Sunday, May 24, 2009

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

After telling myself for weeks - NO MORE CHALLENGES! - I signed up for another - perhaps the most challenging of all, the 52 Pair Plunge III Challenge on Ravelry. Starting 00:00 06/01/09 I will be making one pair of socks per week for the next 52 weeks. Thank God I have small feet! I could make baby socks, but no babies and Hans the cat won't wear them even to be polite. Fortunately, works in progress count so I'm slowing down on the toe up "Dead Simple Lace Socks" (see photo) from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson. Incidentally, if you're interested in knitting toe-up socks, this is a great, well-written book. I highly recommend it! The yarn is the Viola colorway from my etsy site - it's sold out now, but there's more coming on this week.

The Sock Scarf is still in progress and is a great project for taking to meetings.

Work continues on my other challenges, but with nothing finished for this week on the knitting challenges, there is no increase in mileage or socks for the month of May. Nevertheless, I did finish another book . . .

52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge/Book 24: The Cream Puff Murder, by Joanne Fluke. After the powerful ending of Loving Frank, I needed something a little lighter. I found it in the cozy mystery by Joanne Fluke. In the newest of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, Hannah neds to solve the mystery of the murder of the least-liked woman in town - at least by the other women. What is always fun about Fluke's mysteries, is that there is a sub-mystery. In this case, it involves what happens Moishe, the cat's food. He has an automatic feeder and the food is always gone, but he's not gaining any weight (I wish I had that problem!). Hannah is also on a diet to lose weight to fit into the regency-style dress for her mother's book party.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'd Like to Thank . . .

I'd like to thank everyone that responded to my plea for help in deciding on a color for my rescue chair. As you can see, red clearly won out. It has now been renamed "My Little Red Chair." Quite by chance, the chair matches the chair pad I wove and felted a few years ago. I am very pleased with it, and most importantly, I can now spin without back pain.

I'd like to thank Coca-Cola Bottling for producing Diet Coke and whoever makes Aspercreme. Odd combination, isn't it? Every few months I get hit with a sinus/migraine-type headache of epic proportions and it happened this week. I've used Diet Coke for years for settling the stomach part of that situation, but when my migraine medication wasn't quite taking care of the pain - I got the crazy notion of using Aspercreme on my nose and under my eyes - just over the sinuses. Well, if necessity is the mother of invention, desperation is the father. It took enough of the edge off the pain to let the pain medication kick in. I'm not sure I'd be up to writing this tonight without those two products.

I'd like to thank the Monday Night Sock Knitters for convincing me that this yarn wasn't ugly and that it would make a great pair of socks - they were right. This is my second contribution for May in the Great Sock Off of 2009. It also brings me closer to my goal in the Limenviolet Sock Yarn Marathon - both on Ravelry. I have now knitted 2.83 miles of sock yarn since February. Incidentally, the sock yarn is Paton's Kroy in the mulberry colorway. For a very inexpensive yarn, it was nice knitting - a little splitty at times. These were knit two-at-a-time toe up.

I'd like to thank my friend Carla for finding the Lorna's Laces sock yarn in the pink and blue colorway ON SALE and then de-stashing it to me! (I really envy Carla for her ability to periodically de-stash - she calls it purging.) After playing with some colorwork sweater patterns, I got tired of fighting the pooling. It's self-striping yarn, I just needed to let it self-stripe. We're both much happier now with the yarn as a striped scarf. I am well into my second ball in the photograph. The scarf is knit in the round and is a great project to take to guild meetings because there's nothing to keep track of and the ball of yarn drops into the center of the scarf.

Last of all, I'd Like to Thank Hans and Greta for sleeping during the day so they can play with me when I should be reading for my 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Comes Late to the Dakotas

These little guys popped up this weekend, peeking through the pine needles in my center garden. Not many of the bulbs I planted last fall made it through our difficult winter. I did have some snowdrops come up which I planted a few years ago and never showed themselves until this spring. So, maybe others will show up next spring.

My gardening faux paux of the week, or maybe for the whole growing season involves one of my favorite foods - rhubarb. I've lugged around a Canadian Red rhubarb plant from a number of residences in the past 20 years. I always divide it when I move, leaving some of it behind. When we moved here almost four years ago, I did the same thing. It flourished here more than anywhere else it's been. The raspberries planted near it did too. Last fall, I decided I would move the rhubarb into the center back garden where I'd planted another, less tasty, rhubarb plant. As you might guess, the less tasty one came up and has been growing like gangbusters - but no Canadian Red. I checked around and found a greenhouse here in town that had a few Canadian Red rhubarb plants. I rushed over and bought them. As I was looking for a place to plant them, guess what I found? Yep, the Canadian Red rhubarb I divided up last year was ALL coming up. I did say rhubarb was a favorite, right?

Off the Needles: I finished Corrina Fergeson's Broken Chocolate Bar Socks that I was test knitting. I'm waiting until she puts her pattern up on Ravelry before I post the photos. So, film at 11!

On the Needles: I'm doing a pair of toe-up, two-at-time socks using some inexpensive Paton's self-striping yarn. I needed something for knitting at meetings and this fit the bill. I'm also still stealth knitting the same sweater. I've lost count how many times I've ripped. More recently, I removed the ribbing to change to a different ribbing.

Rescue Chair: Thank you everyone that contacted me about the color of the rescue chair. It will be RED. I have been sanding this week and it appears that at one time in its early life it was red.

52 Books in 52 Weeks/Book 22: The Quiche of Death, by M.C. Beaton. This is the first in the Agatha Raisin series set in a small village outside of London. Agatha purchases a quiche to enter into a contest as her own. Unfortunately, the judge dies after eating it. I'm not as fond of this series as her Hamish Macbeth series.

Book 23: Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan. I thought I knew a lot about Frank Lloyd Wright, but I was wrong. While the book is haled as historical fiction, it is based very clearly on fact. It is excellently written and researched. I think it's considered historical fiction because the author had to speculate as the reactions and conversations. The main character is Wright's mistress Mamah Borthwick, who left her husband and two children, to be with the also married-with-children Wright. The ending was so out-of-this- world, I thought the author made it up - but after some research on the Internet, once again I was wrong. Highly recommended!