Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday Classroom

I started a pair of socks before my class today. It's been a long time since I've knit a pair of socks. I thought that I might be due--even though the Wallaby sleeve is on the needles and half done.

For Knitting 101 class at JoAnn's I had 6 students. Two came a half hour late, and were instantly behind. One was left-handed. So I really ended up teaching 3 different classes. The first 4 got the standard class with right-handed knitting, and all 4 learned GREAT! The lefty learned how to knit continental, and her mother learned how in about 2/3rd's the time.

All of them were very smart and very engaging and engaged. We giggled and joked through the entire 2 1/2 hours. It was a great time, and entirely a success.

Then I went to do some grocery shopping for the standard stuff--milk, bread, eggs.

When I got home, I set up the slow cooker for stew. But because it was already 4 o'clock, and because I knew hubby would be leaving for work soon, I decided to make up a chicken pot-pie (and 2 calzones) which were far quicker, and that we would have the stew tomorrow. Then I forgot to turn the stew on.

Idiot moi.

This morning, Monday morning, as usual, I am groggy and discombobulated-a shower will help, I think. We have a coating of freezing drizzle on the ground plus a bit of snow, which is going to make driving to work quite treacherous again today.

Today, however, is my half day, and I have quite a lot of work to be done, but I think I'll manage. Then to my doctor's appointment and then to the Knitting Group.

I can't decide if I want to take my Wallaby or the socks. I'm trying to wake up still.Oh, I suppose I'll go and let my dog in, and then take my shower and perhaps that will do the trick. Maybe it will also clear out my sinuses at the same time. Do you suppose?

So I had a productive day with 6 more knitters added to the flock. I told them that it was my evil plan to get the entire population of the world with an "each one, teach one" sort of thinking--which set them all to giggling. One said that she knew her husband would never knit--and I replied. "Hey, everyone's got to have at least one, lofty, unattainable goal--right?'

So long for now. Have a knitterly day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Scarf!

Well, here it is in all it's glory, along with the pattern. I hope you enjoy it. Don't look at the scowling woman. She had a bad hair day.

3 skeins Caron Simply Soft Party in Snow Sparkle (164 yds each)
1 skein Lion Brand Fun Fur Stripes in Deep Sea (57 yds)

Size J Crochet Hook

With Size J Hook, 2 strands of the white and 1 strand of the fur, ch a multiple of 8 plus 4—(my sample is 156 ch long) long enough for either a scarf or a cowl. Remember, this is a ripple pattern variation, so chain accordingly. 3 skeins of the white (and 156 ch) will yield a scarf about 4 feet long with some yarn left over. If you want a longer scarf, please purchase more material. If you choose to make your scarf exactly like mine, the last skein of white you need to pull yarn from both ends of the ball (inside and outside) to avoid too much waste and to continue to carry two strands of white. You can always buy more yarn if you wish to avoid this, but it’s not necessary.

This scarf does not really change color, but you do pick up (or drop) the fur. When you work the last stitch on a given row (when dropping or picking up the fur), you have to pull up your loop for the last stitch, then finish the hdc either with or without the fur, depending on if the next row uses it or not.

Row 1: Drop the fur and working with only the 2 white strands, work 2 hdc in the 3rd ch from hook (increase).

*1 hdc in each of next 2 ch. Work a 3-hdc decrease over the next 3 chain as follows:

(Yo hook, insert hook in next ch, draw up a loop). Repeat twice more. Yo and draw through all loops on hook. Each 2 loops counts as 1-remember, you are working with 2 strands…so there are 14 loops, but only 7 really “count”. The decrease is the bottom of the hill—or valley.

1 hdc in each of next 2 ch.

Work 3 hdc in the next chain (increase, or, as I like to call it, the top of the hill).

Repeat from *, across, ending with a valley and 3 ch remaining—work an hdc in the next 2 ch and 2hdc in the last ch.

Ch 2 and turn the work. This does not count as a stitch!

Row 2: Continuing to work with only the two strands of white, repeat row 1, working 2 hdc in the top of the first hdc, then 1 hdc in the next 2 hdc, then work a 3-hdc decrease (valley) in the next 3 hdc, and so on, ending with two hdc in the top of the last hdc. As you get ready to finish the last hdc, bring up the fur and finish that last stitch with all three strands. You will now work with 3 strands.

Row 3: Repeat row 2, using all three strands. Before completing the last stitch, drop the fur. Finish the hdc and ch2 with just the white and turn.

Row 4-5: Repeat row 2, using only the white. At the end of row 5, pick up the fur and finish that last hdc as before.

Row 6: Repeat row 3.

Row 7-8: Repeat row 2, using only the white. At the end of row 8, pick up the fur and finish the last hdc as before.

Last row: ch 1 working loosely, or with a slightly larger crochet hook, work a slip stitch in every stitch across the row, then finish off and weave in all your ends.

**Note: I made my scarf with 156 sts and obtained a gauge of sorts. I measured across the beginning “points” and there is 2 ½” between points.

Wet block-do not iron or steam. Wash cold, air dry.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Scarf/Cowl--Whatever...

At my class last night, I reconnoitered the pattern I was teaching and turned up with something spectacular. The pattern will be available on Ravelry in a day or so--and a pic of the full project, but here's what I have so far.
The thing you can't see, is that the white yarn has sparkle to it (called Snow Sparkle), made by Caron Simply Soft, and I just love the look--especially with the blue fun fur.

It does take quite a bit of yarn to make this scarf, because the white skeins are really small  only 160 yards. I estimate that it will take 4 skeins of the white and one of the blue fur (but any fun fur will do it).

Pattern will be posted to Ravelry when I finish the project, and I'll post a link for it here, as well.

Things that Amaze Me

1. That I can sometimes wake up refreshed after only 5 hours of sleep and then other days, try the same thing and I'm so exhausted that I can't stand up straight, walk around like a drunk, trip over the crack in the linoleum and laminate myself to the floor.

2. That I can knit, watch television, do a load of laundry and have a conversation with my husband, all at the same time.

3. That I can sleep for 8 hours and wake up feeling like I've been run over by a truck.

4. That I can drive almost anywhere with a standard map without using Google Earth.

5. That I can have one student in a class, and they actually learn something, but put one more person in the class, who has trouble, and neither one learns anything. This just boggles my brain.

