Monday, April 30, 2012

Little storm

After knitting on the back porch for a while this morning, I decided to mow the fenced area, since they were forecasting showers. I only got about half of it done before I ran out of gas. (And I didn't feel like going to get more.) I had planned to  mow a bit more of it, but leave the patch of fleabane that is growing there. I know that is generally considered to be a weed, but for now, in my yard, it is a wild flower, which I am enjoying watching wave in the breeze. I will mow it down eventually.

After that little bit of mowing, I fixed my lunch and ate it on the back porch. When I sat back down to do more knitting, I started hearing thunder to the west of me, and finally rain on the tin roof of the porch. Then the wind picked up and I started getting a little wet, so I moved to the front porch. It faces east, and the wind was from the west, so it was dry. The storm only lasted a few minutes and then moved on to the east, but it cooled things off a few degrees. When I moved to the front porch, I was glad I had left a sweater in my chair there yesterday.

It's a good thing I did the mowing when I did. I'll have to take the gas can along with me tomorrow and buy another gallon so I can do more mowing on Thursday or Friday.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two more shawls

In the past week I have finished two more shawls, both of which I at least started with someone else's pattern. The first one was called passion summer shawl; I liked the stitch pattern. 

I had three balls of yarn in the same colorway, but one was a different dye lot. I put that one in the middle just in case it was obviously different. As you can see, the lengths of the color changes is different, making it 'pool' in that section. Trust me - the other end looks like this one.

For the second shawl: I was intrigued by the shape of one I saw online named Kwoosh. It is an asymetrical triangle, and was designed as a scarf or small shawlette, using sock-weight yarn and size 4 needles. I wanted it bigger, so I took an orphaned ball of worsted-weight yarn and used size 9 needles. When I finished, it was still quite small, so I decided to add a border. The stitch pattern I used for that is called snowdrop lace, but if turned upside down, it looks like tulips to me, especially since I added two extra rows to each repeat of the pattern.

 No, I've never seen tan tulips either, but they were beautiful in red on the shawl I gave my aunt last year.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Working Outdoors

I pulled up about a hundred black walnut trees this morning and threw them in my neighbor's burn pit. They'll help fuel his next bonfire. Of course, none of them were more than a foot high. All that pulling brought some nice, long worms to the surface. I'm really glad to see them there.

I also did three sessions of mowing. Two of them were no more than half an hour each, but the other one lasted until the mower ran out of gas, which usually takes about 45 minutes. There's always more mowing to do, of course, but I was tired, even though I took fairly long knitting breaks between sessions. It was overcast and only got into the low 70's today, and with a breeze it felt cool. While mowing, I got warm, but not really sweaty; while sitting on the porch, I needed a sweater. They are predicting rain for tonight, so it's good I got a little bit mowed.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


My day in Paducah:
First a visit to the Cancer Group - they drew blood, I talked to Dr Winkler, nurse Robin flushed my port. All of the test results were good. The Mayfield hospital didn't do all of the stuff they were supposed to with that last 24-hour urine collection, so he wants me to do it again. I plan to have Western Baptist Hospital do it this time, but forgot to go there for the jug yesterday. I'll do that next Wednesday and then do the collection the following Tuesday and turn it in the next day. They scheduled me for a mammogram next Tuesday. My next visit to Dr Winkler will be in mid-July; at that time, I think he will take another bone marrow sample.

Next, I got a new windshield installed on my car. The boss asked me who installed the last one. I told him I had no idea as it was done before I bought the car. He said if it had been done by one of his men, he'd have to fire that man, because it was a lousy job.

I missed church because the windshield installation took longer than expected.

Then I took my sewing machine to English's to be repaired (they have the best reputation in the area). I don't know how old the machine is; it was a reconditioned one when I bought it about 25 years ago. It's been virtually unusable for about a year. I wound up buying a new machine for not a whole lot more than it would have cost to repair the old one.  The needle threader on it is worth most of that difference. I spent some time today getting acquainted with the new machine.

I finally made it to the coffee shop about 2:30, and sat there knitting and talking to my knitting friends for about two hours. That's always a pleasant time.

After that, I went to the gas station to fill the car's tank, and then to Hobby Lobby. They didn't have one color I was looking for for Lily's blanker, but did have what I wanted for another project.

That was a full day! Today was much quieter. I sewed, knitted and trimmed back the bushes on either side of the shed door. Alyssa stopped by to look for something in the stuff she still has here. Today was her birthday - 27 years.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Rob and Chuckles!

My 'twins' are 44 today. Actually, they are not related to each other, or to me, but they both lived at my house for varying lengths of time.

