Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fibery Fun Fix

Saturday was the weekend for a wonderful, little fiber show called Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool. Held at the county fair grounds near West Branch in the northeast lower peninsula of Michigan, it is a low key, relaxing event that doesn't have the heat and crushing crowds of the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan in August. Nor is it as ritzy or high toned as the event held in Charlevoix in late July. Instead it has a more comfortable, casual feel, with plenty of yarn and fiber and tools. I saw lots that interested me. One booth was packed with antique wheels and books, from the estate of a fiber crafter. Drool!

Mostly, I served as an enabler this trip. I was once again accompanied by my usual partner in crime and owl lover, Sandy. Unfortunately the shopping experience was hindered by her killer headache and her hubby'spresence. ( Although he was an excellent chauffeur.) He probably was also the reason we got home before 9 pm instead of 2 am.

I talked her into buying a shawl, although it was with the condition that I knit her one like another we saw. I said ok, as long as she furnished the yarn. So...I have a Traveling Woman shawl in my future. Luckily I already have the purchased pattern. We later found some lovely creamy handspun that should work really well.

I scored the last two skeins of a white merino-tencel blend. The tencel gives it a great sheen, and of course the merino makes it wonderfully soft. I also got another fan and small basket and some buttons. I was delighted to find that they were being sold by the daughter of the gal I had purchased my previous baskets from who will soon be a missionary in South Sudan.

Oh, I also got a ball of sock yarn at the festival...a Zauberball, barely seen in the basket below. I have always wanted to try it. Then I get home to an email from my local yarn shop and found they are now carrying it!

We had stopped at a craft store on the way to the festival. And since we had time and money, we stopped again on the way back. I spent a bit more there, tatting needle, (like I need another craft to learn,) some thread, buttons, and two skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn. Clearly I need to step up my sock knitting.

The night before, because none of my projects were in a state of being good traveling projects, I started to cast on this.

It was part of my birthday splurge at the aforementioned yarn shop. It is, as the label says, pure silk. It is a simple triangle shawl that looks lacy and rustic both, thanks to large needles and the thick/thin character of the yarn.

More on the knitting another day.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Harvest Time

This time of year tractors, trucks, and choppers can be seen all around the country roads. Harvest season has begun. The choppers and combines may take up the roads this time of year, but be please patient with them. They are helping to put your meals on your table as they harvest feed for cattle.

One happy side effect is that the rural intersections that have been partly obscured by towering corn stalks as summer waned are becoming clear once again as the chopping corn is chopped into silage. I love being able to see what is coming around the corners before I get to them.

When all that chopped corn is packed into firm piles of feed for for the cattle to eat, it is covered with plastic and tires. If any of my readers ever wondered about about that plastic and tires, here is a link to a great blog post by a Wisconsin dairy farm chick. She explains the process. I even learned a bit myself.

Oh yes, just so you know, there is "chopping" corn and "picking" corn. Chopping corn retains some of the plant's moisture. The whole stalk is chopped for the silage. Picking corn drys down. When the cob and kernels have dried down, combines pick the corn and shell the kernels from the cobs. The stalks are left in the fields. This shelled corn is also fed or can be sold.

This has been a public service announcement for all you non-farmers.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

What a Week

In my last post I mentioned how I had stopped in at my aunt's house for a short visit before heading home after the cemetery visit. She was a bit tired from doing the laundry, but cheerful and as typical for her, going a mile a minute. Nothing was slowing her down.

Shown below, on the left, this 93 year old lady is a force to be recommend with.

She is my favorite Aunt, and unless my cousin Betty Ann is around, I am her favorite niece. If Betty Ann is around, then we are tied. (If just she is with Aunt Glenna, then I let her hold the title.) She is on the left below here.

Unfortunately, now something is slowing down my favorite aunt.

On the next day after I was there, she fell and broke her hip.

Since then surgery has ensued and one day later they are talking about sending her rehab already. Before you know it, she will probably be back in action. But, maybe not driving for a while. Someone has both sets of keys for now. (Whew!)

As this five generation picture, taken at a recent football game where her great-grandson was playing, she is captured perfectly. Full of vim, vigor and the zest of life.

I am confident she will be back in action soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Climbing the Family Tree

Who would have thought that a day so clear and sunny could be so wet?

Yesterday one of my distant cousins and I went cemetery hopping. It was a gorgeous day, bright and sunny. But how is it that it didn't occur to either one of us that the grass would still be laden with dew there, just like it was at home? I guess we were to excited to hunt up our ancestors.

