Friday, September 21, 2018

Photo Friday


There's nothing like an Etsy shop custom hat order to motivate me into knitting hat #24.   Only 28.75 more hats to knit before December 31st.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Three on Thursday

Three random things for Three on Thursday:

1.  Florence.  By the time she moseyed her way across Virginia on Monday she wasn't even a tropical depression anymore, but she still packed a wallop.

Hurricane Florence brought flooding rains and tornadoes to Richmond, VA on September 17, 2018
photo courtesy of klfy.com

She brought flooding rains and multiple tornadoes.

One person died in a tornado in Chesterfield VA
photo courtesy of twitter.com

Sarah and I happened to be at Target when a tornado touched down less than a mile away.  I was pretty impressed with the way Target handled the situation.  They "closed" the store, as in shut down all the registers and pharmacy and had everyone, including the customers, move to the back of the store.  The whole event took about three hours because we'd get the all clear signal and everyone would start making their way up front to the registers and the warning sirens would go off again and everyone would turn around and return to the back of the store.  Over and over and over again.  


I have to say, I really was impressed with both the Target employees and their customers.  No one was complaining, even the moms with small children in tow.  A couple of the employees got a few simple toys off the shelves and played with some of the children to keep them occupied.  Even when our ears began popping from the change in air pressure, everyone stayed nice and calm.  I was amazed.

2.  Speaking of Florence.... The Florence news coverage introduced me to the NC shark cam.  I mentioned how obsessed I am with this underwater view the other day.  But I'm embarrassed to admit that after spending two whole days wondering why there were so many sharks in that area, I finally realized I was watching a highlight reel, not live video because the cameras were damaged in the storm.  I feel pretty silly for not realizing it, but dang! I'm happy to learn that there aren't that many sharks swimming off the coast of NC.  .... Or are they?  Guess I'll have to wait for the cameras to be repaired to find out.

3.  It's funny the tricks our minds play on us.  When creating my Labor Day post, I didn't even notice the grammatical error in the meme until the next day when I was looking at it before my morning coffee had kicked in.  My awake brain glossed over the error and saw what it should have said while my still-asleep brain read the actual words.  I find that interesting.  And a little scary.  Does that mean I should begin doing all my proof reading in the morning before coffee??  Yikes!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Makers' Monday

Once again I'm typing in advance of Monday on the off chance that Florence kills our power.  I'm fairly certain that Florence has finally chosen her path and we won't have any hurricane related issues but it's always best to be prepared.  And I think I've proven that it's even better to be over prepared.

And over prepared I am.  

Enough bottled water to fill Lake Michigan?  Check.

Candles, matches and flashlights?  Check.

Extra gas for the stove, grill, generator and cars?  Check.

Emergency chocolate stash?  Check.

Liquor/wine cabinet filled to capacity?  Check.

Junk food supply too large to fit in pantry?  Check.

yarn shopping at Knitting B's in Richmond, VA in preparation for Hurricane Florence
hurricane yarn haul

Yarn Stash upgraded?  Check.

Hurricane reading materials available?  Check.

seed and rib stitch cowl knit with Malabrigo Rios yarn
Noro Cowl knit with Malabrigo Rios
Special hurricane knitting project?  Check.

NC shark cam is a fascinating view of sea life 35 miles off the coast
NC shark cam

Hurricane knitting, reading and even junk food abandoned? Check!

I've discovered North Carolina's shark cam and can not look away.  I'm fascinated and somewhat lulled into an almost comatose state listening to the water and watching the fish maneuver through the currents.  

How did I not know this shark cam existed?  I am SO excited to have found it.  I've been wanting a large aquarium for years but couldn't face the expense or hassle of maintaining one.  This shark cam is the perfect solution.

(And no one is harmed when I forget to feed the fish!)

For the past week I've been worrying about having enough food, booze and entertainment to get us through a power outage.  It takes a LOT of food and booze to distract me from a lack of Netflix.  But  I've replaced my need for Netflix with the fish.  It's going to take a very special knitting project to distract me from the fish!

But once again, I'm prepared.  While hurricane yarn shopping, I picked up a couple of skeins of Malabrigo Rios and a seed and rib stitch cowl pattern from a Noro magazine.  I'm set!  Between this lovely yarn and the shark cam, I may not even need junk food or booze to get me through the storm.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Soup

Once again, I'm typing this in advance in anticipation of power outages due to Hurricane Florence.  I chose Chicken Stew for this week because it's easy, can be cooked several different ways, including on the grill, and the recipe is never harmed by a lack of or inclusion of extra ingredients.

photo couresty of tasteofhome.com

The recipe I follow is so basic and flexible, it's not really a recipe.  I generally include whatever I have on hand and in whatever quantity I have on hand until the stew pot (or Instant Pot) is full.  

