Monday, October 28, 2013

Learning new bed tricks...

Let's talk beds.  Dog beds, that is.

Jack, the family Golden Rearranger is a stinky scratcher.  He has very dry skin.  Nothing seems to work for him for very long.  He also is getting up there in years and doesn't go outside unless its is absolutely necessary...which is usually twice a day.  The rest of the time, he is content to snooze on his bed, or under the table, or in front of a chair, or--if it is storming--in our shower.  We keep him shaved year round and try not to bathe him too often so as not to exacerbate the skin issue.  Fortunately, he usually smells like Fritos.

Part of the problem with him is that because of the skin thing, he is a compulsive licker.  He sits on his bed and licks his paws...and the bed.  That doggie licks through more beds than you could believe.  And, let's face it, they really aren't made as well as they should be!

When he gets a new bed, I usually run another liner made from old towels under the layer he lays on to try to add another barrier.  It never lasts for very long.

There is a limit to how many times you can launder a pet bed before it is flat out done.  We reached that point a month or so ago, but I haven't had time to address the situation until now.

Yep, it's done and time for its replacement.  This time I thought I'd try something different.  So, I grabbed 3 out of commission bed pillows, an old quilted mattress pad, some old towels, a big glass of iced tea and got to work.

The first step, which required an extra pair of hands, was to stitch the pillows together lengthwise to make one giant rectangle.  Then, I placed that on the mattress pad to do some quick measurements. Based on the size of my giant pillow, I cut the mattress pad and serged three sides together, I made it easy on myself by utilizing the already finished edge of the mattress pad for the opening portion, to make a giant pillowcase.  It was purposely made longer and folded/pinned underneath to allow me to make other additions as needed.

Next, three towels were sewn long sides together.  The large towel was then spread out and the new pillow placed in the center and the sides pulled up to the center and trimmed to allow a generous seam allowance.  Back to the machine to again sew the long center back seam and the bottom seam.  Then, using 1/2 inch double folded bias tape that was folded and stitched down the center and cut into strips/sewn into the open edge to make string ties.

What does Jack think about it?

Well, actions speak louder than barks...


As one of my friends commented, "You can't teach an old dog new bed tricks."


Saturday, October 26, 2013

I don't think it will fit around my neck

For the last several years, the hubster has purchased one piece of jewelry for me each year. It's not any old something that non-creative hubbies can simply walk into a store and purchase along with everyone else. Each piece is a one of a kind pendant crafted by a silversmith we found. We stalk him. He goes to various art shows during the year and he always makes an appearance somewhere near us. 

This year was different though. We knew where he was going to be and made our plans only to have all hopes dashed that morning. We awoke that Sunday to a downpour that was not looking like it was going to let up anytime soon. (That and the slight problem of the torrential downpour and winds caused the hubbies' boat to shift, get one corner wedged under the dock and proceed to fill up with water and look like a mini Tiranic in the cove). It was not meant to be for this art show. Oh, well.  

Enter Plan B. A super sweet lady near us has an antiques sale periodically. She always has something I can't live without. However, I do have a rule that the thing I want has to be there for 3 consecutive sales before it is obviously supposed to come home with me. 

Our kitchen is a long galley style space with limited storage. Now, while I do have an incredible pantry and now a separate store room, something was needed for the wide wall at the end from which you can go upstairs or into the great room.  I am short and prefer the things I use most be easy for me to reach. 

Meet the Pie Safe of My Dreams...aka...I Think I Love This More Than A Pendant:

Yes, I'm aware there is a tape measure on top. Reviewing pictures you took is helpful when trying to locate lost tools. 

I'm storing just a teensy tiny bit of some of the canning done this year in it. What I am most excited about is the space to store my cookbooks (along with the one notebook per category of my personal favorite recipes) AND...the spice drawer!  Be still my heart. 

Still have to pick up a few more jars to finish transferring my current spice stash into and then I'm done. Maybe. 

