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Unraveled Wednesday: Darning done

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday (though not exactly linked because this post was scheduled in advance)...


Viv's socks darned, done & dusted!


Maddy's, too!


Both pairs packed in Maddy's luggage, beginning the journey back to Australia today. Now summer really feels over! What a great time we've had!!


Now that the mending is done...


I have this back in my lap! This is my panel and I just turned the page to August... about three-quarters done!


I'm still awaiting the paperback copy of The Lewis Man, second book in The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May, so am currently only listening! Since I'm awaiting "pages," I've picked up This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain's Knitted History again. I just finished a chapter about Scotland and the Highlands. Perfect timing. We're on our way in three weeks!


First Day = Best Day

"It was the best day of my life!"


Everyone was smiling at the end of the day! They all made friends! Most of them remember their teachers' names!

Can't ask for more than that. We had a lovely get together last night to hear about the kids' (and mom's) day. It was nice enough to eat outside -- flies were a nuisance, but we didn't let them ruin it. It was lovely (as captured above).


1st Day of School!!

This just in:


The only tears shed were by Ali when she was riding her bike back home after dropping them off. (I was worried about Malina!) (Not a morning person!) I can't wait to head out there tonight so we can hear all about it!!



Yay! It always seems like such a long week when I have Monday off...

Is Flashback Friday still a thing? Remember this from two years ago?


Safe At Home... for Davy, but it was still a few weeks before he was born!


Making progress through my modified (of course) chart.


I hadn't begun sewing up the rows yet.

That was such a great project. I still have a couple of Safe At Home pillows on my To-Do List. Ducky was a mere 10 days old at this time, too! I was measuring cushions & windows, and buying new foam & fabrics.

What a crazy time. There was little discernable change in my day-to-day home/work bubble (other than an epic knitting project and a travel trailer in the driveway), but the "outside world" was certainly different.

Anyway. My mammoth sunflower bloomed!


You may have seen it on IG, but I couldn't get the entire photo to fit! Here it is in all its glory... Rusty thinks at least 9' tall. (I'm terrible at estimating height, length, distance... you name it.)


Maddy's taking off for Stevens Point this evening with her friend Katy to attend a wedding this weekend.

Rusty continues work on a 25' long commissioned painting -- I haven't seen it yet in person but hope to make it up to his studio this weekend. He's posted some progress pics on IG.

I will be darning the last sock, soaking & blocking a new swatch, and hopefully doing some sewing.

Have a wonderful weekend!!


Unraveled Wednesday: FO

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday...


I've finished the dishcloths! The photos were taken in this morning's pale light... it's changing; I'm seeing a few colorful leaves and even some falling leaves, too.


I had seven hanks of Rowan Handknit Cotton and knit a cloth from each, plus a scrappy willy-nilly Log Cabin-inspired cloth to use it all up.

  • My Ravelry Project Page: Nai-Nai's Favorite 
  • Pattern: Nai-Nai's Favoriteu by Ali Crockett
  • Yarn: Rowan Handknit Cotton (Aubergine, Raspberry, Sea Foam, North Sea, Feather, Slate, Blushes)
  • Needles: US 7
  • Start to Finish: July 16-August 23, 2022

The Aubergine cloth was already given away to Maddy's friends Katy & Andrés.


I'm going to send a couple home with Maddy, take a couple to Scotland for Kate, and give a couple to Ali, and that leaves one for me!


I finished The Blackhouse and immediately started the second book in The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May, The Lewis Man. I'm both listening and reading again -- or will be as soon as the used paperback arrives (by the end of the week, I hope). There are some familiar characters but already very different story(ies).



I had a long weekend because of a schedule change at work. And today I'm staring at the calendar in disbelief... are we really only a week + a day away from the end of August??



I had three big kids over on Sunday night for the last (ugh) sleepover of the summer!


