Friday, January 29, 2021

TGIF 01/29/21

 Good Morning!

Whew!  It is SO windy out there.  It was howling all night and woke me up with windows rattling.  This has been going on for days now and it needs to STOP!!  Looks like we could be in for some snow starting on Sunday going into (possibly) Tuesday.  Of course, snow forecasts have not been accurate for some time, so who knows?  We will just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile I finished the Lace and Cable section of my Heart Warmer cowl.

Next up is the Interrupted Rib section which should go faster than the Lace and Cable section.  For some reason that one caused me to have some fits!  LOL  I'm glad that section is finished.

On the reading front I finished "The Falcon Thief" and enjoyed it quite a bit.  Some of it was a little long winded, but interesting too.  And I'm almost finished "Some Writer!" which is about E. B. White.  Really enjoying that book a lot.

I wanted to show you one of my Christmas gifts.  Zhongren (Mailing's Dad) has been making these little wooden houses/buildings over the past year.  Very detailed with thatched roofs, windows, etc.  Every time we've gone over to their house, I've admired what he has made and, well, Christmas found one under the tree for me!

His creations are all numbered and signed.  So cool, huh?  Here's another shot from a little further away:

I love the way it looks on our buffet with our little fairy light tree.

Well, time for another cup of coffee.  I'm thankful that I only have two conference calls this morning - the third one has been cancelled.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday January 27, 2021

 Good Morning!

Our storm never materialized yesterday and this morning it is actually above freezing!  I'm getting a bit of a late start.  After waking at 3 a.m. and staying awake for a couple of hours, I managed to fall back asleep and did not wake up till 7 a.m.  Thankfully work is quiet and I have no where I HAVE to go today.  We may actually get the Christmas tree out of the house today!  This is the longest it has ever been up, but it has remained fresh and we haven't been too motivated to take it down.  We only put lights on it and the red cardinal we always put on the top - no other ornaments, so it will be a fast job.  I need/want to clear the Christmas stuff off the buffet too.  So hard to believe that January is just about over!

The past week saw a bit of progress on my knitting projects.  First up the Heart Warmer Cowl - I'm about halfway through the cable & lace section.  

Not sure why the picture turned around sideways, but whatever.  I'm loving the varigated yarn with the solid ribbing.

Next up I managed to get through the color work on the Yule Wave Sock - I did that last night and have not tried it yet to see if it is loose enough.  I did switch to a size 3 needle for the color work and I believe that helped.  

I definitely need practice with this.  I need to find the best way to keep the color work loose, but not get ladders where the needles meet up.  If anyone has suggestions, tips, etc. please share!

I've also been a bit like a crow or raven - distracted by shiny objects.  Specifically, the pattern Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood.  I have wanted to make this for years!  Finally I bought the pattern.  And then the yarn.  But, I did not go with Brooklyn Tweed yarn (I've heard some very mixed reviews on that and it would have cost over $100 for the yarn to make this).  Instead I went with Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks (around $21 for the yarn) in the colorway Mink Heather.

I wanted a nice neutral shade and I think the various patterns will show well.  So, I'm excited to cast on!  Naturally, while perusing that wool some sock yarn just happened to jump into my cart:

Aren't these fun?  All are 75% superwash and 25% nylon.  The top skein is Stroll in the colorway "Northern Lights."  The middle skein is Muse (I think this is a new line KnitPicks is offering?) in the colorway "Enthusiasm Speckle." And the bottom skein is Static in the colorway "Beekeeper."  Just for the record, I have socks planned and people in mind who will receive them!

On the reading front, I am still reading The Falcon Thief and enjoying it.  But again, shiny objects have caught my eye.  Yesterday I stopped at the library and picked up Some Writer! and read several chapters last night.  I'm so glad this was not available on Overdrive as the pictures are wonderful and just the entire set up of the book is better to read as a *real* book than a digital one.  Last night I received an email that Monsieur Mediocre is ready for me to pick up.  I think this will be a bit like Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence" which was so enjoyable and laugh-out-loud funny.

You can see that I really don't have time to work!

As always on a Wednesday, linking up with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.  Be sure to check out her blog (beautiful knitting) to see what she and others are making and reading.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday 01/26/21


No snow or rain or sleet or anything yet.  When I let Tyg out at 4:45 a.m. (ggrrrrr) I looked at radar on my phone and it showed some wintry mix should happen a little later.  Hopefully it won't be too bad and will be easy to get out.  I need a couple of things at the grocery store that I forgot and another book is waiting for me at the library.

