Monday, December 31, 2012

A light in the darkness OR I am not crazy

    A few months ago, we exchanged our cable boxes, for free, and upgraded to the newest version. Right away, I noticed a problem with the one in our bedroom. You see, the new boxes have a blue strip that lights up when the box is on.

    Very quickly I noticed that at night, the light that the strip throws off is very bright. So I started turning the cable box off when I turned off the TV. No problem, right? Well, Hubs had a problem with it. He teased me unmercifully about it, even telling his friends that I had gone loony, perhaps because of the change-of-life insanity? It was sort of implied.

    Well, this morning, I finally got to show him. We were both awake about 5 am, and I happened to remember about the cable box light. So I mentioned it to him, and turned the box on. That light is so bright, you could do a puppet show on the wall! And he finally got to see it for himself. He agreed it was bright, but of course, had something snarky to say. That's why I love him, he makes me laugh, he always has.

    So perhaps he will lighten up on the teasing? Now I just have to work on not falling asleep with the TV on. I sleep closer to it than he does, and sometimes it feel like the sun on my back when I'm trying to get to sleep. Actually, there's been progress on that front too. The last week or so, we've actually turned the TV off before going to sleep.

    But I'd grown so used to it, it's difficult. When Hubs worked nights, the TV kept me company the nights he was gone. It was like a friend, as well as a night light. But now things have changed. It seems that life is always changing...

    And HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone! It already is 2013 in some places, we still have nearly 15 hours.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

crafting update

    I've been working on the Gamer Gloves while waiting for the sweater yarn to come. I know it's been a long time since I crocheted for any length of time, but seriously. I'm only able to get through two, maybe three rows, and my hands start hurting.

    But I persevered, and one glove is now ready for a try on, and I've made decent progress on the other. I'm still hoping to get them both done before I cast on my sweater. I received an email yesterday, letting me know that my yarn had shipped. I'm hoping, even with the New Years holiday, I may get it Wednesday, maybe Thursday.

    I must tell you, I dreamed last night that I was casting on the sweater. How odd is that? Do you think I might be looking forward to it? I really am...

Friday, December 28, 2012

crocheting while waiting for yarn

    That's what I'm doing today, waiting. Yesterday, I ordered the yarn for my real sweater. I've decided not to continue on the practice one, If I can get through the top of the pattern on the practice sweater, then I am sure I can finish the real one. I had received as a Festivus gift, from a really good friend, a gift certificate from KnitPicks. And that's where I went yesterday to peruse through their yarn selection.

    I kind of knew that I wanted to do the real sweater in cotton. The first cotton yarn I found didn't have a great range of colors, so I moved on. The second one had tons of colors! So many that it was difficult to make a choice. I ended up with a really nice, mid-tone bluish purple. Now I just have to wait for it to come.

    While I'm waiting, I have picked up the Gamer Gloves again. I hope to get them done, as I have promised myself that I won't cast on the real sweater until the gloves are finished. I think I better get a move on.....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

exciting knitting news!

    I'm so excited! Last night, the practice sweater body came off the needles! Unbelievable! It was very satisfying. The next step is to find the smaller needles, and pick up the stitches around the neckline, to start the collar.

    Of course, the first thing I did, after it came off, was to try it on, It fit me! It was snugger than I like, but I was thrilled I could get it on at all. After the collar, then I can tackle the sleeves. I will need to buy more of the blue yarn for that, I'm almost out already! I thought I had more, but I couldn't find it in my stash.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

a slightly complicated situation

    I told you Santa brought me a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I've wanted one for a while now. My mom has a regular Kindle, and since she has no computer, we used my email address to link it to.

    Last year, a friend of mom's gave me a Kindle for Christmas. Since I have my nook, and I love it, I let Hubs use it. I try to encourage reading in any way I can. So that one is linked to his email account.

    My mom, as I said, has no Internet access where she is, so when she needs new books for her Kindle, my daughter does it for her, since she's there once a week for dinner. She takes the Kindle home, uses mom's credit card on her own computer, and the books get loaded via her wifi.

    For months now, I've been asking Sara to take my email out of mom's kindle, and put hers in. This was so that when I hopefully, got my Fire, my email account would be clear. Well, that didn't happen. I ended up taking Hubs' suggestion of creating a new email account, just for registering the Fire. It worked just fine! The only other problem I had was connecting to our wifi router. I chose the wrong one, and couldn't connect.

    Eventually, I thought to check my laptop, and saw that I had chosen the wrong one for the Fire. So I went back in and fixed that. Now I have access to the Internet. I have already downloaded two games, Angry Birds, of course, and Mah Jong. I love both of those games, I play Mah Jong a lot on my laptop. I used to play Angry Birds on Google+.

    This morning, I went to Radio Shack, to get a cover and screen protector for my Fire. Those things actually used up much of my gift card. Bummer, I was hoping to buy some sweater yarn with that. But now Fire has a cover, and I'm happy with that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

and a good time was had by all

    I am so very glad, in a way, that the whole hoopla over the holiday is over. It was a difficult one, for me, because of the empty nest thing. Jess wasn't here. But we did get to see him today, and Julie too. We were invited to her mom's house for Christmas dinner, and we went. I usually have trouble getting Hubs to social functions. But this was a small one.

    We had a really good time! Not that it was a surprise, or anything. We just haven't gotten to spend much time with them. Last year, they all went to the Giants game on Christmas Eve, then we all met afterward at her house, and had a big wing-ding. That was lots of fun! This year she promised it would be quieter, just Linda and Chip, Julie's grandmother, Jesse and Julie, and us.

    We really enjoyed their company, and the food was good. I've never had German food before, being of Italian extraction.

    Santa was good to me this year. I got the Kindle Fire I wanted, even though I was told I wouldn't be getting one. I initially had some trouble connecting to the Internet, then I realized I was attempting to use the wrong router. Once I got that straightened out, I was golden.

    First thing I downloaded? Angry Birds! I love that game. Hubs also got me some gift cards, Visa and from Barnes and Noble. I also have a nook, that I absolutely love, and will never give up. Technically, I own the nook, a regular Kindle, and now the Kindle Fire. Hubs uses the regular Kindle. I don't see me downloading many books to the Kindle Fire. I think it will be for playing games. But we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

    I feel I must report that even though I took my knitting with me, I didn't knit at all today.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Checking Everything Twice

    That's what we have been doing, every time we leave for a get-together. We've found that wrapping the gifts in stages works pretty well.The day before we went and saw the grandkids, we wrapped their gifts.

    Tonight, we wrap the gifts we need for tomorrow's get-together. Then this year, I'm throwing out all out wrapping paper, it's all pretty old and worn. I will buy new on Wednesday, when it's all on sale.

    Tonight, we have our tree lit, with the new decorations on it. We are now the proud owners of our grandkids handprints on ornaments, as well as pine cones decorated by our granddaughter, Chloe. They make the tree even more special this year.

    Both Hubs and I hope you all have a very happy holiday, no matter what persuasion you are, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or whatever else there is to celebrate!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Festivus is almost here!!

    I'm getting excited now, as Festivus is nearly here. I love a good, flexible holiday. Our Stitch n Bitch celebrated on Friday, but only three of us were well enough to make it. Tomorrow morning, I'll be exchanging gifts with my best 10 year old friend, and her mom too, I think.

    As for Hubs, I can only keep reassuring him that there are only two more events that we are attending, then he can crawl back into his cave. He is not a social animal at all. He would prefer if he never had to leave his cave. But this is the time of year when we must interact with people, especially family. In our case, it's my family. His mom was the last of his immediate family, and she's been gone for two years.

