6

I'm 60 today!

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That's kind of crazy, no? It sure feels crazy to me! Also a blurry photo... but of the 14,000 that I took and the 7 or 8 that I kept, I kind of like it (and it's different from the one posted elsewhere).

Kate & I took a quick trip to Minneapolis... stopping in/around Marshfield, WI, on the way to visit my Aunt Carol (my godmother). I'd hoped to visit with Aunt Arlene, too, but a doc appointment interfered. One of these days... (and maybe I have the motivation now to organized a larger get together).

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After a quick bowl-of-soup lunch at The Kitchen Table, we were on our way...

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Kate had booked our room at the Crown Plaza Downtown and our room opened to a lovely (even in the cold & rain) patio!

We went to a fabulous restaurant called BANK, that's actually located in a former bank.

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It was AMAZING!!

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As were our meals. Kate had duck, which she counts among her Top 5 Most Memorable Meals, and I had salmon and must say the same!

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Also fabulous cocktails and stellar service. RECOMMEND.

Then we walked over to the concert venue (everything was within walking distance, which was nice... even if in the cold & rain).

Gregory Alan Isakov! It was a sold-out show, I heard. I believe it... it was crowded and SO HOT!!

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But so worth it. He is as good in person as on vinyl (or however you take it), if not better. I love it that way!! The band was excellent. I really loved it.

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It was a super dreary (cold & rain) drive home, but we planned on a few stops and added a couple more along the way.

On the way out of Minneapolis-St. Paul, we stopped at a couple of thrift stores... one in each city.

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Kate scored some really great shoes... I found some knitting needles, sewing notions, and a Blue Willow plate (for the elusive mosaic projects that will happen one of these days).

Also shown are a pair of pansy pillowcases and a hank of sport-weight hand-spun alpaca yarn from a stop at Nueske's/District No. 3 Antiques (not shown: smoked pork chops), a traditional box of chocolates and a watercolor card from Rusty.

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He also framed my Peter Ribbick print of Portencross Castle! Now I just need to find a place to hang it.

I've been having a blast with birthday wishes all day long, which has helped to ease the anxiety of the Election Day portion of my 60th birthday. I've been happy, if not surprised (given all the amazing and wonderful people who comprise my Friend lists) to see all of the "I Voted" stickers today! The polls close in an hour, and I just hope hope hope for a very blue birthday!

Here's to 61 and beyond!  ;)


5

I am smack dab in the middle of a long weekend, heading to Minneapolis today for the Gregory Alan Isakov concert this evening. We'll hit a couple of museums tomorrow* before heading home.

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I did some dyeing over the weekend... indigo and more! I barely spent two seconds in my basement dye studio over the summer, and it was a year ago that we were getting it all set up... I guess autumn/winter is my time down there!

*I cast my ballot weeks ago so I wouldn't have to worry about making it home in time! Fingers crossed!!


3

Back in the day, Saturday Sky was a THING... amongst many knit-bloggers, at any rate.

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I think of "Saturday Sky" and Sandy, the "founder," if you will, almost any time I take a photo of the sky. There she is a couple of Saturdays ago (with a little sky peeking through) sandwiched between Cara & me.

Here are a few of my recent faves (none of these actually taken on Saturday, haha!):

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According to the location feature on my phone, this photo was taken above Indiana on my way home from Rhinebeck. I just happened to glance out and spotted the moon, and the dusky glow of day-into-night. (Edited to remove reflections in the window.)

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This was one of the weirdest/eeriest skies I've ever seen. I was at work and the camera is facing SE-ish, so it's morning and there's blue sky and a nice bright sun, but you can see on the right and overhead that there is a looming gray mass and it filled the entire sky behind me (west) and was closing in north & south, too. It was dark and light and weird and wonderful (to a sky-watcher)!

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I took a walk to the credit union on Halloween with Kate and we were struck by the glow of this maple in front of my friend Susan's house. I'm not sure she saw us... Trick-or-Treat time was just about to begin and perhaps she just thought we were two goons out on the sidewalk!

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It was pretty spectacular (and, y'know, soon to be bare branches), especially that gorgeous blue sky peeking through yellow leaves.


1

There goes October!

#1secondeveryday #nablopomo2018 #whynot

Maybe I'll get my groove back...


Unraveled: Another FO to show

Joining Kat & the Unravelers... for the first time in a while!

KNITTING:

It's another -- my second -- Summer Camp... just in time for fall!

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Here's a link to the first, which I wore a TON last winter.

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The first had 15 stripes + edging and this one has 16 stripes + edging, making a significantly long scarf (around 95") even longer... the new one comes in at almost 14" more. It's long!!

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Another thing I did differently was to make that extra section a stripe of a different color. In this case, it's the ninth stripe in the overall scheme of things, and it's a very light teal. Both the teal and the darker contrast color are also present in the yellow variegated yarn. I like that the stripe of a different color shows up near my face... total crap shoot!

READING:

Believe it or not, I'm almost finished with The Best Cook in the World: Tales From my Momma's Table by Rick Bragg. I am enjoying it very much, even though it's taking me forever to read it! I'm listening to Tom Hanks read Uncommon Type: Some Stories, though I haven't been listening much lately... I think I'm in a quiet period right now!


FO: My Savage Heart

This was my other Rhinebeck Sweater!

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I can't believe that's my first FO since August! Well, I guess I can... the days have been flying and the knitting has been limited, for one reason or another. That said, I'm wearing another FO around my neck today, fresh from a Sunday soak & dry, which will debut here later this week.

