Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Scarf of the Year

My last scarf was too short, as I said, and I wasn't happy with the width either.

So I pared the stitches down to 10, instead of 12, used size 13 needles to help take up the slack in between the puffballs, and while the scarf is only slightly longer, I'm much happier with it.

Big change in the pooling of the colors, however, which I'm not too impressed about that, but them's the breaks.

I did manage to find another skein at Michael's store, but think I might return it, as I don't think I need it anymore.

It's New Year's Eve. No special plans.There's nothing special on television except for football previews, and the local stations are all spouting about MSU...The biggest complaint about it, is that I have heard that the Wolverines are playing in the Gator Bowl, and frankly, I don't think they deserved to play in a well known bowl game--if anyone deserved it, it was MSU. 

Ah, my brother-in-law would disagree with my assessment, I suppose (grin)--he's a staunch U of M follower. For Christmas one year I had to buy him a U of M Clock. This has sort of been a standing rivalry between he and I, and every time we see each other, it becomes a taffy pull as to who will end up at the Rose Bowl. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. This year, we both lost.

Or we both won. I suppose it was a tie, either way you look at it.

But a new year is just around the corner. Do I have any resolutions? None that I can think of--naturally, I could stand to lose some weight. I could join the local gym and exercise more. I could promise to limit my yarn budget to a lot less that I spent this last year. I could spend more time with family and friends. You know. All the normal stuff.

I think I am going to resolve to go to church on Sunday. I think that's what I'm going to do. It's only 52 days for the entire year, right? I think I can manage it, as long as I can take my knitting with me.

Would that be considered rude?

In any case, I'm scarf happy and getting back to the HoneyComb Scarf that I was working on for JoAnn's. I downloaded a really pretty scarf pattern from ArtYarns, and will probably make it next year for a Christmas gift.

But for those who read my column regularly, Have a Safe and Happy New Year filled with lots and lots of blessings and presents and yarn and whatever else you might wish for! Since I only know what I would wish for, that's what I list...your list may vary.

Have a happy one!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yes, Finished.

But far too short for my body.
I'll need another skein. 

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Pin Pa Doodle Progress

Here is how far I got in an hour.

1 skein Red Heart yarn
Size 9 needles
12 stitches

Work only with the strand between the gobbles, begin with a slip knot and backward e cast on
Then just knit until the yarn is gone.

Very easy.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

The Next Project....

Not feeling very creative today, so I read the last half of Stephanie Pearl McPhee's "Things I Learned from Knitting...(whether I wanted to or not!)"

Yarn Harlot is a stitch. Pun intended.

I'm dressed and ready to head to Barnes and Noble for some answers to questions about my Nook (yes, I bought one of the blasted things...must keep up with technology, right?). I was sent some kids books--those are always fun reading. And I've bought a few to read. I've also put some books on my wish list for the year--it would appear at first glance that I'm falling out of love with Knitting, and into love with reading again, but I don't think it will last forever.

I also have Kindle on my cellular "Droid", and have been reading Sherlock Holmes on it. Little short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, of course. There's another book on my cell phone, but since I can't transfer it to my nook, I'll have to read it on the cellular, which is much smaller than the nook. I have found that I can read a hundred pages in a few hours, and Stephanie's book went pretty fast. She's got another one coming out soon. I'll be saving my $$ for that.

Presently on the needles is a puffball scarf--made with Pompa-Doodle yarn by Red Heart. Stuff is soft, only 12 stitches (two per strand between the poms), and on size 9's. Can't beat this little bugger for speed and ease--One ball makes the scarf about 6' long. You just keep going and going until there's no yarn left. It's a sweet little idiot project I'm doing before I decide to delve back into Rhiannon. I also have a honeycomb scarf in an Aran weight yarn (Fisherman Yarn purchased at JoAnn's) going. I just have to find my size 7's to get back on track with that one. Pattern stitch (only 1) is really easy.

But back to my B&N queries...I'm getting fingerprints all over the screen of my Nook. I think I'm going to invest in some covers for it to protect the screen from fingerprints. I'll still get fingerprints, but when it gets dirty, I can remove it and add on a new one. I've got the same sort of filament on my droid.

Next project on the needles will be socks, I'm fairly certain, unless someone else needs a hat...those can be made quick and easy on the loom. Faster than you can say "hat".

So, I'll see you in a little bit.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Hat for a Computer Guru

Made for my computer guru, Chris..for helping me put my new computer together and move files from my old computers. Can't wait.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hat to Match!

It's so pretty!

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

It's a Christmas Scarf

Made for JoAnn's at JoAnn's.
You can't see the sparkles, but they're there. 

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

It's a Dog's World

I have good news, which I actually got yesterday, but saved to share with you today--

I don't have to renew my driver's license this year. It's not due until next year.

This was all sorts of good news for me yesterday, since

a.) I didn't have to stand in line at the DMV

b.) I didn't have to spend that $$ which is better spent on yarn anyway.

c.) I didn't have to break their camera with my god-awful picture!

For whatever reason, my driver's license picture always makes me look as if I'm standing in a lineup or getting a mug shot after two or three days of too much alcohol, which is sort of odd, since I don't drink alcohol at all. But I truly dislike having my picture taken. I have never been photogenic and there have only been two pictures of me in my life that I *did* like, and those were SEVERELY airbrushed.

But I didn't have to take all that time and all that money and all that *wasted time* at the DMV, which made me VERY HAPPY.

And then, to make matters EVEN BETTER---

Hubby paid off the house.

Yes, yes, BIG dollars there, since we sold the property (for a loss) in Fowlerville, but it was just enough to pay off the house and make a GREAT Christmas for everybody. He let me get the check and send it out--the most money I've ever held in my hand at one time on a slip of paper! I carried that in my pocket book all the way to the post office and sent it Priority Mail to the mortgage company, who should receive it today at noon.

But the best part of all of that is that the house is ours now. All ours. I'm not really sure if that's a blessing or a curse, actually. I was thinking that with the house paid off, our credit rating might take a hit. It's a sure thing that our taxes are going to take a big hit what with the loss of the itemized deduction for interest, as well as the capital gain for the sale of the property, so we might end up paying in this year, but you know what? I don't care! The house is ours and we can burn the deed.

So I'm thinking, I really need to clean up the house so that we can invite friends and relatives over and have a deed burning party--but that will take me months to prepare, considering we have this big console analog television that we can't seem to get rid of--

It's always something, isn't it?

And I have to make the chair covers for the dining room chairs so that we can get those put where they belong.

And the fireplace needs to be returned to it's cave. This should have been done the day we pulled it out, but by the time we got the fireplace running, we were both simply exhausted. So it's sitting outside the hole in the wall on bricks, and looks ghastly.

John WayneCover of John WayneThere also seems to be quite a bit of junk to go through and dispose of--like the 60 vcr tapes from both our previous marriages and the tapes from Bud Dart who died and left us his collection of bootleg John Wayne videos. What a deal! We did decide to keep the vcr/dvd player--and just a few of the vcr tapes--My copy of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Grinch (the one with Jim Carey), and the Wizard of Oz with all the deleted scenes. Most of the rest went to a bin for hubby to review--since he believes that there's one with his kids when they were little. So it's tapes, laying helter-skelter everywhere.

And I'm thinking seriously about buying the pack of Knifty Knitter looms so that I can make kid hats for charity (since I have a LOT of extra yarn that I need to pare down), and yesterday, found three books using the Knifty Knitter looms, along with the sock loom that I think I'd like to try. I think I will use my gift card for it.

And of course, I have to get busy making the fuzzy slippers. Hubby said he doesn't want a pair, but I think he really does--just not with the fuzzy part--even though I can make them look very masculine--in a brown, perhaps.

And I'm also trying to reach my computer guru, who doesn't appear to be available for some reason. Now it could be that he's out of state and forgot his cellular phone. Or it could be he's in the hospital. Without his cellular, I can't reach him. I have no idea what I'm going to do now.

