Random 10 on Tuesday: Takin' a trip!

1 -- Saturday morning, a text from Kate:

This is super spontaneous but do you have any interest/ability to go to NY(C) this next weekend? Fri-Mon. I’m just hoping to see a ton of art fairs and eat some good food. haha

2 -- There is almost nothing I love more than a spontaneous trip -- near or far! It doesn't always work out that I can be this spontaneous, with less than a week to departure -- previous commitments, getting time off at work, prohibitive cost are the usual culprits -- but this time, it worked out wonderfully! Yahoo!!

3 -- NYC?? I've flown in/thru/out once or twice in recent years, but it's been almost 10 years since I actually set foot on a New York City street. I'm so excited! I think I was a New Yorker in a previous life... or I'm gathering steam and will be in another.

3 -- Saturday evening: airfare confirmation (at a great price)!

4 -- Sunday afternoon: hotel booked.

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5 -- Monday: Tripit itinerary filled in.

6 -- The Armory Show, Volta NY, Spring/Break, and the Whitney Museum of American Art are on the short list.

7 -- The High Line, Central Park, and MoMA are on the longer list.

8 -- Also a visit to Purl Soho (on my list, anyway), and within walking distance from our hotel! And bagels.

9 -- We're going to hit the ground running on Friday afternoon and GO-GO-GO until, exhausted, we board the plane for home on Monday afternoon.

10 -- NYC, here we come!! (All suggestions are welcome!)

2 for $1 - Try Craftsy Unlimited 2 Weeks For Just $1 at Craftsy.com from 3/5-3/7/18.


Right Now: Marching in

Anticipating... A new grandbaby arriving on the scene in something like 23 days!! Will Gin & Jün welcome a new little sister or brother? Ali says that she has no clue...

Celebrating... MARCH! February, like January, flew right by (not usually the case with February)! That fun little interlude with my sis in Nashville in the middle of the month certainly helped.

Enjoying... noticeably longer days! Spring is still a ways off, but we're also enjoying some warm-ish days here & there.

Itching... for garden fresh veggies! I just signed up for a CSA share for the first time in a few years, and planting started last weekend!! This farm is new to me, though I did attend a dinner there a few years ago. It's the extras/options that swayed me... we're able to say NO, from the get-go, if there are things we really don't want to find in our box. Ever. We'll have the ability to swap things out and/or add items, based on availability. And there's a mushroom option! We'll get a 'shroom share every other week.

Knitting... I'm still working on my Parallelogram Scarf! It's slow going, but it's going! It's Knit Night tonight, so progress will be made...

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Swatching... I swatched for the Lunar Phase MKAL, swapping the original blue-green for a lighter one that gives a little more contrast.

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I think "orange" will still be the pop color, but tested a dark red and pale gray, too. There are a bunch more photos on my project page.

Needing... to buckle down and Do.The.Taxes. I finished & filed Maddy's the other day, had a meeting with Ali's tax prep person last night & have a "homework" list, and need to keep the ball rolling so I'm not complaining about this for too long!

Speaking of Maddy, she messaged me yesterday to say that she "got the Oregon winery job!!" When she returns from NZ, she'll be working the summer at camp and, hopefully, supplementing with a bit of waitressing, then heading out west! What's that about a rolling stone...?

Planning... Easter dinner already! Well, just beginning to think about that (realizing that it'll have to be made)... mostly, I'm figuring out logistics for the watching/recording/re-watching of Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert! I cannot WAIT!

Reading... (pages) Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Listening... to Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Sewing... not quite #dailystitching, but stitching nonetheless! Crafting time is pretty limited on any given day, and tends to be knitting or sewing; rarely both, though it sometimes happens.

I can't even imagine how much little crafting time I'd have if I actually did housework...

Watching... Day 2 of the Best Picture Festival is on Saturday!! On deck:

I've already seen Billboards and loved it, especially Frances McDormand (always a fan) and Sam Rockwell, and it's the first time I actually liked Woody Harrelson in a movie. I'm looking forward to Darkest Hour and re-watching Dunkirk right after; historical context and all that. I've been iffy about The Shape of Water, but I've heard that it's pretty good.  :)

Admiring... Kate's brand new, just launched today, redesigned and gorgeous yngspc.com website!! She worked with Vickie Vainionpaa @ Brave New Creative in Montreal on everything from logo & rebranding to web design & development -- quite the process !

Wondering... what's up in your world this March 1st??


FO: Habu for Me!

On Sunday morning, I made my buttonholes -- literally, making a hole in my knitting where each one should be and stitching around it -- and sewed on the buttons.

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I remember the day in November 2007, running errands with Mom, and sneaking in a stop at my LYS, Iris Fine Yarns, because I knew there was a Habu Textiles trunk show happening. I knew, too, that the Habu aesthetic was right up my mother's alley and that if she found something she liked, she wouldn't be knitting it.

Sure enough, she found something... and I knit it for her! That project was started in February 2008 and finished during the 2010 Olympics!

Habu for Me was also in that stack set for finishing in 2010, but I didn't make it. The pieces had all been re-knit to the correct gauge and all that remained was the sewing up.

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I gotta tell ya, after almost 9 years in the making, it feels real good to have another long-languishing project across the finish line!

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Maybe there's hope for the 40 +/- WIPs I have going, according to Ravelry. There's at least one large project **cough** Alice Starmore's Cromarty since July 2004 **cough** that's not even on Ravelry! (It also feels real good to update an old blog post like that once in a while. I'm blaming bandwidth issues back in the day for all of the 1" wide photos in blog posts!)

Good grief, now there's an action plan! I'm going to be going through that list, locating & assessing every one of those projects, and making a decision and/or updating the project status! Does it stay or does it go??

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Back to the FO at hand! It's lightweight, timeless (that easy, minimal Japanese style), more or less neutral in color, and will be perfect for wearing all spring!


Weekending: At the movies

Saturday was Day 1 of our local theater's Best Picture Festival, which I have attended on-and-off for the past several years, and which has only been improving over the years as well! The first time I attended, the breaks were so short between movies that we had to choose between going to the restroom or visiting concessions, and there was barely enough time for either.

This year the breaks were probably around :25-:30 (same last year) and they included a printed schedule that detailed the times exactly! So helpful!! I noticed on Friday that they'd also added a ticket upgrade to include lunch & dinner options as well as unlimited popcorn & soda. My basic ticket option included a 20% discount on food & beverages.

It's becoming much more popular, as there were fewer than a half-dozen seats available at show time!

  1. The Post
  2. Lady Bird
  3. Phantom Thread
  4. Get Out
  5. Call Me By Your Name

Here are some thoughts on these... I don't think I'm giving up any spoilers.

