Unraveled Wednesday: Grafting a Collar

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

KNITTING:

Oh boy, it's getting exciting now!

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The collar was knit with German Short Rows for shaping and it turned out great... after a couple of tries and a pause. I had to begin twice -- I was almost at the halfway point when I dropped a stitch (one of the GSRs) and couldn't recover. Fine & dandy, I was a lot more confident the second time and, of course, it knit up quicker. At the halfway mark, though, I struggled a bit with what I was reading in the pattern and how it would actually be done. I put it down and took a break -- two episodes of Ted Lasso (finally!) allowed my brain to calm down and I told myself what I always tell myself in these situations: "Just do what it says!" When I actually picked it up and DID it instead of just reading it... VOILA!

So it looks great and then the pattern said to graft the collar stitches to the picked up stitches. I went a tad further and picked up NEW stitches in the original stitches picked up for the collar because I thought it would be much easier to graft live stitches, and because I thought it would look neater... more finished. It was kinda fiddly but I did it.

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I went with the flow and what felt/looked good, so there were about 9-10 fewer new stitches picked up -- the stitch markers are where I'm fudging an extra stitch so that it all evens out. 

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I'm also grafting 1x1 ribbing to stockinette... and decided to do it in regular kitchener stitch (stockinette) and I think it's going to work out great! I did about 1/4 of the grafting this morning. I'm using the video from City Knitting in Grand Rapids that Kay posted the other day at Modern Daily Knitting. So smart!

READING:

I'm still reading The Miracle of the Bells, by Russell Janney, and listening to A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders. Actually, I haven't been listening much at all lately! With all the people in/out and car shuffling in the past month or so, I didn't even have my car for quite a while... and that's where I do the majority of my listening.

Hope you're having a great week! I'm off to pick up Ann and run a few errands.

 


Unraveling: The Year

Before I share my review of the year's knitting & reading, I have to share THIS:

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The 5 Point Bomber had a bath yesterday and was pinned out to block/dry! I'm so excited to proceed -- the next step is the collar, which involves lots of German short rows, so I'm going to have to concentrate. This fun project will most likely be my first FO of 2023!

Meanwhile, I've been working on the Musselburgh hat that I started back in April.

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I'll just be cruising on that one-way trip through the solar system for a while.

KNITTING 2022:

There was a whole lot of knitting but it didn't add up to a lot of finishes. One shawl and eight dishcloths! Details of all on Ravelry; I am knitorious.

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Notable: NO GNOMES! But a lot of dishcloths and a boatload of stripes.

Completed:

  • One Perky Little Hat for Ali (not shown but it's on my Rav page)
  • One Close To You shawl
  • Eight dishcloths

Started/Current WIPs:

  • Family Temperature Blanket
  • Musselburgh hat
  • 5 Point Bomber
  • (My 2021 crocheted blanket is also considered a current WIP - not shown)

The Family Temperature Blanket has been on hold since mid-November, when I started the kids' 5 Point Bomber, and will be until the bomber is finished (it shouldn't be too long now!!). I've finished Rusty's panel & mine, and Kate's is currently in progress -- nearing the half-way mark.

I love the shawl -- my second Close To You, knit in some of my hand-dyed yarn. I started it while on vacation in Puerto Rico, so it'll always be associated with that.

The summer dishcloth jag was fun! I had a bunch of Rowan Handknit Cotton and just knit my way through it all. Nai-Nai's Favorite is a great pattern!

READING 2022:

I finished nine of an arbitrary 12 that I set as a goal.

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Three of those nine books were... actual books! Three more were finished with a combo of audio & pages. And three were strictly audio.

There are several WIP books on my nightstand, including The Miracle of the Bells, by Russell Janney. This book was given to me a couple of weeks ago at book club. We've begun a tradition similar to Iceland's Jólabókaflóð and the book was given to me by Lori and had been her mother's. I believe it was published in 1947. I was intrigued, so started it right away... waiting to see what happens in the second half!

Meanwhile, I've participated in a Jólabókaflóð with some FB/knitter peeps for seven years now!

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This year, Gillian sent me All The Ever Afters and Why We Cook: Women on Food, Identity, and Connection. Both of those books have been on my TBR list for a while now, and it will be fun to dive in!

LISTENING 2022:

My Spotify stats came in a few weeks ago.

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I'll spare you all the details... these images sum it up. The stats are pretty true, since Spotify is my main source for music and I don't listen to the radio (if I can help it).

I like being thought of as an Adventurer!

 


Plain Old Wednesday

It's been busy around here with one thing or another. ZERO progress has been made on the kids' sweater in the past week, but I have been doing some cleaning and even a little bit of holiday prep.

The tree is up (from the basement) and the decorations are down (from the upstairs shotgun closet) -- have been for about a week -- but the only decorations actually on the tree are a tiny wire whisk that was overlooked during de-decorating last year and one of those bulky Star Ornaments that I was knitting last December. I knit a pile of those stars, gave a bunch away, and still have a nice stack -- one of which I just gave to Kate... so now hanging on the tree.

Anyway, while I was in the upstairs closet, I noticed (again... it happens every year) a bunch of truly random stuff on the tippy-top shelf at the back -- old curtain rods, some cottony-fleecy fabric stuff, the top of a Rubbermaid tote (the bottom nowhere near) (the nearest mate is likely in the basement). The cleaning/purging mood continues...

