Friday, July 25, 2014

Five on Friday.

...whoa, I can't believe it's Friday already. I'm still playing catchup with my life, and feeling oddly disconnected from myself. But I didn't want to let too much time pass without even a brief visit here. And Five on Friday seems like just the thing!

The days are getting noticeably shorter. Sunrise is now closer to 7am than to 6. But it made for a stunning view at the park when Katie and I walked this morning.

That was our second walk of the week and my third workout at the park; Lauren and I ran a good four miles there on Tuesday. Holly and I also made a "forced march" (that's what my friends have taken to calling the long walks I take with Holly; she makes it about a mile on her own and then I carry her the rest of the way) yesterday. And there was a five-plus mile hill run on Monday with my running group. Feeling good about all the fresh air and the time that's allowed for catching up with my friends. My fitbit has had a good week!

My bingo card is filling up; three bingo's so far! I'm midway through two more books that will give me two more, and then I only have four books left to fill my card. Details coming next week, I promise. But in the meantime, one of the four remaining is a "Re-read" and I'm stuck on what to choose. Any recommendations?

I have yet to visit the classroom for the Phone Photography 2 class that began last week. Margene is also taking the class and - unlike me! - has done several of the lessons. Her photographs are amazing! I can't wait to get started.

But first, I've got two knitting projects to start. First up, the new KAL at the shop starts this afternoon. We're knitting Shallows and I'm using Shibui Cima+Silk Cloud... sounds like heaven to knit. And shortly thereafter (as in I hope to swatch this evening), I'm finally succombing to one of the shop newsletter projects. I feel pretty good that I've written half a dozen newsletters and this is the first one I'm unable to resist (or maybe that just means I'm not that good at the newsletter?!) In any event, the pattern is Julie Hoover's Insouciant and I'm completely smitten. Seams and all. I'm going to use the pattern suggested Habu Tsumugi Silk, color still TBD. There's also one more thing in the wings, am I'm excited to tell y'all about it...but it needs a post of its own. Stay tuned.

So there you have it. Reading over what I've just written it seems like there is a bit of normal starting to peek through. That feels good. And it's Friday. Happy Weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Moving to Madison.

...whoa. I never imagined it would be a week before I could post...but the internet was just installed Saturday. and we had things to do ... like make a very last-minute appearance at her company picnic! yep, I got to see her office and the rest of the Epic campus from the inside (2 dots on my fitbit!). Sara's team is located in the lower level of The Barn (part of Farm Campus which is three buildings - the  Barn, the Stables and the Shed). It's decorated in a farm theme on the inside, too. There are sheep that apparently move to new spots each night and a conference room with cowhide upholstery on the chairs. Here's her building

and Sara's office (she shares with another new hire).

and then it was Sunday. I started writing this sitting at the airport (with a glass of wine and a most sympathetic bartender) with the idea I'd post before my flight...and then as soon as we landed. And now it's Monday. I'm back at my kitchen counter. I still haven't written much. So I'm just going to share a few more photos and trust that I'll find my voice soon enough.

Sara's apartment is just off Monroe Street in a neighborhood her company orientation calls "yuppie". fair assessment. and honestly great for this mama to imagine when I'm not there. The building is brand new (hence the delay in internet ... I'm not sure anyone else in the building has internet either). She's on the third floor with a through-the-trees and south-facing lake view. I took these photos yesterday morning. This is the view from Sara's back porch.

And here's the inside. This is the main living room (the kitchen is off to the left).

We hung a few pictures yesterday morning, including these prints of cities Sara's visited. These are on the wall behind the dining table.

Here's the kitchen.

and the bathroom (with another picture we hung yesterday).

(sorry, no photos of the bedroom...Sara hasn't quite gotten everything together there!)

We went out for brunch yesterday...and I'm delighted I have a smiling two-of-us to share.

It was a full week. I'm glad I was there to help her unpack and settle in. even just a little bit. Madison is a great town and Epic seems like a great company. I'm planning another trip back in February. We'll see how I handle the snow!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's a Baby Shower.

...celebrating Katie and little baby T. Four of Katie's girlfriends threw her a shower this past weekend. It was perfectly delightful. This umbrella was featured on the invitation and the scorecard for the game.

