The Impulse Knitting Purchase

Posted on by .

And now we take a break from all the knitting pitfalls I’ve been encountering, to bring you a knitting tip and talk about an impulse purchase.

The Knitting Tip

You may think this was yet another pitfall:

Or, this, because it happened on the same day:

Yes, it was aggravating. But, here is the difference: It wasn’t my fault. In my last post, my frustrations were things that set me back that were totally my fault for being distracted. This? Small blip to fix.

These are both cable needles. The cable fits into an end of each needle tip. A cable needle is awesome because you can fit a lot of stitches on it and it makes your work much easier to handle than when on two separate straight needles.

But sometimes, based on the way they are made, and depending on the amount of use they get, the cable falls out. Sometimes in the middle of a row and sometimes not. But the answer? SUPER GLUE

So easy and FAST. One tiny drop in the hole at the end of the needle, push the cable in, and I was back knitting on the sweater in that top picture in no time (without taking the sweater off the cable!).

With all my recent knitting perils, and my blaming them on pandemic fog brain, I saw this sign posted in my town recently and it cheered me up:

They are right: THIS IS JUST REALLY HARD.

The Impulse Purchase

And while we are on things that are hard and how you deal with them:

Sometimes the way to deal with them is to impulsively buy a yarn-and-pattern kit from your favorite crochet blogger, Lucy at Attic 24. This is the Aria Blanket kit from Wool Warehouse (click there to see it on their website). I love Lucy’s blog, with all of it’s pictures from where she lives in the UK. Her enthusiasm for crocheting is contagious and I just couldn’t help myself with this one. Look at those wonderful bright colors! (I ordered this kit on a Wednesday and I got it on Saturday. From the UK!)

Side note: One of her other blanket patterns/kits is one of my WIPs (started January 15, 2019). Stay tuned for info about that.

Book Recommendations

Now, for something completely different and not knitting related, how about some book suggestions? These are some “summer reads” that I read this summer, but will still be great to read even now that summer is not-really-over-but-over:

Big Summer: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner : Jennifer Weiner is a favorite author of mine (we were in the same high school graduating class!).  I’ve read all of her books.  This one was great.  Couldn’t put it down.  Romancy and mysterious. (Click on the title to see the official description of it.)

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand: Another favorite author.  Haven’t worked my way through all of her books but I’ve loved all the ones I’ve read (see the next suggestion).  Another romancy one, as are most of her books.  Again, couldn’t put it down.  It made me cry several times. (Again, click on the title to see the official description.)

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand: see above! Same! (Click on the title.)

These were a nice break from my usual murder mystery/thriller choices. I’ll put some of those suggestions in another post.

The Ongoing Obsession

Last topic of this post: My pumpkin spice obession has not ended, these many years on. Got my first PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) from Starbucks the other day and it didn’t disappoint:

For those in-the-know about Starbucks, and in case you want to know, I get it with 2 or 3 pumps, instead of the usual 4.

I also get these Starbucks VIA®, Ready Brew, Pumpkin Spice Latte (1 Box-5 ct) to make at home. They are so yummy! (And just to address the random Facebook post I saw where the guy said, “Why do they call it a pumpkin spice latte? There are no pumpkins in it.”…… it means it has the same spices that are in pumpkin baked goods.)

Pumpkin Spice bread is also on the list for things to bake this weekend. And I found this great Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar recipe that I want to try.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe?

*

*

*

Project WIP: The Pandemic Brain Edition

Posted on by .

Remember the post that got me so inspired (click there to refresh your memory) to finish my works-in-progress? Me too. It really was great. Very inspirational. Got me going right away on my oldest WIP, the Charleston Tea hoodie. And I’m trying not to let what happened over the next several days derail me. Here is what happened:

I got out my Charleston Tea hoodie. That part went well. I read the pattern. That’s where things started going south.

