Macro Monday(s)

First of all, HELLO!! It seems a lot longer than six days since I've been here, but WHAT A WEEK!! Auntie Camp v.5 was fabulous, and I have a ton to share about that in the next week or so. But first, it's MACRO MONDAY!

Water droplets nestled in a succulent near the garage door caught my eye.

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And these are amaranth microgreens atop some lovely roasted potatoes from yesterdays Kaukauna Coffee & Tea/313 Dodge collaboration brunch. What a wonderful way to spend a few hours on a Sunday.

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It was about as perfect a five days off as one could ask for -- family, food, and tons of fun! I had the weekend mostly to myself for Auntie Camp recovery, and I accomplished a few things, too. I hope you had a great weekend, as well!


Start your engines!

The 5th Annual Auntie Camp begins (slowly) (with a sleepover) tonight!

2015:

AC1 - 2015

INDIGO BOYS!

2016:

AC2 - 2016

A LITTLE MORE INDIGO!
(PLUS DYEING WITH SHARPIES & ALCOHOL!)

2017:

AC3 - 2017

SILK SCARVES!
(DON'T WORRY, THERE WAS ALSO INDIGO!)
(AND TIE-DYE!)

2018:

AC4 - 2018

WHAT DO YOU KNOW? NO INDIGO!
(LOTS OF TIE-DYE!)

There's also been knitting, macramé, drawing, and kayaking, along with visits to an art show, the pool, the movies, and an amusement park.

This year, along with more dyeing (the de facto signature event) (tie-dye for sure, indigo maybe), we will be knitting and sewing, for sure, and other things TBD/nailed-down.


Snapshot: Janet

Rusty returned last week from a two-month trip west. He left in June bound for Arizona and a visit to his brother Dave's new place in western Arizona, just over the border from Nevada. One of the purposes of that get together was for them to go through a box of old photos that Dave (a bit of a packrat) finally uncovered in the moving & unpacking.

The photos belonged to their mother, Janet, who took her own life in 1978. When the boys cleaned out her house after her death, it was a job that just needed to get done. Things like photos were relegated to storage, which is where they've been for the past 40+ years.

Rusty was so excited to see these old family photos again! He took a few snaps with his phone and sent them to me while he was there, and brought some more home for scanning. After he departed Arizona for points in California, Dave uncovered more photos and documents! Rusty suggested that before too long we take a trip out there together, and we just confirmed flights, car & hotel for an early November (birthday!) visit, which will also include a visit (my first) to the Grand Canyon.

Anyway, it's been a bit of a nut house over here and we finally sat down over the weekend to look at the photos Rusty brought back.

This one.

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I'd hastily edited (her face is in deep shadow in the original photo) and posted on Instagram, but have taken a bit more time here with the dodging & burning... and looking.

I didn't even notice the knitting or Rusty's brother in the playpen, at first; Kate pointed those out the other day! Originally thought the photo was taken at the beach (her favorite place to be), but in considering what those dark blips at the top of the photo might be, I now realize that it's more likely in the backyard -- that's laundry on the line (very likely diapers)!

I didn't meet Rusty until 1983, so obviously I never had a chance to meet Janet. I always like to think that we'd have gotten along -- especially because I know she didn't get along at all with Rusty's first wife -- and he always thought that we would have, too. I've decided that this photo is undeniable proof!

  • She was a knitter! I never knew that before, though I did know she had a crafty streak and liked to make things.
  • She was a smoker! She was a chain-smoker, in truth, and is the #1 reason why her sons have never smoked. Even though I've been quit for 14+ years, I can still relate to putting down my knitting for a smoke break.
  • Laundry on the line!

She had quite a colorful life and there are mysteries to be solved -- investigated further, at the very least! I'm so looking forward to our trip out west in a few months!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255


3TT: Sky view

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

1 -- Saturday sky.

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From a pontoon ride on the Upper Saint Croix Lake... this is just before we turned around and headed back to the dock. Threatening!

2 -- Sunday sky.

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Again on the Upper Saint Croix, that's my cousin driving and Mack waving from the boat. Birthday Boy Addie is on the knee-board behind. Can you believe he's 12 today?

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! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

3 -- Wednesday sky.

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More threatening weather late yesterday. I took this photo as I was getting into my car after work. I missed a downpour during a well-timed stop at the grocery store. Another deluge hit after I got home. There was a confirmed tornado in Green Bay, about 20 miles away; Ali's much closer and snapped a dramatic photo of her own.


Unraveled Wednesday: Wanderlust

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today, sharing what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING:

There's an FO... it's for Christmas, even!

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These originally started as another pair of Tin Can's Rye Socks, but I discovered that I was knitting an adult/toddler mash-up using two sets of numbers... not at all what I was going for!

Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 11 - Wanderlust had recently been published, and I decided it was time to try something a little different. The patterns in Wanderlust are all written for fingering/sock yarn and I still wanted to use worsted, so I adjusted needle size, numbers, and the panel pattern repeat accordingly.

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These were my first short-row heels, too, and I like them!

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Since I was going up north for a couple of days -- driving up on Saturday and back on Monday, 4.5+ hours each way -- I brought four knitting projects. Haha. (I'm not kidding.) I pulled my knitting out only twice -- socks both times -- on Sunday night and Monday morning when it was just my cousin Gail and I, and I knit the entire foot while we chatted.

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In the elements. I forgot how pine-y it smells up there.

And, yes, I'm happy that I went. I took a 20-minute car nap on the way up, and wove in and out of downpours all the way home, but in between we had a great time. Good company, good food, boating, lots of yapping.

READING:

Since I last checked in...

The Summer Walkers is still on my nightstand.

I finished my second listen of Lincoln in the Bardo, and enjoyed it just as much if not more the second time around.

On my long drive last weekend, I listened to most of Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb. I'm less than an hour from finishing and there are definitely some things I like/relate to in the story, but there are also some things that I'm not crazy about (not quite eye-rolling, but close...)

 


Macro Monday

Last week, I completely forgot about Macro Monday and I never found the time (or maybe inspiration) (or possibly energy) to do it on another day.

