30 July 2019

Tiny Needle Tuesday

Before (bee-fore?) I write anything more, let me say thank you again to everyone for your kind comments and your participation in Christmas in July.  It made me happy to know that you enjoyed it and thought it was a good idea.  I have to say, it really helps me in the hot weather, to think about a time when it will be much more to my liking.  I'm hoping to make it an annual event.  :-)

OK, on to the business at hand, aka Tiny Needle Tuesday.  As you can see below, I have now completed the other half of my honeybee's body, and started on part of a wing.  I got all of that accomplished on Sunday and Monday evenings, while The Tim was reading aloud from the second of the Patrick O'Brian novels.  I find that I can work on this and still keep up with what he is reading, so it's a pleasant way to spend time.  I am hoping that when this is finished, I can figure out the best way to put it in some kind of frame and hang it in the craft room/office/junk room.  (And yes, I am working on eliminating the "junk room" part, but that is a slow process.)

As I was stitching on this last night, I was also remembering how, when my niece Amanda was a little girl, she started calling me BridgieHoney, which morphed into Honeybeebee somehow.  Then her younger sister picked it up, and for a while that was my name.  After The Tim came into the picture, our mutual name became BridgetandTim - as in, "BridgetandTim do you want to go to the playground?"  It didn't matter which one of us they were talking to, we just had a morphed unified name.  Not as glamorous as say, Brangelina, but pretty amusing nonetheless.

Back to stitching, I have a question for you.  I am hoping to work on the witchy/Halloween-themed cross-stitch for Amanda once I finish this.  I was hoping to find some light to medium gray cloth to use, so that I could have the words and images in blacks, browns, and oranges.  I've checked at A.C. Moore, which is not that far from our house, and they only have white or cream cloth.  Have any of you found a place where you can order "colors" of cloth?  If so, please let me know in the comments.  If I don't find it, I will just go with white or cream cloth, but figured it was worth asking all of you.

Here's hoping your day goes well.  I am currently cooling off at my desk before starting my work day, and hoping that by the end of  the day, I don't feel so damp with sweat - ugh!

29 July 2019

Two Winners and Soon It Will Be August

Well, all of you certainly had fun stories about growing up, playgrounds, and subjects in school.  I so enjoyed reading all of your comments, often shaking my head in agreement.

And so that I don't draw out the process of letting you know who the Week 4 winner is for this year's Christmas in July, let me tell you, the winner is:

Here are her answers to my questions:

I don't think I've commented here before! This is a really fun thing to do!
My answers:
1. When you were a kid, were you more likely to want to go to the playground, or have your own fun at home in your yard or a friend's yard? - I grew up in a really tiny town and there were no playgrounds! But we did have tons of outdoors to run around in however. My favourite thing to do was to get a book and a blanket and go sit among the trees and read!

2. In school, did you get better grades in Arts classes (humanities, art, music) or Science classes (sciences, mathematics, statistics)? I did better in science, although university level stats almost did me in! (ultimately received a BSc in Biochemistry!)

Congratulations, Roslyn!  Please send me your full name and address, if possible before this coming Friday, since I'd like to send the packages then.  You can contact me at thekittyknitterATverizonDOTcom, and please include GIVEAWAY in your subject line so I know it's spam.  EDITED TO ADD:  I have heard from one of you that this address comes back as Undeliverable - if that happens, try baclancyATverizonDOTnet, or send me a Ravelry message (I'm thekittyknitter there).  Sorry for any problems!

As for my responses, we moved around a lot when I was a kid, so I generally stuck close to home with my book.  However, anytime there were swings or one of those things that you pushed and jumped onto and then it whirled around, I'd suck it up and go to the playground on occasion.

In school, I did really well in Arts classes, and my grades in Science classes were always just barely passing.  Every year, every semester, they brought down my overall grade average.  Other than basic arithmetic, mathematics has always been a complete puzzle to me.  Same way with science, though I sometimes think if I could have taken more specific classes, i.e., botany or ornithology, I might have done better.  Who knows?  I just know that in my last year of college, I took a class everyone called 'Science for Idiots' and actually got a B.  I was ridiculously proud of it, and even *I* knew it was more basic than basic science .... but hey, I got to graduate!


As I mentioned in the post about it being the last week for this year, I have never heard from Anne in Virginia, the winner for the first week's prize.  So I did another pick, and the new winner is:


Here's what she had to say in her response:

Iced tea, love the smell of coffee but hate the taste. Green salad. On another note I thought I was maybe the only strange bird that carried around her own tea bags. Now if I could only get eating establishments to offer real cream instead of low fat milk I would be totally tea happy.

So again, please send me  your full name and address, as requested above, and I can get your package in the mail on Friday as well.   (And I'm glad to know I made you feel better about carrying your own teabag ...)  :-)


THANK YOU SO MUCH to every single person who commented and played along this year!  I had so much fun with this and loved hearing from all of you and finding out more about what everyone had to say.  For my "old" friends, thanks for hanging in.  For the "new" friends, welcome, and I hope you'll stick around!

I'll see you all again next year.  :-)

26 July 2019

Another Friday, Another TGIF

I don't know about you, but today on the way to work, it seemed that it was The Super Crazies Are Out Day.  My entire walk was one weird thing after another, and I was actually starting to feel like one of those people on the old "Candid Camera" show, who started looking for the hidden cameras.  Sadly, I'm 99% sure there weren't any, just actual craziness on the streets.  Which made me especially glad it was a Friday!

And so, I have decided that it's as good a day as any for a TGIF post.

Thinking about - what is it that makes others mean-spirited?  An acquaintance made a comment the other day about "People who get food stamps and buy lobsters all the time," which irritates me because that is so not true, but also because it was spoken as someone who clearly never had to rely on assistance of any kind.  When I was a kid there were many years when even though my mother worked full-time, we relied on food stamps to buy groceries.  And it never failed that people in line at the grocery store felt compelled to comment on what was being purchased.  Because, you know, they were the ones "paying for it."  God forbid she buy a treat for us on a birthday or special occasion, then the uproar would be the worst.  Because poor people are not ever supposed to enjoy anything.  Sigh.

Giggling about - my friend Johanna's birthday is today.  She is the person who introduced me to Gams, and every year I try to find a knit-related photo to post on her Facebook page on her birthday.  This year's photo has the caption, "I hope your birthday is filled with music and hot guys."

Nailed it, don't you think???

Ichthyology - OK, this is just a word I had never seen before, or heard of until I started working at my current job.  It intrigues me first of all, because of the whole "c-h,t-h" structure at the beginning, but also because I realized shortly after starting to work here, that "ichthus" is the word for this:

and then it all made sense and mind = blown.  For those of you still wondering WTF?, ichthyology is the branch of zoology that involves the study of fishes.  We have an entire Dept. of Ichthyology here at work.

