Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blah! Blah! Blah!

Just a little check in that things are going along on the normal pace of Blah! Blah! Blah! The temps are still close to 100 degrees, so indoor activity only.

That would have been the case on Sunday, except my friend JE decided to buy out the estate of a rug weaver and needed help loading everything into her truck. She had already made one truckload of yarn on Saturday. I don't want to taint the escapade with my personal judgment, but what the hell is she going to do with all this stuff? Sigh! She and CJE are definitely hoarders.

CJE and AE will not be back to this part of the world until Sept 7. I can't wait until she sees this mess of stuff.

I am now working on the body of the sweater. I am enjoying the ribbing and cable, but I know that when I get to the pattern work it will be a challenge to keep up with two charts. But it is fun. I still love, love, love the yarn.

I am trudging along with the toe-up giraffe sock. Nothing new to report there.

I finished my spinning for a little while. I am spinning the Oxford wool right now that I bought in Oklahoma. Will give full report when it is finished.

I am itching to get back to my sewing. I want to finish the placemats that I started before I got distracted with the spinning job. I also found an interesting pattern that I might make a little quilt with a coupla charm packs. My neighbor called last night and wants to go to the quilt shop this week. That's as dangerous as knit shops.

So a little bit of rain, less than 1 inch, a few clouds, high humidity, and heat. Nothing else new. I got some trim mowing done, but that is all the outside work I have done.

Just going to keep on knitting and spinning, and maybe a little bit of sewing. Keep cool.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Spell Is Broken!

Not to break the charm of our weather, I will report that the 110 degree weather has moved on. At least for this week, anyway. We have actually had a little bit of rain, and I am mowing again.
Yesterday I reached over into the dead flower bed to pull out some of the weeds, and a HUGE thorny thing jammed into my right thumb. It was very, very painful, and it bled really badly. Because it had a barbed point, I had to really pull HARD to get it out. I almost got pliers to do it. So now I have a bad bruise from the tugging and bleeding, and it is very, very tender. It is also swollen from the edema and trauma. I make it sound much worse than it is, but fingers are delicate critters.

Patty got her last short hairdo for the summer. I couldn't take the shaggy face look, and now she has the scalped look.

I am doing the most crazy thing, but what can I say? You remember that the giraffe sock was too small to get on my fat foot? It is actually a Nancy Bush Estonian pattern called Goat Eye. But my color choices remind me of giraffe spots. Anyway, I stayed awake the other night thinking about this sock, and was I going to accept failure. I got up at midnight, soaked the damn thing in soapy water, played a few games of solitaire while it soaked, and then stretched and stretched and stretched. I thought I would break threads. I was not gentle with it. I finally put it on the sock blocker and left it to dry. Now I can get the damn thing on, with tugging over the heel, and I can wear it. So #2 giraffe sock is on the needles. I am doing it toe up, and I am going to put on an afterthought heel, I think. I will decide when I get there. I am hoping that I can avoid that tight spot over the angle where my ankle joins the foot on top. That is where the first one is tight. We will see. They may just go into the give-away box. But I will finish what I started.

I am about 1 inch from finishing my sleeves on the sweater. I am still doing H's sock in my take-along in my purse. And I am still working on the crocheted afghan.

What I am really working on a LOT is spinning. I have an order to complete this week. And then I can relax. I just want to get this task done, the skeins blocked, and then tagged. Finished and done! That's all I am focusing on this week.

Has anyone other than me noticed that there is nothing on t.v.? I am really getting through the audiobooks while I am spinning. The library has a new lending thing online, and I can just click and download and listen. It's great. I am listening to a book a week. I am listening faster than I am reading, which is a lot anyway.

I read on the Harlot's blog site that her new book is published. I know she is happy about that. To finally have that goal met and in your hands. Isn't that an accomplishment?

My friends CJE and AE are in South America on their yearly trip. Last year was Borneo (to see orangutans), the year before was Tanzania (to see birds and wildlife) and Rwanda (to climb up to see the mountain gorillas), and this year to some swampy place in south Brazil to see birds. It is good they can do this while they can, and before the moms are totally 24 hr care. I hope they are safe and enjoying themselves.

