Sometimes...

I just don't know what to say! I had an unexpected and somewhat surreal 4-day weekend.

Winter arrived.

In April.

It was a blizzard, actually, called Evelyn, and she howled from Friday night 'til Sunday night, laying down 20-24" of snow/ice/sleet in my area.

I had two solid Pajama Days in a row -- unprecedented!

We got a few things done. Taxes, for one. Some quilting, some sewing... and I think I'm almost ready (arm feeling well enough) to try some knitting! Rusty even Kon-Mari'd his closet -- which is actually an antique knock-down walnut wardrobe -- and who knew you could fit so much unneeded stuff in there???

He's also continued working on the above-the-fridge cabinet -- he painted the interior last week and installed the doors on Saturday morning.

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Door catches and a rack for vertical storage are all that remain!

The kids all managed to make their way over on Saturday evening for dinner. I think... did we have dinner together (this is where it started to get a bit surreal). Ali had come by earlier in the day to drop something off and (bonus!) Jun was with her, and I'd kept him for a while!

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The baby's sleeping! So exciting!!

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Crafting with Gin! Dancing to her own drummer, and definitely working outside the box -- and behind her back!

But travel for even a short distance was nearly impossible on Sunday. Not to mention just getting out of your house. Though my husband did venture out onto the roof to shovel off some snow!

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The view out Kate's door.

I had a snow day yesterday, as did most -- at least for part of the day as we all dug out. Venturing out later to go to the grocery store, etc., with a stop at the coffee shop & Rusty's gallery.

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Something new!

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Then went over and watched the kids for a while so Ali & Rod could run a couple of errands.

So now I'm rearranging the rest of this week, and dreaming of warmer weather...

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...like it was on this day, 31 years ago, when Ali was brand new! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALISON!! It was around 70°F and I watched leaves pop out on the trees from my hospital bed. As of now, our best hope is next Tuesday and 60°F... and I'll take it!


Head-to-Toe Red

I had a little outing with these two today:

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Malina is wearing all the red handknits! From the top:

All have been worn by at least Junah & Ginny before her, and the booties by Addie, too!! Practically vintage...


Keep 'er movin'

On Friday, Rusty & I went to a fundraiser for local youth baseball... a good cause, certainly, but not one we've been involved with since Kate & Ali were on teams over 20 years ago.

The big draw for us was an appearance by Charlie Berens, creator of something called Manitowoc Minute, a YouTube series that Maddy hilariously introduced us to last summer. We like to laugh (often at ourselves), and we are fans! If you are from Wisconsin, or know someone from Wisconsin, or have ever been to Wisconsin...

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By the time we purchased tickets, it was standing room only... but we had a great time and the show was fun. It was especially fun to share photos with Maddy!

I did some quilting on Saturday... tax avoidance. But don't worry, I spent plenty of time on taxes, too. (So depressing.)

On Sunday, I helped Rusty carry the new above-fridge cabinet from the basement!

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Thankfully, it wasn't a half-inch wider or it would never have made it... we ended up having to pop the hinges from a couple of doors the way it is!

He has since applied and painted the replacement crown molding and is inserting shelving; soon doors, and we're back in business!

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Last night, I met Ali at Target. She needed a few things/to get out of the house, and I just happened to have a new pair of specs to pick up... with the most adorable sleepy-headed helper. (She's wearing the Garter Yoke Cardi that I made for her big brother, also worn by her big sister -- it's held up well. I love a long-lasting well-wearing item!)


Friday

I feel so fortunate that I am close and can be available... whether it's to pick something up at the drug store or to pop over and watch the kids for a few minutes. I'm so grateful that I've been able to cuddle my grandkids -- "old" and "new" -- almost every day since the newest arrived. (And also verklempt at being witness to that!)

This was on Tuesday after making a stop at Target for some things that her mama needed, and also stopping at City Hall to vote. She was more alert than I've ever seen her, and... OMG, such big eyes she has!!

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Ali asked me to pop over last night, too, after Knit Night so she could go check something at the shop...

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...the baby was catching up on sleep! I had the best opportunity, so far, for some selfies with the kids -- and my first with all three. They're not perfect photos, and yet they are.

I've actually not been knitting much because of lingering tendinitis (it finally feels like it's getting better), and instead worked on some sewing at Knit Night.

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This is one of a pair of Alabama Chanin Fingerless Mitts with the Magdalena stencil design. Side one is stitched & cut, and I made good progress on stitching the second side.

At home, I've been working on a quilt project... not a portable project (but, believe me, I considered packing it up).

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A new machine-made Alabama Chanin dress found its way to me, thanks to a recent sale of discontinued pieces. I've always loved the shape and had meant to check it out/try it on when I was there last fall... somehow, that item slipped off my list, but now it's mine after all. I love the handwritten tag, and any qualms I might have had about ordering this ready-made dress (when I've spent plenty of money on materials & learning how to make it myself) disappeared when I saw that it was "Made By VM." Seriously, what are the chances? It was surely destined to be mine.

And, anyway, I showed the dress to Kate and she loved it... but longer?? So, oh yeah... I'll be using this dress as a pattern to make another one or two.

You know, someday when I have some spare time nothing else to do. Haha. NEVER... that won't happen until I'm dead. Meanwhile, I go when & where spirit & inspiration lead... with a trail of needles, thread, yarn, UFOs, and some spills (water, dye, tea, gin) in my wake.

This is what we woke up to this morning:

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And I sure hope we can be done soon. Hello, Moon!

Oh, I almost forgot... there's a pretty good sale at Craftsy happening now through Sunday:

Up To 60% Off Hundreds Of Classes at Craftsy.com 4/6-4/8/18. No coupon needed.

Happy Weekend!!


Hippety-hoppety

Did you have a good weekend/holiday? We did!

I had a long one, with Friday off... when I started our taxes. And also went out to lunch and ran some other errands and took a nap.

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I laughed 'til I cried over a Snapchat thread with Kate & Maddy... and, you know, laughter is good no matter what!

Ali & Rod & the kids and Kate came over yesterday for Easter brunch and did we ever have a nice day. Our menu was pretty subdued -- even more when I made the decision to skip the potatoes! Trust me, we had plenty. It was fresh & light... spiral-cut honey ham, Oma's Green Mountain Salad, my mom's Heavenly Hash (fruit salad), Grapefruit Spritz, and Banana Cream Pie!

The linked recipes are from Food & Wine magazine and they were hits!! I made a few changes to the salad -- I used no ramps or scallions or garlic; I didn't have "Little Gem" lettuce or "baby" turnips or "French Breakfast" radishes, so I just used (good) lettuce, turnips & radishes!! Haha. I also didn't have fresh dill, so used dried. Whatever. It met with raves and maybe I can make salads after all!? Ann is known as the Salad Queen (also of Brunch)... perhaps I'm the Princess.

