Indeed. Here's the before:
That's a drawing of Sharon on the left that Maddy did about 3 years ago; a collaborative project of Katie's & Rusty's from several years ago on the right. Until last week, there was a tall Globe Wernicke Art-Mission bookcase between them.
I'm really glad we placed those recessed lights correctly for this project that, at the time, we had no clue was coming.
The plan was for three french hens doors (I couldn't banish the thought of Harvey Wallbangers this morning, either) but, alas, and as adamant as I'd like to be, measurements and, more importantly, duct work, dictates that it will only be two.
Or an inch taken off of each side of all three doors in order for them to fit. The one on the right? Someone lopped off a big hunk at the top and then crudely stuck it back on... so that one will be eliminated. I don't know -- I go back and forth. I really wanted three doors. These are 1st World/Old House problems. There will be some reconfiguring.
I think that gypsum board was scented -- it was very perfume-y.
And the views!! Trippy. We've never ever.
Naturally, there are artifacts! It's one of my favorite parts of remodeling an old house.
From the quality of the work, it's been decided that the original doors were removed and the hole closed up a) in a hurry and/or b) begrudgingly. It's the poorest workmanship we've seen here... and we've seen a lot! :)
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Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Housekeeping Shortcuts
This may seem like a silly topic to some, but it occurred to me late last week when I was in the throes of cleaning my house, coming down to the wire with a million things to do, and feeling desperate... so I suggested it to Carole.
You see, not only did I throw a baby shower on Saturday, I had the BRILLIANT idea to invite all of the families up to our house afterwards -- most of them for the first time!
Though I grumbled and wondered how I could do such a stupid thing, I realized that it actually was quite brilliant because now my house is clean and spiffy and ready for the holidays! We'll dirty it up a little tomorrow when we bash through a wall, but the dust will soon settle (and, plus, that's so exciting!!).
My house is actually cleaner and more put together now than it's been in years. We've had an extended period where the kids -- and their stuff -- have been fluid and unsettled, shifting between living situations, and a whole lotta stuff landed in temporary storage at our house. With only so many places to go, a fair bit ended up invading our living space and, well, it didn't look that great.
Nor did it inspire.
My mother keeps an immaculate house -- with help; at one time "the help" was my siblings and me -- so I've been very well trained. That training has served me very well over the years, but I use it as seldom as possible. I love a clean house, and sometimes get in the groove, but I generally hate housecleaning.
Even with a house that to most of us would seem ready for a House Beautiful photo shoot at any given moment, there were (and are) times that my mom's house was less than perfect, so every once in a while, when company was on the way and time was limited, she'd give us each a room and say...
1. Hit the high spots! We'd do a quick pick up & dusting of the things most visible -- only the tops of the tables, not the bases or legs.
2. Clean off & wipe countertops. I've been using Meyer's or Watkins spray cleaner -- wonderful scents!
3. Load the dishwasher.
4. Sweep/vac the floor and shake the rugs. We have mostly hardwood and four cats. Regular furball battles are a given.
5. Gather up everything in a room that doesn't belong. Part of my battle was/is finding a place for everything. We've removed some storage in readiness for wall-bashing and, while I'm a firm believer in "a place for everything and everything in its place," getting there can be torture.
6. Related to the above, if I pick something up and have to think too hard about it, I get rid of it!! My constant companion has been a bag/box/basket designated for giving away, and we've made a ridiculous number of trips to various donation sites. I also took a load of books to Half-Price Books and walked away with some cash!
7. Multi-task. After a morning flush, I squirt in the toilet cleaner. I wash up & brush my teeth, apply powder/blush/mascara. Before leaving the room, I swish the toilet bowl and flush again -- hardly any extra effort.
8. I've also been wiping the bathroom sink & mirror with more regularity. It seems to help.
9. Oh, I'm exhausted!
10. I think my next shortcut is going to be hiring some regular help!! I've had it in the past, but it's been ages. Now is the time!
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It's on to other things! I've actually been reading something other than -- or, rather, in addition to -- books about childbirth and labor support.
