Weekending: Mid-July

Maddy came home on Friday for a break from camp; she's stressed out as it's been a super tough summer -- too much work and no assistance (she's supposed to have an assistant) or support. It's just truth when I say that my girls have an incredible work ethic, and if she's feeling it enough to express it... it's bad, especially because she truly LOVES camp! Her saving grace is a trip coming up... fingers crossed, along with all the good thoughts, karma & juju!!

Anyway, I had a million things to do in the pre-cleaning/reclamation department, but I knew that offering my girls some SISTER TIME was way more important -- for all of them -- so I offered to take the kiddos on Saturday. Kate, Al & Mads went out to lunch, stopped at a hobby/craft shop, ran a few errands... and then came back for drinks, games & dinner.

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Malina experiences full-on fart gun a la Ginny!

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These two! Gah!! Junah was sitting on the step and Ginny sat down next to him... and then scooted over to be closer. 😍

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We took full advantage of my around-the-corner neighbor's invitation to help ourselves to her raspberry bushes. Junah doesn't really like them, so he gave me all that he picked, and then carried home a little handful for his mamma.

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We actually had some rain on Friday, which meant a full ran barrel on Saturday!! So fun.

On Sunday, I hit the housework! I've been constantly reminding myself that it's a process... things aren't going to be perfect on Wednesday, but they'll be better and will improve each time. That's the plan, anyway!

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BONUS! I found the fat quarters that I bought in Nashville last February! I've made a conscious effort to not let The Case of the Missing Fat Quarters drive me crazy over the past few months... they'd cross my mind now & then and I've even "looked" for them a little bit. Man, they were stuffed into a knitting project bag and I would never have looked for them there.

It's a normal week around here, except that Junah's sleeping over on Tuesday night and cleaning ladies are coming on Wednesday and I'll see my sister Ann & the boys (from Spain) by the end of the week! Woohoo!!


3TT

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...

Thing 1 - PRE-CLEANING

...is going well. In addition to my normal Wednesday off, I also have Thursday (today) off this week and the weekend is ahead... so I'm not killing myself in this endeavour.

Thing 2 - OOPS 1

I finished TTL Mystery Shawl Clue 2 yesterday...

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...or so I thought. This is an up-to-the-minute photo showing progress on the THIRD REPEAT! Gah! I'm glad I took a minute to read the intro again and count my stitches.

THING 3 - OOPS 2

One of my needles was pointing backward as I came in from taking the photo above.

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I kind of love it. If it wasn't so big (5 US), I'd make more. A mosquito could easily fit through that hole.

I hope you're having a good Thursday!


It's time...

I've hired someone to clean my house.

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I had a regular cleaning lady for a while... before Maddy was born! My mom sent hers over on a flukey one-off several years ago; all I remember is that the woman was arguing with me about whether my bathroom floor was real wood or laminate. It's true! She flat-out declared that it was real and didn't believe me when I told her that it wasn't! Listen, lady, I helped to cut, peel and stick it down... it ain't real!!

Anyway, other than when my mother was a newly divorced, returning to college, mother of five, she always had a cleaning lady. I remember complaining about having to "clean" before the cleaning lady came... when I was actually just getting my own shit taken care of/put away so the cleaning lady could actually clean! In those "dire" times, Mom had a built-in workforce -- however unwilling -- ranging in age from 6 to 12; she would leave notes every single day with a list of jobs/chores for each of us. We did not dare ignore it, either. My mother was an EXCELLENT housekeeper, with or without the help, and she trained us all very well.

I hate housework!
You make the beds, you do the dishes
and six months later
you have to start all over again.

--Joan Rivers

Things are just slightly beyond me right now... have been for a while now. We downsized within our own home a few years ago, kids have been drifting in and out, my sister died, my mom died, grandkids have appeared and are growing in size as well as number, and I LIKE TO DO/MAKE THINGS. There's stuff associated with all of that. SO MUCH STUFF. And it's piled up in various ways.

Housework is work directly opposed to the possibility
of human self-actualization.

--Ann Oakley

I've nibbled away at it, of course, bits here and there... I've Kon-Mari'd this and Death Cleaned that... and by the time the "stuff" is dealt with (provided I haven't been interrupted by any of 1000 different things), I'm exhausted... it never feels like there's follow-through or finish.

I feel overwhelmed and I'm tired of it.

So, here's my plan. Starting tomorrow, and continuing on the weekend, I am concentrating on simply putting away or removing the crap that's in the way.

That's my job -- cleaning before the cleaning lady comes (a week from tomorrow)!


Weekending: Kate's back!

I drove down to O'Hare on Saturday to pick up Kate after her month in the U.K. We decided to stay overnight and chose the new (as in barely open a week) St. Jane for our accommodations. Formerly the Hard Rock Hotel, St. Jane is in Chicago's beautiful Carbide & Carbon Building and is named for Jane Addams.

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Instead of a bible in every room, it was a biography!

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The weather was fabulous and it was great to be outside!

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We had a light lunch at the Purple Pig (of course) and dinner at Catch 35 (first time). I had those gorgeous scallops and Kate had a mixed grill.

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We tried to get to a couple of (way up there) roof-top bars but most were busy with private events until late; we settled for a lower-level roof-topper with exorbitantly priced pre-mixed cocktails (which we didn't know were pre-mixed until they were poured). They looked & tasted pretty good but should have been half the price (and my glass should have been all the way full instead of 2/3, too... what's that all about?). /gripe

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I had a great time with my girl!

We got up, had coffee and shared a blueberry muffin, and then head home. We were on the road by 10 and home before 2.

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The girls came over for a little while, and everyone else came later for supper. It was a nice evening together!

Katie went to bed fairly early and I wound down with a couple of episodes of Anne with an E (I started on Friday and am bingeing hard -- love this show) and my TTL Mystery Shawl.

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The photo is from Friday night, having barely begun Clue 2; as of last night, the first of two very enjoyable repeats is finished... and Clue 3 awaits!

I'm looking forward to next weekend already!


Recombobulating

You would think that a mid-week holiday falling on my normal day off would be a piece of cake. WRONG. I had an unshakable "Sunday" feeling all day yesterday, and it has carried over... Today is the Monday-est Thursday ever!

I attached and finished the waistband on my Gypsum Skirt on Tuesday night.

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I fully intended to hem it on Wednesday morning before anything else, but there was an Hawaiian shirt calling my name.

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"Make a Hawaiian shirt for Junah," they said. "It'll be easy," they said.

Well, okay, no one actually said that it would be easy... but how hard could it be???

Forty-five minutes of searching and watching YouTube videos about how to attach a collar to a shirt, while regularly re-reading the directions and trying to make out what's going on the photos, later...

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I think I've got it. Now I'm attaching the back yoke facing and trying to find a method that is not "making a sausage."

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Meanwhile, there are some nice details, I love the fabrics, and it's going to be a very nice shirt!

