Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Bit of News

So much has happened since I last posted.  After all, I did say that I was cutting back on my posts.  
Now that the guilt over not posting so frequently is over, I find myself being called back.  As long as I can return here when I think I have something to say, I may be able to pop in every so often.  A month's break was quite refreshing.  I hope I don't make this a seemingly never ending post.
One of my most recent bits of news is our new family member.  Harbor Humane Society called him Figg.  Here he goes by Figgy Puddin'.
 
It took until last night for him to come out of hiding.  For the first couple days we could usually locate Figgy by thes hisses and by Leo staring (or glaring) in his direction.  But he has come out and now sleeps a lot in out of the way areas.
The highlight of the last month was my confirmation.  It was after much study and prayer that I was confirmed at the Easter Vigil service.  
 
Midge patiently shepherded me through the process. Mary was my sponsor and Fr. Stanley celebrated the sacrament that brought me into full communion with the Catholic Church.    Much of my Lenten reading, especially a book called "When the Church Was Young" strengthened the decision I had already made.  I am very happy with my choice.  It is good to know your church actually takes a stand.  And that it has a tradition going back to Christ and Peter.
And I have been knitting.  (Not crocheting Doug!)
 
I am making a Shape It Shawl for Mary to use at the silent auction for the new hospice house she is a part of.  It will be a long triangle with tapering ends.  Perfect to wrap around and tie or let hang.
 
I am using the left overs from my handspun yarn.  I originally used it for the yoke of a sweater I made about seven years or so ago.  I also had stripes of it around the bottom ribbing and the cuffs.
Well, there you have it.  I won't promise I won't be gone so long because I just may.  But I will pop back from time to time.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said, To Talk of Many Things:

Of shoes and ships--and sealing wax--and cabbages and kings.
Well, maybe not those particular topics, but with apologies to Lewis Carroll, but I have other topics.
Anyone who has been following my blog may have noticed that the postings have slowed down.  And when I do post, it seems like I am forcing myself to find something to post about.  I guess I am just too busy to muse.
And so, I think it is time to...well maybe not pull the plug on Farm Mom's Musing, but make the posts much more sporadic.  Maybe once a month, maybe more, probably less.
 
Or maybe when I have a picture of my Grands that I want to share.
But for now, it has been a grand ride and thanks for those who came along.
Until next time....Farm Mom.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I Said I Needed Something Quick

This definitely fit the bill.
. 
This was just what I needed, a very quick project.  
Now I may need to cast on with something new, since I hear we have a very light schedule for Board of Review.  Maybe this? 
 
Same pattern in "Dragon" colorway.  The finished Cowl is in Kimono colorway.  It is totally brainless.  I may at least cast on and knit the first row tonight to have it as backup.  Of course I need to hand wind this skein again too.
But I do have this to get going on too.
 
This is (obviously) a Crazy Zauberball and I will be making a pair of helical striped Mitts after I finish the cuff.  It is lesson one in the Year of Techniques being featured on Mason Dixon Knitting.  Next pattern is out April, so I may fall behind but each pattern is a new technique featured on a quick pattern.  
I can almost guarantee I will fall behind.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

New Beginnings

After finishing the Graceful Harvest Cardigan, my thoughts turned to my unfinished works.  I need to sort through the Baby Hap and the purple Ten Stitch Blankie, checking against the patterns and seeing where I am again before starting with them.
But after the sweater and the Sockhead Hat (which was miles and miles of ribbing and stockinette,) I felt the need for something quick.  So, I cast on.
 
Well, first I had to hand wind this so I could knit.
 
As you may be able to read from the label it is mostly bamboo.  Actually it is bamboo rayon, with some wool and a touch of acrylic.  
After a couple days of knitting, including a near needle disaster I am doing quite well.  The tip came off the cable, leaving several inches of stitches swinging free.  I dug out a darning needle and heavy thread, and put them on a lifeline.  From there I was able to put them back on the needles and catch the ones that dropped back a row or two and all is well.
 
Did I mention it is going to be a cowl?  Easy peasy knitting, with some watching the one needle tip.
I also turned this:
 
into this.
 
