Thursday, June 01, 2017

May Wrap-up, one day late

This post would have been much earlier -- except for the fact that I was refusing to bow to the inevitable, that of logging out of the two e-mail accounts I keep tabs on during the work day in order to log in to write a blog post.  I finally gave up, and offer unseen apologies to those who will have to wait an extra 30 minutes for me to see their e-mail requesting a password reset.  

In other technological challenges, I went to sell some books on Amazon and got an error message
 
After resetting my password, sending an e-mail to seller support (and having it bounce back), restarting my computer, clearing my cache, clearing cookies, and letting the computer think about the error of its ways, I tried again.  And again.  The end result is that, because I had not sold anything for 6 months, my account was deactivated.  It cannot be reactivated, but I can sign up anew with a different e-mail.  The kicker is -- in the e-mail summarizing that, there are two links (for checking up on the help status and follow-up questions) and a 'was this answer helpful?'  with Yes and No as options to click.  Anything I click leads me to the same error screen.  Most Unhelpful.  

And, really?  Individual sellers have to sell something every 6 months to stay active?  Sigh.  I will probably surrender and set up another account, since I do have a few boxes of books with at least a few list-worthy items in them.  Unless -- is anyone interested in Dive Science Biology (unopened) or Oerberg's Lingua Latina (2001ish, used) ?

Now that my techy son is home for the summer, photos from my iPad are finding their way to my Desktop PC. 
Dog in Springtime Over Chipmunk Hole

Made with love for me, by my Dear Mom

TRIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And for my wonderful blog reader-who-comments, we have a photo of Dear Mom's kitchen garden.  it is so called because on the other side of the siding is her kitchen.  It has, alas, been taken over by weeds.  But weeds by another name are herbs, and the saw-toothed weed in this photo is the wonderful Stinging Nettle.  A bit mature for picking and eating, but still a nice representative of the type.  In mom's yard, they'll grow to 5 ft tall or so.  As their name implies, they have some defenses.  Namely, stinging.  Wee little glass-like hairs (possibly with toxins) that break off in one's skin and raise small welts and sting.  For a day or two. 
This stinging phenomenon vanishes when they are dried, or cooked.  Or, according to some, allowed to wilt a bit.  I haven't thoroughly tested that one.  The young leaves are delicious sauteed in butter or coconut oil, and the tea is said to be good for allergies.  I haven't done double-blind testing or anything particularly rigorous, but it does seem like the days when I had sniffles in the morning and drank nettle tea (and then ate the leaves) resulted in fewer days of prolonged sniffling.  Good enough for me!  

What else did May hold?  My leg still holds a bump from my fall.  It's not painful, and didn't interfere in the least with my 13 mile bike ride this morning, so that's a nice thing.  The garden is growing nicely, and my 'out-front-by-the-new-street' flower bed is lovely.  I should get a picture, for comparison with last year's.  Daylilies, Purple Coneflowers, Lupine, Comfrey, and Iris are thriving.  Calendula, this year's addition, has at least not been gobbled up by voracious chipmunks.  Yet.  I have Calendula in four places in the yard, with the hopes that at least some will escape the rodents.  I'm especially hopeful about the planting behind chicken wire.  

May held a lot of knitting.  I started and finished a test knit, and am now working on a shawlette for a friend.  I'm back to experimenting with fermented foods since the kitchen is warm enough to allow for fermentation (rather than cold storage).  The fridge holds fermented carrot sticks (ginger, and spicy), fermented rhubarb sticks (star anise, and spicy), Cortido (aka Latin American Sauerkraut), and of course, homemade yogurt.  No one else in the family is as enthused about them as I am, but that's okay.  I'll take care of them when they succumb to illness which my body laughs off. 

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April Wrap-up

April has been a delightful month, full of people to see, things to do, books to read -- and to a lesser extent, yarn to knit.  At this very moment, as a matter of fact, I have zero project on the needles, and nothing to cast on when the day's work is done.  This will become a more imminent first-world problem as the day draws nearer to evening, when I have a knitting class.  I'll just have to come up with something simple that can use stash oddments. 

Starting off with pictures, we have a record of what I did on April 1st.  April 1st was a beautiful day -- gentle breeze, warm spring air, dry ground.  It was perfect for tidying up the yard, and weeding, and bike riding, and the TKGA newsletter announcement.  Three of those things happen outside, and one happens inside, often followed by troubleshooting via e-mail.

Then, while I was tidying the yard, I had a serious Walking Fail involving a garden rake, an above-ground drainage pipe, and an occupantless wheelchair. 

Ouch.
 This made scheduling the bike ride / newsletter launch much easier.  I skipped the bike ride and opted for ice packs and an elevated leg.  Over three weeks later, I still have a lump. 

