Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to John!

Last weekend, John celebrated his 60th birthday. And what a birthday it was!

John III, along with Jill and Hewston, flew in secretly to surprise John at his office on Thursday. That was so cool to see his face when he thought I was walking in so we could go to dinner together...instead, John and Jill walked in with me following holding Hewston. We all went to dinner and John was so happy to see them.

Then, on Friday, we all went to Silver Dollar City for the day. Oh, my goodness, was it cold! Luckily, they'd brought a camo snowsuit for Hewston. He looked like a Yeti but he was warm!

On Saturday morning, John III took his dad to the movies since Jill and I had 'girl' things to do. Little did Big John know that we were setting up for his surprise birthday party that afternoon. They got home to a houseful of his friends wishing him a happy birthday.

I gave him a 2012 Kawasaki Mule for the farm. I must say, in the 40 years I've known him, I've never seen him speechless - till that day. It took him a full minute to understand that the Mule on the front lawn was his.

All-in-all, the weekend was a continuous surprise for Mr. Wonderful.

I love you, John. You are my hero...

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I have been teaching beginning knitting at the library since this past spring. I've taught 2 classes of beginners, 1 hat class (to learn knitting in the round) and one sock class. My friend, Meggie, offered to design a simple pair of anklets so my students wouldn't have to knit that interminable leg...let's face it, once you start knitting in the round, that leg goes on forever. And the idea of knitting socks is to learn the anatomy of a sock. So she designed The Two Wild Redheads Simply Vanilla Ankle Sock pattern for me to teach with. I cast on for the sock using Spunky Eclectic sport yarn in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes colourway. I finished my pair last night.The director of the library is a new knitter. She took my beginning knitting class, my hat class, and the sock class. She finished her first sock last week and here it is! She did an amazing job and has already cast on for another pair. She's an avid sock knitter now.
Finally, I began another session of Beginning Knitting yesterday. I've got 7 ladies in that class and when they left at the end of the first 2 hour class, they were all KNITTERS! They have homework to complete by next Wednesday and every single one of them are so enthusiastic!
I love my job!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Farewell Mom!

So yesterday John and I drove Mom to the Branson Airport so she could fly home. We spent an amazingly lovely 4 weeks with her before we had to send her home. This year we went to a show in Branson, painted pottery a couple of times at Firehouse Pottery in Springfield, went to the movies twice, had lunch in town with John a couple of times, and spent so much time talking and knitting. And the Ozarks put on a lovely show of colours for her this year.
When we got to the airport, Mom was met with a wheelchair to take her to her gate. Drew was her driver and we were so happy to see him. You see, Drew was also her driver when she arrived here 4 weeks ago! He remembered her and promised me he would take special care with her and make sure she got on her plane without incident. There they are awaiting Security clearance.
When we left the airport, John and I decided to take advantage of the fact that we were near the Outlets in Branson and do a bit of shopping. We went to the Chicago Cutlery store and got John a knife for chicken processing. Then we went to the Harry & David store - oh, my goodness! Such yummy concoctions they have there. We got several bags of soup mixes and some yogurt pretzels and a jar of Pear & Cranberry pie filling. I made the pie this it is! It smells great and I hope it tastes just as good when we cut into it this evening.Mom called yesterday to let us know that she had arrived and that my youngest brother had met her at the airport and they were on their way up the mountain to her house. John and I agreed last night that the house feels so empty now...we sure do miss you, Mom!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mommy and Me Class

So Mom is still visiting. I can't believe it's been 3 weeks already. She goes home next Saturday and I really don't want her to go. But she has several things planned for when she gets home and I wouldn't want her to miss them. She is so excited cause she is having cataract surgery on her eyes next month, the first one 3 days after she gets back.

