Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Poem and a Bloom

Good Morning!

Thanks to Kym I know that today is "Poem in Your Pocket" day.  The poem I've chosen is by Ted Kooser and is actually in two books of poems by him that I have.  The first book is "Delights and Shadows" (2004) which my Dad gave to me some years ago.  This won the Pulitzer for Poetry.  I like this quote from the NY Times Review:  "....has a genius for making the ordinary sacred."  The second book of his poetry that I have is called "Valentines" (2008).  This book was also a gift from Janet one Sisters' Weekend. 

Screech Owl

All night each reedy whinny
from a bird no bigger than a heart
flies out of a tall black pine
and, in a breath, is taken away
by the stars.  Yet, with small hope
from the center of darkness
it calls out again and again.

Do you have a poem to share today?

Last night while waiting for dinner to cook, Fletch and I noticed that our Redbud has finally begun to open.  Our tree is young - Fletch put it in only a few years ago.  I remember the first year there was only one branch with a few buds, but each year the number of blooms increases and it is turning into a really nice tree.  It's not as far along as many I pass on my way to work,, but it's ours!


Well, this is my Friday of the work week, so wishing you all a lovely weekend.  We'll be heading over to Colin & Mailing's for dinner on Sunday.  Other than that, no real plans except start thinking of  - and maybe do a little - packing as we leave on vacation a week from Saturday!!  Maybe I can figure out what knitting to take.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday - 4/17/19

Good Morning!

Now officially on the downside of the work week since Friday is a holiday for "Spring Observance."  We are not supposed to say Good Friday, but it is!

First of all, thank you all for your comments on my post yesterday and apologies for not replying back to you.  Somehow (a ghost??) settings on my blog were changed and I did not receive your comments by e-mail.  I rarely go onto my blog, but yesterday I did late morning when I hadn't received any comments via e-mail and found that there were comments.  I could have replied right there on my blog, but I don't like doing that - it would mean you'd have to come back to the blog to see my reply.  Once I leave a comment on another blog, I don't usually go back.  So...I just didn't respond.  I believe I have fixed the issue and all should be good now.

Thank you Kay T for your suggestion of a progress marker on the Hitchhiker.  My problem when I mess up is not that I don't know where I am, it's more that I zone out while knitting and forget a yarn over for the eyelets or skip a KFB.  I know now that when I'm tired I just can't knit on something that requires anything more than knitting round and round and round - lol.  Anyway, it's all ok now and I even worked on it a little bit last night.


There are 20 or 21 teeth now, so halfway finished.  Of course the further you go the longer the rows are, so the 2nd half will take a bit more time to knit than the first half.

The Southwest socks are coming along nicely too.  I worked on these Saturday when I met up with Dee and then did about 5 more rows this morning.  Plain vanilla and I'm loving the colors.


I still seem to be in a bit of a reading slump.  I'm enjoying the stories in Island but I need a break after reading one - they are pretty bleak and very intense.  The writing is gorgeous, but the stories can be heart wrenching.  Fletch and I have started reading The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas after dinner and are enjoying that.

On a Spring note, look at these:



A few days ago there were no visible buds on our wisteria.  Now it is loaded and they are growing so quickly.  There have to be hundreds of buds (one year I did count them, but not this year).

We are having a catered brunch today at work to celebrate Spring and Easter.  That should make the day go a little quicker.  I'm definitely looking forward to having Friday off.

Head on over to Kat's to see what's up with other unravelers!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Teeny Needle Tuesday

Good Morning!

The weather has finally calmed down a bit.  I did hear this morning that a tornado was confirmed the other night in Delaware.  We were lucky and didn't have anything come down (though I have not ventured out into our woods....).  Colin said he had a lot of branches and twigs to pick up and one of his fence rails came down.  Overall not bad considering the strength of the storms.  On my drive this morning I did notice a number of trees (some quite large) that had toppled over in the storm.  And the wind certainly brought in chilly weather!


After such a warm day on Saturday, I'm back to hand knit socks and even a shawl at work today!   My shawl pin is made out of birch wood and is one I bought (I think) several years ago at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival.

Meanwhile it is TNT (Teeny Needle Tuesday) and here's a shot of Fox Forest from last night:


Another fox - pretty lean -- has joined in the fun.  There are still a few more to be put on the fabric along with a tree or two and some flowers.  And, of course, the alphabet sprinkled throughout the background.  I'm definitely not stitching as fast as I used to...and not as much as I used to either, but I'm pleased with the progress I've made so far.

On the knitting side of things I somehow managed to mess up the Hitchhiker again (and I didn't even take it on Saturday when I met up with Dee - I just knit on plain socks that day).  I think I managed to tink what I needed to last night an am (hopefully) back on track.  I brought the Hitchhiker to work today and am planning to knit some at lunch (maybe...).

How's your week going so far?

Monday, April 15, 2019

Weekending

Hello All,

Whew, another whirlwind Monday morning.  I had a doctor's appointment at 8 - another "spot of bother" removed (that is why I never hang out in the sun any more)...stopped for coffee at a new place near me (good coffee, a little slow on the service)...then at the office in time for a conference call.  Meanwhile the e-mails are flying from the CEO and a million and one things to do.  It's all good.  But really I want to talk about the weekend.

