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 lap...in 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 Parker...be 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 bit...um...large. 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. So...in 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?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WIP Wednesday & Tom's new toy

This, of course, is Tom's new toy. Now we don't have to juggle one car for three people's schedules. Yay!!

Stor Rund Dug is getting there. I love how it looks but it seems like it's going slower now with the large number of stitches to knit each round. I haven't counted them. Someone on Ravelry is making this, too, out of Cascade 220. It's a purplish color, too. How neat.

I made these bears last winter but didn't get the faces put on until today. One's head is shorter because I misread the pattern. I don't think it will matter much. I'm going to make more. I found some yarn upstairs that someone from church gave me so I'm going to make several to send to Haiti. These bad boys will be headed for Haiti this Sunday.

Still plugging away on the Jaywalkers. I must admit I'm eager to move on to another pair of socks. Still haven't decided for sure which one will be next but I will know by the time the Jays are done.

I'm almost done with the back of the baby sweater. I don't have a picture of it yet because it's just plain stockinette stitch. When I do the front, then I'll take pictures.

Picking up stitches on hood of the Adult Hooded Sweater. I'm going to like the hood on this after all. I think I have enough yarn left over to make a child's version of it.

I'll be taking the Stor Rund Dug tonight for Zach's class. When it gets too dark for that, I'll work on the socks. They don't require a lot of light to work on. I've got the pattern memorized. Even though the stitches are tiny, it still is easier to knit on than the blanket.

Must go finish supper. I am feeling much better today. Thanks for the hugs and well-wishes. I think I just reached that point in the diet where I had to get past the hurdle. I stuck to it and am still vegetarian. It seems easier today but it still is more work. I'll get through it.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ramblings and someone else's birthday

This has been a week of UFOs so far. As well as OTNs getting finished. I finished the blanket/curtain I started last winter. It's very ordinary looking so I'm not taking a picture of it. Gryffindor colors with a garter stitch border and garter stitch row separating the colors.

I am almost finished with the hood portion of the hooded sweater on Lion Brand's site. There is a link in the post below. I'm terribly lazy today and don't feel up to hunting down links. Aren't I awful? But the fatigue aspect of my fibromyalgia is catching up with me and I have no energy. Anyway...I digress. I have the hood to finish, the pocket to knit and stitch on and the seams. It's a plain chocolate brown color and I think it's going to be way too big for me. I started it last year when I was 62 pounds heavier and although this is a large and not an extra-large, it still looks too big. It's to gauge though so maybe it's supposed to be a loose fit. I think I can handle that. If I can't, then Zach will get another sweater.

I've been working on the Stor Rund Dug as well. I'm up to round 87. It looks really good but I'm not sure how wide it will be. If I do this again, I will invest in more 16" needles so I have options. Maybe size 10. But it's for a 10 year old so I think it will be fine.

My baby is 19 today. It's so hard to believe. It truly seems such a short time ago he was taking his first steps. And now he is a man. Quite a fine one, too. He's going to make someone very happy in the future.

We are buying a used truck tomorrow. Zach's schedule will be frantic starting next week and we can no longer survive with just one vehicle. It's a Dodge Dakota in very nice shape. It was a company truck, used for business purposes so it's a bit high mileage, but the price was right. And we really do need a truck for a second vehicle for Tom's hunting and other hauling you just can't do in a Concorde. So first thing tomorrow we go pick it up. I'll try to get pictures tomorrow. I think we may actually see the sun for once.

I'm waning on enthusiasm for the vegetarian diet. I'm not terribly imaginative and the cookbooks call for ingredients I don't have, can't pronounce and wouldn't know where to buy. I've tried to cook just plain meals with plain food but I have to say I'm hungry all the time. I did manage to lose a pound or two but all I think about is food. Not necessarily meat but I just don't feel satisfied. I'm making pizza tonight and will have mine veggie but I don't know if this is going to work out for me.

I'm just drained so I think I will go rest and knit some more on a baby sweater that was sitting in a bag in the corner for quite a while and watch Bones (the first season.) Apparently it was only a one week loan from the library so I won't be able to finish the whole season and there is a waiting list so I can't renew it. Dang. Should have done a marathon over the weekend.

Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Help me! I've discovered Radar

For those of you not on Ravelry yet, Radar is an option to watch each post as it's entered. It's like eavesdropping on a hundred conversations at once. The hugest bonus is it scrolls for you (until it gets tired and you have to refresh the page.) The negative is (beside the obvious that you get addicted very quickly and you will grow old and die while watching the screen) is that sometimes everyone on the earth posts at once and you have to catch the scrollbar and work like crazy to keep up. It makes for interesting gyrations while knitting and watching the screeen.