In the meantime, we've been having such a great time. My previous post showed you the pictures of our evening in Branson with Ann-Margaret and the Lennons. We have also gone to Firehouse Pottery in Springfield 2 times to paint pottery. I'll post pictures of the pieces we've done when they are finished being fired and glazed. And last weekend we began classes in Beginning Crochet. Both of us can make a chain but neither of us really know how to crochet. The library was offering a series of 3 beginner classes and we decided to enroll. We both struggled a bit during the class (I really think there were too many people enrolled and the teacher wasn't as prepared as she should have been) but we didn't give up. We came home and on Sunday, in the quiet of my studio, we both worked on another square. Here is the result of our efforts. Mom has smaller hands than mine and, while I could use the larger hook that the teacher recommended, Mom needed a smaller hook to be able to manipulate the yarn. Didn't she do great?
Sorry there's not more to tell. Will try to tell you more next time. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday Visit with Mom

Mom and I are having such a great time catching up and talking and laughing. I can't believe she has been here a week and a half already. Only 2 and a half weeks left till we have to send her home. Yesterday, Columbus Day, Mom and I drove down to Branson to see a show. We had a light supper at the Moon River Grill and a lovely rainbow appeared out the window while we were waiting for our table.
We finished our supper and walked across the street to the theater. This is the curtain on the stage. All along the top of the screen are moons in various phases. Really pretty.
We were supposed to see Andy Williams with Ann-Margaret but on Saturday I got a call from the booking agent telling me that Andy is ill and has cancelled all his shows for this coming week. However, Ann-Margaret was still going to perform and they had brought in the Lennon Sisters and the Lennon Brothers to make up the other half of the show. Would I like to go anyway? Well, sure I would! So we sit down, in the 2nd row!, and the show begins. Two of the original sisters are still performing and their baby sister makes up the trio. Janet, Kathy and Mimi did a wonderful show! They did a number from the 40's and wore white carnations in their hair. At the end of the show, they threw their flowers into the audience. I caught Kathy's flower - a fragrant white carnation!
Ann-Margaret puts on a lovely show. She is still quite beautiful at 71 years of age. She's vibrant, and funny, and has an amazing attitude. Mom and I had a lovely date with Ann-Margaret and the Lennon Sisters and the Lennon Brothers providing the entertainment.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

This week's Ten on Tuesday is 10 Things You Did This Weekend.

Since the weekend started on Friday and went thru Monday, Columbus Day, I'm including that day:

1. Watched Harry Potter 7.1 with my Mom who hadn't seen it yet.
2. Worked 4 hours at the library on Saturday.
3. Knit.
4. Laundry.
5. Knit.
6. Took Mom to see Harry Potter 7.2 at the theater.
7. Knit.
8. Photography a Wee Tiny Sock test knit.
9. Went to Branson to see Ann-Margaret and the Lennon Sisters.
10. Knit.

I suppose you can see a trend here with all the knitting. But I look at it as keeping me off the streets and mostly out of trouble. That should count for something, shouldn't it?

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Today's topic for 10 on Tuesday is 10 Things I Do Everyday:

Here goes:
1. Drink one cup of coffee.
2. Take my medications.
3. Check my email, catch up on Facebook, Ravelry, and Twitter.
4. Play several of my FaceBook games( I know, it's a huge time waster - so sue me!).
5. Get the mail at the mailbox.
6. Talk on the phone to my friend, Meggie. Yes, every single day, sometimes more than once a day.
7. Knit...not a day goes by without at least one row of stitches being done on any given project.
8. Pet the cat - he demands attention each afternoon around 4:00 p.m.
9. Talk to the dogs...they also demand attention, just not on my lap.
10. Tell my darling husband I love him...I don't miss a least once a day and most of the time, I tell him several times a day. It's a good thing!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 2011

