And peace fell upon the land…

Happy Fourth of July! I really do believe in celebrating our country’s Independence Day, but I’m glad it’s over. As with New Year’s Eve, I don’t quite get the need to purchase your own fireworks and set them off in your yard. I don’t think my childhood suffered any loss when we drove to the fireworks display and didn’t have them at home. Our neighborhood resounded with fireworks last night, keeping our son up and crying until very late and terrifying pets and wildlife. Not that I want to go out and hug a coyote or anything, but during lulls in the din they could be heard whimpering and howling in the woods. I felt sad for them.

It’s hard to believe it’s July. July is synonymous with Massachusetts for me.  I used to spend my summers as a kid visiting my father and grandparents in the Boston area, visiting historic landmarks, smelling the freshness of the ocean, going to the beach, eating Atlantic lobster and Ipswich clams, going to antique stores, and taking-in the beauty that is New England.  I miss it.  Having spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, I don’t think I could ever live in New England, and having spent so much time in New England, I don’t think I will ever feel like I am completely living in the Pacific Northwest.  July just never seems quite right to me anymore.  In honor of summers past, I made clam chowder last night. Afterall, it was the Fourth, and there had to be New England clam chowder.

Something I used to do a lot was beach-combing, especially for rocks on this beach south of Boston.

They don’t look that great in the photo, but I don’t know how many times I made the 3,000 mile flight home with at least 5 pounds of these pretty granite rocks in my suitcase. I still have many of them.

On the knitting side of things, here are the pictures of the finished side panel for Cabled Coat and the right front for Rib Knitted Shrug.

Progress on the other side panel for Cabled Coat is coming along nicely now and I’m really bent on finishing, I hope, by the end of the month.

The clock is ticking as we look ahead to our trip to Italy in September, we’ll be in the area of Pistoia for a week and then we’ve added a second week during which we’ll visit the French Riviera, Provence and then go to Switzerland (Geneva) for a short bit, and going back to Paris for a couple of nights, where we might meet-up with my French cousin and her family. I’m a bit intimidated about going to France, since none of us speak French (although I was taught some in school when I was 4), but armed with a phrase book, and being open to trying to speak a little French to get by, as we’ll also do in Italy, we’ve been assured by friends that we will be okay.


Rib Knitted Shrug Revisited

I know, it’s been a long time since you’ve heard about Rib Knitted Shell, hasn’t it? Now that I’ve finished my on-the-go project, Okay-Shokay Scarf, I needed another one, and it just seemed to make sense to dig up the unfinished shrug from the bottom of the knitting bag and see what I could to do with it.

I’d messed-up on what I’d done so far on the right front, so I ended-up frogging down to the sleeve. I corrected my silly mistake, and set about knitting, and – whoa – What’s that? Yeesh, that looks bad (hint: there are not yarnovers in this pattern):

I guess this yarn doesn’t take kindly to frogging and re-knitting, but hopefully the stitches will straighten-out once it’s washed. Scary, though.

During the better part of the past week, the time normally dedicated to knitting Grand Duchess has been spent frogging Grand Duchess, because somewhere I went wrong on the yarnovers and it set the whole pattern on a snowball of errors, so I frogged 25 rows. It was painful to do. There was hair-pulling involved, both mine and the mohair. Here’s a picture before I frogged it:

I don’t have an after picture, but I took out about half of the above work.

With so many mistakes happening, either I am too distracted to knit, or I need more cappuccino.

Thank goodness for my new automatic espresso machine: the chance of operator error is minimal (some of you may recall the morning I poured milk into the water tank of my old manual machine).

And in keeping with things to drink, I got this great mug for my husband for Father’s Day:

(The picture isn’t mine, but is from the merchant I bought the mug from, Charles & Marie.)

It was just the right thing for him because he loves to have a cookie or two with his milk or coffee. Oh, and I got one for me too, since I knew he wouldn’t want to drink alone, only mine is left-handed.

Update: the way the mug works, is that the cookies stay in the pocket when as you drink from it, so in the instance of the above photo, that would be a right-handed mug and the cookies will stay in the mug ready for snacking as needed. I have to credit for Mariko at Super Eggplant for bringing this great find to light, so if you must blame someone for your being tempted to buy one of these mugs, I’ll share the credit with her. 😉