Saturday, November 30, 2019

Closing out the Month

I may not have achieved a 100% completion rate with NaBloPoMo, but I did alright.  Blogging more often was good, and it helped me get some things done.  I might even keep with it, though not on a daily basis.  

We finished our November by making a baby visit.  That's a pretty good way to end a month.  I even managed to get a picture of the little guy wearing the hat I knit for him.  Here's hoping you had a nifty November, and I look forward to connecting with you in December. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

UM...Still Figuring it Out

The boot topper project continues, but I don't think I have it right.  The idea of another rip and redo is stealing my will to live, so I might need to set it aside and return to the sweater while I think about the best course of action.  I have some ideas, but I'm just not sure about them.  Getting back to the sweater wouldn't be the worst.  I mean, the idea of knitting something that I know is going to work is rather comforting.  Anyway, since I've got nothing else for today, I'm playing Unconscious Mutterings.  You can play, too! 

  1. Cloud :: Storage
  2. Officer :: of the Day
  3. Physical :: Danger
  4. Advantageous :: Edge
  5. Mobile :: Home
  6. Threat :: Promise
  7. Potential :: Possibility
  8. Confined :: Space
  9. Overlap :: Extra
  10. Domain :: Name

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Results Fuzzy, Try Again*

Not that I really needed the Magic 8-Ball to tell me that, (nor did we need it to predict that I would miss a day of NaBloPoMo, but whatevs) but the pattern isn't showing as well as I had hoped.  It's even worse when I put it on my calf to test sizing.  The picture doesn't show how bad it is.  It's just sad and floppy (twss).  A change in needle size could help, but the yarn has issues of its own.  I've decided to rip and redo with smaller needles, but I've already started thinking about different yarn choices in case different needles don't help.  I gotta tell ya, cabling with this stuff is not my favorite.  Then again, they are just boot toppers, (yeah, still thinking about quick gifts) so it isn't a ton of knitting to complete a pair, and I do like watching the colors change.  If I can't get this pattern to work with this yarn, I might just go with a simple 2x2 ribbing or maybe a waffle.   
  *Yes, I know it is Reply Hazy, Try Again   

Friday, November 22, 2019

Maybe I'm Coming Down with Something

No, not the crud that Bruce has.  I'm in total denial about the possibility of me catching that.  Besides, it would be totally unfair, as I am washing my hands all the time, wiping down everything in his wake, and sleeping all alone.  No, I'm feeling the itch, the tickle, the feverish glow of start-itis.  I would be remiss if I did not clarify that it is of the holiday gift-giving variety.  Oh, and it gets better.  I'm thinking of making for so many people who live far away, too.  We're talking about ideas of gifts for people I haven't seen in forever and their families I've never met.  It is not rational, but I feel the impulse.  

Maybe the mittens I recently knit are part of what got me thinking this way.  Of course, there's the fact that Christmas is coming, and all of the advertisements everywhere won't let me forget that.  I don't have money to buy presents, but I do have yarn.  Then there's Facebook.  Yeah, I'm not such a fan of that site, (many reasons) and I'm thinking about deleting my account.  I haven't been there for quite a while.  I used to have two accounts and I already deleted one, but now I'm thinking of deleting the other.  However, there are a few people I've reconnected with there, and I might like to stay in touch with them.  So, I was thinking of knitting for them, and then just corresponding through snail and e-mail.  I've even thought about knitting for their families, too.  It could be a nice way to strengthen connections, right?  Cowls for everyone is always a good idea.  They'd be even better if I spun the yarn, too.  Oh, boy, I'm getting carried away with this. 

I should probably be thinking of reasons why this is not a good idea.  Maybe it's weird to knit for people you knew so long ago and aren't well connected with now.  It's barely over a month until Christmas, and I would still have to calculate mailing time.  Mailing packages costs money, and I really don't have a shipping budget.  That's all true, but winter is coming.  Maybe I would make a connection that is deeper than what I had through that website.  Maybe if I just wove scarves for everyone it could be a doable plan.  Maybe I need to knit something besides a black sweater.  Maybe I just need to get some sleep.                

