Unraveled Wednesday: Mystery, 100 Days, and More Cooking!

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share what I'm knitting and reading... and doing.

KNITTING

Well, I'm still working on Nightshift, but after Zoom Knitting on Sunday (hosted by Mary) and seeing both Kat and Margene working on Romi's Mystery Shawl 2020, I caved...

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These are the two yarns I originally chose. The lighter one is by Lambstrings Yarn, Tralala Sock in a color called "Home Again." The other one shall go unnamed... as I went to wind it up, I discovered three distinct ends. Um, that's not good. I was willing to go wind a couple of balls, but it was a tangled PITA mess. Not interested in that at the moment, so I grabbed a hank of some of my own stuff that's been around for a while.

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It's a bit more vibrant. I hope it will work out.

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And here's where I'm at with that project. Next step is to cast off the top edge of that triangle and then I don't know... it's a MYSTERY!

READING

I finished His Other Life: Searching For My Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams the other day, but still need to generate my BINGO CARD and find a square for it! Yes! In case you haven't heard, Bingo has begun early this year. I rarely get a Bingo, but I love the opportunity to explore different books & genres that I wouldn't otherwise do on my own.

So now I'm back to Centering In Pottery, Poetry, and the Person, by M.C. Richards -- inspired by the visit to North Carolina and the Black Mountain College Museum.

And I'm listening to Hope Jahren read her book, The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here.

But what I really want to listen to right now is Stephen Fry reading the UK version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Book 1. Dare I admit that I've never read a single Harry Potter book? Certain members of my household have read some of these... and re-read and re-read and re-read... certainly numbered in double digits by now. Anyway. Unfortunately, it can't be downloaded, but there's more how-to info/links here on The Verge.

DOING

Another 100 Days of Sewing - Alabama Chanin style, mostly on my Car Jacket, but I have a few other items cut, stenciled and ready to go from my visit with Kym last fall.

For the record, here's where I stand/begin with that project:

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Two finished sleeves.

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Collar and two pockets/pocket flaps with a bit of a start -- they are smaller pieces and have traveled with me on occasion.

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One side of the back underway -- I'd say not quite half-way. So that's where I've begun, with the other side of the back and both fronts yet to go. And then sewing up. Oh yeah.

MORE COOKING!!

My sister has really started something...

...and Alison has run with it!! ❤️ Bon appetit!

 


Monday morning smiles

So, over the weekend, my sister Ann posted a video to her YouTube channel called "My Cooking Show."

She made it to help inspire the students at her school... but also because she's always wanted to have a cooking show, and there's no better time than now!

This morning, Alison posted the cutest response (in three parts):

 

 

Happy Monday! I hope you're smiling, too.

 


3TT: Thar she grows!!

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

Thing #1

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Peonies!

Thing #2

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Snowdrops!

Thing #3

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Bleeding Heart!

THE SUN IS SHINING TODAY! After a prolonged period of clouds and rain, the sun is brightly shining this morning and these things will no doubtedly grow a little. The Bleeding Heart, especially, always seems to quickly blast out of the earth. It never ceases to amaze.

BONUS - Thing #4

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Ruby Rhubarb!

Twelve years ago, my friend Ann shared a cutting of her rhubarb plant with me (because how did I not have any of my own?). Since then, Ann has moved from Long Island to Buffalo! I meant to send her a cutting last year for her new house, but it fell off the radar... but this year, for sure! TODAY!!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Nightshift

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share what I'm knitting and reading.

I can't believe how long it's been since I've done an "Unraveled Wednesday" post! North Carolina! It seems like not only a long time ago, but also another world...

I guess it was a different world in February.

KNITTING

I knit a baby sweater while we were in Mexico, but still need to do the finishing... and instead of doing that, I'm knitting on my Nightshift shawl.

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I'd made a little headway on the bind-off the other day, and then decided/realized that it wasn't quite as big as I want it to be. I'll admit that I never did a swatch and have no idea what my gauge is or how it compares, even now. I have a feeling that the shawl will grow a bit once it's blocked, but I'm not sure if it'll be a little or a lot. Whatever! I am really enjoying the knitting and combining colors and I'm just going to keep going for a while.

It's fun keeping an eye on the Ravelry group, too, and though not the most active group on the web, I'm pleased that there are 37 members!

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When I noticed that there was green & gold in my kit (or anytime there's green + gold anywhere), the Green Bay Packers came to mind... even though the shades are off. (That green is probably my least favorite color in the bunch, actually.) Anyway, I was avoiding it for a while, but then decided to just embrace it, so there are two "green & gold" sections in my shawl.

I wonder if we'll have a football season this year.

And then I wonder, how is that even a question? So crazy.

READING

My "vacation read" was His Other Life: Searching For My Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams.

Though I didn't read a lot on vacation, I enjoyed the book and so it's the one I grab every night when I crawl into bed.

I'm not listening a lot, either, but when I do plug it in, I'm listening to Hope Jahren read her latest book, The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here.

DOING

These are strange times...

