Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What day is it?

So today is, I think, the 16th of November. Holy cow, where did the first half of the month go. I guess it went where the rest of my months have lately. It flew by while I was trying to get things done after the move and while my husband has been out of work on disability.
The garden is growing well. There will be broccoli to eat soon and cabbage too.

The onions and the garlic are showing off nicely. The two whole lemons that my poor transplanted tree produced are almost ready to come off the tree and become lemonade or a lemon meringue pie. There are also peas and carrots growing and in a little pop up greenhouse there are bell peppers and tomatoes. We will see how those fare through the winter.
I've also been knitting. I finished the hat and booties to go with the sweater that I had finished at the beginning of the month. (Why yes, the sweater does have buttons.)

I've also completed my first Baldwin monster,

started a second one for my daughter's school raffle basket, made a February Baby sweater,

added a few hexagons to the collection,

and finished the gloves to go with my granddaughter's tam that I think was finished at the beginning of the month.
Those were my very first gloves ever. I am impressed with myself. It won't last long, but I'm going to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment for now. I expected them to be harder. They were fiddly, but not really hard.
Currently, I have a scarf on the Cricket loom. (Okay, it's half on. I haven't finished sleying the reed yet and tying on, but it's all wound on the back beam.) Did I mention that I made a spa cloth on that loom. That was fun. It was also fiddly. Apparently, I enjoy the fiddly aspect of things.
The office/ craft room needs to be cleared out and organized. I think that will wait til husband goes back to work. There are things in here that don't belong in here and I have to figure out where they should go. I'm also trying to use up some stash so that there is more room in here. Oddly, I had room for it all before I turned the room back into a bedroom for my youngest daughter. I've used and given away a lot of yarn and craft items since then and yet there seems to be less room. Of course, when I look around, I see an old computer taking up space in the closet and there are two new looms since those days and I noticed a minute ago that there are some of said daughter's things still in the closet. Hmm. Need to see what is there and if she wants it. If not, it needs to go away.
Time for some lunch. Then it's time to work on a monster, some fingerless mitts, a scarf, a hat, or one of the two afghan projects that are in the works.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wow, where did October go? It was a busy month around here and I did accomplish some things. My garden is growing. We've added cauliflower to the mix as well as garlic. I transplanted three pepper plants and three small volunteer tomatoes into a garden bed with a pop-up greenhouse over it. I hope that they make it through the winter and we get some more peppers from the plants.
We are making steady progress at getting the huge pile of deadwood taken care of so that I can put a couple of pecan trees in the yard in January or February.
I've also been knitting. I've finished the Mairi Tam

and Bobble Gloves

from Wendy D. Johnson's book Wendy Knits Lace. They were both enjoyable and I am planning to make at least two more of the tams for two more granddaughters.
I also finished the sweater for the new great grandbaby who is due at the beginning of January.

I have booties and a bonnet to finish before the shower, but they are to the seaming and blocking point so they are moving right along. The pattern for the set is called Perfectly Pink and comes from the Leisure Arts Sweet Layettes to Knit booklet which has four layettes in it.
There is also a finished woven scarf that came off the Cricket Loom finally.

I have also almost finished a monster from The Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger. They are so cute and the one I've been working on is easy. I see more monsters in my future.
In case anyone is wondering the photos were taken out at the garden. There are peas and carrots growing with the scarf, broccoli growing with the tam and gloves and cabbage under the baby sweater.
I did finish my secret knitting. The recipient hasn't gotten it yet so I still can't post a picture. If they post one, I will direct you to it then.
Let's get the needles going for Christmas everyone.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn update

I've been knitting. I hope that's not news to anyone who might read this. I have been working on several things lately. I've made some progress on a baby sweater that is for my great granddaughter who is due in January.

I've also done some work on my 10 stitch blanket since the end of Stash Dash and made a little progress. (The stitch marker on the left side is where I left off at the end of Stash Dash and the needles are where I am now.)

I got sucked in to the Beekeepers Quilt and have about a dozen little hexagons made and gathering in a bag. I finished another one today who didn't make it into the photo op.

I've been working on a project that I can't show pictures of and have been having a time with that one and gauge. I have restarted different parts of this project two or three times each. Some of it was just that the parts of the project are small enough to be swatches themselves so I haven't been swatching. That means I have been ripping back and starting over. I'm really good at that part.
I finished the Monkey Mitts for my granddaughter. Word is that she loves them. I certainly hope so.

