Saturday, February 13, 2021

52 Weeks of Photos -#7 - Coffee before Groceries




Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Stress Eating

 What a crazy few days it has been!


I haven't made anywhere near as much progress on Anisah as I'd like.  Things have been tense around here and I just haven't had as much time to knit as I'd like.  And honestly, when I do have time to knit, I find myself stress eating chocolate covered almonds instead of knitting.

To begin with, the MIL is requiring more and more care and we can no longer leave her alone for a single minute.  It's exhausting!  But I'm not supposed to mention her here so that's all I'm going to say.  


Despite the craziness here in this house, I did get to spend a full day with Hayden at her house the other day.  But the reason for that visit is upsetting.  Hayden's parents were hit by a drunk driver the other night.  They had to go to the hospital but luckily they were treated and released.  Hayden's mom has a back injury and won't be able to pick Hayden up for a while so I went over to help out.  

Thankfully, Hayden was not in the car at the time of the accident.  Nor was their dog who'd been neutered that morning. Can you imagine the fiasco if the poor, drugged up dog had been with them?  Not to mention Hayden's parents probably would have ended up being arrested for assaulting the drunk guy if she had been in the car.  Luckily, a police officer witnessed the accident and they didn't even have to dial 911.  And of course, the drunk guy was a non-English speaking non-citizen without the proper paperwork. And he was so drunk the investigating officer thinks he was passed out when he hit them.  Nice. 

Needless to say, I've been stress eating rather than knitting.  But I have been knitting some and I've knit enough rows that I've had to add a ten's place marker to my chain row counter.  I'm weirdly excited by that.

And now I'm off to eat plain chocolate chips because I'm out of chocolate covered almonds and there's no other chocolate in the house. 

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Sunday Supper - Spinach and White Bean Soup

Okay, today's Super Bowl Sunday Supper may not be traditionally Super Bowl-ish but (1) today's weather is gross, (2) Sarah and I take turns cooking and it's my turn tonight, (3) I saw canned white beans in the grocery store and for absolutely no reason, I felt the need to buy some and (4) when I Googled February soups, Spinach and White Bean soup popped up.  I felt it was a sign.


So yeah, we're going non traditional this year.  And besides, this year's Super Bowl, with cardboard people filling the stands, will be fairly non traditional too.  It's a theme.

Oh, by the way, the recipe for this spinach and white bean soup comes from Damn Delicious.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Anisah and Rita Mae

Ya'll just don't know how much I appreciate all the positive knitting mojo you sent my way the other day.  It was the strangest, most welcome thing.  One minute I'm sitting there, staring at my new knitting toy with absolutely no desire to knit, then my phone starts dinging with incoming email/blog comment notifications.  I opened u[p the comments, read them, and as I finished reading the last one, Anisah popped into my head and my knitting mojo was suddenly back. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


There's a lot going on in that photo.  Let me explain.

During last fall's yarn crawl, I stumbled across Rita Mae Yarns.  Cortni, the dyer was having a trunk show and I instantly fell in love with her yarns. Her colors are just... well, fantastic doesn't even begin to describe them.  As I recall, it was somewhat painful to choose between them.  I considered knocking her down, grabbing an armful of yarn and running.  I'm fairly sure I could have taken her.  But there were an awful lot of witnesses and I don't really run anymore so... 

Cortni had a sample Anisah on display and it was my undoing.  I had to knit myself one.  Just HAD to!  Of course, as those things go, the yarn went into the stash pile as soon as I got home, but I did write it down on my Must Knit list first.

So anyway, after getting my knitting mojo back, I dug out the yarn and found the pattern and cast on.  Well, first, I wound the yarn into usable skeins.  Oh. My. Goodness!  The yarn (merino DK) is SO unbelievably soft. It is an absolute delight to knit with and glides through my fingers almost as though it's been greased. It's superwash so I'm fairly certain it doesn't still contain lanolin but it just feels so good!  And the color!  I'm using Blue Steel and as weird as it sounds to say gray is beautiful, it is The most beautiful deep slate gray I think I've ever seen.  There's just enough color fluctuation to make the yarn appear to almost shine.  I am SO in love with this yarn!


There's just one slight problem.  That is how I hold my working yarn.


And that is my hand after knitting only a few rows.


