24 May 2017

Betwixt and Between

Hello there, and before I say anything more, I want to say a huge "thank you" to everyone who left a comment, said a kind word, or offered to keep a good thought for our boy Jetsam.  Words cannot adequately express how your kindness made me feel.  We'll keep going as long as it's all good.  :-)

Today is another Unraveled Wednesday, and it finds me betwixt and between.  As for reading, I'm still working on my Maisie Dobbs audiobook, and still enjoying it.  I'm also reading VB6 by Mark Bittman, which is not really a read for fun, more because I am curious about it.  It's more of a dip-in and out book than a steady read.

I just started reading this book yesterday, and I'm enjoying it so far.

It's the third in the series, and no it's not great literature, but it's a fun read.  So sue me.

I also want to make a final decision on my Summer Book Bingo card.  Each year, I think I'll do it, then I forget to get my act together, and read others' posts about what they have read, and what fun it is, and then I'm annoyed at myself.  So this year, I'm gonna make it happen.  But I clearly need to get going, since it all starts this coming Saturday!

On the knitting front?  Nothing really, if you can believe it.  Mainly because I've barely had time to collect everything for a project and get started.  I have the pattern and the yarn for my Sonora shawl, but have not gotten the needles, stitch markers, bag, etc. together yet.  And whatever socks I decide to make will require winding some yarn, so that has to happen as well. I'm sure it will all be in place by Friday, since we will be going to West Virginia for Memorial Day weekend, and l want at least one of those projects ready to take along.

Clearly I need a personal assistant to help me get things organized ... ;-)

22 May 2017

Saturday Mystery and Sunday at Home

Well, here it is, Monday once again.  How does that happen?  

Overall, we had a good weekend, and though I didn't get any of the things around the house accomplished that I had hoped to do, it will still be waiting for me.

Saturday started on sad news.  We took Jetsam back to the vet for his follow-up after his mega-dentistry procedure.  The vet informed us that he has cancer in his jaw, poor sweetie.  Apparently it's pretty fast-moving, and there are treatments though the prognosis is not promising.  So we will just keep an eye on him and keep him comfortable.   For the moment, he is his usual happy, purring, sweet self, so that is good.  As long as he can be happy, we will enjoy every second we can.  But I would like to ask you to keep a good thought for him if you are so inclined.

After that, we headed home to eat breakfast, and decided that since he wasn't letting it ruin his day, we weren't going to let it ruin ours!  We went on the "mystery trip" that The Tim had been talking about for a couple of weeks.  Where did we go, you ask?  Well, we drove to Riverton, NJ, a small town along the Delaware River, only about 1/2 hour from our house.  They were having "Treasure Day," which is basically a town-wide yard sale.  The stores on the main street have sidewalk sales, and nearly everyone in town has a yard sale.  

It was such a nice time!  The town is very walkable, and we saw some absolutely beautiful old houses - the kind with wraparound porches, big yards, and amazing architectural detail.  It was such fun to walk around, look at the houses and do some people-watching, as well as get to pet some cats and dogs!  

We walked along the river, and saw the Riverton Yacht Club:

And of course, as is the case everywhere in this area, yet another street/building/place named for the Lippincott family:

We walked around for about an hour and a half, then headed home.  On the way, The Tim wanted to stop at a Target for some things, which was fine with me.  Especially when I looked in the cheapo bins in the front, and found a patriotic project bag for $3.00!  It's just the right size for a sock project.  :-)

The called it a cosmetic bag ... but, whatever.  Potato, potahto.

We spent the rest of the day indoors, watching stuff we'd recorded and cuddling kit kats.  I also finished my Mojito Socks, which you will see later in a post of their own.

Sunday, The Tim had to work, and I had some stuff I wanted to do.  First up, was to sweep in the garden.  There wasn't a lot there, since I've been working on it the past few weekends, but it took me about twice as long because I had helpers:

Jack and Jetsam inspecting things, 

while Pip sits inside and wonders why Milo the Koodle went upstairs to hide. 
(So much for being a badass.)

