Right now: July

Anticipating... our first Farmers Market of the season tomorrow morning! It started a few weeks ago, but we've all been on leave.

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Baby Barista will likely be in tow!

Celebrating... 4th of July weekend! Well, it'll be a very low-key celebration 'round here. But YAY! The work schedule has shifted a bit, so I'll have another 4-day weekend, too.

Drinking... Iced SPORTea, coffee, water, and G&T -- St. George Terroir in the mix at the moment.

Enjoying... Summer. It's been pretty nice so far, and now that the busy-ness of June is over... I really can start to enjoy it more!

Itching... (perpetually) to clean up my workroom and make progress on something... anything!

Knitting... The TTL Mystery Shawl has been a challenge this year due to issues with time and concentration. More than a few backward steps involved in this one... but moving forward at the moment!

Looking Forward To... A few days up north, after the 4th, with the girls and the babies!

Reading... I'm reading All The Light We Cannot See in book form, so it's slow going, but I'm enjoying it quite a bit -- and hoping that above-mentioned time up north with allow some extra reading time!

I was a little surprised -- and disappointed -- this morning to already hear the end of Lab Girl... which is, sadly, now no longer my "current" Audible book. I really enjoyed that book! And I'm sad that it's over. I had an inkling that I'd like it, based on description and reviews that I'd read, but had no idea how much I'd LOVE it! I especially loved listening to it being read by the author*; born and raised in Minnesota, of Scandinavian heritage -- so familiar with the details and nuances of her speech and delivery -- it was like listening to a friend or a family member.

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Here is my progress so far -- I'm excited to be close to BINGO two ways! Next order of business: a new audio book... possibly one that is borrowed from the library!

Sewing... Oh, man... not much. I carry around the Magdalena A-line Top that I stenciled a while ago and began sewing, but it has barely seen the light of day. I will bring it up north, along with the visible mending that I'd like to in Sashiko (first and last mentioned a month ago!) (crazy June!).

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Watching... there hasn't been a lot of that lately. And when I have watched something, it's been in total ZONE OUT mode, so I don't even remember. There have been some pretty sunsets lately, though.

Wondering... What's up with you right now!?


Right now: June

Knitting: Too many things. But I just finished Clue #1 for Kirsten's TTL Mystery Shawl 2016, and I continue to carry on with a few WIPs... none of which is doing very well at keeping me from wanting to cast on a colorful new (tiny little baby girl cardigan) project.

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Sewing: There's some visible mending on deck: Sashiko. Rusty has a pair of jeans, I have secured supplies. My Alabama Chanin projects are still here, and I've a few other things in mind for machine sewing.

Reading/Pages: PAX(For Bingo: With an animal on the cover or in the title.) I'm reading this book on Bonny's 5-star recommendation, and am enjoying it so far! I bought this book and will likely lend it to my nephews when I'm finished, then they can give it back for Jün and Gin to read.

Reading/Audio: The Boston Girl. (For Bingo: That spans multiple generations.) Just finished that one! Hamilton: The Revolution is NOW PLAYING! (For Bingo: {About} A play.)

Watching: I can't remember the last time I turned on the TV... and that, friends, is saying something. I usually wind down with a little knitting and TV, but I've been dead-tired (in a good way) and while I've managed a few rows of knitting in recent weeks, most of it hasn't been while watching TV. That said, one of the things I've been watching lately is the Faculty Film Series at Match Factory; a series of films by current faculty at Black Mountain School, and it's been interesting! They are short films about graffiti and skateboarding, among other things; the final film, Sign Painters, will be screened on Wednesday and I am looking forward to it.

I just had notification that Peaky Blinders S3 is out, which is in my pocket for a rainy day.

Hoping/Anticipating/Dreading (rinse & repeat): First day back with my personal trainer since she had surgery early last month... and I completely blew off the entire month of May. It was supposed to be yesterday, but she was unable to make it, so we'll try again on Tuesday. Back.to.Square.One. Pray.For.Me.

Planning: A long weekend/short week with the kiddos up north after the 4th of July, and possibly a short trip with Rusty to a Canadian Isle in the late summer or early fall.

Celebrating: Weddings!! My friends' daughter is getting married on Friday, June 10th; my cousin Jody is getting married on Saturday, June 18th; and I'm helping my niece photograph a wedding on Saturday, June 25th.

Enjoying: Another long weekend; I'm currently enjoying Day 2 of a 4-Day-er! (This is to offset an extra-long week on the other side.)

Eating: Better. Getting back on track, needing to lose the extra pounds that have once again accumulated, and feeling slightly more motivated to do so. What in the heck is it with MOTIVATION?

Drinking: Shrub. I'm going to make another rhubarb today, probably with a different type of vinegar, and thinking about all the other possibilities!

Organizing: I'm actually making a little progress on getting my workroom in shape.


Right now: ??

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Anticipating... Rites of Spring Fiber Frolic - a tour of yarn shops, fiber farms, coffee shops & cafes in NE Wisconsin. Make.Do and KC&T are on the map!

