Travel planning

No, not for me... I have nothing even close to firm on the calendar until October, and then another possible trip way off in March (though, obvs, I am always up for a spontaneous trip to almost anywhere).

I am travel planning for/with Kate... while she's in the Scottish Highlands and I'm planted in Wisconsin!

She sent me a message yesterday to tell me that she'd arrived at her Highlands destination, and about some great gin that she found (the message also serving as a reminder for her future self about said gin).

We chatted about the weather, how long she'd be there, and what she'd be doing; one thing on the list was finding a distillery tour, specifically gin. She'd told me that it was Misty Isle Gin that she'd been sipping and, following a quick search, I informed her that it was from Isle of Skye Distillers... right where she just happened to be for a few days.

Another quick search led me to discover the Skye Food and Drink Festival, happening this Wednesday & Thursday, and...

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What are the odds?? Minutes later, she was signed up for the GIN COCKTAIL MASTERCLASS! The entire list of exhibitors & events at that festival looks so fun!

I also found a not-too-far-away Gin, Rum, and Cocktail Festival on the weekend (and plenty more, actually), but I'm not exactly sure where she's headed after this.

Anyway, I told her that I NEED TO BE A TRAVEL CONSULTANT... ON-THE-FLY, EVEN! REAL-TIME UPDATES!! haha.

Seriously. I love this stuff.

It's the beauty of making "a plan," but not a hard & fast schedule... flexibility & openness... POSSIBILITIES!! That's not how some people like to travel, I know, and there are many reasons for that, but there are a million "tours" that cater to "tourists."

I want EXPERIENCES... or to help people (my daughter) find them. And when she comes home, she can mix up a killer "masterclass" gin cocktail to thank me!


Weekending: It's electric

I drove to Chicago & back on Friday to deliver Kate to ORD. She had a quick visit with some friends in Edinburgh (who she'll meet up with again for a side trip to Wales) and is currently relaxing & enjoying the beautiful scenery in the Scottish Highlands. (Follow along here on IG, if you'd like.) Lucky girl!

I spent much of the weekend cuddling & caring for Malina while her parents were busy at a local music festival. The Electric City Experience is in its third year, evolving a bit with each one.

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Ali had the coffee camper there, and Rod had a few gigs -- including sitting in last-minute for a bass player who was busy becoming a dad!

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I was just a short walk from festivities and, since Malina isn't a fan of bottle feeding, I could easily walk her down for a meal/snack (and her mama could take a little break, too).

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That Lemon Rhubarb Italian Soda was delicious, with Ali's homemade rhubarb syrup -- tart with a little sweet & sparkle, just the way I like my beverages!

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Maddy came home late Saturday afternoon for an overnight visit and it was perfect timing, as many friends were around, too. We all had fun socializing with folks we haven't seen in a while. And fireworks!

On Sunday, we met up with the "big kids" for a little festival brunch/lunch.

It doesn't get more groovy than that!

I'm pooped, but back to work (a looooong week) and making sure to carve out some "me" time.


3TT: My Backyard

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

1 -- PEONIES

I have more peony buds than ever before!

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They're not getting battered by wind & rain, for once! Ants sure do love them (see it?).

2 -- CHIVES

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I spotted these yesterday behind the pergola bench -- a bit past prime but still pretty.

3 -- SUCCULENTS

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This little wooden planter full of succulents was one of the table centerpieces at Maddy's BFFs' pretty farm wedding last year. It fit perfectly on the windowsill of my basement dye studio (sigh) and wintered there. There had been some ivy, too, but it didn't survive. I see that Rusty's left his mark...


Unraveled Wednesday: Water

KNITTING

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I started WATER on Saturday night, beginning with a tubular cast on -- it makes such a neat edge. I finished the first repeat last night. I am using Plymouth's Worsted Merino Superwash for this one; it's a little splitty, but it's sproingy and has good stitch definition. I previously used this yarn to knit a couple of Pussyhats.

READING

I did ZERO reading/listening on my trip. Instead, I watched The Greatest Showman -- most on the flight to NYC, the rest on the return trip. And I loved it!

I am almost finished listening to West Cork, and I'm ready for the end.

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I spotted The Best Cook In The World - Tales from My Momma's Table at the airport on Sunday and had it in my hand... but realized that I really wasn't going to start reading it right then and it wasn't the last copy known to man, so it didn't need to be purchased right then & there. Be it known, however, that this is next up -- ready & waiting! I love Rick Bragg.

I may need to renew The Thoughtful Dresser one more time, but I'm getting there.

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


I've lived your worst (travel) nightmare...

...so you don't have to!! I trust that Bonny heeded my warning and had a smoother beginning to her travels today!

Thursday morning, Rusty sits straight up in bed next to me and declares, "SHIT! IT'S 5:15!!"

Here's the scenario:

  • My flight departed Green Bay at 5:55
  • My alarm was set for 3:30
  • It's a 30-minute drive
  • I needed to shower
  • And finish (most of) my packing
  • Obviously, I made the rookiest of rookie mistakes and didn't verify that the alarm was set for AM instead of PM!

"WE CAN MAKE IT!!" he says.

Um. Suurrrrrre... even if I skipped brushing my teeth and jumped in the car wearing my PJs, we'd maybe see the plane fly over our heads at best!

A bit less starry-eyed, I grabbed my phone, sat down at my computer, and called United. It was slightly maddening to listen to the very calm voice while navigating the menu, and I was relieved when it didn't take too long to speak with a real person. And they were SO helpful, rebooking me on later flights -- at no charge (just this one time...) -- essentially, I was on about a 3-hour delay. Instead of arriving NYC at noon, I arrived around 3:30. Kate had commitments at that time and wasn't able to pick me up, we weren't able to have lunch, and I wasn't able to a couple of things on my list (visit the botanical garden and/or Museum of Food and Drink)... but OMG, it could have been so much worse!

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I took a taxi over to Brooklyn to the warehouse where Kate would be installing her show. The actual space (on the 2nd floor) wasn't available yet, so everything was being stored in a studio space on the 4th floor.

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It was hot. Somewhat drippy. Sticky. No AC. No elevator. Ugh.