Last night's dinner of falafel (courtesy of Colin) was tasty.  The baba ghanoush I made was just ok.  I had intended to find out from C&M how they make it but instead used a recipe I found on the internet.  Plus I only had one eggplant, so it didn't make a lot.  Anyway, we had the falafel, baba ghanoush, some cucumber and radishes and a piece of bread toasted (I did not have any naan or pita bread).

The little bowl in the middle is the baba ghanoush (paprika on top).  Actually there was a little left which surprised me.  The falafel are very filling.  Tonight I plan to make a beef stew using my new Dutch oven!!

This past week saw me add a bit to the border on my Quaker Autumn sampler.  The right side border is now complete and hopefully the right and left will meet on the same line in the middle!  (And if they don't?  I will definitely fudge it...nothing will be ripped out!  LOL)  Here is an overall shot of where the sampler is today and then a close up of the two motifs I stitched this week.

There are still so many creatures to be stitched along with more leaves and a whole lot of letters.  Of course another (PITA) fir tree to stitch - so pretty to look at but quite a pain to stitch.  There's enough going on that I have not gotten bored with this one (thank God).  I already know in my mind what I want to stitch next (and it's another BIG one), so I'd best step up the pace on this one!

There is some work stuff going on today, but as usual I'm hoping to carve out a bit of time to knit and stitch and maybe read a chapter or two.  Hope your week is going well!

Monday, January 25, 2021


 Good Morning!

It is still January and, therefore, is still dark outside.  We are receiving more daylight every day - a minute or more!  But, at 6:15 a.m. it is still quite dark out there.  And cold.  A winter storm is forecast for tonight (late - like 1 a.m.) into tomorrow.  It could change over to rain so it could just be a big fat mess.  Yet to be determined.  Colin has been walking early every morning, so tomorrow if it is snowing could be a very pretty walk.

Anyway, how was your weekend?  Mine was filled with a bunch of things, all very nice and enjoyable.  I knit some, I read some and I cooked some.  On the knitting side I worked some on the Yule Wave socks.  I'm up to where I will start the colorwork, but was too tired and/or distracted to try that.  I worked some on the Heart Warmer Cowl and got halfway through the cable and lace pattern.  Pictures of those things will wait until my Unraveled Wednesday post.  This is what I worked on last night:

My friend Carol asked me to knit a swatch that she could use for photographing things she makes (hair pins, shawl pins, etc.) and sells on Etsy.  The yarn is Miss Babs Yummy 2 Ply in the colorway Dark Orion.  So soft and the color is so saturated and pretty.  This is from deep in the stash!  Just a plain garter stitch piece as that goes the fastest for me.  I got quite a bit more finished last night while watching Miss Scarlet and the Duke (not sure if I really like that show or not).  I should finish this up today and I'm hoping to see Carol within a few weeks.

On the cooking front, we had delicious pasta with clam sauce and mussels last night (I forgot to take a picture) with a salad.  Saturday night I made vegetarian stuffed peppers.

There were a number of bell peppers in the frig that needed to be used.  I just mixed black beans, corn, garlic, onions, some salsa, chili powder, cumin and filled the peppers.  I pulled them out and added some cheese on top and then finished cooking them till the cheese melted.  We also had avocados that needed to be used, so I made fresh guacamole and we had that with some tortilla chips.  So good!  Tonight we are having falafel (Colin made some the other week and gave us a bunch frozen) and I'll mix up some baba ghanoush to go with it.  I sure do love to eat!!

So happy to report that my reading slump seems to have finally departed!!  This is what I am currently reading:

It is quite a good read.  Bonny - it made me think of The Feather Thief which we both read the other year.  I happened to see a review of The Falcon Thief in a catalogue that we get (Bas Bleu) so one morning I put a request in at my library and the book was in my hands that afternoon!

Well, as usual, it is time for me to pour another cup of coffee and get ready for the work day.  I have a conference call at 10 and other than that I'm not sure what is going on.  I'm not planning to go in to the office this week (fingers crossed that does not change).

