Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holly-Daze 2008

All the insanity that is the holiday season - that I insist on calling Holly Daze (maybe I'll explain the story behind that one later) and the other insanity called family get in the way of regular blogging.

Oh, I forgot work too. I've had training, a week of shadowing and reverse shadowing, 2 weeks "pre-live" and another two weeks "live" with a total of 100 phone calls reviewed and graded. Final result: I've been accepted into the department! That's a good thing, a very good thing indeed.

Back and forth to the 'boro to visit hubby and family, phone calls with other family members gives good and bad news and, hopefully, things will settle themselves down with the bad stuff and all will turn out for the good in the long run. December brings Christmas and the new year. January is the time of some cancer surgery for a family member (prayers that this will be the last one and all the stuff will be gone this time would be appreciated by all) and the matriarch's 80th birthday.

February will bring a new family member into the world. Bubba has been voted down as a name for the baby. His next older brother wants him named Baby A with A being the same name as the namer. When told this wouldn't work, he wanted Baby R with R being the other brother's name.

March is a birthday and on goes the year...

What I have done is make a list of all my knitting in progress, stitching in progress, some spinning and my two quilting projects. The knitting and stitching are both in double digits - and if I listed all the spinning fibers I have, it would be too. So lots of things to work on in the time coming up - and I have a knit along starting Jan 1. Also two baby gifts to be made. One is started and I'll have to figure out what to do for the other baby.

I'll make the lists public on another post - or posts?

In the meantime, a wonderful holiday season to all of you, no matter your beliefs. Take time to enjoy each other and the world around you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

All I Can Say is.. WOW

During this political time in the USA, emotions run high and, in some cases, logic and understanding go by the wayside. Everyone has a viewpoint and many feel theirs is the only one.

My viewpoints are my own but I do appreciate those with a wonderful way of expressing themselves with words. Therefore I'm borrowing from My Tangled Life and an essay by Eve Ensler regarding Gov. Palin of Alaska, the Republican candidate for Vice President:

by Eve Ensler

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice.

Whatever it is, I need the polar bears. I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not. She does not believe in sex education or birth control. She has stated that she will do everything in her power to overturn Roe v Wade.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. She has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air. Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialog and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain. Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

I do not believe 100% in all Ms. Ensler has written but I do admire her way of stating her views. She makes you think - and thinking is a very good thing to do.

To those who are eligible to vote in the US Presidental election: please think and research and make an intelligent choice when you go to vote in November. Please do not allow others to make your choice for you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Observation and Commentary

In the past few weeks, there have been some events that are disturbing me. At a construction site, two separate incidents of nooses being found have been reported. Also reported is the FBI investigating because of racial overtones.

Friday a bomb threat was called in to the company that will be at the construction site when the buildings are completed. Right now, the company is located in 10 sites around town with the majority being downtown. People were evacuated from all sites and I haven't read any media reports of any device or suspected device being located.

Each day I drive by a hospital. Several times there has been a man standing on the edge of the sidewalk with a sign about his mother's final days at the hospital. If all he reports is accurate, there were some really terrible mistakes made in her care. I'm not medically trained but I would think at least one of those mistakes could have contributed to her death.

I have said for years that there are at least 3 sides to every story. One side, the opposing side and the reality. The above demonstrations are the result of people wanting their side known. One does it in a peaceful manner - standing, holding a sign. One is sneaky and disruptive to many others, not just the one or the few that the complaint is with.

I do not know the hospital's side of the story or any actions being taken by the hospital to investigate. I would hope they are checking what is on the sign. I have respect for the man with the sign. I have sympathy for him and the pain he's going through with the loss of his mother and his feelings of why she died.

I also don't know if the nooses and bomb scare are related but I'm going to assume (dangerous word) they are. The person(s) behind this does not have, nor deserve respect. There are more effective ways to try to resolve a situation which someone feels is unjustified.

I've ranted long enough. I was once told "You are SO 60's!" Yes, I am. I do wish for peace and for people to try to understand each other and their viewpoints. I'd love to live long enough to see that happen.

