Friday, November 28, 2008

Passing On the Knits

I will soon be passing along the sweater I made for great nephew Luke and my Favorite Lieutenant helmet liner. I wanted to be sure I put on pictures of both. I will try to get one of Brett with the liner, but for now:
I love the buttons I found at the yarn shop for the sweater. They are ceramic and the color matches perfectly. I even had a spare to tuck in with a little ball of yarn and the label showing the care directions.
As far as the helmet liner Brett will be on his own. I will just tell him hand wash, dry flat, squeeze, don't wring.
And hope for the best.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

What am I thankful for?
Snowy days. Friends. Nephews to knit for. Snuggly dogs. 2 Part-time jobs, in fields I love--history/genealogy and spinning/fiber, even if I do need more hours.
Paid for house and car.
Sons who are out of school and seem to be doing well. (Extra thanks for that!)
My church family, even if I have disputes with the upper levels of the denomination. My faith.
My spinning wheels, and my stash.
Turkeys. STUFFING with sage and onions.
Good books to read. Classic movies to cry along with--today it was Cheaper by the Dozen the 1950 version.
Barn kitties.
No football.
Did I mention I like snow?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Knitting Updates

I still haven't finished Luke's cardigan. All I have left to do now is weave in the ends and, of course, close the underarms. I plan to actually graft them, instead of doing a 3 needle bind off like I usually have done.

I WILL have it done by the end of the week when I will do a hand off to the Grammy and Grampy for the delivery. I also will be giving my nephew his helmet liner. In less than a month he will be heading for Afghanistan.

I had planned on starting my Wrap Me Up Shawl next. I already had all my yarn picked up and sorted out. I had bought some Plymouth Boku when Jane was clearing out some of her yarn lines. I have a bunch of colorway 60--a brown black blend and some tan colored Pastaza--a great wool/llama blend. I guess it is bumped back a little in the queue. Probably I decided I wanted to do something different, since Rachel already has one, and Jane and Sandy are both working on it at Knit Group.

I also planned on finishing my rose-green cardi first, before starting anything new. However in a moment of weakness, (new yarn fumes overcame me--I swear) I cast on for a new shawl. The pattern is in a book I have had for some time--Wrapped in Comfort and it is a feather and fan pattern called Bigfoot Shawl. I started it last Friday and am almost done with the first pattern and will be increasing stitches one more time and then starting the largest pattern chart. It is a feather and fan pattern which is one I love. The yarn is a lace weight shetland and a soft Rosy brown.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holiday Times

Time to start some Christmas shoppping. Plans are to visit the Outback Toys website to order some hoodies for both Older and Younger Son. They are totally into farm tees and sweatshirts. Of course shopping is curtailed this year, but no Christmas would be complete without some tractor related toy or article of clothing. Outback doesn't have may John Deere items, but since Older Son's boss mostly has Case IH, this website has just what I need.
I will probably be getting the turkey out to start thawing tomorrow. Younger Son informed me that he will be going to his buddy/boss/landlord's family's home for Thanksgiving. He told me earlier this year that since he is living with Henry he is considered part of his family. So he is going to their family dinner. Since he has to milk that day anyway, I can make a late dinner and possibly he can come later. Oldest Son says he will be combining that day. If he can't get anyone else to work that day (and why would they unless they never take time off--like him) he will have to fill all 5 semi's himself. Maybe I can get him to stop by with bribery--he likes stuffing more than I do.

Early Turkey Day

Yummy, we had Thanksgiving dinner after church to day, in the new Mission Center. Yummy, turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and salad, desserts. Tottally yummy.
And I forgot my camera.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meet Gertrude and Other Projects

I finished my dress form, Gertrude. Scary as she is, I think she will be quite useful. I got a big piece of cardboard from Jane and finished stuffing her. Now I can see fit sweaters just a bit easier.

So sad, my belly is bigger than the girls.

I spent some time knitting as well as spinning while watching the races this weekend. I spun up one bobbin of the red icelandic and started the last bobbin of my finn roving.

