Previous month:
May 2016
Next month:
July 2016

The Old and the New

27761912711_5343a47e18_k

Maybe I'll just post a picture every day of my incredible mountain view. The light changes throughout the day, but in the morning it is often a breathtaking play of shadow and light between cloud and sky.

There are times I have made the (somewhat) arrogant statement that I do not have UFOs (which we all know can't be true) and that I rarely have more than two WIPs hanging about. It was Kat's summer KAL that got me thinking about what might be lurking in the corners of my crafting closet and, on closer inspection, I found two lovely knitting bags, each with a pair of socks tucked inside.

20160617_193208-1-1

Technically, I'd finished the both pairs of socks pictured, so the UFO/WIP situation may hold true, BUT, shortly after they were finished, I had to admit to myself the toes where not very comfortable. I tucked the socks aside (or, as you can see, ripped out one toe), so as to fix the fit, and then, add the pair to my sock rotation. If you are a believer in "things happen for a reason" (I'm not), you could say this is a very opportune time for two nearly finished pairs to come to light. In any case, I will now have THREE new pair of new socks to greet the wintry chill. This is very good news, indeed!

The skein of yarn you see pictured, has yet to be wound. It is Knitterly Things "Vesper" sock yarn (Carole's favorite), in the colorway Fire and Ice, which must have entered my stash around Christmas 2 years or so ago. At the moment, I seem to be on a stripy sock kick, which is good, as I have numerous choices in stripy yarn languishing in my stash. If I end up knitting this pair it would result in a 4th pair of socks for winter's rotation, but I'll wait and see how my knitting time fares. 

Are you knitting this something fun this summer? Is it blazing hot where you live? 


In My Ear

When reading an audio book, all activities are best done alone, that is, unless the person you're with is enjoying the same book. Smith and I have different taste in books and, therefore, we each have our own iPods. Usually, we only listen to books when we're alone, but it is a known fact that Smith becomes very talkative if I have my earbuds on. It is a little rude (unless you have an agreement of silence) to wear earphones when someone else is in the room. 

The best thing about audio books (or podcasts) is alone time is quality time and/or time can be spent doing duel duty. Who doesn't like to multitask? I have had an Audible account since 2006, June of 2006, which means I've been listening to books for 10 years. I don't know what I'd do without my iPod.

Ten Things To Do While Listening to an Audio Book 

2016-06-20 05.03.14 1


 1.Take a walk and watch the sunset (or the moon rise).

2. Clean the house. (Vacuuming may be a challenge). 

3. Take the bed apart, do the laundry, put the bed back together. Fold (the rest of) the laundry. This is the time moving slowly can feels right. 

27526326890_3e5f103db6_z

4. Care for the garden. Plant. Water. Weed. (Sit back, relax and enjoy your accomplishment.) Weed again.

27729501491_8bcb860de5_z

5. Knit up a storm (but if you need to read the pattern, stop the recording until you can pay full attention). The picture shows most of the accouterments in my knitting bag. (Side note: I love Leone Violet Candies.) 

6.Mindlessly surf the web (but turn off the recording if you're going to read something). 

7. Exercise in the way you like best (although, swimming may be a problem).  Also, I listen while doing my PT exercises.

8. Prepare a meal (alone). Even doing the dishes isn't so bad if you've got a book in your ear.

9. Do nothing (which is OK!). Just listen (it's an awesome experience)!

10. Sit on the patio with a cup of tea, or better yet, a glass of cold white wine, or a cocktail. Listening to an audio book makes everything better. 

Ten Things To Do While Listening to an Audio Book is brought to you by Carole.


Amazingly

Amazingly, it has been 5 years since I knit a pair of socks. Also, amazingly, I've finished a pair this year! The driver for knitting this pair of socks was the high attrition rate of the elderly socks in my sock drawer. The oldest socks in my drawer are around 20 years old. I know! It's stunning to think they're still going! I knit socks constantly from 1997-2011. A pair progress was my constant companion for many years but, this year, they have started to show their age. Anything from a small hole—that can be fixed—to blowing out the toe and/or heel—which is a bigger problem—has happened this winter. If I didn't get on the ball and at least try to knit a pair of socks, I was going to be forced to buy (and WEAR) mass-produced socks!! gasp 

27213059370_311fd39fc4_k

The pain in my hands was severe, but I had to try. And try I did. There were days I could only knit a couple of rows before I had to rest my hands, but I kept going. A little here, a little there, and progress was made. I sought the help of my doctor and he prescribed prednisone and advised I get an X-ray of my shoulder. The results of that came back that all was well. How could I be in so much pain and if ALL WAS WELL?!

Finally, the prednisone did its job, a very good PT helped me do my job, and together we've found what works to ease, and maybe someday, eliminate the pain. What is it they say? It takes a village? Well, that is very true. In the meantime, I have intrepidly worked on the socks. Usually, I could only work in fits and starts during SnB. Mostly I sat with the socks in my lap, but at other times, I could keep up a pace. The first sock took over 2 months to knit,  but the second sock was knit in one quarter of that time.