Monday, August 11, 2008

First Day

My first day at work today - new employee orientation. This is the absolute first time I've ever had a formal orientation with a job. This is also about the 12th permanent job I've had in my life - plus a bunch of temp work. Things I liked: friendliness, humor injected into dry subjects, free lunch. Dislike: the -20F temperature in the room - even with over 50 people in there - I think it got colder as the day progressed. Even with windows on at least 2 sides of the room. Most of us were cold and found sun during breaks. I also walked back to the parking area - about 2-3 blocks away - to warm up that way. I seldom feel cold but this one took the cake. Training begins tomorrow at another location and I'm going to have to hunt for a quicker route. I'll be at that location until March when we move to a new campus about 15 minutes (in traffic) from my home.

On the knitting front - I finished my first McGregor's Garden sock and started the second. Toe is done and I've finished 1/3 of the pattern before Peter appears in the garden. Knitting group is tomorrow so I can head there after work and meet folks. I'll take my spinning there so can work on the spindle for a while.

I'll try for photos either later this week or early next. Meanwhile, Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thank you to Blarney 'n' Grits

1 Put the logo on your blog
2 Add a link to the person who awarded you
3 Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4 Add links to those blogs on yours
5 Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Thank you again to Claire at Blarney 'n Grits

Now for 7 other blogs... hmmmmmmmm

Ok here goes:

Knitting and Spinning with Ewe - Peggy always has something wonderful to say about everyone in the kal's we've been a part of. She's a good enabler too.

Fugue State Knits - This lady is so interesting - attorney, singer, musician, friend, mother, grandmother and on and on... I always enjoy reading her blog!

You can call me Al, formerly Love as Is... Al is a wonderful lady - as much in her blog as in person. She's a warm, funny, super person.

A Few Stitches Short
- This lady has a beautiful way with words and with her knitting. She's a terrific designer too.

And back to both Claire and Dani - both of whom have blogs I love to read.

Finally - From Lorchen's Lair... I hope she will see this but Lorchen has such a busy life. She teaches children with special needs - and that takes a very special person. I have two grandchildren with special needs so I do know just how much time, patience and love is needed.

I raise my glass (of ice tea) to all of you!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Here Come de Photos

Here come the photos as promised...

Here's my new drop spindle with Glacier Lake in process. See the sparkly stuff? That's Angelina, something I've never spun before. Lots of glitter with this one.
Next is Winter Jewels, being spun from a 80/20 Merino/Silk roving from All Spun Up on This stuff is a dream to spin. I've only spun about an ounce so far - out of 8 oz.

Next is the last of Blue Suede Shoes. This is a superwash Merino (machine washable) in a 2-ply. I think I have enough for a shawl with this one.
Last but not least is B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bag) from This is being knit in a cotton yarn. I'm almost done with this one. The next one will have something else instead of the lace insert. It's a big shopping bag - bigger than I thought it would be.
More photos when I have more to show. I've picked up the new hire packet and had my photo taken for my ID card. Now I have lots of reading to do and papers to fill out to take on my first day - next Monday. I'm so excited about this!

One final note. My DS has a birthday tomorrow. He'll be mumble.mumble years old (I can't have a child That old) and I'm wishing him a Happy Birthday with many more happy years to come. Here's to you, kid.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Busy Life

I see I haven't posted in over a month so I'll do an update on my life. First of all, I'm going to be a grandma again! Baby is not due until February and I'm not a patient person so this is going to be hard on me. As long as there are 10 toes and 10 fingers and everything is in the right place, I'll be very happy.
Next, I'm employed! I'm going through all the pre-employment stuff right now but I've been hired and start work Aug 11. This will be great!
I've been knitting - started B.Y.O.B. (Bring your own bag) from Summer 2008 and I'm on the upper band and handle area. I have enough cotton yarn to make another one too but will do basket weave instead of openwork on that one.
I've also been spending time spinning. I've done about 800 yds of a 2-ply finishing my Blue Suede Shoes from Crown Mountain Farms. It needs washing and whapping and drying then I can figure out what to knit with it.
Next is a fiber club/spinning group with fiber from AllSpunUp. She created a special color-way of merino/silk for us. Photos can be posted after Aug 4 so I'll wait until then to post any photos. I love the colors and the yarn has named itself. I've spun 1/8th of the first roving - maybe 1/2 oz. Love the way it is spinning and the shine from the silk is beautiful.
The other spinning I've done is on a spindle. It's been years since I've done much spindling but I bought a cute spindle and some beautiful fiber from Butterfly Girl on Etsy and am having fun learning again how to do this. It's a new-to-me blend with merino, bamboo and sparkly stuff. Only 3.3 oz to spin but... I should be able to make something pretty with this when it's done.

