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January 2021
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March 2021

You've been misled

There were two chairs in yesterday's post -- one in the USA and one in Australia -- it was the SAME PILLOW pictured on each chair! I was struck by how similar our chairs were and that Maddy & I took similar photos!*

I've made only one pillow, SO FAR, but that will change as I will be making a Safe at Home pillow for Kate, for Ali, for Annie and, yes, for myself, too! I already have the inserts. The pillows are pretty quick to knit, there's a lot of room for improv, and it's an excellent, bite-size way to make something with that great design... which I've nominated for the upcoming MDK Pattern Party.

FEBRUARY! It was not the usual slog, at least around here. I had a few projects to keep me busy -- fun and each only taking a few minutes each day -- and I think that helped! I'm amazed that Monday will be the 1st of March! 

The 100 Day Project


I'm happy with my progress, and this will continue into May.

Embroidery Bingo


I kept up with this daily... until someone won Bingo! Now I'm not so diligent about getting the stitches done in a timely manner, but have been keeping up for the most part. I think "Long & Short" and "Turkey Work" are the only ones that actually put me behind at the moment. It's been really fun to do since Kate joined in, too, and she's even continued with her own freestyle embroidery exploration, for which I've pulled out my embroidery books for her perusal.

The Fiberuary Challenge

The Fiberuary Challenge is a month of fibery fun & love, Instagram style, created a couple of years ago by Creative Ceci. There's a prompt for each day, but no pressure to participate. I've discovered some new people (near & far), and just really had a lot of fun with it!

_ _ _ _ _

* Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised? The Fiberuary prompt for Day 18 was "YARN." I wrote that I like knitting it, crocheting it, sniffing it, squishing it, buying it, sorting it, dyeing it. Maddy commented on the post:

Sniffing it and squishing it! 😂😂 I love you! I read this out to Viv and she goes to me, "It's easy to see why you are the way you are." Thanks Mom. ❤️

Safe in Oz

I finally shipped Maddy & Viv's Christmas (+) parcel via DHL last Friday! I was going to do it around Thanksgiving, but was waiting on a few things, and then the news about shippers being overwhelmed and packages piling up or lost, so I decided to postpone.

We expected it would take at least a month, but that parcel left here on Friday and was on a plane from Milwaukee on Saturday, headed first to Cincinnati and then to Los Angeles, and was in Sydney by Sunday, and on Monday was making its way to the girls in New South Wales!! I mean, you would die if you know what I paid for shipping, but at least there was some measure of "service."

Maddy sent me this photo this morning:


The "Safe at Home" pillow that I made for them is Safe in Oz!

I sent this in return:


Twinsies! There were a couple of knit cowls from Kate, some Drink Wisconsibly can coozies, cards & notes... and a credit card (as was due to expire).

Meanwhile, I'd similarly sent new credit cards to Ann & Brian in Peru that day and apparently they need to pay some sort of tax before the shipment will be released. It sounds more like ransom to me!


Unraveled Wednesday: Goin' with the flow

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today (or not) to share what I'm knitting crocheting and reading!



Well, y'all know what I'm crocheting. I added a few more motifs to the second row last night.


It's way too early to be thinking about this, but I think I'm going to want a border around the whole thing. I have done ZERO research, but if any of you have any suggestions for what kind of crochet stitch makes a good border, I'm all ears.


I finished listening to LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND, and I'm looking forward to discussion! My new audio book is THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY, and I am really enjoying Carey Mulligan's narration. AN AMERICAN QUILT: UNFOLDING A STORY OF FAMILY & SLAVERY is still my bedtime reading.


Hexies are not squares

The random layout generated at Granny Square Colors is in squares and I'm doing hexagons!


I didn't consider what difference the shape would make until I started joining the second row last night... THE SECOND ROW!!  I'm so happy. It'll be a simple adjustment (knit fewer hexies or add another row... TBD!).

Meanwhile, it's sunny with a high of 41°F today, snow is melting, birds are chirping, and I can't help but feel a little hopeful.



I did a fair bit of stitching on my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket over the weekend. Prompted by the photo I posted a couple of weeks ago of the wrong side of the back piece I'm working on, I went on a hunt to find the last one I'd taken...


