Saturday, October 11, 2008
They sure were nice...
Here's the loot... We didn't get anything at the Wool Room, but I overheard Anne saying that she wasn't going to participate next year so it was nice to see the place one last time. At Chauncy Farm we got a pumpkin, some apple butter from Thyme and Ewe farm in Claremont (which isn't on the picture 'cause the hubs had put it in the fridge and I forgot to get it back out, sorry Thyme and Ewe), hats for the girls from We-Z Farm in Hancock and the harp player was fantastic...Quinnie was wary of him while he was playing, but she struck up a conversation with him between songs - apparently he's only scary when he's playing. On to Western View Farm where I got some sweet shetland roving from Hope Thomas. We didn't buy anything at Mirage Alpacas either, but we spent an inordinate amount of time with their alpacas and their turkeys - Quinnie loved them. And last but certainly not least the Fiber Studio...Wow what a change! I hadn't been there since it was taken over by the new owners, they were busy and I didn't get a chance to talk to them, but they seemed friendly enough. The place has gone through a major overhaul though....they moved almost all the knitting yarns into the weaving studio area, and the upstairs was open to the public, and they had a new staircase that went downstairs to a classroom/studio space and there were two more vendors down there. The whole place just seemed open and airy and you could find things without going into tunnels and it just was lovely. I got two balls of sock yarn to make my sister Beth and Brother-in-law Kris socks for Christmas, and a braid of pretty dyed roving from one of the vendors outside the name of which regrettably I didn't pay attention to 'cause I figured the name would be on the receipt and sadly, it wasn't...well in any even it's very pretty and quite soft....I plan to spin it thin and make some gloves out of it.
I had an awesome time.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
There are tons of caves, and the girls enjoyed some spelunking in them. The rocks are huge and of varying levels of difficulty for climbing. Most of the climbing is the free climbing sort - no ropes required. Quite a few, in fact I'd say all of the good rocks have chalk residue from previous climbers.
This is Ali on top of the Lower Slab (yup we New Englanders sure can pick romantic names for things can't we) Check out the next picture for some perspective. Ali's in the same spot, can you see her?
We turned around after these and did some more cave exploring, and then we came home. Next time we're taking Dad 'cause he'd be able to give Ali some boost up to better rocks and maybe free me up from Quinn carrying duty enough to pack a lunch and some drinks and we could picnic up there.
Pawtuckaway is such a neat place. There are so many glacial deposits, every trail is a winner. I love it there!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Fake fur full length coat (she looks like a bear)
a hot pink fun fur hat (to go with the bear coat)
6 wicked awesome shirts
a pair of shoes
a pair of slippers
2 belts and
a pair of corduroys
All for less than $50! And that included an overstock pkg of socks for yours truly.
Good Deal no?
So after we hit up Goodwill, we went to Jo-Ann's and got some coordinating material and some pretty ribbons to make some headbands. We also got a couple pants patterns - the fleece is cheaper at Ben Franklin so we'll pick that up later, but the pattern we got is suitable for both fleece and rip-stop nylon so her fleece pants and rain pants for the environment camp will be all set. It's a teaching pattern too so that'll be great for Ali to learn on.
It's not often I go shopping, and we got terrifically lucky, so this was a good day.
Monday, August 25, 2008
On the other hand, I don't want to give up days at the beach. We didn't have enough of those this year due to the near constant thunder storms and then when the weather finally cooperated Quinn's stitches. Today is, as I said, the last day of vacation and it's sunny and beautiful and we really should be hanging out at the beach, but Ali is off school shopping with Grammy and I don't want to go there without her.
They'll close the town beach after labor day, even though the weather still is nice. I suppose we could swim at the boat launch, or we could actually go to the ocean (it's only 1/2 hr away but we don't like the crowds of summertime people so we don't go in season).
Then again school sports have started and I'll have lots of trips to do, so I'll likely be busy most weekends, and we have Ali's special Pete Seeger trip coming up too.
