Monday, March 29, 2010

Knit Misses!

I am only going to do a short blog today. It is a gorgeous Spring day, and I am going to enjoy it.

Remember the HUGE socks. They actually fit my friend exactly perfectly! Can you believe the luck in that? She even said, "They look kinda big." I told her it would not hurt my feelings if they did not fit and she did not want them. So she put them on, and they fit perfectly. The knitting gremlins at work, I guess.

I have done the knitted hem on the 2nd sleeve three times. I lay in bed the other night fretting about this glaring row of purl stitches that shouldn't be where they were. Of course, in reality, most people would not have even noticed it. Until some knitter person came along and examined the sleeve, and said, "Why is there this purl row right there?" as the finger pokes to the glaring spot. So after my knitting buddies left yesterday, I unravelled it. Back to the spot that was so glaring, and I started it again. I did one repeat of the lace pattern and put it down. I will examine it again today to make sure. I think this is the last unknit.

I held my breath last night as I tried on the glove that was unknit and reknit. I (fingers crossed) think it will work this time. I cannot believe I am using size 0 needles, but whatever works.

I know this whining is not very interesting to anyone other than me. I did get an email from a friend that was complaining about her woes of not getting anything right. She has knit longer than I have, only because she is about 4 years older than me. She has ripped out one piece twice and put the yarn aside. She said when she comes back from her trip, she will come over and use my yarn blocker to put the yarn right again. Also, she isn't able to get a heel right on the sock she is working on, and wants my input. And she has ripped out a doll dress that she was making for her granddaughter. So maybe it's the full moon phase - or something!

I am excited that our sock group is going to do a fair isle patterned sock for a knit along and study group. I think that will be fun. We have all kinds of different experiences in this group, and I think we can really learn a lot from each other.

I am going to go outside for a while. I think this week I am going to have to mow some weeds. The Spring crop of chickweed, nettles, and other naughty weeds have sprung up with all the rain. Of course, my flower bed in front is full of grass, so I guess I need to tackle that. YUCK!

Next post will be pics. I just don't have time right now to edit them and sort them out. Happy Monday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

At Last-Some Fibery News!

The birthday socks are finished. I think they are too big! I may have to keep them. It is embarrassing! This is STR lightweight, yet it seems very heavy to me. It is a nice yarn to knit with, but a bit heavy.

And someone got caught sleeping on my yak/ merino blend. Naughty kitty! But she has good taste!

Just now on CBS news Steve Hartman gave a report of some graffiti knitters in a small town that are going out at night to cover the town in knitting. Some people are not impressed, and somebody actually ripped off the knitting in a tree. They left a bit of it left, so it had been there. It was a cute fluff piece. He should go to a knitting event and see how crazy knitters can really be.

After our little drama this weekend, most of that white stuff is gone. The birds are bathing in the puddles and are not as frantic to eat from the feeders. I guess they need to get on with the nesting. I am putting out snippets of yarn for them and a little bit of grassy wool.

I am now knitting a pair of lightweight gloves with some new yarn at the LYS. It has 20% angora in it,and it is really nice feeling. I think it will be a grand pair of gloves. I had a little trouble getting it started. The yarn had a tendency to split. But once I got on with the knitting, it was fine. Or I got used to it.

Otherwise, I am just enjoying this bit of warmth. It is supposed to rain thsi week, and the temps always drop during a Spring rain. Still able to wear the wool socks and lightweight mitts.
Have a good rest of the week. Until later....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Still Snowing!

I haven't seen drifting like this since Oklahoma and Kansas prairie days! It is quite windy out, and it is blowing from the north.

This is a bush outside my bedroom window.

I tried to get a picture of the trees, because the wind is blowing the snow onto the north side of the trees. They look quite pretty with their frosting on one side and mounded up.

This was just taken outside my studio window. If you go to the first photo, you can see this table from a distance. Notice how much more is piled up. It is really quite pretty, as long as one doesn't have to go out into it.
The cats have cabin fever. Neither one of them like to use the kitty potty. They are quite fastidious with their potty practises. So they go out onto the porch, peer through the snowy, lacy screening, and then maybe peer through the kitty door. I did open the door to clear the snow from just outside the kitty door. After a minute or so, they run back into the house, bounding through the kitty door into the studio, and running back to snug warm places.
I have been spinning and listening to podcasts. It keeps me occupied for a while. I keep looking outside and thinking that surely, it will stop soon. Stay warm, and keep knitting. It is still winter!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Day of Spring!

See! I told you-it's time for the Snow Tire and Frozen Daffodil Festival!

