Bungee Fitness

I have found the funnest way to get some exercise!  It’s Bungee Fitness.  I found this place by chance, driving errands one day.  I’ve seen a video on youtube and it looked like so much fun.  We had our first class today and it was a blast!  We’ve signed up for more.

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Lindy, Lauren, and Tammy

I had a horrible neck injury 12 years ago from being hit from behind at a stop light.  It threw the soft spongy disc between the vertebrae into my spinal cord.  I was told that if I tripped or fell, I would be permanently paralyzed for the rest of my life.  It was a big deal.  It required neck surgery to fix it.  Long story short, I injured my neck again and damaged two other discs in my neck.  I was told never to exercise again other than walk.  Twelve years later and I have become a couch potato.  (always knitting, but in the couch nonetheless).

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This type of exercise is so easy on the joints!  I’ve had knee issues all my life and this did not hurt my knees at all!  I did a ton of squats today and no knee pain!   I’m overweight and out of shape.  This was the beginner class.  I had to stop and rest during the class.  It’s a real workout.  My face was red as a beet and my hair was all wet!  The girls were all sweaty too.  It’s a workout!

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This is Lindy and I after our workout!  Yes, I get extremely red in the face when I work out.  Lauren was worried, she thought I was going to die.  I was hoping the teacher wouldn’t get worried about me and make me stop or say something.  I just get really red in the face with a lot of exertion.

I am a clutz and a couple of times, I couldn’t do it, and just hung there for a second.  I messed up a lot.  It was a nice teacher and she encouraged us and I didn’t feel  self-conscious.  We all loved it and are going back for some more.  If it gets me off the couch,  helps me get healthier, and is fun to do then I’m all in!  If there is one in your area, you should try it too.   It’s also something fun to do with your family and friends.

 

Happy Knitting!

 

Tammy

George

Good Morning!  Fall has finally arrived here in Oklahoma.  I would like to introduce our newest family member, George, shown here with Luke.

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George is a Standard Poodle.  He will, one day, be the new dad to our Goldendoodles.

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Luke and I are playing with our neighbors here.  I wanted to show you Max.  Do you see where he is?   That cat!  He is so wonderfully weird!  I love him so!  He will sit in the stroller and take a walk with me and Luke.   Max loves this family.  He is often found hanging out with them.

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We drove to Missouri to get George.  He sat on my lap for the entire four hour trip!

I’m going to give a little dog advise.  When you are thinking of buying a dog, especially an expensive one, you need to pay attention to the parents.  Personalities and temperaments are passed down to the pups.  If you want to know what kind of puppy you are getting, pay attention to the parents!

Stitch Markers!

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I was really excited to show you all something neat I had discovered to save you all some money!   Turns out, I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Do you see the little tin with the gold metal stitch markers?  I bought a little bag online at a knitting store and paid about $9.00 for them.   I’ve tried all kinds of different stitch markers and these are my favorites.    I’ve been shopping in the bead/jewelry isle at the craft stores and found these metal colored rings for $2.99 (half price days $1.50).    The green and purple rings I found at a bead store in Colorado, they are the $3.50 ones.

I get really excited when I find great deals.  I thought I had discovered a knit hack and wanted to share with everybody.

I tried to find the website I purchased my $9 stitch markers and found them on KnitPicks for $1.99 for 100 of them!   WHAT!?!?!   How did I not find these before?  They are even cheaper than my great find.

Well, if you want a variety of colors with your stitch markers at an affordable price, go shop at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.  They have lots of different sizes and colors in the jewelry/bead isles.

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Here’s a quick peek at my current knitting project.   It’s my road trip project to Wyoming.  I’m almost done.  I fear I’m going to run out of the brown color for the last stripe!  I’m just going to use a different brown if I run out.  It’s a shawl if you can’t tell.  I will show you all soon when it’s done.

 

Wrap Bracelets

I brought home a new skill from Wyoming!  My sister-in-law, Christine was kind enough to show me how to make these leather wrap bracelets.   I love them!

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I’ve made two of them so far.  Actually, the one below is one that Christine gave me.

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Here is the other one I made.

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I do not like to sew.  I did sew my son’s nursery decor by myself; crib bedding, crib bumpers, and curtains.  I can sew.  I just do not enjoy it much.  I prefer knitting.  Hand sewing the beads on the leather bracelets is nice though.  I’m enjoying it.

