The Quiz Show

This is a quiz from my knitting and Pokémon Go friend Karen and I agree it’s a good way to know what makes others tick. So here are my answers:

1. What was the last food you ate? Apple Pie, I made myself.

2. Do you sleep with socks on? Oh dear god NO, I can’t stand my feet confined in bed.

3. Worst physical pain you’ve had? Fell running down a snowy driveway, hit the only boulder. Knocked out 5 front teeth and tore open my finger.

4. Favourite place you have ever been? St Tropez, France and Cornwall, England, can’t decide.

5. How late did you stay up last night? 11:00

6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be? I tend to Grow where I’m Planted but a few places I’ve been just feel like home. The Cotswolds, England in a big manor house.

7. What is your favourite sport? To watch: NASCAR. To do: skiing, black diamonds.

8. When was the last time you cried? Whenever I see what happens to innocent children and animals all over the world because of greed and war.

9. Who took your profile pic? Myself

10. Two of your favourite movies? Home Alone and The Godfather

11. What’s your favourite season? Can’t choose, they all have their glorious splendor and they all get old at the end.

12. If you could have any career what would it be? Operations manager of a large shipping yard or to work anywhere at CERN in Switzerland (the Large Haldron Collider; particle physics).

13. What was the last book you read? Quantum Gravity by Lee Smollen, it’s not a novel, I’m fascinated by particle physics.

14. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be? My chihuahua, I would love to know what goes on in that brain of hers.

15. Are you a good influence on other people? I think I am, I had 9 children and so I’m a perpetual mother; scouting out the issues and finding the best solutions, even if it means doing nightingale about them. I’m a firm believer of “Don’t do for someone what they can do for themselves”. Model, show how, then let them figure it out for themselves. Create a citizen, not a dependent. Goes for everyone.

16. Does pineapple belong on a pizza? No, No NO! Pineapple doesn’t belong anywhere in my world. It’s sticky, overky sweet and that smell! After my last pregnancy I couldn’t stand even the thought of it.

17. You have the remote, what show is on? Star Trek (except the first series, I can’t watch bad film cinematography and lighting) so excited they are bringing back Jean Luc Picard for 2020.

18. Last text message: Looks like Kevin Harvick is going to win at Texas again, where’s my Bobblehead? (You seriously have to follow NASCAR to understand this one. The text was to my daughter who went with me to the Texas race last year and we had a blast).

19. What’s the last concert you’ve been to? Sting, in Paris. 2016. It was amazing.

20. Favorite food: lemon tarts also in Paris.

21. Favorite album all-time? Eat a Peach, Allman Brothers

22. Favorite day of the week? Thursday

23. Have you ever drank alcohol? Only on very special occasions maybe twice a year.

24. Did you go to college? Some as a kid, then finished my bachelor of Business when my youngest was in high school. Had to retake all the math but it was worth it. Wish I had gotten a physics degree.

25. Have you ever experienced depression? No, not in my nature.

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A Spectacular Autumn

Fall has finally arrived in New England and with it the amazing colored leaves that will soon be clogging my gutters and getting dragged onto my floors. Every year I marvel, and I rake with blistered hands. Right now I’m in the marveling stage. My hands have been busy knitting. I finished my Cabled Pullover in West Yorkshire Spinners Croft. The tweedy color reminded me of Fall when I bought it in Bath, England. What a treat to wear it during the correct season. The blue flecks make it go particularly well with jeans.

I started right away on the largest project for Christmas I have planned; a sweater for my son. I’ve made so many sweaters for his darling baby boy and wife I thought it was his turn. It’s a lovely Cascade 220 Heather in Grey and navy. Then, realizing how close it is to that holiday I sort of got a burst of energy and also started a seed stitch cowl in Pumpkin and gray Cashmere Merino for a dear friend. I hope to finish it today and start on another for my Connecticut daughter. She will need it, having moved from all those warm climates of Miami nd Texas.

Do you knit for Christmas gifts? If so, what are you working on? I have a huge list!

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Cabled Crew

Just a quick update for the week. Front and back are done on the Autumn Cabled crewneck sweater in pretty West Yorkshire Spinners “Croft”. But I had to stop for a day to make this little Pumpkin Crown for a very special grandchild.

I wish the flicks of denim showed up better. It should be finished by next week.

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Last of September

Somehow I seem to constantly forget to put out a blog post before Sunday evening and my posts end up going to the wrong week. But I love reading everyone else’s post on Monday over coffee. So here we are, the last day of September and it’s all that on again off again weather till the first cold snap gets rid of all the gnats & mosquitoes that spoil the walks outside. With my dear daughter living in Connecticut I seem to find excuses to visit her quite often, dragging whatever knitting project I’m working on in tow.

Once I finished the baby blanket I started working on a sweater with that gorgeous wool I bought in Bath, England at Wool. It is perfect Autumn jeans sweater wool and I’m going to keep this one for myself. I found the perfect Pattern (on Ravelry, of course) for this Aran weight yarn.

