Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Tools and Junk =)

I kept my promise! I took pictures yesterday (and was followed around like I was doing something unusual, as if I haven't been doing this for... what?... THREE and a half years? don't get it) shake it off -

Anyway. I got 2 new sets of Addi Turbos! This is a bit of an odd purchase for me since my conversion to bamboo needles, but knitting the hardy buffalo waste fiber spun into YARRRN (say it like a Pirate) is a bit of a workout without something seriously slippy, so I caved and I'm glad I did. Now I can get back to designing in earnest - well, MOST of the design is designed, I only have to figure out how to do the end bit. Here is all you'll see of this project until it is decided whether it goes into the publication it's meant for. (just the idea is enough to make me squeeee - whether it gets picked up or not - like SERIOUSLY!? ME? heheheheheee)

I haven't gone totally off bamboo, though. PERISH the thought, I love me some bamboo! Bamboo, bamboooo, bambabooba, bambabooba, BAMbooooo! Sometime several months (years) ago, I mentioned that bamboo socks are reported to ease and or prevent foot fatigue, and it seems to work for me. SO more sock yarn with the bamboo, coming right up. I have already started a little footy sock that will have a big toe gusset so that I can wear them with my flip flops around the house when I wake up with foot fatigue. (That happens when I don't sleep well or don't sleep enough) I really ought to look into the physics of that, but for now, I'm just happy to reap the benefits without having to understand it on a quantum level. (snark)

My son calls this yarn "The Dandelion" and
keeps asking me, "Momma, can I kniddling the dandelion, PLEASE?"

Beginning of a footy

oh yeah, and some more stitch markers - may seem anti climactic to you (or not) but I really hate it when half of them are missing and I really need all the tiny little soft markers because NOTHING works as good for me as THESE specific markers. I lurve them.

Last but not least... my first venture into the blocking wire thing. I haven't used them yet, but they're impressive in my eyes. My Fern Lace Stole is still severed from it's yarn cake - it may just have to languish a few more weeks until I get back in the mood for it.

and since these pictures are much less riveting than I was thinking they would be, more off topic stuff. Yogurt - Roses - Garlic and Peas - and maybe some other random stuff floating around in my computer =)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Off Topic

I forgot to photograph my new yarn, and needles and blocking wires! What WAS I thinking?! So here is some random stuff to keep you at least entertained for a day or so.

I've been making yogurt! It's fairly easy, tastes AWESOME and is SO much better for you than the stuff in the store. You see nearly everyone in my family has some sensitivity or intolerance to lactose, so getting the yogurt at the store just sort of makes things worse, plus most of it is packed with sugar. If you make your own yogurt, however, and let it culture for at least 24 hours, then the acidophilus lactobacillus consumes all the lactose and you effectively have a dairy free yogurt. (except that it is technically still a dairy product, just the stuff that bothers people about dairy is gone).

It has really done wonders for my DS9YrOld. He has the worst issues with the dairy stuff, and it's next to impossible to keep him completely off of it. We already use Soy Milk (Silk to be specific) on our cereal and stuff, but he really loves cheese and soy cheese is..... well, if I can't eat it, you KNOW it's nasty. Anyway, since he's been getting the homemade yogurt regularly, his respiratory problems have significantly improved. I'm SO glad!

Here's my yogurt maker making yogurt! I have TWO of them now, because, with 6 people living here, and only 7 small containers, it just wasn't enough.

And HERE is my favorite way to serve it, except now I shape the yogurt into a little heart b/c the kiddos love it. (so do I actually)

This picture doesn't fit in with the theme of this post at all, it's random. It actually goes with my last post, remember the head stuff I was talking about? Well, the book I am reading says to close your eyes and visualize a certain obstacle and then use that same obstacle as emotional protection when you need it. Vague again, I KNOW - sorry - but here is my rock wall =) It's mainly here for prosperity, not to make a certain point. In other words, if all my pictures get lost in this crummy computer, at least I have this saved SOMEWHERE. I got a nice sunburn whilst drawing it!

Last but not least, here is the recovering garden!

The tomatoes are doing their level best to make it, even blooming in spite of the stress =) My garden loves me! I did lots of pruning and maintenance today, so it looks SO much better. I even pulled up one of the suckers coming up off the roots of my crab apple and planted it in a pot. It will probably move to the backyard as soon as I prepare a spot for it. Those little trees grow like weeds, so it will be welcome shade back there where it gets SO hot.

OK - I promise promise to take pictures of the new stuff and all the stuff I'm not working on very consistently. So see you back here tomorrow or the next day.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Meme Time

I was tagged by Chris for a meme the other day, I don't know but I think it may be called:

7 Things

Here are the rules:
1.When tagged place the name and URL of the person who tagged you on your blog.
2.Post rules on your blog.
3.Write 7 non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Name 7 of your favorite blogs.
5.Send an email comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged.

7 non-important things about myself.
1. I argue with myself.
2. I dislike credit cards.
3. Biscuit cans that pop open scare me.
4. I have a sunburn.
5. I prefer to be barefoot.
6. I like bees.
7. I frequently break the rules on memes.

