23 June 2017

Furball Friday

Nearly every time Pip gets comfortable in this particular kitty bed,
Milo the Koodle decides that Pip would be even *more* comfortable if he was there too.

It seldom ends well.

Here's hoping your weekend is overstuffed with good things!

Keep cool!

21 June 2017

Summer Unraveled

Well, it's officially summer.  Which means it's officially time for me to work hard on thinking of things to keep me from going into a deep depression.  And immediate heat and humidity do not make that an easy task.  I think I may be the only person in the world who suffers from reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.

So, what do I have for today?  Well, I'm gonna join Kat and the others for Unraveled Wednesdays, for one thing.  Why not?  I have knitting and I have reading, so here goes.

The reading is a cozy mystery, because a) I was in the mood for something quick and not overly challenging, and b) I wanted to read something before I could pick up the book on hold for me at the library.  So I'm reading this, which is a new series to me:

(Photo from Goodreads, since I'm reading it on my Nook)

So far, it's really entertaining, and is even more well-written than I expected, so that is a plus.  And I may be able to even work it into one of my Book Bingo squares, which would be a nice bonus.  We'll see.

The knitting is something besides a sock this time.  Rest assured, I'm still working on my Orange Tabby Socks, but you've seen what they look like, so here's some variety for you this week.  It lives in this natural-history themed project bag, which has become one of my most favorites.

And as you have heard, I'm making a Sonora Shawl.  I'm calling mine Scattered Wishes, because the blue colorway is called Wish, and it's used only in a few places.   Here is what I have so far, mushed up and unblocked, but still fun to knit and pleasing to me.

I just finished the second color section, so it's growing pretty quickly.  I highly recommend this pattern.  I'm using stash yarn, which does not have the same loft as the recommended yarn, but I am still loving it - so much so, I can completely imagine making another one before too long!

Of course I was zooming along on it before it got really icky, weather-wise, so I'm not sure if things continue as they are if I'll feel like having something this size on my lap to knit ... so it may become a nice-day project, which is fine, since then it will feel like a treat!

How about you?  What are you knitting, reading, thinking, doing, eating, whatever?  Inquiring minds want to know.  :-)

Keep cool!

19 June 2017

Well I Didn't Mean to Do That!

"That" being not write a post for a week.  But last week was a bit much, with A LOT of unexpected dental work, a long time to recover, then getting ready for company this coming weekend.

The lowlights:

I had gone for my 6-month checkup and cleaning at the dentist, which is usually no big deal,* but the dentist said a crown needed to be replaced.  So I went back and when she took the old crown off, it turned out I needed a root canal.  So I went back the next day for that.  During the root canal, part of the tool broke off in my tooth root(!).  The endodontist assured me that it would not cause any problems,** and finished up with the temporary crown.  Then today, I had to go for the tooth to be prepped for the permanent crown.  Oy.

*Even so, of all the medical-type things I ever have to do, or have done, going to the dentist and getting my blood pressure taken are the two things that freak me out the most.

**When I told this to The Tim, he said, "Isn't that how superheroes happen?"

The highlights:

On Friday, my sister Mary Ellen and brother-in-law Pat, along with my niece Amanda and her husband Pat came for Bloomsday weekend.  We had a great weekend with them, laughing, catching up, going out to dinner, and exploring Philadelphia.  Fortunately, Saturday - which was the only entire day they were here - was humid but not oppressively hot (like it's been since then), so our walking-around-tour was not messed up until the very end when we started home/back to their hotels, and there was a torrential shower.  Mary Ellen and Pat have visited a few times, but have never had much time to see a lot of the city, and Amanda and Pat are always up for anything.  So we walked over to see the new plaza and the building of city hall (everyone is a history and architecture fan), then to the Reading Terminal Market, where we all had a local beer, and the two guys bought locally-made spirits ("From Farm to Glass" was the name of the place, which I thought was great).  Then we wended our way to Jeweler's Row, Independence Hall Park, and our final destination, the National Constitution Center.  With three out of the four of the group being lawyers, we thought it was a good stop.  It was wonderful (we'd never been there yet, either), and they had a special exhibit about Prohibition which was both interesting and fun.  So we covered quite a bit of ground!

