Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Getting Back to Real Life.

 Coming home from vacation can be hard, don't you think? All that time to enjoy life and see new things -- and then it's back to work. While teachers in my district don't officially start until tomorrow, I've been tackling some of the paperwork that dogs special ed teachers.  I know I'll be glad in the long run that I got a head start on things.
With all the focus on work, I've been doing mindless knitting on my Three-Color Cowl. It's a pleasant TV knit, but not terribly exciting to make. It did get me through the latest season of Orange is the New Black. I thought this season was excellent, but also disturbing.

I'm nearing the end of White Trash by Nancy Isenberg. I don't think it lives up to the reviews. It starts out focused, but seems to lose focus by the halfway point. Kind of mad I bought it in hardcover.
Last night I started T.C. Boyle's novel, The Harder They Come. As always, his writing sparkles with wit and word choice. I'm hoping it's good.

Join me over at Ginny's to Yarn Along.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Airports are for Knitting

Our trip home from Canada went smoothly -- outside of the fact that we flew through Toronto, which is not our favorite airport -- so I finally got some knitting done. I'm on the  heel flap of the first sock. I'm still loving this Happy Feet yarn.
The reason for so little knitting was sketching:

 Quebec City is definitely more charming than Montreal, but I still like Montreal the best. It has a cosmopolitan vibe and an amazing art scene. I'd move there if I could!

See how happy Keith and I are?
It's probably because we had a piece of this:
If you haven't had Maple Syrup Pie yet, you must buy a ticket to Quebec immediately. It's kind of like pecan pie with no pecans and maple syrup flavor. In otherwords, it's amazing.

I haven't read blogs for a week, so I'll be catching up over the next few days. I've been thinking of you all and wondering how you are faring!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bon Jour from Montreal

I just love this city! It has charm and history, art and great food. Not to mention great coffee.
I have been too busy sightseeing and sketching to knit much. The sketch here depicts a corner in Montreal's old city. The coffee is from Second Cup, a Canadian chain that makes a flawless latte.
Keith and I have spent hours wandering the old town.
You can't miss the Cathedral of Notre Dame. (I can't speak French, let alone write it!)
We have had crepes, but not Poutine.
An exhibit about Pompeii at the Musee des Beaux Arts was moving, especially the casts of bodies, made from impressions in the ash.

Yep, we are having a good time!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Travel Supplies

Just a quickie as we are flying to Montreal tomorrow -- given no problems with airline, weather, etc...

Of course, the most important things to pack are knitting and reading. I'm bringing a simple sock project using Plymouth Happy Feet Splash, which is a really fun yarn.  I decided to keep it simple because we're going to Montreal and Quebec City, so I think we'll be pretty busy.
I'm thinking of taking Slade House by David Mitchell. I'm going to read the beginning tonight and see how it works for me. I have a couple books on my Kindle, too, so I'll find something.

On Audible, The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson is ready to go. First, though, I have about an hour left of Dead Wake, a nonfiction account of the sinking of the Lusitania, which I highly recommend. The ship was sunk early in the war (World War I) so it works nicely with the Simonson book. Besides, I just loved Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Simonson's first book. If you haven't read that, I highly recommend it.

Do check in with Ginny on Wednesday for Yarn Along. I will try to link up via my phone.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

End of Summer Blues?

I've been dragging lately, kind of tired all the time. I hope I perk up before school starts! I stopped by football practice on Friday, and that helped pump me up for the new school year. A lot of my former students came over to talk and seem happy that I'm following them to high school.

It took all of my energy to get up early this morning for this:
My friend Tsela and I shared a table at a local Farmer's Market. It's a new market and there isn't enough foot traffic to make it very profitable. I made some sales this morning, but only from people I know. Tsela made her first jewelry sales ever to a couple of strangers, as well as a few sales to friends.

I have to add that we could not have done this without our husbands.  Their help was essential for setting up the table and the tent -- both borrowed. It was my first time using a Square, which means that now I can accept credit/debit cards!

A few days ago, I needed to get the car to my son in the morning, so I went early and had coffee at the cafe that is, conveniently, right next door to his building. My plan was to start the Granola socks in the yarn I bought in California.
However, this yarn is a bit thin for socks, so I ended up frogging. I had more success drawing the building across the street:


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Knitting in the Heat

It has been a hot summer, hasn't it? In southern Wisconsin, we're headed back up to the high 80s, and the humidity is off the charts!

The only good thing I can say about this weather is that it is perfect for iced coffee, which I love. My method: Set up a French press the night before; put it in the frig overnight with the plunger all the way up; then plunge in the morning and pour over ice.
If you know me, you know I cannot knit monogamously. Just can't pull it off. Even though my Whiz Bang socks are coming along fine, I just had to cast on the Aprika Cowl. I saw a few samples at an LYS earlier this summer and then fell in love with the yarn, Rowan Softyak. It really is soft. And not as pricey as you might think at $13 per skein.

I've started reading White Trash, which got excellent reviews. It is fascinating, but also discouraging. This country has never offered opportunity for all, even going back before the Revolution. I am not shocked, but it is painful to read the details. It is well-written, but I'd say it's a book for history nerds.

Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Back to Crafting

Things on the knitting front have been quiet. I didn't finish my 1st travel sock until I got home from California.
I like the way it is turning out, but it is kind of a tedious knit. Because of all the color changes, I can't just read my knitting so I have to count much of the time. I know I'm going to love these socks, but I doubt I'll knit this pattern again.
I bought this skein from A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland. It is a purplish skein of sock yarn that is part of their own line of yarn. It has cashmere in it so it is deliciously soft! It is going to be a Granola Sock, which will give me some much-needed practice with cables.

So, what have I been working on? It is an embroidered piece that is going to be part of a hanging quilt. I've committed to hanging it in a show and it MUST be delivered on Sept. 1.
To be in this show, a piece must feature Wisconsin native flora or fauna. As you can see from these sneak-peeks, I'm focusing on flora. Much easier!
This project is a stretch for me in so many ways. I've never embroidered a large piece of my own design before. And I haven't quilted in decades (and I wasn't ever that good at it).  Luckily, my MIL is an expert seamstress, so I can go to her with all the problems I'm sure to have!