Sunday, April 29, 2012

That Didn't Take Long, Did It?



I just finished the BOM CAL, and it did block out to 12", but it was a s-t-r-e-t-c-h!
I do like it, though.

Almost Finished...

BOM CAL test is nearly done. I've got just one more row to do, then will block for size. If it's not big enough, I'll add to it, but it's supposed to be 12" with a size H. I used a size I hook, and it doesn't look like it's going to make it to 12".

I haven't been feeling well at all today. Hubby wants me to take the movies back here in a few minutes. I have to take care of that, but I haven't been able to stay away from the porcelain god for more than a couple minutes so far today.

I was watching CNN today at breakfast, and misread the ticker "2nd shooter in RFK shooting.." of course, I thought I'd read JFK, so I looked it up this afternoon...and no, it was his brother Bobbie. Then reading about Ted Nugent, and his rant on Obama. The bylines say "Nugent threatens death..." well, not to Obama, but to himself--that he will either be dead or in jail if Obama makes it to the white house again.

Well, I ask you, is rich man Mitt going to be in touch with the poor or middle class? I don't think so. I still think that there's no good choices again this voting go-round. A rich man is going to side with his rich cronies--ALL the time. And so the rich will continue to get richer and the poor will get poorer, and the money for the programs for the poor will come off the backs of the working class. It's just hard to live with, I guess.

In brighter news, I have a class Monday evening from 4:30 until 9pm, first to teach a person how to crochet, and then to teach them how to follow a pattern. I'm not sure it will work, but I'll give it a go.

In the meanwhile, guess I'll head back to the living room and finish up the BOM--maybe I'll post a pic tomorrow.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A New (To Me) Cast on for Circular Shawl Knitting

Copied directly from Two Sticks and Some String!...

Rosemarie's Belly Button Start for Circular Knitting Projects


1. Start out with two of the dp needles you'll be using to knit your chosen pattern. (You can switch to your circular needles at the usual time, when your project is big enough.)

2. Using (I prefer cotton) a Size 5 or thicker thread (heavier, contrasting colour acrylic yarn works, too), cast onto ONE needle, the number of stitches called for in your circular pattern. The contrasting thread/yarn colour is important, as this will help you when it comes time to remove the belly button.

For example: If your circ. pattern calls for 12 stitches divided between four needles, then simply cast 12 stitches onto one dp needle.

I will be using the "12 stitches" as my example, but adapt the beginning stitch numbers to whatever your patterns says.

3. Now ... simply knit back and forth until you have a piece about an inch long. Tension is important, please, knit tightly! You need this piece to be very firm, as this will make supporting the multiple needles much easier!

4. Then: divide those 12 stitches onto the four double pointed needles (or whatever the pattern calls for).

5. Knit two or three times around, using the same heavy cotton thread (or acrylic yarn). Essentially, you are now knitting a glorified "I-cord". Be sure to pull the thread tightly between needles, to avoid "ladders".

This is an important step for beginning the actual pattern. If you don't pull the heavy thread tightly, you will have gaps in the belly-button that will likely translate into gaps in your pattern knitting. The "belly-button" you're knitting should be very firm, if you're using large enough heavy thread and have lots of tension.

6. Drop the heavy thread. Now, using the thread you have chosen for your project, knit one or two times around, (do not start knitting your pattern yet!),keeping the tension firm, knitting the project thread right into the last round of the heavy thread.. Be sure you leave a "tail" on your project thread long enough to thread through a needle with an eye (I usually leave about 60 cm or 2 feet).

7. Now start knitting your pattern.

Finishing the centre:

You may choose to do Steps 8 - 12 at any time.

8. Thread your project thread through a sharp-pointed sewing needle. Very carefully thread it through the first round of stitches of the PROJECT THREAD, the ones which are knitted into the last round of the heavy thread.

9. Pull the tail thread slowly and carefully, making sure you have picked up all 12 stitches on that first round of the project thread. I use a lighted magnifying lamp, although a good light and reading glasses will work, too. You may pull the tail thread tightly, or leave it in a more open "o" style, whatever suits you.

