Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On the Mend

Turns out that something always hurts the most when it's starting to get better. The bruising on my knees is still faint but they're VERY tender to the touch - maybe the frozen veggies stopped most of it!! My hand is a little swollen across the knuckles & the first two fingers. The wrist is a little swollen at the base of the thumb but everything is working. I can type, I can knit a little on small projects, I can turn my wrist in all directions. I just can't pick up anything heavier than a fork without pain. But I'm moving my wrist, fingers & knees as much as I can to keep them limber but without straining them. Since us Old Farts don't heal as quickly as the young ones do, I figure it'll bother me for a week or so & then be just fine. Maybe it's all the calcium-rich foods I eat!! Next time, I'll look before I step in front of a vehicle on a cold morning . . . I had no idea how fast black ice can lay you out on your ass or knees.

I can't spin but I can knit a little. I've been able to cast on the second fingerless glove & I'm just about ready to do the thumb. I need them for these frosty mornings!! I have a thick cover for my steering wheel but my hands still freeze until the heater starts pumping out heat & the wheel warms up!! I've used Knitty's 'Spirogyra' pattern again but made them a little bigger by going up one size in needle & adding 3 inches of ribbing on the bottom. Can't wait to wear them. I see the thermostat is reading -2 at 4:00PM. That's a little warmer than the -7 we had at this time yesterday. I sure hope it stays cold & clear like this for a while longer!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's all gone

Sunday morning I'm usually out the door by 6:15AM to head for the Mcdonald's drive thru for coffee & then on up the road to open the UBrew for a 7:00AM customer. He bottles his brew & I hang around & work for a few hours. This week end, I canceled due to the cold I've been nursing. But, since the sun was out, the snow was almost gone & I was feeling a lot perkier, I decided to head out about 11:00 to get a paper & coffee. Since I'd parked at the bottom of my drive, the snow had melted off the drive & mostly off the Van except for a patch on the north side of the windshield. So, I turned on the Van, cranked up the defrost & hiked around the front to sweep off the bulk of the snow. And hit a patch of ice. The next thing I knew, I'm face down on the concrete! I don't even remember slipping. The whole front of the drive where the snow melted off the Van is a solid sheet of ice. I fell hard on both knees & saved whacking my nose with my left hand. Eventually, I slid off the ice, got back on my feet, backed the Van up the drive so the ice melts & got myself back inside. An hour later after spending time with bags of frozen veggies, it appears I have gotten away with bruised & grazed knees & a badly sprained left wrist. At least I think it's just sprained. All the fingers work but I don't remember sprains hurting this much or being this painful. I guess if it isn't a lot better tomorrow, I'll be getting it checked for a fracture. So much for my knitting projects!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

There's nothing like a little snow . . .

The first snow of the year fell on a Friday nite - good thing - it didn't close down the town like it usually does!! We had plenty of warning - hey, I got good snow tires once again - and most people slept in on Saturday morning. I planned for this snowfall by parking my car down near the END of my drive, both to minimize shoveling - I could slide right out & to maximize sun exposure - to avoid shoveling! The neighbors hate me when I park at the end of my drive since they can't use my drive to get in an out of their drive. They built a big fence & moved 3 mini-vans & 5 cars into the space inside! Normally, I park way over to the side at the top of my drive but the sun doesn't melt anything until late in the day if I do that & I knew I didn't want to shovel 4 inches of snow from my very large drive if I had to go out in the morning. So I planned. As you can see from the second photo, the snow has almost melted by 1:00 except at the side where I normally park. I'll take pity on the neighbors a little later & move Van to the side.

I was looking forwa
rd to a little snow, the world gets so quiet & some of those flakes must've been 3 inches across!! It was lovely at 3 AM & I thought seriously about sitting outside with a hot drink & watching it fall. But, I've been sniffling, sneezing, working up a cough & thought that might be a little stupid so I ended up in bed instead. A totally unglamorous way to spend a cozy Friday nite!!!

There's been precious little production going on around here but I have been working on some fingerless gloves for myself. I spun a nice singles yarn, dyed it & knit up a Danish Working Shawl that I wore maybe three times. I am NOT a shawl person - which I did know but I thought I might change my mind once I made one for myself. I didn't! So, I pulled it apart to knit fingerless gloves instead - something I will use constantly! One glove down except for the thumb - finally - after 5 attempts!! I have no idea why I was having such a problem but I've upped my consumption of B vitamins to try to stimulate the aging brain cells. I miss my gloves from last year & may just knit a second pair of these with extra long arms for warehouse jobs!!

