Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Plan.

Can you believe Labor Day is next weekend? I really can not. I had planned on several projects to get done around the house this summer. Somehow time flew, life interrupted and all of a sudden here we are. One week before Labor Day the end of summer.
I am trying to figure out where the time went. Not on getting the stuff I wanted done apparently. Maybe a plan of some sort to help with this. Or a vacation.
But a plan may work much better. At least it seems to be working well with my knitting and cross stitch projects. Let me explain.
A few weeks back, after getting settled in the evening and then trying to decide what to work on first, a dear friend suggested that assigning a day for each of seven of them might work. This way there is no boredom and something gets done on each every week.

So after looking through all of the projects in progress and choosing seven the list was created:
Sunday - Santa's Magic  counted cross stitch
Monday - cross stitch quilt for Vincent
Tuesday - Shawl edge
Wednesday -  Winter Wonderland coat
Thursday - Fall counterpane sweater
Friday - Plisse' sweater
Saturday - Norwegian Lusekoft sweater

Now it has only been a few weeks, maybe 2 since starting this. But the shawl edge may actually get finished this Tuesday! Once it is done it will be replaced with a Christmas project.
This is working so well that Sharon suggested we start a group on Ravelry. Thus the group Seven WIP's in Seven Days was born.

So back to the projects around the house. For this more than one day may be needed. Possibly a week is best so not to overwhelm myself.
The first project that is in dire need is the front porch. It will take some time, but if we devote some time on Saturday each week this may get done much faster. Next Sat we do not have much scheduled. It will be the first semi free weekend in a long long time. Should be a good time to start.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A very special boy

 Yesterday I had a chance to spend the day with a very special young man, my grandson Vincent.

Next weekend he will be 17 mos old. Hard to believe how much he had grown in that short period of time. His smile just makes me melt.
He is such a joy and so pleasant to be around. Watching things through a young ones eyes is just amazing. Sometimes we forget to stop and see everything like it was the first time. Lets try to remember that.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Knitting Disrespects the Olympic Athletes?

Did you know? Have you heard? Knitting denigrates and is disrespectful to the Olympic athletes.
The US Olympic Committee sent a cease and desist letter to asking that they change the name of Ravelympics. In 1978 the US Congress gave the USOC the right to trademark the word and images of the Olympics. Okay, they need to protect their trademarked word and symbols. I understand that. If they don't go after any infringements they loose the right to do so. So it is important for them to pursue that. The wording of the first part of their letter was pretty simple. It was disappointing, but I think most would have dealt with a name change.

Until the USOC's letter stated: "We believe using the name 'Ravelympics' for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work."

 Wait a minute. You are telling me that by knitting and watching the games, encouraging others to do the same and suggest they try to finish a project is going to disrespect the athletes? Knitting is an activity that, when the Modern Olympic games were started, were actually part of the games! Now it is disrespectful?

 This is where the Ravelry community has a issue. The wording was just nasty. Many went to twitter, emailed, phoned, and went on Facebook to let the USOC know how upset this made us. They responded with an attempt at an apology which can be read here.
Sadly, asking people you just insulted to send you free things, when the executives of the Non-Profit USOC are making 300 Thousand dollars a year, and the CEO making 742 Thousand a year is even more of a slap in the face.
They did add a 2nd apology a few hours later. That too missed the mark in my book.

To think that the community on Ravelry will be happy to listen to the USOC put down the skill, effort, time and energy needed to make a knitted item was a mistake.  No it was a huge mistake. Do not mess with people who carry pointy sticks.

I do have a suggestion to the USOC if they want to be able to get out of this tangle. Why not, in a show of goodwill and a way to extend an olive branch, sanction the Ravelympics and use them as a way to  "represent ideals that go beyond sport to encompass culture and education, tolerance and respect, world peace and harmony."which is what the games are to do.  But I suspect that they will not.

There are now calls to boycott the games and sponsors, which this blogger is going to support.
I urge all knitters to let the US Congress know that the USOC apparently needs some over site when it comes to the writing of cease and desist letters.  Apparently they need to have their hands held so they do not get into another huge controversy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Some things.

I have been working on several things and finally have some finished items to show:

This is for a person who is expecting her 2nd daughter any time. As its the summer, I figured making the sweater a bit bigger than newborn would give more use of the sweater. I really love the buttons on it.