The ingredients I always use are:

Chicken, white or dark, cut off the bone and cut into large bite sized chunks
Potatoes cubed or shredded*
Carrots cut into 1 inch pieces or shredded or whole baby carrots*
Chicken broth or stock (water and a couple of bouillon cubes will work in a pinch)
Salt
Pepper

Ingredients I usually add:

Celery, including leaves if available
Canned or frozen green beans
Canned or frozen corn
Diced onion
Diced garlic
Red bell pepper flakes
Hot sauce

Ingredients I occasionally use:

Rice** instead of potatoes
Frozen green peas or butter beans instead of green beans
Canned tomatoes and/or tomato sauce
Diced ham or salami
Cream or milk

*If I'm making this soup at the last minute and I'm low on ingredients, I'll shred the carrots and potatoes instead of chopping/cubing them.  Shredding them makes for a less liquidy stew and it cooks quicker.

**When cooking on the stove top or in the oven, I wait to add the rice until the last 20 - 30 minutes of cooking time.

To prepare, I cook the chicken, onion, garlic and celery in a little bit of olive oil until the chicken turns white.  Then I add all the other ingredients and add enough water to cover.  Put a lid on the pot and either simmer on the stove top for 45-60 minutes; put the pot in a 325 degree oven for several hours, or use the Instant Pot for 25 - 30 minutes.  Or in the likely case this week, when we probably don't have power (I'm typing this in advance of the hurricane, remember?) we can set the pot on the grill and cook it outdoors.

Again, I'm praying for those in Florence's path.  With or without power, I hope you are able to enjoy a hot meal today.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Photo Friday

Phew!  'The Season' is over and done with work-wise and I had a full week, Monday through Friday off.  I spent it knitting.

http://shrsl.com/15wd7 the coffee shop, Palette value set from Knit Picks.
The Coffee Shop

Well, knitting and preparing for Hurricane Florence.  Luckily, thankfully, I was able to get lots of knitting done while I waited for giant containers of water to freeze into ice blocks.

I received The Coffee Shop value pack in the mail last week and was excited to start knitting with it rather than try to figure out how and where to store more yarn.  In my excitement, I just grabbed a needle (US2) and cast on enough stitches that I could comfortably begin knitting in the round.  Then I cast on a few more just to be sure...  And I started knitting random width stripes.  It's going to be a cowl.  And I love the warm, understated, earthy browns.  It's been a great, easy project to help calm my pre-hurricane jitters.

Speaking of hurricanes...  I'm writing this in advance in anticipation of power outages.  Obviously I don't know what kind of damage Florence has done as of this morning, but I continue to keep all the east coasters in my thoughts and prayers throughout this storm.  Stay safe!





Thursday, September 13, 2018

Three on Thursday and a little bit of guilt

Hurricane Florence is coming, it's Three on Thursday, and I'm feeling just a little bit guilty.  I'll explain why in a moment, but first, let me explain this post.

Although she can't quite make up her mind exactly where she wants to go, it's a given at this point that Florence will be visiting the east coast over the next few days.  I have to admit, I Love hurricanes!  There's something about the anticipation and the wild weather and survival... that just excites me and turns me slightly manic.  But, after surviving Isabel which left us without power for 13 days....  and Gaston which filled our house with ten feet of water...  I'm a little weird about storms.  I'm excited, manic, and freaked out all at the same time.  It's that feeling I imagine you get just before jumping out of an airplane.  That "This is so exciting, it's gonna be Awesome!, oh my gosh, I'm gonna die!" feeling.

And because of that excited freak out, I tend to over prepare.  And the more I over prepare, the less likely it is that the storm will actually hit.  It's happened that way with every storm since.  The more I prepare, the less it rains.  And with kind Mr. Weatherman predicting Florence dumping as much as 30+ inches of rain. (and that's not even considering the wind or the fact that it's already been raining a solid week before her arrival...)  You can bet your sweet behind that I am preparing.  

And that's why I'm feeling a little guilty. 

photo courtesy of alamy.com

1.  As a family, we drink a lot of water.  And we don't drink tap water, we drink bottled.  And it just so happens that on Sunday, everyone in the family individually, without telling anyone else, bought a week's worth of water.  Except I bought two weeks' worth.  While I was putting the normal five gallons into the cart, the nice Walmart lady (it was in the wee hours of the morning when all the Walmart employees are actually nice) commented that I better stock up because they expected to run out by noon the next day and may not be getting more in before the storm.  So I bought extra.  Our house now looks like a water storage warehouse.