The sweater for Luke is almost done. Probably would have been if I hadn't been sorting patterns and looking for one of the Baby Surprise Jacket, as well as a lace stole for use with some shetland. I should be able to have at least this jacket done by Thanksgiving, once I buy buttons and weave in ends. (UGH). Then I can surprise them with the Baby Surprise Jacket. I may even e-mail them a picture in progress, to see if they can figure out what it is. But for now, here is a picture of the sweater still in progress.

Racy Weekend

Now flush your potty mind. You know what I mean.
A couple more great races to finish out the season. Poor Carl Edwards didn't get either championship. But there will be other years for him I am sure.
I was really hoping Clint and Jimmy would win their respective series. I was hoping so hard I was even rooting for Kyle to beat Carl in Saturdays race, if that would help. Kyle didn't win, but all three series finales were great.
I can hardly wait for February.
And next year, my man Mark Martin will be racing full time. Whoooo Hooo.

Well It's About Time

Nuff said.

Friday, November 14, 2008

He Did It!!

My man Johnny, local West Michigan boy, won the truck championship. I am so excited.

One series down and two more to go. Its gonna be a great weekend.

Knitting Pictures

As I try to type this and watch the NASCAR truck race (come on Johnny Benson!!) I want to show the progress on my various projects. And also try to make a minimum of spelling errors. I have made at least 5 corrections so far.

I finished the helmet liner for my favorite Lieutenant. Don't I make a fashion statement? But I do think it will be ok. It isn't very heavy but the wool is nice and warm. I hope he likes it.

Then I also started the cardigan I promised my great nephew. I am using Encore Colorspun in a color that the Patternworks cataloge called Carribean, even though the lable does not have a name on the color. I am using an Anne Norling pattern and instead of ribbing am using a seed stitch for bottom, cuffs, and button bands. I have one sleeve done and am up to the armpits on the body. I also did the button band in one piece with the body, so I hope that works ok.

Race update. Johnny only has a few laps but does not appear to have the tires to win. Nine laps but he didn't get new tires like Hornaday. He is leading points now, but Yikes, it could go either way now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hard at Work

I have been busy knitting in the last few days. 
I started and finished the helmet liner for my favorite Lieutenant nephew in regulation colors of black and green wool. It fits me and I think it will be ok.  I will have pictures soon.
I also started and am up the the armpits on a cardigan for my favorite great nephew.  Ok, there is only one great-nephew, but you know what I mean.  It is using Encore Colorspun and coming up with great stripes.  My cardigan is still on snooze for the time being but hope to back at it soon for a bit before I start a baby surprise jacket--also for the afore mentioned favorite great nephew.  I have been wanting to try it, but was afraid I wouldn't know how to seam it after I knit it.  But one of the gals at Knit Club is making one, so maybe she can help.
I have amost finished Gertrude, the duct-tape dress form.  Currently she is riding in the trunk of the car .  I need to add a bit more fiberfill and then cut some cardboard to fit the bottom and she will be done.  I am worried about the weight on the hanger, so I may need to try to wriggle in a new heaver one before I seal her up.  Again, pictures will be forthcoming. 
Oh, did I mention that we finally had some snow last weekend?  Not much, but at least it we had some accumulation.  At last.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

NASCAR Winds To a Close

Yup, as I type this, the engines are being fired for the next to last race of the season. The season was quite fun this year. There were races that I could boo, as Kyle crossed to the checkered flag. My man Mark Martin didn't win this year, but he has raced very well, and always placed well. And next year he is back one more time to run a full season. I didn't want Jimmy to get another championship, but better him than Kyle. (Can you tell I don't like Kyle Busch?) And now both the truck race and the Cup races are tight and promise a great weekend for the close of this racing season.
I'm gonna miss those guys for a few months.
But, well, there's always Turner Classic Movie channel. I'll have time to watch the holiday movies I guess.

Gift Knitting

Reality hit and I realized I only have a month to get Brett's helmet liner to him. He said he will be home for Thanksgiving and only for 2 days. So on Thursday evening I cast on for his helmet liner. I have some black/dark green twist wool, (Cascade 220) that was purchased for this purpose several years ago. I had to bump up one size of needles but it is on gauge and should be ok. When I take it over, I will have his dad (aka Favorite Brother) try it on. Here are some pictures of it so far.

The color is much darker than the second picture, probably closer to the first picture, except the black/green color doesn't really show up.

