Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Patrick Loves Me

We've decided that Patrick bunny likes me more than he likes husband. If you recall, husband is the family bunny groomer, but Patrick has tinkled on husband at every grooming attempt. We decided it might be best for me to learn to groom Patrick. I'm happy to report a most successful and enjoyable grooming session with no tinkling! We tag teamed Patrick who seemed to really enjoy sitting on my lap and being plucked. I think he likes plucking better than combing. Patrick is a gorgeous red bunny and just the sweetest thing. He's typical boy, though. He's so playful and has an almost mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

We only did a partial groom tonight--just the back--and that took half an hour. Patrick is a big fiber producer, more so than Phoebe. Their coats are a lot different, too. Patrick has a crimp to his hair, while Phoebe has no crimp but a high sheen. We'll probably groom Patrick's tummy tomorrow night. I felt like he'd had enough tonight and didn't want to attempt the bunny flip when he was in such a good mood.

I made a trip to In Stitches today to visit with Barbara for a few minutes and pick up some needles. I really like the Plymouth needles that Barbara carries. They are so smooth. I bought a circular needle and the matching DPNs to use for a hat.

My current knitting work in progress is a hat for one of the nephews. This one is in a mossy green yarn, and it will be decorated with dinosaur buttons. I think nephew (who is 4 years old) will like it.

Today is Amie's birthday! Stop over and wish her a happy one, and while you are there, listen to the great birthday song her brother left on her voice mail! Happy Birthday, Amie!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Stitch and Bitch

I thought the title of this post was quite appropriate since I plan to talk a little stitch first and then talk a little bitch!

On the stitch side of things, I've taken on a Christmas knitting project just when I said I would not!! I've decided that the nieces and nephews (who range in age from 4 to 9 years) just couldn't live without hand knit hats. I'm going to decorate them with some of those fancy buttons from Michael's. You know the buttons that look like flowers, or dinosaurs, or smiley faces? Those ones. I'm just trying to work out head sizes right now, and I can't well go calling the mothers and asking "would you measure your child/childrens head(s) please?" Well, I could, but then I'd feel pressured to finish these projects, and that's just all I need--more pressure. So...I'm going to trust Ann Budd and here Handy Book of Patterns to rescue me.

Let's move on to the bitch now, shall we? Out of respect of the tender constitutions of some of my readers, I shall try to keep the profanity at a minimum.

Have you ever noticed just how many *bleep*holes there are out there driving? I noticed quite a few on my relatively short (three hour) drive home from the beach today. I'm not talking interstate highway driving *bleep*holes but back country road driving *bleep*holes. You just expect to see more *bleep*holes on the interstate, I believe. I'm talking the kind of *bleep*holes who tailgate you because driving 60 mph in a 55 zone just isn't fast enough. I'm talking the kind of *bleep*holes who zooooom past you doing at least 80 in that same 55 mph zone (passing you on a solid yellow line section of the road most of the time). Shall we even get into the *bleep*holes who just tailgate you and don't have the decency to pass you? My question for all you who are in such a blessed hurry is "Why didn't you leave sooner if you need to get there so fast? Then you could slow down and not endanger those of us who just want to get home alive."

I wish I had a laser gun mounted on the front of my car. One on the back might be nice, too. If I had a laser gun, I'd zap these *bleep*holes into oblivion. It would also be nice to have a direct line to the cops so that I could call them and tell them about the insane driver in the high-dollar black car with Florida tags who's weaving in and out of lanes because he's so hot to pass the car in front of him, or about the blur in the silver bullet car who's going at least 80 or faster in a 55 zone. Maybe I'm doomed to hell for taking secret pleasure (or not so secret pleasure) in seeing said *bleep*holes pulled over to the side of the road chatting with the nice man with the blue lights mounted on his car. I hope he gives them a nice little piece of paper so that they can remember their journey for a long time to come.

The highways aren't the only place you'll find *bleep*holes, though. I know that they frequent my beach, because they leave their trash behind them. Pigs. No wait, I don't want to insult my porcine friends, so I think I'll stick with *bleep*holes to describe the beach litterers. Straws, bottle caps, beer cans, and cigarette butts are not naturally occurring items that you'd expect to find on the beach. Take your damned trash with you when you leave, you *bleep*hole. I get sick and tired of having to clean up after you. I happen to own a piece of this island, and I want it kept clean. More importantly than that, I realize that I share this planet with a lot more life than myself. I respect the turtles, the fish, the dolphins, the birds, and all the other life forms that call the beach and ocean home. I don't want a freaking *bleep*hole endangering the lives of these poor, innocent creatures.

