Thanks Lucille

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Wow.  A whirlwind REALLY TIRING weekend.  But fun.

First off, let me just say, without complaining about the type of weather (because I’m tired of complaining about the weather), that I was able to have one last wear of my wool vest when I worked at the yarn shop on Friday:


Then lets move on to the next two days, which we spent outside, racing.  Saturday saw the need for sweatshirts and long pants for a good portion of the day.  And then Sunday saw the need for short pants and t-shirts and sunscreen and hats and lots of water and towels to sop up the sweat.  (See?  No complaining.  Just telling you.)

But the racing was fun:

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Except for sometimes.  There were a few oil-downs.  That is when a car leaves the starting line, something horrendous happens in the car and then oil and/or other stuff spills out of the car all. the. way. down. the. quarter. mile. track.  And someone (several someones) has/have to clean it up.  And it takes for. EVER.  This happened right before our friend Rob was to go…..


So we waited.  Then I left to take some pictures from the tower:

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There was other waiting too.  Me waiting on the ATV:


Paul waiting in line to race:


But that’s the usual waiting.  So we took a selfie….


Paul wasn’t really thrilled about taking the selfie… can you tell?

And there was my usual other job (aside from waiting on the ATV, which I do in case something happens to the car and I have to go get him and tow him back):


Writing the dial-in number on the window. That number – 10.81 – means Paul thinks he will get down the quarter mile track in 10.81 seconds or slower in order to beat his opponent across the finish line. (He can’t go any faster than 10.81 seconds or he will lose!)

Because Sunday’s event was so well-attended, parking the trailers was a little sqooshy, so we didn’t have room to put up our canopy.  We spent our time between racing rounds sitting in a line, in the shade!


One of the best parts of the weekend (and it could be debatable as to who would call it the best) was thanks to Lucille, Rob’s mom.  She is a knitter-but-mostly-crocheter and asked me what I was working on.  So, I showed her my wonderful progress on the first side of my One Way Tee.  She looked at it for exactly one half of a second and said, “Is that supposed to be there?”:


It is a little hard to see in the picture, but there is a jog in that nice neat middle column of knit stitches.  It was incredibly obvious once she pointed  it out.  At first I said, “It’s on the back.  No one will notice.  I’m not the type of knitter who will undo everything for one mistake.  And it’s on the back.  No one will notice.”  (yes, I said “It’s on the back. No one will notice.”  more than once.)  I am so terribly impatient, and just did not want to have to knit it again.  Because really, who would notice? (again)  Then some time went by.  And I just couldn’t ignore it.  So, it went from this (15″):


(and yup, now that I’m looking at this picture, which I posted on the blog last week, I can totally see the mistake!)

To this:


…about 7″, in 3 minutes.  (And this second picture is the more accurate color, by the way.  I love it.)

As I was ripping it out and rolling the yarn back up, Lucille was apologizing profusely for pointing it out and feeling so badly that I ripped it all out.  But I told her not to worry – I was grateful that she saw it now, instead of me finding it when I was all done or already on to the second side.  So, THANK YOU to Lucille for her eagle eyes!

So, that was my holiday weekend.  How was yours?

Had To

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Crazy busy around here this week, but I wanted to tell you about last weekend before the craziness of this weekend.

Last weekend was pretty much all knitting-related.  I taught a class on Saturday and then went to The Periwinkle Sheep’s studio open house.  Fun to see where Karin does all her kettle and hand-dyeing.  Of course, I had to purchase:


That Shields of Garnet red yarn has been a favorite of mine for a while, and someone in my Saturday class was using it, so when I saw it at the open house in a new alpaca/merino/nylon blend, I had to try it.  Had to.  And then, I saw the watercolors gradient yarn that she is also testing out.  There was a pretty shawl there, showing what could be done with it, and of course that sold me on this one.  The pattern is Melodia and is likely what I will use with this yarn. So there was that.

Then, Paul and I had to deliver a car that he had done some repair painting on to the person it belonged to and that took us down to the Kingston area.  On the drive I worked on my One Way Tee:


I’m 3/4 done with the back.  It’s going along much more quickly than my Second Story Tee did (which you will see below!), and I think I like it better than the Second Story Tee.

We had breakfast and did some errands and then took the “back way” home, through Saugerties, which meant we were going right by The Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea Shop (two of my favorite things!) and so we had to stop.  Had to.


And of course I had to purchase.  Had to. :


So there was that.

Also, I got my new sneaks in the mail!:


They were purple so I had to buy them.  Had to. So cute, right? (Peach laces!)

