Monday, January 29, 2007

In the Mail!

I received TWO surprises in the mail today. The first is a wonderful package from Florence in Belgium. She was my gifting partner -- I'm not sure of the correct term, it was set up so each person A spun up 100 grams of yarn for person B and person C spun up 100 grams of yarn for person A -- in Spin Me A Treasure. As you can see, she also sent that necessity for a spinner --chocolate! Some candy hard and something that looks to be similar to StarBurst. There is a picture of the lamb that donated the fleece, her name is Gotti. Two packets of Easter Egg dye in case I don't like the color. And a note about her yarn. The yarn is Gottland lamb and bombyx silk -- there are about 380 meters in the skein. Yummy, don't you think? I had to do a closeup of the yarn, as it is exquisite.

Then, from my Mystery Skein Swap partner I got this! The idea is to mail at least 100 grams of yarn to your partner, who manufactures something from it, and mails it back to you. The mystery is in the fact that you don't have a clue what is going to be made from your yarn. This skein is wool that was recovered from a sweater. Decisions, decisions. My partner would like something felted, as she would have to felt by hand.


Looking through the stash -- I saw something very unpleasant. Look at this cone of yarn -- see all of the ends? That is NOT how it is supposed to be! Rats! I am not a happy camper! It is the only yarn in stash that shows signs of any problem, but STILL. I tried to wind off some yarn to see if I could salvage it, but it breaks too often for that.

Because of that, last night I did THIS! All of my yarn and fleece stash is outside. It is supposed to be very cold for the next while, so I'll leave it outside for 3 days, bring it in a bit at a time for a couple of days for it to warm up and allow the critters to start to hatch, and then I'll take it outside again. A couple of repeats of this, and I should be in much better shape. I miss the chest freezer! All of the fleece would have been stored it it, as well as quite a bit of yarn. Yes, it was a LARGE freezer. As you can see, I was lazy when I took it all outside, and didn't go any further than I had to. You may also be able to see that it was snowing slightly today.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I don't usually knit stranded knitting. I don't have a good rhythm for it, and - and - and. I look at it, admire it, and then have a tough time actually DOING it. But Dianne had given me two sample skeins of Koigu from Maryland Sheep and Wool. I wasn't sure there was quite enough to make a pair of socks. So, I added some teal Paton's Kroy and set off. Size 0 for the cuff, then a size 3 for the leg (so the stitches are larger.) You know, I worried that I didn't have enough room to put them on, but thought -- "It will be all right." Just about finished the leg and decided I'd dithered enough. Try the thing on! It won't go over my heel.

So, I can either finish this pair as wristwarmers, which had been my original idea before I knew how much yarn was in the skeins (would probably make 2 pair of wristwarmers) or frog back to the cuff and start again.

You know, maybe I should have stayed in bed today!

The stitch pattern is from "Swedish Sweaters" by Britt-Marie Christoffersson and is from the "Stars and Stripe" sweater.

Oh Bother!

There was a loud CRASH this morning, and then Howard said something like "Oh for crying out loud!" Of course I ran to see. The bookcase in our room had fallen forward, cascading books all over our floor. It took some time to pick them all up, sort them (of course the books by the same author did NOT stay together as they fell!) and put them back. Now, the odd part? I don't remember that we had any shelf in this bookcase with a double layer of books. Yet, when we put the books BACK, there were a lot of books that didn't fit. So we have the chic new look in bookcases -- the layered look! How did THAT happen? Is there some law of physics that I don't know that accounts for it? You know, when it happened, I was in the process of reorganizing another bookcase -- putting one author's books in chronological order. I don't know that I'm going to continue that task -- it might not be safe! LOL I believe the word for this is drat.

On a more pleasant note, here is my camera bag, complete with the little button. Dianne, my knit buddy, sent me some wonderful orange recycled glass buttons. As I started thinking about a button for this, I wondered... It is perfect for this! Now to think of a project to use the other 7! LOL I knit this in the round, starting at the bottom. The yarn is Paton's SWS and it didn't take much yarn.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

At Last!

I finally finished Margaret's third pair of socks today. They have been SO CLOSE to being done, I just needed to graft the second toe. I'm not sure why I didn't do it -- I've not felt like even picking up my needles and knitting. Or grafting. Tonight I was on the phone with my mom, and finished it. Whew!

As Serena said, "Have you checked your peak flow?" And all I can say is "no." Darn, did it again!

The burgundy socks are Margaret's second pair. Both pairs are knit from Nature's Palette Fingering Weigh Merino, the patterns are my own. The burgundy pair have a 6 stitch pennant stitch, the spring green have basic ribbing. I hope Margaret's feet are warm in these!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

From Serena's Deck

I can't leave you without some photos taken from Serena's back deck. I took pictures of the view almost every day, it is so beautiful.

