Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Poem in my Pocket.


in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how

in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so(forgetting seem)

in time of roses(who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if,remember yes

in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek(forgetting find)

and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me,remember me

~E.E. Cummings


=====
Many thanks to Kym for spreading the word about Poem in Your Pocket Day!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | Last Week.

...Carole was on vacation last week (lucky girl!) and has asked us to catch her up on what she missed. Honestly, it wasn't much from my end, but here goes:

1. Drove back from South Carolina (and eventually wrote a blog post about our weekend).

2. Finished Charlie's Playtime sweater and got him to model it for me.

3. Shared wine and a lot of laughter with my sister and Katie (and enjoyed having Rob sit in for one more glass).

4. Knitted ... on socks, Twinleaf, Same Same and my baseball scarf.

5. Published the shop's newsletter.

6. Wrote four long-overdue cards (I still have a few more to go but this was a great start!)

7. Volunteered with the knitting and crochet group at the nursing home.

8. Started the weekend at wine-thirty on Friday afternoon...with two of my favorite people...and two more friends.

9. Finished What Is the What. (this happened Saturday evening and I had to re-listen to the last chapter Sunday morning ... to let it really sink in) It's a heartbreaking and beautiful story.

10. Took two long walks with Holly and was delighted to see this view (am I the only one who thought spring brought only green leaves?!)

Thank you, Carole, for the opportunity to reflect...on a productive and fun week (even without a vacation!) I look forward to seeing more of what everyone else was up to as well.

If you're not signed up for the Ten on Tuesday fun, click here to join.

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Upcoming.

...when I first started my blog - back in early 2007, in those days before we all used Google Reader to keep up with blogs and actually visited them one by one to see what was new - I had a sidebar feature called Upcoming. It was a simple list of the dates and events I was looking forward to - meet-ups with friends, trips, you get the idea. I've long since simplified the sidebar, but there are exciting things on the horizon. Today I want to share a few of them with you:

First up, on the knitting front are two new projects. A wonderfully soft (machine washable and without any holes at Katie's request) blanket for Charlie. [I'm hoping to have this finished before they head for the beach. on May 9. stay tuned!]

And a baby girl sweater. I've been wanting to knit this one - with a pink ruffle! - ever since I found out Charlie was a boy...and yesterday learned that our associate pastor just had a baby girl. I'm going to knit the sweater out of the purple and the ruffle and i-cord edgings with the light pink.

I just added this cookbook to my collection and I'm excited about pretty much every recipe. Tomorrow night I'm making Spanish Chopped Salad with Walnut Paprika Vinaigrette (for me and Katie....I'm not sure Marc is nearly as excited about the recipes as I am!)

Later this week, I'm going to replant the pots on the porch for spring and summer. I feel bad about pulling up pansies that are still doing so well, but if I don't get the new flowers planted soon, it will be too hot for them to take hold. It will be nice to refresh the colors with something vibrant; I'm thinking hot pink and purple!

I've pre-ordered Elise's Get to Work Book; it ships in June. Despite all my i-devices, I am very much a paper girl. I can't wait to brainstorm ideas...and then work through them to execution - on paper. I might even be planning a new purchase of colorful markers and post-it notes!

I picked up installments 4, 5 and 6 in Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series at the latest Kindle sale. I'm ready for a little easy reading and these seem just the ticket along with, I hope, a few more installments of Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series. I'm nearly done re-reading the first one which I initially read some 10-12 years ago. Then I'll re-read the second and third (still on my bookshelf) before launching into new territory.

My parents have rented a huge house in the North Georgia mountains for a family reunion over Memorial Day. It's hard to believe that's now less than a month away! All three of us kids and our families (including those who live in Wisconsin and Texas) are planning to attend. It will be the first time since Katie's wedding we're all together. And the first time in years (maybe ever?!) that we've been together in one big house!

And last but not least, Marc bought me a plane ticket yesterday to spend nearly a week in Madison over the July 4th weekend. I hope the peonies will still be blooming. And of course, I'm beyond excited to have that much time with Sara. I have very fond memories of July 4th in New York City's Central Park with Katie (way back in 2009) and I have a feeling Madison does a pretty great Fourth.

I'd love to know what's upcoming in your world; please share!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Newsletter Thursday.

...yep, the shop's newsletter goes out today and I have a lot of work still to do. Typically that means I don't share anything here. But I'm going to change that starting today. Here are two fun photos (and not many words).

First, Charlie sporting his new Playtime cardigan (on Ravelry). This is the first pattern from tincanknits new collection. I knit the 6-12 month size and yay! it fits...with a little room to grow.