But the baby will be born soon enough and I want to finish the layette in plenty of time so on to the sweater. Actually I have the two projects going at once as the baby things knit so fast and the cabled sweater takes more concentration. There are different situations for every type of knitting. And I’d love to start on some socks I bought yarn for in England.

There is a lot to do in the Fall and while at my daughter’s we went Apple picking and proceeded to can the applesauce. It was a first for her. I hope you all are having a harvestful autumn.

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And now for Autumn, the Knitting Season

I have to admit my knitting slowed during the summer. It was just too much to do and so many people came to visit. Such is the life on Cape Cod. But I did manage to finish a few sweaters which I have neglected to write about because, well, too much to do! I was lucky to get any knitting done. Both sweaters are cotton blend. The white one was for my daughter-in-law’s birthday and the “Nantucket Red” one was for my grandson. Lucky for us summer isn’t quite over despite the random maple trees turning bright orange. My plans for Autumn and winter are big, though. All that yarn I bought in England is going to get made into sweaters and socks. Plus my son, knowing my habit has enabled me with a birthday present of more yarn, a bag of it from Black Purls knitting shop.

And now extended family members (my daughter in law’s sister) is having a Christmas baby so I’m busy with a layette. She has elected to not learn the baby’s gender till birth so yellow, gray and white wool will have to do.

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Summer Scramble

Sometimes I wonder why we humans collect so much stuff. I get why people collect yarn and a few kitchen essentials but all the other stuff; why? I’m not complaining, yet. We’ll get to that.

I moved my daughter. Again. This time into her new home. The last move was into storage. This was out of that storage and into her first home, right out of grad school. New home, new job. Sounds perfect. It wasn’t. The morning before the closing we were informed by the closing attorney’s office we had to sign a contract with the water softener company as there wasn’t time to remove the system. Something seemed off. Then the sellers realtor called to say the system would be removed anyway. It was all very cryptic. What on earth was the big deal about this water softener?

Turns out the town she moved to has very hard water, like it comes out of the well brown, smelly and full of iron. So it wasn’t so mach a softener as a filtration system. We scrambled to get a company to install another but it took 3 days. That is no showers, clothes washing, dishes, teeth brushing, you name it, if it needed water, it wasn’t happening. It just happened to coincide with the 100+ degree heatwave that hit New England. The furniture (and clothing, bedding, bath & kitchen stuff) was delayed so we slept on the floor the first night. Then a burst pipe let loose a flood that poured into the basement and a plumber had to be called in. All these extras cost thousands of dollars more that she just put down on her house. This was the move from hell. Luckily the AC worked fine and we found a Starbucks and Whole Foods about 20 minutes away.

Needless to say, once the movers arrived, we spent the next week setting up her house. We did it all. Bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bathrooms, even the garage is organized with peg boards and garden tools hung up. We planted a few shrubs, pots of flowers and flattened boxes for the trash man. A washer and dryer were ordered, delivered and set up. Cable, electricity and postal were set up in her name. And then her first day of work arrived. It seemed a good time for me to get home. All this time not one stitch of knitting got done. I brought it with me but never touched it. It’s fine though. I feel like I just launched my last little bird to the world and it’s going to be okay.


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The Saga of the Yellow Yarn

Now that jet lag is over and things are back to normal we had a big Holiday Weekend with our July 4th Celebration. The week was extremely productive, however, in terms of knitting. My Baby Merino wool finally arrived.

I should backtrack and tell the whole story. A month before I left for England, I shopped for some more Drops Baby Merino from Deramores, my go-to online yarn store. The bad news was that they stopped carrying it. The lace baby blanket I started seemed to need maybe one more skein or so. So I looked on Etsy and found a few places but they all seemed to be the same one. I placed my order and waited. And waited, and waited. I tried to contact the shop, nothing. I next contacted Etsy who promptly turned me over to Pay Pal (who I used to pay for the yarn). They told me to contact the seller. Already tried. It seemed to be going in circles. Then after a month (by this time the baby was already born) or so, I got the news that PayPal gave the seller 10 days to respond. Stil nothing. So I was awarded my money back but still had no yarn.

Since all this time the yarn was coming from England I thought perhaps I may find some over thereon our trip but that never happened. It was difficult enough to just find yarn shops! So once back I found a Drops approved site that sells the yarn in the US. It came in 2 days! So finally I could finish the blanket. I’m happy to report, this week the blanket was not only finished and blocked but was appropriately wrapped and delivered over the holiday weekend. Mom, baby and especially grandmother all loved the blanket. And I’m just glad to be finished!

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A Few Stitches

During my trip to England I had planned on working on a white cotton sweater for summer. The reality was such that I really only got a few rows done the whole trip and those were mostly on the plane rides to and from England. One of the reasons was that we elected to rent a car. If you’ve ever had the chance to rent a car there you will know exactly what I mean. It takes as much concentration as if you were just learning to drive for the first time. Not only are you on the “wrong” side of the car but the road as well, that it is, if you’re lucky enough to be traveling on roads with sides at all. Most of those roads we drove down had 12 foot hedrows lining both sides with white-knuckle blind turns and little signs reminding you that it was a two way road and there were little turn outs to dash into should you meet an oncoming car head on. I needed help spotting obstacles on the left side f the car so the alarm wouldn’t keep sounding. It was not only frightening and ridiculous but left no chance to stitch a few rows here and there. By time we returned from our day excursions of castle and garden visiting my nerves were shot and I didn’t even consider knitting. But I have to say, it was worth all those harrowing drives to see the beautiful English Countryside.