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I don't purge everything, though, especially when the stuff isn't mine. Stuffed into a far corner of that deep shelf was this little T-shirt! It had to have been last worn approx. 30 years ago by Maddy! I washed it and will put it in the small box I have marked "Baby Things."

There's also a shelf over the doorway on the inside of the closet, and that's where Maddy's American Girl Bitty Babies, Lena & Zoe, are stored with all their things. I took it all down...

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...sorted & washed the clothes and put them in a sealed bag. I noticed that Zoe needs some major mending/stitches, but that's for another day. There's a hospital gown for when that day comes... we had to send one of Ali's dolls into the Pleasant Company once for repair and she came back wearing one!

Unrelated...

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I enjoy playing the NYT Spelling Bee almost every day, but I really love Letter Boxed! Have you played? "Create words using letters around the square." The letters are scrambled from two random words and the idea is not to figure out those two words (impossible with no clues, IMHO), but to use up all the letters in the making of usually four or five words -- but the consecutive letters can't be from the same side and the last letter of a word becomes the first letter of the next word (and some other rules). I feel pretty great when I can do it in fewer, but today's was also pretty great because of all the YARNY words... beginning with YARN! The most tenuous one there would be NOUGAT, but just click on that to see all of the nougat-related patterns listed on Ravelry! Ha.

I'm working today, having had Monday off this week, and I've been confused all week about what day it is. Have a great Wednesday (and every day)!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Closing in!

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

KNITTING:

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I'm about to begin armhole shaping for the right front, which is the last major piece of the cardigan! I'm excited for the blocking/taming of all those pieces because, man, are they ever curly!

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That's 5 Point Bomber central right there -- all my MDK Atlas yarn & tools (more needles than I need!) in one place! I tuck my iPad in there when I go over to Ann's for laundry/knitting... very portable. This Sunday will be the last of that for a while, except for a guest booking over New Year's, because they arrive on Sunday night and will be "here" (back & forth to Madison in various configurations) until early February!

READING:

I just finished reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (pages) for book club. I'd enjoyed Daisy Jones & The Six (audio), also by Taylor Jenkins Reid, so it didn't seem like too big of a gamble! Indeed, it's a pretty easy "beach" read and I sped right through it -- not great literature but a fun diversion and I was surprised at the end!

My listening has been spotty for various reasons... currently: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders. I am really enjoying it, and love listening to George Saunders.

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I picked up Kate last Sunday and she's here for about a month... though she just left (in my car) for a quick work-related trip to Chicago & Madison. She hasn't even seen the kiddos yet because Ginny & Ali have been sick. I think Ginny finally went back to school today after being out for a week! Everyone else is holding on over there, so hopefully we'll all get together soon.

Hope everything is good in your neck of the woods!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Color My World!

For the first time since September, I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday!

Atla

This is the colorbox of MDK Atlas yarn that I'm working with for the kids' sweater. I have enough of the main colors (Navy & Clementine) that I could knit this 5 Point Bomber in two colors per pattern specs but, based on preliminary discussion with the kids about their favorite colors, I also threw in Barn Red, Citron, Pear, Seaglass, Mallard, Lapis, and Tutu.

(Watch for coordinating hats & mittens with the leftovers!)

SNEAK PEEK JUST FOR YOU!! I played around in Photoshop (to the best of my limited ability) (see left sleeve cuff, front view) to color in Holli's sketches per my plan -- subject to change! 

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In fact, there's already been a small change. And there will definitely be more stripes -- somewhere -- and maybe bigger. I've incorporated every color -- the kids' favorites -- and I don't know how it's going to end, but this is a great starting point.

It's certainly not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but I love it!! 

You may have seen my recent post on IG showing progress as of Monday night*. So far, there are two pieces started and I'll be casting on a third today. Rather than hunt around for stitch holders for all these bits & bobs, I just culled a few of my US5 needles from my collection! haha.

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*Lately, and especially now that the days are short, I've been heading straight over to Annie's on Monday nights after work to get laundry started. Laundry is the most time-consuming part of running an Airbnb; it's not so bad at my house/Airbnb, where the laundry room is conveniently located where I live, but I was stopping over at Ann's in the evening (once or twice, depending), again in the morning on the way to work, and again after work. So much stopping! I decided a few weeks ago to just stay. One night, I watched the first episode of the first-ever season of The Great British Baking Show... and wished I had my knitting. Another night, I watched Dancing With The Stars (almost live), and had some knitting but didn't get much done (lost a DPN... rearranged my stitches... and then found it again just as I was leaving). This week, I packed up my slightly-more-portable (than the temperature blanket) 5 Point Bomber, and then spent almost all my time trying to find/watch Yellowstone S5. Good lord. We don't have cable TV, it wasn't on Paramount Plus (to which I subscribe), and who the eff knew that Paramount NETWORK was an entirely separate thing? (I didn't.) I ended up watching E1 (free) on my iPad, and I don't know what I'll end up doing for the rest. Will probably just have to put that out of my head until it becomes available on another platform. So dumb.

But I'm really happy with the sweater!!!!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Temperature Rising!

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

KNITTING:

I've been working a bit on my Temperature Blanket project again! I posted this photo on IG last night:

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I've been knitting some rows in the color ZINNIA (= HOT!) and had just picked a vase of my own zinnias, so photo op!

Bonus photos for the blog (possibly later on IG):

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These photos make me so happy! I'm currently heading toward the end of August, in terms of time, and the days (if not the nights) are HOT, but getting shorter. I have around 150 rows to go on this panel.

