Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fence me in

As you all know I was raised on a farm. Where there are several miles between neighbors. This is no longer the case, I live in town and am one street removed from a mall. I've gotten used to having neighbors, but I gotta tell ya that in my heart I still long for the space of the farm. 

Yesterday was one of those days because I drove home after work and found this sight waiting for me. My neighbor removed part of my fence to put up a totally different kind and style. This is the second time he has taken down my fence. I've been told that the "ugly" side of the fence faces the owners view so I am pretty sure it is mine. If nothing else I believe it should be discussed between the people it separates before it is removed. 

Worse than that, I know they were on my property cause that is where the fence was propped. Now I am a territorial person and I don't like people traipsing all over my property. I don't like other people driving my car either but that is another post.

Worse than that is finding nails sticking out that could be harmful.

My poor loving husband took the brunt of my frustration with a few telephone calls. I believe I used the term "JackWagon" as an euphemism for an unpleasant neighbor. I tend to makeup words when I don't want to swear but the meaning is ever so clear.

After venting some to the Hubby I stormed outside with a nasty note and a claw hammer. You see I am a farm girl I know a bit about removing nails.

Since I could not get one of the nails out I was forced to place my nasty note. I know I can be a bit of a pill at times and always try to remember that sometimes you can not take words back no matter how bad you want to.

Now those are some nasty nails to be impaled upon. Did I mention that I am the only one in my family that had not stepped on a nail on the farm? I know what those wounds look like and I don't want any, or for anyone else to have any either.

I had however worked myself up into such a tissy that my body retaliated with an aura migraine. See what happens when you walk around spitting fire and vinegar? Your brain slaps you down hard for being a pill, and then you have to take some pills.

Hubby came home to a much more subdued wife than the one on the phone.

Today I realize that may be my husband should have been a diplomat. After I left for work he saw our neighbor out in the yard and talked with him.

See? His sweet somethings work on other people too. The neighbor apologized and had his fence people put our wooden bit back up too. Good thing I married a city boy to handle the neighbors for me.

Here's hoping all your fences are intact today!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My sister

I was going through my linen closet the other day and found some treasures. Treasures that had been safely stowed away, without even an inaugural use. This is a clear Yarnkettle rule violation. I firmly believe that things should be used, not just saved for a special occasion that never seems to come. Normally on Thanksgiving and Christmas I pull out the fine china and serve dinner on it, even if it is just the two of us. 

Anyways back to my treasures that I need to use. My sister claims to not be crafty. Mom taught us to embroider, knit and sew. I did cross stitch for many years before I took up my knitting needles again. On one visit home I showed my sister how to knit again, since we had both forgotten what Mom taught us. The repetition drove my sister crazy and she now allows me to be the knitter sister. 

She on the other hand has taken up the sewing side of the needle arts. As witnessed by the following works.

Cross stitched kitties with milk and cookies on dish towels.

A fuzzy punch embroidered teapot on a tea towel.

Cross stitched poinsettia place mats and napkins.

Not pictured floral embroidered pillow cases, as they were in the wash.

Now seriously how can she say she is not crafty. The super impressive item that I did not get a picture of (pre-blog days) resides in her house. She embroidered the each of the 12 days of Christmas on a quilt block then actually made the quilt. Now that is dedication. I've seen it, it was beyond impressive! 

So the women in my family are indeed crafty. I can say that because it takes one to know one. My sister does the fine needle arts, I do the yarny needle arts and Mom sews, the machine needle arts. I think that makes us a trifecta. Plus we get and give really cool Christmas presents.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yarn Club Spoiler

I received my first yarn club shipment, and I love it. D's first comment was that I would never have picked this yarn myself. I admit I bristled a bit at the comment but then started to remember most of my yarn purchases tend to be red and green. He is totally right as he was the first time he said I am a control freak. (I bristled at that statement too.) Why else do I always drive when I could be knitting in the passenger seat instead?

Anyways back to the yarn it is a lovely mix of turquoise, grey and teal. Well at least that is what I see in it. It is on a BFL (Blue Face Leicester) yarn base. Which is a breed of sheep that is becoming more and more popular for sock yarn. It is said to be more durable than Merino wool. I have a couple of BFL socks, but they are not old enough to testify yet.

Can you believe this was not enough to stop me from answering the call from Kisknit to help her hit the $50 minimum needed to get free shipping from Knit Picks. What can I say I am just that kind of friend. We will not talk about how much I contributed to that amount. Nope we will not talk about that at all!

