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October 2020

Unraveled Wednesday: Safe at {our Campsite}

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

Kate & I returned on Monday from our Northwoods camping trip. I had yesterday off, too, during which I got a lot of my "day off" stuff done, and we dropped Ducky off at an RV service center to have a few things done and/or checked out.

We also had an early morning visit from a certain young gentleman, and had breakfast with his mom.


I took a few photos... he wasn't interested in sleeping, and it's difficult to get a good capture of an awake baby when they're so young, but I managed a few. There's a history in our family of not having knitted gifts done on time, and draping the pieces upon the recipient with a lick & a promise. Heh. Davy is probably the youngest person subjected to this tradition. Also, suddenly, there's some scale to this project!


It took a few tries to find just the right way to sew up these rows. I tried "mattress stitch" a couple of times/ways, whipstitch, crochet... I finally settled on backstitch.


Approved by McGregor!


It's a little stretchy, not too fiddly, and I know how to do it (I could do that and running stitch in my sleep thanks to Alabama Chanin!). I managed to sew up Rows 1 + 2:


And Rows 3 + 4:


I'm showing the back of my work!


A lot of the ends had already been woven in & trimmed, many were woven in but awaiting a trim, some of the longer ends are coming in handy for the sewing up (and I sometimes wish I'd left more and/or longer ends).


Ope! There's that cute pup again!


And another (selfie) with Kate! He was a pretty good camper, considering everything... other campers, kids, other dogs, loads of busy chipmunks. Kate's started knitting him a sweater! And there's a plan formulating for another.


I'll definitely post more about camping soon. We saw a little blue sky & sunshine on Sunday afternoon (pictured above), had a lot of rain (but only at night), and burned through lots of wood! A good time was had by all.

I still haven't read anything lately... except for my absentee ballot.


Unraveled Wednesday: Mini = Maxi

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


As previously mentioned, I've finished knitting houses for the baby blanket! I sorted through & organized all of the remaining yarn -- happily noting that I used up quite a few odds & ends -- in preparation for sewing up. I plan to work on that while camping for 5 days/4 nights beginning TOMORROW!

I am so ready for some time in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The weather looks like it'll be pretty good, and there should be some fall color on display. I'm also happy that we'll have a physically distant meet up with Uncle Jim, my dad's youngest (and only remaining) brother. It's Jimmy's cabin which we are often invited to use for a week or long weekend most years, but as we all know, this isn't "most years." And that's also why we now have a travel trailer!

Anyway, my cousin Gail sent me a very timely reminder inquiring about the "messy bun hat" that she asked me to knit a while back. She had sent me a photo of the Braids & Bobbles hat (Ravelry link) and I've always wanted to knit that hat, plus it seems like a good time for texture. I dug out some dark green Cascade 220 (I think) and started on Sunday night. I'm not crazy with the layout of the pattern. Others have complained about the lack of a chart, but that doesn't bother me as much as just the way it's written and having to flip pages back and forth. I finally cut & separated parts of the pattern to eliminate some of that. Anyway, I'm getting into the groove of cables again and it's looking great. I intend to deliver it when Rusty & I head up to the North Shore of Lake Superior just after Election Day, so need it finished by then.

Meanwhile, I took delivery of this the other day:


Apparently, 2020 is the year of the mini-skein for me! I had ordered a bunch of Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails way back when this pandemic mess all began (a crocheted blanket or two underway with that), and also found their 12 Days of Madelinetosh to be irresistible, AND was bewitched by Lambstrings Yarns' Spooky October Advent Calendar! A little present to open every day in October might help keep me sane... and occupied while I consider what I might do with them. I adore Shanna's color sense, and I'm sure I'll be very happy.


I don't know what my problem is -- perhaps too preoccupied with babies and big kids and blankets and hats and travel trailers and camping -- but I am just not reading or listening to anything right now! Maybe those few days in the woods will give me a chance to slow down and dive into something. I certainly have titles on my list!


I gave Rusty his third haircut.


He was pretty shaggy! It wasn't my best (some of the attachments were missing in the clipper set that I borrow from Ali), but it'll do.


I had him take a "for the record" shot of my Covid hair... it's crazy long!

I'm sure you've noticed the shortening days.


This was last night as I came through the garage after watching ISS streak across the sky for the second time this week. Let there be light!



I'm not sure I'll be blogging while we're up north, so this might have to tide you over.  :)


Life is... overflowing!

I'm having to process and grieve the recent, devastating losses of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Cat Bordhi a little differently than most right now. I feel it all, but I cannot dwell...