Cuz had prepared a list of the family members we could expect at the first cemetery. Shortly after we drove in, she spotted the first familiar names, albeit part of her side of the family. After moving and tromping around, we finally spotted a few. (Sorry about the lack of pertinent pictures, but I used my camera, so need to get the laptop out to download them.)

However after that good start, we bottomed out. Then she had the idea to check out Find-a-Grave, a website that has photo's of graves taken and uploaded so distance relatives can find them. With the photo's there, we had an idea of the size and material we were looking for.

Before long we managed to find a zinc marker with several names on it. And before we knew it, we had found all the names our list.

We even had time to visit another cemetery, and trudge through the still wet grass there to find some more relatives.

Two hours, two cemeteries, and mission accomplished. With wet feet.

Next month, weather permitting we will try to visit another cemetery near these, with loads more Allens, Fords, and Bartos. Like my great gram shown below.

And we will either wear waterproof shoes, or bring spares.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Knit On

The unending story of the Gray Spiral Blankie continues, slowly. The knitting part is t that slow, but when you need to knit 16 stitches for every one cast off, out of 532 stitches, it just takes a while. Plus, every ten rows I add a couple of 4 stitch short rows, just to keep it interesting. Well, it tends to make for a long haul.

Here is how it looked at Knit Nite.

Along the top, you can see the sideways border that is the garter cast off. I have knit past this point, but not much farther that night. I lost the small needle I use, in a larger size for the cast off. So no knitting on that.

As a true, prepared knitter, I pulled out one of my spare projects (3) and cast off the bottom of of the purple swing cardigan.

It is currently awaiting a place back in the rotation for picking up the sleeve stitches and getting ready for my grand niece due in about, yikes! One month! I better get cracking. It also needs the collar folded and stitched, with a ribbon tie inserted.

The Lavender Lace Cardi has farther to go and will be in the knitting rotation once either the blankie or Swing Cardi is finished. That sweater may be in time for Christmas gifting.


Monday, September 14, 2015


I finished the first week of my 2015 Detroit Lions Scoreboard Cowl.

Maybe I should have flipped it over, because you normally should read it left to right. But you get the idea.

Unfortunately, it is a bit heavier on the silver than the Honolulu blue. After the first quarter or so, Detroit wasn't scoring Much till the end. But it is a good random pattern and even though I didn't actually watch the game, I had constant updates via Facebook from my loyal Lions fan. (Thanks Linda!).

The game was a late start and then scored so hot and heavy I had to finish it this morning. A fun knit and I know more about the game than I usually do. It will be a fun season. I wonder if I should make plans for post-season?

Nah, let's not go too crazy.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Getting Back In the Groove

I mentioned in my last post that my Bible Study started back up Thursday. If anyone is looking for a great Bible Study and a way to grow your faith, I cannot recommend Community Bible Study (CBS) highly enough. It is great.

This is my third year in CBS and I have learned so much. The first year we studied Amos and Isaiah. Last year was Romans, where I found my favorite verse. (Romans 14:12, Message version. Gotta be that version.) This year we are covering Daniel and Revelations.


This year promises to be great. If anyone local would like to start, it's not that late to join in. We roughly follow the school, with time off for school holidays and Fremont school's snow days. There are classes for both men and women, as well as for children and teens, although their classes are filled. Even the nursery has Bible stories.

Just let me know, and I will help you get started. Remember, you receive blessings for just reading Revelations. It says so in the Book.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Knitting at the Sale

These past few days my church has been holding our indoor yard sale (or maybe they called it an indoor garage sale this year.)

I was t able to attend and help earlier this week because of my date with my Little Farmer, and yesterday was the beginning of Bible Study as well as lunch with my aunt and cousins. More on Bible Study another time, but today I was able to help hold down the fort at church, in spite of my gimpy leg. I also got some knitting in.

We had a steady flow of customers, but I was able to still finish my knitting on the main body of the Gray Spiral Blankie. I also nearly finished the body of the Purple Swing Cardigan for my forthcoming grandniece.

I didn't manage to come home with all my cash though. See that small book case by that table my one needle is pointing at?

That and a hoe were my two major purchases. I also got a tin canister to store my buttons in, and a Stephen Ambrose book, Band of Brothers.

And when I got home, after getting a larger size needle, I started the sideways garter stitch border and bi doff.

