Wednesday, December 31, 2014

                          Just Knitting in the New Year

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Survived the Holidays

Yup, I survived the Holiday - well, the worst of them - one more time. I survive them quite nicely now that I'm old.  I don't mind being ALONE. Some folks do. Some folks spend too much time alone & some folks have nothing but alone time but I have so much to do that a few days alone doesn't matter at all. Between the knitting & spinning projects, I never have to worry!!

I meant to have a nice rotisserie chicken for Christmas dinner this year with Cole slaw & real Mandarin oranges for dessert. I thought about cheese bagels for hummus & chicken sandwiches for later.  Of course, I waited till Christmas Eve afternoon to go to Safeway since I wanted that chicken to be fresh. Why Safeway??? The one I go to has a bank machine, groceries & Starbucks. I wanted to hit all three. And I wanted one stop shopping. Brother, did I make a mistake.

I should've known when my left hand turn lane was backed up for a couple of blocks .  .  .  .  but sometimes that happens when a truck needs to turn & blocks the thru lane because he can't fit into the short left turn lane. So I got in line. It took several light changes to be able to turn.  All roads around Safeway were standing still. Cars trying to turn were blocked by cars trying to get through the intersection IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. Instead of waiting until the intersection cleared, people were rushing into any little space while blocking everyone still in the intersection. People fought to get into Safeway while others fought to get out. People sat in cars blocking aisles to others while waiting for other people to return to their cars & pull out. Knowing about the Handicap parking in the far corner - not a good place for anyone to park - I was able to park. That corner is not popular.  It floods, it's dark at night, it has two ledges to try to get over, there's no buggy return & the cross walk is on the opposite side of the parking lot!! But it was empty. I realized, as I limped across the roadway, that I'd forgotten about the liquor store across the parking lot. No wonder the place was a zoo!!!
All the chickens were sold out before noon. The Deli gal said people were lined up outside at 7 when they opened. I shook my head. Bought meatloaf in the end. And found myself a comfy spot at a corner table to read, drink a large dark roast coffee & eat a slice of banana bread. I got to watch all the parking lot action in comfort until it thinned out & let me head for home.

Christmas was terrific. I knit almost a whole sock while I watched the Tudor Christmas, The Victorian Christmas & the War Time Christmas with Historian Ruth & Archeologists Peter, Tom & Alex.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's been an odd couple of days around the old Hacienda. The damned teenagers upstairs all seem to shower one after another leaving me with no hot water in the mornings. Who wants to get dressed, hang about for a few hours & then get undressed to have a shower mid afternoon??? I guess I have to get up earlier & beat the buggers to it or stay in my jammies until lunch time. Other than the shortage of hot water, it's so quiet in the house that it's like no one but me lives here. Except for the skunk. I caught him peering in the window a couple of times. He comes up the back stairs & looks in when I'm working at night. And last night, he decided to perfume my back door. Deeelightful.

I finished up the second pair of socks for my Fat Ankled customer who suddenly decided he was paying too much for them. I was really annoyed because I stopped working on my sweater to make him socks when his feet & ankles blew up like balloons. I actually took pity on him, against my better judgement. Luckily for me, I hadn't delivered the second pair yet & needed a little thank you gift for the nice fellow who drops off a loaf or two of lovely rustic bread every week. I hope my Bread Man wears those socks the very next time he visits Mr Fat Ankles.!!!

My buddy & I tried to go to Tim Horton's for a coffee yesterday around 3:30 in the PM. Bad decision .  .  .  .  It may not be IN the mall but it's close enough that we still couldn't get near the place. Not a parking spot to be found!!!  Okay, okay, I'm tired of all this Christmas fuss already!!!! We sat on the far side of the mall, next to the street & watched the Tim's. It took a bit but people suddenly got up & the whole place cleared out. We rushed in to an empty coffee shop, grabbed our coffees & got our favorite seats. Within 20 minutes, the place was packed again. We've decided that we'll stay home till January.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Madness Around Us

It's the month of gift giving & receiving. And while I'd rather stab myself in the thigh with a knitting needle before I'd darken the doors of a mall, I do like some of the seasonal goodies floating around out there. I love the fact that the grocery store carries a more extensive selection of cheese this time of year. I'm a big fan of Lancashire & Cheshire cheeses. I also love the Mango bath & body products that the Body Shop only gets at Christmas nowadays - I was a HUGE fan of Mango perfumed oil in the old days, sigh. But, if I have to shop this time of year, I keep to grocery & on-line shops. I just can't cope with parking Vultures. You know who you are!! You're the people who circle the parking lots for HOURS trying to park at the door. You idle in 'Handicap' spots to scan for 'back-up' lights. And you sit & wait for people to return to their cars while blocking the entrance/exit for everyone else.

