Posted in knitting, Reading

My Top Binge-Worthy Movies and TV Shows

I’m want to share with you my top binge-worthy movies or TV Shows I can watch over and over again. Sometimes I find it’s hard to carve out the time to sit and knit on bigger projects. But it can be easier if you’re watching a great movie or TV show to sit and find a couple of quality hours knitting to your day.

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A Knight’s Tale

Perhaps the number one binge-worthy movie for my family is A Knight’s Tale. It is a romantic comedy set in medieval England. It stars some great actors; Heath Ledger, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany, and Alan Tudyk to name a few.

The story, in a nutshell, is about a man that takes advantage of a situation to change the projection of his life, win the heart of a woman, beat the bad guy, and all on his own terms. What great movie is ablut these things? But hthis story is loosely inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

For me, the cast of supporting actors makes this the great story it is. Specifically, with the addition of a character going by the name of Chaucer, played by Paul Bettany, this tale truly comes to life. It’s funny, heartwarming and has a great soundtrack. The sets and the costumes and the music, all lend themselves to a period drama yet adding a whimsical touch of contemporary flair making this a stand out movie for my whole family.

I’ve seen this about 100 times and could watch it 100 more!

A Knight’s Tale

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge is a musical set in the Red Light district in Paris 1899. SO scandalous! The main characters are played by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor who are not singers, this really adds to the sweet vulnerability of their characters. Although I believe that they did some training to sing for this movie, and they basically sing the whole movie.

In this story, the girl is promised to marry a Duke but loves another. They secrectly plot to be together. But of course, it is never simple. There’s a bigger secret lurking in the background that cannot be hidden forever.

The soundtrack for this is fabulous, Some of the greatest songs ever, adjusted to suit each scene making them feel new. The songs are perfectly chosen, doing a great job of explaining the feelings these characteristics are experiencing every step of the way. All the costumes are beautifully detailed. I like the vibe of this movie as it is set up to feel as if you were watching a play.

Moulin Rouge

Pride and Prejudice

There are a few adaptations of Pride and Prejudice. However, the only one to make it to my top list of binge-worthy, has to be the BBC mini-series. You know the one with Colin Firth. It is by far and away the best version. It’s approximately 6 hours of glorious knitting time! Would this be a binge-worthy movie or tv show? I think it had aired on PBS the first time I watched it. Every time my son Tim asks me my favorite movie, I always answer Pride and Prejudice.

This is based on one of Jane Austin’s most loved books also named Pride and Prejudice. Worth the read if you’ve never actually read the book.

Pride and Prejudice is about a boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love story. But it has so much more substance than that. The characters are endearing and are so ridiculous at times. I love the relationships explored in this story. For example, the relationship between the two oldest sisters, Elizabeth and Jane. I love how the characters of their mom and dad play off each other. And of course, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

To be honest, I really just think Colin Firth as Mr.Darcy is so dreamy. He’s reserved and expects so much of himself, always putting what he thinks is best for his family first. Watch it. You won’t be sorry.

Pride and Prujudice

Harry Potter anything

I would be remiss not to include this on any top binge-worthy movies and TV shows list. And you probably don’t need to me to tell you who or what Harry Potter is.

However, the story of Harry Potter is timeless and appropriate for all ages. It’s about the underdog winning the day, good guys vs. bad guys, THe relationships and superb characters are so well developed, with flaws and all, which makes them so real. Stories and backstories and then you can’t help but mix in your own wishes for their future. It’s a recipe for success, and there’s real magic, unless you are a muggle.

Harry Potter Audio Book

As I said you already know all about Harry Potter. So instead I want to make sure you about the wonderfulness of audiobooks of the Harry Potter series. And audiobooks and knitting are a perfect fit.

Let’s talk about the narrator, Jim Dale. He has had a varied career, acting, directing, singing and composing. He probably is an excellent dancer, too, but don’t quote me on that.

