NaBloPoMo 2020.28 | Parcheesi Day

It's practically a tradition that I celebrate the anniversary of the day I bound off the last stitch on my Parcheesi Blanket!


Here is my original FO post. It's a trip down memory lane to read some of the names in the comments... also a bit melancholy.


It's been 10 YEARS!!


Can you believe it? Parcheesi was my first epic project... it's still in regular use and will always be a favorite.


NaBloPoMo 2020.4 - Safe At Home

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share my latest FO! (Though possibly not linked up because... writing in advance & timing.)


Before giving the blanket to Davy, I wanted to take a few more photos... similar to the ones I took at a local sculpture park when I finished Parcheesi! This park is just a few doors down from Kaukauna Coffee & Tea, but timing/daylight has not been on my side. After work on Mondays, I pick up & deliver an order to the coffee shop, and this week I made sure to grab my camera & the blanket on my way out the door.

I was so excited to take these photos, I didn't even notice that the blanket was upside-down at first!


  • Ravelry Project Page: Safe At Home - Baby
  • Pattern: Safe at Home blanket by Margaret Holzmann
  • Yarn: Various Fingering/Sock yarns - held double throughout
  • Needles:  US 7
  • Start to Finish:  May 27 - October 25, 2020


Modifications! First was in the choice of yarn, I guess, using fingering/sock held double instead of worsted. I did not want to buy more* yarn and that's what I have most of... so I made it work. A color card helped me sort it all out and keep track -- most colors had multiples to choose from and/or to blend, and I made lots of combos while I knit, making subtle differences & variations in some of the colors.

*BUT OF COURSE I BOUGHT MORE YARN!! I had a lovely mini-skein of pink -- actually, it was orchid from Backyard Fiberworks -- and it quickly became my go-to for pink, so I ran out. Because of timing, I had to find something to match locally as best I could, and actually ended up buying TWO in order to get it close. That orchid, though... it was one of four or five mini-skeins that I'd picked up at Indie Untangled 2018, I think... and I might need to treat myself to a full hank!

And while I love the rows-upon-rows-upon-rows of houses in the original design, I just could not see myself knitting them all. Each house is basically a square, and that led me to think of a patchwork quilt... Parcheesi was also on my mind, of course, and outside of a few actual squares, the main feature of that design is stripes... and I really love stripes (plus, they're quick to knit), so...


...I started to play around. Margaret provided a "coloring page" to aid in planning, and that's where I started. I knew the whole thing would be bordered in houses, so that left the interior -- 7 x 7 squares. I made alternating blocks of horizontal & vertical stripes, and then added some houses -- I settled on two extra houses per row, which I placed using a random number generator!

For the striped blocks, I used the same combo of colors that would have been used if they'd been houses, but each had one more stripe than colors specified, so I made some sort of "rule" where I used the "house color" from the block two before... something like that. Heh.


And just as with Parcheesi, I knew I wanted a border. It would help to hide a few of the cut ends around the edges, for one thing, and I love how it makes a frame around the whole thing. I used a blue-ish black. First I knit along four houses at each corner with a mitered garter stitch border, then picked up and knit along the remaining five houses on each side, finishing with several short seams to bring it all together.

At one time, I'd toyed with doing some crazy border stuff -- a different color for each house -- but I really like how the single color works. As my sister Sharon would say, "The eye needs a place to rest."


Speaking of Sharon, I thought of her a lot while I knit this blanket. Rarely have I remained so focused on a single project, start-to-finish, but Parcheesi was one. I wasn't even quite this focused when I knit Parcheesi -- it took two months longer, and I remember a long break while I mustered the strength to begin sewing up! Anyway, that was 10 years ago, and Sharon was dying. I didn't even realize, at the time, how important that project was in helping me get through all that. I had similar focus on a shawl when my mom died. And now, this blanket... so aptly named for THESE TIMES, and definitely helping me to get through...


And that's a wrap!

_ _ _ _ _

We're on our way to the North Shore of Lake Superior for a few days. Rusty & I are staying at a lovely lakeside cottage, and Kate will be camping in Ducky about 20 miles north. There might be a little leftover snow on the ground when we arrive, but the weather is going to be gorgeous... for November in Minnesota! We'd actually sort of hoped for some weather -- big waves and all that -- but we'll survive. There's a heater for Ducky, so Kate should be fine... and a fold-out in our cottage if things take a sudden turn.

