Tuesday, February 14, 2017

January Wrap-up

January was a busy month. 

Our minivan made it to 300,000 miles amidst ever-increasing signs of imminent expiration.  Mom loaned us her minivan for the week, long enough to get ours into the shop and receive a diagnosis of haemorrhaging oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, broken power steering fluid pump, and dying transmission.  With that diagnosis, I popped onto Craigslist, found a newer minivan (2 whole years newer!) than our derelict, and two days later we were the owners of a minivan with half the mileage of the faithful white one which serve us faithfully for so many years. 

Safely ensconced in a functioning minivan (mom's), Filia and I trekked up to the Cities with great caution on a skating rink of ice for some yearly check-ups.  Neither of the doctors we saw were happy with what the imaging showed, so rather than come home with the traditional bill of good health, we left with orders for more imaging, a visit with a local specialist, and a repeat appointment.  We stopped at a yarn shop to console ourselves and spend a gift certificate, and totally broke with tradition by eating at LeeAnn Chin instead of Arby's.  The roads were fine on our way home.

The bookcase ... was installed!  I couldn't be happier with it.  I've got a spot for the computer, and can work in comfort, surrounded by all the lovely resources that were in stacks upstairs.  I have space for more knitting books, and am lacking space for theology books, and language books... the arrangement will no doubt flex over the years as I dust and think of new ways to organize them, and as our interests ebb and flow.  

I began a new part-time, from-home job as a data administrator.  And I'm keeping busy with TKGA work. January was a wee bit barren for knitting projects, so I floundered around a bit.  The gloves I hoped to make with my gift certificate purchase didn't work out - a gauge/pattern mis-match - so I have repurposed the yarn into a mitten.  It doesn't photograph well, colorwise.  And it is now hibernating while I knit away on a cardigan.  One and a half sleeves to go! 
February has been quieter.  It couldn't help but be quieter, really. 

To celebrate, I shall go knit. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The end of 2016

No bookcase yet.  One of these days, I will have the joy of arranging books, and admiring them, and diving into them afresh (for books that are newly arranged are somehow themselves new, and cry out to be revisited).  Maybe in January? 

Christmas has come, and the Christmas season is here.  I wonder what the Christmas season was like in the early church?  Or maybe not the early church, but the middle church, say, the Nicene Fathers?  Maybe I'll carve some time out to learn that this year.  There are simply SO MANY THINGS to learn.  So much to learn, so much to do.  And the niggling suspicion that one ought also have time to simply 'be'.  Can I 'be' while I sleep? 

I've all sorts of lovely things on the needles at the moment, violating my One Project At A Time Preference.  Sweaters #1 and #2 are awaiting pattern revisions, so I cast on for a destashing Sweater #3, using yarn from Scotland, Baltimore, and my grandma's stash.  It's very de-stashy.  I hope to finish the body today, which will leave me with two sleeves and the cardigan edging to do.  The main color left on the cone is looking a bit skimpy. but I am trying not to be too concerned about it.  I'll have to start thinking of a back-up plan, though, as Google and WEBS tell me that the color is no longer available.  Phooey. 

With the coming of Jolabokaflod, I've added a bevvy of print books to my reading list.  Laurus, by Evgeniy Vodolazhkin, was my main read.  A very interesting book, and one I would like to come back to.  Everywhere Present, by Stephen Freeman is another I started on Christmas Eve, and I am reading a bit from it and also Transforming Together by Ele Parrott each day.  Add to that the audiobook of The Three Musketeers, and Filius' evening reading to me of Ignition! (a history of liquid propellants), and my mind has lots of fodder upon which to ruminate.  It's more pleasant to think of a mind ruminating than a stomach ruminating.  Although, that does bring up, if you'll pardon the pun, the question of whether or not the 'little brain' of the stomach has anything to do with pondering ideas.  Chewing on them, as it were.  Are the ideas merely parallel, or intertwined? 

And  now, for some pictures.  All lumped together in an ungainly, blog-unfriendly form.  

