Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Haruni is done!

And blocking on the wall at the office. I don't have a good blocking board at home. This cubicle wall turned out to be the perfect place. I just couldn't figure out where else to put it. The husband won't allow me to put pins into the walls at home. I'll have to figure out how to stretch a sheet tightly on boards to put up when I need a wall, I suppose. Then I'll have to store it somehow. The styrofoam I purchased just didn't cut it, IMHO.
I've also made some progress on Rhiannon.

Bottom border

At the moment, however, I have picked up the stitches for the left and right borders and for the main motif. I didn't get much more than that because we had to drive to Grand Rapids to see hubby's cousin.

For those who don't want to be brought down by this, stop reading here.

Suzie, my hubby's cousin is 44. We had a birthday party for her on Sunday, and while she didn't look anything like herself, due to ALS ravaging her little body, she was happy and smiling and glad to see everyone there. I was able to give her the little lapghan I made for her. The children were the BEST in the world, and read her cards and opened her presents for her since she was not able to do so. ALS is Lou Gherig's Disease. It destroys your muscle tone and takes away your ability to move anything, while leaving your brain intact. Eventually, it kills you by taking away even your automatic responses--heartbeat and breathing, and you die, fully aware that it's happening. There's a lot of pain from the nerves basically in constant fight or flight that the muscles can't respond to. It's a most horrible way to die. Hospice helps by loading up on Morphine, which makes you sleepy and unresponsive. We went to visit the family and support Suzie's mother and son. Suzie opened her eyes and looked directly at my husband, but there was no glimmer of recognition there. It's a horrible, HORRIBLE way to die.

Suzie lost her dad a few years back to a freak accident in the middle of the winter. Her dad and a friend were in the woods cutting down trees, when a limb fell free and struck her father in the head. He died instantly, but the shock at the sudden death is still a grief-stricken memory for Suzie's mother, son and brother. The entire family turned out for the funeral, and there was not a dry eye in the entire place...including mine.

And now, my hubby's aunt has another death to grieve. This person has just about had enough grief. I know that God never gives you more than you can bear, but hubby's Aunt is a really soft-hearted soul. Not that I would hand this sort of measure of "deal with it" to anybody, if I were God, but to deal it twice to the same person? Well, I just don't know if I would be that cold. As we were driving over, I prayed that it would be over quickly and with as little pain as possible. I suppose that's all you can do in this type of situation. Beyond that, I'm not very good at offering comfort.

There was one thing that was pretty amazing out of the visit.

Apparently, a little girl came in (relation to the family) to see Suzie, and as she was walking up, a small butterfly alighted on her finger, and it STAYED on her finger into the nursing home and into Suzie's room, where it flew a little while, and then hid in a box where the birthday cards were sitting. It was still in the box, almost as if it were waiting for Suzie to become a new being and go with God.

My first thought, when I saw the butterfly waiting there, was that angels were in the room, waiting to take Suzie, released out of the cocoon of a ravaged body, and into the sky where she will meet her dad and some of the other family who have gone before. The thought gave me the shivers and goose flesh, but at the same time, comfort, that she would have a guide that would help her on part of her journey.

Now, just a waiting game. Doctors there tell us 24-48 hours. There's a funeral for a younger person in our near future. No parent should have to bury their child. I really feel heart-broken for my husband's aunt. She knows she will see them again one day. That gives her the comfort that no blanket can give. I still feel good about that.

Hubby graduates from his class today, and gets his associates degree in General Studies. There is a big hoop-la going on over at the campus, and I'm going to accompany him. I have to prepare this old body so that should the camera look my way, I can at least present like I clean up good.

It's been a hard couple of days. I can't wait for the week to be over, because I'm hoping to take a week's vacation next week. We'll see how that works out.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finally Working on Rhiannon

All is Not Lost...

Well, I guess all is not lost...I was able to babysit Kizmet last night, since my step son was gone most of the day. Kizzie needed somebody to pet her, and so I took on the job without complaint!

We decided to watch some videos, and she purred on the bed. When she didn't want to be on the bed anymore, I let her go in the main room, where she has almost no places to hide that I can't get to--and so she was safe for the evening.

Well, I suppose we'll see how the rest of the week goes. Right now, heading to Grand Rapids for a birthday party, and to give the multi-colored afghan I made for hubby's cousin. I hope she likes it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Good News/Bad News Day

First the bad news...
Hubby wouldn't let me keep Kizmet. I was really hoping to keep her, but it's true, we already have two cats and a dog, and the dog is really busy. But Kizzie really wormed her way into my heart the way that all babies do--so letting her go has been really hard on me.

The good news is that she has only moved downstairs with my step son. So I can see her and babysit--so all is not lost...that is...

Bad news...if he ever finds her. He's apparently not accustomed to having a baby animal that isn't quite yet used to humans--and he let her out of the carrier last night, and of course, she bolted and hid--likely in a place where she feels safe, but isn't really so safe. The whole affair has had me crying and fearful and worried all night, because no one came or called to let me know that she'd been found and is being snuggled all night in bed.

I hope he found her. I'll kill him if he doesn't!

