If only you could see...

I hope my recipient sockpal reads this at some point. I really, really do. Other than the fact that making her socks was a lot of fun, the stitch markers were fun and the charts were fun, she should know one little detail about me personally. I CAN'T SEW...

This morning this brilliant idea popped in my head. She needs a little monogrammed bag to put those stitch markers in. It shouldn't be too hard, it's just a little bag. Well, the monogram was no problem. There are yards and acres and miles of cross stitch fabric and thread here. I used to do counted cross stitch exclusively. Found a nice little chart for an old English style lettering. Stitched her initials on the fabric and went to the sewing machine. Ahhhh, the sewing machine. It was Christmas gift about 20 years ago. Don't know why a sewing machine, never did know, never will know unless it's that thing where people think if you do anything with any kind of thread or string, you must sew. Picked it up out of the corner, knocked all the accumulated dust off it. Figured out how to thread the bobbin and away we went.

Well, the best intentions and all, it's heinous. She's getting it anyway. It's got her initials on it. It can't go live with anyone else. It's like those little pug faced mixed breed dogs that need dental work. You know, so ugly someone has to love it.

I'm sure the kind hearted who read this will be saying "It's OK, she'll appreciate it anyway." If only you saw her blog. The girl can sew. For real. Clothes and stuff. Gotta laugh, it's funny in a warped little way. As soon as the swap is over, you get to see pictures of it in all it's 'glory'.


Let it go

There are some things in life you have control of and some you don't. You can control whether or not to watch television, whether or not to knit, what to wear, your temper. The list of things you can control goes on and on. Then there are the things you can't control. The weather, what other people do or don't do, history and so on and so on. For someone like me, it's harder to come up with things you can't control.

My head knows that's silly. The list of things out of my control is nearly endless. BUT, there's that little thought that keeps jumping in there. You know, "What if I....?"

Right now, there's an issue going on here that I have absolutely no control over. There's not a damn thing I can do about it. All the 'what ifs' bring me to the same conclusion. Let it go. It's either going to work out the way I want it to or not. Nothing I do will change the outcome. We have to just do the best we can and have faith it's going to turn out for the best.

So many times in the course of my life, I've found that it works that way.

When I was very young, we lived in a one bedroom house. With a child that is not a good situation. We went house hunting, found a great three bedroom house in a terrific subdivision. We got an offer on our tiny house and were getting ready to move. The sale of our house fell through. There was no way we could get the larger house. Talk about disappointment! Later we found out that the community sewer treatment plant in the nice subdivision had to be re-built. Every home in the community was assessed $10,000 for their share of the cost. Thank God we didn't live there. We soon found a much nicer house in a closer neighborhood for the same price.

After I was divorced several years ago, I had to move out of the school district we had been in since my son was in kindergarten. He was a senior in high school and had known some of his friends since they were 2 years old. We scraped up the money to get him a junker to be able to finish out the year at his high school. Junkers being what they are, there was a repair bill for about $1000. For a single mom getting minute child support and having just an OK job, this was catastrophic. The day after we get the repair estimate, I get the mail and there's a check for $900+. The attorney who had taken care of the sale of my previous house had miscalculated some costs and it was the amount I'd been underpaid. Repair bill taken care of.

Later, high school being what it was, my son needed quite a bit of money for something school related. The next day in the mail was a check from the phone company. The phone company! I called them and asked why. I was told I'd been over-billed for several months and they owed me this amount. It was almost exactly what my son needed for school.

These are just three examples of things working out that come to mind quickly. You'd think by now I'd understand that if you do the best you can, it will eventually work out. Maybe not the way you think is best. Maybe in ways you don't understand at the time, but as far as long term, they do work out. Wouldn't you think that by now, I'd be able to continue doing the best I can, and as for the rest, just let it go....



It's a mouse! Yep, it's a little after 3:30 in the morning. I'm usually up by now anyway, but not with so much drama. Princess (skinny, scrawny 7 lb cat) practically tore the bed apart trying to wake me up earlier. I stumble down the stairs, put on the coffee, dump warm water over the cat (that's another story) and sit to watch the rest of last night's episode of The Closer.

Then there's the yowls and the sound of carpet being shredded behind me. Princess is trying to rip the carpet off the floor to dig her way under one of the radiators. My first thought is a moth must have gotten under there - she's a great moth killer.

I find a flashlight, shine under the radiator and find nothing. Look some more and see a lot more nothing, well, except for some dust. Turn off the flashlight, reach for the cat and whoosh. (Probably should be a tiny whoosh - it was a very small mouse) There goes the mouse across the floor. Right now it's under the chair I usually sit in to knit with Friday (massive, beautiful 28+ lb cat ) standing - actually laying guard beside it.

