Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Resolutions, gifts and hobbies

Wow, it's been a while since I posted.
I have a new hobby that is taking up some time. I got a Schacht Cricket loom for Christmas. I've been looking at looms for a while and thought it would be nice to get for my birthday. DH bought one for me for Christmas instead. Awesome! I'm on my third scarf with it and loving using it. It's small enough that once it's warped I can sit in the bed with DH and watch a movie and still weave.

I haven't given up my knitting by any means. I have a pair of socks and a sweater on needles now as well as plans for several more pair of socks and a couple more sweaters. I'm also still working on the Everlasting Blanket although it's moving much more slowly now. I completed a pair of Serpentine Mitts that I love and there is another pair in my future since someone saw mine and loved them.

My "Resolutions" for 2010 are coming in to the light.
  • drop 15 to 20 lbs
  • organize craft room
  • use 100 skeins of yarn from stash this year (that's about 22 lbs at 3.5 oz per skein)
  • buy only yarn I love
  • have 20 hats done for charity before next winter sets in
I added 10 lbs back after DH came home on temp disability. I really have about 30 to lose, but that sounds like so much that I think taking it in smaller steps is in order. plan to go back to exercising at least 4 days a week for 30 minutes to an hour. I really miss it, but it's been tough with DH at home. He goes back to work soon so I go back to working out.
My craft room isn't organized since DD moved home and then back out and needs some work. Using the yarn from stash will also help with the organizing as there will be less to organize.
I've been cooking and baking up a storm during this Christmas season. I love to cook and bought myself a Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker. It's great for in the oven and in the microwave too. I have a few other things on my list to get too. They have some really amazing knives that I'm going to get one at a time.
Off to knit or weave while hanging out with my husband. I'll try to do better on the blogging, but even I find it boring to read. I'm sure that somewhere inside me is a funny person just waiting to get out.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My very own yarn crawl

So, being in the Dallas area I had to visit a yarn store or two. I'd already been to Yarn Heaven in Arlington last weekend. Yesterday DH spent the day driving me around the area and visiting yarn shops. I did a little shopping at The Shabby Sheep and thoroughly enjoyed the shop. From there we went north to Plano and had a visit to The Woolie Ewe where I did a little more shopping and was overwhelmed by the shop and the friendliness of the people in the store. It was very busy as they had classes beginning to start. I will go back when I visit the area again. We also made a stop at Yarn and Stitches on our way back to the hotel. I got sock yarn at all three shops yesterday and will have busy hands for a while. I got Cascade Sassy Stripes in shade 714 and 761 at Yarn and Stitches, a skein of OnLine Linie 2 in color 109, Malabrigo sock in color 857 (light of love), and Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Ronda at Shabby Sheep and then some Regia Flusi das Sockenmonster in colorways 1801 and 1802 and some Elsebeth Lavold Cable Cotton in color 19 at the Woolie Ewe. The Cable Cotton was on sale for $1.00 a ball and I couldn't pass it up.
I might have to make another Krista out of the Cable Cotton. The Sassy Stripes is for socks for the DH and the Malabrigo is for my daughter. (Shh, don't tell her.) Part of the Regia is for socks for a granddaughter and to go into The Everlasting Blanket. The Fleece Artist is either for another daughter or for myself. I haven't decided yet. It was a fun and exhausting day yesterday.
This morning we went to a Kaboom playground build. We didn't stay for the whole thing because DH had surgery not long ago and shouldn't be lifting anything heavy. I was filthy. It's been raining here for days and the site was a mud pit after all that rain. I hope to drive by and see it after it's finished. I'm sure it will be much nicer when it's all together.
Time for some rest for DH and then a trip to replace the sneakers that got destroyed during the build this morning.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Out of town

