Thursday, December 4, 2008

Too many ideas OR Where did I put that yarn?

I have about 3 or 4 projects floating around in my head right now. The problem is putting the project and the yarn together with the needles. I just sorted my knitting needles--AGAIN--and hopefully the knitting elves will stay away and they can remain in order for the next few days.

Naturally, I don't have exactly the right needles or yarn for the projects I want to do. Thus the huge frustration level that is occurring. I really do think that sometimes it would just be easier to be the type of person who is focused on one craft and doesn't enjoy doing 500 different things.

I have put all of my major knitting patterns and books that I use a lot in one very large tote bag so I can find them when I need them. The needles are now sorted by size in plastic zip bags and in another tote bag. I have all my commercial wool yarn in a large clear plastic container. So far so good wouldn't you think? Then there's the rest of the fiber stash. ...on shelves, in plastic containers, in drawers, and probably some stored under the bed but I refuse to look there as the dust bunnies reside there and they are getting somewhat aggressive when disturbed.

I know where the big bin of silk fiber to be spun is because I stumble over it regularly. It won't fit in any of the closets and I can find it in the middle of the room where it is currently located. All the cotton fiber is out in the "workroom" and there it will remain until I make a dent in the spun cotton.

So project # 1 is a moebius scarf using some of my handspun cotton. I am actually going to, GASP, sample a swatch so I can buy the correct size needle that I need for the project. This is so difficult as I just love to jump right into things and sampling really is at odds with my basic nature. It will be worth it, it will be worth it, it will be....... Did I mention that I hate to sample?

Thankfully I have Catherine Coulter's TAILSPIN to listen do which should help me get through this step.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


No, it really can't be almost Thanksgiving again. I'm not ready. Not that the universe seems to care about that or take my considerations into account but more notice would be a good thing.

I need to find a calendar that has a fake Thanksgiving and Christmas on it. They should arrive about 1 month before they actually get here so I would have a nice cushion to finishing making and ordering presents. The problem with that is that I would know it was fake and would still procrastinate. SIGH. Give me a week or a year, it's all going to get done in that last week.

The roof is finally fixed and beautiful once again after the hurricane. The fence is back in place and the only things remaining on the extra to do list are the ceilings in the 2 bedrooms which need to be repainted. The problem is the regular to do list. It never seems to stop growing. The flower beds need to be prepared for winter, the bath tubs need to be recaulked, and the windows need a serious cleaning.

Take the mail for instance. It arrives here with great regularity. I appreciate my postman who is wonderful but wouldn't it be great to have a post office filter for spam mail? It could be intercepted and shredded before it ever gets here. The post office would make money, the organization would have the satisfaction of sending it out, and best of all, I wouldn't have to deal with it.If I ever find political candidates who don't send 5,000 flyers or make annoying telephone calls, I seriously think I may support them. Wouldn't you vote for them?

Knitting: I have made 2 Dumpling Bags (pattern by Sharon Dreifuss in Fall 2008 Interweave Knits). Love the pattern . Interesting enough to keep you from being bored but you can still take it along and visit while you knit without totally losing your place. I should have paid a bit more attention when they were in the washing machine since they are slightly smaller than intended but I am pleased with them anyway. When they are dry I'll post a picture.

I think the next thing on the list is to remember to be ever so grateful that I have all these things that need doing and people to do them with if needed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Shades of Big Brother

I don't know about anyone else, but after reading 1984 at an impressionable age, I find the Google street view somewhat disturbing. It's bad enough that satellites are overhead taking pictures, but now they are driving around neighborhoods taking pictures. What next?

On the fiber front, I am working on what, I hope will be the next to last panel on the baby blanket. At least the yellow combinations have been cheerful to look at but this certainly wasn't a quick project! I have managed to do each panel in a different stitch pattern . I did one in plain garter and was bored out of my mind so I have been thinking up other things to do and perhaps that has slowed the process down. On the positive side,I know it has helped to keep me knitting on it.

I have been wrapping several yarns around a yardstick to see how they look together in anticipation of the Ravelympics which start tomorrow. I hope to knit a shawl for that and will probably use a dropped stitch technique as a pattern. ... along with big needles. The plan is to start with a small triangle and increase to about 24 inches and then either make the other end rounded or decrease to another small triangle. Basically it will be a rectangular shawl with funny ends. It's in my head but we'll see how it comes out on the needles. There may also be tassels involved.

