Monday, July 28, 2008

Fun, Fun, Fun!

Oh I had just the best time at the Fiber Christmas in July thing! Got to see people I haven't seen since spring and meet new folks too. AND, I actually got to spin (badly but still) on two different wheels!

A lady had a Babe for sale (and I even could afford it) but she didn't really know much about it, so she took it and Kerri, Bruce and I to a vendor. The one this lady had was a single treadle and I just sucked. I was kinda scared because I thought I couldn't even do this. It wasn't the spinning...I expected that to suck. I just was so uncomfortable with the treadle. So she let us try a double treadle. Yayyyyy that was so much better for me. We played a bit there and went on to gawk at other things. Bruce was a real help. He asked a lot of umm.. mechanical type questions that I didn't even know. So we wandered around some more and then later on, I introduced Kerri to my friend Gwen. Gwen is an amazing spinner and we told her our tale of the Babe. She invited us to spin on her wheel but explained that she had purchased it for convenience of travel and didn't recommend it to a beginner because it was rather tempermental. (LOL I wrote down Gwen's Wheel but didn't write down it's name duh) I don't think Kerri enjoyed it much, but I sat down and just was immediately comfortable with it. Spinning still sucked but the treadling was great!
I was in love! She told us to try lots of wheels before choosing one and now we know of a vendor of various wheels in our area and she said we could come and play. Now...all I need is money!

It's awkward since there are things I NEED that require money and I feel somewhat guilty for even thinking of spending big bucks on a wheel. But, who knows, maybe someone will upgrade and decide to sell their used wheel.

At one point, I was sitting on the floor (all the vendors were INSIDE in an airconditioned building on the fairgrounds!) looking at a Schact Ladybug. Just kind of touching it and I noticed this woman kept giving me these 'looks'. Turns out she was in the process of buying it. Sorry! But it was a really cute wheel and I like that style rather than the more traditional looking ones.

I came home with a couple of brochures so I can gaze longingly :-) And I came home with this.

More fiber that I can't spin but gosh it's so beautiful. I had to just have a bit of it for inspiration!

It was all quite fun and maybe the best part was just enjoying being with Kerri and Bruce. What a fun couple! Kerri is a beginning knitter now thanks to the trip up and back and has plans for a baby blanket! It will probably be gorgeous. She catches on to everything so fast. Sucks that she's already spun and plied two skeins of yarn from her drop spindle :-0 !

So it was a day of lots of fiber, lots of fun, lots of giggles and grins. Can't beat it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hurry Up Weekend!

What a week this has been. A person in my circle died Monday evening. I wasn't extremely close to him but he was extremely close and related to good friends. A young man so doubly difficult. So it's been a week of getting food, plants and paper products arranged/delivered. I don't know how it is in other places, but here death and funerals are about FOOD and lots of it. The grieving friends and family become sort of a reunion. Lots of stories and tears and laughter.

And, in the midst of it, The Boy turned 18. I was pleased that everything sort of went on hold so that he could have a really good birthday in spite of everything else. And that involved food too. Really good unhealthy chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with white or brown gravy, green beans with bacon, homemade ice cream and of course, birthday cake!

And if that wasn't enough food, a rep brought lunch to work...bbq brisket, baked beans etc. My diet has not been the greatest but it all really tastes good.

The funeral is tomorrow, and besides going to work and a funeral, I need to get a ton more food over there for the family. Lots of people contributing...I'm NOT a cook. I primarily transport stuff and provide paper stuff. Paper plates, napkins, toilet paper...hey there are a lot of extra folks at my friend's home!

But it hasn't been totally fiber free. I did dye some yarn some night (I can't even remember when, but long enough ago that it's dry. I call it watermelon yarn. Base is Paton's Classic Wool that was napping in my stash. It's a gift for my friend Kerri who says she likes bright colors. It's not quite this garish in natural light, but by the time I got home this evening it was dark outside. It reminds me of watermelon.

I hope she likes it. On Saturday bright and early I'm tagging along with her and the hubby and heading to the northeastern part of the state for a Fiber Christmas in July affair. I've never been before, nor has she, so there will be two of us gawking at all the fiber and wheels and animals. She wants to learn to knit (she's a crocheter now) and hopefully I can teach her at least a long tail cast on, and knit and purl. Hopefully she won't need help counting. I'm going to give her my stitch and bitch book for some backup.

I am soooooooooo excited about this adventure. Fiber and friends. What fun. And just two more sleeps until it all comes about!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ready for Toes

Actually a couple rows into the toe, but alas I have to do some tinking. My count is already off. It was the dreaded 9 PM curse. I usually go to bed between 9 and 10..closer to 10. And I've discovered that once 9 PM arrives, I get in the 'one more row' mode..and hurry. And then I make mistakes. So I'm trying to not knit after 9. But gee, the toe! It's not a regular sort of toe and I was excited to see how it happens. And now after 4 rows, I'm off count on one needle. Hopefully I'll have time this morning to tink it back.

