Friday, December 28, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Boy howdy did it snow! One of the most beautiful snows I've ever seen.

This is the view looking north out the front door. That's the mail truck in the distance.

This is the view looking south out the front door. (I was standing on the porch taking these.)

The back yard. There is a highway behind all those bushes.

My clothesline. I've got clothes hanging up in the house on racks. I don't think they would dry outside these days.

I finished the Ocean socks so I now have three pairs of toasty warm socks and won't have to wash socks every night. I've got my thinner socks but I save those for church or dressy occasions.

Zach and I went out at dusk to shovel the sidewalk and driveway. We always get our neighbor's (to the north) house, too, because she's a shut-in but the snow was so heavy that my back was aching by the time we met halfway. The neighbor to the south of us came home while we were shoveling and got his snowblower out and did the driveway where the snowplow had left a huge wall of snow. I take back what I said about snowblowers.

I'm thinking of moving all my stash downstairs if I can find a place for it. The upstairs reeks of cigarette smoke. But maybe it's too late and the damage is done. I'll just have to wash everything and let it air out when spring comes.

I'm working on the pink sweater tonight. I found some more black Woolease so I'll have enough for the hood as well.

I'm also working on my sister's sabbatical socks. Stitch by stitch. Row by row.

Off to get some quality knitting while watching SG-1, season 7. And I haven't even mined Atlantis yet. Come June when the cable deal runs out, I'm canceling cable permanently. I won't be tempted again.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Warning! Snark attack.

I'm almost done with the Ocean socks. I might have finished last night (or at 6 a.m. this morning when I was up still knitting for reasons I will discuss later) but I held up the second sock next to the first one and discovered I had an extra pattern repeat on it so I had to frog back, pick up stitches and turn the heel again.

I hope to finish tonight. I really need the extra socks. I can't find the pair I knitted last summer. I'm sure they will show up by spring. Or maybe August, more likely.

These are snug, which I like. My other Woolease socks are huge on me. They grow with each wearing.

This is what I got in the in-law gift exchange. My sil's boyfriend had my name and bought me some Lion Brand Organic cotton in pecan (one skein) and a pair of size 17 wooden knitting needles with my initials burned into the top. I've been searching my stash of books and patterns and all the available online patterns to see what I can make with one skein and I think I've settled on a cloche of some kind. I thought about a baby hat and booties but I wouldn't want baby things that had to be hand-washed so I won't do that to anyone else. Especially since the only person I know right now who is pregnant is a doctor and I'm sure she doesn't have time to do any of that.

I can't get over how soft this cotton is. I don't know if I can work with Peaches & Cream ever again.

Well, of course I can. I'm versatile.

I guess my sil liked my gift. I knitted a pair of socks, a cloche and the Creeping Fern scarf. Or whatever the heck I named it. And I knitted a wee sock out of Christmas yarn (and it came out beautifully striped) as an ornament. Apparently her mother had knitted her one years ago and she lost it so she was glad to get another one.

I've got one sleeve to go on Zach's Janda. And the hood. I didn't mind the pink in Red Heart but the black was a nightmare. Not only was it so coarse to the touch but it was a different gauge. I had two skeins of Woolease left over so I used that for the sleeves. The gauge was near-identical and the feel of it is similar. Why is one color soft and another like cardboard?

I think I am done with Red Heart aside from what I have left in my stash. And that is a considerable amount.

So I'm not sleeping these days. Tom came home from hunting with some life-changing news and I haven't slept a full night since. Plus, I've gained nearly 20 of my hard-fought pounds back. I really hate it when I don't get to be part of decision-making but that's the way it's been for 21 years.

Christmas was a bummer but that's not a surprise either.

My dad is doing much better. I've talked to him twice this week and he really sounds good. That is the best Christmas gift.

I got season 3 of Hamish Macbeth from the library last week. I hadn't seen the two part series ender. Wow. I would have cried but Tom came in during the climax scene and started talking to me while standing in front of the tv. After he left and I rewound it, it just wasn't the same.

I'll shut up now.

Off to knit some more. I've rediscovered the joy of knitting these past few weeks. Now if I could rediscover the joy of UFOs.


Saturday, December 22, 2007


All my shopping and Christmas knitting is done. I really didn't do that much but I had it to do quickly.

My father is much better. Thanks to all who expressed concern. I'm sorry I didn't get back with you. I've been pretty depressed lately. I talked to him Wednesday although it was a short call because he had to do a breathing treatment. I do know that this was a wake-up call. This is a time God has given us to prepare. I think it will be sooner rather than later and that makes me sad. But it also tells me not to take any moment for granted.

Zach finishes his semester with great scores. Straight A's. I'm so proud. I'm also so glad to be out of the car for days on end. I spent a lot of time at school the past couple of weeks because of his study groups. Next semester will be as bad with more travel time since he has two classes in Fond du Lac. Hopefully by his senior year he will be driving.

Yes, he's been behind the wheel of the car a few times. I have to let it be his idea, of course, but he's been doing better with more confidence in himself.

Went to Hobby Lobby today and picked up some more 16" circs in size 3 and 5. I'm trying to round out my collection. I also picked up some acrylic on sale. Some brand I've never heard of but it felt soft and I liked the color. I got enough for a sweater. I want to make an Aran next.

But now I'm making Zach a hoodie. He wanted pink and black and all I could afford was Red Heart Supersaver. It's not too bad. I had to fidget with the needles to get the gauge I wanted and it's soft enough. It will wear well. I'm using this pattern. The body is pink, the hood will be black and the sleeves black with pink stripes.

I've got two pairs of socks on the needles. This pair in Woolease, a light sage green heathery color. And a generic pair in fingering weight sock yarn.

It's raining now. The fog was terrible the past few days and amazing how many people are out there driving in it without their lights on. I know they can see, but we can't see them. It's supposed to start snowing later and we have to drive to Franklin tomorrow afternoon for Tom's family's Christmas party. I still have to wrap my gifts and he still has to start on his. (We have to make the gifts ourselves.)

I'm convinced he has a procrastination gene.

Off to work on pink sweaters.

I hope I'm back for good now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Don't make me say it

It's a little hard to concentrate today. My sister called last night and my father isn't doing very well. He's had emphysema for years and time is taking its toll on him. He's sleeping a lot more, is weak when he tries to stand and gets exhausted moving from the couch to his bed...a distance of less than 12 feet.

I've been thinking of our tempestuous relationship over the years. I never seemed to be able to please him. He would often make fun of me or ridicule me, all for the sake of a laugh. But I never doubted that he loved me. See, I know what his childhood was like. The fact that he was able to love us as much as he did is amazing in light of how neglected he was. How did he learn love when he was shown so little of it growing up?

I know my mother had a lot to do with that. She could grow love in the bleakest heart. And she grew it in our hearts, my sisters and me.

For the first time, she's okay with my sister coming down to help her with Daddy. Always before, she and Daddy would take care of each other and didn't want our help at all. I remember when Mom had heart-valve replacement, he kicked us out (lovingly) because he wanted to take care of his wife. And according to Mom, he did an excellent job.

That she is willing to accept help tells me how scared she is.

I can't get down there for a couple of weeks because of Zach's school. I'm still debating whether to go down just yet. I come from hearty stock, let me tell you, and I'm not convinced the end is in sight yet. He's bounced back from some pretty serious stuff before. Emphysema, double bypass, meningitis, cancer.

But he's on my mind a lot today, especially in light of a decision I've been mulling over for the past several weeks. It certainly makes the decision a bit easier, I think. I can't discuss it publicly but those of you I know pretty well, I can tell you privately.

Oddly, thinking of him only brings to mind the good times. And they were many. He loved to go for drives on Sundays. He loved to take us on vacations. I remember the one vacation he tried to take with Mom without us kids and they ended up coming home days early because they both missed us so much. And we were disappointed because cousin Linda was babysitting and we were going to stay up late and watch Godzilla. Cousin Linda is one of the funniest people I know and watching a Japanese horror flick with her was better than Mystery Science Theater 2000.

I know he is proud of me. I hear it from other people. I also know how hard it is for him to admit it to me. It's okay. He doesn't have to. These things don't matter anymore.

None of that matters. What matters is he's been a good father and a good husband and a good grandpa. If a little cranky at times.

I'm glad I've been able to come to a place of peace in our relationship while there is still time to enjoy it. We've had some pretty good conversations the past few years, without any rancor. And I suspect we will have a lot more.

At least, I hope we will. I'm not ready to say goodbye yet. Don't make me say it, Daddy.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Creeping Fern Scarf

Stitch pattern most likely from Barbara Walker's Treasury. I've seen it out there in many incarnations.

Materials: Any worsted weight yarn or lighter, depending on what you desire. I used Caron Simply Soft Tweed in Sage. I used two skeins of it with a bit left over in the second skein, but you can make it as long as you want. If I had more time I probably would have made it longer.