This sideways border is the best way I know to cast off with a stretchy border in a circular project. This time I am adding a short row of four stitches every few rows to keep the border from being too tight and curling.

I wonder if I can finish the border cast off before the Lions game on Sunday. I will need to work on my Scoreboard Cowl then.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Last week I stayed with my Little Farmer on Monday, instead of my usual Wednesday. And with just a couple more days than usual, I really noticed how much more active he was. No more lunging from a seated position, then sitting back in a relatively new position. He is flat out crawling everywhere.

Mostly to wherever Grammy was. Getting his lunch ready in the kitchen? The slap slap of those chubby hands on the linoleum told me he was on the way. Sitting on the couch by the coffee table? Here he comes, with those same chubby hands climbing up to see what he could reach. Constantly in motion.

Faster than the camera can go.

Aha! Found the pacifier.

He clearly thinks mobility is a wonderful thing. Me? I'm just bushed.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Progress. The End Is Sight

I have continued knitting away on the Gray Spiral Blankie and am now finally on the last increase section. That means seven more rounds before the pattern is done. I am considering doing one row of plain knitting, removing the markers, before I change the bind off to a sideways garter stitch bind off over what will then be a total of 532 stitches.


I would like to finish it this week, so I can concentrate on the baby sweaters as well as my cowl and finish the Oatmeal Vest. Hmmm. With that many stitches, maybe two weeks.

This was also the day for my monthly lunch with my owly loving friend Sandy. I guess we may be a bit obvious about our love of owls when another friend who doesn't even know her purchases an owl for her. But, I might add, Sandy loved it.

It's nice to have friends as crazy as I am.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

2015 Lions Scoreboard Cowl Cast On

With the release of the pattern, I cast on for my Scoreboard Cowl. Lining up matching 16 inch size 7 needles was tricky. Then with only 80 stitches, they seemed right. So, since now I kno how to do Magic Loop, I decided to transfer them to a longer needle.

The cast on is done with a provisional cast-on, shown in red below.

I used a new-to-me provisional cast on, crotcheting the stitches onto the needle with the waste yarn. I probably should have used the cotton yarn. Red Lamb's Pride is a bit fuzzy and the red is already shedding into the charcoal.

The tapestry needle shown above is a lifeline, running through the first row of the charcoal yarn. It should make picking up the live stitches easier when the red yarn is unraveled away. I knit three rows of charcoal here at the beginning. When knitting with the charcoal as a game divider, I will probably do three rows, with the secondary purl bump row for texture. Because this is the divider between seasons beginning and end, I will have more divider rows.

Red provisional, white lifeline, and charcoal season's rows. And the pattern lists a website to catch the scoring breakdown, if my friend cannot get them.

Ready for the first game.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Prayers for the Blue Line--And Beyond

Fairly late yesterday afternoon I posted on Facebook, and sent out a general email to my fellow parishioners. I wanted to let them know I intended to spend some time this morning in prayer for our embattled police and invited anyone to come who wanted to join me.

I was happy and somewhat surprised to have six others join me. Admittedly one came as we finished, but I didn't give a lot of warning.

We read through the office of Morning Prayer with extra intercessions for the country's police as well as the military and those innocent citizens in other countries in danger because of their faith.

We were more than just two or three gathered. We are not be able to physically reach and assist all these, but at least we can pray for them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My New Best Friend

That has been my watchword these last few hours. Late yesterday afternoon I had to venture into our basement, a true dirt floor Michigan cellar. A circuit breaker needed to be flipped, and I was the only one available.
So armed with flashlight (the same circuit controls most of the basement lights) and a broom (gotta keep the nasty cobwebs out of my hair), I featured forth. I unfortunately did not realize the floor was covered with a slick coat of mud.
Down I went, on my arse. In the process, I twisted or wrenched both knees. Ouch! After bawling and feeling sorry about my knees for a few minutes, with visions of dying there, undiscovered, I managed to get myself up. For a minute I felt worse about my formerly clean shorts. Then I took a step.
Yikes. That's when I discovered I had something I had only heard of last week. The Allen Knees. I managed to hobble to the breaker box and back upstairs. I was able to get the mud caked shirt and shorts off and managed to shower off the mud. After getting my legs over the sides of the tall old tub with feet.
Then I turned to my new best friend.....
I even slept with it. Where I am, I'm afraid it will be also.
Now excuse me while I hobble around a bit. But on the bright side, nothing else hurts.