Friday, April 28, 2017

Finally Friday

Hello All,

Finally!!  It is Friday.  This week has been hectic at work...always busy before vacation.  Of course, I had hoped to leave a little early each day to do things, but that didn't happen.  Maybe today - I'm counting on it.

We leave for vacation tomorrow!  In the meantime, we are back on cat feeding duty for Talbot and Marcel through tonight.  Colin & Mailing are back in Pittsburgh for Mailing's sister's graduation from Pitt's School of Pharmacy.  So far, so good!  The cats are behaving.  Marcel did not try to escape and they are both using the litter box.  I'm sure they are both angry over being abandoned yet again...and so soon after the last time.  I tried to get pictures last night, but that is one way they were not cooperating.  Both refused to look at the camera.  Here is Talbot sprawled on the floor:

And this one of Marcel cracks me up - he looks possessed with a crazy eye:

He's playing with the leashes they wear when Colin and Mailing take them outside.

Hope you all have a wonderful week coming up.  I will probably check blogs periodically, but don't plan to post.  Have fun and I'll "see" you on the other side of vacation!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday

Hello All,

Once again joining Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.  Fortunately there has been no unraveling of yarny things.  The brain and body though?  Another thing.  Last night was one of those nights (again) where I was awake from 2 a.m. till after 4:30 (when I let Tyg out).  I was asleep when the alarm went off at 5:30.  So, I am more than a bit foggy this morning. 

Since these sleepless nights have been occurring more regularly (not all that frequent, but maybe once a month or so), I've learned to *almost* enjoy them when they are happening.  I take the time to really feel and listen to my breathing and practice my yoga breathing.  I think of knitting projects - some in progress and some I am thinking of for the future.  I'm beginning to think of these spells as more "found time" to just sort through things.  The downside is, of course, I'm exhausted the next day.

On a brighter note, I'm going out to lunch today to Seasons 52 which will be fun and delicious.

Progress on Match and Move continues (albeit a bit more slowly).  I've started Part II and the shape of the wrap is beginning to shift.  I'm not quite halfway through the dark grey color, so still a lot of knitting to go. 

It's hard/impossible to get it to lay correctly on the circular needle, but I think you can see in the picture that the one side (left) is still pointy and the other side is now moving across in a straight line.  The color progression will continue as it did for Part I, though I may not have sufficient pale grey.  If that turns out to be the case, I'll just finish it with some more dark grey.

Still up in the air whether or not I will take this on vacation.  I wasn't planning to as it is getting a bit bulky, but I'm enjoying the knit (pretty much mindless) so much and it would be great car knitting.  I'll figure it out.

I am still reading "The Swans of Fifth Avenue" by Melanie Benjamin.  Also still enjoying it, but I am reading at a snails pace these days.  Not sure what's up with that!  My Kindle is loaded with good stuff, so I plan to read a bunch while away.

Happy mid-week -- almost at the downside of the work week!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rainy Tuesday

Hi All,

Another rainy day here in Eastern PA.  I'm ok with that - just get it out of the way because Saturday we leave on vacation!  Good weather, please, while we are camping.

No yarny pics today -  I will save that for tomorrow's Unraveled post.  I have, though, made it to part II of Match and Move and am now able to see how the shape is changing.  Still a lot to knit and it is just plain old knit, knit, knit.  192 stitches on the needles now and that won't change (whereas in Part I it was increasing by one stitch every row).  Not a huge amount compared to some shawls/wraps, but it takes some time to knit.

Instead I'll show a salad from last night.  The dark red/maroon colored lettuce is Red Romaine from our garden!  Yay for the first garden produce in some time.

We had that along with spaghetti and clam sauce.

I skipped yoga last night and instead started to pull some clothes together for vacation.  I always over-pack, but at this time of year we really could have any kind of weather.  We plan/hope to do a lot of hiking and exploring.  Checking out Ravelry, there are no yarn shops within 50 miles of the various places we will be!  Bummer.  Next time we/I need to do a better job of choosing vacation spots - lol.

