Tag Archives: heaven and space

The Groundhog’s Day

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We have had a groundhog living in our yard for a few years.  He used to live in a hole, waaaaaay across the pond at the edge of the woods, pretty far from the house:


We would see him over there nibbling on clover, occasionally standing up on his hind legs to look around.  Really cute, actually.  To me.  To Paul, not cute; a nuisance.

This year, much to Paul’s dismay, the groundhog packed up and moved residence to our shed:


More accurately, under our shed.  Much closer to the house, and my garden.  Still cute, eating clover, standing up on hind legs to look around.  But now, really more of a nuisance as we have no idea what’s happening under the shed and what he has done to the foundation of the shed.

Front door:


Back door:


So, the nuisance factor has increased and there was talk of a bb gun  (which, I have since been informed, will bounce right off a groundhog) or a trap.

Then, Paul saw this:


Do you know how hard it is to get a picture through a screen door when you are in a hurry?  It is a bobcat.  Very excited and interested, prowling around the shed, sticking it’s head into the front door of the groundhog’s new home.  Then he went away.  The groundhog came out and did his usual cute eating of the clover and standing up on hind legs to look around.  But, then there was me, talking out the window to him, telling him to stick close to home or else something would eat him.

We haven’t seen the groundhog in days.  I know. I feel bad, too.

But hey!  Look over there!  There’s more knitting!


I started the Swallowtail Lace Shawl (free pattern!), in the hopes of teaching a more advanced lace knitting class.  What you are looking at is the pinned-out piece I have started, and it is the top middle of the shawl (what would lay at the back of your neck).  There is a pretty lily-of-the-valley border, which includes knitting nupps.  Nupps, in the past, have been my nemesis.  So, stay tuned for that.

Then, I got totally distracted by Fractal Danger a new pattern by Martina Behm, whom I love.  I’ve made several of her patterns….







and Heaven and Space:

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And now there is a new one, which I might have to start pretty soon.  Even though I have three other shawls started.  And I need to start the mittens if they are going to be done in time to submit to the fair.

Ok, did I distract you from thinking about the groundhog and his fate?

No? Here is something else then. I’ve got a pepper:


And a tomato:


If that doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will.

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:


The Knitting Helps

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I’m not going to complain about the 0.9 degree weather with the minus 30 wind chill today.  Or the snow that is expected tomorrow.  Because all of that is such old news.  Who needs old news?

But I will clarify that in my last post, no one seemed to realize that the pictures of the heater I was showing you at the end, were because the pipes inside the baseboards froze and burst.


Two holes in the pipe and so lucky that nothing flooded and we caught it quickly.  And boy was I ever thankful that Paul knows what the heck he is doing.  What could have been a several hundred dollar emergency call to a plumber, was a $30 piece of copper pipe that Paul replaced himself.  Whew.

And lucky me, I got to help by taking the million and one heating element thingys off the old 6 foot long copper pipe and put them back on the new 6 foot long copper pipe:


I’m really terrible – such a complainer and grumpy about the boring-ness of it all (after all, I could have been knitting).  Paul is very patient.

And this morning we woke up and discovered the need for this (again):


After we thought we had all our bases covered, another frozen pipe (inside a closed closet) that, again thankfully, was caught even earlier and this one didn’t burst.

But here’s a good thing about the snow…..

This is Jake in Virginia, who hardly gets to see snow and loves it soooooo much….


Isn’t he just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and makes your frozen face melt into a smile?

Also, on an “inside day” with the doodlebugs, they practiced counting by making tarts for the Queen of Hearts with play-doh:


And so all this boring, monotonous, every day, all day cold stuff is helped a lot by the knitting, which I’ve been doing a lot of.  I finished my Heaven and Space shawlette and gave it a cozy blocking by the fire:



(I have no idea what happened but all my pictures on the dress form came out crooked.)  I am mostly happy with it and a tiny bit unhappy.  I love the color. I love the pattern – easy and great for tv knitting.  I really liked knitting with the yarn, Cozy Soft.  However.  The yarn is 75% acrylic and 25% wool, which means the fabric will not really relax like I want it to.  I wanted it to look like the pattern picture, but even though I stretched it out flat, the acrylic is making it scrunch back up and get all wavy and bumpy.  While this looks ok, it looks “only ok” and my preference would be for it to lay flatter.  Next time, which there might be, because I really really like this pattern, I will use wool.  Or wool/alpaca blend, because I love alpaca and it would be so cozy.

I also made a sample Homesock for an upcoming class:

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I made a pair for my sister for Christmas.  They are funny looking when you aren’t wearing them and look like they won’t fit, but they stretch right out and fit nice and comfy and snug.  Sized for toddler to adults!

And then I started my Tea Leaves Cardigan, which I’ve had in my queue on Ravelry for a long time and have always wanted to knit.


(I know.  Shocking that it’s purple. But it’s an awesome, deep, heathered purple.)  It is a top-down sweater and I will be teaching a class for this as well.

And last night I taught a colorwork fingerless mitts class:


Although teaching a full mitten would probably be more appropriate.

Two classes to teach this weekend and I’m hoping to finally make some cupcakes!  Stay tuned….


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It. Is. So. Darn. Cold. And Windy.  So, you are getting more complaining.

Sunday at 5 pm it was two degrees, but minus 33 with the wind chill.  It had stopped snowing and we didn’t get much but it was blowing and drifting around like crazy.

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Definitely a weekend for staying inside…. after a quick trip to the grocery store where we saw this:


It’s about time they put “about”.  People can get pretty crazy about your item count.

When we got back home, we stayed in.  Because It. Was. So. Cold.

I made Martha’s Parker House Rolls:


Oh. My. Gosh. So. Good.

And Smitten Kitchen’s Oven-Braised Beef with Tomatoes and Garlic:


Also, Oh. My. Gosh. So. Good.  It has three ingredients.  Chuck roast (I used shoulder), A 28 ounce can of tomatoes (I used crushed) and whole, unpeeled garlic cloves.  So easy.  I also added a few carrots and some onion.   Because we like them.


That was our Valentine’s dinner.  (Although Paul says I’m his Valentine every day. So sweet.) It’s really hard to take a nice picture of pot roast.

I also did some knitting with the Gilmore Girls:


And by the fire:


And finished my Heaven and Space during Downton Abbey!  Ta-da:


It will look nothing like this when it is blocked.  I’ll show you that next time.

I also got to finish reading my current book:


Excellent.  I loved it.  The writing is great.  You can get it here: All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

“See?” I said to myself.  “The cold isn’t so bad.  Didn’t it feel great about getting a book finished and finishing a knitting project?”   “Why, yes.  Yes it did.” I said back.

Then, we woke up today to this:


In a part of the house we close off a little and don’t keep as warm.  But not this cold.

So we did this:


And got this:



Two Things

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1) It’s snowing.  Again.

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2) I’ve been knitting:


Heaven and Space by Martina Behm.  I love her designs.  In all of my wondering what the heck I’ll work on next, I went with something new to teach as a class.  But, I did pick out yarn for Paul’s slippers.  And for the Tea Leaves cardigan, which will also be for a class, and which has been in my Ravelry queue forever.  I can’t show you the colors yet because they are still at the yarn shop, waiting for me to purchase them.

And now I’m off to finalize my new hat pattern and my new scarf pattern!  I hope to release them this week!