Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!!

                    Wishing everyone a very Happy, Bless`ed  Easter!

Well, I know ours will certainly be.  For the first time in over 25 years since BH and I have been together, and over 40+ years since I've had my own family, we will be spending our day tomorrow out and about and possibly stopping for dinner somewhere.  (Are there even restaurants open on Easter Sunday?  For other than brunch?  I don't know!  Never had the opportunity.)

We are soooo looking forward to a holiday to do whatever we want.  I am soooo looking forward cooking, baking, dishes, cleaning and entertaining.  I'm giddy with excitement!

After last year, when only one son showed up for dinner, and I had prepared a huge ham with all the trimmings and pineapple-upside-down cake for dessert, we said "never again".  We are through with this.  We're spending the day the way we want.

But, all is not forsaken.  Today I have a boneless pork loin in the crockpot (it will be glazed with a diluted plum jelly mixture for the last hour, in the oven to crisp it up); then there'll be mashed potatoes, peas, and ambrosia salad.  Of course, pineapple-upside-down cake with whipped cream for dessert.  For just the 2 of us.  And an Easter basket made up tonight for BH!

It's kind of sad, in a way, to reflect on years passed.  When the grandchildren were small;  everyone would be coming up from the Cities for a day or two;  BH and I would have a ball hiding the plastic eggs outside, each with a dollar bill inside.  (of course the 4 grandkids were advised that they could only claim 6 eggs each; when they found their 6, they could help someone else find theirs.)  One year the eggs had to be hidden in the snow!!

And, of course, the big dinner, most prepared the night before.  Everyone having a grand time.  But now the kids are teenagers, parents have to work on Monday and the 3 hour drive up here doesn't seem so appealing.   C'est le vie.

So tomorrow we will take off in the morning....hit the casino for a few hours......take a leisurely ride somewhere......maybe stop for dinner.  But if nothing is open, we can come home for leftovers, put our pajamas on, watch a movie or 2, have some dessert and relax.

The snow is melting ever so slooowwly.  Daytime temps are warming up likewise.  Wish it would happen a little quicker!

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday, March 15, 2013

It's a Good News/Bad News Day......

Good news...well, actually great news!  My parents' house has finally sold.   We will be getting our share of the sale within the next few days.  That means BH and I will be putting our house up for sale this summer instead of next (2014) and moving to the apartment by this Fall!!

I am sooooo happy I can hardly think straight.   BH and I were just talking about this earlier in the week.  He seemed to believe that we wouldn't have enough of our bills cleared up or payed down enough to make the move possible this year.  Plus the time element.  We have a sh*t load of cleaning up, throwing out, fixing up to get done.

Well I'm telling ain't never seen a whirlwind like what's going to happen come Spring!!  Who knows.....I may even lose all the weight I gained since being retired!

Soooo.....we were crunching the numbers again earlier, and I told him that moving this year is totally doable.  Yeah, we  might be rubbing nickles together at the end of the month, but it's nothing we haven't been doing for the past 25 years!  At least we'll be where we want to be and life will be more comfortable and easier for him.....which is my main goal.  No more logging, chopping, stacking wood for the year; no more climbing on the roof to clean out the stove pipes; no more 8 hours of cutting grass every time; no more being unable to travel anywhere in the winter because we need to keep the house warm; no more taking "shifts" at night when the temps are 20 below zero to make sure the water pipes don't freeze;  no more repairs and maintenance on the house.....which usually requires hiring someone....and paying!

OMG!!!  Now, if only the weather would co-operate so we can get on the fast track.  But no.  Another snow storm coming in this weekend....another 6" - 8" hitting the ground.  We just had 6" last weekend.  And then, the weatherman has the balls to say it looks like Tuesday through Friday will be good, with another fairly large storm coming in NEXT weekend!  And to rub salt into the was 39 degrees during the day Wednesday and Thursday, with some good snow melting.  Aaarrrrrggghhhh.