Mr. Weatherman announced that Florence had shifted just slightly to the south.  Virginia was still going to get hammered, but we might not die in the storm.

2.  With the news that we might actually survive, I started thinking about drinking warm water for days on end after the storm leaves us with no power for possibly weeks....  So I plugged an old, unused freezer in and proceeded to make ice in every single container I could find.  Plastic travel cups, Tupperware cereal keepers, even mixing bowls became over sized ice trays. Once frozen, I put those chunks of ice in bags and repeated the process.  We now have an upright freezer full of nothing but large ice blocks.  We're ready to keep things cool for a while.

Mr. Weatherman announced that Florence had shifted even more to the south.

3.  So I made multiple pots of coffee and put them in the freezer, just in case.

And Mr. Weatherman announced that Florence was taking not only a more southerly route, but that she was also going to take a sharp left turn once she hit land.  

All I can say is,  I am SO sorry!  I feel like because of my over-preparing actions, I have single handedly wiped North Carolina and possibly South Carolina off the map.

Where ever she lands, I pray that you all stay safe and relatively dry.  Godspeed.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Makers' Monday

So, we're talking about the weather today.



And I have "Oh the weather outside is frightful" stuck in my head and playing on repeat.  Thankfully, or not, it's just that one line from the song.  "Oh the weather outside is frightful..."

I know that while in the midst of it, every summer feels like the hottest, most humid summer on record.  But this summer....  This summer Had to be some kind of a record.

Knitting a striped scarf to indicate the daily temperatures in 2018.
2018 Weather Cowl

My weather cowl tube (I still don't know what it's going to be.  A cowl?  A scarf? A pile of knitting that sits in the corner mocking me?) only has one, solitary red stripe indicating a temperature above 95.  But that single, solitary stripe is so misleading.  We may have only had one day that the actual temperature was 96 or above, but the Feels Like temperature was over 100 for most of August.  Even our 80+ degree days had Feels Like temps of over 100.

"Oh the weather outside is frightful....."

And September has turned the humidity into actual rain.  It's been raining for several days, and it's going to keep on raining throughout the coming week and into the next.

And Hurricane Florence is heading our way.

"Oh the weather outside is frightful....."

I have to admit although I'm complaining, I love a good storm.  I've been slightly manic ever since Mr. Weatherman announced that Florence would most likely not stay out to sea.  So, I guess I'll just enjoy this period of energized productivity and keep singing "Oh the weather outside is frightful....."  and just be glad it's rain, not snow.

"Oh the weather outside is frightful..... let it rain, let it rain, let it rain..."

And if my whining about the weather hasn't scared you away and you're still reading, please join me for Makers' Monday.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday Soup

soups for fall or autumn, hearty fall soup recipe, cooking from scratch
Lentil soup, recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com
I may have some trouble talking the family into this week's soup plan.  It's September and my heart craves wool socks and warm, filling soups....  But Mother Nature is still slapping us with unGodly warm and humid temperatures.  

But it's September, I have fall fever, and I want to sit around open fires while wearing wool socks and sweaters...  So lentil soup is on the menu this week.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Photo Friday

I'm finally back to hat knitting.

Hat #23

This one's just a plain, simple stockinette hat knit with Patons Classic Wool.  The color is Pumpkin.  It's the perfect project for my current fall fevered, I Gotta Catch Up on Hat Knitting panic mode.  

This is hat number 23, being knit in week 36.  It's no wonder I'm in panic mode.  I need to knit 13 more hats this week in order to be on schedule for the 52 Hats in a Year challenge.





Thursday, September 6, 2018

Three on Thursday

Aaahh... The wonder of September.  Besides the promise of lower humidity and cooler temperatures (in about three months,) September means I have weekdays off.  Mostly.  

So how will I spend my free time?  Besides spending inordinate hours knitting, I'm looking forward to:

courtesy of colourbox.com

1.  Cleaning the house.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  And you know my house must be in horrendously bad condition if I'm looking forward to cleaning it.  (It is, and I am!)

get a good night's rest.  sleeping photo
photo courtesy of attitudemag.com

2.  Sleep six (or even more!) hours per night.

casual dinner table setting for fall or winter
photo courtesy of oliviamarcheline.com

3.  Eat dinner at the table.  Off plates, not out of Tupperware.   Eat hot, homemade meals at the table, off real, breakable plates and not out of half melted, microwaved Tupperware containers.

