Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hooray! It's Raining!

I know it is flooding in other parts of the U.S., but we need rain so badly. We had a very wet July, but we are still behind in our rainfall. Then August heat and drought came. So every little bit we get, we get excited. I looked at the rain gauge and it is 1.5 inches since 5 a.m. My gourds may get a little bit bigger.

The temperature is now 68 degrees. That is a far cry from the 90's yesterday.

I think today I am going to dye some. I really need to work some too. I actually picked up some knitting last night. It felt good to just sit and knit and be quiet. I guess I will get used to my job and I will get my life back. Just some days I am so tired. I just want to go to bed and read and rest. Enough of that crap!

The cats are adjusting to my time schedule, but poor ole Buddy is slower. Two nights this week I found him standing right in the drive into the yard, and he will not move. One night I rolled the window down and told him to go to the barn. He reluctantly left his guard post and waited by the feed room door. A neighbor brought some corn for him, and he really likes the variety. It is harder for him to chew it, and he leaves a big mess. But other animals get the leftovers, so it works.

Not a whole lot to say today. Other than it is cooler and wetter. I can feel the changes coming. We still have September heat to go through, but the cool snaps help.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Man! It's Still HOT!!

I am only going to grouse once-but this new job is kicking butt. I am really tired. I lay in bed last night and tried to do mental exercises-like how to overdye this skein of yarn I have, how many projects do I really have to get done soon, and thinking of patterns. But I fell asleep. I guess it really is like counting sheep; just count projects that are unfinished.

And I have not touched any knitting or nothing since Monday Night Knit Group. It's just not fair, is it?

Okay, enough of that crap. These are some of my concerns today:
1. Isn't it really a stupid idea to do a job interview with your avatar online? Or am I just old fashioned?
2. Why do they have to do away with analog TV's? Some of us don't watch very much TV, but I do have a few fav's. I do watch PBS. I do not have cable or a satellite- I know- it seems impossible to most. But I have had this poor old TV for 17 or 18 years. I barely get the basic 3 channels, PBS, and occaisonally Fox. I get some other weird station if I have to reprogram after a power outage, but it's never the same every time. Once I got a Spanish-only station, and that was fun to just watch without the sound.
3. Why do people really need Cat or Dog Facebooks for their pets? I cannot imagine my two cats or my foster horse really caring.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Finally! It's Saturday!!!

This is what I saw outside this morning at 6:15 a.m. It looks like-wait-are those clouds? Maybe we will get some rain. Only one hour later I lost any hope that it was real. I put clothes out on the line to dry. It is overcast, and somewhat cooler. That's relative only to compare to the 100's we had this past week. I have windows and fans right now. By 2 p.m. we will see if I need a/c.

This is my latest yarn. It is really a pretty green with a blue hue that cannot be seen in these photos. It's at the yarn shop right now hob-nobbing with the ritzy yarns. Here you can see it is really a country yarn at heart, visiting it's friends rocks and gourds.

This full-time gig has only been for 3 days now, and I feel like it has been 3 years. I worked 9 hour days the first 2 days. I did not have time to work on my friends bookkeeping job, or to knit, or to spin, or nothing. Thursday night I just plopped on the couch, turned on the dance show, got out my sock #2, and said, "I am just going to rest a little while." Even Noodles crawled into my lap, which he never, ever does. He is too big-all 17 pounds of him. My lap is not big enough. But he managed to curl into a tight enough ball to fit. So we watched that, and he slept through it. I only dozed, and snorted as I woke up enough to watch.

Yesterday was a short day, since my afternoon clients cancelled. I took an hour of comp time, and rushed over to the knit shop. Colleen and Joy were working on the newsletter, I snooped around to see what new stuff has come in, and then Linda Jo came in. O-my-gosh! She is spinning rough and tumble yarn to make a knitted carryall-her fav pattern. And she just started knitting it without blocking the yarn. It is so beautiful and fabulous!! Look here -

Then last night I just collapsed about 9:30p.m. So today I am ready to go and get all kinds of stuff done! Post office, bank, vet for Frontline, library. Then home to work on my friend's stuff. Then tomorrow I am planning a fiber day. Dyeing, spinning, etc. etc.

I bought the new Rowan 42-and I want that shrug with the big doily pattern on the back. It looks kinda like a cape from the back, and a shrug from the front. There are several patterns I like in this one. I want a lot of different things, but I resisted. It is only right that I spend part of my first real paycheck(meaning check that taxes were taken) at the knit shop. I have been making cash money as I explained in an earlier blog. And I still spent part of that in the knit shop too.

