3TT: Randomness!

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

ONE. Have you heard of "cocoa bombs"? Are they big by you? I mean, like, can't find them anywhere and/or keep up with demand? Ali's POS/online ordering system couldn't keep up last week when she announced a batch!

It's both a blessing and a curse. A small business like Ali's needs every little bit these days, so she's doing her best to ride the wave and keep up... no small feat with four kids between 3mo and 6y at home! Also, standards. They're gorgeous and her nana would be proud.


Anyway, she's sells them in boxes of two or four. I packed up two 4-packs yesterday to send to one of Ann's former assistants (and her family) here in WI who is recovering from covid.


It's a large chocolate shell filled with cocoa mix and other things, depending on flavor... a truffle, mini marshmallows, peppermint pieces, etc. You put them in the bottom of a mug -- and these are HUGE, so the biggest one you've got -- and slowly pour in hot milk; the shell melts and the filling "explodes." Junah was quite impressed in the test video that Ali sent us. Haha.


As you might guess, they're pretty fragile, so I wrapped each one in plastic wrap, so that even if there was breakage, it would still be salvageable to make a cuppa cocoa. There's a couple layers of bubble wrap + parchment underneath, along with crinkle paper all around -- and then more packing material in the actual shipping box. I'm anxious to see how they fare...

(I had a bag of yarn delivered the other day that was torn completely open... thankfully nothing was missing or damaged! I think a large gap in the packaging got caught in some equipment.)


Since I was in packing mode, I finally got a couple of boxes put together that I've been meaning to send for over a year. It feels so good to have those things on their way!

TWO. Kate's mixing up some tinctures in order to make bitters, and eventually some kickass cocktails.


She'd given me the book Handcrafted Bitters for Christmas a few years ago and I've made a few things... but, you know, this year we're at next level with all.the.things! Some of these tinctures are ready today!

THREE. Finally, the sky this morning grabbed me from the minute I walked out the door.


The photo above (from outside my garage) doesn't really do justice, but you can kind of see that something cool is going on beyond those branches. When I left the coffee shop a few minutes later, I saw the girls standing outside the door to have a look-see. And by the time I got to work:


And still pretty stunning a few minutes later.


Happy Thursday, peeps! The weekend is almost here!


Sk-eye Candy Friday (and more)


We did, indeed, head out on a little road trip yesterday. We drove about 1.5 hours N-NE -- not far from where Annie used to live -- to find the waterfall at Veterans Park. Oh, it was so worth it!!


There was a stairway down to the river and some paths along the shore.


And a really lovely foot bridge over the water!


I think we all had wet feet, but it was just all too tempting to explore! There was still a fair bit of snow on the ground in places, too.


We sat down to soak up the sun and listen to the water... next thing you know, I was having a little lie down on the rocks. That's when I took the first photo in this post.


And turned the camera around for this one. That big rock certainly wasn't warm, but it wasn't freezing cold, either. The coolness felt good and the sun felt good and it all just felt so good.

And then on the way home there was this:


Crazy spring weather!

I hope you all have a great weekend... there's a holiday or something, isn't there? Gah.


3TT: Sky view

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

1 -- Saturday sky.


From a pontoon ride on the Upper Saint Croix Lake... this is just before we turned around and headed back to the dock. Threatening!

2 -- Sunday sky.


Again on the Upper Saint Croix, that's my cousin driving and Mack waving from the boat. Birthday Boy Addie is on the knee-board behind. Can you believe he's 12 today?

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

3 -- Wednesday sky.


More threatening weather late yesterday. I took this photo as I was getting into my car after work. I missed a downpour during a well-timed stop at the grocery store. Another deluge hit after I got home. There was a confirmed tornado in Green Bay, about 20 miles away; Ali's much closer and snapped a dramatic photo of her own.


Back in the day, Saturday Sky was a THING... amongst many knit-bloggers, at any rate.


I think of "Saturday Sky" and Sandy, the "founder," if you will, almost any time I take a photo of the sky. There she is a couple of Saturdays ago (with a little sky peeking through) sandwiched between Cara & me.

Here are a few of my recent faves (none of these actually taken on Saturday, haha!):


According to the location feature on my phone, this photo was taken above Indiana on my way home from Rhinebeck. I just happened to glance out and spotted the moon, and the dusky glow of day-into-night. (Edited to remove reflections in the window.)