I thought I only had the hood left, but I was wrong. I also had the button band to complete. That involves more brain power: 1) Picking up a certain ratio of stitches all the way up one side, around the hood and down the other side – a lot of stitches. 2) Then there is the whole buttonhole placement which I’m not even going to describe – it involves more brain power (to describe and to do).

So then I start negotiating with myself. First: “Liz, you never button your sweaters because you are too hot. You could forget the buttons and buttonholes.” Then: “Ok, that might look weird. You could put buttons on, with no buttonholes.” Then: “Yeah! Later, if you really want to close it, you can add snaps.” Perfect solution. I was re-motivated. Things were looking up.

Trucking along on the hood, two days later I get to this point:

This is where it starts going south again. The green pen is where I started working on the hood. I worked all the way up to the top, increasing like the pattern told me to, about 6 inches or so. Then, for some reason while looking at the instructions (for the 80th time), it hit me: I was doing it wrong. I was only supposed to increase 5 times (or, to where that pink pen is) and then just knit without increasing. I knit 3 1/2 extra inches with increases that will have to be frogged (ripped out).

Remember in that inspirational post where I talked about my patience and my distractability? THIS right here is my worst nightmare. I absolutely hate having to re-do something, especially when it’s my own darn fault. So, I chose to blame it on the sweater and it is currently in time out, thinking about what it has done.

“Ok,” I said to myself, “this is just a start-of-the-project blip. Now you’re in the zone. Pick up something else, something easy, to get you back on track and re-motivated, then you can get the sweater out of time out.”

Already my idea of starting with the oldest WIP and working forward was going out the window because I picked something in the middle of the pack. My Maine Morning Mitts (free pattern alert! click there to see it on Ravelry) which I started on October 5, 2016:

This would be a piece of cake! The pattern is easy! I’ve already got one done! And the second one started!

So I picked up the un-done one to get going and found this:

What the….? What you are looking at is a small bound-off area, right in exactly the wrong place. Also, it’s hard to see but on the right hand needle there are a few extra stitches that shouldn’t be there, just added in willy-nilly.

Then it all started coming back to me. There was a tag on the finished mitt that The Spinning Room yarn shop had put on to advertise the class I taught for this pattern. The reason I put the project down is that the class was over and distractability took over and I went on to something else.

But, the class is why that second mitt looks like that. I used it in class to show the participants how to bind off in pattern when they got to the top of the mitt (hence the small bound-off area), how to cast on for when they got to the thumb hole and how to do an M1 increase for the thumb gusset (hence the several extra stitches). Apparently I put that mitt right in my bag after class and never saw it again until now.

No problem! Now I knew what to do. Things were looking up again. I un-did all that stuff and got to knitting. Another day or two of getting something done. Hooray! I even knit outside next of our new fire pit.

But then… things went south again.

I picked up the mitt the next day, realizing I only had 10 more rows of the hand and then the thumb to knit. Hooray again! So close! I’m going to say right here that I have made these mitts several times. I’ve given away a couple pairs and I made a pair for myself. I know the pattern.

Just as I was on my last round, I realized I had been knitting every stitch instead of keeping the knit 2, purl 1 pattern. Crap! Again…. my. worst. nightmare. Ripping back, especially when it is my own darn fault. So, here comes the negotiating: “Liz, no one will know. It’s a subtle pattern. They are for you. Are you really going to care?”

So I bound off the stitches and did the thumb. There. Finished. And I’ll tell you what: I do care.

I’ts the one on the left. It looks terrible. It flares out because of the change in pattern and the bind off is rolling for the same reason. I’m not one to fuss much over little mistakes and will keep knitting even though I know they are there. But this? There is no forgetting about it. It’s too obvious.

Straight into time out.

I’m working on my most recent WIP again until I can get it together.

Nice, easy, roundy-round knitting. (She says as if she didn’t just write a whole blog post about easy knitting that went wrong….)

I’m blaming all of this on the pandemic environment and how it gives you that brain fog thing.

*

*

*

The Closer

Posted on by .

