Saturday Sky... Scotland-style

My sky is gray today, in the le drear way.

Sometimes, though, a gray sky can be one of the best things ever... adding to the moody beauty of the Scottish Highlands, say.

This is from a viewpoint as the A832 descends into Kinlochewe, overlooking Loch Maree -- one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen.


We stopped at that overlook a couple of times while we were in the area. One time, we'd just got out of the car when another zoomed in, came to a fast stop, and four young guys jumped out, practically unzipping their flies as they did! "Pardon us," they said, "we really need to wee!" Or something to that effect. It was so funny, made even funnier when we met eyes with one of the lads and there was instant recognition -- he'd been our waiter at a restaurant in Gairloch the day before! They quickly did what they came to do (not stopping to admire the view!), then jumped back into their car and zoomed off!

You can see this view featured a couple of times in the beginning of this ad for David Beckham's Haig Club Scotch Whisky. (Make it BIG!)



Remember that time...


...that I went to Brazil?

We've been slammed with the cold weather here, so naturally I've been thinking about the warm! Our high temp hasn't been above freezing for about a week and a half! That's not normal at this time of year (though it's really hard to say what's "normal" anymore).

Meanwhile, the folks I was visiting in Rio are posting photos and updates from their vacation in the Bahamas this week, and I'm struggling to remember why I declined that invitation!! Haha.


It would sure be nice to take a warm-weather holiday sometime this winter. Do you like to get away in the winter? Where's your favorite place to go -- and when?? Tempt me...


A new view

I had a new view of my city yesterday.


This is from the 3rd floor of the historic Eagle Mill. I've never been inside before, but was offered that opportunity yesterday and a quick tour of the building.


The Eagle Mill is part of the new Grand KaKalin riverfront development project. Groundbreaking took place on November 5th.

The entire 3rd floor will be headquarters for the current owners of the Thilmany Mill, Expera Specialty Solutions.

Our public library will relocate, occupying the 2nd floor of the enormous old mill, and more than doubling the size of their current space. I've mixed feelings about that; I love our beautiful Carnegie library and worked there when I was in high school, but a newer addition has significant issues. And the library is truly tiny -- even with the addition (which was built after I worked there). It's cute, but oh so small.

The lower level, also enormous, will be home to more office and retail space.

Deep breath. This is a very good thing. I have confidence in the developer's commitment to reviving while preserving historic places, and they have a good track record.

I can't wait for the grand opening!! It'll be fun to watch the project progress over the next year.


Ten on Tuesday: Play me

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Musicians I Would Bring Back From The Dead

1. Dan Fogelberg. Twin Sons of Different Mothers was a favorite among favorites in my collection of Dan Fogelberg albums. Dan's music was/is like an old friend.

2. Buddy Holly. What might have been had the music not died that day?

3. (Mama) Cass ElliottWhat a voice. I loved her both solo and as part of The Mamas & the Papas. Also: John Denver!

4. John Lennon.

5. George Harrison.

Beatles- Let It Be from Haley Temin on Vimeo.

And, thereby, The Beatles!

6. Marvin Gaye. Was there anyone more sexy smooth than Marvin?

7. Janis Joplin. 

8. Eva CassidyA voice like no other. 

9. Michael Jackson. What can I say? We grew up together, and I miss him.

10. Johnny Cash

And about a million more... I can't even.


Progress report


I am still plugging away at the Kaffe Fassett Mystery KAL!

I threw all my finished squares into a Eucalan bath yesterday while dealing with the mouse situation. There's a blue-bleeder in there! Yikes.

I pinned them out while watching the Packer game. (There is an unintentional but decidedly Packer-esque square in there!) I've been going back and forth about that yellow... Anyway, I threaded one side of each square onto a blocking wire to speed the process.

They are truly random squares, worked in fingering/sock on a size US 4 needle; they're comfortably pinned out at 7" square.

So, there are 13 finished; the 14th came off the needles while watching an episode of Peaky Blinders. Not sure how long I'll keep going or how big this will be in the end. It's still enjoyable...