Or how I'm going to do it.

The trials of living in a dog's world.

Particular of a crochet hookImage via WikipediaSo I think that I will take a shower, and head out for JoAnn's and demo while I wait for my class to begin. I have a scarf that I have to make with a size Q crochet hook and three skeins of yarn that I'm truly not willing to buy. To be honest, I have so much yarn here, it would seem that I could pull something from my stash, but I'm not sure that I could find something that coordinates, and I would really like this scarf to look nice, since I need it to attract customers! And what's a size Q crochet hook? I don't believe I've EVER seen a size Q crochet hook. I have an "N" size, and it's huge! A "Q" would be gargantuan. I'm not sure I've got hands big enough to use it! Then, there's the problem of which yarn to use. I'm leaning toward acrylic. I'm leaning toward three different types--a ribbon, a baby (held double) and a boucle, or maybe just two bulky yarns? I am having palpitations just trying to figure it out.

Perhaps I'll just take my shower and head out and see where the muses take me? Maybe I'll make another pair of these slippers? The world looks like an oyster today. My oyster. I can hardly wait to begin!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Pair of Fuzzy Wuzzies

I made these in only a few hours. Two skeins of Paton's Classic Wool and two skeins of Fun Fur. 45 minutes for felting then on my feet. Very cool slippers. I can make a pair for everyone in the family, but will shorten the pattern, because it runs just a little long.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Holidays!

There's some really busy times coming!

Yesterday was spin day, where I all but finished the blankie  in yesterday's post. Today is Knit Night in Lake O, and before I go to Lake O, I'm picking up my bff Linda, and we're headed over to Ada to the yarn store there for some Cascade 220 Superwash in Scarlet and Black. Presently, I am learning to knit Brioche. I've just begun with the knit stitch. I learned a new cast on (Italian Cast On) and JUST LOVE IT. I love the way the ribs sort of wrap around the cast on and begin anew on the other side. I'm thinking a brioche scarf would be GREAT. From Ada, Linda and I will grab something to munch and then off to Knit night. This will be her first exposure to the group there, but make no mistake--I know that she will love it. I think she plans to take her rug hooking. I'm taking Rhiannon, some scrap yarn and my brioche knitting, plus the finished blankie for show and tell.

My brother is supposed to come to Michigan with his new wife and a few of his children. This is supposed to happen on the 23rd. I'm really looking forward to that, because my brother hasn't been in Michigan except to visit for nearly 10 years! Last year, he was in the hospital with an unruly gall bladder. But he seems fine this year.

Then on the 24th, Hubby and I travel to his Aunt's house in Battle Creek for the family Christmas Party. I have to bring a dish, and I have no idea what I'll make--and wonder if I might have time for cupcakes?

On Christmas Day, Hubby and I travel to his mom's for Christmas, although Hubby has been asking me if it was a bit much, since we're going to his mom's again the day after Christmas....He's right about that, and I asked him if he knew if his sister could come on the 26th instead for our family Christmas--to which he said he didn't know. So perhaps I will contact her and ask. We shall see.

After that, I have a class on the 28th. Maybe another on the weekend after the new year.

Like I said. BUSY! But it's not a stressful least not until we wrap presents...which I think will need to be tomorrow.

Blessed Christmas to everyone, and Happy New Year if I don't see you before.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Wubbie!

Another bankie for charity...

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Final Curtain!

Such a nice sweater! I hope he likes it!

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tis the Season

I wore it to work for my last day before vacation.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Still Hot and Heavy..

Well, mostly heavy with hot flashes, anyway.

Meant for my work on my gs's sweater. I have the front, back and neckline done. I have to work the sleeves. I think I'm going to do a 40 stitch sleeve, which should be plenty big for his arms (he's a skinny, cold kid).

Had the worst dream I think I've had in a long long time. There was some sort of virulent bug going around, killing people. And the government set up a tank full of water that folks could, if they wanted, to jump into and basically mass suicide by electrocution. To help ease the fears, a dog was also killed at the same time.

Hey, don't ask me where this stuff comes from!

I'd be perfectly happy to just sort out my knitting! But the dream really shook me, and I dreamed about putting the information in a journal, so I thought perhaps my dream was saying: Put this in your blog.

I was also going to a website that was tracking all the people who were electrocuted this way, honoring their sacrifice--the whole thing just mortified me. Most of the people were already terminally ill--not that it matters to the effect the dream had on me, but the whole thing was meant so that the government didn't have to pay to take care of these folks in their last days--older, infirm were also accepted--times when most folks medical care is at their most expensive.

And of course, I'm from the baby-boomer elder-care is going to be a drain on the government's resources when it comes to my time--and this is probably why it affected me so deeply. I'm worried that I'm going to end up in that tank...not by government decree, necessarily, but just so that I'm not a drain on someone's finances--and I definitely don't want the government in charge of my care.

And thusly, we come to government run health care.

And now you know, the rest of the story.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Updates, Updates...

Who's got dat update?

It seems like everything with Windows needs an update. Every time the Operating System changes, EVERYTHING changes, and all the programs you have need to be updated to work with the new Operating System (AKA "OS"). All of this is to keep Windows in business with millions coming in, and the software isn't getting "better". It's just getting BIGGER.

Not just the software updates, but the drivers have to be updated, too, and many times, the drivers for older hardware just doesn't cut it--and so the hardware has to be updated as well.

It's all a conspiracy to have us part with our hard earned dollars and put them in Bill Gates' pocket. I think I'd rather have my HAND in Bill Gates' pocket, but that's just me.

In the meanwhile, I'm getting a newer computer. The laptop still works, but I'd like it to be more mobile--read that--I would like to be able to sit in the living room with the heat on my feets, instead of freezing in the bedroom.

Can you say "Is your nose cold?"

Why yes, it is. And just so you know, my head is cold as well, so I am wearing my double knit hat inside. Tis a bit frigid inside the house today.

So I went to knit night in Lake O tonight, and added several more rows to my grandson's sweater (front and back). I have 2" more (that's 12 rows) and I can 3 needle bind off the shoulders and begin the sleeves. I will be done by Christmas for sure.

My manager at JoAnn's has given me two big bags of yarn, plus a kit for an afghan. That should come in handy this winter. I can knit or crochet it and keep my legs warm at the same time. Hubby gets the Ocean Waves. I had thought about getting him an mp3 player, but he's quit his job, so he isn't using it nearly as much. He still USES mine, however, so perhaps I'll get him one and a subscription to Amazon for songs? I think it could work.

I read "Free Range Knitter" by Yarn Harlot (AKA Stephanie Pearl McPhee) and laughed all the way through until the last chapter, where I cried like a baby. Entitled "Helen" it reminded me so much of my ex's grandmother--and of course, all the "stuff" that comes with those types of thoughts. And then thoughts of poppa (Hubby's pappy) and when he died. And the losses of my last two doggies, Cookie and Chip. In fact, I was pretty teary all day. Now, I am reading "Water for Elephants" which was suggested by my Monday knitting group. All I can say is "wow". This book is an excellent read. The writer paints pictures with words the way an artist paints with oils, and makes the picture so clear that you literally can see what the writer is "seeing" right there on the page. A picture is worth a thousand words--and this writing does exactly that--uses lots of descriptive words to get the scene across. You can almost feel the characters as if in real life. I'm only a couple chapters into the book, and trust me, it's hard to put it down--I'm reading it on my Android with my Kindle application, and I have to put it down to recharge now and again. THAT is how good this particular book is. I'm going to have to pay more attention to the folks in the Monday knit club--especially those who also participate in book clubs.

Well, I'm gearing up for bedtime. I believe that I will wear my Snuggie to bed again tonight and pull it up over my nose.

Then again, perhaps I'll just call my hubby in and put my nose someplace warm...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Start of Something Big

Well, big enough for my grandson, anyway. A camo sweater! What do you think of that? The lower hem is done and I'm five rows into the body of the sweater.

