Monday, March 28, 2016

Is It Spring Yet??..........

First....a belated Happy Easter to one and all.  Days are flying by!  Is it Spring where you are?  We get a morsel every now and again.  Temps still below freezing at night and we've been getting a couple of inches of snow overnight.  Yuk.

Well, it's been busy....but not.  Know what I mean?  It seems like everyday brings its own chores and "have to's", but it doesn't really seem like anything is getting accomplished.  Because I have no desire or energy to to the everyday crap.

Anywho.....I've got 4 bobbins, now cakes, of the laceweight yarn finished for granddaughter's bridal shawl.  I'm still spinning.  And I see by today's assessment that I need to blend more Merino and silk.  Haven't found the right pattern yet; still looking.

On the grey Aran sweater, the back, sides and one sleeve are done; the other sleeve is 1/2 done.  What a time I've been having!!  I've never ripped out so much knitting in all my years.  Don't know if my head's just not wrapped around it or what.  I'll sure be glad when it's done.

Daughter is going in for knee replacement surgery the middle of April.  I'll be staying with her for most of the recovery, I think.  6 weeks says the surgeon.  PT 2 or 3x a week.  Oh boy.  That pretty much takes care of Spring cleaning and the first month of summer for outside work.

BH turns 80 in July.  This is causing a lot of stress.  I originally wanted to plan a BIG party for him.  BIG.  With all the out-of-state family coming here.  But....things being what they are....I'm re-thinking that whole scenario.  I do not like asking anyone to spend money, their vacation, and time to travel half-way across country for a few days. And I fear there would be a lot of "regrets", cannot make it, in response.  Not that they have anything against BH, just that the "family" has kind of fallen by the wayside, if you know what I mean.  How sad.

Well, I will come up with a different plan and it will be a wonderful celebration of his life and the most wonderful, giving person that he is.....come Hell or high water!

We're going to the Casino for an overnight with my brother and SIL this coming weekend.  This will be exciting!  We've never done that before with them.  They seem pretty excited about it, as we are.  It'll be a lot of fun.....win or lose!

Today I have an appointment at the beauty salon to get my hair cut, styled and a body perm. I wanted blonde highlights too, but she said it wasn't a good idea to do it at the same time as the perm, to wait a couple of weeks.  Ok.    Lordy!!  Haven't had that much work on my hair since.....my......Senior Prom!!  48 years ago!.......ouch!...  I hope it turns out the way I see it in my mind.  I'm taking pictures of the "do" that I want to insure no misunderstanding.  hehehehehe.

Well that's enough of that.   Here are some pics for your enjoyment. 

single spun
                                   2 ply




 

The pic of the front is the real color.....don't know why the back looks so washed out.....too much light, I guess. Oh well.




Saturday, February 27, 2016

White Sheets......

When's the last time you bought a set of white bed sheets?  Remember white bed sheets?  So clean, so crisp, so....grandma's beds.  I love white sheets.

I haven't bought new sheets for......18 years or so.  Yep.  The last set was an exchange of flannel sheets we received for a set of cotton ones.  And they were "Martha Stewart" design.  I don't care much for M.S., and would never purposely buy something of her line.  But I liked the pattern and the material....so there ya go.  There are 6 sets of sheets in the linen closet.  A few of them are before the "deep pockets" sheets that came out with the introduction of 10"+ thick mattresses.  So I have a couple sets of the "deep pockets", but they're showing their wear.

I've had it in my mind that I want white sheets.  I'm sick of prints and matching coordinating colors.  White.  It's the way to go.  Can't wait to hang them out on the washline this summer.  Nothing is better than crawling into bed on fresh sheets that have been dried outdoors.  And white is a bonus!  Just like Grandma's.

I bought 6 sets of white pillow cases last year.  I use them as pillow protectors under the regular cases. 

So now we have a new set of white sheets....and, I'm shy to admit....a set of beige.   Because we all need some color in our lives.  I'm sure my Grandma would approve.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Size DOES Matter.........

So I started another Aran sweater.  Grey Perendale/Romney cross, plied with Corriedale.  Spun and plied a nice 4-ply.  I've never done 4 ply before.  I take a published pattern, for the size, decreases and increases....I hate doing a lot of math.  But then I incorporate my own stitch patterns that I pick out.  It's all good.