End of bitching.

I want to end on a funny note tonight. Daughter and I were driving along yesterday when I noticed a dead deer by the side of the road. In usual fashion I said "Poor dead deer." Daughter didn't miss a beat before she replied "How much money does it have? Does it have a few bucks in its pocket, or was it robbed by racoons?" I asked her what she meant by this, and she replied "Well, you said it was a poor dead deer, so I just wondered how poor." Little smart ass. She's following in Mom's footsteps, I see.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm posting tonight from my very favorite place on earth--Hilton Head Island. Daughter and I have been here since Tuesday afternoon, and we are having a great time. I can't think of a place I'd rather be.

We spent today in Savannah, first stopping off at Wilde Fibre to see Jennifer and tempt her with some fiber and spindles for the shop. I think she was pleased! I bought a new felting pattern while we were there--a day pack pattern by Two Old Bags. I can't wait to work on that.

After the fibering, we did the touristy bit by visiting River Street and the yummy River Street Sweets. We saw a great commedian (I assume he was a commedian) because I was about to wet myself from laughing so hard!) performing on the street. He was on a very tall unicycle and was juggling and joking at the same time. I hated to leave, but poor husband was cold. We had to move on and find him a place to warm up. Did I mention the weather turned cool today? It was great!!

On the drive back to HHI from Savannah, I saw a dolphin jump in the river. My day is always complete when I see a dolphin. I love those animals. We also saw a spectacular full moon. It was beautiful. It could also explain some of the very strange behavior daughter has been exhibiting. It's either the full moon or pre-teen hormones!

I finished the BZZZZZZZZ hat from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. It turned out much larger and fuller fitting than it looks in the pattern. Hmmm. My gauge looks right; I used the correct weight yarn and size needles. It is a bit loose, but it looks great on daughter. I'll post pictures when we are back home.

We've seen a couple of good movies this week. We of course bought the Harry Potter 3 DVD on Wednesday and watched it that night. It was great!! We have all the DVDs and books and have read all the books. I really do want to re-read them. Tonight we watched Elf. It was cute, but it isn't one of those "gotta own" movies as far as I'm concerned. If you're looking for a "gotta own" Christmas movie, in my opinion, you should get "A Christmas Story".

Monday, November 22, 2004

A Letter to My Neighbors

Dear Neighbors,

Perhaps you did not notice, but today's date is November 22. It is a full 33 days until Christmas. However, I noticed you've bedecked your house in twinkling lights, those lovely lights that zip and spin around enough to cause a normal person to suffer from motion sickness. Sitting in the middle of your living room window is a giant Christmas tree shining with lights and ornaments. Maybe in addition to not noticing the date on the calendar, you didn't see that the temperature today was in the 70s. I saw you running around your yard in shorts and a t-shirt, so surely you realized it is much too warm for Christmas.

I'm wondering, dear neighbor, how long we'll be entertained by your light display. It seems only yesterday you were finally taking down those lights from last Christmas. Oh...wait....that was Labor Day weekend that you were taking the lights down. Maybe if we're lucky, you'll leave them up the whole year round from now on. Thank you, dear nutty neighbor.

Most Sincerely,
The Neighbors Who Celebrate Thanksgiving Before Rushing Into Christmas

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sew Easy

Sometimes, I do amaze myself! (No ego problems here either, eh?) As I mentioned a few weeks ago, daughter has a lead role in her middle school musical. It's set in the 50s, and their "big" performance is for Grandparents Day which is Tuesday. I bought the poodle skirt, the saddle shoes, the silk scarf to tie up a pony tail, and the sweater to go with the outfit. The one thing I didn't buy was the crinoline to go under the poodle skirt. Somehow, paying $35 for a big wad of black netting (the skirt is black, so the crinoline would need to be as well) just didn't sound logical.

Tick-tock, tick-tock and performance time is almost upon us. I dashed down to the 50s shop yesterday to buy the darned black crinoline only to find the store dark and locked up tight....not to open again until Tuesdy aka Performance Day. Drat! What to do, what to do??