Kate made the fruit salad, Rusty made the pie, and it was all just perfect. The kids even sat with us (not always easy) and they gobbled up that ham!

We had a group video chat with Maddy -- her first meeting with Malina! It was very early on Monday morning in NZ and Maddy was just waking up for work, so we didn't keep her long (she hadn't even had coffee yet!)... but it sure was fun!

Rusty took the big kids for a walk down by the creek again, and I attempted to take some photos of our one-week-old!

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Get ready for some overload! (I've tried to post some different photos here than I did on IG.)

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It took a few tries before she finally fell asleep deep enough that I could wiggle her around a bit. And then I left here there sleeping on our bed, snuggled up on the lamby and under Parcheesi... and without a diaper... and that's how we ended up with freshly laundered bedding last night! She was so peaceful...

I really wanted a few snaps of all three kids together before they left and was delighted that everyone was fairly cute and cooperative.  ;)

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Wiping off kisses ^^^. Haha!

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The little sleeper that Malina is wearing was one of mine -- possibly worn by her eldest aunt and her mother, certainly by her youngest aunt! She's also snuggled into a little cocoon I knit maybe 10 years ago, and Parcheesi of course!

Gin is wearing a dress I made in about 1983! The pattern was from Woman's World magazine (I still have it) and I had no one in mind when I cast on -- with cheap acrylic yarn from the variety store -- but I was bored out of my gourd in Oregon and this looked like an interesting project. Was it ever! Bobbles, lace, pleats, tucks... I was not a very experienced knitter, but I just followed the instructions and learned a bunch!

You also get a peek at the quilting project I've been working on for Malina -- more on that when it's finished!


3TT: Spring!!

Joining Carole and friends again this week for Three on Thursday...

True to the forecast, yesterday was the first really nice day we've had this spring! And that was really great because I'd made plans to pick up the big kids...

1 - We had a date at the park!

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They're holding hands on the double slide. ❤

We met Kate at Noodles for lunch, and then went over to Petco -- we'd have gone to the humane society had they been open. Kate's been jonesing for a dog or cat...

2 - Adventuring!

Not quite finished with the outdoors-y stuff, we grabbed scooters and hiked through the ravine to the creek-side path near our house... and then hiked back up after Gin's diaper leaked and her pants were wet. And then we did it again (sans scooters the second time)!

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We hiked down to the first bridge... and threw stones into the creek. (Naughty!)

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Then we scrambled down and walked alongside for a while. No one fell in, but they did dip their hands in... and informed me that it was COLD!!

This was Maddy's favorite place to play when she was a kid. ❤

3 - Snowdrops!

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I've never seen them at this stage. I don't usually notice them until they're already in full-bloom, carpeting the ravine!


Introducing...

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Malina Rosalee
b. March 25, 2018, 7:15 am at home
7 lbs. 6 oz., 20"

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Ali sent me a text at 2:46 am to tell me that her water broke and contractions had begun.

At 4:25, she let me know that things were progressing and she'd soon be calling the midwives. Would I be on call to come snuggle/take the kiddos?

(Of course!!)

At 5:35, things were moving along and would I want to come and quilt or something?


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The kids awoke to a new baby sister! Junah was so excited and Gin... a little confused/jealous, but also so incredibly sweet.

I cut the cord! 

Kate came over and then at around 11:00, she took Junah grocery shopping with her and I took Gin home with me -- giving Mama, Papa, and bébé (not yet named) some time to rest.

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Kate dropped Jün off, along with some flowers and balloons and treats! The kids & I had lunch, watched some Thomas, played with blocks and Lincoln Logs and puzzles and did dishes. It was chilly but sunny, so we went outside anyway, and found some tulips emerging!

I delivered the "big kids" back home around 5:00 and cuddled with my new granddaughter for an hour. (All of a sudden, Junah is ENORMOUS!)

It was a pretty good day!


NYC: The City

The view from the 86th floor was spectacular!

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We walked a couple of miles from our hotel to The Empire State Building on Saturday morning. They let you off on the 80th floor to see exhibits, take in the view, and queue up again for the elevator. There was about a :20 wait in that line, so we climbed the stairs for the last six floors (which was actually more like eight)!

And we strolled over to the Chrysler Building, only to find the lobby closed that day (BOO!).

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On Sunday, we walked back up to Times Square where the Spring/Break show was located, through Washington Square Park, Union Square, past the Flatiron Building... so thankful for relatively nice weather!

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I definitely earned those oysters and, especially, the beer that went with them! Yummy.

Food wasn't a huge focus of this trip, but girls gotta eat! We enjoyed a late lunch on Friday at The Cupping Room; a delicious cheese plate on Friday and breakfast on Sunday at our hotel; lunch at Heartland Brewery; a little snack & beverage at Kenn's Broome Street Bar; oysters at The John Dory Oyster Bar; Tribeca Bagels; and one very fine splurge at The Mercer Kitchen.

We never made it to the Whitney, Tenement (suggested by Carole) or MoMA museums, nor to the High Line or Central Park. We'd talked about going to Club Cumming (Alan Cumming's club!) for Sunday night Drink & Draw, but didn't make it. We were pooped by the end of the day -- everyday!!

The thing about NYC is that you'll NEVER do it all, and there will ALWAYS be something (many things*) for the next time!! And I love that. I can't wait to go back.

*Knit Night on Tuesdays at Club Cumming, for one!!!

 

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NYC: Art/Color

This caught my eye, of course.

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 And then I got closer and started to laugh!

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Bureaucratinc Paintings (Red), from the series "Bureaucratinc Abstractions 2017,"
Marcius Galan, set of 12, acrylic paint on paper

They're all receipts from the dry cleaner, a book store, etc. I didn't have to deal with any bureaucratic stuff in Brazil, but I was witness to some of what Ann & Brian went through, and I quickly learned to always have a Plan B... crazy stuff, crazy life and this is perfect commentary!

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I wish I could tell you whose painting this is (gah!).
Does anyone else see a squishy knit blanket?

In replying to comments yesterday from Kym & Carole, I remarked that it really is interesting to walk around an art show (or four) just to see WHAT people are using and HOW. The color, texture, and SCALE of things... even if you don't "get" the art, something is bound to resonate at some point!

I married an artist and I gave birth to & raised three very artistic women, so I've been around art for a long time... I'm "creative" but not particularly knowledgeable about "art," so I've found different ways to let it speak to me.

And with that, we had a lovely few hours at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday!

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There was a secret thrill in getting into a cab and saying, "To The Met!"

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Here are a few things that caught my eye.

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Fighting Cows by Franz Marc, oil on canvas

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Wisconsin Landscape by John Steuart Curry, oil on canvas

He captured so wonderfully that beautiful light through broody clouds on checkerboard fields.