Meanwhile, I keep thinking about holiday knitting -- how much I'd like to give handknits to people and how it really takes something special to knit for others (except for Junah... it doesn't take anything special to knit for him!). Anyway, I'm thinking boot-toppers for the girls, and I owe Rusty a hat... soon.


Sunday Sky



The first "sticky" snow of the season. Thank goodness it's not very much.

My Sunday plans have been slightly derailed this morning with the discovery of a mouse in the house! I like them in all forms except live in my house. So, this morning, I've been washing all the things!!

Also, it smells like a candy cane factory in here with all the peppermint oil-infused, mouse-repellant cotton balls I'm tucking into corners. Emptied one bottle, on to the next...

Hope your day is slightly more on track!


Mickey Mouse

Once upon a time, in the early 1980s, I needed to buy a telephone. I'd just moved into a new apartment and had never had a phone before. Previously, I think people ordered their phones directly from Ma Bell and had only a few choices, but a new "phone store" had just opened and I was able to choose/buy my own phone.

I didn't really need anything special, really; I just needed a phone.





It's Friday

...and I ain't got much. How about a Friday Faves kind of thing? Maybe five of 'em, and random.

Five Friday Faves

1.  I'm in charge of vegetables for Thanksgiving this year, and I think I'm going to make Ina Garten's Roasted Vegetable Torte. I've never made it before, but Ina + roasted veggies = guaranteed to be a fave.

2. One of my birthday presents this year was Ina's new cookbook. I haven't made any of the recipes yet, but I sure am enjoying the read! I'm sure this cookbook will quickly become a favorite!

3. Thoughts are beginning to turn toward Christmas. I've found (and pre-ordered) this year's addition to the holiday soundtrack. Tom Jones & Rosanne Cash are already favorites!

4. I think we'll be giving our favorite grandson a retro play kitchen for Christmas. He already has a better set of pots and pans than I do; he needs a place to store them all!

5. I'm thinking a lot about Craft Friday, too! I'll likely be working on Black Friday, but it'll be a low-key day, for sure, so may have some time to get my craft on. I'll have much of this weekend to myself, with plenty of time to peruse my Ravelry Favorites (among other sources - check out Beverly's posts, there's a bunch!), and perhaps I'll solidify some crafty plans.


Throwback Thursday

Sharing a post from 6 years ago today yesterday (I'm seriously date-challenged today):

12 November 2008

These three...

...make me "smile in my liver."

That's one of my favorite lines from Eat, Pray, Love. I even wrote it down on a piece of paper (rare).

Also on that piece of paper, and from that book, and fitting right here and now:

"...little girls who make their mothers live grow up to be such powerful women."

I am feelin' the power. OMG. How I love these girls. How they give me strength.

I am also LOVING this picture -- taken by my sister Sharon over the weekend as the girls were having their picture taken from another direction!

* * * * *

And I still feel the same today (Thursday, November 13th!) (maybe if I write it, I'll remember it). I can't believe all that has happened in the past 6 years years. The circle of life. These girls continue to move and shake the world, each in their own way, and they inspire me every single day. I'm so proud of them.


FO: Aviator Hat


Gramma, WHUT?

  • Project:  Regan - Aviator Hat by Julie Taylor
  • Size: 1-2 years
  • Yarn:  Cascade Yarns "Pacific" in #62 Gray (less than 1 skein)
  • Needle:  US 7 DPN
  • Buttons from The Collection
  • Start to Finish:  November 7 - 9, 2014

Is that adorable, or WHUT?

Poor baby was in the process of cutting top teeth three-at-a-time in this photo... smiles were not happening!


Ten on Tuesday: Collection

a group of things or people

* * * * *

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Collections I've Had Over The Years

1. Depression Glass. D is for Depression Glass.


Make mine green. I came to have a couple of my grandmother's pieces and spent quite a few years growing a collection. My mom collected pink, and it was fun to "hunt" together. We spent a lot of time, over the years, at flea markets and auctions! As usual, I set parameters (specific pieces or shape/pattern) and it was really fun.


There are even collections within the collection! I've always "had a thing" for measuring cups.



It's displayed in a few different places, mostly in the kitchen and most of it is in this cabinet (which hides my kitchen sink). Collections are meant to be together and I love how  it looks, especially illuminated!

