Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Stitching

Last week

This week I mostly worked on my Cirque des Cercles.  I think it's because it took the most concentration without many thread color changes is why it attracted my attention.

I made pretty good progress on it since last week, I think.  Maybe this one will be finished this year.

I've been trying to get some organizing done this week.  My cross stitch WIP pile of actual started projects is a sad state of affairs.  I believe I'm SABLE just in started projects.  My goal is to finish at least one or two this year.  They are all really big pictures of course.

I don't know what I was thinking that year with all the startitis.  That's just it, I wasn't thinking.  It was as though I was trying to find the picture that would make my sciatica pain go away.  Too my defense the Dr. did have me on a ton of drugs.

Those of you who are into cross stitch might know of this blog, Our Friends' HAED SAL.  The progress pictures just amaze me.  I of course, have several HAED patterns, two of which are started, about a tenth of way.  The top four pages.  I ran across three patterns that I really wanted to start, thankfully I stopped myself.

Isn't that just adorable?

This one too.

I love the colors in this one.

This is the first HAED, I fell in love with.  I don't consider this one started as I only did a couple squares on 28 count and didn't like how it was turning it out.  Jo-Ann Fabrics that year sent me a bolt of 22 count in mistake as I ordered 28 count but I didn't throw a fit as I had ordered a bunch of HAED's that year.  Of course when I went to re-order the 28 count they discontinued at the price it was, very cheap.

This one I have the top four pages completed.  It was supposed to be for my youngest's graduation present two years ago. Oooops.  My daughter is also doing this for her father and informed me she's almost finished.  She makes me look like such a slacker.

This one I have started for D.  I think I have the first two or three pages completed.  Not sure, I haven't looked at it in awhile.

I think I maybe hopeless.

Yesterday, I stopped at Home Depot on the way to Target and bought a pack of pansies and petunias, I've been looking at for awhile.

My pathetic looking planter, missing the upstairs people's cigarette butts.  All I had was a tablespoon to dig with, so I just planted four and a blister started.  The French lady across the way noticed my plants and knocked on my door to ask me about them.  She is thrilled I finally have some plants.  She loaned me use of her gardening tools to finish.  By the time I finished and we talked for awhile, it was too late to get another picture.  This is my winter garden.  Sorry to all of you buried in snow.  This should give hopes of spring to come.  That's when I'll be sweating down here.

Today, I had to go back up for dry cat food. Don't you know they ate the whole bowl full overnight that should have lasted them til Sunday. On the way back, I had two blisters starting from my sandals. Crossing one of the side streets, a car came barreling down pretty fast, so I waited for him to go by. He stopped dead at the corner and waved me to cross. Not so odd for around here. As I'm crossing, he yells out the window, "Hey, your really beautiful." I think he may need glasses. This old lady hasn't had a guy yell to her almost a decade.

After I crossed, he calls out the other side window, "Can I give you my phone number?" He had to be in his late 20's, not the most handsome, but not ugly either.

I answered, "No, thank you. I'm married." I kinda wanted to give that boy a dollar. *chuckles*

Monday, I will have the bird naming contest. D was busy on his days off and we didn't get pictures of three and four. Tomorrow, I will make my way into the closet and dig through my yarn bins.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Just a quick post this week.  My patience and attention span is around zero right now.  Last night, I start a new cardigan top down.  The yarn is merino/angora/silk three ply fingering weight that I dyed and spun last spring.

From Knitting Kitties

My neighbor thought I was nuts this past fall when I guarded these skeins drying out on the fence like a mean Pit Bull.  There is about 14 ounces here at $7.20 per oz undyed and I used to sell dyed braids for $18.00 per 2 oz.  You can imagine how much 14 oz of spun fiber would go for especially as this is a one of a kind and I haven't found a factory yarn similar.  She thought I was full of crap.  You knitters and fiber enthusiasists understand the value.

From Knitting Kitties

I'm just playing at a top down short sleeve cardi.  I might keep it as is or decide to rip it out and start again.  The nice thing is this yarn gets fluffier with abuse.  I used a pink/peach version of this for Maude.  Which I'm thinking about ripping this out and making something else, as I rarely wear it because I don't care for the neckline.  It's too low in the back.  I have rounded shoulders so it keeps falling off my shoulders.

