In a Bubble / 17

I know that Thanksgiving is less than a week away.

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And Christmas fast approaching.

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I've watched since the trimmings of the season began edging out school supplies.

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And yet, I'm constantly doing a double-take when I see actual lights, decorations & full-on displays. I'm not ready for all the holiday hubbub.

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I feel as though I'm in a bit of a bubble... an Alabama bubble!

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Happy much? (Thanks for the photo, Kym!)

There's so much other stuff going on, even besides the holidays... but all I really want to do is clear off my work table and start sewing!

I would begin with an intense poring-over of Natalie Chanin's new book, The Geometry of Hand-Sewing, which I haven't had time to do yet, though I have been using it with great success to practice my "feather stitch" technique on my sampler.

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I'd pre-ordered my copy and picked it up at the workshop. We met with Natalie on Saturday, and she signed it for me... with a little laugh!

It's an incredible book with detailed instructions for working the stitches from either left-to-right or right-to-left, photos & diagrams --  including photos of the back of the work! -- and two die-cut plastic stitching cards/templates with various grids. Genius.

Though my Grandma Koenig had passed long before I picked up a needle, my mother would channel her, always asking to see the back of my project, intoning, "The back should be as neat as the front!"

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They practice what they preach over there at Alabama Chanin! Those are shots of the back & front of approximately the same area of a piece from a sample book.

If you're interested in learning more about this type of work, Natalie & The School of Making have a new class on Craftsy (with, I'm told, more to come!) -- The Swing Skirt: Techniques & Construction.


Ch-Ch-Ch-CHANGES!! / 15

We interrupt this broadcast with breaking news of the happiest sort:

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The long-awaited remodel at KC&T is underway as of today. Re-entry is a bitch -- a bit more than usual -- but this certainly makes up for that!

Also, I have my Alabama Chanin sample swatch with me today and it makes me happy to think of it, look at it, touch it, and dream about it. I might carry it with me for the rest of my life.


Homeward bound / 14

Boarding a plane late this morning, arriving home sometime this evening.

We had an incredibly low-key & relaxing day in Nashville yesterday, mostly hanging out at our Airbnb house. We did venture out for lunch and to visit a couple of fabric stores, on a quest for some marking tools.

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We also stopped at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and I don't need to wonder what the fuss is about anymore. That's Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso. Yum.


Reality creep / 12

I got up this morning and did payroll for Ali -- to Wisconsin, from Alabama...

I packed up my stuff and wondered why in the world I didn't have my project kit & a few other Alabama Chanin incidentals shipped...

My suitcase has been expanded and is at capacity!

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We (Kim) drove to Nashville (I am Navigation!) and Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. We had a very nice walk through the Seasons, Herb, and Japanese Gardens, as well as a little hike through some of the Sculpture Trail.

There was a lovely exhibition on the sculpture work of William Edmondson, and of Bryant Fleming who designed the estate.

Posting this at nearly the 12th hour and internet is not so great... more later!


/ 11

This how my worktable looked at the beginning of Friday:

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Fairly neat and orderly.

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My project kit was the last to arrive, partly because I chose an obscure paint color for my stencil, but mostly because the Production Team at Alabama Chanin made sure it was perfect before presenting it to me; in particular, Corey, who mixed the paint and did the stenciling, worked the most amazing magic!

Inspiration is everywhere at Alabama Chanin, from the iconic sign...

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...to the bathroom decor.

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By the end of the day, my worktable looked like this (the neatened up version):

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I am working out a few things on a swatch that is in my actual pattern & colors.

Tomorrow is another day -- sadly, the last workshop day! The time is flying by and we are having a wonderful time!


Daily view / 9

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I'm not at work today, I'm in ALABAMA! If I were at work, though, this is what I'd have seen about half-way. Actually, I doctored this photo a bit -- removed a few signs and a couple of cars -- so this is what I'd liked to have seen about half-way, everyday. This was on Monday, the sky was so pretty and there was daylight due to the clocks "falling back" on Sunday morning.

The County garage and landfill are on the right -- ho-hum.

There's always something about those three trees on the left, though, whether I'm coming or going. They're oaks, I think, and suffered some storm damage a couple of years ago -- they were prettier once! I almost always see wildlife in the field beyond -- usually, turkeys and/or a small herd of deer. I look forward to this little stretch during every commute.

*Scheduling this in advance in case I'm too caught up in Alabama Chanin things to post!