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Still a Blob, but Bigger than Before

My knitting hope for today was to finish the first sleeve and pick up and knit the stitches for the second.  I got off to a slow start for the day, but once I found my rhythm, I was going round and round until it was time for the end of the sleeve.  Next thing you know, the sleeve is done.  Then I set it aside and took care of a few things around the house, and by the time I looked at it again, I just didn't have the concentration for the task.  Tomorrow is another day, and I'll probably have plenty of knitting time.  Bruce is has been feeling a bit under the weather, (just a bit of the crud) and if he isn't greatly improved by morning, we'll likely head in to see the doctor.  Sometimes there can be a bit of a wait when they're trying to work you in, so I'll bring knitting.  On the other hand, if he is feeling better, it will still be a quiet day, and I'll have my knitting.  Ah, knitting, such a constant companion.        

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Back on Track

The sweater is going really well.  I was right to set it aside for a day.  I resumed work on it today and everything went much more smoothly.  The picking up of those stitches that I couldn't make work before didn't give me a bit of trouble.  I've made it past the decreases, and now I am just working stockinette in the round.  I'm past the halfway point on this sleeve.  The biggest problem I have with it is that I have to keep untwisting the sweater as I work round and round, and that isn't really a problem.  The sleeves on this only go to the elbow-ish, and I like that.  When I wear long sleeves, I'm usually pushing them up to that length, so it works perfectly that these sleeves will already be there.  Making progress on this makes me think that I could get both sleeves done this week.  I may be dreaming, but I'm going to keep going.  

Rather than subjecting you to another formless blob progress photo of my sweater, today I'll share a picture from a wonderful November afternoon from a couple of years ago.  I hope you have something good to do today and a nice memory to cherish.


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Not Forgotten, but Perhaps Forgetful?

My birthday was last month.  I thought someone who I thought ought to have remembered had forgotten.  As it turns out, that was not the case.  You see, we here in our home are very old.  How old are we?  Well, we still have a landline in addition to the cell phone.  Anyway, my birthday text went to the landline.  Does that mean the person who sent a text to the landline instead of the cell phone is getting old?  I'll leave that to others to decide.  Anyway, several days after my birthday I got my birthday call, and during it, I was told to watch the mail for my present.  Woo-hoo! 

I received a couple of aprons and some glitter/holographic heat transfer vinyl.  That might not be very exciting to others, but it thrilled me.  I had also gotten some plain HTV from my brother.  After I opened that present, he asked me to tell him what he had just given me.  Anyway, today I got around to playing with it all, I really like the results, and I now have a newly decorated apron and shirt.  I have to wait a day before I can wear them, but my apron design choices are inspiring me to make some hot and sour soup tonight.  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Not the Charm

After three times of trying to pick up stitches for the sleeve of my sweater, I decided to set it aside for the night.  The first clue that I was going to struggle with it this evening was when I couldn't find the pattern (the sweater was in a pouch in a larger knitting bag, and the pattern was in a pocket of that larger tote) until after I went and found a second copy of the pattern.  I mean, it's just fifty-four stitches on each side of the shoulder seam, and I can't seem to make it happen.  Yeah, when the idea of switching to picking up somewhere around 400 (I made changes and have not calculated how many more I will need) stitches for the front/neck/collar bit of this sweater seems more appealing than trying to work out these fifty-four, it is probably best to let it be until tomorrow.  The good news is that this sweater is endless photogenic.  

I have occasionally been putting on the body of the sweater, enjoying a little extra bit of warmth.  Of course, then I try to get up and do something around the house, and I get caught up on the ends I've left hanging.  I mean, I could weave in those ends, but really, finishing the sweater is the better option.  I would like to have it done before the end of the year, and that is possibly a doable goal, but I'm not hung up on it as a deadline.  I do have other things I want to knit, too, so this might not get my full attention.  I will say, once I get these stitches picked up, much of the knitting is pretty plain, and that can be a nice television companion, and I find that idea rather attractive.          

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sweet Sunday, Mitt-vember Edition

Yes, this is posted on Monday.  I fell asleep.  I was sure I was going to return to the post and write more.  Then I forgot about it.  *shrug*   I'm sure the NaBloPoMoPoPo will get me for such an egregious move.  

My niece has her mittens!  I managed to get them to her this weekend as I had planned.  They are a little big for her, though not as big as they appear in this picture, and they should work for next winter, too.  My sister has Disney+ and has been watching Home Alone and now she is inspired to get mitten clips for the kids.  I much prefer that plan to the one where I knit eleventy feet of i-cord to attach to them.  They might never have gotten their mittens if I had made that part of the projects.  It feels good to have these done.   


Saturday, November 16, 2019

For the Birds, for Us

We've been doing a little bit of birdwatching around here for the last couple of years.  They say (and "they" are right sometimes) that time spent with nature can boost the mood, calm anxiety, and has other health benefits as well.  

