The Way to a Man’s Heart

So, this was not my original title. It was initially going to be something along the lines of “How I please my husband while keeping my jammies on.” I think the reason for the veto is obvious.

For the first time in our 5 year marriage I made him one of his favorite breakfasts (NOT hard-boiled eggs). Blueberry pancakes. He was in heaven. He is very satisfying to cook for and very easy to please. I should mention, he sent me a link to a 43 sec YouTube tutorial on how to peel hard-boiled eggs. Now I am peeling eggs like a ninja! Bless his heart.

In the knitting world, I am busying myself with the Habitation Throw by Helen Stewart. Here I have a lunch box full of really pretty odds and ends. As you can see by the photo, I am in the infancy stage.

I am also doing a KAL with my fabulous yarny colleagues. We chose Love Note by Tin Can Knits. My intention is to use the yarn below held double with a very light green mohair, but the swatch is giving me a very bulky gauge. I am debating if I should go down a pattern size and up a needle size, or should I choose different yarn. I think the mohair is going to obscure the lace yoke. See what I mean?

The yarn on the left is dyed by a friend of mine. She has been at the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival for the past few years, and I am thrilled her work is getting the recognition it deserves. Please visit her Etsy site; she has yarn and notions. Mt. Rutsen Studio Tell her Regina sent you!

My son and I have the same sense of humor. There are times when we will have conversations exclusively in movie or comedy show dialog. The latest came after mentioning Texas in a conversation.

Today in my faith: It is Ash Wednesday. Somehow my husband manages to get the BIGGEST cross on his forehead each year. I think his lack of hair allows for a bit more flair.

In my cup: Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea. Their tea bags are in silky sachets. I would recommend brewing these with water just below the boiling point. The bags contain a small amount of plastic, and even though it is food grade it may still leech if heated to boiling. I prefer their loose teas for this reason.

In my ears: The Yarniacs Podcast on the Stitcher App, because what does a knitting fanatic do while knitting? Listen to people talk about knitting.

Do you listen to audio podcasts, or are you a strictly YouTube watcher? Share some of your favorites!

Have a blessed and productive Lent.

Love, Regina

Why? Just…Why?

Those were the words my husband said to me as he sat down to breakfast. I’m no stranger to the kitchen and I can crank out some pretty decent stuff, but my nemesis is the hard-boiled egg, and the eggs that morning were particularly bad. I mean, really bad. Half of the egg white came off with the shell. Are you feelin’ me? I blame the chicken.

True Confession: I have lied to students.

Them: “Wow, Mrs. M., this pencil sharpener is awesome.”

Me: “Thanks. It comes with a built in woodchuck.” Silence

Them: “Mrs. M., can you make copies of this math worksheet for me?”

Me: “Sure. Would you like it stapled with holes punched?”

Them: “It can do all that?”

Me: “Yes! The only thing it can’t do is fill in the answers for you, only the big copier does that.” Silence

Me: “Would you kids like a snow day tomorrow? (forecast says 100% chance of blizzard)

Them: “YEAH! You can do that?”

Me: “Sure! I’m in charge of snow days here!”

Them: “WOW! That’s awesome!”

…Blizzard hits Rhinebeck. Kids dreams come true. Fast forward…

Kid’s Mom: “Mrs. M., will there be school tomorrow?”

Me: “I wouldn’t know.”

Kid’s Mom: “Oh, don’t you decide on snow days? That’s what Billy said.”

Me: “My work here is done.”

I hope you all have been well. I’ve been busy. Finishing up those wips really cleared up my head, and stoked my knitting mojo. KonMari for Knitters! I never realized how much of a downer it was to have languishing projects around. Since the start of the new year, I have finished a few hats, a scarf and two pairs of socks.

Lauren Slagle, mastermind behind Lolo Did It Yarns, dyed up some team spirit colorways. I purchased her Plush Sock in three colors:

Cheesehead: Green Bay Packers

Back the Pack!

Steelers Nation: Pittsburgh Steelers

Steeler Nation!

Keep Pounding: Carolina Panthers

Just waiting to be cast on!