Saturday was the Allentown Fiber Festival.  Dee and I met up just before 10:00 and proceeded to shop!  Unlike other festivals, there are no animals at this one.  This really needs to change (in my opinion) - sheep and alpacas are needed!!  I didn't even see rabbits this year - usually there is a woman spinning angora with a bunny in her lap.  This was the 4th year for the Festival and each year it gets a little bit more crowded.  The venue (Merchant's Square Mall) is not the most attractive place and parking is at a premium.  Inside it was crammed with vendors (and some were in tents outside).  Anyhoo, here is what I got (I think I showed great restraint in my buying):




Some pretty yarn (the skein on the right was on sale for only $15!).  The cake is over 700 yards and I loved the shades of green.  There's a bit of sparkle to it as well.  I think it will make a gorgeous shawl.  I couldn't resist the DPN holder that has foxes on it.  And...a new project bag.  This one is quite sturdy and opens up and folds down so you can just keep your caked yarn in the bag and pull from there.  It has a drawstring closure and there is a sturdy handle too.  Love the kitties with the yarn.



The tiny object in front is a pair of the smallest scissors I've ever seen.  So light for my notions pouch and just cute!!  The only other thing I purchased were some individual little stitch markers.  And that's it!  See?  I really was conservative.

By the time we were done looking and shopping it had gotten pretty hot.  We drove over to Emmaus (only a few miles away) for lunch and a stop in at the new digs for Conversational Threads the local yarn shop.  Their new shop is gorgeous.  Lots of room for sitting and knitting and lots of natural light.  I didn't see anything to buy there, but there was plenty to tempt me.  Dee and I ended up at the local coffee/bike shop for some sipping and knitting.  A perfect day!

Sunday was spent doing chores and getting out some warm weather clothes.  Winter has definitely departed.  In fact, we had a very loud thunderstorm last night/early this morning - woke me up at 3:30!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bad Kitty!

Hello,

Well this morning all hell broke loose in several places!  Let's begin at the beginning of things.

It's 6:30 a.m. and I am downstairs, dressed and ready to go to work.  I hear Tyg meowing outside at the patio door, so I let him in.  I go into the bathroom to put some gloss on my lips and hear a loud commotion on the kitchen counter.  I poke my head out of the bathroom and see Tyg squatting on the counter.  I yell, he jumps down and the next thing I know there is a bird in the house!  He takes it into the living room.  I yell (louder) for Fletch (who is still upstairs in bed).  He (Fletch) does get up.  I grab Tyg who has dropped the (stunned) bird.  Fletch is able to pick up the bird and he puts him on top of some boxes in the recycling bin right outside the kitchen door.  I rinse my coffee cup at the sink and Fletch washes his hands in the bathroom.  I open the door to leave and the bird is gone!  Hopefully he/she is ok.  But whew!  What a start to the morning.

The Bad Boy:


He's not really sleepy here...he's just squinting in his best bad boy pose. 

I start my drive to work and there are an abnormally large number of A--Hole drivers on the road this morning.  One passes me only to get stuck at a red light...he moves into the left turn only lane and proceeds to make a right turn from that lane.  Was he really in that big of a hurry to get to work?
Then I passed an accident and the day moves forward.

When I arrive at work the parking lot is already pretty full - turns out there are all kinds of meetings going on and some were over-booked and people are looking for places to meet.  A mad house.  Enter Bobby (CEO) who starts e-mailing me stuff he needs done yesterday.  There were some issues with a few folks that I won't bother going into - makes me think of Bridget and her tales from work.  All I can say is people are unbelievable!!

It was actually pretty comical and all has calmed down now.  And with so many meetings going on, there's bound to be a free lunch to be found somewhere in the building - lol.

Looking forward to Colin joining us for dinner tonight.  Either Fletch or Colin will be grilling ribs.  Not sure what else we'll be having as the frig is looking a little bare.  I'll figure something out.

And then Saturday is the Allentown Fiber Festival!!!  Dee and I will be meeting up for a fun-filled day.  I just wish there were animals like the NJ and MD festivals have.  There will be plenty of yarn and other goodies though, so I'm looking forward to it.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday 4-10-19

Good Morning!

Just a little bit of progress on Mailing's Hitchhiker.  I haven't had a chance to knit at lunch (or a chance to "take a lunch time") the past few days and today does not look promising either.  But, the Hitchhiker now has 16 teeth:


(The floor obviously needs to be swept!! - LOL)

It is a gorgeous day outside and I wish I could just go out and take a walk.  But...instead, I am waiting for someone from Charlotte to call me.  My computer has been "sending dings" and they suspect it has some malware on it.  So, they (Big Brother) want to get on my computer remotely (why our IT department here can't do it, I don't know) and see what's up.

I have another conference call at 1 p.m. (which is my usual lunch time) and some other miscellaneous things going on.  I'll be glad to call it a day and get home this afternoon.

A quick post - gotta run.  hope you are all doing well and enjoying a great week.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Teeny Needle Tuesday

Good Morning!

Spring IS here.  Windows were wide open last night for sleeping and when I went to bed at 10:30 the back door was still open!  Plus, there is a good chance of a strong thunderstorm this afternoon between 3 an 5.  That's a sure sign of warmer weather.  Of course, I have an appointment at 3:00 which will probably involve walking through the rain.  Oh well.  I'll take it.

