28 August 2020

I Have a QO to Show You!

Happy last Friday in August - though I realize it's not the same as most Augusts are.  But still time goes right along, and it seems only right to mark it.  Because I have a Zoom meeting at 1:00 today that I know will only make me angry, I thought I'd use this time to write a happy post.  That way, I can be in a good frame of mind before it starts, and spend the afternoon knitting away my anger and aggravation.  

And so, I wanted to share my QO with you.  You may think, "What in the ever-loving universe is a QO???"  My response to you is, that *this* is a QO:

Then you will say, "But Bridget, that looks like a hat, and like it's an FO."  Which means that yes, you are quite observant, but then again, not quite.  Because although this particular piece may be a Finished Object in and of itself, it is only 1/4 - a Quarter - of an overall planned project.  Hence, the term QO = Quarter Object.

This is a hat for Keith, who is married to my niece Julie.  I decided a couple of weeks ago that I am making the same hat for everyone in the family for Christmas, which then became the KJPO Hat Project.  Above you see the K hat.  I am using the Olmsted Hat pattern by Jaclyn Salem.  I have already used that pattern to make a hat for The Tim, which he really likes and wears a lot in the cold weather.  It uses DK weight yarn, so for me, it was a perfect chance to use some stash!  This one used two strands of sock yarn knit together.  I used some leftover Hedgehog Sock in the Construct colorway for all of it; the brim which looks gold and blue is leftover (and now completely used up - YAY - Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Spats colorway; and, the bulk of the rest is Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts sock yarn in the Grey Tabby colorway.  I like how the brim turned out, though I must admit it was as much dumb luck as anything else, because I didn't really do a lot of planning - just grabbed and started knitting.  I followed the pattern exactly as written, and again have to say, it's a great pattern and makes a nice, squishy hat.

This took me about a week to knit, though in fits and spurts.  I'd get a lot done one day, and then not knit at all the next.  So this is all definitely doable.

And now?  I'm working on the next one in the group, which is the P hat.  I've adapted the stitch count for a kid's size, based on other kid-sized hat patterns I've seen.  As you know, baby and child knits go so quickly, I'm just moving right along on that one!  I want to try and get all four of them done before I move on to any other gifts for anyone else.  That way, at least one group will have handknit gifts this year. 😉

I'm feeling pleased with myself this morning because I have been able to get a few things accomplished - got a flu shot and the first part of my shingles vaccine, took a LOT of old but still in good shape towels and dropped them off at the vet's office where they were much appreciated, and I'm almost finished with the laundry.  Always a good feeling to check things off the list for the day.  We have no particular plans this weekend.  Tomorrow it is supposed to rain the entire day, pretty steadily, so it will be a day of inside projects.  Sunday promises to be lovely, and so The Tim is thinking maybe we can take Hamlet to one of the large parks nearby where we can all walk around and not have to worry about crowds.  I hope we can do that, it would be a real treat.  

And that's all of the excitement from my life.  I hope all of you have a nice weekend and get in some time to do the things you really enjoy.  See you next week!

24 August 2020

How About Another FO?

You may have noticed that I was MIA last week.  I was sick, the kind where you can't really concentrate, you have a slight fever and are miserable, and any food goes ZIP right through your system.  Ugh.  I am feeling better enough to function, and the good news is that at least right now, I do not have Covid-19, as my doctor feared; I had a test and it was negative which was a relief all the way around.  So I'll take that and just hope I feel completely better in the next few days.

I was planning to post this FO last week, but well, see above.  So you are getting one today, to start this week.

Project:  Budgie Socks
Pattern:  Blueberry Waffle Socks, by Sandy Turner**
Yarn:  Hedgehog Fibres Sock, in the colorway Budgie
Needles:  US size 1
Modification:  I only knitted the pattern on the leg, and knit the foot plain.
Notes:  I am so very happy with these socks!  I've had this yarn for a while, thinking I'd save it to make something special.  But in the end, I decided it should be socks.  I remember buying the yarn because of its name as much as the color.  I had several beloved budgies (parakeets in the US) as a kid, though they were not blue ones, and my sister had a blue budgie for quite a few years which her kids just adored.  His name - unimaginative but truthful - was Budgie.  

At first I tried to find some kind of pattern that evoked birds, or feathers, or something like that, but in the end, I decided on the old favorite, tried-and-true waffle pattern, and I couldn't be more pleased with the results.  

If you have never tried this pattern, you should because you always end up with squishy, lovely socks and the pattern is an easy (and free!) one.  I've never been disappointed in the results.

Here's a slightly more closeup photo:

Happy socks, happy me!