Prior to my arrival, Kate had been staying in Brooklyn, but we'd booked a hotel in Manhattan for the rest of the time -- until my departure on Sunday, and hers on Monday. She kept her car in Brooklyn, though (free, on-street parking wherever it could be found) and we mostly took the subway back and forth.

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Luckily, the weather improved -- at least in terms of drippiness.

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On Friday, Kate was able to get into the venue space in Brooklyn to set up and hang the show. I hopped in the car and drove over to Jersey to visit with Cara! We had a wonderful afternoon, talking about knitting (that AMAZING brioche shawl that she's designing/making), family & friends. We had lunch, made a stop at Yarnia, and picked up C from school (M had after-school activities). The school year is drawing to a close, so things are starting to trickle home... I had a delightful private viewing of all of C's 2nd-grade artwork!

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I drove back to Brooklyn, arriving just in time to watch Kate hang the last pieces. The room had this great floor-to-ceiling window that looked out on some backyards. If you look, you can see a couple on the right hanging out and trying to catch a breeze... I didn't realize until later, when I saw the guy go back into the house, that he'd been standing there in his underwear! Haha. Whatever it takes... Lucky for Kate, the venue had AC!!

On Saturday, I had a lovely (if sweltering) morning walk through Central Park (which, despite a few visits to NYC, I'd never set foot in before!) on my way to meet MDK Kay for a breakfast date! She brought some of her Alabama Chanin Flag Quilt to show off -- utterly amazing -- and it was so cool to see my Wisconsin Blingfish nestled and sewn into its stripe. The quilt's been shining on Kay's IG feed lately, though Shakerag (the top)/Shakerag (the workshop) will soon be taking over, no doubt. After breakfast and show & tell, Kay walked me over to her LYS, Knitty City.

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I walked through the park on the way back, too, and found Balto (along with some kids & their parents)!

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I cooled off at the hotel for a while before heading over to Brooklyn again, where I sat with Kate at the show (always cooling off). Then I walked over to Brooklyn Craft Company, and from there I grabbed a Lyft to Brooklyn General Store -- two shops on my list. They were pretty different -- BCC is newer and smaller, BGS a bit larger and with much more inventory, and also happened to be celebrating their 16-year anniversary on that very day. I found out later that I narrowly missed a run-in with Kirsten Kapur there! (New TTL Mystery Shawl set to drop in a couple of weeks... I'm desperate for my arm to feel better!!)

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With all these shop stops, I came home with much more yarn than I needed (pfffft), but also some fabric to share with Ali and this adorable Merchant & Mills girl's dress pattern (BGS had a sample and I couldn't resist!)!

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Kate was in Brooklyn 'til late on Saturday, celebrating art & artists & CONVEYOR's huge success, so I had a lovely dinner on my own at our hotel. I spent the evening in, finally casting on my first WATER hat (current donation total = $6000 + counting)!

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We had some great meals in NYC, including dinners at Fig & Olive and Empellon (photo above, view to the upper level from our table) -- both excellent and close to our hotel!

I went out for coffee on Sunday morning and found the street closed in front of our hotel, along with a couple of others, and police everywhere. The Celebrate Israel Parade was happening that morning on Fifth Avenue, and security was high -- including bomb-sniffing dogs and sharpshooters. There hadn't been any specific threats... I can't imagine if there had been! I left a little earlier than usual to get to the airport.

I had enough time in Chicago (especially since the flight arrived :30 ahead of schedule) to finally use one of my (unexpired) passes to United Club Lounge. Oh, hell yeah. 

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It never gets old!


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We had pretty great flyover on the approach into GRB... couldn't help thinking that Randall Cobb 🏈 on board had an influence on the pilot! 😉 RC was actually on the other side of the plane so wouldn't have even seen this amazing view. That's Mecca of the NFL... er, Lambeau Field on the left and the new Titletown development extending to the right (there is much more to come).

Despite the heat, it was such a fun trip!! It was so great to visit new places (Brooklyn, Central Park) and long-time friends.


FO/Unraveled Wednesday: Cockleshells

KNITTING

It seems a while since there's been an FO in the Knitting Dept. around here! I was on a roll over the weekend and finally sewed buttons on the girls' sweaters, so today there are two:

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  • Ravelry Project Page: Cockleshell Cardigans
    • Size 18-24 months for Virginia, Size 6-12 months for Malina
  • Pattern: Cockleshell Cardigan by Amy Christoffers
  • Yarn: Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash (color: Daffodil)
    • 4 skeins = 2 sweaters with just a bit left over
  • Needles:  US 10
  • Start to Finish:  April 24 - May 28, 2018

The color is off in these photos (I blame the floor), it's really more like this:

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So bright & happy!

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Are they not the most adorable little sweaters? Soft & squishy, too.

Mods: The pattern called for I-cord ties but, um, Nooooo. I opted for matching buttons and crocheted a loop to close.

Mistakes: I made one on the cuff of Gin's sweater, creating an actual cuff... I didn't realize it was a mistake until I started the other half and then had myself a little time trying to recreate that particular "design element"! I also misread (or didn't actually read) the directions and did the 3-needle bind-off to the inside instead of the outside on both sweaters. These things do not bother me in the least!

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The kids will be over this evening, so possibly modeled shots forthcoming!!

UPDATE TO ADD:

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Oh, they are the cutest!! We had supper together and Gin wouldn't take her sweater off, so... ketchup, chocolate milk, and a little Truffle Kerfuffle later... it's already landed it in the wash! (Came through wonderfully.)

I am still working on Summer Camp! It won't be traveling with me, though, so I'm readying to cast on my first WATER hat to bring along. Check out the Baby Cocktails forum on Ravelry for more info about Water for Flint project and knit-along.

READING

Well, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder has taken a back seat to The Thoughtful Dresser, which I've already renewed once (and may need to again) (reading has taken a back seat to almost everything else), but I'm getting into a bit more and enjoying it. Plus, there's some traveling ahead and it will be coming along.

I am listening to West Cork, which, it turns out, is actually an "Audible Audiobook - Original Recording." It's not an actual book -- never was, never will be! I think I nabbed it on a promotion or something... anyway, it says "audiobook" in the description, so I'm going with that. And it'll fill a Bingo square! I'll likely finish it on the plane tomorrow, so will be queuing up something else today!

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


Alabama Chanin "La Sagrada Familia" Swing Skirt

...or What I Did Over The Weekend!

