Friday, February 24, 2017

Tygus

It's Friday!!!  And another gorgeous day in Eastern PA.  Rain is supposed to move in tomorrow and by Sunday we will be back in the 40's for high temperatures.  But today we can pretend that Spring is here.  I may need to leave work early....


Here is the Tygus (that is what Colin calls Tyg) all stretched out in the recliner that Fletch usually claims.




I love the way his leg is off the chair (and his tail).  So comfy - cats are so great at relaxing.


Colin stopped by after work for dinner last night.  It was so nice out and Fletch grilled hot and sweet Italian sausage and veggies (green pepper, onion, mushrooms, yellow squash and Brussels sprouts) and, after dinner, we had a fire in the pit.  We had some Pinon wood that Fletch had picked up at either Home depot or Lowes, and it smelled just like incense.


Col took Mailing's socks with him and texted me late last night that they fit.  Success!!


I'm up to row 93 or 94 on the Oaklet shawl.  Yesterday I worked on it a bit at lunch and something just didn't look right.  I thought I had dropped a stitch, so I picked one up.  When I counted I realized I had too many stitches.  Once I got home I looked at it more closely and realized it was even worse!  Where I thought I had dropped a stitch, the strand of yarn had actually stretched out and there was a knot in the yarn!  A KNOT!  How could I have knit and not even realized it?  I think sometimes just plain knitting and purling back and forth is so Zen-like that I go into a trance.  Anyway, I was able to unpick the knot, but the yarn (Chroma from KnitPicks which I will NOT buy again) frayed a bit and I only had about 1/2 inch on each side to join.  I **think** I did it, but at that point I put it away to prep the veggies for dinner.  Fingers crossed please.  I haven't looked at it since - too tired last night and no time this morning and I did not bring knitting with me to work today because I need to run to Trader Joe's at lunch time.  Hopefully it will be ok when I look at it tonight.


Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Slow But Steady Progress

Hi All,


I picked up the Oaklet Shawl that I started last September and discovered I had done 55 rows.  Last night I took a very quick picture to send to a friend:




That was at about 73 rows and I am now to 80!  Slow, but steady.  I've been able to do a few rows at lunch each day this week which has been nice (and relaxing).  The knit rows go fast for me, but man am I slow when I purl.  And, of course, every other row the stitch count increases by 4 (now at 169 stitches).  There are 113 rows before the lace border.  Slow, but steady...


And, so far (day 3) I have resisted casting on anything new.  I'm really enjoying the flow of colors in this shawl and it is mindless, almost meditative knitting.  That's a good thing!  Once I get to the lace rows, I will not be able to knit this while at work...too many interruptions and distractions.  Guess I'll have to cast on some socks at that point!!
 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Bulls Eye!!

Hello All,


What an absolutely beautiful, gorgeous weekend!  Though a bit strange for February.  We passed one time and temperature sign on Saturday and the thermometer read 71!  Amazing.  And blue, blue skies.


We headed out Saturday morning to Colin & Mailing's and from there Colin drove us all to Hawk Mountain.  We were walking/hiking by 11 a.m.  The trails are fairly rocky and a bit steep (though not as bad as Colonel Denning State Park that Fletch and I visited in late October).  BUT, these trails were also snowy and icy in places.  And muddy in other places.  Still, the weather brought everyone out.  It was not as crowded as it gets during peak raptor migration times, but there were plenty of folks on the trail.  We all hiked to North Lookout which is about a mile.  We stopped there and sat on the rocks in the sun to have lunch.  We saw one or two hawks and a bunch of buzzards.  No eagles, but we didn't really expect to see any.  It was just wonderful to be out in the fresh air.


After lunch Fletch and I decided to re-trace our steps back to the Visitor's Center.  Col and Mailing continued on for a longer loop - "Rock River Trail."  Thank goodness we opted to not join them.  When they finally made it back to the car, they told us there were places on the trail where they had to be on all fours to navigate it! 


We had enough time to get home and change before heading out to dinner at Nectar.  Wow, our food was amazing!  Appetizers were:  oysters on the half shell (for everyone but me - I don't do raw and I don't do oysters), calamari & edamame and pork buns.  Plus drinks of course.  I have a mango and ginger martini which was excellent.  I was pretty full after that, so just had some stir fried veggies for dinner and Fletch had a salad.  Col and Mailing ordered regular dinners, but none of us could fit dessert in.


Sunday was another gorgeous day.  Fletch and I were both a little sore in our legs from the hiking on Saturday (I am so out of shape!!).  We fixed breakfast and did some grocery shopping.  Later in the day we went out to "do" some archery.  I couldn't believe it, but I actually got a bulls eye!!  It was a fluke, for sure.  One of my arrows went over the target to the woods and if I had tried to do this a million times I could not have, but look what happened:




My arrow actually split a twig/branch of a little tree!  Let me tell you, archery is harder than it looks.  My shoulders and arms are feeling it today.  I am hoping that it will remedy some of that old lady "dingle-dangle" I have going on in the upper arm region - LOL.


