Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Super Sunday

Last night, it cooled down enough and there was not much humidity to make sleeping on the sleeping porch quite nice.  It was probably the best night's sleep I have had in weeks.  We love this porch...

It was so worth every single bit of effort.  People have asked us if the bed gets wet.  The only time it does is if the rain is blowing.  The porch is tucked in its location in such a way that it is protected.  We get breezes off the lake and what a view to wake up to!

Earlier in the year, during a trip to see my Dad, my sister and I continued the process of cleaning out cabinets for Daddy.  She and I try to tackle at least one corner or cabinet each day that I am there.  Daddy has been enjoying get some things cleaned out...but I think that he secretly views it as making room for more of his motorcycle stuff :)  While cleaning out the laundry room cabinets, I found two sets of iron brackets that Mother had stuffed up there.  The original hardware was still in small envelopes with each set.  I immediately knew exactly what to do with them, and it did not involve throwing them in the Goodwill box!  Brought them home and they have sat in my laundry room, waiting on me to put them to use.  This weekend it happened...


I salvaged a board from the garage, sanded and stained (after cutting it into two shelf pieces).  I already had some antique iron hooks.  The one above is now hung in the upstairs bathroom.  Now,  if I can get Chris to actually hang his towel up consistently.


This one is in my laundry room.  Had to stand on a stool to get a better view of it.  Had a clever brainstorm at Menards when I was looking for a hook to use for hanging clothes as they come out of the dryer.  The "hook" is actually a super duper heavy iron cabinet door handle that I installed such that hangers can be put on from front to back.  The objects on top are all sentimental also.  In the largest container are wooden thread spools, wooden needle holders, old needles, old crochet hooks and various other sewing tidbits that belonged to my Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Aunts.  The small tin was my Mother's.  The mason jar is filled with buttons that Mother collected.  Both of the toy irons are special as well.  One belonged to my sister and I and the other was Mother's. 

And now, finally, the Louisa Harding sweater.  Made it through the bulk of the lace last night.  Only have a very small bit of yarn overs/dropped yarn overs to do before getting into the seriously boring stockinette portion.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bella is a lazy kitty

The Helmet Liner


Finished the helmet liner a couple of nights ago.  It turned out ok, but when it was off needles and all the ends woven in, I realized I forgot to do the decreases on each side of the mouth opening.  Fits ok, so not to worry.  

A lot going on this weekend and a lot to think about/process from the last couple of days.  Funny how it is so easy for some people to point fingers, never realizing that when they do, there are three fingers pointing back at them.  I am done allowing certain topics to rent space in my head, it has taken close to a year to fully arrive at this position...baby steps all the way.  The circumstances and instigators are simply NOT worth it.  This has been  a long process and a painful one, but very necessary for achieving the life that we desire.  The downside to this is that I have had to learn the lesson of just letting go and allowing those that are really the ones to be responsible take on the burden of said responsibility.  I know in my heart how it will turn out, but my protectors are in place.  Over the course of the last year, have come to realize that to not allow others to learn the  lessons of responsibility or results of inaction/ineffective action hurts only me.  Poke me with a fork...I'M DONE. NMP!

Went for a nice run this morning...nice, mainly because of low humidity/temperature and NO JACK.  There were two different deer in completely different locations along my course simply standing and staring.  Kinda creepy.  As I approached the backside of the lake, started smelling something slightly unpleasant.  Came around a curve and discovered the source.  A mailbox was covered with a blooming vine of some sort.  Don't know what it was, but it was clearly intentionally planted.  The blooms were pretty and the vines were a gorgeous vibrant green, but...it smelled like a Port-A-Potty. 

The rest of the day today will be spent working on some projects for the house.  I have two sets of iron brackets that belonged to my mother.  After my run, I located a board from the stockpile in the garage, cut it to the size desired for two shelves, sanded, and have the first coats of stain on them.  One will go upstairs in the boy's bathroom with some antique hooks affixed to them for towels, and the other will go in my laundry room.  Did a quick "soft sand" of my dining room table (it is the dining set that belonged to my Grandmother...I love that thing and the sideboard that matches it) and applied a coat of wax.  It is presently drying and awaiting a loving buffing.  Laundry is going and time to start the weekend cleaning.  We have been having major sleeping porch withdrawl, but it has been way too humid to sleep out there, even with the fan on.  Now, with the weather shift, I am ready to return to my outdoor master bedroom oasis...but not before changing the sheets to avoid any sneaky little spiders.

