Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Month of May

There's been travel and sewing and knitting and baby smiles, there's been pool time and family time and NO time. And it's all been a great time

I have a job. It used to be a part time job - sort of like parenting a middle-schooler - need to be available but my time was still pretty flexible, provide food, shelter and gentle guidance … ok, I might not quite remember what parenting a middle-schooler was like.

Now my job is more full-time - parenting a parent, who is elderly. I am NOT complaining, in fact - far from it. My mom has lived with us for 7 years. She is now 87 and still fully present in our lives. No judgments for those who could not choose this for their families. I am so very thankful that it works for us.

It does mean that my time is no longer very flexible. My Cute Husband (BEST son-in-law in the whole wild world, according to my Mom) and I get creative with scheduling and maintaining a happy household.  The month of May has been the most creative (and hectic) but we did it!

My Cute Husband is an avid hockey fan (Go CAPS!). I am a more moderate hockey fan. We have talked about visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame and we finally got to do it. I wanted him to go while the Capitals were still the Stanley Cup Champions (another team will hold that honor soon - Go BRUINS). I picked the dates … there just happened to be a FIBER festival going on in the same town that weekend … coincidence?

Kid#1 flew down from MD to stay with her Gram and MCH and I jetted off to Toronto for 5 days. The highlights - a thoroughly enjoyable day at the Hockey Hall of Fame. MCH was THRILLED to not only see the CUP but touch it. We then spent a thoroughly enjoyable day at the Knitters Frolic - let's just say we were great tourist and helped out the Canadian economy. I got bitten by a little dog - nothing serious but it scared me (we did laugh about it later). We went to a baseball game, walked all around downtown Toronto and rode a plane, a train and an Uber.

We flew home on a Monday and Tuesday, I flew to MD for my Bee retreat. 6 days of sewing and eating, more shopping and gazing out the window at a West Virginia valley that was just waking up to Spring.  I had offers from 6 bee-mates to borrow a sewing machine but decided it would be all handwork for me. I over prepped/packed, naturally. I planned for 5 blocks and completed ONE.

I've missed doing hand-embroidery. The colors looked a bit washed out, it's more vibrant. This BOM started in January. 8 blocks have been released and I've made 1.  This will be on my list forever.

The 365 challenge takes up most of my sewing time.
It also takes up most of sewing room.

These 3" blocks take more time than you would think.

The 6" light blocks take just as much time. Lots of cutting and sewing and resewing.
I have stayed current, caught up, stayed current and am almost caught up ... again.
The blocks are released daily, there's no "working ahead" and it's easy to get behind.
I am currently just 4 blocks behind.

I've been working (not as much as I should) on getting Dear Daughter quilted. It's a graduation gift that I started in April 2018 ... in plenty of time.  Graduation is Friday ... as in ... tomorrow.
This is how I will be spending today.

There's also been knitting. I'm such a sucker for prizes. I joined a KAL (knit-along) because there's a chance for prizes … so far I have not won. I guess the best prize is a finished shawl.

Actually no … the best prize is how happy the cutest-baby-in-the-whole-wide-world was to see her Grammie and Gramps after our travels.
This kid makes my heart so HAPPY!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Sock Story

Today's story does not start with a sock.
It all started with a sweater.
Well … really it all started with yarn. 

I must have really liked this yarn because I had 3 skeins of the same color/maker of yarn. I know I did not purchase 3 skeins at once. It was acquired over time.
It's Knit Picks Hawthorne in color: Rose City. It's a tonal of various shades of red. 

I really wanted to knit a sweater by Caitlyn Hunter of Boyland Knits.  She designs beautiful colorwork (it's a knitter thing) sweaters.  I didn't think I was quite ready for that adventure so I picked TEGNA … it's a pretty basic design with a lacework hemline.

After getting started on this lovely, I actually checked the yardage of my yarn and realized I might not have quite enough.  I've played a little "yarn chicken" before but I didn't want to get to the point of having a - One-Sleeve-Sweater.  So I ordered an extra ball and needed it.  I used just a bit of the last ball but I'm so glad I had it.

I did not do a gauge swatch. Yes, you are supposed to ALWAYS do a swatch. I lucked out that this sweater turned out perfect in the fit. There will be another sweater story someday that might not have as happy an ending … but that's for another day.