Now it's waiting for daylight to go find a mousetrap out in the garage. Yes, I'm going to use a regular old mouse trap if I can find a place to put it where the cats can't reach it. I figure a quick death will be a lot easier the mouse than letting the cats do what comes natural and torture it to death.

Mouse Update
It's a little after 7:30 now and the mouse is gone. After FOUR HOURS of all the animals digging, sniffing, whining, yowling and generally being pains in the butt, Princess caught it. Blechhh... I hate the way cats play with prey. I carried Princess (who had the mouse's head in her mouth) to the back porch and shut out the other animals. Then the real fun began. I shook her, no good. I begged, nothing. I cursed, nothing. Picked up a can of beer the hubby left out there last night after he did the yard work and dumped it on her head - AHA!! She dropped the mouse and caught it before I caught her. We did this a couple of times. Finally, I caught her first and threw her skinny wet butt back in the house. Caught the little spit covered mouse in a rug and tossed it out on the back stoop. Now I've got a cat that reeks like a brewery. I only hope she grooms herself, gets a little beer buzz and sleeps for a couple of hours so we can all get a little rest around here.

Hmmmm... I guess that now all the furniture is pulled away from the walls and the dog has knocked all the books from the shelves during the hunt, I can get the last part of the sweeping and dusting done.


Takin a Break

I'm taking a break from the MS3 stole. I made a mistake, oh so many rows back. Right now I need to decide if this is a mistake I can live with or not. If it's not, the ripping will commence. To keep myself from tearing it apart, I started a little project to distract myself for a bit.

It's cute and all, but can you see it ever looking like this? Talk about some severe blocking. We'll see. While you're over where the original picture is, you should look around. The lady does some gorgeous work.

On the animal front, Hawk (the little black chicken) decided she was going to sit on some eggs and become a mommy. When chickens are broody, they stay pretty much on the nest, don't eat well, don't visit their friends, don't go outside, all very boring for them. It's my fault, really. Her eggs are so small, I'll let them accumulate for several days before getting rid of them. There was no way those poor li'l eggs were going to be anything but a stinky mess. Hawk's boyfriend, Speckles, passed away some time back. I'm thinking there is no such thing as immaculate conception for hens. After several days, we finally caught her off the nest. Poor hubby had to stand guard while I did the egg-napping. She's out today visiting the neighbors, so all is forgiven.

I've got some more markers over at the other place if you'd like to see.


Souper Sekrit - Not anymore..

OK, OK, I can't stand it any more. As of Today (and hopefully tomorrow), here is what my Sockapalooza pal is going to get. She doesn't have any idea who I am. Yep, I'm sure, so being the NON-able to keep a secret woman, here are the things for her package:

There are the fridgie magnets. They've got cable charts suitable for socks on them. My buddy isn't a lace fan, so cables it's cables for her.

I wash my hands so much when I'm knitting because of all the breaks to pet the dogs, feed the chicken, pick up the cats off my yarn... Anyway, my hands get really dry & rough. I got this to try out, and loved it, so I thought the buddy might like one, too.

And stitchmarkers.

If anyone has any suggestions for changes or additions to this, please, please, please let me know. (Just a thought - Wouldn't it be funny if my receiving buddy left a suggestion?)


Finally a couple of pictures

I've been working along on the MS3 clues. It's cool enough to actually knit bit without feeling like you've got woolly spider webs stuck all over you! YEAY! Here are the long delayed pictures of Clue 2 completed.

This one is done exactly as written. I'm liking this a lot.


I'm one of those people who can never leave well enough alone, so I got 'bead happy' on this one.

For my not-knitting project, I made these. They are the result of a special request from a knitter on one of the lists I belong to. They're on little lobster style clasps so they can be attached directly to the knitting as well as slipped over a needle. The letters spell out knitting abbreviations. Hopefully, she'll like them. I think you can tell I'm a tad knitting obsessed here. I have some others for sale on my other blog here


Can't think of anything cool for a title.