As Jim is narrating this story you feel as if there are a whole cast of actors working with him. Drawing you into the story as if for the first time. I know for me I didnt want to stop listening. As a side note, this is an excellent long car ride audiobook for everyine!

Jim Dale takes each character and creates a voice that weaves it’s own magic into your heart all over again. When Jim speaks as Hagrid, for example, you get the sense of Hagrid’s great half giant size, his sweet disposition and great love for strange animals. Professor Umbridge really becomes Professor Umbridge! You cannot imagine her any other way than the Jim Dale way ever again.

I’ve listened to all of these books more than once, probably as many as 10 times honestly. I bought them all on cassette and again on CD because I can’t imagine my life without this audio version of my favorite book series turned favorite movie series! And I have also borrowed the audio files from my library to listen to via my phone. It’s just that good.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Pushing Daisies

Speaking of Jim Dale, have you seen Pushing Daisies? This is a great TV show with some big hitters from the stage. Also, this happens to be narrated by Jim Dale!

This show has been underrated in the mass market world in my opinion. It has terrific costumes and very colorful sets. Not to mention is also has bursts of Musical Flair, sung by the fabulous Kristin Chenoweth. My favorite character is the no-nonsense detective played by Chi McBride, who also just happens to be a knitter!

The show is about Ned, who has a special gift to bring something back to life by touching it. Of course, this gift has ramifications of the deadly kind. In between baking pies, Ned hooks up with a detective and they go on adventure filled crime-solving sprees.

This show only has two seasons but with great characters, matched with amazing costumes and colorful sets, you can’t go wrong. And as a said quite a few broadway actors that are always worth watching.

In fact, come on over right now and let’s watch it together while we knit! I’ll go pull out the DVDs right now.

Pushing Daisies

One more binge-Worthy TV show

Outlander is a Starz tv series based on a book series by Diana Gabaldon of the same name. The first book specifically in the series is Outlander, There are 8 full books and several novellas featuring secondary characters in the books. The books on their own are amazing I can’t encourage you enough to go read them. I realize the books are on the large side, especially considering there are 8, but they are so worth the read.

Back to the show Outlander. Outlander begins in England just as WWII is coming to an end. As you are getting to know the main two characters, Clair and Frank Randall, something unbelievable happens. Clair unwittingly falls through a rock and back in time over 200 years! I know what your thinking. I’m not into all that time travel stuff. Trust me, this is neither here nor there. Clair has to find her way through this new world and navigate some really traumatic events. While Clair is finding her way in the 18th century you will fall in love right along with her. The characters come right from the author’s imagination into a charming mix of fiction and real-life people keeping you captivated every step of the way.

The transitions this shows directors create between the two different time frames is flawless at propelling the story forward and back in a way that feels to organic.

Another amazing transition can be found in how Tobias Menzies portrays both Jonathan Wolverton Randall and Frank Randall. He manages to make you love one as much as you hate the other. He is so good. And don’t we all love to hate the bad guy!?!

Even if you haven’t read the books I highly recommend this show. Outlander has something for everyone, a love story, some fiction grounded in true history, fighting and humor. There currently are 4 seasons and even though the show veers from the books some it stands aloneand is excellent.

January Gansey Sweater that I’m so ready to finish.

top binge-worthy movies or TV Shows #knitting #binge-worthy #TV #movies #tvshows #movie #pushingdaises #harrypotter #jimdale #aknightstale #prideandprejudice #janeausten #moulinrouge #musical

Which of my top binge-worthy movies or tv shows have you seen? Find a new one and then watched it? Let me know if you have one I should add to my must binge-watch list!

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Happing binging and knitting.