2. Cookbooks. I have a big collection of those!

3. Sewing Baskets & Stands & Things.


S is for Sewing! Needle cases, measuring tapes, spool holders, pin cushions... 

4. Knitting Needles.


I like them long and straight! There are a lot of vintage Bates and Boye aluminum specimens, which I seem to favor, but I also like bamboo and the Quicksilver needles.

5. Cabinet Photographs.


I especially have a thing for photos of babies, children, and women. And men. And wedding photos. And school room photos. And family photos, especially outside of and including the house. And... well, I guess I'm not too particular about the subject, but there's always something that speaks to me, often it's an "attitude."

6. Mice.


R is for Rodents. I don't think I've bought a single one of these... sometimes a collection happens whether you want it to or not. My nickname as a baby was "Mouse," and my dad used it well into my adult years. So, of course! I must want to collect mice! I don't mind, really, there are some very special ones -- a few of porcelain that Grandma made for me, some that the kids made. There is not a single Mickey Mouse specimen pictured but, trust me, he's well represented!

7. Pansies. You know it, P is for Pansies!


Pictures, pitchers, jardinieres, calendars, tiles, prints, china...

8. Poultry, apparently: Chicken- and/or duck-shaped covered glass dishes and/or ceramic planters (yellow).


I have a collection of exactly two yellow ceramic chicken planters. They were both Sharon's and I always thought that it would be fun to add to that collection, but so far I've not found any that fit the criteria! And that's okay!

I've a number of glass "chicken dishes," a few different sizes, some clear and some opaque.

The real treasure (never before photographed, it seems) is an old bubble bath container, a covered glass duck-shaped dish. When she was a girl, my mother bought one for my grandmother as a gift; Grandma always used it to hold her bobby pins. I found one at an auction and, of course, it holds my bobby pins, too. Mom also found one, and it even had the little bubble bath scoop still tied with ribbon to the duck's neck.

9. Bowls. B is for Bowls.

I like having choices?


10. Rubberbands. I used to have a thing for twisty-ties, but now it's rubberbands.

I have found myself feeling less and less a collector. I haven't added to any of these collections in quite some time and have even been thinning.

I've culled some of the depression glass, for instance, but it's now out of the cabinet and sitting in a box. So I still have it. There's not much demand for it, anymore, and even though I never spent a whole lotta money (or, at least, it averages out to very little per piece), it's hard to just give away something I once spent so much time looking for.



On Friday night, I put my jammies on early, caught up on some recorded TV, and started knitting a hat for Junah.

My sister Ann & fam came down on Saturday to see Big Hero 6, and I tagged along. I ate DOTS and popcorn, and snooze/dozed through a good portion of the middle, but it wasn't too difficult to catch up with what was going on for the big finale. It was cute, the boys really enjoyed it; there is definitely room for pre- and/or sequels, as the powers that be see fit (and/or see dollar signs).

I finished knitting Junah's hat on Saturday night, attached the buttons on Sunday morning, and delivered it Sunday afternoon. Details tomorrow on Wednesday!


Something new was waiting on the porch on Sunday morning. I haven't had a Sunday paper delivered in quite a few years... all of a sudden (and a pretty good offer), it seems like a good idea. Winter's coming. I like the idea of cozying up with a cuppa and The Times. It's all available electronically, too, which I love.

Annie and I went out to the mall & area later on Sunday morning to do some returns and for a little shopping. Also a birthday chair-massage. I strained my back a week ago last Friday and it's been very slowly improving; I think the massage was pretty well timed and, wow, did I/do I ever have some hard little knots in various places. My back is better, still not perfect... such a bummer.

Sunday night was all about football... and it was good. It was very, very good!

This morning I awoke to snow falling. It's the first I've seen this year with my own two eyes. Folks around us are going to see much more than I!!


Saturday Sky


This is the farm that's right across the road from where I work, and it's one of my favorite things in the world. I love watching the process.

I'm loving the suggestion of the telephone wires in this "watercolor" rendering and that I'm reminded of birds on a wire -- because those wires often are loaded with them!

Happy Saturday!


