Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Darn Snow Storm.......Shawl Progress.....

Thanks to the lovely snow storm my plans for tomorrow are off. The first meeting of the Slater Mill Knitting/Crochet Guild has been postponed until next Wednesday night, February 4. I was looking forward to it. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep working on the shawl at home by myself.

I've spent quite a bit of time on it today. I may even be able to get away with only 17 repeats instead of 18. Pat helped me stretch it out over my back today. With me holding it over my shoulders a bit, he pulled the point down as if to block it. It hits my behind. I'm excited to get it finished. I may be doing a happy dance of my own for Super Bowl with it wrapped around me if I can get it cast off in time. Back to knitting......
Snow, Snow, Go Away.....Spring Wishes and Dreams

The ground is still white with the left over snow from our last storm. There's still plenty of ice on parking lots, steps, sidewalks and drives to make walking dangerous if you are not watching where you are stepping. Now, the latest weather report says more is coming tonight and tomorrow. I have a meeting tomorrow night at Slater Mill for the opening of the Knitting/Crochet guild. If the weather is too bad, I will be staying home.

Can someone please tell Mother Nature we want a few warm days to get rid of some of this? For me personally, I'm ready for Spring and I know we have about 2 more months of this nasty to deal with.

We enclosed the back yard last Fall and I really want a couple of raised box flower beds along the fence near my neighbor's side. I'm thinking of planting a few perennial plants that stay on the small side. One part would also hold some veggie plants. Pat plans to build a deck this Spring as well. I can picture me sitting out there under an awning, with my wheel, spinning in the shade or knitting. We still have one more section to put up to block off the back of the garage so the dogs can go out loose and play. I have several ceramic animals I want to decorate the yard with as well. Then of course I have some candle holders you use for the little tea lights. They will look cute out there in the flower bed too. My plan is to hopefully be able to have a couple of friends over for spontaneous spin-ins in the back yard as well. The dogs just don't allow for this in the house, unless you wear industrial ear plugs to block the barking.

I am about 3 repeats away from having the Dragon Scale Shawl finished. I could quit now and it would be fine, since it's about the size of my Swallowtail Shawl already. Being a queen size lady, I think the additional 3 repeats will be better.The goal is Superbowl Sunday. I might add a different edging to the outside later. I need to think about that. The one on it now is worked as you knit the shawl. I'm thinking of adding the edging from my Swallowtail Shawl, but with beads along the way in certain spots. That would represent the points of the dragon's scales and wings.

Sunday was spent with Sandi and Marva. We were going to get pizza and spend the day knitting and visiting at the farm. Instead, we ended up at the Mohegan Sun Casino where we indulged in the buffet. No gambling took place. Then we returned to the farm for a bit of knitting. Since Sandi lives a good distance from us, and thanks to inclement weather this past month, Christmas gifts were exchanged. She gave me a gorgeous handmade beaded shawl pin/broach and a big bag of different natural fibers for me to spin. I'm going to have so much fun learning about these sheep breeds. She loved the fiber and container I gave her. She also spins with a spindle and liked the idea of the wine containers for toting a spindle and fiber around in.

A few days ago, Sandi and I placed an order at Crown Mountain Farms for white Bamboo, Carbonized Bamboo, and Black Alpaca Silk. Of course, I had to get some dyed stuff for me too. It all arrived yesterday, so I met her in Hope Valley to deliver it to her. She brought the dogs with her for the ride. It was great to see them again so soon.

Lunch is left overs from yesterday. I made pork chops stuffed with spinach, cheese, garlic, and seasoning. Real mashed potatoes finished out the meal. Pat has enough for today too. I barely could eat one chop yesterday. They did come out great if I say so myself.

I'm going to sit and knit on the shawl for a bit, then load the washer and dryer again......

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Soup, Seafood, and Yarn

Today was a nice, sunny day, even though it was chilly. Marva and I decided to take a ride to Warren to the Blount Soup Shop where I picked up some Portuguese Kale Soup and some Tuscan Bean Soup and Sausage for Pat. For myself, I got the Corn Chowder. Yum times 3. Marva got a few for herself as well. I think this place will be on her regular food shopping list when she tastes these delicious items.