The yarn is yummy, and while I find the colors a bit on the subtle side, they make for great spirit wear and very comfy socks none the less.

Another project I am excited about is the Lace Blanket Mystery KAL by Cecilia from Oh La Lana! We are only on square #2, so it is not to late to join us. This project should be finished sometime in August. I am excited to be doing something a bit outside my comfort zone. I have been knitting in the round for so long that I had to reacquaint myself with a lace chart and the trusty ‘life line’. Ignoring that glaring error in the second photo, I think the final product will be a nice, lightweight but cozy throw. (don’t look! OK, you can look! No, wait!) This is knit out of Times Remembered Prime Alpaca. I purchased the yarn at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival (aka, Rhinebeck). It is a beautifully haloed yarn in a heather blue color. These photos do not do it justice. The final product will be 3′ x 5′. Please check out Ceci’s blog and website. She is a talented lady and a real sweetheart!

We interrupt this post for rant from our sponsor…

We have automatic, motion-detecting lights in our staff bathroom. I may be of simple mind, but I tend to let the light do it’s thing, and that is, detect motion. Motion = on. No motion = off. While I appreciate the Eco-consious as much as the next guy, I tend to get a bit…how does one say…pissy, when I really, REALLY have to pee and I can’t find the light switch because someone thought it best to save energy by turning off the motion-detecting light. DAMMIT.

I hope you have been well. As always, I am truly grateful for anyone who takes the time to stop by, read and comment. I appreciate the blogging community very much!

Peace to you today, and in the days to come.

Love,

Regina

Today’s Saint: St. Jacinta Marto, youngest visionary of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal in 1917. Her Patronage is broad:

• against bodily ills or sickness
• captives, prisoners
• people ridiculed for their piety
• sick people

I would like us to offer up a silent prayer to the victims of sex-trafficking. May God help them and have mercy on their tormentors. (don’t mean to be a downer, but seriously.)

In my glass: Harney and Sons Tea: Paris. OMG! Buy this. It is intoxicating. No seriously. Buy it.

Made right in my neighborhood!

This tea tastes sweet like caramel and has a fruity black currant flavor. You can also taste a hint of vanilla. $!2.00 for a 7oz tin of loose tea. Can’t beat that with a stick!

In my ears: I think someone just stepped on a duck.

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. He is by far my favorite historical figure.

He suffered from depression. “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”

And he loved animals. “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”

What’s not to love about this man.

Have peace in your day.

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!”

“My Wife, World Traveler”

You don’t typically hear from me more than once in the same week, but I thought this quote was very dear and worth sharing.

Do you ever look at your blog’s ‘Stats and Insights’ page? Being a self-proclaimed geek, I love reading this data daily. (data? barely know her!).

Yesterday, I looked at the map showing the home country of all my readers; it was so amazing that I just had to share it with my husband. His response was “my wife, world traveler!”. That got me thinking (a rare and sometimes frightening phenomenon).

Regina conquers the world!

We are so blessed to live in a time where relationships can be forged from hundreds or even thousands of miles away by celebrating that one singular worsted weight thread that we all share. I believe this connects us as makers as well as sisters and brothers of God.

Today, I will meditate on this while giving thanks for the graces I have received by knowing you and traveling with you on this journey around the world. Thank you for inviting me into your homes and hearts.

Peace in your day.

Love, Regina

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

September 21, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you all for your companionship.

Your sister in Christ,

Regina Mary

In my glass: Saranac Diet Ginger Beer

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

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

Talk about learning to walk!

Thank you for being a friend.

Quick question.

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

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

Our own little KAL!

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

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

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

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

Today’s beverage: The humble cuppa coffee…

Today’s sound: The classic snoozle!

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

Thank you for being my friends!

Regina

The Space Between

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

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

Scoreboard Cowl - Steelers

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

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

In other news:

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

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

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

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

May you give and receive all that is good!

Love,

Regina

Hiding a Multitude of Sin

Daddy and me at 3 months
Daddy and me

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

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

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

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Hermione’s Everyday Sock

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for stopping by.

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

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

Love,

Regina