I’m enjoying it so much, I’ve started a new stash.

It’s a beautiful day here and we’ve got three grandkids over playing today.  Currently, two of them are jumping on the trampoline with the kids next door.  One has gone home for a nap.

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This is the usual reaction to Len.  He is always making someone laugh out loud.

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Len gave the kids a ride in front of the house.  The other kids had helmets.  Luke was insistent for his turn too, so we had to give him a little ride.  No helmet, but going very slow and only as far as our neighbor’s house.

Happy Sunday!

 

Tammy

Baby Gramps Cardigan

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Isn’t this the cutest baby cardigan!  The pattern is even cuter.  I was in a hurry and left off the elbow pads and pockets.  Here is the link for the Gramps Cardigan

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Henry turned 8 months old last week.  He doesn’t even know how to crawl yet.  He’s at that stage where babies learn to get up on their knees.  He looks like he should be helping his Dad operate one of the heavy equipment machinery that he operates for his concrete business.  He is such a big baby.   My son, John, was always a big baby, top 95%, but Henry has got to have him beat.

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Funny side note here,  I hope it doesn’t embarrass Bailey, but it was charming and cute.  It was discovered that Bailey thought that Len was coloring his hair grey on the sides by using “A Touch of Grey”.  All these years, she believed that he colored the grey part of his hair grey to look distinguished.  It wasn’t until this visit she learned otherwise.

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This is Len when I met him.  He was trying to hide the grey side walls here.  Isn’t he handsome….  We were crazy about each other from day one.  Henry, his grandson, has his beautiful blue eyes.

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Luke has a Gramps Cardigan too.  This was fresh off the needles and I still need to sew the buttons on to be finished.  I’m going to give him the elbow pads and possibly the pockets.

We sure did miss Luke.  He gave me such affection when we got home.  He leaned his face into mine and gave me one of those wide mouthed, tongue out, wet kisses…allll over my face!  Then hugged me some more (and I was wondering if he would forget me).

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Max doing his usual “Vanna White” imitation showing off my knits.  Gramps Cardigan

Have a great week.

 

Tammy

Wyoming 2.0

Kirwin Ghost Town near Meeteetse, Wyoming.

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The kids took us hiking at an old deserted mining town.  It was last a booming little mining town in 1906.  I watch “Poldark” on PBS, so I was a little familiar with the mining towers.  (It’s a good show to binge watch by the way.)

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Trevor told us that a paranormal group came out and did a documentary on the ghost activity around here.   Happy to say, we did not run into any ghosts.

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Len, Trevor and Henry in front of a boiler in one of the mining towers.

Boiler and mining tower.  This is how they hauled gold up out of the mountains.  The town fell because they did not have a nearby railroad to transport goods.

I didn’t take a picture of the outhouse but it was interesting.  It was an outhouse, but one for several people at one time, like at a modern day public restroom with multiple stalls.  With all the wildlife around, I’m sure you had a potty buddy for safety reasons.

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Trevor and Henry taking a hike.  It was a beautiful day.

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Henry during one of our walks.  This is the corn field on the other side of the road from the pasture full of cows.

Bailey rescued this sweet little black kitten and it LOVES Henry!  They are so cute together.    Henry pulls at it’s ears and tries to eat the kitty and the kitty just purrs and rubs itself all over Henry.

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Henry and his dog Lucchese.  Bailey upgraded her Jeep to a family version (4 door).

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Len, Bailey, and Henry.  Check out Henry’s cardigan!  I know!  It’s so cute!  I can’t wait to show you!  I’ve had it done for a while, but I wanted to wait until Henry could wear it for pictures to show you.

On our way home, we stayed overnight in Colorado Springs, CO.  We were eating at a Mexican restaurant on the patio, and these critters showed up.

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This little guy got a little too close for my comfort.  He got right up under our table.  I was taking a picture with my phone and I guess he thought I was giving him food.  He got as close as his paws on the chair next to mine under the table.  He stared at me eye to eye and for a second, I thought he might go rabid and get me.  Just as a little fear hit me, he (or she) backed off and went on with their walk.

I found one of them up in a tree on our way out.

