Snip Snap, Snip Snap

It was a close call. I was happily knitting along on my Soup Snakes – woolly leg warmers by Laura Aylor-aka Fogknits. I thought I planned this project out perfectly. I swatched, people, I swatched! Everything was going according to plans until it didn’t. It appeared I miscalculated the yarn, or so it seemed. I placed the project on waste yarn while I figured out my options. I thought about begging for a ball or two from folks on Ravelry, but people only had the superwash variety in their stash. I thought about working the last section in a contrasting color. Then I thought ripping both out, casting on with smaller needles, and tweaking the stitch count was the way to go. My final decision was to cast on for socks. Logical, right? As I poked around in the bin of yarn, what do you think I saw? Only 5 balls of the desired yarn needed for the leg wramers. When I say I was happy, I mean I was overjoyed! I was *this* close to frogging. You may be wondering how I missed seeing the yarn the first time I looked. Let’s just say my mind has been a bit preoccupied and leave it at that. This is a great pattern; very well written and tons of fun to knit. Two thumbs up! Here is the finished product and I am very pleased.

Now, about that one-eyed house finch. After roosting on the bedroom door, I moved him to the shower curtain rod. (It’s hard enough to clean up after an 85 lb golden retriever. amiright?) He remained in the bathroom overnight; quiet and without incident. The next morning I put him outside and wouldn’t you know he flew off? Here is a video of the little bugger (you can hear my peppers sauteing in the background).

See his little eyeball? That is due to House Finch Eye Disease. This causes a the eye to become swollen and red, leaving the bird listless, mostly blind, and vulnerable to predators and bad weather. I have since seen him around the yard. He often sits on the grass or at the feeder tilting his head in the direction of noise. When he flies, he looks a bit like Woodstock.

Spring is here, but this fella would love to hold on to every last bit of winter. He loves the cold and snow.

But on the other side of the street we fully embraced it! The blooms have since faded, but boy they were a sight to behold.

I have cast on for another project. Actually two. Actually three. Whatever, Regina. You do you.

Did you have a nice Easter or Passover? My husband and I met on Catholic Match, and after exchanging emails and phone calls for a few months, our first date in 2013 was the Easter Vigil Mass. This is a 2-3 hour service with seven readings, psalms, tons of incense and wonder! I spent many services at mass alone. I always sat in the pew near the 5th station of the cross. I would look at husbands and wives worshiping together and it was difficult for me to not feel envious of what they had. When Robert offered to meet me for the vigil mass as our first ‘in person’ date, it seemed like a prayer answered. I was so moved by his love and knowledge of the mass. His appreciation of the faith and excitement for the Resurrection was beautiful. I could not help but suck his face at our parting. This month we celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. I love this goofball so much, but I’m still not convinced he isn’t a serial killer!

This Easter felt so special. We did not have Mass last year. We did not have much of anything normal, last year. So this year, when the Gloria was sung and the bells were rung, I felt myself on the verge of tears. He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!!

Google photos reminded me that this happened eight years ago:

This is my youngest (now 25) in his senior year of high school.
This was the year he and I joined a gym together and he began his fitness journey. He is a certified personal trainer now.
We are so proud of you, Alexander.

I know I say this often, but it bears repeating. I love the blogging community. I love the knitting community. I am so blessed. My life is rich.

In my glass: Santa Cristina in my Pittsburgh Steelers wine glass

In my earballs: Real Crime Profile podcast

Saint of the Day: I’m just going to revel in the Easter season. Seriously, how wonderful is it all?

A Bug’s Life

On a walk the other day, my son spotted a beetle in the road. He wasn’t dead, but he was clearly a little early for his time. It was only February and beetles shouldn’t be crawling around while there is snow on the ground and freezing temps. He asked if he was dead, but being the bug gal that I am, I could tell he was just in a frozen stupor. I took him home. Isn’t that what everyone does when they find a frosty beetle in the road? I didn’t recognize the species and wanted to study him closer with my field guide nearby. Fast forward to the next morning. Walking toward the front door, it dawned on me that I had totally forgotten about the beetle I brought home the night before. I looked down at the spot on the rug where I placed him. He was gone. Clearly, he thawed out and was now happily roaming around my house.

I have another finished object! This is a cowl made with alpaca wool purchased at the local farmers market. I started with a provisional cast-on in the round and knit until there was just enough yarn left for grafting the ends together. The stripes and slipped stitches are random.

What childhood books would you re-read again as an adult, just to bring you back to that place you were as a child? I have two: Rasmus and the Vagabond, and the Little House on the Prairie series. These books transported me to another time and lifestyle. I loved them. I recall my daddy working in the yard behind our house growing up. He would take the logs of trees that fell in the winter, carve them up to mimic benches and create a space for me to sit and read in the solitude of our back woods.