26880646114_142b79e4a2_k

I used the tried and true pattern, Carole's Picot Edge Socks, and Biscotte & Cie Felix Self-Striping yarn in the colorway, Loopy Herman. The next pair of socks is waiting in the wings. I'm hopeful my sock drawer will have one or two more additions this year.


What a Week

27511399826_666bd2cb26_o

Loving--my friends, who have been amazing in their support because of last Friday's craziness.

20160603_112027_resized

Thinking about--how very, very fortunate we were last Friday when Smith was in a horrendous car crash. A heavy bar (trailer stabilizer) that shouldn't have been on the freeway came crashing through his windshield. Grateful doesn't begin to cover the way we feel. Grateful, amazed and stunned that Smith wasn't injured (or worse). He's having occasional flashbacks, which will pass with time. The car sustained a few thousand dollars damage, but it's fixable. The above picture is of the windshield. The door post is the reason the bar didn't come all the way through. Friends and family--you float my boat. 

Looking forward to (as well as) Dreading--a master bathroom redo. Our world will be in major upheaval for a few weeks, because the bathtub is being removed and the ancient tile replaced. The house is 45 years old and we owe it a little upkeep. Mostly, I'm feeling sticker shock at the cost.

Knitting--when I knit, which hasn't been much this week, I am working on the TTL Mystery. I am only half way through the first clue. Maybe this weekend there will be progress. 

  27267127420_46171cfa15_z

Dreaming--about the day we can get a dog. Meet Margo's schnauzer, Leo. He let me scratch behind his ears all evening. I know that special spot schnauzers love scritched.  I have puppy/dog fever, but I must wait a little while longer. 

Listening to--Everything from Led Zeppelin to John Coltrane (as well as a book). 

27543910305_576ececaee_k

Drinking--something wonderful and citrusy that Margo concocted when I visited her on Tuesday. She lives in one of our amazing canyons, which is lush with greenery this time of year, plus, it is full of wildflowers (you can see them behind Leo). We had a girlfriends night out, with fish tacos and a lot of conversation. 

20160608_182454-1

Reading....you can see the next few books in the queue. I just heard from the library that they have one more on hold for me (!)! I am well on my way to a BINGO (or two)! 

Planning....Dad's memorial while he waits in my living room.

Delighted by...my finished socks! Pictures soon. If I show you now I'll have no reason to blog next week.

Watching...The sky and waiting for it to change. Hopefully, the heatwave will break and cooler air will move in. Summer is here.


Officially Summer

26818621633_2f2f6782ec_k

There was a reason we took an extra day off for this first weekend of summer. Memorial Day Monday is notoriously crowded no matter where you go, but on Tuesday, everyone goes back to work and peace reigns.  Our Favorite Breakfast Spot is very crowded on weekends, but during the week there is no wait and the kitchen can prepare a meal to my specifications. It felt so good to once again be sitting on the deck in the clean mountain air.

26771026604_82416b3a39_b

The day after a holiday is the perfect time to visit Silver Lake because everyone else was there for the Holiday and we had the trail mostly to ourselves. The aspens have not yet leafed at this elevation and the meadow was filled with dried grasses. Since snow totals were higher than they've been the past few years, there is a good amount snow yet to melt. Silver Lake sits in a glacial bowl and is fed only by snow runoff. This year the lake is fill nearly up to the boardwalk.

27398773225_d97dbda26b_k

On the backside of the lake where the walkway wends through the forest, we had to hike over piles of snow and jump over streams of running water. Parts of the lake were still iced over. The sounds of birds filled the air, a sure sign of mating season, but we did not hear the usual scolding of squirrels or the quacking of ducks. We also did not see moose (as we have many times in the past) but we did hear a frog, Our first ever!

20160602_171310-1

Part of our afternoon was spent in the garden, but I returned home to get out of the sun and relax a little. I did a little knitting and reading before starting preparations for a nice dinner together. While working around the house I listened to The Queen of the Night, a book that has everything! Intrigue, sex, prisons, murder, mystery, music, PLUS, beautiful descriptions of gowns and costumes* (after all it is historical fiction of an opera singer's life during Napoleon the IIIs reign). I rarely read books of this genre, but I'm trying to stretch my reading muscle. I decided on the audio format because the book is quite long (over 600 pages) and when listening I can use my hands to get things done. Best of all, this book fits on both my Read Harder list (historical fiction set before 1900), as well as fills a Bingo square (set in a place you'd like to visit). Win-win! 

  20160602_171430-1
Yarn is wound, directions printed, and needles at the ready, but I have yet to begin my TTL Mystery Shawl. Tonight will be quiet, which means I'll be able to listen to my book and work through the first clue. I hope to finish the sock this weekend as well!

Enjoy your weekend, my friends. 

*For more information about the costumes and the book, read this Vogue interview with the author, Alexander Chee.