Thursday, March 31, 2011

Prepare the Heel Turn!

Sort of like "Prepare ye the way of the Lord..." Okay maybe not, but it sounded good at the time.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beaded Leaf Lace Hat

Finally got all the beads sewn on!

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Head is finished-as far as the crocheting goes-but the eyes, ears, nose etc are not there, so I feel like I'm looking at this big, blank, loopy ball. It's sort of weird. It really is nice once you get the face put together, and usually, I like having those eyes stare back at me, but this time, TIME is quite the essence, and therefore, I'm going to crochet the whole bear first, then add the face, stuff and close. I'm 10 rows into the body at present. There will be no work on Monica this evening, because I'm teaching a knitting class.

I'm trying to decide if I want to apply for the job that my current boss is vacating, but I think I'll be happier just being a teacher. Besides which, it will take away all my teaching time, all my free time with my husband and my pets. I don't think it's a really good tradeoff. Especially when one of the other managers tells me that the position is only for 12 hours a week. I don't know. That doesn't seem right, since my boss was working 24 a week, and she couldn't get it all done. I feel bad that she's leaving. I even offered to take her to lunch, but she'll be going home for lunch, fixing for her mom, which was something I hadn't thought of--and felt pretty stupid for having not thought of it. I'll treat her to Red Lobster lunch anytime next week, just to bring her up to date on the happenings.

I'm being told that today is not a good day for me to make promises that I don't/can't keep--so I'll be entirely non-commital all day. Everyone will love that, because they all expect me to be such a do-er--a "git er done" gal. The one you go to when you have a question.

Well, off to the races.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Morning...


Good morning, all. Just woke up. Sinuses are dry and inflamed--how does that happen? I'm hydrating, hoping that the inflammation will settle down. After I eat breakfast, I plan to take a Zyrtec. But right at this moment--misery. It's early yet--

I'm trying to decide if I want to get dressed and head to church. I've not been in a couple of weeks, and I rather miss it. On the other hand, I have to get cracking on Monica--without a bear to show at JoAnn's when I demo, it will seriously compromise my ability to garner more students for my bear class.

Which brings me to JoAnn's itself and my manager (who is leaving employment--so sad). Recently, her mother came to live with her (from Florida) due to the death of her father. She didn't realize how much her father was doing for her mother, and when she arrived to assist with the funeral--well, let's just say that decisions were made quickly and now her mother is up here in Michigan (lots colder here than in Florida right now), living in her house.

Not that this is a bad thing, but change can stress you out. Further stress on the job that isn't required isn't necessary, either. And so she has resigned her position. Personally, I find this to be terrible news. I really liked this person. She is enthusiastic, smiles all the time, loved her job (until corporate rather ruined it for her), and treated everyone like they were her special friend (including me). Her position gave her the chance to "get out and be with people", and she exudes "people person" to the nth degree. She made work seem less like work, and more of a team experience--with a lot of creative background to make it a fun and happy place to get stuff done and make the customer happy.

I know where she lives, and I can come and visit (the offer has been extended, naturally), but it's never the same, as I'm sure you're aware. She lives just down the street from where I work, too, so it's possible that I could lunch with her at times. I'll miss her terribly, and fear that the new boss will be too strict (they've already insisted on a background check, which I feel is quite unnecessary) , which will ruin the experience (which for the last two years has been a very happy coexistence) for me.

But I'm left with wondering how I can help with this. I'm not nearly the people person that she is. Next to her, I'm a hermit. No way that I could ever fill her shoes. In some ways, I'd like to try, but I know that the big boss would never go along with it. I'm a good "do-er" with leadership capabilities. My biggest drawback is that I sometimes think that I'm such a good "do-er" that I can do it better than anyone else. People get angry when I try to extend helpful hints--meant to make their day a little easier--and respond to me in negative ways that I detest. I end up trying to do everything and still keep my sanity. It never works. I end up unemployed. Never a good position, that.

Wednesday is her last day of employment. I want to go to her "last day" party, but don't even know at this point if she's going to have one! I will have to call and ask some of the staff. I do imagine that there will be one, because she was much loved by the rest of the employees and the customers. She is a GREAT loss to the store, and even the other managers can't believe that she's leaving.