Flashback Friday


We were busy cleaning out the upstairs apartment at this time last year and part of that meant dealing with all the kids' projects, artwork, and paperwork that I'd saved since they were in preschool. I saved some, threw some out, took pictures of a lot. Obviously, this is Maddy's work and I'm thinking it was pre-K.

I'm beginning to think about Thanksgiving, aren't you?




My book club is obviously better than yours!

a) Because our meeting last night was at the Appleton Beer Factory (delicious food, delicious beer!).

b) Because what a great group of women with so much to talk about and share (even when some of us, including me, haven't read the book).

c) Because knit-themed lemon poppyseed birthday cake!!

Yep, it's my birthday again. And it's been a great day so far!

I started my 4-day birthday weekend by running some errands with Katie and then she took me out to lunch at Zuppas. When we got home, Maddy was in the kitchen cooking up some stew for supper. She's staying overnight and is planning to come with me to knit night tonight with her current cross-stitch project. Ali will be over in a while with Junah and, well, I couldn't ask for much more.

Margene mentioned SketchGuru the other day and I've had fun playing around with this app!


I've been so envious of all my Waterloguing iFriends, now I can finally watercolor, too!

And more!


I loved the Corcoa coasters that Susan B. Anderson recently blogged about, especially the Knitting Coaster Set. I ordered two sets and they arrived a couple of days ago. I've been using one set and thought I'd give the other away for my birthday!

I get presents, you get presents, everybody's happy!

Leave a comment on this or any NaBloPoMo 2014 post from now through Sunday at midnight (Nov. 9, CST) to enter! I've been dabbling with the dye again, filling some special orders... and then some... so they'll likely be well padded with wool for shipping!


Thanks for reading, and for all of your lovely comments.


Where trouble melts like lemon drops


In this life, our "over the rainbow" is on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in the far northern reaches of Wisconsin.


There's a big old log cabin up there, built by my great grandparents in the '30s, where we spent at least one week of every childhood summer, not to mention a few magical Christmases.


It's the place where Sharon said that wanted to be forever; a place of great and happy (and funny) memories for all of us.


A happy memory: Sibling Weekend - September 2009


In the day, the property was quite large; located at the end of a short road, it extended to a point and also included a small island with boat house, connected to the mainland by a foot bridge. There was a lot of room for exploration! The property is still bigger than most -- and still includes the island -- even though the lot at the point was sold some years ago.


View from the south-side loft. The folks sitting on the far side are in the old porch area -- a wall with some windows (part of it remains) used to separate the two areas. There used to be an old sofa bed (most comfortable ever and my favorite sleeping place outside of the north-side loft), a few easy chairs, a rocker, a gorgeous wood-burning stove in the main area, but it was completely dominated by a red gingham oilcloth-covered dining table in the center of the room -- the center of the universe.


Bedrooms with walls, no ceiling!

The cabin had two big lofts at either end; a rustic kitchen and a bedroom under the south loft; a porch (and another bedroom) under the lake-side north loft; the lofts overlooked two more bedrooms on the middle-west side and a large dining/living area on the east.


Electricity was the only modern convenience; water was hauled, two buckets at a time, from a pump located a little ways off the northwest corner of the cabin, and heated in a big kettle on the stove; a two-seater log outhouse was located at the side of the cabin. Later, a cold water tap was added in the kitchen at the... well, let's call it the "personal care" sink, where we'd wash our faces and brush our teeth.


There used to be several poles off-shore with many martin houses -- full of purple martins. The martin population isn't anywhere what it used to be.

Deeper personal cleanliness could be accomplished in the lake or, as Grandma often preferred, by sponge bath in the "privacy" of her bedroom. Perhaps the original "open concept" design, there was only one room in the whole cabin that had both ceiling and walls, and none of them had a proper door; the center bedrooms had walls but no ceiling, the lofts had ceiling but no walls, the "bedroom" on the porch was actually created by hanging a curtain as partition, and all of the interior doorways were merely curtained.


The "porch bedroom" is now just part of the porch -- the curtain has been removed (though hardware remains) (you never know).