6. That I'm willing to wake up almost every morning at 5:30am to go to work. Today was a small excepttion due to the effects of #1. Not that I've been drinking or anything like that, but I *am* exhausted, and I don't know why. I suppose waking up at 4am had something to do with that. Hubby was just not very considerate this morning, turned on the light, asked me a dozen questions, and then headed off to work, leaving me to try to get back to sleep after having to use my brain. Not a good combination.

So here I am. Awake finally at 7am, late for work. I have to shower and head out, and the roads are bad again due to a snowfall of about 2-3 inches last night.

I'm getting to think


I am truly over snow.

7. That snow can fall and cripple an entire state. There are people to the south of my area who haven't had electricity for DAYS. That's a bad thing. Truly.

8. That my husband hasn't yet purchased a gas powered generator to run our corn stove so that *if* we lose electric, that we can still have heat. We can eat out, but we can't heat without electric.

Oh, there's more, but why bore you with the details. I have to shower and get in to the office before I fall asleep again in my chair.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lunchtime at the Office

I got out for a little while at lunchtime today. The day shone bright and sunny, ands I managed to take a couple of very over exposed picture that turned out pretty cool when I put them through the solarize filter. Solarize can make ordinary things seem "other-worldly".

The building picture is now my background for my phone, and the other, if you can't make it out, is a trash recepicle.

I worked on my wallaby all evening at Knit Night in Lake O tonight. I finished fusing the pocket and have started up the body of the sweater. I did end up going, even though I was really, exhausted for most of the day. I have got to get to bed earlier tonight.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lester is Done!

In't he koot?

The Big Day Off.

I guess today is Washington's birthday. I have a holiday day today. I spend it wisely, staying home when the roads are so slick! Last night, I watched the storm while hubby slept. Remember he was supposed to start his new job today...well...

Four am rolls around and I'm up, we're checking the road, he thinks he can make it. I pull Tarot cards on my cellie, and it's saying, he'll make a valiant effort, but ultimately fail. The Hanged Man was the last card.

Then I pulled cards that told me that the two head bosses weren't going to make it to work either, and I told my husband what I read in the cards, and while he knew he was taking chances, he thought if he could at least make it to the main road...

So I gave him my cellie, set it up so he could call home should he run into trouble, told him to take his shoes, but wear his boots, found his hat and gloves, and he drove away.

I watched him get stuck on the corner. I watched him get stuck about 3 times trying. I finally watched him sitting sideways in the middle of the road, and decided he was screwed, and that I couldn't watch what was transpiring any more.

I got his son (who had only been sleeping for a couple of hours) up and out of bed, told him his dad was stuck on the corner and to get Fred to help (Fred being the 4-wheel drive pickup). Then I put my tall rubber boots on with woolen socks, my coat and hat, gloves and scarf and headed over to the stuck car to tell my husband that his son was on his way. I thought that I might be able to help, but the boots were seriously hurting my feet, so I walked back home, and put coffee on. It was pretty evident that I wasn't going to get any more sleep until daylight.

Step son got his dad unstuck and towed him back to the house. Hubby got out the snow blower and blew the drive, and run the car back into the drive. When step son got into the drive, we motioned him into the house to warm up with coffee, and then I made him some eggs for breakfast. Hubby called work to let them know he'd be late. Nothing to be done about it, really.

Hubby stayed home until daylight, and then took Fred to work. I watched him drive down the main road, blowing snow in plumes behind him. I figure he had some difficulty getting down the road (since the plow hadn't been through yet), but since he didn't call to let me know that he was in trouble, I figure that he finally made it to his new job.


I finally got some rest in, although I don't feel rested.

So I'm wondering if the big bosses made it to work, but I won't hear about that until hubby gets home tonight. Of course, you know he's going to have more trouble getting home--the wind has been horrible all day, and I figure that what isn't nailed down will be blowing into the road again.


Last night, I finished the last of the arms, legs and bib for the bear. I need to get busy sewing the limbs on. I haven't had the ambition to do much but sit and watch television. This is bad for me. My body is craving chips and dip, but there's no way that I'm going out with the roads as bad as they are.

So I need to get started on Lester. Hubby will probably not be home until 6pm, giving him only a couple of hours before he has to go to bed again...and THAT'S only if he can get through the roads...

To be continued.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just a New Blog I Want Noticed and Remembered

Shows how to put bobbles on your cast off. I think there is a picot bind off here as well, but for now, just the bobble. The picot is similar.

Sunday, Sunday...

We are supposed to get a huge storm today, with ice accumulations, and this means horrible driving conditions. Hubby and I spent a couple of hours yesterday, putting up stores of groceries (not a lot, just for a couple of days), and we froze some things. I still have to fry up the 14 pounds of burger I purchased, and freeze that, but today is Sunday--CHURCH Sunday, and he promised me he would go with me today.

With the weather that's coming, and my concerns about it's nastiness, we might not be able to go, but I am hopeful that we won't walk out the door to find an inch of ice on the roadway.

Or the foot of snow.

I finished one arm on Lester yesterday, and the second is nearly done, since something woke me up at 2am, and I couldn't get back to sleep until about 4am. I'm hoping that I can get back to the process after church, to work on the legs (which are likely similar in construction). Then I get to make booties and bib--finally a different color!

Hubby and I worked on the house for a long while yesterday, too. We got all the dishes done and the kitchen cleaned up, burned the trash, cleaned the bathroom, the sink, the tub and the stool--good grief, he can be a dynamo! In other words, we got a lot accomplished. Now if I could just drive myself, we'd be good to go!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bearly Progress

Not really much to show for it, but I have started the arms.

As I write this, I am really cold. Hubby has not lit a fire for the last two days and nights, and if I couldn't be mad enough at him--now I can add freezing my arse off. In a few days, he starts his new job, and I'll be home alone at night, and will need a fire. I'm sure that I'll have to be the one to make it. Then when he gets home to sleep, he'll have a nice warm house. He's very selfish that way, sometimes.

Today, I have to clean house for a while, then grocery shop. There's truly not much meat in the house--really there is meat, but it's frozen (same as me, not that I'm bitter), and neither of us wants to take the time to thaw it out, cook it and then eat it. And since he's been no help at all in the meal department lately....well, you get my idea.