Dimensions: 58 inches by 7 inches. If you use wool, it will probably block wider but I used acrylic so I didn't bother blocking.

Needles: I used size 8 circulars because they are easier on my shoulders. You could use straight needles as well. Again, needles size will depend on what you're looking for in the finished product.

Gauge: Not important. You can adjust this pattern to make as many repetitions as you want so the kind of yarn and size of needles is entirely up to you.

This is my first pattern so I hope it's okay. Feel free to use it and abuse it. Make a ton of money off of it if you can. Since the main part is the pattern stitch, I hardly feel like I can lay claim to the pattern exclusively. Anyone could come up with this. And probably has.

And now...onto the pattern.

Cast on 33 stitches.**

Knit 6 rows garter stitch.

Row 1 of pattern: Knit 3, p1, k1, p1,*k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, sl 1, k1, psso, p1, k1, p1. Repeat from * one time to last three stitches, k3.

Row 2 (and all even rows): K3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.

Row 3: K3, p1, k1, p1, *k2tog, k1, yo, k3, yo, k2, sl 1, k1, psso, p1, k1, p1. Repeat from * one time to last three stitches, k3.

Row 4: K3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.

Row 5: K3, p1, k1, p1, *k2tog, k1, yo, k5, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, p1, k1, p1. Repeat from * one time to last 3 stitches

Row 6: K3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.

Repeat these six rows until you achieve the length you want.

Knit 6 rows garter stitch. Bind off loosely, weave in ends.

**If you want to make it wider, simply add 12 stitches per pattern repeat. I added 3 stitches (p1,k1, p1) to the first pattern repeat for symmetry. The pattern itself is a 12 stitch pattern.

ETA: I already found a mistake. I put the row repeat too soon. It should start with the k2tog on each odd numbered row.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

We's back

Ha! It was the cable company's outage. And I suspect that's what it's been all along. You should have seen Zach speed dialing trying to get to a tech rep last night in between internet shutdowns. He finally got through and they told him in their not so upfront way that, yes, they were experiencing internet outages.

And then we had another one that lasted the rest of the night.

After an unsuccessful boot-up of the modem this morning, we rebooted the modem and we've been online all day.

Didn't make it to church this morning because there was a wall of snow at the end of the driveway three-feet high. We finally all got out there with our respective snow shovels and got the driveway, our sidewalk and the elderly neighbor's sidewalk. I seriously wonder about people and their snowblowers. Doing it with a shovel was hard work but we were better off for it. Okay, I'll give Warren his because he's in his 70s but the studly young man across the street? This is the guy that uses a riding mower on a yard that is only marginally bigger than ours. less than a quarter acre. And rakes his leaves with said mower.

Same with the young couple across the street from them.

Our next-door neighbor and his wife were out with their shovels while all three of us were out and it was a very nice time.

Oh, well.

I finished the scarf. I'm going to call it Creeping Fern because it looks like the leaves are creeping up the length of it. I'll try to write it out tomorrow. I just used the Fern stitch pattern that I got from who knows where and added a bit to it to make it seem a bit more symmetrical.

I've started on the hat but don't have size 3 circular needles in 16 inch so I'm using size 4 but knitting a bit tighter than I normally do. I'll switch to size 3 dpns when I start decreasing though. Meg has a lot of hair so she probably needs a bit more room. Since it's a cloche, the size won't be as critical around the face.

Then I'll make some fingerless mitts if I have the time. I feel so...strange...knitting monogamously like this. I look at my other projects and whimper but I'm on a schedule and need to be done by Dec 23. Not fair, I tell you. They need to draw names sooner than November.

I was talking with my mother today and realized I have to get Rylee's and Shae's gifts out this week if I want to make sure they get there on time. I still need buttons for Rylee's cardigan and need to weave in the ends on Shae's blanket. I don't know what I was thinking.

Tons of stuff going on behind the scenes here driving my stress level through the roof. I'm not sleeping but I am eating way too much. Nothing of a catastrophic nature but changes are being made that I will be able to talk about eventually. But it's not knitting-related.

At least not entirely.

I'm feeling very one-dimensional with my blog of late, feeling like there is more to me than knitting. I know this is a knitting blog and I still love knitting very much but I feel like I'm more than just a knitter.

There was a discussion on Ravelry about where it wasn't appropriate to knit and it surprised me the number of people who thought there wasn't any place that was inappropriate. Someone knitted while she drove with her knees. Scary, huh? I sure hope she's not in the same state I'm in.

But I got to thinking about it and while I do think that sitting in a meeting knitting could be appropriate, knitting in church isn't. Or knitting while at a performance. Or knitting at a wedding or funeral.

I knitting so important that we can't be away from it for a minute? I can see using it as a stress-buster while stuck in traffic, but grabbing the knitting at every stop light? Or needing to knit so much that you risk yours and others' lives because you can't be away from it that long? Knitting in long lines? Why not? You're not hurting anyone. It's down time anyway. But knitting at a performance that people have worked hard to perfect (or in the case of your children, that they have worked hard to just get the production on) is offensive to me. Why bother going if you're not going to give it your whole attention. And what message does that send to the performers and crew?

And isn't church about God and not about how many inches you can knit on that sock?

Maybe I'm just being obnoxious about it all but it seems like some people are making knitting the end-all, be-all of everything.

So...I've made some decisions about my blog. While it will be about knitting, I'm also going to talk more about things that interest me, that complete me as a person. I also want to talk about more than my mundane day.

You know..."got up, washed dishes, cooked meals, knitted, watched television, went to bed."

I want to be more than one dimension.

So...I may or may not get a bit controversial from time to time. I may talk about religion (although never politics...not that ever) or things dear to my heart.

I may lose readers and for that I would be very sorry. But I would be sorrier to be less than who I am.

I most likely won't be able to blog every day though. Zach's schedule is quite a time-devourer and I will be looking for a part-time job very soon so the time crunch will be on. But I hope to make the blogs more real and more interesting.

And maybe even more interactive.

I so appreciate all of you out there. You've made me feel special, like I had some value to my life. I hope I don't let you down.

But for to knit the Rivendell cloche (see below.)


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Same thing, different day

Still having internet problems. I replaced the cable with one for high speed/hdtv capability and am still having problems. It may be the storm we're having but I doubt it. If it doesn't clear up by Monday, I'll call and have them back to fix it.

Unfortunately, when we lose the internet, we lose our phone as well.

More on this saga later.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fried rented modems at the internet cafe

I've been having internet problems ever since we upgraded. I still don't know exactly what the problem was but I noticed that we've been "renting" a modem from the cable company for the past 8 years at nearly $3 a month. I could own three modems for the amount of money we've been paying out. So I bought a new one and all the headaches that ensued from switching over.

They come to pick up the old modem tomorrow after telling me that wasn't the problem.


So for the past week or so, the internet connection kept going out on me and we'd have to re-set the modem. Seven or eight times a day. And always right in the middle of a blog post. the middle of a couple of blog posts.

It looks like I'm back. At least I hope I'm back.

I'm working on a scarf for my sil for Christmas. I drew her name and the gift has to be handmade. I was going to knit her some socks but the more I think about it and judging from Tom's reaction, I don't think a pair of socks will be as appreciated as I had hoped. I got some Caron Tweed and am knitting a scarf with a fern stitch pattern. It's easy and going quickly. I'll write up the pattern later, once I see for sure it's working.

I also found a pattern for a hat that I love. She's a French teacher so I was looking for a French apparel item and settled on a cloche. Being a huge Lord of the Rings fan myself (she's not but who cares since I'm the one knitting it) I liked the name of this one and when I saw the hat, fell in love. She gets this one but I'm making myself another one. With a name like Rivendell, how could I not?

I'm keeping the socks for me. I know I'll appreciate them.

More tomorrow and maybe some pictures while I wait for the cable guy. I hope he's sharper than the last one. The last one kept trying to disconnect our internet cable because he couldn't figure out why we had two cables. the work order. All this one has to do is pick up the modem and save me $3 a month. How hard can that be?

Books on cd...Angela's Ashes. Just finished Eldest and Rocket Ship Galileo (Heinlein). I've always liked Heinlein's early work, not so sure about his Future History stuff. I think he had some serious problems in his later years. But this one wasn't one of his best.

I love Angela's Ashes though. I've read that , 'Tis, and watched the movie so it's neat to listen to the book as read by the author himself.

More tomorrow and so sorry for not being around.


Friday, November 23, 2007


The sun is shining! Amazing how that can cheer a person up. Professor has spent a good deal of time outdoors today, in short increments, but more than he did last winter. He has a short coat and while I put his sweater on him when he goes out, Tom won't so he won't go out as much when Tom is around.

I have pictures today although not all of them are clear.