The cabin was sold about 20 years ago and has seen substantial "improvement" since then, the most significant of which is "indoor plumbing." The bedroom off the kitchen -- the one with both ceiling and walls -- was converted to a spacious full bath + laundry! There's a new roof, sunlights, an updated kitchen, flooring, and a partial basement, now, which houses both furnace and water heater; a windowed wall was removed between the living area and porch to open it up even further.


Other family members, both near and far along the family tree branches, still have (or had) nearby properties, and we've been well aware of all of these changes -- and have even done some window-peeking over the years -- but it was hard to tell, really, all the changes that had taken place.


We were all quite happy -- my kids beside themselves (Maddy has no memory of being there) -- when it was offered to us for the weekend in October that we planned to visit. We were warned many times that "it isn't the cabin you remember."


The center of attention from the minute he woke up!

Junah is the 7th generation to stay at the old family cabin!


Our favorite card game -- and there was almost always one in progress -- SKIP BO!

Lo, we were all quite pleased to note the "improvements," but also that there was much more that had stayed the same than had changed. It's hard to change the basic footprint and feel of a cabin made of massive native logs too much!!

It was perfect. Always was, always will be.


This photo is everything -- my great grandmother (on the left), old cars, the kitchen door, and outbuildings! Very little has changed. The building to the far left is known as "The Hoodlum" and was originally a bunkhouse on wheels, hauled around to lumber camps. It still stands, and I've slept a night or two there! Moved to my uncle's property several years ago, the old Wisconsin license plate is still visible!


Great Grandpa Sutton and me near the boathouse at the cabin, autumn 1965, Turtle Flambeau Flowage. One of my most favorite photos.


We boarded a borrowed pontoon on Saturday to motor a little ways out into the bay. I wore the fabulous autumn cover sweater from Vogue Knitting that Sharon knit years ago, we listened to Eva Cassidy sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," we disbursed the remainder of Sharon's ashes, along with some of Uncle Bob's, who'd passed in late May, to join those of a few others resting in the bay. Sharon & Bob had a special bond and it was good. Good company.

We returned to shore and feasted on steamed artichokes and smoked fish -- Sharon's favorite -- along with some BBQ ribs and potato-leek soup.


I love this photo of Annie and Junah reading.


Junah getting Bogey kisses!

It was a wonderful (if too short) weekend with lots of family time, fabulous weather, good food, fun and games, and more than a little irreverence -- in other words, SHARON PERFECT.




It wasn't long before my mother's death -- a few months, perhaps -- when, one day, I walked into her family room and she, seated in the recliner as usual, started waving a section of the newspaper at me: "Read this." There was an article about cremains. The gist of it being that there are a lot of cremains around -- and by "around," I don't mean scattered as the deceased may have wished; they're in boxes or bags, sitting on a shelf or in a cupboard, or next to the furnace on the basement floor, because people are "too busy" and don't make it a priority to see that their loved one's last wishes are carried out.


For a while, I believe my mother found it comforting to have Sharon's ashes near, but by late winter, and perhaps realizing that her own death was approaching, it became important to Mom that Sharon be put to rest as she'd wished. Well, Mum died before we could all do that together, so that's actually going to be a story for another day (probably tomorrow)...

Today, it's about how my sisters, daughters, niece, and I made it a priority and gathered at Wild Apple Gallery the day before Mom's memorial in August. We'd always intended to go, along with my mother, to make glass memorials with some of Sharon's ashes. I'd called to inquire about a session shortly after Sharon died but, without any sense of urgency, we never made it a priority to actually get it scheduled.


So many bits & bobs and tools and pieces of glass!


I don't remember what it's called, but that white piece is fire-proof and prevents the glass from fusing together in that spot. I can insert a small rod or cord through the opening for hanging.


Not of all the pieces encapsulated ashes, but many of them did.



These are my finished pieces. The sunflower is in remembrance of Mom (it's approx. 4" square, for scale), and the single flower on a blue background is of Sharon, a small bit of their ashes encased in each; the other piece is for both: flowers & blue polka-dot sky!


In the tradition of a Sister Weekend, we gathered, we talked, we laughed, we cried, we made a mess, and we created! Together.