**this is a link to Ravelry - I wanted to let people know so that they can avoid clicking over if it causes problems for them

14 August 2020

Some Instructions for The Tim, and Other Things

The other night, The Tim and were talking - as we usually don't because I am often ranting and he is ignoring me - because we had been watching a news story about a woman who had been killed in a car accident, and there was now a huge shrine at the spot where the accident had occurred.  The reporter was spinning it like it was the Most. Meaningful. Thing.  And The Tim said to me, "Are you writing in to the station about this?"

He of course was joking, but it's because he knows there are certain things that just set me off on a course that takes along time to come back around before the journey ends.  As I'm sure you know if you read my blog, or even more so if you know me in person, I have many opinions, some extremely unpopular because they seem uncaring and others because of my intense dislike for others that most people seem to like.  Such is life.  No one should feel that they have to go along with what everyone else thinks because others will be upset.  And yet so many do, or would rather be miserable than express an opinion.

Anyway, our initial discussion led to many other topics, and The Tim said to me, "You should share some of these golden nuggets on your blog, I'm sure others would find them ... fascinating?"  Well, the joke's on him, 'cause that is just exactly what I am doing.  You are under no obligation to keep reading, comment, or even care, but here we go.

There are two specific cases where I have left specific threats instructions for The Tim should my demise occur prior to his shuffle off this mortal coil:

1. In the hopefully-never-to-occur event that I die in any way unjustly or unfairly, such as murder, car accident, falling off a poorly constructed roof, etc., he is to not allow and/or is to destroy any tributes at my home or the scene of the event.  You know, candles, balloons, teddy bears, t-shirts with my photo - we've all seen it.  These offend me on every level.  I know people are trying to be kind, to grieve, etc. but NO.  

2.  Apparently it is not uncommon for you or your ancestors to be baptized into the Mormon Church even when dead.  This is also highly offensive to me.  No one who has passed should have anyone living decide their religion for any reason.  If one wants to be Mormon, Presbyterian, Catholic, Scientologist, or Shinto, they can decide that when alive.  The dead should be left to their beliefs when alive, no matter how wrong we the living think they might have been.

My instructions to The Tim in these cases are that should he allow either of these to occur,  I will: a) come back from the dead, b) beat the s**t out of him, and c) return to being dead.  This, he takes seriously.


When we first moved to Philadelphia, we had a lovely apartment in an area of the city which was always very fancy - the well-to-do, well-known, better-than-us people had always lived there.  Our apartment building, for instance, had a fourth floor that was nothing but "servant's quarters" with small cells containing a bed and wash basin for those who worked for the people who had lived in the apartments when they were originally built.  Anyway, Christmas was near, and I talked The Tim into going to Christmas Mass with me at the Catholic Church up the street, which had been built by the benevolent rich people for their lowly Irish servants.  It's a beautiful church, but as we were sitting there waiting for Mass to begin, The Tim pointed out a mural to me that showed the Nativity of Christ - which of course, was appropriate and fine - BUT which showed St. Patrick and St. Bridget worshiping at the creche!!!  My indignation at this illustration still amuses him to this day.  I know that to a lot of people, the existence of God at all is just a story, etc., and that is fine. But I think it's safe to say that if any of it did happen at all as we have been told, that NONE of the saints traveled BACK IN TIME to be there!!!

Somewhat related to the above, do not ever send me a Christmas card that shows Santa kneeling to the baby Jesus.  Santa and Jesus have no business appearing together.  Jesus is Jesus and Santa is Santa and though both are a part of Christmas, they have not, do not, and never should hang out together.  This is a hill that I am willing to die on.


And finally, I know that this one is something a lot of people support but - stop putting frilly headbands on baby girls so that GOD FORBID no one thinks they are a boy baby!  I cannot tell you how stabby this makes me.  First of all, if you insist on doing this, then it is only fair that you make baby boys wear full-fledged tool belts.  Secondly, it's a g*****n baby, and does not need head ornamentation especially headbands or bows which don't even stay on properly because few babies are born with adult head of hair.  And why is it a problem if a baby girl is not immediately recognizable from the way it is dressed?  Why is it impossible for people to say, "What a cute baby" instead of "What a cute baby boy/girl/squirrel?"  WHY DOES IT MATTER IT'S A BABY???  As someone who was occasionally mistaken for a boy as a young child, I'm here to say that my parents and myself were somehow able to continue living our lives in spite of such a tragic occurrence.


