Well, tomorrow marks the six month anniversary of starting this little rambling venture of mine. I thought a celebration might be in order, but didn't know what exactly. And I didn't plan ahead for this. So for now, let's just say 'good job for sticking with it (but not so good on the poor planning...)'.
I kept Grandbebe Who Walks on Saturday evening and that was alot of fun for me, and I hope fun for her. She didn't cry hardly at all, so I think she had a little fun. She enjoyed playing with the leftovers of the kitchen cotton yarn. When going after my collected balls of yarn for traveling next week, I substituted a sack of the tail ends. She was more than pleased!
I fed the masses (or at least the local offspring) last night. A good time was had by all, I believe. The corn on the cob was fresh and sweet, as was the strawberries on the shortcake. Each summer, when the corn has come on, I feel like I have died and gone to heaven with that first bite.
Interesting tidbit: I rode my bike to the grocery store to pick up the berries, corn, and chicken. Yes, I did, indeed! I was able to fit two grocery sacks full in my saddle bags easily. It was a 3 mile round trip, and we took the round about way. There won't be any stopping me now!
I knitted a test calorimetry out of short ends over the weekend. It knitted up really well, inspite of being out of 3 colors, and 3 different kinds of wool. I look forward to knitting more for gifts...but out of single types of yarn...but then again, I don't know. It is kind of a cool effect!
When choosing another bird feeder at the local home improvement store, I wandered over to the veggie plants. Aimlessly? I think not! I picked up a pepper plant, a zucchini (with 2 plants in the pot), a yellow straight-necked squash, and a pumpkin. These are good established plants. I think they have a chance of producing before the end of the growing season. We made that new bed, and it remains unplanted for now. That is prime for those viney, sprawling plants. One only gains experience by making an effort. Along with the tomatoes and the strawberries, well, heck, I might be a real gardener!
My length-estimating impaired hairdresser is going to be grandmother in August, and because of the long relationship she and I share, and because I have known the mother-to-be (her daughter) since she was in grade school, I determined to knit the boy baby a gift.
Here's what they are going to get, whether they like it or not.
The hat is from the 'Oh Natural' from Lionbrand website. (Super, super easy!)
In other news...
I have swatched for gauge! Yes, it's true. I am becoming a real life knitter, instead of an extraordinarily lucky one. In preparing for knitting while traveling next week, during which I hope to visit both the Yarn Barn in Lawrence (with Wisest Sister) and Wildflowers in Manhattan (by myself...must...practice...self-control...), I reviewed a couple of patterns. I am going to start Miss Muffet (by Marjorie Brigham), for Grandbebe Girl Who Walks (and who I get to watch tonight while Youngest Daughter and Bebe Daddy are partying). This pattern will be an investment in time and of resources even if the most wonderful Egyptian cotton yarn was on sale.
I thought to myself that perhaps I should test the swatching waters on this occasion. I did, and am going down a needle size, to sz 5. I am one loosey-goosey knitter. And the swatching whetted my appetite. The yarn knits beautifully, and is not going to feel anything like knitting with dishcloth cotton.
Another pattern I am going to be working on is Calorimetry (for stocking stuffers) out of handspun. This pattern highly suggested a swatch, too. In remembering what I have discovered about knitting hats, I decided this would be wise, not so much to knit exactly the size they think I need, but so that I can knit for the genetically big noggins that run in this family.
See how smart! Using her big noggin and smaller quantities of handspun! Oh, and knitting for Christmas in July! Very smart, indeed. (Now we will watch what actually gets knitted....)
Seems mighty fancy clothes to be messing with livestock!
Matching clothing that is. For many years of our lives, Dearest Sister and I were dressed aliked by our mother. She made most of our clothes, and some I am sure without patterns. She was really a very gifted seamstress. It was probably easier to buy enough to make two, and double up on what she was cutting.
Here we are with Wisest Sister. Again with the livestock...
Often we were asked if we were twins, to which we always responded, "No, we are 2 years and 6 weeks apart." Very precise for little munchkins, don't you think? And it was indeed very precise, and it was also very wrong. Wisest Sister and Dear Departed Sister were born 2 years and 6 weeks apart. Dearest Sister and I have birthdays almost exactly one month apart. We were born 2 years and 4 weeks apart.
