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Joining Kat & the Unravelers... 

KNITTING:

OMG. Mukluks!

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These are Malina's! The first of three pair that I intended as Christmas presents, but I think they're going to be Thanksgiving Tree Trimming Party presents!

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I already have one of Ginny's slippers sewn together... reclaiming enough Wonder Clips to at least get Junah's prepped for sewing.

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I've double-stitched Malina's because she's going to be crawling soon and those toes, especially, will need reinforcement!

READING:

You probably don't even need to read about what I'm reading... but I swear, I'm almost finished with The Best Cook in the World: Tales From my Momma's Table by Rick Bragg. I have one chapter and a few recipes to go! Perhaps I'm drawing it out because I'll be sad when I'm finished...

On deck is Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs by Bill Cunningham. It's not nearly as long... and has more pictures!


Unraveled: Another FO to show

Joining Kat & the Unravelers... for the first time in a while!

KNITTING:

It's another -- my second -- Summer Camp... just in time for fall!

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Here's a link to the first, which I wore a TON last winter.

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The first had 15 stripes + edging and this one has 16 stripes + edging, making a significantly long scarf (around 95") even longer... the new one comes in at almost 14" more. It's long!!

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Another thing I did differently was to make that extra section a stripe of a different color. In this case, it's the ninth stripe in the overall scheme of things, and it's a very light teal. Both the teal and the darker contrast color are also present in the yellow variegated yarn. I like that the stripe of a different color shows up near my face... total crap shoot!

READING:

Believe it or not, I'm almost finished with The Best Cook in the World: Tales From my Momma's Table by Rick Bragg. I am enjoying it very much, even though it's taking me forever to read it! I'm listening to Tom Hanks read Uncommon Type: Some Stories, though I haven't been listening much lately... I think I'm in a quiet period right now!


Un- (and re-) raveled: TTL Mystery Shawl 2018

Joining Kat & the Unravelers...

KNITTING

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It's an FO and, oh, I couldn't be happier!

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There are sections of this shawl that are "true lace" -- at least what I've come to know as that, meaning that there is stitch manipulation on both wrong- & right-side rows, not just purling across the wrong side -- and my first time ever knitting "true lace"!

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It was truly a joy to knit along on this project and I think a big reason for that was the slower pace, with clues released over a period of six weeks.

I knit as usual... risky! I never used a lifeline, and didn't add stitch markers until the end -- and thank goodness because they really helped when those few stitches got away from me last week.

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There was an optional extended version for people with an extra bit of yarn, and that is what I did.

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The bind-off was a pretty little picot-like flower, and I used a stretchy (k2tbl) bind-off for the stitches between the flowers, so it blocked out quite large. I was fairly vigorous with the blocking, but I didn't take it as far as I could have. I love the shape! This would be beautiful in one color, and would make a lovely wedding shawl.

READING

Same as last time (from the slowest reader in the west): The Best Cook in the World: Tales From my Momma's Table by Rick Bragg, and getting close to the end of Calypso (audio) by David Sedaris.


Unraveled / 3TT: Macrame / Eye Candy Friday

Doing an all-in-one post this week!!

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Joining Kat & the Unravelers...

KNITTING

I washed my Rhinebeck Sweater gauge swatches, and the numbers didn't really change much.

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I'm going to try going up a needle size and see what happens. Stitch count is spot on, but rows are significantly off and there's a fair bit of shaping in the sweater that I currently have in mind. I suppose I could do a little math/calculating... that takes a pretty specific frame of mind that's definitely not my normal frame of mind. Haha. Loving how that yarn is knitting up, though, and I'm determined to use it!

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The TTL Mystery Shawl is still waiting to be fixed. (I hope I can fix it!)

READING

I am still reading The Best Cook in the World: Tales From my Momma's Table by Rick Bragg, and listening to Calypso by David Sedaris, and enjoying them both quite a lot! I would say that memoir is my favorite genre, so that's really no big surprise.

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Joining Carole and friends for Three on Thursday...

After threatening to do it -- and wanting to do it -- for years, I finally did a little macramé! Three photos:

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I recently bought new curtains for the front room & love how much lighter & brighter & less lacey it is. I keep noticing -- and keep forgetting -- to remove the price tag from the panel on the front door! Or I could just channel Minnie Pearl...
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It's not always the most photogenic of crafts, y'know? This was very simple, completely made up/from memory, and the very best thing was Kate's reaction when I took it upstairs. You just made that? Like, just now?? 

I did, even though there are a few other things I currently vying for attention (such as fixing dropped stitches on my TTL Mystery Shawl, hemming my Gypsum Skirt, sewing up another Geranium Dress)... I might do macramé with the boys for Auntie Camp (Aug. 17-18!~) and figured I should make sure I still had the skillz.

I do. It's like riding a bicycle!

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Aside...

While I was up on Kate's porch, I noticed the pergola. I've been up there many times over the last few years, but never just hanging out, so it was cool to take in the view from a different angle.

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Not bad, I thought. Then I noticed it again after the lights came on at dusk.

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These would look good on the Airbnb listing!

Not kidding! Also, not ready for lodgers -- yet! As established, Kate's renting the upstairs apartment, but she already knows that she's going to be gone for chunks of time -- some significant -- and it actually occurred to us both, separately, that Airbnb could be an option. Now that we've found ourselves on the same page, it's a rather exciting concept, and I'm thinking about it a lot. I don't really know how much demand there is in my area, but being only 20 miles from Lambeau Field is a definite plus... and it's been interesting to think of our house/property/location in terms of "selling it." We're excited to give it a go... sometime (there are a few things that need to be done first)!

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Eye Candy Friday...