My classes went very well and very quickly. Tomorrow, another two classes for knitting. I can't wait!

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert


It's very sad. Rowdy Roddy Piper did not show up for the show last night.

I dressed up!
I had to rush!
I had to drive for two hours!
I had to sit through a show where all but ONE (Honky Tonk Man) were relatively unknowns!
And NO ROWDY--even though the box office said I would be sitting in a chair two seats behind the icon.

Hot? You don't know the meaning of the word. I paid good money for that seat, took the DVD I own and (with the exception of the Honky Tonk Man) wasted two hours (plus driving time) to see my favorite who wasn't even there.

Honky said that he wasn't there, and I probably should have gone out to the box office RIGHT THEN, but I thought he was just playing with me.

Hot Rod! How could you let me down this way?

Beyond that, I ran into an old friend at the show, who ended up sitting on the other side of the arena, which was a good thing because he would have talked my ear off (and nearly did before the games began).

I hope that nothing serious is wrong with Rowdy. And I wonder if Honky is trying to make a comeback, or if he's in charge of the horse and pony show last night.

I will never know.

And even though the casino advertised Rowdy, they would not refund the $ for the false advertising. I'll never go to another show--even if it does advertise Rowdy. THAT'S how angry I am.

I really miss Hot Rod. Sigh.

On a good note, I got the hem done on a new wool hat since I knit during the entire show.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sweater Done and Friday's Comin'!

I finished the sweater for my granddaughter at break today. I think it turned out adorable.  Do you think she might like the dvd of Dowdy Roddy Piper?

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Latest...

Lots of things going on in the household.

Firstly, the knitterly stuff, which I know you are all intrigued in--I've finished the front and back and one sleeve. The second sleeve is on the needles. I opted to work the sleeves first, then to do the neckline, because it's going to give me trouble, I just know it. I'll likely have to work it with dpns, because the opening is just too small for a circular, although I could use magic loop and/or two circulars--I just don't want any ladders on the neckline.

Then I can start my grandson's sweater.

And lastly, the best news of all...


This is such a good thing. I didn't mind him being on afternoons, but the midnights was killing us both. Since he didn't feel he was doing a very good job, he quit (before they fired him). I'm doing a happy dance. While I'd just as soon he worked the afternoon shift, I hated the midnight shift so much that I would rather he quit and just stay home  and do a few things around the house. As soon as he catches up on his sleep, he'll be available again.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hello, Blogger Land!

It's been a while since I blogged, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy!

The latest project is a pink sweater for my grand daughter for Christmas. I just three-needle bound off the shoulders, and will be putting the neck stitches on a holder at breaktime. Then I will begin the sleeves. I'm planning to pick up stitches at the shoulder and knit down to the cuff, then sew the underarm seam when I've finished.

My grand son is getting a similar sweater, different color. I'm thinking about putting a cable in there to make it more manly. He likes "manly" things. If I could find a bulky camoflage yarn, I would use it, but a dark green will work just as well--

That is, if I can find it.

I'm expecting to have my new computer sometime this week. A bigger monitor, and if I can manage it, a new printer. From there, I may be able to take my laptop mobile again, but I'm not so sure the battery will allow it until I get a new one, and that could be a while.

So we have a new boss. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I suppose I don't have to stress about it until after the first of the year. Then I might wish I hadn't voted for him. You know how that goes. But in any case, I hope he is able to manage things (spending mostly) without having to cut his employees salaries. I'd like him to take a really serious look into Medicaid fraud, but that's just me.

If you haven't noticed, I have a new toy--an Android SmartPhone--and I've been using it a lot. It doesn't make me quite as happy as the Blackberry, but it's close. Some of the things I'd like in the calendar just don't work the same, for instance, when I complete a task, I like to be able to tell the reminder that I've completed the task. Otherwise, the task sits out there...glaring at me...reminding me that I still haven't completed it.

So it's sort of a nag...

I thought about getting a little different task application, but not sure which one will give me the options that I want. So, I'm holding off for the moment. In the meanwhile, the apps that I had on my Blackberry probably aren't compatible with my Android. I haven't looked into it though.

I have knit night tonight, a pattern class on Wednesday, a concert on Friday, 2 classes on Saturday and Sunday. All in all, a very busy week for me. So you might not see much of me this week, while I spend all my regular "blogging time" working on these two sweaters.

After that comes the holidays, and we all know how busy I become at that time. Right now, the push is on for the sweaters. I also have to get something for my step-daughter for Christmas. So far, no ideas there. I'm hoping for a couple of sets of blocking boards from Knit Picks this year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rain, Rain...

It has rained nearly the whole afternoon and evening. I feel like a drowned rat. I've done a half dozen projects, and still haven't made much of a dent in the Christmas lineup.

I need to get busy on sweaters, but first need to know chest sizes of the recipients...that doesn't come until Thursday, negating 2 entire days of prime knitting time. Another giftee, I can't begin until I head to a shop in Charlotte to buy the requisite yarn (perhaps on Wednesday). In the meanwhile, I thought I might do some spinning.

So why is it that I can only commit to that on paper?

I do have other projects that I could work on, including Rhiannon, but she has ticked me off. So she's in the WIP pile for now, and may end up in the frog pile.

It's also nearly time for Chuck. I'll up a pic of the spinning afterwards.

Another Hat Completed

Pretty in pink.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Hat!

Finished in less than a day!

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Hot Pad for my Friend

I made this in about 6 hours. The pattern called for crochet cotton and 10 rounds, but row 9 was missing, so I improvised a lot. I'll make another slightly smaller with kitchen cotton and a size F hook. Heck, I might even rewrite the pattern!

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Potholder for Mary-Merry Christmas

She picked it out, and showed it to me. I decided right then that it would be her gift this year since she doesn't crochet.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hat Finished!

Hey Hey I'm a Monkey!

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

About Time

For Christmas!

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Friday, November 19, 2010

About. Halfway There

Well, I'm about halfway done with the hat already. Must get the turkey out of the car

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Progress on Monkey Hat

Not much, unless you knew I had to rip it out 3 times because I cannot count to 80.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Next Project

The "Hey, hey we're the Monkeys hat.
A free pattern on Ravelry.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Finished pair

Not so enamoreed with the color, but they will be warm for winter wear.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yarn Harlot

I read Yarn Harlot's blog (Stephanie Pearl-McFee--probably no relation to Nanny McFee) every day, and have the RSS feed to prove it. I also sometimes read her books. She's a very funny lady.

Currently reading Free-Range Knitter, on my Android Kindle App--and came across a funny story about how she was in a building, with an elevator, knitting a sock with the yarn in her pocket, and how it fell out inside the elevator. The story was mostly about how her maniacal thoughts carried through the theme--and how, ultimately, "the worst" didn't materialize, but she did lose a skein of yarn.

Too bad for all that.

But something she said in her stories has strummed a chord on the guitar of my own "lessons learned", and I have taken on "knitter watching". You know how some people will sit on a park bench and watch the people walk past--some are in a hurry...what are they hurrying for? Where are they going? Are they late? Etc...that sort of thing. Knitter watching is watching knitters, and how they differ from knitter to knitter.

So I decided at my LYS knit night to try this out, and watched the knitter sitting beside me.

I wondered to myself how in the world she knit so tight. Come to find out, she wraps her yarn the opposite direction than me, twisting every stitch. Still and all, her stitch definition is IMMACULATE. Everything she's knit, I've loved, and I've come to wonder if I'm wrapping MY YARN in the wrong direction, but I am assured, that I am doing it correctly. I just think hers is a much nicer looking way. I can't imagine knitting as tightly as she does--my goodness, my entire arm cramps just thinking about it. Yet, she looks so relaxed, and rarely ever looks at her knitting while she chats away with other guests. It's a good method for HER, and definitely different from my way of knitting.

