Wednesday, December 28, 2005

wrist warmers -- don't they look good?

Here are the wrist warmers. I was hoping the photo with Serena wearing a "life without lupus" bracelet over one would be the best, because I designed these originally when her wrists hurt so much from the lupus. But, as you can see, the bracelet shows up as an orange distraction, darn it! You can't see the lettering.

The pattern is my pattern from the knitlist gifts with some embellishment. There is an error in my original pattern, if the correction isn't up soon, let me know and I'll send you the correction.

really truly, I'm tired of serial migraines! No clue what is causing them this time. Thank God they aren't as severe as earlier in the year!

Thanks Serena

Thanks to Serena who let me know that it isn't my computer who is slipping, but my brain. sigh The pictures will be coming as soon as she gets them to me from HER camera.

My brother said the avatar is too young, that although I tried to make it middle aged, it doesn't. I'll make a newer one, that correctly resembles me, or load a different picture! LOL Can't win, can we!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

more river pictures

I finished wrist warmers for Serena. They are out of a wool/tencel that I was gifted with several years ago. I had a photo of Serena modeling both of them, and waited until it had actually downloaded until I deleted it from my camera. THEN the program froze, and I lost it. sigh Isn't that the way life goes?

So, I give you more pictures of the Mississippi River (which isn't nearly as frozen this time as it was last visit) from Nathan and Kim's house.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What, me organized?

I have an Excel spreadsheet with my yarn in it. I try to keep it correct. For a while now, I've been trying to figure out why the sock yarns didn't match the spreadsheet. So, the other day, in a fit of something, I updated it. I weighed out the yarns that were seconds to get the correct amounts, and got it all correct. Still couldn't figure out where the yarn had gone. But, it was updated, and with that virtuous feeling of a job well done, I went on with my life. Wondering what I was going to do with 23 ounces of 3 ply black Kroy!

Days later, in cleaning out for Serena's arrival for Christmas, I find two Rubbermaid totes. Hm, what are they doing in the sewing room? They must be empty, totes don't belong there. You guessed it. The missing yarn has been found, and moved back to the yarn room, but NOT into the yarn closet, where I'd think it had been put back into the spreadsheet.

Want to bet that I have MORE black 3 ply Kroy?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sharon's Socks

Hand Scrub for Rough Skin

I give you Sharon's socks -- which, despite my attempt at making them not match struggled to match, and I think they succeeded much more than I did!

May I also recommend a sugar and olive oil scrub when your hands are dry and rough? This was suggested on the knitlist, many years ago, and I don't always remember. My hands were so rough after knitting with these socks, there is enough cotton that the finger tips weren't happy. Mix perhaps a tablespoon of white sugar with enough olive oil until it is a paste. Rub it together in your hands. This will scrub away all the roughness on your hands. Rinse with warm water, and pat dry. Your skin absorbs the oil, the sugar is rinsed away. I make this up and keep it in the bathroom for when I need it, otherwise I won't remember to use it!

Sunset on the Snow

I have found a great way to take a photo of a rayon/cotton scarf! Take it out in 5*F (-15C) weather and photograph it in the snow! The sun and snow take a better photograph than the dark inside of the house, and the cold ensures that where you place the scarf, it STAYS. Of course, it would help if the idiot photographer (that would be me!)had checked before going out the first time and had put on her coat! After that slight mistake, things went much better! Here is the scarf, which will be in the 2007 Knitting Pattern A Day Calendar. If you can't wait that long for the pattern, let me know! I'm in the process of making it again in Crystal Palace Mohair, and it is working out well, but just as slippery!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mississippi River as seen from

Nathan and Kim's

in Winter

Mom and Dad wanted to see the Mississippi River from Nathan and Kim's house. So in an act of love, I stepped outside yesterday morning and took these pictures from the front door. I didn't go further, it was too darned cold! At that time of morning, as we were getting ready to leave to go to Uncle Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's Bookstore in Minneapolis and then drop Serena off at the airport, it was a hearty sub zero*F (-17.78C.) I wasn't going to go very far at all! It was so cold, that the shutter react swiftly as it normally does on my camera. So, I'd push the button (and no, I wasn't wearing gloves on that hand!), and it would take so L-O-N-G! for the camera to react! Anyway, the next picture is the scene directly in front of their house. The funny shaped thing next to the tree is their mailbox. On the river side of the road.
This is why they were able to purchase the house -- just down the river from them is a paper mill. The fumes from the mill blow directly into the house, depending on the wind, and make it hard on lungs. The dam to power the mill is just downriver of their house. See the snow covered piles of logs in all three pictures? Also, see the overhang of the house? I did NOT step out from under the porch! All taken from right there!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Nathan Hunt Graduated!