I recently received two copies of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, edited by Ann Hood -- one to keep myself and one to give away! I was only vaguely aware of this book a while back, and then read Barbara Kingsolver's "yarn" in the November/December issue of Orion magazine, Where It Begins -- I love this part about friends:
It begins with the circle of friends. There is always something beyond your beyond, the aged parents and teenager who crack up the family cars on the selfsame day, the bone-picked divorce, the winter of chemo, the gorgeous mistake, the long unraveling misery that needs company, reading glasses and glasses of wine and all the chairs pulled into the living room. Project bags bulge like sacks of oranges, ripe for beginning. Cast on, knit two together girlfriendwise. Rip it, pick up the pieces where you can, along the headless yoke or scandalously loose button placket, pick up and knit. Always, you will have to keep two projects going: first, the no-brainer stockinette that can run on cruise control when the talk is delicious. And the other one, the brainer, a maddening intarsia or fussy fair-isle you’ll save for the day when the chat gets less interesting, though really it never does. Knitting only makes the talk go softer, as long as it needs to be, fondly ribbed and yarned-over, loosely structured or not at all, with embellishment on every edge. Laughter makes dropped stitches.
"Cast on, knit two together girlfriendwise...."
I never thought I'd like knitting in a group with other people, and now I can't imagine not knitting with friends! My knit night attendance has been scarce of late, but that's life... and it will change.
Anyway, the list of authors is amazing, naming a scant few more of my favorites: Elizabeth Berg, Jane Smiley, "our own" Ann Shayne, and even Andre Dubus III! I've barely begun because, you know, there's still childbirth and labor support happening in a few weeks, but it is a nice respite from that -- even, in a way, a part of it because many of these are stories about knitting and how it helps us get through.
I am pretty sure I'll be knitting while helping Ali through her labor and delivery and, then, in the following days, I'm sure it will help to keep my head and heart from exploding all over the room as the reality of my first grandchild sinks in... that I'm a grandmother, and that Ali is a mother, too. Ka-BOOM!
So, it's a wonderful book and I am savoring it, and I can't wait to share! With five knitting patterns by Helen Bingham, as well, it would make a wonderful gift for a knitter -- and I'll get it to you in plenty of time for Christmas giving (or to keep for yourself).
And there will almost certainly be yarn.
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Share a tip for a new mama & papa AND/OR tell me your favorite holiday movie!
Deadline is Friday, December 6th at 11:59 pm CST.
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Tell your friends. :)
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While I could have drowned Ali with the handknits at her baby shower, I decided to include only the projects I've started *and* finished since learning about Zim!
Not the ones I've knit & stashed over the years.
Not the ones I started years ago and finished in the last 6 months.
Not the ones I've started in the last 6 months but haven't finished.
(There's an alarming number of all!)
There was a minor panic when I couldn't find all of the items that I wanted to include in the shower gift -- with all of the shuffling and rearranging around here, I put them someplace "safe." I knew they were somewhere and persevered, finding them all together in the yarn cupboard. So, meeting the criteria, there was this:
I chuckled to myself as I finished the bonnet and sewed the buttons on the hoodie the other night, Kay's recent comment on an Instagram post echoing in my head while I added them to the stack.
"I'm worried this child will not have empathy for those who wear ordinary clothes."
And I must admit, even I began to wonder whether having a grandmother who likes to knit is really such a good thing!!
I've given it some thought over the past few days and have concluded that until Zim can voice his/her opinion and/or make his/her own wardrobe choices, IT DEFINITELY IS A GOOD THING!!
I will take full advantage of my woolly window of opportunity.
The shower was so much fun! I've only ever been to two and barely had one, myself, so I just winged it with input from Ali and inspiration from Pinterest. Maddy helped me with putting together favors and prizes, decorations and decorating, and it all turned out quite nice.
I really do have fun planning things... whether it's a trip to Vegas or Scotland, a wedding or a baby shower... find a theme, set some guidelines, and GO!
Here's one photo of Ali from the shower. She's holding a little knit cap that Katie sent from... why, Scotland, of course!! In her lap is an ADORABLE one-piece with the ABCs all over it. Katie wrote that she couldn't resist, and that it reminded her of the sort of thing their Nana would buy for them. So true. My mother always found the cutest clothes for her grands.