I'd previously seen The Post, and figure I must have slept through about 85% of it the first time, so perhaps "seen" isn't really the correct word. Heh! I know I nodded off for a few minutes on second viewing, too, but don't think there was much overlap. It's a good movie, I learned some things, and love me some Streep & Hanks, but it is just a little bit slow...

I think Lady Bird was my favorite on this list -- funny, sad, sweet. I loved Laurie Metcalf (she was one of my favorite things about Roseanne back in the day and I'm curious about the reboot), and Saoirse Ronan was perfect!

Phantom Thread was... Daniel Day Lewis was... immersed in his quirky character, as usual. I liked Lesley Manville as his sister -- really, she was pretty great. The little peeks into '50s couture fashion and dressmaking were cool. Yeah, I'm not so sure about this one... I didn't really feel the chemistry. (I dozed off a bit during this movie, too.)

Get Out was... HOLY HELL! I kept thinking that this is Guess Who's Coming to Dinner mashed up with Stepford Wives mashed up with Frankenstein and, yeah, you'll just have to see for yourself how that all mashes up!! I had an uncomfortable/uneasy feeling almost from the get-go, as I'm sure it was meant to be.

Call Me By Your Name was just a wee bit angsty -- the way a coming of age movie should be, I guess. It was also gorgeous (Italy! Armie Hammer!)... also a little bit funny, sad, sweet.

_ _ _ _ _

That left Sunday for all the other weekend stuff -- watering plants, doing laundry, bookkeeping, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (conjuring my best Yul Brynner)!

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First up: Amaryllis check. We have one bud beginning to open, and another beginning to shoot up. These plants are of the variety "hardware store," so nothing spectacular... and yet, when is an amaryllis NOT spectacular!?? Loving every minute of the unfurling.

Next up: Dyeing. I've done a TINY bit of dyeing over the past few weeks, but it's been pretty busy around here, so I made it a point to head down there yesterday morning... and I had a mission.

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So, a few weeks ago Larissa Brown's new Lunar Phase MKAL came across my radar and lodged itself in my brain (haha, Kat!). Set to begin on March 23rd, there is plenty of time to gather skeins and contemplate a palette...

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Larissa suggests a light, medium & dark color, along with a little bit of pop! Those two big hanks in the middle go really well with the ones on either side, but they are about equal in terms of value.

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So yesterday, I wanted to play around with that blue-green a little bit...

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Excuse the super-harsh lighting...

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And I think this is a little better value-wise!

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Or in this order? Or with the yellow one? Gah! It's time to wind it all up and do some swatching!!


3TT: Sewing, Knitting, Cats

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

#1 - SEWING

I teased a few times in the past couple of weeks about an epic, years-long, multi-generational sewing project that I was working on.

As memory serves, it started out with a vintage chenille bedspread and my mother's desire to have it made into a bathrobe. I'm sure Mum purchased the pattern, but she tapped Ann to lay and cut out the pieces. Pieces cut, Ann got busy (work & babies) and the whole shebang got stuffed into a bag where it sat for a while (years) until ~flash forward~ Ann moved to Brazil and gave the project (and her serger) to Ali to finish! Ali got busy (work & babies) and also needed to clear stuff out, so it came to roost with me.

That (beat up) bag has been kicking around at my house for at least four years.

The upcoming trip to meet Ann in Nashville, her birthday on 1/23 and Mom's on 1/31, all came into play when my eyes rested on that bag one day last month and, without hesitation, I pulled it out and started to sew.

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Sewing

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Lo, the pieces were all there, along with a little bit of extra fabric, the pattern & instructions, and everything was in pretty good shape. (I pressed each of the tissue pieces as I worked, neatly folding them up to fit the envelope, because this turned out to be a really nice robe and I would consider making another!)

I finished in time and surprised Ann in Nashville with her/Mom's birthday present robe.

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She loved it! (The photos aren't the greatest, as she's fully clothed underneath and it was late/we were packing.) (Also, sneak peek above into my VERY messy workroom -- so much going on in that photo, it makes me laugh.)

2 - KNITTING

I'd been knitting on Morvarch until I returned from Nashville, when I decided to listen to the voice in my head and stop! It was going 99% OK -- getting used to the yarn and working cables again -- and I really liked it, but there's one little place where it's wonky. Also, there's no way it would be even close to finish by closing ceremonies, so it didn't make sense to continue just for the Olympcis. The problem is easily solved with a slight change in my technique, so I'm just going to start over and do it correctly from the beginning.

So, I've changed events and pulled out another long-languishing project for the WIP Dancing event: Habu For Me!

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This was on the top of my To-Do Pile for the 2010 Olympics and didn't make the finish line. For 2018, the pieces were all knit (in the correct size/gauge) and all that remained was seaming & buttons.

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It was all seamed up by Tuesday night and I gave it a soak yesterday.

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I'm sure it'll be dry this evening! I still have the buttons that I purchased when I bought the kit at my LYS during a Habu trunk show -- in November 2007!

#3 - CATS

Rusty & I were ships passing in the night last Tuesday; he was returning from a week in Mexico as I was departing for a few days in Nashville.

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When we spoke on Wednesday, he told me that he was worried about our old boy, Mr. Scamp Washcloth. Scamp wasn't eating and, actually, seemed unable to move his hind legs. We've noted a decline over the past few years -- he seemed stiff at times and we joked a bit about "kitty Alzheimer's" -- but he was still able to jump into an open lap, scuffle around with Duncan a few times a day, and even bat a milk ring or whatever around on the floor. He'd been doing all those things just days before!

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Heartbreaking to see that suffering... Rusty took him to the vet and he & Kate were both with him as he made his way over the rainbow bridge. We said good bye to his sister Roxie not long ago, and now Scampy joins her -- and Daisy, Cutie, Cleo, and Porter!

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That leaves this guy, Duncan, an "only cat" for the first time in his 10+/- years! It's been a week and he seems to be adjusting... sort of. Poor guy, he's getting lots of extra attention and lovin'.


Nashville!

Ho-lee-mo-leeee!

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Nudie Cohn was a tailor -- check it out!

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They say there are 10,000 silver dollars embedded in the bar at Nudie's.

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Hell yeah, we bought a t-shirt from these fine NFD representatives...
so that they can provide coats for kids (all for a good cause)!

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Unexpected highlight!

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Congratulations, Superintendents, on your certification!

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The Don Kelley Band at Robert's Western World.

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JesseLee Jones -- Brazilbilly -- at Robert's Western World (which he now owns).

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Oh my, did we ever have fun! Last year, in New Orleans, we were all about the Fine Dining. This year, in Nashville, it was all about Honky Tonk!!

TUESDAY

I left work at noon and drove down to Milwaukee to catch my afternoon nonstop flight. Ann had sent me an email: "When you get here, let's go out!" And we did.

