Still working on it

First, maybe I should explain what’s up with the Cord Spaghetti Gnomes??? 

In the Discworld novel Hogfather, various ideas are accidentally, literally, incorporated. So we are treated to the sudden existence of beings like Bilious, the OhGod of Hangovers; the Eater of Socks; and the Verruca Gnome.

If they can exist, why not Cord Spaghetti Gnomes??? Wherever I go, there are tangles in anything that can possibly tangle; from computer wires to my own hair. When my oldest son was 3, he saw me crocheting and asked, “Mommy, why are you tangling that string?” ❤  

I feel connected with other women, past and present, when I’m tangling strings. I can do many things with tangled string: crochet, embroider, cross-stitch, sew, quilt, braid, macrame… arts practiced by my foremothers since women have existed. Arts taught to me by my immideate foremothers. 

And I connect it with the idea of Lachesis, in the Piers Anthony novel, With a Tangled Skein. Piers borrowed the Greek idea of the Three Fates: Clotho, who spins the thread of life; Lachesis who measures and weaves it; and Atropos, who cuts it. They’re another version of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

Although, technically, I’d be moving to the Crone, or Atropos, incarnation; now that my reproductive years are over… I’m a born caretaker and function better as the Mother and Weaver.

And so goes the long explanation of why and how I became Swampcat, Tangler of Strings, Leader of the Cord Spaghetti Gnomes.

I was going to write about the Person of the Year.

Time Person of the Year

I was going to write about how I learned why this topic matters. 

But as I was digging through my immense yarn stash, I found my first yarning tools. So, instead, I’ll share the much-more-seasonally-cheerful story of learning to crochet. 

download (1)It was 1976 (ok, 41 years ago) and my Nanny and Poppa were staying with us for the holidays. In the evenings, they liked to sit in their room and watch Lawrence Welk on their old B&W tv.

Pop would smoke his pipe (it WAS the ’70s) and work on whatever project he had going. Now, we’d call a guy like him a “maker”. In ’76, he just liked to tinker around.

And Nan would sit on the bed and crochet. I was almost 7, and I’d want to snuggle up and chatter away at my indulgent grandparents in the evenings. They certainly had more patience for me than the other busy adults in the household. So I sat, and chattered, and asked 100000000 questions, one of which was if Nanny would teach me to crochet.

Probably in hopes that I’d get bored and take my chatter elsewhere, Nan agreed. She handed me that red, plastic hook and let me choose some scrap-yarn from her bag… and I was hooked. Over that Xmas season, Nan and I sat on her bed, crocheting, and watching Lawrence with Pop. I practiced as diligently as any Aspie kid, until I mastered the chain stitch, and Nan had to teach me to turn my work and do a single crochet.

When Nanny and Poppa went back home, Nan left me a couple more balls of scrap yarn, the hook, and that “how to” booklet that was in her project bag. My family didn’t believe in “wasting money on craft supplies for a kid”, so that yarn was precious. I’d crochet it, and unravel it, over and over. I didn’t want to cut it, because I knew I wouldn’t get more. One of my first projects was a chain that went all the way across my room; which I tied to the doorknob so I could open the door from my bed.

Over the years the yarn became frayed, knotted, pilled, tangled, and all the other things that happen when you abuse cheap yarn. I can’t believe I still have some, following me around after 4 decades. I should incorporate it into something. Someday.

So that’s the Origin Story of Swampcat, Tangler of Threads, Leader of the Cord-Spaghetti-Gnomes**.

There’s a snowstorm in the Swamp tonight. Winds a-wutherin’ and huge flakes a-floatin’. Methinks there be a snow day in the making for tomorrow. I’m glad I got craft supplies today, I need to finish 3 commissions now before Xmas. :-O

** picture sommat’ like Nac Mac Feegle, The Wee, Free Men. If you don’t know who they are, get ye’ to Discworld, STAT. ASAP, even.


When it rains…

… I’m generally completely unprepared. 😉

Seriously, though, I was completely unprepared to run out of kerosene for the furnace on Saturday, which is why I did.

I was teaching crochet at work that day, and already so low on “spoons*” that I was down to that stupid, serrated grapefruit spoon thingy that I don’t even know why I keep since I can’t have grapefruit with my meds… Anyways, I got home to a cold house after dark, to find out that I’d left my cell phone at Price Chopper. Yeah, my swamp is about 8 miles from the store, and there was NO WAY I was dealing with it then.

Being a pack-rat is handy sometimes, as I could dig out my old phone and call the store on wifi to verify that I’d pick my phone up Sun. morning, when I’d be up for dealing with that and kerosene. Oh, did I forget to say that getting emergency kerosene is a pain in the ass, and since it wasn’t supposed to be too cold, I was just going to get a couple of 5-gal cans to pour in the tank to get me through… since my regular delivery is Tuesday.

Now, on to the connection between that whole thing and rain: the fuel truck just finished my delivery about 5 minutes before it started pouring, while I was listening to Supertramp’s “It’s Raining Again”.

Synchronicity. Which is also a really great Police album.


*For an explanation of what I’m referring to when I talk about spoons, please visit “The Spoon Theory” written by Christine Miserandino


This is Oliver, asking me to make him some lunch. Oliver was begun as a commission, but I fell in love with him. ..

And have to sell him after all, because I need gas money. I’ll make myself one after Xmas, I have two more commissions to finish before then. 😀

Write what you know.

That’s what all of my English teachers always said, when I’d complain about not having any ideas.

So, here goes:

I know you are, but what am I?





Oh, you were expecting more? Perhaps the “what am I,” part?

damn. Almost got away with it.

Ok, what AM I?

I’m an almost-48-year-old woman; and an Autistic, creative, Library Ass. I have chronic pain that has my Dr shrugging and diagnosing me as a middle-aged woman. I am owned by 5 cats and 2 catdogs, and we live in a house in a swamp in the North Country of NY state. I ❤ making stuff, and rarely follow directions or patterns if I can help it. I create and sell custom crocheted and/or quilted stuff. Someday I’ll set up an online shop, but at this point sales are strictly by commission. If you’d like to know more about anything I make, especially if you’d like to spend money, hit me up at

Otherwise, pull up a bit of floor, or push some books off a chair… don’t mind the dogs, they rarely bite. It’s the cats you have to watch out for. Anyways, make yourself comfy and read some of Swampcat’s Mewsings.