Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday 01-31-18

Hello All,

Welcome to the end of January!  Yikes!  Time is flying by.  I am dragging a bit this morning - stayed up later than normal and feeling just a tad on the sleep deprived side of things.  But, it is mid-week and we have snacks at work today (Philly Pretzels and Cupcakes which I'm sure will be decorated in green & white for the Eagles).  As soon as I can get some carbs in this body I'll perk up a bit.

I was finally able to complete my on-line training and I can now appreciate differences - LOL.  So, at least that's off my plate.  I have two more training courses that are mandatory (wage and hour training and something else), but those are not due till December I will take a bit of a break.

First up:  Reading.  I finished Sing, Unburied, Sing last night just before dinner.  Wow!  Five Stars.  What a powerful, well-written novel.  Very moving and at times (for me) difficult to read.  I highly recommend this to everyone.  Yesterday I finally got notice on Overdrive that I could download Glass Houses - the latest from Louise Penny.  So anxious to return to Three Pines, but I have a couple others on my Kindle that will expire before Glass Houses, including The Woman Who Smashed Codes which is highly rated - I will be starting that today/tonight.  On my nightstand I still have a few books from Christmas as well as Eleanor Oliphant (thanks Dee!).  Plenty to keep me occupied.

Next up:  Knitting.  Colin's socks are finished (including weaving in ALL the ends)!

Opposites they are.  I texted Colin the above picture and he loves them.  He will be over Thursday for dinner and I will get a shot of him modeling them.  These were so fun to knit.  I love the cables and I loved switching yarn.  The green (Sabertooth Caterpillar) is slightly thinner than the grey variegated (Constellation), so the sock with the green leg is a little thinner and a tad shorter, but I think once they are on it won't make a difference and...anyway...they'll be under pants - lol.

Next up:  I plan to finish the fingerless mitts I started the other week.  These will go quickly.  And, I want to knit myself socks in February in RED - specifically the Malabrigo I picked up the other weekend when out with Dee.  But what pattern?

Years ago...before I had even knit my first pair of socks, my friend Carol gave me a book:  Knitting on the Road which has 18 beautiful sock patterns in it.  Many of them have interesting stitches in them (horizontal braids, cross-overs that are not cables, etc.).  This morning over coffee I spent more time than I should have thumbing through this book.  So many things I want to try!  My plan is to pull out my notebook with graph paper and put together something to knit incorporating some of these (new to me) stitches.  Should be fun!

Also, I am so very, very tempted by the Bang Out a Carbeth KAL that Mason Dixon is hosting.  I LOVE that sweater...and it's bulky yarn and it wouldn't take forever, right?  Something to ponder.  Meanwhile, time to get cracking and get to work.  Soon it will be the downside of the work week!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Food and Drinks

Good Morning All,

It is snowing again...not much and I doubt that we will get more than an inch (though some forecasts are saying 1-3").  The roads into work were not bad at all and it actually felt a little mild out to me.

Yesterday was a wash.  I tried to be good and do my on-line training, but apparently I am unable to "Appreciate Differences."  (That's the name of the course - my company is HUGE into diversity and inclusion - not a bad thing, but  I couldn't get past the second screen in the hour-long course, and wasted 2 hours trying.  Someone is *trying* to figure it out for me, so I assume at some point today I will need to re-try.

I've made good progress on Colin's 2nd sock - I hope to finish it tonight!  No pictures yet, but hopefully by tomorrow.

So, food and's another wine I bought for the label.  So fun.  Two pics since the label wraps around a bit and I couldn't get it all in one shot:

It's not bad (I generally do like wines from Washington State) and again pretty cheap - I think $12 for the bottle.

Saturday found us having an early dinner with Dee and Steve.  We went to True Food and it was so delicious!  The ginger margaritas are particularly tasty and all of the food we had was excellent.  If you are near one of their locations, I highly recommend checking them out.

That's all I've got for today.  Hope everyone's week is going well.  Can you believe it's the end of January?

Friday, January 26, 2018

TGIF 1-26-18

Good Morning!

Here we are at the end of the work week - YAY!!  I'm already planning for this to be a short work week...hoping to get out of here by 3 at the latest. 