    Someone PLEASE remind me next year, that at our family dinner, Hubs is not to sit near my brother....

Saturday, December 22, 2012

What a Day! Photo Added....

    Today was the day that my family all gets together and has dinner, then the kids open their gifts. My beloved late mother-in-law began this tradition, when her son and I were first married.

    When you are newlywed, you begin your own traditions, sharing holidays between the two families. In our case, we did Christmas Eve with Hubs' family, and Christmas Day with my family. At first, Betty cooked for us, but after a few years, we started  going out to the local diner, then back to her house for dessert and presents. It was fun, and our son Jesse got to celebrate and open presents three times! Once with Grammy and Pop, once with us on Christmas morning, then again with Grandma and Grandpa for dinner that day.

    Well my mom is the only grandparent Jesse has left, and she has taken over the Christmas Eve diner dinner. Only, since my kids are all grown up, two with families and in-laws of their own, we moved it to a day close to Christmas. This year, it was tonight. After dinner we went to my brother's house with gifts only for the youngest kids, and for my mom, of course, being the matriarch.

    All this was after I worked today, of course. And Hubs worked too, and had to go back after dinner to finish up. So he didn't get to have dessert. All together, I believe there were sixteen of us. Mom, myself and Hubs, my daughter and her hubs, my son and his wife and their two kids. Then my youngest and his girlfriend. My brother, his wife, their daughter with her boyfriend, and their young son rounded out the roster.

   One of our hosts kindly took a photo of our whole table!

    Whew! Thank goodness that's over with! Now we get to do Christmas Day, with Jesse and Julie at her mom's. There won't be so many people there, so it will be quieter, and pleasant. We went there last year, on Christmas Eve; we met there after the Giants game. They all went to the game, including my Hubs and son.

    I can't wait for Santa to come, I wonder what he'll bring me this year? I've tried really hard to be a good girl!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Knitting Progress Report

    A lot has been accomplished in the five days since I took the last photos of my sweater! Here is how it looks right now:

    I am pretty darn proud of how it's turning out! Like I said, I used two full skeins of the cream color, and started the denim blue. I'm saving the rest of the cream for the collar and the tops of the sleeves. Then I'll finish the sleeves in the denim.

   But first, I have to finish the body of the sweater. I'm making it longer than the pattern says, I like 'em tunic length.

    With all that said, I have a confession to make. I am finding that I'm not enjoying crocheting any more. I'm having to force myself to work on the gamer gloves. And that's not a good thing. I will still do the crocheted baby blankets, they are too freaking awesome to not make them. Here is what they look like:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

last minute stuff

    Today, Hubs and I went out and did a few last minute things for the holiday. I believe we are ready now, except for wrapping. Hopefully we can do that tomorrow night.

    I have been knitting up a storm in the last two days, so much so that my yarn holding finger is stiff. I used up two skeins of the cream color, and have switched to a denim blue. I like it. I have at least one more skein of the cream, I'm saving it for the collar and tops of the sleeves. They will also have the denim added to them.

    But, the progress is unbelievable on the sweater! I haven't taken any photos today, with the running around, but I hope to tomorrow. After Stitch n Bitch. Maybe.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

At Last! Sweater Photos!

    Today I present to you the progress report on the practice sweater, complete with photos! I managed to do the whole top with hardly any mistakes. When I got to the part where I was supposed to take the sleeve stitches off, I counted all the stitches, since a stitch count is mentioned in the pattern. I was only one stitch short in the back! I must have missed an increase somewhere. One stitch off isn't bad!!

    So here is how the sweater looks now:

    You can see where the sleeves will go, and the V neck!  It's starting to look like a sweater now. Here is another look, a little closer.

    I will keep going on this one until I run out of yarn. Then I will probably add a second color to finish it. I just want to finish it, I don't really care if it fits anyone, or if anyone likes it or not. If someone does want it, and it fits them, they shall have it.

    Now I think I can start thinking about what yarn I want for my own sweater!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

this year, Christmas will be different

    Surprisingly, this never occurred to me when our youngest child moved out this past June.  I was a bit worried about the empty nest thing, sure. But Christmas never crossed my mind at that time.

    When Jesse was a teenager, I purchased an elf hat, which he was to wear every Christmas morning when he handed out the gifts. He was our official Santa's helper. He wore it willingly, and played along. It just hit me yesterday, as Hubs and I were shopping, that he won't be here this year.

    There are so many stories from holidays past. One of my favorites? You know how kids always try to get their parents up really early on Christmas morning? Well, one year when Jess was a teenager, we decided to get him back, and we woke him up at 5:30 am. We ran in his room, turned on his lights, and stood there shaking him, yelling, "It's Christmas, it's Christmas! Get up, get up!" Of course he got up, and we had a good laugh. He was very understanding of our insanity.

    But he did say that we had better not wake him up at 5:30 again, ever. So when Christmas rolled around again, we woke him at 5 instead. He was not amused, but we were!

    Then there was the whole moose thing. When he was little, Jess loved moose. I know that he'll say it was all us, but he did love them. One year, Hubs sent all the way to Alaska, I think, for a lucite paperweight that had real, genuine, moose poop in it. You should have seen his face when he opened that gift! It was hysterical, and to this day, I've yet to see him laugh that hard again.

    Aaah, the memories. I'll always have those, won't I? And the elf hat won't go to waste. I thought I'd wear to to work this coming weekend, as it's the weekend before Christmas.


Monday, December 17, 2012

In Which We Have a Shopping Day

    This morning, Hubs and I left the house, to do some Christmas shopping. On the way to our first destination, I got my notebook out, and we made a list. It constituted where we were going, and ideally what our purchases would be.

    All went pretty well. For obvious reasons, I can't tell you exactly which stores we shopped in, but we were both satisfied. We got gifts for our son, his girlfriend, and their housemates. Also for the girlfriend's step dad, and one of my friends. Then we got something more for our nephew. That leaves me with only one more gift to get, and I can get that one tomorrow.

    We even made it to Adam's Fairacre Farms, where I bought some more of his coffee, the chocolate truffle decaf. And since I was there, I got some of mine too. Before we went to Adam's, Hubs wanted to go to this little gun store out by our daughter's house. There is a really cute bald guy that works there, so I wasn't against going. Not surprisingly, they were pretty busy. After a while, I got bored, so I went out to the truck to knit for a while.

    I got through the whole upper part of the sweater, right to the row when I take the sleeve stitches off the needle, and put them on scrap yarn. Then I was supposed to connect the front and back of the sweater by casting on some sitiches where the sleeves were. I got a little confused by this, so I text messaged my knitting expert. She told me she would have to read the pattern to figure it out. So I put the sweater away, and went back in the gun store.

    In the end, Hubs bought a new rifle. Not a bad deal. Then we went to Adam's, then we got some chinese food, and then we finally went home. We ended up getting home just at dusk. We ate our dinner, and relaxed for the evening. Now he's in the bedroom watching football, while I watch whatever I want out here in the living room.

    Today was our 24th wedding anniversary, and it was nice to spend the day with him. At about the time we originally said our vows, we decided that we would do it all over again, and that it was a good decision the first time. I wonder if he remembers, all those years ago, that he promised me we could renew our vows for our 25th anniversary. I suspect that he didn't think he would live this long.....    

