The Pirate Journal Is In Use

Remember the Pirate Journal?


I have found a use for it.  It has become my surgery diary.

I will be having a major surgery soon, requiring an overnight stay at the hospital.


To say I am a little worried about this is a bit of an understatement.  I do have the utmost faith in my doctor.  But, surgery is surgery…and this is a major surgery.


I could have turned to my usual daily journal…but this situation felt…bigger.  It needed its own container.  I perused my selection of hand-made journals—and this is the one that wanted to be used.


It’s made of brown paper recycled from various packages that we received.  I learned…one fountain pen is ok with the paper.  One other fountain pen is not.  I tried writing in green ink, but couldn’t see it well enough since I was writing at night by lamplight.  An ultra-fine Sharpie works wonders, but tends to bleed through just a little bit to the other side of the paper.  This afternoon, I pulled out my favorite Bic cristal in black ink…and have had no problems whatsoever.  Which is why I always return to this pen.  It’s been a favorite of mine for years.


So, what’s going into this journal?  Hopes.  Fears.  Gratitude.  Blessings.  Lists.  Questions.  You name it, if it pertains to the surgery and the recovery period afterwards, it is going into this journal.


Will I be drawing and/or painting in it?  Probably at some point, because doing so makes me feel better.  I have also been pondering some collage as well.  I have a great picture of Rupaul that is calling to be used somewhere.  What better symbol or strength and fortitude for me right now?


If there is art made in this journal, I may show it.  However, given the dire personal nature of what is being written in this journal, don’t expect too much.


This post was more to say…here is what I ended up using this journal for and how I used it more than anything else.


Thanks for following along.


Until next time.


Process: Journal Cover

I am slowly sliding back into my old ways, a different version of my old self.  I am getting back up on that Poetry Pony.

I am actually taking an online poetry class.  One of the things suggested is getting yourself a notebook/journal that you love, that inspires you…as well as a pen that can become your magic wand as you write.

I have pens…fountain pens, magickal pens, Bic pens, disposable pens…tons of pens…all over the place…just don’t ask for one, because whenever anyone here needs a pen…it takes forever to find one…I still don’t understand that…no pen, no paper, only when needed…any other time…pens and paper all over the place…

So, my first thought was…I’ll buy a journal…no, I’ll make a journal…no, I’ll…drive myself crazy with the ideas of what I want to do and/or want to get and never really get around to doing the actual poetic writing work…hmm…

Luckily for me, it was errand day about that time anyway…so I was able to go to a variety of stores to look at journals, which gave me a clearer idea of what was calling to me for this particular journey.

I did, in the end, buy a journal—because it is bigger than the books I typically have…and it was faster/easier/cheaper to buy this journal from the store than it was to decide on paper and then order said paper, wait for it to come in and then make the book on my own.  I was attempting to avoid procrastination with this.

However, I had ideas for what I wanted to create before I saw this journal…and – as soon as I figure out where I hid the cords and pedal for my sewing machine (I’ve been cleaning—apparently I put them somewhere “safe”) –I will be making myself one – I have the fabric set out, already washed and pre-ironed, waiting to be cut.

So—here is my thought process with this.

I want to make a journal cover, much like a Midori traveler’s journal…but…bigger.  I typically write in decorated composition notebooks, the ones with graph paper in them.  I decorate them myself, yes.  I want to be able to have three different composition notebooks at a time in this journal.  One is my daily journal, where I write, take notes, do all sorts of stuff.  One would be for poetry.  One would be for drafts.  Or for whatever else came to mind.  Perhaps it would be my written journal, poetry journal, and fiction/writing journal all in one spot…which sounds nice to me.  All three of my typical working notebooks in one spot sounds good.  Better, it feels right.

First of all…I want the cover to be gorgeous.  A fabric cover, quilted, several different patterns that I have collected sewn together, perhaps in strips or squares, perhaps with circles of other fabrics added for fun and texture.

The cover must enclose all three journals, and have a fold-over flap with some sort of closure.  I am still pondering what sort of closure I would like with this.  I don’t want any bits of the comp notebooks sticking out. I think I would like a pocket on the inside front cover.  I know I need at least one pen loop, if not a couple more.  My fauxdori always has at least three pens tucked into it…and I only have one pen loop attached to it.

I had some ideas about hey, pockets, different kinds, front and back cover, why not?  Why not?  Because I don’t really use them.  And…I tend to get cranky about too many pockets cluttering things up.  It’s a weird juxtaposition with me; what can I say?

The only other thing I really want is to be sure the inside of the cover and the outside of the cover are all pretty fabrics—but are not duplicates of one another.  I don’t want it reversible or anything…I just want it to be aesthetically pleasing.

I also plan to use one elastic cord per journal, so there will be three cords attached to the cover.

