Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Have you seen this site? Very interesting!

Happy Halloween, Happy Samhain, Happy Humpday

BOO! Are you scared??? This happy fellow arrived in my mailbox today thanks to the amazing Sprite! I was delighted not only because this punky one is quite adorable but more because I
thought Sprite had gone off on other paths. She's just been amazingly busy shipping loads of stuff to our soldiers, and if you'd ever wanted to do that but just can't seem to get it done or perhaps your wallet won't allow it (postage, if it's not a flat rate box is a LOT and even the flat rates add up quickly)you can help her. Who wouldn't want to end a hard work day in Afghanistan by having Mexican for supper.

And now for a sad, reflective moment. That little orange one is relaxing on top of a petticoat that is made of tons and tons of fabric. More years ago than I want to think about I was active in a reenactor group. Our period was 1880s, and all of our clothes were handmade. There wasn't elastic for petticoats so they had a regular button waistband. Way back in the closet the petticoats and pantaloons and dresses and aprons lived in a dress bag. A friend wanted to borrow one of the aprons and when I got it out, I discovered that in spite of the dress bag, all the white stuff was somewhat yellowed. So, all got dumped in the washer and soaked and washed. And because I'm totally unrealistic, I thought perhaps I could still fit in the petticoat. OMG...I've grown a lot! I'm thinking it's going to be taken apart and added back to fabric stash. I really doubt that I will ever have a 26 inch waist again

And here is one Fetching. I can't quite figure out how to take a pic of both hands outside. There's nothing to set the camera on. I guess I need to invest in a tripod. And also learn more about angles. In rl my hand and mitt don't look all stubby. :/

Sunday, October 28, 2007

OH Ack!

For some reason, Blogger isn't letting me edit the last post. So hey, a new but brief one!

I meant to put in a link for this eye thing.

Now that's off the list :)

Winken, Blinken and Nod

Basically that's what I've been doing a lot of during the latter part of the week. I am 'blessed' with recurrent corneal erosion and this seemed to be a time for it to rear it's ugly self. So lots of tears running down my face. And a really red eye and puffy eyelids and why does your nose have to run if your eye is tearing??? Do you know why your eyes get all red if you've been crying? It's because tears from crying or irritation or hay fever are not the same stuff as the fluid that normally hydrates your eyes. So this week has been a week of lots of artificial eye drops and extra heavy duty stuff for night time. And looking closely at anything is difficult because of the pupil constricting etc. So...therefore, nod. I've had a lot of short naps brought on by being bored with my eyes closed. It's much better and the eye doc said on Friday that she was impressed that the abrasion on top was healing so well and quickly. I think of it as being like peeling nail polish.

There has been some knitting. A Fetching was finished early in the week and there is another one on the needles. Maybe soon, a pair. I tried a pic, but one of the cats was quite interested in helping so mostly I got the back of a cat head with a wee bit of mitt showing.

And a sock that was the victim of some showboating on my part has been fixed.

And I totally don't understand another pattern. It's so simple but it seems all backwards to me. I think I shall try a swatch...just do what they say and see what happens.

Oh, and I think I am not meant to do P3Togethers. I thought about doing the row before on a giant needle, sliding the stitches onto a smaller needle and then purling them together. Wonder if that will work?

First frost was this week!

Which led to this...getting ready for bed with flannel jammies! Yay!

Monday, October 22, 2007


I just looked at my post. I guess I should do the whole thing all at once rather than interspersed with scooping litter, doing breakfast dishes etc.

The wall cloud was one afternoon last week. The hail was last night. It going to be really cool this week. Highs in the 50s. Yum!
One afternoon last week, a nurse out in the field called in to tell us the weatherman on the radio was reporting a wall cloud with some circulation just west of us. Aha! Photo op! But it didn't develop farther until after it had passed us by. Others got damaging winds etc. We had sunny skies.

