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Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm learning...

A little everyday, I swear, but there are other days where I make giant leaps in my knowledge. I feel as though yesterday as I was posting a pattern for the arrowhead blanket that I finally got put together sans pictures I made one such leap.

And what was this leap? I figured out how to hopefully share this pattern on Ravlery a little more reliably. Ravelry? I hear you ask. Yes, ravelry. It's a wonderful little place on the internet for the crafters amongst us. You can share pictures and details of your projects, queue future endeavors, and blog/forum post on some decidedly not craft related subjects, but often giggle worthy topics.

Back on track though. Previously I had shared two patterns that you may recall were posted here. One was a poncho style shawl, and the other a scarf. Both times I posted these to ravelry I had to link them to the related post here. Since they were embedded patterns, they sometimes didn't play well for folks. And there was a little issue with me not setting them up properly in the "share" settings, but let's not discuss that. There were also some downtime issues with Google Documents. Unfortunately I still have my patterns listed with Google Doc's so if there are such future downtime's, this will not fix that issue, but I'm hopeful.

Yesterday evening as I was posting yet another pattern, this one in fact

Or go here:
Google Docs Link

I discovered I could link directly, and after a couple positive feedbacks, I went ahead and replaced all my links on the other patterns. Told ya, learning.

As for what this pattern looks like, you may remember a couple posts ago I had spoke about it since I don't have pictures in the pattern.
 This is it. Just a little lap blanket that you can add to to make a larger one if so inclined.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another Rule

If your going to play at a real life version of "The Hangover" and steal a penguin from Sea World after a night of drunken antics don't post pictures of it on Facebook. Are you really surprised you got caught and are facing charges? And then you dumped the poor feathered creatures in a canal?

I know, I'm so narrow minded. I am actually all for kids having drunken adventures of their own, God knows I've had a few, but I can honestly say I never stole someone else's property while drunk, much less a living breathing animal and then put it's life in danger. If you can't handle your liquor and black out and can't remember what you did, it's a sign to learn to stop sooner.

As for the rest of life, I promise, there will be updates soon.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Back to work with me, and let me leave you with a topic while I'm gone

This week will discuss things that we take as general rules in life. That's right, I want some feed back guys because this I think is going to become a reoccurring theme as I gain inspiration from activities of daily living. You know, like going to Wal-Mart? I'll start:

When you have a sore on your genitals, you should have it looked at by a physician who's job it is to assist you as a member of society in taming of such things. Do not flash it at people you find are employed in any random and obscure part of the medical field and ask them what you think!?!

Yeah, that's right, this has occurred to me. So tell me, what other truths do you feel should be shared with the general populace around you?

And, because I do love knitting, I did get another roar hat done this week for a co-workers kid because I simply have that much left over yarn. I also tore out the lap blanket i was making for work because it looked like some hideous 1972 afghan and re-knit it into this that I finished and blocked this morning.
Folded in quarters.

I'm going to call it the arrow head blanket. And I get to call it such things because I completely made it up out of my head. I may or may not actually right the darn thing out. Haven't decided yet.

And I have the yarn prepped for lap blanket number 2.
Sage in the Sweet Woodruff

But this alas, is as far as I've gotten. The idea now is to again do a center out but kind of a modified checkerboard using stockinette, reverse stockinette, and seed stitch so it looks something like one of those parquet wood floors. Just a thought, we'll see what the yarn says to me.

Have a great week guys,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cool Story Bro.

I know I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel here but when this happened the other day the first thought as I giggled to myself was, "I have to put this on the blog".

So, we had our first late night knit gathering at Blooming Needle Yarn Shop this last Friday night. It was a lot of fun even if I didn't knit much. Got quite a bit of spinning done though. Anyway, we were all supposed to make a favorite dish and when I mentioned an apple pie I was told I couldn't just make one. Well, I only have one pie plate so this led me to go buy two deep dish pie plates that unfortunately, made my pies look a bit ugly (this is why there are no pie pics, but you all have seen that I can bake me some pie before), but they tasted wonderful.

Believe me, they were wonderful. Mainly, because I live LOT'S of cinnamon and I grind my nutmeg myself. Yes, I know, you're thinking, "You grind your nutmeg? Why on earth would you do that? I've seen it in the store pre-ground in those little nifty jars." Believe me, when you're using nutmeg, grinding your own makes a big difference. BIG difference.