Halloween Party


For as long as it lasted* on Halloween, Junah was a little lion!!

On Saturday, I drove up to my sister Ann's -- for the first time since I delivered them to their new front door in June -- with Ali & Junah for a Halloween Party!


There was a fun Scavenger Hunt!


Halloween BINGO!


Bobbing for Apples!


A fun Mummy Wrap 'n Race!


Raggedy Ann even mummified one-socked Raggedy Andy!


There was a ton of fun with cousins!! (They can't get enough of him... plotting to "capture" him -- nicely -- so they could keep him!)



*not very long

Of Halloween Past

2004 - Halloween

Ali & Maddy - 2004

2004 - Halloween

Maddy - 2004

2008 - Mack-Addy_Halloween
2008 - Mack-Addy_Halloween
2008 - Mack-Addy_Halloween
2008 - Mack-Addy_Halloween

Mack, Addy, Mom, and yummy witch hat treats - 2008

2009 - Mack_Halloween

Cowboy Mack, hamming it up - 2009

2011 - Katie

Katie - 2011

Mack - Batman


Happy Halloween!!


What's a knitting belt?

In Tuesday's post, I mentioned that my knitting belt would invariably be among the items in my project bag. I don't use it everyday, but it is essential for anything I knit on DPNs.

I am most comfortable knitting on straight needles -- the longer the better -- and avoid using circulars whenever possible (almost always). I normally anchor the right needle of a single-point pair in my "lap," throw my yarn with my right hand, and work the stitches with my left-hand needle.

If I knit on DPNs, the knitting belt comes into play as a place to anchor the right-hand needle. Before I bought the knitting belt, I'd use my clothing to anchor the needle -- not very well, most times, and I'd often end up with a holey shirt, too! I don't usually even put the belt on and buckle it, I just rest it in my lap.

You can understand why I avoid circs, as there is no "end" to anchor. I feel loosey-goosey and completely out of control when I knit on circulars!


I bought my knitting belt a few years ago from Journeyman Leather in Shetland.

(What I'd really like next is a knitting sheath!)

You can read more here:

It is worth a googling -- "knitting belt" -- for web pages, images, and videos. You'll also find references to speed and production knitting.

  • Knitting for Speed & Efficiency by Felicia Lo (sweetgeorgia)
  • Stephanie Pearl McPhee/The Yarn Harlot teaches the class called Knitting for Speed & Efficiency (as referenced in Felicia's post, above) and, while I haven't personally taken it, I definitely would... it's worth keeping an eye on Stephanie's schedule for upcoming events


Ten on Tuesday: FIRE!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I'd Save if My House Was On Fire

In no particular order...

1. Photos! They're all scattered at the moment, though, as we speak, there's another batch being digitally preserved at ScanCafe!


2. A String of Pansies.

3. A few handknits. The beautiful autumn sweaters that Sharon knit; Parcheesi; Fib; Algiers; some of the baby things* I've made (heirlooms!).

4. My current project bag(s) -- sewing and/or knitting. This/these would invariably also contain needles and notions, my knitting belt, electronics (tablet/Kindle), and current "stuff" (magazines, recently printed patterns and recipes to try).

Among the year's best Christmas gifts. v.Mother: I am a fighter. v.Father: I am a dreamer. Love my Maddy Mo. #christmas2013 #kidswritemakesayanddothedarnedestthings

5. A select few books. My Grandma Blum's memoir; the books that Maddy made for us last Christmas (above) (and so awesome); the equally awesome annotated Mother that she gave me a few years ago (below).


6. A few little "decor" items. Where Maddy makes books, Katie & Ali make... other things. The tiny bleeding heart blossom that Ali pressed between some plastic wrap and inserted into an old plastic slide "frame." The 3-dimensional heart/frame (also employing great use of plastic wrap) that Katie made when she was in elementary school. The handmade cards that Rusty's made, and the "clothesline" watercolor that he painted for me. A few little things like that...

7. My Globe Wernicke bookcase. Gee, it would make sense to make sure the books I want to save are in the bookcase that I want to save, wouldn't it?!

