Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"









Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday Morning

Although not having wifi at home is inconvenient at times, it has really helped me in terms of reducing the amount of time I used to waste on my iPad, especially the hours spent playing solitaire and clicking down rabbit hole links, although the links weren't always a waste of time.  Solitaire was always a waste of time.  I'm not sure I can quantify what I've done with the saved time but that doesn't really matter, does it?  I know Gracie enjoys having me pay more attention to her.  
I found the mitts I was looking for last month; when I realized I hadn't found my woven scarf, I looked in my yarn room and found a smaller bin of hand knits, and there they were.  Unfortunately, I had used so much cedar, that everything needs aired out a bit before I can wear any of it without smelling like an old lady, but at least it deterred the moths!
I'm hurriedly finishing up a pair of Churchmouse Stay On Booties for a baby shower today; I'd be finished but for the fact that I've had to knit four in order to complete one pair.  All entirely my errors.  These are adorable and easy to knit, despite my problems, so much so, that I'm planning to knit a few more pairs immediately, so I can have them on hand.
 
I posted this photo of my dad on Facebook last week for Veterans Day, and it occurred to me that we look more alike than I realized, especially when you see both photos in black and white.  Of course, I'm about forty years older than him in these photos, so take that in account.
 
 Remember the cute woven felt bags my friend, Kristin, gave our group for Rhinebeck?  Well, in true cat fashion, Melissa's cat felt the need to nest in it.  Cats recognize quality when they see it.  She looks a bit like Gracie, I think.
 
Wishing you and yours a wonderful and peaceful Thanksgiving.  I am very grateful for my life, which includes all of you.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cold Weather Weekend

I am so happy that we have finally gotten a taste of cold weather, allowing me to pull out and actually wear some of my handknits.  Not sure how long it will stick around, but I do enjoy it.    

I have almost finished the cowl I started last week, but put it aside for a minute, for some reason.  ADD kicked in, I guess.

 
 
I decided to cast on for the North Light Fibers hat using yarn Lori and I bought on last year's Rhinebeck trip.  The pattern was written to use two colors, so Lori and I each bought one skein to save money.  
I also felt like I needed to put a pom pom on my key chain; I like the cheeriness, plus it helps me find them in the bottom of my bag.
 
Tuesday was our in-service day, and Lori, Brita, and I wore our tee shirts commemorating our friend, Chris.  
 
Gracie always enjoys a good nap while I knit, watch tv, or read.  Clearly, this was one of the days my allergies were bothering me, as evidenced by the tissues, but she doesn't mind.  Have you used the Puffs brand infused with Vicks?  I love those!
 
I saw this odd license plate today and took a photo of it when I was at a stop light.  
Thank you for your kind comments about my blue mood.  As I suspected, it passed quickly, and my week was a good one.  I had a doctor appointment yesterday to discuss migraine medication and I'm hoping that will help.  I don't think I suffer from them as badly as some women do, but I do have certain triggers and/or cycles when they seem to happen more frequently, and fall is one of those times.  Even though I love the cold weather, it makes my neck and shoulders tighten up, and going from outdoors to overheated indoors can cause problems too.  Wow, that sounds pretty negative, but it isn't meant to be.  

Only taught two days this past week, which is a great work-life balance.  I have a full work week coming up, then it's Thanksgiving already.  Hoping to get some serious knitting time this weekend, since I did some cleaning Thursday night.  The extra day really helps.  Why can't every weekend be three days long??  Hope you all have a lovely, peaceful week.  Virginia did well in the gubernatorial election this time, in my opinion.  Love trumps hate.

 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Self Care Sunday (on Monday)

I've loved the Mason-Dixon knitting blog for years, but since they revamped it a year or so ago, it's become so much more than a knitting blog.  The addition of Max Daniels's articles has really resonated with me, and this post from last week is one I want to print and put on my refrigerator.  Do read it if you haven't already seen it.  

I also read A Cup of Jo, which seems surprisingly relevant to me.  She's a blogger in her thirties, who writes about life in NYC as a mom of two young boys, but again, it's so much more.  Friends who know me would be shocked to hear that I actually enjoy many of her style and fashion tips, as I have never been into any of that.  But, life is all about change, isn't it, and there's nothing wrong with mixing it up now and then.  The short sleeve turtle neck I wore in my last post's selfie is a direct result of reading something on her blog, and it contributed to me feeling really good about myself Friday.  This illustration by Mari Andrew is another reason you should check her blog out.

 

Knitting is another self-care strategy for me, and if you need any encouragement to get knitting, take a look at the price of these mittens!  I can't imagine how much they would charge for these hand mitts.  I only have a thumb to finish on my right hand mitt, and I'll be ready to begin my left hand one.  Sadly, I think these will be too small for my rather large hands, so someone will be receiving a beautiful surprise.    
   

