Sunday, April 27, 2008

Talladega and knitting.

Talladega and the Big One. I missed it on the Nationwide race yesterday, and have a feeling that if I have to got get Younger Son from work, I may again today. Oh well, there is always the wrap-up Monday evening on Speed TV. So far it is very exciting though. If I can keep the pup dog off my lap I should get a lot of knitting done. I'll save the spinning or another week.
Knitting is progressing nicely on the Cinnamon Wave Wrap. I plan on taking it with me to a retreat I am attending Saturday for Daughters of the King. I find since I can concentrate better in meetings, I don't think it will be out of place. I already talked another daughter into taking her socks along to work on. The stitch pattern is easy (Crest of the Wave) and I can easily tell where I am so it is pretty much "no brainer" knitting. I don't have to worry about heels or toes, or a spare project, so I think it is good to go. Besides the project IS a fundraiser for the church kitchen project, so it is appropriate work for a church retreat.
Weather--reality check time. After about 10 days of July weather: balmy, shorts and sandals, it is back to the real world. April weather is back in full force. We were down at least to the lower 40's if not colder last night. Brrrrr. Welcome to Michigan! Back to long pants and socks in the sandals. At least I have nice hand knit ones to show off in them.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spinning Tales

I have been taking the wheels out for a spin recently. I had the louet out and spun up quite a bit of the rose gray alpaca. Then last Tuesday night, I took my portable wheel, since Knit Nite is sort of a mix of anything goes. I dug the light gray Shetland out of the trunk, (you would be amazed at the stash I have just in the car,) and my Ashford Joy and spun up quite a bit of that. I already have one bobbin done and want to ply and skein that off on the Louet. I also have been plugging away on my Thomas Forrester drop spindle and the superwash. I may take that to Knit Nite next week. I find it hard to spin on the drop spindle when a puppy is waiting to jump on your lap.

Baby, Baby

I finally got a chance to enjoy my Great Nephew when he brought his parents to see the Grandparents last Saturday. My brother, the Grampy, wanted to charge me admission for the privilege of meeting and greeting the baby. I rose up and told him, well actually told Grammy over the phone, that --2 sweaters and 2 blankies--I've paid my admission. He decided maybe I had. I will be posting pictures as I forgot to bring my camera to the library today. Since hi-speed wireless beats accelerated dial-up any day, I usually do my blogging here on my days off. I even got one of G-Nephew initiating Grampy by crapping all over him. (Darling little child.)
This week we are starting our monthly cousins lunch at the time I usually have "Dinner With the Aunts". Since one aunt hasn't been coming since she broke her wrist and pulled a back muscle, and another friend is on vacation in the diamond mines of Arkansas, and one cousin just had a liver transplant, we may be a smaller group. We may even let the men come this time.
By te way, thanks for the prayers for my cousin who had the transplant. She is doing okay and I bought some yarn for a prayer shawl. At the present she is still in isolation, so I have some time to finish a few other projects before making that my main emphasis. It is some Lion's Brand Homespun in a creamy white with touches of pink and blue. Again the picture is still trapped in my camera.
Have I shared a recent picture of the shawl I am going to sell for funds for the church kitchen? I am pluggin away, it is great tv watchin knitting, but is going to be getting too warm to keep on the lap before long. I may have to even break out the AC before long. I will have to turn to the socks for more concentrated knitting. The blue-green socks are looking good and are past the heel. Once I finish this and start the second sock I can start browsing the stash and patterns for the next pair.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Graduate at Last?

Just got back from the high school. Younger Sons IEP meeting, which is a review of how he is doing in school and usually going over the schedule for the next year. Since he is a Senior and hopefully graduating, it was a short meeting. The coordinator thought he was having problems with his Botany class. He acknowledged that he had a test tomorrow. When we left he was going to meet with someone who could help him. He usually has his tests read and may get some study help. When I left though, I saw the Botany teacher, and asked him to let me know if he was having problems. He seem surprised and said he was doing OK. Hopefully we just may be having a graduation party this summer.
We can hope.
I think I'll go knit socks.

Summer at Last?