I just returned from a weekend with two cousins, a cousin-in-law, two first cousins once-removed and the girlfriend of one of them, my sister, my brother-in-law, and two nephews. (A good time was had by all!)

There was a parcel on the porch upon my return, and this week, I'm very excited about the possibilities presented/promised by this:

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Three photos of three new colors of embroidery floss from Alabama Chanin. Charcoal, Slate, and Eggplant. I'm not sure the Eggplant will work with my Car Jacket, but the other two most definitely will. I'm ready to get back to that project for another 100-200-300 however-many-hundreds-of-days it'll take to finish it.

I hope you all had a great weekend, and a good Monday (macro or otherwise)!


Weekend ahead

I'm in a slump. Trying hard to dig out...

Here are some good things:

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I took Ginny to dance class on Wednesday. She was the only one in class that day, and Junah had an open invitation to join... but he still will not! And that's fine, even humorous at this point. He loves to watch, though.

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Earlier that day, I'd made Junah's vest to coordinate with the girls' dresses. It turned out GREAT... except that I will never make another thing for any of those kids without first taking measurements. This size 7 vest barely fits my 5.5 yo grandson! I had him try it on for button placement and, well, they'd be purely ornamental!

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Since she was here, I had Ginny try on her dress, too. And same! Size 4 dress is a bit snug around the bodice on this 3yo. I may do a loop closure for the button...

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We decided to go to the drive-in and pick up supper... ice cream first!!  There's a reason that vest turned out too small!  ;)  They acxtually did an OK job with the hot dog & chicken tenders that followed.

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We headed out back and they tossed branches and walnuts down the hill, and this is what happened when I asked for a photo. Awwww.

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Little sis was helping her dad with some stuff at home, but I still need to share her sweet face.

I am at sixes & sevens this weekend... torn between making a huge solo drive to NW Wisconsin for a gathering of cousins or staying home to get some stuff done. I keep reminding myself that I've regretted not going to these types of things before. My cousin Gail who organized it all is very excited, and I'd really feel bad letting her down. I haven't seen her or her brother in quite a few years. It's a drive (5-hr one-way) I've made a lot over the years, but not for quite some time and even longer since I did it alone. I've downloaded some audio books (I finished the second listen of Lincoln in the Bardo this morning), and I'm thinking of taking a different route, maybe scoping out some new-to-me yarn shops on the way just to keep it interesting. I made and shared this Knitting, Yarn, and Fiber in Wisconsin Google Map almost 12 years ago to the day in the On Wisconsin! board on Ravelry, and it's been a while since I actually used it myself. I keep getting update suggestions & thanks from people who do use it, though.

Well, I'm feeling a little better about going having just laid it out there. I have Monday off, so I don't have to rush back (though I do have that option).

Heh. Have a great weekend, all!


Random Friday

I spotted the loveliest, softly colored clouds in the sky when I opened the blinds this morning.

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Kate & I were getting the apartment ready yesterday for the current guests and, from that vantage point, noticed a few twisted & broken branches HIGH up in the trees. We'll never be able to reach them! There are plenty of branches and twigs in the yard, and our push mower is very sensitive, so yard clean-up is high on my weekend to-do list. The house painters have finished with their part, so the coast is clear (and the house looks nice even if some of the shrubbery does not).

Both our previous and current Airbnb guests are here, in part, for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. This is the 50th year in Oshkosh, and I'm pretty sure my dad took us to the very first one. He had a small plane when I was very little, and occasionally rented a plane on weekends when we were older... I can say that I "flew" a plane!

Anyway, before our previous guests arrived, I added a few albums to the current selection. It's an eclectic musical mix up there, from Men At Work to The 5th Dimension to Eurythmics, and...

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I never noticed which Frank Sinatra album I added to the pile, but couldn't miss it, front & center, as I was leaving yesterday. COME FLY WITH MEHow appropriate, and what a happy coincidence!

These folks will leave on Sunday, and then I have a few days to prepare for our month-long tenants arriving on Thursday. I am really looking forward to that "break." I'll launder the towels & linens once a week, but I'm otherwise off the hook until Labor Day. Then we have our guests from Australia, and then it's football season! The apartment is booked for all the Packers' home games, which reminds me, Training Camp has begun and the sweetest tradition in pro football continues. What a thrill for those kids!

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My little city is looking at purchasing some new holiday decorations and have a display of snowflake options on the poles in a downtown cul de sac, and we can go online and vote! I noticed them the other night (and voted).

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My house feels like it's in utter disarray. Busy life + visitors + Airbnb guests + vacating for a weekend + right back to work = MAYHEM. I feel like stuff just got stacked and shifted whenever it was time to eat or the Bananagrams and cribbage board came out. I did keep up with dishes, so there's that. Ha. The kids pulled out all sorts of blankets and pillows to make a fort... and I'm missing one of my favorite chair pillows and the shawl I wrap 'round my shoulders in the evening. I really need to tidy up and get my house back! So, in addition to yard & garden clean up this weekend, the house is also high on the list... as is sewing! I need to get back to Ginny's dress and Junah's vest for their upcoming photo shoot. Gin's should go pretty quickly because it's already cut out. I haven't touched my Alabama Chanin stuff in a week, either.

Wish me luck with all that, eh? And... HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!


Macro Monday Wednesday

In addition to heightened hoopla on the weekend, I was technically on vacation on Monday and completely forgot about Macro Monday.

I spotted this on my way to the car this morning:

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Happy Wednesday! I'm working, which is not usual for a Wednesday, but still getting that "hump day" vibe and looking forward to the weekend (already)!


Look what blew in...

As I left for work last Friday, I chuckled when I spotted a giant poop emoji balloon rolling around the neighborhood. That's super random, right?

Storms were predicted in our area for Saturday and, indeed, there were. They decided to close down the farmers market an hour early, and I decided that I'd better get out and run my errands before the initial wave hit.

My first weather alert -- a flash flood warning -- came at 10:49 a.m.

At 11:03, while in the drive-thru at my credit union, I received an "extreme alert" for a tornado warning! A block from home, the county warning sirens began to sound.

At home, I poured myself a bowl of cereal and thought I'd sit down and turn on the weather channel to see exactly what was happening.

