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August 2017

Weekending: Some Like It Hot

But I'm not one of them! I can't wait for tomorrow's transition, when it will be only 82°F, on the way to a more seasonable mid-60s to 70 to close September.

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All kinds of new paint, flags, and stakes have appeared over the past week along my 2-block-long street, and soon things will be happening! This is at the other end, and something of a staging area with all kinds of heavy equipment, job trailer, pipe, new fire hydrants, etc. It's been quite a project and we've been dealing with water pressure issues from time to time. On Saturday, I thought I'd take advantage of a short window of opportunity and get some yarn dyed. I cleaned up my work area, got everything out, and... no water! Zero!! Apparently, there was a break in a water main. Blah. So much for that opportunity.

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I watched the kids for a few hours on Saturday afternoon. We took a couple of hot & sticky walks/rides outside. Junah was excited to show me the "pumpkin patch" in the neighborhood (some gourds spilling onto the sidewalk), and where the switches are on some nearby railroad tracks. There was a little water in the sandbox/table, and Gin didn't even mind when Jün poured a little on her back. I kept suggesting that a bath would sure feel good, but they weren't buying it.

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On Saturday evening, Rusty & I cleaned up a bit and headed out to the Gala Opening of The Forst Inn in Tisch Mills. It's actually a re-opening, after having closed in 2014 after nearly 150 years. Rusty was invited to check it out as a potential future exhibitor in the new art gallery. I knew a couple of people in/related to the band, too, so it was fun.

Photo is courtesy of Kate! She spent a bit of time at home over the weekend... doing laundry, running errands, and watching a football game on Sunday afternoon!

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Prior to game time, I took some time for a bit of stitching/embellishing. This is a small, crazy-fun piece that I'm working on somewhat stealthily at the moment... I've enjoyed taking these weird, sort of abstract close up photos of the project all along, and look forward to sharing them someday!

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During the game, I finished the first tail of Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows. There was just enough daylight left to dash out and take a photo! There are some amazing finished projects, and certainly among my favorites is the designer Larissa's! I hope I like wearing mine even half as much as I've enjoyed knitting it. It's really a fun project. Stitches are picked up for the other tail... I have no idea what will evolve.

I received an invitation to a baby shower that will be held next month... that's plenty of time for some baby knitting. Now to decide on a project!


It's the First Day of Autumn

...and the hottest day of the year! The forecast is for 90°F, and close to that for the next three days, plus awful humidity & dew point.

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It was a pretty sunrise in my side-view mirror this morning (lost in translation, it was much more impressive IRL), but YUCK! It looks like we'll have one transition day near 80° before settling in for a little stretch right around 70° next week.

I'll just be over here taking it easy and staying cool. Happy Weekend!!


Three Things!

One.

Junah had has first Tumbling class yesterday and, well... I got a workout! I didn't do the somersaults (though I totally could have), but I did just about everything else. Jün finally warmed up a bit at the end. Whew! He became uncomfortable right at the start, when the instructor -- a family acquaintance -- recognized him and greeted him by name, but it's been a while and he didn't recognize her. She wasn't over the top or weird or anything, it was... all new, and it just didn't strike the right chord.

I have higher hopes for next week!

Also? Next round of classes? Dance!! Specifically, hip-hop. There was a class just finishing when we arrived and, OMG, you've never seen anything cuter than a toddler hip-hop dance class!!

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I had a couple of things to return to the library, so we stopped down there after Tumbling. I haven't been in a while, other than to pick up or drop off a book, and I am still amazed at what a great place we have.

The Tumbling class was held at the "old library" -- a beautiful, historic, but extremely small structure (even with the ca. 1976 addition) -- and the first thing Junah said when we arrived was, "It's not dirty. It's clean!!" So, hopefully, we've now expanded his definition of "old." I wanted to point out that the "new library" is actually housed in an even older building than the "old library," but thought that might be a little hard to grasp right now!

Ali & Gin popped down to meet us and the kids had a wonderful hour or so playing with other kids -- not too many -- all of similar ages.

