Jun 30

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Jun 29
Itty-Bitty Cables
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 06 29th, 2012| icon31 Comment »

I wanted to try something different with this next pair of socks, but something where I didn’t need a chart and where I didn’t have to count higher than four.

The cuff is a simple K1P1 and the leg is K4,P2 for three rows, the a 2-2 cable on the K4 part, then P2.  Simple, easy-peasy and just enough concentration to keep it from putting me to sleep.  Because these cables are on sock yarn, I am using a toothpick as a cable needle.  And I like the gray stripe and the silver thread, which gives it a sparkle.

I think I am going to like these socks.

I want to knit a cotton (Mom lives in southern Texas after all) scarf about 4-5 inches wide and about 5-6 feet long but with shaped hands on the ends (like the back side of a glove, but without the palm part).  Does anyone know of a good pattern for this?  I want to knit it as a hug to send to Mom since I can’t be there with her right now.  I cannot tell you how much I wish she didn’t live 1400 miles away.

Jun 28

Mom had a round of tests and scans last Thursday and, at the doctor’s appointment yesterday, they found out the results.  Long story short, these last several weeks of chemo treatments every Wednesday and of being very ill from it the rest of the week haven’t done anything!  The tumors are exactly the same size as the last scans showed.  No bigger, but no smaller.

But Mom is smaller.  She is down to about 100 pounds now and is so weak that she needs a wheel chair to get about if she needs to go more than a dozen or so steps.  Her voice is weaker, too, when I talk to her on the phone.

She gets a three-week break from chemo treatments, then they are going to try something else since the current drug isn’t working.

The cards that you have been sending her have been greatly appreciated.  She reads them over and over and she says she can feel the good will and prayers directed toward her.

Mom is only 66 years old.  And I am scared for her.  Please keep the prayers going her way and for Dad, too, because he is very worried and disappointed in the test results.

Jun 27

Sandy and I are starting our summer dye sessions, but this time for wool yarn (sock, DK and worsted), roving and painted warps.  This weekend is the first big indigo session and getting started with blues opens us up to all kinds of combinations and overdyeing.

The thing is – what other colors should we do?  I get tired of the same ol’ red/blue/purple, red/yellow/orange,  yellow/green/blue combinations.  That color combinations do you think would look good?

With the wool, we are using natural dyes, but that still leaves us open to all kinds of colors.  With the painted warps, the sky’s the limit as we have tons of fiber reactive dyes we’d like to use up.  We’d like two, three, four or more color combinations to choose from.

Also, what do you think looks bad together?   I mean, do you like orange and purple or does it leave you cold?  What about brown combined with other, brighter colors?  What about yellow and pink?  Green and orange?

We can use all kinds of input.  There is no reason to do these if people aren’t going to like them.  If you’ve always wanted to see what certain colors would look like together, here’s your opportunity and you don’t have to be the one making the mess.

Jun 26

Is it my imagination or is the weather smirking at us?

 

Jun 25

We had workmen at our house both days this weekend repairing the sliding glass door where it leaked at the bottom, and replacing rotted floor boards caused from the leak (the leak wasn’t noticeable until I noticed that the floor just inside the door was not has sturdy as it should have been).  We also discovered that my north bedroom window did not leak, but the rain was coming in through the vent above it.  The vent is no longer there and is sealed and sided over.  And last, but definitely not least, we had three more air vents installed in the upstairs of our house, doubling what had been installed when it was built.  Now the two main rooms upstairs (Scott’s studio and my bedroom) have two vents to let in the AC and heat and the room at the top of the stairs has one where it didn’t have any before. It sure made sleeping up there last night much more comfortable.

These are items we have been wanting to have fixed for a long time, especially the so-called window leak and the addition of the vents.  The door was a recent discovery, but it was nice to get them all taken care of.

While the guys were working on the house, I skirted and washed an huge, 10-pound fleece of a lovely Texel cross – a red ribbon winner at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival.  There is still a 12-pound fleece to wash, it, too, is a Texel, red ribbon winner, but I’ll have to wait until next weekend to get started on it.

You can see the bag on the ground with what I skirted from the fleece.  I’ll use this bad stuff as mulch around my gas tank.

The wool, itself, is a nice, long and crimpy fiber and it was a pleasure to clean.  While there is some lanolin in it, there wasn’t too much so I am going to bet the yield on this is at least 75-80%.  Also, the vegetation in it was nearly non-existent.