See you tomorrow!


NaBloPoMo 2020.1

In which we embark on the TWELFTH year of NaBloPoMo-ing! That's so crazy.

We had some Halloween doings around here yesterday... and even this morning, I was finding wrappers and half-eaten candy! Malina likes to unwrap and test. :)


Little stinker. She also got her first hair cut yesterday! Bangs & a bob. She looks older now!

I bought matching Halloween PJs for the kids and we tried to take some photos.


Some turned out better than others!

I also nabbed the baby for a couple of blanket shots.


Starry starry night!

Safe At Home will eventually go home with him, but there's not a grandchild of mine that doesn't get photographed with Parcheesi! I can't believe it's almost 10 years since I finished that blanket!


7-Year Itch / 28

Happy 7th Birthday Parcheesi!


My annual thanks to Feral Knitter Janine Bajus for sharing this great pattern! It is available as a free Ravelry download, with a request/in exchange for a donation of any size to Heifer International.






This blanket remains my favorite knitting project! It is used and cherished as much today as ever.

The itchy part? Well, I have recently been reading about the Fringe & Friends Logalong...

Weekending: Knitting

I did some cooking over the weekend, and some knitting, and a whole lotta putzing and/or nothing.

It felt SO GOOD.


Saturday. I made Meatloaf. Two of them, actually, because it's so good and we want LEFTOVERS!

This is the Rainbow Warrior Cowl... at least that's the pattern I'm using. I'm confused about the floats, so have contacted the designer for clarification. The way I'm reading the pattern, there should be a slipped-stitch float on the front of the work, but it doesn't look like there's a float in any of the pattern photos. I didn't like how it looked with this particular colorway -- to me, it would work better with a super busy colorway -- so am doing all floats on the back.

UPDATE:  The designer got back to me right away... turns out I was using an outdated pattern. There'd been an update to correct the error. NO FLOATS ON THE FRONT! Whew. I was kind of driving myself crazy with that. Carry on...


Sunday. I made Ina Garten's Roasted Potato Leek Soup. Yum.

Happy Birthday Parcheesi!


Six years old and still awesome.

Parcheesi is Five


Five years ago today, I bound off the last stitch to finish one of my most epic knitting project: PARCHEESI.


And it is definitely one of my favorites. There's a lot of love, laughter, and tears knit into those stitches, as my sister was moving through her last months while I was knitting.

It makes me happy to see it at the end of my bed, to pull it over me when I'm taking a nap, to fold it and wear it shawl-like around my shoulders (which I do almost every night in the coldest of winter), to wrap my grandbaby in it.

It is love.


It was one of my most fun and interesting knits, too; making up my personal "rules" for color & design, putting it all together (once I got started), and sharing/comparing it with friends (including the designer!).


Thanks again and always, Janine, for such a wonderful idea and inspiration.

Time capsule

Do you upload photos to Flickr? Have you subscribed in some manner to Photojojo? And have you also signed up to receive a twice-monthly Photojojo Time Capsule?

The Time Capsule arrives via email twice a month and shows a few of the photos I'd uploaded to Flickr the previous year. It's usually interesting, sometimes boring, occasionally a thrill!

Today, I see this:

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At this time last year, it was Month 8 of this 9-month project -- Parcheesi -- my final and also most-amazing project of 2010 (at least). There's so much knitted into that blanket.

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I've been meaning to write about it, too. It's chilly at night now, especially in our bedroom, and I've been pulling Parcheesi over me as an extra layer. It never fails to make me smile. Honestly, it makes me SO HAPPY to pull it over me, or wrap it around me -- truly thrilling. I feel a happy little zing inside every time!

Check 'em out on Ravelry, too.

I want one to cover my whole bed!



Parcheesi, designed by Feral Knitter Janine.  The pattern is available free with a request for an on-your-honor goodwill donation in any amount to Heifer International.

I started this blanket in April on a bit of a whim, made up my own rules and modifications as I went along, and finished a few days ago.  While I've had the distraction of knitting/finishing/starting a few projects in the meantime, I can honestly say that there was never a dull moment with this blanket.  In fact, I rather miss working on it.  I had some self-imposed limitations on which yarns I could use, but there was enough room for variation and surprise and I could not wait to pick the next color!  I'll admit there was some dread at the prospect of weaving in ends and also when it came time for seaming, but once I started each of those tasks, there was no turning back.