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I think I'm pretty happy with it!! The yarn was acquired a few years ago from another blogger's stash sale. I'd used the same yarn to make a baby hat, and really liked it. It's been waiting for a purpose since then (and I still have a couple/few balls left). The mohair makes it the tiniest bit scratchy around my neck when I first put it on, but it's generally OK; it's also the mohair that also gives it the tiniest bit of a halo. And then there are all the bits & bobs of color.

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I was wearing it here (and for most of the day) comfortably with a short-sleeved shirt underneath. It's very cozy. The center-back detail is also at center-front, but it's easier to see on the back. It's fairly subtle except for this area, and even that all but disappears if I'm wearing a dark shirt.


Rhinebeck 2018

(Are we seriously mere days away from November??)

I flew to Buffalo last Thursday, where Ann picked me up at the airport! It's been less than a year since they moved from Long Island, and it was really fun to see their new house.

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We had a nice dinner at home with her husband, John, then drove over to visit her daughter, Caroline, and to meet her adorable grandson, Mr. Sweetcheeks! Only 20 minutes from Niagara Falls, we drove up there, too! It's an amazing site... and one that I will certainly visit again someday!

On Friday, we drove over to meet Cara & Claire in Saugerties in time for our time slot for Indie Untangled.

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You think you're parkin' here? Think again... haha. #rhinebeckbitchinfour

It was an interesting venue -- nice and big, lots of light. I made all of my weekend yarn purchases at Indie!

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I have plans, more or less, for most of those items... we'll see how it all pans out in the end! The skeins I found irresistible were from Hue Loco, Spun Right Round, Fuse Fiber Studio, Pandia's Jewels, and Lambstrings Yarn (I'd pre-ordered that skein).

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We had a nice dinner together and then drove down to settle into our Airbnb in Kingston.

Saturday was RHINEBECK! Everyone but me seemed to have a plan; I peeled off and wandered through a barn or two, watched a demo, did some visiting...

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Then it was time for lunch... well, it was a bit early, but the line wasn't very long yet (and it can get very long), so we took our chance.

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Falafel for breakfast! Cara in the center, wearing her very popular & eye-catching Rhinebeck Sweater, which is a heavily modified design that begins with Thea Colman's Shaken or Stirred as a starting point.

It was a gorgeous day! Sweater weather, for sure, though it warmed up a bit in the afternoon.

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Those clouds indeed developed into something... a literal DOWNPOUR for about 15 minutes! Thankfully, we were undercover during that.

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I bought my Malojos Knitting Needle Gauge Ring two years ago at Rhinebeck, having fallen in love with Ann's. This year, Claire & Cara each scored one. That's the very moment, above, that the #RhinebeckBitchinFour was born.

Or maybe it was this moment:

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It's about sheep and wool...

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...sweaters and yarn (OMG, Harrisville Nightshades is/are incredible)...

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...and PEOPLE! So many people, and every one of them high on wool.

You can see Kay & I modeling our Savage Hearts on Saturday on the MDK Rhinebeck post.

Julia Farwell-Clay wrote about my sister's Sasha Kagan/Vogue Knitting Int'l sweater:

I also visited with/hugged Lynne @the_yarnivorous, Seashore Sharon, Regina, Margaux, Robin, Sandy, Norma, Leigh, Wendy, Amy, JessaLu, Larissa, Gaye Glasspie... so many wonderful people!

Sunday was truly sweater (and hat) weather... and busy at the fairgrounds, but always so much more relaxed. Beautiful as always. Falafel again for lunch.

There were no Artichokes French and, now that I think back, I don't think they were there two years ago, either; my favorite, chicken pot pies, haven't been there for even longer. There were food trucks on Saturday, though, and I heard great things about chicken satay, Korean tacos, and pork buns... and there was disappointment when they weren't there on Sunday!

Falafel, though. (So good.) And also available at the new Aba's Falafel in Rhinebeck!

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My actual Rhinebeck purchases were mostly gifty/kid things:

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I had polar bear ornaments for Junah & Ginny and was happy to find another for Malina!

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With a couple little items for myself! A cute little project bag from Madder Root Maine and a fine wool jersey scarf from Althea Bilodeau.

I drove down to NJ on Sunday afternoon with Cara & Claire, and stayed overnight at Cara's. It was so great to see her family! I watched my first Ghostbusters movie with the girls! (The new one. They couldn't believe I'd never seen either before!)

I was home on Monday night and was happy to also have Tuesday off. Since then, I've been busy with catch-up of one sort or another! Maybe still high on wool fumes...

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It was so much fun!!


Ready or not...

I'm on the mend, if not quite 100%, but ready or not... Rhinebeck, here I come!

I leave for Buffalo tomorrow, and then road-tripping on Friday to Saugerties with my friend Ann where we'll meet Cara and Claire for Indie Untangled on Friday afternoon! I'm sure we'll spend most of the Saturday at NY Sheep & Wool... I'm excited to see/meet/hug lots of friends. And falafel! Looks like it ought to be "sweater weather," too. My Savage Heart cardigan is stretched out and drying, as we speak.

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Those are Ginny's boots, mine, and Junah's last Saturday morning when we walked over to the park after a successful sleepover! Junah's a pro, but it was Gin's first time! We had an unsuccessful try last summer when the boys were here from Spain (hello, overload), and this was our first try since.

