Saturday, October 31, 2009

My knitting schedule is shot

I do believe that I'm trying to cremate myself one day at a time. When ever I cook I usually burn myself once a week. If I do they are usually small oops burns that heal in a couple of days. D teases me that I must think I am coated in kevlar and don't think I can burn.

I blame the years I spent working in a restaurant. I pulled so many hot pans out that I think I killed off my heat sensing nerves in my hands. Nope they still work.

Today I tried to do an act of service for my darling husband. I raked up 3 bags of leaves and then switched to attempting to mow the majority up. I did a swipe up and down the side of the driveway but it seems to not be picking them up. I look at the mower and decide the wheels are to high, it is just spinning them around and shooting them out on the lawn. I lower 3 of the wheels and attempt to lower the last one by bending over and placing my hand on the top of the engine that is covered in plastic. Sadly my fingers were firmly touching the exhaust. Turns out that area heats up quite quickly!!!!

I run for the water and plunge my swearing hand under. I tentatively touch the area and it feels really "thick", sort of like my skin has turned to cardboard "thick." One of my friends was a nurse and it turns out she is the one I call. I take my hand out of the water do a mad dash to my cell phone and back to the water. My hand in the meantime goes from mild words like pooh and shucks to full on swearing mode till its plunged under again. I dial my friend, thank God she is preprogramed into my phone. I'm trying to decide if I'm a wimp or if I need to go to urgent care. She confirms that I am not a wimp if the skin is blistering, which by this time I think it is. I get directions on how to transport hand to medical office and also take her up on the offer to hitch a ride. I tried to tell her I was fine but she would not take no for an answer. Thank God for good friends. Yes she is another "yarnie" so I think I know how I can repay her.

Luckily D was in the area we were going to so he signed me in. As we're driving down I realized just how distracted a throbbing hand will make you. I only tried to back seat drive once. Long story shorter my middle two fingers have 2nd degree burns on them, and my index finger has a small burn too. Burn pain for me comes in waves and can be intense. So my new favorite drug of the day is Motrin.

I did a test run when I got home and I think I can still knit. It seems to be only with a deliberate movement that I have not experienced since I started. But some knitting is better than no knitting. It was either that or I would finally get caught up on my reading schedule.

It took me about 10 tries to get a decent picture of my bandaged hand. My fingers looked like little sausages. OK they look like that most of the time but I'm not usually photographing them.

Oh yeah we have a dinner date with a deaf couple, so my signing will be worse than usual. Luckily it was my non dominate hand so I can still write and what not.

You know the really crappy part of the story is that once we got home Hubby went to put the mower away and showed me that the plug was in to block the grass from going into the bag. It was never going to work, my act of service for my D. Don't you just feel like satan is sitting on your shoulder laughing at your efforts some days?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ta Da

My latest creation, made with Cascade 220 wool. The picture is not the best but who am I to judge. I never know what to do when someone is taking a picture of me. My clever co worker stood on the other side of me so we could pretend we're having a conversation so I don't have to stare the camera down.

I'm working on a list of clever poses. So far I've got none. The photo could have been taken while I was actually working, which would have been me holding the phone to my ear. Seems like that is all I do some days. I hate the phone! I mean I like it when I need it but hate to be on it for any amount of time now. Too many years of being a receptionist and answering the same questions over and over.

OK back to the sweater. It's made out of Cascade 220 wool in red heathers. D wants one out of the same or similar colors. I had to say no not this year, I think I would get sick of the color if I knit it again too soon. I changed the ribbing to a baby cable rib but you can not see that here. Took me a little over a month to knit, which I think is pretty good. I'm sure there are faster knitters but I want to enjoy what I do not beat the clock. I hate it when people ask me how long it took me to knit something. I keep a knitting journal that includes (usually) when I start and end projects, but as far as how many hours it took total, that is not a math problem that I want to do.

I do love the sweater. It is soft, warm and wooly, just the way I like them. I love the fact that I am not scared to make sweaters now. When I first started I thought there was no way I would ever do that, way too much time and effort for me to risk. Plus I'm not a huge fan of homemade looking items, unless it is food. I know I am a bad person. I just like the way a finished item looks, must be that little perfectionist voice inside of me, it is not very strong and not as particular as you would think but when it speaks look out.

Good thing I bought yarn for D's sweater because I'm itching to do another. The sweater bug is biting. I told you it was going to be a cold winter and I still think that is true. Wool is the first line of defense against cold/winter right? Suit up

Monday, October 26, 2009

Startitis, again

So knitters have defined the word "startitis" as an overwhelming urge to plan or start many projects in a small time frame, usually without finishing any projects in the same time frame.

