Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday Q & A (Eclipse Edition)

It's a once-in-a-lifetime event . . .

Let's get started.

1.  Are you watching the solar eclipse today?

No. It is raining buckets and has been all afternoon. No eclipse for us. I'll have to be happy with just seeing photos on the news or online.

My nephew flew in from Germany to see the eclipse. He was in Columbia, South Carolina and said it was awesome.  We get to visit with him here in Jacksonville on Wednesday.

2.  What is the most expensive yarn you've ever heard of?

Artic Quivit
2 oz. for $150.00

NOOOOO! That is not from my stash.
It is a borrowed photo from an online retailer.

3.  What is the most difficult knitting technique that you have tried or that you WILL NOT try?

I think the most difficult is any pattern that has K3Tog or possibly the shawl I am working on now only because there are several charts to follow. 

The technique I am most afraid to try? I'm with Kathy, STEEKING sends shivers down my spine. I don't think I could EVER take scissors to my knitting. It's even a worse idea than HARDANGER!

4.  Have you ever had a Venus Fly Trap?

Yep. At one time I had a variety of carnivorous plants. I liked the Venus Fly Trap, but I LOVED my pitcher plants. They all were given away when we moved into the apartment.

5.  Has a neighbor shared from their garden this year.

I don't know anyone with a garden. :-(

6.  Do you like to eat sunflower seeds?

If they are shelled, yes. I particularly like them as sunflower butter! All the taste, none of the work.

7.  How many football fields of yarn yardage is your newest project going to use?

Four football fields ---- 400 yards and I'm going for a touchdown by the end of the week.

Ravelry photo ------Ashton Shawlette.
Mine is a nice burgundy red color.

8.  When was the last time you had a corndog?

The fifth of never? Hot dogs belong in a white bun with mustard and sauerkraut and tomato. No more. No less. No variations. It's LAW!

9.  Did you knit as much as you wanted to this weekend?

I knit as much as I wanted to. I frogged much more than I wanted to. Knitterly-wise, it was NOT a good weekend. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

What Time is It?????

What time is it???


It's time to show those great fall colors you have stored away in your stash.

Now is the time to set them free.

Let them out.

Show the world that FALL is the best season

It's time for a fall knit-along.

Won't you join Vera @ The Threaded Lane and me 
while we whip up some fall themed projects.

You could chose to make Nutkin
or maybe Cascading Leaves* is more your style.
Both of those are free patterns on Ravelry,
but feel free to choose any pattern you like as long as your project
waves the I  ♥   Fall flag high.
It doesn't even HAVE to be socks.

Note:  Cascading Leaves is no longer available online, but since it was always a free pattern I have no problem sending you a digital copy of the pattern. 

The I ♥ Fall KAL will cast-on on September 1 and run through October 31. 

So, dig through that stash and find your spookiest, leafiest, pumpkin spice latte-ist color yarn and let me know in the comments that you want in on the fun. I'll list all the participants in my blog sidebar so you know just who the cool kids are.

And in case you need a little more incentive,
there might even be a little yarny prize for one lucky participant.

I had to work around the snoopervisor to get a photo of all the great yarns.

Snoopervisor wants to know when we got the creepy new cat?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017



I have yarn set aside for two more blocks to be done this week.

Of course, you-know-who had to get in on the action.

Hey, this blanket is really comfy. It's for ME, right Mom???

With all the CAT-itude he can muster up,
he has claimed this to be absolutely HIS.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Over and Over and Over Again

Yesterday, very, VERY quietly I said a very bad word.

No one else heard it,
but I knew it was said.

I was working along on the Ashton Shawlette that I am making as a shop model.
I'm already over it and just wanted to get it done.
I've had so many restarts due to dropped stitches.

I was further than I had ever been.
I had learned to put in lifelines.

I dropped a stitch marker on the floor and when I bent over to pick them up,
about 50 stitches fell off the needle.

It's okay . . . there is a lifeline a few rows back.
But, when I got there and picked up the stitches,
my needle snapped in half.

For all that is good in this world,
I could not help myself,
I said the bad word.

THEN I proceeded to frog back the whole thing.

Maybe it needed a little time out before restarting.
Maybe I should work on something else.
Maybe I should just find another hobby, because...

...when I pulled my sock out of the project bag it was apparent that the number on the row counter
was NOT the row I was actually supposed to be knitting.

Frogs AGAIN!