Meanwhile, it is TNT (Teeny Needle Tuesday) again and some more progress has been made on Fox Forest.



Here's hoping the borders meet up in the lower right hand corner!  There are, of  course, more foxes to stitch, some trees and some flowers and then the letters of the alphabet are scattered all over the sampler.

Mailing's Hitchhiker saw another 8 rows added last night.  Still not even halfway, but slow and steady progress is being made.  I will NOT be taking that with me when I meet up with Dee next time - lol.

I'm still reading "Island" by Alistair MacLeod which, as I said previously, is a collection of short stories (so far all pretty bleak), but the writing is just so fine.  Unsheltered by Kingsolver came through on Overdrive.  The reviews on this have been pretty mixed and overall not so good.  Her recent books have been such a disappointment compared to "Pigs in Heaven," "Animal Dreams," or "The Poisonwood Bible."  I've started "Unsheltered" but it already feels a bit like a lecture and I'm not sure I'll get through it.

Today should be a bit less busy than yesterday was...plus I have to leave by 2:15, so a short day at that!  Hope you all have a good one.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Monday Thoughts

Hello All,

I sure hope your weekend was as nice as mine!  The weekend actually started a bit early for moi.  We had an off-site lunch on Thursday and usually we get the afternoon off after that.  This time Bobby said that instead of closing the office for Thursday afternoon he was closing it for Friday.  Woo-Hoo!  I did have a conference call at 10 Friday morning, but it sure was nice to do it from the comfort of my home.  Plus, Friday was a crappy weather day - rain most of the day.  I managed to get laundry done and we also did the grocery shopping which nicely freed up the balance of the weekend.

Saturday I met up with Dee at a local draft fair (which was not that great) and then we headed off for coffee and come chit-chat.  One thing has become abundantly clear.  I cannot knit very well when chatting over coffee.  There are ALWAYS mistakes.  I messed up the Hitchhiker for Mailing something fierce.  Luckily, I was able to fix it without ripping out the entire thing.  So here it is as of last night:


I really had hoped to be further along, but am glad I'm not further behind!  I also replaced my yucky #5 round needle with a ChiaGoo #5 (thank you my friend!!) and things are moving more smoothly along.

Saturday night we headed over to Colin & Mailing's for a cookout.  Her Mom and sister joined us (her Dad is overseas on business for several weeks).  Let me tell you, these two kids can cook!!  We had two kinds of chicken done on the grill.  One was a tangy lime marinade and the other was a sweeter, but still spicy marinade.  We had potato salad (with home-made mayonnaise) and a large variety of pickled vegetables (carrots, beans, mushrooms, beets, Brussel sprouts) and dessert was home made grapefruit/pineapple sorbet.  So Good!!  We all headed outside for a fire afterwards.  What a nice evening.

Sunday brought the mistake in the Hitchhiker to light, so I worked on fixing that.  I also decided that I needed (ha!) to cast on some plain vanilla socks.  Nothing fancy, something I could knit on without paying too much attention (hopefully).  I found some Cascade Heritage yarn in my stash in the colorway "Southwest" and cast on.  I'm happy!



The colors are fun and socks I've made in this type of yarn are comfy and have held up well.

Finally, I have a new motto.  Colin was having a bottle of Magic Hat the other week and their bottle caps always have something fun written on the inside.  He got this (which I promptly stole):


With that, I'm off to embrace my madness at work.  We could get up to 80 degrees today!!!

Enjoy your week.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday 04-03-19


Good Morning!

A bit warmer this morning – low 30’s…but there was frost on my windshield when I started my car.  Oy!  Heard on the radio that they are doing controlled burns in Valley Forge Park today in an effort to control invasive plant species. 

So, here we are mid-week, hump day, Unraveled Wednesday.  And yes, there has been a bunch of unraveling.  I did manage to finish the first Shell Cottage sock on Monday – not at work, but before dinner.  Here is the proof:


  
That night I started sock #2.  I did the ribbing (15 rows) and about 12 rows of the pattern (4 row repeat).  The knot stitch was still a PITA.  Tuesday morning I knit 4 more rows while having coffee.  At that point I decided ENOUGH!  I don’t like the socks.  The first one does go on my foot, but it is tighter than any other sock I have ever knit and the yarn does not feel good on my foot or leg.  I said it before – this yarn is just weird.  It gets very thin and then thicker – almost like thin roving (as Nancy said on her blog yesterday about yarn she is using).  It splits easily and is difficult to work with.  Folks – life is just too short to knit things I don’t like.  I could finish that second sock, but I doubt I would ever wear them.  So last night I unraveled the beginning of Sock #2 and put the yarn away (really I should toss it or donate it – someone might like it for something!!).

Moving along to Mailing’s Hitchhiker.  That was also unraveled!  Yup.  Fortunately I ended up being busy at work yesterday and didn’t get to knit more than 8 rows (1 pattern repeat), but I decided that I wasn’t loving it on #2 needles.  The eyelets weren’t really showing up (and I do know that blocking would improve that), but also it was a tighter knit than I wanted.  After unraveling that, I tried about 3 different size needles and finally decided on #5.  I managed to knit a little bit last night and then this morning I did a bit more.



Loving the way the eyelets really show now and this is just a nice, soft knit.