And there are my knitting needles that were the same color as the cable needle when I started Anisah.  Yes, the dye is seriously rubbing off.  I'm going to have to be careful not to wear anything white while I knit with this yarn.  Hopefully once the shawl is finished, a good soaking or two (or five) will fix it.  I've had other yarns dye my needles but never so quickly and I've never had it dye my hands before.

But despite the dye issue, I still LOVE this yarn!  Oh, and see that pile of yarn under those needles in that last photo?  That's not a tangle of yarn I'm knitting with.  That is the pile of strings that were tied around the three skeins before I wound them.  The tie job was quite impressive!  I've never seen yarn so well tied before.  The skeins weren't huge - they are only 250 yards each - but they were each tied six times.  There is something very special about a well tied, non-tangled skein.

Okay, so let's move past the glorious yarn.  Next, the pattern.  Anisah is awesome!  The lace and cable keep you interested, but the garter section allows you to make quick progress.  And then there's the pattern's directions.  They are so well written and both graphs and written directions are provided.  The designer, Dee O'Keefe, goes into lots of detail regarding modifying the shawl's size and/or using different weight yarns and she even explains a few little oddities that you might be concerned about in the beginning.  For example, in the top photo, do you see that weird stockinette lump that's formed near the point of the shawl?  She explains that that is normal and that it will block out.  It's nice to know that the weird lump is supposed to be there.  At least for now.


And last, but definitely not least, did you see my new toy?  I love my new chain row counter from Northern Swan Creations almost as much as I love this yarn.  And you know if I love something as much as I love yarn, I really love it!  In fact, I love it so much, I've already ordered another one in a smaller size.  

Have you seen these chain row counters?  The concept is just amazing!  The loops are numbered zero through nine and as you knit rows, you adjust the loop so that it is always on the row number you are on.  And since it also acts as a stitch marker, there's none of that getting to the end of the row and trying to remember to adjust your row counter.  You simply make the adjustment as you reach the chain.  

But it only has zero through nine.  What happens if you have ten rows you ask?  You simply put a marker on the one loop.  And when you reach twenty rows, you move that marker to the two.  

This chain row counter is so versatile!  They are advertised as being able to count up through 99 rows, but really, to count more than that, you could simply add another marker to indicate the hundred's place.  And, while I use mine to count rows, I also have a marker on the 7th loop to remind me to cable on that row.  I also have a third marker on the 4th loop to remind me which chart I'm on.  As long as you can keep up with what the different markers mean, you could add zillions of them!  And yes, I know myself.  I've already made a legend for what my different markers mean in case I ever set the project down for a while and forget what they mean.

Chain row counters are just so genius you must get one if you do any kind of knitting where you have to count rows.  As I said, I've already ordered a second one in a smaller size to hug smaller needles a little better, and just so that I can have two different projects going at once, and, I will probably order a few more for knitter friends' Christmas gifts next year.  These row counters really are the best thing since hand dyed yarn!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Three on Thursday - Quick Knits for Valentines

Thank you all for the wonderfully positive knitting and puzzle mojo you sent my way.  After reading your comments, I quickly finished the puzzle and pulled out a box of yarn and started a new project.  I'll show you the new shawl tomorrow but for now, I wanted to give back and share a little Valentine's knitting mojo with you.  So, for today's Three on Thursday, we have three quick to knit Valentines projects.


First up, and probably most difficult of the three, Valentine Plaids Hats from Cassandra May.  I just may have to knit all three of these for Hayden.  She's growing like a weed though so I better hurry!  The patterns are designed for newborn up to toddler size.


Or how about a cowl for the grown-ups?  Sweet Valentine Cowl, designed by Ambah O'Brien, is written for two sizes - a long and a short version.  I really like this one because I don't think I'd really notice the hearts if the cowl wasn't knit in traditional Valentines' colors.  Honestly, and no offense to the designer, I see lily pad leaves rather than hearts.  But that's probably because I've been reading a lot of fish pond/aquarium books lately and they are on my mind.  Whether they are intended to be hearts or lily pads, I like this design.


And, last but not least, a Valentines Dishcloth from Cecilia Fameli.  This pattern would be great for those of you (and most likely me) who have procrastinated until the 13th and are in a sudden Valentines Day panic.  Although it's technically a dishcloth, it could easily be used as a special wash cloth for the little one in your life.  Or knit it in manly colors for that boy child who's living on his own and may need a little motivation to wash his dishes. 

Thanks again for sending such an outpouring of knitting mojo my way.  You wouldn't believe how much it helped and I hope one of these patterns returns the favor.  I also hope you'll join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.