Jetsam takes his inspection work quite seriously.

Pip finally gathered his courage to come out and join us ...

and then immediately regretted the decision.

Jetsam thought if he sat in front of the car, near the carport door, that it might magically open and he could explore things in the neighborhood.  (Spoiler alert: Didn't happen.)

Jack was convinced that if he was lounging, I wouldn't be able to pick him up to come inside.
(Spoiler alert: I could, and did.)

Jetsam was willing to come in, but not until he and Pip had hissed at each other through the screen after Pip went back inside the house.

Eventually I corralled everyone and we went back inside where they all got some treats.  So as far as they were concerned, it had all been successful.  And it was, I got a lot of dead leaves, etc. swept up and bagged.  Now I need to plant some flowers and do some more cosmetic things and we'll be in good shape.

At this point, I was feeling tired and decided to call it a day.  We were out there longer than I'd expected to be, and I actually got a lot more done than I'd expected, so I didn't feel too bad changing clothes and starting to organize dinner.  Dinner turned out pretty well (something I made up, that doesn't always work), and it was a relaxing evening.

So it ended up being quite nice.  But as usual, much too short!

19 May 2017

Five Favorites on a Friday

Hello and Happy Friday!  I only have to be at work until noon today, which is nice, though the reason is a dr's appointment.  But since (at least in theory) it's a follow-up, it should be fine.  I have my book in case there is a long wait, and it will be air-conditioned, so that will be OK as well.

Since I haven't posted five favorites for a while, I thought I'd do it again today.  It's always good to remember things that make you happy, and to have a happy outlook heading into the weekend.

1.  Getting a start on our garden.  Last Sunday, I spent some time sweeping and cleaning up in the garden.  We generally don't go out and clean it up at all during fall and winter, so there are always lots of leaves to deal with, as well as anything else that has blown in (I'm looking at you, plastic bags) or been dropped by squirrels and others.  I really accomplished a lot, and hopefully this year we'll be able to enjoy it for a while before it gets too hot and humid to be outside.  I'm hoping to find some flowers to plant so there will be some happy color.

If I may digress for a moment, I have a funny story from when I was out there.  Jetsam and Jack went out into the garden with me (Pip and the Koodle found the broom too scary, and stayed inside - wimps!), and they were having a good time, chasing bugs and just hanging out.  When it was time to come in, Jetsam came over to the door and went right inside.  I went to pick up Jack, and he ran away and "hid" in the bushes.  So I walked around the garden saying, "Jack, where did you go?  I hope you're not lost!" and all of sudden he popped up, and ran over to me as if to say, "Surprise! I'm right here!"  I picked him up and put him in the house, and he was *so* pleased with himself.  He went over to Jetsam all happy with his plan to have fooled me.  And I swear that Jetsam just looked at him with an expression that said, "Dumbass."

It was really funny.  At least to me.  Anyway.

2.  Almost finishing the Mojito socks.  I love these socks and have enjoyed knitting them so much, I kinda hate that they will be done.  But on the other hand, I know that when I open my Box 'o Socks in 2018, I will be thrilled to see and wear them.  Also, they will be a happy reminder of our trip to Puerto Rico.

3.  Deciding (well, at least 90% deciding) one of my next projects.  I came across the Sonora pattern, and fell in love!   I love it's basic-but-complicated look, and I think it would be fun to knit.  I'm not sure what yarn I will use - I have a ton of fingering/sock weight yarn, but generally one skein only of any given color, and this pattern calls for two skeins of one color and another skein of contrasting color.  I'm gonna do some stash exploration this weekend.  If nothing else, I may actually break down and buy yarn for it.  On the website, there are some suggestions for pairings using the yarn it was designed for, and they are lovely.  But I'll see what I have before doing any spending.  Next will be deciding what yarn/pattern to use for my next pair of socks.  There are *a lot* of choices there, no purchasing required!