So I'll do photos next week of all the projects above and update on the other stuff. In the meantime, enjoy!

Oh, almost forgot - both my sisters have birthdays in August. One is tomorrow and one is on the 10th. So here's a photo of the 3 of us and happy birthdays to both. Ignore the doll. I think that was my Christmas present.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Busy Busy Bee

I have been busy with my knitting and stitching - and some visitors, both welcome and not so welcome. There is a split in the frame of my front door and some yellowjackets moved in. Today was the second trip by the exterminator - hopefully the last. I had been out of town so discovered them when I returned. Also waiting for me was this:
This is a Luna Moth. The color is flaky as the shutters (in the background) are dark green, not blue. The moth is actually almost a lime green. I believe Luna Moths are the largest moths found in the US. Feel free to jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.

Unfortunately I don't have a macro lens so I can't show details. Moths and butterflies fascinate me. If you look at them under magnification you can see the actual scales that make up the wings.

On to other things. Caledonian Mist socks are finally done!
The last stitches were done tonight and the ends woven in. So that's one happy dance for me.

I've also been working on Magic Carpet Ride. This is so much a dream to work on. The pattern is lovely and the yarn is magnificent.

I've started something new. This was
inspired by the current issue of Spin-Off. It's the cover scarf, Morning Surf. The yarn is Dream In Color Smooshy and the color is Cool Fire. It will be gifted to DDIL when done.

On the stitching front, there is no significant progress on Queen of Roses so no photo there. I finally got the fabric for Wisteria so had to start that one: It's on 22 ct Hardanger and stitched over one. I do use magnification and don't stitch
for very long at a time - but enjoy the challenge.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Updates and recaps

Oh, let's see what I have photos of... On the left is the latest photo of Queen of Roses by The Silver Lining. It's stitched over 1 (one thread over one thread) on 28 count evenweave.

Next is the update on MacGregor's Garden. The first photo is showing the short-row toe which I now love thanks to Susan's hint in the directions. It's neat and it fits like a dream. The color on this first photo is bad but the others are much more like reality.

Next shows the rabbit ears in the cabbage patch. They are cute and fun to knit.

Now for the profile - the heel is done and there is a twisted stitch setting off the heel from the pattern. Now I'm starting on the 4 cable patterns that are inside the cabbage patch. After that a bit of ribbing and then the first sock is done.

I can't gush enough about both the pattern (from Sunflower Designs) and the yarn from Kim at The Woolen Rabbit.

Above are two of the other cross stitch in rotation right now. On the right is Fire and Ice by Kustom Krafts in Canada. On the left is my own design, based on a photo my DD took of my younger granddaughter seeing herself in the mirror. The name is Dragon Eye because my DD named it that when I sent her a scan of the upper left part when I had started stitching it. The chart was made using Pattern Maker for Cross Stitch by Hobby Ware. I scanned and imported the photo but had to tweak it a few times to get the resolution the way I wanted it. One thing I did learn (the hard way) was to adjust the number of colors BEFORE you save the thing otherwise the default is 99 colors... It was too late to fix this as I'd already started stitching, but I will remember in the future.

The last item in rotation is not started yet - I'm still waiting for the fabric... It is another design from The Silver Lining called Wisteria. It will be done on black Hardanger fabric, 22 count. It will be a companion to Lilacs - which will also be done in black sometime in the future. I have many projects lined up and in process - and my goal is to complete at least 5 projects (both knitted and cross stitched) that are already in process by the end of the year. I should be able to finish at least 3 knitted projects (2 pairs of socks and a shawl) but I do want to finish Dragon's Eye and Fire and Ice. I also would love to finish Victoria Sampler's Heirloom Christmas. It's about 75% done and I do have the matboard for it. I'll try to get photos of it in the near future.
On the left, a delayed Friday Flower Photo - a yellow Iris from my former home in Farmington AR.