Usually I post pictures of Tyg stretched out.  Here is a cute one of him curled tightly.  Love his paws over his face.

This is where I normally sit in the kitchen to knit.  However, if Tyg is inside, the minute I stand up, he jumps onto the chair and (in his way) dares me to make him move. 

Well, a busy day ahead at work.  Hope everyone's week is going well.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Rainy Friday

Hi Everyone,

A rainy, drippy, grey day here in Eastern PA.  Perfect for this:

I just love the way he tucks his paws between the pillows.

Unfortunately, I did have to get up and wander into the office this morning.  But, there is breakfast in the main kitchen and my 10:00 conference call has been cancelled again.  I'd say that's a great start to a rainy Friday.  Oh, and no mouse sightings this a.m.  Thank God!

I've only been able to get about a quarter of the light grey knit on Match and Move, hoping to finish it up this weekend so that I can start on Part 2.

Hard for me to envision it turning into a trapezoid figure, but that's what should happen once I start on the 2nd half. 

And socks!  I haven't forgotten these, but haven't knit on them since last weekend.  Still loving this yarn and the Spring-y colors.  My picture doesn't do the Pattern justice - it is very pretty with some eyelets.

We have no big plans for the weekend.  Saturday should be ok weather-wise, Sunday is supposed to be a wash-out (perfect kitting and napping weather).

What are you all up to this weekend?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Almost Broke a Foot...or Tyg is NOT Doing His Job!!

Hello All,

This morning did not start off in the best way.  First, Tyg woke me at 4 a.m. to go outside.  OK, I'm fairly used to this now and I was able to fall back asleep until the alarm went off at 5:30.  Hopped in the shower and then stumbled downstairs to start the coffee.  Still somewhat in a daze, I was standing at the counter getting vitamins and prescriptions when I heard a noise.  I looked down and there was a HUGE mouse on the floor...very close to my feet (thankfully I had slippers on).  I let out a yelp, jumped and came down hard on one foot.  The mouse ran back across the floor and under the refrigerator.

Oy vey!  When Tyg came in shortly after that I had a nice chat with him about the mouse under the frig and how he (Tyg) is shirking his duty. 

Fletch was, of course, still asleep.  When I woke him I had a little chat with him as well.  It reminded me of the time we had been away on vacation for a week or two.  When we got home I picked up what I thought was a catnip toy in the middle of the living room floor only to discover it was a dead mouse!

Hopefully someone (Tyg or Fletch) will have found that mouse and taken care of him/her before I get home this afternoon.

Meanwhile in other news, out apple tree is in (almost) full bloom.

It is so pretty, I had to take a quick picture this morning.  Not the best lighting as it is a grey, damp, overcast day with rain expected, but I'm afraid so many of the blossoms will be gone with the rain.

I was able to finish the red section on Match and Move last night and started the pale grey.  I'm thrilled with the way this is turning out.  I'll share pictures with the 4th color once I get a bit more done.

We're almost at the weekend!!  I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday

Good Morning All!

Finally I have gotten it together to join Kat (and friends) for Unraveled Wednesday.  I'm continuing to be in love with the wrap I'm working on - Match and Move - by Martina Behm.  Her version is 2 colors, mine will be 4.  Since this photo was taken (and yes, that's Tyg trying to photo-bomb), I've worked some more rows and now only have 10 rows left of the red before I start on the palest of greys. 

The pale grey will continue in the same format as what I've done so far.  Then, part two of the pattern starts which will turn the piece into a trapezoid shape.  The four colors (dark grey, yellow, red, pale grey) will be repeated in part two.  All are fingering yarns - some from stash and some new.  I think this will be a perfect wrap for my office (which is always freezing in the summer) or on a breezy night.

Like others, I've had some difficulty getting into a book lately, but Bridget mentioned she was reading this book and I'm finding it just gossipy enough that it is fun.  I really liked The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin and am enjoying this one as well.