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...so I've also started a puzzle. I've had this one for quite a while -- 1000 pieces, all children's book covers -- with the idea of gluing it together & framing it for Ali to hang in the playroom or one of the kids' rooms. I had to beg a card table off of Rusty (from his studio/gallery, where it was displaying stuff that no one will be seeing), but I'm all set up now. We're not huge puzzlers, but this one is going to be so fun!

 


Scenes from limbo

I haven't been going on daily walks, but at least a few times a week. It's been very wet here... and dreary. Finally, today, the clouds are breaking up a bit!

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The photo above is from early last week on the Konkapot Creek Trail, which is just below our house. I used to walk down there all the time when we cared for Maddy's beagle. Lately, it's been with the kids... exploring (and sometimes getting wet)!

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There areas in our part of town that have alleys and we enjoy walking the alleys almost more than the street. This was one of at least four "log cabin" birdhouses that I spotted in an alley the other day. They all had green trim and branch details -- including a little twig cross in each gable end.

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The kids' grade school is no longer a school, converted to offices and business spaces now. It'll be 130 years old next year! I'm so happy it was still a school when my kids were little; it was a nice little walk (or bike ride) to-and-fro.

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One thing that's turning green around here, with all the rain we've had, is MOSS! That blue spot is spilled house paint from last summer. It doesn't really bother me; in fact, I think it looks great with all the colors of the brick!

Like many, I've also been cooking a lot.

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I roasted two chickens last weekend and then used the carcasses to make two batches of chicken/bone broth in my Instant Pot. We used one batch of that for chicken soup, and I've frozen the other for later use.

Otherwise, I've been rambling around the house, doing a little here and a little there. I finally made a little headway in my workroom the last couple of days, but it's just hit or miss... there are no deadlines and there doesn't seem to be any real purpose or pressing need to do anything. There's so much available time...

We did venture out to Home Depot the other day to get some plaster and paint. Rusty did some repairs in the apartment upstairs, and Kate's been painting. We're lucky to have a "change of scenery" and something to do just right upstairs. I canceled the only booking we had for April, and the next one isn't until late May -- and iffy, even then.

I finally sat down and got a little caught up on blogs this morning -- still a ways to go -- and can't believe I was three weeks behind already!

 


Mexico

Maybe someday I'll feel more like writing about our vacation (or anything)... until then, a video place-holder. I haven't used my 1SE app in quite a while, but it came in handy today.

I hope you all are well.


Well, this happened...

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Junah left a two-part note under his pillow, instead of a tooth. Luckily, the tooth fairy understood and delivered some goodies, anyway!

_ _ _ _ _

Our governor has issued a "Safer At Home" order for the next 30 days. I may need to go to work on occasion, as I am in a support position for an essential business, but I don't plan to spend any more time there than necessary... and am a little bit grateful that I can do that. I have contact with a handful of co-workers, none who are vulnerable, and public interaction is extremely rare -- and should be zero if all follow orders!

Stay well, my friends.

 


Dreamer

I had a dream about my mom early this morning. I think it's the first time she's been in a dream (that I remember) since she died, almost six years ago.

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She visited me at work, except that I was outside and it wasn't my real work, and I was so surprised and happy to see her!! She was the same but different -- definitely older, a bit more frail, but super stylish and as beautiful as always! I held her face in my hands and we smiled and hugged and... I was just so happy to see her!

And that was it. And everything. I think that's all the dream "meant" or was supposed to be... just me so very happy to see my mom.

And now I'm crying again.

 


Fin de semana -ing

It usually all goes out the window when it matters, but...

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After adding 60 days in a row, maybe something will stick! Yay Duolingo!

On Saturday, I worked on finishing the Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic that I made with fabric from Spoonflower.

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This included learning how to take apart my sewing machine to dislodge stuck fabric. Turns out you're not supposed to "reverse" with a walking foot? I'm sure I did that all the time on my old machine. Hm.

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Ali & I also went for our first pedicures of the season. I'm usually a bit more predictable/traditional with red polish, but this is fun! Ali declared, "That says 'VACATION'!"

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And with that in mind, I cast on a project that's more portable for vacation. This is another Garter Yoke Baby Cardi for a new baby in the KC&T family. Sonny came a little early and spent his first week in the hospital, but he's home now... and I think he needs a sweater for spring! I love my little honeycomb stitch markers (and especially the cork-topped glass vial that they came in) that I got at Wool & Honey last October when I visited Kym in Michigan. I can't exactly remember the yarn right this second, but I realized that I bought the yarn there, too!

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"Finishing" by A-line Tunic had mainly to do with the bottom edge. I didn't necessarily want to hem it, but it needed something. My in-seam pockets are the best I've done, so far, but are still an inch or so too low and I feared that if I actually put something in them, they'd peek out the bottom. I took my cue from an Alabama Chanin Alina tunic that I purchased a while back during a sale.

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Basically, I cut 1.75-inch strips to add to the bottom, turning up the seam and top-stitching it in place. Essentially, it adds about 1.25 inches overall, gives a bit of heft at the hem and just looks more finished.