The weeds show up really well too. Oh well.

Enjoy the week and I'll update again in a week or so.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day - time to remember

This photo is of the marker of a relative who was a casualty of the Civil War at the Battle of Prairie Grove (Arkansas). He is buried at the National Cemetery in Fayetteville, AR. This is one of the original National Cemeteries as designated by President Abraham Lincoln. Today, there is an American Flag in front of his and thousands of other headstones.

I often stop and think of those who have fought for us by orders of our Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C)(the President for those who flunked out of government). I think the reason is that so many in my family have served.

My grandfather served in World War I in France. He never talked about it but I've recently been sent a copy of a photo of his unit.

My father served in World War II in Europe. He arrived there a month after Normandy and was captured by the Germans about 3 weeks after that. He remained in a Stalag until it was liberated at the end of the war in Europe. Later he was sent to Korea during that war (even tho the government still calls it a conflict).

Dad died almost 6 years ago. His cremains are interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

My husband joined the Navy right out of High School. He served during Viet Nam and the only story I will relate is he received his draft notice while his ship was on Yankee Station (off the coast of Viet Nam). He did request that the draft board go ahead and take him back to appear before them - but they failed to do so. We were married before his sea duty started and our oldest was born 3 weeks after he returned to his base.

I do feel grateful that the attitude of the American people has changed since the Viet Nam War. Back then 'civilians' didn't see a difference between the members of the military and the military action they were ordered to participate in. Now, thankfully, we support the members of the military even if we do not support the actions of the military C-in-C.

To all of those who have served or are serving in our military, I thank you for your time, your service and your sacrifices.

Monday, May 19, 2008

One of these Socks...

is just wrong - well half wrong... Presenting Caledonian Mist.

If you click on either photo, a larger version will come up. The top and left versions are correct. If you can't tell, the 'bad' version had me leaving out 1/2 the pattern, and actually the gusset is wrong too. So this week's project will be to unravel the wrong foot back to the gusset and correct my biggie boo-boo.

Other knitting - for the break times at work - MacGregor's Garden. I'm now in the part where Peter Rabbit's ears are knit in. The kit was purchased from Woolen Rabbit with the design from Pandosu.

I love the yarn - it is so very soft and the color shifts are beautiful. The little jade stitch marker is one I made. It seems to fit right in, doesn't it.

Pandosu's directions give a wonderful hint for the wrap and turn rows in the toe (and I'm guessing the heel). If you lift the wraps up and over the stitch before knitting the 3 as one, it looks so good. I've done other socks with the wrap and turn rows and they never looked like this. The lifting of wraps is now a permanent part of my knitting technique notebook!

Now, while I'm not knitting all the time, I've picked up some other WIP's and started working on them. My plan is to stitch on a graphed page then rotate to another project. I'll be spending more time on each project, but I think there will be more progress each time. Also fewer rotations before completion.
Presenting the first in the rotation: Queen of Roses by The Silver Lining.
Marc's designs are so beautiful and realistic. I'm stitching this one over one on 28 ct evenweave. The bottom of the leaf is the bottom of the page and the line on the right edge of the rose is the other page edge.

For those not knowing much about cross stitch, this is counted and 28 ct means 28 threads per inch. One over one means one strand of floss stitched over 1 thread of fabric. Next time I'll put a dime on the fabric so the scale can be seen.

My next project will be Wisteria, also by Marc at The Silver Lining. It will be stitched on 22 ct black fabric. I'm even nuts enough to consider his Lilac design on black for a companion piece.

Other stitching projects to appear will be Dragon's Eye, my own adaptation of a photo my daughter took; Purple Perfection, a purple iris from TSL; The Holly and The Ivy; Fire and Ice; 'Shroomhilda; a few hardanger projects and some embroidered placemats and napkins with a story. There are probably a few others that will appear as I dig through all my projects and get them sorted and put up. I also have a design in progress of some iris I had in Arkansas.