Want to see? Here ya go.

I am still just loving this pattern! I think it's very pretty and it's fun to do and I can DO it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Where Did the Weekend Go?

Boy, that went way too fast. Maybe it was those naps that make me think I fell into an alternate time zone! It was just HOT. So the only outside stuff that got done was a wee bit of weeding at 6 AM yesterday morning.

Zoey seems to be just fine. Gave her a buzz cut yesterday morning and she's quit looking like she might melt. I don't think I need to quit my day job and take up dog grooming though ::shrug::

And the sock continues to grow and I continue to love knitting it. Now that I'm on the foot it just speeds along since the pattern is only on two needles. I did take an update pic before bed last night. But I guess my mind was on sleep instead of photographing because it was all crooked on my foot and you can't really see the pattern. Not only should I not knit after 9, but take photos too, I guess.

Hope your weekend was great and your week even better!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Yesterday was one of those use-it-or-lose-it vacation days. Preplanned for about umm 48 hours. And, indeed I did have plans. So it was up at the usual time 0500; laundry was washed; and after my cereal off to the laundromat. By 0900 I was back at home with clean clothes/linens etc and had done the grocery shopping. The grocery was having a sale and KoolAid was 12 for $1 so I stocked up for dyeing fun.

Did a bit of ironing and then sat down to make a list because I was going to the City! Was going to go to the yarn store and show off the handspun that Josette sent me and hopefully get some ideas on something cool to knit with it. And to Barnes and Noble and out for a late lunch.

So I'm making this list, and my dog Zoey starts making some weird thumping sounds. Sort of like if she scratches her ear and her foot hits the floor. She was on the other side of the table so I leaned around to see what she was doing and it looked like she was scooting her butt.

"Hey! Don't do that, let's go outside!" That's when I realized what she was trying to do was stand up. She'd been sleeping soundly for awhile and I know sometimes after a good night's sleep bodies can get rather creaky. I went over and helped her up only to catch her as she fell over to the left. She's looking at me like HELP. I rubbed her left leg and hip a bit. No owies noted but she just couldn't stand. I called the vet and scooped her up and off we went. Carrying her big self down the steps was a trick but she was very quiet and not trying to get down so that helped.

By the time we got out there she could stand for a second or two..thank goodness he helped me get her on the table. He wiggled everything still no owies noted. She had a bit of a temp and let him know what she thought about rectal temps by pooping on the table (NOT something she would normally do). He suggested that I leave her for a bit and I agreed.

Well, that cancelled any plans to go to the City. It was not that I could do anything by staying home, but I just wanted to stay close in case I was needed. So back home. I tried knitting on my sock but I was too antsy to settle. So I did some house stuff and tended to some paperwork. Finally he called me about 3 and said she had just been sleeping but was now up and moving a bit in her big cage and told me to come out about 5:30. Left me enough time to run to the next town where I got a birthday card for The Boy (it had to be one that 'sings') and found a new issue of Simply Knitting.

Went to pick her up and she just seems fine! He has me giving her an NSAID twice a day as he's thinking it is related to some disk problems. We shall see. I think it looked more like a TIA. Although those usually affect a whole side instead of just one extremity.

Finally got supper done and cleaned up and just sat down to knit when the doorbell rang. It was The Girl and her sister with good news. It seems that Dad may not have to go to Iraq after all. :::crossing fingers and toes::: And by the time they left it was bedtime. Maybe knitting tonight.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Show Off!

New things to show you. Finally I have completed, if not a sock, then a sock top. And, sometimes I had to count past 4. I have had such fun with this pattern. My gnat-like attention span is happy because every row is a bit different but not difficult. This may actually become a pair! The yarn is some Knitpicks Bare that I dyed awhile back. It was going to become another pair of Monkeys but apparently I got distracted or something. I stumbled upon the yarn again one evening and thought that the following morning I'd look out the pattern.

But that night, I dreamed I was wearing a pair of handknit socks, and knitting another pair. Specific socks, but I didn't know what they were. They weren't in my printed out patterns. And I'm not skilled enough to imagine up something like them. I was on my way out the door to go to work when I had a thought. I dashed back in and pulled Favorite Socks (Interweave) off the shelf and there they were! Embossed Leaves socks by Mona Schmidt. I'm quite pleased since I've followed a chart! First time for stitches.

But heh, I don't think I'll be knitting the ones I dreamed I was knitting anytime soon. A bit past my skill level I think. :-)

The other goodies in the picture arrived in the mail this week. A surprise gift for no reason from my friend Ann who's not blogging right now I guess. There's a kitty cat magnetic book marker. (No worries about it falling out!) And some adorable tiny rubber duckie magnets. And a magnet that says "Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is". And the adorable card says "Success consists of getting up once oftener than you fall down". I loved each of them. But today, I became aware of some things at work which might mean I need to hang on tightly to them and memorize them. Good timing, Ann girl!