The sleeves (mine are elbow-length) are finished the same way on the Alina tunic, except it's a narrower strip and lightweight jersey was used there.

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I still want to fell the seams of my A-line Tunic by hand. I did some and then took it out -- running into difficulty around those pockets, where the seam wants to go forward and I want it to go backward. I think I'm just going to have to go with the flow!

Ali & the kiddos came over for a last get-together before departure -- Kate to Scotland on Tuesday, and Rusty & I to Mexico on Wednesday -- and it began with a video chat with Maddy!

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My girls all together at the kitchen table. Heh.

I hope you had a great weekend!

 


"No," said Jün.

As an aside, "You know, that's short for 'Nona'?"

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I don't know why, but that's one of the first things that popped into my head when I was waking up this morning. He slipped that in a couple of weeks ago and it still makes me laugh.

He's holding the bird feeder that he built using a "kit" that Rusty fashioned. It's going to be sunny & warm all weekend, with winds from the south, and I'm told we're to watch as the migratory birds will begin to return.

 


Spring Vacation

At this time last year, we were prepping for Spain & Cornwall. What a trip that was! Las Fallas is again underway in Valencia, as we speak, and Ann has a full house over the next couple of weeks. I've been following some hashtags on IG. I can't imagine anything that would top what we saw last year in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento for La Cremà... it will be spectacular, no doubt. Oh, I've been pining...

Luckily, it's only five more sleeps until we're on our way to Mexico... sunshine and upper-70s to low-80s. I'm a-okay with that.

It's going to be real hard not to cram this Nightshift project into my suitcase:

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I'm following the section-by-section pattern (at the moment, anyway). And have just switched my "background" color.

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I wasn't very in love with that lighter blue color, but now? Knitted up? With those other colors? I love it!!

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Maybe Rusty will have some room in his suitcase...

 


3TT: Nightshift Knit-Along!

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

1 - Banner Image

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2 - Badge Image

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I started a Ravelry Group for the Knit-along: Nightshift KAL 2020! I wasn't going to do it... so much on my plate, time's short, loose ship, blahblahblah. It's so quick to start a group! And I know that not all participants are bloggers, so it's a place to check in, share, post photos, and ask questions -- if you wish. It's optional!!

 


Away we go!

It looks like there might be 8 of us (so far) taking the leap! I'm the laid-back queen, so y'know, this is going to be a loosely run ship -- it's all about FUN (and knitting)!!

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It was really nice to dive into this project over the weekend. I was thinking that I wanted to get a start on it before we leave for vacation because it might not come along... but who knows!

Big news over the weekend was the finish of a big ol' sweater!

On Friday, I soaked and pinned it out to block...

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That's four layers of damp bulky knitting in some places and Saturday was the Bang Out deadline, so...

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I tied my blocking mat to my drying rack and set it in front of a heat register overnight!

That did the trick. I sewed it up on Saturday and voila!

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I have a whole bunch of terrible selfie bedroom photos! I wore it yesterday while running a few errands with Kate, thinking that I'd get her to take a few better ones... heh. Maybe later today. A proper FO post and details to come...

 


Takin' a Leap! Care to KAL?

In a little email exchange yesterday, blog reader kayT had a BRILLIANT idea! And I thought that Leap Day was the perfect day to launch. No time like the present.

Kay also has a Nightshift Kit ready to go, and noticed that others... ahem, Robby... expressed interest in knitting one (and I know there are others) (Bonny, for one). Perhaps there are others amongst us!

Maybe it's been on the back burner, or you just took delivery of a kit from Briar Rose Fibers after Kym's feature of dyer Chris Roosien last week (me me me), or you're thinking of ordering one, or you have a collection of worsted weight to play with (you need 150 yards each of six colors)...

Whatever the case, let's take a leap and KAL!

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KAL details are still in formulation (because I've been busy Banging Out My Main Squeeze today) (squee! it's done!!), but the Knit-Along starts NOW and will end on Victoria Day, which falls on May 18th this year. It's only Victoria Day in Canada, I know, but it's almost always on my calendars and I used to live in Toronto when I was little and my name is Victoria... but I never have the day off! So, there you go. Let's celebrate and do some knitting!

Join us? Anytime! I'm going to cast on tonight.

 


Random Friday Things

I saw this when I made my regular stop at the coffee shop the other day:

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IS THAT EVEN A QUESTION?

TOILET PAPER OVER!!

Forever and always! Clearly, the early morning regulars at the coffee shop feel the same way. Haha.

(Yes, I have been known to flip a roll!)

It's been a crazy week y'all. There are some time- and energy-sapping things happening in my galaxy, about which I'm unable to divulge at the moment, and I'm anxious for their resolution. It's not all about me, but it'll mean some changes for me -- in a good way, I think! It'll be an interesting summer...

And I'm looking forward to our vacation in Mexico even more, if that's even possible.

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I'm sure you've noticed that the days are getting longer!! The sun is just beginning to brighten the sky now when I get up for work. We're at just a little over 11 hours of daylight each day. Ya-freakin-hoo.