It washed up to a nice creamy-white.  What you see above is about one-quarter of it washed.  This fleece is destined to become blue this next weekend when Sandy and I spend a day playing with indigo vats.  Since it is so dry here, there will be no fires outside, so we will be doing this in my kitchen – just drying everything outside on the clothes-line and on these screens.  The white egg-crate material (for air intake in ceilings of office buildings) is the same as what we use for tie-dyeing.  These handy things have so many uses to a dyer.  And being a rigid plastic, rinse off easily for use next time.

Also, Sandy and I spent a couple of hours taking pictures of tie-dyed merchandise and I will be spending part of the week getting them up in the store, so keep an eye out there, too.  I like weekends like this where  lots of work is done, but without killing ourselves doing it.

Still no rain in the forecast, and it was very hot this weekend.  Surely, we’ll have a break in the weather soon.

Jun 22

This is just the first batch to his the Dyed in the Wool store and there will be more this weekend – and for the next several weekends.  Click over and take a look!

Jun 21

Here in central Indiana, we have not seen rain since before Memorial Day and not much then.  The weather service is calling it “drought-like” conditions, but I must disagree with them.  I believe we have a drought upon us.

I almost hate looking at the corn.  This is the field across the road from my house and is owned by Scott’s uncle, although he rents it out.  See those curled-up leaves and how spikey the field looks?  Normally, the corn leaves should be broad and flat and they should flop over at the ends like flopsie bunny ears.  And it has been this height for about 3 weeks, now.  If we don’t get some rain, soon, the yield for this year will be affected.

And wherever you look, the grass is brown.  The only thing in my yard that has grown are the plantain flowers – they look like this picture from Wikipedia:

So my yard has short, dead-looking grass and these things here and there.  I am not going to waste the gas and time mowing just to knock these things down.

And it has been so hot that I have been having to supplement my morning cuppa.

I cannot stand the taste of cold tea, so have my accompanying glass of ice water as a chaser.  And I have to have my morning cup of hot tea or I am worthless.

I hope it is cooler where you are.

 

Jun 19

They are done!!

The hospital where Mom gets her chemo treatments is very cold and with Mom now weighing only about 100 pounds, she freezes while she is there.  So I have been knitting a pair of socks for her.  I wanted something fun with the color turquoise in them (her favorite) and purple (my favorite) and this was what I found.  They are going out in today’s mail to her and I hope they do their job by keeping her feet warm while at the hospital.

She has a bout of tests on Thursday to see how the chemo treatments are doing.  I am praying that the scans show the tumors to be very reduced in size and that she has a light at the end of this nasty tunnel in sight.  Please keep her and Dad in your prayers.  She is not out of danger yet, by a long shot.

This is the yarn for my next pair of socks.  If you look closely, you can see there is a sparkle in the yarn.  There is a silver metallic thread spun in the yarn for an extra fun boost.  This is out of my stash – I could go shopping in there for the next several years.  I think I have enough yarn for about 20 more pairs of socks alone and that’s not counting all the other weights.

Jun 18
Down Time
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 A Little of This, A Little of That | icon4 06 18th, 2012| icon34 Comments »

Saturday, Scott and I ran around trying to find a 30″ wooden screen door and we finally found one.  One.  That was all that was left, but it was in good shape and only $19.88.  They said it was a seasonal item and that they were not getting in more.  Really?  It’s 90 degrees outside and they are no longer carrying screen doors?  I suppose I could have bought all I wanted back in January.  Sheesh!

This one is for the doorway at the top of the stairs.  What we have been using to keep the cats out, but the air still flowing stopped working when the cats figured out how to open it no matter what we did to block it.  With only three vents in our entire upstairs, we have to have a fan at the bottom of the stairs pushing some of the air upward or we bake up there.  Hence the need for a screen door rather than a solid one.

And the cats can’t open it because we put the handle up higher than they can reach.  Bwa-Ha-Ha-Ha!

Yesterday, it was too hot and it had been too long of a week for us to do much of anything.  I nearly got Mom’s sock done and I read a lot and napped a little.  Scott napped a little and drew a little, but the activity in our house definitely was on the quiet side.

I feel pretty well rested today.  I’ll hit the gym on the way home – getting up at 3:45 in the morning has taken some getting used to, so I’ve been going back to sleep once Scott has left for work.  This means I’m back to working out after work, but that’s okay.  At least I’m working out.

Will someone please send us some rain?  We desperately need it.

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