Sunday, December 30, 2012

Winter Sweater Finished! Now What?

I started this September 14, and finished December 29, 2012.  I could have knitted faster, but I found the stockinette, plain knitting boring.  I used the EZ Percentage Method for my math for a 40 inch chest.  I used a pattern called Collegiate Sweater from the Knit Picks Design Team for the color work part.  It had the exact number of stitches I was using, and there was no jiggering around trying to match up numbers.  Used size 3 needle for ribbing, and size 5 for body.  The brown is Targhee semi-worsted wool from a friend's sheep and is mill-spun.  The pink is my handspun from my stash.

Now what do I do?  I am finishing up the little color work pouch, and then there is nothing on the needles!  Gotta get excited about doing something else.  But what?

Just proud that I have my hard-working, tough-as-nails everyday sweater to wear.  It is loose, comfy, and just a little bit bunchy around the shoulders.  But I love it!

Friday, December 28, 2012

We Finally Got Snow!

 After waiting, waiting, and finally giving up, I went to bed the other day disappointed that we did not have snow.  Just this afternoon, I got up from my spinning wheel and stretched, walked to the back door, and it was snowing!  I was not expecting any snow at all.  It is very light, moist, and will not last long.  The only danger will be the freezing roads after dark. 
I took this photo of Noodles the one day we had sunshine!  It was supposed to be warm because of the sun.  But when the door opened, the cold air was awful.  He normally does not mess with my wool, but I guess his butt was cold.  So with warm face and butt, he is one happy camper.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Birthday!

My brother will never read this, so I feel safe to write this story.  Yesterday, the 22nd, was my younger brother's birthday.  I know-how unfair to be born so close to Christmas!  So in the olden days, my mother went in to the hospital to have her baby.  In those days, women got something called a "twilight" and the baby was taken out and voila!  she had a baby.  She only had one request from the doctor-pierce her ears while she was "out".  She was too scared to get it done, because in the olden days someone used a needle and thread and left the thread in the hole to keep it open until it healed.  You had to rub the thread around and put alcohol on it to keep it from getting infected.

Okay.  I was 31/2 years old and my older brother would be six in February.  One day my father said we had to go to Little Rock and pick up mother from the hospital.  I remember he left us in the car, because in the olden days you could do that.  I remember seeing him walking out of the hospital with mother.  She was wearing her red cape.  She was carrying something.

When they settled in the car, my brother and I peered over the top of the front seat.  The seat went all the way across the car-no bucket seats in the olden days.  I asked, "What is that?"  She said, "This is your Christmas present.  Santa Claus brought it for you."  She peeled the covers back to reveal a thing they called a baby.  I said, "I didn't ask for that.  You can just take it back in there and get something else."

My older brother, being the oldest, said, "What are you calling it?"  Daddy said, "His name is Stephen Lee."  My brother said, "You can't call him that.  Those are your names!"  My father's and mother's names combined to make one name for their baby.  So off we went home to show off the new baby to all the relatives and friends gathered to ooh! and aah! over "it".

People cannot believe that this is my true memory.  Everyone thinks I got bits of stories and made a memory.  But this is my true memory of that event.  I especially remember the red cape.

My younger brother was my mother's "baby".  I wasn't jealous, and he became my "baby brother".  Since we lived on a major busy state highway, and we lived on a fish farm, mother had to hire someone to watch him during the day.  He was constantly active.  He inherited their night hours, and one never knew where he would be in the mornings when you woke up.  They tried putting hooks on the screen door really, really high up.  He got the broomstick and knocked it open.  The woman who watched him during the day knew he was in trouble if he was really, really quiet and hiding.  Once I remember the "art" he painted on the wall behind the t.v. (remember the really big old cabinets that t.v.'s were in?) and he  had painted with one of the tubes of my mother's bright red lipstick.  Remember the lipstick from the 50's?  It was a permanent stain on the wall.

So we grew up and we are all in our 60's now.  Happy Birthday!  It's good you got your hair cut.  And cleaned out your sewer line.  Those are two important things to do on your birthday.  Getting old means "Who cares-it's another birthday."  Aren't you glad Mother didn't take you back just because I didn't ask for you? 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fickle Weather Reports!

I know it seems as if all I think about is the weather.  But sometimes it really is all I think about.  This is December 19, and I have been working out in the yard again.  Tonight a storm is brewing, and tomorrow the high is supposed to be 39 degrees.  Then we go back to the 50's again.  Is is just too stupid to think about.

So yesterday in a day of glorious sun and 60 degrees, I loaded Patty into the car for a little day trip.  We drove east on a major highway.  It is four-lane until suddenly it is a two-lane old highway.  It begins to wind upward into the mountains.  I turn off the road and drive winding around a mountain and through a valley.  I pass through tiny towns and then really begin the mountain trip.  This is a most treacherous winding road and one better be sober to do it.  I know the road well, and I am still careful to not let my mind wander too much or to suddenly look out the window to see something.  One little slip and it is a long way down.  The loveliest part is when we go down into a valley called Boxley Valley.  It is a very historic part of the state, and the same family that originally settled there still lives there.  There are elk in all the fields, along with the cattle and horses.  In the ancient old mill site, there is a pond that the beaver always flood this time of year.  It was especially full yesterday.  And the swans that were introduced back to the area by Game and Fish are still there.

Then another climb up into the mountains and over to Jasper.  I visited my friend CF.  She is having her grandsons for five days, and she is so excited for them to visit.  She has given up her car driving, and depends on the Area Agency on Aging bus for shopping.  So yesterday I drove her to Harrison. 
We did several shopping stores for winter pantry stocking up.  She is set for winter to set in now, but I don't know when that will be. 

There is one store that she and I both love.  It is a grocery store called Bent and Dent.  Their prices are amazing.  It is run by Mennonites, so there is a lot of home-made cheeses and lots of bulk foods.
I got a tote bag full of stuff at very reasonable prices-my total was less than $20.  She got a HUGE box of stuff that will last her for a while.

We ate a wonderful homemade pizza made with Alfredo sauce, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and artichoke heats.  I ate sparingly since I cannot eat rich sauces.  But what I ate was really good.

So after we returned to her house, we walked the dogs down to the creek.  We visited a while, and then I headed home-over the mountains, through the valleys, and home again, home again, jiggety jig.

I finished the first rows of patterning on the yoke of the sweater last night.  I like the colorway, but it is very subtle. 

My neighbors are readying their moterhome for their trek south after Christmas.  I just shake my head.  He has not been well this year, and I cannot imagine their doing this again.  She does not want to go, but he is determined to do so again.

So nothing else new.  Christmas week is winding to the big finish.  Of course, for me Solstice is the major day.  After that, there will be more light each day.  Yeah!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The World Is In A Sorry State Right Now!

I posted this on my Facebook page some while back.  Right now it seems even more appropriate.

I am not too sure how we could possible control guns.  Even if we banned gun sales tomorrow morning, there would be enough guns in the US to do whatever we wanted.  And I feel like there are more guns than we know.  Not all guns have been registered according to law. 

