Friday, December 26, 2008

An Experiment In Thrumming Mitts

CA Dawn told me I need to explain what I am doing. Said it looked like I was knitting with my hair...LOL I guess she is right. 
It did look like I was knitting with my hair.

 So here we go - Not that I have ever done this before and I really don't know what I am doing yet, but Google is a wonderful tool isn't it. I have been wanting to try a pair of thrummed mittens for a while, the frigid cold this week prompted me into a little impulse shopping of some Wool of the Andes to make it happen.

I already had some roving from a spindle kit I had purchased a couple of years ago. (not so good at the spinning thing)- See Dawn...roving :) 

I found a website that explained how to make the thrums. Basically you pull off a few inches fold it like a cute little bow with the ends in the middle leaving little loops at the outsides. Of course my thrums don't look like her thrums. But they are at least as thick as the yarn I am using.

I don't have a pattern for them so I used my standard mitten pattern, then added 4 more stitches after the ribbing to accommodate the extra bulk of the thrums.
They are knitted in every 4th stitch in this case. I have had to pull the thrums out several times and start over before I finally got the hang of knitting in the roving pieces. I am sure that by the time I'm on mitten number 2 it will look a lot better than this one does.

Here is what the mitten innards look like. I am not sure if my thrums should be closer together or not, or even if they should be bigger, but usually when I'm winging it my stuff turns out pretty ok ;) 
And since this pair is for me they don't have to be perfect or even pretty. The next pair are for a gift -but that's only if this pair turn out acceptable...LOL

Now back to knitting with my hair ;)

Best Ever Christmas Eve!

It Just wouldn't be Christmas without a new project on the needles!

 I've been wanting to try my hand at a pair of thrummed mitts, so I Googled the " how to" and started making the thrums...takes a little getting used to knitting with them.

 I also started a pair of socks for Sarah in more of that same alpaca yarn. One down and half of one to go. I took it to my brothers to work on in between stuffing my face full of spinach dip and bread.
I had to have her try on the completed one too since she has those itty bitty little kid feet. 

Vicki's husband and I have had this long standing joke about my knitting...and in particular Beer Can Hats... NO I DID NOT MAKE THIS! I have never made a beer can hat, but unfortuately, I have had to watch my mother make them.  So one night last week I found this on Ebay. Yes...apparently they are a hot item. Personally I have never understood the draw, but Vicki and I decided she should get this for him for Christmas. And knowing Jimmy like I do...he will wear it, in public even. We laughed so hard about it that I almost peed myself!

The grandbabies had a great time at Uncle Bob's... He has one of those up one side and down the next type of staircases that make running through the house that much more fun.

Raine and Ethan are the only little kiddies left now... it is sad when all the little monsters finally grow up. My eldest nephew was working late so I did not get to see him. (Usually that is my line)
And no one was disapointed in their gifts, not even when Raine unwrapped a can of black olives from Auntie Pam. The look on her face was priceless!!! The girl does love her black olives, and she definately got the joke.

This of course was my Merry Christmas to me gifts.

And the kids gave me this...The Rocky Horror Picture Show! 52 times at the 812 Cinema!!!
 "Sci-ence fiction..wooooo...double feature...Doctor X...will build a creature..."   Oh Sorry, I guess I went back in time for a bit. Damn...Now I have that song stuck in my head.

And this awesome handpainted alpaca yarn came from Kelp. And Brodie got more stuffies of course. 

But the best gift of all was a phone call from my long lost son!! And what a welcome surprise it was to hear his voice!! Maybe next year I might actually get to see him.

I hope every one had a wonderful Christmas too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Fridged Winter Solstice??

Jumpin Josephat is it ever cold!!

This must be by far the coldest winter solstice that I can ever remember. I am sure The Farmers Almanac could tell us otherwise, but I can't remember one this cold ever in my life. Tonite it is -4 degrees!! Not including the wind chill of course. And we have so much snow that poor Brodie has to leap frog through it because it is up to his chest. Unfortunately he can't get back to his favorite potty spot. Uncle Twiggy shoveled out a section for the dogs...needless to say two out of the three are still adjusting to the snow shock. 

