Monday, June 13, 2016

Knitter in Limbo

I have to admit, I haven't picked up a pair of knitting needles in ages, the only time I did pick them up was to knit my oldest sister a pair of socks and that was some time ago.  I did try to knit my niece some socks but, the yarn wasn't the color I liked so, I ripped them apart. Now I am trying to decide if I need to knit her socks right now or not.  I think I am going to paint her some yarn for her socks, I don't like what I have around here right now. 

I know the hubby is shaking his head have 4 roomfuls of yarn, you crazy woman!  Yes, I do but, it isn't right for what I want to knit.  As any knitter knows, this is a perfectly sane answer and our reasoning is sometimes skewed! 

I haven't even wanted to sew.  I am in limbo right now where crafting is concerned.  Then I discovered some new crafting ideas.  Yes, something bright and pretty has caught my eye, just trying to find the time and the money to craft these ideas, that is the big issue.  I haven't even beaded in ages. 

I want to make myself a dress to wear over my swimsuit, I have to cut the pattern out and get it ready for serging and sewing.  Hubby bought me a beginners serger for my birthday.  I am no way an expert on sewing since I am self taught but, I decided I wanted to try out a serger to see how it worked and how it will help me with my quilting.  No, I haven't had time to finish all of the ones I started.  I have a few left to finish. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Yeah, Well....

Yes, it has been a while once again since I have sat down and posted.  I am in the middle of the million pillow case challenge.  I entered in my DAR chapter and we are sewing for a great cause.  I am working on my pillowcases. 

I do have something on my knitting needles, a scarf for one of my many nieces, I haven't had time to sit down and work on it.  Other things have occupied my time, a swimming pool that is green, slowly cutting down a pineapple guava bush that has long since worn out it's welcome, and then a crepe myrtle that needs a nice hair cut.  Plus doing my chores. 

I have taken the time at night to sit down and bead, it helps me relax and be able to sleep.  I was noticing my sleep was being disrupted by life and I can't have that, I need that sleep.  Plus, my stress had more than doubled and my doctor changed my bp meds to another one which gave me a nasty rash.  I am back to my old meds. 
One of my pillowcases that I have been sewing for my charity. 
We are also changing out all the cfl bulbs in the house as we can afford to do it, we are changing to LEDs since I read an article about how bad those cfls truly are for the environment and for us as well.  Out they are going.  We are planning on recycling them at the local home store where they have bins for them.  Two boxes need to go.  I guess next pay check will include getting another box and the pricey ones will be for all of the recessed lighting we have in our home. 
I had bought a Ninja 4 in 1 cooker and I love the thing.  Thank goodness for ez pay.  I love this item, it saves me from cranking up the stove and heating up the whole kitchen.  I have noticed I am cooking more since I bought the thing.  I also have been making more salads for us.  I buy the items I need from the store and make my own, so much cheaper than the local salad restaurant that charges about $20 for a salad, I kid you not. 
I guess if people are willing to spend that much on a salad and also on coffee they will keep charging it.  I won't pay that for a cup of coffee, I have Honduran coffee in my house.  I had brought some back with me from our trip to Roatan and I fell in love with it.  So good!  Best cup of coffee I have ever had. 
 Me snorkeling on the reef in Roatan, my selfie.
 Some of the locals enjoying a day on the reef.
 A starfish, I happened to spot as I was going into the water. 
 My smiling fish friend, he went wherever we went while we were snorkeling.  He is smiling for the camera. 
One of the reef channels and some brain coral off to the left. 
Will I go back to Roatan?  Yes, in a heart beat.  We are going back this year on vacation. Have you ever found the only place you ever want to go back to?  We did.  It was so beautiful and so relaxing.  Very nice people, too.  If you scuba dive or snorkel, this is the place for you, if not, you won't like it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Happy New Year!

I know it has been some time since I have sat down and posted anything.  Loads of changes in my life.  Number one on the menu is that I am rethinking Drooling Over Yarn, the business.  Etsy is way over crowded and nothing sells.  So, I am thinking of what to do about this.  I might end up going rogue and getting my own website.  I have been thinking about this one for a while. 
Then there is the problem of I am not really interested in yarn right now.  Nope, don't want to see it, don't want to dye it, don't want to paint it. 

The last thing I made was a pair of socks for a niece.  She loves them.  She tells me about them all of the time.  I like this attitude of hers about her socks.  I have no patience or the will to knit anyone a pair of socks and then find out they have given them away.  Excuse me?  I spent all my time and effort for you to give them away.  I don't think so, they are permanently off the sock list. 