Moving on to reading.  Fletch and I finished reading The Zookeeper's Wife last night.  Yes, we are late to this book.  And we have not seen the movie.  Not sure I want to now.  The book is good – well written, but I think I’ve read enough books dealing with the WWII era to last me a long, long time.

On my personal reading front I am still in a slump (unheard of!!).  NOTHING is appealing to me or grabbing my attention.  Last night I ended up deleting a bunch from my Kindle and today I plan to start Island – a book that I had given Fletch a few years back that he really enjoyed.  It is a group of short stories focusing on people who came to “the harsh new world” from Scotland.  Flipping through the pages last night felt good (so different than my Kindle).  Maybe what I’ve been longing for is to just hold a *real* book in my hands.  I’ll let you know.

Today could end up being quite busy again.  I’ve been doing a lot of stuff for Bobby, our CEO, this week.  I always enjoy working with/for him…but it does cut into my personal time – lol.  Tomorrow there will be no knitting at work as we are having an employee meeting/luncheon off site at Season's 52.  I love this restaurant and am hoping that we can just go home after lunch!!

Be sure to head over to Kat's to see what others are up to on this Unraveled Hump Day.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Teeny Needle Tuesday

Good Morning!

Just a teeny bit of progress on this TNT.  Mr. Fox has been finished (the first of - I believe - five).


I think he looks a bit weird, but c'est la vie.  The other ones are a bit "off" as well.  Perhaps that is supposed to be part of the charm of this piece?

Hoping for more knitting time at lunch today - Mailing's Hitchhiker came to work with me today.  I'd like to make some good progress on that.  We're heading over to Colin & Mailing's on Saturday for a cookout and it would be nice to be able to show her more than just a few teeth in this shawl!

And that's it for me on this sunny morning.  Hope the sun is shining where you are as well.

Monday, April 1, 2019

A Chilly Start to April

Good Morning!

Happy April Fools Day.  The weather is playing a mean trick.  I'm back to wearing a turtleneck and sweater to work...winter coat and gloves.  High winds and fallen temps.  All this after a lovely weekend.  Typical Spring I guess.

Saturday was a beautiful day - warm, a little breezy, but very pleasant.  Colin & Mailing came over for a cookout and we all actually did a bit of archery.  Neither of them had shot an arrow since grade school (Mailing) or high school (Colin) and they did very well.  Fletch cooked delicious steaks and I made a corn and black bean salad to go with them.  We also had a wonderful ciabatta olive oil loaf that I heated up in the oven.  Bring on the carbs!  LOL  It did get a little chilly after dinner, but it was perfect for having a fire in the pit.  I woke up smelling like wood smoke on Sunday.

I had gone stash diving prior to the kids coming over and I had Mailing go through my sock yarn and pick out a skein she would like for a Hitchhiker.  Glad I had her pick as it was totally different from what I guessed she would want!  Sunday I was able to make a start on it.  I am a copy cat and am making eyelets in this one just like Dee and I love it.  The eyelets are a bit hard to see, but they are there.


The yarn is from Ancient Arts Yarn, fingering weight, 80% super wash and 20% nylon.  The colorway is "Midnight Clear." 

When the weekend started, I was sure I would finish the first Shell Cottage sock, but that did not happen.


I have 5 more rows till the toe decreases and am hoping to wrap this one up at lunch today.  I shouldn't be too busy as both my bosses are away with their wives in Southern FL for a get-away to celebrate our last fiscal year.  I don't expect to hear from either of them until Thursday.  Fingers crossed.

How was your weekend?


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday 03-27-19

Good Morning!

Another (very) bright sunny day here...chilly right now, but it is supposed to warm up by 20 or 25 degrees to 53 or so.  And each day through Saturday progressively warmer.  No daffodil blooms yet, but soon I think.  And very noisy birds singing their spring mating and nesting songs.  Finally!!

There was almost some unraveling last night, but I managed to *fix* my problem.  The Shell Cottage socks are just a PITA to knit.  Happily though, the first sock is able to fit on my foot/leg.


I knit a few more rows this morning and am finished the leg part - I'll (hopefully) start the heel flap at lunch today.  I will knit the foot plain, so it should go faster.  Second sock syndrome has never been a problem for me and actually I've always knit the second sock faster than the first.  I'm HOPING that is the case again with this pair.  I will be so very happy to have them completed!

Meanwhile, in the land of dreams, I am trying to figure out what else to cast on.  Much to my surprise I really liked working on 3 projects at once (sock, shawl and cowl).  I'm tempted to start another Hitchhiker (Mailing loved the one I just made, so I'm thinking of making one for her).  Fletch would like another pair of socks (since the last pair ended up being too small for either he or Colin and ended up in my sock drawer!!).  There are a couple of sweaters I'd like to make (but need yarn...Allentown Fiber Festival in just a couple of weeks!!).  There are also a few shawl patterns I'd like to explore for myself.  Hoping to dig into my stash this weekend and see what I can pull out.

Head on over to Kat's to see what others are up to on this gorgeous day.  Happy Hump Day!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Teeny Needle Tuesday

Hello!

Today is pretty chilly (doors partially frozen on the car this morning, frost on the windows....) BUT...Saturday's forecast is to be in the 70's.  I'm ready.  Meanwhile, I am wearing my Hitchhiker today!!


It feels good on my neck.  Still not as soft as I had hoped for, but the added warmth is good this morning.

