24 June 2019

A Good Combination Weekend

Well, the weekend did not disappoint.  In more ways than one, actually - we had good weather, and it actually felt like it consisted of two days as opposed to two hours.  It was an excellent combination of accomplishing things and relaxing.  I love it when it works out that way.

Saturday consisted of some running around in the morning.  We headed over to NJ for a trip to Kohl's, Target, the liquor store (don't tell the PA officials!), and the mall.  The Tim had a coupon for Kohl's, and I benefitted from it, and we also picked up some kitchen towels, which we seem to go through at a record pace.  We bought some wine and gin at the liquor store, and I returned a pair of shoes and got a battery for my watch at the mall, then we headed to Target for some groceries.  We were finished and home before noon.  Then The Tim took a nap, and I "finished finished" my Shift cowl - meaning that I sewed up the back seam, and so now the knitting isn't just finished, the project is!  I absolutely love it and will share it soon in an FO post.  That evening we just hung out and watched some shows we had recorded.

Sunday The Tim had to work, so I was on my own as usual.  Hamlet and I took a really nice, long walk in the morning, and stopped at the dog park on our way home.  He was pretty wiped out afterwards, I have to say!  Then I swept up in the garden, which didn't really take long because I'd done the major cleanup a few weeks ago.  The only downside was that I really really really missed my snoopervisor, Jack.  :-(  The others are nervous about going outside, so the Koodle just slept upstairs, and Pip sat at the screen door giving instructions the whole time.  I was hoping to sit out there in the evening, but dinner was later than usual, and by the time we cleaned up, it was getting dark, so hopefully after this week's heat wave we'll have some nice days when I can enjoy it. 

After that and taking a shower, I decided that I deserved some relaxing time, so I sat down and started working on the socks I want to make next, and watch a podcast.  After that, I spent about an hour ironing - yes, there are things I still iron.  I actually find it to be one of those activities that I don't do very often but when I do, I enjoy it, as it becomes a bit meditative.  Also, it's not that great to iron in our basement, so I like to bring it all upstairs to the living room, where I can look out the window into the garden and watch the birds and squirrels.  And - I'm actually accomplishing something at the same time!  Then I went back upstairs and cast on my Pabaigh and got about 4 rounds knit.  After dinner, I finished a book I was reading, and then headed to bed, since my busy day was catching up with me.  But it was a good way to end the weekend.

So now it's Monday, and fortunately this morning walking to work it was still quite pleasant outside.  Which was nice, because heading home I think it's gonna be a lot different!  This is a short work week for me, since I'm taking off Friday, so there is one fewer day of vacation I lose at the start of the new fiscal year.  And then next week is the week of the Fourth of July - WHAT???

Here's hoping that we all have a good week, one way or the other.  If you are in the heat zone, I hope you can stay cool.  I'm already busy figuring out how to make it work ...

Note: Knitting also works.  ;-)

21 June 2019

Let's Do Another TGIF, Shall We?

I have to be honest with you - I sincerely doubted that this work week would EVER end!  It has been one of the longest weeks ever, topped off by one of the stupidest/most frustrating days (today), and I have never been more ready for the weekend!  I am in the mood for a TGIF post, so here you go.


Thinking About - how in a couple of hours, the Summer Solstice will be upon us, and summer will officially be underway.  Perhaps this being the longest day is why this seems to have been the longest week?  Who knows.  Contrary to what you may think, I try really hard to be excited for summer every year.  It's my least favorite season, but it arrives anyway, and there is nothing I can do about it.  But when the weather report on the radio says "Next week, summer really settles in; right now, it looks like every day will have high humidity with temperatures in the mid-90s," it's hard to think positively.  I am grateful for air-conditioining, even though I don't like it, but it's frustrating when it is completely ineffective both at home and at work.  Yesterday, according to the little thermometer I keep on my desk at work, it was 85 degrees in our area, with 72% humidity.  So today I am trying to think of things that I enjoy that I want to do this summer - things like planning day trips "down the shore" as they say here, at least four times this year; or, going to our favorite place for fried clams at least once this season - to keep my spirit from spiraling downwards. 

Giggling About  - we both really like Stephen Colbert, and often record his show to watch the next evening.  The other night, one of his guests was Tig Notaro, and she told a story that I am still giggling about!  I mean, just thinking about it again right now has set me off!  Here is what I am talking about, I hope you get a smile from it.

