There & Back Again

All taken from the passenger seat of the car (going approximately 70mph/113kmph) on Sunday in Maryland on the way to or way home from Morgantown, WV.

Morgantown-bound again on this beautiful day. This view never gets old.
The View From Sideling Hill, Maryland

 

Two churches, Cumberland, MD
Two churches, Cumberland, Maryland

 

Western Maryland wind farm
Western Maryland Wind Farm (there are several)

 

Sunset through the trees at 70mph.
Sunset through the trees east of Hagerstown, Maryland
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While I was knitting …

This week marked the end of both season 2 of Indian Summers and season 1 of The Durrels in Corfu on Masterpiece Theater (PBS in the States). There were no surprises with either show; they both ended in a predictable happy and satisfying, though unrealistic, way. I won’t say more so I don’t give away any spoilers.

I returned to The Walking Dead this week, which has been piling up on my DVR since the premier, which I found very disturbing. I’m still not sure why the episode bothered me so much – it wasn’t any more graphic than previous gory episodes, but something about it just made the violence so raw and unnecessary – as with depictions of sex, a lot of times showing less of it is more interesting/exciting/enjoyable than laying it all out there. Anyway, having watched 2 (3?) more episodes and still not having caught up to the live broadcast, I can safely say that this season is just as enjoyable as the premier, though much less violent. Which is to say that I’m not enjoying it at all. Every season I have friends who stop watching it for one reason or another – a favorite character is killed off, the show depicted cruel treatment of dogs, something unbelievable happened; this may be my season to pitch it.

I finally had some time with Gilmore Girls yesterday. Last fall I watched the entire series on Netflix, having not watched it when it aired from 2000-2007 because I was busy holding down a full time job with two small boys, and then busy stay-at-home-momming 3 small boys during its original run. It’s fluffy, girly, surface entertainment, although all 3 of my much bigger boys got into it while I was watching it. The new mini-series definitely has all the hallmarks of the original: mostly witty dialogue, the fastest talking actors I’ve heard since movies made in the 30s-40s, the little dramas, the unrealistic turns the girls’ lives take. The only thing missing – and I’m about halfway through – is Suki/Melissa McCarthy. I know she does appear at some point, but it’s just not the same without her at the Inn, even with celebrity chef pop-ups, like Rachel Ray.

I also started reading again, and reading and knitting, which is easier to do with an e-reader. I used my Kindle to borrow A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) since there’s no way I’m going to get access to HBO to watch the latest season of Game of Thrones. I know the series veers away from the books on some plot points, just as The Walking Dead series changes some of what happened in the comic book, but some Game of Thrones is better than no Game of Thrones. And reading something that requires more attention than the Internet is a good thing for me and my brain to do. I only hope I can finish the book before the lending period is over; I’d forgotten how long and complex the books are.

 

The Week Nov 28 – Dec 4

Last week’s goals with progress indicated:

  • Make recommended changes to the pattern for the Gir hat & scarf, including (reluctantly) instructions for using DPNs.
  • Figure out how to organize test knits for both, including what expectations to set.
  • Finish Henry’s hat & attach scales after the fact, if at all; it’ll be easier to scatter them on the finished hat than to scatter as I knit.
  • Keep working on the fronts for the Green Wood Cardi.
  • Add another custom knit listing to The Yarn Office. Added the Infinite Wave Cowl.
  • Start getting the house ready for the onslaught of people coming for Thanksgiving, which means cleaning. Ugh.  Edited to add: Thanksgiving was lovely. There were at least 5 dinner-/cooking-related arguments, but no big blow-ups (which has happened in previous years). It was really good to see all of my in-laws and Enzo, the widowed Jack Russel Terrier boyfriend of our dog Jacey; she died last June (2105) and he still looks for her when he makes the trip.