We got 17 3/4" of rain during Lee. My back yard was a lake. It's not a lake at the moment. The hawk sat on the start of a burn pile and scoped out breakfast. There are several bunnies that live around our property. I didn't see one become breakfast, but the hawk was awe inspiring.

The pile below is from when our property was cleared. We are taking care of it a little at a time. I wanted to use a chipper on most of it, but that isn't feasible. In our area they cost about $450 to rent for a weekend and that pile is taller than I am and part of it is too thick to go into a chipper anyway so part is getting burnt and we are thinking of buying a chipper in the future.

We have been building new raised garden beds and planting in them. We have onions, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, and sugar snap peas in the beds now.

I'm getting ready to transplant the strawberries to a different bed so that I can put plastic under all the beds. When we moved out here we did a quick job of moving our beds from the other place and it is time to start organizing the garden and getting it ready for a big year next spring. Although we are getting peppers from the garden I think this year was a fail in that regard. Peppers and cantaloupes are all we've gotten.

My citrus trees survived being put into the ground and the two lemons that I had on one of the trees are starting to turn. Looking forward to more citrus next year.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rain, rain, go away

We are geared up for the busiest time of the Hurricane season here. Historically, September is the height of the season and we have a depression sitting in the gulf that isn't moving at the moment. It seems that unless something changes that it will be a rainmaker more than anything. If that's the case I can't help wishing that it would go in to Texas where the whole state is in a serious drought. Here in my little corner of the world we could use the rain, but not 10 to 20 inches in 72 hours. It cannot soak in or drain that fast and will cause flash floods. That's not good for anyone.
I feel so badly for those in the northeast who have had to deal with Irene and the aftermath of that storm. I know how they feel.
I have been knitting and crocheting since my last post. I've made a pair of Monkey Mitts for one of my granddaughters and am crocheting some simple scarves for the granddaughters too.
I also got caught on the slippery slope that is the Beekeepers Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits. I looked at it and thought that it was pretty and interesting and that I should turn around and walk away immediately. Then I wondered if I could figure out how to make those tiny little hexagons and if I was as crazy as I thought I was since I had already played that game with the Sock Yarn Blankie by Shelley Kang. So I did. I walked away. No, really, I did. What got me was wondering if I could figure it out without the pattern. Now I think the pattern is lovely and if it was in my budget I would have bought it, tucked it away, and left it be for the foreseeable future. Now although I am not scrounging pennies for gas and milk (been there, done that), since my husband is currently on disability until he recovers from surgery, I do not have the cash for patterns. Especially patterns that I have no intention of making. But to use my mind to see if I can figure it out on my own is a worthy challenge. I now have two and a half of those lovely little hexagons in a bag in my craft room. They don't take a lot of yarn and they are a change from the Ten Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown that I am also working on a little at a time.
Like I said, slippery slope.
On the home front I will be battling Morning Glory vines. They are along the side of our property and have found their way to my roses and my raised garden beds. There will be much pulling of vines so they don't take over. They are pretty, but I don't want the yard filled with them.
I also found some Cypress Vines that the butterflies love and something that I'm not sure what it is that the bees love.

The rain has started and it's coming down steady. I will update later with how much we have. It's now time for a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I really did it

I actually got through 5K of knitting and spinning for the Stash Dash. I was surprised to say the least. I finished a baby sweater, two pair of socks for the husband, a shawlette, a pi shawl, 6 bunnies, my first Clapotis, a Josephine cloche, and about 800 yards of spinning. I feel lucky that Tour De Fleece and the Stash Dash overlapped.

I have been working in the yard too and learned how to take the mower deck off the Deere and put it back on. Not a big deal unless you have never done it before.
There is actually a pomegranate on my bush. I was amazed. I just wasn't sure if it would produce or not. My yard is beginning to come together. We heard the other day that the sewer system is getting ready to come through our area. We knew it was coming, but had been told that it would be anywhere from two to seven years. The county health department wanted us to put in a $10,000 septic system instead of the $5,000 one that we did put in. Now they say that they will start hookups in November of this year. I would have been seriously upset if we had paid $10,000 for a system we would use for less than a year. They have mandated that if you live in this area you have to be hooked up to the system. The only surprise for me has been that they said there will be no hook up fee if you let them do the hook up when they come through with it.

Elmer had surgery again on Monday and we are hoping that they fixed the problem this time. I am tired of spending time in the hospital and I'm sure he is too.