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Those are just two of some achingly sweet photos that Ali shared on Wednesday afternoon. Lordy, I'm a lucky one...

Happy Weekend!!


Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat & the Unravelers...

I spent an hour and a half this morning straightening & organizing things in the bedroom -- found some stuff, tossed some stuff, put away some stuff, and set aside some stuff for the upcoming rummage sale. It felt SO GREAT to finally, really, focus on that task. Small bites.

KNITTING

Then I did another rare thing and sat down in the middle of the morning with my knitting and Netflix. I had just a little ways to go until I could bind off the latest In Threes cardigan and one more episode of Collateral to watch...

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...and my timing was PERFECT! Gift for Summer of '18 Baby #2 of 3 is only in need of buttons!

SEWING

I've been catching a few minutes here & there to sew... currently working on Ginny's Mickey Mouse Geranium.

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I love the front -- black & white with littls hits of red.

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There are side seam pockets on both sides. This is the largest size Geranium I've made so far (size 3) and, understandably, those pockets aren't even an option on the smaller sizes.

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PARTY IN THE BACK!!! I did actually stop at Joann's to see if I could find another bundle like the one I started with, but they were gone. Meanwhile, Ali gave me some Mickey fabric from her stash... so I pieced it together and this is what we've got!

READING

Not much has changed in this department. Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson is still in my ears; The Thoughtful Dresser is still on my nightstand (and I'm making some progress).


Unraveled: Prepping for a Mystery

Joining Kat & the Unravelers...

KNITTING

LITLG-swatch

I am hoping that the stitch pattern is visible enough? I've posted it in the TTL MKAL forum and we'll see how Kirsten feels about it!  :)

READING

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson has been my "listen," and I am enjoying it quite a bit. Marcus has a very interesting story -- Ethiopian-born & Swedish-raised, he thought he'd be a soccer star, not an accomplished chef. He reads the book himself and, though he speaks English very well, his accent is quite strong; I've heard him before on one of the cooking competition shows on TV, so I was familiar before I began the book. It's very engaging.

I haven't cracked open an actual book in probably almost a week. Summertime, man; we're busy (and then utterly exhausted)!!


Unraveled Wednesday: Trapezette

KNITTING

You know that KNITTING is my primary therapist, but SEWING is a steadfast back-up! I bought this cute pin at Brooklyn Craft Co. last weekend for Ali -- they all decorate their barista aprons with pins at the coffee shop, and this is so true for her.

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Truth is, I haven't been knitting much. There's a hat & a shawl in current rotation, but I do most of my knitting in the evening and, well, this week we've either been busy or I'm just too pooped. I think about it all the time, though. And lately, I've also become a bit preoccupied with what to knit/make for three little baby girls due to arrive in the next couple of months. I really have to use some yarn that I already have and it has to be baby/mom friendly (i.e., washable), so that's limiting (not necessarily a bad thing... parameters)... I think I'm closing in on a plan.

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I've also been considering Kirsten's TTL Mystery Shawl... it's been a favorite each time that I've participated! The only thing holding me up is my sore arm, but a few short breaks from knitting, visits to the chiropractor, and the discovery of a major knot in my shoulder (I really need to schedule a proper massage) have all been helping. And I can certainly go at whatever pace is comfortable for me. UPDATE: Pattern purchased! 

SEWING

Even though my main occupation last weekend was cuddling & caring for Malina while her parents were busy at the Electric City Music Festival (big kids were with other grandma), I still managed to prepare, cut out, and sew The Trapezette Dress for her older sister -- my first Merchant & Mills pattern, recently purchased at Brooklyn General Store.

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I have a bit of finishing to do (hemming & a button) but this is a big win and there are certainly more to be made (this is a size 3yrs, the pattern goes up to size 8yrs)! Swishy & swingy just as advertised.

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I made my first rouleau in memory! I didn't have a bodkin handy (though I know there's one somewhere), so I improvised with a pin & bobby pin to turn that little loop.

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I'm pretty proud of the more-or-less matching of zigzag stripes on the center back seam -- and I wasn't even trying terribly hard!

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It's super, super cute and I can't wait for Gin to come over and try it on so I can check the length & finish. This fabric has been in stash for a long time; I have no idea what the original intention was. I was a little hesitant to use it for this project because I thought it might be too crazy, but it was the perfect amount (of both fabric and crazy) and I love how it turned out! I used nicely matching leftovers from the backing of Malina's quilt for the facings.

READING

I finished listening to West Cork last week, and have just decided that Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson will be my next audiobook (it's downloading as we speak). The Thoughtful Dresser was just renewed for the second (and hopefully) last time (I'm enjoying the book but the reading, lately, is going much the same as the knitting), leaving Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder stuck at the bottom of the nightstand pile under Rick Bragg's The Best Cook In The World - Tales from My Momma's Table, because that is definitely up next!


Unraveled Wednesday: Water

KNITTING

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I started WATER on Saturday night, beginning with a tubular cast on -- it makes such a neat edge. I finished the first repeat last night. I am using Plymouth's Worsted Merino Superwash for this one; it's a little splitty, but it's sproingy and has good stitch definition. I previously used this yarn to knit a couple of Pussyhats.

READING

I did ZERO reading/listening on my trip. Instead, I watched The Greatest Showman -- most on the flight to NYC, the rest on the return trip. And I loved it!

I am almost finished listening to West Cork, and I'm ready for the end.

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I spotted The Best Cook In The World - Tales from My Momma's Table at the airport on Sunday and had it in my hand... but realized that I really wasn't going to start reading it right then and it wasn't the last copy known to man, so it didn't need to be purchased right then & there. Be it known, however, that this is next up -- ready & waiting! I love Rick Bragg.