A little bit of progress has happened on Fox Forest:




A few trees, and the brown stuff at the top is the beginning of a Fox!!  I would have done a bit more last night, but discovered the little paw was one row off...and I had to rip that out.  Slowly but surely this will get finished.

I've got a bunch of calls to make today (personal stuff).  Yesterday I did cancel the premium package we had for our cable (HBO, Cinemax, Showtime).  I don't watch anything on those channels and Fletch mainly watches Bill Maher on Friday nights on HBO.  We were paying $40 per month for those channels!  Instead we'll go with HBO Now for $15/month.  One of my things to deal with today is our wireless bill....wish me luck.

The sun is out here and I hope it's shining wherever you are.  Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Monday and a Finished Hitchhiker!!

Hello Everyone,

If your weekend was half as good as mine it was a great one!  Our weather was so nice and we did a lot of different things.  Saturday we mostly spent the day with Colin and Mailing.  After lunch I had plenty of time to knit and actually bound off the Hitchhiker!




That's a dark shot, but it is spread out on the sectional in their living room.  This shot shows the colors better.




I ended up with 39 teeth and 6 grams (or 0.2 oz) of yarn left.  I washed it Saturday night and it is still on the blocking mats.  It was dry as of this morning, but I didn't have time to fool with it.  It was a little stiff prior to washing, so I hope it has softened up some.  I love the colors in it (Rhubarb is the colorway).

I'm still working on the Shell Cottage sock, yet thinking I *need* another project - maybe some socks for Fletcher.

Sunday was taken up with chores and errands, but we managed to get some archery in during the afternoon.  Tyg was safely inside napping so we took advantage of that time to shoot.  I am definitely out of shape and it has obviously been quite some time since I shot an arrow...many of mine fell short of the target...but at least I didn't lose any in the woods this go-round.  And I did manage one hit pretty close to being a bulls eye!  Regardless, we had fun (and I can feel it across my back this morning).

Our Christmas Cactus is continuing to bloom and this morning I spotted yet another bud on it!


It's interesting how some of the blooms are double and some are not, but they are all beautiful and a welcome sight.

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend, and here's to a great week ahead.


Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday Felines


A Tisket a Tasket
A Kitty in a Basket

Sweet Marcel




Have a wonderful weekend!  I'm waiting for the rain to end...


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Randomness on a Thursday

Good Morning!

I don't think I've done a "Three on Thursday" post previously, but today (having no pictures of knitting to show you), I have 3 random things to share.


Hallelujah!  My Kindle problems seem to be resolved.  Yesterday I pulled up the “manage your device” site and re-sent my latest books from Overdrive to my Kindle.  When I got home and turned my Kindle on they downloaded immediately.  I have no clue why that happened in the first place, but I’m happy to have the problem fixed.  Last night I started Tell the Wolves I'm Home and am really enjoying it.
  
March Madness has started over at MDK.  Are you voting?  I plan to and hope to not be tempted by too many patterns.  (Though truth be told, at first glance, I like the patterns but nothing really jumps out at me as it has in prior years.  Anyone else feel the same way?)

 It is a rainy day – we could get up to 2” and the rain is to continue into tomorrow.  In the spirit of looking on the positive side, I’m trying to remember and be thankful for 1) no snow!!  And 2), the rain will be great for all the flowers that will shortly be blooming.


Yesterday I did manage to knit another 8 rows on my Hitchhiker (so, another tooth) and am hoping to do the same today.  I also put another four rows on the Shell Cottage sock this morning over coffee and it is looking so much better than it had.  

It's Thursday and I seem to already be in weekend mode - lol.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday 03/20/19

Good Morning!

Happy SPRING!  Not only is it the first day of Spring, but it is my Mom's birthday and she would be 100 today!!  Gosh I miss her.  I miss playing tennis and Scrabble with her (and she always beat me at both), I miss her humor and her cooking and just everything.  It's been 15 years since she passed away and every day I think of her and so often I want to pick up the phone and call her.  Oh well, I know many of you are in the same boat as I am. 

Meanwhile...if you read my post on Monday you already know there was a BIG unravel going on over the weekend.  The Shell Cottage sock (it could have been called a tourniquet) was way too tight.  Happily I re-cast on Monday night and have managed to get a little bit done.  Taking Dee's advice, I'm only doing the knot pattern on the front of the sock.  The back will be plain stockinette.  First the front:


And the back:


Much better, much stretchier.  I looked at some of the finished socks for this pattern and a number of folks talked about ripping out 3-4 times, changing to bigger needles, etc. in order to get the sock to fit/go over their heel.  Hopefully knitting it this way will do the trick for me.

On the reading front, I finished The Library Book by Susan Orlean.  There have been mixed reviews about this book.  Yes, it got a bit wordy in places and I think there was a bit more detail (and sometimes repetition) than was necessary, but overall I really enjoyed it and give it 4 stars.  It is well written and there are some fabulous lines in it.

I had hoped to start another book on Overdrive last night, but the new ones are still not appearing on my Kindle (and the old ones/loans expired are not disappearing!!).  Airplane mode is not on and I am connected to wifi, so I'm not sure what the issue is.  Going to my library sites I can see the books are borrowed, but they are not on my device.  I'll have to look into this a little bit and see if I can figure it out.

