Monday, December 31, 2007

Motto for 2008

I LOVE this sign---- This is my daily affirmation for 2008!!

For fair crediting purposes, you can buy it here....Love it! L-O-V-E it!!

New Sock on the needles!

I love Kool Aid dyeing yarn! I also love dyeing with acid dyes, but Kool Aid is one of those projects that is perfect for the beginner to get started, you can do it with kids around and there is no funky warning on the label about not "breathing in" any of the powder. However, if you feel inclined to breathe in/snort/ otherwise ingest Kool Aid, be my guest...just don't email and tell me about it.... My new sock is using Kool Aid dyed yarn from Knit Picks. I dyed this yarn last year and then wasn't sure what to do with it since I hadn't figured out socks yet. Since I have the basic sock pattern under control, I dug out this yarn and figure I should have a set of girlie socks by the middle of January--if not sooner. I say girlie yarn because this yarn has pastel pinks in it and other softer colors. Where I sprinkled on dry powder, there are little bursts of vivid colors in small dots. And another good thing about this yarn is there is NO WAY to match the patterns, so no stripe's all good!
This is probably how I am going to break in the new year--quietly and immersed in yarn. I have been thinking about whether I want to make any resolutions--even though I hate that word...But goals for the year by any other name is still a New Year's resolution. What are yours?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday--Part II

This is the diary of a first sock....Thanks to Jackie and Lia's excellent class at Twist, I got past the heel turning thing, figured out gussets.. and
finished a sock....
Then another...and LOOK (!!!!) , my first completed pair of socks! YEAH!! I will work a little harder next time to make sure the striping and colors line up, but for now, this is sooooooo cool!
After going to the KIP, I hit a couple stores and found the books above at such outrageously low prices they had to come home with me. The baby hat and booties book had a REALLY clear explanation of the Kitchener stitch, so that alone was worth the $7 I paid for the book. I used it to close the toe of the second sock. I plan to try some of the baby booties patterns too-They look like small projects that would travel well. Border's had their calendars for 50% off, so I picked up the Stitch and Bitch 2008 calendar too....It was a great day!

Proof I can finally get to the KIP at 8 a.m (ish)!!

I am so shocked I actually made it (FINALLY made it!) to the Saturday morning Knit in Public at Panera's!! I always have the best intentions, but the alarm goes off and I hit snooze...actually I hit the OFF button, but saying I hit the snooze makes me less of a slouch...
Lia, Jackie, Lanora, Rebecca (sorry if I misspelled any names)
Sally and Diana
And the newbie, Cindy! Cindy is the primary reason I actually made it to the KIP this morning. I was telling her about the group and she wanted to come play....Cindy has been knitting for less than a week and is flying through another scarf. I taught her the knit stitch and will be teaching her the purl stitch next. At the rate she devours projects, I'm sure she will be knitting sweaters in no time! I taught her the fine art of stash enhancement and she caught on very quickly!
And this is our soon to be departing Lia! We are going to miss her....who wants to organize a multi-state yarn shop crawl to the west coast? Just a thought...I wish I'd gotten pictures of Jackie showing the versatile knitted thing on the table...Hey Jackie, if you add string on either end, it could even be a thong....I'll stop now before I'm forever banned from KIP...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Posting to catch up!

Pictures from Christmas--they were only half excited I was taking pictures. Originally they were in their skivvies (not what you are seeing in this picture, thankfully) and only agreed to get into appropriate attire when reminded that their pictures were probably going to be posted on my blog for all to see. They went to their room and got long pants and shirts on...And no, that is not dirt above their lips--they are 14 and both have the starting of moustaches....yikes.

And as you can see, Buddy the beagle was there to supervise....

I wonder if that blackmail would work if I threatened to take pictures of their room and post it..Nah, wishful thinking...) They had already opened their presents at this point and were dividing up a box of Pirate playing cards they got. It is a really neat card deck where the kids can build little models from each deck. They loved that surprise.