Now, what to do with the leftover of the extra yarn?
This is where the sock story starts.

I cast on a really simple "almost vanilla" sock.  It does have a little texture but it's a really easy to remember pattern on a very basic sock pattern.

Then I got nervous about running out of yarn for a second sock.
Yarn Chicken is a very real thing and I wasn't in the mood.

I cast on the second sock from the other end of the ball of red.  Now I have 2 socks going on separate needles working from both ends toward the middle.

This is actually a pretty ingenious way to make sure there's enough yarn for 2 socks. I will work one for a bit and then switch to the other until I use up the yarn.  The length of the leg will be entirely dependent on how much yarn I have when I get there.

I almost always, ya know - I think I can say ...
I ALWAYS have a sock on my knitting needles.  It's portable and great to take along for those times I'm waiting - Mom's hairdresser, doctor appointments, waiting for food at a restaurant. I "knit in public" often
It must be a thing … it has it's own hashtag!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Trip To Walmart

That title ...
it's enough to send me into a panic attack.
Seriously - I have total shopping anxiety.

I hate to shop!

But today, I thought maybe I could do a quick trip to Walmart.I wanted to get a few things from the Easter Bunny for 2 grandies, and some new undies for me. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and go to Walmart. After Mom's hairdresser appointment (it IS Thursday, after all), we stopped and got a quick sandwich. That's when things started to go wrong.

Jimmy John's is not very wheelchair friendly, no problem, we can do this with the walker and the oxygen is handy if Mom needs it. (she did not). The sandwiches were not very good - dry and the bread was stale. While we were eating, I heard the guy say, "fresh bread just out of the oven!" If only we'd waited a few minutes. I'm a water drinker. Everyone has a water dispenser - right? Except that Jimmy John's was not working properly - I got a big mouthful of carbonated water with no flavor and it was GROSS.

A brief interlude from the rant ... the other night we out to dinner with some friends. This was the view from our table.  I do love living here! Or as My Cute Husband says, "it does not suck living here!"

On to Walmart where it's crazy busy. I find a parking spot but someone has left their cart in the way.  Who does this?!!! The Cart Corral was 2 spots over ... just 2 spots.  Why in the world would someone leave their cart smack in the middle of a busy parking lot. I get out to move the cart, and step in gum!

Let me repeat that ...


I take out the walker, to get out the wheelchair for Mom, who bumps her head while getting out of the car. We then almost get run over by a guy driving a big-ass van. He waves (sorry?) and then stops right in the crosswalk to talk to someone in a big truck.  We go around him and into ...


By the way - I did laundry today. I really do think My Cute Husband needs to expand his color palette.  These are his t-shirts. 

We navigate our way through Walmart and into the crazy Easter-stuff aisle. Mom takes forever picking out a bunny for Baby Amelia ... this one is soft, this one is cute, this one is pink.

This one! it's soft and cute and pink.

Now for the 17 year old grandie who really loves plain M&M's.  
We found
caramel M&M's
pretzel M&M's
hazel nut M&M's
peanut M&M's
peanut butter M&M's

finally ... we found plain ordinary everyday M&M's.

Off to the check-out place. While I'm checking out our purchases, Mom is checking out the candy (she is 87 years old NOT 7 years old). I pay for our stuff and she hands me an Almond Joy bar ... and wants me to check out AGAIN. And I do.

Back to the car (without undies by the way because I forgot them), where I have to take out the walker to get the wheelchair into the back of my car, drop my wallet, which opens and my receipt blows away, get Mom settled into the car with her O2 and her Almond Joy. She was holding the receipt for the candy and it blows away. 
while the back of the car is open, the empty chip bag, that I accidently carried out of Jimmy John's blows away ... it was very breezy today. We're expecting a storm tonight and tomorrow is supposed to be really bad weather.

So ... to recap
1. my lunch wasn't very good
2. I stepped in gum
3. some people just suck
4. I littered 3 times accidently
5. I'm not making dinner tonight

And then I received this in a text message and all was right in my world.

Tonight we will be watching the Capitals play hockey - Stanley Cups 1/4-finals!
I will be knitting.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Relay for Life

Pints and Purls
Our knitting group has a Relay Team. This is the 3rd year we have participated.
A few members couldn't make this year
We walk (some)
We eat (some)
We knit (a lot)
We laugh (a lot)

My contribution to fund raising was this quilt.