I don't move well when I'm too hot or too cold. Even now, he's comfortable, and he's snoring behind me. Some days, I'd just like to boot his rump out of bed. I'm exhausted, up drinking coffee at 5am, and he lies there snoring. It's enough to really piss me off.

I've been doing a little reading on my kindle, and have finally gotten going on "The Winter Garden", which is admittedly a book I probably would never read--but a friend suggested it, and so I decided to download it. It was a pretty expensive book ($13), and probably cost that much because it's still in hard cover, but my friend doesn't suggest stupidity, I have to admit that much. This is a really good story about a family whose mother lived through the Stalin era, and then through the war with Germany right in the thick of it, in Leningrad, and how it changed her--how it colored her life and how it was reflected in the way she raised her children. I'm assuming that there's going to be a reunion with family members that were thought lost at the end of the book (such is the predictability of these things, you see), and the surprise and the heartache of at least 5 decades of lost love. A researcher in the history of the time has contacted the mother years ago, and in her fear about finding out the truth of her family and children in Leningrad, she opted not to discuss these things with the researcher, instead to try to focus on the family she has in the here and now.

There's more to come, I'm sure, but that's as far as I've gotten. The three women have decided to take a trip to see the researcher to find out what he knows. Of course, he is in a nursing home, and there is no use trying yet to determine if he's in his right mind, or if he's there simply because he broke a leg or something, but clues point to the idea that he might be senile. Or perhaps he's her "gone to war" husband who never came back, and she didn't want her American husband to know--or whatever have you--there is a lot more to come, since I'm only halfway through the book. Such is the way of this sort of to find out the rest of the story, you will have to read the book yourself.

 Again, the book is Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah, and you can purchase it here...

So I have some crocheting to do on the bear and this book. Right now, all I want to do is crawl back between the covers and try to fall asleep again. Perhaps I will. The coffee is cold now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Phone Received

Well, I got my replacement phone, and I have loaded all my contacts. Things so far are going pretty smooth. Tomorrow, I will try to upload a picture to Picasa from work, and see if the phone will do the job--this happens before I can download my apps--

I chatter a lot with my friend in California, and I'm almost worried that there's something going on with that application. It's either that, or the Horoscope app, both of which I use quite frequently. Verizon is telling me to add one app at a time, see if it makes the phone act up, and if it does, then you know that it's the culprit, and you can't use it anymore.

Well, I'll be really upset if I can't use my apps!

Rut Roh! Where is my freaking calendar! Whew! Found it.

I swear. These phones are really something. They have you by the gonads--and God help you if you overwrite something unintentionally, and then can't get it back. That happened with me and my phone contacts just a couple of days ago. I have no idea how they got overwritten, and there is a "restore back to" however many days, but somehow that didn't work for me (You might know that would be the case.). There are still some phone numbers that I can't replace. Chances are good that some of them I'll never get back.

In the meanwhile, I spent most of the evening teaching double knitting to my friends at Woolgatherer's. These ladies already know how to knit, but DK is a more advanced technique, and so learning it is a bit different, but they are all starting to understand what it's about. I feel pretty good about this, because it means that it's possible for me to teach more advanced "stuff", and that makes me feel really confident as a teacher.

Well, it's nearly 11, and I've not taken any of my medications, so I best get that taken care of, and off to bed for me. Must hang up the telephone and plug it into the wall--all that good stuff. This weekend is a long one-with a holiday on Monday. Oh, that's right! And Hubby has to work Monday! LOL! This is going to be a fun weekend!

Juat About 4 Rows to Go

After I bought a new coat at Burlington Coat Factory--and let me tell you--that was quite a trip. You see, it turns out that as spring gets closer, they start blowing coats out the door to make room for Spring season merchandise. This happens about December. There were exactly 10 coats in my size, and I hated all of them. I finally chose a coat that doesn't cover my rump, and was slightly too tight across the back of my shoulders, and went home after spending over an hour at the store. It was just too much to believe. It is a down coat, but it's black (I hate black coats.), and I'm not sure it's going to keep me warm enough for the rest of the winter, so tonight, after I get out of the office, I'm going to buy another zipper for my brown (old) coat, and try to put it in. Again. It will take me the full day.After the zipper I have Woolgatherer's, where I'm teaching double knitting.

Bear Bottom will be done soon. I had to stop 4 rows short of the butt because the opening is getting so much smaller that the stitches are difficult to make, and the work is hard on my hands.

And Nova came on PBS.

Now Nova has got to be one of my favorite shows next to Nature, and when it is playing, it interests me so much that I can't possibly concentrate on counting, and last night was no exception to that rule.

The first story was about the scientific reason for our creation. They think that they've got the recipe finally to make RNA, but they haven't figured out how the original BIG BANG occurred. Frankly, I figure you have a binary star, the two collide, they explode due to the gasses (can you combine methane and a small iron spark?) and there you have it.

The second episode of Nova was about Flight 447 (big news in 2009), and how they've figured out what must have happened to the airbus to make it crash the way it did.

They were both interesting programs, and I wanted to watch the third, but I was so tired that I went to bed earlier than usual=10pm. Today is Thursday, and it's supposed to be a beautiful day, which I'm looking forward to wearing my new coat to the office. I'm going to freeze my buns off, I just know it.

I'll let you know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bear Progress..

Continued progress on Lester. Working on his bottom now.

Of course, you can't see it because he's sitting on it.
What a character! Lopsided ears, nose out of joint, hair all a-Kimble--
He looks like I feel--like I just woke up.

Have to take the car in to the dealership for a seat belt check today. I got a recall slip in the mail. The appointment is at 8, so why did I wake up at 5:30?

From there, I have to go to Burlington Coat Factory to buy a new coat because my old coat the zipper broke again, and when I sewed in the last zipper, I sewed it in so that it would NEVER come out. You folks who sew will understand what I mean. The zipper kept coming open at the bottom, and then wouldn't unzip. My hands are not what they used to be, and grip simply lacking--finally I tugged it apart and wore it open in the cold.

It was a good thing that it wasn't THAT cold last night, but it was still chilly, and very disappointing that I lost my coat. It's pretty old, and stained, and the fur around the collar was falling out. I told my husband that I needed to go buy a new coat.