This was our downstairs patio the day before Christmas. We got 7" of snow. I love snow! However, the wind really blew and we had snowdrifts that were REALLY deep! Like the depth that you can completely lose a dachshund in if they try to go down the stairs that are in front of the chairs you see in the above picture (not the stairs leading to the upstairs). If you look really close, you'll see there are SUPPOSED to be stairs leading to the yard, which are completely snowed in..Sugar stepped of the edge and completely sank to the bottom. We retrieved her, but considering this dog thinks water will make her melt, she was completely freaked out for the rest of the day! Small dogs and big snow..not good. Funny as hell, but not good.
Today I came home from bargain hunting today (and teaching a friend to knit) and this was here---my spinning wheel came! Hubby put it together and I am going to get some tung oil to seal it tomorrow. I did have to email the seller with a couple questions. The instructions say the flyer is supposed to turn. The bobbin turns but the flyer does not. Originally I thought there was something different in the way it operates, but the seller told me the flyer should be turning, so I am going to have to play with it to make it work--keep your fingers crossed for me. I REALLY want this wheel to work! It really is pretty! We will oil the bearing tomorrow since it does have a really loud squeak--so hopefully I will be spinning by this weekend. And this is how we ended the day Christmas. Candles lit and good food on the table.

Saturday we go to Stillwater (Oklahoma) to my parent's house and have dinner with my nieces and nephews, brother and his fiance and my parents. I am looking forward to going home for the day. It amazes me every time I go home that things are changing so much--especially around the university (GO COWBOYS) ! It looks nothing like it did when I was growing up there and attended college. Some of it is good, some of it is not. Oh well, the only thing constant is change...

Great friends and Good coffee to you and yours!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Baby, it's Cold outside!

This is the ride to breakfast today. Earlier this morning we were having a rain and thunderstorm, which then turned to this before hubby got out of the shower. So we scrapped plans to go Christmas shopping and did this instead....We HAD to have breakfast at the diner ---why? Hubby was determined to get breakfast out this morning. So here is what we had to slog through. I had originally planned to do a little shopping in downtown Newton today, where they have a really cute downtown complete with a yarn/bead store and a coffee shop. But considering I literally couldn't see 2 feet in front of me, we stayed in Haysville and ate at a local diner. By the time we were done, it had cleared a bit but we decided to just hang out at home for the rest of the afternoon and try to avoid the craziness in combination with the crowds trying to shop and not doing a great job of driving...I may try to get out later this evening if the snow stops blowing. However, I adore snow, so I'm not going to gripe.
The depth on the railing is a little less than the depth on the ground, but you get the idea of how much we are getting...Is this great or what?! Love it!!!
L--O--V--E !!!!!!
Smokey and Socks say we should all cuddle up with someone warm and stay inside.

And no, Smokey was not being antagonized, he yawned every time I took a picture, so I just gave up and he is stuck with this picture being a representation of his likeness! This will be his equivalent to the dorky driver's license photo we all know so well.

I think this is a good day to make cookies and bread, what do you think?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What a morning

I had a huge honkin' post (for those of you that don't speak Okie, it means a large post) and hit the publish button, feeling quite smug that I got a large post done this morning...and then realized I had posted it to the knitters coffee swap blog. Not good. With much muttering (Okie speak for "cussing like an ever loving sailor"), I deleted all that I could and have now decided to just post a blurb here and make up for it later.

But come to think of it, my brother in law is a sailor and I don't think I've ever heard him cuss, so I guess I'd better retract the sailor comment..oopsie....

But look !! A sock!!! Yeah! I am now 3" into it's partner, although I am hoping that blocking the sock will lessen the mutant club foot look it currently has. I know I'm on the right track though because I had a teenager clowning around and pretending to be a foot model--once he put it on, he just completely stopped and said "Hey, these are WARM!" The teenage seal of approval is much harder to get than the Good Housekeeping Seal!

The kids get out of school tomorrow for Christmas break. I am going to get them busy with helping me make cookies to give out to neighbors. I was so busy and overwhelmed last year that I really didn't get any baking or candy making accomplished. I am going to have to make different candy from my usual since the family cookbook is still packed away somewhere--in a boxed labeled KITCHEN. That completely explains why it is in the garage....somewhere...I am setting a goal of having my house completely in order and decorated by Spring (that includes buying the needed furniture in case you are wondering why the deadline is so far out) . I want to have a big Easter family get together at our house. We finally have a place where tables can be set up so everyone can eat together. I was looking at Marta's blog (which I LOVE --I want to be part of HER family, but Alas, I'm not Cuban...) and it reminded me of how my family used to have big get-togethers. Somehow that got lost in the business of everyday life.......My goal in 2008 is to renew that.

Well, I'd better get going for the day! Let's see, I have to go by the spice merchant and pick up more coffee, the jewelry supply shop downtown for a planishing hammer to I can get some wire work jewelry done (I'll post pictures later) and by the farm supply store. We don't have a farm, but I find some of the coolest things there, plus I get pet supplies there at pretty good prices...where are you going today?