I want to thank Crafty Cripple for mentioning the book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking: Join the Millions Who Have Become Non-smokers Using Allen Carr's Easy Way Method.  I bought this book a few years ago, got half-way through and stopped reading it.  I forgot I had it and have been tearing through boxes like a maniac.  I found it today in the box D had said was all his books and he was supposed to go look for it. Unless he does it right that second, I can forget it.  I waited two days and did it my own self.  Patience 0. Agitation eleventy billion.

Tomorrow I'm having the name Three and Four contest.  D is supposed to help take their pictures later.  I need to find some prizes. They are twins now that all the down feathers are off four, I can't tell them apart. All four birds look to be boys.  Which is just fine as boy birds don't lay eggs and create more birds.

Herbie turned one month on Monday.  He celebrated on Tuesday with a flight around the living room.  I was attaching some seed stick treats to the side of the cage.  Because he's not afraid of me, he went up to my arm and out the space in the door as pretty as you please.  Luckily, D was home and caught him up while I warded off the cats whom were luckily confused. Lucky he was that Butterscotch sat in the middle of the room with a befuddled look on his face. "Did I just see one of those birds fly by?"  The girls were asleep in the bedroom and they wouldn't have sat there befuddled.  Bootise and Tennessee would have been on the hunt.   Herbie is back in the cage without incident other causing me a coronary.

I'm off to go read a two hundred page book.  Thank you for stopping by.  If you would like to see what other's are up to click the badge at the bottom.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Spinning

Eight once bobbin filled with BFL/silk fingering three-ply.  I'm leaving it the natural oatmeal color, which I love.

From Knitting Kitties

I'm finishing off the last four ounces of fiber on what's left on the three bobbins. Then I will have to take my time winding off onto a niddy noddy so I can finish plying.  Wish my daughter were close by to help me.  She actually likes winding yarn into skeins.  The weirdo.

I would ask D, but when he tried to help me a few years ago, he had the yarn going in so many directions.

From Knitting Kitties

About the best photo I could get with a strand compared to Knit Picks fingering.

My shoulder/arm is feeling quite a bit better now.  This morning my shoulder hurt less but my elbow hurt like I hit my funny bone.  I slathered up all the hurty spots with Active On then pulled a flexeril out of my stash, with some Advil.  Fell asleep during the Bears game and when I woke up my arm felt much better. Though I'm very groggy, yuck.   Too bad the Bears weren't doing better, as well.  I think I will do the same thing before I go to bed tonight and hopefully feel much better tomorrow.

Random conversation as heard by the flies on the wall last night.

D: "How's your shoulder?"

Me: "A bit better. I haven't knit since Wednesday. I think it was all that knitting at Christmas that started it."

D: "Repetitive stress.  You'll have to switch off, only knit for a couple days."

Me: "Yes, I could spin or cross stitch."

D: "You could go a few days without knitting, spinning or cross stitch."

Me: "Yes, I could work on my beads."

D: "You could go a couple days without knitting, spinning, cross stitch or beading.  Your hands don't have to be busy every minute of the day."

Me: "The hell you say."

D: "You can be creative and not use your hands."

Me:  "What toe painting?"

Wait for this.

D:  "You don't need to have your hands busy every minute of the day.  It's just an excuse.  Like smoking.  You're not really going to kill people if you don't smoke."

Me: "Do you really want to risk that?"

So as of tomorrow, I'm not going to smoke anymore or I will have to kill someone to prove that I need to smoke.  I was going to send my daughter instructions on how to get into my Blogger so she could inform you lovely readers to raise my bail.  J came over for a visit and informed me they don't allow smoking in most of the Arizona jails.  So what would be the point?

D quit smoking 2 years and 2 months ago from a 2 pack a day 30 year Marlboro habit.  Actually, he smoked longer than that, but I don't think he started out at 2 packs a day as a kid.  My grandfather quit after a 50 year 2 pack a day habit, cold turkey too.  I think there is something with chain smokers and quitting cold turkey.  I'm trying to tell myself I will feel better.  The truth is D felt like crap for the first year.  So much so, he was considering to quit quitting after four months.  That worries me.