I'm so glad shower games have progressed beyond the "guess how big around she is" and "guess how much she weighs" games we played at my showers! Instead we played along with Katie as she tried to guess how Rob answered 14 questions ranging from "how many diapers will the baby go through in a day?" (10 they both said), "will the baby have lots of hair, no hair or some hair?" (lots they both said) and my favorite one of all "which trait of Katie's do you hope the baby gets?" (her smile! how sweet!)

I didn't take any photos of the gifts, but we all ooh'ed and ahh'ed over cute, practical, fun and handmade. Not counting Sara (who gave Katie handknit tend gifts before she left), there were seven knitters represented (I think) and my sister-in-law quilts, too. I counted four hats, including a game day white and gold striped cap, two sweaters (one from me), a toy pig and a play quilt.

For decorations, they used baby photos from Katie and Rob.

I think "lots of hair" was a pretty good guess...Rob had really blond hair as a baby, but there was still plenty of it!

They also hung newborn onesies. It's hard to believe a tiny person will be wearing those is just two months.

The food was delicious. Vegetables and hummus, fruit and cheese, pimiento cheese sandwiches, sweet potato biscuits and savory cheese scones...and strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. 

Here's Katie with the hostesses. 
left to right: Aubrey (she's due 12 days before Katie), Cady, Katie, Christa (holding 3-1/2 month old Mira who is actually a very happy baby but we interrupted her feeding time for the photo), and Katie. 

and with me.

...and a few peeks at the little sweater I knit. The first of many, I'm sure.

The pattern is Melissa LeBarre's Sweetest Thing. I used Berroco Vintage and three baby Yellow Jacket buttons. Not only is this baby going to have all the handknits, he's gonna be quite the Yellow Jacket...fourth generation perhaps!?

It was all a lot of fun and I am so glad I got to share the celebration with Katie, her friends and mine. 

(and now I'm in Madison...stay tuned for more "moving to Madison" posts...soon!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Prettiest Ever.'s photo prompt is "I never..." At this point, it seems most of my "nevers" are either life choices or bucket list items that I'm unlikely to check off on a random Tuesday in July. But I had the distinct pleasure yesterday to show off my completed Through the Loops Mystery Shawl... and I have to say, I've never knitted anything prettier.
Raveled here
The shawl pattern was released in five segments ("clues" to those familiar with "mystery" knit alongs) and we didn't know until the fifth clue was released on June 29 how it would look in the end. This is my third time knitting one of Kirsten's lace shawls and I was expecting it to be good. She surpassed my expectations. The clues flowed seamlessly and built to a stunning conclusion. This is my first crocheted border and maybe that's why I'm so smitten with the little loops?

I used a linen yarn (my first time with Quince & Company's Sparrow - a new yarn for the shop this summer); blocked, it's a little bit crisp, but still drapes. I think it's going to hold its shape well, which is good since I think I'll be able to wear this piece well into the fall.

And just one more note about my process. The knit-along started June 1 and new clues came out every Sunday in June. I started off with a bang, but sizzled out when I left the project at home while Sara and I were in Madison. The second clue took me a while and I kept putting off catching up, until I saw the finished shawls...which amazingly started to appear on Ravelry just a few hours after Kirsten released that last clue! I worked through Clue 3 in bits and pieces last week and then powered through Clues 4 and 5 Saturday and Sunday. Turns out lace knitting is good company while you're stalking your iPhone for travel updates*! I finished Sunday afternoon and then spent another hour plus weaving in ends and blocking. Clearly I could've kept up and been an early finisher, but I love that this shawl now holds memories of this past weekend.

...having typed all this, I realize I did have two other "nevers" - that crocheted border and the linen yarn. Small in the big scheme of things, but making me happy nonetheless. I love new things. which...I guess are just "nevers" in reverse!

*p.s. to everyone who sent along good wishes and/or left comments about Sara's move. I am beyond delighted to report that she made the trip safely and without incident. Her first day of work (yesterday) was "great". She said 514 (!!!) employees started along with her and it appears Epic does have on-boarding down to a science. I'll be there for the company picnic next Saturday and can't wait to report back. The menu options were lobster, steak and vegetarian. I chose vegetarian. (Marc was pleased that the company appears to be doing well :-)