I know my father had 22 guns under their bed when he died.  My mother was rearranging the furniture after his death, and she found all of those under there.  She had no idea there were that many.  This was before gun registration as we know it.

I just know that fear is the key to all of this.  If we allow fear to take over, more damage is going to be done.  We have to go about all this logically and sensibly.  I know that sounds weird to some, but I know that the crazies are still going to get a gun.  If they can't get a gun, they will make a bomb.  Or they will use other weapons.  If someone wants to kill, he will find a way. 

So all I can do is what I do every day.  I get up, eat breakfast, and I work on all my therapeutic projects all day long.  I work in the yard.  I visit my friends.  I stay in touch with all my acquaintances.  I maintain my daily routine as best that I can.  It isn't as easy on some days as it is on others.  I turn off the media.  It is all hype anyway.

In the midst of this latest tragedy, I turned off the t.v., refused to look up things on the internet, and I baked cookies.  I know how to bake cookies.  I don't know how to comfort those people other than through my thoughts and prayers.  I refuse to let fear take over. 

I know I sound a little bit strange, but it is my comfort to myself.  I am not going to give into the negative things that are out there.  I know they are there, but my sanity is at stake.

And-no-I do not own a gun.  I gave the two I had away a few years ago.  I felt it was too dangerous to me to have one.  I know that is the thing that the crazies are looking for-little ole ladies with guns that they can steal easily.  Because if they can't buy one-they will steal one.

Sorry for the rant.  Just my own crazy thing here.  My own opinions.  They aren't worth too much.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Spinning Is Magic


                                                           Equals This
 It's magic! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Little Greeting

A Spinster’s Twelve Days of Christmas by Paula J. Vester, Southern Fibers
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
12 shearers shearing…
11 ladies carding…
10 rabbits for plucking…
9 weavers weaving…
8 niddy noddies…
7 scoured fleeces…
6 pots for dying…
5 cashmere goats…
4 Ashford wheels…
3 lazy kates…
2 white lambs and
a silkworm in a mulberry tree
This was provided by CJ in our Spinning Guild's newsletter.  I had to pass it along.
I am not as ambitious as the above workers.  I am slowly and steadily working on the last little drab of spinning on my current blue yarn.  It is gorgeous, and I think that when plied it will be wonderful! 
I spent a nice leisurely day spinning, knitting and reading yesterday, and now I have to run some errands. 
We had a major cold snap.  Of course, with the current weather conditions it will last a coupla days and then warmish again.  We need rain so badly.  We had a nice little storm Sunday morning around 2 am or 3 am. I heard the thunder first and then I saw some lightening.  I thought about running Patty out before the storm, but did not budge from the bed.  Then, of course, it was over and gone by the time we got out of bed about 6:30 am.
We had our Wild Foods Party at CJE and AE's house Saturday.  It is an annual event, and I guess I will say, the food wasn't as wild as we have had before.  Lots of venison and some actual field quail.  I brought Bison sausages.  There was a real odd assortment of food, and the desserts just about did me in.
I took a guest, and she seemed to be intrigued by the long-lasting friendships we have within the group.  I have accepted it and do not notice that so much any more.  I guess one could call us a "tribe", and that some of the friendships are lifelong.  I suppose an anthropologist could come in to study our group.  It is a quite intriguing group of professionals who have no appearance of being professional when together.  They have lots of fun, and they like to party.
Not much else to share.  I have completed my 1.75 inches of stockinette on the yoke, and I am now ready for the colorwork.  FINALLY!  I wound the balls last night, and I am keeping fingers crossed I have enough yarn.  It is handspun, and there is no turning back once started.
I am also about halfway on the colorwork bag I am making.  It is a pattern from the magazine Jane Austin Knits.  It is a cute little bag, and I don't know why it intrigues me.  Maybe because it is small, and that means not a lot of knitting to complete.
In my head I think I want to start the twined knitting fingerless gloves next.  I will see. 
I just got some lovely new sock yarn.  I know I didn't need any more sock yarn.  I just caved with the sale.  I got four balls of Regia yarn and shipping for $16.95.  I haven't designated socks or other projects yet.  I have to work on that bowl of yarn this winter. Sigh! 
Have a good week.  Stay warm!  Have a safe and happy time wherever you are.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ways to Avoid a Major Project!

 O.K.-I now have the sleeves and body all on one needle.  A whole lot of stitches on there!  Now I begin my yoke and my colorwork.  For some reason I am busy doing other things.  It is an avoidance thing, I think.

First the other night I was so tired, and all I could knit was one teeny-weeny sock for my Christmas tree.

Also other people in my house had both comfy chairs.

Then yesterday I went to Eureka Springs for a mini workshop by Beth Brown-Reinsel.  I learned a Swedish technique called Tvaandsstickning.  I apologize that I don't know how to put those little marks above the a's.  We call it Twined Knitting.  It is a technique about 400 years old, and it makes a firm, warm, and inelastic fabric.  Beth showed us a beautiful jacket found in Sweden on one of her trips.  The sleeves were knitted in twined knitting, dyed after knitting, fulled, and taken to the tailor to finish.  The tailor then sewed the sleeves to a fabric that was made from a felted material and embroidered.  There was a cotton lining. It was very heavy, and I assume very warm.

We all were concentrating so hard with the beginning of the workshop.   It is a bit fiddly to learn how to manipulate the stitches.  Once that part got into my head, I finally developed a rhythm of sorts.  I know if one practises a lot, there would definitely be an easy rhythm to flipping the threads front and back and in the twining process.

 We had potluck!  Lots of good food and desserts!
 And lots of visiting going on.  That was fun too!
 And my finished cuff!  Not in the least bit perfect, but finished.  I did get the instructions from Beth to make a pair of fingerless mitts using a cuff like this, and another pattern for a pair of gloves. 
I took Beth and another friend downtown to do a little bit of snooping in shops.  We had a nice walk and saw some really beautiful things!  Then home again, home again, jiggity jig.

I am still spinning on the pretty blue yarn.  Nearly there, but another week of work probably before plying.

I found a great sale today online-I will apologize now to my LYS-for some sock yarn.  It was Regia for 2.95 per ball.  Then they had a great discount at the end.  When it came to shipping it was only 30 cents more to ship Priority.  So for 16.95 I got yarn for two pairs of socks!  Yeah!  A great bargain!
Another Christmas gift under my belt!

It was so warm on Monday that I went out to the front flower bed to dig out more grass.  It was nearly 75 degrees!  I ended up putting on a pair of shorts.  Then Monday night we had a little rain, and a cool front.  Still warmer than it should be this time of year.  But the really cold front is coming next week.  Highs in the 40's.  Sigh!

CJE and AE are having their annual party on Saturday.  This is a big event for our tribe.  I have some Bison sausages that I will cook.  It will be good to see folks again.  I didn't go to Mirkwood for the usual events, and I haven't seen most of these folks since last year.

So all avoidance aside, I should be able to start knitting the yoke this afternoon.  I want to spin a little more, and then I will sit down to that.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Channeling My Grandmother!

I knit these little slippers from a 1950's pattern book.  I used two strands of leftover yarn together and made them thick and cozy. 

