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?

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

Yes, Sir…That’s my Baby!

I don’t know how it gets to be a month between posts. I admire all of you who write daily or weekly. I really do.

I have two grown boys, aged 27 and 25 years. Who is my real baby? I think you all know.

This guy:

A few weeks ago Razz developed a growth on his lower lip. It grew quickly and it was ugly. His vet said she doesn’t like to play around with things on a dog’s mouth, so off it came! He did great. Surgery was uneventful and he came home without the cone-o-shame. The biopsy showed it was cancer. Good news is that the vet got it all and the skin around the site is healthy. Look at that face. Tragic.

Besides fretting about Razz, what have I been up to? I have had a productive few weeks. I have finished objects, people! You were introduced to some of these projects here: https://cosmicknitter.com/2020/09/22/sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing/

I am very proud of this sweater. It is Savage Heart by Amy Cristoffers. There were obstacles, but not with the pattern. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. This had some ‘new-to-me’ techniques. The sweater is knit in two halves and from side to side. It also has an applied I-cord edge on the bottom which I loved doing! And finally, I learned how to seam reverse stockinette along side seams as well as a bound-off edge. I am very pleased with the results. I am going to wear the HECK outta this one!

Next off the needles was the Larks Alvina by Louisa Harding. I would describe this as a nice palate cleanser! Easy pattern to follow using two balls of Morehouse Farm Merino Lace.

The last project to come off the needles was another Barley Light. I received a surprise delivery a few weeks ago. The doorbell rang and I was greeted by my son who was bearing gifts from his client, Bill, with the message “pretty please?” How could I resist? The tomatoes were supposed to go into sauce, but I ate them whole with a little sea salt and black pepper.

This is a great pattern and the yarn is from Sawkill Farm which is 10 minutes away in Red Hook, NY.

I love a good impulse buy as much as the next gal, so when I saw this fella online, I had to pick up a few for my knitting friends. I love his face. Here are photos of our front stoops. Mine is in the middle. I’m going to call her “Baaabs”.

We are planning a much needed vacation to Orwell, NY.

See that little dock? I love to sit there and say my prayers each morning.

Razz can’t go swimming because of his surgery, but there is no reason why he can’t go canoeing with his mama. These were taken last year. It was his first time in a boat.

Welp, that’s all folks. This post took forever and day to finally make it out of drafts!

Have a blessed day and kiss your favorite furry!

Love,

ReginaMary

In my ears: The wind is howling and gusting. Such a great sound!

In my cup: Tomato Bisque and black pepper crackers…I could eat this every day.

Saint of the Day: Today is All Souls Day! All Souls Day is a holy day set aside for honoring the dead. The day is primarily celebrated in the Catholic Church, but it is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and a few other denominations of Christianity. The Anglican church is the largest protestant church to celebrate the holy day.

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

Finish or Frog part 2

Just Rip It!

Hello dear friends! I must say, the Finish or Frog adventure was one of the best things I did for myself, even though I was not the beneficiary of the finished projects. This next project should have been frogged years ago. And I mean YEARS. My son and I picked out the yarn together at the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival (aka. Rhinebeck) with the intention of my knitting him a set of socks. The yarn was very popular for socks at the time and we waited on line for quite a while to buy it. I cast on immediately and knit 3/4 of the first sock but I was not in love with how it was knitting up; it was stiff and the wool was discoloring my hands and bamboo needles. So the project sat there, in my closet for close to 8 years. You heard me. 8 YEARS! So out of the closet it came. I rewound the wool and decided it would make a nice hat that would showcase the yarn’s subtle color variations. I had forgotten how handsome the wool was. I chose the Barley Light pattern by Tin Can Knits The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber – Silkie Socks that Rock in Ravenscroft color way (black with yellow and green highlights)

In keeping with the habit of naming my projects after video games or characters. I named this hat Vivi after that black mage in Final Fantasy IX- the little fella with the big hat!.

Nice hat Vivi!

Vivi also makes a minor appearance in Kingdom Hearts, one of my son’s favorite video game franchises. The word ‘vivi’ literally means “to live to see”. This yarn definitely lived to see the day when it became a fully finished object (FFO?)!

What’s going on at work? When surrounded by middle schoolers, it is never dull. The daughter of a faculty member created this beautiful bulletin board. These kids definitely help me find my wings. If they only knew.

And then there are days like this:

Fortunately, there are more quarters in the right jar!
My dog makes me a better human.

I think that’s it for the time being. It is always a pleasure visiting with you!! I enjoy reading your blogs, and I certainly hope you enjoy mine as well.

Naturally, this post would not be complete without a photo of Razz. When my husband has to be away for a prolonged amount of time, we all miss him, Razz included. The first night home, Razz climbs in Robert’s bag and beds down for the evening. It is the cutest h*cking thing evah!

Daddy’s home!

Have a blessed week! Drop me a line, I would love to know how you’re doing. If you have a quirky pet, tell me about him!

I wish you peace in you lives, and endless hours of knitting!

Love,

Regina

Saint of the Day: Saint Joseph of Leonissa – As a boy and as a student in early adulthood, Joseph drew attention for his energy and virtue. He said “When we suffer anything, we give proof of our love.” Sometimes I find it so difficult to see love in the face of suffering. That’s something to ponder, yes?

In my mug: Earl Grey Tea

In my ears: Bill Evans. He is a jazz pianist. I had not heard of him before, but my hunny, shared this link with me. I hope you enjoy it! Portrait in Jazz – Bill Evans Trio

Favorite Tweet from the Super Bowl Half-Time Show: “This is the best Super Bowl themed bachelor party I have ever been to!”

