Where we last were…

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I think we had gotten back from our Vermont trip, right?  That was the last post…. at the end of August????  Here we are virtually at the end of September.  Here is what you missed (in case you were wondering…):

First and foremost, the doodlebugs started all-day, every day kindergarten and they don’t need me anymore. **SNIFF**  I took care of them half a week for FIVE years and I can’t believe how grown up they are.  I will miss them on Tuesdays and Thursdays but I’m so happy that they are loving school and since we are related, I’ll still get to see them pretty often!  Along with some Reeses peanut butter cups and a comfy blanket with pictures of them on it, they gave me a wonderful thank you card:

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(I didn’t know my favorite tv show was Spiderman.)

There was also Labor Day which meant the Buick/Olds/Pontiac Challenge (which Paul WON – winner winner chicken dinner!) and Musclepalooza and a busy racing weekend.  I had to get this picture of my pit crew buddy Ray behind me in the staging lanes:


He didn’t look too thrilled.

And sometimes there is this:


My job was to hurry up and get the gas container because if Paul won that round, he would need more.  He did!

The following weekend we went to Cape Cod for our almost-yearly after-the-crowds-leave trip.  I’ll tell you what… it was still crowded.  Here is what was good about the weekend:


A yummy meal at Arnold’s.(Yes we got SALAD with our fried-everything-else.)


A beautiful sunset in Rock Harbor.



A visit to a yarn shop I hadn’t been to before in Chatham called A Great Yarn.  Such a great little shop (that was also a bookstore!).  I was flattered when she told me I was too young to remember what their button holder was. (I’M NOT!)  The blue yarn in the above photo was dyed especially with the town of Chatham in mind.  And the purple yarn is Koigu KPPPM which I love.  And it’s purple.

The rest of the weekend everything else seemed to not be going our way.  On the way to the Cape, we stopped a the Brimfield antique show and it was so humid, we left there sopping wet.  The bathroom in our hotel room was malfunctioning in several ways the first night, with no other room for us to move to.  There were tiny ants all over our table at the breakfast place we like to go to.  We specifically went to Cape Cod because we love to sit on the beach and listen to the waves, but it was so windy we couldn’t even walk and the sand was blowing in our faces.  The rest of the time it was horribly humid.  Then on the way home, at a rest stop, I slammed my thumb in the trunk of the car, getting it stuck and necessitating me banging on the trunk to get Paul to push the button to open it up.

Several days of not knitting later…

I was able to rally when we went to Maryland for the last race of the season.  In the car, I was able to work on the baby sweater I was supposed to finish several days earlier (see aforementioned trunk incident):


And then I finished it, blocked it and sewed buttons on it in the hotel room:


So I could give it to the recipient (sort of).


That’s Denny and Renee talking to Paul and Rob – the sweater was for their grandbaby! (The discussion here is around why Paul’s slick – the back racing tire – was flat and would the plug hold the next time he went down the track.  It did.)

Returning home from Maryland, there was a frenzy of rescheduling cancelled knitting lessons (see aforementioned trunk incident), frantically knitting samples for upcoming classes since I lost some days:

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…and now figuring out how to work in the commissioned seaming and blocking projects I have waiting for me that got even further delayed (see aforementioned trunk incident).

Whew – good thing I have a little extra time now that the doodlebugs are in school!

P.S. I also couldn’t resist getting the last two skeins of Periwinkle Sheep Elderberry during the grand re-opening week at The Spinning Room because not only is it my favorite purple in the world, I got several more chances to enter the raffle (which I didn’t win):


P.P.S More information on the yarn and patterns up there the next time.

Toad in a Hole

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I’ll explain the title of this post in a bit. But first, I have to tell you that my eldest nephew, Nicholas, went to college this week at Columbia.  I am so excited for him because he going to the college he really wanted to go to and I just can’t believe he is old enough to go to college.  Here is a picture that was texted to me of his room:


The BLANKET!!  The blanket I knit for him!!  HOORAY!!

Meanwhile, Paul and I took an overnight trip to Vermont.  We try to go every year but haven’t been in a few.

We have our favorite stops to make, including:


White Cottage Snack Bar for their awesome onion rings (and ice cream).


