06 July 2020

Our First Winner, and Her Easter Basket

Hello all - Well, July is taking itself very seriously, at least here in Philadelphia, where it is ridiculously hot and supposed to become hotter and more humid as the week goes on.  Ick.

I am happy to announce our first winner for Christmas in July 2020:

steph!!!!

One of her funniest holiday memories was this:

i was an only child...so it was a big deal to visit cousins on holidays. We all got up early one Easter morning, only to have my youngest cousin announce to all 5 of us...you can't eat your candy because I licked it all, and it's covered with my cooties, so it's all MINE. This didn't bother me at all....she left my Easter basket alone, because it was full of black olives, cottage cheese, and cocktail onions. The Easter bunny knew me well; and I had never thought of my Easter haul as unusual until that Easter morning. (Boy, did Cousin Jane get a lickin' for her antics, though.)

A fun little trip down memory lane!


I loved this answer on so many levels - not just her cousin "getting hers," so to speak, but also the contents of her Easter basket.  So many people would not be willing to give their kids the things they actually liked, because they weren't the usual chocolate bunnies, jellybeans, etc.  Congratulations, Steph!  To claim your prize, please send an e-mail to: thekittyknitterATverizonDOTnet, with your name, address, zip, etc., and I can get the package ready to send.

As for my answer, one of my funniest memories is from a Christmas dinner.  My parents went all out at Christmastime (which is probably why we were so poor the rest of the year), and would always kind of collect extra people to come to Christmas dinner, which in our house was on Christmas Eve.  One year, it was the first time my father's Uncle Bill and his wife Aunt Viola were on their own for the holidays, as both of their adult daughters had moved to California.  So my parents decided to invite them to come and join us. 

A bit of background:  Uncle Bill was well known as being really really cheap, and my father used to always say that "he was so cheap, he wouldn't pay a nickel to see Christ jump off the cross."  (!)  Aunt Viola was an amazing cook but whenever you went to their house, the servings were always incredibly tiny - so we all used to wonder, was she really that good of a cook, or were we just always hungry when we got home because there wasn't enough food ...

Anyway, when my mother called to invite them, Aunt Viola asked what she should bring.  My mother said to bring something that they always have for Christmas dinner that they would miss by not eating at home.  Aunt Viola said she would bring some of her homemade noodles. 

Well.  HOMEMADE NOODLES!!  We were in heaven, waiting for that goodness, as my mother never made homemade anything, and we talked about those stupid noodles most of the day in anticipation.  When dinnertime came, everyone was around the table, and just as we all had our plates full, and everyone started to eat, Aunt Viola asked my mother where the homemade noodles were.  My mother responded, "Oh my God, things were so hectic, I put the bag on the table, and then forgot to make them at all!," to which Aunt Viola said that was too bad, but she guessed she would just take them home with her after dinner.  (Meaning we would never actually taste said noodles, ever.)

Only later in the evening when all the guests were gone did we get the actual story.  I guess when my mother talked to Aunt Viola on the phone, she said she would bring homemade noodles because "we always have them at Christmas, and [Uncle] Bill loves them."  So when they arrived she handed my mother a small plastic bag with the homemade noodles in them.  As in, ONE SERVING - for Uncle Bill!  Because you know, he loved them!  Both of my parents said there was no way they were cooking something that had only one serving and then giving it to a single person to enjoy.  (Needless to say, it was said in much more colorful terms at the time.)

As you can imagine, this is the stuff of family lore.  Uncle Bill and Aunt Viola never joined us for Christmas - or any holiday dinner - ever again, because for a few years their daughters' sent them plane tickets to visit, and eventually they moved to California to live near them.

So the next time someone offers to bring something for a meal, you may want to ask them about the number of servings ... 😂

03 July 2020

Friday FOs - Two, Count 'Em, Two!

Before I completely melt today and lose all interest in anything, I have two finished objects for you - yes TWO.  Granted, neither one was a major undertaking, but they are still both finished, and that counts!

First up, the shortie slipper socks I knit for The Tim:


Project:  Same Mother Shortie Socks
Pattern:  Just a plain sock, turned into a shortie sock
Yarn:  Plymouth Encore Worsted Solids, in the Oatmeal, Purple, and Orange colorways
Needles:  US size 5
Notes:  As you know if you have read my blog for a few weeks at least, I knitted the first sock, and then strongly suspected that I would not have enough of the Oatmeal colored yarn to complete the second one.  For some people, that would mean they would take apart sock #1 and do some color-blocking.  I'm not those people, and because I had not thought ahead, I warned The Tim that his socks would not match and why.  He said, "Well, if you have to throw in another color, make sure it's something that pops." And I think the orange definitely pops, right??  Anyway, these were really quick to knit, and since they are just meant to be slipper socks, it didn't bother me that they wouldn't be the same.  I called them "Same Mother Shortie Socks" because they are like family members who have the same mother, and look similar but different.  😀

The best part was that when they were finished, The Tim was *thrilled* with them, so all's well that ends well.

