Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lots of bike riding - lots of knitting.

I've finished knitting the alpaca shawl but it needs to be blocked. I also finished a handspun softsoftsoft moebius scarf for my husband but it fits me not him. Hmmmm, what to do? I finished two scarves.

And, I must be nuts! I obviously have overblown ideas about my own skills and time management because I have started Birch in Kid Silk Haze in a fuschia colour. In the ball this yarn feels soft but nothing prepared me for how soft and wonderful it feels when knit. Upside: soft soft soft Downside: slippery. I am also using bamboo needles which are good because they are more sticky than metal but bad because they are not very pointy and that makes some of the stitches more dificil. I am using huge numbers of stitch markers. At first I was spending over 30 minutes on each row but today I finished 8 rows (woohoo 1 set!). I am now 1/15 done. Think I can finish by New Years?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bike Blog

I biked again this moring, only 8 miles this time. The mower machines were still working on the path, now they are working out all the way to the edges of private property. I saw no rabbits and only a few birds (1 male cardinal and some little grey and brown birds). no rabbits, no fox.

On the trail I saw 4 bikers, 2 joggers, 1 walker, and a couple walking. I've seen the couple before; their home touches on the bike path. The woman usually has her hair in curlers.

The trail is usually pretty clean, except for the horse poop, but today I saw cheap beer cans scattered along the stretch I ride.

It took me 45 minutes to ride my eight miles. There are 2 short sharp uphills and two slow long uphills going and 2 slightly less sharp uphills and 3 long slow uphills coming back.

Did I say this before? I've gotten right back into pedalling in a circle instead of pushing down but I still find my shoulders clenched and hunched; it may be the size of the bike.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

No Biking today

I mowed the yard instead. Phew!

I am working on several knitting projects these days. One is a sock that I am carefully tinking because somehow I knit it fine until the heel and then I knit it inside out. I still can't figure out how I did that. Project #2 is the alpaca shawl I started for myself last year. It is a relatively simple Sally Melville pattern but last Fall it was the project I took to the weekly community knitting party and I made mistakes, several times. The third project is a wrap in Cherry Hill yarn. The yarn is very fine and the pattern is simple but it takes a lot of time to see any progress: row 1 is all knit and row 2 is k1p1 and each row is 150 stitches long. The fourth project which I started because I needed something that wasn't difficult and would show progress quickly is a sweater in green Manos.

Pictures soon.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bike Blogging

On August 13th my kids were away and I stayed home from church. I decided to go for a bike ride on the nearby Rails to Trails path. You would not believe how many barriers I put in the way of going on a simple ride: I don't have the right clothes, my bike is gone (I think I sent it to Good Will several years ago because it was so heavy), there's no water bottle clip on the kid bike, my husband's racing bike has weird tires and I can't figure them out. I didn't give in and finally made it onto the trail. I covered about 8 miles that day, down to the end of the trail and back, even though I had to walk the last long uphill. I was sore for several days afterwards but I had such a good time that I planned to go again.

This week school started and I found a great time to go for a bike ride. You see, I balk at the walk to the bike path because it is a whole 2 blocks away. Pretty silly really to balk at walking two blocks in order to willingly ride 8-9 miles. Happily, the bus stop for my younger children is halfway to the trail. So if I get everything together, I can walk my bike and the children to the bus stop and after the bus departs, I'm already on my way to the path! Woohoo!

Yesterday I saw 4 bicyclists, a jogger with a jog stroller, and 3 walkers on the trail, also several rabbits, lots of birds I can't identify, and loads and loads of horse poop. I also added an extra bit at the end of the ride, I deliberately overshot my exit and rode for half a mile so I got an extra mile in.

