Thursday, July 30, 2015

Things I have learned

I have two handsome old men living with me.

One of whom is rather cranky in his old age.

Can you spot the funny in the picture above? I'll zoom in for you even though I am laughing pretty hard.

Is it just me or is that a look of terror in his little plastic eye?

The couch is not a proper storage area for your knitting/knitting needles.

I lost three needles, but am so happy the couch was the only punctured thing. 
I did warn D but after a long day at work I pretty much sound like the Peanuts adults to him, wah waa wah wana.

Mom's foot makes a reasonable old guy pillow.

Even when it is not encased in new socks.

I felt so guilty about having socks only for me on the needles that I cast a pair on for D while these were still on the needles. It is not like he has nothing to wear, its just that I have that excuse to a way lesser degree. Now if I can just figure out how to jazz up a pair of plain chestnut brown socks. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

On Reading

Over on Goodreads they have a reading challenge that starts at the first of the year. Last year my goal was 35 books, I read 52, a book a week, not too shabby. Although I did talk to someone the other day that scoffed at the number before she knew I was proud of it. To call her an avid reader is like saying cats like to sleep.

I'm on track with my reading goal so far. I hit the mid point just as the year hit the mid point. I've been behind a couple of times but have ramped right back up. I'm pretty happy about it.

I've told you before I read the same way I knit. I currently have four books going, one audio, one kindle, and two paper. I have found that the media helps keep stories separate. My two paper books were ill timed since they are the same author just different series. I could have used media to keep them separate.

I really like reading romances on my kindle so I don't have to hide the cover of the book. I never like people knowing I was reading about heaving bosoms. Even when I was not reading about bosoms, it is assumed romance novels are just trashy. Personally I like my books to have a plot, even if it includes a lot of swooning. I just started Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James. I had started the third book in the series before I realized it was a series.

So tell me if I am the only one, when I find a series of books, I usually do some research and start from the beginning. This can be problematic especially with a long series since hopefully authors hone their skill as they write. The books should steady improve. But how many and how bad to they have to be to stop you from going on with a series? Recently if I had only listened to the first book in a series (Hamish MacBeth by M.C. Beaton) I never would have continued. Since it was a package deal and I was running low on audio books I listened to the slightly better second book. I am still rather torn if I will continue.

What is the harm of starting with the best book first? Well there is really no harm just a big part of me that likes to read them as the author wrote them. By doing this how many good books have I talked myself out of reading? Surely the best book of a series is rarely the first or second book. Why should I struggle through the bad when I could just skip it? Get to the part of the story that I am drawn to, not the endless introductions.

Yeah I have not found the answer to that one yet. I did try skipping ahead in a series to a title I've always been drawn to, I did not like it. (Sticks & Scones by Diane Mott Davidson) Sometimes the author may improve but I still don't want to spend time with the characters they've created.

And the whole never ending love/like triangle? Joanne Fluke, I'm looking at you. Don't even get me started! Pick a dude damn it. Which one will it be? Will she won't she? I certainly know who won'

And speaking of things that annoy me...cliffhangers. (OK this one is directed at a TV show.) A very big part of me views this as a lazy storyteller. If you can not write an ending, I certainly am not going to supply one. I know I am probably in the minority on that issue.

Sometimes I like to read about things that I would never ever do, climbing Mt. Everest (Into Thin Air), hiking the Pacific Coast Trail (Wild), biking cross country (I forget the title). For the most part I enjoyed these books because they were the type of adventure I enjoy...arm chair.

You can lose yourself in a place that you would not normally be. Plus you get to meet people that you would never want to actually spend time with.

Oddly enough books are one of the ways that my sister and I connect even though we have wildly different tastes. I can thank her for getting me into mysteries and detectives again.

Anyways that is what I've been thinking about and reading recently.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Proof of Yarn Love

Ah what a funny but confused Hubby I have. I opened my blog to find I had already "written" a post. If I ever find "all fiber bearing animals to be utterly repulsive"...WOW I don't even know what I would do. Shave a couple of cats?

Anyways it seems I must prove to you that I indeed still love almost all things wooly and furry.

Into the Whirled Glouchester Sock Children of Time colorway

See that is how much of a sock I can get done while at the last local showing of the new Avengers movie. I had ripped back this yarn a few times months ago because it was pooling a not appealing way. It has been sitting in time out for months now. It is still kinky from all my previous attempts. After knitting on it for hours in the dark, not knowing what it would look like, I gotta say two stitches really do matter. I am loving this.

Jack would like you to know he is not in fact a shaved cat. See all that shiny fur?
Nobody needs to call the ASPCA on my Momma, OK?

Sock That Rock Lightweight - Flambeau
These socks were started and knit on in a church council meeting. I think I may be getting them used to the idea of my knitting at these events. Two hours of committee talking without knitting? Perish the thought!

Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock - Starry Night

See I've still got my eyebrows and whiskers and everything. Mom was just making a joke, OK?

Sarah, does that colorway remind you of anything? You know that one gorgeous painting that you cross stitched? Hopefully mine won't take a few years, but then again I' not framing mine either. Unless we redefine wearing them on my feet as framing. 

My cowl is finished too. But those pictures deserve their own post. Let's just say Jack may get a sweater.

