Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Knitting

I don't know how but I somehow managed to get a little knitting done during Christmas week. It's unseasonably warm for New England. We have no snow. I was fine with that. I had to drive to New Jersey. A stressful journey for me living in the land of two lane highways. Three lanes and I'm highly suspicious of others and if they are really paying attention to how close they are to me or the fact that they can't stay in their own lane. Six lanes, yeah, I'm talking about you Garden State Parkway, and I'm white knuckle driving and refusing to let anyone else talk in the car until I get the heck out of the Oranges and Newark. And don't even get me started on Rte. 9....but I digress. We all made it safe and sound and all I ended up with was a stress induced sinus/cold/I-don't-feel-like-eating illness that stayed with me for four days after I got back home. Such a wimp. An adventurous highway driver I AM NOT. You want to go exploring back country roads I am your gal. No fear there. Just not much of a distance traveler. Well, if someone else is driving, that's a whole different story. I'll be the first to call shotgun and ready to go. 

 I call this my Christmas Aran. I have taken my favorite center panels from two previously constructed arans and assigned one to the front and one to the back. Why? Because I can. Just someone try to send the Knitting Police to my door. This project needs its sleeves; then it is done.

You would think I would have aranned myself out by now but I just can't get enough. Visions of cables and twists dance in my head. Unfortunately I just learned my favorite go-to wool has jumped significantly  in price and will be questioned in the budget process. *sigh*

Now that I have depressed myself I will grab the Kindle and console myself with Mr. Darcy and Lizzie. I have found Rebecca Ann Collins series of Pemberly Chronicles and though I consider myself a Jane Austen snob I have enjoyed RAC's musing of the continuing story. Not bad. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Just as I promised. Well, I didn't really promise did I, you were instructed to remind me. So you're saying to yourself, "Why are the seams on the outside?" HA! I knit seamless sweaters so there ARE NO SEAMS. I crochet them on. Gobs of fun and they add pizzazz to an incredibly boring sweater. You know, for a bulky weight sweater it feels very light.

Off to shop. The days are winding down and I have 2 gifts bought-for the same person. I need stocking stuffers, oy. I gotta go!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh yeah, Knitting

A friend reminded me the other day that I haven't:
 1. blogged recently and
2. blogged about knitting.
Oh, there has been knitting. Let's get you up to speed.

At the time of this posting this object is finished and drying. Fashioned out of Cascade EcoWool, this puppy had that fresh off the sheep smell. Mmmmm, mmmm! With no dyes the soaking water was FILLLLTHY! I picked a few strands of hay now and then.

The Cat boys are pretty good about staying out of my projects unless I've scolded them for something or the yarn has that HOOO-WEEE stench. Andrew was never too far away from me while I was manufacturing the pullover.

This was a quick knit, boring and dull looking so I tweaked a few areas here and there apres knit. I'll have to show you. Remind me, okay? Meanwhile, I threw another aran on the old circulars and when I get it to an interesting length I'll give you a peek.

Nothing like a good bovine- in- the- early- morning- light pic to bring the blood pressure down.

There Deb, happy now?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

That's More Like It

 Though the seasons were a little discombobbled with the October Nor'Easter we are late but back on track colorwise. Burning bush is burning.
 The Dogwood shed her leaves...
 the lavender has dried...
 and the maple hangs on to the last leaves of her dress.
 The change in season calls for a change in appetite. Dishes that cook long and slow and fill the home with aromas that make you stop and take in a deep breathe.
Bread dough rising in a warm spot to become focaccia dressed with oregano, rosemary and shavings of parmesan.
Mmmmmmmm...sweater weather.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Okay Mother Nature, enough showing off. We get it here in Massachusetts. You got da power. I'm tired of filling my freezer with food and having to throw it all out every 2 months.
I was one of the lucky ones. The power went out October 29 during the night. I did get up when I heard a loud snap and saw the maple branch in the yard. No damage. My favorite dogwood had branches bent to the ground. I couldn't see beyond that to the box elder if it had crushed my lawn swing and my neighbors fence.

Started coming down around 2-2:30 pm. Wet sloppy snow.

The next morning it was very pretty. I headed out back to see...

and found a large broken branch. Fortunately it did not damage the neighbor's fence.

Why the whole thing didn't come down was beyond me. Look at the bend in that sucker!

Power was returned on Monday afternoon. Now the clean up begins. The dogwood survived beautifully. There are a lot of areas without power. Winter doesn't begin until December 22?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Where Have I Been

Delay in posting? Hmmm, must be October.

There was a project in the works but since taking this shot I finished it and deemed it unworthy because the calculator gave me false information, or maybe it was operator error. Nevertheless, I was too lazy to rip it all out so I fudged it and will post the final object later.

Then birthday week came along and I indulged myself in taking in the local color of western Massachusetts, southern Vermont and New Hampshire. We were a bit lacking this year due to too much rain and wind, thank you Tropical Storm Irene, whacking out the leaves at the tops of trees before they were painted with their typical brilliant colors.
Barton's Cove, Gill, MA

Barton's Cove public boat ramp, Gill, MA

Barton's Cove, Gill, MA

Barton's Cove, Gill, MA

Barton's Cove, Gill, MA


View of Mt. Sugarloaf in So. Deerfield, MA from Whately, MA

Squash display in Old Deerfield, MA

Pheasant out for a stroll in Whately

Poets Seat Tower, Greenfield, MA

Southern view from Poets Seat Tower, Greenfield. MA

Wicked cool tree stump. 

