Sunday, March 30, 2008

Home Again!

This is a little elephant that a customer made at the LYS. She gave me permission to photo it. Isn't it darling? She is on her third one. They are made of Blue Sky Cotton. Boo-ti-ful!

HERE IT IS!!!!!!!

While blocked it was 49 inches by 32 inches. A good size for a lap afghan. Isn't it pretty?! : ) I started it September 8, 2007 and finished March 27,2008. I also used the Kureyon for the border to give a variegated border instead of the recommended border. I like it. Oh-and the big thing I didn't like was the "feel" of the Kureyon. I soaked this overnight in Orvus and lanolin with some lavender oil thrown in. It is much, much softer. So whatever Noro does to the yarn washed off. It is softer and drapes much nicer.

I am emotionally washed out with the two days with the family. It wears me out. I actually left yesterday around 4 p.m. and got home tired and stinky. My brother and his wife smoke, and it is such a pain to deal with that. I showered with lots of suds, and scrubbed my hair clean. I could easily have finished my sock, but I didn't want it to stink. So I kept sticking it back into my bag. I ended up reading more than knitting.

It was extremely pretty driving there. Once I left the mountains and hit the interstate, there were redbuds blooming along the roadside. Then I noticed more and more flowers. In my brother's yard, everything is blooming. Even the azaleas were starting to bloom! I noticed dogwoods blooming in town, but nothing yet out in the country where they live. Thursday the temperature was 78 degrees!

Driving home there was drizzle and grey skies. By the time I got to the mountains, there was fog in the elevations. I took a back road part of the way home, and once I went down into the valley near the creek, the fog had lifted. The dirt roads were all wet and slick, but were manageable. There were places that had washed out from the last big rain, but not as bad as I have seen it in the past.

I had to clean up all the kitty presents left around. It is a real treasure hunt to find them all. There was one big pile of grassy throw-up. That one was easy. Then there were the body parts. Some unrecognizable, except furry, grey, rodent (probably).

I woke up this morning with two fur bodies pressed against each side of my body. So I guess things are back to normal around here.

I am spinning my black and white alpaca. I am behind in the spinning department. Oh, well, I am the only one that sets deadlines, and I try to keep myself on task. But I am behind schedule.

I also am in the mood to sew. So...... get back to work, you fool! Later.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What Happened?

I went onto my blog to check on what I had last written. I couldn't remember when I last wrote. For some reason the paragraphs are out of sequence. It is bizarre! Nothing makes sense. I promise I did not write them like that!

I have been working in the LYS this week. Joy and Colleen are in Chicago on business, and S.J. and I are holding down the fort. I worked on my mitred blankie a little bit Monday and Tuesday. Today I decided to work on the sock.

I am going to my brother's house this weekend, and I thought about turning the heel before I head down there. That way I will be working on the foot, and it will not require major counting. But then I got worried as I was heading to work this a.m., "What if I finish the sock, or what if I get bored?" I really don't have another small project that is portable. So I thought of two different things. Now I have to organize tonight for that.

I feel much better also for donating some stash stuff to S.J. for the Teen Knitting Club. They meet at the library, and she told me they were running out of beginner yarns, and just some in between yarns. So I gave her some in between stuff, and some good stuff for the more experienced knitters. Whew! That lightened the load!

Also a lady came in today to buy a gift for a friend. She says she gets a rash if she touches wool, so I handled all the yarn, making suggestions, and holding it up to natural light. In the conversation, she mentioned another friend who has llamas, and they throw out the fleece when they shear!! Can you believe it?!?! So I gave her my business card, and told her I would give it to the spinning guild as a donation if they are looking for a home for this stuff next time!

I had a package today in the mail. Was I excited! One of my girlfriends sent me leftovers on her sock yarn! Six more little wads for my blankie!!

I am crocheting the border on the Lizard Ridge. I will not show a picture until it is washed and blocked. It looks awful right now.

Well, it may be a little while until I write. I am going to my brother's and I won't be back until Sunday evening. Good knitting, good spinning, good fun until I talk to you again!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday-Even If It's Early!