Tuesday, February 2, 2021

I'm scared!

I'm kind of scared.

I seem to have lost my knitting mojo.

I can't remember ever loosing my knitting mojo before.  Yes, there have been times when I didn't feel like finishing the piece I was knitting.  And there have been plenty of times where I had trouble starting a new project because I couldn't choose which project and/or yarn to knit. And there have even been times when I wasn't happy with a project I'd chosen and frogged it before I even really got going. But I don't think I've ever just not felt like knitting before.  At least not since I laid down all other crafts and began knitting obsessively 28 years ago.

I'm really kinda scared!


I'm so not into knitting at the moment, I didn't even go to the yarn shop to stock up on yarn and new patterns before the big snow storm hit.


When the storm hit, instead of curling up with a cup of hot chocolate and my knitting, I went for a walk instead.  

(Is there anything more cold and desolate than train tracks in the snow?)


When I got home from my walk, I curled up with a book instead of my knitting.


And when I finished my book, I fought with this %#$@$% puzzle some more.  Let me just say, if you are into puzzles, unless you enjoy pain and frustration, do NOT buy this one with a picture of a bunch of hillbillies camping in what looks like a wheat field with a creek running through it.  Normally, this size puzzle takes me three or four days, tops.  But this one?  This one I've been struggling with for twelve days.  Good grief!!  The wheat field part was bad enough but that sky!  Oh. My. Goodness!  The last time I sat down to work on it, it took me almost two hours to place six pieces!  The whole sky is night sky and bare, overlapping branches.  It's a nightmare!

Perhaps my puzzle frustration is affecting my knitting mojo.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.  It's good in the sense that when I finish the puzzle, my knitting mojo will hopefully come back.... But at the rate I'm going, I may not finish this ^%&$%^$^ puzzle until the spring of 2023.

I'm really kinda scared!  Please, if you have any extra knitting mojo, send me some!


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sunday Supper - Homemade Chewy Brownies

I realize it's a little early to be thinking of Valentine's Day but tonight's Sunday Supper dessert will be a trial run.  

If this recipe for homemade chewy brownies from Countryside Cravings turns out anything like the photo, they will be our Valentine's Day dessert.  

And how do you turn brownies into a Valentine's treat you ask?  Simply cut them with a heart shaped cookie cutter and save the scraps to 1) sprinkle on top of ice cream or 2) put them in a quiet to open container and stash them in your knitting bag so that you can sneak bites without having to share later on.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Knit Picks, I really do love you!

Remember me talking about running out of yarn for the scarf I was knitting and Knit Picks calling me to confirm that I still wanted them to fill my order even though they no longer had the dye lot I'd requested?  Well, that happened and I thought it was great customer service.


Well, the new yarn with a different dye lot arrived.  I held the new yarn up to the old and couldn't see a difference.  I decided to risk it and started knitting with the new.  After all, it was a simple, narrow garter stitch scarf.  The world wouldn't end if I had to rip out a few rows.

I knit a few rows and still couldn't see a difference in the yarns.

I knit a little more, still didn't see a difference so I asked my daughter to identify the fault line.  If it was there, she'd see it!


She couldn't see a difference either so I kept on knitting.

Can you spot the row where the two different dye lots join?  I sure can't. 

I don't think, in my entire crafty life, I have ever had two dye lots match so well.  Thank you Knit Picks!  Thank you for having incredible dye consistency!  I just love you guys!


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Three on Thursday

Welcome to today's brilliant Three on Thursday post about three random things going on in my life.

1.  I've been reading a lot of murder mystery/detective novels lately.  And oddly, more than one had bodies hidden and/or moved in oil drums.

2.  As I've mentioned before, we are the only house on our road.  We don't own all the property on the road, but we are the only people here.  We are also right on the edge of the swamp and with all the rain we've had this past year, the swamp has been more river than swamp.  The other day, I took a walk down our road for the first time in a long time and discovered someone had left six oil drums (actually five gallon buckets) on the side of the road.

In an effort to be environmentally conscious, (because what would happen if the water rose just a little more and those oil buckets turned over and dumped into the swamp??) I called the non-emergency number for the sheriff's office to report it.  And the deputy had the nerve to think I was insane for not opening the buckets to confirm it was oil because I was afraid they might contain body parts.  

