29 February 2024

Happy Leap Day!


For reasons I am not certain make sense, Leap Day pleases me. Maybe because it makes no sense in some ways, but in the overall sense of time we have it. And of course I am fascinated at the idea of only having your *actual* birthday date happen every four years. But in any case, I hope your Leap Day is a good one.

In about an hour, two guys are going to come and do final measurements for a new front door. Because of course our door is not a standard size and will have to be custom made. We have nothing custom-made for our persons, but our door will be custom-made. Seriously. We have the estimate and although it's a lot of money (who knew doors were so expensive? Not us!), it will be nice to have a new door that looks nice and is not drafty. Exciting times around here, people, exciting times.

Now for a dryer update. Good news: It is not only in the house, but is now hooked up to the electricity! Bad news: The venting still needs to be resolved because of course the old vent was no longer working. But The Tim said he got the stuff to install a new vent and get it working. So theoretically, I could be able to do laundry tomorrow and/or on Saturday, which is both a relief and quite exciting.

I tell ya, our lives are just one big thing after another these days, it's hard to keep up.

However, all of these things are making Alfie's life so much better. As far as he's concerned, the more workmen that come to the house and have to be here for a while, the better!  I was telling my friend Lisa that when the electricians came to hook up the dryer to the electrical supply, Alfie was in a bliss. When they went to leave, he followed them out of the house into the rain and then to their truck! Of course then we had about half an hour of him crying at the front door and pawing to get out, because they had left. So she saw this and sent it to me, and it cracked me up.

At least today he will have some chances to "assist" the people coming for door measurements, and I tried to tell him that the electricians would be back in late March for two whole days to rewire a bunch of stuff, but sadly, cats have no sense of the future. I guess it will be a nice surprise for him?

And that's the news from here. I hope your week is going well - I know Vera's is ending on a good note - congratulations, Vera! 

Enjoy leaping around today, and I'll check in tomorrow. 🐸

23 February 2024

Rainy Day Friday

Hello from dreary Philadelphia. The rain is supposed to stop soon, and then it will just be a cold February day. But it's Friday, so that means that once he gets home from work tonight, The Tim can hang and relax with us all weekend, which is the best.

To give you an update, the dryer arrived safe and sound. Much later than expected, but as long as it got here in one piece, we didn't care! Right now, it's sitting in the basement waiting until an electrician can come and get the connection set up and then I have a lot of laundry to do. 😊 But I have to be honest here - I actually enjoy doing laundry. I think the idea that it goes in to the wash dirty, wrinkled, and sometimes smelly, and then comes out clean and fresh appeals to my orderly nature. Having said that, I am grateful that doing laundry is not my life's work, because I am sure that would be exhausting and to some degree demoralizing. I mean, I face the fact that people get clothes and such dirty once a week; if I had to face it every day, I think I would, shall we say, feel less kindly than I already do towards humans as a whole ...

I worked for a bit on my Alpine Bloom Hat yesterday, and thought I'd share an in-progress photo.

I'm pleased with it so far. I did notice one spot yesterday where I stitched using the wrong color. But it was a few rows back, so if it really sticks out when the whole thing is finished, I'll duplicate stitch over it. I'm enjoying the knitting, even though it's not something I can do while watching a tv show or a movie, since I have to concentrate on what I'm doing. I feel pretty certain that I'll finish this by spring. If it fits my big head, I'll wear it next winter; if not, I'll probably give it to my great-niece Penn next Christmas as a gift.


This weekend we have no specific plans, other than cleaning up things that we had to move out of the way to make room for the delivery guys to get through the door opening down to the basement. We live in a nineteenth-century row house, and to say that the doorways are not wide would be an understatement. So everything had to be moved out of the way and the door had to be removed. They made it with maybe an inch on each side - phew! 

I also want to pay some bills (well, I don't really *want* to, but there are consequences if you don't pay them, you know!), and I'm thinking it may be time to bake some brownies. We haven't had those for a long time and it would be nice to have some treats.

And that is about as exciting as it will get. Both of us are unreasonably tired due to who knows what, so I sincerely doubt anything much more elaborate or strenuous will be undertaken. Sometimes you just need a break from your exciting life, you know?

I hope all of you have a good weekend, doing what you like whenever you feel like doing it. We'll see what next week brings. In the meantime, thanks for reading and take care.

21 February 2024

Hooray! It's Dryer Day!

Friends, relatives, and mere acquaintances - rejoice with me today, because after a year and a half of anguish and agonizing, at some point this afternoon between noon and 4 p.m., a truck from Lowe's will arrive, and a new clothes dryer will be delivered and the old dryer hauled away. To say I am excited would be an understatement. To say that I 100 percent realize what an adult kind of thing that is to be excited about would be true. But such is life.

Do not be surprised to see a post soon with a photo of said new dryer, extolling its virtues and full of stories of the slow death of the old dryer. Again, such is life.

In the meantime, I have been knitting. One of my projects is what I am calling my Birthday Socks. The colorway of the yarn is Pisces, and since that is my astrological sign, I'm making them to wear on my birthday. Whereas most people cast on a special project ON their birthday, I want to have these finished by then. 

