Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shiny Objects

Though the heat in Western Massachusetts is nothing compared to the center section of the nation, may I say--enough already! Why doesn't global warming cause the world to have daily weather like say, Hawaii. A little rain every morning then sunny with a cool breeze and a fruity drink in your hand. Who's in charge? I need to speak with them.
My knitting production has slowed for two reasons. First, it's hot. Knitting with cotton is no cooler (but I must admit, less scratchy) than knitting with wool. A lap full of knitted cotton is heavy and warm. Second, my current project is stripes. Stripes require me to juggle 2 balls. Untwist 2 balls. Pay attention that I tighten up the join. In other words, this is not the mindless knitting I need while watching the series "Lark Rise to Candleford" I borrowed from the library. I have completed season 2 and have requested season 3. But I digress.
To distract myself from this weather I have been puttering about with beading and jewelry making. Wanna see? If you keep reading you will have no choice.

Wire work
 If I could figure out how to limit the glare you would see 3 pearls in shades (from top): lime green, pearl and seafoam (blue/green).
 Bead Embroidery
Beaded Cuff Bracelet. I started out with a specific design but trashed that idea to arrive at the creation below. I was surprised how much I liked doing this. Very time consuming. I look forward to creating another one and have started collecting the raw materials.
I love Tiger Eye. I would go to LBS (local bead shop) and collect a few stones and after about a year I had enough to create a necklace and a bracelet, to be seen at a later date. Previously I had created tiger eye earrings so when the bracelet is done I will have a complete set.

A technique called Kumihimo has peaked my interest. It involves more equipment to add to the fishing tackle box I bought to organize this interest. It is becoming full and heavy.
So many interests. At least I always have something to do.
"In other words, she ignores us. It's unacceptable."

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's In The Car

Remember my plans to do a little photo op in Whately? Let me tell you how that went.
I left late Friday afternoon because I had a plan. I was going to do a little shooting and make it back to Turners Falls in hopes to catch the hot air balloons that drift through almost every time they hold the Green River Festival at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, MA. I had a place in mind for my first Whately outing. A vista of rolling hills, Mt. Sugarloaf, fields, farms, and groves of trees. I stopped, got out, took a few pictures, went back to the car, grabbed the door handle and...found I had locked it, running and all extra sets of keys and i.d. IN THE CAR. It's habit, I open the door, set the lock, get out and shut the door. 99.9% of the time I have my boat of pocketbook on my shoulder. You know, the one with my extra key in it. My cell phone you ask? Yes. In my pocket (for once) but, even though I had grown up nearby, I had no idea of the street name. As a teen, I called it "the back road to Whately out by White Birch campground." EVERYBODY knew where that was.
I looked around and there was only one house with vehicles in the yard.  I walked over, rang the bell. Milo the chihuahua created a terrible noise and its owner yelled at him. And that's all he did. He would not or could not answer the door. I said goodbye to Milo and started walking down the road. A cyclist stopped and asked if I needed help. I asked her if she new the name of the road. She was not from the area but had a phone that did more than lack service and run the battery down so we determined it was North St. She asked me what happened, dialed dispatch and was kind enough to let me use her phone to retell my sad story. After I hung up from dispatch, who was going to send out an officer right away, I handed the phone back to cyclist Wendy and off she went. I went back to my car and waited.
And waited...and waited.
After 20 minutes I felt I had waited enough and knew I was driving the traffic going by me crazy. They thought I was looking at something interesting out in the field. In reality I was listening to my audio book blaring away in the car. (I love Robert Parker's Spenser mysteries. I was listening to "Sixkill" before I got myself in such a pickle.) One car pulled up and actually asked what I was looking at. They lived nearby and see bear and deer all the time. I laughed and said no, I was just waiting to be rescued. They moved on. As I said,  I was tired of waiting and called dispatch back hoping what little cell service I had would work. They answered and it happened to be the same guy I talked to using Wendy's phone. He told me he had tried to call me back but the other girl answered and told him she was no where near me any longer. Seems the Whately police either don't unlock doors or were not available. Not sure which but dispatch said they would call a tow truck company for me. "Ah" I said, " I have AAA". He asked if I had the phone number and I said, "of course not. It's in the car. But that would be smart to put on my phone." He agreed. He asked if I had a pen and paper to write the number down. "No, everything is. in. the. car." He offered to do a conference call with AAA. He disconnected me. I called him back. He said he would call AAA and they would call ME back. They did. I explained the situation. They asked me for my card number. I'm a little frustrated at this point and say, "It's. In. The. Car." They took my name, vehicle description, license plate and asked if I had any children or pets in the car. I told him no, just my book on cd which was now playing for the third time. Then he asked me for my phone number. "Are you serious? You called me!" and then I apologized for semi losing it. I think the comment about the bear siting was sitting in the back of my mind. I have no problem with wildlife but I like the option to get away from it if possible. He assured me I would be a top priority because my car was running. (with or without children/pets, wow.) We ended our conversation and I sat down and leaned up against my car. The flies were biting but I was thankful it was a gorgeous day. As I was thinking how fortunate I was it was not raining, a large grey cloud loomed in my direction. I continued to listen to Spenser and beat away the flies. About 15 minutes later "Bob" (He had "Bob" emblazoned on his work shirt so it must have been him.) rambled up with his tow truck, got out, grinned, and told me it was more embarrassing when he had to answer these lock out calls for folks on interstate 91.  I'm assuming these folks got out to make a pee call. Yes, that would be embarrassing.) He opened my car door within seconds. I said, "Bob, will you be needing my AAA card?" He said he would and so I fetched it for him. We filled out all the paperwork and went our separate ways.
I got maybe a mile down the road and in the field was a fully deflated hot air balloon. UGH! I missed it. I could have completed both projects I intended to do in one place. Whately and hot air balloon. Discouraged, down a quarter tank of gas and fly bitten, I went home.
Now I'm paranoid. I open the car door, do an inventory; car off, keys in hand, purse exiting with me. The experience is not something I want to repeat any time soon. It was a frustrating 2 hours. I did put AAA in my phone directory. I can be taught if I put myself in enough situations like this. Have I done something similar to this before? Why yes, once a long time ago, but that time I had my extra key, and my friend Andy letting me know I had left my car running. Of course I thought Andy was yanking my chain, as Andy would do occasionally, but when I looked for my set of keys they were not in their assigned spot. That. was. funny. This was funny. Even the  people trying to help me asking silly questions like if I had my card when we had established my whole existence was in the car was funny. Everything except for the bear.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blooms, a Bit of History and Not a Lick of Knitting