Hopefully, knitting and/or sewing later unless it is determined to be too "OCD" of an activitiy. 

FYI...Amos is asleep on some knitting magazines on the desk in front of me...snoring nearly as loudly as my DH

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WIPW 3

It has certainly been an interesting week.  Still not feeling totally up to par, but a little better.  Nothing that some uninterrupted, long bouts of sleep couldn't cure...not a clue when that will happen though!

Now, on to the subject at hand...Works in Progress Wednesday.  Seems that each week, I have at least one totally new project and several continued UFO's.  Do not be fooled into thinking that because something new has been started, that I have actually finished something!!!  Recently, with my "offness", can't seem to concentrate for very long, what with the snot eyes, horrific headache, and general malaise.  Truthfully, my apparent knitting ADD, is quite normal.  Who does not secretly, or blatantly, have a multitude of projects on needles?  The really frustrating part of this affliction, is that frequently, I need needles that are currently in use on some other UFO.  The simple and most logical option would be to put the live stitches on a waste yarn holder and come back later.  HOWEVER, what truly happens (and I know this from experience and  from fiber addiction confessionals at my weekly Stitch and Bitch) is that the ONLY logical, rational, acceptable solution is to buy more needles.  Can't ever have too much chocolate, too much yarn, or too many needles.  Can I get an AMEN!  Anywho, here we go for this week's fiber follies....

 
Yes, you have seen this before.   It has not grown very much from last week.    This is the neck portion of the helmet liner.  At this point, I am ready to go to the next step and start the head portion.  Hopefully, it will be a FO by next week.


Newbie of the week.  A log cabin pattern that I am doing up as a pillow.  Have enough of the yarn to do 2 pillows.  Staring at this picture is NOT helping my headache, and I realize the photo quality and all that photography jargon is not quite right, but hey, my estrogen levels are nil, am in the throes of a hot flash, and I have 2 needles-you have 2 eyes---deal with it! (for  some stupid reason, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to try to go cold turkey off my HRT about 3 weeks ago...I have now become quite convinced it was a BAD BAD BAD idea, as evidenced by the lack of sleep and so on and so forth)






Ahhh, the Louisa Harding sweater. I love you...I hate you...I love you...I hate you...hmmm, you are a pain in the rear end in my current state, but girlfriend, I really do love you.  After the weekend shenanigans, it is securely past the cast on and first two lace rows. 


And now, the Butterfly Pullover.  Pattern is from "Knit 2 Together."  Bit the bullet, and got past the decreases for the armholes. and have started the colorwork. 


Norman is gaurding the bobbins.


I love you Meowmie!  I'm a good kitty...


WHAT?!?!? I thought you laid this yummy softness down for me to lay on.


Fine, but be honest now, does this sweater make my butt look big?



Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekend ravelings

or maybe unraveling would be more appropriate. Friday, I went to Cottage Knits to pick up some things for my Blog Swap partner, as well as some stuff to feed my fiber fixation.  While I was there, I also picked up some Eco-Wool to make a knitted helmet liner to honor the commitment that my oldest son has made.

For the last month, either there is something in the air or I am allergic to the shampoo/conditioner, and bath soap I have been using. My eyes are all itchy, goopy and just generally yucky feeling. This is getting rather old, as I HATE having to wear my glasses for any length of time. As a result of the continuous snotty eye problem...bleccch!...have just been out of sorts, kinda "off kilter" ya know? Don't feel as if I can focus due to the general yucky feeling.

Saturday turned into multi-mini-project day. Picked up some drapery fabric...shockingly enough the store still carries this pattern...that matches the valances I made 3 1/2 years ago for the hallway and entrance. Picked up some pretty matching braided ribbony stuff and some tassels for extra pizazz and proceeded to make a square topper to go on top of the covered round table in the entry. Turned out very nicely, plus the added bonus of my dear hubby noticing it upon his return home from a fishing tournament.

