Monday, June 30, 2008

Domestic Goddess

I've been doing some cleaning around the house, but I've also been going through those weird bouts of agoraphobia. It's weird not having Will here during the week and having to drop-off/pick-up at football workouts. Sure he's been gone for a week or two at a time, but this is going to be all summer long.

I'm sure this will all change once I start the summer job on Thursday too.

I'm making progress on my Cascade Lizard Ridge blanket. I have eleven blocks done and I think I'll do a 4x5 blanket, so I'm over half way done now. I'll probably end up with lots of leftover Cascade 220 also. Which can be useful. I've been doing volunteer editor work with the two Eva Wiechmann books - Pursenalities and Pursenality Plus. So I'm developing a hankering for making another bag.

I have gone back to my 'Chic Shopping Bag' and made it usable. The i-cord handles didn't really work for it so I bought some leather ones from Jo-Ann's that work. I also used some of the red I bought for the CLR to do 'x' stitches up the corners, took some plastic canvas I had and some leftover brown felt to make a sturdier bottom. I'm tempted to get more and make some side supports for the ends so the bag will 'stand up' more. I just need to sew on the button and do a cord for it and could consider it 'done enough' to retake a picture and have it show up on the project page for it. I took it with me to Insomnia last week for Insomnia Group Knitting Thursday. It worked out great for hauling all my Cascade 220 for the CLR.

I'm still trying to do repeats on the Falling Water scarf. I've slipped on the one chart a day thing though so behind. These two are the projects I'm currently working on but they're both 'big' in that they are time consuming to complete. Then again I've just been doing quickie projects for a while so this is good for me.

The Knit Picks Cart is around $50 and my three books are on wait list until July 3. As soon as I get the green light on those, I can hopefully make the whole purchase, though there really is no rush on the books. The sale goes through the end of August.

All these bright colors has me hankering to pull out some fat quarters I have stashed for quilt blocks and make a couple new quilt covers for our bed. I'd use the old quilts that are starting to come apart (bought them from Meier & Frank for $25 a piece eight years ago - cheaply made) as filler, so they would almost be duvet covers, I guess? I'd do simple blocks that just do a cool color change across the landscape of the quilt. That's the style Brandon has said he prefers and I'm not really looking to do fancy piecework squares right now.

In other domestic news other than cleaning, I've been trying to do more things from scratch. Like potato salad. Lots of that because it's relatively easy to make and has satisfying results. Also goes along with the summer cooking on the BBQ of chicken, hamburgers, steaks and hot dogs.

We finally made it down to the Woodburn Factory Outlet Stores. Brandon was able to find pants (they only had 3 pairs of jeans in the whole store) to replace his jeans for work, and several nice work shirts at Columbia Outfitters. I found some tops and a nightgown at Lane Bryant as well as several new bras and underwear at the Leggs, Hanes, Bali store. Will who was the one who really wanted to go shopping at the Aeropostale store also scored with four shirts, two shorts and two jeans as well as a zipper t-shirt sweater. He's happy now.

Will surprised me with the thought of enlisting in the Air Force on the way down. That was a bit of a shocker. Not sure where it is all coming from, but I did spend a few minutes chatting online with someone from the Air Force last night. Still not thrilled with the idea but if it's what he ultimately wants to do, the Air Force is better than any other branch of the service right now. I'd of course try to make sure that he didn't end up doing something he hated. There's an enlisted position that he could go into that would help towards a nursing degree later and they do have a good schooling program if he could get into it. Of course the better option is just to go to school and then go in as an officer. We'll do more talking about all this, this upcoming weekend.

I'm off to make some homemade chili and cornbread for dinner...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Karma? Knitting & Yarn

So yesterday morning I save a baby blue bird. Yesterday afternoon, I was a participant in a Darwinism. On the way to go shopping at Winco I had a squirrel run out in front of the car. It would have been totally fine, if it hadn't stopped and panicked and turned back the way it came, stalled and then I don't know. I just kind of heard a little 'crunch' and looked back to see the body in the road way. Sigh. I guess something was meant to die and some weird karma said I had to be involved in it.

This afternoon I was able to get over to Insomnia to meet up with some other ladies in the Hillsboro area. Arica, Cindy and Alyssa were there all knitting when I arrived. Baby Cori sucking on her fist quietly went to sleep and didn't wake up until we were getting ready to leave. I brought along my Bobby Blue Falling Water Scarf to work on. I have been working on my Cascade Lizard Ridge but thought I should give myself a break and really didn't want to drag the HUGE bag of yarn cakes in with me.

I was able to concentrate and still contribute to the conversation but my knitting was definitely slow as I got back into the swing of lace. I finished a block tonight and started another one and then put it aside to spend more time on the scarf.

