New Projects

Trying to keep the blog up.  I think if I gave up Facebook it would be easier.  With all the sharing on FB, Ravelry, Instagram, Twitter and the Blog I can barely remember what I said where.

20160123_091218 (1)

We had a brief snow but pretty snow.  Just an inch or two.  I love it when we get pretty snow.  It doesn’t usually last very long, 24-48 hours.  We did get six inches a few years back that lasted a bit longer.

So!  Actually SEW!  I have been wanting to re-do the window seat cushions for about a year now.  I bought some material but my complete lack of math skills left me short on material.  A lot short.  So I finally got around to buying more and…Voila!

20160123_201759 (2)

I never do easy stuff.  Just like when I learned to knit I started with a sweater. Nobody told me it would be difficult, I mean how difficult are knits and purls??

DBS 2242

So whats so difficult about matching up stripes, putting in piping and zippers?

20160123_201817 (1)

Not a thing.  Especially if no one says “Oh, thats hard! You should start with something easier.”  Pffssst!

20160125_133206

This time my non-exsistant math skills worked in my favor.  I had enough material and piping left over to make a pillow for my patio chair.

I’ve been knitting as well.  I made two Pony-tail hats.

ponytail hats (1)

Yes, it gets cold enough here to wear them.  They are especially nice on windy days.  Keeps my ears warm and my hair out of my face :)

So there you have it.  You are all caught up.  Don’t get over excited. :D

A New Year

IMG_2120

You’ll have to forgive me.  I just love this photo.  It makes me happy and peaceful.

Mild Christmas

The week or so leading up to Christmas was sunny and warm.  So much so that I had the windows   and doors open while I   listened to classic Christmas songs and decorated the tree.

Christmas was spent quietly here at home with my ELPH and Fur Kids.

fireplacesharing

New Years Eve was spent at a good friends just down the street with most of the      neighborhood in attendance.  Lots of food, football,  drinks and fireworks.

decemberboating

My sister ‘Sally’ and her family came to stay with us for the week between Christmas & the New Year.  I love having them   here. We managed to    get a couple really nice days without rain.  We all saw the new Star Wars movie.

Sis, Niece & a Friend of mine all went  to Uptown Art in Clemson and painted.  This is the fourth painting class I’ve done.

barn in snowI am by no means extraordinarily talented.  I couldn’t paint an original painting to save my life but I can copy the crap out of someone else work, LOL!  I really enjoy these classes.

In Knitting News;  I actually completed more, albeit small projects than I originally thought.  How do I spend so much time knitting and have so little to show for it?

2015 ProjectsAll but the headband were gifts and don’t I just look thrilled with my headband?

Our LYSO (local yarn store owner) has retired after 30 years.  They tried selling the business and building with no serious takers.  They liquidated their inventory and closed the shop.  Which means my knitting group had to find a new place to meet each week.  Luckily one of the ladies lives in a neighborhood with a Clubhouse Meeting Room.  It’s usually used for HOA meetings or neighborhood parties.  It’s turning out to be perfect.  We are all very grateful to still be able to gather for our S&B :)

It’s been a rainy Fall & Winter so far and the Hiking Group has been washed out more times than not.  For personal reasons I haven’t hiked with them yet this season.  I hope to get a few in though.  Since Christmas the weather has turned cold (as it should this time of year).  Turns out I’m a fair weather shooter.  If it’s cold, and windy I stay home from the Skeet Field and if I can get away with it, in my pajamas all day :D

2016

IMG_2120

I took this photo through my dirty picture window in 2011.  It’s one of my favorites.  We’ve had no snow this year (yet).

I’ve accomplished very little in 2015 but hope to change that one day at a time in 2016.  I make no Resolutions, haven’t in years and years.  I find day to day changes/improvements less guilt inducing when I take a day off.   So here I am, trying to revive my blog (again), lose some weight (still) and be a happy, motivated influence in the world.

I only documented three knitting projects this past year.  And very small ones at that.

20150909_202328_small_best_fit

Studio_20151125_173724_small_best_fitimage_medium2

That is pretty pathetic.

So without further ado, I’m going to go knit.

new-year-2016-images

Blog Interrupted……

My Ever Loving Patient Husband (ELPH) has a new Girlfriend.

|

She’s German,

|

fast,
|

petite

|

and blonde.

|

He has frequently been slipping out at night to go driving with her.
|

20150910_144026

2015 Porsche Cayman at the East Fork Overlook, Pisgah National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway

.

