Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympics Knitting

This is it folks. I had ambitious plans for Olympics knitting, but tearing out my sweater just above the waistband, well - it just kinda took the wind out of my sails. I completed one of my targets - Falling Leaf socks from handspun, hand dyed Merino. I struggle with the pattern, switching needles to make the pattern work. I wish someone would write it down so I could follow it. My favorite socks are an earlier rendition so I just kept knitting.
The reward is in the wearing. I think this pattern makes awesome socks. I just wish I could figure it out so I don't have to fight it. At my toes is my book club book, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I manage about 100 pages a day during Olympics commercials. I don't like the book at all, so I'm glad to be able to make good use of the commercials.

This is my other bit of Olympics knitting. I made these both yesterday. Can you imagine what they are. Camo Christmas ornaments??? Charlie doesn't have a clue. Do you??

I stopped by the hospital when I was town on Friday to visit Vickie. She was
admitted on Monday and they're keeping her there until Rowdy is born. She's at 31 weeks and they're struggling to gain more time for him, one day at a time. Earlier in the week, she had said his heart rate was weak and they were planning a c-section. However, when I walked down the hall to her room, I could hear his heart pounding strong. He's on a monitor and they have it turned up loud and proud. These are camo premie hats in two sizes for him. I hope he never needs the small one. Thanks for the pattern, Vickie. I didn't know I would need it so soon.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Phoney Sheep

The phone rang yesterday when I was weaving the last inches on my towels. "Hi, this is Lynn Lloyd. Do you own horses? I have a bet riding on this." Lynn owns Ross Creek Ranch, the largest horse ranch in our area. I said, no. "What are the large animals in your backyard?" Um, llamas, I said. "Did you ever own horses?" Nope, I said. "Thank you, honey. I just won the bet!" That would never have happened when I lived in town!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ta Dah

These are the colors I selected for this set of towels. I realize they're pretty Easter eggish, but I just started weaving towels last Easter - if you remember my purple liturgical towels.

I felt generous since I had less loom waste and decided to give each towel an extra 3" since the pattern was pretty wide. Man, oh, man, what a close call. I squose out every inch I could to make the last towel the same length as the others.

I threw them over the balcony to show Ian what they looked like. I thought it was funny but he saw what I didn't - a photo op. That's a lot of weaving, yards worth actually.

I made a threading error but didn't realize it until I was half-way through the third towel. You can see it. I actually kind of like the goof but want to do it again but actually in the center.

Here they are - dish towels in huck-a-
back pattern. I know everyone says it, but they really do look better in real.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Soppy, Sloshy, Soggy

Ian brought this back from his morning mail pickup. I had seen this book on Theresa's blog the other day and ordered a copy for us. Ian and I have both spent time looking through it today. It's self-published so we were a little skeptical at first, but now I can see that we got our money's worth. There's not a lot of information out there for gardening in this fickle climate and this is good comprehensive information.

Speaking of fickle climate, it was just Sunday that we were snowed in and the following morning dawned at 5 degrees. Last night a warm storm blew in and it rained all night. In place of snow, we now have Lake Campbell. Soppy, sloshy, soggy.
Moving onto the third towel, I seem to have adopted an Easter theme. It is Lent, after all. I'd love to finish weaving this set tomorrow. I'm itching to try a rag rug.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fun Surprise

After the kids left yesterday morning, I felt like I needed some zen quiet time and headed up to my tamed warp to throw the shuttle. It was at this point I was arrested. Can you see the skipped dent, just a little to the left of center? I didn't like the color anyway, so ripped it out, unlashed, resleyed, and relashed.
I switched to a more subtle butter yellow for the first towel and now onto the second towel, a pea green. It's one of my favorite colors. I realized when I saw them together though that they were the colors of my wedding, way back in the dark ages. Either I'm stuck in the past, these colors have come full circle, or I'm a color dork. I'm signed up for a two-day color theory class in April. I think this demonstrates just how very much I need that class. Color me timid. Is that a color?
I usually wake up at 7:00, but this morning the bed hung onto to me for an extra hour. I crawled out, loggie-eyed, pulled on my clothes, made up the bed and stumbled into the kitchen for a cup of that magic juice called coffee, to find a box on the counter. Only a serious blogger would take a picture before pouring the first cup of java.

The return address is from Theresa. I shook out the contents of the box onto the counter. At this point, I had been awake 15 minutes and I'm looking at 22 skeins of wool/silk yarn. The logical thing would have been to look at her blog for clues, but I wasn't logical and emailed her. Was I buying this yarn? No. I had WON this yarn in the drawing for her blogiversary. The stipulation is that I must do something for the animal charity of my choice. That's easy - SPCA. That's where we got Charlie and our two cats before him. I've decided to print a photo of him that I use as my header and take it in when I make my contribution.

About three months after we adopted him, I emailed a photo to his SPCA foster mother. She replied that she always knew she should keep before and after pictures, but he was one of the most dramatic turn-arounds she had seen. Someone had found him on top of a tire in the wheel well of a truck, mewling, crusted in crud and oil and starving. That might explain how he holds his own now with three large dogs.
Meanwhile, I have at two least sweaters worth of wool/silk yarn to ponder on. I've shuffled the colors and I am pondering. It's on the dining room table - too cold to eat in there, too far from the wood stove. I get to walk by, stroke it and let it talk to me. This is most fun surprise I can remember!!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Conclusion

Yesterday after a dramatic 18" snowfall, the storm moved east and left us a lovely sunset. This morning, our kids had another new first experience. We woke up to 5 degrees. I rustled up some grub while they packed, and by the time we ate, the roads were improved. Ian drove ahead of them to the highway and they fled for San Francisco.