*****

Next up, something for the kitchen:


Project:  Leftovers Kitchen Towel
Pattern:  At Your Service Knit Cloth (a free pattern)
Yarn:  Knit Picks ColLin, in the Conch colorway
Needles:  US size 7
Modifications:  None
Notes:  I had some yarn left from my Down the Shore Shawl, and decided to give this pattern a try, since we use these kinds of hanging towels in our kitchen all the time and they are not that easy to find in stores.  The pattern was overall easy and pretty quick to knit, but in my heat-addled brain, it did take me a few times to get the decreases right.  In the end, it turned out just fine, and I see many more of these in my future.  The Tim thinks they would be nice Christmas gifts, but I'm not sure that people would enjoy that kind of gift.  Then again they might.  I'll have to give it some thought.

Both of these projects were from stash yarn, and that always pleases me - the button for the kitchen towel is also from a stash of buttons that I have, so no extra money at all was spent for this project, which is even better! 

******

Before closing, I wanted to remind anyone who is interested that you have until one minute before midnight this coming Sunday, July 5, to comment on this post and be in the mix for a giveaway. 

And finally, tomorrow is Independence Day here in the U.S.  This country is far from perfect, but if we can get back on track, I really believe that things could move forward and we can be what we wanted our country to stand for.  It's still better than lots of other places.  So, if you celebrate, have a lovely day, and remember to VOTE in November!!


And for everyone, I hope you have a good weekend no matter how you decide to spend it.  See you on Monday for the announcement of the giveaway winner.

02 July 2020

Three Wishes

Hello - I hope this finds you well, and not too awfully wilted from the heat.  I hope that any of you who are Canadian had an enjoyable Canada Day yesterday, even if it was a bit toned down. 

Today I've decided to take part in Three on Thursday, and I'm sharing three wishes I have.  Now keep in mind, I do of course wish the virus was gone, and that we had a different president, and that all of us valued each other as much as we would like to be valued - but those are things that I call Big Wishes, and feel that most people have similar things in that category as well.  Instead, I'm sharing three wishes that are either just mine, or that may overlap somewhat with others' wishes.

1.  I wish I didn't have to keep hearing about people's ruined vacations.  Listen, I get it, I know that when you have a vacation planned - whether it's a week off at home, or the trip of a lifetime - it's beyond disappointing to realize that for whatever reason it won't be happening.  But I am SO tired of hearing about how people's trips to Europe or the Caribbean or wherever has had to be cancelled because of Covid-19.  Hearing it one or two times is understandable.  But I know people who have mentioned it every single time they possibly can.  And though I can sympathize, I wish they would realize that for most of us, "vacation" is a few day trips, maybe attached to a long weekend, and that summertime just means being at work like most of the rest of the year because we do not have the leave time or the money to afford a trip anywhere.  So hearing them whine about a summer of lost privilege makes me want to play a tiny violin, if you get my drift.


2.  I wish that people would stop saying that "anyone can grow succulents," because they take no care at all.  Every single time I have had a succulent, whether I love it too much, ignore it altogether, or carefully follow instructions for its care, the plant just dies almost immediately.  I really like a lot of the different ones, but never, ever, has one lived once it's in my possession.  I have met a couple of other people who have had the same experiences, and all of us find it upsetting.  I love having plants, and wish I could make these grow, but apparently where they are concerned, I'm the kiss of death.


3.  I wish I had not watched the last episode of the season of the show "What We Do In the Shadows."  It's one of my favorite shows, and we do re-watch episodes from both seasons, but like most things, seeing them the very first time is always the best.  It's so ridiculous, and doesn't want to do anything but make you laugh.  I mean, just the premise - vampires who live in Staten Island - is enough to make me chuckle whenever I think about it.  The movie that originated it was good too, but the show is just stupid for all the right reasons.  One of the characters is an "energy vampire" and you quickly realize that we all know someone who is just that. 


The Tim and I also find the theme song convenient for so many occasions ... ;-)

Go over to Carole's blog and see what three things everyone else wanted to share!

01 July 2020

Christmas in July 2020 - Week 1


In this year when we seem to especially need something fun, I am particularly happy to see the return of

Christmas in July!!!

and I hope you are as well. 

For anyone new here, or who just needs a reminder of how it all works, here are the details. 

Every Wednesday during July, I will make a post that will show a prize for that week.  In order to be eligible to win said prize, there will be a question or questions to answer, and the comment must be on the post for that week to be considered and must be posted in the comments no later than 11:59 p.m. on the following Sunday.  Winners will be announced on the Monday after.

So let's get started, shall we?