Of course, as they say, when God closes a door, he opens a window. There is every possibility that she may go elsewhere to re-discover her connection to the general public, and begin working for a different store--doing the same type of work. If that occurs, I may just quit JoAnn's myself and head where ever she goes (let's say Michael's or some such). You never know. She might stay home and take care of her mother, too, which I believe would allot her great blessing, too.

All this, while thinking about what to make for breakfast.

Monday, I work a half day. After that, I drop the car off for repair, take a loaner to my girlfriend's house to work on Monica, and then I suppose that the sky's the limit. I am about 9 rows into the head on Monica. She's "crowning". It's rather slow going right now, because I'm experiencing not a little grief over my friend's resignation, and wonder if corporate is going to walk in and tear up the whole place, put in new managers that no one likes, and end up like the store on the west end of town--too much old stock that will not sell, employees who don't care, and filthy floors. I would sooner work out of my home than for the JoAnn's on the west side of town!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lester's Twin Sister...

Mother is experiencing labor pains again..but Monica (since they are fraternal twins) is being rather stubborn, and doesn't want to see the world just yet. Even so, she's poked out a nose and both ears--then tucked right back inside.

This one might take some time birthing.

Lester, on the other hand, having been viewed by the whole world at JoAnn's has found himself a nice new home with another teacher's grandchild coming in a couple of weeks! How exciting for Lester! The adventures he is sure to have! Maybe he will share some of the adventures with us, maybe not. Time will tell.

In the meanwhile, here comes another contraction!


Well, sorry, everybody. Looks like this labor thing might take a while....

Let's Not Even Discuss It

Overtime was offered for today (Saturday), and I accepted, on the grounds that I was allowed to do a certain job--which I detest almost as much as filing, and that's sending those files to our records center.

It took the boss all day to decide, and at 4:15pm (a full 15 minutes after I was supposed to leave for home, she finally gave me her answer, which was yes.

And I got into the elevator and said "damn" under my breath.

I don't care much for overtime. I don't really *need* overtime. The extra money is nice, but I don't have children anymore (and that was when I would really have liked it). I am old and crotchety, and grumpy when I don't get my weekend catchup rest from the workweek. Frankly, I figure that I should leave working overtime to the younger set. But for some reason, I decided to accept it this time--maybe it's because all that records center stuff was piling up, and I really don't want my boss to get into trouble with the fire marshall. I mean, files are piled up in boxes against the window. It's going to take me weeks (not hours) to get all those down from the window and into records center boxes to head out for proper storage.

But a few hours will put a little dent in it, and maybe next week, I'll get more overtime to do the rest. Well, that's not good.

After that, my plan is to head to JoAnn's to do some demos- This is of course, as long as I'm not exhausted. I'm hoping to finish sewing on the beads on my hat. I've also considered taking a cord and making a drawstring, lining the bag and using it for a sock project bag. I thought it would look pretty spiffy with all those beads on it.

My mother called me from my son's cellular phone yesterday. It didn't sound like her. At first, I thought it was a crank call. She wanted to tell me that she's going to have to have some eye surgery, and would I take her. To which I said yes. From there, we can go over to the Hobby Lobby, which I haven't been to in a long while. Then home. I've only got half a day on Monday, which means that I'm pretty set for the next week for being short time, and the way the government has screwed the union workers, I won't get paid overtime at all for Saturday anyway. The man is really tricky that way.

Which brings me to my dreams last night--screwball dreams.I dreamed that we finished the garage and turned it into another room for the house--then the neighbor came over and mowed part of our lawn (not very nice of him--because the grass was pretty tall--and he only wanted to finish filling his "bagger" for the compost pile). Which of course, revealed all the junk in the yard, so there was that to clean up. Then, when I went to the barn to look at the livestock (which I don't have anymore), I found 20 bunnies, digging into the ground, one of them so deep that they'd died inside the hole! It seemed to be pretty weird, all these bunnies digging holes like that. Each with their own little hole. One was close to death, but perked up once I pulled him out. One was dead, and the others were fine. I filled the holes with water in hopes that they would fill up with mud and discourage the bunnies from continuing to dig. Then I woke up. It was strange, I tell you!