The solutions:

1. I bought a better circular needle. With a $2.99 needle from the Hobby Lobby
you definitely get what you pay for. Thankfully, this yarn is very forgiving,
because it certainly has spent a bucket load of time at the frog pond.

2. Instead of spending frustrating time trying to figure out WHERE I was in this sock,
I just started over.

Yesterday I just had to channel my inner Scarlet O'Hara . . . 

"After all, tomorrow is another day."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Q & A

This week I'm just going to jump right into the questions and answers.

1.  Macarons . . . love 'em or leave 'em?

I haven't ever had one . . . I guess, by default, that's a leave 'em.

2.  Give us a good tip if you are going to BE the house guest.

Make your bed every morning before you leave your room,

unless, someone is using it.

3.  What's your smallest circular needle size?

A 16" size 2

4.  What's your favorite charity to knit, crochet, sew for?

The Bethanna Home for Children in Southhampton, Pennsylvania.

5.  Dropped stitch patterns . . . love 'em or leave 'em?

Leave 'em .... not a style I really like.

6. Does the fear of a shark keep you from swimming in the ocean?

No. The fear of catching an infection from polluted water keeps me from swimming in the ocean. We have far too many beach closures due to fecal/biologic pollution. I will walk in the water, but I won't go in so deep that my face gets wet (i.e. no boogie boarding or actual swimming).

7.  Name something you would never knit.


8.  Someone is naming a yarn colorway for you. What is it called?

Just North of Crazytown

9.  Name a cake you can't resist?

Just one??? Oh my gosh . . . how I do love cake. I'll pick the salted caramel cake from Biscotti's. It is delicious. Thankfully, it is also $10.50 a slice. That means I don't eat too much of it.

10.  Name a word you have trouble spelling over and over.

Usually it's the small words that trip me up. I'll look at a word I have typed and think, "that's not correct", but it usually is.

Happy birthday, Kathy!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Stash Acquisition

When I decided that I wanted to go up to Savannah to The Frayed Knot,
it was to look for one of these.
It is a sock kit from Heidi and Lana

I bought one of the sock kits.
And, then I bought a whole lot more.

But, let's start with the sock kit.
This is what was inside the corrugated packaging.

You get some lovely merino/nylon sock yarn.
The colorway I bought is Foliage.

You get a pattern for shortie socks,
but there is enough yarn to make any kind of socks you like.
You get 100 grams/420 yards.

I'm thinking maybe Nutkin or Cascading Leaves.

I will definitely be giving the shorties a try, but I'll use a yarn in my stash,
one that has shorter yardage.

You also get a pair of footie sock blockers,
some cards to keep track of your rows,
and a card with a stitch marker, a progress keeper, and a darning needle.

But, wait!
There's more.

I was also looking for some sock minis to put in my scrappy blanket.
The shop was thin on the ground for minis.
There were only two colorways available and I already had the other one.
So . . . one came home.
It's an eye searing peachy orange called ... NEON peach.
That should add a happy pop of color on my blanket.

I wasn't going to go to the other yarn store in Savannah,
but since our walking-around time was cut short by a massive thunderstorm,
we did go to Unwind.

There was much yarn success there.
Cascade Heritage Silk Prints in the colorway:  9808 Desert (Left)
Lang Mille Colori Baby in the colorway: 84575

Mountain Colors Twizzlefoot in the colorway:  Winterberry

I'm sensing a theme here with these last purchases.
I think I'm ready for some cooler weather of autumn and winter.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


The plan for today was to head up to Savannah, Georgia
to visit The Frayed Knot.

They had an interesting sock kit on their Instagram feed
and I just had to check it out for myself.

Wouldn't it have been nice to have taken some photos of the shop for you.
Yeah would have been.
Unfortunately, I was overcome by wool fumes and totally lost all reason and sense.

I did NOT forget to buy yarn.
I'll tell you all about it (and show it to you) when I get some good photos.
It's dark now.
Too dark.

So'll have to just make do with the photos I DID remember to take.

Like lunch . . .
Ya think they enjoy their job?

These are the folks that made me the most delicious sandwich in the world.
It's right up there with DiNic's roast pork and broccoli rabe sandwich
and that's saying a lot ---- the DiNic's sandwich was voted best in the world by the Food Network.

But, back to today.
I'm not exactly sure what the sandwich was made from ---- beef, pork,
and some other stuff --- some coriander and cilantro,
a crunchy roll and a whole lot of fun and sillyness (see photo above).