Nope, I don't think I can wear this, but I will love it and use it and know how much my sweetheart loves me every single day. 

We are heading off to the Annual Weenie Roast/Bonfire my in-laws have been hosting for over 40 years.  Gonna be cold but sooo much fun!  Later!!


Friday, October 25, 2013

That was a Mondo long time

It finally happened.

The worlds where I write a post in my head but never post it and the real world of what I really have posted collided.  Maybe I did write the post but failed to put the appropriate labels with it and now I can't find it, and frankly  have given up.  I could have sworn there was at least one, maybe two, posts regarding the Mondo Cable Pulli and the yarn used...which was ripped out from a Churchmouse Pattern for a skirt that grew and grew and my dear hubs declared ugly.  Do I remember what the yarn was?  Um, no.  But I think it was Encore Worsted Tweed.

Waaaay back in May, there was mention made of the Mondo Cable Pulli.  By this point in time, I have no solid recollection of when it was actually started.  But, what I do remember is my frustration with the lazy pattern writing for the top portion of increasing and what have you.  It took several attempts and multiple pieces of paper with line by line detailed directions written out by yours truly to get through that mess.  And then the daily drama of life took over and I put it aside...and FAILED to note on the pattern where I was or even what size I was making!  That should be no surprise given my tendency towards creative size knitting...can you say SMedium?

Finally my evenings got sorted out enough to afford more dedicated knitting time and it came out of time out.  However, it quickly became apparent that I was off in the pattern and what should be the Mondo cable continuing was turning into a squished cable.  Crap!  With the assistance of others' eyes, the row/mistake to tink back to was located.  Next came the chore of figuring out what size I was making since the number of stitches on needles DID NOT match what should be for any of the sizes.  How do I do this stuff???

What does all this mean?  1)  If you could read the posts written in my head, it would be ever so helpful.  2)  My dear hubs is a brave soul for declaring something I made as being ugly.  3)  I love my dear hubs for being so brave, because he was right.  4)  Mondo is done and I am mucho thrilled with it.

And on that note, there you have it, Mondo Cable Pulli...survivor/product of a distracted knitter's life and brave husband's honesty.  (For the record...he loves how this version of the yarny product turned out)


Friday, October 18, 2013

Flowers on my head

The moment I saw a picture of Peerie Flooers two years ago, I popped it into my Ravelry favorites page and vowed to myself that I would make it one day.  Repeat that process when I discovered the matching mittens.

I was scared.

That is seriously a lot of stranding in a small space, on small needles, and a whole lot of color changes.

What the heck!  I survived the Philosophers Walk and may have developed a little bit of an obsession with stranded color knitting.  (the most telling evidence was me e-purchasing and printing out the ENTIRE 161 pages of OP-Art Socks book...holy ink use!!)

My local knitting store offered the hat class and I jumped.  Color strand me hooked.  It was a much quicker knit than I imagined it would be, even with me choosing the longer version.  Although headaches and allergies conspired to attempt to make my brain unresponsive to reading directions, it was fun.

Well, except for:

I used the exact yarn and colors the pattern called for.  Given that this is Rowan Fine Tweed yarn and is 100% wool, I was able to sort of spit felt any pokey ends sticking out after being woven in.  However, it is not a scritchy yarn.  

So, now in the dead of winter when I cannot wear a circle of fresh flowers on my head, I have these beauties to keep me warm and make me smile. 

Next up...matching mittens!!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Minerva's getting a nip and a tuck seems she thinks she is a Real Housewheel of Bartholomew County and it is vitally important to have those droopy/wiggly parts nipped/tucked and get a little oil injected where you need it!

No, I am not speaking of some strange person that is bereft of all common sense.  Minerva is my Ashford Traveller spinning wheel.  I attempt to be diligent with oiling her periodically, but sometimes you have to do a major upkeep session.  I got lazy after purchasing the jumbo flyer attachment for her and never switched the drive band back to a shorter length.  The result being that all my parts were stretched to the max for a long time and now the Mother of All is wonky.  Say what???  Short are wobbly and need some oiling/tightening.