Well, must let the dog inside, shower to get ready for work. I need to dress warmly, because it will be cold outside and in--I'll stay busy, don't worry, I won't freeze (at least not too hard).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Finished Block

Another scrappy block for the afghan.

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Hat Update pic

Another row done. Its pretty tedious, but the enresult looks spectacular!

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Leaf lace hat

Just showing u the start of the beadwork.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bullion Stitch in Crochet

I'm making another block with JoAnn's crochet block pattern. I crocheted the first block using the pattern, and the second block, I crocheted using bullion stitch. I think I like the bullion stitch, because it uses less yarn, and the "look" and "feel" are very similar.

You can probably see the texture on this block, which I feel is more pronounced than the first block I made using a 5 in 1 popcorn type stitch on the first block, which kept slipping to the back of the block. This one, the bullion stitch stays on the top. I thought it worked really well.

Nothing on television tonight, so I'm getting some small projects finished.

The wind and rain howled all night last night. The rain turned to ice, and it's really cold and wet today. We were expecting some snow, but I think it missed us. Even so, the trees are coated with a clear sheeting, and if the sun would just shine, everything would sparkle like diamonds. Our lights died twice during the night last night, and I'm hoping that we are able to keep our electric going tonight--as there is a promise of temperatures not reaching 40F, which is really quite cold for this time of year.

So I'm looking forward to finishing up the block, and maybe getting to the leaf lace hat--all I need to do there is add the beadwork. I would have worked on it today, but I didn't get to work until late (due to icy roads) and because I forgot the beading needle AND the thread. I guess my mind just left itself at home in bed. Work was very slow, and a fair number of people stayed home for the day.

Well, that's all for now...I'll append a picture to this post in a little bit, as I have perhaps 3 more rows to go and I'll be done.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


It's lunchtime, and I was thinking about sitting in the breakroom and unravelling the checkers hat, because I don't like the way the decreases have been pulling the stitches apart, revealing the inner parts of the hat.

I have a lifeline in down to where I want to stop unravelling, and when finished, I'll try to work out some other way to decrease the hat so that it doesn't pull so much. Perhaps I need to get out the original pattern from when I learned to DK, but I don't think it will be necessary.

Progress on Checkers, and world affairs...

I began the decreases for the crown last weekend. Then end result was horrible, so I put in a lifeline back to the point where I was still pleased with the outcome last night, and will rip out until I'm happy again.

Such is the life of knitwear. I have to figure out how to do the decreases while still  maintaining a good looking hat. Perhaps I will consult with Alasdair Post?

In the meantime, I'm working hard at the office, trying to catch up again from a 3-day weekend. By the middle of today, I should be all caught up again, so I am not worried. I was up and awake much too late last night, so I am seriously tired, and after having been feeling ill for a couple of days, I think I probably look frightful--something akin to the Abominable Snowman and Big Foot. I did shower, so the smell is considerably less, but the "look" is just as horrifying.

Getting old sucks. Don't let anybody fool you into thinking it's better than the alternative, which is abject and outright death, but with everything going on in the world today, I'm almost thinking death might be preferable. Any one of these curmudgeons from the Middle East could be Obama's "last straw". Did anybody notice that he was filmed on the phone in a room where blue sheets had been stapled to the walls so as not to divulge exactly "where" the man truly is? For all you know, he could be in Libya filming his little heart out. I really wonder if people really saw that for what it was. It was straight out of a book I read once, where a killer had his hostage tied to a chair in a room covered in white sheets, that just happened to be the hostage's husband's old house! The book was pretty scary, then. And I'm not big on government subterfuge, but there's a reason why the blue sheets were on the wall. Obama doesn't want Quadafi (and yes, I know I've spelled his name a dozen different ways from here to Sunday, just on this blog) to know precisely where our president really is.

And I tell you, that I am hard pressed to believe that he's in some cushy time share in a tropical island. Obama is going after the Libyan leader, and won't stop until Quadhafi resigns. The third leader who is unseated, is unseated with much war and fighting, because he doesn't want to leave his cushy job where he steals from the poor to line his coffers in gold and send his large family (who, by the way also look like psychopaths-even the women!) on hunting safaris in the heart of Africa. Ah, to be rich and dastardly! . As they say: Power Corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

You can't tell that I've been watching the news on cnn, can you?