Catch & Release: The Wisconsin Blingfish / 8

As this goes live, I'm winging my way to meet Kym in Nashville! We will hop into a rented car and drive to Florence, Alabama, for a long-anticipated 3-Day Workshop at Alabama Chanin! We've been planning this trip for well over a year, and... SO EXCITED!

I've been on my Alabama Chanin journey for a while now, and thought today would be a good time to share the story of one of my recent (unusual and crazy-fun) projects:

THE WISCONSIN BLINGFISH

Kay Gardiner, aka Mason-Dixon Kay, began working on her "newest oldest" sewing project, the Alabama Chanin Flag Quilt, on July 4th. It's a spectacular piece! It's also a bit overwhelming, even as a pre-cut and pre-stenciled kit.

After a week of immersion sewing, Kay was considering ideas to infuse her quilt with some personal style... by changing some of the thread & fabric colors, by adding embellishments, and by somehow involving friends.

I've "known" Kay for about as long as we've all been blogging. We met in person at Rhinebeck 2006, I think, and then again 10 years later. In between, we've chatted a little bit via Instagram & blog comments about knitting, of course, also about other projects & the kids & family & events, and quite a bit about Alabama Chanin projects these past few years. I was delighted when she asked if I'd be game to stitch a block of her quilt.

Um, YEAH!!

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She sent her "Wisconsin Fish," along with a spool of thread, and a small bag of iridescent semi-dimensional sequins marked "bling (optional)" -- which, HELLO, were never considered "optional" for even a second.

BRING THE BLING!

I immediately pulled out my own collection of sparkles to see how it all might work together -- adding a variety of seed beads, bugle beads, and more sequins to the mix!

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SEQUINS THIS WAY?

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SEQUINS THAT WAY?

Everything was kept quite secure with Wonder Clips, of course!

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THE PLAN FOR BUGLE BEADS WAS IMMEDIATELY CLEAR.

Eventually I did a little sewing. And some cutting... periodically laying out beads & sequins to see if I still liked them this way, that way, or another way.

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My daughter Kate was starting her new job at the time, but frequently stopping home, and every time I'd call out, "Come and see my fish!" I'd show her what I'd done and run through ideas...

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I started off with mostly reverse applique, running stitch, knots on the back; with some beading and a little bit of satin stitch with embroidery floss. (FYI: satin stitch is harder than it looks!)

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The sequins, though! It was obvious to me that they needed to be fish scales... but how? My only experience with sequins was on my Catamount Tunic, and the inspiration for that project made it pretty simple & straightforward.

Obviously, I needed to expand my sequins knowledge, and my treasure trove of sequins inspo for this project turned out to be "sewing for belly dancers."

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I used a combo of sequins and sewed them on in rows to make scales.

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Initially, the rows were too far apart, so I filled in, and continued in a more dense pattern. I'm sure that looks tedious to some, but I really had fun doing it! Perhaps, as Kay says, we "have a skewed sense of what is fun..."

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It was fun to figure out the little details as I went along... filling in bare "scale" spots with plain sequins; using red beads for the eye, outlining it with some metallic thread. I love the dimension and bit of sparkle and shine.

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I wanted some "lines" for the fish tail, so pulled out some more embroidery floss and sewed in some random sequins.

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I used only sequins -- fairly sparse -- for the belly (just beginning, above).

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I stitched "lines," too, for some of the other fins -- with and without sequins.

I had originally thought of using the metallic thread to work satin stitch the dorsal, pelvic & anal fins (*bling*)...

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... but holy cow, each of those things separately -- satin stitch & working with metallic thread -- is challenging enough! Instead, I used the metallic thread to back-stitch the outlines of the fins and sparsely fill in with running stitch.

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Finally, I signed my work.

Then I had to photograph it and send it back to Kay!

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Catch & Release... The One That Got Away... Some Fish... the Wisconsin Blingfish!!

I can't wait to see the whole quilt come together!!


New Fridge / 7

Junah was, like, "WHAT?? A new FRIDGE?" They loved checking it out last night! Hopefully, the enchantment with the freezer will wear off, or potential energy savings will surely be offset.

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We are loving those French doors and everything in the fridge at eye level! The lighting is pretty great, and I'm also a fan of the glass shelving. There is certainly some rearranging to be done, but we're getting there.

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It's a Samsung. A little narrower than our old one, and a few inches deeper -- these offset and there is no perceived change. I was worried that our already narrow gateway to the laundry room would be affected. I think the very slight curve of the fridge helps, too.