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I have lots more to share, but I don’t want to overwhelm you.  I will show and tell Luke and Henry’s cardigans next time.

Happy Fall Y’all

Tammy

 

Wyoming

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How about a little trip to Wyoming today?  We are visiting our daughter, Bailey, Trevor, and Henry in Wyoming.  We are in a pocket of paradise here.  We’re in a small farming town, the closest metro being 2 1/2 hours away.  We’re enjoying the heck out of Henry.  Len also likes to help Bailey with projects around the house, so were doing some of that too.

I’ve been taking Henry for walks down this little country dirt road behind a corn field.  One side is solid corn and the other is a field full of cows.  I’m sure nobody ever walks down this road!  I’ve seen the cows for 4 walks now.  They lift their heads, stare at us, moo a little bit, and that’s our walk.  Yesterday, I guess the cows got curious enough that they all came running over to see us.

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Imagine a huge herd of cows running over to you.  They have a little hot wire fence so the cows don’t stray.  I was so worried the cows were going to try and get through the hot wire to get to us, and they were all going to get shocked.  I guess they are familiar already with the fence as they stopped right at it.

 

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Look how cute they are!  They were all squeezing in to get a good look at us.

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These momma’s and their kids were checking out this grandma and her grandkid.  It was pretty neat.  I’m a city girl remember.  This is a real treat for me.

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Miss 423 here posing for her picture.

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They have all kinds of water collected from the snow coming from the mountains.  It’s beautiful fertile ground here.

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We stopped at The Big Texan on our way to Wyoming.  It’s in Amarillo, Texas.  Have you seen the movie, “The Guilt Trip” with Seth Rogan and Barbara Streisand?  It’s about a road trip with a son and his mother.  They have a scene where they stop at The Big Texan and Barbara Streisand’s character eats a free 72 oz steak dinner.  This is the place.  The staff wear cowboy hats and there is a singing cowboy that goes around and sings to your table.  I had a wonderful prime rib lunch for $14.00.   This will be our stopping place from now one.

 

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Happy Knitting friends.

I have road trip project I’m working on.  I’ll show you soon.  It’s a shawl.

Tammy

Sunday Gumbo

UHSUIMgfRKCgLnmFwXci9AI thought I would share my Gumbo experience with you.  My mother-in-law, Carol, gave me some of her fresh okra from her garden.  So I thought I would make some Gumbo.  I like to peruse the internet for various recipes, read the reviews, and then take from each recipe and make it my own.  The main recipe I learned from was Paula Deen’s Gumbo Recipe.

I am not a “follow the rules” exactly kind of girl.  I am, but, I’m not.   As far as recipes go, I am not.  I take recipes as suggestions.

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Bacon on the right. Stewing the okra with the tomatoes on the left.

I started with bacon.  I browned the bacon in the cast-iron Dutch oven.  I removed the bacon with a slotted spoon (to leave all the wonderful drippings behind.). Follow that by cooking the sausage.  You can use Andouille sausage, but I’m not crazy about it so I prefer the smoked sausage.  Once the sausage is done, remove it with the slotted spoon.  Gumbo is about using what’s in you pantry/refrigerator.  I found some fajita seasoned chicken strips and that’s what I added for the chicken.  Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken with the slotted spoon.

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I added some more olive oil to the drippings, about 2 TBS, added the butter, then sprinkled in the flour to make the roux.    The many reviews I read, warned repeatedly to not burn the roux!  If you burn the roux, throw it out and start over, or your Gumbo will be ruined!  Below left is how the roux looks like as you begin to stir.  Below right is when the roux is ready.  It takes about 10 minutes of constant stirring.

I’m stirring and stirring the roux so it won’t burn.  My wisk is a little wonkie.  Follow my advise and don’t be a cheapskate and buy a new wisk!  As I was standing there, constantly wisking the roux, it splashed up and hit my soft tender inner forearm skin.  I was able to grab a towel and wipe away the burning fluid.  As I wiped away the roux from my skin, I  notice the top layer of my skin went with it!  Second degree burns!  Mind you, I’m still stirring my roux!  I’m thinking I need to cool off this burn ASAP but my roux will burn!  It hurts REALLY bad!  I holler for Len to come help me.  He gets to the kitchen and I hand over my wisk and ask him to keep stirring the roux while I take care of my burn.  I cool off the burn and put the appropriate ointment on it and get back to my roux.

