Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm Here. No Really!

As is obvious, I  have taken a hiatus from knitting and blogging. I have ventured onto another obsession such jeweling making and a new one, learning to play a guitar.

My last knit project was the Autumn Leaves Cardigan. I have completed the body knit in one piece and most of one sleeve. However, I have determined that the separately knit sleeve was going to be too tight for my plumpish forearm. I was not sure whether to rip it and and make a larger size and deal with the difference when sewing it to the body or just pick up stitches with increases from the armhole and knit down. Either way I was going to have research this change and perform some calculations. During the time I was working this sweater, I was going through my typical Fybromyalgia winter doldrums and it's associated foggy brain syndrome. When my brain is only running on a few cylinders, I am still capable of following a pattern with little or no problems. OK, I will admit to maybe a little more ripping out is done. LOL. My hubby and I are thinking about a taking a long road trip this spring so I hope to have crunched the numbers and be ready to knit for the trip. In the mean time, I will attempt to get a picture of the sweater up on here and in Ravelry so you can see it.

As I have mentioned, I am jewelry making or what I will call jewelrysmithing. I construct the components of each peace from sterling silver sheet and soldering the pieces together with a oxygen/propane torch.  I then set with gemstones, stones, pearls and what not. I would like to blog about this but am not sure whether to include it here or create a new blog. I know I have included some of my personal life in this blog, but I mostly have stayed on topic. I really would prefer not to have to keep up two blogs. But then I would want to be able to separate the topics so my readers and I can easily locate what interest them. Looks like I need to research the new capabilities of Blogger.

You may see some different formatting the next time you visit.  Please, bear with me. Are you going through growing pains with your blog? Please share and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Just A Thought...

If quitters never win, and winners never quit, then who is the fool who said, "Quit while you're ahead"?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Swirl Shawl - Before Blocking

I finally was able to get back to this shawl on Sunday evening. I discovered that there were two and a half medallions left to complete. In a previous post, I wistfully thought there was only one left. A movie and a few episodes of Dexter later, thery were knit and the last row worth of loose ends were woven in.

I had bought the pattern and eight balls of yarn online. I did not realize at the time that this pattern required one ball per row and to keep it symmetrical, additions of two additional rows would be needed to keep the patten even. The pattern calls for five rows to make the shawl. I now have a total of seven rows and one ball left. I could order another ball, but I am at the point where I no longer want to knit on this project and prefer to move onto something new.

After reading some knitters notes on Raverly about this pattern, I discovered that some would have additional rows to make this a more desirable size. So maybe I now have the "perfect" shawl.

Update: The shawl has been hand washed and with a countless number of pins has been blocked out to measure 24" x 96". It is a warm day and it already seems to be dry. But just in case, I will let it sit overnight before unpinning.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What I Did On my Summer Vacation...

A few pictures form our Colorado Vacation. The first three are of our visit to the Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings near Colorado Springs. The temperature was around 95 degrees. However, it was much cooler inside the dwellings. I found it fascinating to walk through each room and imagine what life was like for the people who lived here.

The last picture on the right is taken at the Garden of the Gods, just a few miles for the cave dwellings. We were too zapped by the heat to walk through them. So we just drove the loop and stopped periodically so I could take pictures.

Being from a mostly green colored state, I found the red rocks strikingly beautiful.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It Has Been A While

Hm..., no postings going on here. What have I been up to? Not knitting. Would you believe it, I just need to knit one more medallion and the Swirl Shawl will be complete. I put down my needles in June when I had a Fibromyalgia flare. That blasted thing lasted well over a month. That was the bad news. The good news is we flew off to the Denver, CO area for a week long vacation this month. We took our grandson, Chase, and met up with our son, Michael, and our other grandson, Hunter. We flew out on a Wednesday and returned home a week later on Thursday.

Michael is what I will call a "storm chaser". He works for a company that specializes in replacing domestic and commercial roofs after after a storm (hail, tornado, hurricane, etc.) has rampaged. He sets up new offices and manages the production until it can be handed over to a manager and then moves onto the next area. Right now he is in the Denver area where they have had some wicked hail storms.

My husband had lived for several years in the small town of Bailey, which is about a hours drive west of Denver and on the way to Breckenridge, the sky resort. His family left the area when he was sixteen and has wanted to travel back to see the area again. He said that the town had not changed that much in forty plus years.