Hoping your week is off to a great start!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thursday Stuff

Hello, Hello,

Everyone feel a little better now?  I know I sure do.  Yesterday ended up being peaceful (thank God).  I thought Biden's speech was excellent and Amanda Gorman - WOW!!!  Even though I'm feeling better and more hopeful, last night was another wake up at 2 a.m.  I did get back to sleep eventually but then the alarm went off at 6 a.m.  I have to head back to the office which is not what I had planned for today.  But, there are more contracts and documents to print that need to be signed in ink (as opposed to me putting someone's electronic signature on them) and additionally they have to be notarized.  So, Bill and I are heading in and Jen will meet us since she is a notary.  Thursday is my big "get out a bunch of financial reports" day, so I will likely be there for a little while.  Oh well....

I did manage to get a little bit of knitting accomplished yesterday:

 The beginning of Yule Wave #2.  The cuff ribbing is complete and I've started the grey part of the leg.  I think another 12 rows or so and then will do the colorwork (with a slightly larger needle).  The 1x1 twisted rib is nice, though it takes me longer to do than a normal 2x2 plain rib.  But I like it for a change.

Another chilly morning (18 degrees), so I'd best dress warmly.  I'm curious to look up when I walk toward the front of my office building.  The hawks may be back!  Remember we had nesting hawks on a light fixture at my office building a year ago.  They made an awful mess of the walk way and windows, but it sure was fun to see those baby hawks.  Tuesday when I was at the office I noticed some sticks on top of the light fixture again.  I'm curious to see if there are more today.  If it is the hawks, I'll be curious to see if property management allows the nest building to continue or if they will try to discourage it (or take it away).  No one is going into the office (my entire building - 3 floors) is empty, but I also know it took them a long, long time to clean up the mess last year.

Time for another cup of joe and then get dressed to go out in the cold.  Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday January 20, 2021

 Good Morning!

Happy Inauguration Day!

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my stitching yesterday.  I appreciate them.  The project (Quaker Autumn) is a lot of fun to stitch and it surprises me how much I am still enjoying it (given how LARGE it is and how much further I have to go!!).

Not much was accomplished yesterday - no stitching and not really any knitting.  I was so tired after waking at 2 a.m. and not getting back to sleep.  I did take a little nap in the afternoon but my eyes still were tired and it was difficult to concentrate on anything.

The mitts I showed on Monday were finished on Saturday.  My attention then turned to the Heart Warmer cowl and I managed to get the first section (1x1 ribbing) finished.  

The next section is "lace and cables" and I will start that with the varigated yarn.  If today is not too busy, I will try to get that started.  I really like that there are so many different patterns to do in this cowl.  It should keep it interesting.

The next version (hopefully not too tight) of the Yule Wave sock looks like this:

LOL - stitches on one needle and they need to be put on 4 needles and then the 1x1 twisted ribbing will commence.  Perhaps today?  I did manage to wind the yarn for the main color.  Initially I had planned to do another blue, but I like this darker grey with the red, so will use that.

On the reading front, I am still reading mysteries.  They seem to be easier to handle right now, though I am waiting for some non-mysteries to become available to me from the Library.  I finished the first book in Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder series (Sworn to Silence) - pretty graphic and gruesome, but I went ahead and requested book #2 from my library.  Hopefully it won't be quite as detailed!  Then I picked up the first book in Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series (A Share in Death) and should finish that today.  A quick read and quite mild compared to the Castillo book.

As usual, linking up with Kat and others to talk about what we are making and reading.  Be sure to head over to Kat's blog to read her news and see the links that others post.  Happy mid-week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday 01/19/21

 Good Morning!

It is early and dark, but I woke at 2 a.m. and never got back to sleep.  I'm planning to nap today.  But first I'm going to my office - things to print in color, things to scan, mail to check, etc.  Hopefully not a long visit!

The past week gave me an opportunity to do a bit more stitching on the Quaker Autumn sampler.  It is coming along.  Still lots to stitch, but progress is being made and that's encouraging.  Overall it looks like this now:

And here's a close up of what I stitched in the past week:  a tree, a deer, a little bird and two more letters - P and K:

It's kind of a wrinkled mess thanks to stitching in hand, but there is no real point in ironing it will only get balled up in my hands again!  I'm not sure what motif I will stitch next.  I should get back to the border and do some more of that...and I may...or I may continue stitching stuff on the left hand side.  I'll see what strikes my fancy the next time I pick up my needle.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Monday, January 18, 2021


 Good Morning!

