Author Archives: Melanie

Travel Diary – Day 3: Milan Cathedral (Duomo) and Lake Como

We’re still in Milan.  We will be here a few days while we explore the surrounding vicinity.  My sleep pattern is still out of whack.  Of course, my sleep pattern was never very good even stateside but it’s definitely not normal even for me.  I woke up at 2am Italy time and could not go back to sleep.  So what does one do when they can’t sleep?  They knit.  And I finished my Day 2 blog post. And facetimed with the kids.  Next thing I know it’s 5 and I work for a bit – check emails and forward work over to team members to take care of while I’m away.  Then it’s 6 and I have to get ready for 7am breakfast with our friends.  Thank goodness we got to breakfast that early as there was no line and we were able to have our pick of the tables.  We ate to our heart’s content and then took the yellow line (M3) to the Milan Cathedral.  We’re starting to become familiar with the public transit and it’s wonderful. The prices are very affordable and we’re able to get around easily.

At the Cathedral or Duomo we bought a 3 day pass and since there was no line, we decided to just go in.  It was beautiful.  There is just so many pieces of art everywhere I can’t post all the pics here.

 

The best thing I saw was this work of art.  I think it is needlepointed and when we go back to the Museum and the shop I am going to look for better pictures of it and more information.  I have no idea what it is called despite a brief search on Google.  If you know, please pass that info on.

After wondering around inside we took the lyft to the rooftop and saw a glorious view of Milan.  If you are scared of heights, this is not the place for you.  I am scared of heights and it was awful and yet a great experience at the same time.  The first part walking along the sides of the roof tops was fine.  I didn’t look down and we took some marvelous pictures.

But then there were another set of steps leading to the very top of the roof.  The first set of steps took you straight up and was very narrow and very steep.  I made it up slowly my hand always touching the rail, the wall, anything that would make me feel better but at the top of that set of stairs I had to stop and regroup.  I didn’t think I would go the next set of stairs. It was just too scary.  I didn’t take pictures but I’ll have to check out the hubby’s phone to see if he has any that would show you what I mean.  I stood there for a few minutes and after composing myself made it up the next set of stairs.  This set was even narrower and with some people going down on the left and other people going up on the right it made it a difficult journey.  It was enclosed and spiraled up.  I latched onto the rail and took one step at a time.  Once I was at the top, I took some fabulous pictures of the aerial view of Milan.  But it was hot and it was very high.  So after a bit of rest quickly went back down.

 

 

 

By this time, the place was filling up and it was getting hot.  We decided it was time to head over to Lake Como.  We walked to the Cardona train station.  Technically it was .7 miles but as we had no idea where we were going we didn’t always go the direct route and it took forever.  My legs were tired.  We learned upon arriving at Cardona that we could have taken the Subway system, specifically the Red Line (M1) from the Duoma and take that to Cardona.  From there we took a train an hour to Lake Como.  It was basically the end of the line and I think was called Como de Lago Nord or something like that.  We got out, had lunch, and then walked around a bit.  Again, we took a lot of pictures.

 

This place was more shopping oriented and on the advice of my cousin-in-law we stopped at Grom for Gelato and Beretta’s for their famous Nuvola.  Since I’m not much of a shopper it was just nice to walk around and take in the ambiance, small streets, and architecture.  And when I was able to stop and rest a bit, knitted on this month’s socks.

 

And when we were tired, we just went back the way we came and about two hours later arrived at our hotel to rest.  I ended up falling asleep and waking up at 10pm to thunderstorms.  Hopefully those thunderstorms go away by the time the sun comes out.  Tomorrow, we have a 3 hour walking tour scheduled ending with a trip to see the Last Supper.  I’m excited about this and hopefully the rain goes away so I can enjoy it fully.

Today’s Step Count: 17,640

~Happy Travels!

Melanie

Travel Diary – Day 2: Milan

We got up around 4pm and walked around Milan.  I apologize now for the heavy photos and for all the selfies I took.  For up to date selfies and photos follow me on Instagram at @thousandneedles.  I’m going to try to upload photos and details here within a day or two of the experience but if I get too busy or tired I may give up this experiment.

The hubby and I hung out in the lobby and I knitted for a bit while we waited for our friends to come down.

Quite a few of the eateries we went to were closed and were just getting ready to open for dinner so we kept walking.  That was a surprise for us but it must be a Milan or Italy thing.  We ended up at Crocetta and our waiter was fantastic and the food yummy!

Oh my god!  It was so good.  I just stopped talking while I enjoyed my sandwich and cappuccino.

We walked a little bit further and found ourselves in the Piazza del Duomo. And we just started taking pictures…

 

We couldn’t get into Duomo as they were already closed but we got a lot of outside pics.  We will be going back in the next few days.

 

Next to the plaza is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and every where I looked there were quilt patterns.

 

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I am not including all the pictures here but after I finally stopped looking at the ground I looked up and it was glorious.  I’ve seen pictures of these before, in movies, online, etc.  But the experience is not the same and I am in awe of the talent and creativity and genius that went into these works of art.

