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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Menu Along: May 29 - June 4 (FO and Progress)

The socks are finished! I picked up bah'ar, which had a couple errors in the pattern. The first wasn't that big a deal, the WS rows had the charts worked in the wrong order, but anyone who was used to knitting with charts could catch that. However, there was an error in both the written and charted part of the third chart, though I think I fixed it, and you can see my corrected version in my project notes. The marine layer scarf came out of hibernation for me to work on since then, also. I finished absolutely nothing for MadMay.

Alexander has been working on making me a swift for some time. This weekend, he and Rich put their heads together to finish it for me. They made the pegs adjustable, in the hopes it would work with mini skeins to jumbo skeins. That is my first wound cake of yarn done with my new swift.

I finished The Trial of Job and it was well worth it. It is a quick read, and full of much to enlighten and provoke contemplation. I try not to get too political here, but part of the writing on Job's so-called comforters articulated a big part of why I could not and cannot support a particular candidate in our presidential election:

The difference between the two cases is not a matter of wisdom, therefore, anymore than it is a matter of justice. The difference between Job and his friends is that Job is suffering, while they are "at ease" (verse 5). They have been using this advantage solely to pass judgement on a suffering human being, who differs from them only by the fact that he is suffering. This is a great moral offense.

There were a couple books I tried to start after finishing this one, but nothing that really stuck this week.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, and The Philosopher's Wife.

We're still busy with guests and end of year activities, so menu planning is a challenge. However, here is a rough outline of what we might eat this week.

We have two major feasts this week, though we had to miss the Corpus Christi procession after church. Our house guests had health issues that would have kept them from walking, and we didn't want to leave them. Since this family was a priest's family, he graciously celebrated the Eucharist at our home, which we were so grateful to share in with them. Today is the feast of the Visitation, so we're still celebrating as a family.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Menu Along: May 22 - 28 (Socks!)

So, it appears that, at least for the next few weeks, it is likely I'll be posting one Menu Along each week, and that is that.

Michaelmas has been set aside for a bit while I finish these socks. But I'm almost finished! I should have them ready this weekend or shortly after that. Amira is still in time out, and I am so sorry for my knitters. This has taught me to get it to the tech editor before giving it to knitters to try. I don't even think I'll mention a preview until I have my tech editor go through the pattern first.

MadelineTosh Euro Sock (formerly Quarter Round) in Beach Bonfire

My second Magnolia Society sweater shipment arrived this weekend. It is intended for a sweater for Mariam. She took one look at the color swatch on the club page and said, "I would like a sweater in that color." There is enough of it to make her sweater, a pair of matching socks, a matching doll sweater, and maybe something else. However, I'll be knitting it at 7 1/2 or 8 stitches per inch, so it will take me a while. Anyway, I have one more sweater club shipment to go, and that will be that for all clubs and most ordering. It turns out that Paradise Fibers' switch to their new website effectively canceled my membership for me, which was frustrating (because of the way the website is still not complete, and how all accounts had to be reopened, and points manually transferred, and all purchase history lost, oh, and you only found out by trying to use it, there was no notification to customers that this would be going on), but saved me the dithering over when I needed to get it done. I was able to cash in my points from before, and I have a 40% off coupon I plan on using for one special skein of yarn and using my points to make it almost free.

I'm about half way through The Trial of Job and Fr. Reardon is, again, knocking it out of the park. Even his short thoughts and exposition are deep enough to keep me thinking for quite a long time, and help me look at my faith and the Lord in ways that never occurred to me before.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, and The Philosopher's Wife.

Menu planning seems almost futile at this point, but there is some cooking happening. Also, we are smack dab in the middle of asparagus season, so we're eating asparagus with everything.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Yarn Along: Stress Knitting and Being Behind

Not finished with Michaelmas. Also, I'm not really thrilled with the proportions of the opening for the placket. I used the industry standards for length, and I think it's too short for Nejat. And I'm making it in a size 4. Maybe she's taller than the average three year old? Since this has been mostly designed on needles, I had sketches and notes, but though I started writing out the pattern, I changed how I was making it pretty early on, I'm back to note taking. Also, I wanted to avoid calculating raglan sleeve decreases, and sewing sleeves to the sweater, but I think I'm going to write the pattern bottom up, and have it knit in the round to the armholes, knit the sleeves in the round to the armholes, and just sew those parts together, working the front and back separately. Not really what I wanted, but unless my jogless jog blocks out perfectly, it still means changing colors on the front, where any shift is more obvious. Nejat likes it, though, which is what matters at this point.

I'm still working on bah'ar, but I haven't progressed very far on it. I'm still reworking the neck on Amira. And I have about half a sock to finish. I'm also pretty stressed out and exhausted from all my health issues. Please pray for me and my health.