Well! This is no way to reward me for a hard day's work. It was supposed to be a quiet evening with football and wool. (Maybe football and quiet is an oxymoron) As I sat all curled up with two of the cats and a screwed up sock, my concentration was broken by the sound of hail on the house. A LOT of hail. But intrepid photographer must go out to take pics. It's amazing how many pictures you can take that don't work. This one, for example. Perhaps though you can get the idea of hail that's piling up! My time was limited though by the fact that reallllllly cold rain was soaking me to the skin. And mobility limited by the fact that a lot of little hail is just as slippery as snot. And scuffy houseshoes are not the attire of choice.

A reward though. I dug out some really warm jammies and had a mug of hot chai. Couldn't wear them wasn't at all cold inside. But a nice idea for a little bit.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Piece of the Past

At the retreat last weekend, there were a couple of vendors that had books and magazines and pattern booklets for sale. Some old, some brand new. Right up my alley.
And while browsing through one stack of pattern booklets I suddenly stopped abruptly and sucked in my breath as I saw this one.

Published in 1943 and containing numerous baby items both knitted and crocheted, this book was a part of my childhood. I can remember my mom making numerous sweaters, bonnets, soakers, booties for new moms in our community or at my daddy's work. And how was I sure it was the same book?

Well, you see she taught me how to crochet when I was 4 or 5. I could do the chain stitch (miles of it, I think) and then learned how to make crochet in the round. I wasn't very good at remembering to increase so I ended up with a lot of 50's colored cups..which worked well for my dollies' lunches and such. But blessed with an amazing imagination, I pretended sometimes that I was crocheting the sweater on the cover for my imaginary daughter.

Now, back in now-time, I still wondered if this truly was the book or was my memory playing tricks on me. There was a way to find out. Inside the book, I remembered a picture of two children, which in my young imaginary world were my older children Tommy and Candy. So I turned the pages and there they were in all their curly glory!

Needless to say, it came home with me. A bit ragged from wear (I can certainly relate!) and needing gentle treatment it's now an important part of my space. Cost of booklet ... Two dollars. Seeing it again...Priceless

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shiver..and a request please and thank you

I woke up cold this morning. Well, OK so maybe I was chilly. Or maybe it was just the uncovered arm that had a fan blowing on it that was chilly. Still. It hasn't happened for months and it made me smile.

My friend Ann has a request for her mom. A simple request that Dave told us about. Silly woman! I talked to her last night and she didn't mention a thing. So, click on over and make someone smile a bit.

P.S. Hershey was chilly in here this morning

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Penny Rug

Whew! I meant to post yesterday evening. But apparently I needed to sleep for almost 12 hours. All better now :)
I finished stitching the penny "rug". Obviously would only work as a rug for a small softie. An old, old craft although I'm not sure they had fuschia and coral fabric available. There was a great big box of woolen scraps, many of them felted blankets and we could just rummage around to chose our fabrics. I took many pics and for some reason it was hard to actually get the colors to show up right but these are the best.

I really enjoyed stitching the little not-quite-round circles. I noticed when I uploaded the pics that one of the sets needs to be scooted down a bit. It will have to wait though as I used up all of my black embroidery thread and...I can no longer buy it in my town. Oh..who am I kidding. It will probably be a bit out of place forever!

I glanced through a couple of books our instructor had. A lot of patterns that didn't look traditional at all. Just using the process. I have some ideas.
One of the vendors had some needlepunched felt which followed me home. But I'm going to have to go thrifting for an old blanket or something that I can use for the base part. My color pieces are rather thick so I'll have to find something that I can felt that will be of similar weight I think. Only problem is that not a lot of wool is worn here. Cross your finger that I find some old sweaters or something, k?

Always good to have ideas circulating! Now I have to go check on some yarn to see how much I have of it. I want to make Fetching.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday Night w/Fiber

Last night was the first part of a fiber weekend..well Friday evening and today. Because of some logistal glitches we didn't get to start as early this year, but there were great cries of "Oh have you been?" "Ohhh look at this!" etc.