Can it be true? Is this finally Summer? Apparently Michigan has once again jumped past spring and plopped into summer. Temps in the 70's yesterday and close to there again today.
I got a call Tuesday that the knit club was meeting again. Or perhaps still, in a new location. I'm not sure which, but I have not been there since January, when Spinning Guild ended. And even better, it is actually a knit and spin night. So I can bring my wheel and get caught up on my spinning again.
I also have plans for the boys room. Since Older Son is supposed to be moving to the house on the new farm his boss bought, and Younger Son is talking of moving in with another friend, once he graduates--I am thinking "Craft Room." I can just see it now, tubs of roving along one wall, more tubs of yarn stash along another. My blocking board and wires leaning against the other. And their Dish hookup transferred to my bedroom. I may even have more room for more stash.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Got to Get the Wheels Out.

I have been eyeing my spinning again. I haven't had much time to work on it, since my spinning guild dissolved in January. I have been doing some on my drop spindle. I have some lovely superwash wool I got from a booth at the SOAR marketplace. (I didn't really attend, but went with some friends to the marketplace and to enjoy the ambiance. ) It is in a pink/yellow/lime colorway called Luther Burbank's Rose Garden--or Flower Garden. I can't find the tag and forgot the exact name. I also purchased a wrist distaff and (ta-da!) a Tom Forrester drop spindle. I tried out the drop spindle on the ride home and spun and plied up one of the free samples we got. The spindle is so nice and the superwash spins up so nicely. I am hoping to ply it into sock yarn. I haven't spun sock yarn before, other than some some that was not superwash and fulled up a little. It was thick to begin with, so not a good sock yarn.
Now that the NASCAR season is going strong (and after Mark Martin had another win snatched away, this time by the crew chief), maybe I can spend more time spinning and watching the races. Two birds with one stone so to speak.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunny Day, Sweeping the Clouds Away

Okay, okay, blatant plagiarism from Sesame Street. But wow, first sunshine in several days. Cold but clear and sunny.
Update on my cousin--she came through the surgery fine. (Thanks to the one who left a comment.) She is in ICU recovering and will still need continued prayers that she can cope with the anti-rejection drugs, and that her body will also not reject the liver.
We had a busy day at church. A couple baptisms, and then we went into the new addition at church with Sharpies to sign the walls and floors and write a Bible verse. With all the sand, I took off my shoes and socks, and went over barefoot. (Brrrrrrrrr!) Then I quickly went downstairs to warm my feet on the carpet and have cake and coffee during coffee hour. There I showed off the Cinnamon Wave Wrap that I am going to donate for sale or silent auction. I had lots interested people take a look at it.
I almost forgot to stop and pick up my PC from my friendly PC repair person and co-worker. I am giving it a test drive now, as I type.
I guess I better get home and make some lunch for the hungry family.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lake Hagen

Oh yeah--in terms of just general life--we have been drench with rain in the last few days. Lake Hagen is making another appearance in the pasture. This picture was taken 4 years ago, when our former neighbor decided to block the drainage ditch that flowed from the pasture through the back of his property. It has been corrected by the new owner, and right now the rain is too fast for the ditch to keep up with. The picture looks much like today though, just a little greener. Our one hay field we affectionately call the swamp had a similar look to it last night, but is way down this morning.
Also, am waiting to hear for news on my cousin. I got word last night that she was speeding to Detroit for a liver transplant. Please pray for her.

New Addition and Knitting Besides

I wanted to share a few pictures of our church construction. My aunt's church has just finished, or is in the process of finishing their new South Campus. Our plans are not nearly so grand. but I did manage to get a few more pictures of the walls going up. There are even more pictures on the church website: here . Just find the button near the bottom for building program. It will be nice to have the parish hall and bathrooms and everything all on one floor. While not an old church, it was built before there was such a thing as handicapped accessibility to be considered.

I have been busy reading and knitting and trying to watch NASCAR races. This is a bad weekend for me on that front. No truck race, and the Nationwide and Sprint races are/were both night races. I really did try to stay up for more than 1/3 of the Nationwide race last night but when it doesn't start till about 10:00 pm, I just can't do it. I guess I will probably have to catch the rerun that I think plays on Thursday afternoon.

