Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Travel







At this point in time, we have been on the road for seven hours and still have about three to go. Thus far I have managed to completely finish the baby bootie brigade and have done a few more rows on the Dahlia cardigan. (trust me and DO NOT time yourself doing a row so you can calculate how much more time it us going to take to finish the current 90 row nightmare!)


Thankfully this year's trip is much better than last year. Just a year ago this journey was plagued by a tornado, raging thunderstorms with hail, flooding, and a flat tire in the middle of it all.


There is not a car trip that I take that I don't remember how my Mother would travel on vacations. There was always a straw bag she packed and kept in the front floor board. In the bag were little tupperware containers of sugar, some plastic spoons, the funky Solo coffee cup thingies that you popped a triangular plastic disposable cup into, the reddish/orange plaid thermos filled with coffee and some kind of cookie. I hate coffee but often it smells good...with one exception...the smell of thermos coffee in a car will make me nauseaous every time. Bleccchhhh


Safe travels to all who are on the road to loved ones. But please, don't have a cup of coffee for me!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Snotrags and Dove Soap

Over the weekend, I had an extreme case of allergies gone bad.  It started in earnest on Friday, but in reality has been going off and on for the last several weeks.  Fall is a bad time for my allergies with the leaves, goldenrod, and farmers combining the fields.  


After a fun day with friends on Saturday, during which I sneezed/snorted/sniffed the whole time, I came home and collapsed on the couch in an antihistamine fog.  You know you are at your prettiest when you are  lying on the couch curled up in a quilt, with your hair all a mess and tissues scattered around you and stuffed up your nose to try to dam the drip.  But, you KNOW your husband loves you no matter what, when despite the glam you've got going on, he kisses you and brings you your pillow and tucks you in.  


Snotrags...this is what we have always referred to tissues as.  My sister has horrific allergies and was/is always sniffing and carrying around tissues.  A funny from when we were very young occurred at our cousin's house.  We were there for a family Christmas get-together and my youngest (at the time) cousin came up to her and looking very solemn and sincere said "You need a Kleenex" as she sat sniffling.  From that point on, any time someone sniffed that is what they were told by one of us.  


Dove Soap...my Granny Phillips always seemed to have tissues with her.  She stored them tucked away in the sleeve of whatever shirt she was wearing.  Granny was always at the ready on the tissue front and she always smelled the same.  I don't recall if she actually wore perfume, but it would not have mattered because there are four things that I always associate with her:  hidden tissues, the sweet smell of Dove soap, lemon drops, and graham crackers that are slightly soft/mushy because she kept them in an iron teapot in the kitchen.  Graham crackers just do not taste good to me unless they are mushy. 


So, today, I am wishing for some mushy graham crackers and lemon drops.  Perhaps as soon as I can smell again, I will have to take a trip to the store and sniff the Dove Beauty Bars.  Smells are free but provide a link to priceless memories.  


Have a great Monday!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pardon the mess...

but Five Cats is trying on different clothes and cleaning/rearranging house.  Bear with me...

Straight out of H**L and back again

Finally!  Was beginning to wonder if this day would ever arrive.  The dratted 90 rows of stockinette h**l are over. 


Or are they?


Here is the Dahlia after finishing the right side (okay, fine, I cheated and took a picture before doing the last inch of seed stitch and binding off, but my overwhelming joy/relief of being done with the 90 overtook all sensibility).  I did a brave, and so unlike me, thing and re-read the first part of the pattern where it explains what will happen to the floppy things on the top and bottom.








Happy happy joy joy!  The live stitches on the bottom have since been finished out to where it will be added to the left side and the top portion has been started.  The reprieve shall be brief since as soon as the top blob is finished out, I get to pick up all stitches currently being stored for later use and do a few rows, make the afterthought armhole and...then..."oh no, Mr. Bill" say it isn't so...90 rows again!


Think I might need a glass or two of wine to get me through this. 


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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicago with Da Boys

(two out of three anyway as one was not on Fall Break)


A couple of weekends ago, we took off on an adventure.  Alex wanted to visit Chicago and hit some of the landmarks, sadly no shopping landmarks :(


We went...




We saw...










and we walked and walked and then walked some more. 


We could not have asked for better weather and had such a fun time exploring as many of the city's highlights in the time we had there.  


Da boys...Mama loves all three!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guard Kitty

Bella...my sweet kitty named for Grizzabella.  She's a funny one.  

Miss B is intent upon making sure that my "sewing to be done" basket stays hidden and protected.




I am always trying to wipe that freckle off her nose.





Sorry Baby Girl, I'll let you get back to your napping guard duty.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Baby Brigade and Freaky Finds

First, I apologize for the even less than stellar crappy photography than normal.  My only excuses are: 1) I have a horrible headache likely brought on by the vast clouds of dust being stirred up by my dearest as he guts the garage and creates his dream fishing/woodworking/car tinkering/actual car parking/storage garage...I keep going out there and talking/helping so it's my own fault.  2) I forgot to take pictures last night with the real camera.  3)  Had to resort to using my cell phone camera on the less than awesome desk surface with the unforgiving light <read that as too lazy to go outside and stage the pics>. and 4)  My best attempts are not that stellar on a good day!