This one is all sock yarn, with some inconsistencies in weight.  I used some scraps and partial skeins, had some full hanks in my stash, and bought some new; it's generally made of wool, but there's also cotton, nylon, silk, and cashmere in the mix.  I knit one solitary stripe in some beautiful Madelinetosh Pashmina that Ann sent in return for a Village Knitter favor -- because it arrived that day -- and a couple of the colors are vintage Bernat yarn that I picked up a few years ago at an estate sale.  I just used whatever looked good, and included some surprise bits -- hot pink, bright yellow, baby blue!  Somehow, it all works.

One of my big departures from the original was the addition of a border.  Because the pattern was based on an old board game, I wanted a yarn that said "old board game border" -- you know, worn and faded, black cloth tape.  And I found it!  Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet (color #18).

It is, absolutely, positively, hands-down, one of my favorite projects.  Ever.  Ever ever ever!  It makes people happy.  It makes ME happy!

Thank you.


I was out in the late day yesterday while a pot of chili simmered on the stove.  I made a big pot of Chili All Day so I could send some home with the college kids.

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It was a nice day for late November, and then the sky lit up!  My little town.

At 9:37 p.m., I drew the last stitch on ParcheesiJanine offers the pattern for the price of a donation in any amount to Heifer International -- best knitting bargain on the internet!  I got up to make note of the occasion, then spread Parcheesi out over me and began what promises to be a holiday season-long Bones marathon -- interspersed with certain holiday TV specials.  Before watching the pilot last night, I'd seen... well, I'm not sure I've ever seen a full episode of Bones before.  I've heard lots of good things, though, and Katie keeps talking about how good it is.

It was way too late for FO photos, and I have some stylin' ideas requiring daylight.  I'm aiming for a shoot on Wednesday.  I can hardly believe it's finished!


Ten on Tuesday: Movies

Ten on Tuesday10 Movies You'd Like To See In The Theater

...on the Big Screen, baby!

1.  Doctor Zhivago.  This was the first "grown up" movie that I really remember seeing -- I feel like I was maybe 11, but if we saw it in the year it was released (1965), I was actually a bit younger.  I went with my mother.  She was fresh from a course on Russian history and full of knowledge -- which she whispered into my ear throughout the movie.  "Lara's Theme" definitely found a place in my piano repertoire.  I loved -- love -- everything about this move; certain scenes etched for eternity on my brain.  Rod Steiger as Komarovsky made a very big impression on me... very big... and definitive.

2.  The Sound of Music.  A sing-along would be fun!  Or spontaneous dancing in Antwerp!

3.  Show Boat.  I saw this movie -- dark and grainy -- on late-night TV when I was a teen and was riveted and mesmerized by the actors, the story, the music.  Show Boat solidified my love of musicals!

4.  Oklahoma!  Oh, what a beautiful mornin'... Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain.  I adore this movie!

5.  Das Boot.  This is the first foreign, subtitled movie I saw -- with my sister in an old Milwaukee theater -- and I loved it!  I asked for it a few years ago at my local video store and, when the computers suddenly went haywire, I couldn't help but wonder if he'd typed in "DOS boot."

6.  To Kill A Mockingbird.

7.  A Busby Berkeley song and dance extravaganza.

8.  The Jungle Book.  This is the first movie I remember seeing with my siblings -- my mother took us and it was at a theater some distance away.  We arrived late, after the movie had already begun.  Somehow she talked the usher into letting us stay -- or we just stayed put -- for the next showing to see what we'd missed, and we ended up staying for the whole thing!

9.  Gone With The Wind.  I was still in high school when GWTW was being shown in theaters again and I talked my then-boyfriend into taking me (WHAT was I thinking).  We arrived late (though, as it turns out, we literally missed about a minute).  He positively did NOT want to be there and was NOT going to open his mind, so we left early... way, way, WAY early!  I never did see it on the big screen.

10.  The Wizard of Oz.  The showing of The Wizard of Oz on TV every year when I was a kid was an EVENT -- even on our tiny black and white TV!  I never knew that the whole Oz part was in color 'til many years later -- and, actually, I think it was a little scarier in b&w.  There are many wonderful actors in this movie, of course, but Ray Bolger was always my favorite -- and I still cry at their good-bye, every time (*sniff*).