I will persevere and have some of Joan's lovely fiber in my hands soon.  Just so I can keep my eyes on the prize, I took a screen capture of her shop update to make as the wallpaper on my laptop.  I want some of her Ocean colorway to make these cable socks.

From Knitting Kitties

Herbie made it up to the big boy perch today.  He was preening when I took this picture.  He fell off right after I snapped the camera.  Embarrassed, he ran right into the house to hide.

From Knitting Kitties

Three made it up to the lower perch.

From Knitting Kitties

Huey and Herbie discussing birdie life on the big boy perch.  Huey's face is yellow from their calcium perch.

Thanks for stopping by.  Wish me luck or a few words of encouragement.  No lectures on smoking, because I really heard it all before.  My rebellious streak and all.  Actually, I'm quitting just because I'm tired of being a cigarette slave.  If my posts are little more incoherent than usual, it's just the withdrawals. Not that their should be much with only a 7 cigarette a day habit.  We'll see.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Stitching

Because my shoulder feels like it is January in New York.  Yes, I know it is January in New York right now, but I'm not in New York, thank goodness.  16F when I pulled up my iGoogle today.  Yes, I still have Rochester, NY weather on my iGoogle.  Mainly so I can point and laugh.

Anyway, I've been working on my winter cross stitch. This is from two weeks ago.

From Knitting Kitties

Not much progress, but I filled in some of the blue and worked on some of the back stitch.

From Knitting Kitties

The thing with Stoney Creek patterns is that every thing is back stitched.  It's what makes them pop.  Unless, you are one of those freaks that really, really likes to do back stitch, you really need to keep up with it as you go along.

I also pulled out my Cirque des Cercles and worked on that while I had daylight and before I go totally blind. I'm doing over one on 28 count black, it may actually make me go blind.

From Knitting Kitties

The colors are actually a bit darker than shown.  I'm using Vicki Clayton HDF silks Yonder Sky, Sue-Purple-Ous and Alpine.

I realized last night I didn't give any particulars about the Evil Silk while asking for pattern suggestions.  It's two-ply lace weight actually size 20 about 1100 yards.

My shoulder is a bit better today. Just a bit.  Rudee suggested a lidoderm patch.  Thanks for the suggestion, however, in the last 6 years I've developed an allergy to most adhesives they use on patches, band aids and tape.  Though I have to admit an itchy rash sounds like the least of evils.  I'm taking generic Advil and switching between a hot pad and ActivOn Topical Analgesic, Ultra Strength Joint & Muscle .2 oz (5.67 g) (like Icy Hot in a stick). The last two not at the same time.  Not knitting seems to be helping. I knit one row on the socks Wednesday and felt like my arm was going to fall off when I set it down.  So I just glare at the socks now.  Maybe it was all that knitting I did for Christmas that started the aggravation and like a dumb ass I kept knitting.

From Knitting Kitties

D did all the dishes last night and made this for dinner.  It was his day off.  Plus, he started my turkey carcass soup for me.  I let the bones simmer for days for maximum flavor.  The best part was he cleaned his dishes as he went along for the most part.  Sometimes he gets to cooking on his days off and I think he thinks he has those assistants on the Food Network and tries to dirty every dish in the place.

What is that picture of?  Doctored up Zatarain's New Orleans Style Jambalaya Mix, .  He added a few jalapeƱos,  some leftover corn on the cob (we get it year round here), leftover chicken and pork he had cooked on the grill, smoked sausage and shrimp, and fresh carrots.  Spicy but not so hot that you can't tell the individual flavors.  Pillsbury Flaky biscuits because why go through the hassle when Pillsbury does it so good.

Birdie naming contest will be sometime next week.  Last night Herbie taught Three how to flap wings.  Then Herbie climbed all the way up the side of the cage to his Mom's perch on top of the mirror.  He climbed back down and chased his parents around the cage, like he was saying, "Did you see what I just did? Did you see?"  Funny little birds.