We had school pictures taken recently. All staff are featured in the yearbook along with the students. The photographer reminded me I needed to sit for mine. Fine. Snap. Thanks to the beauty of digital photography, I was able to see the image immediately. Apparently, I had a serious case of static. This year’s photo looks something like this:

“I can retake it”, she said.

“Nope, that’s me in a nutshell” I said.

I am participating in two really fun knitting events that begin this month. The first is Confident Knitting by Arnall-Culliford Knitwear. This program will introduce twelve techniques while knitting twelve accessories. I subscribed to the print/e-book but there are yarns and kits to accompany the program as well. The second event is Woolwide Adventures (@woolwideadventures), hosted by Irene Waggener, Anne Frost, Amy Snell and Erin Pirro. This program will take us on weekly adventures where “…we’ll explore the wonder that is wool, meet shepherds that raise it, learn techniques to craft with it, and of course, the amazing sheep that grow it.” I am looking forward to learning new things and meeting new friends.

I best get going-I have a beetle to find after all!

In my cup: Harney and Son’s Formosa Oolong

In my earballs: Nothing. It’s silent. Not a sound.

Saint of the Day: St. Katharine Drexel. Now here’s an inspiring gal! Katharine’s family was blessed with spiritual and material wealth. She was well-educated and traveled extensively. After watching her stepmother suffer with terminal cancer for three straight years, Katharine learned that their money couldn’t protect them from suffering. During a family trip out west, Katharine witnessed the struggle of Native Americans. In 1891, Katharine made her first vows as a religious and dedicated herself to working for the American Indians and African-Americans in the Western United States. In 1915, Katherine founded Xavier University in New Orleans, the first Catholic University in the United States for African-Americans. This is just the tip of the iceberg! She founded a religious community, opened the first mission boarding school, and established missions in 16 states. St. Katharine believed everyone should have access to an education and she dedicated her life and inheritance to this end. Katharine lived to be 96 years old! She is the patroness of racial justice and philanthropists. What an inspiration!

Have a blessed week. I hope the sun is shining in your corner of the world!

{{Hugs}}

ReginaMary

I’m Tasty and I Know It. Our National Candy

To all my American friends, I know what you are thinking. “We have a national candy?” Yeah, no, we don’t. But what if we did? Sitting at work the other day, this thought came to mind. I asked my boss and colleague what they thought our national candy should be. Without missing a beat, my office mate searched the web for ‘most popular candy’ The result was a statistic on the most purchased Halloween candy of 2020. Ready for this? Skittles and Starburst. I’ll give you a minute to get back in your chair for, I too laughed so hard I fell out of mine. Then, something came to mind that my chocolate-loving, sweet-toothed husband said to me last October: “When you buy candy for Halloween, get something I don’t like.” And suddenly, it all made sense! What if everyone shopped for Halloween candy like I did? Well, I imagine the most popular candy would be ‘Bit-o-Honey’ or those confounded circus peanuts! After much thought and a lengthy (and lively) discussion, we agreed the Hershey Bar would be America’s choice. If you look it up, the Hershey Bar was touted as ‘The Great American Chocolate Bar.’ Personally, I would vote for the peanut M & M.

My husband makes me laugh! He has a sharp wit and a quick sense of humor. There is one small problem, he is not suitable for prime-time. Whenever he sends me a funny text or email at work, I find myself hootin’ and a-hollerin’ out loud…but alone…because I can’t share it with anyone!! Mr. Naughty.

Speaking of my husband… I finished his blanket!! I named this project Eustace; an explanation is found on my project page. The yarn is Plymouth Yarn Co. Encore Colorspun in color 7653. The only requirements he gave me for this blanket were the colors: Blue (to match his eyes), Brown (to match the chair) and Gold (to match the dog)!! I hope he likes it!

How did your scones turn out? did you try the recipe? I promised to share some alternatives to chocolate chip with you. I would have to say one of my favorite varieties is Cranberry Orange scones. Follow the basic recipe, but leave out the egg. In place of chocolate chips and vanilla, add fresh cranberries, a whole heap of fresh orange zest and fresh orange juice. I place the cranberries in the freezer before using. The dough mixes up in the same manner. While I will say that making individual scones is my favorite method over all, these do well patted into a circle, then cut into wedges because pressing the dough into a cup can cause the berries to squirt.

So, this happened:

This is a beautiful glass tea flask that I recently treated myself to. I waited patiently for a few weeks for it to arrive since it was traveling all the way from London. I enjoyed it for less than a week before I knocked it over on the kitchen counter. I am not one to cry over spilled milk, but this really made me sad. I was mad that I let myself purchase something ‘dear’ and even madder that I got so attached to a ‘thing’. It was lovely while it lasted and I would love to have another some day, but for now, this has to go in the trash.

I am a close to having another finished object to show you, but for now it is on the blocking mats. Seems like an eternity since I have completed anything so to have two projects come to an end is such a great feeling.

