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January 2015
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March 2015

Long week, short month

A little Eye Candy on this Friday...

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Baja California Sur, Mexico, from the aeroplane.

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My first phone-cam panorama -- a sunset in Mexico from the patio at our house.

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It's been a long week to close out the shortest (and very busy) month; my normal four 10-hour work days stretched to five.

TGIF!


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The sky was lovely this morning as I went off to work, even through the trees. The sun's reflection in the rear-view mirror was shining in my eyes on the way. Spring is coming!!  There'll be that little setback in the morning light when the clocks "spring forward" in 11 days but, if memory serves, we ought to catch up quick.

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I made a few purchases over the weekend (and was a happy enabler for others! ahem). This hank of Malabrigo Arroyo was originally intended for the Knit-in Cowl, but I've instead cast on Tsuwano by Sarah Barbour. It's a knit-flat scarf or buttoned cowl in a simple lace and garter design. I've one repeat in already and I love it!

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The gorgeous colorway is called Aguas. I can't wait to choose buttons!

 


Weekending: Knit In

I went to a Knit In and came home with yarn... and a beer glass! My friend had an extra, so also the matching wine glass! Welcome to Wisconsin!!

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I had a great time at and around the 2015 Madison Knitters' Guild Knit In over the weekend! Ann & I made a few stops along the way. Susan's Fiber Shop -- incredibly, for the very first time* but not the last. Bradbury's for coffee and crepes -- we split one savory, one sweet. The Sow's Ear, not exactly on the way but worth the stop; we shopped and knit and sipped away the remainder of the afternoon.

On Friday night, we had dinner at Red Sushi. My nephew Dylan is on the wait staff there and it was fun to have both his guidance and Ann's, especially since I'm basically a sushi newbi. I can definitely proclaim myself a sushi lover, though, and I'm already looking forward to next time. Great cocktails at Red Sushi, and also at Merchant, where we went after dinner; I'd like to eat there sometime!

Saturday was full of classes. Ann & I both took Annie Modesitt's "Mad About Plaid" and enjoyed it very much! It was fun and informative; Annie is a great teacher, not to mention entertaining, brilliant and creative.

I also had a class in the afternoon about working with hand-dyes -- identifying techniques and patterns to help them sing to you as much when knitted up as they do when they land in your shopping cart! I thought this would be beneficial, not only as a yarn collector and knitter, but also as a sometime dyer.

Ann had both the Wine & Yarn Pairing and the Beer & Fiber Tasting events on Saturday afternoon... I'd signed on to take part in only the Beer event on Sunday.

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Each event had its own custom pattern and a mini-skein kit designed by Jimmy Beans Wool and custom dyed at Koigu. And that glass! We tasted beers from Wisconsin Brewing Company: #008 - Old Reliable, #002 - American I.P.A., and #003 - Brown & Robust Porter. I've had the I.P.A. before (I love a hoppy beer right now and can't wait to find PSYCHOPATH!) and the Amber Lager -- good brews!

We visited the marketplace between classes and during our free times. I was delighted to finally lay eyes on (and even hug) some long-time virtual friends, including Kathleen Pascuzzi who is Annie's partner at ModeKnit Yarn, and Emily Parson from Sophie's Toes!

There were same changes to the event this year -- a new, larger venue that cost a ton of money, I'm sure. That cost was passed on to attendees and vendors alike. Unfortunately, it was not very walk-in friendly and people who wanted only to shop were not too keen on paying $15 admission on top of $7 parking just to get in the door. I think some of the vendors did okay, but I'm afraid that many may have done less than okay; booth fees, travel, lodging -- and some came a ways (Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, New York) -- I'm all too familiar with this scenario from Rusty's art fair days! I hope something can be done to make vendors more accessible to the public; they're not going to come back if they're not making (or, in the end, only breaking even or losing) money, and I think they're a big attraction.

On Saturday evening, we were joined by others, including Ann's long-time friend Lisa, caityrosey, and Java Jennie/Kitchen Counter Crafter (great bags and fun fabrics!). We went to Grampa's Pizzeria and OH MY... that's not my grandpa's pizza, but it is some of the best pizza I've had in a while! One of our pies had brussels sprouts and chunky bacon, another had pesto, and we all tasted/shared a ginger cake for dessert. Delicious. Afterwards, we made our way to Old Sugar Distillery Tasting Room for a taste and some shopping. I had a delicious and refreshing drink based on the Brazilian caipirinha but made with Old Sugar's Honey Liqueur.

I may have had two. *clink*

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My main knitting project over the weekend was Deep End II. I managed to work the sewn bind-off by lunch time on Sunday! I need to weave in some ends, give it a soak, and lay it out to dry.

On the way out of town, we stopped at Jamerica for a bite to eat before heading home. That was an unexpected but delightful stop!

I was asked a few times what my favorite part of the weekend was and I really couldn't single anything out -- it was ALL my favorite part:

Friends Old & New, Fiber & Yarn, Food & Drinks!

 It doesn't get much better than that.

 

*I have visited the large Susan's Fiber Shop booth at all three NY Sheep & Wool Festivals, as well as at WI Sheep & Wool, so not a complete stranger!


Faked out

'Tis the season.

Rusty took my car in for an oil change yesterday morning.

It was a beautiful (for February) sunny day, so when they called to say it was ready, I thought "Why not walk?" It's less than a half-mile.

