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Monday, March 2, 2015

Don't worry folks

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We've had a death in the family and between running ourselves and three dogs back to Wyoming for a funeral, and coming back to jump right back into work and what not  I haven't gotten around to writing a real blog post. I promise as soon as we recover a bit from 6 days of being out of town with three dogs and 4 of those being long days on the road, I'll be back.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I swear it's not what it looks like


However, If I didn't know that I planted a chestnut, I would swear I'm growing something "more".


I was all excited this last week when the chestnut that I had kind of given up on, decided to finally sprout. Then I forgot about it up in the loom room until I went to water it the other day and took one look at those leaves and said, "WUHT?" I sniffed it gently, then went online to look at chestnuts to realize that yes, they have jagged slender leaves that grow in groups of five. As an adult, it doesn't look near as close as the leaves get very long, but as a young plant, I thought I had accidentally started a cannabis crop though I know the difference between those two seeds. Don't ask, and I won't tell people, but I do. You glean all kinds of information when you date IT dork pot heads... Much of it useful computer stuff to know. Some of it, not normally useful, but hey, I know it was a chestnut seed.


It's been a pretty quiet week with working everyday except today this week. We have had a touch more snow, and I lucked out and got some quick shot this morning of cardinals!


I still hope for better shots, but these are the best so far I think.


To bad these were through either screened windows, or ones glaring so bad I had to chop pieces of it out.


Last ngiht I sat down with the Fox Paws pattern, and did some heavy cussing, tearing back, but it's back on track, and only one more row past where you last saw it so I won't be sharing that with you.


That being all the knitting I did, might be why I feel edgy. Perhaps I needs some sticks and string therapy this afternoon? Yes... But first I must walk the boys again. They'll appreciate it though my stiff sore knees won't.  I'm too young to feel this dang old and creaky, but I do. Yesterday my knees were throbbing bad enough post walk to make me take an Aleve which I rarely do as they're hard on my stomach. I waited until I had a full dinner and I think it helped me sleep the best I have all week.


But enough whining. I did get time to spin this week. I finished up this 100% Polwarth.


I have a local knitting friend that I'm hoping likes it as I spun it thinking I would give it to her for her Christmas 2015 hat knitting projects. She's been looking for self striping yarn, and this is n-pled specifically to self stripe. Fingers crossed, it works for her.

And that's all I got this week guys. Told you, I've been working to much. Wish I could have snapped a picture of the Ring Necked Pheasant that was on the side of the road as I was getting home last night but as soon as it saw me step out of the trees it was off.

If anyone downloaded the Here Be Water Dragons pattern, be aware a major mistake was found this week form rows 63-99. It is now corrected, as well as the patterns pictures were compressed to make a smaller and easier download, and a small formatting error I caught today were corrected.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Taking a break to bring you a post

Taking a Break?!? "From What?" I hear you gasp. From Fox Paws...


Fox What? It's this little pattern a few of us crazy knitter folk have dove into. I have a chunk done, but not without some erstwhile cursing let me tell you. It is not an easy pattern and it is definitely not "brainless" knitting that can be taken to the movie theater. Oh no... It's pushing my limits at times to even have my audio book playing while working on it. The Guy thinks it's funny that when he speaks to me, I have to mentally and physically come to a stop, note my spot, turn off the book and make eye contact with him before telling him to repeat himself. That is not how I normally am. I often multi-task my knitting. I can chat, listen to a book or watch a movie, I've even been known to perhaps walk from room to room with it so as not to have to put it down. But this pattern...


See that blue row that works in out of the work there? That's actually two rows of knitting, and that my dears, is 4 hours of work. Yes, four hours. And I am not, a slow knitter. I'm not grease lightening by any means, but I'm not a sloth either. It took me that long because Xandy Peters is a sadistic creature amazing knitter and designer who dreamt up this brocade looking piece using just increases and decreases that requires you to pay complete attention to what your doing. And let's face it, I wasn't far enough into the work to really "see" what I was doing yet. But once I got this mind f*ing tortuous brain puzzle incredible wondrous series of stitches down into that strange little geometric part of my brain that said, "ahhhh, see, there it is" It was a breeze. Fingers crossed, I can fly from here. I know, that sounds like I just cursed myself, but I did make a goof later, found it two rows later and was able to fix it without tearing back, so I'm hoping I'm on track. Well, besides that little fact that forgot to read the actual color change chart, but we are omitting that little fact, and I'm going to just make it up as I go. Why should this piece be any different than any others? I'm sure Ms. Peters had a really good reason for her color sequencing, but I'm choosing to ignore that at this point, okay? Just let me have my delusions and I won't take pictures of the dogs huddling in fear as I explode at my own stupidity down the road. Deal?

Let's face it, when the Yarn Harlot herself has moments like these, I should have realized I was in for it.