And I am baking biscuits.  My grandmother did make great biscuits.  I like biscuits dripping with honey or sorghum molasses. 

We had a little bit of frost this morning.  A change in the weather-cooler and windy.  So baking is called for to make me feel a little warmer.  I also like my wool sockies. 

Noodles has been ill.  He got into a fight.  I only found this out by the limping and the scabs that appeared.  Now he has a lump on one side that I am hoping is only a pus pocket.  I have been giving him antibiotics, but will have to load him up and take him to vet tomorrow.  Sigh!  Just as I think things are going to level out financially, I have emergencies.

My neighbors loaded me up with food late on Thanksgiving.  I had already eaten turkey and sweet potato, but now I am eating and eating and eating leftovers.  Last night was the first night that I craved anything sweet.  So I ate a small bit of peanut butter.  That helped.

My brother called me yesterday afternoon as he was driving home from his daughter's house.  He sounded really tired.  I think we are all getting too old.  He is going to Italy in a coupla weeks for work.  Must be tough-huh?  To have a paid trip to Italy?

A woman in my knitting group is going to Italy next week for the winter months.  I think she will be back some time in February or maybe March.  She is visiting her son and her daughter.  One lives in Florence, I think it is her daughter.  I don't know that Italy will be any warmer than here, but it will be more fashionable anyway. 

I am happily knitting the second sleeve of my sweater.  Then I can join the body and sleeves to start the yoke.  Yeah!  Finally an exciting part!

I am also knitting a mosaic hat that is easy and I am using leftover yarns.  It is going quickly.  When it is done, I will go back to colorwork bag I had to frog. 

CJE's mother has had a severe battle with shingles.  Enough that she was not cognitively engaged.  Now that they are under medication and subsiding, she is aware of what is going on and is in pain.  And of course, CJE's shingles flared up and she is on her medication.  Sigh! 

Well-gotta go.  Biscuits are ready to come out of oven.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving-A Celebration of Thanks!

It still feels odd calling this Thanksgiving Week.  It still feels too soon, too early,too something.

But in my quiet and silly way, I still have so much to be thankful for that I don't care that it is early.

I usually spend my day of Thanksgiving thinking and praying and giving thanks to the universe for all that is important to us all-peace, love, happiness, joy, friendships and all relationships.  I like to spend the day to myself, and I try not to interact with anything other than my quietness.  I don't need to stuff myself silly with food to find thankfulness.  I just need quiet time and me time.

I have almost finished with the pink yarn.  Whew!  It has been a marathon to finish the last bits and get it plied.  I did most of the spinning singles with a really good YA audio book called Gone-Away Lake.  It is about cousins spending the summer holiday exploring the woods and having adventures.  He is 12 and she is 11.  They find a hidden swamp that was once a summer lake resort.  The homes were abandoned when the lake disappeared.  But they find a very eccentric couple of elderly people living in two of the abandoned homes.  It is a really interesting book, and helped me get the work done.

I also am done with one sleeve of the winter sweater.  I am going to finish the body now and then knit the next sleeve.  I am so close to starting the yoke.  I am doing a very simple stranded colorwork, but it has to be more interesting than the stockinette of the body and sleeves.

I also started another hat, and I want to finish that before I start over on the colorwork bag. 

Today has been a gloriously warm and sunny day!  I just ate a sandwich sitting on the back deck in the sun.  I am getting plenty of sun on my arms with just a tee shirt on.  I also am barefoot, so the feet are getting some sun, too.  I remember when I had to scrape ice on my windshield at this time.  So this is glorious weather!

One of the women in my knit group just published her first pattern.  Yeah! Cassie Dominnick.  I don't think she will mind my telling her whole name.  She will have more, I am sure.

My friend CJE has been so worried about her mother.  She has been very ill, and not managing herself well.  Yesterday at the doctor she is discovered to have the worse case of shingles the doctor has ever seen.  She has never had them before, and suddenly she is covered up one side of her back, down her hip and groin, and down the leg.  The doctor told her it is following a nerve path.  That is probably why she is so sick and weak.  It is scary, isn't it?

I need to take advantage of days like today to work in the front flower bed.  But....I think I like just sitting in the sun.

Noodles has not been well, and I haven't figured out totally what is wrong.  I finally figured out why he is limping so much.  He has scabs all over his head, neck and shoulders,  There is one big wound(scab) under one arm pit.  That means fights with a straggler who has ventured into our yard.  Yes, he is very defensive about his territory.  But I haven't figured out the occasional tics in the face.  I researched it online, but just like humans, he could have a brain tumor, or seizures, or anything.  He doesn't show any ataxia, so I am ruling out seizures or a brain tumor.  Oh, well, it is almost time for yearly well-check and shots.  So unless he shows major changes, I will wait.

H and R have had to put one of their dogs down.  But they now have rescued Georgina and added her to their family.  Granddogs are great!

So nothing else new.  Remember to have a lot of gratitude this Thursday for all you have.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2012

What Is Going On With The Calendar!?!

Okay-something is wrong with my internal calendar!  I mean-is Thanksgiving really next week?  I guess I haven't been paying attention to anything.  Suddenly I noticed that everyone is talking about Black Friday.  I never pay any attention to Black Friday, and I just didn't pay attention.  Then suddenly I noticed the anchors on t.v. saying that prices were going up on Thanksgiving turkeys and the fixin's. 

I had to go to the calendar and look to make sure.  YES! Next week is Thanksgiving!  How can that be?  It is happening too early in the month. 

There is still one full week afterwards.  That's not right.  Isn't Thanksgiving supposed to be right before a short week right before December? 

Anyway-the end of the year is approaching.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


This has been the strangest week for me.  It started as a rush of phone calls on Monday.  I usually can go days (literally) without talking to anyone at all.  It seemed strange to have calls waiting in queue for me.

Then on Tuesday I went down to Boston Mountain to pick up my things from the October fiber show at Ozark Folkways.  I picked up my friend TR and we ate lunch before going up the mountain.  I drove the old highway to view the foliage.  It was absolutely gorgeous with the sun shining and just warm enough to need a light sweater or a long-sleeved shirt.

Then Wednesday I felt ill again, and I couldn't believe it!  I thought the tummy bug was gone.  Luckily it only lasted one day.

Because I purposefully did not want to hear anything at all about politics and commentators babbling about nothing, I turned off all electronic media.  I did turn on my computer and watched Brother Cadfael on Netflix.  I got quite a lot of spinning done during that and I am quite happy that something got accomplished.  It was a nice Wednesday.

Thursday was Knitting Group, but I only lasted about an hour this time.  There was standing room only this week, and it gets way too noisy and you can't really talk to anyone. 

Friday was yard work.  Can you believe I actually mowed the yard again?  This is November for pete's sake!  I actually wanted to run the gas out of the mowers, but I guess I haven't been too diligent with my mowing.  I still have way too much gas left in both mowers.  I am going to go to Lowe's and buy some stabilizer and call it the end of the season. 

I did get some of the old pokeberry stalks cut down again.  It is definitely the end of season chore that has to get done. 