Before I even turned on the TV, another tornado warning alert arrived at 11:22, and I looked outside (instead of at the TV). I exclaimed out loud, "Holy shit!"  and ran downstairs with my bowl of cereal.

A few minutes later, a wide-eyed Ali arrived with the kids, and Rod joined us a few minutes after that. He was able to button up the coffee camper, but was concerned because he hadn't been able to hitch it to his vehicle... and he had visions of it rolling end-over-end. (Thankfully, that did not happen!)

Holy cow, though! We were able to watch the action through the windows in my dye studio, and it was crazy out there -- the wind, the rain, the sideways rain!

The kids sat at the ping-pong table and enjoyed second breakfast through it all.

After the first wave passed, and we came back upstairs, I went around the house and looked out windows to assess damages, and what do I spot in the back yard from my bedroom window?

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Luckily, we never lost power, and our internet was down for only a couple of hours. As we speak, one of my coworkers is still without power! Many area businesses were also without power for lengthy periods -- thankfully, the coffee shop was not one of them. It was amazing to see posts on social media from businesses not affected by the storm inviting the public to come in and enjoy their air conditioning while they charge their phones (no purchase necessary), and others offering to share their freezer & cooler space.

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The trophy!! I forbade its entry to the house... "It's wet!" But mostly, I just don't want a big poop in my house, even if it's only made of plastic and smiling. We also acquired a nice soccer ball. Thankfully, the second wave was just a bit of rain.

Turns out, there were 9 14 16 confirmed tornadoes in Wisconsin between Friday & Saturday, including an EF1 (85-110 mph winds) in Central Wisconsin that left two of my aunts without power on Friday, and the EF0 (65-85 mph winds) that had us ducked into the basement. along with two others very close by at the same time.

The boys helped me clean up the yard a bit, and we decided to carry on with our plans for a quick trip up north to my uncle's cabin. We made sure our Airbnb guests were welcomed, checked in and settled (they had quite the committee with all the kids playing outside), and then Kate & I made our exit.

I'll probably post more, but this image pretty much sums it up our 36 hours in the northwoods:

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It was time to head home way too quick!


3TT: 3x3

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

Today I'm sharing three patterns by three new-to-me BIPOC designers. Most of these are not new designs, but they appealed to me and I'm hoping that by adding them and the designers to my Ravelry Favorites, I'll begin to see more. I've always enjoyed similar blog posts of others -- we all love knitting and even if we're not actively searching for a possible project, it's always fun to be inspired!

1 - Jiminez Joseph | @jimiknits

  • VESTival! "Inspired by the bohemian fashionistas at music festivals, VESTival is a sleeveless top, worn as a relaxed overlay."

You probably didn't know that I have a thing for vests, and I love this one. It's knit sideways, for the most part, as are many of Jimi's sweater designs. I can see this layered over a dress or a flowy skirt.

  • Buckshot. "BUCKSHOT is an over-sized, medium length sweater with bracelet length sleeves. It has an all-over textured stitch pattern that looks as if it’s riddled with bullet holes! A relaxed fit for comfort during any occasion and versatile for any wardrobe."

I love the texture on this boxy sweater, and the deep V-neck. So wearable.

  • Aggregate. "Aggregate is an arrowhead shaped wrap/scarf. It is made using 2 colour skeins of Heavy DK/Worsted weight yarn. It is knitted from the top-down with short row wedges and arrows that form a distinctive Left side/Right side mirror effect."

I've been avoiding that shawl shape in recent months, but the striping in this one is pretty cool, and I love all the variations/ideas in the featured photos.

LUCKY DAY ALERT: As part of her birthday celebration, Jimi is offering 20% off of her patterns on Ravelry with coupon code: birthday. Discount code is good through midnight BST on 19 July 2019.

2 - Tina Tse | @tina.say.knit

  • Blooming Texture Shawl. "A triangle shape shawl playing with different combination of stitches, exploring lace patterns and color textures to bring a fun experience while knitting!"

This is the type of triangular shawl that's appealed to me more of late. I love the combination of texture, stripes, and lace, and it looks amazing in two colors with a lot of contrast. But there's a low-contrast photo in the middle of the pack (which I think is possibly a b&w photo and more contrast-y in real life) that stopped me in my tracks! INSPIRED!

  • Deauville. "This relaxed top is worked from the bottom up, in the round, before separating the front and back to work the armholes and neckline. A 3-needle cast off is used to join the shoulders, so there’s no seaming involved."

In-the-round is not my favorite, so I'd have to make some changes, but I'm a sucker for stripes and this sweater looks so wearable!

  • Gradient Fade Cowl. "Colors blending in and out of each other creating new colors and possibilities, that’s what birthed the Gradient Fade Cowl. This cowl is meant for color exploration."

I really love the possibilities with this cowl, and I love wearing cowls in the winter.

3 - Noma Ndlovu | @biggerthanlife_knits

  • Black Berry Shawl. "This shawl is knit using a combination of merino singles (fingering weight) and kid mohair. The garter and lace sections are separated with mohair stripes. The shawl is an easy to knit project perfect for TV knitting and traveling."

Yes to TV/travel knitting! I've really loved long, shallow crescent shaped scarves the last couple of years and I love the possibilities with this design.

So many possibilities with this shawl, too, and an interesting overall shape!

I keep coming back to this one... cables, lace, and the styling! I don't think I've ever worn a long cowl with one loop pulled through the other like that. GENIUS! 

On one hand, I'm astounded that I've never heard of these designers nor seen their beautiful designs; and the other hand is slapping me! >>>EXACTLY<<<

I plan to make this a regular feature -- maybe once a month or so? 

Now all I need is a helluvalotta more time in my day in order to knit some of these.


A Day Out With Ginny

I'll let the photos do most of the talking...

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You're never too young to love office supplies!


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A discerning shopper.

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The loot! There was a TON of stuff that was put back or never even made it into the cart... too expensive, not right now, LET'S LOOK OVER HERE...

She said, "Mommy buys me whatever I want!"

That was news to Ali.  :)

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The fashionista! Not shown, new Moana underwear... because we're finally there again!!