Happy mid-week!!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend

Hello All,

Catching up on some blogs earlier, seems like everyone had a nice weekend.  Ours was quiet, tiring and relaxing all at once.  With Colin and Mailing out of town, Fletch and I are on cat feeding duty.  Once in the morning and once in the evening.  It's not bad (about 40 miles round trip), but Saturday we added grocery shopping into the mix after our morning run to feed Marcel & Talbot.  We weren't familiar with the store (meaning I found more than was necessary to buy) and the store was huge compared to our regular place.  We didn't get home till 1 p.m.  Had some lunch, took a nap, got up and fixed dinner and then it was time to go feed the cats again.

Marcel has been misbehaving!  He escaped Friday night when we arrived.  Luckily Fletch caught him before he wandered too far.  Every time we unlock the door and start to open it he is right there anxious to get out.

Fletch is on his own for feeding through tomorrow morning as I am back to work and planning to go to yoga tonight.  He called me this morning to let me know that Marcel had not escaped, but that he discovered they had used the floor behind the sofa as a litter box instead of the real litter box.  Geeze!  And yesterday we found Talbot in a storage room downstairs that is always closed.  Not sure how he managed that Houdini trick.

Meanwhile, I was at work by 6:45 this morning!  Yikes.  I was expecting a pretty hectic day with a number of financial reports to get out before an 8:30 conference call.  That all evaporated about as soon as I walked in the door.  It's been a busy morning, but not in the way I had expected.

Anyway, finally a breather to post.  Last week Bonny had a fun post about keys.  Old keys.  And locks.  I love old keys and years ago my mother-in-law took keys from the farm house (her parents house) and mounted them on burlap and framed them.  We now have that piece.  Sometimes we hang it vertically, but currently it is hung horizontally over the dresser holding my stash of fabric.

That is a stuffed calico cat underneath the keys...Fletch gave that to me because it looks like our cat Maestro did.

I didn't get as much knitting done as I had hoped for (of course).  I did work on the socks and am almost done the leg of the more pattern repeat and I think I'll be ready for the heel flap.  I forgot to take a picture.  Usually I work on Sigla on Sundays, but since it was in the mid-80's, it was way too hot for Icelandic wool!  Instead I added in the red (which arrived Friday!!) to Match and Move.  I'm really loving this.

Next up after the red will be a very pale grey.  Then the sequence will start again with the dark grey for the last half of the wrap.

We'll be on vacation the first week in May - I need to figure out what to take to knit while away.  Nothing too bulky and not too much (I always take a million projects and maybe work on one).  Probably just a sock project (or 2).  Maybe some sock yarn scraps to start a blanket?  I also have some old, old patterns for lace edges (that folks used to attach to pillow cases and the like).  I have some very thin yarn and thought it would be fun to fool around with some of those patterns.

I'll let you know what I decide.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Look What the Mail Brought!!

Hi All,

A quickie post to show you what the postman delivered yesterday.  Way back in early February I was fortunate to win a give away on Glenna's Blog.  Dover Publications took their sweet time delivering, but what a feast for my eyes:

The projects are way above my skill level at this point in time...but I can dream.  There are 14 patterns based on the Tudor dynasty - the wives of Henry VIII and other women of the time.  This is not the original publication from 1998, but a newer one from Dover Publications.  Here are two of my favorites:  first up Lady Mary - a gorgeous wrap:

Sorry for the glare from the flash on all the pictures -- again, taken at 5:30 this morning....

And here is Anne Boleyn:

You can see more of the patterns on the Ravelry link.

This is a great book to thumb through and get inspiration...and (for me) incentive to up my knitting game a bit.

OK, time for me to buckle down and do some work.  Hoping everyone has a lovely weekend filled with Spring delights!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Happy Yarn (and Feet) and Ready for Dinner

Hi All,

These shorter weeks (my office is closed Friday for "Spring Observance" longer calling it Good Friday for fear of offending those who do not celebrate Easter...whatever) always seem to be busy.  I heard that we are closing at 2 tomorrow (after our "Spring Lunch Event"), but I have a conference call at 3 and some financial spreadsheets to work on, so I will most likely stick around.  We are also entering our budget season, so madness will prevail beginning in May.

