Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lots of Stuff Today

This is Stormy. She is our mustang. This is her winter coat of black and mud. I don't know if you can tell but she is sound asleep. I have to call her name so that I don't startle her. She'll let me sit on the ground next to her and pet her. Don't kids always look so sweet when they are asleep?

People are always asking me if the peacocks can fly. Yes, they can. Here is one perched in a tree out front keeping watch. They sleep in the trees at night. I had to use a zoom lens because he is so high in the tree. You can tell it's a he even though he hasn't grown in his full tail yet. When there are leaves on the trees the peacocks are almost invisible.

So. I got this package from my youngest daughter in the mail in the early summer. The package said "do not open until Christmas". So the unopened package has been sitting in my office since then. And since then my house cat, Patches, has been sleeping on the box. She had the box all formed to her shape and would jump up and sleep in it while I was working in the office. I thought I would be able to open the box and save it's squished shape so she could continue to sleep in it. The box was so squished out of shape there was no saving it. So imagine my surprise to find my cat has been sleeping on a Coach handbag for months! She is a cat of excellent tastes.

I can almost see China. This is part of our back lawn. Charlotte has chosen this spot to dig. There are a few other spots but this seems to be her favorite. The hole is about a foot deep. The muddier it is the more she likes it. I know she will outgrow the digging. But in the meantime our lawn is a mess. As long as she doesn't dig up the sprinkler system we are good. It's not the nicest lawn around and it will be easily repaired next summer. I hope.

And I wasn't content to have just one project on the needles. Since I ripped out the mess that was Shannon's sweater I've been feeling guilty. So day before yesterday I cast on for this shrug. I'm loving the pattern. Again, pattern enough to be interesting, but simple enough you can watch TV. The pattern is from Crystal Palace and I think it's free. I have no idea if I have enough yarn. Let's hope so. I really don't want to do this again.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Something New on the Needles

I finished all the stuff I had on the needles. I'm not counting the sweater for Shannon I ripped completely out. Anyway, for a couple days I had empty needles. Well, this project has been waiting in the new project bin for a year. It is an entrelac shawl. The yarn is Noro Kochoran which is 50% wool, 30% Angora, 20% silk. I bought it a year and a half ago on Darryl's birthday when he pulled the 60% off needle out on his birthday at By Hand Yarn. I only bought five balls. What you see is one entire ball knitted up and a bit of another one. They had a shawl made up in the shop out of this yarn but I thought it was kinda big for me. So I bought less yarn and made the shawl a little more narrow. This yarn sells for $20.25 a ball and I bought five balls since the shawl I was looking at was made of seven balls. I fear I will have to buy more yarn without the 60% off. I figured I'd knit up three balls worth and see where I am at that point. Because of the color changes I'm not worried about dye lot.

I wasn't sure I'd like the technique. I took a quickie class at Stitches West last year and it easier than I thought it would be. But that was a while back so I did a practice swatch and liked it just fine. I cast on for the shawl. The woman at the yarn shop says you'll either love it or hate it. I love it. It's interesting enough not to be boring but easy enough to not require a lot of concentration once you get the hang of it. I figure I'll be fascinated for at least one more ball of yarn, maybe two. I'm kinda anxious to see how far the yarn will go. Besides only one project on the needles? We can't have that and I have two more I'm wanting to start soon. Would it surprise you to know one is socks?

Meet Miss 2010. She's tiny. She's delicate. She's a lady. How my mother-in-law continues to produce such beauties is beyond me. This is a pattern she made up herself. But she's intimidated by trying to crochet a sweater. She sure has the skills! I'm hoping one day soon she'll give that vest she's been looking at a try.

We had a lovely time at the Branson Christmas Do last Saturday. I forgot to take some pictures of Gabi, Mike and Sandi's puppy. She's a love. Darryl and I are totally enamored of her. She's a Golden Doodle and as sweet as they come. We think we may get a dog about her size in a year or so but the thought of dealing with another dog with a puppy in the house right now is overwhelming. So we will have to wait and see. Not to mention we have heard and seen photos of a "designer" dog that's a Great Doodle. Just imagine...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What A Difference A Day Makes!

Yesterday I ran an errand and the day looked like this photo above. It's the first time we have seen the sun in a week. It can get pretty depressing sometimes. I have several of those natural spectrum lights to help out with winter depression. I have this theory that if it's not raining it should be sunny. There are no excuses for anything else in my book. Sunshine is like health food for your temperament. No, really. That's quite an RV cover that guy has. And the impossible green that you can only see with new grass. It's probably oats or wheat.

And today it looked like this picture. When I went out to let the horses out of their stalls I touched the metal rails and there was frost on them. Or maybe it's FROG. FRozen fOG. Because that's really what it is. The sun did peek out for a few hours but as you have probably heard, there's a storm coming in. By the time I got home from doing a little shopping it was no longer foggy or sunny. It was cloudy. Sigh.

Darryl hates that the days are so short. I keep telling him that Winter Solstice is next week and the days will be getting longer. I was going to suggest a naked midnight dance to celebrate except the FROG situation would make for a very quick dance. Okay, now try to get that picture out of your head. I dare ya.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I apologize for the quality of these photos. I decided to put my blog back up and, of course, the battery in my camera was dead. So I did a quick snap with my cell phone on a drizzly day inside the house and it shows.

In any case here is Charlotte. That piece of of chewed wood is a boot jack. You use a boot jack to remove your boots. The one in the photo is upside down and in pieces. Charlotte thought it was a chew toy. I have a few more boot jacks around, since we wear lots of boots here. But don't you think she looks very proud of the work she has done? Charlotte is now 10 months old and over a 100 pounds. She's a happy, enthusiastic girl. I can hardly wait until she outgrows the chewing. I'm usually pretty careful with my stuff but in the last couple days she's found anything and everything to chew on. Yesterday she snagged two stitch markers. Today the boot jack and an eye drop bottle. I usually have her right next to me with a rawhide chew so I know what she's doing. But the last couple days have been a challenge.

I didn't see her chewing on the boot jack because I was so concentrating on getting the sleeves in this sweater. I finished the neck a couple days ago. I set in one sleeve only to find it wasn't positioned right. I had to rip it out. When I took the sleeve off I cut a stitch at the top of the sleeve and had to repair that. Got that done. Got both sleeves set in. All that's left is sewing up the side seams. I think it might even fit.

I've been trying to finish up knitting projects without starting new ones until all the old projects are done. This is the last. I still have a cross stitch project but I can tell it's going on the back burner just a little longer.

I'm going to cast on a market bag out of some paper yarn I got on sale and want to try. Then the Elenore shawl/scarf. That's a long term project. And a shrug for Shannon. That should be a really fun project. And maybe a pair of socks I've had in the wings for a while. It's time for fancy socks.

I also have to learn to use a drop spindle with some skill. I promised a friend I would teach her. Guess I better learn first. And some spinning to finish up and plenty of new to start. And none of this takes in other stuff like work, laundry, animal care, other housework (that is part of my vacuum cleaner in the picture with Charlotte).

But casting on a new project is so exciting! Maybe I'll just vacuum the living room.