After an always great potluck, a woman who teaches natural dyeing classes talked to us. Whoa..what a cool person! Besides teaching at City Arts, she also teaches kids in alternative school. She said it was pretty funny watching fairly obvious gang members whisper to each other that she was a witch. She had examples of the work they didn't want to keep..i.e. not their best efforts and still it was just amazing.

My afternoon class, basket weaving, got cancelled to be rescheduled later..knee surgery could really impact a person! Get well soon Debra! My evening class was Wool Applique. I'm making a penny rug. I learned several things.
1st: Even when drawn on with a sharpie, I am unable to cut out a perfect circle in fabric.
2nd: My project is "organic" which in this case seems to mean my circles are wonky.
3rd: Wonky circles are hysterically funny when everyone is tired.
4th: Perhaps the best part of this sort of event is getting together with the people. (See the 3rd thing)

I'll take pics later. I have to be out there early this morning. The only class I signed up for today is called "Silk Fusion". I think I will feel very "arty" doing this! And I don't think I will need to cut out circles.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake

It's been a calorie laden week here on the prairie. Monday night found me having dinner with friends. Homemade potato/broccoli/cheese soup to die for. And an assortment of meats and cheeses and lots of embellishments for sandwiches. We chose what we wanted to eat. I nominated the sandwiches. I love, love, love making big Dagwood type sandwiches but in a house alone, the lettuce goes bad before it's eaten or I'm terribly tired of ham/turkey etc. So this was a real treat for me. And the soup...OMG I just wanted to sleep in it. Sooooo rich and very good. A little wine, some fruit and lots of good conversation. And on a Monday of all days! Too fun.

Then it was cake at home time. When I was little my mama used to make this dessert that she called Cottage Pudding. To my little brain, I thought that must mean we lived in a cottage since we ate it in our house. It was basically a rather bland whitish cake that you served with a warm, clear nutmeg-y sauce over each serving. She gave me the recipe for the sauce, but told me that you could just use any cake..a cakemix white was just fine. Well, ya just wasn't right. The cake was too fluffy. The original was more dense. Sort of like eating a great big fat soft sugar cookie, or so I remembered.

So, fast forward to 2007. And an ad in the mail for a repro Betty Crocker cookbook. Since I cook so often (not!), a cookbook wasn't on a want list, but I really wanted this one. And, since it could be paid off in 4 easy payments that were certainly modest, I ordered it. It arrived Saturday and I've spent quite a lot of time curled up and reading it. And then....shazamm, right there on page 221, is Cottage Pudding. The sauce recipe was right and I tried the cake and YESSSS! Of course, I've eaten the whole cake. Well, it was just a little cake...sort an 9x9 pan.

I figure that all the stirring wouldn't use up the extra calories, but maybe a bit of knitting would help. So the second sock of the long-ago-started socks came to life last night. I have no idea why they were stopped before. Must have been something major to distract me. But we're happy together for now.

Zoey says she will just lick her foot and ignore me.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Where I Mess Things Up

I've already told you that I'm nosy. And I love to see other people's spaces whether I know them or not. There's just something so interesting. So I was delighted when Dave showed off his knitting/spinning space and had links to other people's. But, I figure fair's fair so I have to show you mine. As bad as I would like for it to be, it's not worthy of being featured in a magazine unless maybe there is one called ...well, I'm not going to go there.

This is the "curl-up" place to knit. It's never this tidy as usually besides myself, there's at least one cat and a mug of tea or coffee and who knows what else. I took advantage of the cat's having supper while Zoey was outside to get this shot. There paws are involved though as that throw is supposed to be on the back of the loveseat.
You can see in the lower left a round box. It holds most of my needles and all sorts of other stuff. It really needs to be cleaned out. The little bag with polka dots is currently the sock bag. That's open to change. Sometimes I use the one that clips to your beltloop, or my pretty pink bigger one. Just depends on the day, I guess.

