October 7, 2011

I knew that October would be a craaaazy busy month with work, and it is indeed. I’m working double the hours I normally do, and then some. Luckily, the project is almost finished. And Rhinebeck is next week. So, here’s a drive by posting to say: Hi, friends! I’ll be back in a little bit with some knitting stuff, some crochet stuff (and a pattern!), some house renovation stuff, and Rhinebeck photos.


Apple picking by bicycle

September 25, 2011

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my crocheted blanket! I tried responding but kept having issues where my reply would reply on my blog and not to your emails. Oy, sometimes technology fails me. So, if you didn’t get an email reply I apologize!

I’m running around this morning, gathering up odds and ends to visit my parents for a couple of days in NY. Here are some lovely photos from a recent trip I took with a friend to go apple picking. We took the train, with our bikes, and rode from the station to the farm. Sadly, it seemed as though the rest of the city had picked the apples before us, but we made the best of it. Next picking trip, we’re going to grab a couple more of our friends and ride out to a different farm. Until then, these apples will have to do…

Apple picking on a Wednesday

Apple picking on a Wednesday

Apple picking on a Wednesday

Apple picking on a Wednesday


Are you doing any picking this fall?

First wool of the season

September 16, 2011

Last night, we heard on the radio that it would be a low of 48F. I had the back door open, and the house got wonderfully chilly. Wearing sandals on our back porch, last night at 9pm, made me so cold I actually shivered.

And so, a wool blanket was put on the bed. I realize that I’ve mentioned the making of this blanket in the past, and then never showed you how gorgeous the final product turned out!

Hexagon Blanket, part deux

I knew I wanted something scrappy, but lovely. This blanket started out using worsted weight odds and ends from my stash, and some amazingly donated by friends, following the general guidance in Nova‘s Ruby Hexagon Blanket. And so I crocheted and crocheted. And then put all the hexes aside for months at a time, picking it up every now and again.

friday morning

hexagons in progress

I edged all the hexes with Cascade 220 in a light stone gray color to unify them all. All the hexes were completed before single crocheting them together. My only rule was, no two color hexes would be joined together in a row. I wanted to make sure that it was scrappy enough without any big color blocks.

coming together

Once I got the bug in my brain to finish this guy, it went pretty quickly…as crochet does.

Help me choose an edge color

I auditioned a few edge colors, but ultimately decided on stashed Cascade 220 in Mallard (a heathery teal) that’s been in the stash since early 2008. It had been used for an attempted Wicked Sweater which I didn’t like as well as a vest that I abandoned halfway into it. So frogged and projectless, it was great to use it and free the stash from it.

And then it was done! And on the bed! And it looked great! And then summer came quickly, and it went into the linen closet for the next few months…

Crocheted hexagons

New bedroom, now with more hexagon

It’s a great weight, and a great size. I made 80 hexes in total and joined them at 8 across and 10 down.

The ravelry project page is here.

It’s cool again today and through the weekend, but I know that fall isn’t here yet. The weather is expected to get back up to the 80s next week. But I am already thinking of fall activities and have apple picking scheduled for next week.

Have a great weekend, friends!

P.S. I owe some of you commenters emails back. Getting to those this weekend.
P.P.S. The bike trailer blog post is in progress and coming soon. We haven’t forgotten!

Looking up on a Friday

September 9, 2011


Thought it was time for another Looking Up post.

Things that make me happy right now:

  • Cooler morning air. Cooler evening air. The signal of the change in season.
  • Making headway on the new backporch (details soon!) being built by us in the space that used to house our old kitchen.
  • A return to hot coffee from a few months of iced coffee (see first bullet).
  • Making good, healthy, wholesome food from scratch every night for dinner, and always having leftovers the next day.
  • Feeling grateful that the old bones in this old rowhome have withstood the intense amount of (more) rain we got this week. So far so good on the no rain *inside* the house. Our basement is dry and our roof is sturdy. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, lost their home, and have to deal with more flooding damage in Pennsylvania due to the overflow of the Schuylkill, Delaware, and Susquehanna.
  • A great guy who works on beautifying my bicycles for me. My Surly Steamroller fixed gear has been lovingly retrofitted, switched over to freewheel, and we swapped out the bullhorn bars for uprights. It’s a lovely lovely smooth ride and I am so happy that I have good, strong bicycles.
  • Hope you are looking to the positives, on this Friday.

    (And on a sad note. The hurricane kitty has passed away in the loving hands of his foster. He was doing well for the first few days and then took a nosedive. I’m thankful for the amazing help my friends provided as I was trying to save him from a life on the streets of South Philly and am sad that he was unable to make it to a long cat life. So it is, sadly, the circle of life.)

    After a storm, new life

    August 29, 2011

    First and foremost, thank you for the birthday wishes! 29 is turning out to be pretty great so far.

    In other news, Hurricane Irene came through here and left Philly with a flooding river. Other than that, we got out unscathed. We bundled down in South Philly armed with delicious food, knitting, the humor of Louis C.K., and crosswords (for me).

    On Sunday morning, Kasy and I rode up to the banks of the Schuylkill River to see the flooding. These were taken at 9:30am and the waters rose even higher later in the day. I know that we’re lucky to not have any damage to our persons or our home and my heart goes out to those who are still dealing with damage, major flooding, injury, and the sad loss of loved ones. While the storm may have seemed like hype to a lot of people (myself included, as I pshawed the warnings expecting nothing more than the rain we did receive) it really did reek havoc in many communities and we are lucky it did not cause more damage and sadness than it did.

