Monday, December 31, 2007

This Is The End-Bring In The Beginning!!

I haven't got a lot to say. Just that it is the last of 2007. I am a real party pooper, and I will be in bed asleep by 10p.m. I always think I will try to stay awake until midnight, but I never do.

Thanks to all the readers of my new little blog. I have certainly enjoyed reading other people's blogs, and I have certainly found a lot of inspiration in all of them. There is a big community out there. With this communication device, we can certainly share with each other so much easier than before.

And I think that this has been my focus and my reasons for starting a blog. I want to reach out to the community. I have always enjoyed my immediate knitting community that is in my physical reach. But to find so many new people to say howdy to is overwhelming. All I know to do is say THANKS!

I was waiting for one of my seniors today at a local drug store. After leaving the restroom, I passed by the card section. There was a card with a western style saloon with sheep in different stages of intoxication. There was a sign on the wall that said: Attention all sheep dogs. No herding while intoxicated. Inside it said "Many tanked ewes."

I can't add a thing to that. See you next year.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Buzz Word- Confidence!

Okay. I think I am getting a little bit of understanding with this knitting stupidity thing.
1. I am a competent knitter.
2. I am tired a lot at night when I want to knit.
3. I have gotten into bad, bad, bad habits of doing mindless, little projects.
4. I have gotten into bad, bad, bad habits of picking out patterns and trying them out because they are neat, or pretty, or something. Very little thought other than my emotional response.
5. And I am going to go back to basics again and start where I need to start.

So for all the newbie knitters who chance upon this little blog. Learn the basics. Learn how knitting works. Learn to read beyond the patterns. Have confidence that you can do whatever you want to do.

Two blogs to look at: http://Modeknit/Knitting Heretic and http://DonnaDruchuna'sBlog.

It is becoming increasing hard to be a good designer. Our culture relies on designers to steer knitters to the front. But there is a real business of how to get to be a designer, published, and to have a following. There is also the part about the tech writers who write the text for the books. Sometimes there are mistakes. Sometimes the instructions are lousy. Sometimes it just doesn't make sense. That is where the basics, common sense, and confidence come in. If the knitter knows the basics, he or she can work through the problem areas. Sometimes we have to slog through and just do the best that we know how to do.

In the olden days, there were no written patterns like we have now. People just knew the basic instructions of how to make a pair of socks, a sweater, a hat, etc. The fun was knowing patterns and applying them to the basic pattern. It required a little bit of math and thinking. I think that is why I went back to the basic 1940's sock pattern when I knit the Plain Men's Socks for my friend and neighbor.

Anyway, I am still looking through the books, but I think I am getting a handle on this now. I am a competent knitter, I am a competent spinner, I am a competent dyer, I am a competent crocheter, I can tat so-so, and I still know how to design and do needlepoint. And I also sew and piece quilts. And I do a bunch more things. I just have to have confidence in my skill level. I am not a master in any of these skills, but I am good at these skills.

On that note, I am going to go outside now. I need to feed Buddy, the horse, and walk a little bit outside before it gets too late.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's Almost The End For 2007

This is the hat. You cannot see the swirls of holes. It is quite warm and toasty, but I needed more length around the ears. Maybe I will add a few rows there.

I have been knitting mitres on this end of the humongous blanket. It is a lifetime project-literally. I can knit little squares for days-as I have this week-and it doesn't look like anything is done. At this rate, it could become a scarf instead. Hmm-that's an idea!

This is a hideous attempt to photo the socks I have started. I knit a picot edge. I love it. But I cannot get a photo. Sorry!



And this is my latest spinning project. It is Icelandic wool-cleaned but not carded. It was gifted to me, and I promised the woman I would do two skeins of wool as a gift back to her. Well-I did one skein and never completed the second. So before this year is ended, I will complete that promise.

And....

The little tiny library in my closest town is part of a county library system. I occasionally look up the names of books I am interested in, and put in a reserve. We have a county-wide system, and sometimes it takes a week or two to get to my little library. Well, I have never put in a generic title of "knitting". Last weekend I did that, and came back with pages of book titles. Today I went to my library and picked up seven of the ones I reserved. What a deal!! There is one I have never heard of -No-Pattern Knits by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer. It is simple modular techniques, and it looks interesting. The rest are books that most of us have or want to have. I only like one or two things in some books, and I cannot afford to buy the whole book. So I am going to study and read and get a handle on this latest fiasco I have been through.

I am glad the latest weather skirted by us. I am in an elevation that I got a dusting of wet snow yesterday on my truck. But we have a coupla more fronts moving in that look COLD! I am not a great big fan of cold, cold, cold weather. I like to visit places that are cold, but not to live in. I can't imagine not having my Spring around Easter.

Happy Saturday! Enjoy the day!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's Almost Christmas!

Well, I just hit the wrong button and it published. Oh, my, aren't we just a little touchy this morning. You silly computer.

I finished a little hat. It has holes that spiral around. I could not get a good picture. I used the same handspun yarn that I made that little bag. You only notice the holes and spiral when it is on the head. And I am not able to photo my own head in such a way that it shows. And off the head it looks like a blobby hat.

We got the cold front that came through the middle part of the U.S. Fortunately I am just south enough that I got a dusting of snow. Today it is mostly gone. There is wind, but the sun is strong enough to melt some of it. The shady parts and the north part of the property is still dusted. My girlfriend in Kansas called to ask if we had the snow yet. At that time it was just raining with occasional frozen parts. She told me they had 5 inches, possibly more. Whew!

My younger brother's birthday was yesterday-Solstice. I remember very well the day he came home from the hospital. I was three years old. My older brother and I stayed in the Studebaker and waited. When I saw my parents coming out of the hospital, I noticed my mother was carrying something wrapped up. When she got into the car, I peered over the back of the front seat. I asked, "What is that?" My mother said, "This is your new brother. Santa Claus brought him for you." "Well, I didn't ask for that. You can just take it back." So 56 years later, he is still here.

My parents also answered a question by older brother, age 6. "What are you going to call it?"
When told what the name of my brother was, my older brother said, "You can't call it that. That's your names." My parents were so clever to name him after themselves. My father had been a junior, and he didn't want a junior. It seems strange that now we have four generations of Stephens, but only the middle two have the same middle name.

Oh, well, I am spinning and sitting in the sun as it comes in the window. It has been very relaxing. I finished my green skein yesterday, blocked it, and it is packed away with the others.

As far as knitting this weekend, I am going to stick to my afghans. I need to add more mitres and make some more of the Lizard Ridge blocks. I can manage this. But I am not going to try anything new for a while.

Have a happy Sunday! Enjoy the day and remember-Christmas is almost over! No more buying, no more anxiety, and no more "oops-I forgot ____".

It's Almost Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happiness Is............

When I was much, much younger, I learned to watch sunsets with my family members. But I always turned around to look at the opposite sky in the East to see the reflections of the colors. This is what I saw last night as I was going home. Isn't that amazing?
I have been getting a few Santa Clause surprises this week. I also got my full-spectrum light this week. Of course, it has been really sunny, warm, and nice all week. I will give a report when it is dark and gloomy out.

My friend CJ sent me a wonderful book called Andean Folk Knits by Marcia Lewandowski. Her husband accidentally ordered two of these books, so she sent the extra to me. Yeah! It is filled-and I mean filled-with history, lore, and explanations for the culture of the peoples of the Andes. We forget that their history did not begin with the Inca. That was just one part of their culture. I love it.

Also my seniors that I see regularly have been giving me cake, cookies, preserves, pecans, candles, and I can hardly stand it. It reminds me that I guess all those years of giving to the elderly as a child has come full circle. Of course, my brother always reminds me to look in the mirror. I forget that I am almost 60 myself. But I am truly blessed.

