Friday, December 2, 2011

BIG wood ticks, Wait, it's too cold

What did I do? Where am I? There are huge, BIG wood ticks every where, wait, it's too cold. But I am still farther North than I have been in about a couple of decades. 

Tazsmonn is attending another AFSCME event and I am left once again ot my own devices, yes dangerous, but true. We drove up to Breezy Point Resort with one of his fellow stewards riding along. Arriving last night we checked in then decided to have dinner after unloading the car. Dinner was at Dockside Grill, Tazsmonn had the smash burger covered in sauteed mushrooms, Tim had the Walleye sandwich, I later wished I had gone with a burger or fish when I tasted the chili (which I do NOT recommend), the chili was rather soupy, not many beans or beef, I was sort of wonder what happened to them, I can eat and do like spicy and hot, but this was more like too much chili powder and not the flavorful taste bud tantalizing party on my tongue I had hoped for. I do not recommend wasting your time on this, but the guys liked what they had. The breakfast buffet this morning was lovely, with several choices, however not enough choices for the finicky eater I live with. Tazsmonn has a tough time finding food he will eat when he is away from home, so I looked for things he would eat while I was out and about.

I went out in search of adventure today! Amongst all the roads through the trees, over lakes, through woods, I saw a quilt shop, found the Yarn shop in Nisswa called Utrinket, they boast to be a purveyor of yarns, gifts and antiques.

As you can see from the picture Utinkets is in a strip mall, not readily visible from the road, inside it is full of little gifts and fun little antiques. I strolled through the yarn (as we all know I have a big stash like many other knitters) My intentions were to be good and I think I did well at that. She carries a small but very nice variety of yarns including Spud &Chloe, Lambs Pride to name a couple and there was a small table with a couple of chairs as well as an inviting little sitting area with about five comfy chairs to sit in, there was a light scent in the air so my time was limited, I found a pattern and a sock fabric for half price, so a couple of treasures to make me happy before leaving.

I still had to get gas, some sundry items and beverages. I went into Pequot Lakes and found the General Store, no medium bristled toothbrushes like Tazsmonn wanted, only soft and hard. I found some old time peppermint sticks. some cotton string to use for break bands on the spinning wheel and a pair of readers. I was in search of a toothbrush, bottled water and tea, Hershey hugs and Cashews (no salt). I have to say right now, I did not find the hugs nor did I find the cashews sans salt, I did find a small .99 cent bag of salted cashews.
Across the road from the General Store was a small pharmacy where I did find the toothbrushes and another treasure! I use hair combs and lose them (which I have to stop doing), I cant find the tortoise shell combs I like from Goody, it's like they don't make them any more. These combs are smooth and don't cut into your hair as much and I found 6 packs! at an old price. I bought them all. Yeah me!

I love these hair combs, now I have to try not to lose or misplace them. I was so excited!

I decided it was getting close to lunch, which I was on my own for so I did not have to think of anything but my own stomach. Back in Breezy Point I stopped at the BP gas station, filled the tank, picked up bottled water, tea, the little pack of cashews and had lunch at the attached Pine peaks restaurant. 

The Pin Peaks is like a little family restaurant, I had the meatball special for abut 8 dollars, 5 big meatballs glazed in an almost sweet barbeque sauce, The potatoes looked like home made mashed from scratch but I suspect differently, one of those cleaver imposter potatoes with beef gravy, green beans and carrots, a large slice of bread. all in all it was palatable, the meatballs were good, the coffee unfortunately was a watered down memory of coffee. After lunch I went across the road to where they boasted having groceries, still no luck with the Hershey hugs or the cashews.

Backing up in time to Thanksgiving, I spent the Holiday with My sister  and her family, it was lovely, I converted another member into the knitting cult, always a happy thing! 

I am making Christmas stockings for my sisters kids, at least as many as I can get done by the time I go back for Christmas. I had made one for Connor then found out that the other stocking had gone missing a couple of years ago, so I said I would try, but made no promises. Connors sock is hanging on the mantle and I have one more that needs the ends woven in and the trim attached. I am hoping to get more done but have and afghan to finish for the shop.

The socks are not huge and go fairly quick so I hope to minimally get one or two more finished.

In other knitting whimseys, I made a gone knitting hat. It was fun to make, went quickly and I am wearing at the knitting retreat.

Have to get back to the sewing the afghan.

Happy Stitching and knitting trails to to you all!

Friday, October 7, 2011

More Musings in Duluth

Today was far less adventurous and more laid back. I did a lot less crawling around the bed in my sleep last night so there was no hanging off it. I threw on yesterdays clothes this morning and went off in search of coffee, The greenery offered Starbucks coffee with that I got a bagel and went back to the room. I opened my bagel bag and discovered I had no utensil to with which to spread the cream cheese, so that was fun. Tazsmonn was off to another day of meetings and I was left once again to my own devices. I put out the "Do not disturb" sign took my time showering and dressing, watched "Family Jewels" on HBO, loked at facebook, found the knitting professors blog.