King Arthur Flour in Norwich for, well, everything above and not enough.   I love that place and will someday go take one of their classes.


A cruise by our old house to sneak a peek at how it looks.  It looked pretty good but Paul says the flowering crabapple trees need trimming.  And they have a sort of horrendous looking “garden” in the back.  That huge tree in front has started changing colors.


We loved our view of the mountains. (those trees are blocking it)


While checking out our house, we made a stop at Farm-Way which is an excellent farm supply, clothing, outdoor stuff and housewares store.  They have a huge Vera Bradley section and I got a lightweight bathrobe and matching mechanical pencils!  SCORE!

We went to dinner at an English pub and brew house where we had a good beer and I had Toad in a Hole for dinner. What a name right???  That’s why I had to put it as the blog title.  So yummy.  A grown up pig-in-a-blanket:  a sausage, onions, cheese and chutney wrapped in puff pastry.  (I was so into it, I forgot a picture…) Paul had Shepherd’s Pie which he said had too many mashed potatoes and then we heard the waitress telling someone they were out of Shepherd’s Pie so we think he got the end of the batch and they had to make up for it by adding extra potatoes.  But, dessert made up for it:


Apple crisp for him and tea and biscuits (Lorna Doones) for me.

It was a nice, quick trip away.

Oh, but the knitting!  In the car ride on the way up, I wanted to finish a project I started a long time ago:


The Blue Jager Cowl from the Baby & Me Knits book by local designer, Celeste Young.  I was cruising along until:


Ran out of yarn 5 rows from the end.  I had what I thought was all the yarn I bought for the project and couldn’t understand why I would have bought less yardage than it called for.  Luckily when we got home, I found the other ball (whew!) and finished it up:


When the yarn ran out, I decided to work on this:


I forget what it is called because I forgot to put it in Ravelry but it is a scarf/wrap thing that I saw at the Cashmere Goat yarn shop in Maine last year (or the year before?) and had to make it.  It is soooooo incredibly soft and I love it.  Since it is just stockinette, I bring it out for long car rides so I don’t have to look while I’m knitting and get car sick.

At the hotel, I worked on my Stormcloud Mitts:


Here’s the thing with those.  In this picture, it looks pretty good.  In daylight, I don’t like it at all.  The colors just don’t seem to look good to me – it looks much more strikingly striped – and the beads get lost.  I had switched to this yarn because my other yarn…


(this one) seemed to be too dark and I was having trouble seeing my stitches while working a new-to-me stitch, and it was a little fuzzy/splitty.  But really, it turned out I just didn’t know how to work the pattern.    Now I do, and I think I might switch back. I hate it when I get SO excited about a project and then it doesn’t do what I want it to. It will all work out, I’m sure.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime I’m dying to get back to my Amulet Shawl from the Shawl Society which got put on hold while I worked on class projects:


Finally for today, a shot of yesterday’s garden harvest:


That is just ONE day!  We have already had tons of beans and grape tomatoes and zucchini and peppers.  This is the first corn picking and some of them were duds (either picked too soon or they got rotten and we didn’t pick them in time).  Tonight I am freezing tomatoes, zucchini and beans.  It really is so exciting to grow your own food.  Aside from the new setup cost, we spent less than $15 on plants and seeds.  Amazing.

A Few Things

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It’s been REALLY HOT around here these days.  And HUMID.  I don’t do well with that.  I’m a terrible wimp in the heat and humidity and more importantly– the things it does to my HAIR.  Horrendous.  Baseball hats and barrettes with a million bobby pins are my friends.

So, what did I do the other day?  I had to take Paul’s ’69 Buick GS for an inspection so, smart-wimp-in-the-heat that I am, decided to do my errands in it while I was out.


No air conditioning.  No power windows.  No power brakes.  Standard transmission. E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y  slow traffic behind a dump truck on the way up The Hill making the trip home twice as long.  Never mind the fact that Paul keeps this car so clean and well-dusted (which on any other day is a great thing) that my purse kept sliding off the seat and things were flying out of it everywhere.  You can imagine my mood.

On another note, I took some pictures of my Miss Winkle on the mannequin and I just love it even more:

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These really show the color well and it really is my most favorite purple in the world.  Really.