READING:

By the time I received the paperback copy of The Lewis Man, I was already nearing the end, so only read a few pages from the actual book! I dove straight in to Book #3 of The Lewis Trilogy -- the paperback is in hand but proving a bit challenging as the chapters do not align. I'm making progress, though, as I had a few hours of listening in the car yesterday. I expect to finish by the time we depart for Scotland (13 days!), and will likely take This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain's Knitted History for vacation reading (if any).

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I switched my day off this week so I could go to Madison yesterday for the funeral of Brian's mom, Doris. She died last month, just a few days after celebrating her 100th BIRTHDAY! She was born & raised in Maine and enjoyed a lovely birthday lunch of lobster rolls with some of her kids & grandkids. I really only met her a few times, but she's always felt like part of my extended family, too. She broke her hip about six months ago, which seemed to signal the end, and until that time had been in her own home. Cheers, Doris! RIP.

 


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)...

KNITTING:

Viv's socks darned, done & dusted!

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Maddy's, too!

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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!!

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Now that the mending is done...

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

READING:

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!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: FO

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

KNITTING:

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.

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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.

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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!

READING:

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).

 


Unraveled Wednesday: More dishin'

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

KNITTING:

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

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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.

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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!

READING:

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!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: dishcloth edition

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

KNITTING:

I knew that my blanket project would not be suitable "up north" knitting, and didn't think my Musselburgh on DPNs would work all that well, either. 

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When the #mdkdishclothkal was first announced, I knew I wanted to participate, and ordered some Rowan Handknit Cotton. Trust me, I have plenty of Peaches & Cream and didn't need more cotton yarn, but I was interested in knitting dishcloths in a lighter weight. It might be sacrilege, but I'm not really a fan of P&C dishcloths... they're a handful!

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I'm knitting Nai-Nai's Favorite, which I believe I read about at Vera's. I love the textures!

As you know, it's been busy around here and my concentration hasn't been spot-on, so there are a few little mistakes here and there... but if there's one place I can overlook those, it's on a dishcloth!!

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I'm excited to finish and use it! It does indeed feel... less of a handful. So far. Stay tuned.

READING:

I am currently reading/listening to The Blackhouse by Peter May. It's the first of a trilogy set on Scotland, specifically the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

 

I believe I first heard about these books in a post of Kat's, and Kate just happened to have traveled with a paperback copy... which she happily left with me! I also wanted to listen, and it's worked so well for me when I bounced back and forth between pages & audio with Young Mungo and Firekeeper's Daughter. The chapter numbers are shifted by one, but that's easy to track.

Anyway, I'm enjoying it so far, especially because we'll be spending a few days on Lewis & Harris in September!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Slow goin'

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

KNITTING:

I've made some progress on my Temperature Blanket since last we met, even though I've barely knit a stitch in a week.

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I had "turned a page" on my chart, though, just before this little break, and that means I'm about half-way through my panel... heading into "the summer of 1959," and the colors will be shifting.

Work is very slow on Musselburgh. Though I cast it on for traveling, it never saw the light of day in Denver. It's been my project for group knitting, and there hasn't been a whole lot of that, either. I'm thinking Christmas for this project, so there's time... and I'm excited about the first color change taking place!

READING:

YOUNG MUNGOI should be finished just in time for next week's discussion!

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One thing that's not slow going right now is anything in my backyard! My Blue Angel Hosta went from this...

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...to this...

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...in less that a month!

It's been quite the rollercoaster spring weather-wise with huge swings in temperature! 

I've been busy with Airbnbs, but guests are arriving at Ann's today for the entire month, so there's some relief... and then the next "guest" will be Annie & her family! And as of now, I have only one guest scheduled this month at my place (for over two weeks... added relief)... and that means that my next "guests" will be Maddy & Viv!!!!! And fewer than five weeks until I pick up Kate again at ORD.

It's getting real, and I cannot wait!!!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Chilly Colors!

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

KNITTING:

I'm a little pinched for time but wanted to share my progress!

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I am currently about half-way through January 1959 and by the end of the month, I'll be using the "coldest" color on my chart. There are a lot of color changes! I carry them as much as I can, but don't like to do that for too far, or with very many colors.

This represents Milwaukee, and I'll be literally turning the page on my chart at the end of January and from there to the end it'll represent the weather in Escanaba -- which is actually Green Bay, WI.

READING:

YOUNG MUNGO!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Panel One is DONE!!

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

KNITTING:

I am one-fifth finished with my Temperature Blanket project!

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It starts with December 26, 1947 at the bottom and ends with December 26, 1948 at the top -- with a couple border rows in black at each end. My bound-off edge will need to be re-done (as usual). I must have been rushing last night!

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This photo gives you a better idea of scale.

READING:

I had a very timely notification the other day that my Audible pre-order was ready, so YOUNG MUNGO it is!

Today I'm buckling down, though, and finishing the task that is taxes. Yuck. My reward will be casting on MY blanket panel this evening and knitting some of those new colors!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Ooops!

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

KNITTING:

Y'know, Rusty's panel for the Temperature Blanket.

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It's coming along... I'm at about 200 "days."

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My stitch count was off last night and I found a dropped stitch. I didn't have a crochet hook handy, so it's on hold for now.

READING:

I finished listening to AGATHA OF LITTLE NEON the day after our book club discussion. I had less than an hour of listening when we met, so I was able to fit together some random pieces from the conversation!

