Finished!

It’s done, it’s done, it’s done, IT’S DONE!

There was a bit of a scare as far as beads were concerned.  I’d ordered the orangey Smoke Topaz ages ago. This color is apparently no longer being sent to US distributors (according to the lady at the bead shop who tried to track down more for me) but it was perfect, so I went with it anyway.  I even ordered a small pack off eBay to have as backup and boy am I glad I did!

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I’ll post a photo of the finished thing when it’s being blocked. 🙂  It’s a big pile of alpaca and beads right now.

But seriously, I never thought binding would end. It was a stretchy one and ended up being 1,988 stitches.  I’m more than a bit cross-eyed now.

Plus, it definitely melted my brain.

I was eager to start my next project, Taimi.  It uses the same size needles as I was using and I needed to see if I had the right length of cable or if I needed to swap it.

I keep a small measuring tape in my desk drawer so pulled it out to see what I was working with.

…I thought I had it at least.

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I’ll take that as a sign that I shouldn’t be casting anything on right now…

Almost there

I’ve finally made it to Clue 4, Chart 9 of the MKAL!  That’s the last step, y’all!

I’ll make sure to get a better photo of it once it’s blocked but at least there’s a wee bit of progress.

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The rows are long and it’s getting heavy (about to join my third hank of yarn), so it’s starting to be a bit of a struggle.  I’m glad it’s almost over!

…but I’ve also hit that weird procrastination thing that I develop when projects are almost done.  I can’t count how many quilts I have ready to be quilted/bound but just haven’t, or clothes to be hemmed, or yarn ends to weave in.

I keep telling myself there are only FIVE rows on the final chart!  Well, ten, but I never count wrong side rows because those are so easy to bust out that I just do them after each charted row.  I only have one tail to weave in and I thinking washing yarny things is fun.

I need to get the blocking done before Thanksgiving.  We’re having guests over and of course I block on the guest room bed.  I don’t want this lingering over me through the holidays.  I’m still aiming for a row a day so it should be completely done by the end of next week!  Fingers crossed!

…and for fun.  My friends on Facebook are really churning these out right now.  I’m not complaining — some of them really make me think!

50 (yes fifty!!) Things You’ve Never Been Asked…. I always enjoy reading these and seeing a quick glimpse into my friend’s lives. (Just copy this & change the answers..)

1. What is the color of your toothbrush?  Red, white, and silver

2. Name someone who made you smile? K.  Which is super nonspecific because almost everybody I talk to daily has a name that starts with K.  Surprise!  Go fight who it is amongst yourselves. ;P

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Curled up in bed, wishing an asteroid would destroy the earth. No, I’m not being ridiculously morbid or dramatic (or maybe I am?!) — I’ve been having a bad gastroparesis flare for a few days.  The nausea has been pretty rough and the pain is so out of control that I’ve not been able to sleep.  I’m feeling pretty done with everything right now.

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Exact same thing as 8 a.m. The nausea/pain didn’t lessen enough for me to get up until about 15 minutes ago. Now I’m in my computer chair until this wave passes enough that I can make my way downstairs and try to be productive

5. What is your favorite candy bar? Probably a Kit-Kat

6.Ever been to a strip club? Nope

7. What is the last thing you said out loud? “Quit chewing on that plastic!  Give it here!”  Cats, am I right?

8. What is your favorite ice cream? Butter Pecan or Chocolate-Marshmallow Swirl

9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Water

10. Do you like your wallet? I better!  I made it! (Picture at the bottom of the post!)

11. What was the last thing you ate? Soup (aka broth) for days. I’d like to be able to eat real food again soon.  /grumbles

12. Did you buy any new clothes this weekend? I did buy the hubs a new coat and gloves.  His were worn out.

13. The last sporting event you watched? Footage from various Gloucestershire cheese races. Part of me wants to join in, part of me knows I’d die.

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? Maple Bourbon Bacon.  Sound ridiculous?  Oh, it is.  I get it from the Adirondack Popcorn Company in Lake Placid.  It’s worth the trek just for that popcorn!

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message too? The hubby

16. Ever go camping? Of course!

17. Do you take vitamins daily? Not anymore

18. Do you go to church every Sunday? Negative

19. Do you have a tan? Only a little on my feet…and of course I’ve been wearing shoes with cut out cat ears so my feet have the slightest bit of a cat’s face as a tan. Hubs thinks it’s hilarious

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? Depends on the day. Pizza is more of a comfort food, Chinese has more flavor

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? Sometimes. I have reusable metal straws when I do

22. What did your last text say? “You are so unreliable it’s unreal”

** (I’ll explain that angry answer at the bottom)**

23. What are you doing tomorrow?  Hopefully feeling like cleaning a bit and cooking.  I’m not obsessed with the thought of real food at all, nope. ^_^

24. What terrifies you? Not much, really. I get pretty panicked if I find an outside door open and can’t find one of my critters, though.