Sunset one night.

Good Weather.

A storm coming in.


The birds made this artistic design on the patio. I think it is rather beautiful.

This is the deer that was in the front yard. I didn't get a good shot of his antlers, to show his age.
This picture of him was just before he left the first time. Can't even see the antlers here!

Trees and Rocks

My Dad was fascinated with trees growing out of rocks while I was growing up. What determination it takes for the tree to take root and grow there! One of Tamora Pierce's books calls trees "rock crushers" because the tree takes advantage of tiny cracks in the rock, and causes the cracks to get bigger as it grows. On the walk down from Serena's to the main road, I saw several trees growing out of the rock. The lighting wasn't as good as I'd hoped, while it was daylight, the sun hadn't topped over to shine on the hillside. I thought I'd be able to adjust the pictures more, but they stubbornly defied me. Appropriate, I suppose.

I'm Home!

I'm back home, and ready to show pictures of my trip! You have been warned! LOL

First of all, here are my "grand-cats." As you can see, they are very similar, the shape of their faces and the way the colors vary on their faces tells them apart. Tora-chan adopted Serena almost 12 years ago, she knows what she wants, and does her best to get it. Here, she had decided that she was going to sit on my shoulder, and there wasn't much I could do but accept it. I realize it isn't very flattering of me, but it is funny! She was going to be on my shoulder! Little toad. If Serena was around, of course T-C's attention went to her, and I was ignored. Makes sense, as Serena is HER PERSON! We have known it from the start.

Titania is the cat who takes medicine willingly, and easily. I don't understand, as we've NEVER had that happen before. But we are grateful for the favor! She is about 4-5 years old -- the adoption center wasn't sure. She still has kittenish qualities -- she races around the house with the rippies. You know what I mean, she runs from here to here to there and jumps at whatever catches her fancy. Then she runs again. She is looking quite prim here, which is very out of character. It was the only picture she let me get, she'd race away whenever I brought out the camera.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Deer! Nature up here

I was sitting in the living room this morning, reading, and something caught my eye. A deer walked by the front window, and started eating one of the bushes in the front yard. A male deer, his horns looked to be about 4-6 inches long. According to on-line research (grin) it was a mule deer. Males shed their horns in December, so he was growing them again. He stayed for a while, then moseyed up the hill, where his grey coloration helped him blend in and disappear. A bit later he went bounding through the front yard toward the back of the house. Tora-chan was not impressed, and didn't bother to move. Titania did watch for a while, but found the birds on the patio to be much more interesting. I've seen magpies, crows, Stellar Jays, sparrows, hawk (didn't see it closely enough to identify the species) by sitting in the house. I have a picture of the tracks on the patio in the fresh snow, they were BUSY one day!

Titania went to the vet yesterday, what a different cat than I'm used to being around! She didn't really like getting in the cat carrier, but gave in when I insisted. She didn't make any noise until we were in the truck with Serena, then she voiced some quiet complaints, but that was it. Tora-chan does NOT like being in a vehicle, and will let all in a 100 yard radius know -- in a voice that will shatter glass. Anyway, Titania wasn't happy with the vet checking her sore ear (she got scratched and it became infected) but she allowed it. When we got home, an even greater miracle occurred -- SHE TOOK HER PILLS WITHOUT A FIGHT! We have NEVER had a cat do that. In fact, the whole family still bears the scars from Shadow, who deeply resented even the THOUGHT of taking medicine. It took 2 to medicate Shadow, and even then she frequently spit the pill out even after we had held her mouth closed for several minutes. Liquid medicine she refused to swallow, preferring to foam at the mouth instead of taking it. Yet Titania swallowed 2 pills down without a fuss. I was bemused with the experience. By late evening, Titania was back to her regular self, racing around the house and demanding snuggles. I think Tora-chan was offended that I took Titania and then had the nerve to bring her back. I think she had hopes -- she ignored me all evening. LOL

Sunday, January 14, 2007


You know, one of these days my brain is actually going to start putting 2 and 2 together to make 4! I know that when I have trouble knitting, I should check my breathing levels for my asthma. But, when it happens, I can't put the pieces together enough to check. So, today I'd hoped to get to the toe of one of Margaret's socks. The gusset is finished with that one, and I'm well on the way to the toe. Just no interest in knitting today. Didn't think about it, just kind of hazed through the day.