I didn't realize how ling it had been since I blogged anything. I've been busy, but not so much with my knitting as with the rest of my life. Some days it feels like the universe is laughing and laughing hard when it looks down on me. There has been one thing after another going on and even when the things aren't big they just seem to take a toll on you after a while. The biggest thing was emergency surgery for the DH. It came out of the blue. I had only about 1 day's notice and I think he only had 2 days and really neither of us expected there to be surgery involved. Other than the surgery it's just been things that take me away from my routine and my knitting.
I'm in Arlington, TX right now. Taking two weeks to spend with my husband and got to visit with my middle daughter a little. I might get to visit with her some more, but I refuse to drive in this city (the DFW metro area). I am a small town/country girl at heart and the way that people drive in big cities just makes me crazy. Back in the dark ages when I took my driver's test the rule was that you needed one car length for every ten miles and hour you were driving between you and the car ahead of you. ( I understand the rule because I had my master cylinder go out on me while I was pregnant and letme just say that it's scary not to have any brakes when you had them 30 seconds ago when you turned the corner.) That is apparently not the case in a city on a freeway. If you leave a car length someone is getting in there. Never mind the number of people who go from the left hand lane across six lanes of traffic to get off on an exit that is on the right and do so in the last 200 yards before the exit. Can you tell why I'm not good at cities? It's not just the Dallas area. I've seen it in Atlanta and Houston and Nashville. No, I haven't seen the traffic in Los Angeles. I haven't been there since I was a kid and have no immediate plans to go back.
On the knitting front, I am still working on my mitered square sock yarn blanket. I have two pair of socks on the needles and I brought my Ultimate Sweater Machine with me to make hats for my church's homeless ministry. I have seven which just need seaming and I can do those in an evening or two. I have yarn with me to make maybe 3 or 4 more.
I realized how spoiled I am by my LK150 and by claw weights. I forgot to bring claw weights with me and I'm having to use the weighted hem that came with my machine. It's not hard, but I had to re-teach myself how to work with it. I've got it now though and things are moving along.
I've visited one knitting store while here so far. I went to Yarn Heaven here in Arlington the other day (DH drove, why do you ask?) It was a nice store, but didn't make my heart sing. Maybe it was because the store was quiet. I only saw one other knitter there other than the lady working. There were some lovely yarns ( I bought two skeins of sock yarn, Sockin Sox and Lorna's Laces) and the lady there was cordial. The dog wasn't overly friendly and the cat wanted to make friends with me. Ah well, they can't all be My stores and I do like to visit when I"m out of town.
It's time for some lunch now. I've been doing pretty good at not over eating since I've been here and I am making use of the fitness room in the hotel.
I hear tell that I'm helping build a playground on Saturday. I hope I don't get blisters. I didn't plan for it when I packed for this trip.
Happy Knitting everyone!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A lovely August day

It's a lovely day here. It's 2 pm and about 84 degrees here. That's about 10 degrees less than normal for this time of the year. I cut the grass yesterday evening and ran the weedeater this morning and then washed the car, filled the bird feeders and I'm sitting on my back porch with my knitting. The Everlasting Blanket is on square 387. Wow, that seems quick. It must be because it's so addictive.

I'm making no progress on my shell. It's still hanging on the machine. Maybe tomorrow I can make some progress on that end. Or later tonight... yeah right, who am I kidding?
Tomorrow I have some more yard work to do and then I can hide in the knitting room and maybe make some progress. The main issue is that I'm on the band and there is latching up to be done. I get bored. Maybe I need to put on a knitting podcast and just latch until the podcast is over. That would give me a set amount of time to work on it and I would make some progress without feeling like I was tied to it. We'll see how it goes.
The plant I got for my birthday has grown. Let's do a comparison.

I got the plant in March and took a picture of it most recently in the middle of August. I think it's happy there, don't you? I had to buy a larger trellis for it to grow on. It's grown since this picture was taken too. It's wrapping itself around the top cross of the trellis now.
Off to knit.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

finished projects

Wow, since the last time I was here I have finished Krista.

It's all sewn up and fits well. I need to find something appropriate to wear under it. With the lace it's not appropriate for church until I find something to wear underneath. Preferably something comfortable. I guess that means I'm going shopping for under garments.
I also put the buttons on my granddaughter's cardigan and it went home with her. She threatened to wear it to bed the night she got it. I think that may mean she liked it.

I now have to make one for her big sister who's feeling left out even though she got the last sweater.
I finished my grandson's new socks and gave them to him. He had some apple green ones and now the blue and he's put in an order for a pair in every color of the rainbow.

The garden is doing pretty well. We had a cool snap and the high has only been in the upper 80's and low 90's with heat indexes at about 98 to 102. It's inching back up now. On the upside, we seem to be back in our summertime pattern with afternoon thunderstorms which will help us get back up to our normal rainfall amounts. We're still dry compared to our normal. Officially, we are not in a drought right now, but unless the rain keeps up, we will be. I have family in Texas and it's pretty severe over there now. 77 counties in a drought situation. Unfortunately, all we can do is pray for rain for them and hope and pray that it doesn't have to be severe weather to get them out of this situation.
Life here is much the same as always. There is always something going on. We're looking for a piece of property that 1) we can afford, 2) will allow our mobile home on it, 3) doesn't have covenants preventing us from putting up a workshop and possibly a studio on it. That's not as easy done as it is said. Property here is pretty pricey (compared to what it was even 4 years ago --before Katrina) and most has covenants on it. A lot of what we've seen says that you can't even build a garage for parking your cars or tractor. (Because you know that it looks worse to have a big building sitting there than it does to have your equipment sitting right in plain view.) Okay, I'll calm down now. Of course, if the price of things keeps going up, we won't be able to afford anything anyway.
I am counting my blessings at present though. We are relatively healthy, DH has a job, there is a roof over our heads and we have food on the table. Oh yeah, we aren't running around naked either. Those are blessings indeed.
May God bless each of you and all of us.

