Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just for Fun

Sometimes I'm in the mood for silliness....Frankly I just need a break from all the squares and pattern writing so I've been cruising...

It cracks me up whenever I travel that people tell me I have an accent. Yes, of course I do, we ALL do. They often tell me I talk "funny". I'm not going to throw stones here, but I myself have heard some pretty funny accents from the far flung reaches of this country...nuff said...and said lovingly.

The thing that really cracks me up is that they act as if they have never heard anyone speak as I do. Makes me wonder, and often question them, as to whether they listen to the national news or not. I literally had to prove to one dear friend (a New Yorker) by comparing the commentators on her local nightly news to those of the network nightly news. I about died when she admitted she had never really heard the difference before! ROFL

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Joys of the Provo* Cast On

To continue.....

In the last few posts I showed you how to work a simple square, then two methods that could be used to make a continuous strip of squares (aka a scarf). Within those posts I pointed out the inherent troubles with working squares with either of these two methods, the uneven edges, the tedium of casting on a bazillion stitches, etc. Today's post, IMHO takes all those woes and throws them out the window! (Of course there are troubles with this method too...isn't there always???...but it's a problem that leads to MUCH neater edges, and throws open the doors of I guess it's not so much a problem huh. :-)

The simple solution is the almighty PROVISIONAL CAST ON.

There are several ways to do a provisional cast on, I prefer the method that uses a length of waste yarn and to make your stitches you sort of work a figure 8 around it. The crocheted chain method is a good one, and doesn't look as sloppy as the figure 8 method, but hey...I like to keep things simple as possible....I hate fiddly things and one way to use the crochet chain cast on is, well, a bit like picking up stitches and takes more time, and ya know, sometimes I'm just too dang lazy to get up off my butt and get a crochet hook!! Don't know about you, but when I want to start something I want to start it and not spend a lot of fumbling time in the set-up stage!

Here are a few links to get you familiar with the provisional cast on of your choice.

Got your choice of a provo* cast picked out??

Here we go, a MD scarf with some really nifty edges!!

So your first square is done, notice the red waste yarn along the bottom edge and the first short side of the soon to be scarf.

Here is a closer look.

The next step is to pick up that waste yarn and make some more provo casts. The number to cast on at this stage is equal to the number of stitches for one side of your square, plus one. For example if your square is 20 x 20 you'd cast on 21 stitches, if your square was 10 x 10 you'd cast on 11 stitches. In the pix I've used a square a that is 16 x 16 so I cast on 17 stitches.

Next step is to knit back across the new cast on stitches. Knit back across 16, wrap the CC yarn for neatness, then begin the first row of the new square with YO, K1, YO, K2tog, turn.

Just keep adding squares until you have reached your desired length or have run out of yarn!

Let's pretend the piece in the above pic is a long and lovely scarf...come on you have any idea how many scarves I have at this point?!? Notice the red waste yarn goes from one short side all along the bottom edge and there are live stitches all along the top edge and the other short side......Yeah, here it is, the trouble spot with this method...look at all those stitches that need to be bound off!!! Yikes!! But the HUGE benefit is that ALL your edges are going to match, so for me it's not really a problem.

PLUS.........all those live about working another row right on top of this one? Or maybe underneath it?? And what about putting a nice border around the whole thing instead of just binding off??? Ohhhhh the possibilities!!!

Monika has completed an Add As You Go scarf.....check out her blog......
She's such a sweetie, test knitting some things for me. And can I tell you the woman amazes me!! She does such lovely work AND she does it mind blowing fast too!!!!

Now I think is it's time to go back and revisit something I mentioned in another post....the 4-patch. Yep, I think we got enough of the need to know how-to's done so the 4-patch won't be as difficult to work. The 4-patch will be the next post, again for ease of searching for it at a later date.

*provo = my personal short hand for "provisional cast on"

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Plan Ahead MD Squares

Take a good look at this photo, I need to explain a couple of things.
It's a progress photo of the Plan Ahead MD Squares.

To get a photo so it's not all bunched up and can be seen, I had to remove the needle. Across the top you can see a light pink holding thread. At the bottom of the pic you can see some of my needle with a bunch of stitches on it. Notice how nice and smooth the bottom of this strip is compared to the AAYG strip in the previous post. Yeah, that's my kind of edging!! Unfortunately to get this kind of edge you'll need to do a little planning ahead and a some math. It's just a tiny bit of math I promise.