I missed the Christmas party at work today that was given to the seniors. I was too busy driving folks around. I missed Santa Clause. What a bummer! I heard they had a big,big meal with ham and stuff. I would have had to have a nap if I had eaten that.

I am almost finished with my latest endeavor to knit. I will include a picture when it is done.

I want to finish this little note with this quote:

We forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
-Frederick Koenig

As we finish out this Christmas week, just relax. Christmas is not about the perfect gift we can give someone. We already have the perfect gift within ourselves.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thoughts on Knitting Disasters!

I have been doing a lot of thinking today about this knitting thing! It is crazy that I found a UFO in a box that is an alpaca sweater with cables and complicated knitting going on. I have no idea at all where the pattern is for this thing. But I am looking at it and wondering when I did this. And why didn't I finish this? I have moved probably a minimum of 4 or 5 or even 6 times since its conception. I know it was before alpaca was boon, and it was very costly to buy. I bought it at the Taos Wool Festival, and I met the alpaca farmer and met one of the alpacas. I have a cardigan that my grandmother made with the same yarn-cables and all. So now I have to unravel the whole shebang and block the alpaca yarn and do something else with it.

I have also been thinking about New Year's. I don't make a list of resolutions, but I try to set goals for the New Year. Things I would like to do for the year. It is hard to explain, because verbally it sounds like the typical resolution-thing. But this is not the "I want to lose 25 pounds in the year of 2008" thing. It is "how can I make a difference" kinda thing. It sounds stupid.

Anyway, I think I am going to go back to basics again. I am going to study a technique-like cables. I am going to make a ton of swatches. I want to understand how they work. I want to understand the math part of it. I am not going to worry about being Garment Challenged.

I want to study cables and fair isle again. I mean-I have been knitting since I was 5 years old. I was still knitting when knitting wasn't cool. But suddenly nothing seems to be working. I have got to re-group. My father would say "You've got to circle the wagons and reassess how you're going to get out of this mess."

So Knit 101 here I come. I think I've got to buy a coupla books for this. But I have a plan. Do you?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

First Snow!

It's not much-but it is first snow!
Who gives a hoot about first snow? You won't let me go after the birds! They are easy pickings right now! Humph!!

I am sorry there is not much knitting news. I am thoroughly disgusted that everything I knit is AWFUL! If the project I am knitting now is ok, I'll show you a picture. But otherwise-it may be cats for a while. My girlfriend that is new (and going strong) with socks says it is because I keep trying to do such weird things! Maybe-but I don't think so.

I love first snow! Too bad it wasn't enough to use my cross-country skis around the pasture. Maybe next time.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Early AM Photos

Mom---Mo-om---turn off that damn alarm clock!!


What does a guy have to do to get the light out of his eyes around here?


AWWW! That's better! ZZZZZZZZZZZ

I couldn't pass up this photo moment this morning. Normally he is just a big lump under the covers! I have never seen him like this before. Really weird!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Just A Little Note!

1. My LYS (Handheld Knitting) has finished with the yearly calendar. It has color photos this year! Really nice! Good kid and cat photos!
2. I got a call from a coworker wanting to ask if I know how to make candy! I said, "Sure." So she asked some simple questions, and asked for suggestions.
3. I took the flag down at work last week-before the yucky weather set in-and starting folding the flag correctly after handing one end to another coworker. Everyone was amazed that I knew how to fold the flag. Doesn't everyone know how to fold a flag? Isn't flag etiquette taught to children any more? Are elementary schools using flag patrols any more?
4. It hasn't stopped raining for two days now.
5. Despite the weather, it seems there was a crowd at the LYS yesterday for the afternoon Last Minute Gifts event. And there was a goodly crowd for Knit Group when I left at 6pm tonight. I had all the intentions of getting home before dark. I hate going to the barn with a flashlight.
6. There seems to be a lot of dead possums on the road lately.


Sorry-I had to stop to yawn. It is time for bed!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Where's My New Lamp?

First this is the little bag I finished a while back for a friend. I wanted to show the little button I used. Isn't it just the cutest thing? I lined it with a material that was tans and cream that looked like stones. I knit it from handspun that was dyed with walnut. I blended a little bit of mohair that was dyed pink to give a little kick to the browns. I included a small pair of scissors, a needle holder with some darning needles for sewing seams, and some really cute markers. This was the nightmare called an oven mitt for a giant. I cannot believe it grew and grew and grew. By midnight Friday night I was listening to my audiobook and really sickly aware that this thing could not actually shrink enough. Look how it fits the top of my washing machine!!!!
So here is the transformed oven mitt that became a door ornament! I mean-how many people could possibly want an oven mitt door ornament? Well,it went to a friend's house last night as a hostess gift! With the artificial flowers!

So, this is really a serious thing! What has happened to my ability to knit? This is so awful!

I want my new spectrum light to hurry up and get here. It has been cloudy for three days, drizzly, and tonight it is threatening to turn into frozen precipitation. Friday night I piled up in bed with my book on tape, the hot water bottle under the covers, my two cats, and my knitting. I. at least, finished this awful project. Maybe I should give it up for a while!

Does anyone else look around the house and realize that things are just out of control!?! I was thinking about this this morning. I changed my tablecloth to my Christmas cloth. And I went through the pile of stuff that piles up around the table. It was at this point that I saw the mess everywhere. I need to organize my piles of stuff today. That is the plan! So (as I sigh loudly) I must go take care of this before I can have some fun! Take care. Later.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's St. Nicholas Day!

I have already gotten a present today. And I haven't even put my shoes out or a carrot for the horse. One of my co-workers bought me a pair of (gasp!) acrylic fingerless gloves with the hinged mitten thing that goes over the fingers. I am really appreciative of any gift I receive. It was not expected.

Has anyone noticed that if you talk about something you like or want, and suddenly the gift fairies of the world inundate you with that object? One year I mentioned to one friend that I bought myself a calendar with polar bears on it. That year I got 12 different calendars from people. I think I mentioned that I was knitting myself a pair of fingerless mitts, and I showed everyone the ones CJ made for me. So I guess this is the year for this gift.

It has been really cold with a cold wind blowing. Today we had some frozen rain at times. I only slid once in the van going up a hill. Late in the afternoon I noticed the sun came out, and it changed to non-precipitation.

Last night I put the hot water bottle under the covers. I gathered my audiobooks, and put the cd player in the bedroom. I gathered up my knitting, and crawled into bed. Baby had already discovered the warm lump, and was curled around it. What a life, huh?

Tonight I am cooking a pumpkin pie for one of the seniors I take to the hairdresser every week. She is 96 years old. She always tells people, "I am not old. I have just been around a lot longer than most." Her family came for Thanksgiving. Last week I asked her how that went, and she was telling me she never got a pumpkin pie. They did all the cooking in her tiny kitchen, but no one thought about her love of pumpkin pie. So tomorrow I will give her a pumpkin pie that she can eat all by herself. She will not have to share it with anyone.

I guess that is all. I decided today I needed to make myself a pair of dull brown socks to wear as everyday socks. So when I feel inspired, I will begin those. Most of my socks are wild and handpainted, and don't really match too much of anything. I just like them. So I guess everyday brown socks are going to be next.

So time for CSI. They have advertised it as a new show. Last week it was a rerun. Later.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Are Spinners Nuts?