Monday, July 20, 2009

knitting, bees,gardens and cool(er) weather

We're having a cold front. It's 10:20 a.m. here and my thermometer is reading only 80 degrees. The air conditioner hasn't come on yet this morning and I'm so glad after just paying the last electric bill. Let me just say ouch! My garden is still going well. I've got tomatoes every day which the mockingbirds are also after. I still have more tomatoes than we can eat coming off the vines so far. Good thing my family loves fresh salsa. Unfortunately the cucumbers are well loved by the worms.

I've been working a little on the Everlasting Blanket. Not enough to justify a new picture yet. I'm not up to 300 squares which I will consider the next milestone.
Also on the needles is a raglan sweater for my youngest granddaughter. She approved the shade of pink that I bought at the IWAnnaKnit Retreat (yarn bought at Knitting Today [knittingtoday.com]) in June.

I also have Krista blocked. She just needs to be put together. I think it will be really nice when I get her sewn up. I'll get new pictures then. This yarn was also bought at Retreat. I'm so proud of myself. I never manage to use the yarn I buy at retreat the same year. Go Me!

I'm working on my plum colored shell and cardi on the LK150. The back of the shell is complete and the front is on the machine. I'm up to the second half of the neckline and armhole shaping. I'd be done if I could actually read and follow directions. Ok, most days I can do that just fine, but the day I was working on it my comprehension was in the dump.

I need to go out and cut the grass, but it will wait until tomorrow morning. After my incident where I got swarmed and stung by honeybees a month and a half ago, I'm a little jumpy. I know that I scared them as much as they scared me, but I still have that adrenaline rush every time one flies by me now. As I was mowing the grass that day (yes it has been done since) I went past a power pole and got swarmed by the bees flying up from it's base. They hadn't been there before so I wasn't expecting them. I still don't know why they had a nest in the ground right there. They've moved on now. Something told me to wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt when I went out that morning to mow. I never wear long sleeves and usually only wear capri pants, but that day I listened to my gaurdian angel and wore the appropriate clothing. I got stung on my hands and wrists 5 times, but didn't get stung anywhere else. I panicked. I know in my head that you shouldn't run, but my head wasn't working after the second sting. I ran for the front porch. My brain kicked back into gear then and I knew I couldn't go in the house because the bees swarming me would go in with me. That wouldn't help. I kicked on the door so that my Mom, who lives with me, could spray them and get them away from me. Normally, I don't spray bees, but I had no clue whether I was allergic or not and I already had 5 stings. It didn't seem to be a time to be nice. I finally got inside and into the shower where I tried to calm myself down. When I got out of the shower, still shaking, I bent to pick up my clothes and take them to the laundry room and discovered another bee still hanging around. Let the panic attack ramp up again. My mom came and got rid of the bee. I couldn't even take my clothes off the line a week later when a bee buzzed me. It wasn't pretty. And from this end it's still not really funny. I can cut the grass again. I'm forcing myself to pick the vegetables in the garden and telling myself that I know they won't sting for no reason. I know I'll eventually get over it. Please God!
Back to the knitting and the garden now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's summer in the south