Then I got to wondering if she wondered why I wrapped my stitches the direction that I do. And I wondered, if I take on the same project, should I opt to wrap the wrong way to get the same look?

Granted, in the grand scheme of things, it's not of derth importance, but it gave me pause to consider some things, and I think that one of my next knitting projects will be a dishcloth, wrapped entirely the wrong way, just to see if I can get gauge (because I've always had to go down a needle size or two to get gauge for projects)....I wonder...

Sometimes, watching other people knitting teaches you things about your own knitting, and helps you to resolve issues and might even set you on a totally different path. If you don't believe me, try watching the next person you meet while they knit. Let me know your thoughts on it, and if it has changed your perspective.

Woolgatherer's Garage Sale!

Woolgatherer's is having a garage sale. Patterns, Magazines, felt, roving, fleeces--maybe even a wheel or two!

All for sale at bargain basement prices at the People's Church in East Lansing. Tonight (Thursday, Nov 18) at 7pm.

If it's fiber related, it will be there! Come see!

The Knitting Front:

Working on a pair of socks. It's been a little slower going with this pair because the yarn doesn't pool well, and I'm not very fond of the end result. I think they would have looked better as Leyburne Socks, but there you go. My next pair will be a solid color--maybe PINK!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fear and Tarnation!

I drove home after knit night this evening.

When I arrived home, I realized that I had not put my pattern for Rhiannon in the back seat, as I usually do. Magnetic strip holding it to the metal shelving that I used to mark my rows as I did them, I realized that I had left the darn thing on the roof of my car and drove away.

Of course, you know that by the time I arrived home, it was no longer on top of my car.


What do I do now???

I called the store owner (at home), FRANTIC and in a PANIC!

Then, after I composed myself, I called my son, who was working at the time.

When he came home, he called me back, and I told him what I wanted him to do for me, which he promptly did.

And he found it--well, he found most of it.

The metal shelf is toast, but he was able to locate the pattern and the magnetic strips and this little piece of paper that I had taped to it. I quickly emailed the store owner to let her know that my son had found my pattern/metal holder. I think my husband will be able to fix it--if not, I'll have to buy a new one.

Step son has sold my old car, and left me a bit of cash on my bedroom cupboard. I can now go to Best Buy and get my computer.

I was able to finish two projects this evening, even though I nearly had a coronary over the pattern for Rhiannon. I'll retrieve it tomorrow night after work. In the meantime, I am working on some socks. They are coming along quite nicely.

Da Bear

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Another Headband

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Isn't this adorable? I found the pattern on the web for free, and embellished to my own heart's content.
I added a worsted weight picot row around the crochet row with a size G hook, and used one size smaller needles to knit the article. Instead of the crochet flower, I glued on and tacked down a bangle from the floral department. The fastening is a huge coat button--thing must be almost 2" across!
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Luggage for a knitter

How nice is this?  The only thing wrong is that he wheel base is too narrow, so the plan down the road is to put on a new axle with buggy wheels.  This way it will track through snow and ice without tipping.

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There I Go Again, Over-Reaching

I told everyone that I was on my last repeat for Rhiannon.

Imagine my chagrin when I arrive at the expected ending point and find that my outer borders are not in the right place?

Now, I *could* go to the end of the outer repeat, but then the inner repeat would be off, as would the main motif.

So I'm asking for help from the pattern creator. I sort of worked it out (a little) on paper, and I think that in order for the repeats to match up, I have to work at least 8 repeats--two repeats gives me an odd # of angles for the second border--which makes the inner border end facing the inside of the stole. A multiple of 4 repeats of the main motif brings both of the outer repeats into an even number--18 and 16 respectively, bringing them into line with the inner motif. What I can't wrap my head around is that the repeats actually "start" in different places, causing my confusion. Even the central motif has several rows that have to be "added to" to get to the ending point. It was rather like beginning in the middle and ending in the middle. So I am VERY confused.

You know what? It's only 6:30 am? Why am I trying to solve the problems of the world at 6:30am?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Sucks!

There's a song out, that has been around for a while, sung to the tune of Mickey Mouse, it's called "Monday Sucks!"

You'll probably find it on I-Tunes in the Parodies section if you're interested, but it's pretty funny.

Today is my standard "half-day". I work 7-11, then to the doctor, then to knitting. I call it my mental half-day. Where half the day drives me mental, and the other half is spent resuming normalcy...assuming that there is such a thing for me.

I'm going to finish the rows on Rhiannon today/tonight. Supper is made and all I have to do is sit and knit most of the day.

With that in mind, I guess Monday doesn't suck for me-at least not this Monday. I love it when I can take a mental stress day. It makes the week go by so much easier.

Then on Tuesday, the plan is to work the last border on Rhiannon, finish off and block the stole.

Then, while it's blocking, I can make the adornment tassels, take pictures, upload here, Ravelry, Facebook and everywhere else I can think of. Then in 2 weeks, I can show it to my doctor.

I drew the 9 of Cups this morning. Entitled Stability-getting there, achievement, sticking to the plan and reaching the goal. What a card for today! I wonder what else will go right?

So, there you see? This Monday doesn't suck for me. I have lots of plans for the next few days. But you know what happens to the best laid plans, right? Well, before you say it, next card is the Page of Wands. Telling me work hard as you have the potential to achieve those goals. Last card is the Knight of Swords reversed, meaning nobody can stop me, nobody will be able to knock me down.

So there you have it. Maybe I should wish for world peace or something?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rhiannon, Home Stretch

Yes, friends, I am in the home stretch for the knitting of Rhiannon.
I had to take her outdoors in semi darkness to get a picture. Not really good definition with the flash, but you get what you get sometimes. I'll take a better pic tomorrow after work and upload here, and to Ravelry....but I am doing the last repeat, and have half of the rows completed. I'm getting excited.

If'n ya can't tell, this is a close up, again with flash, that just drowns out practically all definition. At this writing, she is almost 7' long. She's a big-un.

I can't wait for her to be blocking!

Demo's at JoAnn's

I've been demoing at JoAnn's for the last year. Lately, the store has been really swamped on Saturday's especially right at the noonish hour--and I'm a busy girl there at these times.

Employees walk past me and comment on my craft. Store patrons, too. Yesterday, one person surprised me by telling me that I should be employed there.

Well, yes. Perhaps. Not that I haven't tried. Somehow the application got lost and I just never followed up on it. I might have redone it, had they not come up with another manager that rubs me the wrong way. I figure, since I need a second job with a bad manager like I need a hole in the head, I just didn't make out a new ap.

I guess that I'm like that now. I know myself well enough to know the sort of person I don't get along with, and I steer clear of those types, just to keep my life a lot less "dramatic". I've had enough drama in my life. I'm ready for peace and quiet to allow myself whatever stressors in my quiet times that *I* desire, and not what somebody else wants to set on my shoulders.

With that in mind, I didn't knit at all on Rhiannon yesterday. I'm not at all sure what I *did* do--I mean, I know I went to JoAnn's for a few hours.

Then I bought some meats at Kroger, and stuffed my purchases in the trunk.

Then, I drove to Country Stitches and picked up my sewing machine--ah, that reminds me...gotta go fix back in a minute.

There. That's done. I've been meaning to fix the laundry hamper for months--all it needed was a quick once around the top with the sewing machine. Since it's been in the shop...was my last excuse...even though I have 6 sewing machines that I could use. Go figure. I've misplaced my coffee...ah, there it is. On top of the stove. Oh snap. Now it needs a warm up!

So as I was saying, after picking up the sewing machine, I drove over to the bedding shop and got a new mattress pad. We get these pads that are SUPER thin, guaranteed for 10 years (although they never last that long, but by the time 5 years has elapsed, you've usually lost the receipt), and cost an arm, a leg and your firstborn. Then I walked to the Verizon store to look at the newer phones to see if I could/should buy a newer one. I ended up leaving. Those people frighten me.