The cigar boxes on the cedar chest/coffee table hold stitch markers and little balls of waste yarn and rulers and needle gauges..that sort of thing.

Inside the cedar chest are several groups of yarn. It's not full of yarn (I wish), for there are other throws and pillow covers and stuff that's for this room in the bottom of it. Used to be a real pain in the butt to find anything, but some judicious recycling of a copy paper box and a Christmas box makes it much easier to get to the lower half. I'm quite fond though of just gazing at the colors. And wondering why I still haven't unskeined my Cabin Cove or why I really don't want to knit my Cherry Tree Hill. They are just there for petting, I think.

Then there is the Playroom. It's about all sorts of projects and only recently came into being so it's still a work in progress. It was a bedroom. Last bulky trash day the old mattress etc went bye bye and it's trying to find it's way. But with the keyword up on the wall, it knows the way to go.

It's a good room to use for things that need a lot of light (like an intarsia chart) and/or somewhere to spread it out. I can 'drive' my dining room table in there easily and set up the sewing machine. If I want to cut fabric (NOT my favorite thing to do), I elevate the legs of that table on bed risers which brings it up to the right level. I cut out much more happily if my back isn't screaming at me. The shelves in front of the windows originally were full of plants headed for a Walmart. Once they were unloaded, the shelves were scrap but I grabbed them first.

Since I can't actually see the picture on here, I've sort of forgotten what all you CAN see. There's a chair. It's really a lawn chair covered with a quilt..Mid-century Modern and made from double knit fabric. *G* Oh and the lovely footstool...another copy paper box, painted and "upholstered". And the magnificent old bedspread on the floor for Zoey. She has a for real bed in the bedroom but she really prefers this. It's hysterical to watch her "arrange" it.

I had knitting to show off...but then..well, trouble. First of all, Laura wanted to see my intarsia..the first. It's over 1/2 way through, having been restarted 3 times. So I took a pic of it Friday night.

Then I thought that I would wait to post until I had even more done. It had been several days since I'd worked on it, so first I made sure I had all ends woven in. Usually, I'd just quit whenever I was tired and then the next time I'd weave in any ends. So that done, off I go. Well yesterday, I discovered a glitch a couple of rows back. I should have just put it down..I was tired, it was late and obviously my brain had turned off. I'd woven the ends in so well I couldn't get them out, so I thought I would just cut it and go back to the row before that. Uhhhh you can't just pull on the yarn and have the whole thing unravel at once. So now it's just a mess, with some areas raveled back farther than the next color. I'm going to have to think about this. Or...start over. I do enjoy doing it.

Then there's this felted bag. Somehow in my magnificent mind I had decided that things shrink in width more than in length (it's the opposite) so I knitted this hugely wide bag. Uhhh, it's still way to big to do anything with. I'm thinking maybe saddle blanket? Rug? Or cut it up into smaller pieces.

I'm thinking I'm going to work on a sock. I have one started. Just a plain 2x2 ribbing. Maybe I can manage to do at least ribbing without messing it up. Or maybe a nap. /shrug

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Upstairs, Downtown

I really love old buildings, and I'm nosy... well, make that curious. It sounds a lot nicer. And one of my fantasies is to live upstairs above a shop; of course, I own it and it's thriving. Perhaps I read too much.

However, when the chance to explore the upper stories of some of the buildings downtown, I jumped at it. It was part of a Paranormal Convention held here last weekend. I would have loved to attend everything, but I found out about it too late and it just wasn't in the budget. This part, though, I could manage nicely.

So after a brief rest after the alpaca adventure, off I went. With new batteries in the camera and drivers license and keys in my pocket, I wasn't burdened with a bag which would leave my hands free and me a bit more mobile.

There were 4 buildings on the tour but I will just tell you about 2 of them. One of the others was basically just walking through some attorney offices (?). The 4th was quite interesting and my guide, a young man in character was delightful but I have no pictures. More about that later.