...that there are two FOs today -- just in time for Ali's baby shower this afternoon!
Katie left this yarn behind when she moved to Scotland, so I looked for a project. I loved the color and sometimes chunky looks so cute on little. I knit the jacket in the 12-month size, and found the buttons in my stash.
The bonnet is knit flat with a small seam up the back; the chin strip worked separately and attached. It's apparently both vintage & modern! I like that. Either way, warm baby head.
NaBloPoMo is a wrap!
OK! I'm off to make final preparations!!
I suppose that if I was the very best Nana in the world, I'd give Parcheesi to Zim; instead, we'll snuggle under it together at my house.
The overall size is 28" x 38" -- basically "stroller" size. It's shown atop my queen-size bed.
I knit an entire skein each of Dragonfly (dark teal), Duckling (yellow), and Robin's Egg (light teal) to begin; I then knit up another skein of both Duckling and Robin's Egg in a random stripe pattern; finishing with another skein of Dragonfly -- two skeins of each color.
I've already washed it and dried it -- using cold water and the Permanent Press cycle in my front-loading washer, and medium-low heat in the dryer. It softened up a little and even has a little bit of halo.
Beanie Baby giraffe for scale. And because he's my favorite.
We are doing Thanksgiving completely out of order this year, what with making the spatchcocked turkey already on Sunday, and tonight (Thanksgiving Eve) there's turkey soup on the stove.
Tomorrow, it's lasagna on our Thanksgiving table again. That's twice now -- not in a row, and not with full approval, but that's what's happening. We have the turkey thing covered!
Cara told me once that if you do a thing three times in a row (like go to Rhinebeck) then it's a tradition. Almost, not quite... I really wouldn't mind.
There will be pumpkin pie. That's the most important tradition! :)
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I started my day cutting out paper onesies for baby shower decoration.
I made turkey soup.
And two trips to two grocery stores, one to Target, and other various stops.
Picked up Mom and took her to physical therapy (an issue with her shoulder -- it's getting better), and then to do a little shopping.
Did a lot of cleaning -- Maddy's here and what began as your basic cleaning/organizing has now turned EPIC.
She also helped with me with a BUNCH of baby shower stuff.
Soup's on and I'm hungry.
Hope your day went well!!
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Once a day (voting ends on Dec. 1st): VoteLoLa.com!
Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things For Which I Am Thankful
1. I am thankful that I have a husband who can -- and likes to -- do things... and who indulges (most of) my little whims, even when it means bashing a big hole through a wall. We have been do-ers together from Day 1!
There will soon be a hole in the wall where those doors are leaning -- for those doors to be installed!
2. I am thankful that Katie is able to follow her dreams (and earn her Master's at the same time) in Scotland. And that she'll soon be home for a visit. And that the possibility of visiting her there next summer is still very real.
3. I am thankful that Alison is a happy married lady and soon-to-be mum. To see and feel her happiness is... always amazing.
4. I am thankful that Maddy has found her path. It's a little longer than she'd like and there have been some bumps, but she is getting it done. Her excitement about teaching is infectious.
5. I am thrilled -- and thankful, of course -- that I will not only become a grandma as the new year begins, but that I will have (hopefully) helped & supported Ali and Rod through the process, and that I will be part of Zim's welcoming committee.
6. I am thankful for ALL of my family -- parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Due to the natural ebb and flow of relationships, there are various measures of connectedness at any given time, but we are connected to the core and I wouldn't be the same without every last one.
7. I am especially thankful for the makers among them, and for their inspiration. I am grateful that from an early age I had a full arsenal of tools at my disposal for making all sorts of things -- and people willing to teach me how. Sewing, embroidery, knitting, cooking, painting, quilting, basket-making, furniture building... the list goes on.
8. I am thankful that my mother taught me how to knit. Where in the world would I be without knitting? I bought an Elizabeth Zimmermann "Quote Tote" from Schoolhouse Press a few years ago: Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises. It is so true! My tote is a little different from the current version, and I think quite a bit bigger, so I only use it for big projects -- but those are exactly the types of projects I choose when there's a crises to knit through!