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It'll be a fun few days... lambs, yarn, trunk shows, classes, tons of door prizes! And it could be even more fun & exciting with BFF's daughter's bridal shower and a new grandbaby's due date in the mix!! We'll see how it goes...

Celebrating... April Birthdays!!!

Drinking... G&T, the occasional IPA -- so many to choose from these days!

Eating... I've reinstated my subscription to Plated, and was sent an invitation to try Blue Apron, so have had a few deliveries lately and a lot of fun cooking -- samosas, chicken, salmon, meatballs, catfish. Yum.

Enjoying... finally, some summer-like weather!

Wearing... Sandals. Yay!

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Itching... to PLAY WITH ALL THIS FABRIC. At the end of January, a "friend" from Utah shared an ad on FB by someone out there who was selling many yards of Alabama Chanin cotton jersey. My "friend" was even willing to pick it up and ship it to me. It was all just too good to pass up, so arrangements made, money transferred, parcels packed and posted, and voila! I have a ton more fabric to play with -- quite a few colors, many that I'd likely never order (minimums) but I'm happy to have/see/play with in person. My little color swatch cards are great, but there's a huge difference when you actually have enough fabric to hold and squeeze and see in so many more ways.

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Sewing... my Alabama Chanin skirt. I'm closing in on the quilting of the third panel. I am considering starting the fourth right away and possibly not cutting those two pieces (which would be the back of the skirt) -- at least not right away. I don't know... it's been a design-as-you-go project from Day 1, subject to whim!

Knitting... because of the concentrated effort on sewing, the knitting has stalled. (Where has all the free time gone?)

  • LOLA is underway, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it. In the meantime, digging through a bin of WIPs (a small bin), I discovered that I've had more of the Tsumugi silk all along, in the exact colorway!
  • Romi's Mystery Shawl is also underway, but late one night I pulled the needle out of a few stitches at the end of a row and I haven't yet returned.
  • I never got started on the Healthy Knitter KAL.

Listening... to The Golem and The Jinni. I had borrowed it on Overdrive, but holy cow it's a long book! The reading is lovely, but quite slow... combined with not a lot of listening time, I was barely past the quarter-mark when it was due! I even sped it up a bit. I was unable to renew it right away, so had to put it on hold again... not a fan of this aspect of Overdrive! I recently signed up for Audible, though, and used this month's credit for that book, so I should be safe. (I've still sped up the reading just a tad, even though I now have all the time in the world.)

Reading... The Whole Fromage. The author is a native of Wisconsin... so knows a little bit about cheese! I'd given this book to my mother a few years ago, but I don't think she ever read it.

Needing... to CLEAN UP & ORGANIZE! I know I say it at least once or twice a year: MY WORKROOM IS A DISASTER! It is worse than ever and I can't even imagine when I'm going to get to it. (Where has all the free time gone?)

Planning... June. Three weddings, three weekends in a row! And the start of our Farmer Market season (which, given new baby & etc., may take a June hiatus).

Watching... On deck: Shetland S1 and S2!

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Wondering... Whether I'll have reason to use any of these patterns in the next few years. A couple were my ;)

Shocked... To open my browser this afternoon, only to be confronted with the news of Prince's death. RIP. Man... what a year, too many gone.


Right Now

Knitting: There has been precious little knitting of late, and it's been pretty mindless.

I am occasionally picking up my second inner Dimorphous Mitten, and suspect that I'll finish that set by spring. Naturally.

The Scoreboard KAL has also been picked up on occasion, as well. I feel no urgency with that project, but definitely plan to finish before long.

DNA results have proven that there is no lemming in my lineage, so I am not Banging Out A Sweater, but truthfully, I am a lemming, so that has more to do with the pattern (knitting in the round and/or intarsia), and the fact that I already have innumerable sweaters in various stages of "banging out." I've entertained thoughts about working on one or two of them instead!

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Sewing: There are a number of Alabama Chanin -ish projects in various stages, soon to be joined by another! My sister and I are ordering skirt kits that we'll work as part of a group. Annie has never done any AC-style sewing, so I'm welcoming her into the coven and preparing some of my AC stenciled fat eighths for practice when she's here next weekend.

Listening to: Dan Zanes with Junah; we especially love "Bushel and A Peck," a song that my mother sang to every single one of her grandchildren!

Reading: I just finished The Jesus Cow and immediately picked up The Illustrated Herdwick Shepherd, which Katie gave me for my birthday, and which I am, so far, enjoying immensely! Incredible location, photos, sheep, humor... all good.

I recently finished my first audio book, Composed by Rosanne Cash (thank you, Margene, for the suggestion), and am currently awaiting Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain on my Overdrive app. Audiobooks have been a struggle for me, but beginning by listening to familiar voices reading their own stories seems to be a great way to start!

Watching: Outlander! On DVD. Finally.

Thinking about: An upcoming 3-day weekend in Chicago with my girls! All three!!

