Sunday, March 30, 2008

21

It has been a wonderful warm spring week! It has been in the low to mid 70s and Friday it was 80! It was nearly impossible to stay in my office! I had the window open though and that is nice. But also serves to make me want to be outside more. I have started my spring cleaning and everything feels new. To that end I worked on the wallpaper in the guest bath, progress is being made but I really need to dedicate a weekend to that and finish it up.

So with all this warm weather it is a hard reality this morning when I got up and it was sleeting! It was cold yesterday and a little rainy but the afternoon cleared up and it wasn't that bad. But today is just depressing. Winter making one last grab before letting spring in here.

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So I am nearing completion on a couple of projects, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and this morning I am checking my sock measurements for oh I don’t know the millionth time and now that I have checked the foot measurements, put it on my foot and used the tape measure, I turned the heel, checked measurements again, completed the gussets, the foot looked short now, but I checked measurements came out to the required 6 inches and started the leg pattern again. Yesterday was comparing notes and project progress with a co-worker and she said that foot looks short, and I said, “I know I thought so too, but it comes out each time I measure it and I even put it on my foot” she nodded in agreement that seemed like reasonable checks to ensure proper length and fit. “Must be the stripes that make it look short” we agreed. So I knitted on it some more last night and again this morning, but my co-workers voice kept ringing in my ears so I closed my office door, (don’t want the rest of the office thinking I’m any crazier than they already think that I am) and took off my shoe and sock and put sock in progress on, and guess what, too short! Now, I’m not sure what the heck happened here but I measured it and put it on again, held it up to the first sock and guess freaking what? The foot is now an inch shorter! So I sat at my desk, contemplating when exactly one of my knitting friends would have been able to sneak into my office and unravel my sock and put the heel and gussets back in while I was say… in the ladies room, which is about the only time my knitting bag is unattended. I decided that is ridiculous that isn’t enough time to prank on my sock so the only logical explanation I could some up with is that Lily, yes sweet little Lily whose has a history of sock and yarn theft, most have stolen it from my knitting bag, which is left unattended more than it should be at home and unraveled it. My hubby wishing to save her from certain dire consequences put the heel and gussets back in thinking I would never know! Ha, I’m on to you two! And the consequences for my having to rip these gussets and heel back out is going to be severe, oh yes, severe! I’m think there will be no liver treats in the middle of the night and no homemade bread baking this weekend as punishment for your crime!

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I’ve not been able to detect any foul play with the dog sleeper, and I plan to have that finished soon. I’m thinking of installing a knitty cam in my knitting bag to insure the safety of my precious projects!

The research continues into suitable farm property and which sheep I want to raise. I’m leaning towards Icelandics at the moment. Or possibly Leicester Longwools.
Merinos would not do well there in our climate, they are too dense and it is too humid here. They would be suseptible to fly strikes with that combination. So the search continues.

To that end, we decided to drive over to Gloucester today to have a look around. And enjoyed ourselves greatly. We found a nice little Italian place to have an early dinner and we did a little shopping at Ollie's outlet, they had sock yarn for $1.99, so I had to get a little bit.

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I also stopped by JoAnn Fabrics on the way out yesterday. I have never been in there before and it is funny because it is just down the road a little, but I just never seem to go past the little shopping center it is in. I always manage to be going somewhere that I take another street before I get that far up. So I was looking for something specific and I decided to see if they had it. They didn't, but they were having a yarn sale so I thought well that is work a look so I walked up and down the yarn aisles and they had the yarn I am using for the sleepers on sale only $5 for 1,20 yards, so I bought four, pink, white, blue and turquoise. The lighting doesn't really do it justice. They are bright springy colors.

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And speaking of yarn sales, I got a notice that Colonial Fiber Arts had some new bamboo in. so we drove over there on our way across the bridge to Gloucester and spent some time with the owner, she is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met on any number of topics but especially, spinning, weaving and knitting. I have been having some trouble with my Ashford wheel and the tension. She offered me an alternative to the braking system. I am still having a little problem but it is certainly improved over the way it was. But I am still frustrated with it and gave up today after trying again. It seems that either the spool is turning too much or jerking the roving out of my hands and I can't seem to find an in-between. But I can't reason out a solution when I am this frustrated so the only thing to do is take a break and play with the fabulous purchases I got at CFA yesterday.
Yummy! Xie bamboo fiber from South West Trading Co. I bought #457 Brown (but it is very coppery in the sunlight) I love it! #475 silver and #491 which is a yellow with hints of green. It is all laceweight. I also bought two cones of Valley Cotton 8/2 Mercerized in Silver Gray.


