Dec 31

For the most part, 2013 has been a pretty good year for us.  Sandy’s and my business grew, I started teaching more classes, Scott and I have finished the story and art for our third graphic novel, and our health has been great.  Scott’s mom had her accident, which put a damper on the late summer, but she is doing very well and is mobile once again.

The not so good end to the year is this: Scott and I have no out-going plumbing.  This means that while we have water, we cannot let any of it go down drains or down toilets.  Our grinder pump for our sewer system croaked sometime in the middle of Sunday night and we have to get a new one.  The cost? Between $5,000 and $6,000.  We are lucky that we can borrow this money, but that means we are just that much further from getting out of debt, and we are working our tails off to be debt-free.  I am hoping that this is getting all the bad stuff out of the way early in 2014 and the rest of the year will be smooth sailing.

So, until the pump can be replaced (we are hoping for Friday on this) we are making trips to the local truck stop to take care of certain needs and I am making use of the fitness center early in the morning rather than after work so I can get in a shower before work.  Thank heavens for the fitness center!!!

On this last day of 2013, I can honestly say it was a much better year than 2012, and here’s to 2014 being even better.

Have a great New Year’s Day.

Dec 23

I have several things keeping me busy, so I’ll return to the ol’ blog after Christmas.  I hope yours is full of fun, family and fiber!  Not necessarily in that order.  *:x lovestruck

Dec 22
At the Border
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The blanket is now to the border part and I have to say a huge Thank You to Knit Picks for the couplers for their cables.  I have coupled together two 60″ ones and a 40″ one and it goes around the whole thing quite nicely.  The border is going to take a while to get through, though – it takes 2 hours to knit one row and there are going to be 12 rows in it.  Still, it is so nice to be at this stage.

It has been raining here for three solid days and everything is flooded.  I’d rather have snow on the ground. At least the walking was easier.  Now everything is just squishy and you need waders to go anywhere.

Sorry to sound so grumbley about the rain.  I need some sunshine and blue skies for a couple of days.

Dec 21

…A favorite childhood toy is used for the oldest part of the “50 Years 50 Toys” poster.  That’s my Easy Bake Oven!!


Dec 20

What’s YARNO?  Let me tell you!

Dec 19

Several have asked how the blanket is coming along, so I thought I’d show you.


It’s getting close.  I lack the brown stockinet on the end at the bottom of the picture, one more pattern section on both ends, and then the border.  I am getting really excited about this project.  It’s been fun, relaxing and challenging all at the same time.  This will definitely be published as an “advanced beginner” pattern since it takes a newish knitter from garter stitch all the way through several stitch patterns including some easy stranded colorwork and the beginnings of cabling.  So, it is something of a sampler, but instead of a scarf, you get a whole blanket out of it.

And for those with lots of worsted weight yarn left over from various projects or one ball here and one ball there, this is a great stash buster.  This will be the last time you all get to see it until it is being blocked.  Mostly, because the border will be on one loooooooong circular needle (actually several Knit Picks cables coupled together) and will look like a huge bag while being knitted, so you won’t be able to see much.

Dec 17

When I was growing up, there were certain Christmas gifts I received that I still remember to this day.  They were toys with which I had many, many, many hours of enjoyable play.


One of the earliest I can remember was my Mrs. Beasley doll.  In fact, I don’t remember getting her, just playing with her.  She was great in that she could wear real baby clothes and Mom let me have some of my old clothes to dress her in.  I wish I still had her, but, as with all of my toys, she was destroyed when our farmhouse burned when I was 13.


Another was my Easy Bake Oven, which was the model in this picture.  I loved that thing and made lots and lots of brownies in it.  I have the feeling my Mom regretted getting this for me for Christmas because she ate a lot of those little things.


I had this same dollhouse, too, and, again, I played for hours with it.  I remember unwrapping this and going nuts over all of the furniture.


Now, I didn’t have the entire set, by a long shot, but I did get the covered wagon and the buckboard wagon and horse one Christmas.  I used my Barbie and Ken dolls with it.  In fact, my Barbie and Ken rarely wore the clothes of the day, but mostly pioneer clothing hand-made by my maternal grandmother.  I must have had hundreds of outfits for them, but the pioneer ones are the ones used the most.