I'm sure that you have your own opinions on all/some of these, or that you just don't care, which is fine.  But just know I will fight you on all of them.  😀

Ask The Tim.  He'll tell you.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

12 August 2020

In Which I Realize It Might Be Good to Be Prepared

The other day, I was sitting around thinking - just thinking, not thinking while doing anything else - and it occurred to me that August leads to September, which leads to October, and on and on.  Which also means that December will be arriving (OK it would have arrived even if I hadn't thought about it), and that if things continue as they are, two things will be true: 1) finances will be tighter than ever, and 2) even if they are/were not, it's unlikely that I would be going out to shop for gifts.

And then it occurred to me that I just might want to consider doing something now to avoid worrying about it as the holiday season came closer.  So I poked around to see what I might want to knit for gifts this year, and decided that I will try this pattern and see what I think; if I like the results, it might be something that I will make variations of to give.

(pattern photo from Ravelry)

If I decide that I like it and enjoy knitting it, that would be great since I have soooooo many amounts of scrap yarn to use.  I've already put many of them into my Cozy Squares of Memory Blanket, but there's still some left over even after that.  I attempted to get one started the other day, and I found the right size circular needle, but oh man, was it hard to use!  It was one that I've had since I learned to knit, and I don't exactly remember the specifics, but the needle part has some kind of gray - almost rubbery feeling - coating on it, and the yarn was not willing to move along.  I realized after trying to continue nonetheless, that if I was even going to be willing to make one single hat to see how I liked the pattern, it was going to be unpleasant.  So I powered up the ol' computer machine and went to Loop's website and ordered one of these.  I justified it by telling myself that I would use them over and over, and that I would donate the pair I already had the next time I donated yarn and books to a local shelter.  So today I picked them up and will see if this is going to work out.

Though I fear I may have become a needle snob.  But those coated needles were making me stabby, and I knew there was no way I was going to continue.  If they were the only needles I would/could ever have, I'm not even sure I would have used them.  I'm guessing that when I first learned to knit, I just thought needles were needles and it didn't matter.  Now it does ... at least to me.

I just started this book yesterday:

It was on the opening screen when I went to return something on Overdrive, and I thought I'd give it a try.  So far, I like it, and I find the early days of detective investigations really interesting, so I'm hoping it will be worth borrowing.

Be sure to visit Kat's blog, to see what she and others are reading and knitting this week for Unraveled Wednesdays.

10 August 2020

Not a Cold Shoulder But More Annoying

Hello there.  I hope your weekend was OK or at least not awful.  Ours was pretty uneventful, which as a relief after the fiasco that was last week.  Though on Saturday morning, I woke up with searing pain in my left upper arm and shoulder.  At first I thought I must have stiffened it up in some weird sleeping position, but it just didn't let up no matter what.  Grrrrr.  I kept trying to work it out, but frankly it hurt too much and at a certain point I gave up.  Sunday it was less sore, and then - seriously - all of a sudden, it hardly hurt at all and I could move it much more easily.  This morning there is a slight tinge, nothing else.  So I have no idea what that was all about, but I'm glad it seems to be clearing up, because it was annoying at best.

I didn't have a lot of plans for things I was planning to do, but since I was for all intents and purposes (as opposed to "intensive purposes") unable to do a whole lot, I decided that meant I should just read and do crafty things.  Makes sense, right?  By the end of Saturday, I had a sock finished, and by the end of the day yesterday, I was halfway down the leg of sock #2.


On Saturday afternoon, I finished the wording on my cross stitch project, which pleased me.  

Now I will have the border and the outlining to do.  That will probably take a while, because it involves counting and a lot of blank space, and I'm not really good at that kind of thing.  But I'm enjoying the project, and I'm the only one who will know if/where I mess anything up, so it will be done one way or the other.  

Shortly after mentioning having started Wild Game last week, I abandoned it.  I didn't like the people, and didn't like the story, and so forget spending any more time reading it, you know?  On Friday, I started Seaview House and I have to tell you, I'm finding it highly entertaining.  It's a domestic comedy/comedy of manners and I don't know if it's really that good, or if I'm just in the mood for it.  I'm about halfway through, and purposely trying not to finish it any sooner than necessary.

A local photographer posted this photo on Facebook, showing the moment a lightning strike over the Philadelphia skyline during a crazy storm on Saturday night.

I find this breathtaking.  Fortunately other than LOTS of rain, we had no other negative effects from this storm or from the remains of Hurricane Isaias earlier in the week.  I know some friends in the 'burbs are still without power, but in the city we lucked out.  I think since most of the power lines are underground, we don't suffer outages as much as places where trees fall onto power lines, etc.

It sounds as if this week we are back to hot and humid and overall ICK.  The other day on the local news, they said that there were 3 days in July when the temperature was not 90 degrees (F) or above, and that was a record.  I am not pleased to be living in these record-breaking times, let me tell you.