Feeling like - it will be a good weekend.  First of all, it isn't supposed to be a zillion degrees with humidity, so that's a plus.  Tomorrow morning, Hamlet has an appt with the vet for his annual checkup, shots, etc., and it is always fun to see him at the vet's office, because he LOVES to go there, and is just so happy about everything involved.  That's the only specifically scheduled thing for the weekend, but there are some other things I'm hoping to accomplish, and they are the kinds of things that still leave plenty of time for just being and enjoying.

I hope all of you have a good weekend, and can enjoy some time to do what you want to do, rather than only what you have to do.  :-)

25 July 2019

Christmas in July 2019 - Week 4

I don't know about you, but I find it surprising that we are at Week 4, which is the Grand Finale so to speak, of 

Christmas in July!!!

It makes me a little sad, because I enjoy doing it, and seeing who participates.  It's always fun to hear from people that are new, and are commenting for the first time.  And it's also fun to learn new things about those you already "know."  :-)

In any case, today I have the following for you:

Since my photography skills are so poor, let me tell you what this is.  It's a skein of Caterpillar Green Self-Striping Shawl Yarn.  Caterpillar Green is now Gauge Dye Works, and it turns out that I have two of these exact same skeins!  So one *had* to be a giveaway.  Anyway, yarn details are here, and this is colorway Concrete and Tulips, which you can see here.  This skein is enough to make the Playground Shawl or the Hydrogen Shawl, both of which are free patterns on Ravelry, and were written specifically for this self-striping yarn.  (Of course, you can knit whatever you like with it, no one is going to knock down your door and arrest you ...)

The prize package will also contain some other goodies, which will remain a surprise until I know the recipient has gotten the package.  Not that they are so exciting that it's a big secret, but I think that some element of surprise should remain, don't you??

SO - if you would like to be eligible to win this prize, let me know in the comments to this post only what your answers are to these questions, which I decided on based on the two patterns for this yarn:

1.  When you were a kid, were you more likely to want to go to the playground, or have your own fun at home in your yard or a friend's yard?

2.  In school, did you get better grades in Arts classes (humanities, art, music) or Science classes (sciences, mathematics, statistics)?

Let me know your answers no later than Sunday, July 28th, 2019 by midnight EDT.  I'll announce the winner in Monday's post.

IN A RELATED NOTE:  I have still not heard a peep from Anne in Virginia, the winner of the Week 1 prize.  I realize at this time of year, a lot of people are on vacation, etc., and may forget to check blogs or may not even be able to do so easily.  But if I have not heard from her by Sunday at the time listed above, I'll choose another winner for that package.  This is primarily because my plan is to take all of the packages to the post office a week from tomorrow, and I want to be sure that I have everyone's names and addresses in advance to have them ready to go.  I still hope she will contact me, but if not it seems only fair for someone else who entered that week to have a shot at the prize.


Remember my plan for last weekend to get my Christmas knitting plans sorted?  Well, I ended up not feeling that well (headache, severe nausea) because of the heat, and hardly did anything - I didn't even knit a stitch!  So I have moved that plan for this weekend, and hopefully I can at least get it started. 

I know you were waiting with baited breath to hear about that, huh?

I have also not knit during this whole week, because my formerly broken wrist and the elbow on that side have been bothering me a lot.  I have a feeling that last week at work I overdid it, since we had to move a lot of stuff due to an upcoming renovation.  I didn't do a whole lot of lifting and moving, but apparently I did enough.  So it's been a non-knitting week, and I've been doing more reading instead.  Things have improved though, so I should be back to my regular variety of knitting, stitching, and reading by this weekend.

That's it for today - I can't wait to see what you have to say in your answers.  Have a good one!

23 July 2019

A Petty Post

Well, *we* are petty - meaning The Tim and I.  But sometimes it brings so much joy, you know?


We have a tree in front of our house that has been dying for about four years.  We don't have the money to have it removed, and since it's on the sidewalk in front of our house, it's considered a "city tree" - meaning that the City of Philadelphia is ultimately responsible for its removal and replacement.  We got a notice last summer from the city saying that it was on the list of trees to be removed and replaced, so unless we wanted to pay for it all to be done privately, we would just have to wait until its turn came around. Which was a relief, because we really didn't know how we were going to afford it.

We have an across-the-street neighbor whose garage faces us.  She and her husband have been a nightmare to nearly everyone on the street ever since they moved in (he's a DOCTOR, you know), and they are constantly complaining about one thing or another.  One of their pet complaints is about our tree.  I have told her on more than one occasion that the city knows that the tree must be removed, and that we would remove it if we could afford to do so, but we can't.  I have often told her that she should feel free to have it removed if it worries her that much.

And yes, I realize the tree could fall and damage their garage.  But right now, there is seriously nothing that we can do about it.

Moving along.

Last night, storms were predicted as a cold front was moving in that was supposed to break the heat wave we have been having.  And boy, did they move in!  Serious wind, and crazy rain, that all lasted about 15 minutes.  Once it was over, The Tim took Hamlet out for his evening walk, and when he came home, he told me to come downstairs, because he wanted to show me something.  When I got downstairs, he said, "This is glorious irony," and opened the front door.  I saw a fallen tree blocking the way, and denting the garage door across the street.  My first thought was "Oh crap," but then The Tim said, "Look whose tree it is," and sure enough it was not our tree, but a tree from a couple of doors down.  Phew!

But it is also a tree in front of the ONLY house on the street where the aforementioned neighbors get along with the people in that house!  Meaning that of all the trees belonging to all of the houses on the all of the street, theirs is the one that fell on the garage.

The Tim said that he wished he could be there when the neighbors saw it, because he is sure their first thought will be to come to our house, but then they'll see it's actually not our tree.

And this pleases both of us greatly.  Because we are petty.

The End.  :-)

22 July 2019

Week 3 Winner and a Happy Milestone

Here's hoping we all managed to survive the weekend heat, and are still able to function.  It was pretty brutal here in Philadelphia, to the point where even if you were only outside briefly, it took a long time to cool off, and every day was a headache day. 

We have a winner for the Week 3 giveaway - YAY!  Drum roll, please, as the winner is:

Here was her response:

1, Lake, river, or ocean?
I'm so fortunate to spend the summer where we have to cross a river to get to the ocean! So I'll pick ocean but I do love a river.

2. Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?
Hmm. Not strawberry. I think it is easier to get really, really good vanilla (that I'd put fudge sauce on) than good chocolate, so I'll pick vanilla.

