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, 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
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 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.