Planning: Oregon Coast get-away. I'll meet up with Rusty in No Cal and we'll drive up the Oregon coast, staying at a couple of Airbnb places -- one near Florence, where his dad is hoping to get something going, and one with a great view of Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City (where we got married 31 years ago) -- and visiting friends! We'll also be visiting my dad, and eventually making our way up to Portland where I'll catch a flight back home. I haven't been there in years (almost 25, to be exact) and am looking forward to it... more as time draws near, and more than I really expected.

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Remembering: Mum. Her birthday is today; she'd be 78.  This is one of my favorite photos of her -- 4th grade. Her whole face is electric, like she's going to burst out in giggles any second, or can't wait to get out on the playground with her friends (probably both)! This was just before "Cyril," who sat behind her in class, cut off one of her braids. I remember her telling me how she'd go into Grandma's bedroom every morning to have her braids done, and how upset Grandma was with Cyril. And, oh, that gap in her teeth -- it wasn't fixed 'til she got braces when she was in her 40s -- so incredible at the time for an adult to get braces! XOXOX. I miss you everyday Mom.


Right Now: January

Knitting: Scoreboard KAL continues! I fell behind -- the second half of the season being not as exciting (fewer wins) as the first -- and just started Week 13 last night, which is a total of 50 rows. There's another 176 regular-season points/rows to knit after that, along with a dozen or so divider rows between games. I'm not sure about knitting post season yet. I will power through and finish this, though, because it will be one of the most awesome additions to my game-day wardrobe ever!

I'm also still working on an alpaca bunny for Junie; I've stalled at the head -- sewing up & embroidering features (the make it or break it part).

Sewing: Grainline Studio's STOWE Bag. Also need to finish sewing the Alabama Chanin Long Vest; beading & finishing an AC Corset that has been languishing; and also finish the binding on an AC-inspired T-shirt refashion.

Reading: The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry, my book from Sandy during last month's 1st Annual Book & Chocolate Exchange.

Watching: River on Netflix.

Hoping/Anticipating/Dreading (rinse & repeat): First workouts next week with a personal trainer.

Thinking about: How much better I'll feel... after I first will likely feel worse.

Planning: Another quick o'night birthday celebration coming up in a couple of weeks in Milwaukee, this time with Annie!

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Celebrating: Junah's 2nd birthday on the 12th (I can hardly believe it); party this weekend! When I told Annie about it, she wrote, "Mack says there's no way he's missing that!!!" So the boys will be here, too.

Remembering: Mum -- her birthday is at the end of the month, she'd be 78.

Wishing: I didn't have to remember.

Eating: A lot of Mexican food lately!

Drinking: Margaritas from scratch!

Itching to: Get back to my sewing projects, but first...

Needing to: Get my workroom cleaned up! (Time and energy have been hit and miss lately.)

Organizing: EOY and tax stuff.

Wondering: When if I'll get the tree down this weekend.

Happy Weekend!


Right Now: December

Watching: Well, last night it was FOOTBALL... they're calling it the Miracle in Motown. And it was. I've also begun watching Madame Secretary (S1 on Netflix).

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Reading: COOP by Michael Perry. I've had this book since it was hot off the press and Michael signed it for me (and posed with Flat Stanley) during an appearance at our local book festival. I guess it needed to cool off. I've read TRUCK in the meantime, and next will likely pluck VISITING TOM from the stack. I am loving it, of course; I enjoy his writing.

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Knitting: As of last night, I'm ready for the last section/finish of the March Through Time KAL. I've enjoyed knitting this project and I'm looking forward to wearing it.

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I also finished a hat last night (except for some weaving in) and cast on another, the second of four that I intend to knit for Christmas gifts. I'll be using the same pattern for all, but each in a different yarn(s). Super bulky yarn! Oh, these colors...

Listening to: 25 by Adele. Hello, of course, but I definitely have some other favorites.

Thinking about: Going somewhere. I think Mexico/Cali is out because of logistics. A few days in Chicago with the girls is likely in. But I want to GOOOO SOMEWHERE!

Dreading: Choosing not to feel dreadful about anything right now.

Planning: The holiday festivities, the last of the shopping, baking.

Celebrating: With my coworkers tonight at a company party!

Drinking: Coffee, tea, London Fog (Earl Grey) latte, gin, beer, kombucha, water.

Itching to: Get back to sewing!

Needing to: Get my tree up!

Organizing: My gift list.

How about YOU?  What's up with you?


Right now - September slipped away, so October it is!

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Humored by... that kid! He started pressing the button and...

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This is a small sampling of my current gallery!

Anticipating... the end of Farmers Market season. It's been a great season, and we've been *so* lucky with the weather! While there are technically three weeks remaining, due to other engagements we've only the Oct. 10th market left on our calendar. This Saturday, we'll instead be helping all afternoon with refreshments at the Harvest Festival at Grignon Mansion! The "mansion in the woods" is a real gem.

I'll be happy to have my Saturdays back!

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Enjoying... cooler, drier weather and changing leaves and gorgeous skies. We've had an incredibly temperate late summer/early fall. I'm still wearing sandals!

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Hoping... the trend continues.

