Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fiber Fumes

So, on the day after attending a fiber festival with a friend, what do you do to recover from the lanolin and yarny fiber fumes? You play in your stash of course. While I just could not justify spending upwards of $75 for a single skein of the ombre dyed yarn that was everywhere (going from one color to another, or light to dark, over an 400-800 yard skein) I still found something to love.

Of course there was some stash enhancement while there. I purchased the two skeins of semi solid blue, and got the green free. I think they are probably destined for another shawl, since I wear shawls more than sweaters. One of the three patterns I purchased was a two color shawl.The skein on the left had a sample that was knit up into a scarf that really showed off all the light and dark color spots. I think that skein is telling me it wants to be socks, simple ones to let the colors play together nicely.

I also made a purchase to replace my broken sizable zero needle, which is already safely inserted into my Simple Brainless socks, taking over my broken needle.

On the way home we stopped at Arnies, a mega multi-craft supply store. I got some more yarn in a slow transitional colorway to possibly use with another shawl pattern I purchased.

Eventually Sandy and I made it home. With her mothers illness we had not gotten together much all summer. I was happily surprised when at the last minute we were able to make this trip. It was great fun to be able to spend the day together.

It does not, however, count as the "up north" roadtrip to compensate for the knitting of her Traveling Woman Shawl.

Even if I didn't get a picture of the finished shawl from her Alaskan cruise.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Free Range

In the past week or so I started letting my girls and Montgomery out to the coop. At least to a limited period each day. In the later afternoon, after they should be done laying, I open the coop and let them run. The garden is done except for some squash at the far end and potatoes needing to be dug, so we don't need to worry about that.

The girls seem to enjoy it.


And Montgomery keeps an eye on his girls. I have discovered they love apple cores, as well as ears of tough sweet corn.

And I am trying to keep up with the eggs. I wish it were cooler to be able to bake more.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Knitting Angst

It's real people. Just like the agony of defeat, without the skis.

So what happened? I got ready to sit down with some knitting this evening deciding to work on my Simple Brainless Socks. I pulled them out of my bag, adjusted the needles when....what? The one tip has snapped off from the cable. So I know one thing I may need to purchase this weekend at the Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool Festival: size 0, 40 inch circular needle. Preferably wood, but I won't be fussy. I had only used them for the amount of sock you see here.

So, since that won't be getting worked on for a while, I pulled out some handspun, merino silk I believe, and wound it into a ball to start a new shawl. Of course, since my swift is hung up with that mohair I mentioned before, this was hand wound again.

I think this will make a decent semi-brainless traveling project, once I work through the pattern repeat a time or two.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Busy Busy Day

While, after returning from getting Younger Son home from work at 6:30 am, I was able to get a good nap in, it has been non-stop ever since today.

After cat, dog and chicken chores were finished, I headed to the memorial service for my cousin's daughter. (Well technically, for all you genealogists, the service was for my first cousin, twice removed.) The 21 year old had a small toddler son, and loved Batman. So in her honor, all were asked to wear their Batman gear. For those like me with no Batman stuff, they were ready.

Yup, Batman ribbons. The service was sweet, and very moving with the wee son toddling up and down the aisle as his great uncle sang, and another eulogized his momma. Cut down at only 21, it makes you aware that if the Lord is nudging you to do something, do it!

Also, all her uncles give great hugs. Such a loving, supportive family remembering her with great love.

I had to rush away because I had volunteered to help with distributing food at our church when the food truck was there. It was a great time to serve others, as well as fellowship with my church family. I am more and more becoming a part of the parish.

Oh, and did I share the parish's hay sculpture for the Harvest Festival?

Saint Teresa of Calcutta. How perfect. It looks just like her.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Knit On!

The day started with a warm turn. So the blankie sized projects stayed in their project bags. But look see!

I was able to work on my socks. And I have one finished and the second sock cast on! Even the ends are woven in. These are the Gold Digger socks in the color Cactus Flower by MadelineTosh sock yarn. I hope the second one goes as fast. It took just one month, with lots of other projects, since the chart work was too hard to do in the evenings.

This was the first time I ever used a lifeline on the toes of socks. I was doing my usual toe, because my foot is wider and less pointy then the original. I wanted to be sure I didn't make it too short so put in the lifeline in case I had to rip back. But all was good.

