Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's like Magic!

This is the weekend that I need to load the trailer and all the big, strong males in the house have simply disappeared. Dan had to go to Las Vegas with the detectives in his bureau. Justin got a call from his employer requesting he work Saturday instead of Sunday. Even my neighbor, Dave, is gone. So it is now up to Kenny and me to finish the job. This may take a while...........

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger

This morning whilst checking Bloglines for updates of my favorite blogs I was somewhat startled to see that Shannon over at "Chickenlips Knitting" (I love the name!) had awarded me a Rockin' Girl Blogger award. It comes complete with a cute button. I am now supposed to nominate five of my favorite blogs and send the button their way. So, in no particular order are the following:
  • Danielle over at The Knitting Niche. I stumbled on her blog as she was attempting to design her first pair of socks. A lovely lady working on a lot of great projects.
  • Suzanne at Yarnhog. She is an attorney living in the San Diego area. She and her husband Ross are very busy, but Suzanne still manages to write such thought provoking articles as "When Does the Five Second Rule Apply?" when you drop food on the floor.
  • Asa who writes The Knitting Nutter. Asa lives in Canada and is running her first yarn contest. She just bought a cabin with an absoluting breathtaking view and responds to comments with a gracious thank you.
  • Suzanne, the Alaska Stick Girl. Suzanne posts gorgeous photos of her wonderful state. I have been stunned by the beauty of the snow covered peaks, the ice covered inlets, and a moose grazing in her yard. A fun place to visit if you can't travel there in real life.
  • Deb at Knottykitty Knits. Deb is a registered nurse who just started a new job. She has some rather amusing cats and beautiful knitting posted on her site.

There are a host of other ladies out there that I enjoy reading but if this is anything like being tagged, I need to leave some sites open for the rest of you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Minus Three and Counting

My husband, Dan, is fairly reserved. In his 18+ years working in law enforcement, he has seen the worst in people on a near daily basis and has to deal with the aftermath of a family's worst possible nightmares. As a result, Dan tends to keep his opinions to himself and strongly dislikes turmoil in his home life. In our nearly sixteen years together, he has come to view my fiber obsession as amusing at its best and annoying at its worse. He knows that I have definite stash issues and rarely comments when new yarns, fleeces, books, equipment or software programs make their way into the house. He did raise his eyebrows when I purchased a 48 x 12 foot construction trailer and installed it in the back yard as a studio for my knitting mania. But aside from a gift card to my LYS on my birthday or Christmas, he doesn't contribute to my addiction. And to put it bluntly, he thinks all the sheep plushies I have been given or collected over the past 15 years are just plain silly. So imagine my surprise when I came home Monday night and I discovered this sitting on the television set in the bedroom.

Just when I think I've got him totally figured out, he up and changes the rules of the game. And the sheep is seriously cute.

I am in the process of getting ready to head to Washington State. Kenny and I will leave on June 30th. We will be driving my car and pulling a small U-Haul trailer. Going along with us for the ride are our four Schipperkes and Kenny's Ring necked Parakeet.

Since I found the missing skein of Sublime, I decided a good project to take up with me is the vest I have been working on. I now have enough yarn to complete the bands for the arms and neck. This is the front of the vest in its pre-blocked state.

And this is the back. I hope to have them blocked tonight so I can post the "before" and "after" pictures for a comparison. It never ceases to amaze me the difference blocking makes.

My final play toy is the new software for my sewing and embroidery machine. I like to embroider designs onto knits, particularly children's clothing. I haven't installed it yet but if the reality is only fifty percent of the hype it should make digitizing patterns much easier.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Revealed