A swatch of Blue Sky Fibers Extra

Same stitches, different yarn. 



Stash-busting bonnet, in the same yarn as above.  EZ's Diamond Bonnet

Pinneguri's Baby Fleas, in progress. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

All the leaves are brown

and, indeed, the sky is gray.  Definitely not grey.  Gray.  A walk is not in the agenda due to the quantity of things to do, and my desire to be toasty warm and comfortable in my leisure moments. 

So many things to blog about, so little time!

Filia's kidney is still in the 'waiting to have stones removed' status, but has started to be sore again.  This isn't particularly a good thing, but our clinic appointment is tomorrow so I am not toooooo concerned.  It could make the clinic appointment a Fun Thing, though. 

The knitting guild and my knitting are percolating along nicely.  I've several dozen hours to go on my current project, have yarn coming for a project after that, and have a project after even that in place. (Guess what my leisure moments will have much of?) 

Advent is here, and I am trying to think about Advent more than Christmas food and present preparation.  This may be merely a delaying tactic, but I do think it's a good one.

The bookcases should happen sometime this month.  They must, if they are to get done this year! 

Until next time ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Surfacing in November

It's a cold, damp, drizzly/clinky day, as rain and something that is not snow goes clink upon the windows.  A perfect day for knitting, and laundry, and staying home.  That's just what we're doing!

Unlike last Tuesday, when Filia - who had a very painful UTI on the 1st, and which looked like it wasn't bothering to resolve itself particularly well - was diagnosed with a pesky passel of kidney stones.  One highly pesky one, and more than a handful of well-behaved smaller ones.  So Wednesday, surgery #1 of 2 was done to deal with them.  Inpatient surgery, with more than its fair share of annoyances.  We got home Thursday (for which we are quite thankful), and Filia is doing dandy, and back to work.  Sometime in the next while, surgery #2 will happen.

Knitting is going along nicely.  The hat is done, the yarn from Cornwall arrived (having been backordered.  Oops!  I was doing such a good job haunting the post office that I got a call when the yarn arrived.)  The test knit is done, and I should be set with knitting for a few months, so long as the yarn supply behaves.  First, a pair of intarsia-in-the-round socks (finicky!), then a cardigan, then a sweater, and then another sweater.  Or so things look.  I'm set for yarn as far as the cardi. 

The bookcase stain is going to be Autumn Oak.  And that's where things are at this point! 

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Countdown to launch

The new TKGA is rapidly approaching launch -- Friday should be the day!  I don't expect to have much knitting time on Friday.  Do check out The Knitting Guilde Association New Website, and if you're a knitter, consider joining!  (If you're not a knitter, you can still donate.  Donations are always welcome.)

The socks are finished and in the mail.  Filius' Christmas hat is started, yarn is still enroute from Cornwall, and I hope to have another test knit next week.  In short, knitting is going most beautifully.

The electrician came on Saturday as promised, and everything is ready for the installation of the bookcase.  Well, except the actual bookcase.  When the builder and I talked timeframes, the most specific we got was 'by the end of the year', so everything is still on schedule.

For some people, fall is hunting season.  We're more the gatherer sort than the hunter sort in this household, but Canis is a big fan of exploring fields and seeing what he can find.  Yesterday, he brought a spine back to my mom's house. I'm not sure where in the yard he has it stashed for snacking on, but it's somewhere.  And about 2-3 ft long.  It may go with the 6" bone connected to a 6" bone connected to a scapula-looking bone, which my mom's dog left on her front porch a few days ago.  Maybe the spine will show up there too?

On that lovely note -- happy fall!



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fall!

Fall is here, with a bit of frost some mornings and a delightful whiff of harvest in the air.  Sometimes the whiff is a bit pungent, with the punge of a thousand hogs, as the farmers inject slurry into the harvested fields while they turn under what's left of the beans and corn.  (Why is it beans and corn?  Why not bean and corn, or beans and corns?) 

