Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

No red-neck Christmas tree in the back of a noisy truck this year. Instead Hubby and I attended a party last night for a friends "anniversary of their first date." A great time was had, and almost everyone made it. The only invitee not to attend was excused as being ill and on the other side of the state.

The only downside was a blowing snow, as we departed at the peak of wind and snowy blowy roads. But it was fun and the eats were great. While I was afraid Hubby wouldn't have anyone to talk to, we were surprised to find one of Janes friend's husband to be a fellow farmer who had actually graduated the same year as Hubby. They were busy gabbying all evening.

Happy New Years to All.

Monday, December 29, 2008

And Not So Finished Projects

I wanted to update some on my not-so-finished projects. I worked some on the burley vest, but it was too warm in the last couple days to do much. I have divided the fronts and back and cast off for the arms holes. It is folded over here, so is wider than it looks.
I also finished block 11 on the Wrap Me Up Shawl. Since there are 21 blocks, that puts me half way, although there are finishing borders and cords after the last block.
I especially like the ruffle.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Finished Project

I did finish sewing up the Baby Surprise Jacket for Luke and even got a chance to deliver it on Saturday. It appears that he liked it.

It even fit, although the garter stitch has lots of give and it will maybe fit this fall yet.

The fog was like pea soup when I delivered it. The temps on upper 50's made a mess of my glorious snow banks and with the winds caused the fog to billow across the road.

Michigan cellars are not good for rapid thaws. Hubby had to dig out the sub-pump and pump out the basement. Michigan cellars of course just have dirt floors and water was running down under the steps. He was up half the night and pumped it 5 times. Since our pump does not have a shut off, he had to stay awake to pump.

And look at the hay fields. That tree out there is in the ditch between our 2 hay fields. Near the botttom, in the open water is a little whirlpool caused by the tube that runs under the road that was vainly trying its best to drain the fields. And at this point, on my way home from church, the water had gone down quite a bit.

Twas the Day before Christmas

Twas the Day before Christmas, and there in the house,
Farmmom was hiding, as presents she wrapped.
The snow was a-falling, like feathers it flew
And Hubby had dug out the truck that was trapped.

When out on the drive there arose such a clatter,
Farmmom ran to the window to see what was the matter.
Older Son coming to push back the snow,
Making a path in the field with his plow.

He pushed it all back though the flakes were a flurry
Then off he drove, as always, in a hurry.
But he may have exclaimed, as he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas, I'll be back before Christmas night. "

And that was that, no promises when, but he did make it back for a while the next afternoon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A List: Wonderful Movies I've Discovered/Rediscovered in 2008

Or thereabout.

"Witness for the Prosecution" with Charles Laughton
"Little Women" with Katherine Hepburn--favorite version
"Little Women" with June Allyson
"The Women", original version with Rosalind Russell and Norma Shearer
"Paths of Glory" with Kirk Douglas--chilling and infuriating.
"The Shop Around the Corner" with Jimmy Stewart and Frank Morgan (the guy who was the Wizard of Oz)
and the remake named "In the Good Old Summertime" with Judy Garland and Van Johnson
"The Bishop's Wife"--ahhh, Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, how did I miss it for this long?
"The Bells of St. Mary's"--apparently I had the plot of this and "Going My Way" confused in my mind. Loved seeing it.
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!" Marilyn Monroe was hilarious!
"Christmas in Connecticut" with Barbara Stanwyck,
"Naked City"
"Destination Tokyo" with Cary Grant
and of course "Pride and Prejudice" with Olivier and Garson.

I also enjoyed the 1938 version of "A Christmas Carol", although my favorite remains the longer version with Alistair Sims, made in 1951.

It was a good year for movies. I look forward to 2009.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blowing in the Wind

Snow I mean.

I was rather relieved on Friday when, as I was getting ready to schlep my spinning wheel and supplies out to the car, to get a phone call. David was telling me he would watch the store in the afternoon, so I didn't have to come to spinning and work. I was greatly relieved. While I love snow, I don't love driving in it. Mainly because driving is a necessary evil and I don't enjoy driving in any weather. Even the library, my other job was closed, although it was my day off from there anyway.
But I do enjoy snow. It did let up yesterday so I could finish my shopping and get my groceries and stocking stuffers. (Mind you, nothing is wrapped yet, although this should have been the day.)

Last night however, when I peeped out to see where Hubby was, I saw the most delightful sight. Even Hubby commented on it. Snow was beginning to lightly fall, like diamond dust showering down. You could see waves of it hitting the ground, and the glistening as it fell past the open door.

(No, this picture is not the surface of the moon, but the surface of one of the panes of the window on the back door. Single figure temps tend to make pretty pictures.)
Today--not alot of snow, but WINDY!!. The next county over--1 mile away--is now under a blizzard warning. We are still a mere winter storm warning. Good old lake effect snow. I was unable to venture out to church--4 foot drift in front of the garage still. I snuck out the back door with a camera and got a few of the pictures shown here. Other than that I only ventured out to do bunny chores and come back in. Poor Sadie. Snow has been blowing through the top of the door and drifting down on her. I tried not to touch her. Didn't want to disturb her insulation of fluff.
And so it blows.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Hours