So the world can keep on spinning, I still love fiber, yarn, my kitties an my hubby.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Yarn is dead to me

Yep, I've had it with knitting.  I am hanging up my sticks.  I find making knots upon knots to be extremely tedious and unfulfilling.  In fact, I find all fiber-bearing animals to be utterly repulsive.  What should I take up next?

You see this is the reason I should not let the Hubby near my stuff. 

No tasty baked goods for you Mister!!!

Not even from boxed mixes!

I mean it!

Anybody want a peanut?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Growing, Shrinking, Growing.

How does my garden grow? Well that is a topic for another post but I can tell you how it started. This year we decided to try a couple of new things. First added some topsoil to our existing plot and made it more square than round. We planted five or six tomatoes of various kind to keep it interesting.  A few marigolds to help with bug control. You now I may need to stop saying I dislike orange and yellow. I really like marigolds and orange socks now.

We've got a couple of pepper plants, rosemary (vermin prevention) and basil, because who can resist the smell of basil?

Second tryout this year is container tomatoes. We bought the near one already growing and planted the far two. You should see them now, they're all stretching their heads over the lattice work, craning to see who has the better view.

And speaking of growing and shrinking. I started knitting the Honey Cowl in some Madelinetosh DK yarn. While I liked how it was coming out I though maybe the bigger loop would look better. So I ripped it back.

I knit a few inches on the longer one and did not like the way the yarn was pooling, so I ripped back. And knit the same thing twice now. Good think I still think it is beautiful.

Amazing how the lighting affects the color isn't it? I bet this will feel nice this winter. Now I just need to know if it is to my sister's liking. Although Kisknit said she would take if off my hands if it was not to my sister's liking. That woman is a saint I tell you. The sacrifices we make for our knitting friends. (Hee Hee)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Snow and Presidents

I must have been in South Dakota! I was lucky enough to go home for my Nephew's graduation in May. Lucky enough to catch a nice May! (I did not bring a jacket or even anything long sleeved!) 

As with many storms that late in the season the snow was gone by the time I left. I've got to say I found it very relaxing though. It made it seem so much more homey in a way. I even baked bread, which was gone before the snow was.

My family lives near the Black Hills. The Black Hills also contain Mt Rushmore. The self proclaimed gateway to the Hills and Mt Rushmore is Rapid City. Rapid City, or just Rapid if you're from the area, loves to draw in tourists. Rapid came up with a plan, after we moved away, of putting up statues of all the presidents in the downtown area. You've seen a couple here before.

Last year my sister said she wanted to do the scavenger hunt of all the statues. Well we thought it was a scavenger hunt of sorts. The tourism board puts out a walking tour brochure, and on the very last page is a close up picture of a portion of a statue.

As you know last year we were very busy with Dad''s urgent care and transition. We simply did not have time.

This year I emailed her and asked if we could see the presidents. I received an enthusiastic heck yeah back. Then the snow started to fall at the graduation ceremony. They were calling for one heck of a storm. The presidents would have to wait another year.

But then a day after the snow hit it warmed up, not swimsuit weather by any means but good enough for a trip down town.

Now looking at my map I realize we missed a couple. Oh well let's start with John Adams. He was our second president, and had a son that was also a president. You can not tell we went in the afternoon with our shadows on the statue.

This dapper chap would be that son John Quincy Adams. He was known to be quite a snappy dresser. The detail on the statues was half of the fun.

My sister read off the headline on the Kinderhook paper in his hand when I exclaimed, I've been to his house! You know when you hear words that are out of place for your surroundings? I hear Kinderhook every once in a while, but not in South Dakota. I also point out NY plates while driving in SD and vice versa. I am quirky that way.

This gent is Martin Van Buren. His home is located outside of Kinderhook, NY. He was known as Old Kinderhook and is credited with originating O.K.

Do you think we share the same double chin? OK then!

How it that for our first three presidents on the tour? I'll scatter them in here and there. It was great fun and enjoyed it. Plus I made it so my excellent brother in law does not have to walk it now. You're welcome BIL.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Salt Rimmed Margarita

See I really have been knitting through all the kitchen turmoil and post turmoil baking time.

D has new Gus approved socks.

These are from Mt Rutsen Studio Madison yarn in the Margarita colorway. I love how eye searing green it is. It is a bit lost in the shadows but in person the color makes your mouth pucker because to reminds you of sucking on limes. That is how saturated the color is. While I was working on them I kept holding them next to Gus's eyes. They did not really match but hints of similar colors are there. 

Ah yes the toes. They were a bit of a problem, turned experiment. You see I've learned my lesson. Experience kept yelling at me as I got close to the toe on the first sock. When I do a pattern on the leg of D's socks I tend to use just a bit too much yarn. You'd think I would make the sock just a trifle shorter but you'd be wrong. 

I weighed the yarn and found I would indeed need to find two toes worth of complimentary yarn. It was D's idea to use a creamy yarn to give the idea of salt rimmed socks. I went digging in my left overs bags and found some of my favorite Icelandic yarn. 

The toe on the left is the first toe. I knit it fine then when I got to the second toe I suspected I would have the same problem on my hands only with different yarn this time. After a bit of juggling I decided to alternate rows of yarn. Now I want to do this on all my socks. I love the way it looks. 

Now D has a new set of blindingly beautiful socks. And I know which booth I'll be going back to this fall. They also had my favorite stitch markers, you remember the ones that made sweater knitting fun again? Maybe I need a nice basket too?