Got the back done over the weekend.  I like knitting the back first; it feels like a big accomplishment.  Knitted on size 8 circulars.  I like circulars when there are a ton of stitches.  But not working it in circular.  Then the front sides.  So...started the right side, but went to straight needles...10" in length.  Got about 4" done, but not happy with the feel of the fabric.  Stitches look too close, feel is too dense. May have to go back to circular needle.  So, get out the adjustable set (whatever they're called); find a not-too-long connecting wire, screw on the size 8 tips and begin the other side.  About 3" into it, something's not right.  Oh the fabric is working up beautifully, nice and light.  If Aran can be called light.  But something's not right.

Get out the needle sizer.  Crap!!  The needles used for the back were size 10, not 8.  Aaaarrrrghghhh!   Well, thank goodness, it wasn't the front sides that were knitted up first.  All those stitches on the back....all those cables, bobbles and cross-overs.  Yikes.

So today I will rip out the 2 front panels and start again.  FYI :  I have 2 needle sizer thingies.  One is plastic and I could never figure out which hole was the correct one for the size.  Does the needle have to go all the way through easily, or is it just the tip of the needle?  A needle could give me 3 different sizes.  That can't be right.

But I found another sizer, metal, from Susan Bates company.  Perfect!!  The needle only goes through 1 hole easily.....not too big, not too small.  And that's the size.  Why can't manufacturers develop a way to permanently mark circular needles??  C'mon.....really??!!  With all the technology today???


The now completed back.  With raglan sleeve openings.  I love raglan.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Of Mice and (Wo)Men...........

My day was planned as of 5:30am.  Lots to do, lots to do.  Lots of wool things to do.

I have this black wool, purchased at a yarn store for cheap!  Because the owner says there's no call for fiber anymore.  People want yarn.  ok.  $10 for 8 oz....it's got blue glitz in it!!  Sold!

It's terrible stuff....lots of VM, nepps and second cuts.  But I sallied forth because I have 2 lbs. of black top that I want to ply with it.  Already I'm thinking of making a felted, Fedora-style hat with it.

Then I happened across 3 bobbins of white Corriedale that I forgot about.  Hmmmm....well let's get those babies plied and I'll have 3 empty bobbins.  That's going well.

2 days ago I started blending Merino and silk for granddaughter's wedding shawl.  I've had the silk for about 4.....yep....4 years.  Waiting for the right project.  The Merino was purchased this Fall when it was on sale from my favorite fiber place.  Also iridescent Angelina.  So, one single is with silk, the other, Angelina.  A beautiful 2-ply yarn will be the outcome.  At least, that's what I see in my head.

I've also got 1 more inch on the back of an Aran sweater being knitted.  A 4-ply grey and white.  Looks very nice.  Love the patterns.  It's just the beginning.  4 more sections to knit.

So, housework has been hit or miss for the past month (or so).  If I can see it, it gets cleaned.  If it isn't noticeable, it's good for another week or so.  So far, it's working.  It's winter, afterall.  And my penchant and energy for housework is nil.

Got the blending board set up this morning, ready to go.  Working on the 3rd bobbin of Corriedale 3-ply.  1 bobbin of black top is done, another needs to be.  The crappy stuff with the glitz is all spun up.

Going into a drawer in the kitchen, I discover little.....black.....dots.  Ovals, if you will.  Yeah.....we all know what that means.  Especially those of us living in the country.  Damn!!!  Go to the spice drawer, one of their favorite eating establishments......yep......they got the dill.  Dill.  Who knew?  Checking all drawers.....2 more with evidence.  Clean the drawers, get rid of all the damage.  Tell BH, "we had a mouse in the drawers".  He says "well, better set some traps tonight.  You want to go pick some up later?"  Sure.....there's a new thrift store in town I'm dying to check out.  Not for mouse traps, mind you.  Just for fun.

We do have these little sonic thingies all over the house.  Plugged into the outlets, they let off a low hum.  We've had them for 3 years now and they seemed to be working just fine.  But...there's always that one little son-of-a-gun that thinks he's Mighty Mouse.  We'll get you, my pretty.....we'll get you.  Warn your friends and family.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Is It Just Me....or......

