Wednesday, August 1, 2018

How Could I Resist?


Look at this beautiful bottle of wine—-in my signature color! Is the wine any good? No idea. Loved the bottle.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Playing Detective


What I have been doing while I’m doing virtually nothing else, waiting for my sciatica to GO AWAY, is trying to find the documents I need in order to apply for Irish citizenship.  My father’s parents were born in Ireland and so I qualify for citizenship. I think. Americans are currently allowed to have dual citizenship with Ireland. I don't know of any logical or practical reason to get Irish citizenship; I just want to.

I met these grandparents only once when I was in early grade school, and my father didn’t talk about his family at all, so it’s been difficult to track people down. I have my grandparents’ marriage certificate, their death certificates; I just need their birth certificates. And there’s the problem. I cannot find the records online anyplace and I have read that they might have been burned in a fire in the building where records were stored in Dublin in the 1940s. I can’t find them in the records that survived, so—-dead end there.

While I was reading about the town my grandmother was born in, I came across a website for the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) in that town. I found their page on Facebook, sent a message to the organization, hoping that someone would answer, and someone named Monica did!  I explained what I was looking for and why, and she asked a friend about records at the church where the record would have been. The friend found the baptismal certificate and that cleared up my grandmother’s birth date. Monica then called the Vicar (I felt as if I were in a British mystery show—-a Vicar! in the cast) to fill out a birth certificate for me. The Vicar replied, “I don’t do that.”  





Alrighty then. While I was trying to figure out what to do next, I read on one of the many sites that discuss citizenship that the Irish government only accepts civil certificates, so the Vicar can stand down. I won’t pester her.

Now, on to my father’s father, who was from Northern Ireland. And that’s where I am now in my research, but I've also become curious about his brother, who moved with him from Ireland to New Zealand in 1905.  My father never talked about him except to say that he had moved to New Zealand and as far as he knew, had stayed there. My grandfather left NZ and came to the US, where he met my grandmother. She was from the Republic of Ireland and I bet they would never have met had they both stayed in Ireland, and the world would not have ME in it.  

I looked through military records in NZ and found my father’s uncle! He registered for service in 1917 and I now have his regiment number and access to the paperwork he signed when he joined the military. How about that!  

But that’s as far as I have gotten with him. His name was William Moody, no middle name, and there were dozens of William Moodys in New Zealand in the early 1900s. Dead end. For now. I am stubborn.

So back to searching for my grandfather’s birth certificate. He was either born in Ireland or Scotland, so this may not be a successful search.  

While I was working on all of this, my sister sent me a letter written in 1936 by my grandfather's sister in Ireland to my grandparents, then living in Pennsylvania. Most of it is just the usual--- weather, illnesses, family news, but one section deals with royal gossip:


The Free State (the part now known as the Republic of Ireland, where my grandmother's family lived) was delighted about the (King, ex) affair. It showed him up well. N. Ireland and England were disgusted at the course he took. Yes, you would think that the Ex King would have been an example to his Empire in his love affairs. There was terrible talk about him for a long while now. He had spent his last two Summer holidays with Mrs. Simpson. However he is off now, never to enter England again. Can you tell me if she is a Roman Catholic, we hear she is? (She was Episcopalian) 

Reading contemporaneous reaction to what I watched on The Crown and of course, learned about in school, was fun.  

But I wonder, when we write letters, if we still do, do we expect that they will turn up a century or more later in the hands of great-great-great whoevers?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Where Have I Been?



Many, many people (none) have been asking where has Knittergran been?  What has she been doing?

So here is the answer.

Nothing, nowhere, nada.

I have been fighting sciatica for going on six weeks now. What a PAIN, literally. I have of course heard of sciatica, and I had thought that it was something to treat with some Advil and heat or ice and stretching, and the next day, BOOM, all better. Uh, no.

I have been examined, x-rayed, MRIed, injected, drugged, and physical therapied. And I'm still in PT. So I haven't been doing much at all. Not even knitting.  

I KNOW! How can that be?  

Anyway, enough whining. The weekend before the sciatica kicked into high gear, I bought an electric bike. The hills in this neighborhood preclude my riding out of here to get anyplace I want to go (i.e. my ultimate goal: the post office). I have to put my bike on the rack or whatever it's called on the Miata and drive to someplace to ride. Seems to defeat the purpose of riding a bike, right?

I don't know how this will work out because I HAVEN'T RIDDEN THE BIKE YET. My husband, older daughter and grandson have. They like it. I hope I do, but I am a bit suspicious that really, an electric bike is just an electric wheelchair in the shape of a bike.  I'm told that I will still have to pedal, but I don't know that because I HAVEN'T RIDDEN THE BIKE YET. (Still whining, sorry)


Generic e-bike.  Is it a bike or is it a wheelchair?