Our son and daughter-in-law mentioned that they thought I was becoming a bit reclusive lately. They probably were right. I'm a tad bit reclusive since we moved to Missouri. I had tons of friends and lot of things to go see and do when we lived in California and New England. Since moving to southwest Missouri, and living at the end of a gravel road 7 miles outside a town that has a population of less than 6000 people, I've found it hard to make friends and find things that I like to do. Add to that mix, the fact that I have chronic depression in my family chain, and you have a dangerous mix, to be sure. So I thought and thought and finally decided that since there weren't a ton of people banging on the door asking to be my friend, I needed to step outside my comfort zone and try to make some friends on my own. I made a list of people that I knew, added in a few names of people that I wanted to get to know better, and sent out invitations to a Bunco party. This past Thursday nite I entertained 11 women at my own home and we had a BLAST! Some of them were Bunco Virgins - scared about learning a new game - I assured them it took no skill or strategy and only required the ability to throw three dice and count the dots once they stopped rolling. We all agreed to meet once a month for Bunco! I had a marvelous time with those women and I made some new friends. Don't worry about me anymore, John and Jill - I think I'm getting my groove back!
Autumn is starting here in the Ozarks. John and I went with his sister and her husband to the opening day of the National Harvest Festival at Silver Dollar City last weekend. This festival is one of our 2 favorite ones each year. Wood carvers, spinning, basket weaving, quilting, candle-making, old-fashioned sorghum making, ironworkers. It's one big craft fair that lasts 6 weeks. The leaves have begun to change. They don't appear anywhere near the vibrant colours of New England, but they are lovely nonetheless. The weather has cooled considerably and today we have tons of rain (which the grounds need desperately), and lots of thunder and lightning.

Thank so much for stopping by. Till next time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

They Called Her Unsinkable

I was able to finish another of the test knits for my friend in New York this past weekend. This is another of the Women of Substance series shawls - The Unsinkable Molly Brown. I used a Wollmeise superwash merino yarn and it was a delight to handle. No splitting, soft to the touch. This shawl is a long one, with a gentle swoop along the neckline. The bottom lace represents the waves in the sea when the ship sank.

Again, I'm really proud of this one. And the designer is pleased as well. There has been a lot of chatter on the boards about this one.

We have some clouds appearing in the sky tonight...John is out mowing while he can. Thank goodness he doesn't have to mow the entire 10 acres any more...4 acres is more than enough to have to mow on a regular basis. And then, come October, he can put the mower under the house for the winter. In March he will start mowing again. Growing up in California and Arizona, I never thought about having mowing seasons. But that's part of life here in the Ozarks.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I've been knitting a test knit for my friend in New York for the last month. I've never knit a shawl before and this one is a delightful knit. I used approximately 1000 yards of yarn and 1600 beads. The shawl is Mary Magdalene - the third in her Women of Substance series. Money collected from this series will be used to sponsor scholarships for women studying service industries in 2012.

.I enjoyed knitting this shawl so much that I have another in the series almost ready to bind off. The Unsinkable Molly Brown will be off the needles and going into a lukewarm bath and then a gentle stretch this weekend and I will post pictures once she's ready and the designer gives me the Okey Dokey to do so.

If you wish to purchase this pattern or any of her other ones, please follow this link Meggie's Patterns . This will allow you to purchase any of the Women of Substance patterns, even future ones that haven't been released yet. For a list of the patterns she is going to release, check them out here. If you wish to purchase this pattern, the cost is $9.00 until it goes live, then the price goes up to $12.00. September 10th is the day the pattern goes live so you've got a few days to mull it over.

It's finally cooling off here in the Ozarks. I feel autumn in the air when I get off work. Thank goodness! The heat and humidity has been really wicked this year and I can't wait for autumn to finally settle in. Not that I'm looking forward to winter - I really don't mind the cold, I just dislike ice and snow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Just Checking In

It's been so long since I wrote on this blog and there simply is no excuse. So we'll just leave it at that.

I've been knitting, knitting, knitting. It seems like forever. I belong to a swap group on Ravelry that focuses on Fairy Tales and legends. Each swapper makes a wee tiny sock, and includes other items to represent the theme. This month's theme is Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. I didn't really know the story. So I went to my online resource: Wikipedia. The story of Ali Baba come from the Tales of the Arabian Nights. My wee tiny sock represents the booty that Ali Baba's brother, Cassim, stole from the cave belonging to the thieves.
In addition to the wee tiny sock, I sent along a little plastic basket, a small sewing kit, a mini notebook and pencil, a lighted keychain, glittery nail polish, and a small, portable quilted pad that turns into a basket. My swap partner lives in Scotland so it will be a while before she gets it. I can't wait to see what she is sending to me.