This is the belly button on my Lyra, one of Herbert Niebling's legendary patterns.)

10. Take the tail thread one more time through all 12 stitches, and then fasten or tie it off in whatever style you usually use.

11. With a pair of very sharp, very small scissors, cut off the belly-button (being the heavy thread), being very careful to not cut any of the thread of your project.

12. You can throw away the belly-button, or put it in your portfolio, with date and time of delivery (kidding ).



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bring Your Child to Work Day

People in the office brought in their kids--there were three under 6 and one teenager. There was coloring books, dot to dots and a treasure hunt. Everybody found all the treaure items stashed all around the office. The kids had a great time.

I had planned to read "Rikki Tikki Tavi", by Rudyard Kipling, but it was 36 pages, so I decided it might take too long and not hold their interest for very long. I offered "The Green Gorilla", but no one seemed intrigued with it...I didn't get out that it was a story that I'd written myself...but that was when the kids were really excited to go outside--even if the wind was blowing at 35 mph and cold.

Naturally, we weren't outside all that long. But you know kids--they have no nerve endings. The ones that ran around and around and around---circles around me, stayed warm, but it wasn't long before everyone headed for the door. Now there's only a half hour left to the day, and people are all starting to wind down, I think. Whew! It was quite a day.

I thought up the treasure hunt, and I walked around to everyone's offices and took pictures of everybody's stuff. Then I made them smaller. Then I emailed them to my office email. Then I made the treasure maps. Then I printed the treasure hunt papers, and passed them to the kids, so that they could run around and look for the treasures.

I think it was the most fun thing they did the whole day!

I did tell the story of the Green Gorilla--although I cleaned it up a little, and one of my listeners laughed at the end, but I had them both on the edge of their seats. Both asked for the real story of Rikki Tikki, but because it was so long, I gave them the shortened version. "Head above the hood," says Rikki, and that he was a mongoose that killed snakes. Most I left to the imagination. It was a very short story, being more like a book report, than a real story, and I told them to have their mom and dad to get the book and read it to them. It's a good story. I remember my dad reading it to me, and reading it myself when I got older, and now it's on my Nook.

Now, about the Ipad. Yes, I ordered it. No, I don't have it yet. And in a little bit, I'll be going to JoAnn's to teach the potholder. I'm not sure if the student will show, but if not, I'll just head on home. It won't be too bad, I don't think. I have lots of projects to work on in the car, plus a book to read. So I'm all set there.

I think I was a good mother. I had lots of ideas, and I was lots of fun. I had difficulties along the way, of course, and I tried hard not to let failures get me down. If only I'd met my current husband sooner, but of course, he was married with his own family back then, and not ready to meet me. I tell good stories, though. Really good stories. If you don't believe me, search my blog for "gorilla" and read it. I think you'll like it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Major Win

I'm having a little trouble believing what just happened.

Our office had a big meeting with the new boss-lady, and wonder of wonders, she overturned the last boss-lady's requirement of administrative staff having to sign in!!!

No more STRESS in the morning! No having to sign in! And the manager, while not exactly happy with the idea, is going along with the rest of the crew, even though she believes in following the rules. I understand that there are rules, you understand, and it's a rare instance when I fail to honor them, but I have always had difficulty with micro management and authority that holds the rod over your head.

In any case, on to more fun things, right?

We got a small yellow mum to administrative day (tomorrow) today. It's very pretty. I'll put it in the garden when I get home. We also got a small box of chocolates. I can always use chocolates. They will get eaten eventually, but I've already had a BUNCH of candy, so I'm not going to do any more at this time. And they aren't going in the ground at home, either...just the plant.

I'm pretty excited about it all, actually (in case you can't tell). I'm hoping that the rest of the crew doesn't screw it up for the rest of us. We all really needed a break from it. It was really messing with other people's feelings about their jobs.

But I got a pretty yellow plant! It's so sun-shiny, and it just makes me want to go outside and celebrate spring. It's nice to get gifts.

On an ominous note, my horoscope said that someone was lying to me by keeping secrets. Well, that could be one of my friends, or someone here at the office. It could go either way. I'm hoping that it doesn't affect my mood much.

