Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Thought I Was a Toad

I had planned on showing you a bit of knitting progress on the mitt. However, although I did knit each and every blue and white stitch as shown in the red box, I discovered that sometimes I didn't do it all the way around the row. Hmmm. I shall blame it on the fact that I was watching severe storms move VERY slowly across the state. (no damage here that I know about...I slept through our part but a town north of OKC got hit pretty good)

Ahhh yes, spring in Oklahoma! Gotta love it!

So...instead of knitting, I will give you a peek at the real me??

You Were a Porcupine

You have created your own path in life, and you encourage others to do the same.

Even as life progresses, you always maintain a sense of wonder and innocence.

More Fun in The City

Saturday, after a minimal of weekend house stuff was done, I headed back to the City. This time though, it wasn't to eat with least I didn't think it was.

I'd discovered an email in my bulk mail about a Natural Dye thing at the City Arts Center. Oh ack!! It asked that you call and tell them you were coming and here it is the very day. But I emailed back and Abi graciously told me to come on. So..I did!

We were given some information about the dyes we would be using. Ummm I've forgotten some of them but I know for sure there was cochineal (from bugs) that made red, logwood that made graying blue, and indigo that heh..made blue. I think I was too excited to remember too much. There was a big group there. Some ladies that looked like socialite sorts, some really fun teenagers, some young boys..maybe pre-adolescent that were more fun than anyone, mommas and girls and grubby dyeing people like me.

When I first got there, I talked to some teenagers who were winding what appeared to be jute..or something...from huge spools onto swifts and skeining it up. I asked them about it, and it was going to be dyed at a later day and used for weaving.

What fun! We were all dyeing silk scarves..there were 75 available and you were allowed to take one home and the rest they were going to use as a fund raising project for the Natural Dye Studio. Well...we went through the 75 and they found more and I think around 90 were done plus bandanas and little bags. Everyone was talking and sharing ideas and we all were just sure that our most recent idea would be the best.

I was most fascinated with the indigo. Put the fabric in to a count of 10, pull it's lime green. And as soon as the air hits it, it starts turning blue. I wish I'd taken pictures of it. And, if you wanted it to be darker, instead of leaving it in longer, you came back about 20-30 min later and dipped it again. And so forth. I really have to learn more about this! Oh yeah, and it doesn't smell the least good. We all did all of our own dyeing except for the indigo pot and a really nice woman named Leah was in charge of that and ever so patient as all of us asked questions and crowded around.

Towards the end of our session, a henna artist showed up doing free henna tattoos (not sure that's what they're called). I missed out on that because I was still dyeing stuff and you can't get your hand wet. I should have asked her to do my ankle but it might have been rather difficult to drive home barefooted. Someone also brought a bunch of pizzas. I didn't miss out on that! Sat there with a wet scarf in one hand, pizza in another and having this slightly intense conversation with some young very punk looking kid. I think he was a lot smarter than me!

And how very cool our workspace was. A HUGE room. Big metal sinks, lots of long tables. And you could just thumbtack your scarf to the wall if all the clotheslines were filled.

Someone lucked out and ended up with a silk stole. I don't know how she made it look like that and she didn't either. I think it was my most favorite.

There were a variety of things done.

This was my effort at camouflage.

And this was my time with indigo (primarily) along with some overlapping cochineal and logwood. And this one came home with me.

And that's about all that happened on Saturday. No knitting. I was so tired, and when Earth Hour arrived, like a good girl I turned out the lights and that was it for me until 5 AM this morning :-) Today's been all about getting stuff done that didn't happen yesterday. Tonight maybe knitting!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday Night in the Big Town

First of all a big thank you to Crystal for the info on the red box! Really helps when you know what you're looking at!

No knitting last night tho. It was a girl's night out in Bricktown a special part of Oklahoma City. It's been quite awhile since I've been down there and's really grown with lots more to see and do. Eleven goofy women out and about. What a good time we had.

We ate here at the Bourbon St. Cafe and it was very, very good. There were oysters and pork shops and some really different salad. On my dinner plate was a very tasty, tender steak. YUM! (And it had paprika sprinkled around to look pretty!) And in my glass Shiner Bock. A far reach from my usual "eat out" at a fast food place.