And suddenly it is Saturday.  I am not going to go to the weaver's meeting this a.m.  I did not sleep well and had the most weird dreams.  I also want to finish my bobbin of yarn and get to plying.  I can't decide if I want to watch Netflix or listen to a book on tape.  Tough choices.

I also have been in a knitting funk.  I guess it is normal, but I am in a bad funk this time.  Since I was outside all day yesterday working in the yard, I was sure I would be ready to sit and knit a while last night.  I did not knit a stitch. 

I am not sure if the weather has anything to do with all this.  I think if it was normal November weather, I would be moving into hibernation.  That is my most productive time with needlework of all kinds.  Right now we are expecting a cold wave of rain and chill on Sunday night.  Then I suppose after that we will have another heat spell. 

I am so amazed at all the flowers blooming.  I know that the frost we will get Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will probably nip them.  But isn't it strange to have all these flowers blooming in November?

Patty is outside right now lying in the sun on the deck.  Noodles is enthroned in the deck chair in the sun. 

I don't mean this to be a long detailed grouse of the weather.  I am certainly happy to not be knee-deep in snow or to have ice hanging from the eaves.  It is only a commentary of odd behavior.

I have been mulling over how to get that rich deep burgundy color that is seen this time of year on the leaves.  And that rich orange-y color that is slightly peachy, but not so yellowish.  I guess persimmon orange is closest to the color I am thinking of.  I am  not too sure of my dye stash, but I may have to think about this some.  I think it would all be gorgeous blended with my ashy beige I dyed with black walnuts.

Well-enough bad news and good news all in one package.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Is It Over Yet?

I hate to say this-but I am really, really, really tired of all the politics.  Can we as Americans think of something other than who is making the most empty promises and the most slurs, etc?

Anyway, it has been a week of tragedies since the storm in the northeast.  And I think a Nor'easter is moving in next.  More water and wind on top of everything else.  We were supposed to get some rain this weekend, but evidently it bypassed us.  Sigh!  It is just so dry. 

I am only knitting on my sweater at this time.  It is endless row after row of stockinette stitch in the round.  That is so much easier since it is only a knit stitch.  It goes fairly quickly, but it is also 13.5 inches.  Then I get to do the yoke.  And that is a colorwork pattern and will require more concentration.

I did finish the cute little baby sockies last weekend.  I like to have baby sockies on hand for new babies.  You are never too young for handmade socks.

I am also spinning on my pink yarn.  It is really pretty.  I am really glad I scoured the pink Coopworth.

I also did a quick dye job on some BFL.  I did a pound of roving in a very old, very, very old pot of black walnut.  Evidently there wasn't a lot of dye left.  But it came out a beautiful ashy beige color.  I really like the color.  Just a soft neutral to add to the mix.

Other than that, I have had a little bit of a stomach virus, and that is finally edging out of the picture.  It saps my energy to focus on what to eat and what can make it quit hurting.  I don't like to think about food that much. 

My friend OSM was here Friday afternoon and spent the night.  She left early yesterday morning to meet a friend in Tahlequah.  She is returning to California next week.  I think she is finally feeling better and her health seems to be turning to the positive.  She has gained some weight and her skin looks better.  She has more energy, and that helps.  The only negative is that her newest dog peed twice in the house before she left.  I don't like that at all.  I had to stop getting ready to leave the house to clean my carpet twice. 

So nothing else to report this week.  Nothing new and exciting.  I did get some seeds planted Friday. I have no idea when is the time to plant anymore.  By now we should have had a hard freeze and cool down on the weather.  I have a sunflower blooming, the calendula is blooming like crazy in the back, the catnip has blossoms, and there is one little long-nose coneflower blooming in the front.  Who knows anymore?  I just hope the new seeds will settle in the cooler earth and sleep through the winter.  I planted more prairie flowers this time, and hopefully the drought will not get here too early next Spring.

Have a good week this week.  I am going to finish out this little bit of pink fiber and get this bobbin filled.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Are they heading for higher ground?

Yesterday I went over to CJE's house and played with knitting for a while with JE and CJE.  We watched a fiber video.  Patty was not acting herself.  She was constantly wanting out.  She was nervous, and agitated.  She would just stare at me.

After we got home, I fed both she and the cat.  It was well past their appointed time to eat their dinner.  I couldn't get Patty to calm down.  She was traipsing up and down the hallway, ticking her nails against the wood floor.  She would go up and down the hallway, then stare at me.  I took her outside three or four times.  The last time when my patience was worn out, the cat came in.  He kept running up and down the hallway with his tail crooked.  I threw a little ball, he ignored it.  So it wasn't an invitation to play.  I couldn't figure it out.

Today, both are acting their normal selves.  Some friends suggested maybe they were reacting to the megastorm on East coast.  I just didn't think so. 

Just now I looked at Facebook for the first time today.  I scrolled down to see what is new.  One of my friends said there had been a 3.9 earthquake in Parkin, which is in the northeastern part of the state.  Near the New Madrid fault line.

So-like the elephants in Indonesia-I guess both my animals were heading for higher ground.  I had the sense to know something was not right, but I couldn't figure it out.  They had sense to feel the pre-shock or whatever it is called before the big one.  Now they are both their usual selves. 

Whew!  Weather is weird!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Change is on the way!

These sockies are done!  In more ways than some.  These began life as a sock blank that I found when I cleaned up my studio way back when.  I got weird one day and just threw some dyes together and I had kinda an idea of what I wanted.  Well, obviously, when it was finished, it was not my idea at all but something else!  So I knitted them up and they are done.  I will not wear them a lot because they are merino, soft as all get out, and they will wear out quick in the heel and heel flap. 

But right now I am making baby sockies out of the leftovers, and that is perfect for baby.  They are really, really soft, and snuggly and squishy. 

CJE and I taught some friends how to spin on a spindolyn yesterday.  That was fun, but it was really exhausting.  Mainly because I had to clean up the house some beforehand.  One of the friends is a weaver and knitter, and her niece is a knitter.  So each will do different things with their new skill.

I guess I am still in a nesting mode today.  I put away all the things I had out yesterday for the class.  I straightened up the house some.  I did a load of clothes, and I gave Patty a bath.  And since Patty had a bath, I washed the blankets on the bed.  She has one she likes to pull up around herself, and it was kinda smelly. 

As we speak, it is getting darker and darker outside.  Change is on the way.  We have had lovely Spring weather for quite some time.  I have flowers blooming-even my holly bushes!  I have been busy trying to get the flower bed ready for seeding before winter comes.  I have to wait until frost, or the seeds will sprout. 

I just looked out the window, and the groundhog is out being very adventurous.  He/she eats a few nibbles, stands up and looks around, and then back down to nibble some more.  They are not as destructive as the armadillos, but they do like to eat flowers in the Spring.  They have broken my hollyhock stems to eat the flowers, and that is not nice at all.  Right now he/she is eating plantain leaves.  The other day I saw he/she eating dandelion leaves and flowers.

My neighbor brought over a HUGE plate of fried catfish, hushpuppies and some fried potatoes.  It was so very, very good.  His brother caught a 21 pound catfish, and shared some of the fillets.  It was a very thoughtful gift after a long, tiring day. 