It was so great having Maddy home for a few days during her holiday break!

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We went out to a pond party yesterday afternoon where Rod was playing. The kids had a blast in the water.

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I love this photo with their big sis Jillian, especially the joy all over Ginny's face!

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There were clouds skirting around us all afternoon and then all of a sudden... DOWNPOUR! We all huddled under cover until it passed, and at least it brought a little relief from the heat & humidity.


More Sewing

There was a good deal of time spent with the kids over the weekend, and Maddy arrived on Saturday afternoon, but I still managed to find some time for sewing -- both for the kids and for me!!

After work on Friday, I stopped by the blueprint shop to pick up printed patterns for Alabama Chanin Palazzo Pants and the new Sew Liberated Gypsum Skirt. Then I ran by Joann (have you read about the new Concept Store?) where I bought some more Mickey Mouse fabric (ahem), including another fat quarter bundle (that I couldn't find last time), and some drapey rayon for the Gypsum Skirt. I tossed it all in for a wash when I got home so it would be ready to go.

On Saturday morning, I finished the bodice lining and hem of Gin's Franken-Geranium...

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With pleats & pockets!

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That irresistible (to me) cap sleeve!

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And pearly snaps on the back!

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The fabric is made up of leftovers from the first fat quarter bundle, which I used to make a Geranium Top for Malina, along with some MM fabric that Ali had in her stash, and a random B&W print from mine (before I knew that Ali had some and when I didn't want to make the 30-mile roundtrip to the fabric store) (I never realized it was actually that far!).

I absolutely LOVE how it turned out! Here's Malina's...

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The cuteness is going to be off the charts with these girls and their coordinating dresses... and I just can't even imagine once Junah's added to the mix. I have plans!!

Then I got to work on my Gypsum Skirt and, boy oh boy, rayon is so slippery!! At least compared to the cottons -- both woven & knit -- that I'm used to working with. I sewed my first-ever flat-felled seam on the machine...

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...and, believe me, I considered my options for the other three! That was sort of tricky, but it got a little easier with each one. Naturally, my bobbin thread ran out at the beginning of one of them and I didn't realize it until the end.

First order of the day tomorrow is to finish that skirt. I have sewn the waistband into a loop, currently draped around my ironing board, so all that's remaining is finishing & attaching that and hemming. I love those big roomy pockets... I hope they like me!


Scenes from a hot weekend

As in temperature. And humid, too.

Malina's like...

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WHUT??!!!

The big kids were keeping cool as they saw fit (some in undies, at most, others in head-to-toe fleece -- which seems to hold a lot of water and it was cold, so... to each his own).

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Also, cool big air-bubble knees!

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Ginny & I both suffered injuries when I fell after saving her from a likely bump/fall off of the retaining wall. I'm the only one to actually spill blood; Gin's Minion band-aid (and unseen crocodile plaster) are purely decorative/placebo measures. Maddy, certified in First Aid because of her summer camp job, jumped right in to fix me up. Gin was obviously quite fascinated by the procedure, but Junah made a face after the application of hydrogen peroxide and bowed out. I'm just thankful that I didn't twist anything and that it's my left knee we're looking at and not the right; my right knee won't likely fare another grinder very well. (That big scar on my shin is where I met the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet at work last year. Yep, that hurt.)

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It's nice having Maddy around for a few days while camp is on break for the 4th! It's still hot but, thankfully, not as humid today... so we'll take it. I hope you're faring well, too!


Photos on Friday

They tell the story...

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Just in time for the (latest) heat wave!

Who does she remind you of??

And doesn't she look so gosh darn happy/cute/pleased?  :)

Yes, Jün's now sporting a buzz cut, too.

Have a great weekend... stay cool!


Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat & the Unravelers...

I spent an hour and a half this morning straightening & organizing things in the bedroom -- found some stuff, tossed some stuff, put away some stuff, and set aside some stuff for the upcoming rummage sale. It felt SO GREAT to finally, really, focus on that task. Small bites.

KNITTING

Then I did another rare thing and sat down in the middle of the morning with my knitting and Netflix. I had just a little ways to go until I could bind off the latest In Threes cardigan and one more episode of Collateral to watch...

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...and my timing was PERFECT! Gift for Summer of '18 Baby #2 of 3 is only in need of buttons!

SEWING

I've been catching a few minutes here & there to sew... currently working on Ginny's Mickey Mouse Geranium.

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I love the front -- black & white with littls hits of red.

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There are side seam pockets on both sides. This is the largest size Geranium I've made so far (size 3) and, understandably, those pockets aren't even an option on the smaller sizes.

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PARTY IN THE BACK!!! I did actually stop at Joann's to see if I could find another bundle like the one I started with, but they were gone. Meanwhile, Ali gave me some Mickey fabric from her stash... so I pieced it together and this is what we've got!

READING

Not much has changed in this department. Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson is still in my ears; The Thoughtful Dresser is still on my nightstand (and I'm making some progress).


Weekending: All Kids, (almost) All The Time!

I spent a lot of time with kiddos over the weekend, but managed a little progress on a few of my projects in the "less hectic" periods. I cut out the pieces for another Geranium Dress, worked a little bit on another, and got started on my TTL Mystery Shawl!

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Friday evening, out on the pergola, with an adult beverage -- ready to go! I am currently a bit more than half-way through the fourth of five repeats for Clue #1, and it is quite enjoyable (and beautiful) so far. I'm very happy with the change of yarn so far.

On Saturday, I picked up "the big kids" to go to a Native American Dance Performance presented by the Menominee Nation at the Grignon Mansion.

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We took a shuttle bus from the library to get there... "On the buth," said Ginny with a grin. There was a demo of a few historic yard games that kids might have played in the 1850s, and we tried them all! Ginny and I joined in one of the dances, too!

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The Trapezette Dress has been seeing lots of action.  ;)

Ali filled in at work yesterday so a co-worker could attend a memorial & Rod had an afternoon gig, so I had all three!

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Junah does not willingly pose for photos very often, but when he put on the life vest that he found in the shed, I suggested that we send a pic to Maddy and he was all for it. "Junah says that he's ready to go kayaking whenever you are!!"

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Some of us (okay, one of us) napped a few times. We walked over to the park but Junah saw right away that there was no shade on the playground area, and it was hot outside, so we turned around and came home. They put on swimming suits and we had some water play interspersed with helping Grandpa with yard work, and general relaxing and goofiness.

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Jün & Gin helped me spiralize some zucchini and Rusty grilled some turkey burgers and we all had a nice supper -- with ice cream for dessert (the kids seem to like "Grandpa's ice cream" best... plain ol' vanilla!).

We decorated the wire tree for the 4th of July.

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I noticed an opportunity in the back yard and cajoled the kids (Junah) into a group photo...

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With mixed results!

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Can you believe it? Malina is 3 months old today!! All three kids have changed/grown so much!