Some of the tourist sites we visited included Royal Gorge, Cripple Creek, Pikes Peak, Red Rocks, Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings, Garden of the Gods and Breckenridge. To keep the grandsons entertained there was the Denver Museum, an indoor trampoline center, an amusement center (games), Elitch Gardens (rides), a ghost town and of course the hotel's swimming pool. I have finally have all the pictures uploaded on my computer and now I just need to label them. Good thing I brought the brochures home to help remind me to where we were.

Since we came back, I have been playing catch up in the garden. Most of the flower beds are looking pretty good. I am a little low on energy now, but will have another go at the remainder when I am rested. Thankfully, the weather has cooled down to the normal 70's. The 90 plus degrees has been wicked.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Just A Thought...

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.  

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just A Thought...

How can someone draw a blank?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prevent Drunken Emails!

I was taking a rest break from some garden work and decided to browse a few websites. I came across this a post about preventing drunken emails at the the Hack A Day blog. Apparently there is an application, Googles Mail, for those who like to fire off rants to an intended target while inebriated. The installed software forces one to take a math test (aka walk a straight line) to determine if the sender is sober enough to send the offending email.

Hmm, I can just see me now..., that third glass of wine in hand (what can I say, I am a pantie weight boozier), hunched over the keyboard and poised to send off that scathing critique of a knitting pattern with suspected errors to a knitwear designer.

Up comes the test. Can I complete the math problems before the clock runs down?

Hmm..., could those multiple glasses of wine be the real culprit for my knitting blunders?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring Flowers

The weather during the last two days has been gorgeous. Temperatures were in the low 70's. I had worked in the flower beds both days removing the invasion of grass that was attempting to claim the beds. Today I am a little sun burnt and tired.

The weather is a little cooler today. No garden work planned. Although it is a good day for taking pictures. Some of the tulips have begun to bloom with more blossoms, inter mixed with the blue Muscari, are on the way.

The corkscrew filbert bush was pruned yesterday. I arranged a few of branches in a large vase that now resides in the living room.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Swirl Shawl

Slowly but surely this project is moving along. I have not knitted on this every day but do manage to get two or three medallions during a session. I am on the fifth row now. If I were to make a shawl this would have been the last row. But I think I would rather make a throw out of this and would probably get a lot more use of it. I am thinking that eight rows make be the right size. Update: Just finished row five, on to number six.

I saw the first rabbit of this spring today sitting out in the yard and warming itself in the early morning sun. The weather here has been erratic and getting out into the garden has been sporadic. However, spring is managing to push the flower buds up through the ground and the pansies I planted do wave to me which each breeze.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Busy Day

I had a doctor appointment in Seattle today. While out I also ran some errands. One was having my my hair cut which made me feel like a new lady. I stopped at Borders bookstore to look for a book on permaculture in the garden section. However, none were to be found on the store's bookshelves. I wanted to peruse the subject before buying. Looks like I will just have to buy a book online instead. I did come away with a photography magazine which has a few articles that peaked my interest.

Next, I was off to the garden center to pick up some potting soil for the new house plant I bought last week. Actually I bought two houseplants, but only one needed to be planted in a new pot. That I accomplished not long after I came home.

I also trekked into Bed Bath and Beyond looking for new drapes or valances. I had bought a new sofa and two matching chairs for the living room. Their arrival kicked off the desire to redecorate the rest of the room. Well maybe more than one room. But let's not get ahead of myself. Anyway, I have decided that dark cranberry will be the accent color and now have new accent pillows and candles in that color. I did find some valances in a couple of colorways that would look nice. New rods will also be needed. Oh, and there was this lovely area rug. I need to measure up the windows and the floor area and do the obligatory mulling over of the expenses before I make my selections.

Needless to say it was a long day and I am aching (fibromyalgia). Mike cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher. Thanks, dear you did a great job and it took a load off of my mind. I want to find something new to knit. But am too tired to look through my yarns and patterns. I will just plug away on the Swirl Shawl tonight. Oh by the way, I am about half through the fourth row of medallions.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A New Mug Cozy

My mug cozy disappeared. It showed up again about a week later. I found it in with a load of laundry that I was folding. Buy accident, it had gone through the wash. It was now felted and no longer fit my favorite latte mug. I did some major tugging on it trying to reshape it. But it would only cover about half way up the mug. So I made a new one using some left over Cherry Tree Hill SuperSock Merino in the Northern Lights colorway. This is the same yarn I used for the Boing Scarf.