It's raining. A light, steady, drizzly rain. The cat is demanding to be let out but I am on to him. Probably because we've played this game for 7 years. He goes to the door and cries (we have him leash trained and yes, he's perfectly safe...he can't climb up on anything and we check on him every few minutes to make sure he's not tangled). Then I open the door and he stands there sniffing the air as if he's never smelled rain before. Instead of then walking out the door, he stands in the doorway while cold, damp air intrudes into my home. He acts surprised that it's still raining from the last time we played this game 3 minutes ago. Then when I attempt to close the door with him still inside, he blocks the door (a clever manuever on his part.) I can tell by the expression in his eyes that he believes if he stands there for just a minute the weather will change and he can then go outside to a warm, dry evening stroll through the garden. I boot him out the door and he turns around and runs back inside, glaring at me for trying to murder him by rainwater.

Three minutes later, he stands by the door and cries.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I've been working on the blanket formerly known as the Gryffindor curtain. I'm up to the final edging (thanks to Radar) and will finish tonight. Yay for finished objects!

I made a lot of progress on Stor Rund Dug last night. I had to start working with two circulars because it's way to big for my 29" needles. I decided while I was at it to gradually switch to larger needles. I used size 6 because I had a 16" circular in that size. It didn't occur to me to change to a larger size when I finished the center design. That's why I'm doing this gradually...so it doesn't show up a lot. I'm working with size 7 & 8 and will keep it at that. I have two size 8s somewhere. And I am finishing up with my second set of size 7 needles tonight (said Gryffindor curtain/blanket) but I think I like the idea of swapping back and forth each round. I still have about 40 rounds to go so I may end up having to buy a huge-o long circular needle anyway.

I dug out the Hooded Sweater I was working on last spring. I just lack the hood and the front pocket plus the finishing. Time to get back to work on it.

I should leave the Radar and actually get some things done soon. I'm washing the flannel sheets and need to get some cooking done for tomorrow since Zach has classes in the evening and I will need something for supper.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

He's finished!

Jesse's Flames is finally done. And since Zach's birthday is Tuesday, I gave it to him early. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.

And I didn't suffer post-project depression with this one.

I've been busy the past couple of days finishing Jesse and winterizing the house. We had to replace glass in two of the storm windows and I put plastic over the windows upstairs. I'll get the downstairs this week.

Debating when to switch to flannel sheets. I don't think I'm there yet but if the nights keep up with the temps we've been seeing, I may be using them before next weekend.

I have this thing about not using the furnace until it's absolutely necessary and when we do turn it on, I keep it around 60. I know it seems cold but if you wear the right clothes it's not bad. And I get to wear those nice knitted things I spent so much time on.

We do turn it up when company comes though. Not everyone is used to it. At night we drop it down to around 54. It's surprisingly comfortable when you're bundled up under a lot of blankets. Everyone has his/her own hot water bottle to heat up the bed so it's nice and toasty when we hop in there.

I didn't do this when Zach was little but he's a man now and he seems to prefer it that cool as well. We are all winter people here. I told Tom this morning that I was a winter girl. When the clouds turn gray and I close the windows and drag out the throws, I bloom. It seems like I come alive in the winter.

I did much better this summer though. I dropped 62 pounds which made it a lot easier to deal with the heat. We didn't turn the a/c on once and didn't use the fans as much either.

My weight loss, however, has stalled. I haven't lost any weight for a few months. I had been thinking about switching to vegetarian for quite a while and finally decided to take the plunge. I haven't lost any more weight yet but I do seem to have more energy and was able to take a walk today with Professor. I doubt that I will ever go vegan but it is a good first step anyway.

I've been combing the vegetarian blogs looking for good recipes. If anyone knows a good website, let me know.

Off to cook supper, get ready for church tomorrow and finally sit down to knit. I can't believe no knitting has taken place yet today.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is it only Thursday?

It was a beautiful day but I was gone for most of it. Errands and such. I kept running into people I knew from my old church today. Them, I missed. The old church, not so much. But lest I run on and seethe about things that don't belong on this blog, I will shut up.