Good coffee and great friends to you and yours!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Okay People.....

Smokey the cat says here is the stupid story for the day. Actually he was probably saying "Put the damn camera away, stupid human!" But he can't type, so I am in control here.
Click here and be prepared to say WHY ?!

After reading the story, consider this:

Do you suppose that a bunch of scientists were sitting around the lab, bored with injecting furry creatures with enzymes that make legs grow out of their foreheads and said " HEY! I'm bored, wanna mess with that cage of mice over there? I have an hour before lunch and I haven't mutilated mother nature today...let's see if we can figure out a way to keep that government grant money rollin' in! Lab X just got a billion dollars to study the ancestral mating habits of the rare suburban housefly !" And the other scientists (having been bred with the same gene that makes lemming follow each other off cliffs) nod their heads in furious agreement. For those of you that don't know what this looks like, take a teenager to see the newest electronic device--you'll get the idea....

Maybe there will eventually be a lab that breeds the dumbass out of scientists....

DISCLAIMER, PLEASE READ AND AGREE BEFORE PROCEEDING : The opinions, theories, hypothesis contained hereafter are not the views of the general inhabitants of this house, just the rambling thoughts of a female with too much coffee and easy access to a WORLDWIDE communication device...the opinion and theories set forth are in no way meant to substitute for fact, honest truth, OR COMMON SENSE...

SOOOO--- if you breed mice that aren't afraid of cats, here are just two possible scenarios:

1: Suicidal mice that render themselves extinct and thereby reduce the number of small furry creatures scientist have at their disposal, thereby rendering scientists obsolete. Since mice will no longer be afraid of cats, we will have a whole generation of cats that are on mood inducing drugs because they feel they are no longer cat enough to induce fear in a little rodent, and then they have to go on long pilgrimages to search for their inner cat and their spiritual purpose....If they don't find that inner peace, there will be a string of cat rehab centers for cats that are self medicating on the cat nip (in human context, think late 1960's...) I know, technically that was two scenarios, it's not my day to stick to the rules.

2. Given that original intent of any experiment has a really strong potential to come back and bite us in the arse ( think Castro and Bin Laden for history buffs, bell bottoms and hip huggers for the rest of us..), please consider this scenario:

Bud the jacked up lab mouse, feeling 10 foot tall and bulletproof (usually witnessed in humans when mixing alcohol and testosterone) decides the cage is too small and he is getting out. So, out he goes, hey-what's there to fear out there? After a night of pillaging and harassing Tom the cat and all his friends at the animal shelter, Bud spies this ravishing female rat (Bud has a thing for well endowed larger women, none of that bony mouse tail for siree...). The next morning Bud scoots out the door, unaware he is a Daddy. Yep, I know, rats and human males sometimes share disturbingly similar traits...I digress...This would be all great and fine except that half his offspring inherit his fearless gene and breed with wharf rats. Ever see a wharf rat? Ever see the rat in teenage mutant ninja turtles? You get the idea...In these wharf rats, this fearless gene mutates and produces Volkswagon sized rats that aren't afraid of people....

When I get held up at gunpoint by a cheese crazed wharf rat with no fear, I'm going to hunt down those scientists and kick their boneheaded arses..

And that's all I have to say about that! Now off for more coffee.....

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Picture of my future wheel--

After the last post, I decided I would play around and try to figure out how to capture and download the picture from Ebay of the wheel that I bought. It worked, I figured out one more thing on my blog! YAY!

As you can see, it is really modern --- quite a change from my Ashford Traditional wheel, but something about it really spoke to me. Very clean lines, and I like the integrated lazy kate. I think it is unfinished, which I will probably just seal and keep the light colors. Darker stain doesn't seem to be what this needs. We'll see when she gets here....I was originally looking for a double treadle wheel, but I think this one is going to be good because it has a place to rest my foot off the ground.

Staying close to home because.....

OK--I can handle snow, but ICE is getting old. Luckily we did not get the stuff my friends in Oklahoma got and it all melted. School was cancelled for the kids Tuesday because we were supposed to get 2 inches of ice. Luckily it warmed up and turned into a full day of rain. However, it did freeze in spots, so we stayed home (except for hubby who went to work). My in laws have been electricity deprived for several days now. They got their hands on a generator so they now have heat and some lights. A wood burning fireplace would be a great thing to have....
Here are the contents of the box I received MUCH earlier from Donna--lace maker extraordinaire! It has taken a while to figure out how to get my pictures posted--sorry!