On the knitting front, I was still working on the Free Your Fade, but I haven't touched it until today when I took a photo of it. So it's a work in progress. Maybe this week....



Meanwhile, younger daughter has suggested that I knit her a Fair Isle sweater and when I protested that it would take me forever, she said that it was better that I knit her a Fair Isle sweater than that I knit all of the scarves and small projects that I make.  She is right, I suppose, but I am really bad at stranded knitting, and I hardly ever make sweaters that actually fit correctly, so it seems like a bad idea all around.

She wants one of these.  She too could have an ugly sweater:





Even Paul McCartney wears Fair Isle, or at least, he did once upon a time in black-and-white land.




My daughter is going to Scotland in August, and she says if I won't make her one, she'll buy a Fair Isle sweater there. Well, THAT'S a threat. hahaha

I say Go For It!


Monday, June 4, 2018

Nope. Nope. Nope.







On Saturday I dropped my husband, his bike, his tent, his sleeping bag, his ...well, all of his camping and bike-riding equipment off in Rome, GA, the starting point of the Bike Ride Across Georgia.  BRAG. It's a one-week bike ride through north Georgia. In June. In 90 degree weather and 3,000 percent humidity. Be still my heart.

Though when I got to Rome and saw the activity, I thought, hmmm...this part looks fun. Riders' tents were set up along a river bank, there was music, lots of people, food trucks, and lots of bikes. There are over 1,000 riders, so over 1,000 bikes. 

So maybe, with an electric bike, this could be doable.  

And then I saw-------------

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V



No thank you. Nope. Nope. Nope.

I'm back home with air conditioning and modern plumbing.

Thank you very much, but NO. 


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Anyone know?


While I was wandering the interwebs looking for ideas for the bathroom remodel, I came across this bathtub.  We didn't want a bathtub, but this caught my attention:


For the life of me, I cannot figure out how this works. How do you get in it and more importantly, how do you get out of it?  You're wet; you're slippery.  The tub is wet; it's slippery.  

Tub designers---explain, please.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Yawn?


Now that I've recovered from the Papillon project, I'm starting on Free Your Fade by Andrea Mowry,


With these yarns:

Qing Fibre High Twist BFL Sock, Hummingbird


Madelinetosh Twist Light, Electric Rainbow
Qing Fibre High Twist BFL Sock, Panda
(There's a pink panda?)

I'm not sure the combination will work, but we'll see.

My problem?

It's kind of boring to knit.



I wonder if I will end up missing working on Papillon...


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Long National Nightmare is Over



Well, OK, my long local nightmare is over.  And it wasn't actually a nightmare, just an annoying process.  A long annoying process.

I finished Papillon!!!  Yay!!!  Now I don't have to knit it any longer.  Phew.



For all the knitters out there, if you love short rows, this is your project.  For knitters like me, who find short rows annoying because I can't figure out where I turned the knitting around if I lose count, so I can't then count again because I don't know where I made the wrap and turn (that might not have made sense but I know what I mean), it's an endless knit.  Almost literally.

But it's finished and blocking and all that's left is weaving in a few ends.  I can't imagine why I picked these colors...it must have been the yarn fumes at SAFF last fall.  But it's finished and it's mine.  yay?


Thursday, May 3, 2018

A.L.M.O.S.T


finished. The bathroom project is almost finished.

The punch list:

knobs on cabinets
paint the windows 
finish the end sections of the cabinets, which just came in

But this portion is finished.




The frames on the bird prints are turquoise.  They match the new towels. Because I have  mad design skilz.




The quartz countertops sort of match the floor tile. Because...design skilz.



We ran out of 15-year old tile to complete the area where the bathtub garden spa was and briefly panicked. The tile installer was brilliant: he took four squares of the shower floor tile and used them as a DESIGN. We're kindred spirits, he and I.




And the best part, the shower. I love it. It's not huge, but it's larger than the one we had.

Maybe just maybe, the rest of the project will be finished this weekend....oops...except for a light fixture I ordered from Israel that hasn't come in yet. It's Gaw-jus! (If you ever need creative lighting, go to ETSY.) 


Totally off topic---

I was in North Carolina over the weekend, and the hotel dining hall at Lake Junaluska served...tah-dah!  Parisienne carrots:



None of us had heard of them, but we checked the googles, and it turns out they grow well in some parts of France, as well as in anyplace with rocky, poor soil.  

We also had yellow carrots. They and the Parisienne carrots tasted like CARROTS!

Imagine that.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

This is Just Mean



Facebook is judging me and that is just wrong.