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Posted in knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

Knit this adorable Baa-ble hat

Have you seen or knit this adorable Baa-ble Hat yet? It came out a few years ago for Shetland Wool Week in 2015. Many people knit it. People all over the world in fact.

knit baa-able hat #knitting #fairisle #fairisleknitting #colowork #strandedknitting #donnasmith #baablehat #shetlandwoolweek
Photo Credit Donna Smith via Ravelry pattern

If you haven’t knit this hat yet definitely add it to your must-knit list. You will be in good company. As of this writing, there are 9072 projects listed on Ravelry for this adorable Baa-ble hat. However, they aren’t all hats. The chart from this has been worked into so many other items. Obviously, there are lots of hats, but there are also socks, cowls, and sweaters to give you an idea. The chart itself as exploded into its own identity. There’s white, black, brown, and even rainbow sheep. People have added a Llama in place of one sheep and I’ve even seen a sheep-dog join the sheep.

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Posted in Chickens, Homesteading, Other Crafts

Egg-tastic- How I Present My Eggs For Selling

How I Present My Eggs For Selling

Egg-tastic – How I present my eggs for selling is all about the packaging. Earlier I told you about my love for good packaging. The last couple of weeks I’ve been working to come up with great packaging for the eggs I sell. I think I nailed it and it’s egg-tastic!

chickens with fresh eggs

Previously sister-in-law, Ruth, and her husband gathered an entire box full of recycled egg cartons. And they brought them to me when they visited last November. Ruth was also very excited to gather the eggs every day. She defintly had a serious case of chicken fever.

Egg Cartons

The most important supply is the previously mentioned recycled egg cartons. I have many. Which is a good thing. I did sort through them and chose the ones I like the best. There are two styles I prefer.

Continue reading “Egg-tastic- How I Present My Eggs For Selling”
Posted in Holidays, Nature, Other Crafts, Reading

Packaging – It’s in the details

I’m a sucker for good packaging.

When it comes to packaging, for me, it’s in the details. The quality of any item is instantly elevated when you have good graphics and a pretty package. It is my opinion that anticipation is the best part, gift wrapping adds a special part to that.

For the style of packaging I prefer repurposed, hand wrapping, and a touch whimsy with a historical feel. And if I am being honest, even if it’s just the illusion of those things, it’s good.

If I personally purchased an item and it arrives prettily packaged it feels special. Like I received a gift from the seller, not just a product. Good packaging also encourages me to purchase from the seller again. Susannah’s Kitchen on Etsy is really good at packaging. I love her aprons and wear one most days, I’ve ordered no less than 5 aprons from her, the product is good on its own. The aprons arrive perfectly pressed, are handmade to order, and each package comes in a uniquely sized box and that is wrapped like a gift. But truly, I’m telling you, every detail is pure perfection. I wish I had photographed one when I opened it to share the magic with you.

It’s better to give than recieve

Not only do I like to receive good packaging, but I like to create good packaging. Recently I shared my Halloween goodies that were handed out at Trunk-or-Treat. These are a great example my joy in creating good packaging. And, I theme never hurts.

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Posted in Instagram, knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

River of Dreams

Don’t talk to me until I’ve had coffee

The first thing I do in the morning is let out the chickens and clean the coop. Then coffee. Always coffee. River of Dreams is perfect to knit while my brain is absorbing caffeine from the coffee to wake up. Usually, I have Instagram stories playing. I knit about 10-12 rows a day. true too, is i move a little slow in the mornings. So now you can understand why it’s taking so long to finish.

You will remember from previous posts, the pattern River Of Dreams by Lauren Rene, was written in conjunction with the anniversary of LYS Flying Needles. I love that this shawl has a playful mix of colorful stripes throughout. The yarn I’m using was a kit from the shop created for this shawl. It also included an exclusive color, River Of Dreams, there are five colors in all. I’d say I’m about 75% done with my shawl.

Some changes I incorporated

I decided to work a garter stitch border rather just Stockinette as the pattern is written. I knit 10 rows of Garter giving me 5 ridges, then 5 stitches of Garter on each end. It’s my preference that the edges to lay flat. Which is why I went with the garter stitch border.