So, I'm angry with my husband. I think I slept on the last 5 inches of our bed last night, trying to stay as far away from him as I could. I can't understand how someone I have known for so long, who I'm married to, who I live with, who has been with me for 10 years now, could be so ignorant of my feelings, and so cold-hearted and mean! I mean, granted, we probably shouldn't have another animal in the house, BUT SHE IS JUST A BABY! Babies need mothers. Babies need allies. Babies need friends. She was just starting to accept me as a member of her family, only to be uprooted and traumatized all over again.

Well, I just lost it. I cried all evening, and woke up with a sinus headache. Here it is just a few days before our 10th anniversary, and I'm foolishly thinking about a divorce lawyer. Who'd a thunk it? Naturally, I realize that I'm more upset about my step son losing track of Kizzie, and that isn't really grounds for divorce, I suppose. Step son should have been more astute about the needs of the kitten! But hubby could have allowed me to train the kitten for just a few more days so that she would accept people and not be so skittish around them.

How can a man not "get" that?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Haruni Progress

Coming along, looking GREAT! I'm at the point where I work on the border.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Think She Likes Him...

The Yarn for Rhiannon...

A picture is worth at least a couple words, right?

Another Big Day!

Sorry the pic is so fuzzy. It was the cell phone, held in the wrong hand, and I wasn't even sure I'd get the shot to begin with, so I stuttered and shook. This is the result. Better pics another day when she's less traumatized.

I found her, behind the refrigerator. Hiding. I had to pull out the fridge and snatch her before she could run away. I briefly noticed the dust bunnies back here. I decided to let them be for the time being.

Kismet, as I named her, has been to her first vet experience. For a "stray", she's in surprisingly good health at about 10 weeks old. I don't think she was left or dropped off at McDonald's, but rather, she hitched a ride in a wheel well, and when somebody stopped to place their order, she took a chance and jumped off. I don't believe that she was there for very long.

She's pretty much flea free, her gums and teeth are healthy, and she's eating solid food, so she's not in too terrible shape. She got a dose of wormer and her first distemper shot. She's good to go for the next 3 weeks, at which time, she will go in for a booster. On the way home, she went a little nuts on me in the carrier, where I had placed some kitty litter in a pie pan for her, and she yowled like she was in dire need of a tomcat--until finally, after she finished her business, she settled down into a corner, and slept a little.

Mandy, is fascinated with her...though NOT TO CLOSE! This one has claws, and knows how to use them. Still it's TERRIBLE FUNNY to see this little kitten, who can't weigh more than a pound, to arch all up, bottle brush her tail, hiss and spit and growl at Mandy, who is easily 35 times her size. Mandy looks at me as if to say--

"Is this cat FOR REAL?"

And she cocks her head to one side, as border collies do, completely dumbfounded by this little scrappy doo.

Of course, Kizmet hasn't stood still long enough for a picture--however, I did sit in hubby's chair to pet her for a little while, and she actually purred! However, she got down quickly enough, as there is just too much exploring to do in this big house. She's looking for the other cats, who at present are ignoring her. Cherise (or Smokey) has hissed at Kizmet a few times. They haven't actually touched noses yet. Chat is too aloof to be interested in another cat. He's just a "boy", and more interested in finding the next sunny spot to warm up in.

So Kizmet has pretty much the run of the house. I put some cardboard pop containers between the wall and the fridge to keep Kizmet from going behind the fridge again. I closed the laundry room doors, so she can't get behind the washer/dryer. Kitten-proofing the house again, little by little. Of course, I can't let her into the bedroom, or she would get under the bed and I'd never get her out of there. So since there's no "kitten proofing" the bed, until she gets a little more accustomed to coming to "kitty kitty kitty" or Kizmet? and isn't quite so traumatized by every thing that's bigger than she is (which is pretty much everything), I will close the bedroom door.

This is only a bad thing, because it's where the air conditioner is, and also where I sit to knit on hot nights--with the air turned on full blast. So when I'm knitting, she can't be with me for socialization, which is really important. She's getting BETTER, and starting to realize that I am not going to hurt her, but it takes time.

And she's got a long way to go before she will feel comfortable around Mandy. Mandy, unfortunately, isn't altogether patient about checking out the new arrival. I seriously have to get a picture of the two of them together.

It's Been a WEEK Today!

Driving home from work yesterday, my cell phone rang with the unmistakable ring that I chose for my husband--the ringer that Tony Soprano of the series "The Soprano's" had. I was stuck in traffic and construction, and the car was moving slower than I could walk, so I answered the phone.

"Hi what's up?"

"Where are you? You are supposed to be home!"

"I'm stuck in traffic."

This was true at the moment, but I had actually been to the yarn store finding the yarn for Rhiannon (pics later).

"Go to McDonald's and get me my usual. I'll buy. "


And he hung up.

I guess he was hungry.

So I pull into the McDonald's parking lot and see this little kitten flash and dash across the lot-with two men following. One of them had a box, presumably to put the kitten into.