8. Grandma Koenig's treadle sewing machine & "button bowl." Grandma's sewing machine has been "mine" for nearly my entire life -- since she died, when I was six. Mom "antiqued" it back in the day; I stripped it many years later; it was my "night stand" for many years (and would be still, if it fit). My button collection (with contributions from my mother, both grandmothers, and a great grandmother) is actually a green depression glass bowl that's part of a "console set" with a pedestal for the bowl and a pair of candleholders with painted wood "candlesticks."

9. Camera stuff. There's a whole lotta that, and I really need to get it organized.

10. My purse... inside of which are always my wallet, ID/license, phone & accessories, keys, a credit/debit card or two, usually some cash, insurance cards, a hair band, some coupons, and my library card!

Weasley Sweater

*My brother-in-law told me that he caught a few minutes of a Harry Potter movie while Mack & Addy were recently watching and noticed Ron Weasley's sweater; he thought, "Hey, that looks just like the sweater that Vic made for Mack!" As well it should, made from the original Harry Potter Sweater Kit. He asked, "DID YOU KNOW THAT?" Haha. Made my day!


It's only natural

I dyed two cotton hankies during my afternoon at Have Company in Grand Rapids. Shown below, with yarn resting upon it, is a brown hankie that was dyed in a bath made from Juglans nigra, or black walnut, and a pale yellow from a pot of brewed Tanacetum vulgareor common tansy. I've dyed with walnuts before so that pale brown was no surprise, and while I can take or leave most yellows, I love that pale tansy yellow!

I realized that it's been almost two months since I was round-aboutly inspired by Outlander and harvested some natural dyestuff from the back yard to brew for some yarn!


I gathered Impatiens capensisor touch-me-not, which is fairly prolific on the hillside behind our house (said hillside making it somewhat treacherous to harvest!). I tried to be somewhat scientific -- weighing it and making notes about what I did -- but I have no idea what happened to all that. But look! Pretty yarn.


Two skeins of my fingering/sock base (75% superwash merino, 25% nylon), and two skeins of a lace base (80% merino, 20% silk). I'm excited to explore some more natural stuff... especially indigo. Mostly, I have some fabric that I'd like to overdye with indigo. But yarn, too!


We have a weekly newspaper in my 'hood. It's in my mailbox every Wednesday and Saturday, and I sometimes fall behind. Um, I don't think I've ever been this far behind! I was all set to get caught up, with coffee and chronological stack of papers, but it didn't happen. Annie & boys were here for the weekend, so I opted to spend some time with them.

It was really a pretty great weekend, and concluded with a drive over to visit Maddy. I love the message board in their kitchen, and that her 3 roommates are "family."


We spent some time with this guy, too. Unless he's sleeping, I don't know if I'll ever get a good photograph of him wearing the adorable Fourques Hat.


Hope you had a great weekend, too.

9 Months!


He cut a third tooth (the first on top) over the weekend, and is just beginning to crawl. Figuring it all out!


Compare: 9 Weeks, above, and 9 Months, below (special attention to bear!).


Also, hair! You cannot see it, but it's there... soft and wispy, it even blows in the wind!  :)


Ten on Tuesday: Chicago-Grand Rapids Weekend

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Did Over The Weekend

I had a 4-day weekend!


1. I consider my weekend officially started on Thursday night when we drove to Chicago after work, arriving quite late but ready to go on Friday!


2. Friday was, for us, David Bowie Day! (The official David Bowie Day in Chicago was 9/23, on opening day of the DAVID BOWIE IS exhibition.)


Waiting on the steps at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art

The exhibit was fantastic, by the way, and made great use of technology: each person was given their own location- or space-sensitive device/headset, and the audio was specific to whatever part of the exhibit you were viewing at any given time. I usually opt out of the audio portion of the program, but this was super-cool.


Waiting to be seated for lunch

3. We had a fabulous lunch at our favorite Chicago eatery, The Purple Pig! We tried a couple of new things this time: Bobota "Greek Cornbread" with Feta, Mizithra Cheese & Honey, and Eggplant Caponata with Goat Cheese:


Eggplant Caponata

And we had a couple of stand-bys: Salt-Roasted Beets with Whipped Goat Cheese & Pistachio Vinaigrette (a recipe that Kate spent some time replicating... we love it so much), and Chicken Thigh Kebabs with Fried Smashed Potatoes & Tzatziki. Oh yeah.

