A Major Award Weekend

This weekend we went to Cleveland to visit A Christmas Story House! We’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and finally made it happen. We brought kids and stayed with kids in their new house, so it was a wonderful kid-filled weekend!

The kids (including Bob) enjoyed getting into character. It was a lot of fun!

We also enjoyed the museum, which included a room filled with some of the costumes.

I was disappointed there was only one sweater.

Remember when I waxed rhapsodic about the handknits in the movie? I can’t find this old post, or I would link to it.

They have a fan art room, and I’m tempted to recreate Esther Jean’s stockings and donate them to the museum.

The gift shop was also a lot of fun. I picked up a few small things, including this charm I’ll use as a progress keeper!

I also got to meet a new family member on this trip, Cannoli. ❤️

Do you watch A Christmas Story every year, like we do?

Thorsday Three: Dread Full Media (in the Best Way)

Book: The Dark Queens

My sister recommended this, and it hasn’t disappointed. I’m near the end and want these proto-Machiavellians to repent, especially Fredegund. Absolutely horrible, but fascinating. It’s nonfiction, but written in a fun and engaging way. I was surprised how many Frankish documents from the sixth century survive, which are the sources for this epic work.

Film: She Will

I have loved Alice Krige since Ghost Story and will watch her in anything. Even so, I found this film bewitching — a fanciful tale superbly done, dark, mysterious, and cathartic. And how refreshing to see a wonderful actress aging naturally and playing a choice role. I felt very satisfied.

Podcast: English Heritage Episode 184, Bram Stoker’s Dracula

I don’t normally listen to this podcast, but the topic of this episode piqued my interest. It includes a history of the locations where the novel is set, a bit about the origin of the work, as well as a brief history of vampires and revenants in general. I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of the first nonfiction book I read about vampires in my teens, which was essentially coverage of 17th and 18th century court cases. I couldn’t find this episode on their website, so linked to a public service where you can listen in a browser. However, you can find this on Apple, Spotify, et al.

Side note: have you watched Dracula on Netflix? Claes Bang and Dolly Wells are delicious! The dialogue is smart and funny.

There and Back Again: Lake Michigan Adventure

Bob and I spent last week in Southwest Michigan celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. We hiked, walked along beaches and piers, and ate delicious food. Bob even swam for a (very cold) second.

Here are my Beachcombing Slacks in action. They were perfect for long walks down Weko Beach. Someone in downtown St. Joe complimented me on them. It always makes me happy to have my making skills admired.

This year we hiked Warren Dunes, Chikaming Township Park and Preserve, and Warren Woods State Park. Warren Woods includes a primeval forest. The beeches were ginormous!

I didn’t take very many photos, but here’s a gallery of selfies which I imposed upon Bob as often as possible.

We missed Flick or Treat this year, so instead we watched The Last Drive In Nosferatu double feature from last season. (We saved it for vacation.)

I’m so grateful they showed the FW Murnau silent version with correct timing and original score. The first time I watched it — late 1980s early 1990s I guess — I had checked it out at The Ken Cinema in San Diego. The Ken was a wonderful theater with attached video rental store specializing in independent and foreign film. As an art student at UCSD, going to The Ken was a type of pilgrimage. Unfortunately, the Nosferatu version available at the time was not complete. It was also hilariously timed too fast, and the score was… ragtime? Not spooky, anyway. I’m glad I finally got to view this as intended, although Herzog’s Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht is my favorite. I also love Shadow of the Vampire, which I kept thinking about while watching Murnau’s Nosferatu. They are closely intertwined. I’ve heard Robert Eggars is planning a remake with Bill Skarsgard in the lead role. I can’t wait for the release!

I found a new favorite radio station during this trip: Radio Harbor Country. (They have an app!) We also bowled again at Pete’s Cider Social, ate burgers at The Buck, enjoyed pizza at Silver Beach Pizza, breakfasted at The Mason Jar, and dined at Blackbird Waterhouse for our anniversary dinner. We’re lucky there are so many gluten-free options in the area. We also picked up gluten-free treats from Sweet Bees Bakery, like last time.

I’m mostly posting links for future reference. You would be surprised how many times we looked up our last trip to Michigan on my blog!