Rob came with two cats named Royals and Saberhagen (sp), He was a big Kansas City Royals fan, and Brett Saberhagen was his favorite player. He was there most of the time for about eight years, while he finished his senior year of high school and worked his way through Rutgers, Camden. He was extremely hard to wake up, but the semester that he did his student teaching, he was up and out of the house before I got up for work. He loved teaching high school English; I hope he still does.

Chuckles (actually Christopher, but only his parents call him that) was only with us for about two years. He didn't come with any pets, but later acquired a cat that he named Dogfood, and for a brief period, had a snake he called Fluffy. Last I heard, he's a free-lance photographer and sometime bar tender. He was studying photography at the Art Institute of Philadelphia while he lived at my house.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Black Walnut Seedlings, anyone?

Every fall, I pile the black walnuts in a certain spot between the driveway and the shed. Usually, by spring they have all disappeared. This year, there are still a lot left, and some of them have sprouted. I pulled up a bunch a few days ago, but there are still more. There must not be as many squirrels now, or the winter was so mild they had other things to eat.

Since the birds have now stopped dropping holly-seed-filled poop on my car, I decided it was time to wash it today. I didn't do the best job in the world, but it looks much better. It shouldn't look like this again until next year.
There'll be occasional bird droppings, but not like this.

I also did some weeding in the 4' x 14' bed where daffodils have finished blooming. The daffodil foliage stays until it turns brown, or course, but there were a lot of unwanted things there. Last summer, I had a couple of tomato and pepper plants, as well as some parsley, marigolds and sunflowers. The tomato and pepper and marigold plant carcasses had to come out; most of the sunflowers were pulled last fall. The parsley is beautiful now. Since it's a biennial, it should flower this year and then go to seed. I saw what I believe are several sunflower seedlings, and I'm hoping the marigolds have self-sown as well. In a few weeks, I'll get some tomato and pepper plants again.

I probably should do more mowing, but I think washing the car, weeding that bed and burning the paper trash add up to enough work for one day for an old lady. Now I'll listen to the news and knit.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Weaving & knitting: what else is there?

I sat down to finish weaving off the warp in the little Structo loom, and realized that there was not enough left to make another book mark. So I cut them off and trimmed them up.
They'll go to the Walk through Bethlehem in December.

I finished another shawl on Tuesday and had Lexi model it after her dental appointment yesterday. The stitch pattern I used is called English Rose Tweed and is meant to be knit with three colors, as in the afghan I'm making for my great niece.
However, I decided to do the shawl with one multicolor yarn and six solid colors. Every other color change is the multicolor, with the six solids worked in sequence. I left long tails at the beginning and end of the solid rows to become fringe. I call it my Cottage Garden Shawl.

It went pretty well with the clothes Lexi was wearing.

These are the seven yarns I used.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I think she's a KNITTER!

This morning Alyssa called with a question about yarn weights. She was putting together her bag to take to the dentist's office this afternoon - just in case she had to wait. She had asked me to meet her there to sit with Lexi while she was in the chair, but she and Lexi were called back at the same time, and Lexi came out about two minutes before Alyssa did. Before they were called back, she and I were both knitting. I think she was doing it faster than I was!

Monday, April 2, 2012

On The Diagonal

Someone in one of the Yahoo! knitting groups commented recently that she was stuck on the diagonal. I guess I have been, too. First there was the diagonal baby bib.
Then came the Diagonal Pinstripes Shawl:
This is one of my favorite non-patterns to knit. It's a great way to use up almost-full skeins of leftover yarn, and non-knitters think it's much more complicated than it is.

Finally, the Diagonal Lattice with Cables Shawl:
I should have straightened out that one end - it does not suddenly loose the diagonal. This is some wool that I spun a few years ago after dyeing it with KoolAid. The flavors, from the bottom are: Black Cherry, Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Grape, Wild Watermelon Kiwi, Tropical Punch, Raspberry Reaction, Orange, unknown, Switchin' Secret. At the time I did the dyeing and spinning, I taped a tuft of the wool to a sheet of paper and wrote the flavors beside the tufts. I guess I missed one, It is close to the Raspberry Reaction, but not quite the same.

This is also almost too simple a construct to be called a pattern, although it is a bit more complicated than the other one. I like working on easy stuff, where size doesn't matter. Therefore, I do a lot of shawls and scarves.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I've known for a while that it was close, but hadn't checked the odometer until this afternoon after I dropped Lexi at home. It read 200,152. Knowing approximately how much I drove yesterday and today, and that I didn't go anywhere Thursday and Friday, it must have 'rolled over' on Wednesday on the way home from Paducah. It is now DEFINITELY a high-mileage car. I hope to keep it for another 100,000!