First, this is what Angie sent me for winning the contest on her blog. I love it and will knit myself some socks and maybe some footies from the Fixation. Thank you, Angie!!

The generic gloves I knitted from Lion Brand Wool. I was combining a few patterns and messed up the thumb gusset so I had to do some creative knitting to fill in the huge gap by short-rowing. It's not too bad and doesn't really show. They are toasty warm.

These will end up being Zach's gloves. The above pair was supposed to be but he saw me knitting these and begged asked me for them. Since I just want warm hands and it doesn't matter what those hands look like, I acquiesed to his demands request and will let him have these.

This is just an old poncho I knitted last winter. I just knitted two long rectangles and sewed them together but the neck opening was huge and I couldn't keep it on my shoulders so I added a yoke to it. I overguessed the number of stitches I picked up and didn't start the ribbing in time but it comes across with a cowl-like neck and it's warm so I like it.

I couldn't get a very good picture of the hooded sweater. It is brown and even standing in the sunlight, it didn't come out very good. Not to mention it's not a good picture of me. But the sweater looks pretty good on and I love how it turned out.

I'm still working on socks and mittens almost exclusively. I want to find a lacy but hearty scarf pattern but that will have to wait a bit.

Off to buy groceries if I can stand Black Friday crowds.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Merry Thanksgiving

I am still here but the gloomy skies have been getting to me and I've just been in a blue funk. When I get like this I tend to withdraw so I've been on a knitting frenzy instead of reading blogs and ravelry.

I've finished a pair of mittens gloves for Zach that didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. I followed the pattern and the thumb gusset ended up too high so I had to short-row to fill in the gap. It looks a bit weird but fits okay. So I started on another pair and adjusted the pattern a bit. These are coming out much better. In Hufflepuff colors, no less. Not planned, just the wool that I happened to have left over from other projects. I didn't want acrylic for gloves. They just aren't warm enough for Wisconsin winters. (ETA...gloves, not mittens...slapping myself in the forehead)

But the hooded sweater (acrylic) is plenty warm enough for indoors. I love it. I need to wash it before I can get a picture of it but I will try when the sun comes out again (it did for a bit today but I'm afeared I slept through it and woke up to Peter Pan (with Jason Isaacs...deliciously evil as Captain Hook) and a dark house. And a stiff neck. I was sitting up at the time with my knitting in my lap.

I've decided to limit my time on ravelry. There is a certain board there that is immensely popular in which people have supposedly civil debate. But the truth is, they very politely insult each other's positions using inflammatory language. And one thread has gotten terribly graphic. I do tend to be a bit of a prude but this, in my opinion, is over the top.

There are a couple of boards that are nice, like the frugal board, and Via Media (the Episcopalian board) but I think I will delete the rest. Trouble is, it's like having cookies in the cupboard that you know are there but you need to keep checking on. sigh I went through this on AOL a million years ago with the Christian boards in which people got so nasty with each other that I finally canceled my account just to get away from it. It's way too depressing, especially when people can rate your posts on ravelry and I can post something about a personal experience and people will disagree with it in droves. A few people found a particularly painful experience funny.

So...because I need to focus on the positive, especially in light of seasonal depression and gaining some weight back, I am going to focus on the things that uplift me, like the blogs I read, my knitting, my church, my family and my faith. Not necessarily in that order.

I'm still working on the Christmas socks. I had to frog the second sock because I found a dropped stitch way back and it was easier to frog back to the second round than to try to pick up the stitch and ladder it up.

I want to find a challenging pattern, too. I'd never done gloves before and thought they would be challenging but while fun, aren't that challenge I'm looking for. Maybe a lacy scarf for the other Christmas present.

At any rate, I have a turkey roast in the oven that will be done in another 90 minutes or so and will make some StoveTop stuffing and some corn, with some sugar-free pudding for dessert.

And tomorrow I must get back on my diet before I lose all self-control and self-esteem.

Have a happy Thanksgiving all you Americans and a blessed weekend to everyone.

May the fleece be with you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A weekend of FOs

I tried to get pictures but I waited too late and it's too dark so I'm hoping to get them tomorrow.

I finished the hooded sweater, the teddy bear and a poncho I was working on last spring.

I started a pair of mittens for Zach and am searching for a scarf pattern, something lacy I think. I'm working with acrylic so I don't think cables will work well. But maybe something with texture.

I'm continuing work on the Jesse's Flames socks and the Christmas socks.

I won't be able to get a picture of the teddy bear because I already gave it to the woman who ordered it and forgot to get a picture of it first. She asked how much I wanted so I explained about copyright laws and she said she would put some money in the Sunday school fund as thanksgiving for the gift. I thought that was a reasonable solution. But I don't think I will take any more orders for bears. Not because of the money, but because I'd rather knit them for charity. I'm glad the person who wanted it will be happy though. She's a senior citizen who is on a fixed income and wanted something to give her grandchild that didn't have removable eyes and noses. The woman who ordered it is her beautician.

It will all work out for good, I'm sure.

I'm feeling better today and not as snarky, thanks. Every now and then I have a meltdown over the bills. Tom does work hard all year long and doesn't drink or go out with the guys except for the occasional poker game. He doesn't spend much money in the course of the year so I shouldn't begrudge him his one week of vacation.

As long as I get Buffy for Christmas.

I'm back on a sugar-free diet. Not because of my blood sugar; it was fine. But the cravings started up again and I was like a little addict. I went on a binge that I couldn't control. I've found that if I eat some protein when I'm having a craving, it helps the craving go away. So I'm back, I'm determined and I've learned my limitations. I've also gained 5 pounds. Grrrrrr.

I must go. Hannibal is in the kitchen testing the laws of gravity again so I need to put everything out of his reach so I don't have to mop the floor again.

I'm knitting the night away.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Laid back Friday and a rant

I have done next to nothing today besides knitting. I finished the first Christmas sock and cast on for the second one. I love the yarn but I wish I could have come up with the right pattern in cable or some kind of texture. But since I knit this sock under the street light, I needed something simple and easy to see. No easy task with a dark brown sock in the dark in a car in a parking lot under the street light. I'm amazed it turned out as well as it did.

I found several scarf patterns and some mitten patterns that I like. I knew that narrowing down would be the problem. That and deciding on the yarn. Which I can't really afford right now.

Tom left for hunting this morning and took with him a significant amount of the weekly paycheck. It's a sore point for me that he can't hunt around here where it's cheaper but has to go up with his brothers and friends where he has to pay $200 to stay in this guy's house. It's not that the guy has asked for it. Tom thinks it's a fair price to pay. In the meantime, I've spent many a year trying to figure out a way to compensate for that money being gone out of the budget, including the year I went through chemo and we ended up head over heels in credit card debt because of the medicines. Yet, he complains to his buddies that I spend his paycheck (he says it's done as humor...yeah...right.)

I don't get men. I really don't.

So again, in the home stretch for Christmas, I have to figure out how to pay the bills, including the mammogram and bone scan that the insurance company didn't pay for (because they included it in the deductible this year) and the insurance that went up because we bought the truck.

I'm sorry for whining. But if anyone wants to join the pity party, pull up a chair (with your knitting, of course) and we'll get the whine and cheese out.

And don't get me started on smoking. Cigarettes are going up a $1 a pack after January 1st. I asked him if he was going to quit smoking and he said, no.

But anyway...I still need to get the yarn for the Christmas present because it's his sister that is getting it and he thinks a pair of socks is too cheap.

I sure hope he gets a deer this year.

On the plus side, the house is pretty tight this year. I do have some heat leaking from the bathroom window and I can't figure out why. I have double plastic on it and a blanket and towel over the curtain.'s a small leak, much better than last year.

And I didn't have to get into the car today. Not at all. I stayed in my pajamas all day and I might stay in them tomorrow as well. And I watched cable all day. I feel so decadent.

Another plus, my expensive medicine is being prescribed in three month increments, so that's just one co-pay for three months' worth. That's a $60 savings. If you can, look into doing that. The insurance company won't always go for it because it costs them money, but a lot of doctors are trying to go that route.

Well, off to watch Angel and work on the hooded sweater. I should be able to finish it tonight. Then tomorrow I need to finish the teddy bear and work on the sock. I'm not going to start the scarf or mittens until the sock is done though.

And Zach wants some mittens, too, but I'm going to use the yarn leftover from the hat that he's knitting. Real Cascade. I'm going to combine it with some Lion Brand Wool that I have in order to have enough but it will work. I found a nice fair isle pattern or two. Or three.

More decisions to make. Dang.

Off to put my feet up and knit. Professor has been under his wool blanket all day, in his sweater. It has felt a bit chillier today but the heat is set at the same temp so I'm guessing it has to do with humidity.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

We had flurries today!

It lasted only about 5 minutes and they were practially microscopic but it was snow.

