Monday, August 30, 2021

Sometimes Things Work Out

 My newest knitting project did not start out well. The Piquant Mix Scarf is made with three balls of Ella Rae Cozy Soft Prints. As soon as I started knitting, the balls began to fall apart. Since you knit with all three, this quickly devolved into a mess.

I had no choice but to frog, roll all three skeins into balls, and start all over. Thankfully it was worth it. It's very pretty -- not my colors, though -- and will be a gift for one of my nieces.

I had been planning to have my friends over for dinner on our deck, but my neck injury made that plan too ambitious. Instead, I made brownies and offered up brownie sundaes.
My wonderful friend Richard made two huge bowls of cold soup: watermelon curry and watermelon gazpacho. So, it was dinner after all!

Kola says: "Thank goodness it's cooled off around here." 

And I wholeheartedly agree with her!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Finally Some Knitting

 In attempt to accomplish something -- you can't do a whole lot in a neck brace -- I picked up this Zick Zack scarf that's been languishing for a few years.  I'm using left-over yarns from other projects, and it's been fun deciding when to change colors.

I love the way it is coming out, but I will not make another one. It's a one-row repeat that requires counting, so it is tedious. I think I'm almost done -- I'll have to try it on when I take off my neck brace to wash today -- and then I can move onto something new.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

You Are Invited To My Pity Party

In April, I fell down the stairs at school because the elevator was broken. In May, I ended up in the ER with a kidney stone. And now, this:

I was stopped at a red light on a main thoroughfare, minding my own business, when a jerk in a sports car rear-ended me. Don't ask me why I smiled for the photo. The accident was not fun. Eight hours in the ER was not fun. Being given too much intravaneous pain medication wasn't fun either.

I may or may not have a hairline fracture in one of my neck vertebrae. I don't see a neurosurgeon for another 10 days. In the meantime, I'm enjoying wearing this hot, awkward cervical collar that rubs my skin raw. Not.

And if that's not bad enough, my scroll was not accepted for publication. I feel like it was a waste of time.

I'm hoping this next week will be better!

Friday, August 20, 2021

Friday Felines

 I'm missing this cat, who lives with my daughter in Denver:

Vashti is a very sweet, mellow cat. She'd like to be more friendly, but Rachel's first cat, Delilah, hasn't gotten over not being an only cat.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday Plus My Weekend

 This is what my tiny needle has. been up to:

It's a small piece of a project that I finished on Sunday-- just in time to submit it to a challenge from Quilting Arts Magazine. The challenge was to make a scroll measuring no more than 40".  I had to cut a panel so that I didn't go over 40".

Here's the finished project:

It's bits and pieces from my trip to Colorado. It will seem very random to the viewer, but my new-to-me fiber group -- the Memory Cloth Circle -- liked it. I'm not sure it was worth the time, but it was kind of fun.

My weekend also included having friends over for dinner on Saturday. I invited my favorite co-teacher, John, and his wife Michele, who is a special ed teacher. Not team-teaching with John is one of the things I'm going to miss the most this fall. We practically had a comedy act going in a long-running debate over which decade had the best music, the 1970s (my choice) or the 1980s (his choice). I hope we'll stay in touch.

Michele is the chairperson of the Union's Subcommittee on Special Ed, so we have quite a bit of history, too.

And Michele made me the best mask ever:

For those of you who aren't massive fans of The Office: The mask features Dwight Schrute, one of the main characters. I gave John a vintage Chewbacca mug, seeing as he is a Star Wars fanatic.

Madison Urban Sketchers met Saturday at a local park, where we all drew the beautiful bathroom structure -- built by the CCC during the Depression. It was a small but talented group. Mine is on the top right:

Last, but not least, I went kayaking on Sunday with my friend Tracey. What is it about water that is so soothing? When my ankle heals, I am going to beg Kathy for a paddle-boarding lesson.

It was a busy weekend for me -- but now I have all week to relax!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday

The main project I worked on in Colorado was this folk art embroidery based on a drawing I made.

I'm very happy with the way it turned out. I used mostly DMC size 5 perl cotton, but I added some details with size 8.

Now I just have to decide if I'm going to finish it by stapling it around an 8x8 frame or making the center panel in an art quilt. So many decisions!

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Still settling in!

 I am still getting our new house in order. I know, we moved back in March, but between school and traveling,  I haven't been able to get the kitchen or my crafts properly organized. However, at least the living room looks good, now that have our new sectional!

The house isn't the only thing that doesn't feel settled. I haven't figured out what my retirement life is going to look like. This is the time when I'd be easing back into teaching, but now the days are wide open. That is not a complaint! I just need some time to figure out how to structure my life. 

Between the transition and my travels, my knitting has been pretty basic this summer. For my travel knitting, I worked on fingerless mitts using Kristen Kapur's recipe. The color of this first pair is more of a pumpkin tone, and they are super soft because the yarn is MadTosh.

Pair No. 2 is a Knit Circus impressionist colorway, so they also feel very good on the hands. Both pairs are knit with fingering weight and are helping me do some stash-busting.
Now I've moved on to another completely mindless cowl: Kaleen, a Berroco pattern. I'm using the recommended yarn, Berroco Millefiori, so it's working out very predictably. 
You can see which yarn is the main color. The accent color is used every four rounds. Although the colors look different in the balls, they actually are blending together a bit too well. (Note: I wound the yarn into balls because the skeins they come in quickly turn into a tangled mess.)

The cowl is almost done, and I hope to start something more interesting this week. Or pick up the Forever Sweater, but that's for another post!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Yes, I'm Still Here

 Or, more accurately, I'm back after a flurry of travel to see loved ones. I am not a globe trotter, and I found doing three trips in 6 weeks overwhelming. But, with a new wave of Covid-19 cases already upon us and the new Delta variant, I am glad I made these trips because I the travel window is closing for me.

So, here is a very short tour of where I've been....

Keith and I started with a trip to Chicago to see our cousins, Eli and Mary, and my son, Seth. Usually a bourbon kind of guy, Seth reported that his masculinity was dented by this mixed drink:

Then I flew out to a family reunion in San Diego, where my mom rented us a house that was across a street from the Pacific! We loved the outdoor living room.

One of the fun things we did was go on a tour at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Here is Rachel with a giraffe close by:

Lucky me! I was then able to spend a week in Denver with Rachel. She moved there last August, so this was my first visit. I really enjoyed Denver, and she showed me all the best bakeries and coffee shops. Do I have a great daughter or what?

I was amazed by a Native American exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. This is a costume from an opera.
Then my friend Joni flew in from Berkeley, and the two of us took a road trip to Durango, a gorgeous little city in southwestern Colorado. I haven't been to the Rockies since 1964 and, wow, are they big!

We always get matching clothes when we're together, and this year was no exception.

We got very dorky when we found a pajama store:

Yes, I am retired. Special ed teachers in my district go back to work tomorrow -- while regular ed teachers don't go back until Aug. 25. I have mixed feelings about retiring, but I don't regret getting August back!

I will be back in a few days to share knitting and other crafts!