Starting this week I will be getting more hours at the store. Jane will probably be getting more hours for her transcription that she does back up for at a local doctor’s office. This is in addition to the hours she puts in working third shift at another transcription place. So Sandy and I will each work an extra day and Dave apparently will work Saturdays to give her time to sleep. My library hours will be all day on Wednesday and Thursdays for the most part. Except for Christmas and New Years weeks, which (Yikes!) start next week!
So today, I am at the store typing this, although not sure when I can post. Jane thought I could jump on their wireless network here but they took their router home so I need a network cable. Or something. I will need to confer with my techy brother and or nephew. If I can’t post this tonight at home I will try to post from the library.
Speaking of which, did I mention the Baby Surprise Jacket for my great nephew is done, except for seaming. I want to leave it unsewn for a while to confound people with it. The shape looks nothing like a sweater as is. I also finished a hat—the Toasty Topper, which is a hat with built in scarf—in the same yarn. I had mere inches to spare but it is really cute.
I spent some more time on the Burleyspun vest and my rose green sweater while knitting at home yesterday. So those projects are not snoozing, just back burner. I did make my Gilbert a sweater vest to wear outside when it is so cold. I did a practice one first before I use the good yarn to make another. I think I can try it in a smaller gague. And maybe with a rolled collar instead of ribbed. Not sure on that yet.
Oh—and I got the Christmas tree up and trimmed. It is just a small one, but looks nice.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More and More Projects

As if the approaching Christmas season isn't enough, I managed to start 2 more projects since Thursday. I finished the Baby Surprise Jacket, except for the shoulder seams. I started and almost finished the Toasty Topper from Knitty magazine from about a year ago. It is a hat with a scarf growing out of the back of the hat. To help keep hat and scarf together. I haven't even got a picture yet but it is out of the last skein of yarn from the BSJ.
Then, with Gilbert the farm poodle ready to go for his hair cut today, I thought the chilly weather dictated a doggy sweater. I started that yesterday, but it is still only in the yoke area. Since I couldn't get it done for today, I decided to finish the topper first. I am using a rich teal color Nature Spun wool. I need to work on it while he is handy for frequent try-ons.
Lots of snow in the past week. Tonight and tomorrow are supposed to be warming and possibly slushy. The roads have that packed snow ruts that make roads treacherous without any ice on them. We aren't even pretending to plan a trip to Frankenmuth, since the last 2 Mondays were snowed out!
I have been spinning and plying this past week too. I finally have the lipstick red silk/cormo blend all spun and ready to ply. It spun quite fine and hope to have a lot of yardage out of it. It has such a shimmer and deep red color I can't wait to see the finished project.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Congratulations to Angora Girls

My Miss Sadie would like to send her best wishes to the Angora Girls.
After riotous overnight with Blueberry while their Humans were spending an evening away a couple weeks ago, both Crystal and Godiva have recently been spotted constructing nests and are reportedly becoming quite chubby recently.
Rumors abound.
Mr Human has refrained from comment as to how this happened, but press releases state he apparently did not replace the gates of the palatial bunny barn known as Mocha house, inviting the apparent conjugal visits.
The eagerly awaited event should come sometime in the next week or so.
My Sadie also states that since she is safely protected by her cage with no access to maurading male bunnies, she is not constructing any nests.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If Its Winter, Its Time for Wool

Well, yet another trip to Frankenmuth foiled by the weather. But let it be firmly noted that I was not the first to bale this time. Ms Jane --who constantly makes fun of my cautious driving habits decided Saturday that it was to slippery to go. Ironically Sunday, while much snow lay on the ground was a decidedly lovely day. As you can see, the sun tried to peep through the clouds. I even saw a snowplow go by. On Sunday in Newaygo County!!!
As it turned out, the weather report was for a winter storm warning, starting late Monday, so it was probably good we stayed home. Today, all the county schools were closed and the drive to work was nasty. Luckily we stayed in the snow range and not in the rain/freezing rain area.
But since I was home yesterday, I spun and knit up a storm. Spinning pics, some blue/green/purple Finn wool from Spunky Eclectic called Arcadia, and some rich dark Icelandic over-dyed red. I have a pound of that, and that is about half of the first 8 oz that I have spun up so far. The color is brighter and richer than the picture shows. I am thinking maybe a hat and mittens for the red. Not sure yet about the soft Finn.

I haven't worked on the Wrap Me Up shawl, because I am almost finished with the Baby Surprise Jacket for Luke. I will be posting update pictures on Ravelry (where I am farmmom.) I am binding off with an I-cord. Then just sew shoulders and buttons and that project will be done.

And yet another project. I got some super bulky handpaint BurleySpun in shades of blue and am making a quick vest. It will be super warm when its done. Hopefully I will have enough yarn to finish. I will be checking for length on Gertrude to make sure I don't divide for the front and back too late.

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Road Trip

A bunch of my fiber friends and I had planned a fun filled trip to Frankenmuth today. It is the home of a wool mill, a year round Christmas store, and Bavarian chicken dinners and I don't know what all. I had never been there and they all figured I needed to day.


Life got in the way.

As you can see, we had a bit of snow. Since it started Sunday, there of course was no plowing or salting of roads until today. Maybe in the spring time.

I knit some more on the Baby Surprise Jacket I have started for Luke. Does it look like a sweater yet? I just hope I can figure out how to sew it together once I am done with it.

I also worked on the rose green cardigan. Several rows, but since it is just above the joined sleeves, each row takes about 5 years to finish. Well, maybe I do exaggerate a little. But it is slow going.

And, just to be totally wicked, I cast on yet another project. I purchased the pattern for the Wrap Me Up Shawl at the Charlevoix fiber festival. I have the yarn, but put other projects in front of it. I cast on last Friday and have about a third of the first block done. It is a sampler shawl, with many techniques and stitch patterns to keep you from being bored. I love working with the self striping yarns.

Of course Hubby found ways to keep me busy since I was home today. I had to help him load cattle, along with Younger Son, into the cattle trailer for a trip to the auction. Then later, after Hubby came home, we had to put the calf crate into the little truck to go back to buy another calf at the auction. Now that he is gone, I am blogging and spinning this evening. He has the fire all stoked up and I am toasty and warm, with a puppy on my toes.