So there I was with my spice mill. Ha, spice mill, makes me sound all fancy huh? Actually it's a coffee grinder someone gave me, but I don't drink coffee so the gift basket was broken up among others in the office and I took the grinder home to be used as a "spice mill". Anyway, the last time I used the spice mill and washed it out, something got jammed in that little hole that the push button of the lid fits into and turns on the grinder. So, I popped to whole nutmegs into the mill, plugged it in and Blam! that little bastard whirred up without the lid on and threw the nutmeg at me! It all happened so fast I took a nutmeg to the eye. Have you ever had nutmeg i the eye? In burnnnnnnsss.... Okay, enough with the obscure movie quotes. It didn't really burn. It did kinda smart there for a bit as I tried to continue cooking with a tearing eye due to blunt force trauma. But it was funny nonetheless. So, the lesson I learned was, put the damn lid on before plugging it in. Yes, it has a safety so it shouldn't come on, but you never know. Next time it may not be something as easy to deal with as a whole nutmeg.

Anyway, it's been a rather slow weekend as Bob wound down the process of packing up his mom, and I had knitterly duties (beginning class) to attend to. The dogs all got their baths and smell good again as I guard the furniture from them until they dry. In other words, a nice laid back Sunday.

Caught! Damn I hate being deaf in my old age!

Have to watch for squirrels...
Tucker still takes himself to the crate that isn't even his anymore. Once you have a comfy spot, you stick to it.
And we can't forget about Sullivan(dry's fast) and Smudge.

Hope you have a nicely relaxing Sunday as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


That's how we all seem to be feeling as of late, But I did get a bit of spinning in this evening as I unwound from the days events (funeral was held today).

The Jacob fleece is lovely even though I keep mistreating it and tearing it. Which means I'm getting tired and need to call it a night for spinning.
It's a lovely grey in this light, though honestly out from under the Ott light it has more brown to it. I have some green merino roving that I think spun singly might ply beautifully with this. Still loving the new wheel.

Another dino hat is on the needles but that is all I have going in the knitting aspect of the fiber world since I go the Ginko Shoulderette Shawl done.
Pretty. The Shawl that is. Well, smudge is a cute cat to boot.

Got her all blocked out last night.

And by this morning she was dry.

This was a fun little pattern and can imagine using it in the future. I suggest anyone who wants to play with lace some more, to try it out. It's a fairly short laces pattern section but such lovely results.

Now, off to bed with me. My eyes are letting me know it's time to call it a day and we have A LOT to get through tomorrow.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Not quite an Easter Bonnet, but it's as close as I'll be getting.
Awful Damn Cute
Blurry, sorry...

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Later

And as I stated earlier, I'll speak a bit more on Bob's dad.

Bob's dad passed away this past Thursday morning. It wasn't unexpected. The family had gathered Wednesday night to meet with a second doctor to get a better idea of the situation. It was decided that per his fathers wishes and the way things were progressing, or not progressing as the case was, he would not want to be continued on the vent. So, that evening we took him off the vent and sedation.

After working ICU for 5 years, I myself have that certain cynicism that just because we can safe or prolong a life, doesn't mean we should. And I personally believe that when a loved one has made their wishes known, it's our responsibility as their family and friends, to honor those wishes even if they don't align with our own. When Bob's dad actually came around (I really didn't expect him to come out of the sedation that much) and refused even his oxygen stating he was done, and later that he wanted to die, I was glad for his children. I was glad because I feel as though hearing those words out of his mouth when he had obviously woke up and was with it enough to express his desires, took a weight off his kids shoulders.

It's one thing for someone to tell you they don't wish to have everything done when they healthy and sitting at home speaking to yo over a mug of coffee. Those relaxed times are easy to forget when their health deteriorates and you watch them fight for each breath because no matter what they said, the heart beats until it decides it's done and breath comes even with a raucous struggle until the heart gives in. It's terrifying to watch your loved ones go through that, and even more terrifying to decide for them that you are going to take steps to assure that happens. So for him to be awake, and fighting to breath, but yet confirming that he didn't want to go on, that he wanted the disease process to continue because even if we got him through this little crisis, the easy part, wasn't going to be easy, and he'd never be able to live his life the way he had been or wanted.

Hi children gave him the gift of loyalty to his last known wishes and the dignity of not being eeked through for weeks, or months on life support. In return, their father gave them the ease of mind in the knowledge that this was what he wanted.

Enough of that heavy stuff now. And just so you know, when it's my time, that's about all the heavy stuff I want said for me and if there is a funeral and you decide to go, nothing black and depressing. If you're going to wear a black number it better be a sexy little thing so you'll get noticed. A few after memorial service dates and may be a hook up or two would make me smile where ever I am.

So, let's talk knitting! I know that excited you... Okay, maybe not, but it excited me and since it's my blog, we're going to do what works for me.