I am currently listening to MIRACLE AND WONDER: CONVERSATIONS WITH PAUL SIMON by Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Hedlam & Paul Simon, with contributions from others such as Sting, Rosanne Cash, Art Garfunkel. It is fascinating!!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: My 2nd FO of '22

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

KNITTING:

As mentioned the other day, I finished Close To You over the weekend -- bound off on Friday, blocked on Saturday, modeled on Sunday, and worn on Monday!

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Ginny was my "it" girl... STRIKE A POSE!

  • My Ravelry Project Page: Close to Puerto Rico
  • Pattern: Close To You by Justyna Lorkowska
  • Yarn: Make.Do Be (Hellebore colorway)
  • Needles:  US 6
  • Start to Finish: March 5-14, 2022

Cast on & set up just before leaving on vacation (because traveling with long straight aluminum knitting needles in a carry-on), it was the only project I worked on while in Puerto Rico.

I wasn't so sure... I love that colorway, but it was looking a little muddy at first. The little pops of green some nice sections of the stronger colors, along with the texture & overall design -- it looked better as I progressed, and I'm glad I stuck with it. It looks great with black, which is the color I wear most often.

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It looks great with polka dots, too!

MORE KNITTING:

Well, last night there was some ripping... 10 rows yanked because I spotted this:

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My stitch count was off the other night and I "fixed" it, thinking I knew where the problem was. The real problem was here, at the beginning of the row and I never noticed until I picked up my knitting last night and, of course, it was glaringly obvious! I pondered possible solutions for about one second, and then started to rip... it was the only way!

So, 10 rows backward and a bunch more forward, and now I'm here:

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The colors are a tad more vivid in this photo than in real life, but it's close. The day/high temp side will "grow" and the nights/low temp side will "shrink" by about 10 more stitches before they start going back the other way. This panel will be quite symmetrical since Rusty was born just a few days past Winter Solstice.

READING:

I continue listening to AGATHA OF LITTLE NEON.

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Vacation Knitting

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

KNITTING:

I brought a bunch of mini-skeins of yarn for some small crochet things that I thought I might do -- even put it in my carry-on -- but I never even looked at it.

I had some balls of yarn, DPNs, and a couple of gnome patterns... but I didn't look at that, either.

I was recently reminded how much I loved knitting & wearing my Close To You shawl and I've always wanted to knit another, so at the last minute I wound up a ball of yarn that's been hanging around, gathered needles & pattern, cast on and knit the first couple of rows, and tucked it all in my suitcase.

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It was perfect for vacation, as it starts small and grows. I'd knit while we caught up on Olympics or watched a movie before bed, and it was great for knitting on the beach, too.

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I love the subtle pops of green...

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...and I think that those pops will get a little bigger & brighter as I progress through the skein.

READING:

Maybe those bits of "neon green" spoke to my subconscious... I've finally begun reading again! I started AGATHA OF LITTLE NEON on Monday and should be finished in time for the discussion.

BACK TO KNITTING/CROCHETING:

As established a while ago, it wasn't practical to bring my Temperature Blanket along on vacation, but I could bring the data/charts that still needed work! Everything is stored in a Google Drive folder, and Rusty brought his laptop. I took a planned break for an hour on Sunday afternoon and attended my first Vogue Knitting Live event -- a virtual talk by Cara about temperature/data projects! I was happily surprised that she gave my project a little shout-out in the presentation -- along with Kay Gardiner's projects (plural!), Suraya Hossain's Heirloom Temperature Blanket, and Tara Seifrit's NH Year 1 Temperature Blanket (one of my biggest inspirations when planning my design) (which I hope works). Inspired (again), I did a little work on my chart and nearly have it finished!

Anyway, I can't wait to get back to that project -- and my Hexie crocheted project -- but I'm really into knitting this shawl right now. First, the colorway is HELLEBORE (which I dyed a few years ago in a couple of yarn weights), and it'll be perfect for SPRING (which is happening this month), and it sure seems like a long time since I've had a finished object that wasn't a gnome or a hat. So, it's going fast and I'm just going to go 'til it's done, and then back to all those other things!

 


Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday... but no reading. I am on hiatus, I guess. It's happened once or twice before.

Fiberuary-2---Looking-Forward-2

This is the start of my Temperature Blanket! That knitting represents about the first two weeks of Rusty's life -- December 1947-January 1948 -- in Southern California. The daytime high temps are on the left and the nighttime lows are on the right... in a few more rows, the days will start becoming noticeably longer! It's a little fiddly, but I'm finding a groove, and it is SO SATISFYING! Look at that!

What I really need to do is streamline my information -- the number of day/night stitches is on one page, the temperatures are on another, and the colors are on a third (color chart)... it's a balancing act and I am constantly counting. (There might be a color/temp mistake in there, but I won't tell if you won't!) All I know is that I'm really glad I didn't follow through to the end with all five charts just yet.

I'm still wondering how I can pack a project with 20+ balls of yarn for vacation, but more "realistically" pondering packing Hexie Love...

Fiberuary-2---Looking-Forward

...one ball of yarn, but one big project... made of wool. It'll be 80+ degrees. The sane option would be to cast on a pair of socks or something.

I've been online and on the phone for much of the day trying to figure out how we can arrive in Puerto Rico... not in the dark. The original booking back in September had us with only one connection (at O'Hare) and arriving mid-afternoon. The airline made a couple of changes, adding another connection (Houston... not good memories of Houston), with less than an hour for each connection, and arriving at almost 9 p.m., which means we'd be lucky to be on the road by 10 and it's a 2-hour drive to our destination, across an island that we've never visited before!