We walked a lot and took a lot of pictures.  Here are highlights of a few of them.

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We finally started back and made it to our hotel to use the restroom and rest a bit before going out again to buy necessities – water.  Stopped at a pizzeria before returning for good at 10pm.  We enjoyed ourselves immensely.  And I hope I can keep up with all the walking we’re doing.  Today’s step count: 14,880!  Tomorrow’s plan: Lake Como.

~ Happy travels!

Melanie

Travel Diary Day 1 – Out of LA

I haven’t posted in awhile again because life took over. Over the last few weeks I’ve been prepping for the hubby’s and my trip to Italy.  I’ve done very little crafty stuff other than the bit of knitting and cross stitching I’ve posted about on Instagram.  It’s amazing how it takes so much of me to get going on even a little bit of quilting.

Anyway, I don’t have a lot of time as I haven’t had a lot of sleep the last 24-48 hours but I wanted to start recapping the days before the memories are lost in a blur of travel.

We left Los Angeles early Sunday (5/6) morning.

Our friend, gave us a ride at 3am to make sure we were able to check in and go through security check for an international flight leaving at 7am.

LA freeway at 3am on a Sunday. There are always cars on the road.

Checked in some bags and headed off.  I was very nervous as I haven’t been on an international flight in years and never with the hubby.

Hubby and I at LAX
5/6/18

Our friends made us shirst that said “We’re off to Italy” so we took a group picture at LAX before starting our trip.

We were on an American Airlines flight with a layover at JFK before arriving at our final destination of Milan, Italy.  The first flight from LAX to JFK was the most uncomfortable ride ever. We had booked our flights on Expedia and we never selected our seats.  We didn’t know that we had to go on the Airlines website to select a seat.  As a result, the hubby and I didn’t sit next to each other. Instead I sat between two men.  Luckily, they were both very considerate and we all did our best to not get in each other’s ways.  It’s just a small space and I could not find a spot to get comfortable.

We landed at JFK for a 3 hour layover.  It was just enough time to grab lunch, relax a bit, stretch our legs and take a quick nap before boarding for the next flight.

Eating lunch at JFK

The second flight was much better.  Even though we didn’t select these seats either, the hubby and I got lucky.  We both had aisle seats and we were across from each other.  I thought the food was good and it was a fine ride.  I kept getting up to stretch my legs for the 8 hour flight to Milan.

And here we are at Milan’s airport.

We landed at Milan Monday, 5/7, at 8am.  The most difficult part was getting out of customs and out on the streets.  It was only difficult as there were only 2-3 attendants processing us and there were at least 2 flights full of people waiting to get through.  But once we saw a customs person, all they did was check our passports, stamp them, and wave us through.  We were a bit uncertain as to how to get to our hotel at this point.  But we all wanted to be adventurous and not spend money on a taxi.  Information at the airport told us what bus to take, we jumped on it, and made it to Central Station.  There we bought tickets for the subway/bus system and jumped on the yellow line (M3) and got to the stop nearest our hotel.  Even though our check in time was not until 2pm, they very nicely let us check in early at noon.   Where we all freshened up and took a long nap.

… stay tuned for tomorrow on Milan – day one!

~Happy crafting.

Melanie

Knitting Update, Week 15, 2018

 

  • My April Socks

Nestled Socks
Knitting Expat
Cosy Sock Club
4/12/2018

  • Kayla’s Weasley Sweater

Kayla’s Weasley Sweater
4/12/18

 

  • Land of Sweets Cowl
    4/12/2018

~Happy Knitting!

~Melanie

 

Cross Stitch, an update – week 15, 2018

“Mama’s Bukid” …

Here’s where I was last time

Mama’s Bukid
3/31/2018

Here’s where it is now:

Mama’s Bukid
4/10/2018

 

 

 

Gamer Nouveau

Here’s what it looked like last time:

Gamer Nouveau
3/31/2018

 

Here’s what it looks like now…

Gamer Nouveau
4/10/2018

Happy Thursday!

Happy Stitching!

~Melanie

 

 

Monday’s POA – week 15, 2018

Here were my goals from the week before:

  • Mama’s Bukid – Page, 5, finish row 13 and get halfway through row 14. It would be great to have this page finished but I think that would be too much in one week. – I didn’t get halfway through row 14 but I came really close.  My goal for the month is to finish row 14 and get started on the next page. I’m pretty confident that I can get that done.  It would be great if I could get row 1 and row 2 done on Page 2 and page 6 which are the top and bottom pages that come next.  That’s kind of crazy and I’m not sure it’s doable. But it’s kind of fun to try. 
  • Celtic Solstice – I would like to get the batting done this week and rent the long arm sometime in the next few weeks. If I can rent it on a Sunday that would work really well for me.  I’m just not sure they are open on Sundays for me to do that. – I haven’t done this yet. 😦 
  • Rainbow Garden – prep block 9 – you know the prep, trace all the pieces on freezer paper, cut, put it on the wool, cut again, etc. that will take some time but needs to happen so I can have something to work on.
  •  – I haven’t done this yet. 😦 
  • Knitting projects:
    • Nestled socks – April pattern for the Cosy Sock Club
      • Print the pattern, pick the yarn, and cast on! … my favorite part.  – DONE! 
    • Weasley Sweater for Kayla – Mattress stitch the pieces and then work on the neck.  I’m almost done with the mattress stitch. I think I’ve only got one sleeve left which may take me 3 days.  Then I can start working on the neck. I’m not sure what that will entail but I will figure it out when I get there.  I do not think I will be finished with it this week but I want to get the mattress stitch done and get started on the neck.  🙂 – DONE!
    • Cowl – continue to do a round a day on this project. (dori’s voice) Just keep stitching.. just keep stitching… – DONE! There was actually one day that I did not stitch a round and that’s okay. 6/7 days is 6 rounds closer than I was last week. 

