Saturday, September 29, 2007


I'm in! I got my invitation this morning. I guess I will be working hard the next couple of weeks to get my stuff entered. Woo Hoo! My ravelry ID is nanaknits21

Friday, September 28, 2007

Is it really Friday?

Wow, this week really wooshed along! I had at least meant to do a blog entry for Wednesday. I was going to reminisce about what I was doing 26 years ago on the 26th of Sep. It’s kind of a family joke, but the correct answer is NOT watching Nolan Ryan pitch his 5th career no hitter. I was doing that, but actually, I was in labor with my second daughter. The fact that she held off until aforementioned baseball game was complete almost had me convinced that she would be a boy, who would unfortunately have been named “Nolan” or slightly better “Ryan” by a baseball crazed dad. Fortunately he couldn’t think of any feminized versions of those names when we saw the most beautiful bundle of pinkness tucked into a blanket. I knew at first sight she was a very special girl. She is now a very beautiful woman who I am proud to call my daughter. On the funny family facts front… baby Kayla was 6lbs 14 oz and 20 inches long. Which was exactly the same statistics of dd#2 when she was born 26 years ago; and Kayla’s mom Kelly (dd#2's cousin) is a “twin” as family resemblances go, too funny! Just for fun, here's a group shot of the "Aunt T" look alikes from an family reunion almost 10 years ago. Kelly and DD2 are on the left. I'm the one center front. (This is before I went and wacked off all my hair) The rest of the group is "Aunt T" and two other nieces.
We are still waiting for a picture of the new baby from proud parents and/or grandma and grandpa.

Not much knitting news to report. I have cast on for the SAM4 October socks and am working through the 2nd go around with the 2nd afghan square. The first being slightly too big and putting me in danger of running out of yarn.

Since my blogging has gotten out of sync of late, I missed the chance to have fun with the whole "talk like a pirate" day thing last week. So if anyone else missed it, here's your chance to at least explore your pirate name:
Turns out if you ran into me on board a pirate vessel, I'd be known as "The Evil Mermaid Constance" (hee, hee, hee)

Some of the quizzes and gee whizzes out on the internet these days are silly, aren't they?
In other family news we found out our newest grandbaby due in Feb will be a girl. Rumor has it her name will be Atlanta Marie. DH and I are slightly horrified by this... but, alas, Nana and Papa don't have naming rights. DH and I have been trying to figure out if there's a neutral nickname in there we can adapt... best we've come up with so far is Lanie.
I took Zelda back to the vet yesterday and she got a clean bill of health from the vet, so no more ear drops (we both did a happy dance about that).
So for the first full weekend of fall we are going to celebrate by going to a Harvest Festival.
Have a happy knit filled weekend everybody!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Plodding along

It’s raining right now. Fortunately I got out early and took a nice walk this morning (about 2 ¼ miles with a few stops to shop along the way). I really need to do more of that. It was very humid and overcast, so I knew the rain was coming (that and the forecast said we’d get some today, Ha, Ha).

I did a little shopping and scouting for goodies for my Harvest Sock Swap Pal and after looking thru my stash decided the yarn I needed wasn’t to be found, but I did find some nice yarn online and ordered some so hopefully the shipping won’t take too long. In the meantime, I’ll have time to decide on the pattern. I have ideas.
I was hoping to start on some fall decorating today and got as far as bringing in one of the totes from the garage. Oh, well.

In the family news, my great niece has finally made her arrival! Kayla Mae was born yesterday evening. As soon as I have details or a picture, I will add those.

I’m almost halfway done with the afghan square so hopefully I can get it done for the group tomorrow.

Here are the two girlie cats anticipating their next meal.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Miscellany

Lots of things going on since my last post, so this might ramble a bit. On Thursday we drove to MI for my Step-Daughter's wedding which was on Friday. The town she lives in is sort of small and there's not much to do. They were already having dinner when we got there, so we settled into the hotel then headed out to find a place to eat; before dinner my Husband did let me visit the LYS which is actually a really nice shop. He even encouraged me to buy some yarn (woo hoo!) I got some alpaca at 50% off and some gorgeous hand dyed merino that is very silky and soft. Plus a random amount of linen yarn for $2.00 from the clearance bin. The linen is actually enough to use for the eye-pillow pattern by Cat Bordhi.
I did get my Lotus Blossom Tank finished in time to wear for the wedding.