Well, the heat is on here. It's supposed to be about 95 today with a heat index of up to 105. No rain in sight. I'm watering the garden with a soaker hose almost daily and the tomato plants are taller than I am. Of course, I'm only 5'5" so it's not like it took a whole lot to get there. I have some huge Brandywine tomatoes on the vine and I can't wait for them to turn.
It's to the point that I'm giving serious consideration to fried green tomatoes. That wouldn't be a big thing except for the fact that we don't eat many fried foods anymore.
On a crafty note, I'm still working on my Everlasting Blanket. It hasn't moved along much lately because I've been trying to design a twinset for myself out of some lovely deep plum cotton. I actually think that I'm going to go plain on the top and might add a lace hem to the cardi. I'm also working on a child size afghan for my grandson. It's from the Afghans for All Seasons book that has been on my bookshelf for years. Copyright is 1993 and I'm pretty sure I bought it new when it first came out. It has red, green, yellow, blue and white in it right now but he keeps trying to add colors to it as we go along. Every round or two he has to stop me so he can "try it on" for size. It's going to be another week or so before it's done and that's only if he can let me work on it. It's going quickly since it's double crochet. I don't have pictures yet. I should get one while he's not here, but I think I'll wait for one of his "trying on" sessions.
I haven't done anything with the yarn I got from IWannaKnit yet. I need to let my youngest granddaughter check out the shade of pink that I bought for her. She informed me she only likes "Princess Pink" and I'm noat sure that I bought what she considers to be Princess Pink. You really have to love a 3 year old who has definite opinions on her clothes. My little fashionista. The gold I got for myself is waiting to be swatched for "Krista" by WhiteLiesDesigns to see if I can get gauge for it.
Could be that I have too many projects that are in my head and on my list to get anything done. Nah, I can start several things and work on them as the mood strikes. I dont' have to be monogamous to each project. That's good, because I need the variety and have more ideas than hands to work on them. I did give in and start a list in my Ipod so I could keep track of ideas and projects that are on the needles. I'm not sure how that's going yet. I don't think it's been long enough to tell. How do other people keep track of ideas and projects?
Off to stalk the tomatoes in the garden...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm home from the IWannaKnit Retreat hosted by KnittingToday in Shipshewana, Indiana. I had such a good time. There was a secret project, a class (several actually, but I only got to take one) taught by Susan Guagliumi (I finally learned to pronounce her name. Not Susan, I already had that part.), and a class with Joan McGowan-Michael. It was great. I learned a lot. Now if I can apply what I learned to my actual knitting I will be in good shape.

There was yarn purchasing going on. I only bought 26 skeins and one cone of yarn. There were 4 skeins in my goody bag, but I didn't buy those so they don't count. I bought some tools for my LK150 and a pattern (Krista by Whiteliesdesigns.com aka Joan McGowan-Michael) I should have gotten more yarn. I decided on the way home that I want to make the Einstein Coat and I don't have the right yarn for it. I suppose I should finish up some other projects first. I really blew my Stashdown commitment unless I buckle down and knit up a lot of stuff between now and the end of the year. I told my youngest granddaughter that I bought yarn to make her a sweater and she looked at me with her big puppy dog eyes, batted her lashes and said "gloves too...my hands will get cold." I don't know that I have the yarn for gloves for her, but I will certainly check on that. We can't have cold hands.
I was exhausted when I got home and I had babysitting duty with my not-quite-4-years-old grandson and he made the exhaustion much more intense.
I added some squares to my Everlasting Blanket while Elmer was driving and someone gave me some little balls of yarn for the project while I was at retreat. I'll still need more, but I need to see where I am before I go to the store or order any more. I wish the yarn fairy would just drop some off. I'll just order some more from Yarn Expressions or Robyn's Nest in the next month or two and maybe join a swap on Ravelry for it.
I need to get some pictures of the garden. Some of the tomato plants are as tall as I am. I picked squash and jalapeno today and grandson got to pick and eat some cherry tomatoes yesterday. I see homemade salsa in the near future.

Monday, May 25, 2009

counting the days

10 days til the IWannaKnit Retreat begins. We're still hoping that Elmer gets his vacation time and he can drive. If not, I have not one but two back up plans.
My oldest daughter and her family have gone to Disney World. It is my granddaughters' first time to go. Part of me wishes I was there. The rest says I'll have more fun at Retreat and we couldn't afford both. I hope they're having a grand time. While they are gone I'm feeding the animals and taking care of the garden. We've had rain ever since they left and I'm pretty tired of it. I can hear my grass growing and that means another allergy attack when it dries enough to cut it.
I'm still working on my Shapely Tee. I really need to get it sewn together before I leave for Retreat. I'm also still working on the Everlasting Blanket. Elmer asked me if I was half way yet. I just shook my head. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I'm barely a quarter of the way. He asked how big I'm making it and when I told him it was to fit our bed he asked if I was going to do one for the camper too. Yikes, that's a lot of little squares.
My garden is growing. I had to pull the lettuce since it was beginning to bolt and had a not so nice bitter taste. I think we have about 50 tomato plants. We have cherry, grape, roma, and brandywine growing. They are in the regular garden, hanging in Topsy Turvys, hanging in regular hanging pots, and in buckets out by the garden. If they begin to produce like I think they will we will be donating some to our local food pantry and will still have more than enough for the family. (I might have to learn to can tomatoes.) I've already had to pick off Tomato Hornworms. Blasted things. I asked Elmer if he could use them for bait. He didn't take me up on that for some reason. I can't imagine why.
My compost is beginning to feel the heat of our summer. That's a good thing. I'll top dress the beds this autumn before planting any cool weather crops.
It's been a quiet Memorial Day here. I've spent some time thinking about our servicemen and women. I suppose it hits close to home for me because Elmer gave twenty years of his life to the Navy. I have a nephew who is a Marine and one who is Army and a friend of my son is also a Marine. I know they put their lives on the line every day of the year at a moments notice. Even if I don't believe we should be in a war (not posting my opinion on that) at any point in time those young men and women will have my support in any way I can give it. God bless each and every one of our servicemen and women.

