Thursday, June 17, 2010

Socks in the Summer?

They are done!  I finished some pretty spring colored socks this week. 
Isn't this a pretty pattern?
It is by Carrie or on Ravelry she is Irishgirlieknits
The pattern's name is Winnie .
The yarn is from The Sanguine Gryphon
The color is called Orchid Mantis.The bugga yarns are named after bugs. Like this:
Orchid Mantis

I'm really trying to finish up all my started projects.
The sweater finished last week and these socks last Tuesday.
I already started an new pair of socks in purple.
I was digging in my sock drawer and I realized that I didn't have a pair of all purple socks.  I do have one pair in the repair basket with a hole in the heel. That doesn't count so I am knitting a new pair in Merino and 25% nylon. I'm sick of holes.
I work too have on these socks to get holes in them.
Here is the yarn for the new socks.
This is Austermann Step yarn with Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil in the yarn. Your feet become soft with every step you take.  At least for 40 washes it will be there.
German yarn. They have a good idea here.
Project #2 is a small shawl made out of Bugga in a pretty blue color. 
I will post these socks and the Bugga shawl next month. These are my vacation knitting. We are on Summer vacation here.
Look at Peanut in the pool.
My sister Susan hung out with us yesterday at the pool too.
I think they were having fun.  Wow look at Peanuts hair.  That is one to keep for the future to share with future BF.  LOL
Look at this swimming Peanut Fish.  She is swimming so much better than she did last year.
If you look real hard you can see Peanuts profile underwater. She is so tickled that this year she doesn't need to wear her "gog-lers".

So back to knitting...LOL....I plan to have another shawl going this summer. I want to make another Shawl That Jazz. I really liked my last one. It is so cozy to have here on the couch to throw over my shoulders. I love the garter stitch to squish. 
Here is the first Shawl That Jazz
I love the shawl but I really don't like the color.
The color is called Count Cluck-u-la.  Look at my chicken lurking on the right.
So here is my new choice of color. Same yarn base but different color.
Introducing Atomic-6 (much darker in person)
So here is a parting shot of a Peanut, an Alligator and a pool.
I tried to ride the alligator....twice but he bucked me off.
I'll try again tomorrow.  
Good night, Buenas Noches, nos vemos pronto
Happy knitting & swimming!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Carol's Cardigan from Hell is DONE

Yes this puppy is done. Nine months of knitting and fighting. I confess, I fought with my cardi.  She just was so sassy but I put her in her place and I like the finished result.
The buttons are not sewn on in my photos. Here is a photo of a couple sewn on.
Peanut and I spent a long time looking at all the buttons at JoAnn's. They couldn't be shinny or too fancy since this yarn and style is casual.
Here is how I will look when I hang from a tree.
Here is the side view of the cardi. You can see that the diamond pattern goes from the waist to the collar.
Here is the back. You can see better how the diamond pattern starts and ends. The bottom of the cardi is seed stitch. As is the cuffs of the sleeves, the collar and the button bands.
Hmmmmmm I didn't realize that I didn't wear shoes. LOL
This is another side shot.
And then the front again. The sweater is even at the bottom. It's just that when you take a photo the sweater shows her sassy side.

So here is the skinny on this cardi.  It took me 9 months. I was doing a lot of other knitting projects at the same time. The original pattern was made for a man. I liked the simple classic shape and pattern so I knit the small size.
The pattern had the sleeves with a saddle that went from the sleeve cap to the collar.  I knit it and pinned it in with the front panel and back of the sweater per instructions. OMGosh. It was so slouchy. I looked frumpy.
So I ripped out the saddle on the sleeve.  Then I joined the front panel to the back of the sweater so it looked like a vest. I put it on sleeveless and it fit good. Looked perfect.  So I basted in my sleeves minus the saddle. They didn't fit right.
So I ripped back more on the top of the sleeves. I reknit the sleeve cap to be larger and rounded.  Then I pinned them in. I was tired of basting. And I gently tried on the sweater.  It was better but not really pretty. So I Pinned the top of the sleeve cap 2 inches up on the shoulders. Waa Laa.  That worked.
So then I started seaming them in.  The first sleeve perfect. It looked good.  The second sleeve looked goofy so I ripped out the seaming and adjusted it. Seamed it and Waa Laa it looked good.
At the time I was fighting with the sleeves I would take a break and I knit the button bands and the collar.  Since I had changed the sleeve saddle I had to adjust the collar too.  I think this sweater should be called Carol's sweater since I had to do so many changes.
Part of the problem is that the directions were so poorly written. Parts were left out. Some instructions were just confusing.  Many times the use of RS and WS didn't help because you didn't know if it was on the arm hole side or the collar side.
I went to my local yarn store and sat with one of the owners. She wrote down a whole section of the instructions for me that was goofed up.  I knit the front panels like she had advised me.  But then in the end I was messaging a friend on Ravelry who made the same sweater. She said that the she did the same mistake as me on the front panels with which side to do the decreases.  