You could even say she is mail order – made to order.  ELPH ordered her in October  and first started seeing her in February.  Several times a week about 9pm he would announce “I’m going for a drive.”  He LOVES this car!  And it is his car.  He has always wanted a Porsche and now he has her.

.

I’ve driven it and  it’s amazing!  But I also  really enjoy riding in it. We took a trip up to French Lick, Indiana in June for the yearly Porsche (its pronounced Porsch-a,  just so you know) Convention.  There were over a thousand Porsche there from all over the United States.  60 years of  models.

IMG_7042 IMG_7043

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

..I was a little concerned about the car being comfortable on long drives and how much  luggage it would hold.  She surprised my on both counts.

.

..We took two leisurely days to  reach Indiana stopping in the very quaint college town of  Berea, KY.   We stayed and ate dinner at the Boone Tavern hotel.  We browsed several  artsy shops and ELPH even found a yarn store for me!!   He and the shop owner talked  cars while I meandered the tiny shop for nearly an hour :)  Yes, I bought yarn and a  pattern.  No I didn’t need it.  Oh!  Did I say that out loud??

.

.

We have since started taking mid-week drives up into the mountains of North Carolina  and along the Blur Ridge Parkway.  ELPH rally enjoys the handling of the car and a  couple times a month he will suggest we go out to breakfast….in Highlands, NC! You’ll be  hearing and seeing lots more about The Girlfriend!  We now take day trips up into the North Carolina mountains just to have breakfast, LOL!

For those of you still with me here, Thank you!  I’ll try not to bore you with lots of car photos.  I’ll try to post more yarn fiber-y content.  And I’ll try to post more often.

Catch Up

Frozen

Well, I’m not getting any better at this am I?  Southern Snowman

Let’s see.   The weather this winter has been uncooperative to make hiking every week a possibility.  It was wicked cold most of January and I opted out.  I find no pleasure hiking in the cold, wind & wet.  I hope to rejoin my group of hardy hikers very soon.

I started cooking.  Yes, this is exciting news.  I do not enjoy cooking.  Especially if all my hard (or easy for that mater) work goes under appreciated.  My dear ELPH is a wonderful man and I love him to the ends of the Earth but we all have our little idiosyncrasies.  ELPH is an Engineer by trade.  It’s in his genetic makeup.  He is always solving problems, looking for ways to make processes more efficient.  In the past one of these problems and processes has been my cooking.  I’m not a bad cook, just not a very imaginative one.  Basic meat & potatoes home style cooking.  But deep inside I’m also a very sensitive person so any type of comment, suggestion, or un-asked for advice is viewed in my eyes as criticism.  So small comments like ‘what? no gravy?’ (and many others I will not go into because this is starting to become a long rant/rag on my amazing ELPH) really put me off cooking….anything.  SO.  I bought a new crockpot and started simple; Chili, Lemon Garlic Chicken.    Lemon Garlic ChickenI love the crockpot because it it only one dish to clean and I can start it and forget it.  Definitely my kind of cooking!  After a couple successful crockpot meals I moved on to actual stovetop/oven cooking.  Eggplant Rollatini, Italian Meatloaf, Baked Parmesan Chicken (Pinterest has some wonderful recipes).  The most amazing thing?  ELPH has liked everything I’ve made.  Really LIKED it!  Like gave my meals ‘a 9 out of 10’.  He said “I don’t know what would make it a 10 but I’m reserving 10”  I can live with that!  And because he has not offered any ‘help’ or ‘advice’ I find that I can enjoy cooking.

Cabled Headband

I knitted slippers for my twin nieces for Christmas.  The girls went off to their freshman year in college last fall and requested slippers for Dorm wear.  I made myself a quick cabled headband.  (And now that isn’t grey hair.  It’s strands of Glitter thankyouverymuch!)  I’d never done cables before and it was way easier than I imagined.   Recently I’ve started a baby blanket for a friends daughter who is having twins (so I’ll have to get on this and make the other one before end of March!).  It’s a simple pattern and doesn’t take much yarn.  It will be a great size for when they are newborn and can graduate to carseat/stroller blanket later.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.24.58 PM

Oh and my new favorite cocktail!  It’s called a Werther’s and it tatses just like the candy. Mmmmm.