You have to click on her name and be mesmerized at her knitting skills! The coffee is to die for and everything else is over the top wonderful! Thanks Donna!!
NOTE TO SELF: Stay the heck out of the small electrical kitchen gadget department!!!

After going through a box from the garage, I have come to the conclusion that I have a compulsion for electrical kitchen gadgets...I'd forgotten that I bought and really needed (at the time) the electric waffle cone iron (WHY?!) and the electric pizzelle maker (OK, that one I will use) and 2 waffle makers, a foreman style grill....Is there a self help group for me?! I officially have more little plug in appliances than I will ever have plugs to accommodate them in the whole upstairs....uggg.........

However, I did get the box unpacked and made a couple good decisions about some things that I'd been holding on to because I didn't want to offend the people that bought them for me...I am really going to work at getting decluttered this year--and next..

Another great thing about staying inside when it is rear freezing cold is that I am almost finished with a sock. I am soooooo happy I took the sock class at Twist that Jackie and Lia taught. I came out of it with a firm understanding of turning the heel and doing a gusset. I know turning a heel is supposed to be one of the coolest things about making socks, but I love doing the gusset. It amazes me to see it all blend! I am completely addicted to this simple sock pattern I am working on. The original pattern called for 2-3" of K1P1 ribbing and then 7" of stockinette. I did about 5" of stockinette and wasn't feeling the love for it so I frogged it and did 7" of K2 P2 ribbing. Good stuff. I did go up a needle size since I tend to knit tight, but next time I will do a pair in the needle size suggested and see what a difference it makes. I completely love the project bag I got at Michael's craft store. I was really surprised to see them and just bought one to try it out. I am in love! It is perfect for toting a SIP (sock in progress) and yarn! LOVE !!! I'll post a picture tomorrow of it and the progress on the sock.

I found a really cool spinning wheel on Ebay and won the bid this weekend. It is a pretty modern looking wheel and it is coming from the Netherlands, so I will have to wait a little before I get it, but I am psyched. The seller said there used to be several wheel manufacturers in that area in the 70's and 80's, Louet was one and the only one that survived. I'll keep you posted. Cute man (hubby) is going to work his magic on my Ashford traditional and get it back in working order since there is nobody who apparently works on wheels in this area. There used to be one in Oklahoma City, but no longer...figures. I will no longer be loaning my wheel out to any high school for a prop in a play....lesson learned.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

And now for the weather...

Look what we awoke to this morning....urgggg...But then it is DECEMBER and KANSAS, so I really shouldn't be acting like this is a huge honkin' surprise....
That shine is not the result of my meticulous cleaning abilities, it's ice.
This is the time of year that I switch from liking wool to contemplating wearing the whole sheep live! I know, PETA would be all over me like, well, a sheep on hay! BAAAAAHHHDD! And since I have now pissed off PETA and all English teachers (bad ethics and grammar all in one shot. My college professors would be soooooo proud).
So instead of running my errands and getting my grocery shopping done, I am staying at the house and coming up with plan B for dinner. Thankfully we have eggs, Bisquick mix (we buy the college dorm size at Sam's) and milk. Can you say "Breakfast for Dinner tonight"? My boys are at that jaded age where that isn't such a big treat anymore, so I won't even try to fake enthusiasm on their part.
My original plan was to hit Sam's at 7:30 this morning and get my shopping done before they open the doors to everyone else (I love my business membership!) and be home early to make meatballs and meatloaf for later meals, then go shopping with a friend. Two snags in that plan:
1: ICE
2: I had forgotten how FREAKING COLD it is at 7:30 in the morning.
I HAVE to get out tomorrow to get things accomplished! Luckily this weekend is completely free with the exception of a spinning class, so I will be home cooking some meals to freeze for later dinners and making a huge batch of chili.
Questions for the day:
What is the weather like in your corner of the globe?
When it is snowy and icy, do you play outside or hibernate inside with projects? What are your favorite cold bound activities?
Leave me a comment!
I love snow, HATE ice! However, great freinds and good coffee to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

And a Good Time was had by all....

Since I finally figured out how to download the software for the new camera, here are some pictures from Thanksgiving. The Amish Biker looking guy is my brother in law Ed. As you can tell, Ed love jokes, which makes him a favorite with the kids.