I'm free! For the next three days anyway. Zach finished his first college class tonight and Tom is doing the banking and errands tomorrow on his way up north to shoot Bambi so I don't have to get back into the car until Sunday morning for church. I'm positively giddy.

I got a lot done on the lil brown sock (aka Christmas sock.) It's just a generic sock pattern with a 6X2 ribbing at the cuff. I've turned the heel and am on the foot now. I should be done by Sunday so I can start the second sock.

I'm thinking of making a scarf and mittens as well because not everyone understands how long a pair of socks takes to knit and I pair of socks for Christmas? I've been wanting to make a scarf lately but I have so many I can't justify it for myself. Neither Zach nor Tom will wear them so this gives me a chance. I'm debating whether to cable or lace it.

Generic mittens though. Maybe with a fair isle pattern that I can wing unless I find something that strikes my fancy.

I need to finish the bear before Sunday. I just need to stuff it and sew it up. I've got it stuffed from the head down to the waist so it's not like it will take a lot of time.

I'm almost done with the hooded sweater. Just the last sleeve and side to sew up. I'm still debating whether to put the front pocket on but at this stage, I'm thinking no. Mostly because I still have enough yarn to make another sweater and if I use it for a pocket, I might not.

It occured to me today that I haven't done a major project since Zach's Jesse's Flames sweater. Mostly small things so I need to plan a new, big project. Maybe another sweater. I do love them. But this time I want to do something challenging. The problem will most likely be narrowing it down to 50 choices though.

I am back on the diet tomorrow. This tightwadding is hard on me figuring out the calories and such and I've been so bad about keeping track. So I spent a little extra and got the kind of foods I need. It really wasn't so much in the long run. Now I have to get my diet mojo back, which is the hardest part. At least I won't have to worry about a lot of cooking the next few days with Tom gone.

They've got the Christmas decorations up in town. And on. I'm so not ready to do that at home. My tree is only 3 ft tall because we have no room for a bigger tree, but even then, it requires a lot of rearranging to figure out the best place for that won't get knocked over by the boys. Last year they knocked it over the first day while they were chasing each other.

I've got to put the truck in the driveway and go to bed. (We can't park on the streets from Nov 1-Apr 15 and yes, they give you a ticket even though it's not snowing. Just because they can.)


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Not so much WIP Wednesday

Zach's Jesse's Flames socks. I haven't worked on them much because I had a four day weekend of not sitting in the car and got a lot of work done at home. Non-knitting work, like baking, laundry, cleaning, sorting...stuff like that. I'm still looking for the right sock pattern for the Christmas socks. I'm almost ready to go with plain vanilla except this yarn is so nice I need to show it off with just a bit of texture.

We have cable again and I hate to admit it but I guess I really did miss it. I got a lot of knitting done yesterday (on the Christmas sock which is sadly frogged...again.) And I saw me some Star Trek ..lots of it.

And I taped Angel this morning so I will watch that tonight when I get home (at 9 p.m.)

Today Zach has a study group at 2, a make-up class from the holiday Monday at 4:30. He then will leave that class after an hour to go to his regularly scheduled psychology class. Tomorrow, He has class from 12:30 - 2:30 and from 5:30 - 9:30. I have to take Tom's truck in to be serviced at 2 so we will be there for quite a while tomorrow. Fortunately, it's his last Thursday evening class so that will free us up a bit.

No all day classes next semester although he has two in Fond du Lac which makes for a very long day anyway. Five and six hour days, counting commute.

At least I get the summer off. Right.

I've been introducing sugar back into my diet, checking my sugar frequently. I've been bordering on hypoglycemia. I don't get it, why my blood sugar falls when I put sugar back into my diet but I'm not complaining since sugar-free stuff is a) expensive and b) hard on the stomach (and friends.)

On the idiot side of me, I got my cable bill today and it had a deficit amount on it. I couldn't figure out why because it had be listed as making two payments last month and I was sure I hadn't done that. So I called and yep...I made two payments last month. One of the problems of paying online, I guess. So not only do I not have a payment this month, I've got a huge dent in the December payment, too.

I guess this explains why I didn't have any money left over this month.

Off to get ready for the busy day in the car, knitting and listening to Eldest.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Where is the love, man?

Did you ever have days when nothing was fun, when all the things you loved doing before you just didn't love doing right now?

I am so there.

I don't know if it's a case of "have to" or what but I don't want to knit the things I have to knit. The teddy bear is just sitting there half-stuffed. The sabbatical sock is a ball of yarn. The Christmas socks for Meg have been started and frogged at least 6 times since yesterday.

I love knitting socks. I just apparently hate having a schedule for it.

And I'm tired. I've not been sleeping much lately. It's that insomnia thing that will haunt me into my old age, I'm sure. It's sure getting old though. I was up at 5 a.m. looking at patterns and watching Apt Pupil, until I put the patterns down and was glued to the television. Ian McKellan is a fantastic actor. Wow.

And this was after The Fountain a bit earlier. That might have been the reason I couldn't sleep. I do have issues with people dying young and facing my own mortality at 3 a.m. is a frequent occurrence of mine. But Hugh Jackman is an incredible actor in that movie. I couldn't believe the range of acting he gave. Double wow.

But...I did win something. I've never won anything in my life but I won something from Angie's blog contest. I'll let you all know what it is as soon as I get it.

Well, maybe not the exact moment. I am, after all, a bit of a procrastinator.

And since Angie had an exposition about exercise today, I exercised. Or rather, Professor exercised me. He has started scratching on the door when he wants to walk. Bless his heart, just once a day, but the past few days I haven't been able to because I've had an infected toe. And being a diabetic, I took it very seriously. I finally had to skip church yesterday so I could leave my shoes off long enough for it to heal. And I did a lot of soaking in epsom salts.

And I ended up freecycling the treadmill after all. I mean...the guy needed it and would have used it. It was gathering dust in my basement and it would have been a few months before I ever got around to using it. If I ever did. So I made someone happy and that felt really good. far as knitting. I've got to get started on the Christmas socks tonight. I got a book from the library today: Socks Socks Socks. I found a pair in there I thought I might like to knit, called Vine Lace Socks. I thought about cabled socks but one of the patterns pointed out that cables use a bit more yarn and since these have to be women's large, I don't think I'm going to have anything to spare. So I will make them lace.

If this pattern doesn't work, she's getting plain vanilla.

The yarn is Pace and the color is bark. It sure looked chocolate brown until I had it next to my brown hoodie. It's got a lot of gray in it, but it is still very beautiful. Splitty, but beautiful.

I'm still working on the Jesse's Flames socks, the Slytherin Crest bag, the teddy bear, sewing up the seams on the hoodie and the Christmas sock...once I actually start it for real. I'm hoping to have pictures tomorrow.

And *cough* cable, too. The cable is being turned back on tomorrow. Tom is making it sound like I was miserable without it but the truth is I was having to entertain him because he didn't have anything to watch. I was spending a lot of time looking through the library system for documentaries, because that is his choice of television watching. But the libraries have only so many. Movies and tv series make up the bulk of video/dvd selection.

He would go through five documentaries in one day. It would take me probably two hours to locate those dvds.

So I'm giving him back the History Channel for peace of mind.

And I don't mind having Star Trek back either.

Not to mention (be still my heart) Buffy and Angel.

I still want Buffy for Christmas. (she says with one eyebrow arched.)

I think I'm going to go to bed now. I don't care if it's only 8:30, I only got about 2 hours sleep last night and when I tried to take a nap today, Professor became hysterical because some kids were walking a dog outside. Twice. He got a payback when I was out walking him. A dog went ballistic at the window when we walked by and he tried to crawl up my coat to get away from him.

I'm jazzed about winning the contest but my sleepy eyes won't stay open.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

In which our heroine rambles incessantly about everything

I'm still here just enduring one of the busiest weeks so far. Zach's schedule, between his increased class load and study groups and meetings has been hectic to say the least. Plus, my work load at home has increased since I have become a zealot about tightwadding. Cooking from scratch takes a bit longer; not buying but rather baking snacks is definitely more work. And then there is knitting. I've been working on a pair of heavy socks for Zach out of the Jesse's Flames colors: yellow, red, and black. I like the way it's turning out but it got put to the side yesterday when I received a call commissioning a teddy bear for someone at church.

I got a call from one of the women at church requesting one of the charity bears I knitted for Haiti. She has a customer who was looking for a doll or teddy bear for her grandchild that didn't have removable eyes or noses. She's asked me to make one and will pay me for it. However...I can't charge her for it because it's not my pattern but I will still make it for her. I'm using scrap yarn so I'm not out any money. Just time.


It would be nice to be able to make some money right now and maybe I will be able to come up with my own patterns in the future but for now, good will seems to be all that I am recouping. And that will have to be enough.