I also saw this recipe for Marakesh Carrots on Joy the Baker’s blog and I had to make it because I love all the spices that are in it.


so. So. SO. YUMMY.

Also, yesterday was Paul’s birthday and he had to go to Jumpin’ Jack’s for his birthday dinner/dessert:

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Finally, I want to show you my finished (!!), but not yet blocked, Second Story Tee.  Here is the back:


And here is the front:


And here is a close-up of the front:


Notice anything?  I didn’t until I had finished it!  That last diagonal stripe stops too soon.  Right on the top of the front.  But, I don’t care.  No way, no how am I undoing this.  I can only hope 1) no one will notice or 2) it looks like it is supposed to be there.  However #1 is moot since I have just told you about it.  But… I had to.  That’s what this blog is all about, right?  : )



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Last Friday, Paul and I went to the Brimfield, Mass antiques show/flea market.  We try to go every year but missed last year.  It is HUGE and really, you can’t see the whole thing in one day.  But we put a good dent in it.

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There was even a booth with baked goods!:


And “vintage” ’80s pants purses.  Can you believe the ’80s are considered vintage???


And the winner for the booth that creeped me out the most:


Just. Weird.

There was lunch of course:


Paul’s “Gobbler” (aka: Thanksgiving on a roll) and my veggie wrap because the falafel place is now gone (SO. DISAPPOINTED.).  And my first purchase of the day, a cast iron corn stick baker.

We also saw yarn!


This picture might be deceiving… these were actually huge cones with super bulky yarn on them. (No, I didn’t buy any.)

And we saw what we think was the filming of an episode of Flea Market Flip:


Other purchases included a light for the outside of the garage which I forgot to get a picture of.  I also got two Fire King bowls to add to my blue collection:


And this wonderfully whimsical hummingbird garden stake made out of spoons!:


And on the way home there was this:


Of course.

Lots more to tell you about the weekend, but it will have to wait until the next post.  Hint: it involves yarn and knitting.

A Little Knitting. A Little Broccoli.

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A little knitting to tell you about today!  And broccoli.

I finished the Lophelia cowl and I. Love. It.


Here is me wearing it before blocking and with it looking more purple than it really is:


Then I blocked it on the deck since it was a gorgeous sunny day:


It grew, as it does, while blocking and now drapes very nicely in the front.  This cowl is so comfortable because it has short rows in the front the make the back less bulky (read: HOT) and hence, more of an accessory to compliment an outfit, rather than an item to keep you warm in winter.  LOVE. IT.  Class coming up at the shop in July!

My Second Story Tee is 1 1/2 arm edgings and a neck away from being done, so hopefully you’ll see that next time.

And since I finished the Lophelia, I had to start something else, so I started the One Way Tee which is from the same Interweave KNITS magazine as the Second Story Tee. I’ve barely started so I can’t show it to you yet.

Then there was the broccoli.  Hands down the best way to eat broccoli:


Crispy Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic from Smitten Kitchen.  Ok, Broccoli Salad is also pretty up there.  But, have you tried it crispy????  Seriously, you won’t be able to stop eating it.  So good.  Thank goodness we went to BJ’s this weekend and I got a two pound bag of it.

More About Books

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Just a couple more things about books today, in case you didn’t have enough about books last time, and since nothing too terribly exciting has happened this week.

1) Books I’ve read recently, before I break into my new stash:

The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins. Excellent. Reminded me of Gone Girl with it’s on-the-edge main character.

Open Season (A Joe Pickett Novel)
by C.J. Box. I’ve recently discovered him and I like his books. Suspenseful mysteries that take place in the wilderness with a recurring character who is a game warden.

The Chase: A Novel (Fox and O’Hare)
by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. A new series that, similar to the Stephanie Plum books, is fun, funny and exciting.

Guilty Wives
by James Patterson. Suspenseful and exciting, it takes a turn in the beginning, just when you think you know where the story is going.

Gray Mountain: A Novel
by John Grisham. It was only ok. I haven’t read a Grisham novel in a long time. I probably won’t pick another one up for a while. The story was just the same old small-town-lawyer-battling-the-big-guys thing and I was a little bored.

Liberty Falling (Anna Pigeon)
by Nevada Barr. Just finished this one last night and really enjoyed it. Her books take place in national parts and have a recurring character who is interesting. Supsenseful!

2) It was all about mixing up the colors with the doodlebugs:


Great book called Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet.  It’s fun and interactive.  He also wrote Press Here.

Click on any of those links to get them on Amazon.