My last post (click there to read it) definitely needs a follow-up post.

I asked Paul if he had read the last post (he gets the link emailed to him) and he said it was “interesting.” Then he said, “You can’t really have 20 things on the needles….can you?”

Long pause by me.

Meaningful look by me.

Look of realization by Paul. (Yes, Paul. Yes, I can.)

Then he made a comment about how I probably need his help because he is “The Closer” around here.

It’s true. Paul finishes the laundry because I start it and then forget about it because I get distracted by something (9 times out of 10 it’s knitting-related). He turns off the lights that I left on because I’ve been distracted by something (9 times out of 10….). He does the little project I said I would do, despite the fact that he got me the tool I needed aaaaall the way from the other garage, because I’ve been distracted by….. “something.”

Example: I found a nail sticking up from the tread of one of the stairs and told him about it, thinking he’d fix it. He said he’d get me the nail setting tool so I could fix it. It was an easy fix. It would take two seconds to complete. He got me the nail setting tool aaaaall the way from the other garage that is 90 feet from the house. The tool sat on the counter for several days. He then approaches me with hammer and nail setter in hand and says, “Which step is it?”

Gulp. I was probably knitting. Very possibly working on Project WIP Pattern #1: The Charleston Tea hoodie. (click there to see the pattern on Ravelry)

(More about this complicated picture in the next post…it’s not good.)

Now, mind you, Paul does not knit (and has refused the many, many, many, many offers I have made to teach him) so he really can’t help me by being The Knitting Closer.

However, he could help me by continuing to be The Opener and Closer of All The Other Things so that I can keep knitting.

I like that plan.

(By the way, he is also The Fixer of the Seemingly Unfixable. This is what we’ve been dealing with for the past several days:

The water dispenser stopped working. He figured out the tube inside was frozen. Then, he took apart the fridge in various ways and fixed it. He’s awesome.)

*

*

*

Project Knitting Works-In-Progress

Posted on by .

There is nothing like getting together with your knitting peeps to get you inspired. The other day, I had a socially distant knit-night with my knitting peeps in the park in town. As usual, I came away from our get-together (as I always do, whether in-person or virtual) with BIG PLANS. There is always a new pattern to be discovered, or a new knitting technique, or even a new recipe.

The Instigating Comment

While at knit-night one of my peeps, Lisa, said the most outrageous thing. She said her goal was to finish all of her works-in-progress by the end of October. By OCTOBER. Can you believe that?

Her projects include a wonderful blanket knit with sock yarn (for non-knitters, that is very skinny yarn). She had a four-year plan to knit a square a day (they are tiny) but will be finishing it in exactly three years. On top of that she has 2-3 other projects to finish up and then will have nothing on the needles.

Once she told us this, a few things happened. First, my mouth dropped open because I was stunned. My next thought was “I would never be able to do that.” And finally, I got jealous.

A CUTE PICTURE OF SMUDGE TO BREAK UP ALL THE WORDS

Some Context

I know you are thinking, “What’s wrong with having nothing on the needles?” AND “What’s wrong with OCTOBER, Liz, you whack job? Who cares if she wants to finish things by OCTOBER?”

First, why was I stunned? Because I have never thought about having “nothing on the needles.” I just assumed I would always have something on the needles. Actually, more than one something.

Second, why would I think I would never be able to do that? Because I currently have no fewer than TWENTY projects on the needles. My Ravelry project page (click there to see my page – you may have to have an account) says that includes 2 blankets, 2 sweaters, 5 pairs of socks, 5 shawls, 2 Tees, a hat, a poncho, and a pair of fingerless mitts. Ok that adds up to 19 but I’m sure there are one or two others that are NOT on my Ravelry page. (For non-knitters who don’t know what Ravelry is, the best way to describe it is that it is the Facebook of knitters/crocheters/fiber artists.)

That number of projects just seemed insurmountable and that I would NEVER be done knitting them. And certainly not any time in the near or distant future and most definitely not by OCTOBER.