Okay, actually, I just didn't want to get oil all over myself but I thought fear made a better story than vanity.  Apparently, I should have gone with vanity when talking to the sheriff's department.  I'm probably on some kind of watch list now.


3.  I can't decide what I want to knit next so I pulled out my old Rambling Rows afghan.  I'm currently on block 31 out of 55.  It's taken me almost a year to knit just slightly more than half a blanket.  Good grief!


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

It's only Tuesday

Can we make Three on Tuesday a thing?  

First of all, sometimes my ignorance completely astounds me.  Did you notice the super fuzzy and off colored photos in the last few posts?  Once or twice I didn't even post something because the photos were so bad.  And then it finally dawned on me.

Good grief!  I'd spent several days babysitting Hayden and her favorite thing to play with is a phone.  If she sees a cell phone, she makes a bee-line for it.  We can't even take photos of her anymore because she gets so excited over the sight of the phone and comes crawling/climbing and yes folks, stumbling towards it.  Hayden is starting to walk!  I laugh and pity her parents every time I think about it.  Ten months old, LOVES cell phones and starting to walk.  Her poor, poor parents!

But Hayden walking isn't what happened to my photos.  Hayden grabbing, slobbering and teething on my phone is what happened to my photos.  There was baby mac & cheese smeared on my phone's camera lens.  Doh!

Second, I'm happy to hear so many of you are also Gilmore Girls fans.  As for you Team Dean-ers, well, yes, he treated her well and he was cute and he got along with Rory's mom but he was WAY too possessive.  It seemed a little stalkerish, almost abusive, there at the end of their relationship.  And he was always quick to pick a fight.  It worried me what married life would have been like with him. 

As for Jesse, he was horrible to her while they were dating, but it seemed he'd never had a decent role model.  Yes, he grew up and matured into a right decent young man and he's who I would have picked for her to marry.

But Logan will always be my favorite.  He was fun, brought her out of her shell and well, let's face it.  I've always had a thing for the bad boys.  I will admit though, I was pretty disappointed in him in that comeback season. 


And third, I did in fact finish the beading on the shawl.  I even blocked it the same day I finished it and I've worn it a few times since.  I absolutely love it!  

The beads are there, but they blend in and don't appear blingy at all.  I was slightly disappointed that the purple sections of yarn didn't stand out more.  But, the fact that it didn't turn out orange and purple striped means that it doesn't scream Halloween and I'm happy about that.  Anyway, I love it and have worn it which answers the question of whether I'd list it for sale in my Etsy shop or not.

And now, well, now I have to go try to think of three more things to talk about on Thursday.


Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sunday Supper - Chili Mac Casserole

Tonight's Sunday Supper menu will make my husband deliriously happy.  Chili Mac anything reminds him of his Air Force days.  And based on his stories, chili mac days were THE best days in the Air Force.  Not too sure what that says about Air Force food but...


Anyway, tonight we are having chili mac casserole from Taste of Home.  The ingredient list seems long at first glance but it's all simple stuff that just about every household would have on hand in the pantry.  And, other than having to precook the noodles, it's a simple dump and bake recipe with just the one dish to wash afterwards. 

My husband and I will both be happy tonight!

Friday, January 22, 2021

So close

 I'm so close and yet, so far away from finishing the beaded shawl.


Wow, that's bad!  One of these days I'll remember to take the photo in the daylight rather than in the dark of night under the oddly yellow light in my room.  I also need to remember to check for stray hairs before snapping the picture.  Next time...

But what I wanted to say is, I'm on the final beaded row of this beaded shawl.  I'm soooo close to being finished and yet....  Every stitch across the bottom/widest part of the shawl is beaded.  It's going to take me a lifetime.  Good thing I'm starting Gilmore Girls Season 5. Rory's about to meet up with and start hanging out with Logan.  I'm so excited!

And yes, I am fully aware that I need to get a life.  

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Three on Three - Fingerless Gloves

Remember me wanting to learn to walk and knit at the same time?  I thought I'd start out with some super simple fingerless gloves.  And because it's Thursday, here are three patterns I may try.


Simple Fingerless Gloves by Davina Choy

It doesn't get much simpler than those.  But because of the plainness of the design, the yarn will sing.  Whether I'm walking while I knit or laying in a hospital bed with two broken legs, I can't wait to knit several pair of these with a few different multicolored yarns that I have in the stash.


