Thursday, February 22, 2018

Three on Thursday | Travel Knitting and Reading.

I wish I could say I was packed and ready to go, but I'm not. My knitting and reading, however, are set!

1. Knitting. In a bold move, I'm taking just one ball of yarn to knit one thing. That's nearly 800 yards of laceweight merino/silk and size 7 needles for a Bateaux Mouches for me. 

2. Ears. No bold moves here - I've got Kristin Hannah's latest - set in Alaska (15 hours) and the 3rd Walt Longmire (10 hours).

3. Eyes. I chose Gentleman in Moscow for our March bookclub and since it's been almost a year since I read it, I'd like to re-read it. Last time, I listened (and loved), but to lead a discussion, I think it will help to highlight. So I have it on my Kindle (along with a few dozen other titles 😉). 

(now back to figuring out the clothes.)

Check out more Three on Thursday posts over at Carole's blog.

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday.

As of this morning, I have not one, not two, but three new sweaters for our trip.

First, the black cardigan. Thankfully, there wasn't any more unraveling after the story I shared two weeks ago.

Then, the blue tank, which also works great as a layering piece.

And last, All the Love. I finished the body in early January and set it aside to finish Bodie (then Footprints and the two sweaters above). Adding the two sleeves and a neckband was quick! I've got the fan blowing full speed; hopefully it will be dry to wear on the plane Friday morning. The fiber is a wool/silk/yak blend in a DK weight; I think it might even work with white jeans for a casual evening. We'll see.

After all those sweaters, it feels kind of weird to have just one project on the needles. I'm sure it won't mind a bit of monogamous attention for two days 😊. 

On the reading front, I'm slogging through Before We Were Yours. A few of y'all read and loved it but I'm finding it bleak and cruel. It turns into a pumpkin tomorrow and I still have 40% to go. If it weren't a bookclub pick, I'd just give it up. If you have any encouragement for me, please share!

Hop on over to Kat's to see what others are knitting and reading!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tiny Moment Tuesday.

The Valentine's bouquet Marc bought last Wednesday is still beautiful. I paused this morning to take a photo ... and I'm pausing again this afternoon to share it with y'all. 

It's funny. all day today I was thinking about that photo and how I wasn't sure I'd given Marc much "good" time here on the blog. When I sat down to write this post, I searched "Marc" and this is the first post that popped up. He may not get much time here, but no doubt about it, it's good.

He says he doesn't read my blog and honestly, given how much I talk about knitting and books, that's probably fine. but I do wish he'd peek in occasionally. and if he did today, he'd get the Valentine I was too busy to send last week. 

xxoo, M.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Mid-February Weekending.

...was filled with good things:

Early signs of spring.

Knitting with a friend.

A beautiful Sunday morning, with tears of sadness (those backpacks on the chancel steps were placed by 17 high school students and teachers at the beginning of the service) and happiness (we celebrated the baptism of the grandson - another Charlie! - of one of my small group friends).

And another amaryllis bud - this is #7 from the basket of three bulbs!

Not pictured - more salads (we leave for Mexico on Friday), nine (?!) episodes of Longmire and a finished tank.

Hope your weekend was full of good things, too! Happy Monday!

Friday, February 16, 2018

All About Sam.

Thank you all for your good wishes - Sam is much better (and hopefully back at school today).  For sure, this little guy is a trooper; I have to remind myself the gift of two whole days with him was because he didn't feel good! After a good night's sleep, I tackled the dozens of photos and videos I took. Wanna see?!

I brought a basket of new-to-him toys with me - a shape sorter, legos, books and crayons. He especially liked the shape sorter and the crayons.



But of course some of the best play doesn't even require toys. We also had fun playing hide and seek in the laundry room

trying on his brother's PJ's

and dancing to silly songs.

You can certainly get a sense of his fun personality from the photos, but video is even better. Here are my favorite 20 seconds from the last two days.

Today I have some major catch up with my to-do list ... and hopefully I'll find time for some yoga. My body is definitely not used to so much toddler time 😉.

Happy Friday everyone - have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday.

I spent today with little Sam ... who in spite of that big smile you saw from Sunday's breakfast was not well enough for school today. It was honestly hard to tell he was sick, except that he didn't eat much and he took a great nap. Not gonna lie - I needed the break!
naptime entertainment
The knitting is that Heidi tank I shared last week (in a brand new-to-me yarn) and the book is #2 in the Longmire series. I finished listening on the drive home tonight (4-stars!) and might be purchasing #3 to keep me company for tomorrow's drive.