WEDNESDAY

Ann had conference all day, and I had plans to meet up with Annette (yes, Annette)! We met for coffee at The Frothy Monkey, then walked across the street to Craft South (where I was quite restrained), and then up to Jeni's where we had ice cream for lunch! It was SO nice to meet & chat with Annette, so comfortable & easy. Blog people really are the best people. :)

THURSDAY

Ann's graduation! Initially, the ceremony was to take place in the middle of the whole affair and Ann & I were going to cut out of Music City Center to make it on time to a dinner reservation before going to a concert, but someone's speech went long and another someone had a flight to catch, so it got pushed to the end. The big perk was that I didn't miss Doris Kearns-Goodwin's keynote address. What a pleasure that was!

I ended up cancelling our dinner reservation and we enjoyed the lovely & plentiful reception buffet, instead (Hot Chicken Sliders, anyone? YUM!). And then it was time to walk up to the Ryman to see Blues Traveler!

FRIDAY

Tourist time! We took the Historic RCA Studio B Tour and had our photo taken at the piano that Elvis played, and spent a nice few hours at the Country Music Hall of Fame. We especially loved the Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan exhibits, but everything else, too. The clothing/costumes are amazing (and all of the women were/are tiny, tiny, tiny)! (BTW, the Studio B Tour was good and our guide was great, but it didn't hold a candle to The Swampette Tour of Muscle Shoals! Not sure it'll ever be beat.)

SATURDAY

Up EARLY to catch flights... and having been out a bit later than intended on Friday, whooaaaa! Ann's left a few hours before mine, so I found a couch on which to rest. Using my ample but not too big carry-on bag for a pillow, I actually fell asleep... and woke up wondering if the word "Baggallini" was impressed upon my face (it wasn't). I slept on the plane. And then a half-hour from home, I took another little nap. The driving had been slow-going and intense, as there was some freezing rain and more than a few cars in the ditch, I needed a break!

Over the course of four days, we had food and/or drinks at The George Jones, Cerveza Jack's*, Jack's Bar-B-Que, Puckett's, Wild Eggs, Another Broken Egg Cafe, and I'm thinking there was another place but I can't remember. Anyway, I didn't realize until just now that both of the "egg" places are franchises. They were both very good! The photo is from Another Broken Egg -- a just-the-right-size Belgian waffle, topped with brie and blackberry crisp -- YUM.

We enjoyed music at some of those places, and also Honky Tonk Central (where a former co-worker of Ann's once sang!), Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Nudie's Honky Tonk, Whiskey Row, The Second Fiddle, and Robert's Western World. I'm sure we popped in & out of a couple of others!

There is no shortage of music in Music City! Wow. All for tips/no cover (at least that we ran across). As our guide on the Studio B Tour said, musicians come to Nashville to make music but leave Nashville to make money!

Now, neither Ann nor I are what you'd call a "country music fan," but there are some indelible impressions in that flavor from our childhoods: Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Buck Owens & Roy Clark & Hee Haw, Jeanne C. Riley, Tammy Wynette, Lynn Anderson... and Marty Robbins. Marty Robbins held some weird connection to our dad for us all, I think; after our parents split, we spun Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs until it would spin no more.

So, it's the more old-school stuff that rings our bell. I remember specifically that it was the notes of Harper Valley PTA that drew us into The Second Fiddle on Friday night!

I'd noted Robert's Western World, a few doors down, on previous walks down Broadway, and on Friday night, we were also drawn inside... and weren't we lucky! The Don Kelley Band was very good, with an entertaining bass viol player, and a 17-year-old guitarist that blew our minds. (And not only ours! Luke McQueary was mentioned in a NY Times article about Nashville just a few weeks ago!) We had a beer and listened for a while, and moved on to another venue, but it wasn't long before we were back! In striking up a conversation at the bar, we learned that JesseLee Jones -- the Brazilian Hillbilly, aka Brazil Billy (or Brazilbilly) -- would be the next band up, and heard all about his story. Born in Sao Paulo, he made his way to the U.S., unable to speak English, he could sing country music (having memorized Marty Robbins' Greatest Hits) (or something like that). He eventually made his way to Nashville and was taken under the wing of Robert Moore (of Robert's Western World), eventually taking over the business (or something like that). SO MUCH FUN!! And the reason we were out way past our bedtime (though still way early by Nashville standards).

*So, we're at Cerveza Jack's having tacos and nachos and beer, and all of a sudden we hear the singer (dang, I can't remember her name right now... but I will) talking about Appleton with the people at the next table. "Wait, Wisconsin??" we asked, and piped up with howdy-do's. "Were you at Mile of Music?" I asked. No, she said that she played a benefit for a Catholic middle school here. We're whoopin' it up and all of a sudden, from across the bar, we hear, "COMBINED LOCKS!" (Pop. 3509.) WHAT?!?? The woman comes over and we're all chatting up a storm when she asks for more specifics about where I live, and I said, "Oh, at the end of the street right up from the bank." And she said, "On Such-and-Such Street?" (A two-block long dead-end street that no one knows about.) Turns out, her then-fiance owned/flipped the house next door, and we'd met & talked before! She said, "I was in your house!" The world is SO FREAKISHLY SMALL sometimes.


Fly-by

Well, I cast on my shawl, watched Opening Ceremonies and some figure skating here and there... y'know, you really have to WATCH figure skating, and that cuts into the knitting time! It was a great weekend in every way except for the knitting output. I'll be picking up on Row 20 of 54/Chart A this evening; Charts B, C & D, plus body & ribbing (x2 on all of that) remain! At this point, the podium seems very far away...

In other news, I finished sewing the epic, years-long, multi-generational sewing project on Saturday morning, and I'm really pretty thrilled with how it turned out. All the pattern pieces are pressed, neatly folded and put away, and I would consider sewing the pattern again! Details, photos & a bit more of the story are forthcoming... next week!

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Oh funny & flattering Snapchat filters, I love you! (There are some very UN-flattering filters - no love!) There was KID TIME on Saturday afternoon! We had so much fun in just a few hours! It's hard to imagine adding #3 to the mix... there's only 5-6 weeks to go!

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Kate, Ali & I drove down to IKEA in Schaumburg yesterday, passing right by the new store in Oak Creek that looks like it should be open, but won't actually be open until this summer. That'll still be a bit of a trek, and not something we'll do on the regular, but here's to saving 1.5 hours travel each way! We had a successful day (13.5 hours, door-to-door including unloading), complete with Swedish meatballs & Dala horse candies. I found everything on my list, made my judgments and comparisons, and despite leaving a number of things on the shelf, the car was stuffed and we all had plenty of things to unpack & assemble when we got home.

Rusty and I will be doing a literal fly-by tomorrow -- he returns from Mexico as I jet off to Nashville!

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He spent quite a bit of time demonstrating at Galeria Logan, and finished the piece he was working on. (You can spot some of Rusty's other work in the photos -- from last year or the year before; he just made a fresh delivery). And he got some GREAT wave photos at the beach... inspiration for future work!

