Sunday, May 31, 2009

Knitting and British Films

As some may know, I love old films. A couple British films have come my way that I quite enjoy and recommend. The Winslow Boy, about a father fighting for his sons character when he had been expelled for cheating but the school refused to show the evidence. Magna Carta provisions and everything, but very interesting. And last weekend was The Dam Busters, about an engineer in World War II Britain trying to build a bomb to bust through 3 dams protecting the German industries that were building the bombs and plans. Both were low key but compelling stories.
And the knitting. I am almost finished with the second sleeve of the Hot Rod Heather cardigan. Then on to the body, and (gulp) 358 stitches to cast on. That promises to be a lengthy prospect. I usually have to count, count, and recount a couple more times before I am ready to continue.

Family Time

With graduation season upon us, I spent yesterday with family. Early afternoon, Hubby and I picked up Uncle Art and headed over across the county to my cousin's son's graduation party. It was fun to see that side of the family. Then, after I got home, I discovered that my brother Steve and Patti were hosting the first sleep-over of their grandson. The first time Luke had spent the night without parents!!
Luke seemed to have them well in hand.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The End is Near

I'm packing up my belongings and getting ready to head home. 
My boss lady seems pretty confident I will be back to work in a couple weeks. 
I wish I could share her confidenct.
I guess I could look at this as "found" knitting time. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oh, the Pollen!

This has been an exceptionally high allergy spring. Even Hubby, who seldom secumbs to any ailment complained of stuffy head and scratchy ies. I gave him some generic Claritin stuff and it seemed to help.
I have been on them continiously it seems.

But oh wow, the flowers are great.

Lilacs seem to be on the down turn.....

But look at the snowball bush. It is huge, up to the second story but you can see in this close-up that the blossoms are at peak and plentiful.

And then, as though there wasn't enough pollen around here, I bought a couple extra hanging baskets to go with the one Older Son got me. Just to balance off the hanger you know.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sock News

See, I did manage to get some knitting done on the chevron socks this past weekend. I am speeding along. And it does help that I only have to do the pattern work on 1 half a row out every every two rows. I think I do like them. And they fit.
I am also rather pleased with my kool-aid dyed sock as well. After putting both socks on doublepoint needles, I find it much easier to knit. And yes indeedy I did say this was the back up pair. But after all..... I did have to see if it would work out alright.

I think it does work quite nicely.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Honor and Memory of Heros

On this Memorial Day, I remember and thank those who fight and those who have died.
As this scratchy picture states, this is Gilbert Samis, a distant double cousin of mine who died in World War I. He was the son of my great-grandmothers brother and my great-grandfather's sister. According to the newspaper articles about his death he volunteered and served first on the Mexican border, and then after being discharged, joined the infantry again to fight in France. He died late October 1918, just days before the Armistice.

This is the grave of my half great-uncle Paul Davis. He also volunteered, enlisting in 1939. After serving in various locations, he died in October 1944, serving as part of Patton's drive to Germany. He died fighting for his country and others.

Other members of my family also fought and although they did not die, I also honor them for their service. This is my dad in the middle with Uncle Don and Uncle Howard on either side of him.

Now my nephew serves in Afghanistan. I admire his courage and keep him in my prayers.

For all who have served and died, served and survived, and who will some day serve. I salute you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nearly Too Late

My mind has been dwelling on a quote I wrote in the back of my Bible over 25 years ago:
"God is almost always, nearly too late."
It goes along with the verse about you will never be given more than you can handle. It is like once you think, I can't take any more, then God steps in and helps.
Well---Lord, the end of my rope is fast approaching. And I'm not much good at knots.

Let's Go Racing

Yup, this is a great day/weekend for racing. Last night I watched the Nationwide series and although it was shortened by the rain, it was a fun race.
And as I type, the NASCAR Sprint series is in a rain delay, with what looks like a downpour. Maybe I will have that race to enjoy tomorrow.
But one thing struck me as I watched the Indy 500. (Yeah, it isn't NASCAR, but in a pinch it will do.) The first lap one car went into the wall, and another car was damaged, but looked drivable. To my amazement, he went behind the wall and the announcers talked like he was done for. He did come back for a while later but I was amazed that these cars are so fragile. A Cup car would be right back in after banging on wheel wells, and slapping on some super duct tape.
I guess that is why I perfer NASCAR. It isn't for wimps or wimpy cars.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Frankie S Bunnie

His fan club has been clamouring for pictures. He has really grown and is acquiring a taste for papaya.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stealthy Knitting and Outdoors

The stealth project is knitting up nicely and should be done this week. Hopefull I can block over the weekend and get pics and deliver it next week.