Oh! I picked up a souvenir skein called “Michigan October” from The Sandpiper Bridgman.

We really love this area of Michigan. It’s beautiful, waterfront, with plenty for us to do, and it’s only a 6 hour drive from home. Next time, I think we are both interested in visiting the upper peninsula!

3 Rs Year of Projects: Ribbing, Reading, and a Rant

It was a rough week coming off of medications, full of unregulated emotions and unregulated body temperature. I didn’t get much crafting done, but I thought a lot about this blog.

I love making, and sharing my makes. But I feel like this blog has turned into, “Look what I can do!” Nothing wrong with being proud of what you’ve created. But to be honest, I’m a little bored. Don’t worry. I know now is not the time to make any big decisions, like changing my name or closing down my blog.

Ribbing

Desperate for the big hit of serotonin I used to get when casting on a new knitting project, I did just that. I reached for the simplest, softest thing I could get my hands on. This design is Lodge Sweater by Ozetta, in Cornbread and Honey “Peaceful” DK held with a mauvesque kid mohair and silk from KnitPicks I found on sale. This baby has a total of 6 inches of hem ribbing plus ribbing up the sides.

Reading

I know I’ve said this before, but reading and I are not on the same page. I do ok with nonfiction, but I’ve wanted a good chew of fiction. Fiction has to be really good for me to get into it, like Charles Frazier Good.

So what have I done? I’ve done what I always do when tackling the most difficult problems in my life: I hit it from all sides. Because if you throw enough at it, something will stick. From years of experience, I can say this is not true. But it doesn’t keep me from trying.

First up was Vampirella and Red Sonia Meet Betty and Veronica, which I checked out at the library. Vampirella was the comic queen of my youth, and one of the few comics I read because she was female and she kicked ass. And she was a vampire, and I have always loved vampires. This was not half bad. Not a gripping read, but fun. The authors spent more time on Red Sonia than Vampirella, which I didn’t like. Although Red Sonia is pretty cool, too. And of course I read Archie growing up. So this ticked a few boxes. I really loved how all perilous situations were solved by Veronica calling her rich and influential family. At first I thought it was poor writing and unrealistic, then I realized this is exactly how the world works for the rich and influential.

The next thing I did was purchase a paperback copy of House of Salt and Sorrows, because I saw it at the local bookshop on the staff recommended shelf and the cover was pretty. I read the back and thought, this sounds gloomy and marinal. Just the thing. I have been occasionally reading a chapter before bed, and it’s pretty good. Enough to want to pick it up again, not enough to want to spend an entire day on the sofa sucked into an alternate universe until I have to finish it.

Waiting in the wings is Long Live the Pumpkin Queen, which I found at the library. Somebody posted something about it somewhere online, and I thought, I’d read that. I like Nightmare Before Christmas, but I wouldn’t say I’m part of that fandom. But hopefully it will be Halloweeny enough to enjoy with low expectations. I’ll let you know.

A Rant

Covid. You bitch. You took my coffee taste buds then you took my tea taste buds. How am I supposed to caffeinate in the morning? And as someone with unmedicated ADHD, this is not optional for me! This morning I was rifling through the pantry and found two little packets of flavored instant coffee I received in a yarn advent last year. I decided to give it a try because if I can’t taste it, who cares what it tastes like? It was pretty good! I added some sweet oat creamer and I felt like I was drinking fancy gas station coffee. I know Bob is going to roll his eyes and call instant coffee an abomination, which it is. But if I point out how much cheaper it is than the whole bean coffee we usually buy, Homo Economicus may win the day.

Speaking of vampires, we recently watched a new favorite film: Vidar the Vampire. My love for this film is so great, I am recording it here for posterity. I am not recommending everyone run out and watch this film. It’s for sick people with a dark sense of humor, like me and Bob. If you do not have one, you will be offended. It’s also Norwegian, so if you don’t like subtitles, you will be offended. Whenever we watch something with tears of joy streaming down our faces, we look at each other at the end and say, “It’s a keeper!” And we add it to our library. If you still want to watch it after being warned that you will likely be offended, it’s free right now on Tubi.

I guess this has been a Year of Projects (YOP) update. You can read my updated list here, and my original list at this link. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry or Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.

