Monday, July 30, 2007

Aunt Mary

My Aunt Mary lived to be 100 years old. She was a sturdy woman, tall and shy in a bold sort of way. Aunt Mary never had any kids (she said she married too late), but she was a great aunt. We used to visit her and she would let me eat watermelon pickles, she even taught me to make them. The last 20+ years of her life she lived in a senior apartment complex in Frederic, her husband Eric died in the late 1970's and she expected to follow him in just a few years, she lived almost 25 years in her tiny apartment. She lived in her own until she was 99 1/2, when she fell and couldn't get up. We moved her into the care center in Frederic and upon her arrival she took over the spot as "oldest resident". Once she achieved her goal of living to be 100, she waited a respectable 6 months and then quietly joined her beloved Eric. Aunt Mary lives on in our family, not because the husband and I became her chosen caretakers during her later years, but because she was cool. She was a saver, such as she had every napkin from every wedding, funeral and graduation in a drawer (with the lunch menu jotted on the back). She had all sorts of treasures crammed into her little apartment. The reason I bring up Aunt Mary, is that I learned to knit so I could make mittens like my grandmother and Aunt Mary. My grandmother made sure none of us ever had store bought mittens (oh how I wanted those pretty, but not warm store bought mittens). Grandma made us new mittens every year without a pattern (she would just say, here hold up your hand). She used size 1 needles and Red Heart yarn that she bought on sale at the Ben Franklin. I had a flair for losing my mittens, so I got an idiot string. She let me cut the idiot string when I went to college, the mittens dragged in the food in the cafeteria line ( a bit of an issue for both myself and the person behind me in line). I still have 2 pairs of my grandma's mittens. They have become precious mementos of my childhood. But Aunt Mary, she could knit these pretty 2 color mittens with beautiful designs. My grandmother never even attempted them. I always wished Aunt Mary would knit me a pair, but as she aged her eyesight failed and she had to give up all her needlework and knitting. When we moved her out of her apartment, I found these beautiful mittens. I doubt Aunt Mary used a pattern for these, aren't they beautiful? I tucked them away in my "Aunt Mary" box. (I did not know how to knit when she gave them to me.) This weekend was basement cleaning (need I even say YUCK?) But I pulled out my Aunt Mary boxes and look what I found. I have learned to knit and I love to knit mittens (perhaps it is genetic?). I doubt mine will ever be as perfect and beautiful as Aunt Mary's, so I will keep trying.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday afternoon yarn hop

ASJ and I had the best yarn adventure today. ASJ has pulled a CT and is running out of yarn on her current project. So I felt I should go with her, since she helped me this spring while I was in crisis. We left shortly after noon for Borealis Yarns in St. Paul, as an added treat MMT decided to join us. ( I am such a proud mom, her first yarn adventure!). I did not know until we go on the road that we had to (or should I say got to) stop at the Yarnery for CB. (yippee, they have Koigu). $65.00 later (I bought yarn for 2 pairs of socks, this from the woman who was only going to knit one more pair of socks, 2 pairs ago). We moved on to Borealis Yarns to find the yarn AJ needed, they only sort of had what she needed, so they sent us to 3 Kittens. (this is becoming a yarn hop) 3 Kittens did have something that will work, not perfectly, but with a little ASJ creativity it will work in a pinch. Off to Color Crossing in Roberts! They were able to help ASJ even more, so the entire trip was a total success!!! How fun for a 1/2 day adventure? We even stopped at the Baldwin DQ, and filled up on less expensive MN gas ($2.83 a gallon---and I think that is reasonable compared to $3.14 here) and made our yarn delivery to CB by 6pm. What an afternoon.
Now I am going to start a new project (NK are you proud of me--I have 2 projects going and going to start a 3rd). MMT had me buy a pattern and yarn for a felted bag.

PS: We checked and the hop is on for this fall--probably the first weekend in Oct. Mark you calendars now girls.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bon Jovi!!!

It is 11:30pm on Saturday night and I just got home from BON JOVI!!! My dear Guild friend CB gave me a ticket to see Bon Jovi. GBT and I had a wonderful time and I will be forever in her debt for such kindness.
PS: Since we had to get there so early to get decent seating, I had time to knit on my socks. I bet I was the only person there knitting!

