Thursday, May 27, 2010


I listened to our President admit responsibility today.  He is so refreshing.  A politician taking responsibility and apologizing.  WOW!  Have I told you I really really like that man?

President Obama said that he was assured by the oil companies that they could contain something like the BP disaster in the Gulf when he suggested more offshore drilling.  But they were lying.  He also said that he sees off shore drilling as a stop gap/transition measure until we are up to speed with wind, solar and natural energy sources.  Of course the opposition is trying to see to it that we never get up to speed but that is a whole 'nother rant.

I am taking the PLEDGE.  I realize that BP's profits are enormous and that my weekly payments to the oil companies don't make a whole lot of difference.  But I do think that many of us together do.  I started boycotting Mobil after the Exxon Valdez fiasco so now will add BP into that can too.

The following companies are BP too.

If you want to take the Official Pledge so that your weekly gas money amount can be added to the total amount being sent to BP please go here.  The Pledge is being sponsored by Democracy for America.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spinning on the Dock (of the bay)

Actually it’s a small lake in the Adirondacks nowhere near a bay but delightful all the same, every time, any season and I liked the alliteration of that song title.

Getting myself ready is a feat though.  Last week I crammed 5 days of work into 3 long ones and by Wednesday was whining and humphing that it was just too much, “It would be easier to stay home.”  Poor Jim, who heard the brunt of these complaints and mostly just ignored me.  I whined to my sister who sent me an email saying, “It will be wonderful once you are there. It will be wonderful once you are there. It will be wonderful once you are there.”  And it is.

On our walks with Basel we have seen Swallowtail butterflies flitting all around from apple blossoms to dandelions to the sweeps of forget-me-nots. 
There are also Blues and a smallish orange Monarch look-a-like that we only see this time of year (I did not bring my butterfly book).  At night we hear peepers and bullfrogs. Small fish hide under our dock and large fish come near trying to catch them.   During the day a pair of Mallards makes a circuit of the lake several times although today we are seeing them one at a time which leads me to think they are nesting so taking turns keeping those eggs warm.

One of the things I like best about being up here is that my Do switch gets turned off almost immediately.  Usually a bunch of napping happens the first day plus some reading and spinning.  Each morning I hoist my backpack containing this computer and its supplies onto my shoulders and walk in to the village to sit quietly on a bench in front of the town library reading the last 24 hours of mail and a bit of surfing.  I find I don’t really want to stay on too long so do what is needed and wanted and then visit the book store, the bakery and maybe one or two other local shops before hiking back to the cottage for lunch.  A week before the season starts folks around town are relaxedly fixing up: painting, plumbing, finding what got broken over the winter.  Jim was doing some plumbing on the shower.

A tree that had been leaning for as long as I can remember fell over near the end of winter blocking off the channel to our lake.  This means we can’t get out to the big lake and also that no one gets in here either.  It is a no wake lake but party boats often putter through during the season.  Evidently DEC has a rule that the town could not clear that big a tree itself so sent in a crew.  They took one look at the size of the tree and decided that just maybe they could issue a variance for the town crew to do it themselves.  The crew is still waiting on the paperwork.

Lots of knitting is happening but not with any urgency.  The Aran Necklace cami is moving forward, although yesterday I did need to frog the neckline gussets all the way back twice because I was not paying enough attention to fully and carefully read not only the instructions but also my knitting.  Plus I was being too social at a time in the process when I should have been concentrating.
Front in process on the left, with the back ready to be picked up on the right once knitting in the round commences.

Jim has gone to Paddlefest all three days while I only attended on Friday.  He loves trying out new boats.  I looked at a few but since I have a beautiful kayak made by Jim for moi several years ago have not felt the need for anything else.  I did buy a new pair of Tevas, eat some Ben & Jerry’s and investigate the Thule Hullavator while I was there.

This is the beginning of black fly season.   On Thursday they were annoying. On Friday they started making perforations on my ankles and by yesterday were already doubled in size.  As evening falls those little chain saws are replaced by mosquitoes and then we get to watch swallows swooping around catching them.

Each sunset is more beautiful than the last.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cami Necklace

This was an easier knit than it looks and took very little yarn.
It's also not that bright in color.
Next is to pick up stitches on the back band and then the front band to start the body of the cami with the bamboo yarn.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Alicia's Cami

Alicia, my granddaughter, will be 16 in June.  Amazing to look at her baby and toddler pics ('96).
and then to think of this soccer goalie almost grown ('09).  
She's a wonderful young lady who has never been into girlie stuff.  Early on she only wanted plain jeans, no embroidery or embellishments. NO dresses either.  Her grades are excellent and she has so many interests besides soccer - reading, piano, anime and making videos.

So what to make her for this special day?  I could think of several things but needed to keep reminding myself that she lives in a very dry warm section of CA.  When I have visited in late summer the temps were often over 100 and I was warned they would be in the 90's when I go this June.  So I dithered and thought and got nowhere.

Then the spring issue of Interweave Knits arrived and in there is a nice camisole with a cabled neckline.  Aran Necklace Camisole on p 54, and on Ravelry it is here.  I know she wears cami's over t-shirts so this one became the winning contender.  Jim said he would spin the bamboo and I said I'd dye them both and spin the silk besides knitting the cami.  That might sound lopsided but considering that Jim is still spinning it is just fine.