My lesson learned was that I will be more picky about the patterns I pick. Although when you buy a pattern online you can't view it first. Maybe just to see that more than a handful of people have made it might be good to look for.
I also learned that if a pattern is not working I can change it and not ruin it.
I knew that I was good enough in crochet to make anything I put my mind to but I have only been knitting for 2 years. So I am happy that I have learned enough to make alterations.
I do like my new sweater.  I can't wear it now because Summer is almost here. I will take it on vacation and I hope I can wear it in the cool evenings.
Oliver says nite nite and I forgive you mommy for throwing that live lizard outside.
Coraline says feed me !!!

Photographer of the Cardi: The Peanut
Stats on Cardigan:
Pattern: Kenneth McNeil Cardigan
Yarn: Madeline Tosh DK
Colorway: Briar
Needles: Signature Arts US 4 or 3.50 mm
Yardage: 1417.5 yards
Good Night's 1:50 am and I'm off to bed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunset & RAIN !!! And a Rant

Yes today we have RAIN !!  Yesterday Peanut and her friend were swimming in the pool.  Today we wake up to rain.  I LOVE it.  
This is my hybrid Tea rose called Perfect Moment.
It is a gaudy rose but it sure does grab your attention in the garden.
So I decided to add some blue to my sky in the sunset painting. At first I hated it and was kicking myself for destroying my pretty sunset. But I let it dry for a day and went back and softened the cobalt blue and the alizarin crimson. I like it now. I think the blue in the sky works to show why the water has blue. It is reflecting the sky.  Yeah for taking a risk.
Now I have to have a rant. Ready? Here goes.
So I pick Peanut up from school and we head over to the public library. This is a newly built library and has a lot of things there for kids to learn. They have live critters in tanks (fish-tanks) like snakes, lizards, guinea pigs, bugs, birds and fish.
They also have a round table that has a fake tree growing up through the center and on this table are 4 stations of computers.
So when the kids want to use the computers they have to ask the lady at the desk to put in the password.  Peanut came up to me and asked to use the computer. I said sure, go ask the lady or man to put in the password. So she went and did that.
I was about 7 yards from this computer station at a table. I had my knitting bag and my huge sweater spread out, yarn and needles. My purse and a stack of books that Peanut picked to check out.  So then Peanut comes up to me and says," you have to sit with me or I can't use the computer."  I said, "What?"  She said that I had to be next to her in order to use the computer.  So I went up to the desk and waited for the lady to look up.  I said that my child was at the computer and I have all my knitting spread out over there (pointed finger) and I can see her very clearly. She said that I had to sit next to Peanut.  I said "why? I can see her." She said that sometimes kids poke pencils at the screen.  I said, "my child is 8 years old and has no pencil."  The lady said "It is policy that parents sit with the child."  
I looked at the kids around this part of the library and at the computers. The average was 3 to 4 years old.  I argued a little more. The lady said that I could go sit on the chairs next to the computers.  I just walked away really mad at how stupid it all was.
So here is what I figured out.  If I am next to my child I will parent her. If I am 7 yards away I will let her do whatever she wants to do.  Next to her I will tell her to stop poking the monitor with her imaginary pencil. Seven yards away I will let her poke the screen to her hearts content.  I guess we parents stop doing our job if we are any distance from our kid.