Monday, May 18, 2009

How does your garden grow?

It's been a couple of busy weeks since I was here last. I've been gardening (there are tomatoes,bell and jalapeno peppers,cucumbers, zucchini, squash, onions, garlic, strawberries, and cantaloupe in my garden this year),



taking care of my grandson, and getting ready for the IWannaKnit Retreat (info at KnittingToday.com.
It's a busy time of year for me. I'm up to square 215 on my Everlasting Blanket, which is about 25% of the way complete. I didn't think I'd be this far this fast. It took two pictures to get it all. The orange tee is the Shapely Tee by Joan McGowan-Michael (Whiteliesdesigns) and is part of a knitalong that I'm doing on Ravelry. It just needs the sleeves put in and it will be finished, except that I think I'm going to add a little more garter stitch at the hem. Just something thats I think I'll like better.
I still don't have as many hats as I'd like to take to retreat with me, but I just think I'm goin g to be short this year. So much to do and so little time.
It's cool here in south MS today. It's in the upper 50s with a north wind blowing and since we've already been in the upper 80s this year this feels really cool. I might have to put my sweater back on. Now for some lunch and to check on the clothes on the line.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

And DSL is here

I finally took the plunge and we now have DSL at our house.  It's the slowest speed that was available, but still a lot faster than my dial-up was.  I'm keeping my aol because sometimes DH isn't in a place where he can get wifi at the hotel and he has to use a dial-up connection.  It's a pain for him, but much less than if he had to find somewhere that had wireless access.
Today is my first day with the new internet connection so it's going to take some getting used to.

In knitting news, I have swatched for a tee but haven't measured my swatch yet to see if I've got the gauge that I wanted to get.  I'll see shortly.  Other than that, there isn't much going on except for me waiting for IWannaKnit Retreat(check knittingtoday.com for information) to start in about 31 days.  It will be a long drive, but so worth it.
Off to check my swatch and see if I need to change my settings on the LK to get gauge.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's a party

So, not much knitting got done over the weekend although I did finish my grandson's socks. (I'm going to re-do them. I don't like the way the short row heel fits [or doesn't] on him)

Instead of knitting we went to the Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula, LA. We had a family reunion of sorts and a lot of fun. There was a crawfish/shrimp boil, rides, a parade, laughter, dancing, strawberry daiquiris and much silliness. I think the count was 44 people at the boil. Some who had never had crawfish before and some who had never seen what a crawfish/shrimp boil in the deep south is. I couldn't help but laugh at the looks on faces when all this food (crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob, mushrooms, garlic, onions) got dumped out right onto the tablecloth on the picnic table in the back yard. Apparently, we only eat that way in the south.

I have since done a few more squares on my Everlasting Blanket and a few more rows on the alpaca scarf. Lauren's sweater is waiting for me to do the seaming and put on the bands. I haven't gotten to it yet, but it needs to be in my hands today so I can get it done.
I still need to make some more hats for Caps for Kids. Some of the ones I had were given away for our local homeless population. I don't think I'll meet my self-imposed quota this year. I try to make sure I have about 60, but with watching my grandson these days I don't get the time for knitting that I used to get. That's ok though. I'll just try to work a few more in and be happy that I'm finding time for it at all. It's been a long time since I had a three year old around and this one is full of energy and wants Nana to play ball with him. One of the upsides is that it's helping me with the weight I'm trying to drop. Slowly, but surely.

Well, off to either do some housework or seam a sweater.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And the dishwasher lives

It's been a busy time around here. I've been knitting. Yep, really. I'm up to square 133 on The Everlasting Blanket. I've bought yarn for it from Yarn Expressions and Robyn's Nest :: Kits :: Mini Skein Club and I'm happy with both purchases. The mill ends and the mini skeins are perfect for this project and I won't need any yarn for it for a while. I can get two squares out of each of the mini skeins and way more than that from the mill ends that I bought.