I ran over to Wal Mart and purchased 7 yards of black tulle fabric. Somehow, I was going to make this crinoline if it killed me!! A light bulb went off over my head last night, and I came up with an ingenious plan. Instead of trying to run gathering threads through 7 yards of slippery tulle, I'd sew a casing and run elastic through it. The elastic could do the job of making the gathers for me! How clever! I put that plan into action this moring and voila--instant crinoline!! The only complaint I've heard is "It's itchy." Well, yes, that's the nature of the tulle beast. It is itchy, but daughter looks great in her costume. If I can get her to stand still, I'll try to post a picture later this week. Right now, she's just twirl happy--you know those big circle skirts are just the thing for twirling.

Yesterday, the chorus gave a sneak preview of their show at one of the book stores. There were only about 1/3 of the kids present--last minute warning that this performance would take place combined with "weekend" don't make for a large turn out! I was impressed with what this small group of kids did, and I can't wait until Tuesday to hear the whole chorus belt out the 50s tunes--in three part harmony no less. The highlight of the day for daughter was that one of our dear family friends came to see the show. Daughter considers this lady her "local grandma" and you know how little girls (even ones who are fast becoming young women) feel about their grandmas!

I got to the LYS yesterday and picked up yarn to make the Bzzzz hat out of Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. I actually got enough yarn for two hats--one for daughter and one for a friend of hers. Maybe I can get these done in time for Christmas. The shop lady had a sample worked up in the store, and it was so cute!

I also bought some size 10.5 DPNs and a 16 inch circular to use on the Fuzzy Feet. I know I can breeze through the cuff and foot of the Fuzzy Feet much more quickly with the circular. I want to finish off that second footy and felt them. I picked up puff paint for the soles at Michaels on Friday night. If thes slippers look good once felted, I just may manage to give everyone on my Christmas list a hand knitted item after all.

Last night I worked on the Fluted Banister sock. It's the current sock in the 6 Sox KAL. I know that I won't make the deadline of the end of this month to complete the pair. I'm not even done with the first sock! Oh well, c'est la vie. It's a nice pattern, and I don't really need to meet a deadline. Life has too many other deadlines without getting shook over a KAL deadline.

Tonight is daughter's "social debut." She's been in a manners and etiquette class for the past couple of months, and the culmination of the class is a formal dinner at the country club. She's really excited about this, and I am, too. That means 2 hours of grown up time for husband and me!! I hope we can make it over to Atlanta Bread Company. A bread bowl full of soup and a seat by the fireplace sound like a nice way to spend our evening. Maybe we can take along knitting to add to the fun!

Oh...I've had some comments on the blog and want to respond here. To the teenage boy who wants to know how much I'd charge to knit him a hat. Sorry, but I only knit for people to whom I'm related by blood or marriage. I can, however, suggest some books so that you can learn to knit your own hat.

To those who commented about the roving I accidentally won, yes, it was one of those wonderful kind of accidents. The color combination is lovely, I think. I have absolutely no idea what the resulting yarn will be. I may just need to sit and pet that roving for a while to figure it out!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Accidents Happen!

I had a little accident today, but nothing to worry about. Husband is still shaking his head over it wondering how this could happen to anyone. I accidntally won this on e-bay:

Isn't it pretty!! It's a romney and mohair blend. I saw another lot of this roving on e-bay last week, but I forgot to bid on it. I wasn't about to let that happen this time, so I put in the minimum bid, and I won. Yay for me. I can't wait to get this! I sent payment immediately, so hopefully I'll receive the package before Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Sweater Girl

I've made up my mind that it's time to knit a sweater. I bought enough alpaca yarn last year to make a pullover sweater, but I never got around to it. Now, I've fallen out of love with both the sweater pattern and the yarn. The sweater I want to make is in Stitch 'n Bitch Nation and it's called Fairly Easy Fair Isle. It's knit with Lamb's Pride bulky yarn. I want to do the sweater as pictured in the book--primarily an onyx color with raspberry and lighter pink patterning in the yoke. Husband thinks it's an excellent idea and told me to go ahead and order the yarn when I get paid next week. I just love having a fiber fanatic, indulgent husband! The problem here is that I can't find one web site that has all of the colors I need. I guess I'll have to make some phone calls and see if perhaps someone has the yarn in stock and not on their web site.