I went to the local alpaca exhibit yesterday. There was not a livestock show, but some of the farmers brought animals. There was one poor little guy that was very young, and this was his first time at a show. He was humming. He was tri-colored. He was a light brown with a shock of fawn on his head. And there was a dash of red in the fawn on his head. And he had freckles on his face. Really cute. I am so sorry, but I did not take any pictures of the animals. I always ask the farmers if they mind if I put pictures on my blog. It becomes a little difficult when there are people from all over the place and they don't know you. So I just prefer to just look and talk to the animals.

The spinners from my guild were there in the lobby spinning alpaca. The guild's alpaca afghan was there. My friend CJ had blocked all the squares and crocheted an edging to make them even out. She just roughly put it together with black thread to just demonstrate how it might look when finished. Some of the spinners have not turned in their squares yet. It will be auctioned next year at the livestock show.

Of course, the spinning guild is the best customer of any of the farmers. Some of them bought whole fleeces, some bought a few ounces, and some just wished for more. I bought a blend of a black and white roving-just 4 ounces. I really didn't need any more stuff to spin. I think everyone is like me-they like to know where the fiber comes from. They like to meet the animals, and know the face that is associated with the fiber.

I also got 4 audiobooks at the library. Has anyone else noticed that there is very little on t.v. these days? I guess I have 2 shows I am really interested in, and last week there was a rerun on one of them. Then there are the stupid Christmas shows. I mean-Rockettes at Madison Square Gardens? After a coupla dances I lose interest. They're good. We all know that. And that stupid Grammy thing? Who cares who had on the least amount of clothes at one of the Grammy shows? Anyway, it is getting close to time to show It's A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. And Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. Sigh! Turn on the audiobooks.

And our PBS station has been doing another fundraiser. I really can't understand why they always show the exact same shows every time. I mean-the very same ones. Not an update since the last show in 1995, but the exact same show.

O.K. enough grousing this morning. It is raining! Yeah! We had less than one half inch in the month of November. November is usually one of our rainy months.

I have to go put the clothes in the dryer. I am not knitting. I have been a slug. I wanted to finish plying my green wool. That's all I plan today.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

New Words

I guess I am going nuts. I was playing the word game on freerice.com, and I was suddenly aware that our language has gone to pot. We never use these words anymore. What happened? Do we just get into habits and get lazy? I guess we could play the game that we played in college and write down one new word from the dictionary and make a sentence. But I certainly don't remember some of these words. Oh, well!

I have declared that I am through with this Christmas mess! I hate the traffic, I hate the nutty people, etc., etc., etc. Of course, my job requires that I do drive into the mall mess, or the Wal-Mart Mess. Yesterday was shopping day for most of my seniors. "Please let me stay until 2p.m." What do they do in the grocery store for 3 hours? I guess I don't really want to know. Wal-Mart is a heavenly place when you are 85 years old and cannot go very fast. One told me she just slowly goes up and down each aisle. I asked if she had a list of things she needs. "Oh, yes, I have my list right here." Oh, well! I guess some day I will be there too. But not in Wal-Mart.

It was such a glorious week of windy, warmish, sunny days. Yesterday someone pulled the shades down, and it was cloudy, dreary, and chilly. It is still dry, and everyone is complaining of no rain again. I noticed there had been a sprinkle out here in the country when I got home. But no rain. I finally broke down and ordered a full-spectrum light at a greater price than I have seen on Ott lights. I found the ad in the Alaska magazine. I was thinking I probably really don't need one. When the true drab, dreary colors of winter appeared, I was happy that I have ordered one. I will give a report when I get it.

I have been doing non-knitting things this week. I did start an oven mitt that I am knitting and will felt. But since I finished my little projects over Thanksgiving, I am really only working on the two afghans. I am so lazy, but I do have to start my holiday cooking soon. I want to make some of my Sherry Pecans. It is a wonderful recipe from my grandmother, and it is like a soft praline. Really, really sugary goodness! With a little Sherry thrown in the last step. The alcohol evaporates, but the taste is there.

My family was always big candy makers when I was little. It was my parents favorite thing to do. After the all-night candy making that my parents would do, all the family got into making cookies, cakes, and "stuff". We would assemble tins and baskets of goodies to give to the elderly people and shut-ins from our little church and town. We would deliver all of these on Christmas Eve. We started our Christmas on December 6, which is St. Nicholas Day. We would leave our shoes out, and leave carrots for the horse. And we always got a little gift of some kind. Never much. It was the week after this that my parents would do their all-night candy making. We were also required to make our Christmas gifts. I cannot tell you how many handkerchiefs I embroidered as a child. After I learned to knit and crochet things, I made hats and scarves.

My favorite story my grandmother told on us was when my brother and I came up with a wonderful idea of how to put more presents under the tree. We didn't care about what was in them, just having the pretty packages under the tree. I was probably 5 or 6, and he was 8 or 9. Everyone knew that we did it because of the wrapping. My father was one of those artistic wrappers that made it look BEAUTIFUL! But not our wrapping. So when everyone unwrapped the presents, there were our beach towels, our swim suits, a pair of shorts, or even summer shoes. Anything that we could find that no one would miss. And we just covered the floor under the tree with pretty packages! Such silly children!

I guess I better get ready to go. I wanted to go to the alpaca show, and to the library in town. I guess I better look at my recipes and get the stuff I need. I will also get a new candy thermometer. I can't make divinity, but I think some of the other stuff will make in the weather we are having.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Please Go To the Link-Rice to Feed the World

I placed a link to add to this blog. If you go to www.freerice.com, there is a word game to play. If you guess the correct meaning of the word, a grain of rice is added to your bowl. It is a way to send free rice to hungry people. It seems a worthy cause.

I have had a blessed week, although yesterday I somehow got my pants leg caught in the fence going to the barn. I twisted my right knee a little. But I am just going to chalk it up to trying to go too fast without being careful.

Just wanted to post the new link. Will catch up later.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One Day Left!

Noodles is going nutty. For a 7 year old cat, he has his moments. Give him a little catnip, and he is spacy. But once or twice in a while he loves to play with his fuzzy toys. He is now meowing and throwing his toys around. I threw him outside into the cold rain to go potty, because when he uses a certain tone of voice I recognize "I've gotta go nooow!" He and Baby have a litter box, but only use it in dire emergencies-like snow or ice. Baby is in hunker down mode, which is her interpretation of "I am cold. Cold. Does my glaring at you mean nothing? Turn up the damn heat!" Kids!

Well, yesterday was a most productive day for me. I finished the little knitted bag I was making for a Christmas present. I finished two washcloths that I was finished with knitting, but wanted a crocheted edging. I finished the backing to the quilt that I said I was going to do two months ago. The quilt top and backing are ironed and instructions are typed for the professional quilter. I just have to get a box and mail that. I cleaned up the table that I use for sewing and the cutting table. I dug out the flannel blankie I started and just put away. I will work on that today.

I actually did a little spinning. Sunday is the day I usually spin. So today I will ply the two yarns that I have spun within the last two weeks.

So what has happened to me? I guess no TV helps, but I just started on finishing projects. I get to a point that it bugs me, and it has to get done. Once I start, things get done. Oh-I even cleaned up the kitchen!

I was listening to NPR, and I wasn't listening too well. I overheard something about the conversations between people who live on farms and people who do not. It reminded me of a conversation with my friend CJ. She lives in the boonies, and she is more willing to come out into the world more than I am. We were discussing something about somebody we knew, and she said, "But would she know to kick the side of the outhouse before she went in?" Neither of us have outhouses, but we have visited many in our day. Only if you have visited an outhouse would you know what she meant.

