Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Treasures From My Grandpa

Well, it is Unraveled Wednesday, but I haven’t done much knitting in the past few days and therefore have nothing to show.  I did finish “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan and enjoyed it very much.  I’m now almost halfway through “The Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin and liking it a lot too.


Inspiration for this post comes from Kym and Bonny both of whom recently blogged about beautiful wooden items made by their Grandfathers.


My paternal grandfather, Ray Lyman, was born in Stratton, VT in 1887.  He was a big man – 6’3” (and my Grandmother was only 4’11” or so!!) and he had the largest hands.  When Colin was born his hands and feet were really big and the first thing I thought was he will be just like my Grandpa (for the record, Colin is not 6’3”, but he has grown into his feet and hands – lol).


Here are my grandparents on their wedding day:



And here they are in later years in front of their house:



And one of my favorite pictures of my Grandpa – at his workbench in the barn that was attached to their home:



Grandpa held many different jobs (including a stint in state politics) – he ran the creamery down the street from where they lived and he also worked at a bowl mill.  Much of the furniture in their home was made by him:  bureaus, tables, chairs (caned and woven), stools (caned and woven) as well as bowls and other wooden items.  I’m fortunate to have some of the pieces he made:



The piece on the right is one of the many offering plates he made for the local church they attended.  The bowl and salt & pepper shakers are like those that were used daily in their home.  The little rattle was carved from a single piece of wood!


This bureau is one he made out of birds eye maple (love) and this is where I store my fabric (the drawers are now easy to open since I got rid of so much stuff!!).  This piece weighs a TON. 



The apothecary style cabinet on top is one Fletch gave me and that holds my specialty embroidery floss – silks, linens, Danish Flower Thread, etc.  The smaller black & white cabinet on top of that is another gift from Fletch and that holds my “special” buttons (some day I’ll do a post showing some of those).  Other buttons are in the jars to the right (and various boxes and tins hidden away – lol).  The Galileo Thermometer was my Dad’s.

I was also gifted the sewing cabinet my Grandpa made for my Grandma.  It is one of my prized possessions and I will show that in a later post.


Hope everyone’s week is going well.  My office is closed Friday, so I’m on the downswing of the work week which feels really, really nice!

Friday, March 23, 2018


Good Morning!

It is already a busy day for me...more changes at work...additional responsibilities....and on and on and on.  Meanwhile, all I want to do is knit, read and...SEW!  I mentioned the other day about purging my fabric stash but I saved plenty of fabric to use (key word being USE as opposed to just keeping it in the bureau).  So here is a small sampling of what I've kept and what I hope/plan to make.  No timeline, but I figure putting it on the blog just *might* make me more accountable (or not...we shall see).

First up, two fabrics I plan to use to make tunics:

Love these fabrics.  The one on the right is navy embroidered on a very pale beige background.

Next up the possibility of jackets:

The top one is a heavy upholstery fabric - a pale sage/olive green with a cranberry print.  The bottom one is just plain fun!

Another fun piece I hope to make a top from - there is not enough for a tunic, but I'm thinking a cap sleeve or sleeveless top:

This is another piece that is embroidered.

And last, some fabrics I couldn't part with.  I may end up making a couple of project bags:

A crappy picture - the light was glaring.  The fabric on the left is (again) embroidered and has oranges and yellows in it.  Very sturdy (more upholstery fabric).

There is still a lot more where this came from - lol.

This morning, as I was attempting to wake up with coffee, Tyg started sounding like he was auditioning for a part in the Exorcist!  Another cat had wandered onto our patio and OMG, Tyg was so LOUD - he actually woke Fletch up (who was upstairs behind a closed door sleeping).  I couldn't capture his sound, but here he is by the back door after the other cat had wandered away - still a pretty fluffy tail!!

The roads were all clear yesterday for my ride into work which was beautiful.  The winding roads through Valley Forge were so gorgeous - looking like a Christmas card.  The horse farm I pass was beautiful as well.  And by the time I got home at least half of our snow had sunk into the ground.  Our yard will be a soggy mess for some time. 

Well, I've got some work to do before my 10 a.m. conference call and my hope is to get out of here by 3:30 or 4.  And tomorrow I'm meeting up with Dee again for coffee/tea/knitting!  Can't wait.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Back to Work

Good Morning All,

Well, it's back to work for me today...but we do have a 2 hour delay, so I am still sitting at home sipping my morning coffee.  A luxury!

Here's what it looked like in our backyard around 5 p.m. yesterday:

At times the sun peeked out through the grey sky and it really was a very pretty day.  It snowed ALL day long.  Fletch told me it stopped sometime late last night when he went out for a final clearing of my car and part of the driveway.

This is a shot from around 9:00 last night (still snowing then):

And it is beautiful today.  The trees are all coated, birds are singing and feeding.  Ahhh, Spring (I feel like I'm in New England!!).  The reality is that it is not unusual for us to have snow in March - or even April - it just hasn't happened for a few years.  And it never stays for long, so I will enjoy the beauty and stillness of it while I can.