Anyway, I am not interested in yarn right now. 

What have I been doing with my time?  I have been quilting.  I made myself a quilt about a year or so ago and I realized that I really like making quilts.  I had been wanting to make one ever since my first gift of one by my Aunt.  She made me and my sisters one to share.  I have that quilt upstairs.  It is mine.  I love it.  Then in came the requests as soon as I finished that first one and I ignored them until I made my second one.  I showed it off to my sister, and then she tells me that my nephew will be going away to college this coming fall and I knew I had to make him something from home.  Then I decided his little brother needed one, too.  I have a pile of tops that have to be finished.  I am currently working on one.  I even sold my first one recently.  I was shocked!  It was a custom order but, I did it and I was paid for it.  It wasn't much but, it gave me inspiration that my craft can pay.  I am not doing it as a job, I am making quilts because I love it.  I would love to be able to make a king sized one but, I do not have the cash for a long arm quilting machine.  I would have to go into business to pay for one.  I do not want to do that. 

Mostly I have been dealing with Percy, our Schnoodle, or Total Nightmare doggy.  My Napoleon had to be put down and then my Bootsy had to be put down. Their doggy bodies just couldn't go anymore so, we knew it had to be done.  So, we put them down within months of each other.  Ody was lost with out both of them so, we knew we had to go and get another dog.  We rescued Percy and now we know why they didn't ask for background information, they wanted to get rid of him.  He has his moments of sweetness and then he becomes Destructo, the dog that destroys everything.  Our back yard is littered with crap he has destroyed.  We have to take the trash can back there and just start picking it all up.  My fire pot, destroyed, my pool tools, destroyed, he is destructive. 

He even caught and killed two rats in the back yard.  So, he is earning his keep somewhat.  Gary had been trying to catch the one rat for about a year or so and sure enough, Percy managed to get 2 and we didn't know about the second one.  He is a puppy, yet.  I am impressed by this. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Quilting and Knitting

After my first quilt turned out okay, I have decided to try my hand at a second one.  I am making myself another one for the couch, and then I am going to make one for a birthday present.  The birthday present is going to be a complete surprise, I think. 

I am also knitting myself a pair of mittens.  They are a much needed pair since I donated my mittens to a needy child.  This year, I will not be knitting for charity since my hand won't let me.  I will try to knit when I can.  I know I want a new pair of socks for Winter.  Since our almanac has predicted that we will have a harsh one, I know new socks will be needed. 

I have also started making my own body butters.  The girl who made all my lotions, creams, and balms, quit the business and I was forced to go find an alternate source.  I decided to try my hand at it and well, I found out that I can make butters that heal my skin so nicely.  I hate cracked skin.  It is the worst.  So, the body butters are doing the trick in keeping my skin nice and soft.  I love that. 

I wish I could upload my photos from vacation but, this software will not work for me. I have tried on three different occasions.  I might have to move my blog to another place.  Not sure if it will work or not.  Go figure. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer, No Knitting Involved!

Right now, I am not knitting a thing.  My right hand is so screwed up it isn't funny! I can't even stand to hold my tablet.  My fingers have been going numb.  Not sure if it is the diabetes or the carpal tunnel finally demanding that it be fixed.  I know the arthritis is bad in it.  I have been dealing with that, too. 

I want to knit socks for my charity knitting project.  I look at the yarn, I look at the needles and tell myself, maybe another day.  Sad. 

I have been hitting the waterpark weekly.  I missed last week since it was raining and Tropical storm Bill decided to peruse through the state.  What kills me about this storm is the weather and the news hyped it up to be a category 5 hurricane with all of their warnings and panicking.  Excuse me...what is wrong with these people it was just a tropical storm, no hurricane.  They caused a panic with all the people from other states living here and the grocery stores were packed for all of the people going crazy.  I stayed home and didn't buy anything.  My sister managed to get herself into panic mode, too.  I have some bottled water, I keep it for my trips to the water park.  I knew it would just be wind, rain, and some lightning, the usual stuff.  We get more winds coming off of that prairie than we did during Bill.  My niece, had some trees blown down but, they were young and they haven't had much rain so, the root system hadn't developed properly, yet. 