R and H went to Seattle on a short 5 day trip. He called me to tell me all about everything and what they had seen. They actually went up to Victoria and then drove to different spots. They came back to Seattle to go to a ball game and to do some touristy things. They went hiking up at Mt. Rainier. Of course, just like everyone else I know, they want to go back. It was refreshing to leave the 105 degrees of Little Rock to go to 70 degrees in the mountains.

R told me H is starting a new job after Labor Day, so their trips will be limited after that. She loses her time off, although she will be paid for vacation days due when she leaves the old job. It's the sick days that she loses that hurt the most.

So nothing else new. I really need to get back to my plying. I am almost done with this skein of yarn. I will wash and block it, then tag it, and it is done! Yeah!

Keep cool. I feel sorry for the kids that have had to go back to school already. It is just too hot outside during the day to do much. I do my outside stuff early, early morning or late, late afternoon. I can hardly believe it is almost September. I will be complaining about the cold soon.

Keep the stitches going. One row at a time, one skein at a time, one stitch at a time. I never mathematically try to figure out how much longer it is, since that makes it too real. I would rather guess about how long it will take me to do this, and set a goal. My right brain kicking in.

Talk at ya later.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whew! It's Raining!

Before I get into discussions of weather, Patty likes to chew on her chewy. But she puts her front end down and keeps her back end up! What's with that? Even though she has no teeth, I found out that she likes the chewy jerky treats. She can gum them all day and it is so much fun! I am finding this a good exercise for her tongue too.

I have been watching The Dog Whisperer every day, and Cesar Millan says dogs live in the now. They have no emotions about what is happening, just what is going on right now.

So in that case, I am now happy with the rain and cooler temps. I ran errands this morning and the car thermometer said 69 degrees! Sigh! Just two days ago it was 100 degrees. It was actually cool! I have opened windows and the porch door! It is so nice for "the now".

I turned the heel and put the gusset on H's #1 sock. I read an email from someone who went to the sock summit that said Ann Budd's response to second sock syndrome is that the first sock is actually the second sock. I don't have to trick myself into thinking that way. I like to finish a pair.

Our local library has a new electronic system to download ebooks. I was so excited and really scanned pages. I downloaded two audio books and put some ebooks on Hold. I had forgotten in the library system several people vie for one book. Oh, well, it was fun while it lasted. I haven't heard another word about the books on Hold. Hmmm!

We had a quick storm blow through Monday night. It was really nice to smell the difference in the air yesterday morning when I took Patty out at 7 am. Yesterday afternoon I noticed that I had two small hollyhock blossoms way up top, and the chicory had 4 blooms. I guess that is the way the desert works too. After a long spell of no rain, things bloom as soon as there is some moisture.

So last night the storms started coming in. Lots of thunder, a little bit of lightening, and some wind. Today it has just been raining. Occasionally I hear thunder. What a relief!!!

Nothing else to report. Just working on the same projects. Two of my friends are going on vacations soon, and R and H are leaving for Seattle for a quick vacation. It is that time of year. Our local school systems start school next week to make up for snow days. It will soon be a new season. Two more months of heat, then Fall briefly, then winter again. Isn't that amazing after this heat we have had?

Have a good rest of the week. Just be happy with the "now".

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Very, Very Short Reprieve!

Here are the Confetti socks. I sprinkled Kool-Aid and got a confetti-like dye job. A knitter in our knit group said it reminded her of the Angel food cake mix that had the confetti in it that is sprinkled in the mix before baking. The yarn is Aracauna wool and bamboo. A nice lightweight sock. Our sock group did a fun afternoon of playing with Kool Aid and I used the last bits that were left over from everyone's play. The way it knit up was a surprise, because it did not look like much in the yarn cake.

Yesterday I woke up to actually cooler temps! It was 85 degrees and little humidity. The nicest part was clouds! It actually appeared to want to rain. I mowed the little bitty strip of Bermuda grass that grows above the gray water release. No rain, but blessed clouds!

I went to three different stores on errands, and it appeared to me that there were quite a few people out doing the same. The sun finally came out in the afternoon, but just a nice little reprieve from the relentless heat.

This morning I awoke to 85 degrees, and it was so hot when I took Patty out. The sun was blaring out heat and the wind was just hot air blowing. It was a major contrast of weather.

I am so close to finishing the sleeves on the handspun sweater. I am knitting the heel flap on my daughter-in-law's sock.