I'm trying to sign up for a birthday swap on Ravelry. I told Rich about filling out the questionnaire and making a wishlist of patterns. He asked me if it wouldn't be easier just to buy myself the things I wanted. He missed the point. It's about the fun of putting together a package for someone and receiving a package from someone. He just figured I could shop and save myself the trouble.

I should be receiving my Magnolia Sweater Club shipment in the next week, and I'm not sure if I canceled the Paradise Yarn Club before the cut off for this month or not. It will be stash diving for the rest of the year, with rare exception. So far, I have resisted ordering, even when extreme sales are e-mailed to me.

Facebook and Ravelry groups are just about the only thing I have been reading lately. I did start reading The Trial of Job, which my library got for me through inter-library loans. I wanted to read it during Lent, but it arrived after Lent. So far, it is excellent. And short. Which is what I need right now. Fr. Reardon's remarks really impressed on me that Job was a rebuke to the school of thought that Proverbs 22:6 is a guarantee rather than a general tendency.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, and The Philosopher's Wife.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Menu Plan: May 15 - 21 (Such as it is)

Our schedule has just been slammed and I don't even know the point of making a menu plan this week. So, here is what we have eaten so far, and one extra meal that I planned for Friday. You can check out my recipe index to find other ideas. I have to apologize to the folks who have left comments over the past week and a half, I will get to them as soon as I can.

We had a small Pentecost feast to celebrate the second highest festival of the Church Year. Nejat has celebrated her third birthday this week, as well. Since our schedule has blown up for us, though, there will be no knit night at our house this week and someone else is hosting our lesson and dance this weekend.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Menu Along: Coming Down from a Very Busy Weekend

I'm trucking right along on Michaelmas. Mid-knit, however, I made a construction change, but I didn't want to rip back and restart, so this one will be slightly different than the pattern will be. Which means I'll need to re-knit it this summer, but I was planning on doing that, anyway, in a different size, for the pattern release. I just won't be able to use this one in the photographs for the pattern. I think the pattern version will be better, but I didn't think it was better enough to undo all the work I'd done and restart it. I hope Nejat doesn't mind.

Still reading The Suspicion at Sanditon, and not even watching much this week.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, and The Philosopher's Wife.

This past week pretty much wiped me out for this week. My health has been such that I can push hard enough to do what is absolutely necessary (and sometimes not even all of that) and then take a break, but if I have to push hard enough for things that take more than that, I have to take a break over several days. That's kind of where I am right now.

The dance was a success, the food was wonderful and beautiful, and I will share some photos after the menu plan. This week is also pretty packed, but not as hard driving as last week was. Again, I am grateful for kids who are capable and can help with cooking when I'm just done for the day.

It's exciting to be coming up on Pentecost, though. We will be having our Tongues of Flame Barbecue on Sunday after church. I always pray a little more around this time, and seek Rayan's prayers, as the due date was around Pentecost. I am grateful that Nejat's birthday usually falls around Pentecost, too, as it brings joy to a time that is difficult for us.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

I thought I had a separate photo uploaded of the punch table with the mini-cheesecakes and the chocolate covered strawberries, but I can't find it now. You can see them behind the main food table here.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Yarn Along: Mad May!

This month, I'm participating in Mad(elineTosh) May, and I'm trying to get a child's sweater and a loosely knit sweater for me. The Michaelmas sweater is a citizen from the Island of Misfit Knitwear from this past fall. I resubmitted it this spring when there was a call it seemed to match, but they had double the normal submissions, and it was a child's garment, which is always a tighter competition. In any case, I'm writing up the pattern for four child sizes, 2 - 8, right now and hope to have three baby sizes to add to it this summer. The goal is to have the pattern written, sweater knit in two sizes, and the pattern tech edited, then knit by previewers by August. I'd like to be able to release it before Michaelmas. We shall see.

This is the beginning of the sweater I had to frog, because the directions give you a funnel neck instead of the wide, almost boat, neck pictured with the pattern. Bleh. I've switched to a pattern that is almost identical, only written better.

I'd like to finish a lace scarf as a gift as well, and I am working on Amira, because I'm not happy with the design quite as it is, and I have a sock on needles (one of which broke, by the way) I would like to complete, so the pair will be finished, but those may not be completed in the month of May.

Rich and I may have an opportunity to go to Paris next year, so I have instituted a pretty strict yarn diet. I'm even cancelling my yarn club with Paradise. Since I have more than enough yarn and patterns, not to mention design ideas, to work through over the next year (or six), this won't be that bad, really, it's just that all the pretty things are tempting. I have the last two shipments from the Magnolia Society Sweater Club coming, and a package of yarn from Mr. Yarn closing (which made me want to cry), and a purchase from someone's stash reduction, for a specific yarn I was looking for already. I have made an allowance for one other yarn I am looking for rather specifically, and if I absolutely need something for a design, I will buy it, but the goal is to work from what I already have. I want to be able to get wonderful things in Paris, if we do end up going.