And lastly, I made these:


Blueberry Crumb Bars from Smitten Kitchen. Go make them.  Now.  And then enjoy them this weekend!

Medals and Ribbons

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I finished all my Oympics knitting projects before the end of the games!  Hooray!  If you remember, my last project to start and finish was the Miss Winkle:

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DONE!  I’ll show you a picture on the mannequin when it is dry.  This will be a class at The Spinning Room on Saturday, October 22!

However, my finishing on time was pretty much down to the wire.  I was having such a hard time finding knitting time.  An hour here, an hour there and I felt like I was never going to get it done.  We even went to the Madison-Bouckville Antique Fair which included a total of 3 1/2 hours in the car — prime knitting time, right?  WRONG!  I had a horrible night’s sleep the night before so I slept on the car ride.  THEN, my friend Jana distracted me by sending me a link to these Stormcloud Mitts.  At which time I had to abandon my Olympics knitting and go upstairs to figure out what yarn I could use to make them and look for beads.


I’m casting on for these tonight.

Needless to say, I finished despite the hurdles.  Ha!  See what I did there? I was watching track and field and the hurdles events.  I would say I got a gold medal for finishing what I set out to do.

Then there was the Altamont Fair and the annual Spinning Bee.  As usual, fun was had by all.  There were 6 spinners competing and I finished in a three-way tie (which is crazypants to have three people spin the exact same length of yarn) for third with 124 yards spun in 30 minutes!  The winner, Kurt, spun 278 yards.  WOW.

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So, I got a ribbon for that.

Then, there were my judged entries to the Wool Nook that got fourth, sixth and seventh places.  Hooray!


No offense to my competitors but I must tell you that my dad saw my purple shawl in the display case and felt it should have placed higher.  He is in no way biased and is totally a professional knitting judge, so he would know. ; )

OOH!  We got to see the Budweiser Clydesdale horses and boy were they beautiful…

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The Olympics (and other stuff)

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One of my favorite times of every four years – the summer Olympics.  Paul and I both love watching them so we are parked in front of the tv by 8pm every night (which actually is no different from any other night).  We only have basic, basic, basic, cable so we actually miss out on things like table tennis and trampoline and I’m pretty sad about that.  But otherwise, we can’t tear ourselves away (except during the zillion commercials).

The other great thing about the Olympics is the knitting challenge that comes along with it.  Pick a project (or projects) that you think would be a challenge to finish between the lighting of the torch and the end of the closing ceremonies.  And thanks to my Aunt Kathy who reminded me to get things in order before the opening ceremonies, I came up with a plan.  I wanted to start and/or finish knitting the three projects I have left for upcoming classes in the fall.

So far, since the Olympics have started, I have started and finished the Tamarugo hat:


Boy did that one knit up fast.  This class will be Saturday, September 24 at 12:30!

Then, I finished my Silverleaf shawl:


…which will look much better once it is blocked.  I’ll show it to you then, too.  So, click on the link up there to see what it will really look like. This was a great pattern and I just think it is so pretty.  This class will be Saturdays, September 24 and October 8 at 10:30!

Then, last night I started Miss Winkle:


So interesting how it is constructed.  And I love, Love, LOVE this color of the Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors II (Elderberry).  I need to get more to make something else.  It’s probably the best purple ever.  And now I have 9 days to finish it.  This class will be Saturday, October 22 at 10:30!

(And for anyone wondering, I’m scheduling another session of the Wheaten wrap for Sunday, September 25 at 11:30am)  Here is a picture of mine:


The Spinning Room will be re-opening next Tuesday, August 16 but in the meantime, if you are interested in any of these classes, you can send an email to info@spinningroom.net and let them know.

In the meantime (and while knitting), Paul and I took a day trip to Old Forge, NY.  We went to Old Forge Hardware and poked around for a while.  You could spend a lot of time (and cash) in there.  So many things there that you didn’t know you needed!

How about a whole aisle of cookie cutters and cookie jars?


Or, more choices of butter dishes than you ever knew existed?


And some yarn!  I think there was a little less than the last time we are there, so I fear it may be dwindling…  But I bought a skein of sock yarn which I forgot to take a picture of.

