Thursday, May 29, 2008

Playing catch-up

Why is it that weeks that only have 4 work days in them seem to be about twice as long? Anyhoo, I have a little catching up to do here. Let's do it chronologically, shall we?

When I last left you, it was Friday. It seems so long ago.... Oh yes, Paulette and I both took vacation Friday afternoon and went shopping at Steve and Barry's and Fox River Mall in Appleton. I found a pair of pants, shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt at Steve and Barry's for $30!We then went to Menards and bought topsoil, manure and 40 tumbled Belgian pavers on Friday evening. I was too tired to do anything with them then, so this is what I did on Saturday with them:

Well, I built the star garden around the flagpole on Saturday--got the plants on Sunday afternoon and planted them.

Also on Saturday I finished (yippee!) digging the garden along the fence. All it needs is plants now. Our neighbors across the street from us were most accomodating in the populating of the garden by giving us 4 black eye susan plants from theirs that they were dividing on Saturday. I spent all day Saturday for the most part outside--then we went in and cleaned the house.

Sunday we went to church, got mochas (of course!!) and then made a tour of the greenhouses of Oshkosh and Fond du Lac. We went to Steins, Hrnak's, tried to go to House of Flowers, which was closed, and also got to Hounsell's Greenhouse in Fond du Lac. The plants I planted in the star garden are: red geraniums, red salvia, blue ageratum and white alyssum. I also got some knitting on my shawl done.

The day dawned early for me on Memorial Day. I got up at 5AM so that I could drive to my mother's house in Sheboygan to attend the on again-off again-on again Memorial Day parade and visit. My niece, Melissa, was in the parade with Diane Remy School of the Dance:

Melissa is in the direct center of the picture. I couldn't get a closer picture because she kept moving. Imagine that, moving in a parade.

I got a small amount of knitting done on my shawl on Memorial Day, but gave up and did something less complicated. I cast on the other half of the red, white and blue beaded scarf and got a good start on it.

Besides working on Tuesday, I also had a Winnebago County Labor Council meeting in the evening that I had to take notes at, since I am the secretary. Not much knitting got done on Tuesday.

Yesterday evening was Knit Night. It was lovely. I was there from 6:30 until 10PM when Starbucks closed. Keri brought her spinning wheel again. Rachel bound off the shawl she is making for her mother (see the post from last week for a picture). There were other customers in Starbucks for a while, but there were 11 of us knitting and we ended up being the only people in there later in the evening. Maybe we are scary.

We had a double showing of the finished first socks:

First, the lovely Keri (note the newly acquired Ravelry t-shirt):

And, the equally lovely Alison:

Don't they look proud?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mea culpa

Oops, I forgot to put a picture of Paulette modelling her newly finished sweater. She used the "Mr. Green Jeans" pattern from The yarn is Dream in Color Classy in the Pansy go lightly colorway. I found fabulous dichroic glass handmade buttons at Yarns By Design to match it.

Isn't Jeffy just too cute?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A chronicle of Knit Night

We had a good time at Knit Night last evening. We closed the place down. Pictures--we got pictures!

Sure, this bunch looks sedate. We were pretty wild last night. We were cheering completed objects.

Rachel finished the body of her shawl:

Rachel is making the shawl for her mother, Margaret, who she's seated next to. Margaret was working on the shrug she's making for Rachel last night.

Keri did spin last night. See the pictures above for her in action.

Here is one of the plys as she's spinning it from roving that she Kool Aid dyed herself:

Here's a shot of the double plyed yarn on the spindle:

Here she is winding the completed yarn on her homemade niddy noddy to make a skein:

Here's the finished skein and the proud creator!

One curious thing did happen. I would have thought that the sight of someone with a spinning wheel at Starbucks would attract way more attention than it did. We did have one curious child earlier in the evening who kind of peeked around the displays and then later in the evening one of the Starbucks employees (Hi Ben!) stopped dead in his tracks after collecting dishes from tables when he saw what Keri was doing. From then on the employees were fascinated. It was cool. I would like to learn to spin some day, but for now I am content with being a user of yarn.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Scenes from the yard

Other than the excitement that tonight is Knit Night at Starbucks, I have nothing exciting going on today. Keri is bringing her spinning wheel to Knit Night--let's see people look at THAT!

Here are pictures from the yard. Note the netted pussy willow bush.

I like the last one of the lilacs. You can almost smell them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Where is the month going?

Wow, I can't believe it's May 20 already. Where has the time gone?