It was definitely a high-energy, fun weekend and I wouldn't have had it any other way. This time is so brief, witness:

I hope your weekend was just as you liked it!


Found 'em!

When I posted about Mother's Day last month, I referenced a photo of my sibs & I holding my mother in a manner that my girls were attempting with me. I couldn't find them then, but I just ran across them now...

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It was Mother's Day 2006.

Even better, I found a MOVIE!!

I love all the jokes and laughing! And the paparazzi!!

Four years. I miss you, Mom. xoxo


3TT: More Prep

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...

Thing 1 - RHUBARB BITTERS

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Yesterday, after agitating daily for 2 weeks (plus a day - ooops!), it was time for the next step in the process -- separating the agents from the alcohol and cooking them in water for a bit. I'll be agitating that concoction for about a week. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, remember back in the day when people/knitbloggers were making their own vanilla extract, mostly as gifts? I recall that there was a particular online shop for the procurement of bottles at a very reasonable price. Does anyone remember the site?

Thing 2 - IN THREES

Since taking this photo last evening, this little project is off the needles!

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I'll give it a little bath and find some buttons. The first of three baby knits is almost done! I think I'll make at least one more of these -- it's such a quick & fun one-skein project.

Thing 3 - MORE MKAL PREP

Kirsten herself thought that the variegation in the yarn I showed yesterday might mask the stitch pattern too much and, since she's the designer, I've decided to heed her warning. Another Raveler or two expressed concern that the pattern wasn't doing the yarn justice, and that had been a niggling thought. That yarn is GORGEOUS and I love the pairing that I have, so I'm going to save it for something else.

I did a little stash dive and the current yarn on deck for the TTL 2018 Mystery Shawl is this...

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This is some of my own hand-dyed yarn -- well, one of them is undyed/natural (haha!). The inspiration for the other was a photo of some succulents.

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Not this photo. But aren't they just endlessly fascinating? We have a bunch, in the ground or in pots -- Kate's plants are all residing with us at the moment, too -- and when I spotted this one the other day, I just couldn't resist taking a photo.

Kirsten's Mystery Knit-Along starts TOMORROW! C'mon, there's still time to jump in! I'm excited!!


Unraveled: Prepping for a Mystery

Joining Kat & the Unravelers...

KNITTING

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I am hoping that the stitch pattern is visible enough? I've posted it in the TTL MKAL forum and we'll see how Kirsten feels about it!  :)

READING

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson has been my "listen," and I am enjoying it quite a bit. Marcus has a very interesting story -- Ethiopian-born & Swedish-raised, he thought he'd be a soccer star, not an accomplished chef. He reads the book himself and, though he speaks English very well, his accent is quite strong; I've heard him before on one of the cooking competition shows on TV, so I was familiar before I began the book. It's very engaging.

I haven't cracked open an actual book in probably almost a week. Summertime, man; we're busy (and then utterly exhausted)!!


Weekending: Sewing, Relaxing

Just before the kids left on Thursday night, I remembered to have Gin try on her new dress so I could measure for the hem. I took care of that little detail on Saturday morning!

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I guess I've got the sewing bug at the moment! I picked up a cute Disney fat-quarter bundle at Joann's a few weeks ago featuring Mickey Mouse -- I couldn't resist it then and it's been calling to me ever since! I had to listen...

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I had a blast putting that together -- it's a Made By Rae Geranium Top for Malina. I made the 3-6 month size because she is growing!! It's the first one I've made with the pleated skirt variation.

There was enough fabric leftover that I thought I'd try to cobble it together, along with something from my meager fabric stash, to make a coordinating top for Ginny. I've made the bodice, which looks much the same as Malina's, and here's the skirt front underway:

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I'm making the pleated skirt for this one, too, and it will also have POCKETS! The skirt back will be made entirely of the "extra" fabric. I originally wanted to use white for the "extra," but I didn't like the weight of it compared to the MM fabric, so... it's not perfect, but I think it'll be cute enough.

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Ali sent a few photos this morning. I think that Malina can't take her eyes off of her new top!!

She brought the kids over last night for ice cream cones...

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...to celebrate (Grand) Father's Day! I love how Malina's got her eyes on Ginny! Junah's all wet because he was dousing himself with a water bottle -- it was pretty hot & sticky yesterday.

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So relaxed, and too cute!!

Let's see, what else... We went to a couple of art/music things on Friday evening. We did a run for some gravel on Saturday, and also to try and find a rain barrel that I liked; didn't find one, so ordered one that I hope looks as nice in person (we shall see on Thursday!). I had my first-ever 90-minute massage on Saturday, too, during which I may have fallen asleep once or twice, but also resulting in my arm/shoulder feeling SO MUCH better! And I didn't even know that my left kneecap was in so much need of attention until she started working it... aahhhhhh. It was true bliss.

The weekend ended with this message from Al:

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A swishy & swirly one, I bet!!


TGIF: Random!

Rod's playing at a resort out of town this weekend and Ali & the kids are going along; they are leaving later today and returning on Sunday! It was all Malina for me last weekend with a shot of Gin & Jün, and I felt like I needed some time with the Big Kids before they go so took them for a few hours last night.

We decided to ride our bikes to the park. I don't know what made me think that riding my bike was a good idea... Ginny still needs a lot of assistance (she's a distracted driver!) My around-the-corner-and-down-the-block neighbors happened to be on their front porch, so we stopped to chat for a bit, and they suggested that I leave my bike there and pick it up on the return trip. BRILLIANT! (Thank you, thank you!)

We had a great time at the park!

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Ginny recently had her bangs trimmed by her mum. Guess who trimmed Junah's yesterday??? It's just a rite of passage, isn't it? Haha.

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I just love Jün's floral pants. Gin's wearing her In Threes cardigan! In other news, after the regression in potty training when Malina arrived on the scene, Gin seems to be interested once again! Yahoo! Ali cloth diapers her kids almost always, so this would bring some welcome relief in the laundry department.

Yesterday was my first CSA pick up of the season and I'm SO HAPPY to be doing this again. My farmers are Park Ridge Organics, and they use a system where I can customize my share. Right off the bat, I can go in and indicate that I generally hate arugula but love spinach and am okay with pac choi, so I'll never get arugula but lots of spinach and a little pac choi. Then they send a specific email every week telling me exactly what will be in my box -- and I can change it even then, this instead of that, or adding anything else that they might have available.

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This week, they indicated that they'd be sending me a basil plant. Well, I love basil and Rusty just finished repairs to a planter on the pergola, so I added three more plants (which Rusty planted this morning before it rained - YAY!). I also added some extra green onions and another head of butterhead lettuce this week.

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Another thing I love is an add-on of mixed mushrooms every other week. Yum. We had a great salad with dinner last night.

Our volunteer catalpa tree near the pergola is getting very big and has so many flowers this year!

