Monday, April 27, 2009

NASCAR and Knitting

Wow--what a race. If I hadn't been so disappointed with what happened to Mark, it would have almost been a perfect race.
I watched and knit in amazement as cars would fly up out of nowhere and claim the lead. I just cannot get over how some tracks no one can ever pass anyone and how at others, they can move up and back constantly.
That said. What an ending to Talledaga. I do find that Jr's protege Brad has been someone I have been watching. I don't think he did anything wrong--Carl came down and Brad was already there. But what a spin, roll, flight and then a dash on foot to the start/finish line. I haven't heard if that counted as finishing the race for him. It did in the movie, but this was Talledaga days, not Talledaga Nights.
And I finished over an inch of sleeve--remember this is lace weight, so that was an accomplishment.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Knitting Progress.

Yes, the toe cap was a huge success. Sandy reported much warmer toes and loved the cap.

I have also been plugging away on the stealth project and my Hot Rod Heather Classic Lines Cardigan. It is a free downloaded pattern from Knit Picks and I also joined their knit along for the project. I started with the sleeve and even though I did not do a provisional cast on, I folded and fused it by picking up stitches along the cast on and knitting with the main part of the sleeve.
I think it is going along quite nicely. I've got about 5 of the stripes done now and it is a easy but interesting knit. If it goes well and as quickly as it has been, I may just try it again in shades of blue.
In other family news. Younger Son has been getting the upstairs room cleaned up. He found an old radio system I had (cassette, turn-table, radio, and-Lord help me--an 8 track deck) stowed upstairs when I got a CD player. He is loving the huge speakers and wants to mount them on the wall. For the time being, the radio works well.
I helped him out some today, but quit for the afternoon when I almost missed "The Big One". We were listening to the race upstairs on the radio, but it isn't the same as actually watching the race. Especially watching the accidents. I just cannot get over the way the lead changes so often and so quickly on these speedways.
Our ten year old window AC died the other day. Hubby was trying to turn it on and nothing. So I had to get another one yesterday. I will NOT endure summer without one. And fortunately, neither will Hubby anymore. We need to install it yet, but at least we have it.

Talladga Blues

“Oh the humanity!” The agony that is Talladega.
Last week, first place. This week, a casuality of “The Big One” and out in lap 8 .
Drat. We can’t get the championship that way.
Of course I am referring to my man, Mark Martin; knocked out of the race today when the Big One happened so soon in the afternoon.
I do have my back up guys to cheer along: Reutimann, Earnhardt Jr, Waltrip. And there is still Kyle to boo.
But, poor Mark!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Younger Son--Part 2 Life is Never Boring

Live is never boring with children.
I blame all my gray hairs (or silver highlights as I prefer to call it) on the boys.
Yesterday afternoon, after Younger Son had left to go to work, I get a call at work. YS was on the side of the road, with truck and a blown tire. Yup, not just flat, but blown. Same tire that Hubby had pumped up a day or 2 before. (Hmmm, must tell him to check more carefully when tires go down so fast.)
Luckily he was only going about 25 mph, since a bus had just been stopped ahead of him. But he was unable to reach Hubby. After YS had left for work, Hubby had gone out to barn, and was doing general time filling farm stuff outside. And Hubby does not have a cell phone. YS had been trying to reach him and was getting frantic. After calming YS, I told him call his co-worker and explain he will be late and then call home and actually leave a message on the answering machine. After several calls back and forth, he finally got to straighten things out.
My co-worker was heading home at the time so she picked him up and took him to the farm. And later Hubby and I drove to to where he left the truck and changed the tire and delivered truck to son. Only an hour late, and milking had started a half hour late so he didn't miss a lot.
Later Younger Son reported that his co-worker had almost overslept and thanked him for calling her. He replied, oh yeah, it sure was lucky I blew a tire then.
I wonder where he gets his warped sense of humor?

Younger Son--Part One

Younger Son has moved back home. Nice, as I wasn't too keen with where he was living after he moved from the friend he had been living with.
The catch you ask? Well, the friend he was living with has to think about whether he wants Younger Son to move back with him. Not unreasonable, as YS did kind of bail on him. BUT, remember that craft room of mine? Full of yarn, spinning wheels, bookshelves and roving? That was the sons' former bedroom.
He said can't you just move that "junk" (JUNK? That is precious stash and resources and materials! Plus it is a LOT of stash, resources and materials.) upstairs? I presented the idea of him using the finished upstairs room, complete with bed. It just requires moving some stuff around. Granted the room is not very neat, a mess beginning when he and a friend trashed it as children. But after he looked in the craft room, he agreed that him moving upstairs might just be the better decision. Much less to move to get him upstairs, than to move craft stuff up there.
Besides knowing him, he would be moving in with someone again soon.
Whew, crisis averted.
Now--dealing the the impending grocery bills with him home. We may need to get a food allowance out of him. Or let him do some shopping of his own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Lady is in Time Out.