After that we sat by the lake and ate lunch.  It was a beautiful day (in the shade).

The last thing I will leave you with is a garden update.  Here was the garden at my last post (7/29/16):


And here it is today:


Look at the CORN!  We are terribly excited about having homegrown corn.  I did some shake-pollinating (I made that term up) which means I shook the stalks so the little pollen bits come off the top of the stalks and fall all over the leaves and into the nooks and crannies where the corn will come out.  And I also did a little hand-pollinating (I did NOT make that term up) which means taking the bits off by hand and placing them on the silky bits of corn that are popping out.  Beans are growing like crazy and I’ve already frozen a couple batches.  Zucchini is going bananas (is that a mixed metaphor?) and I’m starting to get just tired enough of it to make a zucchini bread later today.

Pretty soon, I’m off to put some entries into the Altamont Fair which starts August 16.  Then on the 20th I’ll be participating in the Spinning Bee there.  Fun times ahead.  I’ll keep you posted.

“Rabbit Proof”

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The garden has absolutely exploded in the past two weeks.


Here is what it looked like on July 18:


I can’t see my pepper plants anymore.  Poor planning.  From last night until this afternoon, I watched a zucchini grow an inch and a half.  Crazypants.  I harvested one yellow cherry tomato last night which Paul and I split.  It was yummy.   No other tomatoes ready yet.  But pretty soon, we will have cherry tomatoes, zucchini and beans coming out our ears, then bigger tomatoes and hopefully corn.  And Paul says, “Clearly, we need to expand next year.”

If you’ll recall, I only got two pea plants to come in because “peas are fussy.”  The other day, when Paul came home from work, I was talking to him about my day, yammering on, blah, blah, blah and I realized he did not seem to be listening anymore (with all my very important blah, blah, blah-ing, I have no idea why something might distract him…).  He was staring out the dining room door.  Then he suddenly leapt out the door and into the backyard yelling, “There’s a rabbit in there!” WhaaaaaT?????

Here is what used to be one of my two pea plants:


All the flowers and the two little tiny growing peas nibbled off by A RABBIT!!!!!  In our FENCED IN garden.  Which has  RABBIT PROOF FENCING.  Rabbit proof, my a$$.  We chased him around with the gate open and him trying to leap through the rabbit proof portion and not getting out, from the inside (oh the irony).  He finally found his way out the gate.  The next evening we saw who we assume was the same rabbit sitting out there looking at the fence and we chased him away.  I could just see the thought bubble over his head, “Hmmm.  Now which part did I jump through….?”

Ok, that rabbit has gotten enough blog time.  On to some knitting….

My Shawl Society Amulet has sadly been put on the back burner and very soon there will be another pattern coming out and I’ll feel woefully behind.  But, I had to move on to knitting projects for fall classes.  While we were at Washington Park seeing Chicago, I started knitting the Sultana Cabled Hat:


I got this far:


And now I am ripping it out.  I love the hat and think it is so pretty. This was going to be a cool pattern to teach too, because it has a cable that needs two cable needles. Fun!  BUT.  My hands started hurting when I was knitting it.  Maybe it’s all the knitting I’ve been doing anyway and this put me over the edge but the small circular needle and the cables requiring some tight knitting just made them hurt.  In fact, I had to stop knitting for a few days to let my hands/arms rest.  Horrors!!!  I didn’t know what to do with myself, especially in front of the tv.

So, I think I will do a different hat with a pretty slip-stich pattern instead: Tamarugo

Then, I taught the What Alice Found class last Saturday:


And showed everyone the pictures of the superhero masks I made for the doodlebugs.  They all agreed that would also make a great class, especially to have before Halloween.  So, I knit the class sample for that:


Then I started the Frida Baby Cardigan in my new favorite Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Tonals:


And then I got all excited about finding this Silverleaf pattern and had to start that, too:


In doodlebug news, we painted al fresco the other day:


They love that they get to wear Uncle Paul’s old car t-shirts as their smocks.

That was before it got REALLY, REALLY hot and I found this super funny cartoon on Facebook:


I laughed so hard.