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Catalpa trees remind me of Sharon. I never noticed them until one June, visiting Sharon (an arborist), I noticed an enormous flowering tree in the park across the street from her house and she told me what it was.

Speaking of Sharon...

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I miss her, of course, but especially on a day like today...

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It's the twins' 58th birthday!! Sharon on the left, Karen on the right, that amazing old playpen... no bells & whistles on those models (nor cushioning)!

And speaking of birthdays, a year ago this week we were eating paella in Spain...

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...to celebrate Mack's birthday. This year, he's 13 -- a TEENAGER!! So crazy.

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Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday to Mack!! I can't wait to see them all next month.

As if that's not enough, Ali & Rod are celebrating their 5th Anniversary today!!

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WUT?? Can you even believe that?


3TT: Yarn

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...

If you've been blogging for a while, you might remember the day -- way back in the day -- when people would blog about yarn. Specifically, it was a huge thing to excitedly blog about acquiring yarn -- stash enhancement -- whenever & wherever you acquired it, especially if it was "occasion" or "souvenir" yarn, or from a gift or a swap. I have fond memories of a few early swaps, and some of my all-time favorite knits were made from "swap yarn." I know there are still some swaps going on, but it's all changed quite a bit and I think that Ravelry and Instagram and hashtags are much more a part of it now than blogs and... I don't know, somehow it's not as personal and fun (to me, your mileage may vary).

Anyway, while recently in NY/NJ, I bought some yarn. I took three photos of that yarn when I got home, and I thought I'd share them with you. Just like the olden days!

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From the top:

1 -- Meadowcroft Dyeworks Yarn Rehab purchased at Knitty City & Molly Girl (it glows under black light!) purchased at Yarnia

2 -- Wol met Verve minis purchased at Knitty City

3 -- Life In the Longgrass Dye Studio purchased at Brooklyn General Store

Every one of these dyers is news to me... they hail from PA, the Netherlands, and Ireland... and I don't have a plan for any of them.

Well, I didn't have a plan for any of them... that LITLG Fine Sock from Ireland is now going to be my TTL Mystery Shawl. I have some thoughts about the Molly Girl Bass Line becoming something for a couple of little girls I know, too.


Unraveled Wednesday: Trapezette

KNITTING

You know that KNITTING is my primary therapist, but SEWING is a steadfast back-up! I bought this cute pin at Brooklyn Craft Co. last weekend for Ali -- they all decorate their barista aprons with pins at the coffee shop, and this is so true for her.

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Truth is, I haven't been knitting much. There's a hat & a shawl in current rotation, but I do most of my knitting in the evening and, well, this week we've either been busy or I'm just too pooped. I think about it all the time, though. And lately, I've also become a bit preoccupied with what to knit/make for three little baby girls due to arrive in the next couple of months. I really have to use some yarn that I already have and it has to be baby/mom friendly (i.e., washable), so that's limiting (not necessarily a bad thing... parameters)... I think I'm closing in on a plan.

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I've also been considering Kirsten's TTL Mystery Shawl... it's been a favorite each time that I've participated! The only thing holding me up is my sore arm, but a few short breaks from knitting, visits to the chiropractor, and the discovery of a major knot in my shoulder (I really need to schedule a proper massage) have all been helping. And I can certainly go at whatever pace is comfortable for me. UPDATE: Pattern purchased! 

SEWING

Even though my main occupation last weekend was cuddling & caring for Malina while her parents were busy at the Electric City Music Festival (big kids were with other grandma), I still managed to prepare, cut out, and sew The Trapezette Dress for her older sister -- my first Merchant & Mills pattern, recently purchased at Brooklyn General Store.

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I have a bit of finishing to do (hemming & a button) but this is a big win and there are certainly more to be made (this is a size 3yrs, the pattern goes up to size 8yrs)! Swishy & swingy just as advertised.

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I made my first rouleau in memory! I didn't have a bodkin handy (though I know there's one somewhere), so I improvised with a pin & bobby pin to turn that little loop.

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I'm pretty proud of the more-or-less matching of zigzag stripes on the center back seam -- and I wasn't even trying terribly hard!

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It's super, super cute and I can't wait for Gin to come over and try it on so I can check the length & finish. This fabric has been in stash for a long time; I have no idea what the original intention was. I was a little hesitant to use it for this project because I thought it might be too crazy, but it was the perfect amount (of both fabric and crazy) and I love how it turned out! I used nicely matching leftovers from the backing of Malina's quilt for the facings.

READING

I finished listening to West Cork last week, and have just decided that Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson will be my next audiobook (it's downloading as we speak). The Thoughtful Dresser was just renewed for the second (and hopefully) last time (I'm enjoying the book but the reading, lately, is going much the same as the knitting), leaving Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder stuck at the bottom of the nightstand pile under Rick Bragg's The Best Cook In The World - Tales from My Momma's Table, because that is definitely up next!


Travel planning

No, not for me... I have nothing even close to firm on the calendar until October, and then another possible trip way off in March (though, obvs, I am always up for a spontaneous trip to almost anywhere).

I am travel planning for/with Kate... while she's in the Scottish Highlands and I'm planted in Wisconsin!

She sent me a message yesterday to tell me that she'd arrived at her Highlands destination, and about some great gin that she found (the message also serving as a reminder for her future self about said gin).

We chatted about the weather, how long she'd be there, and what she'd be doing; one thing on the list was finding a distillery tour, specifically gin. She'd told me that it was Misty Isle Gin that she'd been sipping and, following a quick search, I informed her that it was from Isle of Skye Distillers... right where she just happened to be for a few days.

Another quick search led me to discover the Skye Food and Drink Festival, happening this Wednesday & Thursday, and...

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What are the odds?? Minutes later, she was signed up for the GIN COCKTAIL MASTERCLASS! The entire list of exhibitors & events at that festival looks so fun!

I also found a not-too-far-away Gin, Rum, and Cocktail Festival on the weekend (and plenty more, actually), but I'm not exactly sure where she's headed after this.

Anyway, I told her that I NEED TO BE A TRAVEL CONSULTANT... ON-THE-FLY, EVEN! REAL-TIME UPDATES!! haha.

Seriously. I love this stuff.

It's the beauty of making "a plan," but not a hard & fast schedule... flexibility & openness... POSSIBILITIES!! That's not how some people like to travel, I know, and there are many reasons for that, but there are a million "tours" that cater to "tourists."

I want EXPERIENCES... or to help people (my daughter) find them. And when she comes home, she can mix up a killer "masterclass" gin cocktail to thank me!


Weekending: It's electric

I drove to Chicago & back on Friday to deliver Kate to ORD. She had a quick visit with some friends in Edinburgh (who she'll meet up with again for a side trip to Wales) and is currently relaxing & enjoying the beautiful scenery in the Scottish Highlands. (Follow along here on IG, if you'd like.) Lucky girl!