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Posted in Gardening, knitting, Ravelry knit projects, Shopping, Williamsburg, VA, yarn

Wool Sweaters

I haven’t knit myself a sweater since 2017. I felt this needed to be remedied. So I joined the Olive Knits January Gansey Sweater knit along.

JanGan2_sm_medium2
Photo credit to OliveKnits, Marie Greene from Ravelry

The January Gansey Sweater is a pattern written by Olive Knits. There is a KAL group on Facebook and on Ravelry where people are sharing and asking questions. There also are weekly videos discussing the technical aspects of this sweater hosted by Marie Greene of OliveKnits. as luck would have it there happen to be a few other people besides myself making this sweater at the LYS, Flying Needles. I’ve chosen to knit mine with Berroco Ultra Wool DK in a pretty moss green color. I’m using the color #83118 in the dye lot of 7C4778. I’m modifying where I start the cables to what I feel will suit my charming Apple Shape a bit better, but otherwise will be following the pattern.

I chose this specific knit along because it included a technique I always wanted to try, underarm gussets. I would not be surprised if you just read that last sentence and it didn’t even sound like a real thing. Underarm Gusset, indeed. I assure you, all the non-knitters and knitters alike, that it is indeed real and it’s a very old and useful technique.

A Gansey or Guernsey Sweater is a traditional woolen knit sweater often worn my fisherman. Now, I’m not a fisherman, but I will be wearing this sweater. And, I do enjoy learning about historical clothing, especially when it also incorporates knitting.

IMG_8952

As I was working along on my sweater it occurred to me it might be a good time to also go ahead and strip off the lavender flowers from the bouquet I bought at the Williamsburg Farmers Market this fall and make new sachets. While doing this I took this opportunity to add a couple drops of Lavender essential oil to some of the older lavender sachets I had made in the past. I now have freshly protected drawers in which I can store my sweater once I finish it.

I have six or so sweaters I’ve knit and a dresser full of other things knit. Mostly I knit with wool so protection against moths is really important.

So for the next week, I expect I’ll be plugging along on the stockinette body of my January Gansey Sweater. This will have the added bonus of making the fussy cabled section to be minimal. Allowing me to focus on my two oldest sons, Charlie and Ricky,  while they are here for a visit. They will be here this coming weekend. I am very much looking forward to seeing them.

IMG_1537

I will be starting the cables a few inches before the underarm gusset. I expect both these things will require my undivided attention. And in truth, I really want to give my boys my undivided attention, too. So I may have to set the sweater aside when I get to this point. Good thing I have several other projects I can knit as a back-up. You can never be too prepared.

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Wool Sweaters #protectwool #woolprotection #lavender #lavendersachets "lavenderesstionaloil

Happy knitting.

Short and Sweet

I’m not really the type to set New Year’s resolutions. I always want to be working on bettering myself and our quality of life. I know I need to do things like exercise more, eat healthily and be more patient, always.

So rather than specifically have a resolution here are the things I want to focus on;

  • make the most of our acre and grow food, and actually eat it
  • shop local
  • focus on getting chemicals and toxins out of my life, that means you too, diet Pepsi
  • find my people, I’ve been a hermit this past year
  • blo more

In a nutshell, we are already planning what we want to grow, will refocus on shopping places like the local farmers market and the newly opened Earth Fare, clean up our eating with help from the previous two, and put myself out more in the knitting world and visit my family.

Short and sweet with the intent of accountability. Next time I’ll tell you a bit about my nephew’s visit with my mom. Anthony, too, is a huge fan of our chickens.

Until then I’m off to measure my gauge swatches on my January Gansey for the knit along I joined.

Happy Knitting, gardening, cooking or whatever brings you joy.

Posted in Christmas, Holidays, knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

Bountiful Snowflakes

We had our first snow of the season last Sunday. It didn’t begin to stick until we had a few inches. So even though we had about four inches it was rather sparse on the ground. It was still beautiful.