To give my eyes a rest, I cast on for a cowl using aran weight Jill Draper Middlefield yarn I bought at last year's open studio sale, and some Weekend Wool from Green Mountain Spinnery, purchase date unknown.  I'm using a Bristol Ivy pattern, the Underscore Cowl, that is in the latest Making issue, and I love it.  

 
   

Speaking of self care, Saturday was my mammogram party day, words rarely heard in the same sentence.  My friend, Lori, included me a few years ago in one of her friend's group yearly events.  This friend coordinates the appointments for the group's yearly mammogram, but she turns it into a party, complete with doughnuts and lunch out afterwards.  She buys enough doughnuts to give to everyone we come in contact with: the technician and receptionist, as well as every other woman in the waiting room waiting for her exam.   It's a great way to hold everyone accountable (no more putting it off for a month or six), and to have fun while doing it.  I highly recommend you give it a try.

 

 

And oddly enough, despite my fabulous Friday, and the good things I did over the weekend with friends, I find myself feeling very blue today.  It was a teacher workday, yet I felt so aimless and restless that nothing was accomplished.  I have the beginnings of another cold/allergy thing, I made some poor food choices over the past few days, I'm worried about money, and I haven't gotten to bed early enough for about a week, so that is part of the explanation.  But I know that another part is the fact that tomorrow is the anniversary date of my second marriage, which I'm sure has contributed to my sadness.  Isn't it weird that you can know you're in a much better place and yet still be weighted down by sadness? Anyway, I wanted to include this last paragraph in the interest of keeping it as real as I can.  I know I'll be fine soon enough.  Take care, friends.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Friday Features

Friday had a festive feeling about it, probably because I will only have students two days next week.  Monday is a teacher workday, also known as "the day teachers get to go out to lunch like regular working people do" day.  Tuesday is an in-service day, which has the possibility of knitting time, although sometimes we have to do cooperative groups/bonding activities, which severely limits the amount of time I can knit.  And Friday is Veterans Day.  Throw in the Thanksgiving holiday, and November isn't such a bad month.  

 

To kick off the weekend, I stopped at Cafe Stella, and feeling pretty good, took a selfie that I quite like.  
On my way home, I noticed a gorgeous moon rising, so I stopped, and walked along the river to take some photos.  Sadly, no cell phone camera could capture it.
 
 But the glow of the sunset was quite nice.
 
Although I have a few more things to photograph, here is a sneak peak.  It's the two skeins of Miss Babs yarn I bought: one in the Rhinebeck 2017 color way, and a solid green to coordinate with it.  Probably going to knit another Brickless with it, but I'm going to finish my lovely Make a Wish Mitts first.  
 
And now my local coffee shop, Coaster Coffee, is closing up and kicking me out.  Talk soon.
 

Friday, November 3, 2017

KNit November

Halloween has come and gone; I think it is one of the few times I didn't stay home to pass out candy.  A coworker invited me to a cookie decorating event at one of the coffee shops I like, so I did that instead.  One of my neighbor's informed me afterwards that she handed out candy to over 200 kids!  Crazy.
 
I've only been able to knit a round or two a day on my mitt pattern, but I'm planning to spend some quality time with it this weekend.  I love the amount of concentration I have to give it; it's super fun for me for some reason.  I have even knit a round or two in the parking lot before starting work this past week.
 
 
I love this shot of the crowd at the Perfect Blend Yarn store in Saugerties listening to the Minnesota 52 authors.  I was working on Lori's Bousta Beanie and clearly enjoying whatever was being said.
 
 
This is a shorter post than I had planned, because I haven't had a chance to photograph my Rhinebeck loot, but since the weather is supposed to be pretty good this weekend, I should be able to get it done.  When I do, I will definitely share.
 
Although not having wifi at home is a bit inconvenient, it has helped me out in terms of reducing the amount of time I would normally waste on playing solitaire and surfing the web.  I can do whatever is truly necessary on my phone, but as the phone screen is so much smaller than the iPad screen, I have definitely spent less time using it.  Which is a win.  
 
Hoping you have a wonderful weekend, full of knitting.  Peace.
 
 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Rhinebeck Reflections

It's taken me awhile to post this, since I cancelled internet at my house, and my iPad has to be connected to work.  I am at my favorite coffee shop, on this rainy Sunday morning, where I came to grade papers, drink delicious coffee, and use their wifi.