I finished the first sock last week. I'm sure that my erstwhile (yet napping ) assistant was the inspiration to finish so quickly. I plan to cast on the second sock either later today (after the dryer delivery) or tomorrow, and I have every belief that I will be able to finish on time. 

Do you remember a little while back, when I showed you this WIP?

It is no longer a viable project. I kept going nearly to the arm division, and decided that it just was not what I was wanting. So I visited the frog pond, and have cast on for something else. I have a specific thing I'm hoping to end up with, and I think this time I'm on a better track.

I'm also going along pretty well on my Alpine Bloom hat, using the kit I purchased from Barrett Wool Co. It's slow going, but I'm enjoying it, and I just hope when it's all finished, it fits my big head! 😊

I shall do my best to get some decent photos of these items, once the sun sticks around for more than 20 minutes. Today would work, but my afternoon is dedicated to waiting for the dryer delivery, so I don't want to get started on taking photos and get interrupted, as it can be dangerous around here to leave a knitting project out of the project bag and unattended.

Yes, they are resting in a sunspot now. But the lure of a project laid out on the floor would be too much to resist, I'm certain.

And that's what is happening around here. I hope you are having a good week, and that your knitting is behaving well. 

Stay tuned for all of the dryer excitement! But please, don't let yourself get so worked up that you lose sleep until I regale you with the whole story ... 

14 February 2024

Heart Day

Hello there! I hope you are having a good Valentine's Day if you enjoy celebrating it. We do celebrate, usually with cards and treats, but the primary focus of the day is this guy's birthday:

Today, Pip turns 13 years old! Yep, he's a teenager, so now he'll probably start ignoring us, get lots of piercings and tattoos, and roll his eyes whenever we make a joke ... 😊

Later we'll have a cheesecake and presents, and the kit kats will get some special treats to celebrate. Pip is well worth celebrating, as he is an amazing kitty, and it would be hard to find a cat who is sweeter. So Happy Valentine's birthday, sweet boy, we love you!

Today is also Ash Wednesday, which signals the beginning of Lent for Christians. When I was a kid, I would always agonize over what to "give up" for Lent. Since my birthday was always during that time, I didn't want to give up anything that could jeopardize my birthday celebration or my birthday cake, so it was hard. (I was a good kid, but I wasn't any kind of ridiculous sainted child who was *that* willing to sacrifice something!)


I just spent about an hour with a guy who came to the house to give us an estimate on a new front door. I have no idea how old the current door is, but we have wanted to replace it since we moved in. Now that we have some money saved up for repairs, etc., it was time. One nice thing was that the estimate was much less than we had expected. Even though the door is not standard, because of course it's not - nothing in our nineteenth-century house is, so no surprise there. Still, it's always just a matter of waiting to hear it whenever someone comes to check something.

As would be the case, the guy left after giving the estimate. And now Alfie is bereft. Alfie loves nothing more than having workmen come to the house. He has to be with them the whole time, and rubs against them, purrs, etc. Fortunately most people who have shown up have been animal lovers, or amused enough to not mind him terribly. However, the guy today was here for a while, and I think Alfie thought he was going to stay for lunch or something. So the fact that he left was quite upsetting. Alfie has been pawing the door and crying ever since. Even Esme was compelled to come downstairs to try and comfort him, but it just isn't enough. So please keep Alfie in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time ... 😝

Alfie: "If you are reading this, please contact PETA and let them know how neglected I am. As you can see, I'm nearly skin and bones from starvation and neglect."

Our poor house - we've lived here now for 30+ years and never had the available funds to do much fixing up or repairs that weren't absolutely, immediately necessary. Now that the mortgage is paid, we can start to get things done. I can only imagine the house breathing a sigh of relief - "The roof and now maybe a better door! They do love me after all!"


Today I am hoping to get some things organized as far as my knitting projects are concerned. I'm trying to be more conscious of what I am making and why, and part of that means keeping better track of everything. I have a "system" that I think will work, and I'm going to do my best to set it up today. Who knows, I may be abandoning it in record time, or it may actually help, but I won't find out until I actually give it a try.

Are any of the rest of you having a sudden desire to knit every single thing in the world right away, or is it just me? I generally see things that I might want to knit and am happy enough to wait until one or more things are completed. But lately, I see something I like and instead of seeing it in terms of a down-the-road project, I feel like if I don't make it NOW or SOON, I just won't survive another day. Fortunately, most of the time I don't have the yarn on hand to make it, so I just wait for the feeling to pass. But this has never been something I've felt before, and I can't say I enjoy it. Like all of a sudden I have knitting FOMO, but I know in my heart that a) I probably won't care by the next day, and b) most of the things I see are not the kind of things I would enjoy knitting or that would fit in my wardrobe anyway. 

I'm sure it's some kind of temporary insanity on my part. And it is true that a lot of it is a "this moment" kind of feeling. So temporary that it's forgotten when the next amazing thing comes along. That's usually not my M.O., but especially the past few weeks it's been the case. 