I've also completed five pair of Eleanor socks by Gigi Silva. One for me and four pink pair for the granddaughters. (6 skeins down)
I'm officially tired of the pattern now. Five pair of the same pattern is too much. I've started a pair of plain socks in a nice bright green for my grandson. On the upside, it's stash yarn so I'll be down another skein.

In the middle of all this knitting my dishwasher just stopped working in the middle of a cycle. I thought the Yarn Harlot might have jinxed me when she blogged about hers going down. I left it be that night, mostly because I was afraid that I'd start beating on it and I knew that wouldn't help at all. The next day I started it with a little prayer and it's been working ever since. I'm taking the view that it was a warning and it could go at any time. It is, after all, 15 years old. In that 15 years we raised kids (6 of them) and that means a lot of dishes. I don't know how many loads, but I do know we got our money's worth out of it and now we're getting bonus time.

The scarf I started is sitting beside my chair waiting for me to find time to play with it. The alpaca tickles my nose and that causes me to sneeze so it's just sitting there waiting it's turn to be the top project. Of course, it's in the seventies here so I don't really need an alpaca scarf at the moment. I plan to finish it before winter. Winter 09.

I need to finish my granddaughter's sweater. It needs sewing up and bands. That will be finished sometime in April. Or at least I hope so.

In the meantime, I'm playing in the garden. I have been picking lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage. The onion sets are up and looking pretty as is the garlic. The tomatoes are in the garden bed, although not very big yet and the cucumbers are putting on blossoms. I haven't put the bell peppers into the garden yet because I need to pick some more cabbage before they have a spot to go in. It won't be long. We have four of those Topsy Turvy tomato growing bags and last year they worked well so I'm going to put some cherry and grape tomatoes in them again. (We eat a lot of tomatoes and fresh salsa around here during growing season.) I put in some green onions the other day and some squash and zucchini went in yesterday. I'm looking forward to a bountiful harvest this year.
Hopefully, things will slow down a bit so that I can post a little more frequently. It seems that my life is hectic even when I don't accomplish anything.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Has Spring Sprung?

I made a stop on the way home from church yesterday to get some plants for my pots. My porch now has some color. I bought a pot of daisies, some snapdragons, some pansies, petunias and some geraniums. It's nice to have a little color out there. The trees are starting to bud out here and leaves must surely be coming soon. I can sit on my back porch and watch the birds eating from the bird feeder in the back yard. It's a little like feeding teenagers. They can go through a lot of food.
On the knitting front I am on the third pair of the socks for my granddaughters. They are coming along slowly. I've worked some on my sock yarn blanket. It's a good thing I was planning on it being a long term project.
There isn't much else going on right now. I still need to do another sleeve for the pink sweater and do the collar and bands. Pictures as soon as I get it together.
I'm making good progress on my stashdown goal. Other than the yarn for the granddaughters socks I didn't buy anything in February and I'm working from skeins 3 and 4 of the five I bought so it won't be hanging around for long at this rate. So many projects, so little time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

And life gets in the way (again)

I didn't realize how loong it had been since I updated my blog. I have gotten the yarn for the granddaughters socks and completed two pair. The third pair is started. I finished my Eleanors and I've worn them already. The scarf is quietly sitting waiting it's turn for the spotlight which will surely come.
I have the back and both fronts done on the pink sweater for one of my granddaughters. Thank goodness for the LK or I wouldn't be anywhere near this point.
My youngest daughter and grandson have moved home for the forseeable future. I'm watching him while she's at work in the evening so that takes away from some knitting time. I miss the quiet, but love having him here so that I can watch him grow. 3.5 is a fun age. Wears me out, but he's fun none the less. The house is full and the knitting room is history at this point and the hall is being used for storage, but we'll survive. We have a roof over our heads and the power is on and there's food on the table. That's more than so many can say these days that I'm happy with that.
I will have pictures of the socks when I get them all finished so I can get a picture of them all together. Four pair of identical pink socks is not my idea of fun really so I don't know how fast these last two pair will go.
Off to do some knitting before the grandson wants to play ball.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taste of Spring