I'm also teaching my granddaughter to knit on my Bond knitting machine. So far she loves it. She is eleven and I'm not sure how long her fascination will last, but it will be a skill she can come back to later if she wants. As for me, I'm still hand knitting almost exclusively lately. It's just so much more portable than my machines are. I'm still spinning on my spindle and I have a couple of scarves in the planning stages for my weaving looms. I just can't seem to get motivated to spend any time in front of my knitting machines. Ah well, it will come back. It always does.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

They"re multiplying like, well, rabbits

It's been busy around here. We are still working on the yard.
There is a lot still to be done. I have plants to get in the ground and trees to trim up and poison ivy to get rid of.
We got to watch a hawk land in one of our trees the other day. Unfortunately, by the time I got my camera he had left. Maybe next time.

I've been making more bunnies. I have three complete now and another one on the needles.
It is an easy pattern and will be useful tomorrow while I'm in the waiting room at the hospital.

I'm about half way with my stash dash 5 K, but I don't think I will make it to the goal by August 15. There is still a lot of yardage to go.
I've completed my goal for the Tour de Fleece. I didn't really think I could do four ounces on my spindle in the time allowed. I was wrong. I have about 200 yards of a very pretty (I think) 3-ply yarn. It still needs a bath and I need to see what the WPI (wraps per inch) is so I can see what I have. I think it's about a sport weight.

I'm going to be a great-grandma in January. There are baby things to be made before then and it also explains the beginning of the bunny craze. Once I made bunnies for the two babies we are expecting in our family, I got asked for several more. They are definitely multiplying.

The temperatures here are in the mid to upper 90's with heat indexes in the 110 range. It's hot here and in a lot of the rest of the country too I know. It definitely makes you wonder about how people managed before air conditioning. I know that it's a matter of what we are used to and I for one am thankful for the AC.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What I've been up to

It's been a while since I wrote anything here and I'm not even sure what I was doing last time except that I'm sure we were moving. The move is complete. I am so thankful. The organizing and yardwork and making the new place a home is not complete yet.
I have been knitting. I've finished my Blueberry Pi shawl.

I've made a bunny and have the second one almost done. I have to finish his ear and sew it on and put a face on him. They will have more friends since I have had requests for three more bunnies.

I've been playing with my spindles for the Tour de Fleece. I am just about where I wanted to be in my spinning, but really ahead of where I thought I'd be. Nice.

Mostly I have been working around the house. We planted four blueberry bushes.
We got the citrus trees planted.
The roses are sitting waiting for me to put them in the ground. The garden is growing.
I made my own mulch by using a chipper to chip up some of the trees we had taken down on the property.
I've got my rain barrels set up and collecting water (when it rains). Unfortunately we are over 18 inches below normal on rainfall this year. It's sad and scary and I'm actually collecting the water from our AC unit as it pulls the humidity out and putting it in the barrel. It is adding up. I get about a gallon of water that way every three hours or so on average.
We set up a deck out back and get to enjoy watching the birds and the squirrels.
I will see about some more pictures next time around.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We have Power

I'm doing the happy dance that we are back on commercial power. I periodically jump up and do a little dance singing "We have Power, we have power." This is not really a big deal unless you have been living for two weeks on a generator and in the middle of that time your husband has surgery. As for the surgery, well, the device failed. We have an appointment tomorrow and will see what it next on the list for what to do to hopefully make him healthy again. He's not really unhealthy, but the issue is with his colon and it needs to be taken care of.
The house is moved. The code office passed us. The power company put in the meter and we start work on the yard this weekend. Up til now we have been doing what is needed to pass the inspection and keep the code office off our backs. now we are done with them and can work on making this our home.
In the meantime, I have been knitting to keep my sanity. I finished a pair of socks for Elmer,

then finished a baby sweater,

and a Wendy Johnson shawlette

and topped it off by finishing the spinning and plying of some fiber I got while I was in Texas way back in October.