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I had an excellent knitter's mail day yesterday! A package from Briar Rose Fibers arrived with the makings for Andrea Mowry's Nightshift.  And the second installment for the Colourwork Club arrived from Ysolda (yes, I still have to knit the first.)

Vacation knitting planning has commenced!

I started sewing up my Main Squeeze last night... but I think I'm going to listen to the voice in my head, take out that seam, give it a bath and properly block it (this afternoon). Maybe I'll be able to finish tomorrow, maybe not.

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Kate and I went out for sushi last night (it's been ages) and this was the light fixture in our booth. I should have taken more photos because it changes color! The sushi was SO GOOD!

It looks like another couple of cold days over the weekend, but then next week we're looking at 40s (F) and that is more than welcome!

 


The Story of More

I don't have a lot to report today, but I just read an email from Goodreads about new releases and I haven't been so excited about a new book in a while!

 

The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here, by Hope Jahren, will be released on March 3rd (and is already pre-ordered, thankyouverymuch)!

You may recall that I was a big fan of her first book, Lab Girl!

 

Still one of my all-time favorite listens! So, I just wanted to share!

Ad: This post (more than most) contains affiliate advertising links designed to provide a means to earn a small commission. Emphasis on "small" commission, and also on the fact that I don't link to stuff that I don't use and/or love myself. Thank you!!

 


Weekending: Sunny Days!

I drove out to Ali's on Friday night to pick up Ginny & Junah for a sleepover! It's pretty much due east through open farm country and it was windy, so there was a lot of blowing snow which made driving... challenging. Saturday was sunny & warm, so it was all-clear by the time I returned them (+ Malina) on Saturday night. Sunday was sunny, too, and warm! Ah.

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Ali & Rod brought Malina over on Saturday morning and after she had a nice nap, we got busy doing all sorts of things, including a trip to the candy store! At Christmas, I'd given the kids (and Mack & Addie, too) certificates for custom chocolate bars -- they can choose Milk, Dark, or a blend of chocolate, up to four ingredients (Crunchies, Dried Fruits, Nuts, or Sweets), and optional spices. I'd planned an outing for all of us in December, but then illness threw a wrench into that!

Anyway, after choices are made, you can watch as they blend it altogether and put it in a mold. The table with the blue springs at top right is a shaker table -- they put the bars on there for a few minutes to get air bubbles out, and then it's popped into a freezer for :10 to set.

(That's a looonnnnng ten minutes when you're 6 and almost-4!)

Junah chose Dark Chocolate + Gummy Bears + Marshmallows + Peppermint Pieces + Sprinkles. Verdict? Too sweet, he said!! Ha. Next time, he'll substitute at least one of those sweets with Potato Chips, Pretzels or Rice Cereal.

Ginny chose Milk Chocolate + M&Ms + Marshmallows + Sour Patch Kids + Vanilla Chips. She did not seem to mind the sweetness! Ali had a taste and was surprised when she bit into Sour Patch Kids!

It'll be fun to do it again this summer when the boys are here.

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I did some knitting over the weekend, finishing the second sleeve and starting on the back. Last night's progress brought me just about to the raglan decreases. The end is in sight, and I'm so looking forward to a finished sweater!

Tonight, I pick up Kate from her trip to Prague!

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I had separate messages from Kate & Annie, both of them telling me about their great travel partner (I already knew that!) and how much fun they had! I can't wait to hear more.

 


3TT: Making/Doing & Dreaming

I thought I'd share three things that I'm working on! If you follow me on IG, you've likely seen all of this but there are a few more details/updates here.

Thing #1

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I'm Banging Out my Main Squeeze. Since I took this photo, I've knit the other front and started the first sleeve. I'm just past the increases on that sleeve, so expect to finish that one and get a start on the second at Knit Night tonight! There's a glimmer of hope that I might actually finish by the end of the month.

 

Thing #2

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I'm really pretty chuffed about this Alabama A-line Tunic. I'd intended to make a dress but didn't take into consideration the width of the fabric when I ordered it from Spoonflower. But hey, a tunic with in-seam pockets is JUST FINE!!

I've sewn it on my machine -- including the neck & sleeve edges, which I just turned under a quarter inch and stitched. I'm still getting used to my "new" machine, so there's a little wonkiness on one neck edge, but nothing that most people would even notice. I'm going to fell the seams by hand, because I like the way that looks, and still have to determine how I'll finish the hem (if I finish it at all). This is Spoonflower's Organic Cotton Knit fabric, which is technically a lighter weight than Alabama Chanin's Organic Cotton Jersey, but it feels a bit heftier/more substantial as a single layer, for some reason.

I plan to be wearing this in three weeks when we're on vacation in Mexico!

