One Final 2019 Wrap-Up
One Little Word . . . 2020

Monday Means

it's time to . . .


(On Monday mornings, I share a few things I found over the weekend.)


"A sobering thought:  what if, right at this very moment, I am living up to my full potential?"
    --- Jane Wagner




Okay.  So today's word is . . . not so interesting, really.  And we all know what it is and what it means.  But it's worth a bit of pondering anyway!


Here's a little opinion piece from The New Yorker that talks about . . . milk.  And its evolution from something everyone drank (definition 1 b (1), above) . . . to, well, more the "food product produced from seeds" version (definition 1 b (2), above).  It's interesting.  (And did you know that milk - the traditional kind - is one of the official beverages of the impeachement trial?)  (You can't make this stuff up.)



Have you seen Greta Gerwig's Little Women movie yet?  I am a huge Little Women (the book) fan, and I loved the new movie version.  Not only did I like the way Gerwig chose to tell the story, but I loved the way the whole movie looked.  And especially the costumes.  What a feast for the eyes!  Period details, historical context -- and so much color and texture and layering and . . . hand knit shawls!  If you loved the costumes (or if you're just interested in costuming and/or fashion), you might like to read this piece about Jacqueline Durran, the costume director for the movie (and one of the Oscar nominees for Best Costume Design).  

(And here's a link to the Little Women movie trailer.)  (Those costumes!)



I tend to be very monogamous in my "making" process.  I (pretty much) knit one thing at a time.  I tend to be the same way with my stitching or sewing or even drawing.  So I tend to finish what I start . . . and usually in a fairly timely manner.  (I know. Bor.Ing.)  But I understand that lots of Makers do things differently -- and love having multiple projects going at the same time.  

If you fall into the latter category, you might be interested in this blog post from the owners of Wool & Honey (a really charming and wonderful yarn shop in Cedar - near Traverse City - in northern Michigan).  The post explains how to use "The Gideon Method" for finishing those projects you may have hanging around.  It's pretty brilliant!



And now . . . I have a question for you.  Over the weekend, I went to a little "wine and wool" festival with a friend, and while I was there, I purchased 3 wool dryer balls from one of the vendors.  I've been wanting/meaning to make some wool dryer balls for myself for quite some time, but . . . there they were:  ready made and selling like hotcakes!  So I bought three and give them a "spin" in my dryer yesterday.

And my dryer (a very nice and perfectly functional Speed Queen dryer) . . . didn't like them.  
At all.

As in . . . my dryer shut off after a minute or two of drying with the wool dryer balls bouncing around inside.  Repeatedly.  When I dried the load in my usual way - without any dryer balls - it worked without a hitch.  What is going on here????

At first, I thought maybe the dryer balls (which are pretty dense, to be sure) were bumping the dryer door open and stopping the cycle.  Nope.  I had Tom check the dryer vent to see if it was clogged.  Nope.   I googled.  It doesn't seem to be an issue for others.  

So I'm throwing it out here:  Any ideas about what might be happening here?  Has this happened to anyone else?

(And . . . anybody want 3 brand new dryer balls?)



And that's it for me this morning!
I hope your week is off to a great start.




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Vera Lane

So weird about the dryer balls! No idea what is going on. I use the plastic ones and they work fine. I have a confession. It's a bit amazing (at least to me), but I have never read "Little Women." Never! I'm thinking I need to remedy that this year. And I want to see the movie (me! who is not really a fan of movies!!). I watched the trailer (thanks for the link) and those costumes are swoon-worthy. Also enjoyed the article on Durran.


Dairy farms are having a hard time in our area too. And that dryer ball thing is very weird. We have two sets that I use all the time. I am trying to stick with one knitting project but I am so easily distracted. I do like that method.


I have never, ever heard of anyone having this dryer with dryer balls issue! How curious!!

I loved that post about the Gideon Method (while I have not started yet...this is right up my alley!)

Happy Monday! :)


Those dryer balls stopping your dryer prematurely are a puzzlement. Maybe the dryer balls obstruct the thermal fuse or the blower wheel somehow? Or maybe they make your dryer overheat and shut off? Whatever the cause, I would stop using them. I received some as a gift and tried them for maybe 8 or 10 loads, but didn't notice any reduction in drying time, fewer wrinkles, or less static. The directions recommended using 6 of them in a large load, but even the slight banging around from 3 of them drove me nuts.


I have a set of wool dryer balls and haven't had the problem you describe, but they don't do a very good job at reducing static.
Little Women has always been one of my favorite books and I look forward to seeing this film version!


I can't help with the dryer ball issue but I'd say just stop using them. Aren't you glad you didn't spend time actually making them!? I agree wholeheartedly on Little Women and the costumes. I will also say, they were very accurate historically and I know a fair bit about women's clothing from that time period.


I have no clue about the dryer ball issue. I use them regularly and haven't had an issue with either of the two dryers I've had since I started using them. Maybe the manufacturer would now?

I'm a big fan of Little Women and enjoyed the new version, but I think to get the most out of it you need to be familiar with the story, otherwise the time jumps get really confusing. My daughter (who is 10) saw the movie with me without any knowledge of the story and didn't understand what was happening for most of the film, so we're going to read (or, in my case, reread) the book together this summer.


I, too, am a huge fan of Little Women. I honestly don’t know how many times I have read the book growing up. As yet I haven’t seen the movie, but hope to before the awards. I did read Wool and Honey’s article and was a bit overwhelmed. 5 WPI’s ! Then I actually counted the three by my chair and two hiding in my fiber room and sighed. How did I get there! At the most I have three. As far the dryer balls, never used them so Imof no help.


It's downright depressing to drive through "America's Dairyland" these days.

I loved Little Women and noticed the gorgeous costumes, too (one of my favorite Oscars categories).

I read that Wool & Honey article and... interesting. I may give that a shot one of these days.

That's so weird about your dryer/dryer balls! I have no idea why that would be happening. I made some a few years ago and use them all the time.

Carolyn Seymour Thomas

LOVED Meryl Streep! And everything about the film. But Meryl Streep, oh...


I stumbled across The Gideon Method on Instagram yesterday ... thank you for the link. and sorry, no advice about the dryer balls. (and I hope you'll post again about them ... still on the fence!) p.s. pocket tangle madness is slightly better today. I knitted standing up at the counter ;-)

Jane A. Wolfe

Little Women holds a special place in my heart. One summer my grandmother read it aloud to my sister and I - what a labor of love. She read from the copy that belonged to my Mother when she was a girl - published in the 1930's. Although the spine has fallen off the back of the book, I have it and consider it one of my treasures.

For anyone interested, there are two shawl patterns (the one's worn in the movie) - Beth's Shawl and Jo's Shawl available on Ravelry. I believe the designer is giving the proceeds from the sale of Beth's Shawl to a charitable organization that helps women or girls.

I have no idea about the dryer balls. I hope you solve the mystery.


I use tennis balls, so sorry, have no clue. But try those gorgeous felted spheres with something else inside. See if it works with sheets for instance. That might give you a starting point for solving your problem.

Huge Little Women fan. Loved the shawls. And the movie. Deserves Best Costume Design. Very evocative.


I'm a big fan of dryer balls! Bought sets of three made of alpaca fiber at a local fiber festival years ago and have loved using them. I think the load drys more quickly as it fluffs the clothes. The comforter would never dry well without them! I wonder if the balls set off your sensors because they're already dry? Just a guess.


I'm a Little Women fan from waaaay back; haven't seen the contemporary movies but have the first two, both again just recently on TCM. As Chloe, I also use tennis balls - what a racket they make but haven't had any problems. Hope you get the puzzle solved.

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