The first thing you need to decide is how big do you want your square. The Simple Single Square pattern is for a square 10 sts x 10 sts we'll use a square that size for now just to be consistent. So let's say you want to make a strip 9 squares long with 10 x 10 squares. You'll need to begin by casting on 109 sts.

Hmmm how did I get that number.....

9 squares 10 sts wide, (90) + 10 sts for the edge of the first square + one center stitch for each square (9) = 109 sts.

Or if math doesn't scare you, use the formula below.

a = number of squares

b = number of stitches wide

(a x b) + a + b = number of cast on stitches.

Now let begin our PAMDS.

Cast on 109 sts.

(note: I suggest using a knitted on cast as I did for the squares in the photo (or perhaps a long tail cast) this cast on edge will be one short side and the bottom edge of your strip. The bind off will be the other short edge and the top of your squares. Using a knitted cast or the long tail makes the top and bottom look alike.)

Knit back 98 sts, leaving 11 sts unworked.

These ll sts are your center stitch and side edge of your first square.

Begin your square using the SSS pattern Rows 1 -18 with 2 small exceptions.

Omit the "knit 11" of row 1 so it only reads " Row 1: YO,K1, YO,K2tog, turn."

and add a knit 1 to end of Row 18 so it reads " Row 18: Sl 1, Knit 19, K2tog, K2, turn.

From this point on work the SSS pattern Rows 1-18 with the changes in Rows 1 & 18, until you have worked all 9 squares.

EXTRA NOTE: If you are working a two color square, you might also want to consider employing the "Neatness Tip" from the previous post so you won't have the 1/4 inch long floats of the CC on the wrong side.

At the end of the ninth square there will only be one stitch left to knit, knit it, turn. Sl 1, and bind off all stitches.

Your strip is done!!!

Obviously the greatest advantages to using this method for making a strip of squares are once again, the only ends you have are the begin and ending ends and you didn't have to pick up any stitches! Another clear advantage is the nice smooth edge it has.

The disadvantages of this method are that you have to plan ahead, do a little math, and, I don't know about you guys, but I'm not thrilled with casting on a bazillion stitches and having them on my needle waiting to be used.

Using this PAMDS method for a strip of 9 20 x 20 squares (like the ones in the photos above) would be a nice sized scarf (about 60" x 6.75") but to start the dang thing you'd have to cast on 220 not my cup of personally I think this is an disadvantage, maybe it's not a problem for you. Being the neurotic and compulsive person I am, I have figured out the ultimate solution that will satisfy my obsession for a neat edge, my desire to just pick-up and start without much forethought, and without the tedium of casting on a bazillion stitches, plus it inherently sets a world of options at the knitter's feet.

Can you guess what the "ultimate" solution is???

Come on you sock knitters.....think about it....

Coming up next...The Joys of the ProvO

Did I just see a flash of brilliant light or do I have another migraine looming? LOL

Add As You Go MD Square

OK boys and girls, the next step from working a single square is to be able to make them in a strip. There are a several ways to do this but I'll only include the 2 methods I think are the easiest and the most versatile. "Add As You Go" and "Plan Ahead MD Strips " each of these have their own variations, benefits and pitfalls. I'll try to keep this as simple as possible.

Let's begin with the "Add As You Go MD Squares" in this post and I'll make a second posting for the "Plan Ahead MD Strips" method so it will be easier to find in the archives.

So you've finished your first square....

(To get this striped effect work the simple square by changing colors on every odd row. Cast on with MC work rows 1&2 change to CC work rows 3&4, change to MC work rows 5&6...etc do NOT cut yarn at changes.)

Now you are ready to set the stage for square number 2.
With MC using a knitted on cast make 11 new stitches.

Work square number 2 using Rows 1 - 18 of the Simple Single Square pattern.

At the end of Row 18, using a knitted cast on, cast on 11 more stitches and work another square!

Continue doing this for as many squares as your heart desires. End with Row 18, Knit 1, turn, Sl 1, bind off all stitches.