I spent much of the weekend cuddling & caring for Malina while her parents were busy at a local music festival. The Electric City Experience is in its third year, evolving a bit with each one.

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Ali had the coffee camper there, and Rod had a few gigs -- including sitting in last-minute for a bass player who was busy becoming a dad!

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I was just a short walk from festivities and, since Malina isn't a fan of bottle feeding, I could easily walk her down for a meal/snack (and her mama could take a little break, too).

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That Lemon Rhubarb Italian Soda was delicious, with Ali's homemade rhubarb syrup -- tart with a little sweet & sparkle, just the way I like my beverages!

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Maddy came home late Saturday afternoon for an overnight visit and it was perfect timing, as many friends were around, too. We all had fun socializing with folks we haven't seen in a while. And fireworks!

On Sunday, we met up with the "big kids" for a little festival brunch/lunch.

It doesn't get more groovy than that!

I'm pooped, but back to work (a looooong week) and making sure to carve out some "me" time.


3TT: My Backyard

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...

1 -- PEONIES

I have more peony buds than ever before!

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They're not getting battered by wind & rain, for once! Ants sure do love them (see it?).

2 -- CHIVES

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I spotted these yesterday behind the pergola bench -- a bit past prime but still pretty.

3 -- SUCCULENTS

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This little wooden planter full of succulents was one of the table centerpieces at Maddy's BFFs' pretty farm wedding last year. It fit perfectly on the windowsill of my basement dye studio (sigh) and wintered there. There had been some ivy, too, but it didn't survive. I see that Rusty's left his mark...


Unraveled Wednesday: Water

KNITTING

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I started WATER on Saturday night, beginning with a tubular cast on -- it makes such a neat edge. I finished the first repeat last night. I am using Plymouth's Worsted Merino Superwash for this one; it's a little splitty, but it's sproingy and has good stitch definition. I previously used this yarn to knit a couple of Pussyhats.

READING

I did ZERO reading/listening on my trip. Instead, I watched The Greatest Showman -- most on the flight to NYC, the rest on the return trip. And I loved it!

I am almost finished listening to West Cork, and I'm ready for the end.

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I spotted The Best Cook In The World - Tales from My Momma's Table at the airport on Sunday and had it in my hand... but realized that I really wasn't going to start reading it right then and it wasn't the last copy known to man, so it didn't need to be purchased right then & there. Be it known, however, that this is next up -- ready & waiting! I love Rick Bragg.

I may need to renew The Thoughtful Dresser one more time, but I'm getting there.

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


I've lived your worst (travel) nightmare...

...so you don't have to!! I trust that Bonny heeded my warning and had a smoother beginning to her travels today!

Thursday morning, Rusty sits straight up in bed next to me and declares, "SHIT! IT'S 5:15!!"

Here's the scenario:

  • My flight departed Green Bay at 5:55
  • My alarm was set for 3:30
  • It's a 30-minute drive
  • I needed to shower
  • And finish (most of) my packing
  • Obviously, I made the rookiest of rookie mistakes and didn't verify that the alarm was set for AM instead of PM!

"WE CAN MAKE IT!!" he says.

Um. Suurrrrrre... even if I skipped brushing my teeth and jumped in the car wearing my PJs, we'd maybe see the plane fly over our heads at best!

A bit less starry-eyed, I grabbed my phone, sat down at my computer, and called United. It was slightly maddening to listen to the very calm voice while navigating the menu, and I was relieved when it didn't take too long to speak with a real person. And they were SO helpful, rebooking me on later flights -- at no charge (just this one time...) -- essentially, I was on about a 3-hour delay. Instead of arriving NYC at noon, I arrived around 3:30. Kate had commitments at that time and wasn't able to pick me up, we weren't able to have lunch, and I wasn't able to a couple of things on my list (visit the botanical garden and/or Museum of Food and Drink)... but OMG, it could have been so much worse!

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I took a taxi over to Brooklyn to the warehouse where Kate would be installing her show. The actual space (on the 2nd floor) wasn't available yet, so everything was being stored in a studio space on the 4th floor.

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It was hot. Somewhat drippy. Sticky. No AC. No elevator. Ugh.

Prior to my arrival, Kate had been staying in Brooklyn, but we'd booked a hotel in Manhattan for the rest of the time -- until my departure on Sunday, and hers on Monday. She kept her car in Brooklyn, though (free, on-street parking wherever it could be found) and we mostly took the subway back and forth.

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Luckily, the weather improved -- at least in terms of drippiness.

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On Friday, Kate was able to get into the venue space in Brooklyn to set up and hang the show. I hopped in the car and drove over to Jersey to visit with Cara! We had a wonderful afternoon, talking about knitting (that AMAZING brioche shawl that she's designing/making), family & friends. We had lunch, made a stop at Yarnia, and picked up C from school (M had after-school activities). The school year is drawing to a close, so things are starting to trickle home... I had a delightful private viewing of all of C's 2nd-grade artwork!

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I drove back to Brooklyn, arriving just in time to watch Kate hang the last pieces. The room had this great floor-to-ceiling window that looked out on some backyards. If you look, you can see a couple on the right hanging out and trying to catch a breeze... I didn't realize until later, when I saw the guy go back into the house, that he'd been standing there in his underwear! Haha. Whatever it takes... Lucky for Kate, the venue had AC!!

On Saturday, I had a lovely (if sweltering) morning walk through Central Park (which, despite a few visits to NYC, I'd never set foot in before!) on my way to meet MDK Kay for a breakfast date! She brought some of her Alabama Chanin Flag Quilt to show off -- utterly amazing -- and it was so cool to see my Wisconsin Blingfish nestled and sewn into its stripe. The quilt's been shining on Kay's IG feed lately, though Shakerag (the top)/Shakerag (the workshop) will soon be taking over, no doubt. After breakfast and show & tell, Kay walked me over to her LYS, Knitty City.

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I walked through the park on the way back, too, and found Balto (along with some kids & their parents)!

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I cooled off at the hotel for a while before heading over to Brooklyn again, where I sat with Kate at the show (always cooling off). Then I walked over to Brooklyn Craft Company, and from there I grabbed a Lyft to Brooklyn General Store -- two shops on my list. They were pretty different -- BCC is newer and smaller, BGS a bit larger and with much more inventory, and also happened to be celebrating their 16-year anniversary on that very day. I found out later that I narrowly missed a run-in with Kirsten Kapur there! (New TTL Mystery Shawl set to drop in a couple of weeks... I'm desperate for my arm to feel better!!)

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With all these shop stops, I came home with much more yarn than I needed (pfffft), but also some fabric to share with Ali and this adorable Merchant & Mills girl's dress pattern (BGS had a sample and I couldn't resist!)!

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Kate was in Brooklyn 'til late on Saturday, celebrating art & artists & CONVEYOR's huge success, so I had a lovely dinner on my own at our hotel. I spent the evening in, finally casting on my first WATER hat (current donation total = $6000 + counting)!