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It’s burning!  I can smell it!  I knew Len was watching me and not paying attention to my roux.   I quickly stir and stir my roux, hoping to save it.  I even passed a tear or two in grief over my possibly ruined roux.  I worked so hard at getting it just right and there is no way I’m starting over!  I either get nose blind to the burn smell or it recovers and stopped smelling burned.

I get my emotions together, it’s only food.  I was out of bell pepper, so my Gumbo is minus a main ingredient.  I also forgot the garlic.  Once my stew is at the simmer point, I added a few shakes of garlic powder to compensate.  One of the recipes I reviewed pretty much pureed the vegetable mixture – onion/celery/green pepper.  I didn’t want to do that so I finely diced my veggies.

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Diced vegetables added to the roux and cooked for about 10 minutes.

I also changed the tomatoes.  I used one can of diced tomatoes and one can of Rotel diced tomatoes.  My “hot” will come from the Rotel.   I also read to simmer the okra in the diced tomatoes first.  The acid in the tomatoes prevents the okra from getting slimy.

I obtained the flat leaf parsley from the small pot I have on the front porch.  Rinse off the parsley!  I didn’t rinse it well enough and cut up a small caterpillar.  Yes.  I know.  Totally grossed me out.  Even grosser, I found another caterpillar, this one intact.  I do believe I will be getting my herbs from the grocery store from now on.   I sure hope this Gumbo isn’t a disaster.  I’ve tried so hard.

 

I also messed up by putting in the green onions with the onion/celery/green pepper mixture at the beginning.  It cooked for a long time!  It would have been better if I had added it at the end with the shrimp. as instructed, in the original recipe.  Len gave it an 8 out of 10 star rating.  I bet the bell pepper and putting in the green onions at the end would up this rating to a 10 star.1bPI43aSSqeO8193ecoL1Q

My thoughts overall……it will be the once a year Gumbo I make when I get fresh okra from my mother-in-law’s garden.  It was really really good!  The flavor was rich and robust, the roux perfect.  The okra was not slimy at all.  I would definitely not scrimp on the shrimp.  I scrimped.  I thought I had plenty of meat so only one bag of shrimp was necessary.  Get 2 little bags or one big bag!  Add plenty of shrimp.

It was a nice Sunday afternoon, cook for hours, in the kitchen, kind of day.

Giggles and Laughs

If you’ve got a little over 1 minute, you should watch this funny video.  It will put a grin on your face!  We took Luke to Barnes and Noble and found this squirrel puppet.  Len doesn’t take very good pictures for some reason.  I occasionally will get a good photo.  Len looks good here.  What woman doesn’t make googlie eyes at a man when they are playing with her children…  I’ve watched this video about 20 times so far.

I’ve actually cleaned up my knit space this morning as my bulky yarn afghan is completed!  I’m off to block it now.

I’ve cleaned up my photos in my last post so you can see my knit space  in the clean organized manner it’s supposed to be.  So, if you’ve read my last post, check out the pics again.  I realized my photos “as-is”  was like going to Wal-mart in your pajamas so I cleaned up a bit and updated the blog post.

Here’s updated photos of my knit space cleaned up.  I told my husband the other day that I think we like the sunroom so much, because it’s like a tree house fort.  It’s rustic and completely surrounded in stained cedar, even the ceiling.  We have 4 huge windows (it’s a sunroom after all) and plants everywhere, outdoors and indoors.   I was looking around and realized it’s our tree house fort for adults, just not in a tree.   Cool.

 

I hope you have a smile on your face from Luke and Len and the squirrel puppet!

Happy Knitting friends!

Tammy

 

 

Mom’s Birthday

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We celebrated my mom’s birthday this weekend.  Many of you know her, but if you don’t, her name is Joy and she has a popular sewing blog: Joyful-Expressions.  She is a talented seamstress.  She makes her own clothes and she loves quilts like I love knitting.

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Lauren made Mom’s favorite cake, Boston Cream Pie.  She brought it to the restaurant and arranged for them to bring it to our table after dinner.  Lauren has never made this before.  It was amazing!  I think that is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen anybody do for a present.  I would never have thought to do that.  Red Rock Canyon is a nice restaurant, kudos to them for letting her do that.

