Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday's Knitting Update

Hello There!

Greetings from Eastern PA where our roller coaster weather seems to be continuing.  It was so warm yesterday!  75...almost 80 at times.  Today?  It can't get out of the 50's.  I had hoped to get out for a nice walk today, but the clouds keep hiding the sun and it's downright chilly then, so I've been puttering around.

I have a spinach-mushroom lasagna cooking (in the slow cooker) and I have Bridget's Italian Coffee and Walnut Cake in the oven ( - it smells heavenly.  I can't wait to try it.

Assuming that my re-entry into reality tomorrow (i.e., work) will not be pleasant or care-free, I thought I'd post today with my knitting updates.  As I mentioned, I only worked on the Winter Sea Shawl while we were camping (thank you to everyone who encouraged me to take this along in addition to the socks which never saw the light of day!!).  Here is where it stands (I have not put in any knitting on this since getting back from our vacation).

The repeat is 16 rows and I have another 2 or 3 to knit...maybe more (I have plenty of yarn).  This is a free pattern on Ravelry and very, very easy.  Just knit and purl.  And, it's exactly what I was hoping for (a denser, warmer shawl).  Here's a close up which doesn't look anything like the color of yarn, but you can see the pattern.

As I mentioned, the socks saw no progress, but since we've been home I finished the leg, knit the heel flap, and tuned the heel:

Since this photo was taken this morning, I've picked up the gusset stitches and am starting on the foot.  Won't be long (I hope) before this is finished.  I am hoping to make these identical (which isn't important to me, I just want to try it for once).

Thanks for all yourkind comments on my last post.  We really did have a good vacation despite the various "issues" we encountered.  I even told Fletch that I was ready to go out again (I don't think he thought I would ever go camping again!!).  Unfortunately, work is the reality.  Wish me luck tomorrow for an easy re-entry.

Hope you all are enjoying a great weekend!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

Well Hello All,

I have missed you and will be attempting to catch up on your blogs to see what has been going on.

Our vacation was not the best...but certainly not the worst.  A quick version (I hope).  About 2 days before we left, I started feeling really lousy.  That continued for the entire trip.  I had a lot of tooth pain and lived on Advil all week.  But, I didn't want to cancel the trip.  Fletch was so anxious to get away.  So, we left home last Thursday driving west on the PA turnpike.  Around the Laurel Highlands it started sleeting and snowing.  An inch or so of snow on the ground.  We made it to Washington, PA (just south of Pittsburgh) and our campground which was ok, but pretty uninspired.  Two cold nights (in the 20's).  The first night our microwave died.  We may have fried it, I'm not sure.

After that we drove down into West Virginia and spent two nights in another uninspired campground in Flatwoods.  Oh those WV roads!!  Bridget - you know what I'm talking about.  Very narrow, very hilly, lots of hairpin turns.  Not what I call fun when you are pulling a camper behind the car (and, yes, I do a lot of the driving).

We finally ended up in a beautiful campground in Harrisonburg, VA and spent a day walking around Charlottesville.  It rained.....

We did visit Meadowcroft Rockshelter in PA.  Similar to the rock shelters we saw in Ohio last Fall, only this one has been excavated.  We had a private tour which was really nice and it was quite interesting.  We also visited Moundsville, WV and saw the Grave Creek Mound - again, similar to what we had seen in Ohio last Fall.  Though interesting, we both felt the sites in Ohio were more impressive.  There was a very interesting display at the mound site though of objects found in the area.  One was a ball of yarn!!

Fletch was happy to see tons of arrowheads, spears, etc.  Our weather was beautiful for both of these visits.  And one day after getting back to our campsite, Fletch spent some time writing in the journal he keeps of our camping trips.

We prefer wooded sites, but at least we were dry!  Until Harrisonburg...

In WV we also stopped at Tygert Lake State Park and Stonewall Jackson Park, but water levels were so high at both places that we were unable to hike more than a mile or so before running into flooded areas.  At Tygert the water levels are 40' above normal and their marina has been completely flooded!

This past Tuesday found us in Charlottesville where we spent the day walking around (in the rain).  We started by parking at the UVA bookstore and wandering around a bit of the campus which is very beautiful.  Charlottesville has a free trolley you can hop at various places to go downtown, so we left the car and wandered around downtown.  I found the first yarn shop I wanted to visit, but was pretty disappointed in what they had to offer.  We tried and tried but could not find the second shop, so I told Fletch to forget it.  By this time I was a bit more than cranky.....