After dinner we walked around and laughed a lot and then rode the water taxi on a great trip around the canal. We've already tentatively planned a return.

A really fun evening and it's really nice to spend time with friends doing totally different sorts of things.

Today may hold totally different adventures barring unforseen roadblocks. We shall see. But for now, I need to do the ironing! See ya later! Hope your day is a good one.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Riddle Me This

With apologies to Ms. Gilbert, here's the beginning of my Bird in Hand mitten. Apologies because I've changed something. Watch a DVD, think I'm a designer? No, not at all! I was supposed to be doing plain knitting for a few rows and then an Estonian Braid before the color started. And try as I might, I just couldn't figure out the braid. So I did a few rows of 1/1 ribbing followed by a rows of purling. This is soooooooooooo fun although I am very slow. It may be a lifetime project.

Now, I'm puzzled though. See on the pattern ... the little red box? I don't know what it means. I thought about emailing Ms. Gilbert, but I figured it's probably something most everyone knows, so I thought I would try y'all first.

Oh and yes I write on my hand. For things I can't forget. I may lose a stickie note but hopefully I won't lose track of my hand. This has to stay until in the morning.

It's been a really good week here. Fun knitting, good weather, and yesterday when I took a fall on the sidewalk, nothing got really hurt except my pride! But that's ok, cause nobody saw me. Heh.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday with Elizabeth, Meg and Jane

I'm a visual learner. I learn much more easily if I can actually see what's happening, whether in person, via large photos, or on video. When I first started knitting I ordered a DVD from somewhere that allegedly would be the be all and end all. What it turned out to be was a lot of philosophy and pretty music and although it did show someone knitting, a lot of the time it was shot from the front. Fortunately Dave, I think, clued me in to and I was able to more easily learn some of the things that had puzzled me.

So in my quest to learn stranded knitting, I read that there was a really good way of trapping the longer spans of yarn on A Knitting Glossary with EZ and her daughter. I looked it up and it was $40 which I didn't have. (later learned it's in Stitch and Bitch too). Then later in the week I saw a really cute sweater pattern online and thought the next time I went to the yarn store, I would see if they had it so I could read the instructions and see if any of them made sense.

I survived the laundromat experience, got to the post office too late to mail my stuff and decided a little rest was in order. I popped in one of the discs that I'd ordered from Netflix (joined on Wed, discs arrived Friday!!) and settled back. Mailman arrives and in the mail was an unexpected check for $45+ from the cafeteria plan. (I didn't realize I'd already spent more than $500 on meds this year). And faster than a NY minute, I was in the car and headed for the LYS.

This dvd is the MOST amazing thing. Three hours of instructions on most anything I could think of and a lot of things I didn't even know I didn't know. And both of them are so personable and Real. It's just a joy to watch. If you haven't seen it maybe your library can get it for you. It's just wonderful. I can't imagine how it would have been to actually know either of them.

I'm afraid I haven't actually put any of it to use because you see, there are those 2Miss Marple disks (they're watched now) and one more movie. What a lovely weekend I've had!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Not Down for the Count

Whew..what a week! Started out innocently enough, just a typical Monday morning. I did notice my back was a bit more cranky than usual, but that happens. Off I go to work. And I hadn't been there long when it felt like somebody had just whapped me with a 2x4 across my lower back. I shifted around in my seat a bit and kept on with the paperwork generated over the weekend. But it just kept getting worse and by 9:30 everything hurt. My bones, my muscles..heck even my skin hurt. One of the bosses stopped by to ask a simple question and I answered with "I don't skin hurts too much to think" And as tears trickled down (I hate that) I was sent home. Home..what a lovely thought.

Getting my shoes off was the only major thing I faced the rest of the day and I discovered that I could actually reach them by using the letter opener. A MacGyver moment for sure!

Tuesday was a bit better, I got up, got ready but after being up for a couple of hours it all came back again. And until Thursday most of my time was spent with either ice or a heating pad and not-so-interesting daytime tv.