For myself, I have to say that I am generally fond of all bodies of water, but the ocean is my favorite.  I think it is because as a kid, going to someplace near the ocean was usually part of our summer vacation.  And I am always a sucker for chocolate anything, though I have never turned down an offer of vanilla or strawberry ...

I want to thank everyone who participated, I really enjoyed reading all of your responses.  And I also promise that it's not rigged for only people named Kim to win ... ;-)

So anyway, Kim if you could send me your name and address at thekittyknitterATverizonDOTnet, with the subject line of GIVEAWAY, I'll set aside your prize and send it to you when the others go out.  Congratulations!

Also - Anne in Virginia - I have still not heard from you, so PLEASE get in touch so I can send you your prize!


Yesterday was a big day for our family, as one year ago, this wonderful, beautiful boy officially retired from his duties as a Seeing Eye Dog, and came to join our family.

Hamlet turned out to be the perfect addition, and I like to think that he is enjoying his new life.  He has finally determined that the cats are OK (he wasn't sure what to do about them for a long time), and he is known by everyone in the neighborhood, and is, needless to say, *very* popular.  To celebrate yesterday he had some frozen green beans (a favorite treat), which is a safe treat in that the cats are not interested in that at all, like they are in some of his other treats.  So he can enjoy them in peace.

Not much going on other than the usual this week.  Today I am going for my annual physical, and I don't expect anything major to have changed, so it should go well.  Other than that, everyone in our house is just waiting for the cool down that is supposed to happen in the next couple of days.  It will feel good to be able to breathe again.  :-)

Have a good week!

19 July 2019

To The Moon!

It was really really late on a weekend, and my parents, my sister Mary Ellen, the cat, the dog and I were sitting in the dark with the television on ("We'll see it all better if the lights are out," my dad said.  Also, my sister Nancy was married and living in Maryland, so she and her husband were watching their TV at their apartment.) 

Why?  Because of this:

DO YOU SEE THAT???  IT'S FROM THE MOON!!!!  TV from the moon!

I remember all of this so very clearly, not just because it was so exciting, but because it was also the last time we would (mostly) all be together for something so wonderful.  Just days before, the astronauts had taken off, on their way to the moon.  THE MOON - unbelievable!

Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin - look at them, so young!  Of course, as a kid, I was well aware that things could go wrong, but everyone was just so incredibly excited.  As an adult, I cannot even imagine how not just they felt, but their families!  I mean, how would you feel if you knew that a family member was going on a trip and not only might not come back, but could just be lost in the universe?  That still blows my mind.

Anyway, back to that evening, July 20, 1969.  Ever since we heard the astronauts say, "The lunar module has landed," everyone was holding their breath.  Because even though we were seeing it, was it really possible that people had actually landed on the moon and would be walking on it??  It was almost too much to comprehend.

And then it actually happened!

OMG you could SEE it happening right when it did!!  Amazing.  From that moment on, Neil Armstrong was the one everyone wanted to meet.  Shortly after, he was joined by Buzz Aldrin, and they placed an American flag on the moon.

Do you remember this?  The black-and-white, blurry yet completely clear images of one of the most amazing feats ever?  I remember my dad saying, "This is one of the greatest things we will ever see."  And you know, I think - at least for me, in my lifetime - he was right.  When I see these images, I'm right back in our living room, not knowing if it's OK to breathe in case something goes wrong.  Thinking that there would probably never be anything as exciting as that moment, ever.  

The moon.  Where Ralph Kramden was always threatening to send Alice.  Where, when you were little, you were told a man lived and would sometimes wink at you.  Was it in fact made of cheese?  How could we have possibly gone to the moon when it was so far away?  

Thinking about all of this today is bittersweet for me.  The images seemed only a tiny bit blurry at the time, but of course these days, people would be up in arms if that was as well as we got to see anything, much less such a momentous event!  My father was the one besides me who was the most excited and we had both been talking about it ad nauseum for weeks.  I'm pretty sure my mother and sister were excited too, but mostly looking forward to us finally talking about something else.  I'm also pretty sure the cat and dog didn't really care.  ;-)

Four months and three days later, my father died.  I remember thinking that at least he got to see a man walk on the moon, and that maybe on his heavenly journey, he would go past it himself, and it would make him happy.

It's weird the way memories work.  It's amazing we went to the moon.  And tomorrow, on the actual anniversary of when it happened, I hope that my parents are together, remembering it the same way - or maybe even better - than I am.

Have a lovely weekend.

18 July 2019

Christmas in July 2019 - Week 3

Living as I do in the northern hemisphere, Christmastime is generally cold, or at least a decent cool.  I sure wish I had some of that right now ... 

But I digress.

Hello all!  Can you believe that it's already Week 3 of

Christmas in July???

Well, it is, and this week I have another prize and more questions.

The prize this week is the combo pictured below.

That's a skein of Wooly Wonka Nimue Sock yarn, 435 yards/100 grams of 50% silk and 50% merino.  Sooo nice!  The colorway is Spiced Apple, and it's so pretty, especially with the slight sheen provided by the silk.  The small container next to contains seed beads, which due to my poor photography skills are difficult to see.  They are gold with some burgundy on them, and would look pretty amazing paired with this yarn.  It's not that I don't like knitting with beads, it's just that a) I don't do it often, and b) I still have approximately 1 million beads that remain from the few projects where I have already used them. 

So these two items need a good home, where they will be loved and used, separately or together.

Interested?  Well, then you know the drill - answer the following questions in the comments to this post only.

1.  Lake, river, or ocean?
2.  Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?

Should you comment between now and midnight (EDT) on Sunday, July 21, 2019, you will be entered in the giveaway.  :-)


I have started thinking about who may or may not receive handknit items this year for birthdays and/or Christmas, and what I may want to knit for those deemed worthy.  Right now, I have some foggy thoughts about it, but I have decided that one of the things I want to do this weekend is sit down and actually work it out.  That way, at least in theory, I can start now and not have last-minute worries.  I have been trying really hard to knit from my stash this year, and so I also want to think of things that will not require buying any new yarn if at all possible.  I did purchase yarn the other day for either a birthday or Christmas gift for The Tim, but it was for a very specific reason and only one skein, so I don't feel too bad about it.  I'll let you know if I make any progress on my plan, but I have to say I have high hopes.  

If I can knit even a few items from my stash for gifts, it means that I use up some yarn, and also don't have to spend money I do not have on gifts - so it's a win-win!

What about you?  Do you try to plan ahead, or do you start knitting the day before?