Ya know how it is, when your inner knitter keeps telling you something is not going right?
After Easter when I decided I could once again pick up the February Pink Lady sweater and start working on it, I got that nagging feeling when I went back to the sleeve. The pattern didn't look right. BUT did I pull out the pattern, or the card that I had written out the lace pattern? Nope. My outer knitter knew what it was doing.
I went on for a few more rounds and still the recent rows didn't match the body lace rows. Humph. I rummaged in the knitting bag and found the pattern card.
Oh oh.
Yup I had the lace rows memorized perfectly, except for the fact that there is a plain knit row (when knitting around) between the lace rows.
How did that happen? I thought back. The previous time I had worked on the Pink Lady was Knit Night. Not the best time for concentration in knitting.
Soooo, I had about 4 inches done, in lace, all done wrong.
I did not want to frog it back, because I couldn't find the correct stitches to pick up. (I tried. And cried.)
As a result, the February Pink Lady is resting in time out for a while.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some Days are Better than Birthdays.

You know, the day after a birthday can be almost as good as the actual birthday. 
When I got to work today, there was a voice message from hubby, wishing me happy birthday.  Only a day late.  I think he was feeling guilty because he was gone most of the day late yesterday, at the weekly livestock auction.  
I got a card from my fellow employees with 2 coupons for free snacks in the staff lounge. (Ususally they only give one, but I got a bonus for getting it a day late.) 
And, Sandy's hubby came in with her usual Tuesday bunch of flowers, and he had a bunch for me too!  The card said "One of us remembered your birthday,  the other one just kinda lives in the house and doesn't know whats going on".  While he claimed to be the one who remembered, I know better. 
And oh yes, the toe cap was a huge success.  Warm toasty toes Sandy says.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Toe Cap and Other Knitting Updates

I finished Sandy's toe cap. And if I do say so, it is rather cute. I have to give it to her tomorrow as I didn't finish it until Friday evening, after work. If I hadn't had those library books to read, I would have finished on time.
I also swatched for the Classic Lines Cardigan. Oh, haven't I mentioned it before. It is a Knit Picks free pattern and they are having a knit along. The reason I joined, despite all the other UFO's lurking around on the needles? It is steeked, and I have vowed to learn how to steek. It is knit with 2 strands of lace weight wool, and every 6th row you carry along another strand of alpaca/silk handpainted lace wt.

The colors I picked are Hot Rod Heather, and Lip GLoss for the extra strand of color. Here is a swatch.
Heaven help me it is on size 4 needles. Thats right, FOUR. I may be knitting all year on this one, but it should be fairly portable, even with all the yarn I need to cover me. I am hoping being made with double stranded lace weight, that it won't be too terrible hot. Iplan on casting on tonight, but will still work on the Stealth shawl to get that done.

Happy Birthday to Me

I have to say it, because my family never remembers. (All men remember?) Every since a family friend moved from the area to teach in southwest Michigan, no one reminds them. When she was around, it was great, because she also sold Avon and she would just demand money from older son to buy a present.
But I can't really complain. My Sadie wool from Kelly, her rescue mommy, should be coming any day now.
And, on the NASCAR front, the best of presents----WOOO HOOOO!! My man Mark (the kid) Martin WON!!!!!! Much as I hate the night races, because I can hardly stay awake, I had no problem keeping my eyes open for this race. I knew it was coming, and am so excited for his victory. He is such a clean racer and so gracious whatever happens. I was totally elated to see him win.
One other present I am getting myself. I recently checked the Elizabeth Zimmermann DVD out from the library, after waiting quite a while to get it. It is the Knitting Workshop DVD. I love it. It was really strange, to listen to her, and fairly awe inspiring. I may sound crazy, but she has been such an inspiration to my knitting that I felt like it was my Grandma sitting down and giving me knitting guidance. I loved the DVD so much, I ordered them from KnitPicks to have my own copy, of both the Knitting Workshop, and Knitting Around.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Toe Cap?