It was well received and the winner was very excited.

So far April has been a bit crazy.
We are in the middle of a bathroom reno … so much dust! Mom has been displaced to the guest room while her bathroom is updated and made more accessible … walk-in shower!
I have to stay close to home while this is going on.
The workmen have so many questions ...
want the tile vertical or horizontal?
want the accent here? or here? or here?
towel bar high? or low?
grout color?

And in typical Florida laid-back fashion, they arrive around 10 a.m, take a lunch break and work until about 4 (most days). Tomorrow marks 2 weeks since this fun project started. I am actually hopefully that by the end of this week, we MIGHT have a working bathroom for Mom.

Staying close to home means … SEWING! 
I am current on my 365 challenge.
My Mini Trip to Market Square blocks are done. Still need to make it a top.
My guild "strip" is almost done. Needs some embroidery.
My 1/2-square swaps are done (80 blocks)
My Crazy Quilt blocks are mostly prepped.
Dear Daughter has a backing made. Still needs to be quilted.
My sweater KAL which ends soon (it might have already ended) is close to done.
My April socks … 25% done.

That's a lot of "almost" and "mostly". 
I need to move some things to the DONE column.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Dear Daughter

This quilt was one year in the making.

It was a BOM from ... well, I don't know what year.
I bought the pattern and have been working on it since
April 2019.

Pieced and machine appliqued
I really LOVE this quilt.

It still needs to be quilted ... soon.
The backing is made.
It will be gifted next month.

In the meantime ...
Look who turned 5 months old.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

It Did Bring JOY!

The whole KonMari thing … I think that's what it's called
it definitely has it's merits.
The down side ...
most anything fiber related brings me

I haven't really ever used these bias-turning tools.
In theory, they're great but I never have been much for needle-turn applique.

ok … I did make a really big almost-all needle turned quilt.
But - generally ...
I go for fusible-machine-stitched applique.

anyway ...
I own these and couldn't really part with them.

I'm so glad I've saved them for years!
I'm working on the last part of
Dear Daughter.
The border calls for 4 vines with a flower and I thought about these tools and decided to give them a try.  I think my skills have improved and I'm much more patient with myself, my fabric and my projects.

I'm not entirely positive that I'm using them correctly.
I did manage to make 100" of bias vine.

I used the double-sided sticky tape that was in the bag.
So far, so good.

Now, I have to actually stitch the vine.

Kid#1 is going back to MD today, but she'll be back for 
Gram-sitting next month.

Sunday, March 24, 2019


Springtime in Florida doesn't really look too much different than winter.
Summer looks a little more lush.
Here in Melbourne, we have 2 seasons - summer and other.

I've been block prepping.
This is the Crazy Seasons BOM.
It's free and it's lots of wool and embroidery.
I'm doing the prep and eventually will do the stitching.

I'm keeping up with Glyeen Fitzgerald's
Mini Trips to Market Square.

The corners are done.
It still need sides.

Another Gyleen pattern
This was made with her Polygon rulers … quite a while ago.
It's now been loaded and teeny bit quilted … for over a week.
I really need to get back to this quilt.
I'm doing ruler work.
There are sew many other things I can find to do
that do NOT involve ruler work.

This lovely plaids and homespun quilt finally got a binding!
It's my 2019 donation to
Relay for Life.
Our team, "Pints and Purls" participates every year.
This quilt is really pretty IRL, the photo does not capture the richness of the colors.

The weather has been so pretty.
Warm and sunny!!

The other day, while out for a walk, we meet up with some interesting new friends.
baby alligators and birds - enjoy a little sunshine together.

Kid#1 has been here visiting from MD. We've been playing with Baby Amelia and going out to lunch (a lot). There's been a bit of sewing - I'm current on my 365 Challenge and always a bit of evening knitting - just started sock#2 of my March socks. Mom is doing pretty well - she turns 87 this Thursday. My Cute Husband has been working a lot. His "retirement job" has been crazy this last 2 weeks. Thankfully, he does it all from the luxury of his home office - in shorts and sandals.

As we often say ...
Life here does NOT suck!