View of Turners Falls, MA from Poets Seat Tower in Greenfield, MA

Village of Turners Falls, MA from Barton's Cove, Gill, MA

Village of Turners Falls, MA from Barton's Cove, Gill, MA

Village of Turners Falls, MA from Barton's Cove, Gill, MA

View from White Dickinson Library in Whately, MA

Potatoes- when it's raining too hard to play with the camera outside

So here it is the last full week in October with a prediction of snow by the end of the week. I don't have any works in progress but plenty of stash. That calculator and I better come to an understanding to give me the numbers I need, not what I put in by mistake.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Natural vs. Not

Over the years I have become a huge fiber snob. If it isn't wool from some cute or not so cute animal or plant derived I don't want to even look at it. There was a time I was completely against wool. I was young and foolish and didn't understand the finer points wool offers. Still, every once in a while I venture into the world of plastic yarn with the catchall name of acrylic be it nylon, microfiber, what have you. The one microfiber yarn I tolerated I can no longer find. Figures. I used it for children's wear. Not because children normally detest wool due to its tendency to be too scratchy but because wool needs to be cleaned differently than petroleum based yarn. New parents, or whoever may be doing the laundry, may not appreciate or have the time to hand wash or after machine washing, lay the tiny item flat to air dry. Easier to toss the item into the washer and dryer and be done with it. But as I said, once in a while I go astray.

This size 4 pullover is made from a nylon/acrylic blend. Made by a well known label I will not name because they have many fine fiber lines and I don't want to cast dispersion for one failure. The color on purchase was a  screaming lime green. Just right for active little boys and girls or 50+ year old women who have way too much lime green in their wardrobe. Everything went well until I gave it a soak using a mild soap and warm water.

 Notice the discoloration? Somehow turquoise showed up in the soaking bath leaving the yarn blotchy and uneven. This knitter is not happy. I have been duped by the Acrylic Demon again. I try to keep an open mind and give plastic yarn a chance but this annoys the BAJEEVEES out of me.

To calm myself and get back to my world of happy thoughts, sunshine and daisies I start a new project. Well, first I grabbed an Opa Opa IPA to get in the zone. Then I hit the stash for a tried and true wool that would not fail me.

 I pulled out the piece of scrap paper I call a pattern from my last aran to make another, changing the center panel from a celtic braid to a saxon braid or vice versa, I can't remember. Doesn't matter to me but it may bother the originator of the stitch design, my apologies. I snagged both from Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge.

This puts me behind in my list of knitting projects now that I have to redo the tiny tot sweater with a yarn that will make both myself and the intended caretaker happy and stress-less. Washable wools are fine but I still prefer them to be air dried so I must put on my thinking cap and come up with a solution. Meanwhile, I'll knit and purl and twist 6RC or 6LC while the Patriots, Red Sox or whatever BBC series I've borrowed from the library entertains me. Sufficient time will need to pass before I take in hand another acrylic based yarn, no matter who manufactured it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Crazy Weather

Crazy weather. Crazy even for New England. Spring floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, tropical storms, more flooding and coming up.....more torrential rain from another hurricane to add to bad conditions. Roads that will never be fixed in time for winter. Roads that don't exist any longer because the Green River, for one, decided to re-route itself. Fertile riverbank fields now ruined because of silt and sewage. Houses, covered bridges, quilt shops either picked up and moved by the water or destroyed.
We've watched video after video, or gone directly to the devastation to gawp and shake our heads. Wow.
My area was lucky. This time. We've had plenty of rain but my cellar is dry. My trees are standing. I have relatives that did not fair so well. They'll pull it together and continue living their lives.

Knitting has been small. Small as in for tiny folks. We have brand spanking new twins to knit for. All other projects have been put on hold. I'm trying to perfect my basic pattern for smaller dimensions. Getting there but still in the knit & frog stage. They were a bit early on arrival but as all parents know, the children ARE in charge and this is their way of letting us know.

So I'll knit and wait for the next weather disaster.

Monday, August 22, 2011

When You Have a Bad Weekend (Make that two)

 When you have four new tires put on your car and three days later you hear a horrible noise, you take it to the garage. They replace the brake drums that are original to your 15 year old car.
 You go off on your merry way. On the following weekend, you tootle around here and there. You get ready to go back to work on Monday and backing out of your driveway you hear, "THump, THump.
 One of your new tires with a new brake drum is FLAT.
 You call for auto service and inform them that you have TWO service calls. One for your flat, one for mom's car. The flat has to be fixed in order to tow mom's car. Coordinating this was not as easy as it sounds.
 So I'm posting these serene photos from my back yard. I'd rather be here.
Lounging on the lawn swing. Knitting.

(PS. I somehow ran over a screw. Mom blew her fuel pump. It's been a very expensive 2 weekends)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Random Nothingness

A week away from the daily stress was delightful. No phone calls, no whining. A definite improvement in the quality of life. But all good things must end and yes, it is a job. Something pretty scarce these days. 

I found it interesting during my week from daily toil to walk around the block and watch how it changed. Fungus wise. Here the before.

And the after. I never thought of them as blooms but that's really what they are. 

 I watched my lawn burn to a crisp. The up side? I haven't mowed it in a month.

The temps were roastie. Hotter than I prefer but no one has handed the controls over to me-yet.

Naps and knitting passed the time when it was too hot to be out.

And movies, lots of movies.
I miss my vacation very much.