Do any of you remember when your mom would take you to the library?  My mom would drive up, drop us off and she would go grocery shopping and then come pick us up an hour later.  Or she would go into the adult section while me and Susan would go to the kids section.  Or at the mall, my mom would drop us off to Walk the Topanga Plaza in Woodland Hills and to shop with our allowance. 
Sometimes we would go ice skating there while she did her shopping. But we were left on our own.  I think it helps kids learn to be responsible and think for themselves because they don't have a parent hanging over them saying, "don't do that , go here, blah blah blah"
My mom trusted us. We wanted to make her proud. We were good girls.
I liked having the freedom that she allowed us. I know that I was a very shy girl and I would act different when adults were watching me. I mean I was very silly with my friends but I was more quiet around adults. 
Ok, end of rant.  I need to see another pic of my roses to calm me down.
This is another pic of Perfect Moment that I took this morning.
While I was out taking photos I snapped one of The Prince. He is a David Austin english rose.  His fragrance is so yummy.
Today The Prince is a little deeper pink than this color. It is a deep magenta. It depends on the heat of the weather. 
But on cool days like today the fragrance is so strong. 
When I moved to this house I wanted to plant the strongly fragrant roses at the entry way of my house. So everyone has to pass this rose on the way to the front door.  Mmmmmmmmmm
Today is the last day of school.  It is a min. day. Then we have 2 months of summer vacation. Peanut is so excited.  I am happy to have a break in the routine. I am hoping for a great third grade when school begins in the fall.
Rant #2
Now here is something to think about.  A few days ago I got in my mail a letter for my son.  He has lived in Idaho since March 2007. Yes that is 3 years.
So more than 2 years ago a jury summons came and I fill in the section that he moved with his new address. I sent it back to the courts.
Well this weekend another jury summons came. It was RED and it said that since he had not responded to past summons' that he had no more excuses and he would be in contempt of court with the threat of jail.
So I call the phone number on the summons.  I have to go through ten min. of voice message. No way to get a live person till you listen to this whole thing.
So I get the live person. She was nice.  I told her that I had sent in the change of address over 2 years ago. She said it goes off of his drivers license. I said but he got an Idaho drivers license right away in 2007. She said, did Idaho's DMV send his Calif. license back to us?  I didn't know. She said that when it is time to renew the Calif. license then he will be off the jury mailing list.  In the meantime just put "Not at this Address" on the summons and send it back. So why did they have that section on the other jury summons for when you move out of the county or state?
Oh brother. Who knew?  I have a big problem with stupid rules that just give us citizens the run around. (Library rules included)
Something to know about Carol. Things that bug her: 1. stupid rules 2. packaging
Things that calm me? 1. Bible 2. my kitties 3. knitting  4. painting 5. gardening 6. family (not in any order)
Breakfast is always good with a friend.
Now go smell your roses!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flamingo Watercolor and Garden

This is the 5th painting in my Visit to The Beach class.
I enjoyed painting this flamingo. We live on the west coast so I have never seen them at the beach.  I chose to do the head and neck because I think it is interesting.
                        Here is my before painting that I spent 30 min. on.
I decided that my painting was asking to have the green around the bird. I used under sea green because I think it compliments the flamingo.
I tried to block in most of the areas equally and not focus on any one area.
That bottom edge is my watercolor block, not my painting.
I really am happy with how this turned out. 
I spent about 45 more min. on the painting. 
Click on the photos to make them bigger or use your browser to enlarge it.
I couldn't blog without a couple photos of my kitties. Here Oliver is almost falling out of his cat tree.  They really like it. Him and Coraline
Garden Time.  Here is an update of how our garden grows.  It is doing really well. The tomatoes from seed have almost caught up to the tomatoes from Home Depot.

My bell peppers are looking funny.  I hope they unwrinkle when they grow up. Unlike me. LOL
That is Alexis' hand to show you how large the tomatoes are.
I know garden pics are boring but I'm excited to have a garden this year.
As a parting shot I give you an out of focus pic but it is cute anyway. Here are the tail "ENDs" of Oliver and Coraline.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Painting A Sunset

This is the 4th painting in the series of my class Imaginary Visit to The Beach.

Here is my sunset.  It's been a sad week because 3 days ago I had to put my dog to sleep.  When I came to this painting I was thinking that the sunset is appropriate because this week was the sunset of Babe's life. The sun went down but it shone brightly in her eyes with so much love when we said goodbye. 

I really wanted to keep the sparkle in the water.  To me this painting is all about light. I wanted to challenge myself to not overpaint and to barely put color in the water and parts of the sky in order to preserve the "lights" in the composition.  I tend to get too dark when I paint so this took discipline.