And then you get a shot of Mr. Navy himself, my other bro in law, Jon Robert...I couldn't figure out whether he was encouraging me or discouraging me to take the picture-then I remembered I'm the one with the camera............ Booze and knitting....It's a Good Thing....(sorry Martha...)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ok--Day 2

I had a big list of things I was going to do this morning but it just seemed like a good idea to stay home instead. I tend to be an impulse buyer so it is sometimes better to just hang out at home instead of getting tempted if I know I may have problems sticking to my list. However, I will go foraging in the early morning tomorrow and pick up some meat for the week. I am going to make a honkin' big pot of chili tomorrow. It just sounds good now that the days are getting colder. Have any of you received snow yet? We had a little snow around Thanksgiving but it melted by days end and we haven't had any more since. I wish I had some wool blankets to sandwich between the sheets....I'll get right on that...not.

Am I the only one who isn't particularly crazy about Noro Kuyreon...I love the changing colors, but it is really scratchy. Has anyone else worked with this and does it soften up after washing? It was suggested to me that you need to use hair conditioner on it--ever heard of that? I am discovering it is a pain to frog! It catches on itself almost as bad as mohair.

The dogs are not used to having me at home and right now are testing my patience by trying to play musical doors. Parents of children know this game well. If the kid is on the outside, he feels lonely and wants to come in. If he is on the inside, he feels stifled and wants to go out. And the cycle continues...Right now one of the dogs is sitting at the patio door crying to get in...He can just plant his happy butt in that spot for at least another hour, darn it! Ever notice that kids and dogs come finely trained to dance on that ONE exposed nerve? Yep, at least with dogs you can put them outside for the day and not have to worry about social services coming....but then at least with kids, they don't have accidents on your carpet. Or at least I hope...

I have decided that I am in the market for a spinning wheel. I am surprised at myself, but I am leaning strongly towards getting a Louet wheel. For some reason, I am finding that I actually like the modern look of a Louet. However, I would really love to find one used since I don't think a new one is in the budget. So if you know of anyone wanting to sell their Louet wheel, email me.

I am anticipating a shipment of mystery roving from Wool2Dye4. I love this company for large quantities of natural yarns that I dye, so I was happy to see such an awesome price on roving. They are sure it is not merino but are unsure of exactly what it is. Once I get it, I'll make a decision on whether it is soft enough for sock yarn or whether I will blend it with merino to add some softness. Now I just have to become best friends with an alpaca farmer.....hmmm. I guess I will have to check out (stalk)the livestock arena at the state fair next year. I didn't get to the livestock this year, but the year before that I fell in love with some of the llamas at the fair. They were really soft. As soft as any alpaca I've played with, so I'm going to see about getting some of that to spin too. I got to pet a couple llamas and talk to the breeders. I was surprised at how docile they were. I was expecting them to spit. The breeder explained that llamas that are not stressed are usually docile...Hubby nixed my idea of getting one for the backyard with just one glance. You ladies know that look. I didn't even bother to give him my "Fine, I'll come back without you later and pick up a dozen" look...I imagine a llama would be hard to house train. However, if you know of anyone that has, please do tell.

Well, I guess I will get something accomplished today...please don't hold me to that though. It may take me a week to get in the mode...right now I am still trying to figure out how to structure a day where I have to write the agenda...

Monday, December 03, 2007

First Day Home From Work

As of today my resignation became official and I am home. It really feels weird. I had a ton of plans for things I fully intended to do and found that I have this nagging feeling that I am not doing something that needs to be done. I'm sure this feeling will pass and I can't see anything on my calendar, so I am attributing it to being the first day home.

Let's see, plans for today:

1. Finally get around to making the batch of 7 layer bars I've been promising the kids.

2. Get my bathroom scrubbed.

3. Get dinner on the table before 7pm! That alone is worth it's weight in gold.

4. Calculate the yarn I'm going to need to get my wrap coat started and actually make some progress on my sock I'm working on.

It may sound boring, but believe me--just the fact I am going to have time to do any of the above is exciting....I am making the animals nervous. I think the cats had a party planned by the way they keep coming into the room to see if I'm still here. Once it is established there is one of those disgusting humans still in their house, they stomp off (a cat "stomping" off is more of an attitude--those who own cats know what I'm talking about. Those who don't have cats will just have to take my word for it).

More posting later---
Great friends and good coffee to you and yours!