This was one of the weirdest/eeriest skies I've ever seen. I was at work and the camera is facing SE-ish, so it's morning and there's blue sky and a nice bright sun, but you can see on the right and overhead that there is a looming gray mass and it filled the entire sky behind me (west) and was closing in north & south, too. It was dark and light and weird and wonderful (to a sky-watcher)!


I took a walk to the credit union on Halloween with Kate and we were struck by the glow of this maple in front of my friend Susan's house. I'm not sure she saw us... Trick-or-Treat time was just about to begin and perhaps she just thought we were two goons out on the sidewalk!


It was pretty spectacular (and, y'know, soon to be bare branches), especially that gorgeous blue sky peeking through yellow leaves.

Sewing and Knitting and Cooking and Sky-watching



Oh.My.Word. I am so in love with this Alabama Chanin swing skirt project!


I don't remember whether I mentioned it here, but I was SHOCKED when I opened my kit and found Burgundy & Dark Grey (exactly what I ordered) instead of Dark Grey & Dove (which is what I was going to order right up 'til the last minute, when I daringly changed my mind).

There was nothing to do but DO, which is exactly what I did... not only is it a work-in-progress, it is also a design-in-progress. 


One thing's for sure: these colors are working for me!!


Well. I finished a pair of Dimorphous Mittens a while back (except for buttons), and still have my Scoreboard Cowl to finish, but hadn't been too inspired to knit much lately (or have been more inspired to sew). But now...

  • I am well underway with Romi's Mystery Shawl 2016. I had to find & fix a little mistake at the end of Clue 2 last night (employing all the stitch markers) to keep on track!
  • Casting on of LOLA is imminent! I will be knitting this sweater in pieces, and beginning with a provisional cast-on (keeping options open... because designing as I go seems to be A Thing). All the materials are gathered and I'm finally ready to go!


  • I'm not sure where Werifesteria will fit in, but it's not the knitting that I'm most interested in at this point, anyway. This is the second mystery Knit-Along/Walk-Along presented by Christina Campbell and I thoroughly enjoyed both aspects of the first. A March Through Time is probably my most-worn winter knit this year! Mostly, though, I am interested in the motivation to get out and walk this spring. Let's go!! (By the way, this KAL/WAL begins tomorrow! It is automatically 20% off through 3/31 -- that's today!)

COOKING (and Eating)


Beef & Lamb Meatballs over Green Pea Risotto a la Plated. Yum. Our box also held the ingredients for a wonderful skillet-roasted chicken with some fennel and potatoes. I was a bit unsure about the new subscription plans, so have sat out deliveries for a bit, but decided to get back in; I am in charge and can skip whenever I like (such as the next two weeks, for various reasons) or even suspend deliveries for a lengthier period of time, but I really do enjoy not having to think about what I'm going to cook sometimes -- or even having to shop for it! Plus, I get to try new things or prep methods and have reasonable assurance that it's all going to turn out fine great. I have a few  invitations available (up to $72 off with subscription); if you're interested in trying Plated yourself, let me know and I'll send you an email invite!


I ordered Fish Tacos at Houdini's Escape Gastropub at 5th Tuesday Knit Night; also in the frame are pub fries, a grilled veggie sandwich, and tortellini with portabello mushroom. Also yum. I really need to expand my horizons beyond the tacos at this establishment, but... SO GOOD!



Arriving at work - view to the east - March 18, 2016


Arriving at work - view to the east - March 22, 2016


Arriving at work - view to the east - March 29, 2016

The weather has been decidedly chilly, dreary, gray, and wet and looks to be that way for a while (perhaps even some snowflakes flying), so I'll just park these photos here so I can easily visit until nice weather returns.


I've been to the butcher and the grocer this morning, and dinner is in the crockpot (it's Cheater Slow Cooker Pork Stew from Nom Nom Paleo, and I will definitely let you know!) (It's been mere minutes and already... mmm!)

There's also a fresh batch of kombucha in the works. There'll be a post about that endeavour before the end of the month!

I'm going to get my walk in now, heading up to the coffee shop this morning (Rusty's having his Fall Art Show & Sale today).

When I get back, I'll be working on this:


Originally thinking that it would be one two-layer piece, it is instead going to be two one-layer pieces. The possibilities are truly endless! They are both going to be simple, basic layering pieces. I'll let you know how that works out, too. Heh.

There was still a bit of light and subtle color in the clouds & sky last night as I left work.


But it's the people in the area of this sky that I can't stop thinking about today.