P.S.   I ended up deciding to give the sweater another whirl; I figured it's for practice anyway, so it really doesn't matter if I screw it up. It just so happens that I think I got it right.... So far, it's looking pretty good! We'll see what my friend the expert says tomorrow!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Busy Weekend

    I just lived through a busy weekend. I have this tendency to not plan things, I like my life to be spontaneous, as much as possible. So, I try to make no plans, unless absolutely necessary. Well, this weekend, a bunch of things came together, all needing to be done. Lucky for me, they were one-after-the-other, not all-at-once things.

    My new purse came, from Thirty One, I had to go pick that up at Sara's house. I love getting a new purse. One of my favorite things is what I call "moving in" to the new purse. I don't just move things from old one to new one. For me, it really is like moving in, you have to see where everything fits.

    Anyway, here is a photo I took of the new one!

    It's kind of big, but I like it. It just means there's room in there for my knitting projects as well as regular purse stuff.  I like how it looked in the catalog, but was afraid to buy it, because I couldn't tell how big it was. So I had daughter Sara throw a Thirty One Party, so I could see the bag. In person, it was much bigger than I had imagined! So, of course, I bought one!

    Then yesterday, I was in the pharmacy shopping for anniversary cards for Hubs, our anniversary is tomorrow, and they had telescoping back scratchers near the registers. They are shaped like dragon claws, and the handles are rubber, of different colors. So I bought one, to keep in my purse. Imaging my delight when I discovered the perfect place to keep it!

    So you can see why I chose the  maroon color handle. And, there were loops where I hadn't suspected loops to exist! Does it get any better than that?

    Also this weekend, I took another adult beginners archery class. I'm a little sore from that, too. But I am determined to get the hang of it, it's one thing Hubs loves to do, and I thought we could do it together. But, I don't think I'll hunt with him. That would be where I draw the line.


Friday, December 14, 2012

I Think I Got It.....

    I don't want to jinx myself (too late!), but, I think I got it. The sweater pattern, that is. I managed to create a little chart for myself that indicates how many rows of each kind of increase there are to be done, and I just tick off with a pencil when each is done.

    I bet that sounds simple to you, but for me it was monumental. That I could figure it out at all is amazing to me. As my good knitting friend said, "You must really want that sweater very badly!" She says that's how she got most of her knitting skills, by wanting something badly enough to learn the new skill. I'm sure I drove her nuts last night at Karate, as well as this morning at Stitch n Bitch, by how excited I was. And I still am!

    I am now confident enough to forgo the whole "make one of cheap acrylic first" thing, and go right for the good wool. Unless I've annoyed the Knitting Goddess with my boastfulness. Which is entirely possible.

    I'm going to continue to knit the yoke of the sweater for practice, just to make absolutely certain. I am not going to take photos of the practice yoke. It would entail me pinning it to the carpet, because it's all rolled up. BUT it is awesome, and you can easily make out where the V-neck is, as well as the sleeves. Who kows - if I can find enough of the practice yarn, I may very well continue on it, just to see what it looks like. There must be someone in my life that it would fit. I made it a smaller size than the one I would make for myself.

    And YES, Sara, I am still working on the Gamer Gloves! One is almost ready for a progress fitting.

   I know, I know, I screwed myself with this post. Now I will have pissed off the Knitting Goddess for sure, and she will punish me for my boastfulness. But I GOT IT!!



Thursday, December 13, 2012

random thoughts after a night of little sleep

   1. We got some shopping done yesterday, two out of three of the hard gifts. Goddess bless Sam's Club.

   2. I am tired and a bit on the cranky side. I really need my coffee today, but there's no half and half left in the fridge. It just doesn't taste the same with milk.

   3. I know of some people who are big Josh Groban fans. I heard him sing this morning, and I don't get it. I'm not impressed. He was amusing on the chat portion of the show, but singing? Not so much.

    4. I'm having second thoughts about using good wool for my sweater. I'm thinking I can buy two of the one pound acrylics, and have the practice sweater done for less than $20. If that one comes out properly, then  I may invest the money in the wool. And I get two sweaters.

    5. I love hedgehogs. I have a small collection of them, always looking for more. I found a giant stuffed one, in Sam's Club yesterday! He was so cute! Of course, Hubs wouldn't buy him for me, and I didn't ask. It was soft, a pillow for kids to lay on, on the floor, and watch TV.

    6. I sort of wish someone would knit that sweater for me.

    7. Hubs and I have an anniversary coming up. This coming Monday, it will be 24 years since we got married. Where did the time go? I still feel like a newlywed. I have to say, this has been the happiest time of my life, even with the few rough patches.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holy Crap, This Pattern is Complicated....

    I knew it would be smart to try and start this pattern before spending the money on the yarn. I am about 4 rows in, and already completely confused. According to the pattern, I'm adding stitches before and after every stitch marker, and at the same time, adding stitches at the beginning and end, on the right side rows. Each group of additions is done at different row intervals. I need about four row counters for this one, one for each specific kind of addition!

    As awesome as this sweater looks, it may be beyond my capabilities. This totally discourages me. I hope to get some help from my knitting expert friend. I am going to try really hard not to give up on this project. I know I can do it, if I can just get the details straight. After the top, it's just straight knitting in the round. Cross your fingers for me, will you? And send me good wishes....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another Wreck of a Night

    Last, I was really tired. I got up at 5:30 am, to go sit with the cherub, and of course, stayed up all day. So of course I was tired. I went in to go to bed at 10:00.

    I fell alseep, and the first time I woke up, the clock read 1:30 am. I had to get out of bed and go find the clicker to turn off the TV. It was wedged under Hubs' arm. I yanked it out, ungently. I then tried to go back to sleep.

    I learned two things last night, the first of which is: don't go to sleep with a headache. It was much worse when I got up this morning at 5:30. You'd think that with all the time I was just laying there, not sleeping, I would have gotten up and taken something for my headache. But you would be wrong. I was so warm and snuggly, I had no desire to get up and walk into the cold kitchen.

    I know I must have gotten some sleep, at some point, because I dreamed. And that is the second thing I learned last night. I never knew you could be drunk in a dream. I was, last night. I don't even drink, hardly ever any more. It was a weird experience, to say the least. And I had the headache in my drunk dream, too, and kept taking painkillers and drinking water in my dream. It didn't help.

    Why oh why can't I dream about knitting? That's what I want to dream about! I would love to dream of me wearing my newly knit sweater. I need to know which color yarn to get....

Monday, December 10, 2012

And So It Begins

     First, I feel I must assure you all that I am still working away on the Gamer Gloves, but I've begun the yarn selection process for my sweater.  I had thought that perhaps I could begin the sweater, with yarn from my stash, just to make sure I could do it. It doesn't even have to be in gauge, or anything. I desire to make sure it's doable for me, before I invest money in any amount of yarn.

     So I got out some Lion Brand Cotton Ease, in purple, and began to swatch. I know I said I wasn't going to, but to me this yarn is a contender. It's so soft, I imagine it would make a sweet sweater. Unfortunately, the gauge was off. I would really like to use Size 9 needles, as I have these circulars in many sizes from a past cardigan. I ended up putting aside the Cotton Ease.

     Then I picked up my latest copy of the Patternworks catalog. I flipped to the back page where they have the chart for the different yarn gauges. I need a heavy worsted/aran weight yarn, so I went through all the yarns of that weight in the chart, one by one, and picked out two that I really liked. One is called Elements, and it's gorgeous. It comes in heathered colors, and I can't decide which one I like best. The other is N.Y. Cotton.

