Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Knit A Long

My knit group loves to knit ponchos and frequently do KALs. I rarely, if ever, participate in knit-a-longs, so color me surprised when I jumped on the Mason-Dixon Stopover KAL. I ordered my yarn from Tolt tonight and word on the web is they deliver quickly, so although I may be a day or two late starting, I'm kind of excited about it. The sweater looks exactly like the type of clothing I'd love wearing, especially since I'm in control of the details, and I think the pattern is in within my skill set. I'm not sure what colors my yoke will be, as I ordered a variety to choose from but I'll share as soon as I decide.

Stephanie is knitting a cabled jumper using Berroco Vintage; isn't it gorgeous?

Steve and I did some purging this weekend and when we dropped off our discards, I saw this series of books. Despite my interest, I passed them up. I should look them up and see if they would sell on eBay or something, what do you think?

The weather is pretty warm so I played tennis with Steve, his oldest daughter, and her husband. I'm the weak link but I'm not terrible and it's great exercise. I always have fun, but today, Steve served a ball straight to my head! It hurt like the dickens but I think I'm okay. I went knitting afterwards to relax.

Yesterday, Stephanie and I went to Baa Baa Sheep to knit awhile, and treated ourselves to breakfast beforehand, and coffee after. A lovely day for both of us. Love having my sidekick around. Hope you enjoyed your weekend as well, on this last day of the month.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Knitting and Other Things

I bought some beautiful yarn from Ellen Odacier and cast on for a beautiful cowl.

I used my new project sleeve, a Christmas gift from a friend, and highlighter tape and I still managed to mess up. I decided the yarn was a bit too bulky for the pattern so ripped it all the way out. While I decide whether to use it to make a Gaptastic cowl or a striped scarf, aka Noro striped scarf, I have gone back to knitting the Guernsey Wrap. Which is probably the project I should work on anyway.

As I was scrolling through my phone photos, I saw this one of hats drying after blocking and couldn't remember if I'd shared it yet. It's a number of hats knit from the Tea Collection, knit in December. Some were gifted and some are in the gift drawer. They were quick and fun to knit and I will definitely revisit the pattern collection.

I also can't remember if I posted about the succulents I gave as gifts, using some demitasse cups I had squirreled away. I think they look adorable, and I hope to do this easy craft again.

I noticed that Clara Parkes is doing a book tour and she'll be at Strand Books on a day I would normally be in New York, but alas, this year I don't have a visit planned for that date. If you go, tell me about it, please. Loop, in Philadelphia, is another place I've visited; it's a very sweet yarn store and I would love to visit it again. They have a great yarn selection and wonderful shop samples too.
Speaking of samples, Stephanie knit this cute little toy; I love the color combo and the simplicity of it, don't you? You can also see some of my decor in this photo: sea glass and sea shells.

Gracie looks so different in each of these pictures, even though they were all taken within one month's time.


Despite her unwillingness to cuddle, she is very attached to me, following me from room to room if I'm gone for very long. Such a sweet, strange cat she is.

Tomorrow and Friday are exam days and the end of the first semester, which means I'll have all new students beginning next Wednesday. It's a busy time, closing out grades and planning for the new semester, but the up side is believing I'll somehow be more successful in the new semester than I was in this one. It's another fresh start is what I'm trying to say, which is one of the benefits of teaching that I really enjoy.

Hope the rest of your week is a good one.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Little Bit of Everything

We got a little snow on Friday, then rain washed it all away, and then on Saturday, we got some more snow and sleet, but nothing compared to what most everyone else on the East Coast got. Still, it was enough for us to hunker down with our books and blankets, our tea and slow cooked beans and banana bread. Steve and I did get out on Saturday morning for a coffee and library date, which was nice, but once we got back home, we stayed in. The roads are icy and slick and we had no need to venture out since it was the weekend.


This teapot was for sale at the coffee shop and I love how it suggests knitting stitches to me, but I resisted in the spirit of less clutter. So far. Hoping someone buys it before I return so I don't weaken.


Gracie was keeping watch on the weather this morning.


We got more snow last night and the roads really got bad, but the temperatures were above freezing most of today with the sun shining, so I'm assuming we will work tomorrow.

I love the bird tracks on our porch.



I bought some gorgeous yarn from Ellen Odacier last week and I wound the blue skein and started the Adama cowl yesterday. I was fortunate enough to meet Ellen two Rhinebecks ago (that is a unit of time, right?) and she is the nicest, friendliest person! She smiles even more than I do and I've always been a smiler. I was delighted to try her yarn and can't wait to order more when she restocks her shop.