With all the "life" getting in the way of knitting lately, my fingers have been churning out little baby bits since they are relatively fast and easy (assuming the knitter follows the directions instead of trying to out-think a bootie).  In case you were wondering, Dahlia is still on the needles, but am currently in stockinette hell due to being on row 58 of 90 for the first side.  Plus, the baby stuff has a deadline...I promised to make these items for my sister to use as a gift.  We agreed upon 7 pairs of booties and I got sidetracked with a little sweater and then stuck in Indecisive Land trying to choose JUST 7 different bootie patterns.  Oh my, they are all so cute!


With all that said, here's my show and tell for the week...



Sweet and easy sweater that started out in blue, that sad tale is found here.  All it needs now, is a little soaky and blocking...





I decided to try Christine's Stay on Bootie (even though the drawing sorta scared me into thinking they would be uuuuggggllllyyy).  Used some Socrates (same as below) and I have to say that, personally, I like this pattern even better than the next one.  




The famous Stay on Baby Booties.   It is an easy and fast pattern that also provides you with directions for 3 different gauges.  Yarn used: Socrates in Natural.




Thennn, I got sidetracked by some scrap yarn.  Don't know if these are "boyish" enough to go with the rest of the gift pile, but they are kinda cute.  Sorry, I totally forgot to remember what the pattern is, but they are made out of some scrap Himalayan Duke Silk yarn and are soooo soft.  




Thennnnnnn, because I am avoiding Dahlia and I ruined my favorite slipper socks sometime last winter (thanks a lot face nailed wood floor), these had to be made (yep, Mini Mochi again because I did not learn the first time!)  Turkish Bed Socks...it's what's for feet!: 




These totally count in the Baby Brigade since I am being a big baby!


And now for the Freaky Find.  On Wednesday I refilled the ice trays at our shop.  Yesterday when I went to dump them into the ice bucket this is what I found...






How, exactly, do ice stalagmites form in ice cubes that are in the tray on the top of the stack???


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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Paper Geek at Heart

That's me...a paper geek.  


I manage to do quite nicely, embracing the techy geek part of me, but at heart, give me paper and pen. 


A few years ago, I joined the masses and switched my world to an e-version.  Have all the requisite digital doodads...iPhone, iPad, Mac computers at home and work (complete with screen sharing so I can access the work computer while "relaxing" at home--<rolling my eyes at the absurdity of this>)  Calendars, contact lists and multiple, no let's be honest here, MASSIVELY LARGE multiples of spreadsheets/lists cuz I am a girl that luurrvves making a good list, are all housed on all these e-places. 


But I miss paper.  Kindle apps on phone and iPad...check, but it is NOT the same as holding the weight of a book, smelling the paper and hearing the crinkle of turning pages.  There is also something primal and satisfying about the act of writing something on a paper calendar.  (Not to mention that the process seems to cement the date in my brain a little better)


In a nutshell, I guess you could say that I am crushing on Covey!  Although I do not possess an actual Covey binder, I have off and on through the years managed to drool and pass out with organizational delight find Covey (and other brands) paper inserts to make a binder that is heavenly to me.  Yes, I am one of those weirdos that would much rather browse through the Franklin Covey store (do those still exist) or spend hours in my other organizing dream place... The Container Store than shop for anything else, except maybe for shoes and yarn.


There has been a burning in my soul causing me to travel back to my safe place...




It's baaaaaccckkk.....




ahhhhh, pen, paper, calendar, lists, pocket folders, card holder, sticky notes, a place for everything and everything in its place.  But, rest assured, the techy geeky part of me will be fulfilled by way of that being the back up locale of my binder brain!


Yup, I'm a geek.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dina Dyed

A few months ago I shared about a friend of mine bringing me some baby alpaca that was sheared from an alpaca named Dina....which just happens to be mine name also, only they were pronouncing it incorrectly. 


I am proud to announce that it has ALL been spun, and dyed, and is in mid-ply as we speak.  It was truly the yummiest stuff I have spun so far.  The drafting was a cinch and I managed to spin 2 verrry full bobbins of the loveliness.  My goal was to end up with a yarn that was DK weight and I believe I nailed it on the head.  

While spinning, color combinations were playing out in my head.  I knew that I wanted to ply it with some Cascade Alpaca Lace that I already had on hand in colorway 1409.  So,  Sunday evening, I took the plunge with the dye pot.  My intention was to dye one skein cornflower blue and one skein black (both using Wilton Icing Colors).  Sounded like a good plan, but somewhere between my idea and the other idea of staying up really late to do it and bake cookies at the same time, something went haywire...on the surface anyway.  


Skein #1 with Cornflower Blue:







I have no idea why pops of purple appeared.  But I can live with it, because in real life it's sorta groovy, man.


Skein #2 in Black:








Again, what is with the purple...and now the blue??? Where's the black???  It's okay, I'm diggin' it!

Add another strand of the Cascade:





and VOILA!!!!








Me likey!  Now my only problem is that I ran out of the Cascade and am waiting for more to come in the mailbox so I can finish plying.  When it is all said and done, there should be around 600 yards.  Then comes the fun of figuring out what it wants to be.


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