I sit here looking out a window and listening to the birds sing. I'm sure that winter will have to make another appearance before spring is really here, but it's nice to feel, just for a while that it's over. The sun is shining after the rain of the morning and there's a really nice breeze blowing. I peaked at my garden this morning and the strawberries are starting to poke up as are the onions. I cut some broccoli for dinner and looked in on the tomato, cucumber,and bell pepper seeds that I started in the house last week. Looks like two of the four types of tomatoes are peeking up as are the cucumbers. The bell peppers are holding out for last, but I know they'll be up soon. I'm looking forward to fresh veggies from the garden. Lettuce and spinach should be starting to be picked in three or four weeks. Cabbage will be coming in around that time too.
Inside, the Eleanor socks are coming right along. I'm almost to the heel of the second one and would be further except that I had baby duty yesterday. My granddaughter (the youngest one) would steal the socks if she could. She had to try them on. When I pointed out that they didn't fit her she asked for pink socks. Of course, I don't have any pink sock yarn so I will be adding to my stash before I can make her some pink socks.
Later in the day I had my grandson. He didn't try on the socks because we were to busy playing tag, trains, baseball and football. He's three and sports are his thing. I didn't get any work done on my knitting yesterday because grandbabies trump knitting.
I started a scarf (pattern by the Yarn Harlot) this morning to use up some alpaca yarn that I got at Knitting Today at retreat last year. I dont' really need a scarf right now, but since winter is bound to make another appearance (probably before spring really is here) I thought that it would make nice almost mindless knitting for when Elmer and I are traveling. I can talk to him and knit and not do my usual freak out thing with the traffic. Knitting is calming for me.
I need to seam some hats that I've gotten made so that I can give them to the group from church that helps the homeless. Too many people on the verge of it these days and "but for the grace of God..." It's a little thing I can do to help. Doesn't take much time with the knitting machine and people need to be warm. I can help with that.
I need to start on Lauren's sweater and on my twinset. Her's is pink and mine is a really dark purple. I've swatched and used Knitware to make a pattern so it's ready to go when I finish the edging on the purple afghan. Next week for sure as Elmer will be in this weekend and we have a birthday party to attend.
Off to watch the birds at the feeder. I'd get a picture, but brown birds against brown grass don't show up so well.

Friday, February 6, 2009

When will Spring be here?

I have completed an afghan that I started sometime last year. I jsut called it the Purple Afghan. Creative, right? It was fun to try to remember what I'd done because I didn't make good notes. I suppose when I took it off the machine the first time I didn't expect to be away from it for so long. Where does that time go? All I had was a note pinned to it saying 400 rows. No tension settings, nothing; not even what I planned for the other panels to be. So I was flying by the seat of my pants this go round. I figured it out and now all I have to do is weave in some ends and decide whether I want to add a border to the ends. Leaning against that at this point. I think I'll wash it and see how it looks and make a final decision.

I also started a pair of socks for the February challenge of the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry. They are (should say it is) coming right along. The pattern is quick to memorize and so it makes a good project for watching tv.

I'm also looking at that yarn and thinking about how it will look in the Everlasting Blanket. The blanket is coming along slowly. I'm waiting for some yarn to show up from a swap and getting a bit impatient. I don't really think the yarn is late, I'm just ready to see it and add it to the blanket.

What do I do while I'm waiting for it?I've put in lettuce and spinach in the garden this week. I've cut some broccoli which will be in a salad this evening. I bought another compost bin and have it partially full of leaves that I raked yesterday. I picked the pine trees out of the garden. It's amazing to me how many have seeded themselves into my garden. Why do they want to grow there? Of course, I know it's because the soil is really easy to plant in in my raised bed garden and apparently the pine trees like it too. I have onions and garlic planted too along with the broccoli, strawberries, cabbage, lettuce and spinach. I just started seeds for tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers inside in preparation for spring planting. Spring will show up, won't it?

Since I'm participating in a Stashalong this year, I'm trying not to buy more yarn and to use some (hopefully a bunch) of what I already have. I have one free day a month. I used January's , but I'm really going to try to skip February. June will be fun because of IWannaKnit. I'm making a list of things I want to get when I go. I really want another gauge ruler. I hear that there is a green one for Silver Reed/Studio standard machines and it would work with my Artisan. That would make life easier in a lot of ways. I'll have to check on that while I'm there. I don't have any yarn that I just have to have (yet) so that's not an issue. If I can save enough money, I want to buy the Fair Isle carriage for my Lk150.

