Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Road tripping to the Vet's

This isn't going to be much of a Wednesday Yarn Along post.  Over the past week, I've only knit about five rows on my modified Reyna shawl.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/jeanniegrayknits/modified-reyna
Modified Reyna

I've knit just enough to consider frogging the whole thing.  I ran out of the green yarn much earlier than expected and had to start the navy in the middle of the lace section instead of at the planned start of a garter section.  I don't like it, but I think I can live with it.  Except, the more I look at the shawl, that bright aqua blue looks like a cheap, $3.00 Walmart shirt instead of my favorite aqua/turquoise/warm seas color.  And now that I've had that thought, Walmart is all I see when I look at it.  I really don't want to end up with a shawl that looks like it cost $3.00 and came from Walmart.



As for what I'm reading, I'm a whole one chapter into Stephen King's Joyland.  I love a good scare and I've never met a Stephen King book I didn't like, but I'm almost afraid to turn the pages in this one.  Working at an amusement park and knowing in advance that this book will cause me to freak out over something silly at work on a daily basis....  Not to mention, one of the rides already mention in Joyland is called the Delirium.  Guess what King's Dominion's new ride is called.  Yep, it's the Delirium.  Chapter One & I'm already afraid to go to work.  Oh, and did I mention the main charector's name is Devin.  Guess what one our department supervisor's name is.  You guessed it!  She's a girl and spells it a little differently, but still.  I wonder how it will go if I call to say I'm too scared & freaked out to come to work.


Minnie enjoyed her trip to Ashland Veterinary Hospital
Road tripping to the Vet

Meanwhile, yesterday was my day off but I got no knitting or reading done because Minnie and I took a little road trip to the vet.  Minnie has a cyst-thing that suddenly popped up, and popped up in a big way, right in front of her ear.  We tried out a new vet yesterday and I'm SO glad we did.  The vet we've been seeing is convenient, but that's about all I have to say for them.  When I called to make an appointment with them, I was told they only have a doctor in one day a week.  It's a veterinary hospital!  What kind of hospital only has a doctor on staff once a week?  I called a friend who works for Ashland Veterinary Hospital and presto magic - we got an appointment on the requested day, had a Wonderful experience and now consider them our new vet.  In all my years, I've never had another vet go to such lengths to make an animal feel comfortable and less nervous.  Minnie does NOT like going to the vet and normally she has to be dragged in to the vet's office.  Literally dragged.  But AVH (for short) smelt friendly enough to her that she walked right in, she never weirded out and peed on the floor and by the end of the visit, she was eating (literally) out of Dr. Gretchen's hand.  I can not express how pleased I was with our visit there.  If you're in the area and looking for a vet, please consider AVH.

To find out what others are knitting and reading, check out the many Yarn Along posts on Ginny's blog, Small Things.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Twenty-three

celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary


Mike and I are celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary today.  And it's pretty exciting.  It's exciting that we are still happy together.  It's exciting that we haven't killed each other.  We don't fight often, but when we do, the fights tend to be epic.  Epic fights over silly stuff, like whether we should buy mint chocolate chip or strawberry ice cream.  (It's true.  About 99.9% of our epic fights have occurred in the grocery store!  What does that even say about us??)  And it's exciting that we finally know how long we've been married.

We've been married 23 years, today.  Okay, so most people know when they got married.  Most people have big, fancy weddings with lots of guests who, on the off-chance that the happy couple forgets what year they were married, they could ask.  Most people have marriage certificates and photo albums and scrapbooks....

Mike and I are definitely not 'most people.'  We aren't the mushy, love & roses type.  We decided to get married, bought the rings & said the I do's all within about three weeks time.  We got married in the magistrate's living room with only our parents & siblings in attendance.  We didn't even make reservations for a honeymoon suite.  We went fishing on our honeymoon.  Fishing!  (See, it's a wonder I haven't killed him yet.)  Can you even call going fishing a honeymoon?  Starting our marriage out by going fishing may be part of the reason I've blocked our wedding date from memory.

Anyway...  We didn't have a big, fancy wedding with lots of dated memorabilia.  We also had a flood that destroyed what little documentation we had.  For years, we've known the month and day we got married, but we couldn't remember which year the joyous fishing trip occurred.  Well, recently, while cleaning out a junk drawer, I came across the receipt for my engagement ring.  We were married on June 25, 1993, which means....

Happy 23rd wedding anniversary, Mike.  Despite my sarcasm and complaints about going fishing, I wouldn't have changed a moment of our time together.  Not even the fishing trips.  Despite your choice of ice cream flavors, I still love you and am looking forward to the next 23 years.  Happy Anniversary!

(And hint, hint.... Maybe next time, we can find a fishing hole near a yarn shop.)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Fish

As I mentioned yesterday, I got a new fish and I'm oddly excited about it.  I've missed watching my old Beta fish swim around in his bowl.  Watching him was amazingly relaxing.