DH took this picture, I wanted him to zoom in to get a good shot of the tank, but, well you know how husbands like instructions… but as you can see, IT FITS! (Gotta love my picture face)

Here are some of the pictures from the wedding.

It was a very simple affair at the court house attended by the bride and grooms 3 kids, us, and the groom’s dad. The dads signed as witnesses. We went to the historic courthouse downtown to take more pictures then took the new family out for dinner. Since all the kids needed naps by then, we hit the road for home. My DH was so good to me he let me stop at another yarn shop on the way home! This one was about what you would expect in a small town. The funny thing is, the owners have been hitting all the fiber related events promoting a murder mystery centered on the yarn shop-if you know what I’m talking about and have read the book …. Well let’s just say that it is fiction... They are nice people, so I’m trying to be nice here, but the shop didn’t really live up to the hype. I did find some Wildfoote in Ragtime color way though… Other than the traveling, the rest of the weekend was pretty much the usual running here and there and watching too much Baseball/Football on TV. (My poor crippled Cardinals). And yes, for some reason my husband thinks the Cubs might actually have a chance this year….

I only worked on a square for the afghan my Koffee Klutch knitting group is making for one of the member’s son who is in Kuwait right now. We might get it done by the time he gets home. I’m trying to do reversible cables, but I had to frog the whole thing when I got home because somewhere right in the middle I messed up on the cable repeats and it looked goofy. So I had to do math and start over. (I figured out I had 2 stitches too many for the cable design). Now the cables are coming out more smoothly, but I only have about 3 inches done.

Mostly I spent my knitting time compiling a list of patterns that I would like to try and sorting out the growing collection of magazines and books that are threatening to take over my coffee table. Next I need to match the list to my stash (ravelry are you ready for me yet?) (2611 people are ahead of you in line).

Still no money or response from DFAS, so I had to call them again (pout); got an even bigger runaround than last time. Grrr

I did get my Harvest Sock Swap pal assignment, so now I need to start planning some cool socks for her.
Oh and I got a job of sorts. I’m going to be working in the Church office on Friday mornings to help out with phones and stuff. Our secretary left to take a better paying job and since finances were a little tight anyway the church board decided not to hire a new one right away, but instead asked for volunteers to staff the office…. which sounded like something I could do. Kind of a win-win thing, I’ll be serving and I’ll have something interesting to do.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Almost there

The Lotus Blossom tank is nearly complete! I just have the neckband and armhole finishing left to do. I tried it on twice and it fits like it's supposed to. I couldn't be happier with the outcome of the time I took to calculate the numbers for resizing the pattern. Yeah! Here's a preview of the almost finished version while it was blocking.

Hopefully I'll have a picture of me modeling it to show real soon. We're going to a wedding this weekend and if all works out, this is what I will wear.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ho Hum Tuesday

Boy it seems like this week is sort of limping along already. I did not get as much knitting done over the weekend as I would have liked. Something about having to keep DH company prevents me from working steadily. Yesterday we had a few connectivity problems with the computer and I also discovered that the computer and I have been having unsafe internet. So I spent a most of yesterday afternoon and evening working on restoring the internet and installing the anti-virus software we bought with the software bundle when we got this computer a year ago! Yikes, no viruses detected, but to THINK!

I am making progress on the tank top though. All that is left to do is the back. Maybe this little heat wave will stick around long enough for me to wear it once as a “summer top.” Anyway, I figure it will also look cute under a jacket. I did get a couple of the “swatch” baby hats done. Anyone care to guess which patterns I tried out (grey and pink only)?
Zelda’s ears are looking much better and I think she will probably get a good report when she goes in for a follow up with the vet next week. She definitely seems to be hearing better too. Saucey is getting a little jealous of both the attention Zelda has been getting and my knitting … can you tell?
Today was my errand and housecleaning day, so I haven’t actually looked at my knitting yet. Hopefully I can get some done tonight.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Of window treatments and sick cats

Another project is done!

I was pretty busy yesterday and feel pretty good about getting one more thing off my “to do” list. I had bought the fabric some time ago with the intention of doing a window treatment in the kitchen of some sort. The main “window” in the kitchen is actually the sliders going out to the deck. The idea was to tie it in with these cute rugs that we have in the kitchen. I wanted to do something a little more challenging than a typical window topper. Finally inspiration struck when I got the idea to put a narrow shelf above the window and attach the valance to that. It took several weeks to convince my husband that this would work and to go to the hardware store, buy the shelf, cut it and wait for him to attach it to the wall. The hard part was getting my motivation going. The sewing part really only took about 1 ½ hours.
So, here it is….