I have also had visions of grandeur, with bits of ricrac and lace and all sorts of additional frou-frou to the outer cover…but although I know I will enjoy sewing and creating such a thing, the idea of using it on a daily basis, taking it out to restaurants, bowling (where I actually do an amazing amount of brain-storming), library or wherever, I think the lacy bits and frou-frou will bother me and get in my way…and grrr unto me if I get any of that bit dirty or messy.  Although, yes, this is meant to be a washable thing, because hey, it’s going to get tossed in a bag, in my purse, on a table.  My kids will dump stuff on it.  The cats will sit on it.  The dogs will find a way to stomp on it…probably after a kid throws it or knocks it to the floor.  So it has to be strong enough to take a beating as well.

I actually have a vague pattern drawn up in my journal…with all my notes scribbled along the sides.  All I really need, other than to verify the measurements are accurate—are the … cords and pedal for my sewing machine, which is currently in whatever “safe” place I put them…bless me and my well-intentioned heart.

This is the plan.  It’s all ready and in place.

Thanks for coming along with me through this process.



Process: A New Hat

Please note before continuing on: this is not a hat pattern in and of itself. This is my process for how I want to create a new hat for myself. If you don’t knit, you probably won’t be interested. Then again, this is my process; you might not be interested anyway.



A New Hat

My favorite old hat is … well, it is rat nasty at the moment. It’s not all that old, but the yarn has frizzed and fuzzed and frayed and at times, this poor thing just looks awful. Other times, I don’t look at it, so, it’s fine then, right?

I need a new hat. (never mind I have tons of hats all over the place, ones I’ve made and ones that have been bought or given as gifts…)

I go to some questions to help percolate and generate ideas for a new hat.

What hats do I have now that do work for me?

What hats do I have now that don’t work so well?

What’s working for me in the good hat?

What’s not working for me in the good hat?

What am I looking for in a new hat?

What do I want in a new hat?

What do I need in a new hat?

Colorwork? Colorwork compatible? Plain? Cables? Lace? Cool stitch patterning?

The first thing I look at it: what’s wrong with the old hat?

I love it. I used the Rikke pattern found for free here on Ravelry. I have made this pattern a few times now, in different yarns. Different yarns react in different ways. The red cotton/acrylic version I made of this hat is still in fine condition—although it droops a bit much for my liking.

The bad thing about the hat I am replacing…is the yarn. I used a yarn that isn’t holding up all that well under not much pressure. And no, I am not washing the bejeebers out of the hat. The yarn is simply wearing out, erm, wearing poorly. Since I can’t tell you which yarn I used for this project, only where I bought it from, I shall refrain from naming names at the moment…

I also need to learn how to work garter stitch in the round without the seam-like line running up the back. I know there are tutorials for that…I just have to make the time to find them.

So, cons: the hat looks ratty…and it is not as versatile as I would like it either. Come to think of it. If I fold the brim up…it’s not covering enough where I want it to cover…if I don’t fold the brim up, now especially, it can tend to look goofy.

Now, moving forward…what do I want in a hat?

I want it to be warm. I want it to cover the back of my neck, with extra protection for my ears, since I am fighting a lot of ear issues lately. I want it to look good. And I want it to look good for more than a year or two.

I am in a colorwork mood, so that would be good—however, I want a four-inch foldable brim as well. That much of a folding brim would mean…either I start the colorwork higher…or just do it the way I usually do (2-4 rows up after the ribbing ends) and not worry if the brim covers it or not.

I would like a nice thick fabric when it is completed, but not too thick. I am leaning towards wool, or a wool-heavy blend. I am not sure on what color. Sometimes I move towards neutrals. Sometimes I move towards bright colors.  ANd worsted weight yarn, or maybe even DK if I like it.

The hat can not be tight or form-fitting…I don’t like that…and I need room for my hair—or at least I did when it was longer, so I am going to keep that in mind since I am working on that.

What sort of ribbing do I want? 2X2? 3X1? 4X4? 5X1?

The next thing I will do is…browse Ravelry and all the hat patterns I can manage in a given allotment of time. How much time depends upon the needs of my family and the needs of my body. I may have five minutes to skim. I may have twenty minutes to peruse. I may do this over a day, over a week, or longer…because I already have three projects OTN (on the needles) and I don’t like starting a lot of things that never get finished…it makes me feel defeated. I knit to knit…but finishing things makes me feel better about having plans and having stash for those plans…and it means I can move forward to a new thing.

Whether I decide on a pattern or not, the next step is stash-diving…because I have yarn for hats…for days…I have a lovely heathered grey cashmere wool blend, two skeins of it, that for years has called to be turned into a hat and scarf combo…maybe this is the year. I have many…many…many single skeins of yarn floating around…because buying just one skein means I have a small quick and easy project in my hands…if ever I figure out what to make…it comes in handy making hats.