I was asked for another work touque by one of my Tire Guys. His son pinched his. So, I found a nice ball of multi-strand pure wool in brown & am just about finished knitting a plain hat that 'doesn't show the dirt'. I figured I'd just rib it from bottom to top so it'll cling to his bald head & not fall off when he bends over to tighten those lug nuts!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gloomy & Grey

And it's another gloomy day on the Wet Coast. I don't even want to open the blinds. Is this all there is??? Van has eaten up all my extra cash & increased my credit card balance so I can't afford to go anywhere other than to work so I'm feeling a little blue. Good thing I have the freezer & cupboards full or I'd be in deep doo doo!! The houseplants are all in for the winter & the Crab Cactus is trying hard to add a little color!

I'm feeling a little fr
ustrated at the moment. I started the 'Spirogyra' fingerless gloves at least 5 times in the last few days. My favorite needles are being used to knit socks so I had to find others. I had about 4 inches on the found needles when I decided they were too large. I pulled it off the needles & cast on fewer stitches, only to decide I still had too many stitches on the needles after a couple inches of pattern. So I cast on again for the smallest size only to realize it was too small. Of course, it's hard to tell until all of the ribbing & at least two repeats of the pattern - about 12 rows - are done. So I found smaller needles & tried once more but with the medium size since these needles are smaller. Nope. Ripped it out one more time. And found my old set of 2.25mm Brittany Birch needles - well, what's left of them - I think there's 7 needles left. But, I'm only doing one fingerless glove at a time so they'll work. This is some of my handspun from the 'bumps' in the bag of Brown Sheep mill ends I've been spinning. I don't know what kind of wool this is but its slightly fuzzy with a lot of elasticity to it. I dribbled Worker Red & Worker Blue dyes on the yarn after I spun it. I forgot the acid to set the dye & most of it washed out!! I added vinegar, dabbed a little more dye on it & put it back in the microwave to heat. This is what I got! Ain't it purdy??? Right about now I sure wish I could find my old fingerless gloves . . .

But, all is not lost. I found a bag with two big balls of Crafter Cotton in the midst of all my junk & I had to cast
on for a new face cloth for the shower! This big ball was just so bright & cheery that I just HAD to cast on immediately! I needed the burst of color to cheer me up & I may just knit several of these to replace the Oatmeal & faded Berry washcloths that now hang in the bathroom.

Monday, November 08, 2010

My new Wheels

So, my new-to-me van & I
have been getting to know each other this past week. Oh, I've had to fix a few things but you ALWAYS have to fix a few things when you get someone else's old car. It came with almost no rubber on the wipers - no wonder they made that strange noise when I used them!!! And there was this great Black Hole in the dash at night - someone put in a new instrument module & mickey moused the wiring. So I got the wiring fixed. The worn out fan/water pump/air belt that started to squeal was also
replaced. And I learned that I have a factory Alarm/Disabler in there. I also learned how to use it without a FOB. Nice of the former owner & mechanic to tell me about it. NOT! There's nothing like sitting in a screaming van in front of a bank with no idea how to make it stop. But I learned. Like any new relationship, you enter with shining eyes & open heart forgetting about the bumps along the way. Van's pretty easy to get along with & doesn't have a lot of baggage from former relationships. His heater's hot, he has good bones, he's in pretty fair mechanical condition, his body's in good shape for a van his age & so far, he always starts when cold.

With all the damp weather we've had lately, I haven't accomplished m
uch in the way of knitting or spinning. Although I'm casting on for some fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm - I made Spirogyra from Knitty.com twice - I'm going to try another pattern this time. My hands & fingers hurt. I'm so stiff in the mornings that whatever falls to the floor, stays on the floor till much later in the day. And I tend to wash dishes a little at a time all day so I can soak my hands in the hot water - why waste water??

Soup is back on the menu again jsut because the weather is cool & damp! I cleaned all the chicken & turkey carcasses out of the freezer & made a huge pot of soup! I'd saved all the drippings from cooking a turkey last month & added them. It was wonderful!!! I added barley & bow tie pasta before adding back the meat picked off the bones & a couple of cups of baby peas at the very end. I ate it for three days & gave some away!!! It was the best turkey soup I've made in ages!!
Today, I'm making Soup with hot Italian sausage. I cook it in chunks in the pot. I add water, a can of diced tomatoes, a package of Onion Soup, a can of small white beans or any beans you have
& tiny bead pasta. 4 cups of cubed zucchini are added at the end. Sometimes I chop spinach or bok choy leaves if I don't have zucchini. And I've actually thrown in a cup of pureed yam a time or two. The Italian sausage really gives it that bite of flavor!