September 21, 2019

To members of a certain Tribe, you know who you are…

I did not write on my birthday, so I am declaring this day – September 21, 2019 – ‘Birthday 2.0’.

I have some traditions on my birthday. The most curious being the tiara that I wear ALL. DAMN. DAY! I don’t plan anything for my birthday, rather I let the day come to me. I follow my heart and do whatever comes my way with a sense of the divine, handing me the most beautifully wrapped gift. The day always includes my husband, Razzle, my boys and a whole cluster of people that I love and who are a part of my day because they want to be, not because of some self-inflicted, guilt-riddled sense of obligation. That is what I love most about them.

This last birthday, I turned 54yrs old and to be honest, I haven’t felt this young since I was in my twenties. My youngest son has a client who is a masseuse. (I think that is how you spell it, but I am too lazy to look it up.) He treated me to an hour of total pampering, followed by a light lunch at our local health food store. As we sat in the cafe we were being observed by a table of older women. I chalked it up to the tiara. As we left, one of the ladies did inquire about the tiara. My hunch was correct. As I explained that it was my birthday and my son was treating me to some pampering, the looks on their collective faces changed! “He’s your SON? We thought you were a cougar!!” True story.

The older I get the younger I get. I could chalk it up to working in a middle school, or it could be the side effect of being knocked down a peg, assuming that peg-knocking has a reverse affect on one’s degree of maturity. Or, just maybe it has something to do with living life with eyes wide open. Stay with me on this one. Not to long ago, I sat down with myself and took a long, hard look at some things in my life that were just not working for me anymore. It is very difficult to change habits, whether they be behaviors we do on auto-pilot, or those thoughts that have been residing in your brain for years, undermining your confidence and self-esteem; taking up real estate, rent free. Ironically, we can all attest to the fact that our thoughts influence those behaviors, right. So, there I sat…and there they were-those unproductive habits. I made up my mind right then and there that I would try to look some of these habits squarely in the eye and serve them a notice of eviction.

I know you are wondering what that has to do with feeling younger as I age, and the only thing I can say is that to me, breaking bad habits or changing unhealthy patterns is much like learning to walk. There are forward steps, backward steps and fall on your ass steps, but with perseverance and support we keep at it until we can walk. On our own. Always forward toward our destination. We walk alone, with family, with friends and in my case, with a Tribe.

Thank you all for your companionship.

Your sister in Christ,

Regina Mary

In my glass: Saranac Diet Ginger Beer

In my ears: The beautiful sound of my husband at the piano, and Auburn Football.

Saint of the Day: St. Matthew. Little is known about St. Matthew. except that he was likely born in Galilee. He worked as a tax collector, which was a hated profession during the time of Christ. According to the Gospel, Matthew was working at a collection booth in Capernaum when Christ came to him and said, “Follow me.” With this simple call, Matthew became a disciple of Christ.

Talk about learning to walk!

Thank you for being a friend.

Quick question.

Do you give your Ravelry projects names? I do, but often wonder if others do as well. My Ravelry ID is ‘Gamermom’ because I do love a good video game. When I began creating pages for my knitting projects, I would name each one after a video game or character. Lately I have been wondering if others create their own names as well. If so, what inspires you? I get the obvious “Christmas hat for Bobby” names, but if it isn’t so obvious, what is the inspiration?

2018 for me was a year of knitting with friends. It is way too easy for me to pick up my knitting and tune out the world. I don’t think I am the only knitter with this tendency. What made last year so stellar was the projects that I knit in community with my friends, both real and virtual. I tend to avoid KALs because I have an aversion to combining knitting and deadlines. But, when awesome people and awesome projects walk into the room together, who can resist? Here are a few projects that were made better by the wonderful company I kept while knitting them.

Our own little KAL!

My friend and I decided to knit the Humulus sweater, long before the pattern went to the top of the heap during Mason – Dixon’s March Madness Competition in 2018. That’s right, we are trendsetters and don’t you forget it! Mine is knit in Malabrigo Worsted in Orchid and Olive. Sassy girl chose a beautiful grey palette by Knit Picks Simply Wool Worsted. We are both thrilled that Isabell Kraemer is the mastermind behind the latest Mason-Dixon Field Guide!! I got mine…did you?

Another project my friends and I worked on together in 2018 was the Water hat by Thea Coleman, as part of the “Water for Flint” project. Please take a moment to read about this wonderful outreach. When you are done reading, please take another moment to tell me how to take decent photos. Thank you in advance.