25. Look to your left, what do you see? The MKAL chart! I print all of my pattern charts and color them so I can read them quicker.

26. What color is your watch? Black

27. What do you think of when you hear Australia? Koalas and, right now, massive wildfires

28. Favorite Soda? Coke

29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? Depends on the car. I’m still being crazy and now allowing food in my car. I don’t want to lose that smell!  If we’re in the older car, I’ll sit fat and happy where I am, thank you.

30. What is your favorite number? Don’t have one

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone? My mother

32. Any plans today? Taking the car in for its first service appointment

33. How many states have you lived in? 4: Raised in VA, year of college in SC, lived with hubs in GA, then we moved to NY later

34. Biggest annoyance right now? Stomach.  It really needs to stop hurting and start working again. Maybe the plastic-chewing cat. I really don’t want her to get hurt

35. Last song listened to? “Succumb” by Seven Spires was playing when I started. They just released it a few days ago so it has been getting a lot of play on my end!  Now listening to “Lonely Night” by Jorn.  Jorn Lande is one of my favorite vocalists and that one just came out today!  I know what two songs I’ll be binging all weekend!

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? Oh yah.  A completely useless skill I taught myself in fifth grade when I was learning music scales.  Already need to know A-G backwards, might as well add the rest!

37. Do you have a maid service when you clean house? LOL I wish.  I frequently refer to myself as the House Elf

38. Favorite type of shoes you always wear? Remember the tan line?  Yup, Skechers BOBS Cattitude shoes are totally where it’s at for me right now

39. Are you jealous of anyone? I mean, yah, a bit. It’s not soul-consuming or anything like that but the person that popped into mind doesn’t realize (or appreciate) what they have, so it waivers between wanting to slap them with reality and being a bit jealous. They’re very vocal about how much they hate their life because they think they deserve everything and aren’t getting it on the timeline they’re demanding.  For example — nobody loves them because they’ve never lived in a real house, yet they’re close to and still have all of their family. I’d trade every house I’ve ever lived in, including the one I own now (and I’d still pay the mortgage on it to boot!) to have my Dad or sister back for a day — that’s not even a question. It’s all perspective…so I guess part of me is a little jealous because I wish that the worst things in my life were living in apartment or not getting McDonald fries delivered to me when I wanted them. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

40. Is anyone jealous of you? I had somebody recently tell me they were jealous that my husband is always posting about me on Facebook?  Does that count? It’s kind of a weird one

41. Do you love anyone? Oh, I suppose

42. Do any of your friends have children? Of course

43. What do you usually do during the day? Usually dink around the house, cleaning and crafting

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? Nah. I dislike quite a few people but I don’t have room in my life for hate. Hate is an obsession and not healthy. Who needs that kind of negativity?

45. Do you use the word ‘hello’ daily? I’m more of a “hey” person so nope

46. What color is your car? Blizzard pearl (aka shiny glittery white)

47. How many kids do you want? I’m happy with none

48. Are you thinking about someone right now? Well, I wasn’t.  This question kind of shoves people into your brain, now doesn’t it?

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags? Yups

50. How did you get your worst scar? I would’ve said laparoscopic surgery — I have a really wicked scar at my belly button that looks like a large spider crawling out of it (the incision had to be expanded to remove the organ and then my body rejected the stitches) — but the jelly fish sting a month ago looks like it’s settling into scarring.  It’s much more bright red and angry so right now it wins

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** “You’re so unreliable it’s unreal” **

That text sounds a lot meaner than it is, I promise.  Oh, I was angry…but I was angry for a reason: I’m stupid as hell sometimes.

I’d locked myself outside, in the snow, in my pajamas, without shoes, with one of the dogs (luckily the big dog that loves snow so at least one of us was having a blast). I was slowly turning into a popsicle.  There are three houses nearby but nobody was around: one guy is a contractor and wasn’t home, one house is vacant in the process of being remodeled, and the last house is now for sale and also vacant.

Hubs was over two hours late getting home from work on that snow, icy day without letting me know he was going to be late, so I was pretty sure he was at the bottom of a river.  He was driving my car because it has AWD, which he scratched last time he drove it, so I was already nervous. My car connects to the driver’s phone via bluetooth so if he was conscious and in the car, he would’ve known it was ringing….but he wasn’t answering his personal cell, his work cell, or his desk phone.  He has two of them with him all the time, I only call/text in emergencies, and don’t forget the car connects calls through the speakers. There was no reason not to answer unless he was dead in a ditch.

I was pretty cold and angry and a little panicked. Hubs drives me nuts, but I don’t want him dead.  Not then.  I kind of did when he said he’d ignored the calls/messages because he was close to home and wanted to finish the podcast he was listening to.  It would’ve been really amazing to know that instead of trying to figure out which window I could break to get in the house if I grew desperate enough.  For the record, it’s the garage window.  It’s old, single pane, low to the ground, and easily isolated so the rest of the house doesn’t turn into a freezer.  I didn’t have to break one that day but at least I know which would be my victim for the future.