     After all that, I went to the KnitPicks website, and looked at their heavy worsted/aran weight yarns. I found one there that's perfect, and it's not even horribly expensive! I can't remember the name of the yarn right now, but I did put it on my wish list on the site. I think I picked out a purple. I put in that I want 10 balls, because I want extra to make the sweater longer.

    Now I just need to inherit some money, or win the lottery or something. Then I could afford to get the yarn for my sweater.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Designing My Own Sweater, or Not

    I have been thinking recently about knitting a sweater, for myself, but designing it myself. In other words, I'm designing it in my mind.  I'm taking elements from different sweaters and putting them together. I would like to make a pullover, with wide ribbing at the cuffs. I would really like to put thumb holes in the long sleeves. I know of someone who did this, and I think it's a terrific idea.

    I want to make it in sock weight or DK weight yarn, on slightly bigger needles than recommended, so it's drapey. I also want to make it tunic length, to cover up my big rear end. It sounds to me like I need to re-read my Elizabeth Zimmermann book, all about how to design your own sweater. I would even knit a gauge swatch for it, so I would know how many stitches to cast on to get the size I want. Necessary evil.

    After writing those words ^ last night, I got out my books, and looked through them. I couldn't find what I was looking for. So today, after work, I went on to peruse through the mountainous number of sweater patterns. Once I narrowed it down to pullovers, the number got much more manageable. Only five pages.

    Here is one that I found, that I really like:

    And best of all, it seems doable! It's called  Simple Summer Tweed Top Down V-Neck Sweater. It was designed by Heidi Kirrmaier, and it was a free pattern on Ravelry! YAY for free patterns!!

   I am not making any promises that I will definitely make this sweater, but I will certainly think about it, hard. Also, there were two sweaters by the aforementioned EZ in my list, which mentioned exactly which chapter in which book that the pattern appears! So I will go check that book again.

    I feel I must mention, that if I do make the above sweater, I will probably make the sleeves too long, so I can put the thumb holes in. I am quite adamant on those.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Curious Problem

    I have one of those. In fact, it's possibly a medical problem. I was hoping that I could describe it, and maybe one or more of you would have an idea as to what the heck is going on.

    I am a side sleeper. When I go to bed, I must always start out laying on my right side, then later I can move to my left.  A few weeks ago, while sleeping on my left side, I woke up and my right arm was cold and tingling, like it was asleep. That was the arm that wasn't under my weight, but it was under the blankets.

    Ever since then, my hands get cold. Just sitting, watching TV, or working on my laptop, my hands get colder and colder. But, the right one is colder than the left. Today at work, I was sweating, but my hands were still cold. I had my co-worker feel my hands, and again, the right was colder than the left. If uncovered, my arms are cold also.

    I think this must be a circulation problem, but how? And why? Does anyone have any other relevant theories? I am willing to hear them all. I will go see the doctor, but not until next month.

   Another thing is that until this started, if my hands got cold, they would ache horribly. I usually start wearing gloves in September, and wear them until May. But now, my hands are cold, but they don't hurt anymore.

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who has an idea. Thanks in advance for your help.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Festivus / Christmas Shopping

    I have, as of today, gotten three gifts taken care of. THREE. That's it. There are at least three more that I have in mind, if not four. Thank the Goddess that we are restricting family gifts to the youngest children, and matriarch, this year. That takes off a lot of pressure.

    I have my gift for the Cherub, one for Hubs, and one for my friend Bonny.  That's it. I am contemplating which of my self knitted items to gift to friend Jan. She is definitely knit worthy. I was going to contribute a gift card towards yarn for friend Kim's sweater, but she's already purchased the yarn. So I need to re-think that gift.

    I have a specific thing in mind for grandson Mason, will see about that tomorrow. Hopefully they have one in a good color for a two year old boy. For his big sister? No ideas at all. Ditto for my nephew.

    Crap, this time of year sneaks up on ya, doesn't it? I better get a move on, on those Gamer Gloves.....

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sharing Some Family Photos

    I am recuperating from the e-plague, and not getting any ideas for my post today. I was also looking at the photos in my laptop and it suddenly hit me - why not share some of those photos? I shall start at the beginning. Here's my parent's wedding photo, Jan. 22, 1955.

This is my dad's mom, Rose. She passed away a while ago.

Here is a recent photo of my dad's sisters, Kate and Mary Lou.

This one is my brother, David, and his wife Carol. I think this was taken at my daughter's wedding, 2010.                                      
Here is a photo, I believe it's the first ever, of my three kids together.
This is my favorite photo of Sara and her hubs, Mike. I love her hair this way...

Here's my handsome second child, James.

This is a photo from his wedding, June 2007. His lovely wife is Jessica.

Here is one of their two beautiful kids, Chloe and Mason. This is actually a bit old, Mason turned two in October.

Here is a more recent one, my Hubs with Mason, taken this past summer.

And lastly, but never least, is my youngest child, Jesse. I swear, he spends more time in his karate uniforms than in street clothes.

               I guess I should put a photo of myself in here, too. This is from August of 1973, Walt Disney World, Florida. Do you think I had an attitude?? Don't most 16 year olds?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Newest Thing - The E-Plague

    I know all about this, since I myself am a victim. It starts simply enough, with a texted conversation with a friend, who has sick family members. And some way, somehow, this sickness gets transmitted to you, through your cell phone, and directly into your throat and nasal cavity.

   Yesterday was that day for me. My good knitter friend, texted me that her child, the Cherub, is sick and not going to school the next day. She feels like she's coming down with something too. Shortly after this text conversation ends, the nagging, tickling feeling starts in my throat. By evening, I am in full sore throat mode.

   I text to her that she made me sick through the cell phones, and she tries to deny it. She says she was protecting me, by not making me come to her house. I know better. I also know that she didn't do it on purpose, and only had the best of intentions. But I still got the e-plague.

    Apparently, I am not the first to get it; I hear from  a mutual friend that this has happened to her as well. Harummmpphh.

    So take heed, my loyal readers, and beware the e-plague. Who knows what could be next? Contaminated e-mail? This is a new type of germ warfare..... I don't think I like it. I have felt so icky all day today, that I haven't even worked on the Gamer Gloves.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gamer Glove Progress and More!

    I am very pleased to have today's post ready so early. Sometimes I can't think of a subject until late in the evening! But today, I have a photo of my Gamer Gloves, as well as a couple other things!

    Here are the Gloves, you can see one has his thumb hole already!

    Last night, I set out a trap, scientifically designed to capture cats. Being a life long cat caretaker, I know how much they love boxes. Now I have photographic proof. And my poor Ozzy was clearly embarrassed at being caught. He wouldn't look at the camera, and, in the second photo, you can see he was already on his way out.

    A few days ago, a good friend gave me a slice of pumpkin cheesecake that she and her daughter made. I finally got around to trying it this morning. It's really good! I also took a photo of the cheesecake, as I was on a roll. You can even see where I took the first fork full!

    So there it is, my early day post! I am very relieved I was able to pull it together, I must tell you! Now I can get on with the rest of my day. Enjoy!

P.S. As I type this, Ozzy has gotten back in the box. Very slowly and carefully, making sure I didn't see him. But I can hear the paper rustling as he moves....

Monday, December 3, 2012

Today's the Day

   Yup. Today's the two year anniversary of my M-i-L's passing. I spoke to Hubs a few days ago, and asked him if he thought we could go up to the cemetery, for a short visit. He concurred, so off we went, shortly before noon.