I’ll see if I can find more interesting stuff to blog about real soon.

SAFF 2014

I haven’t posted here since July?  Really?   Time really gets away from you after you retire.  How I got all this cool stuff done and work full time I’ll never know.

I have been attending two fiber festivals a year the last couple years.  The Maryland Sheep & Wool in Friendship, MD and the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair up in Fletcher, NC.  I just love roaming around looking at all the pretties and the animals.  The drive up to Asheville was beautiful.  The leaves are just starting to change and are going to peak and be gone before you can blink.

This year eight of us carpooled together and arrived at the festival by 9:30.  The weather was sunny and cool.  Perfect in my opinion.  SAFF is a large festival with well over 100 vendors held every year at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher, NC.  It’s only an hour and 30 minutes away and I’ve been attending for the last four years.  Don’t ya just love the smell of wool in the morning?  :)

This was taken at SAFF 2010

This was taken at SAFF 2010

We headed over to our friend Cindy Hart’s Hartworks Stoneware booth to check out what she had first.  Cindy and her husband have a little ‘Gentleman’s Farm’ in West Union, SC and have been throwing pottery for years.  I just love their beautiful Pine Pottery and now Cindy has started making Sheep related items; knitting needle holders, yarn bowls, buttons, pins and mugs!

Next we headed over to Miss Babs for her hand dyed sock yarn.  She does a special, one-time only dye for the festival.  The line just to get into her booth was CRAZY! Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some Miss Babs yarn but I’m not pushing and shoving and beating people back with a stick like it was some kind of blue light special on Black Friday just to get a skein of specially dyed sock yarn.  Especially if I can get her yarn sitting on my sofa and delivered by the hunky Man in Brown :)  Turns out her Special Sock Yarn sold out in 20 minutes!  In other words it was all gone before we even pulled in the parking lot.

We decided to wander our own separate ways and meet up back at the cars for a little Show & Tell and a tailgate lunch in a couple hours.  In addition to all the lushous, prepaired fibers there are all the lovely fiber animals; Llamas, Alpaca, all kinds of Sheep, Goats & Rabbits

SAFF2014collage

The Cria (baby alpaca) is only 5 days old!

This year it seemed like the fair was bigger.  It took me two hours just to circle just the vendors on the top level of the arena.  Not even half the vendors!!  Oh but look at all the pretties!

IMG_5438

White Cashmere Roving from Creekwater Farm in Pembrook, VA.  Maroon Merino from Delly’s Delights Farm, lovely lovely blue Silk/Camel roving from Dragonfly Fibers,  2 shawl pins by Michelle’s Assortment and 2 skeins of hand dyed merino/silk and a pattern from Alisha Goes Around.   All of this will have to wait until after the Christmas knitting is complete and the fiber still on the wheel from July is cleared off the wheel.  All in all I spent more money than I planned, too much money, it was a great day!

Tour de Fleece

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.18.34 PMThe annual Tour de Fleece spin-along during the Tour de France. They spin, we spin. A real spinning-themed spin-along. The concept is simple:

Challenge Yourself.  Spin.    Have fun.

This year, the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday July 5 and runs until Sunday July 27th, 2014.

In the past I have had high ideas of how much I can spin during these 22 days.  I’ve probably over estimated again this year but this is the plan:

IMG_3720

Clockwise starting at 11 o’clock…

Spinning Straw into Silk ‘Steel Blue’ Silk
Corgi Hill Farm ‘Love Potion’ 85-15 Polwarth/Silk
Flying Goat Farm Merino (Verigated Blue)
Fiber Optic Onyx-Crimson Gradient 80-20 Merino/Silk
Widdershin Woolworks 50-50 Yak/Merino (Brown Braid)


First up, from Widdershin Woolworks Yak/Merino

IMG_3748

First thing people ask me about spinning is “Why? Can’t you buy yarn at the store?”  Yes. Yes you can but this is SO FUN!!  Plus I get to use my handspun to knit with.  Double Goodness!

Second thing they ask is “How much yarn do you get from X ounces of fiber?”   It depends on how thin you spin it.  This 4oz braid yielded 260 yards of yarn.

IMG_3769

This is called a single.  Meaning I did not ply it with another strand.  Most commercial yarns are multi-ply.  260 yards is enough to knit a hat or mittens or fingerless gloves, cowl or scarf :)


I’ve just gotten the blue variegated Flying Goat Farm Roving off the wheel now.