 

Thing #3

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I stopped in at my local antique mall the other day to measure a dresser, but spotted this quilt top folded up on a chair in the front window and made a bee-line! The shop owner, who is also my neighbor and a high school classmate (though we weren't chummy then), said that her mom gave it to her 40 years ago, and that she thought the pattern was "reverse bow tie." From my TINY little bit of research, I'm gonna say no to that... the bow tie quilts that I've seen are a bit more angular (the circles are octagons). I don't know what this is called and I don't care... I LOVE IT!! And it reminds me a lot of the cheater panel quilt that I made for Malina, but much smaller scale. It'll need a little TLC here and there... someday. Meanwhile, I just keep looking at it and showing it (with a squee!) to all who enter my home!

 


(Last) Weekending

I am so happy that we decided not to skip a visit to Biltmore this time! IMHO, it seemed like a hefty admission price -- even without all the optional add-ons (of which we opted for zero) -- but now that I've visited, I can see why. The house is gorgeous and well-cared for -- loved, even. It's off-season, so there were some things happening, such as refinishing of the wood floor in one of the halls, and repairs to the walls. The walls were plastered and stenciled, so there was a craftsman touching up the paint and it was so cool to watch him for a few minutes! Spring is just barely beginning to spring, so there were obvious signs of work being done in the gardens.

Oh, the gardens!

But first...

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Yes, I sprung for the tourist trap photo op!

I took a few photos inside, but honestly, it's difficult to capture -- and, sometimes, I'd just be stunned by what I was seeing that I'd just forget that I even had a camera, or know that I wouldn't be able to capture half (swimming pool, bowling alley, kitchens and store rooms).

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This servant's room, with its sweet "counting sheep" garland at the foot of the bed, certainly caught my eye. It was quite a nice room, too, and the staff was paid very well (New York City wages) back in the day.

I shared an orchid-centric post on IG the other day, so I'll (mostly) spare you those photos here. The Conservatory was...

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...well, it's February and we came from cold snowy Wisconsin...

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...it was so warm and green and colorful! And huge.

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I love that orchids can be so different. That little wisp of a thing was quite small, though not the smallest. It was just something to see, as was that BLACK variety. The orchids were mostly gathered in a specific area. There was another amazing flower at every turn!

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There was also a separate room for cacti and succulents -- a cool variety of size, color, and texture.

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In terms of plant life, there wasn't a whole lot happening in the gardens yet. I was enchanted by the walls with their espalier trees, and was very happy to find blooming hellebores.

The admission price also included trolley transportation to different locations/parking within the estate, and a wine tasting, which we really enjoyed. Overall, I think it would be a very different experience to visit in high summer -- there were definitely people around, but it wasn't crowded in the least and we didn't have to wait for anything.

So, that's pretty much a wrap on our Asheville highlights... except for a word or three about food.

  • We enjoyed lunch at Farm Burger on Saturday, knowing that it would be good because we ate there last time, too!
  • On Saturday night we went to Sierra Nevada Brewing in nearby Mills River (actually, right in between Asheville and our Airbnb)... and I cannot get over it! It wasn't even on our radar, but we saw the sign a few times and it had good reviews when we searched for nearby dinner options (plus, I'm a huge fan of SNB's Hazy Little Thing) (and now I have some swag)! It was enormous, and the drive/entry to the property was amazing (lighting shaped like hops). We had a little bit of a wait, so went upstairs to the "High Gravity" room and enjoyed a beer and some live music. Our dinner was fantastic!! Along with Biltmore, I would definitely visit SNB on another visit to the area!
  • And Ingles. I remembered Ingles from last time... and, I just have to say, what a fantastic "grocery" store. I want one.

I hope you had a great weekend!

 


Direction

Y'know, they are #whirlwindarttripswithkate (a four-day trip, two of which were all driving), but we pack in as much as we can... this will be my last post about our visit to Black Mountain College Museum, and then there will be a post or two about our visit to Biltmore.

We all, I suppose, hope to in some measure, at some point, achieve fineness in our work, but what is really exciting is the feeling that we are growing, that we are discovering things that we hadn't known before—and especially that there is so much ahead that has not been realized. And, for me, Art is the name of a direction, not a product.

–Joan Potter (Sihvonen) Loveless (1928-2009) from Three Weavers (University of New Mexico Press, 1992);
she studied weaving with Anni Albers at BMC 1944-1948

Oh, that last sentence!!

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Experienced weavers were invited to sit down and work on this piece! My experience is limited to a child's BRIO loom -- I have no idea how those foot pedals work -- so I just admired.

Here are a few more pieces from Question Everything! The Women of Black Mountain College that stood out to me.

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Lolita Georgia, Weaving Class Notebook, 1935

Lolita Georgia was the spouse of Black Mountain College faculty & founding member, Frederick R. Georgia. She was at BMC from 1933-1937. This is a page from her weaving class notebook, from a class taught by Anni Albers.

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Anni Albers, Untitled, 1950, cotton and bast

Anni Albers (1899-1994) originally intended to study visual arts, but the way things worked at the Bauhaus in 1922, female students were restricted to the weaving workshop... which is terrible but also terrific & serendipitous, as Anni Albers became one of the most influential textile artists of the 20th Century! She and her husband, Josef, came to BMC in 1933, after fleeing Nazi Germany; Josef was head of the new school and also head of the painting program, while Anni taught weaving and textile design; they left the school in 1949.