Did I tell you yesterday that I'm knitting Fuzzyfeet from Knitty magazine? (Honestly, I'm so tired I don't quite know which end is up. It's been a loooong week already and there are still two days of it to go.) I am knitting Fuzzyfeet in a bright blue Nature Spun. I'm on the first slipper and have gotten to the gusset pick ups. The pattern calls for size 10.5 DPNs, and I was feeling too cheap to actually buy this size needles. It's not one I'd use often. Being a frugal and industrious man, husband took on the task of making me a set of needles. He and daughter worked on the needles together, and they are really nice! They used an oak dowel cut into the proper length and sharpened on the ends. They sanded the dowels and polished them. There are still some rough spots on a couple of them, but husband assures me he can fix that for me. I love my hand crafted needles!

Since I'm slacking in the photo department again today, I guess I owe you a recipe. Here is the recipe for the party sandwiches I took to the fiber group meeting on Sunday.

Ham Delights
1 pound boiled ham lunch meat slices
1/2 pound Swiss cheese slices
1/2 pound margarine
3 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 packages party rolls

Mix margarine, mustard, poppy seeds, and Worcestershire sauce together until it is of spreading consistency. Split party rolls in half to form a top and a bottom slice (like a big sandwich bun). Spread margarine mixture on both cut sides of the rolls. Place ham and cheese on the rolls and cover with the top half of the rolls. Return to foil trays out of which party rolls came and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.

I'll comment that I think this recipe calls for too much margarine mixture. My sandwiches were soggier than I would have liked, and I think that's because there was too much grease from the margarine. Next time I make these, I think I'll cut the amount of margarine mixture in half and see how that goes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Pictures at Last

I have a couple of pictures to share today! You've all been patiently waiting for these, I know.

First, here is the scarf for daughter's friend. I finished it last night. This is made from some e-bay yarn--a mohair, wool, and I'm not sure what blend. The scarf measures 9 inches wide and 65 inches long. It is going to someone in Ohio, so I hope it will be cozy and warm for her.

Daughter had her etiquette class last night, so we killed an hour shopping in Michael's until she got done. I bought a wine bottle box which I think will be perfect to hold straight needles. They had all sorts of patterns, but I chose this with the grapes. The box is round and measures 13 inches tall and as big around as a bottle of wine.

I bought two skirt patterns this afternoon for daughter. We're planning to go fabric shopping this weekend so that I can make her a skirt. I'm planning to get some plaid fabric and make a pleated short skirt like all the teen and pre-teen girls are wearing.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Good Eats

The fiber group meeting yesterday was probably the best I've ever attended. We had close to 20 people there, and I think everyone brought some kind of edible goody to share! We met in a new location--the history museum down town--and it was very nice. I didn't get much spinning or knitting done, but I got a lot of visiting done!

I managed to knit a few rows of the scarf I'm making for daughter's friend, but I didn't finish it like I'd hoped. Maybe tonight. I got a lot of compliments on it yesterday. It really is turning out pretty. I'll try to get a picture later this week.

To make up for my lack of pictures the last few days, how about I share a recipe? This is the cheese ball that I took to the meeting yesterday. It is from the cook book Tea Time at the Masters, and it is a hit every time I make it.

"Now Famous" Cheese Ring
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup mayonaise
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup onions, grated or finely chopped
6 twists (of the pepper mill) of freshly ground pepper
1 dash cayenne pepper
12 ounces strawberry preserves

Mix all ingredients except strawberry preserves and shape into a ring. Chill. Spoon preserves into the hollow before serving. Serve with wheat crackers.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Over the River and Through the Woods...

We didn't actually go over the river and through the woods (well, I guess we did cross a river), but we did brave I-20 and city traffic to visit Ganny and Papa yesterday (husband's parents). We had a nice afternoon with them and enjoyed some delicious vegetable soup and cornbread that Papa made. It really hit the spot on a chilly autumn afternoon. Husband helped Ganny finish up the hat she was making. She's a new knitter and still working on the most important part of knitting--gaining confidence in herself. She is now the proud wearer of an adorable red stockinette stitch hat with a roll brim and a cute i-cord attachment at the top. She's quite pleased with herself at having finished this project, and of course we're proud of her, too. While we were there, Ganny cast on for a matching garter stitch scarf to go with her hat. You go, Ganny!