It's been a pretty good week:  I managed to knit a bit (10 rows or so) on the fingerless mitt yesterday.  Our appointment with our tax accountant has been booked - which means I now have a deadline to pull everything together.  This past Monday I did make it back to yoga (finally) and am planning to go this coming Monday.  And, I cooked! 

Last night Colin came over for dinner and we had shrimp & pineapple tacos.  OMG - so good!!  The pineapple was tossed with some EVOO and broiled.  The shrimp was tossed with some EVOO and Sriracha and broiled.  There was sliced avocado, fresh cilantro and red onion (which was marinated in a bit of lime juice, sugar & salt) to go on.  We all loved them and I think they would be fun to do on the grill as well.

And, Colin brought over the fixings for margaritas!!  He brought a new (to me) tequila which is aged in whiskey barrels.  It has a great smoky flavor.

Tequila, Cointreau, lots of lime juice and (because we had cut up a fresh pineapple for the tacos) fresh pineapple juice.  Quite tasty.  Tyg thought he might like a little bit too.

After dinner the guys watched Dunkirk (boy is that a noisy movie!!).  Not a movie I would enjoy, but they both liked it.  I read some in Sing, Unburied, Sing which I hope to finish up this weekend.

Weekend plans include the usual chores (groceries, laundry), hopefully a lot of knitting and...seeing Dee and Steve tomorrow!!  Looking forward to that.

Hope your weekend is shaping up to be a good one.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday 1-24-18

Good Morning All,

Mid-week is here and with it comes another issue of Unraveled Wednesday.  This week it is also bringing high winds.  Yikes - I woke up in the night hearing our buoy bell clanging away.  Very gusty out there, but still fairly mild for Winter (40's).

I managed to get a lot done once I got home yesterday.  Bathrooms were cleaned and scrubbed before dinner and wash was going.  After dinner I baked some brownies.  Specifically gluten-free tahini swirl brownies from the latest issue of Bon Appetit.  They are not too bad - very much like a flourless chocolate cake - extremely rich and very dense/fudgy.  Fletch thought they were just ok - I will probably give the bulk of them to Colin when he comes over tomorrow for dinner.

They are a little uneven since the pan was lined with parchment paper rather than greasing & flouring it.  That made for a speedy clean-up!  And, once all that was cleaned up I settled in and managed to knit about 18 more rows on Colin's 2nd sock:

Time to change the tablecloth - you can see Tyg's muddy paw print above the sock - LOL.  I love the way the cables are showing up on this version - much clearer on the Sabertooth Caterpillar color than they are on the Constellation color.

On the reading front, I'm really enjoying Sing, Unburied, Sing which is so beautifully written.  At the same time it is painful to read.  When I pick it up, I find it hard to put down, but I try not to read it right before bed - I get too worked up!!

Yesterday's mail also brought Lookbook #5 of By Hand Serial.  if you have not seen these, I highly recommend - each is devoted to a different region in the country and highlights makers in that region.  Already the books have provided me with thoughts on where I want to vacation next (I'm sure Fletch is thrilled to know that I want to plan vacations around yarn shops, etc. - but really that is nothing new).

Work is work this week.  Monday I had to take "cyber security" on line training.  What a waste of time!  The on line training is geared to someone with about a 1st grade education.  I'm supposed to also take "Appreciating Differences" but am fighting that one (the on line training takes about 2 hours!!).  I took that one several years ago and am not sure why it's needed again.  Oy!

Hoping this hump day doesn't find you unravelling in any way.  The weekend is getting closer!

Monday, January 22, 2018


Well hello there,

It feels like Spring out there!  Yep - 42 degrees this morning (and, believe it or not, my neighbor was still warming his car up for 10 minutes - yes, 10, before leaving for work this morning).  The entire weekend was much milder and our snow is gone.  Tyg has been out more than in, and when he does come in his paws are muddy.

So let's get to the good stuff.  If you read Dee's Blog (and if you don't, you really should), you already know that she and I met up on Saturday at a lovely shop in Kimberton, PA (Purls of Wisdom).  What a wonderful collection/assortment of things they have - something to tempt everyone.  You can see what Dee got on her blog.  This is what I picked up:

On the left we have Madeline Tosh Twist Light.  The colorway is Plaid Blanket.  It reminds me of a forest - lots of greens, browns, a little red.  Bought with the thought of making Fletch some socks.  He was not as excited about the yarn as I was - LOL.  Turns out he was hoping for a different color - something more burgundy-ish (which I may be able to find buried in the stash somewhere...or I'll just need to buy some more).

The skein in the middle is Yarn Rehab Rockshelter Sock and the color is Trapezoid.  Like Dee, I love the tag line on the label:  Rehabilitation for the Yarn Bereft.  Who could resist that?  This may become socks...or a shawl...or a couple pair of fingerless gloves.  A mystery for now.

The last skein on the right is Malabrigo and the color is Tiziano Red.  This last skein was extremely reasonable - only around $10 and it has over 400 years!  I think this will become February socks for moi.

I also picked up a new tiny pouch for stitch markers:

I have a larger pouch that I was using for stitch markers, cable needles, regular needles, scissors, point protectors, etc.  But I was finding it difficult to pull out a stitch marker without a ton of other stuff coming along for the ride.  This little bag is perfect to corral those markers.

After leaving the shop we drove down a bit further to the Whole Foods in Kimberton...took a very short walk to a lake where there were some very silly geese walking on the ice (they kept slipping and sliding) and then settled in at the Whole Foods café for some coffee, food, knitting and chatting.

Meeting up with Dee was exactly the therapy I needed after last week at work.  I am so thankful she and Steve moved up from Florida!  While we chatted, I worked on a fingerless glove (the first of a pair) that will go into the bag of gifts for next Christmas:

I forget the name of the yarn (and color) that I used for the cuff, but it is the same yarn that I made my fingerless mitts from.  The variegated skein is from KnitPicks and the color is Koi Pond.

And that's not all I knit this weekend!  I finished up Colin's first sock and started the second in the opposite colorway:

I'm really enjoying these.  reversing the colors is fun and the cables on the leg keep the knitting interesting.

Yesterday I cooked, starting with peanut butter waffles for breakfast:

These turned out much lighter than I expected with the peanut butter and were really tasty.  I will definitely make them again.  Later in the day it smelled like Thanksgiving.  I cooked a turkey breast, made stuffing, cranberry relish and green beans, and gravy from the drippings.  Yum!  I missed having turkey leftovers at Thanksgiving since we ate at Colin & Mailings.  Now we have plenty of meat for sandwiches, another dinner, whatever.

Looking forward to finally getting back to yoga tonight (I haven't been since before Thanksgiving!).  My teacher has been sick for several weeks and classes were not held on the holidays.  It will be good to stretch out this body again.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Friday, January 19, 2018

TGIF Miscellany

Hi All,

TGIF!!!!  And, we are having a hot breakfast at work (delicious!!) and pizza for lunch.  Those who are into sports have their Eagles gear on...I'm just here in a shirt and shawl and hand-knit socks.  Thinking/hoping today will be a good one and thinking/hoping I'll be able to Get Out Of Dodge a bit on the early side today...fingers crossed.

A bunch of random things:

Colin did make it over for dinner last night (home-made soup and he made the most delicious garlic bread to go with it - yum!).  The foot length on the sock is Perfect for him.  Toe decreases can commence.  I didn't get to that last night because we watched a movie (Get Shorty) instead.  I do plan to finish that first sock and get the second one started this weekend.

I thought I would show Colin the Arts & culture app...but he had already done it.  He made weird faces and got some very silly results (including a pouty child).

While the soup was heating on the stove, I looked out into the backyard and saw this:

There were a few more around as well.  These guys didn't even budge from dining when I stepped onto the patio.  I finally walked a bit further out because those two in the background are munching on a little evergreen tree that I love.  They all finally ran off, white tails in the air. 

The book "A Stash of One's Own" will turn into a traveling book thanks to Kathy B's suggestion.  Bridget - I will get it out to you...then Kathy B is next up.  Y'all can follow the books progress and put your names in for the rotation.

I've been known to frequently buy wine just for the label.  Sometimes I'm disappointed, but more often that not I'm pleasantly surprised.  Last night's choice:
Love the name and love the label.  Also cheap - as in $10/bottle.  Not bad either.  Not what I would call a "fine" pinot noir, but drinkable.

A pleasant surprise last night when Fletch told me that a back-ordered Christmas gift had come in for me.
I LOVE sloths!  LOL.  This bag is great - BIG and the handles are sturdy for a canvas bag.  It's large enough that a sweater project would fit in it...or two smaller projects.  Tyg likes the bag too!

The weekend is shaping up to be wonderful!  Milder temperatures (as in approaching or surpassing 50!!).  And, I'm meeting up with Dee tomorrow for some needed therapy (friends, coffee and YARN).  We are meeting up at Purls of Wisdom in Kimberton.  So, so, so looking forward to this.

Here's hoping that you all have wonderful weekends!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Three on Thursday 01-18-18

Good Morning!

Cold, cold, cold this a.m. - 13 degrees.  But, it should be 50 by Saturday or Sunday.  The roller coaster ride of Winter continues.

1.  The Google Arts & Culture app.  What a hoot!  Vicki brought this to my attention in her post earlier this week.  Warning:  you can waste spend a lot of time fooling around with this - so much fun!  Here are just a few of the shots I took for Fletch and me last night:
And my favorite:
Female Pleasure!!

I may have to try this out at work today...

2.  Despite all the time spent on the above, I did manage to knit a few rows on the new mitts I'm making:
These should work up very quickly.  But...Colin is coming over for dinner tonight so his sock knitting should resume (hopefully with the toe decrease) once I measure what I've done against his foot.  I'm anxious to cast on sock #2 in the reverse colors.

3.  I've been whining about work a bit this week and I just want to say it's not really bad.  I'm fortunate to work for a company where employees are treated really well.  However, we are experiencing many changes - policies and procedures (more "Big Brother" monitoring us) and the "old way" of doing some things is no longer possible.  What I don't like/appreciate is when these changes are not communicated.  What I especially don't get is the way some people respond:  In the past I was getting weekly AR reports from someone here in my office.  They stopped coming right around Christmas.  When I asked the guy if he would be sending out reports his reply was:  "no, I can't do them like I used to and figuring out the new way is not in my pay grade."  What I wanted to say was:  maybe if you would do that your pay grade would change.  Instead, I now create the reports myself (which is very time consuming).  But I am employed and that's a good thing!

Now...I've got to get to work creating those reports - that's my Thursday.  Hope you have a good one.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Snowy Unraveled Wednesday

Good Morning!

Yup, once again it has been snowing.  I thought/hoped we would have a 2 hour delay like the local schools, but no such luck.  There is not a lot of snow and it will stop soon, but it is wet and heavy.  The roads were fine coming to work and the horse farm I pass was particularly beautiful this morning - fields covered in snow, a frozen pond, a few horses out and about (all covered in blankets).  So peaceful and pretty.

Yesterday was filled with much frustration at work...hoping today will be better.  I woke up in the night thinking about work which is not good and is not like me at all.  I'm pretty drowsy this morning - a delay would have been nice.

Since Colin's socks are on hold until I measure the first against his foot, I cast on last night for another pair of fingerless mitts.  They work up so quickly, I'm hoping to knit several pairs to put away for Christmas gifts next December.  No pictures yet - only 2/3 of the way through the first cuff and I forgot to bring them with me today...hopefully more progress tonight.

On the reading front, I gave up on "The Roanoke Girls" - it was just a slog for me and was getting quite boring.  Yesterday I did manage to start "Sing, Unburied, Sing" at lunch.  Wow!  What powerful writing.  I am loving it.

The last time we got together, Dee was kind enough to bring me her copy of Clara Parke's "A Stash of One's Own" which I finished last night.  I find this type of book perfect for reading a bit when I get into bed - always fun to read about yarn and it doesn't get me all keyed up before falling asleep.  Dee asked me to pass it on when I was finished, so, who would like to read it next?  Leave a comment and if there are more than one interested, I'll do the random number thing.

Yesterday afternoon Colin texted me this picture of Talbot & Marcel with the caption "Time to Snuggle":

Looks a bit like Marcel may be trying to escape!!

The blue and white blanket is one that was knit for Colin when he was born!  I can't believe it has held up for 28+ years.  And the green and coral-like crocheted blanket is one I made when I was in college -- the only thing I have ever crocheted - and that was 45 years ago or so!

Now that I am feeling a bit old....time to run downstairs to the café and get some breakfast.  Hope you all have a wonderful day!