I weighed them so they should be equal.  More on this project in the future.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

And It Is Done

I am knitting slower this year.  This is only Finished Object #2 for 2017 but it is done and delivered.  With the movies that have been on, I was able to make a push and got it done.
   
The second sleeve went well, although I kept having to think back when my mind absolutely would not purl in the first garter stitch round.  But eventually it all worked out.
 
Do you remember the dilemma about weather to knit the pocket in place or separately?  I sort of did both.  I fused the bottom by picking up stitches just above the garter stitch and knitting away.  I still had to sew them down but at least I knew the positioning was even.
And did my favorite teenage granddaughter like it?
 
I think so, complete with the contrasting pockets she requested.  
And so ends the Christmas knitting for 2016.  Now back to baby blankets.  And (oops) I may have cast on a thing or two.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Family Time

Last week was one of those times you dread.  The younger of my last two aunts passed away.  
Aunt Joyce was my dad's baby sister.  She had been living in a nursing home for several years, and passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family.
The weather for the visitation and funeral was fine, and downright sunny the day of the funeral, although quite chilly again.
Yet while it was a sad time.  It was a time of cousins sharing and hugging.  Saying it is a shame we only get together like this at funerals.  And yet there was the knowledge we probably won't be together again until the (hopefully long delayed) next time.
However my cousins, her sons and some of her grandsons have made a habit of showing off their Irish heritag.  They mostly come by it from their father's side, although the closest immigrant ancestor on the side I share is also from Ireland. 
 
My kilted cousins!  Clearly they love their Irish roots.  No wonder their mom and dad (or grandparents as the case may be,) were delighted with the trip they took to Ireland with my parents.
Needless to say, it was a memorable send off for Aunt Joyce.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hello Again

Perhaps I should have made it my goal to dial back my postings.  I certainly seem to have don that this month.  But I have excuses, really I do.
On the 16th I had my first colonoscopy and in preparation for that a friend advised me to eat light, so the actual "cleaning out" prep would be easier.  I did and it was, but still not fun.  I hardly got any sleep the night before.  I didn't dare knit, but got lots of reading done.  My latest kick has been mysteries in an old series, "Mrs. Bradley."
I then proceeded to get a tremendous cold, and bailed on all activities for a day.  It was mostly spent sleeping and helped a lot.  The next day was spent with a box of Kleenex in hand, and a bucket for the used ones close by at all times.
Unfortunately not a lot of knitting was done during that time.  But I have finished the first sleeve on the Graceful Harvest Cardigan, and made a good start on the second.  
With the return of NASCAR now there will be prime knitting time every week.  The race format has changed some this year, and of course I need to learn to identify all the new sponsors and paint schemes.  The sweater is brainless enough for that.  I just need to keep track of decrease rows.
 
This past week there were several small races.  But tomorrow is the biggy: the Daytona 500.  This sleeve should grow quite a bit then.
 

I think I have a solution to my low knitting output.  And it's a grand one.
I have been trying to remain faithful to one project at a time.  And I still want to concentrate on finishing my Works in Progress.  But while reading the Mason Dixon Knitters blog post, I discovered why.  I need more projects.  
No, really!
I think this is giving me an excuse to wind up some yarn and cast on something more brainless for travel.  The sweater is way to large for easy travel knitting.  And if I had something smaller, I probably would have grabbed it for on the go.
Yup, I may need to spend some time tonight winding yarn.

Monday, February 13, 2017

2017 Goal Roundup--Readingwise

I finished a couple of books and e-books in the last couple days.  One was even part of my reading goals for the year.
The e-book Mother Teresa (Revised Edition): An Authorized Biography was started just a bit last year and I finally finished it Sunday.  So that is one of my non-fiction list that I can cross off.  I also caught up to the December 2016 National Geographic in my Zinio account.  Considering that at one time I was almosr a year behind, that is some progress.
Of course I have also finished two fiction books since the middle of last week.  I mentioned when I set my goals that the fiction would take care of itself.
I usually give up reading fiction during Lent.  It is a way of fasting from frivolous thoughts.  This year, I am considering a more serious spiritual reading plan.  It involves reading scripture as well as a plan for spiritual reading that builds as you go along.  I'm not sure if I want to tackle it for Lent, or  wait till later, but I have all the recommended books lined up.
 