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Side views: from the sink area (above) and laundry room (below).

We removed a cabinet above the fridge as a precaution -- we knew it was going to be super close, and it was the only variable over which we had any control. Trying to find a fridge to fit our area/specs has not been easy. So, anyway, it will be replaced -- new & improved, for sure -- and Rusty might even get started on that this weekend.

The old fridge was plastered all over with magnets, photos & clippings. I tossed a bunch of it, filed a few things, and rearranged as I redecorated. So far, I've kept the front of the new fridge clutter-free and am aiming to keep it that way!

What made the cut?

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This is the most visible side, other than the front. These things all spark joy!! I have some travel reminders, and some adorable drawings of Mack's that my sis had made into magnets; the hummingbird was Sharon's, and the vintage fruit & veggie magnets were my grandma's; I love my photo calendar and am looking forward to making a new one for 2018! This one is from Parabo Press, and I love that the pages are perforated, so I can tear off and keep the photos! I'm not an affiliate, but I do have a link to share that will save you $10 on your first order and earn me $10 -- just use the code AHMKGG! You can order online, or... there's an app for that!

There's been an addition since I took the photo:

Hamilton-magnet(So freakin' good.)

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On the other side, more joy! More travel, more politics, more flowers, and more photos -- and I want even more photos, but most of what had been displayed was decidedly dated (not in a good way) and in need of editing.

This is a work in progress!  ;)


Happy Birthday / 6

Dear November,

I'm still on a Hamilton high!

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The show was wonderful! We loved the cast, knew every word, and really enjoyed the nuances of the live performance!!

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Dinner at The Dearborn was fabulous! We had to begin our meal with The Hamilton cocktail, of course!

Then we turned on the soundtrack in the car and sang all the way home!

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Also, I finished Maddy's Hamilton ornament!

It's been a stellar month so far -- newly resurfaced street on Friday, long-awaited refrigerator delivery on Saturday, Hamilton on Sunday, today's my birthday, (Tuesday is a day of rest - haha! not really... I'll be packing!), and departure on Wednesday for the AC Workshop!!

The workshop is technically three days, but we'll be gone/traveling for a week! OMG, I can't wait. I've never been in that part of the country before.

Anyway, as Kym has said, it's a BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA!! Well, hell, my 59th is only gonna come around once...

And I like the way that my 60th year on the planet is starting...

Begin as you mean to go on!

Here's to a great year!

Love, Vicki


Progress & Waiting / 4

They're not yet finished in the neighborhood, but they're finished in front of my house and ya-freakin'-hoo.

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Now I'm awaiting the call "30 minutes prior" to refrigerator delivery. I'm not sure I'll be able to have all hands on deck right then, but it'll be here.

Meanwhile, the kids were over for a while today.

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Hahaha!

And I rearranged the upstairs bedroom (back the way I like it) (new comfy mattress coming soon).

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{{{drumming fingers}}}


Right Now: November - AC Style / 3

BREAKING NEWS...

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They were firing up equipment as I left for work this morning; Rusty sent this photo a little while later. (That's my house with the bunting still hanging.)

Anticipating... So much good stuff!

  1. New refrigerator delivery on Saturday (finally!) (y'all will be so happy when this is not.a.thing anymore)
  2. Hamilton on Sunday (matinee) with Maddy and her BFF Katy, followed by dinner at The Dearborn
  3. My 59th birthday on Monday (!!)
  4. A long-awaited vacation that begins on Wednesday:
    1. To Florence, AL, for a 3-Day Alabama Chanin Workshop
    2. Along with my first visit to Nashville, TN
    3. All with KYM!!!

Looking forward to... OMG. Alabama! The Factory! Muscle Shoals! Finally!!

I've long dreamed of attending an Alabama Chanin week-long workshop(s), but it just wasn't ever going to fit in financially or time-wise, so when the 3-day version was introduced last year... I pounced. I signed up practically the minute it was announced in September! Bonus: it was happening right around my birthday. Happy Birthday To Me!!

It wasn't long before Kym decided to join me... and the Airbnb booked by the first week of October! EXCITED MUCH?? I'd have booked travel then, too, but it was too early. I did put a reminder on my calendar about it, though.