Nathan, I know this has been a long, hard slog. Harder for you than many others, as you have had to fight attention deficit disorder. But you fought, and you won. No wonder I cried and applauded last night as you marched in. And cried as you walked across to receive your diploma. AND am crying as I write this. Hey Nathan, I'm SO PROUD OF YOU!

Something that I've NOT, not, not been able to blog for the last 2 months was that Serena decided to surprise Nathan and fly out here for his graduation. So, every single blog post has had to be carefully censored, lest I let something slip! The only one who DIDN'T know was Nathan. We managed to keep the secret until her plane landed! I believe the first words out of his mouth when he saw her were "You little shit!" Then they hugged. Serena will fly back home Saturday, then fly back for Christmas next week. She wanted Nathan to know just how proud she is of him, and that she knows how hard he had to work to get here. GO NATHAN!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Run before the Storm

We Ran before the storm a day early to get to Nathan's graduation. Woke up this morning to 4 inches of snow up here, and it is projected to snow 4 more inches today, and another one tomorrow.

I tried to knit in the car, but a combination of low oxygen level (asthma - I nebbed 4 times yesterday) and low light (we left at 3:30 in the afternoon and dark comes at 4:30) I frogged almost every attempt.

I did a gauge swatch for a scarf I'd done, without doing a swatch. When I commented on that, Howard looked at me, and said, "I'd think you would know better by now." Hm, is this the fact that he knows me too well? sigh and laughter. The rest of the knitting was an exercise in frustration.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Fog in the Night

We had a heavy fog last night, and freezing temperatures. Absolutely gorgeous this morning, and I couldn't do justice to it with my camera. So, you are spared many poor shots. I hope the two that do upload look good this way! They are the overgrown yew bushes in front of the house. They captured the fog and were temporarily frozen. Of course, part of one shot also has the run off from the porch captured on the bush too.

How much knitting to take on a 4/5 day trip to Minnesota? Must take more than needed. Otherwise, I'll run out, and that would be a catastrophe! I'll also take spinning, because, after all, I'll probably want to spindle... I'd take the wheel, but Tucker would help too much, I'm sure!

Sheesh, Mom, why didn't you tell me that kicking the leg of the bed could do so much damage to a toenail? LOL You told me so many other things about my feet...

  • always trim the toenails straight across so the nails don't become ingrown;
  • allow plenty of toe room in the shoes so the toes aren't squished;
  • well fitting shoes make a difference to the way you feel all over...

WHY did you miss on that one MOM? sigh

All my good work to prevent ingrown toenails, and I have one. Bad bed. I'm going to have it taken care of in January, per the consult this morning.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I promised some time ago that I'd give you the recipe for the cookies I'd unvented, but wanted to try them again to make sure they came out successfully.

The second time around, I added the entire batch of Cranberry Relish, changed the white flour to whole wheat, forgot the the baking powder (well honestly I'm allergic to corn, so I forgot to make the quick substitution, okay?) Instead of the lace cookies I got the first time, I got cookies that didn't spread. They aren't heavy, they remind me a bit of thumbprint cookies with a zing.

So, here goes:

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
Gordon's Cranberry Relish (1 cup or all of it)
1/2 cup hot water
2 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup egg white powder
2 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream butter and sugars. Add hot water, then the cranberry relish (your choice of how much) and oatmeal. Beat in. Sift together the rest of the ingredients, add to the other mixture. Mix well. Drop on baking sheet. Bake at 350ยบ for 18 minutes. Let cookie cool 5 minutes before removing from baking pan.

Gordon's Cranberry Relish
1/2 cup pecans
1 package fresh cranberries
1 whole orange, rind and all (wash the orange)

Chop the pecans, reserve them.
Chop the orange in the food processor until fine, then add the cranberries a few at a time until they are all chopped. Then add the pecans to mix. It is ready to serve (or in this case, use in the cookies!)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Isn't it time to QUIT dear?

Last night, I was working on the second heel. And suddenly realized that one side had 5 stitches, the other had 7. Now, those of you who read this and knit will realize that I had MADE A MISTAKE. Sigh. Which first meant I had to verify that one half of 36 is indeed 18, plus 2 is 20, aloud. (I'm doing a round heel.) And Howard agreed with me. Which is a good thing, but still, I was wondering there for a bit, because, after all, where did I go wrong!

Howard said, "Isn't it time that you put that away for the night?" A valid concern, but, I also know that if I hadn't frogged it right then, today I would have picked it up, and started knitting, and probably gotten even further, and would not have noticed that uneven stitch count until it BIT ME!

Yes, I've learned, by sad experience, that I'm one of those people who need to fix an error NOW, not wait until the next day. At least frog it out, and then knit it back at another date. But, emotionally, it is better to get past the painful point so the next day is fresh.

So, I frogged the stupid thing out. Then counted the stitches several times to see that yes, there were 36 of them, which means that I didn't pay attention the first time.