So anyway, I've been wanting to get a new fish for quite a while.  I've put it off though because the fish store is waaaaay on the other side of all the other stores I go to.  Buying a new fish would mean making a special trip, all the way to the other side of town, just for a $3.00 fish.

Adventures of a Beta fish and hand knitting a cowl for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits?ref=hdr_shop_menu
New Fish helps me knit a cowl

Yesterday, I got the brilliant idea of simply buying the fish then taking him with me to run errands and grocery shop.  I would have taken pictures of New Fish (he really needs a better name) at the bank, the craft store, the car parts shop and the grocery store (he's a very well-traveled fish!) but I was getting enough weird looks just walking around carrying a fish in a cup.  I was afraid of the attention I'd draw if I started taking pictures of our adventures.  I was also a little bit afraid of the nervous breakdown I might be giving him lugging him in and out of the car and all around so many places with weird sounds, smells (can fish smell?) and bumpy shopping carts.

New Fish seems to have survived this adventure yesterday and seems to like his new home.  He's a little freaked out over his plastic plant.  When his fins brush it as he swims past, he does that hyper "something touched me!" thing but hopefully he'll get used to it in a day or two.

Meanwhile, New Fish is enjoying watching me knit.  Me, knitting one row a day.  Good grief, I forgot how much of my knitting time the summer job takes up.


We also finished reading Black Woods.  I really enjoyed it and the surprise ending was... well, a surprise!  I totally expected it to go a different way.  And even the surprise ending had a surprise ending.  An ending which is making me consider calling out from work today so I can stay home & read the next book in the series.

Join Ginny's Yarn Along over at her blog, Small Things, to catch up on what others are knitting and reading.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What's his name?

I'm going off topic today.  I got a new fish and I'm oddly excited about it.


At the moment, he's hanging out waiting for his transport water and his new bowl water to become the same temperature.

Originally, I was going to name him Otto after the fish in the children's early reader book, A Fish Out of Water.  But he doesn't look like an Otto.  He doesn't look like a Mr. Carp either.  (Can you tell A Fish Out of Water was one of my favorite childhood books?)  I thought about Prince since he's such a gorgeous purple color (which isn't showing up well in the picture)  but....   At the moment, I'm just calling him New Fish.  He doesn't seem to appreciate it.  Want to help me name him?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Black Woods

It's been quite a week.  The rain finally stopped, the sun came out (and brought the heat and humidity with it) and work has been fun in that horrible but exciting, I-can't-believe-we-survived kind of way.  We've had power outages, team meltdowns and wonderful moments when the team worked together to accomplish the impossible.  It's been fun.  But it's also been incredibly busy.

Because of work, I haven't gotten much knitting done.  I have the feeling that's going to be the case for most of the summer.  I've been knitting on my Reyna shawl almost daily, except by "knitting on" I mean I've knit a few stitches each day.  Stitches, not rows.  I really haven't made much visible progress on it.

I did, however, pull 'babysit the machine' duty one day this past week which allowed me to get a little knitting done on my Autumn Stripes cowl.  (And yes, I'm aware I've referred to the cowl by 4 different names since I started it.  I think Autum Stripes is going to end up being it's official name.)

hand knit cowl for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits
Autumn Stripes
Most of our team despise 'babysit the machine' duty because it is THE most boring job on earth.  You sit by a machine & remind people not to put wet money into it.  That's literally all you do.  It's a horrid, horrid job for the hyper extroverted teens.  But for us introverted knitters who read....

Black Woods by Laura Wright LaRoche

I was able to get almost five inches knit on my cowl and I finished reading On the Beach and started Black Woods (another free Kindle book.)  According to my Kindle, I read 60% of it while on machine babysitting duty. I'm thoroughly enjoying it.  Although....  I have to admit, it did not help my nerves at the end of the night.  At the end of the night, I had to walk through the darkened park alone.  It was terrifying.  Have you ever walked alone through a darkened theme park after hours?  Theme parks are such a happy place during the day, but at night... At night when the lights go out...  With the lights out, theme parks become THE most terrifying place on earth.   I was fairly certain the Black Woods beast was stalking me along with every single clown, spider and/or creature Stephen King has ever thought up.


I'd also like to point out to Mr. King (to all horror writers for that matter) that they are missing out on another truly terrifying thing-in-the-dark - the Coke-Cola recycle bin.  You've never known true fear until you've come face to face with a man sized Coke-Cola recycle bin in the pitch black dark.

But enough about heart stopping fear.  Join me and many other knitters over at Ginny's Yarn Along to learn about what everyone else is knitting and reading.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Triangles, semi circles and the end of the world

It's Yarn Along Wednesday when knitters share what they are knitting and reading with Ginny over at Small Things and the question I'm asking today is.....

Exactly how long have I been knitting?

knitting Reyna with Knit Picks Palette wool
It's a triangle

Apparently not long enough.  