And I did manage to (finally) finish Mailing's socks at around 9:30 last night. 




They don't look it, but they are the same size.  I used Dee's Take Five pattern and I love the way they turned out.  Hopefully they will fit!!  The top of the cuff seems a little tight to me.  I used a Long Tail Cast On, but it doesn't seem very stretchy.  How do you cast on for your socks?


I've decided to work on my Oaklet Shawl and finish that before starting anything else (let's see how long that idea lasts).  This is the shawl I cast on in September using KnitPicks Chroma in the Vermont colorway.  I did 30 or so rows and haven't picked it up since!


Here's to a fun week - enjoy!!



Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Felines and Weekending Plans

Hello All,


It's Friday!!  And, as I understand it, for many the start of a long weekend.  I do not have Monday as a holiday and would like to protest.  I could handle a 3 day weekend for sure.


Here's a shot of Tyg that I took several weeks ago (excuse the mess all over the table).  This is often how he is when I sit in the kitchen to knit.




Fletch found Tyg stretched out on the guestroom bed the other day and decided to measure him from paw tip to paw tip:  34.5" - almost 3 feet long!  He's a beast - lol


So, what are you doing for the weekend?  It is supposed to be mild (i.e., 50's to 60's) here in Eastern PA.  We are planning to go tomorrow to Hawk Mountain with Colin and Mailing to hike.  It is one of my favorite places locally (about 1.5 hours from us) to hike.  We most likely won't see many eagles or hawks or other raptors, but the views are gorgeous and it is a good workout (which I need given the over-indulging I have done this week).  I think we are going to pick up hoagies to take with us (I see another indulgence coming my way) and have a picnic lunch at one of the overlooks.  I just need to remember to put gloves, etc. in my backpack because it will be probably 10 degrees cooler there and it is always windy.


An interesting book to read about Hawk Mountain is Hawks Aloft by Maurice Broun.  Maurice was the first warden of Hawk Mountain.  He and his wife were friends of my Aunt's.  I wish I could remember some of the stories my Aunt would tell.  I believe they all met when they were working at the Long Trail Lodge in Vermont.


And, after a tiring hike we decided it would be nice if no one had to cook dinner so we are going out to one of my favorite restaurants - Nectar.  The food is always awesome and the best part this time is that I was given a gift certificate to the restaurant at Christmas, so dinner will be free!!


This weekend I should be able to finish the second sock in the pair I'm knitting for Mailing.  Unfortunately not in time for our hike tomorrow, but by Sunday the pair should be complete.  Woo-hoo!!  I have a few ideas floating around in my head for next projects...will be fun to pick something new.


Whatever you end up doing/wherever you end up going, I hope you enjoy your weekend -- have some fun!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Another Monday Q&A

Hello Everyone,


Hoping your weekend was a good one.  Mine seemed to go way too fast (as usual).  I managed to do a little knitting, had some retail therapy on Saturday, got the laundry done and successfully avoided other domestic chores.


Once again Kathy B has some great questions:




*What is your favorite fiber or blend to knit or crochet with?


                For socks, definitely merino and nylon.  But I love knitting with silk and alpaca also.


*What is your favorite fiber to wear?


                On my feet, my hand knit socks…so merino & nylon.  All other body parts:  cotton, silk or linen.


*Have you seen someone you know personally on television?


                Nope!


*Do you have a locket?  Who is in it?


                Yes…no one…I need to remedy that pronto.


*What is your favorite pizza topping?


                Spinach


*The box of Valentine chocolates is in front of you.  What’s your pick of chocolates?


                Anything dark chocolate


*Is there a state you haven’t visited that you’d like to visit?


                Alaska!


*What’s the oldest thing in your wardrobe?


                Oh wow!  I have a buttery soft suede & leather vest that my Mom bought when she was in her twenties (she would be 98 this year if she were still alive).


*When are you most likely to give up on a knit project?


                When I simply can’t get motivated to finish it…or I make too many mistakes.


*Name one thing you love about your husband/friend/or a family member


                I love that after almost 37 years of marriage I am still so happy to be with Fletch and that he still can surprise me.


Here's hoping for a quick work-week.  I'm heading to yoga class tonight and tomorrow we are having lunch and "sweet treats" at work for Valentine's Day.  Whatever you do - enjoy!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Snow, Socks and Tyg

Hello All,


This was the scene outside yesterday morning.
It was pretty and cold and very, very windy.  My office was closed for the day - yay!  Colin had come over late Wednesday night to spend the night.  His office never closes - only when the market is closed, and since his office is only 10 minutes or so from our house (instead of 45 from his), he decided to play it safe.  I drove him in at 7:30 (I have 4 wheel drive and he doesn't) and honestly the roads were fine.  And, it all stopped by 10 a.m.


Still, the day off was lovely.  I read (Knitlandia), I knit (proof below) and I napped.  How perfect is that?  And Fletch cleared all the snow.