9. I am thankful for blogging, which stems directly from knitting, and all that it's brought to my life. I am thankful for you, dear reader. Thank you for following along... reading, writing, and often encouraging me with whatever my whim-of-the-day, including spatchcocked turkeys!
10. I am thankful for my hearth and home. I have been wrangling quite a bit lately with stuff and trying to reconfigure things -- not easy -- but I am grateful that I have a home that I love, near to so many of the people that I love.
The process is not for the squeamish, but I channeled my inner Julia Child and muscled through. A good, sturdy kitchen shears is a must. That's the turkey right out of the oven. I transferred it on the rack to another pan and tented with foil, as directed, and after a :20 rest began to carve.
I will never cook a turkey any other way again. It was SO quick to cook, with none of incessant basting & worrying -- and I didn't get sick of it while it was still in the oven -- and it was SO much easier to carve, as well. Unless you're a family that makes big show of the carving-at-the-table (and we never ever were), I can't think of a good reason to roast a turkey any other way.
A co-worker told me today that he spied spatchcocked turkeys for sale at a local grocery chain; I have previously seen spatchcocked chickens available there.
In other news, I've begun the last color/section of Zim's knitted blanket and should have it finished just in time for the baby shower on Saturday afternoon!
Therefore, I must BE.
It's still in the oven. That's a fresh 13-lb turkey and it will cook in about 90 minutes. I haven't done all the pre- stuff, because I haven't been very good lately at reading *all* of the directions and fine print, but I'm confident that it will be amazing. It sure smells amazing in here. I also have the beginnings of an awesome soup (not gravy) on the stove.
I love trying new things in the kitchen.
I just remembered that I need to NaBloPo today and if I don't do it now, I might not do it at all. I've been holed up in my room all morning and foresee the same for the afternoon. Hopefully, things will be fairly roughed-in at the end and I can concentrate on other things tomorrow -- like spatchcocking and cooking my turkey!
Rusty made my birthday card, as he often does, this year using a photo from a small forgotten pile he found stashed in the basement, and enclosing the rest. I love this one of curly haired, standing-on-one-leg Kate, rough-and-tumble Ali, and our at-the-time neighbor Luke. They're standing at the playhouse door -- by the looks of it, the fence had been just completed.
Always a little late for Throwback Thursday, at least there's Flashback Friday!
And does it get any more random than Andy Gibb on the cover of a knitting magazine?
It's a "Jacqueline Special" from 1984, "Knitting For Your Favorite Men." Within? The likes of William R. Moses (Falcon Crest), Timothy Murphy (Dallas), John James and Geoffrey Scott (Dynasty), Ted Shackelford (Dallas and Knots Landing), Carlo Imperato (Fame), and a few others.
Prime time soaps RULED in the 80s! They all seemed loosely related, too, didn't they? Lots of spin-offs. Not unlike the CSI and Law & Order "franchises" today.
It's not that I was a huge fan of any of those actors, or even those shows (outside of a few seasons of Dallas), but that little rag has so far been spared. I did take a bin full of mostly knitting books to my local Half-Price Books yesterday, where Katie used to work; while I didn't recognize a single soul, I did walk away with some jingle in my pocket. And a universal bike mount for my phone.
There's all that time to kill shop while they're figuring out their offer. As they do.
Hello, my name is Vicki and I have a scrap problem. My sock yarn stash wasn't nearly as embarrassing once the scraps and partial skeins were removed! I have since organized it in bins, more or less by color (ROY G. BIV style), and I believe it may be time for another scrappy blanket! I am considering something along the lines of Cornerstone Blanket, A Light In The Window, or Mitered Crosses -- all three patterns currently being offered (through Sunday, 11/24) by Kay at Mason-Dixon Knitting for a $20 donation to Mercy Corps for Philippines relief. As she does.
I am happy to make a donation to help with relief efforts, whether or not knitting patterns are involved, but was nonetheless saddened to discover that I already had all three of those blanket patterns in my Ravelry library, which can only mean that we've had way too many disasters.
The boys were so sweet yesterday, helping me get a progress shot of Zim's blanket! I'll continue randomizing the yellow and light teal, bookending with another section of dark teal. It won't be long, now, and I even wove in ends last night!
