Thursday, December 30, 2010

WIP Wednesday-Last One Of 2010

I missed last week, however, I couldn't miss the last WIP wuh of 2010.  Even though I did have to force my lazy self to pull out the camera, battery dead, of course.  Sorry for the late night pics.  It wouldn't have made much difference during the day as we had NO sun.  That's right, one of those rare no sun days here.  Tomorrow they are calling for 1-4 inches of snow here in the valley.  Last time they had snow in the valley was a decade ago on Easter Sunday.  I of course have to go out in it and do our New Year's dinner shopping.  I'm expecting the locals to be in a state of hysterics if there is snow.

All weekend, I watched with the Weather Channel with envy at the storm up northeast.  They kept comparing it to the Super Storm of March 1993.  I lived in Rochester, NY and walked two miles to the store and back during that storm.  This weekends didn't even come close by looking at the pictures on TV.  It happened on my daughter's 10th birthday and she couldn't understand why her party was canceled.  I mean why would 6 feet of snow stop her friends from coming to her party.  I love me a good blizzard.  Now, I would probably need a roaring fireplace and a bottle of good brandy to get through it.

I've been just dabbling at things this week.  Still really burnt out from Hat Hell 2010.  I did work on the Christmas tree skirt, but a 2 inch square of cross stitch isn't very interesting to look at so I didn't bother taking a picture.

The thing I dislike about making presents for Christmas is there isn't time to make ornaments.  I've had so many ideas in my head that I'll have to wait til next year.  I did work on a tatted snowflake this week.  I'll make a few ornaments and put them away for next year.

From Knitting Kitties

The pattern is from a May 1986 Workbasket magazine.  I love that magazine and the old McCalls Needlecrafts.  I'm using size 30 DMC Cebelia thread.  Size 30 is my favorite size thread for tatting instead of the size 80 tatting thread.  It's so much easier to pick out knot mistakes with the the size 30.

Now for a bit of luxury that I take out every once in a awhile and savor.  My grandmother who helped raise 9 siblings during the Depression taught me how to savor luxury and make it last.  I'm the only one I know that can eat just one M&M and make a little bag last a month.

From Knitting Kitties

This is a Golding Featherweight spindle and a bit of cashmere/silk I bought at Rhinebeck two years ago.  I ran across it this week and thought maybe I should work on it before the local insects figure out where the steak house is.

From Knitting Kitties

If some of you don't hate me enough already.  Here's a comparison picture to show you how fine I'm spinning this.  The thread on the right is the size 30 from my tatting.

My spinning wheel and I have been wanting to get reacquainted. I finished half of the BFL that was started around Thanksgiving.  Hard to remember much before Hat Hell.  I had split it half lengthwise and planned to Navajo ply each half, to make hopefully two alike skeins.  Navajo plying and I don't like each other very much so that has been slow going.

From Knitting Kitties

I do need to finish it, so I can have my bobbins.  Somewhere in a box. (It seems every thing is somewhere in a box around here)  There is a McCalls Needlework magazine with a cable sweater that I've been wanting to make for years.  It call for a pound of needlepoint wool. That's it, no yardage.  I have a pound and half of undyed BFL that I plan on dying a deep violet and spinning just for this sweater.

The baby birds are doing well.  They are keeping Papa Huey very busy eating and feeding them.  The daddy parakeet feeds both the mother and the babies.  We'll take more pictures and keep you updated on their progress.

The sound of baby peeps have the other three birds all horneymonal.  Mr. Bird (the gigolo) has been at both Emily, Myrtle and ringing his bell toy.  They don't have a nesting box in that cage, so I'm hopeful that no eggs come of it.  If this keeps up I'll need to put a Paypal donation button on my sidebar to buy more cages and birdseed.  Too bad we can't neuter/spay birds.  Now I know why the lady I got the cage from on Craigslist had almost 1000 birds of four different species.  Boy, can you imagine what it sounds like at her place?

I tried for 6 hours yesterday to get the comments link to show on the main page. Intense Debate ended up giving me an intense headache, so I gave up.  If you came to the main page and want to comment, click on the title of this post and the comments will show up at the bottom of this post.  I'll e-mail Intense Debate Support in the next couple of days and see if we can find a fix.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Little Peeps

I hope everyone had a Happy Holiday or whatever it is you celebrate or not.  I had the relative quiet that I had hoped for.  Relative quiet in that there were no relatives here making noise.  There was noise here, but more on that later.

Christmas Eve we had our dinner with the next door neighbors.  They brought that really cool bottle of wine.