I shouldn't really say I'm taking a break, as it's noon and I'm still in my laze about clothes. You see, we're finally getting our snow! That picture above doesn't truly show it very well, but we have thin dry snow being blown in by a chilly north wind. the wind, isn't new. It's been hanging around since Thursday. Don't judge me about the laze about clothes, I did change enough to do the first round of shoveling.


I thought these Ice Fishers were insane standing out on the lake in Caledonia on Friday. It was actually in the high 20's but the breeze ripping off the lake was frigid feeling. I was glad I was walking and throwing the frisbee so I could stay a bit warm.


Wednesday night, Thursday morning we got rain, then snow, then it warmed up a bit before the wind kicked on later in the day so the snow though not deep, got a great crust on it that allowed for the dogs to run and play. Not quite thick enough for some daring jumps and catches, but thick enough to run and goof off.



It was cold enough to make my hands hurt trying to get this shot. Not a great video, but they had fun.


I know, I'm talking to Wyomingites about wind... It's not that bad, but it's not fun either. And keep in mind, down here at 800 feet above sea level, we have more air to move, even if at lower speeds so it still sucks. Thank goodness it's not daily.


Friday night we went to see American Sniper. I had seen that there was a lot of criticism and had read an article here and there about it and didn't have any real feelings one way or the other about it. Know, I'm not going to have a moral discussion about the role of snipers. Sorry, not going there. AS for the movie, it was interesting. I wouldn't say it was "good". Like that movie August: Osage County, I think it has an impact, but I would not call the movie good or bad. I think the story was interesting and should be told, but I wouldn't buy the movie to watch again.

As far as performance, I would have to say, it's probably the best performance I've seen out of Bradley Cooper. I'm not a big fan of his career, but he did a good job. An off camera performance I had to think about though was from the Director himself. I was struck as we were leaving that for an actor that often played glorified gritty war roles in his young career, as a director and writer, he certainly doesn't glorify it. I think Mr Eastwood openly looks at the affects war has on not only those that wage it, but those that are both present but not active in it, and those that are not present to the actual violence of the war. So, all in all, I think there was a social commentary being made by the film that is being overlooked by some, but we all bring our own thoughts to such a movie when we watch such a story.

There was definitely an impact by the film. When it came to a close, there wasn't the mad rush to be first out of the theater like there normally is. It was the first truly crowded movie we had gone to since we moved here, but there was a bit of a stunned silence as the closing credits ran with the photos at the end of the feature. There was a scattering of applause, which I'm sorry, frankly felt odd. Applause is for a live presentation that you are showing your appreciation to the performers, not a film. Those, I believe were the people that walked away feeling like the film portrayed a righteous American hero. I don't think it did the film that either nor was intended to, but I was struck by the fact that everyone seemed to be moved in some way at the end. Maybe even a bit stunned as there was that lack of normal post film movement.

I myself was stunned during the film by the emotion evoked by the scenes of the twin towers coming down again. It's been over a decade and just seeing those smoking towers on television though I was a continent away in Anchorage working a n ICU night shift when it occurred, causes a new sense of grief and loss every time. I find that I steer clear of things about it. Whether a television special, an anniversary newscast regarding it, or publications speaking of it. Yes, I knew someone who was at the Pentagon when it occurred that was uninjured, I have met people that were present in New York, but that is as close as I myself was personally affected, yet I still shy away from it. I haven't truly thought of it until the scene in the movie where it shows the newscast from New York in their home in San Diego and I still felt that inner cringe away from it. I think it was how my Mothers Generation felt about the John F. Kennedy assassination. I remember seeing not only my mother but others her age turn away from new casts and television shows that discussed it. Some with a look of grief on their faces. There are some things that shape not only our own psych, but that of an entire nation when they occur and I think both of these were such events.

Now that I've gotten way to deep on you all, let us discuss other things... Weather, check. Knitting, check, Emotional Scarring, check. Oh yes, spinning.


I got the stuff I showed you last week done.


I'm still not sure what I think about its colors.They were fun in the braid, but spun up, I just don't know.


I guess it all depends on the light. I love them downstairs in the shadowy basement. I wonder what that says about my mental processes and status? Hmmmm.

Okay, I've just been notified by The Guy that the dogs are somehow waiting for me to take them for another walk. So, I guess I best get to it. I really wish I would have got a picture of Emmitt hiding in the bath tub when we got home from the movie because he was a bbbbaaaaaaaad daaaawwwg. He really didn't want to go to the crate and felt the bathtub was a suitable alternative. Silly mutt.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Please Don't Yell...

I doubt there's any readers still around to yell with such a long break between posts. But I do come bearing gifts! Yay!


What kind of gifts? First, lots and lots of pictures. I promise. Did I mention for Christmas I got a new camera? I have taken it out and played with it a few times.


It's funny how different a new camera can be from the old one of the same make and slightly different model, isn't it? I have got a lot of playing to do but it's so nice to have a camera that focus's again!