Two.

I got out of work early on Tuesday and drove down to the farm/wedding venue to pick up my lost earring. I was only about 6 miles from the Rauch Cemetery, so stopped by to say hello to my great great grandfather, great great great grandparents, and various great great great great relatives, etc.

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I've been visiting this cemetery every few years for quite a while now... and it gets more mind boggling with every passing year.

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And sad.

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But also beautiful.

Three.

Have you seen the Stillness Collection? I was about to add the fourth or fifth pattern to my Favorites on Ravelry when I just Favorited the whole darn thing and then placed my order for the book. Holy cow. What a fantastic collection of designers & patterns! Individual patterns will be available in December... but I'm not waiting!

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Head over here to read about more Things... and to wish Carole a happy birthday!!


Unraveled Wednesday: a Forest Mystery

Knitting

I finished the knitting quite a while ago, but the FO photos didn't happen until I was under the gun.

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Maddy shipped out a package to Kiwi Family yesterday, including this shawl that I knit with love, gratitude & appreciation for Kiwi Mom. I will likely never see it again, so I even got the big camera out and dragged my adorned dress form all the way down to the back yard to take photos!

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And what a fun knit it was, too. Party on one side, garter stitch & increases on the other, and the result is wonderful. Those undulating, fern-/leaf-like cables are just so lovely.

The yarn is beautiful, and the end result is a good sized shawl that can be worn a couple of ways -- soft, warm & cozy!

I mentioned the other day that Maddy would be returning to New Zealand! She was offered a job for next season's "vintage," and will likely go back sometime in February or so; I don't know whether she'll stay with Kiwi Family again, but no doubt she'll visit.

Reading

I finished I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows; I listened to the audio book narrated by Emily Sutton, and rated in 4 stars.

My Goodreads review:

I Will Send RainI loved Emily Sutton-Smith's narration -- and it was best when she was in character. I am surprised to say that!! I don't usually care much for "voices," but she has the perfect timbre for both male and female characters, young or old; natural and quite believable. I almost felt that her regular reading voice was too perfect and precise.

View all my reviews

I'm not sure what to listen to next!

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!


Goings-on

I'll be heading back down to the wedding venue this afternoon to retrieve a lost earring! I discovered one missing upon returning to the hotel on Friday night; emailed a photo of it to the owner on Saturday and she emailed a similar photo right back! Man, that could have been lost ANYWHERE, and it's just amazing that someone found it. It might not have been such a big deal had it not been from the pair that I bought at the alternative craft fair that we'd happened upon in Valencia!!

Before returning home on Saturday, Ali needed to run an errand to Waukesha... long sad angsty story about supplier screw-ups. We bit the bullet and made the trek (resolved, but not smoothly), with the promise of a stop at the pumpkin patch on the way home!

Normally, a day in mid-September would be perfect for such a stop, but man was it HOT!

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We took a ride on the hay wagon, and Ali & Gin picked a bag of Gala apples while Jün started scoping out pumpkins. I can't believe that I took ZERO video and only two photos, but I was carrying lots of stuff (including kids at various times). I'd really like to return in about a month...

Maddy's off on another adventure!

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She's been planning & packing for weeks, departing at 5:30 this morning, bound for a 3-week canoe trip with a friend in the Boundary Waters. That's a Snapchat photo she sent after they picked up the canoe. She has a nice, new, very warm sleeping bag, a good rain jacket & a tent, plenty of food & a good First Aid kit, new paddles... all I can do is wish them luck and wait for photos & stories upon her return.


Weekending: Farm Wedding

Maddy's BFFs Katy & Andrés were married on Friday.

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Katy & Maddy have been friends since elementary school, were dorm roommates in college, and then rented their first apartment together; Andrés seamlessly entered the picture, and they all moved to a larger house. Eventually, they graduated; Katy & Andrés got new jobs, moved, bought a house; Maddy followed a dream and went to New Zealand (and, FYI, will be returning). Through it all, despite the odds, they never lost an ounce of love, respect, or support for one another. It's quite a lovely thing.