Tonight, I will work more on plying the BFL/silk and watch British shows on PBS.  Someone asked last week what I watch.  The current selection is Keeping Up Appearances, As Time Goes By, Monarch Of The Glen, After Your Gone and Vicar Of Dilby.  I wish they would bring My Family back, we loved that one best.  The oldest son Nick, reminds D of my oldest son when he was living with us.

Hope you all have a relaxing weekend doing just what you want to be doing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

No FO Friday

Random things:

1. I feel like an old car driving down the road with random parts falling off. I find this annoying at 44.  Shoulder still hurts down to my wrist and into my breast.

From Knitting Kitties

2. Don't let this silk deceive you with it's color.  This skein of silk is EVIL.  Since I can't knit and hurt too much to concentrate on cross stitch, I thought I would wind some yarn for later.  This skein has been one big tangle that I worked on for 8 hours yesterday.  What you see here has been put in time out to think about it's evil ways.

3. Surfed Ravelry for several hours looking for a suitable pattern for the evil silk.  Found nothing that interests me. Any suggestions?  You know for when I don't feel like my left front fender is hanging from a rusty bolt.

From Knitting Kitties

4. D was home today to help take pictures of the babies.  This was the best picture of Four out of four.  She's pretty wriggly.

From Knitting Kitties

5. Three loves to have his/her picture taken.  I can't tell the sex yet.

From Knitting Kitties

6. All four pictures came out great.  Isn't he/she a beauty?  Actually, Three and Four look like twins.

7.  I need to have a naming contest before Three and Four think that's their names.  I'm not sure how to go about this.  I have yarn for prizes.  I could use that random generator thing, but what if I don't like the name the the person random generator picked.  Hmmm, something to think about.  Again, any suggestions?

8.  I think my shoulder is just bursitis I got years ago pre-nursing lecture. I've probably been sleeping on it wrong.  If it's still hurting in a week, I'll go to a Dr.

Years ago, it started hurting on a Thursday, so Friday I went to the Dr. who said it was bursitis.  Monday, Mrs W. asked what happened to my arm when I came in with a sling.  She laughed about that was what she had planned to lecture on that day.

It wasn't so funny a couple weekends later when my youngest son fell off the slide and fractured his skull.  That Monday's lecture, closed head injuries.

From Knitting Kitties

9. Herbie is getting to be a big boy.  He's practicing sleeping standing on a perch. Then he falls off and goes back into the house.

Thanks for stopping by to visit miserable me.  I'm going to try to concentrate on some cross stitch to post about tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Just a quick post this week.  Not too much to show.

I re-cast on my son's socks and it's working out better.  Last week the yarn was twisted around the needle funny.  Still not my favorite way of knitting socks, but it's working out so far.  Since the sock blank is knitted with two strands together, two socks at once is sort of easier.  Or I should say, it was made to be able to knit two socks at the same time.  I do love the colors.  My left shoulder has been really hurting lately.  I think I'm going to put down the knitting for a week and just stick to cross stitch, spinning and beading see if it starts to feel better.

From Knitting Kitties

I did finish spinning the three bobbins and now plying.  Not much shoulder action required to ply three strands.  The yarn is turning a bit thicker than my normal three ply, which could range from fine fingering to lace weight.  I'm getting almost a heavy fingering, which will be good for a sweater.  Still about 4 more ounces left to spin.  My plying bobbin only holds 8 ozs so I should get two good sized skeins.

From Knitting Kitties

The birds are getting to be quite a handful lately.  Herbie comes and goes out of the box at will. Last night Huey got him to sit on the low perch.  Clarice comes out by herself, but I have to put her back when I see her asleep in the corner.  Three and four are getting big and I make them come out for a short time, however they crawl all over each other and scream.

They scramble around so fast in the cage, it's hard to get a decent picture.  So, I dumped my cross stitch tote, lined it with newspaper to get some decent, or an attempt at decent pictures.

From Knitting Kitties

Herbie is getting to be quite a handsome little guy.  He's very friendly and let's D stroke his little head.

From Knitting Kitties

Shy Clarice.  She bit me hard when I picked her up.

From Knitting Kitties

Three ducked his head down just as I snapped the camera.  I think Three might be a boy.

From Knitting Kitties

I think Four might be a girl.