I have read in so many places now that the reason we have Easter so early is the lunar placement. Evidently Easter is the first Sunday after the Full Moon that comes after Spring Equinox. Okay! But then there is that question that there really isn't an equal day and night thing with Equinox. It is actually the moment that the Sun is equally on the equator.

So anyway, we have had warmish days, very windy, and sunshine. A cold front is moving through tonight, and there is a hint of a slight chance of rain or frozen mixture on Sunday morning. Of course there is colder weather. It's Easter. I've talked about that phenomenon before.

My neighbor told me he had put in salad greens in his garden. I am still procrastinating. Last year I had a little scare with that cold snap that hurt the trees so much. But I have started eating salads again and lighter food. That's always a start.

So for others who have asked me, I finally joined Ravelry. I haven't gotten excited about that yet. I know everyone is psyched, but I haven't gotten there yet. It just seems like a lot of work that isn't really necessary. I know exactly what my stash is and my needles. So that won't be put on there. I did enter my three projects today. I don't have a Flicker account, so no pics are posted. If you want to visit me, I am cozyknitting. How original, huh? Thought that was simpler.

Have a safe and blessed Easter weekend. I hope Spring finally comes for all my knit sibs in the northern part of the U.S.

Everyone has been raving about Greenies-for kitties. It is a snack treat that is supposed to help with tartar buildup. Well, I finally got my free sample in the mail today. Noodles will eat anything and thought it was great that Mom brought him a treat. He sucked them down with maybe two chews each. Baby, the finicky eater, licked hers and walked away. I held it for her to lick again, and finally got her to eat two pieces-reluctantly. He scarfed down her leftovers. So much for the experimently treat. Baby has bad breath when she drools. I don't notice it except then. Maybe it's a hormone thing in the mouth. So I guess we won't be treating that with Greenies.

I finished the 12th block!!!!! I have it drying after the steam blocking.!!!!! Now to put it together.

My girlfriend SH is becoming the sock machine. She has been sold on Jitterbug. She absolutely, positively LOVES IT!! She keeps knitting one sock to see what the yarn will look like. Now she is going back and finishing her second socks. She has one that I would say is cardinal(the bird, not the guy) red. But it is a semi-solid, and the shadings are very subtle.

I am still working on sock #2 of the Bamboo. I love the yarn. It is so very soft, and will make a great pair of lightweight socks. I never really count socks as a project. I always have a sock knitting because of the portability and practical nature of socks. So when someone asked me about my projects, I mentioned the Lizard Ridge and the mitre afghan. And then as an afterthought, the socks.

I have some new ideas to decorate my gourds. I am really sure this will be a summer-time project for me. I found out about some dyes made specifically for gourds, and do not streak like the leather dyes or shoe polish does. I sand them and clean them outside. So it will be a while for that project.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Does Anyone Have An Ark?

Well, my little rain guage goes to 5 inches, and then with the lip you can probably add another .5 inches. It was overflowing when I emptied it at around 5:30 p.m. yesterday. And today there is another 1.5 inches in it. I have a new green garden bucket-you know, the old pickle bucket- and it is about two-thirds full. I put the garbage out on the road, and the open garbage can had a half of the can of water. There is a big rock in the bottom to hold it down, but still- half a garbage can of water!

At least we did not have any tornadoes here. There was one further south that did some major damage. I saw a picture of sheer wind damage of a trampoline wrapped around a utility pole. Last night I had a hard time going to sleep because of the wind noises. The last time I looked at the clock was 2:00 a.m. Normally the cats are my guages. If there is anything wrong, I feel the change in their little bodies and it wakes me up. Last night they were both in hidey places and did not come to bed with me. I was on my own.

I also noticed that the weather is cooler. A lot cooler! It definitely feels like an Easter to me. I don't care how warm every day is up to Easter, Easter is always cold. And it doesn't matter when Easter is, either. The other thing is a cool snap in the early days of May. By that time I have begun to warm up and then wham! it is cool. Once that is over-it is HOT! Strange isn't it?