Can anyone tell me where I can find an instant coffee version of a pumpkin spice latte?

Friday FO

Finished Pumpkin Spice Latte Socks

If you look carefully, you will see these socks are not identical. Leave a comment if you spot it.

But they are fine. I don’t care. Yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply in Cardamom. Cuff is double eyelet rib.

I got my hair chopped off. I love it.
I brought in my plants since it’s been getting cold at night. They get so much sun here. I think they will be very happy this winter.

And right on cue for 2020, I’ve finally got two tomatoes on my plants. The leaves are already dead. Too funny.

I guess I’m going to have to learn how to darn. I’ve got a hole in the elbow of my $1.99 Marks and Spencer thrift store cardi. Hopefully I can find a tutorial on YouTube.

I’ve watched the first episode of Great British Baking Show. I’m hungry for more. (See what I did there?) Bob and I finished the first season of Raised by Wolves. If you like sci fi, as we do, you might enjoy it.

Tomorrow’s Saturdate theme is Karl Urban. I was thinking of Star Trek but we’ve seen it too many times. Bob has Dredd and The Irrefutable Truth about Demons on the calendar. I think Karl Urban is funny.

A few weeks ago we watched the new Charlie Kauffman film “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.” Do you like Charlie Kauffman? I like Charlie Kauffman. I’m enjoying the film, you know, just going with it, and then at the end I look at Bob and say, “What the hell just happened?” And we laugh. It’s an enjoyable experience. Plus David Thewlis and Toni Colette are two of my favorite actors.

I hope to get some crafting done this weekend. Wish me luck!

Am I Becoming a Sock Knitter?

Pride Socks in TurtlePurl What Does It Mean

Yesterday, The Woolly Thistle started their Sock Sprint KAL. In the spirit of thank you sir may I have another I hurried to finish my Pride socks so I could cast on another pair!

Not a perfectly matching pair, but I don’t mind.

I was thinking about making some Pumpkin Spice Latte socks (just the same recipe with a different cuff) from this West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-Ply in Nutmeg.

Spicy

Am I becoming a sock knitter? The thought of not having a pair of socks on the needles has me feeling off-kilter. But the Sock Sprint is only two weeks, and I don’t know that I’ll be able to finish a pair in that amount of time. But if I don’t, it’s really no big deal. Right? So maybe I’ll throw caution to the wind and cast on.

This weekend’s movie theme is Joker. First we’ll watch The Dark Knight for Heath Ledger’s interpretation then Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in Joker. I think they were both equally good, but I absolutely loved the film Joker.

Our Blogville Knitters virtual knit is tomorrow at 1PM EDT! If you’re not already in the Skype group, please message your Skype ID to me on Instagram or Ravelry. Hope to see you tomorrow!

I Sound My Barbaric YOP

Year of Projects Update Week 3
Arachne Yarn Chicken

I divided for the sleeves on Arachne. I’m worried I will run out of yarn. Do I wait until I run out? Or should I go ahead and order? What would you do?

Knit the Rainbow as it Presents

I started the heel flap on my second Pride sock. I decided to be lazy zen and knit the rainbow as it presents. #knittingislife

Shetland Tweed Throw and Beverage of Choice

My Shetland Tweed Throw is almost long enough to cover me as I knit it. I still have six hanks of this yarn but I’m holding it double. I only had 10 hanks to begin with, so I think I’m okay. There is an i-cord edging, but that shouldn’t take too much yarn.

There’s nothing to report on other topics except for practice on fiddle and design. No sewing. No fiber art.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my original list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Non-YOPping Content

Lili Taylor in Dogfight

Yesterday was Lili Taylor movie day. We watched Mystic Pizza and Dogfight. Neither Bob nor I had ever seen Dogfight. It was poignant. River Phoenix was also superb. Maybe next weekend will be River Phoenix weekend.

I can’t wait until our virtual knit later today!

Saturday Words

Sheep at Highland Village, NS

Just as everyone was leaving Ravelry for inaccessibility, I seem to be spending more time over there. I’m contrary like that. I joined an audiobook group for more suggestions, and everyone is recommending Vampire Knitting Club. Vampires and knitting?! Two of my favorite things! I started it yesterday, and so far it is similar to other knitting cozies. But the intro made me laugh because the yarn shop is named Cardinal Woolsey’s. I figured that was a good sign.