And finally, tomorrow is Deirdre’s last day of running The Spinning Room yarn shop!  We will miss her as an owner but will be lucky enough to still see her at knit-ins.  And I was lucky enough to have her want me to come back and teach classes after I sold the shop to her and I am thankful to her for that.  She was great to work for and did a great job with the shop.  I made her a cake:


And after a two-week shutdown, The Spinning Room will open again on August 16 with six new owners!

As Promised – Superheroes, The Shawl Society and the garden

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Tons more knitting to show you and talk about….

I made these incredibly cute Masked Superheo and Burglar Hats for the doodlebugs’ birthday coming up:

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There is a cartoon called PJ Masks that they like (kids go out in the middle of the night in their pj’s to do superhero-y things) and their masks look just like this!  They knit up so quick – each one took one night and they are relatively easy.  If you have a kid who loves playing superheroes, make this.  And if you are an adult who like to play with the kids, it comes in adult sizes!  There are several variations and even directions to make a lightning bolt on the side.

Truth be told, while these did take just one night to make, I had a couple of bumps along the way.  I started out making a smaller size and realized  when I was almost done with one of them that it really would be way too small, so I had to start over.  Then, when I finished the second one, thinking I was oh-so-great-I’m-just-going-to-bind-off-I-don’t-need-the-directions, I did this:


Bound off with the corners facing that way.  Instead of this way:


Do you know how annoying it is to undo a bind off?  Really annoying.  So, do yourself a favor and read the instructions even though you’ve already made one and think you are a know-it-all.

I think they will love them (fingers crossed).

I also made another dishcloth as a hostess-y gift to a breakfast we went to:


This is the Basic Diamonds pattern from a Leisure Arts booklet of dishcloths.  that one was quick too – two nights.   I gave it with some lemon verbena kitchen hand soap.  I never knew how many people loved to wash dishes with these.  It’s a thing apparently.  Me? I do everything I can NOT to wash dishes so I get VERY creative with filling the dishwasher.

Then there is The Shawl Society.  It is basically a 6-month subscription to patterns designed by Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade podcast. I “joined” this a few months ago and then waited and waited until June to get the first pattern.  One pattern comes out each month through November and you have no idea what they patterns will be like until you open your email each month.  You join with the intent to get all 6 patterns and you can join at any time to get all the patterns to-date.  After the 6 months is over, they will be for sale individually.   I really like her patterns so I was willing to take the chance of not knowing what they will look like!  The first one I showed you in the last post, Talisman:


The second one came out in early July and is called the Amulet.  I’ve gotten through the body and will start the lace section soon:


Something fun and different to do with your knitting.

But the predictable thing has happened.  Now, I have a whole bunch of knitting I need to do to get ready for classes in the fall but all I want to do is knit the Amulet because I know another new pattern will be coming out in a couple of weeks and I’ll be dying to start THAT one.  Ugh – the things knitters have to deal with.  Seriously.

Here are some patterns I am looking at to offer as classes in the fall:

Frida Baby Cardigan: A cute cardi with some cable details.

Sultana Cabled Hat: A cool hat with a pom pom and a cable that uses TWO cable needles – something new and different to learn.

Miss Winkle: An asymmetrical shawl/scarf by one of my favorite designers, Martina Behm.

In non-knitting news, Paul and I spent a year at the Brimfield Antiques show last Friday.  Actually, it was 3 1/2 hours but it felt like a year because it. was. so. hot.  We went very early but it got hot really quickly.  We tried to walk through quickly, trying to spot things we wanted.  A pedal car and/or step stools for Paul to re-do. (I’m totally blanking on the correct work for what he would do to those.  “Re-do” is all I can think of.  You get what I mean.)  And I was looking for square blue Fire King dishes and purple bottles (my newest collecting obsession).  We had some luck this time. Paul found a pedal tractor:


(and an old window to turn into a picture frame).  And I found two more purple bottles:


(the two on the right).  Then I got a quart (yes, a quart) of Del’s frozen lemonade to drink on the way back to the truck.

We also hopped downtown last Tuesday to see the Altamont Free Library-sponsored concert in the park.  Rusticator played and we had a nice evening having a picnic dinner and listening to music.


(Yes, that drummer’s bass is a Samsonite suitcase.  His whole set fits in there somehow, I think.)