I have been working on the Cinnamon swirl shawl to sell as a contribution to the church new kitchen fund. I decided there was more of a deadline for that one than for my own Lady Eleanor Entrelac. Although that one is big enough to fling around my shoulders while I knit, I want to be able to sell the other in time to help the kitchen fund. I have been working on it off and on for a couple weeks now. Here is a picture taken this morning. I designed it myself : 3 border stitches on each side in garter, cuz I really hate using a slip stitch salvage
salvage edge. And the middle is several repeats of "Crest of the Wave" stitch pattern. I just got my blocking wires so when it is done, I will be able to stretch it out and make it just lovely. Here is another shot. It is a close up of the pattern and trust me, blocking will bring out the lace more. I like the way it scallops and the waves of garter rows between lace rows do help it live up to its name. I am thinking of calling it the Cinnamon Wave Wrap. The yarn does look more like cinnamon and less like peach in real life.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Beef Expo

Last Saturday Hubby and I attended the Michigan Beef Expo at the Pavilion at MSU. While many none farm-types may say "How boring!" I had a great time. Not only did I manage the knit the entire heel flap on the blue-green sock, in "eye-of-partridge" no less, I found it to be one of those great human observation times.
After taking a quick stroll through the rows of cattle, we wandered past the vendor section where Hubby was quickly waylaid by a seed salesman. I found some Michigan Cattleman magazines and inspected a couple trays with fresh cattle reproductive organs. (Really!!) Since our sale was ready to start, I tried to snag Hubby away, while he was finishing up ordering some seed for our voluntary hay field. It was once a corn field that lay fallow for several years until one year, it was covered with red clover. So we baled it. He is going to smooth it out and actually seed it. He put several big round bales up for sale this past year, and even with the ad coming out Easter weekend, it was all sold by Sunday.
One thing I really enjoyed, as we waited for the sale to start while they stabilized the surface of the show ring, was watching the people. I was sitting by a newbie--a woman who had just bought her first 2 cattle and was asking all sorts of silly questions. Ones that even I could answer. All around were farmers and young farm men and women--tanned, ruddy faces peering out under John Deere baseball caps. A sea of tan Carhartt coats, from brand new to those faded to almost white. And ya know? Not a since instance of Maize and Blue to be seen.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Beutiful Day in the Country

What a glorious morning yesterday. I forgot to make mention of it.
When letting my “big tough farm dog”—a 12 lb poodle out for a morning kitty chase yesterday it was gorgeous. Sun shining. And the sounds!! What appeared to be a pair of mourning doves lurking around near the garage. Geese out in the far hay field, honking and fighting. A pair of ducks quacking as they took off from the not yet dry pond in the pasture.
Later,I was watching one of the mama barn cats scale a wall in the barn to drop behind a panel to where she apparently had the first of this years crop of kittens. Meanwhile, Old Mama kitty is waddling around like she swallowed a watermelon crossway. And the calves frolic in the pasture—and the garden. It seems the 120 pounder still is able to walk below the fence line without touching the electric wire, so we frequently find him in the garden or hayfield.
A good evening knitting as I am almost ready for heel flap on the blue/green pair of socks, as well as several rows on the Cinnamon Swirl wrap. I’ll have to get pictures to post of both those.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cardigans and Calves

I am on a sweater kick. I really want to start a cardigan for me. However I have soooooo many projects I am working on, I am beginning to feel like the Yarn Harlot, abandoning one project to start another, more tempting one. I recently purchased "Sweater Design in Plain English"
by Maggie Righetti and am getting really getting inspired. I have been studying my stash, hoping I can avoid new purchases, but am open to the idea.
I still am working on my Lady Entrelac shawl. It is well over half done. I can drape it across my shoulders while I am knitting if its cool. I need to cut the fringe soon so I can just merrily knit up the rest. It is going to be wonderful. I am at the stage where I am thinking about blocking it up. I am ordering a set of blocking wires and need to get my 8X4 sheet of rigid foam insulation. I want to maybe get some remnant fabric to cover it and block on that. I may need to cut it in half but want to figure some kind of way to hinge it. Fold it for storage, then fling it out for blocking.

We got the black calf and momma outside last weekend. Hubby and Younger Son weighed him at 12o pounds when 3 days old. I had to get a picture for Hubby so he could take the pictures of both calves to show to the guy who sold us Hurricane (our bull). I was able to get the printed instantly at Wal-Mart. Just plugged in my flash drive, selected the pictures I wanted printed and they just spit them right out. Cool. I may start making more prints, since I don't need to burn a CD for just a couple pictures each time.