The knitting:

After everyone left on Sunday, I sat down and [finally] cast-on for the second of my Orange Tabby socks.  I'd finished the first one last week, and then became slightly obsessed with knitting on my Sonora Shawl.  But I want to get the pair finished, and decided casting-on would be the best way to actually get that accomplished ...

Of course, I have no pictures to show you, at least not at the moment, from this past week.  Instead, I hope you enjoy this picture from our trip to Acadia National Park and Forest last September.  Looking at it, I can remember not only how great that trip was, but also how the weather was neither hot nor humid.  Win-win for me.  :-)

11 June 2017

Odunde Sunday and [Finally] Some Knitting!

Are you melting?  I'm not so far, but I have no delusions about it as the day goes on.  We got out in the garden early today to clean up, so we could be out when it was still bearable.  And it worked, it was about 71 degrees and there was a tiny cool breeze.  We have both since come inside, showered, and eaten breakfast and currently it's 88 degrees, with the high expected to be between 93 and 95 degrees.

Which means that it's also a nice day but extremely hot for the Odunde Festival, which is today.  It's really fabulous, but between the temperature and the crowds (easily 1/2 million people in our neighborhood!), we'll be staying put, sitting in front of the fan.  Of course we'll still be tempted by the smells coming through the windows of all the yummy food being grilled ...

I realized the other day that I never did an official FO post for my Mojito Socks, and we can't have that, being that you a) kept hearing about them while they were in progress, and b) I love them so much!

Project:  Mojito Socks
Pattern:  Classic Socks for the Family (my go-to basic sock pattern)
Yarn:  West Yorkshire Spinners 4-ply, colorway Mojito (ordered from The Woolly Thistle)
Needles:  Size 1 US
Modifications:  I made the leg longer, because I like my socks a little higher above the ankle
Comments:  How I love these socks and this yarn!  I came across it shortly before we were headed to Puerto Rico in April, and knew that it had to come with us on our trip, and that it would make great socks.  I enjoyed knitting the socks, because the yarn is very nice to knit with, and loved watching the stripes show up.  And though I did not make any special efforts to get them to match, they actually come pretty close!  I can also recommend The Woolly Thistle, both for prices and for fast shipping.  Everything about this pair makes me happy, and they will always remind me of a wonderful trip as well.  I cannot wait to open my Box o' Socks in 2018 and see them waiting for me!

That's it for now.  I hope you have a lovely Sunday, and if you are also getting blasted by the heat, I hope you can stay cool.  And of course, Happy African New Year!  :-)

09 June 2017

Five Favorites for This Friday

Are you ready for the weekend?  I have some things I want to do around the house and in the garden.  Next week my sister and brother-in-law, and my niece Amanda and her husband Pat (of our trip to Puerto Rico fame) are coming to spend the Bloomsday weekend with us.  So I want to finish putting some stuff away, and finish cleaning up.  And I would like to plant a few things that I have for the garden and front planter.  Elstwise, nothing too elaborate or exciting, but that's fine since we'll be so busy next weekend.

The socks from the last post are in a brief timeout, until I can get over to Loop and buy another set of needles.  I lost one from the set I'm using, which I bought because the other set I was using was so worn, they were snagging the yarn.  The Tim had sanded them for me a couple of times, but it's time to move along.  You'd think with all of the sock knitting I do, I'd spring for multiple sets of double pointed needles.  At least right now, you would be wrong ...

Anyway, it's time to share five good things from the week, so here you go.

1.  Cool weather.  It's actually still spring, in spite of everyone else wanting it to be summer.  For the last few years, we've been lucky if we got a week of springtime weather before heat and humidity arrived.  This year, we've actually had spring weather - nice days and cool (sometimes actually cold!) nights for sleeping.  Since I suspect we are going to have a brutal summer (and the heat and humidity are supposed to arrive on Sunday), I've been enjoying spring and the cool weather.

2.  A better circular needle.  I started working on the Sonora Shawl, and when I got to the colorwork portion, it was a nightmare with a metal needle.  So I walked over to Loop the other day and got a wood needle, and it's made all of the difference!  That made me happy, because I have really wanted to knit the pattern ever since I saw it, and instead I was a) making a mess, and b) getting really discouraged and frustrated.  Wood needle for the win!

3.  Lasagna.  We don't have this very often, but the other night, The Tim fixed some truly amazing vegetable lasagna.  Fortunately, there are leftovers, so it wasn't a one-shot deal.  :-)

4.  Kitty cuddles.  Since it's been cool, all of the cats are still wanting to cuddle.  I've been enjoying it, knowing that once the weather changes, those cuddles will be few and far between.