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We had lunch -- kids' meals at Culver's include a scoop of frozen custard!

She said, "Mommy always lets me eat ice cream first!"

That was also news to Ali!!  ;)

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The we came home and painted nails, hands & feet were opposite colors!

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This is one of my favorite photos of the day.

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What a fun day!


Macro Monday: So Sew!

I had the day off of work today! I prefer my 3-day weekends to be Fri-Sun instead of Sat-Mon... but I guess I'll take what I can get.

I didn't want to, but I mowed the lawn this morning. Yesterday would have been a much better day for it, but I was otherwise occupied... Kate & I had our shopping/lunch date with Ginny. I know a few of you saw my IG stories about that. She was a HOOT! I'll do a separate little post about it.

I also had a meeting with the house painter this morning.

Otherwise, I've been sewing! I cut all the pieces for the girls' dresses and have been sewing a little bit each day. Plus I hemmed a pair of jeans for Kate last night. I finished Malina's (except for a button) this afternoon. I thought some sewing-related macro shots would be appropriate.

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I bought a new machine a few months ago, and I've finally gotten around to actually sewing something. It's a Baby Lock Jubilant. There's a bit of a learning curve, as it has quite a few more features than my old Husqvarna -- I have to look up how to do every single thing -- but I like it so far and it has some great features, such as self-threading and a drop-in bobbin under a see-through plate. I have wound a bobbin and threaded the machine once or twice now without having to look it up, so that's progress!

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Nice, even stitches. The machine has a speed control, so if it's on SLOW, it'll only go so fast (or slow, heh) no matter how hard I step on the pedal. That'll be great if & when the kids want to learn to sew. I can also forego the pedal altogether and just use a start/stop button... but that seems so weird!

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I used one of the overlock stitches to finish the edges of the flutter sleeves. It's so cool to be able to do that!

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I sewed one of those sleeves three times in order to get the flutter placed in the correct position, right-side up. Ugh! The sewing directions were similar to the ones you see in sewing where you knit a thing and then they tell you to knit another one but reversing the shaping, or whatever. Yeah.

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Ginny's should go a bit quicker, now that I've done it once and know what to look out for. The pattern is Violette Field Threads' Ruthie. I might actually do a strip of velcro where the button should go because this is a size 2 (the smallest available) and Malina is a bit shy of that and also not a super-pudge like her brother & sister were! Or maybe one buttonhole and two buttons.


100 Days

100days

I think it was official on Wednesday, but I still had a reminder on my calendar yesterday for 100 (+/-) days of stitching!

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Two finished sleeves and current state of back panel underway.

Back in April, I'd committed to at least :15 of sewing each day on my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket! I think I stitched on about 95 days, and a few of those days were spent on the A-line re-do, and there were just a few when I didn't stitch at all -- two or three at most. Most of it was documented on Instagram: #100daysknitorious2019

There were quite a few days when I worked significantly longer than :15, but even conservatively, I've stitched for a total of 25+ hours since April, mostly on my jacket!

All in all, I consider it a wild success!

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Same general area on each sleeve and the design choices that make them the same but different!

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Ditto! This is the June's Spring stencil.

I have two sleeves completely done and the start of a body part (with three more in the wings, plus a collar, two pockets, pocket flaps -- just keeping things in perspective). There is WAY more done now than I had 100 or 101 or 102 days ago!

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I am looking forward to continuing the process with almost as much diligence. Part of the problem is that it's sort of monopolizing the main portion of my work area and there are other things that I need/want to get done. The trick is to put it away, but not so far away that I forget about it or it's too much of a chore to regroup.

A good workroom clean-out would probably help overall! Well, except for a shopping trip, I have a fairly clear weekend ahead...

Have a great weekend, everyone!!


3TT: Randomly in July

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

Since last we met on a Thursday, it's (mostly) all quiet on the walnut front, the catalpa flowers are finished, and three very badly located hornet/wasp nests have been taken care of. Yahoo!

This week, I have three random things to share.

1 -- The Giraffe in My Car.

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I got rid of a lot of unnecessary items when I moved from the old car to the new, but not my little giraffe. He sits in the pocket of the driver's side door. Isn't he cute? Do you have a driving companion?

2 -- MDK Waving Rib Sock.

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I turned my first short-row heel on this sock the other day and, other than having to adjust my numbers due to the gauge difference, it was A PIECE OF CAKE!

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You don't even have to knit the wraps. I tried it on last night and it both felt & looked GREAT!

3 -- Let's Go Shopping!

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This was Ginny the other day, delivering a formal request via Snapchat video, for a shopping date with Nona and Auntie Kate! She said that she wants to shop for bracelets, pants, a shirt, more bracelets, a headband, and plants. All delivered with the sweetest little lisp. I think it might happen this weekend, with lunch. Isn't she looking grown up??


Mother + Artist (and more)

Kate & I hopped in the car on Friday afternoon and drove over to Algoma for the opening of a show at James May Gallery.

Mother + Artist

This exhibition includes women who are both artists and mothers. Although all the work may not specifically be about experiences in motherhood, each participant manages some degree of an art career while also mothering. Featured are women who dedicate a significant focus to the creation, promotion, and exhibition of their work with multiple works by each artist making up the exhibition.

Featuring work by:  Amy Soczka, Katie Martin Meurer, Maria Amalia Wood, Jamie Lea Bertsch, Kendra Bulgrin, Megan Woodard Johnson, and Mindy Sue Wittock

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Amy Soczka
Suspension v.2
Hand-cut Paper, 72" x 24" x 36"

This is amazing to see in the gallery. My thoughts also quickly turned to stenciling and sewing! (It can't be helped.)

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Maria Amalia Wood
Una Linea de Tiempo (A Line of Time)
91 Wood Bobbins Wrapped With Handmade Paper Made With My Grandmother's Robe, Bed Linens, and Other Personal Fabric Remnants
132"

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Mindy Sue Wittock

^ ^ ^

The Mother + Artist show was at the "North" gallery, we also stepped around the corner to the original space.