It was two weeks ago today that I took Kate to the airport... bound for Paris. She and her friends had a great time, including birthday celebrations (x2), and the weather was surprisingly beautiful making Paris an extra-gorgeous place to be! After a bit, they all headed to Berlin for another few days, and then to Edinburgh. I am relieved that Kate is there now; still, anxious for her return home on Tuesday.

{Friday} Sky


That's actually from early Wednesday afternoon! There was a slight change in the weather... and I can't say that I didn't see it coming. Oh, the drama! The first shot is from the deck behind the coffee shop as the sun was about to disappear; the second is just a few minutes later as I was getting into my car, which was parked in front across the street.

With the weather front came a drop in the temperature and a lot more wind! That made yesterday's walk the most challenging yet, plus it was precipitating a little. I hesitate to even call it "mist," but when you wear glasses you notice!

Saturday (Earth &) Sky


The old lift bridge... which may become operational again someday.


Amazing sky when we left the theater after yesterday's matinee of SPECTRE!


Sandal weather may be over for good now.


Fungi found this morning.

I've taken a walk every day this week starting Monday, logging almost 9 miles. That's 9 miles better than any week in recent (or not-so-recent) memory!

Ten on Tuesday: I love...

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Love



1. Watching sunsets over the ocean.




2. Watching sunrises over the mountains.


3. Watching sunrises over the ocean... the night sky recedes. Bonus: waning gibbous moon.




4. Watching surf, surfers, and my husband on the beach shooting waves.


5. Watching whales! There are at least four humpbacks in this photo; there were at least six in the group that let us hang for a while.


6. Walking to the beach.


7. Sitting on the beach.


8. Standing on the beach.


9. Knitting at the beach.


10. Travel!


Saturday Sky... Scotland-style

My sky is gray today, in the le drear way.

Sometimes, though, a gray sky can be one of the best things ever... adding to the moody beauty of the Scottish Highlands, say.

This is from a viewpoint as the A832 descends into Kinlochewe, overlooking Loch Maree -- one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen.


We stopped at that overlook a couple of times while we were in the area. One time, we'd just got out of the car when another zoomed in, came to a fast stop, and four young guys jumped out, practically unzipping their flies as they did! "Pardon us," they said, "we really need to wee!" Or something to that effect. It was so funny, made even funnier when we met eyes with one of the lads and there was instant recognition -- he'd been our waiter at a restaurant in Gairloch the day before! They quickly did what they came to do (not stopping to admire the view!), then jumped back into their car and zoomed off!

You can see this view featured a couple of times in the beginning of this ad for David Beckham's Haig Club Scotch Whisky. (Make it BIG!)



Sunday Sky



The first "sticky" snow of the season. Thank goodness it's not very much.

My Sunday plans have been slightly derailed this morning with the discovery of a mouse in the house! I like them in all forms except live in my house. So, this morning, I've been washing all the things!!

Also, it smells like a candy cane factory in here with all the peppermint oil-infused, mouse-repellant cotton balls I'm tucking into corners. Emptied one bottle, on to the next...

Hope your day is slightly more on track!


Saturday Sky


This is the farm that's right across the road from where I work, and it's one of my favorite things in the world. I love watching the process.

I'm loving the suggestion of the telephone wires in this "watercolor" rendering and that I'm reminded of birds on a wire -- because those wires often are loaded with them!

Happy Saturday!



Thursday, June 27, 2013. The first photo was taken in the late morning, I think; the second as I left work at 5:00; the third half-way home.

Later, Kate & I went to Appleton for a bite to eat and noticed the drama in the sky as we left the restaurant. We drove north instead of home, seeking higher ground and expansive view -- straight into it, getting our storm-chaser on!

It was pretty amazing, very exciting, and also a little scary as lightning lit the sky and the clouds shifted and changed. Katie was concerned when it looked as though little funnels might be forming; I was concerned when the clouds turned a sickly yellow-green.

We snapped some pictures on our mobile devices, then it started to rain and we drove home in a downpour.

Fun times!

I'm serious!



Web-2012-11-26 16.04.25
Thank you for your continued good thoughts and well wishes!

Can you believe tomorrow is the last day of November? Already!