17 July 2019

Knitting, Reading, Sweating

Hello all, and I hope if you are anywhere in the heat wave, you have some way to keep cool.  Though frankly, it's so hot and humid here that even if you are in air conditioning (which is not always the case), after about half an hour you still feel kinda sick.  Ugh.

I thought I would join Kat and everyone today for Unraveled Wednesday, especially since it's been awhile since I've added myself to the mix there.

The last time I showed you my Pabaigh, I was just above the bottom ribbing.  I've made quite a bit of progress, even if this photo doesn't look all that different to most of you.  I have about 3-4 more inches to go before I will be ready to split for the sleeves, etc.  So it's moving along and I'm enjoying the knit.  

On the reading front, I'm about a third of the way through this book:

It was one of those "if you liked ____, you might enjoy this" on Goodreads, and it was also very inexpensive to get for my Nook ($2.99, I think).  It's very readable, and I'm enjoying reading about old-timey San Francisco in the late 1870s.  

I've also finished one shortie sock (which I failed to photograph), and am ready to start the second one, and I have still not started the second half of my cross-stitch project.  That will likely happen this coming weekend, when I will have some daylight hours to begin it, which makes the stitches and the squares on the fabric easier to see when you are just starting.

And that's that for today.  I'm off to see what others are knitting and reading, etc., and you should feel free to check it out too.  In the meantime, have a good one and keep cool!

15 July 2019

Week 2 Winner and a Weekend Get-Together

Here's hoping that all of you survived your weekend - whether it was hot, rainy, hurricane-y, busy with work or errands, or whatever.  Weekends always seem to go by too quickly, but they can also be exhausting, even for the best of reasons.

There were only a few people who were in the running (so to speak) for the Week 2 prize for Christmas in July, so the random number generator didn't have a lot of work to do.  (And for all I know, those people weren't really interested in the prize, but since they didn't specifically state that thye wanted to be left out, I counted them as possible winners.)  So the little men I always picture inside the computer making things happen didn't have to do as much running around ... as a matter of fact, they probably only needed one little man to make it work, right?

Anyhoo, without further ado, I can tell you that KSD (aka Kim) is the winner!!!  Here is what she had to say in response to my questions:

Favorite Christmas gift: a drum set. LOVED IT!

Best Summer vacation memory: Discovering English muffins and orange marmalade in our motel room's kitchenette in Daytona Beach.

I have to wonder if her parents loved the drum set as much as she did ... and what is more fun than discovering good food while on vacation and right where you already are!  I happen to already have Kim's mailing address, so we're all set on that front.  Congratulations, Kim!!

For my response, I have to say my favorite Christmas gift as a child was a stuffed dog that I received when I was four years old.  I named him Cream Puff (Creamy for short) and he was the only toy of mine that was allowed to call my parents by their first names.  I still have him, he lives in the bedroom and he is as sweet and loyal as ever, if a bit worn.  One of these days, I'll take a photo and share it. :-)

My favorite vacation memory as a kid was when I was about 11 years old, and my parents and I went to stay with my mother's cousin and her husband at their beach house in Beach Haven, NJ, on Long Beach Island.  We went there a lot of summers, and my sisters were often with us, but this particular summer they both had summer jobs and didn't join us.  Anyway, the highlight was when we went deep-sea fishing, because a) it was so exciting - and somewhat frightening to be out on a boat and not seeing land, b) the guy who was our guide was really nice and quite funny, and c) we didn't catch anything (we almost didn't go for fear we would actually catch something).  This was of course before sunscreen, so I got one of the worst sunburns of my life, but it was an amazing day.


The weekend was for the most part, the usual mix of chores and nothing.  Though on Sunday morning, I met my friend Andrea for coffee.  She is the friend who used to also work on Sundays at our late, lamented LYS with me, and we try to get together regularly to catch up.  But it's been longer than usual, so it was especially fun.  We must have spent about 2 1/2 hours talking and laughing and it was just the best.  I don't miss any of the politics of the yarn store and some of the others who worked there, but I do miss our Sundays together.  Hopefully it won't be as long of a time in between get-togethers next time.

Have a good week, everyone!

12 July 2019

End of the Week Silliness

The other day, I was reading something where the writer talked about seeing a word for the first time, and thinking it was pronounced one way, and then actually hearing it correctly pronounced later in life, and asked readers to contribute their own experiences.  It was amusing to read, and made me think of when that has happened to me.  Which of course, then led to other amusing and random thoughts, and now I have to share them.

So here you are.

Sleuth - when I was a kid I read all of the Nancy Drew mysteries.  The books always referred to her as a "girl sleuth," and I had never seen nor heard that word before.  Therefore, I figured out in my head that it was pronounced "slee-uth."  Being as it is not a word used often in everyday conversation, it was only years later, during an episode of Masterpiece Theater, where they were showing a a dramatization of an Agatha Christie novel, and the host mentioned that Miss Marple was one of the "best known sleuths around the world," and I thought - Oh that's how it's pronounced ...

C'mon - I realized this was a contraction, but was certain it meant "See you on Monday" (really).  And sentences like "C'mon, let's go outside and play" were really puzzling to me.  FINALLY it occurred to me that it meant, "Come on," and it was a revelation.  But then for a long time afterwards, I'd see it and know it wasn't what I had originally thought, but couldn't remember what it was instead.  WHAT??

Related to that, my niece Amanda used to say "ashpoo" instead of "shampoo," which we all still occasionally say.

Similarly, we always purposely mispronounce "scissors" as "skissors," and "Indianapolis" as two words, "Indiana Polis."  Which is amusing, except sometimes I can't remember which is the correct word ...


For the first few years we lived in Philadelphia, there would be commercials on local stations advertising the wonderful places to go skiiing in the Pocono Mountains.  Since then, they have changed the website to something like SkiingthePoconos.com.  But originally, the URL was: http://poconoski.com.  Every single time I'd see it, I'd wonder why, in order to find out about skiing in the Poconos, you needed to type in a Polish last name - i.e., Poconoski.  Sigh.

Now, three stories related to movies/word confusion.

Story 1

When I was in late high school/early college, two popular movies were "Shaft" with Richard Roundtree, and "Sleuth" with Michael Caine - completely different stories, etc.  Well, my mother and I went to see "Sleuth" because she was a big Michael Caine fan.

Fast forward a few years, and a sequel to "Shaft" arrives - "Shaft in Africa."  Everyone was talking about it, and it was quite popular.  So one day, The Tim and I were talking about going to a movie, and my mother said, "You know what movie I really want to see?  'Sleuth in Africa.'"  Imagine her disappointment when we pointed out her mistake.

Story 2

Going back to "Shaft," you may or may not know that a new movie is out by that name, which is apparently about the son of the original character.  Two of The Tim's co-workers were talking about it, and one said that he had really wanted to go and see it, but would wait until it was on TV, because he didn't want to "spend money on a movie that's only a hour long."  The other one said, "What do you mean, it's only an hour long?" and the first guy said, "Well, I looked to see when it was showing, and it said 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, etc."   Oh dear.

Story 3

When the movie "Fatal Attraction" came out, The Tim's parents really wanted to go and see it.  When they came back, all they could talk about was how awful it was.  His mom said, in a disappointed tone, "It turns out that Glenn Close wasn't even in it, like everyone says."

Well, we learned why - they'd gone to see "Fatal Beauty" with Whoopi Goldberg and Sam Elliott instead ...

Another mix-up from my mother.

Years before we moved here, The Tim's oldest brother and his family moved here for the brother's job.  When we told my mother, the following conversation occurred:

Mom:  My friend ____'s daughter is moving to Philadelphia, too.  She got into a two-year program to study how to become a paraplegic.

The Tim:  If it was a four-year program, would she become a quadriplegic?

Mom:  I guess so.

Of course, once we explained why we were laughing so hard, she thought it was hilarious too.  :-)


I hope you have a good weekend, and find something to laugh about.  Don't forget, if you want to try for a chance to win the latest Christmas in July giveaway, comment on that post before midnight on Sunday.  :-)

11 July 2019

Christmas in July 2019 - Week 2

Time for another giveaway, because we are in week #2 of 

Christmas in July!!

This week, I have another book, as well as a fairly good-sized mesh bag that could be used for notions, a tiny project, or however you want to use it - packing, cosmetics - you do you!  Like last week's book, this is a good one, and I have used it for reference on occasion, but not enough to justify keeping it.

Are you interested in having a chance to win these two items?  Well then, answer these two questions in the comments to this post only.

1.  What is your favorite Christmas gift you received as a child?
2.  What is your favorite memory from a summer vacation?

You have until Sunday, July 14, 2019 at midnight EDT to comment.  I'll announce the winner on Monday, July 15.

Anne in Virginia - if you are reading this, I still need to hear from you about last week's prize!  Please get in touch when you have the chance.  


Just to amuse you:  this morning, I decided to stop and get an iced tea on my way to work.  When I got to the place, a woman was coming towards the door, with her hands full, and those white earbuds in her ear.  I opened the door, and stepped aside to let her come out.  As she passed me, I said, "You're welcome."  She turned around and looked at me and said in a truly irritated manner, "I didn't say anything to you!"  So I replied, "Well then I guess only one of us has good manners."  

If looks could kill ... 

And yes, I should have just left it all alone, but I couldn't help myself, because you could tell she was just SO important!  ;-)

10 July 2019

April, May, and June Book Report

I thought that I needed to do this last week, before too much of July happened, but forgot.  So before even more of July happens, I'm sharing what I've read over the last three months, and what I thought about each one.

The Calamity Cafe, by Gayle Leeson.  This was an enjoyable palate cleanser after having the flu and not being able to read much of anything.

Amy Flowers left her hometown in Florida to go to culinary school.  She returned when her grandmother got sick, and once her grandmother died and left her an inheritance, she dreamed of opening her own cafe.  In the meantime, she and her cousin Jackie are working for Lou Lou, at a local cafe that has been around for generations.  Lou Lou is a miserable person and a terrible boss, and finally Amy decides to resign, and also offers to buy the cafe and turn it into her own business.  Lou Lou flat out refuses, but later that night, her son Pete calls Amy to say that he has talked his mother into selling, and asks her to meet them at the cafe.

The bad news?  When Amy arrives at the cafe, she finds Lou Lou dead in the office.  This sets into motion a series of events that cause Amy to wonder if she will ever be able to have her own place.

There are quite a few twists and turns, and plenty of interesting characters here.  It was a fun read.

The Dry, by Jane Harper (thanks to Sally for noting my mistake so I could correct this!).  This was a good book.  Very atmospheric and evocative, and even though there were plenty of characters, it was not hard to keep track.

Aaron Falk returns to the small, rural town in Australia where he grew up for his childhood friend Luke's funeral.  Everyone is shocked because it appears that Luke killed himself, his wife Karen, and young son Billy.  Only the baby, Charlotte, has survived.  Everyone suspects the drought and loss of income from crops pushed Luke over the edge.  Except for Luke's parents, who ask Aaron if he could look into it.  Originally planning to stay just overnight, he ends up taking a week's leave from his job as a federal officer in Melbourne investigating crimes involving money.

Along with the newish local police chief, Aaron begins poking around.  It's not easy for him, since he and his father were more or less run out of town when both were considered strong suspects in the death of a girl who was Aaron's childhood friend.  So except for a very few people, those who know/remember him are less than welcoming.

This book was really pretty riveting.  At the beginning, Aaron's involvement is more of a favor to his late friend's parents, but as he and the police chief begin looking deeper, there are more questions than answers, not just about the case at hand, but about the death of the classmate years before.  What I liked in the story was that it wasn't a slam dunk, nor were things easy or obvious as the story moved along.  On the one hand, you wondered why Aaron would stay and continue to work on the case (though not in an official capacity) when there is so much vitriol directed at him.  But you also want him to continue, because as things go along, you just know that something is not right with the story so easily accepted about the family members' deaths.

I will definitely read the next book in this series.

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, by Patrick Radden  Keefe.  This is an excellent book to read if you are at all interested in Irish history, particularly the conflict in Northern Ireland between the Catholics and the Protestants.

In the author's own words, this is not an historical account, per se, rather it is "narrative nonfiction."  Keefe has done extensive research and has interviewed many of the people involved and their family members.  And he has written a book that details so much about what happened and continues to happen by focusing on individuals and their stories.

Primarily, we read about Jean McConville, a mother and widow who was one of the first of "The Disappeared" - individuals thought to be informants ("touts" as they were called) to the Brits.  She was just taken from her home while her children looked on, not knowing or understanding what was happening.  Many years later, her remains were located, but until then, her family had no idea of what may have happened.  Then there is Dolours Price, who along with her sister was one of the first women to become an active member of the Provisional IRA, and who was a loyal soldier (so to speak), eventually disappointed with the Good Friday Agreement which ended the active conflict.  Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein is a major character of course, but only spoken of and about, as he declined interviews for the book.  But one of his primary associates, Brendan Hughes, plays a large role in the book.

I also learned of the Belfast Project, which was a secretive series of interviews with players on both sides of the conflict that were archived at Boston College, known only to a few people as even being in existence.  Needless to say, the interviews contain very sensitive information, and because the entire process was not completely as legally vetted as it could have been prior to its start, there have been court cases over requests for the material by the British government.