Sewing... something EPIC as soon as I get to Alabama! I'm thinking Coat, but reserving final decision until we're actually there. We get to try on garments and see examples of finishing techniques. It's all certain to be incredibly inspiring... hopefully, not to overwhelming. I'm counting on experienced hands to guide us...

Listening... Hamilton soundtrack & and my "Alabama" playlists!

Wondering... What's up with you right now!?


3TT / 2

1 - What's old is new again!

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This funny old table used to be in the coffee shop a long time ago. I used it at home for a while, and had a plate glass top made for it. Eventually, it moved back to the coffee shop, but in the upstairs work area. Lately, it's been hanging out in Ali's garage... and she'd been trying to find a new home for it.

Well, guess what?!! I have a home and a need and... this is why KonMari-ing, Death Cleaning, purging, etc., CAN BE SO HARD!

2 - Ali also has the perfect 2-basin stainless steel sink in need of a home... I am so lucky.

3 - I should have taken a before photo, but I didn't...

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This is currently the only thing hanging on our refrigerator and, well, that bare naked almond fridge it's practically blinding us every time we turn around. I am so ready to take delivery of a new fridge on Saturday!

Joining Carole for Three on Thursday -- check it out!


Unraveled Wednesday / 1

KNITTING. I mentioned the Stillness Collection a little over a month ago; I'd ordered it, and have since received it. On Saturday, I wound some yarn and cast on the first-favorited project -- the one that initially stopped me in my tracks -- Abulón by Isabell Kraemer.

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Naturally, I'm knitting it on straight needles instead of circs. I'm using a bouncy, squishy yarn that I call Realize Sport; I recently dyed the yarn for the outer layer to complement the orange that I wanted to use for the inner layer. It's really fun knitting, and the design would be easily customized as to size by varying the yarn and/or the number of repeats. I predict that this will be finished in no time!

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READING. Here's what's on my list right now:

On Deck:

One more photo...

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Another result of all the work around here is that in addition to "discovering" my dye studio, I may also have discovered my new favorite place for taking photos!

Speaking of that work, there has been nothing but "back-up beeps" and the clanging of dump trucks & bobcats today as they prep the road for BLACKTOP!! YaHOOOOO. At latest, the actual application of the blacktop will happen tomorrow.

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!


Ten on Tuesday: Blog, blog, blog (reprise)

Whaddya know? The timing couldn't be more perfect for an update to this 2yo post.

10 Tips/Ideas/Topics for Daily Blogging in November

aka National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo!

I can't not do it, having done it every year since 2009. I am not and have never been much of a planner when it comes to blogging... I almost always blog by the seat of my pants! That said, I usually keep some ideas in mind for NaBloPoMo*!

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1.  Daylight Savings Time (also PSA)! Everyone has a thought about that! DST ends on November 5th this year.

2.  Photos! A good photo (or three) is sometimes all that's needed (though I am certainly guilty of posting a not-so-good photo at crunch time). "Saturday Sky" and NaBloPoMo are a match made in heaven.

3.  My Birthday! Lucky for me, my birthday is in November and that's always good for a post or two.

4.  Weekending! A few photos along with some words on a Monday morning to share weekend doings -- there are five only four Mondays this November.

5.  Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving -- planning, prep, cooking, decorating, celebrating -- can be good for a few (or more) posts.

6.  Holidays! Fast on the heels of Thanksgiving, there's planning, prep & decorating to do!

7.  Knitting! Sewing! Most of us are knitters, some sew; there may be a recent FO to share, some holiday projects or a WIP that's seeing some action.

8.  Ten on Tuesday! Even though the official ToT Linkup hosted for so long by Carole is now defunct, I may do this for a Tuesday or four in November.

9.  a) Unraveled Wednesday! b) Throwback or c) Three Things Thursday! d) Flashback Friday! e) Saturday Sky!

10.  Don't Stress. I try not to agonize over NaBloPoMo. Not every post is going to be stellar (guaranteed). I don't have to write a daily dissertation (I don't even have to write). And I try to be flexible (which is easy to do when the planning is loose to begin with) and open to whatever comes along!

So, are you ready? Are you in??

*I've been unable to find an "official" NaBloPoMo host or linkup this year, for whatever that's worth ~


Weekending: Windows

As part of the ongoing/seemingly never-ending water & sewer re-do in the neighborhood, Rusty was asked to open a window to make it easier getting the new lines into our basement. Hopefully, that work is happening today; if not today, then tomorrow.