Despite the increase in work activity, I've knit at lunch each day this week!  Monday and Tuesday I worked on Match and Move.  I have two more rows of yellow and then will start the red (which I just ordered this morning, so that will be on hold for a little bit).  Today I finally put a few more rows on the cuff of my new socks (10 rows done, 5 more to go).  This yarn is just Happy!  Look at all the colors - it is so fun to knit with this cheerful fiber.  ("Estuary" from Black Bunny fibers)

The colors even kind of match the shoes I'm wearing today - lol.

And this guy!  I was getting ready to put dinner on the table one night last week and when I turned around, this is what I saw:

He just needs a napkin in his lap and a plate in front of him.  If I remember correctly, he was actually headed onto the table to get to the butter (which he loves).

Yesterday was what I'm calling wicked hot -- 85 F which is just plain crazy for April.  Thankfully today is a bit more moderate.  I'm not looking for winter weather again, but I'm not quite ready for summer temperatures either.

Hope everyone is having a good week.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Steel City Fiber Festival

Hello All,


Such a nice, nice weekend.  The weather turned gorgeous and buds are popping open all over the place.


Carol arrived early Saturday morning – enough time for coffee and avocado toast before we took off for the Steel City Fiber Festival.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The festival is much, much smaller than MDSW and, for me, it was perfect.  I did miss seeing a lot of animals – only a few here.  Here is Carol with a friend:


And here are some little babies with their mother chowing down in the background.


These were the only animals we saw other than angora rabbits (HUGE) that some women were holding as they used their spinning wheels.  I imagine the festival may grow each year (this is only the second year for it).


I believe there were around 90 (give or take) vendors.  No big names like there are at MDSW, but lots and lots of independent dyers.  There was one pottery person, several soap-makers and some selling beads, etc.  So proud of myself – I did not go overboard and came home with more money than I spent!  (very unusual for me – lol).  I’ve been wanting to make a shawl with some gradient yarn so I bought this skein plus the colorful sock yarn skein.


I also picked up this set of tiny skeins for making a pair (or two) of Squad Mitts (Mason Dixon)  I should have taken the skeins out of the bag before taking the picture - sorry!


There were a number of vendors selling project bags too, but sadly (or fortunately??) I didn’t see any that I just had to have.


The venue itself is very easy to get to – just 5 minutes or so off the PA Turnpike and it only took us an hour from my house.  We even ran into a friend of Carol’s whom I had not seen in probably 30 years!!  The Merchants Square Mall where the festival was is an older building, and not the cleanest.  The main part of the festival was in the “showroom” – the rest of the indoor space is filled with flea market type vendors.  I believe they also have a train display somewhere.  Fletch loves flea markets, so he said he would go next year – something for him to do while I walk around fondling yarn – lol.  There were no long lines and it was easy to see each vendor’s offerings.  Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.  One vendor described the festival as much more laid back than MDSW.  I would agree.  Though I enjoyed MDSW the two times I have gone, I probably won’t go again for a number of years (I hate the traffic jams and the crowds).


I will definitely go back next year.  We arrived around 10:30 and stayed for about 2.5 – 3 hours.  That’s plenty of time for me to shop.  Who wants to join me next year???


The BBQ shrimp dinner turned out great Saturday night.  I did not teach Carol how to knit socks.  Turns out she had completely forgotten how to knit, how to purl, even how to cast on.  So, I showed her those things and she played around with some yarn I gave her (she did buy a gorgeous skein of sock yarn, but I gave her yarn to practice on).  She’s going to try to knit a scarf first which I think is smart before she tries to tackle socks.


I finally got a bit of time to work on Sigla Sunday afternoon.  I finished the colorwork at the top – I love, love, love the blue.  This picture makes the neck look strange, but it was starting to fold back on itself.  I just wanted all the colors to show in this picture.


Both socks and the Match and Move are in my bag to work on at lunch today…hoping to accomplish something!