Oh, I miss those boys already. Mack is such a heartbreaker -- he knows just what the girls (especially his mom, aunt, and grandmother) want to hear. Addy was so excited when he thought there was a possibility that I'd be going along to Rio. It's sure going to be tempting in a couple of months.
Except for the squishy little bundle of joy that will automatically warm up our January.
Oh, and Addison thinks the baby should be named Addison Junior!
Once a day: VoteLoLa.com!
Even Michael Pollan tweeted (@michaelpollan) yesterday in support of Locally Laid! So cool.
Would you be surprised if the parade of finished baby knits carried on?
I love the sophisticated, vintage buttons that Alison chose at Soutache.
This little sweater is a free download on Ravelry, and I'm sure I'll be knitting it again!
The color is called "Grandpa's Jeans" -- old, faded, dark denim. Comfy.
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I'll be taking Ann & family to the airport this afternoon, as their impromptu, unscheduled, week-long visit comes to an end today... or, for them, tomorrow when the plane touches down in Rio.
So much bittersweet.
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Once a day: VoteLoLa.com!
5 Favorite Sweater Patterns +
5 Favorite Yarns To Use = 10 Things!
Here are the last 5 sweaters I pinned to I Don't Have Enough On My Plate:
I'm not really trying to match yarn to project, but I'm dreaming and it just so happens that...
6. My Kate sent me about 1750 yards of Belle Epoque lace-weight yarn for my birthday! On a clear day, she can see the actual Firth of Forth from her kitchen window, and it's just natural to my mind that this yarn and that pattern would make a wonderful pairing. I'm about 350 yards short but there are options: a) I could make the sweater a wee bit shorter, b) I could make the sleeves shorter or possibly even eliminate them, c) see if Kate can pop over to K1 Yarns to see if there's one more hank in this color/lot.
7. I like the idea of unpretentious Cascade 220 for Maude. After my weekend of moving stuff around, I am quite familiar with some aspects of my stash -- worsted-weight being one of those aspects -- and don't think I have quite enough of any one color. I love the everyday comfy vibe of this sweater!
8. Low Tide is ready to rip. I ran into it over the weekend, tried it on, and it hasn't magically shrunk... it's still too big! That background color could be interesting for Sweatrrr... and there is no shortage of scrap fingering-weight yarn 'round here. I'd play around with making it a cardigan, though.
9. For Spaghetti, I like the idea of saturated color... Tosh Merino or something similar.
10. And for Faro, I have a cone of aran-weight yarn that could be anything at all!
Wow, perusing my Pinterest board beyond those five... there are SO MANY great sweater patterns out there! How does one even decide anymore?
There's been a three-panel french door leaning against a pillar in the living room for months. It was a "summer project" to get it installed. Ahem.
It seemed an overwhelming, almost insurmountable, project to begin at times; bookcases -- five of them -- and all of their contents needed to be shifted around in order to clear the space. I guess it's a testament to just how much I want those doors restored that I finally began the process over the weekend! Annie & her crew were visiting family in Madison and, well, if I want them in by Christmas (which I do), it has to happen now. Also, the place where they were leaning is sort of right where I like to put the tree!
Anyway, a move like this is like busting open the archives. I have found a bunch of stuff that I no longer need, stuff that tugs at my heart, and stuff like the knitting patterns shown above. Ripped from Woman's World magazine, I knit both the sweater and the girl's dress, ca. 1984, sitting in my little apartment on the Wilson River in Tillamook, OR.
They were both very interesting knits -- the dress, in particular, with pleats, ruching, bobbles and lace! That little dress had it all and I learned so much! When I think of my early projects, and my progress as a knitter, it's this little dress that made me a knitter.
Annie's still here 'til Wednesday, I took an extra day off today, and we're having the first "Thanksgiving" of the season tonight, so I'm in the middle of this epic project that's just going to have to sit for a little. And that's fine. The hard part is over!!
There are short rows and increases in the behind to provide the added fullness needed for a diapered baby butt.
These leggings are knit in one piece -- as seems to be my theme for recent baby knits -- with one seam up the inside of each leg, continuing up the front from where they meet at the crotch to the waistband.
And, of course, finished with the lovely machine-knit I-cord.