"I bought you that coat," he said. "I think you should just put in a new zipper."

To which I replied, "I would do that, except the last zipper I put in, I put in with vengeance,  because I was having so much trouble, down coat and all that! It's been acting up for the last couple of months. Besides, you got new coats PLURAL last year!"

And he responds, "Really, woman. I don't care. Go buy yourself a new coat!"

Permission granted, I guess. And I suppose now is the time to go and buy one because they are trying to blow out the winter stuff now in preparation of spring stuff. So I better get in there and get a good, heavy duty warm one.

There's just one problem. I hate shopping for clothing of any kind. I love shopping for yarn and patterns to knit or crochet. I hate shopping for clothing--and especially coats for some reason. It might have something to do with the fact that I look so frumpy in everything. I seriously need to lose about 70 pounds, and I would love to do so, but I'm (mumble mumble) years old, and I figure that I should be able to enjoy what is left of my life, and I love McDonalds and Pizza!

I'm a goner, I know.

Oh, and somebody tell me how to get my phone book back? I had to reload my cell phone yesterday, and when it came back, all of my contacts were GONE. Phone #'s saved over years were just gone! I've added some new stuff, but the old stuff is GONE! Do you know how frustrated I was when THAT happened?

So now, I have a new phone coming, AND I have no contacts in my cell phone. I can't call ANYBODY, and some people that we call perhaps once a year, are lost forever--at least it feels that way.

So I don't know what to do or how to get them back, so a trip to the Verizon store is in my future. When the new phone comes.

Until then, I have to spend time, talking with people I know, getting phone #'s and birthdays and whatever have you--it's a painful process.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting Through the Hard Times...When It's *ALL* Hard Times...

It's been said that "sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the hydrant".

Sometimes, though, it seems like you're the hydrant all the time. Things just don't seem to go your way EVER. You're down for the count and they're still kicking you. Not only do you know that the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train, both of your legs are broken, you have no arms left, and no neck or chin to help get you off this silly track you're on.

And you just want to cry out "WHY ME?"

These are the times when you think that everyone is against you, that you'll never get ahead and that if you believe in a higher power (AKA God), then you figure either He's not watching or he's curled up in front of His new HD television watching the playoffs on T-Vo and just.not.paying.attention.

Something like your husband might have done....the not.paying.attention. part.

Sometimes, it's all you can do to mentally climb into God's lap and pull on his beard and say "Play with me????!!"

Some nights, you don't sleep, because all these things just seem to pile up and you can't let them go--and even when you try to let them go, they keep jumping back into your arms the second someone's name pops into your head.

Been there, done that. The only advice I can give to folks who have experienced that sort of trauma, is just to keep on keeping on. Like it or not, time does heal most wounds, but doesn't heal them all, and for those, you have to get yourself a little bit of help...whether it be in the form of prayer, a good solid friendship, or therapy...and sometimes all three...and even then, there's no guarantee. Sometimes, it will last so long that it colors your thinking about EVERYTHING.

But rest assured, there is always someone else going through something much worse, that will make your sorrows seem trivial in comparison. As time marches on, your sorrows will seem less and less.

It helps if you have your ovaries removed.

Don't ask me why, but after I had my hysterectomy, I quit crying about a lot of things. I enjoyed life more than I EVER have. I don't feel like I need a man to complete me anymore. Some of this comes with age, but a lot of it is due to not having ovaries anymore. I still need my husband for some things. I mean, who's going to take out the trash and burn it, right?

So now, when I run into people who are going through trials, I tell them all the trite things, and then I tell them what finally cured my emotional "effect" that made me so "ineffective" for so many years.

My hysterectomy.

More on that another day. Must work now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hot Coffee!

I like coffee in the morning. I have lately had a taste for instant--but the caffeine in coffee sets me off to the races, and therefore, I don't drink much of that.

Instead, I drink decaffeinated Folger's Instant, with a dollop of powdered creamer (chocolate flavored) and two packages of Equal--in a large cup.

It's the liquid of the gods--heaven--and I love to drink it. Slowly. Savor every drop. While I put my worries and stresses for the day behind me, so that I can resume the will to carry on and go to work--especially on Monday, this is nearly a requirement.

I made it through the week, and exposed myself to an extreme case of the flu as well as a sinus infection. Yesterday, I had a horrible headache, for which I had taken an aspirin. Instead of getting rid of the headache, it just made me extremely tired, so later, when I got home from church, I took a Zyrtec.

God love Zyrtec. It does the trick when no other medication does the trick. The headache was right smack in between my eyeballs on my forehead and even my nose hurt. I knew it was a sinus headache, even before I took the aspirin. So why didn't I take the Zyrtec first?

Because I'm a simpleton, that's why.

Once I got rid of the headache, I was able to sit down, relax, watch hubby play his XBox while I sat an knit on the Wallaby. I have the pouch more than half done. I'm pretty excited about this.

Also on Sunday, I stopped off at the Grand Traverse Pie Company, and had a sandwich (toasty warmed turkey, cheddar, bacon on wheat bread, chips and a pickle), and sat down with a new group of knitters intent on knitting only to find out that I didn't bring the tools to do so. I hate it when that happens. But I did manage to buy some Girl Scout cookies, and chatter and make some new friends, most of which were top notch knitters and knitting teachers. A pretty good group, but probably a few too many to be able to chatter with all of them at one time. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of a single new person--I do remember the names of my friends who invited me....but no one else.

And then I came home and worked on the wallaby. It's coming along, but no pics because I have to get going for work. You know, sometimes, I wish that I could become more like the Yarn Harlot, and write books and patterns and make enough money to support myself.

Are there any publishers out there???

I am reminded of the woman who blogs about knitting and sailing. She has sailed all over the ocean--gone on adventures that I'll never see except in my imagination, and I wonder to myself, silently, (since hubby is still sort of asleep--or trying to be--with all my click, click, clack on the keyboard), whether she might write a book someday about her adventures on the high seas. Or the blogger who takes magnificent photographs while riding a bicycle through the mountains with her husband. Or Muriel of Murmurrs blog who satirizes all things political (and sometimes non-political). I wonder, again silently, if there's a book inside of me.