How was your weekend?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Weekend Plans and the Start of Match & Move

Hello and welcome to the weekend...almost.  My 10 a.m. conference call has been cancelled, there are bagels, fruits, pastries and cheeses in our main kitchen at work and it's not raining at the moment, so life is good!

This is the weekend of the Steel City Fiber Festival - can't wait to go.  My friend Carol will get to my house by 8 tomorrow -- in time for a relaxing coffee and snack before we take off.  The Festival doesn't open till 10, so no need to rush - it's only an hour away from me.

There will also be presents!!  Both Christmas and Birthdays since Carol and I have not seen each other in ages.  Our usual contest is who can get the best gift for the least amount of money.  I may have mentioned in an earlier post that so far Carol holds the record:  she scored for me an out of print book on Ackworth Samplers for $0.25 at a yard sale.  This was years ago, and I still haven't been able to top that one.  Always fun to try though.

And, of course, food is planned.  Barbecue shrimp (a New Orleans dish) and salad for dinner Saturday (and drinks of course) and probably pancakes for Sunday morning.  We both love to eat...but we are both trying to lose weight too.....

Meanwhile, I've managed to do a little knitting on the Match and Move shawl:

Loving this so far.  I've decided to make this in 4 up will be a splash of red followed by a pale, pale grey.  It's a slow but steady growth - it grows by one stitch only every row.  It is a very meditative, comforting knit which I am really enjoying.

After Carol leaves on Sunday, I need to try to do some more on Sigla and the socks that I've started.  Knowing myself, I'll probably be exhausted after a girl weekend and will need a nice nap - lol.

Fletch and I are planning to watch a new episode of Chef's Table tonight or start on Versailles which has been highly recommended.

Reading-wise I seem to have slowed down.  I was reading "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks which is a novel about the plague.  It's good, but I was struggling to get through it.  I finally let it go back to the library (it had expired on my Kindle a few days ago).  I started "Beautiful Lies" by Clare Clark, but am not really enjoying that.  I'll send that one back and either start "Friction" (Sandra Brown) which Nancy recommended or "The Swans of Fifth Avenue" (Melanie Benjamin) which Bridget is reading.  Options are a good thing.

So, what are your weekend plans?  What are you reading?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hump Day!

Hello All and Happy Mid-Week!  It is gorgeous here in Eastern PA today.  Bright sun, warming temperatures...we won't even think about the fact that tomorrow will be a full wash-out.

So, continuing the saga of misbehaving yarn...thank you Valerie for your suggestion of Broken Seed Stitch Socks for the Rhubarb yarn.  I think that will work...but first the yarn is going into time out for a little bit.  I also need/want to get an off-white or cream colored yarn for the contrast color.

Lunchtime yesterday proved to be successful as I cast on (and knit 3 rows of ribbing) new socks in the Estuary yarn (Black Bunny Fibers).  This yarn is so gorgeous...multiple shades of greens, blues, pinks, purples - perfect for Springtime and Easter time.  Pictures once I have a bit more done.

Then I debated about the Miss Babs colors and making some kind of shawl with them.  In the end, I decided those yarns will also go in time out for a bit.  I think they are better suited to socks - maybe the Dark Orion for Fletch and the Daydream Believer for moi.  The Daydream Believer though variegated, has too much dark in it similar to Dark Orion to be a good pick to use them together.  Instead I pulled some grey sock yarn from my stash along with a skein of yarn from Carodan Farm in Goldenrod (one of their Chincoteague Colors) which I bought at MDSW two years ago and I will be making Match and Move by Martina Behm.  Pictures once I get more than 3" finished.

I don't think I've ever had 3 projects going at once (counting Sigla too)!  I'm going to need more project bags ...just like Dee - lol.

Meanwhile, on the home front:  Fletch told me he heard Spring Peepers last night when he took his walk (he walks around 11 p.m. or I'd join him, but I am usually sound asleep when he goes out).  I noticed our Weeping Cherry's buds are beginning to open as of this morning (I hope they don't get blasted off in tomorrow's storm - our winds have been pretty strong at times).