Then I came home and put away some of my purchases, then I sat down and watched Avatar-The Last Airbender. This was a really cute series from either China or Japan--somewhere Asian, anyway--about a boy and his destiny, his travels and his friends. It's nothing like the Avatar with the blue creatures. My husband lost interest after the first several dvds, so I watched it pretty heavily for about 3 weeks. I thought it was pretty good, although I'm sort of young at heart.

After that, I watched all my Saturday night shows. Antique Roadshow, The Brittas Empire, 'Allo 'Allo, Born to the Manor, and the Red Green Show. So basically, I sat in front of the television all day. Fun times.

I had hoped that hubby would take me to breakfast this morning, but he's behind the 8-ball at school, and has to get his homework done, so no Denny's today. Darn it! I was looking forward to that! Guess I'll have to get something around for breakfast then. Back in a flash...

Now you see just how busy a gal I am. I am nearly always "going", and I don't mean incontinent. How did they come up with that word, by the way? Incontinence. It makes me think of someone from South America or something. My brain works in pretty crazy ways, I guess.

Well, let's see. I have to spend time with my husband today. I'm waiting for him to head for bed--he's working on his homework right at the moment. After that, I have laundry to put away, dishes to wash, knitting to do, sewing to do. I'm just really busy again today. Somehow, some way, things have got to start slowing down for me, before I have a heart attack from all the stress!

Don't get me wrong, I know that there has to be some stress in your life, or you'd die from lack of stress. You need some stress in your life--but there is a ceiling and a floor, that is right for you. Mine varies from day to day--it makes it difficult to work 40 hours a week.

Ah, there. Some of the dishes are done, some are in the dishwasher. The laundry is done and ready to fold and hang, and the chicken is in the crock pot roasting. I'm getting a little ahead!

In the meanwhile, hubby is still studying.

The dyes came from Dharma Trading yesterday, too. I have lots of fun in that package, but it will need to wait until next weekend, perhaps. There's just too much going on in my kitchen right now to make another mess. So I could sit and knit, but I think my sugar is spiking a bit after breakfast--even though I only had one piece of toast!

Hubby finally fired up the corn stove again. It was out all night, and I got chilled. I have the running nose to prove it.

Actually, the runny itchy nose is due to allergies. Believe it or not, I am allergic to soy bean dust. I had to drive behind a soy bean harvester yesterday, and my eyes were itching and my nose was running, and my throat was scratchy. Yup. Allergies. If I can keep away from the cold and flu, I might just be able to keep healthy this winter, but I get these colds around this time of year because my nose collects the soy dust like a moth to a flame. It's not a good idea to keep me chilly when the soy bean harvest begins. Even so, hubby and I like to keep the house a little on the chilly side--especially when we're sleeping. I guess we sleep better, warm under the covers. I don't know how my step son is handling this chilly weather--I know he's complaining about the cold.

Speaking of which, the parts he ordered for the fireplace downstairs still have not come in. I'm worried that we will be unable to get the flue in by snowfall if it doesn't come SOON, and roofs with snow on them are not safe.

Speaking of SNOW (four letter word), we had some on Friday. Not enough for any accumulation, but enough to know it was sprinkling little snowballs everywhere outdoors. Very lightly...but everywhere.

Soon there will be pictures of snow on the ground.

And thanks to Daylight Savings Time, I was able to watch the sun come up, and was it pretty! All the colors I like in a sunrise. Deep blue and purple and crimson, with a tinge of yellow on the edge. So with that image in your brain, I leave you. TaTaForNow.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Hard to Believe

It's hard to believe, but I am finally on the last repeat and a half for Rhiannon. Now, suddenly, it's hard to stay on task and get it done. My eyes aren't working right, either, and that's an added difficulty. I have to stop every so often because I can't see the pattern well, and I can't see the stitches well.

I wonder if I need better glasses? Or perhaps I just need to watch my sugar better? Well, after testing, I find out that yes, my sugar is higher than normal at this moment. So I will stop and rest for a while until things settle down.

The "on task" business, however, is another thing entirely. Work is boring. I was so glad to see the weekend come. I got so bored at the office today. It is feast or famine there. I'm either working my buns off to get caught up, or there is next to nothing to do. It's pretty amazing really, but the days I have next to nothing to do are so boring that I just can't stand it. It's these times that I over-think. I need to not do that.

In fact, I got so bored, that I went home early and started knitting and fell asleep in my chair. Then, I decided that I would take a nap, and ended up sleeping for two solid hours, waking up with that "I can't move" sort of feeling.

But now, I'm awake. I've had some protein, and a drink and playing with my tarot cards.

I drew

The Knight of Cups
The 9 of Swords reversed
The High Priestess reversed

I guess my husband is going to be busy with his own needs this weekend...perhaps he'll get some studying done. Perhaps he'll be helping his son in the basement. It doesn't look like we'll be having much to do with each other, though. I hate midnight shift!

Of course, tomorrow morning, I'll be going in to JoAnn's for Demo, and I've got the perfect idea. The caterpillar yarn that I made the scarf out of? Well, JoAnn's has a variation of it, and I'm going to take that and some base yarn, and make a hat. Nothing special, just using the caterpillar yarn to make poms on the hat. I'm going to call it "Morse Code". I think it will be cute. The picture in my head is cute, therefore it's cute!

In the meanwhile, Rhiannon languishes in my basket, waiting for my eyes to straighten out. It's coming slowly. I took my meds, and I can tell that the sugar content is dropping. A quick blood check...and yes it's coming down. I'll be able to knit soon enough.

Perhaps I'll turn on the news and see what the new governor has to say. Probably more of the "wah wah wah wah waaaah" like Charlie Brown's teacher.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Work A Day World

I'm exhausted. Ready to go home and fall into bed. Friday's coming, but not nearly soon enough for me. If I weren't getting a day off next week for holiday, I would probably take a day tomorrow (or try to), but I want to get off for the period from December 18 through January 3--which is a long time, so I am really watching my time off these days.

I'm hoping to work on Rhiannon this evening, but chances are good that I'll be just too tired to do so. I am thinking about making a headband, and I might think some more on this--it would be a quick knit.

I have some Jacquard dyes coming in the mail soon. I will be dying when they get here, and I can barely wait. The stuff I did a couple weeks ago turned out so nice (even if it was rather pale-brighter colors would have been MUCH nicer), that I decided that I would do some more merino, and might work on some of my own wool as well--sock yarn is ALWAYS in style.

I watched a new show last night called "Circus", about a travelling circus called the Big Apple Circus, and about the people who made up cast and crew, and how they live. It was rather interesting, although I wonder how they can SMILE so much! I mean, it's nice to do things that are so exhilarating and dangerous, but after a while, it seems the excitement would wear you down. Even the stories about the clowns were pretty cool.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Wonder Sometimes

Well, the republicans took the House, and likely the Senate, too.
I wonder if Obama is going to listen to the American people now?

Frankly, I figure them all to be crooks. So you have to pick the lesser of two evils.

My hope is that the message is clear that there will be no more shenanagins in the White House or else I guarantee there will be a major revolt.

And we thought it was bad when Clinton got caught with his pants down.


I've been spinning today. I have a little wool left from the dye workshop two Saturdays ago, so I'm spinning up the rest of that.

I got the 6th repeat of Rhiannon done last night at knit night. I expect another full repeat plus a half and I'll be on the border--so perhaps another week.

Off to finish spinning.
Ravelry and Twitter: drapert/My blog:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scarf and marshmallow

Knit with Marshmallow by Knitting Fever. The pic doesn't do it justice. The scarf is fast, incredibly easy and looks like a caterpillar!
Ravelry and Twitter: drapert/My blog:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Selling The Property

Today, we are meeting with a farmer to sell our old property in Fowlerville (25 acres) to a farmer who lives in the area. It's a good thing, I suppose, because most of the property won't perk for a house, and we're both a little tired of hanging onto it. There was a point where I'd hoped to put a house on it, and fence around it, and the sheep could just graze all day all around the house--and trees--there could be lots of trees. I'm supposed to go with hubby to meet the man and set things up for the sale, but I really don't want to attend this. Somehow, I think that the guy is going to screw my husband every which way but loose--and cheat him out of that property. Call it a gut feeling, since my gut is hurting this morning, it doesn't bode well.