What would I write about? I certainly don't know enough about one subject (except my own life, and that's pretty sketchy) to write a whole book. I will have to think on this.

In the meanwhile, there is a woman at church who has 3 or 4 children, who recently lost her husband and is having all manner of difficulty. She didn't want to cry at church, apparently, to keep from upsetting the children, wanting to be strong for them. I didn't know her from Eve, but I gave her a big hug anyway, because it looked like she needed one pretty bad. All I could tell her at the time was that "when it rains, it pours, but even then, there is blessing in the rain".


Where did THAT come from?

I mean, let's face it. I am NOT that deep. Get me some coffee, and I can wax philosophical all day on a subject, but this came from someplace else. I walked away from the encounter thinking about my journey through life without my second husband. I remembered long ago, learning that God hears even when all you can do is cry out in anguish. He hears those words before you ever lay a voice to them. Before you hear them in your heart. Heaven's sake, why didn't I tell her THAT? And then I cried (just a little, and mostly for her situation). Then I stopped, and it was done. Just like that.

I hope that it helped her some.

Imagine that? All that from a cup of coffee, which is gone now, and it's time for me to get to the office.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why Do Men *DO* That?

Things like leaving the alarm on through the weekend?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert


I took "Lester" the bear head, with me to JoAnn's to demo. It turns out that today is their open house, and so there were a lot of customers.

The first thing I managed to do is to sew Lester's ears onto the head. Then I noted that his nose is crooked. Oh well, I suppose it gives him "character". Then I started to crochet the body.

People started flocking around, and pretty soon, I had quite a little group there in the store. Before long, a few other teachers showed up, and the group around me dispersed.

Progress? Not a whole lot, but at least he looks like a bear now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

This is Just too Cute!

From this blog
I'm going to cast on tonight! I have all the yarn.

Can go no Further.

I don't have my sewing needle. I don't have the ears. I don't have the stuffing.

I just ran out the door without all those things--but I did get the eyes and the nose put together, and I managed to mock up the head. So now, as I crochet, I have something looking back at me!

I'll have to wait until I get home to stuff the nose and sew it on, then stuff the head, then continue with the body.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Friday Once Again...

Today, I blog for no reason. I'm simply glad that it's Friday and that at the end of the work-a-day, I can come home and relax for about 56 hours, doing whatever my mind tells me to do.

This is a good thing. My brain needs the rest sometimes, and I know that I'm about to get slammed with work at the office. It's strange, but when I was younger, and the boss offered overtime, I'd snap it up like a thirsty man in a desert! Now, I value my AWAY time FAR MORE, and I generally turn down overtime.

My husband doesn't understand this. He doesn't understand that I would sooner teach a class at JoAnn's for FAR less money and get some satisfaction from getting a job well done, than to work overtime, where I'd make 300% more,

Like I said, he doesn't get it. The sort of work that I do there, while quite important, is stupid enough that a monkey could do it--a monkey with no training. The boss has taken all the stuff that nobody else wants to do, and plopped it on my desk--and I've done it--for years and years and years (get the picture?) to the point where it's just not challenging me or my skills, nor is it building new skills. I'm bored to tears there. This is the main reason why I tell people

"The DAY that I can take retirement, I'll be gone. There will be nothing that could hold me back."

Well, except maybe a challenge or better work or better pay--anything! But at this point, my brain has just basically shut down and said "Why even care anymore." I almost want to cry about it. If I didn't have to worry about my future, I would quit and look for something that would challenge me, but I don't rightly know what that might be, beyond going back to school and getting my Associates Degree and then going...WHERE?

See, I've been stuck in this "going nowhere" job for so long that it's stunted my brain! I no longer have the "go get 'em" attitude. I've lost the "I can do ANYTHING" bravado. I think it happened somewhere along the way when I found out that I couldn't clean the house like a white tornado anymore. I feel tired. Used up. (Not quite) Dead inside.

It's not depression. I know that I've had a hand in doing some really spectacular things for children all across the country! That's saying something! I just don't "feel the love" anymore when people call me everyday and demand to know exactly where that monthly check is. I'm to the point now, where I almost want to retort

"How the f*** should I know? Do I LOOK like the postman?"

I get more satisfaction out of teaching somebody how to knit or crochet. I get the biggest smile when the student finally "gets it" and strives forward confidently! Especially after having worked so hard to make their hands do something that they've never done before, and all of a sudden, it's like everything just sort of falls into place, and the fingers start playing music. It's really something to see them smile, knowing that they've got the basics down and now they can go on to bigger and better things after practicing.

I'm sure that after years of doing that, I would likely get bored with it as well, especially with the "I don't care about school" mentality with kids these days. Yet, sometimes, you run into this exceptional student that just makes you remember why you became a teacher in the first place. I suppose that would be the only saving grace of the whole attempt.

Well, it's time to get going. I have to tell people where the checks are. Bye.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Progress Again

Well, I worked hard at it, but I still have a few more rows before I can start the pocket on the the bag to keep prying kitty cat paws out of trouble. Speaking of kitty cat--he's calling for me..looking for me.

The Bear Head is done. I have to attach ears and nose, after I put on the button nose and the eyes, and then I can stuff and continue with the body. The head is nearly 6" across at it's widest point. This bear will be about 18" tall.

But that's about it for today. Tomorrow is Friday. I'll get the button on the nose and perhaps the eyes on the head--maybe I'll sew it all together so I have a face to look at--that would be fun. Right now, it's looks like a fuzzy Christmas tree ball.

Progress on Bear...

Before I talk about the bear, you should know that I did work a little on Wallaby last night, and I am past the ribbing and into the body. I stopped off at Sticks N Strings for a short bit and worked on bear. He went from this:

to this:

I am at the decreases now for the head. Soon, I'll be attaching the nose and ears and stuffing the head. Time to make a trip to Hobby Lobby!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wonderful Wallaby

Here it is, short and sweet.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Progress on Bear

I'm about 2 loopy rows from decreasing the head. It's going pretty quickly.

There is, however, some concern that I'll run out of the yarn, so I'm trying to get things going. Even so, tonight I plan to start knitting a wonderful Wallaby for myself. It's been a while since I knit a sweater, and I'd like a Wallaby, so there you have it.