I hope you had a great weekend!


Friday Fotos

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From the top:

  • Sleepy Kitten clothing serves dual purpose! (Perfect excuse/justification to knit more.)
  • It took way longer than it should have, but I finally located my knitting belt and now all tools are assembled to knit for the Olympics! I've used much shorter (i.e., 8") needles to successfully cast on Morvarch, ready to switch to the 14-inchers when needed. I will try to catch some video of that when the time comes.
  • It's melting... or it was the other day when this photo was taken. It's snow-covered again now. Bleh.
  • I'd much rather be in Mexico at this cute little casita with Rusty! Timing & various other factors prevented that once again... and he's "working," so that would be somewhat limiting... still. I am going to Nashville next week. It won't be as warm, and there's no ocean or sand, but my sis found a cute Airbnb, I'll represent for her as she graduates -- an official ceremony (with rehearsal) and everything -- plus some extra-curriculars!

Happy Weekend, y'all! I'm looking forward to some Kid Time and also a trip to IKEA -- with an obscenely long shopping list that I like to think of more as a "Reminder to Check This Out/Compare List." Also knitting and the Olympics!!


3TT: Throwback

For the Olympics in 2006, I knit Williamsro.

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That one earned a gold medal, which is still hanging on my fridge! Hm, I haven't worn this sweater in a while...

In 2010, there was a pile o' finishing to do.

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I finished a couple of them then, too! They've all been finished now, in one way or another* (though perhaps not until 2017 -- Oblique!), except for the one on topWill it ever??

{I don't remember why, but the 2014 games were skipped altogether.}

This year, I am gearing up to knit during PyeongChang 2018!

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Team Rules Schmules... it works whether you're in it to win it, or just in it for the camaraderie & fun! Feel free to join in!! Official cast on is tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. CST.

I think I'm in it to win it this year (so some of the rules apply), but we'll see... traveling for 5 or so days with a not very travel-friendly project may change that! But for now my yarn is wound, I played around with the cast on and 14" DPNs last night (and dug out some shorter ones because those long ones aren't needed right away), and need to find my knitting belt.

*Man, that Peace Fleece (bottom) is gorgeous, isn't it? Coup d'Etat was frogged, but I still like that design...


Unraveled... and mended

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As I've done many times before, I had Gin in the stroller the other day all bundled up in Parcheesi. We ended up doing a little cross-country, and the blanket got caught up in the front wheel, leaving a hole...

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It's the first time I've had to mend a hole in this well-loved and much-used blanket!

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And, while it was more than one stitch, I definitely had The Rare Stitch in mind as I made the repair. I took the opportunity to toss it in the washer & dryer, too, so all fresh and clean!

READING:

Like the knitting, the reading has been slow around here. I continue to listen to Mustard Seed, mostly in the car, and turning the pages of Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Today happens to be the 151st anniversary of Laura's birth in the Big Woods of Wisconsin! Happy Birthday, Laura!


Ten on Tuesday: 3-Day Weekends

I've had a few 3- or even 4-day weekends lately and, while I really do love my regular Wednesday off (I like to think of it as a "mini-weekend"), there is something to be said for three or four days off in a row. It's fun to get out of town, of course, but it's sometimes just as fulfilling to spend those days at or close to home.

Here are 10 things I did on my (most recent) 3-day weekend:

1 -- Relaxed. No bra, no shoes, no makeup, PJs until whenever I wanted (or someone let me know they were on their way over)...

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2 -- I made Homemade Clam Chowder! I've had clam chowder a million times -- out of a can, or at a restaurant (probably out of a bigger can) -- but I've never made it at home. One reason for this is that I live in Wisconsin and we don't have clams like that (I don't think) and, even if we did, it would be illegal to harvest them. I've also come to know and trust the popular and well-stocked seafood counter at my favorite local grocery, so when a NY Times Cooking recipe by Sam Sifton came across my desk on Friday, I decided that I'd give it a go if there were cherrystone clams to be had. There were, and it was delicious!

3 -- We had a nice dinner at the home of friends on Saturday -- G&Ts, soup & salad, lots of gabbing! We will need to reciprocate!

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4 -- I "cleaned up" my room a little bit... moved some things around and made some room to do some sewing. This is a long-languishing (as in years) project that made it's wishful way from my mother to Annie to Ali and finally to me. I was sick of "moving it around" and was finally inspired to sew it up. All the pieces had been cut, the pattern was in the bag and intact, and I am moving right along. It's going to be a gift and is a bit of a stealth project at the moment... all shall be revealed in a week or two!

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5 -- We continue to ponder & plan (& sketch) the replacement over-the-fridge cabinet situation. Another change has already been made since this drawing was scanned. Doors of correct dimensions have been located, though, so now we're just hammering out some details. (Actually, I just realized that maybe I need to bring home said doors as a visual aid in order to make the final decision!) (Thanks, blog!)

6 -- Planning for the Olympics. I've already set the DVR to record a couple of things.

7 -- I ordered some extra-long DPNs for my Olympic knitting project, and hope to see them in the next couple of days so I can train swatch!

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8 -- More sewing. Daily stitching, in fact. And I did a lot more of that than knitting over the weekend! That's the wrong side of a sleeve, and it reminds me of watermarks & spills.

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This is a day or two or three later and I've done some applique, too. The basted line is where I imagine (I'm pretty sure... almost certain) that I'll be rolling up the sleeve and I don't think I want watermarks on that part!
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9 -- And cutting! Woman can only sew for so long on an Alabama Chanin project before she must cut!

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10 -- Even though I wasn't knitting, I did play around with some yarn yesterday. Experimenting in a couple of ways... and I'm happy with the results!

It was back to work today. It's freezing cold but sunny and, happily, we're up to 10:04 hours of daylight!! (Your daylight & happiness may vary.)

I hope you had a great weekend and start to the week!


The Rare Stitch

I had an email the other day from my friend Margaux at 1010 Studio. I've known Margaux through blogging for... I don't even know how long (before she was a mama, for sure)! I met her in person, finally, at Rhinebeck 2016, and my project bag of choice since last fall has been the "Rhinebeck or Bust" bag that she designed for Rhinebeck 2017! With any luck, we'll meet up again at Rhinebeck 2018! She is a wonderful, creative, amazing, loving woman with a great idea to share! She says it best (and also has great photos), so...
 
As you may or may not know February 28th is Rare Disease Day. The day we get to shine a light on so many kids and adults living with a Rare Disease including my son James. 💕

I have been thinking of ways to increase awareness for Rare Disease in the community I love so much and realized that #knitting is a perfect metaphor of the odds of rare disease. Thinking about your knitting as a population, how many hundreds of thousands stitches do you knit? Now imagine if one of those stitches is “off.” A sea of stockinette but one isn’t quite the same...
 
