Friday, October 30, 2009

And one more to go....

(With apologies for the photographs....we've had incessant rain here in southeast Michigan.)
Here's the first wrist warmer of the pair:


The yarn is Mini Mochi in color #113.  The pattern is from Wrist Warmer Pattern Generator (Ravelry link).  The bag is a little gift bag recieved from the Bourbon Heritage Center during the trip mentioned in this post. It's the perfect size for this small project and is seasonally appropriate.

And below is the Queen Silvia shawl last blogged about here.

One more pattern repeat and then it's time to pick up all those stitches around the edge.  (A task that might just send me over the edge!)

The wrist warmers are easy to knit while reading.  Am currently reading The Girl Who Played With Fire  and Three Day Road (with thanks to Shan for the recommendation.

The lace shawl doesn't allow for reading while knitting, so it is reserved for tv, audiobooks or podcasts.

Finally some threadwork is getting done.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Last night I woke in the middle of the night in a cold sweat with the realization that in two months it will be Christmas.  It was like a twisted version of Scrooge's visit from Marley's ghost.  Instead of floating back through time to wonderful, romantic, cozy Christmases, I was taken back through the last four years of Christmas as I experienced them.  In reality, none of them were pretty.

This was the lead up to Christmas 2005, which involved multiple flat tires, a traffic ticket, keys lost in a drop box requiring another encounter with the police and a gnomelike locksmith. We followed that up with a 1,645 mile road trip to collect the three of us up and get us to family visits in Pa.

Christmas 2006 brought 8 inlaw house guests and one flu virus for 3 days.  Need I say more?

Christmas 2007 brought a miserable chest cold and another devastating family experience that I won't share on the blog since I'm just a bit player in that drama.  Trust me, it was tough going.

Christmas 2008 brought its own fresh hell of 12" of snow, high winds, and four days with no electricity, running water, or heat.  Need I remind you that these are the darkest, shortest, coldest days of the year?

I do tend to think that most experiences are what you make of them.  But people, read that list....there is no "MERRY" in there.

So while many of you may be selecting greeting cards.  Or perhaps you are busily knitting away on some cherished gift for a loved one.  As you start baking cookies and thinking about gift wrap.  And as you twine those evergreens into wreaths and pull out the holly-berry candles......

I will most likely be:
  • checking the spare tire.
  • stocking up on nonperishable pantry items.
  • getting in a store of drinking water...and some extra to flush toilets.
  • doing an inventory of batteries, flashlights, and candles.
  • checking the supply of Immodium and Tamiflu
  • making sure there is kerosene for the kerosene heater and wood for the fireplace.
In other words....it'll be more like preparation for an apocalypse.

So there you go....that's my story and I'm stuck with it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Truth Is....

there's another reason I love October. We usually plan a little get away in October to do some sight seeing, and enjoy the country side after the summer people have packed up and gone home. Here's a little window on where we've been:

The first stop was Pleasant Hill, Kentucky  where they were holding a Dry Stone Conservancy competition upon our arrival. It was a bit damp, cloudy, and windy for that. So no pictures. Visit the link and use your imagination.

This photo is the quintessential photo from Pleasant Hill.  It is one of twin staircases in the administration building.:


There was a little textile related acquisition:

The author is Mary Elva Erf, who has taught in our area several times, but never when I could attend. If you'd like a copy it can be purchased here. Note that the book comes with a small handwoven sample shown in the photo.

And even though alpaca were not living in the U.S. in the time of the Shakers, I did acquire some baby alpaca top from the village store.  (Period authenticity is over rated.):


From there, we were off to the National Corvette Museum for a morning of poking around and lunch in their 1950's era cafe.

Further up the road (heading north again) we visited Mammoth Cave National Park. It was surprisingly busy for this time of year, then I realized that Ken Burn's special just ran on PBS. Being a National Park, federal safety guidelines apply. So going into the cave was a bit like getting on an airplane, only slightly more relaxed (no x-rays, and you can keep your shoes on). For that reason, we dispensed with the cameras since they came in camera bags. Sorry, no pictures because of that. We did hike both underground and on the surface. Beautiful area that I wouldn't mind going back to one day.

From there we headed north again to commence our travels along the Bourbon Trail:


The above photo is from Woodford Reserve....my favorite stop along the tour.  Maybe it was because we had the very personal "Corn to Cork" tour, led by a retired state trooper.

Eight distilleries in four days, with a tour of the Independent Stave Company tossed in to complete the measure.  We got our "passport" stamped at each distillery, qualifiing us to get T-shirts.  So now I can really say: "Been there, done that, got the Tshirt."!  Neither dh or I are bourbon drinkers, but the tours were fun and informative.

And now, I'm home relaxing, just like Mr. Noe in the photo above.

Yeah..right...there are gardens to clean out, windows to wash, not to mention "Laundry Mountain" to be tunneled through.

Oh...and the Big Project of new roof, siding, gutters & downspouts is just about done. Just waiting for the final walk through and writing a big check.

Friday, October 09, 2009

I've said it before

And I'll say it again:  I love October

After months of awful news we finally get the Nobel announcements and the Supreme Court (with a new judge!) deliberating in a nuanced way.  I can once again turn on the news.

And this morning this.

From the article:
As to whether the prize was given too early in Mr. Obama’s presidency, he (Mr. Jagland) said: “We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future but for what he has done in the previous year. We would hope this will enhance what he is trying to do.”
To me, the most important word in that quote is hope.  Something we have sorely needed for a long time.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Health and Beauty Tip

Do not keep the collagen filler eye cream and the hemorrhoid cream on the same bathroom shelf.

Unless, of course, you think you might go for that "eyes sunk into the back of your head" look.

Thank heavens my new glasses came in this afternoon!

Turkish Delight

From time to time Wanda and I have exchanged messages.  Sometimes by commenting on one another's blog.  Other times by email.  And occasionally by snail mail.  Always I stop by their business, Jenkins Woodworking and have a look around.  The link is to the page where I've always stopped and thought, "I need to get me one of those."

Well, time passed and nothing changed, then Syne did a post about Yarn Turtles. And once again I thought, "I need to get me one of those."   Then procrastination quickly set in again.  So Syne posted again.  Finally I sprang to action and emailed Wanda.

In a very short time this arrived:



Not only did she send my beloved .9 oz. Red Heart (wood, not the acrylic yarn!) Turkish Spindle, but she tucked in a hand dyed silk hanky, a sample of Optim fiber, and a nice portion of Indian tea w/ cardamom (not pictured here).  Everything was neatly packaged in tissue and tied up with bits and samples of handspun yarn. 

The film canister in the above picture is to give you an idea of how tiny this little delight is. 

I swear that Ed is coming very close to creating a perpetual motion machine, because this thing spins forever.  And since I love to spin fine yarns for lace and for weaving, it is just the spindle for me:

 
So, no sooner do I get started with this wonder than Wanda posted that Ed has come up with an even tinier creation .   She has a contest going, and some lucky person is going to win one. Wait...why am I telling you this?  Pick me!  Pick me!!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Quick Update and Shoulder Stand Panorama...

1. I broke my glasses on Wednesday. Got up in the moring, picked them up and they were in two pieces. Can you wear out your glasses? Was able to get an opthalmologist appt. on Thursday and spent most of the day arranging to get replacement glasses.

2. My new Jenkins Turkish Delight spindle arrived yesterday. I'm in love! Will post about that with photo's later.

Meanwhile, here's something to entertain you:

Umag Asanas At Sunset in Istria
 If you make it full screen, you can play around with it for all different sorts of views.  Plus there are more panoramic photo's to select.  Very entertaining.....if one is easily amused (like me).