Right now, I very much want to create my own pattern and work outward from there, even though Ravelry has an incredible number of free hat patterns available – not to mention the paid ones as well.

So, there’s my process.

In the end, I have decided to work a colorwork hat, quite possibly in a deep magenta yarn, with a bright yellow yarn pattern. I want a four-inch brim, and it will probably be 2X2 rib strictly because it is so stretchy…although until I knit it up it is not writ in stone. I found my 2013 Branson notebook, so I have a ton of sketches for colorwork patterns…I will begin looking through them before moving forward.

That’s my process.

Thanks for listening.

Pondering No More

So, I spoke recently (here) about how my daughter’s boyfriend asked me to get back on Facebook so he can friend me and follow me and all of that happy stuff…

I’ve been thinking about it.  A lot.

I am not going to do it.

Although I have many groups that I have been invited to join…and I have actually been kicked out of at least one free email challenge because I told the hostess that I didn’t have a Facebook account…I 1 do not feel good at all about the idea of rejoining Facebook and 2 cannot think of a single thing that I would want to do if I had a Facebook account.

Would I go check other people’s feeds and boards and whatever?  No.

Would I check in with groups, chat, post things, share?  No.

Would Facebook be productive for me in any way?  No.   This is one I have been batting around since he first asked if I would rejoin Facebook–and I keep coming back to–Facebook has nothing to offer me…

The only thing I would do would be to feed my blog, my Instagram and my Pinterest feeds into my Facebook account…and then never log in to Facebook nor would I use it to log in to any other apps…and. let me tell you, there are some apps out there that get very –I mean VERY — cranky when you refuse to log in with facebook…

Finally making that decision to say no to rejoining has actually made me feel better about things again.

I don’t need Facebook.  The guy can follow my blog.  He can follow me on Pinterest–even though most of what I do there is currently private.  He can follow me on Instagram.  I have older family members across the country who use Instagram now so they can follow me because I deleted my original Facebook account.

So…feeling better…just stating it loud and clear right here so everyone hears me…and doesn’t ask me again.

Thanks for listening.

Still Pondering…

My daughter’s boyfriend has asked me to go back on facebook because he wants to friend me and follow me…

So–I am wondering.

If I do go back on…what is the benefit for me…because all I will do…because I have actually given this a great deal of thought…is have whatever else I use…like instagram and pinterest and this blog…autopost.  I have no intention nor inclination of interacting with anyone on there.  The only people I plan to friend are people I know who would like to find all the pics of the kids and whatnot in one place…

What is the benefit of it for me?

I have a linkedin for a similar reason…and I don’t do anything on there now that I have set up my profile…and I don’t think I have anything linked to autopost there or anything.  I mostly ignore its existence…and although I glance at the emails I get from linkedin suggesting contacts, I don’t follow through because I have no plans nor desire to be active on that site.

I am still pondering facebook…I will let you know what I decide, if and when I do…


It…The Book…

In 1986, Stephen King published a book called It.

I was fourteen years old.

My father brought home a hard-bound edition and, like every other book in the house, I had to read it.

Over the course of a single weekend, I read that entire book.

It was not a small book then; it is not a small book now.

My father just sent me a new, now paperback, copy of that very same book, so I will have something to read while I recover from my surgery…

It sat there for a day before it was too much for me.  Even though I am reading it slowly, taking my time, not trying to devour and hog it as I did when I was fourteen, I am still way deep into the book.

I do not think, even at the rate I am currently reading, that I will have any of it left to read by Wednesday evening, once I am home…

It, as it was from the beginning, from the first time I touched it, is an engrossing, consuming book.

I read it once, when I was fourteen.  I never touched that book again.  I didn’t need to.  It is not a book I needed to read and reread to remember…I remember every detail, clearly, from then, now at forty-five…every word, every phrase, every scene, all indelibly etched into my psyche…

Mr. King terrified me way back then, with more than just Pennywise, but it was always a good terror, the kind I loved to return to, again and again.

Pennywise, he never made me feel that way.

A month or two ago, we were in a book store, the whole family, and I heard my husband tell our youngest to watch … and the man began to approach me with one of those kitschy little four or six inch vinyl dolls…this one was a Pennywise doll.  As my husband moved forward, towards me, I started edging backward, away from The Clown, until I couldn’t go any further.

That is how deeply embedded in my brain Pennywise is.

I never look into a drain in any sink.  All of my children are very wary around sewer grates because I made them very wary…and I always check the sewer grates and drains, always, to this day, expecting to see a red balloon floating against the wind…or maybe even a yellow rain slicker…

I picked up the book–I have not seen any movie of It–and I expected to drop into it, reading it and finding parts that I had forgotten.  I had looked forward to those moments of, oh yeah, I had forgotten that…

That is NOT what is happening.