Hubby got garden ready the other day. He doesn't mess with rototillers or hoes until the tough work is done.

Later we planted potatoes and now we need to look for tomato plants. And probably a few green beans too.
I love the lilacs this year. Someone was saying they are better this year because they got lots of winter weather last year. Yet another reason to love cold weather and snow. I don't know if that is true or know, but they smell heavenly.

On the other hand, the huge snowball bush in the yard is also covered with blossums, but they are still rather green. Maybe another week before they are at peak.


You know the saying "When Life hands you lemons, make lemonade"?

Well I am getting sick and tired of lemonade.

For the third time in less than 12 months I have had a job eliminated. At least as it stands now.

Even though my supervisor has talked to the director many times in the past few weeks about getting me more hours, and he never objected, today with my pay check I got a letter saying the grant that paid my job was over and so was my job.
Sandy is in there fighting, but bossman is out today and the rest of the week. My last day is next Friday.

Life is the pits sometimes.

The Little Wonders

Sunday, as I left for church, I heard one of the barn cats under the back porch. Looking underneath, I saw one of the Momma cats. She was squirming, and writhing and crying.

Oh oh.

I think we were about to get kitties.

Sure enough when I came home, I walked around the side of the house and in the tall grass (Hubby isn't really into that whole mowing thing), next to the old well pit cover were the unmistakeable sounds of baby kittens.

Later that evening Hubby and I saw the old Granny Cat, with a kitten in her mouth. We grabbed it, as she had shown no sign of being ready for kittens and gave it back to the Momma. Finally yesterday, I saw this:

Hubby counted about 5. This is the same Momma cat I blogged about last year who had her kittens inside the barn wall. Those Hubby had to get out by lowering a noose and bringing them out. Luckily these will escape that. And the forecast seems to be promising and dry for them the next few days.

New Book

There is a new book out by Maggie Sefton, who writes knitting mysteries. Or to be more accurate, it is due out June 9 according to Amazon. It is in the library card catalog as on order, so I put a hold on it. Its is Dropped Dead Stitch. Although this series of boos do not feature deep mystery or a complicated plot, they are a nice light read that I enjoy. I can't wait till this one is available.
One thing nice about working at the library is that when my books come in, I can just go check them out myself. No waiting for a special trip to town.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back to Spinning

Finally, I was able to attend Spinning Guild this week. Changing the day to Mondays made the difference.

Since Sandy broke her ankle, way back in late February, I have been working Fridays when the guild met.
But we have found a new permanent meeting place at the nearby Senior Center. (They don't care that we have some young people too.) Lots of room, good light, and no stairs to carry the wheel up or down.

It was good to see everyone again. Of course I do see Mary often, at Knit Nite, but still. And I hadn't seen Christine in months.
I love group spinning. Seeing everyone else's stash and how it is spinnig up and how colors are blending. Getting my fingers back on the fluffy fiber and changing it to yarn.

Yep, I'm Still Around

So long since I have posted, but I have been a busy knitter.  I turned the heel on the gray chevron sock, started the lace on the stealth project and worked some on the second sleeve of the classic lines cardi.  I think I want to finish the steatl project and then concentrate on the classic lines cardigan so I can hurry up and steek.
I will blog soon with pictures. 
But one note about this time of year in the country.  I love the smell of freshly plowed ground.  Farmers are going full tilt.  I probably won't see much of Older Son until fall harvest is over now.  He has this tendency to overwork himself.
I wish that trait had rubbed off more onto Younger Son.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Family Picture

I forgot to mention who those folks were in Sunday's post. Left to right, Hubby's sisters husband, Gordon, then Hubby's brother Carl, who put in much hard work in creating a craft room out of the shambles that was the boys room. Then my handsome Hubby. Next is his sister Marlene and the purse is on the lap of Lottie, in her wheelchair.
The picture was taken in the parking lot after lunch, before we headed to Gordon & Marlene's home.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Finished Project

I finally finished the hot pink socks. Since I started them in September 08, it was about time. And after yesterday, may I add good riddance.
No pics, but just wanted to heave a sigh of relief and tuck the sock blank socks in the sock basket to be available for backup.
TV tonight was all NASCAR. Recap of the race on This Week In NASCAR. Then shows about the All Star Race this Saturday. And of course my man Mark will be racing, as a two time winner.