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The Café Terrace by Diego Rivera, oil on canvas

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Concord, Barnett Newman, oil and masking tape on canvas

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No. 21, Mark Rothko, oil and acrylic with powdered pigments on canvas

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Flying Dutchman, Man Ray, oil on board

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Clothesline, Fairfield Porter, oil on canvas

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Mäda Primavesi, Gustav Klimt, oil on canvas

This was simply glorious; that straightforward gaze, those beautiful colors - bold & soft at the same time!

 

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NYC: Art/Texture

In addition to the textiles at The Armory ShowVolta NYNADA New York Show, and Spring/Break, I was also struck by textures!

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(And blue!) Unfortunately, I neglected to record the details of this piece (The Armory Show).

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This amazing work is "cut out paper" from the series "Arquitexturas de sendas futuras y recorridas (A/T/02)," by Argentinian artist Gustavo Díaz.
The piece stands almost 3.5 inches tall, and approx. 31 x 17.

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Such a Master, Zhu Jinshi, oil on canvas -- and we sure could smell it!

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Unfortunately, once again, I neglected to record the details (Spring/Break).

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A Study of Identity, Ryoichi Nakamura, oil & photo emulsion on aluminum.

These aren't really "textural," but sharing here anyway.

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I love how these works by four different artists were displayed.

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The Flower Lover, Aubrey Levinthal, oil on panel.

I have two more NYC posts in mind...

I'm distracted by taxes and, even more, thoughts & everything BABY (no news yet!)!!


Fourteen

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Today is the 1st Day of Spring (yay!).

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ―Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

And the 1st Day of Spring means it's my blogiversary! I am marking 14 years of blogging!

Fourteen : a number that is one more than 13. --Merriam-Webster

I can barely wrap my head around that! Fourteen years -- so many things, good and bad, happy and sad.

Fourteen : A code word to alert someone that something embarrassing is hanging from his/her nose or mouth. --Urban Dictionary

Thanks.

Thank you for reading, even when it might be drivel (fourteen!), and for coming back and sometimes commenting and sharing your thoughts and ideas and experiences and advice.

 


Weekending

The weekend began late Friday afternoon with an overdue & much-needed massage and ended on Sunday evening with a mopping of the bathroom floor after the toilet tank spontaneously cracked! Apparently, it happened just moments before we took a break from watching the conclusion of Borderliner, when Rusty went in and I heard him start to swear (very unusual behavior!). I couldn't believe how much water & how quick, but thankfully we were on it right away. A new tank was ordered this morning; we'll be flushing with a bucket for the next week!

This is when a second bath, even half-, would sure come in handy!

In between, I did a little work on taxes, cleaned up my work table a little, did some sewing, celebrated 13 years QUIT, had breakfast out with my girls yesterday, and enjoyed the sunshine & warmer weather. It's about 20 degrees cooler today than yesterday, but I spy another weekend warm up. Let's hope!

I've had a little elbow/forearm pain/strain, which seemed to worsen a bit after a couple of hours of nonstop knitting on Thursday evening, so I gave knitting another weekend off.

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I sent Ali home yesterday with some leftover fabric from my bathroom curtains and next thing I know she's posting an adorable little pinafore. She even sent me a Snapchat with Ginny modeling... SO CUTE!!


NYC: Art/Textiles

In case you missed it, the main reason for the spontaneous trip to NYC was Art Fairs -- The Armory Show, Volta NYNADA New York Show, and Spring/Break.

Kate's been sharing her favorites at (the newly redesigned/spiffy) yngspc, if you're interested in what caught her eye.

I was visiting these shows with a much less critical artistic viewpoint/aesthetic, and with no real expectation except that it would be all contemporary work and some of it edgy. I immediately honed in on the textile-related pieces and, for some reason, was surprised at their number.

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Chromatic affinities X, José Patrício, 2013,
buttons on canvas on wood

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Igshaan Adams

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State of Being (Children's dress), Chiharu Shiota,
metal frame, children's dress, thread

And then I was dumbfounded...


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Ode a L'OubliLouise Bourgeois,
deluxe fabric book; 35 detachable compositions with collage, embroidery, applique and lithography

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Matter, Sanford Biggers,
antique quilts, oil stick, spray paint, fabrics, acrylic, tar, glitter, and silkscreen

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also Sanford Biggers (I didn't get the titles)

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Quilt Painting, Giordanne Salley,
oil and paper on canvas


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I neglected to get any information at all about this piece (NADA Show)


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or this one (Spring/Break)

I believe there was an "antique quilt" at all four shows -- and I was surprised! Oh, that fabric book tho...

Stay tuned, I have more to share!

_ _ _ _ _

This weekend, I'm looking forward to some sunshine and a thermometer reading 50°F at some point. Also, I'm beginning to feel on pins & needles about the baby! What's ahead for your weekend?


NYC: Overview

Well, that was a crazy-fun trip. Kate & I drove to Chicago in the wee hours of the morning to catch our 9 a.m. flight. It's about a 3.5-hour drive and we like to be early, so you can do the calculations (yep, it was very early). The great thing, though, was that it was an early non-stop flight (also a great fare) so we had time to actually do stuff when we arrived! We also bought advance tickets for almost everything, and that really helped to maximize "doing" time. The Soho Grand Hotel was fantastic (thank you, hotwire!), but not really in the best area for all the shows; we got around by taxi on Friday afternoon & Saturday morning, then on foot after that. We lucked out in the weather department, and it felt great to be outside!

On Friday afternoon, we hit The Armory Show and Volta NY -- they were in very close proximity, so that worked out great!

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On Saturday, we visited the Empire State Building and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the NADA New York Show.

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On Sunday, Spring/Break and Purl Soho.

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Window shopping near our hotel... the CUTEST, but $150 for a pair of kiddo jeans. Um, nope.

On Monday, Tribeca Bagels and return flight!

We never made it, as hoped, to the High LineCentral Park (proper), the Whitney Museum of American Art or MoMA -- we were in visiting distance of each, though. There's only so much time (and energy) in a day!!

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Trust me, there are tiny green buds on those trees!

There may have been 8" of snow a couple of days before we arrived, but spring is springing in NYC! I'll be back with more now that I've sort of figured out how...

Meanwhile, I found this #throwbackthursday playlist on Spotify this morning and had to share:

SISTERS ARE SINGIN' IT!


3TT: Fun times

Joining Carole and friends again this week for Three on Thursday...

#1, #2, #3, etc. -- If it's fun once...

The kids were over for a while last night -- I had to get my fix before taking off for a long weekend away -- and we had a blast!

  • Redecorating the "holiday" tree
  • Eating supper (and ice cream) (the kids quickly discovered that they could open the "freezer on the bottom" and all the treasures within, so ice cream has been a regular feature of visits lately)

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  • Playing with dolls & trucks & motorcycles & Lincoln Logs
  • Reading books
  • Coloring

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  • Painting "pet rocks" and Easter ornaments

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  • Mugging it up & taking selfies
  • Jumping off the footstool
  • Playing hide & seek

So, hide & seek is new, and Junah is crazy excited about playing that game. He can barely contain himself when he hides so, of course, it's pretty easy to find him. He doesn't realize yet that he doesn't really want to be found... all the excitement right now is about being found!