I think I spent 30 min. on the first part but I was making dinner so I was up and down.          BEFORE
I did use a block out liquid stuff instead of the wax crayon. I'm more familiar with art masking fluid and I take it with me always when I paint outside or inside.
I applied it with a Q-tip.
I know that my water is a light value although It was hard to photograph. The original has more color I think. I stayed with the simple pallet. 
I have the darks in my mountains, rocks and boat.
I made my bird very light to push them back.
I wonder about the very top of my sky. Should I make it darker with the Shadow Violet or just leave it alone.  I don't want to loose something pretty by over cluttering the painting.  My sun is about 3/4 up above the mountain so maybe the sky would not be getting dark up at the top yet?

I didn't write on my painting. My mind was thinking about my dear old dog and if I did write on my painting I would have written this:
Psalm 34:18  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

The painting #3 in the class was to paint Fiddler Crabs. They were just to be a quick sketch and painting.  So here are my Fiddler Crabs.

And here are the crabs together.  I didn't spend much time on the sand. We were not suppose to because this was a quick sketch. If we were really visiting the beach and saw these guys we would have to draw and paint fast because they are zippy little guys.  They are just shy.
Tomorrow, Monday we will get a new assignment. I'm proud that I have kept up with all the paintings and at the same time I am getting my sweater knit. Almost done!!!  OH NO, that reminds me. I have a shawl soaking in my bathtub. Gotta go block!  Have a good week and remember, 
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all  your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Goodbye Sweet Babe, my dog.

Goodbye Babe. I know your in heaven with your new body. Your probably running and chasing dogs and greeting Richard and Sierra.

Here you are when you were young and had the pretty color in your fur.

When my hubby Richard was dying from cancer and he was laying in that horrible hospital bed at home on hospice, you would stand next to his bed and I would put Richard's hand on your head. Richard would caress your head and seemed to feel better. You just stood there very patiently. Such a good dog.
You got me through a lot of dark days when my hubby died and then my daughter died.  You were always there to sleep next to my bed.  I felt protected in the house.
Babe, Pepper hen May 2010
You loved children, cats, chickens, dogs but not so much men.
I don't know what your past was before I got you but I suspect a man hurt you.
Heidi and I went to YAPS, Yucaipa Animal Placement Society and you came to the fence and wanted me to pat you.  I had to take you home.
You were a good dog. You stayed home even though we had no fences at the Yucaipa house.  When we moved to Highland you didn't like when I left for work.
You chewed the fences and got out everyday.  finally you settled down.
You were so gentle when we brought home a new cat. This is you and Sally.

       As the years went by you had trouble with your hips. Getting up and down was painful for you. Once up you surprised me how fast you could move sometimes. But I know that you had pain. Winter was the worse when your bones and muscles got cold. I let you stay indoor as much as you wanted.  
In the last year you started to make a weird noise after you got a drink of water. You sounded like an old man coughing.  But you seemed to be ok.  In the last few week that noise came more often.  
Here you are on Memorial Day weekend May 2010
Here you are Babe. You are about 17 years old. Today at the Vet they said that you weighed 88 pounds. Your fur has turned gray but so has mine!
Your sweet as can be.  Monday I fed you and you didn't touch the food.  That is 3 days with no food.  You did drink water.  You slept a lot but what scared me was that you were making this horrible noise. You were breathing so hard and there was a rattle. Then you would hork and hork and phlegm would come up. 
About ever 10 to 15 min. you would do that.  When you did fall asleep there would be a puddle of saliva on the cement. You did sleep on your soft bed but last night I was worried because you just wanted to lay on the cement. I called you to come in but you would not move.  I thought you might die in the night.

You were still with us this morning.  I had called the vet yesterday and they said to bring you in this morning.  So Phil came over with his truck. He helped me to put you in.  We drove very slow so that you would not tip over. You laid down nicely and seemed to like the air.  We arrived to the vet. I gave them the info about you and then we went in the little room.  The vet agreed that your quality of life was not good.  So he said they would give you a shot and you would go to sleep.
I patted your head and gave you a hug. Then we left and I cried and cried.

I will miss you Babe.  You were a very good dog to me.
Go have fun running in heaven.  I love you.