And here we are with my Oldest BFF, all mix and match. (Boy, we were skinny back then, weren't we!)
We spent years thinking months were six weeks long, apparently. A cautionary tale, I think, about paying more attention to what we hear in our families (then repeat).
the two foxes that live in the area behind our subdivision on several occasions.
5-6 deer who share that space.
a sight impaired person jogging with a white cane.
a squirrel that I almost...almost...ran over. (I had to brake aggressively for this guy!)
the snake I did run over. Not to worry, it was a little garter snake, and I don't think I hurt it.
baby geese just today!
others bikers who don't wait for stoplights to turn, don't wear helmets, and go much faster than me.
a few bikers who don't go faster than me, but not very many.
a man on a scooter carrying his dog (retriever-size...not smallish!) across his lap, as he drove. Really!
many blooming things.
To name a few that I can remember. My goal is to reach 1000 miles this year. I think with any luck, I shall be able to ride through September. Not bad for a woman of a certain age. I got to say, though...one would think the pounds would be flying off!
In other news, I broke a knitting needle today. I cannot remember when I have done that.
When my mother passed a few years ago, there was a bit, a little bit, of discretionary money for me to spend. I chose to spend it on 3 rose bushes from a local reputable nursery. In other words, I got the good stuff.
I picked out three old roses, Tropicana, Mr. Lincoln, and Peace. I had those growing, along with a few others, in Texas when the girls were born. Momma came to help each time one of them came along, and being summer babies, my roses were blooming. She loved my roses, and those in particular.
By chance, and by some experience, I planted them where I had room, and where I knew they would get morning sun, ostensibly to prevent black spot and mildew. That place was next the six foot privacy fence on the west side of the yard. Well, here on the high plains, next to the foothills, there is really little concern for mildew and black spot. However, the fence does an excellent job of protecting the fellas in the winter. Excellent!
After the first successful wintering over, I felt very lucky. We added to the Katherine Perry Memorial Rose Garden with two more bushes for Mother's Day. And one more the next year. And one more this year. So far, so good.
After the first year, the choices have been more new-ish roses. This year's was the J&P's introduction for the year. Brand New! Oooooh. Risky she plays it.
I'm glad that the roses take over when the iris leave off.
I am a bit off center today. We had more lay-offs at work yesterday, and one of my fellow knitters was one of those cut. I am so saddened by that, and also wondering what the future holds for those of us remaining. The ground is very unsteady.
(I know my friend sometimes reads this, and I want her to know I am thinking about her.)
I am working on the baby kimono, about 75% finished, and turned the heel on one of the Hedera socks. No pix today.
The iris in the backyard are still beautiful, but finishing up. That is another wonderful surprise I stumbled on by accident. Planting them all around the house sort of puts them in their own different zones. I will have some iris blooming for almost 5 weeks, typically. My roses have kicked in this past week, and maybe I will get photos today for sharing.
Middle Daughter and Friend are coming for a friend's wedding next weekend, and I look forward to the visit. Then we are planning a short trip over the 4th to visit Wonderful Guy's dad and step-mom. Ahhhh....north central KS in July! I will take the opportunity to meet Wisest Sister, and maybe stop in an LYS in Manhattan. Maybe.
(Warning: another post full of post dee-vorce self-examination!)
Attending the divorce recovery class, then in working my program, there came up the subject of boundaries. This was a very new idea to me.
I have written about my concern for other’s opinions. I have made a lifetime of pleasing others, making sure others were happy, doing what others wanted. In many ways, these were kind and generous gestures on my part. I wanted to be a helpful and nice person whom others thought well of. Did I understand that I didn’t have to do everything everyone thought I needed to do? Not at all. They might thing badly of me!
I easily absorbed the drama in other’s lives. It was out of a concern for those close to me, and well-intentioned. I cared about people and when things went awry for them, I worried and stewed. I remember actually saying, albeit jokingly…mostly… that if I worried enough, my worry would prevent and/or fix situations. If I didn’t worry enough, that’s when the bad stuff happened! I promoted my worry and stress as the mystical remedy to the universe’s lessons! Did I understand that it could be possible, even healthy, to keep some of this at arm’s length, and still care? Not really. I believed how much I got wrapped around the axle of someone else’s problem showed how much I cared.
