Thrifty Tuesday

Do you go to thrift stores? By which I mostly mean, back when the world was sane, did you go to thrift stores? I did and love them, and every once in a while I find yarn or knitting supplies there. I have found a few pairs of Addi circular needles, which I thought was a huge score. But over the weekend, the Knitting SIL beat me big-time. She and her daughter went to a local thrift store where she found yarn. Not just yarn, but GOOD yarn, like indie dyer yarn. And the prices? OMG, like one or two dollars per skein. It was craziness. I’m pretty sure she bought all the good stuff, and the best part is that I got what she didn’t want!

img_8522This is probably close to $130 worth of yarn, and I paid a whopping $5. Can you believe that?? I just love getting a bargain. My SIL did even better, with something like seven or eight skeins of high-end yarn for $15. Part of me wants to cast on some socks with the pink Emma yarn right away, but I know I’ve got a ton of WIPs already, so this will all just go in the stash for now. The cream Malabrigo is sock yarn but I’m pretty sure it will be part of a multi-color shawl at some point.

Also Jack is very spoiled and won’t eat dry kibble by itself anymore, so I bought some canned food and mix a spoonful into the kibble. He’s very happy with mealtimes now!

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Happy Tuesday, friends.

Mad Monday

What drives your project choices in your knitting, the pattern or the yarn? For me, it’s very much the yarn. More often than not, a yarn from my stash calls my name, and then I have to hunt down the right pattern for it. I think that’s partly why I’m struggling with finding patterns away from Ravelry: they built such a robust search and there’s no equal just yet. I’m working on that though, and building a list of designers I like so I can browse their sites when I have yarn in need of a pattern.

But every once in a while, a pattern jumps out at me first and demands to be made. That happened to me recently when I was digging through Ravelry trying to find a good pattern for mini skeins. (Those are the hardest patterns to find, I think!) I was so excited when I found this, but then I saw it was designed for sport weight, not fingering, and the few people who had modified for fingering weight had some challenges. I tried to forget this pattern but it kept haunting me.

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Then I gave in, decided I needed to make it after all, and dug through my stash for sport weight yarn. I don’t have much, and certainly not in similar colors. Knitters, you know what happened, don’t you?

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This arrived Friday. I believe this is the first time I’ve fallen in love with a pattern and bought the exact yarn it was designed for. Here’s the Ravelry pattern link, because I can’t find this pattern available anywhere else.

What about you, are you pattern first or yarn first?

Sewing, not knitting

So far my weekend has been made up mostly of sewing masks. I have a friend who teaches kindergarten and she asked me if I’d trying making masks with a clear window. Since my family has plenty of masks right now, and I like making them, I thought it could be a fun challenge.

img_8511Twenty-two masks later, my friend is happy, and my back is not. I really need to find a better set-up for my sewing machine. As it is now, I’m not sitting straight on but at an angle, and clearly that is not a good thing for long sewing sessions. So now the rest of my Sunday can be knitting time, because I have a good excuse to sit on the couch with a heating pad and a dog or two. Or maybe outside. That’s good too.

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Happy Sunday. Hope you have a peaceful day too!

TGIF!

We made it! It’s Friday and the end of another work week. My weekend will include more mask-making. I have a friend who teaches kindergarten and asked if I’d try making masks with a clear vinyl window. I made no promises except to try. I think I’m going to use this pattern, but if you’ve made any and can recommend one, let me know!

No Finished Object for this Friday, but I did make some progress on my Sailing shawl. The yarn is a OOAK fingering I got on sale from Orange Jellyfish Dream earlier in quarantine. I’m loving it! The colors don’t show up great in this photo but it’s all lovely deep purple, white and gray. Plus it’s all soft and squishy, so I’m really glad I chose a pattern with mostly garter stitch.

3E35D881-8818-4BF5-8614-849903AE3031_1_201_aToday I’m going to switch off to one of my other gazillion WIPs and pick something a little more interesting than garter stitch.