And then Holly, exhausted after playing keep away (from Charlie) all day Tuesday and another couple of hours yesterday evening. We had Wednesday night wine and knitting at Katie's. I think Holly was most grateful for my sister's lap (even though it was on the floor)!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Beaufort 2015.

...happy to report that the weekend lived up to every expectation. My mom, sister and I stayed at the just-renovated Sarah Gibbs Barnwell house in the historic district (VRBO link here - it really does look this lovely inside!)  The location was perfect - everything we did except attend church on Sunday morning was just a quick walk away.

We arrived Friday afternoon just in time to check in and settle onto the front porch for a glass of wine and some great people watching. Then we had a very short three block walk to dinner at Emily's. We toasted the weekend and then settled in for tapas.

Six plates later (the ahi tuna tartare is still my favorite, closely followed by oysters rockefeller, but all of it was delicious) our waiter had fun with our after-dinner photo.

We stayed up talking and playing dice and I realized my carefully planned travel knitting didn't have anything suitable for late night games. Our first stop Saturday morning was Coastal Knitting. I bought a ball of Cascade Heritage Paints and a set of size one double points. We did a little shopping and then met up with my dad, brother and our friend Charlie for lunch.

We lazed around Saturday afternoon, resting up for dinner. We went to Griffin Market and had a lovely meal. There were photos...none of which I'm going to share!

Sunday morning was church. I think the last time the five of us were lined up in a front pew was sometime in the 1970's. It felt very special to share the service with my family. And then to hear Charlie play Bach's Toccata in D Minor for the postlude.

We all went back to the Sarah house for brunch (takeout crab cake benedict, shrimp and grits and a shrimp salad). Sunday afternoon weather was ... good for games. And working on my new socks (this is the first time I've used self-striping yarn and I'm smitten).

The rain was just clearing out when we walked to dinner at Saltus River. After Saturday's dinner photo failure, we asked the hostess to take our photo before we sat down.

The restaurant looks out over the river and my sister noticed the sunset. We took turns heading outside to see. I especially love the colors reflected in the puddles.

And the view over the boats.

One more after dinner try (without a waiter :-)

We stayed up late playing Yahtzee. My sister thinks it requires too much thought. I just like that everyone is responsible for their own game (and their own score).

Monday morning was overcast, but not as wet. Here's my last view of the town as we headed home.

Tired, well-fed, and happy.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Flashback Friday | Beaufort.

...my sister, brother and I are headed to Beaufort, SC this morning to spend a long weekend with my mom and dad. This is my brother's first time joining us; he and my dad are sharing the cottage we girls stayed at on our first trip back in 2007. It is crazy to think that we've been doing this weekend away for that many years (we did take off 2011 and 2013, so this is our 7th visit in nine years.)


My sister and I had fun Wednesday night poring over the three albums I've made (for 2008, 2009 and 2010).

But maybe more fun with the blog posts (20072008200920102012, 2014.) I had just started my blog back in 2007 when we made that first visit. (wow!)

my dad, my mom, me, Charlie, Karen - Sea Island Presbyterian, March 4, 2007
We are definitely hoping to recreate this photo; that tree stands in front of the church and it is even more spectacular in real life.

We are also looking forward to games, drinks, walks, low country dining...and a lot of fun sharing old memories and making new ones.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Full of Delight.

...I had every good intention of playing along with yesterday's Ten on Tuesday. Carole's topic was "everyday delights" and my Tuesdays with Charlie are always full of delightful moments. Yesterday, though, "full" was the operative word. A busy seven month old (and then a glass of wine with his mama and dinner and cleaning up after dinner) and I was asleep on my yoga mat at 9:30...with no blog post!

I did, however, take lots of photos! He's started pulling up and the toy box at my house is the perfect height.

...to allow exploration of all the contents. And kneeling! this is the first time I've seen him do that.

Charlie turned seven months on Monday, so it was time for another #quiltselfie. I think we took about 100 and I couldn't get him to take the fingers out of his mouth. Oh well, it's a good reminder that his second tooth is just about to break through and he has something in his mouth almost all the time.

Hope your Tuesday was full of delight as well! (click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Shiny New.

...as in projects. knitting projects, that is! I got my Mondo Vest (ugh, still no photos on Ravelry!) onto the blocking board this morning and spent a few hours on what's next - printing patterns, winding yarn, taking photos and updating Ravelry.

What once looked like this - just three WIPs???


now looks like this (that's right - a whole ROW of WIPs!)


Because three WIPs is not nearly enough for this knitter! 