From Knitting Kitties

Three and Clarice trying to hide from the camera.

Myrtle is sitting on six eggs now.  D last night said I can keep the six if they hatch, if I can figure out a way to get a bigger cage.  If they hatch.  Unless they get way too noisy.  It's pretty loud here in the mornings when I take off their towel.  Huey isn't needed as much for baby duties, so he's back to his morning warbles with Mr. Bird.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuxedo Tuesday

Do you ever feel like someone's watching you?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Spinning

First of all. Go, Cubs, go!! Oh, wait, wrong sport.


Does a Chicago Cub grow up to be a Chicago Bear?  Dumb joke that always makes D roll his eyes when I ask that.

I'm feeling much better today. Thank you for all the well wishes and virtual chicken soup.  Seems it was just a bad FM flare from over-exerting myself on Friday.  Just the usual joint aches today.   Frustrating as we are having weather that I should be feeling pretty good.  74F/23C and sunny.

I took a walk to Sunflower for our produce and tired out about a quarter of the way there.  Grrrr.  Maybe not as good as I thought.  I came back and took these pictures of my neighbor across the way planter.  Looks so much prettier than mine which is full of mud from the pipe leak by my window and cigarette butts from the people above me.

From Knitting Kitties

She's French and I love how European her little area looks.

From Knitting Kitties

She share her fresh sage with me when I ask for a little bit.

From Knitting Kitties

I really need to get my tomato plants started NOW, so the fruits will be out about the time it really starts heating up in April or May.  I love fresh tomatoes.  Did I mention how much I love tomatoes before? Yes. Ok.  I love fried green tomatoes too and I couldn't find any green tomatoes at the store last year.

From Knitting Kitties

I almost finished with the second bobbin of the oatmeal colored BFL/silk.  This is an Ashford blend and I noticed just like the merino/angora/silk blend it has globs of short bits of silk.  I have to stop and thin it out a bit as I go along or makes a good sized slub in my single.  Another reason to have a drum carder so I can make perfectly blended batts.

Speaking of perfectly blended batts, there is a new Etsy store.  Joan from Fairy Godknitter is making and selling wonderful batts for socks.  Go there, but don't buy her totally out, save some for me.  Yet another reason I need to hurry up and find a job, or quit smoking.  I wonder if D would give me my cigarette money to buy fiber if I quit.  It would't be much, I only smoke 2 or 3 packs a week.  But I could buy two of her boxes a month.  Now, don't lecture me about quitting, I've got a rebellious streak over a mile wide.  Every time someone mentions it, I just get my back up.  Besides, if those scary commercials from New York Quit Smoking campaign didn't work, just got my back up by their misrepresentation.  Maybe the enticement of Miss Joan's batts would work.

Mr. Herbie has informed us that he is a big boy and can get his very own little self in and out of the box, thank you very much.

From Knitting Kitties

Daddy Huey giving his young son a lecture.  Of course, Herbie turns around to Mom.

From Knitting Kitties

To prove what a big boy he is, he climbed to the top of the box.  Now, just how will you get back down?  Before I could help, Huey gave the kid a shove right off.  Ouch.  Ladybird swooped down and gave Huey a good peck in the head and a good squaking to.  Herbie was ok and took himself to bed.

The others are all looking the same as yesterday.  I brought Clarice out for a bit and all she did was cry the whole time.  I'm off to make some turkey carcass soup with the vegetables I bought.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Stitching

Just a short post, as I have a headache tonight, or maybe the start of the flu.  I'm not really sure, as FM often has me feeling fluish.  I did some heavy cleaning yesterday, as well as an outing for my two week supplies. The lady, I met from Ravelry comes to take me shopping every two weeks, never asks for anything in return.  Just before Christmas, I gave her an 8 oz skein of some superwash merino I had dyed awhile back as a thank you.  She didn't want to accept it, but I kept insisting that she take it as I had for a bit and couldn't figure what to do with it past the dying stage.  I want to offer her gas money, but I'm afraid she would probably refuse it.  Anyway, it's such a tremendously big help to me and I don't want to feel I'm taking advantage of her.

