Friday, November 30, 2007

This & That

Knitting continues. A bit of this, a bit of that...

I finished another chemo cap for a friend of a friend. Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran yarn - soft, soft, soft. Yes, it's quite plain. My friend is in Guatemala this week on a mission trip - I should have found out if her friend would like something fancier before she left! My reasoning for leaving it so plain - are cables and fancy stitches perhaps a bit rough on a newly naked scalp?

I started the Christmas gift for my co-worker. Party is Monday evening - gotta get moving now!

Paul's Cobblestone pullover slowly moves on. It's kind of last in the queue. But I've been carrying it work, and getting a few rows done during lunch. I'm loving the garter stitch sides - great textural interest.

Last, but really my favorite...
The Rambling Rows afghan has become my obsession. I need to do one square a day before I pick up any other knitting. I'm really lovin' knitting all this with my own handspun.

I did some calculations - I don't think I'll have enough to do the complete afghan with the yarn I have. So I'm taking out a few squares. I now have 35 of 46 squares done. It's currently 46" x 37". It's heavy, drapy, and warm.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Process vs product

My men spent the past four mornings out in the cold on our little acreage. Out before sunrise, ooohing over the setting full moon. Hoping for a deer.

We see deer on a regular basis out here. Frequently, our bird feeders are tipped, all the seed on the ground, from the deer trying to help themselves to a snack.

My men came in to warm themselves with coffee and cocoa, around 9:30 each day. No luck, they said. But it was a gorgeous morning to sit and be outside.

I think that's what the hunting is really all about, in their minds. And that is why I love them. The process, not the product.

Much like fiber work in my life...

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I continue, slowly, on Paul's Cobblestone pullover. Three inches on the the body.

I've been working on the Rambling Rows afghan. I try to do one square everyday, then pick up Cobblestone. I've been so busy lately, the afghan is all I really get to.

We're having our work party on Dec 3, and I need to start knitting the gift for the name I drew. Next weekend, we go to Luther for a big Christmas concert. I anticipate lots of knitting time in the car. Yeah, wait til the last minute - bad idea, I know.

We went to a local auction on Saturday. It was cold and windy, and not many people turned out. We saw items going for amazingly low prices. The mission oak rocker, bookshelf, and blanket chest that we were sure would go for high prices, went only into the $200 range. However, one Red Wing crock went for $11,000! (Wish I'd had a photo of THAT!)

We did pick up a few things. I've been looking for a small chair for spinning. I found several at the auction, and purchased this one for $5. It's just perfect with my wheels, and the Girl of the House has laid claim to it for any other time. I plan to recover the seat. Wouldn't it be cool with a fabric I spin and weave myself?

Ooooh, plans for after the holidays!

Ben bought this for me. It was in a random box of stuff, all for $5. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? I'm not really sure how it works. It's made of cedar, and is the size of several books stacked together. There are two holes in the lid - perhaps to feed yarn through? The inside of the box is divided, and there are several spindles inside.

As the auction went on, people got frozen and left. There were bargains galore.

Some I just couldn't resist.

I bought two complete sets of china. One for $2.50, and one for $5. After the holidays, we'll use one set for our daily dishes. Obviously, we won't have to worry about breaking them!

I tried to look them up on the 'net. The one on the right was made in 1940. Haven't found the other set yet.

The final purchase of the day - perhaps quite foolish - yet irresistible.

A dining room set. Four chairs, a table, and this china cabinet from the 1950s. I'll put the cabinet in my craft area - lots of good storage space. Eventually, Ben will need a table and chairs, and he can take the set. Now, get this - $5. Like I said - good deals!

Four hours in the cold wind, and we spent $50. Cheap entertainment...

Later in the afternoon, Paul and Ben went out to chop wood for our fireplace. Warmed 'em right up.

Friday, November 23, 2007

We made it through Thanksgiving

Wednesday, before Thanksgiving, I was on call. I ended up being at work for 14.5 hours straight through. Made it home by 9:30pm, exhausted. Asked Paul, "If they call me back to work tonight, I can quit, right?" And I was half serious...

Paul and Ben were up early Thanksgiving morning, out the door, and sat in the cold waiting for deer. No luck, but they said it was a gorgeous morning to be out.