I think this cold front coming in is not welcome.  I have enjoyed having the Spring weather, and being able to work outside so much.  I have actually thought what kind of plants I want to plant, and how much work I have had this time to clean up my big flower bed.  I can really only do the physically hard stuff for about 30-40 mins now.  I have to admit I am older than my mind thinks. 

And now with the cooler weather comes nesting and getting ready for being indoors.  I have to go put the blankets outside for the short time before the rain comes.  I want that smell when I go to bed tonight. 

Snuggle up with the ones you love!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Who Invited All The Bugs!

These are Red-shouldered Beetles.  I have never heard of them before, and I don't think I have seen them before this Fall.  They cluster, they crawl, they swarm, they fly, they are everywhere.  According to the research on the internet, they are a relative of the love bug.  Now love bugs I know.

When I lived in Florida, people were warned of the impending Love Bug Mating Season.  They hook up end to end and make one weird looking creature.  They swarm-just like the above critters-and when you are driving they SPLAT all over your car.  If you get in a big swarm, it could harm your paint on your car.  So a lot of folks got bras for the front of their cars to prevent dangerous splats.

Back to my bugs.  I wanted to know what they were attracted to, and I found it is box elders, althea, and a few other plants.  The "experts" say you have to remove the attracting plants to get rid of them. I have a huge box elder next to the deck, and multiple box elders in the jungle on the west side of the property.  I have one huge althea next to the carport.  So that option is not an option.

So I guess I will live with them until it freezes for good.  I am sure they will go away then.  Oh-well-then it will be time for the lady bugs to hatch and swarm all over the house. 

In other weird nature stories-I have sunflowers making blooms right now.  I am sure this week will push them close to opening.  We are to have warm and moist weather this week, so I am sure they will be happy.

 I had to start feeding the birds much too early because of the drought.  They arrived at the tail-end of the drought, and there were no seed pods for them to eat.  They were looking for food, especially the biggest birds-crows, blackbirds, grackles, etc.  So, I started putting out sunflower seeds.  And sure enough, as soon as we got the first rain, sprouts occurred.

My friend OSM has visited twice this week.  I think she is finally getting the right advice and she likes this doctor.  Yesterday we took a ride down south on the interstate, and I cut across at Chester to Hwy 71.  We went to Ft. Smith State Park to eat a picnic at lakeside.  It was so hot to sit out in the sun and eat.  All the dogs were hot and tired, but I walked them quite a ways while she was finishing her food.

I haven't been sewing at all, but I did get a little knitting done.  I am almost on the toe of sock 2.  I did get a little bit of carding done on the yellow wool.  No spinning on the wheel right now. 

The saddest thing is all the wind we have been getting.  All the leaves are blowing off quickly.  This weekend usually is the peak weekend for color, but I guess it was last weekend.  I did not see the colors yesterday that I normally see in that part of the Ozarks.  A lot of yellowish brown, light brown, rusty brown, brown, reddish brown, etc. 

I am getting ready for nesting.  It is getting to be that time of year.  It seems just as my spirits go down, and I get my nest ready, it warms up and I can get outside.  I know that soon the cold will settle in, but I enjoy the warmish Fall days.  I got more Johnson grass dug out last week.  Sigh!  That is never ending.

I went to Eureka Springs last week with CJE.  That was fun.  We ate a nice lunch at a little tea room, and we walked to quite a few shops.  She had to buy some hot sauce and the shop was uphill from where we were standing.  She concluded her business, and back to home we headed.  A nice little outing.

I am thinking of future projects, looking at pictures, but right now I am not doing much knitting.  It is okay to have a lull.  Some times my hands hurt, but I keep using them.  I do not give in to such stuff as stiff or achy hands.  My back hurt pretty bad after my bout in the garden.  I was able to fill up a whole bucket of grass rhisomes.  Isn't old age a great invention?! 

So that's the scoop.  Not much news, but I will take a picture of my sunflower when it blooms.  I may get two before Frost, but for sure, one will pop open this week.  It has been a strange Fall this year. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Little Rain, A Little Chilly!

I am sitting in front of the window facing north.  When I took Patty out this a.m., I noticed some kind of dark cloud front thing to the north.  And here it is-raging over us with a cloudburst and a mighty darkness.  I like Fall rain.  It settles the earth to lull her to sleep again during the winter months.  I don't really like Spring storms in the Fall.  Which is what we are having tomorrow.  There is lots of thunder now, rumbling along the edge of the front.  Trees are bending in the wind.  Yep-it's definitely Fall weather now.

The trees are beginning to change colors, and the Arkansas Parks and Tourism folks are putting out the leaf reports.  It will be that way until the first week of November.  I like to drive out and see the mountains in the Fall.  There is such a great color splurge and then there are more grays, deep greens from the evergreens, and it appears to be an impressionistic painting.

My friend OSM came last Monday for her test on her basal cell thing on her nose.  She has to return on Monday next for the stitches to be removed.  She is hanging in there.  I don't know how she is managing all her illnesses at this time. 

I have had a teeny virus thingy in my tummy, and it is the beginning of indoor season now for sure.  I didn't feel "sick", but I had a bad, bad headache Tuesday and Wednesday.  I thought it was just allergies.  I also had a stomach ache, but I thought that was my digestive thing and took extra digestive enzymes.  Yesterday I had to go to the bathroom a lot, and I just felt "off".  I had chills all day too. 

I did wake up at 3am yesterday and just "knew" how to fix the sewing problem I had on the quilt top.
I managed to get two rows sewn up, but I ripped out almost as much as I sewed.  I also left the iron flat on the ironing board, and now I have a scorched mark on the cover.  I decided I had to quit before I messed up more.  I noticed this morning I made a big mistake, and I will have to correct that before I can go on.  At least the solution I found is working.  It's just my "focus" button is not working right.

I am knitting the heel flap on sock 2.  And I am on the stockinette rounds for the sweater.  Both are boring knitting, but do-able in my mind state. 

Oooh-a big clap of thunder.  I better get this published before the lights go out.  I love Fall storms!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Shorter Days and Less Light!

 This is a shawl that I finished quickly using worsted weight yarn.  I think it certainly looks like Fall.  I like the feel of it, and the weight.  It is perfect for just a little something to throw over one's shoulder.  I put it on my website. 

 The top mushrooms in a cluster were kinda pretty for brown mushrooms.  So after I started to get the photo, I realized that there is a very "dead fishy" smell coming from it.  The bottom layer had begun to decay, and was gelatous.  It was very stinky.  I love the texture of the second mushroom.  It is beige and off white.  Perfect winter colors.

These are Gulf Frittilary butterflies stopping for a visit.  With our little cold front, they had to move on.  I have noticed more caterpillars this year, and it will be interesting to see what they will be when it is warmer weather again.

I have had a visit from my friend OSM from California.  She is very ill, and is trying to care for herself.  I wish she wasn't doing all the things she is doing, but it is her journey.  She made an appointment with a local dermatologist to check out her basal cell spot on her nose.  It has become a long process.  So thankfully, her visits are short.  She is aware that my tolerance is low for longer visits.

