Knitter’s Tea Garden Shawlette

I saw some of these yarn balls in cups when I was in Duluth with Jeanne but they didn’t have any colours that inspired me. I saw this Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet Transitions colourway when I was in Athena Yarns in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and it came home with me.

I took me quite a long time to work out what I was going to make with it. Or drape Katerina with.

Katerina is quite approving. It was only after lots of looking at Ravelry queues and seeing what other people had made, I settled upon the Afternoon Tea pattern.

It gets a high approval rating – two kittens! Two kittens is a pretty big deal round here.

Sock Kitten Love Part 2

It is hard work trying to knit with kittens.

Especially when you have just had one bite your toe when trying to remove the sock on your foot!

Claude is rather partial to the Bergere Goomy 50

Very partial. This was taken just before he grabbed hold of the yarn and ran for it. (Not the first incident)

Katerina is also fond of yarn. Oh what is a knitter to do!

Zip up the project bag or we have more yarnbombing!

I managed to knit most of this pair whilst out and about or whilst they were napping!

I feel they have taken quite an interest in these! And they won’t stop liking yarn any time soon!!

On the road – Day 1 St Paul, MN to Mitchell, SD

It had long been a wish for me to finish the road trip that I’d been on with Eileen which was cut short so quickly by being hospitalised with pneumonia. When we were thinking about what we were going to do with our trip, we had thought to go to Paris, MO by car or fly to North Carolina at first but the air flights were a bit more than we originally planned post-Brexit so decided hiring a car and driving to South Dakota would be a nice way to spend most of our second week. Our first leg was the drive from St Paul to Mitchell, SD. I figured that Mitchell would be a good introduction for pao to the weirdness to come. I had such a nice time making my travel journal and thinking about Eileen.

One of the nicest things that happened on our drive down was a call from Bob, checking in and following along with us on the map. He suggested we stop at the Love’s truck stop for lunch and we picked up some dinner (Jeanne will be horrified and bemused by our choices, photo above) and we set Bob a task of calling our hotel to check that there would be a microwave in our room. To our great amusement, the hotel receptionist knew all about us when we arrived. Sadly, cell and wireless petered out so we couldn’t check in with civilization (Jeanne and Bob) much on our trip but it was nice to have Bob travel along with us virtually for a while. I can attest the Cheesy Bowls are not bad.

pao is quite the poster boy for Campbell’s Chunky Chilli. I know it wasn’t the most nutritious of cuisine but it was fun to try some weird and wonderful foodstuffs.

Sock Kitten Love Part 1

I have not been idle these past couple of months. I have been knitting socks.

I love these – they are Arne and Carlos Regia socks. I don’t remember the colourway of these but I do slightly regret not ordering the other colourway before Amazon sold out. I’m sure if I look I could find some, somewhere.

Claude is enormously attached to these socks.

I only took these photos about a month ago and Claude keeps looking older and bigger by the day. He didn’t look like such a huge brute then but these Norwegians do grow some. We’ve not had an NFC boy before so had no idea what to expect.

Caturday has been yarnbombed

The kittens have an unnatural fascination with yarn which is a problem for a knitter.

More than once I’ve had a growly kitten stealing balls of yarn and running riot round the house.

Claude has a particular penchant for yarn stealing.

He loves anything woolly so has been known to try and steal socks off my feet. Katerina likes to steal as well and has tried for shawls I’ve been wearing. I thought Jeanne’s kitty Bette was bad!

We’re in MO now, Dorothy, and anything could happen

We got a call from our friend in Paris, MO to say there had been a big storm! Avidly watching the Weather Channel, it looked liked the roads were out and a little iffy. We had only til 5pm the next day when our flight back to MN was due to leave so we decided to err on the side of caution and spend another night in the lovely hotel and took Jeanne’s advice to get some Kansas City BBQ. We had heard the Plaza was a nice place to go and we soon spotted our lunch spot (Jack Stack).

We looked around the Plaza a while to work up an appetite.

I thought the architecture was quite Hispanic looking.

Kansas City is famous for it’s fountains and the Plaza has many. This one made me double-take.

There were also many beautiful tiled panels.

Another lovely fountain.

I loved this eagle.

There was only so much dodging into air conditioned shops we could do before we had to sit down for a rest. We headed to Jack Stack’s ready for BBQ.

We were not disappointed. We got two lunch platters and shared some different meats. I loved the Burnt Ends in particular. We had some rather nice lamb, too. Chicken I wasn’t as keen on but the pork and beef were very good and I had Cheesy Corn which I recommend.

After lunch, we tried a little more exploring and fountain gazing.

There is quite the Grecian/Trojan horse look to this statue.

This is my favourite statue

probably because it made pao smile. It was also right outside Anthropologie where I got a swoon-worthy pot holder!

We spotted this poor rabbit close to the bus stop and I really felt for the poor animal in the severe heat. Kansas City is lovely but the heat is crazy there.

Back on the road again – Kansas City

It seems only fitting that today of all days that I take a moment to think about my favourite country and the wonderful trip we had this summer. We flew to Kansas City, MO for our 15th wedding anniversary as we planned to drive to Paris, MO the next day to meet a friend. Right around the corner, I saw this and it made me smile thinking of Jeanne’s kitty Louie.

It was horribly hot in Kansas City but being weird Brits, we decided to walk around for a bit much to the surprise of the lady who checked us in to our fancy anniversary hotel (Crowne Plaza which was brilliant and kind and gave us some lovely comps for our anniversary but were genuinely lovely).

If we hadn’t we might not have seen wonderful painted ads like this one. I was reading this article about how they are dying out and I love to record the ones I see.

Kansas City is well known for it’s beautiful fountains.

pao thought he might have found a new wife but she seemed a little wooden.

I took a photo of this building without realising what an iconic image it was. It was getting hotter so there was only time for a quick snap and run.

Our trip to KC was quite last minute so I was surprised to find out it was the Hallmark HQ.

We spent a delightful hour or two enjoying the Hallmark Visitors Center. pao got close up to Maxine and we had a fun time making bows with the bow making machine.

The Hallmark Christmas trees were quite brilliant. Sadly, they were in transition so were only just going to get their Christmas ornaments when we visited the gift store. I did get a lovely anniversary gift of this cartoon though. It is good advice to remember especially today. I send you many SMAKs, US friends!

I really loved this tree with the Santas on it.

My favourite display was about Snoopy.

I think this says it all. Whatever happens in the US after today, we can keep hold of the thought of happiness in small things. I can take my happiness in remembering a wonderful trip with wonderful friends and warm cookies.

Half plus Half = One

So 6 months plus 6 months = one year, right? 🙂 🙂 🙂

Any excuse for a party – we celebrated Claude and Katerina being 6 months old with some cakes.

Please Note that no kittens were harmed in the licking of cake boxes. Boxes were quickly removed when we realised what they were up to. Claude and Katerina are voracious eaters and will try and eat practically anything so they are keeping us on our toes!