Isn't this yarn wonderful? I wish I had ordered two skeins of the blue, it's so gorgeous. The pattern is a good one too, although I'll either have to color block it or skip a repeat.

If I had devoted the time I spent on my iPad and reading to knitting, I'd probably be finished by now. I don't regret reading, but I am always disappointed at the amount of time I waste online.

Oh well, the football game is on now, so I'll get back to knitting and stop looking at snow pictures. Hoping everyone came through the storm with relative ease.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rain or Snow?

As a long time thrift store shopper, the majority of my clothes are either used or were purchased from Land's End ten or more years ago. I buy good, expensive shoes now, ever since I dealt with plantar fasciitis, and I buy new undergarments, but other than that, it's mostly thrifted stuff. As a result, sometimes I have stuff that doesn't work and I mostly have separates, and since we live in a house that was built in the fifties, our closets are small and crowded. The other week I had the idea that I needed to pull everything out and either start wearing the stuff I own or give it back to the thrift store. Surprisingly, it didn't take me very long to match up separates to create "outfits" and as a result, it's been kind of fun this week choosing a new look to wear each day. A few things did end up in the give away bag, but not as many as I had originally thought. Turns out that I can't put things together in the morning when they're all crammed together in the small space of our closet. Who knew?

For a four day week, it's been pretty tiring and long, probably due to the fact that there is so much state testing going on in our building. We lose planning time to administer tests and we lose teaching time when so many students are being pulled out of class to test in other subject areas. Next week we give final exams, then gear up for the second semester with all new students. This type of schedule has it's pros and cons and a major con is the diminished energy we have at the start of a new semester; completely different from the start of a new school year. Another con is that you have to learn about two major groups of students a year and train them as well. Of course a positive is that if you have a particularly difficult group, you only have them for ninety class periods. And I do like the idea of tweaking and improving my lessons without the summer break affecting my memory of what worked and what flopped.

By now everyone has heard of the winter storm Jonas heading to the East Coast; I live so close to the warmth of the Chesapeake Bay that our area is only expected to get a sprinkling of snow out of it. Still, things could change and if they do, I'll be ready for it. Even if I don't get a day off work, I still would love to get some snow.

I have library books, and knitting to look forward to this weekend, whether it rains or snows. Hope you are ready as well.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Three Day Weekend

The first week back to school after break was lovely, but the second week? Not so much. In fact, it was brutal. It was one of those weeks when I seriously wonder how I'll last until retirement. But I'm relaxing today, thanks to the MLK holiday, so I won't spoil the day by dwelling on last week. Other to say that thanks to a website called ReadWorks, my students are very well informed about Martin Luther King, Jr., more so than my students from previous years.

I finally reorganized my craft/knitting room and I've even managed to snug a comfy chair in here. Since Stephanie is back with us, it's good to have a space of my own. Gracie loves hanging out with me, and with the sun shining and the chest of drawers for a perch, she was right at home. In fact, she's sitting there right now. I may even paint this room over spring break, if I can decide on a color.


She even took a little snooze. Steve thinks I should put something soft on top for her, but she looks comfortable to me.


The rest of the day consisted of knitting and a little visit with my youngest. We treated ourselves to ice cream despite the cold temperatures.

I have just begun knitting again on my Guernsey Wrap from the fall. I adore the way Green Mountain Spinnery's Weekend Wool feels and looks and am enjoying the process as much as I think I'll enjoy the finished product.

And my friend, Lori, made me finish the Cafe Au Lait mitt I began almost two years ago; I only had to knit the thumb. Now for another one, maybe in less than a year? This is also Green Mountain Spinnery yarn, but not sure of the name.


They're calling for possible snow this weekend. Although I know we'd have to make it up, I always hope for snow days. So, fingers crossed!


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Winter Beach

Steve and I spent last weekend in Corolla, NC, which is on the Outer Banks. This time of year the normally busy beach town is empty, which meant Steve and I had the beach all to ourselves. We walked for miles, collected shells, and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was incredibly relaxing, which was the perfect end to my winter break.




We visited the Corolla lighthouse and grounds on Sunday.






I am happiest when I'm at the beach, regardless of the season.

I did a little knitting, but mostly we soaked up the salt air.

I thought my first week back at school would be brutal, but since I was so rested and relaxed, I actually enjoyed getting back to work. Hope your January is off to as good a start as mine is.


Sunday, January 3, 2016