To do all the sorting, I'm going to have to acquire the parts to assemble new shelving for a closet in an upstairs bedroom. First to come will be the supports for the back and the brackets. Then I'll get the shelves and the plastic containers to store the projects in. I also have some large ziploc bags of wool and some bins of other fibers to be put up and worked on.

One of the blogs I read has a Flower Friday - showing photos of flowers on Fridays. Well, this is actually Monday morning, but I'll post one now and I'll try to post each Friday. My first will be one of my favorites - bleeding heart - the old fashioned kind which blooms in the spring. The purple flowers are a 'weed' called vetch (I think). Weeds are misplaced flowers, right. I had a lot of misplaced plants in that garden.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lace vs Cables

A few weeks ago Abby asked me if I prefer lace or cables. That question has stuck with me a bit. I'm actually doing both with Mystic Light (shown on last entry) which is a lace shawl with a cable top edge and a braid down the middle.

I failed to resist temptation and started Magic Carpet Ride from Sunflower Designs. I've absolutely fallen in love with the texture - one side is smooth and the other heavily textured. I've taken some ehh photos to try to show what I mean.

This is the right side. The beads look set into windows formed by the knit, purl on the wrong side rows. The texture is smooth but attractive.

The next photo shows the same view but without flash so it looks very green. The knitting in all photos is on very white 25 lb ink jet paper - which appears blue even though it's not. I think the photo shows the "windows" a bit more.

The beads do look more inset in this photo. By the way the yarn is Whisper laceweight merino in Tupelo Honey colorway from Woolen Rabbit. The link takes you to Kim's photo of the yarn and shows the coloring so much better than my photos. The color shifts are so subtle and so real if you have ever seen the Tupelo Honey. Tupelo is a type of gum tree that is native to the south. In addition to a wonderful flavor in honey, the wood was used to make bread bowls. Those are oval bowls used to knead bread years ago. I had one that went walkabout when I moved to TN.

Back to topic. Here's the photo I took of the 'wrong' side. The texture is heavy and the beads are more pronounced.
I'm going to be using this scalloped ribbing when I start Moroccan Days sometime in the future. I decided the loopy beaded fringe on that is a bit much of a temptation to the cat, and since I'm basically a klutz, a sure thing for a disaster.
So I believe what I love about the knitting is the textures available through the combination of stitches and, in this case, beads. I love Aran patterns, the cables, the lattice, even the bobbles.

Color work such as Fair Isle, intarsia and such is also interesting, being so much a visual person much of my life. Wendy of is currently working on a sweater originally designed as a fair isle style. She's using Kauni yarn and started the skeins in 2 places. The results are amazing! Check out her photos but look quickly - this lady knits with blazing needle speed.

I'm going to tempt fate now and do the next row on Magic Carpet. The tempting is that PK is out and wound up. The row is beaded. Nuff said.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Photos as promised

But I didn't promise anything about quality. It's cloudy and raining so outside is not a choice for a photo shoot.
First of all - Mystic Light. This is a companion piece to Mystic Water - still in progress. ML started this past week with clue 1. Since it is knit in sock yarn, it goes a bit faster - or seems like it. The colorway is Sugar Maple from Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome.

The yarn at left is Tupelo Honey, a laceweight Merino from Kim at The Woolen Rabbit. I doubt any photo will do this justice. It has a kazillion colors in the green, gold, beige range It's like each stitch will be a different color - very subtle but there.

This will be used to knit up Magic Carpet Ride by Susan at Sunflower Designs. The link goes to her blog so take a few minutes and look around. She has a wonderful way with words and some yummy photos.

Since Clue 2 of ML comes out Wednesday, I have some time to get back to Mystic Waters. I'm still on chart E with 4 to go, but I only have maybe 4 rows to finish before that chart hits the trashcan.

Now I'm off to get some longer size 5 needles for Mystic Light. The ones I have now just won't hold all the stitches if it's cramped already.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Do NOT visit the following with any beverage near you, your computer, or your mouth.