5.  Taking a long walk on a beautiful day.  Last Saturday was a gorgeous day.  and in the afternoon The Tim and I went out for nice, long walk.  We have taken plenty of walks together overall, but generally we are on the way to somewhere, or running an errand, so a leisurely walk was a special treat.  We stopped and got coffee on the way, then stopped at the Farmer's Market on the way home.  It was one of those days when it seemed as if the planets had aligned, you know?

What about you?  Do you have any things from the past week that were especially good, and/or made you smile?  I hope so!

Here's to a good weekend, no matter what your plans happen to be.

07 June 2017

Unravelling, Knitting, Reading

Here we are, with another Unraveled Wednesday, thanks to Kat.  I enjoy participating in this - when I actually remember!  I've been at home since Monday, and am headed back to work tomorrow (boo!).  I've been trying to use up vacation days so I won't lose them by the end of the fiscal year.  Sadly, I'll still lose a bunch, mainly because of my colleague who is on "indefinite maternity leave," meaning that for me, getting even a day off is tricky.  (This is all I will say about the topics of losing vacation days and indefinite maternity leave.  Because I could spend the rest of my blogging life posting about those two topics alone!)

Back to knitting and reading, which is why we are here in the first place, right?  After the Great Tangled Yarn Disaster of 2017, I pulled another yarn out of my stash and started a different pattern.  So far, so good.  As a matter of fact, right now I am actually at the picking up stitches for the gusset phase.

The yarn is the Orange Tabby colorway from Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts Meow Yarn Collection.  The pattern is a Ravelry freebie, Petty Harbour Socks.  I am enjoying this knit, though I realized many rows later that I messed up at one point.   Since it was many rows later, and the socks are for me, I'm not gonna worry about it.

And after much back-and-forth, I have finally chosen my card for Summer Book Bingo.

And I also have one square filled in so far - "Sub-title on the cover," which would be Flaneuse : Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London, which was the book I had started last week.  My thoughts on the book will be in my book report post later in the month, but - spoiler alert - it was disappointing.

Now I'm getting ready to start this book:

Originally I was going to read this because I was planning to sign up for an online writing course taught by the author, but our finances have changed, so I am now reading it because I have it from the library and I think it looks/sounds interesting.  I'll let you know.

That's it for now.  Have a good day, and enjoy your knitting, reading, or whatever else you do.  I'm planning to make some of Clara Parkes' granola - YUM!

04 June 2017

Let Me Tell You About Last Weekend, This Weekend

I just realized I never reported on our trip to West Virginia for Memorial Day, so you're getting it now.  Just some background: for several years now, my middle sister and her husband have had a huge picnic on Memorial Day weekend, usually on Saturday.  All of their kids and families come home, as well as their friends, friends of friends, mere acquaintances, the mailman (seriously - he stopped to have a burger and beer while delivering the mail a few years back), and basically anyone who happens by.  It's always fun, the food is always amazing, and the family looks forward to it.

Last year we missed it, since Dug was sick, which was a shame not just because it's so fun, but because we would usually take Dug along and he LOVED it!  This year, we were able to both have Friday off, so we left early in the day and drove across the Pennsylvania Turnpike to eventually end up in Wheeling.  For the most part, the drive was fine - we did run into a couple of brief downpours, but nothing long-lasting or terrible.

Overnight on Friday, there was a huge thunderstorm, but by noon the sun was out and things had cleared up and dried up.  So the picnic was on!

Decorated table with balloons? Check!

St. Francis of Assisi statue holding flag? Check!

Inflatable Uncle Sam (who looked a little tipsy to me already)?  Check!

So the grill was fired up, and the food organized, and the day was underway.

This is my great-niece Penn, who was in from Brooklyn with her parents - she turned 3 about a month ago.  
Not really impressed with her father's Minions disguise ...

My great-nephew Zach and his parents were in from Baltimore, and here he is going down the water slide, provided by the next-door neighbors.  It was a BIG hit.

Zach with Micah, a cousin from my brother-in-law's side of the family.  Micah made his First Communion two weeks before Memorial Day.

