16 August 2017

Knitting, Reading, Babying

Today is another Unraveled Wednesday, so it's time to show you what is going on with me as far as reading and knitting.  The "babying" part of this is my effort to not do too much knitting at all until my arthritis flareup has disappeared.  It's much better than it was, and if I can just knit a bit and then put it down for a while, it should be fine.   I just have to keep reminding myself so I don't get carried away!

Over the weekend, I started this book:


So far, I'm enjoying it.  There have been a couple of times when it's made me laugh out loud, and these days especially, that feels good.  I hope it will continue to be a good read - it aggravates me how so many books are good at the start and then suddenly it seems like the editor feel asleep.

During the past year or so, I've been usually only working on two knitting projects at a time, and that has been a good practice.  But currently I have three things going: my Scattered Wishes Shawl, my Social Security Number Socks, and these:


The Scattered Wishes Shawl does not look much different than the last time I showed it.  I got to the lace border, and was going along *very* slowly when I realized I'd made a huge mistake.  So I ripped back the 6 rows and will be starting over.  Not a big deal, but since it requires concentration, I just haven't picked it up in the past week after ripping out.  The lace also requires some needle maneuvers that I think are probably better done when my hand is in better physical condition, so it may be another week or so until I try again.

I finished the first one of my Social Security Number Socks, and have just finished knitting the gusset of the second one.  I switched around a couple of the colors, so they will match but not match once finished.  Which pleases me.

You saw the yarn above in last week's post, wound into a skein ready to knit.  This is the very beginning of the first sock of a pair.  I'm using the Solar pattern, which is easily memorized, and so far seems to be a happy match for this yarn.  Incidentally, the project bag is one of Mrs. Brown's Bags, but I got it as part of a combo from Yarn Ink - it was the July Bag + Yarn Club choice (and we nowhere near as expensive as the June choice on the website!).  I've always like the bags, and had hoped to get one, but the shipping was just too much for me.  This offer of the yarn and bag together was a better deal, and I'm glad I went for it.  The bag pattern is made from a print of this yarn knit up into a large stockinette swatch - how cool is that?

I'm making slow progress on each project, and haven't yet started the swatch I mentioned doing in the other yarn shown in last week's post.  Mainly because I hate making swatches for knitting in the round, but I'll get to it soon because I really do want to knit the item.  

On an unrelated note, we had a Customer Service workshop at work yesterday, and here is an actual exchange that happened at the beginning:

Instructor:  The most important thing to remember is that you should smile.
Attendee:  Are you saying this to men who are in these workshops as well?
Instructor:  Well, we are telling them to look approachable.
Attendee:  By smiling?
Instructor (big sigh): It's a well-known fact that people like to see women smiling, whereas it's fine for men to look approachable and serious.

SHE ACTUALLY SAID THAT.  

And .... OK, I'll admit the "Attendee" was yours truly.   But ... but ... GRRRR.

13 August 2017

Random on Sunday

We are having a lovely day today.  The weather is nice (no humidity!), and the sky is bright blue with the puffiest clouds you could imagine.  We spent pleasant 1 1/2 hours at the pool (city pools close this coming Friday, we are trying to fit in as many visits as possible), where there were others around but it wasn't crazy busy (it probably is by now).  Came home, and I did some kitty cuddling while watching a podcast, and then after a few attempts, I successfully sewed together the shoulder seams on my long-finished-and-blocked-but-still-in-pieces Custom Fit sweater.  (Next up - sleeves!)  And now I am enjoying a glass of wine while sitting here writing this post.

Makes it seem like the world is nothing but perfect.  Of course it isn't and it never has been.  And this past week, especially yesterday's events in Charlottesville, Virginia prove that.  There is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said.  Suffice it to say that I am angry, heartsick, and depressed at what our country has become under someone who is so despicable, I can't even mention his name.  I am hoping, praying, and doing what I can to not just battle the feelings, but the ideas and the person.  We are better than this, and if we all step up, we'll be able to prove it.

Moving on to other topics, I have been trying really hard lately to pay more and better attention to what I eat and drink, and also trying to be more active.  I used to do a good job of all of that, without really thinking about it, but slipped back into bad habits.  I'm happy to report that in the past couple of weeks, I have been making real progress, and it's starting to feel like "normal" again instead of a huge effort.

Alas, I'm having another arthritis flareup, so my current knitting projects are languishing.  I know it's a waiting game until it all calms down, but it is frustrating nonetheless.  At least I can still read!

A retired curator at work who still comes in every day, gave me 5 tomatoes from his wife's garden, because he said they are being overwhelmed with tomatoes.  They are some of the juiciest, most tomato-ey tomatoes I've had this summer!  The Tim and I are hoping that he'll bring more.  He usually brings in goodies from his garden and offers them to us, and fortunately for me, I'm the only one who likes tomatoes!  (What is wrong with people???)

The other day on my way to work, I saw a woman walking an Old English Sheepdog.  He was the friendliest dog, and when I went to walk away, he tried to come with me.  The woman said that I was the first person who paid him any attention that morning on their walk.  (Again, what is wrong with people???)

My sister in  California called today, and was telling me that in the next few months, she is going to be really busy traveling.  My brother-in-law does workshops related to a specific part of business training, and goes all over the place doing them.  They have requested his workshop in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, among other places, and Nancy is going along because she figures it will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go.  She said the flight from LA to Kuala Lumpur is 25 hours.  OK, that would be the down side ...

We are headed to Baltimore next weekend, and I am ridiculously excited about it.  I always look forward to going, and we always have the best time, but this time I am looking forward to it more than ever.  I think because we haven't really gone anywhere since Memorial Day, and that seems a long time ago.

