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)

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!”

Hiding a Multitude of Sin

Daddy and me at 3 months
Daddy and me

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

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

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

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Hermione’s Everyday Sock

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for stopping by.

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

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

Love,

Regina

Don’t Stop Me Now

I’m on a roll.
Two consecutive posts? I think this is a first.  I named these “Dead On My Feet” because the yarn is part of Lolodidit‘s Pretty Little Zombies, in the “I :heart: Michonne” colorway on the plush sock base.

Dead On My Feet
Dead On My Feet

I did the usual 2×2 ribbing and generic leg, two at a time magic loop on a 40″ 2 US Addi Sock Rockets.  I heard the Fish Lips Kiss Heel mentioned on a number of podcasts, so I thought I would give it a go.  I completed the sock with a round toe and kitchener finish.  If you don’t own the FLKH pattern, I recommend you do.  The designer charges $1.00 (I know!!)  and it is definitely something to keep in your bag o’ tricks.  It is easy, quick and makes a smooth turn without any gaps.  I don’t think it will replace the heel flap/gusset for me, because I am hard on my socks, but it is nice for when you want very little interruption in the pattern of your yarn.

On a different topic.  I have been toying with the idea of podcasting for about a year now.  I recorded my first episode the other day.  At the risk of disappointing the knitting world, I have decided against it.  For now.  I think it goes back to yesterday’s quote about busy-ness.  I do not fare well when my obligation/option ratio is out of whack and I certainly don’t want anything knitting related to be an obligation.  One of the designers I follow put out an all-call for test knitters.  I was not one of those selected.  Later that day I watched one of my favorite podcasts, The Gentle Knitter, and she spoke of how little she knit for pleasure because she was regularly asked to be a test knitter-knitting to deadlines, taking copious notes and unable to share her work with those who follow her program.  Not my kinda gig.  Is it yours?  If so, why?  Has there ever been a time when you didn’t enjoy knitting?  I can think of one or two times myself.  I am curious to hear your experiences.  Is this a ‘thing’?

Tomorrow, I’ll share another recently finished object and more observations on podcasting.

Trufax:  Today’s Saint of the Day is St. Aldegunais (who I have never heard of…).  She is patron of cancer suffers and wounds.  Let’s keep those who are suffering in mind today.

Be well,

Regina

“Jesus is Coming. Look busy!”

Saw this on a bumper sticker and it cracked me up. Seriously though. What’s all the fuss about being busy. I think it is highly overrated and I’m pretty sure Jesus would agree. That being said, I want to update you on what’s been happening in the Cosmicknitter Universe. Since the Universe was not made in one day, I think I’ll see what territory I can cover in 7 days…ok, 6 days-Sunday is the Superbowl.

I finished two sweet pairs of socks in the fall. The first pair was on some self-striping commercial yarn I found at Michael’s with purple as the dominant color.  You can find my project page here: School Spirit Socks
Continue reading ““Jesus is Coming. Look busy!””

Oh, yes I did!

A few days back, I asked for advice on a sock I was knitting for my son.  I took the advice of the majority, which was to start over.  If the sock bothered me that much in the early stages, it would always bother me.

So I did.

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I unraveled the sock and started over.  I went from stranded knitting on 5 dpns (black needles, no less…) to knitting on one long circular.  I scrapped the stranded pattern for a solid yellow sock with the Hufflepuff mascot done in duplicate stitch.  So far, I have this:

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The knitting is neater, the ribbing is tighter and my stitches are more even.  Overall, I am very pleased with the decision.  It isn’t going to be the fancy-pants design I dreamed of, but it will be a sock I can be proud to say I made!

Thanks to everyone who sounded in, I appreciate your input.

Oh, by the way…I was not willing to try my first magic loop sock AND stranded knitting at the same time.  You’ll have to wait for that momentous event.