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25 posts from September 2005

30 September 2005

Baby, you can drive my car

FlwrI love this: car park.  Gives new meaning to "paradise by the dashboard lights."

What?

Something you maybe didn't know about me?  I love cars.  Have I ever mentioned that before?  Old cars, fast cars, small cars, sports cars, red cars, roadsters!  If I ever won the lottery?  I'd totally blow it on cars -- and build a big stable to keep 'em all -- and hire a mechanic to keep the engine's runnin' so I can head out on the highway whenever I want, maybe even in my pink Cadillac with the crushed velvet seats... yeah, that's me, oozing down the street.

What?

They make small Caddies, and pink is just watered-down red.  ; )

Susie is starting to list the yarn she needs to sell, and don't forget about the books and magazines.

Time-out didn't help.  Williamsro isn't right and I've got to start over.  It needs to be bigger.  Maybe it's time to cast on and try another sock.

29 September 2005

Crash+*&*@#^&*(+Clang

...it's just the normal noises in here.

Update on Chelle's project (see yesterday):  The yarn is Lion Brand Baby Soft, an acrylic yarn that comes in huge, 459-yard hanks, making it both washable and affordable (less than $20, she says, for the entire layette).  The colors are #184 Melon (more like coral) and #143 Lavender (which looks too blue, I think, in the photos).  She promises to send a pic of the Baby Surprise Jacket when it's finished.

Just in time to celebrate my first week with Weight Watchers Online (and a 3-lb. loss), I got my Knitting Bloggers Cookbook in the mail yesterday!  Oh, Elizabeth, what a fine, fine job you've done -- it's a very generous gift.  Thank you!  I love another Elizabeth's cover art!  In paging through, I had to laugh at Mrs. Pilkington's mention of Tillamook Cheese -- that's where I met DH and where Kt was born; I actually typeset an entire cookbook about nothing but Tillamook Cheese once!  I can't believe I just happened upon that reference.

And this just in:  Bloglines appears to be down today, but I've just found that Julia's back!  Oh, I've missed her.  Go say hello.

There was supposed to be more today, but this will have to do.  Normal noises...

Edited to add:  Darn it.  I forgot to plug Susie's auctions.  You can read about why here, and then take a look at what she's offering -- today, the next few days -- and help her out with a bid, if you see something you like.  That's all, folks.

28 September 2005

Heeeeeere's Chelle!

Chelle knits, but doesn't have a knit blog.  (When are you going to change that, girl?)  She's been working on a layette and sent pictures as proof!

Pict0011 091405_baby_blanket Dumpall_092605_005

She used Minnowknits Pattern #189 for the hat and blanket, and "Garter Stitch Bootees" from Debbie Bliss Quick Baby Knits (the same pattern I used for M*c's favorites, the Kool-aid booties).  Chelle had (how shall I say it?) some frustration with the booties.  It's difficult to knit something so clever, but having no idea how it all works until you're finished.  Am I right, Chelle?  I admit to the same frustration.  In the end, I just had to trust that there weren't any mistakes, try not to read ahead too much (take it one step at a time), and hope that it would all turn out.  And, of course, it did; and the second one was much easier!

2304_1When Chelle wrote to me of ripping and with thoughts of giving up on the pattern, I used my "knowledge" and "ability" to draw a schematic of the problematic portion and emailed it to her.  Heh, some how, some way, this "illustration" provided some actual help.  Anyway, congratulations Chelle!

I hope you read Annie's post today, and the comments.  I've been thinking about it all morning, trying to form cohesive thoughts (they're coming together).  I just lost a humongous paragraph here, so I'm going to take it as a sign that I needn't be so long-winded.  Suffice it to say that I've gained a lot from blogging, not the least of which is the privilege to give (illustrated at right) now and then.

P.S.  I didn't really find Stephanie's number scrawled on the bathroom wall at the LYS, but ever since I wrote it, I've got this urge to do it...  and I've usually got a Sharpie handy!

27 September 2005

Good times

Found scrawled on the bathroom wall of the LYS yesterday:

For a good time, call 877-SOS-KNIT

That's a free, hilarious call for those in the US and Canada.  So, I grabbed the phone, punched some buttons and stepped onto the back porch last night.  Phone time used to be prime smoking time for me, and that was always done outside, and the habit of taking the phone outside continues (though will probably change come November/December) -- so when I returned to the back door, the dog and one of the cats was looking at me funny.  Go on, push some buttons!

I hope that my trip to Rhinebeck will include a Harlot sighting, maybe even a signing.  She's a gas.

26 September 2005

To new heights

I love the window seat in airplanes, but I'm afraid of heights -- I guess it's more a fear of falling -- and it gets worse and worse.  I decided yesterday that I'm also afraid of heights when OTHER people are up high.  DH trimmed the branches that were broken in a storm last week and I had to steady the ladder.  Recent events may have contributed to a heightened awareness, a more keen sense of how life can change in an instant.  It was precarious, I was nearly beside myself once or twice, thank goodness he took many breaks, made good use of rope, and I hope that if any more branches are broken in storms, they just break clean off!