Daughter of a Shepherd has a wonderful book shelf with all sorts of titles I would love to read. I settled on The Solace of Open Spaces since I can get it at the library.

Great, two books to read but nothing to listen to while knitting. I almost signed up for Scribd in desperation. Our library does have a download service through Libby, but I’m not finding much that I want to listen to there. Or the search function isn’t great. Any tips?

Today is Saturdate, and in need of something to look forward to since we don’t follow sports or anything like that, Bob and I are having movie theme weekends. This weekend is John Cusack. We are watching Grosse Pointe Blank and Say Anything. I have a feeling next weekend’s theme will be Lili Taylor in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon unspoken rule, as she has a great role in Say Anything. I hope so, because then my choice for next weekend will be Mystic Pizza.

I lost 5 pounds last month. I jogged at intervals yesterday while walking, which is so exciting because I love jogging. I will have to be careful not to push it or I will hurt myself.

OKC (obligatory knitting content): I have been focusing on Arachne. I look forward to posting my YOP (Year of Projects) update tomorrow.

I am missing Nova Scotia. Tonight Highland Village has their 59th Annual Highland Village Day concert. You can watch it on YouTube. I told Bob we will have to have a concert intermission between John Cusack movies. Seed Savers Exchange is also having a benefit concert tonight. It’s not free, though. We may have picked the wrong weekend to start movie themes.

What are you doing this weekend?

State of Emergency Stockinette

I wanted to post about this yesterday, but didn’t have the energy. We closed two of our stores early yesterday due to a state of emergency in downtown Columbus, and protests scheduled for downtown Indianapolis which we expected to escalate. (They did.) We stand in solidarity with peaceful protest, and judging by the posts of people I know personally, the protesters themselves remained peaceful. We have kids living near and in downtown, and all reported in safe. Our staff is safe and so far no reports of damage to our stores. We are lucky.

We are supposed to be packing. Bob is. We are still waiting on the second appraisal report. I’ve been slowly progressing through the back of Deschain. I’m grateful for the stockinette. I’ve been watching a Fruity Knitting podcast each day, and it’s getting me through. It’s a moment of respite in a sea of worry. I realize I’m privileged to have moments of respite. And not to have to fear for the lives of our children because of the color of their skin.

We watched “The Vast of Night” last night. Excellent film in a throwback style. Intelligent and suspenseful with great dialogue and music. A moment of race reality acknowledgement. A breath of fresh air.

Sundeee

I had fun in my studio today. I had intended to cut out one pair of Emerson Shorts in this natural linen, one pair of Emerson Pants in black linen, one Lily top in blue linen and one Lily top in the cotton bird print. I was so excited after cutting out the shorts to have enough natural linen left over for a tank top I just whizzed through and finished it and forgot all about everything else.

This is the same pattern as my tie dye Easter Twiggy tunic/dress, but instead of following it I made the front wider, added neckline pleats, trimmed the bust sides, and encased all the edges with a rough bias so that it will fray when washed. I’m pretty excited to wear this top as it has really been hot and I’ve been wanting a linen tank top.

Last night for Satur-date Bob and I went to see this adorable independent film Bite Me. The filmmaker is touring with the film and she was there for an intro, Q&A, and a “joyful vampire ball” for afters. We were supposed to wear “whatever makes you feel joyful” which is pretty much what we wear all the time, but there was a station at the ball with temporary tattoos and bling so I went for it.

I also picked up a new sweatshirt for October.

You may know that vampires are my favorite “monster” but I won’t say that anymore, because this is a fictional film about people who identify as vampires (there are people who identify as non-supernatural vampires in the real world) and the story is about love and acceptance. We really enjoyed it. If you want to watch it, it is all over the internet for a modest sum.

I feel like my life is more manageable now and at a pace I can maintain. Work is busy but rewarding, kids are doing the things that will lead them to being independent humans some day, I lost 5 pounds on my Noom plan, I am making things in my studio again, and Bob and I are thinking of buying a house.

I hope you are also having a great Sundeee! Toodle-loos!