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So all together I bought 21 balls/cones of yarn yesterday! Holy Cow! But I have projects in mind for all of them.

Happy Knitting.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dogs on Thursday

We took the girls to a new vet this weekend. I had really just become unhappy with our old vet for a while and last week I went in to pick up a refill on some heartworm medicine. I went in and was the only person in the lobby. A very young kennel assistant was manning the front desk, she saw me come in and got up to go talk to someone, then a lady with a dog came in for day care the YKA came back and started oohhing and aahhing over the dogs, (they were cute) and calls for someone to come and get the dogs and take them back. I'm still standing at the counter waiting, then one of the vets came in and she brings her dogs to work and they came up front and she made a fuss over them and then finally looks at me and says “oh, can I help you?” I got my meds and left, promptly called another vet that used to work there and left to open his own practiced and had my files transferred over that day. This was just the straw that broke the camels back. I haven’t been happy with the care from the vets themselves and now to not even get good customer service out front as it for me. It is a shame I have been taking my dogs there since I was about 7 years old and my parents got me a puppy.
Our new vet is a husband and wife team. He is the vet and his wife is the vet tech and they have a little family operation going there. I loved them when they were at our old vet, which was literally up the street and so convenient, this one is a little further away but I think worth the trip the level of care I think is going to be much better.
He did surgery on Rosie when she had cherry eye and did a superb job! Their receptionist has a bully too, so we all had much to talk about.
We will be taking Rosie next week to see if we can do something about her allergies, that the old vet kept treating the symptoms and not the allergy itself.
He did say Lily could stand to lose a few pounds and he is right, she is a very plump 72lbs. and Molly is just 80lbs, although she should probably be closer to 75lb, but the basset and the golden shouldn't probably be weighing close to the same amount. LOL, so Lily and mommy have to get some more exercise.

Molly and Lily then got to go to Petsmart, and Molly got a free gift because it was her birthay this month. She was nice and got liver treats she can share with her sisters.
They were both very well behaved considering they each have only ever been there once before. They made several new friends.

This week the girls have lost their minds, they are all house trained and being 12, 6 and 3 have been for some time. But for some reason they have decided that the hallway is a better place to do than outside. I don’t know if it is the grass or what; event though we have had to cut it once already this spring to keep in down for them. But, we have had several “pee” accidents in the hallway and Molly has to “go” over top of everyone else, whether she is inside or out! I have scatter rugs in the hall so at lease I can pick them up and wash them, but it is out of control. There is no UTI going on so I is doggy boot camp this week, they can’t have free roam of the house and I’m keeping them where I can see them, going out with them to make sure they do their business out there. I just don’t know what gets into them sometimes.

In knitting news, the dog snuggle is near completion. I’m hoping by the end of the weekend we will have a finished product.

Happy DOT Everyone!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays

Happy Monday, it was a very productive weekend, even if all the production was not knitting related. But, I did make progress on the dog sleeper and my sock mate. All is rolling along quite nicely.
I'm hoping that last weeks productivity at work will allow for a little calmer week this week and I might be able to get more done at home after work. I have a great idea for framing some cross stiched items. I bought some plain wooden frames and I plan to paint them and dress them up a little bit. I am on a re-decorating kick right now, so I am looking at some pictures I hung in my office at work recently and I might take them back home and dress up those frames a bit too. They look a little plain hanging on the white wall. I'm thinking of adding sea shells to one. And I have decided what I want to do in the guest bath once all the wall paper is down, so I can't wait to get started on that.