Davy on Friday and yesterday. He's already growing! Ginny is utterly smitten... "Can I hold it?"

I went out on Friday, of course, and then again on Saturday with Rusty & Kate.


Junah had left his skateboard at our house and the safety gear I'd ordered arrived at his house... so they were all finally united!


Is that a happy face or what? I love that new {{BIG}} gap in his teeth! That's the first one on top.

We brought THREE BIG KIDS home on Saturday for an overnighter.


They played and played and played -- K'nex, dolls, puzzles -- watched a couple of movies, carved pumpkins with Grandpa, and Malina had a nice time all by herself in the playhouse, and...


...walking & playing with the dog! I gained both a grandson AND a granddog on Friday!! This is McGregor (or Ewan McGregor if you want to be formal about it) and he's sort of amazing, blowing us all away with how well he's fit in from the get-go. He's a smart, inquisitive, playful 9-month-old rescue, terrier/schnauzer mix... fantastic with the kids, and they with him.

And just a few more random shots from our busy and chaotic weekend:


I spotted Oswald hanging out in the kitchen at Ali's! I just checked Ravelry and he's over 14 years old!! I've knit four little Odd Fellows, but Oswald was the first and favorite. He even came to the UK with us.

And we continue to outfit Ducky... the sink & stove covers add much-needed countertop work space. We're heading up north in a few days!


And a parting bathroom mirror selfie w/Davy!




Davy Arliss*
b. September 18, 2020, 7:05 am, at home
8 lb. 5 oz.

Does that look like a happy big sister, or what?? Junah is thrilled... I just can't even imagine how disappointed he'd be if Davy'd been a girl (at first, anyway). Malina is sticking close to Mom.


And here's the state of his blanket! I finished the knitting while camping on Wednesday. Last night, I sorted through all the yarn and the next step is sewing up!!

Safe At Home... indeed. Welcome baby boy!!

Edited to add the middle name! Ali says, "... from Old Yeller, he’s a stinker and this one peed on me already so it’s a perfect fit 😅 Like to name my boys from movies I guess!"


Weekending: Still No Baby!

Ali & the kiddos stopped over yesterday.


Here's a new thing: Skater Boy! (He's so adorable!!)


And another new thing: Ginny's drawing anatomically "correct" portraits. That's Rusty. Malina is giving him the "pandemic hair" treatment. (A haircut for Rusty is on my list!)

I had a long, relaxing, and productive weekend!


While I finished the last of the curtains...


Kate finished the floor in Ducky, and Rusty did the same in The Garden Room. It was SO NICE to read the Sunday paper in there yesterday morning.


I laughed out loud when I spotted the rug in this ad from a flyer in said paper. We are SO ON TREND! Heh.

We made a shopping trip and started to pack up Ducky for our little mid-week trip, and I sewed up the seat cushion for the couch. I still need to do the button tufting, but that'll be quick and easy! That seat cushion was the largest & most unwieldy, by far, so I'm really happy to have it done.

Someone asked about Ducky sleeping arrangements: the couch at the front slides out to make a bed, and the narrow table in the kitchen is removed and that seat also slides out to make a bed. There's also a little fold-down "loft" over the couch that would be big enough for a kid (it will be storage 99% of the time). It's all very cozy!!

We all had a nice chat with Maddy over the weekend. They are leaving tomorrow (I think... was it my Tuesday or hers??), taking their time and a leisurely scenic route from Northern Territory to New South Wales. Hopefully, they'll have secured housing by the time they get there!

Ann called yesterday and wondered if we were watching the football game. They weren't having any luck tuning in from Peru, so she wondered if I could prop up my phone in front of the TV... and we watched the last quarter together that way. (Go Pack Go!) Malina was nearby and sort of fascinated by Ann. Mack popped in, similarly fascinated by Malina (you know how he is with the babies!)... and I was gobsmacked by the change in his voice! That should be no surprise, given his age and, well, it's only natural, but c'mon... my first "practice grandchild" is getting so old!! He's as tall as Ann and, well, next thing you know... it'll be Addie, too. Haha.

It's not official yet, but likely that Annie & family will depart Peru in early December and quarantine with us/in the apartment for a few weeks, then back and forth to Madison over the holidays and into January. They'll still be working & going to school for some of that time, and the apartment would be perfect for them!

I have finished all the houses and roofs on the baby blanket, and have started the last of the skies. (Note: I have trimmed ZERO tails in this row... it's pretty shaggy right now!)


It was awfully dim when I took this photo on the back sidewalk this morning... it was dark enough that the solar motion step lights illuminated when I took a bag to the trash can just moments before.