Of course you can't really read your way into heaven, but just like Community Bible Study, it will build the foundation of knowledge to help me share my faith with others.  As the back cover says, "Spiritual reading arms us for battle."  Having a preplanned, progressive plan will help me read with a purpose.
And I can still return to my fiction and mysteries after Lent.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Two Steps Back

Just a bit of a setback on the sweater sleeves.  After a few rounds into the garter stitch cuff, I realized that I was supposed to switch to the smaller sized needles.  So first order of business was to think back and switch the tips on the needles.
That is what I love about the interchangeable needles.  The cable can stay put and just the tips need to be changed.  Once that was done, garter stitch in the round began again.
 
Seven ridges down, twelve more to go.  Then I can start the second sleeve.
And I can start making pocket plans.  Do I want to knit them in place?  Or make them separately and sew on?  Decisions, decisions.  Right now I am leaning toward knitting them in place.  Time will tell.
I'm not sure if I ever mentioned the pattern I am using for my Favorite Teen's Cardigan.  It is Harvest, by Tin can Knits.  It is a free pattern with sizes ranging from wee baby all the way up to "too big for me even."  It has been easy and I still want one for me.  I do recommend it as a fun knit to try.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sweater Update

I did manage to get a picture of the Graceful Harvest Cardigan at Knit Nite the other day.  
 
Since this picture the left sleeve (on your right) has grown quite a bit.  It is now 10 inches long.  Another few inches and I repeat the garter stitch edging for four inches.  I am really happy with how it is looking right now.  Hope my favorite teenager likes it too.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Progress

There has been progress on the Graceful Harvest Cardigan.  
 
That's right, it may be hard to tell, but I am casting off the bottom of the cardigan in that shot.    I have picked up the stitches on the left arm and have nearly 2 inches into it.  The sleeve decreases will begin soon.  
I hope to get a better picture tonight at Knit Nite.  
And, believe it or not, here it is February 7, and I still have not started any new projects!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

And I Cook

Today was Fellowship day at Community Bible Study.  Once again, with the girls starting to lay more eggs I took an egg dish using the group for my guinea pigs. After my previous hits, this wasn't so great.  I guess I'll write off that recipe as a dud and have unmarked it as a favorite.
 
Maybe it would have been better with more cheddar, more egg/milk and less Swiss.  But I'll go back to the other recipes next time.  I like the potato ones best.
My ear is still a bit stuffy today, but greatly improved from yesterday.
And, with the return of the 31 Days of Oscar on TCM, I am enjoying The Band Wagon. This year, they are running the movies alphabetically.  And I am continuing knitting the cardigan shown yesterday.  Great old movies are great for knitting.  Almost as god as my NASCAR races.  (Go Brad, Go Junior!)
And so far, here it is into February and I still haven't started anything new.  I can hardly believe it myself.  I am doing very well in sticking to my goals.
On my way home I stopped at the nearby Amish Grocery to pick up a few items.  Among them a new 8 inch pan.
It says it is seasoned.  I am hoping my buddy who is addicted to old iron will send me some tips for handling my new iron.  Even though it's seasoned, I probably need to do something to it, but I bet she will know just how I should break it in.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Idle Thoughts While Sitting in the Doctor's Office

So there I was today, sitting in the doctors' office merrily knitting away.
 
That is the Graceful Harvest Cardigan for my oldest granddaughter.  I am still in the bottom garter stitch border, but it is growing.  I need my NASCAR back, with my quality knitting time.
I was there to see if my sore stuffed up ear was infected, and if it would prevent my upcoming colonoscopy.  It wasn't infected and won't prevent the afore mentioned procedure. (Darn.). But I was advised there was some wax and also a bit of fluid built up.  I was told what to do to drain the ear and sent on my way,
But before getting my medical prognosis, as I knit I was studying the wall graphics.  Obviously this room is used with children and there was an alphabet  around the top of the room, as well as other child friendly decor.  
But it was the alphabet that gave me pause,  especially the G and K.
 