But dreams change. All I can think about now is getting heat in the house. The temps dipped down below freezing last night, and we still haven't turned on the stove. We tried to light it, but the flue is plugged. We have to sweep it sometime today. Plugged so badly that the smoke had no place to go except out through the fire-stripping on the door and the ash box. I'm more than a little concerned, since the chimney may need to be replaced. The boys ordered a new chimney for a stove downstairs, and it's been three weeks now since it was ordered, and they said it would be in within a week.

With colder temps, we really need to get these fireplaces started! Since November 1 is tomorrow, I told hubby, happily, we get to start the stove, and tomorrow is the first day of heat in the house! Yay!

I didn't do any knitting on Rhiannon yesterday, having done work on the socks at JoAnn's. I'm told that I don't have any more classes until the 14th of November. That's a long time! I'm hoping all of that changes. A cup of warmish coffee. A fuzzy robe. Slippers on my feet. I'm considering crawling back in bed with all of it on me when I finish the coffee. What's that? Hmm. I hear Rhiannon calling me. I think I will need to get dressed so that I don't freeze while I work on her.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Home Again, Home Again


Just spent half a day at JoAnn's, chatting with other knitters and crocheters. I actually taught one lady how to crochet in 5 minutes.

It was pretty amazing.

I worked on the vanilla socks. The heels are done. I used a little different style of short row heel this time, learned from another pattern used for some sort of potholder with a hole for the thumb...but I digress. A short row heel, where all you do is knit along the back of your sock to the last stitch, turn and slip 1 purl back up to the last stitch, turn, slip 1 knitwise, knit across to the slipped purl, turn and so on until you get to slip 1, purl 9.

Here's were it gets a little spooky (Halloween theme, right?). When you knit back across, knit the slipped stitch, and then pick up the grandmother in the gap, slip knitwise, slip the next stitch purlwise, then knit those 2 together--aka an SSK, turn, slip 1, purl across to the gap, pick up the grandmother purl and purl 2 together, turn, and repeat in that way, until all the stitches are used up.

My BFF in California told me about the mystery pattern in Holiday Knitting Group on Yahoo...and I knew immediately that one could adapt it to a sock heel. No idea how well it wears at the stress points, and I may have to add a bit of stitching there, but so far, so good.

The only thing I can't figure out, is that after knitting the heels, my color repeat is off by nearly an entire row, and I'm not certain how it happened! I'll get the colors back in line, even if I have to fudge it, but you know, it's on the foot part, and no one but me is going to see it anyway, so I'm thinking I'll just leave it alone, and allow the yarn to knit up any which way it would like.

The beauty of this short row, is that there are NO WRAPS. It's practically mistake proof--well, except for the yarn repeat being off, but that could be gauge--so I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. It's possible that I made a mistake on the first sock, and didn't on the second, but that's entirely my fault for trying to turn a heel in the middle of a store! I'm surprised I didn't put a purl row in where it shouldn't be!

So I'm going to chalk it up to gauge and keep going until I can try the sock on to see if the stress points are able to deal without making huge holes. Then I might just rip out the whole darn thing and try again with a different heel.

You see, I'm really trying hard to find a heel that I can make without having to always have a pattern at my side--something I can do from MEMORY that works every time, without fail, no matter how many stitches I am using and how big a needle I have. Before you say it....already have that book. It's a good book, no doubt, but it's not what I'm hunting.

The elusive sock heel-easy to make, easy to memorize, and mistake proof--meaning you can't go wrong. This one is close...but it may need a little modification--we shall see.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It Was the Best of Times...

Sadly, over, much too soon.

Hubby returned home from work last night to tell me he'd gotten a raise. Now, that woke me up! So soon? Not that you don't deserve it, but what did you do to get it?

"I switched to the Midnight shift."

I'm sorry. Was that groan AUDIBLE?

This is a disappointment WAY off the charts. Not only do I have to come home and make supper every night again, but he's home all evening until he leaves for work, and usually in a surly mood because he has to GO to work (I'm that way in the morning, so it stands to reason, really.). Which means less time in the knitting chair!

The only good thing about it is that I get the bed all to myself, all week. The covers are ALL MINE. And then get no sleep at all on the weekend.

I won't explain that to you. If you don't know why, ask your mommy.

Not just that, but I get sort of scared home alone at night. It was the reason for buying a dog. Dog sounds the alarm, and I slip out the back window--but that's only if I get enough of an alarm. Mandy tends to be a heavier sleeper than *I* am!

And to make this completely unselfish, (ha! right!) he can't drive in the dark. He falls asleep at the wheel. So everyone

OFF THE ROAD from 9pm to midnight and 4am to 6am so that he can drive on the road uncontested.

Of course, there's always the deer he can't see, and the ditches that he finds when he nods off. (sigh) This was the reason we got him into a carpool. The option worked really well, too, until they kicked him out of his job. I guess that the carpool is still running people back and forth.

Naturally, I tried to be supportive. Yay! A raise! Cool! You're the most!

Until he tells me it's midnights. That was sort of a downer. Never mind that now he can take two of his classes and only has to drop one. Makes for a long day and night of 24 hour wakefulness. Remember--stay off the road.

So I bought pizza tonight, and he tells me that he's only going to buy pizza OR take me to Denny's, but not both. This is another piece of hard cheese. So tonight, when I brought the pizza home, I then ate mine, called his step son for his, and put the rest in the oven for when hubby returns from his shift. Then I went into the bedroom closet and put clothing away. Hang ups that were lying on the floor from sometime this summer, and got things organized a little bit in there, so that we can put the air conditioner away. Yes, friends. It's October, and the air conditioner was still in the window. When Step son came to eat, I asked if he might assist with the air conditioner, and he helped put it away in the closet, and then I locked up the window.

But instead of getting warmer in here, it's getting cooler. I think I'm going to go around and lock down all the windows now.

Before snow flies.

All this, on perhaps 5 hours of sleep last night. I'm exhausted. Burning off fumes from the gas tank of wakefulness. If I should begin typing b's and v's, you know I've fallen asleep at my keyboard....

I haven't really worked on Rhiannon for a couple of days now. I need to get back to her. I will likely get some time after I finish this blog, and will stop to watch Medium, and then I will go to bed. I will go directly to bed. I will not stop in the kitchen for a snack. I will not snitch a cup of milk.

I have to be firm and resolute with myself, take my sleeping pill, lie down and fall asleep like a normal person.

I hope that I have a sleeping pill.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It was A Dark and Stormy Night...

Snoopy (of  Charlie Brown fame, not the Rap guy), used to put his typewriter on top of his dog house and type out the beginning of his book this way. Snoopy was forever "starting" the book, and never finishing. It usually began with these words, and then devolved into the stories of the Red Baron and flying in a dogfight during the German occupation of France.Image via Wikipedia

It was a dark and stormy night.

Thunder and lightning here all night long, and there is still some vestiges remaining. I guess it's not going to stop until late morning, according to the local weather service. Ah, well, rainy fall day.

My father and I used to buy books by the late Charles Schultz that included strips of the artist's earlier works when Charlie was a much younger boy. He grew during Charles' life, had many missed punt kicks of the darn football (the one Lucy was forever pulling out of the way just before toe to leather), and couldn't make a kite fly to save his life. I remember Linus' blanket and Pig Pen's dust from the rocks of millions of years before. Schroeder's piano and Beethoven's bust were also there, and Lucy's unrequited love for Schroeder---even though she tried every trick in the book to manipulate him, he never succumbed.