Ok, so the bad news......I'll probably have to suspend all spinning and knitting in another month.  No time.  And maybe won't be able to pick it up again until next Fall.  This makes me very sad.  I'll try to keep a small project on the needles in case there's a few minutes here and there.

The other bad news....and this is me, anyway.   So, I started knitting another vest with the alpaca/Shetland plied yarn Wednesday night.  It looked really good.  More knitting yesterday and last night.  All of a sudden I feel like......yep.......a hairball in my throat.  My eyes are itching and watering; my nose is dripping and feels stuffy; and I'm "aaackkking" and coughing....trying to bring up that hairball.

Are you serious??!!!  I'm allergic to Alpaca??!!!   I'm not allergic to anything!   How can this be??!!   Now I'm really bummed.

So, I think I will rip out the vest and use the yarn for smaller projects.  A hat and mitts.  Or....hat S and mitts S.   While wearing a face mask.

A little good.......a little bad.   Keeps life interesting and prevents me from getting too pleased with myself!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Moving At a Snail's Pace......

So....I finally got the nerve to start ripping the blue sweater neckline and sleeves.  Ugghhh.  I never could've imagined what a job this would be.  What's the problem, right?  Just find the end of the yarn, pull out the weaved end, untie the knot and.....pull, right?  Not so much.

First I couldn't remember - did I knit the sleeves from the top/down or visa versa?  Did I knit them in the round or flat?  Well, there was no seam upon examination, so "in the round".  Pretty sure I knitted them from the bottom up because of the patterning.  Good.  Start ripping out the ribbing.  Not going too well.  Have to undo it stitch by stitch, no ripping.  After almost a row, I start investigating more.  Ahhhh.....I'm trying to rip out at the cast- on row.  That doesn't work.  Find where the tweed of the sleeve meets the solid cuff.  There ya go.   Unweave, untie and start separating one from the other.  Good.  Cuff is off.  Now start ripping the sleeve.

No way, Jose`!  Because....both solid and tweed yarns were used alternately; because it's a "waffle" pattern, not stockinette, it does not rip.  No. No.  It has to be done stitch by stitch.  Sometimes I can pull out 3 or 4 stitches before there's a glitch and a dozen more have to be worked stitch by stitch.

Well, after 3 days on the first sleeve, it was finished this morning, cuff knitted back on.  Oh, and the sleeve stitches had to be decreased so the cuff wasn't sooo wide.

Now the second sleeve is being ripped.  Because I know kind of what to expect, it's going a little faster.  A little.  Very little.  So 3 days from now, the alterations should be done.  And I can move on to making the pockets. about 2 weeks from now......(hehehehehe) the sweater should be totally done!!

My own fault.  I really wanted to try developing my own pattern.  So, all in all, I guess it really worked out ok.  I do like the sweater;  I like the feel of it, the stitch pattern and the color.  I know I need more practice on intarsia(?) where sleeves are concerned.  But I'm not unhappy with it.

So here's what has to be done.  The marking at the neck is where the 14 stitches had to be dropped down 5 or 6 rows (still can't figure out how that happened!), but it is done and the collar is reknitted and finished; it worked out very well.  So I marked where the sleeves have to be shortened.

And, hopefully, pictures will be posted when all is said and done.  I do know that I will be much more careful in the future.....and try to refrain from making "gorilla" sleeves.  Which seems to be my downfall.

But....hey......the zipper went in "like butter"!!

And the wine colored vest is done. done. done.  Buttons were sewn on yesterday.  I found beautiful lavendar colored ones in my button box.  And "bonus!!".....smaller ones to sew on the inside as anchor buttons, shown in the last photo.  I love this vest.  Spinning more wool....a grey tweedy, bulky for another one!

Well, I'm going back to ripping it up....down.....out.....whatever.  My neck is killing me!

Oh, just a side note....we got 10" of snow between Monday night and all day yesterday.  Poor BH....shoveling for the 3rd time.  Yikes.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

This, Too, Shall Pass........