Being a winter baby, I'm pretty sure Zim will make use of these!
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OMG, that was so FAST and so EASY!
Gotta say, that Embellish-Knit Machine is some of the best money I've ever spent! The boys weren't quite as excited and intrigued as I'd hoped, but you should have seen Joe! My stepdad is a mechanical engineer and, well, he was fascinated by the mechanics! The Embellish-Knit recommends sport- and fingering-weight yarns, but I didn't have any problem with either of the worsted-weights I used.
I started with the smallest size and have worked my way up the sizes, knitting one of each of the first three, so far, all from the same skein of wool. I've also used some of that skein for some baby legs and I-cord, and there's still more. The first/smallest soaker weighs approx. 45g with I-cord.
This is the second size, I-cord is made with some leftover Encore Worsted.
And this is the third size; I-cord knit with some leftover Socks That Rock Lightweight. You'll see much more of that tomorrow!
The soakers are knit all in one piece with some grafting/kitchener to finish, and two tiny little seams to sew. I did as instructed on the first but, of course, had to change it up a little... and I tried a three-needle bind-off on the other two. The binding off is perhaps not quite as elastic, but I'm thinking that if that was the designated "front" of the soaker, where stretch isn't quite as essential as in the back, it would be okay.
We'll have our verdict in a few months! And then I'll knit some more!!
Don't forget to VoteLoLa.com!
Taking a break from the parade of finished objects, the light illuminating the flowers on my mother's kitchen table the other day was breathtaking. While the awesomeness is not fully captured in an Instagram photo, it is nonetheless quite beautiful.
The boys from Brazil (and their parents) flew in on Wednesday for an impromptu and surprising week-long visit, and I'm thinking they are just the manpower needed to crank out the yards of I-cord needed to finally call a few projects finito! (She thinks. Hopeful that the novelty lasts long enough.) I figured out the set up & operation of my Embellish-Knit Machine last night and it's ready to go!
And, with that, we're half-way through NaBloPoMo. Stay tuned!
Oh, and don't forget to VoteLoLa!
With perfect buttons!
This is another garter stitch baby sweater -- a pullover this time -- knit all in one piece and requiring only to be finished with one long side/sleeve seam on each side and, of course, buttons! In this case, the buttons are purely decorative.
Naturally, that clever little pocket drew me in, but so, too, the flippy little sleeve detail. The pocket could easily be done in another color -- complementary, contrasting, the possibilites are endless.
This was also a very quick knit, the long pause between start & finish mainly due to procrastination about seaming up and, then, the buttons.
Yes, more to come!
To get the party started, I sewed the seams of Le p'tit mousse the other night and then couldn't find the buttons I'd bought for it a few months ago.
So, I stopped at my LYS yesterday on the way home and, of course, found buttons I liked even better! Phyllis at Iris Fine Yarns has a wonderful collection of buttons!
But we're actually not going to talk about that today. Today we're going to talk about this:
I put the start date on Rav as November 1, 2010, only because there's not an option for "a million years ago." I have no idea when I started this, but it's been finished for almost as long, with coil-less pins marking five spots and awaiting only buttons all this time.
Alison picked the buttons herself last week at Soutache, and they are perfect -- the light blue buttons with the pale yellow yarn gives a nice vintage-y feel.
I'm unsure of the size -- it will probably fit 9m to a year or so, depending on the baby.
Aptly named, it's knit entirely in garter stitch (my favorite stitch) and all in one piece, finished with one long side/sleeve seam on each side and, of course, buttons! Cotton Ease means easy care -- one of the best and most affordable there is. This would be perfect in all seasons.
Voila! Ooooh, I can't wait for a squishy baby!!
There's more to come... stay tuned!
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And don't forget to VoteLoLa today (and everyday)!
Local Chicks Are Better!
It's a great story (not to mention the BEST COMPANY NAME EVER), but I especially love the part where my cousin Gail is great friends with the owners of Locally Laid, Jason & Lucie Amundsen. Gail's sons work with LoLa on a regular basis and Gail, an architect, designs cool chicken houses for Jason and is involved in many other chicken-y projects with them.