Back to work on Thursday..not one of my more stellar days but I got through it and Friday was a bit better. Glad to be done with that week for sure. Now the challenge today will be getting two big laundry baskets full of wet clothes/linens to the laundrymat so I can dry them. Fortunately pjs don't weigh much!

There was only a bit of knitting done. Sitting up was difficult and I can't seem to knit in a supine position. Lots of practice though on my stranded project. Well, not actually the project but the swatch. I did get gauge on #1 dpns and then it was off to investigate stranded knitting. There wasn't a pattern. I'd just make up something, rip it back, do it again etc, etc. I really don't do well 2 handed. I'm a "picker" and I just couldn't seem to get any kind of tension with my right hand. I tried that little wire knitters thimble on my left hand (oddly enough I bought it at a WM sale bin for 50 cents one time...had no idea what it was for but it said "knitter" and was cheap) and that sorta worked but still it just wasn't right. So far my best has been just running both yarns through the same fingers and every once in awhile sort of regrouping. I've seen a sort of plastic thing that will handle several colors of yarn. Maybe I can try one of those.

So, soon it will be off to the grocery and the laundry, and then hopefully home for knitting and a movie. Yep, I signed up for Netflix on Wed, and yesterday came home to find 3 DVDs in my mailbox. So Friday evening I spent in the English countryside with Miss Marple. A very good time was had by all..well except for the villan :-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ravelry Etiquette

Question. If you want to add someone to your "friends" group, are you supposed to message them and ask if it's ok? This isn't someone I really know, but rather someone that I read and admire.

Monday Post on Tuesday

Monday's post had to be stopped quickly due to thunder/lightning and it didn't save. So here it goes again.

The weekend was just great! The laundry was finally all dry and I discovered that ironing during the Sunday morning news shows is therapeutic. Worried about the economy? Get rid of a wrinkle. Frustration at politics in general? Set a crease. And so it goes.

A tip. If you hang your laundry in the kitchen doorway to dry, do NOT fry chicken while it's up there. It certainly negates any clean laundry smell.

But the highlight of Saturday was finally hearing Mama Squid's voice. I was so excited and I'm afraid I babbled quite a lot. Oh well, I do that here so she's probably used to it. Thanks Devorah!! It means a lot to me.

Later that night, I discovered that Kate Gilbert's Bird in Hand mittens now have a KAL just starting. I've loved this pattern since I first saw it, but I don't know how to do stranded knitting. Then I discovered that the KAL is a part of WEBS "Ready, Set, Knit" podcast. And on that page there were instructions and such to download. I may figure this out yet! And have new friends to listen to. Haven't made it that far yet but pages are printed out. (Adding to the stacks, Devorah :-))

Oh goodness! It's thundering again. I'll be back and even put in the links.

Back again. OK where was I?

Sunday. So, the ironing's don. A beautiful day and a perfect one for a drive to the City. Finally I got to go see my long-hospitalized friend. She's now in a LTAC (long term acute care) ICU and's the most wonderful place. Her room is huge. Big, big tv. Nice furniture. Looks more like a very large living room with a lot of light. And she's doing much better! Go Em!

And there was a quick stop at a LYS for one skein of Cascade 220. White. Nothing exciting but I needed a contrast for the turquoise color in my stash. Oddly enough, one of the LYS' has quit carrying that yarn. They now have a new-to-me yarn called Riverstone, I believe. I'll have to find out why.

Then home for more listening to podcasts. How cool that in some places you can actually have knitting shows on the local radio station.

And then there was swatching. I took the pic before I really measured because it was bedtime. Let's just say that I didn't get the stitches per inch that I needed. And to keep me company while I swatched, I enjoyed a phone convo with Sara! Does giggling affect swatches? So..more swatching in my future.

And apparently, more thunder. Bye!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday was Great...

Thursday, not so and I have my doubts about today. But, at least it's been interesting.