I may ask her to just put something extra in the offering plate at church and leave it to her conscience.

Today I will put together the hooded sweater from Lion Brand. I hope to wear it to church tomorrow.

Also today I will be cleaning up the basement. I had planned to freecycle my treadmill but when it finally came down to giving it away, I couldn't. I got that treadmill with money my email loop of many years had donated after my cancer treatment. I need to actually use it now instead of letting it collect dust in the basement. And so...I plan on a cleaning frenzy in the basement. It desperately needs it regardless of the treadmill.

I...ahem...picked up a few pounds...four to be exact after the stress-eating frenzy I've been on the past couple of weeks so I am back to watching my calories with a bit of a difference. Since I'm cooking from scratch it's a bit harder to figure out the calories and not as easy to find those cheap-caloric snacks so I'm working at the nibbling and trying to go for filling up a few times a day instead. Also, I've introduced sugar back into my diet in small doses. Splenda is quite expensive and sugar-free snacks are outrageous cost-wise. My sugar this morning was.....74.

Excellent. I am watching it more closely now that I am eating sugar and I'm not binging on sweets by any means. I do take my diabetes seriously and don't plan on having my sugar out of control. But this frees me up for more choices in eating.

Everything in moderation.

Speaking of moderation....*cough, cough*...the cable guy called last night and made me an offer I didn't refuse. I had just read in the Journal Sentinel online that the cable companies in Wisconsin have lost an inordinate amount of subscribers. The paper was trying to place the blame on the Big Ten channel but the cable companies were saying it was the costs that were driving people away.

So they called last night and offered basic extended digital cable with a higher internet speed for $30 a month less than what we were paying before. Since this is only $20 a month more than what we would be paying for just the internet, I took him up on it. The deal is for 6 months and the guy said we could just cancel again at that time and someone would call and offer us a deal again.

Yeah...$50 a month savings would be a big deal but so is $30. If for $20 I can keep Tom happy with his poker watching and the documentaries, it's a small price. He works hard. Plus it was getting hard to find documentaries for him at the library.

And maybe I will spend less time online and more time actually doing some knitting...instead of just reading about other people knitting.

And I will get to see Buffy and Angel again. And all the Star Trek shows. And SciFi channel. And a clear picture on PBS.

But I still want Buffy for Christmas.

Off to work on the basement and settle in for knitting tonight. I got Miracle at Oxford from the library and have watched it three times already. I may get another watching before I have to turn it back in. I loved that movie. And Ghost Rider. It was excellent. I'm planning on watching The Fountain tonight although Tom says I won't be able to knit much while watching it since I will have to watch every minute of it or I will miss important plot points.

Okay, I'm off already.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WIP Wednesday

This is the sabbatical sock before I frogged it.

This is the sabbatical sock in the Jaywalker pattern. I actually am ready to graft the toes now but this was taken this morning. Now I can't make up my mind which one I like better. I think I need to take a time out and not kitchener anything until I'm decided. I hate indecision. Dang. The color is pretty true in both pictures.

In the meantime I've got to get busy on the Christmas socks for my sister-in-law since that is around the corner and socks take time. I haven't decided on the cable but it's a lovely chocolate brown so I'm going with maybe cables or something. Not too busy because Meg is very much an earth-mom-no-frills-kind of person. Maybe just a nice cable down the side.

The (nearly) finished Stor Rund Dug blanket. It's a better picture but only if you embiggen it. Technically it's still a WIP since I still haven't woven in the ends yet. I do like how this turned out, even down to the double crochet/ripple edging...which of course doesn't show up in the picture too well.

My secret project is coming along. I should be finished with it by next Wednesday. I hope.

I started on some socks for Zach tonight because I got to the grafting point in the sabbatical socks and didn't want to finish up just then. I'm going with yellow, red and black to go with his Jesse's Flames sweater. Nothing much fancy to them but I've got the yarn left over and he likes my socks so I might as well knit them because...well, just because.

I finished Night by Elie Wiesel. Wow. I'm just speechless that such a tiny book could effect me in such a way. I was riveted and couldn't stop listening. At the end of the book, the narrator read the speech Mr. Wiesel gave when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. I was enthralled with that, too. I've read tons of books on the Holocaust but this one really jumped out at me.

I feel guilty that tonight I'll be watching some Monty Python episodes on dvd but I honestly need some humor right now.

I've noticed that I'm not watching the dvds as much as I used to watch television. I've been doing some baking and organizing and have gotten so used to the silence that I don't think to turn anything on for background. Not even music. I turn the music on if I'm going to spin since it's hard for me to follow anything on dvd while I spin. I wish I could listen to my opera collection I inherited from my late father-in-law but we need new speakers for his old turntable and haven't found any yet.

Tomorrow will be another long day but there won't be many more of them so I bide my time. I heard snow is predicted for Friday. Brrrrr. It got a bit cold in the car tonight. I had some votive candles lit and that helped but they were scented (you can't buy plain ones anymore) and they give me headaches. I broke down and turned the car on with the heat at 90 degrees for a couple of minutes and it kept the car warm the rest of the time I was waiting, which was over an hour. I know I should just move indoors and I might do that tomorrow. I should have done it tonight so I could have watched dance class in the cafeteria. Maybe next time.

Need to finish dishes and get to bed to watch Monty Python and knit the night away.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My busy day and Night

Whoa. Gas jumped up to $3.15 a gallon Sunday meaning trips to Beaver Dam will be better thought out and more infrequent. We have to go daily for Zach's school except on Fridays and Saturdays and I wish Tom's work would implement direct deposit so I wouldn't have to make a special trip to deposit the miniscule paycheck on Friday but of course that would make sense so they're not going to do it.

So...Zach had to be there at 10 a.m. and his last class got out at 10 p.m. I packed two lunches and two suppers (both sandwiches and chips) lots to drink, books on cd, socks on needles and the Nintendo DS. I know it seems ridiculous but it all adds up if we drive back and forth on the two days he has a break in his schedule.

I got a lot done on the sabbatical sock and will have pictures tomorrow. But I got even more done on New Super Mario Bros. for DS. Sometimes you just have to take a break from knitting.

So far it's not too cold in the car. It was about 32 degrees tonight but I had my Gryffindor blanket (acrylic) and a votive candle lit. If it gets unbearable I'll move indoors. I can sit in the entryway and watch CNN or go back by the library and curl up on the couches where it's nice and quiet. Still...I prefer the car. It's like an extension of home.

Zach got his schedule for next semester and it's very practical. As I suspected, he has classes up in Fond du Lac, but just two days a week and two days in Beaver Dam. There is a nice commons area up in FDL so I won't have to sit in the car while I wait. And better yet, tuition isn't due until January and with the scholarship we just about have it all.

My boy is in the kitchen right now, doing dishes (he volunteered) and baking some oatmeal bars from a recipe he came up with on his own. I'm impressed on so many being, he hates oatmeal. Go figure.

I'm listening to Night by Elie Wiesel while I knit in the car. At times it was hard to knit through the tears but I really love this book. But I can't for the life of me understand how anyone could treat people like that. Zach listened for a bit then wanted to talk about Fred Phelps so I shut it off and let him talk. I put my knitting down and gave him my full attention because I could see how important it was to him. When he was done, I realized the connection he made between Nazi Germany and a person so filled with hatred toward gays that he believes God is happy when one dies. It breaks my heart.

I will never understand that attitude but as painful as it was, I reminded Zach that God is no happier when people hate Fred Phelps than he is when Fred Phelps hates gays.

I was going to write today on Comfort and Vanity but I am so thoughtful about the things we talked about and what I listened to on audiobook that I will put it off until tomorrow.

And now I must clean house and go to bed. I've been getting up early to get started on my day sooner. Much knitting to be done. And spinning and baking and frugaling.

Oh, and I turned the furnace on for real today. It was 54 this morning when I woke up so I warmed up the house but turned it back down when we left since Tom likes to sleep cold anyway. But I needed toasty when I got home so it's on again. But just up to 60. We can live with the temps at 60.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Random Sunday

What a difference winterizing makes. In spite of a brief hour of furnace the other morning, I haven't turned it on since in spite of temps in the low 30s at night. Sure we're wearing plenty of clothes but not so many we can't function (although I am sitting here with one foot in hot, hot water and epsom salts so I'm feeling pretty toasty right now.) Zach and I worked on putting plastic on the outside windows yesterday (did the inside ones a few weeks ago) and tonight after Tom leaves we'll put a blanket up on the north wall in his bedroom. We've struggled every since we moved here with that wall being the coldest in the house so I've got a blanket (on sale at StuffMart three years ago) with a wolf scene on it that will become a "mural" on his wall. I think this will make a difference for now.