Ten on Tuesday: Weekend update

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I Did This Weekend

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1. Road trip! Heh. Not across the pond -- that's Isle of Cumbrae, above -- but across the state! The weather was similarly spectacular, though, for our three-day weekend.

image from www.flickr.com

2. The long way. We took "the long way" on way west through our little metropolis -- though not as far west as the Port of Oakland (above)! We drove the newly opened eastern section of Wisconsin Avenue in Appleton -- shut down the last TWO summers for construction -- and significant because that's where my most-local LYS, Iris Fine Yarns, is located. We didn't stop this time, but I've stopped plenty in the last couple of years -- pfft, "Road Closed"? Watch me.

image from www.flickr.com

3. Westward-ho. We chose US Route 10 as the departure point for our meandering trip to far northwest Wisconsin. Along the way we checked out a new shop I'd heard about, The Knitting Nest* in Weyauwega. There were two other customers in the store at the time, one of whom I recognized -- she used to work in the children's department at our library! It was funny to run into "neighbors" at a shop so many miles from home.

Grandpa's birthday

4. The Kitchen Table. We were close to Marshfield when we started to get hungry, so drove into town to see what we could find. I remembered The Kitchen Table -- and where it was, even though they were closed the first time I tried to go. We had THE BEST LUNCH (he, omelette; me, sandwich) we've had in a long time. Great atmosphere, friendly service, fabulous food -- and I mean real, good food. I meant to buy the cookbook, and I've heard good things, so I'll have to order it.

My mom and dad were both born and raised in Marshfield, so before we left I directed Rusty on a quick drive-by of tour of (my personal) highlights: Grandma & Grandpa's house on Cedar St.; Great Grandma & Grandpa Blum's house on Bakerville; I pointed out some of the important landmarks like the location of Jimmy's Cafe where my mom and dad first met; Weber's and Mitten's; the original Penney's (where my mom once worked, and cried in her Easter Bunny costume because she didn't want to be Easter Bunny! Poor, sad little Easter bunny...); Sacred Heart and the original location of the Marshfield Clinic... I tried to remember where Karau's was (I remember going with Grandma), and to conjure the distinctive (and pleasing) aroma of Grandma's house, and remembered picnics at Wildwood Park with Dad, etc.

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5. 1964 World's Fair Wisconsin Pavilion. Continuing west, we went through Neillsville, and we actually turned around and went back for a better look at this -- it's so fantastical in a 1964 way! Those are NEON letters spelling out WISCONSIN on the spire!

image from www.flickr.com
6. Karen's. Our destination on Friday was my sister's house near Rice Lake (about an hour north of Eau Claire). We had a great visit there, watching baseball, knitting, eating, and Rusty helped with a couple of putzy house projects (he's a good craftsman and a great problem solver).

image from www.flickr.com
7. Reunion. The main purpose for this trip, and final destination, was Rusty's class reunion of unfathomable years in Grantsburg. He'd never been to one before (not even one of mine, because I only went to the first, which was the fifth, and we hadn't yet met). You are correct if you think he mostly went to school -- and graduated -- in California, but the first semester of senior year was spent at a small-town high school in NW Wisconsin -- and they always invite him to the reunion! He was living with his uncle's family at the time, and had a cousin in the same class -- another cousin ended up marrying a classmate. It was a memorable semester for him as the "new kid."

image from www.flickr.com

8. The Farm. We visited the farm last May... as you can see, there have been some changes since then. A spring tornado made a big difference in the landscape. The recent death of the farmer's wife makes it that much more mournful.

It's all a bit melancholy as the farmer is fading, too.

image from www.flickr.com
9. Thorpedo. We'd have gone back through Marshfield on the way home to eat again at The Kitchen Table if our timing had been better; instead, we stopped at the Thorpedo Restaurant in Thorp. I remember eating here for the first time, years ago -- the summer before 7th grade -- when I traveled with my glass-blowing aunt and helped with her booth at county fairs in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Good food, friendly service.

image from www.flickr.com
10. Sports Fan! It was another great weekend to be a Wisconsin sports fan, as the Brewers inched their way closer and the Packers came from behind to win! (We actually listened to the baseball game on the radio in the car... rather unheard-of... football, yes; baseball, not really.)

image from www.flickr.com
*A more photo-heavy post than usual. Some were chosen at random, others with a definite tie-in -- they all have the sky in common. I have been paying even more attention than usual and have been gathering appropriate materials for some interpretation of a sky scarf. Fun, huh? To further the cause, I nabbed a likely hank of Cascade sock yarn in colors of the sky at Knitting Nest. I shall soon devise a plan.

Meanwhile, the Caera Cowl is blocking!


Saturday Sky

Like Margene's, my Saturday Sky is Friday's edition.  We've had a few lovely sunrises this week -- they occur just as I'm packing up my lunch and whatever else to head out the door each day.

I don't have the capacity to choose a favorite today, so you get 'em all -- similar though they may be.