On the knitting front, I'm knitting a beautiful shawl as a test knit for my designer friend. She is quite the designer, is our Meggie. Meagheen Ryan designs socks, hats, scarfs, shawls, children's' cardigans. She is doing a series of shawls called Women of Substance. Women who have made a difference in the world. There are 40 shawls in the series, plus 12 in a Knit-A-Long that are being brought out once a month for a fee. The money collected from the Knit-A-Long will go to scholarships for women going to school with a focus on service. July 31 will see the first shawl in the KAL - Eleanor Roosevelt. I am testing the pattern for the September 30 KAL - Mary Magdalene. I can't show you the whole thing yet...but here is part of it. It will have over 1500 beads once I'm done. I love knitting this shawl. I'm also testing the Unsinkable Molly Brown for her.
Like everywhere else in the U.S., we are living thru the heatwave. John went to Utah from the 30th of June to the 10th of July. He had a blast! Me? Well, I lived in a blast furnace most of the time he was gone. You see, 2 hours after he left, the air conditioner died....I mean DIED! On a holiday weekend, I lose a/c. I called John and, from Utah, he arranged for a repair man to come seems the motor finally went to the big motor graveyard in the sky. Well, that's fine, but it's darned hot here in Marshfield, Missouri. And the humidity is a killer! The motor had to be ordered, and overnighted and then installed. For 5 days, I lived in misery. The temperature inside the house got to 89 degrees during the day and down to 85 at night. When the repairs were done, 5 days later, I hugged the repairman! I told John he is NEVER allowed to go away on vacation, even to see the Grands, ever! Something always breaks when he leaves.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tour de Fleece Begins July 2nd

Yes, folks, the Tour De Fleece 2011 begins today! there are a lot of folks out there who are scratching their heads and wondering what the heck that is, and why is Sally so excited? Well, pull up a chair and I can tell you about it.

The Tour de Fleece was thought up several years ago as a way for spinners (of yarn, not tales) to process all the fiber they have sitting in bags in the closets, just waiting to be spun.

Based on the Annual Tour de France bicycle race, this version uses spinning wheels, drop spindles, and anything else that can be used to spin fleeces into yarn. Well, fine, you say...but Sally doesn't spin...she doesn't own a spinning wheel or any of those spindle things...why is she so excited?

I've been thinking about learning to spin...but the cost of buying even a beginner's wheel is so high that it's stopped me from proceeding. Then a friend suggested a drop spindle. Those are really inexpensive and can even be made from a dowel, a cup hook, and a cd disc... so I got an inexpensive spindle and some fiber and allowed myself to be talked into competing in this year's Tour de Fleece. Each spinner spins each day that the race goes on, with one of the days to be a challenge day (that's the day the bicyclists go up the hills in their race) and there are 2 days that we don't have to spin at all cause they are resting days. I've committed to spinning 10 minutes each day...I figure if I spin more than than, fine; if I only spin 10 minutes each day, then my spinning will improve slower, but I'll not put any pressure on myself...heaven knows, I don't need any more self-inposed pressure.

John left on Thursday night to spend 10 days with the grands in Salt Lake City. As usual, something happened about 2 hours after he left - the a/c unit stopped working in the house. I noticed it was getting a bit warm in the studio - it's the warmest room in the house but it got really warm. I looked a the thermometer and it read 79°...not what we normallyhave in the house. I walked down the hallway and checked the thermostat - 75° and it was set to turn on at 70°...did all the standard checks and nothing happened. Called John on his cell phone and he gave me some ideas to check and then I called the repair man - at 10:00 at night and on the start of a holiday weekend. Got the ceiling fans going....and hoped the guy could get it fixed the next morning. Here we are now on Saturday - still no a/c! That guy spent all day trying to get it fixed and gave up on Friday nite around 8:00...we called someone else from Springfield (45 miles away) and that blessed man came out last night at 10:45 to see if he could figure it out. Evidently, the circuit board wasn't bad, as was first thought, it was the $1100.00 motor! AND he can't get the part till Wednesday. In the meantime, it is sweltering in the house...this morning it was only 84° which was down from the 89° temperature from last night. Fortunately, today is the last day of 100° heat so we might get a bit of relief between now and Wednesday. Will be spending the next 3 days of my holiday in very short shorts, a tank top, and no beware if you come to visit. It's hot and so am I!!!

Wishing you all a wonderful Fourth of July Holiday....Thank you to all military members and veterans, police officers, firemen and women, farmers, and anyone I might have forgotten to mention who is responsible for making and keeping this country the great country it is.

God Bless America !

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Just checking in with all of you folks...some of you have emailed me directly, some have called, some have just prayed for us. Thank you to everyone! We live about an hour east of Joplin, Missouri, along the I-44. While we had horrendous winds, vicious rains, and large hail, we had no damage. This is what I encountered on my way to work on Monday.
Wicked black low clouds. Rain and wind. And that's what we've had each day this week. Today, Thursday, we have low clouds still but no rain. Hopefully by the weekend, we will see that blazing yellow ball in the sky once more.

Shortly after the news of the Joplin tornado, I looked outside and saw this.

Right off the back deck, a double rainbow. While the tornadoes this week are reminders that we are not in charge, this double rainbow reminds us of exactly Who is in charge.

Thanks for checking on us, praying for us, and caring about us. And thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two of My Favorite Men and a Sock

I cast on and finished this Wee Tiny Sock on Sunday nite. "Orla is Stressed" is a lovely and fast little knit. It's a bit scary to drop stitches at first but once you get over the initial fear, it is fun to release all your stress by dropping stitches deliberately.

John called me last evening, as he usually does around 5:00, to tell me that he was on his way home from work. He also said that he'd gotten a phone call from our son. It seems our son was on a business trip in Kansas City (3 1/2 hours north of us) and wondered if we would like to drive north and meet him halfway. We left home at 6:00 last evening and got to our meeting point at 10 minutes till 8:00. Young John arrived about 5 minutes behind us. We hadn't eaten dinner so our meeting took place at a Chinese buffet. We hadn't seen John since Christmas and that hour and a quarter we got to spend with him was a true gift! Thanks, Son, for thinking of this lovely treat for us. We love you!
Sorry there's not much content to this posting...I just wanted to share a bit of the joy we felt yesterday at getting to see our son....Utah is so very far away from Missouri....

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 2011

Wow, it's been so long since I last posted. Saying I was busy sounds so lame, but I swear it's true. I've been knitting up a storm...nothing to show for it right working on a test knit for my friend in New York. She has designed a lovely series of shawls to commemorate historical women. Rosie the Riveter, Rosa Parks, Emma Pankhurst, and the Unsinkable Molly Brown. I'm testing Molly Brown for her. It's my very first shawl and I must say, it's quite lovely. I'm knitting it in a Wollmeise fingering weight yarn in Lila Ludmilla (violet). I promise I'll take a picture once it's done and post it here. Promise!

In the meantime, here's a Wee Tiny Sock I knit last night. My friend in New York comes from a really large family - 26 children in all (no adoptions, one set of twins!) and they all knit, even the men! There are several doctors in the family and they all work with Doctors Without Borders. This family is involved with a lot of charities, and they encourage all their friends to help when they can. My friend designs socks and shawls and hats and wee tiny socks and sells them with all the proceeds going to charity. Recently, 3 of the brothers, all doctors, heard that the Doctors Without Borders group was still working in Haiti but was running out of money for that area. They decided to tap in to their sister's network and designed a set of 3 Wee Tiny Socks, placed them in kits with yarns and patterns, and sold them thru their sister's Ravelry Shop online with the understanding that all proceeds would go to DWB and used toward Haiti relief. I bought the
set and it has sat here awaiting me for several weeks. Last night I had some time, not enough to work on the shawl but enough to devote to a WTS...I cast on the first sock in the Healer series. This one is called Let Them Be Children. I love how it came out...

