Monday, April 22, 2019

I Would be Knitting....

...but there's a cat on my project.  It's rather astounding how he can cover it so completely.

Easter dinner was great fun, but it was a really busy weekend, so tonight I came home from work, crawled into pajamas, and thought I'd get a little knitting done.  But Valentino says there was too much cleaning and not enough kitty this weekend, so there's some petting to be made up.  And who am I to argue?

Friday, April 19, 2019

They Got Eaten!

 There I was, all excited about the new tulips coming up to make up for the THOUSANDS in extra taxes we're paying this year, when I came home one night to find these:
Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor
 reduced to this:
 The survivors were brought inside for their own protection,

 and Andy and I spent an evening spraying deer repellent on everything else.  If the deer finds it even half as repellent as we did while spraying it, our flowers are safe. 

 Luckily, I bought mid- and late-blooming flowers as well, so now that they stink, the next wave have been allowed to bloom:

 as well as the ones that were already planted,
 
so we're looking pretty festive.  We have 12 people coming for Easter, so it's nice to have some color in the yard.  Of course, it means no sewing this weekend, but maybe the weekend after....

I think we've decided to keep the latest bowl,
as it so nicely matches a table runner we just happen to have, so one less gift made for the year, but it is only April.

I finally got pictures of the socks (a gift) I finished earlier this month. 
I think I've almost used up as much yarn already this year as I have in either of the last 2 years, so maybe there will be some visible stash-reduction soon. If one looks closely....

I swear I am working on a sweater, but I did start another gift as soon as the socks were done.  This:
will be a shawl for a friend, which will take as much yarn as a sweater, so maybe I'll count it as one.  There is, however, that brand new sewing machine to play with, and it is my year to make gifts, so I've been playing with some prints with black,
I'm doing long stratas of 2.5" strips sewn together,
 sometimes more successfully than at other times..........
For the red and black checkered projects, I'm going to play with some quilting options--maybe learn some new free motion patterns.  When I'm doing several similar projects it helps give me the courage to try new things--plus I'll end up with several gifts.  Win-win.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Ouch

I did our taxes this weekend, and instead of the usual refund, we owe a HUGE extra amount in taxes.  I know the "party line" is that the smaller with holdings were supposed to make some people pay less, but we are not among them.  Our tax percentage took a huge jump, and this is before all the middle class tax "cuts" fade out.  Next year the Trump Tax will be even worse for us because I drive my own car for appointments, and while my last job had a car allowance to reimburse me for it, the new job has NO such programs, and Cheeto Voldemort took away the ability for salespeople to write off mileage even for business purposes, so automatic pay cut for all outside salespeople.  So, the rest of the weekend was spent in NOT spending any money, which will be the theme for the rest of the year to make up for how much we have to come up with.

The creeping phlox is starting to fire up,
one of my hellebores finally bloomed,
 we have two azaleas that I didn't know we had,
 most of the tulips are starting to come up,
my extension of the hyacinth row has bloomed,
but well in advance of the original ones, so it still looks uneven. But festive.

I was too angry over the tax issue to trust myself to work on the quilt, so instead I cut up the leftover material from one of the spicy spiral runners and made a new bowl
which had a few hiccups, but still turned out well, I think,
so the weekend wasn't a total loss.....

Monday, April 1, 2019

Race to the Bottom III

Today kicks off the third Race to the Bottom in the Ravelry Stashdown group:  an 18-month challenge to either use up the rest of one's stash or to decrease it by a goal amount.  Last time I rocked the Dryer Lint level, but this time I'm in two additional challenges, fabric and sweaters, so I'm hoping to reach "Alpaca," or 15,000 yards.  To be fair, I've done that amount in a year in the past, but I've dropped off the knitting bandwagon a bit, so I'm hoping to get reinvigorated by the challenge.  And I just might have been dragging on finishing the second sock to give myself an early yardage boost, just in case.........