When they were in the current time-stream, I played with this quite a bit.  Most of the campers you see from this time period were yellow and orange, but mine was turquoise like this one.  I loved all the wee dishes and accessories that came with it.  I clearly remember unwrapping it on a Christmas morning.


Remember these little dollies?  I never had the perfume containers they came in, but I would collect the little dolls from wherever I could find them – mostly garage sales or in boxes of toys from auctions.  Some I think were given to me.  I used to make the tiniest clothes for them.  I think they are the real reason my hand stitches are so tiny today.  They weren’t Christmas presents, but I did love playing with them.

What were some of your favorite Christmas tyos?

Dec 15

Sorry for not posting lately, but there just has not been anything worth mentioning going on. I had a bout of tummy problems (still blaming something I ate Sunday), and I taught a class Tuesday night, but other than those – nada.  I’ve worked, cooked, slept, showered and that was it.  Not much knitting on the blanket and none on anything else.

I’m glad I don’t have these types of weeks very often.  I’d much rather be productive and doing something creative.

We’ve been having snow quite often here and it was -2F when I left for work Thursday morning.  Bitterly cold.  It snowed yesterday and is supposed to snow more tonight and get down to 9F.  My new snow boots will be getting their use this week for sure.

I hope you all have a fun weekend.  Me? PO, groceries and writing on the next script for Johnny Saturn yesterday and today is laundry, cooking and cleaning.  Yes, too exciting for words.

Update: 6:24 pm EST – I have washed and dried 6 loads of laundry and folded over 10 (yes, I was a little behind on that part, but I am now caught up), I have cleaned out my closet of all of the clothes I can no longer wear (Goodbye size L’s and 14’s) because I have lost 8 pounds since Thanksgiving and I no longer want to have those clothes available to me.  Mediums and 12’s for now and, soon, I hope to drop those 12’s to 10’s.

Also, I have made a huge pot of chili (12 meals for Scott), a pot roast (7 meals with the remaining meat to be made into beef noodles in a couple of days), and there are 6 days breakfasts made for Scott consisting of bacon, eggs and hashbrowns.

And I have washed a fleece.  This is how my days should be all the time.  Productive.  I will sleep contented tonight.

Dec 10
Beautiful New Inventory
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We have new spinning fibers available at Dyed in the Wool today.  Included are the 2011 National Champion Suri Alpaca, BFL, Romeldale, Romney and a very rare in the US, dark brown Polwarth, so get them while you can.

Dec 9

Last night, Sandy and I set up our tie dye booth at a first-time Christmas Bazaar in Fishers, IN. Here is what our area looked like:

upper left

When you walked in the front door and looked up to the left, here is what you saw.


And, then up to the right.  We had the catwalk and it was a perfect place for us, really.  It gave us lots of scope to advertise what we had and the layout was just a nice, straight line.


And when you got off the elevator, you saw this.  We really liked this location.


We had plenty of colorful merchandise, too.


We even had a new member of the “staff” starting with us.  Meet Sebastian. For some reason, I think he looks kind of like a friend’s son, Joey, and Joey’s middle name is Sebastian, so I named our new staff member Sebastian.  I think he looks great in the last hat we have in stock (and it’s on sale for 30% off, too).

So, we had plenty of stuff for sale, and so did all of the other small merchants who showed up.  The one thing we didn’t have was customers.  I think only two people other than the merchants and those who organized the bazaar were there.  I know it is their first year, and that they learned a lot from this experience, but two things I could comment on was the lack of signs for it (if you didn’t know it was there, there was no way you could stumble across it because there were no signs at the intersection or at the building it was in), and the source of advertisement – Facebook.  For these kind of things, the minimum advertising should have been newspaper (because people still read their local newspapers on line) and radio.  Facebook is all well and good to add to this, but, of the friends you have on there, how many of them are local?

So, if the organizers decide to do this next year, I hope they think of signage and advertising to being in more people.  And, maybe next year, they can have the lights on in more of the building.  Our cat walk got really dark as the sun went down.

We did have one sale, though.  One of our fellow merchants bought a couple of burp cloths from us, so it wasn’t a total wash for us.  But I do know the lady next to us sold nothing, and for that I am really sad.

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