Stream of consciousness…

So wow…

Apparently with all the fun of starting a new podcast, I kind of forgot to blog for a while. My two readers must be BESIDE THEMSELVES. (Hi, mom!)

As it turns out, not being able to sleep because of the heat and humidity kind of kills a person’s productivity (unless we’re talking about sitting in front of the a/c, knitting). So much knitting has happened – well, until this week, that is. The lack of sleep has caught up with me, and I’ve been falling into bed pretty much as soon as I get home from work. Did I ever mention that I hate summer? I really hate summer. I don’t deal with the time change very well (yes, that happened back in March – what of it?). I don’t deal with heat or humidity very well. I don’t deal with teenagers who have no life and so keep me awake at all hours of the night by banging around the kitchen for snacks very well. Let’s just say that from May to September, I’m a hot mess – literally! Bring on pumpkin season!

Back in June, I decided to try this low-carb thing. As you may know, I’m a type II diabetic, and I’ve had difficulty controlling my blood sugar levels. I’m not keeping strictly keto, but I have been using a lot of their recipes. There are a few blogs I follow for ideas and inspiration (I’ll list them below). So far, when I manage to stick to it, my blood sugar is within normal ranges, which is super duper awesome! Sadly, I suck at meal planning and cooking ahead, so when I’m lazy, I tend to fall off the wagon. I’m getting better, though. I’m not trying to advocate a low-carb lifestyle, or push it on anyone, I’m just reporting my anecdotal evidence that it seems to be helping me keep my blood sugar under control. I haven’t lost any weight yet, but between that and going to the gym, there have been some minor changes to my body that I’m pretty happy about. The blogs I’ve been following are Two Sleevers (I even have her cookbooks!), My PCOS Kitchen (I’ve never been diagnosed with PCOS, nor do I think I have it, but I do get ovarian cysts… so there, that’s a TMI thing you know about me now!), and Low-Carb Yum (so many tasty things!)

I’ve also been on a quest to get rid of a lot of clutter in my life. Part of that has been stashing down rather than acquiring any new yarn/fiber/hobby stuff, and getting plastic bags and plastic waste out of my life. I started knitting these little Reusable Produce Bags, and they’re SO quick and super cute! I’ve been knitting piles of them. They’re having their inaugural fling at the grocery store this evening. My friend Jen (stormcoast on Ravelry, and the host of The Uncreative Crafter podcast) has been doing trash walks, and recently did a Books, not Butts walk, where she encouraged people to sponsor her for one cent per cigarette butt she picked up. In one short walk, she managed to pick up 505 cigarette butts! That’s both impressive (on her part) and really gross (on the part of the smokers). You can follow her efforts to clean up her town here!

Anyway, school has started again for me, so I’d better get back to my assignment (and my breakfast!)

 

 

The Wayward Skein: Episode 8

Knitting Content:

Finished Objects:

Reusable Produce Bag by Tia Stanfield in size small. One made out of unknown fingering weight, one made of Louet EuroFlax Sport (unknown colourway). Knit on size 3.75mm (US 5) and 6mm (US 10) needles. The purple bag has one extra pattern repeat.

Works in Progress:

Winterlong by Bristol Ivy. Knit out of Filtes King Velour (discontinued) in colourway 1317. Knit on size 5mm (US 8) needles.

Rob’s 2018 socks (based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee). Knit out of Bergère de France Luberon in the Eau Vive colourway on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Mitered Square Blanket (based on Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis). Squares this week were Infinite Twist Helix in the Hooker’s Green colourway, and an unknown sock yarn. Knit on 2.75mm (US 2) needles.

Tea:

This week’s tea is Just Peachy by David’s Tea. It’s a subtle, sweet, and smooth peach-flavoured herbal tea that’s one of my favourites for drinking iced in the summertime. It’s very fresh and delicate!

Screen Time:

Netflix: I watched Hannah Gadsby’s new special, called “Nanette”. It’s a very thought-provoking piece, and I highly recommend it.

Podcasts: I spent time catching up with the Knitting Expat Podcast with MinaPhilipp. She has KnitCrate review videos as well as regular podcast episodes, and I love watching her. She’s funny and smart, and her little daughter Layla is a delight to watch!