Anyway, while the first wedding I attended this year was a city affair, this one was decidedly country.

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The beautiful venue at Pioneer Creek Farm has a couple of very inviting ponds and paths, all impeccably maintained.

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The barn was gorgeous! (That's Maddy waving to me.)

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And llamas!! We happened to already be up there at feeding time.

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Baby llama  born just last week! He/she was barely taller than Jün, a bit skittish and didn't come too close.

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We were at Table 8! That bow tie  !!

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Founders All Day IPA on tap!

Catering was done by Rustique and their Vagabond Pizza Wagon, and was it ever delicious! They cooked & served a variety of pizzas, macaroni & cheese, and pesto fries to die for. (What diet??)

The DJs were fantastic, and the dancing!! It was something... everything from oldies to salsa to hip-hop. So fun.

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We lucked out and were booked into the Presidential Suite + an adjoining room at our hotel... the Comfort Inn in Fond du Lac, but whatever!! I never get adjoining rooms when I ask, so I didn't even bother when I made the reservation, but the desk clerk saw that it was a possibility at check in and offered to do a switcheroo to make it happen. It was really nice to have a little extra space with the kiddos along.

It was wonderful to be a part of such a wonderful celebration!

How funny is it that the couples in both of the weddings I attended this summer planned honeymoons in Spain? Sam & Anna even spent some of their time in Ann & Brian's then-vacant apartment in Valencia. Katy & Andrés departed Chicago on Saturday night for their honeymoon  in Barcelona!!


Arrows

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Off to a wedding this afternoon... but took my opportunity for a daylight progress photo! Rainbow colors + Fibonacci inspiration = I am loving it more than I thought I would! Happy Weekend!

ETA: Whoopsie! Tried posting via email and the photo didn't re-size! I had time to fix it... and now we're off. 


Throwback Thursday #TBT

A friend posted a photo on Instagram last night of her 6th-grade son wearing his new Safety Patrol sash, and suddenly nostalgia! I knew right where to find the photo that came to mind.

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Not only was I in Safety Patrol in 6th grade, I was one of two from my school to join two from every other school in our district at the 27th Wisconsin Safety Patrol Congress in May, 1970! That's me in the middle of the front row. I can't even tell you which is the other student from my school, except that I'm pretty sure it was a boy. The only other person I can identify is Steve La Pierre, middle-row left; I didn't really know him at the time, but had a massive crush on him a couple of years later... slow dancing at Friday night YMCA dances in "The Den," Brut cologne, phone calls...

I barely remember a thing about that trip, except that it rained the whole weekend, but the Duck tour & scenery were pretty awesome.

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Still quite blonde! Growing out bangs! Chipmunk cheeks (highlighted by the length of aforementioned bangs)! Innocence...

#TBT


Premonition

Before leaving for the airport picnic on Saturday, I put some wool in the pot and tried to make some magic. It cooled while we were away, and then I rinsed it and hung it outside. It wasn't going to dry out there -- our days are too short now (boo) -- but it makes me happy to see the hanks hanging out there. I snapped some photos.

When I opened Google Photos the other day, I saw these photos in close proximity.

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Premonition much?? Late summer fields, lakes, sky, clouds... it's all there! Maybe not quite as much green, but hey...

I dyed two hanks of laceweight and two of fingering... all sort of experimental. I have another itch this season -- this KNIT ALL THE THINGS SEASON -- to knit up some laceweight, but I haven't wound anything yet. Actually, I've had that itch for a while now and it's getting harder to ignore. Haha.


Weekending: Fly

I watched the kiddos on Friday night while Ali & Rod went out for a bit. Usually they come to my house, but this time I went over there.

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They play pretty well "together" sometimes! I love listening to Junah chatter when he plays... narrating what's happening. Gin's wearing her new favorite dress!