There has been lots of knitting but nothing to show you yet that would be exciting.  Hoping to finish up some things this weekend to show you Monday.


The Book Sale

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Recently, it was the town-wide garage sale.  Which also meant it was the annual Altamont Free Library Book Sale/Fundraiser.


Which meant I was all over that.

As I have discussed before, books are, to me, exactly like yarn:

1) Can’t have too much/many.

2) Even it you have a lot at home, there is room for more.  Mostly.

3) No, you can’t NOT buy more, because what if you never get the chance to see this yarn ever again or buy this book at such a great price?

4) They are wonderful.

5) They smell good.  Mostly.

So, at 8:30 am I was there, even though it started at 9:00 (and I was not the first one) and got my first haul:


(Ha! Two books, same title, different authors)  Then I worked at the yarn shop for the morning.  It was so funny to see customers/garage sale-ers coming in to look at the yarn, holding a single book, or a tool box, or a frying pan:


After my shift, it was time for the $1-for-as-many-fit-in-a-bag book sale back at the library, so off I went and got the rest of my haul (2 bags worth):


You may ask, “Why not just wait for the bag sale?”  Well, I’ll tell you.  I’m terribly impatient and can’t stand the thought of missing some kind of great book at the beginning, that someone else might get.  It truly is a sickness.  So, for all those books (which happens to number 23, which happens to be the exact number I bought last year), I paid $10.50 (plus $4.50 added donation because I love the library and I use it often).  So great.  However, now, I have outgrown my bookcase and they are sitting in bags on the floor.  Just so you know, that in no way, no how, proves the above #1 or #3 wrong (see #2, #4 and #5 for added emphasis).

In other recent news of the doodlebug variety, we read a book about a policeman who was looking at fingerprints, so we decided to look at our own!


And we planted our Scarlet Runner bean plants outside:


And in other recent news of the knitterly variety, I taught the Heaven and Space shawl class, which went really well and everyone got a great start to their project:


And I am this close to finishing the second side of my Second Story Tee.  I’m not showing it to you yet, because it looks exactly like the first side (except slanting the other way) and that would be boring.  So, I’ll show it to you when I am completely done with the tee….I just wanted to create a little anticipation-dare-I-say-suspense on this blog.

Oops, almost forgot there was this, too:


I’m In Love

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I’m in love.  I know, you think you already know that because Paul is the best husband ever, as evidenced here on this blog quite often.  But really, what I’m in love with today is this wonderful invention:


The hot water heater.  For 7 1/2 years, we had a “tankless” water heating system that was not terribly hot at it’s hottest and didn’t even stay not-terribly-hot for terribly long.  Let me tell you, the winters are long and the quick showers seem even longer when you have water like that.  And on top of that, the water pressure was terrible, which makes showers for me that much more miserable because I have thick hair and showers take even ten times more longer (don’t talk to me about that grammar…it’s says what I mean) because of that.  So, now that this very long eighth winter has ended and the weather is warming up, we got an electric water heater with a 50-gallon-nice-and-hot-with-no-chance-of-running-out-of-hot-water-and-Paul-rigged-it-to-have-good-water-pressur tank.  Despite it coming at the end of the longest, coldest winter in the history of the world…. Oh. My. Gosh.  What a difference.  Nice, consistent, hot water with consistent, strong water pressure.  I feel like we won the lottery.

But do you know what I also love?  That the winter has ended! Things up here on the hill happen a little slower than down in town, but here are some signs…

Flowering everything.

Red Maple:


Forsythia – in town they are totally bloomed, but that’s ok.  These for-now-few are beautiful.


Flowering crabapple:


Bleeding heart:


Daffodils and rhododendron:


If you look carefully in middle, near the tops of the reeds, there is a red-winged black bird:


I think he and/or some other birds are nesting in there.  I heard a lot of rustling and saw three different kinds of birds fly out of there.

A couple of nuisance-y things too, such as the groundhog hole under the shed:


And seeing the lilies growing amongst the brick pieces that fell off our chimney this winter, necessitating some potentially not-fun (read: expensive) fixing:


But even the nuisance-y things don’t seem too terrible.  I think the groundhog is cute. (Paul doesn’t).

And the last thing I love (for today anyway) are these Not Derby Pie Bars from Smitten Kitchen:

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Buttery crust, chocolate, and pecans.  Tastes like a not-so-sweet pecan pie. Oh. My. Gosh. (which I’ve now said twice in this blog post)…


And if you eat them while they are still warm, or put the in the microwave for a few seconds…… Just go.  Make them.