This is Zach again, with Mattis K. Nine, the therapy-dog-in training.  OMG he is so adorable!  I took him and his "brother" Radar (also a yellow Lab) for a walk, and they were hilarious together.

Here is Keith looking pensive, while drinking "something I would *never* drink in Brooklyn" ...

This is a tree stump in the yard with a carving.  After the tree came down, a friend of my brother-in-law's carved a Claddagh in it.  It's kinda hard to see, but I think it's cool.

Of course there was a lot of activity and hilarity, and then by the end of the day, everyone was running out of steam.

Penn, Rose (little girl next door) and Biggie (Penn's dog) took in a kiddo movie that evening.

Then Zach had some Biggie time.  

Biggie (full name:  Biggie Smalls) is 15 years old, and has survived broken legs, as well as cancer and chemotherapy.  He was the ringbearer in Jules and Keith's wedding in Puerto Rico.  At this point he is nearly deaf and blind in one eye, but he is a sweetie and still hangs with the family.

Sunday was a hang-out-and-eat-leftovers day.  Then in the evening, the next door neighbors had all of us over for a cookout and fireworks, which was really fun (and all of the food was yummy!  They had filet mignon cooked on the grill for the meat eaters, which is pretty fancy if you ask me).  They have a daughter Sofia who is Zach's age, and the two of them are buddies, and Rose and Penn are a year apart, so they had a good time too.

Everyone was heading home on Monday morning.  Our drive home was beautiful - sunny, puffy clouds, not much traffic - and we got home to some very excited kitties by about 4:30.  We had a nice evening just relaxing and catching up on some recorded shows.

So another Memorial Day weekend is in the books.  We had a great time, and it was fun to get to see some friends and some family we don't get to see often, or even much at all.  It all seems like a long time ago now, though.  Isn't it weird how that happens?

I hope you have had an enjoyable weekend for this weekend.  Ours has been great, and I have a couple of extra days so that I don't lose vacation time (though I still will lose some - don't ask!), so I don't have the Sunday Night Blues at the moment ... such a nice feeling!

01 June 2017

June - Oh!

Well, hello there, June.  I must admit to being somewhat ambivalent about you.  This is kind of a tough time of year for us, that end-of-May/June period.  There are many sad memories that come up during this time.  And, to be perfectly frank, though others are thrilled that it's "officially summer" once you arrive, that's one of the things that depresses me.  I don't go to school anymore, so I can't look forward to June being the month that the school year ends, and I'm not a fan of the summer.  So you can see how I am conflicted.

However, in songs, you are always teamed up with the moon, and wanting to spoon ... and you are busting out all over - and that's both entertaining and catchy.

But there are also things that I actually do like about you, that mean I enjoy your arrival.

Rita's!  Yes, I know I can go there before June 1, but Memorial Day/beginning of June usually sees our first visit.  We were planning to go the last couple of evenings, but other things got in the way, so I know for sure we'll make the first of many trips this weekend.

Flag Day is a day I like, because I enjoy seeing the flags waving around, and I also like red, white, and blue together.

Bloomsday is the best, because it's not just a fun day around here, but it's also the birthday and name inspiration for our very first kitty after we got married - Molly Bloom!  We always told her she was "the original and still the best" and that holds true forever.  When we moved to Philadelphia, I used to take her in her carrier to listen to some of Ulysses being read at the Rosenbach, since it is close to our house.  She enjoyed having people come to see her, and was always quite pleased with the attention.  This year, we'll have some company for the weekend, so that should be a lot of fun.

I'm looking forward to day trips to the shore, and saying hello to the ocean and relaxing.

I can't wait to go again to Smitty's Clam Bar in Somers Point, NJ - we were there last year for the first time, and it was AMAZING!  Since it's only open during "beach season" it's a special treat.

Since the garden is fixed up - should you decide June, to not immediately be too hot and humid - we can sit out there and enjoy it.  Especially on weekends, I'll be able to sit and knit or read, or whatever I feel like doing.  And we can have some meals out there too, which I find way more exciting than I should, but there you go.

Speaking of the garden, some flowers and herbs can be planted, so that it's an even better and happier place to be.

So you see, there's a lot of potential there.  I hope that you'll be more amenable, especially weather-wise.  :-)

I'm joining everyone at Think Write Thursday today.   (And putting June on notice!)