Aaahh.... the joys of the end of The Season.


yarn stash photo
Happy Knitting, photo courtesy of craftsy.com

Monday, September 3, 2018

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sunday Soup

I've had a massive case of Fall Fever for a while now and although September 1st rolling around means absolutely nothing as far as our hot, humid weather is concerned, it means Fall is here.  At least in my mind.  Fall (and yes, it's a big enough event in my life to be capitalized) means wearing old, faded blue jeans, flannel shirts and boots, hot tea (I don't even like tea all that much but I crave it in the fall) and slow cooked meals and football.

Along with my urge to wear flannel despite it still being 90+ degrees with 4,000% humidity is my recent obsession with eating healthier meals.  I've been on a health kick for about a month now and I'm proud to say I've lost about 10 pounds by doing nothing but eating baked/grilled chicken instead of fried chicken tenders and cutting out potatoes and replacing them with an extra serving of vegetables.

But how was I going to keep that up over the winter when there isn't an over abundance of zucchini and fresh tomatoes available?

The answer?  Soup.

I decided that I'd challenge myself to serve some kind of made-from-scratch soup on a weekly basis throughout the winter.

And I decided to share the recipe with you each week.  

So, with no further ado, this week's recipe....

Instant pot soup recipes
Black Bean Soup, photo courtesy of delish.com

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

1 lb. dry black beans*
4 cups chicken stock
water
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
2 - 4 stalks celery (including leaves) chopped
1 cup salsa
avocado (optional)
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)

Rinse the beans and place in Instant Pot.  Pour in the chicken stock then add enough water to cover by 2 or 3 inches.  Add salt, celery and salsa.  Seal the lid and cook on high pressure for 25 - 30 minutes then allow the pressure to release naturally.

Once the beans have finished cooking, blend/smash/puree the beans.  A potato masher works great if you don't have a blender.

Scoop the soup into bowls and top with avocado, cheese and sour cream.  Enjoy!

*No Instant Pot?  Simply use a couple of cans of beans and leave out the water.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Photo Friday

Are you participating in the 52 Hats challenge? 

Participating in the 52 hats challenge where I knit 52 hats in a year.
Hat #22 out of 52

Hat #22 completed in week 35.  I've got a bit of catching up to do.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Three on Thursday

It's Thursday so you know what that means....

Three very random things.

1.  Minnie had a vet appointment yesterday for a variety of issues.  They put the bandanna sprayed with some kind of calming stuff on her so that she doesn't have to be muzzled.  I don't know what the spray is, but boy, it sure works!   She's 14 now, 98 in dog years, (Gosh, I wish I hadn't done that calculation!)  but she still has enough spunk in her to terrorize the vet.  



The appointment went about as I expected.  I shelled out a fortune, they ran a gazillion tests and she got sent home with some ear infection medicine, a diagnosis of old age, and a new pedicure.

2.  We went to dinner with the boy child and his girl friend last night and of course, I embarrassed myself.  It had been a while since we'd gotten together and I didn't know he had a new girl friend.  When we first sat down, I spent a little too much time staring at her thinking, "Wow!  She's lost a ton of weight and styled her hair very differently.  She doesn't even look anything like what I remember."  It finally dawned on me that it was a different girl and that I'd been staring weirdly... so I blurted out, "I like your hair."  I can only imagine what she thought.  

3.  I'm very happy to report that I finished Hat #22.  I haven't taken photos yet, but the knitting is complete.  I'm only 13 hats behind schedule now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Still blue

I should never have introduced Hat #22 in a blog post titled Turning Blue.  Now, every time I knit a stitch on the hat, I think, 'still blue' which leads me straight into singing Gary Moore's Still Got the Blues.  Which is not a bad thing for me.  I love the song.  But I do feel for my family having to hear my attempts at singing.  Frankly, it's more like caterwauling than singing.

Knitting a hemmed brim hat with Moody Blues yarn from Cherry Tree HIll.
Hat #22

I'm loving the worn denim-ness of this yarn from Cherry Tree Hill.  And the hat should be ready for bind off after a few more rows.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Photo Friday

After finishing the denim faux cabled fingerless gloves the other day, I decided to be a responsible adult and pick up a project from the UFO pile instead of starting something new.


Although I love the colorway of these socks, I hadn't been enjoying knitting them when I tossed them into the UFO pile.  It dawned on me recently the reason I wasn't enjoying them was that the dpns I was using were too pointy.  Way too pointy! While knitting the purl stitches on the heel flap, I kept splitting stitches and ending up with more on the needle than I'd started with.  I'd gotten frustrated and tossed the sock into the UFO pile.