Once again the blinds at the window by my desk are drawn due to sun glare...but I hope to open them soon and enjoy the sun...tomorrow's forecast calls for soaking rains.

Be sure to check out Kat's Blog to see what others are up to on this Unraveled Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

TNT 03/19/19

Good morning!

It is a beautiful (though somewhat chilly) SUNNY day out there.  So sunny, that I had to close the blinds by my desk due to the glare on my monitor. 

Last Friday when I got home early I went through my stitching stash and picked a new piece to work on.  Those WIP's were just not calling me (as I said before, there's a reason why they are WIP's - lol).  Rather than go with one of the HUGE samplers I had listed, I chose a smaller piece to get back into stitching.



This is Fox Forest by Work Basket.  I like foxes and, in fact, one ran across our yard just the other day.  I do NOT like hearing them "bark" in the night, but I do enjoy seeing them.  I thought this would be a cute piece for a child's room (NO, Mailing is NOT pregnant and they are not planning any kids in the near future...but I'll be ready should that occur - lol).  My very teeny start:


The linen was unmarked in my stash, but I believe it is 32 count and I am stitching over two - much easier than 40 count.

On the reading front, I am just about finished with The Library Book (still reading slowly, but enjoying very much).  Next up are two books from Overdrive:  Tell the Wolves I'm Home and Love and Ruin - I should be able to start one of them tonight or tomorrow.

Fletch and I started watching Trapped but that has turned out to be way too gruesome for me - bad dreams, etc.  So, we switched the other night to Reign and are enjoying that - good acting and new faces to us. 

After Valerie talked about all the greenery coming up in her yard I decided to take a look around - our lilac bush does have buds (leaf buds, not flower buds) and the wisteria has buds that are looking purplish.  The daffodil leaves are up and some tulip leaves and the crocus have begun to bloom.  Tomorrow is the first day of Spring!

Wishing you all a wonderful day.

Monday, March 18, 2019

A Finish, An Un-Finish and a Cute Picture

Hello All,

How was your weekend?  Mine was great!  Friday we had a St. Patrick's Day lunch at work and then our office closed at 3 p.m., so a bit of an earlier than normal start to the weekend.  It was also beautiful out and it hit 75 in Philadelphia!

Saturday dawned sunny but noticeably cooler.  I met up with Dee for coffee and that's where the Un-Finish took place - lol.  I brought my Shell Cottage sock and she agreed with me that it was very tight.  I was hoping that a good soak and blocking on a sock blocker would stretch it out enough, but when Dee said it looked like a child sized sock I knew there was only one thing to do:


That's where the sock is now.  Dee helped me unravel and re-wind which was great (the knot stitch was a bit tricky to un-do).  I have not re cast on yet to try again, but when I do, I am taking Dee's suggestion of doing the pattern only on the front of the sock.  The back will be plain stockinette and hopefully that will allow me to wear them.  We chatted and knit for a bit and then went across the street to Northbound for lunch.


The food was delicious.  Dee had a roasted beet salad and I had a smoked turkey BLT.

The finish in the title refers to Fletcher's cowl.  Finally!!


And here it is open so you can see the full thing:


Personally, I think the buttons are too heavy for it and flat ones would be better, but Fletch loves it and actually wore it yesterday when he was outside (very windy and chilly again).  Nice to have this one off the needles.  The yarn is from Ancient Arts and the color is Birch Leaves.  I have a full skein and part of one left, so I may need to make something warm and cozy for myself!

Hitchhiker was what I worked on over coffee with Dee and I did a bit more yesterday.  I'm now at 35 teeth and am weighing the yarn after every tooth.  If my calculations are correct, I can make another 3...possibly 4 teeth.  This is what it looks like as of this morning:


Fletch and I did spend some time yesterday over at Mailing's and Colin's.  Their house looks so cute with their furniture now and it is so fun to see how excited they are to be in a home rather than a rental.  After we left they went shopping for a few things (they still need curtains, etc.).  They picked up a new laundry basket and Colin texted this shot last evening:


Marcel wanted to be IN the basket. 

Well, I've got a busy day ahead of me, so I'd best just jump in.  Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday Felines

Good Morning!

Happy Weekend (well...almost there).  It was 60 this morning on our patio!!  And the crocus have started blooming along our driveway bed.  Of course, rain is coming in today and the temps will be cooler over the weekend, but NO SNOW in the forecast.

Fletch picked up new hay bales for our target shooting.  It's been so long since I picked up my bow, I'm anxious to do so.  Meanwhile, someone was enjoying a different view:



He sat there for quite some time.  Maybe looking for mice?  (There was yet another dead one in the yard last night).  The target will be up on one of the bales and the extra bale in the back is to catch the arrows that I shoot over the target - lol (which happens a lot).

We had a nice dinner and Fletch had picked up a blueberry pie for Pi Day, but none of us could eat dessert!  Too full from dinner.  Maybe tonight.

Then...we had out first fire of the year last night!



It ended up being pretty windy and it was difficult to get out of the line of smoke - you know...no matter what direction you move, the wind changes and the smoke follows you.  It was wonderful though to be outside at night!

The weekend is looking good!  I'm meeting up with Dee tomorrow morning for some much needed therapy of knitting, coffee, and chatting; Sunday we are going over to Colin & Mailing's for lunch.  Can't wait to see their home with furniture in place and the cats in residence!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  I've got to get cranking - two conference calls coming right up.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

PI(e) Day!!