Tomorrow, I'll show you the progress on the Wallaby. I am only 2 point something inches of ribbing, so there's not much to see yet. I'll work on it a little bit more tomorrow night. Hopefully, I'll have the ribbing done and begun on the body--there will also be an update on the bear--as I left that project at the office--so I have something to do at the office and I don't have to carry it back and forth from the car.

It will make life much easier.

On the way home tonight, while driving on I-96 back home from Lake O, just west of Portland, I saw a streak of bright white light flash down from the top of my windshield to about 1/4th the way up from the bottom of my windshield, and then suddenly fizzle right out. White light, though. Not orange or yellow--white light. Too close to be a falling star, and wrong color for any meteor going that slowly. I suppose it could have been somebody shooting off a last firework left over from the 4th of July. Until I know more, it will remain a UFO!

Finding the Center of a Skein of Yarn

As a teacher of knitting and crochet, many people have asked me this, and I've always used the expression

"Reach in like you were a gynocologist, and YANK THAT BABY OUTTA THERE!"

Graphic, but it gets the point across. The trouble was that some were very successful (very little afterbirth), others? Well, they pulled the baby out, with yards and yards of yarn left sitting in a pile while they continued to try to locate the end to the yarn ball.

Others have said, "If you can't find the end in the center, use the outer end."

My disagreement with this lies in the fact that when you pull on a string, the rest of the ball should do just that. REST. Not roll around on the floor or in a basket, gathering dust bunnies, cat hair, dog hair, people hair, last night's pizza crumbs...maybe I should stop there, lest you think I'm a horrible housekeeper...

But someone on a sock list came up with a quote, and I saved it to my email client, and I thought I would share it here, so that I will never lose it--even if I change computers...So here goes:

"I have a little tool in my zippered clear pouch that I use to extract the
"beginning" tail of the skein of yarn. Here is what I do:
1. I stick my index finger into the center and turn my finger
"clockwise" to open the hole, then
2. I add my thumb to help keep the hole open, then
3. I take my little tool called a "baby bottle nipple" brush and
insert it between my thumb and index finger in the hole, then
4. I release my fingers, turn the nipple brush half way one way, half
way the other way, then turn it full circle, then
5. pull it out and you should have the beginning of the skein ... not
always, but most of the time
This technique, ©Using the Baby Bottle Nipple Brush to Extract the
Beginning of a Skein of Yarn is a copyrighted idea by AlexSandy Thompson"

I think I will go right out and buy this little tool this evening after work, and I will start using it (just to make sure it works), then I will incorporate the idea into my classes for Knit and Crochet 101. I think it's a fabulous idea, and I can't wait to try it.

Tonight I start on my Wonderful Wallaby, so I have to pack accordingly for the car, then I can head to Lake O's shop (decided against the shop in Lansing until I'm sure who attends there), and knit my brains out.

So if I come home a mindless heap, you'll know why.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Progress on Project...

I managed to get a few rows in this evening, but for whatever reason, I was too stressed out to do much--this is the top of the head of the Pacifier Bear, pictured in the margin to the right--a project that has been on my "todo" list for a long while. The last couple of pics were the ears and the nose. For whatever reason, Yahoo and Google and Picasa don't seem to work together really well, and so the upload took a long time to get over to Picasa, where yesterday's pics took no time at all.

Guess I don't understand computers all that well, huh?

I Wonder...

I wonder how this scarf will look with the Fisherman's wool I bought?

Well, I got the book over at Amazon, because the book was $10 more at Interweave. I got the EZ Almanac as well, for a few dollars and ended up with Super Saver Shipping.

I think this scarf will look good in Fisherman's Wool. I like that it's two colored, too. I can play a little. I think I'll dye the Marled Fisherman's Wool (well, overdye, actually), perhaps a medium blue--so that I can take advantage of the dark brown places which should make a tweed-y sort of effect.

For now, though, I believe that I will head over to my knitting chair and crochet for a little while.

Clue 2

Can u guess?

What Could it BE?

Did you Watch the Game?

People everywhere are asking that question. Usually, my answer is "ah, no...not so interested in football..."

But this year, for some reason, I wanted to watch it. So I did. Was I ever glad!

Today has been just "abuzz" about football, and the disappointing loss by the Steelers--and just because I usually cheer for the underdog, I cheered for the Packers--Steelers have had the trophy for a lot of years, and frankly, they were due for a whoopin'.

It was a good game. The Steelers would probably have done better to just hand the ball over (which they did THREE TIMES, if you didn't watch), and then smile while they handed over the trophy as well. The Steelers lost to themselves--even with the injuries to the Packer team--

Now this is not to say the Steelers didn't have their moments. I think it was the top of the Third Quarter where they brightened up a little...but alas! It wasn't enough brightening for the Steelers.

The commercials and the half time show were mostly disappointing--The "Peas" basically played all the same old stuff--nothing new, with lots of problems with the sound mixer, who should be fired. I think there was one commercial that was really built up a few days before the game--a "Western" theme for Budweiser--as being a real cool (and expensive) thing. Well, my opinion was that yes, it started out cool, but it ended pretty stupid. I did like the commercial with the car in it, and the guys in the background are creating the scenario, and all of a sudden, the driver becomes a teacher, and she's just fantasizing behind the wheel about all the great stuff the car can do, and the guys say "Oh, yeah, didn't see that comin'"... I don't know, the commercials were pretty lame this year.

And the commercials were the main reason I was watching the game in the first place. Turns out, the game was more fun.

And that was my SuperBowl Sunday Review.

After the game was the Post Game stuff, then Glee came on. I really wanted to watch Glee, but couldn't keep my eyes open. So I gave in to my dreams and fell asleep.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Down...

Church ended and the fun began, while we all partook of the Pot Luck lunch. Yummy food lay EVERYWHERE. I stayed, and brought a plate back for my hubby when everyone else had had their fill.

When I arrived home, I fed hubby, took the Netflick to the mailbox and lifted the red flag to tell the mail carrier that we were sending something out (happens so rarely that it's almost a joke). And then I returned to warm household, finished up the last few dishes and sat down and finished one--but only one--of my mitts.