I also spent some time in the wool room. A short time back I wanted to start another shawl project. I found some country blue baby loop mohair that had been marinating in the stash for a few years. I heard it say that it wanted to be a Faroese shawl, so I was ready to turn it into a big yarn cake so I could get started knitting.

However, after getting it on the swift, and struggling in the heat and humidity to adjust the swift and start winding, there was not an end to be found. Even after I cut the yarn that was holding the skein together, (in only one place) there was no end attached to it as usual.

After struggling for several minutes to find at least one end, I finally gave up, as the wool room was turning into a steam room. Or so it felt, in my frustration.

Today, while it was somewhat cooler, I tried again. With no luck finding an end again, after several minutes I finally surrendered. I broke the yarn and started winding by hand. The hand winding was necessary because in searching and poking the skein, as well as the struggle to get it on the swift, the lovely mohair was a bit tangled.

This is going to take a while, untangling as I wind. Maybe by the time it is all wound up, I will be able stand to have a lap full of mohair again.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Upgrades, Wanted or Not

After my coffee maker headed to the great coffee house in the sky last weekend, I decided I was tired of toast only getting brown on the bottom half of the bread. I am not like my son, wanting barely warm bread to come out of the toaster, I want crispy crunchy brown goodness.

So yesterday, with some cash in hand, I purchased a new toaster oven. This morning my toast was lovely. And the toaster oven should work better for heating up left over French toast from the freezer too.

While I was at the "local discount shopping center", I also perused the carpet cleaner section. Yes, Lizzie Belle, the cute little frou-from cow dog does have accidents. It doesn't help that she won't "go" for anyone but me. Couple that with my farmers/factory workers who (irony alert) are not among the neatest people on the planet and our carpet is a mess. It isn't new, but probably close to 30 years old. It started out brown, and is browner. Especially in spots. So I splurged on a purchase I had been considering for some time.

It doesn't handle full carpets, but works great for spots. Now that the humidity is down (hallelulia!), I can clean the worse areas and it can actually dry. And I can really see a difference.

Lizzie says, "I'm not really that bad."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Domestically Getting Along

I have faced my domestic challenges these past few days. Yesterday my coffee maker died. The hot plate on the bottom just melted away from the sides. So the pot was too low to lift the bottom of the basket to let the coffee drain into the pot. It overflowed, with the grounds, and ruined what coffee was run through. So...long story short, I had to run to Wal Mart to get a new coffee maker so I could have my morning fix. Never fear, I am fully caffeinated now.
Since I have had 13 eggs in the last two days, out of seven hens, I decided to try a quiche for supper. Hubby wouldn't want any (cheese and such you know) but since he would be gone to the auction, and Younger Son was leaving for work an hour early I decided to try one.
One of my new egg cookbooks had basic instructions for improvising a quiche with whatever you have. Well, I had a can of asparagus, and one of mushrooms I thought. But they were awol. So I cut the kernels off an ear of corn, and sautéed them with an onion. I had made the pie shell, covered the bottom with Swiss cheese and added the veggies. Oh, and for flavor I added some chopped dried tomatoes. I guessed at the number of eggs because the oldest were assorted sizes. (One double yolker though.). Some salt, and mustard and milk. And it was surprisingly good. And I have leftovers for tomorrow.
Also on the domestic front, I have not forgotten my Cactus Flower Gold Digger socks. I cannot work on them once the sun is down, but I am making progress.
I think I am not far from starting the toe decreases. The traveling stitch pattern will continue down the toe till I graft it together.
Then I need to start the second as soon as I can, to avoid second sock syndrome.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Remember Still

After all these years, I remember still.


The shock when I heard that a plane hit the tower.

And it turning to fear when the second plane struck.

The word that the Pentagon was also in flames.

The rumor that still another plane was was missing.


After all these years, I remember still.


The disbelief, the anger, the tears, the sadness.

The hit in my chest each time I see the replays.

And yet...the love of country that all displayed.

When the nation came together, in support and prayer.


After all these years, I remember still.


The stories of bravery, of those who helped others escape the towers.

Those who fought back, on Flight 93, though chances were slim.

The support of the nations around the world, their sympathy and prayers

The changes in how we view and others, less open, less trust.


After all these years, I remember still.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

And That's a Wrap

Literally. My second Hitchhiker shawl is off the needles and even got worn to Mass this evening.