Knitting... Dimorphous Mittens and Scoreboard. I've just ordered a couple of skeins of back-up yarn for my Prickly Poppy -- something I've been pondering for a while now -- prompted to action by the news that The Village Knitter is looking for a buyer (or will eventually close). That sweater's time out is just about over.

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Learning... a little about soccer! I spent a glorious day soaking up the sun and watching my nephews play. I missed seeing Mack score a goal because I was taking video of the clouds (as did his mother because nature called!), but I did catch his even better assist (according to his dad) later in the game!

Needing... to get on with some cleaning and organizing, but not doing that until it's too cold to go outside anymore!

Planning... a spring vacation -- maybe by train, maybe to Texas!

Reading... A Woman's Way West. It's not an incredibly well-written book, but it's entertaining and gives a pretty good a glimpse (with lots of photos!) into Doris Huffine's life (1901-1990) in the Montana wilderness. I love stories of women pioneers, and was given this book after the girls had gone on their June 2013 camping trip to Glacier National Park (where Doris began working in the '20s).

Sewing... a simple and "quick" boatneck top that's taking forever! I made a little progress yesterday... maybe I'll finish by the weekend.

Watching... reality shows about singing and dancing. There are some other things recorded/-ing but I haven't begun watching yet.

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Remembering... waking up from Tuesday's nap.

Wishing... I was on the road back to Black Mountain with Kate! She left today for a weekend conference and I can't wait to hear all about it.


Right Now - August

Anticipating... Three days with nephews in the house next week! There will be knitting, dyeing, drawing, and swimming... for starters.

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Eating... Grilled Skewered Chicken Thighs with Tzatziki, Salt-roasted Beets with Pistachio Vinaigrette (and Goat Cheese) a la The Purple Pig (some of our favorite things on their menu); Souvlaki (because we'd already made Tzatziki); and Kolokithokeftedes are on the menu!

Enjoying... The occasional Caprese Salad with tomatoes and basil from our little patio/pergola garden. Those tomatoes are SO good!

Inspired by... (apparently, at the moment) Mediterranean cuisine!

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Knitting... I have finally finished the Back and have moved on to Left Front of my Prickly Poppy Cardi!

Listening... I'm really digging Junah babbles (when I can).

Planning... (trying to decide on) my next Alabama Chanin project: a dress (or two or three), a vest, a cardi, a skirt? All are under consideration. I also have a couple of rompers for Junah in mind.

Reading... Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, for book club. I just finished The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I certainly don't churn through books, so we won't even talk about BINGO.

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Remembering... Team SOS and their second-to-last 9th place finish four years ago at the Fit City Triathlon! By contrast, this has been a very inactive summer, but certainly not an idle summer! (I have recently resumed planking... it's something.)

Sewing... the long-term joint quilt project with Ali (again). Thankfully, there are only a few short steps to go before it's all pieced together and we send it off to be quilted. Hallelujah! (Also, the self-imposed order to not start anything new until this thing is finished will be moooooot.)

Splurging... I am tempted to splurge on the new Alabama Chanin DIY Makeshift Design Tote Kit. But what I really really want is to go to Florence! That's a whole 'nother level of splurge, though, and even though there's a Classic Weekend Workshop on my birthday this year, I just can't go to that level of indulgence (even for my birthday). However, instead of wishing & whining (even if it's only to myself), I've decided to start saving $5* for Florence. I won't be going for my birthday, because it isn't going to happen that fast, but maybe in a year or two!

Watching... Justified. We've made it to S5. So hooked.

*I have utilized this $5 savings plan before, usually when there's a fun little trip coming up and I think I might want some extra cash. Ali & Rod basically paid for midwifery services that way. Maddy recently bought a new computer with her $5 savings! It's pretty painless and it sure adds up... 5, 10, 15, 20 (I've always loved counting by 5s).


Right Now - July

Anticipating... the Friday opening of HERE AND AWAY at The ARTGarage in Green Bay, a photography show curated by Kate and presented by Young Space.

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#tbt #sparklers - I'm thinking 1963 in Madison, where my Uncle Cliff was either in medical school or doing a residency. Pictured, my cousins Gail & Gordy and their mother, Aunt Cece, at left; Sharon, Mom holding Michael, Karen, and me.

Celebrating... the 4th of July! I'll be making lemonade at the farmers' market in the morning, also cheering on all of the participants in the annual Firecracker 5K Walk/Run. (We're either going to be very busy at the market, or very not busy... hard to say.) That will no doubt be followed by a short nap, and later I'll happily enjoy watching fireworks on TV while I knit.

Drinking... sparkling water with fresh lemon and/or lime juice, and sometimes gin; also the occasional caipirinha.

Enjoying... some fabulous weather!

Itching... to SEW, SEW, SEW!

Knitting... I'm still, very slowly, plugging away at Prickly Poppy, but most of my knitting time (or tinking, if you want to look at it that way) has been devoted to the current TTL Mystery Shawl.

Listening... to Bear's Den: Islands. "Think of England," a song from that album, was mentioned on a recent Ten on Tuesday list about the tunes on my playlist; I've since been listening to all of their music, and I really like it. A lot. The clip above is more of a "behind the scenes" kind of thing, with some nice glimpses of Scotland, and bits of songs and shows.