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Elizabeth Jennerjahn, Untitled, ca. 1960, textile with applied fabric wall hanging

Elizabeth Schmitt Jennerjahn (1923-2007) first attended BMC in 1943-44 as a student, studying art with Josef & Anni Albers. She left to study dance in New York City with Martha Graham, returning in 1948 with her husband, Warren (Pete) Jennerjahn, to study with Merce Cunningham, also working as a student teacher in 1949; the Jennerjahns left BMC in 1951.

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Susan Moore, Composition with Dot, date unknown, oil on canvas

Susan Moore (1926-2013) was a student at Black Mountain College in the summer of 1946, studying design and painting with Josef Albers and Jacob Lawrence.

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Evelyn Williams Anselevicius, Untitled (from the Geodesic Series, ca. 1970s, tapestry

Evelyn Williams Anselevicius (1923-2003) was a BMC student in 1947. She became known internationally for her large-scale woven tapestries, often using Mexican rug weaving techniques and wool that was spun & dyed in Mexico.

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And, of course, Ruth Asawa (1926-2013), who attended BMC from 1946 to 1949.

Have a great weekend!!!


3TT: Question Everything

Joining Carole & friends for a follow-up to last week's post about three artists at Black Mountain College (the obvious idea of which only occurred to me this morning as I was brushing my teeth).

 

1 - Suzi Gablik

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Tropism #3, collage and oil on canvas

I learned that Suzi Gablik was only 16 years old when she attended Black Mountain College in the summer of 1951, and studied both painting and writing.

It was one of those defining choices in life. Although I was only there for two months, in that unorthodox environment, my maverick self, which was not easily accommodated at home, had the time and provocation to emerge.

She gave up practicing art in the 1970s to focus on writing art history and criticism, believing that she could effect more social change that way.

 

2 - M.C. Richards

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Snow, letterpress on paper
(Portrait of) M.C. Richards, Skywinding Farm, Scaly Mountain, NC, ca 1970s,
Type C print by Jonathan Williams


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Raku pot
Alchemical Form, stoneware

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I'd ordered M.C. Richards' book, Centering In Pottery, Poetry, and the Person, before leaving for NC and it was waiting when I returned... never even thought to ask Kate if she had it, because she has A LOT of material about BMC. (And she does have it, of course!)

The person that had the strongest and most far-reaching effect on me was M.C. Richards. Albers opened my eyes. M.C. opened my mind and I will be forever grateful to her. --Carol Singer Kalbfeld, BMC student 1947-1948

 

3 - Hazel Larsen Archer

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Interior of the Quiet House, gelatin silver print
Ruth Asawa, ca. late 1940s, vintage gelatin silver prints

Hazel Larsen Archer taught photography with an emphasis on "seeing" rather than on technique.

 

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Question Everything! The Women of Black Mountain College was a beautiful show! We also wandered through the reference library and more exhibits in the lower level, and both left with some items from the shop... including the last two tote bags they had in stock (which we both need like a hole in the head). Ha. They're so USEFUL.

I'll have one more post about our visit to Black Mountain College Museum!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Mitts & More

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING

I love starting/knitting a project while I'm traveling because it's always a reminder of the trip!

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I started the beaded Nugget Mitts while we were in North Carolina. The loveliness of this pattern is that the beading is all done in one row! I did that on the first mitt while we enjoyed a little downtime one evening, and now it's perfect travel knitting... and I did a bit of that during the daylight hours on the drive home.

I brought a lot of knitting with me, but this is the only thing I worked on. It was right back to work yesterday -- with a bunch of stuff to catch up on at home -- so I'm just going with this right now and will resume Banging Out a Cardigan when I have more than a second to think & breathe.

Ali & the kiddos were over for a bit last night.

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Malina is now wearing the little Beatrice Top that I knit for Ginny -- and topping it off nicely, too! I knit much of that top while on a #whirlwindarttripwithkate to St. Louis in 2017.

READING LISTENING

I didn't do any reading on vacation, but we listened to quite a few podcast episodes:

I don't usually listen to podcasts very much, but these were so interesting!!

I still haven't picked up my book since returning home, but I have resumed listening to The Dutch House on my commute.

♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

The trip was really great. Even though it was only for a couple of days, there's a lot to digest & share, so I'm going to start small... and right now.

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Our Airbnb (plus) cottage was just about the cutest darn thing you ever did see... or ever might stay in.

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We each had our own bedroom, separated by the bathroom -- those are the windows you see on the side of the house -- with a comfy & cozy living room and a very nice kitchen. The porch was big and welcoming, and there was a patio and a separate fire pit in the back (which we didn't use, but so nice!).

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Great amenities, attention to detail & decor, and lots of little touches -- that's what makes it PLUS! That's a special designation for properties that go above & beyond... it's not available in my area, but you can bet that I'd be shooting for it!