First of all, it was 100°F or darn close to it all three days, so I didn't spend a lot of time outside.

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To quickly recap the weekend: Ali & her family came over on Saturday night for a send-off barbecue for Maddy, who left for her summer camp job on Sunday morning. I'm not sure when we'll see Maddy next -- maybe July 4th-ish? And probably briefly before she heads to Oregon in late summer/early fall. Thankfully, she's found housing out there for the vintage season, so that's settled.

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And she did a great job repainting the back porch -- ceiling, pillars, railing, window trim, and floor -- before she left!

Kate was away with friends for the weekend, returning Sunday evening. We moved the last load from the apartment into the storage unit that she's sharing with Maddy. And we bade her farewell on Monday morning as she began the drive to NYC/Brooklyn to install her curated show CONVEYOR for Greenpoint Open Studios this weekend; I'll meet up with her there on Thursday. She's still heading to the UK when she returns, but there have been and continue to be Changes and unchanges and rechanges... and stay tuned (because it's un-/re-/changing almost daily at this point!)

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Kate's plants have come to live with us for a while!! It's like a jungle in there. 

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OK. My main event of the weekend turned out to be finishing the Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt that I started last week!

I've been wearing the original more and more, and had been wanting to make another one for quite a while. My original thought was to try using one (or more) of the souvenir t-shirts I've picked up in the last year or so -- House of Blues (St. Louis), Country Music Hall of Fame (Nashville), FAME (Muscle Shoals) are vaguely what I had in mind. What caught my eye was a shirt from La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona! I'd never thought of it in terms of a skirt before, but it was obviously dying to be one.

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Naturally, I didn't take a "before" photo, but that's basically the front of the shirt on one of the skirt's front panels, and the back became the other front panel. I always buy the largest size that I can, but this one wasn't very big and it was an off-center design, so I made the most of it -- you can see that I left the hem intact. For embellishment, I've only embroidered around the outline of the cathedral's towers using black thread.

I found a gray men's 2X long-sleeve t-shirt in the stash (yes! there's a t-shirt stash) to use for the bottom layer (that Barcelona shirt being slightly lighter in weight than I prefer and, also, I'm just a bit more comfortable with two layers). I cut the front skirt panels from the front of the shirt and the sleeves were shaped almost perfectly but just a tad too short (due to armhole shaping) to be the other two panels... it was oh so close! I decided to do some piecing and make it work!

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I basically made a yoke using remaining fabric from the front & back. Another black t-shirt from the stash was cut for the top layer and I suppose I could have left that piece intact, but decided to stitch & cut to expose my Frankenstein work!

Then I had the bright idea to add side seam pockets! I love pockets, don't you? I used the pair of pants I was wearing to get the placement right.

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I got a little tripped up because of "felling" the pocket seams, and ended up felling an entire side seam to the front of the skirt because of the way the pocket was inserted (ideally, seams should be felled to the back). I wasn't gonna let that bother me.

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After the pockets & seams were sewn and felled, it was time for waistband elastic! I really love Alabama Chanin's fold-over elastic, which I attached with a nice stretchy herringbone stitch. I used the same method on my first Swing Skirt.

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Voila! It's a skirt!

On Monday morning, I realized (again, for the nth time in almost 60 years) that as much as I really do love a nice side-seam pocket, it definitely does not love me/my figure in a garment such as this.

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So I took them out! It was not as painful as it sounds -- one nice thing about hand stitching is that the stitches are BIG, and I didn't even have to rip the entire seam. Once the seams were re-sewn and properly felled (to the back!), I was much happier with the fit.

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And I'm wearing it today!!

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Oh yeah, I gave myself a pedi yesterday for the first time in forever!

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A favorite detail is this patch that was stitched to the front of the original t-shirt -- with all the threads hanging out, just like that -- and I just had to keep it! I love this skirt and will certainly be making more.

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You can learn to make your own Swing Skirt from Natalie Chanin herself on Craftsy:

The Swing Skirt: Techniques & Construction

Natalie currently has two other courses available on Craftsy: The New Embroidery: Simple Geometry, Beautiful Stitches and Creative Embellishments. And she's a fabulous teacher!


And just like that...

Two months old!! Prepare for photo overload!

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I had a little one-to-one time with Malina last night for the very first time! The girls went out for dinner & drinks to celebrate their (last month's) birthdays together before they soon begin to scatter.

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In her mama's arms, cooing at Aunt Kate!

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This part doesn't look so gingery. Still, adorbs.

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Sleepy snugs!

I am looking forward to another 3-day weekend! At the very least, I'd like to finish the "La Sagrada Familia" Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt over the next few days and, hopefully, do a little (early morning) gardening. It's gonna be HOT HOT HOT -- 90F or more all three days! I'm looking forward to the shortest of work weeks next week -- only Tuesday & Wednesday -- as I'm winging to NYC on Thursday. I'm excited about spending a day or so on my own in Brooklyn and another in Jersey. It'll be a quick but super-fun trip!


Water

Thea Colman released a new pattern a couple of days ago... WATER is a beautiful cabled hat that she designed to help support efforts to fix the problem in Flint, MI, which has unbelievably been going on without resolution for YEARS.

I just can't even comprehend that... as a mother, a grandmother... a human being!

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Thea writes:

This is WATER, the latest in a series of designs I’ve put out that uses my needles and my voice to try and fix what I can out in the world.

ALL the proceeds from WATER will go to Flint, Michigan, where they are on year four without clean water, due to lead in the pipes and the inaction of the authorities to fix the problem.

There’s a fantastic 11-year-old little girl there named Mari Copeny, who also goes by the name LittleMissFlint. She’s done more as an activist in the past four years than most of us will do in a lifetime. Google her and you'll be amazed. She's adorable and focused and tireless, and with the support of her family she is making a difference.

Mari has made speeches, met with politicians, has social media presence, and uses her voice and rising profile to raise awareness and funds for the people in Flint. She’s raised money for water bottles as well as things that make life for the kids in her community (where 60% live in poverty) better - backpacks and movie tickets and books.

As the media circus in the US intensifies, I want Mari and the people of Flint to know that their town isn’t forgotten, and do what we can. I want to keep encouraging this kid to fight and speak and I want to show her it's working.  Even if the problem isn't fixed, her efforts are working and we hear her, right?