And the inspiration behind it….

I also managed to get one baby hat done, worked on an excel chart for the tidal pool socks and took Zelda to the vet to have her ears checked. She has been scratching and had gunky ears for a little while; we were also beginning to suspect that maybe she was having trouble with her hearing. No mites or other defects thankfully, but she does have some sort of infection and is now getting drops twice a day. The vet wasn’t too sure about her hearing either, but is optimistic that getting the infection cleared up might help. We’ll see if she behaves better once the ears are better…

Oh, and my yarn arrived, so I can get back to work on finishing the tank top this weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Random thoughts

Wednesday is Koffe Klutch day. The knitting group that meets at the coffee shop… how perfect for me is that? It’s a very amiable group and I look forward to seeing everybody and their latest project. I took pictures last week but forgot to ask if anybody minded being on my blog so maybe next week, I’ll actually post them.

My yarn is on its way. At least I got an email from the vendor letting me know that it was shipped yesterday. I am mostly finished with the pair of socks I’ve been working on (no picture, alas, they are for a gift) and will probably get the hat cast on before the yarn gets here. Yesh!

As a diversion, I want to show you the great new jammies I got! I don’t usually go for jersey fabric for jammies but these were too cute. I found them at WalMart for a reasonably low price. You can also see the full selection here under the “store” link. You see they have characters (Mooch and Earl) from one of my favorite comic strips and I just couldn’t resist. The cotton is also supposed to be 100% organic – so that’s a good thing, too. If you are not familiar with the “Mutts” comic, but love cats and dogs, you should check the strip out, they are a hoot!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On the upswing

Well things are improving slightly (how could they not) after my meltdown yesterday. I located the yarn I needed online here. It was only $4.75 a ball, in stock, and shipping will take 24-48 hours woohoo!

I did get half a sock knit yesterday since I couldn't work on the tank. They are number two of the gift pair I'm doing. That will also free me up to maybe work up a hat when the socks are done before the other yarn arrives.

Since neither Saucey or Zelda can work the camera, here is a picture of some alpacas in lieu of me doing the happy dance.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I just read the yarn harlots blog and feel marginally better about my financial travails. At least no Yarn was involved! In addition to the other trouble today, it is now raining buckets and the Cardinals are losing to the ... ahem... Cubs! But DH, who is a good man, did bring me chocalate when he came home from work :)

If it's Monday, it’s definitely Murphy!

Or the light at the end of the tunnel is probably a train.

Did you ever have one of THOSE days? Boy, I’m having one. I have been quite happy with progress on the Lotus Blossom Tank and was hoping I could finish later this week. That may or may not be possible. Even with downsizing the pattern and what not, it still looks like I may be short on the yarn needed to finish the project (less stitches should equal more yarn, right?). I still had the contact from the Las Vegas yarn shop where I bought the yarn a year ago and have sent a desperate email to them hoping there’s still a lonely ball or two sitting around the shop. I do have a plan B if I can’t track down more of the same yarn (but don’t want to go there if I don’t have to). So far none of the nearby shops carry that particular yarn. Whine.

Caution: Upcoming rant… This month is the first month that I’m learning to budget on one pay period a month. So naturally, there was a small glitch in my retirement pay (like the check was smaller than it should be). So, I had to call the dreaded Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) that’s the pay office that handles all military pay for active, reserve and retired members. If you haven’t ever served you might be thinking, so what’s the big deal? Well, I’ll tell you, they do not generally hire customer service folks for their customer service abilities or problem solving skills. So, after waiting on hold for about 9 years of listening to the most annoying voice telling me that my call was very important and it would be taken in the order in which it received and then alternating with possibly the most amazingly horrible muzak ever (my ears might not recover), I finally got a live person to deal with. Now, as DFAS employees go, her skills seemed to be above average…she was able to pleasantly and quickly determine that my problem was due to a simple clerical error. But then I made the mistake of asking how long it would take to fix that error, and then it was like, “can I put you on hold while I talk to my supervisor?” I wanted to know if the deficiency would be made right during the month of September (like it’s all in the computer – do it today); she assured me it would be done as quickly as possible. Which in DFAS speak translates to the earliest I can expect any resolution to my problem will be around the 20th or so of the month, hmmm; so much for fast and efficient. Fast and efficient are words, of course, that are not in DFAS’ dictionary.