Speaking of socks, I have to repeat what my brother and I discussed yesterday. He called me after he had visited his son for his son's b.d. He again told me about H and R's trip that he had organized for them to Seattle. He tells me this every phone call. ?Senior Moments? Anyway, I mentioned that I would certainly love the yarn shops, but not the ballgame that they are going to.
And, as usual, he glossed over that and blathered on about more stuff. Finally I said, "Did you know that in that part of the world there were over 6000 sock knitters gathering for a Sock Summit, and that over 600 of them did a flash mob?" He didn't get it. I had to repeat sock knitter three times. He finally said, "Do people really still knit socks?" So I sighed and said yes and let him blather on some more about stupid stuff.

I got high behind today and sent him two pics of socks that were on my camera and said, "Yes, people really do knit socks. It is a great way to express artistic color choices."

We will see if he "gets it", but I am not holding my breath. Muggles!

I did not achieve my goal of a new skein of yarn this week. I am about 1/2 finished with the second bobbin. I tried hard for about three days, and I quit working so hard. I did finish one of the books I had downloaded from the library to listen to. It was really good. Nothing else keeps me on track with spinning like audiobooks. Podcasts just don't do it any more.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What Can I Say?

I am not going to blather on and on about the weather. Yesterday it was hotter here than in Death Valley! That is not normal. When I walk across the yard it crunches and sounds dead and dry. Ft. Smith had its 28th day of over 100 degrees. It is just too hot.

Despite all that-or maybe because of all that-CJE and I toodled over to the Fiber Christmas in July last Saturday. I was definitely bored enough to do anything. This idea of staying indoors all the time is crazy. CJE spent the night Friday night. We got up really early and left around 7 am. We beat the heat to get there, and we found a parking spot in the shade.

We had a great time and expanded our brains until we were overstimulated and exhausted. I am still on a strict budget, but I had saved some money and that was all I was going to spend. We walked around and looked everything over. The one thing I HAD to get was some BFL roving that was so soft and squishy. It was $1.80/oz! Cheap! Cheap! Cheap! I also bought some art batts that were not cheap, but have every luxury art fiber carded in you can imagine, including milk. I won a door prize of two skeins of Targhee yarn from Ozark Carding Mill. I also bought some roving of Oxford wool. I have never heard of Oxford and liked its feel. So I bought it and I will report back on that.

We did not get a single picture. I didn't think of it until we were in Tulsa coming home.

We ate lunch in Sapulpa at the American Diner. There were Christian Bible verses everywhere-doors, walls, everywhere. We ordered Southwestern chicken fajita taco salad. When it came it had curried chicken, and that was kinda strange. When CJE came back from the restroom, she announced the owners were Muslim. I said, "Really?!" So we made up our own scenario of the Bible verses were a cover-up and allowed them to live in Sapulpa, OK without too much harassment. Anyway, it was fun!

Then on the way home we made an unscheduled stop at the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa. That calmed my brain down and helped me to relax some.

So an interesting day and fun, and very tiring. The heat sucks out every bit of strength one has. It was 103 degrees coming home.

Sunday I got busy and picked and carded up some fluffy batts of 50/50 alpaca and Romney wool. They are dyed in two shades of blue, so the yarn will be semi-solid. It is spinning quite nicely, and is really pretty to look at. I am really happy with this batch.

I cut the sample off the loom and I am going to rethread the pattern to something else. Another project, I know.

And as if that isn't enough, I started a Christmas project of making some quilted placemats. I found this box of fabric and some blocks that I had started when I lived in OK. I couldn't make heads or tails of the blocks, so I studied it all for a day or so. I then just decided to start a new project with the fabrics. It will be kinda scrappy, but I think it will be pretty.

And I finished the confetti socks. Picture next time, if I remember. I am now knitting a pair of socks for H. I called her to verify her shoe size. I am using a Roman rib for the cuff, and the foot will be stockinette.

That's it, I guess. Patty is snoring away under the desk. Noodles is lying under the fan on the floor. I need to get spinning. I want to finish this blue stuff pretty quickly. I have an audiobook checked out from the library loaded onto the computer and I am ready to go.

I will try to write more often, but nothing is new here. Just trying to keep cool. You do the same.