I have plans to use my Kundert spindle to play during Tour de Fleece in July. I have plans for some Abstract Fibers roving in the Knitmore Girls colorway. The plan is to spin up all four ounces of this fiber.
I'm also playing in the Stash Dash 5 K with the Knitgirllls on Ravelry. So far I'm at 938 yards. That is nowhere what I need to have done, but when I finish Blueberry Pi I will add another 1500 to 1600 yards to my total. After that I plan to do a little weaving and work on my 10 stitch afghan to make up some yardage. I need to do 5K by August 15th. Can I do it? Who knows. I do know that the spinning counts too and if I knit what I spin during the challenge then I get to count it twice. Sweet. And a good reason to knit with some of my own handspun.
Back to the knitting, spinning, and yard work now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Moving still going on

I haven't posted in what seems like forever. It's been a little crazy making around here. The move is, well, moving along slowly. We live in a mobile home (at least it was when we bought it, but I think now the term is manufactured home) that is in a trailer park. It's ours; well, it's ours and the mortgage company's for a while longer. We bought a piece of property and cleared part of it. That's when the fun began. I knew nothing about prices of things like the use of a track hoe or dirt or wash out (the stuff they wash out of concrete trucks). I also didn't know how much fun it is to deal with the code office, the zoning office, the environmental health department, and all the other things that need to be done. Every time one or both of us have been to the code office they say we need something else. Every time. Shouldn't there be a list that they hand you with what you need? Why yes, and there is. The problem is that they keep adding to the list. Apparently, it depends on who you get at the code office. I went yesterday, having everything that was on the list I had, and they informed me I needed something else. This was after they informed E. last week that we would have to have a different type of foundation "Stacked block foundation isn't allowed. You will have to have a permanent foundation with concrete, concrete filled blocks and re-bar." And they couldn't have told us this earlier? Ugh. This, of course, makes the move more expensive, time consuming, aggravating, and a host of other words that aren't all nice.
I could live with this except for two tiny little things. E is out of town most of the time for his job so most of this falls on me. On top of that we heard that E needs surgery again. I have about hit my limit on what I can handle.
I have been knitting to keep my sanity. I'm holding my own. I have a Pi shawl on the needles still. I'm working on a baby sweater and socks and will soon have a shawlette on the needles too. My 10 stitch blanket is not making any progress at all at the moment and my knitting machines are sitting idle and waiting to be packed for safety for the move.
Time to go do something semi- productive.

Friday, April 15, 2011

And the work goes on

It's been a very busy week around here, but not a lot of knitting has gone on. Instead I have looked at the Huckleberry bushes on our new property and seen the little huckleberries growing.

I've also built some 4 x 4 foot garden beds for the new garden and filled them with soil from the old beds that we took down at the current rental property. I built these from the decking of our old porch. It's not pressure treated and we can't reuse it for the new porch because it won't be covered at the beginning, but it makes nice little beds after I play with the saw and the drill. There are little volunteers in one of the beds already. One is a cucumber for sure and the other one we think is either squash or cantaloupe. Either one works for me. I have tomatoes and peppers that will go in the beds as soon as we get moved.

I also started making rain barrels to water the garden with. I just don't see the sense in wasting perfectly good free water. In this picture they are sitting next to my little garden shed and they aren't complete. I need to set up a gutter with downspout, put the lids back on with a way for the water to get in, connect them together with an overflow valve, and set up two more.

I have been knitting some. I'm still working on the Pi shawl and have many stitches per round, but not as many as there will be before it's done. I'm looking forward to sitting in a swing knitting and looking at my garden when we get moved.
Since I've never done this before I didn't know how many county government departments I'd have to go to or how much it would cost at each of these places. It's getting done one step at a time. Hopefully, I will have more knitting time soon.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

I've been busy around here. I finally got pictures of my woven blanket

and of the Wildfoote socks.

And then I was out at the new property and got a shot of the spot where I want a swing

and my new garden spot.

I'm currently working on the Blueberry Pi shawl (and thinking of where to plant blueberry bushes in the new yard), a pair of socks for one of the granddaughters, and some baby hats. I've also got four hats for MT25 that need to be seamed up and one hanging on my machine.
For those who are interested... swing under tree in that shot. The house will go where the orange clay is. There is a tiny Magnolia that we transplanted out of the way of the house at the front of the garden side of the yard and the property goes back beyond those trees on this side of the property. I'm looking forward to gardening, knitting, spinning, crocheting, and weaving here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quick update