I also:

    • Participated in my first in-person event for The Yarn Office; a small business Saturday promotion at the tae kwon do school my kids & husband go to. I didn’t sell anything, but did hand out a few business cards that I created & printed on Wednesday, when I committed to doing the event.
Jeff is helping me get ready
Getting organized for the first public appearance of The Yarn Office, note my helper’s furry legs in the top center of the photo
  • Edited to add: I almost forgot! I did get a custom order for a hat from Master John, the 2nd biggest cheese at the tae kwon do school. I need to remember to send him email with info on how to create a custom etsy order.
  • Got a lot of requests and referrals on Facebook as a result of posting about the small business Saturday event. People have asked if I could make: crocheted slippers using flip flops as a base, crocheted cat butt coasters, crocheted owl hat for a child. I see 100% more crochet in my future.
  • Priced out some finished knits that aren’t in my etsy shop for the small biz Saturday event, all items knit using not-my-patterns, which I’ve hesitated to sell before, but I might just throw caution to the wind and list them.
  • Spent 6 hours in the car yesterday driving my son back to school. Luckily I was passenger, so I finished off a Chunky Herringbone Infinity Scarf I started on Friday (I needed something easy to pick up & put down to work on Saturday). Well, finished except for grafting/3 needle bind off. And I got in 8 more rows on the fronts of my Green Wood Cardi.

This week:

  • Make recommended changes to the pattern for the Gir hat & scarf, including (reluctantly) instructions for using DPNs.
  • Figure out how to organize test knits for both, including what expectations to set.
  • Add another pattern as a custom knit to The Yarn Office.
  • Start keeping track of things people ask me if I can make. Evaluate whether or not I can or want to make them, possibly add to etsy. (Cat butt coasters aren’t exactly keeping with the vibe I’ve got going on in the shop, but if I like making them and they sell, why not?)
  • Finish the Chunky Herringbone Infinity Scarf and start a listing for it in the shop.
  • Start etsy listings for the FOs I took to the event on Saturday.
  • Edited to Add: Text Al to get Master John’s email addy. Email him the info for requesting a custom order from TYO and ask him to send the pics he showed me.
The Yarn Office *in the flesh*!!!
The Yarn Office! If I’m going to do more of these, I need a sign or a banner. Also, the round table wasn’t my choice – that’s what they provided, though I think it worked out pretty well.

TBT: Thanksgiving, 1967

You may be expecting a greeting card or a photograph, but I stumbled across this vintage ad and couldn’t resist. It’s sort of related to this blog – knitting, turkeys, a throw back to the year my parents were married.

tbtsuebrett
Nobody knits for Sue Brett like Alamac
Count your blessings. Sue Brett serves up a new feast in Alamac’s 80% Orlon 30/20% wool Shallyknit®. It’s a delectable A-shaper with inverted pleats and co[ntrast] binding. In gold with shocking trim; lime with pink; turquoise with orange. Sizes 5 to 15. About $26. At Arnold Constable, New York; Jordan Marsh, Boston; Marshall Field, Chicago; Gus Mayer, all stores; Woodward & Lothrop, Washington, D. C.; and other fine stores. Fabric by Alamac Knitting Mills, Inc, 1412 Broadway, New York, New York.
I wish I’d found this earlier; I could be wearing this very comfortable looking outfit today. Maybe next year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating! And Happy Thursday to those who are not – one more day to the weekend!

Wordless Wednesday: Green Wood Cardi Macros

Green Wood Cardi - Good Buttonhole
This is the button band with a “good” buttonhole
Green Wood
And the button band with a wonky buttonhole, the one I had to unravel back down to and put in because I forgot & messed up the buttonhole spacing. This’ll look nicer after blocking, I’m sure.
Green Wood
I wish I could knit the yoke again and again and again – maybe I should get another Bohus kit from Angora Garnet for Christmas

While I was knitting …

I got to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! And it was great! One of those movies that I wouldn’t mind seeing again while it’s in theaters. And also one of those movies that I didn’t knit during, mostly because I finished Henry’s hat and didn’t want to work on the Green Wood cardi – laceweight yarn on size 1.5 needles in the dark? No, thank you. So I helped my middle son demolish a large bucket of popcorn and a giant box of Junior Mints.

