Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hot beer and cold showers

This post isn't nearly as sexy as I would hope. The move from Michigan to Louisiana has been quite an adventure...

The packers spent 3 days at the house and things went well, but I was ready for a little privacy and some space of our own. On the 4th day, God made cold, drizzly rain. It also happens that that was the day to load our stuff on the truck. The details need to be spared, but let it suffice to say that it took a lot longer than expected to load our stuff and it also took an extra truck...but I jump ahead in the story.

We tore down the bunny cages pretty early that day and loaded everything up. Buns were pretty calm in their transport cages and they were tucked away from the chaos so things were going well there. The three of us tried our best to stay out of the way of the loaders while waiting for the transport carrier to pick up the car.

Those loaders are truly talented - they picked up huge stacks of boxes...HEAVY boxes...and ran to put them into the truck.

Around 2P most of our stuff was finished, the car gone, and we trekked to Indiana to spend a few nights with my parents. It was easier to stay put in the same place and the bunny cages were assembled in the garage giving them a rest before the long travel to Louisiana. Somewhere around here is when I found out that the first truck was full and a second would be dispatched 'sometime soon'. Our driver was fantastic and tried to ease my mind by giving a play-by-play of what remained and I felt pretty good about it.

Fast forward to Thursday...we departed Indy at about 6A for the long day's drive to our new home. Man, it was dark for-ev-er and I was so tired. Hubs and FYS took the three dogs. Apparently, they played some word games and talked, generally having an ok time. The three bunnies rode with me and they didn't say a word. This is good and bad because I was exhausted and could have used some silly conversation. Anyway, let me warn you that the only Starbucks I saw between our departure and Mississippi was one of the ones closed. (There may have been Starbucks, but I didn't see them). What a long, boring drive.

By the time we arrived around Jackson, MS and found a Starbucks, I needed it badly. Unfortunately, we found that the snow had followed us and there was snow. This photo was taken when we stopped for gasoline. After leaving this station, the trip went a little downhill.
I guess it might freak you out a little to drive when it doesn't snow much. The highways were clear and we were moving on. There were so many slide offs (hope no one was hurt) that we couldn't believe it. I did chuckle to see a huge Ford Expedition slid around at the side of the road abandoned - they could have put it in 4-wheel-drive and driven right back onto the road...
To shorten the story, we arrived dazed and tired at our new home with a goal to drop the animals off and head to a hot shower at a nearby hotel. There were some snafoos which I will keep to myself because I am trying to focus on what is in my control. We did end up at the hotel and spent a much needed rest.
We needed it...our stuff was being delivered at 8A the next morning
To be continued

Monday, December 08, 2008

Most of my world

Most of the things I need on a daily basis are on my bed or in my tub. These are the only two 'safe' zones when packers are in your home. My son found this out last night when he went to the linen closet for a towel and some toilet paper...moving will definitely make you plan ahead. My Internet connection is intact (for the moment) but little else remains the same.

I am going to take a photo of my packed stash of yarn (or most of it). The cord to connect my camera is elsewhere - I know where, I'm just to tired to go get it - and it will be uploaded later.

Tonight is the last night we will sleep in Michigan. We will head to Indy tomorrow and stay with my folks until Thursday morning then head out to Louisiana. Our stuff will be delivered Friday morning and then my real work will begin.

Every time we move, I remember what is important:
The convertible
My stash
...not necessarily in that order

Sunday, November 30, 2008

That time of year

Getting ready for a move of this magnitude has been a little like therapy. My goal was to go through everything and make sure we took the 'right things' and discarded the items that were not useful. Much progress has been made and there is little left to scrutinize.

All of the activity has been exhaustive. My family came for Thanksgiving - our two dogs, Bugg's one dog, mom brought two of hers and my brother brought his two. The bunnies were isolated from the canine factor and they were the lucky ones! 7 dogs is enough work to exhaust anyone. Most of the warm bodies have departed and there was enough time this afternoon for me to reflect on the upcoming Christmas holiday.

Sending Christmas cards is one of my favorite things to do. Every year I compile a collage of photos showing us and the kids in memorable activities throughout the past year. I LOVE doing this and was saddened at the realization that there was not enough time to accomplish my annual ritual. I also don't like just signing our name and addressing an envelope without personalization. Why bother?

The cards that stick in my memory are the ones where the sender took time to say a little something about themselves or about us. Anyway, I sat down and began to tackle the annual Christmas card event, braced to prepare the inevitable generic sayings and printed generic greetings.