Spinning has sort of taken a back seat to a few other projects most recently, but a couple of fiber blobs have been spun into some seriously pretty stuff.  The last big spinning project was the "Biker Chick" superwash merino that caused me to spew forth a string of expletives when a slight glitch in my system was encountered.  Fortunately, after many hours of tedious, mind numbing, poke-my-eyes-out-please work the single ply was salvaged and Navajo plied into ~275 yards of purty yarn.  (I only lost about 100 yards of the single ply to the bobbin trauma)  Personally, I think it has a bit of a Zauberball look to it, perhaps the obnoxious baby sister version to this one.  Anyway, I'm a happy camper and can't wait for it to tell me what it wants to be.

My super sweet sister sent me a link to a very interesting article that declares "knitting is the new yoga." I would have to agree.  The methodical nature of knitting and spinning have a definite positive effect on my brain and general well being. (unless I am counting...NEVER interrupt a knitter that is counting) Truth be told, I have actually fallen asleep/fell over in my chair while spinning.  Fortunately there is no video or photo evidence of such a thing.  

So, what is on the burner for Minerva's next big project once she recovers?  Well, a large amount of New Zealand Possum/Cashmere blend is waiting in the wings to be spun, plied, dyed into 4 or 5 different colorways and then knit into...wait for it...a stranded colorwork custom designed beer cozy for my sweet hubs.  Yes, you read that right.  He never asks for anything, but did specifically ask for this.  So, not only do I get to spin and dye the yarn, I have to design the thing and chart out the pattern to incorporate not one, not two, but THREE Native American beadwork designs PLUS some specific Hebrew lettering.  All in the confined space of one beer bottle cozy.  Good thing I love that man!

Gotta go, Minerva is waiting.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Peppers and a peak...

Just when I thought that the summer garden was done and it was safe to put away all the canning paraphernalia until the Fall planting start producing, we get an ever so subtle temperature dip and rise along with much needed rain.  The result being that plants that have not yet been pulled and the ground tilled under made a last ditch surprise produce production performance!

This past weekend, I spent the bulk of my time catching up on some sorely neglected household chores...along with giving a little TLC to my raised beds in the side yard.  My darling hubs went to work on the big garden.  He did a little cleaning up, picking, planting and tilling up to enlarge the space we are using.  (Heaven help me if next year's production rate is like this year's given the square foot increase!)

Sunday evening, when he returned from playing in the dirt, a pepper present appeared on the counter.

Obviously, the plants were not done producing!  After a couple of hours of chopping, slicing and measuring, this last little push added 8 cups of chopped peppers for the freezer and 3 pints of pickled sliced jalapenos for the pantry.

And just because I's a sneak peak at a WIP/FO combo (one done, one to go)...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Where am I going?

My mind has been spinning (unlike my fingers, since Minerva is currently disassembled for a little bit of much overdue upkeep).  Thoughts flit through my brain, ideas swirl, blog post topics form, and then...nothing.  There seems to be so much I wish to say, some of it "off topic" from the intent of this little piece of my world.  But, who's to say what is off or on topic?  This is my little piece of the blogosphere after all.

More often than not, I find myself mentally writing, editing and re-formatting a post in my head and then it does not make it to keystroke reality.  Does that mean it should not be said?  Am I chicken to put it out there for public eyes and potential scorn?  Dunno.

This has been one hell of a year.  Blunt and to the point.  It has been a year that, frankly, I am ready to see end.

A nursery poem has popped into my head frequently over the last several months.  Do you remember hearing this as a child?

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving, 
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

I am a Thursday's child.  Right now, I am wondering where I am going and how far to take things.

No, nothing is wrong.  Just working out where to go with this and doing a little bloggy housework.


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