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So what am I asking you to do? Something very simple.
 
👉🏼 Starting today, grab a knit you’re working on or one you already have and duplicate stitch One Stitch in a contrasting color ➰

One stitch of so many that is different. That stands out from the rest. That can’t be ignored.

A disease or disorder is defined as rare when it effects less than 200,000 people in the U.S. My son James is diagnosed with Alternating Hemipelgia of Childhood (AHC) which has only approx 400 cases in the US. A 1 in a million chance diagnosis.

I’d love to start seeing these “rare stitches” pop up around social media! Maybe James is the one you know, maybe you of know another? Tell their story! By the time Rare Disease Day happens on February 28th I can imagine seeing a flood of Rare Stitches all over the world.
 
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You can use hashtag #therarestitch and tag me at @1010_studio when you post. I’d love so see them and want to create a huge “collage” by the end of the month! Please encourage or tag others to keep it going.

Seeing the village around us supporting him (and me) as we keep making our way through this Rare Disease world is amazing. I know I wouldn’t be as chipper as I am without you all! I cannot thank you all enough for being a part of our journey and helping to shine a light on that One Stitch of many.
 

3TT: It's February!

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

Unlike some others, I felt like January flew by. We welcomed the New Year, Maddy was around & then made her departure for NZ, Katie moved, Junah had a birthday, we celebrated our anniversary with a weekend in Elkhart Lake, we attended an art opening, a film festival, and a play... not to mention dentist & hair appointments, book club, knit nights, and a couple of movies at the theater!

WOW!

January was probably my worst month on record in the "video everyday" department, but I managed to eek out (& edit) enough for an OK #1SE video.

I don't normally get too excited about February -- though it's the shortest month, it sure can drag -- but I do begin sense that we're making progress on our way toward longer, warmer days!

Here are three things happening this month:

1 -- A long-awaited visit to Nashville with Annie! I'll have some free time (Craft South, Jeni's 12 South, Frothy Monkey, I am looking at you) and am hoping for a meet-up at one or all of those places; I'll be attending Ann's graduation from her program (yahoo!); and we have tickets for Blues Traveler at the Ryman Auditorium. I'm open to suggestions for other things to do & see -- our Airbnb is right in the thick of it downtown.

2 -- The Olympics!! And knitting -- Team Rules Schmules is already loads of fun!! Though I'll be traveling a little bit, I still expect to knit everyday and finish my shawl. I've also been sucked into the Bang Out a Carbeth vortex and am pondering yarn choices... I liked that sweater the moment I saw it, and I think it could work.

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3 -- The Grand Re-opening & 9th Anniversary Celebration at Kaukauna Coffee & Tea (KC&T) on Feb. 16th -- nine years to the day that Ali opened the doors as proprietor! I am so sad that I'll be in Nashville on that day, but will certainly be following the celebration on social media.


Unraveled Wednesday: January 31

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

SEWING:

Free time has been limited this week, and I've been prioritizing #dailysewing -- trying to make it a habit. My most minimal sewing goal at this point is to use up one needle's worth of thread/floss each day, which I've met or exceeded every day since I began. There are three sewable "lengths" every time I cut floss, and I've sewn them all a couple of times. On the weekend when I'm home in the daylight, I'll take a photo... there is  LOONNNNNG way to go but I'm beginning to see progress and it's making me happy!

KNITTING:

That's not to say there hasn't been knitting! My PS (Parallelogram Scarf) is growing:

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Some more dramatic color changing ought to be happening soon!

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I expect to get a fair bit done at Knit Night tomorrow.

READING:

Continuing to read & enjoy Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (pages). I also picked up Michael Perry's Montaigne in Barn Boots when we were at the performance of Population 485 on Friday, and have cracked it open. I don't usually read more than one book at a time...

I've shelved (returned) the audio/CD version of Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian because the format is just not working for me... I hope it'll be available again someday on Audible or something. I really want to listen to it.

Instead, I've downloaded Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim, which more or less picks up where Yellow Crocus left off. I enjoyed that story quite a lot, and Bahni Turpin is one of my favorite narrators.

What are you making and reading??

_ _ _ _ _

A quick shout-out to my mom, who would have celebrated her 80th birthday today!

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"Celebrated" isn't quite the word she'd be using here... HORRIFIED is more like it!! Haha. I love you Mom. I miss you every single day.


Team Rules Schmules

So, the other day my friend Terry asked whether anyone was participating in the Ravellenic Games this year. I replied that I'd had half a thought... but that I still and will always call them the Knitting Olympics! (That was so much fun, and I still have my 2006 medal!)

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Friday was the last day for official team sign-ups, and Terry was feeling bogged down by The Rules.

I said, RULES??? She ran with that... and voila!

We have a team!!

Perhaps you'd like to join us.

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A group of knitters who are so distracted by life, grandchildren, jobs, books, that last idea... what was that thought? Anyway. We will knit something, it can be a UFO, a new project, small, large and we will finish or we won't finish. ~Terry

_ _ _ _ _

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games -- PyeongChang 2018 -- will be February 9-25. That means just over two weeks of "training" remain!

Since Friday, I've already purchased & nixed one pattern due to a yarn shortage, and moved on to another. As of right now, I am planning to knit Morvarch by Lucy Hague.

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Kate gave me this beautiful Belle Époch Laceweight, hand-dyed in Edinburgh, for my 2013 birthday and that's what I want to use for the Games this year. I've always thought that I should knit something from a Scottish designer and my first thought was Firth o' Forth by Kate Davies. I am significantly short of yarn for that project, though.

I haven't knit cables in a while, and certainly not of the sort that Lucy Hague designs*, and I've really been wanting to knit something with laceweight... not necessarily lace. I will have plenty of yarn, so will probably make Morvarch a bit longer, though I haven't had a good gander at the pattern yet. I should probably just wait and see how it goes before making any big decisions/modifications.

Anyway, I have yarn to wind, a pattern to read through, a bit of swatching to do... it's going to be fun!! I really do hope to finish this project during the Olympics.

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Come join our very laid-back team!

*I will consider this training for Iona or Lindisfarne (or Durrow or Kells) from her drool-worthy Illuminated Knits collection.


Socialing

...or recovery from. It was a busy last half of the week, with the Film Festival on Wednesday, an art opening on Thursday, and a play on Friday. I loved every minute of each of those things, but it's a lot of running around for a home body!

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The play was the long-awaited Population 485, and it did not disappoint -- very interestingly done.

(I had time for daily stitching before heading out the door!)

The car was parked in the garage on Friday night and I barely left the house all weekend.

On Saturday, I "went as far" as opening and front door and plucking the mail from the box (one foot & one arm required outside).