I've got it bad! Well bad for me, I only have three projects on the needles, but I went out Sunday and bought yarn for 2 more. I narrowly escaped buying yarn for a third one, it was beautiful soft yarn and I don't know how I resisted. I think I may be ill.

Now a trip to the yarn shop that lands yarn for only 2 projects is pretty good. But If you look back to last week's posts all you see is festival yarn that I bought for projects. Wait a minute I'm going to go count that project amount now. You can either scroll down with me or hum a little tune while I'm gone.

Eight projects! That brings my total to ten for the last couple of weeks. Crap I forgot about the fiber festival in September, hold on. Poo, I had five there. New total 15 projects bought with in about a month.

In my defense, hubby said it was OK, the festivals only come around once a year and I usually knit up what I buy in that time frame. I don't know why I feel I should defend myself, I've never heard a bad word from any of you.

On with my story. I found yarn for D's sweater. He even thinks the color will be OK. It is a very deep plum almost black. I'm itching to start this one, but I really want to finish his socks first.

You remember his socks I've been knitting on them for a while now. I think it is that his foot is so much bigger than mine that I get distracted. Usually for my little feet once I finish the heel of the sock it seems like it knits itself. For D it seems like I just started the sock (which is true). There is nothing to keep it spicy in the middle for me. Sorry Hon that is just the way I'm wired I guess.

I bought yarn to make some super cool two color mittens from "Folk Mittens" for me. I've started about 20 pairs of socks in my head, now if I could knit as fast as I think I would be set. No wait all the projects would be odd mutant projects if that were true. I tend to think way too many random thoughts for that to work for me.

I'm also waiting for a shawl to appear on my needles in the middle of the night like it does in my dreams. I still have to find a pattern for that one, maybe that is why I'm dreaming about it.

So I'm dreaming, I'm planning and I'm casting on a few projects 'just to see how they look'. My house is a happy place once you move the yarn and needles from the chair.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sheep Junk

We will start this post off with more lovely sheep ladies. These two were cool because it was like they were twins, they keep moving their heads in unison. Maybe their training to be synchronized swimmers?

D was oh so happy to run across a banjo player. He loves banjo music, me not so much. This guy was good though not as choppy as banjo can be, more melodic. I told D if we were separated I would know where to find him, staring longingly at another man's banjo. D says you can not be sad while listening to banjo music.

No words for this one but that may be the moment I realized he was going to have a good day with me.

Lunch time! D's not really as unhappy as he looks, he's just eating a pickle.

We got lunch from the 4H booth. This of course started the conversation about whether or not I had been a member of 4H. I was not, but both my brother and sister were. By the time I was old enough to join, we had moved off the farm. We had a local group where we moved but to me it was the diet version of 4H, no animals. Sort of took the heart out of it for me. City kids playing country was not to my taste. You can take the girl off the farm but you can not take the farm out of this girl!

This is my warm steamy goodness shot of the day. Remember we went back to the car for some tea. The cup was set on the dash and it caused a steam blush on the windshield. Did I mention I love thermos tea? "Keeps hot things hot and cold things cold the only question is how do it knowed?" What movie is that line from?

I think this yarn may be today's favorite. Decadent Fibers Savory Sock Yarn. I must have really liked it, because this skein is what caused me to stop at the booth, and while there I pulled out another skein I thought about getting. It was the same color scheme. I think I was at the check out two seconds after that. It seems very Christmasy but those colors called to me. Plus I got a free sock pattern.

Here is another gratuitous shot of my stash enhancement, such pretty colors. The cream colored yarn in the center was my impulse value buy. Each skein is 217 yds of fingering weight Rambouillet yarn, for $5 a skein! It called out to me that it would make a fine pair of kilt hose. Now when yarn knows what it wants to be I try to listen. I stood there with a couple of skeins in my hands kicking myself because I did not look up how much I would need. I really expected to do more research before buying anything. So I stood there thinking crap what if 2 skeins is not enough? Then this brilliant little voice inside my head said "Get 4 that's like 20 bucks, KILT HOSE you ninny." My inner voice may be helpful but it's cranky sometimes.

The funny thing is I just handed cash to a lady that said "Can I help you?" and left the booth without getting a receipt or anything. It was not until a couple of barns later that I realized there was no way for me to know she worked there. Maybe I just gave another fair goer $20 and took the yarn. Just cause you're helpful does not mean you work there. The yarn is not tagged but I remembered the store I bought it at, Mees and Ewes. I had forgotten what breed of yarn it was by the time I got home so I called them on Tuesday. I got the breed name and made sure I paid the right person. Load off my mind. I test knit with it yesterday and it is lovely yarn. I still can not believe the price. Maybe because I buy hand painted sock yarn, but the value makes me love it even more. I'm not cheap, I'm just greedy, no wait that does not sound right either. I'm not cheap, I'm economically sensible. Great now I sound like a politician.