Third, why was I jealous? Because I can totally see the appeal of just having the whole world of patterns out there to decide what you are going to knit next without thinking, “Oh, but I want to finish X first” or “I have to finish Y for so-and-so first.”

Just to be clear, Lisa is a knitting addict just like me. She would never have “nothing on the needles” for more than 5 minutes. To be more clear, the minute she casts off that last project, she will immediately cast on a new project. She will probably have a couple lined up waiting.

The BIG PLAN

My BIG PLAN that arose out of that knit-night discussion was “Project Knitting WIPs.” WIPs in the knitting world stands for Works-In-Progress; something you are currently working on. Lisa inspired me to get going so I can have that feeling of “the knitting world is my oyster!” I’m going to work on getting my works-in-progress completed.

All those projects that I thought would be so wonderful to have, yet they are still not done? Now they will be! What a great sense of accomplishment, right? How hard could it be? There are only 8 billion projects all going at the same time. Why would that be insurmountable?

Oh, I’ll tell you why….

The barriers to the BIG PLAN

There are three main barriers to the BIG PLAN and they all run together.

Discliplinepatienceattentionspan.

When it comes to knitting, I’m pretty bad at disciplining myself and making myself get things done in an orderly fashion. I will certainly be coming up with a list of projects and an order in which to accomplish them.

I’m not terribly great at the discipline part because I lose patience. If a project is a little bit hard and takes up too much brain space, I will lose patience, put it down and pick up something easier. And sometimes a project has to be put in time out to think about what it has done (i.e. I keep screwing it up so I lose patience and blame it on the project.)

And then there is the ever-annoying attention span. I may be loving a project; it’s going along great, my brain doesn’t hurt too much, I’m excited to finish it and BAM! another pattern gets emailed to me, or talked about, or shown to me. That current project is left so far behind in the dust, it doesn’t know what hit it. And this is part of the reason that I have 1,746 patterns in my Ravelry queue, waiting for me to knit them.

So, this discliplinepatienceattentionspan thing? I’m really bad at it. Notice I didn’t give a time frame for getting them all done. I’m smart like that.

What the Future Holds

I’m going to attempt to overcome those things I’m really bad at and, lucky you, you’ll get to witness this frenetic journey.

First up will be my oldest WIP, the Charleston Tea hoodie by Thea Coleman. (click there to see the pattern page on Ravelry) She is one of my favorite knitwear designers and names her patterns after cocktails. (Becuase I know someone might ask, here is a recipe for the drink.)

Here is the back of the sweater:

And some finished sleeves:

The only thing left to do is the hood. That’s it. Not much. It’s an adorable sweater right??? Why wouldn’t I have finished that if I only had the hood to knit? Your specific guess is as good as mine, but generally, just go back up there and read about discliplinepatienceattentionspan.

Want to know when I started it?…….

February 7, 2014.

And it’s getting finished soon. Maybe by OCTOBER.

*

*

*

Not The End of Summer

Posted on by .

The deck renovation came to an end just as the not-the-end-of-summer holiday came around.

A little more of this….

And voila:

We had a nice, socially distant, cookout on Sunday with beautiful weather, yummy hotdogs with Michigan sauce and ribs.

There was garden puttering:

Feeding the koi:

And searching for the baby koi (which we saw but I couldn’t get a picture).

Much of the weekend involved a deep clean of the house. It is, without a doubt, my ABSOLUTE least favorite thing to do ever. I would even eat olives rather than clean the house. But now that it’s done we keep commenting on how clean the house looks and it feels great to have it done.

What? You Want to Know About My Pickling?…

Yes, there was also yet another round of pickles.

I’ve been using this OXO Good Grips mandolin slicer that my mom got me for Christmas a few years ago. It is a LIFE SAVER – gets pickles sliced up evenly and REALLY fast. The pickling is done now…. maybe.

How About a Good Book?