Dsc05494Next week, we'll have a visitor from a foreign land at our house.  One of the state organizations that DH belongs to has been working on a Japanese artist exchange program for a few years and the time has finally arrived.  DH will pick up our guest, an architect, on Sunday, so we've been making lists and sprucing things up.  I have found a way to add interest to an otherwise hard-to-fill spot between the deck and walkway -- plates!  These are chipped dessert plates and saucers that I dug out of the mosaic stash.  The best part is that when they break (and you know they will), I'll be able to return them to the mosaic stash, no "harm" done.

Dsc05495

I haven't heard a thing about the other part of the "exchange" -- like DH going to Japan.  Wouldn't that be cool?  Our guest is not bringing anyone with him, but there are some bringing spouses and whatnot.  It'll be a whirlwind, with events in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison.  Check the links if you're interested and will be in or around these parts.

Dsc05496_1As my "reward" for this and many other things about which I exhibit much patience, I'm "spending" that 5+ days I've accumulated by not smoking, along with some more of the money saved, and heading east.  Again.  Think sheep... and wool... and knitters/bloggers/turkeys/photographers extraordinaire... and RHINEBECK!  Can you believe it?  I can't believe it.  I think I'm on Cloud 9 -- but it's like being in an airplane, so I'm not afraid!

It was another sad Sunday for Packer fans yesterday (but Eagles fans had something to smile about!).  I was doing some stealth knitting -- Williamsro on a time out while I ponder size -- and helping my mom... with her knitting!  She knit years ago (in fact, she taught me), but it has been forever and it's not like riding a bike.  She was lured back by a half-price kit for a baby blanket.

The girl involved in the accident in my sister's town who was air-lifted to the hospital is in stable condition, last I heard.  She was conscious, moving, recognizing people, and suffering from a very bad concussion.  My sister went to a candlelight vigil on Saturday night for the girl who died.  She said it was hard to keep the tears back at times, of course, but was most touched by the sight of the girl's mother and the young man who was driving the truck embracing each other.  Sure makes you appreciate what you've got -- give 'em all a hug -- even while your heart fills thinking about what these people must be going through.

24 September 2005

Hold your kids close and remind them to be safe

...even when they're having fun.  You know, my kids roll their eyes at me, too, but I do it every single time -- "Be careful, be good," I say when they walk out the door.  "I am," is what I usually hear in reply.  And I smile and tell them that I know it, but I just have to say it.  Because...

Yesterday, there was supposed to be a homecoming football game in Cameron, WI, the small town where one of my sisters and her family lives.  My niece graduated from high school last spring and my nephews are in middle and elementary school there.  The game and dance have both been cancelled and the whole town is in shock and mourning at the death of one student and injuries requiring air-lifting to the hospital of another following an accident as the truck they were riding in returned to the high school parking lot and they were somehow ejected.  There is a story here.

A stupid accident.  It takes my breath away to think of the sadness there.

23 September 2005

Fine, be that way!

Bloglines is wonderful.  It's also very aggravating when it ignores you for days and days and days.  So fine, you don't want to update my feeds?  I'll blog some MORE!  That'll show ya.

It's a sad and sorry state when I'm scrolling through my own list of Bloglines subscriptions with a self-imposed mandate to read only those with more than 20 unread posts.  I just can't keep up, but eventually I get around to it, even if it's a month and a half later.

So, I found myself at Stitches of Violet.  I think everyone would agree with me if I said that Margaret is an angel.  It was there that I found the link to the Restash Network, dedicated to replenishing the stash of knitters who may have lost it all in disaster.  While not on the same level with donating blood, I think this is worthy and important.

I have a nephew with Down Syndrome and he's crazy about movies.  He has an extensive collection of videos (perhaps a shift to DVD this Christmas?) and is delighted to reenact favorite scenes -- or "Step In Time" with his fellow chimney sweep (aka, little brother) using the coffee table and sofa as props -- anytime!  Well, my sister wrote to me a couple of weeks ago and wondered what she should do with a video she ran across at home -- she'd purchased it for my nephew a while back, forgetting that he already had it.  Should she try to return it, even though it's been months (and even though the store she bought it from has already made the shift from VHS to DVD)?  Keep it as a collector's item?  "Ack," I wrote, "why bother?"  I suggested that she donate it, to think about all the kids in New Orleans who lost their videos -- what would her son do if his collection were washed away?  He'd survive, of course, as would I if my stash were lost, but they are silly little things that soothe, make us happy, and are one more step back to Normal.  (Hey, that's in Illinois, isn't it?)

This weekend, I'll be going through my stash again, and my needles and my books and magazines.  Right now, there are a few more 20+ subscriptions to read -- who knows what else I might find!

My best friend is a grandma!

There's a new baby on the block, an 8-lb., 11-oz. boy born at 3:00 this morning, making my best friend a grandma for the first time.  It was a long, hard labor and in the end, baby was in distress and without oxygen for a bit so is in ICU 'til tomorrow, but should be okay.  Poor mum hasn't even held him yet and is beside herself -- and very tired.

Guess what I'm wearing!  My first (and so far, only -- but I have intentions) pair of handknit socks!  I was going to link to them, but I never even posted them in the FO gallery!  I'll get right on that...