One of the things that always held me back from joining a club was the chance of it all. What if I don't like the color? Why would I let someone else choose my yarn for me? Many of the clubs I researched send yarn and a pattern, I always thought it was a bit silly to know that a hundred knitters were all making the same socks. Now I know in my heart that there is enough variance from knitter to knitter that  not all the socks would look exactly the same but two hundred fraternal socks out there? Weird man.

So based on one shipment I am calling this one a success. I like the yarn and I will be able to make my own kind of sock, a plain sock, who am I kidding? I don't know if I will be signing up for more yarn clubs in the future but I must say anticipating the package was quite a bit of fun. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thrums - I'm doing it wrong

Well at least I lost the troll doll, now I may be knitting a troll mushroom. 

Hey I know what I can do, rip it, rip it, rip it. I am pretty good at that portion of the project now. Based on Adriene's comment a few posts ago and direction to this video, I have learned even more. I suspect my thrums are too big. Nope, I am past the suspicion stage I am sure my thrums are too big.

On the left are my new thrums, on the right are my monster thrums. Notice how dense my monster thrums are.

I mean really, do my thrums come from Texas? And if they do who needs thrums in Texas?

The thought that kept occurring to me was how is my hand going to fit in here? Turns out it fits quite festively.

No really if I continued on with the mitten where was my hand going to go?

I am off to rip it, rip it, again. Well at least I am learning.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thrumming back and forth

Last time we talked about them I was not knitting thrummed mittens but a troll doll instead. See those wispy ends? I know now that they are not intended to look like that. I have ripped back and started that section over. 

What a difference some research can make. On the left is the original thrums or what I thought was thrums. On the right is the correct thrum shape, the roving folded back on itself making a bow tie shape. I am still quite iffy on the size, but hey I am learning! How many times am I going to have to learn?

Playing with the roving certainly has triggered spinning urges in me. Dyed roving calls to me at all the festivals and yarn stores I go to. But honestly I've never seen the point. I am a product knitter, while I enjoy knitting I am really doing it to get something out of it. While spinning would give me yarn, I know I can buy yarn anytime I want. Then again based on that argument I should not even be a knitter, I can buy socks at anytime too.

It just seems to me that spinning has such a steep learning curve. You all know of course that in six months I'm going to have roving coming out my wazoo and three spindles. Any advice ya'll want to give me before I end up taking the plunge?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wild Apple Farm Sweater

I could not take it anymore, I need a new sweater. I know I know I should be working on my Central Park Hoodie sweater from, oh almost a year ago. I am all kerfluffled by the pattern and am too lazy and scared to sit down and write it out so I will understand the steps and order involved. Why do all that work on a half knit sweater when I can just start fresh?

I swatched a bit of yarn to see if I can add cables to the sleeves of one of my standard top down sweaters. I hate how my purl stitches are wonky when I knit cables but the swatch don't lie, not that you can see it in this picture. Purl stitches make cables pop. I tried to rewrite the laws of the knitting world but nope, I need the purls to pop a cable. The good new is that I found a nice cable that is not currently kicking my butt. I am about half way through a skein of my Wild Apple Hill Farm yarn and it seems to be working pleasantly. 

Gus is a big proponent of rustic yarns. You know the not quite as smooth and soft yarns. They tend to be the ones he brings in to me at night. Gus loves the nighttime yarn game.  And so do I, what can I say we were meant for one another.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Word games

Over the Christmas break, Hubby and I played some word games. He loves Scrabble but I am severely deficient in that game so he has learned to make allowances for me. You know he has to entice me to play one way or another and I'm usually the one that makes dinner so withholding food is not really a threat.

So how can you get a non Scrabbler to Scrabble? 1) Don't keep score. There is nothing quite as disheartening as losing by hundreds at Scrabble. 2) Let me use the dictionary. I get so focused on a possible word that I can not see any others unless I look them up, and really that does not help as much as I would like it to. 3) Let me make up words as I need them. Who cares that the dictionary does not recognize Huggers? It would have been an awesome score for me. Alas D could not get behind new rule 3 as I would have liked. So poor Huggers will go unrecognized.

I think we should get extra points for using most of the board space. D tells me that many really good players will not play with novices because they tend to use smaller words and clog the board up. See what he has to put up with to get me to play with him? Lots of small words on that board, alas.

D received the game Bananagrams from me this year. We found it amusing to make up our own rules and make a giant word puzzle. I can not tell you how fun it is to play with letter tiles. Yes, I do know that I amuse easily. Have you see what I can do with a couple of sticks and string?