Especially since one of the projects is a crocheted afghan that takes up a whole basket (and, as I discovered last night, a certain "frame of mind" to make forward progress. my fingers were too tired to find the rhythm and I ended up ripping as much as I stitched). 


And one is the Braves season scarf that I'll be adding to s l o w l y over the next five months. Sadly, I had to wind the ball for Home Loss. The team had a great 5-0 start, but now they're 5-1 after yesterday afternoon's loss to the Mets. Note that I haven't knitted any of the Home rounds yet. I might just wait until it's over and I know the whole section (that happens Wednesday, and I'll still only have 12 rounds to add at that point). 

The third is a cardigan for Charlie that's at a fiddle-y spot right now - I have to join the shoulders and pickup stitches for the sleeves (all on dpn's and I'm grateful they're size 5's not size 1's like the onesie from a few weeks back) and then knit the sleeves. One at a time, counting rounds to get the increases in the right place and to be sure sleeve #2 is an identical twin to sleeve #1. And then button bands (and blah, blah, blah till it's done). And then...happy baby photos. but that will likely be next week. 

So I've been spending a bit of time these past few days thinking about what's next. and here it is - THREE new projects! All of which I plan to start this week. Yay for shiny new!


First is Twinleaf. This one wasn't even on my radar until recently (one of my students is knitting it), but it made my queue on Wednesday when I saw the almost-finished version. Another friend is going to KAL and we both bought yarn this weekend. I already had two of the brown skeins in stash; the girls helped me choose the gray yesterday (y'all would laugh to see some of the other suggestions they had :-) This is my traveling epic knit. It's all garter stitch. on size 5 needles. it begins with 360(ish) stitches and there are short rows. My goal is to finish it in June (so I can start another epic knit with another friend).


And then Same Same but Different. I'm calling this Same Same (Not) because 1) I've never used the contiguous sleeve method; and 2) this is the second time I'm trying this yarn in a cardigan (the first was a couple of years back and I frogged it) - I can only hope this version doesn't end up in the frog pond, too! The yarn I'm using is Spud&Chloe Fine in the Dolphin colorway.


And finally, the Through the Loops Mystery Socks. My sister and I are going to KAL (she's already started hers, but she does two at a time...I'm hoping I can catchup quickly and then keep up since I'll just be knitting one). The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Ysolda Red that I bought in 2010. It spent the first four years of its life as a WIP and then in hibernation. I finally frogged and reclaimed the yarn this past weekend.

Feeling pretty good that I'm getting three new projects out of just two new skeins of yarn! And that I'll have a variety of projects...big and little, easy and hard (and hopefully a few in between), quick and not-so... to suit any type of situation. Because EVERY situation requires a project, right?

What's next in line in your queue?


Friday, April 10, 2015

Take Me Out to the Ballgame.


...pigs are flying again! In an effort to learn more about baseball - and hugely inspired by Kristen and the 2 Knit Lit Chicks podcast (episode 87) - I've decided to knit a baseball cowl...for the Braves 2015 season. The idea is that you choose four colors (Home Win, Away Win, Home Loss, Away Loss) and knit stripes according to the team's record.

The hardest part - so far, anyway! - has been choosing the yarn. I am not a huge fan of the Braves' red/navy/white colors. (I'm more of a gray/black/khaki girl.) Shibui to the rescue! Their Suit is a great navy, I love Brick (red - I've used it in two of my recent projects) and Fog/Ivory work for "white". I'll be using Brick for Home Wins, Suit for Away Wins, Fog for Home Losses and Ivory for Away Losses.

When I was planning this project, my son-in-law advised that I should choose "loss" colors I really liked since they'd likely predominate the finished piece. Imagine everyone's surprise when the first three stripes are Suit! That's right, the Braves WON!!! their first three (away) games vs the Marlins. Their home opener is tonight vs the Mets. I'm not even going to wind the yarn until the game is over. All I know for sure is that the run of Suit is over for another week.

Full disclosure, I haven't actually watched a game yet. It's Masters Week which means 24/7 golf around here ... but Marc is headed to Augusta this morning so maybe I'll actually get to see some of tonight's game. Although my seats won't be nearly as much fun as my sister's - who'll be there in person!

Are you a baseball fan? if so, which team is your favorite?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | What I've Read.

...I've been meaning to post a Book Report. Thanks to Book Riot's Read Harder challenge, I've been reading more and exploring new genres. Today, Carole's asked us to share the last ten books we read; I think it's time for that Book Report!