Anyway, Fletch wanted to go to a raw bar for lunch so we took the trolley back towards the University and (finally) found the raw bar only to discover they did not open till 4 p.m.  But...almost next door was the 2nd yarn shop:  EWE Fine Fiber Goods.  What a lovely shop!  I ended up getting the latest MDK Field Guide (#6):  Transparency which is gorgeous.  And:

this beautiful skein of sock yarn in the colorway Canary.  Lots of yellow and splotches of blue and pink.  It's fun.  I also picked up some yarn for a new shawl:

When I saw it was called Dirty Hippie I just had to have it.  Blue, purple, pink and then a very lime green.  Gorgeous!  This is from a local spinner/dyer in the Charlottesville area.

Fletch, being the sneak he is, bought this for me when I wasn't looking:

This cute little pin will go on one of my knitting bags. 

The owner of the shop recommended we go to Feast for lunch.  The food was delicious and it was so nice to sit with a beer!

The soup (which we both had) was a curried coconut tomato with kale.  So good!  Fletch had a tuna melt and my sandwich was chicken, cheddar with a fig spread.  We both had the bean salad as a side.  Everything was so yummy.

We also had good meals at our campsites:  steaks with grilled veggies, nachos done over the fire, BBQ chicken wings, peach pancakes, eggs with bacon, spinach, onions and mushrooms. 

We made it home Wednesday afternoon (almost running out of gas on the PA turnpike!!).

Thursday I called Dr. George, our dentist, and was in his office by 11:30.  Turns out my molar all the way at the back of my mouth was dying, and infected.  It was not worth saving so I had it pulled.  What a world of difference.  No more pain or discomfort.  Surprisingly no swelling or pain from the extraction.

And, just for the record, I ended up taking the socks AND the shawl to work on.  I only worked on the shawl (which really, really surprised me).  No pictures yet, but this post is already long enough.  I did get quite a bit done though.  I didn't do as much reading as I thought I would, but Fletch and I did continue reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea each night after dinner.  We are both thoroughly enjoying this!

Tyg was extremely happy to see us!  Colin cared for him while we were gone and even worked from our house 2 days so that he could spend the entire day with Tyg. 

And that's been my life!  I'm off to (try to) catch up on what you all have been doing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I Am So Ready!!

Good Morning!

As the post title states:  I Am So Ready!!!  That would be ready for vacation.  YAY.  Today is my last day of work this week and I am off all next week as well.  Fingers crossed that weather will cooperate as we are heading out in our camper for a little bit.  Of course, I need to pack for all weather events - cold, heat and everything in between.  That's the one downside of camping in the Spring and Fall, but those are our favorite times to get away.

Before I go, a little knitting update.  There has not been a lot of knitting, but a little bit:

The plain vanilla sock in Cascade Heritage - colorway is Baltimore.  I'm really enjoying this very relaxing knit.  I'll do about 5 more rows or so and then be on the heel flap.  This will be going with me on our camping trip.

Believe it or not, I didn't put that Green Mountain Spinnery yarn into time out.  I cast on a different shawl:

So far the yarn seems to like this pattern and it has been behaving.  The pattern is Winter Sea Shawl - a free pattern on Ravelry.  I probably will not take this with me.  I'm attempting to learn to not take too much knitting.  I like to have choices, but I always take way more than I ever work on.  And with camping, space is somewhat limited.

On the reading front, my Kindle is loaded up and that will be going with me.  Recently downloaded from Overdrive are:  "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah and "Bruno Chief of Police:  A Mystery of the French Countryside" by Martin Walker.  I'm not sure where I heard about that last, but it is a series that (wherever I saw it) received high ratings.  The "real" book I am reading at night is "What She Ate" by Laura Shapiro which is pretty good so far. 

I'll be reading your blogs on my phone, but I may not comment - sometimes that's awkward on my phone and I'm not taking a laptop or tablet.  Enjoy the next week and a half and I'll check in when we are back in town.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Fiber Festival!!

Well hello everyone,

I guess I could have titled this post "Dee Is No Longer a Virgin" - LOL.  Yesterday Dee and I met up in Allentown for the Allentown Fiber Festival - Dee's first festival.  I'm sure you've already read her blog and have seen that she did ok - picking up some lovely yarn and a nice pair of underwear...I mean a beautiful flamingo project bag.  It was a beautiful day for the festival - sunny and, if you can believe it, 82 degrees!!