I found myself writing personal notes in each card. There are things happening in our lives that we want to share with those that we love. This is an exciting time for us. I wrote and wrote and wrote then realized one very important thing. The annual photo collage will not go out this year, but individual personalized cards filled with love will. In all of this craziness, I was still able to find time to let our friends and family know that they are special and we love them. I am thankful.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turns out she has monkey arms, too

Mom arrived yesterday and it was her birthday. True, this sweater was supposed to be for Christmas, but with the impending move I though it would be better to go ahead and gift it.

The timing was fantastic because the snow has been coming down since morning and the thickness of this jacket really takes the chill off.

Mom insists that the sleeves are perfect (thank goodness) so no alterations were necessary. I was wondering how that would be pulled off!

We ended up getting a different clasp that looks much better and not so overpowering as the one that came in the bag. I've made her promise to wear it, but as soon as we came inside she tucked it away to avoid "getting it dirty."

...somebody shoot me!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Finding time to knit

Thank you so much for your well wishes. It is a whirlwind of activity and it overwhelmed me a bit yesterday afternoon. My strategy when the feeling hit was to get out the post it notes and trash bags. We've moved and let them just pack everything before and I don't want to make the same mistake again. Three main areas were gone through and it made me feel better. After that the yarn closet was tackled...there is SO much yarn and spinning fiber. Maybe half of it is in plastic storage containers and we'll go get more today. I hope the movers can move the plastic containers as-is.

There were three projects nearing completion and two are finished. Handspun Angel Lace was blocking when we left to visit Louisiana last week. What a thrill to know that this yarn was spun by me on Georgia.

Originally, the plan was to dye this shawl after it was complete, but given the timing it will remain natural and may be dyed later.

Bluegrass socks are also complete. This pattern is from 2-at-a-time Socks but were knit one at a time. The 2 at a time approach leaves my arms

aching and turns out to be more of a chore. This is Sailor's Delight and I decided to work the foot in stockinette to avoid any chance of the sock twisting when worn. The yarn is Brown Sheep Wildfoote which was a birthday gift from my friend, Mitzi. This sock has a little of my favorite things - coming from Mitzi and being the colorway 'bluegrass' - for Bugg's foray into Kentucky.

As if this wasn't enough to do, the bunnies need clipped. This is my first attempt and I hope bunnies don't get pissed when you butcher their beautiful coats...because I did.

...wait for it...

I need to re-watch the tutorial. to maximize the amount of fiber and minimize the shame this poor bunny must feel.

Then there is Bella who also needed a haircut. After seeing Edward, I didn't have the heart. The tutorial will hopefully help after re-watching.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

We are moving to Louisiana.

Honestly, I am excited and anxious but also nervous. The nervous part comes in when I look around at our accumulation of goods. I realize that the economy is not lacking because of my hesitation to consume. Although my spending has slowed, there is still a huge amount that just overwhelms me.

We have a great place to live on an interim basis and my son's school is top notch. Best of all, this snow will be left behind for the more balmy weather that has always called my name.

My posts have been infrequent, but maybe some Cajun thrown in will spice this all up.

I'm taking ALL of my yarn, now where is a box?

Friday, November 07, 2008

I wove a scarf and I liked it!

So, this warp was on my loom for a l-o-n-g time. A couple of the hettles were twisted and needed to be fixed before any weaving could be accomplished.

A couple of weeks ago, something possessed me and I got the loom going.

In a matter of a few hours across two days, I wove this scarf.

My favorite youngest son marveled at the finished scarf fresh off of the loom and then he touched it.

"Ouch! That is pretty scratchy, mom. Who would want to wear it?"

True, true. This kid is amazingly intelligent.

Into the washer went the scarf.

With a little bit of wool wash and the hand wash setting, I waited nervously for the result.

...and I liked the result very much.

Fast forward a few days and the scarf is presented to my son for inspection. He frowns at first, thinking that he will touch scratchy.

"What happened to this? Is it the same scarf?"

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Delilah turns 7 weeks!

Delilah is 7 weeks old and she has grown so much!

She has a sweet disposition and her cheek and ear furnishings are just coming in. Her wool has a nice crimp next to her skin and I can't wait until her first fur comes off.

Ok, I am going to go hold her some more.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The sun shined and I spun

I've been working on a couple of different patterns this week and the momentum broke yesterday.

The sun was shining and Georgia called to me.

I had never spun Masham before and it was exciting to find some at The Ann Arbor Fiber Expo a couple of weeks ago. The fibers are very long making it easy to spin. There was neglect on my part to take photos before spinning, but Coby has some in her Etsy shop here. The goal was to spin thicker yarn and finish it in a manageable amount of time. There were 4 oz. and it took about 3-4 hours to spin 2-ply at 10 wpi. There are 128 yards in total.