About the time I realized what had been bothering me, I also realized that I could use two circular needles instead of dpns.  I don't know why I've never knit socks this way before.  My goodness!  Knitting socks on two circular needles is SO much faster than knitting with dpns!  I'm sure that unless today is the day you learned to knit, you probably already knew this but.....  Oh my goodness!  This has been a life changing realization for me!


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Turning blue

Today's Three on Thursday post is all about blue.

Blue?  You'll see what I mean...

1.  Despite the fact I only bother to paint my nails three times a year, and despite the fact that on the rare occasion I do paint my nails, I never wear 'colors' and despite the fact that the bottle had apparently been opened (and used!) I bought a bottle of holographic, blue nail polish from Walmart and love it!

2.  The same day I bought the blue, holographic nail polish, I started knitting a pair of denim blue fingerless gloves.

3.  And the night before I started knitting the denim blue fingerless gloves, I started knitting a simple, hemmed brim hat with self striping blue yarn.

Warm fingerless gloves knit with an easy cable stitch and a blue hat knit with self striping washable wool yarn
Pretending it's fall and my hands are cold.

Yarn details:

The gloves were knit with Cascade Superwash Aran Splatter and the hat is being knit with Cherry Tree Hill's Broad Band Supersock Self-Striping yarn in the Moody Blues colorway.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Makers' Monday

Makers' Monday is back!  I can't believe I haven't had a Makers' Monday post since June.  This summer's theme park work-schedule took a toll on my knitting/blogging life.  The full-time season is almost over and I hope to be back to regularly scheduled Makers' Monday posts now.  I hope you'll join me.


Garter stitch shawl knit with Knit Picks Sunstorm Hawthorne collection
The game begins.

I finished knitting my Sunstorm shawl this morning and had the thrill of playing a mean game of yarn chicken in the process.

playing yarn chicken with my knit shawl
Will I win?

I was starting to get a little nervous as I knit decrease row after decrease row.

I won that round of yarn chicken.  Knitting a faded garter stitch shawl.
Win!

I don't know why I was so worried.  I had plenty of yarn to spare.  A whole 26 inches extra!

Help me celebrate my yarn chicken win by joining me on today's Makers' Monday link-up.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Photo Friday

I'm making progress!

Faded garter stitch shawl knit with Knit Picks Sunstorm Hawthorne collection
Sunstorm Shawl

Slowly but surely, I'm making progress.  I've 'faded' into the final skein (half a skein in reality) and have begun knitting the decreases on my Sunstorm.  I should have a finished shawl by next week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

On the Needles

What's on my needles?  

It's more like, what's Still on my needles.

Simple garter stitch shawl, great for beginners, knit with Hawthorne from Knit Picks

I'm still knitting my Sunstorm shawl, mentioned here.  Although it feels like a never ending knit, I'm enjoying watching it grow.  There's enough fluctuation in each yarn to hold my interest throughout all that garter stitch, plus, because it's garter stitch, I can read my email, other blogs, or a few pages of my book while I knit.  Being able to multi-task like that is pretty important to my sanity during this period of my work season.

Several people have asked about the pattern I'm using.  Actually, I'm not using a pattern.  I'm just knitting along until I get so bored I can't stand it.  In the beginning, I started with three stitches and increased until I was bored to the point of declaring it wide enough.  (That point happened at 135 stitches if you're curious.)  When I get bored with the color I'm using, I force myself to knit a few more rows then begin the next color by knitting two-row stripes for a while.  So far, the stripes range from three stripes to seven.  I've based their number on how bored I was and with how much of the old color I had left.

The only problem I've run into with knitting the shawl based on the boredom factor is that I'd originally planned to begin the decreasing once I got to the yellow.  The shawl wasn't long enough though so I'll finish knitting the yellow skein (or get as close to finishing it as I can stand) then add the other half of the speckled yarn before I begin the decreasing.  I think it will be fine in the end.

Hopefully, this shawl will be finished by the end of next week.  Then it's decision time.  Do I knit Christmas gifts with the gigantic box of yarn I ordered last month?  Do I knit the sweater my daughter is asking for, although she can't decide on a pattern?  Do I knit 11+ hats in an effort to catch up on my goal of knitting 52 hats in 2018?  Or do I knit something from the giant box of yarn I ordered yesterday?

Decisions, decisions!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Three on Thursday

I have a pretty long stretch of work days ahead of me so I thought for today's Three on Thursday post, I'd remind myself why I love my job.