I hope y'all had a good weekend!

Unraveled Wednesday: The Clock Is Ticking

NO BABY NEWS YET! Alison is running out of things to clean, organize and/or redecorate. In the past week: sewed baby bonnets, deep cleaned their van & the kids' car seats (along with installation of the infant seat), repainted the lower kitchen cabinets, finished the upstairs bathroom (Rusty & Rod had big roles in that job), Marie Kondo'd Rod's dresser drawers, and installed missing cabinet doors in their bedroom.


Meanwhile, the kids were over a couple of times over the weekend.

Experienced Big Brother & Big Sister in waiting (blowing bubbles)...


This one is about to become a Big Sister for the first time... and forever!

Here's a quick Ducky update!


I finished the first of the cushions, then put that project aside momentarily while I made curtains! We've decided to make a trial run close to home before we head way up north. A week from today, I'll be waking up in Ducky at a little lake-side county park campground less than 20 miles from home. Anyway, curtains jumped to the top of the To-Do List, and I was able to finish all but the kitchen & bathroom curtains... those windows are very small and can be easily covered.

While I did that, Kate wallpapered the bathroom!


This photo is actually taken through the bathroom window.

And we've added some artwork.


Kate found this tiny Bob Ross-esque original oil painting for 50¢ and it's just perfect.

But that's not all...


She also started putting down the new floor! It's the same tile that we're using in The Garden Room...


...speaking of which, Rusty started the prep for that!

And now, for the main part of this program!

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




It won't be long before it's too dark to take photos before I go to work. Thank goodness, my phone camera does pretty well in low light! That's the 9th & final row in-progress, with the 8th row for (more) visual interest. I guess I have three houses to go, then roofs & skies... it seems reasonable that sewing up should begin sometime over the weekend!

I'm sure hoping we have a baby by then!


I haven't been reading anything except the New York Times on Sunday mornings. That's about to change, though. I used languishing Audible credits to acquire The Women of Brewster Place, the next "Read With Us" selection from CaroleBonny and Kym, and Hamnetwhich has been highly recommended by both Bonny & Carole in recent posts.

One of these days, I'll turn some pages, too. The stack on my bedside table is nearly obscuring my alarm clock.


Happy Friday Eye Candy!

From Maddy, Down Under:


A little Wallaby! That first image is a screen shot from a video, and that little guy/girl practically crawled right into her lap!

"Have you seen anything cuter?" she asks.

Well, here's a contender:


The hairdo! The amazing dress! The hand on the hip! The hipness of it all!!

Happy Weekend, Friends!


3TT: It's Not All Ducky All The Time

It is all Ducky a lot of the time (lately)!

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

I have three photos to share.


Roger the RV Inspector came yesterday and spent most of the day with us... inspecting, testing, teaching, advising. In the past week, we've acquired a valid propane tank and a working battery, along with a few other little things he needed to check operations (and that we just needed). And, lo, THERE IS LIGHT! We have one burnt-out light bulb inside, but otherwise SQUEEEEE! The refrigerator works, the stove & oven work, there are no gas leaks, and the electrical is good. There are a couple of little water issues, and the water heater appears to be cracked, but the tanks had all been replaced at some point and the pump is good. We need to clean off & re-seal the roof and all the outside joints, but our little Ducky is in remarkable shape overall for a 33yo travel trailer! The To-Do List is long, but not one single thing on that list (except perhaps the sealing, if it looks like rain) is holding us back from hitching up and taking off right this very minute. He's encouraged us to do so... drive for an hour to some little park, stay overnight, come home.

More likely, we'll be hitching up and driving to an empty parking lot again to practice backing up and parking and stuff like that.


So far, Kate's been the only one behind the wheel. I give directions (we're figuring out how to communicate) and run around with the level, levelers, and wheel chocks. I found this absolutely genius leveling/chock system and I just can't get over how easy it is to use!


I forgot to take a photo, so did a little Photoshop doctoring to show how close I'm getting to the end of this project!! I've knit the last block with horizontal stripes (yay! those were not my favorite)... I have a roof & sky to knit, a block of vertical stripes, two more houses to finish Row 8, and then the final row of nine houses (which I am really looking forward to).

Hopefully, with the holiday weekend ahead, I can finish the two cushions for Ducky that I'm working on, and also find plenty of time for knitting! Correction: I will take plenty of time for knitting. I've also a three-day weekend coming up after this one... though I expect there will be a new baby by then, and some much of my time will be taken up with things related to that!