Due to a combo of kinda cruddy weather and sewer problems (thankfully, not mine, but I don't wish that on anyone), I will not have a baby in my viewfinder 'til tomorrow.

So, it's not like I don't have anything to do this morning.  And I'm going to go -- right now -- throw both of my recently completed scarves into the bath.  I also need to find the materials and pattern for Addison's Christmas stocking.  I'd started it once and was unhappy, so tore it out and put it away somewhere... but WHERE???


I was up a little last last night, probably due in part to a late espresso at an art opening held at Mud Creek Coffee, so I slept in this morning!  I haven't done that in a while!

While hubs jawed and rubbed shoulders a bit, Ali and I took a little walk around town.  I'd grabbed my camera, so as we walked and talked I'd say, "Look at me," "Stand over there," "Sit on that step."

A little smug

Looking to the right


I don't have a willing model at my beck and call most times (not that they're ever all that willing), so I shoot 'em when I can!

Lake Winnebago

Stockbridge is on the east side of Lake Winnebago.  The east side is far less populated than the west and it is my favorite side.  I love my house and there aren't many other places I'd consider moving, but I'd definitely consider someplace over here.  Not that I'm looking.  Anyway, I was drawn down to water's edge on the way home where I captured a pretty good image for Saturday Sky!

Happy Weekend!!

Saturday sky, Friday morning drama edition



When I saw this on my way to work yesterday morning (car cam!), I thought we were in for it!  There's snow in the weekend forecast, but this made me think that perhaps the timing was a bit off.  It turned out to be a "nice" end-of-March spring day -- a bit cold, but mostly sunny.  Not bad.  There was a similar look to the sky at sunset.  For the most part, the sun is shining this morning, too.  There's still snow in the forecast.  We're supposed to get a few inches tonight.  It's all second-hand news.  I don't care to watch.

I had big plans today!  DH was up a little earlier than I was this morning, and was cooking up a high-powered liver & egg breakfast for himself when I got up -- he has a busy day ahead, too.  I don't usually break the fast immediately upon rising, but I accepted his offer -- sometimes when I get involved in the day, I don't stop to eat at all.  So, just as he was plating our meal, I bent OVER (rather than DOWN) to pick something off the floor and felt something snap in my back.  Damn!  Today is the first day of a four-day weekend -- and I have big plans for all FOUR days!  I ate my breakfast, took a handful of ibuprofen, got "dressed" (haven't tried washing my face or brushing my teeth yet -- that's next), and have been alternating hot- and cold-packs all morning.  Hopefully, I'll be able to salvage something of the weekend.



20080606sunset2I was on my way out with the dog last night and from the front porch, even through the trees, power lines and houses across the street, I could see the glow.  I had to dash back into the house for my camera and really hustle in order to make it to the bridge in time to take some photos.  I could feel the burn.

Saturday Sky courtesy of Friday night.

Yesterday we said "Hello!" to summer.  One evening last week I had a fleece-lined denim shirt on for my evening walk with the dog and had been contemplating gloves.  Yesterday, it was hot and humid and they say it was just a prelude to the weekend.  It's nice right now, so I've got the house wide open.

Direct from Friday night...

Friday Night Blues

It's Saturday Sky!

We went to the "performance" and opening of the INSTANT ART SHOW at Main Street Art Works last night.  I loved the concept from the get-go -- each of the co-op's artists invited three or four other artists to bring their favorite work, find a place to install or hang it, then party "enjoy each other's company."  Yeah, it was well attended and really fun -- and (yay) even profitable for some.  I took a break from the fun, and took my camera on a walk around the block.

20080502_hilbert_0011 Log_cabin_progress_0042

Before I get kicked out of the knitting club, here's a fairly craptacular progress photo of the Log Cabin blanket as of... the other night (I don't remember which night).  I'm about at the point where I can decide whether I want to keep log cabin-ing all the way to the end, or do something different.  I'm leaning toward doing something different... like picking up and knitting a rainbow of squares all around the edge.  It's kind of a wild & crazy blanket, anyway; I think it could work.

Saturday morning, 10 below

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You get the picture.  I will have to venture out to the grocery store this morning, and then it's going to be a soup day.  I haven't decided what kind yet.  I do believe tomorrow will be soup redux, as it isn't going to be much better, and I may as well fill the freezer and have some choices for next week's lunches.