Anyway, remember that I went to my friend's house a coupla Sundays ago? Well, her husband sent me a copy of the picture he took while we were spinning away. Well, guess who looks like Ms. Thunderthighs 2007? There is nothing flattering about thighs squashed down on a chair! But I will add it to my albums anyway.

The cats are freaked that I am not at home all day. They have been leaving me "food" that I have to clean out every day. First it was the big lizard in the bath tub, and he was not excited about being carried to the outdoors. Then we had the field rat and the vole-both dead, thank goodness! Then yesterday I found a full-grown dead squirrel by the toliet in the bathroom. I made the mistake of telling them that Mama has to go to work so I can buy them food and stuff. I guess they are trying to tell me I don't need to work. Even Buddy the horse is upset over the routine. I am feeding him later than he is used to, and he snorts and rumbles and shakes his head at me. Kids!

Well, that catches me up, I think. I need to go to town now, and then I have to get some work done.

My first thoughts this morning were trying to do some math in my head without a calculator of how many stitches I need to cast on for a hat that I want to make. That's after I thought I heard it pouring rain, and I jerked my head up to check it out. I guess it was a dream. So then I started thinking knitting pattern, math, and I was able to do it. So maybe the ole brain cells aren't too rusty after all.

Later-after I do some work.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wow! I'm Working!

I went from underemployed to overemployed in one day. My friend set me up on the internet to do some work for her, and I worked for her on Tuesday. I went to an interview on Tuesday afternoon, and before I got home I had a message asking me to call them back. I started work on Wednesday morning. I am supposed to work an 8 hour day, but it has been 9 hours both days. Actually it was 9.5 today, but I am taking 30 mins comp time in the morning. So-no- I am not rich, but have a source of income now that will pay the rent, buy cat and horse food, and occasionally me some little treats. You know what kind, but we don't say them out loud. It looks like y**n. I will catch up on the Blog maybe tomorrow night or Saturday. Later.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Hot Week Ahead!

As I mentioned before, someone turned on the heat. I keep my mantra, "We will survive this", going all the time. The poor plants are suffering. They were thriving in all the rain we were getting, and now they are too big and leafy to do well. I water, but it is a drop to them.

My friend YC came over the weekend to plug in some new computer programs, and I am going to do some work for her business. I felt like my brain was going to run out my ears yesterday. We worked 7 hours on "stuff". We only took one major break to run into town to make a copy of a document she had brought, and it would be less costly and time consuming to take it to a copier place. Whew. We picked up salads to go, and rushed back home. She left in a flurry last night about 8:30 p.m., but talked to me until she had driven through Tulsa. I was on the computer looking up stuff while she was talking. I was exhausted when I went to bed about 10:30p.m. I just don't have the energy any more.

I did get some knitting done waiting for her to arrive, but otherwise, this was not a knitting weekend. I have a busy, busy day today. I am going to go to a spinning group at 1:oo p.m., and then my knitting group this evening. I sat down to get my spinning wheel adjusted. I like to do that before I go to any new group. Well, Ms. Ashford does not feel like spinning today. I will have to sit down and have a good talk with her after I finish this. I oiled her the other day, so that is not it.

Otherwise no news. I did finish the green wool that I was spinning, and it looks all nice and neat since I blocked it and wound it into a skein. I think this skein will go to the yarn shop for a demo for the dye workshop.

Anyway, gotta go work on the spinning wheel. Got to get my truck packed. Got to take a shower and get dressed. Gotta, Gotta, Gotta, Gotta..... wish my English was improved too.
Sigh! My brain is still tired!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Let's Try To Get A Picture-Again!

This is my little hat I told you about in last blog. It is so teeny-weeny, but new babies are teeny-weeny. Unless it's my baby. He was HUGE!
This is my newest project finished! I never did make the sour dough starter. But I have been holding onto the recipe for the No Knead Bread from the NY Times. I had little faith in the results, although others have stated it is good. Well...... Let me be the one to say, this is Good Bread! It is so easy. I started the dough yesterday around 12:30p.m. We had a huge power failure for over an hour. HOT! HOT! I forgot about the dough until this morning. I peeked at it, deemed it okay to start the final countdown. It never did bubble, but the dough was pulling away from the edges in long shaggy pieces. I folded it up as required, put it to rest in two linen towels. Two hours later I plopped it onto the parchment paper, stuck it onto the preheated baking stone,threw some ice cubes into a hot cast iron skillet, and it came out crusty all the way around. As you can see, it has a good crumb, it is very light in flavor (not yeasty or heavy flour taste), and has a distinctly chewy crust. I give this recipe a two-thumbs up!