It is hard to bellieve that next week is April already! My snap beans are sprouting and doing fine in the little windowill garden I have going and by the time it is warm enough outside they will be ready to go in the grown. I am going to put them in the beds with the jasmine since I have trellis' already there and they can share. I do have to build a few more beds though, for the peppers, tomatos and cucumbers I have in little seed cups. Which haven't sprouted yet and I am starting to worry about them, at least the peppers because I started those seeds a week or two before the beans, realizing of course that beans are fast growers. I might plant some more in case the first batch were duds or something.

It is a little cloudy here today looking like rain. I hope it does because so far my roses that I transplanted are looking really good and I want them to get plenty of water early on to help take hold. I'd really like to completely re-landscape the front yard, but that is a different story. And a huge project.

Happy Knitting.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday

We took the girls to a new vet today. I think we will be much happier there. We know the doctor from a time when he worked at the vet clinic we have been going to for years. He left and opened his own practice with is wife. It is a small family run practice and they were just wonderful today.
Molly and Lily went first we will take Rosie next.

I getting a bit of knitting done this weekend and tomorrow I will try to clean some more fleece. but, I have to help the hubby with some network problems first.

Why did you wake me?

Rosie, says, "did someone say spring? Is it time to wake up?"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Reflections for an Easter Weekend

Dear All,
I typed up a witty little post for today about why I had missed my DOT and how busy work as been this week.
Then I read Joy's Blog and suddenly my bad day didn't seem to bad.

As you enjoy the freedom to practice or not your religion this week, I ask you to read Joy's blog and send up a little prayer or happy thought.

The Road Blog Ahead

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3 6 Bags Full

My friend Terri, whom I have mentioned here before, when she last gave me a bag and a half of fleece to practice learning to spin with, emailed me to tell me she had more fleece from last year's shearing and she was only two months away from this years shearing and did I want some more fleece? Does a fish want water? So I headed on over to her farm after work and we crammed gently placed six large bags of fleece in my Ford Escort. This did not include the three small bags of very special sheep that are no longer with her but frolicking at the bridge. I promised to make her a blanket from the very special wool. I have a pattern in mind already too.

So tonight when I got home from work I began the cleaning process. And another friend told me of soaking the wool in linen/laundry bags in the wash machine. So I thought shoot that would be easier than doing it by hand. So I filled it with hot water and put some wool in mesh bags, closed them up and put them in to soak. I then began spinning. I was in my old little world of spinning when I heard a familiar sound, the sound of the washing machine washing! I sprinted to the washer and cut it off, checked the setting it did still say soak, who knew that the soak cycle would start agitating? I crossed my fingers and hoped that I had caught it in time. So I turned it to the spin/rinse and waited breathlessly, and took it out and guess what?
That stuff felted like nobodies business! I was not a happy camper.

So back to the office to skirt some more and try again, only then did the hubby come home and want help mowing the grass, dinner and feeding the dogs. So that is on old until I can get another moment to try again.

But her are some pictures of my score thanks to Terri (did I mention how awesome she is?!)

My office after unloading the car.
lotawool

Three special bags
GEDC0416

Don't you just want to dive right in there?
soft

And what can make a dog go all loopy and act sort of drunk? Dognip! AKA unwashed wool.
Dognip

Probably should have saved that one for DOT, consider it a DOT preview.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring Fling

Spring is springing up all over here. I relocated some bulbs several years ago when we bought the house they haven't bloomed since, until this year!

I was so surprised to see these lovely ladies pop up this year. I'm horrible with bulbs I always plant them upside down!

Spring Flowers


I also planted five rose bushes yesterday (no pics, sorry) Actually, I relocated them. They had been on the side of the house and had started getting up under the siding so I moved them. I plan to use that now empty space for vegatables.
I started seeds in egg cartons and hope I have some little plants to put out soon.

It is rainy here today, which is good for the roses I just moved yesterday and good for me to stay in and knit!

Happy Knitting All!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring Secret Pal Swap

Here is my questionnaire for the Spring Secret Pal Swap.....

How many dogs do you have? I have three dogs

What are her/his/their names? They are Molly, Rosie, and Lily

What are her/his/their favorite toys? Hooves and shank bones.

What are your favorite treats? Anything chocolate :-)

What are her/his/their favorite treats? Cheddar/garlic bisuits, or peanut butter biscuits.