Intrigued By - people who feel the pressure to be "perfect" on Instagram.  I do enjoy looking at beautiful photos, of lovely things, perfect shots, etc.  But I also enjoy most of what people post, because it's a little glimpse of their day, that moment, their thoughts - you know what I mean.  Just this morning I have heard two different people say (one in person, one on a podcast) that looking at Instagram makes them feel pressured to be perfect in every way.  I have to wonder why.  I am in no way a well-adjusted person with perfect self-esteem, but it never occurs to me to feel pressured - maybe because anytime my photos are perfect it's a result of dumb luck and no ability on my part.  Even my best photos that I post on Instagram - or on any social media - are, frankly, not that great.  But to me that's not the point.  I just enjoy sharing them.  Oh well.

Feeling - nervous, though I'm not sure about what.  Also grateful that it's Friday, and the weekend is here.  Also frustrated by the state of our country.  Also tired, since sleep was not my friend the past couple of days.  Also hungry because, well, I'm always hungry.  I'm working on feeling industrious so that I can manage to clean up our craft room/office/junk room at least a little bit in the next couple of days.  I would be pleased if I could even put a small dent into the mess. 

And that's it from here for now.  Here's hoping that all of you have an enjoyable weekend, even if it's not perfect enough for Instagram.  ;-)

20 June 2019

This Week's Thinking

Last Saturday, I finished the knitting part of my Crazytown Cowl, soaked it and set it on the blocking mats.  Because it's been ridiculously humid and rainy this week, it only finally felt dry last night.  So this weekend, I'll do the seaming and have another FO, which is such a good feeling.  And yesterday, The Tim took the finished pair of socks to the Post Office, so they should arrive at their destination today or tomorrow, another good feeling.

I don't know about you, but occasionally, when I finish one thing, and another project is nearly finished, rather than starting something new, I *have* to finish the other project - that's what happened with the cowl, and I think it was also because it was a good occupation for my brain, which trust me, still needs to be busy!

Having said that, it does not mean I haven't been thinking about what is next.  For whatever reason, everything and nothing appealed to me, so I was back and forth on things and frankly it was driving me nuts.  So I told myself that I needed to just decide on SOMETHING and just organize things to get started so that when I was ready to sit down and get moving, everything would be ready.

Once I told myself that, things started to fall into place.  I even knit a swatch!


Admittedly, I do not enjoy swatching, but I have learned the hard way in the past that at least in the case of garments, not swatching can mean you have wasted a lot of knitting on something that doesn't fit.  The good news is that this swatch was right on gauge, so I don't have to knit another!  Because I have mostly wool and wool blend yarns in my stash, and am trying reallyreallyreally hard to not buy yarn unless I simply must for a project, I had to think ahead to cooler weather and what yarn I had waiting for its turn.  When Pabaigh was first released, Kate Davies had a sale on yarn kits to knit it, and I purchased this yarn, which is the same color as she used in the pattern photos.  I decided to knit this now because since it is not a heavy sweater, knitting it in summer weather shouldn't be adding to any heat happening.  Plus, since it is intended to be a layering piece when the weather gets cool, I was hoping that it would be finished by the time summer moves along into fall.  We'll see how this all goes.  The pattern is mainly just knitting in the round, so in theory, it should keep my brain just as busy as it needs to be, but also mean that I can watch movies, have a conversation, or watch a podcast while working on it.

Then I decided that my next pair of socks would be the Georgia Socks, by Tracie Millar of the Grocery Girls podcast.  I have been wanting to knit some more shortie socks, and these have just a bit more happening with them than simply stockinette ones, plus a different heel for me to try.  I haven't decided on the yarn for these yet - I want to look through my leftovers, rather than use a "fresh" skein/ball.  So in the next few days, I'll be poking through the Bag O' Leftovers sock yarn that is for my Cozy Squares of Memory blanket, to see what I want to use.  I do have some things in that bag that have more than just a few yards left, so those will be the likely candidates.  I know that Lisa of Hidden River Yarns is making these and just using self-striping yarn, so depending on what/how much of that I have left in the bag, that's also a possibility.  It's funny, because I seldom actually purchase sock patterns since so many freebies appeal to me, but this pair is one of the ones that just struck me as something I really want to knit.