However, it does mean that trying to get organized today will make me aware of what projects I am enjoying, and that should help to get me back on track. I'll try to take some photos, so I can show all of you what is happening knit-wise around here.

So enjoy your day one way or the other and if nothing else, feel free to give yourself a treat in honor of Pip!

09 February 2024

Brain Scramble

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I haven't been around much because of: 1) life, and b) being sick. Life, needless to say, goes on as we all know. As for being sick, I had that not-Covid-not-RSV respiratory thing that has been going around, and it was pretty miserable. Having said that, I'm glad it was neither of the "nots" mentioned previously.

Now I have to say that before to those things came along, I had been starting the year pretty well. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it, etc. Nothing in stone, and nothing that couldn't be adjusted or even deleted. But I knew how I wanted to get started at least. That was then.

Right now, my brain is like a plate of scrambled eggs. It looks like it's ready to serve, but nothing is how it started out. I'm in one of those situations where everything has been mixed up, moved around, and thrown in different directions. Where it was somewhat organized, now it's like a junk room where you just throw things in to get them out of the way, but pay no attention to where things actually are. Then one day you go in that room and you wonder what happened, and how it will ever be possible to get things back in order.


My first thoughts - as they are when actually talking about a physical room in such a state - were that there was no way I could get things back the way I wanted them to be. And right now, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around how to even start "cleaning up." But I also know that all I need to do is start on one small thing, and others will follow, even if they look different than they did in the beginning. 

But it's all exhausting, you know? I am by nature a fairly organized person. And whenever things get really messy, my first reaction is to retreat and leave it alone, before figuring out what needs to happen. Right now, I'm in that mode, and though I know it's part of my process, I don't enjoy it. But if I ignore this part, it only gets messier, and then I get stressed, and more depressed, and it's an unpleasant spiral. 

So my plan for today? Well, it's pretty exciting. I have some laundry to finish (towels, etc.); I want to walk to Target to buy some deodorant (those who spend time around me will thank me); I'll read my book for a while (it's a good one); and I will re-start the first of a sock I cast on yesterday (I thought I had a great idea for the pattern on the leg, but my last thought last night in bed was "Just rip it out and start over, you'll be happier with a plain sock").

I feel like those things will make me feel like I accomplished something (first two activities), and also took some time to enjoy my day (last two activities). And that's a good way to go forward. 

What about you? Do you get brain scrambles from time to time, and how do you move forward? I hope you have a way to deal with it that works for you.


The weekend is here, and I'm looking forward to The Tim not having to go to work, even if I have to on Sunday. No special plans, other than a trip to Petsmart tomorrow to get some special treats for Pip's birthday on Valentine's Day. I know The Tim has some spring cleaning projects he is in the midst of finishing, so I'll happily leave him to that, while I do whatever I decide to do. 

In any case, I hope your weekend is a good one. I'll check in again next week. Here's a picture of Esme and Alfie, after I inadvertently interrupted their nap yesterday (fortunately, they seem to have forgiven me).

07 February 2024

FO Post: Red Pennies

Right before Christmas, a customer was at the yarn shop, wearing the nicest-looking pair of fingerless mitts. I asked her about them, and she went on and on about how wonderful the pattern was, and how cozy the resulting mitts were.

Almost ever since I started working at the yarn shop, I'd been eyeing the Biches et Buches yarns in the colorway Norwegian Red. But I knew that I couldn't afford enough of it for anything other than a small project. Well, at last the meeting of yarns and projects happened!

(the color is actually much darker, but this is the best I could get with my photography skills)

Project: Red Pennies
Pattern: Penny Gloves, by PetiteKnit
Yarn: Biches et Buches Petit Le Petit Lambswool and Biches et Buches Le Petit Silk & Mohair, both in the colorway Norwegian Red
Needles: US size 2.5/3.0 mm
Modifications: None
Notes: I can highly recommend this pattern. It's simple and straightforward, and also very understandable. I don't know how many of you have knit PetiteKnit patterns, but they can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, which seems to be a result of translation from Danish to English. But this pattern is so basic, there isn't a lot of room for complicated language. I think that this would even work for a somewhat new-ish knitter who has maybe made a hat in the round, and wants to try the next thing.

The next time I make these for myself, I may go up to a sizes US 3 needle, but I'm gonna wait and see how these are to wear. Right now, they just fit; but it might be with wear, they stretch a bit and are just fine. We'll see. 

I'm so pleased with these fingerless mitts. They look just the way I wanted them to, and the color just makes me happy. I think I see at least another pair in my future, probably just with fingering weight yarn, since I'm not overly fond of mohair.

Now to work on all of the other things in progress ... 

05 February 2024

Quick Check-In

Hi all! I'm still around, but the past couple of weeks have been a sh*tshow, and I was sick for a while, so that's why you haven't really heard from me. Today and tomorrow I'm working forever, so I'll check in later in the week with an FO post and other general blather for you.

In the meantime, here is a picture of Pip and Milo the Koodle, with Milo's white paws tucked into his belly. So cute! As the lyrics of an old song say, "Everybody loves you when you're asleep." 


Have a good week!