Dsc05477I had every intention of showing you progress on the back of Williamsro -- I even made progress, some few rows past armhole decreases.  As I was measuring, considering length, and counting cables to make note of where those decreases were made so I could make them in the same place on the fronts, I discovered a mistake.  Blahblahblah, what else is new?  Blahblah, I ripped, blahblah, to a point before the decreases were made, blah.  I'm actually a little further along than this picture shows, but it should be way more.  My deadline is in three weeks!

Right from the very beginning, I was astounded at one particular statistic in my regular emails from Quitnet -- the number of cigarettes not smoked since the quit.  In today's email, Day 189+, that number is 3783, which is very close to 4000, which is just freakin' crazy.  You know what else that translates to?  Time.  I have difficulty counting cables, but I can multiply!  Check my math.  I usually smoked 'em fast -- people would comment on that and I'd joke about 2-minute cigarettes -- so 3783 cigs x 2:00 each = 7566 minutes (conservatively) that I've done something other than smoke.  Seven thousand five-hundred sixty-six minutes divided by 60 minutes in an hour equals 126.1 HOURS (holy crap) divided by 24 hours in a day equals 5.25 damn DAYS.  Quitnet tells me that I've saved/added, presumably to the end of my life, 28 days and 21 hours by not smoking, but that 5.25 days -- wow, that's huge, that's NOW!  Fun with numbers -- it helps to motivate.  The other number is money.  Surprisingly, that one doesn't motivate me as much, but $661.50 isn't anything to scoff at, now, either.  What could that buy besides yarn (that's a given and I've already rewarded myself with fiber aplenty)?  A plane ticket?  Where in the world would I go???

22 September 2005

Outta my way, Norma!

Yowza, I was just over at Sandy's and now I know why Norma was gold diggin' this morning.  That Gold Hills is some awfully pretty stuff...

Here's my entry(s), Sandy.  I like the one I posted on the weekend, too, if you care to have a look-see.

Sept21a_1 Sept21d_1

On the left, the southern sky late yesterday afternoon with just a few wispy clouds.  On the right, the northern sky at the same time.  Just behind the rooftop is the extreme southern edge of storm clouds that covered the northern half of the state yesterday.  They moved a bit more southerly overnight -- we've got a wet, gray day today.

21 September 2005

Under the gun

Dsc05479The cable guy was just working outside.  How do I know?  Because I'd just finished reading about Cara's Almost Everyday situation and was clicking to see Norma's sky related to Sandy's contest when I saw the "This page cannot be found" page.  Aarrrgh.  I clicked around a little more, MargeneKatyAnn?  Oh, that's right, Ann's in Vegas...

So I ran out to see and sure enough, Cable Guy.  He hopped into his truck as I went out to bring in the garbage can (the lid of which you can see in the pic of the back of Williamsro and one of my gigantic hosta(ge)s that I love beyond reason -- the original subject of today's post) and asked whether what he was doing up there would have anything to do with my losing connection.  He said yeah, for about a minute... well, maybe five.  He said I should have it now, though, and he hopped into his truck and said he'd be back in 45.  So now I'm posting under the gun.  Forty-five is usually a piece of cake, but then I saw Katy's post and there's been an editorial shift...

Dsc05480Shit, shit, shit!  So, instead of potentially contest-winning sky pics, which I don't have right now, anyway, I snapped a couple of my kitchen.  Katy, this is very similar to what you're thinking of -- but a little different and for a totally different reason.  Sorry for the blurry pic (that's what happens when you're in a hurry!), but that's my island.  The lit up cabinet is a salvaged piece and behind it in the island is my kitchen sink.  The view is from the living area and a little ways behind me is the front door.  I wanted my sink in the island, did not want piles of dirty dishes in full view of the front door!  I think this piece is a little smaller than what you're looking at, Katy, but similar idea.

Dsc05481Dsc05483Here's a view from the side (the kitchen door/closet is behind me in this one) and only for you will I show the other side -- the side that it's hiding from the front door!

The cabinet houses most of my green depression glass collection.  Lots of other stuff has found its way into that cabinet, too, but I love it when it's all lit up -- we'd refitted it with glass shelves.  DH made a new top and installed the lights.

Dsc05482These few pieces are in the niche we carved out over the heat vent.  The big pretzel jar (cookie jar) is the piece that launched the collection in the first place -- years and years and years ago!  The lid is broken and re-glued (badly), but it's still a treasure.

Williamsro is growing, there are still treasures in my garden -- tomorrow!  I'm signing up for WW Online today.  You guys are just fab.  Thanks for the votes of confidence and all your support.  You make me say, "Of course I can do it!"  Duh.

Whew.  I think I made it...

20 September 2005

The last day of summer

My horoscope says that I'm to "radiate serenity" today.  I don't think that's hard for me.  I may be a seething cauldron on the inside, but most days you'd think I'm a little teapot.  I may have had a little premonition.  I was quite serene last night as I ripped the back of Williamsro for the second time.  I had run out of yarn and joined new, knit a dozen stitches, had one more overall look and just slipped it off the needles.  Problems with tension, mainly that bothersome stitch that follows a cable, and especially the eight-stitch cables.  Sometimes I try too hard, you know?  The more I try to tighten it up, the looser it is!  It's happened before and I don't understand.  But I'm serene...  I started from scratch for the third time and I really and truly do think it's working (fingers are crossed nevertheless).