From there we decided to get some lunch. Tweet's Balzano's Family Restaurant was our destination. After perusing the menu, we decided to get two different entrees and share. The fish and chips were excellent the last time I had them, and they were just as good today. The other choice, Seafood Stuffed Shrimp Supreme, which had a bit of a bite in the seasoning, was also very tasty.

After this lovely meal, we went to Sakonnet Purls where I was moderated, and restrained, from overbuying yarn lovelies. I only bought some Baby Alpaca in a chunky weight for a scarf and hat set, and one color of Happy Feet for a pair of socks. That's it. Honest. Marva did buy some sock yarn for herself as well.

On the way home, Sip N Dip called to us for a nice creamy coffee. I can drink their flavored coffee since it's the beans that are flavored and not an added syrup, or shot. Iced French Vanilla was my choice and hot Pumpkin Spice for my friend. Well, I was not destined to drink that coffee. It fell over in the car, but I rescued the majority of it. When I got home, I when getting out of the car, I grabbed the cup. As soon as my hand was out the car, the lid flew off and the coffee hit the ground, and my pants leg. Oh, well. It smelled good anyway.

Now I am just relaxing for a bit before going to run an errand with Pat. Then I need to cook his chicken and potatoes I promised him. Talk to you later.........

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Living History, New Beginnings and Guilds, Fiber Projects Update

It's two days into the new Presidency and I think the country already is feeling more upbeat about the future. According to the polls, people are happier and more confident in our new leader then we were with the old one for a very long time. President Obama has many visions for our country and I think they will become a reality and not just a plan. I hope my governor can learn a few things from President Obama and apply them to help settle the RI state deficit instead of blaming it on state workers and people who need the state funded programs.

Another new beginning is the first meeting at Slater Mill for their newly forming Knitting and Crochet Guild. This includes machine knitting. The first meeting will be held in the yellow building, the Jenks Building, second floor, on Wednesday, January 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. This guild will be part of the Slater Mill Community Guild which already includes quilting, basket making, and spinning guilds. Also, there is hope of a weaving guild in the not too distant future. The idea is to be able to have individual guilds who also come together for a collective meeting called a "pan guild" once a month and share their skills, projects, ideas, and creativity with each other. The present plan is to alternate between a Wednesday night one month and a Sunday the following. This will enable more people to participate in these get togethers. The Community Guild is in the beginning stages and this is a good opportunity for anyone interested to be in on the ground level and help to build it. It's great to have the history of the mill, as well as a beautiful building to meet in, as part of this effort. Please make an effort to come to the meeting if you are interested.

Fiber stuff is moving along. As for my knitting, I'm almost finished with the Dragon Scale Shawl. It's going to be close since Superbowl is looming on the horizon. I stretched it out from under my chin downward and it's about the same length as my Swallowtail Shawl was when finished. I want it to be a bit bigger, so I'm doing a few more repeats. The Morning Surf Scarf is coming along for the Ply By Night group on Ravelry, and I still have the two scarves here to crochet on for the Traveling Scarves. Somewhere along the way, I've got to make a pair of socks for a friend, and finish another pair for someone else. The wheels are also busy lately. Right now, I'm ready to Navajo ply the last bobbin of "Mandy" on Millie, my Minstrel, and "Pie Toss" is waiting on Esme, my Sonata.

Nothing will get touched for a bit this evening, since I have a meeting to go to in Bristol. When I get home, I plan to devote some time to the shawl and hope to complete another repeat tonight. They are getting longer and longer to get across.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shawl Knitting and Spinning Sunshine

Lately, I've been busy working on my Dragon Scale Shawl. As you see, it's progressing slowly. I started this in September, but haven't been faithful to it. Socks, traveling scarves, spinning and life have interrupted this poor project. Now, I am trying to be sort of monogamous until it's finished. I do have to knit up the Morning Surf Scarf for my Ply By Night group on Ravelry. The yarn, "You are My Sunshine" from Crown Mountain Farm, has been finished for about a week now, so it's time to knit it up. I also have a few more traveling scarves to do for the crochet group.

