Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bright Lights

I was going to start off this post with a picture of my neighbor's light display. They have a front yard the size of a postage stamp and have as many large light up inflatable Christmas things in it as they can fit. I grabbed my camera and struggled downstairs to take the pic. I looked out the front door and saw the giant snowman glowing away. Then Dave started talking to me as I put on my coat (over my pajamas, I'm such a dork). I swear I was only talking to him for a few minutes (like 3!) and when I went outside (in my pajamas!) they had turned all their lights off! So, do you have your holiday decorations up? We still have our dead Santa on the front porch, but that's it.
In other news, I'm a little stiff and sore today. I fell yesterday in the basement while carrying down the laundry. (Tripped over the clutter.) At least I didn't fall down the stairs. So I was sitting there on the floor, bawling (it was the end of a rough evening) and the guys come down and just stand around looking at me. Then they started pulling on my arms. I finally managed to pull myself to my feet (sniffling) and they left. No "let me help you with that laundry", nothing. Hmmph. I'm thinking their Christmas gifts will be me buying toys for needy children in their name. (They have this gift tree with kids' names on it at work, and I keep taking another name because I think that these poor kids aren't going to get anything for Christmas. I'm on my third kid and I'm not telling Dave about it.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Trying To Be Thankful

In this week after Thanksgiving I'm trying to be thankful. Truly. But I'm not having my best week. Anyways, I'm going to list some nice things here and try to focus on the positive.
My friend recently finished her first sock. I'd like to think I encouraged and helped a bit. She was inspired and immediately cast on the second. She does have a bit of a dilemma, in that she had promised this pair as a gift, but now wants to keep them for herself. Such is the life of a knitter.
I also recently had the chance to teach a couple of eager young boys to spin on a drop spindle. I'm not sure how much they retained, but I left some wool and materials for them each to make their own spindles. If nothing else, I'll spin a couple of yards every time I visit until we use up the wool and then their mom can knit them something.
And my super power is still working. These mitts were mostly knit on Thanksgiving day. (Then the second was ripped and re-knit when I discovered it was waay shorter than its mate. I debated on redoing it, but then I was awake at 4:00 AM so I figured, why not? It's still a bit shorter, but I can live with it.) They're from a kit and the yarn is a hemp/cashmere blend. Not really two fibers I would have combined, but the yarn is yummy and they really do keep my hands warm.
So what did I knit during the ten hours of my trip to North Carolina and back? Well, first of all I found out that it takes all your three hours of daylight to wind two center pull balls of Socks That Rock without the benefit of swift or ball winder. Then it's too dark to start the dang socks. Other than that, I worked on this:

Irreversible. A few false starts in the dark, but then I got the rhythm down and I was ok.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fixed Up

I fixed up my spinning wheel this evening, at the cost of eight dollars and change for supplies and one broken finger nail. The plastic band(?) whatever attaching the footmen to the treadles had broken (Apparently by a home invader who entered, broke my spinning wheel, and then fled without disturbing anything else in the house. At least according to the boys who all swear they had nothing to do with it.) and needed to be replaced with something. The connection was made by some round solid plastic pieces which were held in place with screws. I was able to replace them with some nylon cord which I'm hoping will do the trick. But in gathering up all my spinning paraphenalia I found that my bottle of spinning oil had leaked and was just about empty..
So I decided to consult Alden Amos on what the proper spinning oil should be. But I couldn't find the book! I could have sworn it was on the top of the bookcase in my bedroom. Nope, not there. Then I remembered reading it in bed recently so I looked under the bed. Nope. Upstairs in the attic where I'd taken a bunch of spinning supplies lately. Uh-uh. How could I have lost it? It's not like it's a small book. (There's a reason it's titled "The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning.") I had given up hope and was about to blog about how I couldn't find it (and was debating calling Celtic Queen and asking her if I'd lent it to her and forgotten about it) when I spotted it on Dave's dresser. Success! (And I can't find a reference to spinning wheel oil, but Ashford recommends 30 weight motor oil, so I'm going with that.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm Hanging On (Barely)

I'm still hanging in there. I feel terrible, which wouldn't be too bad, except I suspect I look worse.
I'm still plodding along on the Pomatomus socks, taking two steps forward and one step back. I finished one Cotton Sock, The Grey, and have yet to cast on its mate, and I'm debating Christmas knitting.

Younger Son's birthday was yesterday and he made me feel guilty about not giving him a hand-knit sweater. To compound the matter, he's grown out of several of his previous sweaters, so now he only had three hand knit sweaters that fit him
(four, if you count the one I knit for his brother that he's absconded with -- pictured on him here.) That would be, let me think...exactly four more sweaters than I've made for myself. Also, Older Son wore his Irreversible Sweater out Saturday night (I think it was a double date, but he's not saying.) Gosh, it's a great looking sweater. And it really does look fantastic on him. But anyways, I feel appropriately guilty so I've ordered yarn for two sweaters for him. I might even get yarn for a third. The jury's still out. I really did want to make him a sweater, the birthday just snuck up on me. Kinda like Christmas is doing right now.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Have Nothing to Say

I'm writing to say I have nothing to say. I am finally feeling better from my cold. Sounding a bit better too. (If you could hear me.) Last week was pretty bad. I was worn out, and suddenly work became huge and I ended up working overtime, which didn't exactly help with the worn out thing. Friday I didn't even go to knitting. I worked late and by the time I got home it was after 7:00 and I just staggered upstairs and went to bed. Saturday I had to run errands and then Dave wanted to go out. I had to take a nap. And I was so tired I couldn't knit! But the good news is that I've been sleeping better since the time change. Although everyone who sees me says I look tired. I told Dave I think I need to get some industrial strength Oil of Olay or something. Ok, ok, an update on the knitting I've been too tired to do. Sunday all I was capable of was mindless knitting, so I worked on my current Cotton Socks (Cotton Socks, the Grey). I'm past the heel and gusset and working on the foot. Pomatomus are still struggling along, a few rounds at a time. And everyone at work wants fingerless mitts.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dia de los Muertos

Kind of appropriate that I'd be thinking about my mom all day today. I really miss her alot. Maybe I just need someone to tell me that everything's going to be okay. My best memories of my mom are from when Older Son was an infant and she would come to watch him. First of all, you need to understand that my mom was a Class AAAA neat freak. When I was little I truly believed she was Mrs. Clean (reinforced, no doubt, by the fact that my dad looked alot like Mr. Clean.) So when she came over and my house was a disaster, she could have taken me to task about it (her house was always immaculate and she had 6 kids) but she never did. In fact, she told me that I was trying to do too much and that I needed to take care of myself and just went through the house and cleaned a bit here and there for me. Anyways, this picture sits on my mantle. My sisters say Mom looks alot like me in this picture. Younger Son thought so too, when I got it down this evening. I'm not sure when this was taken, but I think she's in her early 20's here. I made her an afghan for her queen-size bed that she slept under every winter for about 5 years (I have it now, I'll be getting it out for my bed soon) and I knit her a warm fair isle scarf (she had emphysema and had to wear a scarf when she went out in the winter) and a lace afghan which was one of the first projects I ever completed that's still draped on the back of the recliner at my dad's.