Reading... I'm still reading Still Alice.

Sewing... Embellishment of the front of my Alabama Chanin A-line Dress/Tunic continues! I'm at the half-way mark and hope to do a lot of stitching over the weekend.

Watching... (and loving) Justified; we've just begun watching Season 2 on Amazon Prime.

Wearing... my beloved Taos sandals. I slipped on a spill a couple of weeks ago as we left the wedding in Minneapolis and I sort of crumbled, both ankles twisting, and fell hard on my knees. My left ankle and knee fared a bit worse than the right, sore and swollen. The swelling was down enough today that I was able to comfortably slip into those shoes!

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Wondering... what it's like to be so fearless! That's my baby (the one -- the only one -- who's also jumped out of airplanes), at/on McAfee Knob on the Appalachian Trail. It just makes me want to hug the ground.


Right now: On the cusp of summer

Watching: For the first time ever, North & South (any version). (I don't understand how this has flown under my radar for so long.)

Reading: Olive Kitteridge. It's been on my nightstand for ages! There are a lot of books on my nightstand (because it's actually a small bookshelf) and I'm going to read the books I've been collecting there or get rid of them! Maybe I'll hit a BINGO along the way! (And check Mary's post for a fun contest!)

Knitting: Prickly Poppy (see yesterday).

Dreading: I've been to the dentist and have already paid the piper for new tires... I guess there's some work on the brakes to be done soon; other than that, I see nothing too dreadful on the horizon!

Humming: Florence + The Machine - Delilah from the upcoming new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

Drinking: Lots of fresh citrus in sparkling water, over ice. So refreshing! I mix it up -- sometimes all one fruit, sometimes a combo. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit... I love the tartness! Occasionally, I plop in some frozen raspberries for color and yum.

Celebrating: My nephew's high school graduation! We'll be making a day-trip drive north on Saturday for the party.

Listening to: Birds in the morning. I love waking up to birds singing.

Itching to: Finish & wear my AVFKW Endless Summer Tunic (dress)! Fixing & finishing are fiddly (totally my own doing) but progress is being made!

Looking forward to: a short road trip with Kate to visit Black Mountain, NC. She has larger purpose, I'm going along for the ride, as I've never been to that part of the country. I've heard there's a great yarn store in Black Mountain, and lots of great shops and things to do in and around Asheville.

Needing to: Pack my bags! The project + camera bags threaten to far outnumber those for clothing + toiletries.

Delighted by: The new & aligned tires on my car! It's the little things...

Inspired by: Makers and Doers.


Right Now: April is upon us

Watching... Law & Order UK

Reading... Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

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Knitting... Making progress on Junah's Devan! Fronts and sleeves are done, the back was cast on last night. It won't be long!

Looking forward to... Starting Romi's Mystery.

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Drinking... trying to drink more water!

Wearing... Cropped pants and sandals. It's April. It's time. (I need a pedi, though.)

Organizing... Nothing at the moment. I'm thinking that I need a few days off at home -- a long weekend would be nice.

Celebrating... Whoa. This month!! We begin with two cousins' birthdays today, all three of my girls' coming up, an aunt, an uncle, a nephew, and finishing with what would have been my Grampa's 105th.

Listening to... All sorts of things on Spotify. Boxer Rebellions' Winter Jams playlist, the new Decemberists album.

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Itching to... GET OUTSIDE!

Looking forward... still... to GETTING OUTSIDE! And also (still) the new Alabama Chanin book. SOON!

Needing to... Make sure I have everything I need for an indigo dye vat -- specifically, a large enough vessel.

Delighted by... the first crocus of the season, spotted yesterday! They were yellow.

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Thinking about... Wales. And Scotland and England, too, but it was four years ago today that we were in Wales. Lambs on the mound at Bryn Celli Ddu!

What's up with you right now?


Right now: March

Watching: House of Cards. Also The Voice... I just can't help it.

Reading: Only what's required.

Knitting: I'm sort of in between right now. Starting & stopping with a couple of cowls from the Knit In... can they be knit flat and seamed or buttoned? Man, I hate circs. Small hexagons in fingering-weight yarn are my long-term stand-by, and in my bag right now.

Humming: Along with the Oldies station on the radio. It's sometimes scary what counts.

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Drinking: I found the PSYCHOPATH! (I love my new beer glass.)

Wearing: All the things and I've been complaining about it. It looks as though I may soon be able to shed a layer or two!

Organizing: Tax stuff. I'm aiming for a weekend finish. That would be so cool.

Celebrating: Celebrate Michael Day was last Saturday, and his birthday is coming up, as is my stepdad's birthday, and my brother-in-law's, and a nephew's... March is a busy month!

Itching to: Leave the house without my jacket on! It's too soon to hope for sandal weather, but I'm itching to ditch the shoes, too.