I’ve been following Tim Cotton on Facebook for several years. He started out managing the Bangor Maine Police Department’s Facebook page (which has become extremely popular because of his witty “Got Warrants” section and the Duck of Justice) and then established his own page. The stories he writes are funny and poignant and make you want to read more. Tim recently came out with his own book The Detective in the Dooryard: Reflections of a Maine Cop. I purchased it in Maine when we were on vacation and I’m loving it.

One review of the book said if you like Mike Rowe, you’ll like Tim. I agree. (I like Mike Rowe.)

And Now for Some Knitting…

The Blanket is (mostly) done!

I could not get one picture without Smudge. Those un-woven-in ends were just too enticing.

The knitting is done and now to deal with the aforementioned un-woven-in ends…

There are a lot. But, nothing a good run of Friday Night Lights episodes won’t take care of. E! had a marathon over the weekend and we taped all 60 episodes and are starting from the beginning. (Am I showing my age? I still say “taped” and not “DVR’d”.)

Hopefully I’ll get this on it’s way to my nephew within the next week. Hooray! GO HUSKIES!

Also, I have to tell you about my new favorite work-notes-but-also-pattern-notes tool, the Pilot Color Eno Violet Mechanical pencil:

Purple is my jam. In case you didn’t know.

*

#

*

VACATION IN THE TIME OF COVID.

Posted on by .
Be Kind. Please Mask. We were and we did.

We bit the bullet and booked a vacation to Bar Harbor, Maine. We love, Love, LOVE Bar Harbor and have been itching to get back there.

Our research showed a very low infection rate in that county (and in Maine, overall), and, because New York’s numbers are so great, we didn’t have to have a test or quarantine. Working from home is great, but we’ve been getting a little tired of home. We have taken some STAYcations but to be honest, those just don’t really work for me. All I see are the things I should be doing around the house and it’s not quite as relaxing as I hope it will be. Paul, on the other hand, loves to do all the projects while on STAYcation.

So, to Bar Harbor we went. It was a terrible drive up:

Seven and a half hours of rain. But, I got some knitting done on my Derecho Tee, so there’s that. That didn’t help Paul…

When we got there we parked the car and for the next three days we walked everywhere we needed to go.

There were so. Many. PEOPLE. We did not expect it to be as crowded as it was; we just thought there would be fewer people traveling in general. Nope. In fact, one of the places we went for takeout said their numbers are ahead of last year. In other words, COVID has not slowed them down.

The Signs Were There

The town is very focused on COVID safety which we were happy to see. Signs everywhere….

Hey, there’s Paul!

Every store and restaurant had signs and hand sanitizer dispensers.

We had already decided that we were only going to do takeout for our meals and our main focus was relaxing and looking at the water. We had a great view from our hotel room which helped a lot:

Atlantic Brewing Company Thunder Hole Ale (for me) and Blueberry Ale (for Paul).

There seemed to be some sort of yacht convention going on. This was two of the seven yachts that were parked outside our room and at the harbor nearby:

We spent time Googling the names of the yachts and seeing how much they would cost to charter. Some of them are $270,000 per week. PER. WEEK. In case you want to look them up, these two were The Mystic and The Calliope. By the way, a hotel cable guilty pleasure of mine is watching Below Deck on Bravo (who’s with me???), so these yachts were right up my alley.

We sat on our balcony or on the green at the harbor and just watched all the harbor-y things that go on. It was great.

Sunset/Moonrise
Waiting for the lobster fishing boats to come in.
More yachts (The Cynthia and The Temptation). With knitting.

Now we are back home and have a few more days of our vacation before heading back after Labor Day. Guess what I’ll be doing? I’ll give you a hint:

Yup. Making pickles. And zucchini bread with the five-pound baseball bat we found in the garden when we came home.

What are you up to this holiday weekend?

*

*

*

Plum is My Jam

Posted on by .