There are three ceramic columns in the family room with potted plants on each. I have struggled, ever since I purchased them several years ago, with trying to figure out exactly how to finish them. A couple of years ago, I painted them a brownish color, which only lasted for short spurts, because I have a bad driving record with the vacuum cleaner and keep bumping into them and scratching the finish. Not to mention that the cats like to sit on the lowboy next to them and eat whatever plant happens to be trying to survive at the moment. (they don't seem to bother the cactus much) To address that problem, I have decided to just succumb to the pressure and plant some kitty grass in their favorite pot. Took the columns outside and spray painted them with a stone finish looking paint. All was going well, except for the odd wind gust that would blow "particley" paint in my face. Overall, they turned out nicely, but have a feeling the vacuum cleaner may still attack.

Other random projects for Saturday, besides the usual cleaning hour and laundry, included whipping up a project bag for my Blog Swap partner, leveling a picture on the staircase that was driving me bonkers with it's "offness", doing the kiddo to work chauffeuring, and some pathetic attempts at knitting. Herein was the bane of my weekend.

Arrrrggghhh.... Started a helmet liner and got the neck ribbing done. At first was excited, because I thought ahead and bought the color of Eco-Wool that I am using for my squares class, or so I thought. Nope, it is gray not taupe. Blame it on the snot eyes! Got back to work on the Louisa Harding sweater. Had already done the cast on row, so Saturday night, I started back to work on it in earnest. Sixteen rows into the lace pattern and something went haywire. Suddenly, I was no longer able to read and accurately comprehend the pattern! Too many stitches, too many yarn overs, and definitely not enough chocolate. Could not back out of the yarn over slipped stitch pass slipped stitch over mess I had gotten myself into, no choice but to rip it. But wait, it gets better, not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR times I subjected myself to this horror. Thankfully, Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn in "The Housesitter", followed by Adam Sandler in "Click", then "The Wedding Singer" were there to keep me company through this journey that lasted until 2am Sunday morning. Gave up and went to bed. Got up at 9, and avoided making eye contact with the stupid thing...yes, it is alive because clearly it has taken on a life of its own! We took Madi into town to get some things for cross country. Dropped a yarn over and could not get it corrected, thanks to the splittiness of the yarn, frogged it back to a garter row and kept plodding along. Wound up having to go to Greenwood to get her practice shoes and spikes, and during the drive to and from there, managed to have to rip the whole thing out and cast on again two more times. I will not let this turn into the cussing sweater all over again! or else!

And now, crap!...Sophie has escaped off the back porch again and is partying somewhere in the yard. Okay, she is actually probably hiding under the sleeping porch, but the point is I just dosed them all with Capstar and Program AGAIN last week and now I am sure she is inviting rebel fleas to hop on the party bus known as her sweet self for a trip inside! Think it's time for me to say good night and put this frogged, mixed up, snotty eyed, mini-project filled weekend to rest.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WIPW 2

Well, this has been a very busy, hectic, eventful, emotional, crazy week.  Not sure how much I actually got accomplished.  Certainly, not nearly as much knitting as I had intended. 

Since children are technically works in progress, I am going to share an update.  Chris and Wes, now 16 and juniors in high school, are heading back to school.  This will be a busy year for them as they launch into the year during which heavy duty planning and prepping for post graduation life begins.  However, when you are 16...okay, really that is the only excuse needed...the following is about as much as you will allow your Mother (who is clinging desperately to the coattails of her rapidly growing/maturing children) on the first day of school....


My oldest son, Alex has made the life changing choice to enlist in the Army.  I am flipping between a whole range of emotions.  Frightened, proud, unsure, proud, protective, proud, scared, proud...I love him dearly, and wish the best for him.  It is going to be difficult when he is in training and is not simply a phone call away.  Everyday since his enlistment, I have struggled with keeping the tears at bay.  There is an intense desire to grab him up and keep him tucked away safe and sound from the big bad world, but he has to spread his wings and fly out into the world and make his own way.  But still...maybe a few floaties wouldn't hurt...





As for the knitting, since last week, have not been particularly productive (unless you count the amount of time I spent wishing I had a few minutes to spend knitting) here goes next to nothing:


The Butterfly Pullover is still in the same condition as last week.  The only change has been that it has been wadded up in the bag with the yarn for the flower part that is next.  Maybe the knitting fairies will come and start it for me!



 The Louisa Harding Sweater:  the first half is done and off needles and the only progress that has been made on the other side is to cast on the 163 stitches.