    It's quite a ways north of here, up in Columbia County, at a very quiet church. It's really a peaceful place. The weather even cooperated, it was gorgeous out today. I don't think Hubs really enjoys going there, but I think his mom likes it. On the way, I usually think of all these things that I want to say to her, and to her husband also, since he's there too. But when we get there, and when I start to talk, I get choked up. So I end up talking to her in my head. Today, I did manage to say out loud that she got her fondest wish, that our son, her only natural grandchild, is living in their house. Both she and Tom wanted that.  I hope it makes them happy.

    I really meant to take my camera up there with us, I can't believe it forgot it. I wanted to get photos of the cemetery, and the headstone. On the drive up, we stopped and Hubs bought an evergreen wreath, which we placed on the ground in front of the headstone. We decided we didn't want to block it, or Tom's veteran placque.

    On the way home, we stopped at a little local diner in Red Hook, and had lunch. Then we completed our journey. I think it does us good to stop and remember our departed family members every once in a while. For me, it's a very spiritual experience, I feel cleansed afterwards, and renewed.  < Deep breath > Thanks, Betty, for raising your son so very well.....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Sock Monkey Saga

    For many weeks, the Cherub and I have been discussing sock monkeys. I have a small one hanging on my rear view mirror, and she covets him. Thus, I decided to get her a sock monkey for Festivus.

    I first spotted one in the Build a Bear Workshop. It wasn't expensive, and you didn't need to buy any clothes for him, so I thought he would be perfect. The next week, I went back to get him. He was no longer available. RATS! They had brought out the Christmas ones, like the Grinch, and Clarice the reindeer.  I even looked on their website. No Sock Monkeys.

    Not really being a avid shopping person, I asked around if anyone knew where I could buy one. No one had any ideas. At work last week, I even asked a customer and his wife if they would look in all the vendor booths for me, and see if anyone was selling any Sock Monkeys. It was very nice of them to do this, and they even came back through to tell me that they didn't see any.

    I finally ended up Googling "Sock Monkey", and settled on what seems to be the original - Sock Monkey There, at long last, I was able to get a Sock Monkey. The only problem I had was deciding which color to get. They had the original gray, of course, as well as pink, blue, purple, and a host of multi color designs.

   I decided on the purple one. I ordered him on Cyber Monday, and he came on Friday. That was quick, and I was pleased. Here is what he looks like, sitting in my chair:

I also took a close up of him:

    He's pretty cool, and even came with a bookmark, and a banana pen. He's like 21 inches tall! So, that's one present down, too many to even think about to go!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday, Sweet Saturday

    Today, I took the day off from my weekends-only part time job. You see, I had convinced my daughter to have a 31 purse party, so I could check out one of their purses that I really liked.

   Her Pampered Chef friend also sells the 31 products, so she knows all of us, and has been to Sara's house more than once. That party was today. I went, and had a good time. I must say I was pleasantly surprised that the bag I liked was actually much bigger than I thought it would be. So, of course, I ordered one!

    It also just so happened to be Sara's birthday today. My oldest child, my heart. It makes me so happy to see her settled and married to a great man. But don't tell him I said that... I wouldn't want him to get a bigger head.

    I hung around after the others had left; I wanted to see his hands, for Gamer glove thumb hole placement. Once that had been decided, I beat feet, and let the kids decide where he would be taking her out to dinner to celebrate.

   But tomorrow, it's back to work. I am still hoping some local friends will stop by the Hudson Valley Market Place to see me. There are a lot of vendors there, selling all kinds of things, from mattresses to purses, and clothes to jewelry. I hope to see some of you there! Remember, it's that gift giving season again!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Does the loss ever fade?

    There I was, going about my day as usual. I went to Stitch n Bitch this morning, hung around the house for a while, then headed to the mall to get my paychecks. Two, because I refused to leave my house last  Friday, Black Friday.

    I had been to the bank to cash the checks, and to the supermarket to buy tonight's meat for dinner. I was almost home. Now, I know that in three days, it's the two year anniversary of Mother-in-law's death. I have been aware of it for a while. But when I turned off Rte. 9, onto the side street that comes out near my house, there is a funeral procession lining up on the side of the road. The fact that it was the same local funeral home that took care of Betty might have made it even more poignant.

    I see the cars, and, as I drive by, the tears start. By the time I get to the other end of the short road, they are running down my face. Just seeing that makes the water works start, brings back all the memories. This surprises me. You think you are over it, then something brings all those feelings roaring back, seemingly as fresh as that day. I'm even in tears as I type this!

   I mean, really, there wasn't even a funeral, she was cremated. We did have a nice memorial service the next May, and buried her ashes with those of her husband.  But still, death is death, and loss is loss. I feel it keenly even now, two years after the fact. Hence my question, does it ever fade?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gamer Glove Progress / Snow Photos

   I have made progress on the gamer gloves, I started the second one. I was at the point in the first one where I will put the thumb hole, and I want to actually see the thumb, so I started the second. I may have that one ready for thumb hole measuring by the time I see him on Saturday!

    The snow we had the other day was my favorite kind, it melted quickly. I did manage to get some photos before the battery died in my camera.

    This light coating of snow on the leaves my mom used to say was like sugar on Wheaties, the cereal. I still think of that when I see light snow. These photos are of the wooded lot next door to us.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Today's Doings

    Today was a nice day, spent for the most part with Hubs. We watched TV in the morning, then he went to the garage to try and fix the generator. He was unsuccessful, so he came up and looked up "generator repair shops" on google.

   He found one, relatively nearby, and the woman on the phone was very pleasant, and helpful. Since the generator is very heavy, he had to ask Jesse to come by and help him put it in the truck bed. Then we were off to the repair shop.

    He had talked this morning about going to Kingston, which means visiting Sam's Club. But after dropping the generator off, he just wanted to shower, have lunch and relax. So we did. Perhaps we can visit Sam's sometime over the weekend.

    I haven't crocheted much today, I have no excuses. But I will get more done by Saturday, when I will be seeing Sara, and going to her house. I want to get an idea of the size of the thumb hole, which is best done in person. Hopefully her Hubs will be around for that.

    I can now feel the holiday spirit rising in me. It hasn't in a long time. I finally got to discuss with Hubs the family dinner arrangements. Since Christmas is so early in the week this year, we will have our dinner the weekend before the holiday, instead of after. Hopefully everyone will be able to make it.

    Let the shopping begin! Actually, I have started. There's one gift that's on it's way to me. I ordered it on cyber Monday. Yup, I participated, for once. But I refused to leave my house on Black Friday. I wouldn't even go to the mall to pick up my paycheck. I will go this Friday, though, and get both.

May the Spirit of Christmas fill your life!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No Photos Today

   It's been snowing here, and I went outside with the camera to take some snow shots. After maybe three or four photos, the low battery light came on, and then the camera died. Don't you think I might like a bit more warning than five seconds?

    I was also going to take a photo or two of my crocheting progress on the fingerless gloves. Now I can't do that either. I worked until it got too dark last night, then did some while hanging with the Cherub this morning. I can't work as long as I used to, my hands get sore. I guess I'm not as used to it as I once was. Knitting is easier on the hands than crochet.

    Hubs decided to go out hunting in the snow, he hopes it will make the deer more active. None of his friends have even seen a deer this season. So he will sit there until he freezes, then come home and want me to warm him up. I can do that, I'm good at it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

In Which a Yarn is Chosen

    That's right, I chose a yarn for the fingerless gloves for my cold handed, video gamer son-in-law. That's really progress! I would have started crocheting earlier, but I didn't feel very well today. I even took a nap, something I hardly ever do.