The thought is to get more of this fiber and mix in some of Bella's soft wool. Admittedly, it isn't super soft once spun up, but the angora would definitely add to that. I have been keeping the fur from her regular groomings and nearly have a sandwich bag full. She looks like it is almost time to clip her and that would provide plenty.

Speaking of Bella, her behavior has improved a bit. She is still not allowed to run around in the play pen outside of her cage, but I have been taking her outside on our deck every day. This mixes up her routine and gives her an opportunity to get exercise. Her litter pan is taken outside with us. She uses it and has not had an 'accident' on the deck.
Stubborn girl, if only she would behave so well inside.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monkey arms


Thank you, friends, for the wonderful comments. How a kind word can help you through a tough day!

It seems I must be the one with monkey arms. After scrunching up the length a bit and letting it dry, the sleeves are a bit shorter. Mom's arms are shorter than mine and some work will still need to be done.
I don't really like the clasp that came in the kit and it will wait to see what mom's preferences are.
She had better wear this darn thing (at least in front of me)!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cut the steeks!


Mom, this will spoil your Christmas present so don't peek!

Secretly, I am hoping that my mom's arms have grown about 6". Assuming that she does not have monkey in her ancestry, this is not likely. The arms on her cardigan grew extremely long during the washing and it appears they will need to be shortened : (

This means the steeks have been cut
and the shoulders have been graft together (3 needle bind off, yay!)

Knitting all of the facings was a bit time consuming, but I managed to finish those today.

The sweater has been washed, rinsed, and laid to dry.

The process to make this sweater is one that I've thoroughly enjoyed. Only the fear of the fit looms in my mind. True, these sweaters are designed to fit like a tent, but I was hoping to adjust a bit and make it a tad more snug. These hopes were banished as soon as the washing was complete and it was discovered to have grown during the process.
It will dry completely and then I will decide what to do about those sleeves.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Fiber Expo

The Ann Arbor Fiber Expo is my favorite show to get spinning fiber. This was my second year to attend and there was very little commercial yarn either year. Some beautiful fiber from Coby followed me home (I need to break down and buy some fiber in the 'Edward' colorway). So, why are there photos of a bunny here?
This is little Delilah and she followed me home too. The natural colors of her fur are beautiful and when considering getting a bunny, the chocolate called to me. Of course, then I fell head over heels with Edward and Bella...now there are 3 bunnies. FYS and I agree that 3 are enough.
Edward is a lover and is so happy to see Bella and Delilah whenever they are near. He also loves to visit with Darby so I am pretty certain he will bond with anything. Bella has been lukewarm in her reception. She was acting a bit odd before, though, and I'm going to search the Ravelry group for some clues on her behavior. At first, I was scared that she was preggers when I picked her up (I've been meticulously careful in keeping her and Edward apart since). She will be running around and will just flop over. She is probably fine, but it will be better to ask. The only thing I would change would be Bella's cleanliness habits. She is a messy bunny! Sometimes she uses her litter box and sometimes she doesn't. She is a bit more smelly than Edward requiring me to clean her cage two or three times more often. Edward uses his litter box all of the time and his cage is VERY clean.
All part of my learning curve for certain.
It had been awhile since I had spun. Georgia sat there silently calling to me. It seems I am a extremely slow spinner.
It took probably 5 hours for me to spin 4 ounces of 50% merino/50% silk in a 2-ply 10 wpi. That just seems slow to me. Once a fiber is on the wheel, I like to spin all of it. With it taking that long to spin, I've tended to let it sit knowing that the available time dedication is limited right now. Beth was at the Fiber Expo (see how I tied that in?) and we agreed that a lesson is probably in order. With gas prices lower, there is really no excuse not to go soon.

The best part of the Expo was visiting with Lisa and meeting Becky. Lisa and I had not seen each other since Spring. We keep trying to find time to meet and spin, but our families have been very busy. Becky was my scarf buddy for ISE 5. My international scarf buddy lives in Ohio! She and her daughter arrived before we left the show. It was so nice to meet her in person...I really should have taken some photos.
Both Lisa and Becky helped with the Hope Blanket. The patterns are being test-knit and afterward the pattern will be available with proceeds to benefit The Hope Lodge. Amy's name was drawn to receive the blanket which she gifted to Kendra.
Kendra recently posted the incredible news that she is cancer-free! Please journey over and share her news. We helped!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another something green

A new sweater for this season is just what I needed and the Ella Jacket from Simply Shetland 4 caught my eye. The thought to knit it in Briar Rose Charity came a little later and this was toted home from Wisconsin.