 The scarf started out as just a practice piece until my coworker saw it and fell in love. When she mentioned she did not have a scarf for winter the scarf became hers! She was so surprised I would give it to her that I am very happy it found a home.
 The lace project I have on the needles is a kit I got from MD Sheep & Wool. It is coming along well but I was not able to get a good picture of it as I am working on the lace edge. But its the last part of the pattern. So will be done soon.
I did work on the Santa's Magic cross stitch pattern some. At least you can tell a bit of what it is.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Taste of Spring Weather

Yesterday was in the 60's. Beautiful weather for the early part of March. One thing people can not complain about this winter is the snow and cold. It has been suggested it is the warmest winter on the record for over 100 yrs of more.

So today I had planned to do several small things around the house, along with some errands. I decided to do the errands first delighted in the ability to wear sandals and no coat. It felt great. Beautiful weather and some sunshine is wonderful for the attitude.

Only bad thing about the beautiful spring like weather is it spurs me into a major cleaning mode. So what was going to be a small amount of normal cleaning turned into rearranging of some furniture, deep cleaning some areas that are rarely touched (think junk drawers) and some walls getting wiped down.

The taste of spring weather was short lived today though as some rain moved in and the temps are dropping back to the more normal range. The house looks a bit fresher now too.

Days like this are wonderful giving us just a taste to remind us to appreciate the warmer weather still to come.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Still Stitching...

In a perfect world (which I obviously do not live in) I would have posted a picture a few days ago of the stitching currently done. This did not happen for two reasons.

The first - I have lost my ability to tell what day it is at times. This is partly due to some things going on in the personal life, and the fact I have had so many appointments and errands I have not had time to stop and think about what day it is.

The second reason - and more the reason of it all, I have had to tear out one section now 2 times. Make that three times, as I have to tear out the same section again tonight. Before I do that I wanted to show how much I have done:
Do you see the part towards the right side? Above the line of the deep blue? The grey/brown and the gray/blue, that is one whole line down - and needs to be moved up one line. So tonight I shall take that all out.

On another note, my darling dog Cheyenne.. a German Shepherd who has my heart, is currently having some issues with her hips. She started on a new supplement this week to try to help her some. She is a constant companion when we get into the hot tub, not just there to keep an eye on us, but she just loves to chase water drops. I tried to get some pictures of her in action earlier this week:I am hoping the supplements will help with her hips. We have known she has hip dysplasia since shortly after we adopted her from the Humane Society. The hope it to give her the best life possible before this horrible thing takes her quality of life away.

So far we have given her over 5 years. I am being very selfish though and want to have her around longer.

Vincent loves having her keep an eye on him when he visits!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cross stitching

Last week my son and I went to do a few errands and ended up stopping at the local needlework shop, Moore Stitches. I had planned on getting some yarn to do some of the mittens that the Yarn Harlot had designed.
I did get the yarn and was merrily heading out the door when I got to chatting with the owner and a old friend. The talk eventually went to the Mirabilia pattern I had started about 10 yrs ago.

It was the Santa's Magic pattern and had about 2/3rds done with it when I put it away so it would not get messed up over the holidays. Somehow, it has disappeared. I have found the original pattern, envelope, and photo of it. But, the project is still missing.

When I was looking to see if the shop still had a copy of it I found the newer Santa pattern - Winter White Santa. It was beautiful, and part of me wanted to buy it, however, I had just bought the yarn for several pairs of mittens.

Nope, I was not going to buy this pattern.

I don't need to get back into cross stitching. Not going to go there, or look in the UFO bin of projects I have to finish. So I went to put it back on the rack when my son asked to see it.

He proceeded to go to the counter and purchase it for me.

I was sunk.

But, I decided I would finish the 2 projects on the frames before I even think about starting the new project.

So once home the frames were pulled out and I started working on the "Queen of Freedom". It was the project with the smallest amount done on it at all. Only a bit of the stitching by the small red area was done. Which satisfied my desire to start a new project while not really starting it.

This is being done on 32 ct linen. Stitching done 2 threads over 2.

Anyhow here is the current amount of stitching done so far:

Its going well, and I am enjoying it.

The mitten yarn is still in the bag. Lets not discuss it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Black Ice

What a strange winter we are having. There have been 40 degree days lately. Winter was taking a vacation - until yesterday am. I was on my usual rush of a week when Mother Nature had decided I needed a wake up call.

I was heading to work like I do most Wednesdays, when I realized the road looked a bit more wet than it did a few miles back. Almost glass like. Actually, I thought to myself, it almost looks mirror like in a way. The temperature gauge on my dash, it had dropped several degrees in a very short time.