The Slytherin Crest Bag. I like it but in spite of allowing a lot of carry, it's still puckering. But when I flatten it out there is plenty of room and it shouldn't be doing this. I've even gone overboard on how much slack I'm giving and it doesn't make any difference. I need to research this but I suspect that if I were using wool it would block out just fine. Dang acrylic.

Still...it will look good when I'm done. Except I just noticed a mistake in it and I'm anal a perfectionist enough that I have to go back and fix it. Dang.

The Stor Rund Dug picture didn't come out very well. I'll take it outside tomorrow and get a better shot. I ended up working on it last night and got quite a ways. It was hard to put it down in order to go to sleep. I just wanted to work on it.

I don't think it will look right until it's off the needles and flattened out a bit (since acrylic doesn't block.) Then it will look smashing.

Making progress on the socks and The Half-Blood Prince. I have Interview with a Vampire waiting for me when I finish Harry Potter. And the first season of Bones for tonight.

My sister and I were having a discussion on how little we needed to live a comfortable life. I said I would be okay without cable tv since the library has such an excellent selection of tv shows on dvd, audio books and of course, print media. I get my news through the internet mostly because I can't stand the sound bites on tv news, not to mention they get a story and beat it to death for months sometimes. She said she would need ESPN because she's a huge sports fan, particularly the Indiana teams.

I said I would be happy (if I were alone) living in a room or an RV or something. Maybe a studio apt as long as I had adequate storage for my stash. She felt the same way except she needed room for her books (she's a minister.) If I lived within walking or biking distance, I wouldn't need a car except for those horrendous days when you couldn't go out otherwise. I hate phones so if I could live without one, I would be happy, except to call my parents once a week so a cell phone would work for that.

I know it still sounds like a lot in the scheme of things, especially when you consider what some people don't have. I guess I do have a lot and don't appreciate it. To tell you the truth, though, I would love to get rid of a lot of what I've got but Tom won't let me.

Except my stash. That I need.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gray skies, gray mood

Nuttin' but gray skies...so no pictures today. I'm going to have to make my own light box. I don't think dh is going to get around to it.

Definitely needed my woolease socks today. I put the storm window in the front door but since someone who shall remain nameless *coughmecough* broke a window in one of the storm windows for the bathroom, it will be a while before I get that one in. We upgraded half the windows in the house when we moved in, mostly because they were rotting out but haven't had the dinero to finish. It's always something with homeownership, isn't it?

I've been working on the Stor Rund Dug today but made a mistake in round 68. When I tried to fix it without frogging I made it worse and had to frog back to...gulp...row 65. I refuse to go back any further. Especially not to the dreaded row 64. I can't even look at it right now.

I'll just work on socks for the rest of the night.

But I will tell you what else I'm working on. It's this. Only in Slytherin colors with the Slytherin crest. I'll make a Gryffindor one after I finish this. Zach has decided he wants a man purse so I'm making it for him. He has a Slytherin banner on his wall and I made him a throw in Slytherin colors along with a Slytherin snake. There's a definite trend here.

I've decided to make my Gryffindor curtain into a Gryffindor blanket for curling up under while...guess...yep...knitting. So that will be another FO this week. I'm also going to dig out the hooded sweater I was working on last spring and finish it. I've got the body and sleeves done. Just need to make the front pocket and the hood. I don't know if I like the hood in the pattern so I'm looking around for one that is actually wearable. I made it out of StuffMart's brand of yarn before they quit making it. I like it better than Red Heart for clothing. It feels more like WoolEase but seems to be a bit sturdier. But totally acrylic.

So I got tons of it since it was on sale. I think I'll make the rest into bears for the kids in Haiti. It's a great way to use up some of my Red Heart stash as well. I love the pattern on Knitty Gritty for bears. Maybe I'll find other toy patterns when I get sick of bears.

I went to Ravelry today and it seems like the big surprise is that when Ravelry goes public, it will be...gasp..public. All the posts and pictures and such will be available to everyone. Sorry, I'm trying really hard to take this seriously. (Yes, I'm a bit of a snark about this. My thinking is if you don't want stuff to get out forpetesake don't put it on the internet. Anywhere.)

Then someone else was upset because the Flickr pictures of her knitted socks are being used by people with foot fetishes. Makes me wonder why none of them have latched onto this blog. Maybe because it has to do with knitting and not feet?

I guess it's just the mood I'm in right now but I'm having a hard time not laughing at this. Although what wasn't funny was a woman who believed men shouldn't knit and talked of an incident in her church where she forbid discouraged this man from joining the women's knitting club and the "men" in her church thanked her because the man now had to seek out the men for fellowship.