7 of my favorite blogs.
1. Brooklyn Tweed (but not gonna tag him, yeah right!)
2. Cheeky Wee Knittee
3. Dyed in the Wool
4. Free Your Voice
5. Froggie Meanie
6. The Knitting Coop
7. A Stitch in Time

I'm not actually going to tell all these people they've been tagged (see #7 of the first category) I don't mind BEING tagged, but I have issues with tagging other people. Not sure why, just is. weird Anyway - anyone who sees themselves here and wishes to participate may, but there is no pressure to play along if you can't (be bothered) haha

I was supposed to be knitting today, but I ran into a snag. You see, I'm designing something, and it just needed a good start over. It was going this way and I decided it needed to go that way, you know how it goes, sometimes it just doesn't look right unless it's that way. Over all, it's going well.

You see, I thought I had hit a knitting mojo low, that's how it seemed anyway. In actuality, the thought process (for me) of designing something takes up the creative energy until it gets sorted out. Well... that and my youngest decided to sever my Fern Lace Stole from it's skein and I just didn't feel like getting out the needle and doing the Russian Join at that particular or any other following moment so far. (I was upset)

Also, I'm doing a bit of reading, the self help sort. One book I've read before (but REALLY) needed a refresher and the other is new. The new one is like a major eye opener. Very interesting. Anyway, THAT has got me in a state of... something weird. Not in a bad mood per se, just a bit in my head or something. Ruminating, I suppose. I'm being a bit vague, I know, but it's like the longest story since the Odyssey and I'm not in the mood for that level of literary exertion today. =)

Well, ummm... OH, I got some new junk today and maybe last week as well, so I'll have pics of that stuff in a few days. Until then, have a happy weekend, and wish me much stamina as the road is still long and dusty and I have some weird crap to figure out! lol

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spread the Love

Thanks for all the lovely compliments on the shawl (and me booty - ARG!) There really IS more happiness in giving than in receiving =) and... on that note, here's another way we can all be givers.

There's an interesting contest I want to tell y'all about. Kathy is the mastermind. She's giving away some yarn 1st to her regular commenters and 2nd to her lurkers and new readers who leave comments. There is one small catch, however, you have to go out and find a new blog that has less than 14 average comment per post and leave a comment for them, thus spreading blogger love and delight. We all know how excited we get when we get a new commenter! (is that a word? my computer thinks it isn't) Anyway, I thought it was a lovely idea and have already entered and found a new blog, I'm actually her first subscriber in Bloglines, too!

So.... quick, go visit Kathy at

Irisheyes knitting blog and enter

The Friendly Confines Contest

PS - you should totally check out the new blog, too, called This Elf Knits - great socks, great photos and awesome yarn to drool over - just a little more love to spread around, eh?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

S. S. P. Revealed!

It's finally time for the public unveiling of the Super Secret Project - The Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits. Yaay! I made it for my Grandma and she loved it =)) She's the sweetest person I know and totally deserves some spoiling now and then. I took a video of her reaction, but apparently uploading a video is something that doesn't go over so well on this computer. At any rate, here are the pictures I promised, and if you are reading this Grandma, I love you! =)

does my butt make this shawl look too small?

I'm not so good with the blocking thing, but hopefully
my new tools will help me with that

Friday, April 18, 2008

oh HAIL!

It was a busy night, the night/morning of April the 17th/18th wasn't it? Texas and Oklahoma had a squall line that stretched for several hundred miles and the Midwest had an earthquake. (not as weird as it sounds, apparently, they have a major fault line - hmmm)

One of my sisters gave me a call last night (Thursday) about sevenish. "Um... are you watching the weather?" "No, I'm not actually." "Well, time to start because there is a storm with a possible tornado headed STRAIGHT for you." "OH! OK... thanks, I'll switch over to that right away." some other niceties passed between us and we bid each other adieu.

I haven't been much proud of my little flower garden this year. None of my blooming trees did much, they had a couple of blossoms and went straight for the foliage. Instead of planting flowers around the perimeter, I planted sweet peppers and tomatoes. In the middle I planted garlic, peas and a potato (that only liked the indoor arrangement, and quickly kicked off as soon as I put him outside) and a few hot peppers. So I was going for the more practical instead of pretty this year.

Then my roses went from foliage to major gorgeous. I kept thinking, "I should cut a bouquet and bring them in." But they were so pretty outside, so I left them there for everyone to enjoy. I really wish I had some pictures when they were in full glory.

Then the hail.


Now imagine this with 10 more blooms

Garlic sprouting


Sweet Peppers

Lush foliage (and a makeshift bird feeder)


Beat Down Rose Bush

Shredded Red Bud Tree

What's Left of the Tomatoes

Defoliated Tree Carnage

Of course, we are counting our blessings. No broken windows. Nothing too serious. Our roof took a beating, too, though, so we'll have to jump on that situation ASAP. Some had it worse with bigger hail. It was a mighty noise though, I'm really rather surprised we didn't lose a window. I meant to take pictures of our fence, it has thousands of little white collision marks on it. Maybe I'll add that tomorrow.