The final project came out of some of my favorite video podcasts. Chevas of the Chevyrell podcast hosted the In the Light KAL. I don’t know why I chose to join this KAL, being allergic to deadlines and everything, but Chevyrell is funny and naughty and sweet and enjoys a well curated cocktail! I selected Fiber for the People yarn which is dyed by Tayler of the Wool, Needles, Hands: a Fiber Journey podcast. Tayler, was very patient with me as I attempted to select 3 different yarns for this fade-y shawl. We exchanged many an email before the final yarn was purchased. I had hours of knitting, chatting and Instagram fun from start to finish with this project, and now, I am one of the moderators for Tayler’s Ravelry group! I KNOW! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make friends on social media.

Do you have friends that bring all sorts of happy to your knitting? I would love to hear about them.

Today’s beverage: The humble cuppa coffee…

Today’s sound: The classic snoozle!

Today’s Saint: St. Frances of Rome. She founded a society of women bound by no vows. They simply offered themselves to God and to the service of the poor.  Who did she do this with? Her sister-in-law and friend, Vannozza! See? Friends Rule!

Thank you for being my friends!

Regina

The Space Between

My husband commented on my blog name the other day.  I describe this site as “a little about knitting, and a lot about nothing”.  He kissed me and said I “fill the space between knitting and nothing nicely.”  I thought that was a sweet thing to say.  My hunny has such a clever way with words, and he is never at a loss for saying things that just melt my heart.

What have I been up to?  A question that has been burning in your hearts, no doubt.

Scoreboard Cowl - Steelers

In the knitting department, I finished my third Scoreboard Cowl.  Who isn’t nutz about those Pittsburgh Steelers?  Black and Yellow.  The Killer Bees.  This year, I noticed a trend:  the team I pick has a losing season.  Next year I will knit one in the NE Patriots team colors.  I did something differently than in previous years.  Typically I delineate between games with a row or two in white.  This year I played with colorwork, while leaving the white out.  I wasn’t nuts about knitting with the three colors and this seemed like a cool way to show where one game ended and another began.   I am really pleased with the results and future cowls will use the same technique. You can find the details on my Ravelry page:  Killer Bees Scoreboard Cowl

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Other projects completed in 2018 were Bodhi Knit Washcloths from Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 7:  Ease.  If you have not had the pleasure of owning one of their guides, I suggest you do; each one shares a collection of knits from some very talented knitters with each guide based on a theme.  The Bodhi was one of the most addictive, enjoyable and portable projects I have ever knit.  The highlight of this project was having them shared on Instagram by the designer as well as the Mason-Dixon ladies!  I wrapped each cloth around a handmade soap from Merriweathers in Rhinebeck and gave them as Christmas gifts to my “knit worthy” friends and colleagues.

In other news:

Take a minute and check out the latest in “Razz…” and “Things I Love” for more on what I have been busying myself with lately.

What’s in my glass:  A Bourbon Negroni (look it up, it’s divine!)

What’s makin’ noise:  Oh, just 50 mph wind gusts!

Saint of the Day:  St. Tarasios – he was the first secretary to the Emperor Constantine and his mother, Irene.  Apparently he was a pretty big deal in his day.  One of the things he advocated for was that the practice of veneration of icons be restored in the church.  Personally, I would like to thank this man.  I love gazing on icons during prayer or meditation.  They are beautiful, inspirational and a tangible manifestation of the history of the faith.  Good job Tarasios, good job!

May you give and receive all that is good!

Love,

Regina

Hiding a Multitude of Sin

Daddy and me at 3 months
Daddy and me

Let me explain the title of this post.  My daddy would often use this phrase to describe the benefit of things like heavy sauces and long overcoats!  This was not an original saying, obviously; it originated from the Bible.  If you knew my daddy, you would have guessed this, I’m sure.  Five years ago on this date, daddy left this world to the sweet sounds of supplication to the Blessed Mother by his ‘favorite middle child’.  (that would be me, y’all!)  May his soul and those of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and may divine assistance remain with him.

I should have finished this post two days ago, but I was too cranky to write.  You all deserve better.

Back to the blog, and the title of the post.  I have been craving a pair of socks on the needles since I frogged my Cheese-head Socks (you can see why in my previous post.)  My intention is to do something a little different with each pair of socks I knit, and this latest WIP is no different.  After participating in Knit Stars 3.0, I was inspired by Arne and Carlos to try Norwegian knitting.  Norwegian knitting is done in the Continental style but with less movement between the yarn and your left index finger.  I can’t explain better than the fellas, so please check out their You Tube channel for a video tutorial (sooo worth it!). How to Knit – Basics of Knitting – Arne & Carlos.  