Now I don’t want you to be concerned that I’ll have to choose between food or yarn the rest of the month, it’s just that I can’t (will never) understand why the employees that DFAS hires just can’t do their jobs right the first time and save all of us the agony of having to contact them, investigate the problem and then take the time to go back and fix the thing.

On top of that I was also trying to deal with another company about an investment issue that somehow got mucked up and waiting for call backs and confirmations and so forth; which ended up in us taking a moderate loss in the short run, but saving a bundle in the long run. (Actually about the same amount my check was short… double hmmm).

So in a nutshell, I spent most of the day on the phone trying to solve problems that shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

And actually, I was supposed to be making a valance for the kitchen….

Let’s just hope that shop in Vegas has my yarn!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Work in Progress

Progress notes on Lotus Blossom tank #2 –

First a bit of history… this project is labeled as “#2” because this is my second attempt to knit this pattern for myself. The first time I started knitting it at the family reunion last summer, figured out my needle size wasn’t right, changed needles then re-knit it at least once trying to get gauge, continued to knit after the second time of beginning again even though I had mounting suspicions that the size would not come out right. Completed on trip to Indianapolis, attempted to block on hotel ironing board; blamed funny fit on bad blocking; got home, re-blocked. I’m sorry to say it still did not fit and I ended up giving it away to a deserving person, who I hope is wearing and enjoying it.

But I love, love, love this pattern. IK summer 2006 cover sweater…

So, I was determined to knit one for myself.

Now, after working up my courage to face it again, I cast on 200 stitches in mid August. Worked about 6 rows, and then set it aside to organize the family room and work on my more portable tidal pool socks.

Finished said socks around the 4th of September and decided it was time to get on with the tank. Picked it up and knit thru row 9 which is the point where you change to smaller needles… decided it looked a little large.
Transferred stitches to waste yarn; spread out to an even tension, measured. Four inches too big - to be exact.

Threw on the floor and started another set of socks to soothe my wounded knitterly pride.

Humph. . .

Picked it up again yesterday afternoon; frogged everything; did some math; went to stitch and share planning on working on it there, forgot needles.
Worked on sock.
Got home and cast on 180 stitches (two pattern repeats less).

Knit happily thru row four this morning… realized that I had cast on with the smaller needles and not the larger as pattern dictates. (Said bad words)

Decided that I did not want to defy the knitting gods or this part of the instructions in the pattern.

Frogged again…
Ate some chocolate. Played on computer.

Watched Jeopardy: cast on 180 stitches on correctly sized needles.
Am now up to row 5. Woo, hoo!
I’ll keep you posted.
Do these cats look hungry?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tidal Pools are finished!


Yarn: Water #110, hand dyed merino from Creatively Dyed Yarn

Needles: 0 bamboo dpns
Pattern: My own modified x, o cables with lace panel over 75 st. For some reason the second sock took longer than the first and was fussier, but they are done now :)

I have another skein of this yarn in another color and plan on making a slightly similar pair of socks for a Christmas gift.

Shh, please don’t tell my husband…. I already blew the September yarn budget! I popped in to a LYS because I had a 10% off coupon and lo and behold, they were running a 25% off everything sale today. I left the store weak kneed and light walleted and my stash has just been enhanced with yarn for a vest, a felting project and Noro-because-it’s-on-sale in two colors.

Monday, September 3, 2007


The family room is almost done! I need to get a little cafe rod to hang up this quilt-thing that my co-workers gave me when I retired. (it came with a bamboo pole to hang it on, but I wanted something that fit in with our decor a little better). I am planning on a video tour of the room if I can figure out how to upload it from the camera. It's not perfect, but I am happy with the progress that I've made since I've been focused on getting it done. So, in lieu of something blog related, here is a photo of my daughter and oldest grandson. Isn't he a cutie pie? (She's not bad either!) He's 3 1/2 and keeps his mama on the go every day.

They live in CA, so I don't get to see either one of them very much which is hard on this Nana. Her birthday is coming up, and I'm thinking of a fun surprise, must get to work. . .