Archive for November, 2006

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Snowed in

We got a lot of snow, (5-6 inches?) and it’s been really cold, so it isn’t going away.

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The girls have been home from school yesterday and today. The road out front is solid ice. It’s been fun. The lame part is that the snow boots I ordered for Olivia and Veronica are in transit, and won’t get here until it’s melted. If this is our only snow of the year, I’ll be mad.

When it gets cold like this, the guy at the Wild Bird store said that I need to make sure there’s thawed nectar in the hummingbird feeder early in the morning, because the hummingbirds will make a straight flight for the feeder before the sun comes up. If they don’t get that calorie boost first thing after a really cold night, they could die.

So I set my alarm for 5am two nights ago, and after watching for them and not seeing anything ’til a bit before 7, I set my alarm for 6 this morning. Periodically throughout the day, I thaw the feeder, but I don’t think it’s as crucial as that first meal in the morning.

I set extra seed out in a large, flat tupperware and we’ve had so many birds.

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I don’t know how birds are even cuter in the snow, but they are. They flip the snow with their wings, and bounce around on the surface, making those cute little birdy tracks.

I have seen a spotted towhee or two, a few chickadees, and dozens and dozens of Junkos. They’re fun because it’s so easy to tell the boys from the girls, and they have those cute little yellow beaks contrasting their smooth, dark faces. It’s been a blast.

I’ve worked on the stocking a little, ripping out the gusset and re-knitting to about the point I was before. I’ve been spinning the teal Romney I bought into singles that will hopefully be enough to 2 ply into sock yarn for myself.

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If not, they’ll be socks for Abby, who wears a lot more teal that I do.

I’m kind of grumpy about the teal. It looked so beautiful in the bag in locks, but once I started carding and spinning it, I realized it’s pretty much the same color as one of the balls of merino top that I have and am completely bored with. What was I thinking? I don’t wear teal. Teal doesn’t match denim very well.

It was $2 for 4 ounces, it looked pretty, and I wanted something to card. That’s why I bought it. Plus, I like how the wool is darker and lighter in parts, so it makes neat color variations.

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But it’s still teal.

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Change in plans

I worked some of the gusset in argyle,

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and I’ve decided that my readers knew better than I what would look best. I had to see for myself I guess. I’m going to rip out the few rows I’ve done and redo the gusset and bottom of the foot in light blue, and continue the argyle on the top of the foot.

Thanksgiving went well. We’ve been enjoying leftovers for a few days. They’re going quicker than I expected, but they’re SO yummy, I might offer to host the event again next year. Or, maybe I’ll just cook turkey more often.

Clark is going through a difficult stage. If I put him down, he screams. He never wants to stop nursing, even in his sleep. The pacifier isn’t cool anymore, and his appetite is insatiable, whether he’s eating food or nursing. When I am holding him, he’s scratching, clawing, pulling my hair, and pinching the back of my upper arm. But he doesn’t want to be put down. He isn’t sleeping well at night, so neither am I. I’m exhausted.

I don’t know how I’m going to find time to knit. Or do anything else for that matter.

Quick Health Group update-

Health Group isn’t getting its own entry this week. I didn’t do as well on my sugar free Halloween to Thanksgiving as I’d hoped, but it did help. I ate much better than I would have. I wonder if it was more difficult because I’m nursing? In any case, I’m feeling very discouraged. Mainly, it’s a matter of time or lack of it. With Clark being the way he is, and the demands of family, I can’t find the time and energy to exercise daily. I’m not giving up completely, but I’m taking a more relaxed attitude. I’m going to try to do what I can, but I’m tired of letting myself down. I’ll do what I can, no pressure. I’ll eat as well as I can, no pressure. I’ll weigh 300 pounds by January.

Just kidding.

I know I sound depressed, and I’m really not. Just mellow. Peaceful. And somewhat resigned, legitimately.

So to end on a happy note, look what we found at Fred Meyer while looking for an ornament I bought at the end of last year and broke on Friday before it got to the tree. (They didn’t have it, but eBay did)!

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I didn’t understand the fascination with “sheep” things as a knitter, but as a spinner, I totally get it.

$5, and it makes me smile.

Between Friday and Saturday, we (mostly me) shattered three Christmas ornaments and one tea cup on our hardwood floors. I think I’m going to pick up an additional sheep, just in case.

Friday, November 24th, 2006

Friday is supposed to be knitalong day!