Well, kitteh (as I will call her for now) climbed up in the underside of this one guy's wheel well and the three of us spent the next 20 minutes trying to extract her. The poor thing was terrified and traumatized and hissing and scrathing, she finally came loose from the truck.

I took her in my arms and took her home. Knowing full and well what hubby would say.

When I got home, I told him the story and how if he hadn't sent me to McDonald's I'd never have known or seen, and so therefore it was Kismet that she should be our kitten.

Which to me is a really good name for her-Kismet.

She got a little warm milk and some food in her tiny belly and promptly swelled up like a little balloon--ah you need a worming. A trip to the vet is in order.

She spent the night sitting in the bay window staring outside. She is unsocialized and likely somewhat feral--although I think she realizes that I'm a caring person. She got me with a claw, broke the skin and drew blood. Definitely an outdoor cat up till now.

Hubby told me that she had climbed behind the fridge this morning, but I had no time to retrieve her. Hopefully, she will get herself out. Normally cats won't go into a space they can't get their head through, but who knows with this one?

And you don't know. Hubby might try to get her out before he heads to class. He's like that sometimes.

So we will need to kitteh-proof the house again. A trip to the vet-$200, a new flea collar-$10, seeing hubby pick up and pet a kitteh he doesn't want to keep, while he purrs at her? Priceless.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweater Progress:

I did work on it today...really!

I also worked on the Celtic pillow...the other side is blocking now.

So the pillow will be done this weekend.
The sweater...ah, not so much. But here's the progress pic.

It's beautiful, isn't it?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Afternoon, And the Dishes are Dirty...

Well, there's a reason why the dishes are dirty.

I have spent all afternoon (since class, actually) trying to get my printer to install.

And it FINALLY did work.

What did I finally end up doing? Well, it's a long story. Suffice to say that I swapped the usb slots for the mouse and printer, and BONSAI!

Well, at least I have a printer. It's usb, which means direct connection to my computer, and so I have no slots available for the hub, which means I cannot transfer pics from my camera or from my phone.

However, I think my guru will come by and fix that for me sometime next week, which will be a very good thing, considering all the prime knitting time I lost trying to get this bleepty-bleep printer to install. I mean, to be more accurate, the printer hasn't run right since I put in the WiFi box, which has been quite a long time, and I have spent much of that time online with the Hewlett Packard boys trying to get things installed, and nothing worked. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. She was one dead banana.

At least now, I can print documents and scan again--even if it is a direct link usb hookup. I can share the printer, but for whatever reason, hubby's machine can't find it on the network...possibly because it's not really ON the network yet. Again, my guru should be able to fix that handily.

Now, sigh...where'd I put my knitting?

Oh, btw, the designer came out this morning with the pattern to test Rhiannon. The pattern I have been waiting for, and it's finally in my hands, printed and waiting for the yarn...which I have picked out, and will head over to get some of it on Tuesday.

My friend and neighbor (well, a 4-mile neighbor) tells me that there is no knit-night this week due to a funeral in the family, so I will have tomorrow afternoon to knitting time, regardless. I could go back to work after my bi-weekly doctor appointment, but I'm a little afraid that they would all die of shock to see me back to work on a Monday afternoon when they are expecting me to be out of the office.

Well, you know I just can't have them all die in the I might just take off the rest of the afternoon, regardless that there's no knit-night. I could be daring---and head to Lake Odessa on Monday and get the yarn to start Rhiannon, but I will wait, because I am going on Tuesday anyway. No need to duplicate my efforts.

I'm so happy that my printer works, that I can hardly stand it. I suppose that marks me as someone who finds little things exceedingly wonderful?

I can live with that.

An Event Worth Mentioning...

I went to Yankee Doodle Days up town and spun all morning in the pavillion on the island. I had several guests come and visit me, but they were looking for the Island Garage Sales that apparently had been canceled for lack of interest. I can't see hauling all my junk to the island, when I can just have my garage sale in...oh, gee, hmm...where should I...well, who'd a thunk it? What about let's do it in the garage (or the yard, or the neighbor's house)?

Duh moment there. Uh huh.

The parade was a short one this year, and no bagpipes! Surprise of the season! I wonder where Glen Erin got off to? The parade was only a half hour long and afterward, the buzzer went off on my phone, telling me that I needed to take off for my doctor appointment--just when people were coming down into the, yes, you guessed it...island.

But since I was the only thing GOING ON, and since I was packing up, people sat on the riverbank and fed the ducks.

So I didn't really demo a whole lot Saturday morning.

However, THIS morning, the dog's leash broke and she took off running like a shot to the neighbor's house. By the time I got her back, she was soaked from head to toe--I can only assume that she jumped in their pond, which means she's gonna SMELL later today. She's locked in the bathroom, drying out as I type this, barking at the neighbor dog, who is also barking because he now realizes that an interloper has been on his territory. It was lucky for me that she hadn't had her breakfast yet--which made it easier to catch her.

"Mandy! Time to eat! Come home!" Even though I knew she would not come straight to me, I thought the word "Eat" might make her stop and think about the possibility.