It's been a while since I posted and my only excuse is that I have been working on getting property ready for us to move and getting house ready to move. Just this weekend we tore down our back deck, moved a garden bed, pressure washed the back of the house, moved stuff to storage and moved my garden shed to the property. I've already torn down my greenhouse and dug up my rosebushes. It's been busy around here and it will be for a while.
That said, I finished my Wildfoote socks today. Finally! I've also got the woven blanket off the loom and am in the process of finishing the ends of it. Hopefully, that will be complete sometime this week and I will have photos. (I got a new camera. DH lost his and decided that I should get a new one and he would take mine. He's the best.) I'm still working periodically on hats for MT25 and plan to have a dozen or more ready for the winter when they are needed.
I am still working on my commitments to both the "11 minutes a day" and Mission Possible 2011 and I'm in on a contest to not buy more yarn until August. There is a loophole about gift certificates and I have one from Christmas in case I really need it. I'm trying to just use what I have though. I'll let you know how I'm doing. As it is I have enough yarn and fiber to last me for well over two years without buying more. There is a lot that is acrylic in colors that I wouldn't have bought. It was given to me and I'm making it work. I will probably give some more of it away soon. No sense in letting it go to waste.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The loss of knitting time

I've not made much progress on my knitting in the last two weeks. I had to rip out Blueberry Pi and start over again. That was no fun and I haven't even made it back to where I was when I ripped. I have two pair of socks on the needles, but not making much progress on them right now. There are too many other things I need to get done.

I've torn down my little makeshift greenhouse that has served me well over the last five years or so and I'm emptying the raised garden beds so that I can tear them down too. There is some
progress being made on the property front. It has gone from being overgrown like this...

to looking more like this. This is a picture of where we intend to put our mobile home. It will go behind that live oak with the curving branches in the picture.
This is kind of a sideways view of the property. I'm standing on the edge of the driveway looking toward the southern end of the property. It goes to past that pile of brush in the middle of the picture. There is more property behind where I am standing. About a third the length that is in this picture. There's a lot to do so I'm off to do some of it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Stash Enhancement and Tea

This weekend was a little bit about stash enhancement. The Regia sock yarn is to make my honorary granddaughter a pair of socks. There is a part of me that thinks I have this yarn at home already, but since I have four granddaughters counting the honorary one that is not a problem. They all like pink. I got that at The Shabby Sheep along with this fiber from Funky Carolina. It's four ounces of BFL in the Purple haze colorway. The Shabby Sheep was having a spinning workshop this weekend. I wish I had been able to go, but I am a very new spinner and I just didn't have the cash to go. (And I would have had to drive in Dallas and I think I've already said how much that stresses me)
After the stop there, we went up to The Woolie Ewe in Plano on our way to my daughter's house to hang out. While there I bought some Online Supersocke Wellness in a stripey colorway and some Meilenweit in a tweedy gray. They are both to make socks for Elmer. I have had to darn three pair of his socks recently so it's time to make some more.

These purchases put me up to the amount to get my Ewe Money Coupon and since I don't get here that often and the coupon expires in 30 days I went back and got the Madeline Tosh that was calling my name. I ended up paying a whole dollar and eighty four cents for it. I couldn't pass it up for that price, but it was out of my budget otherwise so I'm now cuddling some ToshSock.

I've also been slowly knitting on the Blueberry Pi and have started the second part. The needle it's on isn't big enough to stretch it out so it's impossible to get a glamour shot of it yet.

I also finished the Regia ankle socks. The Wildfoote socks are still on needles and I've started the Regia socks for granddaughter from the yarn above.
We also made a trip out to The Stockyards Station so that I could visit the Spice and Tea Exchange where I bought five different teas. I got Black Chocolate, Cinnamon Spice, and Vanilla Bean which I've bought there before and I got Wild Blackberry and Green Tropical which I hadn't bought before. I find them all lovely to drink. I still have some Almond Cookie tea from my last trip out, but left it at home thinking I had brought enough with me. We also got some smoked sea salts (Hickory, Alderwood, and Applewood) Those are really good on meat that you're tossing on the grill. By the way, they will ship if you want or there are other stores around the country. There just isn't one close to me.
I've enjoyed my time in Dallas with the hubby, but I'm looking forward to be home. There will be a lot to do over the next few months and I don't think I will get back out here before October. We are supposed to close on our property on Friday and then there is clearing to be done, along with a septic system, electrical, water, fencing, moving the house, telephone and internet, satellite,and who knows what I'm forgetting. It will be very busy and I won't even really get started on landscaping or gardening for several months except for transplanting my roses and planting my citrus trees. I hope to get some "before" pictures on Saturday and then maybe some "as we go along" pictures after that. I don't see any "after" pictures happening for quite a while.
Time for a cup of tea and a Girl Scout Cookie. More later.