The Lonely Completed Wip for June

If love is universal, no one can be left out. ~ Deepak Chopra 

It’s the last day of June. That means time to post the completed wips. Only one this month. It was touch and go for awhile if there would be any. I have made some good progress this month on my wips, but just didn’t get as many finished as I had hoped. Presenting my completed Bon Bon Mittens! Here are my very first mittens. I won’t need them for a few months, but I’m happy to have another Malabrigo March completed. That leaves just five more to finish. I might actually get them all finished before MM18.

One reason I didn’t have as much knitting time, our summer plans arrived today! Stay tuned for more outdoor adventures.

I think July is going to be an exciting and adventurous month.

TDS Preparations

Police-station is just another word for where fun goes to die. ~ InspiroBot

The past several summers I’ve participated in Tour de Sock (TDS). What is TDS you say? Why it’s an international sock knitting competition based off Tour de France. There are six stages and the proceeds are donated to Doctors without Borders. Due to vacation conflicts with the organizers, the race is starting in mid July this year. Registration is open until July 13 so there’s still time to join the fun. I debated on participating this year. The later start time means a large portion of the race is during the next crazy busy time at the day job. Ultimately, I decided life is too short to not have fun. The sock patterns are normally interesting and it challenges my knitting skills. Plus, I love to see how fast people can knit a pair of socks. Can one have too many pairs of socks? (I know I’m trying to work down my wips not add to them!)

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Last week when visiting my LYS, I found these amazing skeins of sock yarn. How could I resist sparkles? The supply list indicates there might be several pairs with some color work. I thought these would be great base colors to start with. Both are skeins of Nebula in sock from Anzula.

I’m also trying to free up my sock needles. Here’s a progress photo of TDS 4.4.16 and British Tea Latte. I’m not sure if I’ll get both pairs finished before July 15, but I’m going to try. It’s going to be a close race. The British Tea Latte is on the toe of sock one. TDS 4.4.16 is on the gusset of sock two. It should go faster now that I’m on the sole. Of course, once I get past the beads the knitting should speed up considerably.

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Ernie snuggling up for a nap with all his toys!

Tools of the Trade

Great leaders don’t blame the tools they are given. Great leaders work to sharpen them. ~ Simon Sinek

The past several years, I’ve indulged myself in a pair of Signature needles during their anniversary sale. This year I acquired a set of US 6 straight needles. Normally, I wouldn’t buy straight needles any more, but this brand is an exception. While scarf knitting is no longer my favorite knit wear to produce, I still love wearing and giving scarves. Ten inch Signature straights make knitting a scarf sheer delight. The customizable tips and ends, make these needles more like art work than tools. I was eager to use them on my Sunset Cable Scarf. (I’m not sure if you I made a cable the wrong way. I’m a little annoyed at the mistake, but not enough to go back and fix it.)

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This weekend I also purchased another US 5 needles. As I’m starting less projects and attempting to finish more (well, it’s not going to swell this month), my needle selection is growing. Normally, I prefer metal needles, but for my lace Spring Sunrise Shawl metal needles were just too slick. That meant a trip to my yarn store! They carry a new to me knitting needle, Lykke. This beautiful needle is made from driftwood. The points aren’t as piercing as the stiletto signature tips, but they are sharp enough for the lace sections of my shawl. Smooth joins allow the yarn to easily pass from cable to needle and back again. I see more of these needles in my knitting future. I would really love it if they made dpns.

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Today I tried out a new tuna salad recipe, tuna-cottage cheese scoops. My local library had some interesting low carb cookbooks. I checked out 300 15-minute Low-Carb Recipes. The British Hubby can eat the same three meals day in and day out. I prefer a little variety in the my salads. This has some really interesting meal ideas. Obviously, I haven’t tried all 300 recipes, but so far the first one really did only take 15 minutes to prepare. I also like the versatility in this salad. I can use it as a dip with raw veggies or I can put a scoop on a big salad. (I’m sure it would be even better on a warm croissant, but I don’t have any of those.)

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Gracie is trying to convince me this salad is for her!