And she did, to her credit, stop, and I was able to catch up to her, grab the part of the leash dangling behind her, and head back for the house. She got in a good run and a little walk and perhaps even a swim. She should be tired. I know that I am. Whew.

Now inside, I have about half an hour before I go in to JoAnn's for a Crochet Class. I believe it's a 101 class, meaning that I teach the person, a newbie to crochet, how to do it. This takes about a half hour. The rest of the class, we might work on a simple pattern--like a dishcloth, or a potholder, or whatever the customer brings in. I'm thinking about buying some cotton today and making another dishcloth out of Tunisian Crochet--which is a derivative of regular crochet, but uses a longer crochet hook. You can make some nice thick washcloths this way. I made one for the bath out of some scraps, and it turned out so nice, that it became my favorite cloth ever, not to mention the fact that it isn't fancy and I can actually USE it. Or I could knit on my sweater. The possibilities are endless.

I must prepare for the class, decide what I want to do while I'm there, put on some decent clothing, and go. Hopefully, by the time I get back, Rhiannon testing will be posted to the Celtic Art Forum on Ravelry.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sweater Progress:

Okay, so it's not much more than a waistband. BITE ME! (just kidding)


Big day today, with SO much going on. Yankee Doodle days is going on up town, and I have a CT scan scheduled in the middle of the day--can you believe that? So I dress up in my best "wear", grab my wheel, head down to the parade route, find a nice shady spot to set up my wheel. I have to leave at noon, then go to the doctor, then come back with all my gear and well--to be honest, all that sounds like too much work. The day is just going to pound the life right out of me.

So maybe I'll opt to take my knitting INSTEAD. Although that's not much of a demonstration. Lots of people knit, but not so many spin.

I watched television a bit last night, and I think it was 48 hours--anyway, there was this murderer, and he looked just like an old boyfriend of mine--he wasn't the same guy (thank god), but it sure looked like him. It rather unsettled me, even though it wasn't *him*.

Well, if I'm going to Yankee Doodle, I best get my butt in gear.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sweater Progress

Slow but sure, I'm getting there. I think my shaping is a little fast, but I can slow that down if needed.

I'm on row 20 and the cables are really starting to pop!

And lots of time this weekend with nothing to do but housework and knitting.

Hubby got his Associates Degree. I really need to get mine. I had always hoped to have a Bachelor's but it doesn't look like that will happen. At least not in my lifetime. If I didn't have to work, I could go and get it, but there are just not enough hours in the day and not enough money in the bank.

Anybody want to be my sugar-daddy?

Nevermind. Pretend I didn't just let that cat out of the bag.

No classes at JoAnn's for the last month and a half. My part time job fizzled out. I have a doctor's appointment on Saturday, so have to wait until Sunday to demo if I choose to do that this weekend. Or I could go up town and demo on the island with my spinning wheel--which doesn't sound like a bad idea.

I'm not sure. There are some irons in the fire right now that require resolution before real playtime can occur. I'm looking forward to getting it out of the way so that I can enjoy the next few weeks.

My 10th anniversary is coming up. I can't believe he's put up with me this long. I never dreamed I'd find someone who would hang in there through thick and thin the way that I do! I have to say there have been rough spots here and there, but for the most part, it has been a real blessing and a few points to his credit toward heaven for perserverance.

Not that I have zip to my cred, but just that I know who I am, and anyone will tell you--I'm not easy to get along with sometimes--but really, I'm lots easier than most!

So TEN years. Time flies. I wonder how I'll feel at 25?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Working on the Sweater

I am knitting the sweater. I keep getting interrupted.

Progress pic--not really too much to show, since I'm only 11 rows into it, but you can see the cables starting to form.

It's going pretty well, I think. It's going really fast, too!

Finished Knot #51

I've decide to dub thee, pillow top.

Pillow butt to follow:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Knot #51, Dorota, Celtic Art Lovers Forum, Ravelry

Well, I did it. The way I wanted to did it.
I think it looks great.
I can hardly wait to get another skein to do the other side of the pillow.

Check it out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Celtic Love

A new square--Celtic knot #51 by Dorota, again. This one was actually a cross, but I wanted a smaller version of the original, and this is what's going on. Will post the finished project tomorrow after work.

Also preparing to rip out the work I've done so far on the celtic sweater, as I'm afraid the ribbing is too short. I'm going to recalculate and add a few more stitches to the "pattern".

Then there is Haruni. I am almost 2/3rds done. I have 6 more repeats, then I move on to the border. I could add more repeats, if I choose, but then I worry that I'll run out of yarn for the project. We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, it's almost 11:30pm. I have to take my medications and some milk, then head for la-la land.

I have picked the yarn for Rhiannon--Scarlet, just about worsted weight, well spun, alpaca, merino and cashmere. This thing is going to be the crowning glory of all the previous projects put together. I can't contain my excitement.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who'd a Thunk It?

After the flurry of knitting this weekend, I now find myself knit-less.

This condition, similar to wit-less, is finding yourself without one brain cell, entirely devoted to knitting. I woke up, thinking about my border collie, Mandy.