Neatness Tip:
For the sake of being tidy, and not having a quarter inch floating thread of the CC, on the wrong side of the work, after you have knit the first 11 stitches of row 1, wrap the CC around the next stitch before you work the YO, K1,YO of the row. Don't work the stitch with the CC yarn, just wrap it. You can wrap around any way you wish, the photos below are taken from the wrong side, but you can wrap from the front it doesn't matter. This photo taken from the wrong side, shows the CC yarn back and the needles are poised to slip the stitch that is on the left needle. The stitch has been slipped the CC yarn brought forward and the slipped stitch has been returned to the left needle.

Here is a photo of the "Add As You Go" strip.

The advantages to the AAYG method are that you can just pick up your sticks and yarn and start making a strip of squares. You needn't be concerned if you have enough yarn for 8 squares or 9 squares, work as many as you can and call it done when you run out! :-) Absolutely no math involved at all unless you consider counting your cast ons math! :-) And of course, the greatest advantage of all.....only 4 matter how many squares long you make your strip!!!

The disadvantage of this method is that the bottom edge isn't as smooth and neat as I like. I have a solution for this but that will come with it's own post. Another pitfall of this method is that it might be difficult to maintain an even tension in your cast on edge and your bind off edge. These tension anomalies make the squaring up of the squares imperfect....that bugs me.

**Disclaimer, yes for those eagle eyes out there. The squares in the photos ARE larger than a square worked with the stitch count called for the Simple Single Square pattern. In the SSS pattern the square is worked 10 stitches wide, and 10 stitches tall with a center stitch. The squares in the pics are 20sts x 20 sts with a center stitch. (41 stitches for the initial cast on and 21 stitches cast on to set the stage for each AAYG square. Using a 20 x 20 square in worsted wt. with # 7 needle I get a 6.25" square...nice width for a scarf don't you think?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Simple Single Square

As I promised....>

Here is the pattern for a single MD square. Doesn't look like much all by itself, but this little square really packs a punch. Squares made in this manner can be worked together (not sewn together, nor with picking up stitches) to create strips, blocks, or any shape your heart desires.

How To Make A Single Square

Pattern Notes:

Slip all stitches purlwise with yarn forward.

Knit all YO’s through the back.

Cast on 22 sts.
Row 1: Knit 11, YO, K1, YO, K2tog, turn.
Row 2: Sl 1, Knit 3, K2tog, turn. [5 working stitches] (see pattern notes)
Row 3: Sl 1, K1, YO, K1, YO, K1, K2tog, turn.
Row 4: Sl 1, Knit 5, K2tog, turn. [7 working stitches]
Row 5: Sl 1, K2, YO, K1, YO, K2, K2tog, turn.
Row 6: Sl 1, Knit 7, K2tog, turn. [9 working stitches]
Row 7: Sl 1, K3, YO, K1, YO, K3, K2tog, turn.
Row 8: Sl 1, Knit 9, K2tog, turn. [11 working stitches]
Row 9: Sl 1, K4, YO, K1, YO, K4, K2tog, turn.
Row 10: Sl 1, Knit 11, K2tog, turn. [13 working stitches]
Row 11: Sl 1, K5, YO, K1, YO, K5, K2tog, turn.
Row 12: Sl 1, Knit 13, K2tog, turn. [15 working stitches]
Row 13: Sl 1, K6, YO, K1, YO, K6, K2tog, turn.
Row 14: Sl 1, Knit 15, K2tog, turn. [17 working stitches]
Row 15: Sl 1, K7, YO, K1, YO, K7, K2tog, turn.
Row 16: Sl 1, Knit 17, K2tog, turn. [19 working stitches]
Row 17: Sl 1, K8, YO, K1, YO, K8, K2tog, turn.
Row 18: Sl 1, Knit 19, K2tog, K1, turn [22 working stitches]
Row 19: Sl 1, Bind off all stitches loosely.


