"Respect the earth, live in harmony with nature, spend time with your family, be good to your neighbor, and value the dedication, skill and care of the craftsman."

Skincare Check In #4

October 15th, 2018

The picture on the bottom is from one month ago and the picture on the top is today. So after one month of proper skin care, there is no significant difference in discoloration or wrinkles.

Now we know.

Kitchen Week 2018

October 14th, 2018

Whole wheat sourdough cinnamon rolls

It’s Kitchen Week on the Holiday Grand Plan. Truth to tell, I basically skipped Guest Room week as well as Kids Room week. I have no kids, but I usually do the office that week and the sewing room, which is also a guest room, during Guest Room week.

I must not skimp on Kitchen Week, though.

However, there is an urgent clean up that must be done first.

I’ve been keeping the argyle beast in a basket under my coffee table. However, now that the Baby can go everywhere fast, she wants to get into the basket. We are constantly getting scissors or knitting needles or yarn away from her.

So I must get the current project(s) into the knitting bag and move the basket elsewhere

As the photo above shows, both the basket and the bag are full of half-finished stuff, tangled yarn, and unsorted tools.

I sorted everything and put the argyle in the knitting bag. The argyle has the front and the back and six balls of yarn, plus the needle it’s on and the needle for the ribbing at neckline and armscye.

I’ve got the pattern book and a notebook in the middle, and all the tools on the other side.

I have a little matinee coat I worked on in Paris last year before the Baby was born. I think it could be a close-fitting sweater if I get it finished pretty soon.

There’s also the strawberry dress. I had a couple of other old projects I just ripped out and put away with the extra balls of yarn. There are a couple of WIPs in the bottom of the basket, and I’ll just leave them there and move the basket to the crafts room.

Here’s the list for the week on the HGP:

Cleaning/Organizing Area: Kitchen

Holiday Prep

  • Make one batch of Holiday Goodies.
  • Make one extra meal for freezer again labeled HOLIDAY MEAL. I’ve got chili, chili dogs, King Ranch Chicken, and spaghetti sauce with meatballs in the freezer. I might do a beef stew this week.
  • Buy two canned food items from menus (get 2 of each item, one to use and one to donate to food drive). I don’t think there are any other canned goods I could possibly use.
  • Buy 1/8th of TO BUY gifts. Save all receipts, note return policy before buying. Ask for gift boxes. I bought gifts for the Little Girl and the Little Boy. The children are all settled now.
  • Wrap and label packages. If needing to ship, get some shipping boxes now and store packages in them. I should get going on the wrapping!
  • Work at least 1 hour a day on homemade gifts. I’ve been doing well on this, and must continue.

Checkpoint Week! Evaluate Your Progress:

  • If unable to find an item for a person on list contact them or their family for ideas. Gifts are going well.
  • If a homemade gift is not going well, set it aside for after Christmas and decide on another gift. Gifts, as mentioned above, are going well.
  • Buy pumpkin for Halloween. I’ve done this.
  • Review costume plans with children. I need to make a dress for the Baby.

Morning Visit

October 13th, 2018

The Baby came over this morning with #1 daughter. I tried to take a picture, but she kept coming up to the phone. She likes phones a lot. She kisses the phone and pushes the buttons.

It was a happy visit. She walked around and around, the first time I’ve seen her toddling along with complete confidence. We played with toys, I read her stories, she got into everything in her reach, and she tried to catch the cat. Fortunately, she failed. She gave her Grandpa kisses.

My husband works nights, so he tends to get left out of family gatherings unless they’re first thing in the morning. #1 daughter is trying to bring the Baby by on enough mornings that her daddy gets to spend time with them.

I ran some errands after that, listening in the car to Fear by Bob Woodward. The section I heard today detailed the attempts by Trump’s cabinet to help him understand the reality of manufacturing in America.

In Woodward’s recreation of the process, one person after another tried to explain that the US is no longer a manufacturing country. Our economy is now based on services. Americans don’t want to work in manufacturing, they don’t want their kids to work in manufacturing, and they don’t want to pay the prices of goods made in America.

They didn’t point out that automation has changed manufacturing and continues to do so. The joke is that the factory of the future will employ one man and one dog. The man’s job is to feed the dog. The dog’s job is to bite the man if he tries to touch the machinery.

My husband works on a factory floor. It’s still hard work and he works nights, as I mentioned. It’s not a well-paid union job, though. He makes less than he did a decade ago, less than I do, less than our kids do. He works with machines and there is no dog there to bite him. Maybe next year.

Trump ignored all the facts presented to him. He shopped around till he found someone who agreed with him and put that guy in charge of things. He let his team fight it out amongst themselves.

But of course he also tweeted reckless stupid things, apparently his method of getting past all the people trying to help him deal with reality rather than his imagination.

We have elections coming up. Our political clients are largely waiting to see what happens.This makes me think that it matters.

I have bread rising and I filled one bag of trash from the office, which is not much but it may have to be enough. I’m now going to make lunch and then return to my knitting.

Fall Garden

October 12th, 2018

Skincare Check In #3

October 9th, 2018

I hate Before and After pitures with uneven photo quality. I definitely am having that issue with my check-ins. But it seems pretty clear that no revolutionary changes are taking place.

After 21 days I should have established the habit of proper skin care, but I still groan at the thought of going through all the bother. Add teeth and hair to the multi-step skin routine and it adds up.