This is BH's favorite expression to me when things are going crazy.  It makes me want to punch him in the face.  But instead, my response to him is "yeah, like a kidney stone" (of which I've had one experience).  Another little gem he likes to verbalize is: "it's almost over; everything will be ok; it's almost over".   My response?  "ya know, that's what they kept telling me in the Labor room".   Makes me want to punch somebody in the face.

Can you tell this isn't going to be a great day?  My insides are all a-jumble.  I try to stay calm and positive.  It works for only a few minutes.

Ok, so there are some good things this past week.  I finished the wine colored vest, washed and blocked it yesterday.  It looks great! Hope to get pictures posted as soon as it's dry and the buttons are sewn on. 

I finished spinning the alpaca......thank you for the "spritz with water and conditioner solution" idea.  It worked like a charm!  So now I'm plying the alpaca with Jacob and the oatmeal colored wool.  Looking good!  Love the color.  Hope I'll get enough yarn to do another vest; I'm on the 4th plying bobbin.

Right now, I'm working on the blue cardigan that needed to be fixed.  Ripped out the collar, had to drop down 5 or 6 rows for about 14 stitches at the top of the left side panel.  Figured that out and now re-knitting the collar.  Then the sleeves have to be shortened about 7 pattern repeats!  Thank goodness a repeat is 4 rows.  So the underside stitching needs to be undone, the cuffs ripped out, and then rip the pattern stitches back; reknit the cuffs.  And this sweater definitely needs pockets.  So the pockets will be knitted and added to the front panels.  Then I think this sweater will be done!  Geezzzz.

I've been getting anxious to do some dyeing.  I'm thinking of getting all the equipment together today.  It's in the old farm (storage) house.  If I bring it over here today, the dyes, mordants and bottles should be thawed out in a couple of days.  Geezzz.   I've been seeing some beautiful colors from other bloggers.  And I have a ton of white roving.  Can't wait!

I'm trying to figure out a good time to start Spring cleaning.  The problem is, I also want to do some painting, put up new wallpaper.  Can't paint yet because BH has to connect the hose to the spiquet outside.  It's still winter.  The hose is in the basement of the old farm (storage) house......frozen.   And it ain't gonna thaw out sitting outside.  I need the hose to wash up the paint rollers, tray and brushes.  We do not have a utility sink in the house.

We also have big plans for our Yard Sale  to be held Memorial Day weekend.  While most of the stuff is ready and organized, there is still quite a lot that has to be rounded up, cleaned up and gotten ready.  Not to mention there is still a ton of stuff that needs to be bagged and thrown out.  Can't do that for a few weeks yet.  Because it's all in the old farm (storage) house.   And it's freezing over there.

So, the yard sale needs to take priority.  Cleaning may have to wait til later in the summer.....or maybe the Fall.  This all needs to be done because we are planning on selling our home next Spring and moving to a 55+ retirement community.....apartment.  There is soooo much to do around here to get ready, we know we need to spend as much time this Spring and Summer getting it done. 

I spun the Jacob wool on my Ashford Traditional wheel.  The same wheel is being used for the plying.  I notice that the wheel, itself, is a bit wobbly.
I've tightened screws, changed the drive band, moved it to another whorl, moved it back.  Nothing.  Maybe it's warped.  We probably need to take the whole wheel apart and put it back together again.  This is not something I'm enthused about, nor do I really want to get into.  Ok.  So the wheel is warped.  It works.  Ahhhh......but now there's a "squeak".  Yeah.  Another one.   I don't know where it's coming from.  I've oiled all the spots.  It's not a constant squeak, just enough to make me want to bang my head against the wall.

So that makes 2 wheels that squeak.  I need a break.  "This too shall pass".  Ppfffftttt.

Oh.  My favorite expression?   "Nothin's so bad that it can't be worse".

And that pretty much sums it all up.  It keeps me from punching someone in the face.