Have you ever had someone make a demeaning remark and not catch it until much later? That happened to me this morning after church. She didn't mean it to be mean but it was just an example of someone not recognizing the importance of something in your own life. I mentioned that I knitted while I waited for Zach at school and she immediately jumped on it inviting me to volunteer in her classroom since all I was doing was just knitting. I mulled it over and considered it and on the way home it hit me that she viewed the knitting as something wasteful. To be honest, most times that's the only time I really get to sit down and knit. I spend a lot of time working on my home, making things from scratch, baking, fixing the place up, organizing and winterizing. Not to mention tightwadding (one of my favorite things.) I really view those times when I can sit down (and this winter it will be inside the college where they have lovely couches to sit on) in the car, listen to books and knit to my heart's content. This winter I might bring my kick spindle with me and get some quality spinning done.

Sure I get an hour or two in at night while I'm watching a movie or tv series in bed but I like to have each moment of my time being productive. It's hard for me just to sit and do nothing. I haven't gotten to the point where I take my knitting with me to wait in line, mostly because I have never had to wait in line for any length of time yet so it's like I would no sooner get it out of my bag and get ready than it would be my turn.

I feel like I do earn my keep and apparently my husband thinks so, too, since he has never really pushed me out the door to find a job. In fact, I mostly get the idea he likes me being home.

So anyway...I'm sure she didn't mean it. She's a lovely woman, funny and great to be around, but it does make me think how I view things important to other people. And that's the important lesson for me today.

I took the bears in for the Haiti box and got lots of kudos for them. I have a special bear I'm going to start on tonight. I'll let everyone see it when I'm done but for now...shhhhh.

Last night I couldn't decide what I wanted to be knitting. I frogged two things: the fingerless mitts and the hot water bottle cozy. Today I want to knit four different things all at the same time.

Well, Zach is fixing supper tonight and I decided to take the rest of the day off and do the baking tomorrow. I'm off to watch Dead Like Me. And then Jonathan Creek.

P.S. Why would a healthy man use a hand-powered vaccuum to suck up leaves when it would take less time and be less noisy to rake them by hand? I can rake more than he does by hand and I can get done in half the time. And I'm in pitiful shape. Sorry but this noise is getting to me (with my quiet tv-less house these days.) I've been watching him go over the same patch three times trying to get these stubborn leaves to jump up into his bag via vaccuum.


Friday, November 2, 2007

The boy immortalized

Zach took this picture of Hannibal as he was trying to get Zach's apple pie. He went to and made it up into lolcat. I just had to show it off.

I swear it looked better in person

Dang camera.

Stor Rund Dug, the worsted version, done but not washed or the ends sewn in. And a lousy picture. I'll try to get a better picture this weekend but we will be doing more winterizing and baking so the weekend is going to be pretty full.

I started on some fingerless mitts because I can't find the ones I knitted last year and my hands are cold so I'm working on some new ones. I can't find my wool socks I knitted over the summer either. I know I put them somewhere I could get to them when winter came. I just don't have a clue where that is. I need better organization.

I haven't gotten far on the Jays but I will work on them tonight. I am really drooling to work on the chocolate brown socks but I need to finish these first. Darn this borderline OCD!

I made a library run today for the weekend. Got documentaries, travelogues and British mysteries and dramas. I already have a few comedies (Dead Like Me--one of Tom's favorites) to watch as well. I'm amazed that we really haven't missed cable tv at all. We do get some fuzzy local stations so I can get some local news and weather, but that's all we watch it for. I'm sure I'll watch PBS this weekend. We do get that channel pretty watchable-y. I like the British comedies, Masterpiece Theater, Mystery and Nature. Tom likes Nova as well. I need to remember to tape that during the week for him. I like the occasional POV but I'm not sure if that has been on lately.

Plus, after a week of getting used to it, I'm getting so much more done. The thing is, I can't quit television and put all that time into the internet. I was spending way too much time on Ravelry, getting caught up on the message boards there. I used to do that on AOL and had to go cold turkey on it because it was taking over my life. Not that Ravelry is doing that, but I don't want to go even close to the intensity I used to feel over AOL. I love Ravelry, mostly for the resources though.

But I love blogland better.

I broke down and turned the furnace on this morning...just to get the chill off the house. Zach is under the weather and we can't afford doctor bills, not to mention I don't want my family sick, regardless of how much it costs. It's time to get the hot water bottles out, too, so I'm casting on some covers for them tonight. I put them into the beds about a half hour before we settle in for the night. Makes for some toasty sleeping, let me tell you. out for the pets. Professor tore a hole in one of them last year. Made for a damp night.

With all the winds we're having here this past week, I plan on hanging out a couple of loads of clothes this weekend. Shouldn't take too long to dry and I don't know how much longer I'll be able to hand clothes out.

I've got a ton of stash to knit on this winter, although the bulk of it is acrylic but it will see me through. I feel like a squirrel who is getting all ready for winter.

Speaking of squirrels...they have figured out Professor can't get them through the window and are now taunting him by moseying back and forth on the sidewalk and hanging on the sides of the trees looking at him while he's barking hysterically.

I'm thinking they have a union.

Off to curl up under the afghans and knit the night away with Inspector Morse and maybe a trip to Ireland as well.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Frog, not frog. Frog

Okay, I still hate the sock. I tried to love it since Peg did but she's not knitting it. I am. She only has to wear it which isn't as in-your-face intimate as knitting it is. I tried it on when I got to the foot and it's too big for me (which I can't figure out since another pair made with the same stitch/needle size does fit me and this is fingering weight yarn...maybe my subconscious is knitting it looser just because I hate it?) so I know it will be too big for Peg.


I'm making it into Jays because I think with this wacky camouflage pattern Jays might work. It worked with the Paintbox socks.

I lost my knitting mojo last night while waiting for Zach. I didn't like any of the projects I brought, didn't like knitting period at that moment and wished desperately I had brought Zach's Nintendo DS with me.


I listened to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and fell asleep. Or zoned or something. When Zach woke me up I was still aware of where I was in the book so I must have listened in my sleep. Hey! I wonder if that will work all the time.

Got my mojo back when I frogged the sock. Now I like the projects I took last night and want to work on them today.

But I'm taking the DS just in case.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Calorimetry, how I love thee

I want to make one for each day of the week. And maybe for each month in the year. Or maybe...nah. But I do like it...a lot! I chose Jesse's Flames colors because I had some bobbins left from Zach's sleeves. It was a quick knit...took one evening of watching Monarch of the Glen...and I like the way it turned out. I have a small head so it's a bit big on me but fortunately the holes left from the short-rowing gave me options so I just used the next one up for a buttonhole.

We drew names for Christmas so I need to get started on mine. I've got my husband's baby sister and she's more of an earth-toned person (I don't think I've ever seen her in bold colors) so I'm thinking of the chocoloate brown sock yarn upstairs for a pair of cabled socks and a calorimetry in some kinds of neutral color. Her hair is blonde so maybe a brown as well.

Today is the long day for Zach's school so I plan on working on the Sabbatical Socks and the baby hat. I need to get busy at home on spinning so I may just do my knitting in the car for the next week or so. Or at the computer. I can't spin and read blogs at the same time.

I found out yesterday that the library is having a Knit In next month to knit things for the homeless shelter and the women's shelter. I'm seriously considering it in spite of that shy bug I have to deal with.

Speaking of bugs, I feel so much better. I didn't get as sick as I usually do with colds. I think part of it has to do with being healthier and part because I took vitamin C with echinacea and zinc lozenges. Something worked better anyway.

Off to get some work done.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

No, that's not a bald spot

This is what it looks like when I sit down to read blogs or surf the internet. The big Kahuna...aka Professor...(who is the boss of me if I haven't already mentioned it a hundred times) has to sit on my shoulder. When my sister was visiting this weekend he had to sit in my arms...not my my arms like a baby.

Nope...not spoiled a bit.

And that's just the light reflecting on the back of my head. My hair isn't very thin there. It's thin in the front. It didn't make a huge comeback after chemo.

I didn't knit that sweater that Professor is wearing in the picture. I got it on sale at StuffMart last year but I will be knitting a nifty new sweater soon. As soon as I finish (or, to be more precise start and finish) Calorimetry. I need a hat to wear here at home that doesn't flatten my hair (no that's not a bald spot.) My hair is thin, I'll grant you and my widdle ears get cold so I need a hat to wear during the day and maybe at night, too. I might need more of a cap for sleeping though.

Peg loves the socks so I will love them as well. I'm so fickle. Love, not love. Hate, not hate. Just tell me how to feel about socks and I will.

The baby bonnet I started a couple of days ago is going to be pretty thick and warm so I'm thinking of giving it to the food pantry* here instead of the Haiti project. It's mountainous there but I'm thinking it's not that cold. It does get mighty cold here, however. They keep asking for knitted/crocheted blankets but I'm not fond of knitting plain, ordinary blankets. Boring. Maybe a log cabin blanket but even that doesn't appeal to me right now.