Half-finger Gloves by Snakefoot McGee

These half fingered gloves look pretty simple too, although it may shock you - I've never knit fingers before.  I can learn two things with this design!


Fadewalker Fingerless Mitts by Elizabeth Abate

And these, goodness!  These will be fantastic once I've gotten comfortable with walking and simple knitting.  And honestly, I love these so much, I may not wait until I can walk and knit to stitch myself a pair of these beauties.

Links:

Simple Fingerless Gloves

Half-finger Gloves

Fadewalker Fingerless Mitts

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

CREATE

Create is my 2021 word.  I don't have a burning desire to share that with you and I don't imagine I'll ever mention it again but everyone else has been talking about their 2021 word for the year and well, even though I have made lots of progress, my knitting still looks basically the same as it did last week so I thought I'd be a sheep and follow the herd instead of showing you a repeat photo.

photo courtesy of modernfarmer.com

So what will I create?

Well, there's the obvious - knitted stuff.  There are currently well over 1,000 patterns in my Ravelry queue, not to mention the numerous patterns in the 100's of pattern books I have.  You know that burning desire to knit 'all the things'?  Well, I intend to knock a few of them off the list this year.  

photo courtesy of ftd.com

Besides knitting, I have two more Christmas needlepoint pillow covers to do, a file cabinet drawer full of cross stitch patterns I'd like to stitch some day, a box full of 3-D felt Christmas ornaments I've had hanging around for a few years and I want to learn macramé.  For the past six months or so, I've had the urge to make macramé plant hangers.  

photo courtesy of coloringbookaddict.com

Oh, and zentangle.  I want to improve/do more zentangle.  It's something I enjoy and can actually sort of do.  It doesn't take actual drawing skill, which I do NOT have, but if you spend enough time on a piece, it can look fairly impressive.

But what about non artsy things?  What else do I want to create?

Well, I want to create a better me.  A healthier me.  A more energetic me.  A more educated me.  A more friendly and outgoing me, although with covid, I'm not sure how that's one's going to happen.  I want to create more friendships and stronger relationships with my family.  And more confidence in myself.  

I want to create a bigger balance in my bank account.  


photo courtesy of cleanpng.com

I want to create some camera skills.

I want to create an herb garden that can survive my pathetic gardening skills.  So, I guess I also want to create some gardening skills.

I want to create a happier home.  That one is going to be tough to do too because the current living situation is pretty tense and stress filled.  But my husband has finally hired a respite caregiver who will be coming by a few hours each week.  It's a start.

Basically, I just want to create a better, happier, more exciting life for myself.



Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday Supper - Slow Cooker Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

 I believe I've previously mentioned a time or two, my love of cooking in the slow cooker.  It's just so simple to dump everything in, turn it on, and walk away.  Sometimes even drive away... And later, without any effort or 5 p.m. 'what's for dinner?' panic, dinner is just magically ready.  And after you've eaten your fill, the clean up is so easy.  I just love using the slow cooker!

So, today's Sunday Supper recipe is for Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole from Allrecipes and cooked in the slow cooker.  Sadly, there's no shareable photo of this dish, but did I mention - there's bacon in this one?  Yum!


Friday, January 15, 2021

Felix

First, I wanted to thank everyone for all the recent comments.  I'm doing my best to keep up with reading comments and others' blog posts but I haven't been responding because I'm hoarding my internet.  I've mentioned before that we don't have real internet here at my mother-in-law's house.  We use jetpacks and they have a very limited amount of data.  Our phones are fairly limited too.  Anyway, the internet is a precious commodity around here and well, I goofed.  I goofed big time!  I thought I was downloading a few pages but it turned out to be a HUGE, giant file and it used up half my data for the month.  So now I'm hoarding what little bit I have left.  February 3rd, when it resets, is a loooong ways away.

Anyway....


I finished the Felix pullover and I absolutely love him!  I've worn him twice although I never blocked him.  He fits perfectly.  He's nice and loose without being sloppy and he doesn't have that weird, overly large underarm where you can feel your arm skin touching your chest/rib/breast/under arm skin.  That ragland sweater that I've knit over and over again has that weird, overly large underarm thing.  Felix also looks good dressed up with a skirt or down with jeans.  I'm really, really happy with him!