Apparently it thinks I do not have enough friends, and it cuts off posts with this message:


I was away over the weekend and caught a stomach bug and I come home and discover I am...according to FB...nearly friendless.  

I think I will ignore the rest of the day.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Spark Joy or Swedish Death Cleaning?


The bathroom remodel is in its final stages. YAY! I'm waiting for the towel bars to be installed, some prints to come back from the framers, AND I'm sorting through all the stuff that was in the old cabinets.

In her book Spark Joy, author Marie Kondo says that you hold every item you are making a decision about: keep, discard, donate, and decide if the item brings you joy. If it does, keep it. Someone gave the book to my younger daughter, and when I stayed with her during her surgery and recovery a few years ago, I read it.  

Nowhere does it discuss things like hair clips. I held one and definitely felt no joy, but I can't throw them out. Sometimes I need them.


And the little cup lid? That doesn't exactly bring me joy, but it does keep Baxter out of my water or coffee or tea, and that makes me happy, so I get to keep it, right? And tweezers and paper tape and silver cleaning cloth? No joy, but I do use them.

I have developed a technique in my own system though,  


and I think it's genius.

Anything I don't know what to do with (top photo is of my sink and cabinet area; bottom is of my husband's), I just move over to my husband's area. He can figure out if the stuff brings him joy, and then he can decide what to do with it all.

Genius, I say.

So I'm not doing the Spark Joy system, and I assume and hope, I'm not doing the Swedish Death Cleaning.

Geeze, who writes books about death cleaning???  And why?

Friday, April 6, 2018

It Depends on What the Definition of "in" is.


I was not at home last night, but my husband told me that the cabinets were "in" the bathroom.

How exciting, I thought. I pictured the cabinets with their new countertops and sink and faucets all complete.

It turned out, however, that what he meant by "in" was "in" the doorway, so that getting to the closet is still an obstacle course.


Even Supervisor Baxter had a difficult time getting into the bathroom to check out the quality of work. (He approves of the work so far, by the way.)

So we wait some more and while I wait, I look for decorating inspiration on the web.


Hmmm... I think something less...je ne sais quoi.

Clever and appropriate for my husband since he is a cyclist, but...no.

NOPE NOPE NOPE
Who comes up with something like this?
I think I'll just go with what we already planned, boring but simple.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Look!

My friend sallyknit gave me a whole bag of black jelly beans!!!

I can eat them until I get sick. That is how much I love them.

I forgot to buy them until they were all gone.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you sallyknit!!!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Our Bathroom is Finished!!!



It is Gorgeous!!!
It is Beautiful!!!
It is Breathtaking!!!


It is not our bathroom.

Ours is not finished.

When it is finished, it will look nothing like this, except that the cabinets will be white.


We were so excited when we got the call that our cabinets were in. 

Wouldn't you think that when you order cabinets, sinks and countertops at the same time from the same store that they would all come in at the same time?  We sure did. But we were wrong; what came in were the cabinets. That is all.  

So we wait...and wait.  

Someday we will have our master bath back. It will be smaller than this, by a lot. It will have brown floors. It will not have a bathtub. But it will be ours, and as doG is my witness, it will be finished.

Someday...

HEEL!


said I.



When I was at my daughter's house over Christmas, I hadn't brought any knitting with me (dumb thing to forget) and so I knit her a sock with her supplies. I didn't have my pattern with me and she doesn't use a pattern really, because she has knit so many socks, and because she is younger than I am (duh) and has a better memory than I do.

So I just knit along, asking her instructions from time to time, and I DIDN'T EVEN COUNT ROWS! How freeing!!! How intuitive!!!

The sock came out just fine so when I started one at home, I thought, I don't need no stinkin' instructions and off I went.


Last night after I finished the heel flap, I picked up 18 stitches along one side, knit and purled the instep stitches, and picked up 18 along the other side, split the heel flap stitches onto the two needles with the picked up stitches, and started decreasing for the gusset.  Gee, there sure are a lot of stitches, thought I.

But I knit on, thinking that I must not be remembering correctly just how many stitches I needed to work with.  

But really, this is A LOT of stitches.

This morning I searched and searched and finally found my pattern and discovered that I had not turned the heel!!!

Mystery solved. WAY too many stitches.  

And turning the heel is fun. And magic. I like turning the heel.

So I frogged many, many rows and turned the heel. I trust I will not forget again any time soon.

Et voila!  A properly turned heel.



Saturday, March 24, 2018

Facebook Reads My Blog???


It would seem so.  I wrote about having a hard time finding shower caps.



Well, today this ad showed up on my FB page:



The ad says that this cap fits everyone,

and it comes in fashionable patterns,

and it's $43.00,

but it lasts FOREVER, so it can become an heirloom I guess.