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The most amazingly bepigtailed kids came over on Sunday (if you haven't seen the video I posted on Instagram... GO NOW) and they wanted to go outside... it was cold, but OK.

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We bundled up for a walk and got as far as the house two doors down, then decided just to hang out in the back yard and the playhouse, instead -- both are protected from the wind! Parcheesi has often bundled a kid in a stroller, but yesterday it got caught up in a wheel and there's a hole to repair!

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I predict the playhouse will see lots of action this summer! Junah will be helping Rusty build one in their back yard, too.

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This is the last and slowest of my amaryllis bulbs. The bulb itself has been a lovely, healthy shade of green for quite a while, so I knew something was happening. It's been hard at work and looks like a bud stem emerging, and not just a leaf... and that's exciting! My other two are nothing but leaves (or leaf, as the case may be).

There will be a bit of socialing this week, too. It's also a long week at work, so I'll be looking forward even more to a 3-day weekend... and it won't be long before Nashville is on the horizon!


3TT:

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

Thing 1:

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My Parallelogram Scarf has grown a bit since yesterday (so much brighter!), due to...

Thing 2:

...evening attendance at our friend Pat's 2018 Film Festival! Looking for a way to get through the doldrums of winter and inspired by her sister-in-law's massive movie collection, this is Pat's 5th festival. Usually on Wednesdays, and with a total of around 40 altogether, four or five films are shown each festival day beginning at noon, with :15 breaks between. There is a theme each year -- 2014-John Cusack as lead actor, 2015-Edith Head as costume designer, 2016-Food, 2017-Classic Novels made into Movies -- and this year, it's Steamy, Hot, Summer - Heated Up! There's a healthy mix of genres and nationalities, and festival-goers come and go as they may. It's all about Pat, really; she's just generous enough to send out invitations to her friends.

Wednesday is normally my day off, so you'd think this would be easy, but no... I've hardly been able to attend at all (also, they lived about 20 miles away in 2014-15). And I worked yesterday... however, the last movie on the program, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, has long been on my list and wasn't due to start until 5:55pm! Rusty and I arrived just as the previous movie ended, with enough time for a bit of socializing over a bowl of soup before showtime. It was wonderful (the company, the soup, and the movie)!

Thing 3:

Here we go!

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I had a free :15 yesterday, so began my DAILY STITCHING, inspired by Margene (also as mentioned yesterday). It's a new thing (for me), and I'm not going to get too crazed about it, but I got myself situated and it felt so good to get started, finally, on my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket!

Finally.


Unraveled Wednesday: Parallelogram progress

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

KNITTING:

I snapped a couple of quick, not real great photos this morning:

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I think (hope) this is going to be interesting... there's the first of two "yellow periods" happening right now. There'll be a bit more purple ahead, more hints of green, and then gray.

Can't I knit all day?

Or sew? Margene's post today has me contemplating daily stitching on my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket. One stitch is better than none, right?

READING:

I've begun reading Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I did much more knitting than reading while we were away for the weekend, so it's off to a slow start... but it is so very interesting! I can't wait to re-read some of LIW's books (or the whole series).

I've yet to pop one of the library CDs into a player to listen to Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian because... really?? First-world problems, but this is so inconvenient... Why is this not available on Audible?? As much as I want to hear it, I'm afraid it might fizzle...


Weekend away

We had a great weekend away! We went to The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake -- only an hour from home, but in a sort of no-man's-land area of the state for us!

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If we were into racing, that might be a different story. Stemming from a brief, popular period of open road racing in the '50s (that must have been something!), Elkhart Lake is now home to Road America, hosting NASCAR and many other types of racing (automobile & otherwise).

It's a tiny, quaint little town with a few other large, historic resorts and several fine establishments for food & drink... but no grocery store! We checked in on Friday evening, went out for a bite, and then drove to the next town to shop for a few things for the fridge. Once that was done, though, we parked the car and didn't even look at it again until it was time to pack up and head home on Sunday.

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After enjoying separate massages in the spa on Saturday, we joined up afterwards for a soak in the whirlpool and a few minutes in the sauna. I'll tell you... I have had "hot stone" massages before but this one! Tiny little hot stones between each of my toes!! Your mileage may vary, but for me... that was bliss.

The resort's Elk Room, which boasts a pretty spectacular fireplace and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows with a view toward the lake, was a great place to enjoy a late lunch. It was nice enough that lots of people were out walking -- on paths around the resort, on the pond, and on the lake.

We ended up eating dinner at the Lake Street Cafe both nights! (Not that we didn't try for another, but it was closed for a special event on Saturday.) Rusty even had the same salmon dish both nights! We were on the bar side, and didn't even realize they had a more formal dining room until Sunday morning when we stepped out for breakfast. Oh well, "casual and relaxed" was definitely our mode for the weekend.

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Neither of the TVs in our suite was ever turned on; instead we enjoyed the fireplace and read and knit.

I cast on my Parallelogram Scarf twice, and got a good bit done. And while I love that dark ball of yarn, it's just too... dark and there's not enough contrast. I think I would like the resulting striped scarf, but I don't think I would love it. That dark ball kept whispering to me that it would be happier doing something else, and I listened.

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So I've subbed that ball for the one above and made some progress last night -- and I like it better! The sequencing pattern is showing more, too. I hope to have a photo to share tomorrow.

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We have a new "selfie" for the collection, having spotted a photo booth at the restaurant!

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After a quick stop at the store on the way home, I got a pot of Chili All Day on the stove and everyone came over for dinner! We had fun with my glasses and fiberfill... don't ask me how things evolve this way!

I also had yesterday off... an oil change, a meeting with Ali, and helping Kate move some stuff into her new apartment! I also had time for some bookwork, and took a little of that time to begin straightening out my workroom, and to clean off & reorganize one of the kitchen counters. We've begun redecorating in there and it's feeling good!

It'll be two weeks before another day off (other than weekends), so I'm glad it was a good one!

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Here's to next year!


Happy Anniversary!

We'll be married 33 years tomorrow!

We met in 1983... he worked for a company that needed some occasional typesetting done and, lo & behold, that's what I did!

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1984 - Tillamook, OR - cleaning/fixing up the house we rented (photo by my dad)

 

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1985 (with newborn Kate) - Cape Meares, OR


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I'm guessing 1990 - Home


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Maybe 2005? First selfie of us, taken on my fabulous Razr flip phone!

 

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2014 - Edinburgh Botanical Garden, Scotland


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2014 - Timber Rattlers game, Appleton, WI

 

Mexico

2015 - Mexico (30-year anniversary)


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2016 - McKinleyville, CA - World's Largest Totem Pole


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2017 - Lake Worth, FL


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2017 - Home


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2017 - Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan

 

Three beautiful daughters later, two grandkids and another on the way, only a few houses/moves, a fair bit of remodeling, a little bit of travel (both solo & duo)... Life Is Good.

