Thursday, July 30, 2015

Water Shoes?

Something I had never heard of a week ago has suddenly come to live in my closet. Water shoes.

After walking to the shorelines of the Straits of Mackinac and Charlevoix to dip my toes in the water, I had to make it over some very stony beaches. Stones got picked up in my Birki's, making for a painful walk to the water.

Nothing like the sandy beaches of south west Lake Michigan.

So, I searched that evil website eBay. And got these low cut securely fitting water/hiking shoes. The first non-Birkenstocks I've bought in years.

Comfy and possibly just the thing to wear to the fair next week, since I can hose them off if I don't watch where I step.

The only problem is that I may or may not have purchased a couple of hobo/messenger bags while on eBay. I told you it was an evil website.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Beef. It's What's For Dinner

Or soon will be.

While in the midst of my madcap Saturday travels, one of my friends texted me to see if I knew anyone with some corn fed beef for sale. I didn't think so then. But when my brain cleared the next day, I remembered that Older Son has some rather large ones that could be ready soon.

So I texted her back. I texted him. He called, she called, I called them both. Back and forth until today, we had a beef to load out for her.

As luck would have it, Older Son had just weighed them before we talked yesterday. So price and weight were ready. Unfortunately, "Angus Cross" apparently remembered the ride. And didn't want another. Even when I promised he would never have any after this one.

After an hour, Cow Girl called Older Son who sent in reinforcements. And when help came, it only took a few more minutes to get him in.


I think we earned that trucking fee today.

And when I cooled down, I knit.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Couple of Day Trippers

It all started with a trip to the former fiber festival at the Castle in Charlevoix. A year ago they changed it to an Artisans Show, with the addition of various crafts in addition to the fibery folks. There were people with handcrafted jewelry, carvings, and hand sewn items as well as the usual yarns and fleeces.

My partner in crime for the day was my former boss and still friend Sandy. We had a wonderful scenic drive up M-37 through Traverse City to Charlevoix. We wandered around and made several purchases.

A gadget box for knitters, a flowered purse type bag (too small for my everyday usage but great for special occasions), and a large tote, as well as some alpaca socks (a gift). I also got some mohair boucle in a chocolate brown, and a smaller size skein in the same color of my late poodle Gilbert. The sweatshirt shown comes later in the story. The pink bag also was purchased there. It holds a watch face. They sold beaded watches with them, but they were all too small for my fat wrist. Sandy and her hubby do bead work, so they will make me a stretchy band for it.

While I had a fun time there, I was dissapointed. The one item I had wanted to purchase wasn't there. I wanted some crazy yarn in natural colors from Stonehedge Fiber Mill. And all they had was multicolored and they had left the natural at the mill. Darn. (One of the gals in their stall gave me a price and a contact to call at the mill to see if I could order some direct.) The other disappointment was that many favorite vendors I looked for were not there. And I really am not a craft show shopper.

I'm not sure if I will return to the show again.

Well. By the time we left there, I needed lunch. So we went in search of a restaurant in Charlevoix. But Charlevoix was hosting another event in downtown. Traffic was crazy. All a sudden, we were no where near the place we wanted to eat and on the other side of Charlevoix, on the way to Petoskey. Once there, Sandy casually mentioned we were only about an hour to The Bridge. (To true Michiganians that means one bridge--Mackinac!) I grinned and said I hadn't been there since '96.

So after we ate, we were heading farther north. And before long.....Mackinaw City!

Want further proof?



We also got a few souvenirs. The I (heart) Michigan sweatshirt shown above, and I picked up a green Colonial Michilimackinac water bottle. No fudge, no pasties, no visit to the island. But...The Bridge.

And with that we headed back to do some beach combing in Charlevoix and Petoskey stones. After a bit, I sat to dry my feet and sandals. And try to call Hubby, at 8:30.

Before long we reluctantly turned south, entered "home" in the GPS and were on our way.

A great and unexpected day. Anytime you can touch the water of the Straits is a good day. Or two. It was 2am Sunday before I got home and to bed.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Lots of Purple and Gray Knitting

While I have been getting some knitting done, there hasn't been much to show for it.  I started the simple Purple Swing Cardigan on the way to my friends wedding last weekend.  I have hopes of getting some more work done on it this weekend when I head up to the Castle at Charlevoix for a fiber and crafts festival.
It is top down so the sleeves are marked and the increases for the "swing" element of the sweater have been done.  Just straight knitting till it is time to set off the sleeves.  The rows get longer as I go along, so there should be plenty of knitting to do while traveling.
Much of my "at home" knitting has been on Little Farmer's Gray Spiral Blankie.  It is growing slowly, but only by four stitches each round.
I know it looks like a clunky oversized hat or a funky bag.  But once it is off the needles, trust me, it will be a blankie. Unstretched it has about a 15 inch radius right now.
Delivered this week was yarn for a baby blankie/shawl to go with the purple swing cardigan as well as another purple cardigan I have up my sleeve.  I decided that blankie/shawl will not be entirely in purple.  And I have been working on the broken seed stitch sock, now on magic loop as well, also half purple.
I may be purpled out by summer's end.  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Too ____ Hot, a Weather Haiku

Hot bright sun in sky.
Humid sticking to your seat
Longing for the cold.
 Only a few more months till the good weather is back.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Yes I Said Summer of Purple

I mentioned in aprevious post that this was going to be the summer of purple. What I didn't mention then was that my second stealth project was also purple.

Now that the wedding* is over (a beautiful love filled, if humid and toasty wedding) and, hopefully the present has been opened, I can reveal just what that second stealth project was. And also just in case they couldn't figure out what the heck was in that box.

