Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fast Approaching

So Rhinebeck is fast approaching and I am getting so excited about my class that I had a dream about my teacher Ann Budd. I don't remember much, other than sitting with Ann and discussing something knitting related. It may have been about a button band which is weird since I have never knit a button band. I do remember thinking to myself I'm knitting with Ann Budd!

Then sometime later that day I remembered that my class has homework?! Homework, I haven't done homework ASL class last year. OK so it has not been that long but what would have happened if I came to class unprepared?

For class I have to knit eight swatches in stockinette and one in 1x1 ribbing. I get to choose my yarn and appropriate needle. Since I am a sock knitter and knit most of my things in a fingering weight do you think I should knit my swatches using fingering weight yarn? It does call for tightly spun wool yarn, sounds like sock yarn to me.

On the plus side I would be practicing using the yarn and needles I use the most. Much of the sock yarn I use is variegated and I can plan to have a color change occur on the bind off row, that should make it easier to see. On the minus side it would be sock yarn, sometimes it is easier to learn at a larger gauge.

What to do, what to do?

In other questions; do you think I can have her sign one of my books? I would not ask during class time but would that be inappropriate for some reason? If I do ask which book should I get signed, Sock Knitting Master Class or Top Down Sweaters?

Yes, I am really starting to get excited. Today I referred to the upcoming weeks as Stash Season. D looked at me funny and said You know there is no such thing as Stash Season. I replied that I did not know such thing since traditionally fall has been stash season since 2007.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I bring you more yarn

I know my blog with yarn pictures? How novel. Anyways as you know I like to put a little money into the local economy when I travel. I buy vacation yarn, D likes it because he gets a pair of socks or two and we have way less stuff collecting dust on shelves. I do miss the refrigerator magnets though.

Normally I try to buy local yarns or roving. That way the money stays even more local, theoretically. It at least has a couple of generations of locality to it. Now if you've been to a yarn store recently, haven't we all, you know the stores are as varied as the knitters. A good store in my opinion has a varied selection. I like a lot of sock yarn but occasionally want to knit a sweater. 

We made a run down to the local shop Athena Fibers. I like it because it has a nice mix of yarns fibers and tools. The thing it is not stellar on is the local yarn selection. Now keep in mind that I go there one a year, usually during the summer. It may have a wonderful selection of local yarns that are sold out every time I go. But have no fear I can find lots of not local lovelies. I do find it ironic that I travel to South Dakota to buy yarns from Wales and Germany. What is a knitter to do other than fall in love and bring some home?

Colinette Jitterbug in Raphel colorway. I know it is not a usual color combination for me, but it spoke to me, spoke to me! They always have the 400 yard skeins which I love.

D picked out Jitterbug in Copper Beach. He is trying to pick more subtle colors so he can wear his socks to work without worrying they will burn out some eyeballs. Turns out engineers are a delicate bunch, I kid.

You know I was worried about running out of yarn on the train ride home so I bought an emergency skein of Zauberball. Since it is already balled up it is ready to knit, no swift or ball winder necessary. OK fine that was just a convenient excuse to get another Zball. I do so love the stuff and I realized the green/blue ball I bought in New Hampshire earlier this year is really for D. I may be able to keep a ball of red/pink/purple for me. 

Now the pencil roving I found was local so I was super happy about that. If you look in all the nooks and crannies you will have success. This is corriedale fiber from High Prairie Fibers. I am hoping it lives up to its colorway name of magic.

I've been promising myself some new tools for a while. I finally have a darning egg to repair some socks. I am still practicing using it. I darned a pair of D's socks right before the hole became a hole. I'm sure there is a certain finesse that I have yet to acquire, but I am working on it. My darning is not pretty yet , but it gets the job done, and keeps the socks in rotation.

I passed up the cubic needles on our trip to WEBS in favor of the Carbonz needles. Clearly if I needed emergency yarn I also needed emergency needles too. I am only being logical here. The metal stitch markers my HiyaHiya caught my fancy too. They're thinner than the plastic ones. Oddly enough I got a free one off of a new shirt D bought and really liked it so...

It is getting to be fiber festival time here and I though I better show of my summer purchases before I show off my festival purchases.