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Tiffany Bailey
Quilted Barns
Porcelain and colored slip, 23" x 21-1/2" x 1"

 

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Kim Eichler-Messmer
Pivot
Cotton Fabric Naturally [Dyed] With Black Walnuts, Marigolds, and Weld
51" x 51"

^ ^ ^

I had my sock!

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I've made progress since this photo was taken on Friday! It's my re-do, this time using MDK Field Guide No. 11 - WanderlustI'm bucking trend and reworking the numbers to accommodate my worsted weight yarn, and using the "Waving Rib" panel pattern. I don't believe I've ever worked a short-row heel before, and that's next... as soon as I do the maths.

^ ^ ^

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In other news, Maddy Mo is taking the midnight train to northern Australia to work at a hotel/resort for a few months! More adventure!!

And this just in:

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I didn't even know how much I wanted this when we started five months ago, but here we are! I got the email this morning (wasn't expecting to hear for another week). It's such a crazy thing... so much work, but so rewarding and fun. We had our first honeymooners last weekend -- musicians/students, I think, from the Milwaukee area. I was reminded of when Rusty & I got married, we were so poor, and had a similar getaway -- we made the most of it! Anyway, guests are booked for the next three weekends (so you know what I'm doing for a few hours on my days off), and I'm looking forward to a "break" in August when we have someone renting for the whole month! And in September, our first international guest -- also an Airbnb host -- on holiday from Australia!


Macro Monday: Hosta time

The hostas are blooming!

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Kate took this great photo on July 4th. Junah directed our fireworks show, with an assist from Ginny, and Kate was our pyromaster. They're not even the star of this photo, but the hostas (and ferns) are definitely hard to miss, and the showstopper (Blue Angel) can't even be seen from this view. The ferns are almost monstrous this year! I've never seen them so big and full.

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These were taken with my phone (Samsung Galaxy S9) in the front bed pictured above on Saturday when Junah was over "helping" me for a few hours. He essentially watched me pull weeds in the back yard for :05, declared it boring, and went up to the house and occupied himself with an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle car (missing pieces but still intriguing and fun) that we found at the antique mall, aka Nancy's. It's super fun going to the antique mall with him! He's getting to know the lay of the land, his favorite booths, the "shortcuts," and it's fun to see what catches his eye. Nancy lives just down the street from me and she gets a kick out of it, too.

I hope you had a great holiday and a wonderful weekend. I have been knitting, sewing, dying over all of the Revolutionary War airport memes, and celebrating a Women's World Cup victory!!


3TT: My natural world

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

Here are three things happening in my natural world (aka, the back yard)...

1 -- Walnuts. Baby walnuts.

Last Friday night there were a couple of hard PLUNKS on the roof above my bedroom -- a metal roof. PLUNK.PLUNK ... PLUNK.

On Saturday night, there were a LOT of hard plunks at irregular intervals. PLUNK.PLUNK ... PLUNK (roll) PLUNK.PLUNK.PLUNK.

PLUNK.

Gah! It woke me up, kept me awake for hours, and even drove me to find the earplugs in my travel bag. It was nighttime so I didn't have my glasses on, but I stepped on something weird as I opened the cupboard outside the bathroom. It turned out to be a *%#&%*@% cricket (I had to bend down -- too close -- to identify it).

We had Airbnb guests... and my roof is right outside the upstairs bedroom windows. OMG, it was AWFUL!! (They never said or acknowledged anything, so maybe they slept like rocks. I hope.)

Overhanging the roof at the back of the house is a walnut tree and these little guys, hardly bigger than a marble -- but heavy & dense -- were raining down on my roof in the wee hours, surely having been dislodged by raccoons or squirrels.

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I called a guy on Sunday, and he said he'd be happy to come over, take care of the critters, and collect $500, but that he'd surely be back in a week to do it all over again... and again and again. He suggested trimming the walnut tree. I got a quote for that yesterday... YIKES!!

Meanwhile, we have nature-loving Airbnb guests this week (newlyweds... it's practically a honeymoon) and this is what I wrote to them on Monday, prior to Tuesday's arrival:

There's been some on/off partying in the walnut tree and roof at the back of the house in the wee hours -- raccoons, squirrels -- Friday night was so-so, Saturday night was raucous, and last night was next to nothing. Hopefully, they got it all out of their system and have moved on... just wanted you to be aware. There is nature happening literally right outside your window.

Keeping fingers crossed, but Saturday seems to have been the big party night -- maybe there was some territorial scuffling going on -- and it's been so-so or better since. Sheesh.

2 -- Catalpa trees. 

There are two in our yard, both volunteers. They're weeds and not in the best locations, but I have a couple of soft spots for catalpas.

  1. I never noticed or knew what a catalpa tree was until I spotted a huge one in the park across the street from where Sharon lived in Milwaukee 30 years (or so) ago. She was working as a City arborist at the time and was pretty knowledgeable.
  2. There was an equally huge catalpa tree between our neighbor's and their neighbor's years ago, which surely provided the seeds for ours. My neighbors at the time wanted to relocate their garage and driveway, but their neighbor's tree was in the way and would need to come down. It was agreed and the deed was done. My neighbor knew that my dad turned wood and made lovely bowls & things, and asked if perhaps he'd make one from the wood for their neighbor. It was a nice gesture, and their neighbor happened to be a delightful retired school teacher (my brother's kindergarten teacher) who, at 90 or so, still wore her long hair in braids criss-crossed atop her head, and she'd sometimes chat with us from the upstairs bedroom window while she braided and pinned -- I loved that sweet woman -- so was happy to tap my dad for the job. Unfortunately, the sweet woman who was their neighbor died before the wood could be cured & turned, so now the catalpa wood bowl is mine... and I treasure it.

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I thought I'd show the long view(s) from whence the most recent Macro Monday view came. I stood on the pergola bench to take the close-up photos.

On the way back up the stairs, I spotted a nest under the top step.

3 -- Things that go buzz. And that sting.

The nest is similar to this one that I spotted from the bedroom window the next morning. That's under the eve right off the end of the back porch.

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Both are in areas where the kids play. Ugh. So, in lieu of both large pest control and tree trimming, there will be small pest control. They can't come until Wednesday, so that gives me time to assess the entire perimeter of the house (which is scheduled to be painted soon). Last year, I had a problem with similar getting under the siding. I've never had so many pest problems before! (I'm not even mentioning the tiny ants... oops, I guess I am!)