I did some more looking at the Knit Pick Sampler yarns I have and matched up a few with some socks. So stretching out the stash to queue compatibility. My Knit Pick shopping cart had increased and decreased. I took out some fixed circular needles because really do I want to learn out to knit two socks at one time on one circular needle? Not really. The patterns do look nice but I'd much rather make progress one sock at a time then fiddle around with the magic loop and trying to keep two skeins of yarn from making a knotted mess. I had a few books that are on my wish list and still have it hovering around $50. I think I have a gift certificate coming from Judy that will cover this. Crosses fingers....

I finally got the yarn dropped off from the swap at WWKIP at the Hillsboro Senior Center. I had a nice older gentleman, Jim, talk my ear off for forty-five minutes. Started out with asking about yarn that I might have for making chemo caps, he knits. Moved on to do I know how to cable knit? Yes, would I be willing to finish an afghan that was started by a lady who died before she finished it? Um, okay? It of course doesn't have a pattern to go along with it. I think it's also acrylic, I haven't looked closely at the yarn yet. I also have to figure out what cable she was using. There's enough yarn to complete the afghan. Jim also does wash clothes and keeps the pattern in his wallet. He talked my ear off about the joys of working for Trimet and thought that I would make an excellent driver for them. I'm broad in the beam and that says bus driver?

After making sure that I took some of their free bread, dropped off by Trader Joe's and giving me a bouquet of flowers, we headed our separate ways.

I now have an afghan to finish some how. Oh boy. :-)

I'm a Wizard - how cool

Your result for The What Middle Earth race do you belong to Test ...

You scored 0% Size & Strength, 82% Morality, 35% Aggression, and 88% Intelligence.

You scored high in morality and intelligence, but lower in physical strength and aggression, which means you're probably a Wizard. Counted among the very wise and (with that one exception) good creatures of Middle Earth are the Wizards, or Istari. Though they appear as old men, the Istari are actually powerful Maiar spirits sent from Valinor to Middle Earth to act as caretakers of the land and guides to men and beasts. Their supernatural heritage means they're also the only line of defense against rogue Maiar like Balrogs. Though only Gandalf, Saruman and Radagast are named through the novels, there are two other Wizards at large in Middle Earth, quietly working to bring tranquility to their surroundings. Your polar opposite is the Urûk-Hai.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

what happened?

First we had the whole graduation thing with family flying or coming by car or train to town. So had to spend time away from knitting and the computer dealing with all of that. Will's graduation went well! The All Night Grad Party also went well, they only have half of the pics up at SmugMug for viewing. Brandon and I also survived being up for 24 hours pretty well.

Then came the summer cold. I blame it on being outside a few times and getting chilled with no jacket on. It's still lingering though and Brandon has since caught it. Will said he did too but haven't seen him in a couple of days to really know how much its affecting him. I'd really like to get rid of the stuffy head and coughing.

Will's dad, Joe, got him a summer job. Since he doesn't have a car, he's staying with his dad Sunday through Thursday. He's working four days a week, $8 an hour and doing 10-12 hour shifts. So he'll have money for a car at the end of the summer for starting school. I miss him though. It's quiet without him being here.

Had an article in the Hillsboro Argus for World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKiP). I organized an event at the Streets of Tanasbourne and got The Knitting Bee to sponsor it. Jami is giving everyone who bought something at the Streets on that day a 15% discount with their receipt, plus she sent Trish along to hand out 'door prizes'. Lots of fabulous stuff was given out too! It was a beautiful sunny day. I remembered to put sunscreen everywhere but on my chest. It's still glowing bright red four days later, but starting to peel too.

Camille and I popped over to Kabira's HUGE Destash Sale after the WWKip. I left with $40 of yarn. Some pink alpaca that will work up well into that Breast Cancer Awareness scarf mentioned in another post. Some mohair that will make a lovely shawl and a skein of handpainted Australian Wool that I think will also make a lovely scarf. We also found the Yarn Garden where Camille was unable to resist some sale yarn. Lots of yarn there.

I started a scarf during all this, but it's in lace on size 5 needles. The cool thing is that I found a 'star' or 'flower' in the bottom of the Malabrigo Lace yarn cake. Others have reported similar sightings in their lace yarn. Haven't seen it in the worsted. I was able to get one chart done before setting this project aside. I opted to work on my Cascade Lizard Ridge for my WWKiP day and got a few cakes from Tammy (LavenderKnits), and then bought six more skeins using my 15% discount on my birthday the next day. I went from having one block completed and starting another just before the event to now having four blocks done and starting a fifth. So I'll try to keep a block going along and see how fast I can get it done or switch out between projects. The fingerless gloves are on hold for awhile. Just can't work up the enthusiasm for them.

For my birthday, we went to return the items the lady at Macy's sold Brandon, then he insisted that he wanted to buy me clothes that day so we went down to Lane Bryant and found some tops and a nice summer dress. From there we went to the Knitting Bee. I picked up the Cascade 220 for the blanket and also the Tulips Sweater Kit for Keri's baby due in October. We headed to the Pittock Mansion and toured the house before walking the grounds. Brandon has some pictures that still need to be ran through a photo app before they get posted. Then we stopped down on NW 23rd at the Cost Plus and a few shops there before I absolutely wilted. All the sun from the day before was just wiping me out.