My reading this week has been much less thoughtful and much more brain candy. I'm reading a tiny bit in a happy, little, murder mystery, The Suspicion at Sanditon, which satisfies both my love for Jane Austen and cozy mysteries. Mostly, I have been watching Jeeves and Wooster and Grantchester instead of reading.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, and The Philosopher's Wife.

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Monday, May 02, 2016

Stitch Fix Number Seven

A big thank you to everyone who has signed up using my referral link! I so appreciate the credits, as they allow me to get these more frequently than I thought I would initially. If you are interested in learning more, I wrote about my first experience on the blog, and you can do a search on my Stitch Fix posts.

This box was so much better, which made me happy. I still only kept two things, but I loved a lot about the things in the box, instead of being disappointed. Rich was stressed out from projects at home and frustrated with things that weren't going the way he wanted with them, and I wasn't feeling really well when we did the pictures, so we were kind of off our photographer/model game. I feel like I wasn't that photogenic in these, but you get the idea of the clothes.

Items #1 Brixon Ivy Rolfe Knit Back Top - $54
& #2 Kut from the Kloth Siena Cropped Pant - $58

The shirt was fine, I liked it enough, but I didn't love it, and I wished it had cap or flutter sleeves. Besides, I didn't want to spend that much on a sleeveless top. Nope.

The pants were so much better than last time, and they had about a billion fasteners on them, so I know she listened. However, they were low rise, which means that the "waist" measurement was perfect for my waist, but not my hips, which is where the pants sat on me. The reason I'm wearing this top with those pants is because of how unattractive my waist looked in the pants. Technically, they fit, in that I could get them on and still breathe, but not nicely. I had to sent them back, which made me sad. I loved the color and they were perfect for spring and early summer here.

Items #3 Maggie London Ema Crepe V-Neck Dress - $118

I loved the color on this, and the neckline, which you can't really see in this picture, it was folded as well as a v-neck. It was interesting to me that the main color appeared more teal/turquoise than the peach/pink it appeared in the box. I really liked how it looked like a floral watercolor. However, it was entirely polyester/nylon, the zipper was plastic, had something weird with it where it attached to one part of the fabric and, for over $100, that wasn't okay, so it went back.

Item #4 Pixley June Polka Dot Skirt - $58

Polka dots almost always win here. Rich loves me in polka dots. Also, this pencil skirt has a nice kick vent in the back, and is pretty slimming. It's cotton and lovely, and obviously was kept.

Item #5 London Times Braedyn Lace Dress - $98

The color and fit on this are so gorgeous, and the lace over the dress was wonderful, almost vintage looking. I really loved this dress, and Rich said he was so glad I was keeping it. His work is having an anniversary hangar dance this summer, and he asked if I would wear it to that.

This box was a success. Not everything was a winner, but everything had some aspect about it that I either loved or liked enough. If the pants had fit, and the floral dress had been even a blend with natural fibers, I would have kept the entire box, even though I wasn't absolutely in love with the sleeveless top. In the future, I will be looking for necklines like that dress and the big, watercolor floral pattern, as well as that turquoise color. Again, it's the details that really sell me on an item, and the way the pattern lined up on the skirt, and the kick vent, so I wasn't hobbled, as well as the lace overlay and fit of the dress were really great.

I won't be getting a new fix for quite some time, perhaps for Christmas, but not because of anything to do with dissatisfaction with this box (or even the previous one), but rather because we are saving money for a possible trip to Paris next year, and I'm cutting everything non-essential for myself and the family. However, if you are interested in trying Stitch Fix for yourself, I encourage you to give it a shot. It's been a fun treat for me, and a way to help me refine and define my personal style. I'd encourage you also to do as I do, and get rid of something you don't love or that doesn't fit for every item you keep. And if you try it, I get a credit, which means that more money goes toward my trip to Paris (I haven't been out of the country since I was 14) and the fun things I can experience and bring back from there. I promise I'll post pictures.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016

Menu Plan: May 1 - 7

We have an incredibly busy week this week. There is a homeschool formal dance this weekend, and I am on the planning committee and, by the way, doing a bit of the food preparations, plus our normal schedule, plus ballet and baseball, plus a monthly neighborhood meeting Rich has, plus a field trip, plus I'm taking one of the days Rich usually drives the kids to activities, because he is studying for an exam for some further education for his work. Oh, and Ascension Day is Thursday. I'm already tired. There are going to be a lot of nights that the kids are making dinner, and a lot of easy and quick meals to prep. The day after the dance, we are going to crash, eat leftovers and have cocktails (those of us who worked on it and chaperoned it - Rich volunteered to chaperone on the condition that he would also get to eat the food). This week, I am thankful that our kids can take care of themselves, each other, and can cook!

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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