I may need to renew The Thoughtful Dresser one more time, but I'm getting there.

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


FO/Unraveled Wednesday: Cockleshells

KNITTING

It seems a while since there's been an FO in the Knitting Dept. around here! I was on a roll over the weekend and finally sewed buttons on the girls' sweaters, so today there are two:

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  • Ravelry Project Page: Cockleshell Cardigans
    • Size 18-24 months for Virginia, Size 6-12 months for Malina
  • Pattern: Cockleshell Cardigan by Amy Christoffers
  • Yarn: Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash (color: Daffodil)
    • 4 skeins = 2 sweaters with just a bit left over
  • Needles:  US 10
  • Start to Finish:  April 24 - May 28, 2018

The color is off in these photos (I blame the floor), it's really more like this:

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So bright & happy!

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Are they not the most adorable little sweaters? Soft & squishy, too.

Mods: The pattern called for I-cord ties but, um, Nooooo. I opted for matching buttons and crocheted a loop to close.

Mistakes: I made one on the cuff of Gin's sweater, creating an actual cuff... I didn't realize it was a mistake until I started the other half and then had myself a little time trying to recreate that particular "design element"! I also misread (or didn't actually read) the directions and did the 3-needle bind-off to the inside instead of the outside on both sweaters. These things do not bother me in the least!

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The kids will be over this evening, so possibly modeled shots forthcoming!!

UPDATE TO ADD:

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Oh, they are the cutest!! We had supper together and Gin wouldn't take her sweater off, so... ketchup, chocolate milk, and a little Truffle Kerfuffle later... it's already landed it in the wash! (Came through wonderfully.)

I am still working on Summer Camp! It won't be traveling with me, though, so I'm readying to cast on my first WATER hat to bring along. Check out the Baby Cocktails forum on Ravelry for more info about Water for Flint project and knit-along.

READING

Well, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder has taken a back seat to The Thoughtful Dresser, which I've already renewed once (and may need to again) (reading has taken a back seat to almost everything else), but I'm getting into a bit more and enjoying it. Plus, there's some traveling ahead and it will be coming along.

I am listening to West Cork, which, it turns out, is actually an "Audible Audiobook - Original Recording." It's not an actual book -- never was, never will be! I think I nabbed it on a promotion or something... anyway, it says "audiobook" in the description, so I'm going with that. And it'll fill a Bingo square! I'll likely finish it on the plane tomorrow, so will be queuing up something else today!

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


Unraveled: Cockleshell Cardi

KNITTING

So, I did really well with the simultaneous knitting and socializing with the book club gang on Friday night -- even doing increases at regular intervals without screwing up.

Saturday was a WAY different story, and perhaps what you might expect when a day begins with a cherry mimosa at breakfast and carries on with a distillery/brewery/winery tour! I found a mistake and when I thought I'd figured out what happened and how to fix it, I only screwed it up more. Way more! Let's just say there were some "wonky" eyelets on that edging by the time I came to my senses and just put it away.

So, I ripped back the problem area on Monday night and re-knit. I worked the 3-needle bind-off on Tuesday night, and gave it a soak and pinned it out on Wednesday.

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Cockleshell Cardigan

My gauge/measurements are spot-on for the size I made, though I'm using a slightly heavier yarn. I LOVE IT! This one (largest size) will be for Gin, and I've cast on another (second-smallest size) for Malina.

SEWING

I have about half of the hand-quilting yet to do on Malina's quilt... it is getting a little tedious and I've contemplated ways to make it less so (i.e., not do as much), but I've decided to bite the bullet and JUST DO IT (correctly) (or at least as originally intended). I've 30-ish little squares to go... each is randomly quilted with one length of thread. Ready, Set, Go!

READING

Audio: I finished listening to Unfu*k Yourself on the way up to Door County on Friday. I figured that would happen, so had downloaded Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by Leslie Odom, Jr., to be ready. I would listen to Leslie Odom, Jr., read just about anything. Even so, I really enjoyed the content of this book, too; some interesting wisdom and ideas to ponder.

Pages: Nothing has changed here: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder is still on my nightstand, but so too is The Thoughtful Dresser.

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


Unraveled Wednesday

It's been a while!

KNITTING

I picked up my knitting needles last night for the first time in weeks and cast on a new project! I knew the minute I saw it that the Cockleshell Cardigan from the new MDK Field Guide would have to be made. From the looks of things, I'm going to have enough yarn to make one for each of my granddaughters!

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The knitting & construction are pretty cool, knit in two pieces from the cuff to the center and then joined/seamed in the back with a 3-needle bind-off. I'm knitting the largest size, using Cascade 128 Superwash, and that was last night's progress (with a few breaks so I don't overdo it).

It's gonna be a quick one!

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I love the sleeve/cuff detail.

My book club is going on a field trip this weekend to Door County and I thought this would be a good project to bring along!

SEWING

I finished the Alabama Chanin Fingerless Gloves. And, this afternoon, I will be binding Malina's quilt! I'm so excited.

READING

Oh my goodness, the reading. Since last we met, I finished listening to Mustard Seed... and Sing, Unburied, Sing... and Wait Til Next Year! I am currently listening to Unfu*k Yourself. For some reason, Audible wasn't working on my phone for a few days but I was finally able to press PLAY yesterday! Onward. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder is still on my nightstand, but so too is The Thoughtful Dresser. Reading time has been SO limited.


Unraveled... and mended

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As I've done many times before, I had Gin in the stroller the other day all bundled up in Parcheesi. We ended up doing a little cross-country, and the blanket got caught up in the front wheel, leaving a hole...