This week also saw the demise of our premium cable plan; too much of our monthly budget was getting munched up by the cable bill, so I had to say an abrupt good bye to all our movie channels (Showtime, Cinemax, Epix) and some of the more premium but still laden with commercials channels, like Sundance, which means I’ll have to finish watching the final season of Rectify on Netflix or Amazon Streaming.

Luckily I live in an area covered by 3 local PBS stations – Maryland Public Television, WETA (the Greater Washington DC area), WHUT (Howard University) – all with different programming schedules, and some with more than one available channel. If I can’t find something to watch on PBS, I default to Turner Classic Movies (TCM). I can’t tell you what classic movies I’ve been watching because I’ve had the TV on mainly for background noise.

I do know that Auntie Mame will be on Thursday evening; if you haven’t seen it and you can carve out some time on Thanksgiving (see what I did there?) or set your DVR or get ahold of it some other way, you should – it’s funny and heartwarming and absurd and just all-around pretty amazing – it’s possibly my all-time favorite movie. I loved it so much, I bought the book and then the biography of Patrick Dennis, the author, whose life was even more fascinating than Mame’s. However, you have to watch the 1958 version with Rosalind Russel (I tracked down her autobiography, Life is a Banquet, because of Mame too). I tried watching the 1974 musical version with Lucile Ball, Mame, and I couldn’t get through it. I really wanted to like it but Ball isn’t at her best – she was in her 60s when it was made – and Rosalind Russel just really nailed it.

I think I may have just talked myself into popping the DVD in today so I can spare my children from having to watch it again with me. Nah – just kidding: I’m still going to make them watch it with me sometime before Christmas.

 

The most well-known quote from Auntie Mame

The Week Nov 21 – Nov 27

Last week’s goals with progress indicated:

      • Make recommended changes to the pattern for the Gir hat & scarf, including (reluctantly) instructions for using DPNs.
      • Figure out how to organize test knits for both, including what expectations to set.

I don’t know why I have a procrastination block with these two things, but I do. Maybe I should break them down into smaller tasks.

      • Finish Henry’s hat & attach scales after the fact, if at all; it’ll be easier to scatter them on the finished hat than to scatter as I knit.
Henry's finished hat
Henry’s finished hat. I need to get a picture of him wearing it.
    • Keep working on the fronts for the Green Wood Cardi. I had to rip back a section of 6 stitches in the button band and add a button hole because I wasn’t paying attention & knit 1/2″ past where the buttonhole should’ve been.
    • Add another custom knit listing to The Yarn Office. Added a custom knit listing for the Infinite Wave Cowl.
    • Start getting the house ready for the onslaught of people coming for Thanksgiving, which means cleaning. Ugh. I can’t take credit for all the cleaning; Ky & the boys pitched in, too.

I also:

  • Delivered the Scale Mail Mitts to the friend who commissioned them (and had lunch at a new soup & salad & sandwich place). She gave them to her son for his 16th birthday and he loves them! Hurray!
  • Tweeted the new shop listings from @TheYarnOffice with appropriate hashtags & all, but need to do more to promote the shop and/or my patterns on Ravelry. Maybe belated test knits for some already published patterns? And regular (but not spammy) tweets? I should really read the Tara Swiger book on marketing that’s sitting in my to-be-read pile.

This week I will:

  • Make the edits on the Gir hat pattern and consider whether to add DPN instructions or to generalize them so they work for circulars or DPNs.
  • Investigate other people’s calls for test knits and gather ideas for my own request template.
  • Eat lots of turkey & stuffing & pumpkin pie, wash lots of dishes & sheets (at least 6 in-laws are visiting for Thanksgiving), stay out of any turkey-related arguments (there’s always at least one).
  • Relish spending time with my family; my husband, who flies to another state for work, is working from home this week and my oldest son is home from college, which means I have a bonus!daughter (his girlfriend; they’re inseparable).