I started a mohair scarf yesterday while we were visiting, and it's destined as a gift for one of daughter's friends. I bought the yarn on e-bay last year but then didn't like the looks of it much when it arrived. Daughter's friend saw it this summer when we were all at the beach together (I keep a basket of yarn and some needles at our beach place--emergency knitting supplies, you know) and she fell in love with it. I'm working a plain garter stitch on size 17 needles, and it's making a nice, airy fabric. I was worried that I would not have enough yarn to make a decent sized scarf since I have only around 200 yards, but I think this is going to be fine. I cast on 25 stitches, so the scarf is wide enough, and the one ball gave me about 24 inches of fabric--that's a guesstimate. I hope to finish off the scarf today so that we can get the package ready to mail within the next couple of weeks.

We stopped off at Barnes and Noble last night on the way home, and I picked up the new Debbie Stoller book Stitch and Bitch Nation. I bought Stitch and Bitch last year and loved it! Debbie's writing style is so entertaining, and the patterns in the first book were so cute and easy for a beginner. I'm certainly not disappointed in this new book. Debbie's style remains true--quite entertaining--and the book is chock full of patterns. Some of them I'd never make--like the knitted tankini swimsuite--but others are too cute to pass by.

Speaking of reading, I went to the library Thursday in hopes of finding some knitting or spinning books. Well, no luck there, but I did get put on the waiting list for The Shop on Blossom Street which is set in a knitting shop. I could not leave the library empty handed, though, so a book by Emilie Richards caught my eye. It's called Wedding Ring. Click on the link to read more about this book. It's the story of three generations of women learning about themselves and about each other. This book is wrenching my heart out. I dissolved in tears last night during a particularly moving scene, and it isn't the first time. I often rate a book or movie on its "cry factor" and this one certainly gets an 8 or 9 in that department. I can't say that this is an emotional "feel good" book, but the story is well-written and the characters are interesting people that you can really care about. I hope we're heading for a happy ending, but who knows? I still have about 5 chapters to go.

Today is the first anniversary meeting of The Tangled Threads, our local fiber group. I have a yummy, zesty flavored cheese ball ready to be put on a platter to take along. I'm going to try to make some party sandwiches, too. Other members of the group are brining nibbles so we should have plenty of food, fiber, and friends.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Did Someone Let the Cats Out of the Bag?

Our fiber mad cats are at it again! Today, husband and daughter went over to visit a friend (another wonderful fiber fantaic) and picked some fleece. Take a look at what Mocha and Socks think of the bag of clean fleece. Here's Mocha curled up in the bag with Socks pondering how she can get him out and get into the bag herself.
No....this is not fleece oozing out of the bag. It's Socks oozing into the bag! She managed to tuck herself in so well that her head was hidden. Her black color blended into the fiber so well that we didn't realize she was in the bag sleeping. Rebecca Kitty was being a good girl and sleeping under the dining room table instead of pawing at the fleece. I think she's a little camera shy anyway.

Daughter didn't have school today and won't tomorrow either. This is parent-teacher conference week, so the kids get some time off. We had our conference today, and it went very well. Daughter has 3 A's and 2 B's. We are very proud of her. She's working really hard in school this year. Her school is very academically challenging, and sixth grade is definitely not a walk in the park. Report cards will come out in December, and if things continue as they are, it looks like daughter will find herself on honor roll! *proud mom moment*

There is definitely a hint of fall in the air. I baked an apple crisp for dessert tonight, and the apples and cinnamon sure have the house smelling good. Apples and cinnamon just remind me so much of fall. If the weather continues to be cool as I hope it will, I'll have to make a stew this weekend.

Want to hear a funny story? Husband was grooming Patrick bunny tonight and was holding Patrick in his lap. Well, poor Patrick obviously didn't like that too much. He peed all over husband! I guess that bunny showed husband who is boss!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Mid-Week Ramblings

I was asked today to help with the planning committee for the Spring Art Fair at daughter's school. She is in a private school which includes pre-school through grade 12. Last year was the first year for the fair, and they featured all types of art--drama, music, painting, sculpture, pottery, you name it. This year, thanks to our family, there should be fiber art represented, too. I've already asked if any of our local fibery friends want to be involved. I'm really excited about this!

Sunday our fiber group meets and will celebrate our first anniversary. I'm planning to take some goodies, and I believe others will as well. We can eat, visit, and do our crafts. What could be more fun?

Husband is busily producing some more spindles. It seems Wilde Fibre has sold all that he'd supplied them and need more! How wonderful! He is also going to help get some fiber together for Jennifer to sell in her store. We're going to visit our friend here who raises angora goats and get some goodies from her for the store. She has wonderful mohair and does some very nice blends. I'll have to take some pictures to show you. I've not had the pleasure yet of spinning any of her mohair, but I'm hoping to buy some from her. Husband sold some on e-bay for her, and it was a big hit!

