My Swallowtail Lace Shawl

I found this free pattern on Ravelry and it looked interesting.  Enough changes are in the pattern to keep it from becoming boring.

It does require one to pay attention to what you are doing.  It is not mindless knitting by any stretch of the imagination.   I did read many of the notes left by others and the one complaint, if you will, were the nupps.  I found them not to be a problem, but I attributed that to my ChiaoGoo Red Lace circular needles.  The points are very sharp on these needles which allows you to make the nupps without much difficulty.  I also created the nupps and then knitted them together through the back loop before continuing on with the row.  It was just easier for me to do it that way, than to purl 5 stitches together on the wrong side row.  But there are several YouTube videos on how to execute a nupp.

For this project I used Chroma Worsted in New Leaf and size US 9 needles.

mss 1 a

mss 4 a

mss 3 a

ETA:  I would suggest using a lifeline through out the knitting of this shawl as it is a royal pain in the ass to tink back when you make a mistake.  And, believe me, you will make a mistake, everyone does.  It is so much easier to frog back to a certain point (the lifeline)  than it is to tink back a row or two to correct a mistake.

Planning for Cold Weather

When you tell folks you live in Florida, they think beaches and constant sunshine.  They don’t think about rainy days, thunder, lightening or even cold weather.

Yes, in the northern part of Florida, we have cold weather.  It’s a different kind of cold, though.  It’s damp and seeps into your bones.  The chill just never goes away.

Anyway, I am preparing for that cold weather when I walk my dog this winter.  I made a wool hat, wool mittens and wool cowl.  I may make my dog a sweater or maybe just get a sweatshirt from the Goodwill and “adjust” it to fit her.

B 1a This photo shows the completed mittens and the hat in progress.

B 2a And this shows the cowl, hat and mittens completed; all made with wool.

These should help with the cold and chill this winter.

ETA:  OMG!  How could I forget!?!?!?!  For those of you who knit, this Baa-ble Hat is a free pattern on Ravelry.  I used the graph to add the sheep to the mittens and the cowl.  The mittens are basic mittens (c/o of 40 sts; US 4 needles) and the cowl uses the same number of stitches as the hat, after the increase (120 sts); only it is knit on larger needles (US 9).

Animal Attack!

Yesterday evening, youngest and I (and Bella, my dog) took a 2 mile walk around our neighborhood.

While out on the road Bella kept turning around looking at something behind us. She is very protective of us.

Son spotted what it was and went to investigate.  This little thing tried to climb his pants leg.  We checked with houses around there to see if they owned him. But were told “No”.

I remembered seeing a “Free Kittens” sign the other day, but it was gone last evening.

Anyway, this little guy followed him home.  Son did try to leave him, but he would have none of that.

I feared for his safety. He is so little and we have quite a few hawks in this area.

Here is a couple of pictures of this little guy.

LF 1

That is my oldest cat, Momma Kitty. She is 18 years old.

LF 2

This is him trying to climb up my pants leg.

Age is Relative

The other day hubby and I went to Krystal to get lunch.  He wore his Vietnam Vet baseball cap, like he does most of the time when we are out.

We ordered our food and I took out my wallet to pay, while hubby got us a table.  The young lady behind the counter asked me to tell hubby “Thanks for his service to our country.”  Then she asked if I knew him while he was serving in Vietnam.  I told her I met him AFTER he returned.

It wasn’t until later that day that I realized how she perceived us….that little “old” couple who came in for lunch.

I laughed a bit at that thought because I don’t see myself or hubby as “old”.  I’m 64 and he is 66.  I am active.  I walk my dog daily.  I go on short hikes with my sons.  We visit historical sites and wander all over those places.  We visit zoos and state parks. We work in the yard.

So what I’m trying to say is Age is Relative.  Granted I don’t see or hear as well as I did when I was younger.  I also have Asthma and high cholesterol, but I’m not going to let those minor annoyances stop me from doing what I want to do when I want to do it.

So here’s to age, perception and relativity.


Pollen, Humidity, Allergies, Asthma and Determination

I slacked off this past winter on my walking.  So started back in on the treadmill in March, but really not exerting myself.  Found out rather quickly when I took a couple of outside hikes that this year is going to be a little tough on me.

The pollen count is way higher than it has been in the past couple of years and the humidity drains your energy.  My allergies are over active and I’ve had a few minor asthma flare ups.

So on one of my routine visits to my doc, he suggested I use my inhaler PRIOR to hiking and take an antihistamine. Just have to find one that doesn’t knock me out.

Anyway, I’ve been doing more walking outside, through my neighborhood.  My normal walk is 1.2 miles and takes me about 30 minutes with my dog.

Today, I tried a different route.  It is longer (1.6 miles and 43 minutes) and a good portion of it is uphill.  WOOHOO!  I made it around.  I did use my inhaler prior to the walk and was only huffing and puffing on the uphill part.

Now the kicker will be to do this walk on a regular basis.  Wish me luck.


5/22/2015 UPDATE:  I am managing to do this walk at least 4 x a week.  Already planning a new, longer route for the future.

5/28/2015 UPDATE:  Walked 1.9 miles today in 39.03 minutes. WooHoo! Getting a little better.

Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site

Youngest and I went on a short hike at Arcadia Mills Archaeological Site.  It is open sunup to sunset and is free to the public. (except for guided tours).

A lot has changed since we were last here.  There used to be one boardwalk area, then a footpath on somewhat rough terrain and a scare the hell out of you suspension bridge over the creek.  That has all been replaced with a boardwalk and steel and wood bridge over the creek.  There is still a short footpath of about 1/2 mile.  We trekked it all today.

AM 1AM 2 AM 3AM 4 AM 5 AM 6AM 10 AM 9 AM 8 AM 7AM 11 AM 12 AM 13 AM 14AM 15 AM 16 AM 17

Perdido Bay Trail

This past Sunday I agreed to go on a 7+ mile hike with my youngest son.  I figured with me walking on the treadmill for an hour a day and walking the dog, I would be prepared for this hike.  I also figured it would take us about 3 hours max. It took us 5.5 hours…not what I expected.

I was SO WRONG!!!  After about 2.5 to 3 miles, fatigue set in.  I had to take frequent rest breaks.  I had episodes of shortness of breath which I attributed to the heat and humidity.  I drank lots of water, but still felt wiped out for the remainder of the trail.

I did manage to finish, thanks to the patience and encouragement of my son.  And, yes, I am going to do the trail again….when I am better prepared.  I plan to utilize shorter trails until this coming fall when I will again attempt this trail.

I did manage to get some photos of our trek.  There were places with standing water that we had to either walk through or find a way around.  Part of the trail passes the beach and part is a savannah like area…grasses and pine trees and no shade.  There were tons of tadpoles, baby toads and adult toads along the way.  And, of course, way too many gnats, mosquitoes, and no see ’ems flying around, biting and sucking blood.

ETA: Pay careful attention to your clothing.  Wear lightweight, comfortable clothing.  I wore jeans and a t-shirt.  The t-shirt was fine, but after a couple of hours the jeans felt like they weighed a 100 pounds.  And use an insect repellant and a sunscreen.  I did have on my Tilly hat which protected my face and neck.

PT 1 PT 2 PT 3 PT 4 PT 5 PT 6 PT 7 PT 8 PT 9 PT 10 PT 11