In gardening news:


It was looking incredibly sad a month ago when we returned from vacation.  Then I realized I had never fortified the soil we put in there with anything to help it grow.  So we diligently gave it Miracle-Gro for a few weeks and now it’s doing great!  I’m frustrated with the zucchini since the blossoms keep falling off with no fruit growing.  The Internets say that this means they are male blossoms and they will be pollenating the female somethings eventually and there will be fruit someday.  Supposedly.  And I only have two and a half pea plants out of the whole two rows I planted.  My dad says, “Peas are fussy.”  We set aside a whole half a planter for three rows of corn which the Internets also tell me I will have to hand-pollenate when the time comes.  Should be interesting.

One last thing:  Inquiring minds (my mom’s) want to know why there were no ice cream pictures from our vacation.  Were you wondering the same thing?  Well, I’ll tell you why.  It’s because Maine has TERRIBLE soft ice cream.  We tried three and a half times to get soft ice cream.  Three of the times it was just not good – too soft, too icy-y, not creamy.  The third time we tried to go to a place we were sure we had had good ice cream before and it was closed due to a family emergency.  I did have the absolute best Gifford’s brand hard ice cream in the flavor Campfire S’mores and will spend much of the rest of my summer trying to find it somewhere around here.  It was so. good.  So good that I ate it too fast to take a picture of it.  THAT’s why there were no ice cream pictures.


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Well.  Apparently I took a blog-cation.  I didn’t mean to, exactly.  My last post was just a day before we went on a regular vacation (which I don’t blog about ahead of time in case there are some weirdos out there on the Internets who keep track of that, then break into my house while I’m gone).  Then, while I was gone, one of the court reporters I proofread for held all the work she would have given me and then gave it all to me when I got back.  I’m looking at it as a compliment that she did not want to ask any other proofreader to do it because she likes my work so much (??), and I’m trying not to complain that it’s not worth it to go on vacation if I have to do twice the work when I get back, because she is really nice and I’m glad she sends me ALL her work.  But, that meant I was super busy when I got back.  For a long time.  And then it was the July 4th holiday weekend and we were busy doing that type of stuff.  More on that later.  THEN, the same reporter asked me to do a super duper rush job the following weekend, PLUS I had a knitting class to get ready for and teach.  So there.  That’s my excuse for the blog-cation.  And now I’m back.  Here’s what you missed:

We went on vacation!  We went to Maine and saw all kinds of beautiful views:

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We did a little hiking and one day it was a little bit spur-of-the-moment and I ended up bringing my purse:


I did however have appropriate footwear and attire.  I felt really silly carrying my outlet-Coach purse on a hike……until I saw a woman who not only had a purse, but she had high-heeled fancypants boots and a nice “outfit” on.  She looked pretty uncomfortable.  I have no idea how she walked across the very rocky can-only-get-across-it-at-low-tide sand to get to the trail.

But we had another nice view on that hike:


We also went to Acadia National Park, to the Jordan Pond House restaurant and had their WONDERFUL popovers (with butter and strawberry jam).  And I had their yummy tea.


While on vacation I knit.  A lot.  But not until after I bought an obnoxious amount of yarn from two yarn shops on the way up.  I’m blaming the “obnoxious” part on Paul because he was such an enabler (I just love him SO much for that.  It’s his best quality.).  I must say, though, that I’ve been knitting with that yarn like crazy.  At our cottage I started and finished  the Shawl Society’s first shawl Talisman:

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It’s hard to see but there is a pretty little star pattern in the body.  Love the pattern!  I might knit it again someday. (Especially because I gave this one away as a birthday present to my friend Chrissy – she’s worth it.)  I think it might make a good class.

Then, while still on vacation I started and almost finished the Campside Shawl:

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… which I finished shortly after we got home.  Love that one too. (These pictures could be better…)

And while driving up to and back from Maine, I worked on my nephew’s not-really-a-surprise blanket for him to take to college.  After we got back, on July 4th weekend, my sister had a little party for him and it still wasn’t finished (so close, though!) so I gave it to him while it was still on the needles, then took it back and finished it the next day (it was THAT close) and sent it right back to him!  He liked it!:


Look out Columbia!