Now, Mandy is an odd dog. She thinks she's the boss around here, and I have to keep reminding her (daily) that she's not. She thinks she can decide when she's got to go potty and when she doesn't. Of course, you know, that if she decides she doesn't need to go potty, a standard "wrestle" in the afternoon, and refuses to go outside, she will invariably have an accident at some point, somewhere, sometime during the night.

This is never a good idea...this form of "holding it". She can be very adamant about not wanting to go outdoors--either in heat, rain or cold--and while I can understand that for myself (being pretty much fur-less), I can't understand it for HER. What with her self-shedding coat. It's too bad, too, because she gets so embarrassed when she has accidents--and of course, scolded. We don't have sheep anymore, and so she doesn't have a job. I can't allow her to run, because of the added problem "run AWAY", as fast and as far as she can. She needs a home with a big yard and a lot of fence. And not just electric fence either.

I would say she isn't too bright, except that really she is. Not many dogs know when they have to potty and when to let you know, either by a bark or by laying their head in your lap--soulful eyes peering up at you--their eyeballs watering because they have to go sooo bad! It's a terrible and painful thing to wait one second too long, isn't it doggie?

But because of this terrible "I'm the boss" attitude, Mandy has to spend nights in jail

WARRINGTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04:  Max a two y...Image by Getty Images via @daylife


I don't think she's too offended by this. Most dogs like to feel safe--to have a little haven where they can be alone to rest and do whatever thinking they do, and a kennel is perfect for that. So she has her "bed" inside her kennel.

It's just ME that thinks she's in jail. We let her out to roam around the house (except in summer, when we pretty much lock ourselvs in our bedroom with the window air-conditioner) during the day, but then lock her in the kennel during the night, because she tends to startle at every sound, bark at anything that moves, and jumps up and down off the bed. This activity is not conducive to her parent's sleep patterns. She also goes outdoors on a leash, because otherwise, she would run away, and it's very likely I'd never see her again.

So she sleeps at night, for the most part, with the occasional 'get up, spin around to find a comfy spot, lie down again' activity. We have a huge yard. I wish I could just let her out to play. But I fear her being gone forever, hit by some idiot driver--or even "stolen" by some caring person who thinks she's lost and can't find her way back home.

Like my last Border Collie.

Who I still miss terribly.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

OMG! OMG! It's Finished!

I present: The swatch for Rhiannon--

Beautiful, isn't it?

Designer: Dorota, from Poland

In Answer...

I posted one day that carbs make me hot.

And someone wanted to know why/how carbs made me hot.

Now, in case there's a question, I should probably say that I don't mean "hot" as in "attractive". I mean hot as if I were burning up with fever...without the chills.

I eat something really carby--say a bag of chips...and I get hot. I eat chocolate candy. I get hot. I also get over-tired and sleepy. I nap and I'm fine after. By no means is this how it works for everyone. I don't know how it works, or why it works the way it does. I'm not even so sure that it's linked, to be honest. I just know that's what happens to me.

Now today, I've had some chips. I have also had proteins and fats, and so I'm not pouring sweat into my shoes from my forehead. If I had eaten the entire bag without protein and fat, I would be in bed, sleeping it off like a homeless wino.

Okay, no tittering from Section C.

Sorry if that doesn't explain it, but there you go. I'm pretty new to this "diabetic" stuff, and the heat might be related to my AGE, or to chocolate or to something else entirely for that matter. I'm no doctor (guess you might have figured that out). I'm just trying to understand what my body is telling me, and lately it's been speaking lots of German--or something else that I don't understand...maybe it's one of the Chinese dialects? Who knows?

I'm glad to see that someone is reading my blog, though. And thanks for the comments on my knitting!

Row 52 and counting!

Is this not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? It's really rare for me to get so excited about a piece of knitting, but this is great! And it's fun too! A real challenge for my addled brain! I just love patterns that stretch the limits of my knitterly knowledge!

Rhiannon Test..

To Row 25...CHEERS!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Progress on Haruni

Here's a pic showing some of the color change...thought you might like to see.

Picture 007.jpg

Personally, I think it's beautiful, even all scruchied up.

Some progress on the sweater, but I think I miscalculated, and have to rip out 12 or so rows of's just not big enough. It looks to me like I'm going to need at least another 15 stitches or so, because it doesn't fit around my pants, and this one is to wear over my jeans.

Demo'd at JoAnn's today, and think I drummed up a little bit of business for closer to the end of the month. I'll be spinning next weekend-I just haven't decided where.

Also testing Rhiannon. Isn't this thing just a work of art????? I can't wait to get going on it. I just received the pdf today (a few minutes ago, actually), and my friend Nancy and I are hoping to knit this together.

I want to knit mine out of cashmerino in scarlet (same color as picture). I'm not sure what color she'll want to make it in, but I have a hunch. I'll include both our progress when I post again. First I have to find the right color of cashmerino!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Signature Needle Arts

Ah, spiky, pointy circular needles. Very sad that they only come in one length, and that extra long costs an extra $10. The Cadillac of knitting needles at $40 a pop, but not in my favorite size.

God hates me.