I'm so happy with him I immediately wanted to start another.  He takes bulky yarn though and I don't have any in the stash.  Gasp!  I know!  How crazy is it that I don't have any bulky yarn in the stash pile?  Actually, it's not that crazy because I don't like knitting with bulky yarn.  It makes my wrists and fingers hurt.  But oddly, the bulky Wool of the Andes didn't bother me at all.  Even on days where I knit for four or five hours without stopping even for a bathroom break, I had no wrist pain at all.  So now I'm wondering - was it the yarn or has my carpal tunnel issues magically disappeared?

Anyway, I'm left wanting to knit another.  But I also don't want to buy any more yarn.  I know - another Gasp!  I had to resort to using yet another giant Rubbermaid bin to hold my stash and well, I'm determined to use up some of that yarn before I buy any more.  Having to store half my clothes (and it's not like I have that many) in our storage unit to make room for the yarn was a bit of an eye opener.  I just might have a yarn addiction.



Thursday, January 14, 2021

Three on Thursday

I finished Felix last weekend and had planned on showing him to you today but I realized I'd forgotten to take any photos.  I've already worn him twice so he may have to get washed first.  Oops.  

So, with no Felix photos, today's Three on Thursday is three random things instead of three knitting things.


I started a simple, slightly beaded, garter stitch scarf.  I'd planned to use this City Tweed DK yarn for fingerless mitts but I wasn't feeling the urge to use dpns so I cast on a scarf instead.  I'm pretty happy with it.  I don't normally like plain garter stitch scarves but I feel like the single row of beads sort of dresses it up a little.  And the color is going to look great with my new coat.

But as luck and spontaneous, poor planning would have it, I don't have enough yarn.  I started with two skeins and knit to the end of the first.  The scarf is approximately a third of the length it needs to be.  Argh.  So now I'm awaiting another skein of Coastal and a contrasting color skein just in case the dye lots don't jive with each other.  

I already know the new skein won't be the same dye lot.   Knit Pick's customer service amazes me.  I'd put a note on my order requesting the dye lot I needed if possible.  They no longer have it and called me to see if I wanted to change my order.  Anyway, if the new skein is  too far off the color of the old, I'm going to add a white skein in and pretend I'd intended the scarf to be color blocked.


To all the puzzle affectionados out there, first, darn you for blogging about all your puzzles and getting me hooked.  I'm puzzle-ing almost as much as I'm knitting these days.  And second, I discovered puzzles in Target's dollar bin section.  They are $3.00 and 500 pieces and well, they are three dollar puzzles but whatever.  At the rate I'm working puzzles, I'm a lot better off spending $3 on a 500  piece puzzle that takes me a week to put together because the pieces bend and well, they're the quality you'd expect from a $3 puzzle vs. $12 on a 1,000 piece puzzle I put together in two or three days.  But the point is, Target has cheap puzzles if you're desperate.


While I was digging out the beads for the City Tweed scarf, I found beads that I thought would look good with this yarn.  Knowing that I was probably going to have to wait for a yarn shipment before I could finish the scarf, I went ahead and started a beaded shawl too. 

There's no official pattern involved, just a heart shaped shawl with a single beaded, *K2tog,YO* row thrown in every so often.  The yarn is On-Line from my LYS.

Links:

City Tweed DK yarn

Caspian Interchangeable Needles

Knit Picks

Center of the Yarniverse

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

DMV during Covid

I'll apologize in advance if this turns ranty.  Have you had the pleasure of going to the DMV during covid?


I had the thrill of going to the DMV yesterday.  My license and three car registrations expired back in the summer.  As soon as I heard the DMV's had opened up for appointments, you know, back in the early fall, I made one.  The earliest appointment I could get was yesterday.  Over four months from the day I set the appointment.  And no, my appointment was not at the local DMV.  My earliest available, four+ month away appointment was at a DMV 58 miles from my home.

So instead of spending yesterday knitting, I drove the hour and twenty minute trip (there were lots of small, one lane, twisty-turny back roads and 25 mph speed limits involved.  It wasn't a bad drive though.  I got to go across seven big bridges over big water.  Two of the bridges were draw bridges and thankfully they were closed to boats and open for cars in both directions.  I had good music and really, it wasn't a bad drive, just a bit long for a trip to the DMV.

I arrived at the DMV 30 minutes before my appointment because I'd left home a little early in case I got lost.  Sometimes my GPS sends me on wild goose chases.  

I stood in line while it lightly rained and three different old men argued with the DMV lady who was guarding the door.  None of them had appointments and they were each pretty angry that she couldn't just take care of their issues for them.  I felt pretty sorry for that poor woman.  Lord knows how many times a day she has to deal with argumentative people without appointments.  She handled it well though.