I'm neither a short nor a tall teapot, but I have become a bit more of a stout teapot in the past six months.  I don't like it.  I attribute it mostly to a change in metabolism since quitting smoking; my eating habits have not really changed.  I'm at my most stout, except for pregnancy, and I've been here once before -- 17 years ago.  We were winding up a visit with friends, a couple and their young son, on Vashon Island, WA; we'd all gathered in front of the blueberry bushes in the back yard to tape a group rendition of "The More We Get Together" on our videocamera.  That went well and you just can't go wrong with Raffi, but the closing scene is me walking toward the camera to turn it off.  I have a one-year-old Ai on my hip -- my very ample hip, and how I ever thought those pants were flattering is beyond me, and it was more like walloomping toward the camera.  Anyway, after my first viewing of that tape, I picked up the phone and found a Weight Watchers meeting.

It took me nine months to lose 50 pounds.  And then I got pregnant again.  Well, what can you do?  I came through that one pretty well, though, and eventually found a comfortable spot on the scale, admittedly much higher than "goal weight," but I felt good and held pretty much steady for the last 17 years.  Obviously, I didn't like how it looked or felt then -- and even less now.  It's changed.  That extra 20 pounds is sitting not so gracefully on a very different body -- older, less toned, more prone to gravitational shifts, if you know what I mean, and it's a different kind of fat.

My mother has had recent success with WW and I wish I could go to meetings with her, but I can't.  She came with me the whole time 17 years ago, even though her heart wasn't in it and the scale barely budged, just for moral support.  I still have all my materials, though, and gathered them up on Sunday.  I borrowed what I was missing from Mom, and took a look at my old progress chart (complete with pictures!) and I'm going to give it a go.  Perhaps the change in season is putting me in the mood for change, too.

19 September 2005

Make mine chocolate

If the weekend was a cupcake and Saturday was the frosting, then this can most definitely be regarded as sprinkles.

I love a good mystery, don't you?

17 September 2005

Changes in attitude, or...

Rdsc05441Rdsc05443_1I'm not Norma, my name is Vicki, and that's why this rhodie isn't planted, but instead modeling two finished Williamsro sleeves.  It's songs that come to mind for post titles so often, and so often they're songs that I don't like for one reason or another!  In the case of the first, I like margaritas as much (probably more) than the next knitter, but he stood me up or a concert many years ago and I still haven't yet forgiven him (nor did I ever received a refund from the promoter).  The other song I just hate; at least when I substitute "Norma" for "Julie," it makes me smile.  Anyways, I finished the sleeves last night and immediately cast on for the back.  That will be ripped and restarted this evening as some stitches went wonky on me and I think they need to be shown what's what right from the get-go.

Rdsc05446Here's a close-up of the Noro Blossom cuffs.  Some wild colors in there, but I really like it.  And I love the olive-y green of the Noro Cash Iroha body, too.  I predict this will be worn a lot.  When there are certain things in my wardrobe that I go to over and over, I refer to them as part of my uniform.  Williamsro definitely has uniform potential.

Dsc05434This morning, after an early morning date at the farmer's market with Mom, I drove to Fond du Lac and visited The Knitting Room for the first time (they will soon have an internet presence!).  They've been open for three years and it's quite a nice shop.  They're the only "local" source I found for some particular flavors, but I can't divulge anything about that!  And I didn't buy anything except precisely what I went to get!  One thing I was very impressed and quite taken with was the abundance of knitted samples -- mostly hats, bags and scarves, but wonderfully done with great fiber and lots of color.  It was a treat.  It didn't hurt that there was an antique shop right next door.  They had a yarn winder with a clicker, like Norma's, I think, and I even got down on my hands and knees to search every inch of it for a maker's mark.  Nothin'.  It had pretty cool wooden peg construction, though.

Fond du Lac is located at the southern end of Lake Winnebago, the largest lake in the state.  I live at the northern end and originally planned to just drive down on the main highway on the west side of the lake and then back.  Amy Lu left a note about a craft fair she'd be at, representing Bahr Creek Llamas & Fiber Shop, in my neck of the woods -- well, right smack in between our two necks of the woods, anyway!  I thought, "Great, I'll just make a loop around the lake!"  I love the eastern side of the lake.

Well, Amy said that the craft fair was in Kiel.  So Kiel, population 3500, was my destination.  I had a lot of fun going along the lake, then cutting east on county roads that I'd never driven before.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be on the road (and gas prices have dropped yet again).  I saw a lot of signs that reminded me to be aware of horse-drawn vehicles (didn't see any, though).  I was very dismayed at the number of house-less farms I passed.  That means only one thing -- what was once a family farm, is no longer.  It's unmistakable, the way the trees are planted around the former building site, often a little group of fruit trees in one corner, and very sad.