Updates on Other Knits

I have several inches finished on the second sleeve of the Hot Rod Cardigan.

I am ready to start the lace rows on the stealth project. Because it is stealth, no pictures of that yet, except on Ravelry.

I rummaged around and found the sock blank I dyed. I decided to take it off the long circ needle and go back to my preferred method of using doublepoints. I found the extra 2 sets of the same size and placed both socks on the doublepoints and then safely tucked them both in the stitch keeper. I think I will knit one and wind the yarn from the second ply into a center pull ball as I go along. Then knit the second after finishing the first. Or maybe knit each, section by section.

We shall see on that.

Gray chevron sock is going fairly well. It is still the back up sock. The sock blank socks will be plain vanilla pattern, so the chevron will be the prime sock next, with the vanilla sock blank as backup.
My February Pink Lady is still sitting in time out. Probably will wait till the Hot Rod Cardigan is done. I hope that will continue to progress quickly and with the AC installed, I will still be able to knit with worsted wool through the summer.

After that, back to the long neglected Wrap Me Up Shawl, and or the Lady Eleanor entrelac, and then maybe the MaidenShawl. With all that has gone on concerning the group on that one, it may languish longer. I love the yarn, but my mood just isn't in the shawl right now.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Knitting Knews

As I mentioned in my previous post, Hubby and I went on a car trip about 1 1/2 hour away. I had planned my travel knitting, as any dedicated knitter does. I decided on my basket containing 2 pairs of socks. And just in case of an unforeseen problem with knitting, I also tucked in a paperback romance.
We started off and I waited about 2 miles before digging out the needles. Earlier this week, I worked on the long suffering Hot Pink socks. I had finally completed the last cross stitch and heel flap, heel turn and the gusset. Life was good and I was cruising. I figured with steady knitting I could be close to the toe by the time we returned home.
Fate and another idea.
I decided to measure with my spare needle the length of the foot from gusset to beginning of toe decreases. I usually use a needle to get the right length. I grabbed the completed sock, and started to lay the other needle against it.... Well all I can say is there was an alignment of time and space, coupled with a bump on a gravel road (Hubby likes taking the back way.) and the end of the needle snagging the sock. My needle was in my hand........And then it wasn't. I wiggled and reached and stretched as best I could in the cab of a small pickup truck. Nothing.
Amazingly, at the next intersection was a stop sign. Hubby said, since there was no traffic, I could get out and search the floor.
But after describing the rainbow colors of my size 1 Knit Picks DP, Hubby spotted it and handed it to me. I jabbed it in the ball of yarn, got back in the truck, fastened my seatbelt, and.......
No needle.
What? I wiggled and looked and squirmed. No needle. I decided it was not to be. I was not going to tempt fate and try to work on the other sock.
I carefully folded the sock with its other 4 needles, secure in the fact that I had a spare needle at home.
I might also add, I checked again on the floor and between the seats when we got to the restaurant. I checked again at Sis-in-Law's home. I looked again as I got in the car to go.
And there, in the door map size 1 rainbow colored Knit Picks DP.
On the way home, I read.
Some days are like that.

Happy Mother's Day

Not much from the boys regarding Mothers Day. Actually it wasn't all their fault. Hubby's sister's husband wanted us and Hubby's brother and wife to come meet them for dinner at Ponderosa in Greenville. (And yes Katie, it is still there, and open--be sure to let Roger know.)
His sister has quickly aged since losing her job a few years ago. It is almost like Alzheimers is setting in. So, even though I still think a better day could have been chosen, we had a nice visit with her. She seems fine physically, but quiet and rather vague. She does keep her hubby on his toes, making sure that all is well.

But, then again.....after just now making note of this, I took Gilbert the wonder dog out for his regular trip to "commune with nature." And there, hanging on my plant hanger, was a lovely impatience basket.

Apparently Christy had reached Older Son, after reading my birthday post, and made sure he got me something. She went so far as to check my Avon preference, but since her account had been deactivated--she went with a backup plan.