P.S.  I finished seaming Parcheesi last night!  SQUEE!!!  Now all I have to do is cast on 93 million stitches and knit the border.

Stripes on the brain?



Ya think?

Yesterday's Parcheesi photos were taken just inside the front door due to crappy cloudy November day light.  I had to move the new floral-patterned rug out of the way.  I walked through the kitchen a little later and saw the new back door rug in a whole new -- yet, very familiar -- way.

Haha!  Told ya!  All stripes, all the time.  I'm even wearing my new striped turtleneck today!  Is it just me?


On the flip

Well, it's all Parcheesi all the time around here these days.  Stripey squaresville and stripey strips.

I thought I'd flip it over and show the back side.  This is 2/3 of the blanket, almost all joined up.

I'd taken care of weaving in the ends on all the strips before sewing up, but hadn't bothered with doing all of the squares.  Now, as I'm joining the pieces, I'm taking care of all the remaining ends.

The "ends" seen here are actually stitches at the ends of stripey strips that are on holders.  I'd get so excited about finishing a strip that I'd break off the yarn before casting off, as if I were going to join another color, never leaving myself an end long enough to do the job.  I can't tell you how many times I did that -- break off the yarn and, simultaneously, hear the voice in my head, "DOH!"  So, I've been picking up stitches on the square to which the strip will be joined and doing a three-needle bind off thingy.  It's working out fine.

This sewing up, along with the suddenly and decidedly winter-like weather (observe) (that's only 280 miles to the north and west of me), is giving me a pain in the neck.  I feel the cold in my neck more than any other place and, if I'm not careful, it's going to turn into a full-blown back problem.  I wore my first turtleneck of the season yesterday, layered with (among other things) a small triangular shawl and topped off with my crazy-soft-warm-fuzzy shadow[]box.  If there's anything good about the onset of cold weather, it's that I have a reason to pull shadow[]box off the shelf.


There's a tab labeled Prompts over at the NaBloPoMo website, in case one needs a little inspiration -- or focus, as the case may be.

Today's prompt is:  What do you *really* wish you were doing right now, and how soon do you think you can make it happen?

I'm not sure that's helpful to me.

Though one thing I *really* wish I was doing right now is sewing up my Parcheesi Blanket!  I'll be making that happen as soon as I'm finished here and eat a quick lunch!  And then I'll make it happen again some more this evening.

I've been sewing the strips to the six large squares -- did one more while watching/FF'ing the CMAs last night -- making six large pieces which will then need to be joined together.  I have one more square/strip combo to sew into a "large piece."  Then, after sewing the six large pieces into one (a blanket!), I'll be knitting a border around the whole thing and then... THEN... then it'll be FINISHED!

(If this blog was equipped with blog-o-vision, you would see that I am SMILING right now!)

I tidied up my knitting space the other day -- the immediate area around the chair where I usually sit and knit.  It looks pretty good and it feels great, but it has left me yearning for more... organization, separation, clarity in my work spaces.  Everything's jumbled and it's all making me feel jumbled.

You know, now that I actually have a few minutes here and there to contemplate how I feel.  Originally, I was just going to switch my day off this week so that I could go to my uncle's funeral and then be all business as usual through Friday -- holding off all the regular day-off stuff to pile up behind the regular weekend stuff, which is bumping up against all the other previously put-off stuff.  But my boss asked if I still wanted Wednesday off, too, and I thought, "Yeah, you know, I'm beginning to see a glimmer at the end of the tunnel and I don't want to lose it!  I should take the extra day!"  So I did.  And I really am starting to see time free time that might actually be, you know, FREE!

I also found three sweaters in various states of "almost finished," and I *really* need to FINISH THEM!


(This photo has nothing to do with anything.)  (It's not my favorite photo of Kate, and the light was sort of weird -- hello trees with no leaves in the late-day sun! -- but there's something very compelling about it... and her expression, or lack thereof... and I think I like it.)

Parcheesi progress

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It looks as though this would be tedious to knit.  It wasn't.

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It look as though this would be tedious to seam.  It isn't.

All I needed to do was start.  And I have.  And now I can't stop.  I'm doin' it in the evening, doin' it on my break at work, doin' it in the car when I have the opportunity to be a passenger.