Yup, I have been hard at work on the toe cap for my co-worker who has been off work for so long with a broken foot/torn tendon.  She looked so pathetic with her blue cast and dirty fake fur pink sock on it.  So I rummaged in stash Tuesday evening and found some handspun merino.  It is spun from roving I bought from the Stonehedge Fiber Mill at the Charlevoix fiber festival this summer.  Lovely peach color and Sandy loves it. 
Found a hat in One Skein Wonders called This "n" That Hat that looked interesting, textured and easy to do.  I have gotten to the decrease rows and hope to have it done tonight.  Pictures will have to wait. 
I planned on blogging on this subject tomorrow.  But, since Hubby put an ad in the local buyers guide paper for hay for sale--and since that paper comes out tomorrow, I have to stay off the internet.  Dial-up you know.  So once the hay is sold--4 X 5 foot big bales, stored outside on pallets, grass/clover/alphalfa mix, $35--the I can go back on line and post some pictures.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Holy Week Reflections

I do love the week of Palm Sunday to Easter.  With all my knitting flurry, bunny exchanges, and cooking and family life, it is still nice to have that especially reflective time. 
My church has a tradition of starting Holy Week on Palm Sunday with a procession from the Mission Center carrying palm branches around to the front entrance, much like the original Palm Sunday.  The readings and music brought back to my mind thoughts of the play/movie "GodSpell".  I loved the music and the replaying of the parables, as well as the childlike joy that permeates the play.  I found myself humming "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord" many times last week. 
We also have a tradition of an all night prayer vigil from Thursday evening until the Good Friday service.  I have spent the hour I sign up for in various ways.  On my knees reading out of the Book of Common Prayer, playing guitar or piano and singing. (My piano ability is strictly one-finger.) This year I did a little reading, a little singing with piano, and a lot of knitting and talking to God.  I find my knitting helps me focus and I can get some serious praying done while knitting.  It helps to corral my grasshopper thoughts.
Finally the joy of Easter.  I so love the songs, the ringing out of the Alleluia's that have been suppressed all Lent.  This year I also mellowed out on the Hollywood version of Easter--The Ten Commandments on Saturday.  Ben Hur and Barabbas on Sunday.  (I finally broke from the relitious mold with a little Fred and Judy in Easter Parade Sunday evening.)  But it is the hymns that help make the season real to me.
I had to apologize to my priest.  Before the service, as I was reviewing th songs, I was going "love that, oooo thats a goody."  But then I got to the recessional.  Do I know that one?  Did Duncan pick some British Easter song we never heard of?  But to my delight, when we got to the end of the service, it was a wonder Easter hymn. Great words.  And the tune--Onward Christian Soldiers! 
Onward to Life. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Knitting Success.

I finished my Sonoma Shawl for Easter. I had to turn on a fan to blow across it Sunday morning when it was still damp, but that did the trick and it was dry in time for church.

It pinned out really well. I was happy that my hop-scotch squares that I bought for blocking work so well.

And I am rather proud of it.

I even decided to start another right away. So I am off to my needles.

Saturday Travels

Saturday, Sadie went to a better place. No, I didn't do her in, although I was sorely tempted the day she bit me. (And I am still nursing the spots where she bit me.)

No, I took the scenic route to the not too far north central Michigan where Sadie came from. On the way I found a yarn shop I had been wanting to visit. I got some yarn for a stealth gift project. I had my audio book in one ear, and thus finished "Tess of the D'ubervilles" on the way.

Kelly graciously took back Sadie. I explained that a friend thought her problem may have been raging hormones. After all, it is spring, and she is a bunny. Kelly said she would put her in with Mr Vanilla, to help mellow her out. As I said, she is in a better place.

So, yes I also came home with the little blue boy you saw in a previous post. Blue eyes and blue fur, with some apricot touches on feet and ears. I am naming him Frankie S for Old Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.

He is settling in just fine, but seems lost in the cage that Sadie seemed almost cramped in. And speaking of the old gal..Kelly wrote me that she sheared off her wool and is sending me about 4 oz of angora from her.
She is going to be too embarrased to meet the buck.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No Time

No time to eat.
No time to sleep.
No time to post pictures.
I am still madly knitting on Sonoma.   I have been taking pictures and they will appear either here or on Ravelry when I am done and have time again.
With services tonight for Maundy Thursday, and taking Hubby out for supper for his birthday tomorrow night, when else is a gal going to knit?
Well actually, I did sign up for the vigil at church at midnight tonight.  Guess Sonoma Shawl is coming with me.
When this is done, I have to work on some UFO's.  And oh yeah, I did order yarn for a KnitPicks KAL for a steeked cardigan.  I will finish at least one UFO first.
I promise.   