Dragon Scale in Progress Shawl Dragon Scale Shawl close up 2 Dragon Scale Shawl beading close up Dragon Scale Shawl very close up

This past Friday night was a night of fun with some friends. A few of us went to Seven Moons for supper. I tried to stay on course after losing 6 pounds this week. I had a dish with chicken, pork, shrimp, and lots of veggies. It was served in a potato "straw basket", which I tasted, but left most of there. I also ate most of the meal with the chop sticks which made me eat slower.

The next day, Saturday, was our monthly spinners guild meeting. It was held at our new home, Slater Mill, in Pawtucket. The space is big, open, and bright. We are now part of the Slater Mill Community Guild which also includes guilds for basket makers, quilters, and knitting/crochet.

On my Sonata, there is currently some wool from Spunky Eclectic called "Pie Toss" being spun. This looks like the colors in the crust and berries of a pie. I needed a change from the Rambouillet I've been spinning for a while. Since I don't use the Sonata at home as often as the Minstrel, I've been working on the same fiber since September in a lace weight. Occasionally, it does get a workout at home, but usually it's my guild/group spinning wheel. I did take a break to spin the scarf yarn and now this one. I will finish the lace weight Rambouillet next. With the other fibers needing my attention, my Minstrel has been waiting for me to spin the last of the "Mandy" from Spunky. I wanted to finish this before January 1, but didn't quite make it. Here's hoping I get it done before February 1st.

The dogs are being quiet for a little bit. If Pooh hears a car, he's yapping. Hanna is gently snoring in the corner of the sofa with Pooh cuddled up to her. Tiger is stretched across the living room chair. His brother, Tipper, is draped over the arm of the chair with his 4 paws stretched out like he's hanging on. The rest are all in their favorite spots, snoozing away. I would love to have a little snooze too, but, then I won't sleep tonight.

It's time to head downstairs to the washer for the next load. Bye for now........

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Goodbye 2008......Hello 2009

It's after 2 a.m, and, the ball has dropped in Time Square. It's a new year. Happy New Year everyone.

I'm not really making resolutions for 2009. Just going to try the usual of losing weight, and, try to get healthier. The only other thing is to work down my yarn/fiber stash and not buy as much. I'll still shop, just try to keep it under control better.

As I look back over 2008, I can see many things that didn't exactly happen as I expected. I knew I would retire in December of 2007, but it didn't really sink in until one morning after my wrist was considered healed and I didn't have to get up to go to work in a snow storm. I've adjusted quite well to being home and keep myself very occupied.

Another thing I didn't expect was to be as involved with my spinners guild. I never thought I would be the treasurer, but, I enjoy doing it. I have several good friends thanks to my two guilds. I've also gotten over being a bit shy with people I don't know thanks to all the demonstrating we did this past year. I thought I would learn to spin. Now, I can take a fleece freshly sheared off the sheep, skirt, wash, and process it, then dye it, and then spin it up. Never thought that was in the works for me. lol

One very important thing is I re-connected with my cousin Christina. We "talk" occasionally thanks to the Internet and can have glimpses into each other's lives. The one sad thing was the passing of my dog, Babs. She was very tired and old at the end. It was tough for her and she's at peace now. I still love and miss her though.

Well, 2009 has several things in store for me as well. Here's to a fantastic beginning and wonderful experiences.

Tuesday night was spent at Panera for Craft Night. There was Donna D. , Marva, Lisa P. (of Cranston), Cindy D., Judy, Carol, and myself. The knitting needles were flying. Cowls, sweaters, scarves, and shawls seemed to be the items of choice. No socks appeared on the needles which was a first for our group. lol Several members were away or unable to make it. It was a great nice with much talk, laughter and fun. Here's hoping everyone can meet up next week, "old" and "newer" Craft Night friends alike.

O.K. This old lady is tired, and heading to bed. Good night all. Sweet dreams.