I'm a bit of a sleepy-head this morning.  I did not wake up until 7:30!!  Thanks to Tyg being out all night, I was not woken at 4:30 or 5:00.  And that little guy was waiting by the patio door when I came downstairs to make coffee.  He has had his breakfast and is back outdoors!

How was your weekend?  Mine seemed to fly by in a blur.  I did manage to finish the mitts.

I'm happy with the way they turned out - the two tones of blue together are pleasing to me.  Whenever I knit mitts I tend to make them long enough to go up your arm beyond the blasts of cold air to chill an exposed area!  These along with the dark blue Antler hat will be a gift for someone.

Fletch and I headed over to Colin & Mailing's for dinner on Saturday.  Initially we had planned to have a late afternoon walk, but it was windy and too cold for Fletch and me...and Colin said he and Mailing were feeling lazy.  So, a walk was skipped.  Dinner was not skipped and was delicious.  They made a fish stew.  A mix of potatoes, onions, garlic, cod, a bunch of herbs and some white wine.  When finished, the potatoes and cod are scooped out and served separately from the broth.  They had also baked bread (two loaves, so we took some home!!).  I had made an apple nut torte for dessert with whipped cream flavored with cinnamon.

Isn't the bread fun looking?  After it rises, you punch it down and divide into one piece with about 2/3 of the dough and a smaller piece.  You form both into rounds, placing the smaller one on top of the larger.  

Sunday was still pretty windy, but despite that Fletch grilled steaks for us for dinner.  Yum!  

Today is a holiday for me from work, though I will most likely still do a little bit and then tomorrow will head into the office.  I have a bunch of stuff to print in color and should go through the mail, etc.  It should be a quick visit to the office.  But today I hope/plan to cast on for my Heart Warmer cowl and also a new Yule Wave Sock.  I revisited the one I knit that is SO tight and there is no way it will block larger.  Rather than knit a second and *hope* they will fit someone, I am abandoning that first one and starting over.  I've picked out two different blues from my stash and will figure out which looks best with the red (there is not enough of the original blue left for two socks).  And I will be taking the advice you all gave me and go up a needle size (probably up 2 sizes) to do the colorwork section.  Hopefully that will make it work.  I did try over the weekend making the sock on a 9" circular needle...figuring the colorwork would be easier on a circular rather than DPNs.  But apparently my hands are way too large to work with a 9" circular.  It was not comfortable!  Have any of you used a 9" circular.  Is there a trick to it?

Finally, I'll leave you with this picture that my friend Carol sent me.  It is an estate sale showing someone's stash!  That's a whole lotta yarn folks.  Makes my stash look like a drop in the bucket!!

Have a great week!!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday Felines

 Good Morning!

This guy makes it a bit difficult to brush your teeth!

And, it's no wonder the sink gets dirty quickly!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Stash Enhancement!

 Good Morning!

It's another dark one out there - lol.  And a bit on the chilly side (another morning in the 20's).  It is supposed to get up near 50 by tomorrow!  Thursday mornings are pretty busy for me work-wise, so this will be quick, but I wanted to share what came in the mail yesterday.

Have you heard of Shetland Wool Adventures Journal?  It is a new publication that I had heard about and it sounded good:  articles, recipes, knitting patterns.  I thought perhaps a bit like Laine.  And it is, though I'll say I like it a bit better than Laine.  Volume 1 is out and it arrived yesterday.

The pictures are gorgeous, the recipes are appealing and the patterns are fabulous.  Colorwork!  Hats, mitts, a shawl (that is not colorwork).  My copy came from The Wooly Thistle and, of course, some yarn just happened to jump in my cart as well - lol.

I've been wanting to try the West Yorkshire Spinners yarn and oopps!  4 skeins jumped into the cart.  They are (clockwise from the top left):  Nutmeg and Cinnamon from the Spice Rack Collection, Goldfinch from their Country Birds Collection and Hollyberry (hopefully to be made into socks in time for NEXT Christmas).  The skeins are a hefty 100 grams and were very affordable at only $12.50 per skein.  Once I get around to using a skein I'll let you know how I like it.

Yesterday got a little busy with work, but I did manage to finish the first fingerless mitt.  Hoping to cast on for number two today.

This next picture is for Teresa who mentioned that she would like to see a picture of a lampshade that my Mom had pierced.  My Mom made a few of these and this is (I think) the last surviving one.  It is on a bedside table in our guestroom.