And I knit the heel up again, then picked up the gusset stitches on both socks. So, the socks are on the downward slope. Here we go! Sharon, you still may get them this year!

I've been thinking of taking off the progress trackers from the blog. They are kind of fun, in that they are a way for you to see that I am or not following through with what I say I'm going to do. But, as a project is deleted from the list, it is gone for good. Instead, I'd rather have a "to do" list, a "finished" list, and not clutter up the blog with the icons. Since I have a website, I can link to that.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sharon's Socks

I wanted a project that wouldn't tax any brain cells, so I started Sharon's socks. Finally. The poor things have been on my "to do" list for so terribly long! If Sharon were any kind of a nagging cousin, she would have called me and asked me why I hadn't even started them! As it was, she hasn't. Which does not bode well for the knitted items she had wanted for her grandkids, does it? Um, Sharon, ask, will ya?

I decided, that since she is as quirky (in a very nice way, I hasten to assure you!) as I am, that I'm take advantage of the yarn's (Regia Cotton -- a superwash wool and cotton) tendency to individuality. It IS a self-striping yarn. I took no precautions to make the yarns match. In FACT, I looked as I started the socks, and tried to be sure they wouldn't. Behold, my attempt at tempting fate... sigh

The slight variations seems to be caused, so far, by the needles. I can't believe it. If I had WANTED to get them to match so well I wouldn't have been able to do such a good job! Sharon, you are stuck with a pair of matching socks. Sorry.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I'm feeling stagnant right now, as if everything is on hold. Partly the weather. It was -8 (-22.2C) degrees this morning with a wind chill of -25 (-31.6C). Does tend to cause the furnace to run and run no matter WHERE the thermostat is set. We are supposed to be warming up for a while though, and that is great.

More photos will be coming on the blue socks, as I realized that you really can not see a thing about them. Other than the fact that they are on a pair of feet and they are blue. Not good photography.

Made some wonderful shortbread last night, the simple kind, butter, sugar, whole wheat flour and vanilla. Yum. I was trying to figure out why I want to bake this time of year, Howard commented that I am trying to bring warmth into the house! I think he has a valid point!

Earlier in the week I made date layer bars. They are so much easier to make than in my childhood! Then they were a special occasion because of removing the pit from the dates. What a sticky long process that was. It seemed mom and all of us were coated with date sap by the time we had enough to start cooking them. Now, thank goodness, we can buy a package of chopped dates and start in. I tried adding the water and cooking in the microwave, but that was a mistake. I didn't subtract to account for the loss via evaporation. They have more of a delicate center than normal.

I'm in the mood for some absolutely brainless knitting. Maybe that is what I should be doing, instead of kicking myself for not doing what I feel I "ought" to be doing. There are some things on the list that fit, so I would still be sticking to that. Right now, I'm in the mood to read and knit. Not patterns that say "pay attention, will ya!" I suspect that unless I listen to my "inner knitter", I'm going to make some big mistakes. sigh

Hopefully I'll see you soon on the other side of this mood! P.S. It really wouldn't hurt my feelings if you commented when you read! grin

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Serena is 30, miscellany

Saturday, Serena our eldest turned 30. She has crammed a lot of living in those 30 years. Did living with a chronic disease cause that, or was it her personality to begin with? She was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus as a Junior in High School (about 16), after wondering what was wrong since she was 12. Despite one bobble, when a doctor told her she was too sick to work or be in school, she has forged ahead. She's graduated from college, gone on to work in Minnesota and Colorado, and is happy where she is.

She helped plan her office holiday party which was Friday. This week she knit up a shrug to wear with her dress for the party. Unfortunately, in the rush Friday morning, it was left behind. She can still wear the shrug later!

'Tis wool wearing weather here in Iowa, as the weather forecasters keep talking about "Arctic blasts", and "wind chill" and the furnace labors to keep the house warm. We've turned down the temperature in the house, which makes the first floor cooler, and the upstairs cold. The computer room and the bedrooms are upstairs. I've taken to putting a blanket around me while I'm at the computer. It does cut down on computer time. There are advantages...

The USPS has it in for me. I have mailed 2 sweaters to a particular designer, and both have taken the scenic route to get there. The first was, admittedly, sent first class. It took almost 2 weeks to get across the country. The second, however, was sent 2 day mail. Five days later, it still has not arrived. I should have learned, after I sent a package to Serena, (one of the 2 day one rate boxes) that took 2 weeks to arrive. I think, from now on, when I need to send a parcel to that particular designer, I'll send it UPS. Serena's birthday card went UPS, as I was determined to have it there on time. It did.

I finished something you can see! I know, it is a shock to me as well! I knit the Parting Ways Socks by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer. These were great to knit, no errors in the pattern. They make a beautiful sock, which fits well. If I were to knit it for me, I'd buy more yarn, and make it longer, as I like my socks higher on the leg. I used Nature's Palette 100% Merino from Margaret.