God help me I used to be in a church like that. Used to be being the operative word.

Don't get me wrong, I do like Ravelry. And most of the people use it as a resource and a place to get together with other crafters. I just don't look at it as a refuge from the world or a safe haven. Or a secret club. It is what it is. And what it is is great.

And if some man someplace has your socks up on his wall while breathing heavily to them, feel proud he singled out your craftsmanship.

Maybe I need some snark therapy or something.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hannibal thinks this is all about him

But it's not. Although...isn't he handsome? Hannibal is Zach's cat but the bad boy likes to spread the love around. He has always slept in my arms at night, like a baby would. I thought it was his turn to have his picture in the blog. He poses for pictures just like Professor does. And just like Professor, he needs to be in my arms when I'm trying to blog or knit.

Windy and cold today. I love it. I was all set to knit and sit while listening to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince while waiting for Zach to get out of math class. This was my view. Yes, it was that dark and gloomy but more gray than green.

This is the view inside the car. Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself knitting? Dang near impossible. Okay it is impossible. I ended up stabbing myself with the needle which got pulled out of the stitches when I jumped from surprise and pain. And it being a sock...and it being dusk and overcast...finding those stitches and picking them up again was loads of fun. I did turn the map light on for the duration of the pickup game. Mostly though the security light in the parking lot is fine. (Note the needle poking into my thigh. Seconds later it was actually penetrating my thigh and the camera and sock went in two different directions.)

I must be the weirdest person because I really like knitting in the car while waiting for Zach.

I had a wonderful encounter with Stor Rund Dug today. I got past round 64!!! It's really looking good now. This is the fourth try but this time it's in Iris and not Soft Pink. Obviously that was the problem and not the knitter. (Just agree with me...you'll feel better.) It's really looking good and if I have the lighting tomorrow I'll get a picture.

And maybe a picture of the last cast-on project that I haven't named yet. Maybe.

I've got the sleeves attached to the body of Jesse's Flames. I need to pick up the collar and knit it then sew up the side seams and he's done. But it being black, I need extra good light for that so I'll wait until tomorrow when the sun is shining (and the birds are singing and the frogs are hopping merrily.)

I'm knitting the heel flap on the second Jaywalker. Already I'm planning the next pair and changing my mind a dozen times. I need to work on the green socks but can't make up my mind what they want to be. Something that accents the self-striping but doesn't let the striping overtake the pattern. Any suggestions?

I've been having a low period in my knitting lately. I've been productive, but I haven't felt the joy. However...I've got my mojo back now and I'm in love again with everything I'm working on. Now my problem is I want to work on everything at once.

Off to bed early tonight. These three hour nights are catching up with me. Insomnia is a bear.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

She blogged while Rome burned

While I was writing the last entry I was trying to cook supper. I looked up and saw flames on the stove and instantly realized I had turned on the wrong burner and was in the process of incinerating my wooden spoon. A cool head prevailed and I turned the burner off, picked up a potholder, having the presence of mind to grab the not-on-fire-end of the spoon, and plunged it into the dishwater. Then I turned the fan on full force.

All this before the smoke detector could go off.

I'm an idiot.

A brief religious encounter

Apparently God wanted the shawl to go to someone else. I walked into church this morning, knelt in the pew and prayed, as I always do, and my eyes alighted upon a tiny woman praying a couple of pews in front of me. I knew instantly that the shawl was hers so during the Peace, I edged out of the pew and walked up to her and handed the shawl and a card explaining it all to her. She was taken aback but graciously accepted it. She told me later she cried a few tears of happiness.

The priest told me later that this sweetheart was someone who definitely was in need of the shawl today but she didn't explain why.

The verse I meditated on was Jeremiah 29:11: I know that thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Proud mama

First, the shawl. I took it outside on the railing and then decided the autumnal colors would look good among the leaves. And it does. You can see the color changes now. I'm really pleased with the way it came out.

While I was putting the fringe on I got a phone call from my elderly neighbor. My first thought was that she needed something. We've told her to contact us any time. But she didn't need us this time. She wanted to know if I wanted a copy of Zach's picture. His picture? How did she get his picture? Then it hit me. The newspaper article. I was amazed. I thought for sure it wouldn't be in until next week if at all.

So go here if you want to read it. She got it right but I wasn't as clear as I could be on one thing. My fault entirely. Still...it was on the front page, above the fold. Woohoo! The link will only be good for a short while (maybe a week?) so if anyone reads this after that and wants to know what it says, just email me and I'll send a copy. I can't print it on the blog because of copyright laws, of course.