Hopefully in spite of any weather issues, we'll all have a week that goes well.  Part of me thinks, "Well, it can't be much worse than last week," but of course I know only too well that it can.  So I'm just going to hope for a normal, boring week where things are fine.  If it goes better than that, it will be icing on the cake (oooh, cake!).  Take care, friends!

07 August 2020

An FO for Friday - Not Blocked and No Longer a Secret

I'm glad that today is Friday, because this has been a rough week in so many ways, and since today (at least so far is rainy and dreary) I can just stay home and do what I want - or not do anything.

I have an FO for you today.  I almost waited to share it until it was completely finished - meaning blocked - but that will likely take a while, so you are getting an FO post anyway.

As mentioned during July, I decided to join the Stillness Shawl MKAL hosted by Helen Stewart.  To be honest, I'm not sure why, except that I'd seen the finished projects on several podcasts from previous MKALs and they were always lovely.  It could also be because at the time I was knitting a pair of socks designed by her and really enjoying it.  Anyway, I signed up.  More amazingly, I actually participated, in that I decided on yarn, wound it up, and not only downloaded the clues each week, but actually kept up with the knitting.  WHAT????

Project:  Stillness Shawl

Pattern:  Stillness Shawl MKAL, by Helen Stewart

Yarns (from left to right):  Indigodragonfly Tough Lester Sock, in the Dark Lord Bob colorway; Plucky Knitter Plucky Feet, in the colorway Good Ol' Pip; and, Sweet Swallow Yarns Nuthatch in the Shy Violets colorway

Needles:  US size 6

Modifications:  None, since I was flying blind here!

Notes:  First of all, I was pleased because I used all stash yarn for this project, and since that has been something I've been really trying to do, it was nice to use three skeins in one project.  Also, I was pleased because I got to learn two things that were new to me, which is something I have also been trying to do.  This pattern included an i-cord cast on; one of the sections was the Star Stitch, which frankly I was worried about since it looked rather complicated, but as it turns out, it's fairly simple to execute.

After finishing the first clue, I was feeling quite proud of myself, I must admit:

I think the fact that I was able to do this without [many] problems kept me motivated.  I will say now that the project is finished, that I feel confident that I can trust any pattern written by Helen Stewart to be not just well-written and understandable, but very easy to follow.  Even when I would mess up, it was my mess, not because of anything to do with the pattern.

The finished shawl is a really BIG one - so big that I do not have the space nor the pins to block it!  I mean, even before blocking, there's a whole lotta shawl here:

As a point of reference, this is across a double bed!

I do think it is pretty, and when I talked about my blocking issues on Facebook, Lorette offered to block it for me if I wanted to sent it to her.  I have to say, I'm giving that some serious consideration.  I know she does a lot of both shawl and lace knitting, so she knows much more about blocking this kind of item that I do.  I'll keep you posted.

In any case, this was actually fun to knit, and though I didn't really do a lot of the chatter, etc. type of stuff on Ravelry, I did enjoy seeing others' projects.  I think the reason that all of the planets or whatever aligned and I ended up finishing this was because at first it seemed a good distraction and a way to use stash, and then it became a personal challenge to me to keep up.  This is not to say that I'm likely to sign up for any KALs again anytime soon, but it was a good feeling to sign up and then actually *do* something!

 I guess sometimes you can still surprise yourself in a good way.  


Not a lot else worth reporting.  This morning I walked up to the Post Office, and finally mailed out all of the prizes for Christmas in July.  Why do I think I'll mail each one as it happens?  From here forward, if you win a prize, just assume it will go out all at one time with the others.  Geez.

I did feel bad because the woman who helped me was so apologetic, saying, "I just want to let you know that in the current situation, I can't guarantee that any of these will get there right away, or as soon as they probably should.  The Post Office is under attack, you know."  I told her that it was OK, I'm a big supporter of the P.O., and between the virus and the administration, they were getting hit everywhere.  She looked at me and smiled and I hope it made her day at least .000001% better.

Hamlet is recovering from a bad bout of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, which has really knocked him (and by extension, all of us) for a loop.  Fortunately, the vet took x-rays and it wasn't caused by any blockages, tumors, etc. - just probably from something he picked up and ate off the street.  We watch him like a hawk, but sometimes things get past us.  He is starting to seem more like his usual sweet self though, so that's good.  The cats have been very annoyed because they can't sleep on/next to him because he smells bad and that is a real inconvenience for them ...