This book is fascinating, hard-to-read, and very well-done.  Those whose names may have just been that - names in the news, or in stories - are shown to be real people, living in a situation that led them to the paths they took.  You can call them brave, patriots, thugs, murderers, or fools, but you cannot deny their determination and efforts to follow their beliefs.

Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht.  This was an interesting book, both because of the character of Vera Kelly, and also because of the way it was structured.  We meet Vera in vignettes from her late teens and early twenties, when she leaves home after a fight with her mother, and eventually ends up in a correctional home for girls.  Once released, she heads to New York City, where she finds employment and learns about the underground gay scene.  Oh, and she is recruited by the CIA.

The other vignettes, interspersed with her background, tell of her assignment to Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a government coup is ready to happen.  Working undercover as a Canadian student, she is sent to not just alert the U.S. about the coup, but to observe and report on any student groups working for the KGB and the overthrow of the government.  When the coup occurs, her expected smooth exit from Argentina is thrown into chaos, and she must figure out a Plan B.

I liked this book and found Vera to be an interesting person.  I am wondering if this will be a standalone book, or if Vera will reappear.  At the end of this book, she has given up spying.  But can anyone ever really leave the CIA?

The Library Book, by Susan Orlean.  This book takes the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles County Public Library Main Branch as the framework for both a mystery - who started it? - and for the author to write about libraries and what they mean to her.

It was well-written, and I like that she devoted chapters to the history of the library as well as to discussions she had with various librarians past and present.  As usual, she really only focused on those who do the public-facing work.  Being a librarian whose career has been primarily behind the scenes, I would have liked it if she had at least mentioned those workers in more detail, as their tasks after the fire and during the rebuilding were equally as monumental and in some ways more important.

However, having said all of that, it was a good read, and though the whodunit aspect is still out there, since the main suspect was released and has since died, Orlean managed to leave the reader with a lot of information to make their own judgement.  Also, she illustrated how massive the loss of materials was, and how intricate libraries can be physically as far as where things are located, and how people cope with space issues when buildings become overcrowded, whether with materials or patrons.

Italian Shoes, by Henning Mankell.  Such a lovely book, with such evocative writing.

Frederik Welin is a former surgeon, who escaped to the house and island where his grandparents lived and where he spent summers as a child after a terrible mistake during an operation.   For years, he has lived a solitary life, with an elderly dog and cat as his only daily companions.  He sees the person who delivers his mail once or twice a week, but otherwise that's it.

Until one day he has a truly unexpected visitor from his past.  Who leads him on an adventure and towards something he never considered for his own life.  As the book continues, Frederik is surrounded by more and more people, much to his surprise.

I don't want to post any spoilers, so I'll just say that I enjoyed this bittersweet story that reminded me that life can still surprise you even when you think nothing will change.

The Ruin, by Dervla McTiernan.  This book was riveting to me - in a way that a lot of the Tana French books are.

Aisling Conroy is a medical resident in Galway who has just learned she is pregnant.  It's an unplanned pregnancy, and will possibly derail her plans for her future.  She tells her live-in boyfriend, Jack Blake, and they agree to discuss it in the near future.  Except the next day she wakes up to learn that Jack is dead.  Suicide?

Cormac Reilly is a detective who has recently relocated from Dublin to Galway, where his partner is the recipient of a lucrative grant for her scientific studies.  He has been assigned cold cases, where he feels he is being used as an errand boy, so as not to be a show off, being a well-known detective from Dublin.  One of his old friends from the police academy is also assigned there, so he does not feel too terribly isolated.  But his new post seems to have a lot of mysterious political machinations.

When the case of Jack Blake's suicide brings up the memories of one of Cormac's first cases as a rookie, and Jack's sister who disappeared many years ago returns to Ireland, things start to get complicated.   Cormac wants to be involved, but as he is not technically assigned to the case, it's not going to be easy.  And Aisling and Jack's sister Maude are convinced that Jack was murdered.

Lots of twists and turns here.  I wasn't sure who to trust until the end.  I will definitely read another in this series.

A Cold Day for Murder, by Dana Stabenow.  This was an OK book.  It's really short (only about ~160 pages), and a lot happens, but I had a hard time really connecting with any of the characters.  Kate Shugak is a native Alaskan, who worked in Anchorage in the D.A.'s office, and had a wonderful reputation.  After a violent attack, she returns to her home in a more rural area, where her extended family lives, and where everyone knows everyone.

When a park ranger stationed in the park near Kate's house, who also happens to be a Congressman's son disappears, and then the FBI agent sent to look for him also disappears, Kate's former colleague (and boyfriend) visits to ask for her help.  She reluctantly agrees, and begins looking into things.  She finds a lot of information that she didn't want to know, about family and friends, and eventually figures out what happened, with results that shake her to her core.

I did like finding out about her culture, and life in Alaska.  But I could never really decide what I thought about Kate - or really, anyone else involved.  So it was interesting enough, but not my favorite thing I've ever read.

Plum Tea Crazy, by Laura Childs.  This book was a wonderful read at a time when I wanted to read something that would engage me, but when I didn't have the proper head space for something serious or complicated.  It's part of a series, but the nice thing I have found with this series is that you can enjoy each book on its own, without reading them all, or in order.

In this installment, Theodosia Brown, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, South Carolina, is with a friend and employee at an acquaintance's house watching a tall ships celebration.  As they are enjoying the spectacle, they hear a loud noise like an explosion, and see a man fall from the rooftop balcony where they are standing to his death below.  At first, everyone assumes it is just a terrible accident, but it's then discovered that the body has indications that it was shot with an arrow before falling.

And so, on top of everything else coming up for Theo and her shop in the coming weeks, her host asks her to poke around and see if she can find out what may have actually happened.  At first, it seems really puzzling, but soon there seem to be plenty of suspects.

I have to say, this one kept me wondering until nearly the end.  Then I thought of someone who might have been the killer, but could not figure out the why/how/etc.

I enjoyed this story, and of course, I love reading about the tea shop, the different teas and foods served there, and about Charleston.  There are some recipes at the end of the book, including one I am definitely going to try soon.

American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic, by Victoria Johnson.  I don't remember how/when I heard about this book, but I thought it would be interesting.  I enjoy books about history, and people's roles in it, and am particularly taken with medical history.

David Hosack was a major person in the study of botanical medicine.  Early in his life, he was fascinated with plants, and after finishing his medical training, he wanted to see how natural remedies from plants might work.  His ultimate dream was to build a botanical garden in New York City, where students could study the plants, but where the common man could visit and see the beauty of the natural world.