1.  I LOVE playing with the money!  It's my job to make sure all the money is accounted for and safely stored each night.  I'm not 100% positive that my boss appreciates me calling it "playing with the money" but that's what it feels like.  I love counting it and strapping it and putting it in little stacks.  I don't even mind (much) when it comes to me wet and I have to iron it to get it dry.

2.  This year, we have Winterfest and I can NOT wait!  The park is going to go from...

fountains and Eiffel Tower at Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion, photo courtesy of hamptonroadschurch.com

to...
Eiffel Tower and fountains decorated for Christmas
Kings Dominion Winterfest, photo courtesy of wtvr.com

this.  There will be a zillion Christmas lights.  (Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas lights?)  Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there.  (Have I mentioned how much I love Santa?)  And the fountains are going to freeze over and be turned into an ice skating rink.  Have I mentioned how bad I am at ice skating?  Have I mentioned that I'm about 99.99% sure I'll break a leg?  Have I mentioned that I don't even care!  I can Not wait for Winterfest!  I'm more excited about Winterfest than I am about playing with the money each night.

PC Load Letter
photo courtesy of mentalfloss.com

3.  I love the people I work with.  Once, I was having a problem with the printer and my boss walked by and asked "Having PC Load Letter issues?"

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dear Blog,

Dear Blog,

I've missed you!  I thought I was only going to be gone a week or two but it's been almost a full month.  I hope you will forgive me.

While I may not have been here talking about it, I have been knitting.  Not knitting as much as I'd like -that pesky job of mine tends to get in the way - but knitting nonetheless. 

Since my last post, I've knit a couple of hats, I finished the Blue Heron cowl and I started another 'faded' project.

garter stitch shawl knit from Hawothorne Sunstorm value pack http://shrsl.com/133ux
Faded Sunstorm Shawl

I'm actually much further along on it than the photo shows.  Since taking that photo, I've added almost two more full skeins to it.  I'm using the Sunstorm Hawthorne value pack I mentioned here.  The first two colors coordinate but don't really 'fade.'  The rest however....  At least so far, the other colors are blending perfectly.  In fact, they blend so well that until I've got a few solid inches of the new color knit, I don't notice the difference in the yarns.  To balance out that non-faded beginning color change, I'm saving the yellow skein for the other end.  The yellow will coordinate but not 'fade' with the color before it.  I think it's going to be perfect!

The design is simple.  So simple, I'm not sure I can legally call it a design.  It's just a garter stitch rectangle with pointy ends.  I started by casing on 3 stitches and increased with a simple K1YO at the beginning of each row.  Once the shawl was wide enough (more like, I got bored of increasing,) I began doing a K1,YO,K2tog at the beginning of each row.  Once I'm ready to decrease on the opposite end, I'll change it K2tog, YO, K2tog.  I think it's going to work and again, I think the shawl will be perfect!

The simplicity of all that garter stitch is exactly what I've needed this summer.

Hopefully I will have a more up-to-date photo to share soon.  I can't believe my luck!  Actually, I can.  Today was a fairly typical day in my life.  I finally had a chance to take a few photos of finished projects and...  It was cloudy and late-ish afternoon, which means the house is not naturally well lit at all so I set up outdoors on the porch.  I wiped down the deck railing, got the shawl laid across it just so, got the camera set up, waited for the lens to clear (It's about 4,000% humidity outside,) got the tripod set so that the shawl was framed perfectly in the camera lens, dealt with the wasp sting I got when I stepped back and my foot landed on Mr. Angry Wasp...  I was finally ready to go and...  Dammit!  The camera battery was dead.  And so was the back up battery.  Double dammit!

So, maybe next Saturday I'll get some photos taken.  And yes, Next Saturday.  Not This Saturday.  Next Saturday is my next day off.

So, once again, you may not be hearing from me for a while.

Someone please remind me how much I love my job.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Independence Day

I seem to be failing miserably at this whole work vs. life balance thing this season.  Since I'm struggling to have new knitting projects to show you and my recent posts have obviously been hastily written and published without much thought and I don't see things improving around here any time soon, I've decided to take a short break from the blog.  

A little mini vacation if you will.  Just for a week or two while I try to get my head together and some yarn balled so that I could knit if I should find the time.

I imagine my need to talk about knitting and my family's and coworker's desire Not to talk about knitting will lead me back to the blog quicker than expected.  Meanwhile,

Happy 4th of July
photo courtesy of officeholidays.com

I'm wishing all my American friends a safe and happy Independence Day!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Makers' Monday

Oops! Better late than never.  I almost forgot today was Monday.  Actually, what happened was yesterday, I thought it was Saturday and that I had another day to get this week's Makers' Monday post written.  I've definitely got the 'KD Confusion' thing going on.  I get this way each summer.  I never know what day it is.  I just go to work every day and when I run out of clean uniforms, I pray it's my day off.

