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

Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

Another Headband

Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

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!
Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

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.

Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

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 something...be 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.

Wait..now 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: www.tothenines9.blogspot.com

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: www.tothenines9.blogspot.com