And for this week’s goals, here’s what I want to get done.

  • Mama’s Bukid – Page, 5, finish row 14
  • Celtic Solstice – prep the batting
  • Rainbow Garden – prep block 9
  • Knitting projects:
    • Nestled socks – April pattern for the Cosy Sock Club
      • Finish the foot
    • Weasley Sweater for Kayla – Finish the neck and weave in some ends.
    • Cowl – continue to do a round a day on this project.  

Happy Crafting!

~Melanie

Stash Report – Week 14, 2018

Nothing Used and Nothing Added.  This weekend is my LQS’ anniversary sale and I really want to go.  But I don’t need to. I have nothing I need to buy. And I have no space to keep new fabric.  I’m on a mission to use up my fabric and I’m really slow right now in the quilty area right now.  So I’m avoiding my LQS. If I’d known that the anniversary sale was happening this weekend, I would not have gone a couple of weekends ago.  But I’ll need to remember for next year.

The fabric stash:  

  • Used since last time: 0 yards
  • Used year to date: 9.25 yards
  • Added since last time: 0 yards
  • Added year to Date: 11.5 yards
  • Net added for 2018: 2.25 yards

For yarn: I am still almost done with Kayla’s Weasley sweater and I think it will be done this week as I’ve got about 5 rounds to do on the neck and all I have to do after that is weave in all the ends. I did get the Spattergroit socks finished:

Spattergroit socks
pattern by Knotty Gnome
Knit Pick Felici
Sunset Sonora
April, 2018

And because the yarn is Knit Picks Felici, I used 2 balls of yarn and I get to mark 2 skeins used!  Nothing added!

The yarn stash:

  • Used since last time: 2 skeins
  • Used year to date: 9 skeins
  • Added since last time: 0 skeins
  • Added year to date: 24 skeins
  • Net ADDED for 2018: 15 skeins

Slow Stitching Sunday

Because I’ve been busy this past week, I haven’t had a chance to prep block 9.  I’ll be taking care of that today.

 

A Rainbow Garden
Block 9 – the beginning
4/8/18

 

~Happy Sunday!

~happy crafting!

~Melanie

see more stash reports at Quilt Paint Create’s site  and hand projects at Slow Sunday Stitching and Quilting is more fun than Housework

~Have a quilty week!

Melanie

 

Saturday Musings

It was a tough week.  It generally is the first week of the quarter. I’m pretty swamped with quarterly tasks and I’m generally waking up too early, working too late and dealing with everyone who wanted their tasks finished two days ago.  It’s not fun and this week was made worse because I didn’t stick with my morning ritual each morning and by Thursday I was totally out of sorts.  I have a morning routine that is designed to make sure I do the most important things first thing.  I work from home so it is very easy for me to roll out of bed and start working without doing the most important things.  An example of some of those important things are: drink a glass of water, take my meds, take my blood pressure, write 3 things I’m grateful for in my journal, read for 15 minutes, and knit 5 rounds on my socks.  So I generally spend an hour and a half on my morning ritual and then I can start my work day.  One day of doing this doesn’t really change anything that I notice but one day of NOT doing it really puts me out of sorts.  Especially after I’ve been doing this for a few months.  After many days of doing this, I’ve noticed that I’m much more relaxed, patient, calm, etc.  Well this week I had 2 -3 days of not doing my routine and by Wednesday evening my neck was killing me and by Thursday, I had a migraine, and Friday I had to stop work at noon to take a walk with the hubby for some exercise and to say hello to the sun. Really I spent a lot of time recuperating because I didn’t want to take the time on my morning ritual.  I know this but sometimes I just make bad decisions.

Other than that, I took the girl to Riverside to take a tour of UCR. We both enjoyed the campus. I’d never been to UCR so I was pleasantly surprised at how much we both liked it.

And I was scheduled to take this month’s quilty workshop with my guild.  Luckily the workshop was cancelled.  I can’t remember exactly what happened and I really wanted to attend as it was on machine applique.  But, I’m tired and I’ve got a lot of UFOs and WIPs that I need to take care of.  So I’m going to spend this weekend trying to finish the Rippidy Doo Dah project I showed last week.

~happy crafting

~Melanie