The image above is my finished shelf for 2015. 16 books (all but that first one, Maeve Binchy's Week in Winter have been for the Read Harder challenge), 11 I listened to and five I read (although I listened to The Little Prince, I looked at the book for all the pictures ;-) You can see all the details on Goodreads. Here are my highlights:

Americanah. This was my first 5-star book of the year. Total kudos to the challenge for pushing me to actually read it. I first heard about it on the Book Riot podcast and pooh pooh'd it as anything I might like. But it was pretty much the front-runner choice for a book by an African author. For good reason. I listened to this one which I definitely think enhanced the experience. The narrator has a wonderful African English accent and she knows how to pronounce all the names. I'm embarrassed how much I learned about blacks - especially American blacks - but I've taken the learnings to heart. Highly recommend to just about everyone.

The Martian. My second 5-star book (and another recommendation from the podcast). Again, not one I would've chosen on my own. Science Fiction. "MacGyver in Space". yeah...not my thing. But this was such an interesting story (totally appeals to the Georgia Tech geek that I am) and I loved Mark Watney - he made me laugh and even cry a few times. Also, it was a book I read. no multi-tasking here. I loved every minute. and there were a few late nights and early mornings before I finished it. I'm not recommending this one to many; but I hope my dad reads it!

Emma. One of the challenge categories is a book written before 1850. I planned to re-read something by Jane Austen because hey, I'm getting stretched in other areas and I adore Jane! After Longbourn, I was thinking it would be Pride and Prejudice, but then Emma jumped to the top of the list when I saw that Alexander McCall Smith will be releasing an Emma re-telling shortly. This was actually a re-listen. I wholeheartedly recommend Elizabeth Klett's Librivox recording. I first read/listened to this in 2010; then I was wrapped up in the Clueless re-telling...this time I knew how it worked out but it was still a delight. Austen's wit and perception really shine through, and I can almost hear a twinkling eye in Klett's narration.

One Summer. I just finished this and again, I'm grateful to the challenge for pushing me to it. Non-fiction is really not my thing. Bill Bryson might change my mind about that! This is an in-depth look at America, June-September, 1927. Oh my what a mess. And oh my how Bill Bryson can make sense of it, and weave dozens of seemingly unrelated stories into a cohesive whole.

I have nine more books to complete the challenge; I've selected all but the "guilty pleasure". Because honestly, I can't imagine what kind of book that would be. What would you recommend?

Thank you, Carole, for the prompt! I'm looking forward to adding a lot more books to my to-read shelf! (click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun.)

...and finally, because it is, after all, Tuesday - and Charlie was here all day! He played, we played, I watched him play. This little montage sums up his approach to toys right now. He sees, he tastes, he sets it aside (and moves on to something else)!

 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Outfits.

Charlie and I both sported new knitwear for Easter. We stopped by the lake after church yesterday for photos.

His onesie fits perfectly, which, considering the pattern comes in just one size (3-6 months) is a miracle. The pattern was easy enough, but the finishing was fiddle-y (miles of 1x1 ribbing on size 1 needles is always going to be fiddle-y, I guess).

Thank goodness Marc was home to help me with the snaps. This is the first time I've ever used a hammer to finish a piece of knitting!

I'm pretty happy with my Xenia cowl, too. In all, a huge success!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Poetry Sunday | What Gorgeous Thing.

from this morning's walk
What Gorgeous Thing

I do not know what gorgeous thing
the bluebird keeps saying,
his voice easing out of his throat,
beak, body into the pink air
of the early morning. I like it
whatever it is. Sometimes
it seems the only thing in the world
that is without dark thoughts.
Sometimes it seems the only thing
in the world that is without
questions that can't and probably 
never will be answered, the
only thing that is entirely content
with the pink, the clear white
morning and, gratefully, says so.

~ Mary Oliver (from Blue Horses)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Twig Cowl.

...finished.

and modeled (thank you to Katie for the photos). First the ubiquitous #holdyourcowlup shot.

and then two more with the little monkey.

The pattern as written calls for three colors of a fingering weight cashmere yarn. I used Shibui's latest Twig (a sport-ish weight silk/linen/merino blend). With a slightly different gauge, a little less yardage and a much different fiber blend, I made quite a few modifications. And - for once! - they turned out great. I'm really pleased with the size and drape...and kudos to Joji Locatelli for the fabulous design and inspiration.

We're going to be sharing the suggested modifications in an upcoming newsletter, so for now, my notes aren't on Ravelry (which feels really weird, by the way! but here's the project link in case you're curious). This was an easy and fun knit and I hope we drum up some excitement for it at the shop.