Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Vernon Gansey, Day 24

There are a few ends to weave in, but otherwise ... it is done.  I like it.  I really like it.  I am pretty sure I will need to knit another gansey, 'just for practice' once I get a little bit of experience with my knitting belt, which I hope to get on November 7th. 

Next up on the needles ... ripping back several rows on a Latvian mitten, centering the design properly, and finishing a pair of Latvian mittens.  Except for when the yarn (ordered yesterday) for a certain Jayne-style hat comes in, when I will be working on the hat.  And when traveling ... I have some yarn for a pair of traveling socks now.  And Wendy Johnson's Sanquhar Cowl, and Fair Isle Cowl, and Crazy Norwegian Cowl, are all calling me.  Loudly.  But ... the mittens get to be first.  And probably a class that I need to write up, too.  That has a deadline. 

Construction work is ... possibly done for the year?  Could it really be?  I arrived home yesterday to see, through the rain which started promptly at 4:00, JUST when the forecast said it would, shiny black streets in front of our house.  And this morning, the 8x4 plywood board that was covered with all sorts of workplace notices (the sort of thing that is normally above the water cooler, I believe) was removed from our front yard (which may have functioned like a water cooler for this project, slightly.  The yellow grass that was underneath it is getting happier by the minute.)  The only thing I can think of remaining is popping in whatever grass seed stuff they want to put down at this time of year.

Exercise in the cooler months looks to be quite doable.  One bike, one trainer (a sort of stand for the back wheel, so one can pedal away and go nowhere), and one good book seems to be all I need.  If I only read the book while I am pedaling, and manage not to curl up on the couch with it, I will get in plenty of exercise.  Good books are addictive! 

I received an e-mail from the college today, informing me that Filia is on their graduation list for this fall.  Six weeks from Saturday, as a matter of fact.  How the time has flown!  (insert proud maternal beam).  More transitions all 'round. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

With apologies to "If you give a mouse a cookie ...."

If a mom finishes her breakfast in peace ...
she'll want to tidy up the dishes.
And when she tidies up the dishes, she'll think about soaking the beans for tomorrow's meal.
And when she goes to soak the beans, she'll notice the bean soaking bowl is missing.
And when she mentally tracks it down, she'll remember there's fat from bone broth in it.
And when she remembers that fat, she'll pop on to Google to see what to do with it.
And when she's on the computer, she'll see a pretty picture of a gansey, and fall to dreaming about knitting.

But when she goes back in kitchen, she'll notice her tea cup is empty and head to refill it.
At which point she'll notice the beans on the counter.
And the laundry basket next to the counter.

And then go write a blog post before filling the tea cup, getting the laundry going, moving the fat into a jar, washing the bowl, soaking the beans, opening a new packet of beans to pop into the now-empty bean cannister...

And then reheat her cold tea.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Vernon Gansey, Day 17

Did I really call this a cardigan in my last title?  It's a gansey.  And a jumper.  And a pullover.  But not a cardigan.  That may be the next one, though.  It's moving along at a right proper pace, and I am pleased with it.  As always, I have planned it a big snugger than I wanted, and I am - as always - hoping that blocking will correct it.  There are all those nice cables and patterning to stretch out, you know.   The first 500g of yarn sufficed for the entire body, and I have no doubts that there will be leftovers sufficient for a pair of socks or a hat or mittens or all the above, once I finish up with the sleeves.

The sleeves won't get finished unless I get to working on them, though.  Sleeves are stubborn that way. 

 Construction work is still going on.  (Yup, still.  But there are rumors of an end looming next week!)  On Monday I was surprised to find out that there was going to be some natural gas work in our yard.  It was a nice change from the water main/sanitary sewer/storm sewer/street/sidewalk work going on along the south side of our property.  This was a one-day project on the west side.  I wonder if their diggings will also be reseeded as part of the Grand Project? 

Here's the view out our front window.  Sidewalks!  Level dirt for the street!  Dirt (black dirt) tucked up smoothly against the sidewalk, ready for seeding!  And the pretty white sidewalks all cleaned off after yesterday's dirt-dumping and smoothing.  Which makes me wonder why we, the populace, should keep off the sidewalks for 7-10 days after pouring (and we, to the hour, at the 7 day mark as I type this), while the construction guys have been using them since last Thursday and there were skidloaders or other tracked vehicles playing with dirt on them yesterday? 
Unique Fall Colors in Minnesota

While I was picking up sticks under the willow tree this week, I found some very pretty colors.  I couldn't resist bringing some inside to photograph.

One of my forthcoming knitting projects is a Jayne Hat for Filius.  After much ado, I got the yarn ordered.  Due to a glitch, I had to repick the colors from my computer monitor.  The yarn came in on Saturday ... and we decided that the colors were Just Too Wrong.  Filius found a blog post detailing a rather detailed person's analysis of the hat and appropriate colors, so I ordered those.  Once they come in, there will be a 6-7 hour hiatus from the gansey to get the hat done.  It'll be cunning. 

The garden has been taken in, with the green tomatoes stashed in the basement for nice, slow ripening.  I'm still enjoying fresh herbs and lettuce from the garden, as are the bunnies.  In a few weeks, the pace of life will slow down even more (pleeeeeease!) as the weather suggests that outdoor activities be curtailed. 