Every year at this time, I feel yukky.  It's my medical term for "not quite feeling good, not quite really sick.  No cold or anything; just yukky.  Every year.  I feel anxious, tired, uninterested, bored and sometimes, nauseas.  Eh.....maybe it's the weather, the season.  Does anyone else go through this at this time?

In other news, I don't think I mentioned this before, but took daughter to the Orthopedic Doc for a cortisone shot in her elbow (every 3 months), and had him check her knees too, which have been giving her problems for quite some time.  Xrays show.....both knees are shot....no cartiledge in either....replacement surgery is required.  Yeah.  So he'll do one at a time, 6 months apart.  We'll have to make the consultation appt. for March, hoping surgery for April and the next in October.

She just missed 2 weeks of work with the horrible congestion, cold, sinus trouble.  That has finally abated, and she's going back to work today.

Granddaughter called yesterday afternoon to say her fiancĂ© surprised her with a puppy!!  Oh yay.  A puppy.  A brand new puppy.  Born in November.  He got it from a pet store.  "No Refunds".  So, they went to the office of their new apartment they just moved into 3 weeks ago to pay the pet deposit.  Only to find out....no dogs or cats allowed in their building.  They would have to move to another building (3 in this complex)....and there is no apartment available until April.  

So, I gave her all the "ooohhhh nooooo's" I could think of, and I knew why she was calling, so I also had to say emphatically that since our pets passed away some 5 years back, BH and I decided no more pets.  Not at our age.  We don't want the responsibility and really don't have the energy level for it.  And we took damn good care of our pets, dog and cat, that lived to be 14 yrs. old each. I made suggestions about their friends, getting the word out at work, even calling my brother who lost his dog last year.

Well, she sent me a message last night that they took the puppy back and explained the situation to the clerk.  She did not say, however, if they got their money back.  But, even if they didn't, sorry to say....it's a hard lesson learned.  She already has a bunny, who's 8 years old, so it's not that they're "petless". 

What else.....well,  I finished those colorwork socks, and started on another Aran sweater.  Grey.  From a new book with more patterns.  So far, so good.  I'm half-way up the back.   I've been spinning this black wool with blue glitz.  Got it really cheap from a yarn shop that no longer deals in spinning fiber.   Yeah.  It was a challenge.  Lots of nepps, second cuts and VM.  And....8 oz. of the stuff to boot!!  Well, now I'm spinning a black "top" to ply with it.  I think there's over a pound of that.  I've still gotta prepare some white Merino and get it spun laceweight for granddaughter's wedding shawl....that will then have to be knitted.  What am I waiting for?  I don't know...it's just the way I roll.  I work better under pressure.  They haven't set a wedding date yet....whew. 

Weather has not been too bad.  This past weekend we were in the high 30's.  And it doesn't sound too bad for this week.  Let's keep it going...Spring can't be far away.

Today we're going to the Casino for an overnight.  Can't wait!!  Maybe that's just what the doctor would order for my malaise.  Sounds good to me.  And maybe.......just maybe.......there's another Jackpot with my name on it!   Oh, that'll cure the winter yukkies just fine!




Friday, January 22, 2016

I've Got 12 minutes......

12 minutes till I have to leave to pick up daughter for a doctor's appointment.  She's been down with a horrible cold....head, chest, sinuses for a week now.  Missed all week of work.  Today is Friday....time to get to the doctor.  Because tomorrow is the weekend.  And we all know what that means.....if any medical problem is going to get worse....it most DEFINITELY will be worse on the weekend.  We're talking Urgent Care or ER.   Ugh.

So, had trouble with the car last weekend.  No power steering.  BH is saying it's probably from the cold.  -25 overnight for like 4 nights in a row.  That's actual temp, not wind chill.   Yeah, but we've had nights...and days....like that every winter.  Why is this different?!

By Sunday, it was no better...and the temps were warming up a bit.  So he suggested we call the garage and take it in.   Well.....got the call yesterday....yeah....there's NO power steering belt.  It's gone.  Just gone.
Well....alrighty then.  That kind of explains it.