I also watched the most recent episodes of the Must Love Yarn podcast with jrbirdkid and KellySpins. If you haven’t visited their shop in Shelburne, Vermont, you need to get there soon! I love watching these ladies, it’s always relaxing and enjoyable!

Also spent some time catching up with StormCoast on The Uncreative Crafter Podcast Fans and selmaknits on the Little Big Knits podcast.

Recipe reviews:

I’ve been trying to follow a low-carb diet to get my blood sugar under control, so this week, I tested out two dessert recipes from blogs I’ve started following. My favorite is the Coconut Pandan Chia Seed Pudding from the Two Sleevers blog. Another good one I plan on tweaking a bit is the Keto Triple Chocolate Cheesecakerecipe from My PCOS Kitchen blog.

Book Talk:

I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo this week, and I’m very much enjoying it thus far! If you find that you get stressed thinking about cleaning, I highly recommend giving this a read.

Have a great week, everyone!

The Wayward Skein Podcast: Episode 5

Knitting content:

Finished Objects – Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho. Knit out of Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts Big Squeeze in the Orange Tabby colourway. Size 6mm (US 10) needles.

Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Knit out of James C. Brett Woodlander Double Knitting in colourway 11L. Size 4.5mm (US 7) needles.

Work in Progress – Basic vanilla socks (based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Knit out of Nova Sock Prints in colourway 174. Size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Tv & pocasts

Still watching Midsomer Murders. Sadly, I believe I’m on the last series, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with myself once it’s done!

I’ve been catching up on podcasts lately, namely The Little Big Knits PodcastThe Uncreative Crafter Podcast Fans, and The Canadian Knitter Podcast.

Podcasts which are in my immediate queue to be watched include The CATT Lady Podcast, Hawthorn Cottage Crafts Podcast and The dunkelgrün group. Stay tuned to see what else I’m watching, as I have a long list of them to get through!

Life and stuff

Not much going on this week, other than recovering from vacation, going to splash pads for playdates, and getting sunburned (twice). Have a fantastic week, and keep your sticks pointy!

Down the political rabbit hole

I spent a week trying to decide what to write about that wasn’t political. After the week we’ve had, I failed. So I may very well lose the three of you with this post, but I have to write what speaks to me.

On Friday, the US Department of Health and Human Services admitted that 10,773 unaccompanied immigrant children are being held in detention centers. This does not mean that these children crossed the border on their own. It means that ICE agents removed them from their parents and sent them off to be detained on their own. There is a lot of misinformation circulating on the internet, and the US government is actively trying to discredit the media – I will agree that many media sources are biased, but to discount every story that criticizes or questions the government as “fake news” removes one of the very necessary checks and balances on the activities of that government. The United Nation has since denounced the separation of these children from their parents and has demanded that the US cease these activities which contravene the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the US has refused to sign.

Also on Friday, the Canadian PM, German Chancellor, Italian PM, Japanese PM, British PM, US President, and EU Council and Commission Presidents met in Canada for the G7 Summit. The US President petitioned for Russia to be reintegrated into the multinational group, with agreement from the Italian PM. (Russia had been excluded in March, 2014, based on their illegal annexing of Crimea. That sounds so clinical… people were tortured and killed.) The US President left the Summit early, and now refuses to endorse the G7 Communique on Equitable Growth, based on what he called dishonest negotiation by the Canadian PM. Recently, he has imposed a number of tariffs on Canadian goods being imported into the US, and stated that Canada poses a national security risk to the United States. This is particularly disturbing given the long and fruitful relationship between our two countries. The fact that the US President engages in Twitter insult-laden tirades instead of engaging in diplomacy and open, honest conversation has led to a deterioration in the relationship between our two countries, and indeed, between the US and many of its allies of late.

I won’t even go into how disturbing the bigotry, misogyny, and discrimination evidenced in much of the US President’s communication is. What I will say is that in these uncertain times, we need to put aside this “I’m right, and you’re evil” rhetoric that the current US administration seems to encourage so wholeheartedly. I say this as a white, cis-female who speaks from a place of privilege – nothing about me is threatening to this administration, therefore they largely ignore me (with the exception of my uterus…).