Apparently she does a lot of test knitting, which would be fun, I am slightly jealous. and finishes some rather nice projects.

I was starting swatch 10 and had just taken down the sigh on the door when housekeeping knocked. Dang it's nice to have someone clean and make your bed. For lunch it was back to sneakers sports bar where we have eaten dinner for the past two nights. Sneakers is a decent place, the staff is great and the food is great as well; last night and lunch today were sans the margaritas.

Not sure what's up for tonight, but the place is full and check out is noon tomorrow. Tazsmonn has to be in a meeting at 10 so I am going to be really left to my devices and I wonder....... If I have everything in the car, perhaps a trip back to Yarn Harbor. I am going to be roomless and willhave to entertain myself sooooooo. ya, I can drive up to pick him up when he is finished, right?

I think I am going to try to get a jump on everyone and grab a luggage rack right away in the morning to get stuff to the car and then help Tazsmonn shlep his stuff out when he is ready, we will see.

Back to some serious knitting today, need to finish swatch 10 and other stuff, much knitting afoot.

Happy stitching trails to you

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lost on the North Shore, maybe, or I see AFSCME everywhere?

So where am I again? If you have or have used a GPS you know the trials of its short cuts and other cuts on the map. Sometimes a right or left turn is actually going straight on a twisty or slightly wavy road, but despite the GPS quirks you end up in the vicinity and sometimes even need to go old school and finish up at a fish shop to get final directions. 

Yesterday began lovely enough, getting ready for a trip to Duluth with Tazsmonn for an AFSCME Union convention. I had a plan and was executing said plan when Tazsmonn got up and jumped into the shower just minutes before I was intending to. Ok, I can go with the flow, and readjust again and again. Tazsmonn could not work his suit case, which was packed like a five year old just threw in their favorite things and tried to sit on it.

When I went to close it for him I found the following little friend he packed as well, meet Tazsmonn's Thinker; yup still a cute little kid at times.

I finished packing and staging, finally showered and got Sadie and Abella to our friends house so they can have their sleep over at 
Rocco and Coppers. We got on the road to Duluth an hour late, and roughly about an hour or two later we were on a 35W construction detour on the Scenic highway. At first there were some gorgeous fall colors and rambling dips into valleys which came to a screaming halt as we got behind a semi, yeah, not so scenic any longer, inf fact PAINFUL. Miles and miles of twisting road, no passing zones and hard to see around turns when you could pass. Not going that way home! When we finally got into Duluth, it was time for a break, and after using the restroom and purchasing Pepsi at the gas station I got directions to the nearest liquor store (just four blocks back). I not only picked up a bottle of rum at the liquor store, but got old school directions to the hotel, where God love him, Tazsmonn could not work a  luggage cart, I got it and we got our things to the room and were off in search of food, on foot! Dinner was at a sports bar and grill in the skyway and included two margaritas for me. 
While Tazsmonn was at a meeting with his fellow union delegates, I knitted, watched TV, and had three more drinks.

I took full advantage of the room having two queen sized beds, I sprawled over the one I claimed and woke up sideways with my head hanging over the edge this morning. The bed is sooooo comfy and we are not sharing, I mean the other one is comfortable too right? Anyway, four pillows and a whole bed will be mine tonight!

My plan for this morning was set before I went to sleep last night. Get up, shower, dress find breakfast and hit the road while Tazsmonn is in meetings. Of course the best laid plans and all, I'm sure you know how it goes. I found The Greenery, where I had anticipated a breakfast sandwich, trouble was that they do not make the sandwiches on site so I could not get a simple egg and cheese. Options are fabulous! Just a few feet away I found Porters Restaurant, Where I built my own cheese omelet, which came with breakfast potatoes. I have to say it was a very good omelet and the breakfast potatoes were awesome, I highly recommend them to anyone who may be in the area and looking for breakfast options. I had my own little carafe of coffee and when I was getting ready to leave I was offered one to go, included! Kinda love Porters at this point.

I found my way to the ramp, got in my car, no ramp attendant so did not have to pay for parking and my GPS was leading me off to a Walgreen's.  The Walgreen's was a beautiful new store, fresh parking lot and still being stocked so it was not open; I was given old school directions to the open one up the block. Apparently the old one will close at midnight tonight when the new one is to open and all the remaining stock will be moved over.

Next on my list was a place I found called "The Knitting Professor". NOT a shop, it was a professors home, this person teaches mechanics (not the auto shop kind) and This professor loves to knit and blogs. The blog is Called the knitting professor. I can't seem to find it, but did find it earlier. Ok, on to the next destination. 