This is Little Sharon's current project. She is knitting for a school auction benefit. (Noah attends Waldorf School where knitting is part of the curriculum. Also, children are prohibited from watching television so they don't own one.) My mother taught both of us Sharons to knit and I know she would be thrilled to see these.

I said, I didn't know you could crochet, and she laughed - I didn't know I could either. She brought several books to show me more of the artistic things that she and other moms are knitting, including an entire garden with people. She has an art degree and it shows.
I did get that lost white warp onto the front beam while Noah was sledding. This time I lashed it. Linda insisted it's the only way so I thought, why not. I was impressed by how much less loom waste there is. I'm just happy to have it tamed.

SIL Michael is a computer programmer. I asked him for tips on Photoshop Elements and he gave me a wonderful one-on-one mini workshop. I now can reasonably repair photos and I have an understanding where to go to fix problems. (I also have a book.) We sat side by side on the sofa with our laptops and he showed me great fun things.

I've played with it already but I'm anxious to get into the elements he showed me that I didn't even know exist. I took photograpy classes years ago and used a darkroom. He showed me how to make Elements be my digital darkroom. It's been an astounding weekend. I am exhilarated and drained.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Surprise, Surprise.

We didn't have to drive 20 miles for Noah to play in the snow yesterday. The snow came to us last night in a freak and unpredicted storm. This car wasn't going to San Francisco today.

The first order of business was to get the driveway plowed. What more could a four-year old boy ask for?

Papa shoveled snow all morning and Noah itched to shovel snow too. At first he pushed snow from the deck with this gloves.
He needed a shovel and he got one. He spent the next house cheerfully shoveling snow. With some direction, he cleared about 2" from the back deck.
I don't look that cheerful when I shovel snow. After more than two hours, we managed to get him back in the house to dry out his clothes. As soon as they were dry, he was ready to go back out.

There was so much snow, so so much snow. They got in one last sled run. Buster has never seen sledding before.
This is shoveling first thing this morning and it continued to snow all day. Noah got his first snow experience in spades.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

First Snow

Our youngest grandson lives in the Mission District of San Francisco. It gets cold there. Mark Twain said that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Noah is four years old and he has been cold, but he has never seen snow. Little Sharon and her husband decided to drive up this weekend to change that. This spot is 20 miles from our house in the Sierras.
Noah is so excited that he decided to pull his new sled even though we haven't gotten into snow yet. We stopped and Papa drove the truck up further to make sure there was a turn around for for their car.
All that practice in the dirt payed off. He didn't even know what snow is but he was primed and ready. He's practicing some more - not quite ready to actually get in.
Mommy knit Noah's adorable hat - perfect for a little snow boy. It's time for Daddy and Noah to take a turn on the sled.

The ride is over which means that it's time to do it again. The sled was cheap and turns out hard to steer.

Take a look at that face and the tongue. It was a great first snow exper-

Noah didn't fall in the snow. He's hugging it, telling the snow how much he loves it.

We were in California for the snow play. Looking eastward, that's Virginia Peak, Nevada. After we got home, a small snow squall came in, so Noah also got to romp in falling snow. He is one tired little boy tonight.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Colors of February

Sue has called for the colors of the month. Our valley once was the historic Dickinson Ranch and this small farm house was the headquarters. It's unoccupied now and not likely to be lived in again. I read Judy Dickinson's oral history and am fascinated at all the big living that went on in that small house.
The approach to the original house is lined by ranch posts and barbed wire.
The Dickinsons hired a man to tap several mountain springs so they could collect the water for their use and for their livestock. This pond is their legacy. It was a gorgeous day so I collected some photos of our valley today for my colors.

High school bus stop.

Day is done in Big Sky Country.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympics Knitting

Ian came home yesterday morning from picking up the mail and there was a package for me. For moi?? I had spaced winning a treat from Tina, and not only was it a Valentines treat, she had included some of my favorite cookie - Mexican Wedding cookies. I never make them. By the time I thought to take this picture, I had eaten into the cookie population and tonight the cookies are gone. I don't eat cookies, except them. Thanks Tina! And thanks for not sending three dozen!!
My Olympics knitting sweater has been moving along swim-
mingly, until last night when I went upstairs for another ball and realized that I was running perilously low. Red flags went up - I'm going through the yarn too quickly. This morning I took it off the needle and tried it on. It fit swimmingly, as in, I was swimming in it. It's huge! It would fit Ian.

I wanted to pull it all out at one time becaue I didn't want to have to come back to it. How long does it take to turn a half of a sweater back into balls? As long as it takes to do one load of laundry. I put the clothes in the drier and took the dogs for a walk - a long walk. I've remeasured and recalculated and the reincarnation is already back on needles.
I'm disap-
pointed, of course, but especially because I was licking my lips to start a sweater from my new gold yarn. I'm no longer storing a half bag of fleece. Instead, I get to anticipate knitting this. It's pleasantly soft and notice the color of the dye on the white wool that I used as ties. Colored wool overdyes great!