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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stormy Sunday

We got up and started the day off with running south to see some of the family. As we were heading back, we could see the storm front rolling in, as well as experience the winds pushing it towards town as they buffeted the car a bit.
So, when you face a gray day that looks a bit like this, what's a guy to do?
Well, I took a page out of her book, as she settles in for a nap on a nice heated bed.
I warmed things up.
Started a pot of Southwestern Grilled Chicken Soup.
And finished some frigg'n sock gussets. Ugh, I hate gussets. In case we haven't covered that before.

And it's probably the last relaxed weekend we get for a bit. We need to start shedding extra stuff in earnest here and start packing up what we're taking with us so we can get an idea of the size UHaul we will be taking eastward to Grand Rapids.

We spent a good chunk of yesterday looking at houses. Of course the one I REALLY like is one of the more expensive ones. Doen't it always work like that? Not that it's a spectacular house. It's a nice house, and a spectacular yard. 3 acres of yard. One acre completely fenced in for the 4 legged fools.

Anyway, I'm getting back to knitting while I can.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

At Last.... Some News Has Come Along

Grand Rapids Michigan it is. We got the word yesterday that The Guy got that position. So, there will likely not be a lot of blogs for the next few weeks as we scramble to close on the house, pack us and the furred ones and get on the road.
My 12 socks in 12 months, well, I guess I should just be happy that I got January done, because it's unlikely that I will wipe out February's while finding housing, employment, and hopefully getting settled in a bit.
So... Do not worry if it's a bit of a delay before I get back in contact with you all. I will try. Hope you all stay safe and warm in the next few weeks.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bottomless Bloddy Marry's

That's what I had for lunch, which explains why I misspelled Bloody Mary. Well, I really had a Cubano sandwich for lunch, with three bloody Mary's. Don't judge, the friend I met for lunch to give her gift to had four and I'm sure she feels more grounded than I do. My liver is out of practice.
She fell in love with this yarn when it was still at the singles stage on my wheel when she was over at our place to meet the prospective new family of a Dooley, our foster Great Dane we had before Christmas.
So, since I had no plans for this wonderful BFL, I decided to use it to make her something since I ended up with almost 600 yards of deep purple and blue yarn.
She always wears neck scarves, and I started to the h*** t**** scarf.
Quite simply, I hated it. It's right there on the top of that pile of hand spun yarns. I have done a large project similar to it before, but the pattern... Well, I'm not going to trash talk a pattern writer beyond stating the fact that you can't repeat a 12 row repeat in 44 rows and wonder why you have to make a jog at the end of the 44th row. The pattern repeat should be divisible by the 12 of the original pattern, no? Like, perhaps 48?
Anyway, I found Arroyo. It's a beautiful little pattern. A very nice simple lace from a fairly new designer. I would suggest it as an addition to your pattern library for fun quick knits that make a beautiful finished product.
I know, I can already hear you asking what I changed, because you all know me so well, and I can't follow a pattern anymore than I can a recipe. Whether for brownies, Anadama Bread, Mole Chicken Wraps, or Bloody Mary's. Hey, we decided earlier not to judge.

So, to start, I changed the cast on. If we're worried about yardage, use a simple wonderfully loose Cable cast on, no? It still has lots of stretch for a lace blocking if done right. I did it right. And then, believe it or not, just to end the pattern I did an applied I-Cord Cast off. It gave me a wonderful thick edge for cast off, with a rounded touch to make it nicer on the skin should it fall on bare neck with the body of the stitches facing outwards. And that, I swear was the only changes I used. I even went with her original needle size(8.0 US) to allow for the beautiful open stitch work. I think it even shows off the color of my yarn beautifully. Maybe that's just me though. All in all, it was a win-win for me, the yarn, and the pattern/writer. Don't you think?

As for that, I stupidly jumped into a group to make a pair of socks per month for the year of 2014. What was I thinking? I don't mind making socks at all, but I don't LOVE making socks. Already my hands are saying, "WTF?" as I torture them with this incredibly rough but durable sock yarn from Paton's.