We're looking forward to a couple of nice days away to mark the occasion -- reading & knitting by the fireplace; relaxing with a massage, sauna & whirlpool at the spa; enjoying some good food & drink; and more reading & knitting by the fireplace.

I'm realizing that more than half of these photos are selfies and pickin's would sure be slim for this collection otherwise!


3TT: Color

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

Thing 1:

IMG_20180118_071032_970If you're on Instagram, have you seen/done this?

(There's always Some New Thing to see/do!)

Thing 2:

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The sky was on fire this morning!

Thing 3:

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Sometimes the old hydrangeas on the other side of those dirty windows are rather ghostly. I cannot wait to watch the garden come alive from this new vantage point, and love that even after 30+ years of living in this house, there are still things like a "new vantage point." Maybe the garden will even get some attention this year!


Unraveled Wednesday: Yarn cakes

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

DYEING:

I haven't been knitting much over the past week. I had some half-hearted thoughts about another hat or finishing some slippers, but mostly I've been dyeing. Among other things, I've been preparing for the Parallelogram KAL with Mary!

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We begin on Saturday! These are the cakes from which I will be choosing -- I need two for the project.

I think I'm going with 2:00 and 8:00, thus:

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I've changed my mind 100 times already (in addition to every time I'd wind a new ball), but there are a couple of reasons for this choice... I really want to knit a bunch of combos!

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Or three at a time!

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I've really been enjoying my time in the studio, and am looking forward to more -- especially as our days gradually lengthen, and then even more when I can fling open the door and expand operations to the back yard.

KNITTING:

Last night I was tired of not knitting but still not enthused about anything else, and on a whim I gathered all of my Lamb's Pride Worsted into a pile (save for two colors that just "don't go") and cast on a Log Cabin thing that will probably be a blanket. Random, I know -- I'm even using a random number generator to help with decision making. There's no pressure or deadline, and only the vaguest of plans, but I've always wanted a larger knit blanket and, mostly, I'm just very happy to finally have a plan for all of that yarn!

READING:

I am all but finished reading Tender At The Bone, by Ruth Reichl. I am really enjoying this book and will definitely seek out more of Ruth Reichl... open to your recs, if you have any!

Also, quite randomly and while waiting for an audio book on CDs from the library (seems like the dark ages and I hope I can cope), I am listening to Badass Your Brand: The Impatient Entrepreneur's Guide to Turning Expertise into Profit by Pia Silva.


Mugged

I'm a sucker for these things, so on Sunday morning I downloaded the Google Arts & Culture app (Google Play) (iTunes) to answer the pressing question of the day:

"Is your portrait in a museum?"

Well, of course I'd want to see my artistic masterpiece doppelganger! Wouldn't I??

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Haha! Mornings might not be my best time... I even put on mascara!

I kept trying... There were a fair number of not-so-attractive men, but also some interesting children and women. Here is a curated collection.

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I tried again later in the day...

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It's crazy and uncanny and a little bit weird. I've done it at various times over the past couple of days and it's pretty consistent with the results -- the same images cycle through. I'm not sure of the parameters, exactly, other than than the relationship between facial features.

That last one really resonated with me... I see my much younger self in those eyes. "Vluchtelinge" means "refugee," as far as I can tell, and the painting was done in 1910. I am learning a little bit about Arts & Culture!

I took a photo of Rusty, too, and this was among the results:

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So crazy! It blows me away!! Interestingly, that is Gerhard Richter, a German artist... Rusty, an artist, is also of German heritage.

Have you tried it? What do you think?? Are you taking selfies all day?


So, um yes...

Yes, I did knit a Pussyhat for a baby doll!

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And Snapchatted/Facebooked it, too! This is Lena, one of Maddy's American Girl Bitty Babies from back in the day.

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I used worsted weight, a 3 US needle, 72 stitches, ribbing for a dozen rows, 4" overall from brim to crown. I knit mine flat and seamed the sides; or it can be knit in the round and closed/finished however you'd like at the top. It took an evening!

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I watched Gin for a while on Friday and we had so much fun! She's such a kid now... and growing! She's not going to fit under that counter overhang anymore... she's had enough close calls (perhaps an actual bonk or two) that she ducks, now, as she goes under. I used to have a display of Depression Glass & whatnot on that little shelf... it's a perfect tot spot, though! Sneak peek* at some of the new paint!

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Ali came over with Junah after the birthday outing (which included stops for a haircut and to watch his own custom candy bar being made). I'd picked up some Valentine crafty things the other day, so the kids fooled around with that stuff. We ended up punching holes in all of the felt hearts and redecorating a wire Christmas tree that I hadn't put away yet! Jün had put pine cones and quilted stars on it for the holidays... and now I think we've slipped on that slope and will have a small seasonally decorated tree up all year!

Later, Ali sent me these:

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Ginny's fringe ! It was another pretty great weekend -- three days helped.   I hope yours was pretty great, too!

*Rusty finished all the kitchen painting over the weekend! Closet doors are back on, hardware & new electrical plates are installed... there's still the matter of the cabinet over the fridge, but we're working it out!


Right now - January

Anticipating... a super-quick weekend getaway with Rusty to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary on the 20th! I wanted someplace warm but it couldn't be far, so we are going to a nearby spa resort hotel type of place (there's a first time for everything)... with fireplaces! And we'll each get a good, long, relaxing massage. I can feel myself loosen up a bit just thinking about it...

Cooking/Eating... Kym posted this morning about The Cooking Light 3-Day Detox that she & Tom just completed.  My comment: While I am continuing with Weight Watchers (and it is amazing how frequently my "diet/healthy" recipes get RAVES), I fell HARD off the WW wagon over the past couple of months and have struggled to get back on. Travel, holidays, birthdays, people & their crazy schedules, and WW rolling out a few changes to their program... it's been tough to pull it together and FOCUS. So I'm going to focus on doing this!

Excited about... Spending a few hours with Gin tomorrow! That hasn't happened very often, but Ali & Rod want to take Jün out for his birthday... so YAY!

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Looking forward to... Dyeing... Knitting... I am ITCHING to get some work done downstairs!  I am off tomorrow and will be prepping some yarn this evening. I will be dyeing some yarn, using a new/different (to me) process, for the MDK Parallelogram Scarf KAL that I'm doing with Mary! We're starting on January 20th and would love some company, if you're so inclined. I've had my eye on this pattern since I first laid eyes on Field Guide No. 5 | Sequences!

Organizing... Also, over the 3-day weekend, I'll be getting Christmas put away!! I wish I had it in me to REALLY organize and purge...

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Reading... I'll soon finish Tender At The Bone and intended to begin Prairie Fires next, but I think a long overdue re-read of Little House In The Big Woods will happen first. Since all of the Christmas stuff is out of the way, I was able to reach all the books at the back of the closet and fish it out.