Dsc05436Well, all I found in Kiel was a flea market in the city park (one sign I saw had it spelled "flee") and it wasn't half-bad, but no llamas, no fiber, no Amy Lu.  There's a little farm town every 6-12 miles along these highways, though, and I thought maybe Amy Lu was confused.  Maybe she meant the next town -- New Holstein.  New Holstein was celebrating "Cow Fest" today (see above) and had these cow-shaped mylar balloons stuck all over the place.  There was a car show, live music, and numerous vendors.  I gave it the eagle-eye drive-by treatment and was ready to floor it and move on when I saw animals with long necks -- I'm not sure if they were llamas or alpacas, but it made me wonder whether Amy Lu meant to say that she'd be with the animals at a craft fair in someplace-other-than-Kiel.  I found a parking place, bought a Diet Pepsi, found the bathroom, bought some peanut butter cookies from Levi's (there's an Amish bakery vendor at most craft/farmer's markets I've been to -- and yum!), and checked out the long necks, who were only part of a farm animal display, along with a (heh) Holstein calf, some ponies, pigs, you get the picture.  No Amy Lu.

I saw a sign for some goings-on in the next town, but it was vague and I decided to just head home.  Whereupon the kids were all busy and I checked my email and Amy Lu had written this morning to say that it wasn't Kiel, it was Chilton, and isn't a good thing that she found out where to go!  Well, Chilton isn't that far away and it was a gorgeous day and my favorite side of the lake, so I decided to go back.  I'm really glad I did.  The event was the "Fall Food Festival" at the Ledge View Nature Center in Chilton.  I had a nice visit with Amy, met her able and handsome assistant (was it Daniel?) who was doing a weaving demo on the cutest little Baby Wolf loom.  They had a great display with yarn, needles, books, needle felting supplies and samples (Amy showed me how) and books -- I just have to get down to that shop sometime soon.

Dsc05440_1One of the great things I came away with is the 2005 Farm Fresh Atlas of Eastern Wisconsin.  For cryin' out loud, I didn't even know there was such a thing!  I'm anxious to study it and find some new things.  That whole Eating Local thing last month was great, but 'round here, it can be tough.  This "atlas" ought to make it easier.  I took some pics today, mostly out the car window, but this view made me pull over and get out.  Get Out!  God, I love everything about this -- the patchwork farmland, the gorgeous sky, the water.  I wonder if DH would like to move... the house.  I'd have to have my house; I love my house!

I feel better -- good, bright, happy.  So today was nice.

16 September 2005

It's handled

I was just reading about Lance Armstrong and "his handlers."  Huh?  They're P.R. people, aren't they, struggling to keep the spotlight on ol' Lance, his name in the news, endorsement and licensing offers rolling in?  Well, they must be doing an okay job -- I noticed his name this morning -- but the fact that Lance has "handlers" is kind of sickening.  Has comes off as arrogant -- has he always been that way?  I wonder if he really is.  I'm not sure that's even the right word -- he seems even beyond arrogance.  Is there a word for that?  Am I the last to know?

Mdd's home sick today -- a late summer cold.  I wonder if something's going around.  I talk to a machine when I call her in, so no one to ask.

We're a four-car family -- and as sick as that sounds, especially with gas still over $3/gallon in these parts, I'm without wheels today.  Ai needed some transmission work and it was supposed to be done yesterday, but guess what?  Yeah.  Kt's at school and DH rode the ferry across the lake yesterday for a work thing, so Ai has my car and dropped me off at work on her way to school this morning and she has to work this afternoon/evening and, well, fingers are crossed that I'll find a way home tonight.

I cast off the Cash Iroha part of my sleeve and cast on the Blossom part and I'm amped about this sweater -- I hope the feeling holds.  There are just a few Blossom rows to go; I think I'm going to block them as soon as it's off the needles.  On the weekend itinerary is a meet-up with Mom at the farmer's market tomorrow -- early -- and then driving down to a shop I've never been to before, The Knitting Room in Fond du Lac.  I'm on a mission and I think they've got what I need!  Football on Sunday.  Check out one of the cutest Packer fans I've ever seen.  All little Henry needs is a little cheesehead!

15 September 2005

Island in rear view

All of a sudden, I only have a few more rows 'til the Cash Iroha/main part of the second Williamsro sleeve is finished!  Sleeve Island will be in my rear view by week's end.  I'll still have the Blossom part, but it's all stockinette and only a few inches.  I'll be casting on the body ASAP -- I'd like to have that baby finished by this time next month.  Woo!

Dsc05423 Dsc05424 Dsc05426_1

I filled a bag with walnuts last night.  They were plentiful, you see, but not always desirable.  The husk is often cracked when I find them on the ground and sometimes the crack doesn't seem too bad, so I pick 'em up.  Well, here's what I found in the middle of a cracked and somewhat squishy walnut last night.  Tiny little worms -- eeewwwww!  Made me want to put on gloves.  There will be ongoing inspections of the harvest.  I'm sure my cute assistant, Scamp, will continue to help.  He's become so lovey-dovey the last few months.

Dsc05431I didn't know that Ai wasn't finished with her hood when I snapped the picture a few weeks ago.  A few days later, she was painting words -- looks pretty darn cool, if I may say so, and even if her car doesn't have a butt.  I'm glad y'all had a good chuckle over that.  And thanks for the nice comments on the shawl, too!