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We had some great meals in NYC, including dinners at Fig & Olive and Empellon (photo above, view to the upper level from our table) -- both excellent and close to our hotel!

I went out for coffee on Sunday morning and found the street closed in front of our hotel, along with a couple of others, and police everywhere. The Celebrate Israel Parade was happening that morning on Fifth Avenue, and security was high -- including bomb-sniffing dogs and sharpshooters. There hadn't been any specific threats... I can't imagine if there had been! I left a little earlier than usual to get to the airport.

I had enough time in Chicago (especially since the flight arrived :30 ahead of schedule) to finally use one of my (unexpired) passes to United Club Lounge. Oh, hell yeah. 

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It never gets old!


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We had pretty great flyover on the approach into GRB... couldn't help thinking that Randall Cobb 🏈 on board had an influence on the pilot! 😉 RC was actually on the other side of the plane so wouldn't have even seen this amazing view. That's Mecca of the NFL... er, Lambeau Field on the left and the new Titletown development extending to the right (there is much more to come).

Despite the heat, it was such a fun trip!! It was so great to visit new places (Brooklyn, Central Park) and long-time friends.


FO/Unraveled Wednesday: Cockleshells

KNITTING

It seems a while since there's been an FO in the Knitting Dept. around here! I was on a roll over the weekend and finally sewed buttons on the girls' sweaters, so today there are two:

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  • Ravelry Project Page: Cockleshell Cardigans
    • Size 18-24 months for Virginia, Size 6-12 months for Malina
  • Pattern: Cockleshell Cardigan by Amy Christoffers
  • Yarn: Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash (color: Daffodil)
    • 4 skeins = 2 sweaters with just a bit left over
  • Needles:  US 10
  • Start to Finish:  April 24 - May 28, 2018

The color is off in these photos (I blame the floor), it's really more like this:

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So bright & happy!

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Are they not the most adorable little sweaters? Soft & squishy, too.

Mods: The pattern called for I-cord ties but, um, Nooooo. I opted for matching buttons and crocheted a loop to close.

Mistakes: I made one on the cuff of Gin's sweater, creating an actual cuff... I didn't realize it was a mistake until I started the other half and then had myself a little time trying to recreate that particular "design element"! I also misread (or didn't actually read) the directions and did the 3-needle bind-off to the inside instead of the outside on both sweaters. These things do not bother me in the least!

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The kids will be over this evening, so possibly modeled shots forthcoming!!

UPDATE TO ADD:

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Oh, they are the cutest!! We had supper together and Gin wouldn't take her sweater off, so... ketchup, chocolate milk, and a little Truffle Kerfuffle later... it's already landed it in the wash! (Came through wonderfully.)

I am still working on Summer Camp! It won't be traveling with me, though, so I'm readying to cast on my first WATER hat to bring along. Check out the Baby Cocktails forum on Ravelry for more info about Water for Flint project and knit-along.

READING

Well, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder has taken a back seat to The Thoughtful Dresser, which I've already renewed once (and may need to again) (reading has taken a back seat to almost everything else), but I'm getting into a bit more and enjoying it. Plus, there's some traveling ahead and it will be coming along.

I am listening to West Cork, which, it turns out, is actually an "Audible Audiobook - Original Recording." It's not an actual book -- never was, never will be! I think I nabbed it on a promotion or something... anyway, it says "audiobook" in the description, so I'm going with that. And it'll fill a Bingo square! I'll likely finish it on the plane tomorrow, so will be queuing up something else today!

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


Alabama Chanin "La Sagrada Familia" Swing Skirt

...or What I Did Over The Weekend!

First of all, it was 100°F or darn close to it all three days, so I didn't spend a lot of time outside.

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To quickly recap the weekend: Ali & her family came over on Saturday night for a send-off barbecue for Maddy, who left for her summer camp job on Sunday morning. I'm not sure when we'll see Maddy next -- maybe July 4th-ish? And probably briefly before she heads to Oregon in late summer/early fall. Thankfully, she's found housing out there for the vintage season, so that's settled.

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And she did a great job repainting the back porch -- ceiling, pillars, railing, window trim, and floor -- before she left!

Kate was away with friends for the weekend, returning Sunday evening. We moved the last load from the apartment into the storage unit that she's sharing with Maddy. And we bade her farewell on Monday morning as she began the drive to NYC/Brooklyn to install her curated show CONVEYOR for Greenpoint Open Studios this weekend; I'll meet up with her there on Thursday. She's still heading to the UK when she returns, but there have been and continue to be Changes and unchanges and rechanges... and stay tuned (because it's un-/re-/changing almost daily at this point!)

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Kate's plants have come to live with us for a while!! It's like a jungle in there. 

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OK. My main event of the weekend turned out to be finishing the Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt that I started last week!

I've been wearing the original more and more, and had been wanting to make another one for quite a while. My original thought was to try using one (or more) of the souvenir t-shirts I've picked up in the last year or so -- House of Blues (St. Louis), Country Music Hall of Fame (Nashville), FAME (Muscle Shoals) are vaguely what I had in mind. What caught my eye was a shirt from La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona! I'd never thought of it in terms of a skirt before, but it was obviously dying to be one.

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Naturally, I didn't take a "before" photo, but that's basically the front of the shirt on one of the skirt's front panels, and the back became the other front panel. I always buy the largest size that I can, but this one wasn't very big and it was an off-center design, so I made the most of it -- you can see that I left the hem intact. For embellishment, I've only embroidered around the outline of the cathedral's towers using black thread.

I found a gray men's 2X long-sleeve t-shirt in the stash (yes! there's a t-shirt stash) to use for the bottom layer (that Barcelona shirt being slightly lighter in weight than I prefer and, also, I'm just a bit more comfortable with two layers). I cut the front skirt panels from the front of the shirt and the sleeves were shaped almost perfectly but just a tad too short (due to armhole shaping) to be the other two panels... it was oh so close! I decided to do some piecing and make it work!

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I basically made a yoke using remaining fabric from the front & back. Another black t-shirt from the stash was cut for the top layer and I suppose I could have left that piece intact, but decided to stitch & cut to expose my Frankenstein work!

Then I had the bright idea to add side seam pockets! I love pockets, don't you? I used the pair of pants I was wearing to get the placement right.

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I got a little tripped up because of "felling" the pocket seams, and ended up felling an entire side seam to the front of the skirt because of the way the pocket was inserted (ideally, seams should be felled to the back). I wasn't gonna let that bother me.

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After the pockets & seams were sewn and felled, it was time for waistband elastic! I really love Alabama Chanin's fold-over elastic, which I attached with a nice stretchy herringbone stitch. I used the same method on my first Swing Skirt.

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Voila! It's a skirt!