Mailing's first sock is (Finally) finished and the second one has been started.  This is why I need more days off - lol




I am knitting these using Dee's Take Five pattern which is wonderful - pretty and easy to memorize.  The yarn is, I believe (band lost) some I picked up at Good Karma Farm in Maine while on vacation last summer.


We were surprised at how much Tyg went out yesterday - and stayed out!  I know he does not like hot weather at all, but yesterday was bitter cold with gusty winds.  He finally settled down late in the afternoon for a long, long nap.  And here is my handsome boy from the night before (he had been watching a stink bug on the floor).


Such a sweetie - though it is annoying when he cries and claws the mattress and box springs at 4 a.m. wanting to go out.  He did that this morning...I got up and went downstairs to let him out...he decided to eat instead.  Then he kept going to the door but would turn around when I opened it.  After several times of this I just went back upstairs to bed.  He ended up curling up on the bed and purring very loudly and then fell sound asleep.  So soundly asleep that he jolted when the alarm went off at 5:30!  I had a good laugh over that.


I'm looking forward to an uneventful weekend.  Some domestic chores need to be done, but other than that, nothing on the agenda.  I like it!  Have a good one.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Fiber Festival Excitement!!

Oh the excitement!!  I just discovered a new (well, new to me and really, this will be it's 2nd year, so yes - new!) fiber festival that is close to home!  Woo-Hoo


Steel City Fiber Festival is in Allentown which is less than an hour away from me.  And, the majority of it is indoors (I'm thinking much less mud than MDSW should the weather be lousy).  The site proclaims 97 vendors and entrance and parking are both free.  The dates are April 8-9...so just two months away.


My friend who lives in Maryland will be coming up to my place and we'll go together - then she can stay overnight and not have too long a day of it. 


I need to save my $$$.  So happy to find a festival closer to home.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sometimes Yarn Just Happens

Hello Everyone and Welcome Back to Monday!


Blah, I would rather be home knitting.  The weekend seemed to go awfully quickly.  Saturday morning I was up early and out the door to feed the kitties before Fletch was even out of bed.  Not much traffic on a Saturday morning which was nice and the ride isn't bad - about 55 to 60 miles round trip to Colin & Mailing's.  Marcel was sitting in the front window waiting for me and there was no sign of Talbot.  I finally found him upstairs on the cat tree.  Eventually he did come downstairs to eat.


Got home around 10:30, made some coffee to go and Fletch and I headed out to Lancaster.  Our first stop was Lancaster Archery where we picked up a dozen arrows.  (Boy are they expensive!!)  If it ever warms up, we'll be ready to do some shooting.  The store is full of so many different things all related to archery and was packed with people.  Off to one side is a target area and I was sort of mesmerized watching people shoot - particularly a girl who was amazing -- she kept getting bulls-eyes every time she released an arrow.  They also have an Archery Academy next door.  Who knew it was such a huge sport?


After we left there we drove and found a cute little diner for lunch.  I think there must be a diner or bar in every block in Lancaster!  I just had a grilled cheese with jalapenos and a big ol pile of fries which I certainly didn't need but man were they good!


Meanwhile, when we had decided to go to Lancaster on Saturday I had done a quick search on Ravelry for local yarn shops and bingo, Lancaster Yarn Shop was only about 6 miles from the Archery place.  It is in a complex with a bunch of different shops, mostly selling "Amish wares" and furniture.  The yarn shop is really nice.  I didn't take any pictures inside, but I did (of course) buy a skein of sock yarn.  How could I resist?  It is kettle dyed locally and the shade I bought is called Rhubarb.


The picture isn't great - there are various shades of pinks from very, very bright to pale and then some lovely greens and a few browns.  Just like rhubarb!  I think some Spring socks are in my future.


We went back to feed the cats Saturday night and then again Sunday morning (after going out to breakfast first).  Did some grocery shopping on our way home and then, finally, I was home to stay (until this morning).  Although I didn't get as much knitting done as I had hoped, I managed to turn the heel on Mailing's sock.  I'm hoping to work on the foot today at lunch.  I won't get much, if anything, done on it tonight since I'll be going to yoga.


The colors are a bit brighter than are showing up in this shot. 


Here's to a great week for everyone! 



Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Felines

Happy Weekend Everyone!  It is cold here (again), but it is breakfast Friday at work and we are having a Superbowl luncheon as well.  (No wonder we are all more than a bit over weight...)

Colin & Mailing are going away for the weekend, so Fletch and I are on feeding duty for these two:


Since they've moved it's a bit of a further drive, but the kitties are too cute to resist.  Here's hoping Marcel doesn't try to escape (which he has been doing lately).

No other real plans for the weekend.  Neither Fletch nor I watch sports, so no plans for football on Sunday.  I hope to get a bunch of knitting done and maybe some more organizing in the office/stitching/knitting room.  Oh, and I guess I should start pulling things together for the accountant for taxes...yuck!

Whatever you do - enjoy the weekend!!