Sunday, December 21, 2008


We had a bit of snow last night so I tried out snowshoes for the first time. Took me a bit to get the hang of them (I'm terribly out of shape) and once I did, Addi didn't help much by stepping on them behind me or trying to bite them. I wish I had gotten a shot of her face when we first started out. WTF? Your walking on sticks? What a waste of sticks! (Lynnette -- don't look, it's more snow.)

Not much knitting going on that I can talk about. It's almost Christmas and this is the first Christmas where I am not feverishly trying to finish something. It's kind of liberating.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


So I spent an embarrassingly long time today trying to knit hats on the LK150 for Jean's hat drive. The results are fairly horrific, per usual with me and this knitting machine (whose name is no longer the LK150 but has been changed to a something a little more suitable). It's such a fiddly process and I pretty much just suck at it. I'm going to felt this one to see if it will make a nice bowl.

This one isn't so bad but oh my, is it ever LARGE.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Ours went well, though we made too much food. We were grateful for our little feast and as happens at Thanksgiving we are still eating it.

The rest of the holiday weekend went so quickly. Friday half the house got picked up on jacks. I've seen houses up on jacks before but not while I was in them. The front part is level now but when you walk though the rooms, it feels crooked. It's amazing how sensitive your feet get.

Saturday was committed to house guests (one a stranger) so mad cleaning ensued and snack and cookie making. That night after they left I cast on for Provincial Waistcoat with some Reynolds Lopi from my friend Lynnette that I had in my stash. The folks on Ravelry weren't kidding. Holey moley, the first two rows of this pattern were definitely hellish. It's knitting along nicely now with tons of markers:

This morning Wee Winkie came down with horrific pain in his stomach. He was doubled over, shaking, high fever, pale gums, vomiting, diarrhea and generally a scary mess so we took him to a local emergency vet clinic. After an hour and half of bloodwork and x-rays, the vet came to us and asked us if he'd had anything "special" to eat and we told him no -- just his usual dry food with a little wet mixed in. He hung an x-ray up and there in Phoenix' lower intestine and stomach was a tremendous pile of small bones. I absolutely should have been more careful watching them because the neighbors have been known to throw bones and carcasses out before. (In my defense, I have been more focused on it currently being hunting season here.) Blessed sighs of relief and a bit of a joke about it being the Thanksgiving day parade at the clinic and I was off to the knitting/waiting room to wait for our (holy shit) $718 bill.

In the three hours that ensued, I witnessed:

A young couple who brought a mini poodle in who had eaten rat poison that they put down in their house to kill mice. The young man informed me he still intended to use the stuff, even though it will take more than a month for the dog's body to get the poison out of its system (with medical treatment).

A woman whose dog was not able to eliminate in 24 hours and in fact could not stand on his feet. She fed him twice anyway and then (another holy shit) gave him human Tylenol (though she was careful to measure out the teaspoons by body weight!). Her regular vet was driving home from NYC and informed her by cell phone that he did not think it a good idea that she catheterize the dog herself because dogs are "a little different than humans".

Three separate pet owners who brought their animals to the emergency clinic because they "would not" and/or "could not" take time off to go to their regular vet. These emergencies were things like "he's scratching his face a lot" and "she slept 6 hours straight". I could understand if they were worried about a big bill but believe me, in my humble experience the bill there is WAY more expensive than a regular office visit to the vet.

So my thanks went this weekend to vet techs and vets everywhere. That five and half hour day spent at the clinic was just a tiny window into what their world is really like. And I was able to work on Tom's Spey Valley socks (from Knitting on The Road):

Phoenix is sleeping comfortably. They gave him the dog equivalent of Pepto Bismal and Imodium and on the way home things definitely started to shake up. It was 30 degrees and freezing rain and we had to open the windows all the way home, eyes burning but giggling away.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Snow

We had our first snow last night, even if only a tiny bit. I stayed up late last night and finished Diamond Rain Vest so I could wear it to work today. It's a little big and if I feel ambitious I might take it in a little under the arms but I will likely leave it alone.