From Knitting Kitties

D worked Christmas Day, taking calls of everyone getting their new i-phones and couldn't connect to their wireless.  Or I should say transferring their calls on to their router company as he just deals with the internet and modem.  I mainly played Bejeweled Blitz and listening to little peeps.  My living room has been all a twitter this Christmas.

Do you remember awhile back when I said my birds had a WIP for Christmas?  Christmas Eve there was little peeps coming from the nesting box.

From Knitting Kitties

I've been very nervous since then.  When I was 5 my canaries had babies that didn't survive.  However, after doing a search and this guys baby birds survived, I'm less nervous. 

When the eggs first came, D had mentioned maybe we should give Mr. Bird and Emily a chance.  Now, that the babies are here with two more eggs waiting to hatch, he's rethought that idea.  We are about to have nine parakeets and the five can be quite loud as it is.  He named the two Clarice and Herbie.  Points if you can guess what Christmas cartoon that comes from. 

Right now they look like tiny naked turkeys.  We are anxious to see what their coloring will be when they grow their feathers in a couple weeks.  The dad is white with sky blue and bit of black.  Mom is solid white.  Who knows what colors might be back in the generations.  After all Butterscotch came from a grey tabby and  a solid black cat.

You will notice I changed the comments.  Sometimes I want to respond to comments and Blogger didn't have that nice feature that Typepad does.  Now, I have to go reply to the comments left over the weekend and catch up on my Blog reading.

Please note:  I'm not sure why some people are having a problem with seeing comments from Intense Debate.  If you click the title at the top so just the individual post shows the comments should show up.  In the meantime I'm working on fixing things. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

FO Friday

If you are a FB friend of mine you would have already saw a preview.  The gifts were all gladly received yesterday and promptly ripped open.  My oldest son was the first to call and put me on speaker phone.  First thing he said was, "Mom, why did you knit humping deer on our hats?"

From Knitting Kitties

He took a picture of the three of them and posted it to his FB page, stating they need sweaters to match their hats.  Yeah, he has high hopes.

From Knitting Kitties

Left to right, Jacob (my youngest), David (their father), Avery (oldest son).

From Knitting Kitties
From Knitting Kitties

Details:  These were knit with fingering weight superwash merino that I dyed.  Cast on 128 sts, knit 2 purl 2 ribbing.  Then I doubled into each stitch to create a double sided fabric.  Chart pattern: Fornicating Reindeer

My daughter called and hopefully she will get a picture of my granddaughter with her hat on Saturday.  I wasn't able to finish the afghan in time.  It will be an after New Year surprise for her. Mom got her cowl in time for her to head out of town today.  We'll see if my brother gets a picture of her.

All this deadline knitting, I've been lacking in my housework.  Courtesy of or borrowed from Hyperbole And a Half this is me today.

From Knitting Kitties

I plan on spending the rest of the holiday in quiet solitude, as D has to work tomorrow.  D bought me this kit two years ago, so this is what I'm working on at the moment.  Over the weekend, I'll probably bounce from project to project like a butterfly on meth. 

We hope you have a Merry Christmas and that you get to spend the holiday exactly the way you want to. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Did She Make It?

I know those of you who have been following along the past few weeks are wondering if I finished those hats in time to mail out for Christmas.

From Knitting Kitties

The answer is yes, by a very narrow margin.  The last stitch was knitted at 6:45am Tuesday with the last notes of Whole Lotta Love playing.  To Dammit's pleasure I put his Led Zeppelin dvd 2nd disc in and let just re-play 3 times as I sat up all night knitting.

From Knitting Kitties

D kept telling me it wouldn't matter if I sent them out later.  However, it would have mattered to me.  I needed to prove to myself I could set my mind to doing something and get it finished.  Even after it got to the point I no longer wanted or liked doing it.

From Knitting Kitties

I will head into the New Year with a sense of accomplishment, knowing I can accomplish the goals I have set for myself.  It would have helped me to finish with less distractions and Santa Claus could bring me one of these.

When I got back from the post office Tuesday, it looked like a horrible rain storm poured on just our complex while I was away that short time.  A pipe burst right next the manager's and my apartment. Very close to the spot we had the leak back in October.  I ran inside to check my corner and was glad to find it dry.  There was no way I could handle another episode of flood with no sleep.  So, I slept from Tuesday afternoon until finally this morning, only getting for a couple hours then deciding to go back to bed.  I wanted to post for WIP Wenesday, however I had a migraine from the tension and the low pressure system that went through.

From Knitting Kitties

Full pictures and details of these hats tomorrow for FO Friday.  They should have received the package by then.

I won an ornament from Teresa's blog and it came over the weekend.  Thank you Teresa, it looks good on my bare little Charlie Brown tree.