Knitting Forward While Tinking Back

Happy New Year, friends! I hope your holidays and holy days were blessed.

The title of this post is the brain child of my husband. I wanted to write about how my first projects of the new year were actually repurposed from WIPs that have been lurking on my shelf for way too long. And in one case, 8 years! As I explained this to him, he offered his ever-expanding knitting vocabulary as a suggestion for the title (very sexy). I am knitting forward into the new year, by tinking back old projects. Clever, eh?

During the Christmas break, I went into all the closets and dark recesses of my home where WIPs tend to lurk. I flushed them all out and took stock in the projects. To my credit, there were only a handful-maybe 3 or 4- with only one not worth saving. I made up my mind to stop what I was currently working on to finally finish or frog these long-forgotten projects. So over the next few posts, I’ll take one project at a time and share with you what they were and what they became.

The first project I dealt with was the Shawl Collared Cardigan by Erika Knight. I started this for my oldest son last winter (as in 2018). As soon as the wool arrived, I cast on and went full steam ahead until I had 6 pieces that required blocking then seaming. It had been so long since I knit a garment flat that I forgot how much I dislike seaming. None the less, this was made with super bulky yarn and it worked up rather quickly. The primary challenge was finding a place on the edges to insert my needle without creating a large hole. Once I got in the groove, it was smooth sailing. Until the zipper. Have you ever been faced with a new technique that you avoid for no rational reason except fear not knowing exactly what the h*ck you are doing? Fast forward a few months and I finally put the time aside to sew it in. Took me a few attempts, but after about two hours, it was done. One more final blocking and an hour of pulling off Razz’s floof and the sweater was complete. I wrapped it and put it under the tree for Ben. I am very pleased with the final product and it definitely falls into the “Mommy Hug Sweater” category! The wool is Rowan Big Wool in black. http://knitrowan.com

I used to be a monogamous knitter but with the advent of knitting video podcasts, I found myself downloading and casting on way too many projects. I never realized how this habit hindered the joy of the project I was actively knitting at the time. This exercise in finishing or frogging was a great reminder of the freedom I feel when I am not bogged down by too many projects.  I have since made it a priority, upon finishing a knit, to block, snap a few photos for Ravelry and Instagram, then I completely unpack my project bag, returning all needles and notions to their proper place, dropping any left over yarn into a bowl for a scappy project. There is less clutter around the house and much less clutter in my head! And, I am actually getting things done! win-win-win!

So, does this post fall into the “a little about knitting” or “a lot about nothing” category. Not sure, but I do think it is time to wrap things up. I want to thank you for stopping by. I look forward to sharing time with you in the months to come. If you have a moment, drop me a line in the comments and tell me what you are working on, who you are rooting for in the Super Bowl or what your best fur baby has been charming you with lately.

Be sure to peek in on Razzle, he would love to see you.

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What I am listening to: Nice and Knit podcast

In my cup:  Tea in a sweet little tea set from my boys

Saint of the day: Saint Sabastian. St. Sabastian had a rough go of things toward the end. He was not popular with the emperor Diocletian who had him beaten and thrown in a sewer. Does it surprise you that he became the special protector from the bubonic plague? He is the patron saint of archers and pin-makers. Today, I will say a special prayer for all the wonderful knitters and creators whose little enamel pins adorn my project bags and totes.

Love to all,

Regina

Day 4, Reason 4

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Halloween 2017 – The theme was “SCARY” so I went as a basket of my son’s dirty laundry

I would not want to spend my free time looking at my face, why would you?  I know that sounds dorky, but another reason I decided against podcasting is insecurity.  That’s legit, right?

Did you know?  Directions for laundering microfiber cleaning/dusting cloths specific state NO FABRIC SOFTENER.  This is most likely because the effectiveness of these gems is in part due to static electricity.

Did you also know?  Static electricity causes fabrics to cling to each other?  You probably did.

True confession:  My husband walked around NYC for business one day wearing a dust cloth under his shirt.  He discovered it in the men’s room of a restaurant at the end of his day.  He still loves me, bless his heart.

The fourth project I finished recently was a baby blanket for the knitting art club we have at the middle school.  Every year, the art teacher provides yarn, needles and instruction to students interested in knitting a blanket for the NICU of a local hospital. It is remarkable what these kids can accomplish!  Some take to it like a fish to water.  This year she donated over 120 hand knit/crocheted items.  We were blessed with a donation of yarn this year from local yarn goddess, Jill Draper.  Please take a moment and visit her Etsy shop Jill Draper Makes Stuff  Her yarn is beautiful and her heart is expansive.

The blanket I knit was from an existing stash.  I don’t care for the yarn, it split easily, but the colors are so pretty.  I did not use a pattern, and I added cables when knitting the purple parts. I did not take a photo of the finished blanket.  I blocked it aggressively and the end result was less crinkly and more lacy.

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Willow Yarns Dappled Violets

Sipping:  Lavazzo Espresso Perfetto Blend (don’t be impressed, it’s for the Keurig)

Listening: Jessica by the Allman Brothers Band – Brothers and Sisters (can’t. get. enough.)

Saint du jour:  St. Bridgid, patron of Ireland, dairymaids, cattle, midwives, Irish nuns, and newborn babies.  I like this lady.  With Killian as a maiden name what’s not to love.  Apparently, Bridgid’s mother was baptized by St. Patrick!  Let’s keep everyone under her care close to our hearts.

Peace to all!

Regina

I posted an adorable photo of Razz here