I may or may not blog while I'm away... Instagram will probably be easier, so follow me there if you'd like. I am @vicki.knitorious. And hold down the fort while I'm gone, OK? See you next week, for sure.


Meanwhile...

My shoulder is feeling SO MUCH BETTER since I likely all but broke my big toe last night! There's a serious rainbow happening and it's pretty swollen... I'd show you, but those are weird photos and I haven't had a pedi since my DIY job back in May or June.

Is it weird that I started thinking about a colorway? Would you buy yarn in a color called My Technicolor Toe??

Here I was worried that I'd have trouble getting my luggage into an overhead bin, and now I've concerns about getting through the concourse and making connections -- not to mention navigating a huge sheep & wool festival in T-minus-10! I'm not really too concerned -- just being dramatic! I should be fine...

Seriously, I am not a klutz. A certain pair of name-brand thongs are on their way to the trash, though; that is the common denominator.


Baby steps

My big news/accomplishment over the weekend is that I was able to wash my hair without needing to support/rest my arm on the shower wall -- not even once -- for the first time since I fell on 9/1. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't without discomfort, but I did it! Another PT appointment is coming up later this week, and I continue to do my exercises... mostly... except for that one that really hurts like hell most of the time.

I was "home alone" for much of Saturday and putzed around the house. I settled on organizing some of my knitting books and sorting through printed patterns. I am short several lifetimes in terms of all the patterns and yarn at my fingertips (though I am safe to say there is much more of the former than the latter). There's already pre-ordered yarn and two tote bags coming home with me from Rhinebeck this year, but I think I'm going to (try to) concentrate mostly on all of the lovely people, and on falafel and maybe even on artichokes french. I haven't had any of those the last few times because the line is always incredibly long... but there's far less chance to get in trouble when I'm standing in line, isn't there?! And the line sticks right out into a big thoroughfare, so it's like a knitter net. Ha. Yeah.

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On Sunday, I watched a miserable Packer game at a sports bar with Kate. We've done that for every game this year except for the Bills game, when we took an opportunity to actually go to the game! Afterwards, we met Ali & Malina and headed down to Ikea in Oak Creek! She was really much happier than she looks... charming everyone! Late Sunday is definitely the time to go to Ikea. The drive wasn't too bad (would have been better without the rain) (I am so sick of the rain!), and the baby was a peach -- she sits in the cart like a champ! Like she's been doing it for weeks! Haha.


Right now: October!

It's been a while!

Looking back to Come What May... and June, July & August and the big plans I had... well, I think I did OK!

  • I spent as much time as possible -- a LOT OF TIME -- with my FAMILY! Some for only a few days, some for longer -- we made the best of every minute we had.
  • CSA deliveries began in June and continue for a few more weeks, and I couldn't love my farm/farmers more. It's been so great that Ali & I have signed up for the Fall & Winter shares, as well.
  • I traveled to NYC in June, and to Chicago a few times over the summer.
  • I finished Malina's quilt, and sewed at least one outfit for each of the grands.
  • Even if I didn't get to window coverings, as I'd hoped, I did finally do some macramé -- and taught/inspired others!
  • Another fabulous Auntie Camp is in the books -- with more tie-dye to show for it than ever!
  • I participated in only one bicycling event, I didn't get the indigo planted, we didn't have a rummage sale, I didn't dye any yarn or fabric, and I didn't work on those aging mosaic tables.
  • Never say "never."

So, currently, I am...

Anticipating... (some of these) MOVIES! Mostly A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody, but also Beautiful Boy, First Man, Boy Erased, Mary, Queen of Scots... and even Aquaman (that'll be a good one to see at Christmas time with the boys). Part of me wishes I liked scary/horror movies, because Jamie Lee Curtis.

Excited about... a quick run over to Algoma with Rusty & Kate this evening for the opening of a show curated by the latter at the James May Gallery.

Knitting... I am so close to finishing both Savage Heart (cardigan) and Summer Camp (scarf)! I feel as though I'm even slower at knitting than reading these days...

Looking forward to... a little jaunt over to Minneapolis early next month to see Gregory Alan Isakov in concert. He was my "most listened to" artist on Spotify last year, mainly because of his beautiful album Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony. A couple of new tracks had been released in recent weeks, which "made me look" and, sure enough, I found TOUR DATES, and a new album, Evening Machines, was just released today!! I'd never actually read his bio until today... and it is fascinating! (If you click on only one link in this linkapalooza post, make it that one!)

Needing... to get some bookkeeping done.

Planning... a March trip to the UK & Spain! We plan to spend a few days on the north coast of Cornwall, which has been long on Rusty's list, and then head to Valencia for the last day or two of Falles, followed by some (quieter) visiting with Ann & fam.

Reading/Pages... I am still reading The Best Cook in the World: Tales From my Momma's Table by Rick Bragg. The other night I read about how to make possum. Yep. Nope.

Reading/Audio... Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks, and really enjoying it!

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Wondering... What's up in your world?


3TT

Thing 1

Well, I tried... "Walk-in Wednesday" mammograms are still a thing, but there are limited slots (a change from last time I was able to take advantage) and it didn't work out yesterday, so, there's a scheduled mammogram appointment at the end of the month. I want to whine but instead I'll suck it up and Just Do It.

Thing 2

I might have to schedule another massage for that day, though! Probably not 90 minutes, but who knows... Yesterday was my second-ever 90-minute massage and the two couldn't have been more different! The first was very much in the realm of relaxation... sure, I had a few little issues, but mostly I was pretty blissed out. This time, it was much more therapeutic... very little of that blissful relaxed feeling, but pretty spectacular nonetheless.