Honestly, there must be something wrong with my nose.  There are two things that I have been smelling a lot lately and most of the time it's for no good reason.  One is cigarette smoke (I'm smelling it now, which is why the mention) and the other is exhaust.  It's not stale, icky, old smoke, it's more like someone is standing a few feet away and it's wafting under my nose, "fresh," if you will, and not unpleasant to this ex-smoker -- I never developed an aversion; thankfully, it doesn't seem to trigger any urges.  It is annoying.  Even when I did smoke, I never smoked in the house.  The exhaust smell is very unpleasant and stings my nose; I've actually gone to see if there's some old truck parked right outside my door, choking the neighborhood.  So weird.  Why can't I smell a freshly bathed baby or fresh-baked bread?

Sipj08buttonTomorrow may also be an unscheduled Pajama Day -- though I will have to change into my "lucky" Green & Gold attire for Ice Bowl II tomorrow evening!  I've been meaning to mention the upcoming Super International Pajama Day (third annual?), which falls on Super Bowl Sunday.  I love Celia and I love Pajama Day!

Abcalong150pxwideAnd now, my last pitch for the ABC-Along 2008 and a few more links.

First:  Deadline for inclusion in the Flickr group and on the blogroll is midnight tonight.  I have no control over the Ravelry group, so we'll just have to see how that goes.  There are new people joining Ravelry all the time, so maybe they'll want to jump in... play catch up or pick up at whatever point they get their invite or discover it, maybe someone will decide to do only vowels or the letters in their first name.  Whatever.  I hope they have fun with it.

Second:  While I do run a loose ship and participants may do whatever they wish, I do wish to say that my intent – what I had in my mind – was ONE well-chosen THING for each letter, though possibly several pictures to illustrate that thing, not twenty different things for each letter.  It forces one to be choosy and disciplined – what is the BEST representation of YOU for a given letter.  I did not choose my words very carefully, however, and left the door wide open, and neither did I set any limits to how many pictures can be uploaded.  I'm not going to go changing the "rules," but it's something to keep in mind and I think, in the end, it would be a much more powerful body of work, both as a whole and as a representation for each participant.

That's all.  Except for a few more blog links that tickle and/or inspire:  1001 Arabian Knits, Art is the Handmaid of Human Good, Dalai Mama, Knitphomaniacs, Knitting and Sewing and All Forms of Procrastination..., Will Knit for Vodka, Will Pillage for Yarn, Yarn and Chocolate, and Yarn Mafia.

Weekend Update

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Saturday Sky, which didn't get posted yesterday, and same view on Sunday.  SNOW!

ATTENTION!  KNITTER IN NEED:  One of the knitters in our NE Wisconsin Yahoo group put out a desperate plea for yarn on the message board.  She is in need of 2 hanks Rowan Handknit DK Cotton, Color 311 (Nautical), Lot 15K2.  The LYS doesn't have any more in that lot; she bought a different dye lot and tried alternating, but it's too obvious.  If anyone can help, please let me know and I'll put you in touch.

Dsc01839Almost.  It's been a bit of a struggle with the Oblique fronts.  I ripped back to the beginning of the raglan shaping -- the cast-off stitches -- and carried on from there, but was knitting myself into a black hole, for sure, with some of the decisions I was making about decreases and YOs.  So, ripped back again; this time to where the decreases met the textured lace pattern.  I made much better decisions the second time and I've become quite good at reading my knitting -- and at fixing my mistakes.

It's an "almost" because I think I mixed up my decreases on the last few rows.  The top of the right front, especially, veers suspiciously off in the wrong direction.  I'd stuffed it into my knitting bag with only a handful of rows left to go and when I pulled it out, one side was yanked off the needle.  I may have mixed up left and right when I put it back on.

Or, perhaps I was distracted by football.


What a game!  There was a fumble and heartbreak, snow, fumble and more heartbreak, more snow, running and passing and touchdowns, and SNOW!!  And we WON!  We're going to the Divisional Championship game!!  (Go GIANTS!)

Abcalong150pxwideSign up (to be included in the Flickr group and on the blogroll) continues for ABC-Along 2008 through Saturday (see here) -- which is also the end of "A" on the official posting schedule... though, you know, I'm not a real stickler for the official posting schedule.  To be honest, I fell behind a few times in the middle of the alphabet last time -- I was stymied by the letter or uninspired or just too busy -- so I played catch up.  Whatever, you know?  My enthusiasm for the project never waned, and I sure wasn't going to throw in the hat because I missed a "deadline."  It's supposed to be fun, creative, and inspired -- hopefully, your posts will be something you can look back on at the end of the year and feel good about, that the thing you choose for each letter of the alphabet really means something to you.  That doesn't mean that one should continue to post As and Bs throughout the year -- that's not the point -- but I hope no one gives up because of "falling behind."