Oh well, that's all for the future. Right now I need to go swatch for a twinset for myself and for a sweater for one of my granddaughters.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Let's try Something New

It’s been days since I posted. I finished the shrug except for blocking it and I think it will be perfect for on the boat this spring. I still need to get pictures of it.
I finished Megan’s socks, but she hasn’t seen them yet. She’s away at school and I didn’t think to send them up with my son when he went to visit.
I spent part of the day on Tuesday trying Entrelac on my machine. I’m doing it on the LK150 and I haven’t quite figured it out yet. It seems like it should be easier than it is. It’s the last triangle on the second row that’s giving me fits. I can’t seem to get my head around it. I’m going back this afternoon to work on it some more and see if it finally sets off the light bulb in my brain.
I’ve added squares to my Everlasting Blanket. Several were added during the time I spent while the folks at Symantec got my Norton squared away. I suppose that next year I will buy a new product instead of just renewing my subscription.
Still no DSL. It’s not in the budget this month. Maybe next month. Seems like I keep putting it off, but truthfully it’s not a necessity. I’d like to be able to do things more quickly, but I can remember when we got excited to connect at 9600 baud so I just keep reminding myself of those days.
Off to work on the Entrelac now. More later.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Short update

I should start by saying that yes, I have been knitting. I'm just over halfway done with Megan's socks which she hasn't seen yet.

I've also added squares to my Everlasting Blanket and I've cast on for the shrug out of my Flash. Then today I worked on a group project that will be a surprise for the recipient. I doubt she reads my blog, but why take chances so I won't say what the project is or who it's for. I will say that although I swatched it seems that I will have to redo my portion of the project because it's not the size that I expected or that I was planning on. Swatch, measure, let rest, measure, say a prayer, make item, measure, scratch head, remeasure swatch, scratch head. That was my day. Actually, I swatched several days ago and it should have been the correct size, but apparently it wasn't to be, unless after resting (more) and washing (acrylic, so no real blocking) there is a miracle. Ah well, it's a good thing I like the process as much as the finished items.

In other areas of my life, I have gotten back on the exercise wagon and I'm again watching what I eat. I even downloaded an application for my new Ipod Touch to help me track calories. As much as I like Sparkpeople.com and I do it's easier to input my stuff into the Ipod than it is to go online and do it. It seems to go faster and I don't have to worry about remembering if I'm not at home and don't have internet access. So far so good. I've gone over on my calories a couple of times, but neither was a big fall and I just try again the next day. I'm aiming for at least 30 minutes of walking at least 5 days a week with some weight training and pilates thrown in. I also downloaded a yoga video workout to try. It can't hurt to have more options. It's cold out and I really don't want to go hiking or to the track to walk or jog in the cold.

Hopefully, I will finish my shrug sometime this weekend and also the socks. I need to seam some hats or I won't be able to keep up. I don't think I'm going to have the 52 that I wanted to have at the rate I'm going. I did give one to my grandson last week when he came to visit without a hat and the wind was out of the north. Brr.

I just seem to have more things to do than time to do them some days. Maybe the next time I just don't seem to be ready for bed I should go in and spend some time on the knitting machine. Maybe I should spend less time on Ravelry. Naw, that can't be the right answer.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

To switch or not to switch

That would be the question if it didn't take me longer to download one podcast to my new IPod Touch than it takes to listen to three of them while knitting. As soon as I can afford to do it I'm going to check into DSL. Let me just say that this may not happen. Something about the fact that I'm eligible BUT (and isn't there always a but) if the lines have a splice or some such thing or I'm too far from some place I need to be then I can't get DSL after all. I refuse to pay (and can't afford to even if I was willing) what they want for sattelite internet and I can't get cable internet where I am because I can't even get cable where I am. Wouldn't be bad if I didn't like to stay connected to the world in general and the knitting world on a regular basis. Well, now that that particular rant is off my mind I can move on...
I finished another hat for Caps for Kids and I swatched some Classic Elite Flash that I got at one of my favorite places, Natchez Needlearts. Not long after I did the swatch (which hasn't been treated yet so I don't know if I have enough for the tank for me or if it's destined to become a t for my granddaughter) I heard on Ravelry that the store had closed it's doors. Now I only get there about twice a year and I know they couldn't count on me to keep them in the black, but it was one of my favorite yarn stores and one of my favorite places to visit in Natchez. I'm a little bummed. I also feel like I'm in jeopardy of losing my other semi-local yarn stores in this economy. I hope not, but I know that they can't count on me to keep them in the black either if I'm going to keep us from being too far in the red.
2009 is a year for me to drop some pounds from my body. Luckily, my recent check up said that things were really good. Cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, kidney function, thyroid...everything they checked, including the mammogram. Got to love the annual "compression test". It's also a year to whittle down the stash of acrylic yarn that I have been given and to whittle down what bills and debt I can.
Happy New Year everyone.