Thing 3

I had a blast with the kids yesterday, even though we broke the rules... pointedly pointed out to us by a middle-schooler, of course. Rusty walked with the kids & me to pick up my car, then he drove it home while the kids and I decided to head to the local Skate Park. It's located right across the street from City Hall and both the Police & Fire Departments, and it's fun to keep an eye on things -- sometimes the fire doors are open and trucks move in and out, though we've never been there when they've actually gone out on a call! (One or more of us would probably start to cry from the shock.)

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The Skate Park is for in-line skates or skateboards only... NO BIKES. Prior to the sign being pointed out (which I've actually read before but, obviously, promptly forgot), there were two or three other kids on riding around on their bikes. This was sort of an impromptu visit, and next time I'll definitely make sure there's a helmet involved!

I hope you're having a good week! Visit Carole to read more "Three Things on Thursday" posts!


Blabbity-blab

Hey, y'all. There's a wild & crazy "day off" ahead, but I wanted you to know that I haven't been receiving notification of comments for a couple of days. There's a "help ticket" in to Typepad, so we'll see what's up. I'm not ignoring you...

I'm off for a mammogram followed by a 90-minute massage... that seems like the perfect follow-up!!

Then I'm dropping my car off for routine service, and walking home where...

We're having "panpakes" for lunch at Kate's apartment with Ali & the kids.

And then I'll be watching the kiddos for a few hours while Ali's at work.

Giddyup, here we go... Woohoo!


Hello!

What big eyes you have...

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Malina just turned 6 months old and (right on schedule) is beginning to sit! She's wearing one of my all-time favorite sweaters, The Garter Yoke Baby Cardi, which I originally knit for Junah! I'm always thrilled and a little amazed when I see handknits like this -- already worn by Junah & Ginny (and sometimes by Mack & Addie before them!) and still looking very fine (quality yarn FTW)! I'd knit the hat years ago as a photo prop, but don't think I'll be doing any photography other than personal stuff in the future, so off it goes. The yarn is Sisik by Dale (discontinued), the same yarn that I'm using for my Savage Heart Cardigan (aka, Rhinebeck Sweater).

Speaking of which, the two halves have been joined and are awaiting sewing up. While I pondered that situation, I sewed a few beads onto my Alabama Chanin Car Coat/Jacket the other day. I've also picked up Summer Camp, which I started in May; I just started the last repeat and ought to have a new scarf in time for NY!

That's about the extent of it. I am doing things, not over-doing things. I had my second PT appointment last night and things are going well. I am doing a few simple exercises, and he is doing dry needling, among other things. He's not as convinced as the PA that I saw that there isn't more significant damage... I am not very excited about the prospect of surgery... so we're trying this more "conservative" approach first and will just have to wait and see how effective it all is. Surgery, if actually needed, can wait; I have an appointment with my new doc for a physical early next month, at which time we can chat. So far, there has been improvement in varying degrees on all fronts -- pain, strength, range of motion -- though a new exercise/stretch is testing my mettle!


Savoring...

v. to give oneself to the enjoyment of

My knitting has been limited -- a row or two or four, at best, most evenings -- but it occurred to me the other day that I could possibly reframe my thinking.

Perhaps I am savoring my knitting right now... giving myself to the enjoyment of knitting!

Last night, I savored the deliciousness of 3-needle bind-off!! Blocking is going to make a huge difference there, and I'm so excited.

I also bound off the neck edge, but blocking was not going to help that situation, so I tinked it and will re-try this evening.

Oh my gosh, SO CLOSE!

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At this time last year, I was savoring this project:

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Some might have called it "obsessed." Haha. I've had my Alabama Chanin Car Coat project at hand for a while now, and I think I'm soon going to dive head-long into that with the Wisconsin Blingfish frame of mind.

And this:

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Last September, I took the first of two trips to St. Louis. There are no firm plans, but the idea for a third trip has suddenly reared, having just learned about Ruth Asawa: Life's Work at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. The exhibition runs until mid-February, so I'm thinking after the holidays... but I'm so excited already! I saw a few of her pieces at the de Young Museum in 2010 when I visited with Celia and it would be amazing to see her "life's work." Oh my.

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I have an appointment with a highly recommended physical therapist tomorrow morning. I'm excited about that, too.


Getting things done

Saturday was a day highly anticipated around here (at least for me) -- it was so important that I'd added it to my Google Calendar so I wouldn't miss it: Local Electronics Recycling Day!! I had three vacuum cleaners, a bag plump full of cords & connectors & chargers & remotes, plus an old drill that I have been eager to dispose of (and I'm sure I could have dug a little deeper and found even more)! I was a little late on my departure from home, but that actually turned out to be a good thing -- I drove right up to the drop-off point and was on my way in no time. Last time, I was in a line of waiting cars that stretched around the block.

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It was a gorgeous day and with a little more time on my hands than anticipated, I suggested to Kate that we call around and rent a small Uhaul to move the rest of her bigger furniture from the storage unit. We ended up having to drive to Green Bay, but we were given a brand new cargo van -- 57 miles on the odometer when we got it -- and we got the job done. It was so new that the "new car" smell was a bit overwhelming and we had to open the windows!

Rusty & I drove out to the Forst Inn in Tisch Mills for their 1st Anniversary Gala on Saturday evening. It was a lovely drive, and the celebration was fun.