On a totally unrelated note, my husband watched This is Spinal Tap for the first time ever. As a musically inclined fella with a great sense of humor, this seemed like a match made in heaven. However, there did seem to be more head-shaking than giggling coming from his side of the sofa. I did hear him reference the movie a few days later when he commented on something that “lasted about as long as a Spinal Tap drummer.” My work here is done.

It is time for an afternoon cuppa before I start dinner. We are having broccoli rabe and beans, a Lenten favorite for Fridays.

In my cup: Harney’s Irish Breakfast

In my ears: Stitched In Sweden video podcast

Saint of the Day: Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin. Maria was born in Italy in 1888. She was very fearful of her father who was prone to jealousy and drunkenness. He preferred she work in the fields and help at home rather than go to school, so her education was limited. This often caused her to be ridiculed for not showing many “talents”. After joining the Sisters of St. Dorothy, she received a nurse’s training and began working in a hospital with very ill and emotionally disturbed children. It is here she found her calling. How beautiful is that? I feel sad for those who put her down. There is so much more to a person than schooling. And God shows me everyday that there is a place for each and every one of us in his plan. St. Maria is the patron saint of all those who are suffering from any form of spiritual, mental, or physical abuse. Thank you, St. Maria!!

Thank you for reading! Be well and have peace in your day.

Until next time,

ReginaMary

The Eagle Has Landed

Well, not exactly. While I am, at times, a space cadet and my blogger name is Cosmicknitter, I am not going to write about the lunar landing.

Some of my favorite things in the whole wide world are birds of prey. Hawks, owls and eagles. When I see a hawk soaring, it stops me in my tracks. I have been known to hear a call from inside the house and run out to see a red-tailed hawk blast forth from a tree. They are wonderful. I have always loved the Bald Eagle best. For most of my life the only time I saw one was in captivity at a local raptor center. The bird was in captivity, not me. Recently, having some time on my hands, I took a drive to the Rhinecliff Landing. This is a little park and boat launch on the Hudson River about two miles from my home. Instantly upon parking, I spied two mature bald eagles soaring over the river-“catching a thermal” as my daddy would say. They were magnificent, breathtaking and beautiful. I opened the sun roof of my car as they passed overhead. I could see their eyes and make out their feathers. I felt so much joy I wanted to cry! Eagles are making a comeback in my area. They used to be more common, but their numbers dwindled. One of the challenges in preserving our eagle population is protecting them from the Amtrak and Metro-North trains that run on the east side of the Hudson and the cargo trains that run on the west. You can read more about the Bald Eagles of the Hudson River here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9382.html Next time you are in New York, pack your binoculars (which every self-respecting knitter has in her project bag…) and prepare to be amazed!

If you follow this link, you can subscribe to Eagle Cams. One lovely couple is nesting on two eggs! Just the other day, I watched as mama fought off an intruder. https://www.youtube.com/c/AmericanEagleFoundation

When my boys were small, and I was a young inexperienced mother, I learned that fair does not mean equal. What if my youngest cried “that’s not fair” when his older brother stayed up later than he did, should I have kept him up later because they needed to be equal because fair=equal? Absolutely not. Even if they were closer in age, one needed much more sleep than the other. Fair does not mean equal.

On that note, here is my soap box. Can we please stop electing public officials who believe that the designation of bathrooms is a burning issue of national importance that has to be addressed in the first week of office? Give me a h*cking break.

Wanna see something pretty?

This is a pottery bowl made for me by a wonderful young lady named Margaret. She knows how much I love dragonflies. I wish the photo were better; the colors are so beautiful and the glaze gives it such a striking finish. Margaret, her work (and cute puppy) can be found on Instagram: @wild_design and Etsy: WildDesignNY

Check her out and give her some love!!

Wanna see something else that’s pretty? My virtual friend Katinka has a beautiful blog, YouTube and Instagram presence that focuses on slow living and sustainability. She has recently been discouraged by the negativity on social media and thought of putting more emphasis on her blog and YouTube accounts. Katinka is a talented creator and her content is calming, and so good for the soul. Please pay her a visit if you are weary, or looking to find a quiet corner of the internet that is free from the ills of society. Let’s support one another in our struggle to find a gentler place to reside. Katinka Ponders

No knitting content today. Still plugging away at my honey’s blanket. I will need to order more yarn, which will allow me time to squeeze in another quickie!!

In my glass: Green smoothy (if I add bourbon is it still good for me?)

In my ears: I Thought I Knew How: A Podcast about Knitting and Life you can also find it on your favorite podcatcher.

Saint of the Day: St. Angela Merici, +1540. My husband told me about her this morning. She is a Third Order Franciscan! St. Angela, at the age of 57 (two years older than I am) organized a group of 12 girls to help her in catechetical work. Four years later the group had increased to 28. She formed them into the Company of Saint Ursula (patroness of medieval universities and venerated as a leader of women) for the purpose of re-Christianizing family life through solid Christian education of future wives and mothers. My husband knew I would love this Saint because he understands how much I value individuals who respect our girls and devote their lives to educating and forming young ladies in body, mind and soul.

