Previous month:
December 2017

So, um yes...

Yes, I did knit a Pussyhat for a baby doll!

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And Snapchatted/Facebooked it, too! This is Lena, one of Maddy's American Girl Bitty Babies from back in the day.

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I used worsted weight, a 3 US needle, 72 stitches, ribbing for a dozen rows, 4" overall from brim to crown. I knit mine flat and seamed the sides; or it can be knit in the round and closed/finished however you'd like at the top. It took an evening!

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I watched Gin for a while on Friday and we had so much fun! She's such a kid now... and growing! She's not going to fit under that counter overhang anymore... she's had enough close calls (perhaps an actual bonk or two) that she ducks, now, as she goes under. I used to have a display of Depression Glass & whatnot on that little shelf... it's a perfect tot spot, though! Sneak peek* at some of the new paint!

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Ali came over with Junah after the birthday outing (which included stops for a haircut and to watch his own custom candy bar being made). I'd picked up some Valentine crafty things the other day, so the kids fooled around with that stuff. We ended up punching holes in all of the felt hearts and redecorating a wire Christmas tree that I hadn't put away yet! Jün had put pine cones and quilted stars on it for the holidays... and now I think we've slipped on that slope and will have a small seasonally decorated tree up all year!

Later, Ali sent me these:

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Ginny's fringe ! It was another pretty great weekend -- three days helped.   I hope yours was pretty great, too!

*Rusty finished all the kitchen painting over the weekend! Closet doors are back on, hardware & new electrical plates are installed... there's still the matter of the cabinet over the fridge, but we're working it out!


Right now - January

Anticipating... a super-quick weekend getaway with Rusty to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary on the 20th! I wanted someplace warm but it couldn't be far, so we are going to a nearby spa resort hotel type of place (there's a first time for everything)... with fireplaces! And we'll each get a good, long, relaxing massage. I can feel myself loosen up a bit just thinking about it...

Cooking/Eating... Kym posted this morning about The Cooking Light 3-Day Detox that she & Tom just completed.  My comment: While I am continuing with Weight Watchers (and it is amazing how frequently my "diet/healthy" recipes get RAVES), I fell HARD off the WW wagon over the past couple of months and have struggled to get back on. Travel, holidays, birthdays, people & their crazy schedules, and WW rolling out a few changes to their program... it's been tough to pull it together and FOCUS. So I'm going to focus on doing this!

Excited about... Spending a few hours with Gin tomorrow! That hasn't happened very often, but Ali & Rod want to take Jün out for his birthday... so YAY!

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Looking forward to... Dyeing... Knitting... I am ITCHING to get some work done downstairs!  I am off tomorrow and will be prepping some yarn this evening. I will be dyeing some yarn, using a new/different (to me) process, for the MDK Parallelogram Scarf KAL that I'm doing with Mary! We're starting on January 20th and would love some company, if you're so inclined. I've had my eye on this pattern since I first laid eyes on Field Guide No. 5 | Sequences!

Organizing... Also, over the 3-day weekend, I'll be getting Christmas put away!! I wish I had it in me to REALLY organize and purge...

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Reading... I'll soon finish Tender At The Bone and intended to begin Prairie Fires next, but I think a long overdue re-read of Little House In The Big Woods will happen first. Since all of the Christmas stuff is out of the way, I was able to reach all the books at the back of the closet and fish it out.

Watching... Have you seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?? We started watching a few weeks ago. I found that it's a little slow to build, and I almost lost Rusty early on, but we both stuck with it and finally finished the other night. It's funny, the clothes are INCREDIBLE, casting... Tony Shaloub, and winner of a couple of Golden Globe awards!

  1. I love Tony Shaloub and he is from Wisconsin.
  2. I didn't know that Rachel Brosnahan was also from Wisconsin, born in the same city as me, in fact... AND we went to the same grade school in Highland Park, IL (she for many grades, me for only first grade)... I mean we're practically related. Haha.