We're doing it on a small scale, watching out the window in the back.  We put out birdseed and a suet block.  We have a birdbath, though we cannot see it from inside the house.  We've looked up the different birds that visit our yard.  We like watching the squirrels, too.  We watch them all through the different seasons. The babies are so cute.  The little cardinals chirp so insistently until mom feeds them.  It's a nice way to spend time.  I hope you're doing something good for you today and every day.  

Friday, November 15, 2019

Random Friday

There used to be themes/topics for days of the week back in the heyday of the knitbloggers.  Yes, the WIP Wednesday, the Saturday Sky, Tuesdays are for Socks, Ten on Tuesday, (I think that one might have become controversial, but I missed out on why it was, and I think I might go back and see if I can find the topics for those ten lists and redo them here) FOAD Thursday, (it's probably perilous for me to bring back that one) and a bunch of others I missed or don't remember, and I make no guarantees of being correct with the ones I just listed.  Anyway, I came in after the height of it all, but before the tail end of those days, I never really was part of the crowd, and most of them have stopped blogging altogether as far as I can tell, so I'm probably safe from the shunning if I'm doing random on a wrong day.  I might search about and see if I can find more knitbloggers and connect.  Then again, I might not.  Sigh.  I better get to the random before this turns into what qualifies as a cohesive topic around here.
  • I've been having some photo difficulties and figured out the camera setting that needed fixing.  I hate the occasions where my pictures have been off, but I'll just move on from it as I can.  My photos may not be as bad as they were with the problem, but they probably still won't be very good.  I mean, the problem I identified has nothing to do with how bad the color was off in the picture I took of the mittens I started this week. 
  • The storm damage home repair woes continue, and they took an upsetting turn this morning.  We've been done wrong by a company, and it puts us in an even more difficult spot than we were before, and we were already in a tough spot.  I cried a lot over this today, and could easily start crying if I think about it much.  We're going to try to move forward as best as we can.  If you need a roofing recommendation, I may not be able to tell you who to use, but I can definitely tell you who to avoid.  
  • Our trip to The Magic City was productive.  We didn't get all the answers we hoped to have, but we have a plan to get more answers.  The cardiologist we saw listened to us and is working to get the best outcome possible.  He discontinued a medicine that could become troublesome, ordered tests, and is working on a plan.  
  • Are you watching Days of Our Lives?  Yeah, it took a big turn this week, and I don't mind seeing how this storyline plays out, although it was a bit jarring when I realized it wasn't just a one-off episode.  What got me was hearing about the long hiatus and everyone being released from their contracts.  Stephen Colbert could have spoken of it a bit more gently and given more information, (yes, that's how I learned of this) but that would not have worked with his monologue.  However, it did send me to the computer to try and get more information while simultaneously avoiding spoilers.  I know that they have episodes to air for many months, but the idea of the show possibly going away sometime next year was pretty upsetting to me.  
  • I found a bit of lace in need of repair.  I must tell you that when I first spotted it, I really did think of just chucking it and knitting a new one, but: 
    1.  I really do have enough lace shawls that I do not need to re-knit and replace this one.
    2.  It is a shawl with a bit of an in-joke (the pattern is The Sheep Shawl, but I knit it out of alpaca).
    3.  Today is not the day to make big decisions like that.  
    4.  This will be good practice for repairing broken lace that I might face in the future. 
    5.  Speaking of knitting a lace shawl again, where is my Creatures of the Reef shawl?

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Thumbless Thursday

I'm making good progress on my niece's mittens.  She, amongst many others, can never know that it is possible for me to knit a pair of mittens this quickly.  Now, I'm not trying to get ahead of myself, as I have been known to let a pair of mittens sit thumbless for a year or more.  That being said, I hope to be able to give these to her this weekend.  

I'm not sure if I'm going to try to power through and work the thumbs tonight.  Knitting these has been good for directing my focus, but maybe not so great for winding down before bed.  Eh, we'll see.   

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Post-Parade Mitten Modeling

Some time ago, my nephew asked me if mittens were only for grown-ups.  He's so sweet.  It was a completely innocent question.  You know I had to knit some for him.  He requested light blue and dark blue with snowflakes.  I then proceeded to take forever to complete them.  He asked about them from time to time.  Finally, I finished and gave them to him on Monday, just before the weather turned cold.  I saw him tonight, and he showed me that he still has them and has been wearing them.  I consider that a success.  