Caerhays Castle, The Roseland, Cornwall

St Michael’s Mount Castle, Mariazion, Cornwall

Land’s End, Sennen, Cornwall

St Mawes Castle, Cornwall

Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, Cornwall

Tintagel Cove, King Arthur Ledgend Castle, Cornwall

The good news is that since I’ve returned I put a lot of time into the project and I’m nearly done. It’s knitted in the round and all in one piece from top down on circular needles. I’m at the point of finishing the hem and then the sleeves.

Wind Down by Drops Design

The consolation is that we saw at least 5 castles, several churches and Cathedrals and some lovely gardens and beaches. It was never really warm enough to swim in the ocean the entire two weeks but we did some beach combing and exploring of the Cornish Coast.

The best bit was that when we returned the car in Bath, England so we could take the train to London, there wasn’t a scratch on it. And I could finally breathe again!

St Andrews Cathedral, Chippenham, Cotswolds

The River Avon, Chippenham, Cotswolds

Bath Cathedral, Bath, England

The Village of Castle Combe, Cotswolds

Castle Combe Cathedral, Cotswolds

Cathedral Beach, Falmouth, Cornwall

Truro Cathedral, Truro, Cornwall

Lucknam Park, Colern, Cotswolds

Trelissick Gardens, Cornwall

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Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jog

It has been a fantastic two weeks in England. We travelled far and wide over the lush countryside so I plan to post multiple blogs on the trip since we did so many different things. For today’s blog I am doing a bit of “Show and Tell” of the stash that didn’t need building but got built anyway.

Everywhere we drove there were hillsides dotted with fluffy white or newly shorn sheep and yet finding local English yarn proved basically impossible. I first went to a shop in the town of Falmouth where we stayed in Cornwall. They had no English yarn at all. But I did buy some cotton blend yarn to make a summer hoodie for my 2 yr old grandson. It’s Sirdar Hayfield Sundance, DK in a faded red that we on Cape Cod call “Nantucket Red”. When I explained this to the owner he promised to call it that from then on. I must say it’s the first time I’ve shopped for yarn from such a well informed man. He said the yarn business has been in his family for generations and his father knew everything there was to know about yarn. The cotton, although from Sirdar, is made in Turkey.

The next shop I found was in Truro, also n Cornwall. We skipped plunging down yet another blind curved, hedgerow tunneled lane to the town of Padstow in favor of an actual lined and paved two lane road to the larger city with a yarn shop. If you’d have seen the harrowing drive from the beginning of the day you’d realize this was a no-brainer. I got 5 skeins of West Yorkshire Spinners Croft Shetland Tweed. I can’t wait to make it up into a pullover. I also got Bo Peep baby yarn from WYS in DK, a Falkland Wool blend for somebody’s baby. Surely someone will be having one soon.

Then we travelled to Bath were I had scouted out a wonderful yarn shop months ago. After tramping in the rain we finally I found Wool tucked away alone on a back street. It was full of yarn from Britain. I went a little crazy in there. First I got a beautiful heather by Erika Knight called “Wool local” which is from British Bluefaced Leicester and fine Masham. It a sea greenish blue and reminds me of the water in the doves and beaches we saw. I’ll be making a sweater from it.

Then came more West Yorkshire Spinners Signature sock yarn in a deep Carmel. My favorite part on the label it states: Reared, Sheared and Spun in Britain. Bravo!

And then one ball of Exquisite yarn for a shawl by WYS in the most lush deep green ever. It’s 80% Falkland wool and silk, hideously expensive, absolutely essential.

I couldn’t be more happy with all my treasure and additions to my stash. I did, however have to buy another suitcase to get it all home!

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Trip to England

Busy doesn’t even begin to describe my last month! I flew to Texas, helped pack my daughter’s apartment and then moved her to Connecticut in a 15 foot U-Haul towing an 10′ trailer with her car on it. Two dogs with us in the van and 4 days later, through a late spring nor’easter we left the van in Connecticut and drove on home to The Cape. Next day drove back to Connecticut to unload in a storage unit and spend two days looking for a house for her to buy. We found 2, luckily because the first one had foundation issues. So paperwork done, inspections finished and we had a day to pack for her graduation trip to England. We’re 2 weeks here and staying first at the luxurious Cliveden House and we deserve it after that move. In the meantime her thesis was accepted and published on Combustion Flame Turbulence in rockets or something. I got a bit of knitting on a cotton summer top done on the plane but for my part, I’ll be scouting out all the yarn shops I can find and having lots of Afternoon Teas as we travel the English Countryside. Cheerio.

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