It was also nice enough when I got home yesterday that Fletch and I did a round of archery.  It had been awhile since we'd been able to and the results showed that...I did hit the target at least once, but one of my good arrows was also lost in the brambles at the edge of our woods.

A little later, while dinner was cooking, I walked to the front door to look out.  Yikes!  There was a snake crawling across the front step.  I yelled for Fletch (who was excited and happy to hear the news) and ran to get my phone for a picture.  By the time I got back he/she had crawled off the step and into the garden bed (which is why I do not weed!).

 Click to enlarge if you dare!!  I am not happy.  Fletch did not catch it and remove it (I really don't want him to kill them...just remove them - like 10 houses down the street or something).  I told him this is why sometimes we have snakes in the basement.  I need to remember to wear my wellies when I go down to do laundry.  I have become lax in doing that and I do NOT want to be in flip flops in the basement with a snake!

By the way, that is my lilac bush (cuttings brought down from Vermont years ago) in the picture above and one or two buds appearing.

So, budding plants, Spring Peepers and snakes out of hibernation.  I guess Spring is here!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Well, That Didn't Work!

Hello All,

Another grey and drizzly day here, but it is 60 F, so that's a plus for sure.

The rhubarb lovely...soft, squishy, beautiful colors...knits up into awful socks!  The pooling is just plain ugly (or as my friend Leslie would say, fugly).

What's a girl to do?  Why rip it out of course.  And (at 5:30 this morning) cake up another skein of yarn:

Pretty and spring-like right?  This is "Estuary" by Black Bunny Fibers that I won some time back from Bridget which is equally soft and squishy and oh so nice.

So, in my bag today, I have the misbehaving rhubarb yarn, the estuary yarn and the two cakes of Miss Babs that misbehaved for Mick Jagged.  I have my #1 needles for socks and I have my #6 40" circular for a shawl.  I'm thinking now that the estuary might pair very nicely with the dark orion from Miss Babs for a shawl (some kind of "take" on Mick Jagged -- not as much purling which I really do not like, and longer stretches before changing colors) and the daydream believer might make nice socks.  And the rhubarb?  Not sure what that will be.

I wonder what I will do at lunch today....

Monday, April 3, 2017


Hello All,

Is it just me, or did the weekend zoom past?  I walked into my office this morning and felt like I had just left - crazy!!

So, let's see, I was planning to work on Mick Jagged at lunch on Friday.  That never happened...but for a good reason...I left work at 1 to get an early start on the weekend.  I did work on the shawl a little bit when I got home, but by late afternoon I had trashed the entire sorry mess.  Not sure if it is me, or the pattern, but we are not working well together.  I did (Friday in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep) came up with a plan to try again, changing the pattern a bit, but I haven't attempted that yet.

Saturday was full of errands and grocery shopping (yikes!  We spend a ton of $$$ on food). And then we finally finished watching A Place to Call Home which I recommend highly.  We get it through Acorn TV.

The sun finally appeared for a beautiful Sunday.  Colin & Mailing were coming to dinner, so I baked a pie (coconut custard) and made lamb (7 hour leg of lamb from Patricia Wells - yummy!!).  And, since the lamb cooks for a long, long time I finally sat down and worked on Sigla.  This is where I am as of now:

I'm enjoying this knit so much.  And, remember, it is WOOL which means Spring will is here and our cold weather is gone (guaranteed).  The next color is blue below the rust/brown and then I will divide stitches for the sleeves and work on the main body.

It was so nice that after dinner we had a fire in the pit and sat outside until almost 9 p.m.! 

I noticed that my lilac is budded and our weeping cherry is showing color in its buds.  More flowers are appearing daily.

This color is amazing!  Plenty of forsythia in bloom along my roads to work and I did see some red buds already in bloom and some weeping cherries as well.  Ours are a tad bit slower.

Hope everyone's week is off to a great start.  I did cake up the rhubarb yarn over the weekend and am planning to start some socks at lunch.