My niece believes that I have already knit a pair for her.  I said that I wasn't sure if I ever finished them.  She started describing what she thinks they look like.  I told her that I thought they were different than that, and then gave a vague description of the pair I started the other day for her.  I might need to be faster with them.

eta:  it helps if I click the publish button, eh?   

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Knitting Through It

Sometimes the challenges of life feel overwhelming.  There are different ways to address those feelings.  In some instances, I just choose one task and start chipping away at it.  Other times, I look for the smallest, simplest tasks not yet done and start completing them, crossing them off the list as I go.  Making progress and accomplishing things helps. 

Then there are the times where the overwhelming feelings come from things outside of my control.  At those times, I check again and see if there is something I can do to address the situation, and if there is, I do it.  After that, whether I'm still feeling overwhelmed or not, it could be time to step back from the situation and stop spinning my wheels, to stop adding energy to those feelings.  Sometimes watching television or movies helps me focus on something else.  Other times, I pick up the needles and put my attention there.  That's what I decided to do today.  We'll see where it takes me.     

Monday, November 11, 2019

November Goals

I made a goal list for the month over on Team CrankyPants.  I confess that I included stuff I had already completed, but they were still part of my plans for the month.  I even kept something on the list that I knew wasn't going to happen, but making it through the deciding on the matter counts for me.  I also missed putting some things on the list over there that I will put here.  I hope this helps me get stuff done.  Oh, and because I try to have a picture in every post, that's me after the Veteran's Day parade in the shirt and badge I made and the beads I received. 
  • Baby Shower--as you know, this one is done and dusted
  • Veteran's Day--we went to the parade, it was something else--Facebook and a strip club were in the parade, and yes, I got beads
  • Wedding--we decided not to go, and I think that was the right choice
  • Mittens--I have a feeling I will never be done with mittens--ah, the loveliness of mitt-vember! 
  • Pick up stitches on my sweater--it can be for a sleeve or the front, but I want to resume progress on this
  • Knit tiny things--because I want to, because I have a list, and just because 
  • Baby Visit--this might be tough to make happen, and if we can't I need to mail the gift
  • Doctors' Appointments--We have questions and hope the docs have answers and/or a plan
  • Thanksgiving--We have an invite for out-of-town that we would love to take but don't see a realistic path for it, but Thanksgiving will happen, and we'll need to prepare wherever we're celebrating   

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Oh, Baby

Today was the baby shower.  It was...a lot.  I think we had very nice results for our efforts.  Others with more precise expectations could tell about what was missing or did not go as planned, but if you didn't know beforehand, you couldn't tell anything was amiss.  The hostess certainly has the mostest, and I'm glad she was pleased with my help with things.  I'm sore everywhere and I think I smell like a mall pet store, so I'm going to hit the shower and get off my feet.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Odds and Ends for the Week

This pile of ends has been forming for more than a week, and some of the ends have been waiting to join it for much longer than that.  But that's not the point, now is it?  We've made it through another week, and acknowledging that we're still here is a good thing.  Survival is not always easy.  

This week has been pretty full.  We've had all the stores, birthdays, a Veteran's Day program, and the return to standard time.  The weather has been up and down, and it is about to dip down even further.  Maybe I'll even wear my new mittens.  

Next week is going to be full, too.  We've got a baby shower, a wedding, and a trip to The Magic City.  Did I mention it is going to get cold?  I think I might return to knitting a shawl I started long ago.  Last month I figured out where I was on the pattern.  It is pretty big now, and snuggling beneath it while I work on it seems like a pretty solid plan.  

So, how was your week?  What does the week ahead look like for you?       

Friday, November 08, 2019

Unfinished Friday

The good news is that I finished the thumbs.  The bad news is that I need to rip and extend the tops of the mittens.  I was concerned that they were too short, and now I know that's a fact.  While I am not thrilled with ripping back, at least I hadn't woven in ends already, so that makes the process simpler.  Score one for the time that leaving the ends undone was a good idea, eh?  The additional knitting is not tough to do, and there won't be much of it.  I just want to get these done quickly because it is getting much colder this weekend.  
In other unfinished news, another round trying of getting September's storm damage repaired has begun.  We have the roof, and that is good.  What we don't have repaired is the gutter/soffit/fascia/whateverelsetheycallit that came down during the storm, blocking most of the garage.  You know, the reason we called in the repair people.  The folks that signed on to do the work want us to pay someone else to do this portion of the job.  They say that they cannot complete this portion of the repairs for what they are being paid.  They say they are willing to refund us a sum that I suspect is likely inadequate to hire someone else to complete the repairs.  We're trying to take a moment to catch our breath and then move forward, but it isn't easy.  It seems like this company is not doing right, and that doesn't feel good.       