The knitting class I taught was for the Lotno Shawl.  Here is the one I made and showed you previously:


And everyone in class got a great start:


If you are interested in taking this class, send me an email through the blog (liz at lizytishknits dot com) or post in the comments.  I’m pulling together my fall teaching schedule and can schedule this again.  It’s a fun, easy knit.

BY THE WAY…. The Spinning Room has been sold to a wonderful group of ladies who will take over on August 1!  So exciting! (However they are taking two weeks to get organized so the shop will be closed August 1-15)

When I was at my friend Chrissy’s, giving her the shawl, we saw this in her backyard:

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OWLS!!  I just love owls.  I can’t tell you how badly I have wanted to see the owl that has been hooting around our yard for a few years.  There were about four of them and a couple were smaller so we thought maybe it was learning-to-fly day.  They were flying up and down from the trees.  But the greatest thing was that they were taking a bath in her sprinkler!  Spreading their wings out and waiting for the spray to come around and rain on them, then ruffling their feathers and rubbing their faces in the wet grass.  It was so amazing to watch – we watched and watched and watched.  And then were late to the kids’ tennis practice.  It was worth it.

Ok that’s it for now.  Lots more knitting to tell you about involving superheroes and dishes and The Shawl Society and classes. And I need to show you my garden!

The Garden – Finally! And a knitted thing. And a goodie.

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We’ve been working on the garden, trying to improve it and make it easier to be a garden.  It has taken us a while but finally we have our garden in!

We used to just have an 8×8 square of dirt with a fence around it and I would have to walk in and amongst the veggies to weed and pick.  But now we have two 4×8 beds with a border around them for me to walk and a fence around the whole thing:

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It’s so great!  I can’t wait for all my veggies to grow.

Also, it’s been so cold we didn’t know if our peonies were ever going to bloom (our forsythia bush didn’t, and our flowering crabapple trees didn’t and our rhododendrons didn’t).  They looked like this for ages:


But this week they finally bloomed!


In knitting news, I finished my What Alice Found cowl:


I love it!  I especially love the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Tonals yarn.  It is a dream to work with.  This will be a class on July 23 at The Spinning Room if you are local and would like to participate!

And now it’s on to working on my not-terribly-secret-but-sort-of-secret project for my college bound nephew…


In baking news, my friend Deirdre, owner of The Spinning Room, gave me some rhubarb from her garden!  So I made this Rhubarb Snacking Cake from Smitten Kitchen:

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Excellent!  Make it.

Also, did you know that there is a magazine out there for everyone?


“Chickens” !!

It Was Hot.

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A couple of weekends ago was Memorial Day and Musclepalooza at the track.  And I’ll tell you what: IT. WAS. HOT.

I pretty much melt when the hot weather comes, and I turn into a whiny, sweaty, kind of pain in the neck.  But this time, I really tried to rally because this event only comes twice a year, and this year we are not going to as many events as we usually do, so we have to make the ones we go to count.

So, we went and Paul got his time trials in:


While he did that, I did my best to find a spot to sit with the ATV in the shade.  Because, it was really hot.

And I tried to knit on my What Alice Found with my fan:


Didn’t really work, because it was too hot.

And, have I said it was hot?  It was.  So in between rounds we had to just sit still and drink beverages:


And then, before Paul could even get his first elimination round in, at about 2:30pm, after a whole day and part of the afternoon of HOTness:


And we all ended up in the trailer:


“We” = Paul, me and the car.  After waiting for a while to see if it would stop, it didn’t, so the event was rained out.  And then it was nice and cool.  We’ll be back for the one in September.

In other news, the Doodlebugs’ mom had a birthday and we made her some Confetti Cookies from the Smitten Kitchen blog:




They had so much fun and were so excited about giving them to her and wondering whether she would share the cookies with them.  So cute.  They were then extremely excited when I informed them we would have to taste-test them to make sure they were ok to give to her.  So we did that after having lunch al fresco:


They are SO. YUMMY.  Mr. Doodlebug asked if maybe I might make them for their birthday.   Even if you don’t like sprinkles, you might like these because they get baked into the cookie and you don’t really taste them so much.  But what you do taste is a really great, tender and cakey butter cookie.  And they LOOK so festive.  And really, they are just really good. Go make some.