Then when I finishe this, I have to make a cardigan for my great nephew. I have imposed a deadline of Christmas for that, so my cardigan is taking a bit of a snooze right now.

I have also been spinning lately. I finished half of my September Spunky Club roving that is blue/green/purple. It filled one bobbin and I should have enought for another bobbin to ply together. I also bought a pound of dark read islandic roving the other day. It was a black/grey fleece that was overdyed red and has a very rich tone to it. I couldn't wait til the Spunky was done, so I started that last night. It looks like it will have a very fuzzy bloom and I am tentatively think of making a tam and possibly mittens for my black coat out of it. I didn't get a picture of the red, but here is a shot of my full bobbin of the other yarn.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

*Warning--Political Content* Read At Your Own Risk

I don't like to stir up controversy.  Hence the disclaimer.
As a result of the election, I have been in mourning for the past couple days.  It surprises me how distressed I have been at the outcome of this year's election.  Heaven knows that many of my previous votes have often been for the loosing candidate.
This time, I think instead of resignation, I have a deep sense of fear about the future.  Fear for my pocketbook. Fear for the economy, Fear of terrorist attacking our country.  Fear for the changes in attitudes and morals.
When Bill Clinton won a second term I was embarrassed.  What were all those people thinking? (And I credit/blame him for a cheapening of morals and honesty.) 
This time, I just don't know.  I do blame the press for being in the tank from day one for one candidate and just browbeating the other.  But most of the sleazy connections and background info was still available.  How can people trust him? 
It looks like a scary time in store for us.  
Only upside.  Younger Son went to the poll at the same time I did and cast his first ballot.  He was quite excited.  And quite bummed at 11:05 when he called to see if I had heard the outcome.  He has been interested in the process, which surprised me and I home he continues to take an active interest.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Impatient Puppy

Mommy, aren't you done with the 'puter YET?

Oops, I Forgot to Mention

On the way home from the Spin-In on Saturday, I also stopped by to say howdy to some of my family.

The cemetery on the way holds 2 sets of my great-great-grandparents, and one pair of great-great-great grandparents. I couldn't find my Gilbert family who have the flat stones, that are flush with the ground. They were my great grandparents and Great-great-grandparents that include my Civil War ancestor. I always have felt a special place for GGGrandpa Armenus Gilbert, as he is the first ancestor I found on my own and confirmed. I even named my dog afer him. I did find Great Granny's parents and Grandparents. A cousin recently replaced a couple of the stones, so I hadn't found their graves until this year.

Denial, Not Just a River Somewhere

That's right, I was in denial. Last Tuesday I calculated the math for the raglan decreases and for the neck decreases. I thought, "My, that would take an awful lot of rows, but the math looks good. So I merrily knit along for 1 1/2 inches (mind you, in DK weight yarn, enough to circle my volumptious bode at above the joined sleeves, so over 500 stitches). Finally I calculated again, and took out a measureing tape yesterday.

Hmmmm, 22 inches. Not good. EZ says it is always about 10 -11 inches for most people. I'm big, but not that big! Can you say Rip-It?

So I recalculated and ended up ripping back to just past the first decrease row. Those interchangable needles area great for this, especially since I have a extra long cable. I put on a tip 3 sizes smaller and then picked up the stitches as a lifeline. I ripped back to that with no problem. Now I am decreasing at twice the rate as before and it looks much better.

On another note, Sadie and I spent some quality time tonight. Lots of combing and she looks quite spiffy.

Saturday Fiber Fix

Some Friends up north were having a Fiber day, spinning and knitting. Jane ended up being unable to attend, having been struck with a virus or something that left her deathly ill. I
went and had a great time. There were two of the gals who just bought new wheels from the store who attended, and spun up a storm. We also played around in the bags of wool. One of them even came home with me.
I have been having fun playing with my new camera, so here are a couple more shots from the event.

Out of respect for Angie, I will not show her picture. But Sheila was working on a Wallaby out of left over home spun. Kathy was spining some beautiful yarn. Which bring me to my next two pictures. I am really pround of these. They were taken as Kathy spun at the same speed, but I used different settings on my camera. The motion picture is my favorite.

Isn't that flyer cool?