I filled out my paper work and only waited a few minutes for my turn at the counter.  Once I got to the counter, I was told that because my license had expired, even though it was covid times and DMV had been closed at the time, and I'd made the first available appointment, I had to have my birth certificate and my marriage license to renew my drivers license.  Of course I did not have either of those two things with me.

Thankfully, I was able to pay the DMV $28 to have them print a birth certificate and marriage license for me.  Why they couldn't just see it on the screen for free rather than printing them for $28 is beyond me but hey - I now have extra originals if I ever need them.

Once I had the printed paperwork in hand, I passed the eye exam, got my photo taken twice because the cashier didn't like the first one, (You know it had to have been a BAD photo if the DMV people didn't like it! 😏) forked over a few hundred dollars, received my temporary drivers license and my three car registrations and hit the road for the journey home.

When I got home, I looked at the receipts and noticed that I'd had to pay late fees for each of the three car registrations.  Late fees on something I was unable to pay for on time because the DMV hadn't been open.  Good Lord!  Only our government could get away with something like that.

Oh well.  The experience is behind me.  I didn't get lost.  I got out of the house.  I saw big water.  I have the trill of looking forward to seeing what my new license photo will look like in five to ten days (assuming the USPS can manage to deliver the mail,) and I won't have to deal with the DMV for another year.

Now, I think I'll go knit so that my next blog post can hopefully be a little more interesting.  And knitting related.



Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sunday Supper - Bacon Cheeseburger Dip

 Woot Woot!!  Hail to the Redskins!

I'm fairly certain no one ever dreamed the Skins would make it so far this year.

And yes, I'm writing today's Sunday Supper in advance because I will be busy watching the game on Saturday night.  I'll be busy praying, probably cursing, and stress eating bacon cheeseburger dip.


And if this dip recipe from wishesndishes.com tastes half as good as it sounds, we might actually be eating it on Sunday too.  Really, I don't see why I couldn't toss a bit of shredded lettuce and some chopped tomato on top and call it dinner rather than an appetizer.

As a Washington fan, we don't get to do a lot of celebrating but hopefully we'll be having more playoff Sunday Supper meals.  How about you?  Who are you rooting for?

Links:

Recipe for bacon cheeseburger dip

Friday, January 8, 2021

On the needles

Felix is still on my needles.


But not for long.  He's only got a tiny bit over a half an arm to go.  

Happily, or not so happily, depending on how you look at it, Felix looks a lot better on me than he does on the mannequin.  The mannequin is much smaller than I am and has a 25 inch waist.  Mine is, ahem, slightly larger.  

I'm quite happy with Felix's fit.  I was a little worried about how it would look on me.  In all the photos I've seen of other people's he's always been so cropped.  I was afraid he was going to accent my slightly more than 25 inches waist.  But all things considered, he looks okay on me and I'm pretty happy with him.  

Now, just to fight those darn plastic dpns and get that sleeve finished.

Links:

Felix Pullover pattern

Wool of the Andes Bulky yarn



Thursday, January 7, 2021

Three on Thursday - Skills

One of my 2021 goals is to improve a few of my knitting skills.  For today's Three on Thursday, I thought I'd share several of those skills.  So that this post has some photos, I'm including a pattern to go along with each.


The Yellow Queen Sweater by Veronika Lindberg

First, I really, really want to improve my colorwork skills.  I can knit fair isle and intarsia and I'm okay with the results but I'd like to feel more confident and relaxed when I knit them.  I want to be able to talk and fair isle at the same time rather than obsessively looking back and forth between my knitting and the pattern while mumbling numbers and glaring at anyone who dares to speak to me.  I'd like to feel confident going into a project that it will turn out the size planned rather than being drawn in so tight the garment is six sizes too small or so large and loosely knit it looks like a poorly made, old, torn fishing net rather than the intended item.


Triangle Entrelac Shawl by Diane Conroy

I also really, really want to learn how to knit backwards so that I can knit entrelac without having to constantly turn my work.  Entrelac can create some of THE most gorgeous designs but I absolutely despise flipping my knitting back and forth.  I will learn how to knit backwards if it kills me!