So all my proceeds are going to this Go Fund Me that raises $$ for bottles and backpacks. In addition, North Light Fibers is donating my design fee, and my lovely tech editor Sandy has asked me to donate her tech editing fee.

The hat itself is my favorite kind of design -- some fun cables.  These combine open cables and twists, and feature a bit of texture. The crown of the hat is worked with a combination of decreases and cables that makes a striking pattern that reminds me of large drops of water, an added bonus to the theme of things here.

All the information is on the Ravelry page, and the PDF is $7.00.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THESE IMAGES AND THE STORY on your social media, with your friends, or at your knitting shop. I’m not trying to make any cash myself off this one - but the more you spread the word, the more we help this kid help her community. xo

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Within little more than 24 hours, $2200 was raised for Flint and, as of this morning, that figure had risen to $3000.

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Thea is hoping that activity over the holiday weekend can push it to $5ooo!

CAN YOU HELP?

 


Weekending: The Rest of the Story

I stopped by my LYS on the way home from work on Friday to find some buttons for the girls' sweaters.

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I can't believe I still haven't sewn them on! It was a very busy weekend with lots of distractions and many things buzzing 'round my brain. I'll buckle down and get that done because, believe it or not, it has been sweater weather the past few days.

On Friday evening, Kate & I stopped in to see Cristian Andersson's installation & performance piece, Scriptorium (some background here).

There was more bad news on Friday and, combined with Cristian's reading of the news, the piece by Annie Leue that we'd seen at the SAIC Student Show not even a week earlier came immediately to mind, prompting the post above. We did not see/hear Cristian's entire performance, but he later made a moving reply to my post on IG (click through for all the photos/comments).

Nothing against Harry & Meghan, but I just couldn't muster much enthusiasm for the wedding. I was happy to see a recap or two and some photos and, in hindsight, I probably would have enjoyed it... but not as much as my mother would have, and perhaps that was another reason for my lack of interest.

Instead, I had a fantastic day with Junah & Ginny on Saturday!

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They brought over some new bikes to leave at my house and we rode around the 'hood to check on things... the remainder of the sewer/water work on a few streets over, the old water feature at a park a couple blocks away that's been on the docket for a (someday) re-do, the sad condition of sidewalks and settling earth due to the above sewer/water work that took place on our street last year. I called the City Engineer yesterday (again) and am awaiting a return call about when it'll all be fixed. They came up and put some safety barriers in a couple of places a few weeks ago, but even those are being swallowed up as things continue to deteriorate. It's not a good situation!

Ali came over with all the kids on Sunday, too, and we had a nice impromptu dinner together with Kate & Maddy.

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This little one! She's wearing the Elwood cardigan that I made for Gin a couple of years ago -- it's a little big for her, but look at that cute pudgy rolled-up sleeve.

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I think she's looking more and more "gingery" every time I see her! What do you think?

During a little chat with Ann in Spain on Sunday, I also talked with Addison for a bit and he sweetly asked about the baby. I told him that we're just beginning to see the hint of a smile now and then, but by the time they're here in July she'll be smiling ear-to-ear.

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Work on the kids' clubhouse continues... there a door manufacturing operation in our basement over the weekend. The doorknob came from "the bucket o' knobs" that Rusty's collected/saved over the years. I think it'll soon be finished!

I discovered a couple of new-to-me beers:

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The Gnam Gnam was very good. Had I known beforehand that it had mango I wouldn't have tried it, but I couldn't even tell... I did get a hit of the Thai chili and it was perfect! I also enjoyed the Lager of the Lakes -- more than I thought I would, actually. Also, the design of both of those cans is pretty spectacular!

Due to coworker scheduling, I had the day off yesterday instead of my usual Wednesday and noticed that it was VICTORIA DAY, so of course!!

I had a long overdue chiropractic adjustment yesterday and a long discussion with her about my tendonitis, which has become a sometimes very uncomfortable/painful shoulder situation, and between the adjustment and a couple of awareness things... it's feeling better today. Here's hoping for continued improvement!

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I've had the itch to make another Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt and pawing through my stash of t-shirts, souvenir & otherwise, I came across one that I bought last year at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and it was perfect!  The embellishment could go either way because, y'know, GAUDI, but I'm keeping it simple... running stitch in black thread to outline each of the cathedral towers. I can always add more stitching later... at times it screams for beads!

Thanks for all the great comments about my patch job yesterday! It was a very methodical process and fun to learn. I neglected to mention that I have a few copies of that issue of Making (and some of the others) in the shop and would be happy to send them out into the world -- $24 (+ tax if in WI) + flat $5 shipping. Let me know if you're interested! (Someday I'll get the online commerce thing going.)


Happy Mend-day

I had Junah & Ginny for a large part of the day on Saturday while Ali ran some errands, but managed to get organized and accomplish a few things before & after they were here.

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Though I've been wearing it with no problems, there have been two small holes in my Alabama Chanin Anna's Garden Swing Skirt almost from the moment I first pulled it on. The stitching may have been a bit tight on one of the applique pieces because the holes were on either side of just that one piece. Fixed!

An often-worn black sweater from J.Jill had some holes in seam lines, so I stitched & reinforced them. Fixed!

The lightweight brown cardigan is also from J.Jill and was my mom's. It had a tiny little hole in a really weird spot (right between the boob and armpit area -- possibly snagged on a purse strap/buckle?). It's apparently taken me almost four years to figure out how to fix it. I just stitched it up with some brown thread after determining that it's really not a highly visible area... but would be very noticeable if I did anything more than that! Fixed!

Not shown, a long wool Eileen Fisher coat that Kate snagged on super-duper clearance a few years ago. There were some holes in seams, a big hole in the butt area, and some small holes in one of the pockets... and it needed washing. Fixed!

Then it was time for The Big One. Another J.Jill sweater that I've had & worn for at least a couple of years. I put it on the other day and thought to myself that the elbows were looking a little thin and, sure enough, by noon there was a hole in one of them!

There's a great article by Bristol Ivy in the latest issue of Making, No. 5 / COLOR about a few different methods for mending knits, and a woven patch seemed the way to go for my project.