NOT WORKING!

I am currently texting with an agent (this is new, and I like it!) and we're this >< close to re-booking departure on the last flight out of here the day before. I've already booked our overnight stay, and we'll catch an early flight to San Juan the next morning, arriving in... daylight.

Stay tuned...

 


3TT/Unraveled

It's another 3TT/Unraveled mash up! I'm joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday + Unraveled Wednesday with Kat & the Unravelers.

KNITTING / 3 PHOTOS:

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I finished a hat -- my first FO of 2022!

  • My Ravelry Project Page: Perky Little Bun Hat
  • Pattern: Perky Little Hat by Sharon Lentsch
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Rasta (Boreal colorway)
  • Needles:  US 15
  • Start to Finish: January 3 - January 5, 2022

I actually knit it twice; the first was a test/prototype. Ali wanted a "messy bun" hat, but she has a pretty big bun so I wanted to make sure it would work! I had some leftovers from other projects, so knit up the tester and I'm glad I did because we made a couple of adjustments. The Rasta has very little stretch, so I decided to run some fold-over elastic through the stitches to finish (instead of the yarn).

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The colorway is gorgeous! To minimize any pooling or flashing, I knit alternating rows from both ends of the yarn cake.

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We'd also decided to lengthen it a bit, which was easily done by knitting an extra row or two or three in each section. I have yarn for at least one more (in a much less exciting color) (which I might end up overdyeing)!

READING:

I haven't been reading. When I do, it'll be: The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (audio), by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers, and (still): This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain's Knitted History (pages).

_ _ _ _ _

It's been a little crazy around here. Annie & her family were supposed to come up for a day or two between Christmas & New Year's Day, but they were hit by Covid/Omicron... falling like dominoes over a couple of days. Thankfully, all vaxxed, so none of them got very sick but their visit was postponed. They're all here now and finally spent a night in their own house! They like it a lot! It's really cool that Annie was informed that she'd achieved AIRBNB SUPERHOST status while they're here! (That's all me, but it is her house!) So now we're a duo!

I was able to nab a couple extra days off next week, and I'm looking forward to some proper visiting & catching up. I've been a little out of sorts since the new year began, and I hope to get a little more centered/grounded, too.

 


Unraveled Wednesday: 2021

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share a review of my 2021 Knitting & Reading!

KNITTING:

It was an OK year! Details of all on Ravelry; I am knitorious.

Knitting-2021

Completed:

  • A bunch of gnomes
  • A bunch of stars
  • A hat
  • A Christmas stocking

Started/Current WIPs:

  • A crocheted blanket -- getting close (and will get back to it ASAP)
  • A second Wild Fields hat
  • A messy bun hat for Ali (not recorded above)

That blanket has been the focus this year, for sure.

 

READING:

I exceeded my goal this year! The bar was set at 12 -- pretty low by some standards -- and I read 15 books.

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There are some doozies in there -- even a few 5-stars -- and a dud. I never "returned" an audio book before, but I just.could.not.handle Maggie O'Farrell's "I Am, I Am, I Am." I sure did love Hamnet, though! What a great bunch of books... a little more than half were audio.

I actually ended up buying a hard copy of Stanley Tucci's memoir and then I received one in a gift swap, so I gave it to Ali because even thirty-somethings are crushing on Stanley! haha. Kate gave me The Tucci Table cookbook for Christmas, so, yeah... we're fans.

 


It's a backpack!

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday...

KNITTING:

What I thought might be a satchel or bag turns out to be a backpack!

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Have you ever seen anything cuter? I'm sure you have, but dang... We've been informed that something will fill the backpack, but from recent clues it appears that we are knitting a small gnome that seems too big to fit in there... so we'll just have to wait & see (again!)!

It's fiddly knitting, for sure, but it's in small manageable bits -- do a little knitting, take a rest, do some more knitting, take a rest, sew some stuff together (or stuff it with some stuffing), take a little rest, etc. This month-long KAL is just my speed, and I have time to do some other things, too. My friend Deb is also knitting this project, but as a fairly monogamous knitter, this is not the scenario she prefers; in fact, she didn't even start it until almost two weeks in (when she finished a project) and then sat down and knit through all the clues... and now she has to wait for the next clue(s) and pick up something else in the meantime.

We're all a little different, eh?

READING:

Goodness, I have hardly read/listened to a word lately, but when I do...

Listening to: The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers.

Actual book: This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain's Knitted History.

Instead of reading, I've been watching variations on a theme: The Great British Baking Show. And Young Wallander... which I feel like I may have seen before -- some if it is so familiar but much is "brand new."

What are you knitting/making, reading/watching? Are you a monogamous knitter/maker?

 


Little bits

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday...

KNITTING:

I got a start on the last (or maybe not)... the latest little bit of gnome knitting last night.

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Those are all the pieces so far. I feel like that little bit of pink on the needles might be the start of a hat... but it's a mystery, y'know, so who knows!?!

Whatever it is and however this all turns out, I'm already sensing a DANDY Gnome!

This is really fun. I think fun & fiddly & mysterious is just what I need right now.

Don't worry, Hexie Love Actually will be getting plenty of love again once I catch up with gnome clues!

READING:

Listening to: The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers.

The book on my nightstand has not been getting any love lately, but it's still: This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain's Knitted History.