10-Day-Forecast

Looking forward to: The weather! It's cold today, but the solar gain in my office is AMAZING, and a warming trend begins tomorrow... 40s on the weekend! All eyes (well, all of mine) are on next Wednesday -- 53F on My.Day.Off. I might even ride my bike. I get my weather from Weather Underground; there's also an app for that!

Needing to: Get back to the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!

Delighted by: The thought of a cooler, less humid house this summer. After 27.5 years, we bit the bullet yesterday and the central air & purification system will be installed on Monday.

Inspired by: Romi's Mystery Shawl 2015! No-brainer.


Right now...

Watching: We've begun rewatching Seasons 1 & 2 of House Of Cards in preparation for the release of Season 3 on Feb. 27th.

Reading: Tropic of Cancer... and I cannot. I need a little more organization.

I also need a good beach read.

Suggestions welcome!!

An early start to vacation knitting -- Sophie's Rose by Michelle Bernstein (of NBC Nightly News fame!). A KAL starts Monday but I want to have a start before leaving. #knittersofinstagram #sophiesroseshawl @pdxknitterati

Knitting: Sophie's Rose Shawlette by Michele Bernstein. (You must read/watch her story about new shoes, Harry Smith, PDX, and the NBC Nightly News!) Anyway, this is part of the Hugs & Kisses KAL in the PDXKnitterati Ravelry Group; the official KAL start date is Feb. 1st. I'm getting a head start, as it's vacation knitting and I don't want to have to think too hard. My MC yarn may be too busy...

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Drinking: Cerveza! Testing, 1-2-3. Just getting myself acclimated...

Wearing: Nothing that will be packed in my suitcase.

Organizing KonMari-ing: Has taken a back seat at the moment, but I'll be refreshed and ready upon our return from Mexico. It's the annual-ish purge but so different this time -- with much more oomph and, I believe, results that will last. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo is changing my life. Yep.

Celebrating: My last workday for a little while.

Listening to: Dr. Blair's Spanish in No Time. I'm learning listening to Spanish in my car!

Itching to: GO!!!

Looking forward to: Sunday morning and everything vacation.

Needing to: Finish packing.

Delighted by: The weather forecast. Also full moon!

 


Currently...

...as in Right Now.

Watching ... the approaching autumn, and feeling it, too. Brrrr.

Reading ... Outlander, and I'll be reading it for a long, long time at the pace I'm going. I've been enjoying it; sad that there isn't a way to watch the series without a cable subscription.

#knittingforzim Haven't done that in a while, but baby needs Gran to knit him a hat!

Knitting ... I've been doing a lot more sewing than knitting, but baby needs a hat so I just cast on last night to make Alfalfa! Even with an adjustment or two, it'll likely be too small for Junah; if that's the case we'll save it for the next one, but I'll know what needs to be done to make one that does fit.

Or I'll find another pattern.

>>What's your favorite hat pattern (with ties or a strap) for a baby closing in on toddlerhood?

Highly manipulated photo of the state of the front of my #alabamachanin corset - darn red at near dusk is impossible to photograph! One seam has been sewn, there's still some cutting to do, loving the work (and my thread, always loving my thread) so far!

Sewing ... making progress on an Alabama Chanin corset kit.

Dreading ... the approaching autumn, or, rather, what's to follow.

Listening ... to everything! Truly. From opera to country, rap to rock, soundtracks to oldies, alternative, folk, indie, classical, Americana, jazz...

Thinking ... about a fun Door County weekend coming up with Kate and my sister Ann! We head up tonight, do a 25-mile bike ride tomorrow, enjoy a truly gourmet meal afterwards along with some great music and beer. We'll certainly also find some fall color, cherries and apples!

More Thinking ... about attending the Reedsburg Fermentation Fest in a couple of weeks with my sister Karen.

Celebrating ... every little thing.

Planning ... a long-overdue big family weekend up north next month.

Laundry day! Reminiscing. It's like laundry day at the convent... in #riodejaneiro #laundryontheline #100happydays

Itching ... to straighten and fluff my nest, readying for hibernation I guess.

Drinking ... a wide variety of beer.

Needing ... to continue getting my house/life back in order and on a new track.

Organizing ... my thoughts.

Inspired ... by the sudden resurgence and renewed commitment of some old-time favorite bloggers.

Having happily and regularly blogged through the Big Blog Slump, lo these many years, lately, as so many others are apparently refreshed and renewed (for the moment, anyway), I've been feeling it slip.

I'm inspired to try a little harder.

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Ali posted this photo yesterday, "We're sad that this little handknit is not going to fit for much longer." It's the One-Stitch Baby Sweater by Lion Brand.

Delighted ... by my little Junebug. He's 8 months old today!!!

What's currently going on with you right now?

Here's to a great weekend!!

 


Right now...

In a nutshell.

WATCHING:  The Olympics...

READING:  The Paris Wife. I'm actually going to finish it on time for book club! It's like a miracle or something.

KNITTING TINKING:  Follow Your Arrow. I had a mishap with some extra stitches and the pattern's off in one part now. Blech.

LISTENING TO:  Rosanne Cash, among other things, but this a lot lately.