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Hermione’s Everyday Sock

I chose a lovely yarn by the equally lovely Connie of ChileKnitz.  The color is Blue Jean.  The pattern I chose is the “Hermione’s Everyday Sock”.  Both offer the opportunity to practice skills and, in the case of the yarn, hide a multitude of sin!  I’ll admit, I have made a number of mistakes, and I have ripped out the heel at least 3 times.  To be honest, I don’t mind; I am continuing until I have a successful pair of sock.  This is a great learning experience.

Wanna know what else is a great learning experience?  Knowing my daddy!  I talked to him a lot this week.  I asked him about how to be a good spouse, a good parent, a good colleague and a good Christian, because I felt like I was struggling at all of them.  As in true daddy form, he was a man of few words!  What he did tell me was to turn to God and put my troubles at the foot of the cross.

Today’s Saint is:  St. Jerome Emiliani – he is the patron saint of abandoned children and orphans.  I wish all children could have a daddy like mine.  The world would be such a beautiful and gentle place for the young and young at heart.

Today’s beverage:  Makers Mark Bourbon on the rocks with a slip of lemon zest

Today’s sounds:  The Yarniacs Podcast.  Listen to it on Podbean!

Thank you for stopping by.

Hug a child today, if you have the good fortune (I did!!)

Until next time, may you have peace in your day.

Love,

Regina

So It’s Been a While, eh?

The last time I blogged was last March.  I had no idea so much time had passed.  Yes, there was a lot going on, but I didn’t even start a draft.  Good grief.  I am going to try to post something at least once a month.  Not as a New Year resolution and certainly not because I expect anyone to read this; I am doing this for me because I enjoy it.  Anyhoo…

Life has been pretty nutty.  Both boys have moved back home.  They bring a level of joy and chaos to my day that is reminiscent of when they were children; the kind that only a mother can love.  Let me just say, my food, laundry and prayer production is at an all time high.  A certain 4-legged boy loves having his big brothers around and I even spied some liver treats in front of my son’s Xbox.  It’s all good.

We have all been in relatively good health with only the passing cold or sinus trouble here and there. 

My youngest enrolled in school and is starting to finding his way.  So many young people aren’t prepared to make career decisions upon graduating high school.  This was the case with my boys.  I am proud of them both.

My honey finished his master’s degree in Theology.  The graduation ceremony is in May and I am so excited.  The conversation around what the wife of a theologian should wear has produced some very interesting conversations in our house!

In the world of knitting, I have been a little worker bee.  It surprised me somewhat to see that I had met my knitting goals I set on Ravelry.  It surprised me because I totally forgot I had done this.  I think it speaks to that weird thing that happens to me whenever I try to knit on a deadline.  The minute I put a deadline or goal on my knitting, it slows to a crawl.  I am wondering if this happens to anyone else.  It must.  I’m sure.  Right?  I did participate in a KAL in the fall and finished the shawl at 11:00pm on the very last day.  I loved everything I made last year, except for the attempt at two-at-a-time sock with an afterthought heel.

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I am calling this my ‘second-thought heel’

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DPNs be damned!

Edward Scissorhands would have been at home in my knitting bag.  There were size 1 dpns EVERYWHERE!  I regret that shot of bourbon.  I frogged the socks and started over.

In April I went on my first Long Island Yarn Crawl!  I had such a wonderful time.  We visited the shops on the north part of the island, but there are so many places on the south of Long Island that I really want to see!  This year the dates are April 4-7, which works out perfectly for me.  Last year I met some wonderful people, bought a few pretties and scored some swag.

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Also in April, I knit Mariel’s Cowl; a pattern my friend wrote.  I did not make any changes to this one, but I do plan on making another and doubling the pattern rows.  I prefer my cowls deeper (wider?  taller?).  This was made with some Ester Bitran Hand Dyed Andes.  Aren’t the colors pretty?  The pattern is free, so go check it out.  NOW!  But come back, ok? 🙂

 

If only I can teach my knitting buddy to hold my yarn when I wind it.

I think I’ll finish up for now.  I’ll have more knitting deliciousness to post, but that’s for another day.  Consider this your only warning. 

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Saint of the Day:  St. Francis de Sales – Patron saint of the deaf.  I am so thankful right now that I can hear the silly sounds of the middle school kids in the hallway. 

What I’m sipping:  coffee, coffee and more coffee…

So be well everyone.

May you have peace in your day.

Gratefully,

Regina