Allow the LGBTQIAA+ folks and people of color in your circles to express their anger. And use your white voice to amplify their message, and to spread kindness where it will do the most good. A good rule of thumb is to use Ring theory. Those who are marginalized by the current administration are the aggrieved or afflicted at the centre of the circle. Offer them your help and support, your kindness and compassion, and your love. If nothing that’s been happening affects you, that means you’re one of the outer circles. (If nothing has affected you thus far, it does NOT MEAN that other people aren’t being hurt.)

Be kind to your LGBT+ neighbors. Be kind to your Muslim neighbors. Be kind to your Black, Latinx, Asian, or other neighbors of color. Be kind to the neighbor you don’t understand. Get to know them. They are deserving of the same respect and compassion you would give to your white Christian neighbor. We know better. So do better. Discrimination helps no one. It does not make you richer. It does not make you safer. It does not make you better than your neighbors. Kindness toward one another is how we beat this. It’s how we will survive and thrive beyond this dark hour.

I will step off my soapbox now, and promise some knitting updates later in the week. I have to work harder on this sweater!!! Its new owner has already arrived!

Madeira
Taken from https://gimmealine.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/a-ray-of-sunshine-through-the-clouds/

 

The Wayward Skein: Episode 2

Featured in this episode:

Harvest by TinCanKnits. Knit out of Lorna’s Laces Haymarket, in the Lookbook colourway. Needles are 5mm (US 8) fixed Carbonz 24″ circulars. Size knit is 6-12 months.

The “A Wrinkle in Time” series by Madeleine L’Engle. This week, I read A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet.

“Better Than Sex” tea by Tay Tea. Purchased from The Tea Shop of Woodstock in Woodstock, NY.

Midsomer Murders (BBC series).

Have a great week, everyone!

Procrastination

I’ve been meaning to write a blog post since Tuesday, but I kept putting it off because all the pictures I wanted to include, I took with Rob’s phone. It doesn’t really matter though, does it? If I just write a post, then I won’t keep stressing over the fact that I haven’t written a post, and I can catch you (all three of you) up without pictures. Well, MOSTLY without pictures.

Last time I wrote, I was winging my way to Chicago to celebrate Rob’s son’s college graduation with everyone and having a fabulous time. It was H.O.T. in Chicago… I’m not a summer person. You will *rarely* hear me complain about how cold it gets in winter, because I hate heat. I know, most of you are thrilled that you finally get to be comfortable, but I’m melting over here! It doesn’t help that Rob’s car doesn’t have functional air conditioning.

So Saturday dawned warm and sunny, and Rob drove up to Milwaukee to attend the graduation ceremony (there were only a few tickets available per graduate, and I didn’t want to prevent any of his family from being there). While he was gone, I did some knitting, did some reading, and recorded a podcast! It’s going to need work, and I don’t think I’ll ever use my phone for it again, but without my laptop on hand, I had to improvise. Saturday evening, we went for dinner at Rob’s mom’s house (without the graduate, so it was a weird graduation party) and hung out there for the evening. I have read some horror stories about mothers-in-law in my day, but I am truly blessed. My late former mother-in-law was the kindest, sweetest woman you could ever hope to meet, and I miss her every day. Rob’s mother? Cut from the same cloth. She is a kind, funny, loving, generous woman, and I’m so lucky that my future mother-in-law is as amazing as my first one! Anyway, even though he didn’t show up to his own celebration (I’m teasing! We knew he wasn’t coming, he was out with friends), here’s a picture!

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We took Sunday easy and went to see Deadpool 2. I will NOT SPOIL ANYTHING, but if you haven’t seen it yet, GO. (Except you, Mom. Do not go see Deadpool 2. You will not like it.) I laughed, I cried, I winced, and then I laughed some more. I agree that Peter needs his own spin-off movie! I was supposed to fly home Monday. Rob waved at me until I was through security, and then he went home and I went to the gate… where I discovered that my plane was delayed to the point where making my connecting flight was HIGHLY unlikely. Boo, hiss. Fortunately, I fly Porter, and they’re awesome. Not only did they rebook me for the next morning so I could go back to Rob’s for the night, but they also sent me a $100 voucher toward my next flight! I say it loud, and I say it often: Porter is AWESOME (the free drinks & snacks don’t hurt either).