I didn’t know there was a different way to live life. I am a person who had no clue that there were boundaries to be had. I had to learn to define the word before I could figure out what healthy boundaries meant in my life.
Mostly, personal boundaries for me deal with keeping my peace and serenity regardless of what others around me do or say. Having boundaries keeps me sane in all my relationships, family, social, and at work.
I am no longer at other’s beck and call. I choose what I do, or don’t do. And I don’t make excuses or come up with long rationale for why I can’t do something. Well, mostly I don’t. I work very hard at being honest in my ‘no, I can’ts’. Very hard. And that is another example of a personal boundary. I could do a dance around any issue if I thought the truth might offend someone. I understand the value now of being kindly open, honest, and transparent with others. My boundaries allow me let other’s have their own issues without believing I need to fix them. I can allow them to be who they are without the expectation they should fit the idea of who I think they should be. They are who they are. But I also trust myself to see if someone acts in an unhealthy manner toward me, and I will trust myself to know what to do to care for myself in that situation. This might go without saying for some, but it is very big for someone who didn’t understand for many years that she didn’t need to live with the emotional pain.
Not letting others cross my boundaries is not a way of controlling others. I can try that if I want to see a failed effort. I have found people do what they do, in spite of my best and hardest efforts to get them to do what I think they must.
My boundaries are for me, keeping me honest, keeping me safe, keeping my serenity.
Saturday, in Estes Park, at the Wool Market, turned out to be a splendid day. The weather was perfect. The company was marvelous. And the market was…overwhelming. Wonderful Guy is fortunate, indeed, that we have a strict HOA policy toward livestock. I so would have brought me home some goats. And maybe some sheeps, too.
Instead, I brought home a fleece from a Jacob sheep,
some more alpaca (not a whole lot),
some mohair locks,
and some dyed merino roving. It's called Cranberry!
Like I needed something more to spin…
I did not get to meet any fellow bloggers/ravelers. I am sorry that didn’t happen, but my peeps and I arrived about the time of the meet-up and were still getting our bearings.
The new stuff motivated me back to Betsy, the wheel. I filled the second bobbin, and started plying Saturday evening. I have filled one bobbin with 2-ply baby alpaca yarn, and the second bobbin is about half way there. I think the yarn is looking…like yarn, which I guess is good, because that is the point.
In the past, I have soaked and hung the skein to set my yarn. Now I have been reading about not hanging yarn intended for knitting, and needing to ‘whack’ the yarn for fulling.
Agh! So many philosophies! Who is right?! Which to follow?!
In 1996, Dearest Sister and I traveled with Oldest Daughter and some of the graduating seniors from her high school on one of those whirlwind tours of Europe. 4 countries in ten days, I think. Maybe nine. It was a flurry of activity, the kind of tour where the guide (Tour Boy, we called him) says, “OK, this is the Louvre. You have 2 hours and 45 minutes to be back at the bus. If you want to see the Mona Lisa, follow the signs!”
Which we did, by the way. Saw Mona, that is. And ALL the rest of the Louvre, in the 2 hours and 45 minutes of allotted time. Umm…right. I must say, the place is staggering.
On our prompt return to the bus, because we were always prompt, we took an opportunity to…rest. Just a bit. One of the kids said some French photographer took a photo of us while we were…uh...just resting our eyes. Probably ended up on some Euro postcard, for all we know.
Cheese-eating surrender monkey.
Actually, we had a grand time. It was one of the best of our vacations together. Maybe the best. I would go back to Europe with Dearest Sister in a heartbeat. I would go about anywhere with her in a heartbeat, because we have a rollicking good time together, without fail.
Ask our girls. We embarrass them often, though not as often as we use to. We told them we were sorry, but it was our job. Oh, we weren't really sorry.
Today is Dearest Sister’s birthday. Joyeux anniversaire, Chere Soeur!
Heading up the mountain in the morning with knitting peeps, and spinning neighbor. Planning on seeing the critters, watching some mad skilz by the herding beasts, shopping the market, meeting some ravelers and some bloggers (just a little intimidated by that part...), and maybe lunch with the Youngest Daughter.