I read a little bit yesterday (finished the latest By Hand magazine/book and a bit in Manhattan Beach) and knit a tiny bit (about 30 rows on the sock).  However, I was not completely idle - lol.  Fletch wanted me to sew some Velcro strips on a sweatshirt which entailed moving stuff off my sewing machine cabinet, getting the machine out, etc.  That went smoothly.  But...I just wasn't able to put things back on the cabinet so I started cleaning.  Whew!  I went through the bureau in the office room which stored (most of) my fabric, trims, beads, etc.  I now have 3 LARGE garbage bags filled to overflowing with donation items.  I put the beads aside for my friend Carol and a very small amount of fabric I will be sending out.  The only thing piled on the cabinet now are some gorgeous dessert dishes that were my Mom's...which need to go to Colin & Mailing or one of my brothers.  I also have a bag filled with cassette tapes - lol.  I found a basket filled with them, and a box from my Dad.  We have not had a tape player in years!!  I have a large pile started of items to send to my brother in Colorado.  Whew! 

I still have a lot of fabric left.  I found some I had (of course) completely forgotten about and now have plans for some tunic tops.  And some gorgeous upholstery fabric I intend to use to make a jacket.  We'll laid plans and all that...

Meanwhile, I need to eat something, get dressed and then make my way into work.  Tomorrow is Friday and that's a good thing!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Snowy Unraveled Wednesday 03-21-18

Good Morning!

Once again we are in the midst of a Noreaster.  It started snowing yesterday around 11 a.m. or so.  My boss left the office at Noon and told me not to stick around too long.  I had some lunch (God forbid I get hungry on the way home - lol) and left around 1.  This is what it looked like out our back patio door in the mid afternoon:

That's looking out over our "wetlands" portion of the backyard and the arbor is at the entrance to our woods.  Big, fat flakes were coming down.  Very pretty.

By early evening it had stopped, but the forecast still said snow all day Wednesday so I checked my work "weather emergency phone line" and learned that my office would be closed today.  YAY!!  No alarm.

Tyg woke me at 4:30 to go out and there was still no snow coming down.  I went back to bed and slept till 7:30 and by then it was snowing hard.  And it hasn't stopped.  The prediction now is for 8-12", and it is not supposed to stop till 2 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Welcome Spring!!

I have the crock pot going - filled with vegetable beef soup that will taste so good for dinner.  My plan is to read, knit, relax, probably nap, maybe go through my yarn again (or my patterns to cull some more).  IF I get ambitious, I'll do a little cleaning, but that's debatable at this point.

Bridget - Fletch heard on the TV that the roads in Phila are awful - I think there is more ice down there than out in the burbs.  I hope you were/are able to stay home today.

Someone at work mentioned the possibility of another storm on Sunday.  I'm not even going to think about that!  Wherever you are, I hope you are safe, warm and dry!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Can It Be Monday Already???

Good Morning!

How am I back at work so soon?  The weekend seemed to fly by.  Saturday was filled with errands (including picking up tax documents...and paying of course).  Traffic was miserable.  It was a cold day, but very, very sunny and I think EVERYONE was out and about.  Of course I had to drive all over creation - my errands couldn't be located in one area.

However, progress was made in the de-cluttering arena.  While running around Saturday I dropped off 6 large bags at a donation center!  Some clothing, some household stuff, some books.  And, I finally recycled our old printer at Staples (it had been sitting on the floor at home for a year or more!).

I also went through my yarn.  I have way more sock yarn than I remembered (surprise, surprise!!) and nothing that will work for the two sweaters that I am thinking of making.  That is what I will be looking for at the upcoming fiber festival in April.  I should stay away from buying any sock yarn (but I know I won't).  I did pull together a large bag of yarn to donate and also set aside a large tote bag of yarn for my friend Carol who is now doing tapestry weaving.

Friday at lunch I managed to finish sock #1.  Sock #2 was cast on Saturday night, but only minimal progress was made:

The first braid on #2 is finished and I'm at the point where the second braid will be placed.  I brought it to work, so hopefully will get to that at lunch today.

Fletch uncovered our garlic bed and all but one is coming up!  He planted onion sets this weekend as well as sugar snap peas.  Now, of course, snow is forecast for tomorrow (1-2" during the day and an additional 1-3" tomorrow night).  Happy Spring!!

On the reading front I finished Slow Knitting which Fletch had given me at Christmas.  I really enjoyed it and there are some beautiful patterns included.

Last night we watched Crooked House on Amazon Prime which we both really liked - highly recommend.  It was good to see Glenn Close again on the screen.

That's it for me.  How was your weekend?

Friday, March 16, 2018


Hello All,

Finally!  The end of the work week.  I was just outside a few moments ago and there were flakes in the air!  It is NOT snowing or even flurrying...but there are icy white flakes coming out of the sky.  Geeze.....

Happy to report the sock is almost finished.  I'm halfway through the toe decreases (I stopped last night before finishing so I'd have time to read).  I brought it with me to work and plan to finish it at lunch.  And, I plan to cast on the second one tonight...let's not waste any time.