Hello!

Our sunrise this morning was glorious!  The picture doesn't capture the intensity or deepness of the color I saw as I was leaving my house for work (but it's still a pretty picture).




And, Happy Pi(e) Day!  I'm hoping for pie tonight - lol.  I did not bake one, but Fletch is running to the store for some mushrooms and peppers for grilling tonight and I'm hoping he picks one up from the bakery.  Any kind will do.

Still working on the Kindle mystery.  Am able to access my book.  In fact I can access books where my Overdrive loan expired and I had deleted them.  But new books that I got through Overdrive have not shown up.  Hmmmmm.....not sure what's up and it's not a critical fix at this point.

Yesterday ended up being busy with no errands being run and no knitting at work either!  I hope to remedy the knitting part today.  I did work a little on the Shell Cottage sock last night - turned the heel, picked up the gusset stitches and have started down the foot.  Meanwhile, I'm still undecided what to stitch next and I woke up dreaming about BIG samplers.  I mean really big.  For example:

SDW Sampler

And All Was For An Appil   (I love Adam & Eve Samplers)

Red Deer

Charlotte Clayton

It's weird that I'm drawn to stitching large pieces.  I almost never frame them as we already have a ton of stuff on our walls (and Fletch doesn't want a house filled with needlework - I don't either).  Really I should try to complete one of my unfinished projects, but I'm just not all that interested in them right now (which explains why they are unfinished).  I have all the charts (and so many more - lol), plenty of fabric and also the threads, so we'll see what I end up pulling out.

The sun is out, it is warming up (65 forecast for today!!), Colin is coming for dinner and we are planning to have a fire in the pit tonight!  Guess that means no knitting or stitching tonight, but that's ok.  It will be wonderful to be sitting outside!

Enjoy your day - the weekend is almost here!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday 3-13-19

Good Morning!

It is yet another sunny day here in Eastern PA!!!  Chilly, but sunny and it is supposed to warm up a bunch.

Last night I had a bit of help as I was knitting on the Shell Cottage sock:


Love those crossed paws.  I managed to get part-way through the heel flap last evening.


This morning I lingered over my coffee and finished the flap, so tonight I will turn the heel (I love that part - it's like magic to me).  But, I think Nancy may have been correct - the knot stitch is making these pretty tight (a la compression stockings I'm thinking - lol).  I hope I can stretch them some with blocking...if not I'll need to find someone with extra skinny legs.

My Kindle seems to be working again.  Whew!  As of last night I was unable to access any book on it - even those I had purchased.  I ended up restarting it and then syncing it and that seemed to do the trick.  However, when I try to turn the screen off (to save battery power), it restarts again.  I'm afraid it might just be getting old and tired (I can't remember when Fletch gave it to me - he thought 3-4 years ago, but I think it was more like 5-6.

I've brought my trusty Hitchhiker to work for lunchtime knitting, but I do have a couple of errands I need to run, so I'm not sure I will do anything on that today.  As the rows steadily increase it takes longer and longer to make a tooth.  I think I'm up to 32 teeth now.

And the important things:  today is soft pretzel day at work.  Woo-Hoo!  And don't forget that tomorrow is Pi(e) Day!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Teeny Needle Tuesday

Hello!

Welcome to another edition of TNT...this time with a finished piece!  Woo-Hoo!


I'm not crazy about the pieces/motifs floating out in space, but I'm not going to rip them out.  They are all over 2...I did not bother doing any of the over 1 designs - the fabric is just too tight for that.  I do love the border, the pumpkin and the bittersweet.  At some point I will pick out some backing fabric and make this into a little pin cushion.  I have a dough bowl from Fletcher's grandmother that is filled with little cushions - some made by me, some by friends.

This was finished Friday night and I started to work on another unfinished piece Saturday, but I'm not loving it (which may be why it is unfinished).  I'll poke through my unlimited stash and come up with something to work on - either a WIP or a brand new piece.  It will be nice to work on lighter fabric for sure.  This dark (the color of the fabric is Wood Smoke) and high count (40) linen just about did in my eyes - lol.

Last night I did manage a few more rows on the Shell Cottage sock - only a few more and I will be at the heel turn.  And my Hitchhiker had a few more rows added at lunch yesterday - hopefully more today.

The other night I was reading in bed and fell asleep (with Kindle in my hands and glasses on - lol).  I woke up about 30 minutes later and turned off my Kindle.  Last night I opened it up and tried to get into my book and the message I got was that it had been removed.  I'm trying to figure this out, because my Kindle has been in Airplane mode (and still is) which means that the book could not have gone back to the library (plus I don't think it is due yet).

Meanwhile, I'm at work and need to get busy.  hope you all have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Surprise!!

Good Morning!

Are you surviving/doing ok with the time change?  I seem to be coping (but yawning a lot - lol).  Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day - warm and sunny.  Then Sunday came and it was extremely foggy all day.  We had a lot of rain overnight and it just looked like Sleepy Hollow outside - even in the middle of the afternoon.

We had friends over on Sunday and made BBQ shrimp and salad for dinner.  I baked Cuban bread in the morning to go with it - crusty on the outside and chewy inside - perfect for sopping up the butter/bacon/garlic/Old Bay "stuff" in the shrimp pan.