Well, sorta... Okay, so maybe there's a learning curve here.


As you can see, we got snow! Not much, but snow it is.


Most of it is gone already from our couple of warm days this last week, but there's supposedly more on the way, so fingers crossed. Still, not enough to get the skis out in the park, but I have high hopes.


Ever wonder what dog hair is good for? Especially long shaggy coats?


As it turns out, it's nice for snapping pictures of snowflakes.


Who knew?


Tucker helped me out the other day as we were coming in from a walk. His coat was already cold so the flakes didn't melt as they hit him and I snapped a few with my phone.


Then I had to get busy making The Guy his dinner.


Homemade Chicken Pot Pie!


Sorry, no recipe for this yet. I once again added a bit too much celery seed to my mix so I need to tinker with this one before sharing it, but I will. I promise.


Speaking of recipes to tinker share... Find this one here at the Brown Eyed Baker. She's wonderful. they take a bit of time so either get up REALLY early like I did, or make them up before hand and pop them in the fridge.


With all the new snowfall and then sunny days, we've seen the Michigan wildlife, or proof of their existence around the house. I found these tracks looking like they were hunting up squirrels in our pine trees along the drive. Lets pray it's not skunk...


And speaking of squirrels. We have a silly one I've seen doing a lap of our back yard a few times. He runs in here from the West, across the deck, over the wood pile, to the east fence line, through it an up the far side to the north. I guess it's his daily territory boundary run. He's always fast and on the move when I see him doing it, but I've seen him run it several times always in the same manner and direction. The Guy thinks he's using the fence as cover from swooping birds of prey, which he may very well be. Makes sense to me limiting the way then can attack from either straight down or in from two sides instead of four.


And then there's the birds... Caught this Red Bellied Woodpecker at the suet the other day. Ran up to get the camera when I saw him and the Downey Woodpecker on the feeder together but missed my chance at the smaller one never came back.




Then there's the numerous Tufted Titmice. Let's face it, that's just fun to say...


I think these are Dark-Eyed Junco's. See them from time to time, though not daily and I need to look them up.


Also, one of our many resident nut hatches. These guys are warming up to our presence though still quite shy when we move about or make much noise.





I finally got a good picture of one of these guys!


I've been trying to get a jay as long as I've been working on getting a cardinal picture. At last, there were no cardinals at the feeders on the day I got these, but I have high hopes with the new camera I can get a shot of them finally.

And what else have I been doing in my absence? Well, there's been a bit of knitting. Okay, a lot of knitting, it is the cold months after all, no?


I shared a peek at this item before I believe the last time I posted. Lets not discuss how long ago that was, shall we?


I saw a woman wearing a similar scarf that just kind of sang to me. She thought she bought it somplace like Marshal's or TJ Max. I came home and I looked through some things to see if I could find a pattern for such a thing. I found a lot of things similar, but not quite what I wanted.


The one item I found' was a bit pricey for the pattern and I thought, "screw it, you're going to change the pattern to suit your needs anyway, so you might as well just make your own up."


So I did. 


And I actually wrote it down! To share!


Holy Smokes Batman! I am not charging for this, because, well I'm not a designer. There are probably issues, so feel free to share them with me. As you notice, there's no picture of this piece actually being worn. Betsy, congratulations, it's yours and I'll be mailing it soon, but I need someone to model it, just for one shot. I'd be willing to do some face editing... Just saying. Why is it Betsy's? Because from the point of casting it on, the pattern and the yarn screamed her name to me. Don't be jealous.

So, where can you get this? Here, of course! It's in PDF format so hopefully it's usable on all kinds of devices. I even hope to throw it up on Ravelry soon too.

Oh, I also have something else. What else? Another pattern...

This pic isn't on the pattern, I just liked the sun effect that was present in it and saved it for the blog.
I know! I went kind of crazy lately, feeling a little stuck I guess so the creative mental diarrhea started up... Luckily for everyone else, I wrote it down.


I've been needing a more neutral hat to go with all my jackets. And this is what I came up with. Who needs a pattern for a hat?!? A lot of people I guess because people always ask me for them when I throw one together.


This is just a nice simple masculine hat with a simple wedge stitch pattern and a gradient color change. Most guys I hope wouldn't balk at wearing such a hat. If they do, then they don't deserve little piece of hand knit love. Screw's.

And who get's this one? Me! Sorry guys, this was an item that was all about me. See how I play? But you can go here and knit yourself or that fella in your life one too...

Again, it's in a pdf format and I hope to add it to Ravelry later.

All right, that's enough and I'm getting hungry. Talk to you all later! Promise I'll try harder in February.

Oh no, almost forgot!


I've been spinning a bit too! I needed something a little summery with how brown it was all looking as our snow melted. It's a beautiful Super Fine Merino/Silk/Bamboo 50%/25%/25% mix that almost looks like it was colored with crayons.