And the forecast shows a nice day in the mountains, too. Can it get any better?
So I took a chance and entered one of Allison's contests last week. She attended a publisher's extravaganza (the BEA, actually), and brought home some treasure which she shared through her blog. I could not pass up a chance for some free books, especially these...
Yep, I won! Signed, too! Now I have not been a Harlot reader. She gets so much attention, you know, and I am one to seek the lesser traveled paths. But for free I will see what the hubbub is about. Well, what I have briefly looked at has shown me what the hubbub is about. She is one funny writer. So onto my reader list she goes...
The Secret Life Of a Knitter is from 2005, not her newest, but that's okay. I haven't really read anything of hers. The Yarn Harlot Writes Again is a bound excerpt/teaser thingey for her book to be released this year. Probably get me hooked and I will have to put it on my Christmas list, and my family will say...Mom wants a book by a harlot???
Interestingly enough, I found Allison's blog through Crazy Aunt Purl's. They are buds, and Allison was at BEA with CAP. Some may remember that in CAP's sweepstakes last winter, I won her book (and a bag of Cheetos, and a pair of chopsticks...) as a daily prize. Wierd, huh?!
Well, what can I say? Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not. I want to go to knitting tonight, and may not have time for the photo editing.
So what I have is a wordy update as to what is…
On (and Off) the Needles of Iron…
The Handspun Scarf is finished. It is only about 3 feet long, but adequate to be a muffler. And it is a handknit out of handspun. That counts for something. (And here is one of her early works…a broken rib piece out of alpaca and merino…we believe maybe her first handspun, circa. 2008…)
The TomTom Pocket is complete except for a button, but only because I have to find the perfect-est button for it. Inadvertently, it is knitted in the colors of the Denver Broncos, which is not a problem for the Guy. For me…whatever. He says to me last night that the button needs to be orange or blue. He is a design expert now? I say we will see what is in the button box!
I have started another pair of socks (Hedera, Knitty.com), and it is a lovely pattern, with a 4 row lacey repeat. How hard can that be, I said…I have knit lace before, I said. Well… yes, I have. But not with fingering weight, nor with sz one needles. It makes a difference, at least for me. The sock has been frogged once already. The second try is not perfect. We will see where it goes from here. Perhaps my mad sock skilz are not mad enough…yet.
Tonight at knitting, rather than risk further need for frogging with the above socks, I will cast on a baby kimono (Mason-Dixon Knitting) for a friend’s daughter who is expecting a bambino in August. It will be out of blue sugar ‘n cream cotton. No great shakes there, but a useful and fun gift to make. Maybe I will get a hat and booties/socks knitted to match.
I had a very busy weekend with the garage sale and other activities. I am pleased with the way the sale went. Stuff was well organized and priced Friday by evening, and we had a constant flow of patrons from 7:30-ish until 1:30-ish Saturday, closing up about 2:00, being well picked over. We boxed and loaded up the remaining items for donating. A birthday dinner with Youngest Daughter and family, and a trip after to Barnes and Noble wrapped up the day.
I moved Betsy, the spinning wheel, to the garage during the sale, and spun during the slower times. I figured it would be easier to stop spinning than to stop in mid-row knitting to take someone’s money! The spinning generated interest, and I found myself giving tutorials, especially to young children. I felt a bit inadequate to the task, I will admit. However! Spinning Neighbor happened by, and found the wonderful Nora Gaughan book, Knitting Nature for $2 at a neighboring sale. Already having the book herself, she allowed me to buy it from her! And! I have discovered Scrapbooking Neighbor also is a Knitting Neighbor!
So while the proceeds, when amortized out over the sale organization, pricing, and time spent Saturday, probably do not reflect a great deal of money made for hours spent, the social aspect of the event justify the effort. It was a good motivation to get through and sort out collected debris in any case. And now I have my wool market funds! Generous wool market funds, I might add!