And I missed it. We were doing family things all day. I’ll try to post stocking progress tomorrow, or Monday. Feel free to leave comments here if you have any progress. Thanksgiving is past, we’re in the home stretch. Christmas trees and decorations start coming out, where are our stockings?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

I’m in trouble. Big, big trouble

So, it’s the day before Thanksgiving, when all through the house, not a single room was tidy, no food for the spouse………..and all of his family that are coming over tomorrow.

Yesterday afternoon, I felt pretty good about my Thanksgiving to-do list. Then last night, I went to the Valley Spinners guild meeting for the first time, where they happened to be having their semi-annual fiber sale (well, ok, I knew they were having their semi-annual fiber sale).

There are three fibers I want to try spinning. They had my first two picks in abundance, mohair and romney.

Mohair-

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and Romney

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Plus, a completely delightful and wonderful woman showed me how to use hand cards.

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I really like her.

Finally, I bought 22 ounces of what looks to be a beautiful, washed targee fleece off of a sheep named Nolani.

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I can’t stand it, I’m so excited. I was up at 6 am this morning, playing with fiber. I spun the little bit of red mohair that the sweet woman gave me to card (I think her name is Aline). I spun a rolag I made from the teal Romney. And then Abby and I carded a few more rolags.

Last night, I dreamt about fiber (and Matt Damon and Christian Slater, which was random, but also about fiber). I dreamt that Olivia had gone and used my Visa debit card to buy a drum carder for $148, and I was torn between being furious at her for using my card without asking, and pleased that she got a really good deal.

That’s ridiculous.

Getting back to my entry title, I don’t want to clean. I don’t want to cook. I don’t want to do anything but play with my fiber. I can’t tell you how silky and soft that mohair is. And I have bunches of it. Now that I can use my hand carders, I want to try blending things.

I don’t want to knit an argyle stocking (I’ve started the gusset. The way the colors are working out is crazy. I’ll talk about it on Friday). I don’t want to get ready for Thanksgiving. I have 58 ounces of fiber I spent less that $50 for. I’ve discovered I really like hand carding. (This surprises me. I expected to find it tedious and thought I wanted a drum carder as soon as possible. I was wrong. It’s really fun, and goes quick. Plus, I now know that Abby can do it. Hmmmmmm).

Right. So, I’m off to, um, clean my house and bake things. I hope.

Monday, November 20th, 2006

Health Group- Year 3, week 23

I did pretty well this week. I did physical therapy and weights twice, and 35 minutes on the treadmill once. I ate well Tuesday through Saturday, not so well last Monday evening, or yesterday. My milk is drying up again, so I think I’ve been slacking on the water and Fenugreek. Gotta fix that.

You’re probably not going to hear much from me this week. I’m up to my eyeballs in Thanksgiving preparations. We’re cooking two turkeys, so I’m thinking about doing the traditional stuffing in one and a cornbread stuffing in another. Anyone have any good recipes?

A friend of ours made a turkey recently where she slid bacon under the skin and covered the top of the turkey with bacon. The turkey didn’t taste like bacon, but it was juicy and flavorful. I’m going to try it.

I took some great pictures of Clark last week.

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Friday, November 17th, 2006

Friday is knitalong day!

First of all, I have to say that once again I am not getting all of my email. I don’t know why.

As for Mistletoes-

Go look at Amy Lu’s beautiful stocking Wow. Wow. I’m liking her thought on popcorn balls, too. Sounds like a very economical way to fill a stocking.

Anyone else? You all know where I’m at with mine, so let me ask you….

Do you think I should incorporate argyle into the gusset? (That’s what I’m leaning towards). Should I do stripes as Amy Lu suggested and as is seen on hers? Or should I do a solid color gusset? What do you think?

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

messy intarsia

I managed to fix the myriad of errors, weave in some ends

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and knit and turn the heel on the argyle stocking that I really want finished, but no longer have any desire to knit whatsoever.

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And not only am I now faced with a new insanity of incorporating the color pattern into gusset decreases, but I have a whole other argyle stocking to knit when this one is done. Second stocking syndrome is rearing its ugly head.

Christmas itself is not my motivation. I have stockings we can use this year. It’s the combination of knowing that if these ever get set aside, I will never ever pick them up again, and wanting the finished product really bad that keeps me from starting the many new projects that are pulling at me.

I want to knit another Cashmerino Esther Williams hat for my neighbor that has cancer. I haven’t met her yet, but she smiles warmly when she drives by with scarves wrapped around her head. She’s an older lady that needs a beautiful hat.

