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


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.
  • 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.
  • 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.