I also got an email from a friend who moved to Florida, stating that her cancer has returned and so she's selling her shop so she can take better care of herself. I'm worried about her. She nearly didn't make it through chemo the last time. Her best friend is one of my friends, too, and I'm sure that she's just falling apart about it. I send her an email telling her I was sorry, asking if she was okay, but I doubt that she'll answer. Maybe she will, but I really do doubt it.

Tonight is knit night, and I have all sorts of projects to work on in the car and in my little sheepie carrier. Things are going to be good today. I just know it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another Day in Paradise

I am in agony.

Why am I in agony?

Because I want, desire, hope for, live for, and lust after this stupid Ipad.

And I don't even know why.

My step daughter tells me that I would really like it. Even my brother thinks I should get one. Some of the reviews are less than "glowing". I want one.

I just can't think of a reason to NEED one.

I own a nook. It has lots of possibilities. No, it's not an Ipad. It's not even LIKE an Ipad. But all of my devices are compatible. The Ipad would not be AS compatible, although I think most of my documents would transfer just fine. I could carry it around like a laptop, without the weight. But I can't transfer my books on my nook to my Ipad--or can I? I simply don't know. Plus, a phone (my Android that is forever saying "DROID" at me) has all my crazy information on it.

It's a heck of a way to live, and I don't have my guru here to tell me..."oh, you're just having gadget envy."

What's worse, is that the store doesn't have any on hand that I can just walk out of the store with, and I can't order the one I want from that store because they don't allow online purchases for that particular item. I have to really feel that I must have one, order it at the store, and then wait for it. Patiently. Neither is possible at this time due to impulsive behavior on my part.

So instead, I am going to my chair to read for a moment, right after I browse Ravelry and a few other sites, none of which will have anything to do with the ipad, which is a shortened "I Paid" and probably for something I didn't even really need.

sigh.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Afghan Time

I spent a few hours on the lap throw that I've been working on, only to find that there is either

A. An error in the pattern or
B. An error in the way I read it/performed it.

I have to go back about 16 rows "or so" on the pattern and read what I might have miscounted...because the next pattern section is showing up on the back of the throw, instead of on the right side...which is WRONG. And the wrong side looks perfect at that section--so I miscounted. Or the pattern is one row off.

I suspect the former.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Afghan of the Year Award!

Okay, so there's not really an afghan of the year award. Sorry if I disappoint. The thing is that my friend (in California) and I are doing this afghan from http://www.free-knitpatterns.com/. We each promised to work on it about 2 hours a night. We've been working on it for about 3 days. She's WAY ahead of me.

I'm hoping for some prime knitting time tonight, but for now, I'm stealing moments at the office (well, not really stealing--just using my regular 15 minute breaks) to work on it. It's going well, but I'm still only on row 22. I feel like I should be further ahead than this, but alas, I am not.

I got a new electric stapler for my office, too. I'm pretty excited about that. It staples MUCH nicer than my old one, and I don't have to reef on it at all! Just push in the paper and it's done with a "weeshush" type of sound. Sort of an interesting sound. Way quieter than my snoring husband!

It staples in different areas, too--it can be adjusted to staple close to the edge, or further down the paper. It can staple up to 20 pieces of 20 pound paper! That's a lot of paper! I considered testing it, but then thought, why break it in on the toughest job of all? So I didn't. I've been stapling things all day so far. It's fun. I'm all excited about a stapler.

It's made by Swingline, and I had to look twice at it to make sure, because I did think at first that it said "Swinger". It seemed an odd name for a stapler, but I thought, you know, like, whatever you do behind closed doors is your own business...right? It's black and chrome, and almost as big as my telephone. I had to sit it on the left side of my desk because the right side plugs are being used by my computer and mouse, so there's no room. The left side has my coffeemaker in it, and since I don't use my coffeemaker all the time, that's what lost a plug in.