On Monday morning, I realized (again, for the nth time in almost 60 years) that as much as I really do love a nice side-seam pocket, it definitely does not love me/my figure in a garment such as this.

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So I took them out! It was not as painful as it sounds -- one nice thing about hand stitching is that the stitches are BIG, and I didn't even have to rip the entire seam. Once the seams were re-sewn and properly felled (to the back!), I was much happier with the fit.

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And I'm wearing it today!!

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Oh yeah, I gave myself a pedi yesterday for the first time in forever!

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A favorite detail is this patch that was stitched to the front of the original t-shirt -- with all the threads hanging out, just like that -- and I just had to keep it! I love this skirt and will certainly be making more.

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You can learn to make your own Swing Skirt from Natalie Chanin herself on Craftsy:

The Swing Skirt: Techniques & Construction

Natalie currently has two other courses available on Craftsy: The New Embroidery: Simple Geometry, Beautiful Stitches and Creative Embellishments. And she's a fabulous teacher!


And just like that...

Two months old!! Prepare for photo overload!

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I had a little one-to-one time with Malina last night for the very first time! The girls went out for dinner & drinks to celebrate their (last month's) birthdays together before they soon begin to scatter.

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In her mama's arms, cooing at Aunt Kate!

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This part doesn't look so gingery. Still, adorbs.

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Sleepy snugs!

I am looking forward to another 3-day weekend! At the very least, I'd like to finish the "La Sagrada Familia" Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt over the next few days and, hopefully, do a little (early morning) gardening. It's gonna be HOT HOT HOT -- 90F or more all three days! I'm looking forward to the shortest of work weeks next week -- only Tuesday & Wednesday -- as I'm winging to NYC on Thursday. I'm excited about spending a day or so on my own in Brooklyn and another in Jersey. It'll be a quick but super-fun trip!


Water

Thea Colman released a new pattern a couple of days ago... WATER is a beautiful cabled hat that she designed to help support efforts to fix the problem in Flint, MI, which has unbelievably been going on without resolution for YEARS.

I just can't even comprehend that... as a mother, a grandmother... a human being!

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Thea writes:

This is WATER, the latest in a series of designs I’ve put out that uses my needles and my voice to try and fix what I can out in the world.

ALL the proceeds from WATER will go to Flint, Michigan, where they are on year four without clean water, due to lead in the pipes and the inaction of the authorities to fix the problem.

There’s a fantastic 11-year-old little girl there named Mari Copeny, who also goes by the name LittleMissFlint. She’s done more as an activist in the past four years than most of us will do in a lifetime. Google her and you'll be amazed. She's adorable and focused and tireless, and with the support of her family she is making a difference.

Mari has made speeches, met with politicians, has social media presence, and uses her voice and rising profile to raise awareness and funds for the people in Flint. She’s raised money for water bottles as well as things that make life for the kids in her community (where 60% live in poverty) better - backpacks and movie tickets and books.

As the media circus in the US intensifies, I want Mari and the people of Flint to know that their town isn’t forgotten, and do what we can. I want to keep encouraging this kid to fight and speak and I want to show her it's working.  Even if the problem isn't fixed, her efforts are working and we hear her, right?

So all my proceeds are going to this Go Fund Me that raises $$ for bottles and backpacks. In addition, North Light Fibers is donating my design fee, and my lovely tech editor Sandy has asked me to donate her tech editing fee.

The hat itself is my favorite kind of design -- some fun cables.  These combine open cables and twists, and feature a bit of texture. The crown of the hat is worked with a combination of decreases and cables that makes a striking pattern that reminds me of large drops of water, an added bonus to the theme of things here.

All the information is on the Ravelry page, and the PDF is $7.00.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THESE IMAGES AND THE STORY on your social media, with your friends, or at your knitting shop. I’m not trying to make any cash myself off this one - but the more you spread the word, the more we help this kid help her community. xo

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Within little more than 24 hours, $2200 was raised for Flint and, as of this morning, that figure had risen to $3000.

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Thea is hoping that activity over the holiday weekend can push it to $5ooo!

CAN YOU HELP?

 


Weekending: The Rest of the Story

I stopped by my LYS on the way home from work on Friday to find some buttons for the girls' sweaters.

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I can't believe I still haven't sewn them on! It was a very busy weekend with lots of distractions and many things buzzing 'round my brain. I'll buckle down and get that done because, believe it or not, it has been sweater weather the past few days.

On Friday evening, Kate & I stopped in to see Cristian Andersson's installation & performance piece, Scriptorium (some background here).

There was more bad news on Friday and, combined with Cristian's reading of the news, the piece by Annie Leue that we'd seen at the SAIC Student Show not even a week earlier came immediately to mind, prompting the post above. We did not see/hear Cristian's entire performance, but he later made a moving reply to my post on IG (click through for all the photos/comments).

Nothing against Harry & Meghan, but I just couldn't muster much enthusiasm for the wedding. I was happy to see a recap or two and some photos and, in hindsight, I probably would have enjoyed it... but not as much as my mother would have, and perhaps that was another reason for my lack of interest.

Instead, I had a fantastic day with Junah & Ginny on Saturday!

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They brought over some new bikes to leave at my house and we rode around the 'hood to check on things... the remainder of the sewer/water work on a few streets over, the old water feature at a park a couple blocks away that's been on the docket for a (someday) re-do, the sad condition of sidewalks and settling earth due to the above sewer/water work that took place on our street last year. I called the City Engineer yesterday (again) and am awaiting a return call about when it'll all be fixed. They came up and put some safety barriers in a couple of places a few weeks ago, but even those are being swallowed up as things continue to deteriorate. It's not a good situation!

Ali came over with all the kids on Sunday, too, and we had a nice impromptu dinner together with Kate & Maddy.

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This little one! She's wearing the Elwood cardigan that I made for Gin a couple of years ago -- it's a little big for her, but look at that cute pudgy rolled-up sleeve.

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I think she's looking more and more "gingery" every time I see her! What do you think?

During a little chat with Ann in Spain on Sunday, I also talked with Addison for a bit and he sweetly asked about the baby. I told him that we're just beginning to see the hint of a smile now and then, but by the time they're here in July she'll be smiling ear-to-ear.

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Work on the kids' clubhouse continues... there a door manufacturing operation in our basement over the weekend. The doorknob came from "the bucket o' knobs" that Rusty's collected/saved over the years. I think it'll soon be finished!

I discovered a couple of new-to-me beers:

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The Gnam Gnam was very good. Had I known beforehand that it had mango I wouldn't have tried it, but I couldn't even tell... I did get a hit of the Thai chili and it was perfect! I also enjoyed the Lager of the Lakes -- more than I thought I would, actually. Also, the design of both of those cans is pretty spectacular!

Due to coworker scheduling, I had the day off yesterday instead of my usual Wednesday and noticed that it was VICTORIA DAY, so of course!!