But what does it say that I’m not willing to give myself half an hour to get ready in the morning or wind down for bed at night?

My skin does feel great. It’s comfortable from within, soft and thick from without. The regimen is not removing wrinkles and spots, but perhaps it will slow down the aging process in the future.

Argyle Torture

October 7th, 2018

With a lingering cough and a bunch of meetings coming up this week, I spent a day mostly on the sofa. I took an outdoor walk first, but then I settled in with Netflix and my knitting.

I spent the first hour of my knitting time correcting an error ten rows down. I don’t think it’s visible now. Or perhaps the general unevenness and imperfection keeps it from standing out.

I got halfway through the third full set of diamonds and then make a proper dinner for the first time in at least a week. I haven’t been keeping track so I don’t know how long precisely. This dinner doesn’t have a half plate full of veg, but at least there’s lean protein (chicken with lime, honey, and garlic) and a carrot.

I made chocolate mousse, too. It took about 20 minutes and turned out perfectly. If I can make fruit mousse as well, I’m halfway to being able to make fancy pastries, which I have long wanted to be able to do.

I cleaned up the kitchen as well, but that’s about it.

Unlike mousse, argyle knitting is just as hard as you’d think it is. I was doing the outside rakers knitted in, and I’m not sure why. I got it in my mind that the inner ones should be done in duplicate stitch but the outside ones knitted in. That makes no sense. I’ll do the rest — and tidy up the current ones — in duplicate stitch at the end.

The inside’s looking relatively neat, at least. I’ll have lots of ends to work in,

I’ll be using this pattern for the Baby’s Christmas sweater, making it in Noro Silk Garden. I may swatch that tonight; I need a zombie project to go with my epic argyle.

The argyle pattern I’m working is actually pretty simple as argyles go, and it’s not socks, so there’s an advantage right there.

And it’s been a nice, rainy day. I’ve been watching the Great British Baking Show (I might have the name wrong) and Hinterland, both of which are filled with the baaing of sheep. And suspense. One features mousse and cakes, the other blood and tortured British people… Wait. Both involve tortured British people. They’re just tortured by different things.

Either way, I’ve been able to relate. I’ve been tortured by my argyle. If you decide to do some argyle knitting, be sure to count every row. And use short lengths of yarn.

I think I’ll have a hot bath with Perlier honey bath oil followed by a nice cup of tea. Then on to further argyle. I could finish the third row of diamonds tonight.

Yarn Crawl

October 6th, 2018

I did a bit of a Yarn Crawl in Colorado a few years back, and today I did one stop on a local one. The example knits were amazing and the proprietress gave me some good intarsia advice.

Her knitting examples included astonishing intarsia so I am taking her advice.

The main thing I wanted was a royal blue yarn for the Baby’s Christmas cardi. I ended up with Noro Silk Garden. This yarn was super trendy when I started my knitting blog, and has a cult following. I’ve never tried it, though. I’ve never knitted with a Japanese yarn at all. This contains wool, silk, polyamide and mohair. It has a crunchy texture in the skein. I’m excited about using it.

I bought some Giselle at half price. It’s from Classic Elite Yarn, but it’s made in South Africa, so this yarn too will give me an international experience. It’s mostly mohair of course, but also has wool and a bit of nylon.

A mohair scarf is always a pleasure, and the color is a favorite of mine.

Here is the local option. The fiber comes from the UK and includes ” a new biodegradable cellulose fiber infused with Pearl powder.” as well as merino wool, silk, and “Rainbow Trilobal Firestar,” which is a sparkly nylon.

I’ve returned to my argyle.

I’ve got a row of full diamonds, now. I counted rows and I don’t actually have errors. If I pull it all out, then, I might spend weeks redoing it and not get a better result. It’s not blocked and the ends aren’t finished, so I am going to soldier on and hope it turns out well.


Food Rebellion

October 4th, 2018

It’s Analytics Week, which I love, but that means that I have to do about 24 extra hours of work while also doing all my regular work.

There have been a couple of days when I got up and got right to work instead of starting my day with 30 minutes of stepping. I haven’t slept well every night. I’ve eaten canned soup and, truth to tell, a lot of sweets.

After a stretch of pastry and ice cream and pasta and sandwiches, something happens. Strong tastes like fish and vegetables seem too bold and bitter. Soft, sweet or mild flavors like eggs and crackers and bread seem more acceptable.

Part of that is the stress, perhaps, and the time pressure, but it also becomes a habit.

I’m spending evenings knitting and reading, trying to focus on my caring for the clients and not to get overwhelmed by the workload.

Next week when the analytics are all finished I’ll have to get back on track.

Argyle Is Difficult

October 3rd, 2018

These diamond shapes don’t look smooth and symmetrical. I think they’re supposed to. The rakers, on the other hand, are supposed to be done in duplicate stitch. I shouldn’t even be knitting at all.

Should I pull it out and start over?

Skincare Check in

October 1st, 2018

Two weeks in… are the sun spots a bit less pronounced than they were two weeks ago? But are the wrinkles a bit deeper? And the color complicates things… I must be taking the pictures at different times of day.

I have to admit that there have been times when I haven’t wanted to go through the whole rigmarole, especially in the mornings. Weren’t we told that you don’t really have to wash your face in the morning if you wash it properly at night?

However, Cosmedica sensibly says that you have to get the chemicals of the night off so your skin can accept the chemicals of the day — especially¬† sunscreen.

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