So pretty and every time I walk into that room I think of her.

OK, time to run my reports and buckle down to do some work.  Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday 1/13/21

 Good Morning!

Another crisp a.m. here in Eastern PA (my phone says 23).  But the air is clear.  Maybe today I will get a walk in?  That didn't happen yesterday as it was still a bit breezy and I had to run Fletch over to the mechanics to pick up the car he uses which had gone in for inspection.  I'm here to tell you if it's not one thing, then it's another.  $2K later we have his car back.  But, as I tell myself, paying $2K for car repairs is much, much less $$$ than a new car would be.  Still....

Meanwhile here we are mid-week and as usual, I am linking up with Kat to talk about what's on the needles and what I'm reading.  I've actually been productive!!  The first Yule Wave sock is finished:

I love the way this turned out.  Unfortunately, when I finished it last night and attempted to try it on, it would NOT go over my very high instep.  The colorwork on the leg is TIGHT.  I'm surprised because I consciously tried to keep it loose and my floats are loose.  I will try it again this a.m. and see if I was just mistaken last night.  If not, I will still make the second and they will be a nice gift for someone (who hopefully can manage to get them on!!).

Second up is the first fingerless mitt to go with the Antler hat I finished the other week.  I've just started this, but it is plain and I should be able to finish this one and cast on for the second today.

I love the two shades of blue together.  I plan to do the top of this in the darker blue.

On the reading side, thanks to Kat I am reading a very good book.  The House by the Lake is non fiction.  The subtitle is "One House, Five Families and 100 Years of German History."  It reads (to me) like a novel, but a frightening one.  And at times I've had to put it down because there are so many parallels to what is going on in our country.  If you enjoy history, you will like this book.  I've also started another mystery-type series by Linda Castillo.  These take place in Northern Ohio in the Amish community.  So far though, the first is a bit gruesome and I'm not sure I'll be able to read them.

That's it from me today.  It's Hump Day, so we are slipping into the downside of the week (for those who can't remember what day it is - that's been happening to me quite a bit recently - lol).

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday January 12, 2021

 Good Morning!

Once again we are at Tuesday and it is time for Tiny Needle Tuesday and some stitching.  First, though, I want to show you our sunrise from yesterday.  After I wrote my blog post yesterday (and posted it), I wandered back to the kitchen, poured some more coffee and looked outside.  Wow!

The color was so intense and so beautiful.  I came back inside and discovered that Colin had texted a picture of the sunrise from his vantage point - he was out for an early morning walk before starting his work day.

My office visit went well yesterday.  I only saw Bill and Tom and we all wore masks and kept our distance.  So weird to see other parking lots by my office completely filled with cars.  I guess a number of offices are back to being open...but not mine and still no word when that will happen.  My guess is it will not be until all can be vaccinated.

Meanwhile on with Tiny Needle Tuesday.  Only a couple of letters added this week.  I was busy with knitting and doing other things.  The M and the C are what I added.

It's coming along and perhaps this next week will show a bit more progress.  There are a few reports I need to run and review today, but after that I may have some time to work on this or my knitting.  Here's hoping!

It's time once again to pour another cup of coffee (and look out to see if there is another gorgeous sunrise).  Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Monday, January 11, 2021


 Hello and Good Morning!

Gosh!  We had a sunny day yesterday.  Yes, it was still on the cool (and windy) side of things (it IS winter), but SUN!!!  It has been so grey recently so it was just wonderful to have a bright day.

How was your weekend?  Mine was good.  Filled with a lot of errands, some cleaning, a lot of laundry.  You know, the usual.

My yoga jellies arrived just two days after ordering them!  What a difference they make.  I've had major (read:  extreme) pain in my wrists while doing yoga in the past, but these make a HUGE difference.  Many thanks to Kym for suggesting these.  They are a game changer for moi.

The other item that arrived was my Dutch Oven!  I have shied away from getting one because they are HEAVY and my arms are WEAK.  But there are so many recipes I want to make that call for having a Dutch oven than can be used on the stove top and also go in the oven.  Now I have one and the color is just marvelous!

A gorgeous shade of teal (which looks more green in my picture).  This is a 6 quart one, so plenty big.  I plan to make red beans (New Orleans style) first (which does not go in the oven).  I've been craving that dish, so we will probably invite Colin & Mailing over for dinner one night soon.