The Sweet Pea Baby Sacque.  Let's just say that I hope this baby is not early!


The knitted leather bracelet.  Hmmm, well, I made it to Hobby Lobby to pick up more leather cording.  Does that count?


The third beanie hat for my cousin's project.  All that is left is to weave in my ends.  Started and basically finished this one afternoon when I was so mentally distracted that I could only focus on mindless knitting.


Square #11 Bluebell Rib.  Ready for blocking.














Marengo Cave

Saturday, Chris and I went to Marengo Cave. It was a hot and muggy day.  The first cave we went in was about a 1/3 mile long and took a little over half an hour to tour. 

We had to wait a little while for the tour to start for the next, larger cave.  When it was time to assemble for the second one, it was beginning to cloud up and clearly a storm was brewing.  To get to the entrance of the cave, we had to trek down a trail to the main entrance.  Literally, just as we entered the cave, a huge rainstorm erupted outside and the power inside the cave went out.  We were blind as bats!   Hee hee hee...  The guides provided us with battery powered lanterns and the tour went on.  Beautiful formations!

After our adventure, we decided to head on to Louisville and pop into Joe's Crab Shack.  It was PACKED!  A little over 3 hours later...headed home.

Super fun day with my boy...












Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WIPW

It is "work in progress Wednesday."


The "Butterfly Pullover" from Knit 2 Together.  Have been avoiding this sweater like the plague.  My current argument to not do anymore right now is that I have a short sleeved sweater to finish/wear before it will be cold enough to wear this one. This is the back piece and I am ready to start on the intarsia flower at the top of it...that is, whenever I can bite the bullet and do it!


The "Laurie" sweater from Summer Classics by Louisa Harding.  I LOVE this sweater...especially after successfully finishing the lace border.  The yarn is silk and oh so soft, albeit a tad bit splitty.  This is the back section.  I cast off the shoulders last night and have the neck line on a holder.  The front section is cast on and ready to rock and roll through lace again.  


Sweet Pea baby sacque.  Almost ready to start on the bodice section.  This is a super easy and fast pattern.  I am using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.  The darling little thing also has a matching cap and is being made as a gift for a special friend.



It is difficult to see the detail in this picture, but this is another of the knitted bracelets, but instead of wire, I am using leather cording.  Recently finished one using linen cord that turned out rather well...looked sort of like hemp.  These bracelets are currently being sold exclusively at my local yarn store...Cottage Knits.  Visit them and go to the Heirloom Boutique (the little lavender baby booties are one of the items I have made for the shop)  An exciting event coming up at the Cottage is the "Knit-Inn at the Inn at Irwin Gardens."  (details at Cottage Knits  as well as The Inn at Irwin Gardens)  It will be  a super fun event.  Can't wait to stay at the Inn...not only am I going to get to experience this wonderful B&B, but I will be teaching the classes on Knitted Wire Bracelets. 



Number 11 of 12 Squares.  Cottage Knits  has held a "Squares Class" for the last several months.  We have met twice a month and worked on a different square each time.  The squares all have a border around the stitch pattern and are 12x12 when finished and blocked.  This last class' pattern was Bluebell Rib.  In October, all the squares will be crocheted together to form an afghan.  It has been fun working on so many different stitch patterns.  When finished, this will be a Christmas present from me to some truly wonderful people in my life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Homemade Tortellini

 Felt like making tortellini tonight.  Still had some filling mixed up and in the fridge from the other nights ravioli mess.  Starts off with the same basic dough.  Tonight, watched the water content a little closer and it did not turn into a sticky yucko.

After rolling the dough through the pasta roller to a pretty thin level, I used a biscuit cutter to cut each strip into rounds.  Placed a scant 1/2 tsp of the filling onto each round.  Moistened the edge with an egg wash.

Folded them in half. then the fun folding, tucking, bending, and pinchig started.

This was FUN!

Ready to drop into boiling water.  The final product was so terribly wonderful...topped with a marinara sauce.  Was planning on whipping up a vodka sauce, but alas...no cream in the house <GASP>...next time for sure.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hide and seek


Norman started it.  He thinks he is invisible.  


Amos could not stand all the "unattention" and had to join.

Oh no, what is that down there?  Anything? No? Oh, okay.  We'll just keep hiding here in our super duper sneaky spot.

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