Jün hid; I found him (under a chair).

Jün hid; I found him (behind a chair).

Gin & I hid; she also made little noises, which made it easy for Junah to find us... in the coat closet by the back door... which delighted him no end! It was so cool, you'd have thought that I'd invented ice cream.

So then Jün & Gin hid... in the coat closet... and I found them!

Again and again and again and again and again!!

He wasn't any less excited that I found him there for the sixth time than he was the first. So freakin' fun.

Then Rusty got involved and I had the brilliant idea to hide the kids in the tub, and of course they thought that was also very cool. And then Gin started playing around with the faucets and they were both cool and WET!! OMG, it was hilarious! Gin was only a little bit damp, actually, but they need little excuse to strip down for a little nakey time.

This grandma thing is THE BOMB! It just gets more and more fun all the time. Counting the days (16) 'til #3 is due!


Random 10 on Tuesday: Takin' a trip!

1 -- Saturday morning, a text from Kate:

This is super spontaneous but do you have any interest/ability to go to NY(C) this next weekend? Fri-Mon. I’m just hoping to see a ton of art fairs and eat some good food. haha

2 -- There is almost nothing I love more than a spontaneous trip -- near or far! It doesn't always work out that I can be this spontaneous, with less than a week to departure -- previous commitments, getting time off at work, prohibitive cost are the usual culprits -- but this time, it worked out wonderfully! Yahoo!!

3 -- NYC?? I've flown in/thru/out once or twice in recent years, but it's been almost 10 years since I actually set foot on a New York City street. I'm so excited! I think I was a New Yorker in a previous life... or I'm gathering steam and will be in another.

3 -- Saturday evening: airfare confirmation (at a great price)!

4 -- Sunday afternoon: hotel booked.

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5 -- Monday: Tripit itinerary filled in.

6 -- The Armory Show, Volta NY, Spring/Break, and the Whitney Museum of American Art are on the short list.

7 -- The High Line, Central Park, and MoMA are on the longer list.

8 -- Also a visit to Purl Soho (on my list, anyway), and within walking distance from our hotel! And bagels.

9 -- We're going to hit the ground running on Friday afternoon and GO-GO-GO until, exhausted, we board the plane for home on Monday afternoon.

10 -- NYC, here we come!! (All suggestions are welcome!)

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Right Now: Marching in

Anticipating... A new grandbaby arriving on the scene in something like 23 days!! Will Gin & Jün welcome a new little sister or brother? Ali says that she has no clue...

Celebrating... MARCH! February, like January, flew right by (not usually the case with February)! That fun little interlude with my sis in Nashville in the middle of the month certainly helped.

Enjoying... noticeably longer days! Spring is still a ways off, but we're also enjoying some warm-ish days here & there.

Itching... for garden fresh veggies! I just signed up for a CSA share for the first time in a few years, and planting started last weekend!! This farm is new to me, though I did attend a dinner there a few years ago. It's the extras/options that swayed me... we're able to say NO, from the get-go, if there are things we really don't want to find in our box. Ever. We'll have the ability to swap things out and/or add items, based on availability. And there's a mushroom option! We'll get a 'shroom share every other week.

Knitting... I'm still working on my Parallelogram Scarf! It's slow going, but it's going! It's Knit Night tonight, so progress will be made...

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Swatching... I swatched for the Lunar Phase MKAL, swapping the original blue-green for a lighter one that gives a little more contrast.

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I think "orange" will still be the pop color, but tested a dark red and pale gray, too. There are a bunch more photos on my project page.

Needing... to buckle down and Do.The.Taxes. I finished & filed Maddy's the other day, had a meeting with Ali's tax prep person last night & have a "homework" list, and need to keep the ball rolling so I'm not complaining about this for too long!

Speaking of Maddy, she messaged me yesterday to say that she "got the Oregon winery job!!" When she returns from NZ, she'll be working the summer at camp and, hopefully, supplementing with a bit of waitressing, then heading out west! What's that about a rolling stone...?

Planning... Easter dinner already! Well, just beginning to think about that (realizing that it'll have to be made)... mostly, I'm figuring out logistics for the watching/recording/re-watching of Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert! I cannot WAIT!

Reading... (pages) Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Listening... to Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Sewing... not quite #dailystitching, but stitching nonetheless! Crafting time is pretty limited on any given day, and tends to be knitting or sewing; rarely both, though it sometimes happens.

I can't even imagine how much little crafting time I'd have if I actually did housework...

Watching... Day 2 of the Best Picture Festival is on Saturday!! On deck:

I've already seen Billboards and loved it, especially Frances McDormand (always a fan) and Sam Rockwell, and it's the first time I actually liked Woody Harrelson in a movie. I'm looking forward to Darkest Hour and re-watching Dunkirk right after; historical context and all that. I've been iffy about The Shape of Water, but I've heard that it's pretty good.  :)

Admiring... Kate's brand new, just launched today, redesigned and gorgeous yngspc.com website!! She worked with Vickie Vainionpaa @ Brave New Creative in Montreal on everything from logo & rebranding to web design & development -- quite the process !

Wondering... what's up in your world this March 1st??


FO: Habu for Me!

On Sunday morning, I made my buttonholes -- literally, making a hole in my knitting where each one should be and stitching around it -- and sewed on the buttons.

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I remember the day in November 2007, running errands with Mom, and sneaking in a stop at my LYS, Iris Fine Yarns, because I knew there was a Habu Textiles trunk show happening. I knew, too, that the Habu aesthetic was right up my mother's alley and that if she found something she liked, she wouldn't be knitting it.

Sure enough, she found something... and I knit it for her! That project was started in February 2008 and finished during the 2010 Olympics!

Habu for Me was also in that stack set for finishing in 2010, but I didn't make it. The pieces had all been re-knit to the correct gauge and all that remained was the sewing up.

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I gotta tell ya, after almost 9 years in the making, it feels real good to have another long-languishing project across the finish line!

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Maybe there's hope for the 40 +/- WIPs I have going, according to Ravelry. There's at least one large project **cough** Alice Starmore's Cromarty since July 2004 **cough** that's not even on Ravelry! (It also feels real good to update an old blog post like that once in a while. I'm blaming bandwidth issues back in the day for all of the 1" wide photos in blog posts!)

Good grief, now there's an action plan! I'm going to be going through that list, locating & assessing every one of those projects, and making a decision and/or updating the project status! Does it stay or does it go??

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Back to the FO at hand! It's lightweight, timeless (that easy, minimal Japanese style), more or less neutral in color, and will be perfect for wearing all spring!


Weekending: At the movies

Saturday was Day 1 of our local theater's Best Picture Festival, which I have attended on-and-off for the past several years, and which has only been improving over the years as well! The first time I attended, the breaks were so short between movies that we had to choose between going to the restroom or visiting concessions, and there was barely enough time for either.