Anyway....  Because of my date confusion, you're being treated to a hastily written post today.


I've almost finished knitting my Blue Heron cowl that I mentioned last Monday.  Although quite splity (or is it splitty?  I'm a horrible speller and Spellcheck says both are wrong,) this yarn has been a delight to work with.  I'm absolutely loving the drape of the knitted fabric.  My original plan was for this to be a long, twist around your neck a bunch of times type cowl but....  Since I didn't check my gauge or even count my cast on stitches....  It turned out to be the perfect mini poncho size.    I'm only a few rows from casting it off and can't wait to wear it to some nice, chilly, air conditioned event.

But even more exciting than my knitting....  Do you see my shirt?   I know it's upside down but....  It's a tank tank. 

Tank-like vehicle stolen from Fort Pickett
Stolen Tank, photo courtesy of RVAMag.com

Did you hear about the stolen military 'tank-like' vehicle that lead police on a chase through Richmond  a few weeks ago?  While the reality of it is pretty scary - I mean, what if the thing had been armed and the driver angry rather than just in need of a ride home.... 

stolen tank meme, stolen tank Richmond Virginia
I was at work.  Where else would I be?  Photo courtesy of deskgram.org

But honestly, it was pretty dang funny.  You can see a brief video of it here.  And because it was funny, the news went viral.  And because it went viral, there was a t-shirt made.  Or rather, a tank.  A Tank tank.  I had to have one!

And with that, I'm going to leave you so I can go deal with that awful scraped up nail polish and get back to knitting.  Happy better late than never Makers' Monday!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Makers' Monday

With no other plan than 'a cowl with some super simple lacy bits on the edges and a bunch of stockinette in the center,' I cast on an unknown number of stitches while hanging out in the waiting room of the local tire shop the other day.  It was a day for living dangerously.  Just like making the decision not to put air in the slowly flattening tire before driving to the tire shop, I didn't bother with gauge or even a stitch count.  I just cast on stitches until I couldn't stand it anymore and the Need to begin knitting took over.


Casting on

Then I came home and finished my So Faded sweater.  Yes! You heard that right.  I finally finished it!

finished knitting my So Faded sweater with Knit Picks Hawthorne yarn
So Faded Sweater

Okay, okay.  I finished the knitting.  There's still the matter of a few loose ends to deal with and it needs a bit of blocking.  But I finished the knitting and it fits perfectly.  I should clarify - it fits me perfectly.  My mannequin is slightly petite with weirdly pointy boobs.  I am the exact opposite.

And I'd like to add that So Faded is officially my new favorite basic sweater pattern.  There was no sewing up involved.  None at all!  And the neck line is brilliant!  There are short rows, well, not really - just extra rows, on the back that help the front lay flat instead of doing that weird bunching up around the neck/across the collar bone thing that so many raglands do.  Oh and the cuffs were an inch of ribbing instead of three or four. 

Yep, this is definitely my new favorite sweater pattern!  And the sweater deserves a much nicer photo but I'm working with the little bit of time I have.  A hastily snapped cellphone picture in front of a mountain of unorganized junk will have to do.

simple knit cowl with lace and stockinette stitch
Blue Heron Metallic Cowl

As soon as I cast off So Faded, I went back to knitting the Blue Heron Metallic cowl.  The yarn is slightly splitty but I'm loving it's sparkle!  Assuming that my living dangerously method of casting on produces a circle long enough to wrap around my neck twice (and it looks like it will) I think this cowl will be perfect for indoor/outdoor wear on our milder winter and/or over air conditioned summer days.

That photo has me stumped though.  The project bag is showing up with the exact correct color, the knitted yarn is almost exact, but the yarn bowl....  In the photo, the yarn bowl looks like it's been left out in the weather for about 15 years.  In reality, its wood has a much warmer and polished-to-a-shine tone.  Weird. 

I wish I knew more about photography.  I really should take a class.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Makers' Monday

I broke the rule.  I rebelled and went yarn shopping.  Yarn shopping before I'd knit up an entire drawer full of yarn.  I'd promised myself no yarn purchases until I had an empty yarn drawer.  But seriously!  Who was I kidding?  And actually, I've done better with the goal since I set it way back in November than anyone ever expected I would.  I've had many more months without yarn hauls than with. 

