Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween of Days Past

For some reason, this Halloween I'm thinking of Halloween when I was a girl "a hundred years ago" in Alaska.

We wore our costumes at our "Halloween Party" at school. We came home, ate dinner, and out we went gathering candy, in the cold and snow. One year I wore a long dress and went out with my brothers. They are 6 and 4 years older than I. We were out "forever" and they were supposed to be the responsible ones. Supposed to be! As my mom reads my blog, she will learn that they weren't so responsible!

The snow was up to my butt that year. We traipsed all over our neighborhood. Houses were pretty far apart way back when and we put on several miles. On our way back home, the boys had me sit in a ditch as they tossed snowball as passing cars (sorry, mom, I just sat in the ditch, THEY were the ones tossing the snow balls; okay, I made some of the snow balls for them). It must have been a rather fresh and wet snow fall as the snow balls were easy to make, my dress became wet from sitting in the damp snow. By the time we made it home, my dress was frozen solid.

I know we went out trick-or-treating every year, but that was the one year I remember. All that could be seen of my costume was the skirt of my dress over my snow pants and winter boots!

As I type this entry, Halloween is now only two short days away. There's no snow on the ground, the grass is green, and temps in the 40's are forecasted for this Friday.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I know others in our country have already gotten snow. Growing up in Alaska, I don't recall any Halloweens without snow, and a lot of it!

I guess I've become a sissy, Halloween is 6 short days away, and I don't want snow just yet! I remember trick-or-treating with snow over our boots; could never figure out why we put on costumes only to cover them up with winter coats, hats, mittens and the like!
The weather forecast Saturday was that it would turn cold with a chance of snow by Sunday. So, Hubby and I spent Saturday trying to finish all the chores that need to be done before winter hits and the snow flies. Heated water buckets were brought out, summer lawn furniture was put away for the year, and the last of the summer manure was hauled away to help a friend's garden flourish next year.

Snow started to fall this evening. It was pretty cold and wet doing evening barn chores.
It was nice to sit down and knit this evening. I feel like I've been working on the for ever. Considering the fact I haven't had much time to knit in the evenings, they are progressing at a nice clip. This evening I began working on the heel flap.
I was able to knit some on the River Rapid socks, over the past few weeks and am working on decreasing the gusset.
Hubby's socks will be my sixth pair of socks in six months and will keep me on track. I might go back to the River Rapid socks before I start the Candy Cane lace socks.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Would Anyone Like a Puppy? Free!

For quite a while, Abby's been sleeping on our bed. She's been good, doesn't get up during the night and all's been well.

Until last night.

Not sure why, but she was up and running amok in our bedroom. Hubby shooed her back to bed at midnight, and around 1 am, she woke me. I reached over to grab my glasses on my bedside stand and they were gone.

WHAT!? GONE? Oh, no, don't tell me she chewed on them, PLEASE! These are the first glasses I ordered without asking about the price. I'm old enough to "need" bifocals, so I found the frames I wanted and ordered the various lens options right down to no-line-bifocals. I just about choked when I got the bill, but I liked them, and they'd last several years and I deserved them. After all, did I mention I'm now old enough to require bifocals?

Those were the glasses missing. My eye site is bad! I mean REALLY bad.
You know the E at the top of the chart? I can't see it.
Without my glasses or contact lenses, I am legally blind! My far sited vision is so bad that standing, I couldn't tell you if you're wearing flesh colored socks or are barefoot! I tell you, it is bad!
So, here I am, at 1 am, crawling (because if I was standing, I wouldn't be able to see them) around on the floor, searching for my glasses.

Yes, Little Miss Abby had chewed on them! Too deep to be buffed out. On a positive note, it was only one lens, so it should cost only 1/2 as much to have that lens replaced, right?!
If they've discontinued those frames I might be screwed! I will be ordering them askng for their price!
She went back into her crate for the night, which involved me moving the crate from another room into our room and tracking down a blanket for it. As well as tossing her in it, hearing her whine, and then hauling her to the crate upstairs, went back to bed, with a pillow over my head because she wasn't happy about being forced to sleep in her crate and wanted the world to know she wasn't happy about it!
I was so wide awake by the time I crawled back in bed for the 4th time before 2 am, that I was unable to fall back to sleep!
Does anyone want a puppy? She's cute, just loves to chew on things!
I'm off for another cup of coffee, and another, and another.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This past week and weekend have been busy, just not a lot of knitting.
Over the weekend I drove out to Walker, Minnesota, to spend time with friend of mine. It was a "horse weekend" where we went shopping (I spent far too much money), had a late lunch, time got away from us so I spent the night. The following day we played with her horses before I headed home. I brought my knitting bag, but my projects only came out so I could show off what I was working on.