 


NaBloPoMo 2021.10: Unraveling

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveleding Wednesday... (I'm sensing an ongoing theme).

CROCHET:

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I worked around the entire blanket once, then across the "top," and... it didn't appear to be working. I'd suspected that I picked up too many stitches, and it turns out that I was right.

Huh.

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To a muggle, it might all be fine, but I could see that motifs were becoming misshapen. I was hearing my inner voice say, "it'll block out," but if I've learned one thing in all these years, it's that those three words are among the most dangerous words of all!

So today, I was literally UNRAVELING...

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...and hearing that song in my head as I did so! Tomorrow's another day.

READING:

Listening to cool guy Dave Grohl read his memoir, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music.

I've finally cracked a book from the stack on my nightstand: This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain's Knitted History.

Enjoying both a lot!

 


NaBloPoMo 2021.3: Unraveled

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday...

CROCHET:

I am working out the edging for Hexie Love (Rav link) using a couple of charts from similar (free) patterns that I found -- with enhancements by Malina!

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I want to "fill in" the little dips between hexagons at the top & bottom edges of the blanket so that it ends up straight on all sides.

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I've already worked a single crochet up one side of the blanket... and ripped it out. So, "unraveled" is spot-on today! Now I'm working half-double crochet up the side (but started only a couple of motifs from a corner because it's the corner and the top/bottom edge that I really need to work out. I'm not crazy with how that half-hexie looks, but I'm hoping I'll refine/improve that as I go.

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I think it'll work... there's a long ways to go. This is the first of at least four rounds!

READING:

I finished Stanley Tucci's memoir, Taste: My Life Through Food, on Friday night and LOVED IT! Memoir is my genre of choice, and this did not disappoint in any way. Except that I listened to it on Audible and really wish there was a download with all the recipes.

I shared the book with Kate, and we started talking about audiobooks, memoirs, memoirs read by the author... and she told me that her friend Blair was listening to Dave Grohl's new book and loving it, even though she's not a big fan of his music.

I feel the same about the music... I wouldn't recognize a single Nirvana or Foo Fighters song... but I am aware of Dave Grohl and what a cool guy he is! When his memoir, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music, was announced, I purchased it straight away, so that's what I'm listening to now... and LOVING IT!

 


3TT/Unraveled

It's a mash up! Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday... in combo with a belated Unraveled Wednesday post with Kat & the Unravelers.

 

NEEDLES & HOOKS

Thing One: Gnorwen

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I finished her last Friday!

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I can't remember the last time I kept up with a Mystery Knit-along. This was a fun project, even with all the fiddly bits (the flower on the hat, the nose, the mittens, the braids) and interminable I-cord -- a.k.a. the things that make her so special!

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I took her out for ice cream on Tuesday after Knit Night. I really wanted to take her photo with our local iconic neon drive-in sign illuminated!

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I also wanted a photo with an actual ice cream cone, so I took her inside. The employees were all quite charmed.

  • Ravelry Project Page: All Work, Gnome Play
  • Pattern: All Work, Gnome Play by Sarah Schira
  • Yarn: Various fingering/sock weight scraps
  • Needles:  US 1½ (2.5mm)
  • Start to Finish:  September 21 - October 15, 2021

 

Thing Two: Wild Fields

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I finished this cute little hat on Sunday. It's intended for Malina and I'd planned to take a photo of her wearing it last night when they were over for dinner... not only did I not get a photograph, I didn't even give it to her! So there's still a chance for a photo op.

  • Ravelry Project Page: Wild Fields
  • Pattern: Wild Fields by Beth Ashford/Kaleidoscope Knits; free pattern at knitty.com
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Rios from Flaxen Fleece in Sauk City, WI
    • Queguay (headband/brim)
    • English Rose (body of hat)
  • Needles:  US 6 (4.0 mm) DPNs
  • Start to Finish:  September 18 - October 17, 2021

I found myself flipping pages back & forth a lot while knitting this hat, and the abbreviations are all on a separate knitty.com page... a little annoying, especially because I started this while camping and internet was not great. The flower stitch was fun to do, once I figured out how to pull the last "petal" through without losing the previous two, and it looks great!

These two FOs are not only the first FOs since the wave of knitted gnomes that got me through Covid in December/January, they're also the first actual knitted items since the gnome wave... and one of them isn't a GNOME!

And I've started another hat, reversing the colors, for Gin! I bought enough yarn for four hats, so...

 

Thing Three: Half-hexies

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(It's so dark in the morning.) I did a lot of research to see how people finished and/or squared off the edges of crocheted hexagon blankets! I've decided on half-hexagons for the sides, and will likely use some longer stitches to fill the smaller divots on the ends.

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Those are the three most recent hexagons and the best, so far. There are some wonky ones at the beginning, but that totally fits with the vibe of this blanket. I think there are only four more on this side, then up the other (and they go pretty quick), and then -- FINALLY -- the border. I've ordered two more skeins of the natural color. Hopefully, I'll only need one, but regardless, this is probably one of my most costly projects ever.

 

READING

I've recently finished Laundry Love: Finding Joy in a Common Chore by Patric Richardson & Karin B. Miller. It was a quick, entertaining, and informative read! I'd previously (slowly) begun changing up a few things in my laundry practice, but I'm on the way to changing it quite a bit more.

I've put The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore on pause.