The previous day Chuck had trimmed some holly bushes and I used the trimmings to add into the pots and window boxes to bring some Christmas cheer to the curb appeal of our house.  

I knew I wanted to add some pine branches in and I considered picking some up when we were at Sam’s Club but I really didn’t want to pay for them. We have many Pine trees in the neighborhood and I thought I might ask one of the neighbors if I could trim some branches from theirs. As luck would have it, with the weight of the snow there were several downed branches from pine trees laying around on the sides of the road. Tim and I stopped and pick up several of the smaller ones. I popped them in the pots with the Hollys and I love how they look.


Let’s talk about a different type of snowflakes. Crocheted snowflakes! I purchased some of these charming snowflakes in the past at craft fairs in New Mexico. I previously hung them, with my particularly tall daughter’s help, from the sky light over our kitchen island. In our new house I needed a new way to display them. I decided to hang them from the window valance in our main living room. it has a large picture window and looks over our backyard. I had the perfect amount for that window. I hung them with command hooks and fishing line. They are so enchanting here. I really wanted to hang them from all our windows! But I didn’t have a source to purchase them here in Virgina.

Now you must understand that I don’t really crochet.I’m really just a knitter. In fact I thought I was rather terrible at crochet. But I started researching for some patterns. I thought if I could fund some simple ones at least I’d give it ago. I came across this book on Ravelry, 100 Snowflakes. I was able to find it for purchase on Amazon and immediately ordered it.

Much to my surprise its very well written. It has written patterns as well as charted patterns for each snowflake. There pictured steps of each crochet stitch in the beginning of the book for quick reference. The snowflakes are grouped by Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. I began with Snowflake #1 and have currently worked through Snowflake #48. I’m proud to say my crochet skills have grown as I’ve moved through the book. I’m using Aunt Lydia’s #10 crochet thread and a size US 6 crochet hook.

This was an earlier one and I missed three of the loops in the final round.

In order for the snowflakes to really shine they need to be blocked with starch. Starch is surprisingly hard to find now a days. I looked at both Target and Walmart. There was spray starch but I needed the liquid kind so I could soak each snowflake and then pin it out. Amazon to the rescue. I ended up ordering Aleene’s Starch from Amazon. This is the exact starch suggested in the book. 

Today I started blocking the snowflakes. It’s going to take a few rounds as I don’t have enough T-pins. I used some push pins put that doesn’t work as well since I can’t see the finer details because the pins take up more the visual space.

It’s been fun and I want to make all 100! I’m not sure that will happen before this Christmas because I just purchased a Snowman pattern by Susan B. Anderson that I really would like to work on. 

Very exciting! 

Happy Knitting! Or Crocheting as the case may be. 

Posted in knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

Begin again when you End

If you give a mouse a cookie and all, then if you finish a shawl, you will probably begin a shawl. At least that is what I did. 

I just finished the Maighdeann-ròin, the Seal Maiden, by Nat Raewulf.  I made my with three colors, one was a lovely salmon pink tonal and the other two both had this color but one was mostly grey with speckles and the other pink, white and black. I typically am a matchy-match girl when it comes to colors so throwing in the mostly grey skein was a bit out of my comfort zone. I should clarify it’s not that it doesn’t match exactly……More that it evokes a different feeling. I’m not really explaining it right. I typically would have chosen a tonal in another solid color. Perhaps it that I would never have put the grey with the black together. I was really drawn into that grey one with how the yellow pops against the pink.

And here’s the thing. Now that the shawl is finished I actually really like the grey one better than the black, pink and white skein. So now the odd one out feels like its no longer the  grey but instead the black. Funny how that happens.  

Overall, I really like the finished shawl. I like the way the long tails curly-cue. I so wish I add made the picot edge more pronounced, it seems to need a more substantial defining edge. I used the backwards edge cast on and it wasn’t a good choice. I may go back and remove this and redo it but in reality of taking time to do this I probably will not.  

I said you finished a shawl, and this was the one, you also will start a shawl. 