Do you see the problem?  G for Gnome and K for Knight.  Both of which are silent in those words!  Instead of being fancy, they should have stuck with Goat and Kangaroo.
An idle mind is a dangerous thing when it thinks too much.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Chickens Know

Spring is coming.  The chickens say so.
 
Since early December or before, my girls have been slacking in the egg production department.  All they were giving was one egg a day.  Not a lot, but we were catching up in the supply.
But this week?  We had two on Saturday, and two more Sunday.  Yesterday and today, three eggs each day.  Not bad.  The entire flock is shown above.  (That is Lacey flapping and showing off, trying to hide Rita by the tire)
At their peak, last fall we were getting around four or five eggs per day, so that is quite a bounce back. If this keeps up, I may be cooking egg rich dishes again.
Eggs anyone?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ode to Kate

 
There once was a farm girl named Kate.
When we met, '89 was the date.
The oldest of four,
And never a bore,
To be friends as she grew was just fate.

With her whole family I've been quite close.
To them all I will raise a toast.
To her parents and Hubs
And home full of cubs
I ask blessings to fall on their house.

As the day approaches to meet number seven
And your bundle from God is "geven"
May your contractions be swift,
As you receive life's gift.
And you'll be flooded with blessings from heaven.
 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Stash Busting

Today was Spin Guild, postponed a week due to the Senior Center being closed last week.  And even though I brought my knitting, due to my bum knee, I did bring fiber.
A few days ago I was tossing stash in my Wool Room and knew some had to go.  My spinning fiber stash was well beyond the SABLE level.  SABLE stands for "Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy".  My fiber room definitely reflected that status.
I pulled out a gold and red bag to start with, then two bags of light blue Corridale cross.  A one pound bag of a pine green and brown combed top, a big bag of peachy Merino roving from Stonehedge Mills, some possible alpaca, and various bits of other rovings.  I had three large garbage bags full. Plus the merino in a separate bag of fluff.  I didn't look too closely.  I didn't want to be tempted.
Once at the meeting place, I lugged them in, plus my coffee, purse and knitting bag, all in one trip.  (Whew!). Then I dumped it down and told the others to have at it.  None of it was coming home with me.
There was some unclaimed, but that is going to be passed on to another spin group that meets farther north.
On my way home I picked up a four foot closet rod and tossed the aluminum rack that had been sagging and dropping hangers of clothes in my wool room.  While I was setting it up, I found the original bag of red gold roving that started it all.  I know just where it is going.  Not on my shelf either.
 
I put in the new closet pole, hung summer clothes and put some of my remaining roving on the corner shelf.
 
I have walking around room again.  And I found of the second pound of pine green and brown top. 
 
Thursday, it will go to live with the first pound.  
Sweater quantity!  That's always a good thing!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

First Finished

The first Finished Object of the year, like the last project of 2016, is a hat for a granddaughter.
 
You may recall, before Christmas when we went shopping for sweater yarn, that my Favorite Teen mentioned needing a slouchy hat.  The Turquoise Sockhead hat fit the bill perfectly.  Being her favorite color didn't hurt either.
 
And it is definitely slouchy.  I want one of my own.  Which is also the problem I am having with the Graceful Harvest Cardigan that I am working on too.
 
It is a simple raglan sweater with a unique collar/border treatment.  It is a fast knit and I only have a few more inches to go before I start the bottom four inches of garter stitch.  I hope she likes it.
Problem is, now I want one of these too.  But it isn't on my list of knitting goals for this year.  I need to finish some other projects first.
On the bright side, here it is January 19, and I still haven't cast on anything new.  
For me, that is amazing!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Returns

While change can be good, (in my opinions, that's a so-so thing) sometimes returning to the old stuff is ok too.  That said, it was great to return to the wide world web yesterday.  The technicians were so helpful in making sure I was fully back in service.  They replaced both the antenna and my router.  Best of all, they were giving me a month's credit, which will help pay for the new router.
Needles to say I was busy for quite a while, what with 5 days of emails, blogs I follow and a bit of Facebook to catch-up on.
Earlier yesterday though I had to dig out an old friend.  A friend I didn't want to return to.
 
