Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Things Change

Remember last week when all the snow on Earth came to live in my yard? Well, the sun's been shining a lot this week. Yesterday I came home from work to see these hanging from the gutter over the driveway. They looked very pretty in the fading sunshine.

Today, 1 week after we got nearly 18" of snow, this is how the ba
ck yard looks.

Last Friday at Friday Night Knitting Circle Lyn was in the home stretch of her entrelac scarf she started knitting when we were up in Fish Creek last month. I had put mine aside to knit many preemie hats and some secret knitting, but pulled it out and have been working on it all week at work. I just love watching the colors show up. Today I finished the first skein and am one motif into the second one. It'll be good car knitting, I think, now that I've got the hang of it. I'm packing some acrylic to make more preemie hats to take to Knitting Guild next month.

I was admiring my progress on the scarf last night and look what I found. I must have picked up the yarn wrong on the very first row of rectangles. I am NOT going to unravel all of it to fix it. I'll just smile when I see it and remember the fun I had learning this not too complicated stitch.

I'm happy to report that my wrenched knee feels a bit better tonight. Whew.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tulips, Four Lips...

I reknit the Big Lips dishcloth putting in the line between the lips. I guess I like it better. Actually I like them both. I think the one with the line will look better once it has had a trip through the wash. I'm calling them Big Smooch, which is better than Big Kiss or Big Lips.

I finished the It's a Disease scarf this afternoon while watching CSI reruns on TV. I think I'll lay off the purse stitch scarves for a while.

Time to check my Ravelry queue to see what's next. Obsession, anyone?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snowfall Total *correction*

According to the newspaper's website by 3 PM today we'd gotten 15.3" of snow. Egads.

The final total according to the National Weather Service today is 17.3". That's a record!

*Correction! It's 17.8".

Snow Day!

Snowstorm Francesca came with a vengance and is staying around blowing like mad. You know how March is supposed to come in like a lion? Well, it didn't but it sure is roaring today. We've had about 8" of wet heavy snow (I got stuck in the street 3 times just trying to get back into the driveway after snowblowing) and now the wind is blowing it around. Right now I can't see across the street. Really. So I'm taking a snow day. I figure if I went to work I probably wouldn't be able to get into the parking lot anyway through the snowplow drift across it, and there's ice under the snow so it's too dangerous to drive. I'm staying put. Here are a few photos of the craziness that is Green Bay's weather today:

Look at the Slinkys that keep the squirrels off the bird feeders! They're packed with snow.

People live here on purpose.

Last week one of the daily free knitting pattern was to make a pair of lips out of dishcloth cotton and it just tickled me, so I'm making one.

And I went back to one of the purse stitch scarves last weekend and
made a bit of progress while Lala and I talked one evening.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This One's For You, Dusty

When we were mall-walking this morning Dusty talked about the one picture I blogged of the yarn shop I'd visited (without her) last week. She drooled over the colors and the sheer volume of yarn. I told her that we'd take a road trip one day but that I'd taken more pictures that I didn't post. She looked shocked that I had more pictures that I hadn't share, so here they are.

You can see in the one picture that there's another room with the needles and hooks, clearance baskets, weaving things, felting tools.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Picked Writing

On Friday afternoon I said I'd choose to either knit or write, well, I chose writing. I opened up the last rewrite of the last NaNoWriMo novel to read through it, inserting contractions and hyphens used or left out to achieve the word count. I cranked up the laptop and the Walkman with its New Age-y rainforest and surf sounds that focus my mind. After about an hour I realized that I was back at the keys eager and excited. I tried to take my picture, with marginal success, and then I went right back at it.

Saturday lunch was at a downtown deli. Our waiter was late taking his ritalin. Not the most relaxing interaction. By the end of the meal I was tempted to fling myself over the railing. Just sayin'.

On the way back to the hotel, and the manuscript, we took a detour down
to the sunny riverwalk to spend a little more time getting the cobwebs blown out.

Then it was butt in chair back to work.

Just at sundown we walked back down the river walk to the shore where the March full moon, the supermoon rose over the lake. After watching for a while we went to Lino, a pretty darned fancy Italian restaurant for appetizers and dessert.

It has been a great weekend of walking and talking and writing. I was amaze
d to realize yesterday that I had parked my car on Thursday afternoon and haven't driven it since. My shins and knees ache but I've had an excellent time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Morning Walk

Sorry, no fiber content today but I thought you'd like to see a couple pictures from our morning walk. Here's where we're staying from across the river,

and here's the beach behind Blue Harbor Resort, also across the river,

here's a pile of zebra mussels shells on said beach,

and this is the view from the end of the pier out into Lake Mic

Time to write or maybe knit.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Llamas and Driftwood and Geocaches, Oh My!

What a grand day I had! This morning Dusty and I walked on the trail by her house. It was in the 40s, so nice to walk in. Then I went and got my nails done, went home, loaded up the car, and took off for my rendezvous with Lala in Sheboygan.

We met at a llama f
arm and yarn shop about 15 miles south of town. While I waited for her I looked at llamas and fended off a friendly farm dog.

Lala marveled at the variety of yarns, I fondled them, and bought a little. This shop had the most amazing supply of fiber related books. Knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, llama and alpaca husbandry--anything you wanted to know about, she had a book on. Mindboggling.