I used the Garter Mug Cozies pattern that I used for the first one and the lid was from Jaunty Mug Sweater and Tam (at Raverly) from Cabled Sheep (direct link to pattern). A worsted yarn had been used in both patterns. So I needed to make some adjustments for this yarn. After a some trial and error (lots of frogging), I finally was able to come up with this modified set. Instead of ties for the mug cozy, I opted for a tab and button closure.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Row And The Battle Of The Seasons

I have nearly completed the third row of the Swirl Shawl. I think I could almost knit this in my sleep if I did not have to count the stitches. It is amazing how fast I can pick up and cast on for each medallion now.

It was a sunny day Friday so I ventured into the garden and weeded and and turned packed soil. The crocuses are out and the tulips begin to poke out of the ground. I am anxious to buy and plant some pansies. All of the ones I have died out. This morning I woke up to snow on the ground. The battle between winter and spring continues.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Week of Wrongs

Wrong 1: The internet stopped working on Thursday. At least, it would no longer work through the splitter that was in the living room. I called called the cable company and we found that I could get either TV or internet but not both, even after I had swapped out different cables and a new splitter. A cable guy was supposed to come out on Friday, but never showed. I called the cable company again and a guy came out on Saturday. Apparently, some new configuration went into place and the cable leading from my house to the main connection box on the road is now out of specification (cable is too small). A new one will have to be put in which can take from one to two weeks. In the meantime, I moved the modem and router back upstairs to a separate cable connection.

Wrong 2: My Vonage (internet) phone will not work with the existing internet problem. Until the problem is resolved, I have forwarded my home phone to my cell phone. My cell phone's battery had decided it does not want to hold a charge for long. So it has to stay plugged into the charger. Time to order a new battery.

Wrong 3: In January, I ordered a Sofa and two matching chairs for our living room. The color I choose was not carried in stock and had to come from the manufacture. The set arrived on Saturday. I was so excited. However, when the protective wrappers were removed, the fabric was the wrong color. I had ordered a color called Stone which is off white with a hint of gray. The set I received is light brown in color. The furniture will be reordered and they will try to have it expedited. In the meantime, they left the set here for us to use. We had already removed the old furniture. The new furniture is so comfortable. If if only was the right color.

To prepare for the new furniture, I have been cleaning the living room carpet . I thought I would be done by now by now but my fibromyalgia is acting up with this cold weather so I am only able to doing small sections at a time. I will have to wait until my hands and arms calm down to finish the rest. My knitting and game playing has also been limited due to the pain. Bummer.

Wrong 4: Last week I ordered a new hard drive for my laptop, upgrading from 80 GB to 320 GB, along with the newer version of MS Office. I also plan to roll the laptop Windows XP back to Vista. I went to install the hard drive Friday night and found that the new drive’s connecting pins did not match. This was my fault. I did some further research, found and ordered the correct one. Now, I need send the wrong one back and wait for the new one to get here. It should be here on Tuesday.

I also ordered my husband a new cell phone and a tripod for my camera. Both should be delivered within the next few days. I am a little leery. Hopefully, they will be will be the correct items. Think positive here.

What a week. How did your week go?

Update: The tripod arrived and is going to be sent back. I must have been asleep at the wheel when I ordered. I selected the 3-section tripod instead of the 4-section one. What is the difference you ask? The 4-section tripod legs collapses into a much smaller, thus easier to pack, tripod. The correct one has been ordered and will be delivered on Friday. The other one is already back in the box with the return shipping label printed and affixed. Hubby will drop it off and the UPS store tomorrow. However, the tripod head I choose was perfect and my new book, Complete Digital Photography, Fourth Edition by Ben Long looks very interesting. I just finished reading a novel and I am ready to tear into this book. It is a hefty book at 566 pages with a CD included. Time to get technical. Did you call me a nerd? You bet and proud of it.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Swirl Shawl & Spring Fever

I now have the pattern memorized so the knitting is each medallion has become more fluid. However, it is still not mindless knitting. So, no knitting this project when I am tired or engrossed in a movie or TV show.

The pattern has alternating rows of 16 and 17 medallions. The first row has 16 and the second row which I am working on now has 17. The Shawl has a total of 5 rows. However, I bought additional yarn thinking I might want to make this into a throw by adding more rows. It is going to take some time.

I took this picture outside today and think the violet-red purple colors show up better here than the picture in an earlier post.