I now have TWO pairs of legwarmers that I want to knit for myself. The yarn is set aside in my bedroom already. They’re both green.

And then there’s the lace, which you already know about.

I keep plugging along. Part of why it’s so difficult is because it’s a big, uneven mess that desperately needs both a good blocking, and the dark blue x’s that will be duplicate stitched on before it even looks good. I continue on in faith that it’ll be nice when it’s all done, but right now, it’s a Monet. That may work for big paintings, but not my stocking.

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Pretty socks

Diana has written a great sock pattern that she’s selling. I think I’m going to buy it.

Speaking of buying, I’ve been on a book binge recently. I bought 6 books in the last week or so, and based on the books I bought, I’m obsessed with lace.

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(Most knitters buy yarn, I buy books).

It’s been too long since I knit lace, and I need to create a new masterpiece. These books are going to satisfy me out of buying those expensive English patterns I’ve been looking at, and a big thanks to Bev who brought Victorian Lace Today to my attention. I didn’t know it existed. So pretty.

So I REALLY need to finish these Christmas stockings. I haven’t touched them since you saw them last, I’ve been very distracted by my spinning wheel. And Clark has been fussy. (We’re having nursing problems, and I’m not giving up).

Also, I just found out I’m going to be hosting Thanksgiving at my house for 23-30 people. My mother-in-law’s house is undergoing a minor remodel and awhile back, she said that the contractors assured her it’d be done by Thanksgiving. I laughed (inwardly to be polite), then I offered my house as a back up and yesterday morning, she took me up on it. Is anyone surprised? Are there ANY contractors out there that actually know how long it takes to build and fix things?

I have a lot to do.

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Health Group- Year 3, week 22

My table came back from the refinishers on Friday, for about 15 minutes, and went back again. They messed up. I was disappointed because we were having a huge to-do at our house this weekend, and I wanted our table, but in the end, I’m glad the table wasn’t here. It was a send-off party for some friends that are moving to Georgia, and we had about 50 people in our house. Many of them were little kids. The adults ate in the living room, and all the kids ate at the table. (Two plastic folding tables pushed together). They spilled more punch than they actually consumed. Part way into the evening, I just set the roll of paper towels on the table and left it there. It was the kind of chaos you would expect from many, many little kids with casual and distracted supervision. And I didn’t have to worry about my newly refinished and ill-destined table.

It was a good thing.

Health Group- what do you have? I’m slipping off the no sugar wagon. I must be really weak. I’ve been able to do it in the past, but for some reason, this year is really hard for me. I’m starting again today, and I’m going to get some physical therapy exercises in as well.

Friday, November 10th, 2006

Friday is knitalong day!

Today is knitalong day. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been distracted. I keep thinking about lovely lace things. After seeing Stephanie’s beautiful shawl, I bought some books. I dug out others I already had. I perused blogs through Google, looking for lace, and happened upon a link that is singing the siren’s song.

It’s beautiful. I love the yarn it’s made out of, and despite the fact that ordering an expensive pattern from England seems kind of ridiculous to me, I’m probably going to anyway. Along with this one, while I’m at it.

The reason I hesitate is that yesterday, registration for the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat opened, and I signed up for a couple spinning classes, the Hand Embellishment class taught by Fiona Ellis, and the banquet. I’m really excited about it. It was really, really expensive. Dropping another $30 plus international shipping on patterns right now seems very ungrateful to my sweet husband who funds my fiber hobby.

And then there’s the yarn I discovered last night.

Last night, I went to a spinning group at what is rapidly becoming my new favorite yarn store. (Mainly because it is the only store on the Eastside that has actually had what I needed when I went there). And because Kim and Ellen work there, and they’re really, really cool.

I had a great time. I met some neat ladies. I found out about a fiber guild meeting next week that will be hosting their annual sale.

I saw Debbie Bliss Pure Silk for the first time and could barely put it down. It’s the most fantabulous feeling stuff I think I’ve ever touched. I want to make a scarf with a couple skeins of it so I can have it against my skin at all times. But again, I’m going to wait for a little bit. I’ve been an expensive wife this week.

Knitalong day. What have you got? I have a jellyfish. (Metaphor courtesy of Hayden’s clever wit).

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I’m confident at this point that I’ve spent more time ripping and repairing mistakes than I have actually spent knitting on it. But it’s kind of cool.