Soon the weather will be turning cool and I'll have the energy to do all the yardwork I've been putting off since it got hot (I hate the heat). I have a chicken run to build and the rest of the fence to get in, and the winter garden to plant (gotta get going on that). Plus I've wanted to do some dyeing and canning and couldn't bring myself to run the stove (or bear the heat of cooking outside). Soon the leaves will change colors....Aaaahhhhh I love fall.
I got my bus back, and my new run, and I'm pleased with both.
Over all I guess I'm more pleased than not about the changing of the seasons. Still it's hard to let go of the beach.
Friday, August 15, 2008
About 20 years ago, when I first had Sam, I was only marginally overweight and in very good shape. I would go for day long bike rides and not be bothered by it. I had energy galore. Slowly, after sitting on the sidelines watching the children play I got chunkier and more out of shape. It was imperceptible at first, but it became staunchly noticeable when we moved to Deerfield a decade ago. In Exeter, there were a few hills but none were prolonged enough to require walking, they were either a long shallow slope or a quick steep one. Nothing one can't handle with a granny gear even toting 2 toddlers in a burley. But here, OMG! The hills are steep and a mile long, and wouldn't you know we were stupid enough to buy the house directly on TOP of a big one! I pretty much stopped riding my bike when we moved here. I can barely get my fat rear up the hills with the granny gear never mind toting a 35lb dead weight (I'm referring to Quinn here) in addition to my extra 100 lbs. Dude I can't even describe how bad it sucks!
I hate it. Being fat and out of shape that is. I want to do all the things I used to do, but it's harder to do them because of weight issues. My hips hurt when I walk for long periods, and my feet too but that's 'cause I have old non supportive shoes, and I need to get some new ones. I've tried diets, but I hate, hate, hate feeling even moderately hungry, and I LOVE food. The only way for me to decrease my weight is to increase my exercise. That's easier said than done. First off I don't do heat well - that's great most of the year, but in August, even 78 degrees and sunny is enough to put me off climbing the stairs let alone going outside and tackling the hills. I have a small child too, so I either have to carry her, or exercise when my husband is watching her, which with our current schedules is the hottest darn part of the day. So we're back to square one.
My husband briefly mentioned the other day the possibility of going to the 8:00am shift at work (his current shift is 3 am so he has to go to bed at dinner time). It would be awesome if he did get this shift 'cause then I could exercise after dinner when It's cooler, and he can put Quinny to bed - hey that's only fair, I've had bed duty for 19yrs and 10 mos straight, it'd be a welcome change. Ali could join me, it'd give us some special one on one time and we'd both get in better shape (and she can't run worth beans so I'll be able to keep up). Keep your fingers crossed for me.
In the mean time I've been intentionally increasing my exercise. The other day we took a 3 mile walk. That was nice, but I really need new shoes. I was able to free swim at the lake the other day 'cause my Mom was watching Quinn (usually I have to be right on her because our town beach doesn't allow PFDs and she's too daring and walks right out to her ears, and Ali needs the exercise as much as I do and I hate to call her in from the dock so Mommy can have a turn). The swimming out deep and for a long time felt really good (and I had fun with my nephew who I hardly ever get to see anymore). Yesterday we went to our "swimming hole" along the Swift River and I selfishly made Sean give me turns swimming upstream and riding the rapids (which isn't really exercise but the climbing over the rocks to get there sure is). It felt really awesome to do that too. I want to feel really awesome all the time. I want to get back out and enjoy all the things I used to. Hiking is a no brainer - Quinn and I walk at the same pace so I have a hiking partner already. We should pobably find some safty orange vests before hunting season though, Sean nearly had a fit when we went hiking last fall. Walking and running - should Sean get his 8:00 shift, won't be a big problem either. But I've got to really work on this whole biking thing.