In the meanwhile, cast on for the blueberry sweater, AND cast on for Haruni Shawl on Ravelry. I'm starting to get very hot--which means that I've eaten too many carbs. I believe that I will lie down for a while with the air on--the weather has gotten very muggy over the last two hours, and I'm not up to knitting--at least not unless I bring my rocker into the bedroom and sit in the air conditioning.

Long day at the office today. I had a really bad call from one of our customers, and he was NOT very nice to me. I finally put him through to the supervisor. Then there was concern that what happened to the payroll last month also happened this month, and I just sat down in my chair and cried.

Yes, I cried. The stress that I've been under the last 4 weeks has just been unreal, and here I was looking at another 4 weeks of it. Well, it just wasn't going to happen without me losing it, so I did.

That got people's attention. I was on the verge--a woman on the edge. I almost gave up and went home and stayed there for 4 weeks. As it turns out, it's not as bad as we thought, but the caller was enough to set me off. In order to collect myself, I answered the problems of the next caller because it PLEASED ME to do it. I felt it was the only way that I could get my dignity back. So I did, and I don't regret it...even if I did get called on the rug for it.

It got me through the day, anyway, because I was able to answer the second caller's question to her satisfaction, and she actually THANKED me at the end of the call. She didn't have a lot nice to say about her case worker, but there you go.

I can't decide. I have 3 things that I would like to have.

An IPad
A New Laptop
A digital SLR.

And I can't decide which I want more. All three have certain applications that I would prefer--firstly, the IPad. Hold all my pics, books and music on one device, and not clutter up my pc. Secondly, the new laptop. I'd like a newer one with a 2.0 usb hookup for speed, and Windows 7, although I don't have any of the applications that I would like to work with Windows 7--for instance Photoshop or Microsoft Office. Thirdly, the digital SLR. Nicer pictures at 10 or 12 megapixel, the ability to take a faster pic for closeups in the breeze, for instance--pictures of flowers. I would also like a nice macro zoom for it. But seriously, these are quite expensive, and I'm thinking that they will come down in price eventually. The other two items aren't really a requirement. And so I'm thinking that they are not so necessary. So perhaps I will bypass them for now.

A Quickie

Sig. needles now come in Circulars!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The first swatch..

I normally don't appreciate swatching knitted stuff anywhere near as much as I should; however, with this pullover I'm planning, I have to--as it's the only way to know if the stitches will go around me! So not only do I have to swatch the cables, but also standard stockinette to make sure I have enough stitches to begin!

And here is the swatch!


It's 28 stitches wide. Blocked, it's about 5". So I'm getting a bit more than the yarn calls for at 5 sts to the inch on size 8's. So this is a good thing. It tells me that over 5", I can have 3 fewer stitches, and still get gauge--

Now I have to do the unthinkable--and it's not my favorite part...

I have to measure my body.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Race is ON!

Okay. All is in readiness.

I have the yarn for the blue sweater (maybe). Must swatch and see if I get the stitch definition that I need. If yes, I will begin the sweater this week, if not, I will try again with another yarn.

I am 31 rows into Haruni-A free shawl on Ravelry. I am using Regia Hand Dye Effects with a size 5 needle, but I think I might need a bigger needle--it's sort of scrunchie--which means I don't have a large enough needle.

I can barely wait to cast on for the sweater, though. I am printing out the celtic cables as we I write.

Every so often, I like to challenge myself...don't you think that's true?

Monday, June 7, 2010

What I Finished Today

I'm not sure what to make out of this, but I'm thinking gloves. It looks grey, but in reality, it's got quite a lot of blue in it. The bag said "Denim", and if there were enough there to make socks, I would. DK weight, I think for the most part. Some overspun parts, but otherwise, will make a nice knit.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ice Queen is Blocking

I'll have a pic on the recipient next weekend. It's wet right now, and I don't think she'll want to wear it wet.

Gee, ya think?

But it's beautiful and it's so sheer--

Particulars on my ravelry page, of course. I had quite a bit of the yarn left. I think I could have put on a couple more repeats, but it is plenty long enough.

Baby Birds

Today, a baby robin flew into our picture window. He's stunned, but alive. I picked him up gingerly and put him in the grass, so that when he becomes aware again, he can fly away. Our neighborhood seems to attract "attack robins". They flew into our picture window all summer last year. Looks like this year is to be no different.

While on my trek to the grass, I saw a squirrel--not something that I've seen so close to the house--and he promptly ran away. I'll check the baby bird a little later.

Progress on the Ice Queen is coming along. I have all the repeats done, and I believe I'll be working on the edging next, but haven't checked the pattern to make sure. It looks a bit short, to be honest--but there it is. I am working on the edging, which admittedly is a tad fiddly. I was outdoors on the swing, knitting happily away, and it started to rain. I had to put it all away. Now I have to wait until hubby and son finish "chatting".