I about hurt myself laughing!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm with my knitting group

so no photos - but we're having a lot of fun! The conversations run all over the board -- and I've been laughing so much I can't even knit. None of the topics will be repeated here - what goes on in the group - stays with the group. Just like the Las Vegas ads.

I don't think I'm the oldest tonight - but close.

I'm still knitting on Mystic Waters. I'll take another photo when this chart is finished. I've also ordered the kit for Magic Carpet Ride and it will be shipped tomorrow. I can hardly wait and I'll be taking photos of the beads and yarn when it arrives.

Typical spring here - warm then down in the 30's (last night was 30) then up near 60 today. The allergies are running rampant for everyone. I still love seeing the flowers every day - and listening to all the birds.

My funny for today (in my viewpoint) was when I watched a CNN video about the kitten with the I Heart on it. The sound was on and PK went nuts looking for that kitten. Maybe you had to be there but it was funny.

So will probably be back this weekend with photos.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another one bites the dust

Another chart from Mystic Waters is done. Chart D has hit the trash bin. I'll be setting up on chart E in a little bit. My magnets are not strong enough to hold the shawl in a stretched-out pose, but I'm into the icicle center part.

Other knitting - well I'm working on a Caledonian Mist Sock from Pink Lemon Twist. She's actually issuing two patterns, one simple and one complex, at a time. I didn't do well with the previous Knitty pattern - boy did I lose my place and hosed the whole thing. So it was frogged and I started over with Caledonian Mist.
The other pattern in this pair is called Scarborough Fair. It's gorgeous with twisted patterns on it. I do have yarn for it too!
Tonight is my knitting group get-together. This group of women consists of some amazing ladies. Their stories and what they have going on in their lives are so impressive. I have a huge amount of respect for each of them. So far, no gents have joined in - but I'm still hoping. I know men knit and this group and location are so accepting of everyone.

Adding a final two photos. One shows the state of some of the Bradford Pears here at the condos. The other shows PK watching the birds and anything else that moves. What it doesn't show is how her tail is lashing back and forth. She's showing her moodiness today. Wanting to have her ears rubbed but when you reach, she's fluffed up and batting at you.

For some reason all today's photos have a very blue cast to them. It's cloudy out and storms are expected late tonight and into tomorrow. That might have something to do with it. The color in Mystic Water seems very close. The sock is a deep teal green. Bradford Pear blossoms are a clear white. The cat is a cinnamon and gray tabby - so maybe that's why she is blue as well. Hopefully better photos next time.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Life after Strep Throat

Somehow I got strep throat. I believe it was a person in front of me at a check out line who coughed and hacked without covering his mouth. This one took me almost two full weeks to get over. So now I'm mean and ornery and ready to do an entry again.

I have been spending a lot of time knitting so I'm here on Mystic Waters. You can now see my new chart holder. Chart D has 4 pages. I went to Schoolbox Supplies (think this is right but can't remember the whole name) and got a 16x20 magnetic/dry erase board and a roll of magnetic strips that I cut into 5 pieces. Also they had highlighter tape (that pink line on the chart). So now the board can hold all 4 pages at one time. After this chart, there are 5 more - but the last one is finishing, I think.

My Tuesday project - to take to our knitting group at a local coffee shop - is Celtic Tote. It now looks like this:
I'm in the process of outlining the cables. I'm doing a lazy daisy stitch rather than the outline. To me, it is neater and will stand up to the felting. This is just the first side. I still have the other side and the edging/bottom to do plus the handles and button tab. I'm also going to line this - so will finish the knitting and do the felting then look for the lining material. My lining will have at least 2 pockets. That's the plan as I have it right now - of course subject to change or whim.

Another project that has now been added to my "to do" list is called Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights from A Few Stitches Short. I have the pattern now and will spin the yarn. I had purchased a beautiful dark blue merino which had 20% tussah silk blended in. The tussah is a light honey color. The MD/AN uses 5,000 beads which may be a color to match the tussah or a silver lined clear color. First I'll have to finish the third bobbin of Blue Suede Shoes then ply that to have enough bobbins for MD/AN's yarn. The small, insignificant glitch in this plan is PK. She is now a devout fiber stalker. She will find my wool anywhere, at any altitude, and attack it. She slobbers all over it! The beautiful roving is now shredded in small pieces and bits. She, of course, declares her innocence of this and all other accusations of crimes committed.