And now to go start a heel.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Getting To Know Me

Maybe you really don't want to..'tis your choice. I'm not vain enough to think you've been waiting a long time for this post. Actually, it's so I'll stand a chance at winning a prize over at Knitty Otter's.

Getting to Know you Contest Questionnaire:

1.) How long have you been knitting?
Since sometime in 2005. I was way late coming to knitting. Not because I didn't want to knit, but because I couldn't figure it out from books and knew nobody that knitted. Finally a yarn store opened in the City and I took your basic knitting class. Still have my first swatch too!

2.) How long have you been knitting socks?
I think since the spring of 2006. It was after I started the blog..that's all I know. And I was sooooooooooo proud of them!

3.) What do you do with a problem like Maria?
Help her and Tony get out of Manhattan!

4.) What is your all time favorite sock yarn?
Cabin Cove or Regia. A lot of people don't like Regia apparently but it's been good to me. I've used a lot of Knitpicks dye-it-yourself too. I haven't used very many different ones. I have some yummy Cherry Tree that I need to find just the right pattern for, and I want to try some of that Dream in Color sock yarn. Have you used it? Such delicious colors!

5.) Toe Up or Cuff Down?
Cuff down. I keep saying I will learn toe up but I just can't quite get there from here.

6.) What's your favorite color (this week or for all time)? Do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

This week it's teal and chocolate. Not that I have anything that color except for a little notebook. In summer I wear a lot of orange/pink/lime stuff. In winter I'm quite drab for some reason

7.) Do you have a pet(s)?
Oh yeah! A neurotic dog named Zoey, and 3 cats. Mary, who is 19 years old and demands respect and a street-bred Siamese Hershey, who's about 13 and my snuggliest kitty. And last, but not least, Mercy the calico helper cat. She likes to help a lot although she's really not too good at it.

8.) Babies: Oven Roasted or Barbecued?
bbq all the time!

9.) Besides socks what is your favorite type of thing to knit?
Mitts and mittens. My goal is to someday create a wonderful thumb!

10.) What's your favorite scent?
Vanilla and freshly mowed clover.

11.) What music are you really loving right now? Like a song or a band?
Today I'm listening to Dave Brubeck on

12.) How many pairs of socks have you hand knit?
About 10, I think.

13.) What's your favorite treat? Salty or Sweet?
how about both? Ice cream, chocolate syrup, and nuts sprinkled on top.

14.) What was the most interesting thing you smelled yesterday. Not good or bad necessarily, just the thing that stuck out most so that you actually took notice of it.
Let's just say the dog had an upset tummy and leave it at that.

15.) Needles - DPN's: Wooden, metal or plastic?
Crystal Palace bamboo. Love 'em!!!

16.) What is your favorite sock pattern that you've knit? What do you recommend?
Right now I'm knitting Mona Schmidt's Embossed Leaves socks from Interweave's Favorite Socks and I'm really loving them. I loved Monkey too. But most of my socks are ribbed tops.

17.) The last Question: If you were stuck on a deserted island who would you want with you, what knitting would you want with you and would you ever want to leave?

I would want my boy cat and some sort of MacGyver person there to build shelters and stuff. I would want all my dpns and a large assortment of yarn cause I have the attention span of a gnat. And yes, I'd want to leave cause I really hate hot weather and I'm thinking that's what you'd have.

So there you go. If you do this, be sure and let me know so I can come snoop :-)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Was Going To Show Some Knitting..

I've knitted off and on this week on a sock, with plans to show it's progress this morning. However, everytime I picked it up I noticed a glitch on the first row after the ribbing. Not a missed stitch that I could pick up. I'm not sure what it was but it was wrong. I told myself that it wasn't really all that obvious, and it wasn't really. But I couldn't live with it and all that knitting hit the frog pile leaving only the ribbing. Maybe tomorrow there will be some progress.

In the meantime, I'll show you something of great interest at work for the last couple of weeks. A bird (not sure what kind, maybe a barn swallow?) built a mud nest over the light outside our door.

All well and good, and occasionally we would hear a little peep. But apparently as the wee things grew and became more obvious, the parents decided we were going to hurt them so getting into the office became a game of dodge-bird. They didn't actually hit anyone, but they did make for an interesting entrance/exit. Nobody told on them so they just kept after us and we became quicker and more agile. Finally the little beggars apparently learned to fly and left home. And once more, going to work isn't very exciting.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Such a Good Weekend!

This has been a very rewarding long weekend. The weather was beautiful. Hot, but not as muggy as it could have been.