I have begun block number 12!!!! Yeah! Go Lizard Ridge, Go Lizard Ridge, Go Lizard Ridge!!!!

I listened to a free video on a gourd decorating technique. I learned so many little things that it was amazing. I don't think I will ever decorate one like she did, but I loved listening to the techniques. I guess this is going to be my summer project. I also want to weave some baskets with honesuckle or Kudzu.

I am still spinning the black/white Alpaca yarn. It is really pretty and really nice. I am thinking that I like the colorway so much that I might blend some black Alpaca with some white Merino. We'll see. I really do like the black/white combo. I also have some reddish Alpaca that I want to blend with some dog hair that I think would be spectacular. We'll see.

Nothing else new. I want to get some photos of the floods. It is so amazing!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Day After St. Patrick's Day!

Well, this has been an interesting few days. I have been knitting, of course, and spinning, of course, but I have been doing a little bit of yard work. Two of my neighbors borrowed my truck and got a load of horse manure. I am a little bit happy that we are having the massive rain today to help soak in the manure in the itty bitty garden spot. It feels good to be looking at a few little bitty flowers blooming, grass is beginning to green. Weeds are popping up!

One neighbor came over Friday evening with some fresh eggs. I have good neighbors, although we do leave each other alone for the most part.

Saturday morning we had our spinning guild meeting. There were perhaps 10 of us there. We had an interesting program. Each of us had to tell how we began spinning and to bring something from the beginning. There were about half and half of oldies and newbies. It was a good thing to do. It helps us get to know each other and to see how we spin. And it shows the newbies that it only gets better as you keep spinning along.

It was really weird weather, too, on Saturday. Friday was one of those warmish days, and suddenly it was one of those foggy, chilly, and not-yet-Spring days. Remember last month when I showed you the pictures of the fog during the spinning guild meeting? Well, it wasn't that bad except up on the mountain top. But it was definitely chilly. Stupid me, I only wore a sweater, and I turned up the heater in the truck.

Yesterday I had to do my once a week stuff in the city. I went by the Social Security office, and I am soooooo happy I had my sock knitting in my bag. I got a lot of that done waiting. And waiting. Then I went to do a little bit of shopping. Then I went by one of my elder friend's house to visit and deliver some fresh greens from the garden. Then I went to the library. And then I went by the knit shop. Colleen was busy cooking corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots. Joy was busy putting up new stuff. It is too overwhelming when they get all this new stuff in. I can't take it in all at once. My friend CJ and her husband were there shopping. They had come to town for a funeral, and she wanted him to see the shop. So he bought her some really yummy yarn. Then Tracey came in, and we sat down to knit and talk. Before you know it, folks started wandering in for the knit group. Tracey left to go to a pub crawl with some friends.

I am going to teach a dye workshop in June, and Joy ordered some new dyes that I am going to try out. It is called Culinary Colors. It appears to be the usual chemical dye, but prepared in such a way anyone can dye. It is pre-mixed, so no masks or measuring powders. Then you mix this pre-mix with some water and vinegar, paint it or dye your yarn, and set in the microwave for 5 minutes. Easy-peasy! I'll try it out on some fleece first. If there is a major boo-boo, I can mix it or blend it with something. Once I am comfortable, I will try some yarn. I have to admit I am not any good at yarn dyeing. I like to dye my fleece and then spin it. So we'll see how it goes.

I thought I would leave you with this pretty little Irish blessing. I missed St. Patrick's Day, except for the corned beef and cabbage, so here's to you and yours:

May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Beginning of Spring Storms!

We have had a series of storms marching this way. Yesterday about 5 p.m. the first storm blew in from the West. It was worse south of here with hail and storms. But we only got wind and rain. Tonight about the same time there is another storm coming in. The weather people are afraid there is greater chance of tornado-like weather with this one. Then another one marches through Monday evening into Tuesday morning. This is our typical storm season reports. It is like this every year. Tornadoes are always a threat. I have lived through 3 tornadoes, and I guess the only advise is be aware at all times where the danger is. Never take the weather for granted. Pay attention to the signs around you.