After the Sunday meeting and breakfast, Wonderful Guy, Best Dog Ever, and I intended to hike an open area around Lyons, but this open space didn’t allow dogs. A walk along the river, and through a new subdivision provided some exercise, but a poor substitute for a wildflower hike. Stupid rules. It was windy, too. We decided to drive to Estes Park for some pie and coffee through St. Vrain Canyon. The rivers are high with run-off and wild! And cold looking! Estes was very chilly. I must remember to bring a jacket for the wool market next Saturday.
While driving, I knitted. Well, while Wonderful Guy drove and I knitted. Out of some small quantities of handspun, I worked up another ‘GPS pocket’. Wonderful Guy purchased his Father’s Day gift this past week. We are the proud parents of a TomTom GPS thingey. Oldest Daughter and Significant Other each have one. Oldest said a little clutch pocket I knitted her for a stocking stuffer a couple years ago made a perfect pocket for her TomTom to ride around in her purse. She asked for one for the SO, which I was glad to whip up since he is such a nice guy. Well now, how could our new little addition not have its own protective little home?
We returned home in time for me to meet Youngest for Part II of the birthday celebration. She and I took in the ‘Sex and the City’ movie, relieving the hubsters (thankfully) of having to accompany us to a definite chick flick. The theatre was over half full, and I counted maybe 2 fellows. Poor fellows. Fun movie, and good times with the Youngest.
I have been thinking some about goal setting lately, and how I go about doing that sort of thing.
Growing up, I don’t recall much discussion about ‘goals’, but there was certainly intent to accomplish things. The ‘goals’ were more along the lines of 4-H projects (pretty successful), and cleaning the room I shared with Dearest Sister (not so successful), and ‘getting things done’, in general. I don’t remember much of the idea that if I wanted to achieve some level of recognition, I needed to set my mind to it, and do the things required to accomplish that. It was a bit more hit and miss, like ‘well, try out and see!’ Without proper preparation, that often led to un-success. That led to trying only for things I know I could get, and not stretching out so much for achievement. At least I was encouraged to try.
Before the Dee-vorce, it seemed the X and I were just working to get by so much of the time, and the things we achieved we just sort of fell into, and couldn’t have done without a lot of help from others. I know it was a huge leap of faith when we returned to complete his higher education with three small children…babies, really…and it was an accomplishment for us both to finish our degrees at that time. What we do to satisfy that inner hunger for recognition is a huge motivator. What we do to help that person from whom we receive our self-esteem motivates equally. Like I said, it was a leap of faith, and lots of effort on our part working toward an end, and real achievement. But before and after? A lot of working to just get by.
After the Dee-vorce, when I was on my own, I was finally making my own decisions and setting my own goals. I determined to live on a budget, and what that budget was. I then determined when I could start contributing to my retirement program again, and how much to set aside for savings. I determined to keep myself out of debt. Sometimes my goals were more oriented to personal achievement, like my goal for hiking 100 miles. While it was easier sometimes to remain at home, I pushed myself to get out and socialize with my divorce recovery group, taking line dancing lessons, and in various other ways.
When Wonderful Guy and I started sharing time together, we talked about hopes and dreams and goals. We share some goals of places to travel (Hawaii next February), projects (more rooms painted), and some dreams (a little place in the mountains some day?) We also dream about retiring in 9 or 10 years.
Often, my own goals are in the form of a list. I have a long term list, and a short term list. My year long list shows things like starting this blog, learning to spin, and to knit socks, working on my photo editing, certain yard projects, installing more memory in my computer, etc. Short term list reminds me what I want to get done this week. (Sometimes Wonderful Guy knows about my lists and sometimes he does not!)
Most of these things take forethought, research, and planning to bring about. Sometimes it can be time-consuming, and tedious, and needs to be made a priority. However, I have rarely been disappointed when a goal is achieved.
I have sometimes come to the realization that a goal has slipped from my list, completely, or just for now. That doesn’t make me un-successful. (I verbalized that because I have some inner voices that would tell me otherwise.)
My 12-step program tells me that setting goals and working towards them is a good and appropriate way to achieve a healthy way of living. I set my goals personally; free from others might think, with my own self-care in mind. My goals have to do with me, not with fixing others. Without dreams and goals, I can end up…just working to get by everyday…without even thinking about what I am doing or why I am doing it.