And this is snow on the screen of the side porch. It's like a curtain across the whole side of the porch.
And yes-it is the first day of Spring! I hope this is the last hurrah! I am totally tired of this whole winter. Yesterday it was in the 60's and sunny!
This morning I drove up to the top of the Boston Mountains to our spinning meeting. It was pouring rain, and chilly. By the time I got home, the rain was "heavy", and I could hear it raining. Within an hour or so, it was sleet and pelting on the windows. Now it is snow. I don't know what to say!
So have a good day wherever you are in the world. I just hope this is not a serious snow. It is awfully wet right now. Just snuggle in and eat plenty of warm food.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just Random Thinking!

I cannot tell anyone why my mind is whirling like it is. I lie in bed at night and will myself to go to sleep. I think up all kinds of things I want to make, or I work out a problem in my head. I do math stuff in my head too. Maybe I am trying to prevent mind deterioation, or maybe I am weird. Or maybe I have too many interests.

Yet-when it comes to actually doing anything, I just sit down and sigh. I pick up the second sockie and knit a while. I am on a schedule for that one. The other things are just putzing along. I also am unknitting much faster than I could ever knit. I frogged that coral pink sweater I showed in the last post. I blocked it, and it is now nice tidy little yarn cakes in a sack with the other unused skeins. Last night I frogged a vest I had started with some handspun alpaca. So today I tried to valiantly spit splice and spin back together the ends, and I reskeined that. I wanted to know how many yards I have, and I did that to measure the length. After a good soak, both skeins are now blocking on the yarn blocker.

I sat down to work on family tree stuff, and I could not get the laptop to work like I would like the laptop to work. Then I tried to work on some sewing, and the sewing machine is making a really strange noise. So I am bundling that off to the sewing machine hospital tomorrow.

And to top it off, I have been really trying hard to watch what I am eating, and I am trying to not overeat. I don't want the weight to sneak back, and it is best to keep an eye on it. So what did I do tonight? I made a small batch of lemon poppyseed muffins. And-yes-I wolfed down two while they were still warm and butter could melt on them. I was hungry! I mean-HUNGRY!

Ok-why does sudoku have to be a challenge? Isn't there a mathematical formula for this? I can usually get the first two puzzles, and by the third one I am struggling. I get down to two or three numbers, and then it is a struggle to solve the mystery. Math has never, ever been my thing. I never could do a Rubik's Cube. But I like puzzles.

I planted two forsythias in the front yard. Hopefully in three or four years they will be big and pretty. I love the free formed shape of one that is not pruned. It is very architectural. And the biggest daffodils I dug up last week are blooming.

Today my brother called me to watch his daughter on VideoRanch. I had never heard of this, and it is evidently a concert venue out of Austin that is on the internet. His daughter is a singer/songwriter in Austin, and there she was on the internet! What a wonderful thing! I don't have to go out to a concert again.

See-just random little thoughts shooting around. My friend CJE's mother-in-law is back in the hospital. My friend CF called to tell me she thinks our friend she has been helping is deteriorating. So I am glad my little brain is still functioning. It is a struggle some days, but I am trying.

I am seriously thinking of setting up an indigo vat. It has been a long, long time since I have done that. Of course, the weather has been nice enough to actually go out onto the deck. Oh-yeah! I forgot, we are supposed to have a light snow Saturday night into Sunday morning. So it may be a little while before I do the indigo thing.

I guess that is enough random thinking. My friend CJE calls it "monkey brain". That random jumping around of your thoughts. You think of one thing and that leads to another thing that leads to another thing. And then you forgot what the first thing was after about 4 or 4 leaps of thought.

Have a good rest of the week. Let's just hope this is the last blast of winter, and that this will truly be a wonderful Spring. I love Spring! I love the smells, and the colors, and the spots of various greens. It is good to just be outside without 4 layers of clothes on. So take advantage of the Vernal Equinox. It only comes once a year.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Change Is Good-Isn't It?

One of the things I have been doing since the floor debacle is clean out old projects that are not going to make it. Case in point-this was a summer tank top that started as a dream of light, cool cotton/modal blend. Reality check began with the weight of the project, and finished with how quickly those little balls of yarn finished and a new one begins. I began to dislike it enough that I quit knitting. It was incredibly heavy, and I knew it would never make it on my summer body.
So I skeined it into pretty little wavy hanks, and gave it a quick wash. When it dries, I will roll it into balls to be reused for something else. My friend CF told me she wanted to make a little summer top for this summer, and she may end up with it.

The weather has returned to late winter weather again-windy, cold, and gray skies. Yuck! I am always reminded of my friend in Little Rock that called this The Snow Tire and Daffodil Festival.

It is the time of year when daffodils start popping out and giving a quick peek of Spring. But the weather sometimes covers them with a light snow covering.

I went to the weaving guild meeting yesterday. I guess because there was a special program planned with tapestry techniques, the business meeting only lasted an hour! Usually it drones on and on. I was not feeling one hundred percent, and I had to take some ibuprofen to sit still that long. I did get quite a bit of sock knitted during the hour.