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Thanks on a Thursday

Thanksgiving is on the way, but thankfulness is for every day.  Today, I'm thinking about something for which I am thankful.  


That's really all that I need to write about that, but I will expand on this idea for just a moment.  Yes, there are deep, meaningful, important things for which we are thankful, and reflecting on them is good.  It is also good to feel that thankfulness for the simple, everyday things in life.  Noticing the good stuff and being thankful for it nourishes and sustains us.   


Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Fresh Basket of "M"Peaches

I made some "m"peach badges recently and have been wearing one on my shirt and have one affixed to my purse as well.  I've given them away to anyone who wants one.  I try to keep a couple with me to give away when we're out and about.  When we volunteered to help register voters at Rocket City Pride, we gave away the rest of that batch.  So I made more, and I'm ready to give them away, too.  

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

So Close

I'm closing in on completing my nephew's mittens.  I need to close the thumb on one, work the thumb on the other, and then it's just the finishing work.  Ideally, I'd like to have them done by this weekend, and that is a realistic timeframe.  I just need to sit down and do it.  There are a few other things grabbing at my time and attention right now, but I think it might be good for me to get these done.  Being able to cross something off the list feels nice, and it can inspire me to keep going to get other things done.  Besides, c'mon, this is a pair of children's mittens worked in worsted weight yarn.  I can do this.     

Monday, November 04, 2019

UM...Today is the 4th of the Month

It is only the fourth today.  That doesn't seem possible.  It really has been very full already, and it is unlikely to clear out anytime soon.  I'm trying to get things sorted.  You know the urgent, it can pop up and look like a lot like the important.  I think I will work on a goals list for this month.  Until then, let's just play Unconscious Mutterings, eh?        
  1. Cancel :: Relief
  2. Optimistic :: Hopeful
  3. Surrogate :: Campaign
  4. Tickle :: Elmo
  5. Amber :: Gris
  6. Stuffy :: Nose
  7. Chaos :: Theory
  8. Desktop :: Icon
  9. Dynamite :: Idea
  10. Holidays :: Too Soon

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Mitt-vember Strikes Back

There are mittens I am avoiding, and I'm going to try to make myself finish those, but that's not what we're talking about today.  Today, we get to see a pair of mittens I finally finished.  The knitting was done quite some time back, but still, they languished in a state of almost.  Colorwork pieces might look fine before their bath, but a nice soak really does wonders.  
Back in January of 2016, I was trying to choose colors and tweeted out a picture of two yarn colors.  A lot has happened since then, but now they're done, and I'm really pleased with them.  They're also so nice, that I feel like I'm just going to look at them and never wear them.  It seems a shame to let something that I put so much work into just sit there, but I also don't want them to get dirty or worn out either.  I'm sure I'll figure out something, but for now, I'll just admire my work.       

Saturday, November 02, 2019

All the Stores

That's what today was around here.  I'm helping fulfill someone else's vision for a baby shower.  I went to seven stores today, and this is what I have to show for my efforts.  I could try another location or two this week to find more of the flower dealies, (she wants twelve more besides these) but seeing as how I have committed myself to other tasks as well as actually attending the shower, I might let others continue the search.  

It's kind of funny to be part of this, as it is very much not my thing.  I realize that part of it is my introversion that makes me think that a cake, punch, and a notebook for writing down the gifts (if one absolutely must open presents at the party) should be quite enough.  I also want to look for the exits when trying to make someone feel special on their special day.  Ah, but this is not about me.  The shower giver and shower recipient are creating and having what they want, respectively.  I can pitch in and do my part, right? 

Friday, November 01, 2019

New Month, New Roof

( edited to add photo once blogger sorted itself)
At least that's how it is supposed to go.  Long, long ago, a microburst came through our neighborhood and bit our home.  Actually, it was just back in September, but the way time is going, and dealing with a damaged house, insurance, and contractors, it does seem very long ago.  Well, at about a quarter 'til seven this morning, the repair work began.  As you know, roofing is a noisy endeavor, and noisiness is not one of my favorite things.  While it's not good to have the roof off of the house when it is freezing outside, it will be good to have this behind us.