I'm loving knitting vests right now. At work they keep the heat fairly high (about 80) so you feel like you are smothering. Layering is easier than being an out-of-control miserable office grunt.

Not much else going on here. Planted a few bulbs last weekend and have quite a few more to get in. I already miss the garden. Saw an absolutely gorgeous four point buck last night on the way home and hope he makes it through the season. This evening there were three opossums on the porch eating the cat food -- two young ones and a BIG mama (at least I think it was a mother). She looked harassed. The young ones were chewing on each other's heads. Cutest little things.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Williams Pullover is finished. The collar is my favorite part (though I have to re-tack the front so it lines up a little better). It is extremely comfortable and I'm really happy with how it came out - not as slim as the designer intended but I'm not into snug sweaters.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Finished Some Socks

Jaywalkers (from Grumperina, MagKnits, September 2005): Love this pattern - made them from Opal I got I don't know how long ago from Ebay.

Monkeys, knit from Mountain Colors Bearfoot (this stuff is SO soft):

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Still Fall

The peepers are still singing though.

Almost finished with the second sleeve of Williams - it is about five inches from being done and then all I have left is the neckline. Trying to finish in time for Rhinebeck, even though I might not get there this year. I love goals.

A Meme

Knitting is such a huge part of my life that I don't even think about what my husband thinks about me doing it so much. It's become a way of life to make things - something soothing to fall back on when I'm stressed or down or feeling great. I came across this interview on Alison's blog and loved it so am going to see what's what with the other half downstairs.

Me: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?

Tom: It keeps you busy and once in a while I get a few projects to keep my ass warm.

Me: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?

T: It's an obsession.

Me: What is something I have knitted, that you recall as good?

T: My awesome green sweater.

Me: Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?

T: Not compared to people that shop at Bloomingdales.

Me: Do you have a stash of any kind?

T: A stash of what? I have a house full of stash, dowsing stuff, books, rocks.... [and on and on].

Me: Have I ever embarrassed you, knitting in public?

T: Oh fuck yeah.

Me: Do you know my favorite kind of yarn?

T: Merino.

Me: Can you name another blog?

T: Tinkers Without a Cause. [Does this even exist?]

Me: Do you mind my wanting to stop at knit shops wherever we go?

T: No.

Me: Do you understand the importance of a swatch?

T: [I censored this because he said something really stupid and pissed me off. He protested but I ignored him. Trust me. It's not worth it.]

Me: Do you read Knitting Moonsilver?

T: No.

Me: Have you ever left a comment?

T: No.

Me: Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn't knit?

T: Your mess is nothing compared to my mess.

Me: Anything you'd like to add?

T: I think that spinning, weaving and the myriad ways of working thread mirror the intricacies of being a woman, taking loose ends and making things out of nothing.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Williams Pullover

Here is a picture of the Williams Pullover so far. I changed the pattern from flat to round and it has been a lot of fun to knit. My biggest mistake so far is not doing a three needle bind off at the shoulders.

The color isn't quite right, but came up very well next to a morning glory. I couldn't resist taking at least ten pictures of those. I guess I'm sucking it up for winter.

The old woodpile is gone and a new unsplit one is here. There is some beautiful locust, red oak and maple and its already seasoned! Two more cords and we are all set for winter.

Had to go to the dentist today and had to laugh. I brought Jaywalker to work on while waiting for the hygenist. I didn't realize how tightly I was clutching it (don't do well at the dentist) until she said kindly "You can hold on to it if you like".

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall is creeping in

It's been so long since I've written, that fall is beginning. The asters are in full bloom and have been covered in honey bees with thick orange leg warmers. I have no idea what I have been doing right, but the roses are still blooming beautifully. Our leaves haven't started turning but a few have been falling and the squirrels have been terribly busy. Unfortunately, so have the ticks.

I cleaned out the attics and had a yard sale and likely won't do that again. We met some nice folks and then there were the pushy folks that kept asking to come in to the house even when they were told no. "Any posters of Jimi Hendrix?" "No." "Are you sure?" "Quite certain, thank you anyway." "Can I get in the house?" "No." "Are you sure there are no posters?" Good grief. The plus side is clutter binging has been slow but steady this last year and it feels great.