The wind was whipping the snow across the roadway, making it a bit difficult to see. Traffic was slowing and I had been following a plow truck when it suddenly turned off the road near the small private airport. As I passed the airport I noticed about 10 tractor trailers pulled off and sitting there in front of the now stopped plow truck. Somewhere in the back of my mind an alarm went off.

Black Ice.

I slowly turned the wheel and drove towards the edge of the roadway. Apparently I was not alone in this idea. Two coal trucks in front and some in back decided this was a good idea. I left the car just slowly come to a stop, placed it in park, and took a good look around.
Vehicles were sliding and slowing on the road. In the distance I could see an emergency flare burning. Vehicles on the roadway came to a stop.

I called work and told Mary(Boss and little sister) what was up. Called my husband and left him know. Then, I did what any sane person in the situation would do, I pulled out a sock and began knitting. Mary called, they were shutting down the road. I kept knitting. I had coffee, food, heat, and knitting.

Best part - No Interruptions!

I worked on a sock and finished the leg portion, worked on the heel flap, turned the heel, picked up the gusset stitches and started the decreases. I was sipping coffee, watching the snow fall, and enjoying the time alone.

Finally, after about 1 hour or so, the traffic started to move again. I watched for a bit - and finally set down the knitting. The sun was up and the ice had gone. Slowly I eased the car back onto the roadway, and getting to the next exit I turned the car around, heading back towards home.

One blessing of a large family - I have a few places I can stop at on way to work and back. I stopped at my youngest sisters which was about 10 min from where I had been pulled off. Got to spend a bit of time with my nieces and nephew. After spending the day there I headed home.

Now most would think Black Ice would be a reason to think a day was ruined. But, thanks to that, I got to spend time with some tiny people, and enjoyed some mandatory down time. Sometimes, we need to listen to Mother Nature. Taking a break and just being alone is a good thing at times.

Some times I need that kind of reminder.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The quiet time of the day

This is the time I look forward to. When everyone else is in bed and its just me, the german shepherd, and my glass of wine. Add to that some knitting or as in the case tonight, some spinning and it is the perfect end to a long day.

Earlier today was a bit busy as we spent 2 hours exploring the newly opened Hobby Lobby. It was a bit overwhelming. I am not sure I have recovered from it yet. The space was previously a nice sized grocery store and a AC Moore. Now it is combined into one large mega store. The good part - I was walking around the whole time, although I did stop a few times here and there.
I managed to escape pretty unscathed. It was close though. Thankfully, I did get 2 small pillow covers, one Tim Holz texture fades- the Damask & Regal Flourishes set A2, and some things for the youngest.

It made for a nice day. Add in the spinning tonight on the Jensen Ultimate Production was the icing on it all.

I wish you all a wonderful end to the week like this. Its been a crazy, cold, windy, snowy week. This quiet time now? Perfect.

Monday, January 02, 2012

A New Start

So last year is finally done. Thank goodness.

I won't go into how glad I am to see it gone, suffice it to say I am looking forward to the New Year.

But before the end of last year I had the chance to visit the National Coverlet Museum in Bedford Pa. and get some pictures of the displays.
A Scottish coverlet

Jaquard Woven Coverlets

The amount of information and beauty of this museum is so wonderful. I could have spent a day just looking at all of the detail.

If you get a chance to go - Please do! It is more than worth the time.

Other notes - I have closed the fiber shop. After a year of considering what to do about it, I finally made the hard decision. While I love to spin, knit and dye things, I don't have the time to maintain a shop too. So it is closed.

At the moment, I am happy to knit and spin for myself. I promise to share more of the projects with everyone this year.

One of the things that has been keeping me busy, other than family, is working at SMart Resale LLC.
The chance to help recycle, reuse and keep things out of landfills is so important. This year we are hoping to grow the business even more. As the business grows, and we are working with not only used IT equipment, but with some wonderful vintage items.
This past year the business became a Microsoft registered refurbisher, and affiliated with a electronic recycler to securely recycle outdated and broken IT equipment.
The business not only works with large corporations, but individual persons. If you have something that is no longer of use to you - Please contact them to see if we can help you. One woman had some old toys she mentioned she wanted to throw out.
Instead of putting them in the trash, she brought them to SMart Resale. Each item was researched and the suggestion was made to see if we could sell them. That box which would have ended up in the trash instead gave the woman over 400 in cash. Talk about "Found Cash"!

Visit the website and keep us in mind if you have old laptops that are just becoming large paperweights.

Happy New Years all.