Hubby is talking with his son. He's telling me about the possibility of buying a house for them to rent. I'm not really sure about this concept. I'm a little worried that his son will give up on his degree, which would NOT be a good thing. Not only that, but kiddies and lack of insurance--it's a real gamble. It would be a real struggle for HER, I think. I expect she's up for it as she seems to be a pretty smart lady. I'm just worried about how quickly their relationship is progressing. I think it's a bit too fast. Now more chatter about finishing the downstairs, and making it a little more "agreeable" for a married couple. Even so, I don't think they'd be completely happy. They really should have their own place, but neither one has a real job. So, input financial stress, which is okay for a while, but gets old QUICK. And for the responsibility of wage earning to be on one person--well, that's really bad, especially when it's all on the wife.

I figure that they've talked about it to death, but I still worry about these things, which is one thing I *didn't* have to do with my step-daughter. She was smart, and so was her husband, and they waited until they'd saved up a bunch of money, and then they bought a piece of property on a cul de sac and BUILT their own house. They've made lots of improvements to it, and it's really looking nice. She's got a GREAT little home!

It's also possible that I'm none too keen on my hubby shelling out the cash, when we need it for our home improvements and a roof for the barn. It would CERTAINLY set back our projects, considerably. Of course, it could be years before we actually "get" to that point, but that's our prerogative, I believe, since it is our cash--well, his cash--which was earmarked for our home! So you see how I am feeling a bit put upon.

Well, after a bit of "chatter" we decided to contact a realtor friend of ours, who met us at the house in question. He took us inside, and we had a look around. What a pitiful sight. I saw problems EVERYWHERE, and even the realtor suggested that it was probably NOT the place they (or anyone else for that matter) would want. Not only was it a "flipped" house, the owner bought it for a little over $10K, and put on some cosmetics (basically paint and shingles), but we could see roof problems and foundation problems, not to mention that there were cracks in the basement walls and going all the way up to the back porch--a separation that would no doubt get worse. The interior ceilings and floors were all out of level, and the basement was wet. The owner had put in a new natural gas furnace that allowed air conditioning as well, put in new vents etc, but none of the cosmetics added up to a house for $60K.

And that was the issues that *I* was able to see. The realtor told my step son that if he bought this house, it is likely that he would never recover his investment if he left it. And that statement alone, brought both of them out of their "cute house" that we can fix up reverie.

They decided to wait, and I thought that was a good idea.

After, we all went out for Chinese. Then I came home and worked on Ice Queen. I am on the final picot bind off. I will soon be finished with the project. I have already picked out something new.

What do you think of it?

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I've been on Facebook all morning.
Talk about a time sucker!

Almost as bad as knitting, blogging or sitting on Ravelry, looking for things to knit and blog about.

Life is a little TOO circular.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What Can I Say?

The day did not begin with sunshine.
In fact, the sun didn't come out until well into the afternoon.

And by the time I left work, I was exhausted from spinning my wheels all day.

When I got home, well yes, there was a loving husband-every inch demanding--"feed me", "help me study". I got bored with that pretty quickly.

We finally watched about 3 episodes of "Heroes" before he zonked out somewhere mid-4th-episode sitting in his chair.

Did I paint that picture pretty well?

However, I did find something out tonight, having chatted with a friend on Facebook. Apparently, there is a function coming up on June 19th in Galesburg. Yes, that's right. The town my ex lives in.

Now, normally, I would jump at the chance to pound another nail into that man's coffin, because I know he shakes in his boots every time he knows that I'm in town. This time, though, I think I'm going to pass. It's altogether possible that I might run into him at the Kalamazoo Highland Games, and frankly, twice a year is more than I'd wish on anybody else, including my worst enemy.

Instead, I think that I'm going to head over to the house of one of the kids from High School. Apparently, the class is preparing this year for the 35th reunion.

Sigh. Where did the time go? Do you know that there was a time when I thought that I would never last this long? Yet, here I am! And I remember thinking that my mother was old back then. Now that I've passed that milestone (10 years ago, in fact), I have to say that I STILL don't think I'm old, although my body does tend to argue the point with me now and again.

Still and all, I've come this far, I suppose that I might as well hang on for the rest of the ride. I just hope that the next 35 years don't go by as fast as the last 35 years did.

Somebody order me a really slow taxi.


Did I say the sun would come out?

It's foggy and cloudy! It's well after sunrise-according to the Weather Channel, it happened 15 minutes ago!

At least it's a little cooler the last few days, and we haven't had the air conditioning on, preferring the fan, which is quite a bit quieter. Hubby is telling me that he's thinking "central air" when he finally decides to finish the basement. I told him we should do it in the winter when the prices are lowest, and put the ductwork in the attic. It would work much more efficiently to have the cold air begin at the ceiling. He agreed.

I'm not the dullest crayon in the box after all!

I'm about half done with Ice Queen. I'm getting all kinds of nice comments about it. This thing is lighter than air, being laceweight mohair, and OMG, I wish I could get my hands on more colors of this stuff.

Not that I can wear it, you understand. Anything mohair on my body and I itch and scratch--not that I'm allergic, thank goodness, but because the little hairs and their little wiry grabbers get next to my skin and irritate me. Wool does not do this, thankfully. So now, I check my labels for mohair content. I have only one mohair sweater, and I can only wear it on the coldest days. You see, mohair isn't so "fluffy" inside the freezer. Funny. That really put a visual in my head.