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That window hasn't budged an inch since we moved in 30+ years ago! It took a little convincing & leverage, but it was done. I was amused when Rusty climbed up on the outside sill. That wall he's standing on is at least 3' thick. Crazy.

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Anyway, as a result of opening that window, say hello to my new dye studio! Well, it will be. Rusty had to get a bunch of other/unused stuff out of the way for those guys, too, leaving a bit of a blank slate. I had eyed up a different room in the basement for this purpose, but there were a few too many strikes/hurdles. I didn't really even consider this area until now (so THANKS to the ongoing/seemingly never-ending water & sewer re-do in the neighborhood???), but it has everything -- natural light, water, power. It just needs some cleaning up & prettifying! Ya-freakin-hoo. I've been dyeing a bit more lately and it's such a PITA having to pull everything out and put it all away every.single.time.

Speaking of which...

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New project with little "windows" on the needles.

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I'm not saying anything more about that now except hand-dyed mostly speckled yarn and, at the moment, I am living for the rare red-orange bits. More on Unraveled Wednesday -- which is also Day 1 of NaBloPoMo!! I'm actually bucking my usual m.o. of nearly 14 years (9th year of NaBloPoMo) and planning some posts in advance!

There it is, a window into my world right now. Hope you had a great weekend!


FO: Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows

It is done.* It's a SUPER fun "recipe" that results in something different every single time. Mine is mostly stockinette, with a little bit of garter, and lots of random stripes; others used lace or colorwork and much more sophisticated patterning. As of now, there are over 100 of these shawls either finished or in progress and they are all utterly unique!!

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I loved knitting it and would certainly have been finished sooner if it had been more portable. I had a "bucket" full of yarn possibilities -- not easily toted around -- many of which never saw the light of day.

There are a few mistakes. I lost count a few times, so there unequal stitches on either side of the spine here and there. I forgot to begin decreases when I was supposed to, so one tail is longer than the other. My tension could have been much better on the edges.

But I sure do love it. There are a few more photos on my Ravelry project page.

I can see wearing it a few ways. One would be scrunched up loose & casual, like this:

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But it's wide enough that it could be folded in half, a bit more crisp & purposeful:

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It is super cozy... I have reason to know!

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As is the case so many times, the Packers inadvertently make their way into my knitting.

*Due to my already tight/wonky edge, I won't knit on the I-cord border, but I reserve the right to add tassels at any time and/or whenever the mood strikes!


Hamilton rising

There are no fewer than One Million Things that I could be/want to be knitting right now... only a slight exaggeration.

Last night I cast on HAMILTON BALL.

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I bought the kit at last year's Indie Untangled prelude to Rhinebeck, so it's not like it flew in out of nowhere. Maddy is taking me and her BFF to Hamilton Chicago in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, and I thought this (along with a really nice after-show dinner) would be a nice Thank You for that.


Well, the weekend...

Was full of color! I love the golden glow right now; the leaves are falling fast, though.

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I played around with some yarn & color on Saturday morning while I watched the Rhinebeck parade on social media...

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And gave my Arrows a soak (more on that -- an FO -- very soon)!

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There was also a little sunshine in the form of a finished MDK Log Cabin Warshrag, which I finally finished on Sunday; #1 from the Field Guide, with an extra 6 rows all the way around. It measures about 9.5 x 10".

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There was some interesting mail. Pieces have begun arriving from around the globe (this one from Germany) for a new show that Kate's putting together.

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On his way home from a week-long teaching gig in Door County, Rusty found an old envelope in an abandoned house... I loved the stamp & postmark. They don't make 'em like they used to.
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And family. That kitty is pretty wary of the kids, but Grandpa helps keep everyone calm.

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Gin had her first haircut recently -- sort of a "bob" -- and it's just adorable!!

How was your weekend? I hope it was good!!


Three Numerous Things on Thursday

Too many to number... plus UNRAVELED! Checkother 3TT posts here, and Unraveled here.

Jün and I got up and hit the floor running yesterday morning and, other than a few minutes at lunchtime, I didn't sit down until after 8:00 last night. We had such a GREAT DAY!!

We were a little late for Tumbling because while walking to my car...

DIGGERS ON MY STREET!

After Tumbling, we went to the P.O., paid the electric bill, and took the long way to lunch (we had to kill a few minutes before they open). We've gone to the same sub shop for lunch for three weeks in a row, we order the same things, and Jün makes sure we sit at the same table. Next Wednesday is the last session of Tumbling (already)! I told Ali that I want to continue this overnight tradition, but probably not every week... I enjoy every minute but I don't get a thing done (or very little).