I was successfully guided to the yarn Harbor by my GPS, it is a great little shop, very friendly and helpful staff. 
I saw so many beautiful yarns, there are a couple of couches in the back that face each other and are separated by a coffee table, in front of that is a table with plenty of seating a a group of women were knitting and conversing at the table, solving life's problems originating in a classroom, as one of them was a teacher. 
My score here was and is a book called "nordic knits" 29 stylish small projects, two patterns one for Baltic socks and the other for Baltic booties. No yarn, trying to be good, but there is always tomorrow and this shop is about three miles away, not hard to get to and in walking distance.

From here my adventures took a little longer. I was on my way to a shop called "Playing With Yarn" it was along the Scenic Drive and as I found out aka old 61. I came across this gentleman fishing along the way.

This was a  lovely scenic drive, it did include a misunderstanding with my gps, but after a recalculation I was on my way. It was a lovely 15 to 20 minute drive and at my destination, according to the gps, I was not there, so I stopped at a fish shop, yes, they sell fish not bait and was given more old school directions. Having grown up on back roads I should have been able to figure out the signs, but it was a bit rusty and as I came up the the shop a sign at the side of the road announced Playing with yarn. Yup, a garage remake with rabbit hutches outside and a resident terrier inside. from the porch you enter a side door, go down a narrow hall into the shop which does have an upstairs which I did not visit, the steps were nice but narrow and I did not go up.

They have roving for spinning, Hardanger supplies and lots of yarn. I found a shawl kit to make an Orenberg lace shawl. 

No drinks yet today, maybe none will be had, but it sure did relax me last night. If I had my yarn winder I would start my shawl, so it is good these items are not available and I am forced to stay focused on the projects at hand, I have a second slipper sock to finish and a hat. I will certainly let you know if I return to Yarn Harbor and and if I add to the punches on my card from there. I forgot to mention, Yarn Harbor has punch cards. 

Its almost six, Tazsmonn should be back soon and I think there is a dinner in my future.

Happy Stitching trails

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Master Hand Knitters Program

A couple of knitting friends and I have been talking about the Master Hand Knitters program through The Knitters Guild Association, and we decided to go for it. Lisa suggested I go through the program, she thinks I will ace it (great compliment, I'm just not so confident in myself). I received some of the information by email on Friday and my package in the mail yesterday. I have been busily getting things together for the program. I have my binder with dividers and started templates for the cover letter and report. I have read and re read the materials and instructions.
I pondered if I should talk about this much or not, I mean what if I muck it up? I have not been great at doing swatches although I do make them, just not regularly. I know, bad me.
Reading the material and preparing the binder and getting yarn for swatches, I have to say I have become more intimidated by it all. I chose to stay with wool yarn as suggested, I pondered what needles to use, circular or straights, in the end I felt that I am so used to using circulars why make life more difficult and using my Addi click lace needles I cast on for swatch #1. I have pulled it back and re-started as well; reading the material has made me look at my swatches very critically. I think perhaps a bit OCD in how I am seeing them, checking every stitch, is one side up more, is one stitch larger, how even is the cast on. Each item makes me re-think my knitting skills and focus more intently on each stitch. I have never watched my edge stitches so closely as edge treatments are not allowed. Gauge is not measured until after blocking, then what if I need to re-do it? Okay, I am freaking myself out. Need to stop this.
I am sitting here wondering how many times I will re-start and if I will finish Level 1. There are three levels to go through and I am just starting the first. I am not sure I was sane before starting this venture and now I wonder if there will be any semblance of sanity if and when I finish.

One thing I have not done in quite a while is blog reading and I am thinking I should get back to some of those knitting blogs as they may have some good and valuable information on how they overcame knitting issues. I need to do some research as well, on ribbing, garter, stockinette, binding off and good knitting techniques. The project for the first level is a color stripped hat and I need to look up how to keep the jog out when you change colors in the round.

I am hoping to link up with someone who has completed the program at the guild, so I can get a bit of moral support and perhaps some guidance along the way. I know, it will be fine, but I feel a bit overwhelmed thinking about getting swatches back to rework. I am sure it happens to everyone so I am going to read what they have to say and re-work it to get it right.

I have just two Christmas presents finished, a bolero and a cable sweater. I am hoping to get a second bolero (in progress) finished this month along with at least the first swatch.Should be doable I think.

Back to that first swatch, I wonder if I could get a medication to relax and get through this? No, have a hard enough time making sure I take my synthroid every day.

Happy Stitching Trails everyone!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Creative revenue for the Government and staying on the road

So as of last week we were on a work stoppage for this week however, I was missed in a mass email t bring the team in to deploy a truck load of printers that came in. I will be going in next week. 

 I went into the grocer to pick up a few things, when I entered I had stopped to think about my plan of action inside and noticed a man pushing a cart and leaning into it. I think I was in a daze, Thinking he looked exactly like my dad who had passed away a few years ago and how he always talked about noticing people he thought looked like his father after he passed. Suddenly the man winked at me and startled me back to reality, I moved on a bit embarrassed. Dad used to wink at us, don't think this was the same though. 