As I mentioned the weekend was filled with errands:  Costco on Friday.  Didn't really get much, but a few items and gassed up my car for $0.28 cents a gallon cheaper than the nearest gas station to us.  Saturday was groceries and Sunday we bought a new sink for the kitchen.  My current sink is a double which I have never liked...neither side is large enough for my big pans.  The new sink is like a farm sink - one big one and it is a little deeper than our current set up.  We need a new faucet as well, but the plumber will get that as the quality he can get is much better (and guaranteed for life) than what we can buy commercially.

A little knitting was accomplished.  I'm now on the gusset decrease/the foot of the first Yule Wave sock.  I did go ahead and do the heel turn in red.  The heel flap is Eye of the Partridge.  The toes will be red as well and I plan to put a couple of thin red stripes mid-way down the foot.

It is still early and dark outside.  I need to dry my hair and get dressed as I'm heading to the office in a little bit.  I have a conference call at 10, but hope to be on my way home shortly after that.  There are a few things I need to take care of in the office today so I will get that stuff done early.

Time to pour another cup of coffee and pull out the hair dryer.  Wishing you all a great week - enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Unraveled Wednesday 1/6/21

 Hello and Good Morning!

Thank you all so much for the recommendations you gave me for programs to listen to while working out.  I did download the Overdrive app to my phone and ordered an audiobook from my library. was not a good choice and after 10 minutes I had to shut it down and return it.  Today I will try one of the podcasts you all suggested!

Today is the first Unraveled Wednesday of 2021.  As usual, I am linking up with Kat to talk about what we are making and reading.  As well as finishing the Antler Hat I showed on Monday, I also started my Yule Wave Socks - a pattern I received free for subscribing to Carol Feller's newsletter.

Although I have not done much colorwork I enjoy it a lot.  That's not to say it isn't awkward for me at times, but I seemed to get into a rhythm with it yesterday and I like how it turned out.  Other times when I've done colorwork it has always been using a circular needle.  Using DPNs made it a tad more challenging, but it was fun!  The balance of the leg will be the blue/grey color.  I have not made up my mind about the heel yet.  The toes will be red and I may add a thin stripe or two of red across the foot.

I am also contemplating casting on for some fingerless mitts to go with the Antler Hat.  I have some of the blue left and a complimentary lighter shade that I could use.

Perhaps today I will cast on for these.  And, of course, I'd like to start Heart Warmer - my needles did arrive for that.

My 2021 is off to a good start with reading!  I've finished 2 books and am close to finishing a third.  On January 1st I finished Through the Evil Days - the 8th book in a series by Julia Spencer-Fleming.  These books are easy to read and kept me entertained (I recommend reading them in order).  I'm now almost finished the 9th and last one (so far) in the series.  They are mysteries that take place in a little village/town in the Adirondacks.  On January 2nd I read The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse and wow!  I read it in under 5 minutes standing in my kitchen while dinner was cooking.  It is wonderful!  Kind of like a Velveteen Rabbit kind of story - about kindness, love, friendship.  A couple of my favorite lines:

The Mole's favorite saying:  "If at first you don't succeed, have some cake."
What do you want to be when you grow up?  "Kind" said the boy.
"One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things."
"Nothing beats kindness" said the Horse.  "It sits quietly beyond all things."

Every page has words of wisdom on it and the drawings are so wonderful!  I highly recommend this book for ALL ages.  I borrowed it from my library, but I think I need to get my own copy.

As usual, it's time for me to pour another cup of coffee and get moving for the day.  Work at the moment is quiet, so perhaps some knitting with my next cup of joe?  Happy mid-week!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday

 Good Morning!

It is early - still dark outside.  I'm betting it takes a bit of time to get light as today is supposed to be grey and overcast all day long.  Again.  At times I find days like this utterly calming.  At other times they are just so tiresome.  I'm hoping for calm today, but we've had so many overcast days that tiresome may win.