I hardly worked on that project at all in 2020! Not only were we slammed with the overall weirdness of Covid, but Ali had just moved into a new house at the end of 2019, learned that she was pregnant, and had a business to keep afloat (an endeavour that wasn't mine, but I did numerous things to help). Kate & I bought Ducky and that renovation kept me busy. I had an epic baby blanket to knit! And other stuff.

Anyway, it looks like the last snap of the back I took was at Kym's in October 2019 when I drove to Michigan for our Mini AC Weekend!


I like to photo the back because the stitches are so much more obvious. Here's the same thing as of yesterday afternoon:


And here's the front:


The top image is from April 7th, and the bottom is yesterday.

I couldn't resist putting it together with a sleeve:


The end is really nowhere in sight -- there is so much left to do -- but this is really motivating! This piece is more than 2/3 done -- I've finished stitching the two top sections, and have a good start on the bottom. I'm confident that the other pieces will go a little bit quicker and I'm excited to baste the layers together for the other back piece... SOON!!

I also started making my crocheted circles into hexagons and joining them together.


I'm working from the bottom, so that's the bottom row -- just over half the width (it'll be 15 hexies wide x 21 hexies tall) (I think). I made progress since taking that photo, and have only two more hexies to work before starting the next row. I've been working the circles in order and slipping them onto stitch holders, but I could only find two, so you can see the third row stacking up in the top photo. I need a little more order, organization & control than that, so was happy for the weekend and time to work out the JAYGO method again. I'm super clumsy and some of this pretty sketchy, but oh... it makes me so happy. The colors & combos are wild, technically they shouldn't all work together, and yet... 😍.

The week got away...

Wordless, except to say: TGIF!!


Whispering... 3rd photo is Kate's work (Bingo and a DOODLE!). Bottom photo is not my stack of to-read books! ❤ Have a great weekend!!


Lots of stitching

Embroidery Bingo is genius! It's so fun & quick to do... and it's contagious! Kate decided to join in, and I just happened to already have another "card" drawn up that she could use; she just had to draw in the stitches that she wanted to do.


Here she's working on the "fishbone" stitch, and she's done a lot more since then (Saturday) -- a few more stitches, some extracurriculars on the side, and borders! The girls used to watch me cross stitch back in the day, always wanting to "sew," too, so she's no stranger to any of this.

Here's my card as of Saturday. I didn't have either of the stitches called yesterday or today, so it hasn't changed.

I needed to choose 24 out of 30 available stitches for my card, and deliberately chose ones that were less known or unfamiliar to me. I'd never even heard of fishbone before and it is so cool! I hope to find a few stitches that I can incorporate into my Alabama Chanin project(s).


In my stead, Rusty went to an estate sale on Friday; the combined estate of our friend Margaret, who died a few years ago, and her sister Florence who died a couple of months ago. Florence was 96 and spent all but her last few days in their home -- the home that they grew up in! Margaret was an artist, which is how we all became acquainted, but she also worked with needles of various types over the years, and we forged an additional bond in over knitting. Some time ago, she gave me some of her spectacular Vogue Knitting Magazines from the 50s & 60s.


I'd hoped that perhaps there'd be some more of that type of thing at the sale, and some knitting needles, but there weren't, and the yarn wasn't anything I was interested in. There was a bag full of embroidery stuff, though, so I asked Rusty to bring that home. There were a few projects underway, and lots of floss. I was amused at the range of prices I found on the floss bands; today a skein of that floss sells for around 45¢. Anyway, I used some of their floss for my fishbone stitch, and I'm sure I'll use more.

I did a bit of beading over the weekend and some more applique on my Car Jacket.


And I've been following my granny square layout to do crochet. I had done a lot of willy-nilly circles, but now I'm following a plan and will soon have enough to join together the first row!


Let's catch up

I had a lovely 3-day weekend, with Monday off. It was that perfect blend of getting things done without the days disappearing in a flash. I don't know how/why that seems to happen sometimes, but it was just so great to finish a task and still have plenty of "time on the clock."

Kate took my big hint on Friday and started to take down the tree. She stopped when she got to the part where "I know certain things go in certain boxes," so I finished up on Saturday morning.