Missouri in Spring is quite lovely. So green and fresh. It won't be long before the humidity sets in and then it will get miserable. Until then, John is taking advantage of the nice weather and putting in a second garden bed. Last year he only had one bed...we had 11 tomato plants and several herb plants. Last week I went with him to the Marshfield Greenhouse and we picked up some basil, rosemary, chives, oregano, and sage. We also go 3 roma tomato plants, 2 Brandywine tomatoes for cutting tomatoes, a broccoli plant, and 4 pepper plants (yellow, orange, green, and red). One of the girls at work gave us some small brussels sprouts plants and 4 Carolina Gold tomatoes along with 4 Cherokee purple tomato plants. John wants the tomatoes in a different bed from last year so he is building a new bed. He planted all the herbs and the other vegetables last weekend. This weekend he hopes to get the new bed done so he can get the tomato plants in the ground. He is racing against the rain....clouds are building up as I write this.

Some sad news to report...we lost our 2 year old cow, Dolly, a couple of weeks ago...she was unable to give birth to the calf she was carrying and both she and the calf died. While they say that you can't have livestock without occasionally losing some, and it is part of nature, it still is a sad thing to happen. And life goes on!

I will try to post more often in future. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Soul Stud!

Several yarn shops in this area are sponsoring a Yarn Crawl and I decided to check them out. I usually only go to one yarn shop - my favorite One City Market (Hi, Lisa!) but the opportunity to check out other shops was just too much. Included in the knitter's version of a shop hop is the White River Alpaca Farm. Stacy and her husband have some really darling alpacas...I got to meet Soul Stud - he's a really lady's man! And his fur is so soft..poor baby was so hot and he is not scheduled for sheering till next week. His eyes are huge and so soulful.

This past weekend, John and I went to the commissary at Fort Leonard Wood...first time since the beginning of January. Once John brought all the bags in, our Gilligan decided he needed to make sure that black bag didn't levitate off the counter. I recall a friend saying that cats are either "up" cats or "down" cats....Gilligan is definitely an "Up" cat!

Finished the Shop Hop today with my friend Peggy...had a lovely time visiting a couple more shops and then got some Chinese food for lunch. Am now home and about to continue knitting the Round 3 socks for Sock Madness....Will post a picture once I get a bit further the meantime, please keep good thoughts winging their way toward me and my fingers....there are only 25 people from my team going on the Round 4.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hay, Man!

Today was one of the first days that the air outside wasn't frigid and breezy. A beautiful spring day. One of our friends stopped by to deliver hay for our cows. It's amazing how excited John gets when the HayMan stops by! And the cows get a bit excited about it, too. Now they've got enough to last till the grass starts growing in the south and north fields.
Sock Madness 5 is in full force. I made it into the 2nd Round and began the pattern for Nornir. It's a deceptively simple pattern...I say deceptive cause it looks quite easy and simple. While it really is easy and simple, it takes forever to knit. I began to think that someone came in each night and unraveled everything I did the day felt as though I'd never get done with them. I finally finished, sent my email to the organizers along with the required picture, and snagged spot #29 out of 37 to get into Round 3. Here are the socks I have since named Groundhog Day Socks! Knit with a lovely yarn by Pagewood Farms with the colour name of Army Girl.
I've no idea when Round 3 starts, probably sometime during this next week. Will have to post once I've got those socks finished.

I'm knitting Easter Socks at the moment...will post once they are done.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Madness Begins!

Remember last year when Sock Madness IV began? I made it much further last year than I'd expected to. Well, the Madness has begun again. Yesterday the moderators of the competition surprised us with the release of the first pattern. Entitled Supporter's Socks, the pattern makes use of two different colours, in my case, black with a slime green and purple variegated yarn. It's hard to see from this picture, but the ribbing is offset in the black stripe. And there is evidently a different kind of heel on this pattern. I haven't gotten to the heel yet so will have to reserve judgment for a while. I stopped at the heel on this sock and have cast on for the 2nd sock. Once I get to the heel on the 2nd sock, I will knit each sock's heel, then each sock's foot, and, finally, each sock's toe. Each competitor has 2 weeks to complete a pair of socks in order to go on to the 2nd Round. I'll post the finished pair once I'm done.