There will always be an odd number of working stitches.
YO’s are placed on either side of center stitch on all odd number rows
Color changes for stripes are always done on even number rows, and across a multiple of one even row and one odd row.
If you lose your place, count the number of ridges completed, including the “new” row and work that many stitches, then begin the YO, K1, YO sequence.
If you work with a tight tension, you may want the increase a stitch or two in the corner when binding off, to give it more room to square off

For those who are NOT blind followers and with a nod to EZ:

Short and “Pithy” Directions
Cast on X number of stitches equaling the number of desired stitches for each square width and height, (this must be an even number).Plus one stitch for a center stitch and one stitch for the number of squares desired.


10 sts wide…….10 sts

10 sts tall………10 sts

Center stitch…….1 st

One square………1 st

Cast on ………..22 sts

Knit across until the only remaining cast on sts to be worked is equal to the number of stitches tall plus one.
Row 1: YO, K1, YO, K2tog, turn.
Row 2: Sl 1, knit across, K2 tog, turn.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 increasing one knit stitch after the Sl 1 and before the K2tog in each odd row.
End by knitting last remaining cast on, turn, Sl 1, bind off all stitches loosely.
Remember this sweater from a few posts back?? Using this simple square (and a couple of other patient, I'll be posting them) a sweater like this can be made. It was made in one piece with no sewing, no picked up stitches, and only the beginning and ending of each ball of yarn used. (If I remember correctly, I had 12 ends to weave in when I was done making this sweater.

I know I promised the 4-patch block next, and it will be coming, I promise, but I think the next logical thing to show you is a strip of squares, aka, a scarf. Look for it tomorrow. Hopefully the curve balls life has been tossing at me and mine these past two days, will be resolved and I'll be able to do fibery stuff, and get some patterns written up in proper form.
Soooo, next up is a scarf. So easy, sensible, and addicting, I suspect you'll be making everyone you know a scarf for the Holidays!! Go ahead and start picking out the yarn(s) you want to use (no more than 2 please) Included in the pattern will be how to make the scarf with any yarn you want, in any width and any length. I only want you think about 2 things when choosing your yarn. One, if you want to use a highly textured yarn, then you should pair it with a smooth yarn...really, cuz think about it, using 1 fluffy puffy yarn alone or 2 fluffy puffy yarns will only obscure the stitch pattern so why bother working the squares?? (fluffy, puffy stuff wouldn't be my reccomendation for your first project though. You should give youself a break and REALLY know what you're doing when making the squares cuz counting fluffy, puffy stitiches isn't fun, IMHO) And the second thing to consider when picking out your yarn is to use yarns at least simlar in weight. Granted the above pictured sweater used a sport wt. and sock wt...close but not the same. Slight differences in weight won't cuz much of a problem, but you might not like the results with 2 yarns of widely differing weights....then again, maybe you would...hey it's YOUR scarf!!!
Wishing you sweet dreams of lovely almost-mitered scarves with only 4 ends to weave and no stitches picked-up!!
PS I hope all comes through OK, and forgive me if there are spelling errors please. Every time I try to spell check, I get a lot of broken html code and lose half of what I written..............sigh...another curve ball????
BTW I do have the simple single square pattern in PDF form, but I don't know how to post it here, if anyone out there knows how could you tell me?%<>

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Single Square

Here are front and back pix of a single MD square.

Pattern will soon follow.

As well as the pattern for a 4-patch block.
Here is a peek at the front and back of the 4-patch.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Prototype MD Sock

The other day I posted that I was thinking about giving a MD sock a try. I didn't get around to doing it that day, but last night I started one and just finished it. Bear in mind, this is just another experiment so I only took the vaguest notions regarding sizing. I was after the process. I'm THRILLED!!

I worked this top down, which isn't my favorite method. I'm not thrilled with the heel and toe, but I wasn't concerned about them. Tomorrow's sock, if I don't get side tracked, is a toe up version. Then I suppose some other sock types i.e two needle socks. I'm thinking working the design down into a heel flap would be kind of nifty and down (up?) the foot. I need to see which direction the squares face looks best. Ooooh the possibilities!!

The thing that has me swinging from the chandelier is that I used nobody else's technique!!!! That's right MD fanatics, I "uninvented" my own method. Yep, I UNINVENTED it. I, for one, am NOT even going to think that what I created is unique and has never been done before.

Differences between this method and the other that can be found in a book......