From Knitting Kitties
From Knitting Kitties

The girls have been taking advantage of Butterscotch's mild nature and beating on him the past few days.  They've done this before and he gets very paranoid and hides.  I have to bring him out of hiding to make sure he eats and drinks.  I wish I knew what was the cause of them doing this.  Especially when they find his hiding spot at 2am and we are awaken by a huge cat fight.

From Knitting Kitties
Butterscotch says, "I really hope Santa brings me an invisibility shield." 

Friday, December 17, 2010

FO Friday

I do have another FO to show you and it's not a hat.  It helps not to show all your cards projects all at once. I started this sweater two years ago for Rhinebeck but quite obviously it wasn't finished in time as I just finished it this past fall.

From Knitting Kitties

Back in the late 90's BJ's sold sleeveless dresses with a cute little knit sweater to match.  I had bought several of these every year in different pattern.  However, I lost them all when I moved in 2002.  I've been in the process of sewing my own dresses and wanted to knit matching sweaters for chilly days.  The colors I wear are either black, blue, teal/turquoise or purple and a bit of tan.  It makes it really easy to mix and match.

From Knitting Kitties

For my first sweater, I fell in love with CMF bfl in Avalon. I thought 8 oz would work, but then during the knitting decided that it wouldn't hurt to have extra and ordered another 8 oz.  Unlike the second batch of Layla SW merino I ordered and didn't match the first, the second bump of the Avalon was a perfect.

From Knitting Kitties

When we arrived in Tucson, I spun the second bump by dividing in three equals sections length wise, or as equal as I could get it.  Then proceed to spin and ply the three strands into a fingering weight yarn.  The first half of the sweater had been stuffed in my cross stitch project bag, instead of a tote where I keep my wool with lavender sachet.  So when I pulled it out, I found a few holes.  GRRRR.  I ripped out that part, froze it, cooked in the sun and froze again.  The very best thing about summer here with temps 110+F is that you can really cook wool in black trash bag out in the sun.  Just have to be careful that neighbors don't try to be helpful and carry it away.

From Knitting Kitties

I enjoyed spinning and knitting with this fiber so much that I didn't mind reknitting with it. I designed this one myself top down, with seed stitch trim and a stitch pattern I pulled from my 220 Aran Stitches and Patterns: Volume 5 (The Harmony Guides).  The cats really love it, especially Bootsie who slept on the damp wool while it was blocking.  She hissed at me when I tried at different times to pull her off.  At some point I would like to get a silver clasp for the top.  Something silver and Celtic looking.

Four pattern rows left on hat #2.  It rained here yesterday for the first time since beginning of October.  Of course the cold rain and wind came in just as I was coming home from running an errand.  My I-Google said the humidity was 96% when I checked it this morning.  It was no wonder I felt like I spent the night on the rack.

The red yarn is dyed for hat#3, final chapter of the hat hell chronicles.  Just three days to finish #2 and 3 to be mailed out by Tuesday at the very latest.  It's really crunch time now. There is also an afghan to finish and fudge to be made.  Is the suspense getting to you? Will I make it or will I be making phonecalls of shame and apologies on Christmas?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WIP Wednesday

It's that day again, the busiest blog day of the week. When I get to go check out what everyone is making on Tami's blog.

From Knitting Kitties

with flash on

I made a little headway on the hat, it wasn't for lack of trying.  Yesterday, I had the worst Fibro flare that I've had in a long while.  I think incredible fatigue is worse than all the body aches. This really bothers me because I don't know what precipitated it.  I fear it may be some allergens I ran into on my walk Tuesday.  The bad thing about the desert this time of year is all the desert pollens that I seem to be quite allergic to.  I've considered getting one of those blue face masks for my walks.  Then I will have a very strange face tan with white around my mouth where the mask is.  *laughs* As my grandmother would say, I can't win for losing.

  Today, my sciatic nerve is inflamed and it hurts just to touch my left butt cheek. That was how I woke up, Bright Eyes put her paw on the nerve and I dreamed a horse kicked me in the backside.  However, I will plod on with the knitting.  Will be skeining up and dying some red later today for the last hat.  Me thinks there maybe much crying and gnashing of teeth this weekend while I try to finish up for mail on Monday.  Tuesday morning at the latest.  I think if I sent Priority Mail Tuesday morning it should still get to NY by Friday.

From Knitting Kitties
flash off

For those of you who may not have been following my hat chronicles these past weeks.  I'm knitting three of these for my guys back in NY.  I'm using superwash merino that I dyed.  This one is for my youngest son who has more of a square head, so I'm going to knit the crown using Jared Flood's Turn A Square method.