The cheesy post!

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Parcheesi -- Janine's inspiring original (finished, foreground) and my interpretation (the unfinished, sort of pinned together, jumbled mess in the background).

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The highlight of my California trip last month was... well, there were no lowlights.  We did something new (to me), fun, and interesting each and every day.  I even met The Parents -- so charming!

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One of the many highlights came on Sunday evening.  Sunday was sort of a lay-low day during which we talked about and shared the photos we'd taken the previous days.  We stepped out on Sunday afternoon to go shopping (hello, fresh pasta/ravioli department!) for a wonderful dinner we made to share and enjoy with Janine, Rachael and Lala, Pamela, and The Girlie.  Check out Celia's photos!

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After we licked clean cleared away the dessert plates -- Lemon Cakes with Basil Lemon Syrup made by The Girlie, using lemons plucked from the trees in the yard and basil from the garden, and so amazingly delicious -- we brought out, chatted up, and photographed some knitting.

I finally started the sewing-up of my Parcheesi blanket last night -- and now that's all I want to do!  I'm hoping to have it finished by Thanksgiving.

* * * * *

I had a great birthday weekend!  There was the singing and the cake and plenty of help blowing out the candles.  Maddy's mandatory meeting was over by noon on Saturday, so she and her girlfriend Andi ended up coming home after all -- and it's always fun to have them around!  I did a little shopping and running around with Ali & Kate yesterday, and then I made dinner -- Chef Michael Symon's Wisconsin Parmesan (& Ricotta) Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Sage -- to enjoy with all the girls before they scattered again!

And then, in true Cheesehead fashion, I watched the Packers trounce the Cowboys!


Calling it

We're barely into September and I'm already booked straight through to the end (seriously, a 9/30 appointment was booked just this morning).  I'm looking forward to it all -- there's a lot of Really Fun Stuff that I want to do!

For instance, I'm participating in the Wiener & Kraut Day "Amazing Race" with my sister this weekend.  My only regret is that my event occurs at the same time as the doxies' "Weenies On Parade."

The next day, I'll be attending the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival -- for the very first time -- with that same sister + another + nephews!  Can you believe that I have never been to WSW?  It honestly looks on-par with Rhinebeck, though I doubt I'll find Artichokes French... or comparable chicken pot pies (oh, the food!)... and there will be different faces (I do miss my NYSW faces).

I'll be driving to Maddy's school (3-hour RT) twice this month (so far), as well as heading south at least one more time; sprinkle in a couple of photo shoots and the processing of those + some already in the can, and...

I'm taking October off.  I may do a charity bike ride early in the month, and a possible long-weekend super-fun mind-blowing amazing trip later in the month, but otherwise I'm not doin' Nothin'.

(I recently rediscovered my "Raising Sand" CD and, boy, I sure love that song.  And a bunch more.)

I guess I like being busy, and I've always worked best under pressure, but I don't like being overwhelmed, and the waves are lapping at my toes.  I'm scattered, forgetful, and easily distracted.

51TRdKukRuL__SL160_ Can you believe -- as excited as I was -- that I never actually consummated my pre-order of Aran Knitting?  I noticed some chatter about it on Ravelry yesterday -- comparisons of estimated delivery dates and whatnot -- and went to check my order for my estimated delivery date... WHAT ORDER?  Ha!  There it was, sitting in my cart!  Yeah.  I panicked for a split-second about a sell-out and just-my-luck and the exorbitant, inflated price I'd have to pay, and then took care of that; it'll be in-hand at this time next week!  Sheesh.

In other, very exciting news, I wove in the last end of Parcheesi (Phase I) yesterday!!  Tempted as I was to throw it all in the wash (my front-ender's "hand wash" cycle is SO AMAZINGLY GENTLE that even St. Brigid's been thrown into the drink), I had book club and knew I wouldn't have time to pin it all out.  Ooooh, it was hard, and I was so tempted to stay home rather than be social.  Heh.  I had a good time -- it would have been great had my food been better (I am getting picky and particular).  Anyway, I'll be doing the wash TONIGHT!  I haven't been this excited to do laundry in a while.


More yarn & stuff

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It speaks for itself, no?  The Malabrigo Sock (top) was a spontaneous purchase based on color (Eggplant) alone.  I absolutely love it.