Saturday Sky


P.M. version.  This was our view from the cabin and deck on Mud Hen Lake where we stayed over on Saturday night.  Looks wonderful, doesn't it?  And it was.  It was also HOT HOT HOT!  I enjoyed this same view, along with a slight breeze, on Sunday morning as I finished off the Celtic Braid Socks!

DH and I made a whirlwind weekend trip to far NW Wisconsin for a party -- part celebration of his aunt and uncle's 60th wedding anniversary, part family reunion.  I'd been on the fence about it for weeks -- right up until Friday evening, but his northwoods relatives won me over years ago with their warmth and generosity.  Plus, the deal was sweetened with the promise of fiber stops along the way.  More on that tomorrow!


Dsc00663If you've never cleaned or oiled your sewing machine yourself -- never gave a thought to cleaning or oiling except when it's suggested by the guy at the sewing machine shop when it's taken in for repair -- do it.  My machine is not used that much, and it's been several years since it was in for repair/cleaning/oiling, and I can't believe how much dusty, dirty lint was packed in around the feed dogs after I removed the plate!  The machine came with a couple of small screwdrivers, but I've long since lost the brush (not because of over-use), so I borrowed a couple of DH's stiffer paintbrushes.  I bought sewing machine oil (cheap, cheap, cheap compared to the repair/cleaning/oiling!) the last time I was at Hancock's... and I must admit, I've had my machine for over 20 years and I never knew that those three small plastic holey things on the top of the machine were actually oil ports.  It was all right there in the manual.  I also "checked under the hood" and oiled the specified points in there, too.  Thank you, Julia, for the tips!

Dsc00654Have you joined Sandy's Saturday Sky Flickr group yet?  If you're Ravel-rousing -- or anticipate getting your Ravelry invite soon -- then you've no doubt got a Flickr account, so why not add a "Saturday Sky" set while you're at it?  This afternoon, I was... Doo doo doo, Lookin' out my back door!

I caught a bug in this photo -- just coming into the frame on the right.  I didn't even see it 'til I got it up on the computer.  The camera was set on "Burst 3," so it took three photos, one right after the other -- this is the first of the three and the only one with the fast-traveling bug.

It was a gorgeous day here -- simply gorgeous.  We did not go to Algoma, but instead to the farmers' market with a few other stops here and there.  Mom wasn't able to go, but we picked up some strawberries and radishes for her.  We grilled hamburgers (from grass-fed cows) and fresh zucchini and dined al fresco in the pergola tonight.  Yum.

Dsc00668One reason for the al fresco dining is because the sewing machine is set up on the dining table.  I am all but finished with the Larger Than Life Bag!  I broke a couple of needles before I was completely finished, though, and I don't have any heavy-duty ones left, so it's going to have to wait.  In the end, I did not apply anything to the lightweight fabric because what I had was not iron-on, as I thought (or I screwed up, whatever) and because of that, I didn't add any pockets or anything.  I totally stole Margene's drapery tie-back idea.  I bought four -- two maroon and two black -- there's one of each color on each side and I'm sewing them so that there will be as much support for the bag as possible.  Since I made it in cotton rather than wool, it's a bit heavy.  ; )  I'll post the low-down when I'm completely finished... shouldn't be long now.

Saturday sky through pergola


Today's Saturday sky was very gray.  There was a change in the weather (or something) that caused a severe pain in my head.  It was so bad that I actually went back to bed after breakfast, which included ibuprofen, but that almost hurt worse.

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By noon, my head was fine -- the rain never appeared, and it was a lovely day to experience spring.  Aaaahhhhhhh.  It feels so good!

Can't get it outta my head!

Dsc09179Today's Saturday Sky comes to you from the comfort and warmth of my computer room -- this is a shot out the window (and up a little) to my right.  There's an actual warming trend going on here this weekend -- temps in the mid- to high-30s, they say -- but I'm still chilled to the bone from last week's cold and wind, plus I'm still wearing my nightgown.

Beth and I have been writing back and forth a little bit about mittens.