I've just begun listening to Stanley Tucci's memoir, Taste: My Life Through Food, and it's delightful... as is he, and his Instagram, with plenty of cooking & cocktails (with recipes). I'm adding one of his cookbooks (or two) to my Christmas Wish List*! And need to queue up his Emmy-nominated show, Searching for Italy, on Hulu.

 

*Speaking of Wish Lists... I'm sure one or two of you has recently received Amazon's "Ready, Set, Play" toy catalog in the mail. Ali did, too. She said that the kids grabbed it, circled all but five things, and put it back in the mailbox thinking that Santa would be by to pick up. I love the way those kids think!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Upholstery!

Joining Kat & the Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday...

CROCHET:

It's slow going, but it's still going... Hexie Love (Rav link)! I meant to take a photo but, really, it's not changed that much since last time I posted. I usually try to do a little hookin' in the evenings, but lately we've been watching Nordic Noir and attention is divided between my project and subtitles (currently watching The Bridge on Amazon Prime).

UPHOLSTERY:

I thought I'd use this post, instead, to show my recent upholstery/recovering job. You may recall that I'd purchased a vanity bench for $9.99 at St. Vinny's a while back, and also scored a bag full of upholstery scraps for another $3.99. Here's the "before" bench:

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Turns out, that fabric was just pinned on atop an older cover.

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The faded and stained original fabric was atop another layer that was more like muslin, and under that was... horsehair, probably a little straw, and webbing.

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I had to move the whole operation outside... it was getting messy! I took a bunch of pics and sent them to Ann, picking her brain about how to proceed (she worked for an upholsterer in high school).

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She suggested to get rid of the webbing altogether rather than trying to tighten it, because that's pretty difficult to do without the proper tools. And likely one reason it had such a saggy bottom to begin with is that someone had already tried to repair the webbing. I pulled it all apart and now have a lot of upholstery tacks!

Rusty cut & attached a new solid bottom under the seat frame, which I filled in with some styrofoam (plenty of that around from the dining room furniture delivery), and topped with a new piece of 2" foam. Then I stretched & stapled a remnant from the upholstery grab bag over the top.

Voilà!

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It turned out pretty cute. There was a lot of that fabric in the bag, but turns out most of the pieces were trimmings -- 6" by 100" or in that area. There were only a few with dimensions even close to workable for this project, so almost anything else I do with that is going to have to be pieced.

I still want to make a couple of pillows, and we'll just see how that turns out.

READING:

I'm still working on The Lager Queen of Minnesota: A Novel. Is there a reader slower than me?

I attended my first in-person book club last week, and the new book is The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore. I'm listening to that one, and just started on Monday (when I drove down to pick up chickens), so far so... good? What a story.

 


Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat & the Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday...

CROCHET:

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I crocheted the last charted circle motif the other day for Hexie Love (Rav link)!

My box of colors has changed a lot since February 1st.

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I started with 35 and not only have I run out of some colors, but I've also dumped the box too many times to count... so lately the chart is just a suggestion, and I work with whatever feels right.

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Now I have two stitch holders full of circles to join/make into hexies, and a pile of extras -- because every other row is a short one (not reflected in my chart of squares). So there will be one non-charted row, and at least a few more after that. At least.

READING:

I guess it's been a while since I wrote an Unraveled post! I have finished An American Quilt: Unfolding A Story of Family & Slavery (pages) and Sinéad O'Connor's memoir, Rememberings (audio). The quilt story was... missing something; it wasn't quite as dynamic and engaging as I'd hoped. I really enjoyed listening to Sinéad read her book, but I'm sure it's not for everyone. I was eye witness to the event that changed her life and it was interesting to hear the back story...

I just finished listening to Unsettled Ground this morning! It's a full month until the book club discussion (unheard of!), and I'm looking forward to that. On my nightstand is The Lager Queen of Minnesota: A Novel, which I am enjoying.

 


Unraveled Wednesday

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers...

CROCHET:

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It's growing... but these are busy days! There have been a few evenings of late when I didn't even lift my hook. I've just started joining the two rows worth of circles that I have ready, and added a couple of hexagons last night while the boys & I watched S2E2 of LEGO MASTERS... wherein stuff was blown up with glitter, dust, water or slime. Yeah. It was great!

READING:

No one was more surprised than me that I finished Shuggie Bain in time for last night's group discussion! I found it to be a very compelling read, and it was especially enjoyable to alternate listening & reading. (I loved the narrator's voice, and kept thinking that he sounded like a mash-up of Alan Cumming and Sean Connery!) Now I'm back to An American Quilt: Unfolding A Story of Family & Slavery, thinking/hoping that we'll be returning to the quilt in the last 30+/- pages. I've also begun listening to Sinéad O'Connor read her memoir, Rememberings

 


Unraveled Wednesday: It's a wonder I'm not

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

CROCHETI'm still devoted to my crocheted blanket, even if it's a little slower going these days.

READING: I finally finished The Midnight Library... having sped up the audio to 1.5! Ugh. It wasn't awful, but it did seem to go on and on and on with this life and that life and another life, not to mention the root life. I have about 50 pages to go in An American Quilt: Unfolding A Story of Family & Slavery... I do occasionally speed read my actual books, too, do you?

IN OTHER NEWS: LIFE!!

OMG, you would not believe what's all been going on around here. In approximate order...