The other is Happy Feet from Spin -- the stuff that'll become the border of Parcheesi.  Alas, I won't be playing with it much today -- well, maybe later.

It's Saturday (and fairly decent outside)!  There's much to do!!

I need to get on my bike, too!  If not later today, then tomorrow for sure -- and I'm going to try for Wednesday morning -- maybe someplace new!!

Knitting strips of stripes...'s like eating candy.  I can't get enough.  They're photogenic, too.


Even with limited knitting time lately, I've already begun the fourth connecting strip -- so good and so fun, it's like eating candy.  I just can't stop!  I haven't woven in a single end yet, though, and better start that soon so I don't face them all at once.

I love the contemplating while working that comes with knitting something like this.  I think it's when I have things to ponder about my work -- even the simplest thing, such as "Which of my 14 or 15 colors shall I pluck out of the basket next?" -- that I have the most fun knitting.  I get to think about how and when to weave in all those ends, sew up all the pieces, work a border 'round the whole thing, make my mark.

Check out my Flickr Parcheesi set.

I love this thing!

It's always hip to be square


Hip knitted squares!  And, honestly, they make me so happy!!


I don't think I ever showed my finished random sock yarn log cabin baby blanket.  Despite still needing a few ends woven in and a bath, I threw it on the front porch during a break in the rain last night and before the light faded completely.  Feet for scale in a few; it will surely grow some with blocking.


And with a Parcheesi square!  This is one of four that are finished; the fifth of six is underway and I cannot wait to finish them!  I'm not bored, just anxious to move on to the next part!

It's all rather random and by the seat of my pants, with Janine's pattern for guidance, of course.  Here's what I know for sure:

  • Besides the center red, I'm using a rotation/combination of six colors for the six squares.
  • The red will only be used for the center of the six squares and for the "intersections" of the connecting bands.
  • The brighter orange/yellow will only be used for the six squares.
  • I have a basket full of other colors ready and waiting to join in and be hip!!

Tuesday road trip


I'll try not to load this post with too many photos, but no promises.  It was all so fantastic and I took a bunch.

Tuesday was road trip day.  We rented a car and #1* on the list was a visit to Hash House A Go Go for breakfast, #2 was Gail Knits, #3 was Hoover Dam, and #4 was Valley of Fire.  Red Rock Canyon was a late suggestion for #5 from a valet at Planet Hollywood -- who did not blink, by the way, when the answer to "Where are you going?" was "To a yarn store!"  In fact, he told me of a similar trek while on vacation once with a girlfriend -- he wasn't all that enthused, and I'm not sure he had full understanding, but he was aware of the need to seek out yarn stores on vacation, and he did not judge.  Heh.

#1.  Hash House A Go Go!  Thank you, Caro; seconded by Susan!!  (May I suggest that the next time you're planning a trip somewhere, throw it out to Facebook -- I had the most wonderful response from people I know and trust!)

Yeah.  Even Sharon's simple eggs, ham and potato breakfast was huge.  I had a hash made with fresh mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and fresh spinach with my biscuit and egg.  I'd seen the Hash House A Go Go location at the Imperial Palace, but we drove to the one on Sahara because it was "just down the street" from...

#2.  Gail Knits!  Thank you, Jennifer!  I didn't take any photos, but I did buy a Crazy Zauberball to remember the visit to Vegas and to use in my current Parcheesi project.  We also talked bratwurst and cheese curds with an employee (maybe a customer?) who'd once lived in Wisconsin.

#3.  Hoover Dam.  I didn't do any planning for this visit, just knew that we needed to go.  We didn't go on an organized tour, either, though perhaps we should have -- amazingly beautiful and completely fascinating, in any case.


This bridge., this bridge is SO DAMN HIGH.  I don't think I'd ever be able to drive over it, or even be driven over it.  Really and truly.  I'm not sure I'd be able to walk over it... maybe straight down the middle and without looking either left or right -- straight ahead, eyes on the prize (the other side), baby!  Maybe I could crawl over.  I get vertigo just thinking about being up there.
#4.  Valley of Fire.  We drove a few miles into Arizona before turning around and driving back over the dam, then into Lake Mead National Recreation Area on our way through Valley of Fire.  Simply gorgeous.