Maddy's friend Taryn has her pilot's license and keeps her plane at a small privately owned airport in the area, where she won a raffle to host a picnic/party on Saturday. Maddy was invited and I got to tag along! There was go-carting (electric, clean, quiet) -- super fun and something I haven't done in decades; a small bowling alley (I did not bowl); airplane & helicopter rides, along with food & beverages.

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I went up with Jim in this two-seater Cessna 150. My dad had a 170, I think, when I was little; it was slightly larger -- with a back seat roomy enough for three little girls aged 4 & 3. Jim was ready to sign me up for flying lessons! I really do love to fly, but I'm not in the market for another expensive and time-consuming hobby! Haha. Sorry Jim.

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Maddy is ready for take off, complete with aviators!

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I think that was my first time in a helicopter -- the first that I remember, anyway. I sure love the shapes, colors, and textures from up there.

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While Rusty & I caught up on a little TV Saturday night, I scratched the Log Cabin Itch™ that's been plaguing me for a couple of weeks. This is the first basic recipe in the new Mason-Dixon Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin, though I did my own thing with the colors. I think I'm going to make it just a wee bit bigger. And knit a few more... I have so much cotton!

I putzed a bit on Sunday, cleaning up a bit... and stitching.

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I'm working on a fish and giving it some bling... resembling scales, I hope. I've done a little work with sequins before, but nothing like this... learning new techniques from sites about "sewing for belly dancers"! Of course!!

And I did some laundry.

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I did something -- a few things -- really dumb the other day. First, while switching an empty bottle of olive oil for a full one, I accidentally threw away the cap for the new one -- really away, as in the big bin outside. I didn't realize that I'd thrown away the wrong cap until, second, I tried lifting the new bottle of oil by the cap... that came right off, of course, and the bottle tipped and there was a big spill on the stove. I didn't even realize until a little while later that it had also splashed on me -- a big splash! I was wearing the shirt shown above, a favorite and one of the first Alabama Chanin-style garments that I made (over three years ago!). It splashed on one side, all the way from the second row of circles to the fourth, about 2.5 inches at the widest point. Third, once discovered, I took off the shirt and set it aside... so dumb! The kids were over, the kitchen was full, I was cooking... so distracted... but I just set the shirt neatly aside in the laundry room and then the oil stain on the front of the shirt proceeded to SOAK THROUGH TO THE BACK!! Gah.

Why try to remove one oil stain when you could remove TWO??

Eventually, I got back to it and discovered what had happened... soaked it good with pre-treatment spray. Washed it. Naturally, it was still there.

A few years ago, when we'd gone to Todos Santos, I leaned over the sink there and got what I thought was water on my shirt (an Eileen Fisher shirt), but turns out it was actually oil that Rusty had spilled from a can of tuna! Um, I was not happy. He did everything he could to get that stain out, and eventually called a dry cleaner and pleaded with them to share the secret to oil stain removal. They said, as last resort, brake fluid... actually, almost any other "oily" substance would work!

Anyway, this was such a big spill, I just pulled out the big gun right away... and it ALMOST worked. I'd brilliantly posted the photo on Instagram and it was looking very promising at the time. But once dry, I could still see the stain. Among the suggestions made was Dawn dishwashing liquid of different types. I happened to have some Dawn Platinum Erasing Dish Foam at the kitchen sink, so I soaked front & back really good with that and let it sit for a while. Kate was stopping over (upon her return from Denver) to have dinner and throw in a load of wash... which I knew would be black.  :)

DONE!! It worked... 


Reigning Men (and more) in St. Louis

It was two weeks ago today that we high-tailed it down to St. Louis, so it's about time to wrap up the travelogue!

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It was Sunday morning and we took a last walk down to the Arch.

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Then we checked out of our hotel and made our way to the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM). "Dedicated to Art and Free to All."

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SLAM is located within beautiful Forest Park, along with the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri History Museum, and more.

Kate was interested in taking in the contemporary art collection but we'd also been given tickets to the special exhibition, Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015... and we managed to do both. I'll let the photos do most of the talking... it all sort of blew me away!