Serena and I went to the bakery today -- it is a family tradition here. Mom, Dad, my sister and Serena all go when in town. Now that they've left for warmer climes, Serena goes by herself. So we went today. Before we got to the bakery, we stopped off and started laundry at the laundromat. Serena has a dryer, not a washer. She usually uses the one at Mom and Dad's place, but it is apartment size, and we had a lot of laundry to do. So, we started 3 oversized washers and then went to the bakery. After lots of fun talking with Rebecca, one of the owners, 2 meringues and a Danish, we picked up the laundry and brought it home. Took most of the rest of the afternoon to get it all dried. The cats, of course, thought the wet clothes were appalling, but the warm clothes fresh OUT of the dryer were wonderful! Did you hear the MINE again?

Just about bedtime, I commented that I'd not felt like knitting all day, even though I'd carried the socks around with me. Serena made the "duh" statement, "Have you checked your peak flow?" Yup, I should have done it. I nebbed too. Somehow, I haven't been able to hardwire my brain that those two go together. It is a proven fact in my life, if I don't feel like knitting, something is wrong. Serena knows it, Howard knows it, Dianne (my knit buddy) knows it. I think Nathan and Kim know it. Why can't I figure that out when I need to?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday thoughts

I'm still in Colorado, and it has turned COLD! My goodness! It really encourages one to stay inside, out of the cold. And to curl up with a blanket over the legs to stay warm. Luckily, Serena has blankets around just for that. The cats help when they curl up on my lap too. I don't know if it is because they like me so much, or whether they are cherishing the warmth I generate! LOL I suspect that it is the latter, honestly.

I bought the Paton's SWS (soy wool stripes) earlier in the week, and made up a little purse/bag to carry my new digital camera (the kids gave it to me for Christmas.) It didn't come with a carrying case, and I was concerned that it would be damaged, especially as I like to tuck it into my purse. I felted the bag into shape, and then will line it with some foam that cushioned something that came in the mail. I put a short carry strap on it, and made it to fasten with a button. Of course, pictures here (and the button) have to wait until I'm home again.

With that done, I got the oomph to start the socks for Margaret again. I'm doing the gusset on the first. At least I'm knitting again. Titania (Serena's new cat) thinks the yarn looks to be a wonderful toy. Tora-chan lived with us long enough to know better. She looks at it a bit longingly from time to time, then moves away. Smart cat. wink Don't get between me and the yarn! Titania also thinks the new bamboo needles I bought are fascinating. It is unfortunate that my first reaction to her is always "MINE" instead of "NO!" sigh What does that say about me? Or should we not go there?

I am finding that I really love
Knitpicks Options double point needles. Looking at the site to give you the link, I see that they have increased the size range. When they first came out, the needles were only available up to size 3. Now the metal ones go up to size 11! I am finding that the 2 sets of size 0 just aren't enough for me, as I want them for both pairs of socks that I'm working on, and they just don't stretch that far. So I have 2 of those needles on one sock, 3 on another... I supplement them with the Inox grey double points, which were my favorite until I chanced on the Options.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I am on the phone waiting to hear if my plane ticket change went through. They were supposed to call me back in 5 minutes -- two hours ago. Small detail, I'm sure, but since I've also not gotten an e-mail confirmation, it is worrisome.

Serena now has an appointment for her eye surgery on Wednesday Next Week. So, I've been on the phone this morning trying to make changes --of course next week is the one week when I really had things scheduled. Oh well, she is worth it. I'm not that fond of the dentist anyway! And no, the surgery is not with the same group. Let's not go there in this discussion. She is going to write a letter of complaint.

I did manage to turn a heel yesterday while waiting at the doctor office. So I'm doing a bit of knitting. I THINK I'm going to try to start her sweater today. Or something. I seem to be in the middle of project dithering. So many things to start!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Well, I flew out here so Serena could have Lasik surgery. It was scheduled for today, with yesterday a pre-op appointment. We got there, and they announced that her appointment had been cancelled in OCTOBER and hadn't let her know. So, she can have surgery next week, if she wants. As the doctor only operates on Tuesdays, and they don't have room for her. I'm flying home Friday! We are not happy campers. Nathan suggested she call someone else, she has an appointment with them this afternoon. We don't know if she can have it done while I'm still here or not. This is not amusing.

Tora-chan, the cat that has owned Serena the longest has decided that I am an acceptable substitute for Serena while she is gone. As soon as she gets home, of course, all attention reverts to her original slave. As it is, I have had a cat on my shoulders or my lap off and on today. Nice, as the computer area is COLD!

I had to frog about 3 inches of lace-weight knitting yesterday, I dropped a stitch and couldn't get it to correct. sigh RIP!