I delivered them home in time for orientation & pics at school. Ali had packed their backpacks on Sunday night, and they took all their stuff to school yesterday. We plan to head out there with pizzas next Monday, after their official First Day, and so that they can bid farewell to Maddy... I take her to ORD a week from tomorrow (ughhhhh!).

In other weekend news...







That job took ALL DAY! We figure it's been 30+/- years since our major bathroom overhaul (there have been a few minor overhauls since then), and that brass faucet has looked awful for 25 of those years... I'll spare you the close-up. It started dripping a week or so ago and was deemed "unfixable," so I got to go shopping for a replacement!

Rusty ended up doing a lot of sawing to remove all the old stuff, but the sink came through unscathed, and there was only one incidental trip to the hardware store!


One of my favorite features is that the faucet swivels! It's also taller and that makes it easier to fill my Waterpik*. The faucet handles also sit a little higher (and they're not so pudgy), so it's easier to turn on the cold water without knocking the soap into the sink.

I was so excited that I didn't even wipe out the sink before taking photos and had to do a little "cleaning" with Photoshop!

Next up: I was also authorized (by the guy who'd rather do almost anything other than plumbing) to buy a new kitchen faucet! That'll be a project for another day -- not today, but soon. Very soon.

*A couple of dentist appointments ago, my hygienist suggested a Waterpik after I complained (once again) about how difficult it is to floss: crooked/jammed together teeth, a small mouth. I go to the dentist more frequently than most because of periodontal maintenance... I have deep pockets (not the kind I'd really like, unfortunately) and I know that flossing would be very beneficial. Anyway, I bought a Waterpik that day... and used it a few times. When I 'fessed up at my next appointment, she said that adding just a little bit of mouthwash might jazz it up a little, but my dentist said something that really stuck with me; he said to 'use it until you can't live without it.' I vowed then to use it every day until the next appointment. I offered myself a little reward of new sandals if I kept it up... which I purchased in advance so I could wear them in Denver! Then I really had to make good on my "vow," and I DID! #1, I definitely got to the point where I couldn't live without it -- I even took it to Denver! My teeth never felt so polished for so long between actual polishing. #2, At my appointment last month, my "pockets" improved -- every single one -- by at least 1mm, and some even more. So I continue to use it every day and plan to take it to Scotland, too!


A busy day off

Laundry on the line. Helping Rusty with a home improvement job. More laundry (eventually also on the line). Weeding and pruning. Mending some of Rusty's jeans. Cleaning out some crap (i.e., filling a bag for donation). Ironing. Kiddos over for haircuts. More laundry (at Ann's). Knitting. Other than missing nap time, it was a pretty good day off!


I shared this photo with Kate yesterday and she responded, "This vacation is BYON -- Bring Your Own Napkins!" You might recall that she chose some fabric at Fancy Tiger Crafts when we were in Denver so I could make her some "housewarming" napkins, and I plan to make delivery next month! I expect to get about eight napkins from each piece that we bought -- this white w/black lines and coordinating black w/white lines -- so she should be set! I bought a tablecloth on clearance ($4) at Target last year and plan to make a few napkins from that to replace some worn ones in my own drawer!

I'm planning to make them with mitered corners and there are a ton of videos out there, but if anyone has a FAVORITE method for mitered corners, I'm all ears.


My sister Ann wanted to buy the kids backpacks for starting school. Malina's & Junah's arrived yesterday... and I just had to giggle when Malina put hers on. Is she wearing the backpack or is it wearing her?? haha. Ginny's ought to be here by the time they're here again on Sunday for a sleepover (I have Monday off next week instead of Wednesday).

It was gorgeous yesterday, so a lot of time was spent outside, and the kids' haircuts were done on the driveway in the shade of the garage. We weren't always outside, though, and I had to laugh when I walked through the living room and saw this scene on the couch...


...they're usually on a bookshelf in the front room.

And then I absolutely did laugh aloud when I walked into the bedroom and saw this:


Ginny had asked me earlier in the day about wearing earrings... that she knew how to do it even though she didn't have holes in her ears... so I suspect that she was behind this!