It is sooooo much easier!! Don't know about you guys, but to start one of those squares with the other method always irked me. It was so fiddly with all the markers, and not easy to remember. At the start of each square I'd have to get out my notes and markers again. Frustrating for me, breaks up the rhythm and crashes the zone. :-) Once I got going I could work the square without the markers, although I usually used the center one just cuz I'd rather not have to watch for the center stitch.

With this "new" method. There aren't any fiddly parts, IMHO. There aren't any markers, and you can build the next square in 8 different directions!! Yep any of the four sides AND off any corner. You can also change the size of the square. For example, say you begin with a square that is 8 inches, the next "square" you make could be a group of 4, 4 inch squares. Yes, oh skeptical ones, you can!!! And all this can be done without picking up stitches, without cutting the yarn, and without markers. I have run into some limitations, but I'm working on them and with all the things I CAN do the few I can't don't bother me much! :-D

Other things that might keep me from the second sock tomorrow, are other shapes. Yes, a triangle can be worked in the same manner.

Oh yeah, and yet another thing that might get in the way of the second sock tomorrow is the monumental task of editing all my designs that used the old MD technique and rewriting them for this method.

Ooops, completely forgot about having to write a tutorial for this new uninvented method! Looks like that second sock is getting pushed down the list of things to do mighty fast!!!

Tomorrow I'll post some pics of close up shots. Think I'll make a few swatches up using better colors. Probably use just two contrasting solids instead of a solid and space dyed just so you can see the fabric itself and it won't look so busy.

Now I've got a question for you guys....anyone know how to put PDF downloads on my sidebar???? I'm thinking a few freebie patterns, and a tutorial.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Check it out guys!!! I won Mim's blog contest!!

If you have never visited this lovely lady's blog and website, run, don't walk.

Of course, who am I kidding. Puh-lease...

If you have found my insignificant blog you gotta who is Mim is.....

Icarus ring a bell??

How about Mountain Peaks,


or Hidcote Garden????

Yep, Mimknits...dang is that girl is talented!!!

Thanx Mim!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Here today...

"Silly", my youngest, was home again for another of her whirlwind weekends (Thursday to Sunday) from Savannah. A bit more hectic this time. The airlines lost her bag, which contained all of her clothes, shoes and personal sundry. The dress she was going to wear to a wedding on Saturday and the clothes on her back is all she had!! Thank the powers that be, she carried her dress on the plane. Do I have to explain the devastation a young woman feels when the perfect shoes for that perfect dress and all the appropriate foundations pieces are gone, not to mention the makeup, hair blowers, and the wedding gift?!? Naw...I didn't think so. She had flown half way across the country for the wedding of a very dear friend, planning and anticipating it for more than a year....sigh poor kid. This was the first crisis of the weekend, no wait, the first was Thursday afternoon, the bag didn't get lost until Thursday night. Thursday afternoon Joe found out he had to work all weekend.....urgh, no help from Joe for the brunch of 22 people on Sunday morning, dang.

On Friday Silly and I got up and headed to town to go grocery shopping, pick up a few things for her latest project at school and then planned to be home before 11:00AM so I could begin cooking and setting up tables, and she could do homework....ah yeah, why should those plans work??? I got a call and was asked to pickup one of the grandkids, not a problem, love the kid to pieces...although she was 150 miles away!! So across the state Silly and I went to pick up Snigglefritz. We finally got home Friday night about 9:00PM, no baking done, no tables set up, nothing accomplished on Silly's project, and no bag from the airport!!!! But we did have the groceries (after 3 menu changes because the store was out of things we needed), and 600 more miles on the car since the night before! I was pooped! Then the phone rang...Joe was going to need a ride home from work in the morning his brakes went out and he had just barely missed hitting a big buck standing in the road.....sigh

Saturday morning bright..nope still dark.... and early, picked up Joe from work. He went to bed, Silly got the run around from the airlines, again, Snigglefritz played, and I started setting up tables. The again promised bag did not arrive by noon, so into town to shop we went. Actually did find some acceptable replacement for those perfect shoes, and foundation pieces, but of course they just were merely substitutes. Left Silly in town to get ready for the wedding and stay the night with friends. Snigglefritz and I came back home just in time to give Joe my car to go to work. Another 150 miles on the car, more groceries (just in case and to cover the possible 4th menu change) and my bank account much much lighter! After Snigglefritz went to bed I baked, cooked, chopped, diced, arranged furniture, got dishes, bowls, glasses out of storage, and washed them, set up tables, counted and recounted placesettings, and crawled into bed somewhere around midnight.