Next post S. S. P. Revealed! =)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Seven Years Ago Yesterday, According to the Pelicans

Have you ever had one of those really peaceful days that seemed to be almost like a dream? Several years ago, seven to be exact, we had one of those days. It was a Sunday. We went to our meeting in the morning, went to visit my husband's 'Gammaw' who was in the hospital, and then went home and lazily put together a new swing set for the kiddos. Well, one kiddo was still too young for it, which is how I recall exactly how many years ago it was. My daughter had been born the previous December, and we were in the month of April at the time.

While we were assembling the swing set, the most amazing thing happened. Droves upon droves of huge birds were suddenly migrating over our heads in complete silence. It was one of the most majestic scenes I've ever witnessed in real life. They were flying astonishingly low, compared to the altitudes of the migration geese and ducks, and like I said, completely silent - also in contrast to geese and ducks. It was hypnotic. We just watched them in awe for at least half and hour, maybe more.

I had never seen this particular type of migration before, in spite of living in this general vicinity of Texas nearly my whole life. We weren't certain what they were, but considering their size, I thought they must be pelicans. But why were they headed over our area flying DUE North? Maybe headed to Lake Superior? I didn't know, and still don't know. ( I'm nearly sure they are pelicans, now, because since then, I've actually looked up pictures of pelicans in flight and they look exactly the same.)

We were all sort of under the spell of that sight all evening. Then the phone rang, and we learned that my husband's Gammaw (baby talk for Grandma, of course, so named by my husband when he was just a wee boy, and then everyone called her Gammaw forever) who had been doing very well just hours before had taken a sudden drastic turn for the worst. We rushed to the hospital, but were too late, she was already gone when we got there. It was particularly awful for my husband, since he was very close to her all his life. She had always kept him after school when he was growing up and as soon as he was old enough, he moved in with her to help take care of her.

We stayed at the hospital for several hours, quietly talking amongst family and friends, reminiscing and grieving, as you do in that situation.

By the time we were headed home it was seriously late, some time in the AM hours of the morning. I don't remember the reason, but we had one other stop to make before we went home, and on our way there we saw the most spectacular meteorite any of us had ever seen. To this day I haven't seen it's equal. It streaked across the sky right in front of us bright enough to to light up the whole sky in turquoise and then exploded fantastically in a blaze of glory.

We just looked at each other in amazement. I couldn't help but think what a wonderful gift it was to have two such wonderful memories, as if to ease the blow of such a great loss.

Usually, I can recall the exact dates of things that mark tragedy, but this isn't one of those crystal clear dates for me. Yesterday however, the pelicans graced us with their migration again. I hadn't seen them since that day, but I was very glad to see them again, and to reflect on that day, seven years ago, when they showed up, in my mind, to help us get through what was to be a very sad day indeed.

Oh Give Me a Home...

Cool, eh? Last Friday (April the 4th 2008) my sister (remember Mica?), my DS4yrOld and I went to see a fellow a small Bison ranch (or Buffalo if you choose the popular misnomer haha). It belongs to one of the knitter/spinner guys I met by chance in my favorite Ravelry group SMACK. He and his family have an operation not too far from here that they call Buffalo Gold, and they have some really awesome fiber to show for it. I don't understand the entire process, but it's very interesting. You'd never believe that such soft silky stuff can come from such a rough looking animal. I wish I'd gotten a picture of their Alpha male, he's called the Lakota word for "Grandfather" and he is easily TWICE the size of these girls you see in the pictures above. VERY impressive guy, that. =)

DS4yrOld was VERY excited since, quite by chance, he's developed a fascination with Bison and has been asking me loads of questions about them. So I decided to surprise him with this little day trip, which was JUST perfect. I wish I could have captured the glee that flashed now and then, but my camera is (ALAS yet again) too darn slow for the candid flashes of glee. These are the best I got.

Ron, looking demurely away from the camera

Learning to 'drive'

At the wheel (and very serious about it, apparently)

It was a very fun day. Ron is more of a spinner than a knitter (so far) and he tried to give me a lesson. It turns out that for me (so far) spinning isn't one of those things I take to like a fish to water. (like knitting, say... or snow skiing) It was sad - lol - and finally he just took over and spun me a little tiny sample of some silk/buffalo yarn. (ah....dreamy) I totally should have taken a picture of that, too, but it's too late for the unedited version of this post. Maybe when I get the name of the giant bison, I'll add the other thing, too. (MAYbe)

Bales of fiber waiting to be sent off to the spinners.
Some of their stuff goes to Jagger (!) to be
spun into the Zephyr lace weight. (awesome)

Some of the display items they are taking for
the booth they'll have at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival
(dang, I wish I was going)

A lace weight Buffalo/Quivet blend with a little Flash

This is what they made with the waste fiber. Very sturdy,
hardy fiber. I'm working on a design with this stuff. (squeeeee)

It was a really fun day. We are hoping to go back out when the momma bison start to calve. I'm sure DS4yrOld will get a huge kick out of that. He LOVES babies.