I haven't been spinning since Nanny died and so flunked out of Tour de Fleece. I finished a couple of pair of socks though. One set I finally finished for my darling that are (amazingly) too big and a second set intended for me that (surprisingly) also came out too large so I gave them to a friend.

I'm knitting a pair of Jaywalkers now, as well as a sweater (The Williams Pullover) and am slowly knitting the Wool Peddler's Shawl I cast on late summer.

Tremendous thunderstorm right now. I can't miss it so am leaving with this on my mind. It is from the script of Iris.

"We need to believe in something divine
without the need for God,
something we might call love or goodness.
As the Psalm says,
"Whither shall I go from thy spirit?"
"Whither shall I flee from thy presence?"
"If I ascend unto heaven, thou art there:
If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there."
"If I take the wings of the morning,
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
even there shall thy hand lead me,
and thy right hand shall hold me."
Dear thoughts are in my mind
And my soul soars, enchanted
And tomorrow he shall hear
All my fond heart can say."

Friday, July 18, 2008


It's finally Friday. I feel guilty that I have not been writing about spinning every day, but I do not have anything exciting to say other than its been lovely to sit. I can't offer technical information because I am such a beginner I am still inchworm spinning. So far though I have finished a skein of alpaca:

And a skein of iceberg blue merino:

Now I am spinning the colored Coopworth I'd gotten when I first bought the wheel and am thinking to ply it with this lovely ball of brown stuff that had no label:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Helena is an adorable pattern!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Day Two

I’ve never purposely sat down to spin and use it as a meditative practice. That being said, it has all the earmarks that meditating used to have for me. My back starts killing me. My mind spins out of control (look at Addi running in her sleep and oh, everyone else is passed out too. They are making that dog star pattern around me again. What is that anyway? Wish I could sit outside and spin – tomorrow I’ll sit on the front porch ‘cause the neighbors might be finally sleeping. Should I do a load of laundry before I go to sleep? WOOLEE WINDER!!) and so on before I remember to go back to my breath and whoosh, my hands soften and I relax and I can’t get over how beautiful everything is.

Alpaca sure is sweet to spin.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Summertime and Day One - Le Tour de Fleece 2008

The frogs are so loud tonight they are drowning out the neighbors (no small feat there). It's beautiful weather here and has been a wonderful weekend potzing around the house. The lightning bugs are amazing. We'd gotten a mosquito machine last summer and I can sit on the porch even after dark without suffering miserably from them.

I finished Helena and its blocking. I'm still not sure it will fit but at least I know Lynnette won't mind if it doesn't.

A friend of ours' daughter is having a baby girl who is due in four weeks so I cast on for EZ's February Baby Sweater. I tore my stash apart looking for cotton for it (especially after reading Elizabeth's endearing introduction in Knitter's Alamanac) and ended up settling for an acrylic blend. The family lives in the south and I thought it would be easier than wool (or at least not as warm being that it will be high summer when she is born).

The garden is as rumpled as ever and reminds me of a crazy quilt. My foot is much better now so I have no excuse to weed.

Speedwort and Bee Balm:

Orange Coneflower (it's second year):

A Peony from a bulb/rhizome (I'm sold on bulbs this year!):

Sweet Pea / Yellow Daisy annual:

Remember the purple clematis on the other side of the arbor? Gus or Phoenix peed on it so it is half dead now. One stem is all right though so I think it will make it through.