4.  Brownies.  The Tim made brownies last weekend, and we have been enjoying one with a cup of tea in the evenings this week.  YUM.

5.  Anticipation.  Specifically, related to two things that are coming up.  One is a mysterious trek to someplace in NJ for some mysterious reason.  The Tim has been talking about this for weeks, and will not provide any details.  The only thing I know is that it was supposed to take place last Saturday, but was rained out.  So apparently it's partially or completely outside.  I'll find out tomorrow.  The other thing I'm anticipating is for next weekend, when we are heading to WV for Memorial Day weekend with the family.  It's always fun, ridiculous, and a chance to catch up with everyone.  Usually some extended family we don't usually see show up, so that's always great too.  This year, one of the extended family couples is bringing their dogs - Radar, a 3-year-old yellow Lab, and Mattis, a 9-month-old yellow Lab puppy, who is being trained to be a therapy dog for the Franklin County, Ohio, police dept.  (His full name is Mattis K. Nine, and he has his own Facebook page!)    As The Tim has pointed out, we have been puppy-deprived, so this will be an extra treat for us!

What about you?  What went on this week, or is even coming up, that made you happy?  Feel free to share, and have a lovely weekend!

Mattis K. Nine - can you stand it????

17 May 2017

New Book, Nearly Finished WIP

I just started a new book today - and so far, so good!  I won it in a Goodreads giveaway, which is always a fun thing, since it means you a) won a prize, b) you get a package in the mail!  Anyway, I'm almost 100 pages in, and am already hooked.

And sitting atop my project bag from SugarTots is the nearly finished second sock of my Mojito Socks, which I am enjoying so much, I may actually miss working on them when they are finished!

I've started to think about what project (or projects) will be next.  Because God forbid, I have *nothing* on the needles ...

Today I'm joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday - click and see what others are up to!

15 May 2017

Stick a Fork in 'Em

Because they're done.  Finished.  Finally.  It took way longer than it should have, and it put me behind on my sock goals, but as I am writing this post, they are residing in the Box 'o Socks.

Project:  Weird Colorblock Socks
Pattern:  Pin Striped Socks, by Julia Swart (free pattern on Ravelry)
Yarn:  Knit One, Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks, colorway 1883
Needles:  Size 1US
Modifications: None
Comments:  Ugh.  These turned out to be such a slog!  The yarn tended to split, which was frustrating.  And the color changes were hard to figure out (or not, as you seen in the photo).  And then of course, the use of the Afterthought Heel.  NEVER AGAIN.

I don't have a problem with a heel flap/gusset construction, but in the interest of broadening my knowledge and experience, decided to try the Afterthought Heel.  So many people I know use it all the time, and rave about it.  On the first sock I tried to install the heel, I messed up so badly, I had to cut the socks in half and re-knit the foot and toe.  Then I managed to get the heel into that sock, but it wasn't pretty, and there are a bazillion ends where the yarn kept splitting/breaking.  Yesterday, I sat down to put the heel into the second sock, and though previous experience made it go faster, it was still annoying and I'm not completely happy with the result.  After all of the work put into the socks, I have a sneaking suspicion the heels won't do well with a lot of wear and tear, and that makes it even more frustrating.

But - they are finished.  I tried them on, and they fit.  They're in the box and I'm moving on.  I am hoping that being away from them for a while before wearing them will bring back my initial fondness for how they looked, and that they will prove me wrong and last a while.  It's very disappointing to have a project that you just want to get out of the way.

But I was neither impressed nor pleased with the Afterthought Heel.  As I said above, I don't mind the heel flap/gusset construction, and when you finish the toe, the whole sock is finished - all that's left to do is weave in the ends.  Granted, you may still end up with an attack of Second Sock Syndrome, but you won't end up with socks that are finished but not quite.

Of course, I also don't mind knitting with double-pointed needles, so maybe it's just me ... ?

Regardless, another pair for the box.  :-)