:deep sigh:

Thank you for hanging out with me. I hope you are taking time in your day to nurture your bodies, minds and souls, too!

So much love to you all and prayers for peace in your day.

ReginaMary

Life is Beautiful

Some of the best dreams are the ones where I can fly. Not just fly, but SOAR. Little effort is needed for me to rise above everything. I don’t take on a Superman pose, with my arms in front of me rather, my arms are to my side. Every so often I have to move my arms to give me height or speed, but for the most part I am soaring. It is so calming and peaceful. What a wonderful experience. I don’t know if any of you have had similar dreams. If you have, please take a moment to share them with me.

Some of the best foods are the ones that look like crap. There are a few things that I never buy because I don’t know moderation when eating them; liverwurst and German bologna, to name a few. Pickles are another favorite; not just any pickle, but a garlic dill eaten out of the jar. I recently walked into the kitchen to find my son eating pickles out of the jar. I have raised him well.

Making progress on the knitting front. I am down to the last ball of yarn for my husband’s blanket. He should have plenty of winter to enjoy it. Come to think of it, he will enjoy it in the summer if the air conditioning is too chilly for his legs.

I inherited a sweater quantity of yarn from a friend. 16 skeins (about 1500 yds) of Classic Elite Believe, a cotton/rayon. The photo is washed out. The yarn is black. I need a pattern that will be easy to navigate so I won’t have difficulty reading the fabric. I have a few in mind.

Emma’s Caponcho

This begins as a cowl then grows into a cape/poncho thanks to the addition of increases down the sides. Don’t you think it would be nice in a drapey cotton? I am hoping the yarn fades a bit with washing. The plain stockinette would be ideal for embroidery. Thoughts?

Easy to knit in stockinette.

Top Down Poncho

As you can see, I am drawn to a cape or poncho for this yarn. I think it would make a great layering piece over jeans or a dress. I would hold the yarn double for this one. Not sure about the buttons. I have visions of them constantly coming undone. Don’t tease me.


I did a bad, bad thing. I clipped Razz’s nails last night. You know where I am going with this, don’t you? I snipped one nail too close to the quick. I KNOW!! My little boy squeaked in pain. He is fine, I am scarred.

For Christmas, I received a gift certificate for Harney & Sons Tea. I had a field day filling my cart. Formosa Oolong, Darjeeling, and Irish Breakfast. All loose tea. While cleaning out the storage closet recently I found a tea pot that my sister passed on to me. I cleaned it up and had fun filling it with my new tea. I learned a lot about this pot. It is heat resistant and can sit directly on the burner. I trust this to be true and have no intention of testing the claim.

In my glass: Peppoli Chianti Classico in a Pittsburgh Steelers glass. Salute!

In my ears: 9-1-1 Calls Podcast with the Operator. OMG! I love this podcast. Don’t worry, they always follow up the 911 calls with a happy ending!

Saint of the Day: St. Agnes. This is one heck of a story. Legend has it that Agnes was a beautiful girl of 12 or 13 yrs whom many young men wanted to marry. Among those she refused, one reported her to the authorities for being a Christian. She was arrested and confined to a house of prostitution. The legend continues that a man who looked upon her lustfully lost his sight and had it restored by her prayer. Agnes was condemned, executed, and buried near Rome in a catacomb that eventually was named after her. The daughter of Constantine built a basilica in her honor. What a horrible experience, but let’s hear it for our girls. Any surprise Agnes is the patron saint of girls and girl scouts?

As always, thank you for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger…drop me a line and tell me how you are!

Have a blessed day and hug a puppy!

I’m going to leave you with the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding.

Keb’ Mo’-Life is Beautiful

This is for Robert.

Love and peace to you all.

ReginaMary

But What About the Puppies?

I have been seriously toying with the idea of deleting my Instagram account long before the latest whoooha. This isn’t the first time. I ditched Facebook and Twitter months ago and I am so glad I did. So what keeps me hanging on to my account? Well, all the yarny deliciousness right at my fingertips. I follow friends and knitters, dyers and designers. I would definitely miss all the inspiration in those posts. If I am going to be completely honest though, I would have to say it’s really all about the puppies. What would I do without the puppies?

This is Kevin. He has an Instagram @agoldennamedkevin. He quivers.

Well it has been a while. I hope everyone had peaceful holidays. I did. They weren’t all that different for us; our celebrations are typically quiet. The US Postal Service extended my husband’s Christmas. I just receive a gift I ordered from early December.