I listened to podcasts last night and finished plying my skein of Jacob. I decided to take a break from this, since I have enough to keep going on the sweater. I am now finishing the merino/yak blend. I had divided it into two, and the first batch turned out really wonderful. So it is time to finish out this last half.

I also watched a brief CD on equine photography. There is a group called There is such beautiful photos of various horse breeds. The CD I watched was a seminar on how to set up a shoot, what to look for, how to use the light, and how to find beauty in such small things as water on the mane or face. The first horse she showed was a stallion of a draft horse breed that was used to pull gypsy wagons in Ireland. He was so beautiful. She took her time and got to know the horses before she worked with them. It was really fantastic to watch the horses. Of course, these are all pampered, well-performed animals, and it is so different than the pasture horses we see around here.

I will finish today with these photos of Baby playing with her favorite "cave". It is a rug crocheted from plastic bags that my grandmother made years ago. It has always been Baby's favorite thing, because it is light weight and easy to manipulate. She spent a very long time sliding it around on the new floor and having the best time. This was after she had already slid all over the oriental rug, which is one of her new favorite things to do. Once I threw out her plastic rug, she went nuts playing and playing. Not bad for a 9 1/2 year old kitty!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

AHH! March Winds

"Winds of March, we welcome you,There is work for you to do.Work and play and blow all day,Blow the Winter wind away."

This quote did not have an author listed, but I still find it appropriate to mention that we are having a bit of March wind. The lows that have been coming from the west have skirted to the North, but we are expecting one tomorrow that will land right on top of us. That is a possible storm-making activity, which is another one thing to think about. Spring storms-tornadoes-wind damage-you know the drill.

We had a bit of rain last night that ended by bedtime. A fast moving system came through. But tomorrow will be a little more dramatic-if the weatherman is to be trusted.

So like a good home owner, I happily spent my day outside doing chores. There is work to be done to prepare for the new planting season. It is funny that the newspaper had "Time To Plant" on the front page this morning. Of course, it is only time to plant trees or shrubs, and to prepare the garden for the rest of the "time to plant" season.

Last year there were some daffodils and other things blooming in the midst of the honeysuckle jungle. I forgot to get out there and dig some of them up last year. I think they probably came from the time this place was a farm. These were probably from the old stock that "Grandma" planted a long, long, long time ago.

So today I armed myself with my lopper and my trowel. I cut a path through the honeysuckle and brier patch. I finally got to some of the small trees that had gone down in last year's ice storm, and they were covered over with honeysuckle. I crawled through all this to get to these few little plants. But I dug what I could out, and replanted them in the yard by the retaining wall in the front. I hope they survive and like their new home. I went to a lot of work just to get to them.

I need to get out there and clean up more of the trash pile that has been there forever. But it is not as motivating as finding plants.

I also cleaned out two more beds that needed last years dead growth cleaned off before new growth starts.

I moved all the oak flooring that had been piled on the front porch by the installers. I put it into the shed so it will stay dry and in one place.

The big chore to do on a non-windy day will be to clean the porch and paint it. YUCK! But it has to be done, and there isn't anyone else in this family willing to help. The other two members of this family just lie around on the bed and sleep. And wait for their dinner at 3:30p.m.

The rest of the flooring was delivered today so it can acclimate to the house. We are on schedule to finish the hallway Thursday. I am not as upset as I have been. I have my living room pretty much back to normal. I still have to hang pictures. It just looks so nice and clean. Carpeting is the pits. I don't care how many times you clean it, it is still dirty way down underneath everything.

Right now I am ready to eat some supper. I need to take some ibuprofen and rest a bit. I am going to do a little bit of knitting and be quiet for a while. Then it is icy-hot patch and bed.

It's good to be able to work outside again!

Monday, March 8, 2010

BOOM! It's Spring Thunderstorms!

We are gearing up for thunder-boomers-our first Spring storm. I haven't really seen the weather report on t.v. for some days, but that's what the paper said this morning. It has been unseasonably warm, with that tinge of chill in the wind. I put clothes out on the clothesline yesterday.

Maybe things can settle down now and return to some normalcy. I had a busy weekend, and I had a good breakfast this morning. So now things can keep on getting better.

Saturday my friends CJE and JE and I went on a little adventure to visit some friends of JE in Missouri. We took JE's two daughters, and that was fun. We sat on the screened porch for our visit, and I got to knit a lot on my sock. At the end of that visit, we made a trip to the cave that they get their spring water. It was really nice. We saw 8 or 9 deer on the dirt road leading to their house.

Yesterday, I got up late and could not motivate myself to do much. I listened to my NPR programs that I like on Sunday morning. I met CJE and her husband at a bookstore in town to listen to a slide presentation on raptors. The gentleman that presented the show is a well-renowned ornithologist that has done world-wide studies. The three of us went to a restaurant for dinner, and the presenter and his wife joined us. In conversation, he was talking about grad school in Michigan in the mid-40's. Without doing a lot of math, that would put him in his early 80's. And he still travels all over the world doing birding trips. His wife was very quiet, and it is obvious that he does most of the talking.