Potentially mutually beneficial shameless plug: If you'd like to try Airbnb, use this link to save up to $55 on your first trip — and once your reservation is complete, I'll get a little credit to use toward future travel, too.

I've stayed at 28 different Airbnb properties in the last six years -- from Scotland to Spain, New York to Oregon, Michigan to Mexico, with many points scattered in between and some quite close to home. You won't be surprised to learn that I freakin' love Airbnb! They haven't all been as stellar as this adorable cottage, but I can honestly say that I've never had a dud. Next week it'll be a year since we welcomed our first guest as Airbnb hosts! We had 38 completed bookings last year, and five already this year -- with another this weekend and 11 more (so far) booked between now and October! We've had between one and five guests at any one time, for as little as one night or as many as 32! It's a lot of work, but I'm still enjoying it... I'll stop when I'm not!

 


3TT: Three Women of BMC

Joining Carole & friends for Three (Pertinent) Things on Thursday...

Kate & I are leaving later today for a quick trip to Asheville, NC. The main reason being to see a show at Black Mountain College Museum entitled Question Everything! The Women of Black Mountain College.

A little background:

There are many other influential, renowned, or even famous people to attend and/or teach at BMC in its relatively short lifespan -- Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Merce Cunningham, and Buckminster Fuller to name a few -- and I've seen the work of many in various museums and/or documentaries.

Arguably, the best known of them all to knitters & textile artists might be Josef & Anni Albers, to wit:

Though not the only ones to inspire knitting designs:

Anni Albers and Ruth Asawa are among the artists featured in Question Everything! For purposes today, I've plucked the names of three new-to-me artists, also included in the exhibition, to do some research ahead of the show!

1 - Suzi Gablik

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Suzi Gablik (b. 1934) studied at BMC in the summer of 1951. She is an artist (painter, collage), art critic, author, and teacher. I am especially drawn to images in the "Tropism" series (#9, above).

tropism | 1 a : involuntary orientation by an organism or one of its parts that involves turning or curving by movement or by differential growth and is a positive or negative response of a source of stimulation

I'm excited to see if any of these pieces are included in the exhibition.

2 - M.C. Richards

Mary Caroline (M.C.) Richards (1916-1999) was a poet, essayist, potter, painter, and teacher. She taught writing at BMC in the late 1940s, having moved there with her then-husband Albert William Levi Jr., a social scientist, when he was invited to join the faculty in 1945.


Her book, Centering In Pottery, Poetry, and the Person, was originally published in the 1960s, and became an underground classic (an original paperback can be had for a cool $989 and some change).

The book... pulled together ideas about perception, craft, education, creativity, religion and spirituality, arguing for the richness of daily experience if carefully attended to, and the creativity of the average person. "Poets are not the only poets," Ms. Richards wrote. --New York Times obituary of M.C. Richards

She sounds fascinating! I am not really what you'd call a "poetry person," but I could not resist that book... it's on the way!

3 - Hazel Larsen Archer

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The first things I learned about Hazel Larsen Archer (1921-2001) was that she was born and raised in Milwaukee, that she had polio when she was 10, and that she was a photographer -- so right away there are a few points of connection and interest. She was both a student and a teacher at BMC, and in 1949 joined the faculty as the school's first full-time teacher of photography. She documented life -- performances, events, people -- at BMC. After leaving NC, she and her husband moved to Tucson, AZ, where she operated a freelance studio.

I'm excited about the show/the trip and you can be sure I'll fill you in on it all!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Bangin' Out a Main Squeeze

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING

So, I've made a couple of modifications to the Main Squeeze Cardigan... the main one being that I've converted the pattern to be knit in pieces and seamed!

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(I really cannot stand knitting on circulars.) I'm also following the lead of another maker and knitting the cardigan one size larger on needles that are one size smaller, and incorporating vertical non-button-band front bands -- not only to avoid the circular situation, but because I like the way it looks! Though it looks a little sloppy right now, I think it will even out after finishing/blocking... and if it doesn't, I'll stabilize it with grosgrain.

Anyway, this is one of the fronts -- I never know if it's the left/right front when you're looking at the sweater or while wearing it! You can see where the second ball of yarn was attached just before the raglan decreases begin.

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I love the Sand Stitch texture. Pardon the photos, it was going-on-dark last night when I got home!

We Make Our Own Arrows has taken a back seat, but I did make a little progress:

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Triangles joined, first tail underway.

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It's very contained, so I'll probably bring it along when we head toward NC tomorrow... along with my Main Squeeze and maybe two other projects. Haha! Y'know...

READING

It's the same, so in lieu of that, here's one that Kate scored at the book store the other day:

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It's legit.

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We made Shirin Polo the other night and it was delicious. We didn't use quite enough chicken and, though not as sweet as I feared, we'll reduce the sugar by at least half next time. There will be a next time... there are a lot of bookmarked pages, so who knows when that'll be!

 


I got a new thing.

My new insurance cards came in the mail last week, along with the little booklet of benefits. I don't usually look at those things, but I idly flipped through and it landed on a page with a blurb about getting a FREE FITBIT (one per lifetime).

