Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I'd Rather Be At Work

Remember how I said that my jaw really hurt during Thanksgiving weekend? Well, it seems that my constant jaw pain had merged with the pain from a fractured tooth. No wonder I was popping Advils!

Late yesterday afternoon, I found myself at the endodontist (a word I'd never before encountered) expecting to get an emergency root canal, but the doctor there said the tooth was beyond saving. Thus, this morning, an oral surgeon removed the tooth.
I won't bore you with the details, but it's been a rough morning. At least I've had the perfect knitting: I just love the Land of Sweets cowl. It is mindless and fun -- something I can do while gulping down pain pills.

Reading is probably beyond my drug-addled brain today, but the hours are passing nicely while I knit to the audiobook version of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It's not great literature, but it is a good story, well told. It's the story of two households, one wealthy and one not, whose lives become entangled in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Joining with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Back to Crafting

My family left on Saturday -- my daughter, both my brothers and their families. It was hard to say good-bye. I've always hated that my brothers live so far from me. My son is here in Madison, but he's studying for his veterinary boards so we just got a glimpse of him this weekend.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. We certainly did. However, it was a little too much activity for me. My jaw condition is worsening, and I need a lot of down time to manage the pain. Of course, I didn't want to miss too much time with my family, so I consumed a frightening amount of painkillers over the past five days.

But now I can use crafts to distract myself from the pain. This is truly the best way for me to manage pain. Most work days, I come home in agony and retreat into my knitting/embroidery chair to unwind. It does help -- without the side effects of painkillers!
I had to hide my Happinest from our guests because it is destined to be a Hanukkah 2018 gift. I'm about 2/3 of the way through it, and I just love it. I may have to make one for my own home.
The directions call for 18-count Aida cloth or linen. I went with the larger 14-count to get a bigger image.

I'm still working on my kelp-forest sundress. I think this will be the last fish:
That yellow-green fish looked lonely to me. 
A friend is coming over later today to make bracelets for me. I intend to enjoy every minute of the last day of my break!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

About To Go On The Needles

This delicious cake of Hawthorne Fingering in the Birthday Cake Speckle colorway is going to be cast on today as the start of my Land of Sweets cowl. I'm hoping that this plus my scrap yarn will be enough to complete the cowl.
I hope to squeeze in some reading time during this 5-day weekend, though it will be busy with family. I am halfway through The World Broke in Two. I am thoroughly enjoying it, but I would say that it's definitely a book for a book-lover.  If you are not fascinated by Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, and D.H. Lawrence, I suspect you'd find this book a bore.
I've just begun Bluets by Maggie Nelson. It's lyrical blend of genres, including memoir and true crime. It's short so I should have a review by next week.
Kola urges all Americans and anyone else who wants to join in to count their blessings this weekend. Kola herself is grateful for all crumbs dropped on the floor or countertop. She also appreciates a warm stove burner.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Advent Isn't Just About Christmas

Being a Jewish girl, I tend to tune out Christmas projects such as Helen Stewart's Knitvent. But then I saw Deb's post about the Land of Sweets Cowl, and I fell in love. Not only is it a gorgeous knit, but it is perfect for stash-busting.
Here are the scrap yarns I'm starting with. I have no idea if they are going to be enough, but in a squeeze I could force myself to buy more yarn! There is yarn that is designed just for the cowl, if you don't feel like stash-busting.

So, with ANOTHER cast-on coming up, I felt obliged to pick up a WIP, and what is more perfect for the season than a wool hat? This one is Snawheid by Kate Davies, knit in KnitPicks Telemark, a yarn that sadly has been discontinued.
Telemark was similar to Jamieson & Smith that Davies calls for, but more affordable! It softens with use, so I love the stuff. But I am almost out of the supply I bought years ago.

It's a cold weekend here. But I'm not complaining. It is perfect weather for cleaning and baking. Then this afternoon, we are celebrating Thanksgiving with Keith's family. 

Oh, the weekends just fly by!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

More of the Same

Neither my knitting nor reading have changed much in the past week. I am working on the Forever ZickZack scarf. It is the perfect project for this week. I worked 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday because of parent-teacher conferences, and I have felt brain-dead ever since.
I did finally finish The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf, it's a first novel and that shows. Only a diehard Woolf fan would want to read this.
On a more positive note, I am enjoying The World Broke in Two by Bill Goldstein, which looks at Woolf, T.S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and D.H. Lawrence in 1922. It's a well-written account of these really fascinating writers.

And look who's been checking out my books:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Finish and a Sketch

Recognize these? I can't think of the name, but this mitt pattern was super popular in the early days of Ravelry. Mine, as you can see curl. Every pair of these I knit curled. Fortunately, there are are lots of Mitts patterns these days!
These have been waiting around to have the ends woven in for ages, so I did that this morning. After all, the holidays are coming up! Does anyone remember the name of this pattern? Was it Fetchings?

To avoid the crazy traffic of Badger football Saturdays, Madison Urban Sketchers went to Sun Prairie, a suburb, yesterday, and drew in a coffee shop. It's a cute but tiny little place, so we mostly drew each other.

Then we went out to lunch, where Pat drew while most of us just chatted. If you look closely at her painting, you can see that's me on the left!
Pat is our main organizer, so we all love her!
Mercedes was looking through my sketchbook. When she saw my drawing of the Air BnB I stayed in when I was in Copenhagen this past summer, she pulled out her sketchbook. She'd also traveled in Scandinavia this summer and drew a similar picture of a BnB in Stockholm!

Today, I need to get some cleaning/decluttering done -- but also, I hope, more sketching!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Just Another Weekend

 With Thanksgiving coming up, I should be doing more cooking and cleaning. But other things are so much more fun -- not to mention relaxing! Keith and I are now watching The Roosevelts on Netflix, which is perfect for easy sweater knitting. I'm making the Windchill Cardigan for my daughter. I think it's a pretty easy pattern, but I'm worried about size with her in Miami and me knitting in Wisconsin. She'll be home for T-giving and Winter Break, so I'm hoping to be able to make any adjustments.
On Saturday, I joined some friends for the Wisconsin Book Festival. Much to my surprise, I was hooked by the author of The Storm Before the Storm. Mike Duncan, the author, created the podcast The History of Rome. As much as I love history, ancient history has never interested me that much, but this guy is good! I'm going to listen to the podcast -- all 189 episodes -- one of these days.
It turns out that he is a Madison resident and his book just debuted on the NYT's Best-Seller list at No. 8. 

And I'm still loving this cross stitch. Kathy wanted to know how to get a hold of it. The company is Satsuma Street, and the Etsy store is here.
Some of the patterns are digital downloads, but others are also available as printed copies, which I prefer. I bought the hard copy of this one, which is called Happinest.

I hope you had a lovely weekend, too!


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Unravelled Wednesday

Just a quick hello during a hectic week. I've found myself picking up my cross stitch a lot. It's very relaxing and easy to do a little bit at a time.
I don't have a photo of the hat I was working on last week, but I've made a lot of progress on it, thanks to the second season of Stranger Things. I don't usually like horror stories, but this Netflix series has hooked me. A lot of my students like it, too, so it's been a big topic of conversation.

As for reading, I'm still working my way through Virginia Woolf's The Voyage Out. It is slow, but I'm liking it.

And another picture of Kola. She likes to sit on the stove after we've boiled water for coffee. She even seems to know when it's cool enough not to hurt her.
To answer some questions about Cat TV: We use You Tube videos on our television. They like both realistic videos and others that look like old video games.

Joining up with Kat for Unravelled Wednesday.