That is this one. It is The River of Dreams by Lauren Rene. This shawl was specially designed for the LYS store, The Flying Needles, anniversary. I also got a special color way dyed yarn made just for this shop. The shawl uses 5 colors. Mine starts with a darker blue-turquoise working through to lighter and lighter turquoise to mostly white. I thought the blues was a nice choice for a shawl with river in the name.

The shawl is a big rectangle with a panel of lace and faux cables. I haven’t made a rectangle shawl in awhile so it will be nice for tv watching as there wont’t be any changes in stitch count. 

I haven’t shown you a competed picture go my Magic Stripes scarf finished so I’m popping one here.

I’m off to knit while we watch some Netflix.

Happy knitting. 

Posted in Chickens, Gardening, Home, knitting

Extra time to Knit

Around here there seems to be an abundance of yard work. Having an acre of land can be rather daunting. Especially having spent the last 8 years in the desert. Though we made plenty of garden space with raised beds and lots of flower pots we did have rocks instead of grass. Not cutting grass for so long has significantly skewed my perspective on the amount of time it takes for this task.

No grass gives you more leisure time for sure. This is our yard in NM. You cannot believe the difference of dry heat vs humid heat if you haven’t actually experienced it.

I told Max, whose responsibility it is to weed whack, that it would take me around an hour to cut the front yard. Here’s where my skewing comes in. It took me about three hours in reality! And mind you I have a riding lawnmower. Previously, Chuck or Max have taken turns at doing this job. I was relegated to this task as it’s currently one of the few I’m “allowed” to do.

A calming view of my grassless NM yard. I was probably knitting while not cutting grass here.

 

What do I mean “allowed?” Well, apparently, I’ve broken my foot bones in three places. I wasn’t even aware I broke anything.  I knew it hurt, particularly when walking on uneven ground or up and down hills and such. Some days it really hurt and others it wasn’t noticeable.

 

 

Until one day at Tim’s therapy, where I was sitting waiting for him, I dropped my kindle. I leaned forward to pick it up and I guess I put weight on my foot just right and had such a sharp pain for a second I thought I might pass out! I definitely saw stars. I set up a Podiatrist appointment that day.

After seeing the dr, and getting X-rays, it was clear I had two very significant fractures in the bone second from the left with a hairline crack in another. It was concluded that between the pain meds I’m on for Fibromyalgia and not having any initial swelling or bruising I didn’t realize it had happened.  [It’s most likely happened when I stepped wrong on a tree root raised above the ground. Probably the very one I asked Chuck to cut off that was by the chicken coop, since I always was tripping on it.] The powers that be must have decided to give me a wake up call. Saving the bones from actually breaking off by the continued stress of walking on them and therefore preventing the need for a surgery.

Our front yard in VA is  actually larger than our backyard.(The backyard has been assigned as such only because it’s the fenced in part of our acre)

So, now I have a ugly, heavy, hot, robotic-like boot I have to wear for at least 6 weeks. And orders to stay off my foot whenever possible. Which as it turns out has been a real challenge for me, I’m not a very good patient.

But it is not so bad if I look at it from the point of how much time this leaves for knitting. And Chuck, being a great support, is doing a lot of the work I usually do and both boys are helping out, too.

And I have been doing lots of knitting. With each row I knit on my shawl I gain more and more stitches. Thus, each row requires more and more time to knit. I think that I’m winning. I’ve been powering through the Hydrangea Shawl like a beast. I’m now fully into color 4 of 5. While my shawl is clearly getting more blue as I switch through the colors I think my Hydrangeas are also getting bluer with the addition of fertilizer and the rusty things I’ve added around it. (Plus I’m saving all the coffee grounds in order to spread around the roots on my SIL, Carolyn’s, recommendation.)

What do you think? Are the flowers turning blue? Right at the centers I think.

 

Happy knitting.

An unnecessary chicken picture, Ida and Gertie.