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I roughly marked the area with pins, stuck a little ham in the sleeve (for contrast as much as anything else), and started weaving. First, to establish the perimeter...

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Then back and forth horizontally (these are not technical terms!). I love the idea of "visible mending," so chose a yarn with a little personality -- a bit of a Madelinetosh Unicorn Tail that I dug out of the leftovers.

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I wasn't far into the vertical stage of weaving when I realized that the patch was not going to be a dense fabric... the original fabric is more of a mesh, but that won't work for the patch.

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So I eyeballed it and wove some more yarn in vertically, until it felt & looked right -- not quite twice as many.

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Then I wove in all the ends. That's the back side, above. WEAVING!

During this process, I thought of "Ruth" a million times. I never met Ruth, but when I was little and we'd go to my Grandparents' house, we'd drive through a little town called New London and I'd always spot/look for a sign that said "REWEAVING by Ruth." It was a fascinating concept!

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Though far from perfect, I am really happy with how it turned out, and I learned a lot. I'm wearing my patched sweater today (because it makes me happy... and it's chilly!), but I'll soon be patching the other elbow -- I'd like to do it before there's an actual hole -- and maybe trying another method/variation and possibly color.


TGI*

*FRIDAY!

*A 3-DAY WEEKEND!

*REALLY & TRULY NICE OUTSIDE!

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This guy is so much happier now that it's nice enough to be outside most of the time! (As are we all, I suppose.)

Do you have anything going on this weekend?

I'll have the kiddos for a while tomorrow morning, in varying combos of 2 and 3 while Ali runs some errands.

The only other thing "written in pen" on my calendar is an appointment with the chiropractor on Monday. I'd been going regularly, but slipped off that schedule quite a while ago and I think it's time to get back on track.

There are a few things on my list that I could work on...

And I'll definitely be putting the finishing touches on two little matching sweaters for two sweet little girls -- I'll be stopping to choose buttons on my way home today!

2 Weeks Craftsy Unlimited For Just $1 at Craftsy.com 5/19 - 5/23/18. No coupon code needed.


3TT: Randomly

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

1 - Knitting

I started a new knitting project on the way to Chicago last Thursday.

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It's a new Summer Camp (pattern by Laura Aylor) and, as I snapped a photo in the car, I noticed that I was wearing the first one that I made. That shawl and my 2016 Rhinebeck Shawl (Close to You by Justyna Lorkowska) were probably my most-worn shawls last winter (they both "go with everything") and I've wanted to make them both again.

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Coming along!

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I'm using yarn that I dyed a few months ago and I'm pretty happy with it so far.

My elbow/shoulder/arm are still balking at me now and then, so I'm trying to take it easy (figuring out my next step with this lingering situation).

2 - Wine

It occurred to me this morning, while replying to a comment/email from Mary, that perhaps I've neglected telling you about the amazing wineries that Maddy's worked/will be working for! She has worked the past couple of vintage seasons for Wither Hills in New Zealand and also for Loveblock Wines (the winemaker formerly of Kim Crawford Wines); this fall she'll be working for Kendall Jackson in Oregon, and she's pretty certain that she'll be similarly working in Australia next year (exact winery TBD).

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She brought a bottle of Loveblock home with her (because she didn't think it was available here) and we shared it on Thursday night at our hotel. I'm pretty sure the staff in the liquor department at our local grocery store thought she was a little off her rocker on Saturday when she VERY EXCITEDLY showed us that she'd found some on the shelf there!! Isn't the label pretty?

3 - Customer Service

I've tried in vain to locate the misplaced shoulder strap for the charcoal gray Baggallini* Medium Avenue Tote Bag that I bought last year. I don't know what I did with it, and had to resort to using the red strap from another bag when in NYC in March. I finally resorted to reaching out to customer service last week and :08 later I had a reply email informing me that my replacement strap would arrive in 5-10 business days. At no charge. Not even shipping. Yahoo!! I'll be ready, with matching bag/strap, for the next trip to NYC in two weeks!

*FYI, and per the disclosure that appears on the sidebar of every page, I post ads and affiliate links here on occasion, mostly from Amazon and Craftsy (within posts, at the bottom of posts, and also in the sidebar), from which I earn a percentage of any resulting sales if you click through, and that money pretty much covers the annual cost of having this blog/domain. Baggallini is not one of them (nor the wineries) (ha!) (though I realize now that they may now show up!)... anyway, they don't know me from Adam and I'm not compensated for this endorsement whatsoever; I just want to share my experience with their fabulous customer service! (It is so rare... and, really, it made my day!)


Mothers Day

Cheers! The gang's all here!!

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Kate & I motored to Chicago on Thursday to pick up Madeleine -- originally due at 11:59 pm, she missed a connection before even leaving NZ and yet somehow arrived almost 6 hours early! Thankfully, we were already down there and she didn't have to wait too long. But that's a trip/story for another day! The gist of it is, Maddy's home!

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I made it a point to grab my camera and take some photos! Rusty, too!

We even tried recreating a few old photos, some with more success...

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...than others!

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There's a photo (which I can't find at the moment) of my sisters & I successfully holding our mother in the manner that you can see attempted above. My brother was there, too, but it was after his traumatic car accident and there's no way he could risk it. Anyway, the girls suggested we try it... I never got my right foot off the ground and the only way this might have even remotely worked is if there was no laughing! As it is, it's a pretty awesome photograph and I think I like it even better.

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Maddy met Malina for the first time!

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Seven weeks old, she's really starting to fill out!

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The big kids have discovered some of my shawls!

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We had a terrific get together yesterday. A hot dog roast, brats on the grill, this year's favorite salad, along with a few from the deli, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert!

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I got a bottle of new-to-me gin to try and some really great cards. It was just about as perfect as a day can be.


Colorbox Quilt

In early March, Ali sent me a link from Missouri Star Quilt Co. to a quilt that she ran across and really liked. I did a little research and discovered that it was a Modern Background Colorbox Fog Cheater Quilt Panel by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics.

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That is a mouthful. But "CHEATER QUILT PANEL" stood out to me. I had never heard that term before and I was intrigued! I liked the design, too and thought it would be cute for the baby, plus the design seemed perfect for trying out some hand quilting.