Word... I don't usually "choose a word" for the year. I tried that once. I even created a blog category for all the posts I was going to write about it... and there is ONE POST ABOUT IT. But there is a word that keeps popping up lately, multiple times a day, and that word is SLOW. As in "slow down," "slow down and focus," "you could do that if you slowed down," "you'd have to slow down..." So if I were to be choosing a word, that would probably be it.

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


Safe Travels to Maddy (again!)

She begins her way back to New Zealand this afternoon!! You can click through, below, to read her thoughts about NZ Round 2 and other things. I'm going to miss her! It's been great having her around (not to mention she re-painted 90% of my kitchen), but she won't be gone quite as long this time. And then we'll see what new adventures are afoot... I'm pretty sure that a dog will be central (she even refers to her imaginary future dog by name), no matter what!

Junah's birthday is this Friday, but we had an early celebration on Monday night so that Maddy could be a part of it, too!! (photo cred to her)

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It was SO MUCH FUN!

Oh my goodness, 4 is going to be amazing.

(That Oshkosh B'Gosh "Sgt. Pepper" zip-up sweatshirt he's wearing? KILLING ME!)


Dresses and hats, and dresses as hats

I finished another dress and top for the kids' Sleepy Kittens over the weekend.

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I used two somewhat coordinating mini-skeins, and all but used them up! I have a couple others that would work nicely, and will keep them handy... these are nice little projects for in-between and/or mindless knitting.

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The "top," above, and the "dress," below. I only did only the first set of increases for the top, but did them in the manner of the second (more spaced out), so it wouldn't be so poofy. I also do quite a few more rows of ribbing than called for.

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It just so happened that the kids & their mother picked me up on Sunday morning for a quick trip to the store, so I was able to give them their new kitty clothes. Gin had her new Bitty Baby along and we discovered that the kitten's dress can double as a hat for the doll! It's a little strange at the top, sleeves & bodice & all, but it fit! And now, perhaps a matching Pussy Hat for Bitty Baby is in the cards...


Carrying on

I had a very productive weekend that proceeded at a lovely pace. I did some things that I needed to do, I did somethings that I wanted to do, and I did somethings that flew in out left field. That is my FAVORITE kind of weekend! I feel refreshed.

Also, I slept pretty well.

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I spent a bit of time on both days getting my downstairs dye studio in order -- cleaning, assembling a shelf unit, hauling stuff down there & organizing -- and even dyed a couple of hanks. I need to get a feel for the space, equipment, and flow...

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I dragged almost everyone down to look at it, and Kate snapped a different view, shared on her IG story.

I'm itching to get back down there, but that probably won't happen until Friday!


FO: Windschief + 2017 Knitting Review

Well, I just love this little hat!

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It's my first FO -- both started & finished -- of 2018!

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Super cute. Fun & quick to knit, with the twisted rib section adding just enough to keep it interesting. I finished at Knit Night last night, and the kids just happened to be there!

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It was knit for Jün and he tried it on, but he did not want photos nor did he want to give it back! (I nabbed it later when he wasn't looking, and then Gin "volunteered" to model.)

Meanwhile, here's a snapshot of knitting accomplished in 2017:

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No one is more surprised than me that I finished 24+ items last year!

  • Two kittens
  • Two polar bears
  • Seven+ hats (some never made Ravelry)
  • One beard
  • Freak flags (double set)
  • Three cowls
  • Four shawls
  • Two pairs of mitts
  • One dress & two little sweaters for Gin (one of them started ages ago)
  • One ornament
  • One adult cardigan -- that had been in the WIP pile for almost 10 years!

(By comparison, I finished a grand total of nine items in 2016. Not my best knitting year.)

I was a fairly monogamous knitter last year, starting & completing projects in reasonable time, with focus & purpose. I think I started only three projects last year that remain unfinished: another pair of Squad Mitts, a gnome, and my Brambling Shawl. I didn't make any big plans or goals, just went with my heart... and I think I'll just stick with that!!


3TT: Changes

Joining Carole and friends again this week for Three on Thursday...

1 - At this time next week, Maddy will be winging her way to NZ for another stint at the winery! She's been staying with us since Christmas, and will head back to Milwaukee early next week so her friend can take her to O'Hare on Wednesday.