Chart 7 complete!

I finished Chart 7 of the MKAL!  I still have another chart left before finishing Clue 3 but the rows are around 400 stitches each now, so I’m celebrating every little bit.

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I’m also glad I’ve been taking photos to post here.  Sometimes it really feels like I’m not making much progress but the pictures show it’s getting bigger.

I really should pick a smaller, faster project for my next knit but it never seems to work out that way!

What I really need now is to figure out what to watch next while knitting.  I don’t watch many shows in general but I eat through them as background noise while knitting.

I just finished Raising Dion on Netflix and it was cute and ticked a lot of boxes. I’m struggling to find the next show though.  It has to be the perfect mix of entertaining without having to watch the screen often.  Any suggestions?  I’ll watch almost any genre if the plot is decent enough to keep my attention.

Dropped stitch

I just wanted to say that I am SO proud of myself!

I dropped a stitch in my lace knitting and was able to figure it out and fix it without having to tink!!!  That’s huge for me.  I’m soooo excited!

Also, for fun:

29 was missing when I stole this from Facebook….so I improvised.  😀

40 odd things about me . . . Please play along! I love reading them. 😊
1. Do you like mustard? Depends what it’s on/in.  I use powdered mustard a lot in cooking but pre-prepared I really only like it on Michigan hot dogs
2. Choice of carbonated beverage? Coke. It’s my liquid lifeforce
3. Ever traveled to another country? A few – Canada, France, England, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Italy
4. Whiskey, Tequila, Vodka?  Depends.  Straight, whiskey (preferably single malt Scotch). Mixed, tequila.
5. Hot dogs or Cheeseburgers? Again, depends on the day. I like both but have a fickle stomach so sometimes one may make me feel sick and the other wouldn’t. Right now I’d pick a burger, which is good since I’m thinking of making lamb burgers with feta on homemade naan for dinner tonight!
6. Favorite Type Of food: Ummmm…..southern?  In general I love food with strong flavors. I’ll eat pretty much any cuisine but I grew up in the South, so it’s my comfort food.
7. Do you believe in ghosts? Nope
8. What do you drink in the mornings? Usually water, sometimes orange juice
9. Can you do a 100 pushups? Hahahaha, I doubt I could even do one
10. Summer, Winter, Spring, Or Fall? Fall or Spring…but I love snow, so maybe Winter too?  How about anything BUT Summer?
11. Favorite hobby? Just one?!  Nooooo.  Um.  Reading.  I don’t think I could give up books. No matter how satisfying quilting or knitting or crocheting or doing anything else is, it’s not an escape from reality like books are
12. Tattoos? None.  Not for a lack of interest, just can’t think of anything I’d like on my body forever
13. Do you wear glasses? Yups
14. Phobia? Ticks.  Hate hate hate them, cried when one bit me and demanded to go to the hospital, and I refuse to touch them.  Definitely ticks.  I also have a touch of agoraphobia but I can manage it when need be
15. Nickname? Mermer, Ber (don’t really care for it but whatevs), Bernie (really hate that one), Ams, Esmerelda, Sweet Pea, and Skinny Flint (dates back to when I was very young, as I’m quite hefty now…but nicknames stick)
16. Three drinks you drink?  Water, tea, coke
17. Biggest Downfall? I have massive anxiety. It can really take over and cause panic attacks.  It sucks
18. Rain or Snow? Both!  I looove thunderstorms and snowstorms!  Give me both!
19. Piercings? Yes, five in my ears
20. Age? 33
21. Taken or Single? Married, so I guess that means taken?  He’s kinda loosey goosey on everything though
22. How long taken or single? Dated for 12, married for 7
23. Kids? 3 cats, 2 dogs, 0 humans
24. Favorite color? Greens, especially on the bluer spectrum
25. Employed? Vaguely unofficially but not really
26. Can you whistle? Yups. Fun fact: one of my cats ONLY responds to whistling and my husband can’t whistle.
27. Where were you born? West Virginia
28. Brothers or Sisters? I had one sister, now deceased, and a few step-siblings. I’ve never met one of them, met one only once, the third hasn’t talked to me since she moved out of the house…I like the last one though.  I’ll claim him
29. Ninjas or Pirates?  PIRATES!  That was a very important addition on my part.  It’s almost as important as elves or dwarves (always dwarves)
30. Surgeries? Tonsillectomy, wisdom teeth cut out, endoscopy, and an oophorectomy
31. Religious? Can of worms!  Can of worms!  My answer may rile up some people but I’m not in the habit of hiding things. I’m an atheist and pretty cheeky about it, though I don’t talk about it unless asked or if somebody starts throwing around “we need to return ‘Merica to our Christian values!”.  Yah, no. The first Amendment says no. I think religion is very valuable to some people but I also think it causes a massive amount of derision and harm. My shirt at the moment says “Metal is Religion”.  I love Star Trek’s philosophy and also what The Satanic Temple advocates (NOT the Church of Satan — those are two very different things). As far as organized religion, I’m still a member of the Lutheran church I grew up in; it was built by my first ancestor in America back in the 1700s and has a dwindling congregation so I’m needed on the rolls to keep it open. ELCA is becoming a sanctuary denomination and I support that mission/message whole-heartedly
32. Shower or Bath? Baths ❤
33. Like gambling? Not really. I like keeping an iron fist on my money
34. Are You Loyal? Devastatingly so
35. Broken bones? Toes more than I can count, one or two of the metacarpals in my hand, a rib, and nose
36. How many tv’s in your house? A whopping zero
37. Worst pain ever? When one of my organs twisted and strangled itself. Organ failure hurts soooo bad. I walked out of the hospital with no pain meds because being post-op didn’t feel nearly as bad as I did when I walked in
38. Do you like to dance? Not really.  Never have
39. Are your parents still alive? My mother is. My father died of brain cancer 12 years ago
40. Do you like camping? Yes!  I’m old enough now that it hurts but I really love it