Meanwhile, I've been snooping around Ravelry.  I liked a few of the patterns in MDK's March Madness Brackets, but nothing really knocked me off my feet this year.

The other day I mentioned liking Juniper Top by Sachiko Burgin:

Picture from Ravelry.  Just look at that sleeve!

Then I found Curvo also by Sachiko Burgin:

Another picture from Ravelry.  Love that this is knit side-to-side, love the curved hem.

I'm thinking that finishing Sigla has made me bold - lol.  Has anyone knit any designs by Sachiko Burgin?  I am so tempted...and neither one takes a whole lot of yarn.  And I'll be at a fiber festival in just 4 weeks!!!!!  So, food for thought.  I think I will make the time to look through my yarn this weekend and see if I already have anything that would work.

Any plans for your weekend?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday 03-14-18

Well Hello Friends,

A chilly Unraveled Wednesday here...snow forecast for this afternoon and someone just told me another Nor'Easter is possible next Tuesday (which is the first day of Spring...and my Mom's birthday - she would be 99 this year!!).  And today is Pi Day which I completely forgot about!!

Colin has been making smoothies for breakfast because he leaves for work so early.  I decided to try one.  Last night I blended up spinach, half an apple, some fresh ginger, the last of the blackberries, some carrot juice and a few ice cubes.  It is just ok (and I miss chewing my breakfast!!).  But...I'll see how I feel in a little bit (whether or not I'm hungry).  I really need to eat protein in the a.m. and this has none in it...maybe I'll try adding some Greek yogurt and some almonds.  Do any of you make smoothies?  And, if so, what do you put in them?

I have not done a lot of knitting, but here is where the first sock is right now:

The leg (cuff to heel flap) is 10" and I'm part-way through the foot.  I'd like to finish this and get the second one started before I lose interest.  I love the sock, but after the two horizontal braids, it is just plain knitting (and long) (and a tad boring).  I keep thinking of other things I'd like to start

Fell in love with this pattern the other day.  Hmmmmm.  And there's a shawl I want to make (or 2 or 3) and some more fingerless mitts.  Stay tuned.

On the reading front, I mentioned the other day that I finished Glass Houses - the latest in the Gamache stories by Louise Penny.  As with her other books, this one did not disappoint.  I am about a third of the way through Manhattan Beach and enjoying it.  I just need to stay awake a little bit more (still suffering from the time change).

Work is work - not too busy, not too slow.  We are having a St. Patty's Day luncheon tomorrow.

The weekend is supposed to be a little warmer (I think).  I've got errands to run on Saturday - back to the tax accountant that morning to sign off (and pay) so that they can be e-filed and then running around.  I have a huge printer I need to get to Staples to recycle (Yay - that will be one more thing off the floor and out of the office room!!).  I'd like to go through my yarn and see what I have (preparing for the Allentown Fiber Festival in 4 weeks or so).

What's up with you mid-week?  Hope all is well.

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Sleepy Monday

Hi All,

Greetings from a sleep-deprived blogger.  Usually I am not impacted when we change the clocks in the Spring (almost) and Fall, but this time it has hit me - I hardly slept at all last night.  So here is a quick weekend recap.

Colin took the day off Friday and he and Fletch spent time together - having lunch, taking a walk and watching a movie.  Marcel was lounging with Fletch on the sofa at Colin & Mailing's:

Marcel looks a bit possessed, doesn't he?

After work I went home, changed and then drove over to Colin & Mailing's.  Colin made dinner:  home-made fettuccini with a sauce made of cannellini beans, garlic, spinach, cherry tomatoes and fresh grated parmesan.  OMG - so good!

Saturday I met up with Dee and Bridget!!  Finally!  I got to meet Bridget in person - lol.  We had a great time hanging out at a coffee shop in Lansdale, getting to know each other and then going to Stove & Tap for lunch.  Such a nice time, but my gosh it was cold at the train station.  Thanks Bridget for coming out to our neck of the woods to meet up.  Next time Dee and I will have to venture into the city (because I NEED to go to Loop - lol).  And, of course, the Allentown fiber Festival is only a month away!!

Sunday was filled with chores (groceries, laundry, kitchen floor cleaning, bathrooms cleaned, etc.).  By last night I was pooped.  And then I couldn't sleep.  Go figure.  I will say, however, the crescent moon, visible from the back window in our bedroom, was gorgeous. 

I did finish Glass Houses by Louise Penny yesterday.  Her Inspector Gamache novels are some of my favorites and this one did not disappoint.  I have started Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan and so far I am enjoying it.

Not sure if I will make it to yoga tonight.  1) I'm tired [see above] and 2) **snow** is in our forecast for this afternoon and evening.  We are not forecast to get more than 1-2", but I drive about 35-40 minutes to my yoga class and if it's snowing, I don't want to be on those back, dark country roads.  I took home-made soup out of the freezer for dinner in case I decide not to go, and Colin is stopping by to pick up the coffee beans I picked up for him on Saturday.  Staying home is looking better and better - lol.

Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!