   Here is the yarn I chose:

    It's a nice, masculine, camo yarn. It will go well with all the military type video games he plays. I now have a few rows done on the first one, but it's getting dark now, and harder to see. I will work as long as I can, and then continue tomorrow. I hope his wife approves. I think she will.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

On to New Projects / An Awesome Dinner

    I think it's past time to start the promised fingerless gloves for my bestest son-in-law. Tomorrow, when I can walk again, I will go through my stash and hopefully find an appropriate yarn. I will then sit and crochet them until they are done!! On this you have my solemn vow.

    This weekend was fun at work. We were really busy and I like that. It's fun to talk to lots of people. It was hard for me to open up at first, and just do it, but now it's much easier. I'm even finding myself smiling and saying hello to people in the grocery store! I get some weird looks. It's OK, it makes me laugh.

   After my little four hour shift, I stopped at the grocery store, to get some stew beef. It was chilly outside, and I just knew it was a good soup day. So now, the soup is cooking, and the house smells terrific. Gotta love the smell of a good home made soup! (even if it does come from the Awesome Store!) I'm making my Hubs' favorite, the vegetable barley, I add my own beef. I also add a few other things, like a small can of corn, and about two tablespoons of honey. You can add anything you like!



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Post Felting Photos

    Who knew? When I threw the bucket bag in the washer then in the dryer last night, I never expected it to dry quickly. Based on past experience, it usually takes two, if not three, dryer cycles to dry my felted things. And even then they are still damp and must hang over the baseboard heat overnight.

    But yesterday, there was a change in my usual felting routine. I needed to wash my jeans for work today, so I threw them in with the bucket bag and the tennis balls. When I went down to get the jeans out of the dryer, the bucket bag was also dry! Completely! I was shocked to say the least. But at least I can now post the after felting photo! I also measured it, and it's now about 7 inches tall.

    I really like the way the denim blue came out, I may do another one, just in that color. If anyone were to make this bag, my advice would be to use a solid color for the bottom, if you are going to use a variegated wool for the body. The crochet stitches show the colors differently, and it may not be pleasing to some people. Personally, it makes no difference to me, I like things that are different.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bucket Bag Progress Report

    I have officially finished the third bucket bag. It's bigger than the last two. I made the bottom 15 inches across, and the sides 15 inches tall. Here's a photo of the finished bag, pre felting. If I can, I'll take another, post felting.

    For reference, I present the photo of the first bag, with same remote used for scale:

    I have to admit, I'm aquiver with anticipation, to see what it looks like after being felted! I can't wait to see what happens to the stripes. I should mention also, that I made the handle on this one 16 stitches across, instead of 12, like the first two.

    I went with Hubs to the Fishkill house today, he wanted the company. So I sat and knitted while he worked outside on the house. I was able to finish the handle, but since I didn't think to bring another needle, I had to wait until we got home to join them together. 

    When he was done, we went to Dickie's BBQ, which is excellent and I recommend it highly, then we came home. We brought the BBQ home, and ate it once we got here. Now I will go and put the bag in the washing machine. Hopefully I will be bale to report tomorrow!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My List, Part II

    Yesterday, I had a wicked brain freeze and couldn't think of anything else to add. Last night, it finally loosened up, and ideas flooded back in. So here's a continuation of my list:

5. Sheep. I am thankful that sheep have wool, and that someone figured out how to harvest the wool, and turn it into yarn.

6. I am very thankful for all of our Servicemen and women, past and present, who sacrifice so much to keep us safe. My dad was in the Air Force, during the Korean War, you'd think I would have remembered that earlier...

7. Even though we have our aches and pains, I am thankful that we are relatively healthy.

8. And I am thankful that I found a part time job. It gets me out of the house, meeting and interacting with new people. We all need to expand our horizons, or we get into a rut.

9. My parents probably should have been higher on the list, but I am very thankful for both of them. They taught me a lot, and provided the secure base for me to build my life on.

10. Lastly, I am thankful for our empty nest. It means that the hardest, most crucial, part of being parents in done. We have taught the kids what we can, and have set them free on an unsuspecting world. They are functioning adults, and able to take care of themselves. It's our time now, Goddess help us....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Here's My List

    Most of this month, some of my facebook friends have been listing, day by day, things they are thankful for. One thing, each day. I read them, and wonder what I would write if pushed into it. I mean, seriously, doesn't "life" just about cover it?

So I thought I would sit down and try to come up with a list of some sort.

1. Of course, my Hubs has to come first. He came along at just the right moment in my life. He's one of the reasons I believe in a higher power, whatever you want to call it. I like to think it's the Universe looking after me.

2. My kids come next. All three grew up to be good people, despite having me as a mother. Even though one didn't have me for most of his childhood.

3. I am very thankful for my friends. I've had many over the years, some for longer than others, but all were important to me, and taught me what they were sent to teach me. I hope.

4.  The only other thing I can think of that might be relevant, is BEEF. In elementary school, my youngest child's class one year made turkeys by outlining their hands spread on a piece of paper. Then they made feathers out of construction paper, and wrote on them, things they were thankful for, and glued the feathers onto the turkey. On the pinkie feather, my baby had written BEEF. He was thankful for beef. We still laugh about that one.

May you all have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!  Remember to tell those you love that they are important to you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Day in the Life

    What a good day it's been. I got up at 8:00, made myself a half pot of coffee, and sat down in my chair. A few days ago, I made a trip out to Adams Fairacre Farms to get more chocolate truffle decaf coffee. We were almost out. While I was there, I decided to try a new flavor I had seen on my last visit. It's called Maple Bacon. Now, I figure that anything that has bacon flavor can't be bad.

    That's the coffee I got to try for the first time this morning. With great anticipation, I sipped my first cup. It's pretty sweet, and not terribly mapley or bacony. But it's not the worst coffee I've ever had either. Tomorrow I'll go back to my regular chocolate truffle, thank you. I'll save the maple bacon for another occasion.

    I watched my favorite morning shows, then got dressed and went to the supermarket. That went well, also. Even though the parking lot was pretty full, there weren't that many people in the store. I even found a handicap spot near the door.

    While I was out, I also went to the Post Office and got the mail. When I returned home, there were two large, rather flat, boxes waiting on the stoop. My favorite UPS man, Dave, had been there in my absence. I brought the groceries in, then tried to figure out how to get the boxes inside. They were a bit on the heavy side, as well.

    I finally managed to get them inside. After I caught my breath, and put the groceries away, I finally got to sit and knit, while waiting for the laundry. The rest of the day passed peacefully; I was knitting while watching Cadfael episodes on Netflix. I got quite a bit done, knitting wise. I started the third skein of wool, this one a denim heather, and quickly found a problem with it.

    I usually manage to find the inside end of the yarn, in the middle of the skein, and this time I was successful as well. However, as I knit, I pulled out a rather large tangle, in which I could see at least two more ends. It turns out that there were two separate pieces of yarn, not attached to the skein, that somehow got put inside the skein. This is supremely annoying to most knitters. Fortunately, it seems to only be the two pieces, so far. I have knit over an inch on the bucket bag with the new yarn, and haven't come across any more of them.

    Now I am just sitting here, watching evening TV, waiting for Hubs to come home from work. I did the laundry, and also the dishes. I also cleaned out the cat box. It was a busy day, after all... All that's left is to cook dinner when he gets home.