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Len and myself at Lake Hefner.

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John, Lauren, and Luke

John is my oldest son.  He was the first out of three.  Do you ever look at your kids, and be amazed at how beautiful they are?  It never gets old.  From the day they are born, up util the present day, I’m always grateful and amazed at how beautiful they are. (Although, Luke slapping his spoon out of my hand and throwing baby food across the kitchen wasn’t so beautiful.  But that cute little grin and he’s immediately beautiful again).

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Dad, Mom, and Luke

Here’s my dad and mother and Luke.  Luke was super tired.  He had a big day out.

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John and Luke

You can’t see it here, but John has 2 crowns on his head.  That swirly part on the top back of your head.  You can clearly see one of them here in this photo.  His hair is laying over the other crown.   First thing I noticed when Luke was born was his double crown just like his dad.  I have no idea where it comes from.  John’s dad doesn’t have it.  No one in my family has it.

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Both John and Lauren have gone back to work since Luke’s been born.  I’m watching him now during the days.   Hence, a big reduction in my knitting time.  All perfectly fine with me.  It’s so hot here in OK.  August can be brutal for us.  We have to spray the concrete with water so it doesn’t burn our feet.  We were washing the car here and playing.  See, beautiful. 🙂

Happy Summer friends.   It’s been raining for hours and should continue for a while.  What a nice break from all this heat.

Tammy

Chicks that don’t knit.

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Black Cherry with her new hatchlings.

A part of “A Chick that Knits” comes from my love of animals.  Not only am I a chick (woman) that knits, but I love chickens.  We have a chicken coop and chickens.  My husband calls me a “slab baby” because I grew up on concrete (the city).  The first time I’ve ever seen a real chicken was when I was dating Len and he showed me his mother’s chickens.  That was only 14 years ago.  I was 35 years old.  I was so awed and impressed.  Have you ever looked at a chicken close up?  It’s really neat how the feathers grow in from their skin.  I was just amazed.

I had no idea how many variety of chickens existed.   Yes.  I’ve seen the rooster on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box and I’ve seen white chickens on TV, but, that was it.  That was my experience with chickens.  There are ALL kinds of chickens!  They are so beautiful.

Len built me a chicken coop and we purchased some chickens.  I picked the pot luck fancy chicken collection.  I had such fun watching those chicks grow up.  We even went to farm auctions to add to my chicken collection.  We bought these huge orange fluffy chickens at an auction once and were so excited for them to lay eggs.  After 3 years and no egg laying, we finally figured out they were roosters.  To be fair to ourselves, they didn’t look like roosters.  One of those bad boys was my first attempt to make chicken and dumplings from my own flock.  (The one and only time we ate one of our chickens)

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Our chicken coop in the back yard along with a smaller portable one for the babies.

Now our chicken coop is old and needs some work.  It’s still a great coop.  We made it from fence panels.  We drove by a house that was getting a new fence and they gave us the old fence panels.   We turned them on their side to make walls.  We also bought the door at a garage sale.  Len did buy the materials to make the roof.

We used to come sit outside and put our feet in a bucket of water and watch our chickens grow.  Once you have eaten fresh, organic, home grown eggs you will never want to eat grocery store eggs again!  I’ve gotten so much joy from our chickens.

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Black Cherry just hatched a flock of chicks!  These chicks are one day old.  Black Cherry is a black Cochin and is a great mother hen.  Our rooster is an Americana so our baby chicks are all mixed breeds.  We’re hoping for some interesting egg colors with the Americana and our various hens.

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Bella is mother hen to our last hatch of now “teenagers”.

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Harry Connick Jr is our rooster with his head down and plumes in the air on the right.

 

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I’ve been working on designing a blanket.  This is one of my gauge swatches.  I only have so much of the yarn I’m working with, so my blanket dimensions have to fit in with my yardage on hand.  The yarn I’m using has been discontinued, so I can’t just go out and buy more yarn.  I’ll post my pattern when I’m done.  It’s still in it’s creative process.

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This is the yarn I’m using for the blanket, De Aire by Plymouth Yarn, but in a different color.   This is a practice gauge to see how much an actual skein of yarn knits up.

I bet ya’ll have been missing Max.

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