When they came in, we started the dinner prep. And the last of the housekeeping prep! Paul grilled a huge turkey and a small sirloin tip beef roast and made a great gravy. I made a giant batch of mashed potatos, green bean casserole (this was the first time I've ever made this!), honey ginger carrots, two kinds of dip for crackers. Girl of the House made two pumpkin pies and an apple/cherry crisp - mmmmmm, delicious! The guests brought the breads, stuffing, jello salad, cookies, a delicious butternut squash/pesto dish (gotta get THAT recipe). I'm sure I'm forgetting a few items.

We had 16 people in the house for dinner. Made me regret we took out the big sectional sofa! We were able to get almost everyone around the table - the two youngest girls ate on the coffee table. I wish I'd taken a picture of everyone at the table - guess I was too into EATING!

Seven of us played Apples to Apples in front of the fire, and others had coffee around the table. It was fun to have a full house.

All the great kids.

My brother Bruce and Heidi, his wife.

Looks pretty proud of that fruitcake, doesn't he?!

After we had the house back to ourselves, there was cleaning up. The kids did the humongous pile of dishes. (We still haven't replaced the dishwasher.) Aren't they fabulous kids?!!!

We took the leaves out of the table and put the extra chairs back in the basement.

All cleaned and straightened away, we settled in front of the fire and played cribbage. The kids beat Paul & me very handily.

The dogs were tired after all the company, too.

We were off to bed, but Ben had more stuff to do...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Exhausted - today I whine (wine)...

We're undergoing construction at work. There has been work on our ORs for several months.

Last week, we had to close an OR. To maintain availability for all the surgeons, we have extended our hours. Now we work 10 hours a day, instead of 8. Drive to work in the dark, drive home in the dark. I KNOW lots of people work 10 hours a day, but we're all OLD nurses. (whimper)

I started wearing my old pedometer while at work. Today I walked 7.5 miles.

Be to work at 6 am, done by 4:30, go to school to get the girl,
hit the grocery store for the last of the Thanksgiving items, make supper, and crash. Thank dog the girl doesn't have anywhere she has to go tonight. No energy for exercise (no outdoor LIGHT for exercise - being outdoors is SO much better).

Ah, alcohol makes it better, doesn't it? Shall we have beer or wine tonight, dear?

Last night we were asleep by 9:30. Yup, Paul, too. What a great husband - he crashes when I do.

One of our rules for a great marriage. Get up with your spouse, go to bed with your spouse.

Yeah, except for our jobs, we're happy as clams...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It snowed for several hours Saturday morning. Actually built up on the deck, but it melted on the grass. Deer hunters are out - we heard several shots close by. A doe came across the yard, limping. Her front leg had been shot, but she was still going strong. Maybe she'll heal, and be a mate for the big three legged buck that we see frequently...

We saw Shrek III on Friday night. I managed to spin up a bobbin of the Shanghai Nights fiber that's been in my stash for a few months. I have a pound of it - got 5 ounces on the bobbin so far. It's really fun. It has silk threads carded into it.

Last evening I finished a quick little chemo cap. A friend asked me to make up a few hats for one of her recently diagnosed friends. It's knitted from some stash yarn I received a few years ago - I have no clue of the content, but boy, it's soft!

Plan today is to continue to prepare the house for Thanksgiving dinner. You know, put junk away that's been sitting out for so long that you don't even see it anymore, REALLY dust, spot clean the carpet (darn puppy!), clean the nose prints off the sliding glass door (darn puppy!), etc... We're having between 16-18 people to dinner.

We're also going to do a little geocaching. Hey, we hid our first geocache yesterday! It's published, and I'll bet someone finds it today. Now beside finding others, we have our own to maintain. (Well, we got kinda excited about it!!!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It came! It came!!

My prize from Jenni's blog contest (Patchwork Butterfly - go visit her) came in the mail today! A fat little envelope full of more than four ounces of the beautiful batt she obtained at SOAR! OOOOOOH!!!

Look at this!

It's so soft, shiny, and gorgeous. Thank you, generous Jenni!

(Spindle for size perspective)

My day off today - managed a run in the Arb. 57 degrees on the 13th of November! Imagine running in short sleeves in November?! However, it was dark and grey and the wind was blowing 20 miles an hour, so it all balances out, doesn't it? I'm averaging 3.3 miles/day this month. We'll see if I can keep it up?!

I got some sewing done this morning. I found a great tutorial for box bags on the net, and thought I'd try it.

