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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

(Very) Short Stories

How's about another blog prompt, via Rebecca Bee Designs?  The 8th prompt is Crafting in Public Stories.  I don't mind working on my knitting in public, but I don't seem to generate the crazy responses some crafters get.  I will work my magic in the doctors' offices, and in parks.  Since I now drive everywhere rather than using public transport, I don't often get to knit while traveling.  Side note: I don't want any haters going on about how I should support public transport.  I rode the buses absolutely everywhere for so many years, before we moved way out to the boonies of northwest Davidson County.  Out there, there was no such thing as public transportation.  If Disco wanted to get to the library or look for a job, I had to let her ride into town with me.  Now, we're within walking distance of a bus line, the library, the grocery, about 4 restaurants, an eye doctor, a dentist, and a beauty salon or 3.  But the logistics of getting the 10 miles from my door to the office by public transport would be nightmarish!  You can't there from here, unless you start out the night before.  Public knitting:  I've "done" the WWKIP thing a few times, most notably in a tiny town square not far from Nashville.  That was fun!  I've WWKIP'ed in Centennial Park once, and at a Panera Bread restaurant once.  I think I much prefer to be in public indoors, as it's usually pretty hot here around that time. 
*
Moving on, the next blog prompt asks for "your least favorite thing ever made".  Goodness knows, I've made a few fuglies in my time.  I have a shawl (crocheted, acrylic!) in a sort of maple-bronze Lion Brand Homespun, alternating with black boucle stripes.  It's semi-fugly, but I don't wear it much because my wardrobe changed colors.  Then there's the bobble knit hat, in a frowsy eyelash yarn -- bright red! -- which truly looks like a cow's afterbirth.  Just exactly what the smart knitter wants to wear on her head, yes.  I think that one might take the prize for least favorite, since I can't even frog the stuff.  Then there's the socks I made for my sister: actually quite lovely, lacey, terrific color -- but after spending lots of time knitting them, they just disappeared into her purse.  I've never seen them worn.  So those socks were heartbreakers, even though they were pretty.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

It's too pretty

Our weather has finally decided to change over to "spring-like", temp was 65F earlier with almost no clouds in the blue blue sky.  We have these odd paper cell shades in the living room, which were here when we moved it.  They are really rather nifty, as they'll adjust up from the bottom, or down from the top.  We had light without sacrificing privacy, an important consideration in a housing development!  Alas, the middle one had a complete failure last night, coming unglued from the top frame.  Plaidman & I went down to a local home improvement store for a replacement, although we have not a clue who made these.  We did find paper cell shades, in the right width, but without the nifty feature of the ones we had.  And we could have as many of those shade as we wanted, as long as we wanted them in "champagne" color -- which looked rather dark to me.  They only had one shade in solid ecru (ours are a lighter base color with a print of fine lines).  The clerk thought they'd have more in store in a few weeks, so we brought home the one they had.  But I didn't even want to come home!  It's too pretty outside to be cooped up inside!  While we were shopping, we picked up some nice drapery rod sets, so we can hang the drapes & sheers we bought (two months ago?) at another store's sale.  That's entailed hanging the rods, and figuring out that we need one more bracket for the living room.  Lordy, my man has lint in his head.  He was getting all upset about that extra bracket, saying the store was unlikely to open up one of the drapery kits just to get us one bracket.

ETA: Well, that was last weekend... and I never did come back to publish it.  I've been thinking about this post all week (when I wasn't too frazzled to rub two thoughts together...it's been a WEEK).  I was interrupted right there in my story about our lovable goofy Plaidman, when Disco told me he was on her phone.  He was calling from the home improvement store, with a problem.  Seems he opened the trunk of his car to look for a tool, setting his keys down in the trunk,  When he had the tool, he closed the trunk with, you guessed it, his keys inside.  Thank goodness he had his phone.  So he called & I had to run out to the store's parking lot with spare keys; which would probably have worked a lot better if I'd remembered to take the spares with me.  Grrr...turn around, run back home & get the keys, back to the store.  All this to hang sheers that I've decided are a) too dark and b) too short for the living room windows.  And I guess he & I are two of a kind in our modest goofiness.

In the Knitting Knews, I'm still working on my Color Affection, elebenty million garter stitches relieved by M1L, M1R, and short rows.  I know why I have such a hard time with large projects: I have a life outside my knitting!  Yep, working full time sure cuts into the knitting time.  I'm forever finding sweaters or shawls or afghans on Ravelry, that I'd really like to make if it wouldn't mean spending months on each item.  I call this Glacial Knitting, as that's about the speed of it.  And I've been so sorely tempted by yarn sales lately; this is usually the first sign of startitis so I'm resisting the urge to spend on yarn.  However, I'm still buying magazines:  just bought some back issues of one mag, and re-upped my subscription to another.