Not only this, but now more smoke is coming out of Reactor 2 and 3 in Japan, and the problems there are escalating again. The USS Washington has moved off to another section of ocean to steer clear of the radiation clouds. Like I said, a done deal. It's over. Get out. If you have family in the US--GO. NOW. Your food is corrupted. You won't survive no matter how many times the government says it's possible to do so. If you have a bomb shelter to shield you from Radiation, with a good supply of foodstuffs, HIDE. Before Chernobyl happens (again), and sends Wormwood Mountain down on your heads.

But please, close the door on your way out. Thank you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Earthquakes in Different Places...

Such is the way of earthly things...Let's see, earth is up to 3 or 4 quakes over the last couple of weeks? Japan, Chile, Afghanistan and Arkansas. Did I miss any?

But the end is yet to come...
Sorta points to it being a while before the end happens. Now, if it was an Arab that wrote Revelation...wouldn't that change the Christian view of what's going on in the world?

Hold on to your pants, Martha!

Two kings have resigned, and one is going (grudgingly-Gadhafi). People ought to be reading Revelation, friends, because it's my honest belief that we are watching it unfold in the Middle East as I write this. We need to watch for the two witnesses. Keep your eyes open, friends, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Living History Show

I drove to Kalamazoo for the Living History Show yesterday. I wish I would learn to take more pictures! I didn't take a single one! The place was packed, shoulder to shoulder with VERY little maneuver room--and HOT. Anytime you get that many people in a little space, it's very hot, and the air didn't move much, and you just felt like you couldn't breathe. I am not claustrophobic in the slightest, but when I am hot and can't breathe, I have trouble.

Also, when I have to stand there and wait for a dozen people to move, my legs cramp up. It's hard on me.

So when I got home, I took a picture of all of my finds at the show, and they are considerable. I have no idea if these will help me in my attempt at the perfect bullion stitch (especially the knitting needles) but  here goes.

From the bottom to top:
Steel Vintage hook-looks like it might be a size 7
A Bakelite Crochet hook-probably a size F or G
A Susan Bates Tungston Steel crochet Hook-size 1B
A Brittany Birch-size 4-which will break in no time because the shaft is too flimsy
A rosewood hook in size F or G
A pair of size 4 Bakelite knitting needles. A very rare find. These cost the most.

I also bought 2 big eyed beading needles.

But not a Bullion Crochet hook to be found, which surprises me.

I searched You Tube and found the following video describing the technique. Never mind that it's in Czech or Russian. The woman is accomplished! Plus I like her technique over and above all the other videos for the Bullion Stitch.

I figure if a picture is worth a thousand words, this should be worth at least a million...what do you think?

I came home early and spent time with my husband. We drove to Lowe's and bought a freezer, because ours has died, and they are delivering it today. We have a busy day ahead, dumping out food that has gone bad in the freezer. They should arrive between 2pm and 4pm. I also contacted Moen for replacement parts for our bathroom faucet. Once I settled down, I crocheted a block for an afghan and began a second, and hubby and I watched Tom Selleck videos (never tire of watching that fellow!). After this, we retired to bed, and that's when I got sick. I was up most of the night, and today I'm exhausted. If it doesn't let up, I'll be calling into work tomorrow.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vintage Crochet Bonnet

A pic of the baby bonnet my boss wants me to crochet. I spent some time in the antique stores yesterday, but was not able to locate the right size vintage crochet hook. I did however find an older one of the same sort, and I'm hoping to locate the correct size at the Living History Show in Kalamazoo today.

Pics of my haul on tomorrow's blog.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

The First Robin

At 60° I expect this is normal. :) Spring is on its way. I'll check for crocus and daffodil sprouts today.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011 infinitum

I am beginning to tire of the reports from Japan. I feel like people are being lied to--the media, even CNN is lying about the meltdown--people are at risk.

You don't drop nearly 32 tons of sea water on a single plant because it's "lost a little water". That's 64,000 pounds of water, friends. How many gallons? You do the math. It's a LOT.

And there's confusion too, because the Japanese use the Centigrade system for measuring heat and cold. ZERO is actually 32 degrees Fahrenheit. So you know that 60C is a lot more than 60F. Think about that for a minute. Plant 4 is at 90C, and rising.