And when people tell me they are allergic to wool, I tell them to check their label for mohair--many so-called "wool" sweaters actually have mohair in them. For those who clip out the label, let me tell you, mohair is NOT angora. I have no problems with angora (which is bunny hair). Mohair comes from goats, and these are not really "soft haired" animals IMHO. Sure enough, most of the time, people who tell me that they own an angora sweater that just drives them nuts will ultimately check the label to find out "huh! It's not angora, it's MOHAIR!"

Well, there goes hubby's alarm clock. I've got to get on the road. Bye!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


The sun'll come out, tomorrow, bet yer bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun.

Well, that's what the tarot seems to be saying, but somehow, I think it's making more of a statement than I'm prepared for.

Yes, sure, I drew these cards.

The Sun (Card #10)
The Wheel (reversed) (Card #19)
The Ace of Cups (Card 1 in Cups suit)

Notice how all the cards add up to 1? I mean. 10=1+0=1, 19=1+9=10=1+0=1, and ace counts 1 or 10, either way, it's a 1.

Which means that tomorrow is going to be a day of firsts. It bodes to begin VERY well, wind down in the afternoon, with a calm and loving evening with my husband.

So a good day, to say the least.

That, sometimes in and of itself, is a first.

I hope everyone has as good a day as I'm expecting to have.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Long Day at the Office Today...

One of the supervisors called me in to his office to tell me that we have some people in on loan from the county offices.

"It's all 'perception'", he tells me. I just sort of stare at him with a blank look on my face--thinking, "cut to the chase, fella."

"We've got these people coming in from the county," (yes, I already knew that. I read the boss' email at 7am, when I arrived...)

"And we don't want them to go home with the idea that we sit around and don't do much, because then the boss won't be able to get help again and the story might get back to her boss."

(uh, huh. And what do you want me to do about it?)

"So, I know you like to knit on your breaks and lunch..."

(oh, crap, here comes the sucker punch)

"So if you want to do that, please take it to the break room to work on it."

(uh huh. How does that change anything? Since I only work on my knitting on my break or lunch anyhow?)

"Seriously, I'm going to be discussing this with my staff later on, today."

(yes, I just bet you are. You mean we can't go and talk to each other for a minute or two, to get away from these crazy phone calls we've been getting from angry people who didn't get their check that have been driving us NUTS for the last month?)


I see. No problem. I'm entitled to two breaks and a lunch hour. Whatever.

The sad part is that I never got a chance to take the time to knit until the day was completely over with and I was in Lake Odessa before I picked up my knitting.

I did get my two breaks, but one was for eating breakfast, and the other for a pop run with my friend, Dave. Lunch was spent outside, eating lunch and enjoying the warm breeze and cool shade. Perhaps I'll get in some knitting time tomorrow while at the office. I don't know. These folks are here for the next 30 days.

It's going to be a long month. And there are no holidays, either.

Hot, with a Chance of Puppies

Okay, maybe not puppies, but the hot is right in there. Hot and muggy. We had the air on all last night, and I still feel no relief.

I dreamed about my sister last night. Her birthday was Saturday-ironically, her birthday is the same as my husband's. Since I don't normally dream about her, I decided that I'd pull some cards.

I pulled these:

4 of Wands Reversed
3 of Wands

I read thus:

Bored with your current way of living, you decide to make a big change and strike out on a new adventure hoping to find the stability you desire.

I wonder if she's considering moving?

Don't ask me why that comes to mind. It's just that, when she was married (the first time) he owned the house, and when they divorced, she moved in with her dad. Her dad left her the house on a life-lease, and I don't believe that she owns the house, but she lives there. Property taxes are handled by the leased land that is now her's to divvy out. Her father did that so that her husband couldn't take it away. Pretty smart, but it leaves her with no real assets to sell to move into a new house.

Now she's married again. At least, the last I knew, she was married again. I mean anything is possible, since I haven't seen her for years. Why haven't I seen my sister for years? Well, let's just say that she made a choice between me and my ex husband. I tried for years to keep things going with her, but I could tell that things were "off". Come to find out, she'd been taking care of his step-kids, cleaning his house, going to Draper family parties, and all that. I understand that he's trying to find her again. It's possible, though not really probable, that he doesn't know where her father's home is. Having hurt his back, it may be that he's considering back surgery and wants to use her again.

Or perhaps he's found her, and she's considering his offer. I can't know. It would be a mistake on her part, since he wouldn't pay her. A live in nurse only benefits HIM. So I hope that she's not on that track.

In either case, I'm concerned about her. She could stay in her father's house, house payment free, for the rest of her life, and live the life of Riley, not having any real BIG bills to pay every month. In my situation, that sort of arrangement would be REALLY beneficial.

So back to the hot and humid. I have to go in to work today. So not looking forward to THAT. It's bad enough that I have to swim through the air to get anyplace, when I get there, I have to use this fried brain that hasn't slept well in 4 days!

I'm going to buy a little pool.