Thanks to weather and some really good football games, I was able to knit a hat. I have some long-term projects on the needles that will take a while to complete, so it was fun to throw in a quickie. (All you fans of the Office, enjoy that one on me!) I knit the Piper Hat by Yankee Knitter Designs in a bulky merino by Le Mouton Vert. My sister purchased the yarn for me while hiking in South America, but it is available online. The Piper is a lovely, cabled hat that is fun to knit, and combined with this yarn, it makes for a warm topper that is super wooly and soft. Melinda Goodfellow is the designer for Yankee Knitter. She has a very sweet Instagram presence-one of the reasons I stay. Please send her some lovin’! When yarn festivals are a thing again, I plan on heading to Connecticut for festivals and an in-person meet & greet. The photos will show you the evolution of my first pom-pom! The first image is what a pom-pom looks like when left to my own devices-Shaggy McShagster. My friend Katherine loaned me a cool little wooden gizmo by Loome and voila! I left the two ends of the pom-pom long and fed them through the top of the hat. Then I threaded them into a button and just tied the ends together. The button keeps the pom-pom in place and I can remove it whenever I want. Can you see it in the photo?

I am making slow and steady progress on my hunny’s blanket. I timed myself. It takes me 17 minutes to knit one row. That is without any interruptions from this guy:

He loves to go in and out and in and out all day long whenever we have the fancy rain.

My hand is in the photo for size perspective, not because I aspire to a career in hand modelling.

Yes, that Bill has been up to no good again! Here is his latest farmer’s market purchase:

I am knitting a cowl in the style of the Scoreboard Cowl. Since the wool is black and grey, I am loosely following the Las Vegas Raiders 2020 schedule. Not a fan of the team, just a fan of the yarn!

The end of the year brought many wonderful encounters. Some mornings, as I pull into the driveway at school, I encounter a lady walking two beautiful Golden Retrievers. Naturally, I stop in the middle of the road to have a chat! Traffic be d*mned! Just before we went on break, I received a piece of mail in the office addressed to ‘Secretary’. Welp, since that is me, I opened it.

It was a Christmas card from Parker the Goldie! Parker’s human wrote me a nice note on the back, introducing herself. Apparently, we talk so much about our puppers that we failed to share our names. This comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me. I showed everyone the card. I mean EVERYONE! Every kid that came by the office saw it too. There is something so special about this breed. Boop that snoot! Go ahead. I know you want to.

I received an email from a knitter who spied some wool in my stash that she desperately needed for a project. The yarn is no longer available and she asked if I would sell my skein. I really did not want any money for it; it feels so good to rehome yarn to someone in a yarn chicken death battle. Later that week, I received a card and a set of beautiful stitch markers as a ‘thank you’ for the yarn. Knitters are a lovely bunch!

Sudeshna used to have an Etsy shop where she sold her wares. Aren’t they beautiful? The best part is that we are now friends on Ravelry.

I did not make any resolutions for the new year; I typically don’t. I am, however, listening to The Bible in a Year podcast with Fr. Mike Schmidt. I love it and at 20 minutes a day, I learn so much. I also like knowing that I am sharing in an experience with so many people around the world. Very much like the community I find here.

This post has been languishing in my draft folder for waaay to long. I have said it on many occasions, but it bears repeating, all of my blogging friends who keep to a regular schedule have my unwavering admiration!

In my glass: Makers Mark

In my ears: Me. Me crying over what has to be the worst 5 minutes of football I have ever seen. Oh, but wait, there’s more! The next 5 minutes proved to be more than I could bear. Good night, Steelers, it was great while it lasted.

Saint of the Day: St. Alexander of Fermo. Not a lot of information about this saint; he was born in the year 250, became a bishop and was killed for his faith. I will gladly raise my glass to this man.

My son’s name is Alexander. I know tons about him, and he is in the early stages of sainthood. (Aren’t you, sweetheart)

Random Robert wisecrack: “Do you need the light on, hon? Oh wait, I forgot. You are the Cosmicknitter, you can knit by the stars.” He is such a goofball.

Sending love to everyone who stops by this silly little blog. I am enriched by your comments and humbled by your generous hearts. So much hugs.

ReginaMary

A Nice Minestrone

This post has no real direction; it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Just like a nice minestrone.

It has been a busy few weeks for your favorite knitting space cadet (that would be me…). My sweet and plucky 93 yr old mama had some minor surgery so I spent many hours in waiting rooms and in some cases, due to COVID, sitting in my car. Just me and my knitting. I managed to get a few projects done. Let’s take a look, shall we? We shall…we shall.

You may recall from my last post, the basket of Roma tomatoes and skein of yarn I received from Bill, one of my son’s clients. Well I ate all the tomatoes. Raw. With olive oil, black pepper and sea salt. Apparently, they were intended to go into sauce. “No regerts!” I also knit up another Barley Light for Bill with the yarn. I threw in a pair of Appleseed Mitts from yet another skein he gave me; it seemed fitting. I failed to take proper photos before I gave them to him and he assured me he would send me an action shot for my blog and Ravelry page. I was not disappointed. Here is a fella who is ready for the elements.

I am so glad you like your knits, Bill. You are very knit-worthy...

The next thing off my needles was The Seamed Wrap by Purl Soho.