I took one of my co-workers home Wednesday afternoon. I told her I was going home, park my truck, and not leave the house until Monday morning. She looked at me with a funny look, and said, "Do you have enough food in the house?" Obviously, this woman has never lived in the country. At least a long enough way away from a store that it would be inconvenient to get dressed, comb your hair, and drive to. Yes, I have a freezer, and I store food for emergencies. Like weather. It is just an adjustment that one makes when one does not go to the store daily. I have lived in the city before, and everyone thought it weird that I always had something available to eat if they just dropped by. Even if it meant opening a few cans and throwing a casserole together. Nothing fancy. But I was not adverse to going to a restaurant to eat. Now I never go out to eat, and I would have to think about where to go if I wanted to.

Usually people ask me what I do with all the time. Well, like yesterday, there was never enough time to finish everything. I find that I never have time on my hands. I am always doing something. Even a nap has to be worked into the project list. I stayed up until 11pm reading last night.

So before the day progresses more, I will leave this posting and get on with the spinning. It is my Sunday pleasure. I like to listen to podcasts and NPR and spin. That takes care of Sunday morning. Have a good last day before we have to go back out into the world.

Friday, November 23, 2007

31 Knitting Days Until Christmas!

To give thanks in solitude is enough.
Victor Hugo

I was so happy to spend the day alone yesterday. Everyone thinks I am so weird because I did not want to dress in decent clothes and comb my hair and stuff my face with food. I was invited to three different homes for the traditional sacrifices, but I was happily napping, knitting, and doing nothing. I did make a wonderful bread pudding. With my most favorite recipe, too!

Today has been a less stressful day of napping, knitting, watching the birds, loving on the cats, knitting, and that's about it.

I am most thankful that I am off today, and I can honestly say this is the first time in a long, long time that I did not have to work on the day after Thanksgiving. But I also spend a lot of time thinking of thankful things-a time for gratitude is important to set me back in balance.

I have been obsessing on this mitt thing. I have to admit I am one to follow a pattern. Okay-not to the T. But I like a little bit of structure. I do wander off the path sometimes and adjust it or leave something out or change it a little. So to just say, "Oh, this can't be that hard. I'll just make one." Well, it has taken it's toll on me. I have ripped and studied it, and I was left scratching my head. One of the knitting ladies gave me the idea of how to correct a problem without ripping out a lot. But I woke up this morning thinking about the thumb, and how it is not right. Essentially, this has been a lesson in learning about the structure of a knitted something- in this case a fingerless mitt.

I have to take my hat off to anyone who just sits down with a lump of yarn, needles, and creates something wonderful. My grandmother could do that. She would see a sweater on TV or on someone, sketch it out on a scrap piece of paper, and then knit it. Or something similar, anyway. I think all this thinking while knitting is wearing me out. I have been into mindless knitting for so long. I am brain-dead after work anyway, so mindless knitting it is. I used to knit beautiful things, and quite complicated things. Maybe I need to do more crossword puzzles or sudoku.

Anyway, I finished #5 on the Lizard Ridge, and started #6. I guess it's about time to go back to mitres. I have been thinking of socks, but can't get motivated. I think I am going to knit/felt an oven mitt for a Christmas gift. I'm telling you-mindless knitting!

I have been thinking a lot about fair isle and cables. I think it is almost time to go back to these. But I bet I don't right away. That's a safe bet. I read somewhere-it escapes me at the moment-there is a new book out about fair isle. It seemed interesting in the review I read. Of course, I never wrote down the name or anything.

Now that the official holiday season has started-and you know I was not up at 4am to shop-it is time to check on the give-away box to make sure I have enough little things for last minute gifts. I always seem to get caught at the last minute. I think there are enough wash cloths. I did make a felted wool-over-soap-thing for someone, and they will like that.

So I guess it is time to feed Buddy and the cats. Noodles is sitting in the doorway staring. He is trying his mind control thing again. Maybe that's what's wrong with my brain!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Aw! Sunday Morning Sunshine!

The fairest thing in nature, a flower, still has its roots in earth and manure."
D. H. Lawrence

Actually the best zoo poo is elephant. If you live in a city that has a zoo, and they sell zoo poo, the best kind to get is elephant. I think I read somewhere rhino is good too, but not as nutritious as elephant.

Of course, if you are not a gardener, this is not the thing you want to read about on a knitting blog.

Yesterday our spinning group met at the alpaca farm of Bill Shaddox. Remember last month I posted the picture of the fleece I got from him- Evening Sonata. I never got a picture of her, but I am supposed to get a picture emailed to me. I'll let you know what she looks like. I like to know where my fiber comes from. Bill and Bruce are so very gentle with each of the animals, and they know the animals very well. The barns are immaculate, even the shearing shed. Everything is well organized and well run. These are important things to me to know when I get a fiber.

I used to have a friend that asked for my help on shearing day with her sheep-some 90 head. It was an all-day affair, so I would stay overnight. The shearing shed had a huge table on it that we skirted the fleeces before they went into the bags. We did those so fast, but I got to pick my own fleece as payment. So I got what I wanted, and I got to see the animal sheared. We ate our supper sitting on the back steps talking to the geese. One of the geese loved to "talk" to me, and I guess he was a pet favorite. After showering, we both just fell into bed and slept until a new day dawned on the farm. I woke up once in the night and saw the pyrenees' going around the perimeter of the fence. But, otherwise, I slept the sleep of a tired, worn-out farm worker.

Raising any farm animal is a lot of work. But I think my experience has shown that fiber animals require so much more. Especially if one raises the fiber for handspinners. Not only breeding them is important, but the feed, the pasture, the predators, the shearing, the marketing is so all consuming. So my hat is off to anyone who has the nerve to want to raise fiber animals.

Knitting- well, let's see. My friend gave me a pair of handspun, handknitted fingerless mitts yesterday. I'm sorry, no picture yet. I started my own mitts last week. Rather than use a pattern, I thought I could just wing it. Well, I have ripped out more than I have knitted. But once I do complete one, I will know how to do it. What a lesson in pride or vanity or something. I also taught myself how to make a thumb gussett. In the past, I have simply just knit to the thumb opening, placed some stitches on a thread, and knit on to the end. Then I went back to pick up the thumb stitches. The thumb just kinda sticks out there. But they were comfy. I read the instructions for the thumb gussett, but they did not make a lot of sense. I had to rip that out twice. And it did not look right yet. But I went on with the mitt. When I mentioned it to my friend, she suggested to decrease one row, and knit the next. That clicked as right in my brain. So I guess I am learning something here. My poor brain is so muddled with this mess right now. I will assess the lessons later.

I am spinning some alpaca that I had dyed and blended. No plans for it yet. It was such a small amount that I thought I would just spin it up and get it done.

Another friend of mine in Kansas called me at 7 a.m. when I was getting dressed. The reason for her call - someone gave her an Angora rabbit. But she is convinced that it will not give her much fiber. I suggested enough to blend with something else to get mittens. She laughed and said that I always thought she could do more than she really can.

The lady that gave her the rabbit rescues wild birds. My friend's husband had taken a wounded great horned owl to her, and she told him that her vet friend fixed the wing, it mended, and she released him back to the wild. A great success story! Anyway, she saw my friend in Wal-Mart, and told her she would give her some rabbits someone had given her to rescue. So when my friend went over there, one of them was an Angora. My friend was estatic.

So a long blog today. I have to go do chores now. Have a great day!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Little Bit of Alpaca LUV

Let's all head to the barn! Maybe we can find some food there!
The Boys!


Look at the crimp on this one!
This baby was just born last Monday. Isn't he a doll?This baby was born on Halloween night!
I'm so pretty! I'm so pretty! She just came back from a show!What we did after we got all our alpaca lovin'. This was before we ate our chili and yummy food!