    After proof reading this, I thought I should clarify something. A half pot yields two cups of coffee in my house. We have BIG cups. I believe they are 18 -20 ounces. So a full pot gives us two cups each, which works out perfectly.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Promised Photos

   So today, I broke down and took some of the photos I promised you. Hubs and I were going to have a lazy day, and not even get out of bed, but that didn't work out. He's gone hunting until dark, so I have the afternoon to myself.

    First up is the photo of my knitting progress.

   This morning, the Cherub asked me why I keep making bucket bags. I told her it's like her mom making shawl, after shawl, after shawl. It's what my crafty muse is telling me to make! Sometimes we crafters are helpless to resist.

    Then we have the photo of my archery target.

   And just for giggles, I took a photo of Ozzy, the crazy talking cat.

    He doesn't seem to enjoy having his photo taken, at all. He never looks very happy in any of them. But he is very talkative and very soft, even if he isn't a very big cat.

    Enjoy the day, everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Awesome Adventures

    My part time job is at the Awesome Store (aka Awesome Country), they have a large booth at the Hudson Valley Marketplace. I work Saturdays and Sundays, since those are the only days the Market Place is open.

    It's a very cool place, like a big indoor flea market. There's a food court, an aisle for food-goods vendors, and lots of booths where people sell all kinds of things! I went there a couple of times, with Bonny, and by myself, before getting the job.

    There have been a few memorable customers, in the weeks since I've been there. My second weekend, these two teenage boys came up to my tasting station. I greeted them, as I greet everyone who walks by. They looked at each other, and said "Do you know that we have walked through this whole place, and you are the first person to talk to us?" They ended up spending money in our booth because of my talking to them. That made me feel good.

    At my tasting station, I always warn people, if it says "hot" or "spicy" on the label, it's usually really hot or really spicy, so if you don't like spicy stuff, stay away from those. Last weekend, a couple came up, and the husband tasted our "hot salsa". It has flames on the label. He told his wife that it wasn't that hot, and she should try it. Well, she did, and started hitting him, and waving her hand in front of her mouth, and yelling "Are you crazy? Are you trying to kill me?" That really cracked me up. I warned them!

    Slowly but surely, it's getting easier to be standing for my shift. I get to walk a bit too, so that really helps.

    If anyone reading this is local to Dutchess County NY, come on by! The Marketplace is on the Salt Point Turnpike, across from the cemetery. For real locals, go up Innis Ave, all the way, then bear right on Salt Point, it's just past the old railroad bridge.

    They're open Saturdays and Sundays, 9am to 5 pm. Hopefully, I'll see you there!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sore Muscles and KnittingProgress!

    My arm and back muscles are a bit sore today, due to the archery class last night. I had the foresight, however, to know when to call it quits. My arm was getting wobbly, and it was getting hard to breathe. I totally spaced, I should have taken my inhalers before I went to the class. The others in the class carried on, and I bet at least one of the ladies is very sore today!!

    Maybe tomorrow I can get a photo of my target, so you can see how I did! It really was a great class. I had a ball, and will sign up for another when they offer it! As far as my knitting goes, I made great strides yesterday at Stitch n Bitch! I only had coffee, so I was knitting while the other ladies were eating their breakfasts. Knitting in the round, around and around, gets a little old, but in the long run it'll be worth it.

     Later in the afternoon, I went out with good friend Kim and her Cherub, and while they were poking around in Marshalls, I walked up to Joann Fabrics, and picked up another skein of wool for my bag. I bought a denim one, I thought it would look cool to do the top of the bag and the handle in denim. When I get that far, I will get some photos for you to see!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Something New, Part II

    It's now after 10 pm, and I just got home from the bow club. It was a lot of fun! There were 5 of us all together, and we all shot pretty well. I even got a few bulls eyes! I wasn't even the only leftie, there was one of the men was too.

   There were three ladies, and two men. Then men had shot before, but not in a long time. One of the ladies was a complete novice., and the other lady and myself had shot before, but not in a long time.

    There were two instructors, and they were both very nice, and totally understanding. They were very supportive and helpful.

    I think that this is something I will be doing more of in the future!

Something New, Part I

    Tonight, I will be doing something new. I am a bit nervous about it. You see, my beloved Hubs is an avid bow hunter. At one point, I expressed an interest, not in the hunting, but in the shooting of the bow. I thought it was something we could do together. When it's not hunting season, he shoots in leagues, and at targets for fun.

    That year, he went out and spent lots of money on a special left handed bow for me, as well as arrows, and a case. We went target shooting a couple of times. I wasn't very good, and got discouraged. Well, at his bow club, there is a newer member who is giving a class for beginning shooters. Hubs has talked me into attending tonight's class.

   I don't even have to bring my own bow, the club has enough for everyone to use. I am excited about it, but also nervous. At least I'll be with other newbies, and hopefully won't be too shy. I might even make some new friends!

    Later on, after the class tonight, I will write part II to let you know how it went.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


    There I was, knitting away, at the end of the first of three skeins of Paton's wool. All the same colorway, I might add. I attach the new skein, and start knitting again. After a few rounds, I notice something. 10 points to the first one to comment on the photo:

   Yup, that's right. The 1st skein had tan in it, bottom of photo, and the 2nd doesn't, top of photo. It has gray. I actually like the 2nd one better. I checked the 3rd, and it has tan in it again. I didn't even notice when I bought them. They all looked the same to me.

    So this bag is gonna have a strange looking stripe in the middle. Oh well. The colorway was Wedgewood. I couldn't find a dye lot on any of them. If I was making a sweater, I'd be really pissed. But it's just a felted bag, so it'll just add some interest.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Down Side

    I am discovering that there is a definite down side to having my beloved Hubs working a day shift. When he was working nights, he was sleeping all day. That gave me tons of time to myself. I got spoiled watching all the TV shows that I wanted to watch, I could go out and do whatever I wanted, as long as I was home by 3:00.

    That time restraint? I put it on myself, he didn't require it of me. I wanted to be home to start his coffee, and generally be here while he got ready for work. It was, after all, the most contact we had with each other during his work week.

    Even on his days (nights) off, he still slept a good portion of the day. He always had a hard time adjusting back to a daytime life. So I still had lots of time to myself.

    Now that he's on a day shift schedule, I am having a hard time with a few things. For one, he's up at the ass crack of dawn, even on his days off. So when I get up, he's already settled in his chair, with his coffee, and watching shows on TV that I don't like. So that means I'm missing my shows!

    For the first month, he worked a 5 day a week, 8 hour a day schedule. But now, he's on this funky 12 hour, two week, rotating schedule. He worked Sat, Sun and Mon, has off Tues and Wed, works Thurs and Fri, then has off Sat, Sun and Mon. So the days he works one week, he has off the next week. This schedule makes it very hard to schedule things like doctor appointments and such.

    I liked the night shift schedule so much better. He always worked Wed, Thurs, and Fri, and worked every other Sat. No muss, no fuss.

   Anyway,the other way it's messing with me is at dinner time. Now I have to cook a meal every single night! This truly sucks. Before, if I wanted to, I could have popcorn for dinner, or a frozen pot pie, or whatever I wanted, because he wasn't home for dinner! If I wasn't hungry, I didn't have to cook at all.

    On the plus side, we do get to spend a lot more time together. We are enjoying our empty nest. Even if he drives me crazy sometimes.....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Next Project Started

    After an absolutely awesome, solid night of uninterrupted sleep, I got up again just before my alarm went off. After I got home, I had a really good cup of chocolate coffee, then decided to go back to bed. The coffee is half-caff, so I was able to get some more sleep.