So Saturday evening I stayed at CJE's house until 8 p.m. I was able to finish my first sock while she was plying some wool on her wheel. AE had been in the garden until dark, and he was tired. I guess I let my time slip, because I did not finish these socks in February. I am about two weeks behind schedule-maybe three. So that's okay. I think I can do the second one now in time for the birthday girl at the end of the month. I did finish a little teeny pair of baby socks in a coupla days in February, so maybe I can squeeze that out as my Feb. socks.

So I am off to the grocery for my Monday shopping. I am out of dry and wet cat food, and that will never do around here. Some people in my house get rather insistent when it is time for their "treat" at 3:30 p..m. Besides, I need a few things myself.

Have a good Monday. Keep your fingers crossed that this week will go much smoother than the last three. And maybe, just maybe, I can get the floor completed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I AM NOT Whining!

I promised some fibery pics-so this is what you get. Above is the sleeve I am working on using handspun Jacob from a sweet sheep named Diablo. He's not a devil. He's a sweety.
These were the surprise socks that were planned for someone who has a birthday in two weeks. Never going to happen. Go to plan B. Maybe will have done for person who's birthday is in three weeks. STR rocks. It is heavier than I expected. Knits nice and tight and snug. Looks like Easter socks anyway.

These are just some yarn I had laying on back of chair. On the left is more of Jacob for sweater, and on right is some merino dyed with Kool-Aid. Color pretty accurate, even with my silly camera.

I know that my life's trials are not as serious as the world's trials right now. I get that. I am not whining, well, maybe a little bit, but seriously, is this floor every going to get finished? This is where we stand right now-company ordered new flooring to replace wonky, yucky, not-properly-milled flooring from last week.
New flooring arrived this week, came to my house to acclimate, appointment today to put in new floor. Within two or three rows installer said this flooring was the same as last week's flooring-wonky, not fitting properly, etc. etc. Really sad news.
Supervisor comes to house, takes pics, discusses everything with installer, and then they decide that just some boards are wonky, not all boards. So undo what needs to be undone, keep putting floor down, mark the bad boards on back, put in separate pile, and go as far as they can today. At end of day, regroup, count how much more is needed to finish the job, and wait one more week to get order in, etc. etc. etc. etc.
I get the undo-ing part. I do that in knitting. Just tink back to where it is right, and redo it right. What an analogy. I don't always have enough yarn for the job. I get that.
So now we have half a hallway to finish-some time next week. At least they put the baseboards back, and now I can move furniture and stuff back into the living room-which is actually my knitting/weaving room. I really should wait and caulk the baseboards, but you know what-my girlfriend is free tomorrow a.m. to help with big furniture, and that's when it will get moved. I can actually put the coats and stuff back into the hall closet.
I actually thought I might move some stuff tonight, but I am going to wait. I am really tired, even though I didn't do any of the physical work. I did go out in the yard today and do some yard work while they were on their lunch break.
This is more the true color of the floor. It is bamboo, so there is an interesting pattern going on.
This is too light. The sun was shining in the window and the flash went off. But you can see the various shading. I like the uneven coloring. Makes it more interesting.
This was taken early in the morning, and the light wasn't to that side of the house yet. You can see the color better here.
And one last reminder of flooring disaster 101. Kinda like when you unravel the part you have knitted and it gets into a big mess in your lap.
So Sunday we had our monthly sock club meeting. It appears that just about everyone has a disaster story to tell. Is it because of the shifting of the earth's axis, or are there solar flares, or what? I never have this much trouble with a full moon. We are on phase two of the Christmas stocking KAL, and it was so much fun to see how different everyone's sock was. It is amazing that it is the same pattern, yet they all look so different.
Well, I am going to slap on an Icy Hot Patch, and crawl into bed and read for a while.
I hate it to sound like I am whining. I know my life is not as bad as others right now. But I have feelings too. The poor people and all these earthquakes everywhere. We had one in Arkansas yesterday that was 3.7. Oklahoma had one last week that was a 4. something.
So next entry will be happier news. The weather is nice for a change. Warmish in the day, and especially nice for sitting in the sun knitting or reading. I ate lunch outside today. I know it is only early March, but it bodes well for Spring to come on. April can still be tricky too. It doesn't pay to get ants in your pants and start thinking it's time to plant. I did put some composted manure around the azaelas and my living Christmas tree. It is supposed to rain by Monday, and that will make them happy. I got my new t-shirts from Land's End today. I like to order three new t-shirts for summer, and then I can sort through the old ones and get rid of the raunchy ones.
Talk to ya later.