And look what our friends brought for dessert - Black Forest Cake!!


Truly decadent and delicious! 

The surprise from my blog post title is this:


I have had this Christmas Cactus for years!  It started from a cutting of the plant my Grandmother had.  Her's was HUGE - an enormous pot that took up an entire side table in her living room.  It always bloomed several times a year and was always covered in blossoms.  Mine bloomed faithfully for a number of years, but it has to be at least 5 or 6 years since it last had a blossom.  I had been thinking it was time to trash it and just replace it with a new one from the garden center.  Saturday morning I spotted this bloom (it's a double!!) and there are three more buds showing color.  I'm so glad I didn't trash this!

There was a bit of knitting over the weekend.  Progress is being made on the first Shell Cottage sock:


I'm still finding this yarn a bit splitty, but I'm loving the colors and the way it is striping.  I also seem to be getting better at the Knot stitch - as long as I remember to keep my stitches fairly loose, I'm able to lift the third stitch over two and off the needle (without losing the first two - ha!).

That's a wrap on my weekend.  How was yours?

Friday, March 8, 2019

Friday Felines


Tyg says don't forget to turn your clocks ahead tomorrow night...you can sleep in and sometimes it helps to put your head between the mattress and headboard!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday


Good Morning!

I had completely forgotten that yesterday was Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, but Fletch had not forgotten.  I wish I had remembered because I would have made red beans for dinner…but we had salmon instead.  We still had our masks though!



LOL  And my red face…after my doctor’s appointment yesterday I have some new prescriptions to use but still no make up until it clears up.  Unfortunately it’s a type of dermatitis that can come and go at a whim.  For some it is triggered by hot and humid weather; for me it may be the dry cold weather that brings it on.  Stress is another trigger for a lot of people.  Oh well, things could be so much worse and I’m trying to consider myself lucky.

I managed to knit another tooth on my Hitchhiker last night – I’m now up to 27 teeth and I have 56 or 57 grams left in my 100 gram skein.  The pattern calls for 41 or 42 teeth, so I’m hoping I can get there.  There are now 114 stitches on the needles.  I’ll probably take the time to do a little math and see where I might end up.

On the reading front, my slump may have been cured.  I’m about a third of the way through The Library Book and really enjoying it.  I keep wanting to write down lines or quotes   One of my favorites:

“In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his or her library has burned. When I first heard the phrase, I didn’t understand it, but over time I came to realize it was perfect. Our minds and souls contain volumes inscribed by our experiences and emotions; each individual’s consciousness is a collection of memories we’ve cataloged and stored inside us, a private library of a life lived.” 
― Susan Orlean, The Library Book


Head on over to Kat’s to see what others are up to reading-wise and knitting-wise.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tuesday Updates

Well Hello There!

Winter is still  here.  We had snow Friday night (unexpected) and then more (6" or so) Sunday afternoon/evening.  Work was on a 2 hour delay yesterday and ended up being a busy day once I got to the office.

The weekend was lovely.  Lots of knitting and chatting with Dee on Saturday and then I headed over to Colin & Mailing's new house.  This was the first time I got to see it inside.  Of course, not much is there - a couple of dining chairs, some poufs (like bean bags, but softer) and blankets, and supplies for painting, etc. I did not take any pictures inside or out (it was a pretty grey day when I arrived in the late afternoon).  Colin got the awful indoor/outdoor carpeting ripped up from the sun room and now is working on getting all the adhesive up.  Meanwhile, Mailing painted the office room and guest room.  Progress is being made.  They are hoping to move most of their stuff themselves next weekend and then will engage movers for the piano, and their larger items that won't easily fit in an SUV.  The sellers gave them a beautiful orchid plant, a bottle of wine and a gift card to Lowes.  So sweet. 

Well, this is Teeny Needle Tuesday and I've got nothing to show you - lol.  No progress was made since a week ago.  Some stitching was done, but promptly ripped out.  There are a number of motifs on the background fabric that are to be stitched over one.  That means 40 stitches to the inch on 40 count fabric.  I started one and honestly it looked like crap and I ripped it out (which took some doing!).  I will do some motifs over 2 and call it a day.

The Hitchhiker is what got my love over the weekend.  Here it is as of early this morning:


There are (I think) now 26 teeth.  This is such a relaxing piece to work on - I can definitely see making more of these.

Sunday Fletch and I went to the grocery store.  We weren't even thinking!  The store was filled with panicked folks picking up 4 loaves of bread, 3 gallons of milk and 4 dozen eggs in case they couldn't get to the store for 2 days due to the forecast storm.  Oy vey!  Actually the shopping wasn't too bad, but the check-out lines were at least 6 people deep with FULL carts.  Anyway, we picked up some ingredients so I could make ratatouille for dinner:


So good - roasted tomatoes, an entire head of garlic, peppers, eggplant, onions...the house smelled amazing.  I used yellow/summer squash instead of zucchini because 1) the store had exactly 4 zucchini which looked pathetic, and 2) Fletch is adamantly opposed to zucchini (which tastes the same as yellow squash in my opinion...and he loves that...).  Anyhoo - -served over penne pasta, it was delicious and there was enough to freeze for later and some in the frig for leftovers.

That brings you all up to date on my life.  I'd best get to work as I need to leave by 12:30 today for a doctor's appointment.  Hope everyone is having a great week!