It's eminent. It's a done deal.They are talking about sending in "heros" to the core to try to make a change--if you don't understand that means they are sending in people to DIE. They most likely will not be coming out alive--even if they could possibly fix the matter at hand.

It doesn't take much stretch to understand that there's someone who is holding back information to avert panic, and if it was me, and I had the money to leave Japan, you bet my last dollar that I'd be on that plane.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sock Progress

I started the heel flap at the office, and purchased a size 8 47" circular needle..What for? You ask.

Is a secret, except for the yarn.  Lots and lots of Lion Brand Homespun.

Infer from that what you will. In the meanwhile, I plan to pull out Rhiannon and the music stand.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

DK Hat Progress

I've been working quite hard on this so that I can be at the decreases by Thursday. I can't decide if I want a turn up brim or not. If not, then I am ready to begin the decreases, If I want a brim, I need to work at least one more checker row.

After this, I promise, work on Rhiannon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Seems to be All I Can Do...

Watching CNN online--videos of mothers losing daughters, wives losing husbands, the list goes on. Cold and freezing temps at night. I'm just about undone.

I have friends with family in Japan, and I have to tell you, this caught me completely unprepared--the people need blankets, coats, shoes, hats, gloves and mittens, scarves....Some folks have lost everything. It's breaking my heart. Thousands are missing, with no ability to communicate, because emergency crews are the only people allowed to use the lines. There is little heat, and less electric. Everything is shut down. The media is trying to keep it on the down-low, but there have been reports that the nuclear reactor did a partial meltdown, and that means radiation poisoning--and widespread death. It just makes my heart sick.

And all my husband can do is clean house and yell at me about my "messes" that have to go downstairs to my room, which is already full to bursting. I feel the need to do a lot of stuff, and I can't actually "do" anything, because the whole scene over there has simply immobilized me. I spent most of the morning hours crying, amidst lots of anxiety, and I'm thinking that tonight, before I go to bed, I'll take an anti-anxiety pill.

If we weren't using our blankets, I would send some over, then I think "We could get new..." but right now, I'm a little strapped--enough to get me through the rest of the week, but not to send any to the Red Cross today. I'm thinking perhaps I'll send some on Thursday for the relief effort...My biggest issue is that I cannot knit a blanket in time for it to be of use--I just feel so IMPOTENT right now.

I think the tears are mostly for the people there, the only prayers that I can really say, without completely losing it--because God hears what is in the heart, even before you speak it. Speaking it, just makes it all too real, and gets me to crying again. I guess hubby and I deal with it differently. I want to hop a plan and go help--and that might be what I do when I retire, getting hubby to help out as well, but with possible radiation poisoning, I think it's probably too dangerous for people like me and hubby without any training. My problems are so teensy, in comparison. I can't deal with my own problems, how to possibly deal with theirs? And so I cry out--to hubby, to God, to whomever is out there listening.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm Heading Out

JoAnn's is having their Open House today. I will be working at demo today. Not sure if I want to take the hat in--I think I sort of want to keep it on the down-low and work on a project with yarn I bought there--the trouble is that one of my size 8's are on the hat. So it's not like I can work another hat. Plus, I have enough hats. Darn...what should I do?

I suppose I could make a shawl--but that's sort of a big project, and I would prefer to work something smaller for demo.

In the meanwhile, my cats are bothering me for food. I have one sitting on my lap. Pew. She needs a bath. I suppose I should go feed the cats now, then head out for JoAnn's.

After JoAnn's my mother in law is having us over for her birthday. We'll celebrate 3 people at the same time, since the birthdays are so close. I'll be gone all day.

Note to self: buy catfood.

Woolgatherer's Project

My Checkers hat. Worked in the round on 88 stitches. Fully reversible.

What you see is the turn up brim.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Sock Progress

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Finished Wallaby...Notes to Self...

And I've moved on already to another project. This is the double knit hat that I started and had to pull out to make the Wallaby. No pictures yet, but will when I have a few more rows on it.

Note to self--print out the picture of the pattern you plan to use, nitwit.