I'm really pleased now that I know what projects will be next.  I hope I'll like working on both of them, since my previous two projects were so pleasing.  Whatever happens, I'm sure you'll hear about it ... ;-)

I hope your last day of Spring is a good one.  It feels like the end of July here with heat and humidity, and is raining buckets today, but tomorrow and the weekend are supposed to be nice, so I'm looking forward to that! 

18 June 2019

... of the Day

Do you ever look at the various "of the day" things?  I find them interesting, when I do think to check, because sometimes they are right on target and other times, I'll think who finds this the least bit interesting/true/appropriate??? 

Today was one of the days I looked, so let me share with you.  These are not from regularly visited sites or anything, just the first results in a Google search.


Quote of the Day:

We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.
-- Herman Melville

My take:  OK, I guess.  It's not really making me want to change my whole life though.


Joke of the Day:

I should have known better than to flush my wooden shoes down the toilet.  Now it's clogged.

My take:  Funny if a kid told you.  Otherwise, worth a smile.



Bird of the Day:

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet

My take:  I have never heard of, or seen this bird, but I am guessing that is since it is native to the Southwest.  I do like him/her, though.  Admittedly, I like birds, so I may be biased.\


Animal of the Day:

Another bird - the California Quail!


My take:  I LOVE the little doodly-doo on his head!!


Botany photo of the day:


My take:  I have never seen these, but they look like mushrooms that had some "wacky mushrooms"!


Astronomy photo of the day:


My take:  WHOA.


Born on this day:

Lou Gehrig, Paul McCartney



My take:  Happy Birthday!


On this day in history:

In 1983, Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space

My take:  YES!


Weird fact of the day:  "Almost" is the longest word in the English language with all of the letters in alphabetical order.

My take:  I am quite possibly the only person in the world who is extremely pleased to know this.


Word of the day:  Precarious

My take:  OK, sure.


And that, ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, is my Post of the Day!  :-)

14 June 2019

Friday FO

I am happy to report an FO - these were actually finished a week ago tomorrow (Saturday), but I didn't have them blocked and photographed until now.  These are the socks I knit for a friend's husband who is having a kidney transplant this coming summer.

You may recall they started out like this:


The first sock went pretty quickly, and soon I'd started the second.


The second sock zipped along - mainly due to the fact that I needed something to occupy my mind over the past week, and knitting fit the bill.  Since these were just plain vanilla socks, they were a perfect project.  And I think the finished pair look great.


Project:  Socks for Brian
Pattern:  Classic Socks for the Family, with a 2 x 2 rib on the cuff, 3 x 1 rib on the leg, and an  Eye of Partridge heel
Yarn:  fiberstory FAVE sock, in the colorway Tranquil; the toes are Knitted Wit Gumball in the Cranberry Bog colorway
Needles:  US size 1
Modifications:  None
Notes:  This turned out to be a wonderful project on several levels.  I actually bought this yarn, because since I don't know Brian that well, I wasn't sure if he would like bright or wild socks, and that is most of the sock yarn I own.  When I saw this color, I not only liked it, but the name of the colorway - Tranquil - seemed perfect for him, since hopefully his life and health will be more tranquil once the transplant happens.

The yarn is so lovely - tonal, and so incredibly lofty and soft to work with.  It takes a pattern really well, and I can imagine that a textured pattern would look great using this.  I was a little bit nervous that I would not have enough yarn for both socks, since the yardage is slightly less than I'm used to, so I decided to jazz them up with a different color toe.  The Knitted Wit Gumball in Cranberry Bog seemed like a good combination, and I love the way they turned out.  (As it turns out, I would have had enough of the other yarn, but I didn't want to agonize since these were a gift, and I wanted them to be an enjoyable project for me).

I took these with me when we went home over the Memorial Day weekend, to add in some extra good juju.  While we were there, I showed my niece Amanda and her husband Patrick how they were coming along, since they are the ones who are really good friends with Brian and his wife Nancy.   Then I had the brilliant idea to have them knit a few stitches, for even better juju.  So Amanda knit about five stitches, and Pat did three stitches.  They were both nervous and worried that they would mess them up, but both of them did just fine, and I think they were surprised that it "worked."  There are some thoughts and prayers of Jack included as well.

I figure with all the goodwill and good thoughts in these socks, Brian's recovery should be smooth and hopefully without issues.  :-)

******

If you are reading this, you've made it through another week.  We don't have any plans for the weekend, which is fine, since we are still taking it one day at a time.  I hope that whatever you have planned - or however you decide to just relax - makes your weekend a good one!