I have not tapped into this stash yet but the same can not be said for the New Hampshire purchases. I am down a couple of skeins there. Don't worry I have a replacement idea list. Rhinebeck will be here soon enough. If not Southern Adirondack festival is a tad over a week away. It is all good here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Getting closer

Rhinebeck is less than a month away and I am getting excited. I even managed to use some yarn from my second trip to Rhinebeck. It was among the oldest in my stash.

I made Knuckles by Cakewalk Yarns from some Alpaca Sox yarn. I had bought this yarn before I knew it would felt on my feet. That is part of the reason it languished in the stash, what to make if I did not make socks?

Finally it dawned on me that hand warmers are always welcome.  I found a nice cabled pattern that gave them a bit of the fancy vibe and happily knit along. I had debated taking these along on the SD trip but cables are not really travel knitting to me, no matter how easy they are.

Now I still have a half of a ball left to make another pair. I bet my mom would like a pair too.

You see I am working diligently all year round to make space for my Rhinebeck yarns to fill.

What's that? You heard I bought yarn in SD too? Shh that is not stash yet it does not count. It has not made it to the yarn basket yet. What about the skein I wound up just last night? You see I don't have a pair of socks on the needles for D right now and I am just prepping so I can cast on. D ran out of hand knit socks the other day and was sad. He says a day that starts with him putting on store bought socks is just going to be a difficult, disappointing day. He can tell from the start. I'm just doing one of my wifely duties here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Being cared for

I know I've promised you train pictures and stories but the timing is just off for me. Since we returned home I've had an urgent root canal and Gus had his issues. When is a root canal not urgent? 

Anyways, we've been healing and resting for a couple of weeks now. And tonight one of the things I'd like to talk about is how my Hubby takes care of me, even when he does not know that he is.

When I am sick, in pain or afraid I tend to turn into our dog Smokey from my childhood farm days. Smokey was a tough, intelligent dog. Except when thunderstorms rolled in, then you could find him desperately trying to get into the kitchen or in the kitchen crouched under the table. He just wanted to hole up some place safe and ride out the storm. Since my response is similar it can be difficult to take care of me, first you have to coax me out from under the table without getting bit.

I am joking, I don't hide under the table, I just go into isolation mode. You can see D's dilemma. 

D has found other ways of giving me comfort without putting on a show. He took over the driving on part of the trip and gave me some good knitting time. It felt weird to be in the passenger seat knitting and not looking at the road but it was nice. It is amazing what some nice yarn and time can give you. 

Secondly, he did not call me crazy cat lady when I ran off to the vet's with Gus on a split second decision. He just told me to drive safe and take care of both of us. And he empathizes with me on how hard it is to be the Momma with a sick kitty. 

Thirdly, he supports me in all my crazy ways. JessaLu, of Stitched by JessaLu, was having a photo contest on Ravelry. She wanted to see all her bags out on vacation with people. As a quirky roadside attraction she listed the Corn Palace of Indiana. My first thought was Indiana has a corn palace too? I thought South Dakota had the only one. I was right and sent her a message telling of her mistake, which she quickly corrected. (Anyone else hearing Highlander saying "There can be only one"?)

In all the years of driving across the state we've never stopped at...any roadside attraction. Seems like we rarely play tourist in our own state.

Since we were going home during the eligible time frame it became my goal to enter the contest with Mitchell Corn Palace as my picture. D laughed and said yes we need to stop so I could do this.

And so we did, with all three of my JessaLu bags. Because you know I need a lot of knitting and bags are like children you should not have favorites. (Shh my favorite is still my first one, the black one with knitting sheep on it, don't tell the others.)

D offered to take a picture for someone else and they returned the favor to us.

The Corn Palace was rather nifty. The outside is decorated with corn and the inside (which is free) has displays of corn uses and how the decorating works.

After we returned home D found a video of the Colbert Report, reporting on how last year's drought affected the corn crop. Four of the colors of corn were not available so it had to be replanned with less color.

We had so much fun playing tourists that we have decided to stop some place new every year. We're going to enjoy the ride rather than just try to make time between the families. So far we're thinking the Badlands next year.

So I wanted to thank D for finding new ways of keeping me happy. He has already found asking for more socks works wonders.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Needs Improvement

G is up and feeling much better. I have a very gross explanation for what was wrong. My super intelligent cat ate part of a plastic bag. I know that is not that gross, weird, but not gross. You want to know gross? Ask me how I know he ate it.

D and I agreed that this would be a no pictures blog post. Some things just can not be unseen.