    Hurricane Irene aftermath - Sunday 8/28/11 9:30am

    Hurricane Irene aftermath - Sunday 8/28/11 9:30am

    Hurricane Irene aftermath - Sunday 8/28/11 9:30am

    Hurricane Irene aftermath - Sunday 8/28/11 9:30am

    As parts of the city are still recuperating, we continued on with our home renovations today. I had scheduled some debris haulers to come in and remove demolition waste from the tear down of the back room (where the kitchen used to be). We’re going to be building a pretty excellent back porch in its place. Our trusty haulers came out and upon removing the ply-wood board we had covering the crumbling Sheetrock pile, they discovered a newborn kitten snuggled into the pile of debris. Now, I’ve had animals in my life every since I was a wee one, but this is by far the scariest, tiniest, animal I’ve ever had to handle. I was a nervous wreck. Luckily, I know some great people who are excellent foster parents for the strays and surrenders in our city, and I called one of them immediately after putting the kitten in a box with towels. My friend awesomely handled finding someone to come and pick up the wee kitty, have it checked out at PAWS and passed on to a wonderful foster parent who is well versed in bottle-feeding. It was a stressful few hours, friends, as this tiny life was in my hands and I felt helpless and worried.

    debris kitten

    I’m hopeful that this little hurricane babe survives, even though it was found relatively abandoned with eyes and ears closed and cord still attached. It is a cutie and deserves a lovely cat life, not on the mean streets of stray-cat-ville South Philly. It was also an interesting reminder at how tiny life can be and how tenuous it can be, and how scary change and the world can seem.

    can you handle the cuteness?


    August 21, 2011

    -August 21, 1842 The city of Hobart, Tasmania, is founded
    -August 21, 1878 The American Bar Association is founded
    -August 21, 1942 World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad began
    -August 21, 1959 Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the United States
    -August 21, 1968 James Anderson, Jr. posthumously receives the first Medal of Honor to be awarded to an African American U.S. Marine
    -August 21, 1982 Andrea was born


    Today I turn 29. I’m glad that the twenties are almost over. They’ve been up and down. They’ve been happy and sad. They’ve been easy and hard. I’m glad they happened the way they happened, and I’m glad that they are almost totally behind me. Onward and upward, friends!

    Not my favorite season by any means, but the upside of summer is camping. I love being out of the city and in the woods. Last weekend, we went to Round Valley Reservoir in New Jersey for the wilderness camping on a waterfront. Kasy and I had camped here a few years ago, and we remembered how absolutely gorgeous it was:

    50 | 365 : Watching the sunset

    Watching the sunset

    Waking on the water

    Last time we had ridden our bikes there, during a 4 day bike trip around NJ. This time, we asked our two friends if they wanted to join us and so we drove up in their Prius. The campgrounds are a healthy hilly hike in (3.5-7 miles) and we were ready for swimming when we got to our site!

    3.5 hilly hike to camp

    Little rainshower

    So we went for a good swim and started a fire. The rainstorms predicted for the weekend began to roll in, but the temperature was perfect. We made delicious food, drank some adult beverages, talked, and laughed. The rain came and went all evening, with heavier rain overnight. No worries, though. The trip was still amazing. In the morning, with the area so quiet and drying off from the night before, we had coffee down at the water’s edge and made breakfast before packing up and hiking back out. For us, non-car drivers and non-car campers, it was wonderful to still be able to use human power to get to our campsite. It made the space just a little sweeter.


    This is how clear the water is

    Skipping stones

    This weekend

    Morning at Round Valley Reservoir

    Morning at Round Valley Reservoir

    What are your favorite camping spots?

    passing summer days

    August 1, 2011

    July is gone. In the blink of an eye. It was a very hot and very busy month here, hence the radio silence. Since I am still crawling out from under a pile o’lots of work for thedaytimejob, how about some visual treats of what July was like…

    the first half of the month went like this…

    Test ride

    This is what my 4th of July weekend looked like

    This is what my 4th of July weekend looked like

    snips from the backyard

    At Bina's wedding

    Shawnee on the Delaware

    Summer bowling with friends


    in short, the first part of summer involved lots of outdoors, fireworks, drinks, swimming, cooking, a wedding, and some bowling.

    Giveaway Winner!

    July 10, 2011

    Sorry it took me a minute to get back to this space, and the random number generator, to pick a winner for the Green Giveaway.

    The winner randomly selected was…..


    I’ll be sending you an email momentarily to get your shipping details.

    As for more green goods? I know that Project Spectrum has moved into the BLUE phase, but there is still 1 or 2 lots of green to go before I switch gears. I see that summer is getting away from me quite quickly this year…

    Who’s up for a little green yarn?

    Project Spectrum | Green Yarn Giveaway

    Leave a comment before July 2, 2011 5pm for a chance to win these 3 skeins of Jamieson’s Shetland Heather in the Pine colorway. Perfect yardage, yarn, and color, for a pair of wonderfully warm mittens or gloves.

    Some more green yarn (and fabric) will continue to be given away over the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled.