Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ice Storm Busy

That's what I've named my newest finished flimsy. I spent all morning sewing the sashings, cornerstones, and borders onto this 2006 BOM from one of our LQSs. I pieced the back and made the binding so it's all ready for the quilter (not me). Here it is, before quilting. It measures about 62 inches by 78 inches.

Yes, we've got another ice storm cookin'! It started around midnight last night with rain and sleet and they have us on a winter storm watch till 6: 00 p.m. tomorrow nite. It's expected we will have a total of 1/2" to 1 inch of ice before this one is over. Fortunately, since it's rain and sleet, it's not sticking to power lines so we aren't looking at losing power. The director called us all today to let us know that the library will be closed today...not sure if we will be closed tomorrow (I certainly hope so). I put the day to good use so far, sewing the above quilt together, vacuuming the studio, and then some knitting. Maybe I'll even make dinner tonight for John. Most folks know that John does all the cooking around here. He's done it for almost the entire 35 years we've been married. I do the cooking for the big events, he does the everyday cooking. But sometimes I surprise him with dinner when I've spent the day at home and he's been out earning the big bucks! I think today will be one of those days. Tuna casserole with a salad and rolls. Yep, he will like that! I'm off to the kitchen. More later.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Neverending Ice - Maybe

It seems we just get the ice melted, and the roads cleared, and my nerves back on the mend, and we get more storms. They are telling us that we should expect more ice and rain tomorrow into Friday. Dangit! That means I can't go to work. (Can you see me tearing up?????) I will have to stay home and work on the finishing the setting of the Black and White BOM from 2005 and knit on my new hoodie sweater. Or, I could work on a bag for Jill, or an apron for her, or something for one of the grandkids. Ah, well, I'll figure out something to do if it turns out that the library will be closed cause of weather again.

On another note, I finished John's winter cap. Note here, the happy guy wearing his new hat.
It looks kinda nice, doesn't it? It is double layer so it's nice and warm. He says it is a bit small around the widest part (perhaps because he is so smart his head is bigger?) so if I wanted to make another one, I could make it a bit looser? I've already got the yarn to make another, and a plan to make it a bit bigger, AND I'm going to make it 2 different colors so it will be reversible! How about that?
I took a class last night from a wonderful knitting teacher/designer. Vanessa Montileone is a Master Knitter here in the Springfield area. She has been published and continues to teach in the area, in spite of having another fulltime job outside the knitting realm. She designed a hoodie sweater that is just TO DIE FOR and agreed to teach it at One City Market (My FAVORITE!!! yarn shop). She even had to do some adjustments to the basic pattern for my particular shape and size (what a honey!). There were 17 of us in the class last night. Poor Vanessa has to go between 3 rooms in the shop to get to us all. I've got 2 weeks to get the 2 fronts and the back done before the next class. Will try to post a picture soon.
I had another brain malfunction yesterday...I signed up for Sock Madness 2. I think there might be over 200 people participating in this newest sock battle. They say there will be 6 or 7 different sock patterns that will be worked up during the course of the competitiion. And, get this, you need to do the socks in a size 7 to size 9. I wear a size 10. So I won't even be making socks for myself! Everyone who participates, even if they are eliminated in early rounds, will receive a copy of every pattern in the competition. We just had to agree to respect the copyrights of the designers and not give the patterns out. I can do that! This competition starts on March 13-ish so I have plenty of time to limber up my sock-knitting fingers!
More later. Have a warm day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Melt

We're melting!!!!! The sun finally came out today and, although they tell us the temperature won't get up too high, the ice is melting. I can hear huge chunks of ice sliding down the outside of the house. It's driving the dogs nuts! They, of coure, don't know whether they should try to protect me from whatever is making the noise, or go hide cause it's scary-sounding. Big weenies! Oops, did you hear that? A huge chunk just dropped off the roof, splaaaat...thunk, onto the front porch.

I have to work today, teaching an internet class at the library, and then working the front desk. Thank goodness John left me the truck with the 4wd...I suspect our gravel road out to the main road into town is mushy and slick rich now. And the little hill to get to the main road is a bugger!

I finished John's winter hat yesterday. And it fits! He wore it last evening when we drove into town to pick up the Explorer from the mechanic. It was in for new read brakes (a good thing to have in working order if you have to drive anywhere off your own property). Poor man, he had to get the car started, then let it run for about 20 minutes to warm up the engine and try to melt some of the ice off the windows from the inside. He broke 3 ice scrapers this week. The ice on the windows of the Explorer was probably a half inch thick. All the while he was scraping, he wore his hat...told me when we got home that his head was warm and toasty while he was scraping ice. Don't ya just love it when your gifts are really appreciated?

Well, off to get ready for work. More later.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ice, Ice, Baby.

Today we awoke to freezing rain, sleet, and ice. The temperature might get to 34 degrees for an hour or so, and then they expect another round of rain, wind, sleet, and ice later this afternoon and into the evening. I'm such a weenie about ice that John was going to take me into work an hour early and our next door neighbor, and my office partner, agreed to bring me home when he got off work. Just as I'd finished making my lunch and packing my knitting, the director called to tell me that she had decided to keep the library closed and not to come in. YEAH!!!!!!!!!! John still went to work and I'll worry about him till he drives into the garage, but the dogs, cat, and I are inside, warm, and watching the accumulation of ice on the deck and the trees. Here's just a taste of what we see when we look outside.

This wheel is the one for the BBQ on the back deck. I don't think John will want to BBQ tonight. The deck rails are covered in ice, probably about 1/4" thick. They say we will get another 1/4" to 1/2" tonight. How about a picture out the front door? This is the elm tree outside my studio can hear the cracking of the ice when the breeze blows....eerie, creepy, and sad. Poor tree, it went thru the ice storm of January 2007 and only lost 2 branches...hopefully it won't lose more this week.
I'm off to make some hot chocolate...then work on finishing the knitted winter hat for John...hoping to finish it before the winter is over.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Battle of the Soxes Update

As of yesterday, the 9th of February, I am dead in Battle! John called me at work to tell me that I had received a package from Maine...My Assassin, Sara, did an amazingly creative job of delivering my socks.

This was attached to the socks themselves, as though the house had fallen on them.
And just after I opened the package, there was the following picture staring at me.
On the outside of the package, on the back, was a delightful conversation between Dorothy and Toto about going to Missouri, and maybe they might get caught up in a big wind and they might fall on some knitters....just too funny! I'm hoping Sara gets the Most Creative Delivery Award!
Needless to say, I am both glad and sad to be dead! My victim received her socks on Friday and I received mine on Saturday so once I get her unfinished socks, assuming she wasn't finished yet, then I will send those socks on to Sara to finish. I get a headache just thinking about the route that the final pair of socks will take to get to their intended victim (and the eventual winner).
On to much more fun things...we got an email from a former shipmate of John's. He is leaving the Navy and will be driving from Texas to his home in New York City in early March. Sean's wife, Caryn, and daughter will be flying home and Sean and the cat, Holly, are driving and stopping along the way to see us and another friend in Ohio. We are hoping he will spend the night so he and John can spend some time talking about 'the old days'!!! Haven't seen Sean since we left Rhode Island at the end of 2002. Hard to believe John's been retired for 5 years; the Navy is such a long part of our life, it's hard to think of ourselves as civilians.
Ok. enough rambling for today. I just wanted you all to know that I've been killed by a pair of Wicked Witch Killer Zap socks. And they are lovely, and they are warm, and they are my favorite color!
More later.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Battle of the Soxes Update

We lost our internet connection on Tuesday and they are still trying to fix whatever the problem might be so I am without easy access unless I come to work. Until they get my DSL working again, updates might be sparse.

I finished my Killer Zap socks on Tuesday afternoon and immediately went to the Post Office to mail them off to my victim. Now I'm just waiting for my assassin to send me my own socks. Or for my victim to mail me her socks-in-progress! Then the sweating starts all over again...I will need to finish those socks and get them mailed off before I get killed! The pressure is worse than the idea of getting killed!

We woke up Tuesday to rain and wind which escalated into raging winds and tornado warnings...I high-tailed it home from the knit shop...fortunately, the tornadoes that touched down weren't near us! Wednesday we awoke to a dusting of snow on the ground and today we hear there might be another dusting late this afternoon. Dustings of snow I can live with, it's when they measure in inches or feet that set me back!

Have a great few days...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Battle of the Soxes War Party

I recently had a major brain fart and signed up to participate in a Battle of the Soxes. Along with 43 other people (9 of us are from Missouri, most are from Maine, and a couple from California and Tennessee). The game works much like Assassin. You receive your 'target' (one girl here calls it your Victim) and that person's sock or shoe size and at precicely 10:59 p.m. on the 1st of February, we received the pattern to knit that person a pair of socks. The trick is to get the socks knit and delivered before the person who has your name gets your socks knit and delivered, thereby "killing" you. I'm not sure why I agreed to participate - probably got caught up in the competitive spirit that surrounded the plans at the yarn shop. Never-the-less, I agreed to be a warrior and signed up. I received my target....not someone local. I had my yarn choice and me needles at the ready and went to the War Party at the yarn shop for the release of the pattern. At exactly 10:59 p.m. on Friday nite, (there were not only about 6 of us at the shop, but 5 others who wanted to be there when the mayhem started) the pattern was released and we began furiously knitting. The War Party was to go all night long until we got our socks knitted and we had them sent off to our victim and we could relax for a while. I gave up at 1:00 a.m. and went home cause I had to work the next day. Some of the girls did stay all night - diehard competitors! One of the girls in Maine is dead, our fearless leader at our yarn shop was killed off this morning. I'm still knitting....only have to finish the heel flap and the end of the foot on the second sock and then I can mail mine off. At this point, I'd be glad to get home and find out UPS has delivered my socks and then I can send the ones I'm working on to my Assassin and be done with it! The very worst thing that can happen is that I get killed and I have a pair of hand-knit socks to show for it! Don't really care at this point that I won't be the last girl standing! Root that I get killed off soon! Will keep you updated!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Snow Day!

We had a 2-wave snowstorm yesterday. The first wave came in around 9:00 a.m. and lasted till 11:00 a.m. Not a lot of snow, but enough to put a light covering on the parking lot at the library. Then, about 1:00 p.m. the 2nd wave began...dropped enough snow to close the library 3+ hours early! That doesn't happen often. I had driven in with John and started work an hour early and waited for my neighbor and office partner to finish his work at 3:30 and he took me home...thank goodness. This California girl does NOT do snow! This morning, using our Official Meeks Lumber 36" Snow Measuring Device, we determined that we had gotten 2" of snow! Here's the proof.
And you can see our lovely barn...standing so cold and lonely out in the eastern field just outside my studio window. Brrrrrrrrr. I'm so glad we made Gilligan an inside cat! Today is supposed to be all the way up to 35° so most of the snow on the roads will melt off...The plows have already been thru town and all along DD Hiway and Good Hope Road and 1/2 of of Wilderness Dr....Of course, we live on the very end of Wilderness (which is only 1/2 county maintained!) so we have about 1/2 mile of snow to drive thru to get home. Thank goodness for 4WD! Sadly, John is using the Explorer which does NOT have 4WD...needless to say, we are probably in the market for a replacement for the Explorer that can handle several days of snow each winter.
Anyone who lives in sunny areas, please send some warm sun to us, or at least some warm wishes!