I never got a picture of the kissing alpaca. She was never taught to do that; she just kisses. It is so wonderful to get all that lovin'.

I will spare you a photo of what I brought home. No fiber-just poop! I loaded my truck with manure! Of course, that meant I had to unload it once I got home. But my garden will be so-oo happy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lizard Ridge Update




It took two of us to block the last block. I apologize for the yucky photos, but I was in a rush. So now I have 4 completed, and 20 more to go. SIGH! This is , for sure, a winter-time project!

More later. It's bedtime!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Irrefutable Complexities

A long time ago I mentioned that I love words - or rather, the sounds of words. Tonight I was listening to something on PBS. I had switched over to that channel to see what was on. There was some drawing of a flagellum (another keen word to say out loud), and they were discussing something about this thing. I hadn't been watching the show, so I do not know the context. But the narrator said, "There is irrefutable complexities blah, blah, blah, blah." I stopped listening when I heard "irrefutable complexities". I kept saying those two words over and over.


Definitions of 'irrefutable'
(ĭ-rĕfyə-tə-bəl, ĭrĭ-fyū-) - 1 definition - The American Heritage® Dictionary
irrefutable
(adj.)
Impossible to refute or disprove; incontrovertible: irrefutable arguments; irrefutable evidence of guilt.


Synonyms of 'irrefutable'
13 synonyms - Roget's II: Thesaurus

Established beyond a doubt: certain, hard, inarguable, incontestable, incontrovertible, indisputable, indubitable, positive, sure, unassailable, undeniable, undisputable, unquestionable

But just try to say those two words. They "sound" so good together.

I finished another Lizard Ridge block. Pictures soon, I promise.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Salute to Veterans!

I found a quote in a book once, and wrote it down. Now I cannot remember the name of the book, the author, or anything, but I have the quote:

The land holds the bones of the people who died for it.

May we always remember our troops in our prayers. Go to LetsSayThanks.com and send a postcard. I may not support the war, but I do support our children that are over there. I also support the veterans of past wars. My father was in World War II, and many of my friends were in Vietnam. So-thanks to all the soldiers past and present.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Are You Sure It's Sunday Already?

It has been glorious weather here in rural Arkansas. It has been warmish in the sun, and lots of wind. But it is so nice to be outside this time of year. It is beginning to be the time of year I like to camp out. I don't like the oppressive heat and humidity of the full summer, and I DO NOT like the bugs, snakes, etc. Plus the foliage is very dense. Now I have views when I stand on a hill top. I love to watch the birds, and I love to just sit and look all around at the miracles around me.

I have been working on my Lizard Ridge, and have another block finished. I love the colorway of this one. When I get a coupla more, I will lay them out for a photo shoot. I have almost made up my mind to unravel the stupid shrug thing I was trying to make that was too small. It would be the MOST expensive pillow I ever made, plus the cats would adopt it and ruin it. My girlfriend that is making socks now suggested I just take it apart. But what will I do with the yarn? I guess rip it all out first, block it, and then figure out what to do with it.

Buddy-the horse-has a girlfriend. It is a doe that he visits down at the end of the pasture. A neighbor saw them together, and said it was so obvious that they were friends and that they were talking. They were facing one another, and appeared to be talking. He has this very punk hair do going on. I never could get him to hold still to get all the burdock seeds out of his forelock, so they are hanging down his face like dread locks. And now he has some new seeds in what is left of his mane. I was able to cut it short this summer, but now he has added to that. And he always has stick-tights (those pesky seeds that stick tight to anything like socks, pants, fur, etc) on his face. I clean them off every night when I feed him, but he will not stand still for the big seeds to be picked off.

I finally found the shrew's body. It was smelling bad, and that's how I found it. YUCK!

It has been such a nice weekend to be out, and I don't have much news. Just enjoy the days while they are here. In January it will only be a memory. I guess I will get busy and steam my block. Then decide what the next colorway will be. I am enjoying this little task right now.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Knit Fog!

Well, I finished BIG BOY sock, and did not take a picture of it. It just looks big. I delivered the sock CARE package to my girlfriend's daughter today. She will deliver it tomorrow when they go for a weekend visit. I also delivered some yard sale clothes for the smaller boy, and some toys. Becky was thrilled with it all. She loves it that I do the yard sale thing. I don't think she has ever bought a thing for these kids. Her friends gave her lots of hand-me-downs, and I do yard sales. Grandmother sews and knits.

I am now in a knit fog. I don't feel like doing my mitres, and I don't feel like doing any knitting. I am in a fog. But maybe the sun will shine on me tomorrow. I can always start another pair of socks. Not inspiring. I can always work on the Lizard Ridge. Not inspiring. So I guess I will go and watch CSI and just sit. How awful! I bet I won't be sitting for long. I will find something. But who knows? Later.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I Am Knitting the Biggest Boy Sock Ever!

My girlfriend that is going to knit socks again-I mentioned her earlier in another post-is going to knit a pair of socks for her grandson. I had promised him I would knit him some socks, so I am knitting one and I hope his grandmother will knit the other. If not, she just has to tell me, and I will knit #2. But I swear, for a 3 and 1/2 year old little boy, these are BIG! But his grandmother and his mother swear that his feet are 7inches long! So I bought an extra ball of yarn, and will turn this over to grandmother.

I like to knit for children because it goes so fast.

I don't have a lot to say. Just the weather is cooler today, and the promise of a freeze tonight. Let's see-is it really November? I think as I get older I don't mind that it is still warmish. I don't like to drive in bad weather any more.

Well, off to finish this HUGE sock tonight. I can't help but shake my head!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I Am Grateful For This Beautiful Day!

It is November 3, 2007, and it is warm, sunny, and peaceful outside. I only heard one hunter this a.m. Because of the warm weather our trees did not display the normal vibrant hues of Fall. We have had the usual dark red of sumac and black gum. There have been various shades of peach. There have been some two tone leaves that are beautiful. But finally yesterday I saw orange. The sugar maples are beginning to turn. The poor oaks that got a beating in the Easter freeze are just turning leaves brown and they are dropping off. I noticed that the sycamores were originally lightly yellowed, but are now dropping leaves that are brown.

My girlfriend that I only get to see periodically called to say she was ready to tackle socks. She used to knit and sew when her girls were little. Then she had to support the family as a single mom. So anything other than housework, laundry, and cooking were set aside. Now she is enjoying grandmotherhood with sweaters, hats, mittens, etc. Her brother has been giving away hats that she makes him to older people that don't have hats on when he sees them. So she has made a lot of extra hats for him. But she is ready to go back to socks. Hurray for socks! I am so happy socks are so popular. So next week I am sending her a CARE package.

Today I went to the library and bank in the little town that I live near. The Presbyterian Church was having a bake sale and Christmas bazaar. I bought some banana cranberry bread to put in the freezer. I got some homemade peanut brittle. And I got a tiny little peach cobbler that had just been brought in and was still warm. I do my best to not eat stuff like this, so I never cook it any more. But these were little-not a full size.

Baby just brought a shrew into the house. I've got to stop and try to get the thing out of here. She has a real bad habit of abandoning things like this when she loses sight of them or gets bored.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy November 1!

Well, another month has flown by-again! I am busy knitting Christmas ornaments. Our LYS is sponsoring a tree for the silent auction for Alzeimer's. They are wanting knitted ornaments to put on the tree. They are small-so the ornaments have to be small. One of our GOOD knitters made the cutest little teeny mittens and socks. I am almost finished with a ball. I am going to stuff it with wool. And I want to bead it. I always have good intentions, but I am so tired at night I never get to what I want to do.