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There's definite change afoot. Are you feeling it? We could see it just a bit as we took the drive -- there's a ways to go before we're full-on fall around here, but it's coming.

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Perhaps a bit ahead of ourselves, Junah and I worked on a seasonal banner last week -- it was supposed to have some fall leaves along with the turkeys, but we were shorted that element in the kit, so it has much more "Thanksgiving" than "Autumn" flavor. (Reminder to self: Avoid the felt/glue combo!) I love this turkey's jaunty hat band!

Similar to Kat, I somehow wound up with more stitches than required when it was time to start the lace pattern on Savage Heart (despite having just verified -- by counting -- that I was on track) and I took care of it in much the same manner as she, too. I'm currently just a couple rows shy of the exciting 3-needle bind-off that will join the two sides!! I'm really excited to have a new sweater for myself!

Finally, this caught my eye as I passed through the kitchen last night:

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It's a mug that Annie gave me quite a few years ago with photos of Mack & Addie that mostly I'd taken, and this "decorated mug" cracked me up.

I hope you had a great weekend!


Is this a knitting blog?

The knitting has been (literally) painfully slow, but it's happening.

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That's a totally photoshopped mirrored image of my Savage Heart Cardigan from a while back (it's that or more pics of or by the kids -- haha!), but it's pretty much the truth and just about where I stand... getting close! The first half is currently waiting to be bound to the second half, which has one 4-row repeat to go until the 8-row "fancy" chevron part, then a little ribbing to finish the neckline, and applied i-cord to finish the hem.

By default, I think this is going to be my Rhinebeck Sweater (ONE MONTH!). I had planned on knitting another, but it's not going to happen. I might still start it...

I went to the doc (PA) on Wednesday for a check on my shoulder and we think that all is good. Even though it sometimes hurts to move, I have good range of motion and at least a little strength in all areas, and there still seems to be a little bit of improvement every day. There have even been brief periods this week when I realize that I'm not feeling pain, at least for a for a few minutes and/or in a certain position, and it's such a relief.

Have a great weekend! Once again, I will be taking it as easy as I can...


New shutterbug amongst us

Junah was fascinated by my camera last week when I got it out to take to the park, and he wanted to take some photos, too. I put it on Auto and handed it over...

Through the Eyes of Junah

PEOPLE:

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PLACES:

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THINGS:

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He was very careful with the camera and it was adorable to watch & listen to him.
"Want me to take your picture??"


Sewing: Mickey's 90th

Mickey Mouse was everywhere this summer -- did you notice? Well, I don't get out much, but notably in my world at Target and Joann Fabrics. It's Mickey's 90th birthday... and I can only imagine what that means for 2028!! We've a soft spot for that guy around here, which hearkens back to my childhood and the nickname "Mouse," given to me by my dad; he didn't mean Mickey Mouse, just that I was as small as a mouse, but everyone else translated it that way and I used to get a lot of Mickey-related gifts.

Well, I fell for it. It started with a fat quarter bundle and an adorable Geranium Dress/Top for Malina, and continued with similar for Ginny. Junah wanted in on the action, too! Specifically, he wanted a dress... which I did cut out but haven't sewn up yet. I got sidetracked by a Hawaiian Shirt for him, instead!

I finished the shirt in July!

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I found the perfect vintage buttons and used red thread -- love how that turned out.

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The buttonholes should have been made a tad larger, but Junah was able to button it himself the other day... with some gentle reassurance that it was definitely tricky and all my fault and he was doing great!

Here are all three pieces:

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They've been hanging in my workroom for WEEKS. I finally finagled all the kids into their Mickey duds on Wednesday when we headed to the park.

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In SUPER coordinated fashion -- with each other and the stroller and the bicycle!! Haha!

I took some photos ~~~~

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Um, yeah. That's the way it goes sometimes! (And the kids -- poor girls, especially -- have been eaten alive by mosquitoes!)

We tried again at home with slightly better results:

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Though you see more of Malina's diaper (actually, emergency use of one of Ginny's pull-ups) than dress!

I had a blast sewing those pieces, and have quite a bit more fabric... so maybe some Christmas sewing is in my future.


Cute kid pics

Still hanging onto summer here, which is easy to do when the daily high temp is still climbing into the 80s. It's been sunny and quite lovely -- except for the mosquitos, which have arrived en force thanks to all the rain we had a couple of weeks ago (there are areas of the state that are still dealing with flooding from all that). Still, it's not a hurricane... and I'm thinking all the good thoughts for those impacted by Florence.

It's easy to feel the summer feels when there are still photos to process! I have many to share over the next few posts, including the debut of a brand new shutterbug.

But first, there was a little preview of a quick photo shoot with the kids before Ali & I took the kids to Bay Beach last month. Junah, Ginny, and Malina are wearing coordinating outfits that Annie brought for them from Spain -- so adorable!

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Oh, my heart. Gin wasn't happy until she was holding the baby, and if Junah gives Malina a kiss, then Gin will, too! And then, the palm-reader photo that means ENOUGH! Haha.

Mack & Addy had to jump in, too!

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Oh my heart, again! I just love all the love and smiles.

_ _ _ _ _

I'm moving a little better -- able to stretch and extend more -- every day. The massage was great the other day, and I've another one scheduled in a couple of weeks. My shoulder is still quite stiff & sore, though, and it's been tough to knit (among other things). I finished my Mitered Crosses and mailed them off to Kat on Wednesday, but I've not knit at all some days... I managed two rows on my Savage Heart Cardigan last night.