I have been spending time at Linden Hills knitting. I was in on Saturday and Yesterday with Kimberly. I took back a few sweaters I repaired for a woman who knew someone else in the shop. There were four sweaters with several holes, she had pinned the holes she found, I found more while we were looking them over and more still when I went to repair them. The woman's friend kept saying in reference to the holes, put a butterfly on it. This was funny at the time but the last hole I repaired was on the cardigan and it was too large to really selvage, so taking a cue from the conversation, I did the best I could with the hole, crocheted a butterfly and put it on it! It was about three hours of work all together and the butterfly was the only way to save the cardigan. 

While in the knitting shop on Tuesday, we talked about the state shutdown and other things going on, started to get a bit punchy as does happen and thought of some creative revenue streams for the state and federal government.

-How much would someone pay to be able to drive the presidential limo onto air-force one? There are those who would pay quite a bit, if I had the money, I would.

-How much could be charged to have dinner with the president or the governor?

-How much would people pay to be able to sleep in the white house, or the governors mansion?

-How about page for a day to the governor or president?

-Pay to work out, walk or jog with the president, vice president, governor or first ladies of the country or state?

-Holy cat fish! do any of them knit???? would people pay to knit with them???

Okay, yeah, I'm getting a bit crazy. Time to back away.

I went to get an Arnold Palmer from Cafe 28 next door to Linden hills yesterday and noticed that Wild Rumpus had some more preview books for grownups sitting in the basket for free, I grabbed two. The first is called "Disquiet" by Australian Julia Leigh. It is a book on coming to terms with life and its tragedies in a family in the French countryside, and coming back to life as you overcome the darkness inside. A good read, I devoured it this morning, not a large book, but would recommend.

I have finished the bolero for Brianna and a small kerchief shawl.

I love how these turned out and as soon as I finish Connors Sweater I am starting Tia's bolero.

Time to go,

Happy Stitching trails to all

Friday, July 8, 2011

Work stoppage

I have been installing printers with a team of techs downtown. It has been slow, the printers had not been coming in on time and there was no solid plan to speak of and we are not getting a new shipment of printers for over a week. We are off work without pay until then, I can get a few things done around the house, but even though they say they want us back, people could get cut in the mean time. I will remain hopeful that I will not be one of those who are let go before we get back to work.

 I am working on the bolero for Brianna, I have completed all but the last sleeve and there is putting it together. I am very happy with this project as it is going quickly and is helped by having the loan of a pair of size 17 circulars; now I do not have the long klutzy needles to work with. I am very thankful that Ruth cam e to knitting Wednesday night and had the needles with her when I asked if any one had such a needle to borrow. 

The little green cabled pull over for Connor is still coming along, I continue to work up the front, getting close to decreasing for the sleeves now, so it will not be long until I am able to sew that together and be finished. At the same time I continue to add a few rows to the front piece of my lace blouse, where I am near to decreasing for the sleeves there as well. 

I am making small bits of progress on a hose project, moving things around. I am trying to make some progress on that in the next two days. 

As always there is knitting afoot and I am feeling a trip to Linden Hills tomorrow.

Happy Stitching trails to everyone.



Monday, July 4, 2011

Holiday weekend and yarn road trip

Yeah for a long Holiday weekend! So far the weekend has been lots of fun. I started Christmas gifts, beginning with a Green cable sweater for Connor. I have both sleeves and back finished and I am working on the front, figuring I would finish soon, I picked out my next few present projects. I like hanging out at Linden Hills, I just have to watch out so I don't start drinking too much kool-aid and get pulled into group projects or get too much help from my yarney co-dependents. It's all good advice, but you can head down a spending path fast. They not only helped me pick out yarn, but the button to go with the project as well. I picked up yarn for a couple ornament presents and a pair of felted slippers for one of my sisters.

Saturday Sara Jane helped me find a lovely Bolero designed by Kim Hargreaves, which uses Rowan big wool, I started that to see how far I could get on it this weekend. I have the back and left front complete, I began the right front today. This is a lovely quick project and I decided to make two; the first is for my niece Brianna and the second will be for my niece Tia (they don't read my blog), I made that decision On the Sunday road trip. 

Sunday Kathy and I went on a yarn shop road trip, the original goal was to Lindstrom and expanded from there. We left form Kathy's about mid morning and headed up 35 North, can I just say long crazy drive for those who commute to work downtown! 
As you can see the water tower is shaped like a coffee pot and what you cannot see is that it offers words of welcome on the side.We arrived in Lindstrom before the shop we were seeking opened, so we went next door to a Minnesota ethnic restaurant called "Swedish Inn". This place was hopping and had a breakfast buffet which we partook in. The buffet had many options and came with a choice of pancake, french toast and crepes off the grill. topped off with coffee it was a great brunch and the wait staff was very friendly; I recommend this restaurant, besides the buffet and some average menu choices, they offered some traditional Swedish fare as well.