So yes, tomorrow is a Thursday with Sam, and there might not be a post. But hopefully by the weekend, I'll have at least a few fun things to share.

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tiny Moment Tuesday.

I ordered a Sacred Invitation deck from Jen Trulson the day Kym shared about it. It arrived today in a beautiful package. This card was on top. What a lovely invitation!

(thank you so much to Juliann for the inspiration to share a tiny moment today!)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mid-February Weekending.

... started out with blue skies and temperatures warm enough to have the roof open in the car - this is Friday afternoon on my drive home.

Thankfully Saturday and Sunday weren't as rainy as the forecast predicted (meaning Marc did leave the house for several hours both days to "hit balls" which judging by the state of his clothes, he did) but I still think the best parts of my weekend were spent indoors:

Catching up with Sara. I listened to her latest 2+ hour podcast and then had a long FaceTime (about much more than Homeland).


Watching the amaryllis. Another flower stalk has started (this is #7!)

and the blooms are still going strong.

Saturday evening we watched Longmire while I snuggled with Holly and worked toward finally seeing colors change on my Parallelogram Scarf.

And then yesterday morning, we met up with our favorite toddlers and their parents for breakfast. Marc hadn't wanted to commit to any daytime plans (in case the weather turned nice), but he agreed to 7:30 am when Katie texted Saturday evening. Leaving the house dark-early in the rain was completely worth it!

I love how Katie can get Sam to smile

and how Charlie can actually make Marc laugh!

What made you laugh this weekend?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Three on Thursday | About Eleanor.

I finished this wonderful book yesterday morning. Here are three reasons why I gave it five stars:

1. The quality, depth and breadth of Smith's research. There are 21 pages of Notes citing quotations included from other works and a biography that includes well over 200 titles (I didn't count more than the first few pages and it's 12 pages long). I did not know how prolific an author Eleanor herself was. She wrote two columns - "My Day", a syndicated newspaper column which ran from December 30, 1935 to September 26, 1962 (just six weeks before she died), and "If You Ask Me", a monthly column published (first in Ladies' Home Journal and then in McCall's) from May 1941 until November 1962. Smith includes material from both of these sources as well; they are fascinating as both historical and spiritual documents. I highly recommend this "best of" collection of My Day columns; I'm sure you'll find at least a few familiar lines on those pages.

2. The writing. In spite of all the facts and quotations, it reads like a story. Smith begins with a chapter about what religion meant to Eleanor, then tells her story, starting with childhood (a chapter most appropriately titled "A Childhood from Hell") and continuing through her marriage (the chapter on their pre-White House years is titled "Challenged and Betrayed") to widowhood. Smith has separated material on the Jews (WWII, the Holocaust, founding of Israel), civil rights and religious diversity into their own chapters, which makes for compelling - and disturbingly uncomfortable - reading.

3. The story itself. I'm embarrassed how little I really knew about Eleanor prior to reading this book. She was a remarkable woman who contributed much to our country and the world. I'm grateful to (finally) understand her contribution.

Smith closes the book with these words that Eleanor wrote in 1933, in It's Up to the Women (her first published book)
I think we shall have fulfilled our mission well if when our time comes to give up active work in the world we can say we never saw a wrong without trying to right it; we never intentionally left unhappiness where a little effort would have turned it into happiness, and we were more critical of ourselves than we were of others. 
He concludes "Without a doubt, Eleanor fulfilled her mission." and I wholeheartedly agree.

Check out Carole's blog to read others' Three on Thursday posts.

P.S. when I added the Goodreads link, I realized I'd forgotten to mention that the only thing missing from the book was photographs. I guess Smith knows we can find those all over the place! That My Day compilation I mentioned above includes some nice ones.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday.

Joining in with Kat and friends today to talk about knitting. First, a quick look at the Parallelogram Scarf ... I know it's getting longer, but those two balls don't seem to be getting any smaller!

Honestly, though, I haven't knit much on it, except in the evenings (watching Longmire), when it should be too dark to knit on the black cardigan. But this past weekend, I didn't even set it aside for that.
Saturday evening
Because Saturday afternoon, just as I was getting ready to start the short row shaping at the bottom of the body, I finally counted all the stitches. The fronts were good (I'd counted them periodically to be sure they matched and I hadn't forgotten to make one of the "every six rows" increases along the front  edge), but the back was not. Looking carefully - in the bright light of Starbucks - I found the problem. Way back - nearly 80 rows back - I'd worked a right lifted increase when I should've worked a left.