OK now I will leave you with the dirty story of the day. Sorry Mom E but maybe you will get a chuckle out of this as well. As we were looking at the sheep D asked me if they were all ewes. Now having been a farm girl I'm not exactly shy about looking at animal genitalia. Don't judge me. So I start looking around to see if I really am still a farm girl, can I tell the difference between a ram and a ewe? I sight one, point it out to D and say nope not all girls here.

His comment was that hangs really low, oww, what happens if it hits a rock? You know being a girl, I did not have an answer for that. Now he wants me to change the name of the blog to Sheep Junk. I feel stupid saying this but if you did not know "junk" is slang for the male genital package. Yep that is my Hubby, he makes me laugh!

How would you feel if this was your sheep and you walked up when I was taking this picture? Excuse me do I know you? Getting a little too friendly with your camera aren't you? Security!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I miss my cocoon!

I was thinking all day about all the funny stories and things we saw in Rhinebeck, alas it is not to be for this post.

As you know I'm a very private and insecure person, you're shocked I know. Well tonight I went to my first choir practice to actually sing at. Poof there goes my cocoon of comfort, first I'm out of the house on a week night and second I'm singing in public. I'm trying hard to be someone I'm not and this stage sucks so very much.

One of my control methods is very counter intuitive. I control by making someone else control the situation. Here is an example, whenever we go to a new church related event I make D take the lead. That way I can signal him if need be and it is his job to extract me. I'm not saying it is logical, I'm just saying it works for me.

I went in tonight with certain expectations that were not met. I thought I would be placed in a group, soprano or alto, I was asked where I wanted to sing. Nice for other people but not for me because I don't have a flipping clue where I should be. The only place I sing is in the car and she has never told me how I sing.

Since I've never sung with a choir, I don't read music. I don't hear the differences when they play different keys. Sometimes I do, but I don't know what I need to do to get there. Since I've only just started singing out loud I sound very flat to me. I think I may be tone deaf. People were saying if you stand between two good singers you will naturally adjust to them. Yeah don't think that happened tonight, I'm pretty sure I kept pulling the lady next to me off because she had to have someone sing in her ear. Being an incompetent newbie sucks! Sucks Sucks Sucks!

The worst part is knowing that the only way I will get any better is to keep going back. I don't want to be a better person! I want to be scared lonely me. Damn, no I don't. Thank God there is no practice next week. I will have a week to de-stress myself. I think it will involve yarn and some sticks.

Well I think I vented some frustration there. Did I get any on you? I hope not. Thanks for listening. I will return you to your regularly scheduled programing with the next post. See you then.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rhinebeck 2009 The First Installment

This is D at his first sheep and wool festival. Notice the look of contented curiosity. We had been through one building and I had made one purchase at this point. I had forced him to make a purchase though, hot apple cider, very enjoyable on a cold day.

This is a morning shot of one of the vendor buildings. Oddly enough this is the only shot of booths I took. I think I was too excited to really think about pictures much. This was the second to last building we hit. By 1 p.m. we could hardly make it through, so many people!

D perked up quite a bit when we went to look at the animals. I turn back into Farm Girl and that seems to amuse him quite a bit. Mohair goats first then followed by a few sheep friends.

I think I had to sweet talk this one a bit before she would strike a pose. Turns out talking to sheep is not a "skill" that I give up easily. I talked to them all telling them they are beautiful. Horses rank at the top for me because they are so elegant and powerful, sheep rank really high for opposite reasons. They are comforting and cute.

I can not remember what breed of sheep we had on the farm, or even if it was a specific breed. I remember lambing season and shearing season. I remember crawling into the huge burlap bags to run around and pack the wool down in them. I wonder now why we did not keep some of the wool and spin it. I guess it was hard enough to eak out a living, and cloth was cheaper pre-made.

We found roving that reminded us of food. It was called peaches. Even when I know I don't want to learn how to spin yarn, fibers colored like this make me wonder what the finished product would look like. Looks tasty as is.

D caught me stashing a purchase away. Is it just me or does it look like I'm just a bit high on wool fumes? I remembered my shawl! I kept pretty toasty while poor D went wool less and was chilled. The power of wool, will not be denied. I received a compliment on my shawl/scarf while waiting for the ladies room. Only at a wooly event is that acceptable.