Oh, and get this: a few weeks ago (time means nothing anymore; I don’t know when it was) we switched Jack to a more expensive food “for sensitive stomachs” while he was having gastro issues. Since he started his thyroid supplement, he’d been eating better and wasn’t refusing his food like before. I was encouraged, and since we were getting low on the small bag of food I’d bought to try, three days ago I ordered a big bag. Can you guess what happened next?? Yesterday morning Jack turned up his nose at the new food. Ate just a bit for breakfast and refused at dinner. So I tried hand-feeding him the old, cheaper food (which the other two dogs snarf down happily) and Jack said, oh sure, that food is okay. So now I have a 30-lb bag of expensive fancy food that he won’t eat. The only silver lining is that Duncan and Grace will eat just about anything I put in front of them, so it won’t go to waste. SIGH. Dogs.

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Happy Friday, friends. Hope you have some pleasant weekend plans to look forward to, even if they are plans to just relax and do nothing!

No Alliteration Thursday

I’ve got nothing clever for a title today, friends. Work is kicking my ass emotionally this week and I’m staying afloat by casting on all the things. Here are my four pretty new projects:

Left to right: Sailing, Thoughful Cowl, Manos del Uruguay Alegria sweater swatch, Hundred Acre Wood (Rav link).

I like knitting. Knitting is good. And it is almost Friday, and Fridays are also good, because they are right next to Saturday! Also, we finished season three of The Crown last night and now I need another delightful British show to watch. Any suggestions?

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WIP Wednesday

You know how I mentioned that I wanted to cast on something new because I finished my sock project? I kind of took that to the extreme, and now my WIP Wednesday is a little crazy!

img_8465Yeah, I wound all that yarn yesterday. It will become one gradient wrap, one half-circle shawl, one sweater gauge swatch, two asymmetrical shawls, and one pair of socks. Eventually. It was super fun though, spending the time winding and then deciding patterns and pulling out the right needles, and putting them all in project bags. My knitting cart is now FULL of projects ready for knitting at a moment’s notice, with so much variety that I should always be able to find something I want to knit. Of course, after all that, I was a little tired and didn’t have much knitting time, so I actually only cast on two of those six projects. But I’m looking forward to starting the rest!

The other big project yesterday was a new grill. Our old grill, which has been around pretty much all 23 years of our married life, wouldn’t light on Sunday. Last night, the husband went and picked up an awesome new grill and spent over two hours assembling it. He hooked it up to the propane tank … and it wouldn’t light. After going out to get a new tank, we discovered the problem all along was a faulty valve on the tank, and not the grill at all! I think the husband thought I would be upset that we spent the money “needlessly”, but honestly, we were so due for an upgrade. And if this means he’ll happily continue to cook dinner more often, I’m all for it!

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Best Laid Plans

Does anyone else lie in bed at night, and think about how they’re going to do better tomorrow? I’m always going to eat better, start exercising again, work on my half-written novel, walk the dog. I’m full of good intent at 10 pm. I just haven’t figured out how to make it last until the morning. If you do, let me know please?

My second sock got done last night. We started watching The Crown on Netflix recently and have become obsessed, so every night I have 2-3 episodes’ worth of good knitting time. Sadly, we’re on the second half of season three so soon I’ll be lost, waiting for the next season. I absolutely loved the first two seasons; season three is good but not quite as enthralling. Anyway, socks are done and now I just need to wear them and wash them.

img_8456And the most fun part is: I can work on other projects now! The temptation to cast on something new is great, but I also have another sock on the needles plus my Ripple Bralette that was put on hold. Not to mention the shawl that’s been forgotten for a few weeks. Still … new project! What should it be??

My darling dogs managed to tree a raccoon this morning. The tree is just beyond our fence, so the dumb thing could easily have climbed down and run away, but it sat up there for at least half an hour while my dogs whined and barked and ran around like idiots. It brought back strong memories of Where the Red Fern Grows and made me want to re-read to remember more about raccoon behavior. But then I remembered the end of the book and decided against it. I would have felt sorry for the raccoon, which looked maybe half-grown, except that I have had raccoons nest inside my house and it is a terrible thing, so if my dogs can keep it away from our house, more the better!