I am waiting to see what happens when we get a proper hurricane and all of these people from other states start freaking out.  Oh my word!  It is going to be interesting.  Basically, after a hurricane down here, you sweat, find the coolest spot you can, and wait for the power to come on.  You cook everything in the fridge first and then cook the stuff in the deep freeze.  If you don't have a gas stove, you learn to cook on your bbq pit.  Buy a cast iron skillet, it comes in handy during these times.  If you are able to afford one, buy a gas generator or one of those natural gas ones that hooks up to the main line of your gas to your home.  I want one of those.  I told the hubby, that would be awesome.  It would power all of the appliances and I could be happy for a while.  No a/c though so, that would freaking suck but, it could power some fans and that would help. My sister's neighbor installed one.  Then again he plans to live in his home forever. 

Today I am doing laundry, ugh!  I had to get up this morning and go water my plants and my tomatoes.  My tomatoes have a rat in them and he is destroying the whole bed of them.  I really don't think we are going to get any tomatoes this year with that damn thing in there.  I am going to have to set up some traps to get him out of there.  Damn varmint! 

I have been trying to play catch up on my chores.  I haven't been feeling like doing much of anything at all.  We had to go to San Antonio to visit my mother in law and give her her Mother's day present.  It was a nice visit with her.  I wish it could have been a bit longer but, there was a huge weather cell coming in and we didn't want to be on the road when it hit. 

Yesterday, I was a couch potato although I did cook supper and made beef stew, it was so good.  It was a simple recipe and I have left overs.  Tonight is left over night.  I am not cooking.  Usually he is pretty good about not making me cook on the weekends.  I like that break.  Last night, I decided to use up one of the packages of beef shoulder steaks in the fridge.  The other package is in the freezer.  It worked out nicely to cut the steaks into stew meat and it went over well with the dogs, too.  They had some over their kibble.  Percy is starting to get bigger.  He is still lean but, he is getting taller.  He needs some fat on his frame, yet and I am trying to figure out how to do that.  We might have to give him some kibble that has more fat in it.  Although we do feed him a salmon based kibble with no grains in it.  My older boys couldn't handle the grains and when they both passed we decided to keep the corgi on the same stuff since he is 6 and that is usually when the allergies show up.  Not going through that crap again.  No thank you.  So the corgi hasn't had grains since he was 2.  Percy hasn't had them since he has been here with us. 

I made homemade pimento cheese the other day and it has been sitting in my fridge for a couple of days getting all yummy!  I love good pimento cheese, bad pimento cheese will turn you off of it for a long time.  It is easy to make and man, when you do it right, it is fantastic! 

I took a bag of shredded mild cheddar cheese, half a bag of  sharp shredded cheddar cheese, lots of Kraft mayo and 1 teaspoonful of pimentos, mix it all together and let it sit covered in the fridge for a couple of days, to meld.  Then mix it up, slap some on some bread, and enjoy!  I have tried it with other mayo and the Kraft mayo is what tastes best to me.  If you are a Duke's fan, then use it.  I have never had it and I love the Kraft mayo.  I have no idea what the measurement of the mayo is, I put in enough to get it all together.  Keep adding until you have the consistency you desire. 

I know that some people have no idea what pimento cheese is...a Southern delicacy!  I had a really good one at a funeral.  I forgot to ask the ladies serving who made it and what her recipe was.  I had been searching all of my cookbooks for a recipe and some of them had no clue and then I found one in a Southern Living cookbook and tried it out.  The mayo was all wrong and then I decided to use the Kraft and that was it, her recipe uses the Kraft.  That creaminess was present, it is fantastic! 

Last night, I was reading in bed and I heard a distinct crash downstairs.  I looked at the hubby and asked if he heard it, yep, he did and so down the stairs we both went.  Sure enough, the cats had killed off a saucer to my fiestaware.  Damn cats!  Between the hubby and the cats, I am losing dinnerware quickly.  I might have to go looking for replacements to my set.  They discontinued the cinnabar and so, I went with cobalt as my new choice.  I have cinnabar serving pieces.  So, now I have the cobalt dinnerware.  I guess we will see how long they keep that one.  sigh! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sock Pattern on the House Knitting with 2 Circulars

Plain Jane Sock Pattern

Cast on 54 stitches with US 3 needles, be sure to not twist your stitches as you knit the first row, otherwise, rip them all off the needle and start again.  At the join for the other needle, watch out for the twist or repeat the previous step. 

Join your yarn and start knitting, this sock does not incorporate any form of ribbing.  Keep knitting until you decide that you want to start your heel flap.  I usually try to do about 5 or 6 inches of leg for my socks.  Sometimes, I get bored and decide to just knit 4 inches. 

Heel flap on needle 1: 
Knit across row 1. 
K4, purl, k4 to end the row.
Keep repeating these two rows until you have 9 garter stitch ridges on each side of the heel flap. 