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Happy 4th of July!


Unraveled Wednesday: Oops!

It's been rainy, it's been hot, my back yard is like a jungle, and my entire city was steaming this morning.

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This was the the view from the end of the driveway... I wish I could have taken more photos along the way, it was even thicker in some areas, and the air was so still and HEAVY... I could barely breathe.

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Joining Kat & the Unravelers today!

KNITTING:

I discovered last night, as I reached the point where I'd start the heel flap, that the sock I'm knitting for an adult... is not going to fit an adult. Somehow I screwed up my numbers. So I'm going to start over... literal unraveling will be happening this evening.

And, as long as I'm starting over, I'm going to take my inspiration from the latest MDK Field Guide No. 11 - Wanderlust! I'm not sure exactly how or what, but I'll have plenty of time to think about that as I'm... unraveling and rewinding. Heh.

READING:

There has been little progress except for adding to the TBR pile. Joining Lincoln in the Bardo, two books have been added to my Audible queue in the past week:

I loved listening to Marcus Samuelsson's memoir, Yes, Chef, so I thought "Our Harlem" would be a good one (plus food & drink recipes!).

"My Grandmother's Hands," is... timely right now.

The Summer Walkers is still on my nightstand, with The Bright Hour in the wings, thanks to Bonny's recent rating/recommendation.

SEWING:

Thankfully, there's been a change in the photo shoot schedule, so I don't have to rush with the kids' outfits.

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I stopped at Joann's yesterday, anyway, and will have some time to test my theory... or come up with another plan!

Meanwhile, I'd recently picked up a few things for the kids at rummage sales, including this top for Malina:

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AWESOME, isn't it? When I was folding the laundry load, I had an A-HA moment and realized exactly WHY this top was so awesome:

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Very Alabama Chanin-esque, wouldn't you say?? I guess my subconscious is in tune. Haha!

As of 4:00 there are 4 days ahead and who knows what will happen... well, if you're in the USA, you know that fireworks will happen! I may or may not pop in, so...

Have a great weekend!


Macro Monday: 1st of July!

I can hardly believe it's July! Now's the time that summer feels like it might be slipping away, especially because we've hardly had any summer weather to enjoy... so.much.rain.

It certainly was summertime hot & humid over the weekend, with more of that in the forecast (along with more rain).

I've whittled the Macro Monday photos for today down from 10 (that I processed) to four:

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There's a small stack of shells on one of the pergola benches... randomly stacked by one of the kiddos (I'm guessing Gin) and it's been undisturbed for days. I love the subtle colors!

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Our young-ish catalpa trees are LOADED with flowers this year!!

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And there are plenty of buds yet to open. So pretty.

So, naturally, our Airbnb guests arrived early on Friday and we were last on the list for appliance delivery... so that was less than ideal. The appliance guys arrived about :20 after the guests, but they were really great and the whole process went SUPER smooth! Had our guests arrived at regular check-in time, I'd have just been finishing up... just as I'd mentioned in my heads-up note to them. I'm really happy with the new fridge!

The thrift shop hop in Green Bay was fun on Saturday. Kate made a pretty good haul; I bought a pair of wine glasses and some sewing needles. Obviously, lunch was the highlight for me! We checked out Copper State Brewing Co., which is related to Copper Rock Coffee Co. located in Appleton. Kate had some pork tacos with a lager, I had a burger with an IPA and a half. I caught whiff of a hamburger on the way in and couldn't shake it...

I finished my Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic re-do! I found a back-side photo from June 2017 when I finished (the first time) to compare:

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The difference in stitching is plain to see! I've popped it in the wash to even it all out (the equivalent of blocking knits). (Obviously, red is my preferred color for toenails!)

I did some #100daysknitorious2019 stitching on my Car Jacket, and also started some projects for the kids. By that, I mean that I mostly printed and taped and cut patterns pieces (so time consuming!). I'm making matching dresses for Ginny & Malina and a coordinating vest for Junah. I'm using some "Nana" fabric... a white embroidered cotton that were originally cafe curtains that my mom had made for the coffee shop (skirts of the dresses and body of the vest), and a floral Ralph Lauren sheet that was a favorite of my mom's (flutter sleeves, straps & bands on the dresses, welts & possibly facings on the vest & bow tie). We've been wanting to make something from that curtain fabric for a couple of years now, so finally... but it really needs stabilizing. I've ordered some fusible stuff and keep your fingers crossed that it's shipped sooner rather than later because just minutes after I did that, Ali sent me a message about a photo shoot for the kids on July 8th and it would be SO GREAT to have these projects finished. I could get away with adding another layer to the dresses, and maybe even to the vest... we'll see. I have a couple of days to think on it all.


3TT: 3-Day Weekend Straight Ahead!

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

It's been a long week, but as of 4:00 this afternoon, I'm on weekend time! Three days, baby, YAHOO! Here's a little bit of what's happening:

Friday

I'll be taking delivery of a new fridge for the apartment and, believe it or not, it's scheduled perfectly (to not interfere) for the Airbnb guests arriving tomorrow afternoon. I've spent enough time up there to notice that the old fridge (brand new in 1982 when I was renting an apartment from my stepdad) seems to be running.all.the.time.

Saturday

Kate also has the day off on Saturday, and we plan to head up to Green Bay for some thrift shopping... and lunch, of course.

Sunday

Certainly by Sunday (and maybe even by Saturday), I'll have finished the re-working of my Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic. Are you sick of this yet?

I found a photo from when I was first doing this stitching:

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This isn't impossible, but it is pretty tedious since it's already been cut and the fabric curls a bit after washing. Here's a progress shot that I took this morning:

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Getting there! After this little interlude is over, it's back to my June's Spring Car Jacket!!

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Making the outlook even brighter, next week is a 3-day work week... which means a 4-day weekend will follow!


Unraveled Wednesday: "Knitting the fabric of America!"

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today!

Um... this just in:

WOW!!! This is so great! All the love for Colbert...