I spend a lot of time reading through my list of Blogs now that I'm not commuting to work on a daily basis. I start my mornings with Food in Jars & the Yarn Harlot while I drool over all the goodies they write about. One of my blogs sent me to the Sweet Georgia blog to read about the new pattern collection called 'Tempest' by Holli Yeoh. I was given a peek & fell head over heels in love with 'Haven', the poncho/wrap. Knit with  two strands of Sweet Georgia Cashluxe fine in some of my favorite colors - Mulberry, Wisteria, Deep Cove & Basil. It's my first choice to knit out of all the patterns in the book. I commented on 'Haven' & told them how much I loved it. They must have loved my comment because they sent me the book as a download!!! Whoopie. I suggested 'Haven' would be a great pattern to use up all the shades of pink & purple handspun in my skein collection. I wouldn't have to buy a thing .  .  .  .

I actually remembered to take a photo of the latest Fat Ankle Socks. They're ordinary, plain, manly men's socks in my usual pattern. I use the cable cast-on to cast on 72sts loosely on 2.75mm needles. I knit one row & then drop down to my favorite Chiagoo 2.25mm circs for the rest of the sock. I do a 2" K2P2 rib on a stocking stitch body. Since I can't SEE any more after dusk, I make my heels by knitting a gusset BESIDE the heel flap as I go before short rowing the gusset to close it after turning the heel. This makes a nice, deep heel with a loosely ribbed top which is easy to get on & off swollen ankles/feet. It's also easier to get on when your knees don't bend as far as they used to.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Drip, Drip, Drip

I can't believe how fast the time goes by. It's been almost a week since I even looked at this blog. Whew. Haven't accomplished a whole lot in the last few days except produce a giant pile of used Kleenex! I've had the nasal drip from Hell. A constant drip. All I've done is wipe my tearing eyes, blow my dripping nose & sleep. Didn't feel bad but the darned drip wouldn't stop & I couldn't keep my eyes open for two days. As the nose dried up, the throat got sore. What is going on?????

I did manage to finish the second pair of Fat Ankle Socks though & now have the time to finish my Poncho Pullover. Hopefully, I'll be wearing it by Christmas. And speaking of Christmas, I bought myself a present. Anyone who knits socks knows Cookie A & her multitude of gorgeous sock patterns, but I guess I'm the only one who didn't know that she also has other patterns out there. Someone in one of my Ravelry forums mentioned a sweater designed by Cookie A. I had to take a look & was astonished by how much I loved it. She puts ordinary shapes together in a very unexpected way that really appealed to me. I was hooked. And I bought the download. I am now the possessor of Cookie A's Knitwear Volume 1 - Shapes & Form book. I have a niece that loves weird stuff & a couple of those sweaters would make her little heart sing! Sigh. Just another project to finish before I die!!! Now, if only I could win the Lotto or find a rich relative willing to die & leave me money .  .  .  .  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Fat Ankle socks are just about finished, thank gawd! All this damp, windy weather has taken it's toll on my hands - especially my thumbs! I have to take a side trip to my favorite Chinese supermarket & get some Chili Plasters. They're sheets, impregnated with hot peppers, that you can cut into any size or shape & apply to your skin for pain control.  I know they heat up & stick wherever you apply them. They can get TOO hot if left on too long but my Ex swears by them. I intend to apply a small patch to the base of each thumb to see if they help because I have a ton of knitting to do, a year's worth of painted Spinning Club rovings to spin & all that data entry I've just taken on  .   .   .   .   my hands have to work!!!!                                           

Time to get back to my Poncho Pullover too. I've only managed to knit a few more rows with the condition of my thumbs. Gotta finish winding off all the singles yarn on my Indian spinner as well. Much as I love that big bobbin, I really do hate winding off all that yarn. It takes forever. But, if I want to get it ready for dyeing, it has to come off. It's  been earmarked for a sweater from the Knit Kimono book. To keep the color fairly consistent, I have to dye it all at the same time. I must have 15 large skeins tucked away in a bin already & when I wind off what's on the bobbin, I should have more than enough of the lovely stuff for the sweater. I believe I still have about 8 of the 'knots' of roving left to spin before I dye it all. The unnamed wool is from a 15 pound 'Grab Bag' of Brown Sheep mill ends I bought from Sheep Shed Studios so very long ago so. The knots are soft & quite spongy which made me love them immediately. So before I get any older or stiffer, it's time to get to it.