The frigid wind is another story. It is so painful to be outside that even Brodie doesn't want to be out.

I am so glad that I bought those boots when I did, my tooties have stayed nice and warm in them.

You just can't seem to take a picture of cold. 

While the wind howled outside I made this headband for a last minute Christmas gift for Mr Man, it matches his Mossy Muffler.

And this Drops 86-10 headband for Vicki, to go with the Woven Cord scarf (Rav link) that I gave her for Christmas. (we have already exchanged at work so it is safe to show you this)

Another Christmas Surprise came in the mail. CA Dawn, not to be outdone by TN Dawn in the gift giving department sent me this little beauty along with some of the best smelling strawberry soap that she and her husband made together! Not only does her soap smell fantastic but it is heavenly on the skin!
This has certainly been the Season of Surprises for me!!

Dawn this is beautiful thank you!!! You must tell me which pattern this is.

I am now off to brave the fridgid cold weather to look at a couple of townhouse, then finish up some odds and ends so I can get the kids prezzies wrapped and ready and out of the way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm In Yarnitopia!

There's some kind of Christmas conspiracy going on!!

Yesterday I went in to work early so that I could "work my magic" on yet another last minute Power Point for the Chief (oh - yea) and the girls at work tell me I have presents. What??? Presents??? "What happen to we exchange with our partners?" "Well... we love you"

So I open my gifts and what do I find? The cutest ever Brodie picture frame from Jackie!

Look how they go together..."Like peas n carrots"

Pammy had this for me...a bounty of Andean Treasure!!! I absolutely LOVE Andean Treasure, baby alpaca is the softest ever yarn.  Mystery Heather, Embers and Woods! All my favoritest colors too!

And this adorable glass ornament- Which Brodie thought was real interesting too. 

Then I get home and find this in the mail box!

This I knew was coming from
Socks that Rock Hollyday yarn!!! This is even yummier in person than it was on her blog!

Accompanying STR was a lamp work (looks like) stitch marker by Sunneshine in red, a pad cutey sheep note paper and a sample of Soak to wash my finished Frismasy sockies in. This is my first STR yarn so I am pretty darned excited about it.

The biggest surprise by far was this package of goodies.

TN Dawn -queen of cutey socks and berets, sent me these yummy Lornas Laces in Watercolor

These adorable stitch little dice markers...obviously for the gambler in me ;)

And this crazy Jingle Bell pen!  This is such a Jeanne-like pen, I played with it half the night...Already I have had to move it out of Brodies reach and he tried to snatch one of my skeins of yarn. I think he thought it was another bungee baby.  

I'll tell you why this was such a surprise...Dawn is a sneaky girl...I would have sworn I just exchanged address' with her on the ...oh -15th according to my email. Yet this little surprise package was shipped on the 12th!! SNEAKY SNEAKY DAWN! How did she do it?? There is no way that I am that forgetful! (somehow I think I am going to be really embarrassed when she finally tells me)

I am so blessed in my friends! And do they know me or what! I could not have asked for anything better!!  
Many many thanks to my dear friends!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An Unwaved Tidal?

 After a fun filled Friday of MRI's and Ultrasounds on Unmentionable Parts. I finally got that damned training manual finished ( with Pammys help), and training meeting out of the way on Saturday. And none too soon I might add...since NewHire starts on Monday...Phew! Nothing like being under the wire.

Of course I had myself a couple of really good pity parties over Bubby (thank you my good friends for helping though that). Now I feel like it is time to really buckle down on that Tidal Wave sock!

Hmmm....for some reason my Tidal Wave doesn't look like the picture. Ok maybe I wasn't paying I start over (if I haven't started over at least a coupley times with a project something is definitely wrong!). I spend Saturday evening diligently following the pattern instructions (dammit I know I am doing this right) and I now have a couple of pattern repeats to gaze upon. WHAT THE HECK! "Kel...does this Tidal Wave look like a tidal wave to you?"  "mmm....Nope." "Shazbot!" (ok- that is not what I really said). "looks kinda big"  she says. "What the.... "

Oh no....compared side by side to the doesn't look like a darn thing like tidal waves.
Go figure...well I did only rip it out twice so far.