Above you will see numbers 9 and 10 of Lizard Ridge. I have number 11 on the needles and I am about half-way done. Whew! I am getting excited now! I can't wait to get this sucker done and finished. I still have a long ways to go, but it is getting closer.

I started spinning the black and white alpaca. Love it! It is so pretty. I am glad I got this colorway. I think it opens some new ideas for me.

I have been listening to Weave Cast again. I love that podcast. It is really my favorite one. She interviews the most interesting people. Yesterday I listened to an interview with a muskox wrangler and they talked about quiviut. She even was able to get one of the males to vocalize, and it sounded just like a tiger growling. You would never realize that was an herbivore instead of a carnivore. I wouldn't come out of my tent for nothing if I heard that out there. She interviewed a wonderful native Alaskan woman about her weaving with cedar bark.

Then last night I listened to a show about Scottish weaving. I am just amazed the things people are doing now. At the end of this show she talked about her class she took in twills and tartan weaving. The teacher gave her the pattern for Mitchell clan, and it suddenly dawned on her she was weaving her family history. She was weaving something that perhaps some ancester had also woven. It was really interesting. I looked up the Rutherford tartan, and could only find it in one reference. My maternal grandmother was a Rutherford. It is something to think about. Another family link in the chain.

I am making baked polenta, and I have to watch the corn cook. Later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thank You Blogspot For the Pics!

Well, it appears blogspot is now working pics again. I got this downloaded without delay today.

The color is not vibrant in the picture, but you get the idea. It is actually a bright, clear yellow, but the flash kinda washed that out. It came out a little bit slubby and thicker than I really wanted it to be. So less yardage than the other merino roving I bought. But it still pretty. I give it a B+ grade. It is washed, blocked and ready to go.

Last night we had our Monday Night Knit Group. I went in earlier than I normally do after running errands. So TR, Joy and I sat in the front room and chatted. It appears a lot of folks are sick with the upper respiratory thing going around. JF came in to discuss a pattern with Joy and we all just discussed our work and stuff.

A few more folks wandered in and JF went with them to another room, but TR and I stayed in our spots. She is working on her mitre blankie, and is progressing. I pulled the end out of my ball of yarn that I am knitting my sock, and she knit a square while I was knitting my sock. Kinda fun! I will take some of my yarns to share with her next week. We discussed colors that we would like to have in our blankies. So I have an idea what she might want.

The weather is again nice. There is still that coolness underneath everything from the wind. It is a reminder that it is only March. Just because the stupid people made us mess up our time frames, and just because Easter is early, don't forget it is only March. It is really hard to not want to wash all the blankets one last time, but I know this is only an illusion. I actually opened the tiny hallway window the other night so I could hear the foxes running on the creek below. It won't be that much longer. But illusions are tough. They can fool ya!

Here is another illusion. The elusive Angler Kitty-Fish hiding in her cave-waiting for her prey to come near her. She is ready to pounce on anything.

And she jumps....... out of her hiding place..... grabbing her prey that she has been waiting to come near her. She grabs it and scores!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fuddy Duddy!

I have been trying all day to get some photos to upload on blogspot. No luck! I hope they fix the problem by tomorrow.

I finished the yellow roving. It is so very pretty. It is a bright, clear yellow. It has shots of turquoise and hot pink in it. The coloring is random, and when plied it makes it more interesting. Hopefully I will have a pic tomorrow.

I have been zooming since I made the goals last week. I am still on block ten of the Lizard Ridge. I am already planning how I will sew it together and how I will block it. I have added a few more rows on my traveling sock. I have added a few more mitres on the blankie. And I have been spinning away. I am so thrilled to know that I am only down to one more have-to project on the spinning wheel. So I guess it is good that there is no t.v. Just audio-which is a change for me.