Next time I am going to experiment with the flours a little bit. I only substituted about 1/2 cup of bread flour with 50/50 wheat/white flour. I like my pumpernickel or rye a little bit heavy, but other bread I like a light taste. Heavier bread is okay in the winter time with soups, but I like a lighter bread with salads.

So on to knitting news. Let's see. I decided to do a coupla more squares on the mitred mess. Yeah, I know, it is supposed to be put up for a while. But Susan suggested I might tuck in my loose ends as I go, and that's where I started. I ended up with 5 new squares, and the loose ends tucked in. So it can go back into a safe place for now. I have been carding and spinning in the early hours. I am kinda anxious to see the new Twisted Sisters Sweater Book. Maybe I will get some ideas there. I like their sock book, but I don't use it that often as a reference.

Otherwise, I am still trying to get a job, I am still cleaning away at the mess, and I just read a really good book by Ann Hood, Somewhere Off The Coast of Maine . I like the way she develops her characters. It is the story of three women that meet as freshmen in college in 1966. It is interesting how she develops the characters with the social contexts of our culture changes at that time. And how their lives develop over the years.

Joan at the library just called. She has a request in, and I guess I will run into the library and get that and finish up my clean up project from this a.m. Later!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I finished a cute little teeny baby hat for our Knitting for Noggins charity. It is a drive to provide hats for the children at the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock. I took a picture of one of my teddy bears wearing it. The teddy bear wearing his bright red cardigan I made a long time ago. No- you will not get to see it this post. For some reason my computer will not talk to my camera. They are not compatible this morning.

Maybe there is a message here. My streams of consciousness is active today. I woke from a dream state early this a.m. with the loud conversation of two hawks and one crow outside the bedroom window. The hawks were trying to convince Crow that they were only there temporarily looking for a quick breakfast, and then they would move on. But Crow was not going to listen. He just shrilly kept telling them to "Get Out Of Here!" I sleepily walked to the front door and stepped outside to see what was going on. They finally worked it out somehow.

This dis-communication seems to be all around me today. I decided to just sit outside in the coolness of the very early morning and spin. It was really nice to just sit and spin, listening to the bugs and hummingbirds, and the occasional songbird sounds. The hummingbirds were a little concerned about the spinning wheel. The cutest thing was one sat on its teeny perch at the feeder and made a few squeaky noises. Then it would slurp some syrup; then make squeaky noises; then slurp some more. I've never seen this behavior before.

So I came in to fix something to eat and read a little bit. The power just did a surge of three tries before staying on. Some communication thing there too. I haven't even turned on the a/c today, so who knows what will happen when I do that.

I had good intentions of today being the day to clean up the fallen boxes in the storage room. Noodles comes in at night revved up and roaring. He runs through, jumping on places he is not supposed to, and never slows down. He chirples the whole time. He knocked over three large plastic storage boxes, the lids popped off, and stuff is strewn everywhere. I have to clean up the mess before it gets really hot. That's why it is still there. Well, as Scarlett would say, tomorrow is another day!

I am going to teach a dye workshop at the LYS this Fall. I am thinking of a class of Knitting with Handspun. It is an observation that many people are learning to knit by reading the pattern and buying the yarn called for. Most yarn shops do not have the exact yarn and substitution is called for. But then one has to know what it means when it calls for DK or Worsted Weight, etc.
Most people stick to the rules and follow the patterns exactly. Well, with handspun yarn all bets are off. One has to know how to measure, how to swatch, how to plug in the numbers in a formula to figure out how many stitches are needed to cast on, etc. One has to understand that yarn and how it will work once knitted. There are countless books available explaining this practise. sell my handspun yarn in the LYS, I think a simple class would be beneficial to show people how lovely and how creative it is to knit something in handspun yarn.

But then, maybe this is a class that needs to be expanded to everyone that knits. Everyone needs to know how to swatch, how to measure, how to do the math. How many of us go through our stash and find a yarn without a label? The LABEL that tells you what gauge, what needle size, etc. I know several of my German friends tell me that they do not have patterns there like we do. Their tradition is oral and passed around patterns. They just knit freely without the constraints that we put on ourselves.

Anyway, I have communicated all I can communicate today. This is another of those days that I guess the message will reveal itself in its own time. I just wish I could figure out how to get the computer and camera happy again. Sigh! Some things are beyond my understanding.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I'm a Whiny Baby!