Well, most of that half-mile was into the wind and my face nearly froze off.

Turns out, it was -3F -- feeling far colder when factoring in the windchill!

I never even thought to check the temp. It looked nice outside!

This morning it was -12F when I was getting ready for work... and is still below zero at nearly 11 a.m.

I'm not even walking out to the mailbox today.

Hint of green

C'mon SPRING!

 


Ten on Tuesday: What's up?

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I'm Looking Forward To Right Now

1. The Madison Knitters' Guild Knit InI'm going with my friend Ann and we're making a weekend of it, leaving early Friday morning, even, so we can make stops along the way. It's been a few years since I've gone to the Knit In, and I'm truly looking forward to it!

2. Annie Modesitt's Mad About Plaid class on Saturday morning (hopefully, she's feeling better by then!).

3. The Beer and Fiber Pairing on Sunday afternoon. There's a Wine and Yarn Tasting, too. Ann is doing both on Saturday!

4. I've been to the Madison area many times but have rarely eaten at a restaurant, so I'm excited about checking out the food scene! Red Sushi, Umami Ramen & Dumpling Bar, Graze, and The Coopers Tavern have all been mentioned, as well as Grampa's Pizzeria.

Let's see, what else?

5. The Oscars on Sunday night. Unable to take part in the Best Picture Festival this year, I've only seen a few nominated movies. That's better than last year, though, as I'd seen none and was grateful for the BP Fest.

6. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8th! We are currently gaining daylight at the rate of approx. 3 minutes per day and that just increases everyday from now until the Summer Solstice. Yay!

7. My 10-year Quit-iversary on March 18th!

8. My 11-year Blog-iversary on March 20th, which is better known to most as the First Day of Spring!!

9. Dyeing some yarn. It's been a while, and there are a couple of projects waiting... with any luck, that will happen later today or tomorrow.

10. NO PLANS! It's all good -- Mexico, my grandson, the Knit-in -- but the last weekend of the month is the only weekend in February that's not pre-booked.

 


Weekending: My Little Valentine

Can you believe it? Six years ago, I spent Valentine weekend pouring my heart into cleaning and spiffing the coffee shop as part of the turnover crew when Ali took over operations.

This Valentine weekend was spent with the little guy who stole my heart 13 months ago! I had him all weekend!

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Messes were made.

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Cuteness displayed.

He's walking!! We played all day Saturday and he didn't nap at all. One would think that would bode well for Saturday night, but it didn't... he had a fitful sleep, waking every hour or two and I barely caught a wink between. We both got a few good hours before happily waking on Sunday.

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Cheerios! And scrambled egg, raisins, and banana for breakfast... a little sampling of each also having made it to the floor.

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Tucked in under our respective hand-knit blankets, we had a very nice nap together on Sunday afternoon.

That was a ton of fun!!

 


Diamonds & Pearls

30th Anniversary = Diamonds (Modern)

We found some in Mexico!

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Water sparkling like diamonds.

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Diamonds in architectural elements.

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We even walked on diamonds.

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And found a refrigerator magnet souvenir!

*

30th Anniversary = Pearls (Traditional)

We weren't really looking, but found a big one in Mexico!

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I like this photo of us...

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...but this one shows the pearl better.

This was on the waterfront promenade in La Paz, filled with all sorts of sculpture! It was a fun stroll.

 


FO: Deep End The First

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I love this shawl, and wear it most often as a scarf! It was perfect for traveling and perfect for Mexico!

I've started another for Alison in almost all the same colors -- I've switched out (and began with) another of my Make.Do hand-dyes in place of the very similar Eden Cottage, followed by the Great South Babes (which is where I am in the project right now); I'll probably follow that with the Undyed, the Celeste Polvere, then a slash of RED, and probably another Undyed (or maybe one of the bolder colors) to finish.

Or who knows!?

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Details and a few more photos are on the Ravelry project page.

Did I mention that I love it?

Photos were taken by Rusty at Casa de Piedra, Las Tunas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. This is the home we stayed in for our week's vacation, booked via airbnb. (You may click that link to sign up and receive a $25 credit, if you're so inclined; I'll also get a credit if/when you book or host).

This was my third airbnb experience: the first was an adorable 2BR walk-up in Glasgow, second was a cute little A-frame in Door County for a cycling weekend. I'm sure there are some not-so-great experiences, but I don't even look at a listing that doesn't have at least one recent review or have a known connection to the owner.

We stayed 7 nights in Mexico at $200 night (including all fees) -- the entire gorgeous home (inside & out) to ourselves for less than a "deluxe suite with garden view" at a nice hotel in the area -- and we had spectacular views of the ocean, the desert, the mountains, the pool, and the garden. 5 Stars!!

It was SO hard to leave...

 


Ten on Tuesday: I love...

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Love

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1. Watching sunsets over the ocean.

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2. Watching sunrises over the mountains.

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3. Watching sunrises over the ocean... the night sky recedes. Bonus: waning gibbous moon.

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4. Watching surf, surfers, and my husband on the beach shooting waves.

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5. Watching whales! There are at least four humpbacks in this photo; there were at least six in the group that let us hang for a while.

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6. Walking to the beach.

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7. Sitting on the beach.

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8. Standing on the beach.

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9. Knitting at the beach.

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10. Travel!