My friend SH called me Saturday night and she was squealing about the sock yarn she had just purchased at the LYS. I had told her that Joy and Colleen have gotten in a whole new batch of yarns, and that she must go down there. Thank goodness! She bought the yarn I had been looking at. Now I am not so tempted. It is funny how we have the same tastes in sock yarns. We don't even buy them at the same time; but when we show off our new purchases, they are the same. We have been friends since baby-hood, and since adult-hood I have wandered in and out of the picture. But now we live in close proximity-a 30 min drive- and we have become close again. Isn't life funny?

She has been teaching knitting at the high school in her hometown, and she regales me with the funny stories every time I talk to her. She says the students show her the most pitiful stuff-full of holes, added stitches, dropped stitches, you know- and she tells them to take everything off and start over. They are horrified and will not do that. But then they see her socks and want them. She keeps telling them that they have to keep practising until they are able to do knit and purl without any dropped or added stitches. Then she'll talk to them about doing something else. Anyway, we laugh about it.

I sure wish I could show you the yellow yarn. I was a little dismayed when it did not turn out the way I wanted it to be. I always tell people the spinning wheel and the wool just do their own thing. I cannot control it. It always comes out the way it wants to come out. I was hoping to get the nice even, teeny yarn that I got with the white, happy yarn. But I have a few slubs and a few bulges that weren't planned. And it is thicker. Oh, well! It is still pretty and it is finished! Washed, blocked and ready to go.

Going to the Knitting Group tonight. So must start getting myself together. I have an elderly friend who wants some canning jars, so I am taking a box of jars to her house on the way. Even in a small way like this, I feel so good when something is out of the house and gone. I am in a mood to get rid of stuff. Pre-Spring cleaning, I guess. It never lasts long-the feeling, that is-but then neither does the cleanliness. Living on a dirt road has a price to pay. Later.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Let's Try This Again!

Okay! So what happened to the text last night?

I am in a new habit now of listening to audio books instead of watching TV. I don't have to tell anyone that there is nothing on TV. I have been knitting at night with the TV for audio mostly instead of visual. So this was a logical step for me. I have been listening to podcasts also.

So last night I settled down with my mitre blankie and turned on Weave Cast. It is wonderful! Last night Syne Mitchell interviewed Marje Thompson, a weaver and historian, on historical Colonial weaving. It was good to get the myths out of our system. She puts it in a truly remarkable no-frills, just the facts way that makes sense to most of us who have been a weaver or who are weavers. I was intrigued with the reference to Complex Weavers, a study group organized by Marje Thompson. I went onto the web page and there are so many study groups that one could just get lost. I tried to do some historical research pre-Internet, and it was not possible to get very far with my limited sources. But now-well, the sky's the limit!

I am happy to report that CP and TR have entered the mitre blankie challenge. Of course, the only challenge is to oneself. This is a lifetime challenge to finish the damn thing. CP will finish hers pretty fast. She is doing a square and then will put a border around it. And it is about half the size of mine. TR is putting hers on point like mine, and it hasn't been determined yet how wide it will be. We'll see. Anyway, it is a fun thing that can be picked up at random, and a coupla little squares can be added on and put back down for a while. I love the random-ness of the colors, and how it looks good no matter what yarn you grab out of the pile.

I finished number 9 of the Lizard Ridge, and number 10 is on the needles. I will take a picture when number 10 is finished. I was in the LYS yesterday, and Colleen tells me a lady in our class has almost finished her entire blanket-24 blocks. That's a lot of knittin'. I am sticking to 12.

So here's hoping this text goes through. As you can see from last night's photos- Keep Your Nose Covered!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What The........?

I don't know what happened, but I had written all kinds of stuff along with the photos. And what happened to it? It is really a mystery to me.

All I can say is S..T! I will talk to you tomorrow some time.

Yes! It's Snow---Again!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I Have Been Busy!