He was a contemporary of so many illustrious early Americans:  Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, Charles Willson Peale, Thomas Jefferson.  He visited England as a young doctor and became acquainted with Sir Joseph Banks, and was the first American to ever be voted as a member in the Linnean Society of England.

The book details his personal as well as his professional life, and his life was full of interesting people and places.  New York City was such a small city and a largely rural one at the beginning of the book, and becoming a large, more urban area at the end.

There is a lot to be learned in these pages, and as someone who had never heard of David Hosack, I found his life and his influence to be much more than I had expected.  A fascinating story of someone who should probably be more well-known than he is.

The Ferryman, by Jez Butterworth.  This play recently won several Tony Awards for the Broadway production.  It was an interesting read, especially after reading "Say Nothing" a month or so ago.

The Carney family is getting ready for the harvest, and the accompanying celebrations, when they learn that Seamus, brother to Quinn, husband of Caitlin, and father of Oisin, who has been missing for 10 years, turns up buried in a peat bog.  This is during the early 1980s, when discoveries of bodies of those who had been known as The Disappeared started to be found.  These individuals were often thought to be IRA members who were informants, and they were dealt with in a way that could guarantee their silence.  However, the families of those who vanished were often told that they had in fact been seen in other places, giving everyone the impression that they are still alive, and have left their families on purpose.

The Ferryman is about what happens when the Quinns learn that Seamus has been found.  His widow and his son were taken in by Quinn Carney and his family after Seamus disappeared.  They have been living on their farm, helping to work the land and Caitlin has been doing a lot of the housework and cooking because Quinn's wife Mary has a "virus," and is seldom able to do much.

This play is sad for so many reasons.  It deals with loss - not just of a spouse, but of hope, and understanding, and everyday life.  Though there are many characters, once you start reading, it's not hard to keep track of everyone.  This is a family doing their best, but full of people with secrets that are disturbing as well as heartbreaking.  I truly hope I get to see a production of this one day.

The Diva Steals a Chocolate Kiss, by Krista Davis.  Another book that was a good, entertaining read, and a break from some more serious stuff going on for me these days.

Sophie Winston is breathing a sigh of relief that the reception party she planned for Amore Chocolates has gone well, but a wrench is thrown into her happiness when one of the guests - another chocolatier who is opening a store in town - is found dead.  Between that, and the fact that the patriarch of the family owns Amore has disappeared, things are looking grim.  The family asks Sophie to look into it, and while that happens, she is still trying to keep things going for the winners of a contest sponsored by Amore, negotiate peace between her ex and his current wife, and trying to figure out what is going on when more bodies start to show up.

This was a good entry in this series, and had a surprising end, at least to me.

Whiskers in the Dark, by Rita Mae Brown.  This book was an interesting and entertaining read, but also a bit of a departure for this series.

Harry Harristeen is helping prepare and then is volunteering at a competition for beagles and basset hounds that raises money for veterans.  When one of the group she is cleaning up is murdered not that far from the rest of them, Harry's curiosity means that she starts trying to find out what happened.  She is also wondering about a theft at her church, where a grave was dug up and the jewels on the corpse were nearly stolen.  But the weird thing is, the corpse was more or less thrown on top of the coffins of the couple buried in that plot, and are hundreds of years old.  At the same time in the book, a parallel story is about two farm families in colonial Virginia and their slaves.

The parallel story is clearly related to the grave disturbance in the churchyard, but at least in this book, is not completely resolved.  The current day murder turns out to be something quite unexpected and really surprising.

As usual, I enjoy these books because they are well-written, and I find the conversations and commentary of the animals really enjoyable.

Pretty Iconic: A Personal Look at the Beauty Products That Changed the World, by Sali Hughes.  I really really enjoyed this book.  Sali Hughes is a beauty writer, with a regular column in The Guardian.  In this book, she talked about iconic beauty products - past, present, and future - and what made them so special.  A lot of it is her opinion, of course, but it was still interesting to read about how a lot of the products had come to be recognizable to almost everyone.  Her commentary was also enjoyable, since she is honest in her opinions, but then she backed up her thoughts in reasonable ways.

Some of the products are clearly only ones that had been/are available in England, but most were recognizable.  And some were like being reminded of old friends you forgot existed - Bonne Bell Lip Smackers, or Yardley products to name a couple.

The chapters are short and each deals with an individual product.  I had fun reading this book.

The Spies of Shilling Lane, by Jennifer Ryan.  Mrs. Braithwaite lives in Ashcombe, not terribly far from London, where she has been the leader of the local WVS (Women's Volunteer Service) for years during World War II.  When her husband divorces her, she is ostracized in the village and relieved of her duties with the WVS.  Feeling at a loss, she decides to visit her daughter Betty, who is in London working for a sewage company as part of the war effort.  Except when she arrives, Betty's landlord, Mr. Norris, says he hasn't seen Betty for a few days.  When she visits the office where Betty is supposed to be working, they have no record of who she is, or that she ever worked there.  This is completely unacceptable to Mrs. Braithwaite, and she recruits an extremely reluctant Mr. Norris to help her find Betty.

Their search leads them to spies, double agents, the British Union of Fascists, and to Betty, who it turns out is working for M15.  Mrs. Braithwaite comes to realize what her life has been, and what she wants it to be.  Mr. Norris is changed in ways unimaginable to him as well.  And Betty realizes things about her mother that she could not have imagined.

This book was so much fun to read, and I thought the characters were well-written.  It was also so interesting due to the time and place where it was all happening, with air-raids, rationing, and other things that just became part of life in London during the war.


I decided to participate in Summer Book Bingo this year, but casually - meaning, I'm reading books and then seeing if the fit in any of the squares on my card.  I'm actually enjoying doing it this way, even if I never get close to a bingo.  So far, it has surprised me how many books I've read have worked for a square!

Have you read anything particularly good (or even particularly bad) lately?  Let me know in the comments!

09 July 2019

Busy and Buzzy

Well, we all made it through Monday, so that's always good news.  And if you are reading this, it means you woke up today, which is better than the alternative, right?  

As today is Tiny Needle Tuesday, I wanted to show you my honeybee counted cross-stitch project.  When you last saw it, I had started working on the honeycombs on the side of the bee.  Well, over the weekend, I was able to get them completely finished, and now I can move on to the other half of the bee and the honeycombs on the other side!

Now, lest you think my work is perfection, please know it is not.  For the most part, the stitches are where they should be.  But there are plenty of areas where I got the wrong count, or missed a row, etc., and didn't realize it until well after the fact.  Because this is for me, I wasn't going to go back and fix it.  It does mean that the finished piece won't be completely symmetrical like it's supposed to be, but I can live with that. 

