Well, it’s the last day of my week-long break from the college.  It’s always a huge disappointment when a vacation is over.  I was shocked at how run down I was after the last few semesters, and I needed  a good week to recover, so I spent my week doing a whole lot of nothin’. 

Even so, there is a part of me that is ready for vacation to end.  Somehow, I seem to get along better when I am busy and continuously occupied.  I plan to remind myself of this discovery when I inevitably reach that point in the middle of the upcoming term when I begin to feel crushed by deadlines and responsibilities, and I’m convinced that the solution to it all is more time off. 

I think that my dog Flash must know that today is the last day of my break.  He spent most of the day outside on the deck, refusing to come in. 

HandsomeflashCut

He and my other dog enjoyed having me around all week, and since I was in need of a rest, I was home with them most of the time, knitting, working on the lawn and watching movies.

 

I did make a quick trip out to the Menards store in a neighboring town this morning.  I really like Menards, and our old store was closed at the end of last summer in order for a new, larger version to be opened a few blocks away.  I was needing some grass seed and some wood stove pellets, so I thought I would make a quick trip.  It was my first time shopping in the new location, and I was totally unprepared for what I was about to walk into. 

The new store is two floors, connected by these giant, escalator-style ramps that shoppers, along with their shopping carts, can ride on up and down the levels.  I have never seen anything like it.  At the top of the escalator ramps, in between the one carrying people up, and the one carrying people down, was a live pianist, playing the piano!  The store also has a metal and glass, tubular elevator running up and down between the floors, carrying shoppers, again with their carts, to their destinations.   

The amount of money that must have gone into all of that has got to be staggering.  I really don’t get it.  I just wanted grass seed and it didn’t make much sense to me to that I had to ride in an elevator that looked like a space ship in order to get it,  while being serenaded by the stylings of a live pianist.  If Menards doesn’t know what to do with all of its money, they can give some to me…

 

Switching gears:

I was perusing some of my favorite knitting blogs in the last few days (something I haven’t had much time to do until my recent break).  Wendy of wendyknits.net just finished an awesome cowl called Foolproof, named for its amazing, novel, and unique construction.  Foolproof is a no cast-on, no bind-off, no seaming pattern that ends up a beautiful, intact cowl with a striped sequence pattern by the time you knit the last stitch.  I’m obsessed with the pattern after seeing Wendy’s completed cowl, so I purchased the pattern, and now I just have to decide on yarn.  I want to knit it in fingering weight, and I need two complementary colors. 

What’s even better is that Foolproof is knit in garter stitch, which will make for easy, mindless knitting now that I will be back to work.  It’s perfect!

I have completed a ton of projects in the last two weeks:  experimental felt bowls, hats, two bags, kitchen towels and pot holders.  Most of it has been for the Etsy shop, and it has been great fun. 

This is my absolute favorite bowl that I made by felting wool and mohair.

This is my absolute favorite bowl that I made by felting wool and mohair.

 

Cute cotton towels made from an awesome free striped towel patten from Lion Brand Yarns.

Cute cotton towels made from an awesome, free, striped towel pattern from Lion Brand Yarns.

I do still have some larger projects of my own on needles all around the house, too.  Off the top of my head, I can think of a pair of striped socks (almost done!), my Leaf Scarf, a sweater that I don’t think I have mentioned once here on the blog – but it’s nearly 3/4 finished and seems to be turning out well, and that second pair of Chivalry mitts that is a bit more than half way done.  So much knitting!

Chivalry mitts pattern: two years ago, I finished the fist mitt of this pair...

Chivalry mitts pattern: two years ago, I finished the fist mitt of this pair…

In other news, my sister has requested a pair of Angora mittens for her upcoming birthday, and I already purchased the yarn:  Kollage yarns Scrumptious in the colorway Key Lime.  The fiber content is 70% Angora and 30% silk.  I think that the yarn has been discontinued completely, so Web’s has it on closeout. 

It appears that one of the last spring break activities that I will be engaging in tonight (my last night before going back to work) will be breaking out the swift and winding several skeins of yarn… but first, I will go feed two hungry dogs who are waiting for their dinner.

~Happy spring! 

Baby robbins in my evergreen bushes!

Baby robbins in my evergreen bushes!

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