Well, today has been designated "Bathe the Dogs" day so it should rain for the next week. Regardless of this possiblity, I need to either bathe them or douse them in perfume which would gross out myself and totally disgust Allie and Conner. On the other hand, I could run errands and get some chores around here done that are pending. SIGH. No, the dogs really do need bathing first. Why can't they learn to take showers?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Heat index, polka dots, and knitting

The heat index is ridiculous. I almost wish they wouldn't tell us so we wouldn't anticipate how hot it is going to get. Sometimes being ignorant of that kind of information helps to keep you cooler, even if only in your mind. Thinking that an egg might fry on the sidewalk is not as bad as knowing that it would.

I now have polka dots on my face, or will have in a day or two. Went to the dermatologist and he found 4 precancerous spots which he froze. On the positive side, it's too hot to go running around town so the number of people who will be exposed to my polka dotted persona is limited. It should look really lovely in another week after the blisters have formed. Something to look forward to as we approach the dog days of summer.

Speaking of dog days, my dogs do not care to go out in this heat either. They have each claimed a floor fan and there they plant themselves. The positive side of this is that all the dog hair gets blown into 2 piles. My dust bunnies are majestic in stature!

I am currently knitting a baby blanket for Josh and Tanya's baby which is due in Dec. What possessed me to make up my own pattern I really don't know. That sort of thing is always slower than if I just follow a pattern someone else has worked the kinks out of already. I am knitting the 3rd panel. The middle panel is a yellow ombre of Peaches and Creme cotton done in a seed stitch. The panel on one side of that is a solid golden yellow done in a basket weave of K4,P4 and the current panel on the other side is done in a lace pattern. A very simple lace pattern.

It's fun to knit with the various patterns and it will be interesting to see how it develops.

Well, I am off to enjoy wonderful, cooling, fabulous sweettea. That was not a typo. In this part of the world, sweettea is one word and don't even think about trying to tell me that you can add sugar to unsweetened tea. It is NOT the same thing at all.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Garden doings

What a treat this morning. I was in the garden weeding, my least favorite job, when I spied 8 caterpillars on the fennel. I just felt like it was a special gift as I have been working on developing a butterfly garden this past year.
These look like the catepillar of the black swallowtail. I guess only time will prove my guess as right or wrong. The fennel doesn't look too well but the caterpillars are very well rounded. Finding them certainly gave a lift to the weeding job. Well, ok, I had to stop weeding so I could get the camera and take a picture of the newest visitors. Then I had to come in and upload the pictures so I wouldn't forget. Now, darn it, it's getting too hot to weed any more today. Bless you caterpillars! I think I'll plant more fennel.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Over the Top

Ever have an idea floating around in your head but you just can't quite get a hold on it? That's been me for the past couple of days. I want to make a hat for the January Spin-in and I knew that I wanted to do something different but I couldn't pin down exactly what .

It finally came to me a bit . I remembered my stash of freeform crochet and knitting that I had in the bag in the hall which I have been stumbling over for a couple of months. (If I had put it out of sight, I never would have remembered it.) Anyway, I pulled them out last night and played around with them but kept going back to the computer to play solitaire. That's what I do when the brain is puzzling over something and I need a break.

I was reaching the point of frustration this morning. This is where I become very grateful for artistic, brilliant friends. I popped over to Melody's house and in a couple of minutes she solved the problem I was having. Talk about a DUH moment. I was trying to put the pieces together to resemble a hat. Melody suggested I pull out a styrofoam head and pin the pieces onto that to see how they work. I had even forgotten that I had styrofoam heads--they were put away in the top of a closet. This is why I love my friends. They are artistic, smart, and can think outside the box and provide great practical advice when I need it.

So Samantha now has pins in her head and will sit for a while like that until I decide that the pieces are arranged the way I want. Life has improved considerably.

Some of the other freeform pieces may go toward a vest in the future.

On the dog training front, Conner only has two more classes and he will graduate from basic obedience class. The little stinker is wonderful on lead and comes like a shot as long as there are treats involved. He really seems to like the classes as he jumps like a Parson Russell Terrier when he realizes we are going in the car.

On the other side of the coin, Allie is going up for Shetlie sainthood. Last night I looked over and Conner had Allie by the tail and was pulling her across the living room floor. It's not the first time he has done it. Somehow he has gotten the idea that her (once) fluffy tail is his personal toy and he can grab it and hang on anytime he wants. Like I said, Allie is up for sainthood.

Monday, May 19, 2008

knitting for avoidance

Well, I actually finished 3 knitting projects this week. A summer shawl knit with Peaches & Creme cotton in the potpourri color, an Edgar scarf done with Noro in blues/ purple / teal colors, and a very simple basic washcloth done using a cotton/linen blend.