It's not the best of repair jobs, since I couldn't remember what size needle I used to make the mitts at all (I expect a size 5 would have been just fine, and this is a fine time to remind me that I should be keeping up with my knitting journal-HUSH!)--I used a size 3, and the stitches are tighter. This could turn out to be a blessing, since tighter weaves don't wear out as quickly. I'm setting the other mitt to the side for now. Lord knows, I wouldn't want to overdo. The pic is taking forever to load to Picasa, so I'm sort of "filling up time" waiting for it to load so that I can post it here. I wouldn't want YOU to miss all the fun.

So while I wait, I've been checking out the offerings on Ravelry using that Fisherman's Wool, and I've found a couple of possibilities.

The first is this goofy pillow from Lion Brand Yarn's Website:

Free Pattern that I picked up and looked at. Although the Herringbone pillow is also being considered....
Scratch the goofy pillow. I'm not fond of the construction. It requires miles and miles of I-cord, which I detest. Checking out the Herringbone pillow...

I have a knit pillow. I don't use it. It's sitting on a chair in the living room, the chair being upside down because we don't want the cats to lay on the cushions (I have to make covers that can be removed for washing before we can have the chairs in upright positions.), hence, the pillow is collecting dust and cat hair ANYWAY, and isn't being used. It's not that it isn't a nice pillow--it's just that neither of us props up our arms on the chair--I use the arms of my chair for that. There's no room for a pillow in my chair. And since I (okay, maybe this is too much information for you) almost NEVER make the bed until I'm ready to sleep in it, sitting pillows on the bed is sort of a joke.

The second is this really cute hat from KnitPicks

The temptation is really strong for the hat, but I would need to buy more materials for it--Lord knows I don't need to buy more yarn! I like the braid at the bottom of the hat, and the fact that there are cats on it (and I love my kitties), but I really don't need more hats. I have 4 hats now, and lots of yarn to make MANY MANY MORE, plus enough yarn for a FEW THOUSAND HATS for charity. So, I'm not really keen on another hat--besides which, I don't look good in hats--not even hats with cats...Enter Dr. Seuss...

So, back to square one. No idea what I'm going to do with this yarn. None. I suppose I could dye it and make something really weird.

You see? The design/what am I going to do next process is really enough to b****slap you right into a quandary.

Perhaps I'll just go back to my chair and re-knit the other mitten.

Long Night...

Last night was a long night. Hubby snored all night long. I know I slept, because there were times when I didn't actually "hear" him snoring, but when I was roused from slumber, there he lay, snoring.

I'm exhausted.

In the meanwhile, I found out some things at JoAnn's yesterday, that I want to share with you.

Firstly, as more local folks have known for a while, Threadbear, the yarn store is no longer in business, and there are people who are very divided about loving/hating the men who operated the store--I won't go into it any further than to say that a fair number of suppliers, employees and other obligations went unpaid, and no one seems to know where the money went.

Secondly, a couple of employees got together, called the suppliers (plus a few new ones) and opened a store--a much smaller, quainter store in Old Town, across the street from Elderly Instruments.

Apparently, this group meets for a Wednesday night knit in, a Friday night knit in, and then on Sundays, some of the group, plus a few others meets at various places around town--which gives a little flexibility in where I could go to knit night, rather than having to drive every week in inclement weather, to Lake Odessa.

This is good in some ways, not so good in others.

Firstly, no idea who attends these particular "groups", and I care not to run into some of the people who have hurt my friends from my Monday night knitting group--so I have to tread lightly there.

Secondly, I don't want to abandon my friends at the Lake O group. The store owner needs to keep her store afloat, too.

Thirdly, I can't support five stores on my own...considering I already spend a fair amount of change at JoAnn's!

So I am waiting for my friend to get back with me on the "attendees" at the more local store--which has apparently been open since November (and no one ever told me!). We shall see. More later on that front.

As a segue, and not a lot of a segue, I found THIS in my mittens--

Now this is not a horrible problem--and is much easier to fix than, say, a hole in the heel of your sock--my plan is to cut off the thumb, add a lifeline, tink back to the bottom of the hole, re-insert my needles and start knitting again. I bought some yarn to do this yesterday.

As you can see, it's the same color, same yarn and everything. I was lucky to score this, what with dye lots and such, and I might still come up with a dye line, but they are my favorite mitts! I thought I might also take apart the tiny amount of crochet at the cuff, and add on a better/longer cuff, but this is as yet undecided. I will make do.

I also bought yarn to make a fuzzier pair of mittens--more on that after I bring the dog inside and feed her.

This is the yarn I purchased to make a new, fuzzier pair of mittens...I figure that they will end up looking like a dusting glove--but you know, who dusts these days? I wanted mohair and wool, so I got mohair and wool. I think this will work in some cool ways together.

Lastly, my purchase from Sticks and String, the ladies who opened when Threadbear closed. I spent a little more here than I wanted to, mostly because I wanted to show my support of their endeavor, and mostly because I felt badly that their last two payroll checks bounce into oblivion.

This is some GORGEOUS stuff, somewhere between sock and laceweight. My plan is to use both for a nice cowl by ArtYarns--

I think it looks like feathers, so I purchased yarn that made me think of peacocks. I'm hoping for a bright noose for my neck. I could have bought a tie and spent less, I think. But my heart was in the right place.

Between church, reknitting my mittens, knitting a fuzzier pair and this cowl, I think I have my work cut out for me--this is not even counting the shawl, the Wallaby and other items that I'm dying to get started on, and still have Rhiannon...dear Lord. I forgot about Rhiannon. Still languishing in the WIP pile. I've considered ripping it all out and restarting with the newer pattern so that I can get the cables to match up, but I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and just finish it where ever it manages to finish. I'm a lot hurt by this. They changed the pattern in the middle of the boat while I was thinking that I was going ahead full steam, and I haven't gone back there to so much as show my face, that I'm still thinking about Rhiannon. I hate to continue only to find that it won't end where I want it to end, and therefore have to rip out, but I have to try. I have something like 72 more rows to go. Perhaps I will pick it up later this evening to work on it.