31 May 2017


I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend.  Ours was fun, and I'll share pictures and details soon.  But today is Unraveled Wednesday, and I wanted to participate, because I have a major UGH to share, as well as a new book.

While on our trip, I started the Strawberry Field socks with some yarn I had wound on my swift and winder before we left.  For once, I had no issues with the skein of yarn giving me trouble (no tangles, etc.), and there were no indications while winding that anything out of the ordinary was happening.  The pattern is tricky at first, and I had to rip back a couple of times, but I finally "got" it and knitted happily, pleased with how they were looking.  Yesterday afternoon, I sat down to work on them, and since I needed more yarn to work with, I gave it a slight tug.  It exploded.

I spent a bit more than an hour trying to salvage things, and ended up with the small ball of yarn at the top.  I was so upset and frustrated, working to get just that, I think I may just scrap it all and start something else with other yarn.  To say I'm disappointed is putting it mildly.

As for reading, I'm going to start this book today:

I thought it looked promising and figured it was worth a try.  Let's hope I have better luck with this than I had with my sock ...

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.  :-)

12 May 2017

Furball Friday

(Photo taken January 8, 2017)

Jetsam - and everyone else at our house - hopes you have a lovely and relaxing weekend! 

Who would believe such pleasure from a wee ball of fur?
- Irish saying

10 May 2017

Unraveled Wednesday, Indeed

I finally have my act together enough to join Kat and some others for Unraveled Wednesdays.  I would keep meaning to join in, but would either forget or not have any pictures handy to share.

Today is indeed unraveling for me, in the emotional sense.  The past week or so has been really difficult health-wise, for myself and some other family members as well.  Nothing like having it all piled on at once.  Because we cannot just stop and go back to bed and shut out the world though, there's no choice but to manage as well as you can at any given moment, and we're trying.  Sorry to be vague, but it's not anything I can bear to go into right now.  I'm sure that soon you'll hear all about it whether or not you want to!

So, as I often say, Onward.

I have two finished socks to show you today - but they are not a pair.  (Kinda like the joke of when is a door not a door?)

The sock on the left is the first Mojito sock, finished on Monday evening.  I love the colors, and can't wait to cast on for sock #2.  But before I do, I wanted to at least put the Afterthought Heel in one of the socks I finished before we went on our trip.  So I did that yesterday afternoon, after getting home from a dr appt.  And I *will* do the other sock as well, but not right away, since the first one was not pleasant.  I am however, determined to finish the socks, so it will happen at some point.  (Warning: in some post in the near future, you will have to hear my ranting about the Afterthought Heel.  In a nutshell; Not a fan.)

When Knitting Annoys - film at 11!

The book is one I started this past weekend.  I'm not very far into it yet, but I'm finding it very interesting.  I heard about it on the Treehouse Knits podcast, where she mentioned that she and another podcaster have a reading group (and of course I am too lazy to locate the links that would actually help you find it.  Sorry about that).  I borrowed it from the library, to see what I think.  It's one of those books that if I had to read it for a class, or for formal discussion, I'd be worried because there's a lot of information and dates from B.C.; but since I'm reading it for my own purposes, I'm doing OK because I feel no pressure to remember every single specific fact.

I'm also listening to the audio book Messenger of Truth, by Jacqueline Winspear. Needless to say, it's much lighter and easier to manage, story wise.  It's funny because this is the fourth in the Maisie Dobbs series, and I realized that they have all been audio books so far - I haven't actually "read" any of them!  But I do enjoy them, and the narrator's voice seems appropriate for the time period when they take place.

So that's it for today from me.  What about you?  What are you up to with your reading, knitting, and listening?

P.S. I hope none of you are unraveling, in any sense of the word!  :-)

08 May 2017

Puerto Rico Vacation: Copamarina, The Plant Life

Well, that was a lost weekend.  My cold or whatever it is moved to the next level.  Finally today the dr gave me some meds, so hopefully I'll feel better (and get some sleep) soon.  Ugh.

BUT - let's move on to happier topics, and pretty pictures.  In my second installment of our time at Copamarian, I'm sharing photos of the plant life.  (If you missed the first part, where I show you the views there, check out this post.)

This first photo is specifically for Dee, who I know has orchid plants, and seems to have real luck growing them.  It was not an uncommon sight in Puerto Rico to see orchid plants attached to trees!  So pretty, but also surprising.

And here for your enjoyment, are the other photos.