So….I present….my first grown-up sized socks, knitted by magic loop. (Now, to mark that off my list…wha!!! ‘Learn to knit socks’ is not on my list? How can that be? Well, not to worry. I am not above adding something just so I can mark it off!)
Haha! I said bloomers…emm…maybe I am showing my age there. Etymology: Amelia Bloomer Date: 1851 1: a costume for women consisting of a skirt over long loose trousers gathered closely about the ankles 2 plural a: full loose trousers gathered at the knee formerly worn by women for athletics b: underpants of similar design worn chiefly by girls and women.
(labeled Pinkness...I think not!)
This coming weekend, the Youngest Daughter turns 25. Happy Birthday, Youngest. How is it possible that it has been a quarter of a century since the last time I gave birth? Oh wait…now I remember…never mind…. Unidentified...
I am pricing for the neighborhood garage sale this weekend, and making good, consistent progress. It is a social activity, more than a 'making money' activity. There are things we are clearing out, certainly, but it would be less effort, possibly, with larger reward, to donate to charity. We have a nice neighborhood, however, and socialize more than some, so it's another opportunity to get out and see one another.
Los Coyotes...such a fragrance!
It is getting more and more difficult to stay inside in the evenings. The yard is a retreat, a haven, and an outlet for me. I enjoy walking around my yard when I get home from work seeing what is blooming, pulling the errant weed, deadheading the iris, and taking pix both for myself, and to share with Dearest Sister. It is an effort without complaint for both Wonderful Guy and I, and both of us enjoy the peace we receive from our work.
The Homespun Scarf (called the Wendy Scarf by the Knitting Pattern-A-Day calendar) (for ½ price in the middle of January) (which is good, because I am not totally sold on it) is a broken rib pattern. Good progress is being made. I have knitted about forty percent of the merino/alpaca blend. It won’t be a really long scarf to loop around the neck, or make one of those fashionable loops with, I don’t believe. But I think it will do to tuck inside the coat to block the chill.
Socks of Magickness (called Twilight by Melissa Morgan-Oakes) (knitted in a ‘Desert Grass’ color of Wildefoote by Brown Sheep Co.) (did you know it not about brown sheep, but that the Browns own the Brown Sheep Mill?) I am knitting the foot. Almost to the toe! Cruising, people, I tell you! Cruising! So close to having my first real pair of grown up socks complete. And planning my next ones.
Dishclothes – with having gifted to two friends in May, my supply has dwindled. I must get on the ball! Of yarn! HAha!
*Interesting note…I made several gifts of these 4-corners dishcloths (Abigail at 1870Pearl) at Christmas time. Wisest Sister was intrigued by them and asked for the pattern. I credited the originator, and sent her the pattern. Wisest Sister replied, acknowledging it was based on an Elizabeth Zimmerman design. Why, Yes, it is! And I must say I was surprised to know that Wisest Sister knew of EZ. Now I digress to say I am not sure why I was surprised…not that Wisest isn’t well read. She reads almost as much as I! And not that she isn’t knowledgeable of handcrafts. She knits, and is a remarkably talented seamstress, too! But…well, there I was…unexplainably surprised. As we e-chatted further, I turned her on to Ravelry, and she forwarded me her EZ books. (She even had books!) See how wise a sister she truly is?!
As I am within sight of having these WIPs wrapped up, I need to:
+Select next ball of cotton for dishcloths. +Review pattern/wind yarn for Miss Muffett +Select pattern for next socks (yarn/recipient selected)
So I made another list! What can I say….I love lists.
We hiked the South Mesa trail, south of Boulder. We had a plan, but made a turn different from the plan. We went longer than the plan, but saw lot of fun stuff.
A creek we crossed right at first.
Two birds in a dead tree...one is a hummingbird! See almost in the center...the other is unidentified...
Two deer in the brush (brown spots on either side of the tree). We also saw a coyote at the end of the hike, but no photo of that one.
And lastly...wild iris!
There were many other wild flowers. It was a great hike for that, but after six and a quarter miles, sunburned and sweaty, I am ready for a shower, putting my feet up, and some knitting...on the socks of magickness. (I got past the gussets on the way to Boulder, and am on the foot now!)