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It's the first time I've had to mend a hole in this well-loved and much-used blanket!

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And, while it was more than one stitch, I definitely had The Rare Stitch in mind as I made the repair. I took the opportunity to toss it in the washer & dryer, too, so all fresh and clean!

READING:

Like the knitting, the reading has been slow around here. I continue to listen to Mustard Seed, mostly in the car, and turning the pages of Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Today happens to be the 151st anniversary of Laura's birth in the Big Woods of Wisconsin! Happy Birthday, Laura!


Unraveled Wednesday: January 31

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

SEWING:

Free time has been limited this week, and I've been prioritizing #dailysewing -- trying to make it a habit. My most minimal sewing goal at this point is to use up one needle's worth of thread/floss each day, which I've met or exceeded every day since I began. There are three sewable "lengths" every time I cut floss, and I've sewn them all a couple of times. On the weekend when I'm home in the daylight, I'll take a photo... there is  LOONNNNNG way to go but I'm beginning to see progress and it's making me happy!

KNITTING:

That's not to say there hasn't been knitting! My PS (Parallelogram Scarf) is growing:

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Some more dramatic color changing ought to be happening soon!

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I expect to get a fair bit done at Knit Night tomorrow.

READING:

Continuing to read & enjoy Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (pages). I also picked up Michael Perry's Montaigne in Barn Boots when we were at the performance of Population 485 on Friday, and have cracked it open. I don't usually read more than one book at a time...

I've shelved (returned) the audio/CD version of Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian because the format is just not working for me... I hope it'll be available again someday on Audible or something. I really want to listen to it.

Instead, I've downloaded Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim, which more or less picks up where Yellow Crocus left off. I enjoyed that story quite a lot, and Bahni Turpin is one of my favorite narrators.

What are you making and reading??

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A quick shout-out to my mom, who would have celebrated her 80th birthday today!

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"Celebrated" isn't quite the word she'd be using here... HORRIFIED is more like it!! Haha. I love you Mom. I miss you every single day.


Unraveled Wednesday: Parallelogram progress

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

KNITTING:

I snapped a couple of quick, not real great photos this morning:

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I think (hope) this is going to be interesting... there's the first of two "yellow periods" happening right now. There'll be a bit more purple ahead, more hints of green, and then gray.

Can't I knit all day?

Or sew? Margene's post today has me contemplating daily stitching on my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket. One stitch is better than none, right?

READING:

I've begun reading Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I did much more knitting than reading while we were away for the weekend, so it's off to a slow start... but it is so very interesting! I can't wait to re-read some of LIW's books (or the whole series).

I've yet to pop one of the library CDs into a player to listen to Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian because... really?? First-world problems, but this is so inconvenient... Why is this not available on Audible?? As much as I want to hear it, I'm afraid it might fizzle...


Unraveled Wednesday: Yarn cakes

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

DYEING:

I haven't been knitting much over the past week. I had some half-hearted thoughts about another hat or finishing some slippers, but mostly I've been dyeing. Among other things, I've been preparing for the Parallelogram KAL with Mary!

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We begin on Saturday! These are the cakes from which I will be choosing -- I need two for the project.

I think I'm going with 2:00 and 8:00, thus:

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I've changed my mind 100 times already (in addition to every time I'd wind a new ball), but there are a couple of reasons for this choice... I really want to knit a bunch of combos!

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Or three at a time!

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I've really been enjoying my time in the studio, and am looking forward to more -- especially as our days gradually lengthen, and then even more when I can fling open the door and expand operations to the back yard.

KNITTING:

Last night I was tired of not knitting but still not enthused about anything else, and on a whim I gathered all of my Lamb's Pride Worsted into a pile (save for two colors that just "don't go") and cast on a Log Cabin thing that will probably be a blanket. Random, I know -- I'm even using a random number generator to help with decision making. There's no pressure or deadline, and only the vaguest of plans, but I've always wanted a larger knit blanket and, mostly, I'm just very happy to finally have a plan for all of that yarn!

READING:

I am all but finished reading Tender At The Bone, by Ruth Reichl. I am really enjoying this book and will definitely seek out more of Ruth Reichl... open to your recs, if you have any!

Also, quite randomly and while waiting for an audio book on CDs from the library (seems like the dark ages and I hope I can cope), I am listening to Badass Your Brand: The Impatient Entrepreneur's Guide to Turning Expertise into Profit by Pia Silva.


Unraveling: From out of nowhere

Well, actually, it came from somewhere...

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Ali sent me an Instagram photo of a Windschief hat that she ran across, with a note about how great it would look on Junah, so...

I declined a movie invitation last night in favor of the opportunity to be home alone for more than :25 for the first time in ages! I knit on said hat and watched a bit of TV (catching up on the last of S1 Victoria before S2 begins)!

I have all but finished a subtly striped little kitten dress, and plan to make a shirt for the other kitten with the same yarn (and that might be the end of that... yarn).

Announced in October with seemingly all the time in the world to plot and plan, I was not able to think much about the Fringe Association Log Cabin Make-along, but I haven't given up on joining in, either! I'm thinking fingering weight scrappy cowl or infinity scarf or maybe substantial wrap. Anyway, I'm thinking...

I am about half-way through Tender At The Bone, by Ruth Reichl, and am enjoying it quite a lot! I am listening to an AARP book called Downsizing The Family Home: What To Save, What To Let Go, by Marni Jameson.

Ahem.

Oh look!

Amaryllis---1-3-18

Rusty was recently given an amaryllis and it's starting to grow! It's a bit askew & bent, but will probably straighten up a bit.


Unraveled: In the nick of time

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

KNITTING:

On Christmas morning, I sat the kitchen table with my coffee and put the finishing touches on two Sleepy Kittens.