Before then, however, I have my annual visit to the gynecologist tomorrow, and a haircut appt on Wednesday.  This week will be busier than any I've had for a while.  I'm not really looking forward to the first one, though I'm not dreading it either.  But ... well, you know.  Not something that is exactly "fun."  I am looking forward to getting my hair cut, since it's looking a bit shaggy.  It's just at the point where you start to think you might cut it yourself.  Fortunately, I have learned my lesson there.

Hopefully this will be a good week.  Let's do what we can to make it so!

09 August 2017

Halfway and Beginnings

Hello all - I hope your week has been going well.  Mine has been ... well, fine,  especially since we are again enjoying lovely summer weather, with low heat and no humidity.  Mornings are cool enough to wear a sweater while walking to work, which makes me happy.

Today I thought I'd join up again with Kat and others for Unraveled Wednesdays.  

Reading-wise, I started this at lunchtime the other day, and even though so far I've been only able to read during lunchtimes, I'm about halfway through (it's a short book).


So far, it's interesting - about life in modern-day Ireland during the recession when so many lost their financial safety nets.  Each chapter is told by a different character, and you learn how their stories are woven together while still being separate.

Moving on to knitting, I have one of my Social Security Number socks finished - I forgot how quickly worsted weight socks knit up!  I tried but could not get a decent photo, so you'll see them another day.  And I cast on the second sock, and think I might make some of the colors represent different numbers, so I can have socks that are the same but different.  Since they are to wear around the house, it will be fun to have a really odd pair. :-)

So those are underway, but I really wanted to work on some other things as well.  I've reached the lace border part of my Scattered Wishes shawl, which means only one or two rows at any given time, as even the simplest of lace patterns can be misinterpreted big time by me.  I'll get there, but I can't just sit and knit on that like I used to be able to do.

The answer: start another pair of socks and swatch for another project.


On the left, is the yarn for socks, from Yarn Ink, a new dyer (at least to me).  It's difficult to photograph, since it is very light, but trust me, it's AMAZINGLY PRETTY, with colors and speckles throughout.  The colorway is Beach Life, and so far I have a bit of a cuff knit, and oh do I love it!  

The yarn on the right is Quince and Co. Tern in the Dusk colorway.  Depending on the light, it looks lavender, or slightly gray, or purple-blue.  Even though it's August, I want to swatch for this pattern, and even if I can't wear it until next spring/summer, I'll have it, right?  

You may ask, why am I even thinking of knitting a garment, when I have - at best - a spotty history with garments?  Well, I just want to give it a try, and do it as properly as possible.  I *think* I have a much better understanding of swatching than I used to, after a class I took a couple of years ago at Loop.  Believe me, I'll keep you posted!

What are you reading and knitting these days?  Are you involved in any make-alongs in preparation for Rhinebeck?  I've noticed a few seem to be getting underway.  As you know, whenever I join a KAL or something similar, I seem to have a severe attack of knitter's block.  And since I'm not going to Rhinebeck (though I would certainly LOVE to someday!), I'm just going to enjoy seeing what others are making and enjoy their anticipation.  Vicarious knitting and travel can still be fun, you know?

04 August 2017

Old Photo Friday - Early August Edition

In one of Kathy's recent Q&As, she asked if we had a favorite summer photo.  I had stuff going on that week, and never got around to posting responses to that Q&A, but I immediately thought of the photo below.  I've posted it before, but it never ever ever ceases to amuse me.


I don't know what the initials on the caption stand for, but this was taken at the pool in Oglebay Park, which is a GORGEOUS municipal park and resort in my hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1938.  The woman on the far left who looks annoyed is .... you guessed it, my mom!  I love this picture because she looks so annoyed, while the others all look like they are enjoying being at the pool.  When I would ask her why she had this expression on her face, the answer was always some version of: "Oh for God's sake, how the hell do I know, it was a long time ago."  (Said in an *extremely* indignant tone.)

I think I love this photo because I find it so amusing, but also because it captures the essence of my mother - she loved to have a good time, but was easily annoyed.

Not that it is like anyone *I* can think of ... ;-)

Have a great weekend, even if others are annoying.

03 August 2017

So ... We Arrive at August

For today's Think Write Thursday, Carole and Kat provided the prompt "Hello, August."

So hello, August.  Like all other things, you arrive every year, regardless of whether or not I am ready, happy, or whatever.  And that is a good thing.  It means *I'm* still here to say, "Wow, it's already August."


Like all months, you have things I like and things I don't.  I used to dread you as a kid, since you meant school started again soon.  But I also liked you, because you were usually the month we went on vacation.

Right now, I guess you are OK.  I'm not happy about the fact that at least around here, you are still pretty hot and humid.  But I am happy that your arrival means that end of that is coming.  You are the month when the farmers' market has a lot that I look forward to seeing in abundance: tomatoes, corn, peaches, and early apples.  So I enjoy that about you, I think more than anything else.

I'm not pleased that I fell yesterday and really messed up my right hand/wrist and knee - nothing really drastic, just painful, uncomfortable, and not pretty.  At least I'm left-handed though, so I can still do most things pain-free.  And I know I didn't fall because it was August, so I'm not blaming you for that.  :-)

I did remember the #augustbreak2017, albeit a few days late, so that is definitely a good thing.  (Though I posted tomorrow's prompt today.  Sigh.)  I particpated last year, and enjoyed it quite a bit.  I like Instagram a lot, and it is fun to have the various prompts.  So thanks for that one!


I hope to spend most of your month trying to remember to live in the moment, enjoy my life, and be as happy as I can be.  So I think it will be OK, you know?

Having said that - if you wanted to cool down weather-wise, that would be great ...