IMG_3756

I split the fiber in half and spun the two halves separately and ply them together.  It makes a thicker, more bulky yarn.

IMG_3801

It’s a bit thick & thin but still a very serviceable yarn :)

New Hobby

ELPH was a Skeet Shooter in college.  He started practicing again last year and has recently begun shooting at the Registered Shoots at our local Gun Club. He shot a 92 out of 100 last week! Not too shabby.

But after soundly whooping him shortly after taking up Pistol shooting a few years ago …

I Win!

I Win!

I thought I’d give him a chance to get reacquainted with Skeet before I tried it :)    After a couple afternoons just watching at the field I decided to give it a go.

And promptly demonstrated how NOT to shoulder a shotgun…

Vera

Vera

.

IMG_3685 .

Yea, that’s so not my shoulder.  Don’t do that.  It really did look worse than it felt.  My brother has hit me harder ;-/   Anyway having missed 19 out of 25 shots I still really enjoyed the experience (it’s totally awesome when you hit the clay and it blows up!).  So my Ever Patient Loving Husband (ELPH) bought me my very own shotgun.

It’s a Beretta 692 Over/Under 12 gauge with 28″ barrels.  Isn’t she pretty?!

I call her Vera :D

I am too excited about getting it!!   ELPH even set up with a lesson with Master Instructor Doug Thompson.   Invaluable information & instruction.  So much new information to remember.  I at least know immediately what I’ve done wrong, LOL!   I had the gun about 4 weeks before I was willing to send it off for modifications.  First thing I’m having done is getting an adjustable Buttplate put on it.  It will help me position the stock correctly into my shoulder every time.  Then later I’ll have it fitted with 20 & 28 gauge tubes so I can shoot smaller loads.

IMG_3681


.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Sad and Happy

IMG_0847

April 20 1942 - April 4 2014

My Mom passed away in April.  It was not unexpected.  She hadn’t known any of us in almost 5 years.

We are all grateful that she is at peace.

We gathered in Chicago to Celebrate her Life in early June.

It was a very nice ceremony and many, many of her friends came to remember her.

.

.

Salley, Jay, Moi, Dad & PJ

Salley, Jay, Moi, Dad & PJ

That’s really all I have to say about that.

Knock, knock?

Is this thing on?  Hmmm….no posts since May huh?   Looks like I have some catching up to do.  OK then, where were we…..

IMG_3351

IMG_3756.
.

I flew into DC to visit my sister Salley and we drove an hour or so up to  West Friendship, MD for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  I  crocheted the Elise Shawl (from Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light) to wear  and received many compliments on it including one from this young Lady:)

.
.
.
.

.
We had a good day at the Fest.  It’s a good sized festival with a TON of  fiber animals.  I picked up some spinning fiber for Tour de Fleece which  started July 5th same as the Tour de France.  The idea is to spin fiber  everyday they ride.  It’s fun and challenges me to spin everyday.

.

.

.

By May it starts getting too warm (mid 70’s) to hike here in the Upstate.   So the last couple hikes are relatively short or done at higher elevations.  One such hike was Nine Times Nature Preserve in Pickens County.  It’s 4 miles (half the distance we usually average) roundtrip and the first half are almost all up.   But the view made it worth it!  We had lunch and a rest in the shade and the headed back to the cars.

IMG_6922

It was hazy and warm but the view was still amazing and worth the climb.

The very last hike of the season I wouldn’t really call a hike.  We went out to Cowpens National Battlefield.  It’s a level, mostly gravel, 1 mile hiking trail around the field.  It’s a great facility with cannon loading demonstrations, a short movie telling the history, a small gift shop and very helpful, friendly staff.

IMG_6961

Cowpens National Battlefield commemorates a decisive battle that helped turn the tide of war in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. On this field on January 17, 1781, Daniel Morgan led his army of tough Continentals, militia, and cavalry to a brilliant victory over Banastre Tarleton’s force of British regulars. The battle at the “Cow Pens,” one of only a few successful double envelopments in history, is recognized by historians as one of the most important of the American Revolution.Coming on the heels of a patriot victory at nearby Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780, Cowpens was the second successive staggering defeat for British forces under General Charles Cornwallis. Only nine months after the battle, Cornwallis was forced to surrender his army to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781. “


And that bring us to June…………