I hope to get to Insomnia for knitting on Thursday with the Hillsboro group. Put more faces with names that were there on Saturday but just blurred on me.

Saved a fledgling blue bird this morning. I was hearing this weird sound out back and couldn't see it from the window sitting in my computer chair so got up to look around further. Spotted a bird on the fence but couldn't figure out what it's problem was until I watched a bit. Then it became apparent that it had a body part stuck between the slats of the fence. So I went and got a bath towel and shoes. Up close I could see that it was fresh out of the nest and learning to fly as it still had down on it's chest but feathers on wings and that it had been parents trying to help free their baby from the fence. I wrapped it up in the towel and just tried to slide up, but had to hold on to it's leg and get it loose first. Then once free of the slats I just unwrapped and tilted over the backside of the fence. Since Norbert and Nessa were willing to 'help' the bird too, I figured it was safest for it to recover without their help on the other side of the fence. I haven't heard anything further from it, so will assume its either dead or alive and learned a lesson.

There we are! All caught up with most of the action.

Monday, June 2, 2008

possible new knitter created

I was at Hilhi today and the last class of the day for me was Ceramics. We were sitting at a different table because the teacher planned to do a polymer face mask demo and had commandeered the table we usually sit at. No problem, I can read at that table as easily as any other. This table though I was able to chat with two young ladies that were much more friendly than the other table.

After talking about ceramics, I brought up that I'm a fiber artist (the teacher had previously had a discussion that there are many different types of 'artists' on a different day that I had subbed for this person). One young lady was talking about how she wanted to save up for a kiln (I'd love one too along with a potter's wheel) and I commented back that I'd love for a spinning wheel.

This got her thinking and talking. So I told her about how to make yarn. She seemed curious by the process. Then mentioned that she had tried to knit and that she hadn't really cared for it. I said that she probably had started on the worst possible project for a new knitter - a long boring scarf. Look of amazement. She then asked what I would suggest. I scrambled and thought about what teen girls like and came up with felted bags - totes, backpacks, purses. She was very intrigued by that thought. I stressed that she had to buy 100% wool if she was going to go to JoAnn's or Michael's like she mentioned to get some yarn. I did say that she could add fun fur if she wanted but that she had to use the 100% wool to get the felting action.

I'm not positive that she will have gone to get supplies this afternoon but maybe she'll think about it over the summer and explore further. I can only hope that I get to sub there again before the end of school and find out.

weeds, reading, knitting, school

So Brandon and I took advantage of the overcast skies this weekend to get some serious weeding done in the backyard. The previous days of such weather had caused an overgrowth in grass and other weeds since the last time through and areas that didn't get hit the first time were really lush with the pesky buggers.

One problem we also have is the hazelnut (filbert) orchard behind us. It has rampant blackberry vines trying to encroach upon our property and we have to keep hacking them back. We have maybe another year before this is no longer a problem and they start building monstrosities behind us in the forms of those two store housing developments they are fond of creating. (side note: must get better paying job so we can afford to buy a minimum of two acres with neighbors at least that far away.)

There's one section under one of the apple trees that did not receive some attention. It also is housing a HUGE rhubarb that Brandon says he needs to cut back. It's his plant to play with so I don't ask. I just make it into a pie with strawberries or raspberries. We also may have lost the apricot. It just has not done well in the two years that it has been in. We'll give it another year to see if it can rebound but don't have high hopes for it.

I let Brandon do what he's been wanting to do for the last six years, rip out the roses and not relocate them anywhere in the yard. I still have some roses, wild ones in the front yard. The ones in the back were in a bad place where I couldn't see them and so were neglected. Easier to just have him clean the area out and we'll figure out something else to do with that spot.

I finished another book, Embrace the Night, this weekend and started another that I've had in my 'to be read' pile for at least six months since it has a 2007 publishing date. I have a few coming from the library but hope to get some more reading in. Still need to read those pesky dog books - after school gets out.

Knitting - I made a new black scalloped choker necklace and this version came out perfectly following the directions. It helped that I had my uber bright light shining down over my shoulder to see all the stitches clearly. I worked on it while watching movies from the library - Catch & Release I think. I worked more on the fingerless gloves but have hit the stumbling block again with the pattern directions. I was watching Georgia Rule while working on those.

We watched Beowulf as a family Sunday night and the only project that I had going was my Peace of Mind shawl and I didn't want to worry about losing count of stitches with it.

I need to pick up some pink yarn tomorrow early, so I can try to whip out a Breast Cancer Awareness scarf I found on Ravelry. Think I can have it done either by Thursday or Friday night? I have a couple hours of possible knitting time for sure Wednesday night for the Track Banquet.

School - there's only 7.5 more days left. I'm not working on Friday, so that leaves me 6 working days left of the school year. I'm not sure I want to sub next year.