I had a long overdue chiropractic adjustment yesterday and a long discussion with her about my tendonitis, which has become a sometimes very uncomfortable/painful shoulder situation, and between the adjustment and a couple of awareness things... it's feeling better today. Here's hoping for continued improvement!

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I've had the itch to make another Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt and pawing through my stash of t-shirts, souvenir & otherwise, I came across one that I bought last year at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and it was perfect!  The embellishment could go either way because, y'know, GAUDI, but I'm keeping it simple... running stitch in black thread to outline each of the cathedral towers. I can always add more stitching later... at times it screams for beads!

Thanks for all the great comments about my patch job yesterday! It was a very methodical process and fun to learn. I neglected to mention that I have a few copies of that issue of Making (and some of the others) in the shop and would be happy to send them out into the world -- $24 (+ tax if in WI) + flat $5 shipping. Let me know if you're interested! (Someday I'll get the online commerce thing going.)


Happy Mend-day

I had Junah & Ginny for a large part of the day on Saturday while Ali ran some errands, but managed to get organized and accomplish a few things before & after they were here.

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Though I've been wearing it with no problems, there have been two small holes in my Alabama Chanin Anna's Garden Swing Skirt almost from the moment I first pulled it on. The stitching may have been a bit tight on one of the applique pieces because the holes were on either side of just that one piece. Fixed!

An often-worn black sweater from J.Jill had some holes in seam lines, so I stitched & reinforced them. Fixed!

The lightweight brown cardigan is also from J.Jill and was my mom's. It had a tiny little hole in a really weird spot (right between the boob and armpit area -- possibly snagged on a purse strap/buckle?). It's apparently taken me almost four years to figure out how to fix it. I just stitched it up with some brown thread after determining that it's really not a highly visible area... but would be very noticeable if I did anything more than that! Fixed!

Not shown, a long wool Eileen Fisher coat that Kate snagged on super-duper clearance a few years ago. There were some holes in seams, a big hole in the butt area, and some small holes in one of the pockets... and it needed washing. Fixed!

Then it was time for The Big One. Another J.Jill sweater that I've had & worn for at least a couple of years. I put it on the other day and thought to myself that the elbows were looking a little thin and, sure enough, by noon there was a hole in one of them!

There's a great article by Bristol Ivy in the latest issue of Making, No. 5 / COLOR about a few different methods for mending knits, and a woven patch seemed the way to go for my project.

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I roughly marked the area with pins, stuck a little ham in the sleeve (for contrast as much as anything else), and started weaving. First, to establish the perimeter...

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Then back and forth horizontally (these are not technical terms!). I love the idea of "visible mending," so chose a yarn with a little personality -- a bit of a Madelinetosh Unicorn Tail that I dug out of the leftovers.

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I wasn't far into the vertical stage of weaving when I realized that the patch was not going to be a dense fabric... the original fabric is more of a mesh, but that won't work for the patch.

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So I eyeballed it and wove some more yarn in vertically, until it felt & looked right -- not quite twice as many.

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Then I wove in all the ends. That's the back side, above. WEAVING!

During this process, I thought of "Ruth" a million times. I never met Ruth, but when I was little and we'd go to my Grandparents' house, we'd drive through a little town called New London and I'd always spot/look for a sign that said "REWEAVING by Ruth." It was a fascinating concept!

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Though far from perfect, I am really happy with how it turned out, and I learned a lot. I'm wearing my patched sweater today (because it makes me happy... and it's chilly!), but I'll soon be patching the other elbow -- I'd like to do it before there's an actual hole -- and maybe trying another method/variation and possibly color.


TGI*

*FRIDAY!

*A 3-DAY WEEKEND!

*REALLY & TRULY NICE OUTSIDE!

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This guy is so much happier now that it's nice enough to be outside most of the time! (As are we all, I suppose.)

Do you have anything going on this weekend?

I'll have the kiddos for a while tomorrow morning, in varying combos of 2 and 3 while Ali runs some errands.

The only other thing "written in pen" on my calendar is an appointment with the chiropractor on Monday. I'd been going regularly, but slipped off that schedule quite a while ago and I think it's time to get back on track.

There are a few things on my list that I could work on...

And I'll definitely be putting the finishing touches on two little matching sweaters for two sweet little girls -- I'll be stopping to choose buttons on my way home today!

2 Weeks Craftsy Unlimited For Just $1 at Craftsy.com 5/19 - 5/23/18. No coupon code needed.


3TT: Randomly

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...

1 - Knitting

I started a new knitting project on the way to Chicago last Thursday.

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It's a new Summer Camp (pattern by Laura Aylor) and, as I snapped a photo in the car, I noticed that I was wearing the first one that I made. That shawl and my 2016 Rhinebeck Shawl (Close to You by Justyna Lorkowska) were probably my most-worn shawls last winter (they both "go with everything") and I've wanted to make them both again.

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Coming along!

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I'm using yarn that I dyed a few months ago and I'm pretty happy with it so far.

My elbow/shoulder/arm are still balking at me now and then, so I'm trying to take it easy (figuring out my next step with this lingering situation).

2 - Wine

It occurred to me this morning, while replying to a comment/email from Mary, that perhaps I've neglected telling you about the amazing wineries that Maddy's worked/will be working for! She has worked the past couple of vintage seasons for Wither Hills in New Zealand and also for Loveblock Wines (the winemaker formerly of Kim Crawford Wines); this fall she'll be working for Kendall Jackson in Oregon, and she's pretty certain that she'll be similarly working in Australia next year (exact winery TBD).

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She brought a bottle of Loveblock home with her (because she didn't think it was available here) and we shared it on Thursday night at our hotel. I'm pretty sure the staff in the liquor department at our local grocery store thought she was a little off her rocker on Saturday when she VERY EXCITEDLY showed us that she'd found some on the shelf there!! Isn't the label pretty?

3 - Customer Service

I've tried in vain to locate the misplaced shoulder strap for the charcoal gray Baggallini* Medium Avenue Tote Bag that I bought last year. I don't know what I did with it, and had to resort to using the red strap from another bag when in NYC in March. I finally resorted to reaching out to customer service last week and :08 later I had a reply email informing me that my replacement strap would arrive in 5-10 business days. At no charge. Not even shipping. Yahoo!! I'll be ready, with matching bag/strap, for the next trip to NYC in two weeks!

*FYI, and per the disclosure that appears on the sidebar of every page, I post ads and affiliate links here on occasion, mostly from Amazon and Craftsy (within posts, at the bottom of posts, and also in the sidebar), from which I earn a percentage of any resulting sales if you click through, and that money pretty much covers the annual cost of having this blog/domain. Baggallini is not one of them (nor the wineries) (ha!) (though I realize now that they may now show up!)... anyway, they don't know me from Adam and I'm not compensated for this endorsement whatsoever; I just want to share my experience with their fabulous customer service! (It is so rare... and, really, it made my day!)