Meanwhile, it has been awhile (like a month?) since I posted a TNT post.  It has also been that long since I picked up a needle and stitched.  Life got busy - work and holidays - and trying to finish up knitted gifts, etc., etc.  However, last night I picked up my needle once again and a little bit of progress has been made.  First up, an overall shot of the Quaker Autumn Sampler:

There is still quite a bit of open space and the border has a way to go.  Here is a close up of what I managed to stitch last night:

The letters O, B, T and A and the little copper and green leaf to the left of the A.  One of the features of most Quaker samplers is the random placement of letters all over the place.  There is no real rhyme or reason to it, rather they are just out there.  At first I thought I would leave the letters off, but then realized I really do like them.  They are all stitched in the same dark green color, but I am planning to use a different color (maybe the copper?) for my initials.  It was definitely fun and relaxing to pick up my needle again.

My morning at the office was relaxed and productive yesterday.  My car was the only one in the parking lot when I arrived.  About 2 hours later I saw one person come in (and we waved at each other from a long distance).  Before I left I noticed that my boss Bruce's car was in the lot and I walked down to his office to say hello but couldn't find him!  So, that was it - only one person seen from a distance.

When I left I stopped at Staples and picked up a new book for keeping track of my knitting, stitching and reading during the year.

Initially I was just going to get a composition book, but when I saw the cats on this I had to get it!  Plus the spiral spine is so much nicer.  It is just a book with lined pages.  Nothing fancy.  For the knitting record, I print out a small picture of the finished object and tape that to the page along with a small sample of the yarn used.  Typically I make a note of when I started a project and the finish date along with any comments on the pattern, yarn, needles, etc.  And a note of the recipient if it is a gift.  On the reading side of things, I just list the title, author, my rating (1-5 stars) and the date finished.  Once in awhile an extra note - like gorgeous photographs, or extraordinary writing, etc.

Today is an "at home" day.  I hope to do a little yoga later in the morning (after more coffee).  Like so many of you, I have signed up for Adrienne's "Breath" program - 30 days in January.  I have missed my yoga class and for sure my body has as well.  Everything is tight.  I'm taking it easy and not forcing myself to do every single day, but rather letting my body wake up to doing yoga again.  I have an awful lot of pain in my wrists (and some in my elbows and knees) when doing yoga, so I'm being gentle.  Kym had a fabulous post yesterday with many links and I plan to order the "yoga jellies" to help with my wrist pain.  I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions or goals, but I definitely need/want to get in better shape.  My weight has gone up since I quite smoking almost 2 years ago.  Not unexpected (I used to smoke instead of eat/snack), but not what I want either.  My body is also more bothered by cold and dampness than it used to be so that I don't really enjoy walking when it is not nice outside.  We have one of those Gazelle type glider machines in our basement, so I've been using that a bit.  But BORING!!!  The view in my basement is of my washer and dryer and a bunch of junk...not inspiring...but I will keep at it.  I need to remember to take my phone down and listen to a pod cast or something.  I enjoy listening to "Fresh Air" and "99% Invisible."  If you know of any other programs like those, please let me know.  I find knitting podcasts annoying and I have not (in the past) enjoyed audible books (may need to give that one a try again).

Time to pour another cup of coffee.  Wishing you all an enjoyable Tuesday!

Monday, January 4, 2021


 Good Morning!

How was your first weekend of 2021?  Mine was nice.  Saturday was on the warmer side - 40's.  It did not get quite as warm as forecast and I did not walk (think WIND).  But Fletch wanted to grill, so we had Shish Kabobs!

So freakin' good.  We had some beef, chicken and pork on the skewers.  Marinated baby bella mushrooms in the long closed basket and peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes in the round basket.  We each had some of the sourdough bread that Mailing had made to go with it all.  

Sunday morning wasn't quite as warm.  In fact, we woke up to this:

The snow did not last long (it was finished by the time we had consumed our breakfast), but it sure was pretty coming down.  Later we had a bit of sleet and then rain (like we really need more of that!).  Anyway, it was a good day to stay inside and read, knit and nap.  The knitting paid off and I have my first finished object of 2021:  another Antler Hat.

I made the brim extra long so it can be rolled up.  The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light and it is VERY soft.  I used size 8 needles and ideally I should have used smaller ones.  The knit is pretty loose, but I think it will keep someone's head warm.  Right now it is blocking in the downstairs bathroom (the heat is on and it is laying on a rack above the heater).