That's right. The return of the cane.  The icy deposits did me in early yesterday.  While leaving to go to pick up Younger Son from work, at 5:30 am, I carefully avoided stepping on the frozen puddle at the bottom of the steps.  The sand Hubby had sprinkled on it was deep in the water.  So, as I often do, I stepped on the grass next to the puddle.....and promptly tried to fall.  I managed to catch myself, but in the process, twisted my knee, rather painfully.  It works, but I need to go gingerly on it.  
It is  feeling much better today.  But as long as I keep my cane handy, I can remember to go slowly.  Now I just need to remember not to turn too quickly.
With the return of my Internet, as well as my cane, I have been not getting much more done.  I do have a finished object to share, but I think I will wait until tomorrow to reveal that.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Darn Internet Anyway

When did I get so dependent on the Internet?  
I guess, being home all day, I just use it without thinking.  I don't cruise websites or anything like that.  But my e-mail, e-magazines and e-books need to be delivered somehow to my iPad.  I also follow a lot of blogs, knitting and otherwise that use the wifi to load onto my Feedly newsreader.  I do have a littler tablet that also is on data, but even that mostly uses wifi.  
I had noticed a lot of dropped service back in November and I wrote it off as people doing lots of online shopping.  But it has continued after Christmas and if anything is worse.  Especially in the evening, which is prime blogging time.  All that can explain partly my recent lack of blogging.
I make been in contact with my local internet provider (NCATS) and they have been tweaking at their end.  But now we are waiting for them to make a site visit to see what can be done here.  It was working a bit earlier, so I thought I would try to send out a quick update.
But never fear, my knitting has continued.  Hopefully the Turquoise Sockhead Hat will be delivered today.  And I have divided off the sleeves on the Graceful Harvest cardigan.
 
And last weekend, I had a chance to watch the little ones.  Watching Toy Story with Grammy while sis naps is such hard work.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

One Down!

With some fast and furious knitting, I have finished my first project of the year.  Just as the last of 2016 was a hat for my littlest granddaughter, my first  FO or Finished Object is another hat.  But this time it is for my oldest granddaughter.
 
I know it looks long but the Turquoise Sockhead Hat is a slouchy hat and the length makes it slouchy.  It even fits nicely on my big head, with room for my hair clip.  Once I catch up on all of my knitting goals and dare start something new, I just may make one for myself.
And there I go, already wanting to cast on a new project.  But I will carry on with my previously stated goal and continue on to the Graceful Harvest cardigan, again for my favorite teen.  
I will probably want to make one of those for me too, when I get done.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Few More Goals

Obviously most of my goals for this year were all about knitting.  And I almost have the Turquoise Sockhead hat to the point of decreasing.  A nice soak and blocking will soon be all that remains on that project.
However, I have set myself some goals regarding my reading habits.  
I want to track my reading this year.  I tried a regular form reading journal last year.  It was too formal and time consuming and was soon abandoned.  This year, I am just recording the name of each book read in my bullet journal, adding new sections after later months if need be..
I am also recording the genre and date finished, as well if the book was electronic or paper.
I have no trouble choosing fiction to read, even if they are heavy on mysteries.  I didn't set any specific fiction goals this year.  However I did set a few other goals.
Classics:
  • A "new to me" classic that I have either never read, or at least never managed to finish.  I don't plan on wading through "Bleak House" or "War and Peace" ( they are HUGE!). But perhaps "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" by Anne Bronte.  I've never gotten more than half way on that.  Or perhaps something else. I have a bunch of hard copies, as well as e-copies of most of the Barnes & Noble Classics on my Nook app.
  • I want to re-read at least one favorite classic.  I'm thinking Jane Austen, either "Emma" or Sense and Sensibility" at the moment. It's been a while for both of them.
Non-Fiction:
  • I want to read several books to help me on my faith walk, already in my library and/or wish list.
  • I would like to read a couple biographies.  I am in the middle of one on Mother Teresa of Calcutta that is inspiring and fascinating all at once.  
In my general reading, I would like to catch up on my reading my magazines.  I have e-versions of several, most notably National Geographic.  I am about seven months behind on those alone and would like to be only a month or two behind at the most.  Then maybe I can start on my back issues of Smithsonian.
 