Watching... Have you seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?? We started watching a few weeks ago. I found that it's a little slow to build, and I almost lost Rusty early on, but we both stuck with it and finally finished the other night. It's funny, the clothes are INCREDIBLE, casting... Tony Shaloub, and winner of a couple of Golden Globe awards!

  1. I love Tony Shaloub and he is from Wisconsin.
  2. I didn't know that Rachel Brosnahan was also from Wisconsin, born in the same city as me, in fact... AND we went to the same grade school in Highland Park, IL (she for many grades, me for only first grade)... I mean we're practically related. Haha.

Word... I don't usually "choose a word" for the year. I tried that once. I even created a blog category for all the posts I was going to write about it... and there is ONE POST ABOUT IT. But there is a word that keeps popping up lately, multiple times a day, and that word is SLOW. As in "slow down," "slow down and focus," "you could do that if you slowed down," "you'd have to slow down..." So if I were to be choosing a word, that would probably be it.

Wondering... What's up with you right now??


Safe Travels to Maddy (again!)

She begins her way back to New Zealand this afternoon!! You can click through, below, to read her thoughts about NZ Round 2 and other things. I'm going to miss her! It's been great having her around (not to mention she re-painted 90% of my kitchen), but she won't be gone quite as long this time. And then we'll see what new adventures are afoot... I'm pretty sure that a dog will be central (she even refers to her imaginary future dog by name), no matter what!

Junah's birthday is this Friday, but we had an early celebration on Monday night so that Maddy could be a part of it, too!! (photo cred to her)

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It was SO MUCH FUN!

Oh my goodness, 4 is going to be amazing.

(That Oshkosh B'Gosh "Sgt. Pepper" zip-up sweatshirt he's wearing? KILLING ME!)


Dresses and hats, and dresses as hats

I finished another dress and top for the kids' Sleepy Kittens over the weekend.

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I used two somewhat coordinating mini-skeins, and all but used them up! I have a couple others that would work nicely, and will keep them handy... these are nice little projects for in-between and/or mindless knitting.

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The "top," above, and the "dress," below. I only did only the first set of increases for the top, but did them in the manner of the second (more spaced out), so it wouldn't be so poofy. I also do quite a few more rows of ribbing than called for.

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It just so happened that the kids & their mother picked me up on Sunday morning for a quick trip to the store, so I was able to give them their new kitty clothes. Gin had her new Bitty Baby along and we discovered that the kitten's dress can double as a hat for the doll! It's a little strange at the top, sleeves & bodice & all, but it fit! And now, perhaps a matching Pussy Hat for Bitty Baby is in the cards...


Carrying on

I had a very productive weekend that proceeded at a lovely pace. I did some things that I needed to do, I did somethings that I wanted to do, and I did somethings that flew in out left field. That is my FAVORITE kind of weekend! I feel refreshed.

Also, I slept pretty well.

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I spent a bit of time on both days getting my downstairs dye studio in order -- cleaning, assembling a shelf unit, hauling stuff down there & organizing -- and even dyed a couple of hanks. I need to get a feel for the space, equipment, and flow...

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I dragged almost everyone down to look at it, and Kate snapped a different view, shared on her IG story.

I'm itching to get back down there, but that probably won't happen until Friday!


FO: Windschief + 2017 Knitting Review

Well, I just love this little hat!

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It's my first FO -- both started & finished -- of 2018!

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Super cute. Fun & quick to knit, with the twisted rib section adding just enough to keep it interesting. I finished at Knit Night last night, and the kids just happened to be there!

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It was knit for Jün and he tried it on, but he did not want photos nor did he want to give it back! (I nabbed it later when he wasn't looking, and then Gin "volunteered" to model.)

Meanwhile, here's a snapshot of knitting accomplished in 2017:

RavelryFinished2017

No one is more surprised than me that I finished 24+ items last year!

  • Two kittens
  • Two polar bears
  • Seven+ hats (some never made Ravelry)
  • One beard
  • Freak flags (double set)
  • Three cowls
  • Four shawls
  • Two pairs of mitts
  • One dress & two little sweaters for Gin (one of them started ages ago)
  • One ornament
  • One adult cardigan -- that had been in the WIP pile for almost 10 years!

(By comparison, I finished a grand total of nine items in 2016. Not my best knitting year.)

I was a fairly monogamous knitter last year, starting & completing projects in reasonable time, with focus & purpose. I think I started only three projects last year that remain unfinished: another pair of Squad Mitts, a gnome, and my Brambling Shawl. I didn't make any big plans or goals, just went with my heart... and I think I'll just stick with that!!


3TT: Changes

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

1 - At this time next week, Maddy will be winging her way to NZ for another stint at the winery! She's been staying with us since Christmas, and will head back to Milwaukee early next week so her friend can take her to O'Hare on Wednesday.

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2 - Meanwhile, she's been painting my kitchen! At one time, we were loftily thinking that she'd be able to whack out new paint jobs in both the kitchen and our living area, but hahahahahaha. Did we ever underestimate that, especially given holidays -- and some unexpected dental work. Excruciating tooth pain does not a happy painter (or daughter) make, and when said pains thwarts even NYE celebrations with friends, you know it's bad. We've never in our lives been so happy about a near-emergency root canal!

Anyway, the kitchen is almost a complete reversal -- once-maroon walls are now nearly white, and white trim/woodwork is becoming a warm dark gray. I loved my maroon kitchen, but it was time for a refresh. It's looking rather stark right now, but decor will make a big difference. (Right?)

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3 - And we're getting in all the blurry hugs & cuddles that we can!


Unraveling: From out of nowhere

Well, actually, it came from somewhere...

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Ali sent me an Instagram photo of a Windschief hat that she ran across, with a note about how great it would look on Junah, so...

I declined a movie invitation last night in favor of the opportunity to be home alone for more than :25 for the first time in ages! I knit on said hat and watched a bit of TV (catching up on the last of S1 Victoria before S2 begins)!

I have all but finished a subtly striped little kitten dress, and plan to make a shirt for the other kitten with the same yarn (and that might be the end of that... yarn).

Announced in October with seemingly all the time in the world to plot and plan, I was not able to think much about the Fringe Association Log Cabin Make-along, but I haven't given up on joining in, either! I'm thinking fingering weight scrappy cowl or infinity scarf or maybe substantial wrap. Anyway, I'm thinking...

I am about half-way through Tender At The Bone, by Ruth Reichl, and am enjoying it quite a lot! I am listening to an AARP book called Downsizing The Family Home: What To Save, What To Let Go, by Marni Jameson.

Ahem.

Oh look!

Amaryllis---1-3-18

Rusty was recently given an amaryllis and it's starting to grow! It's a bit askew & bent, but will probably straighten up a bit.