Beyond that, I purchased two skeins of Fisherman's Wool (no pics, since I don't care for the colors) for a knitting class at JoAnn's. I got a little way into the scarf, and decided that I didn't want just a plain, old ordinary garter stitch scarf, so I added a cable (an 8 row cable, since I was working two strands at once). I don't care enough about this type of project to continue, so I'm going to rip it out and use the yarn for something different, but I have no idea what I will make this scratchy wool into! I'll check into Ravelry for some ideas. I don't want to waste the yarn, since it's $10 a skein, and I have 16 ounces of it, but it's so scratchy, there's no way on this earth that I would knit something out of it that will sit next to my skin. And after knitting, when wet, it smells like a sheep barn that hasn't been mucked for many weeks. Believe me, I know what that smells like. So the stuff needs to be gently washed in some water with lavender or eucalyptus to get rid of the smell. I've already made a scarf out of this stuff, and I don't need another scarf this winter (and so now I'm asking myself why I need a cowl...) since I have 5 or six of them already, but there you go. Beyond that, I haven't a clue what to make--I don't have enough to make a sweater, and probably not enough to make a shrug--but the material does make nice cables--so I will check out Ravelry for other projects. Maybe it will become a new fishing net? Some boot toppers for my husband? Something felted? I will need to look into it.

Beyond that, today is church, and I purchased an NIV study bible for my Nook. I will take that with me to church. The Bible itself is a tad big and heavy. I like the smaller size of the Nook. I finally figured out how to make a bookmark that I can come back to (which I marked the table of contents so that I can find the old/new testaments, and the books of the Bible REALLY QUICK, because the minister doesn't wait but a couple seconds for you to find stuff in your good book.). Last time I went to church (yes, I missed last week--hush!) I was totally lost, and almost didn't make it to the reading in time. I'm prepared this time, except that I didn't plug it in last night, and now I'm worried there may be no battery left...must check that.

 Whew, glad I did--I was down to 25% power! Plugging in that puppy!

Let's see, beyond all of that, I have some dishes to do before I can make breakfast, so it's time to empty out the dishwasher and get a sink full of hot water going for these pots and pans. I'll be busy for the next few hours, so until next time--

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Earlier every day. Spring is on the way.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Friday, February 4, 2011

Because It's Cold

It's chilly in the office some days, so imade some wrist warmers.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

Thursday, February 3, 2011

She's a Conehead!

Accidents happen...just a bit too tall.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

We Finally Made It

We finally were able to get out of our own driveway and onto the roadway about 4pm yesterday.

And it's a good thing too, because we ran our of gas for the snow blower in the middle of the job.

The roads were passable, but that's about all they were--you had to make a 90 degree turn to get onto the main road, which was pretty tricky if there was traffic coming, but the fates were with us, and we managed to get to the station in one piece, without driving straight into the ditch.

I stayed home and knit and crocheted all day. I finished several things--two baby hats, a puffy scarf and another scarf, now working on another hat to match the crocheted scarf. I can't get out of this "winter wear" mode--probably because I'm so durn cold. Today, it's only 7 degrees out, and it may as well be 0, since you can't even feel those 7 degrees.

Still, must go start, start, start the car, warm it up and get on the road to go to work.

I swear. I will so enjoy retirement.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Charity Hats

For the babies at Sparrow Hospital.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

A Pretty Blue One

Red Heart Pompadoodle on size 7- two stitches between the poms.

Tenna Draper
Ravelry id-drapert

If a Snowflake Falls in the Woods?

Well, never mind that. It snowed all night and didn't make a pee, but the wind howled all night. I slept like a baby, knowing well and good that there was no way I was going out into the next day.. When I woke this morning, there was a 4' drift in front of my door and a 2' drift all around my car.

I walked down our road a bit--just enough to tire me out--I took my dog Mandy with me to "mush! mush!" through the snow, since there was only one track made by a large truck--which was quickly filling in.

"It's so deep out here, Mandy," says I, "that you can't even squat!"

And it's true--she did not complete her morning constitution--which concerns me, and means I'll have to watch her closely all day in the house.

No rest for the wicked.

I did call in to the office. The idiot employer didn't close state offices, even though it's likely that no one showed up--or those that did have snow plows for their "other car".

So I have a snow day, and I plan to use it to knit baby hats for charity.

And I might begin my Wonderful Wallaby. It seems like a good day to do it.--all snowy, cold and blustery.

If you didn't know by now, this storm has so far dropped about 10" of snow on our ground, which is blowing everywhere, but mostly sideways. They don't expect it to stop until sometime after 11 am,  I think I'll just sit here by the fire and hibernate until the snow plow comes by in two or three days.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Coming!

Horror of horrors!

I've been watching this storm come. They are still telling us "snow". This morning, they said it would begin at 5pm, later, they said 7pm...I've been watching the dopplar radar, and the storm looks like it's weakening, rather than gaining momentum, and yet, the weatherman is adding to the accumulation extra inches every time I check.

The wind may blow and blow, and tie up the roads if we get even just a little bit of snow, but it's almost 6pm here, and I've not seen a single flake fall from the sky.

I tried to catch my husband before he went out into the weather--to tell him that there were school closings all over the place, so CALL before you go in, or you might end up snowed out! I was too late to catch him, and now he's out in the wind (which is all it's been so far), but it's enough to wipe you right off the road should you get caught by a small drift!

I really wish I'd called earlier, but I didn't think he would leave quite so early. I also found his school book on the table that was just received today from Fed Ex. I doubt there will be deliveries tomorrow--that is, **IF** it snows any amount.

I bought into the hype, watching the dopplar. I stopped at Kroger's and got a smoked ham, some cheese, some bread, chips, dip and bananas. Easy stuff to eat, in case we lose our electricity/heat.

The storm is coming--I can see the clouds changing--it's much darker in the southwest than it was coming home at 5pm. I'm getting emails from Australia stating that they are going offline due to a cyclone. I suppose it's getting pretty hairy everywhere, eh?

The wind, too, is dying down a little--noted--as the calm, before the storm. If it's bad enough, it's possible we could get some thundersnow--something I'd never witnessed until last year. And, then too, the wind could cause the storm to pass over much faster than expected and drop it's load all over the northeast--even so, if it snows even 5", the drifts would easily be twice that--impossible to navigate.

I'm not going to Tuesday knit night. I'm willing to bet that it's called off. I want to stay home, safe and sound. Let the snow come. Just make sure I have my fire and my food and water, and I'll be fine.