Anyway, by the time we got back...

DIGGERS AT MY HOUSE!

We started with a seat on the porch, but soon, it was front row all the way baby!

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The workmen were all SO nice and SO patient. We watched from start to finish, and then watched as they pulled the old fire hydrant at the end of the street... for HOURS! At least a couple.  :)

Then he wanted to go out back and pitch some more walnuts. On Tuesday afternoon, I had watched the next door neighbor's lawn service guy rake all the walnuts from her yard over to mine (instead of into the ravine, as he might have done) (thanks buddy), so we got out the big guns: a wheelbarrow in addition to shovels for both Jün and me.

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Not the same size anymore!

By the time we'd unloaded two loads, my back was killing me so we took a break -- juice & a book!

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I was excited when I had notification earlier in the week that my pre-order of My Journey To The Stars by Astronaut Scott Kelly had shipped, arriving just in time for Tuesday night bedtime reading... reprise on Wednesday! By Wednesday, Junah put his hand to my mouth at just about every turn of the page. He had QUESTIONS & REMARKS! I just love how spongy little minds work. Related: A Year In Space is available to watch on Amazon Prime, and Part 2 debuts on PBS next month. Also, Scott Kelly's Instagram photos (@stationcdrkelly) from space were INCREDIBLE.

Speaking of READING, here's what's on my list right now:

  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs - pages. (Oops - due at the library yesterday, renewed online today... love technology!)
  • Yellow Crocus - audio. This one has been on my list for a while, and I've wanted to listen to another book narrated by Bahni Turpin, too!

And in KNITTING:

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I ran out to take a photo before losing light on Tuesday, and bound off shortly thereafter. This is Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows. Weaving in ends was the perfect activity last night, and will continue tonight at Knit Night. I will block after taking care of the ends, and then determine whether to knit the i-cord border all the way around... that will depend on how much I love it. I love it now, but don't know if I love it that much!

I haven't done a #tbt Throwback in a while, but a few copies of this were on my desk today:

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That's Kate, as a flower girl, on the cover of a local magazine that I used to do typesetting for; the bride is an old friend who used to style my hair back in the day (and she probably still would, but lives too far away). I don't know what happened to them, but there were some other even cuter photos of them, if you can even believe that (Kate stole the show!).

What are you reading? What's on your needles??


Autumn Leaves

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Back yard favorite.

Junah & Gin helped me pitch walnuts down the hill on Sunday (where, someday, I imagine there will be an actual "walnut grove"). I thought we had a banner year a couple years ago, but no... I don't remember ever seeing the back yard literally carpeted with walnuts. Jün was using a shovel!


Random Friday

I still don't quite get how it works, but there's a hose at my outside faucet and that's where our water is coming from right now. It's flowing "backwards" into my house from... somewhere/I don't know where. "Free water," they said. Woohoo. It works. It's weird, but it works.

The water/sewer contractor does not work on Fridays, so... bleh, see ya next week, fellas.

I've pushed the new fridge delivery as far as I can: November 4th.

At least I'm able to drive down my street and park in my own garage. I don't really mind that I've had to park my car two blocks away all week, but it's weird.

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Kate snapped this photo of some of my potatoes the other day. I made some more last night... and there's only enough for probably one more meal. So sad! They're so good. I am definitely planting more next year, somewhere/somehow!

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Cabin decor (in the bathroom). Maddy's been super into paint-by-number lately, so I thought of her every time I saw it.

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New aubergine boots... MAKE ME SO HAPPY! I was a rebel and wore sandals to work yesterday (thankfully, I had some socks in my tote bag and wore them instead for much of the day). We went to an art opening at UWGB's Lawton Gallery last night and boots were perfect.

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Yes! That's Kate's gallery.  ;)

There were some interesting pieces:

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Carol Emmons: RetroSpectacle. The installation surveys three decades of work by Carol, UWGB Professor Emerita in Art & Design. There's much to see and it is quite something.

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There's usually something at an art opening that catches my eye in the crowd, too. I loved this wrap!

Have a great weekend, will ya? Whatcha got planned?


Unraveled + 3TT - FO: Another Striped Hat

Ooops, a day late with the Unraveling! Things got away from me yesterday. We're all a bit frazzled 'round here for some reason... all that heavy equipment outside, shutting off water, temporarily hooking up water, new refrigerator delivery delayed... everyone's been so nice, but... frazzled!