I know, you doubt me when I use the word torture, but look.
See that red around my index finger? Don't discuss my cuticle care. I do not get MAN-cure's. Stop judging. Right next to my finger nail as I pull my yarn tension to the correct tautness, damn it's sore. The other day I thought I was getting a blister here.
A blister never developed there, but instead here on my right hand. Yeah, a BLISTER from KNITTING. Don't judge. However, those of you who have gotten knitted items from me, thank your lucky stars. I don't do this for anybody.

Enough whining. I am actually amazed. My hands are actually pretty damn tough after years of abusing them with yard work, building, demolishing, climbing, biking, cooking, and cleaning. I swear this yarn had to find the one spot it could to make a blister. When it couldn't form one next to my finger nail it went to the inside aspect of the other hand to find a spot.

As for the socks for The Guy. They're almost done.
A couple more inches of foot length and I will start the toe.
Thank God, because the yarn for the toe that matches the heel here, is quite a bit softer and nicer to my poor fingers. Okay, I wasn't quite done whining. And you weren't done judging, so we're even.

Now, let's get onto the real reason I'm blogging today. Well, we discussed it in a a round-a-bout way earlier with the Bloody Mary's. I'm relaxed enough to blog. I have been wrapped a little tight the last couple weekends. I admit it. Why? Well, we sold the house for one thing. Yep, that's right. We sold the house to move. But move where? Who the heck knows. We still don't. Yesterday we got word finally that it appears we're back looking towards Michigan again. Since I last talked about it, we were bounced to Fairbanks, then to Anchorage, and this last week to Brunswick, Georgia. All this bouncing has literally done us in. Without a plan we cannot even start looking at places, planning on what to keep, look at vet options, or myself to start looking for a job. I told The Guy the other night that I don't even care. I can move to the deep south, I just need a place to start planning around and I can make anything work for a few years.

So, my hopes still aren't horribly high. I didn't even realize that I was getting excited with the thought of Anchorage regardless of the costs until it was taken away as an option. Until we actually get a green light and a signed letter, I am not getting worked up for anything.

So, that's where it all stands right now. I'm relaxed enough with a good dose of spicy tomatoey vodka deliciousness to admit it. I really wish I were this relaxed...
But alas, I'm not. I had to snap this photo the other morning. Every time I walked in the room his tail would start wagging across his belly in hopes of getting a belly rub. After the picture, he got a belly rub before I left for work.

Have a good weekend everyone. I'm going to go bake some cookies I think. I should knit, but my fingers hurt. Yes, that was a whine, so feel free to judge before moving on to the next site.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Keeping The Hands Busy

2 weeks into it all and I am slacking off on blogging. However, I have been busy at other things.
It certainly worried me as I did the first dough prep, but it rose well.
A pan of water on the bottom
Gives a good steamy oven for the baking leading to a good crust
Making two wonderful loaves of sandwich bread.
During the rising I played those three bobbins I showed you last time.
A bit of baking, a lot of dog walking. Sorry, no pics of yesterdays of brownies, but ooooh, they are good.
Ugh... Pink. Hope you like it DeAnn
I promise I will return to this stuff soon. It is gorgeous stuff.
A Touch of spinning.
She took her time, but she's perfect.
Though blocking about made me want to slit my wrists.
The shawl is about the perfect size. I am glad I added the repeats to the pattern.
Though it took forever to knit. 
I am going to miss this beautiful stacked sandstone brick.
And at last, nailing down some knitting.
This is for a local friend that I need to get finished and give too. She loved this yarn as it was on the wheel.
And since I got that one done, it was time to do dive into this one. Okay, off to walk the dogs again before a lazy Sunday afternoon of movies and knitting.

Have a good one!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

And So it Snows...