Sorry for the lousy picture. I tried to take one in front of my mirror in the wool room. But I was dying of heat there. So finally I let Gertrude model it for me.

The yarn is a rayon with metallic fingering weight. Very slinky and drapey. It has a very different feel from the one I made last winter out of sport weight wool. But my Tapestry Hitchhiker is a winner.

And while I didn't exactly play yarn chicken, I could not have gotten another repeat of the eight pattern rows.

But with a finished project off the needles, I reviewed my WIPs. It is a bit too hot to finish the Baby Hap for the Purple Princess yet, plus it needs the chart nearby. I can work on Little Peanut's Ten Stitch Blankie, and I have several pairs of complicated socks in the works.

But I do need a truly brainless and portable project. So....yup, I cast on another pair of simple socks.

The yarn is a merino bamboo blend called Squish by Yarn Hollow, in a color called (I think) Rel rel, in shades of brown, purple and red. Simple recipe sock, although I may try the Fleegle Heel again, done magic loop method. Good brainless knitting.

Now I better go update my Ravelry project page.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Back in the Groove

Funny how even though I haven't been in school for years (decades even), life still revolves around the school year. With the start of the school year, Community Bible Study also started today. It was great to see the excited faces gathering and to see several familiar faces in my group. This is my fourth year and I have gained so much each time.

This year we are studying Matthew--less than a chapter a week! It will be a change from the sometimes confusing but always intense and interesting books of Daniel and Revelations last year. It is going to be a great year, as always.

On the home front, the girls are laying plenty of eggs, and they are getting larger.

Good thing I got some lemons to try another pie this weekend. The weather has got to break soon.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


As the weather was on the verge of heating up Monday, I decided to try a pie, to help use a few eggs.

Mmmm. From scratch butterscotch,

With meringue. And eggs from the girls.

Of course the pie was not without some angst. The girls are laying larger eggs now, but still smaller than standard. So I had to figure out how many of my eggs to use. Then separate them. One double yolker gave me some trouble, but I managed quite nicely on the whole.

When it came to the meringue, I didn't have any cream of tartar that most of the recipes, but it even turned out ok.

It may have set better, if I had room in the fridge, but it was still tasty. And it didn't separate or get little beads on it.

Of course, it didn't last past Tuesday morning.

Next, I need to get some lemons. And cream of tartar.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Keeping Busy....Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday I have been keeping busy. I failed to mention that it will be getting busier.

My beloved Community Bible Study (CBS) starts on this coming Thursday morning. I found out my group leader is a friend at my new church who worked with my dad when he got his infusions. I will enjoy getting to know her better as we study Matthew this year.

Because of CBS, I will be unable to attend breakfast on Thursdays with some of the women from church. I have enjoyed diving in and getting to know them better. They invited me to the women's Bible study at All Saints, on Tuesday mornings. I am seriously considering attending.

And then there was the surprise I got at Mass this weekend. One friend greeted me, noting that I was settling in and becoming famous. With great poise, I said "Huh?

Turns out, according to the announcements, I am on the schedule to be a speaker for the women's group, CCW, in October. I repeat, huh?

I figured it out later, after corralling one of the gals who had come to see my spinning demonstration in my hometown earlier this summer. They had suggested that would be a great program. So I got drafted. I don't mind, if they want to see it, but what a surprise.

So I suppose I should attend the meeting this month, to see just what kind of program they expect. They meet once a month on Tuesday nights. Sounds like I may be missing Knit Nite occasionally.

I may also need a bigger table than I had in July.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Keeping Busy

Between my Daughter in Law's maternity leave, followed by her new job, I won't be getting my weekly Grammy day with the kiddos. But this past week, with the return of the school year, I went to help wrangle the little grand kids, while my DIL managed her yard sale and mowed lawn between customers. At least to the eighth grader came home. (That's right. She has infant, toddler and teen. Pray for her.)

Tough job, but I managed.

When his momma was helping customers, guess who wanted to run the mower? Well, hey, it goes vroom vroom doesn't it?

And, I have done several inches on my Cactus Flower Gold Digger socks. I'm well past this picture taken last Tuesday. Can you see where I used the red reinforcing strand of mohair on the heel?

I am quite sure I will be knitting fewer rounds than called for before beginning the toe shaping.