4. On Friday afternoon, we drove to Grand Rapids, MI. Forgetting about the time zone, we arrived a little later than planned. Pesky time zones!

5. Saturday morning's lovely breakfast with Maureen (Rusty's host for the previous 19+ days), Maureen's sister & brother-in-law (who also hosted an artist), and Dona (said hosted artist) was a wonderful start to a very busy day.


Kym & I at an installation outside of BOB (Big Old Building)

6. I met Kym!! It was about as fun and enjoyable as you might expect, because Kym!


7. We spent a good part of the day enjoying ArtPrize -- and also lunch! It's a pretty amazing thing which you can read about on their site, as well as Kym's take, and Kate's too. There sure was a lot of "art talk" over the weekend!

8. Wireless connection being somewhat testy, Kate & I escaped to Starbucks on Saturday night for a little while. She caught up on blogging, and I started knitting a hat for Junah: Fourques!


“Intersections” by Anila Quayyum Agha - winner of the public vote; also winner of the jury's grand prize shared with "The Hair Craft Project" by Sonya Clark


9. Sunday began with a lovely latte, waiting in line for the museum to open, more ArtPrize, and then the Seasonal Natural Dyeing Workshop that I signed up for at Have Company. I dyed two cotton hankies, one with walnut (to which I am no stranger) and the other with tansy. I love the tansy yellow!

10. On Monday, we all came home. I drove about half of the 7-hour trip, leaving plenty of passenger time during which I finished knitting the hat! I need to weave a few ends, wash it, and make a tassel (at mama's request).

It was a darn good weekend!!


Artsy ahead

At 3:00 today, a long weekend begins. I'll pack, gas up the car, wait for Kate, and then we'll head to Chicago for an overnight stop on our way to Michigan. On Friday, during that little intermission in our trip, we'll be seeing DAVID BOWIE IS at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

While I'm not the biggest Bowie fan in the world, this is about so much more than music... as is David Bowie. Chicago is the only U.S. stop for the touring exhibition and, well, YES.

Our final destination (by Friday evening) is Grand Rapids, MI, where Rusty's been for almost 3 weeks while exhibiting and participating at ArtPrize. The event continues through Sunday and we'll load up and head home on Monday.

Meanwhile, Saturday will be all about ART! The whole concept of ArtPrize is fascinating, the conversations, the evolution... we're all so interested in what it's all about. Rusty's been volunteering, taking part in events, even showing up in a couple of video clips! (A regular media darling... who knew?)

Saturday will also be about KYM! We're only 190 miles apart as the crow flies (across Lake Michigan), but more like 350 to drive. We've talked about things on "my side of the lake" and "your side of the lake." Now we'll both be on the same side for a little while and we've arranged a meet up! So excited.

I just became aware this morning of a Seasonal Natural Dyeing Workshop at Have Company on Sunday afternoon and, figuring that I'll probably be "arted out" by then, I've signed up! It looks like an interesting shop, too. I've done a little natural dyeing on my own, but I love learning at and participating in workshops. Perfect.

In closing, some local fall color.


After a little break, the photojojo macro lens is back in action!


And some jacked-up banana bread a la smitten kitchen.



Happy Weekend!!


Square One

I was successful in finding some Rowan Fine Art at my LYS yesterday in a green colorway -- a color that was somewhat under-represented in the overall (and very fluid) scheme of things. (Not shown here.)


I gave Square One a soak and pinned it out before leaving for Knit Night, where, due to a Thursday night football game (and some other things), I was the sole knitter... and now there's a Square Two!

I'm feeling, as with Parcheesi, that some rules are developing. It's hard to know how this is going to go, being a Mystery KAL, so the rules are likely to be just as fluid as the colors. I hope it all works out.

So far, it's a blast. I'll be making 7 squares in this manner; then there are 9 more "squares that Kaffe has designed" and/or "colour way" releases... and I am hoping that it's much more the former than the latter. We'll see!!

Happy Weekend!