The yarn shop in Lindstrom is called Miss Elsie's Yarnery. It carries yarn and gifts, it has gaming and books in the back. We did not ask, but I do believe Miss Elsie herself was working. There are a couple of larger seating areas, one is a table with chairs and the other is a seating area with two couches and about four nice chairs. This was where I decided to make a second bolero for Tia's Christmas gift. I walked in and saw Cascade yarns version of big wool for half the price of the Rowan brand and made the Christmas budget easier, the bonus was I found Tia's color! 

The color made the decision. I think it will be really pretty, I just need to find the right button for this one.

After the yarn shop we walked down the street to the antique shop which had a lot to offer, many lovely things to see and buy. This is where I found a treasure! a child sized sock blocker, I was so surprised and happy, I picked it up as soon as I saw it.

It looks aged, I don't know ans don't care how old it is. Mine, mine, mine.

After Lindstrom we went to Forrest Lake to Shelley's Yarns and Fiber Shoppe. A small shop, but has a bit to offer. The owner hand dyes a line of yarn named after songs. I picked up a slipper pattern and a couple of skeins of brown sheep yarn.

We thought next time we should make a road trip with a group and go on to Cottage Grove where there is a yarn shop and quilt shop then come back and go through Stillwater to Darn knit anyway to get home. 

A great day and a lot of fun! 

Happy Stitching trails to all,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

hard at work

The printer contract job I have been working is going well. We are close to being finished in the first building and will be moving on to the next building early next week. Our bodies are definitely feeling it! un-boxing big standing printers, setting them up, moving them to the floors, setting up and moving out the huge old cannons. It has been a lot of work my feet feel like they are on fire or have glass in my heels most of the time. I got new shoes and insoles, it was better today. 
The building we have been in has two very slow service elevators and people are so crabby about having them filled with printers, but there is not much any of us can really do about it, we are maxing at two printers per elevator instead of three to make more room, but these are freight elevators and when the pallets are coming off trucks and we are not allowed to leave anything on the dock, and the truckers have a time limit on the dock, we have fewer options. The printers are heavy, everything is accessible by security badge; the two sets of double doors coming off the dock are automatic and I thought of Dad today. He was a bit of a joker and would have had a bit of fun with the doors, I kept thinking of him going up to them and saying "open says me" as he stepped and they opened. just something to smile about to myself.
This morning a couple of the people and I were talking, the one guy offered me his chair and I talked about how when you work hard and your body hurts like ours do, you don't want to sit, stand, lay or anything and the only thing that does help in a small way is to keep moving. I commented after that "Now I know why babies just cry for seemingly no reason". Tell me what I need, because apparently I don't know.
In the past two weeks I have finished two sleeves and part of a sweater back for a child's sweater. The sweater is cabled and I am making it in green, it's from the St. Denis Nordique Spring 2011 collection. I am making the Nicolas' school sweater by Veronik Avery, in a 4T.
should have it finished in two or three weeks. Follow link below.

Because my lace sweater is not as portable to work on the but I am making slow progress, but I am looking forward to finishing.
Today I bought a small pet yard for the girls, my little dogs Sadie and Abella. I still need to assemble, I think in the yard between the neighbors and us, near the patio, I am hoping they enjoy it.

Back to the knitting!

Happy stitching trails to all


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Trying and Doing

I have come to realize that, I will not be able to finish my lace blouse by the end of the lace challenge, that's ok though, I am working on it and I have been busy.
I have a temporary contract job installing printers again, my mother in law passed and there have been things to do with the house, then my niece Heather was married June 4th.
Tazsmonn is doing well, he was extra stressed at the funeral running back and forth to the cities for finals, exceptions and arrangements could have been made, but everyone thought it best, including him that he get them over with. They have been finding so many things with so many memories, toys, pictures and such, he and his sisters are doing well with it all and I am glad.
I performed the wedding ceremony for Heather and Justin, it was lovely, she was very happy. I  stayed for part of the wedding dance, which was not easy with so many people, but the colognes, perfumes and such were at a minimum, I stayed strategically in ventilated spots and kept away from the smokers as much as possible. There was one mishap, her dress came unhooked and unzipped as she was dancing, she caught it and was quickly surrounded and put back together.

A Pic of a kiss at the dance, can you believe she has had 5 kids? 