The is known as the Babcock Building.

It's housed a ton of different offices on the upper floors and a lot of shops on the bottom, but now only the first floor is functional. There was a secret door. One of those hidden in paneling. Each floor above it had a hole in the floor in that space. Not big enough for an elevator..actually I'd guess about 2 feet square. Your guess is as good as mine as to what it was for. And although this floor wasn't safe enough for all of us to walk out on, I'll have good "image ups" about this being my parlor. And it's snowing. And I've brought up some lovely yarn from my yarn shop. And I'm knitting something beautiful. Dream on.

And this is now known as the Russell-Murray Building and houses a hospice business. Not patients, but the staff and management have their offices on the first floor and part of the second.

I actually did this tour twice. Once while it was still daylight and then again just before I went home. I had two different guides, so I got a lot more information. It was built to house a grocery on the first floor and a hotel on the upper floors. Later, in the 20's, there was a bordello on the upper two floors. The 2nd floor had the better quality "girls" and two bathrooms! The upper floor had one bathroom, and screen doors just like you'd have on your house for ventilation. I can only imagine what it must have been like on a hot summer's day. Ewww! One of the doors on the second floor had a peephole with this little doohickey that you could slide back and forth. Not, however, so the room's occupant could see who was in the hall. It went the other way. So that the person in the hall could see into the room. Hmmm.

They had gathered some things with the idea of setting up a little scene in one of the rooms from when it was a hotel, I guess. There was a bed made up, a rocking chair and this dressform which I'd love to have!

Three folks were getting it set up, and one of them asked the others if they believed in ghosts. And, then the rocking chair rocked back and forth three times. Everyone had been standing still, just relaxed. And the one that told the story is someone I trust and who has an excellent reputation for not being a flake. So...hmmm.

There were decorating ideas galore. I could live quite comfortably with this linoleum.

I might have a bit more trouble being comfortable with this wallpaper.

There was all kinds of stuff in this building since the upper floors hadn't been used for anything but storage since probably the 60s. Unfortunately much of it was removed by thieves. What's really scary is that a lot of it was done at night while the hospice administrator worked late. The thieves apparently put a ladder on the flat roof of the next door building and then climbed in a 3rd floor building. She said she would, at times, hear noises but attributed them to pidgeons. Scary.

They restored the woodwork on the areas they are's a beautiful space. But some things hopefully are being loved and cared for elsewhere.

One thing that I found really interesting was that apparently people had much smaller feet when these buildings were built. I wear a size 9 shoe, which isn't tiny. But in almost every building, I had to come down rather like a crab because the stairs were so shallow. We even measured, and with my heel way back against the back of the stairs, my toes were way out side of the step's edge. They probably wore them down going up and down stairs. Since all of the ceilings were really high, so were the flights of stairs!

Remember when I said I put fresh batteries in the camera before leaving? I can go a long time between battery changes, but I carry extra ones in my bag. The interior pics you see here were taken in daylight without the flash (although I had to do a bit of highlighting in Picasa). And there were probably a total of a dozen pictures taken before the batteries went *poof*. I had to go out Sunday to take the exterior pictures. Perhaps there were some things that didn't want their pictures taken. /enter Twilight Zone theme.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


This is what greeted us as we walked through the parking lot after work. We have some new nurses and one of them, as she walked around me standing out in the middle, asked "What in the world are you doing?"

Before I could answer, one of the others said "She's getting her camera out. She takes pictures of everything..even dirt"

And this isn't real..I played with the controls in Picasa but I really think it's cool so I'll see how it looks here.

And now, there's thunder rumbling, so I'll shut this down and get comfy with some knitting.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Quick Post

I'm working on a post but it's still in draft stages. I get so confused with all the html I see instead of just a picture.

But for Laura, a picture. More big sky. More prairie, but this time some of it's baled.

It's getting closer to the weekend!