A free pattern from Purl Soho, this was a joy to knit. The pattern calls for an all-over linen stitch with a band of two-color linen stitching along the neck. I did not have the patience for all that, so I began with a large band of linen stitch, knit the body in stockinette with garter stitch selvedges and the two-color linen stitch to finish it off. This is a modular piece that can be worn sideways, front or back hanging. It can also serve as a dog pillow, but that’s another story entirely. {{cough:Razz:cough}} I knit this using Miss Babs Yowza, which knits up into such a soft drapey fabric. I could have made the smaller size since Yowza does tend to stretch. Next time. And there will definitely be a next time.

There was a big event in my house. My husband bought a new chair. Not just any chair, mind you. A recliner. A real dude chair. An electric powered, soft as butter recliner. He is soooo happy!! He has wanted a chair in the bedroom so he can sit and read or pray quietly and comfortably. Feet up, nice lighting, peaceful surroundings. Get the picture? I’m sure you are wondering what this has to do with knitting. Or maybe not. If you are a knitter, you know where this is heading. What comfy chair is complete without a knitted blanket to snuggle under? It was his idea, I swear! The request was for a simple blanket in browns golds and blues; brown to match his chair, gold to match the dog and blue to match his eyes. I jumped at the chance to break the yarn fast, people! My friend recommended Webs since they always have sales, and there I found the perfect yarn. This is a wool/acrylic blend in all the right colors.

He wanted a simple pattern so I cast on for the Summer Sidewalk by Fifty Four Ten Studios. This will be the third time I knit this blanket. I cast on 400 stitches. Last thing I want is a skimpy binky! While this won’t be done in time for Christmas, it will be ready for the cold and dreary months that follow.

On the non-knitting front, my sister is home from Japan for a few weeks. We haven’t seen her in a year. She quarantined so we celebrated Thanksgiving the Saturday after and we had a beautiful day. One of the perks to celebrating late is not having to deal with the insanity at the supermarket.

Look what she brought back for me!

On the days when my husband is out of town, I’m always a bit blue. This week, before he left, he gave me flowers. The message on the card reminded me that even though he was leaving, Baby Jesus was coming! He makes me smile.

My chonky boy has lost 17 lbs since September. With less stress on his joints and the cold autumn air, he jogs around the neighborhood little pup!

Razz and his cow.

And in other news…

here are other things that keep me entertained.

I’ve been walking a lot.

It’s no wonder I’m so h*ckin tired.

I also enjoy stalking Golden Retrievers on Instagram

Saint of the Day: December 14th is the feast of Saint John of the Cross. He is the patron Saint of contemplatives, mystics and Spanish poets. He is one of my favorite saints. I read “Dark Night of the Soul” at a very significant time in my life and the impact was profound. It was as if his writings found me; they spoke to the struggles I was having at the time and helped me navigate very difficult days and very dark nights.

“In the dark night of the soul, bright flows the river of God.”

~St. John of the Cross

In my cup: Lagunitas Hop-Hoppy Refresher

I love this stuff. It has no alcohol, no carbs and no calories. It has a crisp and refreshing ‘hoppy’ taste. You can still win a belching contest, but without all the boozey side-effects.

In my ears: The Patriots vs The Rams. It’s Thursday Night Football, baby!! Can I just say how happy I am that the NFL ditched the color rush uniforms.

I appreciate that you stopped by for a visit.

I hope everyone is healthy and well and enjoying all the traditions of the season.

Peace to you all,

ReginaMary

I Am The Winner

When I was a young mother raising two boys there was a growing trend that puzzles me to this day. The idea was “there are no losers, everyone is a winner!” I have been scratching my head ever since. If I subscribed to this mindset, a game of Candyland would be rather confounding, and my son Ben would never have been able to bankrupt me in Monopoly. (word of advice: If he ever becomes a landlord, avoid him at all costs).

So, if everyone is a winner, and there are no losers, then there really are no winners. We are tied and everything becomes ‘meh’. So why bother? This is how my brain works. It’s a curse.

I will be the first to admit that there have been, and continue to be times when I am a loser.

Trying to fill a colander with water. Loser

Asking my husband where Leonardo da Vinci was born. Crossword puzzle clue…five letters…begins with ‘V’. Double loser

Whatever. Loser. Dead to me.

This past month, I received two prizes in the mail because I was the winner. I won and everyone else lost. Sorry folks,

And here’s what I won:

A door prize courtesy of The Knitting Garden during the Long Island Yarn Crawl. This is some serious loot. Thank you, JoAnn!

This is the Rowan “Quench” Kit. It includes 8 balls of Rowan Cashmere Haze and the pattern for Lisa Richardson’s stunning tri-color scarf by the same name. I also receive a bag of mixed stitch stoppers and a Maker’s Keep both by Cocoknits, and a set of Nirvana Mango dpns. This is a new-to-me brand and I look forward to knitting with them.