Fashion Show

I finally got someone to take pictures of my finished projects. The 2nd top down cardigan. I used a worsted weight variegated yarn I got at Threade Bear during the closing sale.
The KPS hooded vest. I used Cascade 109 I got at Pine Needles in Cable Wisconsin.
Finally the Koigu socks, my first pair of Koigu socks. The Harlot is right, if you are going to knit socks, Koigu is the best.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Send Me Back!

I arrived home on Sunday after two weeks at the lake (whimper). I want to go back. I am still trying to acclimate to working. UGH!

Two weeks was lovely, the weather was not the best at times (another tree fell after sustained winds of 40 to 50 miles per hours), the water was not the warmest (cold north east wind). But it was vacation. I was not at work. I am tan (fading fast unfortunately) and stressed.

Not much knitting at the lake. Yarn and sand (not so much). I did knit on my socks (both pair), read extensively, (Gregory Maguire, "Mirror Mirror" and "Lost"). Don't bother with "Lost." Bad book, very, very bad book. Mirror Mirror was only slightly better. "The Navigator" by Clive Cussler, "The Boleyn Inheritance" by Philippa Gregory.

I did miss my friends/guilders immensely! We really need a night out on the town soon. Before school starts as soon as we all get back in the same city! How about August 27 we go out to eat and such . . .

GOOD NEWS . . . the furniture arrived after five long months! So far so good. I love it. I did go out and buy some new drapes (clearance) and a new drapery rod. Sadie Blue got a new bed (to keep her off the new furniture) and she likes it. Of course that might have something to do with the fact we all keep tossing treats on it willy nilly (CT hope the pups are feeling better).

Back to laundry. . . we still have many, many loads to go!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dumb Knitter

Good thing there wasn't an IQ requirement for the Guild. I would never have made the cut. Even if the bar were set real low, I'm sure my IQ is lower. So, here's the problem: I have run out of yarn, with only 1 cuff and neck finishing left on my top-down V-neck sweater made out of the pretty pink varigated yarn. The one that I've knit and re-knit several times? Yeah that's the one. And that's only part of the problem. The other part is this: I have no idea what kind of yarn it is, as I can't find the label anywhere, nor do I even remember where I purchased this yarn. (I'm sure it was on one of our yarn adventures, but we adventured into many yarn shops) So, I figure my best option is to cut off my right hand. Oh wait, then I can't knit. Perhaps I could tear out several inches from the bottom of the sweater, making it into a very short sweater like the teenage girls wear, and that would look darn good on me. Well, I have time to ponder this problem as I've taken a little vacay from knitting, since I have poison ivy on my knitting hand and it's driving me nuts. Dumb AND crazy. Quite the combo.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Good days and bad days

That what you get, good days and bad days, today I had both wrapped up into one. Let's start with the good. At 10am I met 3 of my teacher friends at Borders, I taught all 3 of these women to knit this year, and what good students they are. They are already felting and knitting top down sweaters. I did not even attempt my first top down sweater until this year! Sheesh. Anyway, today they all wanted to learn 2 color mittens (fair isle knitting). Now a couple of years ago when NK came up with this hair brained idea, I was the chick who kept saying "I can't to this, I can't do this", but actually I can and I enjoy it. They all decided to knit the January mitten. They all caught on to the purl cast on and the 2 rows of braided purling in the cuff. When we ended out session all 3 were 5 or 6 rows in to the cuff and really doing quite well. We are meeting again on Aug. 1 to share our projects.

Now on to the bad part of the day. It actually started yesterday. Even though I told the boy no, he took the dogs to Lowes Creek to play. The 3 of them played and had fun all afternoon, except Reggie came home limping. So I did the reasonable thing and gave him baby aspirin and put him on the heat pad. When he was no better this morning the husband and I agreed he needed to see the vet. I could hear the little credit card machine in my brain before we even got there, cha ching. It turns out Reggie has blown his ACL. Yes, my dog has a sports injury. Go figure?!?! The sort of good news is he is under 30 pounds, so surgery is not the first course of treatment. Rest and limited activity is the treatment for now. (Didn't I have one on bed rest just a couple of weeks ago???). If in 6 weeks, he is not 100% then surgery is the treatment plan ($1400.00 surgery!!). So far in July I have spent $ 625.00 at the vet. That is a whole lot of yarn money spent on the furry members of the family. I wonder if I can flex this? It is a health care expense---right?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