Nope, we’re not talking about actual plum jam you put on a pb&j (one of my favorite sandwiches ever). Read on…

We’ve been doing a lot of little at-home projects during the pandemic. And when I say “we” I mostly mean Paul. I help a little. The most recent project has been adding a railing to the “new” deck that we’ve had for two years. Because we love the view of our yard and our pond from the deck, we wanted a railing that would not obstruct it too much but still be safe. So, we settled on the kind with wire “rails” instead of spindles. Paul started the project this week with getting the posts up:

Who knew it would be such a task? (hint: he did) I was surprised at what needed to be done. Cut out a spot to put the post. Attach the post to the rafter-thing-that’s-not-a-rafter under the deck. Put in supports because the post is not sturdy when it is just attached with bolts.

That’s where he is now. Putting in those supports. He spent MANY hours like this:

Laying on rocks, using drills and yanking on wrenches. The way I helped with this part was to bring him water and suggest he lay on a blanket. He accepted the first, rejected the second. That’s all the help I could give. Laying on rocks is not my jam. Stay tuned for the finished product.

Speaking of products…..

A Product Review:

I’ve been wanting to try the wireless ear buds for a long time. I have an iPhone and the AirPods are pretty expensive ($160-$250, depending on the style), so I’ve held off. But then I found these Tzumi Sound Mates and they were much less expensive (approx $40). So I tried them and I really like them!

I was hesitant at first because I don’t like the wired earbuds that come with the iPhone. They are hard; they don’t have the squishy thing that goes in your ear; they don’t fit in my ears very well. But these come with little silicone covers with a little hook-y thing to help them stay in my ears.

The downside is the microphone is not great. But I don’t use them to talk on my phone. I use them walking on the treamill while watching Netflix and now I don’t have any wires to get in the way while I’m swinging my arms. There is no worse feeling than having a suctioned ear bud ripped out of your ear unexpectedly when you swing your arm the “wrong” way. By the way Shameless is my walking-on-the-treadmill jam these days.

At the very least this was an inexpensive way for me to try them out and it panned out well for me.

The Knitting

I’m taking a little break from The Blanket since my elbows were feeling the strain of turning the now-heavy monstrosity around with each new row. I did measure the width recently (with Smudge’s help):

It’s still not wide enough. Two and a half more balls of yarn should do it.

I’m going to pick up a couple of other WIPs (Works In Progress) that I started during the pandemic.

The Derecho Tee is something I started after taking advantage of my LYSs participation in Berocco’s drop-ship program. I purchased this pattern & kit through The Spinning Room, they ordered it from Berocco and Berocco sent it directly to me.

Cute, right??

The yarn is called Remix Light and it’s very nice to work with. So soft once it is knitted up and it will be a nice lightweight tee when I’m done.

Then there is the Together, Apart shawl KAL that I’m doing with my knitting peeps.

There’s my plum jam!

Pretty easy so far with just garter stitch (knitting every row) and some increases and then some lace, which should not be terribly hard either. That light green color will just be a couple of skinny stripes within the main color: plum. If you know me, you know plum (or pretty much any purple) is my jam. love, Love, LOVE it.

By the way, do you get the name of the pattern? Together Apart: We are doing a knit-a-long TOGETHER while we are APART from one another and can’t knit together in person. Sigh…. can’t wait.

*Disclaimer: When you click on a link in my blog that takes you to Amazon, and you purchase something, I get a tiny commission.

Last Week: Pickles. This Week: Tomatoes.

Posted on by .

This week there is more talk of vegetables and knitting.

The Non-Knitting (aka The Veggies)

There is just nothing like fresh tomatoes for salads and sauce. Every year when I plant my garden, I over-plant tomatoes. And I plant them too close together. It becomes a jungle and an overwhelming harvesting task.

This year I think I struck the right balance of plants (5) and distance apart (not too close).

Shortly after planting:

Tomatoes are on the right, in the front.

Today (in the rain):

This probably doesn’t tell you too much. But normally I’d be struggling to find tomatoes in the middle of the plants. (By the way, I mentioned the pickle planting in my last post… they are on the left, in the front. Again, a story for another day. Maybe next post.)