So, geez, I guess I'll be taking it easy again this weekend! I'm planning to run around the city-wide rummage sale with Ali for a while tomorrow, and Rusty will be returning from his week-long teaching gig in Door County. I'm also planning to roast some tomato sauce, and there's a Packer game on Sunday! Have a great weekend!


Weekending

I continued to take it as easy as possible over the weekend! My shoulder continues to improve, but man does it ever ache sometimes! I'm amazed at how exhausting it is to be in constant pain and constantly aware of an injury and limitation. It was very helpful to have two days away from my desk/computer. Even though I vary my position... it's really not much of a variance. I sit and (comfortably) hold the mouse this way or that way, keyboard this far away or that far away. Heh. It feels so good to stretch out on the bed with my arm extended on and supported by a pillow, but I can't do that all day long! It's also been quite helpful to have someone willing to massage the area everyday... until today! Rusty's in Door County teaching a class at The Clearing Folk School all week, so I've made an appointment for a pro deep-tissue massage tomorrow evening. That'll be a great segue into my mid-week day off. I'm also hoping for some solid advice from the massage therapist. "Taking it easy" doesn't mean that I have been idle; I've been moving and stretching everyday, pushing but not too hard! Yesterday afternoon, I was able to put my hair in a ponytail without first lifting my arm to support it against a door frame -- with few twinges -- that's progress, and progress that I'd like to continue, and maybe she can help.

I spent a little farmer market time with Malina on Saturday -- at the market, at the nearby antique mall, then at home.

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She's fitting into the Alabama Chanin onesie so nicely right now! It's getting so soft & cozy. She's smooshy & sweet, too!

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We went up to visit Kate when Ali came over. I love how fabulously Kate & Malina coordinate with the porch sofa and with each other -- a study in reverse stockinette!

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This little dumpling is starting to longingly gaze at food... all but reaching out & grabbing some. Getting close though, and with the teeth, too; she gnawed on my thumb for a good 15 minutes yesterday.

We had so many compliments on her little sweater when we were out. I'm excited to finish mine, though the knitting isn't exactly flying off the needles right now. I've been keeping at it as best I can without overdoing it (hopefully). I stopped just shy of binding off my second mitered square last night*, but finished it off this morning, and hope that I can get all the ends woven in and get them soaking yet this evening -- they'll be off to Philly on Tuesday or Wednesday at lastest (one or two days past my personal deadline). I try to vary my position while knitting, too, and take much more frequent breaks that I'm used to. Bleh. 

I spent Sunday afternoon out at Ali's at a little party she had for her employees & families -- but no photos! There were so many kids, including two newborns, and it was just fun to hang out. Ali had some activities, including stringing "O" cereals to make a necklace; the string she had was quite limp, though, and quickly frustrating to try and get it through a tiny sugar-crusted hole. I lamented that I didn't have my tote/knitting with me, but then recalled that I'd long ago stashed a few "emergency knitting notions" in my wallet -- and voila! I came up with the perfect needle to save the day. Ha ha!

*While watching the incredible resurrection of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' second-half comeback to WIN THE GAME 24-23 (down 20-0 at halftime) after Aaron had been injured and carted off the field in the first half!


3TT: Favorites

Well, I fell on Saturday afternoon, while carrying Malina across a grassy area in a park, which turned out to be very uneven terrain. It looked fine -- grass was growing, it had obviously been growing for a while & had been mowed -- but there had apparently been work done there much earlier in the season and the ground had never been properly leveled. My foot went into a small hole/divot and I went down -- HARD -- on my right shoulder. Malina, on my left, was startled but unharmed (thankfully)! Luckily, Ali was there with the Coffee Camper and she fixed me up with a bag of ice right away. Man oh man, it hurt and I thought for a little bit that I might have dislocated my shoulder. I could move it -- painfully -- and that pretty much told me that it was not dislocated.

I nursed it with ice packs and ibuprofen on Sunday, and on Monday morning woke up to find an enormous bruise that covered my entire bicep area. It wasn't really any worse, but painfully slow at feeling any better, so I stopped at Urgent Care on Tuesday on my way home from work. They took three x-rays and determined that nothing was broken or severely damaged. It is finally feeling a little bit better today -- some positions are better than others.

I've been taking it easy when I can... really easy, like, I haven't even been thinking very hard! I'm so glad Monday was a holiday, and that yesterday was my day off. I think those days off have really helped.

So, anyway, here are three of my favorites from various times over the weekend:

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That last photo is very meta... it looks to me like grown-up Ali is holding little baby Ali!! (I was sitting just outside with ice on my shoulder.)

Oh, yeah, and our weather finally broke! It's been hot and humid and SO RAINY... lots of flooding in the area. Not us, we are high & dry, but two coworkers were off the other day dealing with basement flooding. Today, it's sunny and low 70s, blue sky with pretty white clouds, and the forecast is for the same for as far as I can see.

I hope you're having a good week! I am very thankful that tomorrow is already Friday. Visit Carole's for more "Three Things on Thursday" posts!


Catching up: Civil War

And I thought August would be a fairly quiet month! Ann's back in Spain, Maddy's come & gone, Rusty's returned, I've been to Chicago for my "monthly" trip, I had a few days off early this week... and, boy, I really needed them!