Sunday, up around 8:00 and threw the last bits of the meal yet to be baked into the ovens. LOVE my double ovens!!!!! Sat down, put my feet up, waited for the ovens to ding, guest to arrive, and started a sock.

Behold. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Take a quick look, they won't be around long.....Silly wants them. Same pattern as the brown striped ones from previous post but these are worked in a tweedy olive green DK weight. Have no clue what the yarn is, got it out of a clearance bin from a LYS in Savannah about a year ball band. It's a wool blend of some sort. Did the burn test so long ago I don't remember anything other than it is wool and has something else, acrylic? Nylon? Scheesh, being DK weight I should be done by now, but the past few days have been beautiful and I've been taking it easy. Kinda tired lately! ;-) Cold and icky today, sunny and 78 degrees last few days, guess we've had our Indian Summer.

Oh yeah, in case your wonderin'.....the airport called Monday, they had her bag, should they send it to me or back to Savannah??? Yesterday bought the plane ticket for Silly to come home at X-mas....used a different airline this time. I know it doesn't matter, they all loose bags, the airlines she will fly this time is the same that lost my bags in June when Joe and I went to Savannah!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


This just cracks me up!!

I found this at:

Love this site...lots of giggles. Real articles published way back when, in magazine such as Modern Mechanix and Popular Science.

I had a dimpleless Aunt once who use to twist the eraser end of pencils into her cheeks. Bet she would have bought this contraption!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Things All Around

Jeepers, I finally got the timing right!!! I can publish AND upload pix!!!

We finally got around to buying a "new" car. Yep, "new" as in new to us. I've been without a car of my own since June!! Egads, that's a long time, but on the other hand, with my penchance for hermitdom...oh well. Neither Joe nor I look at cars as anything other than a mode of transportation, thus, no burning desires to have the newest model on the market. Nope, we are "throw-away-car" type people. I suppose a nicer way of putting that would be "recycled-cars". :-) The downside to buying recycled from the lack of flash, I don't see any, and we don't care about flash. So I have a new car with 50,000 miles, it's not of this decade, no payments to go with it, dirt cheap insurance, it's spic and span clean, gets me where I'm going, and it runs like a top....what more is there to a car???

Another new addition to the hermitage, and this REALLY is new...10 weeks new......

Meet Benjamin.

And this is the reason there hasn't been much fiber stuff going on.......

Here's another pic just for scale.

Um, yeah, Benjamin is ALMOST the size as Ida's head!! Actually I'm impressed with how well IdaMae and Benny are getting along. Ida just turned a year old, and Benny came from a farm with a dog or two, so the transition hasn't been too difficult for either of them. They play all day, testing each others limits, and they test my limits when they play all night!!

So this is all the knitting I've gotten done in the last week.

It's a start. Two more pairs to go to make up for IdaMae's snacking this past month! :-)

The oatmeal colored socks are plain old St st with short row toe and heel made with Wool Ease. A quick and to the point pair of socks.

The brownish, rusty, autumn, color striped pair is made out of one of the Knit Picks sock yarns in a colorway that I didn't really like when I got it so I overdyed it. Originally it had way too much white and a light liver, almost mauve color (yuck) in some of the dots and stripes, now it's my kind of colorway. It's a simple toe-up sock with St st on the bottom of the foot and a two stitch mock cable on the top of the foot and up the leg. I like this stitch pattern, it's soooo simple and quick. Certainly works up as fast a plain old St st w/ ribbing sock but looks like it has so much more to it. A tad bit more interesting to work too.

Next on the needles are a couple more in this pattern, and an experimental pair made with the same squares used on the cropped sweater but on a much smaller scale. Haven't decided which I'll start as soon as I'm done posting this. The NEED for socks is screaming at me, but the desire to give this new idea a go is somewhat overwhelming. Maybe I'll start both, the easy ones for when IdaMae and Benjamin are around and the other for when they are both exhausted from play.