We drove by the new location for the scrapbook/yarn store Sunday it was closed. No problem, it was open yesterday, so I bought the size 9 double points I need to start Serena's sweater. I also bought 2 skeins of sock yarn that called my name and 1 skein of Paton's Soy Silk that wants to be a camera cozy, to protect it while it is in my purse. Gee, and we didn't take a lot of time there. LOL She has just started carrying yarn, but had a nice collection. Interesting, she has the yarn in color groups, instead of yarn types. Makes it easy to blend yarns of the same color group. A little harder to see what she has in any particular yarn. Not a problem, I'm sure one can ask as well as look. It is a very pretty display.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Well, here I am in Colorado, with wonderful scenery all around. This morning, while drinking my tea, a hawk flew into the tree right outside the window. Wow! So close I could see the markings on the feathers! Outside is white, white, white, as there has been 85 inches of snow here since Christmas. A lot of it has melted, but Friday's snow as I arrived certainly is around! Last night we had high winds, but the only affects I see are a lot of pine needles on the ground, and some small branches. Whew! As they were predicting 100 mph winds, I think we were very lucky.

I'm going to see if I can get a ride to the knitting group here Thursday morning. Still working on that. It would be fun.

Speaking of snow, we weren't able to get to the Brown Sheep Outlet Friday, the roads didn't have great visibility in Denver, and we worried about the open stretches up to Nebraska. Perhaps as well, we were rear-ended as we left the freeway to go to Barnes and Noble. Serena stopped at a light, the person behind didn't. Serena had some bumper damage, the person behind creased her license plate severely. We were all very lucky! The roads were icy in many areas.

Not much knitting accomplished, I've been wheezy. First time that has happened when I'm here. Usually I'm so much better here. pout

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Here is that lace sampler blocked. Gorgeous, isn't it!

I hate packing. I just wanted to state this. I think I have almost everything in that I need for 10 days, but who knows? I'll find out the hard way, I guess.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

An interesting phone call

I received a phone call today from a teacher in the town south of us. She is teaching several groups to knit, and needs help now that they have progressed beyond basic scarves. I've been asked to come teach the oldest of the groups, who will in turn teach the younger groups. The students started this as enrichment, and are eager to progess. They have mentioned mittens, sweaters and hats to her as their next projects. She would like to improve her skills as well. This should be fun! We will meet after I get back from visiting Serena next week. Right now we've tentatively scheduled once a week for a while, for about 40 minutes a time. Fiber Enablers R Us!

I may not be able to post pictures for the next little bit, unless I can persuade Serena to take them for me. We'll see. I will take my camera with me, and upload photos when I get home. After all, I'm visiting my daughter and her two cats! There should be SOME photos!

Secret Pal 9

Wow, I received the most marvellous box from my Secret Pal 9 partner -- Kitman. Just look at the goodies! Please forgive the angora fuzz from my sweater. I got cold, and put it on, didn't think my camera would find it. You know how angora fuzz gets EVERYWHERE, don't you? LOL

There are 5 skeins of a Ella Rae Classic wool in a gorgeous warm taupe. I've not seen this yarn before. There are 219 yards per 100 gr. skein, I'd call it a worsted weight. I'm thinking vest for me.

Two wonderful organza butterflies. Just perfect for adding a certain "whee!" to the room. Right now they are decorating my bulletin board, I'm sure they will fly to other places in the house. One bronze, the other is silver.

There are 4 fun stitch markers, metal with enamel flowers. They have a little something inside to make them jingle. So fun!

Jan Eaton's "Knitted Lace". Maybe Kitman and I can work on one of these projects at the same time? She makes the most beautiful lace.

3 packages of Altoids Cinnamon Gum. This is one of the few candies I've found that does NOT have corn or soy. Yay!

Thank you so much, Kitman!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Lace Sampling

I'm sampling lace right now, and am falling in love with Jaggerspun Zephyr again. This stuff is like butter to the hand! The stitch definition! Yum! This is an unblocked sample, in Pewter. It will be even nicer once it is blocked! I find that I am seriously craving some of the newish DK weight to knit up in a sweater for ME! As someone who is perpetually cold in winter, I think it would be lovely.

Speaking of being cold, I have to share a laugh at myself. I have been having what I thought were hot flashes at night -- my legs would get so warm! and then I would cool off. I had a hysterectomy in 2001 but I still retain my ovaries. So I don't really know where I am hormone-wise -- whether the ovaries are still producing or not. Hm, need to ask my sister where she is in the process! Anyway, last night I tossed off the comforter the OTHER direction, onto the floor. I didn't have a single "hot flash!" I looked, the comforter had landed on the heat register. The "hot flashes" were from when the furnace was running, blowing warm air on me! LOL I need to come up with a neater way of blocking the air, so I can get a good night's sleep!