*(Things to think about donating to a food pantry are hygiene items. People have basic needs other than food. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. I like to knit baby sweaters and socks and hats and things so that a baby can have at least one new thing. Just a PSA. And just my opinion.)

I'm almost done with Shae's Stor Rund Dug, the worsted version. I did a couple of rounds of double crochet, increasing evenly and now am making a bit of a ripple effect. I'm on the last round, I think. I don't think I will make crochet loops around. I think the ripple will make a nice edging. And it doesn't compete with the knitted lace design in the pattern portion of it. When it's done it will make a nice lap blanket but not one to sleep under.

I should get more done on the Opal socks, the baby bonnet and start Calorimetry tonight. I'll work on the Slytherin Crest bag tomorrow. I should be ready to line it by next weekend.

Did I mention I caved and kept the antenna? I figured out how to get more channels and while none of the network channels are clear, I can get PBS tolerably and listen to the news daily. There are a couple of Christian stations that are crystal clear and while TBN isn't my cuppa, Familynet has a knitting show on Monday afternoons...Shay someone or other, and lots of old, old shows from the fifties. Like the Loretta Young theater. That I think I will enjoy.

Off to knit and watch some dvds.

And no, that's not a bald spot. I told you it's the light reflecting off of my hair. I'm just sayin'.


Friday, October 26, 2007

No knitting but lots of sneezing

How come when everyone else gets sick they see it as an opportunity to snuggle into bed and do lots of knitting. When I get sick I hate everything, even...dare I say it...knitting. I do not go gently into that good night. My bottom lip sticks out and I whine. I crab because there's nothing to do even though I finally have the time to do it. (Okay maybe not today because I had errands to run and get stuff for Tom to take up north on his ('nuther) mini-vacation.

'Scuse me.

Sneezed again.

I want pizza. And yes the diet has had some rough times this week. Nothing irreversible though and nothing drastic. Just maybe a few extra calories here and there. But not yonder. (Maybe that's a redneck thing, I don't know.) I digress. I want pizza but I won't eat pizza because 1) I don't have any here and don't feel like dragging my red nose out to StuffMart in the middle of the night and 2) it would take too long to make if from scratch during which time I would fall asleep and wake up to the smoke alarm going off as I burn the pizza.

So no pizza. I had a bowl of store brand rice chex instead. One cup of cereal and 1/2 cup of fat free milk.

I hate being a good girl.

My sister will be here tomorrow so I will try to work on the round purple thing (I don't feel like looking up the link or even remember what the blamed thing is called) tonight because I won't be able to work on it while she's here since her granddaughter will be the recipient of it come Christmas and she's coming with Peg.

I bought an antenna today. Those table top things that look like rabbit ears of old except they plug in and supposedly deliver more boost to the signal. HA! Not that I care. I didn't really miss television anyway but thought that Tom did. I managed to get three very fuzzy stations and Tom got up and walked away leaving the station on and the background noise got me very irritated and I may have said a word or two that can't be repeated here. I said may. So I packed it back in the box and will return it tomorrow.

I really do like not having network/cable television but I do like watching what I want when I want. I got Monarch of the Glen from the library today along with Northanger Abbey, which I have never seen, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on audiobook. One of my favorite all time books. When I'm not quite so cranky again, I will curl up on the couch and watch my shows while knitting happily or (here's a thought) spinning again. I really need to get back to that.

Cookie says it's the full moon. Cranky is in the air and we must endure. But I can't get to her blog because typepad is refusing to let me open up any of their blogs so I think I'm going to go outside and flip off the moon.

'Scuse me.

Sneezed again. Twice.

Aw, heck. I'm going to bed.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Casa de Cranky

I'm thinking of changing our last name to Cranky since everyone here is. Not because there is no television but because everyone seems to be coming down with a cold at the same time. And as the mom I never get to go to bed and just get better.


I've not gotten a lot of sleep the past couple of nights because of stopped up head/scratchy throat/runny nose stuff. My sister is coming up this weekend so tomorrow I have to make the house presentable (I'm not even trying for clean this time) get groceries, hit the library for my weekly fix of dvds and audiobooks.


But here are the belated WIPs

First...the fake one. It's a lovely shade of pink like the picture shows. I have't stuffed it yet because the fiberfill is upstairs and I'm cranky and don't want to walk up there and the rock that goes in it (so it "hangs" like the real one does) is downstairs and I'll get it when I get the load of clothes out of the dryer. Sometime this month....but definitely before the end of the year.

The Slytherin Crest Bag by Quietish is coming along but it's rippling despite having long strands. From what I read this is the nature of checkerboard. I hope it flattens out when I finish it.

I do not like this sock. It looks like camouflage to me. But it is wool and it is warm so if Peg doesn't want it, I will wear it.
But I'm not enjoying the knitting like I did the Monkeys and the Jays.

Stor Rund Dug, the worsted version. This I like very much but I had to bind off at 101 rounds because I didn't have any more room on the needles. I wasn't going to buy new needles or work with three circs so I'm finishing it off with crocheted edges. Right now, just double crochet and will end it with loops of some sort.

I started a bonnet and booties last night at 5 a.m. when I couldn't sleep. It's a 20 year old pattern so I don't know what book it used to be in. I think my sister tore it out of one of her magazines and gave it to me. Not a knitting mag though. Still, it's a fun knit so far. Very easy pattern to memorize. Heck, one of the lines is illegible now and I figured it out just by looking at the pattern. Although it says you should be an experienced knitter.


This is a fun blog, Green as a Thistle. This reporter from, I think, Toronto, has pledged to do one new green thing every day for a year. Some of this stuff is over the top but it's still a very good read. I like looking for new and innovative things to do to a) save money and b) be a good steward of the earth God gave us.

But no way am I unplugging the stove and fridge. Nuh uh.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nothing to see here...

So I didn't get the pictures taken today. I'm hanging my head in shame.

There was a lot I didn't get done today but there was also a whole heck of a lot that I did get done.

Today was Winterize the House Day. I put plastic on the rest of the windows and doors and changed the curtains to blankets on some of the windows (I've never aspired to be in House Beautiful. Just don't want to be in Hovel of the Month), moved furniture away from the heating vents, made sure the cold air return was unblocked as well.

Then I looked up at the clock and it was almost time for Zach's school and I hadn't started supper yet.

I had taken a break or two reading blogs and Ravelry but didn't get to actually sit down until a short while ago. And when Tom leaves I have work to do upstairs which I can't do during the day because he's snoozing up there.

And no knitting whatsoever today...not even while Zach was in school because I had to run to the store and he was already done when I got back. Midterms, you know.

So I plan on getting me some fine knitting in tomorrow because Zach will be in school quite a bit of the day. Just me and Anne of Avonlea.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No sock love

Sorry for the neglect. I'm getting used to Zach's new schedule and I've been busy working on Stor Rund Dug which is now off the needles. I couldn't take 30 more rows of it so I bound off at row 101. I was using two circular needles and still didn't have room. The dang thing kept slipping off the needles and trying to pick up yarn overs isn't my idea of fun. So I will finish up with crocheting. I did a round of double crochet and while not gorgeous, doesn't look bad at all. I tried to do a shell design but it clashed with the lovely lace already on it.

I'm not loving the socks. I went with plain vanilla because the color would compete with a texture pattern. I'll get pictures tomorrow but the green/white colorway comes out looking like camouflage and I'm pretty sure my sister isn't going to try to hide out in any European jungles. I may have to use the Baby Ull for her socks since she wants green and that's the only other thing I've got in green. I'm just not sure how baby yarn will hold up as socks. I'm not going to buy nylon to knit into it though. She'll be here this weekend so I'll let her decide.

I'm back where I was when I frogged the Slytherin Crest bag. Got a lot done today while listening to Anne of Avonlea. I went through three audiobooks before I found one I could listen to. Interview with a Vampire is a terrific book but the narrator had serious monotone problems. And Artemis Fowl had a great narrator (Nathaniel still my heart) but I didn't like the story. Then I tried Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien because I loved the movie and had read the first book before, but it just didn't hold my interest right now. It's still a good book and the narrator is great, but just not right now when I've got 10,239,423 things on my mind.

And yes, I counted.

So I happily knit while listening in the parking lot in the new truck which is not a bad place to spend some time. But I also decided to go for a walk and since Zach's college is right next to the high school, I walked over behind the parking lot and watched the game for a while. It was nice because I could still see and hear the announcer but I was far enough away from the roaring crowd.

Gosh, those guys look so little.