THREE THINGS THURSDAY

One -- A Finished Object! I knit a hat for Gin/Jün while we were in the U.P. I cast on Saturday morning in our cottage as we drank coffee. I continued while Rusty walked the blustery beach at Whitefish Point, and as we made our way from here to there and everywhere. I finished on Sunday as we watched the Packer game on TV. This photo is after the 3-needle bind-off but before sewing the side seam -- I had to take my opportunity to dash outside while there was still a bit of natural light!

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  • Ravelry Project Page: Another Striped Hat for Gin
  • Pattern: This is what I did (an unvented pattern as follows)
    • CO 98 sts (includes 1 selvage st at each side)
    • Work 2x2 rib for 2” (begin each row with slip and k1 or p1)
    • Work in stockinette stitch, with or without stripes, for approx. 6.75" (including ribbing)
    • Knit half-way across, then fold & manipulate needles as needed in order to work 3-needle bind-off
    • Sew up side seam
  • Yarn:
    • Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solids (Pinks #48 & 21)
    • Malabrigo Yarn Rios (#57 English Rose)
  • Needles:  US 6
  • Start to Finish:  October 7-8, 2017

Two -- Reading. Ali was working on Tuesday morning when I stopped at the coffee shop on the way to work. She said with a wink that Jün was planning to sleep over again! That was fine by me! He was excited to find the books we'd read the week before still upstairs:

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The Little House has been a favorite since I was a child, and I'm so happy to read it again. Bushbaby was a favorite of Maddy's -- likely purchased at a book fair!

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There was an old Living magazine up there, which we paged through... those cookies on the cover were quite interesting! And he pointed to Julia Roberts in an ad and said, "That's Maddy"!

Then Harry hit the scene!

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He found all of Maddy's well-read Harry Potter paperbacks on the bookshelf and was apparently quite intrigued! He pulled them out -- plus a couple of others -- and added them to the reading pile!

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He seemed happy enough with my reading of one random page from each book in the stack!

In terms of my own, I am still reading Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (pages) and listening to Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am enjoying both quite a bit, even though it's been slow going. "Big Magic" came out of nowhere... I'm not usually into self-help-ish books very much, but her TED Talk, Your Elusive Creative Genius, is still one of my favorites -- and I fell in love with her voice.

Three -- Knitting. Yeah. Woman [continues to] Make Her Own Arrows.

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I'm on the final section, which I'm knitting as a color "shift," these are the colors I've chosen -- now I just have to get going! (once I'm less frazzled)

Joining Kat/Carole for Unraveling/Three on Thursday -- check them out!


Sunday: Seney National Wildlife Refuge & Kitch-iti-kipi

The wind & rain was hard enough to wake me up on Saturday night, even before the front screen door got caught and started banging! Sunday morning dawned lovely & bright, though.

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We began with leisurely coffee & breakfast, then cleaning & packing up for the trip home.

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After all of my whirlwind travel this year -- especially the dashing through Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Saint Louis -- Annie says that perhaps I should consider adding a day to all of my future travel plans.

I didn't take that advice for this little jaunt, but that's exactly why we only went to the U.P.!

We checked out right on time and headed over to the Seney National Wildlife Refuge to enjoy the 7-mile Marshland Wildlife Drive. Yes! I spotted the eagle nest (but not eagles). It was so beautiful and quiet... except for the trumpeting swans and whatnot. We spotted a few swan families -- the young swans almost as big as their parents, but still unmistakably gray.

From there, we drove toward Manistique and Kitch-iti-kipi (The Big Spring), and was that ever worth the price of admission (even Rusty agreed)! I am sure that this would have been incredible even in the rain, but I'm so glad that it was sunny & bright!

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We're waiting for the self-operated observation raft to return, top, and Rusty's straight across (in pink) peering through the middle of the boat during our voyage, above.

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He's looking at something like this! Those are all fish... and their shadows. If you look closely, you can see some circular patterns in the sandy bottom and those are where the water that feeds this spring bubbles through -- at the rate of 10,000 gallons per minute! It was mesmerizing. All of it.

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The water is super-clear! And chilly!

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Twice, I heard a fish jump, and was then even more mesmerized by the "waves of light" left by the ripples as they moved across the water, the shadows crawling across the sandy bottom; I barely captured it in this photo (dumbstruck, I was)!