***NEWS FLASH***  Oh my goodness, no wonder I like her...  Not only does she have a team in the Crafters Fantasy Football League, but just look at what her favorite Christmas album is -- The Carpenters!  ***/end flash***

So, anyway, back to mittens.  In one of those thirty posts of November for NaBloPoMo, I wrote about how I'm always thinking about the mittens and a bunch of you wrote about how you think about them, too. Beth wrote last week and wondered if I was still thinking of doing stranded mittens in the new year; have I seen Eunny's new pattern; have I seen the new patterns on Knitty?  And I most certainly am; I hadn't, but now I have (also purchased/printed); Corazon are wonderful, and the Latvian-inspired Tiffany made my heart flutter.  I heard from more than a dozen people who might be interested in a friendly, low-pressure KAL and I've been thinking about the ways I can keep it low-pressure, but fun and exciting, too, maybe even with a surprise.  I'm all about keeping it low-key and fun.  Currently, though, I'm stuck on the really fun name and for some reason, "Walk Like A Latvian" popped into my head -- you know, like the Egyptians... only Latvian... even though Latvians walk just like the rest of us.  Maybe walking like Egyptians with Latvian mittens?  I know, it's sick.  I could have drunk-bloggged this last night (well, only slightly inebriated, really) and then perhaps been forgiven, but the truth is it's been in my head for DAYS.  I'm sorry, but perhaps if I disburse the pain even wider it will eventually subside altogether -- because I already scarred Beth with it and it didn't help me one single bit.  Maybe if y'all feel my pain...  It's not even limited to Latvians...

In the meantime, Eunny wrote a great post with tips for 2-color knitting here.

Nanette Blanchard has some wonderful booklets and patterns available, including Stranded Knitting.  Nanette also has links in her sidebar to her free patterns, and also to some of her helpful tips knitting posts (many of them having to do with color knitting, of course!).

There's Latvian Mittens, of course, Latvian Dreams, Folks Mittens, Favorite Mittens...  Schoolhouse Press has a lot of resources, including the Satakieli yarn recommended for Latvian mittens.

More to come... the new year is a few weeks off yet.  ; )

It's Saturday...

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As Katie watched me head out the back door this morning, camera in hand, she said, "Saturday Sky?"

You know it, tootsie!  It's sunny and clear, but a cold with doth blow today.

Heading out to spend a little time with Mack today!  Maddy's decorating and cleaning for her party tonight, and I'll be picking up a few more things for her...

I am also going to pick up the ingredients to make Abbey's Chili All Day, either today or tomorrow... it might be good for football tomorrow.  I'm delighted that I met Abbey at Rhinebeck last weekend, now if she'd only start blogging again...


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That's my favorite back yard ash, now leafless.  We've had a spectacular week weather-wise -- foggy, frosty mornings giving way to clear, sunny skies and warm temperatures.  You can't walk anywhere without leaves crunching underfoot.

Thanks for the comments yesterday -- and for making me think.  This is why I love blogging and why I continue to blog, even though it's sometimes hard, and I sometimes have doubts -- my feelings run the gamut from forthright and funny (though maybe I'm only amusing myself) to intimidated and shy to presumptuous and sanctimonious to over-exposed to wondering if I'm banging my head against the wall just to see if it makes a sound.  Oh, there's more -- so much more I want to say, but did you see that sky?  Yeah, and Mack is coming today!!  I haven't seen him in a month -- since the day he started walking!

Pergola Project, Day 2

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The note about tomatoes was scrawled on an envelope and found sticking out of the mailbox yesterday morning -- our neighbor has gone on a trip.  From my reaction, you'd have thunk it was a money tree she'd left in my care.  ; )  Yeah, third batch of sauce in the oven today...

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DH is a table saw man -- it's been my experience that a fella is either a radial arm saw man (my dad) or a table saw man -- not that he can't use a radial arm saw, he just prefers the table saw.  He unloaded lumber and set up the table saw in the lower yard while I cleared off the deck and trimmed back the flora.  He also dug up the iris patch for distributing and transplanting elsewhere.

Dsc08417I must admit that for the rest of the day, I consulted and supervised and did my level best as lovely assistant, holding things steady when needed, etc.  I took Maddy to school, went out to lunch with Ali, made a run to the grocery store... it's not like I wasn't busy!  I believe my services will be more in demand today.  The picture was taken just before we went in for BLTs last night -- there was one more post planted after supper; one to go and then we start the top part.

Lunch with Ali was very nice.  It was mainly to take her pulse, you know?  I've seen and suspected some things and just needed to let her know how I feel about them and there was only a teensy bit of a lecture.  Really, I don't know if you could even call it that -- I just told her that I loved her, that I'm glad she's going to school, and said my piece -- and she reassured me about a few things and then we went shopping.  ; )

Updated to add my first Saturday Sky of September (with hammer and nails).