THINKING ABOUT:  Taxes... two returns down, two to go.

CELEBRATING:  Two finished tax returns!

PLANNING:  Scottish Highlands vacation.

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ITCHING TO:  Sew. Stencil and sew and cut and maybe even do some beaded embellishment.

DRINKING:  Beer. Spotted Cow at the moment. Well, not at this very moment, unless you're reading at beer o'clock.

NEEDING TO:  Dust my house.

ORGANIZING:  A lot of the stuff I "downsized" out of the upstairs apartment.

INSPIRED BY:  Spoilers. I have taken a peek at the Follow Your Arrow FO spoilers and may change the tinking to an all-out frogging for a re-start.

DELIGHTED BY:  Room to grow!

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Happy Valentine's Day!

 


Right Now... It's August!

Here's what's happening for me . . . Right Now!

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WATCHING . . . Orange is the New Black. I think Netflix is figuring it out! Not only are they offering programs they way their customers like to watch, but their original programs are KILLER. Ahem. On that note, I'm sure it will surprise no one to know that instead of OITNB, I watched The Business of Being Born last night.

On the To-Watch list: Hannibal, Hell On Wheels.

READING . . . I haven't actually cracked a book in months... until Tuesday when my Amazon order arrived, consisting of Special Women: The Role of the Professional Labor Assistant and a few other books in that vein. 

Becoming a doula has been on my radar for years, and now... That Alison wants me attendant at the birth is a given. I would like to be knowledgeable as well as instinctively supportive! Who knows, maybe this is the push and start to actually pursuing certification.

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KNITTING . . . Um, baby stuff? As established, I recently finished Little Heaume and am only in need of a button to finish. Imagine my delight at learning that the National Button Society will be holding their Diamond Jubilee Convention here in a couple of weeks! I just happen to have a few other items in need of buttons. I am also working on Purl Soho's Chevron Baby Blanket, using a superwash wool in 3 colors. I just made the first color change and... now I'm bored and ready for something else. It'll probably be Pull Gaspard, you know, for my "portable" knitting project; I just have to decide which size.

LISTENING TO . . . Happy! Clap along!! I was so happy when I learned that Pharrell Williams was doing the music for Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). I first learned of Pharrell in Snoop Dogg's Beautiful (I love visiting Rio that way)! He also made an appearance last season as a guest coach for Usher's team on The Voice. And then, of course, there's this summer's controversial number with Robin Thicke and T.I., Blurred Lines... causing a bit of a stir. Sassy. I like to turn it up loud.

I don't know what it is, exactly, but I love Pharrell's voice and the way he sings. Plus he's so boyishly cute. So, fine, I'm having a little crush. Anyway, Happy is a fabulous early-morning, start-the-day, going-to-work song. The other DM2 songs I have starred in Spotify are Fun, Fun, Fun and Just A Cloud Away. Also, the movie was cute.

DREADING . . . Katie's departure for Scotland... five (5!) weeks from TODAY. My feelings about this are multi-faceted, of course; I am also Celebrating, Itching To, Inspired By, and Delighted By... among other things.

HUMMING . . . See "Listening to..." above.

CELEBRATING . . . Did you hear? There's going to be a baby!

PLANNING . . . To pack a lot of fun into this "last month of summer." Thanks to one of the women in knitting group, I'll be catching a 6 a.m. bus next Friday for Stitches Midwest! There's a trip to Door County on the calendar, as well as a quickie to Chicago, the button convention, a rummage sale, a month of farmer markets, a writing project, and a little photo gig for some old, old friends. Someone will have to help Maddy and her friend Katy move into their first apartment this month, too!

ITCHING TO . . . Like Kym, I am (have been) itching to do some sewing! I have some things ready to sew, some clothing to take in, a quilt cut and ready, another that I'd like to make... maybe for a baby. My machine's a Husqvarna, and it's getting time to go!

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DRINKING . . . Beer, coconut water, tea a la Arnold Palmer.

NEEDING TO . . . Shop around for health insurance. Yep, it's that time of year again. I'm not sure how many more years I'm going to be able to take a 20% annual increase in health insurance premiums. Next year I'll have surpassed another "milestone" birthday. This is not the area where I want to spend all my money! I don't understand and it all makes my head hurt; insurance and the medical machine make my blood boil... certainly none of this can be good for my health!

ORGANIZING . . . Yarn! Sort of. I'm working on it. It's part of the plan to clean out my workroom for the installation of French doors. Rusty's been helping Ali & Rod with a bathroom remodel project at their house, giving me some reprieve. Naturally, I've ignored my task altogether. Tsk.

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INSPIRED BY . . . Relatively stable weight in July and apparently finding true balance in my diet. I have buckled down a bit, now, for August, in an effort to lose a few more pounds. I'm delighted to know that I can have my cake (ice cream, beer, the occasional potato chip, chocolate) and eat it, too, without guilt, really, or worry that I've "ruined my diet." I really "treated" myself well and with abandon in July, but am apparently doing okay on a day-to-day basis and held my own. This has to be the way I was meant to eat...