Meanwhile, backing up a bit because I don't want to let this pass, two weeks ago, on Auntie Camp weekend, there was also a Civil War Reenactment at The Grignon Mansion that was on our list of possibilities. (The big kids & I went to see the Menominee Nation's Native American Dance Performance there in late June.) They used to have annual Civil War events there, but that hasn't happened in quite a while... the last time was quite some years ago (my girls were in grade school) and it was quite large -- there was cavalry! There was also a hospital where a soldier was apparently undergoing amputation without anesthesia and, let me tell ya, the guy could have won an Oscar for that performance! The girls were very nearly traumatized and we weren't even very close -- several yards from the tent -- yet it's the #1 thing that vividly springs to mind when anyone thinks "reenactment" around here.

So, anyway, we didn't make it while Mack & Addie were here and I wasn't quite sure what to expect (not really jonesing to traumatize my grandkids), so Kate & I checked it out on our own on Sunday. Historically, every event I've attended on the Mansion grounds has had free admission, with optional paid admission to take a tour of the house; this time (smartening up a bit?) admission was charged for the event, which included the house tour. It's quite a lovely house.

Camp was quite small and there was only a small skirmish each day (no cavalry)...

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If you can block out the soccer nets, scoreboard, trash can, and pavilion... it could almost seem real! Haha. As I watched events unfold, I thought to myself that it would surely have moved along much quicker in real time... in the 1860s, the soldiers would, most likely, have been 30-40 years younger than any of these guys... a bit more fit, spry & agile, less concerned about bad knees and backs!  :)

We took the tour and were told that normally scripts were memorized but, because it was a special event, this time they'd be read. These two, alone, were worth the price of admission!

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They took turns reading, lass on the left going first... but constantly being corrected (incorrectly a few times, btw) by lass on the right... bickering & shushing and, dang, those pigtails! They were the cutest, most realistic reenactors of all! (Do you see what I see?)

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I spotted this guy on the dresser right away and was hoping there'd have been more information. I haven't done any research but, holy cow, isn't he amazing??

The view from the kitchen window was a bit more transporting...

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...minus the guy wearing white tennies on the right!

I'm glad we went! I was told that attendance wasn't that great, but they intend to continue and grow the event every year... I hope so.

And now, I'm looking forward to the holiday weekend, as I'm sure you are, too! I promise to catch up soon.


Auntie Camp 2018 - Bay Beach & Other Amusements

Ali & I took the kids up to Bay Beach (not really a "beach") on Saturday and I learned that not only is there one overflow parking lot, there are TWO... it was SO BUSY! Perhaps it was because Bay Beach was recently ranked the 17th best amusement park in all of America by TripAdvisor! That is no small feat for such a tiny little park.

But first...

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We started the day with beignets for breakfast! Ann & Brian spent a few days in NOLA while Mack & Addie were at YMCA camp, and brought us a box of Beignet Mix from Café Du Monde. Obviously, they met with approval!

After beignets, we had a change of clothes and a quick little photo shoot with the kids.

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I still need to process the photos I took from this session -- the kids were cooperative and adorable -- but here's a screen shot that I nabbed from Kate's IG. That's me on the left, Ann on the right, and obviously Kate training a third lens on the situation. We'd been trying to do this since Ann arrived last month with those adorable coordinating outfits for Junah, Ginny, and Malina! (I still need to get the Mickey Mouse trio on "film," too!)

The running commentary on almost every photo that I posted of the kids during this visit was about Mack & Malina... was he ever gonna let her go?? My heart wants to burst every time I think of it... how sweet he is with her, and how they all get along so wonderfully.

At the park:

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The train is always #1! This is actually a "new," second train -- a bit smaller in scale and on the north end of the park. It goes right under the Zippin' Pippin! Before we left the park, Mack & Addie took a ride on that rollercoaster -- after a bit of a delay when someone's seat belt was unbuckled as the ride began.

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Junah and I took a ride on the carousel, and he was thrilled to get the red chicken! He's pretty fascinated by the mechanics of things -- looking up at the gears on the carousel, and very intrigued by the wheels & track beneath the Tilt-A-Whirl (above).

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We had pizza for lunch and ice cream treats for dessert... nicely sharing an extra malt cup that I bought by accident.

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In addition to the ticketed rides, there is a nice playground/picnic/pavilion area, as well, and there were a ton of people there for reunions, company functions, or just hangin' for the day.

We had a nice belated birthday celebration for Addie's 11th when we got home.

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And they took off for Madison on Sunday morning... to Chicago on Tuesday and finally back to Valencia on Wednesday! It's about four months until Christmas, when we'll see them all again!

Thanks for sharing in our adventures!! Here's a little Eye Candy Friday bonus if you've reached this far:

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I knew it would happen. 😍 


3TT: Little Things

Though I didn't cross everything off my list yesterday, I got the major stuff done -- including back-to-back massage & chiropractor appointments. I had a new-to-me massage therapist and she worked exclusively on the areas giving me the most trouble and, oh wow... yeah...

How about Three Little Things on this Thursday (returning to wrap up Auntie Camp tomorrow)...

1 -- I was ridiculously happy to see this yesterday:

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I noticed them in the parking lot as soon as I pulled in: upgraded shopping carts at my favorite grocery store! Finally!! They're so smooth -- and quiet.

2 -- May all your weeds be wildflowers.

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That's how we're rollin' here this year.

3 -- Park it!

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My side of the garage has been in use all summer for lots of things -- that didn't include parking a car. But I have reclaimed it! 😊🚗 The "blue area" is where we hosed off the tie dye on Saturday! It'll fade in time...


Auntie Camp 2018 - The Rain, The Park*, and Other Things

*or Pool!