Vir and I took the annuals out of the garden this past weekend, leaving just two Swiss Chard plants and some hardy herbs.  We're in good shape for hibernating, and not being sorry about it when we want to get into the garden next spring.  A bevy of jalapenos went to a neighbor, green tomatoes are ripening in the back room, and Filia and I spent an hour or so on beans -- separating the dry from the not-dry, and the Calypso from the Green from the Lima.  I've three little pots of dried beans, and two trays of beans drying in their pods.  I'm fairly sure that a cup of dried beans is not worth an 8-ft row of pole beans, so beans will probably not make an appearance in the garden next year.  More room for sweet peppers! 

In just twelve days, Offinger Management will cease to manage the knitting guild (TKGA).  We've been busy working on the website, and records, and I am looking forward to our launch!  I love getting records all tidy and in order.  It's one of my happy places.

Another happy place is my bookcase, and things are started to get close to activity there, too.  The electrician is coming this weekend to move two outlets, and the builder is making calculations ... and I will be so thrilled when it is done, and I can organize my books, and sit downstairs to work at the computer, and just bask in all the book-y, organized glory of it.  Actually, I can just sit here and bask in the imagined glory of it all, too.  Hmmmph.  Need to spend more time doing that with respect to heaven, rather than my own wee creation here on earth. 

The doily got finished, and I am now working on a pair of socks in CoBaSi.  I do believe that I like the yarn, and will probably be ordering more to make myself some socks.  The pattern is Maudie, by General Hogbuffer.  I do hope his parents didn't choose that name!  The socks are for a gift, but I am contemplating making myself a stocking-length pair.   

Yarn is in the mail to me, from Cornwall, to make Grace's Cardigan.

Filia is working 3 days a week, Filius is in college, Vir is keeping busy with counseling AND discovered last week that he is a Mavericks hockey fan ... and we are all well. 

Until next time...


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

A picture-rich blog

It's been a week full of activities.  Amazing how much organizing one can find to do when one is working to build a database of guild members from a variety of partial sources.  I can spend hours, poking away on the computer.  It's wonderful to bring order out of chaos.  And I'm trying!

But, life continues on.  Women's Prayer Fellowship was at my house this Saturday, so I made some cinnamon rolls.  They did not cooperate. 
Cinnamon Rolls after rising in the fridge overnight

Cinnamon rolls after baking
I thought that the yeast might be faulty, so I looked up how to check one's yeast.  I mixed a half-cup of water with however much yeast the web page said, and some sugar, and waited 10 minutes.  Was there some foam on top?  Indeed, there was!  But was it enough?  Another web page came to the rescue ... the foam should reach to the 1 cup line.  My foam reached to the 1/32" line above the liquid, measured in the center. 

The culprit.  Yeast that had aged beyond viability
In the afternoon, it was time to continue prepping the garden for fall.  The weather can turn to Cold, Damp, and Unpleasant-for-garden-work any day now, so it's good to get the work done while it's warm, sunny, and, well, workable. 
Clearing the garden ... a Trophy Kale!
I've been wondering why all my kale was of the fuzzy, prickly kind.  I had 5 kale plants this year, and each was supposed to take up one square foot of my garden.  One or two were of the prickly sort (all of them came from the seed packet ... must be a variant), but as the season went on, they ALL seemed to be prickly.  I figured out why when I pulled this single, solitary kale.  That's a gallon bucket in the picture for scale.
The beans live on

A good year for Basil
Knitting has been happening around the edges of life, mostly because I don't have anything with a deadline or a serious purpose.  I cast on for a doily, because I had thread and small needles.  I should have used larger needles, I supposed, because the doily - per the book - measures 15.75" across with 000 ndls and size 70 thread.  I'm using size 30 thread and the doily may make it to 10" after blocking. 
000 needles and a doily.  33% smaller than other doilies knit with the same yarn and finer thread
And I retired my 2014 slippers! 
Retiring slippers (these are the soles)

The new slippers