After my hissy fit the other day about the heat, of course it cooled down and the humidity plummeted. It's magic! And y'all wondered why I crab so much.
I've finished the current clue on the first of my two MS3 stoles and am pretty darn close to finishing on the second, which is a good thing because the 3rd clue will be out this morning some time. I believe the camera will be back from it's vacation some time this evening, so pictures will happen.
While sweating, swelling and bitching through the last heat wave, I picked up the Dean Koontz book 'Odd Thomas' . There's a line in the book that goes "Recognizing the structure of your psychology doesn't mean that you can easily rebuild it". For some reason, it sticks with me. I think the key word in the sentence is 'easily'. Sometimes recognizing the issues in your life is simple. Getting past them is simple, but not necessarily easy. It's a work in progress, just like anything else that's worth doing. Anyway, I'm a sucker for the story and cry near the end every time I read this book. I know, I know, but it's true.
The kids are supposed to come visit us next month. I guess that means I'll have to get some painting done, redo another floor and actually break down and put beds in the other two bedrooms. (One of the rooms is currently nothing more that a pass through to get to the larger closet, and the other is being used as a workroom for my knitting and other projects.) This is actually a great motivator for me, because without some sort of deadline, big projects tend to languish in a corner while I do stuff I want to do instead of what needs done.
Heh Heh... Can't wait to see the little one's reaction to being followed around the yard by a chicken. I believe I'm looking forward to that more than her mom is looking forward to the outlet shopping in Lancaster.


Too @#$%^ Hot to Knit

I've been trying to knit on the MS3 stole. I really, truly have. But (it's a big ole BUT), the temps have been in the mid to upper 90s with very high humidity. We live in an old farm house - read that to mean no AC, just some window fans. Anything that requires much movement or effort needs to be done early early in the morning or late at night when the sun isn't blazing/burning. Yes, I'm a wimp. It's the high humidity that makes it suck so bad. You sweat and it doesn't evaporate, you are just hot and wet. Yarn just sticks to your sweaty hands and arms. It's all I can do to keep my clothes on. Well, actually, a couple of times I've gotten down to a night shirt during the afternoons. Thank me profusely now for NOT sharing pictures

Whew, I feel much better now that I've got alll that whining out of my system. It feels like a bad case of knitting withdrawal b*tchiness. The weather is supposed to be cooling off over the next couple of days, so the knitting should recommence.

On one of the knitting groups everyone was asked what they had in progress. My first thought was "hardly anything", then I wrote it out:
Closing toes on a pair of socks - Least favorite part
The huge afghan I started when my father was ill last spring
Stole in white
Stole in grey shetland
Mitred square rug half knitted & then felted
2x2 ribbed socks
Blackwork (type of cross stitch) picture
Special order stitch markers
For thinking I just had a couple of things, it sort of snowballed when I looked at what I was actually doing. No doubt, it's the same way for you. You think you (or your life) doesn't have a lot going on, but realize how much there really is to it. Some good, some sad, but all needed in one way or another.
Another reason to appreciate my husband: I have a small health issue that crops up in hot weather. The ex would let me know I looked like sh*t and needed to do something about it. My husband asks do I need a footstool, do I have plenty of ice, am I drinking enough water, and then he runs the sweeper. It's no wonder I love this man.


Cue the William Tell Overture and Lucky #12

Or, the theme to the old Lone Ranger television show. Tomorrow (Sunday) is our 7th anniversary. All day long the husband has been popping into various rooms and singing:

Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaaaaaaapppyyyyy Aniversary
Ah well, it doesn't read as cute as it sounds. We are on a mission to find a good Chinese restaurant to eat in tomorrow. My theory is when we walk in the door, take a deep sniff. I've always found that good Chinese restaurants have a great spicy garlicky smell when you step inside. If the smell isn't there, I vote we leave. He's really not loving this idea. It would be embarrasing to just walk out. I'm thinking if you haven't been seated yet, they can think you just changed your mind and decided to eat later. If we don't agree on anywhere new, there's always the terrific Mexican restaurant on Route 30.
We actually met in a bar back 9 years ago. I was there with a date and he was there to meet a mutual friend. It was a get together for a sort of birthday party (don't ask) for another person. We kind of hit it off as friends and left it there. Some time later, neither of us was seeing anyone and we went to get something to eat. No big deal. After a while, the friendship bloomed into something much better. (Bloomed! I can't freakin believe I said bloomed!) We had a lot of mutual friends who had very strong ideas about who each of us should be dating, not each other, so we kept it secret from just about everyone for months just to see what we wanted to do without any outside influence. Only one person figured it out! Ten months after the first meal, we decided to get married. Nine months after that we tied the knot.
The lucky #12 thing is just a set of strange coincidences: I'm 12 years older than my husband who is 12 years older than my son who is 12 years older than his son. Maybe we should play the lottery.