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I see Rod Stewart!

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I'm pretty sure my brother had this shirt.

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Amazing Zoot suit!

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Unisex Caftan, 1970, designed by Rudi Gernreich

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The fabrics and colors were amazing!

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These are tiny samples of wool knit bathing suit designs!

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I don't know why, but I've a soft spot for the Pearly Kings & Queens!

The contemporary art was also amazing...

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White Combustion, 1960, Alberto Burri

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...and also more Wayne Thiebaud pie (Cafeteria Counter, 1961)!

And then we turned the car for home. It was another fun, whirlwind trip... and I sure do hope to get back there someday!

I will leave you with this:

And a wish for a fabulous weekend! You're welcome.  :)


3 Things on Thursday: To Do List

1.. Reschedule 9/13 dentist appointment. CHECK

2.. Reschedule 9/27 hair appointment. CHECK

3.. Buy buttons for this:

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It doesn't fit me very well anymore, as predicted, but I still wore it most of yesterday, anyway. It was chilly!!

Maddy admired it, so I had her try it on and, well, it's as though it was made for her! And she loves it -- so hers it shall be. Stay tuned...

Read other Think-Write-Thursday contributions here. To sign up for the weekly prompts, click here.


Unraveled Wednesday: Updates

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!

Beatrice-Top

Ali snapped a few photos of Gin wearing her new Beatrice Top yesterday... This girl is rockin' it!!

Fade

What The Fade?! Or, really, What The Heck?! I have no business contemplating another project... I have Arrows to finish, I just started a hat for Gin (by request... the girl needs a hat of her own!), Rusty's excited about the prospect of a Seeds Hat since I showed him the yarn from Knitorious, and there's a new & intriguing AYOT Project (not to mention previous projects... ahem)! I sprung for the pattern, though, and I have all this yarn... plus I occasionally dye some. I am contemplating this line up, with a different arrangement than the other day, and the addition of a speckled-y hank that I dyed the other day in place of the Noro Sock. I think I like it better.

I still read.


Weekending: Labor(s of love) Day

It was pretty great as far as holiday weekends go!

Rusty & I walked down to the farmers market on Saturday morning. On Saturday evening, we went to a friend's art opening in Oshkosh. In between:

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I contemplated a Fade.

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And I contemplated how to "bling" a fish.

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And I washed & blocked some knitting!

Ali & I had talked about taking the kids to Kites Over Lake Michigan, but it was raining by the time she was finished at the market... and also pooped.

Instead, I decided to take the kids to Mulberry Lane Farm on Sunday -- gave her a break to do a few things (including take a nap). I think it was my first solo "outing" with both of them! It was a gorgeous day.

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So much to see & do! I think that calf (above) was sniffing out some spills/crumbs in the stroller! There were chickens & chicks, a sow & piglets, a hog, cows, goats, sheep, geese, bunnies, a great hayride, pony rides (Jun wasn't interested in doing, only in watching), and a nice play area.

Ali came over afterwards and we spent a nice evening together.

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I make Weeknight Roast Chicken (even though it was the weekend) and Salt Potatoes. I had recently posted a photo of potatoes in a pot on Instagram and someone asked if I was making Syracuse Salt Potatoes... I had never eaten or even heard of Syracuse Salt Potatoes, so of course I had to rectify that situation! Oh, so good, and so EASY!

I stayed up late on Saturday night, setting in the sleeves of Gin's Beatrice Top. On a roll, I continued the sewing up on Sunday morning while I had my coffee. I found a button, crocheted a loop, and voila! It's finished, and delivered to Ali this morning.

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I love that rolled neckline, and the gathers are so sweet! I crocheted a chain for the button loop instead of making I-cord. It was really a fun little knit and I'll definitely make another... maybe a solid color. It's my first time using that particular yarn and I love it -- so soft! Also, machine wash and dry.

Bewitched by the magic that is mattress stitch, I found myself wanting to do it some more, so I pulled out...