I was thinking I just couldn't see it because of the yarn pattern...but I'm thinking that it not the case here. Maybe my brain just cannot comprehend a sock that starts with 64 stitches? Seriously this sock could fit any number of kankles and it is not so very wavy! Should I try a lighter colored yarn maybe?

 Caught in the act!!! I walk out of the room for two seconds today and Mr. Destructo stole my cell phone off the table. Now really - just who did he think he was going to call!!

On a side sexy little red camera that Mr Man gave me last year for Christmas seems to not be working so good all of a sudden. My LCD display is missing, which would be no big deal except this little camera has no view finder. So all I can do now is just point and click, and hope I have the subject matter in the right spot. This could make the Christmas photos darned interesting this year!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Farewell Poem- We Love You Bubby

When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me

I want no rites in a gloom filled room

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not for long

And not with your head bowed low

Remember the love that once we shared

Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take

And each must go alone.

It's all part of the master plan

A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart

Go the friends we know.

Laugh at all the things we used to do

Miss me, but let me go.

Elizabeth Seale 
Beloved Cousin

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bountiful Monday!

Oh I know it is already Wednesday  but I have had a pretty busy couple of days with the snowfall and all that- but anywho- on Monday when I returned to work I found a box waiting for me from Lynda who lives in Sunny California! Last year Lynda very kindly helped me out tremendously with my Hats for Homeless project and twice sent me a box of hats and scarves to give to the homeless shelter. Lynda doesn't blog but she read them, which is how she found well as knit and crochet and she is very generous. 

This is what was in the wonderful package that was waiting for me at work! 21 fleece scarves, 20 pairs of gloves, 17 knitted hats and 4 fleece hats! I know the shelter is going to be so pleased with this gift. I have 16 more hats cut out and ready to sew this week as well as a donation of fleece from another co-worker to make more with. 

Here is my Crazy Co-Worker Vicki, who after a year of working with her she now tells me she wants to learn to knit! Well thank goodness she is a smart cookie under all her silliness because we don't have much of the year left for her to learn, and she picked it up like a long time knitter! I gotta say... I'm pretty proud of her! She can even talk and knit at the same time! I just love sharing my addiction with others!! I told her before long she will be able to watch TV and knit.

Then my Monday got even more exciting. When I got home, I logged into Ravelry and found a message waiting for me from Irishgirlie knits (a blog/Rav buddy)! I won some really fantastic Christmasy sock yarn from her blog!!! How just keeps getting better and better! I never win blog contests so I can tell you I 'bout fell off my chair. I have been doing the Snoopy Dance ever since. IRISHGIRLIE YOU ROCK! Make sure you stop by her blog, she knits up some really fab stuff!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A little road trip?

Today I had class to go to for police department record keeping. Dull you're thinking? Yah well I thought so too but I found out otherwise. I won't go into all the legal details, which Joe Q Public would find probably boring, just suffice it to say, for me it was a very interesting class.

Now the trip there was naturally a comedy of errors. I started out with a little printed piece of paper from Google Maps...yah what ever... I don't need no flippin' map... it is just Barrington, I know how to get there. Oh no...I am too arrogant for for my own good sometimes, because the class was really in South Barrington which of course is next to Barrington after you drive through North Barrington (I don't know what genius it was that came up with those original names). So hard can it be to find?? 

I got discombobulated of course because the traffic was so bad and I wasn't really paying attention because I was singing Christmas Carols and over confidant, then all of a sudden I started second guessing myself. I call my daughter- "Sarah...pull up Google Maps for me" (she was the only one that would answer her phone at that hour) 

So as it turned out I was going in the right direction in the first place (you know those damn forks in the road) so I turned myself around, after I had turned myself around in the first place. 

Wouldn't you think that a police department that is hosting a class would put some freakin' signs up saying "hey we are here"? Especially since there is not a sign even declaring there is a police department on the premise!!! So yes I did make it there finally, embarrassing really, but I wasn't the only one driving up and down the road trying to figure out where they were at.