Working is quite hard on me, my environmental problems make it difficult, but it is temporary, I can pace myself a bit and take something for pain which I have a lot of; I do need part time so I don't get so beat down. I think that the online payroll systems for this job are so much easier than the last ones, I got it done easily without a lot of hassle. My first paycheck came on Saturday and I will have direct deposit from now on, or until the job is over in three months. Yeah me!
I tried  pretzel and coconut M&M's as well as coconut twix. They were all interesting, somewhat good, but nothing to get excited about and probably will not go looking for in the future.
I learned how to steam something open this week. We found an old pattern book for Barbie clothes at my mother-in-laws and it was stuck together from having been wet, it looked as if someone had tried to pull it open, so it is not perfect, but I was hoping to salvage it. I went to my friend Barb M. and she taught me how to steam it open, it did take a bit of finesse, but I am happy to report that I did it!
I have a couple of sweaters in the works for Connor, one of which is a cable using St. Dennis Nordique. I really like working with this yarn, it really knits well.I am using a sort of apple green color and the cables should pop really well.
I was sad to learn that The Tangled Skein in St. Peter has closed as well as Smitten with Knitting in Waseca, they were close to go to whenever I travel to Mankato, Mary Lue's is still open in Mankato so I still have a place to go when I am there. Kristen's Knits in Rochester is closing as well by June 20th, so trips should be made there as soon as possible.
My friend Lisa had helped me get some fiber from someone she worked with a few years ago, it had been stored since the 60's I think and was in need of cleaning, I recently took it to the woolen mill in St. Peter, I have the white back but I am still waiting on the brown, which is the one I really want to get my hands on.
The dogs are well, snugly and happy as ever, they have been traveling a bit lately which they like, dogs and car rides you know.

Happy Stitching Trails until next time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cathching up with news

Its a lovely day here on the breezeway, I have a lot of work to do to make it NOT a catch all, but it is getting there. I have been busy and up to a lot in the past month or so, I had another knit repair job; I repair knitted items. I normally get these jobs through Linden Hills, which is where I pick up and drop off the item(s). I charge a $15.00 minimum and $15.00 per hour for the work plus the cost of supplies. Its interesting, I do not get a lot of work as people do not always know where to go to have this work done, but I find it rather sweet that they have been leaving me tips. I only had one job go over $30.00, most are under $20.00.

I spent two weeks in Mankato, helping out with day care for Connor. What a smart little guy, after the third time he was working hard to pull his own pants up and shirts on. Connor is also potty training, which I suspect may be hampered by the fact that Heidi is the only one who works with him on it. GOOD NEWS! Connors father is back from wherever he was and is willing to sign over custody, letting Heidi and Jim raise him; no court costs for that bit.

I spent a week in Austin as Tazsmonn's mom passed away. Ellie went peacefully while napping in her chair, she remained at home and active until that day. Ellie is remembered as being very loving, kind and a good person. I was able to get some copies of some of her recipes.

My niece Heathers wedding is coming up June 4th. I am officiating and knitting a silk lace garter for her. She is of course stressed and excited, still things to do.

I am taking printer tests for a job I hope to start on the 31st of this month, I really have a lot left on that, not as far as I wanted to be, a few glitches held me up and I downloaded all the service manuals I will need last night, so I am set now.

We have sparrows nesting in our old light pole outside, they are a joy to watch.

I hope your knitting is always a sweet meditation in your day!

Happy Stitching trails to all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Enter the French Canadian house elf or she who keeps to the shadows.

For a week now I have been in Mankato. My sister Heidi's Day care provider had surgery for ovarian cancer and is starting chemo therapy and this created a need for someone to help out providing care for Connor. Here I am and if you know me, you know I do not do housework. When I come to Mankato I am followed by a French Canadian house elf who takes care of those undesirable house hold duties from the shadows, I may admit to the occasional load of laundry or floor sweeping but the little French Canadian creature is quite busy.

I tried to be organized when preparing for my trip here, however the best laid plans can fail; I forgot my KNITTING! No one, not even I could believe it, thank God for Mary Lues. I picked up some needles and a small bit of yarn. Saturday Heidi, Connor and a couple of the boys made a trip to run a few errands in the cities and pick up my knitting.

The house elf has been busy, while I share Connor duties, he likes to be chased, starting to work on potty training, uses his finger to shoot people and does a very dramatic death scene at times. He was introduced to the fun of squirt guns yesterday and got a bit wet. Connor is not so gentle with dogs, we need to help Bella stay out of his grasp so she is not crushed. The other day I went up stairs, the dogs normally follow me everywhere but failed to follow me up that time, Connor grabbed Bella, Heidi heard the jingling of Sadie's tags on her collar, she went into the hall to see Sadie dancing around Connor who had a tight grasp on Bella and she told him to put her down. Needless to say Connor dropped Bella and both dogs ran for all they were worth up the stairs to find me.

The house elf has been washing dishes, doing some laundry and sweeping floors. Heidi loves the little
French Canadian elf and hopes it sticks around, I am sure she will stay around as long as I am here. Heidi's glasses were getting a lime build up and the house elf went off the deep end this morning, pulled all the glasses out of the cupboard to soak them in lemon juice dishwater, most of the lime build up came off, another soaking should do it, the little elf is quite happy with herself.