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Whiskers & a bright pink nose for Gin's:

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And the entire face situation for Jün's:

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Alabama Chanin's Button Craft Thread is perfect for whiskers on kittens... who knew?!

I'd finished knitting the "shirt" for Junah's kitten on Christmas Eve.

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It's a little more "ruffly" than I'd intended, but who cares? He certainly doesn't! I also ran out of a green and the lighter color of yarn, so one sleeve and a few rows at the bottom of the top are lighter green!

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  • Ravelry Project Page: Sleepy Kittens -- Gin's & Jün's
  • Pattern: Sleepy Kitten Set by Susan B. Anderson from Making No. 4 / LINES
  • Yarn: 
    • Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted for bodies
    • Leftovers of Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted & Plymouth Galway Worsted for clothing
    • A couple of yards of pink from a Crazy Zauberball for noses
    • AC Button Craft Thread for whiskers
  • Needles:  5 US DPNs for bodies, 3 US DPNs for clothing
  • Start to Finish:  November 19-December 25, 2017
  • Mods:
    • I knit the first (Gin's) exactly as written -- except that I first made the nightie/dress too short and then just riffed the lengthening by extending the ribbing (which I actually like a lot as it helps prevent flipping up at the bottom).
    • For Jün's, I simplified the knitting-in of parts a bit by eliminating a needle (on the "held" pieces, pulling the back stitch through the front) so I could knit two stitches together from two needles instead of three stitches together from three needles.
    • Also, inspired by the too-short dress for Gin's, I striped only the legs and to the "waist" of Jün's kitten (not at all on the arms) and knit a separate top.

I am currently working on making additional kitten clothing!

READING:

I received some books from my Amazon Wish List for Christmas!

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In addition to Handcrafted Bitters from Ali, there was Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder from Rusty, and Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art from Kate.

I am looking forward to all of those books, but I am still enjoying Tender At The Bone, by Ruth Reichl. Hopefully, there will be a bit more time for reading now that holiday madness is winding down!

I will finish listening to You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie, today! This was an amazing book, and I'm sorry that I was unaware of Sherman Alexie last spring when he was one of the featured authors at Green Bay's inaugural UntitledTown Book & Author Festival.

How are things going with you? Are you reclaiming some knitting/reading time??


Unraveling: Kitten knittin'

I'm a day late, but still joining Kat & friends again this week...

KNITTING:

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There's still some work to do!

I started Jün's "Sleepy Kitten" on Sunday. As far as knitted toys go, this is one of the best patterns I've tried. I've made a couple of simple mods to make the knitting up even easier, but the biggest modification is that instead of entirely striping legs, body & arms (to mimic PJs), I've striped only the legs and the lower body, and will knit a separate shirt! That idea came to me when I mistakenly knit the dress for Gin's kitten too small at first. And because I knew Junah would have fun with a removable piece of clothing!

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Gin's sleepy little kitten -- still in need of a nose!

READING:

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie, is going down as one of my favorite books of the year! I'll finish this book/listen in the next day or two, for sure.

I finished reading Population 485 on Sunday morning, waiting for Jün to wake up. It was as bittersweet & heartbreaking as I remembered.

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Participating with some friends again for the 3rd Annual Icelandic Christmas Book & Chocolate Swap (aka, Jólabókaflóð), my parcel arrived on Monday and the timing couldn't have been better! The rule at our house has always been that presents the arrive in the mail can be opened immediately... and so I did! New on my nightstand (but a long-time entry on my Goodreads list) is Tender At The Bone, by Ruth Reichl, compliments of Nancy. I will save the chocolate, though, for Christmas Eve, and savor every bite -- it actually came from Iceland! Nancy recently visited relatives there.


Unraveled Wednesday / The ends

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

I can't even remember the last time I sat down to knit! I'm sure it's only been a few days, but seems like forever. I am still hoping to make a Sleepy Kitten for Jün before Christmas. I want to make another dress for Gin's, too, but the deadline is looser for that.

When I have had a chance to sit & knit lately, it's been for short periods and/or full of distraction, so I've been knitting mindless scrappy color-blocked near-rectangles that will eventually turn into slippers.

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I did finish the Freak Flags!! Those are all the ends... very satisfying. The flags are flying at the shop but, of course, no photo.

READING.

On Deck:

  • I'm not sure, but it's Jólabókaflóð season and I'm participating in the third (I think) swap with some friends, so a new book should be arriving soon! I also had a few books on my Christmas list. I may need something to fill a few days... I suppose I could always slog through a few more pages of Hillbilly Elegy. Nah... more likely, I'll be scrapping that one altogether. I really can't stand it.

Bonus: WATCHING.

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I saw this on Monday night and it's the best movie I've seen in a while... I loved it, and the casting was amazing! I can't wait to watch it again at the Best Picture Festival. Sad & surprising & funny & desperate & sweet.

Ch-Ch-Ch-CHANGES!! Progress Report / 29

It's been almost two weeks since the remodeling project got underway, and a week today since the shop was closed!

Since then, the Coffee Camper has been set up right outside, and it sure is adorable.

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Offerings & hours are very limited, and there's no place to sit (it's chilly, besides), but the tavern owner next door has opened his doors wide and welcomes the morning kaffeeklatsch!

 my little city!

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The plumbers have been first on the scene, arriving as I stop each morning for my tea; the lights have been on and I snapped a few photos.

Yesterday:

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This morning:

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The two new bathrooms are at back right, and the doors (leaning on the wall toward the front yesterday) installed. There's a hole in the wall to the left of the window in back for the relocated air conditioner. The new kitchen area is being framed in & dry-walled, and the space between the new bathrooms & kitchen will be a dedicated kids' nook. The cement block has all been plastered over, and looks fantastic!