Our knitting group had a fun little party at LK's new house on Sunday.  There were about nine of us, I think, and CJE and I left before more came.  I am so happy that she was able to find this cute little house and set down some roots. 

Patty has had pancreatitis again, but not as severe as the first time.  She keeps finding something dead in the woods behind the house.  I did not recognize anything that she threw up except for bones.   Right now she is driving me insane because she wants out and she wants to go to the woods. 

We had a brief little cold spell with a little bit of rain.  It is a taste of what we are heading for.  I just wish we could get more rain.  We had two days of just damp, drizzly, light misty, wet and cold.  I made a pot of chili and hunkered down.  I don't want to go out and I don't need anything but my little shelter and yarn. 

I am now working on my winter sweater.  I am on Plan B.  Plan A was going very well.  I had perhaps 3-4 inches knitted, and I knew in my heart that I was never going to wear it.  I could never get gauge.  I kept doing the math as I kept on knitting.  I finally stopped knitting and put it aside.  I got one sock finished of my pair, and then decided I needed to rework the math and replan the sweater.  So now I am going to make a bottom-up sweater with stranded colorwork on the yoke.  I am very pleased because it is on gauge exactly as it should be.  I am doing a 2/2 ribbing, and it is supposed to be three inches before the increase and body is begun.  It seems the ribbing is never going to get to 3 inches.  I am only at 2 right now.  I am seriously thinking that 2.5 is fine.  You know- I am anxious to get going on the stockinette of the body.  I know stockinette is boring, so I try to do it as fast as I can.

While I have been escorting my friend to her doctor's appointments, I am knitting on my sock and I am about halfway on the ankle/cuff of the number 2 sockie.  It is coming along well.  It is my plain old sock pattern that is in my head.  The wool is very soft and squishy, and I think they are going to be some of warmest and comfortable.  I just hope the wool is not too soft that it wears out quickly.

I entered three pieces in the fiber show at the Ozark Folkways shop.  The fiber show is this weekend, and I get to see everyone's pieces displayed.  Last year CJE won Best in Show.  She did not get back from Indonesia in time to enter anything this year. 

I am spinning some really pretty pink Coopworth mixed with another roving mix of wool, mohair, and bamboo.  The Coopworth was gummy, and was really hard to spin.  So I finished up my one bobbin of it, and now I am plying it.  I am then going to wash it and see how it feels after it is soaked and blocked.  If it is still gummy, I am not going to be happy.  This is the first time I have had a problem with anything I have bought from a vendor that I know has quality stuff.  I think she would take back what I have left and replace it with something else.  But I want to try working with it first.

So nothing else new or exciting.  I did have one day of major cleaning and rearranging furniture.  I knew that soon I would be closing up the house for winter, and I just needed to do it before then.  It was a little bit scary moving the bed and finding a lot of spider webs attached to the legs of the bed.  This has been the summer of spiders and bugs.  The termite inspector told me they have had a lot of calls this summer, and that this summer was perfect weather for spiders.  Great!  Thank goodness most of them are shy.

Well, back to spinning.  I need to get this done before the weekend.  I will see the vendor at the show, and I want to know for sure that it will clean up nice.  I have a good book on audio that is from the library.  So here we be.

Have a good rest of the week. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Beautiful Poem

Praise the weaver and the sewer and the needle and thread the shuttle and the loom. Praise the cloth in which we are wrapped alive and dead in all our comings and goings in our beginnings and endings.  We are held by tenuous threads spun into one whole cloth that is never torn.
                                                                                                                  Stuart Kestenbaum

What a beautiful way to end this September.  I will be back in October with photos of finished projects and reports of new ones.  It has been cloudy and not much rain.  But much cooler.  How weird that it is almost October!

Happy Weekend!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sheeps Heid

Sheeps Heid hat is finished! It has lovely ewes out in the field, a very lovely flower on top, and some pretty ugly rams heads that resemble a uterus and fallopian tubes.  It is a very ancient symbol for matriarchal people, so I won't quibble.

It is drying now on this muggy, overcast day.  I put a balloon in the hat to block it.  I tried it on prior to washing, and it fits wonderfully.  It comes down over the ears and is just the right length for me.

I used leftover Jamison Shetland yarn I had in my stash from the sweater I knit.  I think if I do it again, I will certainly pick some different colors.

The charts are easy to follow.  The directions very easy.  I loved it!  It gets two thumbs up from me!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Last Sunday of the Summer!

Next week is Autumn Equinox!  Yeah!  A new season, a change, the hot, hot, hot is over.  Just a little hot every now and then is good.

We have had strange weather of Fallish caliber.  Temps in the high 60's and drizzle.  Today seems lighter, but still overcast.  Everything is drenched in wetness.

Yesterday I drove down to Winslow and went up on Boston Mountain for the Spinning Guild meeting.  It was so lovely with the overcast skies.  It made the trees and clouds seem a more intense color range of creams and greens and browns and grays.  My grandmother used to tell me that the clouds were "resting" on the mountains when they are really, really low.  Well, all the clouds were resting. 

Once I drove the valley through Winslow and headed up the mountain, the fog was so thick you could not see anything.  Folks were impatient with me as I slowed down.  I was looking for landmarks.  Oh, well, it was fun to drive in the fog for a change of pace.

As I was driving home, it was apparent I was not going to go into Fayetteville to do my errands.  I had forgotten there was a football game in town this weekend.  Razorback fans are fanatic and are not too bright and logical as they are rushing around with flags and decals all over their vehicles.  I headed home as safely as I could.

So Happy Last Sunday in the summer.  The sun is trying to come out.   

Friday, September 14, 2012

What To Do On A Cool, Rainy Day!

Unlike the bored dog, this is the best solution to what is happening outside the house!  It is around 65 degrees, raining, and not very pleasant if you have to go outside.  So why not just cover up the nose and bury your face, and sleep through all the mess?

Otherwise, the bored dog is bouncing around and cannot settle!  What a nutcase!

I am almost finished with the Sheep Heid hat.  I am down to the final row on the rams horns, and then on to the final bit of decreasing.  Yeah!  I did cast on the brown Targhee wool I got from Ozark Carding Mill.  Gail told me it is from their own sheep that they sold when they moved to Oklahoma.  And that is all on the knitting front.  Two projects.  I am going to cast on a shawl as soon as I finish the hat.  I am seriously eyeing the bowl of sock yarn.  Hmm!  More socks?  Fingerless mitts?  Hmm!

Well, I went to Knitting Group last night.  I was a bad girl and went down to Hugo's and ordered a blue cheese burger.  OMG!  It was so good!  C shared the burger with me.  Thank goodness!  Then I topped it off with a piece of the coffee cake that D brought.  So much for the 5 pounds I lost!  I only knit two rows on the winter sweater beginnings.  Oh, well, I socialized some.  That's important.

CJE and AE returned from their trip to Indonesia.  She sounded excited and still on adrenaline when I talked to her on Wednesday.  It appears the moms did okay while they were gone.  Neither had a crisis, and neither one had to go to the hospital. 