I always love the "tetris" part of the putting away! This was by far the longest I've ever had my tree up. Whew! Glad it's down, and so grateful for Kate's help.

On Saturday, Ali dropped Ginny off for a "Date with Kate" on her way to grocery shop -- which mainly consisted of Kate & Gin driving up to Green Bay to pick up an order at Michael's and a drive-thru/parking lot snack at McDonald's (such are the times), and then dropping Ginny off at home on the way back.


Junah happened to be with Ali, so I offered to have him stay with me while Al did her shopping.


We played with K'nex -- well, he played while I was tasked to helping count out some of the pieces -- and he built a motorized fan. He was so chuffed: "Oh my god, it really is turning!" 

And then we got out the train set that had been set up once or twice around the Christmas tree and he played with that for a while... with room to spread out and not worry about Malina or Ginny bumping into the track while dancing or whatever.

And then we watched a little TV: Snoopy In Space! (He just loves Charlie Brown & the gang.) He had me sit right next to him on the couch, arms linked... "This is so cozy!"

Plotz. One-on-one time is so nice! Can't wait 'til next time with a different kid.

On Sunday, we finally put up the curtain rods in The Garden Room. I had all the stuff we needed since a few weeks before Christmas and then... early holiday hoopla followed by Covid followed by no energy. I finally felt up to facing the task!


Because it's really nice to have sunshine streaming into that room, unless you're in there trying to do something while the sunshine is streaming in! Seriously, sunglasses are needed! There'll be easily arranged light-filtering curtains along the east side (to Rusty's left) and on the two large windows that he's facing. That should help a lot. Those other two windows are "original" and we've never had 


That's some specialized curtain rod hardware for the corner -- adjustable and mostly used for bay windows, I guess.


I was motivated & energized enough to do a little clean up and rearranging in there!

Meanwhile, I've been stitching away on my 100 Day Project, missing only one day so far when the kids were over and I was tuckered.


Since I took this photo on Sunday, I got a lot of beading done on the lower third. Feel like I'm getting my groove back.

I'm also playing Embroidery Bingo on IG with Jessica Long Embroidery! Cara posted about this in her IG Stories late last week with an invitation to join her. I needed another Thing in my life like a whole in the head, but y'know... it takes no time at all and I'll learn some things! I have no idea how to do Turkey Work or Oyster stitch, for starters. Bingo started on Monday and today is the first day that my stitch wasn't called.

Thought I'd show you the layout from the Granny Squares Color Pattern Generator, which of course I also learned about from Cara!


I'm making hexies instead of squares, and they're all bordered in off-white, so I just had it generate a 2-color layout using 35 colors. Oh boy! It's crazy, scary, intimidating... and I LOVE IT!!!


My world in black & white

We had some snow yesterday. View to the east from the Garden Room. (This is photo is "as shot" in full color.)


Not as much as some of y'all in the East, but it snowed all day and it was heavy, wet, and very sticky. Our wooded ravine was a wonderland -- this photo captures only a tiny fraction of that (even in wide-angle)!

Anyway, it's February... notoriously cold, gray, and seemingly the longest month of the year, even though it's technically the shortest. My world has been pretty colorful lately (on purpose), at least as far as my knitting/crochet projects go, but I had a reminder the other day that it's sometimes good to take a look at those things in black & white because, especially, shades of gray.

While I was prepping my Safe At Home post for IG yesterday, I accidentally swiped and... I don't really know how these things happen... and voila, black & white.

BW - IMG_7378

Every once in a while, Cara posts a reminder to take a look in black & white because you can more easily see the VALUE of those colors and how they work together. Admittedly, I did not do that with Safe At Home, so I was very happy to see that there was pretty good balance overall. There are a few places where the windows and/or door fade right into the house or the stripes are a big glob of light, medium, or dark, or you can't tell the roof from the sky, but it's all pretty well distributed throughout.

Anyway, it prompted me to look at some current projects in a similar way.


These are the circles from yesterday. (BTW, the little circles will all eventually have a few more rounds in another color, just like the ones above them, and then they'll all have another round or two in natural to make them into hexagons, and then I'll use a JAYGO technique to Join AYou Go!)

Anyway, isn't that interesting?? That gray & gold circle at top right was a little surprising, and I'd have thought there'd be more contrast in the blue & yellow one at bottom left. I love that some of the tiny circles are of mixed value... especially that green one at the right.

Here's the value of the box of yarn from yesterday's post:


I got a new craft bin in which to store that project, wound up the rest of the yarn, culled some of the repeats (either super similar or same color/different dye lot), added the neons back in (because, let's just see...).


The goal was light, medium, dark starting from the bottom. I rearranged, took a photo, looked in b&w/monochrome; rearranged, took a photo, looked; rinse & repeat... I took a crazy number of photos! And I see that I could still make adjustments (until the cows come home). The discerning eye will spot the "dark value sequins" atop a "light value yarn." Haha. This is a multi-craftual household.


Here's that image in full color!

The next thing I'm going to do is another thing I just learned from Cara (who learned from another) is to enter all these colors/values into the Granny Squares Color Pattern Generator, along with some info about my pattern, and have a nicely balanced random plan generated for me!! That will take a little planning and screen time, but I think it will be well worth it! And there's a 3-day weekend on tap. Yahoo!

What are your weekend plans?


Unraveled Wed...THURSDAY: Pandemic Yarn Splurge(s)

Best laid plans, y'all! I had errands to run yesterday morming morning and kids coming over (yay!) in the early afternoon. I tried to get this written & posted in between but I barely got started before I ran out of time. And then I ran out of energy.

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


I laughed when I read Kym's post today yesterday, because boy oh boy, have I done that!! More than once, in fact, and because of it I am drowning in mini-skeins! Actually, let's just say that I'm swimming in them... because I'm okay with the situation!


Unicorn tails! I had a few, and then I bought a "pandemic" bunch, and then I bought a "pandemic" few more. I've always loved the saturated color, some of which actually seem to glow, even if a single-ply yarn can sometimes cause problems. (We shall see.)

I'm making a little progress... sort of just winging it right now as I try to figure out a direction of sorts.


LOVING IT!!! I am living for color these days...


...and, apparently, especially when it glows! This is our kitchen bouquet in yesterday morning's sunshine. (Today, it's gray and snowing.)


I finished listening to HAMNET on Tuesday night while I stitched on my Car Jacket. My next audio read will be LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND! AN AMERICAN QUILT: UNFOLDING A STORY OF FAMILY & SLAVERY is still my bedtime reading.


I am participating in the Fiberuary Challenge on Instagram, created by Creative Ceci a few years ago, and it's been fun! We're only on Day 4 of 28, but so far so good.

Today's prompt was "Made in 2020," so of course:

2020 Safe at Home 2

Safe At Home for & with Davy!


100 Days... underway!

Yesterday was the official beginning of The 100 Day Project...

...and that will take us solidly into MAY!! Doesn't that sound wonderful? I'll be posting most of my updates on IG (I am @vicki.knitorious), but won't be able to resist sharing here now & then, too.

I spent yesterday morning getting my workspace somewhat cleared and set the scene.

Background in a nutshell: This is my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket, the project I chose in November 2017 when Kym & I attended a 3-Day Workshop at the Alabama Chanin Factory in Florence, Alabama. It wouldn't normally take 3-4 years to finish a project like this, but I sort of went off the deep end with the embellishing. I'm thankful I chose the jacket and not the coat!!


When I left off last May, I was working on the first back piece. I wasn't surprised to find a needle stuck into the fabric on the side, but I was surprised to find that it was threaded and still attached! I don't remember specific circumstances, but I'm thinking that this was put away in haste, though it was all pretty neat and organized. Anyway, here's the big picture:


The top third is done. The middle is about half-done. The bottom has a good start. The middle section got some attention yesterday.


Before & after. I stitched, cut, beaded & appliqued a "flower" (trying something new) and finished beading around the big circle where I'd left off (you can see the needle that I'd left behind in the top photo).

Close ups:


Looking forward to making progress!

My goal is to work on this project for at least :20 each day. It doesn't seem like much, but even on my busiest days, I can carve out 20 minutes, and usually it will be more. Yesterday, I listened to a 40-minute podcast while I did most of the work... and I have quite a few audio books in my queue!

I hope you had a good weekend, too!