I can't get over how well the flowers in the back yard, well, everybody's back yard are doing.

I'm thinking of entering a photo contest in Whately. It's sponsored by the Whately Land Preservation. Top prize gets a $50 gift certificate to the Whately Inn. Motivation!
I grew up close to Whately in South Deerfield and spent a lot of time riding my bike along the back roads. I have a few spots in mind for shots depicting Whately. The hard part is making time to do it. Seems there's always something more pressing to get done but I've made it my goal this weekend to make the effort. It will be fun to visit old venues. I may do it on my bike, the same one I had back then. I never replaced my 10-speed that I worked summers picking cucumbers to purchase. Hours of laying on my stomach on what we locals call a "polish airplane". (and before someone gets tweaked about a now politically incorrect statement I'll have you know it was a polish farmer that told me that was the name for the contraption.) The vehicle was an old truck with the bed lowered and wings added to the sides to accommodate a full size mattresses on each side turned so three teenagers on each side could lay belly down with their arms and heads hanging over the end. The "plane" would move at a crawl while we, with rubber gloved hands, foraged through the cucumber plants for the vegetable. You picked it and tossed it into a basket in front of you without looking up so you didn't miss any cukes. At the end of the day you're filthy, sweaty and sore, but that's farm work. Honest work. I wish I could find a picture of the custom vehicle but there doesn't seem to be a vintage 1970's cucumber harvester on the web. Understand why I don't get rid of the bike? Not only that but I took better care of the bike than I do my cars. Okay, enough nostalgia. I need to go check the air pressure in the bike tires.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And Now with Knitting Content

Finally, it took a heat wave to get me to put down the knitting needles, grab what was piling up in the chair and shoot a few photos. Handling the woolies in 90+ heat was, well, not as nice as the soft squishy cotton. It had to be done. 

I, uh, still need to put on the buttons-yes, I know where they are unless the cat has relocated them. I call this one Cinched. Why you ask? Because I have a band of ribbing at the waist that you can't see. So much for telling a story with my camera. Sorry Gail, I need more practice.

I attempted designing a shawl collar and my heart was in the right place, I just need to add more depth next time. This one will keep the chill off my neck when I'm shoveling. 

Here is another that needs buttons...and a lint roller! Don't take a close look at this one, it's a bit furry. Soft and cozy cotton.

And here we have the latest work in process. I know this yarn grows horizontally and adjusted the gauge. Here's hoping I didn't adjust it too much because when I tried it on yesterday it was a tad snug. 

 It's been so hot there has been little knitting production. My sodoku skills on the other hand are sharp, sharp, sharp. The weather technicians have promised me a cold front starting tomorrow. Then again, they lie like a swatch.