So, here is the second haul from my 5 plants:

Oh yeah, toward the back of the garden there are also two grape-like tomato plants, hence the tiny ones in this picture.

I am now up to 2 1/2 gallons of tomato puree. Lots of chili and sauce in our future. The little tomatoes are great for salads. We are getting a little overwhelmed with those too, so I’m thinking of slow-roasting them to get them a little dried out and putting them in olive oil to make them last.

The Knitting

My pandemic knitting show and tell continues today….

This is my Odyssey shawl by Joji Locatelli:

Made with Malabrigo Dos Tierras yarn.

Somewhere near the beginning of stay-at-home rules, I joined the Malabrigo Dos Tierras Knit-a-Long. I bought the Dos Tierras yarn from my LYS The Spinning Room to help support them while they were closed (they have been GREAT with phone ordering and contactless pickup and now they have a great, safe system for in-store shopping).

It was a fun project and I loved the yarn.

Next up is my Breathe and Hope shawl by Casapinka:

Made with Plymouth Happy Feet Splash and Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors.

This was also a knit-a-long that Casapinka organized to help local yarn shops. If you bought two skeins of fingering weight yarn from your LYS, you would get this pattern for free. So, I called The Spinning Room again and got my two skeins. They even put some colors together online to help with picking a pair. I ended up with Plymouth Happy Feet Splash (the lighter color) and Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors in The Disruptor colorway (the BRIGHT pink). Love that color name. 🙂

Fun and easy pattern (just as Casapinka wanted) for pandemic knitting.

Behind the Scenes

So I’ve got that great dress form to model my knits so I can take pictures of them. I got it at the Brimfield Antique Flea Market in Brimfield, Mass several years ago. It is from 1960-something.

Want to see what it looks like when it’s not modeling?

It’s the hold-all-the-shawls-that-I-make-but-don’t-wear holder.

Side note: Another casualty of the pandemic for this year is the cancelling of Brimfield. It’s usually held in May, July, and September and some years we have gone all three times. We love it and always find something great. Paul restores old step stool and pedal cars, I find purple bottles (see above tomato pic with them on the windowsill). A somewhat new favorite vendor, discovered by our friend, Tyler, is “The T-Shirt Guy” (our name, not the t-shirt guy’s) where you can buy these great (somewhat irregular), comfy t-shirts for a dollar. A DOLLAR! Last time we went, we got ten. (Tyler got twenty.)

Last up is the progress on my nephew’s college blanket. Just for a refresher, here is last week’s picture:

And here is this week’s progress:

That’s the last progress picture I’m going to show before it is done. There is nothing more boring in a blog than seeing a huge project inch along! But I’m really hoping to be done soon.

Next post, you’ll get to read about my pickle planting story and maybe some zucchini news. And hopefully by then I’ll have more knitting to show you. With all this not-going-out-much stuff, I’ll try to come up with something more interesting to show you aside from vegetables (there will ALWAYS be knitting).

Raise Your Hand For Some Knitting!

Posted on by .

Raise your hand if you are a little bit sick of the pandemic… (I’m waving wildly.)

Raise your hand if you are little bit sick of people in the community ignoring precautions… (I’m waving wildly.)

Raise your hand if you are tired of loading and unloading the dishwasher 80 times in a week… (I’m waving wildly. There is only TWO of us!)

Raise your hand if you need a little break from your family… (My hand is firmly down. I love being home with Paul ALL. THE. TIME. )

Raise your hand if you want to see some of my knitting…

The Knitting…

I thought I’d be doing a lot more knitting than I did before the pandemic but it turns out I’m doing about the same. We are not big socializers around here, so, aside from not being able to go to all the stores, out to eat, and on vacation, we are doing many of the same things we did before.

Project #1

First project up is the in-process blanket for the youngest of my sister’s boys, who is off to UCONN this year (Go Huskies!). I made blankets for the other two (Columbia University and University of St. Joseph) and they are all different.