And I only bought two skeins.  I got lucky My wallet got lucky.  I'd completely forgotten why I don't venture into the city more often.  I hit every single stop light in the state of Virginia and even more traffic jams on the way to the yarn shop.  I didn't arrive until about fifteen minutes before they closed. 

And before you say anything, I went in for needles.  Needles that I'd called about, they said they had, but when I got there, discovered that they don't carry them after all.  I was disappointed and frustrated to say the least.  So you can see why I broke the No Yarn rule.  

Only two skeins.

I must be missing wearing my jeans because oddly, both skeins are called Denim.  And even more oddly, when I insert the photos into the blog, the yarn changes color.  Both skeins are much darker/grayer.  They both look much more like actual well-worn, faded denim than they do in these pictures.


knitting arm warmers with Cascade Aran Splatter in Denim
Cascade 220 Superwash Aran Splatter

This Cascade 220 Superwash will most likely become a pair of fingerless mitts, or maybe a hat.  Probably mitts.


Lace weight metallic rayon yarn to knit a scarf or cowl
Blue Heron Metallic

And this Blue Heron Metallic will be a cowl or scarf.  I'm not normally into shiny sparkles but this yarn just called to me.  It literally jumped off the shelf and threw itself into my arms.  Well, that's not true.  The aqua green skein threw itself off the shelf and into my arms.... but I decided the blue would go with my fall/winter clothes much more so than the aqua.

I'm so excited about knitting with the Blue Heron Metalic yarn, I'm thinking seriously of binding off my So Faded sweater sleeve right where I'm at so that I can start knitting with it.  I mean, it wouldn't look weird at all if one sleeve was a normal, long sleeve length and the other was above the elbow.  No, it wouldn't look strange at all.  Knitters would understand.  Right?

Right??

Dammit!  I guess I'll finish knitting the sleeve.  But I won't be happy about it.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Three on Thursday

Three very random facts...

1.  We had over 12 inches of rain last month.  It's made driving to work a little tricky for some folks.

2.  I have Friday and Saturday off this week!  A Friday And a Saturday!  Two days, back to back!  On a weekend!  I'm slightly worried about what the boss might be buttering me up for.

Rock the Red!  photo courtesy of nhl.com

3.  The Caps just may bring home the cup tonight!

Join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

D-Day

D-Day doesn't get much attention anymore but it has always been acknowledged in my household.  Our 'celebration' is fairly solemn.  We fly the flag and we spend a few moments thanking and remembering those men and women who gave so much that fateful day.

In honor and memory of D-Day
Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944; photo courtesy of irastehmann.com

Since I'm off to work in a few minutes, I'll simply say a little prayer and leave you with a link to a previous D-Day post.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Makers' Monday

I'm hoping this post improves as time passes.  As it stands, although this is Monday's post, I'm typing it on Saturday night.  Saturday night while I'm a bit more focused on the Caps' game than I am the computer screen and I have a few celebratory drinks under my belt.  And, as I type this, the post is currently photoless.  I'm hoping I remember to take a few shots tomorrow before I head into work.  We will see.

But shots of what, you ask?  Well, I've knit a sleeve and a half on my So Faded sweater.  Well, okay... honestly, I have a sleeve and a quarter.  Maybe closer to an eighth.  The point is, I've started the second sleeve.  I'm making progress. 


Fade sweater knit with Knit Picks Hawthorne fingering weight washable wool
So Faded

The second sleeve is knitting up a little slower than the first.  I decided to use the Arleta colorway for the sleeves instead of fading them.  Although my Arleta skeins are the same dye lot and were ordered at the same time, they are very different from each other. 

photo courtesy of twitter.com

Woot!  Woot!  We scored again!!

Sorry.  I'm a little excited.  And a lot distracted.

Anyway....  The first sleeve was a big old beautiful mess of fluctuating color and the second sleeve was coming out all stripey.  Luckily I had a partial skein left over so I'm alternating the rows.  No more stripey affect.  Knitting time wise, it's no different but untangling the twisted yarn time wise....


Started knitting the 2nd sleeve on my So Faded Sweater
Second Sleeve

But it's fine if the sweater is taking me longer than planned.  You might be sick of looking at it but I'm Loving knitting with the Hawthorne yarns and I'm quite pleased with the way the sweater is turning out.  And it's June.  I won't be wearing it anytime soon!


Mad Hatters' challenge - knit 52 hats in a year
Hat #19

And, after a two month break in my knit-a-hat-a-week plan, I've finally cast on another hat.  This hat will be number 19 out of 52.  Luckily I was way ahead of the game and now I'm only four hats behind schedule.  I can come back from that.  I'm not totally defeated yet.

And now, back to the Caps game....