This festival is very small.  And, it doesn't have the sheep and goats that Maryland Sheep & Wool and other festivals have.  But...the crowds are very manageable and you can see everything!  Plus, there are a few animals.  Rabbits to be specific:

So sweet and so very, very soft.  His/her (not sure which) owner was holding another rabbit in her lap and spinning right from the rabbit!!

It was fun to watch.  We saw a couple of rabbits for sale, but I didn't think Tyg would take kindly to my bringing a rabbit home...or he might, but the rabbit wouldn't last very long.

So here's a look at what I got.  First up stitch markers.  I love buying individual ones - fun and cheap!

Aren't they cute?  I love them all.

This is the yarn I got at the festival:

Both sock weight yarns, of course.  The green is Kettle Steps, Good for Ewe.  It is 40% superwash merino, 40% baby llama and 20% nylon.  The skein on the right is from Youghiogheny Yarns and is their "show color."  Limited quantities are dyed for the festival.  One of the women in the booth was knitting some socks with it and they were gorgeous.  I had to have it!!  It is 75% merino and 25% nylon.

Dee's friend Joyce and her daughter Aubrey also met us and when we were done wandering the festival we all drove over to Emmaus to visit Conversational Threads a most wonderful yarn shop!  We had all received a postcard at the festival for 15% off at the store that weekend only.  So, we had to go, right?  I came away with two items...more sock yarn:

The skein on the left is a new one to me:  Theodora's Pearls by DizzyLettuce and the colorway is Thistle.  It is 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon.  The skein on the right is Trekking which I've been wanting to try (75% superwash and 25% bamboo).

And that's it!  I saw plenty more that I wanted to buy but was trying to be reasonable.

After shopping we stepped across the street for burgers (the BEST burger I've had in a long time) and then Dee and I ended up at a coffee shop across the way (actually a combination coffee shop/bike shop - Kathy I was thinking of Fireman!!).

When I finally decided I really needed to get home, I pulled up Google maps and was directed home via back country roads.  It was a beautiful drive and actually faster than the ride up on the turnpike had been.

Fletch was doing some outside stuff when I got home, so after jumping in the shower, I joined him on the patio for a glass of wine.  We walked out towards our shed and FINALLY there are buds on our redbud tree.  All it takes is a couple of warm days:

Sorry it's a little blurry.

Today, of course, is a different story.  Rain, grey and chilly - about 40 degrees cooler than yesterday!  At least we are not having snow (which some of you are...I'm so sorry).

Time to wrap this up and get ready for bed!  Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Warming Up On Thursday

Good Morning!

It is warming up!!  The temps were in the low 40's this morning instead of hovering around 32...and the sun is out and it should be up to 60 or more today.  Tomorrow and Saturday?  Even warmer - forecasting 80!  Of course, pollen is beginning to settle on everything and "they" are saying this is supposed to be an unusually bad/awful pollen season this Spring.  I don't even care at this point.  I'm just hungering for Spring.

I got a later start than usual this morning due to a doctor's appointment at 8:30.  After having several basil cell carcinomas removed (including one where I ended up losing half my nose!!), I see a dermatologist twice a year for a full body look-over.  Today was a great visit - no suspect spots were discovered.  And she is thorough!!  Looking between my toes, going through my hair (like a monkey almost - lol).  So, happy to not have to go back for another six months (but I also check myself very regularly and if I see anything, I'm on the phone and back in the office pronto).

And this guy was back at the vet's yesterday:

Poor Talbot had to have two more teeth pulled (soon he might need dentures!!).  he came through the surgery just fine and did not have to spend the night this time.

I'm still reading "Flat Broke With Two Goats" (about 80% through it).  I'm enjoying the story mostly (except for the snake parts), but find myself saying constantly "Really?"  "How can you make such a stupid decision?"  Some folks just never learn.

On the knitting front, not much is going on.  I did another 10 rows on the Cascade Heritage sock last night while Fletch read (BTW, we are thoroughly enjoying reading together Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea).  The Lonely Tree Shawl has come to a stand-still.  Once again at the 20 or 22nd row I found a mistake.  I'm at the point where I feel the yarn is telling me it definitely does NOT want to be a Lonely Tree Shawl!  I do have a lifeline in, but hesitate to try again.  The yarn is becoming a bit splitty from the unraveling that has taken place.  It might be time for it to go into time out and wait for another pattern.

It's just about 10:30 a.m. which means only 48 hours till I meet Dee at the Allentown Fiber Festival - I'm only a little excited - lol.