I've got a new project I need to start (heck, I've got more than one but only so many needles.) It's a delicate subject but since I've lost weight my prosthesis is a So I need to either add more boobage to the right side or remove boobage from the left one. Knitty has a pattern for a fake one so I'm going to make me one. I know I could get a free prosthesis with my insurance but I only get so many of those and want to wait until I've lost all the weight (and after today that's not going to be any time soon...had a major diet meltdown today but I am back on the horse and riding again) before I get a new one. I thought about reconstruction but me and anesthesia aren't good friends and I don't willingly take medicine that makes me hurl for 2 hours straight. Nope, not me.

I'm doing very well without cable tv. We don't get local channels either so it's strictly dvds, tapes or the internet. The house is wonderfully quiet and I watch what I want when I want it. It's like I'm in charge or something.

I talked to my older son today who is in Sandy Eggo and he's doing okay so far. He's still a ways away from the fires but they are watching and he said that it's hard to be outside for any length of time because his eyes burn so badly. We used to live there so this feels personal.

I will definitely remember the people there in my evening and morning prayers. Along with everyone on my prayer list.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

I can't believe I cleaned house for the cable guy.

But I did. He's coming tomorrow at 8 a.m.-12 p.m. to cut off the tv portion of our cable (I'm keeping the high-speed internet, baby!) so I cleaned like a mad woman. I mean...I don't want him thinking I live like this all the time.

I've been taping things off of CharterOnDemand all day in preparation. I can get these from the library but it will hold me until I go back this week. I've also got SG-1 fourth season to watch and Interview with a Vampire to listen to. Not to mention my extensive opera collection my father-in-law left me. I don't need no stinkin' cable.

I started on the sabbatical socks last night but the pattern isn't self-striping like the lady told me (it's okay though...striping or not isn't a big deal for me) and the pattern I chose didn't work. I'm going with a 4X2 rib pattern. Simple enough but just enough something extra. I like how the colorway and pattern are working out.

I wore the Jays to church today and got very favorable reviews. I think I'll go along with popular opinion and keep them.

Well, back to knitting. Short entry, I know, but I'm tuckered out and I've got to get up early because the cable guy might show up on time tomorrow.

Stop laughing. He might. Stranger things have happened, you know.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Jays! Pant if you will.

Finished them last night and have been searching for another pattern for the Opal sock yarn. The Opals will be my sister's sabbatical socks for next year so I want them to be special. After all they will be traveling to St. Louis, Hungary, and Alaska.

I read on Ravelry that many people are having trouble getting their socks over the heel so I was a bit concerned but I had made an adjustment because I have wide feet and didn't decrease down smaller than the previous 19 sts per needle. They slide right on and feel so good. I don't know if I'm going to keep these but just in case I do, they fit me.

We made a decision today to cancel our cable tv next month. Truthfully, I watch more dvds and videos than what's on and what is on I can get on the internet. And there are so many audiobooks I want to "read" that I don't have time for. I thought Tom would be against it because he loves documentaries but he's all for it. I showed him the huge selection of documentaries they have at the library today, not to mention the ones we can request from interlibrary loan. I don't think we can pick up any stations locally because we're so far away from a major city. I have a powered antenna so we will see.

And Zach rarely watches tv on the tv anymore. He watches his stuff on the internet. It's a savings of about $50 a month with the package we have but it goes away next month so that would add $30 to our bill. essence I'm saving $80. At this stage with a boy in college, every penny counts.

I just found out we have to pony up for next semester in November. I'm not ready!

I'm loving the Stor Rund Dug. It's going to be so beautiful (aside from the many mistakes I have creatively covered up instead of tinking back because each round takes a long time to knit and tinking isn't an option, sorry.) It won't really look good in picture form until it's off the needles. I still have a ways to go.

I'm about ready to start making more bears for Haiti. I need some projects that I can actually finish from time to time. I have tons of stash yarn that will make for colorful bears. I can make girl bears, too, with hair and everything. Well, maybe not everything.

I hope I find something soon. It's almost time for Torchwood. And yes, I will miss that but that's about the only thing I can't get at the library yet. But I figure the season will be over by the time we shut it off.


Friday, October 19, 2007


I'm thinking of requisitioning a new brain. One that actually works. Obviously this one has been used up and there are no more brain cells left.

So this is what happened. Zach had labs today and since this is the day we beat the checks to the bank deposit the miniscule paycheck in the bank, return the books/movies to the library and buy the groceries, I had a lot on my mind. We went to the bank first, swung by the library because Knitting with Balls was due back today and far be it for me to keep the next person in line waiting. Then we went to Wendy's where we ate off the value menu and listened to some person hacking and belching over their meal at the table next to us. Yummmm...

When that was done, I dropped Zach at his college and I walked over to NotStuffMart to get my prescriptions. A very brisk walk, I might add. I was wondering where my little terrier was and where the heck was the old lady on the bicycle with the tall pointy hat? Auntie Em, Auntie Em. Walking back to the car was easier with the wind at my back.

Then I settled in for some good knitting and the death of Dumbledore. I'm up to row 92 on Stor Rund Dug and it's much smoother knitting right now. (I did have to knit through tears for a while though.)

Two hours later, Zach was done and we drove over to StuffMart to get the groceries. I went in alone while Zach stayed out in the car. Because we now own two cars with all the insurance that goes along with this, I was being extra careful with my purchases and was patting myself on the back for my tightwadding as I walked to the car. Because I had a huge 40 pound bag of salt for the water softener I had to bend down to get it out from under the cart. My purse fell off my shoulder so I just set it on the ground. Zach, meanwhile, got out of the car and was helping put the groceries in the car. Here in this neck of the woods we get some bodacious winds year round and this was one of those days. So windy the trunk wouldn't stay open. As someone who has had the back of my head whacked on more than one occasion, I held the trunk open for Zach while he finished. When he was done he put the cart in the cart return and we drove off.

Do you see what is wrong with this picture so far?

We drove home during which time Dumbledore's funeral was taking place and I was concentrating on the homefromwork traffic (I don't dare call it rush hour in a town of 3000+ people.) I carry a lot of bags with me when I take Zach to school. On more than one occasion I have gotten there without my purse. (What's one more bag anyway?) I gathered up everything from the car and dropped it in the dining room. I looked down and didn't see my purse so I went out to the car to get it while Zach was bringing in the groceries. It wasn't in the back seat! Oh, nooooo. The last thing I remembered was setting it on the ground behind the car. And since I drove forward instead of backing out of my parking space...

I slammed the trunk down and told Zach what happened and raced back to StuffMart...which is about a 20 minute drive. The whole time I listened to the funeral and subsequent story while trying to calm the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. (And I admit there was a lot of frantic praying going on there, too.)

Finally, after what seemed like a week, I pulled into the parking space I was in about 50 minutes previously. Of course no purse. I ran into the store only to find a huge line at customer service. Grrrrrr... And me with no knitting.

My turn came and the woman who waited on me called someone else over to tell me that no, no purse had been turned in, sorry very much, nothing we can do about it.

I was in a panic. My prescriptions were in there. My checkbook, my credit cards, cash, pain pills. I was in tears. I saw the cart boys out in the parking lot and went over to talk to them. They, at least, were sympathetic and promised to look out for it.

I slouched back to the car and was surprised to see this blue truck pull up next to mine with my men in it, Zach holding my purse aloft. I danced ran to the truck and asked them where they found it, thinking someone just dropped it off at the house.

Wait for it....

It was in the dining room with my knitting bags right where I had left it when I brought everything in from the car.

I'm going to bed now. If anyone knows of a sale on brains, please let me know.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is this what knitpicking means?

I know I'm weird but I actually like sewing up seams and finishing projects. Maybe not all projects but most of them. Except when I have to pick the seam apart, which takes all day, and then reseam it. For some reason both sleeves of the Hooded Sweater ended up wonky on the shoulders and I had to pick them out. And believe me I do a good job hiding the ends so this was no easy task. But tomorrow when I want to look at it again, I will re-seam using better pinning and measuring.

But tonight...tonight I will be working on the Jays. I want to finish them so I can start some new socks. I've been good this week and haven't started a new project. Instead I've pulled UFOs out and worked on them. Still trying to work from the stash as much as possible, as well.

I'm going back to my regular diet tomorrow. I just can't stop feeling hungry or munching all day. Plus, I've started having massive hot flashes like I haven't had since I went through chemo and ended my relationship with my monthly home companion. I've been leary of soy and haven't been eating much of it but I guess a little bit is too much.

So...I feel like I'm starting over again. I don't want to get on the scales tomorrow. I know for sure I've picked up a couple of pounds and today was a binge day.

I'm taping Laughlin tonight but the bits I've seen of it remind me of a show I watched on BBCA. I can't think of the name of it but it was set in a casino and people kept bursting into song. I never got to watch more than the first episode because always I had meetings the night it was on and never got it taped but it looked good. This looks like the American version. But...Hugh Jackman and Lloyd Owens make it well worth watching.

I think everyone is gone to Rhinebeck this weekend. I wonder if blogland will be slow?