So now I am going to eat some lentil soup and see about the decreases on the hat.  I want to get that done.  I think I am going to use a balloon to block it.  I'm not sure.  The color I chose for the ewes is not very dark, so I may go back and embroidery around them after I block it. 

Tomorrow is Spinning Guild.  I have to go because I am supposed to bring the door prize for the day.  I want to take my sweater to the craft store for the fiber art show in a few weeks.  I am going to combine everything I can in the one trip to conserve on gas.

My friend OSM is coming from California soon, and I am waiting on her call.  I think she is going to her cabin in south Oklahoma first.  If so, Patty and I will drive down for a coupla days.  There is a historic marker we are looking for down there.  We will see.

Have a safe and warm weekend.  After all this rain, I will certainly have to mow again.  But the temps are supposed to be much milder.  Fall is coming too fast around here.  We are still having the hot days, but then we are increasing in the cool days.  I noticed that the light is changing pretty quickly also.  Sigh!  I hate the darkness of the coming months.  Oh, well, nothing I can do about it but be grateful for a warm house and warm food. 

So off to lentil soup and cornbread.  Then onward to the hat.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

WaHoo! Someone Left the Refrigerator Door Open!

I left the window open last night, and I had to get up and find a lightweight blanket sometime in the night!  After a lot of thunder, wind and lightening, a cold front blew through.  It is very Fall-like today with bright sun and wind.  Patty sits in the sun for a while, totters inside, and then goes back out.  I have on shorts, but I did put on a light shirt this morning for my arms.

I love it when it is cool and dry.  Very low humidity is a good thing around here.  I am thinking about dyepots, and actually cooking something in the oven.  What glorious thoughts to have! 

I know, I know, it is only early September.  Don't burst my bubble right now.

I actually started casting on my winter sweater project the other night.  I am doing a channel island cast on, so I am doing it very slowly and trying to keep the tension even.  I am on the crown of the sheepy hat, so perfect timing.  When it is finished, I have a project to start. 

I am also pushing myself to finish plying that striped yarn I started some time ago.  With dreams of dyepots in my head, I am thinking of what colors will work this winter.  I have some BFL roving and I have some Polworth roving that are screaming "Color Me!"  It's a toss-up!

I have been working in the yard all week in late evening.  It is time to take back the yard!  I am still digging up Johnson grass!  AARRGHH!  In places where I dug earlier, there are shoots coming up!  I swear I dug up all the damn rhizomes!  Obviously not!

I just read a book that was good enough to stay up a coupla nights.  Now I am reading a not-so-great book, and that slows down my reading.  I haven't listened to any audio books for a while.  Maybe that's on the agenda tomorrow.  I have to get that plying done!

My brother's boat weathered Isaac without any problems.  He got a message from the marina people the day after the hurricane.  They did not take his mast down and remove it from the water.  They felt it was probably safer to leave it in the water.  And it did fine.  He was sweating bullets about insurance, etc.  But no problems.

Other people had so many more problems.  I often think about the years I lived on the coastlines.  I weathered many storms, but nothing like the last few that have created such havoc in peoples' lives.

Nothing else new.  Have a good and cool weekend!  Time to put the roast in the oven.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Knitters Like to Party!

 This is our newest member of our knitting group!  She was born July 31, and she is such a beautiful baby!  She and her mommy and daddy got lots of nice things.  Our group always makes a blankie for new ones in the group and that was given to her very early on. 
We had so much food it was sickening.  I thought it was nice to bring gooey brownies made with Ghiradelli chocolate, but Tina brought coconut macaroons, and tarts!  Then there was cheese, chips, crackers, cupcakes, fruit, and Molly's surprise.  Something like Maui Wowie-homemade ice cream with Kahlua, macadamia nuts, chocolate drizzled on top with sprinkled nuts, and then she put whipped cream on top of all that.  I did not eat that.  I did not want the sugar overload.  My gosh! 

It was loud, it was fun, and it was more than any baby should sleep through.  But she did!

I took Patty with me, and she was very good.  She nosed around until more and more folks arrived.  She settled under the table and watched me.  At one time she heard the baby making noises, and she looked for that.  But otherwise, quiet and well-behaved.  And she ignored the shop cat, Sasha. 

I did go to the County Fair, and the man actually asked me if I was a senior when I got to the gate. That was nice.  It was senior citizen day and admission was free. I saw a bunch of animals, and I looked over my friends' lovely things in the exhibit hall.  I met lovely Olivia in the sheep barn.  She had her first sheep, and it was a Jacob.  She told me she drove 6 hours to Missouri to find a "show-quality" sheep.  Since she was still a baby sheep, she did not shear her for the show.  I gave her my card.  I found one French angora rabbit and it was for sale.  I emailed a friend who is looking for another rabbit.  It was very lovely and well-groomed, of course.

So Isaac arrived some time last night.  The wind was interesting up to bed time.  I did not think we got any rain, but when I woke up there is a light rain falling steadily.  Hopefully it will be light enough to just soak in.  The frogs have been chirping on the back deck area.  I fed the birds and they are squabbling for food.  So, not a bad day for fiber art indoors.

Noodles pulled the quilt that I am sewing on down and made his own nest.  I need all the help I can get to finish the hand sewing.

So have a good Labor Day weekend.  I am staying home rather than go camping with friends at Mirkwood.  The latest report is that no one knows for sure if the creek has flooded.  I don't really want to drive for miles and find out we have to go somewhere else.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sure Signs That Summer Is Winding Down!

I saw my first Monarch butterflies trying to find anything to eat.  I don't have butterfly feeders, so the few flowers I have is it. 

I saw Hatch peppers from New Mexico in the grocery store the other day.  They never last long, but I sure like that.  I wish someone locally would buy a roaster and do fresh roasted peppers to go.

I saw a Walking Stick on the screen the other evening.  It was fairly large and had turned itself a beautiful heathery brown color. 

It is really cool in the mornings, but still gets hot during the day.  No more 24 hour a/c needed. 

The college students are back.  They drive like maniacs in Fayetteville. The one day I do go in, I am nervous all the time.

The county fair is happening right now.  I am going today because it is Senior Citizen day and free admission. 

Some of the songbirds are finished with molting and are now growing back feathers that have not filled in everywhere.

There is increased hummingbird feeding and fighting.

The Fall yarns are arriving at LYC.

I hear owls more at night now that I sleep with window open.

And today is my niece and her son's birthdays!    Happy birthday-Happy Birthday!

And an update from previous notes.  My SIL loves her socks and they fit!  Yeah!

Happy end to the misery of a very long, hot summer.  The tropical storm is moving this way. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Awww! Rain at Last!

 I finished the wrap/scarf.  I am calling this one Canyon Waterways.  I was so happy to finish.  I did feather/fan pattern across the length instead of the width.  There is yellow and brown which is not easy to see in these photos. 

And I finished the socks.  I have them in the package and ready to mail to my SIL.  I think she will like them.   These are her first hand knit socks.  The first are the best!

Finally we are getting a good rain.  Yesterday was misery with a few little sprinkles, and muggy humidity.  But today-RAIN!  A real soft, easy, steady rain without thunder or lightening.  This is so wonderful to have such a good rain!  I am very grateful!