I have lots of fat quarters left over from the quilting phase I went through a few years ago, so I sampled a couple of bags. One tall, skinny bag and one short, fat bag. I like them both. They'll be great for carry around projects.

I recently threw away my favorite denim spindle bag (and the fiber, and the spindle) in a fit of temper. (I'll tell you about my bad behavior another time.) So, I whipped up another as long I was in the sewing mood. I really like the lining, but it's difficult to show in a photo.

Well, I need to go pick up basketball girl. I'm outta here...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday fun

Woke early, surfed the internets for awhile. When you have to be at work at 6 a.m., it's harder to sleep in on the weekends!

Out for another 7.3 mile run in the arb with the big dog while Paul tinkered on the jeep.

Then we headed up to Home Depot to look at new flooring. We're debating - hardwood vs. laminate. We found a laminate that we're pretty sure we can install ourselves, saving a ton of installation costs. I don't even think we'll kill each other!
We brought home a few samples to consider.

We also fell in love with some SileStone countertop. (Let's see, would we be copying Coleen and Harlan TOO much? At least they have FABULOUS taste!)

I got quite a bit knitted on the Cobblestone for Paul sleeve on the trip to the Depot. It's good passenger knitting - around and around and around...

Once we got home, we had a look at a place we wanted to place a geocache. Then we jumped in the jeep and went for two geocaches just before sunset.

This is Heath Creek, on the St. Olaf campus wilderness area. Another area I'd never have gone into, except for geocaching!

We came back, just after sunset, settled in and started our Sunday night tradition. Start a fire; Cities97 acoustic sunset on the stereo; and popcorn, apples, cheese and wine for a grazing supper.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Knitting company

Sat this morning, in my favorite bedroom chair, snuggled up knitting and listening to Sound Opinions on my favorite radio station.

I did two more squares on the Rambling Rows Afghan. I believe this will be a popular afghan in our house.

Chip snuggled me up underneath the afghan.

After he left to see what the Girl of the House was doing, Georgie jumped up and took his place.

Then I headed out to the arb for a run. 7.3 miles. 42 degrees out. It drizzled on me the last mile or so.

Yes, a warm snuggly afghan will be a popular thing...

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Productive Call Weekend

Hey! I was on call all weekend and I didn't have to go in, not once! Hurray!

So, I was pretty productive with my projects.

I got 6 more blocks done on the Rambling Rows afghan.

I finished the swatch/sleeve for Paul's Cobblestone Sweater. Got it blocked, and it's going to be "just right"!

I spun up the last of the coopworth. One whole fleece carded and spun up, all on my own. Yippee!

Paul worked on Saturday, so the Girl of the House and I sat in the sunshine, crafting. She wanted to learn to cross-stitch, so we worked on that. She cross-stitched for a bit, then ran outside and shot a few baskets. She got a new basketball hoop this week, as she is playing sixth grade basketball. Then she'd come back in and stitch a bit more.

My talented sister-in-law has a new website up to show off her photography. She makes the most beautiful cards from her photos, and they are very reasonably priced for such art! Go have a look! Little C Creations.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

On Call Weekend

I'm on call this weekend. That makes it a good day to do some knitting and spinning. I have to be within 20 minutes response time to the hospital, so I don't go very far.

I've got 8 blocks done on the Rambling Rows afghan. It's going to be a pretty snuggly afghan, with some heft to it. Perfect for the camper! I also think it will be good to work on this fall/winter - it'll keep my lap quite warm while I work on it.

At the rate the afghan is going, I need to get some more of the darkest fleece spun up. Maybe today?

I cast on for Paul's Cobblestone pullover on Thursday. I've got about 5 inches done on my swatch/sleeve. I don't really like to swatch, so I always start with a sleeve. I can block it, and if I don't like it, I can rip it back without too much discomfort.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wow, I won!

Wow! I actually won a prize on a blog!

My friend, Jenni, that I met at SOAR this fall, had a drawing for a beautiful batt that she received at SOAR. And I WON! (Never happens to me!)

This is Jenni, helping a classmate learn to Andean ply.

And here she is, wearing the gorgeous ring shawl she spun, designed, and knit. Look! it's actually doubled over on her shoulders and it's see-through and gossamer-like. She does positively the finest gauge spinning I have ever seen. This shawl is a two-ply yarn, believe it or not!

She's writing a knitting book - even has a contract to publish! Yay, Jenni!

Check out her blog at Patchwork Butterfly.

Thanks Jenni!