Socks and Etiquette

For years, I've been trying to find a pattern for socks for my other mother. She has very thin ankles, and most patterns that will fit her on the foot are 'droopy' on her legs. I found a pattern for a pair of anklets and thought they would be perfect. I was telling her about it and explaining the only thing I could think of that would stay up on her legs would be a 2x2 rib. Turns out she LOVES a ribbed sock. She likes to turn them down in a cuff. Sigh. All those years I avoided it because it didn't seem 'girly'. Big ole smack in the head - ya gotta ask what your recipient likes! I've got a pair started, but just barely. Not enough done for any kind of a picture.

Still working on the MS3. Working on it again would probably be more accurate. Portions of the pattern are posted on Friday mornings, so it's a weekly knit.

Now for the etiquette portion of our program. There are several blogs I like to read often. If I want to put the links down the side of my blog, am I supposed to ask permission first? Is it good etiquette to inform the blog owners that the links are there? Do they just understand that some of us are curious/interested/nosy about what they are up to in their world and expect the links to happen out there?

Finding other little oddments to put in the Sockapalooza package. Nothing really pricey or unique, but things I like and hope that someone else will like too. Maybe not even necessarily sock or knitting related.


Lace of a Different Color and Chicken Woes

This is the same pattern from the MS3 knit along. This time, it's grey shetland wool. The grey was a little calmer than what I was looking for, so I added more beads than the pattern called for.

Several members in the knit along are guessing what the theme of the shawl is. The guesses are fun and several of them make me shake the cobwebs out to remember bits of Greek mythology. I believe they are going to give prizes for the correct guesses. I'll kick in a set of stitchmarkers for the winner(s).

Now for the chicken part:

I am one of those people who are easily manipulated by guilt. Look at me with soulful eyes and it's all over. Our chicken, Hawk, has been very leery of contact. If you went near her, she ran away as fast as her little drumsticks could go. Poor little thing..

I decided, like a dope, to 'make friends' with her. She spends the greater part of her days hanging out around the neighbor's chickens. They are in a pen in the corner where our yards join. Hmmm, how do you make friends with a bird. Food! Every day, out I'd go with a treat. Cornbread, bagel, cat chow (yep, they like cat chow). Pretty much anything they'll eat, which is just about anything. Now, when I step outside, the neighbor's chickens line up in a row along the side of their pen and little Hawk runs up doing her best imitation of a racing ostrich. Can't hang up laundry, go to the garage or step off the porch without having to pirouette through the poop! What was I thinking? She looks at me with those beady little chicken eyes and immediately there's this panic of "What can I feed her?" "She must be hungry". I'm spending way too much time scrounging through the kitchen for 'chicken treats'. Smack me now.


Lace just isn't the same

I'm in the MS3 knit along. Everyone is making a lace stole from a pattern that's being released a little bit at a time. Every Friday, the next section of the pattern is posted and away we go! I've finished the first part of the pattern that was posted this past Friday morning, and thought I'd show a picture of it.

Doesn't look like much, does it? That's the thing about lacy projects. They're really quiet fun to knit, but even after the knitting is done, they haven't reached their full potential. That will come when it's off the needles and blocked out. Mine is a tad 'loose', but I'm going for a larger, more open lace and this ought to do it.
On the Sockapalooza swap, my buddy socks have been finished for a while and the additional goody inventory for his/her package keeps changing. First it's one thing, then another. By the time it's time to ship out, it will hopefully be a fun little gift for him/her to open!


Just a thought

Recently, two different people have asked me what it is I like about knitting. I don't think my reasons are all that different from anyone else's.

  1. You get a written out pattern. Lots of strange non-words like ssk, yo, k, p, etc... Just do everything it tells you and you get something tangible at the end. A hat, a sweater, socks, mittens, whatever. That is just so neat.
  2. You get a chart with a bunch of symbols in it like ^, /, \, o, etc.. and you follow the little code. Again at the end you have something pretty (hopefully) to show for it. The little symbols normally mean it's going to be something lacy like a shawl or stole.
  3. You can make up something in your head and after some thought and planning hold it in your hands.
  4. You take one very long piece of string (yarn) and a few sticks (needles) and out of this one piece of string that looks like nothing you get something. I think this one amazes me. It's like a little kid with a new magic trick!
  5. Last, but not least, you get yarn! It's often beautiful to look at, but the textures. Everything from rough almost twine to lovely fuzziness that is so soft you almost can't even feel it. You get to touch, pet, stroke and fondle it while you dream of the possibilites of what it could or should be.

Kind of silly and probably hard to understand or just weird to people who haven't made anything tangible or creative, but there it is.