The drive there and back was beautiful. Most of the trees have lost their leaves, but the Tamaracks were bright yellow, and looked gorgeous against the other pine trees. With each drive to my friend's, the 2 + hours fly faster; 3 CD's and I'm there!
Last week we started putting Abby, the puppy, in a crate when we leave for work. She was having far too much fun in "her room" (my craft room), and seems much more at ease in her crate. She does not like going in it and we often have to play "catch me if you can" with her running all over the house with me in hot pursuit! Our older dog lays by the crate and I think it's easier on her instead of being locked in a room in the basement. MIL loves Abby and often comes over mid-day to let her out so she can go outside and go potty and run and play. Yesterday was the first day since we started crating Abby that MIL wasn't able to come over during the day to let her out. Abby put in just under 9 hours in her crate. She survived just fine, me, I had to rush home as soon as the students leave, so I guess it was harder on me than her!
This week was the return to not having to rake the toxic Red Maple leaves out of "the boys'" pen. It's been nice to come home and do other things besides 1 to 2 (or more) hours of raking! Monday Sox got groomed as well as his hooves trimmed; Wednesday was Willow's turn.
Last night ,while working with Willow I was reminded of why I like his so much. He is so laid back, and so patient. Because he didn't "argue" (pull his feet away from me) with me over trimming his feet, they were done lickity split!
Sox, on the other hand. OMG! He is three years old, going on four. Those are the years that horses start to make the change in their heads between child and adult. AKA -- it is their teen years! Now, mind you, Willow was not a dream either at that age, but he was in it and out of it rather quick, and has come out the other side a rather mellow old man (at the ripe old age of 4 going on 5).
Like human teens, where some go through their teens rather quickly and don't give their parents much problems; others have a hard time, fight tooth and nail, and seem to take their time. Willow was the one that gave me a couple issues, we had some rather, "No! I'm the leader of this herd and kicking humans is NEVER okay! You will respect me as the alpha horse!" discussions and he is great now. Sox? Well, not so much! He is just this little snot right now, everything we do is a discussion about who's the lead horse. He's really been causing poor Willow a time too. Sox will back up into Willow and start kicking! I teach at a school with students in treatment for emotional and/or behavioral issues. If Sox were a human teen, he'd probably attend my school!
I was reminded of this when I worked with Sox Monday and then with Willow last night! Night and day they are!
And knitting? I was actually able to spend some time after dinner last night knitting on hubby's wool hunting socks, otherwise, not much new knitting was done over the past weeks since my last post. Hopefully, with an extra couple hours back into my life, I'll be able to get those socks done before hubby goes off deer hunting.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I finished knitting the "Merlot socks" and am happy with how they turned out; I will not wait patiently (because I don't want to rush it) for the weather to cool off enough to be able to wear them! The flash does funny things with the color of the yarn as one time they look rather purple, another time, more red! With the price heating oil, I may be wearing them inside if my hubby has his way with the temperatures in our house!
I have started my husband's socks, so my rapid river socks are on hold for a time being. Deer hunting season is in November, so I really need to get cracking on hubby's socks. Though I'm sure it wouldn't bother him if I didn't get them done, the point is I want him to have them for deer season and the rest of the winter, so, knit on, I will.
My next socks will be cranberry red wool/silk blend candy cane socks (because I want to wear them in December). I dyed the yarn last weekend and it turned out the color I had been shotting for with hubby's socks. A nice deep cranberry red.