There is so much more to come: tiling, decorative plastering, painting, casework, ceiling & lighting!! Keep your fingers crossed and good juju flowing for a fabulous on-budget finish in little more than a week!

Also, it's UNRAVELED WEDNESDAY!

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

Another Sleepy Kitten will be on the needles before long, but currently...

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I am all about the Freak Flags!! I am currently on Flag #8. Potato chip knitting... super fun and I can't wait to deck out the reopened shop with them.

READING. If you can believe it: 

(Still)(Still) On Deck:


Unraveled Wednesday / 22

KNITTING.

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Currently on my needles is a Sleepy Kitten! On my list since I first cracked Making No. 4 / Lines, I started on Sunday. This is where I stopped last night, and will be knitting in the arms when I pick it up again tonight. I've had more than my share of false starts when it comes to knitting toys -- the fiddly bits aren't so bad, but the SEWING UP is where I lose it. Susan B. Anderson designed these kittens in such a way that the fiddly bits are knitted in as you go... brilliant!

(Abulón Cowl is finished, awaiting glamour shot... in daylight!)

READING. Here's what's on my list right now:

  • Population 485 / Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time - pages. I am re-reading this oft-recommended long-time favorite memoir set in New Auburn, WI. Author Michael Perry is also a cast member in the stage adaptation of his book, and we have tickets to a January performance in Oshkosh! I've been wanting to pick it up again for a long time, now, and there could hardly be a better reason.
  • Yellow Crocus - audio. If all goes well, I may finish today!

(Still) On Deck:

COOKING.

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My house smelled amazing last night! I'd never heard of Make-Ahead Gravy until Carole posted about it the other day. Personally, I prefer butter on my potatoes, but Rusty loves gravy, so I thought I'd give it a try this year. So far, so good! Also, pork chops and zoodles w/fire-roasted tomatoes was what's for dinner.

Check out Kat for more Unraveled Wednesday...


Unraveled Wednesday / 1

KNITTING. I mentioned the Stillness Collection a little over a month ago; I'd ordered it, and have since received it. On Saturday, I wound some yarn and cast on the first-favorited project -- the one that initially stopped me in my tracks -- Abulón by Isabell Kraemer.

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Naturally, I'm knitting it on straight needles instead of circs. I'm using a bouncy, squishy yarn that I call Realize Sport; I recently dyed the yarn for the outer layer to complement the orange that I wanted to use for the inner layer. It's really fun knitting, and the design would be easily customized as to size by varying the yarn and/or the number of repeats. I predict that this will be finished in no time!

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READING. Here's what's on my list right now:

On Deck:

One more photo...

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Another result of all the work around here is that in addition to "discovering" my dye studio, I may also have discovered my new favorite place for taking photos!

Speaking of that work, there has been nothing but "back-up beeps" and the clanging of dump trucks & bobcats today as they prep the road for BLACKTOP!! YaHOOOOO. At latest, the actual application of the blacktop will happen tomorrow.

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!


Three Numerous Things on Thursday

Too many to number... plus UNRAVELED! Checkother 3TT posts here, and Unraveled here.

Jün and I got up and hit the floor running yesterday morning and, other than a few minutes at lunchtime, I didn't sit down until after 8:00 last night. We had such a GREAT DAY!!

We were a little late for Tumbling because while walking to my car...

DIGGERS ON MY STREET!

After Tumbling, we went to the P.O., paid the electric bill, and took the long way to lunch (we had to kill a few minutes before they open). We've gone to the same sub shop for lunch for three weeks in a row, we order the same things, and Jün makes sure we sit at the same table. Next Wednesday is the last session of Tumbling (already)! I told Ali that I want to continue this overnight tradition, but probably not every week... I enjoy every minute but I don't get a thing done (or very little).

Anyway, by the time we got back...

DIGGERS AT MY HOUSE!

We started with a seat on the porch, but soon, it was front row all the way baby!

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The workmen were all SO nice and SO patient. We watched from start to finish, and then watched as they pulled the old fire hydrant at the end of the street... for HOURS! At least a couple.  :)

Then he wanted to go out back and pitch some more walnuts. On Tuesday afternoon, I had watched the next door neighbor's lawn service guy rake all the walnuts from her yard over to mine (instead of into the ravine, as he might have done) (thanks buddy), so we got out the big guns: a wheelbarrow in addition to shovels for both Jün and me.

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Not the same size anymore!

By the time we'd unloaded two loads, my back was killing me so we took a break -- juice & a book!

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I was excited when I had notification earlier in the week that my pre-order of My Journey To The Stars by Astronaut Scott Kelly had shipped, arriving just in time for Tuesday night bedtime reading... reprise on Wednesday! By Wednesday, Junah put his hand to my mouth at just about every turn of the page. He had QUESTIONS & REMARKS! I just love how spongy little minds work. Related: A Year In Space is available to watch on Amazon Prime, and Part 2 debuts on PBS next month. Also, Scott Kelly's Instagram photos (@stationcdrkelly) from space were INCREDIBLE.

Speaking of READING, here's what's on my list right now:

  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs - pages. (Oops - due at the library yesterday, renewed online today... love technology!)
  • Yellow Crocus - audio. This one has been on my list for a while, and I've wanted to listen to another book narrated by Bahni Turpin, too!

And in KNITTING:

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I ran out to take a photo before losing light on Tuesday, and bound off shortly thereafter. This is Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows. Weaving in ends was the perfect activity last night, and will continue tonight at Knit Night. I will block after taking care of the ends, and then determine whether to knit the i-cord border all the way around... that will depend on how much I love it. I love it now, but don't know if I love it that much!