857 miles

857, that is how many miles I put on GBT'S Honda CRV this weekend.
Friday I left for Toad Lake (just shy of 300 miles). I stayed Friday night with Uncle Gene and Aunt Ernie, we had a lovely happy hour on the shores of Toad Lake, took a walk, watched the Twins game and visited (even though I had just seen them). Saturday Aunt Ernie and I played, we canoed, took the boat out for an hour and a half and took a long walk. Then I left Toad Lake for Fargo (80 miles) to meet up with my cousin MaryKay. We then headed off to Jamestown ND (100 miles) to watch her son in law ride broncos in a rodeo. We got home about 11pm. MMT and I got up this morning, drove from Fargo to Grand Forks, collected the boy from UND Aerospace camp and proceeded to drive home.
Friday: 5 hours in car
Saturday 5 hours in the car (1. 5 driving 3.5 passenger)
Sunday: 8 hours in the car (7 driving 1 passenger)
The poor little CRV!

NK: Have fun at Family camp, we will miss you and look forward to seeing you at church next Sunday.
CB: Welcome home from The Island, I yelled at the girl as we drove past your house, I hope I did not scare her!
ASJ: We need to get together to compare vests and to discuss the merits of UND (not!).

Aslo, were we in some sort of violation of Guild bylaws? Can we legally go so long between meetings and doesn't our bylaws state that a majority of the membership needs to be in the same state at all times? We have been pretty spread out the last few weeks!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A little bit of heaven

I am back again! I drove to Green Bay for a quick 24 hour visit with my friend. She was in my wedding all those years ago and we have stayed in touch. We crammed as much as we could into a short visit. The best part was lunch at Curly's Pub (sans a cold beverage) in Lambeau Field. Even though I did not enjoy the drive there and back, it was fun to see her.
Since I lack motivation to do anything around my house, I finished the Koigu socks. I will post a picture of them soon. Back to the top-down-hooded-vest.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Toad Lake and beyond......

We are back, but when I say we I mean only the husband and I. We left 2 of our children in North Dakota. Our vacation to Toad Lake, MN was wonderful. I can't remember the last time that we had such nice weather. Day after day of 80+ degree weather. Perfect for floating. And we spent a lot of time floating. My uncle's birthday was once again very fun. 7 of his 9 children were there to share it with him. On the 3rd and the 4th we had over 30 people for dinner, that is probably the best part. (Although if I can whine a bit, it seems to be the same 2 to 3 people cook and clean up for all the people---but I digress.) GBT arrived late on the 4th, which was great. Over all, the food, weather, fireworks and floating were wonderful. There were only a couple of glitches....there are not words to describe my cousin's new bf Chuck, lets just say that he and his tattoos defies description. My icky cousin from 'Vegas showed up on Friday afternoon and the husband and I got into an argument as to who got to throw up first, that is how bad she, her husband and 2 nasty children are. But it was the last day at Toad Lake, we stayed numb (if you get my drift) and got through it.
We left Toad Lake yesterday morning to head for Grand Forks ND. We dropped the boy off at UND for his week at aerospace camp. We got him settled in the dorm and hit the road for WI. 7 hours later we finally arrived. We hit that weekend traffic just outside of St. Cloud. UGH! It took us over 2 hours to get from St. Cloud to the 694/494 split. The pay back game as we hit the other side of I94 and saw the traffic coming from WI. It was backed up to Baldwin! But we are home now and I get the pleasure of doing a weeks worth of vacation laundry. But I am home alone and what could be better than that after a week of people everywhere.
So much time was spent floating, playing cards and consuming cold beverages, that I did not knit much, very little in fact. I turned the heel on the second sock, but that was all. 9 hours in the car yesterday and not a stitch knit. I was too spent from the vacation.
Here is the best part----I get to make the same trip this weekend. I have to go back to pick up MMT from the horse farm and the boy from UND. Someone pray for me!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Only one in town

I am the only Chick in town. It is very empty without my fellow chicks around. I do not even feel like knitting, but I shall for the sake of the guild. I do not want to let them down. I also have had an expensive weekend. New brakes on one car and a new radiator on the big buffalo van. There goes my yarn money...... Hopefully the guild will be back together and knitting in my back yard jiffy quick!