapes in hand.

I may still chase Amy around the house a few times, just to be sure, but I have learned my lesson.

Who says you can't fix stupid?

Amy Loves her Katren sweater so much that I can't get it away from
her. She even sneaked it out of the laundry room after it was done
blocking and before there were buttons. She wore it to school that
way and I had to re-wash it and block it again before adding the
buttons due to little hands tugging and stretching it shut all day,
trying to keep it closed!

Smaller top with a few more cabled hearts added to make the sleeves longer. I could not be happier with the result!

May 14, 2014

One down....

Katren done.

Two to go....

Speaking of a Steep Learning Curve....

Miss Rose in her Katren. One sleeve to go.
I have most certainly bit off more than I can chew for this next couple of weeks.

I also believe myself to be completely addicted to test knitting for other designers.

This past week, I was cruising along on a test knit for a talented gal from Australia, Whirlsie. I was having a fabulous time with her emerging pattern, Katren, which I am knitting for Amy Rose. It is a shrug style cardigan with cabled hearts down the sleeves. It's cute, not too hard and a perfect way for someone wanting to try out cables beyond just crossing a couple of stitches every once in a while in a straight line. Okay, this pattern also crosses a couple of stitches every once in a while, but they make a picture, which I think is pretty cool.

The yarn I am using for the sweater is Debbie Bliss Eco Baby in a very pale, dusty pink. I think it is working out to look sort of shabby chic and old fashioned at the same time. I think a photo shoot with ballet slippers and a wood floor will be in order tomorrow night, which is when I think this one will be blocked and dried, provided I can finish today.

Sometimes it is good to push yourself to do more than you think you can and I may have done just that. My friend, Gabrielle, the neverbeforeseen designer friend to my extreme NE in Montreal,
came out with a couple of patterns while I was working on Katren. The first one came out, and I thought, hey, I'm getting a bit faster....I can do one more. I felt really cool like maybe I could be like some of those speed knitters on Ravelry, whipping up socks in a day...or less. There was light at the end of my tunnel.

The second Gabrielle pattern came out and I loved it so much better than the first one. I just had to have it for Miss Rose. Just HAD to!! I won't spoil the surprise and give you details about those last two...also if I tell you I won't have another blog post for a couple of days. (There. The honesty just feels better.)

So I committed to doing both of Gabrielle's patterns, which have the same deadline: May 24th.

Today, on my day off, you might say why are you blogging about it instead of knitting?!

Call me a glutton for punishment. And anyway, I don't want one knitting project, I want all of them. (...she whined like Veruca Salt...)

Wish me luck. Or secretly shake your head at my ridiculousness. It's okay. I can handle that too. I think.

May 9, 2014

Why I Love The Doctor, by Janelle Serio

50 years of wonder

"Hello everyone and thank you all for being here today!" Said the woman at the front of the theater wearing the Tom Baker scarf and hat. She also had on high, brown leather boots over very fitted taupe- colored pants. The whole ensemble brought to mind Indiana Jones and an English riding competition all at once. She was standing at the front of Kiggins Theater in Vancouver, Washington, USA on November 23, 2013 facing a room full of 350 Whovians, seated and waiting to view the Dr. Who 50th Anniversary episode as one gigantic Whovian Fandom. The show was to be simulcast all over the world at exactly the same time. The room was quivering with anticipation and everyone was silent, wishing to savor every moment the day could bring. We all watched the Tom Bakeresque announcer.
Out coveted tickets
meant poster, mugs
and awesomeness!

The woman continued, "You could have done so many other things this morning instead of lining up this morning at 7a.m. outside of this theater. You could be home with your kids watching t.v. or attending a soccer game, or eating breakfast in your  warm home. But you didn't. You dressed up your kids and yourselves in all sorts of crazy Whovian costumes and you came here today to wait in line in the freezing cold. You chose whimsy. You chose fantasy and creativity. And we support you! This is a place you can be as crazy as you want. You can come here and feel free to fly your freak flag!" The room, full of cosplay adults and kids alike, erupted spontaneously, as if everyone was waiting to here this, into clapping and cheering and whistling.

"But why are you here?" The room collectively smiled. "You are here for the love of the doctor, who stands for so many good things in the world. The Doctor stands for anti-violence and anti-bullying. He stands for speaking up for those who cannot speak and protecting those who need protection. He stands for self-sacrifice and helping." This very moment, as the room erupted again in enthusiastic agreement, I realized why I have come to love The Doctor character so very much.

We waited outside in 27degree weather for 2 hours!
He is a super-hero for the underdogs and the bullied. For those who are taken advantage of or exploited. The Kiggins announcer was right, and I had never even seen it. I, who like so many others (probably many of whom were in that very room with me) was bullied and sometimes even terrorized as a child by others, loved this icon for so many reasons that I never even knew until that moment.  I began, surprisingly, to tear up.

These were the reasons that my knitting silently falls into my lap when the show comes on and I am not even aware that my mouth is gaping in a smile as I stare at the storylines, idle hands on my knees, my coffee getting cold next to me on the table.
Inside was a tea party, complete with cake, fruit trays
and mimosas. This lady was dressed up in steam punk
garb, but I think she looks like River Song. "Hello, Sweetie!"

The Doctor not only saves others, he empowers them. He sees the special qualities and the hidden braveries in every day people. And he might show up anywhere, anytime and in any time, to take away the next protege, the one who needs encouragement or escape or a better life. And without fail, these people--these unlikely heroes--rise to any occasion in every situation, surprising even themselves in becoming people they never knew they could be. It reminds us--or tells us for the first time--to rise, to be more, no matter what others have told us or what naysayers may say. You can always be better than your circumstances seem to allow.

Dr. Who is not the typical sci-fi show, which are often based around military themes like Battle Star, Star Trek, or Star Wars and many others. No. Dr. Who is for those who always hoped they could be more. For those who feel that they can and should be able to contribute something to the common good, and it makes it all seem so possible.
My first real try at color work. I was motivated.

And you never know. He might be coming for you.

Tons of families were there, decked out
in costumes. The Girl Who Waited,
 Amy Pond, is standing with the suitcase.

My daughter Annie and friend Iris both are David Tennant!


I took a pic of this man in the dark theater! He won for best costume.
He told me his wife crocheted his "Ood" costume. Now that's love!

This line wrapped around the block

I knitted myself a Tam of Rassilon, free pattern found on Ravelry. The seal of Rasillon is a Gallifreyan
government seal and can be seen on the clothes of some of the characters in the war room scenes. Rassilon is
played by Timothy Dalton, former 007.

If you don't know what "Bad Wolf" means, I can't help you. Watch the show. Then you won't miss "Bad Wolf Day."

Me and Tina (Dr Who BUD!!) are fanatics for sure. I love my Van Gogh
Skirt and top!

Fez's are a Dr Who fav.