Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Turtle Found Over-Drive

Poor Hemi looks tired out from helping me work on my Secret of the Stole. Here I've been back and forth from Hint 3 into Hint 4 and so on far too many times. The cool thing is that just a few weeks ago, I wouldn't have noticed my errors. Worse? I wouldn't have bothered to "fix em". I just would have incorporated em into the project and thought of em as my own interpretation of the design. I know better now and I care much more about how I re-create someone else's hard work and creativity.
I had myself a little knitting marathon yesterday and did all of Hint 5 in one sitting. It was so cool! I started knitting to a tempo in my head and didn't stop! No mistakes either; at one point I looked down and said to myself "Whoa there Cowgirl...how about a lifeline?" I hadn't even bothered to move a lifeline for 20 some rows. How cool is that?!? A totally bright (and I'm sure - rare) moment in my knitting life that I'll remember for a long time.
Bet you love seeing my messy office/dining room behind the ladder, huh? And I'm such a Goober...I wanted a wooden ladder so as to push pins into it to hang the Stole on...and I grabbed the super-tall orchard ladder! It just barely opens in the kitchen. It's blowing a gale outside and rainy off and on so I had no choice but to try this inside. It worked but golly, there's nothing like natural sunlight.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Friends Rock

So...my friend calls me yesterday and casually mentions that she'll send a bag of yarn home when the Old Man comes by. And THIS is that bag. It looks innocent enough. It's just a bag of yarn...right? But...that's an awfully big bag! Hmmm...peeking inside, there's a whole lot of varigated and rug yarn. Wonder what else is in there? With my friend Janet, there's no telling!
Wowsers! That's a whole lot of yarn! See, Janet helps manage a second-hand shop. The Owner buys abandoned storage units - blindly - so they never know what they're going to find when they start opening bags and boxes. And since we do fun things for each other, she knows to keep an eye out for yarn and needles for me. But this - THIS - is Wowser!
Even Sneakers the dog and Hemi the Siamese came over to see what all my excitement was about. Unfortunately, Sneakers sort of frightened Hemi with her barking but hey, I was barking too! Not only was there a whole bunch of non-allergenic machine-washable acrylic for charity projects, there was about 16 skeins of Aunt Lydia's Rug Yarn and a few balls of Peaches and Cream cotton too. OH...and remember the Welch's jelly glasses? There was one in there with Tom and Jerry on it! Thanks Janet!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Turtle Plods Steadily Onward

I got a few things done today...like setting up the canopy so I could split firewood in the rain without getting wet...like trying to learn how to pick and clean Dungeoness crab meat and then catching the dog scarfing down about a pound of it...and some knitting.
Yes, I finally finished Hint 3 of our Secret of the Stole KAL. This is one pretty piece of work and I can't wait to see what else designer Nautical Knitter has up her sleeve! And yes, when you look closely, you can see a few mistakes. I'm all good with them and I'll tell you why. As my first lace project, my first chart project, etc., etc., etc., I am learning SO much. Each mistake brings to mind something I learned, a new technique or a new method "of attack". Sooo...it's all good!
I'm going to have to remember to pin this out on a white towel next time. You can't see the detail very well and this is part of the Stole that I think I did pretty good on too! But the ladies over on the Yahoo Group are right...the longer it gets, the harder it is to photograph. Even standing on a chair...after moving a cat. I guess I'll just have to start getting creative. Well, it looks to be a quiet rainy night here in the NW so I might just get some done on Hint 4. Watch out now...the Turtle is catching up to the Tortoises who are chasing down the Rabbits!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Busy Couple of Days