I just finished reading Captains Courageous, by Kipling.  It was an excellent way to spend 3 sessions on my indoor cycling trainer, and it's a wonder I hadn't read the book before.  Next up on the trainer is Ngaio Marsh. 

And now ... to knit!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Vernon Cardigan, Day 10

It's been a delightful week of knitting.  Filia and Filius will be home tonight on midterm break, and the construction work outside is moving right along, and I am feeling swamped with Bible Study .. need to figure out how to deal with that swamping.  It's a time management issue, I'm sure.  If only I wouldn't head off on all those bunny ...

LOOKIE!  A Knitting belt!

Ahem.  Yes.

Now that I have all this free time, I really should concentrate on learning something in a steady, organized  manner.  Maybe actually devote some time to reading the authors who inspired C. S. Lewis, perhaps?  (And what, get halfway through what he read in one year of before starting college between now and the time my mortal coil gets reskeined?)

No, let's be distracted.


Did someone say pictures? (No?  Well, pictures you get anyway.)

 I've been growing radishes in the spring for the past several years, according to the package directions.  If the bunnies don't get them, then they grow skinny and tough -- about the thickness of a pencil lead, and about as chewable as a nice piece of leather.  This fall, Filia planted some radishes before she went back to college ... and God blessed her efforts greatly.  Guess who gets to plant all the radishes from now on?  (That's a Nr. 2 pencil, about 7" long, Cherry Belle on the right and Purple Something on the left.)

Construction update:  On Saturday, the crews were busy going plink, plink, plink with hammers, putting out guides for the curb.  Come Monday, the cement trucks rolled in and the curbs became reality.

Today, at 7 AM, the forms for the sidewalks began to go in, and the cement started to flow just after lunch.  By the end of the day, it looks like our block will have SIDEWALKS!!!!  Not that we're supposed to use them for 7-10 days, while it cures ... but SIDEWALKS!  We're going to actually look civilized!

Speaking of civility, our water tower now boasts a nice fat white stripe between the tropics.  
And, if I'm going to name this post after my gansey, I should include a progress photo.  Last Wednesday evening I started the first cable row.  Yesterday, I finished up the half-gussets for the underarm and started working back and forth on the back.  I'm doing the back first since it has fewer design decisions than the front.  I calculate I have 2 days before I need to read up on how to do horizontal shoulder straps this way.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

A photo feast!

I decided it is high time to have some photos in this blog. A friend inquired how the construction was going in and outside the house ... inside, we're still in a holding pattern of waiting for the drywall guys to call. Can't do much in the way of repainting and trimming and curtaining until the drywall has been put up ... except remove the blinds, a few odd nails, and perhaps unplaster a wall. I'm saving those things for when we get an actual date. Oh, and move the furniture and books out of the living room and dining room. That seems like something to save for later as well. But as far as outside? From left to right, the view from my front porch this morning was ...
Dump truck heading off after leaving its load behind

Medium-sized bulldozer spreading out a load on top of plastic sheeting

Little skid-loader doing prep work
Across the highway, there are curbs and some sidewalks.  No street yet, though, and not all the sidewalks.  The work seems to be progressing decently, and they're trying to wrap it up this month.  We shall see if the weather cooperates and if it actually happens.

One part of the work you've not seen before is the New Water Tower.  Not exactly new-new, but refurbished-new.  Right now, we're one of the few small towns in the US that has two water towers.  (Small = popl < 400).  The new one is bigger, and 10 ft taller, and has yet to be painted.  They were still welding it together when this photo was taken about 3 weeks ago. 

Life has been FULL since last week. 

Most recently, Canis visited the vet and had his canines cleaned.  At the post-cleaning visit, I learned about furcations and mobility.  Canis is now learning about life with six fewer teeth, due to those things.  Once the gums heal, I imagine his mouth will feel better than it has for some time.  They had to have been tender!  We all learned that he does not care to be in a crate at the vet's ... but is quite happy to be tied via leash TO a crate, and achieve boredom. 

The Bible Study world has been busy.  My Monday night group finished a study of Leviticus, and began a study on who Jesus is (Sweeter than Chocolate series).  It's not the 'light' study I had thought it was.  Fun!!!  My Tuesday group is continuing on in John, Part 2 (Precept upon Precept).  It's also not a light study.  And they are meshing so well that I can forget which study a particular insight came from.  Really.  Weeks 2-4 of John were studying the feasts of Leviticus -- which, in Leviticus, only got one week of study.

The knitting world has been busy as well.  I finished the prayer shawl, started a Latvian mitten less than 24 hours before my gansey yarn arrived, hibernated the Latvian mitten due to Geometrical Challenges which lasted long enough for the gansey to get started, and today found out that I neglected to put a knitting engagement on my calendar for this evening.  Whee!  Plus, I am introducing two friends into the mysteries of knitting via Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth. 

In honor of all those things, I have some actual Knitting Photos to grace the blog.

Still Life of a Gansey

Where Latvian Mittens Hibernate

In reading, I finished That Hideous Strength, and appreciated it MUCH more than I did the last time I attempted to struggle through it.  The Law book is muddling along, and I should finish it this week if I keep up with a question or two a day.  Poems is going along slowly, and I recently added Franklin Graham's The Name to my stack, courtesy of my mom.  I also want to read Herbal Antibiotics, but haven't gotten around to ILLing that yet. 

Until next week ...