I've never really felt the need for a Fitbit (at least not to shell out dollars for), but if someone wants to give me one (using some of the many dollars that I've contributed)... well, I'll even shell out a few extra bucks for a better model.

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Today's the first day with my new Inspire HR... and, yes, I am feeling a little bit inspired.

 


Queen

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My mum would have been 82 today! I miss her everyday... and I don't suppose that'll ever change!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Arrows

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING

Last night I finished the second triangle needed to begin We Make Our Own Arrows, and I'm so excited to join them and carry on!

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I am dying to start Banging Out A Sweater, but I'm going to hold my horses and wait until the official start on Saturday!

I also have a kit from Laura Nelkin for Nugget Mitts ready to cast on as soon as I get the proper needles. This project will be a bit more portable. And it has BEADS!

READING

Y'know, I'm as slow as it gets in this department, so still:

And now I'm ready to launch -- it's a busy day off with lots to cross off my list. Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

 


Weekending

We woke up on Saturday to the stickiest, prettiest snow...

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There was snow stuck to even the itty-bittiest branches. You can usually still see through the trees a little bit, even when it's snowed like this, but in addition to sticky snow there was zero wind... it was magical, and lasted well into the morning.

Saturday was also a full-fledged Pajama Day! I've had one or two "close" ones in recent weeks. Most of those days have been spent sequestered in my workroom/office, getting caught up on books and prepping for tax time. I'm pretty much ready with Ali's stuff -- her tax lady might faint! And I'm taking a full head of steam into our personal stuff... maybe this is the year that I break the cycle of last-minute filing!

Sunday was a bit more... active. I had departing Airbnb guests, so crossed a few things off of that checklist right away in the morning.

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I'd wound up my Bang-out Sweater yarn on Friday, started a sleeve-swatch (I love how it knit up!), and contemplated the knitting ahead. It all clicked on Sunday morning. I frogged my swatch, rewound the ball, and spent a lot of time on Sunday afternoon figuring out the details for the pattern modifications I have in mind. Stay tuned! I'll be casting on again on Saturday -- for real! I'm so excited. It feels like ages since I knit a sweater for myself (though really only a little over a year).

On Sunday night, Ali & I took Junah & Ginny to see Blue Man Group in Appleton.

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Our seats were a little "up there"! And the railing seemed awfully low... I never even thought to check what level those box seats were on. For some reason, I was just thinking they were first floor, but we were on the FOURTH! So, a part of the stage was blocked from our view, but it was very cool to see some elements of the show (especially lights) from on high. I made the mistake of parking in a nearby ramp, and it took over an hour to make our exit... Ali took Junah to the bathroom, and then made another trip with both kids to get some food, and I hadn't moved an inch while she was gone either time. I will never make that mistake again!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Looking Ahead

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING -- Currently

I'm not breaking any records, but work continues on We Make Our Own Arrows.

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I feel like these pieces sort of set the stage for what's to come, which is why they've each had a false start and/or some ripping out. It'll be so exciting to join them together and begin the tails! Unfortunately, it's not a very portable project.

I'll soon be casting on something small on DPNs... travel knitting!

KNITTING -- On My Radar

For one reason or another, I haven't had the desire to Bang Out A Sweater before, but this year? I'm doin' it.

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Main Squeeze Cardigan from Mason-Dixon Knitting Guide No. 12: Big Joy

If there was ever a sweater made for bangin' out, it's this one!

Also, for one reason or another, I don't have much experience with Knit Picks yarn! I'm fixing that by knitting this in Wool of the Andes Bulky, in the new color "Stormy," scheduled to arrive today! This wouldn't normally be considered for travel, but since Kate & I will be driving to NC... it's coming along.

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Color work is also in my future. Ha. Who am I kidding? It's been on my radar for years and I've even had a go at it a couple of times.*

For the past few years, I've been giving Rusty & Kate the Ootlier Calendar, so I have to go to the KDD & Co website every year to place my refill order... and this year I bought a little something for myself, too. I couldn't help it... I was just smitten!

There are a few projects in Milarrochy Heids that I love and could easily knit (more likely as cowls rather than hats, at least if intended for me) -- Cadans, Every Flavour, Let's Stripe (oh, yes, LET'S!); others that I also love but would be much more challenging -- Breiwick, Chezzetcook Inlet, Featherheid, Peerie Flooers, Tettegouche.

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Those colours!

So this year, I am challenging myself to have another go at it, and to that end (and because, apparently, I cannot resist the Scots), I have signed up for Ysolda's Colourwork Club! "If you've never done stranded colourwork before this is the perfect way to learn..." I can't wait for the first pattern release at the end of the month.

READING

Audio: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.

Pages: Fever by Mary Beth Keane.

*North Star Mittens turned out too small for me; luckily they fit Kate perfectly and she loved them... until they were lost. Latvian Mittens are unfinished... they are significantly different in size. Matching mittens of the same, intended size is a GOAL.