Charlie Brown kisses the Little Red-Haired Girl.Image via Wikipedia

Charlie's love was the "Little Red Haired Girl", which he finally met (after much angst) in the later days of his creator's life, on a made for television show. It was one of my favorites.

Cover of Cover of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownBut my favorite Charlie Brown show "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", where Linus talks Charlie Brown into staying all night in the pumpkin patch, waiting for the "Great Pumpkin" who will dispense all the candy to those faithful enough to wait in the patch for Him. But the reason I love this one the most is because Snoopy slinks off to war to fight the good fight, and there is shooting and noise of war all around, and Snoopy is shot down!

And wouldn't you know? The show will likely be on tv this week. I'm going to try to catch it, now that hubby is working, I can watch what I want, without having to appease him because he's trying to study. It's going to be a great week. Just in time to watch my all-time favorite Charlie Brown tv show!

Dark and Stormy nights are great for staying in and taking trips down memory lane.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


He's snoring.
Ravelry and Twitter: drapert/My blog:

Cheater, cheater mobius

Here's the start to my cheater mobius. This is Bernat mosaic yarn-very scratchy because of all the dye. I'm working 44 stitches on size 9 needles.

When I'm finished knitting, I'll twist and sew ends together and wear like a necklace. Very easy to make.

Ravelry and Twitter: drapert/My blog:

Little Sheepy Bag and...

Five repeats on Rhiannon...she's coming along...slowly, because I was busy all weekend, and I haven't stopped except to take a little afternoon siesta today. The biggest issue, is that I'm running out of places to take pictures of her, and so you see her here, stretched across the back of my husband's car. She takes up the whole back end--you are only seeing a portion of her. She's just too big to get a picture of without destroying the detail in the design.

The sheepy bag purchased from Roseland Bags--it's a sock project bag, and I think it's just the cats meow. Sock project sold separately.

And I started a new project at JoAnn's yesterday--a cheater mobius cowl to wear around my neck on the mornings when I wash my hair so that my neck doesn't freeze. This one will take a while. Pictures later, but the yarn is really cool in the way it self stripes--Bernat Mosiac is the yarn. It's mostly wool, and very scratchy due to all the dye processing, but it will be warm.

Tomorrow is spinning day, and since I dyed some merino Saturday at a workshop, I have a little spinning to do. This will maybe make a hat, and will spin up into something resembling watermelon (my favorite fruit!). Then on Tuesday, I have my regular knit night in Lake Odessa. So I'm looking forward to some spinning and knitting, and a little extra time off for good behavior from the workplace, as I am taking my mother to the doctor on Tuesday and I have a doctor appointment on Monday before spinning.

I'm washing dishes and cleaning the stove--well, in all reality, the machines are doing that while I blog. Hubby wants me to find him some clothing and wash his pants. I want to get busy on Rhiannon again and start that 6th repeat--as there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's already 7pm!

I can't believe how fast this weekend flew by! I wish it were longer.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Don't Get This...

When I began working for the private sector, I thought that a job would be hard work, yes, but that employers would treat you fairly and that if you were good at your job you would get regular pay raises and recognition--and that it would be ALL you had to do.

Well, come to find out that most employers will take advantage of you if you are an exceptional employee. They also will mistreat you if they don't particularly like you on a personal standpoint. They will treat you well, AND PAY YOU WELL if you are exceptionally attractive, however they will and do mistreat you in other ways if you are exceptionally beautiful--I mean, it goes both ways.

This really surprised me when I started working. I thought all I had to do was be good at my job AND at other people's jobs, and it wouldn't matter that I had buck-teeth and bad hair days.

But apparently, it does matter. Clothes? Who knew? I work best in T-shirt and jeans. It doesn't get you very far in an office. No one will respect you.

Even so, I worked hard in the private sector, and never really got ahead. I remember always striving for better and better pay, never realizing that goal. The top pay I received in the private sector was pretty low by today's standards, but if I were to go BACK into the private sector at this point in my life, I doubt seriously that I would get much more than what I got then--since I'm not beautiful and while people seem to like me well enough, they simply don't seem to like me enough to compensate me for my worth. A boyfriend once told me that once he got past my dentition, I was really nice to know. Um, thanks for nothing.

And it's not that I have an over-developed sense of worth, either--before you get your angst up in a tizzy--but I would prefer that employers NOTICE me and compensate me MONETARILY, rather than with a pat on the back or a "good job" statement. Money talks, BS walks.

So it was with open arms that I accepted a job in the public sector, starting at twice what I was making in the private sector (which I admit wasn't much at the time), and doing half the work, and a fourth the responsibility.

I was still miserable. The raises came often enough in good economy, and THAT was inspiring, but there was still no RECOGNITION in the form of PROMOTION. So, I started looking for better and better with more difficulty/responsibility and a boss that would recognize me for the quality, speed and efficiency of my work, and compensate me with promotion (and more of the green stuff, of course).

Instead, I am now doing the work of 6 people in a bad economy. I am over-stressed at a time when I need to be taking care of myself and slowing down a little--meaning the cold and flu season. My sinuses are starting to plug up in the morning, and last night, I told my husband that today, he MUST get his step son to help take out the air conditioner. MUST. It's cold in the house, and we have no intention of starting up the corn stove until November 1. No matter how cold the house is.

Consequently, I am wearing clothing right now. It's still dark outside and nearly 6:30am! I'm also wearing a shawl over my shoulders to keep away the chill. I have on wool socks and shoes. In short, I'm almost ready for work--except that it's Saturday, and I haven't much to do except take out the dog and head for the grocery store for some hamburger buns, then over to a friend's house for a hand-dying party.

But all of that is not what I don't get.

I am about 8 years from retirement. I have worked hard and diligently all of my life, and I am proud of all my achievements--even if the boss didn't give me that promotion. Even if I didn't get the recognition I feel I deserve (sometimes it embarrasses me if I get verbal recognition, you know what I mean?). I am a talented, exceptional person. So when retirement comes, I believe that I will accept it and wrap my arms around it and say..

"Yes. This is what I've been waiting for all these years. Somebody to take my hand and say 'Job well Done!', and then pay me back for all those years I worked so hard by paying me for doing nothing."

Retirement looks like it's just on the horizon I'm heading for--and I believe that I will reach that horizon and literally touch the sun when I get there. When *I* retire, I will have knitting and quilting and spinning and crochet and my animals and my house and my car and the rest of my life ahead of me--and maybe that teaching job at JoAnn's that is so part-time. I have a life of fun waiting for me. Hopefully, I last long enough to get there and enjoy some of it.

My husband? There's the part I don't get.

My husband worked at General Motors his entire life. He retired when the economy tanked because he felt he just couldn't move to a different state AND he felt that it was the only way that he could come away, retire and get the most money in the effort. So he retired. He wasn't happy about it. He likes working. It's his identity and it's his hobby.

So he went to school and started the remodel on the basement. I thought that would be plenty to keep him busy--something for his mind and something for his body--but of course, he's not making money, and that's what he wants. More money.

So he continued to look for employment in the worst Michigan economy since 1977. Go figure.

I knew the day was coming. Yesterday, his employer of choice offered him a job.

Yes, my retired husband has a job in the private sector. He is happy and unhappy at the same time.

And of course, you knew that I would know this, right?

First off, the job is NOT at General Motors. So the pay scale is about 1/3 his skilled trade. Even so, this is not why he's unhappy.

Secondly, the job is afternoons. This bothers him more than me. *I* am tickled with the idea. I can come home in the afternoons, and don't have to make dinner until I'm really hungry. Then I can make supper at my leisure, put something in the frig for him, and go about my own retirement for the day--knit, spin--whatever I want to do! This is the best thing for my stressful daily life. I see this as the best coping mechanism that I could offer myself. Hubby on afternoon shift! Wonder of wonders! Maybe I'm a little too happy about it, but I don't care. I need the relief.