Monday, March 9, 2015

So much "No"

No, I wasn't able to get into the car, even with the Plaidman's help.  No, I did not make it to work Friday.  I emailed the boss, and had a response: come in Saturday at 5:30 A.M.  So I was in the office before frikkin dawn on Saturday....do not want!
Last week I sent letters to my dear ol' Dad & Baby Sis.  I hope I'll hear from one of them soon.  I'm so glad Pup has moved to the same town Sis lives in.  Now if I could just get down there without spending 2 weeks of grocery money, I'd be set. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

It's gotta end sometime.....

But winter is really hanging on!  March in Middle Tennessee is usually shirt-sleeve weather, with a sweater in the early a.m. or after dark.  I just tried to get into my car, which is encased in ice.  I beat on the door for almost 10 minutes without budging it.  So I'm back inside again.  I did get some work done on the Color Affection yesterday, when the snow was so deep.  It is nice to be warm, comfy on the couch, and knitting!  Or in Ravelry for hours....but I eventually feel the need to "do something"; yesterday I went to the craft room for CC2 (a tonal dark honey color), and stayed long enough to put some of my magazines on the bookcase.  I also tried to get to my large wooden swift, but there's just too much stuff in the way.  I did find the smaller swift, the one with the wonderful name of Almighty Reeling Machine.  That name just tickles the snot out of me.  Then I had to find somewhere to set it up, settling on the side of the drawer in the coffee table.  And wound the yarn cake by hand, off the hank placed on the swift.  I can wind a nice cake by hand. 
I've put the Gramps Cardigan in hibernation, after first frogging back to where the sleeves are joined to the body.  I've found the YouTube video tutorial for continuing the cabling while working simultaneous raglan and neckline decreases, but haven't actually sat down with a swatch in hand and followed along.  I really need to get back to that one.  Not sure I can even get in touch with the boy's grandma now, but it would be good to have it done in case she ever finds me again!

Shall we have another blog prompt, courtesy Rebecca Bee Designs?
6. Blogs that inspire you 
Number One with a bullet would have to be the Yarn Harlot's blog.  She writes so well, and is just so accessible and human.  I feel great affection for her and her whole family, because she allows them to be such a big part of her writing.  And I have a burning desire to knit Fox Paws!  Another favorite is The Panopticon, Franklin Habit's take on life, the universe and everything.  There are dozens of knitterly blogs out there, and often those bloggers have their favorite links listed.  I like to check 'em all out!  There's a Blog Hub group on Ravelry, which is a good source of inspiration too.

7. Your bad craft habits
I get startitis very easily, and take "finishitis" very rarely.  Must finish more craft work!  Knit fast, die warm!  I haven't a clue how to be "monogamous" to a project, except in the way I've been so for the Color Affection: it's the only project I can get to easily.  All my other projects are buried somewhere in the craft room.  It's a bit like having oatmeal for breakfast every day; I can only do that if there's nothing else available!  Truly, I've been known to have last night's dinner leftovers for breakfast, rather than oatmeal. 
My Dad was our breakfast short-order cook on the weekends.  One of his specialties was fried cornmeal mush, which of course had to be started the night before.  The cornmeal had to be mixed up with water or milk, poured into a bread pan, and refrigerated overnight.  The next morning, the solid cornmeal mush was sliced up, fried (preferably in bacon grease!), plated & covered in maple syrup.  YUM!!  Better than pancakes.  And now I'm hungry.  And it's almost time to go outside & try the car door again, since the sun's been shining for a couple of hours now.  One of the advantages of a black interior -- in winter -- is that the inside of the car gets warm.  Maybe even warm enough to thaw the door....I guess I'd better go check it.

Briefly...

The Plaidman has carried the computer hutch's drawers out of the craft room, & replaced them into the hutch!  I have enough room in the craft room now, to be able to set up a camp chair and work on getting my magazines into the bookcase. 
Over the weekend I set up my etagere in the master bedroom.  So far, it's holding my large collection of headbands, and a smaller collection of haircombs.  Decent haircombs are hard to find anymore.  The Plaidman has found that he only needs one drawer of the tall chest for his folded clothes, and said I could have all the others.  This is good, as I need somewhere to put some sweaters!  I did hang the big crocheted kimono in the hall closet; that thing would take up an entire drawer itself. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Slip sliding away