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I'd have preferred to buy the materials locally and I tried, but more than one local quilt shop turned up their nose, with remarks, at my inquiring about the availability of this panel. Is that from Pinterest? Do you know how many designs there are? We can't possibly carry them all...

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Um. OK. Sorry? Obviously, they weren't interested in pursuing any further to help me out or in a special order.

So, naturally, I ordered it online!

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I also ordered cotton batting and backing fabric, though that turned out to be the wrong color -- which is the downside of ordering online. I consulted with Ali & her friend Kristin and even though they thought it would be "okay," ugh... I just couldn't do it! It was just too bright. So, I ordered more. It was a little easier to determine the subtleties of coordinating fabric colors at Fat Quarter Shop and I spent a lot of time consulting both websites to find one that I really liked.

I was nervous that the backing wasn't going to be wide enough, so added that little strip of batik... turns out I needn't have worried.

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Waiting for the new & improved backing fabric to arrive gave me time to take the "cheater" panel to Joann's to pick out some colorful thread. I chose five colors of Gütermann 100% Cotton Quilting Thread.

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I may not have cut & pieced it, but I made my first whole cloth quilt... and I did it by hand! Except for the binding -- I made my own bias tape and bound the quilt by machine. It took about 6 weeks, start to finish. I sort of free-styled the individual motifs, working each one pretty much the same... but different. I think it works. The back isn't quite as gorgeous as the front, but it's okay and I think it works, too.

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I tired of it near the end, mainly because there are SO.MANY.OTHER.THINGS and SPRING!!

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It really was a lot of fun, I learned a lot, and I have much more confidence now to tackle & finish the vintage (?) log cabin piece that I inherited from my mom.

Do we need any more photos?? Haha. Sorry, I got a little carried away...


Weekending

CHECK: Finish Malina's quilt!

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The goal was to finish on the weekend, but I put my head down and did it on Saturday -- washed, dried & delivered! I'll do a separate post about it (there are some more photos on Instagram if you're interested).

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Doesn't she look thrilled? That photo is actually from Sunday afternoon... but I'm sure that she was! Also, no doubt thrilled that she's wearing a bonnet & outfit sewn by her mama and the Garter Yoke Cardi that I made for Junah.

I am thrilled that I have a clean slate of a work table!

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CHECK: My first bicycle event of the season -- a 20-mile ride to benefit a local charter school.

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It was far from pretty, but I got it done... a little over 22 miles altogether (I also biked to & from the event) in just over 2 hours.

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My average speed was about 9.6 mph, highest was just over 30, and I climbed 444' (some of it on foot).

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It was a BEAUTIFUL day -- not too hot & not too cold -- and I rode on a few roads new to me. I have a little color on my face and a funny farmer tan on my forearms because my sleeves were pushed up a bit.

I wanted to get the indigo seeds started but didn't. It was too late to go get soil when I discovered that I didn't have any... or maybe I was just pooped. Now I think I might wait until next weekend because I'll be gone for a few days and won't be able to keep an eye on them. I'm hoping it won't be too late a start!

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Just have to share that Junah, one-and-a-half years old in the nearly 3-year-old photo above, was wearing this Captain America Romper on Saturday! Ali said that it's what he wanted to wear!! (And I love that... it's pretty much how it worked most days when I was in charge.) Obviously, he couldn't fasten the crotch snaps, so it just looked like a weird inverted shirttail... with snaps! It was adorable.


Right Now: Come What May... and June and July and August

In other words, what's happening this spring/summer! What began as a normal "what's happening right now" post became a fairly detailed and very helpful list of What I Know Right Now. Also, a couple of hopes & dreams... things I'd like to accomplish.

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MAY

Macro May... and Macramé! I think "macramé" almost every time I say "Macro May," but now I'm actually developing a plan to do some! I've always loved making those knots and now it's cool again -- inspiring, even. I have an idea to make window coverings for our bedroom.

My first bicycle event of the season is this Sunday -- a 20-mile ride to benefit a local charter school. I am doing it alone. I'd rather not do it alone, but it's that or not at all... and I really have to JUST DO IT!

We're picking up Maddy in a week (squee!), and spending a day or so in/around Chicago before heading back...

And then it's Mothers Day!

Maddy takes off for her summer camp job just about two weeks later. Thankfully, the camp job is way closer than her vineyard job (haha), and I'm hopeful for a couple of summertime visits.

On the very last day of May, I'm heading to NYC again!

There are also a couple of "unclaimed" 3-day weekends in May due to work schedule/holiday, and overall I plan to:

  • Finish Malina's quilt (I'm putting my head down and aiming for a finish this weekend)
  • Start indigo plants (also must be done this weekend)
  • Prep for rummage sale
  • Sew something(s) -- a dress and/or top for the girls and/or me
  • Dye something(s)!

JUNE

Kate has curated a show, CONVEYOR, for Greenpoint Open Studios and I'll be joining her there for a few days. She will be busy much of the time with set up, so I'll be on my own for a bit. I plan to meet up with a friend or two, and maybe even take in a show.

Shortly after that, and after Kate returns from NYC (she's driving), I head to Chicago again to deliver her to the airport to see her off as she departs for a month in the UK.

Another possible bicycle event - to benefit a local fire department!

The local farmers market starts up again and Ali will man the Coffee Camper; I imagine I'll have a few Saturday mornings with Gin & Jün.

There is an entire week in the middle of the month when I'll be working every day (I usually work four long days and LOVE my mid-week day off).

CSA deliveries begin mid-month and I'm really looking forward to that!

I am planning to get to work finishing the mosaic tables that Rusty & I built a year ago (detail of dilapidated & rotting original shown above).

And also continue prep for the rummage sale.

JULY

I will be going to Chicago for my monthly visit to pick up Kate at the airport.

There's a rummage sale in the works!

And Kate's maybe gonna re-paint my kitchen walls sometime in July. Before she moves to Denver!

Ann & family arrive from Spain for their summer visit (July 14-August 21), and that means Auntie Camp on the horizon! We're just beginning to sync calendars & make plans, so I don't know exactly when -- it's actually more like to happen in August. That means INDIGO. Maybe tie dye again? Weaving? I'd like to involve Junah, and maybe the kids of one of my coworkers (they've all met before).

And also a possible bicycle ride.

