Baby Shawl and a Great New Journaling Idea!

Thanks so much for all your comments. I love getting them!

Knitting: Tomorrow I’m off to Long Island to visit family and will be driving back on Monday. Since I’m both the driver and the only passenger I doubt I’ll get much knitting done on the way. Ca va sans dire, n’est-ce pas? May wee!!! However, while there I expect I’ll be spending lots of time watching my two wonderful grandsons doing things. These things sometimes involve me–playing Star Wars with Lego figures, for example. (I’m usually the bad guy. Fair enough.) Can’t knit when I’m involved. Sometimes these things don’t involve me–as when the guys are playing video games. When we’re doing the latter type of thing I also knit. It’s very like watching hockey with DH. Very good knitting time. I’m not going to bring the intarsia-horse-sweater sleeves though. They require counting along the lines of “add a stitch at each end every third row for nine rows and then every fourth row for twelve rows,” etc. This confuses me at the best of times and I know I won’t be able to feign watching anything if I’m counting it out. So instead I’m bringing a baby shawl that I’ve been working on. Alas, the baby it was planned for has been born but I had another very nice blanket in my Finished Projects Bin. Babies do keep coming don’t they, so this be useful eventually. I’ve knit this shawl pattern so many times I could do it in my sleep. I noticed last time I was in California one I knit years ago for a grandson is presently being used as a cat blanket. He’s a big boy now and these things wear on and on. The cat’s name is Bernice, incidentally. I named her when she was a tiny bit of a thing. Now she’s enormous and is able to defend herself valiantly against the two huge boxers (dogs not kids) that have been added to the household. However, I’m digressing frightfully. There’s a very nice edging to go with this shawl. It’s knit once the middle section’s done and then sewn on. I suppose in time I’ll be showing you that as well.


Thinkering:  I can feel my obnoxious side rising up as I begin this bit. And when I have written it then you’re all going to hate me and stop reading my blog. I just can’t help myself, however, because you were all so nice about my rubbishy hand-made journal earlier. So then squirreling around in my mind has been the thought: Well, gosh! If they liked that one then they should see my other truly fabulous ones. OK, OK. I’ll just show you one. I took Mary Ann’s “Remains of the Day” course (see her fabulous blog–Dispatch from L. A.) and learned how to make magnificent journals like this!


Yes! I actually made this sucker! I sewed it and bound it with 60 lb paper and everything!

Well, enough about that. I wanted to tell you another great idea I had for journal entries that don’t trail your guts all through them. I call it “Travel on Tuesday” because (you guessed it!) I try to use this prompt on Tuesdays, having other prompts for other days. One of my dreams is to travel all around Europe. I am, as I mentioned to you, going to Scotland in the fall–lucky, lucky me! Still, I’m not sure I’ll get to do anything like that again. It’s probably going to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. So, instead of actually traveling I do this.  I choose a place I’d like to visit, download pictures of it and information about it, and pretend I’ve gone there. I write it up in my journal as if I’d had a fabulous little trip! Sometimes I go so far as to mention what I’ve packed. Sometimes I let DH come with me and make comments– and sometimes I don’t. It depends on whether it’s a place where he’d behave well or not. You know how that is. I’ve scanned my trip to the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, France. I “went” there last year some time. Here’s my entry.




What do you guys think of this idea? Of course, I’m not entirely sure about it myself. Always thinkering.


12 thoughts on “Baby Shawl and a Great New Journaling Idea!

  1. I think your form of armchair travel sounds very nice, indeed, Karen. Scotland sounds wonderful. Hope you have an opportunity to buy some lovely Shetland wool. Very pretty baby shawl. I need to get started on knitting a baby present soon for a granddaughter due in June, but first my oldest granddaughter has requested a Mabel Pines sweater. Wish I could find a pattern for it. Otherwise I’ll have to graph the pattern and that will require math (which I try to avoid at all costs). I use those little stitch counters for sleeves, because I can become easily confused by increases also.

    PS: I hope the cat appreciated the shawl!


  2. I think it’s an honor that Bernice the Cat is using your blanket. As for your handmade journal, I simply cannot look at it without getting really stressed out that the cats will grab those dangly parts and run off with it. My life revolves around thinking how and what the cats will destroy…

    I thought you meant a blog entry journal. As for a written journal: I kept one for years on and off and I dunno how good it was for me. I am too introspective as it is. As for pretend traveling, if it makes you happy, go for it. For me it would be too much work, I’d rather do something else with that time.

    I too was supposed to plan a trip to Scotland or to wherever really. Would you believe I haven’t yet gotten around to it, so I have no vacation planned? It’s too sad. There are just too many details to work out! Very time consuming.


  3. I think I’m gonna do some journal travelling as well! I haven’t been on vacations for 4 years now and doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon. So your idea is perfect for me! Do you know that else I do? Every time friends of mine go on vacation, I have them send me back photos of their room, where they’ve been, their dinner, everything. It’s like travelling with them!


  4. Your imaginary travel journals are a brilliant idea. The concept reminds me of something I read in the first pages of The Art of Travel by de Botton, the story of the hero of a novel A Rebours by J.K. Huysman. He decides to make a trip, but before he gets very far on his way he ends up in a bookshop and gets to reading extensively and happily about his destination. When his train pulls into the station, “he thought how wearing it would be to actually go to London, how he would have to run to the station, fight for a porter…endure an unfamiliar bed, stand in queues, feel cold and move his fragile frame around the sights….” Wasn’t he already transported there by the descriptions in the book? Wouldn’t he just be disappointed if he actually went? He goes home, very satisfied….


  5. Beautiful job on the journal! (Shawl, too 🙂 My daughter’s best friend from NH recently sent her a beautiful journal she made from flattened birch bark. It’s lovely!


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