We drove down to Garden in the Garden Peninsula, had lunch overlooking the bay, and then hit the road for home in earnest. We arrived at around 4:30 -- in time to sit down and enjoy the second half of the Packer game with Kate (we won, yahoo!).


Saturday: Tahquamenon Falls & Whitefish Point

It was a damp  & drippy on Saturday morning. We'd planned to visit Tahquamenon Falls, and figured that a waterfall would be pretty even in the rain... and, since it was raining, thought we might practically have the place to ourselves.

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Hahaha. Well, we got the first part right, though the rain let up and it was barely a mist by the time we arrived... to find a nearly full parking lot!! 

That's the Upper Falls -- one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. It is beautiful beyond words!

We drove up to the Lower Falls and took a quick look... while also incredibly beautiful, there was a bit of a hike to get a really good look... but mostly there were people! Instead, we decided to visit Whitefish Point; Rusty was intrigued after seeing a billboard!

But first, a quick little lunch at the park concession stand.

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My share of a dish of "Michigan Pothole" ice cream for dessert!

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A drippy drive.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the Whitefish Point Light Station are located at Whitefish Point.

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a.k.a. Graveyard of the Great Lakes.

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The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her

I was in high school about 30 miles south of Lake Superior in 1975, and the wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald was huge news.

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While Rusty took a blustery hike around the Point...

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I worked on a new hat for Gin that I'd cast on over morning coffee.

We re-traced our steps through Tahquamenon on our return, and decided to check out one of the hiking paths. It was a short, squishy little hike and we didn't go very far, but I found so many mushrooms!

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I'd recently gone to a presentation about mushrooms at our local nature center, so it was really fun to spot some that we'd talked about! Nature is cool.

On the way back to our place, we drove by a derelict motel and were intrigued enough to make a u-turn in order to investigate more.

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This, one of many roadside motels that we passed by, reminded us of a storybook cottage/village. Unfortunately, most are in a similar state, though I'd argue that this one holds some treasures within. It was as if time stood still... someone turned that sign to "CLOSED" one day, and never looked back (though I think they might still live next door). Recession, astronomical gas prices, changes in the way people spend their vacation time... whatever the reason they closed in the first place (and not terribly long ago, as all of the little cottages had satellite dishes affixed), the weather is definitely taking it's toll now.

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We returned to our little cottage long enough to wipe a little of the mud off of ourselves and watch a bit of sunset before heading out for dinner. We went just a few miles up the road to Chamberlin's Ole Forest Inn -- where we didn't have a reservation because, I don't know... we seriously underestimated the goings-on of October in the U.P.! It was only a half-hour wait, and a gorgeous evening to sit on the porch with a cocktail. Rusty enjoyed stuffed whitefish and I had the most delectable pan-fried bluegill. It was cozy & charming!

Stay tuned for Day 2!


Weekending: Pure Michigan

Rusty & I skipped town just as soon as we were able on Friday, headed north to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a quick weekend getaway.

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We stayed in a little cottage at Lakeshore Resort on South Manistique Lake that I'd found on Airbnb. After stopping for dinner and crossing from Central to Eastern time, we didn't arrive until about 11pm... unpacked and went to bed, set for a full day ahead!

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It stormed on both Friday & Saturday nights, and was rainy & wet on Saturday, but we managed to do the things & go the places we'd wanted (and then some), and the colors were beautiful! I brought along this pair of Merrell clogs that Ann had given me when  she moved to Spain. I'd never worn them and almost gave them back to her over the summer, but I'm so glad I didn't! They were perfect for some of the "squish" hiking we did, but comfy & cute, too; that's always where I'm at in regards to shoes, no matter the occasion! ;)

I'll be back with more -- details & photos (so many photos)! I hope you had a great weekend!


TGIF!!

Eight years ago!!

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We just had Knit Night here last night. I'd hoped that the remodel/update would be complete, but it hasn't even started yet! Contractor fell off a ladder just before it was scheduled to begin and has a new titanium elbow to show for it... indestructible now! No firm date yet, but it'll hopefully happen in the next month or so. Sheesh.

Anyway, today's the anniversary: Ali's owned this little gem for EIGHT YEARS already!

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Jün wanted to do some watering the other day... and I ran inside to grab an actual camera! I need to do this more often. I love my phone for ease & portability, and the picture quality is pretty amazing, but this...

Have a great weekend, everyone!