Today I took Quinnie down to the local gas station (to add air to my tires and buy her a lollipop to bribe her back into the bike - "waaah no! Quinnie fall me!" - cherry tootsie pops smooth over the roughest of tribulations, but I don't keep them in the house so we always have to go somewhere to get one). It was a 3 mile round trip and I walked probably a mile of it - even with the granny gear.But my legs no longer feel like jelly and my heart isn't trying to jump out of my chest, and I've long since caught my breath, and I don't think this ride will affect my ability to mow the lawn later this afternoon, so despite the failure at getting up the hill ON my bike, I'll call this a win.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I can't put them down. They're like a new toy. Thank you Jared! These are spun with Molly's fleece, and will be for Ali's camp layette. She wants them fuschia so we'll dye them after they're finished (I couldn't wait to get started on them). Oh fun, fun fun!
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Please Lord, help me to make a prudent decision. I am weak Lord, I need the strength to stick with the decision you help me make....
Monday, August 04, 2008
My greenhouse is overflowing with green. True, most of it is in the form of weeds but the humidity has been so darn oppressive I can't seem to bring myself to weed it. I need to stake my tomatoes. I still have a month or two before I'll need to install the plastic.
I've been putting nasturtiums in my salads since they started blooming a couple weeks ago. Very tasty! Sometime this week I plan to retire all the cut and come again lettuce and plant carrots in it's place. I'll plant new lettuces and spinach in the greenhouse between the tomatoes once I get those staked properly. We'll see how the weather cooperates.
My summer squashes have turned out to be the most rewarding though. Despite being completely in the shade they are big and bushy and quite robust. I can only attribute this to the 16 wheel barrels of sheep poop that they are planted in.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
As you can see I'm doing pretty well. I have to finish the second sock on this pair and then I have one more pair to go. The local hardware store has started carrying this new to me sock yarn. Let me just say that any sock yarn the hardware store sells is worthy of purchase, no matter what the brand or the material content of the individual yarn. I think it's wonderful that a hardware store carries sock yarn at all so I want to encourage them to continue to carry sock yarn and the best way to do that is to buy it. However, I've got to say it's not torture, nor do I feel I'm lowering my standards at all with this yarn. I normally dislike the Red Heart brand even among other acrylics because I find the yarn too squeaky and it makes me grind my teeth. This yarn, however is completely different from any Red Heart yarn I've ever used before and I really like it. It's 70% wool (that's probably why) 30% nylon - compared to Regia, 75/25 wool/polyester or Opal 75/25 wool/polyamide. It feels almost exactly the same. I love it! I'm not really feeling any effects of the aloe, but maybe Ali will have softer feet when she wears the finished socks. I mean come on, only the very tips of my fingers and the left hand ring finger touch the yarn while I'm knitting so it's not like I'd get baby smooth hands anyway. Herrschners has it for $5 a ball, in case your hardware store doesn't carry sock yarn (and if you ever see a ball for sale there buy it!). It's a real bargain.
Friday, August 01, 2008
My feet and hands hurt, but the fence looks great.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
K - "Hey guess what? Did you know..."
E - "not now"
K - "that the.."
E- shoots K a nasty look
K -"Oh, I'm sorry"
E - "I was reading. You interrupted me."
K -"I'm sorry, E. I was just exited about this new book I have. Do you forgive me?"
E - "Yes."
We should spend as much time coaching our non-autistic children on how to behave civilly as we do our special needs kids. The world would be a much nicer place to live if we did.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Interestingly, this is the fourth deadly tornado to touch down in Deerfield. Wow!
I'm glad it's over.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
We had a really hard time deciding what to get her until I heard about a benefit concert that Pete Seeger will be performing for the strolling heifers in Brattleboro VT in September. So we got her 2 tickets and she and I'll be going to the concert and attending the reception afterward. It's going to be a fun night, and I hope she remembers it always.
We spent the day at Grammy and Papa's boat. We had an Om put on her cake 'cause she'd just finished yoga camp.
My gardens are is doing well and I finally got all my tomatoes in the ground. I still need to find something cheap to hill my potatoes in (cheap mulch hay anyone?) . I got some fence sections for my birthday last month and Ali and I spent Saturday putting up the first 3. They look awesome - much better than the old fence, but they'll look even better once I slap a coat of paint on them and plant a nice little perennial garden in front of it.