We had a serious ice storm over the weekend before last, which was of course followed by lots of snow.  I can drive okay in snow, but I don't think anybody drives well on ice.  We've discovered another big drawback to our new digs: the management doesn't scrape or salt the roadways inside the development.  Fortunately for me, I'd already scheduled a day off for the Monday that fell after the storm.  I was cozy & knitting in my lovely new home all that day.  The next day I got up earlier than usual, and the Plaidman escorted me to the car (icy sidewalk to icy parking spot).  There was still enough snow on top of the ice for me to creep along through the development, but the street just outside of it was a sheet of ice.  I had to back up & move a bit left or right before going forward, twice before I got to the main drag (two blocks away!).  I think it took me an hour and 15 minutes to get all the way to work.  I made it in the next day too.  But that Thursday, the snow & refrozen slush had all gone from our neighborhood, and the hill I needed to climb was an impassable sheet of ice.  I tried it three times, slipping towards either the railroad tie wall on the right or the island on the left each time, and I had to back up to try again each time.  I finally decided it was a non-starter; then I had to back up even further (over ice!) to get to a place where I could turn the car back towards home.  I think I was out of the house for 30 or 40 minutes, and went absolutely nowhere!  The next day was just ok; there were semi-cleared lanes through the ice in the neighborhood and the side street, and the main drag was clear.  We had some rain over the recent weekend, and that helped melt some more ice, but we still had ice on our walkway & lot.  Plaidman left the shovel at the old house, so he went out with a hammer and tried to break up that ice.  It took several tries, but the walkway was clear this morning (2/25).  Now if I could just stand next to my car without darn near falling....
ETA:  I did somthing silly this morning, that I haven't done in at least 20 years (don't go there) -- I locked myself out of my car!  It snowed again last night, so once I got in the car and turned on the defrosters, I grabbed my trusty long-handled scraper/brush, jumped out of the car & started swiping away the snow.  The car was running, so that the defrosters would work.  I got the windows cleared, and tried to "jump" (with my bone & joint issues, no actual jumping is allowed...) back in the car.  OOPS!  The door's locked.  The keys are inside, with my phone.  So I slipped & slid back up to the front door, and stood there a good 5 minutes beating on the door & ringing the bell before Disco came to my rescue.  And hey!  I made it to work on time.
In Knittin Knews, I'm still working on my Honey Color Affection, made four rows last night & only have one more four-row repeat of the middle portion.  Then I can add the final color!  Woot!  The end is near, I tell ya.  I'll try to get some pictures this weekend; gotta find the flippin' camera...it's around somewhere.  Moving is the gift that keeps on giving.  We'll have an adventure looking for that camera.  I just home it's not in the "craft room", which is pretty much a "crap room" still.  I did get the smallest of our bookcases moved out to the pantry room, and even moved some of our cookbooks & home magazines out there -- that made enough space to turn around in the "craft" room doorway.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Almost forgot

I'm supposed to be blogging about our library.  Where we're at now, we have one just about a half mile away.  And it's new!  And very nice.  The Plaidman and DiscoDame were there just a couple of days ago, and brought home a small stack of reading material.  I'm reading The Miniaturist (sorry, it's not in front of me & I can't remember the author's name), and I hope to finish it tonight after supper.  It's an historical novel, life in Amsterdam for a young lady from the countryside, who becomes wife to a powerful merchant.  Not at all a romance, and has a good share of oddball actors.  Everyone's got a secret, few of them are pleasant.

The other great thing about the library is, it's not just books!  We've brought home movies, CDs, and audio books -- heck, you can even check out a magazine, as long as it's not the current issue.  Unfortunately, only one knitting mag seems to have made the "cut" at the library.  (You knew this would get back to knitting, right?)  I don't know why this is the case; there are several I'd like to look through (usually before buying them, what can I say?) but only one available.  Maybe they need a suggestion?  or a donation of a subscription?  The other real drawback to our nearby library is the handicapped parking, which is oh, about a block away from the door!  There's no parking at the front of the building, and it's a lo-o-o-ng building, so I just have to hike from the side lot to the door. 

Hopefully, we'll be having the plumber in today to fix a few small problems; nothing major unless it's the pressure regulator.  Our water pressure is super high, and could be contributing to a couple of leaks.  I know the home inspector found the gauge, and wrote up the high pressure as part of his report, so I'm assuming we have a regulator somewhere.  Oh, here's a funny:  I just remembered that DiscoDame woke us up at about 2 a.m. a few weeks ago, because she heard someone walking around in our crawlspace.  She's absolutely terrified that somebody will force the crawlspace door and come into her suite.  The Plaidman went down and took a look, but of course there wasn't anyone there by the time he got downstairs.  So now the door has a deadbolt, keyed on the inside only. 

I found another item I want from Bass Pros Shops: VaxTrax ice cleats!  These puppies slip on over your boots/shoes, and apparently last for years.   I had so much fun trying to get into the office after our ice storm, what with the road conditions (refrozen slush with ice underneath, such fun!!) it took about 1.25 hours to go about 11 miles.  Then when I got to the building, the lot hadn't been scraped or salted, and neither had the handicapped ramp.  I just knew I'd be breaking a hip out there, but managed to get inside ok.  There's handicap parking in back, but no stairs or ramp, so I parked there today.  Whew!  I've had my share of fear & loathing this week.