The farrier was supposed to be here today. No show! And I took off early from work-much to many protests. But I got a few little chores done. I harvested my gourds before the freeze tonight. I have 20 gourds. They were supposed to be bushel gourds, but maybe 5 of them are pecks. The rest are smaller. They won't be ready until next year. But I have several in my storage room that I can work on this winter. They were from 2 years ago.

Well-better finish my little ornament. Then another one can be started tomorrow night. I need to work on so many things-including housework-and I bet I don't get much done. I am in the mood to rest.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Anniversary Mirkwood!

In 1980 5 families bought an inholding in the middle of the National Forest Wilderness Area in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. It is very REMOTE, and you have to cross a creek 9 times to get to the location. In 1982 they began bringing this pre-Civil War cabin in log by log. There wasn't a real road-a track of sorts. So a road had to be made. Even today, only very old, beat up, 4 wheel drive vehicles can get into the cabin. So with friends and family members, this cabin was completed eventually. It has become tradition that people come often and regularly to camp out, eat, and have fun. There are specific days that are always known that there will be BIG gatherings, and the last weekend in October is one of them. And this was the 25th anniversary, which means there were over 30 people there this weekend!There was half of a pig that was roasted. The rest of the evening meal was potlucked with enough food for an army!
There was music played and sung in the late evening by lantern light and fireplace light. My friend CJ and I spun facing each other right in front of the fireplace.


This was a faux gingerbread cabin created by one of the group of the cabin. The kids ate it all night long. She duplicated the front and back exactly, and included a stained glass window with melted lifesavers in the window over the loft.
It was Halloween weekend-so there were ghostly ghoulies everywhere. There were even ghosts on the pathway to the outhouse. The kids decorated Friday night before most everyone got there on Saturday.The kids trick or treated and dressed up.
And this young lady was estatic to find other knitters there! She was working on a scarf and hood combo, and brought it along to work on. She was so happy to see the two spinning wheels and knitting bags. So we had four knitters and that is enough to have our very own first knitting group meeting at Mirkwood.
So we all crawled into our tents last night, exhausted from the day and the food. Some from the drink. And I listened to owls, coyotes, snores from other tents, and all kinds of sounds. The dew was so heavy this morning that some of us thought it was raining. And this morning we all crawled out, some more slowly than the others, and we built the campfire, brewed the coffee, snacked on various cakes, and then cooked a HUGE breakfast to feed everyone. It was another successful, fun, and family-oriented weekend in the woods. After breakfast, groups broke up into hiking groups, sleeping groups, clean-up groups, and just talking groups. It was just like a family reunion. It was another successful Mirkwood reunion.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hooray! Hooray! It's A Beautiful Day! It's Saturday!

This has got to be the prettiest little tree in the parking lot! It is a bright, bright red!

This is what I saw driving to the spinning group meeting this morning! I used to paint, and my favorite subject was old, old barns. I began taking pictures of them as I would find them. Sadly, many of them are gone now. Only memories. As you can tell, the road has expanded to almost touching it. There is another outbuilding that I didn't get to snap. Maybe next time. These are at the bottom of the hill, the house is on top of the hill. The road down is very, very steep. I would have hated to be the one who had to go down to the barn to milk the cow(s), feed the livestock, and put the chickens up for the night. Those were the days, huh? Lot of work to do by lantern light.

This is the inspector general making sure that the quality of fleece that goes into the house is up to par. And Boy-oh-Boy! This is fine alpaca. I bought it from Bill Shaddox of Ozark Mountain Alpaca Farm. I meant to get a link. You can find them by going to Alpaca Nation, and then linking to them. They are the only one who has Ozark in the name. The name of the alpaca is Evening Sonata. He told me there are two kinds of black in alpacas- bayblack and trueblack. This is bayblack. But it sure is PURTY! He had his vehicle loaded with fleeces-it's another name in alpaca language, but I can't remember. Is it prime something? I can't remember. They don't call them fleeces-that's sheep. Boy! I am tired when I ramble!
Anyway, I went to the spinning group meeting and it was nice. I am not a group person, and it was okay. I did re-acquaint myself with someone that I haven't seen in twenty-something years. My friend CJ was there with her mother and a friend of her mother's . Afterwards the four of us went to a little tiny restaurant to eat Mexican food.
But the day has been windy and warm. Sunny all day. I mentioned in the last entry that there were tornado warnings. I know everyone has seen the news of the storms. Boy! It was something. I have a friend in California who emailed me immediately after she saw the news. The weather guys all say a major cold front is coming next week-highs in the 50's. And wet! So I guess I will put the storm doors up.
I mentioned that my girlfriend's daughter bought a house. Well, I went over there yesterday after work. It is gorgeous! It is fun to see how proud my girlfriend is of everything. She was showing off the closets and cabinets and showing me the washer and dryer. I guess children never have any privacy from their parents. But this young woman is one of those who line up everything in the closet, and has everything organized. She is just moving in. Nothing out of place. I guess I would have a neat house if I didn't do any crafty stuff. But I like my stuff spread out and accessible. Not that I need to make excuses for the mess. I am not a neat person.
Got to find something to eat. Later.



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is It Spring? It Feels Like It!

Well-here's the wool I dyed, and it did not come out this blue. It is more a light green turquoise color. I am thinking of blending it with another color-maybe golden yellow-maybe something else. Any ideas?

Here are my little bird ornament and my pincushion from the new book. Easy, Easy, Easy.


And here is a beautiful yellow angel trumpet bush. I was driving through a neighborhood, jumped out of the van, snapped a shot, and quickly sped away. I didn't see the one next to it until a few days later. It is a pale pink, white, heathery color. Beautiful is the only adjective that comes to mind right now.

It has been Spring-like all day. Weird weather. We have had tornado threats around us. Some rain. Lots of threats of bad weather.

Just wanted to brighten up the blog some with these photos. News later.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Fun!

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." . . . . It is when two such persons discover one another,when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision - it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, paragraph 16

Yesterday my friend CJ, her mother, her friend L, and L's daughter H came to visit. CJ has been teaching H how to knit, and H has been going on her own with a knitting book. She lives several hours away. We oohed and ahhed over show and tell, we talked knitting, we talked spinning, we looked through my stash of fibers. We chose some stuff for CJ's Latvian patterned socks she is planning. After eating some soup and stuff, I set up the drum carder for CJ to card some fleece. I then showed H how to spin with a drop spindle. Which, of course, she immediately took off on. She had been spinning on CJ's spinning wheel one weekend, and now, she wants to spin. She is 11. I gave her my little spindle that I had made, and some roving. She is ecstatic. She even said as they were leaving, "Are you sure I can have this?" I said, "Only if you want it, and that you would like to have it." It instantly went into the little knitting bag I had felted and knew it should go home with her. I told her every knitter needs her own knitting bag. Isn't it good to have friends around for a whole day?

CJ's mother took a nap on my couch. So we got to talk a lot. It was then that we realized that she had "known" me for years, but didn't really "know" me. She cannot remember that I was spinning and knitting and weaving from the beginning. She was a professional singer/songwriter and was focused on her work. She did some tatting when she had her year of chemo for breast cancer.

But suddenly she is spinning and knitting and learning all kinds of things fast. We have a group of mutual friends that all go to this cabin way out in the boonies, nine creek crossings to an inholding in the middle of a national forest. The last meeting of friends is always the last weekend in October. I told her I had a picture somewhere of me knitting a pair of socks on the back porch while visiting with another friend's mother. I know it is Autumn because of the leaves on the trees. She does not remember that at all. And I told her I had taken my spinning wheel once. She remarked, "Maybe it was a weekend that I was on a gig." I told her that it was not; that she was there.