White Coneflower (this is its third year - look how much smaller it is):

The whole garden:

I took this shot of the woodpile in the driveway standing at the base of it. I've been studiously ignoring it but my husband is very proud of it:

All weekend I've been thinking about Le Tour de Fleece 2008. I rootled through the fiber I have to spin. I do not have a lot (one large Rubbermaid container) but some of it is at least five years old. Thinking I would pick one and focus on just that to spin, I found fiber I'd gotten when I first got my wheel:

And some I'd gotten at Rhinebeck two years later:

In the end, I decided to set my goal to spin a half hour to an hour every day. I love to spin as much for its meditative process as the product but am not consistent. Honestly, I don't sit and meditate regularly either. So for today then, I spun for an hour and was able to finish a bobbin of alpaca and start the second. I am starting where I am.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tour de Fleece 2008

I'm so excited! I just joined Le Tour de Fleece 2008. I am trying to decide what my ultimate goal will be. I have a tiny bit of Shetland to spin so I can empty the bobbins and then I'm trying to decide from my stash what to spin.

Also, I finished the sleeves of Helena! Just have to sew the hem and knit the edging with ties.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Finished Swallowtail

I like the way it came out.

Cast on for Helena and I'm already worried it might not fit for the fall even though I cast on for a four year old's size. It's going very quickly as I had to sit a lot this week. We had a terrific storm here last Monday or Tuesday. The black cohash out front got squished by a large branch. Had flippers on when I was trying to save it and got bit in the toes by a spider who was not inclined to present herself further.

Not much else going on. The garden is a mess. I sorted out WIPs this morning and the list is long. Frogged some (Cozy Vest and Saratoga Shrug) and tucked the others in a nearby basket to work on.

Hope everyone is having a really nice weekend!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I've got the old man on my mind

"I wish I could translate these hints
about the dead young men and women.
and the hints about old men and mothers,
and the offspring soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of them?

They are alive and well somewhere.
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death.

All goes outward, and nothing collapses.
And to die is different from what any one supposed,
and luckier."

- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Knit in Public Day

For knit in public day, I knit on the front lawn instead of the back. Maybe someone saw me.

Nupps are tricksy little beasties. For the life of me, I can't purl 5 together so the way I've been knitting them is to slip 2, purl 3 tog, pass 2 over. It works for the most part, though even with keeping the yos as loose as I can, pushing the three to the edge of the needle and pulling the three stitch base down with my left forefinger and thumb I still have trouble. Often I end up slipping four, stretching that fifth yo out an inch and slipping two back to purl 3 together. It gets convoluted and slow but I am happy to say I only have two rows of nupps left. They are kind of bi polar nupps in that they aren't lined up neatly and in order, but nupps they are. As troublesome as it sounds, I've loved knitting Swallowtail. The yarn is just beautiful too.

When I finish Swallowtail, I want to make Helena for little Emily. It's the prettiest little sweater and I think she'll look adorable in it.

My rumpled garden looks like a crazy quilt. I pretty much suck at taking pictures of it entire, but here is a white rose. I have not (knock on wood) seen one Japanese Beetle yet this season so this little one has had a grand time. I counted at least fifteen blooms so far.

Can't resist the delphiniums again! I am so in love with them. That's yellow strife to the right and wild indigo pods on the bottom left. I absolutely must remember for once to save the pods for seeds.

The clematis and sweet pea are in a race and should bloom in the next week. I never got around to giving all the sweet pea here a place to grow on instead of sprawled out on the ground so I'm really excited.

Pink stuff, weeds and yellow primrose. I really should keep a garden journal.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What I've Been Up To

I don't know where to start! I guess outside because that is where I've been spending the most time. The lilacs and quince came and went:

The bridal wreath bushes are blooming with the wigelia:

One of my jobs was supposed to have been to paint the trim on the house but I got to paint chairs instead:

The trim was a nasty, flesh color. I don't know what the hell I was thinking, but now its a pretty blue:

Phoenix and Max in front of the garden a month ago. Phene just had his fourteenth birthday.

And what the garden looks like now:

I can't resist a couple of shots of flowers.

We cleared an area in the back. This ropey trunk is wysteria (otherwise known as hysteria).

I finished Blue Jeans Lace Shawl:

And have been working on Swallowtail:

Friday night, I was having such a good time I whaled through an entire repeat without counting. I spent what felt like ages tinking back rows and this morning I started the Lily of the Valley border 1.

I've been spinning also but forgot to take photos.