Speaking of e-bay, I have some sari silk waste coming. I wanted to try spinning it. I really like the look of the yarn and want to see what I can come up with. The fiber is coming all the way from Canada. I hope it doesn't take too long to get here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Have You Ever Been To Paradise?

It was so hard to leave the beach Sunday afternoon. We've been moaning around the past two days wishing we were there. This is the best time of year to be at the beach--no tourists! Here's a view from our living room window. We can sit on the sofa and see the ocean and hear the waves.

I'm beginning to think the slippers and purse I felted last week are never going to dry. They are still damp. I've had them sitting on the dryer since Thursday. Here's how they look. I'm not sure they are going to fit my brother, but they will fit someone in the family!

I finished spinning the last batt of fiber I got from Grafton Fibers. Here's the batt:

and here's how the yarn looked on the bobbin:

I plied it last night, but it's still on the bobbin waiting to be skeined and set. I'm impressed with how well the yarn turned out (patting own back!), but I know that I need to work on my consistency.

I am currently working on a little project for my secret pal. I hope she likes it! I would tell you what it is....but I don't want to spoil the surpise in case my pal is reading this!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Perfect Weekend

We are all in agreement that this weekend was perfect! We spent it at Hilton Head Island, and the weather was glorious--blue skies, sunshine, and cool temperatures. Everyone got to do things they wanted to do, so that was also nice.

Saturday morning we attended a guild meeting with the Savannah, GA Fiberarts Guild. It was great fun. We were an hour late, but no one cared! They were all quite interested in our spinning. Some of them are spinners, but no one brought wheels except the three of us. I guess that's because their meeting area is rather crowded--a classroom full of lovely Schacht looms at one of the colleges.

After the guild meeting, we stopped off at the mall for lunch and an outing at the Bass Pro Shops. We went to see the aquarium there and were pleasantly surprised at all the neat stuff the store carries--clothing, toys, Christmas ornaments, and a neat fishing gadget that husband bought to measure yarn lengths. It's designed to measure fishing line lengths, but it works very well for measuring yarn.

On Sunday morning, husband and I took a leisurely walk on the beach while daughter entertained herself with a movie--one of her favorite things to do in her leisure time. During our walk, we saw three egrets (possibly snowy) and a very entertaining great blue heron. The heron was following some fishermen who were throwing a castnet. He was about 6 feet from them the whole time! Too bad I left my camera at the villa.

After lunch, we all went on a bike ride. I brought my camera this time, but of course there was nothing to photograph! The ride was pleasant. The weather was cool, and most of the tourists are gone, so we weren't dodging cars too much.

I spent a lot of time today spinning. I finished up a batt of corriedale cross wool that I got at SAFF. This one I spun for socks. The yarn is fairly even, and hopefully the fat spots and the way too thin spots will even out in the plying. The yarn is a deep aqua/pine green with some burgandy. It really is pretty.

I felted slippers and a purse Thursday night, and they are STILL not dry!! I realized on the drive home today that I didn't follow the finishing directions for the purse exactly. I was supposed to put folds or pleats into the bottom so that the purse would sit flat. Well, I forgot, and the bag looks just fine the way it is. I've decided to line it with some light colored fabric since it's a black purse. I'm thinking a toile print, if I can find one I like. I will also try to sew some pockets to the lining. That shouldn't be too difficult to do.

Friday, November 05, 2004

My Greatest Joy

I like my job. I love my husband and am blessed to be married to my best friend. I enjoy knitting and spinning. My greatest joy in life, however, is being my daughter's mom. I don't know what I ever did before she was born or what I'd do without her. She brings me joy...she sometimes makes me angry....she very often makes me proud. She's growing into a lovely young lady, both in appearance and action. E, honey if you are reading this (because I know you sneak on sometimes to see what Mom has to say) know that I love you beyond compare. Even when I make you eat broccoli, or take a shower, or go to bed, or do your homework...I love you.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Beware of Big Foot

I finished knitting the Fibertrends slippers last night and plan to felt them tonight. They are GIGANTIC! I did a test swatch with the handspun that I'd planned to use for the cuff and found that it did not felt at the same rate as the commercial yarn. I'm glad I swatched instead of figuring this out after trying to felt the entire slipper! I hope these turn out well and that I'm able to get them the proper size for my brother's feet.