It actually started Thursday evening. A last minute trip to the library got me books to read and this lovely flower from the librarian. I forgot what she said it was, and don't you love my vase. It's beauty was gone by morning but what a glamorous addition to my kitchen window for a while.

Ribs, burgers, and hot dogs off the grill and last night my good friend Jackie came by and brought me yellow squash from her garden and cold watermelon all cut up and ready to eat. Ohhhh it was so sweet. And fireworks (on mosquitos!)

And I kept myself quite happily entertained. I finished repotting the houseplants and they are all happily back in their places except for one. The Norfolk pine had to go up a size in pot and once it was all done, I discovered that it's too heavy for me to carry. So it's in a shady place on the patio. It's really too broad for my little house, so I'm sure it's happy spreading it's branches. This ivy was so twisted and tangled around it's support. And then I discovered that the support was actually broken off at soil level.

What to do? I rummaged around in the garage and chose an old fence picket; cut it off and put push pins in as guides and now it's much neater and it can spread out a bit in it's bigger pot.

I put supports around my baby tomato plants. They are volunteers that came up in the pot of zinnias and now have a home of their own. They are way off schedule since they didn't sprout until everyone else had big plants. But maybe by fall I'll have a tomato. And who knows what it will be since it won't be the same as the Romas of last year. A mystery!

There was more shrub trimming. I can't do it for long at a time, but each morning of this weekend, I've been out early and did a bit.

Inside, I dyed up some little pieces of an old canvas drop cloth for a project that's still sort of in the planning. I think it will need some adjustment as they shrunk a bit in the hot dye water. Once again, I didn't read until the end of the instructions on the dye packet and so once they were all in the dye water I discovered that I was supposed to have added salt. OK I did...just not how they had directed. And I'm thinking that contributed to the mottled effect. Which is just super because that's how I wanted it. I wadded up some of the pieces after they'd gotten wet and it made for some nice marks. But ye gods, it took a long time to get clear water when I rinsed them. Finally used some Synthrapol. That worked well and I think I'll try it on some yarn I dyed years ago that wants to rub off on everything. Can't use it the way it is, that's for sure.

There was lazy time spent reading while sprawled across the bed with the fan blowing on me. Note the goofy bookmark. It was an experiment to see if I could get sharp marks with a Sharpie on some more of the canvas. Uh nope. It tends to bleed out a bit. Will have to rethink another project. Maybe a paint pen?

Today is about washing the bedroom curtains and starting to sew a sundress with my new (as of December) sewing machine. I did get it threaded without much difficulty! Yay! Haven't quite managed anything other than straight stitching but it's a start. And oh my, it's so quiet!

And, of course, my new delicious yarn!

It's been such a good mix of friends and projects and getting things done and being lazy. I could really get used to this!

So, what did you do on this gift of a 3 day weekend?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Some Specs

OK...before I wound it into a cake, I put the skein down on the table. Without stretching it, it measured 24 inches on a long side, but the sides were close together. I guess I should have used a tape measure intead of a yard stick and measured all around. And I counted 89 strands. So 89 x 48 inches? And that would be
4272 inches. Divide that by 36 and it would be about 118.666666666 etc yards. Well more, cause I didn't count the curves at the ends. Then I wound it into a very loose cake because it said it didn't want to be stretched. And then, I weighed it. Now that's probably not too accurate. I don't have a drug scale, only a kitchen scale that I got for a $1 at a garage sale but it says it weighs 4 oz. Is there another something I should do? How do you do wpi?

Lucky Me!

Do y'all read the Farm Witch's blog? Or do you have any of her yarn or fiber? Well...I do! Awhile back she had a little giveaway and guess who got the prize. That's! The picture of the yarn is at the bottom of that post and it's better than mine. I just couldn't quite get it all to show up right. But still, it's gorgeous. A wool/silk 50/50 single of pure orgasmic fiber. I've NEVER seen yarn this marvelous much less actually owned it.

She sent a card with it, and in it said that the reason it was delayed was because as she got ready to send it she noted that some loops were out of place which would have made it hard to wind so she rewound, washed and dried it again.

At first I thought I would just leave it in the skein and admire it, but I can't. I must wind it up in a cake just so the loveliness can go through my fingers and I can admire all the variations of color. Now to figure out something to knit with it. Any ideas?? I guess I should figure out the yardage, eh? But please, if you have any ideas tell me.

And Josette, you are one amazing lady!

Lucky Me!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Somebody Make It STOP!

Ironically, we find out today that The Girl's dad is going back to Iraq. Well, actually before he was in Afghanistan but still. So 4th of July hamburgers and hot dogs were eaten with a young girl with swollen eyes from crying and a dad trying to be really upbeat. It sucks. And I need to shut up before I get really snarky and political.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

June went Poof...

and so did my last post. I came to edit something and it's gone! No wonder nobody commented. And now it's time to go to work. But not to worry, it wasn't particularly profound :-)