I wanted to balance my check book before leaving out. And it was no where to be found. Apparently my purse tumped over in my desk drawer and it fell out, but it took quite awhile to come to that conclusion. So, after a rather late start, I headed out. Too late to get to the tea store; I'll just have to call them and check. But I came home loaded down with 4 cases of canned cat food and a big bag of dry (after numerous times of being without a vehicle I tend to stock up *G*) and a new shedding brush that looks just like a small curry comb. And new printer cartridges. And new tennis shoes (a good thing since the old ones just lost their soles). Simply Knitting with a great leprechan pattern and Knit Simple with some great sweaters found it's way into my shopping bag too. Oh, and new nail polish for my toes. The weather was glorious (76F on the way home) and everyone was driving with their windows down and chatting/waving/grinning at the stop lights. Motorcycles galore. A couple was in front of me for about 15 miles. And everytime we had to stop, the girl on the back turned around and grinned. Finally, we were side by side at a stop light and she and her boy both chatted with me as we waited. "Have a great evening" he yelled as they took off. Too fun.

When I was getting out of the car, I managed to slop some soda on my purse. Not a real biggie as it's made out of windbreaker like fabric, but it was sticky. So I dumped everything out on the table and threw it, along with a jacket, some sweats and other such things in the washer.

Yesterday morning, I pulled the jacket and purse out and threw them in the dryer. Clickity bang went the plastic toggles on the jacket drawstring. I disengaged the part of my brain that's annoyed by that and went on with my morning. Finally dressed and ready for work, I went to retrieve them and discovered that apparently a couple of gel pens were clipped inside the bag. Well, they were...but they'd spent a great deal of time banging around in the dryer. OMG what a mess. Lots of ink (fortunately not on the jacket or purse or any of the other stuff in that load of wash). I had just read, the night before, on Ravelry that hair spray would remove it from the drum. Do you know how high you can get spraying hair spray in a very warm dryer? I got the most off and stumbled off to work. Last night I used the last of the hair spray but still there was ink. Now for my latest and greatest discovery. That pre-treater SprayNW*sh does an amazing job with a lot less fumes! And, I finished drying things, plus some towels without a trace of ink. Yay!

So now we get to Friday morning. Hoping to get a jump start on weekend laundry, I washed sheets this morning. Put them in the dryer. Turned it on. It hummed. But it doesn't go around. So, if you stop by today please don't be alarmed at the sheet draped over the dining room table. And if I'm not home, just wait. I'm just at the store getting clothesline! Ahhh challenges. It does keep life interesting.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Question about Netflix

I'm thinking about signing up since my DVD player is now functional and I have a question and I haven't found an answer on their site.

If you choose a multi-disc selection like a season of tv show, does it count as one, or does it count by the disc. And, do you get them all at once or one at a time.

Thanks for any info you can share. Oh, and if you use them does it work as well as they say?

Midweek Miscellaneous

Hi! Me again. This time with no new pics of fluff. And I want to get more repeats done on the sock before it shows up here.

Bumble Vee, yes, I would be really happy to send you some of this but somehow we need to email so I'll know where to send it. When I post at your 'house' does my eMail addy show up? If so...that will work. Perhaps inspired by your place in the blogsphere, I have this need to knit my Build a Bear lamb a shrug and make her an Easter dress. So off to the bookcase this morning to look through Knits for Children and Their Teddies. Ah yes, there's a shrug in there. I guess I'd better get busy on those socks so I can start something new. :-)

I'm off work today. Another use-i-or-lose-it vacation day. I'd love to have a whole week off but that is just so hard on the ones left there. We aren't overly staffed.
And, while I'd like nothing better than staying in my jammies all day, I'm off to the City. The cats tell me I need to go restock their food from Petsmart and I agree. And maybe there is a new Simply Knitting at the book store. And last night somewhere in blogland I stumbled on a new-to-me tea called Red Rose. It supposedly very good AND it comes with a little figurine in the box. I'm such a sucker for surprises! So, I'll stop at the only tea place I know about and see if they have it. Maybe not. They're rather fancy,schmancy and most of the tea I saw when shopping for a swap pal was in big glass jars with shiny silver lids and you they scooped it out into your bag. Worth a try though. I'll let you know.