Headband with a twist by Mirella Moments

And third, I want to learn to knit while I walk.  This may prove difficult.  Very, very difficult.  I can barely walk and talk at the same time, but I have taught myself to read and knit so maybe someday, with enough practice and a few bloody knees, I will be able to walk and knit at the same time.  (And yes, a little insider trading tip for you... I suggest you all rush out and buy stock in Band-Aids!)

So, do you have 2021 knitting goals?  I can't wait to hear about them.

Links:

The Yellow Queen Sweater

Triangle Entrelac Shawl

Headband with a twist


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

No Chicken Here!

 So, yeah.  I'm 99.999% positive I'm jinxing myself but...  


I won't be playing yarn chicken with Felix.  I was a tiny bit worried when I got down to the waist ribbing on the body that I might not have enough yarn.  Actually, "worried" is probably too strong of a word for what I was feeling, but I was concerned enough to knit a sleeve before I knit the body's waistband.  I'd rather have a short waisted sweater than one who's arms are too short.  Having freakishly long monkey arms, I have spent my life with sleeves that were too short.  I will never, ever, no matter how bored I am with a project, intentionally knit the sleeves too short. 

Anyway, I put the body on a holder and knit a sleeve.  Well, almost a sleeve.  I have one more decrease row repeat and the cuff to go.  But the point is, I will have plenty of yarn.  Thank goodness, because my big ol' belly hanging out of my super cropped sweater would not be a good look.

And yes, I am knitting that sleeve on the world's worst plastic dpns.  Ugh! I really despise knitting on plastic needles.  Specially these.  I have no idea where they came from.  They've just been in my needle stockpile for as long as I can remember.  And they have a 10 cent price tag on their storage case/envelope/pouch... whatever you call that thing that dpns always come in.  These needles' only saving grace is that they are ten inches long which means I could practically knit an entire sweater body on them without concern of over crowded stitches.  I will never, but I could if I wanted.

Why am I going on and on about my hatred of that set of plastic needles??  Probably because I have a headache and am feeling grumpy.  I have the headache and feel grumpy from lack of sleep.  I didn't sleep last night because...  

Wait for it - I have THE best daughter in the world!  She gave me a set of Gilmore Girls DVDs for Christmas!  I'm SO freaking excited!  I just love Gilmore Girls!  I love Gilmore Girls possibly even more than I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I think we all know how I feel about that show!  Anyway, it was the best Christmas gift ever and I've been staying up late binge watching it every night.


And last night, after staying up an hour past bedtime so I could finish a season, I stayed up another hour to that I could finish reading If the creek don't rise by Leah Weiss.  (Okay grammar/editor geeks - should I have capitalized that title?  It's not capitalized on the book so I didn't but now I'm wondering...)

Anyway, it was an interesting read.  I can't quite bring myself to say I "liked" it because it was kinda awful.  Not awful in the way it was written or the way the story was told, but in the way Appalachian life can be pretty awful.  The story was full of abuse, both sexual and physical, extreme poverty and prejudices.  It was sad and pathetic but also truthful.  I'm glad I read it and it did have a bit of a happy, surprise ending.

If the creek don't rise also made me reconsider my charity knitting goals for 2021.  I may have to go find a charity group that donates specifically to Virginia's Appalachian folks instead of the groups I normally knit for this year.

So, what are you knitting?  Reading? Binge watching? And if you knit for charities, which ones?

Oh, by the way, I'm going to try something new.  Assuming I can remember to do it, I'm going to start listing available links to things mentioned or pictured in my posts at the end of each post YouTube style.  I frequently see things in other knitting blogs that I feel the need to rush out and buy/investigate and I thought you might feel the same.   

Links:

Felix Pullover pattern

Wool Ease Bulky weight yarn

Hero vintage plastic dpns

If the creek don't rise by Leah Weiss

Gilmore Girls complete set

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Sunday Supper - Lentils and Carrot Soup

 


Okay, so I don't love the look of today's soup recipe but I love the idea of it.  Lentils and carrot soup from Taste of Home cooks in the slow cooker which means I don't have to stand in the kitchen keeping an eye on it and, it has only a few ingredients and those ingredients are healthy.  What's not to like about that?  

And, what it makes this soup even more special, at least for me, is that we have both lentils and herbs de Provence in the pantry and the family were just questioning why last week.  Both items are things I only use once or twice a year.  Or at least I have in the past.  But it's 2021 now.  This is the year we are actually going to make a few changes.  Changes for the better.  Changes like eating healthier.  And so, I give you lentils and carrot soup.

Enjoy!