I'm not one to make resolutions and I don't spend much time reviewing the prior year.  But, I do enjoy keeping a journal of knitting and reading.  I think in 2021 I should add stitching as well.  Over the weekend I did look at what I knit and read during 2020.  On the knitting end of things I completed 20 items:

  • 14 pairs of socks (7 were for others and 2 were shortie socks)
  • 3 ear/headbands
  • 1 blanket
  • 1 hat
  • 1 pair of fingerless gloves

My reading surprised me.  I was in a reading slump for so long and there were so many books I started and then abandoned.  In the end, though, I read 30 books.

  • 20 were fiction
  • 8 were non fiction
  • 2 were books of poetry
  • 8 were read out loud with Fletch after dinner
  • 12 I rated at 3.5 stars or below
  • 10 were 4 stars
  • 5 were 4.5 stars
  • And 3 were 5 stars
The high number rated at 3.5 or below doesn't surprise me.  Much of my reading ended up being what I would term "easy" books - either a chick-lit type or an easy mystery.  Nothing wrong with that and they are what my brain could handle much of the year, but I never tend to rate them very high.  Two of my favorites were re-reads from years ago:  "The Survival of the Bark Canoe" by John McPhee (love all of his writing) and "Woodswoman" by Anne LaBastille.  Another favorite (5 stars) was "South Moon Under" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  All of those were read out loud after dinner with Fletch.

I've already finished two books in 2021!  But I think I will save those for Wednesday's Unraveled Post.

Today I am going to venture into the office.  I have several things I need to print in color and I have a check to drop off covering my personal UPS charges when I sent out packages for Christmas.  There are also some errands to run:  Staples for a new notebook/journal for my 2021 knitting/reading/stitching, CVS for some vitamins and the State Store for some wine.  I don't plan to be in the office long...but that is always subject to change.

Wishing you all a great week!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!

 Happy New Year My Friends!

So, how are you all doing?  And how were your celebrations (or lack thereof)?  Fletch and I stopped going out on New Year's Eve decades ago.  We used to go into Philadelphia - a friend who live on South Street always threw a huge party.  But the drive in town was nasty and worse coming home.  So many folks on the road, etc.  Our routine now is that I make a crab quiche, we have a lovely dinner and I try to stay up till midnight (never a problem for Fletch...always a struggle for moi).

The crab quiche happened.  And man was it good!!  The recipe calls for 8 oz of crab, but I always put in a full pound.  This year I added some fresh spinach on the bottom, a bit of crumbled bacon and I cut back on the cheese a bit.  

I opened a bottle of wine to go with the quiche.  I am mostly a red wine drinker, but wanted a white wine to go with the crab.  Often I buy wine for the label and this one was no exception.  Because I practice archery some...

Such a great label!  And the wine was delicious - hints of apricot, light, fruity.  It is from Georgia (the country...not the state) and I highly recommend it.  I'm hoping I can find it again.

My plan had been to have a new cast on either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day and I was planning to make Heart Warmer which I have wanted to knit for some time.  BUT...I discovered I did not have any of the 16" circular needles called for (sizes 5, 4 and 3) and I didn't feel like using DPN.  So, Amazon to the rescue and my needles will be here Monday.  The yarn I've chosen is:

The varigated skein is not quite enough yarn, so I will use the solid "Mistletoe" coler at both ends of the cowl.

With that plan on hold till Monday, my new start today will be socks (what a surprise - lol).  My yarn is wound:

Both skeins from the stash.  (The "Hookah Smoke" skein was bought several years ago in Vermont when we were on vacation.  I had to buy it just for the name of the color!!  It is Wonderland Yarn.)  The pattern I plan to knit is Yule Wave - a free pattern I received from Carol Feller (Stolen Stitches).  

A dark picture, but you can get the idea.  They should be fun and pretty to knit.

There was no cast on last night...I tried to stay up till midnight but gave up at 9:30!  I ended up sleeping almost 11 hours, so I guess I really was tired.  Fletch said the neighborhood was quiet.  He could hear some fireworks, but all in the distance.

Today will be a quiet day with knitting and reading (and maybe even a nap despite 11 hours of sleep!).  Maybe a little yoga or a work out on the Gazelle we have (but it's in the basement and I find it SO boring).  Black eyed peas are cooking away in the crock pot with some spicy tomatoes (Rotel with chipolte!) and Andouille sausage.  I'll cook up some rice and some kale later on.

Well, after thinking I would not post until Monday the 4th, this has gone on for quite a bit!  Wishing you all the best start to a new year filled with joy, excellent health, laughter and love.  Enjoy!!