Heel turn:
Knit 17 stitches, ssk, turn.
Slip the 1st stitch and purl 7 stitches, p2tog, turn
Slip the 1st stitch and knit 7 stitches, ssk, turn. 
Keep repeating these two stitches until you are left with 9 stitches on your needles, Knit across the 9 stitches and start picking up stitches on each of the garter stitch ridges on the sides.  You will have 9 new picked up stitches and pick up one more stitch at the top before you pick up needle 2 and knit across the 27 stitches that have been sitting unworked while you have been working on your heel flap.  Pick up 10 stitches with needle 1 on the other side of the heel flap working downwards. 
Knit two rounds.
Knit 1, ssk, knit until three stitches from the end on needle 1, k2tog, k1.
You should have 27 stitches on needle 1. 

Keep knitting in the round with both needles until you get to your foot size, try the sock on.  When your sock is long enough, it should reach to the bottom of your pinky toe.  This is how I size my socks I wear an 8.5US women's. 
This is a simple toe and it works out really well for every single pair of socks that I have knit.  I have knit many pairs. 
Needle 1:  knit 1,ssk, knit until 3 stitches from the end, k2tog, k1. 
Needle 2: knit 1, ssk, knit until 3 stitches from the end, k2tog, k1.
Knit plain around, and repeat these two decreasing stitches every other round being sure to knit a plain round in between the decreasing rounds.  Now, count your stitches on your needles and when you get to 34 stitches on the needles total, so, 17 stitches on each needle, then decrease every round.  If you think your sock isn't long enough, then wait until you think it fits well enough and then start decreasing every row until you get a minimal amount left on your needles, I usually end mine with 10 stitches total, cut the yarn, and then weave in all stitches via Kitchner stitch. 

I have worked this single gusset decrease sock several times and with the high instep people I knit for, they love it.  I have a high instep and I actually love this one stitch gusset. 
The heel is a Dutch heel and very simple to knit.  It is my go to heel. 

The heel flap with the k4 on each end, to mark the end of the k4, place a stitch marker, otherwise, it will make you crazy!  I always add on a stitch marker to help me remember to do my final k4 on the purl side of the flap.  It also makes it so much easier to pick up stitches with this decorative edge. 

If you have issues picking up stitches with a needle, then please by all means use a crochet hook in size e or f.  I used to use one before I had been doing a lot of crochet and realized that the same wrap stitch in crochet could be used with a knitting needle.  I also love to anchor my heels with two rounds of plain knitting before I start the gusset.  No holes this way and it also has more give. 

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I will try to get back to you.  I know sometimes people just want to knit a plain sock with no ornamentation and I was asked to write my pattern down. 

The US 3 circular needles need to have a 24 inch cord.  I use Addi turbo rockets, which are great because they have super sharp points which really get under the stitch.  They are most excellent on lace. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

More Drama

I had hurt my right knee last month and I put it in my brace.  Well, it seems I hurt it worse than I had thought. I took myself off to the doctor Tuesday per the hubby's recommendation and found out that I have torn my meniscus.  Oh boy!  So, I am on crutches until the swelling goes down.  I have muscle relaxers and I have an anti-inflammatory pill. 

I am working on knitting hats right now for charity.  I will need a bunch of items for the kids this year.  We talked about it last night and we are donating to one school.  I am hoping that the kids will have Christmas presents this year, again.  They are so poor, last year when we sent boxes of goodies, I was sent a letter back that stated the kids had Christmas presents for the first time.  That statement brought tears to my eyes. 

In other news, my sweetheart, my Bootsy was put down on March 17th.  He was so old and his poor old body couldn't do it anymore.  He had a strong will to live but, that just didn't work for his body.  He was 14 years old.  Gary had to deal with it since I was at my doctor's appointment.  He brought him home and we buried him next to his best friend, Napoleon.  So, they are both out there in the back yard.  Ody is lonely.  We are looking for a puppy from a shelter in Austin.  We hope they give us a call and let us know if we are acceptable to them as parents. 

Today is Ody's 6th birthday! My little boy is growing up.  He is something else.  I love that little doggy.  It doesn't seem like 6 years with him.  I remember holding that wee bit of nothing in my arms when he was a puppy and my heart melted for the little guy.  It was love at first sight. 

I have to go to garage sales to find a play pen for our new puppy.  We will get one eventually if the adoption doesn't work out with the Austin shelter.  The play pen will be in the family room with pee pads lining the base.  We have been through this before.  Ody scaled the walls on his play pen.  He was so freaking cute with that chubby little belly and those itty bitty stumpy legs.