Next weekend we had scheduled a trip to Baltimore to visit my niece and her husband (we made the plans back in April).  Now my sister and brother-in-law are planning to be there as well, which means most of the family will show up to visit also.  I had been leaning towards cancelling even if it would just be the four of us, but the addition of even more people has made me certain that I don't want us to go.  It just seems irresponsible, and though I know they are all careful people, I just think we have been so conscientious about things, why stop now?  Having to go into work two days a week has been making me anxious enough.  It is disappointing, since we haven't seen anyone for such a long time, but I'm not willing to take the chance, particularly when things are taking an uptick again.  Why can't people wear a mask? (Rhetorical, I know why and so do you.)

Anyway, it's Friday, and it's the weekend, and we have wine, and The Tim just informed me that he made some chocolate pudding!  All's well that ends well, right?  😃

Have a lovely weekend yourself, and take care.

04 August 2020

Stitching and Reading and [Probably] Getting Wet

I haven't had a chance to join in on Tiny Needle Tuesday for a while, so I'm glad I can write a post for it today.

Right now, I'm waiting to go to work in the midst of tropical storming.  The Tim has been kind enough to say he would give me a ride, so I'm kinda sorta relieved about that.  It will be interesting to see how things are, and not just related to the storm.  To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, I don't know much about being retired, but I bet I'd be darling at it.  😀

Oh well.

Anyway, over the weekend I finally got my stitching project that I talked about recently underway, and really had a good time with it.  Here's what I was able to accomplish on my Stitchy Saturday:

Not bad for a couple of hours!  I realized once it was done that the start of the little book on the top was off kilter by one row.  I briefly considered ripping it out (very briefly), but then decided it was fine; after all, I'm a little bit off kilter myself!

Yesterday, I started my latest book:

I know a group was reading this for the online book club, and thought it sounded interesting.  I have only made it to the fourth chapter or so, and right now, I'm on the fence about it.  I'm going to read a bit more and if I don't like the characters any more than I do so far, it will be time to move on to something else.

And that's it from me for today.  I hope if you are anywhere in the path of Tropical Storm Isaias, you will be safe and not suffer any damage to your property.  At least around here, it's only supposed to hang on for today.  

OK, time to get my stuff together and put my mask on.  See you again soon!

03 August 2020

The Grand Finale Winner for 2020!

Well, folks it's been fun - at least for me - and again, THANK YOU with all of my heart for playing along this year during Christmas in July!  I have started to really look forward to this, which is saying something since there isn't much about summertime that I look forward to, other than it being over.

Anyway, the winner for Week #5 is:


Here is what she had to say about who she would like to spend a birthday/holiday with, no matter what time or place:

If I could, just once, I'd like to go back and celebrate Christmas Eve with my family the way we used to long ago when all my Croatian relatives came to our house. I still don't know how we all packed into my parents' teeny little bungalow with its small front room and galley kitchen, but we did. There was terrific food and the grownups were so much fun to listen to. That was really Christmas to me.

I have to say that I loved this answer!  Maybe because I remember so many happy/noisy/crazy holidays as a kid with family and friends.  Our Christmases are lovely and fun and happy, don't get me wrong, but it's just the two of us and our sweethearts.  It would be nice at least one more time to have a big family Christmas again!  And I have to say, I'm sure I would be on board with the yummy food!  Congratulations, Nance!  Please send an e-mail to thekittyknitterATverizonDOTnet when you have the chance with your name and address, etc.  

Note to all winners:  I'm hoping to send out packages this week - you'll hear from me once this actually happens.

For my answer, I would have to say that I would love to go back to any given Thanksgiving when our family was all together, before my father died.  The night before, I used to LOVE "helping" him get things ready (I'm sure I never shut up the whole time) and then the next day also "helping" him get things ready.  My mother wanted nothing to do with the whole thing, and my sisters were otherwise occupied so I would have him all to myself.  We would clean the turkey, start the stuffing, make sure we had everything for the rest of the dinner the night before.  Then the day of, after the Thanksgiving Day parade was over, we'd go to the kitchen and get to work.  Well, he got to work and I watched (and likely talked. And talked. And talked).  But it was the best, and as a result, I am the only one of the kids who actually knew what to do to cook Thanksgiving dinner.  What does it say when your older, married sisters call you when you are 14 years old and ask you to help them cook Thanksgiving dinner?  😉


Our weekend was uneventful as usual, but I got a good amount of knitting done and got a good chunk of my cross-stitch project underway.  This Tuesday and Thursday I am supposed to return to work, so this week will be a bit different as far as what goes on.  We are also supposed to be receiving the lingering effects of Hurricane Isaias for a good part of the week, which means the trees, flowers, grasses, and other living things who have longed for water should be happy.  

And that's the latest from here.  I hope all of you have a good week.