Thirdly, and what he doesn't know yet, so it's really not part of his "unhappy" yet, but *I* know that he will not be union, and therefore pretty much unprotected by the hateful bottom line (read that "the ones who look for profit, rather than loss on the income statement) readers who are more likely to be unreasonable when he loses his temper--of course, the fact that he could be considered mentally challenged (and I mean that in a NICE way) won't do him any favors either.

In any case, I expect he'll be let go (or quit) in short order, and by the time it happens, which I expect will be sometime between Monday and Tuesday, he will be more than happy to embrace retirement--and this time with a smile on his face.

Which doesn't bode well for *my* happy that he'll be on afternoon shift!

Therefore, I am opting for a "we'll see" sort of attitude. I hope the best for him, but I really think a job in the private sector will be his undoing. Even so, I think inactivity will kill him just as quickly. I suppose that work of any kind is preferable to sitting in a chair, inactive, and dying from congestive heart failure due to having no hobbies.

Of course, this is going to play havoc with this school schedule this term. He intends to continue with one of the classes--but unless he can reschedule his other two for a different time of day, he's going to have to withdraw from two classes that are already paid. THIS of course, turns that frown into an even deeper frown. He enjoyed learning new things (not going to class, but the learning). He hates wasting money. He needs to wake up early on Monday afternoon (well, that sounds weird) and get his classes in order, and then GO to class, then to work.

And he will be expected to do more than he ever did at General Motors, and I doubt that they will allow him to sit and read a book while he waits for a die to crash.

Perish the thought!

No, he will be asked to push a broom or sort nuts and washers before he'll be allowed to sit on his collective for even a moment's time. Private sector doesn't understand the word "breaktime".

I expect his first day, he will arrive at home EXHAUSTED, and tell me that he's never worked so hard in his whole life at GM.

Um, yeah. I knew that was coming. I will then have to remind him...yes, but aren't you so proud of yourself? To which he'll reply...yeah, but I'm not paid enough and I get no recognition for all the "other" stuff I took on that went WAY beyond my responsibility and experience.

Um, yeah. I think I saw that one coming, too.

So I sit here in the early morning, blogging, thinking about all these things, and Rhiannon is waiting in the wings--13 more rows to do before another repeat is done. I just couldn't bring myself to stay up another second last night at 9:30pm. You see, I'm getting older, and I want so much to slow down, but the employer and the economy have a different plan for me, I guess. I have been working hard, taking breaks after completing every difficult task (difficult only because there is SO MUCH TO BE DONE.), going to lunch and going home--all these taking a toll on my health.

I have a sinus headache now. I will be at the doctor's by Monday. Life is too busy for me right now. I am turning into a "gee, can't I just sit here and knit?" sort of person. I want the world to slow down so that I can hop off. So I don't get this "I'd rather be working" mentality that my husband has. He's actually happy he got a job, and he doesn't even NEED one, other than to satisfy his identity problem. And with so many people out there unemployed, who could really use that job to care for their family? I don't know. I suppose that the real reason that I don't get it is that I don't have such identity issues. I work and play far too hard to have identity problems. Maybe when I retire, I will have similar issues, because I've worked all my life--but women are different from men, in that they get their identity from home and family...and I am no exception. So I guess all this means is that I'm on the fence about his new job. I hope it's satisfying for him. I hope he doesn't lose it the first week. That would be demoralizing for him. On the other hand, if he does, can I support his decisions in the long run.

I mean, considering the freedom I'll lose when he's home again? Sigh.

I sure hope so. In the meanwhile, enough with deep thinking. I'm going to grab something to eat, then get busy on Rhiannon and finish that repeat.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Almost Friday!

It's almost Friday.

That's about it--all I can really think to say at this very moment, since it's 10:50 and well past my bedtime.

Card for the day is the Two of Swords Reversed.

Swords generally mean contention and strife in some point--get it? I was being a little punny there.

The card is entitled Opposition, and right side up would mean just that--that things don't seem to go as planned--something/someone opposes the movement (since swords are air cards). The next card drawn is the 5 of pentacles, entitled Restriction, also reversed. Last card 5 of swords, also reversed, titled Defeat.

And basically, in a nutshell, nothing can stop me, nothing can touch my 409, 409... I'm hoping these cards are telling me that tomorrow will go off without a hitch. I'll get everything done that I want to get done and then some, nothing and no one will be able to stop me.

You know what I have to say about that?

The cards are DREAMING! And that's where I should be at this hour of the night...dreaming.

So perhaps I should call it a night and get some rest.

Mouse Issues

My mouse is having "hiccups".

Every now and again, the mouse won't move--or the mouse won't click on what I click on--even when I click on the link several times.

It can be very frustrating.

Now, I could use the Laptop mouse, but I prefer mice I hold with my hand that don't bite.

So I'm preparing for work at the office. It takes a full hour to do this. I have a Woolgatherer's meeting tonight, so I'm planning on taking socks to knit. I'm hoping that the meeting doesn't take all night so I can come home and knit on Rhiannon. We got videos from Netflix last night, and watched those, so I got 4 rows done on Rhiannon last night, which is not my usual way--still, I got SOME done, but was hoping for more. By the time the movies were done, I was tired and ready for bed. The eyes just wouldn't deal with much.

Work has gotten a bit busy, and I'm starting to feel the strain. It's not good--I think I might be coming down with something, and there's something going around the office again. I suppose that I should get something to support my system, but you know how it is. One person in the office gets sick from their kids coming home from school with it, and it just sucks up into the "community air", then everyone's exposed.

Well, I have to load the car--I might take Rhiannon with me, but it's a lot to carry around--maybe I'll go downstairs and get my rollie cart? That might help matters--of course, I'll need to mark my place on the pattern, elsewise I'll lose my place again and start knitting at the wrong place.

Guess I'll stop at Best Buy and get a new mouse and see how that works. It's too bad, too, because I really like this mouse. I just think that the laser is giving up the ghost.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rhiannon Update

I was able to finish about 20 something rows last night.

And, since you're asking, yes--yesterday was a perfect day. At the office, I had lots of work to do during the morning--which kept me so busy that the time just flew. I was done by noon, and had lunch with a friend.

Then back to the office to work on other duties until the quitting whistle blew, and then I was screaming "YABBA DABBA DOOOOO!" all the way down the brontosaurus' back, jumped into my car and headed for home--"courtesy of Fred's two feet" as it were.

My friend brought in my crystal ball, and we set it up in my office for the day. I did manage to get it home, although I haven't set it up yet. It's still in the car. It weighs a ton! The ball is not perfect, though. It has a flat spot in it--perhaps to help keep it from rolling away--although it has it's own stand. But it's lovely, and I can hardly wait to get it inside and set,

Where to put it?

Sigh. Running out of places for THAT.

Today is cold. Really screaming cold. Not cold enough for a coat, but cold enough for a sweater. Guess what I'm wearing to the office? Yes, you guessed it--the Celtic Blue Jumper. I can hardly wait to get to the office for everyone to see it on my person. I think that they are just going to FREAK!

I rather hope that today will run like yesterday, where I have a super busy morning. Since I'm leaving at noon to take my mother to the doctor, I will have lots of time to knit. I am taking Rhiannon with me to knit at Knit night, but at the doctor, I'm opting for socks--which I started at the office yesterday using Magic Loop. I can't seem to get the hang or the rhythm of doing two at once, one inside the other--I keep JOINING them together, and it's too frustrating for me to have to concentrate THAT hard on a project so small and simple. So I frogged the technique and started over again on Magic Loop. Things are going much smoother now. So I am expecting a knitterly day--which is always nice. The best thing about the socks, however, is that my sock knitting back came from Roseland Bags--

So pictures of the new sock knitting bag and the crystal ball will be posted tomorrow when there's more time. Right now, I've drank my coffee and it's time to head off for the office to see what mayhem I can manage there. Oh, I also found a sheepy cup for coffee, too. Perhaps a picture of that as well.

Until tomorrow then!