The design is knit in one piece beginning at the sleeve. Even the collar is knit one by casting on extra stitches. The sides, sleeve seams, and collar did need to be stitched on to finish.

Garments constructed out of the norm always interest me. Disappointment has struck many times after knitting an amazingly constructed design only to find that the fit is bizarre. Not so with this one, the fit is perfect for my build.

This is sure to be a favorite of mine!

2 skeins Briar Rose Fibers Charity
size 7 US Needles
6 buttons from Briar Rose Fibers

See it on Ravelry

Thursday, October 16, 2008

9 years ago...today

9 years ago today we became a family.

The kids were included (a photo with our oldest son is buried in the basement) because we believed we were getting married as a family.

It was a beautiful day and everything was right - how lucky are we!

Until this year we've never really remembered if our anniversary was on Oct. 15th or 16th. It wasn't really important to us and we celebrated both days. It was confirmed yesterday - October 16, 1999. A very happy day!

Here's to 3 (out of 4) of the most important people in my life...pass the champagne!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mason Dixon of my very own

While checking bloglines last Thursday night, I discovered that Ann and Kay were going to be at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, KY Friday evening. Hmmm, I thought we might have time to run by and get a book signed before picking Bugg up for dinner.

We did have time...barely. Hearing Ann and Kay speak is really worth the trip if they are heading your way. It just reinforces the knowledge that knitters are a family and can communicate in our own langauge (sp. purposely).

The knits in this book are beautiful in person and I did get the little Ann and Kay stamps in my book before scampering out the door to pick up my Bugg.

We visited her sorority house and met friends to watch the game (sadly, lost) while Bugg took her brother tailgating. It is ok, we trust them! They must have missed us because they arrived at our location with friend in-tow before the first quarter was over.

I love these kids!

We spent a lot of time together this weekend and was able to meet more friends and parents of friends. LOTS of food was consumed and we even took in a movie...Nights in Rodanthe - miss it, TOTALLY miss it, don't even rent it because you will be disappointed.

We blinked and it was time to leave.
What an exhausting trip...in a good way.

I woke this morning to a beautiful view. Winter weather is around the corner and I struggle, but it is easier this year. Focus on other things and staying busy is how to cope.

As promised, there was a lot of car knit time and the Ella jacket is approximately half finished. Don't gasp - it will fit when finished. The colors are lovely and I marvel over and over at this yarn. It is Briar Rose Charity and plans are being made in my head for another project with this fabulous yarn.

It has been monikered 'Greenella'

Friday, October 10, 2008


Only one project in process - the Philosopher's Wool sweater - made me want to cast on.
This green wool is Charity from Briar Rose Fibers. The greens are incredible and were meant to be a jacket that caught my eye earlier this year.
But one new project was not enough and the Wildfoote that my Mitzi gifted me for my birthday was next. The colorway is Bluegrass and it makes me think of Bugg every time I look at it : )

With three pretty big projects going at the same time, it may be awhile before there is another finished item. I will get significant knitting time in the car this weekend as we travel to parents weekend to see our Bugg. I read that Ann and Kaye will be near campus this evening and there is hope that we will make it there in time to pick up their new book.
The bunnies are adjusting well. Bella is an absolute doll. She loves to cuddle and loves to sit on my lap. Edward is a little more adventurous and likes to explore. He is doing an excellent job using a litter pan...Bella is more stubborn in that area. The litter pans make clean up a lot easier. I've managed to work most of the small mats they had out of their fur. More photos soon.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Syncopated hat and my BFL

Last year my pal Becky sent a link to a Ravelry project that immediately sparked my interest. It is one of those projects I knew I wanted to make...and I tried.

There was some self striping yarn in my stash that went beautifully with a solid black, at least it appeared to match. It turned out that there was a navy blue in the self striping yarn and it was just too close in color to the black.

Regia Silk ended up in my yarn procurement and I tried again. Happily, these colors contrast well and the results are pleasing.

It seems like forever since I've spun and finished yarn. Chris gifted me some lovely BFL back in August and I've kept it hidden because my son fell instantly for this:

6 ounces of BFL dyed up by Chris of Briar Rose Fibers.

Rumpelstiltskin, I'm not - it took awhile for me to finish spinning this lovely fiber.

It appears I've gotten over my hesitation to spin my 'good stuff'.

I really wish you could feel this yarn. It is incredibly soft and light.

There is 500 yards and I've tucked it away until something magnificent can be knit of it.