I'd planned to knit this version of Reyna in a semi circular shape and just noticed today that I was knitting another triangle.  I've been knitting on this thing for over a week, happily thinking I was knitting a semi circle while doing a single centered increase down the center.  Row after row of centered increases.  Centered increases that form a triangle shape, not a semi circle.

Dammit!

So the big question is, do I keep going?  Do I just finish knitting another triangle shaped Reyna that I'll end up spending the rest of my life being mad at for turning out wrong (because, you know, it's the shawl's fault, not the knitter's!) or do I frog a week's worth of knitting.  A week's worth of knitting during the season of Very limited time to knit.  A week's worth of knitting during the season of limited knitting time when there's really nothing wrong with it other than it's a triangle instead of a semi circle?

Reyna http://www.ravelry.com/projects/jeanniegrayknits/reyna
Not a semi circle

Dammit!  I hate having to make decisions like that even more than I hate knitting a triangle when I meant to knit a semi circle.

Kindle's version of On the Beach by Nevil Shute


Oh well.  I'll just go read another chapter of On the Beach and contemplate triangles vs. semi circles and the end of the world.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

On the needles

My modified Reyna has been put aside because I'm trying to be a responsible Etsy shop owner.  I'm dangerously close to being sold out of one of my most popular hat designs so I'm spending my non-working-at-the-theme-park hours frantically knitting more.

Lady's summer slouchy hat for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jea
Navy Blue Slouchy Hat

Doesn't look like much when laid flat, does it?

hand knit summer slouchy hat for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jea
OTN 6/7/16

Miss Creepyhead modeling it in bad lighting doesn't improve things much.  But soon... soon it will stop raining and I can get a decent photo taken with decent lighting.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Remembrance

"Happy D-Day" just doesn't sound quite right.


In remembrance of D-Day. American patriotism
Sec. B 1012th Sig. Co., WWII

Instead of knitting, I'm having a moment of silence in remembrance of the brave men & women who have given so much to keep us safe and uphold our freedoms.

American Patriotism, military, D-Day
Randolph M. Owen

People like my dad.  Dad didn't land on Omaha Beach until June 7th, 1944 but he still experienced plenty of action and left this world a few years ago, still carrying a bit of german shrapnel in his leg.

honoring American military



Friday, June 3, 2016

Don't judge

I had the day off from work yesterday and made a bit of progress on my modified Reyna shawl.

knitting a modified Reyna shawl with stripes and crescent shape instead of triangular
Modified Reyna Shawl

So, yes, it's a Terrible photo.  It's uncropped, has an uncoordinated background and has Terrible lighting.  I didn't crop the photo though because if you look closely, you can see I'm wearing my Christmas socks.  Don't judge.  It was my day off.  I stayed in my pj's all day.  The air conditioning has finally cooled the house down enough for my husband to be comfortable and for me to need a jacket, blanket and wool socks.  So yes, I'm celebrating not only progressing into the second color stripe on Reyna, but also summer, the comfiness of hand knit socks, a day off and Guardians of the Galaxy on TV.

One more thing - a Biotin update.  My nails aren't growing exactly but they are much stronger.  I've been taking Biotin for about eight weeks now.  The bottle says it takes six weeks to see a difference.  Before Biotin, my nails had the strength of wet tissue paper.  You just looked at them and they shredded.  Now, they are much stronger and instead of bending and shredding, they snap when they break. I have high hopes that soon, their extra strength will allow them to grow in length.  My hair on the other hand... my hair is out of control!  It has grown two inches in seven weeks.  I think I may have picked a really bad time to try the Biotin.  My hairdresser is  having a hip replacement & will be gone for a month or two.  Yikes!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wednesday Yarn Along

Thank goodness for Ginny's Yarn Along.  The 'season' has begun at work, the hours are long (I worked 43 hours Memorial Day weekend) and the knitting time is short.  But Ginny and her Yarn Along have given me purpose.

Knitting a striped crescent Reyna shawl and reading On the Beach.

Admittedly, I'm only a few pages further into On the Beach.  There just hasn't been much time to read.

There hasn't been much knitting time either.  Although I already had way too many projects on the needles, I couldn't resist starting another Reyna.  Or, I should say, a Reyna-like project.  I loved the simple open lace plus garter stitched areas of Reyna but I prefer rounded/crescent shawls to triangular ones.  There's just something about the triangular shape that either makes me feel like I'm 95 if worn shawl style or like a cowboy if worn scarf style.  So, I'm doing the Reyna row pattern but on a semi-circular shape.  With stripes.

yarn colors for a striped Reyna

Although I have several yarns in the stash pile that would be perfect for a Reyna shawl, they all needed to be balled.  I was lazy and lacking in time so I grabbed a few coordinating already-balled skeins and, well, we'll have to wait & see if stripes were a good idea or not.  I'd also love to add some beads but..... beads are time consuming.  Time is something I do not have these days.  Maybe if I'm still knitting on this one come fall when my work season ends, I'll do some kind of beaded bind off.  We'll just have to wait & see.