"Tell me, is this the face of someone who would do such acts?"

Please note she is perched on a towel pulled off the couch.

'Nuff said.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

One Down...

Chart A of Mystic Waters is done. I've found some dental floss and will insert a lifeline and then start B. It feels good to have no mistakes so far... 7 more charts to go...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Third Time Better be the Charm

Or I may go nuts. Mystic Waters has whupped my a$$ again... I found a major oops of too many stitches on the left side so I couldn't tink just that area. No lifeline so out it all came and I've started again. I'm almost finished with chart A. I am very determined to get this thing done! I love all the photos I've seen - and one lady who has knitted two so far. Amazing!

Right now I've been knitting to Parking Wars (?). This takes place in Philly - home to DSIL's family. Love it when a guy went to tear up a ticket for the camera and it wouldn't tear. Guy looked like a goof fo that. This is actually a pretty funny show. It's also amazing what people have on their cars and the stories they come up with. It's also kind of funny that so few of the people have the accent I associate with the Philadelphia area.

PK stands for Psycho-kat. She goes tearing through the house, leaping into the air and attacking almost everything - but then she turns around and looks like this:
Miss Pretty Innocent Kat.

"Who Me??? I did WHAT?????? No Way!"

Friday, February 1, 2008

Stash Enhancement Experience (S.E.X.)

I've been enhancing my stash - actually in anticipation of at least one Mystery Shawl starting in March. Mystic Light has been described by Anna as the light coming from fire or stars. I bought some yarn from Loopy Ewe, first this: Cool Fire from Dream In Color Smooshy. This seemed to me to be the colors when the fire is dying down including the blue-ish flame colors.

Well, I was happy but then I was browsing another day or two later and found the following:

This is called Sugar Maple and is from Cherry Tree Hill's Sockittome. It does hit the colors of the sugar maples in New England but also the intense colors of fire, except for the blue fire when the wood burns to coals. That's ok. I think I like these warmer colors a bit better.

The final purchase was this:
This is Spring Frost, also from Cherry Tree Hill. Again, hits the colors I envision from the name. This will be a pair of socks for me.

Speaking of socks...

This is the first in a pattern called Azure from Knitty. I'm doing it in a Teal Green from Cherry Tree Hill yarn. It's a nice knit. The camera showed more detail when I was looking at what I was going to snap a photo of, but the detail seems washed out. There is no sun outside today so I'll have to wait for a good stitch detail photo. Or go to the Knitty site and see what the original looks like. This is being knit on size 2 needles.

I'm waiting for my LYS to get some more Addi size 2 needles in and want a 16 or 24" size. The 32" that I'm using is a big temptation to PK.

She is learning what she can or cannot play with but I really don't want to tempt her and then have to say no. Her other thing is to pretend she's a Kilroy character by peeking over the staircase edge.
If you tell her you can see her, she'll dash up the rest of the steps and hide around the corner.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tagged again!

One of the blogs I read is by Dani in Canada. She was tagged and tagged Claire at Blarney 'n' Grits. I thought that was funny - and then Claire tagged me................. so here I go:

4 Jobs I've Had
  • Cashier in a grocery store
  • Mother Nature at a day camp
  • AFDC/Food Stamp worker (welfare)
  • Material Planner (manufacturing plant)

4 Movies I Watch Over and Over

  • Sweet Home Alabama
  • Hunt for Red October
  • Backdraft
  • any Pirates of the Carribbean

4 Places I Have Been

  • Seattle Washington
  • New York, New York
  • Cadillac Mountain, Maine
  • Vancouver, British Columbia

4 Places I Have Lived

  • Watertown, Wisconsin
  • Weston, Connecticut
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee

4 TV Shows I Watch

  • Good Eats
  • NCIS
  • Shark
  • History Channel (various)

4 People Who E-mail Me Regularly

  • My DIL
  • My sister
  • People trying to make things bigger that I don't have
  • People commenting on this blog