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Happy Tuesday, friends.

Sock It To Me Monday

Three days. Everyone (who doesn’t knit) asks me how long it takes to knit a sock, and now I know: three days. Oh sure, you knitters know there are too many variables to give an honest answer to that, but three days sounds as good as anything else I’ve used before. I’ve been working on my latest socks exclusively for the last couple of weeks, and I’m happy to report that the first pair is done! These are for the boy, who is very slender but has long feet, and his homework is to wear them for a day and then wash them just as he washes all his other clothes. We’ll see how that turns out!

img_8431As for the purple pair, I’m midway through the foot of the second shortie sock and aim to be done by the end of the week. The yarn is Saucon Sock by Kraemer Yarns and I’ll be writing a review once the boy and I have both had a chance to wear and wash our socks. No photo of the purple sock today; instead I’ll show you what arrived in my mail yesterday. Behold, it is gorgeous!

img_8447Yes, again my Instagram hobby meant a new project bag entered my life. This is a hobo bag from Joji and Co. and I adore it all, from the soft suede to the hot pink color to the tiny holes for enamel pins on the front pocket. If you’re familiar with her bags, you know that they do periodic updates that sell out super fast — like within 10-15 minutes at times. That strategy totally feeds into my competitive nature and removes all common sense and willpower. Honestly, I’m okay with it at the moment. I mean, look at it! But now that I have one, I can totally resist more. At least for now. Until next time, anyway.

An Answer for Jack

The vet called yesterday and confirmed that yes, Jack has hypothyroidism. It’s been causing lethargy and weight gain mostly, but also some flaky/scaly ears and a few instances of unsteady walking. The gastrointestinal issues that prompted me to take him to the vet aren’t a typical symptom but the vet said she couldn’t rule out the possibility that they were related. He’ll be on a twice-daily pill for the rest of his life, but it’s small and relatively inexpensive. He’s already had two doses and is perking up quite a bit. It makes me feel bad, wondering how long he’s been dealing with this without us noticing. I just thought he was getting lazy as he got older. It’s a relief to have a clear answer, even if it does mean having two dogs with chronic conditions!

The other good news is that I finished a sock yesterday. I’d already finished one green sock from my new sock yarn, but before I started the second I needed to make a quick purple sock. And it really was quick!

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Now I’m back to the green. And when I have one solid green pair and one solid purple pair, I want to do purple with green contrast bits!

Sock It To Me Monday

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary: the husband and I have been married 23 years now! But I have to say, I like celebrating things better when we’re not in the midst of the pandemic. It was too hot and muggy to do anything outside, so we decided to mask up and try visiting an antique mall, one that’s big enough for people to be socially distanced inside. It was … partially successful. There was space, but there were also more people than I expected, and I felt like I was being crowded or rushed whenever they were behind me. There was a sign that masks were required, but we saw a ton of people wearing them under their noses. We saw one woman just wearing a plastic face shield. It wasn’t a relaxing environment for me, and I felt bad being tense and anxious when we were trying to celebrate. I did find something cool, though!

img_8394It’s a yarn swift!! I have an Amish-style swift that the husband made me years ago, but I had to get this one too. As soon as I figure out how to attach it to the table without damaging the wood, I’ll be testing it out. And I’ll be testing it with my new LolaBean sock yarn! (Yes, I realize this is a tenuous connection to Sock It To Me Monday, but I’m rolling with it.)

img_8391My obsessive Instagram habit paid off and I snagged one of the Jimmy the Model sets from LolaBean Yarn Co.! I just love watching their videos, and of course I love the yarn too. I’m trying to resist the urge to cast on. It’s hard.

I don’t know about you, but my weekend went way too fast. Maybe Monday will go fast too?