Rhinebeck 2017 is in my rear view mirror, alas.  It was my 7th time attending; my first four trips were one day visits with my daughter, Meredith, but the last three have been the full weekend plus some.  My knit girls and I stayed in Saugerties again, in an AirB&B along the Esopus Creek, a little ways outside of the actual town, but still close enough to visit the Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea Shop, and eat at Rock da Casbah.


The weather was way too warm for me, but at least it wasn't raining, so I won't complain.  I thought the Saturday crowd was the biggest one yet, but Sunday was perfect.  I ate apple cider doughnuts, apple crisp, and even had a pumpkin crisp this year, which was amazing.  I had planned to get Artichoke French, but that didn't happen, so I'll get it next year.

I thoroughly enjoyed people watching, as usual, and by people watching, I mean knit wear watching. Even though it was warm, the knit wear did not disappoint.  It's just so much fun to talk to perfect strangers about what they are wearing!

Our group may have overscheduled ourselves a bit, but we enjoyed almost everything we did.  We went to Needles Up and Indie Untangled on Friday, and to the Mason-Dixon Pie Party on Saturday after leaving the fairgrounds.  We had planned to go to Jill Draper's studio as well, but the traffic was so bad going over the Rhinecliff Bridge that we skipped it in favor of hearing the authors of Minnesota 52 speak at Perfect Blend Yarn Shop.  Although we hated to miss Jill Draper, something had to give, and the ladies at Perfect Blend were so lovely, that we were very happy with our decision.
 
We made sure to spend some time sitting on the creek side deck on Sunday after leaving the fairgrounds, especially since the weather was so perfect for it.  You will notice that along with the coffee cups, there are glasses, which held Melissa's amazing gin and tonics.  I'm not normally a fan of gin, but hers were delicious.

 
 
     

Our AirBnB, on Sunday afternoon.

 
 
 
 
 On the porch at the Mason-Dixon Pie Party; beautiful porch, house, and setting, not to mention, delicious pie and friendly knitters.
 
 
 
 
 
Saturday's crowd.
 
 
Sunday's crowd was much smaller, which made it more relaxed of a day.
 
 
 
 The view from the apple cider doughnut stand; I just love the leaves and blue sky up there in October.  
 
 
 
 
Some of the animals that make what we do possible.
 
 
 
 
 
One of the booths had this cool display: a cork ball with aluminum needles radiating out of it.  It reminded me of the space age decor from the early sixties; I think it would look great in the FibreSpace shop in Alexandria, since they use that theme.
 
 
I finished Lori's hat, but none of us needed it.  Oh well, we'll have them for next year.  
One of the fun things we do is give each other gift bags; usually cool things we find over the course of the year.  I bought a variety of stuff in NYC to give, and Kristin bought us this fabulous felt bag from StevenB's shop in Minnesota when she visited it in the summer. She also gave us these adorable stitch markers from A Needle Runs Through It.  Half the markers are images of knitwear items, and the other half are NotSafeForWork sayings.  They are so funny!!
 
 
I can't remember if we took a photo of the packed car on our first trip, but we did last year and this is the 2017 shot.  Although it looks jammed, it actually has less than last year, as we all showed some restraint.
 
 
 
I still have to photograph my purchases, but this is the first thing I bought, and I couldn't wait to get started on it.  It's a Wishmaker Mitts kit from Magpie Fibers, which I bought at Indie Untangled.  It was the last kit she had and I snapped it up; I think it's gorgeous.
 
 
The third color is cream and the design is a dandelion at the make a wish stage.  I have a feeling this will knit up fast since the chart and design are so addicting to knit.  
 
 
Hope everyone has a lovely week, doing what makes you happy.   
 
Almost forgot to include a picture of Gracie!  Two pictures of her at one of her favorite places to hang out:
 
 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Rhinebeck Eve

My friends and I decided to start the Rhinebeck party early this year, so we left Thursday after work and drove to the foot of the Delaware Bridge. We got to the hotel around 11p.m., and celebrated with a glass of wine.  
 
This allowed us to arrive in Saugerties for a late lunch at Rock da Casbah, before checking into our AirBnB.  We went to the Needles Up event, and the Knitting Garage, before driving over to Kingston for Indie Untangled, and wrapped up the day with dinner at the Olympic Diner.
 
 
It was our first time at Indie Untangled, and although the vendors were wonderful, it was way too crowded for me.  It was nice to see some designers, as well as some gorgeous knitwear; this jacket/sweater was amazing!
 
 
We lucked out with yet another beautiful AirBnB; this year's house is right on a creek, and has two decks.  The weather, while too warm for my taste, is beautiful.
 
 
 
Lots more tomorrow!  Now I have to get to bed, so we can get an early start.