This year the breaks were probably around :25-:30 (same last year) and they included a printed schedule that detailed the times exactly! So helpful!! I noticed on Friday that they'd also added a ticket upgrade to include lunch & dinner options as well as unlimited popcorn & soda. My basic ticket option included a 20% discount on food & beverages.

It's becoming much more popular, as there were fewer than a half-dozen seats available at show time!

  1. The Post
  2. Lady Bird
  3. Phantom Thread
  4. Get Out
  5. Call Me By Your Name

Here are some thoughts on these... I don't think I'm giving up any spoilers.

I'd previously seen The Post, and figure I must have slept through about 85% of it the first time, so perhaps "seen" isn't really the correct word. Heh! I know I nodded off for a few minutes on second viewing, too, but don't think there was much overlap. It's a good movie, I learned some things, and love me some Streep & Hanks, but it is just a little bit slow...

I think Lady Bird was my favorite on this list -- funny, sad, sweet. I loved Laurie Metcalf (she was one of my favorite things about Roseanne back in the day and I'm curious about the reboot), and Saoirse Ronan was perfect!

Phantom Thread was... Daniel Day Lewis was... immersed in his quirky character, as usual. I liked Lesley Manville as his sister -- really, she was pretty great. The little peeks into '50s couture fashion and dressmaking were cool. Yeah, I'm not so sure about this one... I didn't really feel the chemistry. (I dozed off a bit during this movie, too.)

Get Out was... HOLY HELL! I kept thinking that this is Guess Who's Coming to Dinner mashed up with Stepford Wives mashed up with Frankenstein and, yeah, you'll just have to see for yourself how that all mashes up!! I had an uncomfortable/uneasy feeling almost from the get-go, as I'm sure it was meant to be.

Call Me By Your Name was just a wee bit angsty -- the way a coming of age movie should be, I guess. It was also gorgeous (Italy! Armie Hammer!)... also a little bit funny, sad, sweet.

_ _ _ _ _

That left Sunday for all the other weekend stuff -- watering plants, doing laundry, bookkeeping, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (conjuring my best Yul Brynner)!

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First up: Amaryllis check. We have one bud beginning to open, and another beginning to shoot up. These plants are of the variety "hardware store," so nothing spectacular... and yet, when is an amaryllis NOT spectacular!?? Loving every minute of the unfurling.

Next up: Dyeing. I've done a TINY bit of dyeing over the past few weeks, but it's been pretty busy around here, so I made it a point to head down there yesterday morning... and I had a mission.

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So, a few weeks ago Larissa Brown's new Lunar Phase MKAL came across my radar and lodged itself in my brain (haha, Kat!). Set to begin on March 23rd, there is plenty of time to gather skeins and contemplate a palette...

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Larissa suggests a light, medium & dark color, along with a little bit of pop! Those two big hanks in the middle go really well with the ones on either side, but they are about equal in terms of value.

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So yesterday, I wanted to play around with that blue-green a little bit...

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Excuse the super-harsh lighting...

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And I think this is a little better value-wise!

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Or in this order? Or with the yellow one? Gah! It's time to wind it all up and do some swatching!!


3TT: Sewing, Knitting, Cats

Joining Carole and friends again this week for Three on Thursday...

#1 - SEWING

I teased a few times in the past couple of weeks about an epic, years-long, multi-generational sewing project that I was working on.

As memory serves, it started out with a vintage chenille bedspread and my mother's desire to have it made into a bathrobe. I'm sure Mum purchased the pattern, but she tapped Ann to lay and cut out the pieces. Pieces cut, Ann got busy (work & babies) and the whole shebang got stuffed into a bag where it sat for a while (years) until ~flash forward~ Ann moved to Brazil and gave the project (and her serger) to Ali to finish! Ali got busy (work & babies) and also needed to clear stuff out, so it came to roost with me.

That (beat up) bag has been kicking around at my house for at least four years.

The upcoming trip to meet Ann in Nashville, her birthday on 1/23 and Mom's on 1/31, all came into play when my eyes rested on that bag one day last month and, without hesitation, I pulled it out and started to sew.

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Sewing

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Lo, the pieces were all there, along with a little bit of extra fabric, the pattern & instructions, and everything was in pretty good shape. (I pressed each of the tissue pieces as I worked, neatly folding them up to fit the envelope, because this turned out to be a really nice robe and I would consider making another!)

I finished in time and surprised Ann in Nashville with her/Mom's birthday present robe.

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She loved it! (The photos aren't the greatest, as she's fully clothed underneath and it was late/we were packing.) (Also, sneak peek above into my VERY messy workroom -- so much going on in that photo, it makes me laugh.)

2 - KNITTING

I'd been knitting on Morvarch until I returned from Nashville, when I decided to listen to the voice in my head and stop! It was going 99% OK -- getting used to the yarn and working cables again -- and I really liked it, but there's one little place where it's wonky. Also, there's no way it would be even close to finish by closing ceremonies, so it didn't make sense to continue just for the Olympcis. The problem is easily solved with a slight change in my technique, so I'm just going to start over and do it correctly from the beginning.

So, I've changed events and pulled out another long-languishing project for the WIP Dancing event: Habu For Me!

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This was on the top of my To-Do Pile for the 2010 Olympics and didn't make the finish line. For 2018, the pieces were all knit (in the correct size/gauge) and all that remained was seaming & buttons.

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It was all seamed up by Tuesday night and I gave it a soak yesterday.

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I'm sure it'll be dry this evening! I still have the buttons that I purchased when I bought the kit at my LYS during a Habu trunk show -- in November 2007!

#3 - CATS

Rusty & I were ships passing in the night last Tuesday; he was returning from a week in Mexico as I was departing for a few days in Nashville.

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When we spoke on Wednesday, he told me that he was worried about our old boy, Mr. Scamp Washcloth. Scamp wasn't eating and, actually, seemed unable to move his hind legs. We've noted a decline over the past few years -- he seemed stiff at times and we joked a bit about "kitty Alzheimer's" -- but he was still able to jump into an open lap, scuffle around with Duncan a few times a day, and even bat a milk ring or whatever around on the floor. He'd been doing all those things just days before!

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Heartbreaking to see that suffering... Rusty took him to the vet and he & Kate were both with him as he made his way over the rainbow bridge. We said good bye to his sister Roxie not long ago, and now Scampy joins her -- and Daisy, Cutie, Cleo, and Porter!

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That leaves this guy, Duncan, an "only cat" for the first time in his 10+/- years! It's been a week and he seems to be adjusting... sort of. Poor guy, he's getting lots of extra attention and lovin'.


Nashville!

Ho-lee-mo-leeee!

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Nudie Cohn was a tailor -- check it out!

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They say there are 10,000 silver dollars embedded in the bar at Nudie's.