The store's motto is "shit yeah"!

The sandwich is the Boerewors sandwich - a South African sausage
with grilled veggies and some kind of dressing.

Absolutely delicious!
And served with a heapin' helpin' of nice!

It's a tiny little hole in the wall and you have to sit outside
(remember it's southern Georgia and it's August).

Yes, we made the sacrifice (and sweat) . . . it was THAT good.

Some walkin' was need to work off a sandwich that big.

Can you think of anything more quintessential Savannah
than a horse and carriage and mossy draped oaks?
Me either.

But, the money shot for me was this one.

I think maybe they COULD fix a broken heart
and maybe, just MAYBE sharpen your wit 
while they tended to your scissors.

Stay tuned:  The NEXT blog post will be chock full of yarny goodness.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Felines

This is Spike.

He lives around the corner from us.

He's a talker,
a bit of a chunky-monkey,
a lover of chin skritches and ear rubs,
and one of the Animal Protection Services trap/neuter/release success stories.

Somewhere along the line he lost half his tail,
hence his name.

Long tail, short tail, clipped ear . . he's still a pretty handsome guy,
and given the chance, he'll tell you ALL about it.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Perfection ---

Perfection is the hobgoblin of productivity.

Two nights ago I tucked myself into bed at a decent hour. Contrary to most nights, I fell asleep pretty quickly. Unfortunately, within a couple of hours I was wide awake again. This seems to be how it goes a lot of nights.

Since I was awake, I figured I would rock in the rocking chair and knit a little bit. 

I knit and I examined my sock.
It looked kind of big.
Maybe a bit too big.

I wonder how that other sock-in-progress looked.
Hmmmm...the gusset on that one looks a little wonky.

The next sock may (or may not) have had some uneven stitches.
It's hard to say for sure in a dim light at 3 AM .

Within about 30 minutes all of the socks save one had been frogged.
It was not my finest hour nor, by the light of day, my wisest decision.
There you have it.
The "damage" was done.

The only thing that saved the one sock was that the first sock was already completed.

I'm sure IT is not perfect either,
but I wasn't about to rip back a finished sock.
THAT would be crazy.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Kathy's Monday Q & A

Let's jump right in, shall we?

1.  Would you knit and wear this skirt?
Simply?  No.
I'm not sure that pattern would be flattering to anyone,
least of all me.

2.  Have you knitted or crocheted with beads?

That is a technique I have not tried yet, 
but I have been tempted.
I'm guessing it WILL happen some day.

3.  Do you wear eye shadow?

Not anymore. I rarely wear anything other than lip gloss.
I used to love eye makeup, but either it changed or I did.
It really bothers my eyes now.
I'd love to put on a little mascara now and then,
but it makes my eyes tear up and burn.

Not worth it.
The money saved on not wearing makeup goes to additional yarn stash.

4.  Do you like when men grow their hair long?

If it is kept neatly.
I am fascinated by dreadlocks.

Steve always told me that when he retired he was going to grow a ponytail.
So far, that has NOT happened.

5. Where do you get most of your knit inspiration from?

I get most of my inspiration either from podcasts or knitting magazines.

6.  What color are your toenails painted now?

They are hangin' around nekkid!
No polish on the ol' toes right now.

I did just purchase a new bottle of clear gloss and my fingernails are wearing a fresh coat.
I haven't done my toes yet.
I should.

7.  How do you store your knitted gifts until you give them to the recipient?

I rarely knit for others and if I do I usually do not wait for an occasion to give them.
I am a spontaneous gifter.

8.  What is the name of the last river or lake you visited or saw?

I see the St. Johns River every day.

This photo is a few miles east of where we live,
but our apartment is right beside the river and I can see it from our bedroom windows
or really well from our balcony.

It is the main reason we chose this apartment complex
and while I won't miss living IN an apartment when we finally buy a house,
I will miss living along the river.

9.  Elephant ears, lemon whip or shaved ice at the fair?

I'm not sure what lemon whip is.
Shaved ice is really just flavored water and by the time you get half way through the flavor is usually gone.
ELEPHANT EARS --- crispy, crunchy, sugar topped.
What's not to love about THAT!

10.  The last adult drink you had was ....

...a frozen mango-rita at Lola's.
It was about 3 hours ago.

But, don't worry.
I'm not inebriated.