I got a dose of nature yesterday and was brutally reminded that outside cats hunt and not just mice; poor little birdie soldiers are now in heaven. He is not my cat so I will no get away with putting a collar with a bell on him.

I am working on a top down raglan sweater for Connor, a pair of socks and my lace sweater. Tia finished a narrow scarf that I seamed into a mobius for her today, and she is working on a lace scarf as well. Heidi is finishing her mohair sweater.

May all your stitching trails be happy ones.


Monday, March 28, 2011

We are home!

We got home yesterday from our knitting retreat, I have not yet rated our yearly get away, although some have given it a C- for drama, none of which was caused by our youngest cabin mate a 17 year old.
I awaited this retreat with great anticipation all year. Knitting, knitting and more knitting with great friends and companions. Tia and Heidi came up on Wednesday and we left for Bug Beehive Resort in Paynesville on Thursday about noon after a stop at Target to shop for swimsuits to take advantage of the on site pool.
Our retreat was at first threatened by health matters, a husband slipping and falling at work, going to the hospital the night before, one of our group in the hospital herself, a chemo treatment for one and I was up all night with a sick puppy, who fortunately was recovering before I left. Our members husband went home to be watched by his daughter, he was insistent our group member come to the retreat and our other member was released from the hospital in time to come as well.
We took the long way and went through St. Cloud. Bonnie's Spinning Wheel was our first stop where I found a cute knitting bag (needed another one of those like a hole in the head) more stitch markers and we were off to Grubber's where I found a cute pattern to make a baby sweater for donation and a skein of yarn in turquoise.
Heidi, Tia and I checked in and were situated in the cabin in time for the three other Thursday night campers arrived. it was taco salad for dinner, first episode of drama was a missing bag that not only held sundries, it held knitting! This was found, it had been erroneously placed in the wrong room. Two of our group went for an evening swim and the knitting was on!
Friday, Lisa made an awesome quiche for breakfast with latte's. It was Tia's Birthday, Heidi and I took her in to New London for lunch and some shopping, she had finished a cell phone cozy Thursday night which she needed a button for. We stopped at the local knit shop, Uniquely Knit, Tia found a great scarf pattern to go with the yarn that Monica had given her the night before and I found some yarn to make an Oscar the Grouch hat for Connor.
When we returned to the resort more group members had arrived and by night we were all in attendance along with the next mishap, a missing purse.After a few phone calls this item was located and was being delivered by Tamara, the last of our group to come up. More knitting, soup and chili for dinner and more knitting with wine, good conversation and fun.
I was enjoying the company of everyone, Tamara shared a Clickity Sticks pattern designed by her daughter. I did get start the cast on started, but want to finish Oscar first.
Friday night brought the a bigger issue, one of our chemo ladies could not find her meds, she was sure she had them. More phone calls and her husband was delivering the left behind medications. Smaller troubles paled in comparison to this.
Saturday was more good food, fun and another trip to New London, this time with coupons! I came back with a fun skein of yarn to make Connor a pair of socks to match his Oscar hat. That night I graphed Kimberly's cowl which took a while to remember the Kitchener in rib, but finally got it! yeah me! I kept Tia going on her scarf and Heidi made progress on her sweater, she obtained the making for two more projects. yarn to make the scarf Tia had begun and a yarn a pattern for another sweater. Go Heidi, go!
We were the second car to leave on Sunday and took 55 through Buffalo home. I was happy to see everyone enjoy Tia's company and she theirs although she is a bit shy when she first meets people. I am already excited to go back next year, we are going to make sure no one is off for spring break, a lot of parents and their kids in the pool and the adults behaved worse than the kids. I feel it ended far too soon, but it is nice to get home to my little poodles who were beside themselves with happiness to see me, little Abella practically talked for 15 minutes and Sadie could not get enough hugs and I enjoyed the evening with Tazsmonn.

Happy Stitching Trails and remember to drink responsibly or you may have to frog a good project.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday Musings

Prompted by my cousin I went to the Dr for a quick mole and skin tag check, she would nag me until I went. Traffic was not as bad as I had anticipated and I was about 20 minutes early instead of the requested 10, it all worked out well though because I was finished before my appointment time and all is well!
I am going knitting at Linden Hills with Kimberly and then out to Diner with my cousin and friend Jill, for her Birthday. Good thing I had the appointment so I can say Yes I went, and yes I am fine.

I think I am half way up the back of my lace blouse, in about four rows I work the increase shaping. Getting a bit excited, looking forward to finishing the back and getting on to a sleeve or the front.
I began the "Cowl for the Catwalk" a couple of false starts and needle sizes later, I will be picking up the correct needles today and re-starting. Gauges are great, but I need to make sure I'm using SIZE 19 and NOT 19mm, BIG difference in size and gauge.