But now we have our new friendship. Which is nice at our later age and experience. We both have a lot in common, but she has a very busy life with her mother, her husband's mother, and her writing. And, of course, her fiber art.

I enjoyed the day because it was a chance for me to share and teach and to have companionship in things I love. It was a glorious day with a definite Autumn tinge. Cool, windy, bright sun that is not so warming. We have been having lows in the low 40's. I have put a blanket on the bed. I finally closed the windows. I have not put the storm doors on the screen doors yet. Baby has been sleeping up tight and personal at night. I get pinned against the wall because in my sleep I move away, she moves up close, I move away, she moves up close, etc.

So today is a day of rest. No cooking, no cleaning, no nothing. I am going to sew today. I have plans, but may not stick to plans. I guess I should mention that I got my copy of Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I ordered it from Purl. They are so cool. I ripped open the box and there was a little wrapped package in green tissue paper. And there is a little note inside the cover with a receipt and thank you. I thought it was special that I got a present to myself.

I want to make some bird ornaments right now, so that will be on my plan list today. I also like the pin cushions and pin books. Nice gifts for friends.

So gotta go try to relax, and have some fun. Later.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Please Tell Me It's The Weekend!!

I have had it this week. I told you about the goofy Wednesday. Yesterday I looked everywhere in my truck for my house keys. I keep them separate from the vehicle keys. No where. I let myself into the back door, after going through all the head high weed patches and briers. I had more stick tights on me than I ever have had. And right there on the washing machine was my ring of house keys. Now-I have to admit in public that I am obsessively methodical about keys, knives, and other such items. I keep them in the same place all the time. I keep the keys on a little thing right at the door. So when I grab one, I grab the other. I do not ever, ever, lay them on the washing machine.

O.K. Today is Friday-at last. I run into the grocery store while I am waiting on my client to finish her shopping. I open my little zippered pouch to get my debit card. No debit card. I am also very methodical (although not as obsessively) about how I handle my debit card, my credit card, and my driver's license. I did not panic. But as soon as I returned to my place of employment, I tore up my purse and my truck looking for both my debit card and my driver's license. I was doing mental subtraction to the time last used, etc. I found them in the bottom of my tote bag I carry when I work. I don't carry my purse; it is locked in my vehicle (yes, out of sight). Now how did they get to the bottom of the tote bag?

Sigh! It has been a week of weird things!

Tomorrow my friend CJ is coming over and her new little protege and her mom will drive up from down south of us. We are going to knit and spin and eat and have fiber fun! I can hardly wait. It is just nice to have someone to talk fiber stuff to. Will report all that on Monday.

I am going to bed, providing I can find the bed after all I have been through. I hope the Little People didn't booby trap it somehow. I am very sleepy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You Mean It's Only Wednesday? Are You Sure?

I woke up this morning and was sure it was Thursday. I was discombobulated all day. I missed two turn offs while driving, and had to go a long way around to get back to where I needed to be. And I decided to try a different route out of one clinic, and ended up behind the hospital at the loading docks on a very narrow curved drive with vehicles parked on the side. I had to back a 12 passenger van all the way out of the mess I had gotten myself into. Whew! I was still sure at the end of the day it was Thursday. Wahhahh! Enough whining.

Okay, this is gross. I have periodically smelled that cat smell that I can't stand in other people's houses in my house. I attributed it to visiting feral cats under the house spraying, and the smell comes up into the house. Well......tonight I caught Mz. Baby backing up to a doorway, lifting her tail, and shaking her booty! Boy! I swatted her hard enough to knock a little sense into her. Then I scrubbed the door, walls, carpeting, and furniture nearby. It made me really mad! I have seen Noodles spraying outside on bushes, etc. I was not expecting Ms. Twit to do it in the house. Boy! What a deal.

I once had a female cat that hated me so badly that she would pee into my shoes, filling them to the brim. My husband thought that was so funny, and laughed. I, of course, threw the shoes out. I once got home from work, and she immediately sprayed each of the four tires. My vet thought it was funny, too, and assured me female cats do spray and there is nothing wrong with their bladders-like an infection. I was really mad then, too!

So now I am going to rent a steam cleaner and do the carpets really good before the close-the-window time comes. Then I guess I am going to do a sniff test around different places. This is just way beyond my patience.

And after all the drama of cleaning and yelling, etc., I turn around and Noodles had brought me a dead mouse and placed it right behind me. Some peace-maker, huh?

I was really proud of my Monday night student. At work she brought her wash cloth she is making-all knit stitches. She is really doing well, and only made one little boo-boo that I could see. Next week-onward to purl stitch and learning how to read a pattern.

I am yawning. I guess tomorrow really is Thursday. Finally.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Arggh! I Hate Blogspot Some Days!

I tried and tried to upload my photos. No go. I tried different discs; still no go. ARGGHH! However you spell that without using profanity!

Anyway, I dyed 4 ozs of wool roving with my blue. Yeah! I was so excited. You know how I have been wanting to do this-right? Well, it is not robin's egg blue, or sky blue in the wintertime blue, or any shade of blue. It is a pale green turquoise. Weird! Really weird! I think it will be luscious when spun, but I think I am going to blend it with some other colors. But not sure what. I have some natural dyed yellows and golds. Hmm! Maybe.

So that's gotten that out of my system. Even Kool Aid is not a predictable dye that can be duplicated easily. Weird! Really weird!

Last night a woman from my job and her granddaughter came to the LYS for me to show them how to knit. I taught them how to do the knit stitch. I told them I show them the basic stitches and how to read a pattern. But I really encouraged them to take a class. I have to promote the classes.

I am really bummed out about my stupid transportation device. My poor pickup truck needed new brakes-badly. But I was unable to do anything about it last week. I had to do something yesterday, not tomorrow. So today I paid really big bucks to get new front brakes and rotors. I was not a happy camper. And when I handed him the credit card, he said, "You really need to get new front tires immediately." Sigh! Immediately. Evidently there is a problem that has wires coming through on the inside where I can't see it. I don't mean the inside of the tire, but on the inside of the car next to the engine. As opposed to the outside where the valve stem, etc is. Just great! Just frigging great! And- then he tells me I should get new shocks also. His professional opinion is the yucky shocks are what caused the uneven wearing on the tires. SIGH!

So on a happier note-it is really cool at night. With the windows open, I am able to wear my light-weight flannel jammie bottoms. This morning was a beautiful foggy morning. It was so gorgeous! And as the fog lifted, all the spider webs were coated in moisture. It was just visually exciting! I cannot seem to get decent pictures, but I did try. And anyway, I can't upload any pics on this stupid blog.

Well-time to go to bed. Baby is already there and asleep. She will have to move, but she will only do so reluctantly.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What a Beautiful Day This Saturday Is!!



Well, these are Men's Plain Socks in the 1940's sock booklet I used. I never really use a pattern on plain socks, but I refer to it. They were boring because I took way too long to knit them. Instead of just getting it done, I put them away for some time during the summer heat. Then I would work a little bit more. Then I would put them away.

What I've noticed in the podcasts and in scanning the blogs - people are getting into knitting after the summer slump. Maybe we should just have a moratorium on knitting in the summer months. In my knitting group there is a frenzy of people trying to get Christmas projects going and finished. I always need a carry-along something, so I started a washcloth out of EuroFlax. That's part of my Christmas knitting, plus I don't have to think about it. It's small enough to just stick in my purse. I want to start the red socks for my friend's grandson, but I need to measure his footies. My friend supposedly measured and said his foot was 7" long. Well, that's pretty HUGE for a 3 year old!