AUGUST

Shhhhhh. At this point, August is a pretty clean slate, other than probably Auntie Camp, Addy's birthday, and his family's return to Spain shortly thereafter. This will very likely fill in a bit -- and may include another trip to (where else?) Chicago!! Annie has hinted at it... because, you know, it will have been a whole month since I was there!

SEPTEMBER

September is looking quite free & open! There is another possible bicycling event and I might tie that into a long weekend away with Rusty.

 

Just like last summer, this one will certainly have distractions and last-minute changes/additions. I'm hoping to find a better rhythm this year and not veer too far off (of my very loose) course.


3TT: A birthday & other things

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

ONE

For a day or two, I was convinced that she was going to be 3, but no...

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Time seems to be racing, but thankfully it's not racing THAT fast... and yesterday we helped our little Ginny celebrate her 2nd birthday!!

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Before cake -- a really yummy oatmeal-banana-chocolate chip cake!

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After cake... and ice cream!

I put together the little doll bed that I bought at IKEA a few months ago and wrapped it up, along with a sweet little summer outfit.

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She cracked us all up when she immediately "got into" that bed. Soon enough, she was putting her baby to bed.

TWO

Rusty has continued work on their backyard playhouse this week.

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He is very patient!! The walls are framed, the roof underlayment is down, and windows chosen and configured.

THREE

Just because...

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Other Grandma was coaxing coos and maybe even a little smile from Malina! In that last photo, it's all eyes for Mama, though. 


Unraveled: Cockleshell Cardi

KNITTING

So, I did really well with the simultaneous knitting and socializing with the book club gang on Friday night -- even doing increases at regular intervals without screwing up.

Saturday was a WAY different story, and perhaps what you might expect when a day begins with a cherry mimosa at breakfast and carries on with a distillery/brewery/winery tour! I found a mistake and when I thought I'd figured out what happened and how to fix it, I only screwed it up more. Way more! Let's just say there were some "wonky" eyelets on that edging by the time I came to my senses and just put it away.

So, I ripped back the problem area on Monday night and re-knit. I worked the 3-needle bind-off on Tuesday night, and gave it a soak and pinned it out on Wednesday.

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Cockleshell Cardigan

My gauge/measurements are spot-on for the size I made, though I'm using a slightly heavier yarn. I LOVE IT! This one (largest size) will be for Gin, and I've cast on another (second-smallest size) for Malina.

SEWING

I have about half of the hand-quilting yet to do on Malina's quilt... it is getting a little tedious and I've contemplated ways to make it less so (i.e., not do as much), but I've decided to bite the bullet and JUST DO IT (correctly) (or at least as originally intended). I've 30-ish little squares to go... each is randomly quilted with one length of thread. Ready, Set, Go!

READING

Audio: I finished listening to Unfu*k Yourself on the way up to Door County on Friday. I figured that would happen, so had downloaded Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by Leslie Odom, Jr., to be ready. I would listen to Leslie Odom, Jr., read just about anything. Even so, I really enjoyed the content of this book, too; some interesting wisdom and ideas to ponder.

Pages: Nothing has changed here: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder is still on my nightstand, but so too is The Thoughtful Dresser.

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


The merry month of May begins

It was nice to get home on Sunday early enough that I had time to get a few things done (after my nap) and take a walk through the yard.

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It's just amazing to remember that just two weeks ago we'd been paralyzed by a blizzard for the better part of a weekend and left with 2' of snow on the ground -- the remains of which are still melting at the end of my street, even after nearly 80°F yesterday!

Remember that time when Rusty wrote a book about building clubhouses?

It's coming to life...

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They're using the step-by-step guide found in Keep Out! Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse to build a clubhouse in the kids' backyard!

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I'm not sure how this scenario came about, but that's Jün and the neighbor girl sleeping... and waiting for SANTA!!

Must be all the snow.


Weekending: Book Club Getaway

I took off from work at noon on Friday, ran a few errands, and then drove up to Fish Creek in Wisconsin's Door County Peninsula to spend a weekend with nine other members of my Book Club.

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Provisions.

Our book club has been meeting for about 20 years. I've known, been acquainted, worked and/or socialized with some members for much longer than that, but most I know only because of the 2-3 hours when we share a dinner every couple of months and (usually) discuss a book that we've (more or less) all read (maybe).

Anyway, we've read a few books over the years by Wisconsin authors and/or set in our state, and a couple that were specific to Door County... which happens to be just not too far away... and somewhere along the line, a book club get-away was dreamed up! We found a spacious condo with plenty of room (and bathrooms).

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This was our "backyard." There was still a little snow on the deck, but it was nice enough to sit out and soak up some Vitamin D on Saturday afternoon.

We were able to walk to dinner & cocktails at Bayside Tavern on Friday evening, and to breakfast at The Cookery (newly opened for the season!) on Saturday morning.

Our main event was a Door County Trolley's Wine, Spirits & Brew Tour on Saturday. We shared the trolley with another group of 10 women on their 3rd annual girls' weekend (which all began with a bridal shower), a group of three, and two couples.

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There was a lot of singing and laughing, and our driver/guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. It was a great way to spend the day with a group! We stopped at Door County Distillery, Starboard Brewing Company, and Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery, with a delicious lunch stop at Crate.

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They have a board at Starboard on which you can write suggestions for future brews and/or naming suggestions -- Lor Horny Hop and Hop Bop Bonino are from our group.  :)

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We stayed in on Saturday night, ordering take-away pizza from Wild Tomato and staying up late (again) playing games and laughing. I did less playing games and more knitting*... but still a LOT of laughing!

I'd been a little hesitant as the time approached (Inner Introvert: What did I get myself into???), but told myself it was only for a weekend (suck it up). I gave it a positive spin in my brain and decided that I would enjoy it... and I did. But I also had SO MUCH FUN! And RELAXING.

We packed up on Sunday morning and headed out of town for breakfast, ending up at The Log Den for their Sunday buffet... and what a wonderful stop that was! Family-built, -owned, and -operated, 76-year-old owner Wayne is still the head cook!

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They also have a log home listed on VRBO and they invited us to go over to scout it out for next year!!

*Mixed results on the knitting... Friday's time was much better spent than Saturday's... more on that in a day or two, and probably an FO!


3TT: The stuff of life

1 -- I'm not sure how my baby is 27...