Spring fever is setting in. The garden has been calling to me and the garden catalogs are arriving in the mail . I want to order some new plants but need to transplant several plants first amongst other yard clean up. So this year I have started early. I have been out pruning and raking. We have a 1 1/4 acre and I had put in quite a few garden beds. So they is a lot to do around here. Last week I raked and pruned plants in several flower beds near the house. On Friday I grabbed the pitch fork and turned the humongous compost into two piles. With over a acre of grass to mow, the clippings surely pile up fast and the compost has been sitting for two years. Saturday I pruned the apple tree, dead raspberry canes and several shrubs. This morning, Mike and I raked leaves and pine needles, 2 years worth, from one of the garden beds that runs 3/4 the length of our property. More pruning went on. Mike kept looking for rain so we could quit. It did start to rain, but only when we were loading the last of the debris piles into the wheel barrel. Thank you mother nature for your perfect timing. Just a few more flower beds to clean and I can begin transplanting. I now can have another look at the catalogs and maybe place an order or two.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vinuca – What Is Going On?

During the last few hours, my blog has been visited by several people searching for the term vinuca. How do I know this? I have a live traffic feed widget here on the site. At anytime I can see from what city and country one comes from, the site from which they arrived and if they used a search engine, I can also learn what they are looking for.

Those visiting my blog are landing on a old post of mine were I related my shock at the price of pure vinuca yarn. I am curious. What spawned your foray into vinuca? Are you looking for the animal, the fiber, a yarn or fabric? Or, is it something else which carries that title? Please leave a comment and satisfy this inquiring mind. Thanks for stopping by.

Update: Thanks for the explanations. I had a feeling that is was something that was published or released to today. Little did I know it was part of the daily word jumble.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Swirl Shawl

I have been working on the Swirl Shawl. I realized that I have a love hate relationship with this project. At first I was not sure that I cared for the color of this yarn. This Melody (fingering, super wash merino) has a very long and slow color repeat. Although I like purples, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th (counting from the left) medallions color were a little too bright and not a color I would have chosen on its own. However, as I moved into the periwinkle tones, I began to see how they compliment each other. The colors depicted in this picture are not true to actual color of the yarn.

The pattern requires my full attention while knitting, which does not go well with watching TV. For me a very relaxing thing to do. It may take me longer than I had planned to make this and I am yearning to knit a less I have had to rip out and start re knit a few of the medallions. I can see this pattern going into hibernation a few times before it is finished.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Hands Have It

Are rough hands a bane to your fiber preparation? Do you apply copious amounts of lotion to those pinkies before you pick up those needles? Then its time to get them in shape.

Here are some things that work for me:

Get Buffed The Big Way – Pick up a pair of those body buffing gloves from the beauty and bath section of your favorite store. Slip them on yours hands the next time you are in the bath. Add a little soap and buff your buff your whole body. By the time your are finished your hands will also have shed that dry skin.

Just The Hands Please – Wear a buffing glove on one hand, add soap, then buff the opposite hand. Switch hands and repeat.

Scrub Away – At one time I sold hand made soaps and bathing items which I had made myself. Her is a quick recipe for a hand and body scrub you can make yourself and with ingredients already on hand.

In a small bowl pour in 1/2 cup of salt or sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil (salad or olive) and a squeeze of dish soap. The idea is to make a paste, adjusting the salt/sugar and oil combination until you get a consistently you prefer. Place in a jar or plastic tub keep near a sink or shower. Just scoop out a desired amount and scrub that dry, dead skin away. Then rinse with water.

I prefer to use a finer grained sea salt or bakers sugar (not powered) as they are less coarse.

The Hard Way – This involves a trip to the hardware store. No kidding. Visit the area that has drywall supplies. Look for fine grit wet/dry sanding sponges. I keep one in the shower and use it wet and with soap to buff my feet, ankles, knees, elbows and knuckles once a week. The sponge adjusts to the contours of the body, rinses easily to clean, and seems to last forever. I just replaced my last one after three years.

I find I have less problems with that dry feeling which my skin used to get, especially in the winter months. If I keep up with the buffing regime, I find do not need lotion because I do not have rough skin. But, do use it because I like the silky feel and for the fragrance. Like the hand lotion my grandson gave me for Christmas. The lavender fragrance is to dye for. Thank you Chase.

Note: As with any abrasive item or substance, do not over zealously rub your skin. It can become irritated is you do so.

Update: Added the picture from lolcats just because it is cute.

Cauliflower Stimulas Plan

We all know that the economy is in trouble. However, I was not aware how bad things really were until I read that cauliflower was rearing its head (pun intend) to do duke it out with that almighty and powerful vegetable, the broccoli. Who knows what may happen. The next time you open the refrigerator, you may find cauliflower and broccoli flowerettes strewn about the vegetable bin from their war torn battle for supremacy. Of course, that may be a plus, you would not have to do any chopping before steaming them. ;)

Anyway, you can read the story and find some good recipes at this food blog site.