The hawks have been really vocal in the early a.m. Of course, we have a lot of crows here, and they were calling in the rain. So I went to investigate the one bird noise I did not recognize easily. It was a Gray Catbird hopping around the briar patch outside the back door. It looked as if he had on a bad black toupee. The bluebirds are really active in the birdbath in the late afternoon. They have a heirarchy of who gets there first, and please don't take so long in the water! They are lined up waiting.

Nothing else to report. I refused to do anything today. I did some writing, but that's it. I did not work on any job type activities. I did not knit. I did not read. I rested. I wanted to really clean my house, but I still haven't done that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Show Me The Money!



For some stupid reason my employer cannot direct deposit my pay check. Which means I have to wait until it is delivered by mail. And you know I live in a rural area on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere? OK, I do exaggerate, but seriously, my postman sometimes does not deliver on Saturdays. So finally I got my paycheck today. I was really considering being ugly at work tomorrow, but darn! now I just have to be myself! This whole job has a lot of negativity, and I am trying not to focus on it. But I do want to get a paycheck!


I tried to get a sunset picture the other day as I came home. It was so gorgeous. We finally got a tiny little rain this past weekend, and last night a HUGE front moved through with a LOT of rain. It is so pretty in the mountains with the fog and mist moving through the trees. I have to come out of the mountains and get to a freeway to go into the city to work. I turned the corner and there was a huge fog covering the little town I live near and above it was clear sky. Really bizarre. I guess Stephen King gets his ideas from moments like this. My little dinky camera cannot capture visions like that!


I am decreasing the toe on sock #2. I really piddled along this summer on this pair of socks. I actually got tired of them because I took too long to finish them. I am going to finish the shrug next. I am casting on for the sleeves now. I am really into thinking about Christmas knitting now. I have to finish the shrug before it really gets cold. I will be truly pleased to have finished projects.


I found a cute book at the library, Stupid Sock Creatures by John Murphy. He uses store bought socks to make really weird, ugly, cute sock creatures. I see a potential for some of my felted sweaters I bought at thrift stores.


Well, I am yawning really big. Time to stretch, read, and sleep, sleep, sleep. I have to get up an hour early tomorrow to help serve breakfast to stupid bikers in town for Bikes, Blues, and Bar-b-que. Our center is offering breakfast as a fund-raiser. I hate crowds, I hate noise, I hate stupid things like biker events. Of course, I do make exceptions for wool festivals. But even then, I go in quickly, look around quickly, make my purchases, and get out quickly. I never linger too long. I can stand for extremely long times in a yarn store, but if there is a crowd, I'm outa there. Miss Sociable 2007, that's me!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Where Did September Go?

My gosh! It is October-almost. I think it was just Labor Day the other day! I am waking up to cooler mornings. I leave my windows open all the time, and I had to put a light blanket on the bed last night. I am seeing the trees changing daily now. No spectacular color shows yet, but there is change there. The squirrels are running all over the place-and on the roads-trying to find nuts. With the freeze we had, there will be a nut shortage. That's bad for squirrels, deer, turkey, and other mast eaters. The other day I walked outside to the awful scent of bear everywhere. I think she is looking for food too.

I am seeing that blue color everywhere. I am becoming obsessive about that blue color we had last weekend at the dye workshop. I bought some Kool Aid to make some more dye, but have not had the time. I saw a car and an old pickup truck at a used car lot that had that blue. Then I look up and there is a huge billboard with that blue. It is everywhere!

I have my clothes hanging on the line, and there is a nice breeze blowing today. They will be dry in no time. Someone is supposed to come and brush hog the pastures, but they have not shown up. I wish they would come while I am at work. That way I don't have to put up with the pollen and dust as it is flying around.

Oh-the sky was that color blue, also!

The new shows have started on TV. That has been interesting this week. I have gotten several mitres done on the sock afghan. I can do those fast, and I don't have to think too much. I have been very exhausted from my job. There are two of us that are doing double duty since two others had vacation. So I can sit on the couch, knit mitres, and listen to the new shows. I then get up, do my back stretches, crawl into bed, read a little, and sleep, sleep, sleep. Then it starts all over again in the morning.

Baby Girl had her birthday this week. She is officially 6 years old now. Noodles birthday is in October-I think. He was a rescued kitty and I guesstimated his birthday. He will be 7 years old. I spent a fortune-literally-this week on flea medicine, Frontline Plus, and worm medicine. They have a new worm medicine that is topical and you apply like Frontline. That is good for kitties that do not take pills easily. (Like my two!) The vet said the tapeworm medicine is the same, but the other worm medicine was discovered in Japan as a fungus on some plant. It is a new discovery, and has been tested in Europe. I did not like to read the insert about the testing part, but I am happy to have an easier medicine to use.

I guess I better get busy and do something else productive. It is a beautiful day to be outside, but I have to clean bathrooms first. Oh-and the kitchen! It's a mess!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Take Time to Say Thanks!

I found this link on one of my quilting newsletters today-LetsSayThanks.com. It will send a postcard designed by a child that says thanks to a person in the military. You don't get to pick who you send it to, but you put your name and a message attached to it. I may not approve or want this stupid war we are in, but I want our children to know that we support them away from home.

Also I found this wonderful quote that I wanted to pass along:

100,000 of your brain cells die every day-make sure it's not from boredom.
-The Economist

We finally got a little rain today. A small cool front moved through. I have begun to see a few trees changing leaf color. Yep! It's a SIGN!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Autumn! It's the Autumnal Equinox!







What a glorious end of summer yesterday was! It was warm, but not HOT! It was sunny! And a perfect day to dye outside. Colleen and a coupla others were bothered by bugs, but I guess my skin's too tough. We began with practise pieces of 2 yard skeins. Colleen dyed roving. The Greatest Surprise was the Kool Aid Crock Pot. I have never tried the blue Kool Aid dyes. Well-let me be the first to tell you- it is GORGEOUS! It is the sky blue that you see in pictures four and six. I mixed a package of Blue Berry and a package of Blue Raspberry Lemonade. Well-that's on my To Do List. Everyone at the workshop was busy, busy, busy. After lunch we got down to serious dyeing of the yarn brought by the participants. It was fun to watch everyone's techniques, everyone's color choices, and to see the satisfaction that it was really pretty. I think the surprise on people's faces was the most fun. After steaming in my roaster, we gave each a quick bath. Then we hung them in the tree to dry. Well, it was a gorgeous sight!
I quickly made a char sieu marinade last night and left chicken breasts to marinade overnight. Right now my house smells wonderful as the chicken is cooking. I am trying to get the cooking over this morning while the morning is cool. I thought about cooking on the grill, but the marinade would have a tendency to burn. So I popped it in the oven, and yummy in the tummy time today. I can't get enough of that mystery Red Dye, but I have been good to watch the toxins in my system lately.
I was listening to something on t.v. that was a little bit interesting. Has anyone else noticed that there is really nothing on t.v. until the new season starts next week? Anyway, the person was talking about people who make to do lists. Not just today I need to go by the grocery store. But lists like "Climb Mount Everest in my lifetime." This person was talking about people concerned that they may die before they complete their lists and how this creates an anxiety. Well-Mt. Everest is not on my lists. Dyeing with blue Kool Aid is. I have been careful not to make any knitting wish lists. I like to call them wish lists, because I don't get anxious that I haven't done them. I know in my head things I would like to do, but I don't write it down. I have read a lot of blogs where people do that. I also have a list in my head of studies I would like to do. Example, cables.
I am talking to my girlfriend while I am writing this. Her daughter just bought a house. So we had to go through all the stuff that she has gotten to move in, and all the details.
Gotta go. I've got lots of things to do today. I will catch up later on.