2 ounces of cultivated silk was placed into a dye pot alongside 8 ounces of bamboo top.  They were dyed together in what I hope, to Alicia, is a neutral-ish mix of periwinkle and demim. 

Spinning the silk was a pleasure and quickly done.  Spinning the bamboo became quite a chore for Jim (gosh that stuff is stiff and sticky unless blended with something else) until I ran it all through my Pat Green Supercarder.  That machine makes a soft and pleasurable batt out of any fiber.  
Now we have yarn in both fibers ready to go.
Silk on the left, bamboo on the right and a close up of the necklace section on the bottom right.  Dyed in the same pot this is a great example of how different fibers take dyes differently. 

The pattern looked a bit off putting but I knew if I just concentrated I could do it so waited until a few necessary things were done (notice I did not say UFO's were completed) and I had some knitting space.  The necklace itself has 2 pages of instructions but they turned out to be really very clear, not social knitting but not too demanding either. 
So far about a third of the necklace section is done.
More in the next few days.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

3 Bag Ladies

About 9:15 I piled my 3 bags into Sharon's car, said bye bye to Jim, drank coffee while Sharon drove on over to Audrey's place where we said hi and bye to her birds (mostly Love Birds) and her dogs (lots of hairless and crested).

We then stashed my 3 bags and Sharon's 3 bags into Audrey's Toyota amongst her 3 bags and a nice cooler of snacks and drinks.  Of course each of us not driving kept her knitting bag close by.  We were so excited and delighted to be going south to warmth, sun and endless amounts of fiber.  The reward of crabs for dinner was also bandied about.  Once in PA we could see that most of the trees had leaves or leaf buds while up here we still have locust and oaks that are yet bare.   We stopped midway down for bleenies and salad in Frackville where we got to experience a restaurant that sported several PA Dutch type menu items and lots of homemade quilted, knitted and crocheted items on the walls.

The change to all green was slow but noticeable and once we were in MD quite striking to us green starved northerners.  Sharon had made the motel reservations according to Audrey's directions. Audrey is an excellent Tour Director.  It was only 20 minutes from the fair but merely 5 from the clam shack.  Frederick is inland. I hadn't bothered to look that up on a map so was very disappointed at first to find out we would be eating nowhere near the ocean.  However upon opening the first crab I instantly smelled the ocean and felt oh so much better.
Sharon had a crab quesadilla but Audrey and I each ate 2 large hard shelled crabs from the Chesapeake, covered in Old Bay spices.
What fun! First they plop down the crab filled pan, then the mallets and knives and then we hold it all up while they cover the table with butcher paper and add a roll of paper towels.  We also ordered yam fries so it was all finger food all the way around.  They were the tenderest crab I have ever eaten so am now spoiled rotten.  

We spent the evening knitting and talking in our motel room.  The Haiti face cloth got completed while Audrey worked on a baby blanket and Sharon started a swatch for a sweater.  Then we set the alarm for 6 and tried to sleep.

Of course the alarm did not go off but since none of us really slept, although we were up at different times all night, Audrey did wake us at 6:10.  She also suddenly realized that we had not gotten gas and had not checked the gauge either.  Were we on fumes?  Could we get to a gas station in time?

By 7:15 the Three Bag Ladies had restashed our 9 bags back into the Toyota and checked the gauge.  Not quite on fumes, but close enough.  Luckily a station was nearby so we could fill up with gas that cost 20¢ less than in Ithaca. Another positive for going south.

 The Fair is free and Audrey told us about the parking situation so we were there by 8 am and walked right in.  We had maps I printed out from the website so could orient ourselves.

Audrey gave us a fast tour, showed us the porta potties and the real bathroom and the big metal barn.

After that we kinda went our ways but Sharon and Audrey stayed relatively close as Audrey doesn't have a cell phone.  I loved walking around at a leisurely pace instead of the quick racing trips I get when I am vending at a fair.  I saw the new electric Woolee Winder machine and the New Kromski wheel and lots of wool and yarn and patterns and jewelry.  Got myself a fimo bunny pin that is adorable, my sister part of her birthday present and some multi colored b/bfl to play with.  I also got some great ideas for revamping my own booth which might make set up a lot easier and faster. 
We saw some lovely Romney's ready for the show ring.

By 10 it was HOT, really HOT.  OK so to a northerner it was really HOT.  The open barns did not have fans and with all the people were getting not only more and more crowded but stuffy too.  Up here if it gets that hot folks don't want to touch much fiber, but down there it didn't seem to make much difference.
A band was playing country music near some trees where lots of folks were picnicking so we stopped and rested there too for a bit.  Then headed on up the hill to the tent vendors so Audrey could look for the Cormo Association tent.  She found the right tent but not the right cormo but did get name of the seller to contact from home.

By the time Sharon got herself some plants we were more than ready to get out of the sun and leave. There are over 400 vendors at MD Sheep and Wool but after a while I was saturated.  I hadn't believed it beforehand but 4 hours were plenty for all 3 of us.  

As we traveled north through some gorgeous MD farmland and then into PA and up through disturbing coal tailing hills and into the mountains and back into spring we chatted and knit and snacked and knit.  Potential was realized with the completion of a baby hat and the gussets on one sock.

AND I am proud to say I did not go into total chaotic withdrawal from my computer which I purposely left behind to give me some real time off.  It was good, it was fun, it was short and it was spontaneous.

As Sharon says, "Life is good."