What are her/his/their/persons favorite colors? Molly = Green, Rosie = Blue and Lily = brown/black

What allergies do you and/or your dog(s) have? Rosie and I are both allergic to pollen. Molly and Lily have no known allergies, except maybe to baths.

This is going to be so much fun!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dogs on Thursday

Happy Thursday Everyone!
Well it has been an interesting week, but the best thing is that it is baseball season! I enjoy listening to the games on XM Radio. Last night was the Indians and the Braves.
the girls enjoy it too, they get to lay in bed and listening/sleep. I am hoping to be able to get to Baltimore this year.
I'm sorry the post is light on pics today, but I do have pics of my snuggle in progress. It is approaching the halfway point and knitting up very quickly. I looked at some of the patterns out there and didn't really like them so I came up with my own.
I thought our snuggle project was such a great idea, i'm going to make a bunch of them for sale and send the money to House of Puddles.
It is great fun.
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Happy Knitting!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Day Light Savings!

Day Light Savings!
Yippe! Now it is not dark when I get home in the evenings. I only wish our time was like this all the time and we didn’t have to go back in the fall. I mean I realize the reason it was created and now they are saying it will save energy and I hope it does, but why don’t we save energy all the time? I don’t mind so much that it is dark when I get up, I just hate it when it is dark when I get home in the evenings. But alas, no more at least for a while!

We had some crazy weather here this weekend. Much needed rain in Friday a little Saturday morning but the wind on Saturday was crazy. It was gusting around 50 something at our house and we were headed over to Virginia Beach and there it was gusting at 72mph! It was very warm and sunny, but the wind would knock you over! Trees came down, some people lost power. We were very lucky our neighborhood did not suffer any of those problems.

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Saturday was a lovely shopping day. We went in search of a new bicycle for the hubby, I think he may have found one he likes. We checked out a couple of knitting stores at the in Va Beach and I can’t say enough good things about
Ewe Knits We spend a lovely time in there talking with Bobbie and her staff. I bought some yarn and a pattern to make the hubby a sweater vests. A project bag by Bagsmith. Another little table top organizer for knitting bits and pieces. Then we went to Michaels and I bought some more yarn for another project I am working on. Details of that coming very soon!
We went to Borders but I really wasn’t impressed with that particular store. It seems that bookstores’ stock differs from location to location, certainly based on demand for that area. But apparently, the people in that area, do no like the same kind of books I go because I thought the selection for Medieval History and the Crafting section were very light compared to the Borders closer to the house. So we browsed and moved on.

We had a nice late lunch out and then came home. Sunday we spent trying to determine the exact problem with the truck and we found it. A leak from the heater valve, fluid leaking down onto the manifold was causing the white smoke that would start and stop suddenly. So today I am going to see if we can get the part locally, if not I found it online and it isn’t very expensive and we can replace it ourselves, no problem. But it might be this weekend before we have time to do that; luckily we have another car and we carpool so not a huge inconvenience at the moment.

So it is Monday and hope springs eternal for a week better than the last. I also noticed a number of blogs that I read seemed to be having a tough time of it for various reasons, so I hope this week is better for everyone.

The girls say, they will just have to take a nap to make up their hour.

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Cheer up everyone spring is on the way!

Friday, March 7, 2008

TGIF, and then some!

It’s been a tough week folks and I hope to apologize for my lack of posting. Things have gone little overboard at work and by the time I get home at night I’ve been really tired. I did make an effort for Dogs on Thursday to get the post up complete with cute pics of Rosie this week, but for whatever reason I can’t get them off the camera. Something is not working right either me or the camera. And I was too tired to fight it. So I logged off and went to bed.

Today is Friday and I’m happy about that, but I am earning my weekend this week. Today as been the worst day so far this week and that is saying something. My nemesis has gone for the day so hopefully (fingers and paws crossed) the rest of the day will be uneventful and pass quietly.