We stopped to watch an auction. I know it made my Daddy proud. The first ewe went for $600. D looked at me like WOW! Yeah, I don't think we had sheep that would sell for $600 a piece. To answer a question I heard many times while standing there, yes people go to school to learn how to do the auctioneer's chant. I had to explain to the lady standing next to me what was going on, what the current bid was and what bid they were looking for. I'm not sure I got it all right but I sounded good, if I do say so myself.

We were smart and stopped for lunch early. Then headed back to the car for a bit of a warm up with a thermos of hot tea. There are few things in this world as comforting to me as tea from a thermos. Portable heat what is not to love?

This is a shot of the afternoon Ravelry meet up. I finally have a pin! You'll see it at the end. I have wanted one for so long now. I think it means I am part of the group now, part of the yarnhood if you will. We saw a couple of ladies from Beauknits. One of my local yarn shops. I was chastised for not coming to knit night recently. Sometimes life moves too quickly, you don't get to see the people you want to. Good thing D and I live together!

The moment I've been waiting a year for, my new Rhinebeck 2009 yarn haul. Starting bottom left going counter clockwise.
One skein Socks that Rock in Puck's mischief, one skein Decadent Fibers Savory Sock yarn, Creatively Dyed Calypso sock yarn in Street, one skein Luster Sox in Pine and one Comfy Sox in Red red wine, both from Dye Dreams, two skeins from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm, and four skeins of unmarked cream colored fingering yarn from Mees and Ewes.

The top one is my new Celtic shawl pin from Ram's Horn, and my super cool Ravelry name pin.

The funny stories will have to come in installment 2. With all my new lovely yarn I'm fighting startitis pretty bad. I finished my sweater the other day so now I have to wash it and get it ready for its inaugural wearing. Hmm that means I have to go to the yarn shop to get yarn for D's sweater. Poor me

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ahhh Sheep and Wool

Oh what a lovely weekend. We survived our first NY Sheep and Wool Festival. Not only survived but enjoyed it. D did not need any of the bored Hubby entertainment items we brought along, did not once complain, and even liked the sheep barns. He also learned to tell a ram from a ewe but that is a story for another day. His first thought was wow those hang low. It is up to you to figure out what those are, for another day or so.

Snow and rain were forecast but we had a beautiful cold clear day. It made the thermos of hot tea we brought with us taste much better. I did remember to bring my shawl that I said I would wear in a previous post and I was complimented on it while waiting for the restroom. I bought some beautiful yarns and pictures will follow soon.

The knees are a bit stiff from all the walking but I think I held up fine. D also discovered why you eat early at these events. The wait in the food lines was around and hour. That is valuable yarning time!

As the ultimate compliment D even agreed to go next year if the schedule works out.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I forgot to post this picture with my 'In praise of my hubby' post. The thing in his left hand is my new yarn ball winder. The thing in his right hand is the massive ball of yarn we wound. I pretty much have been wearing the winder out since then. I might have a skein of unwound yarn but they are getting few and far between.

So it is fall here in NY and the leaves are really showing it. Every year I promise I will take picture and every year time passes with no pictures

I managed to get one this year. It is so cool how some trees tend to develop patches of color while other trees wait and seem to turn color over night. Our neighbor's tree is dropping leaves all over the place so I picked up a few to show you the colors

That is the same photo without and with flash. Some of the leaves have three colors on one leaf. So cool to see fall all in one leaf. The reds are especially striking for me this year, but I really love them every year.

My sweater is almost finished. I just need to try it on to check the collar length and bind it off. Yeah I know I missed my finish date, but that was more of a theory than an actual goal.

I'm still plugging along on socks for D. Man I get spoiled having my small feet to knit for. Some days it seems like I blink and I've finished to foot of a sock for me. Then I do a pair for D and the foot almost does me in. Maybe I should to choose to view it not as a project that is taking to long, but as getting a jump on my Christmas present list. I think I might be able to finish them by that time.