I started a scarf (possibly to become a mini-shawl) last night using a new novelty yarn, Bernat Matrix. I don't usually care for novelty yarns all that much, but the colors of this one just spoke to me! I'm using Acid Axis (and I didn't realize that was the color when I bought it!) which is a green and teal mix. It's very pretty, I think, and it's draping nicely.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What The Hell Were They Thinking?

I cannot for the life of me figure out why so many people voted for Dubya! Were they asleep for the last four years? Do they really want to continue to make this country the laughingstock that having that bozo in office has done? Want to go to hell in a handbasket? Apparently Dubya has an express route to take us all there. Give me a freaking break. As they say, it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings, but it looks like we are going to end up with another 4 years of Shrub. Take a look at what Norma has to say about the prez in her Nov. 2 post. (Click on her name to get there.)

Before my blood starts to boil, I'll move on to knitting talk. I finished up the first slipper top last night and completed about a third of the second. The slipper is made from a double strand of wool, and I'm starting to run low on the first two skeins. I'm hoping to complete the project without having to open the third skein, so I delayed doing the swatch to test felting of the Nature Spun vs. my handspun. If work is slow today, maybe I can finish up the slipper piece and move on to the swatch.

Someone passed along a great article by Andy Rooney discussing women over 40. As a woman fast approaching 40, I really appreciate ol' Andy's words. For your reading pleasure, here it is. Enjoy!

As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will not lay next to you in bed and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it's usually something more interesting.

A woman over 40 knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 40 give a damn what you might think about her or what she's doing.

Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated. A woman over 40 has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn't trust the guy with other women. Women over 40 couldn't care less if you're attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won't betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. They always know. A woman over 40 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one! You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 40+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 18-year-old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.' Here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire Pig, just to get a little sausage.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Don't Forget to Vote!

Today is Election Day, and I hope that all of you have or soon will exercise your privilege of voting. I really feel that it's important to vote, and I find it rather troubling that so many people seem to take it for granted.

I made an early trip to the polls this morning, and 45 minutes later, I'd cast my ballot. It was a great feeling to know that regardless of the outcome of this election, I've done my part to try to bring forth change and hopefully get this country back on the right track again.

A great big thank you to my wonderful Knitty Secret Pal! She sent me the nicest gifts. I received a little box containing two gorgeous skeins of amethyst purple wool and silk blend yarn. It is delightfully soft. I have no idea what it will be yet, but I'm certainly enjoying petting it! SP also sent a neat card that she made herself, complete with a poem inside. She's so talented that way. The cutest little lamb tape measure was peaking out of the box and there in the bottom of the box was some yummy See's hard candies in butterscotch, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee flavors. Mmm mmm. Thank you, SP. You really are the best!

Daughter amazed me yesterday. She had the day off school due to a school conference, and she spent part of her day spinning. I was prepared to help her with her plying, skein winding, etc. but she did it all herself! She even heat set the twist in the yarn. All I needed to do (and likely, she'd have done this herself if I hadn't stepped in) was spin out the water from the skein and hang it to dry. See what a lovely looking skein she made?

She wants a Woolee Winder for her spinning wheel, and husband and I have agreed to pay half of the cost provided she saves the other half from allowance and gift money and that she show initiative and dedication in her spinning. That means she has to spin at least a few hours every month and she has to finish projects. As an incentive, husband says he'll let daughter use his Lendrum (identical wheel to hers) which has the Woolee Winder on it.

Here is a picture of the yarn that I'm calling Cherry Pie. The photo below looks much oranger than the actual yarn. This roving was my first attempt at using dye all by myself (yay, me!) when husband was out of town. I'm pleased with the results and have since become a dye fiend! It's so much fun.

I knit the second sole for the felted slippers last night and started the top portion for one of them. These really are working up fast which is a good thing. I will probably get at least this slipper top finished tonight and would like to start the second. It's a bit more challenging than the sole, but not hard by any means. I didn't get a chance to test swatch my handspun for felting yesterday, and I want to use it for the slipper cuff. I'll need to determine whether it felts at the same rate as my Nature Spun yarn before working the cuff. I hope that it will be compatible, because I think the slippers would be a more meaningful gift if part of the yarn was something I'd made myself.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Muddling Through Monday

How did it get to be Monday so soon? There really should be some law against weekends being so darned short!! Daughter has the day off school (some sort of independent school association conferences), so husband and I are poking around wishing we had the day off, too! She's happily settled in with her spinning wheel and a great looking batch of pencil roving to spin. What a life!