Since I was told her color for the kitchen, as well as for the wedding, was purple I decided on hand knit placemats.

Nothing spectacular, but knit with hours of love and prayers for the newlyweds.

Th pattern is my own, a simple stockinette field, surrounded by seed stitch, knit from end to end. Simple knitting, if brainless and a bit tedious by the time #6 rolled around, it is a great project for beginners. I had wanted to knit it in a linen blend, but nothing in the right color was available at the time.

So...onward to more purple.


* The wedding picture is not my own, but on taken shamelessly from the bride's Facebook page. Please don't sue!


Friday, July 17, 2015

Never Not Knitting

Well almost anyway. As I move beyond the stealth projects I continue on with new ones and old ones, my basic home project is the Grey Spiral Blankie for Little Farmer. For the most part it is very easy, but there is the eyelet part once every 8 sections.

And I started a sweater for the upcoming Grand Niece. Tell her not to worry that it is only lilac colored. I also have some eggplant colored yarn for at least one more.

I am debating about starting another sweater that is simpler for traveling knitting. I have a couple road trips coming this weekend and next. (Wedding and a fiber festival at either ends of the peninsula.) I think small and non-lacy would be just the ticket. I have enough eggplant yarn for that too. Hmmmm. I'll be back in a minute or two.


Well, I fell in the startitis hole again. While I was gone, this jumped on my needles.

I wonder how that happened? (Tee hee.)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Stealthy Knitting Over and Done

Sort of anyway. I finished Stealth Project #2 this past weekend. I cannot share it here for some time yet. But as I keep saying, all will be revealed, in the fullness of time.

With the stealthy knitting finished, I turned my hands and mind back to some of my waiting projects. I got out a long size one needle and transferred the stitches of my broken seed stitch sock to it from the double points. I worked a few rounds to make sure I could still work magic loop. I think the 47 inch length will be a bit long, but workable.

I worked some on the last piece of my oatmeal vest. I may let that sit awhile, till fall. Bulky wool is hard to deal with in summer, even with air conditioning.

I whacked a few rows off on my rose cream shawl. It is growing slowly, but is a good easy pattern for traveling. It will see some action. Tonight I will work some on Little Farmer's Gray Blankie. It needs to mostly remain a "stay at home" project. But tomorrow my mind will be turning to purple baby sweaters. Between the sweaters and the socks shown above and what not, I think this will be the summer of purple.

This washable wool arrived last week. And according to the wishes of my future grand niece, it will be a cardigan.

Then I took a trip to the local yarn shop. And came home with a new baby book. And more yarn. (So much for my recent good intentions using stash yarn.) And another pattern added to my to-do list.

Different shade of purple, but still a nice washable yarn. I also have plans for something else with purple accents. Now, which shall I start first?

Yup, summer of purple.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Shopping in My Closet

I came home from church today to a cold oven. Which, of course, meant that we were not able to sit down to dinner until close to three. Forgetting to turn the oven on when you put in the roast will delay a meal. Did you know that?

With no NASCAR today, due to last night's race, I had time on my hands. I decided to carry out a plan I had been inspired with. I decided to take all or most of my long sleeve tops out of the closet and put them on a hanger in my wool room. Then I could pull out all my sleeveless tops and tanks from a tub there and maybe find room for them in the closet.

I kind of got carried away.

I'm not sure you can make out the pile of clothes on the bed, but I found quite a few to keep I the wool room. And see the other pile as tall as my bed on the floor? They didn't make the cut.

I was ruthless. Some items I hadn't seen, let alone wore for years. Maybe not even in this millennium. If the were stained or worn, out they went. If I figured they were hopelessly outdated or no longer my style, out they came from the closet. I did find several items I think I wore back around the turn of the century. Some were old favorites I thought I had tossed years ago.

I was sorry I didn't have a place to store them for the next rummage sale. But I didn't want them around to tempt me. I may purge the long sleeved items that I kept again before the sale.

And when I was done, I found more sleeveless tops, besides the ones I had stored in the wool room all winter. I ended up with a nice sized sleeveless section as well as tons of room in our tiny closet.

Yea me! It was like shopping without spending a thing.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Stealth Project #1

Finished and delivered.

When I decided to make an owl for my owly friend, I searched and even purchased several patterns. But this one, available on both Craftsy and Ravelry as The Guardian Owl, was hands down the winning pattern. It last was seen here on the blog looking rather like a mysterious hat-like mound of wool. Or rather alpaca. It is knit from a bulky rose gray alpaca yarn I had ferreted out of the stash. And to make it even more personal, it is stuffed with roving from the llamas once owned by the recipient.

This is the pattern I mentioned I wanted to knit using the magic loop technique of knitting. After wrapping my brain around the concept, I think I may be using it often for sleeves as well as for socks. Especially when traveling with sock projects. It certainly eliminates the possibility of dropping a needle on the go.

Best of all with this little owly, I think it is well liked. I love knitting for someone who really appreciates the effort that is part of the gift. (Pictured here with recipient and friend, instead of Lizzy, for scale.)


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th!

Happy birthday, America!

God Bless the USA!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Old Age or Character?

Character. Does it come with age?
With wood I think it does.  While watching the baling/loading/fetching going on last Sunday in the hayfield, I sat for a bit on the ramp.  The ramp is something Hubby built to enable him to run a wheelbarrow full of manure up to the side of the spreader.  He then has a block on the end (so he doesn't push it into the spreader) and there he can easily dump the wheelbarrow into the spreader.
This has been sitting in the sun, wind, rain and snow for many years.  I think it has weathered beautifully.
I took a couple pictures thinking it would make a nice background for my phone or screen.
On some things, old age looks good.