In case you wonder why I read mostly electronic editions of magazines as well as books, the answer is that they are so easy to read while knitting.  It only takes a flick of a finger to turn a page.  And then they stay turned.  Paper books and magazines aren't nearly so conducive to knitting ease.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Goal or Two, Or More

As I mentioned before, I don't do resolutions.  Too definite.  To much of a promise.  I prefer the term of goals.  Something to shoot for, but no harm, no foul if you don't quite reach the finish line.
That said, I skip the whole personal improvement type of goals.  Don't smoke.  Only have a wee bit of wine at New Years, then some after, to finish the bottle by the end of the month or so.  I try to improve myself and my actions with frequent "examination of conscience."  
So my goals deal with the real stuff of life: Knitting and Reading.
My knitting goals fall into a couple areas, some miscellaneous WIPs and some sweaters.  While I need to first finish my Favorite Teen's Turquoise Sockhead hat, as well as her Graceful Harvest cardigan, since they were Christmas presents these will be next to go.  The hat is well on its way, with about 3 1/2 inches before shaping begins.  
 
Obviously it will be extra long.  It is a slouchy style hat.  And due to the lighting conditions, it looks too green here.  It really is turquoise.  Anyway....
The WIPs goal:
  • First is to finish the Baby Hap, which is stalled on the border and will be first to be worked on, once the presents are finished.  
  • After that finish the 10 Stitch Blankie.
  • And, at least one pair of my several socks already on the needles. 
Then there is my Sweater Goal:
  • Finish the previously mentioned Graceful Harvest.
  • Find and finish my Navy Tweed Vest.  (Where did I stash that?  And the last few skeins?)
  • Finish my Bang Out A Freyja.  It was a project to have been knit last February, in the round then steeked.  I am close but not quite to finishing the body shaping.  I know where it is, but must review the pattern closely.
And Miscellaneous Knitting Goals:
  • Finish at least one project started over two years ago.  Sadly, I have several to chose from.  This may be a two- fer with a pair of socks.
  • Hold off as long as possible starting any new projects.  This may well be the hardest goal of all.
I think I will save the Reading Goals for next time.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Preparing for 2017

I am not a fan of resolutions, but goals I can live with.  They have a more "squishy" quality and I don't feel as bad if I don't meet them.  I've started working on my new ones and I've broken my goals down into two main areas again this year: knitting and reading.
I will share more about them in another post.  But I wanted to review the status of my WIP pile.  I went through to add the year 2017 to the tags.  In doing so, I discovered some were older than I thought.  Apparently, while I completed a fair amount of projects, most were new ones, or at least very recent.  I need to do something about that this year.
My last comepleted project for 2016 was the Red Ribbed Hat for my Little Peanut, which was also my .ast project on in 2016.
 

Looking through my project page on Ravelry I can see it is true. All 17 projects completed were started last year, except for the Lions Scoreboard Cowl, which started with the beginning of the NFL football season and had to wait until after their final game.  Of those projects, many were for other recipients. I knit two pair of slippers, two Hitchhiker shawls and the rustic blue silk Shawl that were for me.  The Scoreboard was gifted away, leaving lots of gifts, mostly for children.
I guess I have a bunch of older WIPs to get cracking on.  I will take that into consideration when finalizing my goals.
But before that, tradition came to the forefront today.  Every year around Christmas or New Year's, some friends and I have a girl's movie night.  Or in this case, afternoon. 
Our local movie theater added a third smaller theater screen.  This past month or so they have been showing some great older movies.  So today four of us went to a screening of The Wizard of Oz.  Flying monkeys and all.  And I loved it!  The sound is so much better there than at home on tv.  As well as the general ambience.
I look forward to going back in a couple weeks to see Casablanca.
 
But in the meantime, I have a Sockhead hat to finish.