I've had a busy couple of days. That's a good thing...boredom sucks. But honestly? I am seldom bored...there's just too much living to do! It's been a fibery few days for me...I got to visit our newest yarn shop: Apple Yarns, right in Bellingham. This shop is a MUST VISIT if you're in the area! Unfortunately, I tend to spend a wee bit of money every time I go but I've not been too awfully naughty! (Just a wee bit, really)( Seriously) (Well...)
And then I got to meet these ladies. Allow me to introduce Dolly, Daisy, her daughter Daffodil, Sumatra and Kahlua...Shetland ewes from a local farm. I also got to meet their Shepherdess; Betty, and I can only hope that when I am her age that I'm half as spunky as she is! I got an absolute score on 7 fleeces total...for a song! (More or less-lol) Now all I need is the time to start skirting, picking, scouring and spinning. Sigh. Cloning time anyone?!?
I spread out a 10 X 20 foot tarp and laid out the fleeces. The cats, whom you can see at the top of the pic, are not the least bit interested. I am really glad for this but it baffles me too. I know if I was a cat, I'd be all over this fluffy smelly stuff! Not mine though. Well, Freaky Kitty does like Alpaca but she has incredibly high standards. Even for a cat.
This is a close-up of young Daffodil's fleece. The sun was just setting so there's a wee bit of reddish tint to the pics but oh my! This is some soft fleece...especially for Shetland. (No hate mails please...I've had both soft and scratchy Shetland and THIS stuff is soft!) It's all fairly full of lanolin and VM so it's gonna take a bit of effort to clean up but hey, it's all good!
In knitting news, this is the start of a toe-up sock for my dear daughter. Green is her favorite color and this is Happy Forest from Dream In Color Yarn. The basic socks I was tussling with earlier are in a time-out, as is the hemp/cashmere beret. Like the pattern but that yarn - Grrr. And yes, this yarn is some of my recently acquired treasure from Apple Yarns. Smooshy...it really IS smooshy! Love it love it love it!
And of course, a blog entry would not be complete without an update on the Secret of the Stole KAL.Although this bears a remarkable resemblence to a bowl of cat yak, it really is my stole so far. It's (We? It and I?) are about 3/4 of the way through Hint 3. A bummer since Hint 5 came out this morning. Can you call me a Turtle? I can - I happened to glance at a clock while working on this earlier and it took me 10 or 11 minutes to knit one pattern row and one rest row. Whoa. That's slow. But I'm steady and so might even be caught up by next week's hint. Maybe. Hopefully. If I can ignore the blackberries and stay away from ditches.
And in bloggy news...Mrs. H (of the Outlaw Knitters and the new I Like Yarn podcast) released a new episode of her podcast today...and she awarded me her "Yarn Ball of Bloggy Excellence"! Woohoo! I've got it up already...over there on the side panel. It links to her podcast and you really should go listen...she's a neat gal and not only do I enjoy hearing about what her fun kids have been up to but she does one of the best book and pattern reviews around. She also started the Outlaw Knitters blog and Ravelry group. I'm an Outlaw Knitter and soon I'll have my snazzy new hoodie to show the world! Are you an Outlaw Knitter? Come to the blog, read and laugh then think about sharing a bit...we love knowing there's lots of us out there!
Now...life is good - it can be short so go tell someone you love them, take care of yourself and then knit something!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Helping Hand


We're all hearing about the wild fires in San Diego and of how many folks are losing their homes, their memories, everything. Offer a helping hand by joining me in making 8 inch squares to be joined with love into blankets for these people. Any machine-washable non-allergenic yarn (say...that Red Heart stuff in the back of your stash?) is perfect. It'll be quick, easy and while it makes you feel warm inside, you'll be helping make someone else feel warm all over. Check the Ravelry Group or go straight to their new blog San Diego Wild Fire Blankets here on blogspot.com. It's a good thing to do.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Better a Turtle Than a Frog

Sorry about the slightly blurry pic but it's the best Puddha Kitty and I could manage today. Yes, that's my Secret of the Stole he's sprawled on. And yes, he's making it clear to me that I've done enough on it for now. No matter that I'm only on row 201 and the next Hint is released tomorrow. No matter that I really was on a roll and wanted to keep going for a bit. But...he was probably right. I needed the "cat love" session more than I needed to reach a nearly impossible goal set by myself for myself. Aack, it's all good...I'll get there and maybe by next week, I'll even be caught up. (Snort) At least, maybe only if next week is a little better than this week has been.
Let's see...first there were the 5 days of headache/migraine (yes, it dances on that line called pain in my head and all because of that stupid neck and back injury). Then there were the DR appointments which resulted in a case of "we found some boob rocks"...again. Yippee. It was so much fun last time too. (Sigh) And to top things off is the "Cold from Hell" that my Dear Daughter graciously shared with me. The mass doses of echineacia and vitamins didn't even slow it down. (Sniff) Well, things could always get worse. At least the telephone folks came out - after 2 weeks - to look at the pole clipped neatly off at it's base by (I'm assuming) a drunk driver (either that or one lucky son of a bit#h). So I have a land-line telephone again but now I realize how quiet it was without the sales people calling.
In other knitting news...Janet (of the infamous "now she wants a poncho") stopped by last night, exclaimed with awe how lovely my stole is so I caved and told her how I had fought with 9 cast-ons to do one for her. Guess what. Now she wants it anyway. Good news is she'll wait for it. Bad news is she still wants a poncho too. Also, I've made progress on the Colorado Lynne sweater...finished the back and it's now resting comfortably on it's stitch holder in a new tote bag. I cast on the front earlier but only managed 2 rows before letting it rest. Gotta find my cable needles before I get the ribbing done and it should be smooth sailing from there. And that's all the news that's fit to print. For now anyway.