I've gotten both sleeves and a third of the back of Ali's Peace sign sweater done, and I'm nearly done with the second of her purple and yellow striped socks done - 2 more pairs of socks left to go, and the remainder of the sweater plus a hat and some gloves and she'll be all set knitwise.
We'll wait until next month at least before we start in on the pants - been doing a summer school run and I actually have less time at home between runs now than I do the remainder of the year.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The town of Deerfield has had a swap shop at the transfer station for many years, but recently it's become overridden with too much junk and not enough maintenance so the board of selectmen shut it down.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Aren't they gorgeous? Quinn and Daddy hiking at Bear Brook State Park on 4/23/08 - Sean and my 14th anniversary.I saw the Yarn Harlot in North Hampton MA with my Mom - We had a blast!We finished the NETA Afghan. I blocked it and delivered it to Sheryl Amaral of Spin-A-Bit for it's raffle tour.We got some chicks - Quinn LOVES them!And lastly, Ali will be going to environment camp this fall and needs some gear. So I've started making some things...she'll need a hat, some mittens, some fleece pants and rain pants (we'll buy a rain coat), another wool sweater, some more socks (of course). I'm going to have a good time getting all this stuff made up for her (and I'm hoping she'll help with the pants - she likes to sew).
Hopefully I won't be away for so long again.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Take a set of smallish double pointed needles and cast on an appropriate amount to go around your calf divisible by 4.
I'll throw some numbers out there for you just to make a trial pair, but these are so readily adaptable you can swap out needles, yarn weights, and body sizes with only second grade math skills.
So for the sake of learning lets say I have sock weight yarn in something that has some give (no cotton or linen without some synthetic additive) like 80/20 wool and nylon, size 2 US (2.75mm) needles...I'd cast on 56 stitches for a skinny leg or 60 for a big fat leg like mine or even 64 if I want them to go up over the biggest part of my calf.
Knit 2x2 rib (k2,p2) until you get sick of it...most of the time it's between 12 and 20 rows for me, but you could do the whole leg portion if you'd like. Continue down the leg in Stockinette Stitch (that's knit only when in the round) until the sock leg is long enough for your tastes and then work a separate waste piece of yarn for 1/2 of the stitches (example30 stitches if I had originally cast on 60) don't attach the yarn just leave the ends dangling. Go back to your main yarn, pick it up and continue working the sock in stockinette stitch. It's helpful to start the waste yarn at the beginning of a needle. Likewise, if you are using 4 needles instead if 5 you'll need to slip the remaining stitches onto the working needle so you can free up a needle to go back with, but you knew that.
When the piece following the scrap yarn is the same length as your foot is from your heel to the base of your toes begin toe.
With the scrap yarn (this is where your heel will go) on the bottom (picture above shows the sock upside down), flatten out your tube and find the two edges where front ends and back begins. Adjust your needles so these are at the edges of your needles (like the beginning of one and the end of another).
The toe goes like this.
round 1 Beginning on edge stitch k1, ssk, k across to3 stitches before next edge stitch k2 tog k1, repeat for other half.
round 2 knit
repeat rounds 1 and 2 until there are about 8 stitches in between decreases and kitchener toe closed.
Now carefully take out waste yarn and slide your needles back into the live stitches and make a second "toe" for the heel. These are very cute if made with a contrasting color.
There are two known truths in this world. The first is that you will get a hole at the edge of the thumb on the mitten you are knitting and the second is that you will get a hole at the edge of the heel on the sock you are knitting. This is OK. You'll have a couple ends to darn in, so just make sure you pass over the hole and cinch it closed and you're good to go. I'll take care of this hole when Idarn in my ends - I just tucked them in for the picture.
Enjoy your socks!
PS - the sock in the picture was made with red heart worsted weight ACKrillic and size5 US needles - way fewer stitches (36 total) than the numbers I gave you, but the process is exactly the same.