Have a good one kiddos!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Good Morning Starshine

~~~fleecy, shining
gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen

That's what I was singing as I tried my hand at carding. No, of course I don't have hand carders. But I have two dog slicker brushes. And, after having washed them before work, I happily sat down to continue my fiber adventures while singing songs from "The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical". My old hippie soul was happy even if my experiment left something to be desired.

The depth of the brushes is only about 2 1/2 inches at the widest point and their oval shaped so even that is a very small part of the whole. And the length of the fiber is longer than that. I tried using them sideways but the teeth are curved towards the bottom so that didn't work. But I did try..and sing :-) And I took some of what I managed to card and spun it on my leg. The twist didn't stay, but hey..for a bit I had yarn that held together!

And little poofs of fairy hair. So light, so soft. Can you be in love with some little pieces of fluff?

And Bumble Vee, the ultimate goal is for me to become a spinner. But for now, who knows what will happen with this stuff. You want some of it to play with???

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday Washday

After a Saturday spent cooking (potato dumplings and cabbage, cranberry orange muffins from a mix, and potato chip nachos..a quick lunch) and regular Saturday things, I was ready for a Sunday of laundry. No, not my clothes/bedding/whatever. It was time for fleece washing.

Using fairly small amounts at a time, I ran the hottest water...added some Dawn and then soaked the fleece for about 20 minutes. When I drained the water, the residual dirt stuff was like sand. No really nasty stuff. And bits of vegetation occasionally. Then I'd do it all again. Oh yeah, and I spun it out in the washing machine between soaks. When it all seemed clean it was time for rinsing. That took almost longer than the washing! Late in the process, I read online to add a bit of vinegar to the rinse water. Wow! Water that had lots of suds was suddenly clear and the fleece didn't smell like vinegar either. Amazing!

After it was all spun out, I set up the dryer thingy and put it out to dry. Big clumps of wet stuff. But as the ceiling fan did it's thing, I discovered that I could separate the clumps a bit. A few needed more attention so more washing occurred. But by the end of the day it was all pretty darn nice.

And amazingly enough, the cats paid almost no attention to it.

Hershey the guard cat was actually more interested in letting me know that he thought it just might be dinner time.

In real life, this looks much whiter but I can't seem to make it happen in my camera. And the Lucy Neatby button? It came in a package from my LYS, was on the table, got knocked to the floor when I was putting up the dryer thingy and I guess I just picked it up and put it there. I didn't realize it until I saw the pics. Guess I thought I just needed a bit of "pop".

The pics were taken yesterday evening and things are much fluffier this morning. There are still really damp spots, but as I find them I separate them a bit. Someday it will all be dry. Then comes the next fun :-D

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What a great idea

I stumbled across a blog tonight and saw this hat. You'll have to scroll down a bit.
Is this not cool? I wonder how it's done. Make two hats from the top down and somehow bind them off together? I don't know Tienne, but what a knitter she is. A lot of great knits coming off her needles.

Also commenters whose info says their blog is called Car Rental probably doesn't have much to say and their links probably shouldn't be clicked. Is it time for those annoying code words again?

Oh Look!

When I got home from work today, there was a good sized box on the front porch. I brought it inside, let the dog out and fed the cats. One cat was missing. Oh, there she is! Up on the table rubbing all over the box and 'talking' to it. She's watched Pretty Woman too many times, I think.

I finally lured her away with kitten food (only used for sick kitties or holidays) and of course then the others needed some. But finally with full tummies they all went off to have a nap and I got to open the box.

I was really wondering what it would smell like. I knew it had been skirted so I wasn't worried about that, but would it smell like wool? I don't know what others may think, but I think right now it smells like hay. And soft? ohhh my! It's amazing. And it's so pretty just as it is. I almost hate to wash it or try to do anything more than just gaze at it. Look at the little curl on the end of this lock.

I apologize for the bandaid but it was necessary. A nasty file folder tried to cut my finger off. And exaggeration for sure, but ouch!