14 September 2005

My Red Barn Pansy Kershawl

KershIsn't it beautiful?  I just love it!  I did not, in fact, block it with pins or anything, either; I soaked it for a good, long time in a Eucalan bath and then just draped it over the shower rod.  It was "telling me" that that's all it needed, and I believed it.  The shawl knows best.

Project:  Kershawl, my variation of Caryl's Kerchief in which one just keeps knitting 'til the yarn runs out

Yarn:  Hand-dyed sportweight wool from Red Barn Farm, "Pansy" color

Needles:  US7 Addi Natura circular

Started August 24, completed (that is, it was off the needles) September 5, 2005.

There are a few "design features," most notably the little off-center jog of the last repeat because I must have mis-marked the center stitch.  I did have to tink back the very, very long cast-off row and rip back an additional row because I ran out of yarn.  I pulled off what I thought was sufficient yarn for the cast-off, considering that I wasn't using beads, but not considering that I'd made it SHAWL size, not kerchief size.  I hesitated for five minutes, considered Dad's invitation to raid the closet for whatever close-match wool sweater I could find that would give me the needed inches -- it wasn't much more than just inches -- but I knew I had to rip and re-do, so I slipped the stitches off the needle.  No turning back then...

Dsc05420It's a lovely morning -- cooler, brighter and drier than it's been in a while.  We had a whopping thunderstorm roll through last evening, with winds in the 60 mph range.  There was a lot of banging on the south side of the house as the wind blew and rain poured and Mdd wondered what it was.  "Walnuts," was hubby's reply.  I've got some harvesting to do!!  We lost two branches on another tree -- they didn't break off completely, so look pretty awful just dangling as they are.  They're high up and it's going to be tricky getting them down.

I'll tell you, it's hard enough, sometimes, for me to remember what I wanted to post about between typing the title and moving the cursor to the actual body, but when there's wine involved...  It occurred to me that I didn't sign on and post the other night just to tell you that I'd had some wine or to declare my love for Betty White (she's been on my mind, too, because I recently saw her in some Boston Legal reruns and she's still got it -- that sweet, sweet smile accompanying the verbal daggers).  I did kinda-sorta mention the subject I had in mind, but the whole Password tangent kind of overshadowed it.

I've gone to two art events with DH this year -- these are the first in many, many moons -- and I know how to pick 'em, I'll tell ya, because both were FABULOUS!  While not a chatterbox, I can usually hold my own with small talk, but one reason I avoid these gatherings is because I absolutely HATE being the spouse and answering all those spousal questions.  I know that this is a situation that all spouses encounter in the occupation-related gatherings of their partner.  While at an event with your lawyer husband, doctor husband, accountant husband, insurance salesman husband, welder, electrician, carpenter, etc., husband, is it usually assumed that you also work in that field?  It seems to me that in the arts fields, it IS assumed, like artists attract -- painters & potters, pianists & cellists.  I think I felt some airs, "how could you understand, you're not part of the club, that's a stupid question" -- not enough to spoil my evening, but a little grating.  Perhaps it's just me -- I've been a little emotional and knit-picky lately.  But that observation, my dears, is what I intended to post on Saturday night.

It's not just an occupational hazard, it happens with certain colors of hair, too, doesn't it, Kt/Ai?  We've talked a few times about how people always feel the need to point out other redheads to them -- as if they have a secret language or an automatic attraction, copper tresses & strawberry blonde.  Heh.

And then Mdd tells me last night that we are a family with cars that have no butts.  She doesn't like my car or Ai's (both wagons) because they don't have butts, neither does her dad's van, and even Kt's Saab is a hatchback -- no butt.  When she gets a car, it's going to have a butt!

Out of the mouths of babes, even teen-age ones...

13 September 2005

What the...?

Forgive me.  There are no pictures of Kershawl today -- hopefully, tomorrow.  The wild, woollies carried on way longer than usual yesterday.  Three-fifths of my family had doctor appointments sprinkled throughout the day, there were meetings to attend, forms to fill out, yadda-cetera.  I'm getting up way before the sun these days, too, and it was extra-dark this morning because of rain.  I tried.

Oooh, but Kershawl is an absolute FO -- not a "being blocked" FO.  I wove in the ends (all two!) and then draped it over my shoulders for a while last night, even though the a/c was on.  It's just perfect -- and cooler weather arrives tomorrow!  I'm anxious to start another with the yarn I bought over Labor Day weekend.

Do y'all wear your shawls?  I nearly wore out my Shapely last year.  But the one I knit for my sister has yet to be worn -- she feels "too dressy" in a nothing-but-garter-stitch shawl -- and another sister made a comment using the word "grandma" in relation to wearing a shawl.  I believe I pointed out that statistically and numerically, she could be!  Anyway, these are pretty utilitarian shawls I've knit and they're easy to wear layered over a shirt or even a lightweight sweater, and I wonder how I'd feel about something more lacey.

12 September 2005

Word association

It's a wild and woolly day.  Unfortunately, the woolly part doesn't have anything to do with sheep.

Tomorrow:  "Kershawl" is complete and loved, flaw(s) and all; pictures at 11:00 (or so).