I woke up to this Saturday.
And I loved it as I usually do.
So then we had to go play in it, no? Well after a touch of spinning. We had to wait for the sun to fully rise and then time it to deal with the stream of realtors. Did that sound snippy? Well, so it is, and that's the last I'll speak of it at this time.
The kids were eager to get going and had to be reminded to heel across the bridge. You can see it's still a bit dark and snowy here.
A fine small flaked flurry was all, as the low clouds covered the sun. Here's the river form the far side of the bridge. It's been warmer the last couple days and there's a few patches of open water in places as you can see near the far shore in a deep spot.
I even got the kids to pose all together. Which is harder than you think with the old woman. She's deaf and chooses to ignore hand signals often. Old Bitch.
Here's the two freckled beasts together. It's funny how the boys sometimes seem to watch over the Old Girl.
Where we walked today is a frisbee golf course. It's a bit of an unofficial off leash area. With that also comes the lazy ones that won't pick up after the dogs that I am sure are going to make us an unwelcome lot someday soon. Not that that will stop us...
I always make a point to carry my bags of doggy poo all the way across the bridge so that anyone, including the adventurous snow biker that left these tracks can see that I do pick up after my dogs. Those are Great Dane Prints, just so you have an idea how big this bikes tires were. There are a couple trash barrels inside the area, but I wait until I cross back over the bridge. Unless it's an especially fragrant poo on a hot day or so frigid that my hands are at risk out of my pockets in the cold. Both of which have occurred.
As the storm started to break up a bit, the clouds were kind of pretty. I liked the lights play in the clouds as I passed this little copse of trees.
And this scene as the storm started to lift up off the mountain.
Before we were done the sky even started to clear up though you can see the edge of the storm to the south here and the blue sky to the north as I looked back west the way we had come from, waiting of the old girl to catch it up.
The Blue skies were not supposed to last either as we are to get a little bit more snow tonight as the temperature begins to drop. Tomorrow's high is supposed to be a whole whopping 3 degrees. That's why I have the boots on the dryer tonight drying out from todays dog walks. They won't be much good to me wet and cold tomorrow.
As I got done snapping the picture of Shiela slowly catching up, I turned and saw this one winging it's way towards us.
Thispicture is grainy for some reason. It was shot right after the other one, and not under a lot of zoom. I don't know why...

I was told moving here that there were a lot of eagles here. Well, to be honest they are kind of a rare site. I'm used to seeing them daily back home, so the couple times a week here, typically from afar is really underwhelming. However, the other birds of prey are numerous. Daily in the summer you see Red Tailed Hawks, Swainson's Hawks, the ever present Turkey Vultures, many owls, and an assortment of Falcon's year round. One in fact just as I put away the camera flew right over our heads. Of course. Isn't that how it always works.
Also out here is an assortment of song birds, deer, antelope, hare and other wildlife. The snake pictures I have had here have been from this area though I have seen them in other places. I just seem to normally have a camera when I'm this way.
And my favorites, the Ravens. Today I was looking for what I thought sounded like a Sage Grouse which I have never seen in this area, just to find it was this guy mimicking one. He took off when I got to close and flew over head. It was still snowing just a bit when I snapped this one, as you can see.
If you ever see the dogs and us out, you will often see Sullivan out there with a stick, or a log. Whichever. He has tried to carry whole trees but they get caught in the brush. Sometimes they are just for him to carry and feel proud of.
Sometimes they are to tempt someone else to play with him...
And he's off!

Except as you see, no one is chasing him... Some are more Speshul than others. Actually Tucker did chase him just after this, but I failed to get the video function on the pig camera to kick on.
And we do our usual mope and sulk on the way back across the bridge when it is time to go home. Well, to the grocery store anyway for Jumbalaya makings.
I did break the spinning wheel back out after doing all the packing away of things for the realtors. I got tired of not having it to work on.
I have three single ply's sitting there resting before the plying step. I am hopeful to see how that turns out. It will be a bigger gauge yarn than I normally do. It's a New Zealand hybrid wool of Merino and Correidale cross breeding. And though it is a wonderful yarn, this has been fun to work on the last two days.
It is a Tencel Merino mix from Huckleberry Knits. Yes, another one from her. What can I say, I love her stuff.
This is going to be a lace weight 2 ply when I am done. Once again, her dye work amazes me. It is just gorgeous and has such a luster from the tencel in it.

Anyway, I need to go feed the Guy some dinner here. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
And Good Night,