The next win came as a surprise. I entered the Lolodidit Gameday KAL and my Cheesehead socks were one of the winners. Knit anything in one of her team colorways, enter a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #lolodiditgamedaykal and you could be a winner, too! I won a $30.00 gift certificate to her shop lolodidit.com. Guess what I picked? C’mon, guess! Another skein of her team themed sock yarn. This time in the Auburn Tigers colorway.

War Eagle!

So you see? I am a winner. If only there was a way to bump off Mr. Plumpy…

Damn you, Mr. Plumpy!

Saint of the Day: St. Francis Caracciolo. He’s a nice Italian fella from Naples and patron to Italian cooks. Bene, mangiamo tutti!

In my cup: Coffee 3.0

In my ears: Sweet Tea No Shade knitting podcast

Stay well, my friends!

Be cool, stay in school.

Up with hope, down with dope.

Geeks rule!

{{Hugs}}

ReginaMary

Does this Mask Make My Butt Look Big?

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit! He has risen, Alleluia Alleluia!

Well this certainly has been a Holy Week we’ll be talking about for some time, yes? In meditating on the Passion of Christ, my husband and I couldn’t help but notice parallels to the lessons we learn from our faith and the current circumstances we find ourselves living in presently. Even though I find meditation elusive at times, when I do ‘connect’, the experience is different than anything I have experienced before. I often see a flow of faces when I pray, but for the past week or so, I have seen colors. It was a bit odd, to be honest, but I have come to embrace these experiences. Have any of you had this happen while in prayer? A blessed and peaceful Easter season to all of you! Whether you celebrate or not; it is a gesture I offer that has profound meaning to me and I send my love and prayers to you and your families-it comes from my heart of hearts.

A few months back, I knit a Flax for Bill, a client of my son. He makes a striking model.

A smiling Bill in his Flax-Isn’t he handsome?

This past week, Bill made masks for us. This is me, modeling mine. Less striking, more dorky.

Pay attention to those mushrooms on the stove behind me…

Believe it or not, I have never met Bill. When this crisis is over, there is a giant hug waiting for that man!! (consider this your only warning, Bill!)

See those mushrooms behind me? I subscribe to a wonderful product called The F2T Box. It is a weekly grocery subscription that curates items from farms local to me. I request vegetables and produce, but i don’t know what the box contains until it arrives. When I opened this week’s box, it contained some really lush produce. In this photo, I am marinating some portobello mushrooms with scallions, ginger, olive oil, sesame oil and balsamic vinegar. I grilled them over a low heat; they were juicy and meaty. In fact, the stems were so hearty, I put them in soup. I made the soup from fresh dandelion greens and carrots also included in the box. The other items were butternut squash, baby swiss chard, and arugula; all of which went into my Easter dinner. If you have the opportunity to subscribe to a service like this, please give it a try. It is a surprise when you open the box, but I have yet to be disappointed.

Can we talk about eggs again? Please? It won’t take but a moment. As you use eggs, and the carton begins to empty, do you rearrange the remaining eggs before you return them to the fridge? I do, and unbeknownst to me, my dearly beloved does as well. Would it surprise you that we disagree on how they should be organized? This may seem like a really odd discussion, but I must know your thoughts on this.

Knitting has been interesting for me. While I have been doing a lot of it, I am doing it very slowly. I am also keenly aware of my limitations; my brain only wants to knit on autopilot. I am not the only one. Many of my knitting friends are talking about the comfort found in miles and miles of stockinette. In fact, I know at least 4 people, myself included, who cast on a Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure.

This was such a soothing project for me. I chose a skein of Anzula Cricket from stash, in the color Kale. This shade of green was very unique, ranging from a dark hunter green to a lighter sage. I will definitely work with this yarn again. The hat is thick and squishy with amazing stitch definition; I thoroughly enjoyed knitting all 4″ of the pattern’s 2×2 rib!! This hat is going to get a lot of wear.

I completed another square in the MKAL hosted by Ceci over at Oh La Lana! Knitting Blog. I have mentioned before, but it does bear repeating: my brain is struggling with lace. These squares are not complex patterns, mind you, but it does require thought, and chart/pattern reading and all that jazz. But I am getting them done, people…I am getting them done! I screwed this square up, but ask me if I care. Go ahead, ask! This project is an exercise in determination and “le ostinazione”!

Wanna see my socks? I’ll admit, they aren’t much to look at, but I am ready to start the heel flap. The yarn is Lolo Did It in her Keep Pounding colorway. My friend and fellow blogger over at Nothing But Knit is a sock knitting Goddess! She finds the best patterns. This one is the Slip it Simple by Christine Long Derks. Isn’t it interesting how this yarn/pattern combination is creating a plaid vibe? Hers look completely different, but that is what we love about knitting! You should check them out. The photo top right is my ‘project bag’. I found this little bit of awesome on line for about $5. My only complaint is that it did not come with a copy of Pokemon Yellow!