Entertainment news today, the new list for dancing with the stars is out, still won't watch it. I just cannot get into shows in that venue, the do not even grow on me. Maybe you have to have some voyeuristic tendencies to like shows of that nature.I really tend to like the sitcoms and some of the law enforcement type shows, but still there is a limit to how much of that I can watch. Maybe its all based in some weird formula for background noise? who knows. Apparently Ralph Maccio will be on Dancing with the stars this season, who knew he is 50? I have trouble believing how old some of these people are and how some of them surpassed me in age.

enough of this, there is knitting afoot! I need to prepare to leave, Kimberly will be here soon.

Happy stitching trails and yarn overs too.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Apparently Chivalry is alive and well!

I am back in the job market and went to meet with my vocational rehab counselor, as I was walking up to the building, purse in one hand and coffee in the other a guy near the door (who had started to light a cigarette) walked over and opened the door for me to go in. I was a bit startled, but before I could thank him he said "Don't worry, chivalry is not dead, it's still alive." All I could do was laugh. It was nice to be the recipient of a nice and thoughtful act.
I have greater hopes, the two women i met with today seem to have a cohesive process and are enthusiastic about what they do, I have to say I am excited, I have a few things to send them via email, another meeting next week and we should be quite set.

I had a great time at knitting last night, Lisa and I talked about patterns in the Knitters Guild knitting magazine and I saw some great patterns Sara printed off Ravelry. Kathy and Jenny came to my rescue with needles and now I have my neck band in my pink tee, just need to finish running in ends and seam it up.
I have not done the second row of my Vintage lace blouse yet, I am not sure what I will work on today just yet, but as soon at I am finished sending the information I owe to the Vocational people I will get on it all.
I picked up season one of The Big Bang Theory this past weekend, I began watching some episodes yesterday, it is so funny! I just love it.
Have to get on sending docs I owe and pick up the projects.

Happy stitching trails to all and may you receive a bit of that chivalry that is alive and kicking out there.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Life in the North of the lower 48

Good morning,

I have been up for hours, had a quick errand this morning, shoveled to get out of the driveway, but now need to shovel my way back in (yup, plow went through). NOT excited about this so I am practicing enjoyable and constructive procrastination by spending some time at a coffee shop, playing on the internet while waiting for the yarn shop to open.
I checked out Ravelry, Facebook and now I am blogging along. Third cup of coffee, should be buzzing and shaking along here soon.
Looking forward to our knitters retreat next month, Lisa is such a wonderful organizer, setting up the cabins and and scheduling people for meals and setting up roommates, getting the attendees list together. I have gone through my stash and have a big tote of yarns for the white elephant dice game.
well, time to start packing up and moseying along to the yarn shop.

Happy stitching trails, see ya soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Remember me?

It has been a while and I have been busy, not even knitting at times. I competed and A+computer certification and I did a temp gig installing some printers and now I am break-fixing Dell computers. This is fun at times, tiring at times and the driving is always crazy! Good experience, I have a few Dell certifications now and have learned more. On the top of the list is, this is good experience and I am continuing to learn.
Today's fix was for the city of Red Wing.
I have been looking forward to the knitting retreat, there are a few people from last year who are unable to make it; a few names have been thrown in for replacements.
I have so many things on needles, I am trying to finish my classic elite cotton bamboo tee. and unfortunately I continue to add projects of varying degrees of skill and time consumption. A recent addition to my queue is a project that evolved from Kathy, Jenny and I drinking the same kool-aid as Sara Jane at Linden Hills. This project is the Hemlock Ring afghan from Jarrod Floods Brooklyn Tweed. You can find it on and follow the link to the free pattern on the Rainey sisters web site.
The Hemlock Ring throw is Jarrod's adaptation of the doily. I am using a lovely Claret, Jenny is going to be using a lovely green and I believe Kathy's will be Purple if she does not talk herself out of it. Gotta love those spontaneous Monkey see monkey do projects. I have just begun the feather and fan pattern of this throw and could have it finished soon, and may begin more as Christmas gifts for the coming season. I know, we just got done with all that.
Linden Hills will be starting another challenge soon, this one is likely to be lace, which will be a blessing for me. I have a few lace tops in my queue to knit with yarns from there, a couple are going to be a delicious cashmere yarn productions.I still have a fair isle jacket and the Faery Ring cardigan to make as well.
I am playing with a shawl design using Claudia hand paints lace. The pattern has some form to it, but needs some work yet.
Today I will be knitting during lunch with friends, I have not seen them in a little while. This job tends to interfere with Wednesday night knitting, but the contract is up on February 5th and I am looking forward to its end, there is some talk they want to extend, but the environments are not conducive to good health for me and for a while I was running a bit ragged and having asthma and other lung and health issues.
Tazsmonn is doing all right, more H vac classes and he may become Chief steward and attend the training later this month. The dogs are well, Sadie is my good little buddy and Abella is a busy girl, playing with her toys and getting into trouble.

For now, keep your needles in the yarn and Happy stitches to all.