11 September 2005

A-okay

No hangover this morning -- you're all very sweet for asking -- but I did sleep in a bit.  Since the brunch crowd departed yesterday, I've been hangin' loose and not doin' much this weekend -- and it feels great!  I did have to dress up a teensy bit for the encounter with wine and art last night, but that wasn't too stressful and, obviously, the wine helped...  Honestly, I think I only had four glasses of wine and the first was nonalcoholic.  Like I said, I don't drink very often and so when I do, well, it doesn't take much to make me kind of loopy.  Kt came in as I was attempting to blog last night and she was cracking up -- I used to find it funny when my mom was tipsy, too.  Then I had her read my post before I went up -- she was laughing her butt off, so I figured it was okay to keep it up rather than delete it.  I was totally prepared to delete it.  For the record, DH drove and he had much, MUCH less wine than I.

So, on Friday night, I cast on a knit just a few rows of the Williamsro sleeve.  Yesterday, I wound some yarn for Kt -- a very Point 5-ish hank that we bought up north last month -- so she can take it to school and create something.  I also wound a few more hanks of the Cash Iroha for Williamsro and some cotton that doesn't have a project yet.  No knitting yesterday!  There's a Packer game this afternoon, though, and I'll be knitting.  I hope Captain Favrelous comes out slingin' and that he and his merry band of football fellas can prove the naysayers wrong this season.  Go Pack Go!!

10 September 2005

Password

I've had some wine tonight.  IUt doesnpt happen bevery ofetne.  There will be typos.  Continue readign at your own risk; it's a pain in the ass to correcdt them.

Okay, so, "Passowrd," remember Allen :Ludden nad his beautiful wife, Betty Whte (Oh, I LOVE her so much, I could just cry).  I loved that show.  OIn elementerary school, I used to pretned I was sock so I could stay home from school and watch game shoes, especially "Let's Make A Deal' nad Passowrd.

It's hard to type your passsowrd correctly when you've had "some wine>."  At least, hit's hard tiwbhtout having to hit backspCEA  hunderd tiemes.  It's harder to type when y9u're drunk than it is to talk.  Try it sometimele.

So.  MaCk couldn't come today becauys he's had sleeping issues and that means that his momt has had sleepign issues, too, and she's in pain -- big time pain in her bakc.  I todl her that she nedds a msxsssgage.  Her chriorporactor told her that , too.  So Dad came, and Grandma came, and bmy brother and his wife came for brunch.  It was nice.

I went to a "thing" with DH tonight and No, I don't do art.  I'm more of a craftgsperson.  I knit, I embroider, I can e chairs, aI make moscaics -- we;l;;. one or two.  It was nice.  Man, there are a whole lotta talelntedd people ou thtere -- in my own back yardn.  In my house, tooo.

Bed.

09 September 2005

Tastes like...

Timon...not much!  Mdd said that the giant puffball didn't taste like much.  I told her that mushrooms, in general and regardless of size (no matter how impressive), have very mild flavor.  I think that most of the people I know who dislike mushrooms object much more to the texture than the flavor.  Am I right?

It's Friday!  Mdd's going to her first high school football game tonight -- the planning has been going on for days!  Kt is coming home tonight for the weekend, mainly because we'll be having visitors that she'd like to see, but also because she'd like to grab a few things she forgot.  M*c will be coming over for brunch tomorrow with his mom and dad and maybe a brother.  And he's going to meet his grandpa!  My brother and his wife are coming, too.  I haven't finalized the menu yet -- I have to do that yet today and then go shopping.

I think DH has a short list he'd like me to tackle this weekend, but otherwise I'll be visiting -- and deciding which wool I want to get on the needles!  The other Williamsro sleeve?  A sock?  One of the two or three Tanguy hats due by Christmas?  Decisions, decisions.

Have a great weekend!

08 September 2005

Is it a balloon? a basketball?

Dsc05373Dsc05372No.  It's a mushroom!  I'm told that it's not even a record-breaking mushroom in these parts, but it sure looks like it should be!  DH spotted this giant puffball in our ravine when returning from a walk with Mickey.  Mdd went down later to harvest it and will take it to school (a little extra credit never hurts) for her "You In Nature" class and where her teacher will actually prepare it and they'll all get a taste.  Looks like there should be plenty to go around.  I don't recall that I've ever had puffballs, specifically, but I have had other types of wild mushrooms and fungi in the past, as well as fiddle-head ferns and cattails in spring, and, well, YUM!

I got a lot done around the house yesterday.  Cleaning, organizing, tossing, filing... no blocking of the Kershawl, but the top of my washer and half the dryer are visible and lint-free!  For fibery fun, I did fondle the stash a bit -- boxed and bagged and organized that, too, and decided that I don't need any more right now.  Not that I'd turn any away at the door.

New Knitty -- I've only had the quickest glance at patterns, but I think I'm going to feel the love.  Oh yeah.

06 September 2005

Kershawl

Dsc05371Caryl's Kerchief-more-of-a-Shawl is finished except for blocking.  I'd like to give it a soak and pin it out tonight; we'll see how it goes.