I haven't done a #tbt Throwback in a while, but a few copies of this were on my desk today:

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That's Kate, as a flower girl, on the cover of a local magazine that I used to do typesetting for; the bride is an old friend who used to style my hair back in the day (and she probably still would, but lives too far away). I don't know what happened to them, but there were some other even cuter photos of them, if you can even believe that (Kate stole the show!).

What are you reading? What's on your needles??


Unraveled + 3TT - FO: Another Striped Hat

Ooops, a day late with the Unraveling! Things got away from me yesterday. We're all a bit frazzled 'round here for some reason... all that heavy equipment outside, shutting off water, temporarily hooking up water, new refrigerator delivery delayed... everyone's been so nice, but... frazzled!

THREE THINGS THURSDAY

One -- A Finished Object! I knit a hat for Gin/Jün while we were in the U.P. I cast on Saturday morning in our cottage as we drank coffee. I continued while Rusty walked the blustery beach at Whitefish Point, and as we made our way from here to there and everywhere. I finished on Sunday as we watched the Packer game on TV. This photo is after the 3-needle bind-off but before sewing the side seam -- I had to take my opportunity to dash outside while there was still a bit of natural light!

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  • Ravelry Project Page: Another Striped Hat for Gin
  • Pattern: This is what I did (an unvented pattern as follows)
    • CO 98 sts (includes 1 selvage st at each side)
    • Work 2x2 rib for 2” (begin each row with slip and k1 or p1)
    • Work in stockinette stitch, with or without stripes, for approx. 6.75" (including ribbing)
    • Knit half-way across, then fold & manipulate needles as needed in order to work 3-needle bind-off
    • Sew up side seam
  • Yarn:
    • Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solids (Pinks #48 & 21)
    • Malabrigo Yarn Rios (#57 English Rose)
  • Needles:  US 6
  • Start to Finish:  October 7-8, 2017

Two -- Reading. Ali was working on Tuesday morning when I stopped at the coffee shop on the way to work. She said with a wink that Jün was planning to sleep over again! That was fine by me! He was excited to find the books we'd read the week before still upstairs:

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The Little House has been a favorite since I was a child, and I'm so happy to read it again. Bushbaby was a favorite of Maddy's -- likely purchased at a book fair!

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There was an old Living magazine up there, which we paged through... those cookies on the cover were quite interesting! And he pointed to Julia Roberts in an ad and said, "That's Maddy"!

Then Harry hit the scene!

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He found all of Maddy's well-read Harry Potter paperbacks on the bookshelf and was apparently quite intrigued! He pulled them out -- plus a couple of others -- and added them to the reading pile!

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He seemed happy enough with my reading of one random page from each book in the stack!

In terms of my own, I am still reading Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (pages) and listening to Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am enjoying both quite a bit, even though it's been slow going. "Big Magic" came out of nowhere... I'm not usually into self-help-ish books very much, but her TED Talk, Your Elusive Creative Genius, is still one of my favorites -- and I fell in love with her voice.

Three -- Knitting. Yeah. Woman [continues to] Make Her Own Arrows.

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I'm on the final section, which I'm knitting as a color "shift," these are the colors I've chosen -- now I just have to get going! (once I'm less frazzled)

Joining Kat/Carole for Unraveling/Three on Thursday -- check them out!


Unraveled Wednesday - FO: Oblique!

After nearly 10 years... it's FINALLY an FO!!

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Originally intended for myself, I've "outgrown" it; Maddy instantly loved it and, well, isn't she adorable? Photos by Kate! And lots of 'em... because it took so long for me to finally finish, and it's a pretty great sweater!

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Why so long? Good gravy, I don't know!

It was a contender for Finishing in the 2010 Olympics and I wrote, "I want this one finished most of all."

Here's how that went:

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At Opening Ceremonies:  All of the pieces were knit and blocked.  I needed to sew them up, knit the collar, attach buttons.

At Closing Ceremonies:  Sleeves are sewn in and collar is underway.  I've had several false starts on that collar, and some difficulty determining Right from Wrong -- I'm pretty sure I'd have made it if I'd been thinking more clearly.  Three-quarters of the way, I tore it out completely and started over last night.  I'll be casting off tonight and all that will remain are side and sleeve seams and the sewing on of three buttons.  I cannot wait.  I love this thing.

Um, yeah. I loved it and yet...

It looks like the buttons might be a bit wonky, and it might need a snap... but I'm not sure how much it'll actually be buttoned anyway, so we'll just see about that. I'm thrilled that it's finished and even more thrilled that there is someone else who loves it!

_ _ _ _ _

Reading: Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (pages)

Listening: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert


Unraveled Wednesday: a Forest Mystery

Knitting

I finished the knitting quite a while ago, but the FO photos didn't happen until I was under the gun.

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Maddy shipped out a package to Kiwi Family yesterday, including this shawl that I knit with love, gratitude & appreciation for Kiwi Mom. I will likely never see it again, so I even got the big camera out and dragged my adorned dress form all the way down to the back yard to take photos!

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And what a fun knit it was, too. Party on one side, garter stitch & increases on the other, and the result is wonderful. Those undulating, fern-/leaf-like cables are just so lovely.

The yarn is beautiful, and the end result is a good sized shawl that can be worn a couple of ways -- soft, warm & cozy!

I mentioned the other day that Maddy would be returning to New Zealand! She was offered a job for next season's "vintage," and will likely go back sometime in February or so; I don't know whether she'll stay with Kiwi Family again, but no doubt she'll visit.