KNITTING:

I haven't been doing much actual knitting, but I am working on a pair of socks... it's even Christmas knitting!

READING:

I am still listening to to Lincoln in the Bardo... I'm enjoying it the second time around, though not a lot of listening is happening.

The Summer Walkers: Travelling People and Pearl-Fishers in the Highlands of Scotland is on my nightstand.

 

This book was a gift from Kate a while back and I've finally made it a priority -- so glad I did. It's loaded with photos and the stories are fascinating.

SEWING:

I have continued my 100-day project, though I did veer from the Car Jacket to work on fixing another project:

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This is an Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic that I finished two years ago (it made it's debut at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona!). The Alabama Chanin A-line is my favorite shape -- it's incredibly flattering -- and I love this tunic... except for the areas where I used gray thread instead of black. I thought it was a good idea at the time, but it's too contrast-y (to me). Every time I'd see it in my closet, I'd think, "Oh, I love that top... but I hate that contrast-y stitching." So I finally decided to do something about it!

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It's not easy, given that it has been worn and washed a few times already, but I can't wait to wear it again! I've done the small flower at the shoulder and I think, for now, I'm going to finish that area and just re-do the smaller elements at the top of the big flower on the lower-left -- that might be just enough! I can always re-do some more.


Macro (Blue) Monday

Y'know, I was OK yesterday.

This morning, two blocks from work, a song came on the radio and I just started to cry... it's been hard to shake (doesn't help that it's gray and raining today).

My friend Carole calls that "sneaky grief." She is so right.

My mom died five years ago yesterday. And I miss her. A lot. I suppose I always will.

So bear with me.

The MACRO:

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Another peony. The kids were over for a while yesterday and Junah was having a hard time when it was time to head home. He stomped outside... and I walked out after him. We sat together on the front porch and talked it out (sort of?), and then he jumped up and ran around the corner of the house. Pretty soon he came back and gave me this peony. Though similar, this isn't one of mine; he wasn't gone long enough, for one thing. So, thanks, sweet Junah... and neighbors!!

Speaking of the front porch, I stopped to take a photo of mine as I left for work this morning.

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Do you see it? That sweet little kitty curled up on my porch chair?

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That's not our cat. He/she sure looks right at home, though!

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This is one of the sweetest photos I've taken of Malina yet; sitting on my front porch with her mama last night.

So, emotions are all over the place, anyway, and now this:

IT'S A RAD TIME TO BE A KNITTER!!

Though I don't post much about politics, I haven't been silent -- except that I really cannot say that guy's name or call him "my president," so silent in a way, I guess. I am still utterly shocked that he was even elected and I still find him utterly despicable. He has done absolutely nothing to change those feelings.

I stand with Ravelry 100%


Happy Friday!!

It hasn't been a terribly taxing week, but I haven't been sleeping as well as usual so I'm looking forward to maybe sleeping in a little tomorrow. Or, even better, taking a nap!

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Did I mention that Kate's back? I picked her up at the airport on Tuesday after work. The kiddos came over with their parents for pizza & hugs & kisses, and Ginny walked up carrying the sweetest bouquet of flowers for Kate, including a couple of pretty little daisies.

I have an Airbnb to get ready this evening/tomorrow morning, and thankfully Kate's here to help (tonight, at least)! I had a bath exhaust fan installed in that bathroom on Wednesday, so there's a little extra dust to deal with.

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Yesterday was my first CSA pick up of the year and it included the herb plants I'd ordered a couple of months ago. I'll be getting all that planted tomorrow, too.

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The basil that I got from the CSA farm last year was the best we've ever had, so I'm excited for all the rest -- parsley, cilantro, sage, thyme, and I think mint & oregano! Doesn't that basil look so good? A leaf had fallen off when I got them out of the bag, and I just popped it right into my mouth. Yum.

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Wednesday was incredibly busy & active, with an electrician (a co-worker) at the house most of the day and me (helping) running several times from basement to attic to flip breakers and consult. Ali & the kids came over in the early evening and we walked down to a concert at the park, and I also took an extra walk around the neighborhood with the kids, pushing a double stroller the whole time. I was so tired... it was the 79th of #100daysknitorious2019, and the first day that I missed. There are plenty of times I've sewn for far longer than my "minimum," and it's a pretty well established part of my day now, so I'm OK with that. I also did a little sewing during yesterday's Knit Night.

I don't think I ever mentioned my Alabama Chanin Palazzo Pants, either!

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They are SO comfy. I'm wearing them today with a striped dress and my Llama Angora Chacos -- I love all the stripes!! Anyway, I made a quick single-layer pair of "muslin" palazzo pants that fall just below the knee, and I LOVE THEM!! I'd love to make a longer double-layer pair, and am contemplating whether/where I might want a design/stencil.

My sewing room used to be Ali's bedroom at one time. Every once in a while, when I turn off the light and close the door at night, I catch a glimpse of this:

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⭐️ ❤ ⭐️ ❤ ⭐️ ❤ ⭐️

Have a great weekend!

 


Part 4 (the last): Cornwall

Though Kate wasn't coming with us to Cornwall, she was going to the UK for a while and she managed to get a seat on the same flight to Gatwick that we were taking, so we were able to share a taxi to the airport. We said our farewells on the way to rent a car...

Overtaken by the charm of St. Ives, apparently, I overlooked the fact that it was a 5-hour drive from London and I was the only driver. I treated myself to an upgrade...

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...which bit me good in the end*, but it was still worth it!!

It was dark by the time we got to St. Ives and we drove around for a while looking for our Airbnb. I'm pretty sure I drove down a lane (maybe this lane)...

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...not meant for driving... in my sporty little car, in the dark. Yikes.

We stopped once for a few provisions but mostly directions. Hahahahahahaha. OMG.

We stopped a second time and, lucky for us, there happened to be a policeman in the shop and he offered to lead the way and then told us where to park (and he'd know our car and be sure not to give us a ticket). Parking is a very big problem in St. Ives! This was where 1) I realized, when he told me about the very tight turn-around, that I'd been down the street before and had just continued right through that "very tight turn-around" right into the not-for-vehicles lane (in my car), and 2) I scraped up against the curb while parking (the first bite*).