We did go north this weekend and I'm glad.  It was very quiet at the lake for the last big weekend of the summer -- the weather was nice, so that was a little surprising, but also fine by me.  It was pretty low-key -- card games, knitting (me), reading, s'mores.  We bought milk on the way and I must have had my mind on something else when I agreed that a gallon of milk would be enough for 2+ days/8 people -- we arrived Saturday afternoon and by bedtime, we were down a half-gallon.  So we also went "to town" on Sunday for milk and whatever, which included a couple of yard sales and the consignment shop where I bought the yarn for the shawl on my last visit... where I bought more yarn on this visit...

Dsc05370I decided in the car that I was going to finish the shawl this weekend -- it seemed appropriate.  My nephew (he helped me wind the hank into a ball a few weeks ago) was also at the lake and he seemed impressed with the fact that the big ball of yarn had been nearly used up.  Here's a better pic of the pattern and it's quite true for color.

We had a quick visit with Kt on our way home and now it's back to business/school as usual.  Except Ai... her first day of classes is tomorrow and it will be a bit different than her last, but no doubt she'll quickly fall in.

Thank you for all the tips regarding black walnuts.  I rolled my eyes when I first heard about driving over them with a car, but I see it is a method employed by many.  The harvest continues!

02 September 2005

Oh, nuts!

Dsc05362Does anyone know what happened to August?  Holy cow.  I don't think I got an August garden picture, but here's the one for September.  Very green.  I need some fall color!

Dsc05363Every year at this time, the garden is sprinkled with the fruit of our black walnut tree.  It was fairly breezy last night during my photo session and a few fell while I was snapping pics.  One of these babies would make a pretty good knot on your noggin if it hit your head on the way down!  I've been tossing these out of my garden for 18 years.  I think it's time I learned how to harvest them.  I gathered a dozen last night, but there are more. 

Dsc05364

I have to get to them before the squirrels, though.

As of this minute, we're still planning to spend one last weekend up north.  It's been a wild see-saw ride, though, with personal feelings and the fact that this will be the fourth weekend in a row that I've NOT been home combined with angst over gas prices and is this "the right thing to do," but it'll be the fourth weekend in a row that I've seen a particular sister and she's always fun and a record could be made, and even though Dad will be at my house NEXT weekend for a short visit, he'll be preparing to leave for home after that and it's now or never as far as visiting up north.  It was SO beautiful a few weeks ago, and promises to be the same this weekend.

I surely do wish I could save the world -- twitch my nose and dry it all up or fix a bridge or beam some folks from there to here or someplace else.  I am so disappointed in how things are going, from reaction to response; that the word "thug" can be used in the same sentence as "New Orleans" today; that people are hungry and sick and continue to die.  I can do my bit and hope and pray that things improve -- and try not to make myself miserable with worry/negative thinking.

01 September 2005

Blue, blue, my world is blue

Well, now I've really done it.  "Love Is Blue" ranks right up there with... (oh, I can't even risk thinking of other titles)... on my "Oh, I Hate That Song List" and now it'll be running through my head all day.  Dumb, sappy lyrics paired with sprightly yet mournful music -- GAG, double-GAG because I used to have to play that stupid song on the piano in the day, too.

I'm kind of blue and swirling here... Mdd $tarted high $chool today, Kt'$ leaving for her $chool today, bought book$ for Ai ye$terday, I can't even bear to look at ga$ price$ anymore, the deva$tation of Katrina i$ impo$$ible to fathom, the co$t$ will be $taggering.  It's not about money, and yet it has to be -- the economic ramifications of a bad situation that just gets worse and worse, shortages, problems of availability...  Yeah, I'm blue -- I don't think I'm sinking, but definitely swirling.

It's been a tough week.  Kind of a tough month.  Change is good -- Kt's ready to go, it's time for all three to start school -- but there's always accompanying angst and frustration.  Maybe being grouchy and even having a blow-up is nature's way of transitioning in some sick way.  I could have written Ann's post the other day, except for the presents and not quite so much cleaning -- at least not at my house.  I vacuummed my sister's in record time last weekend when it was learned that Mom was arriving earlier than planned.  Thankfully, it's starting to subside and I'm hoping to find a more even keel soon.  Man, I haven't struggled over cigarettes so much since Quit Week One -- last weekend and early this week have been huge and I tire myself out with the stupidity of attempting to justify why I should smoke.  I know...

September dawns anew and I'm hoping for better.

Dsc05321Dsc04949close_2Here's something guaranteed to bring a smile -- for me, anyway.  Forgive me, but he's utterly smoochable. When I look at him, I can't help but be hopeful -- for him and all his diaper-clad cohorts!  (Look at how he's changed!)

In the teensiest bit of knitting news ever, I had the ball winder and swift in action last night, and I've been knitting on the Caryl's Ker/shawl.  I measured off the amount needed for last row/bind off last night and should have enough for a few more repeats.  We're going up north this weekend and perhaps I'll finish it.

Margene and Susan and Norma have all got Katrina-relief things going -- I've been laying low in blogland, but I'm sure there are others.  There's always the Red Cross and Salvation Army.  The Green Bay Packers weren't alone on the plane on their way to their last preseason game in Tennessee -- a number of players live or have family in Louisiana and Mississippi.  It will be a somber game tonight and I expect a lot of hurricane talk, but there is nothing like Packer fans when it comes to supporting their team and rallying when help is needed.  Ask 'em.

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