This was the wool I dyed last Fall after the dye workshop. It is really not turquoise blue-it is green turquoise. I don't know why it comes out this color. It is green-really!
This is it spun, plied, washed, blocked, and ready to go! It is really pretty in person-green turquoise!
I did two more Lizard Ridge blocks. I am setting a goal to finish this thing by May. I want to be done with any woolly winter knitting, and ready to move onto summer stuff. Stuff that is light weight and not hot. I told myself when I started this afghan that this was my winter-time project. Well, it is almost not winter-time. So I am working hard on it. I have cut the project into half, anyway, and decided to knit 12 blocks instead of 24. I want an afghan, not a blanket. I think it will be just fine. I did lay out the eight blocks I've completed, and it will have a scrappy look to it. All the blocks are different. Anyway, I have a plan!

I think I see a trend with the spinning stuff. Remember a week or so ago I showed you the skein of pretty Spring-y colors, and now the turquoise green. Well, I am also into spinning up some of my stash I have lying around. After this last skein, I started a bump of Merino roving I bought last March. It is buttercup yellow, light yellow, some turquoise blue, and some hot pink. See the trend? I think I want light colors, Spring-time colors, and this is my subconscious at work. It is really going to be pretty. I have tried to move a little bit out of my comfort zone with some of the spinning. I am only buying bumps of roving with colors I would never dye for myself. Yes, I did dye the turquoise, but it was a mistake color. It was really supposed to be the blue color that shows up in the photo above. But it turned out green instead. My yellows are more earthy, brown yellows. This yellow is clear, pure, primary yellow. It is really pretty.

We had our little bit of snow. Actually I got 3.25 inches of rain first overnight Sunday into Monday. I walked out to the mailbox yesterday afternoon and sleet was hitting my face. I do not like sleet at all. It was cold and we had a blustery wind from the north. Last night the sleet was heavy enough to make a noise on the roof and windows. I sighed big, knowing how ice can be. Then we had a little bit of snow on top of that. But now the sun is out, everything is melting, and the ground is soggy and mushy. This is okay in my book. Sun and melting is better than overcast, cloudy, yucky, and cold.

Sunday I went over to a knitter friend's house for an afternoon of girls' day out. We ate and ate, and then ate some more. We knit, we talked, and then we watched Le Vin En Rose. OMG-it was fabulous! The young woman who won Best Actress deserves the award. It was amazing how the makeup people aged her. And her posture-oh! everything! See it if you haven't yet.

That's it, I guess. Back to yummy yellow!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Blah! Blah! Blah!

Well, thank goodness, we have made it to March. We have had a real warm-up, and today I am putting blankets and things out on the clothesline. It is very windy; after all, it is March! Yeah!

I have been very grumpy this morning. I am going through that post winter, early Spring thing. It is way too early to garden, but I want to be outside doing stuff. After all, this will only last a coupla days. Yesterday after a brief walk, I raked sticks that have fallen off the trees during the winter. I cut some of the old flower heads that I left for seed for the birds. I just did piddly things.

I remember seeing this yard in my home town that did not have a bit of grass, but the lady always grew coxcombs. I remember touching them and admiring the colors of the flowers. I asked her how she kept her yard so clean, and she told me she swept it every day. She demonstrated the technique to me-a little bitty kid. That's how I felt yesterday. There are some patches of green in the yard, and the henbit is starting to come through. But for the most part I was just raking dirt. Making it cleaner so eventually I will be able to mow the yard. UGH!

I am also restless at night. I did not get to sleep until after 3:30 a.m. I remember looking at the clock, going to the bathroom again, and turning my back to the clock. I woke up at 8:00 a.m. because Noodles was wanting to play. He was chirpling, jumping on the bed, then off the bed. He would gallop through the house, come back in , jump, chirple, jump, run. I finally had to give up, struggle into some clothes, brush my teeth, and play ball with him. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!

But I am going to enjoy the day as a nice, windy, warm day. I am pretty sure I will make a run to my friend's horse farm to get a load of manure. I want to get the garden ready to plant, even though it is too early to garden. It will keep me outdoors for most of the warm part of the day. We are expecting a new front to move in Monday evening with lots of rain, dropping temperatures, and eventually snow on Tuesday. SIGH!