When we got back, I asked her in to see the birdie babies.  I brought Herbie out and let him wobble around on the floor of the cage.  After she left, I set about to put everything away.  When I went to check on Herbie, he was back in his box.

From Knitting Kitties

Herbie's favorite place to sit and doze all day long.

 After D came home and was fixing dinner, I told him how Herbie must have put himself back into his box.  I wonder if the little guy knows his name.  While I was talking, Herbie was making his own way out of the box. He walked around for a bit.  I heard Ladybird squacking up a storm.  There was Herbie trying to climb the side of the cage to get to the top of the nesting box.  He came back down, toddled to the front and I watched him climb back in.  Ladybird went in to put them to bed and had quite a tussle about it.  I watched birdie heads and wings go by the opening.

Today, I had Clarice out as well for a few minutes.  She wasn't too happy about it.

From Knitting Kitties

Herbie with Clarice's head resting on his back.  They all seem to be getting dark blue and black tails.

From Knitting Kitties

Herbie's getting to look more like a parakeet every day.

From Knitting Kitties

Lady, do stop snapping that camera at us.

From Knitting Kitties

A little more progress made on the ornament this week.  I had stop because the sparkle fabric was giving me a headache.  Or maybe it was the neighbors upstairs with their video game or Rockband blaring above my head.  Right over my bedroom it was so it made laying down to rest impossible. The noise was a louder level than anything I would have playing in my own space.   Five o'clock they finally shut it down, so I rested for an hour and woke feeling worse.  Hope it isn't the flu.

Hope you all have a great rest of the weekend.  Tonight my British shows are on PBS, so I'm headed to watch those and find some project that doesn't require much eye strain. I just can't sit and watch TV without doing something in the process.

Friday, January 14, 2011

FO Friday

Some of you may not consider this to be an FO.  Depending on whether it decides what it wants to be, it just might be an FO in it's current state.  Sometimes after I finish spinning or dying a yarn it stops there.  The yarn doesn't seem to want to be anything more than what it is.  Often times, I will then give it away, others I let stay for awhile longer.

Last night, I finished Navajo plying the BFL from last month, so I could have my third bobbin free.  I dyed this a couple years ago, with rose pink, lavender, and Copenhagen blue with long stretches of color.

From Knitting Kitties
From Knitting Kitties

This still needs to be soaked and thwacked to set the twist.  Unless I plan to use the yarn right away, I let my spun yarn pile up for awhile.  For those times people stress me out and I could use a good thwacking session to let me frustrations out.  Heaven help the person that put me in such a state if they interrupt me, or they might find themselves being thwacked with the yarn.  (Thwacking is the process of setting and smoothing the twist by smacking the wet yarn against a smooth hard surface.)

From Knitting Kitties

This is the skeins older brother that I spun a couple years ago.  I'm thinking about pairing them with a semi-solid for some fair isle.  They think they might want to go with the BFL/silk I'm currently spinning.  The BFL/silk says it's not too sure about that right now.  The natural colored fiber could be a snob, it might be the silk.

Being that as time goes on this year, FO's are going to be scarcer on this blog.  I'm a process person so I like long entailed projects as they give me the most bang for my buck.  I've been thinking about doing a Family Heirloom Friday postings.  To show the things that haven't made it to the blog or so long ago many of you haven't seen them.  There many things I hope to become family heirlooms.  I don't know if they will, as I'm still alive and I don't know if future generations will treasure what I made or not.

To start, I'll show you a true family heirloom I found in one of my totes.  My mother gave me some of my grandmother's linens after she passed. To keep them safe, I stuffed them into one of my many project totes and sadly forgot about them.

From Knitting Kitties

She must have made these before I was born.  I don't remember her doing embroidery except to teach me.  Her crocheting at that time was sweaters, afghans, hats and scarfs for the family.  This one has some spots that I will have to look up on how to properly treat them.

From Knitting Kitties

Such delicate crochet.  It looks like she used size 20 or 30 crochet cotton.

The birdies aren't looking much different today.  Most of the growth seems to be in making feathers.  I'll lock up the cats and take them all out for a photo shoot tomorrow.  So, I'll leave you with a picture of Herbie dozing with his head by the doorway after his morning outing.

From Knitting Kitties