I started the Ginko Shawl while sitting in the hospital. I have very little at this time to show you but there will be more to come I'm sure.
The yarn is Crystal Palace Panda Silk which is 60%wool, 35%bamboo and 5% silk blend. I was trying to go with something that would look like turning ginko leaves. Right now, the color reminds me of the birch's back home that turn beautiful golden and yellow patterns.

And I whipped this little bad boy off the needles last night.
I'm blocking the darn thing which you will rarely find me doing to a kids hat just because the brim keeps trying to roll past where it should. I'm fighting the urge to tack it down because I want it to be able to be rolled down as he grows a bit since it is spring after all. I've never used the Berroco Vintage yarn before so I don't know if that's aiding the unwanted roll. If so, oh well. I'm sure the Jensen Dork will love it.

Jensen for your information is in the process of potty training and thinks it's great fun to flash his T-Rex underwear and roar at his hapless flashing victims. I thought this was the perfect accessory when I found it while perusing hat patterns for my brothers Christmas gift. We all need a laugh once in a while, right?

And while we're discussing knitting, I mentioned I've been cleaning the man cave. Which, it's an odd man cave as you can see here.
It's full of knitting stuff, there's a sewing machine stashed away in a bin, but relax, on the opposite wall there is a flat screen television with surround sound, DVD changer and an X-Box. A man cave should reflect the man who uses it, no? There's also the exercise bike, and some other work out equipment.

Ignore the pull up bar being used as a hanger for freshly plied and washed yarn that is having it's twist set in.

Which came out well.

This is my first batch off the new wheel. I'm kinda happy with it. I don't know what color it will end up anytime soon.

And no, this room has not been redecorated since we bought the place and that picture... It was left along with the piano upstairs by the previous owner. Someday we may attack this room and the dream is to make it look like a poolhall with it's red brick fireplace on the other wall and maybe an actual pool table. But then where would I put my stash? Yes, that's right, all those plastic drawers you saw, that's all my cleaned out and organized stash. Don't be jealous, it won't last.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

While I was Distracted

I'm one of those weird knitters that gets itchy if I have too many projects on the needles. Now, I know that as some of you read this you are rolling your eyes and shaking your head while mumbling things about my sanity and how could I ever be a real knitter. I am, never the less a knitter, but I'm a very easily distracted knitter. And this, many would think means I'm a pretty run of the mill knitter. That's why so many of us tend to have multiple projects on the needles at any one time. As I heard someone once say, you know you are truly a knitter when you have to go put a project on a stitch holder so you can steal that size needle for your latest project. I on the other hand know that I'm easily distracted, recognize the very truth to such realities and try to work against it. In the above mentioned case, I would instead put the pattern of my latest project craze to the side to be cast on next when I realized the needles were in use and finished the previous project before casting on. Mind you, I would probably still take the time to pour over my yarn stash in a search for the perfect yarn match and if need be transfer money out of my savings to go shop for the perfect yarn choice in question. But I would not cast on, nor would I buy another set of needles while yarn shopping.

As much as I may have beaten this logic into my knitting, it still hasn't spilled into the rest of my life yet. And today, I realized that perhaps I need to work on this. Why you ask? What sort of epiphany happened today? I went to the bathroom. Yep, I went to the bathroom.

Now before you go to the wrong places with this thought, let me explain. I had gone outside to see Bob cutting daffodils for his fathers nurses in the ICU (more on this later) with one of my good kitchen knives instead of my garden snips. You know, the garden snips that are designed for this kind of task? So much for good clean cuts on those flower stems. In disgust I went to find him said snips and realized I had to go to the bathroom. So, in I went and saw the five gallon Home Depot bucket full of water that was for the half full aquarium I started cleaning earlier sitting in the tub. Just to make sure, I went out and confirmed that the aquarium was indeed half full, awaiting new water as the filter pump struggled against the water level. As I went to pour it in, I realized that I wasn't sure if I actually treated the bucket with dechlorinator. So, I possible re-treated the water (we'll never know shall we?), Bob came in with the vase of flowers eliminating my need to find the snips before I returned downstairs to work on cleaning and organizing the man cave to find my vacuum brush head disassembled on the floor... Oh yeah, I forgot that bit of yarn that tangled that all up.

What caused all this you may ask? Bob took the kids to the park for a romp and as I was cleaning the aquarium. When I went to get a drink of water for myself I passed my knitting bag. That's right, yarn fumes once again caused the destruction of all my well laid plans. I pulled the couple of inches of the Ginko shawl out and decided that I was indeed not happy with the stitches and tore it all out, which led me downstairs to the search the stash for the more perfect yarn, I got to cleaning the big room that has become the dump all room/man cave, where I proceeded to notice the brush head wasn't working. While digging through the pile of dump all in the corner in attempt to locate what my toolbox where a screwdriver may be I found my flask which I thought depending on how the family meeting went this evening, would be a good thing to clean out and refill with some good whiskey (that by the way did get done and placed into the knitting bag), which then in a round about way led me to finding Bob in the garden with my good kitchen knife.