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Hell yeah, we bought a t-shirt from these fine NFD representatives...
so that they can provide coats for kids (all for a good cause)!

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Unexpected highlight!

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Congratulations, Superintendents, on your certification!

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The Don Kelley Band at Robert's Western World.

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JesseLee Jones -- Brazilbilly -- at Robert's Western World (which he now owns).

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Oh my, did we ever have fun! Last year, in New Orleans, we were all about the Fine Dining. This year, in Nashville, it was all about Honky Tonk!!

TUESDAY

I left work at noon and drove down to Milwaukee to catch my afternoon nonstop flight. Ann had sent me an email: "When you get here, let's go out!" And we did.

WEDNESDAY

Ann had conference all day, and I had plans to meet up with Annette (yes, Annette)! We met for coffee at The Frothy Monkey, then walked across the street to Craft South (where I was quite restrained), and then up to Jeni's where we had ice cream for lunch! It was SO nice to meet & chat with Annette, so comfortable & easy. Blog people really are the best people. :)

THURSDAY

Ann's graduation! Initially, the ceremony was to take place in the middle of the whole affair and Ann & I were going to cut out of Music City Center to make it on time to a dinner reservation before going to a concert, but someone's speech went long and another someone had a flight to catch, so it got pushed to the end. The big perk was that I didn't miss Doris Kearns-Goodwin's keynote address. What a pleasure that was!

I ended up cancelling our dinner reservation and we enjoyed the lovely & plentiful reception buffet, instead (Hot Chicken Sliders, anyone? YUM!). And then it was time to walk up to the Ryman to see Blues Traveler!

FRIDAY

Tourist time! We took the Historic RCA Studio B Tour and had our photo taken at the piano that Elvis played, and spent a nice few hours at the Country Music Hall of Fame. We especially loved the Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan exhibits, but everything else, too. The clothing/costumes are amazing (and all of the women were/are tiny, tiny, tiny)! (BTW, the Studio B Tour was good and our guide was great, but it didn't hold a candle to The Swampette Tour of Muscle Shoals! Not sure it'll ever be beat.)

SATURDAY

Up EARLY to catch flights... and having been out a bit later than intended on Friday, whooaaaa! Ann's left a few hours before mine, so I found a couch on which to rest. Using my ample but not too big carry-on bag for a pillow, I actually fell asleep... and woke up wondering if the word "Baggallini" was impressed upon my face (it wasn't). I slept on the plane. And then a half-hour from home, I took another little nap. The driving had been slow-going and intense, as there was some freezing rain and more than a few cars in the ditch, I needed a break!

Over the course of four days, we had food and/or drinks at The George Jones, Cerveza Jack's*, Jack's Bar-B-Que, Puckett's, Wild Eggs, Another Broken Egg Cafe, and I'm thinking there was another place but I can't remember. Anyway, I didn't realize until just now that both of the "egg" places are franchises. They were both very good! The photo is from Another Broken Egg -- a just-the-right-size Belgian waffle, topped with brie and blackberry crisp -- YUM.

We enjoyed music at some of those places, and also Honky Tonk Central (where a former co-worker of Ann's once sang!), Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Nudie's Honky Tonk, Whiskey Row, The Second Fiddle, and Robert's Western World. I'm sure we popped in & out of a couple of others!

There is no shortage of music in Music City! Wow. All for tips/no cover (at least that we ran across). As our guide on the Studio B Tour said, musicians come to Nashville to make music but leave Nashville to make money!

Now, neither Ann nor I are what you'd call a "country music fan," but there are some indelible impressions in that flavor from our childhoods: Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Buck Owens & Roy Clark & Hee Haw, Jeanne C. Riley, Tammy Wynette, Lynn Anderson... and Marty Robbins. Marty Robbins held some weird connection to our dad for us all, I think; after our parents split, we spun Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs until it would spin no more.

So, it's the more old-school stuff that rings our bell. I remember specifically that it was the notes of Harper Valley PTA that drew us into The Second Fiddle on Friday night!

I'd noted Robert's Western World, a few doors down, on previous walks down Broadway, and on Friday night, we were also drawn inside... and weren't we lucky! The Don Kelley Band was very good, with an entertaining bass viol player, and a 17-year-old guitarist that blew our minds. (And not only ours! Luke McQueary was mentioned in a NY Times article about Nashville just a few weeks ago!) We had a beer and listened for a while, and moved on to another venue, but it wasn't long before we were back! In striking up a conversation at the bar, we learned that JesseLee Jones -- the Brazilian Hillbilly, aka Brazil Billy (or Brazilbilly) -- would be the next band up, and heard all about his story. Born in Sao Paulo, he made his way to the U.S., unable to speak English, he could sing country music (having memorized Marty Robbins' Greatest Hits) (or something like that). He eventually made his way to Nashville and was taken under the wing of Robert Moore (of Robert's Western World), eventually taking over the business (or something like that). SO MUCH FUN!! And the reason we were out way past our bedtime (though still way early by Nashville standards).

*So, we're at Cerveza Jack's having tacos and nachos and beer, and all of a sudden we hear the singer (dang, I can't remember her name right now... but I will) talking about Appleton with the people at the next table. "Wait, Wisconsin??" we asked, and piped up with howdy-do's. "Were you at Mile of Music?" I asked. No, she said that she played a benefit for a Catholic middle school here. We're whoopin' it up and all of a sudden, from across the bar, we hear, "COMBINED LOCKS!" (Pop. 3509.) WHAT?!?? The woman comes over and we're all chatting up a storm when she asks for more specifics about where I live, and I said, "Oh, at the end of the street right up from the bank." And she said, "On Such-and-Such Street?" (A two-block long dead-end street that no one knows about.) Turns out, her then-fiance owned/flipped the house next door, and we'd met & talked before! She said, "I was in your house!" The world is SO FREAKISHLY SMALL sometimes.


Fly-by

Well, I cast on my shawl, watched Opening Ceremonies and some figure skating here and there... y'know, you really have to WATCH figure skating, and that cuts into the knitting time! It was a great weekend in every way except for the knitting output. I'll be picking up on Row 20 of 54/Chart A this evening; Charts B, C & D, plus body & ribbing (x2 on all of that) remain! At this point, the podium seems very far away...

In other news, I finished sewing the epic, years-long, multi-generational sewing project on Saturday morning, and I'm really pretty thrilled with how it turned out. All the pattern pieces are pressed, neatly folded and put away, and I would consider sewing the pattern again! Details, photos & a bit more of the story are forthcoming... next week!

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Oh funny & flattering Snapchat filters, I love you! (There are some very UN-flattering filters - no love!) There was KID TIME on Saturday afternoon! We had so much fun in just a few hours! It's hard to imagine adding #3 to the mix... there's only 5-6 weeks to go!