A little more info on these socks. I want to explain a knitting cheat I often use for socks. The pattern I am using is a two row repeat. I am often one who knits round and round, forgetting which row I am on. Using the most excellent bulb-shaped markers, I chain together equal markers as rows in the pattern repeat. (4 row repeat=4 bulb markers, 2 row repeat=2 markers, etc.) The photo on the left reflects row one, and the photo on the right reflects row two. If I lose my place, I just have to look at how many markers are *on the needle* to determine the row. As I move through the rows, I add or drop a maker. PS. You can get a bazillion of these markers on Amazon for what you pay for a double mocha-choca-lata ya-ya at Starbucks.

Next up: What is she going on about now?

My husband says I lie. Yes, the egg-manipulating, drive-up eating, pretzel-hogging, best-hug-giving husband thinks I lie. And to some extent he is right. When asked how I am, I typically lie. When asked if I need help, I typically lie. When asked what is on my mind, I typically lie. And, when writing about this kinda stuff, like I am right now, I typically lie. So here it is in a nutshell.

I am sad. I am worried. I am angry. I am grateful. I am confused. I am distracted. I am blessed. I am forgetful.

I am sad because the names of people who have died from this virus are becoming more and more familiar to me. I am worried because there are so many people known and unknown to me who are crying out for prayers and I don’t feel like I can help them. I am angry because in my community, as in many, there are people who just can’t seem to understand that THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT THEM! Stay at home means STAY AT HOME {{add expletive of choice}}. I am grateful because my immediate family, by the grace of God, is healthy. I am confused by the information spewed out by “those in the know”. I am distracted and forgetful because of all the spazzatura bumbling around in my head. I have days where I ignore social media, email or other sources of influence because my tiny head is just too full. I know I am not alone in these feelings. You know what else I know? My husband is right. I am a liar. Forgive me?

I think I am typed out. I will end this post with the usual:

Saint of the Day: St. Lydwine. Patroness of of sickness, chronically ill, ice skaters. Do you find it odd that on the days that I write, the Saint du jour happens to be a patron of the ill? I long stopped believing in coincidence. It seems to me that God is always peeking over my shoulder, gently reminding me that He is present with me through the nuances of my day. PS. I don’t think St. Lydwine was the patroness of chronically ill ice skaters, so mind that comma.

In my cup: An afternoon cuppa coffee. Check out this mug though!

In my ears: A confounded fly because Razz left the door open. Just kidding. It was me. I left the door open.

To all my friends, I pray for you and your families every day, and I feel your prayers for us as well. Thank you for being a constant source of humor, creativity, honesty and humanity. Thank you for STAYING HOME. We’ll get through this.

“One day at a time, Sweet Jesus!” – John Killian

“This is why we say our prayers and drink good booze.” – also John Killian

All my love,

Regina (and this guy)

A Little Q & A for the Day

I was reading a fun post by my fellow blogger “Compassionknit“. She shared a fun little Q & A so I thought I would add my two cents.

Do you prefer to knit with bigger needles or smaller needles?

  • I definitely prefer a smaller needle. I find I have to do less manipulating to get a decent tension.

Do you like to have a bulky knit or crochet going with a sock at the same time to alternate weights?

  • I literally just discovered the fun of having a crochet project in the mix. Having one needle and one loop to contend with makes for easy stitching!

Do you have a pattern that can be a bookmark or a shawl?

  • I don’t think I have a pattern suitable for a bookmark, but I LOVE using ball bands. I don’t know why, though. Maybe it’s because they are always lying around and very accessible.

Do you think Leaves are the easiest object work into a project or are you a Feather and Fan wave person?

  • Can you believe I have never done a leaf pattern? I know!! That’s why I love chatting with you all; I get so many new ideas.

Do you like to read books about places you have been to visit?

  • I prefer reading about places I would like to visit. I just finished a book about the Civil War and would love to plan a trip to Gettysburg.

Do you know an author?

  • I do know an author. She writes wonderful books for Young Adults. I will link her here: Ann E. Burg We are fortunate to have many talented writers in Rhinebeck, and I am infinitely blessed to call Ann my friend.

Do you know a pattern author?

  • I know people who tinker, but as far as big-time designers, I do not.

Do you wish you could write like someone ? Who?

  • I would love to write like Mark Twain!!

Do you plan months ahead for a local person or within an hours drive, for a get together?

  • No, my get togethers tend to be planned a few days or a week in advance.

Do you like a text such as: “Hey, we are at such and such, want to join in?”

  • I love those kinds of texts, they often result in some really fun times!

Now, don’t you feel like you have seen a bit more of the deep dark recesses of my brain? Not as scary as you thought, right?

What interesting tidbits are dwelling in your brain? Answer some of the questions if you want. Who knows, we may be long lost twins!

In case you thought you could get through a post without a photo of dog-dog, you were soooo wrong!

Stay tuned for my next post where I share my adventures on the Long Island Yarn Crawl!

Until then, please keep yourselves and your families in good health.

Blessings and love,

Regina