DELIGHTED BY . . . My girls. Always, my girls! Katie's preparations for attending the University of Edinburgh are so exciting. Alison, of course, is in the midst of one of the most exciting periods of her life. Maddy will soon be winding down the summer camp counselor job and amping up the school-year coffee shop manager job, in addition to continuing to work on her education degree.

My house is going to be completely empty soon, for the first time in a long time.

Hellllooooooo

How about YOU?  What's going on for YOU . . . right now?

 


Right now

Wait. Where was I? What was I doing??

 I haven't knit a stitch in over a week... that's unheard of 'round here! I did weave in some ends last night, though.

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A lavender sachet for my sister's birthday! This one is the largest I've knit, using luscious sport-weight alpaca-silk-cashmere leftovers from Romi's Mystery Shawl KAL (I'm on the home stretch with that project). I came close but never had the time to finish the girls' sachets for the wedding, and feel compelled to finish them all before I do anything else! (Gah. Why didn't I knit them all in-the-round, again?)

So that's what I'll be doing to fill any down-time at tomorrow's farmer market! It's the third market of the season, but our first. The weather isn't very promising (thank goodness we don't have a wedding!), so fingers crossed!

It's all kinds crazy around here right now...

  • I'll be participating in Art On The Town tonight in Downtown Appleton as part of Fiber Rain. I'll  be at In Times Past with knits and yarn (some of my knits have been on display there all week).
  • Rusty has to be at the airport at the butt-crack of dawn tomorrow (guess who gets to take him?) for a trip to Japan with a group of artists.
  • Annie & her family arrive from Brazil (surprise!) on Wednesday.
  • My girls leave next Saturday for a sisterly road trip to Glacier National Park -- reminiscent of one I took with mine in '79 to the Oregon coast and back, with stops at Yellowstone & Mount Rushmore. I'm so excited for them!
  • And Kate is counting down the days, well into double-digits now, until her departure for Edinburgh! We have a day-trip to Milwaukee coming up for Visa application!

I think I've done pretty well at switching gears from work to wedding and back to work without much breathing time in between, but I gotta tell ya, I am so looking forward to Sunday morning!! I have a few other days off coming up and am trying not to fill them up with too terribly much... other than some yarn orders to work on and some prep for a home improvement project, I'd like to just do some sitting and knitting! And maybe some bicycling if it's nice out! And wouldn't it be nice to actually cook something?


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Yeah. Couldn't resist.
Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Right now

Winter is just not letting loose its grip! Nothing about 2013 is like last year, or even "normal." I'm just working at keeping it together day-to-day.

image from www.flickr.com

Bleeding hearts in my garden at this time last year!

With that great set up (and thanks to Kym), here's what's holding together in my life  . . . RIGHT NOW.

Watching: Call The Midwife, Elementary, Blue Bloods; I like Hawaii Five-O for background music and occasional eye candy; loved House of Cards on Netflix; if I had cable, I'd surely be watching Madmen (I just finished a marathon catching-up of last season); if I lived in the U.K., I'd be watching The Great British Sewing Bee.

Reading: Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe

Sewing! I've been threatening for the past few years to really get my sewing maching humming. I have the pieces for a quilt all cut out and ready to go, but now it'll be a race to see whether that pulls me in before I'm completely overcome by the hand-sewing/embellishing craze.

I recently signed up for Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Applique, Beading and Embroidery on Craftsy. Not an inexpensive class, I watched the whole series over a couple-few days on my lunch hour and can't believe how much I learned about sewing! There's a great Donna Karan jacket pattern included in the price, and a one-time discount on kit or project materials from Alabama Chanin. (I took advantage of an even deeper discount on April Fool's Day for some of my materials. I'm in no particular rush, and there's much to do before I needle my thread, so I'll just keep watch for further promotions.) It's the finer details and geeky stuff that has me totally pumped about hand sewing, not to mention a serious Alabama/Natalie Chanin love affair going on over here.

Knitting: Mindless is in order much of the time right now, so another color-blocked Vintage Baby Cardigan is on the needles. I have plans for more!

I should be knitting wedding things. I've stalled half-way on the shawl. I made a mistake resulting in the need to start Ali's gauntlets over. I never quite got the attendants' off the ground... problems with procuring suitable materials... there's still a chance for it all to come together; we'll see. Ali's are the priority.

Listening to: Justin Timberlake. Macklemore. Rhianna.

Thinking about: Alison's wedding.

Dreading: The idea of cleaning out my studio/office/junk room in preparation for a little remodeling project. This little project will result in a big (and overdue) paint job in our living area and some major rearranging of a few spaces.

Planning: An overnighter in Milwaukee next month. A quick trip to Lake Geneva later in summer. Not quite in planning mode for Scotland, but soon.

Celebrating: Small accomplishments and little victories.

Drinking: Coconut water.

Itching to: Go outside without a jacket on; opening windows and doors!

Needing to: Get some things ship-shape for upcoming company. (Some of these projects make me feel like a candidate for Hoarders.)

Organizing: Everything.

How about YOU?  What's up with you?