On top of everything we are getting our second set of rain storms this week and my hubby emailed me after dropping me off at work (we carpool) that by the time he got to his office the truck was smoking from under the hood. He couldn’t see any obvious signs of leaks but went inside waited for it to cool and put water in it at lunch, drove to the auto parts store and had to pay $10 for a jug of antifreeze, $10! I mean $4 is usually what we pay, but not knowing what was going on with the truck he felt he should have it, supposed to be in the 30s tonight. He drove it around a bit and no problems of any kind. I don’t know which is worse, having the problem or have it intermittently and not knowing the cause. So I was going to go look at carders tonight at Colonial Fiber Arts, but I’m not sure I want to tempt fake here tonight on a cold raining night and I don’t really have the urge to drop $300 tonight, somehow I’m not in a shopping mood. Can’t imagine how that happened.

We had some pretty good storms here the other night, 60mph winds and rain and I slept through the whole thing. I like to listen to storms, but I was so tired last night I never heard it thunder.

I am taking a break today from the shawl and working on my second Noro sock. I am not happy with the way the shawl is turning out and I am on the very of frogging it and before I do that I thought I would put it down and concentrate on something else. Maybe a break and a new look with fresh eyes will keep me from ripping it all out and starting over, again. But, I’m not really liking the pattern and I have do something about it.

But, today socks, fun, relaxing, sheer enjoyment of socks! The changing of the colors from purple to blue, to green to yellow. AAAHH!

Work has been going at break neck speed this week as far as projects flying at me across the desk, but they don’t seem to be leaving my office as fast as they are coming in.
So despite the temps being near 70 today, it is going to a lunch of soup and homemade bread. That is my comfort food. Only thing that would make it better would be a grilled cheese sandwich with a slice of tomato. And lots of sock knitting.

I’m really digging this toe up procedure! This is my first time using a toe-up and I don’t think I will ever knit a sock any other way again. This is lovely! So neat and clean and less boxy than when I have to stitch the toe together.

And hey, you have a pooch, you have to check out www.dogsonthursday.blogspot.com, not only are their a great bunch of pups over there, their humans are pretty cool too and there is going to be a muddy pup spring swap and a charity knit project coming up soon too. So stop by and vote for your favorite pup charity.

And don’t forget Amanda’s contest at www.nhknittingmana.blogspot.com and tell her Milly sent ya!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Domestic Multi-tasking

Sunday's are my day to multi-task. I generally am home all day, unlike Saturdays which are days designated to go do "stuff". Yesterday was an uneventful trip to the book store and lunch.
With only two days to get stuff done around the house and that includes any laundry that didn't manage to get done during the week, I try to make the most of my Sundays.
So the ultimate in multi tasking tasks, is baking homemade bread. I love the way it makes the house smell. And you have some really yummy results for your efforts. Some of my friends ask "how do you find the time" well it is really easy. Because the bread has to rise twice and it takes a few hours each time. And there is a couple of hours for me to be able to do something else productive; like laundry, vacuuming, spinning, blogging, reading oh I don't know some days you just need to sit and read a book you know. But not today.
Today, while waiting for bread to rise, I tried a little more spinning with disasterous results, I managed three loaves of homemade bread with no problem and managed to somehow mess up a pan of chedder muffins for the dogs, go figure.

Another thing I like about making my own bread is that I control the ingredients. I use unbleached flour; and there are a variety of very wholesome flours out there to choose from the best as it has been told me are the sprouted kind, but they are harder to find. I have found rice flour and soy flour and a variety of others in just your local Farm Fresh grocery store, although I realize they are not in every state.
I used unbleached wheat flour, honey, yeast, sea salt and water. Thats it, six little ingredients and tada three loaves of bread. After you knead it and make it into a nice big ball, you let it rise in a warm dry place.

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Like my oven after I warmed it at 200 degrees, for two hours. Then I took it out and punch it down and knead it again. Put it back into the oven and let it rise again, the directions say it only takes half the time as the first rise, but I let it rise a little longer than that. Usually an hour and a half. Then bake on 350 for 40 minutes.

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While all of this rising is going on though you have all that time to do other things around the house, today I tried some more spinning, it didn't go well. So more laundry, blogging and general house cleaning etc.

I also managed to organize some pictures today and create a little slideshow of my WIPs, (I count include chariety items) so that is it my two lonely little projects I have been working on since January.

Oh and yeah, I also checked out Amanda's blog today, she is having an awesome contest you must go check it out and you absolutely must see the hand dyed yarns at her Etsy shop! Tell her Milly sent you!

Happy Knitting!