Friday, March 20, 2009

Woo Hoo!

Happy dance! It's the first day of spring! And it actually feels like Spring here in the Treasure Valley of Idaho. Some of our little wild violets are blooming out front - they smell so sweet! I still haven't gotten outside to prune the rest of our roses...I keep looking for growth on the ones I already pruned (none that I can see so far), but the giant, un-pruned roses are showing all kinds of new growth.

Also GREAT BIG Happy Dance - I got The Bean's Shrug finished last night.

Elfin Lace - on the arms...

Mrs. Montague's Lace on the back.

The Shrug really doesn't "go" with this shirt, but oh well!

I've also made a little bit more progress with DD's sweater back...

And, another GREAT BIG WOO HOO - since I've only got one WIP going right now, that must mean that I can start something else! (After all, DD won't need this sweater til next fall, right? What a happy thought!

Now, what's it gonna be? I have quite a bit of sock yarn and I can always use socks. But I keep thinking about lace...and something earthy in garter stitch. Or...

Oh, dear.

Finally, DS gets home this afternoon after being gone all week. What's for dinner? Home-made bread Brat roll-ups. (like hot-dog roll-ups, but with Brats instead). And Green Beans. Yum!

Monday, March 16, 2009

There's been knitting going on...

How can a whole week have flown past since I last posted? It's a time warp, I tell you. Guess that's what happens when one stays busy.
Showing the bottom...

Showing both the fronts.

I have completed both fronts on DD's sweater-in-the-making. The first one involved much frogging and re-knitting. Despite having measured gauge (on the idiot shawl I started with this yarn) I got about a third of the first front done when I realized that I was getting different gauge than I thought. So, RIPPPPP... Then I got to the second section of the front and didn't like it. Not. One. Bit. So, RIPPPPP again. I liked the reverse of that section so I re-knit it wrong-side-to so to speak. Then I got to the armhole decreases and almost up to the neckline decreases when I decided that the armhole just wasn't quite right, so (you guessed it), RIPPPPPP... and I re-knit that section. The second front went much quicker because I had worked out the problems on the first front. I am now about one fourth the way on the back and it should go OK because it's just like the fronts only back-ier.

A nice surprise this past week. Back-story: I used to be the proud owner of a Bernina 830 sewing machine. I'd had it for at least twenty years and loved it. About a year ago I got it out to do some mending and it wouldn't work. Like, it had been turned to stone. So I took it to the little shop where I bought it so many years ago and left it there for Scott to fix. Scott called some weeks later (he had a BIG back-log of sewing-machines-waiting-for-repair) - long story short, it was going to cost a bundle to order the needed parts because Bernie was so old, and he offered me a nice big fat trade-in on a new Janome. (What's a Janome? I wondered) - He had stopped carrying Berninas. So the Curmudgeon and I went to the shop and I tried a Janome and I fell in love with it and we ended up buying it (for a fraction of what the Bernina had cost us all those years ago). Not very long after that the Curmudgeon died and I had other things besides sewing on my mind.

Now to last week. DS was gearing up for several weeks out of town with his job (home on weekends) and he realized that he didn't have enough changes of clothes to survive a week without a washing machine. But, he did have several pairs of jeans that he had ripped out in the crotch, or that needed belt loops re-attached, or whose pockets were ripping off. My old Bernina didn't do denim - at least not where multi-thickness seams were involved, but I decided to try the Janome. Amazing! This little sewing machine just ate up those seams and all the jeans got mended in jig time. What a nice thing.

I'm about a third of the way through "Ursula, Under" and loving it. What a neat book.

One last thing...I have an ancient Crock Pot and I want to find some truly delicious recipes to make with it. I've always really liked the idea of crock pots - but sadly, never found any recipes that we liked well enough to make a second time. If you read this and have any suggestions, please pass them along to me.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Monday, Monday

So...I frogged the shawl and have started a sweater for DD. She's very picky about her clothes...not so much about how they look, but about how they fit and feel. So I've taken measurements from a sweater she wears a lot and am trying to re-create it, hoping that it will feel "right" and fit her, too. I'm trying to throw in some of my own personal design touches so it won't seem like such a blatant copy. Working with yarn at this gauge is amazing - it knits up so fast! When I get a bit more done on it I'll post some pics.

And yes, I'm still working on The Bean's Shrug. You know how I am about starting new projects. I love the starting so much more than the finishing!

In addition to knitting today, I need to haul out a whole bunch of re-cycles, gather all the household trash, do laundry, bake bread and figure out what's for dinner. That last one could be very simple. As a good friend once said, "Toast is a hot meal." (And toast made from homemade bread is a gourmet hot meal!)

Well, I haven't done everything on my "list" today, but I've made good headway. The Bread...

is in the oven. Can you smell it? I think we'll have cheese omelets and homemade bread toast for dinner.

In a totally unrelated corner of my life, I have begun to read Ursula, Under by Ingrid Hill. Recommended by DD - in fact, she bought it for me along with a copy of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. And, I have a copy of Anne of Green Gables waiting in the wings. (I'm probably one of the few people my age living in America who has never read A.of G.G.!) What fun, to have three amazing books waiting to be read.

I recently re-connected with an awesome knitter (through Facebook of all things!) and if you're on Ravelry, check out her knitting. MaureeninFargo. She is amazing! When I grow up I want to be her.


Saturday, March 07, 2009


First of all, there's not a lot of news on the knitting front. I've been in frog land, ripping and re-knitting a section on The Bean's Shrug three times now (aarrugggghhh). Nothing as bad as the Harlot's tale of woe (see her March 6 entry), but gee whiz - why couldn't I get it right the first time? Also cast on (Bad Grandma! Bad, bad, bad!) for a very plain rectangular shawl with some Lion Brand Homespun that was given to me several years ago...I really like having some "idiot knitting" (very plain and simple and either doesn't require a pattern, or is SO idiot-simple that even I can remember what to do) - hence the casting on of said shawl. But two things: first, this yarn is driving me slightly bonky - it's so filament-y and fuzzy that I constantly have to undo and re-do stitches just to get rid of those extra strands that hitched onto to the just-knitted stitch, and shouldn't have (extra credit if you understood that) and second, DD just about did back-flips when she saw the yarn (colorway "Quartz") - she loves it! So now I'm thinking maybe I ought to find a sweater or vest pattern for the yarn and make something she can wear. Hmmmmm.

Birds. Yes, I love birds. Yesterday I looked out our living room window and our big Ash tree out back was full of these:

American Robin

I counted 28 at one time! And they were all facing the house, their big red chests looking like ornaments in the bare branches. I didn't even try to take a picture...I just sat there and enjoyed the scene.


A couple of weekends ago, Pookie looked out the same window at the same tree and said "Grandma, look at that bird!" We looked up the bird in the "Birds of Idaho Field Guide" by Stan Tekiela and found out that we had a Downy Woodpecker in our tree. I have seen Downys in our tree on several occasions. They're beautiful little guys.


Several days ago I spotted a "new" bird at our feeders out front. We regularily see house sparrows, house finches, Juncos, and chickadees - and they all pretty much stick to our regular bird-seed feeders or ground feeding, but this new little bird was at the thistle-seed feeder and was much smaller than the other birds. I think it was a Pine Siskin like this one.

Pine Siskin

And, finally - I love this pic! Emailed to me by a dear friend...

Babka's Eggs

She says that since all the roosters were "dispatched" (by one of her Chicken Lady Friends), her remaining hens are super happy girls. Aren't those eggs just gorgeous!