So, UCONN of course meant a blue and white blanket. I decided to go with stripes and just plain old knitting every row to make it a nice and easy pandemic knitting project. Ten balls of yarn and I was ready to go.

Somehow I thought 280 stitches was a perfectly acceptable cast on number to make this blanket wide enough. Boy was I wrong. Turns out, it was a perfectly acceptable cast on number to make the blanket LONG enough. I cast on so many stitches that the blanket is 82 inches wide. Which means it is now a vertically striped blanket instead of a horizontally striped blanket. Doesn’t matter. I was wondering why it was taking so long to get the length I thought I would need. I was about to order many more yarn balls before I decided to measure it. It will still be nice and cozy and I’m sure he’ll love it.

It’s hard to tell here exactly how wide long it is in that picture because of ALL THE STITCHES scrunched up on the needle. When it is long wide enough and I can bind off, I’ll show another picture.

I was also hoping to have this done by the time E left for school, however because of the pandemic, he went two weeks early. I still have about 4-5 balls of yarn to go… just about two weeks worth of knitting (maaaaaybe?).

I’ve got a bunch of other stuff on the needles, but I’ll just show two finished projects for now.

Project #2

My Hattu socks by Nicolas Susen:

Made these during a mini Knit-A-Long (KAL) with some of my knitting peeps. Fun pattern, unusual construction.

Project #3

And my emPower People bandana by Casapinka:

From Casapinka’s Ravelry description (which you can read more of if you click on that link up there): “emPower people is a purple colored craftivism project aimed at uniting crafters to spark conversation, engagement, and action. Wear it when you vote, grocery shop, march, or knit in your socially isolated bedroom.”

Quick, easy pattern and I love it. I will be wearing it to vote. (VOTE!!)

The Non-Knitting…

Also, I’m drowning in a sea of pickles.

This is one third of my crop. Paul counted at least 21 baby pickles growing out there. The pickle plant story is one I will save for another time. (Yes, I know they are cucumber plants and not pickle plants. I don’t like cucumbers and neither does Paul. But, we like pickles, so these cucumbers will never be anything other than pickles.)

How are you surviving during the pandemic? Are YOU knitting?

The Big Apple

Posted on by .

Well this Monday through Friday job I have is taking me to The Big Apple! A couple of weeks ago, I went there Monday through Friday to do some trainings. Off I went on the train…

With my knitting of course…

I haven’t been to the city in quite some time and it was EXHAUSTING learning how to get from Manhattan to Queens each day on the Long Island Railroad and subway. But overall it went well and I’ll be heading back in the months to come.

I did have a great Thai meal one night and, another night, I tried Shake Shack!

The burger was excellent. The shake?….meh. I’ll skip that next time. One of my co-worker’s tips was to buy what meals I could in Queens because it is cheaper. I don’t know if there is a Shake Shack in Queens, but that meal right up there was $17 at Penn Station in Manhattan. Good thing I have an appropriately-sized meal per diem from work!

In other knitting news, I finished the knitting of Paul’s felted slippers.

Now I need to sew up the bottoms, weave in the ends, and then felt them. Right now, that seems like a big task, so I’m working on my Sweet Pea-turned-Moorland crochet blanket for a while (which I’m not showing you because it virtually looks the same, with just a few more stripes. I’ll show you an update once I’ve made some substantial progress).

Although, I’ve been getting “discreet” hints from you-know-who that his current slippers have holes in them: last night the hint was Paul laying on the couch with a blanket only covering his slipper-clad feet because they were cold from the draft getting into them….

Aaaaaaanyway….. in other news, our back yard looks like an asteroid landed in it.

We are having our pond dug out and re-graded because the cattail reeds were overtaking it and we couldn’t see the water or the turtles or the frogs. And we want to put koi fish in it. They had to drain it in order to do the digging and we have no idea how long it will take to fill back up… stay tuned.

Come on spring!