That means the River Rapid socks knit with Lorna's Laces will be on hold for a time being.
I'm already tired of autumn! Wish the trees would just drop their leaves and get over with it. I never felt that way until I had horses in the back yard. We have a few Red Maple trees near the horse pen and the leaves (wilted, not fresh from the tree) are toxic to horses in large quatities. Every day, I rake their enclosure! The amount of time I spend raking takes out of other pleasures; spending time with my family, working with the horses, and KNITTING! It makes from some pretty long days, home from work, rake while dinner is in the oven, eat dinner, clean up, back outside to rake, rake, rake!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Beauty of am Autumn Morning

After posting earlier this morning, I went to get a cup of coffee and saw this out my kitchen window. I love how the sun is coming over the house and the trees are lit up so pretty with autumn colors! I ran outside in my jammies (and let me tell you, it's COLD outside!) to snap some pictures.
The front of the house has frost on the grass, the the sun shining through the trees and couldn't resist taking this picture. There must be something on my camera lense because that spot appears in the same spot on all pictures!

I promised hubby I'd mow when the frost and dew are out of the grass. I think a ride on my horse may be in order this morning!

My week in Review

Work Resumes on my Winter Socks

Yesterday I received my replacement needle ends from KnitPicks so knitting can resume on my 100% wool worsted weight boot socks. They should be finished before the weekends over; last night I finished decrease on the gusset and am now doing straight knitting until it is time to decrease for the toe. The worsted weight yarn knits so FAST compared to fingering weight sock yarn!
Once they are off the needles, I'll begin work on my husband's socks with the same yarn, this time dyed the correct color!

Out of the Dye Pot

The above are the yarns from the dye pot last week. The Russet will become my husband's winter boot socks. The yarn didn't turn out quite what I wanted, but it will work. It's all a learning process. I wanted more variegation, more areas with dark and light colors, but I had some issues with getting the dye to set and the water to run clear.

The black skein will become socks for me. That yarn turned out just as I wanted it! It will become socks for me to wear with black slacks for work. I love how the nubs didn't dye up and have little pops of color. I've yet to decide what pattern I'll use, don't know if I'll just do a simple knit pattern, or find a lace pattern I'd like to try.

River Rapids Sock Progress

Here is the progress I made with my River Rapids Socks. They are turning out great and I can't wait to get them done! I was sure I'd be frogging as I seem to do with every new pattern. I guess I'm getting better at reading and understanding the directions in patterns better. I've been following the chart and maybe that is my salvation as the chart just makes far more sense to me than having to read each line!

They will need to be put on the back burner while I finished both my husbands and my heavy winter socks. There is talk of both hubby and son going hunting already next weekend, so I really need to get clicking!

Sneak Peaks
(qued projects)

I came across a pattern on Ravelry that I will try. It is called Cherie Amour, is a lace sweater knit from chunky yarn. I love it and will have to order yarn for it. The question for me is: do I buy the yarn pre-dyed, or dye it myself!? Anyone who knows me knows what I'll do....and it involves a my canning pot and an afternoon when hubby and son are hunting, I have the house to myself and it doesn't matter that it will end up smelling like wet wool and boiled vinegar!

I also have two skeins of yarn I fell in love with other the summer that will become socks (I have set a goal to knit one pair a month -- I am currently right on target). One of those skeins might become a lace shawl, but time will tell. I have two bare sock blanks that also need to be dyed (I have offered them to sock swap as KnitPicks has them on backorder, so I'll have to see if they remain in my possession or get passed on to someone in need).

Last Christmas I got the book Arctic Lace which is about the history of Alaskan Native women knitting with Qiviut (muskox wool). Having grown up in Alaska, I found the book very interesting and am looking forward to trying the patterns. I have some skeins of alpaca "mohair" that I am hoping to be able to use for one of those patterns. I think I'll wait until I get a little more savvy at following lace patterns.

AND, then there are my two WIP. The "Buttery Yellow short sleeved mock turtle neck" that I ran into all sorts of issues with -- I have to decide what I want to do, frog the whole thing, or see if I can fix the issue with the bad skein of yarn. Then there is the weekend sweater that is 90% done. I believe it needs sleeves, maybe an inch or two around the bottom of the body, but it's almost done.

We are going into winter, so, between those projects on the sticks, and ones qued up, I should have plenty to do when I'm home alone as a "hunting widow" or the snow starts to fly!

Knit on,