Today I saw 6 bicyclists going one way and 1 going both ways, 2 walkers, and a runner (much faster than a jogger), several rabbits, many birds I cannot identify, a male cardinal, a turkey buzzard, deer poop, fox poop, dog poop, and loads of horse poop. I also met a truck from the Parks Dept and 2 heavy duty mowers. The mowers were run by guys wearing white coveralls with attendant headgear and breathing masks. I believe they were mowing and spraying with a defoliant. I wonder how that will affect the rabbits? I did the extra mile and it felt very good.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Link for the One Skein Wonder One Skein

It is a lovely project.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Second One Skein Wonder. This OSW and the previous one were made with yarn donated to me by a wonderful friend who is cleaning out her stash to keep only what she might use in her lifetime. Go Colleen! Again, this is not the recommended yarn; it is a cotton blend (I did keep the labels, somewhere) and I used it doubled.

One Skein Wonder (that took almost 2 skeins but wasn't the recommended yarn). I used the official pattern from Glampyre and Carabella. the yarn was various thicknesses and fibers including some silk. I really need to look for the labels.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Futher mending update:

I am down to one skirt in the mending pile. It is a lovely woven orange linen skirt with beautiful shaping but the back seam stretches along the wapr?woof? showing black stretch along both sides of the seam.

I'll need the machine and some confidence to tackle the fix I have in mind.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I'm taking a break from "One Skein Wonder"s to clean up my sewing desk. Today I put the loose items from the top of the desk into the appropriate drawers and tonight I'm doing the small mendings that have been waiting for me for over a year.

I have finished:

Sewing the seam on a pillow which came from the factory with a large open section
Attached the rope handle for a small felted and embroidered Tajik purse
Removed the usable hardware from a defunt vest and a pair of overalls
Re-attached the trim along the edge and arm of a Tajik jacket

There is still a pile of 15 or so items.

Update: Add to the finished pile 2 soccer jerseys which had sagging hems, 2 pairs of pants with gaping seams in the rears, one button added to a pair of tiedie overalls. I also cut the buttons off a pair of khakis that were frayed beyond my skill to repair.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Meme, because sometimes even I fall for them.

5 Things always in my purse:

*I don't carry a purse. I do own a reticule sort of bag for special occasions when I have no pockets. then it usually holds my money clip (license, credit card, insurance card, money) and my keys.

5 Things always in my wallet :

*I don't carry a wallet either. I carry a money clip with cards and money in it.

5 Things always in my refrigerator:

* Filtered water in the Brita
* Eggs
* Yogurt
* Yeast
* Milk

5 Things always in my closet:

* Yarn
* Shoes
* clothes
* sheets
* towels

5 Things always in my car:

* Water - I keep a case of bottled water in the trunk
* Sticky backed foam letters (some sort of craft explosion happened last year
* water bottle lids
* A book
* A small knitting project

5 Things always on my desk:

* Pens
* Piles and piles of piles
* Telephone
* Small pieces of paper with passwords, telephone #'s, or links on them
* Earrings

5 Things always on my mind:

* What was I doing?
* Why am I doing this?
* Why can’t I find a pen that works?
* Where are the kids?
* Where is my husband?

5 Things always on my heart:

* Love
* Family
* Friends
* Being me - all the way
* People who are worse off than me, and there are a lot of them

If you’d like to play along, consider yourself tagged.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

1 hour and 25 minutes into the day and it is already the worst birthday I have ever had.

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Gracious Acceptance Speech

Thank you. (pause for applause to subside) Thank you very much for this award for Best Dinner Ever. I will cherish it and use it for inspiration on those dull afternoons when I cannot think of anything to cook for dinner.

I'd like to thank my family who nominated me for this award. (blow kisses) I appreciate their enthusiasm for all three dishes (pause) and the food in those dishes. (pause..laughter subsides) Thank you sweet husband and children; I love you and wish to feed you healthy, delicious food.

I'd also like to thank the farmers who raised the sweet potatoes and green beans. Your dedication to small farm life and organic non-chemical growing make our world a better place and our food was delicious. Thanks also to Nigella Lawson for the Green Bean (not really a casserole) Casserole recipe. The quick boiling of the beans left them slightly crisp and the toss with butter and lemon gave them a silky finish with a fresh bite. While I used no recipe for the baked sweet potatoes, I give thanks to Alton Brown for his confirmation that baked potatoes need nothing more than a swipe of olive oil (and maybe a sprinkling of salt) to showcase their amazing flavour and texture.