All of this would have been much more impressive if it hadn't been done to avoid cleaning out the house. I started out well last week. Cleaned the bathrooms and even got rid of stuff in the drawers. I felt so proud of myself. Felt as if I was on a roll at long last to get rid of "stuff". HA! That feeling lasted less than 24 hours, hence the knitting / avoidance frenzy.

So far this year, I have gone through 2 shelves in the fiber stash, and 5 bathroom drawers. Considering that we are now halfway through May, this is not an impressive record and drastic measures may have to be taken to get some results that people can actually see.

Oh, yes, I went through the clothes in my closet....but again, guests will never see my hard labor unless I take them on a tour and that just might be a bit freaky. Unless they have the same "stuff" problem that I do and then they would understand. The downside of that is that I would be expected to view their clean closets at some future time and knowing that mine won't stay this neat, it could lead to a vicious cycle ....and another knitting frenzy.

Conner is going to start obedience classes -again! for the third time, next week. I have been the reason we dropped out of previous classes. The first time I tried a class in the local obedience club but when we stood with out dogs for an hour and 15 minutes and did absolutely no training on the first night I knew it was a waste of time. I went for 2 more classes and then quit.

Our second attempt was under our regular instructor (who I should have gone to at first), Dick Russell. Dick knows dogs and is excellent. My schedule got in the way of finishing that one. So, we will try again and we WILL finish this time. I wonder if "Stop eating baby birds " can be covered. Conner brought me 2 of them within 24 hours yesterday. Big yuck! Of course, this is a dog who sometimes eats Allie's poop so it's not like he has discriminating taste.

I am considering cleaning off the coffee table and dining room table today but on the other hand I have started the Scribbling shawl which is in the Mason Dixon Knitting book. No, no, must focus on cleaning. Have a party I'm giving in a couple of weeks and I can't ask the guests to clean....or can I? Maybe if I give knitted prizes for the one who does the best job?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I just read the funniest thing in the world! I was surfing and looked up "organizing your stuff" for the fun of it. It has been on my mind quite a bit lately as the "stuff" runnith over.

Well, in this article it talked about getting rid of things and that having empty shelves meant you could live in a smaller place, etc. Ok so far. And then the biggie "Put your knitting yarn in a plastic bag." Dear organizer person, if I could put my knitting yarn in a plastic bag there would be no need to read your ideas!

Now if you are any kind of a knitter or fiber person at all, you know that no decent stash is going to fit in A plastic bag. 10 plastic bags, maybe, but one-no way. Anyway that was my giggle for tonight.

I am halfway finished with a multi-directional scarf I am knitting on # 3 circulars using sock yarn. Seemed like a good idea at the start-just didn't expect this to take as long as it is. I wanted a flat scarf that isn't very long. I love the pattern and so have started a second one which will be a gift. For it I am using a larger size sock yarn and # 7 circulars.

Treated myself to an iPod this week. What fun! I have been listening to knitting podcasts while I knit and have found several I really enjoy. I suppose my next purchase will be a docking station but I am currently using the earphones and they are fine. I did get the adaptor for the car but haven't used it yet. Geez, do I feel hi-tech or what?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Flying Monkeys, pillowcases, and Christmas

Didn't realize how busy I had been until I noticed how long it had been since I posted anything.
The project PillowCares for the Methodist Children's Home was a huge success. I'll post some pictures of the pillowcases. It will be an ongoing project so that each child that comes into the home will have something handmade that is theirs to keep. Evenutally we hope to expand to include the other Methodist homes in the state. Plans are already underway to make the pillowcases for the children who attend Grace Camp this summer. (Grace Camp is for those children whose parent is in prison.) We'll need about 40 for that project. I'll be contacting churches thoughout the state to encourage participation in the PillowCares project.
The holidays were awesome! JJ and I had a great time with special friends who are indeed closer than family. We have seen each other through a lot of life's events and the relationship is special and a special blessing.
Now about the flying monkeys--the guys' stockings contained flying screaming monkeys which were an absolute riot. The ante for craziest stocking stuffer has certainly been upped. We had a ball firing these things around the room at each other. Opening presents was delayed by about 10 minutes while targets were aimed at, but not always hit. You really had to keep a heads up attitude since some of us had trouble with directing the speeding monkey in a straight line.
It was wonderful being back in the Shalimar church for worship. As always the music was superb and the message was very meaningful. It's like wrapping a warm fuzzy blanket around yourself. After the service we got to visit with more friends and catch each other up on what's happening in our lives.
Conner and Allie were delighted when I got home. They probably won't be so delighted when I bath them next week but it's a necessity at this point.