G and I had a talk about how plastic is not a food. And the best consequence of eating it was being backed up for a time, best consequence.

Since G was feeling better last night, I took myself off the Mommy clock. I tried to get a good night's sleep but forgot to tell G. My treatment plan when G is not eating means that I place food in front of him at all hours. After two nights of Mommy being at his beck and call G thought he had me properly trained.

Last night at three a.m. he decided it was time to eat. Mom, mom? I am hungry now. Mom?! Mommy? Food??

He was quite perplexed when Mommy The Food Delivery Person only gave him pets and snuggles. Those kinds of things do not fill a belly! He did settle down eventually and let me get some rest but I am pretty sure my tip will suffer. Service goes right out the window just when the appetite comes back. That does it I am writing an online review! If I was grading I would say needs improvement, a lot of improvement. 

I hope Gus keeps on improving, I know all the plastic bags are out of Gus' reach now.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A fine line

There is a fine line between Crazy Cat Lady and being a good cat mommy. Me? I don't worry too much about looking crazy, my vet and his staff already know that I am.

When we returned from our visit to South Dakota, my vet requested that he see me before I took Gus home. As I waited a whole set of scenarios ran through my head. What was wrong? Did something happen? How bad was it?

Turns out it was good news. Gus was off his insulin and doing fine. We scheduled a blood test for two weeks to confirm the transition had worked. He was very clear that G may need to go back on the insulin in the future, but for the time being no more shots.

I hesitated to tell you this because I like to know things are really OK before celebrating. We went for the blood test on Monday. On Tuesday he refused food. Sigh. All kinds of food were refused, even Greenies. Greenies are the very best thing in the world according to my boys.

So I called my vet's office at five minutes to closing requesting a call from my vet so I could figure out what we needed to do to make it through the night. They offered to see him, can you imagine? I took a few seconds of indecision on my part, because you know what kind of a weirdo I am. Once I said yes, we're on our way, we were in the car before even I knew.

My anxiety was confirmed when G made hardly a sound on the way over. Usually he yowls his head off going and calms on the way home. He was indeed not feeling well at all.

Our vet has a personality that is beyond value to me. He calmed my fears and treated G's symptoms. We went over the blood work that most likely would have been fine if he had continued eating.

While he is not ravenous, G is eating, a bit here, a bit there. Oh Boy when that package of Greenies comes out, I have his attention.

But he still seems off. Both D and I noticed his walk is very tentative. Almost like his back end does not know how to follow correctly. He looks uncomfortable. It is so hard when your kids can not just tell you what is wrong.

But as one of my friends said, Gus is a tough boy. He is eating, on more meds and resting. He has rallied before he will do it again. At least I hope so.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

As it turns out

As it turns out D comes from an crafty family too. Well crafty is a tad off, let's say that his Dad is handy. D's dad has been restoring a Model A. 

You know those people that take forever on a project? He is not like that. I think he has been working on this for a couple of years now. 

Of course we only see it after a year has passed so it is moving along in leaps and bounds in our eyes. See he has the cab all painted.

And the engine runs too. Although I did not see it running so I may have misunderstood.

The radiator cover, fenders and wheels look good too.

What can I say I like engines.

And fancy radiators too.

Who knows he may have her done before we get back next year. Then I will show you pictures of us tooling about in her. Yeah you read that right, when you drive a Model A, it is considered tooling about.

Hey you know I learned on this visit? I am not smart enough to gently swirl my can of Clamato and Bud Light. Yes they were already in the same can together.  No I am not a big fan. But hey I gave it a go. If you don't try new things, you're just stuck drinking the same old stuff.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I will never tire

I will never tire of the sunsets at my parent's house. The South Dakota sky holds so many colors.

Orange and pink together? Normally I would say no, but when Mother Nature puts on a show for you, you don't judge her color palette.

I love how there is just a spot of color in an otherwise blue sky.

I was sitting and listening to the talk going on around me when out one of the windows I saw the pink sky. I grabbed my camera and slipped outside to admire the view. D eventually checked on me through the window and understood immediately what I was doing.

There are just some things that you don't even know you miss till you see them again. I remember trying to capture the beauty of a prairie sunset when we lived on the farm. Turns out Crayola does not make enough colors even in the big box.

I will forever be fascinated by the wide open sky. It should be easy to see why.