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