OK-Here're the updated two photos of the mitred nightmares. You just have to merge them into one visual photo in your brain. I have only completed three rows, but my god, it takes forever! I have laid it aside for a while. I am, for sure, going to finish my UFO's soon.

Noodles dug out the shrug from the knitting bowl and made a nest on it. This is a sign that I am to work on this too. I mean, it was rolled up and mixed up with the balls of Manos in the bowl. He had to work hard to dig it out, spread it out without any creases, and fix it just right into a nest. I have to just shake my head.

I did not listen to him about the quilt. It languishes in the box that he was laying in in that photo before. I have good intentions, but no desire to dig it out. I guess it will take some thinking on my part, and I am not thinking too swiftly lately.

I have found that since being unemployed, I read a lot later at night. I have always tried to read at least 1-2 hours every night lying down, snuggy in my bed, and relaxed into the moment. I can always, always count on Baby wanting a Love session as soon as the lights go out. So usually I finish reading, turn out the lights, and have my lovey session. Well, if the book is good, I suddenly look at the clock and it's almost midnight. Baby gives up on the light idea around 11p.m. She just wants her Love session right then and no other time. So that delays my reading, and then I have to read just a little more, and a little more, and then it's 1:30am.

So grumpy me in the mornings. Some mornings-like this morning-I am really disoriented to the day of the week. I was reading The Knitting Circle last night, and I was boo-hooing and snuffling. Baby came over and bit my finger. But I stayed up until 1:45 a.m. reading it to finish it. People have told me it is not all that good. I have read a lot of knitting cozy mysteries, and I had to read Friday Night Knit Club just because of the Julia Roberts thing. But I thought this book was a good read. Although it seemed to take forever to resolve the problem. I would recommend it to most of the light readers out there. If you are a heavy thinker reader, this would not be all that good. It would seem like fluff to you. But I like light reading to distract me, just like I like to knit socks to distract me. I don't always want to knit the complicated patterns found out there. Sometimes a plain ole sock works just fine.

Anyway, I have found out I am a whiny baby. I try the stuff like, "Just get over it!", "Pull up your big girl panties, and move on!", or "Get off your pity pot." But this no job thing is really hard on me. But then I find out about people like Anne Modesett and her husband's problems. Or anyone else out there in blog land who have worse trouble.

My solution today was to clean both bathrooms really clean, try out some new dye colors, spin a little, listen to podcasts, and that's it until now. I guess I have to keep moving. I have the drum carder cleaned so I can card a little wool too.

Oops! It's time to feed all the animals. I'm surprised that the cats have not come in yet. Buddy will be standing in his stall waiting. He is really a patient old horse, but he has a raspberry rumbling noise he makes when he is disgruntled. Until next time.

If you have the ability to help her, go to Anne Modesett's web page.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

It Is Definitely August!

The heat was turned on, and it has stayed on. I am now watering my plants. But no matter how much I water, there is no substitute for a good rain. At least the grass is brown and I don't have to mow.

I am going to put the mitres away for a while. I am now having dreams about mitres. Night before last I dreamed I was in a contest and had to knit a 4" square in any pattern I wanted to do. Time wasn't important, but design and originality were the key components of the guidelines. I was trying to design a 4" square with different mitres, and was trying to do the math. I was bogging down with "If I can knit a 2" square in x minutes, then I can do this in x minutes." Somewhere there were 48, half of which was 24. Where that came from, I don't know. Last night it was just mitres and mitres and mitres. Looking at colors, knitting, looking at colors, knitting. Time to move onto one of the UFOs.

I did finish sock #1, and I am knitting the cuff for sock #2. I also have the green scarf to finish. So either of those two will do in the heat. Just get something done. The damn mitres will take forever to finish, and I have only done 3 rows. I will try to figure out a way to photo them to show you.

I have a job interview today. Yes, I know it is Saturday, but she wanted to know if I wanted to come today or Monday. Of course, I said Saturday. So I am sitting here with wet hair, waiting for it to dry enough to put up. My usual hairdo for interviews is a bun. It is too overwhelming to see an old lady in a long braid down her back.

I got up early to watch my quilt shows. But, wouldn't you know it, this is the time for our local PBS people to beg for money. I know how necessary it is, but it is annoying. They show the same old shows over and over. I love PBS, but I find the begging annoying. And the "specials" are always the same ones they have shown for the last three years or longer. Lest someone screams at me for not supporting PBS, I will not say another thing. I just miss that I can't see my quilt show at 7:30am.

Well, time to iron the clothes and try to put myself together.