So...we picked up the car today....but had to walk a bit over a mile into town.....because the van wouldn't start.  Again.  If it gets below 0, it will not, it refuses, to start.  Ah....but it was 14 degrees overnight....ABOVE  0.  And it's 16 degrees now.   We walked into town to pick up the car.  To pick up daughter.  To take her to the doc.  She's sick.  And the weekend is upon us.  And we all know what that means.

Time to go.

Have a nice day.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Is It Cold Enough For Ya........



Another ridiculous question asked all too frequently at this time of year in the Northwoods.  Pppfffftttt.   Makes you want to smack someone in the face....if only you could move your frozen arm into a 45 degree angle and forward with force.

Anywho.....yes, after a very, extremely mild beginning to winter, we are where we always find ourselves in January and February.   It has been -25 degrees overnight for the past few nights...reaching 0 during the day.  We've been lucky, though....no strong winds added to the mix.....just yet.  Then we're looking at 30 - 40 below.  Yeah, you've heard all the horror stories on the Nightly News.

This is the first week since Christmas that I can actually, aimlessly, putz around the house wondering what to do, what to do.  So....I'm trying to spin and knit.  Finished a hat and scarf that was sent to Limbo before the holidays.  And then had the brainstorm to try a pair of colorwork socks.  Which are almost finished.






Now I have to plan the next project.  I'm spinning some random fiber picked up at a yarn store some months ago.  And I have to get started on spinning the yarn for a wedding shawl I want to knit for our granddaughter.  The wedding date hasn't been set yet, thank goodness. 

Speaking of which....she returned from Kuwait a week before Christmas, had to spend a few days in Texas for out-processing, and got to MN just a few days before the holidays.  She and fiancĂ© came up on New Year's Day and stayed overnight.  We had a great Christmas/NYD celebration.

And then 1 week later, they had found an apartment and were moving in that weekend.   We had all their things stored here while she was overseas and they had been staying with his parents a few months before she left.  

So we offered to load up all their belongings and bring them to the new place.  Otherwise, they would've wasted a day traveling back and forth, loading and unloading.  It's a 2 hour trip one way.   And after the great, uncommon temperate weather we'd been having....wouldn't you know it....yes, weather report says below temps that weekend with winds, double digits below 0.  Of course.  Why not.  I told her we would unload the van, take the tour of the apartment, and leave for home.  We did.  It was 14 degrees in her town when we left;  at 3:30pm when we got home, 2 hours away.....it was -3.  Minus 3.  Yeah.  We made the right decision.

But we got the job done and they were very thankful and appreciative.  We were very happy to be able to do this for them.  I also loaded up 3 grocery bags of food and the picnic cooler too.  Just so they wouldn't have to worry about running to the store first thing to stock up.  Cereal, pancake mix, syrup, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, crackers, salsa/nacho cheese, homemade bread and hard rolls, ketchup, mustard, mayo, sugar, salt and pepper.   Lunchmeat, cheeses, bacon, eggs, milk, butter, hamburg, and a big bucket of homemade chicken and rice soup.   Food.....that's how I roll.

Yesterday I started a group on FB....."For the Love of Irish.....Aran Knitting".   Got 27 members already and some great discussions and comments.  This is going to be fun!!  I love Aran knitting and couldn't find a group.  I do belong to 10 different fiber, spinning, knitting groups but nothing this specific.  Although, it's not intended to be strict.   So if you're looking for something different....check it out.  The more, the merrier.


I should really be doing some house cleaning (spits on the floor), but I'm just too busy....and it's waaaayyyy too cold outside, which means BH is in the house with me 23 1/2 hours a day (someone's gotta bring in the wood and empty the compost bucket.....and it ain't me, babe!)  You know or can imagine what it's like to have a man....a retired man.....in the house with you...23 1/2 hours a day !  Yeah.  It'll make your head spin!  And I'm still recovering from all the holiday/post holiday hoopla.  Ehhhh....maybe a little dusting and run the vacuum today.  Yesterday it was cleaning the bathroom and straightening up the house.  Tomorrow it'll be laundry; Wednesday, grocery shopping.  You have to build up the stamina slowly. It's the only way.