Reading

I finished I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows; I listened to the audio book narrated by Emily Sutton, and rated in 4 stars.

My Goodreads review:

I Will Send RainI loved Emily Sutton-Smith's narration -- and it was best when she was in character. I am surprised to say that!! I don't usually care much for "voices," but she has the perfect timbre for both male and female characters, young or old; natural and quite believable. I almost felt that her regular reading voice was too perfect and precise.

View all my reviews

I'm not sure what to listen to next!

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!


Unraveled Wednesday: Updates

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!

Beatrice-Top

Ali snapped a few photos of Gin wearing her new Beatrice Top yesterday... This girl is rockin' it!!

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What The Fade?! Or, really, What The Heck?! I have no business contemplating another project... I have Arrows to finish, I just started a hat for Gin (by request... the girl needs a hat of her own!), Rusty's excited about the prospect of a Seeds Hat since I showed him the yarn from Knitorious, and there's a new & intriguing AYOT Project (not to mention previous projects... ahem)! I sprung for the pattern, though, and I have all this yarn... plus I occasionally dye some. I am contemplating this line up, with a different arrangement than the other day, and the addition of a speckled-y hank that I dyed the other day in place of the Noro Sock. I think I like it better.

I still read.


Unraveled Wednesday: Beatrice update

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!

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Scamp decided to get in the picture this afternoon! I like how my project bag coordinates with the knitting.

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I haven't decided yet whether this will be the front or the back of the dress/top. I knit to the point where I have to decide, and then started the other piece -- it depends on how the colors/pattern falls. Right now, I'm liking this for the front, but we'll see.

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Yes, leaves! Maddy and I took a little hike at our nearby State Park this morning and noticed a bit of color appearing in the trees there, too.

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The only thing that's changed in my reading is that Home Cooking came in at the library! I've not made great progress yet, but I am really enjoying I Will Send Rain so far.


Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat & friends this week for Unraveled Wednesday!

My reading is slow, as usual, and all over the Bingo board...

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I'm currently listening to The Shadow of the Wind, and enjoying it quite a bit; Hillbilly Elegy is on my Kindle; and for pages, I've just put a library hold on Home Cooking: A Writer In The Kitchen.

On Friday, when the boys were kayaking with Maddy in Stevens Point, I stopped by my LYS to get yarn for a special project.

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I finally cast on Sunday night and this is an up-to-the-minute progress shot; I have placed my markers and am about to commence 5 repeats of Chart C. The project is Forest Mystery by "Amanita" Agata Mackiewicz. I am using Malabrigo "Dos Tierras" in a colorway called Lettuce. It is gorgeous, and it's going to be a gift for Kiwi Mom. It may be spring in New Zealand by the time she gets it, but oh well. My mother always said that the best time to do something is when you have the time to do it... so that's my story.


Unraveled: unofficial FO

Joining Kat & friends again this week for Unraveled Wednesday!

I'll save the official FO post for later, when I can take some photos, but unofficially it's a finished Colorwash Scarf!

I gave it a soak yesterday afternoon and pinned it out on my blocking mat atop my bed. Then realized that the "guest room" could easily be my "blocking room," so carried it up to the guest bed!

I unpinned it from the blocking mat this morning and took a quick selfie outside the garage before I got in the car...

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You might notice that I added a few stripes... couldn't help myself. I have a couple of things to say about this project, so stay tuned.

I began listening to Crossing To Safety by Wallace Stegner last week. It's been a little busy around here, so even when there was quieter time when I could have been listening to my book, I opted instead for silence. I'm at a part in the book that's set in Madison, though, so it was kind of fun to visit as I'd just read about it... albeit 80 years difference. (You cannot drive your car down State Street toward the Wisconsin State Capitol anymore! Since it was turned into a pedestrian zone in 1974, the only wheeled vehicles allowed are fire, police, delivery, buses, and bicycles.)

And Dark Matter is still the book on my nightstand. I am making progress. It may have turned a little weird(er) last night... or I was just really tired (which I was). Progress is slow, but it is progress. I should start thinking about the next nightstand book!


Unraveled: closing in

Joining Kat & friends again this week for Unraveled Wednesday!

I've been exclusively working on my Colorwash Scarf, and here's where it's at as of this afternoon:

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I noticed a silly but large & noticeable mistake late last night, so took a little time this afternoon to rip & re-knit a few rows before taking it outside for a photo.

Here's a close up:

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Um, yeah. This is one colorful Colorwash. I'm so glad I didn't rip it! It's probably one of the happiest things I've ever knit.

The plan is to finish & block this, then return to & finish the Brambling Shawl, and ONLY THEN will I begin to entertain notions of possibly knitting an adorable mouse... though first I should probably finish knitting the adorable rabbit that's been underway for a couple of years now... oh, and polar bear eyes (I'm getting closer).

Too many things + a little procrastination.

I finished listening to Lincoln in the Bardo just this morning. I am certain that I will be listening to it again, and I also desire a hard copy (my bookseller is on it).

It was just incredible -- one of the most unusual books I've ever read/heard, and also one of the best. I truly laughed out loud (while driving in my car, possibly being given a wide berth by fellow travelers), and also cried. The performances are stunning. I highly recommend this book (5 stars!) -- in whatever format you prefer (I believe it takes a little while to get comfortable with either).

I've listened to a little music and downloaded a new audio book today... but I'm not quite ready to move on, so will start it tomorrow.

What's it? Crossing To Safety by Wallace Stegner.

My interest was piqued after reading Carole's review and a few others. I'm always interested in good books with a Wisconsin angle, too!

Dark Matter is still the book on my nightstand!

What are you knitting & reading?