So we found word games to be quite amusing while trapped inside. I hear there is some weather coming our way I should make sure we have the tiles easily accessible.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New goodies

I think a part of me really loves Christmas because I can ask for books. I love books; knitting books, cookbooks, mysteries and romance. Books hold all the power in the world, they give us knowledge. But only if you use them. I tend to check out many books from the library, proceed to flip through them, renew them once or twice and finally return them without learning all that I could from them. Maybe that is why I love receiving books for Christmas, I never have to give them back all that potential stays with me.

This year I received a two cookbooks, two knitting books and two mysteries. Three of which did not make it into the photo because I forgot to get them from the bedroom. What? Where do you read your cookbooks? In the kitchen? How odd!

I've drooled over both the patterns and the recipes in these books. I look forward to making things from all of them. See what I mean by potential?

At D's suggestion I took some of my Christmas bonus and went on a mini yarn crawl. I confirmed that not only could I look at yarn I could indeed buy yarn too. I left the Hubby home sleeping after a nice long run and took myself off to a couple of local yarn stores. I of course found a few things to purchase. Yay!

First up I bought a new bag by Crippenworks. A nice little sturdy sock bag, or mitten bag if I so choose. If you ever have the opportunity to get something made by her take it. I have a DPN case from my second Rhinebeck trip that I dearly love. The fabric she uses is nice and hefty, it may even be an upholstery type of fabric. Trumpet Hill had a few bags in stock and I hemmed and hawed quite a bit till I remembered my personality and taste; dark fabric to hide any dirt and one that stands upright without a helping hand. Isn't it lovely?

Second I found the stitch markers I needed and made my first ever Noro purchase. Noro yarn was very hip when I first started knitting. I did not have an appreciation for any yarn that was not perfectly soft. By the time I found I could knit things that I would not need to wear like a tea pot cozy, the yarn was disappearing from my local shelves. Well on this visit it was back so I will have a crazy colored cozy, one of these days.

At the second yarn store I followed my own personal rule. Wait let me tell you how I shop then you will understand better. I like to go in and absorb it all first. I notice colors and yarn brands, I touch what needs to be touched and make a few rounds around the store. Then I usually circle back to the things that caught my eye initially. If after all that I realize that I've picked up the same yarn three or more times, it needs to come home with me. I mean really if I can walk away from it three times and it keeps calling me back, I know that I really like the color.

This skein told me it wants to be mittens. Lovely fall colored, soft, merino wool/alpaca/silk blend mittens. I think my persnickety wrists should not have issues with that blend right?

Oh as you can see I found new needles to try also. I do so love wooden sock needles. And you know I am no where near being a monogamous knitter. Sometimes I think I have all my 2.25mm needles in use and still want to cast another sock on. Not right now mind you but on any other given day.

My first sock club yarn from Sweet Georgia is in the mail, maybe I need to keep my new needles free so I can cast on when it gets here? No one heard that maniacal laugh just then did they? Oh good, carry on!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ya think?

Does anyone else think that I may be knitting a Troll doll and just not know it?

This is my first thrummed mitten and I am pretty sure that I am doing it wrong. Actually I have taken it back to the cuff and started over with the thrums after doing just a bit more research. I may be on the right track now but I'm still not sure. I'll show what I've changed in another post.  We'll see if you agree or if I need to do more.  I'm using the recommended 3.75mm needles but I may need to change that too.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Radio Silence

Is that even a used term anymore? Well it looks like once I hit a year long goal, I tend to take some time off. I have many things to tell you but I have no photos to show you so I've been talking my Hubby's ear off instead.

Gus is doing pretty good now. He is still mad when I wake him up at night to check on him, so he decided that I should be up feeding him at 5:30 this morning. Hey if he can not get breakfast in bed anymore he should at least be able to request it at any time he wants, right?

I already have two knitting firsts this year, joined a knit along (KAL) and started knitting my thrummed mittens. I must admit we had a cold snap and my little fingerless mitts are not cutting it. I need to find my Norwegian mittens but I really would like to have more mittens too. I've been fighting the urge for a while and made a split second decision to join in since I had the kit at home. I'm not sure I am doing it right, as what I have now resembles a wacky troll doll. Wait till you see it then tell me I am wrong, nope.

D experienced a knitting first too, although he probably does not realize it. The last two projects that came off my needles were for him. I've never done back to back projects for him. He is happily wearing his new socks, both pairs.

Well that is all I have for now, I'll look into taking some pictures to liven up the blog soon. Happy knitting.