John just came in and grabbed the seems there's some cuteness going on in the great room....It's really cold here today (32 degrees) and the dogs spent a while outside and then came in to get warm...even Gilligan got in on the warming. Wish I could teach them to pick up their toys when they're done with them!

I'll keep you posted here on my progress in Sock Madness V.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Madness is a-Comin'

Around here, March means Madness. No, not basketball - SOCKS! The 5th Annual Sock Madness begins sometime between the 1st and the 15th of March. Knitters from all over the world are sharpening their knitting skills, stocking up on freezer meals, choosing yarns, and generally getting pumped for the game! We haven't been told yet exactly when the game starts. But the moderators have given us a tentative listing of the yarns used by both the designers and the test-knitters. Given that list, I've pulled yarns from my own stash and will hopefully stick with my original choices once the patterns are released. 5 of the socks are single yarn socks - YEAH! 3 of them are multi-colour socks. Multi-colour socks present a problem - mainlyof tension when changing colours- but I've done several pairs of competition socks using more than one colour so it doesn't scare me much anymore.

Starting at the bottom left and working clockwise we have a variegated pink/grey/white. Then a variegated blue/green/yellow/white. That reddish one at the top left is called Killer Tomatoes - variegated red/green/yellow/orange. Then there is a set of pond scum green teamed with purple/orange/black/white. In the top right we have a semi-solid in Spring Green, under that is a semi-solid in Ginger and a variegated in Popsicle. In the middle bottom is a denim blue paired with a variegated blue/green/pale yellow. Finally, in the middle is a lovely yarn called Army Girl - a camouflage with a bit of pink sneaked in. All-in-all, I'm pretty pleased with my choices and hope I can stick with these once the patterns are released.

Will keep you posted once the Madness starts.

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Sale and a Tam-O-Shanter

I'm not sure if everyone has heard but one of the major bookstores here in the U.S. has filed for bankruptcy and is closing 200 of its many stores throughout the country. I got an email this morning, telling me that the store in Springfield (the nearest big city to us) is closing and that everything in the store, with few exceptions, is on sale at a nice discount. Since I recieved a gift card from them at Christmas and hadn't used it yet, I thought I'd drive into town and see if I could find anything to spend it on. I asked John if he'd like to come with me - the idea was that he could go to the Man Store and I could go to the bookstore and then we could have a nice lunch out. Firstly, it's a good thing he was planning on dropping me off and then driving across the street to the Man Store (Lowe's) - there was not one single parking place in the area of the bookstore. I told him that I knew exactly what I wanted and that he should hurry at his errand and come pick me up. And off we went in our two directions. Immediately upon entering the store, I realized that I shoudl call him and let him off the hook for hurrying. I went thru the store and picked up everything I wanted, then got in line and called him. Here is a bit of the conversation:

Me: Hi, Honey...just wanted to tell you that I'm in line. You probably ought to take your time coming to get me...I think there's probably an hour and a half till I get to the register.
John: Are you serious? I can take my time at the Man Store?
Me: Yeah, I'll call you if I get done any faster.

I was standing at the very back of the store, at the back of the line, looking toward the entrance. You can see from the picture that there were literally hundreds of people in front of me - IN LINE! I think it probably took about an hour to get to the serpentine part of the line at the front near the registers. I called John almost exactly an hour later and told him I was 5 people from the front of the line and he might want to consider starting to drive over to get me. He was actually arriving at the store as we spoke. We then went to a lovely restaurant and had lunch at 2:30 in the afternoon. We both deserved it!

On a cheerier note, I've been knitting on a year-long Knit-a-long project since the beginning of January. The finished project will be a hooded celtic cape, telling the story of an Irish girl and her country. Along with the monthly distributions of the next parts of the cape, the designer has included accessories - socks, mittens, gauntlets, hat, shawl, elbow-length gloves, and a tam. I've never knit a tam before and decided to try one. I love this tam!

The pattern is really easy and intuitive....a lovely knit!

You know, they say that some folks have heads made for hats and some don't. I honestly don't know if I have a head made for hats but I really like this hat.

Thanks to my Mr. Wonderful for the photos....
And thanks to you for stopping by.