Okay, changes to make to next Wallaby--

Fewerr stitches on the arms somehow. I don't think that I need quite so many in my forearm. It just adds extra bulk. But then I would also have to have fewer stitches in the body, which to me, looks like it fits just fine. I'll have to discuss this "fitting" issue with a mentor.

And wasn't there a pattern in my chair that I wanted to make? Oh yes, a leaf hat from Joann's. Then I wanted to add beads--green stem beads to vein the leaves and give some sparkle. That's the ticket...

Well, must go to work now. Odd how it really cuts into my knitting time.

Will post a picture of the Valentine socks progress a little later.

Wearing of the Blue

New wardrobe item!

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hoodie Done!

All that's left is the tie, and I think I'm going to crochet it, so that I can wear the hoodie tomorrow to the office!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Stands for Knitting Finished, Kitchener Tomorrow.

Which is where I am at with my Blue Wallaby. All I have left to do is the kitchener for the hood and underarms, then the tie, and all is done--well, except for finishing off the ends and blocking, but I don't usually count that. When done, I will model, and try to keep my ugly mug out of the picture so I don't break the camera.

I managed to find the email with the serial # for my knitting software on it, and so I am able to design stuff again. I already started with the design I plan to use on a double knit hat, which I need to get going on again, and soon--I have to teach how to make the decreases at the next Woolgatherer's meeting, and that's going to be difficult if I'm not at the decreases. Soon, I'll be able to take the Wallaby off the needles and re-knit the first 5 rows of the hat, and carry on. Hats don't take long to knit, not even double knit ones.

Only two more days to the week, and then I am off to JoAnn's Fabrics to demo, and Sunday I have to myself. Hubby is asking "Where's the MP3 player, so that I can clean house with it on my head." I'm not sure I want him to clean house. He doesn't really do a good job. Hang up the clothing, maybe. That would be a workable alternative.

Right now, it's time for me to head for bed. I'm a little excited about the Wallaby, but if I stay up too late, I won't be on task at the office. So Goodnight for now.

Half Done With The Hood

The Wallaby is nearly done. I knit a marathon last night watching television, rather than traveling to Lake Odessa due to gasoline prices, and knit 5 1/2" before finally succumbing to sleep and bed.

I'm pleased. It means that the Wallaby will likely be finished tonight when I get home, since I don't have to stop at Lowe's to get 200 watt bulbs for the garage, and I don't have to drop off videos at the video store, which will give me at least another hour of knitting time. Plus that, I have leftovers in the frig, and I can whip those up in a New York Minute, allotting even more knitting time. Do you suppose I'll even get the finishing done?

I'm pretty swamped at the office, and I came home pretty exhausted last night. I actually fell into bed at 9pm, and slept right through until the buzzer sounded, and then I hit the snooze--giving me 20 more minutes to push my husband over to his side of the bed, reconnoiter the covers (since he likes to make a mess of them leaving me to sort out why they are all clumped around my feet.

Oh how I miss his midnight shift...Oh, I didn't tell you...?

Yeah, he got let go--not really fired so much as let go. Quite honestly, I think the boss didn't want to let loose his "take" on the bottom line. Hubby was allowed only one mistake by this guy. The result was getting let go. I think they were having financial trouble to begin with. The job was a piece of candy for hubby, but while getting it was
"in the cards", keeping it, didn't appear to be quite so much.

So hubby is home full time again. I asked him if he thought he would keep looking, and he said he didn't know. I think he's come to like being retired, though he's pretty bored during the day when I'm not home. He wants me to retire, but there is just no way I can do that--

Well, time to let the dog in the house and finish getting ready for the office.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wallaby-Somewhat Less

Progress pic.

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Increasing Calculator

A while back, when I was working on the fair isle sweater, I entered in this blog a way to calculate how to make balanced increases across a row of knitting.

Looking back at it, trying to make my Wallaby increases work, I discover it's a bunch of hooey (so to speak). So I went .here..... It's a calculator. You just plug in your figures and print.

So I am posting it here, so that I can refer to it. And so can you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How It all Began...

I've been a knitter/crocheter/fiber-holic almost all my life. My maternal grandmother taught me to crochet around a hanky when I was barely 8 years old, with a crochet hook and some multi-colored crochet cotton. Far from the lovely laces that she was best known for, all I could manage was filling in the holes. I tired of the practice quickly, and moved on to play with my cousin who lived a short drive away.