4 Favorite Foods

  • Lasagna
  • Cheeseburger
  • Fried Chicken
  • Mashed Potatoes

4 Places I Would Rather Be

  • Ireland
  • Sweden
  • St. Petersburg
  • Switzerland

4 Things I'm Looking Forward To

  • Visiting with Grandkids
  • Finishing Mystic Waters
  • Finish remodeling home
  • Using Handspun for sweater project

4 People to tag

This is kind of fun - but off to knit some more.......if PK will let me.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Decisions, decisions

I've decided to set aside Spring Shawl Surprice and finish Mystic Waters first. I'm making stupid mistakes (because I can't count to 3) and getting frustrated. So I'll finish Mystic Waters then do SSS then we'll see. I have yarns coming for two more stitch alongs... One will be Mystic Light, a companion to Mystic Waters, this one being fire. I had purchased some yarn but then read more of Anna's view so changed to a color called Pale Fire. I'll post photos when it arrives (late next week?).

This past week I went to a Tuesday night Knit group at a coffee shop downtown. First of all, I'll have to remember not to drink cappuccino after 6 pm. I was wired until 4 am. Secondly, I met some very interesting people. Only one "knitter" other than myself showed up but the shop is quite a gathering place and a very eclectic group was there. There was an interest in knitting expressed by one man who sews now and wanted to know how much I'd charge him to knit a ski cap. He said he could do a little crochet so I told him he could find oodles of patterns free on the internet and YouTube has loads of video how-tos. Lots of questions that showed thought and curiosity. I loved it! Back in 2 weeks for more and I'm so looking forward to it.

I was told today that I've been tagged so I guess I'll have to find out for what and answer that one in another entry.
PK has declared war on the bottom step and now jumps over that step on her way upstairs. Considering she fell off that step while trying to be cute - and doing well at that - I can understand her frustration with that step. I'll see if I can get a photo or two of her attacking the step - it's really funny to watch.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

SSS Clue 1

I've finally completed clue 1 of the Spring Shawl Surprice. Today Clue 2 was released so I have more knitting to do today. I know I've made some goofs in the center section but I believe I've found what my problem has been so will just continue. It seems to be a busy enough pattern that the errors won't show.

I have one photo of the whole thing and another of the detail. The yarn is Zephyr 2/18 which is a wool/silk blend and I'm stitching on 3mm needles.

I'm going back to knitting now along with sipping some tea.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year, New Starts

Welcome to 2008. We actually had some snow last night. Enough to turn cars white - but mostly gone by early morning - at least in the sunny areas. I got a raspberry (aka Bronx Cheer) from DD when I called her. She lives quite north of me - and has no snow. Youngest DGS really, really wants snow but he's been disappointed most of this winter.

I think my most favorite gift this holiday season was a conversation with my youngest GD. She talked and talked and even sang a bit to me. For a child with autism who has been mostly silent for 5 years, this brought tears to my eyes.

Most people make resolutions as to what they want to accomplish in the new year - mostly being behavioral changes. Well I'm so tired of breaking those resolutions that I'm not making any. No, I'm not resolving to make no resolutions - I just skipped the whole thing.

I did make a new start for the new year. Spring Shawl Surprice (the spelling is the designer's) had the first clue released at midnight designer time. I'm knitting it in Jaggerspun Zephyr in Cinnabar on 3 mm needles.

I'm at about row 10 out of 50. A few fellow knitters have finished the clue and their photos show this to be an interesting knit.

The designer is the same lady who designed Secret of the Chrysopholis (spelling is mine and may or may not be correct).

I'll post another photo when I finish the clue.

I've renamed the cat to PK from Angel Eyes. She actually seems to respond to this name a bit. C is the one who came up with the name - even before he met her. One thing interesting about her is a medallion or prism on her head.
She also does seem to have the M on her forehead. My MIL says this indicates a cat who can be a good mouser. The best mouser I had was black with a white bib - no M visible on her at all.

I'm also fascinated with PK's eyes. In the following photo, you can almost see me in her pupils. She's adjusting quite well to her new forever home and is becoming quite a talker.