Of course, taking a flight first thing in the morning when your house is 1 1/2 hours away from the airport is likely not the smartest thing I ever did… but hey, who knew how pretty a 4:30a.m. sunset in Chicago was? Not me, but I do now! I flew home, got picked up by some pretty awesome people (one of whom was VERY well behaved and didn’t fuss in the car AT ALL), and life goes on as usual. I’ve spent the rest of the week trying to recover from the fact that it’s suddenly summer, and REALLY humid. If you’re one of those who likes heat, enjoy your weekend! I’ll be huddled in my basement apartment with my fan and my air conditioner and eating things that don’t require cooking! Two Tangled Skeins resumes its normal schedule tomorrow, so see you there!

Stuck in the middle

I’m spending a bit of time in Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport, since my flight to Chicago was delayed, so I figured I’d pop online to let everybody know what I’m up to this weekend. (No, this is not a good time to stop by and Rob my house, I do have teenagers!)

I’m heading west to join Rob’s family in celebrating a very special event (pictures will be posted here after family have all made their announcements online), so it’s a bit of a whirlwind trip. I’m only staying for the long weekend, no time for touristy stuff. All our time is going to be spent with family.

It’s funny, an Ottawa friend who has just moved to Toronto is already in Chicago this weekend for a completely unrelated reason, but we likely won’t even have time to see each other.

So here I sit in Toronto, several friends only minutes away, but the hassle of leaving and going back through security make even a 2.5 hour layover not worth the bother. Ah well, I’ll see them again soon, I’m sure! In the meantime, I have a pretty sweet view…

Setting the record straight

It has come to my attention that people have been asking Sue and Selma what’s going on, why have I restarted a blog, why am I planning on doing solo episodes of a different podcast, etc. (We are friends, and we do, in fact, talk to each other.)

Let’s be honest, shall we, folks? I have a life outside of Two Tangled Skeins – as does Sue (she has an Etsy shop where she sells bags and yarn and stitch markers and all kinds of things), as does Selma (clearly, since she now has her own podcast, and her own Etsy shop). We all have families and friends outside of each other, hobbies and activities that we don’t all participate in. We don’t live in each others’ back pockets. I have creative sides which are not tied to TTS, and I created this blog (and will be recording episodes of my own podcast once in a while) to reflect that. I’m not leaving Two Tangled Skeins, the whole point of doing this was to be able to KEEP doing TTS with Sue and also represent some of my other interests without side-tracking the podcast.

We’re all adults here. Rather than going through back channels and starting rumors (of which I’ve heard a couple so far – very creative!), can we just agree that if you have a question about my activities, ask me directly? I won’t be offended, I won’t be angry, and most of all, I won’t be annoyed because people are going behind my back. Sue and Selma have better things to do than deflect questions they don’t know the answers to 😉

Back to your regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow.

All my favorite things

I’ve been thinking about reviving my blog (which has barely been touched since 2015) for about six months now. But when I thought about it, I didn’t really feel that “The Blue Ceramic Mug” really had all that much to do with ME. I chose the name while frantically looking around my office, desperately trying to decide what to call my new blog. And my eye fell on a blue pottery mug on my desk. The photo of the blue and white mug on the site isn’t even what the mug looked like! (Sadly, the mug is long gone, so I can’t even show you.)

When I thought about what I really wanted to write about, it came down to a few things. Knitting, crochet, my tea obsession, what I’m reading, what I’m watching, and the podcast. I also like to share photos I’ve taken, and videos from new artists I have discovered (new to me, anyway). I cook, bake and can, and occasionally share recipes as well.

I’ll post here whenever there’s a new episode of Two Tangled Skeins to see, and occasionally, when I’m on my own, there may be episodes of The Wayward Skein (and now you know how I came up with the name!) I hope you enjoy the new blog, and welcome to my crazy life!

Mosaic