At about 10, I tried learning crochet at my mother's knee, who was and still is, an amazing crocheter. For whatever reason, I couldn't get my doily to lay flat--something that her's did with almost no effort at all. It took me years to find out that I need a smaller hook than she does, because my crochet tension is much looser than hers. I quit hoping for the stunning doilies, and practiced diligently on small squares of swatches to test my skill at a newly found hobby. But I tired of them, as well.

From there, I tried knitting. Now, knitting wasn't something my mother liked very much. She did know knit and purl, but didn't consider herself astute enough in the knowing to teach me. So she bought me a Coat's and Clark's "Learn How Book", that pretty much taught everything there was to know about everything in the needle arts.

I found out that I could cast on with no trouble, but after that, the pictures were like Greek letters to me. So my mother helped and showed me how to make a couple of stitches. Then I sat down and practiced that until I tired of it.

Then I tried to purl.

I frustrated myself for hours before finally going to my mother in tears, telling her that I was a complete moron and that I would never get this without SOME help. So she looked at the pictures with me, and she purled one stitch. Once I saw it in real life, I was--in a word--hooked.

I've been knitting ever since. And, within the last couple of years, I found out that while my mother could crochet lovely lace doilies with a size 7 hook, I had to use a size 8 to get the same results.

I was surprised that a difference so minute could make such a difference in the size of my project as it compared to hers, but now, I can crochet almost anything, with any size yarn and the right hook almost every time, and get my round projects to lay flat almost every time.

It was a revelation. An epiphany!

So now, I knit all the time, and crochet here and there.

I also tried my hand at tatting, but had difficulty until a co-worker showed me how to use the shuttle--which is very much like macrame. Once I learned that, I was off and running.

When counted cross stitch came out hot and heavy, I had every color there was, and almost every magazine devoted to it. I made projects that would astound you on cross stitch linen that had 28 holes per inch! I have worked embroidery, crewel and needlepoint. I've sewn my own clothes and made beautiful quilts. I've even worked in leather and made myself a pair of moccasins. Comfortable little shoes, I'd say.

The only craft in the needle arts that I haven't tried is bobbin lace, which is quite intricate and beautiful to behold. So far, I've been able to stay away from it. The same goes for scrap booking. I just can't seem to get interested in working with paper--although I did do quilling for a while.

So you see, I've been a crafter for a long, long while.

So when I started my Wallaby, I thought--knitting. Easy enough. Get gauge, row after row of knit stitches. What could be easier?

Well, I'm on my second sleeve, and I've run into a knot. And the skein didn't pick up where it left off, so now I have to RESTART the second sleeve. Knots make me quite angry. Skeins that don't begin in the same color when it's the same dye lot make me angry. The yarn manufacturer is going to get a nasty letter if I start this sleeve again and run into another knot, believe me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another One BITES The Dust

I hit a deer last night. Bunged up my driver's side wheel well.

Stupid deer!

Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sock Progress

Here's my socks.

Red Heart Heart n Sole in Valentine colorway. 68 sts. 2x2 rib all the way-flap heel. Stockinette on the sole. Standard toe with my special last decrease to avoid ears, and kitchner.

A very basic sock that hugs every point on leg and foot. I love the yarn because it has slow in it, which keeps my hands moisturized. Very nice!

Monday-Short Day

Monday was what I call my "short day". I spend 4 hours at the office, and then go to a doctor appointment.

From there, I go to knitting, and there, I worked on a pair of socks.

I've got about 3" done. Just a plain Jane sock in a two by two rib. Nothing fancy.

Then I came home, sat down and worked on my Wallaby.

Before I went to bed, I was working on the cuff of the second sleeve. Believe it or not, the sweater is more than half done once I finish the sleeve, and the sleeve doesn't take long.

I didn't go to bed until after David Letterman's monologue, which I don't remember. So today, I'm pretty much wiped out. I have a full day of work ahead of me, and then a trip to Lake Odessa, and I usually take my Wallaby with me to work on there so that my friends there can see that I'm working on the yarn that I bought at the store.

I also left my phone at the office, and had to go back after hubby left for work to get it.

And that was the end of Monday. Short Day.