We went to the h
otel, checked in and took a walk along the river out to the lake. There was a load of gorgeous driftwood on the narrow beach by the Coast Guard station and a huge triangle of ice floating down the center of the river on its way out to Lake Michigan and the larger world.

After unpacking we met to walk uphill to Il Ritrovo for salad and pizza for supper. To. Die. For.

On our way b
ack we stopped at a chocolatier for a bit of dessert and at the bottom of the hill across the road from the hotel, we found Lala's first geocache.

And a deer leg was lying on the driveway into the boat launch. Ugh.

I have made another geocaching convert. Mwa-ha-ha-ha. I showed her the list of cach
es within a mile of our location and she said, "we need to do more." Hmm, I thought she wanted to write all weekend, I know I want to write too and also knit. We shall see.

P.S. I love our TomTom GPS. I just tell him where I want to go and Robert (the name of the voice Durwood picked out to use) takes me right there. No matter how many wrong turns or mind changes I go through he always gets me there. He even took us to the geocache. Nice Robert, nice TomTom. We bought him to go along with us on our trip out to Yellowstone next summer, but he's so much more to me now than just a vacation accessory.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Orchid Report

I have bad news. After nearly 4 years of exemplary orchid husbandry, Mom's orchid bloomed itself to death. At least that's what we think. It sent out a flower stalk last February or so and bloomed continuously until just last month when its leaves started to shrivel and turn yellow and it died. Mom was heartsick and when she saw the Stein's ad last week she sent me to get one. They didn't have any exactly like the one that had just expired so I took a chance and picked out a pale green one--with 18 buds on it. She called me yesterday to say that one of them had opened. Yay! It's real pretty and delicate.

Today I finished the Ogre Baby hat. It's so cute, I wish I had a baby handy to try it on. I changed the pattern a bit by doing stockinette instead of garter since the purling was making my hands hurt. I might have made the ear buds a bit too tall but I really like it so--it's perfect.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I went to Arti Gras this afternoon. It's a mid-winter art fair, indoors of course, where potters and painters, photographers and all sorts of artists sell their art. Musicians and dancers perform, potters spin clay and spinners turn fleece into yarn. I went to find a button to complete my Neck Cozy and I found one, a lime green one that looks great on the dark peacock blue of the scarf/cozy. Naturally I found other things, not too many and they weren't real expensive, but I had fun. I treated myself (and Durwood once I got home) to the smallest cone of candied cashews and resisted all other fair food.

My favorite potter was there from down around Milwaukee. She makes the most durable, usable bowls etc. The bigger ones are berry bowl size and the smaller ones are great for dip or mise en place when you're making a recipe. Unfortunately she does not have a website.

The potter who made my bread stone was there and I told her that it had cracked in half. She was horrified especially when I told her that it had not happened in the oven and offered to replace it. I thought that was very nice of her and will be contacting her in a couple weeks.

The three little rounds with glass in them are "Lucky Stones." The potter who made them said that he based them on the concept of worry stones but didn't like the negative connotations
so he renamed them "lucky." The colored glass is smooth and concave, the little pottery piece fits perfectly in your hand and your thumb is comfortable rubbing the glass.

I finished the Neck Cozy tonight. Now all I have to do is find a shank button to attach to the back of the big ceramic one so I can use it like a shawl pin and push the smaller shank button between stitches to hold the scarf in place.

I unpinned the Mermaid's Tale bookmark. I'm still not sure I like it but I do like the colors, especially now that it's not on that garish blue foam blocking tile thingy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Set A Timer

Last night at the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild meeting we had a Physical Therapist speak to us about keeping ahead of muscle aches and strains when we're knitting. He talked about sitting up straight and putting a pillow on our laps so that our arms are supported and our neck isn't so strained from looking down. He showed us, and had us stand up and do, some stretches, very basic but they felt great. He also said to get up for 10 minutes every hour to change our position, get a drink, and generally give our hands, arms and shoulders a break, and to set a timer if we forget, it's that important. It was an excellent program and a lot of people came. Thanks, BLKG and Sean French, P.T.!

Longtime readers know how I love knitting with big needles and bulky yarn to get a finished item faster. Well, I'm zooming along on the Neck Cozy. I've got about a quarter of the bulky yarn to do and then I'll need to find a big flashy button to put on it. Hey, maybe I'll find one at Arti Gras this weekend. See? An excuse to go. Excellent.

I ordered some more 29" Susan Bates Velocity circular needles from last week and they came on Wednesday so I frogged back the garter stitch of the Ogre Baby hat to the ribbing and am taking another run at it in stockinette. Doing the purl rows was hurting my hands so I decided that a baby hat wasn't worth injuring myself. Pretty mature think
ing, eh? As an added bonus I like the way it looks better now anyway.

I can't say enough good things about the Velocity needles. They're sharp and slick and the cable
is thin and flexible--and they're very reasonably priced at, even with paying the shipping they're less expensive than at JoAnn's.

Lookie! Lookie! Lookie! I noticed these when I came home from work the other day when Snowstorm Ethan's dump began to melt away. The green nubbins in the snow a
re daffodils that I planted more than 30 years ago. The others are hyacinths and daffodils that nestle in the corner where the porch meets the house and get the first warmth of the year. It's very heartening in this long month at the end of winter.