A Because-It’s-Tuesday List

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Today, it’s Tuesday, so you get a list:

1)  Ok.  So enough about the crappy weather.  Guess what I saw the other day?  The turtles from our pond were sunning themselves on a rock!  That HAS to be a good sign, right? RIGHT??????

2)  In the meantime, to break up the monotony of my Second Story Tee, which is coming along nicely, I started the Lophelia cowl:


I think it is very pretty, although it’s hard to see, really, while it’s on the needles, and not terribly far along.  So, go click the link and see the pattern picture.  It has short rows, so there is not a lot of bulk in the back of the neck and it hangs nicely in the front.  Kind of like a necklace.  Kind of.  I’m using Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors yarn in the Rhinebeck 2010 colorway.  Yes, I have had it for 4 1/2 years, waiting for the right project and this is it.

3) I changed my phone ring tone and text alert tone to the “popcorn” sound because I love popcorn and I love that it is named popcorn.

4) I made this:

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Martha’s Cheddar Topped Shepherd’s Pie.  So. Very. Yummy.

Snow, Bags, Cookies, Pie, Knitting, Cars

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Are you tired of hearing me complain about the weather yet?  Well, I’m not done.  My last post was on Thursday.  This was Friday:


Snowy and COLD. I did some knitting and finished this Bag! You’re it! market bag for an upcoming class:


Saturday was also cold.  But, I did lots of warm, home-y baking.  Cookies for the next day’s Northeast GS/GN Club Spring Meeting (car club):


Top Rack:  Smitten Kitchen’s Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies (SO. YUMMY. My new favorite.)

Bottom Rack: Tollhouse White Chip Chocolate Cookies (also very yummy.)

And an apple pie for my mother-in-law’s birthday:


Another great pie that I was very happy with!  And my MIL liked it, which was most important.  This time I used Ina Garten’s pie crust recipe from her Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust cookbook.  I’ve come to realize that butter AND shortening are the key to a good crust.  For the filling, I used Martha’s Brown Butter Apple Pie recipe (except for the vanilla bean which I didn’t have).  It was very yummy, but to be honest, you couldn’t taste the brown butter.

While waiting for batches of cookies and the pie to bake, I made a second dishcloth (the light blue one), also for my MIL:


The first one (the darker blue) I made earlier in the week and that only took me a day, too.  They are quick! She has come to really like using these to wash dishes (She does not have a dishwasher.  Except when we are invited for dinner!).

The next day was the club meeting and we travelled to somewhere near Martha’s house.(Stewart, that is)  The meeting is held in a car repair shop/garage and there is lots of talk about… wait for it…  And looking at cars, and at new pick up trucks for towing cars.  I get to do things like bring cookies and help sell raffle tickets.  When it gets down to the actual business part of the meeting, where they talk about upcoming races and other club business, I do this:


Ha!  Finally working on that second side of my Second Story Tee.

Here was the view above me:


And this is Ray:


You’ve met him before.  He is Paul’s friend Rob’s dad, and my pit-crew-chief collegue/chatting buddy at all the racing events.  He is funny, easy to be around, and is always the voice of reason when things get a little tense at the events (i.e. cars break).  We were discussing the upcoming trip to a drag racing event in Ohio and Paul mentioned to Ray that I was already researching what yarn shops I could go to out there.  Ray said that he could relate to that because he looks for gun shops whenever he travels.  See why we get along?

This is ridiculous…

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Ok, so… SERIOUSLY??????

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It’s 35 degrees today. The snow from this morning melted but now it’s snowing again.  And we had sleet covering the deck last night.  So. Over. It.

But yesterday was a beautiful day.  Nice enough for the doodlebugs to go up and down Grandma’s street 12 times “putting out fires”…


In knitting news, I finished and blocked my Spectral cowl:

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….and I am yet again in a there-is-so-much-to-knit-and-I-just-don’t-have-enough-hands-to-work-on-them-all-simultaneously phase.  Which leads me to be somewhat stuck and not knitting much.  What I really should be doing is working on the second half of my Second Story Tee:


It would be nice to be done with it soon so I can wear it. However, I was telling someone yesterday that this feels a bit like knitting socks.  Instead of having Second Sock Syndrome, I’m having Second Side (Story?) Syndrome.  I’ve knit the first side, and it seemed to take forever.  And now the second side is exactly the same and I’m just not in the mood to knit the same exact thing all over again.  But I want to wear it!

So instead I started working on the Bag! You’re it! market bag to teach as a class this summer.  And I found this cool cowl too. Apparently I have no problems creating distractions to avoid monotony.