Thank you in advance for any comments of encouragement, it's really getting to be crunch time here.  The cats are biting their nails wondering if I make the deadline.

From Knitting Kitties
Butterscotch says, "I trying to make Mama feel better with my cute."

*Forgot to switch the setting off landscape when taking this photo.  Too damn cute not to share.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Happiness

I thought you could use a happy post from me rather than the continued hat hell, grumble, grumble, wish I finished, grumble, grumble.  This is more Monday happiness than Tuesday as today hasn't started yet.  Actually, I'm writing this today and schedule posting it for tomorrow, which will be today for you and today will be yesterday. Did you understand that?  I'm terribly giddy right now, D will have to scrape me off the ceiling when he comes home tonight.


So I was sitting here, sipping my coffee, wearing my best Nippit scowl.  As you know, I'm not a morning person.  I noticed the other day, Nippit has the same brow crease between her eyes that I have.  I wonder if it's a redheaded Dutch girl thing.  I don't know, but if any redheaded Dutch girls are reading this please report if it is or not in the comments.

Anyway, I checking out my oldest son's profile to see how he's doing, when I see a comment to his status from a dear old friend I hadn't seen in 17 years.  I almost fell out of my chair.  So I clicked on her profile and sent her a friend request.  Then I poked through her pictures, because that's what we do on FB when we find someone we really know.  There was a picture of her and her husband with the quilt I had made her as a going away present on the wall,  looking as nice as the day I made it.  She accepted my request and left a wonderful message on my page.

Downtime, as you may know my not so secret guilty pleasure is watching The Talk.  Today they had family on for their heart for the holidays.  I was thinking, wow, I could be a poster child for disabled injured workers. Wish they would bring me on the show, not to give me all the stuff that family got.  I would just be happy if they helped me pay the cost of the refresher course and licensing fees to get my nursing license transferred to Arizona.  Plus, pull some strings to get a Dr. office to hire me. Not that I have a bad work record, it's just that once your an injured worker, employers see you as one of "those people".   From there I can take off on my own.

Then I went for my walk up to Target. Really wished I had taken my camera. There are a few small deciduous trees that were losing their leaves, I hadn't noticed before.  Walking through the fallen leaves with the sunshine and a record of 80F felt very much like Indian Summer back home.  There was a bit of a skip to my step as I thought what a wonderful time it is to be in the desert.  Sorry to all of you up north dealing with hellish snowstorms right now.  You'll get me back this summer when you tell about your wonderful weather and I'm complaining how HOT it is and that I think I may be on fire.

I cut through Home Depot to get out of the sun for a bit. The sun is that bright that a person will walk extra just to get out of it for a bit. I found a root stock of my favorite rose Blue Girl for $4.29.  I didn't have a spare five dollars to get it or I would have done a happy dance right there on the spot.  As it was, the cashier was looking at me funny because I was bouncing a bit like a 5 year old girl anticipating an ice cream cone.  There wasn't many left.  I do hope D says we can spare the money for it on Friday when he gets paid and they have one left.  I'm really, really hoping so.

When I got back, my day had been going pretty well, except for the hour I was trying to write that post and there was much noise and foot traffic right next to my window. Plus the upstairs was stomping around with high heels on.  Do you know what it sounds like to have someone stomp around with high heels right above your head? UGH!  It was all very distracting and I kept losing my train of thought and getting quite frustrated.

This little voice in my head said why don't you call your mother.  What you don't know is that I haven't spoken to her since the summer.  D was taking my cell with him to work so I couldn't call long distance. Then when he got home it's too late to call with the time difference.  We know I couldn't call in the morning before he left because talking to me in the morning is just ugly.  I just didn't think of it on his days off, because that's just how it is. Well, she had lost my number.


So when I sent out her birthday socks, very late, more like Thanksgiving socks, but she knows how I am. I never heard from her to say that she received them. I messaged my half-brother on FB who finally responded two days later on Thanksgiving, after they left, that they were there and gone, Mom mentioned she got the socks.  No mention that she lost my number, which she said when she talked about the socks. I bet you can imagine the thoughts that have been running through my head since Thanksgiving. I'm thinking she's angry with me about something or just glad to be rid of that child from her previous marriage.

Finished socks

It was good that I called her before I did my weekly check of the mail.  She asked if I was calling because I got her card, which I hadn't.  She explained she lost my number, but searched and found the paper with my address.  Why my number wasn't on that same paper, I won't ask. She called me back on my home number and we had a nice long talk catching up.  After we hung up, I ran to the mailbox to see if there was actual real mail in there, which is why I only check it once a week to throw out the sales flyers.  She sent this pretty card with a nice note saying that they came in while she was feeling pretty low. It came at just the right time and the colors are very pretty.  She even said how very, very thoughtful it was.  Two verys.  That just made me over the top with giddiness.  Sometimes it's meant to send out presents very late and they arrive at just the right time.