******

First up, here is the prize for Week 1:


Here we have a book that is really kind of a journal for your projects; it's geared towards knitting and crocheting but I'm guessing you could adapt it for your own needs.  Knit Notes : Explore * Design * Create, by Nadine Curtis is a handy item to keep track of things, and with things happening on Ravelry causing people to have migraines, etc., it may be time to use paper and pencil to do that.  I picked this up at the public library's book sale last summer.  It was a whopping $2.00, because the elastic that goes around it was broken off; it's been a year, and I have never picked it up again, so I decided that maybe one of you might want the chance to give it a good home.  What is hard to see in the photo due to my poor photographic skills is that in addition, there are some heart-shaped stitch markers that will come with it. 

Here is the question I would like you to answer to have a chance in the drawing:

What is one of the funniest stories you can remember from a holiday when you were a kid?  It doesn't have to be related to Christmas - it can be from Halloween, Purim, Arbor Day, July 4th - any holiday at all (though you can't say something like, "When I was 5, and my parents celebrated Ladybug Day ..." because even though Ladybug Day sounds awesome, I have never seen it on a calendar).

Please make sure that you leave your comments on this post only, no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2020.  That way, I will be able to find the comments all in one place.  I will choose a winner through a random number generator and announce it on Monday, July 6, 2020.

******

And here it is, the first of July - what?  Philadelphia was supposed to move into the controlled Green Phase of activities reopening after the stay-at-home orders for Covid-19 this coming Friday, but due to spikes in cases, that is now delayed.  Not surprising, at least not to me, and personally, I'm glad they are working with an abundance of caution.  So Yellow Phase it will be, at least for a bit longer.

Wear a mask, people!!!!  It is seriously the minimum you can do for the rest of us.

29 June 2020

It's Monday, and It's Too Hot, and I'm Already Over It

Not that it matters, of course.  Summer weather is gonna do what it wants, no matter what I care.  It was a pretty awful weekend - heat, major humidity, and mosquito-fest.  In spite of the fact that I practically poured mosquito repellent on my entire person when heading out to water our flowers, those evil creatures feasted as if nothing was different.  Grrrrrrrr.

Which is why other than taking Hamlet out for walks, we both pretty much stayed put.  Things were done around the house, so it wasn't a complete loss, but no real garden time which was disappointing, since that had become a lovely way to spend the mornings.

In the continuing list of things that seem to make the world feel like it's working against us, our oven died a week ago.  The Tim thought that it just needed a part that he could likely install to work again - or at least to buy time - so he ordered it, and spent about an hour trying to install it before realizing that it would mean tearing out part of a wall.  And even then, as mentioned above, it would only be buying us time, since our stove is about 20 years old.  Since like most everyone, we have SO much extra money coming in while not being at work (one of us is laid off, one of us is getting paid 30% less of our salary), we bit the bullet and ordered a new one.  The good part here (and there is one) is that we ordered it from the manufacturer, so not only was it on sale for July 4th, but they had a payment plan where if you paid it off monthly in 12 months, there was no finance charge, so that at least will work out.  Supposedly it will be delivered sometime this week.  That would be nice.

I did finish knitting The Tim's shortie slipper socks, and though they look weird (yes, I did run out of the yarn I was using!) he is thrilled with them.   It's nice when someone goes with the flow like that.  It's also nice when yarn chicken happens on something that you are only going to wear around the house.  😌 I'll do an FO post this week so you can see how they turned out.

I also wound yarn for another project, and got started.  For reasons that even I can't really explain or understand, I decided to try the Stillness Shawl MKL.


Who am I???  I no longer know, apparently.  The first clue came out last Thursday, and yesterday I actually sat down and got going on it.  So far, I have learned the i-cord cast on, which is nice and pretty when it works, but meant that I started over about 8 times before I decided it was OK-looking and moved along.

Here are the yarns I've chosen:

Side view

Top view

Yesterday, while we were watching some things we had recorded, I finally got my cast on to be acceptable to me, and managed by the end of the day to knit ~70 rows.  So far, it's pretty reasonable, with a few rows where you have to pay attention, and then more rows where you just knit or purl, depending what side you are knitting.  

The Tim (when I was trying to get the cast-on to work):  Is that going to be a shawl?
Me:  Yep.  It's a Mystery Knit-Along, you get one clue a week.
The Tim (laughing):  Oh that sounds so exciting.

Half an hour later, after I had a nice amount done:

Me:  See, I'm about halfway through Clue #1, and this is what it looks like.
The Tim:  Oh cool, now I'm invested.

*****
So that's the news from here.  Summer is making itself known, mosquitoes are feasting on my person, I've not only joined a KAL, but have actually started knitting the project, and June is nearly over.  

BUT.

Something is getting ready to start again.


Stay tuned!