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Oblique! This sweater is from Knitty, Fall 2007. Yes, 2007. I started in December of that year! The last time it saw the light of day was February 2010 when it was on my list of contenders for the 2010 Knitting Olympics (my event was "finishing"); I'd made progress, but it didn't cross the finish line. And it's been sitting for over 7 years! It's not going to fit me anymore, at least not buttoned up, but it's getting finished and it'll surely fit someone!!


Meet up in St. Louis

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We arrived in St. Louis late Saturday morning, and our first stop was for food!

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We landed at The Urban Chestnut (midtown), so also had to have a beer(s)! It was pretty quiet when we arrived, but then a group of bicyclists rode in and between-time wedding guests (we decided) walked over from a nearby church. The food menu was sparse but excellent, and the beer selection was pretty great too!

Next stop was Bellefontaine Cemetery. I've been wanting to visit that cemetery for a dozen years or more... and I will need to go back. Our purpose this time was to visit the family plot where some of Rusty's & the kids' ancestors & relation are buried. He visited many years ago and brought back photos and rubbings and a drawing of the plot, but I've wanted to visit in person ever since!

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The plot is oval (as many in the cemetery are) and the graves are arranged in within the oval, headstones all facing toward the center. The tall monument is for one Wilson McGunnegle, Rusty's great great uncle.

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These are Wilson's parents -- Rusty's great great grandparents -- Elizabeth Starr & George K. McGunnegle (one of a great many GKMcGs... and I thought my ancestors were stuck in a naming rut!).

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There are numerous familial military ties. Wilson was a Lieutenant in the Navy (beautiful nautical motifs decorate his monument at Bellefontaine); his son, Col. George K. McGunnegle (of course!) was an Infantryman; his sister Clara was wife of Brigadier General John Wynn "Black Jack" Davidson, both originally interred at Bellefontaine and later moved to Arlington National Cemetery.

It's all so interesting!!

The next stop was to pick up artwork -- the impetus for the trip in the first place -- but Kate swung by and dropped me at KNITORIOUS first!

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This place has also been on my list since practically forever! It wasn't long after I began this blog that I came to know Sandy. She opened a yarn shop in St. Louis and I began blogging about knitting from NE Wisconsin, both in 2004, and we both called our ventures KNITORIOUS! We've been in touch on and off ever since -- giggling over things like a Target commercial (below, from 2010, notably at the :23 mark).

She's long known of my desire to visit, and it was such a treat to finally get there!

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The space is truly wonderful -- open, well lit, and so much room! A dedicated classroom area (above), a more informal area with comfy seating beyond the magazine racks (below), not to mention a third table space near the front door, quite full of knitters while I was there!

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Panoramic view of Knitorious!

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A visit with Sandy -- on my list since 2004!

The yarn selection is lovely -- terrific product lines and plenty in stock.

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I bought some Loft, which I've never used before (in truth, it's my first Brooklyn Tweed yarn of any type!), to make a Seeds Hat or two.

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And I can't seem to pass the Unicorn Tails without snatching a few.

But this... KNITORIOUS Yarn!

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Beautiful, rare natural colors of undyed Merino wool from Missouri's own Genopalette. It's all fingering weight, the three above and the marled are 100% merino, the white at bottom left has some silk. It's really terrific and I can't wait to knit with it!

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Big whoop-de-doers that we are, our night life consisted of a walk to the Old Courthouse and Gateway Arch, dinner at nearby Caleco's Bar & Grill, watching Cardinals fans, tuning into the NFL Network from our hotel to catch a little Packers preseason football, and lights-out at 9:30pm... we were both SO TIRED!! So catching some actual nightlife & music is another good reason for returning to St. Louis!

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We managed one more pretty sweet stop on Sunday morning before heading home... I'll share all about that sometime over the weekend or early next week. I have a few "chores" over the weekend, but it's mainly shaping up to be pretty quiet. Sweet!! I hope the same for you!