CJE and AE left for Sulawesi yesterday!  They will be gone for 21/2 weeks.  I hope they have a great and wonderful vacation.  They are away from all responsibilities with the moms and the business.  No cell phones, no Internet connection, no connection to all the things that happen daily here.  Perfect!

I have been spinning today, and I just want to stand on the porch and watch the rain.  My focus is not on the wheel.  I may have to stop and just go out there and sit down and enjoy!

I have started two hats-one is Fair Isle with sheep and the other is a slip stitch mosaic pattern.  Neither is hard, and neither is going to take forever.  I then want to make a few fingerless gloves to put on the website.  I am getting a little bit antsy about starting my winter sweater.  I may do that sooner than later.  I can't decide if I want to make a cardigan or a pullover sweater.  I am leaning towards a cardigan.  I think I will get a lot of use from that.

I am pretty sure my class is going to make at the Arkansas Craft School.  I am getting a little nervous about that.  I know I need to get organized for that, so I will have to spend a coupla days this week getting my thoughts together and down on paper.

Well-Wait, Wait is on NPR.  Gotta go!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Hate Johnson Grass!

I am cooking some oat groats, and I don't have a lot of time to spend ranting on and on about the weather.  It has been cooler-no a/c.  50's at night!  This is not August weather, but I am not complaining. We have been getting thunder storms-with less than an inch of rain each time.  But water is water.

What I am complaining about is Johnson grass!  I hate it.  I have been digging up and digging up for three years or more, and no progress.  I try and try to get all those damn rhisomes, but every year I dig up more and more and more.  It is almost like it enjoys the digging up, because it spreads it out and gives it more room to grow.  I am sick of this stuff!

Oat groats!  Yes, all my life I have HATED oatmeal, enough that I spit it out as a baby and child when anyone would put it in my mouth.  YUCK!  The slimy taste is more than my little mouth can take.  Then a friend said I should try steel cut oats.  I wasn't convinced.  So last week I bought a little bit in the bulk aisle at the grocery store.  It was 70 cents worth!  So I cooked it, and I liked it.  It had a bold, nutty, chewy flavor and texture.  No slime!  I put raisins in and that was good.  So now I have a cereal I like.  It really fills me up and I am not hungry for a long time.

So off to oat land so I can continue digging that damn stuff up.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Bizarre Weather Continues!

I think it is totally boring to always talk about the weather.  But the weather is bizarre.  We have been in drought since May-three months.  Suddenly we are getting a Fall-like pattern of thunder storms without a lot of rain.  It certainly isn't a drought-buster with a total of less than an inch.  But a lot of thunder and lightening. 

And the temperatures are cooler.  I mean-whodathunkit-high 50's at night?!?  Perfect camping weather!

I have also begun feeding the songbirds.  I never have done this so early before.  There is very little food for them in the weeds.  The finches have returned, and I have the usual chickadees, titmouses, cardinals, blue jays, wrens, etc.

I saw a show on t.v. about the hummingbirds the other night.  There is concern that the drought will effect their migration pattern.  So people are putting out more food for them all over the place.  I haven't had a lot of activity, but the birds do eat a lot of sugar water.

 I also saw a blurb on t.v. that said butterflies will have a similar problem with their migration.

I am so very close to the end of the shawl/wrap/scarf with feather and fan pattern.  I am ready to be done and move on to the next project.

SIL socks are getting there too.  I have turned the heel and I am in the gusset on sock two.  Once I finish the gusset, the rest is easy-peasy.

CJE loaned a DVD set on Loom Maintenance, and I watched disc 1 last night.  Nothing new.  I am thinking I really had good teachers when I learned to weave a long, long time ago.  There is so much more to weaving than just sitting down at a loom and weaving.  I hope that the students I taught a long, long time ago think I taught them so much more than how to get a good product off the loom.

With the cooler weather, I want to get out in the yard more.  I did pull some weeds this morning early.  I have been cooped up with the a/c for so long this season.  I am ready to get out. I want to take Patty on a long walk in the woods somewhere.

Noodles has adopted Patty's bed, and sleeps in it all the time.  So I guess I will look for another one at the Dollar store next trip.  Patty gets really upset when she sees him in her bed.  Poor little mistreated puppy. 

I am thinking about next projects in my head while I finish up the current ones.  I want to do a Fair Isle hat with the leftover yarn from the sweater vest project.  I also think I will make some fingerless gloves. 

CF just finished her first pair of gloves, and is excited about that.  Gloves are like socks-once you do one pair, you know they are not hard and can continue doing them.  It is getting over the fear part that is hard.

I guess that's it.  Nothing too new.  Just bizarre weather patterns.  The usual household drama going on.     

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Just A Few Notes

- I think it so wrong for that guy to waste water washing the parking lot at the local convenience store.  He was not using a power nozzle or anything.  Just a hose and he was just letting the water run out and wash the lot.  He didn't even have a broom or anything.  My God!  We are in a drought and he is not conserving water!  Enough said!
- There is a major meteor shower this weekend.  Someone said best viewing on the 12th and 13th.
- We had a teeny little cool down.  It was 103 degrees yesterday afternoon, but the nights are cooler.  I am able to turn off the a/c part of the day now.  As soon as heat/humidity climb, on it goes.  There is nothing stickier than wool when the humidity is up there.
-There is a Blue Moon on the 31st.  In a lunar cycle, occasionally you get 4 full moons in a season.  That is the Blue Moon.  There are lots of myths about the name, and I think the "real" reason is lost.  I think maybe the closest I have found is the Middle English word belewe.  It is pronounced "blue" and is interpreted as that, but it can mean betrayal.  Many people felt the moon had betrayed them.  It would be easier if people followed lunar cycles instead of solar cycles.  Then it would not be unusual in any way.
-Back to the first comment.  I heard on CNN that people are so strange.  After the droughts in Texas last year, you would think folks would know they need to conserve water.  As soon as rain came, people were out using water like there would always be water.  Waste, waste, waste.  Now there is a drought, and folks are really unhappy that they have to conserve again. 
-I wish my neighbor well, but he planted his little patch of grass and shrubs along the fence right before the drought hit.  There was a real reason why the garden center put the shrubs on sale at that time.  So he waters all the time with drip hoses.  Because of this, my Bermuda grass along the fence on my side is growing like crazy.  It is hard to mow or weed eat because it is so lush and thick.  Sigh! 
-Patty is bored with being inside all the time.  She is ready to go out and be outside more.  I tell her she can stay out 5-10 mins, but that is hardly enough time for a little dog to get to the neighbor's to check out the back yard.  She would love to find a real treasure of garbage again.  I hope they don't throw anything out like they have done in the past.
-The Tontitown Grape Festival is underway.  The big spaghetti suppers are Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I am not going.  I hate carnival rides and carnies in general.  I do like Fair Ground type of food, but it is too damn HOT!  I think I will wait for the county fair.
-There is something really wrong when it is 100+ degrees and there are Fall adds on t.v.
-There is really something wrong with Hobby Lobby when there is Christmas stuff all over the store in July.
That's it.  I am going to go back to plying my yarn.  Happy Wednesday!