I spent the weekend thinking about next weekend. Wooly goodness time! NY Sheep and Wool Festival is next weekend. I am thinking all the time about what I want to get, what I will see and how long the Hubby will last there. This is kind of the reverse of when he goes on one of his charity bike rides. For those events I think of everything I could possibly want for 3-6 hours and jam it into my backpack (restroom not included). This time I'm thinking of anything and everything that might keep him entertained. I've got a running list: Bike and accessories, crossword puzzles, books, our DS gaming device, the Ipod, tea and snacks. So basically I'm thinking like packing for the plane trip to England this last January. If you think of anything let me know, I will add it to the Hubby entertainment arsenal. And no the cats are not willing to go along and entertain Dad. Travel is not in their job description. Great now I am all excited to go yarn shopping, there is no way I'm going get to sleep easy tonight. Don't even think about suggesting I count sheep either! My luck I will be shearing them in my sleep, Hubby might wake up missing an eyebrow that way. Oh that was one of the things I wanted D to see at the fair, sheep shearing. I'm off to add that to the list.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm not sure I can do it but I'm going to try

OK, I need to tell you a story from my childhood to start this post off. I grew up in a really small church. Really small, I think 20 people attending was a very good day. I remember my Mom and Dad talking about how sad it was that the church was so small, you couldn't even hear people singing. So the next Sunday I start singing as loud as I can.

We go home after the service and my brother proceeds to tell my parents about how someone was singing so loudly and badly. He was trying to figure out who it was, then he realized it was me. Now he said this in front of me, mind you I could not have been very old, and on top of that I can be extremely sensitive. So my whole life I have been convinced I have a horrible singing voice. I mean so horrible that I don't sing at church I mouth the words. If the cut out the congressional singing I would be very happy. Thrilled.

We started attending a new church that is far more traditional than the last one. By traditional I mean Hymns with that odd timing I can never seem to figure out. Maybe it is because I'm always trying to rush through the song to get to the non-singing portions.

When we started attending the new church one of the ladies, who sat in front of us, commented to me that I had a lovely singing voice maybe I should join the choir. I swallowed back the urge to say Bullsh** to her face. They frown on that kind of language in church, you know? I totally do not believe her, still don't. How could she hear my barely there whisper singing?

So they keep working me all summer long. Not in a pushy way, just a we'd love to have you join us sort of way. I don't respond well to pushy, tends to make me pushy right back in the wrong direction. But we'd love to have you, makes me melt. (D don't you dare use that for evil purposes!)

So last church service I talked to the choir director to see if I could just check it out, no singing required yet. In that same "we'd love to have you come in" manner she said sure come on in and check us out. For as loud and boisterous I can be I have a very shy timid side, especially when it comes to singing. (I blame my brother)

This week I attended me first choir practice! You may applaud now. I'm still not sure I'm going to do it but I am certainly thinking of it as a possibility. So how do you ask for an honest audition? If I really suck at it I don't want to be there messing up everyone else. Honestly most of me still thinks my voice is horrible. It is going to take some work to get over that. Maybe the first step is to actually sing above a whisper at church?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In praise of my Husband

I had a birthday recently and feel the need to praise my Hubby for how far he has come as a gift giver.

D does not like gifts, he's OK with receiving them but hates to give them. If the tradition of gift giving fell off the face of the earth he would be a much happier man. It is not that he is selfish or greedy or ----. It is that he just does not understand why it is important to some people. OK we all know that the irony is that I am a gift person. It is one of my love languages. (It has been a while since I read that book but I remember agreeing with the gift chapter a lot.) Sorry Honey!

I think his gift giving starts out with good intentions and quickly deteriorates into frustration. For some reason he thinks that buying off a wish list is cheating. Yeah I don't understand that one but hey it is who he is. I think he wants to do a good job but gets derailed a bit.

The last few years he has made the extra effort and I can tell. He started paying attention to the stores that I prefer, the things I like to do, and who I like to spend time with. Boy was that a step in the right direction. So I have seen a steady improvement on each gift giving occasion.

This year he hit it out of the park! I received two things that I had spoken about wanting, a yarn ball winder and a sweater stone. He did the reconnaissance, by pointing out that some of my knitting catalogs had "cool knitting tools". Score one for the home team, he is on the right path. He had them ordered, wrapped and hidden before I even knew it. He did admit to being nervous about my attending the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival. Wouldn't it have been bad if I had decided to pick one up there. Future note Hubby, those fairs are more about the yarns and less about the tools.

So I had a nice birthday, but wait there is more. We had agreed to do birthday dinner on Friday night not the night of my birthday. I thought it would be a nice evening out for us, not anything big. I did have a little clue that it might not be that when he did not entertain the idea of trying some place new. But I thought to myself "I've been wrong before".

We show up to dinner and he has arranged for three other couples to celebrate with us. What a man, what a mighty good man! He took my birthday to a whole new level. Don't worry Honey I will not expect this every year, but it was super cool this year.

Thanks for making it special! You're an awesome Husband, I love you.

Man when did my blog turn into a mush fest? Oh yeah it always was one! Thanks also to my good friends and family. I am blessed!