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...but it's true! Maddy's birthday was yesterday -- and we were even able to have a quick video chat (I think it was still her birthday there, though it might have already been Thursday!). Her contract at the vintage has ended -- a bit early due to harvest, but that gives her a chance to get out and enjoy some of the natural beauty that drew her to NZ in the first place, especially since she basically started to work the day after she arrived. It's hard to believe we'll be picking her up at O'Hare two weeks from today!!

2 -- There'll be a few short weeks in May when all the girls are "here." There'll be a lot of running around, packing up, and schlepping of stuff from Points A & B to Point C and/or our house and/or a rummage sale at Ali's!

By the end of May, Maddy will be heading up north for her summer job at camp. Kate departs in early June for a month in the UK (I'm trying to keep the green monster down).  And SUMMER! Rusty will head to CA again. The local farmer market will begin again in June -- Ali will man the coffee camper there (likely with a wee barista!) and, though I'm not sure of particulars, I'm sure I'll help out in some way. After which, we'll have that rummage sale in July so everybody can get rid of some extra stuff.

3 -- It's one of those years and I'm rolling with it all because... by August, Kate will be moving to Denver. Or Menver as we've been told and can't stop laughing about (also Mentana). But Denver!! As luck would have it, there's a non-stop United flight from Appleton to Denver resuming in June! There's also the option of a sometimes more economical Southwest flight out of Milwaukee, or even a leisurely Amtrak ride from Milwaukee or Chicago, or ROAD TRIP.

She's not even there yet and I'm already scheming all the ways I can visit!

Also, Rocky Mountain Knitter Meet-up??

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


Unraveled Wednesday

It's been a while!

KNITTING

I picked up my knitting needles last night for the first time in weeks and cast on a new project! I knew the minute I saw it that the Cockleshell Cardigan from the new MDK Field Guide would have to be made. From the looks of things, I'm going to have enough yarn to make one for each of my granddaughters!

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The knitting & construction are pretty cool, knit in two pieces from the cuff to the center and then joined/seamed in the back with a 3-needle bind-off. I'm knitting the largest size, using Cascade 128 Superwash, and that was last night's progress (with a few breaks so I don't overdo it).

It's gonna be a quick one!

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I love the sleeve/cuff detail.

My book club is going on a field trip this weekend to Door County and I thought this would be a good project to bring along!

SEWING

I finished the Alabama Chanin Fingerless Gloves. And, this afternoon, I will be binding Malina's quilt! I'm so excited.

READING

Oh my goodness, the reading. Since last we met, I finished listening to Mustard Seed... and Sing, Unburied, Sing... and Wait Til Next Year! I am currently listening to Unfu*k Yourself. For some reason, Audible wasn't working on my phone for a few days but I was finally able to press PLAY yesterday! Onward. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder is still on my nightstand, but so too is The Thoughtful Dresser. Reading time has been SO limited.


Thanks, I needed that!

It was so great to have a relaxed, drama-free weekend! There was plenty going on, but it was all fun & no stress. I even took a nap on Saturday.

First, we celebrated Kate's 33rd birthday!

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From the top:
Kate - April 22, 2018
Kate & Rusty - April 23, 1985
Panpake & Mimosa Birthday Brunch Helpers
"Holy crap! Open the flue!!" 33 (Kate) + 31 (Ali) = 64 Candles!!

Most of the time on Kate's birthday, which is also EARTH DAY, there's some time spent in the woods picking up trash and whatnot, but not this year... not with all that snow.

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I shoveled a bit so I could hang out some laundry, anyway. Crazy weather.

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Jün & I took a little bike ride/walk around the neighborhood. He discovered a dip in the sidewalk a few houses down -- probably 8-12" deep (deeper than it might look in this photo) -- in one of the patches from last year's water/sewer work. I made a call to the city's engineering department this morning! We had to climb over some snowbanks at unshoveled intersections, but we also noticed plenty of water running in the gutters.

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There was plenty of other kiddo cuteness -- screen-grabs from Ali. Malina was 4 weeks old yesterday, and Gin is quickly closing in on 2... she sure loves her little sister!

Oh, and our little dinner with friends on Saturday evening was a success, and I'm even thinking about doing it again! I made a last-minute change to the entrée, at Rusty's suggestion, making Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs, and they were perfect (my only change is that I use only one piece of bacon). I made the fabulous Oma's Green Mountain Salad again (without the ramps/garlic and with slightly less mayo). Ina Garten's Decadent (Gluten-Free!) Chocolate Cake was for dessert and... it was okay. I thought I'd try something new, but if I go that route again, it'll definitely be La Bete Noir!

The weather is FABULOUS! It's sweater weather!! Yahoo!


TGIF

This has been a week. That freaky snow/blizzard weekend combined with the intensity of taxes really threw me for a loop. We were supposed to get a few more inches of snow earlier this week but thankfully it missed us; we've had a few days of blue sky & sunshine & warming temps and the snow is melting. There are still some very high piles, but diminishing by the minute. My steering wheel felt hot to the touch yesterday! So great.

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I still haven't picked up my knitting needles, and have decided to continue resting/exercising and concentrate on finishing two sewing projects first.

I bought a couple of bias tape makers and the binding for Malina's quilt is underway -- and probably enough for another quilt, besides! I got kind of carried away cutting those bias strips...

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I'm also finishing up a pair of Alabama Chanin Fingerless Gloves. The stitching & cutting were finished at Knit Night yesterday, and all that's left is seaming the second glove. I still may add a tiny bit of embellishment, but that can be done anytime.

We're having friends over tomorrow evening, which is outside of our usual M.O. but something I've thought about for years. I always thought that "entertaining at home" or "having a small dinner party" once a month would be a good New Year's Resolution... y'know, if I did that sort of thing.

On Sunday, we're having a "Panpake Birthday Brunch" for Kate & Al, and maybe we'll be able to video chat with Maddy, too.

That's how Junah says "pancakes." He also still says "nilk" instead of "milk." That affects the family lexicon, as you might imagine. I can't wait to hear what Gin comes up with... she is starting to TALK and, man, she has THINGS TO SAY!

Can you believe Malina will be 4 weeks old on Sunday???

Have a great weekend!!

Craftsy Unlimited FREE 7 day trial at Craftsy.com


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!