As I read, I sink into the story, I slink back into Derry…and I wonder yet again, how to get away from that Clown, once and for all…

But it never happens…because once Pennywise is in there, in your mind, He never leaves.  He slowly feasts upon you for the rest of eternity, or so I suppose…

I have never seen one of the movies. Yet…this time around…I watched the first preview of the new movie…the one where Georgie meets the Clown…and in that preview…long weeks before my father sent me the book…that preview triggered the original horror and fear in me so badly…I don’t really want to see the movie…because I don’t think I’d ever be able to sleep without a blankie, a stuffed animal, and the lights on … for the rest of my life…

And that is a testament to Mr. Stephen King and his Talent…however, due to the fact that Pennywise has scared the begeebers out of me for so long…I might just have to smack the man when I meet him…just because I can bypass a gypsy curse…or I can look a dog in the eye and be afraid, but keep moving on…or I can wish I was Charlie McGee all I want…but I will never shake Pennywise or the fear of Him…so maybe a hug, a handshake…and a nut tap to be honest … but it would be worth it…but then again, maybe Mr King is haunted by Pennywise as well…so maybe I should skip the nut tap and hand the man a bunch of red balloons and walk away and let It take its course.


Focus, Focus…

Where do I shine my light?

The total eclipse of the sun is a reset button…it’s more than just the New Moon and releasing what is unneeded and setting intentions for new goals and/or dreams…it takes the releasing and the setting of intentions to far greater heights.

It’s been an interesting few months here anyway–between the computer crash and being sick and getting married and everything in between…hey, the youngest is officially being homeschooled as of this year…slowly but surely…he proved to me this morning he can spell…hobby (as in hobbykidstv on youtube, if you’re wondering) … now, to get him to spell his own first name…

So many irons in the fire…and last night, as I sat watching Primeval (because we love it) … it struck me…I haven’t spent a great deal of time finishing any of the projects on my to do list of late…not the business related ones.  My house is getting cleaner…one spot at a time…my now five-year-old is getting more independent (thank goodness) and again, the homeschooling…my oldest has a steady job, has graduated high school, and has plans for her future (peace corps, maybe military and then college…) my middle son starts back to public school (much to his ire) tomorrow…I finally finally fought my way through the insurance website and found myself some proper doctors and I have appointments all set up…so maybe I can finally get the help that I need…fingers crossed…

As the home field becomes more…balanced … it’s time I turned my focus to my other work…because my family is my first job, first and foremost…next comes…the writing, the art, the knitting…and that seems to be where and how my focus is heading.

I have a few fiber projects on the needles…I have yarn to start my first full, long sleeved, adult sweater…one of these–I am not sure which one yet…but I have enough yarn to start one…so I am happy.

I recently finished two hats for Duncan…

Kitty cat

A post shared by Tabitha Low (@theknittingjourneyman) on


And I am making the same hat, in different yarn, for Miss Evangeline.  Although I am modifying hers somewhat…I am adding attached scarves (basically) to both sides, and making sure the ends of the scarves have pockets for her hands…because she is a dingbat who refuses to wear gloves unless her life is threatened…but since she says she plans to walk to and from work this winter, I want to make sure she’s covered…

I used this hat pattern…because Duncan wanted something with ears….and I wanted something fast and easy, without needing to struggle with decreases, and without needing to make different ears to sew on.  The boy is happy…and now he is waiting for me to knit him his sweater…ahem…it’s going to be one of these too

I also have two more dishcloths to finish off before I am comfortable moving on…and I have a previously started sweater that I am debating on frogging or not…I need to either frog it…or finish it…and I know it’s a top-down sweater that I am about six inches into…so…decisions…

And…I told you I don’t know how long ago that I am using my Tarot cards as writing prompts and writing my way through them…well…I’m slow.  I am currently working on card number … two…  I finished the first piece…in June, I think…I have part of number two written…

The really interesting thing here is that…I don’t think it’s just my usual, hey, there’s a squirrel (as in, distractions) and not having time to write…I think it is because it takes some time for the cards to work on me and work their way through me…I have known since I pulled him from the deck what I wanted to write for card number two, the Shaman…and what I want to write has not shifted at all (since June) … HOW I want to write it HAS shifted…and I think that is the crux of things.  I am not using the cards for anything…we are working together towards something…and something more than the little stories I have concocted to go along with these cards…as I pull them and look at them…a different sort of thread is appearing…and I will share more about that later.

Writing–that has been my schtick for a long time.  It’s time for me to get back to it.

BUT…art was my schtick a long time before the writing…although I did write along with my drawings…and I did make up stories and poems to go along with my drawings…and I think that is where I need to go again…

Lots of things brewing in the cauldron of wisdom over here…lots coming to be shared…

Hang on to your hats, ladies and gentleman…the doors are opening once more and I am sliding through before they open all the way … I am ready for this.

Many blessings.