The weekend was marvelous -- the weather couldn't have been better and oh, what a difference sunshine and warm weather makes -- I really needed it!
On Saturday, I strung strings for supporting peas in the pergola -- they grew so much over the weekend! By my calculations, we ought to be harvesting our first peas in about a month. I had laundry on the line, arranged patio furniture on the deck, ran some errands -- checked out a couple of new-to-me markets -- and started cleaning in preparation for Sunday night's birthday (x3) celebration dinner.
The cleaning continued on Sunday (I do my best work on sunny days), interspersed with more errands and another market run and then it was time for cooking (and by then, boy, was I beat). I fortified myself with Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat and oversaw the christening of the pergola -- a nice gathering with plenty of room for all -- before dinner. DH grilled some wonderful steaks which we had with steamed green beans, and I finally tried Carole's recipe for Artichokes French! It was a big hit! To make prep a little easier (because I was running short on time), I threw all the halved, drained artichokes into a plastic zipper bag with the flour, making the dredging far less drudging. Excellent interpretation, Carole -- brava!
I didn't knit a single stitch all weekend, but crocheted instead. I have one very colorful but very bad granny square that shall be viewed as the refresher square and which may make a useful coaster. The execution for the first half is all wrong, but there is marked improvement in the second half where I relied less on memory and more on actual How-To. I completed one entire good square last night and, well, this is going to be a fast, fun project. To make a quantity of squares for a bag will be quick enough, and I ought to even speed up a little as I gain experience with the hook. I have some sewing piling up, so I'll give the machine a good workout when it comes time for that part, too.
Some things to check out:
Pamela Wynne at Flint Knits posted a fantastic tutorial for making a Recycled Sweater Jacket. It's definitely something I'd like to do in the fall -- and I'll be keeping my eye out for likely suspects now that garage sale season is underway. Pamela also has one of the coolest knitterly tattoos I've seen. I have made no decision in that regard, but succeeded in totally messin' up one of the sisters over the weekend with the very idea that it's even a blip on my radar.
I've signed up for the Saturday morning session (next Saturday) at Yarns by Design's Spring 2007 Midwest Master's Seminar -- "Vintage Knitting" by Joan McGowan-Michael. I think this will be a useful class for me. In the past, I've signed up for the full weekend of classes (and dinner) or nothin'. I think it's been held a couple of weeks earlier in the past and this year, I don't know, maybe after a slow start it's that spring has finally sprung and I just want to be outside -- not to say that Annie Modesitt and Candace Eisner Strick and all the rest aren't tempting. Oh, they are!! I may live to regret it... though I do still have nearly a week to add another class... or two... or three.
A while back, I accepted a sample of lotion to try. Now, I am not the most regular user or doer of anything -- I don't take vitamins regularly, I don't remember to use the hormone cream when I'm supposed to, I don't get my hair cut regularly -- one of the big reasons I've shied from coloring my hair is the regularity that would have to follow -- I don't exercise regularly, either, except every week as I dash out to with the trash to chase the garbage truck. Even in the most desperate of circumstances, in the driest dead of winter, I am very careful about using lotion because I don't want "stuff" to get on my knitting (or anything else, for that matter) and, most of the time, I'd put lotion on my hands and then wash most of it off. This Skin MD Natural is so unbelievably light and quick to absorb, and odorless! At first, I kept squeezing out way too much, but I think I've finally got the quantity down. True to form, I haven't used it with great regularity, but when I reach for lotion -- this is it. I've even begun to use it on my face and I'm even more particular about what's slathered there. I'm very happy to see that a couple of pharmacies in my area carry it.