I never figured I could write so many words about a stapler, but I guess it's just because it's so new, and I love to play with new things. Soon, the paint will get scratched and the silver/chrome will flake off, and it will be just another used machine. Sigh. I'll try to keep it new looking, though. Perhaps I can paint some cool design on it--personalize it. It's a thought. I could buy some stencils and make it really pretty!

Yikes. The things I think about after eating pizza.

Well, it's time to go now.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mousie(s)

I didn't think that hubby was right about the mousie that was caught yesterday morning in the trap under the sink, but this morning, when I woke up, I looked to see, and there was another bigger mouse in the trap.

Help! We're infested!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The After Easter...

Okay.
I got really sick Sunday night. All night sitting on the lap of the porcelain god. Stand up. Sit down. Stand up. Sit down.

It was like that most of the night...until I started realizing that I was hearing a mouse chewing.

But he was two rooms away! How come he's so loud?

When I entered the kitchen, I found him in the lazy susan, chewing on my cupboard.

Angry? Oh you betcha. And hubby wasn't happy either.

I watched him travel around the kitchen. So, too, did my cat. He lay on the kitchen floor and mewled for the other cat to come and get the mousie, but I think she was asleep in daddy's chair, because she made no entrance. What a diva!

So Mr. Chat decided to take a break and lay down in front of the frig, while watching the mousie hole between the cupboards, every now and then, popping out a few whiskers, while Mr. Chat made a somewhat half-hearted attempt to get that "(&*)*&(%*%" mouse out of that "_(_&(%&%#^@%@" cupboard. Not that either of us is bitter.

So momma set a trap and put it on the counter (yuck), only to find out two days later, after the peanut butter had been licked clean, that it was defective.

Ah, well, live and learn, right?

So we set a different trap under the sink which is every mousie's special haven.

Today, mousie kaput....although hubby thinks it's a different mousie...I hope that's not possible. We'll find out in the morning.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April Is Finally Here!

Well, it has been, I suppose, for a little while. Today is Easter Sunday. A very happy day, for those who believe. Just another day for others. The weatherman predicted cold and rain, and the sun is just shining in that big blue sky, and right about now, I hear children waking to find that the Easter Bunny has left them a basket full of goodies, and hidden eggs of multiple colors all around the house for them to find--some they colored themselves, and others with goodies inside.

I like Easter Sunday for all the Christian reasons, but it's also a day off work (even if it's normally a day off work, it just seems nicer because it's a holiday, too.).

I have a funny story to relate, that basically points me out as one of those older women who can't remember anything.

Friday night, my husband decided to stay with his mother so that he could mow her lawn and work on his sister's house on Saturday. For me, this is quite uncustomary, but I was tickled to have a "night away". Even so, when it got dark outside, I got somewhat fearful, so I locked the doors.

I remembered reading on the internet somewhere that it's a good idea to keep your car keys in bed with you, so that should you hear an intruder, you can hit the car alarm button, activate the loudness, and perhaps frighten the intruder away, or at the very least give him/her pause enough to allow you a couple seconds extra to escape so that harm does not come to you. And so, I stashed my car keys underneath my husband's pillow.

The next morning, I puttered around the house, doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, and when it was time to head in to JoAnn's on Saturday for a demo, I couldn't find my keys. I looked high and low in the house. I realized, some time after voicing it, that my hubby hadn't been home to take them by mistake, so I couldn't blame him. But they were nowhere to be found.

I finally found a nearly broken key on the floor of the bedroom, and even though my husband told me not to use it for fear it would break off in the ignition, I decided that I would take it, use it just long enough to get to the dealership to have it remade, and hope that it didn't break in the ignition causing even more extensive repair work.

As I drove down the road, I went back over my footsteps--several times in fact, still unable to come up with the whereabouts of my key...until I was in line waiting for the key maker to finish buffing my new replacement (for $30, I might add, not that I'm bitter). So at least I found my keys, even if only in my mind.

But all of this has nothing to do with the April BAM CAL, which I finished on Saturday along with another frou-frou scarf. Here's the final result.


Isn't it just the embodiment of Easter colors?

Friday, April 6, 2012

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And my lilac bush is covered in blooms

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And the dandylions are out!

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The trees are really coming into bloom!