Much knitting to do before Tom gets home from vacation, killing fishes and male bonding. And I'm pretty sure lots of poker.


Friday, October 5, 2007

I do not have startitis

Yes, I cast on a new project last night but that doesn't mean anything. I figure I have to start a new project every few weeks regardless of how many I finish in that length of time. No, I'm not saying what it is yet. Maybe I'll have enough knitted to warrant pictures tomorrow.

Almost done with the shawl. I figure another 3 inches and I can bind off and attach the fringe. I really like the Homespun. The Prairie colorway is so autumnal. Makes me happy.

Jesse's Flames won't be a surprise since Zach informed me he's known all along. Dang. Wonder if he's been reading the blog or if me knitting in front of him was the tip off. Hmmmm...

Still, he was very pleased and said he didn't mind not being surprised but he was very anxious to have the sweater to wear if it would please cool off a bit. Got up to the high 80s today.

Blessing of the animals after church on Sunday but it will have to be without our animals because it will be too hot to leave them in the car for the service. And the priest doesn't want them in the building because due to health concerns for our elderly and those with allergies. I think she made the right decision. We'll bring toys for her to bless.


Edited to add: My mammogram came back clear. I breathe easier for another year.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

FO Thursday and other stuff

Is one sock an FO? No? Dang. Well, anyway...the Jaywalker, ladies and gentlemen. I like the way the ripples accent the colorway. I'm past the ribbing on the second sock. I don't know why, with all my other issues as a knitter, second sock syndrome has never been a problem for me.

Not an FO but pretty darn close. I'm zipping through this prayer shawl and should be done by tomorrow. I want to be able to give it to her daughter-in-law at church on Sunday. I wish you could see the subtle striping. I'll try to get a picture of it outdoors tomorrow. Maybe in decent lighting it will show up.

Okay, this is probably the only FO I've actually got. Except for the buttons. Haven't found the right ones yet. There's a skirt on Knitty I plan on making to go along with the sweater. I'm planning on making it in green with pink pleat insets. Gosh I hope this fits her.

I have washed and hung out 3,289,445 loads of laundry today. Well, maybe not quite that many but it sure feels like it. I need to wash the stuff I pulled out of the attic, even the things I'm giving to the thrift store. I hate looking at stuff in thrift stores that smells like...well, like an attic. Good thing it's a lovely day for it. Simply gooorjus out there.

I will have Jesse's Flames done in time for Zach's birthday. Honest I will. I'm past the intarsia on the second sleeve and almost ready to start decreasing. I have a million (maybe I exaggerate) ends to weave in, sew up seams and knit the neck. Considering Zach's schedule changes in a couple of weeks and he'll be spending more time at school, it shouldn't be a problem.

I deleted a blog today from my favorite places. I was tempted to do it before but because the author was pretty "famous" decided to keep it. But as much as I am interested in the knitter behind the knitting, I'm not interested in reading a soap box that puts down people from a different mindset politically and spiritually.

I don't get into that on my blog because I'm of the philosophy that people can come to different conclusions even when looking at the same evidence. I'm pretty darn conservative on a lot of issues, but in some cases tend to veer off to the left. Mostly, though, I leave myself open to looking at the other side as well. Heaven knows, I don't think I'm so good at this that I'm right on everything. I'll read someone's blog if they want to discuss it, but if they want to have the last word and tell their readers that people who believe X are stupid, ignorant or impeding progress then I'm outta there.

(Of course, what is worse, are the "me-too" groupies.)

This author has said stuff before about things I hold near and dear (that are not knitting-related) in a not-so-very-nice-tone. Sure she's entitled to write whatever she wants on her blog. And I am entitled to not read it.

'Nuff said.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Random Wednesday

The past couple of days have been very productive. Finished one project, got one sock done and knit about 30 inches on the prayer shawl. Unfortunately no pictures because I was gone all day and just got home about an hour ago. It's amazing how much you can get done when you don't have men anyone to clean up after. I've spent 18 years terrorizing impressing the younger adult male about the importance of cleaning up as you go. Aside from his hellhole bedroom, he's pretty good about it.

Older adult male got home today for a couple of days of work before he heads back up north to kill more fishes and do the male bonding thing. Surprise, surprise, he didn't unload his vehicle into the living room as usual.