It got too late to also visit Red Rock Canyon, so #5 became a stop at In-n-Out Burger, instead.  (Thanks, again, to Jennifer!)  Really, terrifically, YUM!!

And then we went "home" -- Planet Hollywood -- and enjoyed a lovely sunset.


Sharon and I agree that without this little road trip, we'd both feel very differently (not as good) about our trip to Las Vegas.

*#1 was supposed to be the Las Vegas sign!!  Ooops!  Tomorrow is another day.

Northwoods Jaunt, Day 1: Down on the Farm

Shadow on the barn

I took Friday off and drove with DH to the great northwoods of Wisconsin for some lots of visiting.  There was a nice gathering of almost everyone we in the area of DH's uncle's farm on Friday evening -- Aunts Bev, Dodo and Ruth, Uncle Rudy, cousins Linda, Carol and Kent, first-cousin-once-removed Chris!

From my seat where we visited in the 3-season porch, I noticed the shadow of the garage creeping up the side of the barn as the sun fell -- the windows on the barn perfectly placed so that it looked like a tiny little shadow house.  I was a good little visitor, but I squirmed in my seat as I watched that shadow until I couldn't stand it any longer!  I couldn't bear to let the opportunity pass, so jumped up and bolted out the door, grabbing my camera and shooting some farm stuff in the late day sun.


Not to forget Macro May!

The Farmall

Farm flare

The Farmall tractor -- with flare!

The Oliver

The Oliver.

The barn

I came back in with my knitting (as of last night, two of the six Parcheesi squares is fini!).  It was fun to spend an evening on the farm -- in the country.  I've never had a rural address, and think I'd like to someday... if I can ever leave my present, practically perfect place.  (I'd also like to try an utterly urban address someday, too!)

I hope you had a good weekend.  I'll be back with more tomorrow -- Saturday was nearly as perfect a day as could be imagined!  But today is Monday, after all, and there's lots to catch up on in all areas of life.

In which there is knitting and randomness!


Ohmygosh, did you wonder if I'd given it up for good?

Color changes

No way.  The knitting of 18 red squares for Parcheesi didn't make for exciting blog fodder, though.  I briefly thought -- a couple of times -- about knitting a third or half of them, getting on to the exciting part, then going back and knitting another third or the remaining half... but I know myself well enough, by now (sometimes!), to know that once I moved on to "the exciting part," going back would be, like... well... just not very likely and then there'd be another big ol' UFO weighing me down.  It seemed best to just forge ahead and put Phase I/Red Squares behind me.

Square 1 (in progress)

WooHOO!  Now I'm on to Phase II/Framing Squares in Color and, oh, how I'm going to love, love, love this part!


  • It's a Wednesday and I'm working; Friday off this week, instead.
  • A visit to the Northwoods is on tap this weekend, with a possible knitterly meet up!
  • Wondering why, for the past week or so, one of my blog feeds takes 24 hours to update.
  • It's chilly again, with plenty of rain in the forecast; I am SO READY for warm.  (Any time now, Ma Nature!!)
  • Actually, I think we'll see the elusive sun-and-70s combo next week!
  • That should prime me nicely for the sun-and-90s that I hope to visit the following week.
  • My smile got bigger and bigger this morning as the list of celebrity birthdays was read:  Bruce Boxleitner (one of the cutest cowboys ever, ca. How The West Was Won), Gabriel Byrne, and Steve Winwood among them.  I used to borrow Traffic LPs from the library.  Arc of a Diver is one of the albums I'd want on the deserted island...
  • Twin Sons of Different Mothers is another...

Have a great day!

Wanna play?

Square in progress

Parcheesi!  I'm knitting a baby blanket version of Janine's Parcheesi Afghan.  (There's plenty of inspiration of the Rav variety.)  I've only just started, so it'll be a while before we can play.  And I'm going to be riffing quite a bit, I think, so maybe it won't even be playable in the end.  I'm looking forward to having some fun with it -- with The Process.

Seeing red

I've knit about 6 of 18 squares so far.  Hoping I have enough of this red yarn.  I love that it's not solid red.  Don't love that it's so darn unphotogenic.  I have a couple-few reject squares in reserve, just in case I run short.

My dad's rolling through for a quick visit tomorrow.  I'll see him again at "Mother's Day" brunch on Saturday before he heads back home.  That'll be interesting.  ; )