There's been a lot of weird activity next door over the past few weeks or so. The current owner has been there for 12 years, having moved in with her three kids when the youngest was just about in kindergarten... and is now in college. The eldest skedaddled ASAP after high school and I haven't personally seen him since. The middle child, who we call "NOT LAZY" for reasons of his own making (and, uh, as you might expect, is truly the laziest SOB you'll ever meet) was recently engaged and it's obvious that he's been (slowly... one might even think lazily) moving out. The recent random occasional appearance of vans from a remodeling/renovating company, also a BIG van from a moving company, increased action over the weekend, Rusty's social media "friendship" with Not Lazy, and his chance run-in with the youngest on Sunday night... all led to learning that she sold the house and THEY'RE ALL MOVING OUT!!

(I think she called one of those "We Buy Houses 123-456-7890" numbers.)

Anyway, that's a whole lot to process... right next door!

_ _ _ _ _

Meanwhile, it's an actual category: Ann's New House!

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Just over a week ago, Annie sent me a listing for a house in my neighborhood, and a week ago last Sunday Rusty & I walked over to check it out... walk around, look at the foundation, etc. Rusty happened to try the back door, which was held shut with a bungee cord... "Hello! Anyone home?" Well, of course there wasn't. So we gave ourselves a quick little unencumbered tour. (So quick that he forgot to re-bungee the door and had to go back later.) It's old, has had some systems updates, but hasn't really been touched much in many years... and even with all that, was a million times better than the first property she asked me to check out. After our tour, I did some research. Turns out, the house belonged to a 92yo woman who died a couple of years ago; she was born in that house, lived there for her entire life, and died there per her wishes. I remember that there was an amazing flower garden in the back yard quite a few years ago, the footprint is still visible.

Anyway, official showings didn't begin until Friday and bids were going to be opened on Monday. I went over on Friday afternoon with an electrician, and met her remodeler guy, to look things over. Ann put in her offer... and wrote a nice letter. And on Monday night she texted that they got the house! She didn't have the highest offer, but the letter clinched it for her. There's a ton of work to be done, and I'm thankful that she'll be here in June/July to oversee things (if it's even closed by then).

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They sent Ann this photo of the house from many years ago... the fancy stuff, including the porch, is long gone/changed, but...

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...it's the same with mine. The similarities are striking! I believe my house is just a few years older than hers.

My sister is going to be my occasional few-blocks-away neighbor (closer even than my mom was)!

And I think, holy cow, she could have been my literal NEIGHBOR!

_ _ _ _ _

I had an extremely overdue re-re-rescheduled hair appointment early yesterday morning. Canceled 14 months ago, I put it off for quite a while even when they reopened, but eventually made a date. Then had to cancel because of a work schedule conflict. So I rescheduled and had to cancel that because of the opportunity to get the Pfizer jab. The new date turned out to be the morning of Kate's departure, but I just couldn't cancel again (for fear of being banned for life).

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This is the before pic, but the after isn't much different -- trimmed an inch, smoother, and it smells so nice -- I just couldn't handle anything drastic yesterday!! Haha.

_ _ _ _ _

Kate's rapid test for Covid was negative on Monday, which set the ball rolling for final departure prep! It's been very relaxed and measured... paring down, moving things around, making plans, and yesterday was no different. She drove Rusty & I down to the airport in Milwaukee yesterday, with one last stop at Culver's for lunch, to drop herself off... NEW ADVENTURES AWAIT IN EDINBURGH (AND THE GREATER UK). She arrived in London early this morning (our time), caught a cab to the train station, and is currently on the train to Edinburgh where she'll self-isolate at an Airbnb for the next 10 days, and then... stay tuned.

_ _ _ _ _

<INSERT ALL THE EMOTIONS RIGHT HERE!!> 

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Hexies All The Time

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

CROCHETING:

The last time I shared an "official" Unraveled Wednesday blanket update, I was seven rows in, and now I'm three hexies away from finishing Row #11!

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I am still gobsmacked that it's working so well. I love it more and more! There are some very weird color combos in a few of those hexagons... there are also many that are perfection, and often I'm surprised. Details & more pics on my Ravelry project page if you're curious.

READING:

I will likely finish listening to Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose today. It's not my usual type of book, but it's interesting and enlightening, even for someone at little risk of losing her job to a computer. AI (Artificial Intelligence) touches our lives every single day in a myriad of ways and, while "controlling" may be too harsh, it (algorithms, data, analysis) definitely influences us in ways we might not even realize.

Perhaps then I will get back to & finish The Midnight Library, I know I'm not the only one who found it a bit of a slog through the middle.

Though I should probably start reading Shuggie Bain!  

And An American Quilt: Unfolding A Story of Family & Slavery is still on my nightstand. I used to read a little every night, but lately I've been prioritizing sleep (sort of, because I'm still a night owl and stay up too late) over reading.

 


Unraveled Wednesday: 7 Rows In

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

CROCHETING:

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I'm one motif shy of 7 rows complete! I started to join the last one in (top left) last night and, whoa... that's one loosey-goosey circle and way too many stitches in the end!

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Often, I fudge, but this one's getting a rip & re-do.

READING:

I am listening to The Midnight Library, and I am really enjoying Carey Mulligan's performance, but I'm tiring of the story... I have about 3 hours to go, but taking a short break for this:

Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose. Kate just finished reading -- and recommending -- it, Rusty nabbed her hard copy, and I just downloaded the audio book. Looking forward to it. Kate can't stop talking about it!

An American Quilt: Unfolding A Story of Family & Slavery is still my bedtime reading. I'm slow.

What are you making and reading?


Unraveled Wednesday: Goin' with the flow

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

CROCHETING:

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

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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.

READING:

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.