    I got up again at about 12:30! After helping Hubs put new ink cartridges in the computer, I took some photos of the new bucket bag I started yesterday. I thought it was going to be so much bigger than the last one, but after measuring it, the stupid circle is only one inch bigger. I am using a smaller hook, as well as smaller needles this time.

    So yeah. I made this circle 13 rounds this time, but using the smaller J size hook is probably why it's only an inch bigger. I am also using a size 10.5 circular needle. Here's a photo of me progress so far, I like how stripey it is.

    If you see my daughter by any chance, tell her I am working on finding the yarn for her Hubs' mitts....

Monday, November 12, 2012

I'm So Very Tired Tonight

   Getting up at 5:30 a.m. sucks. That's why I'm so tired tonight. I wouldn't take a nap either, if I did then I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight. I was so tired, I can't even tell you how many times I almost fell asleep in my chair.

   I did go out today, to Michaels. I didn't get to go yesterday, my bestest buddy canceled on me. I wasn't too upset, really, I was so sore, I could hardly walk. It worked out for the best. So I went today, and used a 25% off coupon, for entire purchase! I got three balls of wool yarn for $10. Not too bad.

    Since I was in the plaza, I went to the Stop n Shop down there. Our new one that opened just this past Friday is very nice, but I'll wait for the furor to die down. I don't like shopping in a huge crowd, or having to wait for a parking space. O do need to go exploring the new one, I need to find where they put the bottle return machines. I have some bags piling up that need to be returned.

     I am so tired, I had to put my knitting up. I can't keep my eyes open. Very soon I will go to bed, as I have another early day tomorrow. But tomorrow, Hubs won't be getting up too, so I can sleep until 5:45. Woo hoo!

    I almost didn't post tonight, but I decided that since I already skipped a day recently, I can't skip another one without a Dr's note. I wouldn't want you guys to worry about me.  So here I am, and if I sound a bit out of it, I am. G'night!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nothing to Report Yet

    Perhaps you noticed that I didn't post yesterday, I tried, I really did. There was just nothing to say. I'm not working on anything right now. My legs hurt and I'm a bit on the cranky side.

   However, there is a light at the end of the crafting blackness. After work today, I will be going to Michaels with my good friend Bonny. I fully intend to look seriously at some yarn. I might even start my son-in-law's long ago promised mitts. Well, if I can walk, that is. I have high hopes for that. who would eve think that I would find standing to be such torture and give me such pain? That's what three years of being unemployed can do if you aren't careful.

    I will say that the wool is already enticing me, it wants to be another bucket bag, this time a variegated one. The muse won't let me be, she tells me the wool wants to be a bigger bag also. I'll look at the wool yarn seriously.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Final Bucket Bag Report

    Today, I have the photos of the finished bucket bag, as well as the measurements. In my opinion, it shrunk too much. It went from 14 inches tall, or more, down to only 6 inches after felting! The bottom crocheted circle was 14 inches across, and is now 9 inches.

   For comparison, the black bucket bag started out about the same size as the purple one, before felting. Yet, after felting, look at the difference:

    I would say that it's because of the brands of wool I used: for the black I'd used Patons, and the purple, Malabrigo. My advice would be to use Patons or Lion Brand wool, simply because of the expense of Malabrigo. However, if you have lots of Malabrigo that you're not emotionally attached to, in your stash, you can use it, just make it even bigger to get a good size finished bag. Make the crocheted circle bottom up to six rounds bigger, and then add six or more inches of knitting in the round to the body of the bag.

    One of these days I will make this bag again, probably using Patons, and make it even bigger so you can compare them.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Bucket Bag is Done!

    Hooray! As I type, the bucket bag is hanging off my spinning wheel, over the baseboard heating unit, to finish drying! I finished it this morning, felted it, then put it in the dryer, for two dry cycles. It's still pretty damp, hence the hanging over the heat. I'm hoping it will be dry by morning.

    I measured it this time, before felting. I will post measure it tomorrow and let you know how much it shrunk. Believe it or not, I think it was bigger, pre-felting, than the black one, and it's smaller, post felting! The black one was done with Paton's wool, and this one with Malabrigo. Quite a difference!

    I will also take photos tomorrow, so you can all see how it came out. I have no project for Stitch n Bitch tomorrow morning, so I will take the new bag, and shave it with a lint shaver, while the others knit and crochet. I like the finish it gives to my felting.

    I am finished with the pattern, too. I sent it to my friend to critique, and she says it's fine. Now I just have to decide what to do with it. For some reason I can't make it as a document on my laptop, so it's currently a draft for this blog. Fortunately, I am friends with a certain college professor who is head of her department in computer stuff. I will ask her advice in the morning. It may be for sale on etsy or Ravelry soon...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Surprise, I'm Knitting Today!

     I'm working on my bucket bag today. My head hurts from doing the math, for the dividing to start the handle. It helps me to visualize it if I draw a circle and divide it into six wedges.  So the handle is split now, half the stitches are on a stitch holder.

    I even took some photos and measurements today. I guess I got ambitious! The crocheted circle is 14 inches across. The body of the bag is 14 inches tall. It looked right to me, so I stopped. I measured after I had split and bound off the top edge. Purely a coincidence that it's as wide as it is tall.

    Now for the photos!

And finally, one with the cable remote, for scale, like I did for the black bag...

    I am also watching the weather today, as we are supposed to be getting our first snowfall of the season this afternoon into tomorrow. I am not happy about it, but I guess it's to be expected living in upstate New York.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Scent and Memory

    Believe it or not, scent is a very strong memory trigger. I read this years ago, and totally believe it. A roommate of mine was going to college and having a hard time. I told her to pick a perfume, cologne, or any pleasant smell and put it on a handkerchief.

    I told her to keep it nearby while studying, so she could smell it. Then when having an exam at school, use that same scent again. It will help you remember what you studied! She didn't believe me, so ended up not doing very well.

    I know it works, for a fact. When I was growing up, my dad would buy chunks of Pecorino Romano cheese and grate it himself. The smell would permeate the whole house. For those not familiar with this cheese, us kids called it Stink Cheese.

     Years later, I was standing at the Deli in our local supermarket, and I had picked up a container of the cheese, already grated. As I was waiting my turn, I opened the container and took a sniff. The memories of my dad flooded back, and the tears started rolling down my cheeks.

     For me, the smell of Ivory soap brings back memories too. When I smell it, I can see my brother and I in these big, rough textured tub/sinks that our Italian grandmother had in a room off her kitchen. She used to give us baths in these tubs, and scrub us with Ivory soap until we very nearly bled. (I used to swear that she used steel wool on us too, but I don't think that's true)

    The memories come back, so very strong. I'm sure you all have your own stories, and memories.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Tale of Sore Legs

    It seems that standing for hours at a time is difficult for me. At least I get to walk around a bit, which helps a lot. My new job is part time, four hours a day, each Saturday and Sunday. I am having a good time with it, even though I end up in pain.

    Today is usually the day I spend recovering. But I decided to go out with my friend to Michaels and a few other places. Of course I had to walk. So now, my legs hurt all over again. It was worth it though, I enjoy spending time with Bonny.

    I came home and sorted socks, as I promised Hubs I would, I have yet to do any dishes. It still hurts to stand up. I need to start some more laundry, too... but that involves going down and then up the stairs. Not fun at all. But I'll probably get to it later on.

    I am also working on my bucket bag when I can. I did a few rounds last night, and more this morning. No new photos yet.