Facebook, if you are reading my blog, leave a comment!!! Otherwise, this is kind of creepy.


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Alrighty then...


While I was at K-roger on Thursday, buying groceries, minding my own business, an elderly man stopped his cart in front of mine. That was fine; he was going across my path, so I was waiting anyway for him to go by. Instead, he stopped and said to me:  This is more fun than anyone ought to have. I laughed politely, and thought to myself, and myself hates going to the grocery store: This isn't any fun at all, but ok.

He leaned in closer and said: Don't tell anyone this. I leaned in closer.

I could have been somebody.

I started to feel sorry for him and also wondered if I was going to have to listen to a long, sad tale of woe.

I coulda been a contendah! he said.

And then he walked on.

As I said---alrighty then.


On to knitting. Tah-dah!  Or something. I have made progress on the Papillon, but it sure doesn't feel like it.


I have finished two of the three sections, and it's still very purple. I'm thinking of cutting into the next bit of yarn so I can get to some other colors, although there are really only three others---green, turquoise and blue, and not much of any of them. 


On the construction front, the shower is finished, and I thought, silly me, that we could move back into the bedroom. I am living in a dorm room, I've decided. Too much stuff, not enough space.

And I have a really messy roommate, although the daughter whose room this used to be blames me. She is in LA so how would she know? I would NEVER have made this much of a mess myself.  








So even though the mess from the shower and tile installation is gone, now there is the mess from the cabinet and mirror removal, and the the drywall compound patches on the walls. Sanding the compound remains to be done, and that produces way too much white powdery dust to live in. 




Various paint color samples are on the walls as well, but before we decide on a final color, my husband will prime the whole room to cover up all the random paint.  

Once the cabinets and counter tops and mirrors and faucets arrive...maybe we'll be finished with this, knittergran says with hope in her voice.  



Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ruth Buzzi and Other Topics



So do you remember Ruth Buzzi?  She used to be on Laugh In and she always wore a hair net.  It looked like this in the middle of her forehead:



I was reminded of that when I put my hotel shower cap on this morning and had the knotted-together part on my forehead. I don't know why my brain remembers things like that. I know it has better things to do.

I hoard hotel shower caps because they are so hard to find in stores---don't people use them any more? Do they wash their hair every time they take a shower? They should stop doing that for some reason I read on the internet, but mostly so that stores will start carrying shower caps again.



I don't remember anything about Ms. Buzzi's performance other than the hairnet and that she sat on a park bench with some man, Artie something-or-other.  I could look this up on the internet, but I find I don't need to know EVERYTHING all the time.  Or I'm lazy.


On the construction front, the tiles finally arrived after a delay due to some damaged tiles included in the original order. On Monday the work starts on the new shower. I complain that I am camping in the other bedroom and bathroom but my LA daughter tells me that having four walls, a roof, electricity and running water does NOT constitute camping.

So I said, OK, it's like I'm in a bad hotel, but since I am using what used to be HER bedroom and HER bathroom, she took offense. I do get her objections, but when I stay in hotels, I don't have to pile my clothing on any free space, including the floor, and don't have my supplies stashed in cardboard boxes.  and that's what I'm doing now. And I can't find stuff. It's getting old, and having two construction delays, so far, isn't helping.


On the Papillon front, I am chugging along, making slow progress. I'd be happier working on it if there was more variety in the colors, but so far, it's mostly blue and purple between the veins.  


Sallyknit has finished hers---showoff!!!---and it's beautiful. Hers is in different colors with black veins separating them. It looks like stained glass and it's gorgeous. 

I offered to trade once I'm finished with mine, but she didn't look at all enthusiastic about that idea. Knittergran will just knit on.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Won!


At yarn chicken.

I finished this last night:



Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere, color Cabaret
It's so SOFT!


It's the One and Done by Casapinka and I am happy with the finished result, but boy howdy, did I almost not make it.  The pattern mentions that some people have run out of yarn, even with 400 yards and that's all I had.  I kept weighing the yarn as I was working the border section to see how much two rows used, and figuring that I had enough. Yes, I did, but then I wanted to do the Picot bind off and there was no way to know if I could finish it. I did! With a whole two yards to go. I'll make another, I'm sure; we knitters NEVER have enough scarves, right?  right?  RIGHT????


So now I'm down to three projects going at the same time, the Weekender sweater, a pair of socks and the dreaded Papillon.


I have finished the first section. I think there are three---I haven't read ahead in the pattern to know because it's so confusing and I don't need any more confusion with this project, thank you very much. 

Having a fiddly project like this one, one that I keep finding ways to avoid, is a good way to get other projects finished!