Ohhh...what an exciting title! But I get excited about small things and my friends get tired of hearing some of it so I'll just talk to myself here..and maybe a couple of y'all.

The grocery nearest my house is not a big showplace kind of store. A lot of space, great prices, a lot of brands you've never heard of. But there is some good stuff there. There are a lot of Hispanics here and this store has a lot of products made in Mexico, or labeled in Spanish. A cool area in produce with bushel baskets of produce I don't recognize. The bestest shredded cheese. And occasionally loaves of bread whose bag is decorated with this a soccer player.

But this is about soap.

Ingredients: Tallowate (lye, steam and fat), cocoate (fatty acids of coconut) and scent. That's it. No long lists of chemicals, and who knows what all that I see on other labels.

Lots and lots of lather.

And the scent? Well one would think it smells like roses, but actually it smells like clean.

And price? It was on special for 35 cents! I wish I'd bought a dozen.

In other news, soon I will be the proud owner of a pound of angora fleece. A wonderful person in my local fiber group has been very, very ill. She was in the hospital forever almost, and is now in an LTAC (long term acute care)facility. Recently it was shearing day at her family's place and they listed all the fleece on the list. Duh..that sounded weird. So, I spent some of the can money on one of the smaller amounts. I've bought curls from them before just cause they're pretty. I've been instructed on how to clean this fleece and I can't wait. I hope it's not offended that I have no clue of what to do with it after that. And, some day I hope I get to go meet #556. Come home Emm!

And in even more news (can you stand the excitement?) while I watched primary returns from the neighbor to the south and the cornfields, I got the swift and ball winder out last night and wound the lime green yarn. I think it might become Monkey socks. Probably not in time for St. Patrick's Day, but hopefully before summer LOL

Tub time now so I can slide down Hump Day cleanly! Love ya!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Lamb or Lion

Mostly VERY windy. The weekend was way warm. Tshirt weather outside, and mostly cloudy. All that has changed and today we are to have a bit of SNOW. It won't stick as the ground temp is too warm. Well maybe on a bridge or something like that but I don't think there will be any great photo ops.

I went to WM yesterday afternoon and one of my purchases was a yard of Peltex..a very very stiff interfacing to be used as a bag bottom. And no, it won't be that big. *G* Getting it the few steps to and across the porch was a trip as it really wanted to be a big sail. And I didn't want to smash it and make creases.

The hat continues. I've got my muscle memory of 1:1 twisted rib back so am able to watch tv while I knit. Or in my case, DVDs. I have some of those really cheapy ones that you sometimes see at checkout lanes and watched a couple of them. One was various mystery/detective tv shows. Can you imagine Dragnet without the DUM DE DUM DUM music? I'm not sure why they could put the show on there but not the signature music. It's not a intricate hat but I like the way the top looks in it's photo. We shall see. I'll have to get a ballon and make a hat stand.

I'm using Paton's Wool Merino Natural Mix I'm really liking the way this feels in my hands. The color could be more exciting :-), but it was on sale and this was the color choice.

The yarn I dyed is going to be drying for awhile I think. Not probably the smartest day to dye..moisture in the air is definitely going to effect the drying time. But I suddenly wanted lime green yarn and amazingly enough I got it.

Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Fingering
Dye: 4 packs of lemon-lime Kool Aid and a squirt or two of McCormick's Neon Green food coloring.
Dissolved in a coffee pot of water..poured on the yarn and microwaved for 3 - 3 minute cycles with rest periods in between. I didn't pour all of the dye on the yarn..much of it accidentally went down the drain. The yarn did take up all the color.
Just to be sure, I washed it and the water remained clear.

Maybe it will be socks. Maybe it will live forever in the skein. I just needed to dye.

Off to get ready for the day at work.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hello March!

I've had a bit of a vacation this weekend without leaving the house. I read a comment in the Harlot's blog about this new place. I've seen her name before but I just didn't connect. What a shame, I've really missed some good stuff but have had a super time getting caught up last night and today. It was iron a shirt; read an entry; put stuff in the dryer; read an entry. I did manage to get most tasks done and then spent the rest of the time in my chair. Lene is an amazing woman and her blog is sooooooooooooooo wonderful.

I dyed some yarn, I've started a hat..more things to talk about but severe weather is coming in and I must shut down.