The plan was to go to the swimming pool (for the first time all season!) on Friday night. We were a little bummed when it started to rain in the afternoon just as we finished wrapping up all the tie-dyed items for curing.

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Well, okay, not everyone was bummed! Addie & Junah had a blast in the rain!!

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"A raindrop got in my eye!"

It was a couple of hours before we intended to go, so we just hoped that it would blow over by then.

In the meantime, MACRAMÉ got underway!!

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The boys didn't make a ton of progress in this endeavour -- distractions!!!

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But I'll hold onto it all and maybe we can continue at Christmas time. Kate joined us for that activity and finished a plant hanger... and since then she's finished another, and another, and is currently dreaming up all sorts of ideas for future projects (not limited to plant hangers)!

Lo & behold, the rain did blow over and we met Ali & the girls down at the pool (while Ann & Brian made supper)!

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Mack & Addie went down the big slide a few times, and convinced Junah to try it, too! It's the first year that he can do it alone. He said that it made his tummy feel funny, so once was enough!

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We took an opportunity to wrangle the kids together at the side of the pool and I handed Ali my camera for some of my favorite photos of the weekend!


Auntie Camp 2018 - Tie Dye!

This is the first year in four that we didn't break out the indigo but don't worry, there was plenty of dye sloshing around!

The first step was to set up the garage. Thank goodness the weather improved a bit with slightly cooler temperatures and a lot less humidity. I cut open some large trash bags, taped them to the work surfaces, and made sure we had plenty of paper towels!

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Next, we had to prep all the items that we wanted to die. We used rubber bands, string, marbles, and even a bamboo tiki torch to wrap a shirt around (because I couldn't find anything else pipe-like in a pinch) to twist, fold, and bunch up the fabric as desired/hoped.

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Junah joined us this year...

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When I put aprons on the boys, one of them remarked that they looked like doctors. When I gloved them up, Addie said, "Yeah, we're doctors of art!"

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Jün wasn't really all that into the process, but he was more than content to be hanging around... riding his bike, and coming in to check on Mack & Addie from time to time. I rather left the big boys to their own devices because a) they've done this before, b) we dyed a lot more than last year, and c) I was mostly busy just wrapping things up to cure!

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There were six adult shirts, seven for Gin/Jun, three onesies in a couple of sizes, and six for Mack & Addie!

Once wrapped, it was all left to cure for approx. 24 hours.

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It's a blast to unwrap everything. I hosed off as much excess dye as I could, first just as it's unwrapped and then when unbound... and, man, there is a LOT of excess dye! Then everything is tossed into the washer...

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...I ran four cycles in hot water and with Color Catchers (lots and lots of color catchers... thankfully, Kate was running errands and brought more)! I laid it all out on my bed yesterday morning so the boys could paw through and admire their work.

Here are a couple of faves (I think I did these):

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A onesie, a swirl shirt Gin/Jün size, front & back of another Gin/Jün size.
It's almost impossible to keep track of who did what...

Then we had some modeling and photos yesterday morning before Ann & family headed to Madison for the boys' Nana's 96th birthday party!

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They're packing up and getting things done today, heading to Chicago on Tuesday to board their flight to Spain, where they'll arrive on Wednesday! We won't see them state-side again until Christmas... and I miss them already. It was a fun visit!

Ali came over later with the kiddos and they modeled, too!

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Maybe you can see Ginny where already made her own mark on the one she's wearing... after finding a spray bottle of bleach/water that I had under the sink! (Uh-oh, Grandma's obviously slacking in the childproof department.)

We did a lot more than this at Auntie Camp... another post or two or three is in the works!


3TT: One stitch at a time...

...sometimes forward, sometimes backward!

This photo was snapped last night when I was half-way through tinking a row!

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It's my Savage Heart Cardigan (1) and as of last night, the first half is finished! Next, I need to find a spare needle while I get to work on the second half!

Summer Camp II (2) has also seen the light of recent days (though not a camera) and I'm just about ready to begin the bind off!

And swatching... I went up a needle size and made another swatch for my Rhinebeck Sweater (3).

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That did the trick! Meanwhile, I think I've changed my mind about the pattern I want to knit -- same gauge, though, so whew!

 That's a little knitting update, 3TT style... visit Carole for more "Three Things on Thursday" posts!


Un- (and re-) raveled: TTL Mystery Shawl 2018

Joining Kat & the Unravelers...

KNITTING

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It's an FO and, oh, I couldn't be happier!

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There are sections of this shawl that are "true lace" -- at least what I've come to know as that, meaning that there is stitch manipulation on both wrong- & right-side rows, not just purling across the wrong side -- and my first time ever knitting "true lace"!

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It was truly a joy to knit along on this project and I think a big reason for that was the slower pace, with clues released over a period of six weeks.

I knit as usual... risky! I never used a lifeline, and didn't add stitch markers until the end -- and thank goodness because they really helped when those few stitches got away from me last week.

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There was an optional extended version for people with an extra bit of yarn, and that is what I did.

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The bind-off was a pretty little picot-like flower, and I used a stretchy (k2tbl) bind-off for the stitches between the flowers, so it blocked out quite large. I was fairly vigorous with the blocking, but I didn't take it as far as I could have. I love the shape! This would be beautiful in one color, and would make a lovely wedding shawl.

READING

Same as last time (from the slowest reader in the west): The Best Cook in the World: Tales From my Momma's Table by Rick Bragg, and getting close to the end of Calypso (audio) by David Sedaris.