So here I stand typing this little adventure out as a warning to new knitters, and yes, I did get the vacuum put back together the aquarium filled (as Bob interrupts to ask me if the light should be turned on), the garden snips located and my tool box dug out of the heap all in the man cave. I am even proud to say the man cave is cleaned and organized and there will be pictures to come. It may not have happened in a logical order, but it did get done. And back to that note, NEW KNITTERS: Don't listen to the siren song of the yarn fumes! It is not time to finish a project when you have all needles not only in use but with a project queue for their future utilization, but rather when the knitted item is needed! Baby sweaters should be given to the baby upon their arrival into this world, not on the day of their graduation from a Masters Degree program. Beware the yarn fumes! Despite their whispered reassurances they are not your friends!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm Pretty Sure This Is What Love Feels Like

And I'm not saying that I'm in love with the wine or the chocolate, that would smack a  bit too much of alcoholism or other such dependency. But with Bob for bringing me this wonderful chocolate back from DC with him. It was the perfect way to finish my busy spring weekend.

And it is spring. Whether we like it or not here in Wyoming. Not that we wouldn't mind a break from the winter wind (it's still windy), or the snow (we're fore-casted for more tonight). But the stress! The worrying if the warm stretch is going to last? Are we actually in spring, or is this just a little warm snap to tease us? Can we start pulling the mulch off the beds. I know, I'm just pretending that the winter wind let me keep mulch on the beds. Let me have my fantasy, I'm not bursting your bubble am I?

As you can see, regardless of my worries and stress level, the flowers have decided that it is indeed spring in Casper.
And even the Lilacs seem to be getting in on on the action. Please Lord let them bloom quickly and only once this summer, my sinus's can't take a long bloom. Yes, I'm aware that this is another fantasy. You don't need to point it out. Oh, and yes, that is as big as our yard is. It takes a lot of work for a single yard with four dogs of any size much less one of Sullivan's weight and dimensions to have ANY grass. Another exercise in futility.

Friday night I also dove into the task of cleaning and organizing the man cave... Pictures will come of the organized and now stashed yarn stash. I know, oooh exciting. But, as I came up from the cool and wonderful basement I realized how dang hot the upstairs had become. We were preparing for a hot sweaty night (not in a fun way) of sleepless misery.

So, despite the warning's of the weather men and the promise of snow and rain showers by nine, I broke out the bedroom airconditioner.

May I just point out that it is now nine-thirty and it's still fifty degrees and as we can attest to just doing the last dog walk of the day, it's clear enough to still see Venus, Jupiter and Orion. This means I think I've worked through the nerves from placing the air conditioner.

Which leaves us where I really wanted to be. I wanted to talk about my ingenuity. Granted, it was last falls ingenuity but you know how I am, just going to bring back to all about me. It is my blog after all. But, let's get on with it.

See this? That's right, it's a hole in the wall. Which when we had the windows put in, seemed like a great. Come fall, and the colder winds of a Wyoming winter, it didn't seem like such a good idea. The first winter we tried wrapping the unit with one of those "winterizing" get-ups that are supposed to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Yeah, it works about as well as it sounds like it will.

So last fall, I decided to work out this little problem, and I came up with this.

I know, I didn't get a good picture of it before I pulled it out, but what you see is a diagonal of the side that sits inside the house. It's two pieces of plywood that sandwich a layer of fiberglass insulation and a slab of foam (it's gray because I wrapped the cut edges that like to fall apart with duct tape) insulation that are held in place by compression from the carriage bolts. I unfortunately accidentally placed the bolts with the nuts to the outside the first time I put it in place. I had a good chuckle as I gently cussed myself out under my breath in a manner I'm sure the neighbors heard and flipped the bolts back around.

Let me tell you, it worked much better that the air conditioner wrap thingy. The only bad thing is that the weather stripping I placed between the plywood and the framing of the hole (Bonus Topic! All holes should be framed nicely, discuss!) kinda stuck to the framing. And no, I did not put the adhesive side to the frame. But I can deal with that little issue since it worked so darn well.

Okay, enough talking about me. I know, you were just waiting for me to shut up. Red wine does that to me. How was your weekend? Good I hope, and hopefully more fun than mine, despite how much I got to play with yarn. That's just a regular activity in my life.