Little bit of progress

I finally finished the second clue for the MKAL “El Cineribus”.  It’s a little more than half way through at this point and it’s growing quickly.  It’s right around 350 stitches per row now so I’m starting to feel like it’s going to take forever.

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…of course that forever feeling could be because I have another beaded lace knitting project I’m chomping at the bit to cast on: Taimi.  I’m planning on making the infinity scarf for my Grandmother’s Christmas gift.  I picked up a pair of blue pearl earrings when I was in Spain and thought a nice light neck warmer would pair well with it.  I picked a pale blue silk yarn and I want to play with it SO badly!

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I was testing my bead stash with it — I think I’ve decided on the right hand side pearl color.  It’s a silver lined gray opal and I like the way it picks up the light.

Of course the infinity scarf uses the same needles I’m making the shawl with, so it should logically be finished first.  Ugh!  If I can do at least two rows a day I think I’ll be able to get them both done in time.  I don’t have much more patience to sit still for much more.

Never Have I Ever

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My family has been sending the above around on Facebook.  Honestly, their answers are melting my brain because I thought, for the most part, we’d all had similar upbringings.  If anything, I lived the furthest from everybody so I thought I would’ve had the least amount of exposure.  Turns out being a hyperactive kid may have exposed me to a lot more than I thought.

For the record, I’ve done all but two things on the list.

I’ve milked cows, but never a goat.  Petted goats, hugged goats, eaten goats and lots of goat milk products…but never milked one myself.  Goals.

I’ve never eaten tomatoes off the vine — turns out I’m allergic to raw tomatoes. Surprise! Little me knew something was up and never liked them so wouldn’t eat them while picking them like my sister would. I’ve canned and frozen I can’t even imagine how many pecks of tomatoes but only ever had the one bite of raw (that I know of) to determine they weren’t for me.

Some of my family has only done a handful of things. The closest in number to mine was one cousin did 15 (so still missing 9 somehow) and she and I hung out almost every day in the summer as kids. The rest of the cousins also grew up relatively the same as I did (I thought).  My mind has melted a bit over it because I can’t imagine how they haven’t done more unless they literally sat inside in front of the TV (with all of one channel) all day considering where we grew up.

For example: I helped both my uncle and a cousin on the other side of my family put up hay on a yearly basis.  When I was too little to lift the bales, they had me help with other things like cut the twine.  My reward was always getting to climb to the top of the stack to play — I especially loved it when they’d dry tobacco at the same time.  The barn smelt heavenly.  One year my uncle had me check for animals and I found a fawn that couldn’t have been more than a few hours old hidden in the grass. He mowed around it — the little thing could do a wobbly stand but couldn’t walk yet.

…that same uncle is the father of a cousin that had only done 5 things.  You can see where the confusion comes in, right?

That uncle is the one that would lift me into the stock tank to cool off while he called in the cows (it automatically filled from a hose that came from the spring so it was always ice cold even on the hottest days), would pay me a quarter for every grasshopper I caught so we could go bass fishing, and once got head-to-toe poison ivy because I wanted to know what a bloodroot looked like when I was in fifth grade so he took me stomping around in the woods until we found one.  I got more than my cousin’s count from hanging out with her dad alone…but I always loved hanging out with him and she doesn’t usually have much nice to say about family that always treated me well…so not sure if that’s on her, me, or them.

So how about you guys?  How many haven’t you done?

I’m pretty curious to know how similar or different my life has been to other’s. 🙂