(I'm on the second-to-last chapter of The Blackhouse... about an hour of listening time. I expect to finish tonight!)

Finally, there was plenty of chalk art on the driveway yesterday.


It's Spongebob... with TWO HANDS (on each side) and lots of legs... à la Malina!


May all your weeds be wildflowers

There's another round of weeding in my future, particularly in front of the house where one of the ash trees was removed a couple of years ago and where I haven't done much since.

I can't be sad about some of the "weeds" in my garden, though.


But the ugly weeds have to go -- some of them even have pickers!

I patched Ali's sock heel last night.


Ali & kiddos will be over tomorrow afternoon -- after Ginny's school orientation -- for off-to-school hair trims. Picture day is Monday already! And the first day of school is a week later. The kids are SO excited. It'll be nice to give Ali her sock (I hope she hasn't misplaced its mate).

Anyway, I did the prep work for one of Viv's heels last night, too, so darning will commence this evening!

Update: Monday's mood improved late in the day, and Tuesday started a-okay!


A Monday-est Monday

It started out not-so-great and, despite a glimmer or two, it's not getting better... yet!

Back in my more verbose days of blogging -- much more stream-of-consciousness days of writing -- the very act could sometimes turn a blue mood around. Maybe that's still true. Let's find out!

Maddy returned from Milwaukee with another friend in tow -- Genie traveled from Ireland to the States to attend a reunion of Girl Scout Camp counselors. They took off yesterday for a few days of fun -- this time as camp attendees. I hope they all have a blast!


Maddy also delivered her cross-stitch pillows to their recipients over the weekend, so I can show you the fronts!


And a back! She was happy to show me her neatness... which she learned from me, and I from my mother, and my mom from hers! Mom, Grandma & Great Grandma are/would be pleased.


Here are a couple of close-ups of the fronts, plus an action shot!

I started my sock mending project over the weekend, first by working duplicate stitch over a worn spot on one of Maddy's heels -- it wasn't a hole yet, but it wouldn't be long. Preventive maintenance, let's say. These are all 100% superwash merino worsted-weight socks which I'm mending with doubled 75%/25% superwash merino/nylon fingering-weight (sock) yarn; all yarns dyed by me. Hopefully those patches will hold up.

(I won't be knitting 100% wool socks for anyone again!)


Then I tackled an actual hole.


The black patch is the "preventive" stitching. The multi-colored patch was done using Swiss Darning, which is also sort of duplicate stitch -- it's worked the same, even if there isn't an existing stitch to duplicate. I watched a few YouTube videos and didn't really find a favorite, but I got the gist of it. I think for the first time ever, I used one of my darning eggs for its intended purpose!


Both of Viv's socks have quite large holes and will take some concentration. First, I'm tackling a small repair on one of Ali's socks. I was intimidated by that repair, which is why it's been sitting for a while (months), but it's pretty small in comparison and piece o' cake!

Well, I'm not sure that I feel better... but I don't feel worse, so I guess that's a win! Hope you're having a good Monday!!



Our trip to Scotland is coming up in about 5 weeks, and preparations continue!


Our Historic Scotland membership materials arrived yesterday. As members, admission to many of the places we want to visit will be free -- and we've already booked entry times for the most popular sites. I bought memberships for Rusty & myself, and also for Lady Kate! (I couldn't help myself when that title was presented in the dropdown menu options!) I have coordinates for her 10x10 plot -- it's not too far off our main route, and I really hope we'll have time to visit.


I added over 5 miles to my North Coast 500 virtual walk yesterday and am approaching Scrabster, where we'll catch the ferry to Orkney! We booked all the ferries and finalized accommodation last weekend. I might be a little short of closing the loop before we depart, but I'm okay with that. I think it would be cool to log a few miles in actual Scotland! (Also, doesn't Glengolly sound like a fun place to visit? I might have to poke* around.)


Three-point-two of yesterday's miles came from a morning hike along the Niagara Escarpment on the Red Bird Trail at nearby High Cliff State Park. We wanted to go early in order to beat the heat/humidity, and I'm sure glad we did! I was trying out new hiking shoes and poles, and I'm happy to say that they both passed! I got used to the poles without any problem and with few adjustments (turns out my left pole needs to be a little shorter than the right). We'll be doing a lot of driving in Scotland, but there will be plenty of opportunity for some hikes, too.


We found a few interesting fungi specimens on our hike yesterday. This photo reminds me of a rugged, mountainous landscape in miniature.

After a shower and a nap, I helped Maddy make a couple of cross-stitch pieces into pillows! I just happened to have the correct size/shape pillow forms, and the backing is material leftover from making cushions for Ducky.


I measured, cut & sewed, and Maddy did the stuffing & final stitching. They are gifts for a couple, and though the stitched designs are quite different, I love that they'll coordinate. I'm under strict orders not to post the fronts until they've been delivered to recipients later this week!

*Have you ever used Pegman in Google Maps to have a look around? If you click on Pegman (bottom right) you can drag him to an area that you want to explore. You're looking to drop him on a blue line, or a blue 0r orange dot -- places where the Google car has been, or where people have shared photos. When you're finished, click "back" at the top left.


About last month


I shared some photos on IG/FB yesterday from our photo date with Mary last month... these are different. Looking at these, you'd never imagine what a struggle it was to get Junah to wear that shirt! Davy's patience was MIA. At the end, we all grabbed an ice cream treat (incentive for the kids to cooperate) and met at the end of the street -- just as it started to rain and Malina was not happy about the thunder!


Maddy to myself

Everyone has departed for (their current) home except Maddy. Rusty's been away this week, too, teaching in Door County, which means I've had Maddy all to myself and, wow, it's sure been nice. I can't remember the last time that's happened. It's especially nice since she's the one I've seen the least over the past few years due to distance (and, especially, Covid travel restrictions).

This week, among other things, we've run errands, had lunch out at a nice restaurant, knit & stitched together, cleaned (both Airbnbs) together, cooked & eaten together, sat for a chat on the pergola (with beverages)... it's been great! (Have I said that already?)

She's even cooked & baked:


Last night's Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce. Oh, so fresh. It was so hot -- mostly humid -- yesterday, and this was perfect. Light, fresh & cool.


This is one of my favorite pictures of the summer so far! Maddy with her BFF Katy and partner Viv on the 3rd of July, having just returned from celebrating the 4th with Katy's family in Door County, and just before departing on their hike at Michigan's Pictured Rocks.


Maddy & Katy have been friends for a long time! This is before we built the garage! And not the first/last backyard clothesline tent soiree. Aren't they adorable?

Tonight we're getting together with Ali for dinner out... and TRIVIA! haha!


Unraveled Wednesday: More dishin'

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday...


Continuing with the (now) near-mindless dishcloth knitting!


I finished the Aubergine cloth last night and the Raspberry was last weekend's project, joining the first one in Sea Foam. Maddy & I have been watching TV and working on our projects most evenings (when she's around), and these are perfect for that. She's working on a cross-stitch piece for her friend.


I still have four hanks of Rowan Handknit Cotton in my basket -- North Sea, Feather, Slate & Blushes -- along with a little bit leftover from each cloth, so may do a wild & crazy version at the end to use it all up!

This weekend, I'm planning to darn holes in the pile o' socks from Maddy, Viv & Ali. When the dishcloths are done, I'll get back to the Temperature Blanket. And my Musselburgh is still around here somewhere... I'm thinking that will be perfect Scotland vacation knitting!


I am also continuing reading/listening to The Blackhouse.

I'm slow in the best of times, and things are still "busier" than usual around here, but I'm making progress... a big secret was revealed during this morning's commute!