Probably because he didn't unload the vehicle at all since he's going back up there. I guess we'll look forward to that Sunday when he's home for the long haul. Still, it was good to see him however briefly. He gets so little time off that I'm happy he gets this extra vacation time and can spend it doing things he enjoys.

Had the newspaper interview today. I have to confess that I had a great deal of trepidation about it. The topic of homeschooling can be so controversial. I was pleasantly surprised by the tenor if the interview though. One of keen interest and nothing controversial at all. I don't know if they will print the article, but it was a good experience for Zach. I will keep everyone apprised though. If they print it I will be sending everyone to their website. Me, I'll have a dozen hard copies though.

Finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix today. Audiobook version. I had a lot of time in the car this afternoon (during which time I knitted on the prayer shawl.) I do enjoy that time spent in the car. Although I may not enjoy it as much when it's frosty, for now it's nice to sit in the parking lot listening to an audiobook and watch the stars through the moon roof while knitting. It's even nice in the afternoon although the honking Canada geese made me nervous enough flying overhead that I closed the sun roof. Goose droppings iz huge.

Off to preparing for bed. Tomorrow will be much laundry on the line and hopefully some spinning.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Be careful what you write in your blogs

Yep. Also be careful if you use your blog link in your email signature. I had some correspondence with someone at Zach's college and the first email, remembered to delete my blog link. Succeeding correspondence, I spaced it and left it in.

Today I got a phone call from the college, I assumed for Zach since he's the student there. Duh. Nope, it was for me. A man asked for me by name and said that someone on the staff there had read my blog and had forwarded it to him. I couldn't imagine why he was calling.


Someone read the entry about the encounter between my car, the lawnmower and the license plate. Gulp!

He was very, very nice and offered compensation but truth be told, it's not going to cost much at all and I don't want any trouble from it. But dang it! Didn't they go the extra mile? Especially considering I didn't name the college in my blog. I got an apology and that was quite enough.

What a great place.

I was reading one of the boards on Ravelry today the question: what makes a good blog. I admit I got a bit peeved at one of the answers. Don't talk about personal things. Keep it about knitting (or crocheting)...whatever...keep it on subject. If you want to talk about personal things, create another blog for that. Don't use it to complain about things. blah..blah..blah.. (my paraphrase)

I looked at some of the most "popular" knitting blogs out there and they do all of those things. But you know what? I'm not here to be a "popular" knitting blog. I'm integrating into a community of like-minded people whose blogs I like to read as well. I'm not so single-minded that all I'm interested in is knitting. I'm also interested in the knitter. I like reading about people's families and their lives. I like hearing about their struggles and their successes. I love seeing their projects, pets and petunias.

I love that you want to read my blog. I'm amazed that anyone does, but I do love it. Whether you stop by for a peek or whether you keep coming back, I so appreciate you. And this is about us forming a community, not about me gaining groupies (or minions.) I write because these are the things I would talk about if we were sitting over a cup of coffee.

So...consider the coffee poured (or tea...or if it's a really bad day, a shot, but put those knitting needles down if you're going to do that...trust me.)

I'm not interested in the "rules" of blogging. I'm interested in the people out there. I'm interested in you.

And ladies...got my annual mammogram today. It will be six years on October 18 that I have been cancer-free. It was found on a mammogram after my physical didn't find it so I swear by them.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Nuttin' but the knittin'

This is turning out gorgeous but the picture doesn't do it justice. Once I got into it the Homespun really worked for me. I love the subtle color gradations and it's definitely soft enough to lie against aging skin without irritating. I got another 12 inches knitted while waiting for Zach tonight. Only problem is this might take 4 skeins to get as long as I want it. Definitely more than 2.

Didn't work on the Stor Rund Dug today but I had to take a picture of it. When I get to the insidious round 62, I plan to shut down all diversions, take myself off to isolation and work it out stitch by stitch. Once past that round, I should be okay.

Now, as for Ravelry. I've had a chance to look at it further and find it to be a very nice resource. I wasn't waiting breathlessly for my invitation, in part because I'm not much of an organizer and I really doubt if I put very many pictures on it. I would rather focus on my blog. I'm finding a wonderful community here in blogland and I like it!

I'm really glad it exists, however, and do appreciate a resource that has pictures of in-work and finished projects and message boards with like-minded interests. I will definitely use it, but I just don't see it being my main resource.

Okay, I lied. This has nuttin' to do with knittin'. But it's hysterically funny so I just had to add it. It's my favorite line from Monty Python. Hands down.

I love this site.