Picture this: The attorneys for a divorcing couple are sitting with their paralegals at a conference table working diligently on a proposed property division. Everyone is concentrating on appraisals and blue book values. The discussion was bogging down and the attorney for the petitioner felt the beginning of a monster headache coming on. At that moment, the postman arrived and placed a package on the front desk. The attorney for the petitioner could see the package sitting there and realized it is from her Secret Pal 10. So the attorney did the only thing she could do....
She excused herself, grabbed the package, brought it back to the conference table and opened it. Inside was a treasure trove of knitterly things.......
A Woolly Felted Pumpkin pattern and a Mini Sock Key chain kit..... A gorgeous skein of Fiesta La Luz silk. It was soooo soft.
To-Futsie Sock Yarn derived from a very interesting fiber base....
It contains a fiber that is made from shrimp and crabs shells! The attorney laughed at such an unlikely source of fiber.
She next discovered a lovely handmade felted notions bag from Nepal.....
.....with four adorable sheep buttons hidden inside.
A sheep tape measure...
...and this beautiful merino roving from Matahari Spinnery.
Two Balls of DiVe Merino Wool in the Autummo colorway. The attorney envisioned a scarf pattern in lace to go with a beautiful silk blouse she owned....
As each successive item was pulled from the envelope, the attorney happily shared her new treasures with the paralegals and the other attorney. She was met with blank stares and a polite nod. Obviously her audience had never been introduced to the joys of fiber.

The final item in the package was this clever card. Inside, the attorney discovered that her Secret Pal was also an attorney from St. Paul, Minnesota named Amanda, http:/ With a smile, the attorney closed the card, repacked the package and got back to work.

Thank you, Amanda.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Endless Afghan - The Eighth Square

Remember the movie "Alien"? There is a scene where the alien larvae leaps onto the face of the victim and attaches itself. That larvae is called a "Face Hugger". How do I know this? Well, my son has a "Face Hugger" stuffed animal. (Don't ask.)

Now take a look at the square designed by Ginette Belanger.

Remind you of anything?

Don't get me wrong, I think the square is lovely and it was a lot of fun to knit. But when it was done, all I could think of was the movie.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Book Review

Kenny and I are leaving for Washington State June 29th. We are driving our car and plan to pull a U-Haul trailer so that I can transport a bookshelf, a barbeque, an knick knack cabinet and assorted boxes. I decided this would be a great time to go through my craft books, weed out the duplicates, and make of list of all the books I currently own.
It has taken me 12 evenings working off and on to rearrange the bookshelves. I found several duplicate books (a result of receiving one as a gift after I had already purchased the same title) which I boxed to take up to Washington. I also organized the bookshelf into categories (1) Spinning, (2) Weaving, (3) Machine Knitting, (4) Hand Knitting, (5) Embroidery, (6) Sewing, (7) Pattern Drafting, (8) Miscellaneous Crafts, (9) Knitting novels and Humor, (11) Designing, and (11) North American Birds (I know -- birds aren't a part of the fiber art group but I like to watch them and have bird feeders all over). I added a shelf for DVD's and my notebooks. When I was done, I could actually find books I was looking for without reading every title.
I also started a swatch of the yarn I just finished spinning and plying. I decided to make the shawl as a Christmas present and have absolutely no idea what gauge this will knit up at -- hence the swatch.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

This is one of my favorite photographs of Dan and Kenny taken on Father's Day when Kenny was five years old. Dan was on duty but had stopped by the house in his patrol car to see Kenny. Kenny ran outside, climbed into his Dad's lap and demanded I "take a picture for his room". I did and here it is.

The corn in our garden was ready to harvest so Kenny and I picked all the ears, stripped off the husks, blanched it for two minutes and sealed it all in plastic bags. All told, we have nearly 80 ears packed away. We have time for one more corn harvest before winter so we planted more corn.

The tomato plants are also producing at full peak. I picked nearly 30 tomatoes this morning and plan to simmer them into tomato sauce. We are also enjoying fresh tomatoes slices as well.

I am also pleased with the towels I am weaving. It took a while to work out the pattern. I had some trouble with the warp because it involves color changes to make the stripes. I had originally wound off for a plain white warp then changed my mind and decided to add color to the original warp. This meant that I had to remember to skip heddles when I threaded them to leave room to add the colored warp threads. It took me nearly three weeks to finally get it right. I then had to program the computer to lift the warp in the proper sequence and remind me what colors I needed in the bobbins. I started out with one boat shuttle but quickly acquired three more so that I didn't have to keep changing bobbins. The first towel went quite slow and has errors in spacing and color changes. The second towel went much faster. The third towel (pictured above) seems to be coming together better than I anticipated and is the first towel I was willing to photograph and post in the blog. Weaving seems more difficult to me than knitting, but I realize I am still in the beginning of the learning curve. And I have to admit that the last towel has actually been fun.