Do me a favor, will ya? VoteLoLa.com -- once a day, everyday, thru December 1st. There's no registration necessary -- just click the link, VoteLoLa, and be done. Once a day, everyday. It would be so cool to see them win... I really want to see that commercial!!
Direct from his "Vietnam and Other Tales" scrapbook, my then 22-year-old husband in Vietnam. First a company clerk, he later directed an arts and crafts program where soldiers could work on making models, jewelry and other art, instead of, ahem, enjoying other types of R&R popular at the time.
Thanks, Rusty, and all veterans! Happy Veterans' Day!
So, we've used cloth napkins in our household for as long as I can remember. I've purchased some new, lots of old/vintage, have been given some, and repurposed many. You can get a lot of good napkins out of an old cotton tablecloth marred by an unremovable stain or two. I don't even hem them -- just rip along the grain and let 'em fray.
Today was "kitchen" laundry day -- dishtowels, dishcloths, potholders, and napkins. I like to fold them neatly, but I'm not too particular about wrinkles and whatnot. It helps when I hang them on the line to dry, especially on a breezy day, because the sun and wind do a good job of "ironing."
There's a particular set of 6 that were my grandma's and they seem to wrinkle more than the rest. I thought that maybe I'd bust a move and actually iron them today.
In order to do that, though, I needed to clear a path to the cupboard where my iron is... to get the iron and also to have room for setting up the board... which I did, and I'm really glad I did, but the iron wasn't in there!
There's a moral to this story, I'm sure of it...
I'm not sure why it's taken so long to blog this little project.
I bought the yarn and pattern for this shawl about a year ago when I took a little birthday trip to the west coast.
It didn't take long to cast on, and I was finished in about a month.
I recall that when I unpinned it from blocking last year, I wished that it was slightly larger. If I knit it again -- and I might -- I'd probably go up a needle size.
Anyway, I've been wearing it a ton this year. The color is fabulous with the knit jacket I've been wearing most, that someone recently described as being "raisin" colored.
Originally, I was going to just post the photo above, write a few words, and call it a NaBloPoMo day. Ha. The light's not so great today -- and I may as well get used to that situation for the next six months -- but I managed a few FO photos. Progress!
Thor: The Dark World is on my short list for the weekend. (It's my birthday (week) and I can do what I want to!!) I recently watched the first Thor on Netflix and have been looking forward to seeing this on the big screen!
For now, how about a slumber party with Tom Hiddleston on the little screen:
Chicago was fun but it's been a busy week and I feel as though I've hardly even unpacked. Laundry, a little cleaning, cooking, some knitting, I have some bebe sewing projects that should get started, too.
The apartment also awaits; I sort of conveniently dropped that off my radar. I did clean up the new/used stove and ordered new drip pans. I guess I needed a break from that, and now that I'm recharged (sort of) it shouldn't take too much more. I believe the painting is finished -- even the porch -- and it looks great!
What's up for your weekend?
After a short walk for coffee and breakfast on Sunday morning, we checked out of our hotel and started to make our way north!
First stop: The Spice House. We were there a few minutes before they opened, and the aroma was amazing even out on the sidewalk! This was my first visit to The Spice House, and I had a few things on my list! Those items procured, we walked down the street for coffee. I'd checked in on FB and my friend Amy piped up about their Chicago Spiced Sugar being a favorite, so we went back for that... and more!
I seriously love that about Facebook... and my friends... when I'm in a place that's new or unfamiliar! It was SO helpful when I planned the trip Sharon & I took to Las Vegas a few years ago, and there's just nothing better than a recommendation from a friend!
Our next stop was Soutache. I learned about this shop at Stitches Midwest where they had a booth. We visited earlier this year, but I had left all of my sweaters-in-need-of-buttons at home. This time, I'd grabbed a couple of Zim's in need of closure, and Ali and I had a fun time choosing... including some cute vintage buttons. It's not as extensive as Tender Buttons, but it's as close as I've seen.
Another planned stop was at The Container Store. We'd spied it on our way out of town last time and immediately put it on The List. Ali was looking for some baskets for shelving in her new bathroom -- and if you can't find something like that at TCS...
Lunch break: Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine. Delicious. It was nice enough that we were able to eat al fresco. I also had my first San Pellegrino Grapefruit -- yummy! Like Fresca, but not Fresca.