Finally, I'd like to thank the fisherpeople and merchants who caught, cleaned, and sold the char. I an grateful for the omega 3 fatty acids and other heart friendly benefits of this delicious fish and I am especially grateful that my husband loves char since he does not care for salmon.

Thank you again for this award. I will try to cook to these high standards more often.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Frog or Tink?

Frogging is scary. Really! Maybe it is because I knit into the back of each stitch (don't ask - I taught myself from a book and must be somewhat dyslexic) but when I frog the stitches I can't tell when to stop (sigh) and I generally lose a couple of stitches into the edges. Anyway, even using the hint to hold the knitting flat and frog until the live yarn is on the left I still mess up frogging. Frankly, if I have to frog a row or two then I frog the whole thing and start over. It's less confusing. Oh, and I didn't find out for MONTHES that it's called frogging because you rippit out. groan

I had read about people tinking but wasn't sure what it meant. Okay, I'm still not sure what it means to other people but to me it means unknitting (tink = knit backwards). When I tink, I turn the knitted work around so that the opposite side is towards me. Then I put the tip of the right sided needle into the lower loop (beneath the next stitch on the left needle); I slide that loop onto the right needle while pulling gently on the live yarn. The position of the live yarn (on the you side of the needle or the away side of the needle) depends on whether you are tinking knit stitches or purl stitches. When I tink, I do not lose any stitches and I have more control over the rate of unknitting.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fat Tuesday and those Slouchy Socks

Those slouchy Olympic socks made my family laugh very hard. They are like leg warmers with feet; I can wear them OVER my jeans. I Think that they look great worn over a pair of tights with ankle boots and a mid-calf skirt.

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday (also known as Shrove Tuesday). We shrive (?) every day in confessional prayer and did not schedule confession at church. We did have a special fat and carb dinner last night along with a discussion of how Fat Tuesday used to be about thrift and not gluttony. People would not eat fats, sugar, or meat during Lent so they would have a feast to clear those ingredients from the house so that they wqouldn't go bad before Easter. That's not really an issue for people who don't give up those things anymore. Our family doesn't give up all of those things as a family - last year we only bought organic meat during Lent; we ate less meat as a result and I liked supporting the small farmers. We still buy about 60% organic meat. Last year G, then 7, gave up struggling over bathtime. We usually pick something new up for Lent and then keep it - some habit of kindness or prayer...something that helps us to live more like we think we should be living.

What did we have last night for dinner? Bangers and mash, carmelized onions, green beans, and fondue!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Team Kenya overcomes the odds!

Kenyan Jr. member, K, finished her knitting well before the extinguishing of the flame in torino.

The exuberant team members stood solemnly for a playing of dual national Anthems: The Star Spangled Banner and Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu. I regret that the high notes in TSSB lead to embarrassing squeaks from the elder team member and that the concensus was that the Kenyan national anthem, even in swahili, is easier to sing and to hear non-experts sing.
WooHoo~ (I spring into the gymnast TADA! position)

Lead member of the Kenyan team has finished a Toddler Sweater and Slouchy Socks

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Team Kenya is taking it to the photo finish!

I ran into a snag with my second sock; I ran out of yarn. Yes, I'm getting gauge for row and stitch but I still ran out. Go figure! While we were out getting groceries I dropped into the 'local' yarn store The Yarn Garden to get a supplemental skein. Sadly, they were out of this particular Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Infusion Mohair (long-o name) in colour 614.

We came home and I moped for a while about maybe finishing the sock in a different colour of mohair or missing the Olympic deadline. WAH! Since the laundry was well in hand I decided to search out another yarn store. Local is certainly a relative term. The Yarn Garden is about 15 miles (25 minutes on the highway) from our house and StitchDC is also 15 miles away but it may take 25-35 minutes to get there and parking can be a problem. Today I went exploring to Fiberworks. Fiberworks is 25 miles away and it took about 45 inutes to get there and less than 30 to gt back (I recognized where we were and took a shortcut). Fiberworks is more crowded with yarn than StitchDC and The Yarngarden. StitchDC is the least crowded. Fiberworks had a good selection, a variety of prices, and the owner was able to tell me exactly where to look for the Jo Sharp mohair. Yay! They had the beautiful and needed colour. I also picked up a Jo Sharp book I've been looking for and three balls of Aran Tweed.