Well back to hat knitting and hopefully these will end with a happy story as well.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Random Monday- Weekend Report

It's me, reporting from Hat Hell.  Progress isn't going very well. Yeah, you knew it, FB games.  I did figure out what the attraction is for me. As you may know, I suffer from anxiety and PTSD.  With the stress of finishing stuff and it being that time of year, my anxiety levels are going through the roof.  Playing those games, I can kinda zone out for a bit, except it causes more stress as I'm getting farther and farther behind schedule.

From Knitting Kitties

The blue is a shade darker than the photo.  More like a bright royal blue.  I really need to buckle down and just finish already.

Friday night D finally gave in and got me Netflix.  They don't tell you, or maybe they do. In the fine print, half way down the page, right at the point your eyes started to glaze over and the words become blurry.  They bill your card or bank account two weeks after sign up, not 30 days like the front page implies.  This doesn't work well with our budget.  So I will call, see if I can cancel then sign up again two weeks later when it will be better for us.

I'm really enjoying the streaming video aspect.  I just wish they had more available online vs. DVD. It really makes sense as far as expense for them with the postage. I'm sure it has to do with contracts and the copyright owners.

From Knitting Kitties

Saturday, I broke out of Hat Hell and took a walk in a different direction up to the Dollar Tree and Wal-mart.  This is my little piece of the NE.  There are three huge sugar maples in front of this church.  Every time I walk by, I wander into the grass and wave my arms in the air at the trees.  Deciduous trees can be grown down here if their trunks are coated with a special latex like material when they are young to prevent the trunks from drying out and splitting.  That and constant watering.

From Knitting Kitties

The leaves are starting to change from that cold snap we had right after Thanksgiving. However, we've been enjoying warmer than normal temps and supposed to have a record high in the 80's today.  Which will be nice when I take my walk for cat food later. This is what we moved down here for.

From Knitting Kitties

Here is a closer view of the mountains I see from outside my apartment. These pictures were taken from the back of the plaza.

From Knitting Kitties

Well, I have ton of cleaning and knitting to do.  Need to try to ignore all the distractions of the traffic going back in forth in front of my window, and the neighbors shouting to each other.  Makes me hate Mondays.

From Knitting Kitties

Butterscotch says, Mom is so hyper today, I can't bear to watch.

Friday, December 10, 2010

FO Friday

It's me that crazy catlady in Tucson sitting in hat hell. I bet you didn't think I would be posting a FO today. Me either.  I had something I finished last year that just needed blocking but I couldn't find it.  So rather than make place look worse than it already does, I blocked the stole I finished last month, but didn't show you the finish.

From Knitting Kitties

sorry for the blurry photo. The sun only shines in the bedroom very early in the morning to wake me up. Grrrr

The truth is I was quite disappointed in how it turned out.  The yarn I used on the ends didn't match as well as I thought it would.  This was going to be a gift but now, I just don't know.  Maybe I'll find something I can drape it over and hide the ends.  Or I'll rip it out when I'm in fit a boredom from everything else., like that will ever happen.

From Knitting Kitties

The other end that I had started in provisional cast on, didn't work out with the feather and fan pattern.  I should have realized that when I started, but there you have it.  Sometimes even those of us who've been knitting since the very dark ages don't always think things through.  So after two rows and a some cursing, I just bound it off.

From Knitting Kitties

I didn't take measurements as I was so disgusted with the thing. It's about 12 inches wide and the length of a queen size mattress minus pillow space.  Knit with alpaca lace weight that I dyed and spun.

From Knitting Kitties

I finished the first hat at 4am.  Blame FB, I went on to check messages and got enticed by a new game Cityville.  Gah, I need to banned from that place.

From Knitting Kitties

Two more to go.  I really might end up back in a corner of my closet sitting a tote crying and pulling my eyelashes out before this over.  Be sure that either the cats or the bunnies will be all to happy to come and report back to you.  I'll need to hide the camera so they can't video the evidence.

All comments of encouragement will be greatly appreciated or brandy.  Brandy will be good for when I'm in the closet.

Oh, that skein wasn't as badly tangled as I had feared.  I was able to fix it and wind it up rather quickly.  No, melbatoast the bunnies don't bother my yarn, except to nudge a ball on the floor when it gets in their way.  Bootsie and Butterscotch like to go tote diving for balls of yarn but they just carry it around for awhile.  They are past the yarn stringing stage. Thank goodness.