I do have a question for those of you that also do cross-stitch or embroidery, etc.  As you can see above, I am using a hoop to hold the fabric while I work on it.  I know that another option is the Q-Snap, which I had only seen people using in the last couple of years.  Do any of you use these at all?  In your opinion, are they better/easier/nicer to use than the hoops?  Since they are not completely inexpensive, I hesitate to buy one, since I have no issues with using a hoop.  But if they are the most amazing thing in the world to use, I may decide to find one on sale or something.  So please weigh in on this incredibly important topic!

I hope your day goes well.  It's an especially nice day here in Philadelphia, so I was able to enjoy my morning walk with Hamlet and my walk to work.  Hopefully the walk home will be as pleasant, if a bit warmer.  Because it sounds like tomorrow we are back to the ick of heat and humidity.  WHY?????

08 July 2019

A Winner and a Long Weekend Recap

Hi all, and I hope you have a lovely long weekend if you are here in the U.S., and a lovely regular weekend otherwise.  Alas, as usual, all good things must end, and Monday has returned as we knew it would.  I have a dr appt this morning, and I don't have to leave as early as usual, so I figured I'd go ahead and get this post out there.

Because although it is Monday, something good is happening - we have a winner for the first week of Christmas in July!   Some commenters particularly said they did not want to be included in the giveaway, so I took the number that were still participating, and cranked up the old random number generator.  It chose #7, who is Anne in Virginia!  Here is what she had to say in response to my questions:

Hi! Longtime lurker here, not having posted before. But the Coffeehouse Knits is one I've considered getting for awhile, so here's a shot at it: Iced coffee, oh, iced coffee, definitely! I have some of my own home-roasted Ehiopian Yirga Cheffee black over ice at my right hand at this moment. On this 98 degree day, it's what is needed. And as for the salads, definitely green salad with a homemade dressing -- it's what's on the menu at my house most days from Spring through Fall.

Thanks for taking the time to share your life with us.
How exciting that someone "new" (at least to me) took the time to comment and then won the first giveaway.  Congratulations, Anne!  Please send me your full name and address at thekittyknitterATverizonDOTnet.  If you could also put GIVEAWAY in the subject line, that would mean that should your e-mail go to my Spam folder, I can suss it out easily.  I will probably wait until the end of July and send all of the prizes at once, but this way I can at least have your package set aside and ready to go.  

As for me, I must admit that my first choices would always be iced tea and potato salad.  Not that I don't like the other choices, just that I drink A LOT of tea, and anything involving potatoes will always be my favorite (you'd never guess my ancestors were Irish, right?).

Thank you to everyone who commented and participated.  Stay tuned to see what will be happening on Thursday of this week.  :-)

Our July 4 weekend was lovely.  We were both pretty wiped out by the heat, so we really didn't go out and about other than to walk Hamlet and run a few errands.  But I did get some cleaning done, and I got quite a bit of crafting done, which was so nice - having time to just work on something with no interruptions was great.  

I made some good progress on my Pabaigh:

It's a lot of stitches, in fingering weight yarn, but I am about 2/3 through the initial area where you do increases every eight rows.  I'm enjoying it, partly because of the color and partly because other than the decrease rows, it does not require any intense concentration.

Also, how cute is my crabby progress keeper?

I ordered him last week from Bad Wolf Girl Studios, and he is even cuter than I thought he would be.  This is the week my sister and all of her family will be at the beach, and since this year we can't join them at all, I decided that I deserved a treat - and what better thing to represent Maryland and Delaware (this year they are in Bethany Beach) than a blue crab?  

The other thing I did was watch the World Cup matches, particularly the final that was yesterday between the U.S. women and the Netherlands.  WOW - that was some match!  I have to say that the goalie for the Netherlands had some magic hands - I counted at least 4 times that she kept the U.S. from scoring.  I was so excited for the U.S. players when they won, and I hope that their attempts to get paid on par with the men will progress from here.  

So, on to this week - let's hope it's a good one!

05 July 2019

One and These Will Never Be Done

I hope all of you had a nice July 4th, if you celebrate.  Ours was quiet but nice.  We spent as little time as possible outside, because the humidity made it hard to breathe, but we had a good day nonetheless.

Today I have a HO (Half-finished Object) for you, that will only ever remain in that state.  You may or may not remember these:

I was making a pair of Tracie Millar's Georgia Socks.  Not just because I liked the pattern, but because I have been wanting to make more shortie socks, since I like them in warmer weather.  But so far, I'd only made myself two pairs, which I talked about here and here.  Those socks have gotten a fair amount of wear, and have also held up really well.

Well, on Wednesday, I finished sock #1:

And that, my friends, is the last time you will ever see this project.  Because I'm not knitting a sock #2, for the following reasons:

1.  It turns out I don't enjoy scrappy socks where you change yarns so frequently.  The lighter stripes were just not enjoyable, because you just didn't get to use the yarn enough to really feel like it was working.  As a matter of fact, I changed the toe because I was sick of the tiny stripes.

2.  In the interest of giving afterthought heels another go, and learning something new, I decided to go with the cut in afterthought heel included in the pattern.  And I have decided that afterthought heels are just not for me.  They are too fiddly, and I hated having to still make the heel once the sock knitting was finished.

3.  Having said that, I was ready to soldier on with sock #2, because they looked nice enough.  The clincher to this forever and always being an HO was when I tried them on.  I was knitting the size I usually knit, with the needles I usually use, and after everything else, they were WAY too small, and the heel was incredibly uncomfortable.

So - NOPE.

Yesterday I started a pair of plain vanilla shortie socks.

I'm not saying I would never make this pattern again, as I enjoyed knitting it.  But in the future, I'll make a larger size, with a heel flap and gusset.  And I will either do a colorblock thing, similar to the one other pairs I've made, or just use a solid or self-striping yarn.

On the one hand, it was disappointing and frustrating.  But it was also a good learning experience, and worth it for that reason.  It just means it will take a bit longer until I have another pair of shortie socks.  ;-)

Here's hoping you have a good weekend.  I took the day off work today, and will be meeting a friend for lunch, which should be fun.  We used to work together and teach serials cataloging workshops together, then I left and took another job and she retired.  So occasionally, we get together for lunch and have a lot of laughs.  Other than that, neither myself nor The Tim have any specific plans.  I think it's supposed to be another hot one, so it may not be conducive to doing a whole lot.  But it's still a weekend, so we'll take it.

Keep cool, and I'll see you on Monday with the winner of the first giveaway!