My policy of knitting whilst watching Olympics seems to be paying off. The sock is only a few centimeters from the toe!

I am also keeping to the Knitting Olympic oath by doing the laundry, loading the dishwasher, and comforting puking children (blech!). tonight A cooked the dinner of 2 kinds of ravioli (cheese and pumpkin) is two sauces (creamy tomato and olive oil garlic) and salad. SOME people felt the need for dessert so there was left over Yum and lime popsicles.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Olympic Update: It looks like Team Kenya is finishing strong! I have finished the toddler sweater and one of the slouchy knee-high socks and the second sock is already past the heel. K is just finishing up the fish tail (and then it will need to be felted). Though she is bedridden with some sort of stomach bug, she valiantly knits between bouts of heaving.

Two more kid meals done for this week. Last night was K's dinner of barbecue brisket (crockpot cooked and pulled by hand), homemade biscuits, soy/ginger carrots, and harvest melange a la Trader Joe. For dessert she prepared chocolate walnut Yum (as opposed to the berry yum A made last week). Yum is primarily whipped cream - I don't really care for the desserts. Tonight was G's meal of turkey cheeseburgers, salad, roasted potatoes, and leftover ice cream from last week.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Last night was G's dinner. He chose homemade sausage pizza, salad, and fruit salad. He made the dough in the mixer but I put everything else together because he's been having intestinal issues for the last few days.

Tonight was A's dinner. She made grilled chicken enchiladas (I grilled the chicken and YES it was freezing outside today), steamed carrots, and Berry Yum (whipped cream and fresh blackberries in a chocolate cookie crust). The yum was nice except that my piece was riddled with cookie crumbs and I really dislike that texture. Blech! The blackberries were very tasty.

Tomorrow I'm back in charge of the meals. I'm planning a stew for dinner. My microwave suddenly died today and I am realizing how I use it for almost every meal in some capacity or another.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tonight K made dinner.

She made the shopping list, plucked the items from the grocery shelves, and cooked the whole thing herself. Indeed, she made up the entree recipe! She served: Sliced french bread with olive oil for dipping, salad with homemade peppercorn dressing, and spagghetti with calimari in a tomato sauce. She chose ice cream for dessert.

I think she did a great job and I am very proud of her!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Announcing a new member to TEAM KENYA: K. - 13 year old K. is knitting a series of fish to be felted and a fluffy stuffed rabbit. She cast on the first fish on Sunday because she was in bed during the opening ceremonies (as telecast in this area).

BTW, does it annoy anyone else the way that the NBC stations pretend that they are covering live Olympic action when Italy is about 6 hours ahead of the Eastern USA. Blah!

I have finished knitting my Rumplestiltskin toddler sweater. I'll block it tomorrow and try it on a toddler but It looks awfully small. Perhaps too small for even the thin 21 month old I will use as a model.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Knitting Olympics

I have cast on for the Knitting Olympics as organized by Yarn Harlot. In the strategy of Venezuela and Ethiopia I am entering these Winter Games as the Kenyan Team. I have, of course, missed the official deadline for signing up but that is (vague wave) not necessary for the experience. Efforts to engage other knitters in the family have failed.

I have cast on a Toddler Sweater.

I have been knitting. For Christmas I made 24 tiny sweaters as ornaments to be given as presents, 4 tychus Hats, a Boing hat and then I frogged it. I made a hat from Sally Melville's Purl book. I also made (but not for Christmas) a Mosaic Scarf from MAGKnits (sorry browser acting up) and an Irish Hiking scarf from Hello Yarn which was my first excursion into cables. I then tried a cabled sweater but I've had to frog it 3 times and I'm giving it a break.