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The End of June Gloom

Clouds came floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

A heatwave hit the PNW this weekend along with heat advisories and triple digit temperatures. I think today’s peak was 102 or 38.9 in Celsius. My Hario cold brew tea bottle along with our ice maker is getting a workout. It’s also grilling weather. Keeping our unair conditioned house cool is a challenge during the heatwaves. Turning on the stove or oven is just unthinkable. Cheeseburgers or turkey burgers are one of my favorite items to grill out. Below is my new favorite summer time meal, cheese burger salad. It’s all my favorites (including mom’s homemade pickles) in an all veggie no carb meal. Yum!

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Since the overcast mornings are coming to a close, I thought it was a good idea to post another progress photo on my April Showers Shawl. A few rows back, I managed to get off by a stitch. The diagonal lace pattern now has a jog in it for a few rows. While I could rip back to fix it, I decided to keep it as a design element. It reminds me that sometimes life throws us little hiccups along the way. Below is a close up photo of my mistake. (It actually looks like this might have happened about half way done as well.) Once, the shawl is finished, I’m not exactly sure the mistake will be that noticeable. I know there are many knitters out there this mistake would drive them nuts, and they would have to go back to fix it. We all have to be true to the type of knitter we are. I sort of like the way the yarn overs look a bit like a wave instead of straight diagonal.

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Poor Ernie, can’t seem to get cool. Here he is attempting to sleep in front of the fan. (Wow,  does that rug need a vacuum. Too bad, it’s too hot for such labor intensive activities.)

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Stay tuned for cooler temperatures and maybe even a completed project!

Bed Socks

Speak softly and carry extra socks; you will go far. – Theodore Roosevelt

Yesterday was the summer solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere, it was the longest day of the year. I know it seems odd that I’m writing about bed socks now. What can I say, winter is coming. Until a few years ago, I had never been a fan of thick bed socks. Maybe that changed when I moved to the PNW. Now, I love a good a thick cozy pair of socks for lounging around the house. Last year, I made the British Hubby his first pair of Rye socks. He immediately claimed one pair was not enough. Can you blame the man? Bed socks are fun to knit and amazing to wear. Below is a progress photo the British Hubby’s Glazed Lumberjacks. I’m working on sock number two!

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Last month, I had several multi-colored May projects planned I just didn’t get started. I decided it was okay to cast on one new project this month. I did mention Winter was coming right? I’m going to need warm bed socks, and I don’t have any socks using Malabrigo Twist. For scientific purposes, I must determine which Malabrigo base creates the best bed sock. (Okay, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!) Thus, here’s my Twisted Lumberjacks in Caribeno and Sunset. I can tell these are going to be a delight on my feet when the rainy season returns.

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Gracie is keeping an eye on the neighborhood.

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How did you spend the Summer Solstice?

Today in History

I can’t change the world, but I can change the world in me. ~ Bono

Here’s an interesting fun fact, today in 1979 a solar energy system was installed in the White House. Here in the PNW, it’s been sort of gray and gloomy. I know most folks are ready for summer to start, but I’m sort of partial to rain myself. It means I can wear knitting that much longer! Since it’s sort of gloomy, I thought this was a good chance to do an update on my color-along projects. I have four months worth going on right now!

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  • Meandering Lace Shawl: One repeat of 20 completed in section four.
  • African Violet Shawl: This is about five stitches shy of 30. Even more exciting, I’m on the border charts. There is still quite a bit of knitting left on this shawl, but I see the faintest glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Spring Sunrise Shawl: This is a fun knit. Just when you get bored with one section, it changes! I’m also very happy with how the skeins look alternated.
  • April Showers: (not pictured) I just started the second skein on this one. I’m attempting to just keep knitting until I run out of yarn or come very very close.

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Ernie was contemplating life tonight. Wonder what he concluded.

 

Weekly Celebrations

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.

Last week was rough. This week wasn’t much better. The British Hubby had his first root canal. While my immune system was compromised last weekend, I managed to pick up a virus. A series of bad medical decisions led to some severe medication side effects and dehydration. You know it’s bad when jello is too spicy. Fortunately, an amazing Urgent Care team at my hospital was able to get me rehydrated and back on the road to recovery. Now that my appetite has returned, I’m celebrating with dry toast, applesauce and water. I know it’s not no carbs, but well, I needed my food to be rather bland.

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Not much knitting happening this week. I had been making steady progress on my Sunset Cable Scarf. At this rate, it just might be finished in time for Christmas.

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Burt found the perfect sleep spot. A blankie on top of a pillow!

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Next week maybe there will be no health issues and a finished project. Okay, I’ll settle for some knitting progress.