Paulette and I got the plants we bought on the weekend planted last night. We haven't bought annuals yet because it's still too cold out at night to put them out. If they die at the greenhouse, that's their problem. At least I won't have paid money for them yet. I also got the front garden weeded, which it has needed for a while now. I just haven't had the time to do it.

On the agenda for this weekend is buying tumbled patio bricks and making a small star shaped garden around the flagpole. With red, white and blue plants put into it, of course. Oh, and finishing up digging the garden along the fence. I only have part of the tall side fence to do yet.
Jeffy enjoyed his time outdoors in the backyard as well last evening. He likes to sit along the fence. I'm sure he will not be pleased with me when the garden extends all along the fenceline.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that the pussy willow bush in our backyard is now fully encased in bird netting with silver streamers tied to it (it's quite the sight!) and so far, it seems to have repelled the red wing blackbirds. Score: people 1, birds 1.
Paulette bought me this sock yarn from the Loopy Ewe online:

It is Paca-Peds HT from the Alpaca Yarn Company in color no. 607, Carribean Chocolate. It supposedly has separate heel and toe yarn to make the heels and toes both the same color. That should be interesting.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fun times...

I had a lovely weekend. On Saturday Paulette and I went to the Paine Art Center's "Festival of Spring", which is part plant sale, part arts and craft show. We bought some plants and we also bought some other stuff. Paulette bought earrings and I bought this picture:

I love it!! Hip Chicks DO knit! The woman who made this fabulous creation has a store online, named "Artsy Fartsy":

Then we went to Fond du Lac to The Knitting Room because they were having a moving sale. I bought this:

I was also looking for 32" Addi Turbo Lace circular needles in size 3, but alas, after my tour of the Fox Valley looking for them, there are none to be had. I crammed all 574 stitches for my shawl onto the 24" circs I have. I guess it's going to be okay. However, I did buy more Misti Alpaca Lace yarn in light blue at Iris for a lace scarf I want to make:

Of course, I didn't have a pattern, so I bought the book, "Victorian Lace Today" at Iris Fine Yarns in Appleton.

Speaking of lace, my shawl is about 60% done. Here's what it looks like now:

Really, I can't wait until it's blocked. At least it's big enough now that people won't think I'm making a hat any more.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hey, I've been busy....

It's been a busy week the past week. Where do I start?

Well, my supervisor in the Art Dept. (I only work 10 hours per week for them--the other 30 are for the lovely Music Dept.) finally, after almost 2 1/2 months, contacted me for torment round number 2, which I am naming, "The torment of copyright violation". The a-hole had the extreme nerve of threatening me (what a jerk) if I didn't break the law. Well, what am I gonna do? If they want me to break the law by scanning stuff that isn't supposed to be scanned, they will be the ones in trouble, not me because they are making me do it against my will. I can still think what I want though. My library friends all agree with me as well. We'll just see how much gets done on 10 hours a week --we're talking about 28,000 slides here. I guess it's job security....

Speaking of libraries, Polk Library, where I used to work and where Paulette works had a major water leak on Monday. There are at least 5,000 books that are wet. They're on their way to Chicago to be freeze dried.

My shawl is making good progress. I still haven't taken a picture of it.

At Chez Paulette and Sara, we are dealing with "Attack of the Red Wing Blackbirds, part II". The stupid blackbirds are once again, for the second year in a row, attempting to make a nest in the pussy willow bush in our backyard. I have knocked the nest out at least 3 times myself. I know that songbirds are protected (there have been no eggs in the nest so far), but, well, so am I. Don't ever let these birds make a nest in your backyard. They're really agressive and will dive-bomb anyone who comes remotely near their nest. Poor Jeffy was almost pecked a couple of times last year. Unfortunately, our garage and back door are near the chosen nesting site. Last year it was nearly a month before we had our yard back. We are going to put bird netting around the bush after work tonight and see if that helps. I also bought some shiny bird streamers to try to scare them away. Wish us luck!

Monday, May 5, 2008

It's Monday again

I had a good weekend. Got a lot of the new garden beds dug that I am putting along the fence. Now I'm in pain. Got the Easter stuff finally put away on Saturday. Churchill had a good weekend:

I got my gloves all blocked:

I also got a good start on my lace shawl. It doesn't look like much now. I can't wait until it's blocked. It just looks like a big bag of nothingness on the needles.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Finally Friday

It has been a looooooonnnnngggg week. It's about time Friday got here, dammit!

I finished my gloves:

Now I'm moving on to that pink lace shawl.

Churchill is okay. He's not liking his medication and new food. He keeps thinking I'm going to take him and put him in his cage. Poor kitty.

Not much else to say. If it doesn't rain all weekend I'm going to work in the yard. And knit.