Someone commented about the bunny pictures I posted yesterday. No, the picture does not do Phoebe justice. She is much more beautiful in person. Her coat is amazing, particularly when you brush it apart and see all the colorations in her hair; it's like a bullseye effect. It is hard to capture that in a photo. Also, I don't think Phoebe is particularly thrilled to have a new bun in the house, so she was sort of hunkered down in the darkest corner of her cage. We have a new cage ordered for Patrick (his present cage was bought in an emergency, because we didn't plan to get a new bunny), and it is due in this week, hopefully today or tomorrow. I think he'll be happier in his larger house! Patrick had busted both his hocks, and that's a big part of why he came to live with us. Karen could not sell an injured bunny at SAFF, and she knew that we are experienced in taking care of buns and would give him a good home. One of Patrick's hocks is healing nicely, but he busted the other on Saturday night. It is coming along, and I think he'll be just fine in another week or so. We're keeping a close eye on him and giving him lots of TLC.

So...last weekend after SAFF, I had to fly off to Orlando for a business meeting. The flight out of Asheville and into Orlando was fairly uneventful. I must admit I was expecting a lot more from the hotel in Orlando (Double Tree Club near Downtown Disney) and it was a bit of a flea bag!

We had meetings Monday through Thursday, with Tuesday afternoon off for visiting the Disney Park of our choice. I went to Magic Kingdom, and it was great. We had about 4 hours to see the sites, because the parks are closing early this time of year. I paired up with a friend, and we managed to do everything we wanted to do in Magic Kingdom. We ended the night with a big group in Downtown Disney for dinner and shopping.

Wednesday and half day Thursday, we had an outside trainer come in to "help us work through problems and concerns" the management group in my department has been having. What a waste of time and money she was--and I'm not the only one who thinks that! She really had her own agenda, and to heck with what was on our minds. I was thrilled when she left on Thursday morning.

Theoretically, I should have been home by dinner time Thursday night, but dear old Delta was having none of that. For some as yet undisclosed reason, they delayed my flight out of Orlando by half an hour, thus ensuring that I'd miss my connection in Atlanta. When I arrived in Atlanta, the gate agent said the next flight to Augusta was in an hour. Well, I took that to mean I'm confirmed on that flight. No such luck. When I arrived at the gate for the flights to Augusta, they could not confirm me on anything until 8:15 the next day because they'd been canceling flights (again, for some unknown reason) since noon!! I made an executive decision then and there and booked a rental car to drive home. A lady near the gate heard me tell the Delta agent there, and asked if she could come with me. Sure. The more the merrier. I was actually quite pleased to have the company. That drive home (2 1/2 hours) can be boring. I made it home by 9:30 Thursday night, and my luggage managed to get home by noon Friday.

OK. Enough belly aching. That trip is over and done, so on to better things. I finally started some Christmas knitting last night. I cast on for some felted slippers for my brother. I'm using Nature Spun wool and the Fiber trends pattern for felted slippers. I finished the first sole in no time last night and started the second. Hopefully these things will continue to work up fast. I could use 6 pairs of them by the holidays, but I don't know if I'll manage that many!

Today, I want to do a test swatch of the hand spun pencil roving I showed you a couple of weeks back. I want to use it as an accent on the cuff of my slippers, but I'm not sure how it's going to felt.

I've been spinning some more. I re-plied some yarn last night. I was not putting enough twist into my yarn, and it looks a lot better with the proper amount of twist. I also tried spinning some mohair blend fiber that came with my spinning wheel. I have probably 8 zip loc size bags of the stuff, and it is in gorgeous color combinations. Unfortunately, it is not easy to spin and doesn't draft well. Husband got hold of it with his combs, and it spins better after combing. Unfortunately, the combing is resulting in almost a 50% loss to short fibers and neps. Oh well. I'll save the waste for making felted soap. Daughter wants to felt some for teacher gifts and grandparent Christmas gifts.

Public Service Announcement: Tomorrow is the big day--Election Day. Don't forget to cast your ballot. Maybe we should take a poll of who actually thinks we'll know who our president is on the morning of November 3rd? I'm not holding my breath! I think it'll be a while longer, but one can always hope this election goes more smoothly than the last.