Our last stop before heading home was Bellybum Boutique. I have a feeling we were at that store before, but Ali thinks not... that it's the one that was closed that day. I dunno. Cute shop, lots of great stuff for babies, their mums, and even their grandmums-to-be!
* * * * *
Thank for all the wonderful birthday wishes!
I had a great day! No cake, but gelato works (Talenti Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip). Phone calls, Skype chats, both lunch & dinner away, hearing Zim's heartbeat at Ali's midwife appointment (next one in two weeks!), a couple of new books from my Wish List, a video "Happy Birthday" sung in Portuguese from Mack & Addy! Really. How could it be better?
Here are 55 amazing(ly) random things because...
1. Today, I am 55!
2. I was born at 11:26 a.m. on a Thursday.
3. That's a long clip, but quite entertaining.
4. David Bowie.
5. Thursday's child has far to go.
6. I just discovered/realized that my birthday falls exactly 7 weeks before Christmas.
7. Always has.
8. That means Christmas is on a Wednesday this year.
9. "Hump day" is a great day.
10. Except when it's also Christmas Day.
11. Wednesday is one of the dumbest days for any holiday.
12. It's a great day for a regular day off, though.
13. Never thought I'd like it, and then I tried it.
14. Wednesday's been "my day" for almost 10 years.
16. My birthday present from Kate arrived in the mail yesterday -- some lovely hand-dyed 80/20 BFL/Silk laceweight from Scotland -- 1600 m/1750 yds!
17. It's a bit more blue than gray in real life.
19. I'm leaning toward a garment.
20. I'm not averse to a shawl/stole.
21. I do love my one & only laceweight shawl.
22. Hwy. 55 goes right through my town. It's also one of my favorite routes to take in a southerly direction. That side of Lake Winnebago is gorgeous.
23. State & county highways are so much more my style these days.
24. 55 is also the speed limit on many of those roads.
25. A Bugatti Type 55 drives square into "dream car" territory.
26. Today is the 3-week appointment with Ali & her midwife!
27. Soon they'll be 2-week, and then every week appointments.
28. So far, The Birth Partner is the best book I've read on the subject, and the one I'd recommend to a "birth partner." (I have the third edition, shown/linked below; the text link is to the fourth).
30. I'm still pretty focused on baby knitting -- just finished my third soaker, and started a pair of leggings/baby legs.
31. The first leg was knocked out last night. I'll knit one or two pair in worsted weight, but can't wait to pick some fingering weight from the stash to knit some of Ruth's Baby Leggings.
32. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55. Fifty-five is the 10th number in the Fibonacci sequence.
34. It may be time for an epic project.
35. Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises. --Elizabeth Zimmermann
36. That's two Ns.
37. And it's a religion!
38. Forgive me, Mother, for I have sinned...
39. I have knowingly started a project without enough wool to finish...
40. What do you suppose would be the penance for that?
41. Kitchener the toes of two pairs of socks...
42. Knit one Baby Surprise...
43. Teach a muggle to knit.
44. FINISH ONE OF YOUR MARINATING PROJECTS!
45. The oak leaves are falling hard right now.
46. It's also raining.
47. A few leaks have been discovered in our roof.
48. Buckets have been employed.
49. Plural. I did not make further inquiry.
50. Because, thankfully, that is not my domain.
51. So, 55.
52. On track to be an unforgettable year.
53. The year I become Grandmother.
54. Schmandmother. (In a good way.)
55. Schfifty Five. (You're welcome.)
Ten on Tuesday: 10 Thoughts on Daylight Savings Time
1. Remember to set the clock back!
2. Did my phone automatically "fall back"?
3. Reset the alarm clock, living room clock, kitchen clock, stove clock, water softener clock, set-back thermostat clock...
4. Is that all of them?
5. Reset the clock in the car -- at the next stop light -- with one hand.
6. Compare and contrast every clock I see: Has its owner set it back yet?
7. This is such a pain...
8. And I don't even have a watch(es)!
9. Aaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh! I'm so... discombobulated. And tired. And look at that, it's practically "night" at 4:00 already.
10. I hate this.