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2 - Meanwhile, she's been painting my kitchen! At one time, we were loftily thinking that she'd be able to whack out new paint jobs in both the kitchen and our living area, but hahahahahaha. Did we ever underestimate that, especially given holidays -- and some unexpected dental work. Excruciating tooth pain does not a happy painter (or daughter) make, and when said pains thwarts even NYE celebrations with friends, you know it's bad. We've never in our lives been so happy about a near-emergency root canal!

Anyway, the kitchen is almost a complete reversal -- once-maroon walls are now nearly white, and white trim/woodwork is becoming a warm dark gray. I loved my maroon kitchen, but it was time for a refresh. It's looking rather stark right now, but decor will make a big difference. (Right?)

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3 - And we're getting in all the blurry hugs & cuddles that we can!


Unraveling: From out of nowhere

Well, actually, it came from somewhere...

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Ali sent me an Instagram photo of a Windschief hat that she ran across, with a note about how great it would look on Junah, so...

I declined a movie invitation last night in favor of the opportunity to be home alone for more than :25 for the first time in ages! I knit on said hat and watched a bit of TV (catching up on the last of S1 Victoria before S2 begins)!

I have all but finished a subtly striped little kitten dress, and plan to make a shirt for the other kitten with the same yarn (and that might be the end of that... yarn).

Announced in October with seemingly all the time in the world to plot and plan, I was not able to think much about the Fringe Association Log Cabin Make-along, but I haven't given up on joining in, either! I'm thinking fingering weight scrappy cowl or infinity scarf or maybe substantial wrap. Anyway, I'm thinking...

I am about half-way through Tender At The Bone, by Ruth Reichl, and am enjoying it quite a lot! I am listening to an AARP book called Downsizing The Family Home: What To Save, What To Let Go, by Marni Jameson.

Ahem.

Oh look!

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Rusty was recently given an amaryllis and it's starting to grow! It's a bit askew & bent, but will probably straighten up a bit.


Vicki Reads

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Obviously, I did not reach my 2017 goal of 25 books. Truth be told, at 20, I didn't even match 2016!

Man, did I ever read some great books, though.

Eleven of the 20 books I read in 2017 were audio books and did I ever pick 'em -- there wasn't a dud in the bunch. I love listening to a person tell/read their own story: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie. A cast of characters was right up my alley, too: Lincoln in The Bardo read by an amazing cast of characters! Bahni Turpin became a favorite voice early in the year, reading The Underground Railroad, and I sought her out again with Yellow Crocus (with the sequel, also read by Bahni Turpin, in the queue).

Sherman Alexie is another voice that I will seek, though I'm not quite sure where I will start. I enjoyed (not the correct word) his memoir immensely.

I read two books by Wisconsin author Michael Perry last year, including a recent re-read of Population 485 in preparation for seeing the stage production on January 26th. And I read stories about Alabama, written by Kathryn Tucker Windham (Mary's first cousin twice-removed, if I've calculated correctly), after reading about her on Mary's blog and prior to visiting that state for the first time.

The last book I read in 2017, F*ck That, was the most recently acquired, a belated birthday gift from Annie. Busy in the kitchen on Wednesday night, I enjoyed peeks at Ann & Ali as they perused & giggled... and when I heard Ali say that it reminded her of Sharon, I knew that I'd crack it open that night. Sharon could have written that book!

I've already set my 2018 goal at 25 books again, and... we'll see what happens! Happy Reading!!


Happy New Year!

That was December. It's hard to believe that all of that happened in one month!

The few days before/after Christmas were truly a blur.

The coffee shop was closed today, so I took the opportunity to spiff up my Make.Do spot:

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While the remodel was happening, Rusty re-worked that triangular wire display so that it ROTATES! I was able, then, to eliminate a couple of other display pieces and consolidate a bit. It's simpler and I like it better. Now, to get some yarn dyed & on those shelves!!

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I took a few other photos of the shop, too, which I will share (as promised), but for now, some of the collected coffee tins & pots that are used for decor. PLEE-ZING!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!