I also finished plying the wool I have been spinning and have now wound it into center pull balls. Last month, I purchased a wonderful shawl pattern from Anne Hanson at Knitspot called "The Morning Glory Wrap". I think that this yarn will work well for that project.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Webster's Dictionary defines the term 'poltergeist' as "a supernatural being supposedly responsible for physical disturbances such as hiding belongings or throwing objects about."
A poltergeist must have moved into our house recently. I know this because in the last month things have been disappearing. At first it was just a little things --- like the extra skein of Sublime yarn I desperately needed to complete the vest. Then my car keys vanished into thin air. Since I tend to misplace them with startling regularity, no warning bells were set off in my head that a supernatural phenomenon had apparently found a new home under our rafters. But then the electric power cord to my laptop computer mysteriously vanished into thin air. It turns out the power cord is a fairly important piece of equipment for my computer. Without it, the battery cannot be charged and the computer turns into a shiny, black paperweight, which is useless for blogging.
The power cord is only ever in two places --- the laptop case or the wall plug in the living room behind my chair. There is no reason for it to be anywhere else. But when I went to plug in the computer, it wasn't there! I checked the computer case. Not there either. Nor was it in the kitchen, bedrooms, dining room, or family room. I even looked in the bathrooms. It had simply vanished.
I did, however, find the missing skein of yarn. It had found its way to the laundry room and was sitting on the dryer. Since I never knit in the laundry room, the only explanation as to how it managed to get out of my knitting bag and migrate to the laundry room has to be a supernatural one. How did I come to this conclusion? Simple really. When I quizzed Kenny, Justin and Dan as to the missing items, they all looked at me blankly and told me the same thing....."I didn't do it".
I know that a poltergeist must have hidden it.
Since the power cord was nowhere to be found, I decided that I would simply replace it and have a spare in case the other one ever turned up (it still is missing). Grabbing a phone book, I telephoned every electronic and/or computer store listed on both the yellow and white pages. Apparently, the power cord for the HP-9000T is not stocked in any of the 32 electronics and computer stores in the greater Fresno area. To make matters worse, each laptop uses a different type of power cord that it unique to that particular computer model. I was informed that using the wrong cord can damage to the computer (something about amps and voltage). There was now way around it. I had to order a new one and wait. Joy of joys, it got here yesterday. I am now back up and running.
Justin is now officially a high school graduate! He had a great time as the center of attention and really was excited that my parents flew all the way from Atchison, Kansas to be present for the ceremony.My parents, Justin's girlfriend, and our neighbors, Dave and Becky waiting for the program to begin. The traditional processional walk began the evening.

And finally posing with his proud grandparents after the ceremony.

I was also able to knit the next square in the The Great American Aran Afghan. This square was designed by Dagmara Berztiss. This square was beautiful and fun to knit. I love the design.

I also have been spinning and should be able to ply the yarn tomorrow. I already have a project in mind.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I need a vacation. Last week, Justin's teacher called me and said he had to have at least a 78% on his final in Geometry to pass the class. Now, I don't do math. I have a computer and calculator for a reason. But Justin needed help so for three days we worked and practised and worked some more on his math skills. And it paid off. Justin passed and will graduate from Sanger High School on June 8th (tomorrow!!). I can't resist -- here is his official senior portrait. Proud mom and all that!
In the meantime, my parents arrived for a visit and to attend the graduation. They flew into San Jose so I drove up to collect them (8 hours round trip). They don't drive so I am now ferrying them back and forth to their hotel and our house.

Kenny is finishing up his last week of school so I am helping him study and pass all his tests. In addition, they are having a special day for the science class to launch model rockets so Dan and Kenny are building a rocket ------all over the kitchen.

Then there is work. I need to finish drafting five Marital Settlement Agreements, review two Orders After Hearing, go through a HUGE stack of mail, attend four court appearances between today and tomorrow, then host a graduation party and head to graduation.

If you are sensing that I haven't had any time for myself (much less knitting or blogging!!) for the past week -- you are right. When I finally was able to knit a little on latest square on my afghan, I discovered that I had miscounted the pattern in the first two rows and have to start over.

Everything should settle down after Sunday. Hopefully, I will post the latest square at that time and the finished vest.