Our Airbnb was FANTASTIC:

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The guy is a surfer (note the cool "light fixture" in the kitchen) and his wife's mum is a knitter (though yarn shops are not plentiful). There were two tiny bedrooms (because Kate might have come with us at one point), one of which we used for our suitcases and stuff. And while cute & cozy, that's not why we were there.

The minute this came into view, I pulled over to take some photos. The light was so pretty! Also: Cornish coast, farms, stone walls, water, and beautiful sky.

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We meandered and stopped a few places, most notably at Land's End!

We also hunted down some standing stones.

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These are The Drift Stones located near Penzance...

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...in a field of daffodils! This can be quite a hunt, and we turned around a few times before we finally made it. (We were originally across the road -- if you click on the map, those buildings are an abandoned farm.) (At least we think it was abandoned!) There were other stones we could have found, but it was spring and fields were wet & mushy... we felt pretty great just finding this one! Luckily, it wasn't too far off the road and we were able to pick a reasonably dry path. So cool!

We had some pretty good food & drinks on this trip, but this simple breakfast was one of my favorites!

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Toasted Cornish Saffron Bread is DELICIOUS!!

Then we took a walk to & through the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.

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It was just beautiful. Something to see at every turn. There's a tiny little house in the first garden photo above, in which there was a small bed... oh my goodness, I still get dreamy thinking about how wonderful it would be to take a nap there.

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There was an old chapel and graveyard near the car park where we left the car most of the time. I couldn't help but walk through it a few times!

It wasn't long before we were on our way back to London, where I unknowingly picked up the second bite*! But first, we needed to see a few more standing stones...

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It was a mile-long hike to get to Stonehenge from the (new) visitors' centre (we took a shuttle back), and I'm so glad we stopped! (You can also just drive by on the A303 and catch a glimpse.) It's amazing to see!

We returned to London and stayed at a hotel near Heathrow for our morning flight back home. Kate was still there, so we took the train to Paddington and met her for dinner & drinks at The Victoria (yes, I did that!) on our last night and caught up on goings-on.

Then homeward bound.

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And finally home!

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*They collected £50 for the first bite when we turned in the car. I was informed of the second bite by Hertz when they forwarded information from the Devon and Cornwall Police pertaining to a traffic violation; they charged another £50 for that "service." The email stated that "A copy of this fine is attached for your information (unless the offence is a Notice of Intended Prosecution, which legally has to be provided directly by the relevant police authority)." There was no attachment. Uh-oh. I got a speeding ticket -- my first in I-don't-know-how-long -- IN ENGLAND! They caught me on a camera! The cameras are marked by signs, most of which I noticed... I can almost recall breezing through that one, distracted by conversation with Rusty or something at the time. Anyway, to make a long story somewhat shorter, eventually there were forms to fill out and photocopies to send and it cost me another £100 + 3 points! Ugh.

That car was still worth it, though. Did you see that GPS? It popped up right out of the dashboard!!

 


Eye Candy Friday

It's unusual to post twice in one day (when twice in a week is "good" lately), but this just came across the airwaves...

Campers 6-14-19

Rod had a gig out of town, so they all hopped into the (very small) motor home and are making most of a weekend out of it. It's rainy & a little chilly... isn't that always the way? (It always was for us!)

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Walking!! (And wearing a sweater that I made when her big bro was wee.)

Anyway, have a GREAT weekend!!


Socks, socks, and more socks!!

MDK Field Guide No. 11 is released today!

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WANDERLUST is a collection of sock patterns by designer Wendy Bernard.

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Cuff-down or toe-up; plain or fancy or anything in between! There are 13 stitch patterns and the opportunity to make truly one-of-a-kind, personalized socks -- lots of them!

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Field Guide No. 11 is on the shelf at the shop, and also available to order online > HERE!

 


3TT: Hm.

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

1 -- So, apparently Typepad blocks URLs with the word "hey" to prevent spam postings, but using the word "hey" in a post title (hence, permalink) seems to also have prevented my receiving comment notifications for that post!

HEY, THANKS!!

Replying to comments without an email notification is clunky, at best, and while I love and appreciate every comment, I fall behind in replies even in the best of times. Global thanks -- past, present, and future -- for every post all the time forever. Thank you!

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2 -- Junah slept over on Tuesday night and we had a very full day of errands and whatnot yesterday, including winding four hanks of yarn (he did three of them)! We also went to the grocery store, the chiropractor, Home Depot, dropped Kate's bike at the bicycle shop, made a deposit at the bank, stopped at the antique mall and a thrift store, had a spontaneous lunch date at Pizza Hut, finished getting the Airbnb ready, and even had a little play time at home (K-nex are going to be the death of me).

(It's definitely time to cull/clean off my bulletin board.)

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3 -- "Snake" pellets don't work as well on a wet sidewalk, but we persisted.

 


Hey, 14!

This tiny tiger...

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...isn't so tiny anymore!!

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It blows my mind that this kid is 14 already!!

Happy Birthday, Mack!!

I can't wait to see you next month, and I'm looking forward to another epic Auntie Camp!! (I hope you're never too old for that!)


Macro Monday!

Whoopsie! I was so engrossed in the goings-on in the Big City last week that I completely forgot about Macro Monday!

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If you follow me on Instagram, this needs no explanation!

If you don't, #100daysknitorious will help get you up to speed (or bore you to tears).

Bonus/making up for last week:

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I feel like these could be better if the "focus" was a little different. I may try again...

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I hope you had a great weekend! I had my biggest Airbnb group yet... for a one-night stay. OMG, that's a lot of work, and don't worry, the minimum stay was changed to TWO nights a while back! BUT, they were among the BEST guests ever -- a young man, his mom, and his grandparents -- all to see Sir Paul McCartney at Lambeau Field. It can't get much better than that. They were SUPER friendly and so excited. Fun family times, and I'm happy to have given them a comfy place to land. Even if it is a helluvalotta work... another 5-star review for my efforts, and the SUPERHOST status shall be mine come July!!

I had some great family time with my own family over the weekend, too, including an early evening pop-in at a band gig with Ali & the kids to wish Rod a happy birthday!