Friends don't let friends blog drunk.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Summer In The City

I checked two more things off my Jacksonville bucket list this weekend.

Bucket List Item #1

Visit Friendship Fountain.

I had heard about this "spectacular" fountain from a friend in Orlando,
but I'll admit, I didn't really know where it was
OR how to find it.

Google to the rescue and today it was close to where we were already.

The fountain is pretty. There's no doubt about that.
But, I think it is the view of the city that is what all the hype is about
AND it's right next to the iconic "blue" bridge.

Item #2 on the bucket list has to do with the bridge.
Ever since we moved to Jacksonville I have had a goal of walking (or biking) across the blue bridge.

The first time we rode our bikes there from our apartment.
It's a bit of a ride and then . . . the bridge sidewalk was closed for construction.

It's been closed every weekend since then for electrical and bridge support maintenance.

Today it was open.
We walked!
Oh yeah we did!

The view from the river walk leading to the bridge.

The bridge is officially the John T. Alsop, Jr. bridge,
but if you call it that NOBODY will know what you are talking about.
It is the "Main Street bridge" or THE BLUE BRIDGE.

The view from the top looking west over Jacksonville Landing.
The view looking east ....The Florida Theatre
I even made a selfie while we were walking.
It's my first selfie ever.
I'ma lookin' pretty darn good!

Friday, August 4, 2017


Remember THIS guy?
Yeah . . . he was kind of annoying,
but kind of compelling in an odd way.

And ..........Dudes I GOT A DELL!

On Tuesday night my HP Inspiron up and died. No warning. No wheezing, sneezing, or whining.
Just dead.

Due to space constraints, Steve and I use our laptops on our dining room table. When dinner time came along, I put my HP to sleep, closed the lid and put it down (softly --- I didn't TOSS it) on the carpeted floor.

After supper I opened up the lid and it didn't wake up. I tried re-starting it. It didn't BOOT up. I GOOGLED ...I tried hard reset. Nothing worked. It would NOT power up. 

So, DUDES, I'm working on a new laptop.
I didn't intend to buy one quite so soon, so I went a little more budget friendly.

It doesn't have ALL the bells and whistles of my last laptop,
but that's okay.

It's got enough.

Hopefully, this one will have a good, long life.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ch-ch-ch-change #1 and #2

When I was at my endocrinologist last week he said that if I lost some weight (fat) and gained some muscle, he felt that I could start weaning off of meal time insulin.

That same week I had been thinking about joining some kind of exercise class to give myself a little more motivation. I didn't want to go into the heavy lifting/crazy cardio that I used to do with my personal trainer. I thought maybe yoga or Pilates might be what I would like to do AND would be a little gentler on this arthritic body of mine. God love it body still works, but it sure does complain a lot.

I tried yoga . . . it's a little to Z(en) for this Type A personality.

I signed up instead for 3 personal training sessions of Pilates.

Today was my second session and was a regular workout like they do in the classes,
but was one on one with a teacher so I can learn the machines and movements.

Even better . . . my BODY likes it.

That's change #1

Change #2 is a yarny change

It's not even sock weight yarn (although it kind of is --- explanation in a moment.)

I am almost done the Ella Rae lace-weight shawl that I am knitting for Fran's Knitting Boutique.

Who knew "lace weight" yarn could be SO, SO lovely.
(I think it may be a little heavier than a true lace weight --- maybe a light fingering.)

I know it looks like just a pile of stitching right now,
but once it is blocked?
Well, just you wait!!!

And finally, I'd like to introduce you to . . .
...the Rubberband Man.

Yes ...........he ATE one. Yesterday, I was organizing in my room and one of those black stretchy cords that they use to attach a name tag to a skein of yarn fell on the floor. Giroux was batting it around, playing with it and that was fine.

But, then he ATE IT!!


The advice from Pet MD is as long as he is not gagging and is eating, drinking (and pooping) okay we can wait for nature to take its course*. We've given him a few extra "hairball treats" and a dish of pumpkin every day to help things along.  I've been on poop-patrol since last night. So far, no rubber band. Ain't life GRAND!

Get a cat they said. Cats are fun. Cats aren't any trouble.
For the most part that is true.
Right up until they decide to EAT something they shouldn't.

Mr. Rubberband Man says it was a little chewy and didn't have much flavor.

*If Giroux starts showing ANY signs of distress, be assured we will have him at the vet in no time flat. It just does not seem necessary at this point.