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Kate, Ali & I drove down to IKEA in Schaumburg yesterday, passing right by the new store in Oak Creek that looks like it should be open, but won't actually be open until this summer. That'll still be a bit of a trek, and not something we'll do on the regular, but here's to saving 1.5 hours travel each way! We had a successful day (13.5 hours, door-to-door including unloading), complete with Swedish meatballs & Dala horse candies. I found everything on my list, made my judgments and comparisons, and despite leaving a number of things on the shelf, the car was stuffed and we all had plenty of things to unpack & assemble when we got home.

Rusty and I will be doing a literal fly-by tomorrow -- he returns from Mexico as I jet off to Nashville!

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He spent quite a bit of time demonstrating at Galeria Logan, and finished the piece he was working on. (You can spot some of Rusty's other work in the photos -- from last year or the year before; he just made a fresh delivery). And he got some GREAT wave photos at the beach... inspiration for future work!

I hope you had a great weekend!


Friday Fotos

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From the top:

  • Sleepy Kitten clothing serves dual purpose! (Perfect excuse/justification to knit more.)
  • It took way longer than it should have, but I finally located my knitting belt and now all tools are assembled to knit for the Olympics! I've used much shorter (i.e., 8") needles to successfully cast on Morvarch, ready to switch to the 14-inchers when needed. I will try to catch some video of that when the time comes.
  • It's melting... or it was the other day when this photo was taken. It's snow-covered again now. Bleh.
  • I'd much rather be in Mexico at this cute little casita with Rusty! Timing & various other factors prevented that once again... and he's "working," so that would be somewhat limiting... still. I am going to Nashville next week. It won't be as warm, and there's no ocean or sand, but my sis found a cute Airbnb, I'll represent for her as she graduates -- an official ceremony (with rehearsal) and everything -- plus some extra-curriculars!

Happy Weekend, y'all! I'm looking forward to some Kid Time and also a trip to IKEA -- with an obscenely long shopping list that I like to think of more as a "Reminder to Check This Out/Compare List." Also knitting and the Olympics!!


3TT: Throwback

For the Olympics in 2006, I knit Williamsro.

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That one earned a gold medal, which is still hanging on my fridge! Hm, I haven't worn this sweater in a while...

In 2010, there was a pile o' finishing to do.

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I finished a couple of them then, too! They've all been finished now, in one way or another* (though perhaps not until 2017 -- Oblique!), except for the one on topWill it ever??

{I don't remember why, but the 2014 games were skipped altogether.}

This year, I am gearing up to knit during PyeongChang 2018!

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Team Rules Schmules... it works whether you're in it to win it, or just in it for the camaraderie & fun! Feel free to join in!! Official cast on is tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. CST.

I think I'm in it to win it this year (so some of the rules apply), but we'll see... traveling for 5 or so days with a not very travel-friendly project may change that! But for now my yarn is wound, I played around with the cast on and 14" DPNs last night (and dug out some shorter ones because those long ones aren't needed right away), and need to find my knitting belt.

*Man, that Peace Fleece (bottom) is gorgeous, isn't it? Coup d'Etat was frogged, but I still like that design...


Unraveled... and mended

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As I've done many times before, I had Gin in the stroller the other day all bundled up in Parcheesi. We ended up doing a little cross-country, and the blanket got caught up in the front wheel, leaving a hole...

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It's the first time I've had to mend a hole in this well-loved and much-used blanket!

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And, while it was more than one stitch, I definitely had The Rare Stitch in mind as I made the repair. I took the opportunity to toss it in the washer & dryer, too, so all fresh and clean!

READING:

Like the knitting, the reading has been slow around here. I continue to listen to Mustard Seed, mostly in the car, and turning the pages of Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Today happens to be the 151st anniversary of Laura's birth in the Big Woods of Wisconsin! Happy Birthday, Laura!


Ten on Tuesday: 3-Day Weekends

I've had a few 3- or even 4-day weekends lately and, while I really do love my regular Wednesday off (I like to think of it as a "mini-weekend"), there is something to be said for three or four days off in a row. It's fun to get out of town, of course, but it's sometimes just as fulfilling to spend those days at or close to home.

Here are 10 things I did on my (most recent) 3-day weekend:

1 -- Relaxed. No bra, no shoes, no makeup, PJs until whenever I wanted (or someone let me know they were on their way over)...

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2 -- I made Homemade Clam Chowder! I've had clam chowder a million times -- out of a can, or at a restaurant (probably out of a bigger can) -- but I've never made it at home. One reason for this is that I live in Wisconsin and we don't have clams like that (I don't think) and, even if we did, it would be illegal to harvest them. I've also come to know and trust the popular and well-stocked seafood counter at my favorite local grocery, so when a NY Times Cooking recipe by Sam Sifton came across my desk on Friday, I decided that I'd give it a go if there were cherrystone clams to be had. There were, and it was delicious!

3 -- We had a nice dinner at the home of friends on Saturday -- G&Ts, soup & salad, lots of gabbing! We will need to reciprocate!

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4 -- I "cleaned up" my room a little bit... moved some things around and made some room to do some sewing. This is a long-languishing (as in years) project that made it's wishful way from my mother to Annie to Ali and finally to me. I was sick of "moving it around" and was finally inspired to sew it up. All the pieces had been cut, the pattern was in the bag and intact, and I am moving right along. It's going to be a gift and is a bit of a stealth project at the moment... all shall be revealed in a week or two!

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5 -- We continue to ponder & plan (& sketch) the replacement over-the-fridge cabinet situation. Another change has already been made since this drawing was scanned. Doors of correct dimensions have been located, though, so now we're just hammering out some details. (Actually, I just realized that maybe I need to bring home said doors as a visual aid in order to make the final decision!) (Thanks, blog!)

6 -- Planning for the Olympics. I've already set the DVR to record a couple of things.

7 -- I ordered some extra-long DPNs for my Olympic knitting project, and hope to see them in the next couple of days so I can train swatch!

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8 -- More sewing. Daily stitching, in fact. And I did a lot more of that than knitting over the weekend! That's the wrong side of a sleeve, and it reminds me of watermarks & spills.

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This is a day or two or three later and I've done some applique, too. The basted line is where I imagine (I'm pretty sure... almost certain) that I'll be rolling up the sleeve and I don't think I want watermarks on that part!
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9 -- And cutting! Woman can only sew for so long on an Alabama Chanin project before she must cut!

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10 -- Even though I wasn't knitting, I did play around with some yarn yesterday. Experimenting in a couple of ways... and I'm happy with the results!

It was back to work today. It's freezing cold but sunny and, happily, we're up to 10:04 hours of daylight!! (Your daylight & happiness may vary.)

I hope you had a great weekend and start to the week!


The Rare Stitch

I had an email the other day from my friend Margaux at 1010 Studio. I've known Margaux through blogging for... I don't even know how long (before she was a mama, for sure)! I met her in person, finally, at Rhinebeck 2016, and my project bag of choice since last fall has been the "Rhinebeck or Bust" bag that she designed for Rhinebeck 2017! With any luck, we'll meet up again at Rhinebeck 2018! She is a wonderful, creative, amazing, loving woman with a great idea to share! She says it best (and also has great photos), so...
 