And of course I can always count on my man Mark Martin. Not only did he announce that he would drive the #5 car for Hendricks again next year--which I thought was a wonderful Mother's Day gift from afar--BUT he won again!! You may remember that I am not a fan of these evening races, but he could change that. I didn't even begin to get drowsy as he advanced, fell back and advanced again. And best of all, he is in the top 12 in points. Life is good.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

School Election and Memories

Well, it looks like we are getting a new high school here.
Now don't get me wrong, we probably do need one. I know there is at least one classroom with no windows and only one door. The building is on several levels, due to additions and renovations. The original was built in the 1920's. I always liked that school with the soaring ceilings when I visited and was rather jealous. I attended school in a nearby village. Our big old brick box of a school which I thought was full of character was condemned when I was in 6th grade. We had to finish the year with split days. High school students in the morning, beginning way too early, and the elementary in the afternoon. We shared the elementary and junior high buildings. The following year, as a Junior High student, we had full days, but while our new school was under construction, we had classes where ever we could fit. My English class was in the Ag Room. Math was in the northeast corner of the gymnasium and study hall ran down the middle from hoop to free throw line, with the library crammed into the back area. How I remember trying to pay attention to social studies, while over the walls on the opposite side of the gym, Mr Benjamin was expounding on Algebra. It was like a giant one room school.
I rather regretted the day in spring when some of the classes were able to meet in the new elementary, reducing the noise level considerably.
But, now, in this economy, when so many are losing homes and jobs--some only able to replace them with partime jobs with no insurance to help with medical expenses--now we have to have our taxes increased again.
And the thing is--we still haven't paid for the land that the school district bought 3 votes (and about 5 years) ago, and now they want to put the school someplace else? Where this new school is going has been kind of vague. Some descriptions put it between the fair grounds and the middle school. Hello? There is cemetery land in there. Then other descriptions put it near a fairly main crossroad on a worn out road--the land there is mostly wetlands! There have been no tests run to see if the ground can even support buildings, or if they will sink into the swamp.
Could this be yet another money pit and fiasco?
And don't even get me started on the story I heard that the new plans do not include a new gym or cafeteria, or library.
I have a headache. I just hope I will continue to have a home.

Monday, May 4, 2009

One Sleeve Down

That's right. I finished the first sleeve. On the Classic Lines Cardigan that is. I have cast on for the second, and also ordered another set of size 4 needle tips for my options set. That way I won't have to strip something of its needles to start the body when I get that far.

In the mean time, I have been vegging out with Audrey Hepburn, first Roman Holiday and now My Fair Lady. Ahhh, the joys of Hubby going to the livestock auction and Younger Son at work as well.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Color Lessons

Yesterday (Saturday) I spent the morning and early afternoon at Chickasaw Farm. Rita from Yarn Hollow was giving a workshop on Color Theory.
We learned about colors, shades, tints, values, saturation, undertones and much more. I may be able to make sense out of my book colorWorks, by Deb Menz. Afterwards, we dived into her big bag of fiber to find colors to blend.
I found a cool yellowish green, a cool blue green, and a deep red with dark undertones and a lovely medium rose pink. I hand carded some and spun on a drop spindle. Then I carded the rest into a couple nice batts, using Angie's big Ashford drumcarder. I am quite pleased with the results.

I had a pleasant ride on my way home. I do enjoy listening to books on my mp3 player. I lean to the classics and British literature. Currently I am nearing the end of "Cranford." I'll need to download some more from the library soon.
And oh yes. I forgot to mention. I did buy some fiber from Rita.
And some of Angies' sock yarn.

Look What April Showers Bring

In our ditch. (Its the only place my guys don't mow them down.)
By the parking lot at work,

And in the pasture.

Yup, Lake Hagen is going strong.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Half a Sleeve

I am whipping right along on my Classic Lines Cardi.  I love the feel and weight of the double lace weight knit up. The added strand of silk/alpaca every six rows just add to the softness.   I have only a little way to go before I will be done with the increases and then just knit to length.  I may make it a little shorter than called for.  I haven't decided, but I do like 3/4 length sleeves and may have to calculate what that would be.
I am also just about decided on another one in some shade of blue when this one is done.
Pictures this weekend, I promise.

Baby Brother on Unemployment

Welcome to the real world.  Michigan's real world at least. 
My Little Brother (all of 18 months younger than his gray haired old Big Sis) is being downsized today.  I think this is his first time on unemployment.  Unbelievable in Michigan.  Although he was fortunate to work for the county's largest employer.  Again it is a tale of the family company being sold to foreign conglomerates who wanted the company name.  And then sold again, and again, always to foreign companies. 
I never did quite figure out how a baby food company could be attractive to a chemical/pharmaceutical company, but I digress.
So anyway, Little Bro is going the growing ranks of Michigan's unemployed.  
I guess when the campaign promised we would have change, what they really meant was--that would be all we would have in our pockets.