Did I mention that I have a GPS? Yah...that would be some more of that arrogance thing...I don't need no freakin''s just Barrington! What-ever!

The instructor gave us like an hour and a half for lunch, so I found myself an IHOP ( I knew it was there because I passed it twice) plopped my fanny in the booth and started working on my sock...KIP doncha know. As I am knitting and waiting for my meal some lady comes up to me and says "what are you knitting? I am a knitter too" Which launched a whole conversation about sock knitting and the baby socks she knit for her grandchild that her daughter-in-law claimed didn't fit but were perfect...and well her daughter-in-law is a little finicky.....

After I ate I went back to the PD ( which was really a Village Hall ) and continued working on my sock (man I hope I am doing this one right) while I waited for class to start and swap records horror stories with my class mates. Great fun lemme tell ya. I love when I get to go school, it is like having Casual Friday.

Here's the poop on the sock:
Pattern: Tidal Waves 
Yarn : SWTC Soy Silk 
Needles: itsy bitsy toothpicks..(size 1)

At least once a week I pick up my Special Olympics scarf and throw another row on it. Switcho chango...I gave up on the one pattern stitch I was doing because I didn't like it after I got a couple of rows done on it so now I am crocheting (still lenthwise) double crochet with a front post ever other stitch.

This one is turning out pretty nice. I think only a couple more rows and it should be golden. I would work on it more but it is getting harder for me to crochet the older I get. Too much repetiton work I guess. 

I have a long weekend so maybe I will try to get this one done and mailed out. I am thinking they probably wanted them for this winter.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Good Midwestern Blow!

We had our first winter storm warning last night. It was not so bad at work but the closer I got to home, the worse the visibility got. In fact but the time I got to the Jewel it was just about zero visibility. I was desperate for coffee and my favorite flavored creamer, so grocery shopping was an absolute must last night! I refused to go out during Black Friday Weekend to do any kind of shopping...even creamer.

Brodie was so excited about the snow he kept dashing about, trying to figure out what all that white stuff was. I had a hellava time trying to capture his picture, he was racing around so fast that by the time I had him in my sights he was gone already.  He was so excited he forgot to poo. (yeah I know- you really wanted to hear that part)

Today he tried to race around but of course could only go as far as the leash would let him. I tried to stand in a spot with the least amount of snow (since I had no socks on) 

But not crazy boy...true to his breeding, he plows straight in the deepest stuff he can find.
(you'll notice that my truck doesn't have as much snow as Mr. Stanley's car... that's because I wasn't home until almost midnight and still driving in it.)

And then...he lays down in the cold stuff!  Now that I have myself a wintery warm coat, I shall have to invest in a good pair of boots since it is clear that I will be spending a lot of time outside with this crazy dog who, as I type is right now looking out the patio door whining that he wants to go back outside.

Brodie in motion...Just like Bingo, he burries his nose in the snow and tosses it up in the air like a plow dog...LOL

I have given up on lace knitting...I have decided I am A D D and just cannot concentrate long enough to finish it. I am forever loosing my place on the graphs and forgetting where I left off. So for now at least...I give! I have also decided that I am a lazy knitter. I am always falling back to my tried and true patterns so that I can sit and not have to concentrate on anything and just knit. Lazy lazy lazy! I am starting another pair of socks, I looked and looked until I found something (not plain for a change but not lace either) that I felt my pea sized brain could handle. We will see how that goes.

Caution Opinionated Message
I feel a note about Black Friday is prudent. People...there are 28 more shopping days after Black Friday to get what you want. No sale is worth a man's life! I was absolutely horrified to hear that a Wal Mart employee was trampled to death opening the doors for Black Friday. Two men Shot to death at a Toys R Us. Believe me, I see and hear some pretty horrific things in my job, but this has to be one of the most shocking. Normal every day people so desperate to save a buck that they kill a man. Just how does this make us a great country? And how do you suppose the rest of the world perceives us? It is no wonder other nations refer to us as the Ugly American.
If we were Smart Americans - We would shop like my mother did...all year long.

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