As you may or may not know February 28th is Rare Disease Day. The day we get to shine a light on so many kids and adults living with a Rare Disease including my son James. 💕

I have been thinking of ways to increase awareness for Rare Disease in the community I love so much and realized that #knitting is a perfect metaphor of the odds of rare disease. Thinking about your knitting as a population, how many hundreds of thousands stitches do you knit? Now imagine if one of those stitches is “off.” A sea of stockinette but one isn’t quite the same...
 
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So what am I asking you to do? Something very simple.
 
👉🏼 Starting today, grab a knit you’re working on or one you already have and duplicate stitch One Stitch in a contrasting color ➰

One stitch of so many that is different. That stands out from the rest. That can’t be ignored.

A disease or disorder is defined as rare when it effects less than 200,000 people in the U.S. My son James is diagnosed with Alternating Hemipelgia of Childhood (AHC) which has only approx 400 cases in the US. A 1 in a million chance diagnosis.

I’d love to start seeing these “rare stitches” pop up around social media! Maybe James is the one you know, maybe you of know another? Tell their story! By the time Rare Disease Day happens on February 28th I can imagine seeing a flood of Rare Stitches all over the world.
 
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You can use hashtag #therarestitch and tag me at @1010_studio when you post. I’d love so see them and want to create a huge “collage” by the end of the month! Please encourage or tag others to keep it going.

Seeing the village around us supporting him (and me) as we keep making our way through this Rare Disease world is amazing. I know I wouldn’t be as chipper as I am without you all! I cannot thank you all enough for being a part of our journey and helping to shine a light on that One Stitch of many.
 

3TT: It's February!

Joining Carole and friends again this week for Three on Thursday...

Unlike some others, I felt like January flew by. We welcomed the New Year, Maddy was around & then made her departure for NZ, Katie moved, Junah had a birthday, we celebrated our anniversary with a weekend in Elkhart Lake, we attended an art opening, a film festival, and a play... not to mention dentist & hair appointments, book club, knit nights, and a couple of movies at the theater!

WOW!

January was probably my worst month on record in the "video everyday" department, but I managed to eek out (& edit) enough for an OK #1SE video.

I don't normally get too excited about February -- though it's the shortest month, it sure can drag -- but I do begin sense that we're making progress on our way toward longer, warmer days!

Here are three things happening this month:

1 -- A long-awaited visit to Nashville with Annie! I'll have some free time (Craft South, Jeni's 12 South, Frothy Monkey, I am looking at you) and am hoping for a meet-up at one or all of those places; I'll be attending Ann's graduation from her program (yahoo!); and we have tickets for Blues Traveler at the Ryman Auditorium. I'm open to suggestions for other things to do & see -- our Airbnb is right in the thick of it downtown.

2 -- The Olympics!! And knitting -- Team Rules Schmules is already loads of fun!! Though I'll be traveling a little bit, I still expect to knit everyday and finish my shawl. I've also been sucked into the Bang Out a Carbeth vortex and am pondering yarn choices... I liked that sweater the moment I saw it, and I think it could work.

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3 -- The Grand Re-opening & 9th Anniversary Celebration at Kaukauna Coffee & Tea (KC&T) on Feb. 16th -- nine years to the day that Ali opened the doors as proprietor! I am so sad that I'll be in Nashville on that day, but will certainly be following the celebration on social media.


Unraveled Wednesday: January 31

Joining Kat & friends again this week...

SEWING:

Free time has been limited this week, and I've been prioritizing #dailysewing -- trying to make it a habit. My most minimal sewing goal at this point is to use up one needle's worth of thread/floss each day, which I've met or exceeded every day since I began. There are three sewable "lengths" every time I cut floss, and I've sewn them all a couple of times. On the weekend when I'm home in the daylight, I'll take a photo... there is  LOONNNNNG way to go but I'm beginning to see progress and it's making me happy!

KNITTING:

That's not to say there hasn't been knitting! My PS (Parallelogram Scarf) is growing:

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Some more dramatic color changing ought to be happening soon!

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I expect to get a fair bit done at Knit Night tomorrow.

READING:

Continuing to read & enjoy Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (pages). I also picked up Michael Perry's Montaigne in Barn Boots when we were at the performance of Population 485 on Friday, and have cracked it open. I don't usually read more than one book at a time...

I've shelved (returned) the audio/CD version of Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian because the format is just not working for me... I hope it'll be available again someday on Audible or something. I really want to listen to it.

Instead, I've downloaded Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim, which more or less picks up where Yellow Crocus left off. I enjoyed that story quite a lot, and Bahni Turpin is one of my favorite narrators.

What are you making and reading??

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A quick shout-out to my mom, who would have celebrated her 80th birthday today!

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"Celebrated" isn't quite the word she'd be using here... HORRIFIED is more like it!! Haha. I love you Mom. I miss you every single day.


Team Rules Schmules

So, the other day my friend Terry asked whether anyone was participating in the Ravellenic Games this year. I replied that I'd had half a thought... but that I still and will always call them the Knitting Olympics! (That was so much fun, and I still have my 2006 medal!)

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Friday was the last day for official team sign-ups, and Terry was feeling bogged down by The Rules.

I said, RULES??? She ran with that... and voila!

We have a team!!

Perhaps you'd like to join us.

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A group of knitters who are so distracted by life, grandchildren, jobs, books, that last idea... what was that thought? Anyway. We will knit something, it can be a UFO, a new project, small, large and we will finish or we won't finish. ~Terry

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The XXIII Olympic Winter Games -- PyeongChang 2018 -- will be February 9-25. That means just over two weeks of "training" remain!

Since Friday, I've already purchased & nixed one pattern due to a yarn shortage, and moved on to another. As of right now, I am planning to knit Morvarch by Lucy Hague.

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Kate gave me this beautiful Belle Époch Laceweight, hand-dyed in Edinburgh, for my 2013 birthday and that's what I want to use for the Games this year. I've always thought that I should knit something from a Scottish designer and my first thought was Firth o' Forth by Kate Davies. I am significantly short of yarn for that project, though.

I haven't knit cables in a while, and certainly not of the sort that Lucy Hague designs*, and I've really been wanting to knit something with laceweight... not necessarily lace. I will have plenty of yarn, so will probably make Morvarch a bit longer, though I haven't had a good gander at the pattern yet. I should probably just wait and see how it goes before making any big decisions/modifications.

Anyway, I have yarn to wind, a pattern to read through, a bit of swatching to do... it's going to be fun!! I really do hope to finish this project during the Olympics.

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Come join our very laid-back team!

*I will consider this training for Iona or Lindisfarne (or Durrow or Kells) from her drool-worthy Illuminated Knits collection.