The Archives
Because I was sitting down instead of drifting about from place to place doing this and that, I decided to do something useful and consolidate the TKGA archives.  When they came to me, there were 6 sets of index cards, sorted (mostly) A-Z.  One for those in the Master Hand Knitter program, another for those in the Master Hand Knitter program, a third for those who had completed Level 2of the Master Hand Knitter program, a fourth for those who had completed the entire Master Hand Knitter program, a fifth for those in the Master Machine Knitter program, and a sixth for those in the Master Machine Knitter program.  By my judgment, that was four sets too many.  So I consolidated:  One for MHK, one for MMK.

I also knit a pair of socks, and a pillow cover, neither of which are available for photos.  Use your imagination! 

But reading ... our library has a nifty program whereby those who do not live in a town with a library branch can have books MAILED to them.  I heard about a book called Deep Nutrition, thought it sounded interesting, and requested it.  It is FASCINATING.  (Warning: don't read the book right before a major holiday involving lots of baked goods or candy.)  I heartily recommend as fodder-for-thought to anyone interested in making nutritious food choices, or those wishing away a health problem.  Just fascinating.  My mom (who has the book now) requested The Unsettlers, which I also read.  I didn't expect to find Wendell Berry mentioned in it quite so many times as he showed up.  More food for thought, but in a very different way.  My current audiobook is Twenty Years After by Dumas. 

With the advent of spring, we have the advent of gardening.  The kale (Lacinato, not Siberian this year!) has been transplanted, the Swiss chard planted, and two beds have received the fruit and veggie scraps that have been accumulating in gallon ice cream buckets all winter.  (A benefit of Minnesota cold is that you can put such buckets in an unheated back room and they don't become unliveable for a few months, at which point winter is enough over that they can be set out in the garden, waiting for the ground to be diggable).  There's also the advent of stinging nettles.  Last year, I experimented with them as tea for allergies.  This year, I'm diving into Nettles As A Leafy Green Vegetable.  Nettles sauteed in butter?  Yum!  Nettle soup? Delicious.  Mom's yard is my source of nettles, otherwise I'd be having them daily.  If I didn't know how invasive and pesty the things are, I'd be planning out a spot for them in my yard. 

Happy spring to you all!




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Oh, and a Tea Cozy

My normal tea pot is visiting Kentucky this month, along with the tea cozy I designed for it, and for Adagio's PersonaliTea Pot.  That leaves me with just a small tea pot to use, and in the grand scheme of first world problems, it has been a miniature trial.  As one who sips tea throughout the day, it's a bit of a challenge to only get two cups of tea out of one pot.  And especially one pot that had a tea cozy which was a bit of a challenge to get on/off, being a bit undersized and gappy. 

So, what's a knitter to do?  Knit a tea cozy, of course!  And since a friend of mine had sent me in quest of tea cozies on Ravelry, I already had a good idea which one I wanted to make.  (Totally ignoring the pattern, mind you, which was in a magazine from several years ago.)  So I rummaged in my stash, pulled my favorite needles out of a sweater sleeve (hibernating at the time, finished now), and cast on. 

Behold, my tea cozy!
It's lined, and I am happy to say that I have 6, possibly 7, fewer oddments of yarn in my Fingering-weight Wool Yarn Stash.  And of those, only the gray can be positively dated to this millenium. 

The current project is a stash-busting Honey Cowl, which is slated to remove 100 grams of Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool in Denim from my stash. 





Monday, March 20, 2017

Popping in briefly

Filius was home for spring break recently, and he managed to get my iPad talking to my computer briefly, at least as regards sharing photos. Here we have the Huge Glove
This glove has a rather cunning construction, and, when knit to gauge, would be a fabulous project for the knitter who doesn't like to weave in ends but adores finicky construction.  I believe that the whole glove is knit with a single strand of yarn - no scissors necessary.  No purling, either.  It comes from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knit One, Knit All.  It will remain an orphan glove, but it did use up some yarn from my stash!

When Filii are home, bread must be made.  Here's a charming little loaf of a simple no-knead bread.  I do not think it survived to see the night. 

And then we have Grace.  Grace has been on the needles for a while, awaiting this and that.  I was very happy to get her off the needles and blocked, since my gauge was turning a 40" sweater into a 33" sweater, and I was starting to wonder what had happened.  I've made 4 sweaters with this yarn now, three of them while using a knitting belt and the same set of needles ... and everything in my closet had a gauge of 7 spi, while Grace was coming in at 8 spi.  She blocked to the right size, so I am a happy camper.  Pewter buttons have since completed her ensemble.  And for you eagle-eyed ones, yes, I did spot and fix the unwanted purl stitch in the front zig-zags.  

Today is the first day of spring, and the geese are merrily flying west.  I am fairly sure I saw a 2-3 year old bald eagle when I was out this morning.  The sun is shining, and the 'must do' portion of today's activities is practically done.  The only items remaining are the ones that must happen at 1:45, 3:00, 3:30, and 6:00... and I can't get those done earlier. 

So many things to talk over and consider ... stop over for a cup of tea and let's get caught up!

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 ...