I ripped. and you can be sure I counted often as I reknit the body! Monday I finished the body and started the first sleeve. Now it just needs a second sleeve (and a good soak) and it's done.

It's really hard to photograph a black sweater, especially on rainy day, but if you look really carefully, you can see the pretty lines down the back - right lifted increases on the left side and left lifted increases on the right. just like Heidi designed it!

Now that I'm feeling really confident about finishing this piece, I'm wondering what else I could knit for our trip (we leave two weeks from Friday ... that gives me ten days). I have about 900 yards of Maggiknits Linen that I've been thinking would be a cardigan, but maybe it should be a easy tank I could layer? Unfortunately, the "easy tank" I want to knit is this one (yep, another Heidi design) and my swatching so far hasn't worked (gah, I even tried the yarn doubled ... and even if the fabric hadn't been stiff like canvas, I decided there was no way I could knit with six strands!) So now I'm contemplating a trip to my LYS to buy Kestrel, but not until I finish the black cardigan. I must say, a little yarn purchase might be just the push to make that second sleeve fly off my needles!

That said, I'd really like to use the yarn I have. If you have any suggestions for 900+ yards of yarn that knits nicely to 4-1/2 stitches per inch, please share them in the comments! (thanks in advance 😀)

Check out the comments in Kat's post here to see what others are unraveling about today.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Looking Back | January.

Looking back at January through the lens of my daily photos,
I'm struck by three things - crazy weather, a LOT of knitting! and a beautiful basket of amaryllis. The amaryllis is continuing its stunning show; here's what it looked like Saturday ... more buds and blooms!


And for maybe the first time ever, more coffee and tea than cocktails (one glass of wine on the 1st!) - and more photos of me and Holly than other people. Thank goodness I saw the boys on the 30th, or it would be just me and Holly! I'm pretty sure I can do a better job with both those things this month!


Monday, February 5, 2018

Sometimes Mondays.

...require a second pot of coffee!

Friday, February 2, 2018

FO Friday | Footprints.

The amaryllis is still going strong, but I think we're all ready for a different Friday view. So I'm delighted that Heidi has published Footprints in the Snow and I can share my finished project with y'all!

I finished the knitting on Sunday and finished the rest Monday morning. With the help of a small fan, it was dry to wear out Tuesday. Of course it was nice to have a "new" sweater, but it was even nicer to have Katie take photos.

It's wonderful to have her behind the camera (she does such a nice job!) and this neutral brick wall on her deck is a near-perfect setting.


The design is a very classic pullover, knit seamlessly from the top down in a versatile DK weight gauge (22 stitches and 30 rows to 4"). I mixed Shibui Linen and Silk Cloud on a size 6 needle; the linen/silk/mohair blend will be a nice transition piece for spring and fall here in Atlanta.

The mock turtleneck is 5" of 1x1 ribbing (honestly, the most tedious part of the whole project), folded in half and sewn down on the inside. I left a long tail so I didn't even have any extra ends to weave in - and the seam was really easy.

The only modification I made to Heidi's design was to shorten the sleeves by about 2". If I make this again - which I plan to! - for warmer weather, I might shorten them even more. For winter, though, I think her length as written would be perfect.

Heidi is definitely one of my desert island designers. I hope I get the opportunity to test for her again.

The process that Katie and I use for these photos is simple - I give her a memory card, tell her what knitting details I want to highlight and she does the rest. Without fail, there is always something fun waiting for me when I import the photos.

and on this smiling note, Happy Friday, Happy Weekend (and GO EAGLES)!!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Three on Thursday | Hello February.

from today's morning walk
Hello February,

I am glad to see you! and not just because you bring signs of spring and longer days ... this year, I am also looking forward to these three things:

1. New books for Lent. I'll be reading this one on my own and this one with my Friday morning small group.

2. Mind Body Pilates Challenge from The Balanced Life. I joined The Balanced Life last March (when Robin ran a free 21-day challenge) and I still love it. This challenge runs for 10 days, beginning on February 19.  It will be just 15 minutes of Pilates and one mindful exercise per day (conveniently delivered to my inbox each morning) and Robin says it has the power to transform both body and mind in incredible ways. I believe her.

...but the real challenge for me will be showing up for it each day, because

3. Marc and I are flying to Cabo for a long weekend getaway at the end of the month. The celebration of our 35th anniversary is going to be a yearlong event!

I might even be wishing you had more than 28 days (but don't tell anyone - I have a feeling I'm the minority vote about that one).

xo - M.

Joining in with Carole and crew for Three on Thursday - see all the lists here.