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Down to the Deadline

Some of you may know I am trying to finish the Sonoma Shawl for Easter.  I have a new dress that just matches the green in the shawl.  But with my stitch count currently at 420 on the way to 472 stitches, it does seem like a long way off. 
BUT, I only have 3 more of the lace rows, 3 pattern repeats, about a dozen rows!!!!  And then I will be done.  Maybe I'll make it yet.  I need to have it done in time to block and dry for Sunday, but the possibility is  closing in and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Hmmmmm. Any other cliche' I left out?

Bunny Behaving Badly

Sadie is dern lucky I am not reporting her demise here.

She has been a bit frisky lately, and as a result I haven't been able to groom her regularily. A couple times recently she has nipped at me, and twice left tooth marks. This morning she had been in a snit apparently, and had knocked her litter pan from the corner. When I reached in to move it back to get her food, she bit me quite hard. I have 2 bandages--and do you know how hard it is to put them between my index and middle finger? It is apparently quite a tender spot too.

Anyway after an e-mail to my spinning friends e-mail group, the gal I purchased her from is offering to take her back. She even offered me a replacement bunny--a jersy wooly that she says won't get as big.

The jury is out on that at the moment. But here is a picture of a possible candidate bunny.

What do you think? Should I try yet again?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I Love Holy Week

I do love Easter. The whole week between Palm Sunday to Easter is a joyous and reflective time. This week, with the Passion reading taken from Mark, I had visions of "GodSpell" dancing though my head. All week. Full of thoughts of the 70's rollicking musical parables and crucifixion story. "Prepare ye" as I was preparing myself.

My church has a procession with palms on Palm Sunday, as we walk around the outside of the church.

And our Easter tradition is a brunch after the service. Yummy.

And I finished my Sonoma shawl. I must confess, when I spent my hour at the all night prayer vigil I sang, prayed, and ...knit. But I finished it. I came off the needles Saturday afternoon and I put it on the blocking mat. I had to turn on a fan to blow over my blocked shawl Sunday morning, but I was able to wear it to church. I like it so well. I got yarn to start a new one.

Shearing at Sheila's

Lots of fun and fiber today. Went to a friend's home whose sheep were being sheared by a well know West Michigan young man who is a friend of Youngest Son. He has won prizes in competions nationwide. And he was quite impressive to watch.
The sheep, after being shorn, were feeling delightfully free, especially the ones they call the "Shitlands".
After the shearing was done, we went the the store to knit, spin, eat and warm up. I also bought wool. I couldn't resist. Afterall, I had just met the sheep face to face!
I had recently discovered that these friends live in the same home that my great-great-grandfather had lived in before he died in 1899. So I went home the longer way, so I could pay my respects to GGGranddaddy James Henry.
Which also meant that I had to come home through Baldwin. And any self respecting West Michiganian knows that means. Jones' Homemade Ice Cream.

Sorry, no pictures available of myself indulging. But I had black raspberry and black walnut on a sugar cone. YUMMMY!!

Drive Your Tractor to School Day--2009

Once again, the farmer's day to shine at the local high school occurred this past Thursday.

There were the big, shiny and powerful.

The older and more humble working tractors. The parking lot was full. Both sides of the lot, neatly backed into place.

And even the teachers drove some in.

This fine example belong to Mr Bull. The sign said to please excuse the leaks.

The annual event is the last day before spring break. They even held a pedal tractor race, and bale toss I believe. No pictures of those events, but I got lots of shots of tractors.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What a Day!

Talk about great days!

Got a phone call from Oldest Son--seems like he is getting ready to pop the question, and I didn't even know he had a girl friend currently. Whoa!

Hubby woke me up last night. He was digging in the safe and found an envelope with $2329.45 in it. Has no idea what it is from. Wow!

Boss Lady told me she wouldn't be coming back to work and was recommending me for her job. Flabbergasted.

Youngest Son paid me back some cash he owed me. I was stunned.

And this morning, Gilbert the Wonder Dog said "Please let me out Mom, I need to go potty."

Oh yeah---Happy April Fool's Day.